Slightly late birthday fic for the lovely clea2011. Only a little bit of Becker's hair was harmed in the making of this fic *evil grin*
Title: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 1500
Summary: Jess helps Becker out of a sticky situation
AN: Birthday fic for clea2011
AN2: I apologise in advance for the title!
Jess paused outside the bathroom door. She could hear the shower still running, even though Becker had disappeared into the room well over half an hour ago. She couldn’t help idly wondering if there was even any hot water left.
Over the sound of running water, Jess heard a muffled curse.
She knocked tentatively.
“Are you okay in there?”
Becker sounded about as far from fine as it was possible to be without actually being in hospital. Jess hesitated another moment, and then opened the bathroom door and went in.
Becker glanced at her, squinting a little to avoid shampoo dripping into his eyes as he continued to wash his hair.
“Bloody stupid stuff won’t come out,” he muttered.
Jess glanced at the pile of clothes on the floor and wrinkled her nose. She suspected the same was probably true of his clothes. Unfortunately, the washing guidelines on the label didn’t usually tend to cover situations involving exploded giant insect innards.
She turned her attention back to Becker.
“Come here. Let me have a look.”
Becker rinsed the shampoo off, and then stepped out of the shower. Jess might possibly have taken a moment to appreciate the view, and then got down to business. She handed him a towel, which quickly got wrapped around his waist (which Jess thought was a shame, as she’d been enjoying that particular view as well).
“Sit on the edge of the bath here,” she directed him.
Somewhat surprisingly, Becker did as he was told. He looked a little forlorn.
Jess steeled herself, and examined Becker’s hair.
He was right; it wasn’t coming out. To be fair, he had managed to get a great deal of the exploded bug guts off himself in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and then rather more in the showers at the ARC later. Connor had thought it would be amusing to take a picture of him covered in the stuff and send it to Jess’ phone, so now, mentally comparing the before and after, she had to admit he was already looking a great deal cleaner than he had done a few hours earlier. Also, she was intending to keep that photo for future entertainment value. Nevertheless, there were still several gobbets of what appeared to be dried solid... icky stuff... in his hair. She poked at one of them, and gave an experimental tug.
“Baby,” Jess murmured.
“You wouldn’t be saying that if it was stuck in your hair.”
“I probably wouldn’t have got that close to the exploding insect in the first place.”
“How was I to know it was going to explode when I hit it?” Becker muttered. “Ow!”
Jess let go of the dried bit of gunk she had been tugging at.
“Okay,” she decided. “Here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to sit there and stop complaining, and I’m going to get rid of the rest of this stuff.” She reached for the shower head and detached it from the wall.
“I’ve already tried that,” Becker grumbled. “What do you think I’ve been doing for the last god knows how long?”
“I know,” Jess said, trying to remain patient. “But the difference is, I can see what I’m doing.”
She stripped off her top layers until she was down to her bra, and then turned the shower on again, this time on a low setting, directing the spray onto the parts that actually needed it. With her free hand, she gently worked at the dried lumps of... she was not thinking about what they were. She used her fingertips to soften them, and her nails to tease apart strands of hair that were clumped together.
Becker, somewhat to Jess’ surprise, remained both still and placid while she worked, although she didn’t fail to notice the occasional hiss when she pulled a little too hard at something that was well and truly stuck.
By the time she was finished, the water was pretty much luke-warm. His hair was certainly a lot better than it had been before, but there were still a couple of particularly stubborn bits that had refused to succumb to her ministrations.
“That’s got most of it, but I think I’m going to have cut these last bits off.”
Jess rolled her eyes. “Honestly, anyone would think I’d just threatened to shave it all off.”
Becker actually shuddered at the suggestion, and Jess rolled her eyes again. She went to get the scissors, and when she returned he was still sitting where she had left him, looking ever more mournful, and picking at the last of the gunky bits.
“Look on the bright side,” Jess said, with possibly a little more perkiness to her voice than the situation warranted. “At least none of it got on your chest. Then we really would have had problems!”
Becker stared at her in horror, and a tiny noise escaped from his mouth.
Jess stifled a giggle.
“Did you just ‘meep’?”
Becker looked affronted. “I most certainly did not!”
Jess nodded, and stood over him with the scissors.
“My mistake. Of course you didn’t.”
Becker peered up at her, frowning. “Why do I get the feeling you’re making fun of me?”
“Do you actually want me to answer that?”
“Now keep still.”
“When did you turn into Little Miss Bossy?”
“Since I have a pair of scissors in my hand. Now keep still, unless you want an accidental buzz cut.”
Becker froze, and Jess could have sworn she heard another of those sounds that absolutely wasn’t a meep.
Amusing as the situation was, Jess knew quite well how much Becker fussed about his hair, and how much time he spent applying hair products in the mornings, and she had no particular wish to make a complete mess of it. Apart from anything else, she would have to live with the pouting and the complaints until it grew back. So, she was extremely careful as she cut out the final lumps, only snipping as much hair as was absolutely necessary.
Eventually, Jess stood back to take a look at the results. Well, there were no bald patches, at least. There were a couple of patches that were a little... uneven, but with a little creative combing they would probably be fine, as long as no one looked too closely. She decided it might be better to not mention that until later, though. Not until he was a little less pouty, at least.
“There. Good as new.” Jess gave him her biggest, brightest smile.
Becker reached up and felt at his head, frowning a little.
Jess rolled her eyes, and let him prod for several seconds before she took hold of his hand and pulled it away.
“Leave it alone, it’s fine.” Off Becker’s sceptical look, she added, “Don’t you trust me?”
Becker smiled for the first time since he had got back from the insect incident.
“You know that’s a silly question.”
He leaned forwards and rested his head against Jess’ chest. Jess stroked his hair, and began to absently massage his scalp. After a few moments, Becker made a soft contented noise, and nuzzled her.
“Thank you,” he murmured. “You’re my hero.”
“I thought that was normally my line?”
Becker chuckled. “You have your moments.”
Jess playfully swatted at him, and then continued the gentle petting. He didn’t normally let her do that for very long (something about manliness, she suspected) so Jess intended to make the most of it while it lasted.
“You probably shouldn’t use too much hair product on it for a few days, just in case.”
Becker humphed, and Jess got the distinct impression he was pouting again. Jess did have to admit she had an ulterior motive, though. On the rare occasions when Becker’s hair wasn’t covered in gel and wax and god knows what else he insisted on using every day, it was all soft and wavy and, quite frankly, adorable, and Jess wasn’t above abusing the situation to get what she wanted for a day or two.
He nuzzled again, and pressed a soft kiss to her stomach.
“So,” Becker said, “How about we take this somewhere a little more comfortable, and I thank you properly for doing this?”
“Only if you’re absolutely sure all the splattered insect goo is completely gone.”
Jess giggled. “Oh, go on then, you’ve twisted my arm.” She stepped back and pulled him to his feet.
Becker raised his eyebrows. “Or I could just make you a cup of tea, if you’re that unenthusiastic about it.”
Jess squealed and poked him in the stomach. “I still have the scissors within reach, you know. Bedroom. Now!”
“Have I mentioned you’re slightly scary when you’re bossy?” Becker said with a grin. “Scary, and hot.”
Nevertheless, he headed into the bedroom while Jess continued to give him her best stern glare.
The glare really didn’t last for very long though, when Becker proceeded to show her just how grateful he was.