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Danger, Will Robinson

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Charles was so involved in going through the case file for that afternoon’s hearing that he didn’t even notice Harmony standing in front of his bookshelf, hand on one cocked hip as she studied the contents. It wasn’t until she turned and spoke to him that he was even aware of her presence. “Why do you have all of these?”

Her confused, condescending tone grated on his nerves as much as her presence did. “Because I like them.”

“But why?” she persisted. “I mean, this is geek stuff. You’ve got the brains and the wardrobe now, why would you still want…junk?”

Unable to resist a good argument, he closed the file and leaned back in his chair. “Well, why do you collect unicorns? That’s not very…evil of you.”

She thought about that for a minute. Gunn thought for a minute he might smell smoke. Then she grinned. “Because I like them, I guess.”

He steepled his fingers. “But why?”

The lines in her forehead furrowed, hinting at the vamp-face she so rarely showed. “I guess because they remind me of what I was like back in Sunnydale. Before all…this happened.”

It was almost cute how she didn’t want to say the words, like he would do something to her if she did. She knew his history, it wasn’t really any secret. But somehow still she didn’t seem to want to remind him of it. Rising from his chair again, he circled the desk to stand next to her, picking up the Cylon figure he’d gotten for his birthday when he was six. “Yeah, me, too,” he admitted quietly. “My dad got me into these, back when I was a kid. He loved this stuff, bought me comic books and toys and took me to these wild movies. He said it took him out of the dark places, how hard his life was. I never forgot that, even when my life got really hard, too.”

When he glanced up, he was surprised to see a sympathetic look in her normally vacant eyes. “That’s really neat.”

Pulling himself together, he put the figure back on the shelf. “You should get back to work before Angel comes looking for you.”

“Aw, come on,” she protested. “I mean, we had a moment. You opened up. It was really sweet. It made me want to bite you.”

“Yeah, well, as tempting as that sounds,” he put the desk between them without looking too obvious about it, “I have to get back to work. This guy’s not going to get himself off.”

Harmony snickered.

Charles rolled his eyes. “Go.”

“Aye aye.” She threw off a quick salute. “And play-doh veranda necktie to you, too.”

It took him a minute to figure out what she’d meant. Then he could just shake his head, grinning as he went back to his case notes.