Two Steps Back


veronica_icon.gif brian_icon.gif

Scene Title Two Steps Back
Synopsis Brian shows his face after avoiding Veronica for the past week.
Date September 19, 2009

Veronica's Apartment Dorchester Towers

Minimalist and modern without being too much like a mausoleum, this apartment is one large room — wherever one stands, one can see the other "rooms." The kitchen is sleek with black lacquer and stainless steel. The living room boasts a comfortable white faux-suede couch with black throw pillows, a black walnut coffee table, and a large plasma screen television. A black entertainment center holds many DVDs and CDs, an Ipod docking station and surround sound. The dining room is simply a black walnut table with six high-back chairs. A small hallway leads to a single large bedroom with a King-sized bed and simple white down comforter with more black walnut furniture. A bathroom in the hallway is simple — a large shower, a vanity sink, a toilet — the basics.

It's her day off, and it's been a long time coming. After traveling to the West Coast and back, dissecting video, and researching the names and faces that came up in investigation, Veronica's only too happy to sleep in on this Saturday morning. She doesn't emerge from her bedroom until about 10:30 a.m. — quite an anomaly, as the company agent usually rises to take a run in the early morning hours, even if it's her day off. She picks up her remote control to flip on the news, then heads into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.

A small click allows the door to be unlocked and opened. Kicking it close behind him, Brian unslings the duffle bag perched on his shoulder. Flopping it on the ground next to the doorway, the young ex-agent makes his way in. Glancing at the TV he allows his gaze to slide into the kitchen. Going to lean against the wall, the young man folds his arms over his chest and watches her with a light smile. No suit today. Jeans and a track jacket with a cap pulled over his brow.


Veronica's usually the under-dressed of the two as he usually is in suits, and today's no exception as she's still in short yoga capris and a tank top that she slept in. She's mid-pour when the click is heard, and she waits — there's only one person it should be, but the subject of her ongoing investigation has her a bit nervous that it might be someone else. And damn it, her gun holster is clear over on the table beside the couch — not a lot she can do if it's anyone other than Brian.

But it's Brian. She sets down the coffee pot, turns around to add her cream and sugar — she may be anything but sweet and blonde, but that's how she likes her coffee. Three Splenda packets and a couple of tablespoons of creamer get dumped into her cup, and then she stirs, her back to Brian. She's not even going to try to talk to him until she's had a swallow of coffee to wake her up mentally. After stirring, she brings the cup to her mouth, sipping the hot brew so as not to burn her lips and tongue, then turns to regard him. Her eyes are guarded; she has her stoic mask on. One step forward, two steps back for Brian.


"Do you want to talk about it now, or later?" He asks, taking a single step forward into the kitchen. Aware of her current temperment, he doesn't move any closer just yet. Instead, "Is it okay if I kiss you?" Not a sarcastic dig. He's genuinely asking if he can move forward without having to fear any sudden karate attacks on his head or genitals.

She narrows her eyes. "It may come as a shock, but I'm not really feeling like kissing at the moment," she says coolly, and gestures to the coffee pot. "Help yourself if you want some." She moves to the couch and sits, curling her legs under her as always. "I'm getting tired of the disappearing acts, Brian. It makes it hard to trust you. To trust this. Every time I start to get close to you — I lose you again." That was more than she intended to say, closer to the truth than she intended to admit. "And the fact that you don't call me back makes me wonder if I'm wrong in telling you the things I've trusted you with. It makes me wonder just who is getting played here. Maybe it's me, and not them after all."

Watching her move away from him, he sighs, his chest practically deflating as she moves away. Following her to the couch, he goes to plop onto it next to her. Though he allows her enough space not wanting to get too close just yet. At the last bit though he frowns deeply. "You know that's not true, Vee." But he doesn't defend himself anywhere else. He allows her to express her anger, just watching quietly. For now he waits to speak.

"So? Why haven't you answered my calls? Why are you not… here? I've been home a few days, and no sign of you." Her jaw clenches, her chin lifting in what might look like a defiant expression; he probably knows, or should, that it's her way of keeping in the real emotions. That she's afraid and hurt and feeling abandoned.

"I thought you left."

There are no tears, but the admission comes in softer tones, huskier than her usual husky voice — it's easier to keep your voice from trembling when it's breathed out, with no power behind the words.

His shoulders droop at the final admission. Head hanging low he lets out a soft sigh. Wordlessly he moves forward, hopefully accurately acknowledging this as his cue to move in. His arm sweeps up to encircle her and pull her head into his chest. His other arm wrapping around her waist.

"I told you I wasn't going to leave again, baby. You can believe that."

"Right, but how many days of not having you around before I can start doubting that?" Veronica says with a shake of her head, though she allows herself to be held. "It makes me question myself — if I'm stupid and being played and just a pawn or something in whatever this giant chess game you have going on. How do I know I'm not? Because I can trust you — but that's begging the question." She shakes her head again and looks up. "Go ahead." Explain.

"You never asked me how I felt about you being assigned to the Monroe case. If you had I would have told you I was very uneasy about it. When I met Denton, I…" He lets out a soft sigh. "I don't think he's been placed very well. And while I trust you and think you deserve this shot, I don't think your boss is competent. And I don't want him screwing things up I have invested in the Monroe group. I become the informant then he decides to unleash you on it. That is compromising to my cover. We could be in serious risky business here, Vee. I didn't want to tell you anything until I talked to that guy. Crowley. To see where I stand."

"I'm really sorry. And I understand you being mad. I hope you can forgive me because it's nothing about you and me. You know I love you. I do. It's just… I'm sorry baby."

"You know I don't have a choice, and it's not like I'm going after Adam — I was investigating the murders. He knows who I am already, he knows I'm a Company agent. It's not like that was compromising anything — if Adam ever sees you and I together, even before I was on the investigation, it could have been a problem," Veronica counters. She sighs and puts her coffee cup on the table in front of her. "You could have told me that instead of avoiding my calls you know," she adds as an afterthought, then looks up at him. "So what did Crowley say?" She's not quite ready to accept the apology, it would seem.

"He doesn't have the kind of power I thought he did." He gives a little shrug. "I gave him conditions on my return to the Company. I don't think he has the clout to make them happen." He gives a little shrug. Leaning in to press a kiss against her forehead, gingerly, in case she's still supermad he then leans back. "I could have told you. I'm sorry."

Veronica allows the kiss, and leans a little more into him, though she's not quite ready to stop being angry. She hadn't heard from him for a week — he could have been dead. Sure, the odds that all of his selves all died would be slim to none, which only added the likelihood he didn't want to see her. Neither option was very good, in her opinion. "Crowley's a dick. I don't know how much power he has, either. I haven't seen him since I got back, and I'd like to keep it that way."

"So. Do you want to give me any information on any of those faces I gave you, or you don't trust us not to fuck it all up?"

"I'll write up what I know." Brian murmurs softly. The concessions you give in being in a relationship. Holding her tightly, he allows his head to flop onto her shoulder. Dragging it back up, he goes to plant a soft kiss against her lips this time. "Should we have angry make up sex now?" He asks teasingly, an arched brow with a large toothy grin.

"Thanks. It'll look sketchy if I don't get anything from you — like you're not cooperating. I've managed not to tell Len I hadn't heard from you at all this week." She kisses his cheek, inching slowly toward forgiveness. "They aren't good people. These old founders, Brian, they've moved on with their lives. Gramble owned a book store and had a teenage daughter. Fletcher was a neuroscientist — like my dad — helping people. They may have made mistakes in their past, but they didn't deserve to be slaughtered by Adam for them. He's playing god, and it's not up to him to be both judge and jury for these people. I'm sorry they did the things they did, to you and Gillian and whoever else they screwed up with their choices, but he's not doing it for those reasons. He has a personal vendetta, and that's all he is acting on. A grudge. He's not trying to help the world at all."

"You don't have to convince me, Vee. I know what Adam is." He explains gently. "And I know what he's not. He's an idiot who can't keep a group together. If I lay down enough hooks, plant enough seeds, I could turn his whole retarded organization on him." He gives a little shrug. "But today, I'd rather lay down with you."

"We need to bring him down before he murders any more, because you know he won't stop at the founders," she points out. So much for a day off; Veronica's mind is never completely on vacation. "Breakfast… or is it late enough for lunch? … first. Where are you taking me?" she says with a smile, getting up. "I'll be right out."

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