Jerry had taken years to cultivate an image of himself that was easily forgettable. He had gained an ability to fade into the background to the point where people sometimes forgot he was even present and revealed details that he might not have ascertained otherwise. It was interesting to watch people's reaction when he did suddenly remind them of his presence, and that certainly made up for the times when they had been less than complimentary about either the FBI or him only moments earlier.
He had honed this skill while he was an undercover agent, blending in so seamlessly with the other male prostitutes and drug addicts that the target rarely had a clue they were under surveillance until presented with all the damning evidence. That had been years earlier, when he was thin and had a lot more hair--all golden curls--and now he was rarely called upon unless they wanted someone who looked like a boring, dull administrative type to hang around some accountant's office and look uninteresting while he gathered the damning information.
After those few days working with the LAPD on the Austin Blair case, Jerry though he might have a reprieve and be left alone to work on the other narcotics cases that had fallen onto his desk recently but...no such luck. A known terrorist had been caught by chance on a surveillance camera at a high end drug deal, which meant NSA had usurped his authority the same way he had usurped the LAPD. Federal took jurisdiction over local enforcement, and National Security took precedence over Federal. He was given the name of the Special Agent heading up the NSA investigation and a floor destination but having gained entrance to the building, Jerry had simply let himself be forgotten, eventually making his own way up to the bullpen where he would be working alongside Special Agent Brendan Dean.
Jerry slipped into the open plan office and quickly picked out Dean among the NSA agents present from the description given earlier. There were not many men present who had dark hair sticking up in all directions. He picked up some paperwork and moved with quiet purpose to the desk just behind Dean before sitting down as if it was an everyday action and he totally belonged there, wanting to see what kind of agent Dean was before he introduced himself. No one remarked as expected, though he gained a raised eyebrow from a pretty dark haired woman, and the hint of a smile. Oh yes, she knew he didn't belong but she seemed willing enough to go along with his minor subterfuge to see where it led.
Dean had his back to Jerry but he had to admit that it was a more than pleasing sight. The hair was exactly as described but there was far more to Agent Dean. Strong shoulders led down to a tapered waist, all rounded off with a nice ass. A runner's body rather than one of those gym freaks with all the steroids and rippling muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He liked that ranginess in a man and wondered if the front was even better. Too often the guy turned and revealed a huge pot belly or a sunken chest, or was just plain ugly. Not that he could talk as he'd let himself get a little soft in the belly over the last few years.
The woman snorted into her soda and Jerry wondered what she was finding so entertaining on her monitor.
Dean was giving orders to his people, telling them to check this data or that, and Jerry filed it all away in case he could use the information later. When Dean turned suddenly, Jerry was hard pressed not to moan in admiration. The man was a god! He was as well-toned on the front as from the rear, with a strong chest, flat stomach...and reasonable well-endowed if Jerry was making out the outline in his pants correctly. He also had the face of an angel and, of course, the hair style that was all the rage these days among the hot and handsome.
This time the woman choked on a laugh and Jerry frowned even as he slowly ducked his head to avoid making eye contact with Dean. It was amazing how many people missed him when he simply kept his head down. Sure enough, Dean's gaze swept over his head to the office beyond before landing on the woman.
"Where the hell is that FBI agent? They were the ones who insisted on being a part of this damn case."
The woman moved around and sat on the edge of the desk beside Jerry, holding out her hand.
"Special Agent Moore. I'm Freya McAllister."
A quick glance showed the usual wide-eyed reaction from Dean--the reaction Jerry loved to see but Dean recovered quickly, making a little quirky shoulder snap and twist of his mouth to acknowledge that he had been caught out. Jerry stood because his mom had taught him to be gentleman, and he reached for McAllister's hand.
"Freya. I insist." She grinned and turned as Dean approached. "And you already know this is Special Agent Dean."
Jerry nodded politely, almost wishing Dean had offered his hand just so he could touch him but he guessed Dean was not particularly pleased with him right now. Freya smirked, biting her lower lip, as if reading his thoughts.
"Well, now you're here," said Dean, "Maybe we can get started?"
Getting started involved days of sifting through information and photographs, of watching grainy video footage and listening to surveillance tapes where everything seemed to be discussed except any information that might lead them to the whereabouts of a terrorist who was planning a bombing campaign of the east coast. Dean seemed bored, as if he had seen it all too many times already and had already committed every detail to memory but Jerry knew that sometimes it wasn't what you could see or hear that mattered. It wasn't always the minutiae of modern living but the context of each piece of data against other information. That was his specialty, taking information from different sources and seeing patterns.
He noticed that Dean was paying more and more attention to him with each passing day, almost flirting one moment but then being all aggressive and offhand the next. Dean's mixed signals were confusing to say the least, though he was almost certain at one point that he had caught Dean ogling his ass. Admittedly Jerry knew he had a fine ass but straight men rarely paid that much attention to it, and the closeness between Dean and Freya reeked of a clandestine office romance. She even finished his sentences on occasion or knew exactly what he wanted before he actually spoke aloud. It was weird.
Another day passed and just when Jerry was convinced it would be a bust, "There!"
He paused the grainy footage and rifled through the paperwork spread out over the desk top until he found a transcript from a boring moment in the life of a man suspected of being involved with the bomber. The significance became clear instantly, and Jerry enjoyed the way Dean's eyes brightened in realization that they may have found the man's safe house. The glorious smile made his knees go a little weak and he looked away, shuffling papers and trying to look all manly and full of authority to hide his reaction. Of course the NSA--or Special Agent Brendan Dean, at least--then decided that it would be better to apprehend the subject without the participation of the FBI, which was fairly ridiculous. He was not some untrained civilian. He had passed all his firearms training at Quantico and had gone into potentially dangerous situations on more occasions than he could count during his career in the FBI. To consider him a liability now was an affront to his dignity.
"Personally, I find that offensive. I am more than capable of assisting in--"
"I know you are...but I'd rather you didn't."
"Why? Just give me one good reason."
Dean grimaced, either uncomfortable with his reasons or because he had no valid reason to deny Jerry his part in the capture. "Fine, but I'm in command."
"Fine," Jerry echoed. "Sounds reasonable."
With Kevlar vests in place, Jerry and Dean took up position at the front door behind the more heavily protected assault team. He watched as Dean counted down from three, the final closed fist spurring the assault team into action, resulting in the sound of splintering wood as the door was forced open. Shouts came from every direction, identifying the NSA agents, and were used to confuse and panic whoever might be inside. They came to a hallway with rooms leading off in different directions. Dean went one way and Jerry took the other room, entering it with gun raised just as he had been taught. So far no shots had been fired but Jerry could hear running feet in the room above and muffled shouts demanding someone get down on the floor, hands behind their heads, so somebody was home and now in custody judging by the thump from above. He paused on the threshold of a second room leading on from the first and found a workshop with a bench piled high with electronic equipment, wires and what looked like blocks of C4.
"FBI!" Jerry shouted out before cautiously stepping into the room. Too late, he caught movement in his periphery vision and was turning in that direction, coming face-to-face with a snarling man holding a Springfield m1911, when he heard the shots. The thud of two bullets hitting his vest had Jerry falling backwards before he could squeeze the trigger on his Glock and he felt his breath explode out of him at the shock. A shout and the return of gun fire almost above his head followed immediately and from the corner of his eye Jerry saw his attacker fall, red blossoming over the man's chest, dead before he hit the floor.
After a flurry of movement, Dean was kneeling beside him and Jerry gasped as he tried to draw in breath. He felt Dean tearing off the Velcro straps and loosening his vest, pulling the front panel off him before he felt cool, sweaty hands fumbling with his shirt.
Above him, Dean huffed out a tired laugh, relief filling his hazel-green eyes as he stared into Jerry's. "Vest caught the bullets. Guess it must have winded you." He cleared his throat and ran a hand through his dark hair. "You're going to have some major bruises there, Agent Moore."
"Thought I was...Jerry now," he teased back with a little difficulty, slowing regaining his ability to breath properly even though his chest hurt something fierce. When he started to struggle to sit upright, Dean was right behind him, letting Jerry use him as a back support. He felt the strong arms encircle his waist, holding him with great care as Jerry carefully expanded his chest with the next shaky breath. Damn, but that hurt.
Dean gave him a moment longer before nudging him gently. "Let's get you out of here and checked over."
He let Dean help him to his feet and support him as they crossed the open parking lot towards a waiting ambulance where Dean left him with a paramedic, promising to be back soon. Jerry watched him go, seeing the man's easy charm as he closed down the operation.
Later, as Jerry sat on the edge of the ambulance being checked out, Dean wandered over and sat down next to him. "What happened?"
"He was lying in wait. Got off two shots before I had fully turned in his direction."
"You were damn lucky he hadn't aimed for your head!"
"Then it's lucky he preferred blowing people up from a safe distance rather than shooting them," Jerry snarked back, falling silent when he realized this closed his part in this case so he no longer had a reason to see Brendan Dean every day.
"Oh for..." Freya sighed. "Brendan, Jerry thinks you're the hottest man he has ever seen." She turned. "And Jerry, Brendan wants your fine ass. His words not mine. So stop all the macho posturing... and get a room."
Both of them stared at her in horror as she walked away before daring to glance towards each other. Brendan stared hard in Jerry's eyes and cleared his throat.
"I...like more than just your ass."
"Yeah...well, I like more than just your..." He waved a hand up and down to encompass Brendan's entire body, gaining a soft smile in response.
"How about we finish all the paperwork in the morning and I take you home now."
Jerry nodded, mouth suddenly dry at the thought of having Brendan Dean in his house, perhaps in his bed before the evening was through, and he silently cursed the injuries that would hamper his full enjoyment of what could be a one night only. Hot guys rarely stayed once they had what they wanted from him...usually his ass.
Hours later, after Brendan had discovered exactly how fine that ass was, they lay sated and happy, still wrapped around each other in Jerry's bed. Brendan traced the outline of the massive bruise that was still darkening on Jerry's chest but Jerry did not need to be a mind reader to know Brendan was thinking about how close he had come to losing his life today. Though Jerry would swear Freya seemed to know his every thought. The terrorist had got the drop on him, and even though that could have happened to anyone, Jerry could only be grateful that he had been wearing a vest and that the man had been a bomber rather than a cool-headed assassin, aiming for the chest instead of head.
"Stop thinking so hard," Brendan murmured.
Jerry snorted, realizing he had tensed up while in thought. He relaxed back against Brendan and let out a breath, deciding to take comfort from this moment. He was alive and lying next to the hottest guy he had ever seen. He would be stupid not to make the very best of this opportunity while it lasted. He wished, silently, that it would be more than just one night.
"This doesn't have to be a one time thing," Brendan said softly, as if reading his mind. "This is going to sound corny but...I'd really like to get to know you better."
Jerry tightened his hold on Brendan. "Sounds...perfectly reasonable."