Rated: R for language, violence, adult content
Disclaimer: Not mine. Please don’t sue. Title comes from “9 Crimes” by Damien Rice. I also don’t own that.
Author’s Note: This bunny woke me up demanding to be written. It explores some of the dark thematic issues Jericho hinted at but never really explored.
Spoilers: Up through and including Black Jack. Everything after that is AU.
9 Crimes (Part One)
Six Weeks Later
Marcus Fillman sat with his back against the old Oak tree, rifle loose in his hands. “That’s two, Fred.”
The other man smirked at him from a few feet away, then tossed another penny across the way. “There,” he said as it landed in the bucket.
“Whatever happened to poker?” Todd Langston asked in a bored tone, looking out over the fields.
“Lost its purpose,” Joshua pointed out, pausing and frowning as he stared over the fields, as well. “Hey. You guys see that? Someone’s coming.”
All hint of humor and playfulness vanished from their voices and faces as they rose at once, each gripping their weapons tightly.
“Don’t come any closer,” Marcus said loudly as the figure came closer into view. He took aim.
“I live here.” The female voice caught him off guard momentarily, but they all kept their weapons trained on her.
“Identify yourself,” Fred ordered.
There was a moment of silence. “Heather Lisinski.”
Joshua glanced at Marcus, whose grip tightened on his rifle.
“Heather Lisinski is dead. Identify yourself.”
“I already did.” Her voice was quiet, wary.
“Show us some ID,” Fred commanded.
“I don’t have any. Please, just get J--”
“Get down on the ground,” Marcus shouted, cocking the gun.
The brunette closed her eyes, but didn’t argue. By now, she knew better.
“Down on the ground,” he said when she didn’t move fast enough for his liking.
Trembling a little, she kept her eyes closed and she slowly lowered herself to the ground.
“All the way down,” Marcus said, keeping the rifle trained on her. “Joshua, go get the sheriff.”
“Yes, Sir.” The younger man took off without hesitation.
“How many more are coming?” he demanded, kneeling down next to her.
“No one. It’s just me.” Her voice was muffled.
“She’s lying,” Fred accused, looking down at Marcus.
“Search her,” he responded with a nod.
Nodding his agreement, Fred lowered his gun to the ground and began to pat her down, ignoring her when she flinched. He pulled a switchblade from her boot and held it up.
Nodding again, he yanked the woman’s arms behind her back roughly, cinching the cuffs around her wrists. He remained sitting atop her. “How many are with you?” he demanded, lowering his mouth to her ear.
She didn’t answer.
Marcus sneered at her. “The sheriff will deal with her.”
* * *
“Sheriff Green.” Joshua was nearly out of breath by the time he made it to town hall.
Jake looked up from where he was reading a file. “What is it?”
“There’s been a security breech.”
Bill and Jimmy moved over quickly. “Ravenwood?”
“We’re not sure. A woman showed up.”
“What are we waiting for?” Bill asked, heading for the door.
Tense, Jake grabbed his gun and followed, a grim expression on his face. It was the third time in as many weeks that the border patrol had been breeched and the last time they’d lost three men.
Everyone in town had been on edge since their deaths, and the Rangers were training more people to do security. Even with the additional numbers, they were pulling long, tiring hours. Jake hadn’t slept in nearly three days, much to his mother’s chagrin. Even Stanley had started bugging him to go home for a few hours.
Jake pushed thoughts of them away as he drove his car toward the security point on the North side of town, knuckles white as he gripped tightly onto the steering wheel.
When he got out of his car, he grabbed his glock and moved toward the rest of the security team. His gaze searched the surrounding area, but he saw no one.
He looked over to Fred, who had a petite figure pinned to the ground, arms cuffed behind her back.
“What are you doing here?” Jake asked tensely, aware of Jimmy and Bill close behind him.
Much to his surprise, she lifted her head up a little, brown hair falling in her face, but not before he met the woman’s familiar blue eyes for the briefest of moments.
Jake sucked in a breath. “Get off her, Fred,” he ordered, frozen in place.
Without hesitation, he slid off her, looking at Jake uncertainly.
He’d moved to her side before he even realized it, unlocking the cuffs.
“Sheriff Green?” Marcus frowned.
He ignored the man, tossing the handcuffs aside and helping her to her feet. Hesitantly, he reached out and brushed some hair out of her face. “Welcome home,” he whispered.
* * *
She’d know that voice anywhere.
Not even registering the words he spoke, Heather strained to lift her head from the ground. For a second--one tiny, precious second--her eyes locked on Jake Green’s. Her dark hair curtained her face and she missed the look of shock on his.
Shuddering with relief as he barked out an order at the man holding her down, Heather rested her head on the dead grass, closing her eyes. The weight on her disappeared and seconds later, the handcuffs were gone too, leaving her wrists sore. Then she was pulled gently to her feet.
One of his hands reached up and brushed the hair from her eyes and she shuddered again when he whispered the words she’d wanted to hear so badly for months.
Then his arms were around her, her face buried against his shoulder as she held onto him tightly.
“Welcome home,” he whispered again, this time against her ear.