Pairing: Can read as pre-Ryan/Claudia or Gen
Word Count: 323
Summary: For Louisedennis’s primeval denial fandom stocking, using one of her likes (Crochet) as a fic prompt.
Claudia frowned at the package on her desk. It hadn’t been there earlier, and she’d only stepped out for a few minutes, not seeing anyone nearby. However, in the middle of her desk was a present. It was wrapped in silver paper and a big red bow, with a little tag with her name on it. Just ‘To Claudia, Merry Christmas’.
Opening it up she found a pale pink and white scarf, made from thick soft wool. Running her fingers over it, she smiled, before taking it out of the paper and winding it around her neck.
She knew from the fact that the gift-giver had omitted their name from the tag that they wanted it to remain a secret, but her curiosity wasn’t taking no for an answer. She thought that the handwriting looked familiar…
A short time later, it hit her.
Around lunchtime, she finally managed to catch Ryan alone. He was sitting in the break room with a mug of tea, filling in the crossword in a newspaper.
“Captain Ryan? Mind if I join you?” At his nod, she sat down. “I wanted to say thank you for the scarf.”
To his credit, he didn’t bother to deny that he’d left it for her, just smiled.
“I’m not going to ask how you knew,” he said, “but I’m glad you liked it.”
“It’s beautiful.” Claudia saw the proud expression on his face and it confirmed her other thought. “You made it, didn’t you?”
Ryan glanced around, relaxing when he saw that the room was empty apart from them. “I got bored during lockdown in April and taught myself to crochet. It’s actually quite calming,” he said. “Listen, I don’t really want the lads taking the mickey…”
Claudia smiled. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about but don’t worry, Captain, your secret is safe with me. On one condition.”
“That you let me buy you dinner to say thank you.”