Bad Company, Part III


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Scene Title Bad Company, Part III
Synopsis Martin Crowley finally secures a meeting with Brian Winters.
Date September 16, 2009


"Sorry about changing the meet location…" Winters lips thin for a moment as he gives a contemplative look. "Four times." Comes the afterthought.

"But when dealing with an organization that I'm not exactly on best terms with. I find it best to uphold certain standards of precaution." But not sanitation. That much is evident when Martin finally arrived at the correct meet zone. A dingy and poorly lit restroom facility inside a Burger King.

The door to the bathroom was closed and locked after Martin's entry. Closed for Maintenance the sign reads. It probably wasted significant time for Martin, jumping through one hoop then another until finally Winters showed himself in a bathroom of all places. But all this hoop jumping doesn't seem to bother Brian. Dressed as sharply as ever the young man sips on a Starbucks frappuccino. Sitting in the toilet stall, his legs are propped up on a mop bucket. As if this was his palace and the toilet was his throne. Well it kind of is.

"Please Agent Crowley, is it? Have a seat." He gestures to the sink, positioned across from him. "Make yourself comfortable. Su casa est mi casa." Maybe he's aware that he's reversing the saying, maybe he's not. "Can I get you anything? Handsoap? Urinal cakes? Anything?"

"No— No that's quite kind of you but no." Not no thank you, but simply no. "This, ah— isn't exactly what I had in mind the several times I attempted to get a hold of you, mister Winters." Dark furows furrow, and the unkempt and ruffled quality of Martin's clothing and windblown hair do little to hide the fact that he spent the last thirty minutes on the tarmac at JFK airport waiting for Brian to arrive before being told to come to the Burger King two miles away.

There's a loud slap as he drops a stack of folders, paperwork and binders down on the faux-marble countertop where the bathroom sinks are recessed into. A strained sigh follows, and Martin turns to regard himself in the mirror, lifting up his glasses and massaging at the bridge of his nose. When his eyes open, he's staring at Brian's reflection in the glass. "I wouldn't exactly call this any good measure of precaution," his eyes wander down to the sink, then back up to Brian. "But like I told Agent Sawyer," slowly, Crowley begins to turn, arms folding across his chest, "It's not my job to take you in. What I want to know, is why you left."

"Don't worry Agent Crowley, you look great." Brian flashes a reassuring smile in the mirror as his hand claps on Martin's shoulder. Giving a friendly squeeze he goes to drop the hand in order to look at the folder. "You may not call it precaution, but I do. Especially since I just ate here. Meeting anywhere else far from a toilet would be a foolhardy endeavor on my part." Brian flips some of the paperwork open as if it were his. Starting to scan through it.

"I found out my parents were murdered by the Company because they refused to allow me to be tested on." He smiles softly. "Synthetic evolution. All that. So when I found out who I worked for I got quite disillusioned with the whole thing. I didn't betray the Company, but I left." He slaps his hand on top of the papers.

"Question answered. Are we all done here?" A bright smile is flashed once again.

There's a furrow of Martin's brow as he reaches out for a small spiral-bound notepad, the kind you'd write a shopping list on. He withdraws a pen from his jacket and scribbles a few notes, brows furrowed. "When did this murder take place, who did you get this information from, and do you have any indication of the element within the Company that authorized this murder?" Dark eyes drift up to Brian, one brow raised in query, and it's quite clear from his sudden interest but lacking dismissal that, no, they're not done here.

"The murder took place when I was a baby. Thus the whole baby synthetic testing thing. So… 1987? Former Agent Roger Goodman supplied me with the information, I had some papers.. I've lost them. I was actually hoping you could help me with that whole 'element' thing." Winters inclines his head over to the other man.

Placing his hands in his pockets the man leans against the wall lazily, tilting his head back he lets out a long yawn. Slapping his mouth shut he lowers his chin and looks back over at Martin. "Agent Sawyer said something about you being interested in maybe bringing me back to the flock."

There's a side-long stare given to Brian as Martin watches him carefully. "I'll see what documents I can dig up, provided I can tie this into my current investigation. But— it may be connected." The page he was scribbling on is flipped over to the next, and a new note is written down. Dark eyes alight towards Brian more fully, and Martin hesitates writing more as he taps the end of the pen against his chin.

"Goodman had a long arm in the Company, some good ideas, and some— poorly thought out ones. I worked with him in Chicago for several years prior to his assignment here in New York…" there's a squint of one eye, "what was your own personal opinion of him?"

"My personal opinion? He created me. He and Thompson. So whatever I am is a testament to him… Them. Partly." He gives a shrug. "I still don't understand his motivations. And I guess I never will. What with him kicking the bucket." He gives a shrug. "He seemed to be a good man while he was my boss." He chuckles quietly. Goodman. Good man. Hah.

"What was your personal opinion of him?"

"He was a controlling and manipulative middle-management nightmare…" Martin says rather openly, jotting down another note before looking up to Brian, "at least I know things didn't change when he came here. But I can respect 'is devotion to— " his brows furrow, "well whatever he was all devoted to." Folding the notepad over again, agent Crowley begins to wander around the bathroom, shoes clicking on the tiled floor, he's trying not to focus on where he is.

"You mentioned Thompson," there's a waggle of his pen towards Brian, "why don't you give me a little detail on your interactions with him and what you think about his conduct as an agent? I know he trained you, and m'curious to see exactly what you think of— " there's a swirl of that pen tip in the air, "how he handled your training."

"I'm not an Agent. Agent Crowley. I'm participating in this investigation out of the kindness of my own heart. And lately my heart runs out of kindness once it stops getting incentive." He shrugs a little bit. "I suppose it's how the world works. Sad, I know." Lowering his head he lets out a soft sigh. But rather than backtrack,

"He had a good sense of style. And he pushed me. It was hard, and…" He waves his hand a bit. "Perhaps investigation worthy at times. But I would probably be dead if he hadn't pushed me the way he had." He pauses. "More dead than I already am, that is."

"Actually," Martin's brows rise slowly, "you were never formally discharged from the Company. Your official status is missing in action, but you're still listed in the database as Agent Brian Winters." There's a tilt of his head to the side, eyes following the motion of his pen as he jots down a few shorthand notes, then looks back up to Brian. "That could be changed from missing in action to something more condusive to yuor long-term survivability, given the Company's treatment of rogue agents, provided you're interested."

Wiggling his pen between index finger and thumb, Martin comes to lean against the counter where the sunks are again. "Thompson is one of our most outstanding senior agents, and that he personally trained you speaks volumes. His professional opinion on you— that's another matter. But right now, I think there's still a window of opportunity for you to return… with some restrictions. But ultimately that's not my call, and requires you have a little trust to come in and speak with the current administration."

Rankling his nose, Martin glances over at one of the stalls, brows furrowed as if he finally caught the scent of a floater than's been in the bowl for too long. A sigh, tired and somewhat disgusted, before he looks back up to Brian again. "What do you know about the events of November 8th, 2006? Mind you, how cooperative you are will go into my report which— well it greases certain wheels." It always comes down to the bomb, with Martin.

"Restrictions?" Brian laughs at that. "Bullshit. If I come back to the Company I don't come back under restrictions I come back with conditions. One being that I don't work under people that aren't smarter than me. And that automatically makes Agent Denton a no-go. Second, I am paired back up with Agent Sawyer." As Martin speaks, Brian smirks shaking his head as if to say he knows nothing of it. But then a particular feeling creeps up on him that he hasn't felt in a long time…

His head swims, his eyes go fuzzy…

"Peter Petrelli lost control and blew up." Brian's lips clap shut as if shocked at what he said. Two minutes ago, he didn't have that memory. But now… Shit. His features smooth over as if he hadn't said anything of import. "Why do you ask? You didn't know that yet?"

"I've heard it." Martin gives no concessions to the comment about restrictions, his eyes wandering his notepad. "Another agent I interviewed mentioned the same thing, but she couldn't match it up with anything factual or even the source they heard that from outside of a vaguely lobbed name that they weren't even sure about." Dark eyes lift from the notepad, and Martin taps the tip of his pen down on the lined paper. "Do you know where you found out that information, Brian?"

Informal as ever, but Martin's posture has changed, more like a rabid dog sniffing out the scent of a rabbit wandering a little too close to his cage. There's something in his expression that has a vaguely Captain Ahab look about it, as if this topic were his particular white whale.

"I do." Brian says softly. "I have a name." Shoving himself off the wall, he goes to place his hand on Agent Crowley's shoulders. "Who has more evidence than I do. But I also have my conditions. Remember those, Martin?" He smiles sweetly at the other man, tilting his head.

"I don't know exactly what you think you're doing, I'm not the one you need to be negotiating with. I'm only here on investigative matters, and I said your cooperation would reflect well in my notes. However," Martin inclines his head, "if you opt to withhold information for the purposes of negotiating yourself a better position in your potential reinstatement, I can't say exactly how that'll look to Director Dalton."

Tapping the tip of his pen down on his notepad, Martin forces something of a disingenuine smile. "So, you can either supply me with the name of your contact, and your cooperation in my investigation will go on record and be passed up the food chain, or we can play Texas Hold 'Em for the next…" his eyes dip down to his watch, "…seven minutes," back up to Brian in a flick, "and accomplish little more than fellating each other."

"If it comes down to that you should know that I am a much better fellate-er than you." Brian assures the other man, placing his hands on his hips. He smiles softly. "You're a very by the books kind of guy Martin. But if you're not the one I need to be negotiating with. I can't help you." He takes a step back. "Come on now Martin. If you really tried, you could get me what I want." He gives a little shrug. "But then again I don't want it that bad. Denton himself already offered my job back. I said no. The Company did kill my parents after all. So like I said. Conditions. Or.. I'll very suddenly have a very short memory and that name will become non-existent."

Smiling he brings one hand out, making a sweeping gesture. "And the flop shows pair of aces."

Tilting his head to the side, Martin's eyes follow the motion of the hand. "Thompson did train you, didn't he? You've all his confidence and shit-eating grin." That said with only faint touch of humor, Martin flips the notepad closed. "If you don't want to help clean up the Company, then you don't want to be a part of the Company. I'm only willing to go as far as you go, mister Winters. I'm not about to put my neck out there for you with the Director of a Company branch I'm not even a part of, if you're not willing to put aside distrust over something that happened over twenty years ago."

The notepad is laid down on the stack of folders and binders below it are pulled up and scooped into one arm, "I should probably be going, in that case, mister Winters. Give my regards to agent Sawyer when you see her next."

A little smirk rises up, as Winter steps to the side and allows Martin to move by him. A light chuckle is let out from his lips. "If you want it that bad, it's Eileen Ruskin. But she won't like you. Not one bit. So I would be as polite and nice as I could be. Bring a giftbasket." Brian suggests with a gentle smile. "But if my conditions aren't met, I don't want back in. Have that noted." With that he waves a dismissive hand.

"Nice meeting you Agent Crowley."

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