Author's Notes: This is my first ( and possibly only) crackfic. It was written for the NFA "No-holds-barred, Mix-and-Match Challenge." Prompt: Jimmy Palmer, Hollis Mann, "contrary." I took the most unlikely two characters I could and just went with it. :)
The Green Room
Jimmy sat alone in his favorite chair in the green room, twiddling his thumbs. Occasionally he would get up, stretch, and walk around. Or he might clean and arrange his instruments, even though they weren't really dirty because they hadn't been used. But he wanted them to be ready when the time came. He always returned to the same chair. He had been waiting there so long, it seemed to be contoured to his body.
Soft footsteps caused him to look up in surprise. A thin blonde woman in Army fatigues stood in the doorway, looking annoyed. Her eyes traveled around the room and finally settled on him. Jimmy suddenly felt that he should stand, and quickly got to his feet.
"Lieutenant Colonel Mann?" he asked hesitantly?
She nodded and her gaze relaxed ever-so-slightly. "Yes. You're…Jamie?"
"Jimmy. Jimmy Palmer. I'm Doctor Mallard's assistant."
"Yes, I remember you. So why aren't you with him now?" Direct and to the point. Not surprising, given her rank and profession.
Jimmy shrugged in answer. "Because they don't need me right now."
"Who doesn't need you?"
"Them," he answered pointedly. "You know… the people who decide which people are needed when."
She studied his face, as if trying to decide if he was telling the truth or not.
Are you here often?"
"Off and on. They keep me busy enough, I guess."
Jimmy felt nervous under her gaze. He decided to change the subject.
"Um, if I may ask, Ma'am…why are you here?"
She narrowed her eyes. "Because, Timmy, they seem to think they don't need me, either."
"It's Jimmy, actually-"
"They sent me here to wait until they have an opening for me."
Jimmy nodded. "I usually don't have to wait more than a few weeks."
"A few weeks?" She drew herself up to her full height, and fire flashed in her eyes.
"Lieutenant Colonel Hollis Mann does not sit around, waiting to be penciled in. I am a woman of action, Jamie."
"I'm going to talk to them."
Jimmy looked confused. "To whom?"
"To them. They need to realize how lucky they are to have me." The Colonel reached out and shook Jimmy's hand. "It was nice talking to you, Johnny. Hopefully I won't be back."
Jimmy watched her march determinedly down the hall. "Good luck," he called, then returned to his favorite chair.
He wasn't surprised when she returned less than half an hour later, looking shocked and a bit confused.
"Well?" he asked cautiously. "How did it go?"
She blinked a couple of times. "They're sending me to Hawaii." She stared at him blankly, as if still trying to process the information.
Jimmy feigned surprise. "Hawaii? Really?"
She nodded. "They said they don't have a need for me at this time, but they'll be sure to call me if anything opens up."
Jimmy desperately searched for something to say. "Well....Hawaii's nice this time of year. Actually, Hawaii is nice year-round, because it's a tropical climate. I've always wanted to go there. I thought maybe it would be a nice graduation present to myself, when I finish med school. Of course, with all the student loan debt I will have by then-"
Colonel Mann raised her hand, silencing him. "Stop. Just....stop. I....need to go pack."
"Hopefully we will meet again, under more pleasant circumstances. Goodbye, Jackie."
Jimmy smiled and waved, not bothering to correct her. "Have a safe trip!" he called as she again disappeared down the hall.
He shook his head and chuckled to himself as he settled once again into his favorite chair. Poor woman. He could have told her how it would turn out. He'd seen it too many times before. With Kate. Paula. Gerald. Jenny. Even Michelle, though she went out in style.
Better just to keep your mouth shut. It didn't pay to mess with Them.