Disclaimer: jake 2.0 and all related elements, characters and indicia © Roundtable Entertainment and Viacom Productions, Inc., 2003. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations-save those created by the authors for use solely on this website-are copyright Roundtable Entertainment and Viacom Productions, Inc.
Author's note: For the LiveJournal Multifandom1000 open week, back to #13, Secrets.
Diane shoves her hands deep into her coat pocket as she walks, drawing the nubby material closer around her, as much to combat her nerves as for warmth. This is not the first time she's ever walked from her apartment to this coffee house, but it's the first time in almost six months, and while she's seen the man who's waiting for her in that time, it's been from a distance, at work, with the occasional word of conversation.
But now it's after hours, and she's going to be sitting across a table from him, talking to him, and she changed her clothes three times before she left the apartment, and she thinks she's more nervous about this than she was on the night of their first date.
Which, she tells herself, is reasonable. She has a lot more to lose this time around.
She takes a deep breath as she reaches the door of the coffee house, braces herself as she walks in. But even still, she sees him right away, sitting at their regular table, and when he sees her, he stands up and smiles, that smile that always sent her just a little bit weak at the knees, and she has to remind herself forcefully that it's not six months ago, and they're not together anymore.
But it's hard to do that when she walks to the table and he helps her off with her coat, pulls the chair out for her, and close up she can see those amazing eyes of his.
They exchange small talk until the waitress takes their order, and then Kyle makes his opening gambit. "I wasn't sure you'd come," he says frankly, and she smiles.
"Neither was I," she tells him, and he smiles too, inclining his head in acknowledgement. "But then I thought that we should probably talk. Out of the office."
"It would seem to be in order." The words, and the tone in which they are uttered, tell her that he's as uncomfortable as she is, and the thought relaxes her somewhat. Or at least, it does until an awkward silence surrounds them.
After a minute, she breaks it, shaking her head. "This is crazy," she says. "We never used to have problems talking."
Kyle chuckles. "I remember many all-nighters," he allows. "And it's not even as if there's really anything to talk about."
"No, because I'm the only one who knows enough about the... nanites..." She lowers her voice and leans forward slightly on the last word. "To be able to observe Jake."
"And there's no-one who deserves that promotion more than you." His praise warms her cheeks and she looks down, then up at him through her eyelashes when he continues. "Look, I know what Lou told Jake... about the team... but if you think we can't work together, then"
"Kyle, no!" she interrupts, shocked. "If there's anyone who should be training Jake, it's you... he couldn't have a better mentor."
Now it's his turn to look down, chuckling. "I don't know about that," he demurs.
"Well, I do." She lifts her chin, holds her head up high, because she knows she's right.
Kyle shrugs, but a smile still hovers around the edges of his lips, and she feels an answering twitch, has to fight hard to keep it back. "So," he says, leaning back in his seat. "I guess my next question is... do we tell people? About us?"
Her eyes grow wide. "There's nothing to tell," she says. "At least, not any more there isn't... we dated, now we don't, there's no reason why anyone needs to know..." Because they hadn't told people when they were dating, when they hardly saw one another at work, so why tell people so long after the fact? He doesn't reply, just lifts an eyebrow, so she continues, knowing she's babbling, but unable to stop. "I mean, unless you think it's going to affect our work... but we just said it's not, and isn't there a chance that it Director Beckett finds out about it that she wouldn't let us work together anyway?"
She has to pause for breath then, and he gives her a look that makes her think he knows more than he's telling her. "Diane, I'm pretty sure Lou already knows."
Diane's a doctor, and she's pretty sure no-one's eyes have ever literally fallen out of their head, but right now, it's a close run thing. "You told her?"
Her horrified whisper has him shaking his head. "No... just the way she looked when she told me that she got the go-ahead for the team, told me that we'd be working together... I swear, the woman's got some kind of psychic ability..." He looks at her curiously then, eyes narrowed. "What other kind of research do we have going on down there anyway?"
The joke makes her laugh, and she's still laughing when the waitress puts down their coffees. "You could always make me laugh," she murmurs as she stirs in her sugar, more to herself than him, but when she looks back up at him, there's a look on his face that's almost tender. It sends her spiralling back in time, and her palm itches to cover his.
Then he looks down, and the moment is broken.
"So," he says, all business. "We're agreed... this... us... is our secret?"
She nods slowly. "Our secret," she agrees, holding out her hand. After only a second's pause, he takes it, his palm warm against hers, and she swears a jolt of electricity runs the length of her spine.
But any sparks between them are in the past, and their secret, so she takes a sip of her coffee and listens as he tells her about Jake and exactly what he saw at the research facility.
She listens, and if his smile still makes her knees a little weak, if she feels those still-same sparks, then that's a secret for her alone to keep.