I managed to escape the tiny people for more than two seconds, so hold on to your butts.
There were quite a few recommendations for a “fake relationship” trope…so I SORT OF took that recommendation. Except, I kinda sorta did something with it that was likely NOT what you you were asking for, so hopefully, you’ll still enjoy. :)
Barba stared at his phone
as he walked off the elevator. He could hardly believe the day was only half
over. It felt like he’d been up and running around for hours already.
Maybe if he’d stopped at the second glass of champagne last night, he wouldn’t still be dragging after his third cup of…
His thoughts were interrupted as he turned the corner, crashing into someone on the other side. His coffee cup fell to the ground, bursting open, drops splashing up against the cuff of his perfectly pressed and pristine slacks.
“Great,” he muttered.
“Sorry about that. I…”
Barba was still looking down at the sea of caffeine around him, stepping away before the offending liquid could somehow do further damage.
“Why doesn’t anyone watch where they’re going?”
The woman stepped back, eyes narrowing.
“Alright, then. Allow me to retract my apology.”
Barba was looking up now, just in time to see her hand rise to her hip.
“The apology was a knee jerk reaction. But you’re right. You should have been watching where you were going, so I really don’t need to say I’m sorry. Good luck with your pants.”
Before Barba could respond, her heels clicked past him to the elevator, disappearing behind its doors.
Barba heaved a sigh as he turned for the restrooms, hoping to minimize the damage done.
As he leaned against the bathroom counter, blotting the final splotch, his phone trilled in his coat pocket.
We have an update on the Lorenz case. Are you far?
Unfortunately, Im still in the building, he thought, before replying.
Up in a few.
“Thanks, Fin. It’s just been a bit of a week.”
Fin threw an arm around
her, giving her shoulder a tight squeeze. Her eyelashes fluttered, the rapid
blinking a sure sign she was doing her best not to cry.
“You know I always got you, girl.”
She nodded, quickly wiping away even the start of tears before continuing.
“Oh, and I didn’t even tell you about the idiot I ran into downstairs. I mean, literally ran into. Staring at his phone, nearly doused me with his coffee, then had the nerve to act like it was my fault.”
“Yeah, well, people are idiots. You know that as well as anyone.”
“But in such increasing numbers.”
Fin smiled, happy to see her follow suit, but as the door to Lieutenant Benson’s office opened, Fin noticed the wrinkle forming across her forehead.
“Somethin’ wrong, Rey?”
Barba walked across the squad room, a file in hand, pausing in front of Fin’s desk as he caught her eye.
It was the woman from the lobby.
“Coffee spills,” she started, “as tragic as they seem, don’t qualify you as a Special Victim.”
“Your friend is hilarious, Tutuola.”
Fin looked back and forth between Reina and Barba and shook his head.
“THIS is the dude you ran into downstairs?”
“The very same. Lucky for me, I have somewhere to be.” Reina turned toward Fin and kissed his cheek. “Don’t be late tonight.”
Fin bit back a grin as he watched her walk toward the elevator, raising an eyebrow as he glanced back at Barba.
“I see you met Rey.”
“Not so much met as encountered. Friend of yours, I take it?”
Fin crossed his arms and cocked his head to one side. “Rey’s my girl. Why? You got somethin’ you wanna say about her?”
“She’s charming,” Barba deadpanned, looking at his watch. “And I have an appointment to get to, so as much as I’d love to hear how the universe brought you lovebirds together, I have to run.”
Fin’s face pulled together in momentary confusion, slowly melting into a smile when he realized Barba’s mistake.
“Don’t let me keep you, then, Counselor.”
“There’s a fresh pot of coffee on and your three o’ clock is waiting in your office.”
“Thanks, Carmen. Have they been in there long?”
“No. When you texted you were five minutes out, I went ahead and got her settled.”
It was barely after three, but Barba hated being late. He took a breath before entering the office, apologies at the ready.
“Ms. King, sorry to keep you waiting…”
His words drifted as she stood, turning to meet him.
It was her. The woman from the lobby. Fin’s “girl”.
QUESTION: Here’s your chance to participate. Reina is his 3 o’ clock appointment - is she:
A) An expert witness
B) Opposing Counsel
C) let @ohbelieveyoume decide
We’ll let @ohbelieveyoume set the clock on your votes.