At first, Topher didn't realize what had changed about Paul. He acted exactly the same – sarcastic, kind of assholish, and he still stared at Echo as if she were the only thing that mattered to him. Which, she probably did (and Topher didn't completely understand that, because it didn't make logical sense, but when did anything with Echo and Paul make logical sense?)
It wasn't until thy had a fleeting moment of peace that he noticed what, exactly, was wrong.
Topher looked curiously at Paul, who stared intently down at the calendar on the desk. It was one of those animal-themed calendars that had a different creature for every month. Ivy had gotten it for him as a sort of joke.
"I didn't know you were so fond of animals, Ballard," Topher said dryly, leaning back and crossing his fingers behind his head.
"I like the woofs."
Topher blinked and stared at Paul for a long moment, who looked equally troubled by what he had said. "The woofs?"
Paul looked over at Topher, brows furrowed in that same 'I'm a grumpy FBI agent and I don't have time to deal with you' expression that usually haunted the mans face. It was what Topher liked to call: Paul Face Number 35. It usually meant he was stressed. Of course, that was also referred to as: Paul's Normal Face.
"You mean the dogs?" Topher asked slowly.
"The woofs." And that expression tightened, irritation slipping through and turning it into Paul Face Number 21.
That was what lead them to their current situation: Topher pulled up google and began googling images of various animals, asking Paul what each one was. He came to the conclusion that this was the best accidental prank ever.
"So, Paul," Topher drawled as Echo and Adelle entered the room, faces drawn in concentration as they considered their looming doom. "Did you see that animal digging through the trash the other night? You know, short, fuzzy, teeth." Topher motioned vaguely to his mouth, miming out his words.
"You mean the meow?"
That caught Echo's attention. She glanced over and stared at Paul, brows drawn as she considered her handler/lover/whatever the hell they were to each other. Topher didn't ask questions.
"Agent Ballard, are you alright?" Adele asked, mirroring Echo's expression of confusion in her own stuffy British sort of way. Paul blinked at the two.
"I'm fine, yeah," he agreed slowly. "Why?"
"Oh, wait for this one," Topher said, pulling out his calander and showing Paul a picture of a cow. "What animal is this?"
Paul blinked. "A moo."
"And this?" Topher flipped it to a picture of a dog.
"And – hold on, this is my favorite – what about this?" Topher showed him a picture of an arctic fox. Paul paused, opened his mouth, and frowned. He seemed to struggle for a moment. Topher turned and grinned at the women, who looked increasingly unamused. "He doesn't know what the fox says."
A/N: This is just a silly little fic based on something a friend said. I was watching the end of season two, and I asked her what they make Paul forget. Her response: He doesn't know the names of animals, so now he refers to dogs as 'woofs' and cats as 'meows'.
Not meant to be taken seriously, just a little lighthearted fun. Enjoy!