Title: Bullets and Partners
Category: The Unusuals
Prompt: #04 – thank you
Word Count: 518
Summary: Thank you wasn't often part of her vocabulary…
Bullets and Partners
Thank you wasn't often part of her vocabulary; not because she was rude, more because her usual company were men… Cops who didn't want or really need thanks. But this was one of those situations where the words were right at the surface, bubbling over her tongue, every time she saw him.
He was behind the counter, working on some concoction only he would call food and she was shifting uncomfortably in her seat. How he was so at ease when he had his arm bandaged and in a sling, she didn't know. She was having phantom pains for him each and every time she saw his arm and thought of how swiftly and without hesitation he threw himself in front of a bullet for her. And bleeding, he'd simply winked at her as she stuttered for some kind of response.
"You gonna tell me what's going on just act weird all morning?" he asked, glancing briefly over his shoulder.
She shifted on her stool, looking from him to the bar top. "You got shot…" she muttered, her voice tinged with shock. "Because of me."
He frowned, shaking his head as he stirred the pan with his spatula. "Not because of, Shraeger… For."
She scoffed. "What's the difference?"
He half-smiled, knowing in his face that drove her crazy in her lack of understanding. "If it was because of you, I'd be tearing your head off for what you did or didn't do…" He shrugged, briefly wincing as his wounded arm was jarred. "For you means I put myself in front of that bullet, knowing full well it was gonna hurt."
She blinked. "Why?"
"We're partners." He smirked. "I'd expect you to do the same."
She would, without hesitation.
"Given our height difference, it probably wouldn't've even hit me…" she mused. "Past my shoulder, maybe…"
"Couldn't take that chance," he muttered casually.
"So you're just gonna jump in front of every fly-away bullet that comes my way?" She hated that she sounded half-frantic, her voice reaching all kinds of high pitches. Dogs were no doubt whining somewhere.
He laughed under his breath. "Gives you more reason to stay out of the way then, doesn't it?"
Rolling her eyes, she pursed her lips. "You're a real piece of work, Walsh."
He simply nodded. "And I'll stay that way if you learn to duck."
She snorted. "Duly noted."
"You hungry?" he asked, cocking a brow.
She stared at the stove warily. "Is it edible?"
"Goes down easier than a bullet," he replied, grinning.
"Ha, ha," she mocked, waving her hand for him to serve her up some.
While he was busy dishing out whatever it was he'd mixed up today, she tore a nearby napkin into little pieces. "Hey Walsh…" she murmured softly.
"Yeah?" he said absently.
"Thanks… you know…" she let it linger, figured everything else that had to be said was.
He smiled, dropping her plate in front of her and handing her a fork. "Yeah… I know."
And things were back to normal; just two partners, friends, and a plate of mystery food. It was a good life.