It took Freya longer than she’d care to admit to figure it out. Because she was constantly in tune with Brendan’s thoughts when they were on the job, because they’d spend every waking moment together for days on end while on a case, they were always on the same wavelength. They used enough words that none of the other NSA agents made jokes about either of them being psychic, but they could understand each other with a look, because Freya knew the thoughts behind Brendan’s eyes and Brendan just knew Freya. Or so she thought.
And then one time she was sitting in a diner with Brendan after an all-night stake-out and she was almost falling asleep on her plate and she looked at her hashbrowns and thought, I need ketchup, and Brendan pushed the bottle of ketchup toward her without a word.
He’d done that a few times, responded to her thoughts, made her think she’d accidentally spoken them aloud, but this time she really hadn’t spoken.
He looked as exhausted as she felt, pale and drawn, shadows around his eyes, and he was forking up his breakfast mechanically, like he couldn’t even taste it.
The diner around them was empty, but as the morning wore on, people came in for before-work coffee or breakfast.
Across from her, Brendan began singing the Scooby Doo theme to himself in his head.
And then the diner was full, and Brendan wasn’t just singing the Scooby Doo theme to himself, he was imagining the actual version and singing along to that while he ate. And he was picturing the opening animation. How much Scooby Doo had he watched as a child?
His mental response, swift and automatic, was All the time. It kept the voices out.
Freya said, Brendan?
He swallowed a mouthful of food. “Freya? What is it?”
“Nothing. You just look - distracted.”
“I just want to get home and sleep.” And get out of this crowd.
“I’m done,” Freya said. She pushed her plate away. “Let’s go home.”