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Jim "From IT"

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Tobias Grint is the five foot six, almost chubby, red-headed 30 something who fell in love with Molly Hooper on his first day at St-Barts while she was expertly dissecting a fresh corpse. He’d bumped into her at the coffee machine downstairs and asked her directions. She’d shown him around, introduced him to the friendly staff. On his break, he came down from his cubicle in the IT department to the autopsy lab where she had told him she worked to offer her a thank you coffee.

Leaning over a mass of grey flesh that had been someone at one point, she smiled at him and told him she’d be done in a minute, that he could wait for her just outside the lab. He stepped back as if heading for the door, but got caught up in simply watching her as she worked. It wasn’t pretty, this post-mortem business, but goodness, was she ever. Her hair fell from behind her ear as she leaned over the body and he couldn’t help but smile as she tucked it back. As she focused on the task at hand, she went all quiet and calm, sliding scalpel through dead cells and prodding the skin with her latex gloved fingertips. He leaned back against the wall and landed with a thump and that’s when Molly’s head jerked around. She was surprised to see him still jn the room, all wide eyes and open mouth. That’s the moment he fell in love with her.

Tobias, who, at that point, had forgotten that he probably should have left minutes ago, mumbled something about waiting for her outside the lab, but stayed still as Molly’s eyes were still on him. She smiled and said “Alrighty, then.” Tobias felt hot all over, red rising to his cheeks. “Right.” he replied, and exited the mortuary.

***

He’s been working in the IT department of St-Barts for about a year when Molly comes by his cubicle to present her new boyfriend.

Tobias and Molly had been friends since the day they met. He’d tried, multiple times, to flirt with her and ask her out, but she’d never taken the hint nor did he have enough guts to try something bolder. He’d been planning to get her flowers, perhaps, with Valentine’s Day coming around, maybe he’d have the guts – but that's all going down the drain now, isn’t it.

The boyfriend is of average height, size and weight and Tobias smiles idly at him while the lucky bastard’s holding out his hand, the other on the small of Molly’s back.

“Hi. I’m Jim.” he offers pleasantly, holding out his hand.

Tobias shakes his hand, a strong grip, just a little too much, he thinks, and feels something tingle down his spine. Something about the way the guy looks at him, almost predatorily. He lets that slip and answers “Tobias, nice to meet you.”

He looks to Molly, who’s eyeing him, apparently searching his approval. He’ll pretend he approves, smile and congratulate them on their “office romance” and all, but he can’t pretend that something about the guy doesn’t give him the chills and he can’t pretend that he’s happy for her.

There really is something odd about Jim, though. The way he holds himself, shifting his weight from one foot to the other by popping out a hip or the other, the way his pants are just a size too small, his flashy underwear showing, the way he barely touches her, and the slight lisp in his Irish accent… He wonders how Molly can’t tell her boyfriend is gay.

He asks “How long have you been together?” in a friendly tone and Molly enthusiastically fills him in on how they met, when and where, what he was wearing and he can just tell this isn’t going to last. She’s as excited as a schoolgirl.

Molly recounts the romantic tale of how Jim came into the morgue looking lost and asked for directions (at this point, Tobias has to force himself not to eye-roll), and then if he could take her out for a coffee sometime, her eyes shifting to look at Jim at every sentence and Jim looks at her with a smile and surprising tenderness, she asks if Tobias is taking his break soon to have a coffee with them. He lies and says he just had one, and besides, he’s got stuff to do, you know.

They leave his cubicle holding hands and he sees Jim lean into her a little as they walk side by side, then turn his head to kiss her head and Tobias would swear that Jim was looking at him while his lips brushed Molly’s auburn hair and bloody winked.

How does he know?

***

When Tobias comes back from his lunch hour, Jim is sitting in his swivel chair, feet up on his desk, chewing on what is -or rather was- the chocolate bar that Tobias had kept hidden in his drawer. He’s about to say something the likes of ‘Oi! That’s mine!’, but he notices that Jim’s carving something on his armchair.

Jim finishes up just as Tobias finally has the guts to say “What are you doing?” and he doesn’t mean to sound as pathetic as he does.

Jim rolls his eyes, puts his legs down and crumples the candy bar’s wrapper as he gets up. He’s just a bit shorter than Tobias and this is just one more reason why Tobias oughtn’t to be intimidated by him.

Jim stands and walks until he’s right under Tobias’ nose. The smaller man looks up and his lips curl in an unpleasant smile that sends shivers down Tobias’ spine. Tobias forces himself to look into the shorter man’s cold eyes, but he can’t help from swallowing very loudly as his throat’s gone dry.  Jim’s face expresses something very close to disdain. Jim breaks the eye-contact, takes two steps back. He looks around Tobias’ cubicle, straightens up his shoulders and he seems as bored as he seemed positively disgusted seconds ago. Jim pulls on the hem of his V-neck t-shirt to correct the creases and folds and looks past Tobias as he walks out saying; “Say hello to Seb for me, will you?”

Tobias doesn’t exactly know why he’s beginning to shake as he asks “Wh-who’s Seb?”

Jim stops walking and turns his head towards Tobias as a small smile creeps up the corners of his mouth. He looks back up to where Tobias is standing, his hands trembling lightly, and winks at him, then turns back and keeps on walking.

Tobias stares at him, speechless and confused. He shakes himself up after a minute, tries to evacuate the feeling of unease that’s settled in his bones. He breathes in and out and sits down. It’s then that he sees the small carving of a crown indented in the vinyl of his armchair.