Pairing/Characters: Don/Amita, Alice Chen, Santi, Charlie, Megan.
Rating/Category: Mature, AU, Missing Scene, Case-related.
Spoilers: Harvest, Trouble in Chinatown.
Summary: Don and Amita think about their relationship, and help arrives on the case.
Notes: Written for Pygmymuse in a fic trade. I can’t praise Responsibilities enough.
Warnings: if you’ve seen Harvest, you know the bad things.
Extra warning: working on this helped me write my terminatorfic Valentines assignment, and working on that helped me write this.
Don listened to everything Megan was saying about the girl – possibly a foreign national – he’d found in the basement of that hotel. He heard each word, and most of his brain was aiming to pin down the assholes who were behind all that blood and the trauma…and the ice, I mean what’s up with that?
But there was a part of Don that was still thinking about Amita. Inevitable, perhaps, what, with that fleeting half-kiss the other day. Maddening, full of promise, and most definitely not something Don had any intention of pressing or rushing.
So he’d held back, hanging nearby when she was nearby, letting her take the lead. Or, as Kim had said when she had come over to work with his team on a counterfeiting case, Keep staring at her, Don, and your eyes will fall out. Talk to her.
But in Don’s mind, that wasn’t the problem, then or now. I have - I’ve talked to her a few times. We went out on a date. Think it was a date. We didn’t really say if it was or not. He thought back on how Amita had shone during that dinner. She didn’t seem to mind not talking about math or cases or problems or anything work- and school-related.
And she’d said it like it was a guilty secret. I suppose most of her life’s been dedicated to school, Don thought to himself. If mom and dad had been more traditional in how they brought me and Chuck up, we’d more than likely be just like her.
“I’m sure Don’s busy,” Amita said to Charlie as they exited the elevators.
Like he’d be too busy for either of us, Charlie thought to himself. ’Specially you, ‘specially now. “He really needs to know, and nows a good time,” was all Charlie said, though.
She barely saw Charlie at all anymore, even for classes. And yet there were the inevitable whispers that came when a man nominated his favorite student for a distinguished prize.
Amita’s grandmother had instructed her on how to behave when whispers and derision were wielded against you - Hold your head up, prove them wrong through your hard work, and always, always, stay pious, Amita recited to herself in her head.
She knew she could mention it to Don, but she didn’t want to bother him – and she hoped that, if he did find out, he would only say a few words of snark and derision against the gossips. Amita didn’t want the weight of the LA arm of the FBI to come down on those who’d said the things – that would boomerang and ricochet back at Amita in spades.
But it would definitely be good to see Don again. Very very good, Amita thought fondly. It was still hard to quantify just what stage of a relationship they were at, but she was perfectly happy that they’d gotten that far and might go farther, though I’m in no rush.
Though the question of consulting was starting to press at the edges of her mind - were they skirting impropriety with their affectionate relationship being alongside their pre-exiting consulting relationship? I’m starting to sound like my other grandmother, Amita thought to herself.
Right then, at that moment, at the terminus of that thought, Amita saw and heard someone speaking Tamil. To me.
Having taken her aside, “I can’t tell you how much we appreciate this,” Don to the ICE agent.
“Happy to help,” Alice said. “This is, after all, what we do every day.” And I wish that that were an exaggeration.
Don nodded. “It’s just…”
Alice nodded. “You take the lead – it’s your case. I’m here to provide backup and my department’s resources.”
“Yeah, speaking of resources,” Don started to say, but wasn’t sure how to go about asking what he wanted to ask.
“Yes, I’ve heard of your brother and how much he helps you, the CIA, and pretty much every other branch of law enforcement.”
“You want a consultant?” Don asked, and winced. “That came out wrong.”
Taking it in stride as a jest seemed the best way to handle it, so Alice said, “Well my mother does ask me when I’m going to start dating again. But what did you have in mind?”
Grateful to her, Don said, “Amita – Amita Ramanujan’s just as smart as my brother, and not as hard to deal with. She’s fluent in Spanish,” heard it on our date, “and she speaks Tamil.”
Not the most common of languages, but I sense you’re going somewhere with this. “I’ll consider her,” Alice said. “At the very least, her math would come in handy.”
“Thanks. I owe you big.”
“De nada,” Alice said. “Let’s just catch these harvesters.”
“Amen to that.”
Note: I considered having her say “You give me Granger’s number, and we’re even” but not this time.