A/N: I do not own these characters. They are the property of ABC and all others responsible for Body of Proof. I did, however, have a wonderful time playing with them. I would like to thank the actors and writers for inspiring me. I'd also like to thank my Beta, who is wonderfully patient and supportive. Feedback is appreciated. Enjoy!
Dr. Kate Murphy ran a pretty tight ship at The Philadelphia County Medical Examiner's Office, as those who worked for her could attest. She was in charge of a large staff with a heavy case load and a limited budget, but somehow they managed to make things work. Few of the staff—mostly men—had taken issue with the fact that their boss was not only brilliant and very efficient, but also one of the most stunning women they'd ever had the privilege of sharing air with. Those who weren't able to deal with that matter professionally were, well, removed by the woman herself. Suffice it to say, the atmosphere was one in which everyone pretty much kept their head down and knew who was in charge. Until Megan Hunt arrived.
Dr. Hunt certainly changed the dynamics. Now there seemed to be a consistent power battle, the likes of which Ethan, Curtis, Peter and the rest of the gang found rather amusing. They chalked up most of it to female competition and cattiness, but this would be a rather limited explanation. In the male-dominated workplace, a struggle does often arise among the few women in the bunch, each vying for their post as "alpha female," or perhaps for the chance to be viewed as one of the guys, thereby making it easier to fit in or wield power over the ranks. But neither Megan nor Kate were lacking in power. They had nothing to prove, and neither cared much about fitting in.
What they did care about was doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, finding the answers, and bringing people to justice. They simply played by different sets of rules. Megan was prepared to do anything to find the real cause of death for each victim, even if it involved bending or breaking the law. Having lost it all before—when she was forced to give up practicing neurosurgery after her accident—she figured she didn't have much to lose. On the other hand, Kate had successfully (and ethically) climbed the ladder and wanted to stay there. She cared just as much about the victims as Megan did, but she wasn't prepared to lose her job for it. And therein lied most of their tension. Most.
Despite their work-related squabbles, after a few months on the job, Megan started to notice that Kate seemed to enjoy talking to her. Maybe it was just that she didn't have many other women around to talk to and was happy to finally have one at her level. Maybe she doesn't have a lot of friends, Megan thought, although her little speech about me making some would seem to indicate otherwise. Whatever it was, Megan noticed Kate liked to pop into the lab, particularly when nobody else was around, and chit chat. The conversation was never idle though. It was either related to their current case, or else it seemed to be about Kate trying to decipher Megan, attempting to dissect her like one of the cadavers, to figure out what she was really made of. At first this made Megan uneasy, but after a while she started to look forward to Kate's little visits, or bumping into her in the break room as they both enjoyed a much needed cup of coffee.
Megan also thought—and it took a great effort to even let her mind go there— that every once in a while, she'd catch Kate watching her from across the hall, or examining her body more closely than the one on the table. Megan knew little about Kate's personal life, despite their brief conversations, so she had no evidence to confirm these suspicions other than her own instincts, which she tended to trust. But in this case, she wasn't sure. All she knew was that she found herself staring back on occasion, and wasn't quite ready to admit what it meant.
On one particular evening, Megan stood at the door to Kate's office and could not stop from looking her up and down. Kate wore a coral colored dress that hugged her generous curves in all the right places. Her legs were smooth and muscular, her ass was firm but round, and her breasts….Megan couldn't help it. She watched as Kate almost teasingly spread her lipstick over her ridiculously plump pout, and before she could think better of it let the words "Wow. Look at you" escape her lips. Thankfully, Kate took the compliment well and confirmed she was getting ready for a date. This made Megan feel excruciatingly lonely and more than a little jealous, but she quickly put it out of her head and tried to forget everything. Until the next day, and the next, when she saw Kate and it all came rushing back.
Megan didn't like to be wrong. She took her work very seriously and meticulously weighed every scenario, ordered every test, and disproved every alternative solution before settling on the answers she would offer the world. She had much more luck with this in her professional life than in her personal one, which led her to be even more cautious when it came to solving riddles of the heart.
"You planning to spend the night again?" Kate's voice woke Megan from the daze she'd been in.
"Ah, no. Just trying to finish up. I don't like to leave things till the next day if unnecessary."
Kate gave Megan one of her signature lip curl/eye roll combos.
"Seems to me I'd never see my apartment if I lived by that philosophy. Which, come to think of it, I do. Actually, I've been thinking about putting a cot in my office."
Megan relaxed a little, smiling, leaning back in her chair. "Then we could be roommates."
"You'd get sick of me fast. I'm a pretty wicked snorer."
"You? I wouldn't have guessed. My ex-husband did that."
"Did you ever kick him out of bed?"
"Yes, but not for snoring."
Kate grinned widely. "Men. I don't know why we put up with them."
Megan did a quick mental scan of a million responses, excuses, reasons she could give Kate for putting up with men, and decided to nix all of them.
"Thankfully, we don't have to."
Kate's smile melted into a more pensive expression as she seemed to be trying to interpret Megan's statement. She folded her arms in front of her and leaned against the doorframe.
"True. Though, it can get pretty lonely otherwise."
"Yeah," Megan seemed to be thinking aloud. "There are other means of companionship."
For as much as Megan didn't like to be wrong, Kate disliked it even more. She had lived her life much more by the book, relying on structure to get her to the position she held today. The thought of bending the rules, while a much more pleasant alternative to loneliness, relied heavily on having sufficient evidence that there would be a significant reward. Kate did not yet feel she had the proof.
"Well, Dr. Hunt, I'll let you finish up so you're not forced to move in with me."
Megan couldn't help but look a little disappointed. "Goodnight, Dr. Murphy."