"Hair fibre from a wolf.." Ryan muttered through glances between his report and the microscope in front of him.

Due to the lack of trace analysts, Ryan had been put back into the lab in order to cover the overflow of evidence from the day and night shift. Three days of work and he'd already gotten through half the flow on his grind. It wasn't easy, but he could handle it as both a workaholic and someone loyal to their job. Being newer to the crime scene unit did still have its less fortunate advances. Nobody would take him seriously unless he proved that he deserved their respect.. somehow.

He'd gotten accustomed to wearing his lab coat day in, day out after the long hours spent in the comfort of his lab. Ryan liked to work in silence, or so everybody thought, until they realized he wore headphones whilst working. Getting into the zone was the only way Wolfe could focus without his intrusive thoughts getting the best of him. He felt more like a lab technician than a CSI.

The team were investigating a hit on a defence attorney. Eric had his trace evidence sent to Trace a few hours ago and was hoping for some useful results from the gun found at the courthouse. There were only two partial fingerprints, DNA was still processing so the Cuban needed a solid lead.

"Wolfie! Do you have my results?"

Ryan glanced up almost as soon as he heard Eric's voice. He'd be lying if he said that Eric didn't intimidate him a bit. The young CSI didn't know what it would take to finally earn some kind of respect from the older guy, especially considering the state of guilt that seeped through the anger he took out on him. Something strange happened that day though.

Eric smiled at him.

Every fibre in his body burned under his gaze. It was strange, why would Delko suddenly act so.. polite?

"Y-yeah," Ryan stuttered, flicking through the stack of files on his desk and handing the designated one to Eric. "The, um, trace found on the slide of the gun was rocksalt. I don't know if that's going to be any help."

Eric's brown eyes observed the results shown on the papers. A lopsided grin appeared; a look of relief? Ryan supposed he had a suspect in mind. Seeing the Cuban with genuine emotion in his face made him shiver. It was the best, and worst, thing. But it didn't mean anything. He just wanted to see Eric smile at him for once.

"Bartender." Delko mumbled.

"Bartender? You mean the guy who tried to give pity to a patrol officer drinking coffee in a squad car outside whilst holding a cocktail?"

Eric wasn't a stranger to the looks Ryan gave him. Mostly confused, or slightly scared, ones. That's what he got for being such a bastard to him in the first place. He actually missed having a third CSI around, adding in to what he and Calleigh gathered. They both expected him to say something.. but instead it was silence. A year being a CSI and he's already shoved back into a lab technician role again.

"Yeah.. Thanks, Wolfe." Wolfe turned back to his microscope, expecting Eric to just leave as he headed towards the door. "You're welcome." He muttered. There wasn't room for him to say that out loud when his throat ran dry every time he tried to speak to Delko.

But when he thought he finally escaped the pressure, Eric stood still in the doorway.

"Delko. What do you want?"

"I- well.. I want to talk to you about maybe, uh, hanging out sometime?"

"You?" He asked, his whole facial expression blank.

Eric furrowed his eyebrows. The former patrol officer raised his with confusion. He was sure that Eric was never being serious about plans. Calleigh had been the only colleague from CSI that he'd hung out with outside work, aside from Tyler in A/V and Cynthia in QD. Ryan isn't much of an extrovert, and prefers his own space with people he knows and gets along with well.

Yet this, it had to be the strangest thing Eric had said to him. Yesterday he threatened to beat him up and suddenly the mood has changed? It had the younger man perplexed. Mixed signals.. from Delko? That's a new one.

Eric spun back around to face him. "Ok. Yes, but not in the way you think.."

"So you want a date?" Ryan deadpanned, sliding his finished report into the folder. Those chocolate brown orbs grew wide with curiosity. Eric knew Ryan would make him get straight to the point, it was part of his personality. His emotional intimidation clearly overpowered Eric's physical intimidation.

The older man sounded nervous asking him out. That wasn't a bad sign, if anything greater than him sounding cocky and arrogant. "Um.. yes."

"Can't tonight, I'm knee deep in this pile of unsolved, on going and current case trace evidence." He replied, rather sorrowfully, "but, the weekend is fine.. if you're okay with that?"

Delko looked up from the ground, lost for words. "Oh, right! Yeah! Saturday it is."

"I'll text you Friday night." Ryan promised.

"Well, until Saturday.." Delko smiled, taking the folder with him and leaving the Trace lab with a slight spring in his step.

'Cute.' Ryan thought as he resumed his work once again leaving his thoughts about Eric at the door.