Flynn trailed a glance briefly over the refreshment table, then sighed inwardly and was about to turn away.


He looked back to see a pretty redhead beaming at him, and slipped on an answering smile. "Hey, Marie."

"I'm glad I caught you," she said, waving him over. "You remember last week when you asked if I'd be bringing my chocolate cupcakes again, because you wanted to take one home for a friend?"

It took a good deal of his self-discipline not to flush at the memory. Marie owned a bakery and could usually be counted upon to bring something delicious to meetings, but when he'd snagged the last one of the cakes at the previous meeting, his first thought had been, 'Chief'.

The request of a repeat had been an impulse; he wasn't sure how he'd even go about giving her one when he'd never done anything of the kind before. He was almost grateful it was now a moot point. "Yeah, but don't worry about it, it was no big d-"

"Let me finish," Marie interrupted playfully, withdrawing a pink box from under the table. "I'd already planned to make blueberry scones for tonight, but I thought I'd bring along something special for your friend."

She half-lifted the lid to reveal a cupcake so big you'd practically have to eat it with a fork, gleaming with rich chocolate icing he could smell even from where he was standing. "Our house specialty. Guaranteed to please a sweet tooth."

He could believe that. "Marie, that's -" he shook his head. "Thank you. How much do I-"

"Now, don't you even finish that sentence." She chuckled, pushing the box into his hands. "Just call it a thanks."

Flynn looked away, knowing she didn't want to be reminded of what she was thanking him for. "Yeah, but that's how the program works, you don't have to-"

She cut him off again. "Maybe so, but you go above and beyond, for me and a lot of other people here." Smiling wider, she added, "Now take the cupcake before I start crying."

He had to shake his head, pulling her into a quick hug. "Okay. But next time someone asks me to recommend a bakery, I'm sending them your way."

"It's a deal."

He made sure to set the box carefully to the side later when he was talking to the newbie, and tried to keep from jostling it as he walked to the car.

There was still the matter of giving it to her; he was more tempted than he'd like to admit to just leave it anonymously on her desk, despite the fact that he'd never done something so schoolboy-ish even when he'd been one.

He was still trying to talk himself into it when the attack came.

(A/n: They never explained what was in that box he was carrying around, so this is my interpretation.)