Captain Page paused during his morning debriefing to allow his nose to really concentrate. The mans nose sniffed the air like a dog's would, trying to pick up a scent. He eyed the little fella who just entered headquarters with the eyes of a man who had spent nearly his entire life finding the truth, sniffing (no punn intended) out liars, and just being a natural born detective. He was not alone on this. O'Malley also was watching Carl with great interest, a look of disbelief showing on his face. O'Malley's partner struggled to keep professional, and polite, as she distracted herself with jotting down notes in her handbook. Jonathan was perched forward in his office chair, obviously dumbstruck, (nothing new for him) at this new bit of information that just walked in. Page, always being graceful with his words, and never blunt, spoke first.
"Carl!" His booming voice snapped the gathering crowd back into reality. "Why don't you stink?"
Carl brushed nonexistant lint off of his newly pressed shirt and took a seat next to Detective Benson, reclining back as if the world belonged soley to him.
"Did O'Malley throw you in the tank of bleach again?" The superiors eyes darted back and forth from Nick to Carl, looking for one of them to confirm his conclusion.
"No, last time I did, the 1,700 gallons of bleach needed to be replaced. It was too dirty to use after that. Tank needed to be sanatized to. Lotta man hours went into that. The lab made me promise never to dunk Carl in the bleach tank again." Nick took a moment, and for a moment, the thought of never flipping the gnome over his head into the yellow liquid again showed on his face. He looked sad. Kate patted his shoulder, as if to console him.
For a second, the Captains irritance was directed to O'Malley. "And your damn lucky I didn't take that cost out of your salary." Nick nodded, smirking.
"Carl!" The Captain was going to get his answer.
"I'm seeing someone." Carl said matter of factly. "And last night, we took a bath together. Actually, it wasn't just her and I, it was my fiancee, her sister, a friend of hers, and another friend of hers. We all played this lovely little game called hide the soap and the rules are..."
"Ugh!" Kate looked like she was going to be sick, resting her hand on her stomach, she turned away. Nick made sure Carl was looking at him when he made a face of pure disgust. Page was so shaken by the gnomes description of the evening before, he shook his head and walked away. He figured the solitude of his over looking office would shield him from the insanity of headquarters. "Jonathan, bring them all up to date on the new link." Page turned around as he reached the steps that would take him to the solitary confines of his office. "And Jonathan, close your mouth."
Nick leaned in on Kate, "You know those quarter machines for kids in the stores? There is a new one filled with lifesize plastic bugs. I'm trying for a fly. When I get one, I am going to place it on Jonathans tongue. All I keep getting are the centapedes, though." Kate rolled her eyes. "Hey, flycatcher, let's move on the debriefing, some of us haven't eaten breakfast yet today and would like to."
"What?" Life returned to Jonathans eyes again as he snapped out of it. "Oh, yeah, right, ok, so here's our latest link, I will let the drawing speak for itself." He punched a few buttons on his computer, bringing up a photo. For the second time that day, headquarters were left miffed.
"The link were after is cream style corn?" Nick paid no attention to the shhing that came beside him. It was just Kate, and he knew, if she was honest, she was thinking the very same thing.
"No. My research is in my briefcase. I had to improvise. Improvisation is the key to sucess, ya know." Jonathan said, looking proud of himself.
Kate laughed. "Why do you have a briefcase, I never saw you carry one before."
"It's new, and yes, I have one. A big one." Jonathan said innocently.
"We all have big ones." Nick said smuggly. "Well, aside from Carl."
Kate looked at Nick, who had his eyes on Carl. Carl didn't look pleased with O'Malley's comment.
Without looking at her, Nick added one for Kate. "Get your mind out of the gutter, Kate. I meant briefcases."
"Sure ya did. Can we get on with the show, here?"
"Ok, the Link were after is..."
"The Barry Manilow of Giants." Nick scoffed.
Kate threw her hands in the air.
"Um, no. Giant's don't, um, sing, O'Malley." Jonathan looked confused.
"Than do you want to tell me why the Jolly Green Giant is wearing purple bows in his hair and has a pink tu-tu on?" Nick was enjoying ever minute of this.
"It's marker, and I was trying to illustrate that the Giant we're after is a female."
Nick again looked at his partner. "Did he just get through an entire sentence without saying the word "um?"
"Listen!" Kate scolded. "Jonathan, why didn't you just put up one of your photos of the Link actually responsible for this mess?" Resonable question.
Jonathan looked to the ground, than nervously to the above overlooking Captain Page. "I forgot my combination." He muttered.
"Instead of giving Jonathan a locker here, can we just get him a little hook with his name inside the picture of a fish or baby chicken or something?" Cracked O'Malley.
"Ok, Jonathan, if we are dealing with a Giant, why can't we easily see it?"
Jonathan pointed his finger at the blonde detective. "Good question, Kate." He pressed a couple more buttons on his computer, bringing up another picture of a regular looking woman with the same markered bows in her hair. "I got this picture from my mom's Woman's Day magazine. And the answer is, because they can chaaaaange into a human being looking thingy at will."
"Thingy?" Nick mocked his choice of words.
"The thing about Giants is they are notoriously envious and horribly jealous. Their self esteem is so low, ya know, cuz they are...ah, Giants, that they will themselves to be what they aren't, but they can only do this eight months out of the year."
"So, where do they go the other four months of the year, when they are in Giant form?" Another reasonable question from Kate.
"I don't know."
"Well do we know anything about them, like what kind of climate or area they are most likely to want to be in for those four months?"
"Do we know when this particular Giant's time as a human is up? When she will have to retreat for places unknown?"
"No." Jonathan looked like a pouting child as he rested his eyes on the ground.
"Do we know how to kill it?" O'Malley chimed in, getting a shove from Kate.
Nick sat with Kate in a bar after work over dinner, pretending to half tune her out as she badgered him on being too cocky at the meeting. It amused him when she did this, which is why he did it so often. She rambled on until a womans voice interupted her.
Both off duty detectives looked up to see a very plain Zoe standing to the right of their table. "Zoe, when did you get back?" Nick stood up and hugged her, offering her a seat next to him. Kate gnashed her teeth. Before the woman sat down, she eyed Kate hereself. "Ah, this is my partner, Kate Benson. Kate, this is Zoe."
Always the classy Kate, she extended her hand to the woman, putting her own feelings aside. "Hi, it's nice to meet you, again."
The woman's smile tightened, but she shook Kate's hand anyway, sitting close to Nick. "Likewise." She than dismissed Kate by turning her body towards Nick. "I got in last week. Work brought me back."
Kate pretended to be busy finishing her dinner while the two caught up on their lives, though she was listening to every word, growing green with jealousy. Nick attempted several times to include her in the conversation, but Zoe was good at a subject change. Everytime Kate bit into a french fry, she imagined it was Zoe's plain jane little head.
"We should go grab a drink, I mean, if you two are done." Zoe said, for the first time looking at Kate.
"In other words, you want me out of the picture as soon as possible. Good move." Kate thought to herself. She flashed her a smile, pretending like it didn't bother her that Nick's ex gf was back in town. "Yeah, we're finished. You two have fun tonight." Kate said, picking up the check from dinner.
"Kate, I got that." Nick reached for the check.
"It's my turn to buy." Kate was careful about adding in one last comment. "Besides, you bought last night." Shove it in her face that we have been spending time outside of work together, she thought.
"Wow, Nicky, mixing business with pleasure are we?" Zoe's voice got high when she asked this, to an annoying child like level. Kate wanted to smack her one just for being dumb, and she saw the fact that Zoe didn't look pleased when he didn't deny her accusation.
"Night, Nick. I'll see you tomorrow. Nice seeing you again, Zoe." Kate turned to leave. A feeling of nausea was gripping her stomach, but it wasn't the food that was doing it.
"Kate?" Nick called after her. "You sure your ok to get home?" Kate gave him a funny look. She knew Zoe was watching her, so she kept face. "Of course, see ya."
It wasn't like Kate to say anything unbecoming, but it was ok to think them. The entire ride home Kate picked her apart in her mind. "Flat chested, greasy haired, self centered, big assed bitch! Who the hell does she think she is anyhow? And that voice of hers. Can you get anymore whiny sounding? Nick won't want her again. She screwed it up for herself long ago." That's what Kate wanted to believe. But when she laid down to get some sleep, she wasn't so sure herself what Nick wanted.