Casey poured small bits of pancake batter on the hot grill and Jason leaned forward on his stool in anticipation of the delicious pancakes he was going to consume. It was no secret that Casey was not fond of his style of cooking, and it had taken about six months into their partnership for her to assert herself into his kitchen. He could complain more, but her food was delicious. It had become a ritual that every Saturday, whether they worked or not, she would cook him breakfast. Today it was blueberry pancakes.
"Where did you learn to cook?" Jason asked the question that had been nagging at him for a while. Her childhood didn't exactly seem conducive to learning any culinary skills.
"During my rebellious phase."
"Wait, this isn't your rebellious phase?" Jason teased.
Casey turned around, mock glaring at him, spatula in hand. "Not by a long shot. During college I dated this guy who was as far from my world as you could get. He was raised on a commune farm and he was a politically active, very liberal. He was into everything being all natural and organic. I mean really just as crunchy as you can get. He taught me how to cook."
"I bet your parents loved him." Jason remembered meeting her parents at a dinner last month when they insisted that they meet Casey's partner formally. Her dad wasn't too bad but her mother was as bad as Casey said.
"Words like disowning and disinherited were thrown around a lot. Luckily for them I got tired of rebelling and really the guy was just as close minded as my parents, just in the other direction. He didn't take kindly to me wanting to become a cop, saying I was taking a part in the fascist regime," Casey laughed as she flipped the pancakes.
"So wait, our plan to announce I knocked you up to your parents won't even top their most horrifying things that could happen to their daughter list?" He joked. While on a stake out they had contemplated various ways she could shock her parent to amuse themselves.
"Unfortunately nope," Casey commented as she slid pancakes on two plates. She handed one to Jason and took the other around the counter, sitting down next to him.
"What if I was bisexual and also had a boyfriend and I talk you into a polygamous relationship?" Jason tried to keep his serious tone, although he was failing miserable.
"I'm not sure. Although I like your thinking, very creative. Too bad you are taken," Casey teased.
Jason had no witty remark ready and he shifted uncomfortably, looking down at his pancakes. "Actually, I'm not."
"Really?" She asked as she doused her pancakes in syrup.
Something in Casey's tone made him look up into her face. "You already knew?" Jason exclaimed.
Casey licked the syrup off of one of her fingers before taking a bite. "Guilty as charged."
"But, how did you know?" He had thought that he and Allison had been doing a good job of keeping things normal at work.
"A couple of weeks ago you stopped saying that you had to check with Beaumont whenever we had to stay late or caught a break on a case."
He shook his head before drowning his own pancakes in syrup and taking a bite. "You are good," he said, his voice muffled because of the mouthful of pancake.
"I know," she replied self-assured.
"Why didn't you say anything to me? I would have thought you would have pestered me for some sort of answer."
Casey shrugged. "You respected my space when I broke up with Davis. You waited for me to talk about it. I figured it was the least I could do for you."
"Thanks Casey." He really meant it too. It was moments like this he not only knew he won the partner lottery but he also noticed that he had new feelings directed towards Casey. It had started weeks ago when his mom had stopped by the diner to visit him. Casey had come by, meeting his mother. Casey had chatted with him mom, charming her of course. Once Casey had left, his mother had turned to him and started in on how much she liked Casey. His mother had never showed that much enthusiasm for Allison, although they got along well enough. The whole situation had gotten him thinking about his and Casey's relationship.
They were silent for a few minutes, eating their pancakes. Once Casey finished, she pushed her plate forward and shifted her chair a little to look at Jason more fully. "So, what did happen? I assume it wasn't anything too horrible since you two are still pretty friendly."
"We just…" Jason trailed off, looking for the right words. A year ago, he would have teased Casey for trying to get him to talk about his emotions. But now he no longer hesitated before opening up to her. "We were good. We were comfortable. But, he we had been together for over a year and nothing had really changed. It was kind of that point where we should start thinking about the next level; you know moving in and getting engaged. All of that stuff. And, neither of us wanted to go there, at least with each other. I don't know; it's hard to explain."
"I didn't think you wanted all of that 'stuff' to begin with. Doesn't our job ruin marriages and kids? That's what you said when we first we started to work together."
"Your ability to remember conversations never ceases to amaze me." Jason sighed, taking a final bite of pancakes before dropping his fork, giving him time to think. "I don't always believe everything I say."
Casey's face showed mild surprise. "So, you want a wife, kids, the dog, and the white picket fence? You want the American dream?"
"Don't we all? At some level at least. I mean I'm more of a cat person personally and you don't find very many white picket fences in New York. But yeah, I wouldn't mind having all of that, if the right person came along."
"And Beaumont wasn't that person?"
"What would this woman be like then?"
Jason didn't hesitate to answer, because if he was being honest, he had thought about this a lot in the previous weeks. "She would have to be strong, make me laugh, be fun, and be somebody I could talk to easily."
He glanced at Casey and her face was inscrutable. Those characteristics were not too specific, but he couldn't tell if she had caught on that he was describing her. "What about you?" Jason asked. "Husband and kids in your future?"
Casey did not break her gaze as she spoke. "Maybe, if the right guy were to come along."
"And what kind of guy is this mystery man?"
"Well, he would have to be kind and funny. He would have to not care that I come from money and that my family is bat shit crazy. I would have to be able to feel safe with him, be able to let my guard down."
Jason looked back down to the counter, thinking about those qualities. He liked to think he was those things, except he didn't know if she felt safe with him.
"Hey," she murmured, nudging him with her foot to get his attention.
He looked up and felt his heart skip a beat at the honesty and openness of her face in that moment.
"For the record, he would have to be a lot like you."
Jason, couldn't stop the grin from forming, giving himself away. He understood the meaning of her words and was once again amazed at her willingness to put her emotions out there like that. Whenever he thought he had her figured out, she would just make some sort of open proclamation and he would be stunned again at her sheer honestly.
He took a page from her book and took a leap of faith. "My wife would have to be a lot like you too."
She responded with her own grin. Jason didn't exactly know what they just confessed to and what exactly the next step was. However, that didn't bother him. He was happy just being in the moment with Casey and knowing that there was something there between them for both of them. He didn't know exactly what it was, but he was excited to find out.
A/N: I will freely admit that I got into this show recently because of my love for Jeremy Renner, but stuck around for Amber Tamblyn. I will admit if the show had done a better job of advertising that Amber Tamblyn was in the show I might have watched it when it aired. I have a lot of faith in her. I quickly read all of the fanfiction for the show and decided to write my contribution to the small pool of stories. I really liked the simple stories of these two just having a nice conversation, so I decided to write my own version of this. I know, fluffy and cheesy, but fun to write nonetheless. I hope you like. Please let me know what you thought.