It had been a very long, tiring, and frustrating day. The RED Medic's long white coat and trademark red rubber gloves had long since been removed and deposited in the biohazard hamper for cleaning later, and his red tie hung loose and slightly askew.
Having finally restored the Medbay to order and completing his report to be turned in to the Administrator, Stecker absently pushed the small lensed, wire frame glasses back up to the bridge of his nose and asked of his companion perched primly on the chair behind the German's desk, "Vell zen... vat do you say, Archimedes?"
The white dove cocked its head as if actually waiting to hear what he had to say. "Vich do you zink is vat ze Doktor needs, hm? "Beethoven? Mozart? Sarasate? Bach?" The bird ruffled its feathers and cooed with seeming enthusiasm at the last composer's name. Chuckling softly, the Medic went over to the narrow closet in the corner and retrieved his violin case, "Ah zo, Bach's Partita in E Major it is zen."
As Miss Pauling made her way down the hall, her low heeled sensible black pumps made barely a whisper on the hard linoleum floor as she had hastily altered her course, turning down the nearest corridor to avoid the Scout's attention. The Bostonian had taken up the horrible habit of flirting -very badly, she cringed remembering yesterday's episode where the gangly young man had been bragging to her about how 'awesome' he looked without his shirt- with the Administrator's mousey assistant.
Hugging her clipboard to her chest, she counted to one-hundred before daring a quick glance back over her shoulder and sighed a breath of relief at seeing she was alone in the hallway. To say that she had no desire to be courted by a loud-mouthed, self-important and brash man who had an almost fanatical passion for baseball cards, was a -massive- understatement.
A quick assessment told her that the next juncture would lead her to the corridor that housed the Medbay. Well, she needed to collect the Medic's report after all didn't she? Trying to ignore the sudden sensation of butterflies flitting about in her chest, Miss Pauling unconsciously ran her hand over her dark hair -checking that it was still neatly pinned at the nape of her neck in a bun- then smoothed the line of her conservative knee-length black skirt.
Turning down the next corridor and making her way down the hall, she began to make out a faint sound that steadily grew louder, the closer she got to the Medic's office. Was he listening to a recording... or playing? Pausing when she reached the door and cautiously opening it just a crack, Miss Pauling put one chocolate brown eye to the narrow opening and smiled a little as the butterflies in her chest multiplied their numbers drastically.
The Medic was playing his violin, shirt sleeves rolled up revealing the light dusting of hair covering his forearms, blue-gray eyes closed, brow drawn down and swaying as his fingers danced along the instrument's neck and the gliding bow coaxed a cascade of notes to spill in an impassioned rush from the strings.
His dark bangs fell in a black comma above his left eye, glasses perched precariously on the end of his nose and his expression of intense concentration softened into one of sweetest pleasure as the down turned neck of the violin rose to point back up towards the heavens as he straightened to his full height and the music blended into a heart-melting siren's call. The hard lines of his lips parted slightly and a faint flush colored his high cheek bones as he surrendered to the music consuming him.
Almost holding her breath - for fear of wavering or making a movement that would draw him out of his seemingly enchanted state- Miss Pauling took a few moments to look over the older man. The arch of the small of his back as he shifted... her eyes trailing up his lean back muscles as they tensed and relaxed with his playing, showing a fine form under them and then along his broad shoulders and long arms.
She had rarely seen him out of uniform like this, realizing now that she had never expected a man of medicine to be so athletically built beneath the lab coat he always wore. His arms especially drew her eye, the way they were so chorded and the muscles bulged with his movements as he played. A smile turned up the corners of her lips and an attractive flush tinted her cheeks as she studied the sharp planes of his face and his strong jaw as he coaxed such beautiful music from the delicate instrument.
Stecker swayed gently, as the back and forth glide of the bow slowed until at last he lifted it away at the end of the last down stroke and the final soft notes of the song began to fade -his chest rising and falling on a soft sigh- and he slowly opened his eyes.
Keeping quiet for just a few heartbeats longer -letting the silence linger- Miss Pauling hastily patted down her hair and the lines of her skirt one more time before opening the door fully and making her presence known.
Looking up from loosening the frog of his bow and blinking slowly -unconsciously pushing his glasses back up onto the bridge of his nose- the flush on the Medic's cheeks bloomed from pink to red as he smiled brightly at the Administrator's attractive assistant.
"Gueten Abend, Frauline Pauling," he greeted sincerely, giving that little bow that she always secretly found so charming, as his nimble fingers wiped down the bow and violin before laying them gently back in their case.
"Good evening, doctor," she responded shyly and tipped her clipboard -that was clutched tightly to her chest as if it could keep her racing heart from beating out of her chest- in the direction of the instrument. "You play beautifully."
"Oh, no... not rrreally. Zis is just mine guilty pleasure, if you vill. I am not all zat skilled, but danke," Stecker fidgeted with his glasses and chuckled softly, before concentrating intently on rolling down his sleeves and buttoning them before slipping his suspenders back up over his shoulders and slipping on his vest and buttoning as well.
Miss Pauling was secretly pleased when he didn't reach for a coat, but for the file folder on his desk instead. "Here is ze rrreport I have written summarizing vat I saw during today's battle und updates for each of ze men's medical records to be added to zere personnel files."
She accepted the paperwork with a soft, "Thank you" and slipped it between her clipboard and her breasts, while desperately trying to think up a legitimate reason for her to linger just a little bit longer. Unable to think of any valid excuses, Miss Pauling gave the Medic a small smile, "Well then... have a pleasant evening, doctor."
"And you as vell, Frauline Pauling," Stecker offered in return, all the while trying desperately to think up a reason for delaying her departure if even it was only for a few minutes more.
From his perch on the chair behind the Medic's desk, Archimedes cooed softly and cocked his head as if confounded by the room's two other occupants and their shy interactions. In a sudden staccato rattle of flapping wings, the dove launched himself into the air, but rather than landing on the German's shoulder as was its habit, the bird came to rest on top of the petite female's head and contentedly settled down as if he intended to roost there.
"Och! Archimedes! No!" the Medic hurriedly moved to retrieve the misbehaving dove, "I am so sorrry, Frauline! I do not know vat has come over him." He was secretly pleased that when the bird had landed on her head, she had not begun flailing and screeching but gone utterly still instead.
Giggling softly as the handsome German's nimble fingers tenderly lifted his wayward pet from her hair, Miss Pauling assured him, "It's alright... really." Reaching out as he held the dove cradled in his strong hands, she glanced up over the tops of her glasses at him while gently stroking the bird's head with one neatly manicured but unpainted fingertip, "I was rude first after all... forgetting to greet him too."
Stecker blushed brightly and blinked in surprise, blue-gray eyes dancing in delight at her sense of humor and the affectionate gesture to the dove, which most all his teammates viewed as a nuisance. Startled out of his reverie by her soft, "You have a good evening, too, Archimedes" the German absently settled the bird on his shoulder as he cleared his throat and took one step after her already retreating form.
"Frauline Pauling!" heart hammering and ignoring the heat rising in his neck and cheeks, the Medic caught her hand as she turned at his calling her name and bowed deeply over it and brushed a feather-soft kiss to her knuckles before straightening and smiling shyly down at her.
"I vas vondering, if perhaps you vould do me ze honor..." he had to clear his throat as his voice cracked with his nervousness to get it under control again, "ahem... ze honor of joining me for a cup of coffee or two if you have no ozer prrrevious engagements zis evening."
The Administrator's assistant blushed brightly, her chocolate brown eyes blinking owlishly behind the cat's eye frames of her glasses as she replied a little breathlessly, "Oh! My! I... I'd love to... yes!"
"Vunderba!" the German broke into a huge grin, lifting her hand -which he still held- to brush another kiss to the backs of her knuckles before reluctantly letting her have it back. "I vill call on you at seven... if zat is convenient?... und ve vill go to ze commissary togezer."
Resisting the urge to press her knuckles to her lips where his had just been, Miss Pauling clasped the clipboard and file folder more tightly over her jack-rabbitting heart, "That would be wonderful. I'll see you then?"
Smiling brightly, Stecker nodded, "Javohl, I vill see you zen." An almost giddy light danced in his eyes as he watched her exit the Medlab. When the door softly but firmly clicked shut, Archimedes flapped startled from his perch as the Medic gave an excited little leap into the air and did a fist pump, "Horrido!"
In the hallway on the other side of the door, Miss Pauling broke into an ecstatic little jig with an enthusiastically whispered, "Yesss!" before clearing her throat and straightening her glasses -glancing up and down the hall to be sure that no one had seen her- then primly continued on her way.