A/N - This isn't a parody, but it's definitely not supposed to be taken too seriously. :D I tend to ramble when chatting with friends, I like to make people laugh...sometimes the ideas I get through those ramblings become irresistable and I'm inspired enough to flesh them out and make sense of them...special thanks go to Gina (McBreezy) for encouraging this one! :D
Anyhoo, I wrote this after seeing 1x10 "Hearts & Minds". I concluded that Erica looked so incredibly hot when she challenged Jack's boxing skills, even Father Travis got to shout...
Rated T for innuendo. (...for now...)
Chapter 1 - Give Me A Sign
In which God rips the clothes off Jack's object of desire. Literally.
Jack had to stop and thank the big boss that Hobbes had interrupted them when he did. The sounds that Erica made when she went at it with the punching bag had put all sort of thoughts in his head. Surprising thoughts, worrying thoughts...dirty thoughts. He tried to clear his mind, as his teachers had recommended at the seminary, and think about goodness and healing instead of all the things he wanted to do with, to, and all over Special Agent Erica Evans. He thought it might help to call her by her professional name, but it only called to mind that proud, noble side of her that he was so deeply attracted to. Not that he needed another reason to be attracted to her. Her body would make any man weak in the knees, but Jack had met many attractive women throughout his life. He'd been able to quell his urges until now; somehow Erica's personality had unleashed what Jack had managed to keep locked away for all his years in the priesthood.
"Baseball." Jack muttered on his way to confession. "Baseball, football, hockey, wrestling..."
Oops. Sports were no longer a viable distraction. Those thoughts inevitably led back to boxing, and to visions of Erica in a little gray tank top and a sly, flirtatious grin, blonde hair flying as she beat the crap out of the punching bag in front of him.
"I..." Jack said once he'd closed the confessional door behind him. "I need to confess."
"Father...?" Travis said, surprised, when he recognized the voice on the other side of the thin screen between them. He recovered quickly, realizing that if Jack had come to him like this, it must have been important. "Don't be ashamed, Jack. If we were without sin we would not be human."
Jack let out a shaky sigh, gladly accepting the reassurance. "I've been having...impure thoughts."
Travis waited for Jack to elaborate, but it seemed he was too nervous. "Go on." Travis prompted him. "This is a safe place."
"I've been having impure thoughts about a woman." Jack continued. "One that I've been working with very closely. On, uh...on one of the community outreach programs. We've grown very close over a very short period of time."
"Perhaps you feel you've grown...too close?"
"No." Jack said instantly, as if by reflex. Yet, wasn't that exactly what he was here about? "I mean, maybe." he admitted, becoming flustered. "I don't know."
"It's alright." said Father Travis. "It happens. I'm surprised it's taken you this long to have this problem, Jack. How many years have we been working together now?"
Jack chuckled softly, reassured but still not quite relieved. So it happened to other priests; what was he supposed to do about it? "Do you have any advice for me, Father? I can't leave this outreach program, and neither can she. We're both very committed, and I would hate for these inappropriate feelings to affect the program in a negative way."
"Well, if isolating yourself from her is not an option, I would suggest trying to purge these feelings any way you can. You've already been able to admit that you're having them, and that is an important step. It is better to face our demons than deny they exist..."
Jack tried to listen, but even in this safe place his thoughts wandered. Why am I obsessing over this moment? he wondered, even as he imagined a different scenario. You need help with those gloves? he'd asked her. Oh how he wished she'd said yes. She'd almost brushed against him on her way to the punching bag. Just the thought of hugging her, feeling her soft body pressed against his, the curve of her -
Jack started, snapped out of his sinful thoughts. Travis' last question had been a specific one.
"D-describe her?" Jack almost stuttered.
"Yes." Travis confirmed. "If you can examine why you are having these feelings, perhaps we can find a solution for you. You say they are inappropriate; your brain knows this, but for some reason your heart is resisting."
It's not my heart I'm worried about. Jack thought to himself. "Well, she's a very strong woman. Both physically and mentally. She has a lot to deal with in her life, and she handles it all with such grace..."
"Hmm." Travis hummed. Jack couldn't see it, but he could tell Travis was furrowing his brow in thought. "And her...physical attributes? What is it exactly that you notice when you look at her?"
"Ha..." Jack laughed once, very softly. "Everything?"
Travis chuckled, and shrugged to himself. "What color is her hair?"
"Blonde." said Jack, smiling to himself. It was angelic, at least it would have been if not for that mischievous twinkle in her eye.
"Blonde..." Travis murmured, as if trying to make a connection. "Jack...this woman, is she the one you've been meeting with at odd hours of the day? The one that always arrives with that Ryan fellow?"
"Ah..." Jack stammered, not sure if it was a good thing for Travis to know who exactly it was that he was having such heat-inducing thoughts about.
"Is that the woman you're fantasizing about?" Travis asked him, more urgently this time.
"...Yes?" Jack said, unsure and wondering why Travis was breaching the polite, if imagined, distance in their exchange. Suddenly the small screen that allowed them to speak to each other in semi-privacy was moved to the side, and Travis pushed his face in the open space, eyes wide.
"Forget everything I just said. You should definitely give in to these urges."
"You're still young, Jack! If there's any chance that she might reciprocate these feelings, take it! Take it now!"
"But, Father," Jack sputtered. "My contract with God! This is my life, my calling!"
"I've seen your friend, Jack. God would understand."
"For goodness' sake, look at her! The Lord would high five you!"
Jack took a moment to imagine a high five from God, and then remembered what he'd be high fiving him about. "This is wrong." he stated, trying to convince himself more than anyone. "You can't be serious! I must be dreaming."
"You're babbling, boy. You should be looking for this woman and telling her exactly what you told me, except in far more detail and in a far less polite manner."
"Erica, her name is Erica!" Jack shouted, sick of hearing about 'this woman' and what he should be doing to her. He suddenly felt claustrophobic in the tiny booth, so he pushed open the tiny door, stepped outside and took a deep breath. When he looked up, he thought he really was dreaming - or having an embarrassing nightmare. There was Erica, sitting in one of the pews, waiting patiently. She smiled when she saw him, standing and giving him a small nod in greeting.
"Erica." Jack said, breathless.
"That is my name." she said, her tone wry but good-natured. "Were you...?" she started to ask, fading momentarily as Travis opened his side of the confessional and stepped out. "Were you talking about me?"
"I'll leave you two alone." Travis said politely, a little too politely, as he scuttled away from them and toward his office. Erica gave a very suspicious look to the back of Travis' head, her expression turning to that of a question when she turned back to Jack. Jack hoped it was only a mistrust of anyone not involved in their small group of Fifth Column resisters. The irrational fear that she could read his mind and decipher every dirty thought that was running through it was an uncontrolled one at the moment.
"I'm sorry, Erica. Now is not the best time." said Jack. It was only half lie, and depended entirely on what she was there to see him for.
"I was hoping we could talk." she said, hoping it might change his answer. "So much has happened in the past few days. We finally made some progress, you know? I finally feel like we're on top."
On top? Jack's mind echoed, followed by the inevitable visuals that accompanied such a statement. Please, Lord, give me a sign. What am I to do?
"Jack, I-" Erica started to say, sensing something was wrong. She tried to take a step toward him, but the hem of her black t-shirt caught on a small splinter in the wooden pew. With a loud and clear ripping sound, her shirt was torn open from her waist to the middle of her sternum, revealing a beautifully sculpted, feminine six-pack and a good portion of a wine red bra.
"Oh!" she squeaked, looking down at herself. For a moment she was in shock, processing something she couldn't possibly have expected to happen. Then she realized she'd bared herself to Jack, who was not only a priest but a close and personal friend that she'd been spending most of her free time either fighting aliens or flirting with. She grabbed both sides of the torn fabric, pulling one over the other, and looked up at Jack with eyes wide open. She laughed nervously, cutting herself off when she realized she sounded like a bleating goat. She couldn't read his expression, and it didn't help that he was staring at her torso with his mouth hanging open. At her torso...or was it just her chest?
Slowly, very slowly, his eyes traveled up to meet hers. "Yes?" he said, a little too loudly.
"Do you have a shirt I could borrow?"
"Uhh, I, yes!" he said, finding it near impossible to form words. "In my office." he managed to say, gesturing toward it with one hand. Erica, whose cheeks were almost as red as her underwear, ducked her head and walked in the right direction. Jack, still very much in shock himself, watched her for a few seconds before he followed. He'd just learned that, though God did not speak often, when he did, boy was He clear.