Spoilers: Set after False Witness and will eventually go through the holiday weekish.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Feedback: Greatly appreciated.

The case wraps up rather neatly the next afternoon, New Year's Eve. Abby submits her evidence report within minutes, it seems, and leaves Bert to keep a close hippo-eye on the lab. In the bullpen, however, there is a silent agreement to quickly finish the case reports before leaving.

She walks over to the filing cabinet near his desk and starts looking for something. She notices he is probably done with his part of the paperwork because he is already playing some sort of game on his computer.

"Are you ok? You are still acting weird. This is a better weird but still weird." She gives him and the computer a once over by waving her folder in a quick circle around the situation.

"What makes you think I would not be ok?" He asks truly baffled by her question. He feels he is in a cheerful mood and his thoughts haven't been weighing him down in days.

"Well, you were all sad and serious before I left and now you are…"

He interrupts so she doesn't have to rehash those days or point out that he is playing a game, again, on a government computer. "I'm ok, really. Right as rain." But what he actually means is that he feels like he changes when one of them physically or mentally go away and he is just glad to have him to himself over the last day. He doesn't say this, however, and he turns off the game and starts shutting down the other applications on his computer.

She briefly tries to translate that and when 'not left as rain' and 'correct as rain' don't compute she decides to ask. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"I'm fine. Nothing out of the ordinary is going on."

"Really?" She closes the cabinet door with her charming graceful strength.

"Really. Just practicing my idioms." He says as pretends he is straightening up his desk, but in reality he is only shuffling them around.

"That's all?" She is partially conceding to his response as she walks back to her desk until he speaks up again.

He should really be more aggravated at her almost immature interrogation technique of today, if not for personal reasons, for professional ones. "Do you want to come over tonight, ring in the New Year with a movie, pizza, and maybe beer?"

It isn't the reply she is expecting and after what could be called a brief mental squint, trying to decipher exactly what he was saying, she agrees. "Sure."


She is there for less than a minute and only has time to take off her shoes before the door buzzes to notify them that the pizza has arrived. He heads to the door to take care of it; she heads to the couch with napkins and beer.

She is examining her fingernails and her feet are propped up on the coffee table, already comfortable, when he sits down on the couch and sets the box of pizza next to the napkins. She is looking at him when she finally asks, trying to continue the semi-conversation from earlier. "Why am I here?"

"To watch a movie." He responds as he is taking a slice out of the box and handing it to her. But until he catches her still looking at him he thinks that is a satisfying answer. Her eyes say "seriously?" but she doesn't say a word and continues to kindly glare at him.

"I just figured we could spend a little…" Before he could finish his sentence she is reaching for her beeping phone in her pocket. And when she opens it and starts to respond to the text message with a smile, he trails off with what he is saying. "…time together." He knows she hears him, still not sure if that smile is for what she is reading or for what she is hearing, so he waits for a response to see if he should just play off his semi-sweet announcement as just something said in jest. He didn't really need to talk, nothing was really wrong; he really just wanted to spend time with her. That was the simple truth.

She quickly presses send and flips her phone shut, turns it off, and puts it on the end table, reciprocating the fact that she would like to spend some time, not just proximity, with him as well.

The conversation doesn't end with words, but their patented playful, understanding look. They are on the same page. So, instead of saying or doing anything else, they decide to stay on that page for tonight. And for now, at least, it beats the alternative of ripping out that page or changing books entirely.

It is familiar and new, and probably the blankest their page has ever been or will ever be.

A/N: Thanks to everyone that followed along!