Under Investigation (Viverescribere x Second Heartbeat)

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


An eyebrow raised at his offer to grab her food, something she knew was just a politeness being extended, but it wasn't going to be something Eleanor simply took. "Thanks, but I'm more than capable of grabbing my own lunch." She answered, keeping her tone light and playful so it wasn't misconstrued as rude or abrupt.

The last thing she needed was to be seen a rookie, a female rookie at that, having her team of men at her beck and call already. She had been called a Princess once before. That guy ended up with a less merciful beating in their next combat practice.

Her eyes scanned the menu as Brian got up from his seat, flickering between what was written and what the others on her team had already helped themselves to. The pasta dish looked good, and Eleanor wasn't against carb-loading. There was no such thing as too much carbs, in her opinion. However her attention was diverted to the new voice, one that didn't belong to any of her team, and Eleanor looked up to see a vaguely familiar face.

She had dealt with the agent now stood in front of Brian once or twice. She remembered him for his loud and abrasive personality, one that grated on Eleanor's nerves enough for her to remember his face. She leaned towards Gabriel slightly as she heard the agent speaking to her, eyebrow raising at the titbit of information she had been provided. Not that it surprised her, of course there would be competition and less than stellar relationships even with the FBI. It was the best of the best, after all.

"If we stay out of people's way, Gabriel, we don't get anywhere." She murmured back, glancing to him with a small smile of her own before eventually standing.

It only took two steps to join the men in their heated discussion, and Eleanor came to a stop to the side and just behind Brian. She forced an easy-going smile onto her lips, hands slipping into her pockets as she addressed the blonde agent: "Agent Baker, pleasure to see you again. I'm Agent Garcia, you came to my team in the Violent Crime Unit back a year ago, but I don't suppose you would remember that."
 

Second Heartbeat

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Brian was at a loss for words at how annoying Agent Baker truly was.

All the young agent had wanted to do was grab something to eat after Eleanor had declined his offer to get her something as well. Agent Baker was hanging on to him like his life depended on it however, and Brian was starting to lose his patience. He was hungry, tired, and Agent Baker was like a fly that kept intruding his personal space.

Brian wasn't about to let his guard down, though. He wouldn't give Baker that satisfaction.

"Look, Agent Baker, I just want something to eat, and you feeding me bullshit just isn't doing it. Now if you'd kindly step out of my way, that would be appreciated."

"I'll step out of your fucking way if you give me my position back, you French fuckhead."

Laughing at the comment about where he was from, Brian was about to simply push Agent Baker aside, but that whole plan came to a halt when Eleanor suddenly stepped up to the two men. Looking at her, Brian was a tad confused why she had decided to get involved, but her addressing Agent Baker had the whole scenario make sense.

Eleanor knew him as well, although that wasn't really surprising if Brian thought about it. Everyone knew Baker after all, and everyone knew he was an asshole.

"Huh, Agent Garcia, of course I remember you. I couldn't forget a woman like you, even if I tried."

The way Agent Baker's voice changed as soon as he addressed Eleanor had Brian frown, because fuck, if he hadn't thought Baker was a sleazy fucker before, now Brian definitely did. Having Eleanor mention that Agent Baker didn't make it in the Violent Crime Unit either had Brian surpress a laugh, though.

God knew how this guy had managed to even land a job in the FBI.

"Don't tell me you work in Haner's squad now, Agent Garcia? We have another open spot in our own team, and trust me, it's much more fun... in a lot of ways."

Agent Baker's disgusting tone was something that Brian couldn't easily deal with, and when the man had the audacity to try and touch Eleanor, Brian saw red. There was no way Baker would get his hands on any of Brian's team members, and stepping in front of Agent Baker, Brian had had enough of his bullshit for today.

"If you know what's best for you, turn around and leave."

The surprise on Agent Baker's face was visible when Brian stepped in, but he wasn't about to move or lose this argument.

In Baker's mind, Brian had already done enough damage, so there was no way he'd let the other male tell him what to do. Squaring up to Brian, Baker pushed the young agent back, his voice getting louder as he addressed the other male. The peoplw around them got silent, and it took every bit of self-control Brian had left in his body not to break the other male's face.

"Leave? What are you going to do, huh? Hit me? Doubt you fucking could! Plus, Agent Garcia wasn't really bothered by my advances, yet you have to step in and play hero. What is your problem, Haner?"
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


A laugh and a smile came from Eleanor at Baker's advances, the young woman more than experienced in the species of men akin to the one that stood before her. However she had learned fast, and she had learned well, that you either get men in this career path to like you or you get them to respect you. Agents such as Baker were easy to manipulate, since they tended to think with a one-dimensional organ. The one between their legs.

"I don't think your squad could handle the amount of fun I'd be willing to bring, Agent Baker." She replied wittingly, unperplexed by his sexual innuendo. There had been plenty of them in the Academy and in University directed her way. At least the LAPD knew a thing called Human Resources.

However, she was shocked at the sudden turn of events as Brian got involved, halting Baker from touching her before Eleanor got the chance to. That was the moment she had been waiting for, knowing that a man like him wouldn't have been able to help himself.

Frustration flooded her, and it took all her effort not to scowl and growl in irritation at her boss' interference.

At the shove on her boss, Eleanor slipped in between the two men, occupying the No-Man's Land that had been created. She held up both hands and gave Agent Baker a winning smile, head tilting slightly, "Now now, I can't see why there's any reason to get physical here, Agent Baker." She informed the man, pulling his attention back to her, "And I can very well speak for myself, thank you. I'd appreciate it if you didn't try to on my behalf."

It was a relief when the deep frown on Baker's face melted into a smirk, leaving Eleanor to continue smiling as his eyes wandered over her figure now she wasn't partially stood behind Brian.

"You still haven't denied it though, have you?" He drawled, shaking off the tension in his shoulders as he addressed the much more petite agent. "The offer still stands, Doll, if this dickhead ever gets too boring for you, you're more than welcome to join my team. I'd love to see just how much you could handle--"

Baker didn't get to finish the rest of his sleazy sentence, as he had reached out to rest a curved finger under Eleanor's chin. The woman had moved swiftly, taking his hand to twist his wrist and press her thumb into a pressure point on his hand. This left the agent yelling out in shock and pain, crumbling into the back of a chair to his left, his right arm coming across his body to grab onto the back of it while his left knee pressed against the ground, leaving the man in a lunge position as Eleanor held him in that pressure point.

"As I said, I don't think you'd be able to handle me." She smiled softly, "And also, it's Agent. Not Doll. Don't touch me again without my permission, understood?"
 
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Second Heartbeat

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The second Baker had pushed Brian, he had been ready to knock him out, his fist already balled at the side of his body, but Eleanor was faster. She had slipped between the two men, and deciding to let her handle it, Brian took a few steps back. Women had their weapons, and it seemed like Eleanor knew exactly how to handle a man - and also knew exactly how to take one out.

The exchange between Baker and Eleanor had been short, because as soon as Baker had the audacity to touch her, he was eating dirt. It was safe to say that Brian enjoyed it a bit more than he probably should have, and the soft chuckle that left his slightly parted lips was unvoluntary.

He couldn't help it, though.

"Ow! Fuck! Let go of me! Jesus Christ!"

Baker was in visible pain, and even though Brian could have stared at the sight forever, it was probably best to finally get some food instead of wasting their precious break on this idiot. Tapping Eleanor's shoulder to give her a sign, the woman seemed to understand, and the second Baker was free, he was off running to his table, his head red and his breathing heavy.

"I don't even know what to say to all of this, so let's just get food, shall we? And I apologize for feeling the need to protect you... I don't know what it is, I guess I developed some fucked up hero complex."

Turning around, the amused smile on Brian's face was still very much visible when he got himself a sandwich, his hunger not really being as huge as he had initially expected, and once the two agents had made their way back to their table, Brian could already see the grins all of their team mates displayed.

Yep, Eleanor seemed to fit right in, and Brian was relieved, to say the least.

"Damn girl, you really showed him up! Guess you were right, staying away doesn't always do the trick. Sometimes, an ass beating is in order."

Gabriel reached out to give Eleanor a high five, and Dan and Joe looked at her in awe while Jordan and Elijah recreated the scene, laughing their asses off. Elijah was the one asking the most questions, and looking at Eleanor with a bright grin as he chewed on his food, Elijah was filled with joy.

He had always wished for a badass girl to join them, and reality was even better than what he had expected.

"The way you slammed him down was priceless! His face! I wish I had a picture of it! Where did you learn to fight like that?"

All of the guys were throwing their praise at Eleanor, and having a faint smile on his face, Brian zoned out a bit as he mindlessly picked on the wrapper of his sandwich.

The case wasn't really leaving his mind, and even though Brian got distracted sometimes, his brain usually jumped right back to the task at hand, leaving Brian with the desire to put everything - including eating - on the back burner and keep working.

He knew it was unhealthy, but there really wasn't much Brian could do about it.

Opting to drink a bit of water instead, the tunnel vision Brian currently had made him tune out everything around him. His mind was spinning in circles, and for some reason, the feeling that he was sitting on a detail he just couldn't see didn't leave his brain for once second. It drove the young agent crazy, that much was certain, but he needed to relax.

Brian's break would be over soon enough, and then he could go straight back to work until he got too tired to think - and hopefully, he'd have some results by the end of the day.
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


"The Academy, but also some stuff at LAPD... plus some self-defence classes I took during my time at Uni." Eleanor shrugged, a faint flush to her cheeks at the attention she was receiving. She knew there would be some sort of reaction to what she had just done to Baker, but she hadn't expected her team to be gushing as much as they were.

After the experienced of being stabbed while being mugged, Eleanor knew she didn't ever want to feel so helpless again. She had invested in a few cans of pepper spray which sat in each of her bags - even now to this day. There was one currently in the handbag she had brought to the office. She had taken the self-defence lessons, a course found by her father. They had been eye-opening and intense at times, but Eleanor turned out all the better for it.

But that mugging was also the reason why she hated being touched without her permission.

Her attacker hadn't taken liberties, or assaulted her in that way. But he had made it very clearly obvious that if he had wanted to, he could have. It was one of the reasons she had been unable to leave her student accommodation for days. Terrified of what waited for her, as if he knew where she lived.

The memories of her time in that anxious, paranoid state, caused the smile to flicker, threatening to fade. So Eleanor immediately strengthened it and glanced across to Brian, whom she realised was off in his own little world. Briefly, she was concerned that he was thinking of some sort of repercussion for what she had just done. He had seemed pleased earlier, but he was the team leader after all, his superiors may be expecting him to reprimand her. However, Eleanor soon shook that worry off, since she hadn't actually hurt Baker for no reason. Him touching her without her consent gave her just-cause to defend herself how she wanted. And that was what she would argue until she was blue in the face.

So it was clearly something else.

Eleanor moved her elbow to gently nudge his, a light furrow to her brow as she watched him, "Whatever you're thinking about - leave it. You're on a break... give your mind one too. Otherwise you're going to burn yourself out." She told him, fork stabbing at a few pieces of the chicken salad she picked up alongside her plate of spaghetti. "We'll be back at it soon enough. Take the break to refresh yourself. Remember what I said about fresh eyes?"
 

Second Heartbeat

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Brian was so lost in thought, he was sure he looked absolutely high while he stared at the wall, his sandwich completely forgotten.

However, a small nudge to his elbow broke the trance Brian was in, and looking at Eleanor, Brian let her words register in his brain, her furrowed brow not going unnoticed. It took a while until Brian understood what she was talking about, but the young woman had a point. Maybe Brian did need to chill every now and again, but it was incredibly hard for him to do so, for numerous reasons.

Running a hand through his hair, Brian nodded, a small sigh leaving his lips. If only he could turn off his brain at will - maybe then, things wouldn't be so damn hard on him sometimes.

"Easier said than done, but I guess you're right. It's just hard for me to sit here and act all jolly while I know some poor girls out there are getting raped, tortured or worse, and their fate lies in my hands."

It was hard for Brian to even think about it, let alone openly admit that he was worried more often than not, but he had said it quietly enough so only Eleanore had been able to hear him. The young agent didn't want his whole squad to be in a state of worry because of him, after all. Opening the wrapper of his sandwich, Brian took a small bite out of it, trying to push his thoughts aside for now.

Like Eleanor had said, it was best to sometimes take a break, and it was just another thing Brian had to learn. He was used to going full speed all of the time, but maybe it was time to slow down now. At least, sometimes.

"Thank you for your concern. I appreciate it. How are you feeling, though? About all of this? Your first day, new people, having to deal with Baker... it's a lot to take in after all."

Offering her a soft smile, Brian was eager to find out how Eleanor felt about all of this. From what Brian had figured out so far though, it didn't seem like change affected Eleanor negatively, and he was happy about that. Some people took stuff way harder than she seemingly did. Eleanor appeared calm and collected instead of scared and nervous, and Brian valued that quality a whole lot. At least that way, new challenges wouldn't be a problem for her.

"When I had my first day after my promotion, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack any second. I was super nervous, but I guess it worked out for me. Now I'm just an old man. You seem to be taking it all really well though, and that's good to see. Or you're just a good actor, I can't tell."
 

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


His words caused Eleanor's eyes to drop, and she was certain she noticed a shift in the smiles that were on the faces of their team members. She cleared her throat softly and turned her head away, fork end tapping against the lettuce leaves in the plastic box she had picked up. Quickly she lifted the utensil to her mouth to take the bite of food that had been stabbed onto the end, chewing slowly afterwards.

Eleanor knew he didn't mean anything by his words, that they weren't a direct poke at the laughter and smiles that his teammates shared after Eleanor had put Baker in his place. But still, she couldn't help but feel guilty. He was right after all. These girls were suffering, and going through the unimaginable.

Her appetite depleted slightly after his comment, and her once delicious lunch suddenly tasted of cardboard. However, she forced herself to eat, knowing how important it was to do so considering she hadn't had anything that morning.

"I was more nervous on my first First Day," she commented with a shrug, interrupting her eating with a sip of water, "Besides, there are worse people out there than Baker."

That was true. The case files that they were working on proved it. Not to mention Eleanor was determined to never be intimidated by anyone again, male or female, after being mugged.

The young agent peered across to him as he mentioned his nerves for his first day in charge, a small smile appearing again, "Well that's a little different to me, isn't it? I just got to worry about doing my job, you had to worry about a whole team of people and the logistics of that." She replied, finishing the last bite of her pasta. "But yeah, I'm fine though-- really, I am. I wouldn't say that if it weren't true, I swear."
 

Second Heartbeat

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Brian hadn't missed how his comment had made Eleanor's whole demeanour change, and he instantly felt like maybe he had said the wrong thing. Being too honest was sometimes too much for other people, but thankfully, Brian's question had somehow managed to turn the mood around - at least a little bit.

"I'm glad you're okay. That's really all I care about. If anything gets too much, let me know, and we'll figure it out. These jobs... sometimes they stick with you. I still have dreams about some cases we did years ago, but I knew that would happen when I signed up for this. Just a side effect I assume."

Eating his sandwich more willingly now, Brian checked his watch, and their break was still over an hour long. At least there was enough time for a coffee and a smoke, then.

Watching Gabriel and Dan eyeing Eleanor, Brian raised his eyebrow, but Brian didn't even have time to ask what they were up to now, because the two men soon shared their plans with the rest of the people occupying the table.

"Guys, we were thinking... if you are all up for it, we could host a welcome to the family party for Eleanor tonight?"

Scanning Eleanor's face, Brian watched her reaction carefully.

The guys and Eleanor had already done a lot today, made new discoveries, and Brian wasn't mad at the idea at all. He was greatful for the hard work everyone put in, and it was also Eleanor's first day, so what better day to end it than getting a drink at the end of it?

"I think that's a good idea. I'm up for it. What about you, Eleanor? Got someone to go home to or do you wanna spend some of your free time with us?"

The guys laughed softly at Brian's comment, and sipping his water, the agent patiently waited for a reply from the petite woman sitting next to him. The only concern Brian had was them getting smashed yet again, but at the same time, the guys had to start later than usual tomorrow, so even that wouldn't be too much of a big deal.
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


Eleanor found herself a little more concerned with the amount of time they had left of their lunch. Over an hour and she was finished with her food. She didn't care to smoke, nor was she overly keen for coffee. If anything, she simply wanted to get back to the archives to continue their search. But she had just told Brian that it was important that he took his time to switch off from it all, she didn't want to be rushing him back, as she was sure he would be adamant about joining her if she asked for the key.

At the idea of a welcome party for her sake, Eleanor considered the notion, grateful for the offer but hesitant to allow any fuss to be made. She was only joining a new team after all, and nothing major had been done for them. She hardly deserved a little welcome party, as they called it. Her other team hadn't done anything similar either, so it felt highly unnecessary.

However, the look on her teammates' faces, the smiles and grins that were turned her way, assured her that it would be no problem. If anything, perhaps they were even looking for an excuse to go for a few drinks.

Her head once more turned to face Brian, a small smirk to her lips at his question, "Someone, waiting at home? For me? My, my, Brian, one would have thought you confused me for woman who didn't work in the FBI as a female agent."

Finishing the last of her water, Eleanor looked to her group again, chuckling with a shrug, "I have no plans this evening, a few drinks sounds like the perfect end to the day."
 

Second Heartbeat

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The day had been quite long.

After their break, Brian and Eleanor had spent the whole afternoon collecting all the files they had needed, and after more attempts of finding similarities of the girls in the pictures and any murder victims had proven fruitless, the team had decided it was enough for today. Maybe, their focus had also shifted because the promise of a few drinks was lingering in the air, but Brian wasn't too hung up on it.

A bit of fun was important from time to time after all.

Right now, Brian found himself driving from his house to a small bar downtown, where the guys and Eleanor had arranged to meet up at. He had taken a quick shower, changed into more casual attire, and Pantera was blasting out of the speakers of Brian's black Porsche. On nights like these, it was easy for Brian to let go and forget about the weight he carried on his shoulders for a couple of hours, and he was actually looking forward to this little get togethers more than he would have expected.

Finally reaching the bar, Brian parked his car in the parking lot, and after getting out and locking the vehicle, Brian inmediately lit a cigarette as he made his way over to Elijah and Joe, who were already waiting for everyone at the entrance. A grin spread on his friend's faces as Brian approached them, and once he finally joined them, Joe squeezed Brian's shoulder.

"Glad you're here, dude! Nobody else is here yet, so me and Elijah decided to wait. You look really good, by the way."

Raising his eyebrow at Joe's comment about his appearance, Brian cracked a grin when Elijah started to laugh, and Joe pushed Elijah playfully, telling him to shut up.

"Jesus, Joe, sounds like you have a crush on Brian! Can't blame you though, honestly... you have a point. He does look really good. I think we're all secretly into him."

Elijah's comment almost had Brian choke on his spit, and looking at both men, he shook his head.

"You both suck. I look just the same as any other day!"

The looks Brian got from his two friends had him laugh loudly once again, and even though he appreciated the compliment, he really didn't know what they were on about. The only difference to his usual self was that he wasn't in a suit, instead wearing torn jeans, vans, a long sleeved black shirt and some necklaces. Sure, he had put his nose ring back in, and maybe had gone over the top with a tad of eyeliner, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

"Nah, you look hot. We'll just leave it at that. Anyway, where is everyone else?! We said eight, and it's past that already!"

Seeing how impatient Elijah was had Brian chuckle as he shook his head. The guy was always like this when something exciting was planned, and deciding to let him do his thing, Brian smoked his cigarette as he stared up into the night sky. It was a clear night today, the stars were shining, and Brian felt... good.

For the first time in a long time, he actually felt like a normal human being, and that was a change the young agent embraced immediately.
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


The rest of the day passed quickly, and while it was disappointing that they found not much else down in the archives, Eleanor couldn't help but be rather excited for drinks with the rest of her team in the evening. Once she had established that they didn't mind doing so, and telling Elijah and the likes that they really didn't have to organise such a welcome evening for her, she felt more relaxed knowing that everyone wanted to go out that evening.

When she got home, she relieved to see her FWB had left at some point, even if she was a two eggs short and her packet of bacon had been opened, not to mention her orange juice had depleted and the plates had been left in the sink. This was why she was fucking single.

The young agent got ready with a beer or two, even throwing in a shower once she got home from work. It would save her having to get up early in the morning to fit one in before work, at least. She allowed her hair to fall naturally around her shoulders, and kept her make up neutral once again except for a deep red lipstick and eyeliner. Her outfit was probably a little much for a bar, but she hadn't been in out in a while and quite frankly was not ready to give a single fuck. She briefly did worry, standing in front of the mirror as she finished the rest of her beer and reapplied her lipstick, if it was a bit much considering she was going out with her new team, but soon her attitude was back and she simply shrugged to herself.

Eleanor wore black, high-waisted, tie-up trousers which cut off just above her ankles, accompanied with a black body-suit top with a yellow and orange-gold flower pattern. The top basically didn't have a neckline it was so low, the end of the neckline dipping beneath the waistline of her trousers. To finish it all off she had pulled out a pair of open-toed, black heels along with a black clutch purse which held her phone, card, ID, keys and lipstick.

She got a taxi to the bar that they had all agreed on, stepping out carefully and thanking the driver before shutting the door behind her. With her purse in one hand and the other slipping into the pocket of her jeans, Eleanor walked towards the entrance of the bar, having texted Elijah asking where to meet them all.

"Sorry I'm late," Eleanor greeted them all with a grin as she joined the group, fingers running through her hair to sweep it back off her face in the light breeze, "But perfection takes time, I wasn't about to let the side down."
 

Second Heartbeat

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All of the guys were already here, waiting at the entrance of the bar for Eleanor to show up. Elijah was buzzing and had already handed out shots, his blue eyes sparkling with excitement, and Brian had to admit that his attitude was infectious.

The young agent couldn't wipe his own smile off his face ever since he had arrived here, either.

Brian was currently leaning against the wall of the bar, having a conversation with Gabriel about different car types when Eleanor finally approached them - and to say that Brian's mouth ran dry the second he laid eyes on her was an understatement. The woman definitely cleaned up nicely, and even though Brian knew this was a professional relationship, he still couldn't deny one thing - she was absolutely beautiful.

"Finally! You're here, newbie! Took you long enough! You look stunning, we might have to protect you from all the guys lingering in this place!"

Elijah was the first one to greet Eleanor, giving her a soft hug, and after Dan, Joe and Jordan had done the same, Gabriel and Brian made their way over to her as well. Gabriel hugged the woman gently, but Brian kept his distance.

For some reason, he didn't trust himself.

"Elijah isn't kidding, you really are beautiful. But anyway, let's go inside, shall we? Boss is paying tonight!"

Gabriels deep voice filled with excitement had Brian shake his head, and smiling at Eleanor, he shrugged. The young agent had more than enough money though, so him paying wasn't the worst idea, he had to admit that.

"You know, the fucker is mocking me, but I'll actually pay. It's my treat. And hi, Eleanor, glad you made it."

The yells of excitement that echoed after Brian's statement had him roll his eyes as he made his way inside behind Eleanor, and the group soon found themselves sitting at the bar. Eleanor's place was in the middle between Brian and Elijah - 'safely protected' as Elijah had called it - and after Brian had bought the first round for everyone, he held up his glass for a toast.

"Alright, to our team, thank you all for being fucking amazing, and for always having my back. I couldn't do this stuff without any of you. And lf course, a big, warm welcome to Eleanor! Cheers!"

After the toast, the guys wasted no time in drinking to their hearts content, and even though Brian was definitely in the mood to party as well, he decided to take it slower than the others. He didn't fancy being completely wasted in an hour or so.

Turning to face Eleanor, Brian bit his lip, unsure if he should even be getting closer to her tonight. The thoughts he had had when Eleanor had showed up were still burning fresh on his mind, and Brian really didn't want to overstep any lines or hurt their working relationship. He had to be careful. However, he could still have a normal conversation with her, and offering her a smile, Brian took a generous sip of his beer before he spoke up.

"Have you ever been to this bar? Or are you not much of a bar person?"
 

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


Eleanor snorted softly, eyes rolling in amusement, "I would have thought if there was one thing you'd all learned after today was that I don't need protecting. Or do I need to drag Baker down here myself to remind you all?" She smirked, gaze flickering between them all before landing on Brian, allowing herself a brief moment to appreciate her boss in his civies. Before reminding herself of her rule.

No sleeping with co-workers.

Much less her boss.

She returned the hugs warmly, murmuring her 'hellos' to each of them and easily masking her confusion as to why Brian didn't do the same as their colleagues. Perhaps he had something about touching too, nonetheless, she wasn't about to make a fuss.

A warm laugh escaped her during the cheers, the woman having perched herself up on one of the bar stools as she held a pint of Peroni larger in her hand. It was refreshing to hear the clinking of classes, the hurrah at the end of Brian's speech. It had been a while since Eleanor had last gone out with a big group, since she and the friends she made at Uni hadn't had the opportunity to meet up as of late. And by that she meant that she had been working too late to meet them.

The young woman leaned back against the edge of the bar, taking in a deep breath to chase down the long drink of beer she just had. Her head tilted as Brian caught her eye and she smiled as he began to make conversation with her. Eleanor swivelled her chair towards him a little more, in order to hear him a bit better.

"I've been to this one once or twice. I do like coming out to bars, I just don't really get the chance to anymore. Always working, you know?" She propped an elbow up on the counter behind her, another swig of beer going down nicely, "What about you? I can't imagine you'd leave yourself enough time to actually go out to bars." She grinned, a teasing tone to her voice.

It was clear she was more relaxed in this environment. Alcohol also seemed to always make the conversation go a little easier.
 

Second Heartbeat

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Listening to Eleanor explain that she was familiar with the bar had Brian nod to himself. It seemed as if both of them were having the same dilemma when it came to not really having much time to go out, and taking another sip of his beer, Brian chuckled softly at Eleanor commenting on how she couldn't imagine Brian actually liked to go out from time to time. Even though she was right about him not having a lot of time to do so, Brian still enjoyed the odd drink every once in a while, and lighting a cigarette, Brian caught Eleanor's gaze before speaking up.

"I do like to go out sometimes, mainly to decompress. Get some drinks, then I go back home. The usual stuff."

Blowing out the smoke, Brian let his gaze linger on Eleanor a bit longer than he should have, but he didn't really care. The woman was easy on the eyes after all, and Brian was the type of guy who stared a little too long instead of other stuff. He'd never actually make a move or touch Eleanor, and flicking off the ash of his cigarette, Brian offered a cancer stick to Eleanor.

"Want one?"

However, after shooting her a soft smile, Brian could already see that Elijah and Jordan had finished their first drinks after looking over Eleanor's shoulder. The two guys were looking at their boss with sneaky grins, and Brian rolled his eyes. These guys were like kids sometimes, and motioning for the barkeeper to come over, Brian leaned over the bar a bit while he ordered another round.

"Can I get another round for all of us... and just keep them coming until I tell you to stop. Is that possible?"

The woman behind the bar had a soft pout on her lips as she scanned Brian's face, and pushing her dark hair out of her eyes, she leaned on her elbows, her eyes shamelessly checking Brian out.

"I'd never tell you to stop, darling... but your wish is my command."

As Brian pulled away from her, the barkeeper bit her lip, and with one last wink, she went back to pouring the guys another round. Brian's gaze immediately fell on Eleanor again, the encounter with the barkeeper not really being worth a second thought in his mind, and stretching a bit, Brian turned to face the beautiful woman next to him. Something about Eleanor drew Brian in, and he was pretty sure he knew exactly what it was already.

Eleanor didn't talk a lot about herself.

Sure, she answered Brian when he asked her a question, but she didn't ramble about things mindlessly. That alone had Brian wanting to get to know her more, and taking another drag from his cigarette, Brian thought about what else he could possibly do to break the ice between them a little more - in a professional way, of course.

"So, you told me you worked for the LAPD before... what was your most interesting case there? Was there anything that stuck out?"
 

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


Despite herself, Eleanor was enjoying the attention she was receiving from Brian, to a point where she was even pretending not to notice his lingering stares. She busied herself with glancing across to the other men on their team, grinning at their antics and shooting back a swift retort as she did so. All the while she could feel Brian's eyes on her.

At his offer of a cigarette, Eleanor shook her head 'No', smiling politely as she declined, "The only time I smoke is after a big case has been closed and then, that's with cigars. A habit of my dad's, not one I'm sad to have picked up." She informed him, leaning back in order to cross her legs at the knee again.

As he looked over her shoulder, Eleanor allowed herself a moment to once more take in her boss. He was attractive, there was no doubt about that, and a person would have to be blind not to see it. Which the bartender wasn't, given her attempts to be seductive by biting her lower lip and winking.

The prospect of having another drink already being sent her way had Eleanor quickly necking the rest of her beer, which unfortunately meant half a pint. However, college and University had taught her well and she was able to down the drink with a small burp at the end of it. "'Scuse me. But keeping up with you boys is going to be a challenge I relish, so I hope you aren't expecting some polite little princess." She laughed, placing the empty glass on the bar counter top just in time for their next round of drinks.

His question about her time at the LAPD only broadened her grin, lower lip being caught between her own teeth before being released once again. It amused her that his go to topics seemed to revolve around work and previous cases. It really did seem like his mind revolved around crime twenty-four-seven.

"Well... there was one I actually worked with my dad. He was working on a drug's bust, I was on homicide. This body showed up and it was one of the guys who my dad knew supplied dealers with their next lot, y'know? That was... it was incredible to me, working a case with my dad like that. I'd grown up thinking he was this big hero for taking down bad guys and then... the next thing I know I'm helping him do it."

The grin had been replaced with a warm smile, her eyes averted to her beer as she thought back to those few days. Her index finger gently tapped against the glass as she held it, and soon she was looking back up to him, "Enough about work-- surely you like to do something outside of it? Or are you really a work robot who just recharges on their port as soon as they go home?" She teased, smile returning to a grin.
 

Second Heartbeat

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The way Eleanor's entire demeanour changed when she talked about her dad had Brian bite his lip, a smile on his face as he took in her appearance. She looked like an innocent girl, talking about her father, instead of the badass girl who had just downed half a pint of beer seconds earlier, and finishing his own pint as soon as the second one was handed to him, Brian felt at ease.

It was a relaxing night, and the young agent could feel the tension in his back easing as the alcohol slowly began to flood his system.

"Hm, it does sound like a great time, being able to work so closely with your father. I envy you for that."

The second thing Eleanor said had Brian laugh a toothy grin however, his nose scrunching up as he did so. So, she had caught on to his love for talking about crimes so easily, huh? It was an easy topic for Brian to bring up for sure, but now being questioned about his personal life instead had the young male at a loss for words.

What did she want to know?

Brian wasn't really the most exciting person in his private life. All he did was work and sleep, so there wasn't really much he could tell Eleanor, but instead of dodging the question like he would with anyone else, Brian decided to be honest with Eleanor. She seemed to get something out of teasing him about being a workaholic however, and Brian wasn't about to let the comment slide. He simply couldn't give her that satisfaction just yet.

"Yeah actually, I'm the first prototype of a human like robot the FBI created. My name is XXY2Z0. I am purely designed to work. That is what I was programmed for."

Leaning closer to Eleanor, Brian's voice was barely above a whisper when he uttered the next line, leaning closer to Eleanor's ear.

"But... now you know my secret, so I'll have to exterminate you for it."

Brian's voice was monotone as he spoke, and after pulling away and taking another sip from his beer, the agent thought hard about how he should actually answer her question. Overthinking wasn't the best idea right now though, and trying to shut his nagging brain off, Brian put his pint down and faced Eleanor again, a playful grin on his lips.

"No, but in all honesty, I don't really do much besides working. I have ridiculous hours that I put on myself because I can't deal with anything, including past trauma, so I just work and my brain shuts it out. It's easier than dealing with it for sure. Denial is my best fucking friend, and I'm not even ashamed to admit it."

Letting a hand run through his hair, Brian was surprised at how easy it was to be so open to Eleanor, and giving her a soft look, the agent licked his lips. Even though his tone had been incredibly sarcastic, Brian knew Eleanor would see how sincere he was being. There was something about her that made him feel comfortable, and Brian was happy that they had decided to go out drinking this evening.

It was definitely shaping up to be interesting.

"As far as hobbies go, I really enjoy art and music. I play guitar, I go to museums and stuff in my free time... oh and I like cars. I have a whole bunch of them. Nothing exciting really, but there you go. What about you? What does your free time consist off?"

Smirking, Brian caught Eleanor's gaze, and raising his eyebrow, he scanned her face carefully.

"Do you like to beat people up and get drunk and just cause havok all the time? Or are you into knitting?"
 

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


"Hm, now that's a lie. I know because..."

Eleanor trailed off as he leaned in closer to her, body tensing briefly as a reflex to her past before she forced herself to relax. Clearly Eleanor knew her boss wouldn't do anything akin to what Baker tried, or much less just anything that would harm her. It was simply a reflex she couldn't control, even down to the little twitch of her middle finger against her pint glass.

Instead she focused on his next response, a smile in place as she waited for him to give her a more serious answer.

Her head tipped to the side at his words, the smile still there but having faded slightly as she listened to the sarcasm-drenched reply she was being fed. Just like back in the office, there was clearly something more behind the words, yet who was she to ask, especially on her first day and no less while they were out having a few drinks. Besides, she wasn't sure how would respond to be being questioned about it, and the last thing Eleanor wanted to do was be the reason why his night was ruined.

So instead she took a sip of beer, allowing the silence to offer an opportunity for him to continue. Especially considering he hadn't actually answered her question in the first place. She was certain he would.

"Crochet, actually. And embroidery." Eleanor answered smoothly, taking another long drink from her beer in order to keep up with them all, "I also like to watch the NHL, I support the Ducks. Went to the occasional game with my parents. Apart from that, just the gym, and murder or mystery docs." She shrugged, the grin once more on her face, "As I said, I'm pretty boring."
 

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"I don't think you're boring at all, to be honest. There are a lot of different sides to you, it's really interesting... to me, it's a very attractive quality to be versatile."

The compliment had left Brian's lips before he had time to think what he had said over again, but he didn't really care. Eleanor was an interesting person after all, and Brian was sure she wouldn't take it the wrong way and think Brian was trying to get in her pants. The young agent was simply interested in finding out more about her, but given the fact that his communication skills with women were getting a bit rusty, Brian had a hard time.

He hadn't dated or talked to girls like this in years, after all.

"Can I be honest? I really fucking... suck with like normal conversations. I usually just ramble on about work and cases and all that, so when someone wants to talk to me about every day stuff, I find myself... stuck... a lot of the time..."

Scratching the back of his neck, Brian averted his gaze, a soft smile lingering on his lips as he stared at his almost empty pint of beer. He didn't really know what else he should talk to Eleanor about, and that very fact had Brian feel a tad nervous. Eleanor had to think the young agent was a complete nutcase, only being able to talk about crimes, but Brian really couldn't help it.

His job was the glue that kept him together. It had always been that way.

Finishing his pint, Brian was just about to ask Eleanor another question when one of his favorite songs came on; "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns'n Roses. Brian was a huge heavy metal fan, his favorite genre of music, and as soon as the opening chords could be heard filling the crowded bar, not only Brian was happy - but so were Elijah and Gabriel. The two men immediately shared glances with Brian, and as soon as Axl Rose started singing the opening lines, so did the three very tipsy FBI Agents.

"She's got a smile that it seems to me,
Reminds me of childhood memories,
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky!"


Their singing wasn't really in key, but it was loud, and it earned them a few looks from other people in the bar. However, none of the three men really cared as they serenanded to each other, and catching Eleanor's gaze in the middle of his own heart wrenching rendition of the song, Brian couldn't help but crack up.

He was sure Eleanor hadn't expected this from any of them, but then again, life was full of surprises, and alcohol sometimes brought out the best in people instead of the worst.
 

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


"Have another beer or two, I find conversation with people you're getting to know or strangers is easier after a few drinks." Eleanor replied with a reassuring grin, taking another few gulps of her own in order to listen to her own piece of advice. "Not to mention, it's a bit of a laugh."

Eleanor had elected to ignore his comment about 'attractive quality', just simply as she wasn't sure how to respond to it. In her eyes, it clearly wasn't his attempt to hit on her, since what man actually did find versatility attractive? It was just Brian seeing her as a great asset to add to the team - who didn't love versatility in a work environment.

His hesitation gave Eleanor a moment to study her boss and reflect on everything she had learned, or something just picked up from him, thus far. Something must have happened, earlier on in his life. He clearly had no time for his dad, considering how he spoke of him, and had had some sort of trauma - if not multiple traumatic experiences - in his life. Work was his life, that was as clear as day for anyone to see; you didn't have to be an FBI agent to work that one out.

Her eyebrow raised at the sudden reaction to the song coming on, the young woman looking back over her shoulder to where Brian had made eye contact with two of their team. She snorted softly and started chuckling, rolling her eyes as the three men started belting out the lyrics. While Eleanor wasn't a heavy favourite of the genre herself, she could still appreciate the laughability of the three men singing out of key, and sometimes out of time, with the song.

She turned back to the bar to speak to the bartender, reaching into her own purse for her card to pay for the next round of drinks... but also a round of shots. Slipping it back into her bag, the female agent turned back around, "Alright boys, come and get them." She grinned, holding a tray of tequila shots, accompanied with salt and lemons, "Or are you too scared?"
 

Second Heartbeat

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Brian had been having a field day with the song, and as soon as it had ended, he spotted the guys walking to Eleanor, crowding the space around her. Looking at the woman, Brian could see that she had bought Tequila shots, and pulling a face, Brian took it hesitantly. The worst kind of drunk was Tequila drunk, and Joe noticed Brian's face immediately, which made him laugh loudly.

"Ha, why the frown, boss?! Did you just remember the last time we got drunk on Tequila and Scotchka and how you started stripping on the table back there? The ladies loved it!"

Blushing at the memory, Brian hid his face after flipping Joe off, a groan all Brian had to offer as a response. The rest of the guys laughed at the memory though, and Elijah immediately took out his phone and stood next to Eleanor.

"You know, Eleanor, when our boss gets too much to drink, he turns into a Chippendale... look at this."

Laughing to himself, Elijah started to show Eleanor pictures and videos of how fucking wasted Brian had really been, and the young agent felt absolutely mortified as he willingly took his shot of Tequila - salt and lemon included. At least he hadn't gone past taking off his shirt, but it was still highly embarrassing that Brian had even done any of this - let alone that there were videos and pictures on Elijah's phone still. All of the guys seemed to enjoy the little reminder a while lot, though, whistling and howling, and after a few seconds, the video had finally stopped.

Brian wanted to ground to swallow him whole, however.

"I'm sorry you had to see that, Eleanor... I swear it's their fault. They set me up and gave me Scotchka all night... I don't even remember doing this!"

Gabriel softly squeezed Brian's shoulder at his response, and after all of the guys had taken their shots, Brian tried his best to shake off just how embarrassed he really was. Drinking about half of his pint of beer in one go, the agent caught Eleanor's stare again, and biting his lip, Brian sighed with a grin.

The guys seemed to have it out for him tonight.

"I swear every chance they get they embarrass me... I'm sorry they showed you that."