Pairing - Connor / Becker
Summary - Armed terrorists take over a party attended by the team and it falls to Connor and Becker to save the day
Black ties and bullets
Connor tugged at the tie around his neck as he waited for Abby to pick him up, wishing for the thousandth time that he could leave it behind. That, unfortunately, would make Lester mad. Earlier that week when he had handed out the invitations, they had been informed in no uncertain terms of what would happen to them should anything go wrong.
“If any of you embarrass me in any way, I will personally see to it that you are dropped through the nearest anomaly and the door closed behind you,” he’d said.
Connor believed him.
The invitation had come from the highest level, a thank you for their discreet and speedy removal of a pterodactyl from the Houses of Parliament the previous month. It was a black-tie function- Connor wasn’t sure he could rightfully call this a party. The list of do’s and don’t’s was endless, the dress code anything but comfortable, but none-the-less he was actually looking forward to it. It wasn’t every day you got invited to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Exactly which famous people, he wasn’t sure, since it may have been wishful thinking on Abby and Sarah’s part.
The invitations had been handed to himself, Abby, Danny and Sarah only, along with their ‘plus one’ should they wish to take one. It was the plus one part that was making him nervous. No one knew who he was taking and it was likely to be a bit of a surprise when they saw. Well, no one except Abby. And Lester, of course; they’d had to ask Lester to get Becker the night off, and he’d also authorised any guests.
“Relax,” Abby told him as he got into the car. They had only one more stop to make on the way and then on to the hotel where the dinner was being held.
As Abby pulled up at the curb, she nudged Connor. She watched from the car as he ran up to the house. The door opened and Abby smiled.
“Nice,” she murmured to herself, glad that Connor wasn’t there to see her ogling his boyfriend.
Connor was having much the same reaction. He stared, mouth open.
“Oh wow; I’m dating James Bond.”
OK, time to turn on the in-head censors before he opened his mouth the next time, he thought, blushing slightly. It was just that the sight of Becker in a tuxedo managed to wipe away any coherent thought. Damn, but the man looked fantastic.
“Connor, don’t forget to breathe,” Becker’s lightly teasing voice told him.
Connor blinked a couple of times and looked up into Becker’s chocolate brown eyes to see the amusement there. He grinned and, uncaring of what the neighbours might think, pulled Becker down for a kiss.
“You look pretty good yourself,” Becker told him, looking him up and down. As Abby honked the car horn, he said, “Come on or we’ll be late.”
The hotel was huge, with its own separate building used for high profile functions set a short distance away from the rest. Inside, it was ornately and expensively decorated, first class in every way, right down to the butler on the door who was escorting people inside after the doormen had checked invitations.
They all turned to see Sarah beckoning them over to where she and Danny had already been seated at their table, along with Lester. They had both forgone the plus one part of the invite, as had Abby.
“Connor, you clean up nicely,” Sarah teased. Her gaze then fell to Becker, looking him up and down with a mixture of happiness and confusion on her face.
“Becker, looking good,” she said. “Not that I’m not glad to see you but I didn’t think you were coming tonight.”
He smiled. “Plus one,” he told her, showing her his invitation.
“Oh?” Sarah’s gaze flicked to Abby in question but Abby just shook her head.
This was the moment Connor had been dreading and anticipating in equal measures. It was time to tell them but what if it didn’t go as he hoped? What if the others were negative or uncomfortable with it?
“He’s with me.” Danny and Sarah both turned in their seats to look at him and he edged closer to Becker, feeling Becker’s fingers brush his reassuringly. “He’s my, um, date.”
Danny raised an eyebrow and grinned up at Becker. “His date?”
“You and Connor? Really?”
Connor frowned. “Hey, I’m standing right here,” he said, slightly offended.
“I think he’s just jealous,” Becker whispered, slipping an arm around Connor’s waist. He caught Lester’s glare and removed it, remembering rule 3- No public displays.
Danny stood up, coming around the table to Connor. “You know I don’t mean it,” he said. For a moment, Connor thought that the older man was going to hug him but Danny opted for a manlier slap on the back instead.
“So this isn’t going to be a problem?” Becker asked.
Danny shook his head. “No, it isn’t. Honestly, if you two are happy then that’s all that matters.”
Connor glanced at Sarah, fearing that she wouldn’t be quite as easygoing. She had made no secret of the fact that she was interested in Becker- would it be awkward now that she knew why he hadn’t returned her advances? She must have seen his doubt because she hugged him and then Becker, telling him that she was happy for them.
The next few hours flew by in a blur of delicious gourmet food and Champagne, followed by the obligatory introductions once the tables had been cleared and the serving staff had left for the night. The bar had been opened and waiters still ferried drinks about on silver trays.
Lester had given them all another warning look before leaving the table to go and speak to some of his acquaintances from parliament.
“Does he think we’re going to get pissed and dance on the tables or something?” Danny asked the others.
Abby laughed loudly at the image that popped into her head, causing the rather prim woman at the next table to cast a disapproving glance at them and make a low comment to the man seated beside her. As they all got up to mingle, Becker grabbed Connor’s hand.
“Come on,” he said, tugging Connor in the direction of the door.
Curious, and just a little excited by the mischievous gleam in Becker’s eye, Connor let himself be led out of the room. He glanced around to make sure that Lester wasn’t about to tell them off for leaving, even temporarily, but he had his back to them.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
Becker stopped suddenly, ducked around the corner, and pulled Connor against him. Connor slid his arms around Becker’s neck, sighing happily as Becker kissed him.
“Have I told you just how damn sexy you look in that tux?” Becker asked. “I have been trying to keep my hands off you all night.”
Connor grinned. “Well, don’t try too hard on my account,” he quipped.
Caught up as they were in the heated kiss that followed, neither of them noticed that the noise from the party had stopped as the doors were closed. What they did notice was the loud bang a few moments later, followed by screams. Connor jerked back, looking around for the source of the noise.
“Tell me I’m being stupid, please, but that sounded…” he paused.
“Like a gunshot,” Becker finished, looking just as worried as Connor felt.
Abby held tightly to Danny’s hand as they were herded together into the corner of the function room. It had all been so quick; one moment they had been serving drinks and the next, the waiters and bar staff had ripped off the uniform jackets and traded trays for pistols.
She saw Sarah nearby and reached out a hand to pull her to them, just as Lester edged through the people in their direction.
“Who are they?” Danny asked quietly, not wanting to draw attention to them. He frowned, looking around. “Anyone seen Connor and Becker?”
“Oh, God; I didn’t see them,” Sarah said, scanning the crowd. Her eyes fell on the nearest gunman. “What if they’ve got caught up in whatever this is?”
Abby shook her head, squeezing the woman’s hand to make her listen. “They weren’t here. I saw them sneak out a while ago.”
Before anyone had the chance to say any more, however, a shot was fired into the air. There were a couple of screams and then the crowd fell silent.
“We’ll make this as simple as possible,” one of the gunmen, formerly the bartender, announced. “The following people will be coming with me. No heroics and no one gets hurt.”
“Sir James Lester.”
Lester looked shaken but he covered it quickly, hiding behind his usual mask of indifference.
“What do they want with you?” Sarah asked in a panicky voice. “Don’t go. I don’t like this; we should stick together. We’ll tell them that you left already.”
Lester shook his head. “They’ve been waiting on us all night so I assume that they already know what I look like.”
“Abby Maitland. Connor Temple. I know that you are here tonight and that you checked in at the door,” their captor announced, warning, “Do not make me come and get you.”
“He’s only asking for people connected with the ARC,” Lester observed.
“Well if it’s about the ARC then…” Sarah didn’t want to finish the thought but her mind filled in the blanks anyway. If it’s about the ARC then we could be next.
“I told you, no heroics!” The gunman’s voice sounded loud in the almost silent room. “Now, people!”
Lester steeled himself before easing through the people to emerge near to the speaker, Abby at his side and Danny following a pace behind, unwilling to let them go on their own. “We’re here.”
“No, not all of you.” The man glared at Danny. “You, get back with the others. Now where is Connor Temple?”
Danny reluctantly backed off as a gun was waved in his direction.
“Connor isn’t here,” Abby said, fighting to keep her voice from trembling as she spoke.
“He checked his invitation,” the man said. “If you are lying…”
Abby shook her head frantically. “We’re not lying! Connor was here but he left about half an hour ago with his date. We haven’t seen him since; his car has gone from the car park.” She really hoped that she was a good liar, not only to keep Connor out of this but also to save her own neck if he realised she had lied.
“It’s true,” Danny added.
The man turned to the Danny again, eyeing his curiously. “Who are you?”
“Abby’s boyfriend,” he said smoothly, the lie rolling off his tongue effortlessly. “The invite was for her and a guest.”
Almost immediately the man lost interest in him, just as he had hoped, turning his attention back to Abby and Lester.
“What do you want with us?” Lester asked, sounding more irritated than afraid.
To be continued...