Author’s Note: Written for fandom_stocking in January 2010.
“So, wait. Now you want me to go?”
“No, that’s not…of course I don’t want you to go!”
“That’s not what it sounded like a minute ago.” Tess frowned, folding her arms defensively across her chest. “I thought you’d be glad to hear I decided to stay.”
“I am!” Carter sighed, running one hand through his short-cropped hair. “I just…I don’t want you to throw away a job you’d love on my account. Because then I’m the one you’re going to resent if you regret it.”
“Yeah, well, maybe I got offered another job I’ll love.”
That made him stop and look at her. “Oh?”
Tess just smiled. “When Eva Thorne reorganized GD, she decided that running it was too big a job for one person. She’s right, too. I can speak from experience on that point.”
Jack nodded. “Right. She made Nathan director of research, and Allison director of…something else, I forget exactly what.”
Tess smiled faintly. “Well, for some crazy reason I will never understand, Allison thinks I’m the perfect person to step into Nathan Stark’s rather large shoes. And apparently the DoD agrees with her. They’ve asked me to stay on.”
Jack closed the distance between them, taking her face gently in both hands. “Are you sure this is what you want?”
Tess looked up at him and smiled, this time more confidently. He knew she wasn’t just talking about the job when she answered, “Yeah. Yeah, it is,” and kissed him.