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Guns and Wrists

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Kate is always aware of where guns are held. Always.

It’s both a skill and a coping mechanism,  as a Pinkerton agent and a woman.

She rarely, if ever, notices the hands that hold them.

Except, apparently, the hands of her partner. 

She has known, from the moment she met him on the train platform, if he carries his gun that day and if he is preparing to draw it. She must, to protect them both.

But, then, months after his arrival, when the competition and hostility of the first weeks has become friendship, she notices his hands. 

They are sitting at her kitchen table in comfortable silence. She is flicking through the weekly Pinkerton dispatch, while Will cleans his guns.

Smoothly, he strips them down to their most basic components, cleans them, and begins to reassemble then. An agent, used to time, not a soldier, required to rush.

It is mesmerizing rather than unnerving, which is itself unsettling, and Kate is strangely distracted.

His hands are rough and worn, a rider’s hands, crossed with occasional scars. 

They are the deft, capable hands of an agent, rather than the ungainly hands of a pugilist. 

It’s as Kate analyses the rare attention Will gives the task that the thought of those hands on her rises—unbidden—in her mind. 

She does not blush, or visibly react, but she returns her focus to her letters. 

She fails to notice the slight skitter in Will’s hands as he notices her eyes on him.