Walter's thoughts on Paige during episode 1x06

"Does this look ok?"

As Paige slowly turned, Walter literally felt myself wanting to lean in towards her. The pull he had been feeling the last six weeks had him lost. It didn't make any logical sense that he should have an urge to be so physically close to someone he barely knew, but he felt it none the less; and now more than ever!

"Brava!"

And just like that he was thrown back down to earth, and rather unwelcomingly reminded that the rest of the team, and Hetty, were also there with them.

"Really?"

He knew this was the moment when he was supposed to say something, but all he could do was nervously sway as if he was ten and about to give a book report in English class.

"YES!"

There it was. It was out, and there was no taking it back. What was she doing to him? Lately EQ had been practically gushing out of him. And oh god, she's looking straight at him! And he couldn't tell if she's smiling out of happiness or awkward discomfort, because he basically just told her she was beautiful in the least sophisticated way possible.

"You silver tonged devil you."

Thank you Tobey. Like he didn't already know that! Like he didn't already know that this was Paige. Paige who was compassionate, and patient, and brave, and understanding. Who saw him, really saw him, and still looked at him like she was impressed with him. Not bored, or annoyed, or exasperated, but proud and happy. Paige who supports and responds to Ralph in a way that makes him wish he could just be considered part of that family unit. God Ralph, she was so great with Ralph. And Sylvester, and Tobey, and happy. Oh who was he kidding?! This was Paige! She wasn't like them; she could have anyone. ANYONE! Why would she consider someone as complicated as him? And there it was. She wouldn't, and they had a job to do; so he needed to pull his head out of whatever this was and focus. EQ and backless dresses be damned!

"Last name?"

He was bubbling with curiosity, ready to test his hypothesis.

"Gauguin."

And there it was, she was smiling! He wondered if she realized that she was the only person that could do that to him. Make him focus in on something, and try to find a way to so her that he was paying attention. It was no secret that he'd been accused of being unable to connect emotionally with past "girlfriends", but Paige made him want to try more. She made him feel like that connection had worth, not just superficial meaning imposed by society, but an actual place in his life.

"Looks just like my apartment."

Oh, right, the mission.

"Focus. We may never recover that painting unless we get Labou's data wherever he is."

"Got him. Let's dance next to him."

Let's what? Nonononononono!

"There has to be a more efficient way."

"This is the most efficient way."

As her hand slipped into his own he fought the urge to clench it both out of fear and desire.

"Hmmmmmmm"

Oh god oh god he couldn't do this!

"You ready?"

How exactly was he ever supposed to be ready for this? First of all this is dancing! Second of all this is dancing with Paige! Third this is dancing with Paige in a backless dress!

"Nope."

"We're a couple, remember?"

No. No they weren't, because he didn't do well in relationships, and he was her employer, and a dozen other reasons that he couldn't focus on enough to think of right now.

"Do you know where to put your hands?"

Of course he knew where to put his hands, but there was no way he was putting them there.

"You're not pushing me on a swing, lower."

Ok, he touching her and it seemed to be going fine. And god her skin was soft!

"Lower."

How is it that all she was saying was lower? Was his hand pressed against her to tightly? Was that fact that his fingertips were grazing every space between her dress and her skin a bad thing?

"Lower."

He was trying to figure out if this was purely the mission or something else for her, doing his best to find the answer in her eyes, hating that it was nothing like finding an answer in a math problem! God he hated Tobey at that moment...

"Good now keep it there at the small of my back."

...And he was dancing with Paige. With his hand holding the small of her back.

"That's not bad. Easy right?"

Logically sure…

"Basic mathematics…"

Then again he was dancing with her.

"Count the beats, four-four time, seventy six beats per minute."

Shut up.

"That explains it."

He was the world's biggest idiot, and at that moment he heard Tobey's voice saying, you silver tonged devil you, and firmly decided he was smacking him next time they saw each other

"You know why geniuses can't dance, because we have two left brains."

And just like that her smile was contagious

"Walter did you just make a joke?"

How was he supposed to tell her that he had only done it for her?

"I used world play to manipulate a common phrase."

"Well it's a start. I think your experiment is starting to work."

I'm only doing this for you, he thought to himself again; and if we weren't in the crowded room, he may even be unhinged enough to try and kiss her. He wondered how she would react to that.

"Download will complete in fifteen seconds."

He was shocked by the realization that he wasn't ready to let her go.

"Oh no! Malfunction Walter! The cloning device reset. You have to start the download all over again."

"We have to keep dancing."

"Ok."

Is that a smile? Is she smiling? Could she possible be as happy about three more minutes of dancing with him, as he was about three more minutes of holding her? And what was coming over him that all he wanted was to hold her closer: if that was even possible. And worse, the strange sensation he couldn't place at the satisfaction lowering his hand was giving him.

"May I cut in?"

NO!

"I can't not dance with the most beautiful woman at my party."

OH, LOOK AT YOU MR CLEVER! YES, YOU CAN "NOT DANCE"!

"Ninety seconds. Stall Walter."

Damn it.

"Uh, well if it's alright with you honey."

He knew she couldn't, but he still wanted to hear her say no.

"Ummm, I'd be delighted."

And at that moment he decided he hated this man.

"I'll just be over there honey."

Had he really just called her honey? Twice! Honey? Really, that's what he had come up with!

*Turns back and looks again. (Secretly hoping she's looking over her shoulder at him.)

"Huh hum, ok how much longer?!"

..Till she was out of his arms and back with him.

"Eighty seconds and counting."

Longest eighty seconds of his life.

"How much time left?"

"Thirty seconds. Will you stop asking. That's like the fourth time! What's gotten into you anyway?"

WHAT'S GOTTEN INTO ME IS HE'S HOLDING HER AND SPINNING HER AND I WANT HER BACK!

"Walter, we got it."

"Ok."

FINALLY! Ok, now, be cool.

"Excuse me, may I."

MINE!...Thank God her hand was holding his again.

"Speaking stupid French"

REALLY! REALLY!

"Okay."

SERIOUSLY, MINE! LET GO!

"Download complete?"

Thankfully…

"Download complete."

"The art world is supposed to be rarified air. Instead it's full of thieves! This guy stole it from the museum, who stole it from the Muller family. This is the intellectual elite?"

"I thought you didn't care about art?"

"I'm faking it remember?"

"Sounds awfully real."

Oh no.

"Somewhere along the line you had a breakthrough! You're improving!"

Not exactly. More like this is something you love, and it frustrates me that people are messing with something you love.

#other stuff LOL

"Paige, take this to Hetty. It can't be discussed over the phone, she'll understand."

"What's this about?"

"Read it, you'll see."

…And hopefully be impressed with me.

"Oh, I'm going to need to take your car as well, for the Wi-Fi. You take the van, and hurry. I appreciate it."

Wow, that was good. Ok run, before you say something stupid and screw it up.

"Danka! Thank you!"

"Let's keep this between us."

"Oh and don't hang it near your window Ms. Muller."

"Let me walk you to your car."

"No one will know about this?"

"Not Interpol. Not Cabe. No one. Before you said that painting was meaningless. Now, you broke the law to return it to its rightful owner."

"I agree to appreciate its subtle beauty and lyrical composition."

How was that? Did you buy it? *Glare from Hetty* Guess not.

"Fine, I still don't get it."

"You know, I saw the way the Duke of Guillemot looked at Countess Stephanie, and I saw the way you looked at Paige. Something made you understand that family's connection to the painting. Something…"

More like someone.

"…Or someone."

OH SHIT! AM I REALLY THAT SEE THROUGH?