Author's Note: A R&I fic, oneshot. I'm trying a 15 oneshot challenge, so this is the seventh of 15. I hope you enjoy! Please review. Criticism, but no bashing. Remember, people are entitled to ship who/what they want, so don't have a go at them if it's not to your tastes.

Disclaimer: As usual, I own no rights to any of the characters portrayed in this fanfiction. Rights belong to; Janet Tamaro, TNT, Tess Gerritsen.

He had shown up out of the blue to one of the classes she was taking at BCU (Boston Cambridge University); Biochemistry, and the minute she saw him, Hope was enthralled. Her body had reacted in a way it had never done so before. She felt his eyes upon her the entire duration of the lecture, or so she found herself telling her lab partner, Jessica Stein.

As the class ended and the students dispersed, and much to Jessica Stein's protests, Hope decided she was going to be bold. She marched herself over to the mystery man in the classroom and stared at him, blinking only so often as she soon lost her boldness, and meekness replaced it. And when he turned and he saw her standing beside him, gazing at him like a deer in headlights, doe-eyed, all he did was give her a nod before he walked away.

While he walked away, he counted mentally as he waited on the soft clattering of her heels behind him, rushing to catch up with him with her folders held tightly close to her chest. He made it to four, two seconds longer than he'd hoped for, had she been cautious about following him? Maybe she should have trusted her instincts.

"You should have listened to your friend." He spoke without turning to her.

Hope stood, looking over his back and she cocked her head slightly, "Excuse me?" she questioned, her tone read as slightly annoyed.

This caught his attention and he turned to face her, seeing exactly how he'd pictured her; folders clutched to her chest, satchel over one shoulder and her heels, no higher than a kitten heel. He smirked internally before he inhaled deeply, "I said, you should have listened to your friend, Jessica, was it?"

Hope scoffed a little as she looked over him, muscular, yet there was an edge to him. She drew her attention back to his face, "How do you know that?" she asked, gentler this time, the tone of her voice had changed now.

"I know a lot about a lot of things, Jessica Stein is one of those things."

"What do you mean?" she swallowed, "Jessica is none of your business."

"I believe she is." He nodded gently and turned to walk away from her. He was cut short when she appeared before him, grabbing his arm and glaring at him. He raised a brow at her, looking from her hand on his arm, to her face.

"Don't just walk away from me like that, okay!" she hissed, when she saw the expression across his face however, her hand dropped away from his arm and her voice lowered to barely more than a hushed whisper, "Jessica i-is my friend, I care about her, that's all." Before she then added, "I make her my business…"

He took a moment before he posed a question to her, "And, can I make you my business?"

Looking up from her folders, she looked to him and blinked several times before she swallowed lightly, "E-excuse me?" she questioned quietly, "What do you mean?"

"I don't just know about Jessica…" there was a pregnant pause, "I know about you too, Hope."


"Look, I have to go now, I'm not supposed to be here."

Hope panicked a little, he was not supposed to be there; a rule breaker, interesting. She looked to him, wide eyed, "Well, when can I see you again?"

"Meet me at The Kempton this evening." He nodded twice, "You can bring a friend, I'm sure Jessica wouldn't want to miss out…" he smirked as he walked away from her, "Just make sure you're there, Hope." He glanced back to her over his shoulder before rounding the corner to make his unnoticed getaway.

It was at that particular moment when Hope realised that she could have something with this guy, regardless of what he knew, how he knew it and what Jessica Stein protested against. She liked him. Hope felt somewhat a sense of security around him, which she had never felt around any other male who had tired for her affections. She smiled as she watched him round the corner before she rushed away to regroup with Jessica and their other friends from Biochemistry class.

"No. Hope, you're not going." Jessica decided for her once evening crept up on them. At this point, they were back at their suite on the campus grounds, and Hope was trying on dresses, outfits, everything as she tried to decide what to wear for her rendez vous with the stranger who had had her transfixed on him.

"I told him I'd be there, Jessica."

"That doesn't mean you have to be there!"

Hope turned around, away from the full length mirror to look at her suite mate with wide eyes. She took a moment before she turned back to her reflection and she responded, "I'm a big girl now, Jess. I'm going. I like him..."

Jessica was sat on her bed, listening to Hope's comments. She sighed and shook her head, "Don't say I didn't warn you." she got up, grabbed her jacket and purse, "I'm heading up to Hilary's room, we're going to get burgers. Hope..." she stopped at the door, clutching the handle, "Just be careful, okay?"

"I know what I'm doing, Jessica, but thank you." Hope nodded back to her friend, "Have fun, okay?" she smiled then.

As soon as Jessica had stepped out of the room, Hope decided on the dress that her friend had protested against. She slipped it on and made her final checks of her attire and make-up before she left the suite, to head on over to The Kempton, to meet with her stranger. Hope didn't have to walk far to get there, it was three city blocks, but because of the crisp, still somewhat summer air, it made her walk enjoyable, so she didn't mind it.

Meeting him there, she learned a fair deal about him; his name was Patrick and he came from an Irish family, who had travelled into New York during WWII, hoping to make themselves a better life. He was the middle boy, with an older and a younger brother, and two younger sisters. They spoke of childhoods and family pets, and friends they'd made over the years. And, after what seemed like hours, Hope announced that she had to leave. It was the weekend, so she was going home, to her parents home in Brookline, which was a great walk from The Kempton.

"I can walk ya." Paddy had offered, and Hope took him up on the offer, smiling gently. It would be a great chance to get to know more about him.

"You're sure you have nothing else to do?" she asked him for a fourth time before they turned onto the main road near campus.

"Hope, trust me. Even if I did, I'd rather be walking with you." he told her gently.

When he glanced to her beside him, Patrick saw that she was just gazing at him, a little doe eyed to begin with, until he took her hand in his and smiled gently to her, before he asked her, "You do trust me?"

"I do." she nodded apprehensively at first, until she saw his smile again, she sighed and laid her head on his shoulder before she added tenderly, "I do, with every atom in me."