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stalwart and steady and true

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Jenny doesn't miss much.

It's easy to see a suit that's been mostly kicked under the bed and needs to be sent out for laundering. It's even easier to read through a contract and find the loopholes that have been crafted into it that are definitely not in Ryan Industry's favor. She can tell from the way Kevin arches an eyebrow or tilts his head to the side when and how quickly to gently, but firmly, escort a conquest from the manor. A screwdriver on the right table is easily interpreted as a 'stay out' sign, while a wrench on the wrong one is enough of a warning sign to have her spitting out an override code to JARVIS so that she can force her way into the lab.

On more than one occasion, her fingers have easily found hidden clasps and hinges that allowed her to peel away piece after piece of metal until all that was left was Kevin. She's cataloged bruises and scrapes with eyes and lips, spotted cracked ribs from a distance that would make Hawkeye jealous.

It's child's play to decode the layer of hidden meaning in Kevin's voice. It's heartbreakingly easy to hear the rare sincerity that still tinges his tone when he speaks her name.

And although she'll deny it, Jen knows about the small blue box that Kevin had carried in his right suit jacket pocket during the last couple of weeks they were together before she called things quits.

Their inevitable end was another thing she had no trouble seeing from much too far away.

When Javier Esposito--Captain America, a small, fangirlish portion of her brain can't ever seem to stop shrieking-- first moves into the manor, Jenny stays just a step out of the way and keeps her eyes open.

The signs are easier to pick out in Kevin; no matter their history, or perhaps because of it, he is still impossibly familiar and dear to her. She knows the signs of infatuation, recognizes with only the slightest surprise when it appears to grow and deepen into something more serious. It's harder with Javier. The man hides behind his very openness. There's no shame in being befuddled by unfamiliar advancements, and everyone is so busy seeing the gobsmacked look that almost seems to have taken up permanent residence on his face that it's that much easier for him to shield what he doesn't want seen.

It's still not impossible though, and if anyone manages to catch the slightest flush that darkens his cheeks when Kevin flirts just that much harder than usual, of course it would be Jenny.

She's just coming out of Kevin's home office--and the fact that Kevin even has a home office set up is enough to keep her laughing for a week--with an arm full of papers that she'll have to take home and forge his signature on when she hears the voices drift down the hallway toward her. Jen toes out of her heels and pads silently closer. They're out on a balcony, the door just barely cracked open, with their heads tilted close together.

"Lanie was a great gal," Javier says quietly.

"Jav." Kevin has one hand hovering just over Javier's forearm, like he wants to reach out and touch, but it's wholly certain of his welcome. There's something so raw, so hopeful and ripped open in his expression than Jen feels her own heart clench.

Javier shifts, not even an inch, but it's enough to settle Kevin's palm on his arm, and then Javier has a hand up to cup Kevin's cheek and pull him in to rest their foreheads together. "She was," he whispers into the scant space between their lips. "She really was, and she'd want me to be happy."

Jenny can guess at what happens next, but she can't say for certain, because she turns then and sneaks away.

Jenny doesn't miss much, but there are still some things that she knows she isn't meant to see.