Another Edit and Repost of an old story that needed editing and reposting :p Enjoy!
Lester frowned as he sat in his office. It seemed like lately nothing was getting done, and he thought he knew why. His entire staff, minus Becker, was in love and they were all too cowardly to admit it.
Only ten minutes ago he had walked past the ADD and found that Connor was doing nothing but hitting the space bar over and over, pretending to work but clearly distracted, more than likely by Abby who was leaning close over his shoulder watching him, rather than the computer, and telling him how brilliant he was. The two of them were inseparable, and yet they had put up their own invisible boundaries and walls that neither dared to cross. The tension between them was, quite frankly, rather annoying.
And then there was Sarah and Danny. Unlike Abby and Connor, they weren't scared of crossing any lines. In fact, they blatantly ignored every boundary that should be in place between two co-workers, or even friends. They were always flirting with each other, holding hands, and making suggestive comments to one another. Danny often brought her roses in the morning and said they were for "His Beautiful." The problem was that they treated the entire thing like a joke and they weren't actually going out. Yet they both wished for it to be real; Lester could tell by the way they stared after each other longingly when the other wasn't looking.
But now the final straw had been added to the pile and Lester was the camel with the broken back, figuratively speaking. Sarah had just left Lester's office after handing him some reports and, inadvertently, left his door open on her way out, meaning that Lester had to either deal with the surrounding noise, or get up and close it himself. He was still debating which was worse when he noticed that Sarah hadn't gone anywhere. She was standing just outside his office windows, peering over the railing to the Operations room below, where Lester was sure Danny was probably working. Suddenly she called down to him over the ledge, "Oh Danny-o, oh Danny-o. Wherefore art thou, Danny-o?" Lester rolled his eyes at the corniness.
Danny immediately joined into the game and attempted to scale the ramp up to the concourse from the wrong side of the railing, only to be startled (along with Lester) when Connor came barging into the Operations room hollering out that Nancy was missing. Danny fell onto his back (fortunately he hadn't gotten high enough to be hurt yet) and Sarah rushed to his side but, for once, Danny didn't pay her any heed as he started shouting for Becker to come help him kill Connor.
The next thing Lester knew was that Becker was aiming a tranquilizer gun at Abby, who stood between Becker and Connor, and Sarah and Danny were both cheering Becker on, and Nancy was in Lester's office chewing through one of his spare ties.
"That's enough!" Lester bellowed through the ARC. "It is not recess, and this is not a playground! Everyone get back to work, now! And for Pete's sake would somebody come and get this diictodon!"
They group scattered quickly and went back to pretending to work, but Lester noticed, unhappily, that still nothing was getting done and he decided once and for all that the best solution to his problem would be to get his love stuck staff members together, fast.
Two hours later, Lester called everyone in his office together for a quick meeting. Once they were assembled, he looked at Becker. "I have, uh, certain jobs that need to be taken care of this weekend that will likely pull these four," he nodded toward his couples-to-be, "Out of the line of duty. Are you able to hold down the fort on your own?"
The group exchanged puzzled looks, but Becker nodded, "I've got my men; we're fine."
"Good Man, I was hoping you'd say that. Might even be able to swing you a bonus on your next pay cheque. I'll put in a word for you to the minister. Now, off you go while I give these guys their missions."
Becker left the room as Connor exclaimed, "Wait, we get more work and he gets more pay? That don't seem fair."
"He's the only one that does any work in the first place," Lester retorted. "Now, Connor, let's start with you. I want to talk to you about your field reports. I've noticed that you often compare future creatures to Tolkien characters?"
Connor glared at the others when a few snickers went up around the room, but then turned his attention back to Lester, becoming animated, "Oh yes! That camouflage beast totally looked like how I imagined Gollum when I read the Hobbit and the future predators too actually, well maybe he was a mixture, and those mers looked a bit like orcs, don'tcha think?"
Lester rolled his eyes, "I wouldn't know, Connor, I don't know what an orc looks like. What I was wondering is, do you think it was possible that Tolkien had access to a future anomaly?"
Connor hesitated and then shrugged, "I dunno. It'd be pretty far-fetched, I admit."
"Well, perhaps there are other similarities we are missing. I'm sending you to a Lord of the Rings Convention this weekend and I want you to take notes on anything interesting you might observe."
Connor's face lit up with a huge grin, "Really? I get to go to the convention? I've been pining about it for months, but Abby wouldn't loan me the money!"
Lester shrugged, "Well, now you're going, and being paid to go I might add, so please don't make a fool out of yourself. I understand this is a costume thing? You'd better go shopping this afternoon and take Abby with you, I'm sending her too. You might wanna help her find something appropriate to wear."
Abby groaned, "I have to go too?"
"Yes, who else is going to keep him in line? But I understand that it will be rather dreary for you, so I've arranged for you and Connor to have a nice dinner right after the convention lets out on Saturday. It's a wonderfully elegant place, you'll enjoy it, and the ARC will even pay for your champagne. Then I've put you guys up in a beautiful six star luxurious hotel for the night so you can get a good nights sleep before… well before you attend day two of the convention, but don't worry, Saturday is only a half day. Oh, and I'm sorry but, being the nicest hotel in London, there was only one room available so you'll have to share. Can't be helped, but I figured you guys live together anyway and wouldn't mind. Besides, Connor will probably be too excited to sleep."
Abby shrugged. "I suppose it'll be alright," she said with fake reservation, but actually she was getting excited about it. It sounded like a lovely evening after all. She glanced at Connor who was standing frozen, mouth wide open.
"Any objections, Connor?" Lester asked.
"So my uh, job then," Connor managed, finding his voice again, "Is to go to the Lord of the Rings convention with Abby, who will be dressed like a beautiful elf, and then take Abby out for a posh dinner and then spend the night with her, and then go back to the Lord of the Rings convention while she dresses like an elf again, and you're going to pay me for this?"
"Well, doesn't have to be an elf," Lester said. "Whatever you decide you want her in."
"Oh, it'll be an elf," Connor replied with a grin.
"So no objections then?"
Connor wiped the grin from his face and nodded seriously, "None at all, Sir. I guess we'd better be off then if you don't need anything else, it might take awhile to find a good costume after all."
Lester nodded and waved them both from the room, ignoring the excited, "Whoop" that Connor let out before the door had closed. He turned to Sarah and Danny as soon as they were gone and found Danny howling with laughter.
"Thank-you," Danny said, "For not sending me to be Connor's babysitter."
"Although the dinner may have been nice," Sarah countered.
Danny looked at her playfully, "Only if it was with you, my Doll."
Lester rolled his eyes, "Okay, fine, dinner for you both too, after you do your job. There's a Government run Dance and Social tomorrow night that everyone is supposed to send representatives too. I assume it'll be boring as hell, so I have politely declined their invitation myself and told them I would be sending others in my place: meaning you two."
"Of course," Danny groaned. "It's almost as bad as Connor's job."
"No, it's not," Sarah concluded, "You'll get to dance with me."
Danny's face lit up and he grinned at her, "Well you do make a good case."
"Somehow," Lester continued, "I felt that you'd represent the ARC itself better than our Connor Temple could, but please, please, while you are there, try not to say too much about our work. If you can avoid talking to people and answering their questions, do so, even if that means you both dance the entire night with each other. Yes, I think that'd be best, just stick to yourselves. There will be alcohol of course, and I understand if you need a few drinks to make it through the dreary evening, but please, please, please behave yourselves and absolutely no Shakespeare."
"Very funny," Danny groaned, "But you say there'll be drinks? Night might be alright after all."
"Last thing I need is to be down some manpower because you two get yourselves into an accident and I know you'll need the booze, so I've arranged for you both to stay the night at the hotel where the function is taking place. There's a nice restaurant in there so I'll arrange for you to have your dinner there late as well since it'll be mostly light snacks and finger food at the Social. I've booked a room for you on the top floor and I've heard it's got a lovely view."
Danny raised his eyebrows, "A room, as in, just one? Don't tell me this hotel was booked solid too?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Danny," Lester retorted. "I'm already paying for you to go out drinking and dancing and to dinner. Do you really think I'm going to splurge on a second room too? This is an expensive hotel, you know. You're just going to have to deal with it."
Danny rolled his eyes and then turned to Sarah, "What do you think Sarah, can you handle a whole night with me?"
Sarah raised an eyebrow, "Is that a challenge?"
"I can take anything you throw my way, Love."
"Knock it off, both of you," Lester said, quickly cutting into their conversation before it got too weird. "You'd both better take the rest of the day off to find some proper attire. But please remember, don't get drunk and no Shakespeare!"
Danny grinned and saluted as he walked out the door quoting over his shoulder as he went, "O Farewell – to the little good you bear me. Farewell? A long farewell to all my greatness."
Lester rolled his eyes and hoped that his plan would work, and that Danny wouldn't make the ARC look too bad in the process.