Chapter TwoGeorge Bernard Shaw said, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”
Kevin was in love. It wasn’t his first time, of course. Princess Leia had been his first crush, Seven of Nine a lasting infatuation. But it was maybe his first time with a real, flesh and blood woman. And not only was she hot
, she was a hacker. A hacker that regularly handed him his ass when they dueled. So, yeah, he was in love.
She was also, rather unfortunately, surrounded by scarily competent people readers who were, in actual fact, just plain scary. (He’d never forgive Connor for the fact that the first time he met Hotch, there was a clothes pin hanging off his shirt. Hotch, of course, hadn’t asked any questions but he’d given Kevin this look
, like he was contemplating his capabilities and or sanity.) And she loved those people like family, which meant that every impression he made on them needed to be upstanding.
He was flirting with Penelope when his phone buzzed on his hip and Kevin jerked, nearly spilling coffee on her workstation, which would have garnered him an ex-girlfriend and possibly a very serious series of viruses on his personal computer. She gave him one of her Looks and moved his coffee cup to the little roll station that didn’t have thousands of dollars worth of Bureau equipment on it.
He flipped it open to find a picture of Connor’s feet in those blasted mismatched shoes of his, made even more garish by bright orange and yellow socks. He gritted his teeth and snapped his phone shut. He was pretty sure he’d hidden those shoes and put a normal pair of black and white Converse’s in their place. Leave it to Connor to find the damned things. Or, knowing Connor, to have bought three or four pair just so he’d have backups when Kevin managed to get a hold of the pair he’d been wearing.
“Kevin?” Penelope said, eyebrows pitched high on her forehead in worried query.
Kevin melted a bit. “Nothing. It’s…nothing.”
“I saw feet, Kevin,” she said, dubious.
Kevin swallowed roughly. She couldn’t know about Connor, yet. Still, he couldn’t just lie, could he? “You know those things you wait to explain until after you’re sure that this is the person you’ll be with for the rest of your life?”
Penelope’s chair rolled a little as she rocked back, away from him, obviously not ready for that kind of thing. After all, she’d just been shot by a guy who’d taken her on a date a couple of weeks ago. “Yeah?”
“This is one of those things,” he said, swallowing as he wiggled his phone at her. “And, if you want to know right now, I’ll tell you. Or we can wait until I think we’re both ready for that step.”
Please, God, let her say-
“Wait,” she said, holding up a hand, pink, feathery ink pen bobbling in her fingers. “We’ll just…wait on that. Although, shoes, Kevin? Really?”
“They’re just part of the whole,” he said, forming his hands into a connected circle. Then he stepped into her, leaning down for a chaste kiss. “That I’m sure you’ll understand eventually.”
She melted a little in the chair, swatting at the phone behind her that had just started to beep. “Really? You think this is going for an Ever After kind of thing?”
He bobbed a nod as he gave a little, chuffing laugh, backing towards the door. “I do. But, for now, I’ll let you get the phone.” He closed the door behind him, pulling out his phone as he hurried for the exit. He was pretty sure that, beside Connor’s feet had been a plot of very familiar peonies. Connor’s phone went straight to voice mail but Kevin left a message, anyway. “Connor Lynch, don’t you dare mess with that old woman’s flowers. If I have to pay for another pot of peonies, it’s coming out of your Mac and Cheese fund.”
He hung up, feeling satisfied, only to turn around and bump solidly into Derek Morgan, Penelope’s One True Angel. “Ah…”
Morgan held up his hands in surrender even as he was eying him with interest because profilers just couldn’t help themselves. “I don’t want to know.”
Yeah, right, Kevin thought but just managed to nod. “Right. Of course. I have to go.”
He scurried away, not because he was afraid
or anything, but because he had work to do. In his office. Far away from the BAU and all those people that could read his thoughts through the twitching of his fingers, jeez.