Note: I'm not sure where I am going with this fic, but it has been brewing in my mind for a while. I basically want to explore what would happen if Danny gets involved in an unhealthy relationship. Danny/OFC. All characters are present, but not prominent. Spoilers for Risen, Clare De Lune, Wannabe, Legacy
Danny Taylor always arrived at the office early on Monday mornings. Sometimes he couldn't wait for the weekend to end just he could get back to work. He's never liked having idle time, which is why he always appreciated his time-consuming job. He often thought of the strange irony of appreciating a job that depended on people going missing.
This particular Monday morning Danny was reviewing a couple of cold cases since they didn't have a current case to work on. He and Vivian were silently reviewing phone records at the conference table as Martin strolled in at 8 and then Samantha finally came in at around 9 a.m.
"I don't know how you guys manage to get here so early on a Monday morning since there is no hot case to work on," Samantha commented as she put her things away at her desk and then walked over to them.
"I drop Reggie off at school at 7:30. I might as well come here right after that. I don't know what his excuse is," Viv answered as she motioned to Danny.
"I require very little sleep," Danny replied. "I've said it before and I'll say it again -- what you need to do, Samantha, is put some physical activity into your day. I wake up and I run two miles before I get here. It's all about being on a schedule. A healthy body equals a healthy mind…and a healthy body andmind requires less sleep."
"You're insane, Danny. If I ran two miles a day, I'd have to sleep even more. Hell, let's face it…I'd be dead!" Samantha responded as she laughed lightly.
"You never listen to me, Sam. That is your problem. If you lived by my philosophy…you'd be much better off."
"Well, I guess we should all strive to be a bit more like you. I'll keep that in mind," she said as she sat in the chair next to him and started to look ata file.
"Anyone hungry?" Martin called out from his desk. "I think I need some breakfast before I get started."
"There's a shock," remarked Danny quietly.
Samantha and Vivian laughed as Martin got up and headed to the break room.
Just after Martin left, Jack entered the bullpen. "Morning."
"Morning," they answered in unison.
"Do we have a case?" Sam asked.
"No. Let's keep working on the Phillips and Sanders cases. Vivian and Danny…can you come to my office. I have something I need to review with you guys," Jack said.
"Should I feel left out?" Sam asked Jack with a subtle, flirtacious gaze.
"No, Sam…believe me…you are getting off easy. I'll explain later. Come on, guys," Jack replied as Viv and Danny followed him to his office.
"What's up," Danny asked as he took a seat next to Vivian in Jack's office.
"I've just spent the last hour talking to a Senate lobbyist about funding for a new federal crime bill. Apparently, there are a group of conservative Senators who want to re-organize the bureau to focus more on homeland security."
"I thought they already did that. I mean...there are already several changes that reflect that," remarked Vivian.
"This group in the Senate is proposing more drastic, widespreadchange. They want to get rid of all specialty teams, like ours. Their philosophy is that local law enforcement needs to pick up the ball and not depend on our intervention unless there is undeniable proof of kidnapping. And they want all agents to be available to work on homeland security issues. They want to do away with all specialization, even in the other Violent Crimes areas. It's really a dramatic change for the bureau."
"This sucks, Jack. Local law enforcement doesn't have the time or the resources to do what we do," Dannyanswered in an annoyed tone.
"That's the point I am trying to drive home with this lobbyist. And that's why she wants to talk to the two of you. She is actually on our side. She is working for the Senate Committee that deals with law enforcement funding on federal and local levels. She's working on a position paper for the committee that will discourage this conservative group that wantsthe FBI to solelyfocus on homeland security."
"Why us?" asked Vivian.
"Simple math. You two have been with the team the longest. You know how important the work is. And I've given her some case files where you two had an important impact. The cases show that even though people don't go always go missing due to foul play, we can still help them."
"So…what? We just need to tell her how great we are?" Danny asked with a smile.
"That shouldn't be a problem for you," Vivian commented as she returned the smile.
"Nope. I'm your guy. I'll have this lobbyist thinking we are the best thing since sliced bread."
"Don't go overboard, Danny. We just want to give her reasons for keeping the team in tact."
"Got it," Danny replied sincerely.
"When is this going to happen?" Viv asked.
"She's in the conference room downstairs. Danny, if you could meet with her now and then Viv at 11?"
"Sounds good. I'll head down now," Danny said as he stood up.
Danny grabbed a cup of coffee and then headed downstairs. He was pleasantly surprised when he looked through the window of the conference room and saw an attractive, young woman in her late twenties with dark brown hair pulled back in a clip. As Danny entered the room, he thought this would be much more enjoyable than he anticipated. He smiled charmingly and reached out his hand. "Hi. Danny Taylor. Jack told me to come down and speak to you."
"Right. Agent Taylor. My name is Marin Winfield," she said as she shook Danny's hand. "Why don't you have a seat and we will jump right in."
"Sounds good. And you can call me Danny."
"OK. Danny. I'm sure Jack informed you of what we would be discussing. If you don't mind, we'll start by reviewing a couple cases that your team was involved in the last couple of years."
"That's fine," Danny responded noticing that Marin Winfield was all business all the way. He mentally made a note to try and get her to smile before the meeting ended. The challenge might make this meeting more interesting.
"Great. A couple of years ago, you worked on a case involving a missing 16 year old named Clare Metcalf."
"I remember," he replied as he thought about the tough case that turned out to be more personal for him than he ever could have anticipated.
"At what point in the case did you realize that she basically ran away from the mental hospital?"
"Um…as I recall…after we spoke to the intern who let her out of the timeout room. And then we verified that her boyfriend picked her up from the hospital grounds. We knew at that time that she was a runaway."
"So why didn't you hand it over to the locals? I mean…there was no foul play…"
"She was in trouble," Dannyinterrupted matter-of-factly. "We realized that she felt incredibly guilty about her mother's death. She was suffering from post-traumatic stress, so there was an urgency to finding her before she could harm herself or someone else. If we would have handed it off to NYPD….they probably wouldn't have found her in time."
"According to the file, you found her."
"Right. I mean we basically spent a day working on it. And by the end of the day, she was safe at home with her father. She wasn't kidnapped…but she was in trouble."
"What did you say to her?"
"What?" he asked caught off guard.
"According to the report, you approached her, talked to her, and then she turned the knife over to you. What did you say?"
"Do you need to know thatfor your paper, Ms. Winfield?" Danny asked skeptically.
"No. I'm just curious," Marin answered as she removed her reading glasses and waited for an answer from Danny.
"I don't really remember."
"You don't remember?" Marin asked skeptically -- clearly not believing him.
"No. It was a long time ago."
"What about Eric Miller? Do you remember him?"
"Sure. 12 year old boy who went missing from the school restroom."
"This was also a case where you found out that it wasn't foul play, but continued to search for him instead of passing it on to local authorities."
"He was just a little kid…and also clearly in trouble."
"The report says you saved him as well."
"We all did."
"But you were there…along with Agent Malone. According to the report,Eric Millerwas in the midst of hanging himself. That must have been quite traumatic...to witness that."
"What is the point of this? I don't really understand what you can gain from rehashing these cases. All the information you need is in the report. What can I add to it?"
"Actually, it helps me to put a face on this kind of work. I need to see why it is so important so then I can convince a bunch a hard-line conservatives that you make a difference."
"The results should speak for us. I mean if it isn't broke…"
"I agree with you. But this is all about funding, and right now, the country is more concerned about safety from terrorist threats than ones here at home."
"Tell that to Clare and Eric's parents."
"Look, I'm not the enemy, and I'm not questioning what you do. I just need to understand it."
"I don't think it's that hard to understand, Ms. Winfield. Are we about done?"
Marin sat back in her chair and took in Danny for a second. She couldn't quite understand why he was so defensive. But something about him intrigued her, so she wasn't ready to let him go. "Just a few more questions, if you don't mind?"
"Go ahead," Dannyreplied as herealized he didn't have much of a choice.
"How long have you worked for the FBI?"
"Why do you need to know that?"
"Must you answer every question with a question? I told you I just want to get an idea of who does this kind of work. What motivates you?" Marin answered in almost comedic frustration.
"Almost eight years. I joined up right out of college," Danny answered in a short tone.
"Was it a lifelong dream? Did you always want to do this kind of work?"
"No. I definitely wouldn't say that federal law enforcement was a lifelong dream. While I was in college, I went to a job fair to try to figure out what I should do with my life. There was a bureau recruiter there. It seemed like an interesting opportunity, so I pursued it."
"And the missing persons unit? Did you start working with Agent Malone right away or…"
"No, not right away. When you first get out of the bureau you are just a field agent. You do whatever they ask of you. I was just happy to get a spot in the Manhattan office. When a position came open on Jack's team, I applied and he hired me."
"Why missing persons?"
"The task force teams at the bureau are considered the best...the elite. I wanted work with the best," Danny replied with a palpable confidence.
"You must enjoy something about it…I mean you've stayed with it for a long time."
"It can be a rewarding job. I like finding people. Do you like what you do?" Danny asked more than ready to get to focus off him.
Marin gave him a surprised look. "This isn't about me."
"Yeah…but maybe I could be a little more open with you if I knew more about you…if I understood you better," Danny responded playfully.
Marin finally smiled and recognized the subtle flirtation. "I'm good at what I do. I'm good at convincing people to agree with what I want them to agree with."
"Well then, I guess it's good that you are in our corner, Ms. Winfield," Danny said as he continued to smile at her.
"You can call me Marin," she responded as she held Danny's playful stare.
They spent the next couple of hours talking about the missing persons unit. Danny even got her to tell him a little about herself. The mild flirting continued throughout their entire conversation. Neither was really aware that they had been in the room for over two hours until Vivian lightly knocked on the door. "Excuse me. I'm Vivian Johnson. Jack said I should come to see you at 11, and it's 11:15."
"So it is. I'm sorry. I guess I lost track of time. Thank you for your time, Agent Taylor," Marin said as she stood up to shake his hand. She wasn't sure why she all of the sudden felt the need to be so formal in front of Vivian.
Danny gave her an amused smirk as he returned the handshake. And then replied, "No problem. Good luck with your paper, Ms. Winfield." He glanced at Vivian before casually strolling out of the meeting room.
Thirty minutes after Vivian ended their meeting, she returned to the bullpen. "Do you find it at all odd that she spent over two hours talking to you and only talked to me for thirty minutes?" Vivian asked as she perched on the corner of Danny's desk.
Danny laughed lightly. "I don't know. You know me, Viv…sometimes I can't stop talking. And we were talking about my stellar work…which happens to be one of my favorite subjects."
"You're incorrigible, Danny. In any event, I hope she has what she needs to put a stop to this."
"She seems like she can get the job done."
"Let's hope so," Vivian responded as returned to her desk.
Marin was there for the rest of the week. Occasionally, Danny would run into her on his floor of the Federal Building. They would spend a few minutes talking and flirting. They even ate lunch together in the cafeteria one afternoon. He thought about asking her out, but figured it wasn't worth it since she was going back to Washington on Friday. But then on Friday, he was surprised to find her as he stepped on the elevator to head home.
"Are you stillleaving us today?" he asked with a mock disappointed expression.
"Yes. I'm headed to the airport now, actually. But don't worry, I'll be back in two weeks to review the document with some people here," she replied.
"That's good to know," Danny said as he walked a little closer to her.
Marin started to smile as he slighted invaded her personal space. They just stood on the elevator staring at each other until the doors opened at the parking level. "Did you drive?" Marin asked curiously.
"No…I…uh…I guess I forgot to push the button for the lobby. Oh well, since I'm here…I might as well escort you to your car, right?"
"I'd like that," Marin replied as they started to slowly walk to her car. "So…Danny…what do FBI agents do on their weekends off?"
"Besides sleep? I hate to ruin my image, but after a week like this, I kind of like not having any plans."
"So…there's no girlfriend waiting at home for you?" she asked hesitantly.
"Nope. Not at the moment," he replied quietly as they stopped at her rented black sedan. "Are you really driving to the airport? It will take you two hour at this time of day."
"I know. Poor planning on my part. I'll probably just make the last shuttle to DC," she said as she pushed the button on her key chain to unlock the car. Then Danny reached in front of her to open the door for her. "Thanks," she said as she turned to him.
"My pleasure. It's been nice…talking to you...this week."
"You, too," Marin replied. Danny was standing rather close to her with his hand hanging on the car door. Her heart rate started to quicken as she looked up at him not sure what to say next.
"Well…maybe I'll run into you again in the elevators in a couple of weeks. Have a safe trip home, Marin," he said as he smiled charmingly.
Before he could step away from her, Marin covered his hand with hers. Then she stepped forward as they held each other's stares. Finally, she quickly brushed her lips against his while continuing to hold his gaze. Danny was momentarily caught off-guard, but quickly recovered to return the kiss with a slow, gentle one of his own. The closer they got, the more intense the kiss became. He let his tongue slide into her mouth as his hands clutched the small of her back. Her hand caressed one of his cheeks as she let out a little moan of pleasure. The world seemed to fall away for a few moments as they gave into the mutual attraction that had been building between themall week.
Danny pressed her up against the car so there was no space between them. He let his lips wander from her lips to her neck as his hands slid lower. He could feel her losing control as she clutched his shoulders. After a few minutes of intense kissing against her car, he heard a car start in distance. The sound forced him to come back to reality. He stopped kissing her and let his lips rest against her skin as she tried to catch her breath. Then he slowly started to move away from her. "This probably isn't the best idea. The guys who monitor the security cameras are probably enjoying the show."
Marin looked around self-consciously for a moment. "Right…I…uh…I don't know what I was thinking."
"That was a little unexpected, wasn't it?" he asked as he put a safe distance between them.
Marin just smiled and looked at the pavement and then she asked, "Um…can I…can I drop you somewhere?" She desperately wanted him to say yes so they could continue the encounter in her car.
"That's probably not the best idea. I probably wouldn't let you get on that shuttle tonight," he replied with a coy smile. "Maybe we can go to dinner or something when you...uh...return in a couple of weeks."
Marin let out a slightly embarrassed laugh. "Well...this really has been a pleasure, Danny. I'll...uh...see you later...I hope," she reponded nervously.
"OK. Drive safe," Danny said as he continued to back away from her her and watched her get in the car. She waved as she started to drive away.
Danny shook his head as he headed back toward the elevator. He definitely didn't plan on that happening. As he waited for the elevator, he contemplated the benefits of starting a long distance relationship with someone like Marin Winfield.