Hank had something he wanted to ask Stella, but finding the right time was a challenge. Living together afforded him the opportunity to study her a bit more, learning the subtleties of her personality and moods. It was hard not to dissect her like he was performing a character analysis, but she kept things wrapped up so tightly to herself that at times, he was forced to interpret things for himself.
For example, he knew when a case she was working on was bad when she actually spoke to him about it. Not overtly, but vaguely, as they were lying in bed, in the dark, she might just softly and casually mention that her current investigation was at a standstill and it was weighing on her mind. The next day he would come across the gruesome details of a crime that had the police baffled. Sometimes there would be accompanying photos of her, stone-faced and grim. There was almost always unflattering comments about public outcry and the incompetence of the investigation team. The worse the crime or the longer it took for an arrest, the worse the outcry and the more demeaning the comments were about incompetence.
As lead investigator on any high-profile crime under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police Department, Stella bore the brunt of the criticism. The press found her bluntness and stoicism to be especially aggravating and they seemed to delight in targeting her when progress was slow. Neither did she receive any of the praise for a job well done when justice was served. The congratulations were always extended to the team of detectives who worked tirelessly to serve justice.
Charles walked with you, his hands moving wildly as he
explained the basics of the school. “Thank you, Professor. I’m going to love it
here.” You smiled happily.
Charles smiled over at Hank, giving him a ‘get your ass over
here’ look. Hank quickly put down his pen and cursed himself for staring at you
for so long. “H-Hel. Erm.” He cleared his throat, cheeks flushing. “Hello. I’m
Hank McCoy. One of the professors here.”