Title: 'Tis the Season
Author: alyse
Fandom: Primeval
Pairing: Jess/Becker, references to canon Abby/Connor
Rating: PG13
Warnings: None
Spoilers: None
Author's Notes: Written as a treat for [livejournal.com profile] hiddencait for [livejournal.com profile] fandom_stocking 2011, who told me she shipped Jess/Becker when I poked her. Many thanks to Aithine for the beta.

Summary: It was the tinsel that was the last straw, as far as Becker was concerned. Jess tries to get Becker into the Christmas spirit.

-o-

It was the tinsel that was the last straw, as far as Becker was concerned. He was sure that tinsel had its place in this most annoyingly festive of seasons, but he was also pretty sure that that particular place was not wrapped around his monitor.

He closed his eyes and counted to ten, but when he opened them again, the tinsel was still there, mocking him slightly with its sparkliness.

It was purple, for god's sake. Purple all shot through with silver and it glittered in the ARC's fluorescent lights.

He sighed and gave in to the inevitable, which did not mean that he gave into the tinsel.

"Jess!" he yelled (not bellowed, no matter how much Jess might categorise it, a gleam in her eye that told him that she was mostly teasing him about it - mostly).

Bang on cue she popped up like a mildly psychotic elf. "You bellowed?" she asked sweetly, and he closed his eyes briefly, counting up to three this time rather than ten, because counting to ten gave her far too long to get up to something.

"Stop decorating my workstation," he said through gritted teeth, adding a belated - and just as gritted - 'please' to the end of that sentence when she pouted at him.

"But it's Christmas, Becker," she said predictably. She'd been using the 'but it's Christmas' excuse for weeks now, and Becker couldn't wait until January 1st, even with its inevitable hangover. He stared at her silently for a long moment, just to make her pout again. There was something almost irresistible about Jessica Parker when she pouted - the 'almost' being a necessary barrier to the irresistible part of the equation, given that they were in work and Becker was a firm believer in the separation of business and pleasure and all that jazz.

She pouted harder, and he swallowed down the smile that threatened to erupt, not entirely convinced he'd been successful when she gave him a wide-eyed look, one that was heading into positively Machiavellian, even for Jess. "Don't you like Christmas?" she asked, all innocence. Not that that look had fooled him for a while.

"Right now," he said dryly, "it's not exactly my favourite time of year. Perhaps I'll reconsider if you stop trying to decorate my desk."

She scrunched her nose up at him, the pout turning into a look of abject disappointment. With him, not necessarily his reaction. It was one of those looks that said 'you can do better, Becker', but Becker really wasn't convinced about that. Tinsel or not, Jess was one of the best things that had ever happened to him.

But there were limits to even his patience, and even when it came to Jess. "No more tinsel," he repeated firmly. "Just... confine your decorating impulses to Lester's office, okay?"

"Are you trying to get me fired?" she grumped, but he ignored her, turning away to the paperwork piled high on his desk so that she couldn't see the smile he couldn't hold back any longer.

"No," he said. "But that outfit might."

"Don't you like it?" she asked, and he turned back towards her, just in time to see her twirl. It was, he had to admit, one of Jess's more traditional outfits - rather than pink and orange, this one was all red and green, with the occasional dash of silver, just like the tinsel he'd vetoed.

"It's very... festive," he said. "I particularly like the Santa hat. It's very you."

She beamed at him - it didn't take much to make her happy, which made him feel terrible on those occasions he had to disappoint her. Like now, when paperwork beckoned, paperwork he wasn't going to be able to concentrate on when his desk looked like that.

"Tinsel?" he said, pointing to it plaintively. Jess rolled her eyes, but retrieved it, pouting all the while. When it was finally gone, he heaved a sigh of relief, settling himself in his desk chair and pulling the first pile of requisition forms towards him.

He ignored the way that Jess waltzed away, and the fact that she was singing something under her breath that sounded very much like you're a mean one, Mr Grinch.

The first form he picked up showered him with snowflake shaped confetti and he sighed.

January 1st could not come soon enough.

-o-

There was a cup of hot chocolate waiting for him when he got back from running the latest security drill with his men. He had no idea how long it had been there, but the mountain of whipped cream on top had slumped to one side, and the Cadbury's Flake sticking out of it was looking a little worse for wear. The kind of worse for wear that suggested that Jess had grown bored waiting for him and had decided to have a nibble or two.

It was lukewarm but it still tasted quite good, even with the faint taste of gingerbread that lay underneath all the chocolate.

Jess always did go overboard with the Starbucks' syrups at this time of year, and it could have been worse.

It could have been eggnog.

-o-

He drew the line at the Christmas cards. No matter what Jess's views on the matter, he wasn't going to write out Christmas cards for all of his men and he certainly wasn't going to line the ones he'd got up on his desk.

He had a quiet word with Abby instead, and made sure that Jess saw him stuff a fiver in the 'charity collection instead of cards' envelope that went around the office.

When she pouted at him, he threw in another ten.

-o-

"Absolutely not," he whispered furiously, trying very hard not to attract anyone's attention, which was difficult when Jess was virtually bouncing up and down on the spot. She was still wearing that Santa hat and underneath the white fur rim, her eyes pleaded with him.

Puppy dogs had nothing on Jess. And the fur wasn't the only thing white that Jess had attached to her hat.

Green seemed to be a common theme these days, as well.

"Oh, for God's sake." Lester's voice rang out sharply across the Control Room, and Jess's little pleading smile took on an all together far too satisfied edge. "Just kiss the bloody girl and then we might actually be able to get back to what we're supposed to be doing for once."

Becker closed his eyes, but he was a soldier and good soldiers obeyed orders, even ones about kissing their girlfriends in the office.

But he was bloody well finding the rest of the mistletoe after this episode was over and hiding it from Jessica until December was over.

-o-

"So did you enjoy Christmas?" Jess asked sleepily, all curled up and content in his lap. She wasn't the only one full of far too much food. Connor was snoring softly on the couch, Abby watching him with an indulgent little smile on her face. Becker couldn't even complain that Connor had snored his way through the Queen's speech, not when Abby had caught Becker's look and poked at Connor until her boyfriend rolled over and stopped snuffling.

"Which part of Christmas?" Becker asked a little suspiciously - the main event might have been more or less over, but he hadn't lived this long by assuming that the main event being over meant that it was safe to come out unarmed. That was something that Jessica - small and cute as she was - had in common with the velociraptors of Becker's acquaintance.

She smiled, her eyes still closed, and snuggled a little more deeply into his chest. "All of it, silly," she said, her voice muffled as she drifted back into a doze, no doubt to dream of sugar plum fairies, or that new motherboard for her PC she'd been talking about for a while (the one Becker hadn't got her because frankly he knew as much about motherboards as Connor did about ducking when called for).

Becker stared down at her for a moment, taking in the dark lashes fluttering against pale, soft cheeks, and the soft, satisfied smile playing around the corners of Jess's mouth. She was beautiful like this - asleep and quiet. Not that he'd change her normal exuberant personality, even if he could.

"Yes," he said softly, not missing how her smile deepened, becoming something sleekly satisfied like a cat's. "But I am not braving the January sales with you, no matter what you think."

The End
.

September 2017

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