Author's Note: This is something I wrote earlier and never got the chance to post until now. I hope you'd enjoy!
Behind their Backs
"Guys, we're going to train at one of the other rooms," Brennan called out to them, with Shalimar standing beside him. "Wanna come with?"
Emma looked up from her chair. "Nah," she said, declining the offer politely. She raised the book in her hands. "I'm kind of busy reading. Besides, I just don't think that having my ass kicked by both of you is my idea of a good time."
"How about you, Jesse?" Shalimar invited him. "We're playing 'GSA squad meets Mutant X'. Could be fun!"
"I'm fine here, thanks." He pushed the escape button on his computer and then gave a loud howl. "Ah! I can't hack through this account!"
"Hmm. Seems like we're on our own, Shal," Brennan said to her as they moved away. "You know what, since it's just the two of us, why don't we train the normal way instead?"
"You're on. Prepare to get your ass kicked big time, buster!" Shalimar told him.
"Let's just see about that!"
Emma and Jesse the heard these two's steps, as well as their voices, recede after a minute or so.
She closed her book and placed it on the table beside her, before she stood up and went to Jesse's side. "Ready?" she asked him, an excited smile lighting up her face.
Jesse just nodded. "'Ya know, Em, this is something I normally won't do, especially with Adam not knowing." He pushed several buttons more and then grinned as he got his perfect shot. "Ah, heck. This is something I always do, especially without Adam knowing."
Emma hit him playfully on the shoulder. "I just hope you don't do it while any of us are in the bathroom."
He made a funny face at that. "Give me some credit here, Emma. I don't stoop that low. I do have my own manners, thank you very much."
"Just joking." She then dragged her chair to get a more comfortable position. "Now let's see what they've got."
From where they were seated, they could see a clear shot of Shalimar and Brennan in the training room. Jesse was able to create a program that would allow every computer in the sanctuary to become a camera, something that could be used as a defense tactic, or as a monitor for the entire facility. At any case, Emma was able to talk to him into using that program as a way to see just how their other two friends battle each other in order to get some combat tactics and maneuvers. Or at least, that was what she told him as an excuse.
Jesse leaned on his seat, raised his two hands and placed them behind his head. "I just don't see why we have to watch them like this," he said, frowning slightly. "It's like a breach on their privacy or something. It doesn't feel right."
"Oh, hush," Emma said dismissively. She leaned forward, intrigued by the sight in front of her as she watched Shalimar back flip to avoid Brennan's kick. "You know, I've always wanted to do something like that!"
He watched her, a smirk on his features. "I know you, Em," Jesse told her. "I know that this is not why you talked me into doing this."
"You're not a psionic," She pointed out with a smile. "How can you be so sure?"
"I may not belong to your kind, but I do know how to read people sometimes. This just happened to be one of those rare cases where I can see what's cooking on that brain of yours. And I can tell that learning their moves is not it."
"Fine. You caught me, Mr. Freud." She looked at him, and then flashed him a big smile. "Actually, I was wondering just how close these two really are," she said honestly. "I wanna know just how they are with each other without any of us on their faces."
Jesse's eyes widened. "What?"
Emma snorted a little indelicately. "Like you're not interested in finding out yourself," she accused.
"Wait a minute. Are you saying that you're using my program as a little paparazzi for these two to… to gauge just how close they really are?"
"Yeah," she said triumphantly.
"That is such a girl thing to do!" Jesse exclaimed. "Why don't you just ask Shalimar?" he asked. "That way, we don't have to step over their rights and we won't have something to feel guilty about. Just ask her, be done with it, and it's as simple as that."
"Hello! Earth to Jesse!" She rolled her eyes heavenward. "It's not something you just ask outright. Besides, if there is something going on between them, do you think they'll tell us?"
He stared at the monitor in time to see Brennan expertly block several of Shalimar's moves. "Shalimar will tell me," he said confidently.
"Not if she's not yet aware of it, she won't."
He stared at her, his eyes wide like saucers. "So you're saying that there's something going on between them, but they're not aware of it yet?" Jesse stated, to make sure he got it clearly.
Emma nodded. "Exactly," she said with a smile.
"Again with the 'that is such a girl thing' to say!" Jesse shook his head and grinned fondly at her. "You know, Em, you've just been reading too many romance novels and stuff. You've got an overly active imagination. Maybe you're just thinking that there's something between them, when in fact there isn't."
"No I'm not," She glanced at the monitor. "Jesse, you're just so dense. And I'm not using it as a pun, thank you very much. I mean, you just have to look at them! How they act around each other, how they talk to each other, their concern, their care-"
"Okay, okay!" Jesse straightened up and raised his hands in front of him in self-defense. "I get your point. Or at least, I think I do."
"Sometimes I'm so tempted to sneak in a little psionic blast into each of their heads to see what was what." Emma shrugged. "But they'll know it if I do it. And then I'll get my ass kicked for sure."
"That's for sure," Jesse affirmed. "You know how those two are."
They stared at the monitor, watching as Brennan managed to take Shalimar down with a swipe of his foot. He grinned at her proudly while she glared up at him defiantly. He then offered his hand, which she accepted reluctantly, and helped her stand up. "You see!" Emma declared triumphantly, with a dramatic swipe of her hand. "He helped her stand up! That has got to mean something!"
"Whenever we train and I manage to get her down, I help Shalimar stand up, too, Emma. How come you don't think something's going on between her and me?" Jesse asked sarcastically.
"Brennan never help me stand up whenever we're training," Emma retorted. "He's not a gentleman, and I can attest to that. But with Shalimar…" she paused, and prayed that Jesse got her silent message.
Jesse just shrugged.
"Again with the 'you're do dense'!" Emma said under her breath.
They turned their attention to the monitor again, their faces contorted with different expressions.
"Prepare to eat dust!" Shalimar exclaimed, as she launched herself high in the air. Brennan looked up, his eyes widened, and then thump! Shalimar had successfully landed on his chest, and he fell flat on his back. She grinned at him. "I must say I find this a very comfortable position."
Jesse's eyes widened. "Did she just say that?" he asked, incredulous.
Emma hit him on the arm. "Shh!"
Brennan raised his arms. "Well, better get comfortable now, because-" in a quick movement of hands and body, he was able to reverse their position, with Brennan now sitting on top of Shalimar. "Now this, I like very much."
Emma grinned widely. "They're flirting with each other! I knew it!"
"Hope I'm not crushing you." Brennan told Shalimar.
"It's not like I'm complaining or anything, am I?" She responded.
"Okay, I think I've had enough." Jesse stood up and turned the monitor off, much to Emma's dismay.
"Oh, come on, Jesse!" Emma said as she, too, stood up. "Just five more minutes! Turn it on, please!"
"No!" Jesse shook his head vehemently. "I've seen enough, I think. And Emma, you know, you should be ashamed of yourself for even talking me into doing this!"
She crossed her arms in front of her chest and frowned. "I think you're just overreacting."
"Look, just because we've seen for ourselves that there is something going on between her and Brennan-" suddenly, her eyes widened as realization dawned on her. "Wait a minute. Are you… are you jealous or something?"
"Of course not! It's just that I-"
"You don't think Brennan's good enough for Shalimar?"
Jesse stared at Emma hard. "I've known her longer than you or Brennan do," he started. "I just want her to be with a great man."
"And you don't think Brennan is a great man?" she asked again.
"I just-" Jesse slumped down on his seat. "I just don't want to see her get hurt." He said softly.
Emma kneeled beside him and took his hand. "Jesse," she said. She only started talking again after he looked at her. "I know that you're being protective over Shalimar, since she's been your friend the longest. But I just don't think that you should doubt Brennan. He's a great guy. He might be someone with a not-so-perfect past, but he's a different man now. He's changed, and that's a good thing, right?"
Jesse squeezed her hand. "I guess so," he mumbled.
She smiled at him. "Good."
"Looks like we're intruding on a very private moment."
Jesse and Emma looked up to see Brennan and Shalimar grinning at them. Shalimar looked at Brennan and winked. "Aw. Don't they make a cute couple?"
"Indeed they do." Brennan said with a chuckle. "Indeed they do."
That was when Emma realized that she was still holding on to Jesse's hand. A blush quickly crept to her cheeks, coloring her face a bright shade of pink. She withdrew her hand from his hold. "I… I have to go." She mumbled before she went out.
Jesse just cleared his throat. "Yeah, me… me too." He said before he went to his room.
Shalimar and Brennan exchanged curious looks. "Was it something we said?" he asked her.