Jess Parker walked down the corridor, bright pink high heels clacking confidently. She paused for a second, using her coded bracelet to access the training room and to swipe a stay lock of brown hair out of her eyes. She pursed her lips and folded her arms before entering, the picture of the angry yet perfect professional woman. If the professional woman was under 25 and wore brighter colours than some pop stars. "Becker!"
The young Special Forces captain looked up at her in surprise, "Jess? What are you doing here?" He was in the middle of a training session with his men and was currently held in a rather difficult neck lock.
She smiled tightly, "Playing errand girl. Lester wants you in his office."
Becker grabbed the arm that was holding him and flipped its owner with a little more force than was necessary. "Okay," He stood up and turned to face his men. "Practice grappling until I get back. And if I catch you slacking off, you will be on creature clean up for a month."
Jess waited as he grabbed a towel and walked over to her. As soon as the doors closed, she fixed with a piercing glare, "Next time keep your earpiece in. Please," She added quickly, realising she sounded abrupt. She just hated being sent on mundane errands.
He raised a hand to his ear, suddenly feeling the absence of weight. "Sorry, I took it off for training. It was getting in the way."
They ambled down the corridor, back to OPS, Becker shortening his stride to match Jess' shorter steps. "You're actually lucky that you did," Jess said suddenly. "Lester's in a foul mood."
"Lester's always in a foul mood," Becker smirked a little.
"I mean, more than usual. And he isn't that bad, not with me, not usually. Phillip came in this morning and Lester looked like he was about to have an aneurysm or something."
"You know you're welcome to come hide out in the armoury."
Jess raised an eyebrow, smiling a little for the first time. "Is that what you do?"
"Well self preservation is one of my best skills," Becker replied, smiling down at her. Even in her high heels, he towered over her.
"You didn't answer my question," Jess poked him in the arm.
"You know violence in never the answer Jessica."
"Says the man who wants to shoot everything," Jess retorted.
"I do not want to shoot everything," He said with an indignant huff.
Lester rapped on the glass wall of his office, "If you two are down talking, we actually have work to do."
"Sorry," Jess said as Becker opened the door for them. Abby and Connor were already sitting in the chairs opposite the desk, looking like school children called into the principal's office, while Matt leant against the wall looking nonchalant.
"Yes, well, sit down," Lester gave a hand at them before sinking heavily into his expensive leather chair behind his desk.
Jess approached his desk tentatively, "Is everything ok?"
"No, Jess, everything is not ok. Phillip is determined to make me into a laughing stock."
"I don't think-" Connor started but Lester cut him off.
"Oh he does. He wants to rub in his knighthood and embarrass me."
"What's he doing?" Matt asked, wanting a concise answer.
"He's holding a ball."
"A ball?" Abby echoed, surprised. She'd almost been expecting Armageddon.
"Like a dance?" Connor asked.
"No, like a beach ball," Lester said sardonically. "Yes a dance." He stood up and moved so he was looking out the window, surveying the now empty OPS room.
"I don't understand," Jess spoke up, sounding uncertain. "Companies like Prospero have functions like this all the time." She almost added, what's the big deal, but refrained for fear of death.
Lester turned around and looked at them, like a judge before a jury. "Connor, have you ever been to something like this before?"
"No, I've tried sneaking in a few times but I always get thrown out," The tech answered honestly.
"My point exactly: none of you know how to deal with real people."
"I think I do pretty alright," Matt said, straightening. "It's one night. We can deal with it."
"We deal with dinosaurs – how bad can a group of stuck up rich people be?" Abby asked, waving her hands around.
"Worst case scenario – one of insults or shoots," Lester glared at Matt, who shrugged, "someone they shouldn't and I get fired."
"Actually, the worst case scenario is an anomaly opens in the middle of the dance floor and a T-Rex learns the Macarena," Becker said, leaning back in his chair.
"Oh God, don't even joke about that," Lester paled at the thought.
"It will be ok," Jess said cheerfully, trying to be helpful.
"Look at it this way," Matt added, "Connor is considered an employee of Prospero – so he's Phillip's problem."
"Hey!" Connor yelled indignantly. "I resent that."
Lester nodded, ignoring his outburst, "True. Very true."
"And Jess will make friends with everyone," Matt continued, "Becker will sulk in a corner and Abby will go with the flow. It won't be a complete disaster."
"Do you promise none of you will cause me any embarrassment?" Lester looked at all of them intensely. His reputation was of the upmost importance to him. And his rivalry with Burton only increased his need for it.
"Absolutely no embarrassment," Matt nodded in agreement, praying he wasn't agreeing to anything stupid.
"I will hold you to that," Lester promised. "Anything goes wrong and it's your head."
"Ok," Matt nodded again.
"It will be ok," Jess repeated herself. "It's only a ball. A little bit of dancing won't harm anyone."
"You have never seen Connor dance," Abby smirked at her boyfriend.
"That's another thing – you're allowed to bring a plus one."
"Well, you'd look a bit pathetic going stag," Connor said.
"You would know," Becker told him, biting back a smirk at his outraged splutter.
"I do… I don't… Oh shut up," Connor glared at Abby. "That's half your fault."
"Why? What did I do?" The blonde raised her eyebrows.
"You made me-"
"You do realise that there is a break room for this type of office gossip," Lester sat back down and started flicking through the files scattered across his desk.
They realised the statement was a dismissal and filed out.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Abby said as they walked over to the Jess' station.
The younger woman shrugged, "For him it is. People can drop thousands of dollars on parties like this."
"Some people have more money then sense," Abby replied.
"And some people have taste," Becker said and checked his watch. "I've got to go."
"Bye, don't forget to your earpiece," Jess called after him.
"Yes Jess," Becker waved over his shoulder.
Abby leant against Jess' desk, "Does this mean I'm going to have to buy a dress?"
"Yep, you'll be beautiful," Connor nodded the back tracked as she glared at him. "Not that you're not beautiful now, you are. You'll be more beautiful… I'm just digging myself a hole aren't I?"
"Yep," Abby nodded.
"You've almost hit China," Matt said and clapped him on the back. "Good luck mate," He walked away.
"Will you go to the ball with me?"
"Yes you idiot."
Jess smiled at their antics, squashing the twinge of jealousy. She wanted a relationship like that; she wanted a partnership. She held back a sigh and sat down in her chair. Maybe one day.
A/N: So the lack of Jesker this season was disappointing as hell. Thankfully 5.04 changed that. But I need more. Seriously. So I wrote this. This story is set at about 5.02 so Abby and Connor are still on the rocks. (Anyone else cheer *SPOILER* when April died? And yell at Matt for not shooting Burton when he had the chance. Idiot.) Rant over. Feedback is always appreciated (hint hint)