"She's pretty," was the first thing Soto said after he and Hauser were in the hospital room, silent as the proverbial churchmice.
"That she is," Hauser said, sitting at Lucy's bedside.
"I think I know..." Soto said. Blurting it out before Hauser could obfuscate or slide past or glare him down, Diego said "Petty mentioned a woman doctor on Alcatraz in the '60s, and I never came across anything about -- It's her, isn't it?"
"Yes," Hauser said.
All this time, I thought you are in love with her, which, while a bit beyond June-December weddings, isn't... You were in love with her back then too. Holy crap, it's like a Hallmark Channel movie or - Lucy Bannerjee, our very own Captain America. "Kathryn Giddings."
"What?" Hauser asked.
"Back in high school, I had this huge crush on Kathryn Giddings. She didn't know I existed, of course. And, well, my point is that I never thought her name would be, well, what it was. She didn't really look like a Kathryn, or a Camile, or anything like that."
"What did you think her name was?"
"Jo," Soto said. "Maybe Eowyn."
"Don't feel bad, Soto," Hauser said. "I only learned Lucy's name more than halfway through our first date."
"That didn't make your job difficult?"
I dreamed about her, thought of her, all the things you've probably done in our respective youths. "She was one of the highest-ranking people in Alcatraz, directly answering to the Warden himself."
"While you were a guard, right?"
"I was a police officer, actually," Hauser said. Into the silence, "You know when I knew?" Hauser asked.
"No clue," Soto said.
Normally Hauser wouldn't be so talkative. But he knew Dr. Soto wouldn't tell anyone what he said - for one, I can name his circle of friends with one hand. And Madsen wouldn't believe him, because she wouldn't buy the idea that Emerson Hauser could be so verbose.
And Hauser knew that Soto knew all that, even if he didn't like being aware of it.
"I was working one evening when she walked in. I was fighting to keep abreast of all the things I had to do... but when I saw her, I stood up and listened to what she had to say."
"Alcatraz business?" Soto asked.
"Something like that. You see, it was she who I promised to look for the twin trees. I promised her, and her response was to ask if she could help."
Hauser permitted a small smile at the young man's enthusiasm at news of the victory. "I didn't think before I asked her if she was intending to help in those shoes."
Diego winced, having stuck his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion himself, so I know how Hauser must've been kicking himself as soon as he said that.
"But Lucy looked at me and said she had been hoping I would take her to dinner first." She never did tell me if she misunderstood me, or was simply being forward.
"Man. Oh man, you are lucky," Diego told Hauser.
"I was," Hauser said. Then, gone. And, after too long, she came back.
That was when Diego's phone rang. "I should get that," he said, and left Hauser alone with Lucy once more.
Now that they were alone, Emerson told Lucy where the twin tree mine had been planted.