As he left his office, left her, he couldn't get her voice from his mind, the slightly breathless tone in which... He exhaled quite shakily. She didn't particularly hide her very Southern charm, hadn't since day number one. She was a tough woman who spoke her mind, was an intelligent woman with a knack for psychology and incredibly perceptive. There was a certain warmth she radiated, too, though. A calmth, maybe. He fleetingly thought it might be the mother in her. Add to that her Southern charm and typical accent. Since Detective Jo Danville was a beautiful woman, too –– dazzling smile, soulful eyes –– Mac Taylor understood how many men didn't know what to do with it, with her. He knew most men, most people in general, didn't look further than appearance, though.
She had definitely been the dynamic needed to balance their team again. She added something unique –– something he quite liked. He hadn't anticipated it. Stella Bonasera and Jo truly were opposites in a great many ways, and somehow Mac hadn't expected there to be another colleague he would ever even like as much. Stella had been a part of the team so long... You just couldn't not like her at all, though, with her nice smile and not-so-very-obvious-but-there humor, her often flirty little... Damn it, Taylor, he scolded. Jo Danville always spoke her mind. It wasn't really new at all, fitted with who he had come to know over those past few months. So why had that little remark got his mind running this way? He had surely gotten used to this being Jo's usual behavior by now, hadn't he?
He could hear the sound of her heels clattering against the shiny floor –– becoming louder, following him. He had only barely registered this when she already fell into step with him. Mac's grey eyes rose to hers ever so fleetingly. She looked a bit dazed maybe. He couldn't really tell.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I shouldn't have... said that."
He just couldn't help notice how still slightly breathless her voice sounded. Grey eyes rose to hers ever so fleetingly. She continued to gaze ahead. She looked a tad flushed actually –– or was Mac Taylor's mind fooling him in that very moment? You're no teenager, Taylor. You have passed that stage. He smiled. "No worries," he whispered. "I was going to have coffee; would you care to join me there?"
She gave him a little smile and walked into the elevator with him as her answer when the carriage arrived, a ding announcing it. He opened his mouth to tell her it might be slightly too cold without coat, but he knew that she wouldn't turn back to go get it anyway, so he just shook his head and didn't say anything at all on the matter. Jo would just always be Jo somehow, and he wouldn't change her for the world no matter what.
"You seem... thoughtful," Mac stated. She had been very fascinated with the small spoon for minutes now, gazing as it slid back and forth slowly without truly averting her hazel eyes. They seemed filled with great emotion somehow, though –– he had noted when he set her coffee before her and she smiled at him slightly. The smile hadn't really reached her eyes, though. Plus, she was quite quiet.
Josephine looked at him over their little table. Mac's grey eyes had always held a strange sort of calm for her –– a certain sort of wisdom combined with this overwelming feeling of reliance. She smiled a bit once more. "I just..." she began. She inhaled deeply first. "I often see those much younger couples and can't even remember what it felt like being in their position. It feels like lifetimes ago. I just... I miss it, I believe," she admitted. "Don't you?" she wondered, timidly.
It sounded... innocent. After all, most of their little conversation skirted close to the edge, no? That was just who Jo Danville was, who they were together somehow. He didn't believe she had intended anything with it, but still he could feel the tension between them as the question slipped softly from her mouth. Grey eyes remained fixed on those soft-looking lips just a little longer than necessary. He couldn't resist it, though. "At times," at last he admitted. "However, with our hectic lives... I barely find time for myself. You should definitely know by now I live at the job."
A more sincere smile ghosted over Jo's features. "I do know," she said. "I live there with ya."
Both of them just smiled, silence stretching between them. Jo's soft whisper broke through it in the end. "I've never been exceptionally beautiful. My sister was always..." She sighed. "I wonder where the time has gone to –– especially when I'm looking into the mirror, really looking. I've been the same single mom for so long."
Mac tilted his head slightly. He had never seen Jo Danville like this, but somehow the honesty spilling from those lips in that calm moment made her look so much more beautiful than he currently remembered ever seeing her –– and he would have without doubt. Mac Taylor was still a man. Mac's warm hand moved to lie upon hers. He gently squeezed it. "You don't look your age in any way, Jo. You are a very attractive woman and any man that doesn't see that..." That wasn't really mean to sound that suggestive. Oh, dear heavens. "You're intelligent, caring, witty, kind, and a truly great mom... even if you're oh so very messy," he continued on a safer note. He laughed as she eyed him with fake indignation.
"Oh, you." She sighed. "I have passed the stage where I would get into some awkward situation if only for..." She trailed off every so slowly.
Hazel clashed with grey. They could both feel the intensity in the conversation. It had slowly risen to this bit, ever since they had left the office. Electricity sparked like it always had between them, but somehow there seemed to be something more neither could put into words even if they tried. If only they knew how the other's mind ran into the same direction at that... A deep, meaningful understanding. A decision.
Jo slipped her arm into his. He pulled her closer to him, feeling her shiver with cold. He caught her grateful smile just from the corner of his kind eyes. He smiled, too. "At least I've you to drag me away at times for coffee," she whispered, "and to burden with my sentimentality then."
"You've got me," he whispered. "Always have. Always will." He wasn't quite sure whether she had heard, nor honestly whether he had intended her to.
Summary: Set after 7.14 Smooth Criminal. At least Jo Danville had Mac to drag downton for some coffee and conversation, no? JAC CO-WRITTEN WITH: Errol's Feather AKA GunWolf2008