They met through a mutual contact at the Department of Defense. They happened to be visiting at the same time, and after an awkward first moment — as it turned out, neither of them had exactly been invited — her interest was piqued and she invited him to join her somewhere more private.
They kept it anonymous. She preferred it that way; otherwise her new acquaintances inevitably tried to follow her home and she quickly grew bored with thwarting their pathetic advances. He seemed to appreciate and share her discretion, which was interesting but not uncommon these days. They didn't talk about their work — hers was classified and his was… whatever — but they had plenty of other things to talk about, and anyway she was just as interested in how he said things as in what he had to say.
He was rational and unfailingly polite, and although he wasn't as smart or creative as she was she never expected anyone to be, so it wasn't a deal-breaker. Despite his intellectual shortcomings he was impeccably put together with an old-fashioned elegance and sophistication she appreciated. She wanted to ask about where he came from — she suspected their parents knew each other — but she knew he would decline to answer.
Instead they had a pleasant chat about holography, and then to test his sense of humor she regaled him with the tale of her most recently instigated Wikipedia edit war. He didn't quite get the joke — to the contrary, he said he liked the idea of advancing the sum of human knowledge and signed up for his own account then and there — but he knew how to respond to sarcasm, and that was more than she'd dared hope for.
All too soon he was called away to work. She'd been working the entire time, of course, but apparently his work demanded more of his attention than hers did — or rather, she had more attention to give. After a microsecond of hesitation, she offered him one of her addresses. Not that he was actually worth her time, she told herself, now that the initial fascination had passed. None of them were ever worth her time. But he was sufficiently interesting to see again, and, she had to admit, no one more interesting was likely to come along anytime soon.
He took his leave politely, and the connection terminated, one switching to zero with the sudden finality of a goodbye kiss.
Author's Notes: Written September 12, 2008.