Liz wanders through the unlocked door of the Hempstead house in search of Red or Dembe, seeing no sign of either man.
Liz passes the kitchen where she sees two sets of dirty dishes, presumably from the missing criminal and bodyguard's recent lunch, but there's no one to be found.
Liz wanders through the kitchen into the library, peering into the bright, sunlit room for any sign of –
There he is, sitting in his favorite spot on the couch by the window, engrossed in a manuscript.
And wearing black-framed reading glasses.
He hasn't noticed her yet, so Liz leans against the door frame and crosses her arms, a grin firmly in place as she enjoys the view, studying how the frames of the glasses reflect a little of the late afternoon sunshine as he sits relaxed in a dress shirt and slacks, creating the very picture of warm, content domesticity.
Red jumps, visibly startled and Liz can't help but chuckle at the sight – because how often does she sneak up on the Concierge of Crime – but he looks more frightened than the situation really warrants.
Which is odd.
He doesn't offer any snappy comeback or sardonic remark as she expects. Instead he's quickly reaching up to his face to yank the glasses off and stuff them out of sight in his pocket, as if she hasn't already gotten a good, long look.
Is Red self-conscious about wearing glasses? She certainly hasn't seen them before. She knows he abhors any sign of weakness, but that's ridiculous.
(Because he looks good.
"Lizzie," he says loudly, apparently hoping to smooth things over and pretend nothing happened. "Thank you for coming, I have a new blacklister for you!"
(And it's no secret that Liz has a soft spot for men in glasses – she did marry Tom, after all – but glasses on Red? She's not sure she could have ever prepared herself for such a sight.)
But he obviously wants to ignore it, so Liz plays along, not mentioning the lovely black frames that she knows are in his pocket. Instead, she sits next to him on the couch and listens to him describe the case, like a responsible agent. And she doesn't do anything ridiculous, like demand that he return the glasses to their rightful place and throw herself into his lap.
Liz just sits there, legs demurely crossed, with only one thought resounding in her head.
She won't be forgetting those glasses anytime soon.
"Here, I copied the file for you, take a look at his list of associates and see if you recognize anyone…"
Liz hands Red the file and watches him flip to the appropriate page, scanning the list of known associates. She's hoping for a quick and easy ID, eager to close this case. But the silence stretches long as Red continues standing there, eyes focused unblinkingly at the paper.
Liz rolls her eyes. She'll never understand the ridiculous complexities of male pride. There's nothing weak about wearing reading glasses.
(Especially when the black frames accentuate the jade of his eyes, make his tan skin pop, give even more definition to his face, make him look so unbearably gorgeous –)
Liz nonchalantly leans closer to Red, pretending to check her phone as she slips two questing fingers into his pocket.
She feels for a moment.
"So, Red?" she asks innocently, leaning back casually. "What do you think?"
"I'm not entirely sure, Lizzie," he says idly, still pretending to peruse the page. "Perhaps you should leave the file with me for a few hours to go over it in more detail and I'll –"
He puts on a good show.
But she can see right through him.
"Are you sure you wouldn't rather just put your glasses on?"
And she casually offers him the reading glasses she just picked from his pocket.
He freezes, his eyes wide at the sight of the innocent-looking frames in her hand before he risks an anxious glance to her face.
Liz grins cheekily at him.
"You shouldn't be embarrassed, Red," she chastises lightly, waiting patiently for him to pluck the frames from her palm before she lowers her hand. "They look good on you. I like them. In fact, I think you should wear them more often."
And she winks at his perplexed face before she spins on her heel and saunters away, smiling to herself all the while.
It's a meeting gone wrong, her and Red separated by one of his treacherous associates, forced into different rooms of a warehouse and interrogated. It's nothing too life threatening, just an unintelligent criminal with anger issues and a gun, but they took her weapon and she's trying to figure a way out of the situation until suddenly she doesn't have to anymore.
Because Red, who apparently has turned the tables on his captor and gotten his weapon back, comes bursting into the room to rescue her, gun blazing, firing one-handed and effortlessly taking out every lowly criminal in the room within ten seconds.
And the best part?
He's wearing his glasses.
(And the fact that he wouldn't trust his imperfect vision when her life is on the line speaks volumes.)
The flash of his gunfire reflects beautifully in his lenses, his eyes a furious green fire behind the glass, the black frames emphasizing the hard lines in his face as he kills for her, her own personal angel of death.
And he'd be striking enough without the glasses but the addition, when combined with his solid, imposing form in his beautifully cut suit, is simply breathtaking.
Liz's mouth goes dry.
Red comes to a stop in front of her, all the men who dared threaten her dead on the ground, and he looks her over anxiously.
"You all right?" he asks, breathless and worried.
She throws herself into his arms.
(And his beautiful, wonderful, ridiculous glasses push against her face as she kisses him, and she wouldn't want it any other way.)
Only after conducting a thorough investigation of his mouth does she pull back with a popping sound, leaving him completely shell-shocked, his pupils blown wide behind his lenses and his eyebrows rising high above the frames.
(And somehow, they look even better up close.)
"Uh, Lizzie, what –" he stutters, completely taken aback.
She reaches up to delicately straighten his glasses where they sit slightly crooked on his nose from her enthusiasm. When she provides an explanation, her voice is a sumptuous purr, matching her appreciative, coy expression.
"I…really like your glasses."
It's the next undercover op when he gets a taste of his own medicine.
Liz is playing a tech expert worthy of Aram, with a pencil in her ponytail and black horn-rimmed glasses perched on her nose, when Red invites himself on the mission for no particular reason. Liz notices idly that he doesn't look at their target all night, instead keeping his gaze fixed on her as she executes the team's plan to perfection.
It's only after everything's over, the entire mission wrapped up neatly with a little bow, that he shoves her against a wall and devours her.
(And she knows instantly what has been capturing his attention, and she has to smother her delighted laughter in his skin because they're so completely and utterly ridiculous.)
He's tugging at her ponytail when she finally manages to rip her mouth from his.
"So, you get it now?" she teases, tapping the bridge of his own black glasses, the ones he wore at her own request.
"Yes, I get it now," he snaps impatiently, a dark sparkle in his eyes. "Now be quiet so I can kiss you."
Liz laughs out loud, throwing her head back, and he takes the opportunity to lavish her throat with kisses.
"And leave the glasses on," he growls, before he crushes her mouth to his.