A Note from the Management: Rendered AU after the Third Watch crossover (TW: "In the Family Way", MI: "Half Life") for the arbitrary basis that instead of the reasonable timeline: Frank arrives before Natalie and Connor and Miles and Eva arrive sometime before or between; Natalie and Connor got back first and Frank was in limbo. Also, there is a lengthy Lost reference herein. I don't claim to own the game; in fact, I think it belongs to the frat boys of the world.
I'll be waiting. Eva's own words trailed lazily through her mind as she quietly surveyed her sterile environment: rigid plastic chairs, white walls, and official-looking personnel striding in and out the door. When you came down to it, this was what she was paid to do: to wait, and worry, and mollify the press, and field calls. She let her eyes track the progress of a mother and her toddler through the room, and thought of the pregnant woman in the operating room. The woman's little girl stirred beside her.
"Hey," Eva said.
"How's my mommy?" the girl asked, shifting on the chair.
"She's finished with surgery and she's resting now, but Dr. McCabe will send someone as soon as she's ready for visitors." The girl nodded, and curled back up. Eva leaned her head against the wall and slumped in her chair, staring blankly at the clock as it leisurely ticked in a slow, deliberate fashion.
Eva sat up with a start, whacking her elbow on the cold metal arm of the chair as she regained a more dignified position.
"Is she ready?"
The man nodded. "Follow me."
Gently waking the girl again, Eva tagged along after the doctor through the winding hallways of the hospital. As they entered the room, Miles looked up at her and smiled. She came to stand by him, and they watched the child enthusiastically greet her mother.
"I wonder how Stephen and Natalie are doing," Eva said, breaking the comfortable silence.
"You know them, they'll have found the cause and flown back to Boston by now. They're probably sitting around at HQ right now, wondering where the hell we are."
Eva grinned. "You're right, but that's not what I meant." Miles gave her an appraising look. "What I meant was, I wonder how they're coming along, not their case."
"What, you think they're…" He let the rest of the sentence hang.
Eva opened her mouth to reply, but was cut off by the woman.
"Can I see my baby now?" she asked.
"Of course, but I don't think you should walk quite yet," Miles answered.
"I'll get a wheelchair," Eva volunteered, making a swift retreat.
A few hours later, Miles wheeled the mother and her newest daughter into the lobby as Eva and the older girl walked alongside.
"And here's where we let you go," Miles said.
"Thank you, both of you, so much," the woman said, beaming at them.
"You're more than welcome," Eva told her.
"Wait- before you go… would you like to hold her?" The mother spoke to Eva, and upon a nod of assent, she carefully transferred her baby to her.
Eva cradled the baby, an enchanted smile making its way across her features as she whispered to the infant. Miles watched her, and remembered several previous instances of watching her watch the patients, amazed every time by the tenderness and delight she showed visibly, at ease with displaying her emotion.
His hand hovered at her waist as he reached with the other to gently tickle the baby's cheek. The tiny girl burbled happily, and Eva laughed, shifting the baby back to her mother.
"Thanks," she said.
Miles and Eva watched the family wheel slowly out of the room, and Eva glanced up at Miles. "Shall we be on our way?"
"Let's get outta here." He offered her his arm, and she laughed again, hooking her elbow in his.
It was some hours later that Miles and Eva walked into HQ, arguing loudly.
"Do you pay any attention whatsoever to the people around you?" she asked.
"Of course I do, and I don't see anything between Natalie and Connor."
"Then you aren't looking hard enough!"
"This conversation is over for now," he said. She began to protest, and he cut her off. "We're already here, and I do not want them thinking we regularly talk about them when they're not listening."
"Where are they, anyways?"
"You talking about Natalie and Connor? They're still in New York." Frank appeared before them in the door of the break room.
Miles stared at Frank. "They're where?"
"They told me to go on without them. Natalie left first, and I think Connor went after her, but he said to take the helo back, so I did."
A knowing smirk spread over Eva's face. "I'm not going to say I told you so, because that's far too cliché for me." She entered the room and settled on the couch, addressing her next statement to Frank. "Did he look worried?"
"Who, Connor? Yeah, I guess."
Eva smirked at Miles some more.
"Hey, wait, how do you know that he wasn't just worried about her because they're friends?" Miles protested. Eva gave him a patronizing look and held up her hand.
"I have nothing to say to you."
"I don't know about you two, but I'm clocking out," Frank said, heading for the door. "See you Monday."
"Bye," Eva called after him. She turned to Miles. "And I don't know about you… but I plan on waiting for Natalie and Stephen to get back."
"I'm up for it," he said. "I'll wait, and we'll find out firsthand that I'm right and you're wrong."
"What do you wanna bet?"
"Bragging rights?" Miles tried.
"Uh-uh. Not gonna work on me. We're talking cold hard cash or nothing."
"Twenty?" he offered.
"Fifty," Eva countered.
"Forty's my final offer."
There was silence.
"This is gonna take forever, isn't it?" Miles asked.
"Let's make a deal," Eva said after a moment's pause.
"What do you propose, Ms. Rossi?"
"Give them an hour, maybe two. After that, we assume they went to dinner and are staying overnight, and you admit defeat and cough up forty bucks."
"Oh, so that's how you wanna play." She leaned against the arm of the couch, stretching her legs out, and Miles perched at the other end. "Fine. You can have your deal, but only because I don't plan on sitting here for hours on end waiting for them to come back."
Eva extended her hand, and Miles shook it.
"Do you ever think about it?" Eva said.
"Think about what?"
"I guess so," he said. "Why?"
"Don't the cases make you think about things? Or is it just me?" She cocked her head and gazed at Miles, who slouched against his side of the couch, settling his legs next to her.
"Yeah, sure," he said.
"Do you just enjoy living passively?" Eva was grinning at him again.
"Think about it. Every question I ask, the answer is 'sure' or 'I guess', never a definite yes or no. So the question is, can you contribute to the conversation?"
"Of course I can contribute to the conversation," he objected. She gave him an appraising look.
"So do you want to have children?"
"Someday? Yeah. When I find the right girl. You?"
"I've wanted to since I was little. I love kids."
He was quiet.
"I have an idea," Miles said suddenly. "Let's play 'I Never'." He stood up and began rummaging through the fridge.
"I Never. You say "I never" and then you complete the sentence. Easy, huh? If you have done whatever it is, then you take a drink. Usually, it's played with hard liquor, but under the circumstances…" He held up two cans of soda.
"Why not," she said. "You go first."
"I," Miles began, "never kissed a man." Eva made a face at him and sipped the soda.
"I never… traveled out of the U.S." Miles drank from his can and grinned at Eva.
"School trip to Europe, summer of junior year. I never went to senior prom."
"Really?" Eva looked amused. "I would've thought you were the popular guy."
"Nah, not really. Your turn."
"I've never been in love," Eva said thoughtfully. Miles swigged some more soda, and she smiled softly.
"Never dated for more than three months at a time," he said. She took a sip.
"In high school," she said. "I thought you've been in love."
"I have," he said.
"Oh, I see how it is. I never pined for someone."
Miles threw his head back and downed half his can. Eva slowly raised her own and clinked it against his, taking a long drink.
"Cheers," she said.
"Who are we toasting?"
The duo looked sharply up to the doorway. Natalie and Stephen stood there, clearly amused at the scene before them. It took a moment, but even Miles noticed the way their hands brushed, Connor's unusually relaxed posture, and Natalie's slightly glowing face.
"You owe me big time," Eva said to Miles, swinging her legs to the ground and stretching. He yawned, dragging himself up off the sofa. She held out her hand, but instead, he took her by the arm, leading her out the doorway.
"I hear forty bucks is about the price of dinner these days," Stephen and Natalie heard Miles tell Eva as he led her down the hallway.
Stephen turned to Natalie.
"Did I miss something?"