slow the blood in my veins

pg-13 | no warnings apply

"It's a prank!"

(Lately, all his sentences end in exclamation points.)

"It's some nut with no social life and too much time on his hands, so I don't need someone on my ass twenty-four hours a day!"

He slams the door with so much force that you almost expect the glass windows in his office to shatter. You're the only one who seems transfixed; the rest of the staff has undoubtedly seen him like this before, and you're sure the Secret Service is used to having unruly assignments. Or at the very least, dealing with Toby throwing a temper tantrum is a cakewalk compared to dodging bullets.

"I'm sure he's right." You offer her a reassuring smile, even though she doesn't look as if she needs reassuring. "Lots of people threaten to kill him."

"Really?" For the first time, Gina turns towards you.

"Oh, yeah. I threatened to kill him the other day."

"Are you aware of the fact that you just admitted to committing a felony?"

She tries to give you an intimidating look, but her mouth quirks just a bit, giving away the joke.

-

The little rubber ball misses its mark and goes flying out of his office. You wince, waiting for the sound of someone yelping in pain or the sound of something breaking, but there's nothing. He stares, blankly, at the door, almost as if he expects the ball to come back of its own accord.

"You okay?"

He bristles, grumbles, goes back to work.

You catch sight of her out of the corner of your eye, just before she clears her throat. Standing in the doorway, she holds up his stray ball. He grunts, she smirks. When her gaze shifts to you, her mouth morphs into a real smile, and you can't help but smile back.

"Don't you have something better to do, like read my email?"

"Did that this morning. I had no idea Congresswoman Wyatt - "

"I'm becoming very tempted to kill myself, just so I don't have to deal with you anymore!"

She doesn't flinch, even when he flings the ball across the room, and for some reason, it makes your toes curl.

-

You daydream, while you're walking down the street to pick up lunch.

(It's not as if you want him dead.)

You're coming out of a bar or maybe a restaurant, although you can't really see him going to a bar with you. Once outside, she'd scan the street, but she'd miss something.

Click. Bang. Boom.

With your eyes half-closed, waiting at an intersection, you ignore the practicalities. Your knees would be skinned; hands, too, most likely. Skirt or shirt probably torn, mild head injury if you hit the ground wrong. But no, you don't think about that. Rather, the feel of her arm around your back, the sound of her shouting, "Down," into your ear. Harsh breaths against your cheek -

Someone pushes you. Light's changed.

-

Except, of course, that's not how it happens.

You're shouting at him as he rushes off, but he's not listening to you. Running in heels is damn near impossible, so it's difficult to keep up with him. He'll do it tomorrow, he says, and he's late already, he says, and you're okay with that, but someone has to fix his tie.

Your only thought as you hit the ground is that gunfire really does sound like firecrackers.

It's not her; Josh tumbles into you and Donna at the same time, resulting in a sandwich that you imagine is more uncomfortable for Donna than you. Your eyes dart over to her, but she's paying no attention to you. She's sprawled out on top of Toby, one hand on his head, the other gripping her gun. It's all general chaos, with other agents pushing the -

"It's the fourth of July!"

(Shouldn't he have lost his voice by now?)

"It's the god damned fourth of July and as much as we outlaw them, people are still going to shoot off firecrackers!"

More popping, and this time, she easily locates the source. The weight on your back lessens and Gina hops to her feet, barking instructions to another agent as she crosses the lawn. You've never seen her so angry.

"Sorry about that." Josh extends a hand, attempts a smile.

"No, hey. I appreciate it."

She's still not looking at you.

-

A Tuesday rolls around and she's not there. Everything looks exactly as it did before.

"I'm finally free," he says by way of explanation when you enter his office.

Free.

"They caught the guy?"

"Some four hundred pound guy in a muumuu who was hanging around in his mother's basement. He dug up some quote from three years ago and decided I was Satan. He didn't pose a threat to the neighbor's cat, much less me. I'm going to visit him in prison and point out the three dozen grammatical errors in his hate mail."

"Oh."

This is good, of course, and you really shouldn't be frozen in his doorway, clutching folders to your chest.

-

The hot water in your building never lasts for long. Even in the summer, even in the evening, when you try to keep the spray tepid, it goes cold entirely too quickly. You have one hand against the wall and the other between your legs when it reaches the point when you can no longer ignore the chill. But you're almost there, so you bite your lip and deal with it until your inner walls pulse.

With chattering teeth, you step out, wrapping an oversized towel around you. No air conditioning, so you warm up quickly. You daydream again while you dry your hair.

She'll knock on your door, dressed down, casual. Long legs encased in jeans, low-cut shirt with short sleeves. Maybe a skirt or shorts, on account of the heat. A hand on your face, excuses as to why she couldn't do anything while she was protecting your boss.

So when there really is a knock on your door, your breath gets caught in your throat. Instead of grabbing your robe, you make your way over there with only the towel and your slippers on.

The pizza delivery guy seems to be impressed.

(fin.)