I actually haven't finished watching all of season 2 yet, but this takes place before Rachel and John are together or whatnot. (I've only seen like two episodes with him in it, so I might not have gotten his character on the mark).

:::

Gary realizes early on that he's not too fond of John. It's on their first mission together

"Why are you here?" Gary is sitting in the backseat, next to Rachel, and peering around her at the new guy. John looks visibly startled, and glances at Cameron and Bill in the front, who, use to Gary's bluntness, don't bother to say anything. John peeks over at Rachel who is sending Gary the look. Gary knows that look like he knows his routine. He's being inappropriate.

"I'm head of tactical," states John, looking a bit hesitant, then avoiding the eye contact that Gary isn't even making. Gary furrows his eyebrows. He knows that.

"But why are you here?"

"Gary," mumbles Rachel, but the look falters. She's starting to look as uncomfortable as John.

"Clay put me on the team," explained John, shifting closer to the door. "I'm here to back you guys up."

"But we never had any tactical lead on our team. Right, Bill? It's always just me, Rachel, Bill, Cameron, and Nina. But Nina's not here now. Are you supposed to be the new Nina?" Considering this, Gary sent John a dirty look. He didn't quite like the idea of Nina being replaced. "You're not even an Alpha."

"Gary," started Bill from the front seat, "he's not the new Nina. Give the guy a break okay?"

"Why?" blurted out Gary, glancing at the back of Bill's head. "It's supposed to be just us. He's not us. He's not our friend." And for a second, the air is extremely tense, and everyone in the car wants to agree, but they don't.

"Gary, give him a chance," vouched Rachel, but she doesn't quite defend the new man. She still remembers his rejection, and hates that part of her is still holding out that he'll be the one to run back to her.

"Rach, it's okay," John placates, less nervous, seemingly relaxed. Gary frowns. Only Cameron ever calls her Rach. "Gary doesn't like change I get it. I'm sure he'll get use to me with time." And that's that, but Gary can't help but decide he already doesn't like John.

:::

It's Tuesday. That's the day he and Rachel go out for lunch. It's one of the things Rachel missed the most when she left the team, but she's back, he's back, and they go for lunch just like before. Gary liked to believe it was what normal boyfriends and girlfriends do. (And he's not dumb, he knows they don't really need the cover anymore, but he realizes most of the time he's spent with Rachel has been as her pretend boyfriend).

But Rachel doesn't seem ready when he marches into her office, empty handed, money in pocket, ready to go out and get hummus. She's running around her office, one hand running through her hair, the other smoothing out her skirt.

"Rachel, are you ready?"

"No! I can't find my purse and now I'm building up a sweat which isn't good for my makeup at all. And I can smell myself. John's probably waiting for me downstairs by now," she rants, distracted, leaning over to check under her desk. Gary frowns, unsure what John has to do with all of this.

"I saw your purse on the counter in the break room, Rachel. Is John coming with us? He can't, Tuesday lunch is just for me and you, Rachel." At this, Rachel goes still, shoulders tensing, and slowly looks up at him.

"Tuesday lunch. Right. I'm really sorry Gary, I am, but," she wrung her hands together, giving him a tight smile, "John invited me to lunch today." Gary just stares, for once making eye contact.

"You can't go though. It's Tuesday lunch. We always get hummus from the restaurant around the corner. I always hold the door open for you and pull your chair out. Then you make sure to order the hummus and get a salad. It's Tuesday lunch," Gary explains, sure and steady. It's Tuesday lunch with Gary, not Tuesday lunch with John. Rachel keeps giving him that not-quite smile.

"Gary," she starts, walking closer, and Gary realizes she looks a bit off. He cheeks are rosy, eyelashes long, and lips redder than usual. She's wearing makeup, but not anything like what she wore when they go out.

"I'm sorry. I just, I just really like John, you know? And now he's actually interested. You understand, right?" But Gary doesn't, not at all.

"I don't, Rachel. Tuesday lunch is lunch with me, not John. Why do you like him? He's not part of the team, he's not even an Alpha."

"Gary," Rachel reaches for him, but Gary has already left the room, on his way back to his office.

:::

John comes in during Gary's lunch break the next day, all smiles, and good mood. Gary shoots him a look before taking a bite of the sandwich his mother dropped off for him.

"Hey kid," John says, taking a seat next to him in the empty break room, a aluminum wrapped sub in one hand, a can of soda in the other.

"I'm not a kid," grumbles Gary, taking another bite of the sandwich. Most of the new employees have learned to avoid him at all costs. John doesn't seem to be most of the new employees. He is, after all, special enough to join them on most missions.

"Right. How ya holding up in your office? Must be tough living in there," John comments, snapping the top off his can and taking a sip. It is, but Gary shakes his head.

"It's not." John nods, and looks down at his sub, staring at it for a moment.

"Hey, can I ask you a question? You're really close to Rachel right?" John asks, not even waiting for the first response.

"Yeah. Me and Rachel are best friends." John nods.

"Do you think, I mean, knowing her so well, do you think we could work? In a relationship I mean. Like as coworkers, but dating too. I've only had one office thing and that didn't go too well, but that chick was a bit over the top. Nothing like Rachel. I just don't want to make things weird, ya know?"

Gary had tuned out right after John mentioned dating. He tightened his grip on his sandwich.

"You can't date Rachel," he said. "You can't have lunch with her on Tuesday either. Tuesday lunch is for me and Rachel." John just looks confused, and slightly amused.

"Uhhuh. Why can't I date her?"

"She's my friend. Not yours."

"I think she considers me her friend too. And she likes me enough to ask me out. So."

"Well you can't date her. She's my girlfriend."

"What? But she asked me out."

"No, she's with me. We've been together since before you even got here. So you should just leave."

:::

Rachel confronts Gary the next day, storming into his office.

"Why did you tell John you were my boyfriend?"

"Because I am, Rachel. "

"Gary, you do understand that was all pretend, right?"

Gary has never really gotten angry at Rachel before. But, as he remembers Dr. Rosen's counseling about independence - there's a first time for everything.

"Rachel, I'm not dumb, I know it was pretend. But you missed Tuesday lunch, and now you're going to be John's girlfriend and take him to lunch, and teach him to dance, and make him soup after you run through the rain," he doesn't realize how upset he sounds, but Rachel stares at him, almost dumbfounded.

"Gary," she starts, quietly, no longer looking ready to scold him, "are you jealous?" Gary shakes his head surely.

"No, why would I be jealous? I'm an Alpha, he's just normal." Rachel imagines that in any other situation she would laugh at Gary's endearing response, but now she simply shakes her head.

"Are you jealous that he'll be spending more time with me?"

"You're my best friend, Rachel," Gary replies, not quite answering her question, his eyes meeting hers for a brief moment. Rachel can't help but smile now, reaching out to tentatively place a hand on his shoulder.

"If John and I are ever together, that doesn't mean you and I won't be friends anymore. We'll still have Tuesday lunch, dance lessons, and soup after running in the rain," she says, meaning it. Gary doesn't seem convinced, not even looking in her general direction.

"I still don't like him, he's-"

"Not one of us, I know Gary."

"Not good enough for you," he corrects, and again briefly meets Rachel's eyes. Rachel's always been good at reading people, from the smallest quirks in their lips, to a slight furrow of the eyebrow, but she has no idea what to make of Gary's expression at this moment. Part of her wants to call it concern, and perhaps affection, but she's more than aware that there's something more she can't quite name.

"I have to go now," Gary pulls away from her touch, fiddling with his wristband as he leaves without saying bye. She was so sure he was going to say something else - Gary was never one to censor himself - but instead, he left her without an explanation. That wasn't like Gary at all. Rachel sighed. If he wanted to tell her something, he would have told her, she assured herself before setting her mind on her next date with John.

:::

Am I the only one who was like "wat is dis guy doin here" when John started going on missions. It was so...convenient. Like just to find someone to hook Rachel up with. Whatever the case, I addressed it in the best possible way - this was written like months ago, and I just finished up a bit of the end today. I'm sorry it's not really shippy and actually rather unfortunate lol, but I'll try to make the next chapter uhhh more shippy.