The Weight of Choices Made.


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Scene Title The Weight of Choices Made
Synopsis Harper descends to the Suresh Center with coffee and an offer from Broome. WARNING: Harper shows emotions. WARNING!: Harper doesn't lik being negated.
Date September 9, 2010

Suresh Center - Brennan's Office

A simple office with an expansive desk, closed laptop resting on it's top, leather chair, tan carpeting and beige walls. A window looks out over the grounds of the suresh center when the verticals are open to let in sun. Two comfortable chairs perch in facing the desk, ready for patients to sit in. Low shelving occupies space behind the desk with binders and books, pictures of smiling dark haired children and a striking woman presumably the office residents wife. A couch takes up the rest of the room and a small closet, big enough to hold a couple jackets and a change of clothes or a suit, and the couch long enough to be slept on, drown throw blanket arrange across the back of it. Diploma's in their frames provide the traditional decorations on the walls as well as finger-paintings made by young children clipped to a string and providing some cheer.

Harve Brennan's days have been increasingly spent more and more here at the Suresh Center. In the wake of his impromptu vacation for nearly well into two months, and Michelle's impending pregnancy, they had hired on some new doctors to take the load over. Not that he doesn't enjoy the private practice and working side by side with his wife but that the Suresh Center was more and more where his other skill set was getting used. For all that Megan was starting to feel that this place was not for her when Registration changed were made, more and more, this was where he felt he belonged.

Helping test folks who came in, dealing with first time manifestations of people with all sorts of abilities who needed help with the control that they were lacking. There were injuries too, people who fell ill, hurt themselves, broke bones, overdid it on their abilities and came in in need of medical help. There would always be those and most of his days when he was here was spent between the meager office he had here, the patient rooms in the adult and adolescent wings.

This morning he'd been down with one of the support groups, discussing the reality of living in a world with both those without ability and with and explaining what the Suresh Center was there to do and help. Orientation at it's best. But once again, he was upstairs, sliding on a white coat with the expectation of seeing a patient or two, assuring some parents that their evolved child wasn't going to in the middle of the night burst into flames and kill them unintentionally in the middle of the night.


Fist bump with a teenager coming out of his room in the adolescent wing, a promise to come in and watch a baseball game with him for a bit before he left home, sign a clipboard for a nurse after looking over a dosage and approving it followed by taking out his phone from his pocket when it buzzes and firing off a message to his daughter - the elder one - and a promise to bring home ice cream for them when he headed home. Brennan's life is these days, less hectic, less filled with omnipotent tween's and technopaths hunting them.
Or, it used to be.

A ghost in Brennan's peripheral vision sends a chill down his spine, a short and waifishly thin blonde teenager dressed in a black suit with a white lab coat thrown over it. Her blonde hair tied back into a tight bun behind her head, tablet PC clutched to her chest as she walks in hard-soled flats that click across the tiled floor. In peripheral vision she… looks just like Liette's sister, Julie.

"Doctor Harve Brennan," comes from the opposite direction, behind Brennan, a crooning voice that Harve hasn't heard in some time. Desmond Harper looks less haggard these days, less run ragged by an apocalyptic storm threatening to crush the east coast and less tired from chasing his own tail trying to find Liette.

On his way down the hospital-level corridor, Desmond's expression is that of a cheerful smile, carrying a cup of coffee in each hand with a certain expectance intended in them. The ubiquitous bluetooth headset he wears is clipped into his right ear and everything about his attire says sleek and dark, an ink-black suit with a crisp white undershirt and patterned blue necktie. The laminated badge clipped to his right lapel is a new addition, however. It reads:

Public Affairs Assistant Secretary Desmond Harper

Department of Homeland Security.

Brennan's left staring, turning his face in the hopes of getting a better look at who he might swear is Julie, about to turn on his heel and walk after just to make sure it's not one of the kids from the wings playing games.

Harpers voice of course, changes all that and it's because of who he is that keeps Brennan from actually going after the blonde, turning and focusing his attention on Harper, the bluetooth and the two cups of coffee.

"Nice suit. Not as nice as your other, but this one looks a bit more manageable" He holds onto his phone with his one hand, clipboard with the other and giving Harper at least ninety-nine percent of his attention. "How are you…" He has to look at the name tag then up. "Secretary Harper" His own just reads Dr. Brennan. Plain and simple.

There's a crooked smile on Harper's lips, one that conveys you got me without so much talking getting in the way. "Not too bad," Harper notes with a momentary grimace, looking for the barest of moments like he's stifled inside of the starched shirt, restricted. "I've been down here in New York for a while now, lots of business to handle, what with the visions and the terrorist attacks. But, you know, I thought I'd come down here to make good on an offer from back before the weather turned for the better."

Offering out one of the paper coffee cups, Harper arches a brow. "Do you have an office we can talk a little more candidly in? I've got some things I want to put on the table, and I thought it might od good for you and I to catch up, you know?" Harper leans to one side, looking over Brennan's shoulder and down the hall, then back to the Doctor. "Unless you're busy."

"Ahhh, it makes so much more sense now." Broome's lap dog has come finally, the other shoe about to drop, maybe two. The offered coffee cup is glanced at and he reaches for one. Reaches for the one that Harpers not holding out. "Sorry, don't trust you to spike my coffee. I thought I saw Julie down the hall" He turns away, and any negation that Brennan had had turn on is gone when line of sight is broken and he gestures towards his office, Harve Brennan across it on a nameplate.

"Could have just called Harper, but then again, we do have that pesky technopath who's just a worm in every ear. Here or the roof, your choice"

"Here will do then," Harper notes with one eye narrowing, as if straining with effort on something. "I don't much like roofs; too exposed, and you never know who's watching you from the satellites." At least they agree on the Rebel problem. "You did see Julie," is offered after as Harper takes a sip of the coffee he's left with. "She's here with Doctor Luis, they're both becoming perminent residents of the Suresh Center as laboratory technicians. We've had a few unfortunate circumstances call for reorganization of our ranks, and their move from our central facility to here was unavoidable."

Looking askance to a passing nurse, Harper furrows his brows and then steps in line behind Brennan, moving in to his office. It's a slow and casual pace, Harper closing the door with a brush of his shoulder, leaning back against the door after it closes. "Doctor Broome like you, Harve. You're on his list, that's something not very many people are on, truth be told. Now, I'm here to offer you an official position with the Institute, operating under the auspicies of the Department of Evolved Affairs. I don't know how comfortable you'd be working with us, but my investigative team that will be handling Evolved-related incidents in and around the city is going to need a crack lab team, and we're short good physicians."

There's a smile from Harper, his head tilting to the side as he takes a sip from his cup. "Now, I'll be honest, this might include some field-work too, given your ability. But the pay is… well, it's more than I think we deserve, and your family will have additional security concerns all taken care of, because I imagine the November 8th situation is weighing on you right now."

"Yeah, Yeah, I'd imagine that you're re-organizing, little birdie in my ear said something went down on Staten Island by people you and I both know." He eases in, letting Harper be the gentleman in this stage of their relationship with regards to the door, heading for his desk so that he can settle clipboard, coffee and tuck his phone away in his desk. deep into the back of his desk.

"I think, Harper, that he likes my ability, and what I can do for him so much as opposed to me precisely." He drags a pen out of a pocket, clicking it to push the ink nub out and settle into his chair so he can drop his gaze on Harper again, with that little extra something something.

"If I turn the opportunity down?" The pen clicks, clicks again, keeps clicking when his thumb depresses it repeatedly, leaning back into his chair. "Last I knew, the offer of employment was given in a manner in which I didn't think that I really had much of a choice in matters. As for november 8th, Michelle and the girls are going to go to France. Better they be out of the country, visit their grandmother. I'm not going to loose another baby to a riot"

"Things change," Harper notes with a tip of his head forward, that motion urging him off of the door and on a meandering pace deeper into the office, a sip of his coffee serving as a pause between words. "If Simon wanted you for just your ability, things wouldn't be like this, Doctor Brennan. That's not to say you'd be kidnapped, because contrary to outward appearances, that's not really what we're all about. Simon has a very small collection of people that he personally enjoys the company of, people that are protected. You're one of them."

Looking around the office as he walks, Harper makes an approach to the desk that Brennan has headed towards, pausing about halfway between door and desk. "If you don't want in, I turn around and leave your office and you don't have to commit to anything. Winter's over, Brennan, that desperation we were all facing is gone, and we're all on different footing. If you come aboard the Institute, we want you to be all-in, and we want you to feel welcome."

Reluctant as he is, Harper looks down to his coffee and delays what comes next. "To… that point," his blue eyes regard a coffee stain on the plastic lid, then divert up to Brennan. "I'm allowed to answer whatever questions you might have about what we do, within reason. Like I said, Simon likes you."

"I highly doubt that you are being allowed a complete open book Harper. Different footing, I can see. I'm still more than a little unhappy that because of you taking Thatcher, I got shoved in a cold basement for a couple weeks and currently, I got Eileen ruskin telling me that if I even breathe in your direction, they're coming for me, and you can guess who else they'd be going for related to me." Mind you, that was months ago. "Can you honestly tell me straight to my face that your little suited possee can protect my family, if they decide to come after me and solve theproblem of me breathing the same air as them?"

"I can tell you right now if you tell me where I can find Eileen Ruskin, she won't ever be a problem to you and yours." Harper offers one raised brow as he approaches the desk more fully, sipping from his coffee again. "I understand you have past loyalties, but it doesn't sound like that's really a two-way street. It's unfortunate that the Ferrymen Network sees us as the enemy, but sometimes you have to look like the Devil in order to play in Hell."

Setting his coffee down on the corner of the desk, Harper tucks his hands into the pockets of his slacks, raises his shoulders into a shrug and then exhales a sharp sigh. "Thatcher was outside of my control, she's on Simon's list and he wanted to have a conversation with her in confidence. She was unharmed and returned to her people without any damage done, so I think you can understand why that's a somewhat unfair thing to be upset at me about. But, life's unfair— I get it."

Looking down to the desk, Harper's brows furrow, then one raises as he looks up to Brennan. "Provided you don't openly explain you're connected to the Institute, Ruskin and her mass-murdering friends in the Vanguard won't know fact-one about who you work for outside of the DoEA. But, should things become hairy, we can provided 24-hour security if you think you and yours are at risk."

"I don't know where she is. She just showed up whenever" He's not about to go and tell them the current houses either. They can find those out on their own and in truth, short of the Garden, he's sure that they've all been switched around now too. He wonders where Lynette is sometimes, when he's tucking his own girls in.

"Then tell me exactly what this new job would entail and I don't openly discuss anything anymore with anyone from that social circle. We have a tacit understanding that our paths won't actively collide" Accidentally… maybe.

"Your call," Harper notes quietly, walking around the desk and past Brennan towards the windows at the back of his office that view out across Roosevelt Island. "The job is nothing that will offend your sensibilities. We actually want you primarily for your brain," which admittedly is somewhat unnerving given the Institute's quiet penchant for brain stealing, not that Brennan needs to know that of course.

"We'd like you to head up the medical division of the Institute's operations here at the Suresh Center. We want you to be our laboratory director." Turning partly away from the window, Harper regards Brennan over his shoulder. "Luis is only on as an advisor along with Julie, and we need someone full-time who can manage all of the different egos that will be working here. We have two doctors who will be coming on under you, Odessa Price and Darren Stevens would be your assistants and you three would have a stable of doctors and researchers beneath you. Price has a background in genetics and Stevens is a surgeon you may be familiar with, both Evolved too." The former isn't terribly familiar, but the latter is the miracle healer from St.Lukes Hospital who 'retired' several months ago mysteriously.

"You'd be in charge of organizing all medical personnel, handling day-to-day administrative work and occasionally sitting in on investigative meetings as a consultant with your medical expertise on cases that we might have need of your particular skills and background. On rare occasions we may call on you for field-work with your ability, but there'll be hazard pay compensation and all of the expected benefits for something like that should it come up. Vacation time," Harper waves one hand in the air, "legal will draft something up for you if this gets that far."

"More administration than actually seeing patients" Odessa Price and Darren Stevens. he was familiar with the latter, the former, nothing rang a bell. The pen still clicks on and off in his hand as he plays nice and drops the negation that he'd kept focused on Harper, looking for any little sign of relief that it's gone.

He knew what the Ferry had presented him of the Institute, but he knew too of Liette and her adoration of the people who worked out in massachusetts, he presumed massachusetts. "Who tattled, on where LIette and I were in midtown?" Harper did say that it was an open book. "Will the DoEA know that I'm to be working for the institute or will that be purely one hand, not seeing what the other is doing?'

"Secretary Praeger will know, other than that— no, unless he sees fit to inform someone." But the question Brennan asked brings a curious look of scrutiny to Harper's face, one brow raised. "Midtown?" Blue eyes wander the room, then track back to Brennan again. "No one ever told me word-one that you were in Midtown with Liette, not until after that raid happened. According to the information I was told, one of the Institute's precognitives, a woman named Eve Mas painted a depiction of the location that was chosen to be targeted. You and Liette featured in the painting."

It's not the most elegant answer in the world, of course.

"The DoEA will know that you're a consultant in their heirarchy working for the Institute, as to what you're doing, that— that will be need-to-know only. It'll be easier for you to work here as a DoEA face than it would be if we shoehorned you into Homeland Security. Besides, this means you and Praeger will get to rub elbows a little more, and last he and I talked he had nothing but good things to say about you."

"Do you want me to take the job" Up goes the negation again, not even sure if there's an ability in play or not, eyes narrowing just a fraction as he reaches for the coffee and takes a sip from the quickly cooling brew that Harper so kindly came on by with. Peace offering? Maybe. Maybe not. "So consultant, on loan to the DoEA, but working here, as a lab manager and occasionally outside these doors and lending my .. I presume negation and medical skills on an as needed basis."

At least mind wiping wasn't on the table anymore nor was getting shot up with who knows what every day and stuck in a room.

"Has Liette been found yet?"

The latter question has Harper's expression sagging, shoulders slacking and head bowing. Exhaling a sharp sigh, blue eyes shut and Harper's voice is a dejectedly quiet one. "No, no we haven't found Liette yet. The last contact anyone had with her was right before the storm abated. She… she attacked her sister through their empathic link somehow, severed it entirely from as far as anyone can tell. Julie was hospitalized for a few weeks following the incident and her memory of what happened is… touch and go. She has been suffering some severe side-effects from the apparent severing of their bond, but— she's healthy enough."

Looking out the windows, Harper's brows furrow, then blue eyes angle back over to Brennan as he turns around. "I want you to work with us, Harve. I think you're a good man, and I think that once you see the Institute in a better light you'll have a different appreciation of it. Simon thinks you'll be a good fit to us, and he thinks you'll have the necessary skills for handling the, ah, often times eccentric staff in the medical department."

He'd say to talk to Michelle, but she's too pregnant to want to subject her to harper, or anywhere near Harper for that matter. He'd found out after the fact that she'd helped, but he can't say that Brennan doesn't agree with his wifes actions that night. The bond is severed though, the two no longer able to share their abilities. Idle thoughts turn to Liette and how she's taking it. The loss of connection with her sister and whether she even still asks for Luis or himself.

"Have Broome's legal, draw up a contract. I'll want to go over it with my wife and… discuss things. I have a family to think of, a baby on the way" The clicking of the pen ceases and Brennan rises from his chair, leather shoes bringing him across the floor of his office to the window and the sight outside. Brings him to beside Harper.

"I may not agree, with some of what the institute does and there may be some who think I'm turning a blind eye, but I understand sometimes too that necessity is the mother of invention. I don't like some of what I've heard that the institute has done, but I spent weeks with Liette and I know that not everything that was done, to people she came across was entirely legal by any of the loosest defenitions. But I know too that she wasn't mistreated. It's because of her alone that I'm willing to entertain and quite likely say yes to Broome's offer" Brennan turns away, few steps carrying him to his desk and the clip board.

"Not because I'm on some list and he likes me"

A smile tugs at the corner of Harper's mouth before he concedes to Brennan's point with silent agreement. "Alright," comes a few moments after that, "I'll get the paperwork to you and before that I'll get a security detail at your house, I can have a couple of DHS agents keep an eye on your home in Brooklyn, there's no reason for you to have to fear for your family, Harve. We'll put a car outside and keep eyes on the place, and if you need anything we'll supply you with a number to call."

Looking down to Brennan's desk, Harper furrows his brows, then looks back up to the doctor. "If you really do think Ruskin will come after you and your kids, you really should consider what you serve to gain by continuing to protect them, even if by omission. Because I can only protect you and them as well as I know what to protect them from. But— just think on that, don't worry about it right now, and if anything comes to mind, you can always let me know later."

"I have no doubt in my mind Harper, that she and those who are part of that division of the Ferry, wouldn't hesitate. They kept me in a basement for a significant amount of time after Kaylee was returned even though they'd sworn I'd be out right after she came back and could swear I hadn't served her up on a platter. Didn't help that I refused to let her into my head."

Brennan taps the wood of the chart against the palm of his hand a few times. "It serves me to take the job because of the protection that the Institute can offer. I'd move to the octogon, but it'd be too much stress on the girls and Michelle."

Things change though, if they somehow found out what he knew was inevitable, that he'd go to work for the institute, it was only a matter of time before they made a pass at him or his family. "I don't even know where she resides anyways, and there are some people in that network that I respect, and I trust Harper and closer to you and me and others, than you think. I wouldn't be surprised if they know you stepped foot in my office Harper"

"All the more reason to make sure I keep eyes on your house," Harper notes with an arch of one brow, "all the more reason for you to call me if you see anything suspicious. It's unfortunate that when a man makes steps to do what's right he's seen as making a mistake, and the people who struggle so hard to do what they think is right, aren't even close." With that said, Harper breezes past Brennan's desk, walking to the door, though slowing as he gets closer.

"Since you'll be working with Julie and Luis," he adds, looking askance to Brennan, "I'd appreciate it if you didn't bring up Liette too much, it's— difficult for them to handle right now, and they really don't need the emotional distraction. That's really all I ask." Though as Harper turns around to look back at the doctor, there's an apologetic expression on his face.

"I'll get you those papers, and… yeah, I'll get you set up." It seems like losing Liette has been a sore spot for more than just Doctor Luis and Julie, Desmond Harper doesn't deal with failure very well, and the last few months have been an unsettling amount of it.

No stranger to someone keeping an eye on his house. Not in the least. "Get them a panic button, something. I'm sure you'll think of something and I'll remember, about mentioning Liette" Brennan's hands tighten around the clipboard as he follows Harper towards the door. "Someday maybe. She'll be back" Sticky situation, whatever it was that surrounded Liette. "Will that be all Secretary Harper? Don't need one of the nurses to show you to an exam room. Nurse Young maybe?"

There's a fond smile from Harper to Brennan and a wag of one of Harper's fingers at the doctor, "No, Nurse Young isn't really my style. Though when it comes time for my physical, hey, I know what doctor I'm going to." Flashing a toothy smile, Harper pulls the door to Brennan's office open and offers him a half-wave, half-salute with two fingers tapped to his brow, then steps out into the hall before the weight of that innuendo can fully settle into place. When the door finally closes, all joking aside, there's a different weight settling on Brennan's shoulders.

The weight of choices made.

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