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With A Little Help From My Friends

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Emily and Luke are having a Flintstones Meeting. This is what they call hanging out and getting drunk because it’s: “A Gay Old Time” and they’re playing pool while cracking jokes. Emily is careful to avoid any topic that's too serious because Luke has been really down the last couple of days and she's noticed and she wants him to open up; but on his own time. He was a bit like her in that respect. He needed to process on his own and he would talk when he was ready but she wanted to give him the option to take the opening she was offering. Emily's sipping at her beer and leaning with her back against the tall table they’ve claimed near the pool table; watching him line up his shot when he says in a neutral tone, “it didn’t work out with Mike.”

“What?!” Emily blurts out, shocked. Michael Walcott is a guy that Luke had been crushing on who worked in Counter Terrorism. They’d flirted like mad for months before JJ threatened to send an email to Mike pretending to be Luke if he didn’t pull the trigger and ask him out. They'd only just had their first date a few nights ago. Michael was very clearly into Luke and obviously Luke was into him so chemistry couldn't have been the issue. “How bad a first date could you have had for it not to work out?!”

Luke lines up another shot, he won’t look at Emily but she’s watching him intently and he clenches his jaw, takes his shot, misses. Righting himself and reaching for the chalk cube he answers while mindlessly watching himself rub the blue chalk on the end of his cue, “He said he ‘doesn’t date women.’"

Emily is confused for a moment. “He doesn’t da—“ it clicks mid sentence and she is livid. “He what now?” She all but growls, tightening her hold on the cue in her hands, knuckles turning white.

Luke shrugs and goes over to the table to take a pull from his half full bottle, still not meeting her gaze. “I guess I should have figured,” he says, sounding annoyed. “Lots of cis guys are like that. I just..." he shrugs. "Thought he knew, so when I mentioned something and he asked, I wasn’t prepared for the reaction and it kinda threw me is all.” He's quiet before softly adding,"I really liked him."

Emily nods and puts a comforting hand on Luke’s furthest shoulder, squeezing him gently in a side hug. “We can kill him?" she suggests after a moment. "Make it look like an accident?”

Luke looks at her then and it’s clear by her tone and the half smirk on her face that she’s joking but there’s something in her expression that makes him feel like if he really sincerely asked, she’d ruin someone's life for him. The thought is kind of a nice reminder that Emily considers him family and he gives her a small smile, fully grinning when she adds in a feigned offhanded manner; “or at the very least, we can get Garcia to drop his FICO score.”

“Not that I’m not saying we should,” Luke assures, waving at the table to indicate it was her turn. “But, if something weird happened to his credit or something, that would just be karma, right?”

Emily nods and moving over to the pool table, replies seriously “Did you know my middle name is Karma?”

Luke laughs and leans his elbows on the table behind him. “I thought your middle name was Parker?” he teases.

“Well, yeah, but it’s for my Great-Aunt Sadie who always believed in comeuppance. Same difference.” She sank the shot she’d lined up, adding “Mark is coming to town next week. He likes you; I think you guys should go to dinner while he's here.”

Luke rolled his eyes. Mark was Emily’s best friend from London. Her incredibly handsome pansexual trans friend whom Luke got along with famously, so there wouldn't be any horrible surprises or assumptions. But Luke had never hung out with Mark just the two of them. At least, no longer than it would take Emily and JJ to come back from making out in the kitchen when they insisted they were just going to get drinks or check on dinner. Besides, Emily had had a friends with benefits arrangement with Mark that had lasted until she moved back to the DC area and got back together with JJ. “Won’t it be weird to potentially hook up with my bosses rebound relationship?” he pointed out, one eyebrow raised.

Emily shrugged. “Mark wasn’t really a 'rebound' since I don’t date men so we never dated. No romantic attraction involved there at all.” She took her shot and grinned at him over her shoulder. “Besides, does it even count as a queer friend circle if you haven’t all slept with, and or dated, at least sixty percent of the same people?”

Luke chuckled sincerely, shaking his head and feeling much better than he had earlier. “Can’t really argue with that,” he conceded. Unfortunately, there would always be people like Michael around but, then again, there’d always be people like Emily, too. And that was more important.