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He twiddles his pen. Listens to her pencil scratching against the paper. A brief pause, and the scratching resumes. He glances at the file he is supposed to be reading. The grandfather clock ticks louder than usual. There are minute specks of dust floating in the ray of sun from the window. Her scratching pencil pauses again, then resumes. He shifts his shoulder inside his jacket, puts his pen down. Reaches for a different pen, glances over at her. Her hair has fallen forward, obscuring most of her face. She appears immersed in her work, diligently pencilling in word after word on the paper, but there is a smile on her face for no apparent reason. Lifts her pencil for a moment, smiles wider. She lifts her other hand to push her hair back, and he dutifully returns his eyes to the file. The strange activities of Mr. Robertson's neighbour are of absolutely no interest to him. He watches her surreptitiously as she turns a page, glancing at her wrist as she does so.

"You have something planned?" He finally asks the 5th time she checks her watch in fewer minutes.

She looks up, startled, before laughing. "Yes I do. A good friend of mine will be in town tonight, she's picking me up from work."

He raises an imaginary eyebrow. She does not have a social life, and he has rarely, make that never, seen her this excited about anyone. "Is she a PI, too?" Fishing, definitely.

She takes it at face value. "No, she's a stewardess, works on a cruise ship. I haven't seen her for months." And there the smile is again, dreamy and expectant, very unlike her. The imaginary eyebrow is nudged higher.

They work in silence for a while longer, but at 6pm sharp there is the sound of heels in the hallway. Laura raises her eyes, gluing them to the front door, finally throwing down her pencil and rushing over as a pretty, blonde woman pushes it open.

"Julie!" They embrace warmly. "So good to see you!"

"Likewise." The woman smiles, holding Laura at arm's length for a moment before letting go.

"Come, let me introduce you to my boss, Remington Steele. Mr. Steele, this is Julie McCoy. Julie, this is Mr. Steele."

He shakes her pleasantly firm grip and meets her pretty blue eyes, and they make small talk for a few minutes before Laura gathers up her coat and briefcase. "I'll see you tomorrow!"

He watches them leave, arms around each other's waists, pondering if Laura would mind if he were to ask her for Julie's number. He drums his fingers on the desk, then steps into the hallway. Perchance he can ride with them down, gauge Laura's feelings on the subject by spending another few minutes with them.

But they're already inside the elevator, heads bent close together, smiles on both their faces. He pauses, tilts his head, watches them, there is something about their body language... and then his eyes widen, as Laura sneaks her arms around Julie's neck and kisses her, just as the elevator doors slide closed. Oh. Well...

He remains motionless for a beat or two, before retreating back into the office, giving himself an imaginary whup upside the head and chuckling softly. That certainly explains a thing or two.

fin