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Author's Note: From the "Just Kiss Her Already" prompt "The one time Jess saves Becker". Mild spoilers for series 4&5.
Working where they worked, Jess had grown, if not accustomed, then perhaps resigned to the fact that every once in a while, she would by virtue of her position be in mortal peril.
Anomalies, megalomaniacal villains, government funding issues, Lester's temper, Connor's sense of humour—by her second year at the ARC, Jess thought she had seen it all.
So it was odd to find herself with the shoe on the other foot as she watched from across the hotel ballroom as Captain Becker tried—and failed—to extricate himself from the claws of the PR Shark in Nylons that had attached herself to him like a barnacle—or perhaps a Eocene parasite—the second he had come through the double doors in his crisp tuxedo, clean-shaven and dashing, putting all of the other men at the terribly-boring-yet-politically-useful cocktail party to shame.
Jess glanced around to see if backup was at hand. But Connor and Abby were lost in their own world in a corner of the ballroom, nibbling on shrimp puffs and sipping champagne. Emily and Matt were on the dancefloor, the slim skirt of Emily's gown hampering her movements not at all as they swayed in time to the live music. Even Lester was occupied with what was no doubt a fascinating sartorial discussion with another bureaucrat his approximate age and, judging from the handmade Italian silk suit, devotee of style.
No, Jess was the only option.
Rising from her chair near the rear entrance (which was the only spot in the ballroom where she could get a strong enough WiFi signal to check in with the ADD team), Jess smoothed her beaded gown down over her legs, and flipped her elaborately curled hair back from her face before setting off towards the wet bar.
Becker was pressed back against the wall as if cornered by hungry raptors by the time Jess reached him. His eyes widened as he took in her appearance, gaze travelling from her open-toed platform Louboutin pumps to the chiffon skirt that only barely brushed her knees to the neckline, to her pale shoulders bared by the single diagonal strap. Unlike her everyday wardrobe, which ranged in jewel tones from sapphire to topaz to garnet, the cocktail dress was black and the only colour was the deep red lipstick she'd applied in the ladies toilets after she noticed how girlish her pink lipgloss appeared in contrast to the other women at the fundraiser.
"J-Jess," Becker stammered as she didn't slow down but came right up to him, draping her arms around his neck and pulling him down for a warm, wet, thorough kiss, completely ignoring the pouting redhead only inches to her left.
"Sorry I'm late. I had such a time finding the coat check downstairs. But I'm here now." She smoothed down the labels of his tuxedo, and gave him her best fond smile. "Have you missed me?"
She reached up to wipe a smudge of red lipstick off his bottom lip with the ball of her thumb, as casually as she could to complete the picture of longstanding girlfriend.
"Oh, hello," Jess said, turning to the gawping woman, as if she'd only just noticed her for the very first time. "Who's this?"
"Angela. Angela Michaels," the woman said lamely when Becker couldn't provide her name due to the fact that he seemed to have lost his short term memory thanks to Jess snogging the hell out of him, and continued to stare at her in dumbfounded silence.
Jess shook the proffered tips of the woman's fingers—she hated women who didn't shake hands properly—and then gazed up at Becker adoringly, barely resisting the urge to bat her eyelashes.
"I promised them Matt and Emily we'd join them dancefloor, so they wouldn't stick out like a pair of thumbs. You don't mind, do you?"
"No," Becker finally managed, blinking in his stupor.
"If you'll excuse us," Jess said as she took his hand, giving Ms Angela Michaels, unwanted seductress her most sincere smile of apology as she dragged Becker out onto the floor.
"You looked in desperate need of rescue," Jess said, fighting an unwanted blush and for the first time Becker lost the blank look, the corner of his mouth quirking in a sly smile.
"You're a lifesaver, Jess. And I thought velociraptors were relentless."
"Well, someone had to, and I doubt Lester was up to the task." Jess tipped her head to one side, and pursed her lips. "So you don't mind me taking... liberties, all in the name of team solidarity?"
"I'd have to be out of my mind not to enjoy a stunning young woman throwing herself at me so blatantly. And I don't mean the PR-a-saurus."
A new song started—old fashioned and slow, the kind Jess' grandparents used to dance to on a Saturday night in the village dancehall—and Becker's hands went around her waist as she twined her arms around his neck.
"Nicely done, Ms Parker," Matt said as he twirled Emily close enough to stage-whisper.
"Why thank you, Mr Anderson," Jess said, her cheeks almost aching from her grin as Becker pulled her closer. She could feel the warmth of his hands through the thin fabric of her dress, and she toyed with the dark hair at the nape of his neck as he led her across the floor.
Becker bent his head, his warm breath tickling her ear. "My knight in shining stilettos."
She felt a thrill of victory as his fingers slid a fraction lower, fingers tracing the curve of her lower back almost absently as they swayed in time to the music.
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