"Rafa!" Benson jogged to meet him outside the courtroom. "Sorry, running a bit behind this morning," she apologized, a little breathless.
"Me too." He checked his watch. "7 minutes to spare."
"You ready?" she asked, eyeing him critically.
The night before he'd called her to check in, and admitted he wasn't as confident about the day ahead as he wanted to be. Since she wasn't on the witness list, she offered to pop in for the first hour or so for moral support through the opening statements. He'd of course refused. She'd of course ignored him.
His response to her inquiry about his readiness was enough to prove she'd made the right decision, and she immediately took over, helping in the only way she really could.
She started at the top, running her fingers quickly through his hair, allowing the copious amounts of product he'd applied that morning to be reactivated by the light rain and mist that had made things unruly to begin with.
On her approach she'd seen him toss a small paper bag into the trash, so suspected he'd had a bagel that morning, and the kind he liked had the little seeds on top. "Teeth," she instructed, and when he presented them she deemed them clear.
She helped him shrug off his soggy overcoat and folded it over his arm. She adjusted his tie and smoothed out the lapels of his jacket before reaching in to extract his phone from the inner pocket. She put in the code from memory and made sure it was switched to silent before returning it.
"How's the coffee situation?"
"Running on empty, I'm afraid."
"I'll get you a refill," she offered, taking the travel mug from him.
"Not from - "
"I know. You go get settled." And she was off jogging again.
She made it back just in time, striding to the barrier separating the gallery from the real action and calling his name. Their fingers brushed as he took the coffee from her, and she gave him a reassuring smile before retreating to one of the few open seats in the back of the room.
There was a note folded and attached to the lid of his cup. He opened it as the proceedings were called to order, and he had to school his expression as he taped it to the corner of the table. Just in case he needed the reminder.
You've got this! :D xo
As he stood when called on for his opening statement, he glanced back at her and she gave him a covert thumbs up. He responded with his usual subtle nod, took a breath, and began.