Matt, Stendhauser, (David)
Rating: PG-13, FRK+
Summary: Matt wonders if anyone notices them.
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my world, making no money.
Feedback: Yes, please! Feed the author!
A/N: This was written for the challenge - prompt: Matt Li and Stendhauser: anonymity - no one ever sees them. Thanks to my beta.
“Do you think they even see us?” Matt Li asked.
“Who?” Stendhauser responded, not looking up from her computer screen.
“Them,” Matt said, waving towards the glass-walled conference room where Don Eppes was talking to his team. “The field agents.”
Stendhauser glanced in the direction that Matt pointed. “Oh, when they need us.”
“But between then, we might as well not exist.”
Stendhauser smiled at Matt. “That’s not a bad thing. They let us do our job. Look, we’re like cars. You usually don’t think about your car, sitting in the garage all day, but when you need it, you really need it.”
Matt grimaced. “That’s kind of depressing.”
“Not when you have a husband and four kids at home,” Stendhauser shrugged. “I love to come to work where no one is whining at me about dirty laundry or cupcakes they need for tomorrow or what’s for dinner. Here, they just let me do my work – interesting, productive work.”
Matt smiled, amused as usual by the image of his calm, competent co-worker besieged by kids. “So, how are the kids?”
Matt listened with one ear while Stendhauser detailed the latest with her busy brood, from karate practice to mysterious messes on the Persian rug to battles with the family dog. The rest of his attention was on the meeting taking place in the conference room.
Don stood at the white board, writing something. Megan Reeves was talking, waving her expressive hands. Colby Granger was sitting on a table and looked a little distracted. But Matt’s eyes stopped, as they always did, on David Sinclair.
Matt didn’t know why he was so fascinated by David. He’d hardly exchanged five words with the field agent that weren’t directly related to a case. There was just something about David’s quiet toughness, his dry wit and intelligence, that made Matt want to get to know him better. He knew a little about David’s past, mostly through the office rumor mill, and wanted to find out more, the whys and hows of moving from Bronx kid to LA FBI agent.
It wasn’t just that, Matt had to admit to himself, it was something physical too. Matt was completely straight, but he often found himself distracted by David’s hands, his smooth well-shaped head, his rare smile, the times when he wore a black long-sleeved T-shirt. Watching David gave him a warm feeling in his stomach … and maybe farther down too.
“Earth to Li,” Stendhauser said.
Matt blinked and looked at her. “Sorry, what were you saying?”
“I could have been reciting the Gettysburg Address for all you know.”
“Sorry,” he repeated.
Stendhauser smiled and shook her head. “You’re watching him again, you know.”
“When you were asking if the field agents ever see us, you were really asking if Agent Sinclair ever sees you.”
“No, I wasn’t,” Matt said, but knew a blush was creeping across his cheeks.
“A little bit of hero worship?” Stendhauser asked, leaning closer. “Or something else?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” Matt stammered.
Stendhauser raised her eyebrows and shrugged. “Okay, but you might want to dial it back a little bit before someone less observant than me notices it.”
“Uh, um,” Matt said, his face growing darker. “Thanks for the warning.”
She chuckled and shook her head. “You should just talk to him, you know.”
“About what?” Matt asked. “What would we possibly have in common?”
“Won’t know until you try,” Stendhauser said lightly.
Matt frowned at his computer screen, trying to think how he could find out what would interest David. Then he smiled, realizing the answer was right in front of him – his computer. He didn’t have to get into David’s records, he was good at research, he could find out something about the enigmatic David Sinclair another way … As soon as he finished this computer project. Rolling his shoulders, Matt closed his eyes, impressing this most recent sighting of David into his memory, then went back to work with renewed enthusiasm.