A Not-so-Subtle Hint

Emma frowned as she watched Brennan pick up several instruments at the laboratory and then set them down again with a loud clank. "Is there any problem, Brennan?" she finally asked.

He turned around to face her, his hands in front of his chest. "I just don't see why Adam didn't allow me to go with Shal on that mission," he said with a deep grimace. "It's a dangerous mission, and I think that all of us should have gone there."

"We've already had this conversation before, Brennan. Adam wanted Shalimar and Jesse to go without us because their abilities will be much needed there. Besides, Adam said that the smaller the infiltrating unit, the better. We can't risk having us discovered because we are all there, right?" She said in what she hoped was a reasonable tone.

"I still think I should have been there." He said gruffly.

"Well, you're not." Emma smiled a little at his expression. "So you might as well wipe that look off your face, since it won't do you any good."

"I'm just worried about them." Brennan started again as he leaned over the table to look intently at her. "Adam said that that mission was an extremely dangerous one. With Shalimar, there'd be no problem, since she'll be more than able to defend herself. But what if they're caught? Jesse's going to need more than his massing and phasing to get them out of there."

"Oh, Brennan, stop being so negative. They're not going to get caught." She told him. "And stop undermining Jesse's mutant abilities."

He raised his hands in mock defense. "I'm not!" he said. "I'm just telling you what could happen." Brennan took a closer look at her. "What about you, Em? Aren't you worried?"

She straightened herself. "Of course I am," Emma said defiantly. "But unless they contact us to tell that they're in trouble, I don't think we have anything to worry about."

Brennan just shrugged at that.

A long silence followed after their brief conversation. Emma glanced at Brennan several times to find him deep in thought. She was intrigued to find out what he was thinking, but she was sure she had a pretty good idea of who he was thinking of.

Suddenly, he looked at her and smirked. "I don't think that probing into my brain is really a good idea, Em."

"I am not!" Emma said defensively. "I know better than going into your skull. If you recall, I did learn my lesson the hard way."

He just smiled briefly, checked his watch and frowned. "They're gone for two hours now," he told her. "Why haven't they contacted us yet?"

"Maybe because they're not yet at the warehouse or something. Stop worrying too much, Brennan. Come on, just sit down and try to relax or something."

"I can't just sit down, Emma, until I know that they're safe!"

"Okay," she muttered under her breath.

Emma rolled her eyes as she watched Brennan pace a few more minutes. "Burn a hole on the floor, would'ya?" she said under her breath. Then she smiled as a thought passed though her; she got a brilliant, brilliant idea that might help them pass time and help her get a better insight of Brennan's very deep - and private - feelings.

"Hey, Brennan, can I ask you something?"

He just gave her a short nod, signifying that he was listening.

"You know, I have this friend," she raised her one hand to illustrate her point, "who, I think, is in love with my other friend." She raised her other hand as well.

"So?"

"Well, this friend of mine," she moved her first hand, "is either too shy or too stupid to let my other friend know how he feels about her. And my other friend also has the same feelings for my first friend, but I don't think that she realized it yet. On one hand, I think they both don't know it yet, but others, like me, for instance, can see it with the way they act around each other, 'ya know? On the other hand, they might know that they're in love with one another, but they're just too scared to let each other know."

Brennan frowned at her. "Let me get this straight. You have these two friends of yours who's in love with each other but they don't know it yet?"

Emma smiled. "Exactly. Or they're just too chicken to tell 'em straight."

"So what are you asking me for?"

"Well I want to know why this first friend of mine can't seem to tell my second friend how he feels. I mean, it's quite simple really, but I just don't understand why he just can't seem to put it into words, you know?"

"And I repeat the question, 'so what are you asking me for'?"

Emma stood up from her chair. "I want to know the answer from a guy's perspective. I thought, hey, maybe Brennan has something to say that might actually enlighten me with this thing."

Brennan straightened himself. "And if I do have something to enlighten you, what are you going to do about it?"

"I'll give both of them a shove to the right path, or something like that."

"So you'll play little miss matchmaker?"

She grinned mischievously at him. "I like to call it divine interference. Or psionic interference. Whatever."

Brennan paused, a frown etched on his face. "Do I know these two friends of yours?"

Emma nodded. "More than you could possibly know."

"Hmm." He moved away from her and turned around so that his back was facing her. "Hmm."

"Well?" She prodded on. "Am I going to get more than just your 'hmm'?"

"Wait. How long do these two know each other?"

"Long enough to be in love with each other." Emma grimaced at him, impatience wearing her tolerance out. "What? Are you going to help me or not?"

"I'm still putting things together, Em." Brennan turned around to face her. "And I think I know who you're talking about."

She cocked her head to one side. "You do?"

"Yes, I do. And if I were you, I don't think I should do anything about it." he told her seriously.

"And why would that be?"

Brennan straightened himself up. "Because I know Shalimar." He said. "I don't think she would appreciate your 'psionic interference'. But." he then turned serious. "Do you think she's."

"In love? With my first friend? Definitely." Emma said.

"All the more reason you shouldn't interfere!" Brennan said vehemently. "If those two are going for each other, then let's just let them."

She grinned at him. "Oh, really?"

"Yes. Really." He shook his head. "You know, Em, the things you think of-"

"Well, I'm afraid if I didn't interfere, then he might not do something about it." She looked at him eye to eye. "As I've said, either he's dumb, stupid or afraid, or possibly all of the above."

Brennan smirked. "Definitely all of the above." He said. "But you shouldn't blame Jesse. I mean, after all-"

"Whoever said I was talking about Jesse?"

"What?"

"You know, you're right. Dumb, stupid and afraid really do hit the spot." Emma paused, and then walked out of the laboratory. "I was talking about you, dumbass." She called after she was gone.

Brennan was left without a word to say to anybody.

fin