Spoilers: Only for Season one characters.
Summary: Simpsons study of Kavanagh. Kav/Simpson pre-relationship.
Betaread by Fanwoman.
She stares at him, and she wonders what he's really like, though she's well aware he can't be that different underneath it all. She doesn't want to change him, doesn't have any intention to, like woman often wish to; she just wants to see further into a man who can't possibly be so simple as to be pure unadulterated annoyance. She's sure he's frustrated, among other things, that his bark is worse than his bite; he almost wants to be ignored in his own way, despite the fuss he's liable to make.
She thinks of him in her quiet moments, when work is slow and goes on into the night. When she gets stuck on a problem, she thinks of him and tries to imagine what he might say about it. The words would be harsh, but true, and what she imagines him saying often helps. She has his voice down pat by now, even if she doesn't really know anything about him, other than what is on show.
She tries to get closer - she sometimes sits on the same table and attempts to drum up conversation with him - but he's a tough cookie and doesn't take the bait. She dreams one day he'll say something more. She doesn't expect fairytale romance, for him to suddenly open up. He's not like that; it will be a gradual acceptance, and then, perhaps trust. But she's patient, a quality you'd need to get along with him. She's happy like she is; she doesn't need him. But there's nothing wrong with wanting something more, not if you're willing to work for it.
Maybe that's what he's all about - he wants to be sure and never seems to be able to trust others' decisions over his own. So she thinks maybe he'll appreciate her effort when he finally notices, when the little things all add up to what she's aiming for. He's not stupid; he's just blind right now - he's not looking for anything because he doesn't think it exists. He will see someday, if they're both lucky. She doesn't need anyone; instead, she wants him. But it's clear he needs someone. He always has, and that's the problem - he's always been let down in the past, if his behavior is anything to go by; but she's not going to give up so easily.
She sits opposite him and smiles into her bowl at his faint quip back to her. She blows on her spoonful of soup, waiting for it to cool. In contrast, he laps his up, grimacing at the heat of the liquid as it meets his tongue and throat. He's still rushing everything, wanting to run away, back to his safe world of work where he has some semblance of control. But she's got the patience to counter that rough exterior, and for the first time, she feels like maybe she was right. Somehow, his reply didn't sound like it contained as much venom as he usually displays towards the lesser ranks of scientists. In fact, she might dare to believe that some mirth escaped into the words as they passed his lips, a hint of the emotions that he hides so well. Normally, it’s only scorn and triumph that he lets through the barriers.
She waits until she gets back to the lab, and then she grins as she gets on with her reports. She feels like a schoolgirl, all giddy at the least thing to show from her crush. Good things come to those who wait. She knows she'll be waiting a good while longer, but she really doesn't care at this point. It's the little steps up that thrill her heart, and going slow suits her just as well as it does him. Nothing is promised, and she rather likes the appeal of a challenge like that. Maybe it would seem a bit dispassionate to others to consider him a study, a puzzle to unravel, uncovering new clues piece by piece – but that's how she thinks of him. To her, it says a lot, for there is usually nothing she loves more than her field of work.
Besides, she sometimes likes to think he's not quite as oblivious as he appears. She takes a sip of the coffee that's been so conveniently forgotten on the shared lab table; it's still steaming in the cup, left very oddly in the deserted lab, everyone else off for a late lunch or the scheduled exploration of the city. As she lifts it up again, she spots a small scrap of paper stuck on the bottom. Peeling it off and examining it, she thinks she recognizes the handwriting. It's part of a list, torn off and discarded, but absentmindedly folded over with a precision that reminds her of origami, even though it doesn't resemble anything. Unfolding it, she spies a new clue - 8 pm/room 3.09. She takes another sip of coffee and reflects on how it's decaf and very sugary - exactly the way she likes it. She smiles widely, because even if it's nothing, she likes to believe in him. Perhaps it's because no one else does, and someone should. Or it could simply be naiveté.
She drinks her coffee and decides, for now, she doesn't care because she doesn't know enough to draw up a real result...which just means she'll just have to collate more data, but then she's always been dedicated.
By the time she finishes the coffee, she's smiling so much she can't quell it as Miko and George return to the lab, prompting curious questioning. She flaps it off as no reason, just a joke she remembered, and she can tell it doesn't convince either of them. Plus there's a hint of a knowing look on Miko's face as she politely takes the cup from her in order to clear space on the lab bench for the next experiment’s equipment. When she next looks up, she finds Miko has placed the mug, presumably back, on Kavanagh's desk. She bites her lip, wondering how she could miss such a detail as which cup was whose, and knowing she can't go on grinning like an idiot all day. So she pops a mint in her mouth. Can't go giving Miko matchmaking ideas, and anyway, that'd be cheating...
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