Beneath the Surface, Above the Core
Summary: What Grace might have been thinking in certain scenes that included a certain geek.

Author's Note: One of Season 1's worst moments (right up there with Iris and Ascension) was when Luke "moved on" to Glynis. The popular theory seems to be that Grace gave him the brush-off, I think he was just an idiot. Grace appeared fine with the 180, even though we all know she digs Luke. Here's my take on what went on from Grace's POV. I hope you enjoy it.

The fist section is in reference to The Uncartainty Principle, the second and third reference Jump, and the last one references State of Grace (A completely sucky place to leave off, I know). I don't spend any time explaining what happened in the scenes, because I failed to take into account not everyone has watched these scenes 300 million times. I'm sorry if it's confusing. Let me know what you think. :)

This is kind of painful, but I had to do it in order to make sense out of the situation. After "Silence" re-airs (I messed up the VCR last time grumble), I might pick up and do the scenes from The Gift and the finale, which will make it happier.

Unquestioned Motives

It was one kiss.

I did it because I was tired of the stupid comments by his stupid friend and his stupid assumptions. And we danced so I didn't have to listen to the parasite anymore. When I'm mad, I get physical, and dancing is physical.

So why was it such a rush, and why could I still feel him?

"I...uh...the....the kiss..." he stammered as we walked home after the dance. Dang it. I knew this was gonna happen. He was going to make something more of this. Ask me what it meant, want to define our relationship.

"Look..." I started, but he interrupted me.

"No, Grace. I get it. It was an instinctive reaction to Friedman's erroneous assumptions. Or—or, perhaps, not erroneous, but definitely irrelevant. It was an automatic response to stop any and all discussion of whether you're—of the topic. Nothing more. And—and that's fine. I completely understand that there was nothing more to it..."

"Yeah...OK." I nodded.

I don't think he even heard me. He kept on rambling on about how irrational behavior can be caused by the stress of a new situation, or even too much stimuli, but then rational thought returns, and the scientifically sound thing to do was to disregard said irrational behavior.

Good. We're clear. And it's not going to take some long, angst-filled yap-fest to figure it out.

He doesn't even consider that it could be more.

The Irritatingly Awkward

He hasn't tried anything. Hasn't called, hasn't asked for a second date. Nothing. Unless you call working on the science fair project a date. Which, unfortunately, would probably count in his mind of theorems and equations.

So when he showed me the final project, he told me that he "really enjoyed our collaboration. And feels like our intellects and approaches really complement each other." Was that his way of hitting on me? He might as well have been talking to his grandmother, or, I don't know, the Parliament. Who talks like that?

"Stop, stop. You're embarrassing me with your dirty talk." I razzed.

He looked away and went back to his computer, turning all sorts of red. I barely contained my laughter at his expression.

It's so fun to see him squirm.

Near Miss

I knew that if I partnered up with him for the Science Fair, we'd do something worth seeing. Something that made participating in this melee worth it. I was wrong. A virtual model, a picture on a computer screen, wasn't worth the space it would take on the display table. I was seriously thinking of blowing the whole thing off. It's not like I had helped a lot, anyway, and he didn't need my help to show off a computer. But when his computer and the virtual cyber model was confiscated by the FBI, I decided to not ditch the fair, and suggested we build the rail gun.

I'm not a science geek, but working all night to get the thing working was kind of exhilarating; our hands and minds were able to create this machine out of steel and scraps. I understand why Rove creates sculptures. Building something out of nothing is real power.

We were done, and I suddenly realized we were standing very close to one another. Close enough that I could smell him. An undistinguishable scent that I couldn't name but recognized from the night we kissed. Distinctly his. I brought myself to look up at him, and saw his gaze intently on me, a charge rising between us as we stood there. If he had leaned in, without speaking, without warning, I wouldn't have been able to do anything but close my eyes and...

"Remember when you kissed me at the semiformal?"

His words pulled me back to myself, away from his eyes and lips and skin. As quickly as the electricity mounted, it died. Fizzled, actually, like air going out of a balloon.

"Forget it." I said and walked out.

As I walked home in the early dawn, I stuffed my hands into my coat pockets and held them against my body to keep them from trembling. What had happened? This guy—kid, really, my friend's kid brother—affected me in ways that I had never been affected before. I figured it was because he was the one and only person in the world that looked at me like that. Of all the stupid reasons to date in high school—and most every reason was a stupid reason—dating someone simply because they liked you was the stupidest of them all. I wasn't the type of person to get all swoony and weak-kneed when someone starts shooting puppy dog eyes at me.

I'm anti, I don't feel this way about anything, especially a science geek who is younger than me. He's my classmate, the brother of my friend. Nothing else.

A thought kept returning, no matter how many times I pushed it away: why couldn't he have kept his mouth shut?

Stunned Recognition

I wasn't prepared for what I saw when I headed down the hall to Joan's debate.

When I first saw out of the corner of my eyes the pair leaning towards one another, I figured they were just another horny couple that couldn't keep themselves in check for 20 seconds. As I came to the auditorium door, I looked at the couple again. I recognized her first; it seemed to take my brain an eternity to process who was in front of her. I don't know why I took another look in the first place; I usually avoid watching spit swapping at all costs.

My breath caught unwillingly in my throat and I leaned into the lockers beside me. I knew she had a thing for him. Anyone with eyes knew she had a thing for him. Her hands were on his shoulders, and his hands were at her waist as they explored one another with their lips. Why couldn't I move? I didn't want to be there.

They pulled apart, and she stared at him, with the same nervousness she always had around him, then grabbed her things and rushed pass. I supposed it was inevitable that they would hook up. They made sense. More sense than—well, more sense than any other ideas he might have been entertaining. He turned to watch her, and caught my gaze. They'd be good together. She would know that she was lucky to have him, and he'd get what he deserved. I felt my face quirk into a smile before I turned, and walked into the auditorium.

She's just the type to get all giddy when he says stupid things like, "I feel like our intellects and approaches really complement each other."