|No Secrets Around Here
Author: JellyBeanDiva PM
Eric didn't share information with Calleigh, and Calleigh's a little irked.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,748 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 5 - Published: 06-13-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3592104
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This seems a little random, but it kind of popped into my head. Enjoy!
She sat on the edge of his desk, crossed her legs, and watched him notice her.
He walked into his doorway and stood silently, hands in his pockets, expecting her to speak first. She let her eyes meet his, and smiled, and waited him out.
"Calleigh," he finally said. "What's going on?"
"What's going on?" she replied cheerfully, throwing her shoulders back. "Erik Delko is going on, my friend. On and on like a -- what does a fast guy on a bike go on like?"
"Like he's going to beat the devil," Eric offered, letting his shoulder jostle against the door frame.
"Like he's going to beat the devil!" Calleigh clasped her hands. "This is why you're you."
"Yes." He bounced a little on his heels. "You know what they say, don't you? I'm me and you're you."
"They say that?"
"Someone said that. You're sitting in front of my computer."
Calleigh made a confused face. "This isn't Ryan's computer?"
"Ryan's computer is over there. And you know that. So if you're done doing your blond impression--"
"Don't say things like that," she said sharply.
Eric took a step forward. "What?"
"Don't make little cracks, especially at the expense of people like Ryan or Natalia."
"What did I ever say about Ryan or Natalia?"
She snapped her fingers at him. "I don't have documentation. I'm telling you, everyone here knows full well that they have flaws and inconsistent personalities, and God knows you're not above any of that, and I don't like to see your nose in the air."
He crossed the office and sat down on the couch. "Wow."
"Don't wow me." She turned to face him, pointing her toe accusingly in his direction. "Not to mention everybody else around here. Everyone on our team, everyone doing trace and DNA, and the other guys -- you know, they go to lunch and they sit around the table saying, 'Eric's a complete tool!'"
He blinked. "Really?"
"If I was one of them, I would." Calleigh said with a grin.
"I honestly don't understand where this is all coming from."
Her eyes widened in sadness. "Of course you do. You're not oblivious, Eric, and neither am I."
His eyes widened in recognition. "You heard."
"Did you think you could talk to Lyndon Pierce and have it slip totally under my radar?" She stood up, folding her arms. "Of course I heard. Of course. How long were you planning on not telling me?"
Eric tilted his head back and rested it on the top of the couch. "It wasn't that I wasn't going to tell you--"
"Oh? You were just going to not say anything and let me try and guess it from a complicated system of hand signals?"
"Something like that."
"Congratulations. It worked."
He groaned. "This, this song and dance is why I don't tell you things sometimes."
Calleigh rolled her eyes. "When Lyndon Pierce called me last spring, not only did I not call him back, I made fun of him loudly in the lab for a week."
"I compared him unfavorably to that guy on American Idol who couldn't sing."
"I remember that too."
"You called him back, Eric." She stopped pacing and stood near the window. "You had lunch with him and you let him tell you all about the wonderful things he's got over in his lab at the university, and how his top researcher and professor is on his way out and how happy you'd be if you came over to his big shiny lab in the sky."
"And then I said no," he pointed out.
"And then you said no. But you had lunch with him and came back here and didn't tell anyone but Dan in AV."
"Dan told you?"
"Dan told me," she mocked. "Don't you know better? He's got six kinds of weird loyalties to you and he wouldn't tell on you any more than a priest or a lawyer or a shrink. Dan didn't tell me. But Tyler tricked him into confirming a rumor, and Natalia mentioned it to Ryan, and--" She threw her hands up. "This place is like a damn echo chamber. You're telling me that after all these years you thought this kind of thing stays a secret? You really are a massive tool."
"I was delaying this." He tapped his fingers on his knee. "I knew you'd turn it into something it wasn't."
"What was it?"
Calleigh shook her head. "If it was nothing then it wouldn't have been enough to not tell me. Going on a serious interview is something."
Eric wrinkled his forehead. "Tons of sense, you're making there."
"We talk about nothing all the time."
"And when we do, it turns into these endless conversational loops." He gestured at the open doorway. "We can talk for three days about someone's facial hair. Is it so crazy that I wanted to avoid a week of harassment because I had lunch with Lyndon Pierce before I told him politely to take his job and shove it? You get job offers every two weeks."
"I do." Calleigh reached for the desk chair and pulled it over, sitting down sideways. "And frankly, a woman who was really centered on advancing her career would probably give them a lot more consideration than I ever do."
"She might," Eric agreed nervously.
"But if I did that, if I started weighing things that way, I'd become Sally Staton. And I don't want to be Sally." She pushed at a lock of hair that had fallen into her eyes. "I don't want you guys to think of me the way people think of Sally."
"Who's Sally?" Eric asked cautiously.
"She's the girl from the academy that wheedled, manipulated and slept her way through the ranks."
He opened and closed his mouth a few times. "I wouldn't -- I mean, we don't--"
She held up a finger. "Save it. Look, here's the thing. I tell you when I've gotten job offers from people who would probably pay me more and give me a bigger lab. I tell you, I tell everyone, and we laugh, and it's fine. You can't not tell me."
"Why does it have to be a big deal?"
"When Lyndon Pierce calls me it's a joke. When Lyndon Pierce meets with you and you try and keep it a secret, that's a threat."
"A threat?" he repeated incredulously.
"They pay you more than we do," she said softly. "In the circles we move in, in this job and these circumstances, that makes perfect sense. And I'm not questioning that. You're talented. And whether it's true or not there are plenty of people who believe Natalia or Tyler or Joe Blow could step into my shoes, but your talent in the field and the lab is what makes this lab a lab."
"That's not true."
"I know it's true!" Calleigh exclaimed.
"I like it here."
"I know you do."
"I know you know, but you're not acting like you know."
She scoffed. "Now who's not making sense?"
He stood up and walked toward her. "I like it here. I don't want to go work for Lyndon Pierce or anyone else. I wouldn't be a CSI on my own any more than you would. I didn't see any reason to get you worrying about the meeting; it was nothing. Less than nothing. And you could never be Sally Staton, Calleigh; it's not in your makeup."
It was quiet for a moment. "Well," she said.
"Well, don't just stand here, go do good things and ride to glory."
"Yeah, that made sense." He held his hands out. "You're on my desk."
"Oh. Right." She stood up. "There. It's all yours."
"Yours and Ryan's, I mean."
"I thought that went unspoken."
Calleigh took a backward step toward the door. "I should probably go quell the rumors that have already started circulating about this conversation."
"Yeah. You don't want to let it get out that I was right."
"You weren't right. I was right. You should have talked to me."
She exaggerated a sigh. "Lyndon Pierce wouldn't know how to handle you."
Eric grinned at her. "And he certainly wouldn't know how to handle you."
Calleigh returned the smile. "Damn skippy. Now, work please."
"Okay." He glided the chair obligingly over to the desk and typed away at the computer.
She stood in the doorway a little longer. He paused with his fingers resting lightly on the keyboard, watching her observe him from the corner of his eyes. She waited him out, and when he began to type, she chuckled to herself and walked away.
Eric stared after Calleigh as she walked away. A grin spread across his face, as he considered the hell that it would be to work in a place without Calleigh.