Gauging the Temperature

Hospital

Bright, wide lights hang from the ceiling, casting the clean and sterile surroundings with brilliant light. A reception area sits centered before the door where people can check in, or ask for directions to other areas within the hospital. Past the desk is a small hallway with elevators leading to the upper floors, and signs that point to radiology.

Two large metal doors to the left of the entrance lead outside to the ambulance loading dock. The doors are marked 'EMERGENCY ONLY' in large red letters.


Characters

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Leigh Will

Doctor Robinson said the stitches were to come out in seven days, thus Leigh was here earlier getting her stitches removed. It was a rather painless process, except for the first stitch which felt strange when it came out with a slorsh feeling. Not that she's never had stitches before, it just always surprises her with that odd sensation when the first bit is removed.

She's had time to go home and come back since then. Right now, she's waiting by the ambulance bay doors with a basket of homemade strawberry muffins, having coerced one of the emergency room nurses to get the paramedics schedules. Now it's simply a waiting game to be able to say her thank yous to the paramedic that wrapped her up and got her to the right doctor, so she could be in and out without much of a fuss.

"So you're certain that Mason's off soon? I'd hate to be wasting my time. I've got reports that need to be rewritten."

-

Will is happy to suffer through the graveyard rotation when required. It's part and parcel for the occupation that he's chosen. That doesn't mean that he's not much happier and satisfied when he's working one of the day time shifts, or in this case the evening shift. It means that he gets a shower and changed into his street clothes at a decent time. It means that he can go off to his favorite haunt, if there are a few mates to go along with him, or he can go home and plant himself in front of the telly. The whole night is ahead of him.

Will is heading out for the night. He's got on a light weight leather jacket, with his hands shoved comfortably in his pockets. He's humming a tune beneath his breath, something he heard on the radio but can't quite recall the title of or all the words to.

His steps slow and the humming slowly trails off as his eyes land on a figure outside the bay doors, and he feels his mouth turn up in a slow smile as he draws closer.

"Hello there, Constable Levine. Did you get shot again?"

-

The basket is nearly dropped in a comical fashion.

A quick thanks is offered to the ER nurse, and Leigh turns to face the paramedic. A smile is on her face, the basket shoved toward him. "Got my stitches out. Figured I'd say thanks for the quick work on my arm, and the recommendation." She'd pull her shirt sleeve up to show the miniscule scar, but she's got a brown leather jacket on this evening and removing it would just be a pain in the ass.

"Those are for you and your team. Fresh. Homemade. Least I could do."

-

There's a look of startled surprise that flashes across Will's face and reflects right up into his blue eyes as the basket is thrust at him. He's left no choice but to extend his hands and take it, lest Leigh be caught holding out her arm and a basket.

The smile is still in place as he lifts the covering cloth and peeks beneath. The fresh, yeasty and doughy smell wafts to his nose, making his mouth water. "Smells good. Thank you."

A hand reaches in and plucks out a muffin. Will then covers the remaining muffins, but doesn't bite into the muffin immediately. "I didn't fancy you to be a baker."

-

Leigh shrugs a little at that. "No one fancies me much of anything, Mason," she says a bit gruffly. She didn't learn to ensure her father was eating properly by ditching home economics classes and the like. "Muffins I can handle."

Clearing her throat, she looks around the ER. "So, not saving any damsels in distress tonight then? I would've figured you for the graveyard shift most nights."

-

"Ouch," Will says with an exaggerated whistle. "I won't go down that road again."

In a show of surrender, Will lifts the muffin in his hand. It takes some juggling, between the basket and the delicious morsel he's claimed already, but he manages to peel back the paper. He takes a bite, and his face does flash then with true enjoyment of the flavorful food. "Mmm …" Will doesn't try to speak beyond that because he has a mouth full of muffin.

Once he swallows, he does compliment the baking. "That's good." Beat. "I'm not much for the graveyard, actually. Only when it comes up in rotation or they're really desperate for coverage. Quite liking have time for a life and taking part in the waking world, y'know?"

-

Wrinkling her nose, Leigh laughs. "I prefer days and evenings myself, but rookie," she points out. "At least compared to most. It generally means getting the shifts no one else wants." Especially on the weekends.

Waiting with anticipation as he tries the muffin, she breathes a sigh of relief when he doesn't gag. Smiling, she nods. "Good. I worked hard on those." But then she lets it all go.

"I was about to go grab a pint at the pub around the corner. Interested?"

-

"Rookie, huh?" No judgement, no degradation in the words. His congenial smile is still in place, his demeanor open and relaxed. "I remember those days. Had their perks … and their poison."

Will looks to the basket, and back at Leigh. He lifts the basket a bit and tilts the muffin toward her in a toast, "It was worth the work. It's delicious."

Will considers the offer to join her at the pub, and the friendly smile he's been wearing lifts and opens a bit more. He's no stranger to being asked out to the pub, but there's something about her confidence and the way she asks. Will doesn't think she's trying to pull him, though who knows? Still, a pint at the pub with a pretty woman? He'd be a fool to say no. The basket is given a little shake. "Would love to, but it's only fair that I drop these off in the break room for the rest of the crew to enjoy. Though, gotta admit, if I wasn't watching my girly figure, I might have to keep them for myself."

Beat.

"Gimme a minute to play hero and earn a few minutes of fame with the food delivery?"

-

Laughing, she shakes her head. "Not so much but compared to the others…" A shrug is given as though Leigh doesn't rightly give a crap about ranks.

"Good. I don't get many nights off." Realizing that the conversation is about to hit that awkward territory, she clears her throat. "Invite the guys along if you want. My treat." Beat. "Not often I'm injured on duty. May as well treat the crew that got me patched up."

A nod is given to him and she adjusts her jacket, almost self consciously.

-

Will tilts the brim of an imaginary hat in her direction. "Just doing our job, ma'am. But it's always a pleasure to serve." There's a reason that Will has a reputation as being 'a character.'

"Back momentarily," Will promises before ducking back into the hospital.

He's not gone long at all, as promised, though when he returns, he's started on a second muffin. "A few of the guys are going to meet us there. Told us to go ahead and grab a table." They said a few other things - or implied a few other things as the case may be - but Will isn't going to repeat them.

-

"Yeah, well I know better than most how often that goes under appreciated," Leigh remarks with a shrug of her shoulders. Doing ones duty never really means that they get noticed or acclaimed for it. She's just trying to make a point of saying thank you.

Waiting patiently is not really one of Constable Levine's strong suits. She considers calling up another friend so as not to make it seem like a date, but when Will returns, he's got a few others meeting them there. That will suffice.

"Wonderful. First round's on me then. I figure you boys don't get enough recognition for the good work you do. May as well treat the bloody lot of you to drinks then."

-

"The recognition … and the thank you are appreciated." It's a change in his voice, and a subtle shift in that amiable smile. There's just sincerity in the words, friendliness and honesty. Yes, he does his duty, and Will has never once thought of doing otherwise, but the recognition and gratitude - when they do come - are appreciated.

Will waits a beat, and then before the situation can get weird, uncomfortable or awkward, rolls his shoulders in a shrug. The light, informal and casual friendliness return, "The round of drinks, though? That's gonna be appreciated more."

He tilts his head toward the street, "Want to walk it? It's not far."

-

"Works for me." Leigh motions for him to lead the way, then falls into step beside him once he does.

There's a lull in the conversation, but she doesn't seem to notice it. It's a little awkward, but after a few steps, she picks it up again quite easily. "Diamond heist guy? Wound up stealing a bag of cubic zirconium." That was a great joke around the station for the entire week. The only thing better than catching a criminal, is catching a dumb criminal.

Pause.

"What do you usually do when you get off work?"

-

Will, too, doesn't pay particular attention to the slight lull in the conversation as they start on their way. It's not a date, and he's not planning or hoping to end up in her flat or her pants by the end of the night, so there's no pressing need to keep up the endless banal chatter of 'trying to impress.' Not that the Constable isn't cute, but this doesn't have that feeling of a pull.

"Cubic zirconium?" Will echoes and laughs. It's a soft sound, a low timbre rolling in his chest that lifts his shoulders. "Wow. Hope it was worth the stitches and bruising. You'd think that he'd have done his homework."

"There's always the pub with the crew. Game of snooker, lots of drinks. Sometimes it's card night, lots of drinks. Sometimes I go home, watch the telly. Ride my bike around if I feel like I need to clear my head."

Beat.

"Most of the time though, I put on a mask, a cape and tights and go around righting wrongs and protecting the innocent."

-

"Pretty impressive resume, Mason." Leigh laughs softly, shaking her head. "Paramedic, reporter, and caped crusader?" There's a small pause. "If you wore glasses, I suppose I'd need to start calling you Kent."

Shifting her eyes toward him curiously, she can't help but ask, "What type of bike?" It's hard to tell whether he meant a bicycle or a motorcycle, and she's rather interested to see if it's the latter.

"I like to avoid the crew when I'm done work. I hit the gym, or this American-type pub." Generally one drink and home, but she likes the atmosphere. "You any good at billiards then?"

There's a general shrug when it comes to the criminal. "Hard to tell the difference once it's cut. Figured he was going to bail and let his friend take the fall for it."

-

"No way." Will shoves his hands in his pockets as they walk along. "I'm far cooler than Clark Kent. Also, my disguise would be a lot better than a pair of glasses." Beat. "I prefer the Batman anyway. Bloke's a right nutter, but he gets the job done and he's not a boy scout."

Really, they're talking comic book heroes? But it's fun, and not awkward, and Will always goes with the best combination of fun and not awkward.

"Triumph Thunderbird. I like to relax and cruise. Get out of the city and breathe the country air." Will glances at her. "You into bikes?"

"I play a passable game, some days more passable than others depending on how many pints I've had." It's the honest truth. Will's not a shark at all, he just likes to play and have fun. Though the rest of her words capture his attention, "American-type pub? Where's that?" Beat. "Just curious. I've heard of one or two in London, but never been to one." His cousin Zoe mentioned being dragged to one by her mates, and promised to take him there someday, but they're schedules just haven't meshed.

"Why?" Will asks, going back to the billards question. "Looking to challenge me to a game? I'll have you know, I do put up a good fight."

-

"I'll give you that, but the Batman's alter ego is the rich playboy Bruce Wayne." Beat. "I just don't peg you for the type to be nutter by night, money-flaunter by day." A grin, then she says, "Trying to tell me you're not a boy scout, Mason?"

Leigh's a fan of easy conversation. If that means they're talking comic book vigilantes, then that's what she's going to do.

"Nice bike, what year?" A sly smile touches her lips momentarily. "Could say that. I'm a speed girl myself." The faster the better. "2009 Suzuki Hyabusa." Pause. "But I keep a Ducati Diavel for when I want a change of pace." Quite literally.

"Bass Cafe? It's over in the Lambeth area. I can show you sometime if you'd like." Realizing that it sounds like she's potentially asking him on a date, she clears her throat, and quickly adds, "I'm an awful shot at billiards, but that's part of the fun."

-

Will feigns surprise and shock as he blinks at Leigh. "What's that, Levine? You don't see me in the Aramani suit and gold tie clip, interviewing with Fortune 500 and GQ?" Beat. "If I was a boy scout, I wouldn't have ever had any fun." Or gotten into any trouble, either.

They're walking at a comfortable pace and they'll reach the pub soon enough. "It's a 2007. She's been good to me, and I'm good to her, so it's looking like a long happy relationship." A whistle follows and Will shakes his head a bit. "Speed girl, all right." With a turn of his head, Will gives her a quick once-over, nothing untoward, "Yeah, maybe should have seen that coming."

No further elaboration is forthcoming, and he takes the comment about Bass Cafe in stride. "That'd be cool sometime. I'm always game for exploring the city, finding new places that I didn't know about." Treated as a casual comment just as he would treat it from one of the crew, and Will's past it, "I think then that we might just have to play a game tonight. If you're nice, after I beat you, I might give you some pointers."

-

Allowing her eyes to give him a slow once over, Leigh shrugs. "I can definitely see you dressing the part, I just don't think you're as much of an arse as Bruce Wayne is."

Chuckling she brushes her hands over her jacket. "What gave it away? The jacket, or the GSW?" Pause. "What can I say? There's just something absolutely thrilling about tearing down a nice quiet country road." Not necessarily always at the legal speed limit either.

"Just give me a ring when you're up for it." She considers a moment then says, "If you want to take the crew, I can always give you the address. I've not got it handy at the moment." There. Saving face over the potential awkwardness of it seeming like a planned date. Not that she wouldn't date Will, she's just not really a fan of throwing herself at a guy.

"I'm rarely a sore loser."

-

Will chuckles again, "I'm a man of many talents, but I do seem to lack the talent of being an arse. Usually. Most of the time." Beat. "I think." He's a few exes who might disagree with that statement, but for the most part, Will really is a nice bloke. Which can sometimes be as much of a detriment as being a rabid asshole.

"The GSW was strongly telling. Speed, toughness…" Will trails off with a nod, "Oh yeah. I do like heading down the country roads." Probably not as fast as Leigh does, if only because his bike isn't necessarily built for breaking any sound barriers.

"Yeah, I'll do that." Will glances at her out of the corner of his eye, and purposely doesn't point out whether he meant that he'll ring her, that he'll bring the crew, or both. "You spend all day slaving over those muffins?" The light teasing banter is back, glint in his eyes.

-

"I deal with enough arse's on the job to know that you've not got the gene." Could be he's an arse sometimes, but then, who isn't? Leigh definitely knows the difference between a true ass, and someone who's just having a bad day.

"I've a penchant for danger, provided it's all on the up-and-up. Legal." She had a 'bad girl' phase, got over that pretty quickly when the words 'boarding school' came up. "They're quiet. Good for thinking. A few quaint little places to stop off at if needed."

There comes a light laugh and a shake of her head. "I'll never tell." Pause. "Why? Have I a bit of flour still stuck to my nose? I was pretty sure I washed it all off…"

-

"Up and up danger? You know that does explain a little more about the GSW and what I assume was probably a foot chase?" Because Will has been on the job long enough, and worked with enough of the police force to know what goes on and infer from what he didn't see.

Outside the pub now, he does a quick crossover step and breaks ranks to get ahead of Leigh, just enough to reach the door and hold it open, a proper gentleman just as Ruby and Evelyn taught him to be. "We'll have to share routes sometime," Will suggests. "Compare maps. Find out if one of us knows a good place that the other doesn't."

-

"Something like that," Leigh replies with a grin. "Though less a foot chase for me, I'm afraid." That was Kellock's job. Hers was to get the arm looked after. Which she did… after a fashion.

There's an odd look on her face when the door is held open for her. Something she's not quite used to. "Er… thanks." It's a tad awkward but she smiles it off and enters the pub. A glance over her shoulder and a nod is given. "Sounds like a plan. I don't generally map things out, but I remember where I've been."

-

Will catches the surprise and odd look, but pretends not to have noticed. He's used to getting those reactions when he does something that isn't necessarily expected. It's whom he is and how he was raised, so Will just continues to go with it. He's only once gotten cursed at and chewed up by an embittered rabid man-hating feminist for doing such a thing.

"Always good to remember where you've been. That way you can get back there again and again." Will knows. He knows his usual routes like the back of his hand. "It's discovering the new routes that are an adventure."

They find a table large enough for the whole crew, and once seated, Will motions for the server's attention. "By the way," he confides in Leigh, "They know us here." He doesn't say whether that is a good or a bad thing.

-

Leigh is just honestly not used to having the door held for her. She's typically considered 'one of the boys' so having someone treat her in anyway differently is always a pleasant surprise. Odd, but definitely pleasant.

Once they're seated, she shrugs out of the jacket and flips her hair over her shoulder. When the server arrives she says, "First round's on me."

Glancing over at Will, she nods. "True enough. Adventure is always a good thing. Even if it winds up being different than you expect."

-

"Now, see, that's the best kind," Will leans back in his, settling comfortably. "The sort that turns all your expectations around and about and upside down? It doesn't get much better than that." One would think that with the excitement he deals with everyday, Will would like the nice and orderly. Except he doesn't, because while his every day job is a challenge, he knows the answers and he has them; the random adventure though? Sometimes he doesn't even know the questions.

-

"It is." Tugging at her sleeve to hide the still-red scar from the shot, she glances around. "Haven't done that in a while. Just let the road take me wherever it wants to." Primarily because she's been banking hours, pulling doubles, covering for the other constables who have actual lives.

"What made you decide to become a paramedic?"

-

"Oh, wow." Will gives a light laugh, and leans his arms on the table. Not that he hasn't heard that question before, it just surprises him every time he does. It's funny because there's the real answer, the one that has to do with the Foundation and all the training he has and his unique skill; then there's the other answer, the one that he gives publically, which while it's also the truth, it's not the whole truth.

"I wanted to help people, save lives." Beat. "Yeah, I know that's cliche, innit?" There's another light chuckle and he scratches the back of his neck. "I was always the one who played doctor when my cousin's and I were kids, and I don't mean it that way. I mean I really played doctor. Would steal the elastic and the antibacterial ointment from the medicine chest and patch up all their bumps and scrapes. I was fascinated by the human body."

Then, his abilities blossomed, and he realized how much good he could do out in the field. "It just made sense as I got older, that this was where I wanted to be. What I wanted to do. I know doctors save lives and help too, but there's just something about being in the trenches that's different."

Easier to hide when he has to use more than the materials at hand.

-

Left eyebrow raising in a quizzical manner when he mentions 'playing doctor' with the cousins, Leigh laughs when he clears that up. "Ahh, you were one of those kids." Pausing, she nods as she surveys the pub again then glances back over to him. "Bet you were the type to rescue animals too, or is that generally reserved for those girls that go off to become nurses?" It's part tease, part genuine need for clarification.

"It's noble, I'll give you that. Besides, you're far too good looking to hide behind one of those surgical masks and caps." Her index finger comes up to brush against her lips momentarily as she considers. "Then again, that would make your eyes pop a little more."

-

Will gives a mock put upon sigh, "Yes, I was one of those kids. Drove my Mum and Dad a bit batty, what with me using our garage as something of my own animal rescue hospital." But, it was yet another tip toward the development of his biokinetic abilities.

Now then, there's a shift in Will's demeanor. There's the slight dip of his head, his smile somewhat more bashful as he breathes in following the compliment. A beat, and then the head comes up, though there might be something of a tinge to his cheeks, the paramedic is clearly reiging back some sort of control. One would think that Will would be used to the compliments, but by nature he's not the arrogant sort and he always has to realign when those words come, most particularly when they aren't expected. "Thanks, I'll keep it in mind. Maybe go as a crazy scapel waving surgeon for Halloween. Use the eyes for distraction."

There's an uproar of a sort then, as the rest of the crew files in and joins them. It's good to break what could possibly be tense or awkward, and once everyone is settled, the first round is brought round.

-

"Nothing really wrong with that." Leigh just never had the upbringing to be that sort of kid. "My bet is all those wee little animals are thankful they had someone looking out for them."

Did she really just make the paramedic blush? There's no way in hell she managed that, is there? Definitely not. She's saved from thinking on it too much by the uproar of the rest of the crew. All she manages to say is, "They do say sociopaths tend to be those you least expect — the good looking, charismatic types." Pause. "Could definitely see you dressing like that for Halloween." She blinks at herself and then shakes her head. "Not that I think you're a sociopath…"

Cough.

Oh, look, a drink. Grabbing it, she raises the glass and makes a silent toast to the paramedics.

-

Yes, she did make the paramedic blush. Her follow-up does pull a rather lopsided grin from him, as Will is beginning to suspect that she's not quite meaning for her words to come out sounding the way that they do. He's not sure if he should encourage her or rescue her, but the drinks and the rowdiness - and thanks of his crew - saves him from having to figure it out.

Will meets her toast, raising his glass as well, and allowed himself to be temporarily drawn into the conversation around them. It's the usual - good night, bad night, who can be the biggest hero and tell the most challenging story. Will finally calls for another round, declaring the next round to be on him, before nudging Leigh. "You up for that game now?"

-

Leigh refrains from playing the round of who's the biggest hero. She's not here for herself, and listening to the stories of the other paramedics? Gives her a general beat for what they consider the most interesting cases — some of which she's worked with her partner. She's fairly quiet throughout it all, she's the 'outsider' here, plus the gaffe earlier just makes her want to be silent.

Having barely nursed her drink at all, she takes a good gulp from it and nods. "You realize you're going to kill me out there."

-

"I'll give you a handicap," Will offers. "At least for the first game, so long as you're not sharking me." It's given with a grin, and teasing lift of his brows, as he pushes his chair away from the table.

-

"Maybe if we were tossing darts." Leigh takes another sip of her drink, leaving the glass on the table as she gets up. Put her on a shooting range, and she's a decent shot. On the snooker table though?

"Loser buys the next round?"

-

"I'm pretty good at darts too," Will smirks. "Though not great." Still, he'll challenge her there as well, if she's game for it. Simply for the relaxation and fun of it; that's what this is, a night to relax.

"You're on. I hope you brought extra cash." The words are delivered with a wink.

-

"Have plastic, will travel," Leigh replies with a laugh. "Already resigned myself to losing."

Seems she's not going to care all that much if she does lose. After all the night is about relaxing, and appreciating the fact that she could have been hurt a hell of a lot worse, but wasn't. "Jake tried to teach me to play once. Got pretty frustrated when I kept bouncing the balls off the cloth."

-

"Ah, now you can't go in with that attitude." Will snags her drink, and his as well, motioning toward the table. "Positive thoughts, positive thoughts."

Reaching the billiards table, Will places their drinks on a low shelf, but within reach. "Sounds like you need a good teacher." Beat. "Like I said, I'll give you a few pointers."

-

"Who said I wasn't positive, Mason?" Leigh winks at him. "I'm positive I'm going to lose." Now that they're away from the table she does seem a little more relaxed. "I'm also positive that if we were to play darts, I'd be up at least fifty points on you."

Noting where he's placed the drinks, she goes to grab a cue and chalk it up. "Jake's a great teacher, with the patience of a pit bull. He finally figured if he quit trying to teach me, it'd be easier on his ego. Can't be having his daughter embarrassing him down at the local pub."

-

Jake? Will can't help the flicker of curiosity that flashes across his face. It's not that hasn't heard parents called by their first names, it's just not the norm for him. Still, he doesn't ask. He tests the heft and several cues and finally settles on one to chalk. "Maybe after this, we can go for a game of darts. See if you're just full of talk."

Beat.

"You want to rack or break?"

-

"My father," Leigh says somewhat quietly. "Can't exactly call him 'dad' around the precinct though," she adds. It's the easiest explanation, though the entire situation is far more complex than that. "You're on."

Glancing at the table, she wrinkles her nose. "Break, I suppose. It may be my only chance to sink a ball."

-

"Your father." Will acknowledges it with a simple nod. Following in the family footsteps; Will is familiar with that, although it wasn't a path for him to follow. That was a road and gifts bestowed on others, though he really is neither jealous nor bitter. Will wouldn't trade his gifts for anything in the world.

There's a lopsided grin again as Will racks the balls on the table. "Maybe you'll get lucky and sink two."

-

For Leigh it was not so much a desire to follow in daddy's footsteps rather than a necessity. She'd be better off behind a desk, but she's good at what she does so why fight it? "Did you think I'd made him up to gauge interest?" She snickers a little, then rolls her shoulders backward. Just before she sets the cue properly in her hand, she adjusts the shirt again to hide the scar.

"Maybe." Leaning down with the cue in her hand, she draws it back slowly then slides it forward to allow the cue ball to crack against the others. One bounces off the ridge of the table, looking for a second like it may go flying before it drops in a corner pocket.

-

"Nope," Will answers simply, watching as she takes her position. Observant blue eyes, probably more observant than they usually are when he's not on the clock, and likely more so because he's actually watching Levine and trying to get a read on her, notice the adjustment to the sleeve. Again. It's a curious thing, but just one of those Will files away for now.

Beat.

A slow, playful curving smile that touches a light to his eyes. "Are you trying to gauge interest?"

Another beat.

"Or should I be the one trying to gauge interest?"

A congratulatory whistle is given as the ball finds it way into the corner pocket, along with a few mild claps. "Looks like you're out the gate and running."

-

"Might be," she says with a slight shrug, "Haven't decided yet." Leigh winks at him as she smiles. She knows full well that she has decided, but he doesn't need to know that.

Beat.

"Maybe." She allows a small pause to pass while she reaches for her drink to take a sip, and takes her next shot, as she sank a ball on the break. She misses this time, the ball bouncing off another and spinning to stop in the middle.

"Or maybe," she says, peering directly into his eyes as she does, "It'd just be easier to say that I enjoy talking with you, and I'm having fun hanging out with you, and see what happens from there." Because really, Leigh's not into playing games so much.

-

The paramedic speaks not a word as the constable takes a drink and then lines up her shot. Possibly there is something of a wince given as her shot fails to score home in a pocket, but it's brief and only lingering enough to be lightly teasing and not at all mean-spirited.

The gaze is met and held when Levine turns to do so, and the playful smile tips just a bit into something slightly undefined. Will lifts a brow in acknowledgment. "I think I can work with that."

Will brushes past her, allowing his shoulder to barely brush hers, and walks up to survey the table. After a bit of consideration and a half-circle, he lines up the cue to make his shot. The ball angles nicely off the side and directly into the nearest diagonal pocket. His second shot doesn't go nearly as smoothly, coming to a slow roll and teetering at the edge of the pocket before lazily rocking in. The third shot misses, sending the cue ball careening into the pocket at break neck speed.

Straightening, Will scratches the back of his neck and gives Leigh a shrug and a cheeky grin. "I think that would be your turn, Constable."

-

Deep green eyes remain glued to the table, partially to see how he's lining up his shots. Partially because her mind is wandering a great deal to things it really shouldn't be wandering to. Eventually she shifts her gaze to Will, watching him. She's fairly certain that he missed that third shot on purpose, but she's not about to look a gift horse in the mouth — no matter how it came about.

Stepping across the table from him, she retrieves the cue ball and turns it over in her hand.

"I think it would be."

With a sly little look in her eyes, she wanders back around the table to stand next to him. Carefully placing the cue ball at just the right spot. She leans down to take the shot, calculating where she needs to hit. One ball drops into the side pocket, another nearly drops into the corner pocket, but hits the edge of the table and rolls back.

Wrinkling her nose, she wiggles along the table a little and takes the second shot which misses horribly.

-

"You know, you're really going to make me feel bad about winning this one," Will teases.

It requires manueveiring past her to reach an optimum spot at the table, and this time, Will places a hand lightly to her side, gently and mockingly nudging her slightly to his left. There's more than a little laughter and teasing in his eyes as he does so, and he licks his lips in feigned innocence as gunmetal blue-gray eyes take in the length of the table to find the appropriate shot.

A few steps are taken toward Leigh, and then he leans over, lining up the cue. Drawing it back, it hits the cue ball which cracks into one of the others, sending it spiraling into the center right pocket. Then it's a half circle around the table to line up a second shot, which fails but leaves Leigh in a bit of tricky set up.

Will cants his head and studies the table, before lifting a hand and motioning the pretty constable closer. "Would you like a bit of friendly advice for this shot?"

-

"I told you I was an awful shot." Leigh's positive it has something to do with the trajectory being different when she's leaning over and trying to eye specific locations to hit the cue ball. If she's got a good enough distance on something, she's a crack shot.

The teasing touch is met with a chuckle and a very slow, deliberate shifting out of the way. Her drink is finished off while he makes his shots, and she leans back just a little to admire the view when he makes the shot.

Thankfully she's adjusted herself to observant opponent by the time he's standing back up and beckoning. She grimaces at the tricky shot, and nods. "Definitely."

-

Will paces the length of the table for a beat, and then reaching the best spot, he gives a little incline of his head to invite Leigh closer to him. "This is going to be the best spot."

A pause while he leans over the table and lines up the shot, explaining, "You don't want to go for the target ball directly, there's no way to hit it. You need to use that ball," Will points with the cue, "To knock it where it needs to go. But if you don't get the right mark, you're just going to scratch."

Will straightens again, and taps his cue against the floor, "I can show you how to line it up if you want?" Never assume anything and always leave it her choice. Will's not the sort to force himself on anyone, ever.

-

Leigh follows him along the table, pausing when he does. She's careful not to get in his way while he figures the shot out for her. When he straightens, she leans down to try and get the same perspective that he just had, eyeing the ball carefully. There's a slight shift to the right side and she leans down again, trying to figure out the trajectory of the ball, before she straightens and frowns.

"If you don't mind?" Pausing she glances over her shoulder at him. She licks her lips once then laughs. "I swear I'm not doing this just to get you close. I really am just a horrid shot."

-

"Yeah, I've noticed that," Will says teasingly, the words lilting and airy, ringing with the hints of playful laughter. Again, it's not a malicious sort of teasing, just the friendly sort that goes on long enough to earn a smile, but never goes on for too long. "I've just been assuming that you're better with a gun in your hands." And that sounded better in his head than it did leaving his mouth …

Feeling a faint warmth crawling up his throat and into his face, Will coughs to cover and gives himself a slight headshake. "Right," Will nods, drawing out the 'i' as he steps up behind her, aligning his body with hers, but managing to walk that fine, delicate line between polite and utterly lecherous. Avoiding touching isn't possible, but avoiding offending her or giving her the wrong idea about his intentions is.

Will shifts her arms, adjusting her hold on the cue, his voice a lot softer now due to their close proximity. "Loosen up, no need to have a death grip. It's not going anywhere."

Once her arms are settled, he focuses on lining up the shot, using a gentle nudge on her waist to position her where she needs to be. "See, now you should be staring right down the cue stick at the right side of the cue ball. That's where you're going to want to hit it."

-

"I am," she replies, not seeming to care that he's teasing. She's used to the ribbing from the guys at the precinct, so it's not as though it's anything new. "Like I said. If this were darts, I'd be doing quite a bit better." Things are quite a bit easier when one has a target to focus on rather than trying to delve into the physics of it all.

Allowing herself to be adjusted to the proper location, and the proper grip she lets her shoulders relax as well. "I'm loose." Leigh realizes how that sounds, and then coughs. "I mean my grip is loose now."

Though she tries to suppress it, it's her turn to blush, the heat creeping quickly up her cheeks.

"Okay, let's give this a try." She does what he says, staring down the stick at the right side. Her arm is drawn slowly back, and she taps it against the cue ball. Which hits with alarming accuracy to sink the ball. There's a bright smile on her face, and a cheerful, "Thanks, Mason," given.

Of course her follow-up shot fails, because the ball nicks the corner of the pocket and bounces off the cue ball to the opposite side of the table.

-

Will chuckles at her phrasing and re-phrasing, but beyond that, he doesn't call her on it. He steps back to allow her to take the shot, though truly the paramedics eyes are more focused on the pretty constable than the table when she does make it.

"You're welcome, Levine," Will responds without missing a beat, "Anytime." Which is promptly followed by a wince when she misses theh next shot.

"My shot?" Will asks with mock innocence, a playful grin dancing across his lips. He strolls up to the table, stopping just inside her personal bubble to take the long way around as he dances his hand off the small of her back.

There's a few moments then while Will picks his shot and lines it up, but he doesn't take it. Instead, he looks up at Leigh from across the table with a coy smirk. "In case you were still trying to gauge the temperature? I'm going to have to go with 'hot.' "

-

"Your shot." Talking about the game is so much easier than trying not to fumble the other words. Leigh smiles at the touch to her back, though once he's in position to take his shot, she takes a step back from the table so that she doesn't distract him.

"Hot," she repeats. "I can work with that." It's a quiet recollection of something he'd said earlier. Rubbing the back of her neck, she grins. She can definitely work with that, and now she won't feel quite so bad about the lost-in-thought moment not too long ago.

"Go ahead, finish kicking my ass."

-

"If you insist," Will laughs good-naturedly. With a wink at the constable, the figurative gloves come off. Will sinks the next three shots in rapid succession, surprising himself at his successfulness in the endeavor.

Straightening up from the third shot, he holds his hands up in mock surrender, "I swear, I'm really not normally that good. I'm getting lucky tonight." Beat, followed by a wince as Will roll his shoulders and mock coughs. "At billards. Tonight."

The blush is rising again as he turns away with a shake of his head to take his final shot.

-

Leigh laughs. She honestly can't help it. It's nice to know that she's not the only one with a penchant for bungling words this evening.

"You are," she replies. "At billiards." Winking at him, she takes a small step toward him, though she suddenly recalls that he's got another shot.

"Don't scratch now. You sink this one, and I'm buying everyone another round."

-

Will pulls a face. "Now that's not fair. You've just added layers of pressure. What if I choke?" A bemused grin chases away the mock frown, and with a return wink, Will turns back to the table. He takes a full two minutes to line up the shot and pick the right angle before taking his turn.

The ball spins on its axis, bouncing against the side and then rolling along the edge to drop neatly into the side pocket.

Giving a mock bow to Leigh, Will says, "I think that there was something about another round?"

-

Holding the pool cue in one hand, Leigh claps. "Great game. Guess I'll be needing to practice so you've got a wee bit more of a challenge next time." Twisting around so she can place the cue back in the holder on the wall, she grins. So much more fun than just hanging at the pub with the guys from the precinct, that's for damned sure.

"Okay, boys," she calls back to the table of paramedics. "Looks like third round's on me."

Winking at Will, she nods toward the bar. "Let's go. You can place your own order, and I'll settle the tab." Along with getting herself a cup of coffee, she she really doesn't want to have to leave her bike at the hospital.

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