As always, thanks to everyone who reviewed and read.
Kendralynora, for her review and editing, MarieRene, for also editing, Jimmy for the review, and last but never least, Steampunkarcher for the coolest name out of all of us! :)
Steve was set up on the couch in Artie's office. It was his turn to monitor the Warehouse but it was quiet so he prepped himself to watch his Jets for the American football game with a soda (because he was on Warehouse duty), nachos (with hot meat and jalapeno toppings), a pepperoni pizza and a full bag of Doritos. This special break from his usually healthy diet, he rubbed his hands together in anticipation. He knew that Pete was out on a case with Myka, so he has the football game to himself without having to switch channels to the Browns game. He flicked the channel on to get his fill of Shannon Sharpe and Howie Long's game analysis until the action started.
Halfway through the first quarter, it was still a good game. He knew that his team was so bad this year that he had to enjoy the beginning of the games because it was the only time they weren't losing badly. Steve was ever the one to try to find the best in situations, but the Jets this year were challenging his ability to be optimistic.
He cheered and clapped at a field goal, happy for any points at all, when Leena walked by. "Hey Leena," he called out.
"Hello Steve." She calmly turned toward him and observed his game day meal with a smile. "Did you raid Pete's football stash?"
"Uh." Steve only took the Doritos from Pete's not-so-secret stash of goodies, but he fully intended on replacing them before he got back. "Well, a little bit," Steve said truthfully, playfully returning her grin. "Did something come up? I'm on monitoring duty."
"Maybe." Leena turned a troubled gaze out the window of the office that overlooked the expansive Warehouse. Just then Artie came out of his room above the spiral staircase and looked over the metal balcony.
"Trouble, Leena?" The supervisor asked.
Steve got up and crossed the office to Artie's computers that monitored every artifact what was shelved. "There's no alerts."
With a sort of faint troubled look, Leena said, "Yesterday, the pirate ship wasn't happy."
Artie ambled down the staircase. His eyes went distant as he pulled up the artifact in question. "Section 418, Nautical," he recited disjointedly.
"I'm going to check on it. Just to make sure that everything's fine." Leena headed to the door leading to the catwalk and Warehouse.
Steve looked back at the TV to see the Jets run a third running play in a row on a third and 7, and the quarterback get injured for the season. Steve sighed in annoyance. He looked and caught Artie glaring at him pointedly.
Steve got the hint. "Hey Leena." Artie held out a canister of goo. Shouldering the canister, Steve chased after Leena. "Hey, wait up!"
Artie watched the pair go then grabbed the remote to the TV. He turned the volume down and sat down on the couch. The Eagles completed a pass for a touchdown, making the old man cheer before he caught himself, looking around bashfully.
"What's going on in here now? A tailgate party that I wasn't invited to?"
Artie looked up to see that Claudia walking in the office. He grinned bashfully and laughed a bit at himself. "Ah- just- uh- Steve's game is on."
She walked up and said, "Jets and Eagles. Your team, right?"
"Ah- not really, I mean, into hockey lately, being up here in Dakota and all…" He stopped to watch the next running play go through three Jets defenders. "But—yeah – from Philly." He shrugged a bit.
Claudia sat down next to him on the couch. "How's Tebow doing?"
"The backup for the Jets, right? He's so cute," she restated.
The old man did a double take at the girl out of the corner of his eye, making her smirk at his squeamishness. "Uh, I just sat down, but- judging by the score. Doesn't look like the Eagles are having a problem." He grinned a bit.
"I see that!"
Claudia looked around at the set up spread out on the table in front of the TV. "Well, no sense letting this go to waste!" She grabbed a Dorito.
Artie looked at the stack of plates, obviously meant for sharing. Instead he reached down and shoveled a loaded nacho down his throat.