Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS:LA or its characters…

Author's Note (Updated in May 2013): I started this having only minimal familiarity with the characters (season one, part of season two, beginning of season three at this point), but Nell was too cute to resist playing with… By the time you are reading this, I'm completely caught up with this series. so any mis-characterizations in the later chapters are entirely my fault.


Part 1: The Dress

Chapter 1: In which Nell contemplates what she sees in the mirror...

Not bad.

Nell Jones cleaned up pretty nice, if she said so herself. Maybe a little too nice. Or rather, nothing at all to do with nice. The dress was inarguably classy, elegant even. But clingy. It hugged her body almost like a second skin. Okay, that perhaps was an over exaggeration. Its wasn't some latex, spandex superheroine cat suit, after all. It just cupped her breasts like an annoyingly handsy date, draped softly over the curve of her waist, the fabric like gentle fingers playing lightly over her skin, hugged the round of her hips and ass, and flared femininely a few inches above the knee.

Oh, and it had no back.

Okay, it had a back. But said 'back' consisted of a knot of the halter at the base of her neck, its ties floating down and tickling her bare shoulder blades and spine, and the scant portion of skirt covering her ass and thighs but not much else.

Nell Jones was not used to apparel without a back. What on earth had made her choose this dress? Was it that it was the only item that looked 'quality' in her price range? Or perhaps, was it that secret part of her, that resided in every woman no matter how timid or low her self esteem, that wanted to look more than pretty, to be gorgeous, appealing, and maybe just a little bit scandalous? Or was it how nicely the muted dusty rose color brought out a natural glow in her otherwise pale complexion. Not that she need worry about her paleness in that company, Nell thought. Normally, she stood out in California, especially in LA, where everyone was golden tan. But the wedding she was about to attend was comprised of mainly the old elite, which had treasured delicate looking women since before the 'War of Nothern Aggression.'

She chuckled quietly, feeling the anxiety of being so physically exposed and outside her comfort zone evaporate as she recalled the crazy characters that comprised the Worthington family. Pretentious, yes. Yet still somehow fun and easy to be around. If it was just Trisha's family, Nell wouldn't feel apprehensive at all. But it was practically a certainty that the guest list for the wedding was well over 200 strong...

She sighed, pulled a face in the mirror, and set about make-up. Going without would have been as much a faux pas as showing up in daisy dukes with a man in grease-stained coveralls and missing some teeth. Or, god forbid, going without hosiery! But don't overdo it, either. Nell wasn't much one for make-up; neither was her own mother. However, Trish's mother, Mrs. Claire Worthington, had taken upon herself to educate both her teenage daughter and her socially naive best friend the intricacies of 'putting on one's face'.

Frowning, Nell decided concealer was probably necessary to cover those dark rings around her eyes. They'd been as busy as a silversmith at the fool moon. All the loonies and predators they'd gone after in the past few weeks... She could've sworn she heard a collective sigh when Hetty announced the team was off active duty and would be catching up on the paper work for the next week. For their field agents to look happy about paperwork... it had been one hell of a month.

There, Raccoon Nell went into hibernation. Do raccoons hibernate? She shrugged off the thought as she applied the subtlest rose eye shadow she could find, and relented to using the eye liner (there was no sense in ignoring the fact that she could make her eyes movie star gorgeous if she wanted). A hue of lipstick only slightly more vibrant than the natural pink of her lips and voila! she looked like she might be naturally this pretty...

No one was naturally pretty like they were with make-up, not even movie stars. Except, maybe Kensi. That woman was just plain gorgeous, and not in the aloof way that made you want to rip all of her hair out. She was smart and funny and badass. And Nell admittedly had a girl-crush on the woman when she first started working here. She wanted to be her friend, she wanted to be her.

Well, she could settle for friend. And Nell was comfortable enough with who she was, even when her dress had no back.

She took a deep breath as she reached for the ladies' room door. This would be the test. Nell actually had found Hetty's request that she come in for at least a partial day of work a relief. If none of her coworkers screamed, laughed, or vomited at the sight of her, she would feel safe enough to plunge into massive gathering of the rich and critically snobbish.

A/N: Bit of a slow/short start, but I do have a more complicated plot in mind, if I get that far… I'm also feeling like it might lean towards some Nell/Callen sparky-ness. Or should I try to keep it a straight up, Nell-centric team fic?