This one-shot is after Harry realises he needs A.J on his team for the mission to the asteroid.
A.J was busy working when Harry turned up out of nowhere the day after he'd been fired.
Yes, he was still smarting about that, especially as he hadn't had the chance to see Grace, because father and daughter had been whisked off to the NASA base in that helicopter!
Harry was the first to break the silence "Yep, you are on your way A.J."
"Ah you know, having a business for yourself has advantages: Make my own hours, nobody shoots me in the leg..." Was his sarcasm obvious? "You haven't got a gun on you now have you? No? Good. 'Cos I kinda want to get back to this whole thing about you asking me for help! Does that mean there's actually a job that Mister all-go-no-quit big nuts Harry Stamper can't handle by himself, and needs my expert advice?"
Was Harry going to finally admit that A.J wasn't as completely useless as he always insisted? Or was he just going to strangle him with that piece of string he was looping around his finger?
"Something like that yeah..."
No, that wasn't good enough! Harry Stamper had to admit it to poor A.J's face!
"Well, no no no. I mean, is it something like that, or is it that?"
Harry stepped closer towards him "You and me got a real problem."
A.J should have seen the warning signs, and should have stopped trying to antagonise him, but he couldn't.
For some reason, all his frustration on being fired, and his annoyance at being treated harsher than any other of his former work colleagues and friends, was finally being let out.
He forgot that he was talking to his former boss/father of his girlfriend who could be really scary when he wanted to be - even when he didn't mean to be! - and instead was talking to a bully (he had been bullied many times at school, so it wasn't anything new).
"You know Harry, there are only, err, 5 words I wanna hear from you right now. Those words are...you know A.J, I really look up to you, you've been a hero of mine for a long time, I'm very impressed with your work, I'm emotionally closed off... That's like, err, that's like 11 words or something. You know what? How about just...A.J I'm sorry and I love ya."
Yes he knew he had waffled for a bit, but finally what he'd wanted to say for, like, forever, had been said!
Maybe now Harry would see he was just an enthusiastic young man who didn't mean to fall in love with his daughter - but ah well, love happens - and that he could be trusted to work alongside him again...?
"No, A.J, there's not a job on the planet that I'd want you to work with me on...I mean that."
All the bravado facade A.J had just put on melted away, to leave the old him staring in despair at his boss. His mentor. His father.
Who had just basically told him he hated him. And was now walking away, without a backwards glance.
"So what are you doing? HARRY! What's the job?"
He was only a little ashamed that his voice rose to the high heavens while he raced after Harry.
After everything he'd just said, he really did want to help Harry out!
And not just because he wanted to get into his good books for Grace.
Well, maybe a little.