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Title: Touch
Fandom: String Theory
Pairing: Herville Schtein/Delia Osgood

"Your shoulder... strap is undone."

Doctor Herville Schtein glanced over at his assistant, a Miss Delia Osgood, as she twirled the pencil that was usually embedded firmly in her wayward brown hair.

"Fix it if it bothers you so much," he muttered, dismissively, watching her reaction carefully out of the corner of his eye under the pretence of making a correction to an equation.

She paused, her head cocked to the side and her bright, intelligent - damn intelligent - eyes were narrowed. Schtein took the fact that she didn't respond to mean that she was embarrassed and intimidated by his superior intellect and wit and... A nimble hand darted out to grasp the undone strap as she carefully cradled her clipboard in pen between her other arm and body.

Schtein froze as she parted the lab-coat and peeked at the shirt and red tie beneath - curiosity undermining social decorum. He could feel the feather light touch of her fingers on his shirt, and the heat of her skin, as she moved the strap back into place and fastened it. Her touch made him squirm in ways that had nothing to do with any pleasant feeling. She spoke before he could splutter out; juststoptouchingme.

"Huh... Nice tie, Doc. Matches your," she paused, dark skin colouring, eyes flicking from the tie to his,"... Anyway, the Geiger-Müller counter has been giving off weird readings all day, and I can't quite tell what's wrong with it. Could you maybe take a look -"

This was his favourite tie. The colour remained vivid in his mind even after he had lost the ability to see them, and even now it was pleasant to touch when the gloves came off. Smooth, and reassuringly heavy - a familiar, slightly raised pattern that was almost, almost, comforting. But she had touched it - damn her. The black and white tones that made up his vision were broken up by lurid, green - imaginary - fingerprints.

Germs. Hers.

The urge to burn the tie and his jacket crawled up his spine and danced unpleasantly in the forefront of his mind. He could feel his fingers shaking slightly, the breath coming quicker from his lungs than he might have wanted, barely there dots of perspiration forming on his skin. But this was just Osgood; he reminded himself quickly. If anyone had to touch it may as well be her. In fact... from her it might just be tolerable. Eventually.

To put it frankly, Schtein just stopped listening. Stupidly pretty and distracting though her shapely mouth was he chose to focus solely on the first part of her monologue. That was far more important than the possibility that they were being exposed to more nuclear radiation than normal... Though his priorities seemed to have shifted somewhat alarmingly lately.

"Matches my what, Osgood?" The debonair aura he was going for might have been ruined somewhat by the leer on his face - composure restored.

He could have sworn she blushed again, remaining silent, and that thought made his smile (leer) widen a little.

"It's alright to be speechless, Osgood," she bared her teeth just before he rushed out,"in fact I'm attracted to you so strongly, scientists will have to develop a fifth fundamental force."

The breathtaking look of fury on her face melted away in an instant, leaving a somewhat bewildered Doctor. Handling a non-sarcastic, non-angry, Delia - or any woman for that matter - was something he was woefully unpractised in.

"Oh Doc," she let out the kind of sigh he had only ever imagined," you always know just what a girl wants to hear. I'm just disappointed you haven't used the "BOOTY PLEASIN'" line on me yet."

Stifling laughter, she leaned in and pressed a chaste kiss to the side of his cheek as she sashayed past - smoothing the furious creases that had formed on his features. Turning, he half-muttered to her retreating back; "Hey, baby, how about you swing your fine ass over to my quarters tonight? I've got both a PHD in Physics and Booty Pleasin'."

Her peels of muffled laughter almost, almost, made him forget about his desperate need to pour cleaning fluid over every inch of him she had touched.