Interdepartmental Appreciation


audrey_icon.gif marshall_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title Interdepartmental Appreciation
Synopsis Audrey discovers she has an admirer, and Matt begs her not to scare the little DoEA intern too badly.
Date June 13, 2011

DHS Building: Breakroom

Everybody needs coffee.

"I need approval to take a lie detector with me to Washington and I don't mean the computer kind." This is the words assaulting - nicely - Matthew Parkman's ears in the break room where Audrey has managed to find him/be fetching her own coffee. Kill two birds with one stone as it is. Provided the two birds are in a really small box and the stone is a boulder.

"I think I have a lead on Sylar, but I want to bring an SLC-Expressive retired cop with me, to talk with the man." Audrey has the decency to not loiter at the doorway at least, instead moving straight for the coffee maker with her cup. The one plastered with a picture of her two dogs with the words 'We love you mommy' written across it that was a joke by Cooper that Audrey's owning in retaliation.

"I need brass approval, since it's not an agent, but a consultant." Monday afternoon, a great day to make requests, before the middle of the week and everyone else is begging on their knees. "Please tell me yes."

When does Audrey Hanson not have a lead on Sylar?

Parkman doesn't look up from his paper as he sips his coffee, one arm resting on the arm of the lone couch in the breakroom and an ankle balanced on his knee. "So get your supervisor to sign off on it," Parkman says flatly as he lifts the plain brown mug toward his mouth again. He'd come here to try and avoid people. It was his M.O. these days. Avoidance. If people don't get the chance, they can't ask questions.

And he can't hear the conclusions they draw internally.

"I can't. Because of the nature of the lead. So I thought I'd come to you. Since…" I trust you and my lead told me that Sylar's being protected by someone in the fucking chain of command and ever since I have the NIS crawling down my throat Parkman, with threats of imprisonment, I'm more than a little paranoid.

She grabs the handle of the coffee pot, pouring the dark liquid into her cup, watching the bottom of her cup disappear, obliterated by the dark. Middle of the pot, not anywhere near Jane quality coffee. The pot returned to it's burner, she's reaching for a spoon, a small individual creamer to empty into her cup and turn back towards her Boss. Sure as shit hope I can trust you.

"You think I'm going to bend the rules for you, Hanson?"

Parkman looks up, letting the paper rustle back to his lap without any attempt to quiet it. "You can think again," he adds after a moment. "Why should I stick my neck out for you? If you want a lie-detector, I'm sure they can scrounge somebody up for you so it's all pretty on paper. You now it won't be worth a damn thing if it's not admissible."

If he does have friends that high up, don't you think they'll hang you with every inch of fuckery you pull to get him into a courtroom?

"It's just in here?" A feminine voice slowly grows in volume on the other side of the door, "Okay, thank you," which then opens to admit a young woman with blonde hair, dressed in khakis and a well-starched white blouse. A badge identifying her as DoEA is clipped to her waistband, and a lanyard with a tag hanging from it show she has clearance to be in the building. "I'll just wait in here, then," she tells the agent that must have escorted her to the breakroom.

The girl takes a moment to make sure the door shuts softly behind her before she turns around to look at the room and locate the coffee pot. "Oh!" Green eyes blink in surprise, and a smile spreads across her face. "You're Agent Hanson!" Pushing away from the door, the younger blonde strides across the room to offer her hand out. "I'm Junior Agent Marshall from the DoEA. I've read a lot about your career." She sends a glance over to Matt on the couch and slips him a smaller smile before turning her attention right back to Audrey.

I had to try Which is to say, she takes the verbal chastizing both mental and verbal in stride. She won't press it. He's right. I'll just pay for it out of my po - The hell? The cup lifted to her lips to take a sip, eye's landing on the perky young blonde, one hand on the counter and looking on in no small amount of mock horror. "Hello…" This has got to be Cooper fucking with me Not directed at Matt, just idle thought.

Any further verbal rebuke is cut off when the bubbly blonde comes in. She earns an upraised eyebrow from the iron-haired Parkman before he goes back to his paper. Slowly. It takes a moment for his eyes to get there. Or stay.

"You've been a real inspiration," Marshall tells Audrey. "I mean, as a woman in this job. It's really difficult to get ahead. I just…" She shrugs her shoulders, unashamed of her adoration if the lack of colour to her face (aside from the apricot shade of rouge on the apples of her cheeks) is any indication.

"I wanted you to know. I'll let you get back to your coffee." At which point, Marshall sets about locating a paper cup for herself so she can get some for herself. "And you're," there's a hitch of hesitation. Do I call him former secretary or agent? "Parkman, right?"

"Do you have a groupie Parkman? Because I seem to have a groupie. I have a…" Audrey tilts a bit, looking at the ID's on the blonde.

"Pak put you up to this didn't she? Pak getting back at me for making her sing Bieber at the bar" She's sure of it. Well You won't get away with this Jane, no you won't. For this, it'll be something even worse next time. It'll be some Ke$ha or maybe some lady gaga, or … country.

"It's an intern," Parkman says in reply to Hanson, looking sidelong at the former FBI suit, his eyes slightly lidded with what can only be called contempt. "Rock stars have groupies. We have obsessive psychopaths."

With that, he look back to Marshall, hoping that the delayed answer has some calming effect. "Parkman," he supplies. "Sir, if you want to be formal, but you might not be around here that long." Interns and junior agents are like that. Especially when they're here as examples of interdepartmental cooperation.

Marshall looks taken aback, stopping just short of reaching for the coffee pot. "No. Nobody…" She falls silent as Matt speaks up, swallowing uncomfortably and then quickly nodding her head. "Sir." Back to Audrey, her chin dips again. "Ma'am. I promise I'm not here as some sort of prank. I'm just here to pick up some files for the department and they asked me to wait in here. Running into you was just chance." No wonder they call her the- Abruptly she turns back to the coffee pot, apparently having the presence of mind to reign in her thoughts in the same room as a telepath.

As good as Marshall's intentions may be, and as steely a self control he may have, Parkman bursts out with a low, hearty guffaw at her mental misstep. Abandoning his paper to his lap once more, he lifts a hand to press a knuckle to his lips to stifle the sound as it grows.

"Good to know they've got someone with eyes over there," he says once he gets his voice back, thumping his chest with the heel of his hand as the last of the chuckle leaks out.

"Marshall here, is not my intern. I have Cooper for my dirty work." Marshall is watched like a hawk as she goes for her coffee, Audrey moving away, away from that part of the room so she can study the DoEA Junior Agent like she's some really interesting exhibit in the Brooklyn Zoo.

"While I am…. amused" Amused is almost the word, it's not strong enough really. "That you think I'm an inspiration you probably want to really look at how far I've advanced there kiddo" Kiddo. She tips her cup back, taking a nice long swallow. "I haven't advanced so far. Parkman here, the Sir here is the person to admire and be inspired by. I knew him way back when, he was just a beat cop, and now look at him. My boss. Or well, my bosses, bosses, boss" The boss who's laughing and gets a really strange look now from Audrey.

"Are you actually laughing?"

Now Marshall is blushing. She realises she's been caught out by Parkman and resists the urge to hunch her shoulders up toward her ears. "I think you've done well for a non-SLC woman in this line of work," she clarifies. We can't all be mind-readers.

"What?" Parkman says, his laugh gaining new vigor. "It was funny, Hanson. Your groupie here knows your reputation. Aren't you happy you still have it?" He pushes himself up out of the couch and returns his coffee cup to the sink for some other lowly intern to rinse out and return to the communal shelf. It frees up both his hands to reassemble the paper for its return to the table.

"Some people are crack shots. Some people are negotiators. Some people can see into other people's heads. None of it's glamorous." He looks straight at Marshall then, his eyes slightly narrowed in an expression of almost paternal wisdom that only older men can muster. Remember that.

"You mean if I even had one to start with" To Parkman, gulping at her coffee despite it's stinging heat. She's starting to rile, the ruff of her neck if she was a dog, would be up right now. "I think, that SLC status has shit all to do with how far you go in our line of work. So with your comment, are you saying that Parkman here, got his job just because he can read minds, and that if I could, and he couldn't, I might very well be in his job and he in mine?"

She narrows her eyes, watching Marshall over the rim of her cup, having taken up a lean against the wall.

"I mean no disrespect, ma'am." Marshall stares down at the coffee in her paper cup, not bothering to add sugar or cream to it. Where is that file clerk? Can't people just accept a compliment anymore? "Please, just forget I said anything. I'm sorry I bothered you." For all the awkwardness of the situation, the junior agent doesn't mumble her apologies.

Parkman snorts out another laugh, then shakes his head, narrowing his eyes even as he smiles at Hanson. "Down, Audrey. Let her admire you if she wants and leave her alone." He drops the reassembled paper back on the table, but he doesn't leave yet.

"If four-thirty comes and you still need that signature, I'll see what I can do." But only if you lay off the girl - even if she is DEA.

"Hey, interns get hazed, that's the way it is." Which is to say, Audrey was teasing. "Sorry there Marshall, I'll make it up to you. My office is down the hall" Coopers actual office rattled off. "I got some donuts on my desk, you can help yourself. I don't like the powdered ones" Which is actually Coopers favourite one.

"But thanks. Not used to…groupies. Much less anyone even knowing who the hell I am" Since she tends to keep her own face out of the papers. "What are you here for?"

Marshall nods her head slowly. "No harm done," she assures. "Like I said, I'm just waiting on some hard copies of files. Fax won't do, and it's cheaper to send me out to pick them up than to hire a courier." She frowns faintly after a sip of her coffee, "But I'm not a groupie. I don't have tee shirts with your face on them, and haven't made up cheer routines or anything."

Standing there, Parkman looks…well, proud of himself as he looks from Marshall to Audrey. He moves around behind the younger of the two women on his way out, but snaps a look to Audrey at the girl's admission.

Yet, he projects at the agent, eyes wide and mockingly fearful for a moment.

If there wasn't some little intern there and some sense of propriety needed to be maintained, there might be a wad of a napkin heading for Parkman. Or if she didn't want to be able to fly to Washington with Ziadie to do some interrogation in an upgraded business class - Upgrade paid for by her - that would require his signature.

But she behaves, shoots him a look and a roll of her eyes before opting to play nice, kill some time and sitting down on the newly vacated spot left by Matt as he's bailing. "Why the DoEA, why not DHS Marshall?"

I get the feeling I'm the brunt of someone's joke here, Marshall thinks as she catches the roll of Hanson's eyes. "Sir," she offers over her shoulder to Matt before he departs. To the question levelled at her, she tilts her head to one side, "I applied for the internship, and I got accepted. It's as simple as that."

See? You don't need to be a mind-reader, Parkman whispers inside Marshall's mind before he slips back out of it, the invasion harmless - friendly even. "Don't be jealous, Hanson. She's Praeger's. So you'll have to call him up when you want to steal Cooper's donuts." He winks at Marshall with that, and taps his fingers on the back of one of the standard barely-comfortable chairs.

"Word of advice, kid - don't let anything she says bury itself too deep. She's all bark." And no bite - but Parkman lets that go unsaid.

"Aww come on, you're watering down my rep. besides, Cooper needs to learn to share his donuts. It's not like I can just stalk into the precinct and take a donut and make him sweat anymore. He's my partner" She can stills talk in, but the sweating isn't so much a bonus anymore. He's not so scared of her.

"But why the DoEA? And Praegers?" Okay, fair enough. "Praegers a good man"

Marshall bristles only faintly at the small intrusion into her thoughts, but doesn't say (or think) anything about it. "I sat down with a recruiter, and it felt right to me," she finally edges over to one of the chairs, but only rests one hand on its back so she can lean against it. "I majored in urban studies. The DoEA is a good fit for my degree."

When it doesn't seem like Audrey is going to sink her teeth into the girl, Matt takes his leave - as quietly and unobtrusively as he can. After all, there's work to be done.

Matts going, boss is leaving the room and Audrey gestures to the end of the couch, an offer for her to take a seat. "He's a good guy. Parkman. Hard being who he is and having to deal with everything. Can you imagine having his ability and sitting in a building with all these people and trying to keep your head quiet?"

Sympathy, she has for him. "You Praegers intern? Or just a random intern?"

"I can imagine," Marshall murmurs, wandering slowly to the couch to take she seat offered by Audrey. "I won't be an intern at all for much longer. I get my diploma this month. I suppose random is the best choice of words in this case, though. I'm enjoying the work, though. I look forward to being a full-fledged member of the department."

"With more than just a little white backed badge to flash, and a real leather folder with your shield and logo on it huh" She looks over at Marshall's mug, gesturing to that now. "Pak like the bottom of the pot, grains in the base of her cup, thick as tar. If you want to get on her good side, that's what you'll need to remember. If it tastes like an oil tanker crapped in her cup, she'll be in heaven. Beyond that, I don't know much about the DoEA. Her and Moriarti. We tend to segregate."

"I'll keep that in mind. Raines, her intern, tends to handle that stuff." But the light in those green eyes of Marshall's says she knows an opportunity has just been handed to her. "I understand some of the desire to keep things separate, but I think both departments could benefit from a little more cooperation. Especially with things being how they are with the Commonwealth Institute."

"All is not well in the emerald city?" Audrey's brows go up, up, up. "For shame. Are you gossiping Agent Marshall?"

"No, ma'am." Again, Marshall is quick to shake her head. "I don't mean like that. I thought DHS was in the same boat? I'm not trying to spread rumours. It's just my understanding that… Never mind. I don't mean to speak out of turn."

"I got my cases Marshall and I stick to my cases. That's it. Only rumors I get are the ones heard in the coffee room" A frown a study of the blonde. "How are things between the Institute and the DoEA slash DHS. Anything I should worry about?"

"Not that I'm aware of," the young agent insists. "Communication just seems tight-lipped from their side is all. Not terribly different from the difficulties between our departments. I wouldn't be concerned." Marshall brings her coffee back to her lips and takes a slow sip, covering for what may otherwise have been a moment of awkward silence on her part.

Fair enough. Audrey just opts to watch. Look. Stare. Troll. As if by that very act, the woman's mouth will unzip and she'll spill whatever it is that's in her head. She runs her tongue across the front of her teeth under her lip before opting to sip very slowly on her own cup of joe.

"Honestly, I don't know anything concrete. I was kind of hoping you would know something," Marshall admits, a little helplessly. "Not that I was trying to pump you for information or anything. I just don't like being blind in these situations any more than you do, I think." Self-consciously, she runs her palm over her nigh flawless hair, fingers dancing over the pale green barrettes that keep it from falling in her face.

"That why you were the number one fan in my one man fan club Marshall?" Audrey inquires, lowering her cup, the liquid all gone, lopsided smile on her face.

"Maybe." Lopsided smile for lopsided smile. Then the door opens and a hapless DHS intern pokes her head in the door, holding up a sealed manila envelop. "That's my cue," Marshall rises from her seat and offers her hand. "It's been a real pleasure meeting you, Agent Hanson. I'll bring my pom-poms next time." Wink.

"Maybe I'll have a glossy picture you can buy for twenty five dollars and I'll sign it with a silver pen" Audrey shoots back, as it seems Marshall is being called away. "Don't forget the donuts. He won't bite and I'm sure he'll enjoy getting a look at you"

"Yes, ma'am." Draining the last of her coffee, she tosses the disposable cup into the trash bin and joins her DHS-intern-counterpart. "Thanks. I just need to make a stop at Agent Cooper's desk before I head out. Don't worry, Agent Hanson told me the way. I can see myself out." Marshall throws one more grin over her shoulder to Audrey with a little wave before she disappears out into the hall and the door shuts behind her.

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