A/N: Woo, first story in the Flashpoint fandom! I just want to apologize in advance for not being Canadian, which means that I might make mistakes as far as cultural/geographical things go. Canadians, please feel free to point out any errors!
This story takes place shortly after the pilot episode, which means no spoilers for the current season airing!
Chapter One: Three Truths… and Plenty of Lies
"Tell me three truths and a lie."
"My name's Keira Ford, I have brown hair, I have green eyes, and I love answering questions about myself."
Keira's boss, Sergeant Gregory Parker, smiled wryly at her. "You gave the exact same response on your entry psychological evaluation," he remarked, glancing down at her file.
"None of those things has changed," Keira replied tightly, already wishing they were done. So far, she had been here for approximately two minutes.
Greg leaned back in his chair, laced his fingers together, and looked benignly at her. "So, Keira, how has your first year at the SRU been?"
From experience, Greg knew better than to expect elaboration from her. "Do you think you've been fitting in with the team?" he inquired.
Keira shrugged uneasily. The answer was no, but she didn't want to admit that. "Everyone's been nice," she said noncommittally.
"'Nice' isn't very descriptive," Parker gently admonished her.
"Well, it's true," Keira pointed out. Sort of true.
"All right," Parker said, straightening in his chair. "We're going to do a word association. I'm going to say a teammate's name, and you're going to give me the first word that comes to mind. You ready?"
When Keira nodded, he began. "Sam."
"Rookie," she replied. Sam Braddock, fresh off a tour with the Joint Task Force 2, had just joined the team a few weeks ago. With the exception of Keira, who wasn't too far from a rookie herself, most of the team had yet to address him by his actual name.
"Wordy," Parker continued.
"Babycakes." There were other things she could have said about Spike… things which made her very glad she wasn't taking a polygraph test.
"Bald," she said without thinking.
Parker stifled a grin. "Greg," he finished.
"How've you been sleeping?"
"Fine," Keira replied. "Fine" and "good" were generally her go-to responses for prying questions about her wellbeing, especially when things were neither fine nor good.
"No nightmares? Flashbacks?" Greg prodded, looking at her expectantly.
Not so much nightmares, but flashbacks—flashbacks to her life before the SRU. "Nothing," she lied.
"Sure about that?" Greg asked.
"There've been some bad calls," Keira allowed, "but nothing traumatic."
"That's good," Parker said, smiling. "I'm glad to hear it. Which cases do you like the least?"
She hadn't expected that question. "Come again?" she asked, narrowing her eyes at him.
"I mean," the sergeant explained, "is there any particular kind of call that you don't like taking? For instance, drug busts, suicides, robberies, domestic violence…?"
There was no way in hell Keira was answering that one truthfully. "I guess I have a hard time with the drug busts," she said. "I've never even smoked a cigarette, so I can't really connect to any of the people involved. And I usually wind up having to ask someone about all the slang."
Well, that part wasn't a lie—but drug busts were far from her least favorite type of call. In fact, though Lou had once outright laughed at her for not recognizing an apparently well-known term for cocaine, she actually preferred those jobs to some of the others. Way less thinking involved.
"Understandable," Greg said, smiling. "I don't even know half of the terms the kids use these days." When Keira didn't comment, he continued, "So, as you've probably figured out by now, this can be a stressful job. How do you cope with that?"
"I guess I talk to my brother about it," Keira said reluctantly. The evaluation was getting way too personal for her tastes, and it was only going to go downhill from here.
"If I remember correctly, Jason's a sergeant in the 54th Division, right?"
Keira nodded, unable to repress a proud smile. Her brother had been a police officer for almost a decade, and the recent promotion was something he'd been hoping to get for awhile. He absolutely deserved his new rank, along with every penny of the pay raise.
"So, you just talk to him?"
"I guess," Keira muttered. It wasn't like she had a lot of friends in the area; it wasn't like she had a lot of friends, period.
"No other confidantes?" Greg pressed. "There's no one else—outside of the team, that is—you talk to?"
"Not really, no," Keira answered, growing more annoyed by the second.
"Are you in a relationship?"
The question, coming from seemingly nowhere and having no apparent relevance to her job, made her entire body tense. "No offense, boss, but it's really none of your business," she all but growled, despite her best attempts to sound polite.
"Yes, you've told me something to that effect before," Greg remarked, his uncannily sharp eyes examining hers. "The reason we do these evaluations, though, isn't because I'm trying to pry into your personal life. It's because the more I know about everyone's state of mind, the better our team functions. A simple yes or no will suffice."
Keira sighed, then grimaced when she noticed him jot something down in his notes. "No, I'm not in a relationship," she ground out.
At least, she wasn't in anything the forty-something, perennially out-of-touch Gregory Parker would define as a relationship. She hadn't been in one of those since…
She pushed back the memories and ordered herself to focus.
"Relationships seem to be an issue for you," Greg observed. "Other members of the team have told me that you're a hard person to get to know."
"Is that a polite way of calling me a bitch?" Keira asked, feigning a cavalier, I-don't-care-what-people-think-of-me type attitude. In reality, though, hearing that kind of criticism from her teammates—because that's what it was, no matter how subtle—made her feel like she was still in high school, like she was still an outsider only being tolerated because someone in the group had vouched for her.
"No, no one's calling you that," Greg said mildly. "But we've all noticed that you tend to shut people out."
It wasn't a statement; it was a question mark, an invitation to elaborate.
"Awesome," was her brusque response. "Can we move onto the next section now?"