He That Is Not Jealous...

This random thing attacked me and wouldn't let go so I wrote it quick and tada. Not 100 thrilled with it, but it'll do, I think. Hopefully it'll bounce my muse back into action. NT guys aren't mine. Original character is. Enjoy!

Riley Poole was jealous. Very, very, very, unfathomably jealous. And, for once, it wasn't of Abigail.

No, it was Cody Jefferson, a graduate student taking one of the three classes they'd begged Ben to teach at Georgetown University.

He doubted Ben even knew what was going on - he had a tendency to be completely oblivious on occasion, especially when any type of history was involved - but Riley sure did. He'd gone to sit in on one of his friend's lectures, and like every other time he'd done so, Cody spent the three hour class alternatively glaring at him and sucking up to Ben. After these lectures, Ben would often use his lunch break to go out to lunch with Riley. As soon as his stalker figured this pattern out, it conveniently became the only time he could manage to meet with Ben to go over some random historical question - one that always triggered one of Ben's hour long rants.

And this was the last straw. Riley couldn't take it anymore.

Here he'd agreed to go see some documentary that was showing at a local theater for Ben's birthday, and they'd bumped into Cody not five minutes after stepping in the door. Coincidence? Riley thought not.

He'd gone and followed Ben clear across the globe and back, been held at gunpoint by treasure obsessed goons more times than he ever wanted to count, done pretty much everything required to make the FBI's watch list - hey, stealing the Declaration of Independence, kidnapping the President, really, what was left? And they'd found two magnificent treasures of national importance.

And now, with Abigail -finally- out of the picture, when Ben was finally his, some 24 year old punk was trying to come in and steal him. Not to mention the clearly borderline psychotic behavior the student was exhibiting.

So, as Cody claimed a seat between Ben and Riley, the younger treasure hunter leaned over to whisper a warning. "Don't think I don't see what you're doing…."

Cody gave him a dismissive look and pretended to watch the film.

After the excruciatingly long hour and a half of watching Cody watch Ben, Riley was no less convinced that the young man had clearly misunderstood him.

Because he invited himself along to their dinner.

"The reservations only for two." Riley threw in as the two walked in front of him.

They didn't seem to hear him, though. At least Ben didn't, as he was too wrapped up in describing the historical value of the information presented in the documentary.

Cody, though, shot a spiteful look over his shoulder at Riley, before retuning his attention to his and Ben's conversation.

You see, to Riley, the only event of significance on Ben's birthday was, in fact, Ben's birthday. He did not know or care to know what famous president had been born today, died today, what was invented, or any other historical information related to it.

But apparently Cody had come prepared.

"Did you know that the first national presidential election was held…" He began, on what had to be his eighteenth point of the evening. Ben was clearly interested in the man's historical knowledge.

By the time they'd walked to the restaurant Riley was tempted to call and have Agent Sadusky start a file on the character that had somehow totally replaced him tonight. Ben and Cody were a good ways ahead of him, still talking animatedly about something or the other. His self-deprecating mind was already panicking over how much more ben had in common with the student.

Just as his thoughts were taking over, though, his phone started vibrating and a message from Ben appeared on his screen. 'Don't worry.' it said, and Riley remained confused.

"Ben, we're here." Riley called reluctantly to the other two, despite the cryptic text message, as they'd just walked right past the restaurant that Riley had booked nearly 3 months ago.

Ben nodded, a signal that he'd heard Riley and that he also knew that their reservation had no room for Cody to join.

"As educational as this has been, Cody, I'm going to have ask you to leave now. You see, I got a message from your advisor just a moment ago, it seems you've been pulled from my class for disciplinary reasons."

"What?" Cody barked, eyes wide with betrayal. "But you-"

"Mr. Jefferson, it was nice to see you, but I'm afraid I have dinner reservations with a friend of mine whom you could never hope to replace." And with that, he ushered an equally shocked Riley into the building.

"You just-" Riley gaped, as Ben had them seated. "You knew."

Ben laughed. "That he was driving both of us - mostly you - completely stark raving mad? Yes. It was rather difficult to overlook."

Riley was still sitting in quiet contemplation of the most recent Cody related events when their server approached. He managed to order a glass of wine for the two of them without fault, and then finally spoke up again. "I thought you… I don't know what I thought. But 'set-up' was definitely not it."

"One of the other professors - his advisor - was at the theater tonight. I may have been texting him during the documentary."

"Ahh, Ben - so clever." Riley grinned. "So, you realize that for the past two and a half weeks - 18 days, to be exact, I've been simmering with insane jealousy."

Ben smirked. "I may have noticed. Perhaps you'd be inclined to skip dinner and go back to my place instead? Maybe we can work out some of those pent-up emotions."

Riley did not have to be told twice.

He that is not jealous is not in love. St. Augustine