Title: Taking A Chance
Author:
[personal profile] kdorian 
Pairing: Charlie/Ian
Rating: Teen and up
Spoilers: Sniper Zero
Disclaimer: No violation of copyright is intended or should be inferred.
Warnings: Female!Charlie, internal babbling
Summary: Sometimes to get what you want, you have to move out of your comfort zone.
Notes: I have more ideas for this verse, but no guarantees they will actually be written


The problem, Charlie realizes, is that although she is almost 30 years old she really has no idea how a woman goes about picking up a man. She’s never needed to before; working in an overwhelmingly male-dominated field, the few times she was interested all she ever really needed to do was show it, maybe smile a little wider and let her hand rest on a guy’s arm, and things generally proceeded from there. Agent Edgerton, she thinks, is probably very used to having women smile at him.

And she wants to pick him up, assuming she can get the two of them away from Don. (And by Don, she means the rest of the team too, because while they may be friendly and she hopes they are becoming friends, they are Don’s first and some part of Don is still convinced that Charlie is the 13 year old who needed any possible prom date pulled aside so Don could explain exactly what he could do with a baseball bat that did not involve hitting a baseball, which is why she went to her prom alone, and she really does not want any hint to get back to him about this).

And she’s a little scared, too, not about the whole issue of being shot at (she knows she’ll wake up shaking at some point, but extrapolating from prior experience, that won’t happen for about two days), but because she’d butted heads with Edgerton during the case and wasn’t sure what sort of impression she’d made with him. And he was smart and there really wasn’t much sexier out there than a smart man. OK, not just smart, but smart and  confident, and right (and there was a certain set theorist who would be so damned jealous right now, having tried for the last dozen years or so to prove her numbers wrong without success). Because she ran into smart all the time but not both smart and able to make her back down because he was right and she wasn’t. The whole tall, broad and muscular bit didn’t hurt either, or that intense look of his that make her feel like he was completely focused on whatever it was looking at (which was not something she had much experience with; the people she spent time with were the opposite of that, and gave the impression that part of their attention was elsewhere no mater how hard they focused on something, because of course it was, she did it herself because the numbers were always there).

And what if he thinks she’s arrogant, or an egghead, or gauche (and she’s guilty on the first two counts, she knows, and probably the third as well), or what if she does manage to get him alone and he doesn’t even notice that she’s interested--

What if he does, and laughs? She can already feel herself shriveling up at the prospect. Another reason to get him away from the team; at least if this turns into something she regrets trying, there won’t be any witnesses.

Maybe this is a bad idea.

Maybe she needs to stop being so nervous about what basically amounts to asking the man if he’s interested, and as both of them are adults a simple thanks-but-no-thanks (if that’s the way it goes) is not going to be the end of the world.

But what is she going to say? She’d ask him to coffee but she’s pretty sure he’s not the Starbucks type. It’s too late for lunch. Dinner at a restaurant seems a little too... something. Too much. She wants something casual, but that will take enough time that they can chat.

And when they (entirely coincidentally) run into each other again at the elevators as they’re heading out, she’s finally got it figured out. She waits for the doors to close before she gives him a friendly smile. She thanks him again, and asks him if she can buy him a beer. Beer is perfect, she thinks, friendly but casual.

Yeah, that’s probably a good idea, not to drink on an empty stomach. Damnit. There are a couple burger places nearby, and the Apple Pan is always great and only a couple miles away, but there are never any free seats (and if she has to try to make conversation while standing and waiting she’s going to say something stupid or strange and the whole thing will be over before it starts).

Unless, hey! She knows this place, does he likes tacos? It’s a little hole in the wall off Wilshire barely even a mile from here, best tacos in LA - seasoned shredded meat, beef or pork or chicken, home made tortillas still warm from the oven, salsa as fresh as it comes, lime wedges. They’re a little sloppy to eat, but absolutely delicious. (And sometimes she wishes she could get her mouth to SHUT UP because now she’s babbling and she’s got to sound desperate or something, he’s going to think she sounds absolutely pathetic, and...)

Oh. Yeah, she can give directions.

She likes the way the corner of his eyes crinkle when he’s smiling at her. He has a nice smile. Maybe this is going to work out OK.
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