Reed hated coffee.
He hated the smell of it. He hated the taste of it. He hated everything about it, especially the fact that he desperately loved the caffeine from it. In his younger years, he'd tinkered with the coffee plant, did his own genome experiments, and deduced that no matter how hard he tried, it was almost impossible to get over his body's physiological response to the sheer act of drinking coffee. Any other derived substance simply did not do it for him. He cursed the placebo effect. He cursed his body's psychosomatic reaction. He cursed it all.
That being said, he'd already had two cups of the blasted substance, and was on his third cup when Hope walked into the kitchen. He wasn't too pleased with how she manipulated him, especially considering he still wasn't entirely sure of what exactly happened. He wasn't going to say anything though. So he leaned on the counter, and took very loud sips of his drink. That would show her how he felt.
Hope was just slightly surprised to find Reed in the kitchen, away from his lab. Biting her lip for only a moment, she walked over. "Dr. Richards, do you happen to have a moment?"
He took another long, loud slurp, pointedly ignoring her for a few uncomfortable minutes, after which point Reed nodded. "But only a few."
"That is all I need." Hope began just a touch hesitantly. "I owe you an apology for what I did. Especially for the way I played your feelings for Sue. I did really need your help and it was never my intention to ask it as I did, but I still did it."
Reed continued to drink his coffee in quiet, not really responding to her as he processed what she said. After Sue had pointed out the illegality of what he did, he had slowly realized that he had been manipulated in a way that he was not happy with. She could have simply asked. He probably would have said yes. He mulled several responses around his mind, before finally settling on the following: "Yes, you did."
"In hindsight, I simply should have asked." Hope reflected. "But I do want you to know one thing... I did not mislead you about Sue speaking very highly about your abilities. She has spoken very well of them and it did led me to search you our for assistance."
"Right." He felt that this apology was more for Hope than for himself. The compliments were nice, but not what he needed to hear. "Look, if you're trying to assuage your own guilt by asking for forgiveness, have it. It doesn't affect me one way or another."
"I do not search forgiveness, Dr. Richards. Only trying to be honest as well as trying to make sure that the words I said do not stand between you and Ms. Storm."
Reed gave her a cold look. "A person like yourself could never come between Susan and I. Don't flatter yourself, Ms. Abbot."
Hope met the cold look unflinchingly, her face perfectly composed. "It still needed saying, Dr. Richards."
He simply shrugged in response. He didn't need to hear it. He had no interest in hearing it. The incident was over and done with. That was all that mattered.