Purdey wondered if people at the Ministry would be able to intuit that they'd slept together the minute they set foot inside, if they'd give off some sort of ineffable signal.
With Steed, it was just a matter of time before he worked out what was going on, even though they'd decided to play things close to the chest for the moment.
They just had to see how long they could throw him off the scent. The bets on that front had already been laid. But Steed wasn't the one they had to worry about.
Purdey knew Steed, knew he wouldn't say anything, wouldn't even let on that he'd worked it out unless and until he thought it was presenting a problem,
interfering with the team dynamic and their work.
It was everyone else they had to lose sleep over: the rumour mill, made up of bored agents doing paperwork who would rather turn their incisive minds to unravelling salacious puzzles,
and clerks looking for something to make their tea breaks interesting. Purdey knew this was the case because she'd listened in on them herself.
For an intelligence organisation, there were an awful lot of loose lips within the Ministry's walls.
Its extensive grapevine was the first place she went when she learned she would be working with Gambit.
She'd built a not-completely inaccurate impression of her colleague out of the bits and pieces that had been passed along sotto voce.
It was only when she met the man himself that she realised she didn't have even half the picture—maybe an eighth, if she was lucky.
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