2010-06-13: Circles of Secrets





Date: June 13th, 2010


You can take your FBI secrets and— … have them back.

"Circles of Secrets"

New York City

Maggie's Apartment

"I have something that belongs to you."

Maggie speaks into her cell phone moments after a number was dialed. Her voice betrays little. Her back to the kitchen island of her apartment, she faces her dark living room. All the lights are off save for the one in the second bedroom pseudo-office to the right, where she only just emerged from; its door open, it provides the only glow. She can see the spread of documents and envelopes on the couch inside from here.

FBI Field Office

"You're gonna have to be more specific, Powers. I'm bettin' you have a few things that belong to me."

The voice is rougher than usual, ragged against his own breath as the phone is pressed tightly to his ear. Unlike Maggie, he's at work, but not the NYPD. He sits at the desk in the New York office that belongs to him— tucked away in the back, forgettable in a way so he can assume his duties as required, back and forth as needed.

His partner, fellow Agent Jason Walsh, sits across from him at his own desk, staring at Sam rather skeptically before rolling his eyes, shaking his head, and sliding away from the desk, visibly annoyed, and begrudgingly setting about whatever quest Agent Wright urged him to complete.

"You, the FBI." There's his clarification. "You're actually lucky— that it was me who found it," Maggie starts to explain, her factual tone gradually becoming edged with a frustration of sorts. There's a pause — and in her apartment, she almost frowns — before she adds, "We searched O'Meara's apartment today…"

"Did you?" More impeding with his investigation; teach Sam to mess with female police officers, they're so strong willed as a rule. Pressing his lips together his jaw stiffens considerably as he waves Walsh— who looks incredibly unhappy— back over while scribbling something on a sticky note. Pointing to the note, he sticks it to his partner's hand and issues him a tight lipped smile before directing his attention back to Maggie. Jason scowls, shakes his head, and then disappears to a beaming Sam. The smile only lasts a moment though.

"And what belonged to me, Powers? Anything interesting? Or ripped stuff? I imagine O'Meara had time to take— we didn't think, it was obvious. That's all." Obvious.

He clamps his mouth shut before leaning back in his seat. "So. What exactly did you find?"

"Reports," Maggie answers; there's clearly, clearly something to these reports, the way she gives so simple an answer so pointed a tone. "Confidential reports. On an undercover operation for the FBI's organized crime division." She drifts away from the edge of the kitchen island, phone tightly in hand. "… And an agent. Alias Roscoe Peregrino. Some negatives, too." Pause. "It was probably for blackmail."

"Isn't everything for blackmail?" Sam bemuses as he shuffles through a few files on his desk. Opening a single folder, he smirks just a little. "Well, it's good the Agent inside took care of him then, isn't it?" He reaches for a cup of coffee on his desk and draws it to his lips. Immediately he scowls. Cold. Very cold. He puts it back down.

"Recent negatives or negatives from a long time ago? Believe it or not your partner— or whatever— is legendary in this office for what he pulled. And I actually read the file. Heck, I've studied that file…"

Maggie's jaw tightens and, even over the phone, the fact that she's holding a response back is evident. She breathes in and doesn't breathe out until it's to answer another question. "The photographs are old." She starts a walk through the dim room toward the light, stopping in the doorway. The door faces the desk, which is the only thing designating the room as an office at all. "I … know you read the file, your name is in it, Sam," she says slowly, only to build steam. "And after reading those reports — and the warnings — after studying… all of that… you reinstated the identity."

"I asked. He said yes. And yeah. I read it all. Cover to cover. Believe it or not, Mags, most of us have warnings. Most of us have issues. Most of us are told we should quit the job years before we retire. And most of us will never have a chance at a normal life. And in a way that just solidifies our love/hate relationship with the job." Sam stares at the cup of coffee in front of him. He wants coffee, but he doesn't want it that bad. The file he was glancing through is snapped shut, brandishing the word CONFIDENTIAL in bright orange letters on the front.

"And honestly, we needed someone on the inside well before your partner entered my radar. After… " he cringes, opens a drawer, and shoves said file inside before locking it with a key. "It was time. Especially with the ringleader out of the psych ward again…"5r

"I'm not saying … that's it's a bad idea — who am I to say — " She's just a detective. "Having someone on the inside is, I'm sure, remarkably productive," Maggie goes on, her words speeding up just a touch; so does she, whisking into the room to sit on the edge of the couch. Papers rustle as she starts organizing the documents one-handedly beside her, staring right at a CONFIDENTIAL label herself. "But how was he even cleared for an operation like this again? What if it takes another six years?"

"It won't take another six years. We've been at it a long time already. And everything is connected to the leader. The head honcho. If I can get him taken out, the rest is easy with this particular group— " Sam virtually roles his eyes. "And the psych people give him clearance. Your psychologist gave him clearance for duty, not for this mission, but apparently that's good enough to get him put through without further assessment. Look. You're not even supposed to know I'm FBI and you definitely aren't supposed to know he is…"

"Thorough," Maggie comments on the matter of assessment or lack thereof with a light inflection of sarcasm. It seems to crop up when speaking with Sam. "I know," she says, taking a more peaceful track. "Your secrets…" She pauses, again, and folds her forearms over her lap atop a neat arrangement of documents. "…they're safe, with me. I thought the Bureau might want these documents back. Your people must have missed them when they searched the apartment first. They were hidden."

Sam makes and ehn sound. "I don't make the rules, Powers. Besides, you're not one who should talk about breaking rules or criticizing procedure, it's not exactly like you follow them." Maybe now she does. "And yeah, I should get that file. I'll pick it up or somethin'." A hand is pressed to his forehead. These double shifts are eating his days. "You don't understand, Mags. No one's secrets are safe. They weren't safe before you knew, and they're less safe now because the circle of trust— it's gettin' too big."

There are some things Maggie can't let slide. It's more than denial she replies with; it's conviction. " … I have always followed procedure," she says firmly. "The circle of trust seems pretty small from where I'm sitting." Her silence is brief but considering, followed by a quiet realization of sorts when she states: "…There's another reason you're saying that. There's something going on." Pause. "I know you can't tell me. It's fine."

"You think so, do you?" Sam's eyes narrow at the comment. "Procedure dictates you investigate everyone, not just go with your gut. Procedure says that you investigate all avenues. That you give all information, even if it seems irrelevant. You haven't always followed procedure." He drums his fingers idly on the desk. "And it's not the be all and end all of the world, but to get things done it is. I'm sure you were procedural when you quit. Not decent, but procedural."

"There's a lot goin' on. And it's not just organized crime— " he cuts himself off. "I don't have clearance to tell you. Or anyone for that matter…"

"One time, Sam." Far from dismissive of that "one time" in question, when she didn't investigate all avenues, Maggie's defiance is full of injury. "We all have issues," she adds flatly. "Isn't that what you said."

As for the rest… "You know saying you can't tell me just makes me want to know all the more," she points out with a slightly forced lightness to her words; she'd rather that, than to argue secrets and procedure. "Like I said. I won't ask," Maggie goes on calmly enough. "The package is here. It'll still be here tomorrow." In other words: she might be sorry for calling so late.

"I'm still working anyways." He essentially has two jobs. "I'll pick it up on my way home," Sam slides his chair away from his desk. "And Mags… honestly, the less you know, the better. And that's not just for your partner… Wright, out." He hangs up the phone as Jason returns baring two Venti Starbucks 'go' mugs. "Ha ha! Come to papa~" Sam virtually sings as he accepts the large cup.

"You're such a woman, you know that right? No self respecting man drinks that— " Jason quips before removing his own cup from the cardboard holder.

"Tea is better than coffee," Sam smiles wryly before pressing on his thighs and standing to his feet. "And these London Fogs. It's good shit."

"So… we gonna talk about your case?" Walsh asks as he leans against the desk. "Kenton, Thorpe, and Percy all wanna know details. About your asset."

Sam's smile grows, but it's genuineness fades. "I wouldn't tell the pope." Beat. "No offence, but details are need-to-know. And you, my friend, don't need to." That said, Sam disappears, destined for one Powers' residence.

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