Characters/Pairing: Dan Smaisley, Walter O'Brien, Paige Dineen, (Walter/Paige)
Summary: Dan Smaisley thinks he's found Walter O'Brien's Achilles' heel.
Author's Note: Spoilers for 2.6 'Tech, Drugs and Rock & Roll'. Outsider POV. Episode related.
Achilles' Heel: shallowness
Smaisley watches him, this golden contractor Elia has been talking about for months, trying to bring in to work on his projects. Walter O'Brien was just a name, Smaisley didn't even bother Googling him until a week ago. A scorpion was just an eight-legged animal with a tail and Smaisley's research into biometrics a vital part of the company's plans for the future. The smart building would be a perfect demonstration of hisv work, until it wasn't.
It's a week since the 'budget meeting' when Smaisley was informed his division's contribution was going to be cut out of the project, all because the tech budget was being tripled – tripled! He remembers the murmur of surprise around the room, because no budget gets tripled weeks away from launch. Elia talked them through Scorpion's proposals like a man convinced. It was a fait accompli. All for this Walter O'Brien.
Smaisley had sat there in shock. Was that what it felt like to be stung by a scorpion's tail? Habit kept his face under control. He even shook hands with Elia after the meeting ended, he thinks.
The anger only started when he used his implant to get back into his office and the contrast between how he'd felt leaving there and how he'd felt returning hit him. For the rest of the day, he'd had to take meeting after meeting with his team, telling them to stand down on most of their work, while O'Brien got the green light.
Some of Smaisley's staff have taken vacation days. Not him. All the while, he's been formulating his plan. Nobody questions his continued interest in the project. Nobody notices him observing O'Brien when he's on-site. They're all busy.
She's coming to talk to O'Brien again, the tall brunette who seems to be Scorpion's liaison officer. Smaisley has worked around enough nerds in love, been one at times, to know the signs. O'Brien actually engages in eye contact with her, replies to her, stiffly – it wasn't his charm that persuaded Elia to back him – but after she nods and walks away, having got the answer she wanted, O'Brien just sits there, following her with his eyes. He looks blank, but Smaisley can guess what that so-called brilliant mind is thinking.
So, Smaisley'll hire a brunette then. He walks away. There are other things to arrange.