Title: Totally Worth It
Characters: Connor, Becker, Sarah, Abby, Danny
Pairings: Becker/Sarah, Connor/Abby
Spoilers: Very basic season 3
Summary: Balance, tact, secrecy...Connor’s not really very good at any of those things. Becker’s probably going to kill him. If Sarah doesn’t get there first...
Beta read by fififolle and fredbassett
Connor was generally not very good at anything that required balance. That was why, as he’d told his parents, he couldn’t get a job whilst at university; the only ones going seemed to be restaurant and bar work and, he’d joked, he didn’t want end up actually owing his employers money to pay for all the inevitable broken china and glassware. This suited him fine because he intensely didn’t want to work in any of those places either.
Just because he’d used it as an excuse though, didn’t mean it wasn’t true, which was why he knew he was tempting fate when he piled himself up with a stack of papers and folders, deciding he couldn’t be arsed to make the trip to Sarah’s lab more than once. Call him weird, but he was eager to get on with the painstaking job of cross-referencing myths and anomalies and didn’t want to waste time running back and forth.
He actually managed surprisingly well, getting all the way to her office door with only a few minor wobbles as he tried to avoid running into anyone or tripping over his own feet. Her door was even slightly open which saved him a hassle. Unfortunately, karma then seemed to decide that that was enough good luck for one day and, as he reached out to push the door fully open, he tipped the papers a little too far to one side and they slid to the floor in an avalanche that he didn’t have the time or skill to prevent.
Crouching, trying to gather them back up again before anyone saw his latest blunder, he became suddenly aware of voices from inside the room. The lighter tones were clearly Sarah’s and the deeper ones he soon recognised as Becker. No mistaking that public school boy accent. At least, he thought Becker was a public school boy. A military school boy at least. He certainly had the superior attitude to go with it.
Okay, that was a bit unfair. As soldiers went, Becker was all right and totally loyal and committed to their work at the ARC, which Connor appreciated greatly. He was also a bit of a git though. And an incorrigible flirt when it came to Sarah, obviously having taken a shine to her from the start.
Connor huffed in irritation as he continued to gather the fallen papers, suspecting that the Captain’s presence certainly wasn’t going to help them get any work done. After all, despite having seemed a bit uncertain at first, Sarah had hardly been discouraging Becker in the past few weeks, much to Connor’s dismay. Abby had just grinned when Connor had complained about it to her, saying that she found them kind of cute. He’d said it was just annoying, at least when they were trying to get on with work anyway. He didn’t approve of Becker turning up every five minutes, apparently with the sole intention of trying to show off how manly his arms looked whilst puffing out his chest like a bloody peacock on display. It was not conducive to getting stuff finished. Connor always rolled his eyes and tried to ignore the other man, hoping he’d simply get bored when he realised that Sarah was too busy to coo over him, and clear off. Except increasingly she just encouraged him and then nothing productive got done at all.
Yes, Connor told himself, that was exactly why it bugged him. It was totally related to work and absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Becker had apparently won Sarah over in five minutes and Connor hadn’t had so much luck with Abby in two years of trying.
He supposed it was an odd kind of jealousy, but probably just as ugly. He couldn’t help it though, it was just like being in secondary school again and watching all the cool boys have girls flock to them with ease whilst he and his kind struggle to string two coherent words together in front of them. Not that he liked Sarah in that way but the principle was there all the same. The memories weren’t exactly pleasant ones but, knowing it’d be unfair to take it out on Becker, Connor tried not to let it show too much.
He was just contemplating about how he’d get rid of the captain today - tell him Danny was dissing his security system again or something? – when he tuned in to what they were actually talking about. A frown of confusion slowly appeared across his features.
“Black?” Becker queried, quite seriously, as though discussing a matter of great importance.
Sarah didn’t seem to be giving it the same gravity, an unmistakable hint of amusement in her voice when she spoke.
“No,” she replied lightly, verging on teasing.
“White?” he guessed again.
Connor imagined she must have shaken her head because Becker made another suggestion.
“Close,” Sarah encouraged and Connor could almost hear the grin in her voice.
Becker was silent for a moment, as though thinking.
“Crimson,” he eventually settled on.
Connor’s frown deepened. What the bloody hell were they talking about?
“So,” Becker continued on, apparently not quite finished yet. “Crimson and...French?
“Oh, very good,” Sarah replied, sounding impressed before she added something to temper the Captain’s ego. “You probably could have got there quicker though.”
Connor heard Becker chuckle, even though the sound was low.
“Shouldn’t I check, make sure you’re not lying?”
Totally bemused and with his curiosity piqued, Connor stood up, the papers a messy pile in his arms, and walked in unannounced. He caught Sarah in mid-giggle. More interestingly, he caught Becker standing close behind where she sat on the stool, one finger hooked inside the waistband of her jeans. Something he quickly rectified when he saw Connor, stepping back and folding his arms across his chest defensively. ‘Stern Captain Mode’ totally back in place.
Connor studied them, shifting his gaze from one to the other as he pieced the bits together. He did like a puzzle. Becker was glaring at him crossly, almost daring him to say a word. Sarah was trying to, rather unsuccessfully it had to be said, smother a smile, pretending that her attention was completely focussed on work as she resumed scribbling notes down.
Playing the conversation he’d overheard back in his mind and tying it with what he’d just seen, Connor suddenly made perfect sense of it all.
A large grin split his features.
“Were you guessing what underwear she’s got on?” he asked in amusement, with no sense of tact at all. There again, that wasn’t exactly a trait he was known for.
“No,” Becker denied, too hurried and too firmly for it to be true.
“Oh yeah?” Connor teased, not letting up as he put the papers down, relishing the chance to get Becker on the back foot for once. “So what’s crimson and French then?”
Becker was silent, looking to Sarah for help. She opened her mouth as if to say something then simply closed it again, apparently having realised that she didn’t have a decent alternative after all.
“I’ve got nothing, sorry,” she said, looking up at Becker with an apologetic shrug.
“So what’s the prize?” Connor asked, still grinning, definitely winding Becker up now. There were very few times when he had the opportunity to get one over on the captain and he was certainly going to make the most of it. Even if Becker would undoubtedly make him pay for it next time they were out in the field and something horrible or gross needed doing.
“None of your business, Connor,” Becker said stiffly. From what little Connor had been able to gather about him, Becker was the ultimate professional and liked to keep that air at all times. In his opinion though, Connor thought the Captain should loosen up a bit if they were all going to be friends. Now seemed just about the right moment to make inroads into that.
“Are you two...you know...?”
Sarah gave Connor an ‘oh leave him alone!’ look but he ignored her, having too much fun watching Becker squirm.
“None of your business,” Becker repeated.
Connor grinned even wider, part amused, part excited by the gossip and part pleased for them. Flirting or actually going out? Well they were two entirely different things, the latter somehow making him feel quite differently about the pair of them. Abby was right; that was kind of cute. They did seem to really like each other and it was about time someone had some good news around here. Still wasn’t going to stop him yanking the other man’s chain though. It was proving to be way too much fun and god knows if he’d ever have such ammunition again.
“You are, aren’t you?” he prodded, grinning.
Becker gave up on denial, apparently deciding it was useless especially considering that Sarah was doing nothing to back him up.
“Don’t say a word,” he warned firmly instead.
“Why?” Sarah suddenly chipped in, looking up at him with a dangerously arched eyebrow. “Are you ashamed of me?”
Connor got the impression that she kind of enjoyed winding Becker up too. He almost felt sorry for the bloke.
“No!” Becker immediately protested, clearly not wanting her to get the wrong idea but also feeling barracked by them both. “Why on earth would I be? I just like to keep my personal and professional life separate, that’s all.”
Connor scoffed a laugh.
“You’re gonna find that kind of hard when your sha-“
“Connor!” Becker interrupted before he could voice that.
Sarah grinned, shaking her head in amusement, a hand stroking Becker’s forearm in reassurance. Connor considered that maybe now was the time to stop. He had to work with Sarah for the rest of the afternoon and she did have it in her power to make him pay and pay if she felt he’d been picking on her boyfriend. In way, he was more worried about her than he was Becker’s retribution. Women, he remembered, held grudges. They lulled you into a false sense of security before springing payback on you at the worst moment.
He really should stop before he annoyed her too.
Becker didn’t know that though, and he looked distinctly grateful as Danny walked in, clearly seeing the other man as his saviour instead.
“Quinn,” he said with a nod, ultra formal as he tried to regain control and a sense of professionalism. “Did you want something?”
“Nothing really,” Danny said with a bored-looking shrug. “Just wondered what’s going on?”
“Becker and Sarah are doing it,” Connor blurted out.
“Connor!” the pair of them protested in unison, even Sarah seeming a bit outraged at his lack of tact this time.
That was another thing Connor should remember he’d never been very good at; keeping secrets.
Oh yes, he thought apprehensively, seeing the murderous looks on both of Becker and Sarah faces, he was definitely going to pay for this.
It had been totally worth it though.