She's Beautiful When She Blushes
A/N: I thought a little background on Ding Chavez might be in order so I’ve included a short (emphasis on short) summary of Clear and Present Danger
where his character is first introduced. The primary focus of Tom Clancy’s novel Clear and Present Danger
is America’s War on Drugs. The President (unnamed in the novel) orders covert action in Columbia against the Medellin Drug Cartel. One of the units sent to Columbia is code named Knife of which Sergeant Domingo “Ding” Chavez is a member. His unit is sent in for visual identification of incoming drug flights, which are later, targeted for destruction. The unit is also responsible for destroying airstrips, etc that they locate. Ultimately Jack Ryan is informed of the illegal activities being undertaken by the American government in Columbia and is ordered to lie to Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committee, he refuses. As a result of this Vice Admiral Cutter, who was one of the instigators of the plan, cuts off all support to American ground troops in Columbia. John Clark, CIA, and Jack Ryan ultimately lead a rescue operation to extract the abandoned unit. However, most of the unit is killed before they arrive. The unit’s realization that their superiors have abandoned them is one of the more moving scenes in both the novel and its on screen adaptation. I imagine the betrayal would be a major influence on how Ding Chavez views his duty as a soldier. For a more detailed summary of the novel you should visit Wikipedia.org.
Thanks again to everyone who read and reviewed the first chapter. It inspired me to get this chapter out early.
~.~But who am I kidding? Dates are things normal girls have. Girls who have time to think about nail polish and facials. You know what I think about? Ambush tactics. Beheading. Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of.
Her spidey sense started tingling almost the moment they came in sight of Cheyenne Mountain. Straightening, imperceptibly to everyone but Ding, her eyes hardened. If she knew one thing it was her tinglies never indicated she was about to receive a nice shiny present. No, they usually indicated slimy demons who ruined her new boots. Glancing down she grimaced in regret at the brand new Kenneth Cole’s adorning her feet. Why, oh why, hadn’t she learned her lesson when it came to footwear? The more beautiful the shoes the slimier the demon. Maybe, just maybe, this once there wouldn’t be demon guts. A girl could dream.
As they pulled to a stop at the first security checkpoint she and Ding made eye contact. His eyes held the same hardened glint as her’s. It was really nice to know he had her back. It didn’t really surprise her how well he read her every move. It was as if they’d fought together for years. Each move she made during their hunt the night before was mirrored by one of his own. The only time she ever really experienced anything like it before was when she and Kendra fought together all those years ago. For the first time, in a very long time, she felt like she wasn’t going into battle alone. It was a comforting feeling.
She was amazing. Her situational awareness was uncanny. He’d been on night stalks with men with decades of experience in black ops and they couldn’t compare to her. So when she stiffened next to him his level of alertness instantly increased. Ding Chavez didn’t ever really relax anymore. But, he’d learned to dampen his hyper-awareness in certain situations, if only to allow himself to conserve energy for times when it was really needed. The plane ride from D.C. and the car ride to the mountain would be one of the few occasions he’d feel comfortable, or as close to comfortable as he got, resting for the next few days.
He knew they couldn’t discuss whatever she was sensing now. It would have to wait until they were in their assigned quarters and could engage counter-measures against any surveillance devices they might find. Most people would probably think them extremely paranoid. He knew it wasn’t paranoia. He didn’t blindly follow his government’s orders anymore. Not after what happened to his unit in Columbia. The very government who’d sent them on the mission betrayed them. He wouldn’t make the mistake of unquestioning trust ever again. Somewhere along the way Buffy learned that lesson as well. He knew it was what kept them alive while others fell by the wayside.
In her opinion Jack O’Neill was an insufferable jerk. No matter how she asked he refused to tell her the subject of their morning briefing. She offered him pistachios. He wouldn’t talk. She offered to watch a marathon of Mary Steenburgen films. He laughed. There was only one thing she was sure he would agree to in exchange for the information she so desperately wanted. But, she had to draw the line somewhere. Samantha Carter had absolutely no intention of going fishing. Besides, she was pretty sure Daniel knew exactly what was going on and she could break him. She only needed coffee for that. Lucky for her she had a package of Blue Mountain for just such occasions. Daniel Jackson didn’t stand a chance.
He’d bought his own Blue Mountain, how unfair was that. Exactly when had the men on her team gotten smarter than her. What she desperately needed was another woman. Unfortunately, Janet wasn’t at the mountain today. She could always make Jack and Daniel talk, she just had to wave a big needle at them. To bad she’d taken another day off work to take Cassie to look for shoes. Sometimes being a woman in the military really sucked. This was one of those times.
Jack couldn’t help smirking. He loved it when he knew something Sam didn’t know. He couldn’t help laughing when she offered to watch a Mary Steenburgen marathon with him. He was also glad she hadn’t offered to go fishing with him. That would probably have made him break. He certainly hoped Daniel faired better under her determined assault. He really wanted to see the surprised look on her face when the First Daughter joined them in the briefing. Jamming his hands in his pockets and whistling a jaunty tune he strolled to the conference room. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to be early.
Apparently, he wasn’t the only one. Daniel and Teal’c were already waiting when he arrived.
“No, brought my own Blue Mountain. I wasn’t taking any chances.”
“Impressive, Danny, impressive.”
“O’Neill, why exactly are we avoiding Samantha Carter?”
“Well, T, it’s like this. We know something she doesn’t and we want to see the look on her face when she finds out.”
“Indeed. To what purpose?”
“So our purpose today is to laugh at her reaction to the situation. That is acceptable.”
Jack’s grin got a little wider. Maybe, there was hope for Teal’c yet.
The V.I.P. quarters were less than V.I.P. in her opinion. Her bed was lumpy. She checked Ding’s bed to make sure it wasn’t better. It wasn’t. She pouted and plotted how she was going to get them out of here and into a hotel with a non-lumpy bed as soon as possible. Then she blushed at her own thoughts. There would be no bed sharing. They would each have their very own non-lumpy beds, in separate rooms.
Looking up from under her lashes she hoped he hadn’t noted her flaming cheeks. It wasn’t the first time in the 24 hours she’d known him that her mind had gone to what she thought of as the naughty place. For god’s sake she was 27 years old she should be able to think about a man without referring to it in euphemisms.
It wasn’t entirely her fault her romantic experience was so limited. At first, after Angel, she hadn’t been interested. In college she focused on her studies and slaying. Then as Roger had campaigned first as a Vice Presidential and then Presidential candidate she avoided dating. She didn’t want her social life to become fodder for his political opponents. Certainly, her work with the FBI hadn’t lent itself to any type of social life.
Now here she was with what could only be described as fuzzy feelings for one Domingo Chavez. She knew they shared a connection. It was something she would do anything to protect. She did not want to take a chance on losing what they had by projecting romantic feelings into the situation. They were here for a purpose and nothing could get in the way of that. Once before she let her emotions get in the way of the mission. She would never let it happen again.
He loved the blush staining her cheeks pink. What could she possibly be thinking of? When she stormed into his adjoining room to find out if his bed was better he laughed out loud. In fact he’d laughed more in the last 24 hours than he had in the last 10 years. He hoped he never stopped. She was good for him. She was also the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Maybe, just maybe that blush was because of him. He certainly hoped it was. But, just as quickly as her face flushed he saw a new determination enter her eyes and something almost imperceptible close itself off. He didn’t like the new look on her face at all. He may be here on a mission for the President but Domingo Chavez was nothing if not resourceful. He could investigate evil aliens, the military program created to stop them and find out exactly what it would take to get Buffy Durling to blush like that again.
Major Paul Davis escorted Elizabeth Durling and Major Chavez to the conference room. Neither of them had spoken much in his presence. The ride from Peterson Air Force Base was made in silence. It was a new experience for him. Every other time he escorted V.I.P.’s to Cheyenne Mountain he was bombarded with questions. These two were certainly unusual.
Other than introductions they hadn’t said so much as two words to him. He had the uncanny impression they could communicate with each other just fine. Before the airman who accompanied him could even touch their bags Domingo Chavez brushed past him and collected both of them.
The major’s bag was medium sized suitcase typically carried by business travelers. Miss Durling’s bag was considerably larger. It looked quite heavy. But, she hadn’t appeared to struggle when she calmly took it from her partner’s hand and headed toward the waiting car. The actions were repeated when they arrived at the mountain. Apparently, neither was comfortable with anyone else handling their luggage.
Arriving at their destination he ushered them into the conference room to find General Hammond and the members of SG-1 waiting.
A/N: I'm not happy with the ending of this chapter but this seemed to be the best place to stop. Please don't throw things at me.