Fandom: Body of Proof
Category: Peter, Megan/Kate UST
Summary: Peter quite accidentally finds a chink in Megan's armor.
Author's Note: For havocthecat, partner in crime.
The array of life skills that Peter Dunlop feels is his samaritan duty to impart to Dr. Megan Hunt before she alienates every last soul in the greater Philadelphia area is vast and varied, but one particular item just jumped to the top of the list: Never play drinking games at the office Christmas party.
Honestly, he didn't give that one much thought, especially given that two hours ago Megan was elbow-deep in guts, telling him in no uncertain terms that she couldn't imagine one single reason to attend a social gathering with all the people she saw every day at work "but without work." He gave a few half-hearted arguments about team bonding and the meaning of non-denominational holiday togetherness, but it was mostly out of habit and he was already on his way out the door before she even ordered him to leave her alone. She could be the lab-coat-bedecked Ebenezer Scrooge all she wanted; he wasn't going to miss the party.
He's spent most of the party so far in one of the adjacent rooms where someone set up a karaoke machine – he doesn't sing, at least not until the fourth or fifth round, but he popped in to watch a few of the cute technicians from the chem lab drunkenly slaughter the entire Spice Girls discography, and stayed long enough to learn that Ethan does a disturbingly good Johnny Cash. He's not quite buzzed enough to ask Allie – or Baby Spice, as she's known for the evening – what she's doing for New Year's Eve, so he wanders back out to the makeshift bar.
Only to find half the alcohol missing, and a suspicious group of people clustered around a table in the corner, suspiciously including—
For the briefest of moments, he actually concludes that for Megan to appear at the non-denominational holiday gathering of forced coworker togetherness, someone must literally be dead.
Or that. Curtis is kneeling next to the bar, digging through a tub of beer cans and melting ice, and Peter taps him on the shoulder. "What brought her here?"
He clearly doesn't need to clarify, because Curtis half-rolls his eyes in an expression Peter usually translates as a long-suffering these women we work with. Curtis points. "That did."
Peter tracks the direction until he lands on the chief, his boss, wearing a green dress that's elegant and classy but also goes down to-
Peter repeats that she's his boss a few times in his head, just to make sure that mental image doesn't go any further, before he tunes back into what Curtis is saying.
"I have no idea how she did it, either." He sounds put out. "Dr. Hunt told me this morning that if I mentioned the Christmas party one more time she'd make sure I got the next decomp – she works for me, does anyone ever remember that? – and then tonight the chief walks in the lab for thirty seconds and now she's over there monopolizing all the board games. And the good wine."
Peter glances back and forth between Megan, crowing over her no doubt dominating point lead, and Kate, who's leaning against a pillar at a respectful distance and observing with a bit of a smug look on her face.
"Maybe she threatened to fire her," Peter suggests, hoping to make Curtis feel better. Curtis and Megan have a strange relationship - the sort that two people can only have when one of them is engaged in a power struggle and the other one doesn't even notice.
Curtis snorts. "Yeah, right. You think that'd sway her? I'm going to go check out the karaoke machine. Show these kids how it's done. You coming?"
Peter decides he'll catch up with Allie once Curtis' infamous Journey interpretation drives her back into the main room.
He opens a bottle of beer and walks over to stand next to Kate. "You did it," he says. He can't help it – he's as curious as Curtis.
"Mmm?" Kate turns to him like his approach startled her. "Peter, it's good to see you here. Merry..." her political correctness catches up to her mid-salutation. "Merry whatever," she settles on, raising her plastic wine glass.
He clinks the neck of his beer bottle against her glass, and then tilts his head toward the table of poor souls probably having their Yahtzee self-esteem forever destroyed. "How'd you talk her into coming? I tried for days."
Kate shrugs with the look of polished confidence she wears so well. "It's all in the way you ask."
Peter looks back over at Megan (Megan smiling and socializing, and it's all driven by alcohol and competition, but it's still a strange sight). She glances back his way, but she's not looking at him.
She looks flustered for the briefest moment, color rising to her cheeks before she drinks – gulps – a mouthful of wine and turns back to the table.
Oh. Oh. Peter tries – it's hard, after three beers – to keep the smile from his face as he concludes that perhaps Megan found a reason to attend the holiday party after all, and it was definitely nowhere on the list of things he told her to consider.
He supposes he can't blame her – it is quite the dress.