Under Investigation (Viverescribere x Second Heartbeat)

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


Eleanor stifled her laughter at the sight of the video, sucking on the lemon as she watched, having finished her shot just a moment before. Her gaze flickered up to her boss and then back down to the video, doing this every so often as if trying to believe that the workaholic man before her had actually attempted something like that.

"Well, it's no Magic Mike performance, but it's not bad." She grinned, joining in with the teasing as the video ended.

However she allowed the rest of the group to continue with their jesting, not feeling like it was right for her to do so when she had only met them all today. She knew she would feel awkward if a stranger laughed at her as much as her friends did.

As he caught her eye, she offered a reassuring smile in response and shrugged at his apology, "It's what friends do, right? Besides, it's no welcome night if the newbie doesn't watch incriminating videos and sees awkward photos of her new teammates." She chuckled, reaching out to gently pat his back.

Ridding herself of the taste of tequila by taking a sip of her beer, Eleanor nodded towards a booth that she just noticed emptying, "Should we all go sit? I feel like if we stand up any longer these guys'll be swaying and we'll get kicked out quicker than we'd like." She grinned, glancing back towards him.
 

Second Heartbeat

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Eleanor mentioning that it would probably be the best desicion to move all of the already tipsy agents to a booth at the back, Brian nodded. The more the guys had to drink the harder to tame they got, and standing up from his bar stool, Brian thought about the best way to get everyone's attention without having to yell at them. However, the young agent standing up had seemingly already done the trick, given the fact that his friends were looking at Brian curiously now.

Well, that had been pretty easy.

"Guys, we'll move to the booth back there... then you all can get real drunk, but seated. Easier to take care of you fuckers that way."

The guys all agreed that Eleanor and Brian had a good point, and making their way to the back, Brian waited until all of them had gotten up and grabbed their belongings. Looking around the bar to make sure nobody had forgotten anything, Brian smiled at Eleanor, motioning for her to walk in front of him.

Ladies first was a rule Brian cherished, after all.

"I think you had a brilliant idea. Taking care of these guys when they are beyond wasted is actually a pretty hard task. I have some funny stories I could share, for payback purposes, of course."

Reaching the booth with Eleanor, Brian let her slide in before taking the seat next to her, and even though the booth wasn't the biggest, Brian was surprised that all of them fit in there quite nicely. They weren't squished up against each other, and that was a good thing, at least in Brian's mind.

He didn't want to make Eleanor feel like he invaded her personal space after all.

"Do any of you want something to eat? Since I have to pay anyway, we might as well go all out, shall we? What about you, Eleanor? Hungry?"

The promise of food seemed to be enough to distract the heated conversation Elijah, Dan and Joe had been in, and Jeremy was already busy looking through the menu while Gabriel had seemingly already decided what he wanted. Shaking his head softly, Brian grabbed a menu for himself, and noticing that there wasn't another one on the table, he placed it in the middle of him and Eleanor, so the girl could look at it as well.

"Huh, impressive... Pizza, Burgers... quite a wide variety for a bar. If the food is spoiled I'll sue the fuckers, though."
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


Stuck in the middle of the group, and therefore practically in the centre of the group, Eleanor made sure to give Brian and Elijah plenty of room just as they did the same to her. She wondered if them providing her with room in the booth, typically a form of seating which left people at least bumping knees, because of what happened with Baker that afternoon.

Eleanor wasn't sure if she ought to say something, just to explain to her colleagues what the whole 'no-touching-without-permission' thing was about, or at least that it didn't apply to social situations like this. The no-touching-without-permission was related to when people purposefully tried to touch her, or did touch her, like Baker did.

However, in the end Eleanor decided that that night wasn't the night to get into all of that. The men were tipsy, borderline drunk now, and may not even remember her explanation in the morning anyway. She could explain another time.

"Always hungry; a fighting, growing girl like myself needs her food." She grinned, the expression coming out a little more now she had gotten some alcohol into her system.

The young woman leaned in a little closer to him as he put the menu between them, head propped up in her one hand with her elbow on the table. The other hand hold her pint of beer, which was soon in need of refilling again. "I'm not letting you buy all of this, by the way, s'not fair." She murmured quietly to him, gaze flickering across to him in their close proximity, "I'm at least going half with you on the food-- if you argue, I'll slip away and pay for it myself, or if you beat me to it, I'll slip the money to you one way or another, maybe when you least expect it."

Eleanor pulled back to look at him properly, a smirk slowly pulling at the corners of her red-stained lips, "I could do it, I am an FBI agent after all."
 

Second Heartbeat

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Sitting this close to Eleanor, Brian felt overly aware of pretty much everything.

He made sure to keep his distance, not wanting to crowd her, and that was something Brian usually wasn't worried about with the guys. Her leaning closer to also read the menu had Brian freeze a bit, not wanting to give off an overly flirty vibe - because that would be what he usually did. A woman this close usually meant Brian was interested, but Eleanor was his workmate, and he had to keep remembering that.

"You won't let me pay for of all this myself? I'm a loaded, single man... I can afford it, and I want to invite you all."

Scanning Eleanor's face, Brian couldn't help his own smirk spreading on his lips. The alcohol was seemingly starting to affect all of them, and licking his lips, Brian's gaze lingered on Eleanor's face before he chuckled and looked back down on the menu. Her mentioning how she could easily slip money in his pocket was a pretty funny thing to imagine, and softly shaking his head, Brian was unsure why she didn't like the idea of him buying.

Brian was set on finding that out, though.

"I'm not saying you wouldn't know how to slip some cash in my pocket, but I honestly don't need it. I'm drowning in cash, and happy if I can spend some of it sometimes. Why does it bother you if I pay?"

Smiling at her, Brian let his gaze flicker up at her again before focusing back on the menu. He had no idea what to order, and deciding to just get some pizza, Brian sat back up in his seat, finishing the rest of his pint. The young agent was starting to feel the buzz, his body feeling much less tense than it usually did, and reaching up to mess with his nose ring, Brian looked at the other guys seated on the table.

All of them were having a blast, already pretty wasted, and chuckling at Elijah desperately trying to get Eleanor's reaction, Brian lit another cigarette. The other agent had taken quite a liking to their new team mate, and Brian was honestly delighted that everything was working out so well for all of them.

"Eleanooooor listen to me! Hellloooooo! Answer me! What is your favorite animal!? I need to know for science!"
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


"It's a matter of principle. I'm not asking to go half with you because I don't think you can afford it, you're the head of a team in the Special Victims Unit." She smirked, eyebrow quirking, "Besides, I'm a strong and independent woman, if you don't let me do this, it'll be an insult to my position as a woman trying to find equality." Her tone remained light, teasing. Of course, she meant what she said - she was a strong and independent woman who wanted equality - but things didn't need to get that deep.

Not to mention, her parents had brought her up always telling her to at least offer to pay. Then she learned later in life to never take freebies or hand-outs, people always wanted something later that she may not be able, or willing, to give them. Some guys she had dated, for example: "But, I bought you dinner?"

Because buying someone dinner was now a free way into getting a fuck at the end of the night, apparently.

Leaning back, Eleanor continued to read the menu from a better distance, uncertain as to if her close proximity made her boss uncomfortable. In the end she decided on a cheeseburger, including the $2 extra to upgrade to dirty fries. She was close behind Brian in terms of finishing her beer, placing the empty glass on the table and sliding it away from the edge of the table.

Her attention was then distracted by Elijah, to whom she laughed at and smirked again.

"For science? And what science might that be? To see if I'm compatible with you? Don't tell me, the next thing you're going to wanna know is my star sign." She jested, teasing her fellow teammate.
 

Second Heartbeat

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Elijah was visibly taken aback by Eleanor's reaction, but he found it hilarious at the same time.

He didn't want to hit on the woman, not one bit. All his drunken mind cared about were funny, fluffy animals at the moment, and looking at Eleanor somewhat dumbfounded, it took Elijah a few seconds to realise what she was implying. However, once he had understood, Elijah immediately shook his head, a big grin on his face as he raised his hands up in defeat.

"What! No, no... I'm not trying to do any of that. I don't wanna get in your pants, Jesus Christ... only person sitting on this table I'd bend over for is this guy!"

Pointing at Brian somewhat shakily and clearly drunk, Elijah winked at his boss, and that was enough to make the entire table errupt with laughter. Shaking his head, Brian rested his head in his hands, his body shaking with laughter, and he honestly didn't even know how to respond to this kind of stuff. He knew the guys were fucking with him, but Elijah always took it one step further, and Brian honestly didn't know why they pulled shit like this.

At the end of the day, it was hilarious though, and looking Elijah up and down, Brian was ready to strike back.

"Hm... I don't think you'll be able to take it all, but we might as well try later."

Brian's response had Elijah choking on his beer, and laughing, Brian turned back to Eleanor just when the waiter arrived with another round of drinks. Handing Eleanor her pint, Brian gave the girl a grin after ordering his Pizza. At least Eleanor could take a joke, and Brian really liked that quality about her.

"Sorry about them... I don't know what's gotten into them. I feel like all I do is apologise to you tonight... on their behalf, of course."

Scratching the back of his neck somewhat awkwardly, Brian was glad when the waiter asked Eleanor what she wanted to order. At least, it gave him a few seconds to collect himself again, instead of not knowing what to say to the woman sitting next to him.
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


After giving her order to the waiter and gratefully pulling her fresh beer towards her, Eleanor took another sip of the drink, beginning to slow down now she was beginning to feel slightly full. She had let the boys get on with their banter, unperturbed by it, and watched curiously as the dynamic unfolded. It was always interesting to see how a team interacted inside and outside the office. It was just as interesting to see how the other men teased and poked at Brian in the way that they did.

As she readied herself for another conversation, her phone buzzed in her pocket. The young woman pulled the device out, unable to help but instantly roll her eyes at the text she received. Unlocking and opening it, she tapped out a single-worded message: 'Busy'. From there, she sent it and opened her bag to put the device inside. Not before putting it on silent.

It was unlike her FWB to want two nights in a row. What was even stranger still was the proposal of going for a drink before going back to whoever's to hook up. Perhaps it was time to cut ties with this one. This wasn't the first time he had attempted to get them doing something outside of their original arrangement. Him staying the night last night was the first, however, but she couldn't let that continue.

"You need to stop apologising for them." Eleanor finally told her boss, going back to what he said before the waiter arrived. She turned her gaze to him, "Really. I'm not some prude little princess that'll swoon at the mere mention of sex, Brian. It's okay. People fuck, and clearly these guys want to fuck you." She smirked, "Besides, I'm sure they're just showing off. New colleague and all. Don't worry about it."
 
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Second Heartbeat

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Brian noticed Eleanor looking at her phone, and the look on her face didn't go unnoticed.

She seemed extremely displeased about something, but the girl recovered quickly as she addressed Brian again. However, the young agent couldn't quite forget the sour look on her face, but he decided to let it go. Who was he to ask intrusive questions? Him and Eleanor weren't even friends - at least in the classic friendship term - and Brian didn't want to push past boundaries.

However, her mentioning that the guys wanted to fuck him had Brian laugh.

"I don't think they want to fuck me, they're just talking shit. Plus, even if they did, my desire for sexual contact is rather low these days. I have a job to do, and fucking someone just gets in the way. Women tend to get a bit clingy, as well."

Looking down at his pint, Brian's stare was distant as he remembered the end of his last relationship. It had been with a woman called Colette, and it had ended rather nasty. Brian had loved her at some point, or at least he had thought so, but she had fucked him over royally - and Brian hadn't dated since her leaving him for another dude.

"I don't know, dating is rough, isn't it? I used to have a girl, but it didn't end so well. It was a nasty breakup."

Letting his gaze connect to Eleanor's, Brian didn't know how much of his experience he should share, but the alcohol was talking right now, and Brian couldn't stop himself, even if he tried. Sometimes, discussing these things with a woman brought more insight than discussing stuff with men all the time as well, so Brian was eager to know what Eleanor had to say.

"I sometimes wonder if I could have done something differently, so she'd still be here today... but then again, I guess I wasn't enough for her. Why do people cheat, Eleanor? I mean, I gave her everything I had. I still think about it to this day... what I might have done wrong."
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


Eleanor knew that the guys didn't really want to fuck him, that they were only messing around. And even if they did, who was she to judge. People were attracted to whoever they were attracted to, after all. Love was love, in Eleanor's eyes, she didn't care about all that.

His comment about women had her snorting, eyebrow raising in amusement. If only he knew that it was actually her FWB that was the one getting clingy, rather than the other way around. However, she wasn't about to argue, not with the next set of words that came tumbling out of his mouth, much to her surprise.

She was well-aware of the fact that the alcohol was probably helping with her boss' confession, but that still left Eleanor a little taken back that he was revealing this little personal titbit to her. Especially when she didn't know how best to answer him or even comfort him. Clearly things had been shitty with his last relationship, and she felt even worse when he mentioned his partner had cheated. It had happened to her once or twice, and it was why Eleanor settled for no-strings attached sex.

"People who cheat are cowards," she murmured eventually, expression softening as she turned slight in her seat to face him better. She cleared her throat, slightly awkward, as she tried to think of how best to continue, "She's the one that made that decision, not you. There isn't anything you could have done if you'd already given it your all. Those-- those kind of people, they're toxic and they're draining. And when you already come home from a day full of negativity and toxicity because of the cases you work on... you don't-- you don't need it to carry on with someone who supposedly loves you."

A large gulp of beer was taken on, the words hitting a little too close to home for Eleanor too, "You can't keep thinking of the 'what ifs', Brian. You need to let it go. As harsh as it sounds, she clearly didn't give a shit about you-- so you shouldn't give a shit about her." She hesitated, worried that the alcohol-influenced words were too harsh, "I just mean.. you should let go of those thoughts and move on. You have a team of people here that clearly value you and want you around, to me that shows that it was her problem - not yours."
 

Second Heartbeat

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Listening to Eleanor talk, Brian movied his body so he was fully facing her, his dark eyes big as Brian shamelessly took in Eleanor for the first time this evening. She really was a beautiful woman, but focusing more on her words instead of her looks, Brian sighed softly. She had a point, but all of that still didn't change how Brian viewed himself.

He felt like a complete fuck up.

"I know I need to let it go, and it's not because I still love her or some shit, but more because of what the whole thing did to me, you know? My feelings for her died the second she lay her hands on me for the first time."

Taking another gulp of his beer, Brian hoped this info wasn't too much for Eleanor, but the young agent seemed to have her full attention. The rest of the guys were in the middle of discussing some TV show, and Brian was glad that he had at least a little bit of privacy with Eleanor. It was nice to talk in private like this and laughing dryly, Brian could feel the hair on his skin rise as he remembered when he had walked in on his girlfriend cheating.

He had been homicidal that night

"You know, I really loved her. I even... fuck, I cant believe I'm telling you this, but I even got her a ring, you know? I was like this is it. I found the one... but then shit got real abusive real fast... and one night, I came home early, and I saw some dude balls deep in my fucking girlfriend, and I guess I lost it..."

Averting his gaze from Eleanor, Brian let his finger's trace the edge of his glass, his stare on the golden liquid of his beer as his eyes got darker. It had been the ultimate betrayal for the young male, and thinking about it still put him in a dangerous state of mind.

However, the alcohol was doing a great job at dulling his feelings, and looking back up at Eleanor, Brian swallowed before continuing.

"I beat him up. I guess that's even a light term... I almost killed the guy. Didn't stand a fucking chance against me, given our combat training and all that... and I swear, it was the first time I've ever seen her being scared of me. It was over after that. She packed her shit and left, just like I wanted her to."
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


Eleanor took a moment to allow the information to sink in. It wouldn't have taken as long, if the alcohol hadn't been dulling her senses and blocking her mind from what was best to say or do. However, they were a few drinks in and the topic had suddenly gotten really fucking deep, not to mention even a little dark. So she had to take a moment, just to figure out her next words carefully to avoid her boss taking it in the wrong way, or making him feel worse.

"We all make mistakes, what we do after them to learn from them is what matters most." Eleanor finally replied, fingertips grazing the edge of her beer glass, uncertain as to what else she ought to say.

Clearly it had been a toxic relationship, but his reaction to almost killing the guy wasn't healthy either. She couldn't, and wouldn't, say anything regarding that, since she wasn't to know what state he was in at the time or what his life was like during that time. There was no way in hell that she thought he was right to pummel the guy that had been sleeping with his girlfriend, believing that there were other ways that things could have been handled. But what good would that have been to tell him? He surely knew that now, he didn't need her, a practical stranger, to reiterate that point.

Her gaze turned down to her own drink, fingers sliding down the glass to press lightly against the wood of the table.

"It sounded pretty toxic... all of it, I mean. And I-- I guess it's like what I said, you've learned from this now. Just like... every experience in life, you walk away from it with something."
 

Second Heartbeat

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"The only thing I took from that was that I have to work on my anger issues. Everything else just festered... a lot of resentment."

Leaning back in his seat, Brian could feel the alcohol finally doing him in. His head was swimming, and closing his eyes for a few seconds, the young agent tried to regain some self-control. Maybe it was time for some water, and glancing at the bar, Brian looked back at Eleanor, a soft smile on his lips.

"I'll go have a piss, and get some water... I'll be right back."

Stretching, Brian got up from his seat, and making his way to the bathroom first, Brian didn't take long until he had relieved himself. After washing his hands, the young agent made his way back to the bar, and leaning against the counter, Brian waited for his turn. The young agent's mind was on Eleanor the entire time however, going over just what he had told her, but it was already out, and Brian had to live with that now.

A sober man's thoughts were a drunk man's words, and Brian had to admit that was very true when it came to him.

"Oh, you're back, handsome. What can I do for you this time?"

His inner monologue interrupted by the bartender leaning towards him, her cleavage very much shoved in his face, Brian looked at her with a distant look, an easy smile on his lips. He hadn't gotten laid in literal years, and even though women threw themselves on Brian left and right, he just wasn't interested. Yet another thing his past relationship had ruined for him.

Clearing his throat, the young male leaned back a bit, and pointing at the water bottles in the back, he reached for his wallet.

"Can I get like four bottles of water, please?"

"Water? You sure you want that?"

Raising his eyebrow at her suggestive tone, Brian had to admit that he didn't get what the fuck she meant, but the young agent put it down to her just not being used to people ordering water at a bar instead of alcohol. If this was her attempt at flirting though, it was weak as fuck, and looking at her, Brian didn't even hide how done with her he was right now, his tone slightly annoyed.

"Yeah, I'm sure."

Without questioning him further, the bartender finally gave Brian what he had asked for, but not before slipping him a note with her number scribbled on it. Shoving it deep in his pocket, Brian gave her a superficial smile before finally going back to the booth of his friends. Their food had arrived, and when Brian sat down next to Eleanor again, he had to admit he was happy to have something to eat now.

At least that way, he had something to soak up the alcohol with.

"Back. Hope you didn't miss me too much. Did they behave in while I was gone?"
 

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


"Well, Elijah here has been stealing some of my fries, the cheeky bastard. But I simply reminded him what I did to Baker can happen to him too if he doesn't keep his hands on his own food or order himself his own bowl of fries." Eleanor smirked, throwing a glance towards the other man who smiled sheepishly and continued gnawing away at his own pizza.

While he had been gone, Eleanor had checked her phone again, only to find another two texts. One asking who she was with and what she was doing, and then another just stating 'Have a good one' in a rather passive aggressive tone about fifteen minutes later.

It had irked her slightly, and left an unease bubble of irritating sitting in her sternum as she kept swallowing it back down to avoid the men around her from thinking something was wrong. Not that there was, it was the easiest thing to deal with. But it annoyed her just for the fact that the FWB was starting to act like a jealous boyfriend. Eleanor had no idea what had changed in the last week or two, but it was fucking enough. She would definitely be having words. With the new promotion at work, needing to get to know her new team and fit in her gym or combat work, she didn't have the time for some needy-ass guy wanting to know her every move.

Her gaze then flickered to the bottles of water that he had placed on the table, eyebrow raising in amusement as she took a sip of her beer to chase down the fries she just ate.

"I'm assuming by the fact that the water has made an appearance, that everyone's ready to go home after food?" The young agent inquired, a small chuckle added afterwards as she picked up her burger to take a bite.
 

Second Heartbeat

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Smiling at how Eleanor and Elijah seemed to have a bit of a friendly banter going on, Brian started eating his pizza. He was happy everyone was in a good mood, and the fact that food would soon enter his system would definitely help Brian's sobering up process. He didn't want to leave his car here, and even though he had had some drinks, Brian was sure he'd be good to drive home by himself.

He was already feeling less wasted, anyway.

"Water is just for me, to be honest, but help yourself if you want one. I'm not planning on leaving my car here, you know? And these fuckers probably need a ride as well, although they'll be fine taking a taxi. What about you? Do you need a ride?"

Smiling at Eleanor, Brian bit off another piece of pizza, pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. He had been a bit wary of the fact that so many dishes had been on the menu, but the quality was top, and the young agent was happy he finally got something to eat. Scanning Eleanor's face, Brian opened a bottle of water, taking a few sips before placing it back down. Something seemed to bother the gorgeous female sitting next to him, and even though Brian knew he probably shouldn't ask, he couldn't help himself as he leaned close to her ear and asked his question in a low voice.

"Is everything okay? If you say yes, I'll leave it be and move on... but just know I can see something is up. If you want to talk about it, I have an open ear for you... anytime..."

Pulling back, Brian resumed to eat his food, the pizza disappearing faster than he would have imagined, and after he was done, Brian scanned his friend's faces. Gabriel seemed to be the only one who wasn't completely wasted by now, but the other four were already past the point of no return.

It was really hilarious to witness.

Turning back to Eleanor, Brian gave her a soft smile, his hands resting on the table as he tried to find the right words for what he was about to say. He just didn't want Eleanor to feel weird by his proposal to take her home, and clearing his throat, Brian bit his lip.

"By the way, me asking if you need a ride home doesn't imply anything. I just want to make that clear. I don't want you to think I'm hitting on you, or any of that shit. Just wanna make sure you get home safely, so my offer stands."
 

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


"Wait, you aren't seriously considering driving home after having a skin-full are you?" She reiterated, pausing and lowering the burger back down onto the plate. She looked to him, frowning as she wiped the grease from her fingers on the napkin that came with her meal, "Nah-- I'm sorry, that ain't happening. You're getting in a taxi just like the rest of us." She shook her head, not feeling comfortable with the idea of him driving home.

While one could argue that it was her time in the LAPD that made her a stickler for the rules, Eleanor had always been against drunk driving. One of her friends had gotten into an accident with a drunk driver, and had pins in her right leg because of it.

"We're all getting a taxi home tonight, I don't care what excuse you might already have or that you're a good driver. No one is a good driver after six pints and a shot of tequila. No matter how much food or water you've drunk." She continued, a determination gleaming in her eye, "I'll even pay for your taxi back here in the morning for you to pick up your car if that's what it takes."

Turning back to her food, she paused at his question as to if everything was alright. She stuffed a few more fries into her mouth, frown being replace with a raised eyebrow, "What makes you think it isn't? Everything's fine." Eleanor answered, deciding not to get into her own situation with him. It was only Liam, anyway. It wasn't like she was going through a break-up, besides, she was the one that was going to do the breaking.

The agent then snorted softly, turning back to her burger, "Not to worry boss, the thought didn't even cross my mind. Besides, I don't have a habit of going home in that way with co-workers anyway." She informed him, her rule accidentally slipping out in her own drunken haze. It was the same sort of rule she had at College and University too, which she then took with her to the Academy. "Don't shit where you sleep, right?" She chuckled, repeating the crude phrase she had heard during her time in higher education.
 

Second Heartbeat

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Eleanor saying that she wouldn't let Brian drive home had him chuckle a bit.

Of course, she'd react this way, but Brian wasn't really planning on leaving with the rest of the guys, anyway. He wanted to at least take a walk around the city for a bit to clear his mind, but Eleanor didn't need to know that. If he'd decide to take a taxi after that or not would be up to Brian, but he decided to simply tell the girl what she wanted to hear. It was easier than having to explain himself to her.

"I'll take a taxi, then, but I still have something to do downtown, so I won't leave with you guys, anyway."

Running a hand through his hair, Brian took another sip of water, glad that the night was slowly coming to an end. It wasn't like he didn't enjoy himself, but the desire for peace and quiet was starting to get a bit overwhelming. Looking at Eleanor answering Brian's question though, the young agent was a bit taken aback. Eleanor telling him that nothing was wrong hadn't really been what Brian had expected, but then again, she didn't have to share anything with him.

Brian was her boss after all, not her friend.

"Alright, but if you ever need something, you can hit me up. Always here for you. You're part of the family now."

After giving Eleanor a smile, Brian decided it was time to wrap this up after Elijah nearly fell off his chair for the second time. Sighing, Brian waved over the waiter and paid for their drinks and food. Even though Eleanor had told him not to pay for everything, Brian simply didn't listen, and making sure all the guys followed him and Eleanor outside, Brian fished out his phone to call a taxi.

The poor guys weren't even able todo that themselves anymore, it seemed.

"Alright, taxi will be here in five minutes... I'll wait here with them and make sure they get home safely. What about you? You going to ride with them, too?"
 

Viverescribere

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


"Nah I'll get one by myself, but I'll hang around with you until these lot are in the taxi. Never fun dealing with complete drunks when you're only just tipsy yourself. Just as bad as dealing with them when they're sober." She shrugged, shoving her hands into the pockets of her trousers, clutch bag tucked tightly under her arm.

When they managed to get their drunken team into the taxi and send them on their way, Eleanor was pleased to find her taxi arriving just a few minutes afterwards. Not that she was eager to end the night, but more because she couldn't wait to get out of her heels.

She pulled open the door but didn't climb in just yet, turning to look to Brian with a smile, "I enjoyed tonight... so thank you. A proper welcome, I appreciate it." She told him, studying him for a moment longer before patting the top of the cab and climbing inside.



When Eleanor arrived home, the first thing she did was kick her heels off, a sigh of relief escaping the young woman once she did so. She fetched herself a bottle of water, stored in the fridge for the sake of keeping it cool, before sauntering through her apartment to the bathroom. There she went through the rigours of removing her make-up, brushing her hair and then cleaning her teeth. On her way back to her room, she chugged down the majority of the water in the bottle, wiping her lips with the back of her wrist afterwards. In the bedroom she changed into her pyjamas, throwing her clothes into the hamper nearby now that they stunk of cigarette smoke and alcohol, before storing her bag away and sticking her phone on charge.

After climbing into bed once the lights had been switched off and the lamp beside her bed on, Eleanor reached for her phone, pulling it into her hands from the bedside table. She then flipped through her contacts, scrolling until she found Brian's number. She had gotten everyone's contact number from Elijah just before she left work, in case she needed to contact anyone if she had arrived at the bar early or had gotten lost.

Clicking on her boss' contact details, she typed out a quick message before sending it. Then her phone was on silent and back on the bedside table so the agent could settle down to sleep.

The message was simple, a final joke before bed: Stay safe downtown this time of night, those files won't sort themselves in the morning.
 

Second Heartbeat

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Sending the guys off had been a hassle, but once all of them were on their way, Brian was relieved. Dealing with those drunk brutes was always a challenge, and Brian was glad Eleanor had stuck around to help him deal with them.

The girls taxi arrived shortly after the guys had been shipped off, and giving Eleanor a grin as she thanked Brian for the night, he nodded. He was glad she had enjoyed it, and Brian was even more happy about the fact that she'd be home safely soon.

At least he wouldn't have to worry about that.

"I'm glad you enjoy it. Get home safely. Goodnight."

Watching Eleanor drive off, Brian waited until the taxi was out of sight until he decided to take a small walk down to the bridge. It was a warm night, the stars were out, and lighting a cigarette, Brian let his thoughts wander.

The night had been enjoyable, and Brian was glad Eleanor had joined their team. She was a very capable agent, and Brian was more than excited to start solving cases with her. He knew everyone already adored Eleanor, and smiling to himself at the memory of how quickly Elijah had started liking her, Brian stopped walking when he had reached the bridge.

Leaning against the railing, the young agent finished his cigarette, the silence around him doing wonders for his mind. He felt at ease, his body was relaxed, and there wasn't a single human being around.

It was like heaven.

After Brian had made his way back to the parking lot and his car, the young agent decided against calling a taxi. He felt fine, and the drive home wasn't even that long, anyway. Getting in, Brian pulled out his phone to check the time - and he couldn't help but smile at the message he had received.

It had to be from Eleanor.

Of course, Brian briefly wondered how she had gotten his number, but then again, it wasn't out of the ordinary, really. All of his team mates had it, and Brian was pretty sure it was even scribbled down on the paperwork Eleanor had gotten from her last squad leader. Grabbing his phone, Brian decided to shoot her a quick reply, even though her message had been sent a while ago, before he finally made his way back home.

Don't worry about me. I'm a big boy, can look after myself, and those files will get sorted tomorrow morning. Goodnight, Agent Garcia.
 

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Eleanor Marie Garcia


Before Eleanor had realised, it was a month later and she and her new team had been getting along swimmingly. The night out at the bar had done them good, if you asked Eleanor, as it allowed them to get to know her and she them. It had been the perfect ice-breaker, and they had gone out once or twice more during that month alone. But not just to bars, but for 'sober socials' too, which she had found equally as enjoyable as it allowed her to speak to them all without the nonsense spouted out by alcohol.

However, things were still difficult case wise and despite working now with LAPD on the matter, there were still few leads. More than before, after Eleanor had made the link between the two pictures on her first day, but still not enough to put a full idea together of who they needed to go after.

Not to mention, she was starting to push away Liam, who was becoming more and more clingy. She had talked to the guy, reaffirming their rules, but one night after a particularly gruelling day at work had her calling for him to come around. Things were getting back to where they were when he was a needy sod. This in turn left Eleanor a little more irritable than usual, but she managed to keep it buttoned up and under control, not wanting any of her team to think her annoyance was toward them.

It was a Friday, and Eleanor was scouring through photos once again to see if there were any similarities that could help lead them to the group that were behind the kidnapping and trafficking, which clearly then also turned into murders. She had long organised her desk as she wanted it, with plenty of dividers helping keep things tidy in her drawers along with folders and stacked trays to keep things where they needed to be. Her hand pressed against her forehead as she leaned over, fingers drumming against the side of her cup which held the dregs of her mint tea.

"Brian? Brian. I think I've got something here." The young agent blinked a few times, as if making sure what she was seeing was right.

They had managed to track the girls going to a nightclub called The Underground, sneaking in with fake IDs or being old enough to have their own. However this was as far as things got, since they were still trawling through security camera footage. The images of the girls were them either in a booth with a group of people or at the bar sitting and talking. However it wasn't until now that Eleanor noticed something on their skin.

"At first I just thought it was a generic tattoo, y'know, because they're all in different places and some of the girls didn't have them. But look, these three girls-- they've all got it." She glanced up to her boss once he arrived, pushing herself slightly to the side so he could take a look. She then pointed to a black, swirling tattoo that had been etched onto the girls' skin in three different places. The one had it on the inside of her wrist, seen in the image they had of her about to push some guy's hair back, another had it over her collarbone and the other behind her ear on shaved side of her head.

"This has got to be their mark. Whoever's taking them, right? Maybe they take longer to build up to who they're going to take because they mark them first. Build up the girl's trust, get them to go for a tattoo, tell them some bullshit meaning behind it and then when the time is right, they take them."

Eleanor turned fully now to face her boss, adrenaline pumping through her veins. This had to be it. This had to be their break through.

"We just got to find the people who are taking them for this tattoo and go from there. Bring one of them in for questioning."
 

Second Heartbeat

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They had been working on the case for months now.

Months without a lead or even the smallest sliver of hope - until today, that was.

Brian was currently busy matching DNA samples found on the victims with registered criminal in their database when Eleanor called him over. The girl had been working non-stop, determined to find leads, but what she had found today had baffled Brian. It seemed like Eleanor had found a trace, and glancing at the tattooed girls, Brian couldn't help but raise his eyebrow. Not only did this mean that they finally knew a very valuable form of identification of the victims, no, they also finally knew where they had to start to unravel everything.

This seemed like a breakthrough.

"Huh, you're right... they all have it, and I even know who does those tats. In LA there's a tattoo parlor called 'Divine Ink'. I've been there because I wanted to get something new, but they weren't up to my standards. I saw a girl who had that exact same tattoo... that was maybe five months ago, before I got assigned to this case."

Pulling back from the table, Brian bit his lip. They had found a real fucking clue here, and smiling at Eleanor, Brian was about ready to scream from joy. He had spend lot of sleepless nights trying to figure this case out, and finally, they had found something. It was time to move now, and the young agent knew they had to be careful.

"Good job, Eleanor. Honestly. Great job, we wouldn't have this clue right now if it weren't for you. I also found something interesting, by the way. Follow me."

Motioning for the girl to follow him back to his desk, Brian pointed at the DNA evidence they had collected, and after weeks of no results, the young agent had finally found a match - which ultimately meant they had a suspect now, as well.

"DNA taken from skin particles underneath one of the girl's fingernails matched with this guy."

Placing the file on the table for Eleanor to look at, Brian continued his expleation.

"Steven McWire, 45, lives in a small apartment in the city, petty thief, some ties with some small local gangs, convicted of sexual harrassment."

Looking at Eleanor, Brian felt a surge of adrenaline rush through his veins. They finally had leads, and it was time to go after them, as fast as they could. Giving the girl a smirk, Brian's brain was trying to figure out the best way to divide teams, and leaning against the desk, Brian studied Eleanor's face. He wanted to know what she had to say, first.

If only to please his own curiosity.

"I say we move fast, but we need a solid plan that won't fail us. Any ideas you want to discuss before we share the info with the others and get their opinions?"