Building Trust


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Scene Title Building Trust
Synopsis Veronica and Brian (Winters) recover and regroup after their first run-in with Tyler Case goes FUBAR.
Date February 28, 2009

Dorchester Towers, Veronica's Apartment

Between punching a cripple, getting his first kill, having a shootout with triads, losing his power, then getting it back, Brian had a pretty crazy night. He fiddles with the cellphone for another second before setting it on the dresser by the bed. Goodman had words with them, and they weren't all the most encouraging words. Having endured Goodman's words, Brian has come into the room once again to take up his post at Veronica's side. She's been 'sleeping' or at least something like it since the traumatic events of the night before.

When she comes to, she will notice several things. She's in bed for one, and has been stripped of any clothes that would cause discomfort, her trenchcoat, shoes and whatnot. Brian was sure to leave the rest of her clothes on as evidence that he most definitely did not take advantage of her while she was out. The smell of bacon, or some type of meat filters through the apartment, apparently the replicator has taken it upon himself to make breakfast.

Brian's hair is slick as if he had recently taken a shower, a white dress shirt is set on him loosely, though it is not buttoned up, it's just draped over his shoulders. Giving a soft sigh the young man casts another glance down at his sleeping beauty, wondering when if ever she will finally be coming out of it. Besides looking as if he just took a shower, Brian looks very tired, as if he has spent all this time waiting for her to wake up. One hand comes up slowly to brush a lock of her hair to the side of her face as he takes another deep breath.

It was a rough night.

She breathes the regular, shallow breaths of slumber for some time, but soon there's a change… the breaths come faster, and her eyes move behind their lids. Her brows knit together, and she murmurs something in her sleep, a sound that is half whimper. Clearly, she's having a bad dream — and how could she not? She saw herself die… she saw her selves, multiple selves, melt into the sidewalk. She felt a bullet run through her head, and yet she is still breathing, still alive, not a mark on her but a few bruises, one on her cheekbone, apparently that came with her tackling of Tyler or when he was convulsing. Or maybe she bumped heads with one of her clones. Whatever the cause, the bruise upon her face makes her look more fragile than not.

Suddenly she sits up, gasping for breath, a sheen of sweat on her face as her eyes adjust to their surroundings, trying to figure out just where she is… just who she is.

Brian's eyes go wide at the sudden sitting up, he leans back as if he was in danger of being hit in her wake or something. Though after a moment, the young man brings up a hand slowly to Veronica's shoulder. Warm and gentle. "It's okay." He murmurs softly, leaning in towards her a little bit. "Everything's going to be okay." He tries to assure her, trying to tug gently on her shoulder to guide her back to a laying position.

Her eyes flicker to Brian and takes in his face, her dark eyes on his paler ones, as she struggles to find waking rationality. It takes a moment but she nods, bringing a hand to her head and groaning. She shakes her head. "We lost him, didn't we," she murmurs; the question is toneless, no lilting upward into a question mark there at the end. "God, I blew that. We should have just… followed them, retrieved him later or something," she says, her eyes closing as she lies back on the bed. "What the hell, that Deckard guy — why was he shooting at us? It would have been under control… Dammit."

Brian gives a soft nod as she lays back. Reaching over to the dresser he pulls over a glass of water he had previously brought in. "Here you should drink a little." He suggests, going to deliver the cup to her quietly. He pivots himself on the bed some, sitting on his own leg as he scoots in a little closer to her. As far as the mission, his lips draw a thin line as he looks down at her. "Are you okay?" He asks, concern overcoming the weariness on his features. "I think we should take the day off."

She sits up a little to drink from the glass, draining about half of it before handing it back to him. "Did you call Goodman?" she asks, her eyes closing again with the thought of it. This might just be the first time she's ever screwed up on a case in her career. She rubs the bridge of her nose. "I feel like I'm hungover, without any of the fun the night before. That was…" Yeah. There are no words for it, really. "Are you okay?" she finally asks, opening her eyes to appraise his figure, looking for any injuries.

"Yes I did." Brian answers crisply. And apparently that's all he's going to say on the subject, because he's already moving on. Taking the glass he goes to set the glass back on the dresser. "I made you breakfast. I figured we could lay on the couch and watch our non-alphabetical movies." The agent suggests. The man looks uninjured, just tired. His knuckles are still a little sore from punching Deckard, but besides that Brian didn't really take any hits.

"I'm fine." He answers, returning his gaze down to her. "You're the one I'm worried about. Do you want breakfast now or later?"

Veronica laughs weakly at his quick hit-and-run answer regarding Goodman. "Are you hiding something from me? Am I already fired, and you're just not telling me?" she says, sitting up and wincing as her head threatens to split open. "I'm not an invalid. You're not going to take care of me in bed all day." She rises to her feet, wobbling just a little bit. "I'm not sure I can eat yet," she says, despite her attempted show of strength. "Do we have any Advil? Tylenol? Vicodin?" she asks, glancing at herself in the full length mirror, and wincing at the bruise across her pale and drawn face.

"No you're not fired." Brian answers with a roll of his eyes. "He wants you to keep a tighter leash on me or something." He murmurs with a dismissive wave of his hand. "Since I rushed in without you and all that." Going to stand when she does he gives a little frown. "Take care of you in bed all day. That sounds hot." He says with a little grin, her laughter shows she might be able to start tolerating his jokes again. He gives a little shrug to her question about pills. "You stocked this place. I don't know where you put everything." He says, going right beside her to put his hand on her elbow, for support. When she looks in the mirror he gives a little smirk. "You look amazing."

"You… rushed in without me? When did that happen?" she says, turning to glare at him. "Look, you don't need to cover for me. I blew that… I didn't expect the fucking Chinese mafia or whatever the hell that was about, and I didn't expect Deckard to start shooting. I *should* have expected the transfer of powers… but I didn't think it'd be like that. I just didn't think. Dammit. That Case… he calls for help, then he tries to kill us or something." Never mind last night she said he hadn't intended it to happen. "He seriously does need to be brought in… he's a menace as he is; gonna get someone killed." She moves to the bathroom and looks in the medicine cabinet, coming back with a handful of advil. She swallows five of them, grabbing the cup of water from Brian to chase them down with the cool liquid.

"I know you didn't. I'm the junior agent though. They expect me to screw up." Brian murmurs, watching her go to the bathroom. "Look, you don't have to get huffy about it. I did you a favor. I don't expect anything in return, and I'm not gonna hold it above your head, so just drop it." He suggests, relinquishing the glass of water to her. "I've been thinking on how we could maybe find him again." He pipes up, going to plop back down on the bed, letting his hands fold into his lap.

"Other room," she says, ignoring the whole "I'm not a martyr" spiel, as she heads from the bedroom to the living area of the apartment — it's one of those apartments where the living room melds into the dining room which melds into the kitchen, but really you can stand anywhere in the large space and see everything but the bedroom and bathroom.

She moves to the white microfiber couch and curls up in the corner — clearly, she's adamant about not being an invalid and laying around in bed all day. "So what's the story — so I can get it straight, when Goodman lays into me about it. And yeah. Once I can stand without having the urge to throw up, we'll need to find him again. I doubt he'll just happen to appear under our noses a second time."

Rolling his eyes, Brian follows the woman into the other room. "I told him I rushed in without you, because I got excited. And you got hurt because of it. I also told him we got blindsided by a guy named Deckard. Hopefully we'll get some information on him." Brian reports, walking in behind her. Watching her perch on the couch he gives a little frown. "Do you not want breakfast?"

"Not this second, no. I'd rather not bond with you further by having you hold my hair out of my face as I throw it all up, okay?" she says, resting her head on the back of the couch and closing her eyes. "Fine. We'll go with that, but next time don't cover for me. I should have known better. It's my fault." She opens her eyes. "So what are your ideas about getting close to Case again? It's all FUBAR now… he knows what we look like, knows we have guns, knows we're not just normal fucking Joe and Jane Schmoe. It's going to have to be stealth and snatch, instead of making nice and playing friends with him and his."

"God." Brian mutters, putting his hands on his waist as he stares at her. Looking a little tense now, after all he tried to do for her, her reactions don't seem to make him very happy. He gives a nod. "Worse. The Triads know we're on the scene. So my idea is, we get in with the triads. Either we find them and interrogate them one by one, or we give them a more diplomatic approach. Like as business partners or something. We could tell them we're trying to ship in heroin or something." He suggests, slowly going to take a seat on the couch, on the other side of her.

She opens her eyes and looks at him when he mutters, her own eyes narrowing as if to keep out the light. "Sorry, kid. Thanks for covering for me, really, it's just it might get us in more trouble in the long run, you know?" she asks, reaching over with a bare foot to nudge his knee. "And thanks for getting me out of there in one piece," she says a little more quietly, like a child remembering her manners. That's right, you're supposed to thank people for doing such things, yes?

"As for the… Triads? No one briefed me on that… That's the Chinese mob or whatnot?" she asks, looking a little more stable as the Advil seems to kick in a bit. "I … donno. We killed two of them. Not sure that's gonna work. And what's his deal with them? He must owe them money. Maybe if we buy him out, they'll help us get him, hand him over. Fuck. How the hell did they get him in the first place when we couldn't keep a hold of him." Well, the answer to that is simple enough - their thugs didn't have abilities to suddenly throw into another person's system and screw them over.

A little smile floats up his lips as she nudges his knee with her foot. His hand comes down to clap on her ankle. As far as being called 'kid' he doesn't protest, he takes it as an endearing term rather than a condescending one. "It's no problem. You would have done the same for me." Would she have? Bringing his hand back up he rests it in his lap. "I bet you they're all about money. If we give them something that they could profit from, they'll forget about two dead thugs. Or we could go after low level—" We're going to be watching the triads, we take them out if they make a move on Helena"Low level members.." He brings up his hand to his head. Another memory.

"We could maybe interrogate them or take them out. They probably know how to find him better than we do. And they probably have more people looking for him than we do. If we get the jump on them we could make them fear us. Show them we're not to be messed with, and then give them a business proposition."

Veronica nods as she listens. "Maybe. Okay. We need some … tranquilizer gun or something for Case, too. I'm not fucking going through that again," she says, with a shake of her head. "I'm going to have nightmares of watching myself turn to goo on the sidewalk for months." She shudders almost violently, a hand coming to her head as the tremor jars her already sore skull. "Or we need a plan where we're in two different places… Truthfully," she says frowning a bit, "it might be better to have two non-Evolved agents on the case, to avoid that sort of thing happening. If there's no one else with an ability in the vicinity, he wouldn't be able to do screw with us again." She nods to him. "No offense," she adds. "It wasn't your fault but I'm wondering if Goodman has thought that through."

"I can get him from a distance." Brian murmurs. "With one of those long range tranq guns. I can be your watcher, we'll get radios and I can guide you in. Once we find him, we'll knock him out then get him out of there. Keep him sedated so he can't use his ability." Brian suggests. "Even if you take in two agents." He waves his hands around. "This is New York. More Evolved people here than any place in the world." It's like the Evolved Mecca. "We can do this."

She looks up at him, knowing he hates the fact he'd have to be at a distance. She nods. "True. But those thugs, they must not have been, or he'd have done his voodoo magic on them already," she points out. "It's not like we can control who's around, but we can control … at least you. Maybe another ability wouldn't be as …" She waves a hand to fill in the gap — too many choices there: dehabilitating, horrific, shocking. "Of course, others might be worse. Like… the fire thing." For the first time, she looks afraid.

"Yeah. I think we could get him." The young man informs quietly. "I'm sorry you had to go through what you did." He says softly, looking up at her a little sadly. "I.." He gives a shake of his head. "It's hard to get used to. I didn't want that to happen to you." He admits, lowering his gaze as if ashamed of himself.

Veronica sits up and puts a hand on his shoulder. "It wasn't your fault. If anything, it was mine. We've covered this. I was stupid. We should have… watched, figured something else out," she says with a sigh. "We need to find out if we can offer the Triad money or whatever else it is they want, in exchange for their assistance with Case, or if they have him, to hand him over. If he just owes them money, they want their money more than they want him… hopefully they haven't figured out he's the one behind all the chaos last night, the one with the power," she says.

He tenses a moment as her hand comes to his shoulder. He brings up his hand to clasp over hers, warmly. "Well still. I wish that didn't have to happen." Winters murmurs, leaning back into the couch. "We should do research on the triads. See what we can find on them, their members, and what not. See what would be the best approach. Maybe we could talk to the police." He suggests. "We are FBI afterall."

"Sounds like a plan. Tranq guns and research. And a mountain of Advil," Veronica mutters. She points to the desk in the corner of the large living area. "My laptop's over there. You can bring it over here and we can work on it together?" she says, something softer in her demeanor now. Nearly dying and horrible headaches can have that effect on people. "I'm going to have to run into the facility at some point and file a report, too. No time for a day off, kid."

"I'll do it for you." Brian says, though after a moment he looks at her. "Or I can just go with you. If that's okay." He says, a little less aggressive than before. Going to stand he makes his way across the room. Picking up the computer he brings it back and plops down much closer to Veronica now. Their thighs resting together as he goes to rest the computer in her lap. Leaning back he spreads out his arms on the back of the couch.

"I'll be okay. It's just a headache," she says with a shrug. Sure. Never mind she was catatonic once they actually got in to the apartment, incapable of anything but being put into bed like a little girl. She types a few things and is suddenly in some classified files belonging to the FBI, reading up on the Triad and their key players.

"Alright." He murmurs, letting his arm slide from the top of the couch to casually drape around her shoulders as he leans in to watch the screen of the laptop in front of them. "I know you like to be strong and what not. But it's okay for you to be human around me. You can trust me." Brian says with a little smile.

She lifts a shoulder in half a shrug. "I'm trying to. But it's kinda hard, you know. Here, put your life in the hands of this other person, who you've never met in your life, you know?" Veronica says, not looking up as her small fingers deftly scroll through the pages with quick swipes and flicks of the laptop's touchpad. "But, you got me out of there last night, so that helps." She glances up at him with a smile. "Can I ask you something?" she adds, dark eyes solemn as she watches him.

Letting his arm settle over her shoulders, Brian glances at her. She hasn't told him to get off or anything, so he leans into her just a little, to better look at the screen of course. "That's what partners are I guess." The young man lets out. "Have you had a partner before? Or am I popping your partner cherry?" Arching a brow at her he gives a little nod. "Of course, anything."

"I've had partners," she says coolly, without going into detail. Those hazel eyes glance back down to the screen to pull open a file, skimming it swiftly. "You have these … moments. Where you stop and look… sort of daydreamy," she says, glancing up at him. "What's going on? Is that because of your power? Are you getting feedback from one of your copies or something, or what?" she asks, curiously. "I mean, I just had the duplicates for a few minutes, but it was overwhelming. They … I could see what they could see… Is that what you're thinking about, when you get like that?"

"Oh. Well I'm the best right?" He asks, with a little grin. But then she's talking serious business. His lips pull back a little bit. "Well. I obviously am better at it. I can handle the perspectives, manage the different bodies. It took practice. But, eventually I can handle more and more." Glancing over at her he shakes his head. "I get little flashes. Like.. I donno it feels like they could have been dreams. I think they might be little memories, resurfacing."

Veronica listens and nods. "I didn't think it worked like that — the clones. I figured they all had their own brain, their own… thoughts, not one mastermind behind them," she says with a shake of her head. "I couldn't even figure out where the ground was, it was like looking at a jigsaw puzzle and not knowing what piece was the right one," she adds. "As far as the memories go… you need to let me know what's going on, if it' a problem. What are you seeing? Remembering?" she asks, looking at him with concern, her brows furrowed.

Brian shakes his head. "It's not a them thing. All of them are me. I am all of them. They're not just clones. They're full copies of me." Winters explains slowly before tilting his head at her to his memories. "Umm.. I don't know they're all vague. Kind of blurry. Like little flashes, I can't tell what is real and what isn't."

She listens and nods. "How many copies do you have? That guy Deckard, he must know one of them?" she says, rubbing her head. Some of her color has returned to her cheeks and she looks less… fragile. Less broken. "Some poor sap is gonna get his ass kicked because you hit that guy… but he probably deserves it, if that's his kind of friend. Carrying a gun and shooting at us… Must be a criminal." She types in the name Deckard and sees if anything comes up with that.

"Right now? None. I make them. I guess he knew me before." Brian murmurs. Bringing a finger to his lips."One of the people that left me for dead probably." An avenue he could pursue himself, to find out more about the person he was before all this happened to him. He's not sure he likes whoever that person was. The possibility that he could have a replicate out there… Doesn't even enter his mind. Goodman would have told him.
"I can't understand for his motive for all of a sudden shooting at us. If he wanted us dead why didn't he do it before, when we were unprepared? Doesn't make sense." Flint Deckard certainly isn't lacking his place in the interwebs, the man is currently wanted for arson and murder, and has a handful of priors on top of it. "He was an arms dealer." Brian notes dully.

Veronica reads the files on Deckard, nodding grimly. "Interesting. Not such a nice guy as it turns out," she says, like this is news. "Well, I guess he did have it coming to him, that punch," she adds with a laugh, followed by a flinch as the pain in her head makes itself known. She shuts the laptop and sets it on the coffee table. "I think… I need to close my eyes again," she murmurs, her eyes closing as she lays her head upon the back of the couch. Apparently it is a day off, after all, whether she wills it or not.

Sleep comes swiftly — she trusts Brian enough to fall asleep with him in the room. That's saying something at least.

February 28th: What Is
February 28th: Jealousy And Rapture
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