[identity profile] afteriwake.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] demonicforensics
Title: Introductions
Author/Artist: Ragna ([livejournal.com profile] afteriwake)
Theme: Five times of day (afternoon)
Rating: PG
Author's Note: I couldn’t resist bringing Angell in before the [livejournal.com profile] crossbigbang fic was finished. It was just too perfect…

---

“Did you realize we haven’t actually gone out together in public as a couple yet?” Flack asked Bela on one of his rare days off. “We spend most of our time together inside.”

“What do you propose to do about that?” she asked warily.

“Take you out for a late lunch,” he said. “Other than getting up to make coffee earlier and grab some toast we haven’t eaten anything substantial today. I propose we go out.”

“On a date?”

He shook his head. “No, a date is where I get you to wear something nice and I take you out to a fancy dinner.”

“Fancy by your standards or mine?” she asked with a smirk.

“Mine. And I know my standards are lower than yours in that regard.” He sat up in bed. “Come on. I dare you.”

She sat up as well, appearing to think it over. “Why not?” she finally said. “This should be an interesting experience.”

“Glad to know you’re looking at it that way,” he said with a grin as he got out of bed and began to get dressed.

“Where exactly were you planning on taking me?” she asked as she began to do the same.

“It’s not exactly high quality, but there’s a diner I like to go to.”

She thought for a minute. “Is this diner anywhere in the vicinity of the one Danny keeps talking about, by your precinct?”

“Same one, actually.”

“What are the chances we’ll run into someone you know from work?” she asked warily.

“At this time of day, not that likely. But if it happens, I’m not ashamed to introduce you as my girlfriend,” he said with a shrug. “I mean, that’s what you are.”

Some of the unease inside her lessened a little. He’d never called her that before, mostly because he’d never had to introduce her to anyone he knew. She’d never been considered someone’s girlfriend before, and it actually warmed her up a little.

Within minutes they were both dressed and out the door. It wasn’t that far to the diner, she realized when she looked at her watch as they pulled up. Twenty minutes in moderate traffic. Considering she hadn’t even been to his precinct yet, she didn’t realize exactly how close he worked to where she lived, and how much farther away it was from where he lived.

He parked the car and they both got out. When they got to the door of the diner he opened it up for her. “After you,” he said.

“Thank you,” she replied, stepping inside. It looked clean and smelled okay. She had been in worse diners before. This one was on par with the one she had gone to to get the rabbit’s foot from the Winchester brothers what felt like eons ago. It surprised her to think of her old life and old career like that.

She was jarred out of her thoughts when she felt Flack’s hand on the small of her back. “Thinking about something?” he asked quietly.

“The past,” she replied. “It can wait.”

He nodded and guided her to a booth in the back. He sat down so he had a view of the door. She wondered if he always did this. Perhaps she would ask him. But before she could open her mouth, she heard a female voice behind her. “Don? Bela?”

She turned and saw Angell heading towards them. Her relationship with Angell was warmer than her relationship with Danny; Angell at least understood the world of hunting that Bela associated with the Winchesters, and she had also been more willing to look past Bela’s criminal past than Danny initially was. Still, she didn’t want the woman joining them for lunch if she could help it.

“Jess,” Flack said with a grin. “What’re you doing here?”

She held up a bag. “Picking up some pie for Stella. We’ve got a tough case and she’s stressed, and I know pie sometimes makes her a little less stressed. What about you two?”

“Getting lunch. Normally I’d ask if you wanted to join, but…”

She nodded, her smile getting a little warmer. “Wouldn’t want to interrupt a lunch date. Besides, Stella’s going to flip if I don’t bring this pie back soon. See you guys later?”

“You coming over to Hammerback’s tomorrow for a strategy meeting?”

“Yeah. See you then, Don. Bye Bela,” she said before turning around and heading off.

Bela watched her for a moment, and then looked at him. “How did she know?”

“She’s a good friend, and an exceptionally perceptive woman. She knew I was seeing you before we even decided we were a couple.”

“Does anyone else know?”

“Probably Danny and Buffy, mostly because I think they’re too smart not to have figured it out. But I haven’t actually told anyone yet.”

“Oh,” Bela said, slightly disappointed.

He started to reply when he caught sight of someone coming in. “Okay, here’s someone I can introduce you to who doesn’t know.” He lifted his arm up and waved someone over. Within a few moments, Hawkes was over at their booth. “Hey, Hawkes.”

“Hey,” he said with a grin. “Grabbing a bite?”

Flack nodded. “Hawkes, I’d like to introduce you to my girlfriend, Bela Talbot. Bela, this is Sheldon Hawkes. He’s a CSI. Used to be a coroner.”

“Pleasure to meet you,” Bela said quietly, taking the hand that Hawkes extended.

Hawkes shook her hand and grinned at her before looking at Flack. “So she’s the reason you haven’t been going to Sullivan’s as much?”

“Mostly, yeah.”

He turned back to Bela. “You are a very lucky woman, Bela. Flack’s a great guy.”

“I’ve come to realize that,” she said with a smile.

“Well, I’d stay and chat more but I came to pick up something for Stell. She’s getting cranky.”

“Angell already beat you,” Flack said with an amused grin. “She got pie.”

Hawkes frowned slightly, and then grinned. “Guess I’m making a trip to Starbucks, then. See you later, Flack. Nice meeting you, Bela.”

“You too,” she said as he walked away. Then she turned back to Flack, a warm smile on her face. “Soon everyone will know you’re off the market, Detective.”

“And that’s the way I want it,” he said with a nod. “I’m serious about us.”

“I am, too. If I had any friends I would most likely introduce you to them as my boyfriend.” She reached over for the menu. “Now, what kind of food do they have here?” she asked when she saw him open his mouth. She didn’t want to talk about the fact that, other than him, she was very much alone in the world.

He got the signal quickly and picked up his own menu. “Well, there’s burgers. And they’ve got good fries. And milkshakes.”

She nodded and looked at the menu more closely. If she didn’t think too hard, she could almost imagine that she’d always been this type of girl, a normal girl with a boyfriend. And even though she wasn’t, she had him now, and that was all that mattered at the moment.
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