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by: Katarina Bauer
April 20th, 2012
9:15 a.m.

Caffeine...more of it.
She didn't get much sleep from the night before, since she was up later than usual with her meeting with the Mask and later talking to Matt about the encounter. Will made sure to wake her up at 5 a.m. for their usual run, and she would have extract revenge on him for jumping on her bed hitting a saucepan with a metal spatula at 4:45. She yawned as she fetched the pot of mediocre coffee from its heating dish and poured the dark roast into her mug and started to make her way back to her desk. No cream, no sugar, just plain black coffee. She hoped whoever made this batch at least made it well.

IT had finalized the transition of her computer to the new workspace beside Matt's desk. The picture of her with her brother and cousin, her paperweight, stapler, pen cup, and other trinkets were all in order for the most part, but she had quite a few files to arrange in the cabinets beside her. She yawned again and looked over at Matt's workspace. He had a sparse desk with specialized braille keyboard, and headphones connected linked into audio inputs to his monitor. Of course, thinking about him made her smile. She made a mental note, as his assistant, to maybe spruce up his space sometime.

The cuts on her face were still seen, but a lot lighter than they were before. The bruising had turned an ugly yellow color, which the medics told her was a good thing--since it meant it was healing. Regardless, she was still sore as hell.

Klaus hadn't been in either, nor was Cole. The office was steady but quiet, save the chatter from the Tech Pit. Their bullpen was empty, except for her and another agent, across the room. Her thoughts lingered on Klaus for a second and the dread pulled over her again. She hadn't spoken with him since the incident, and the time she'd seen him since then, she couldn't even look him in the eye. She wanted to find the right way to approach him, after assessing that he seemed like a wildcard; he could either blow up on her for whatever reason, maybe call her a fool for jumping into something with his best friend on their first 'date' after being assigned to work with him. Or, he could call her a fool because maybe there was something between--no. They were partners. They were the ones assigned to each other by their superior, and signed up for a professional relationship. No doubt, tension ran high between them, since their first encounter. But what good could even come from that?

She exhaled deeply and rubbed her temples some, shaking herself out of those thoughts.

Kat sat in her chair and pulled up her monitor to her emails, taking a sip of the bitter coffee in the process. She pulled the sticky note off of her monitor, which was a reminder to herself that she needed to finish her report on the attack in the alleyway. She set it on the stack of paperwork that was already halfway finished, which was next to her keyboard. As she clicked away, she saw an email from Agent Calloway and a few more from Geoffrey who had sent over a couple more videos of the Man in Black, including the footage she asked that he pull from her attack.

She regretted not grabbing a bagel when she was over in the breakroom, because it was going to be a long morning of analyzing this footage. Katarina sipped at her coffee, and then yawned.
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by: Niklaus Schmidt
Klaus groaned as he opened his eyes and rolled over to grab his phone off the nightstand and turn off the alarm. He'd taken his shower the night before, so all he had to do was put on some deodorant, throw on some clothes, brush his teeth, and run a comb through his hair. He performed the tasks with ease, made sure Matt was ready, and then made his way downstairs to Baby. Once they were inside, Klaus turned on the car and the radio, singing along as he drove them to the coffee shop. "Wait here," he said, getting out and ordering a cafe latte for Matt, a drink for Kat, and a dark roast coffee with cream and sugar for himself. He added on a few pastries before paying for the order.

A few minutes later, Klaus walked out to Baby, set the drink carrier and the paper sack of goodies on top of her, let himself in and then set the drinks inside. "Handing you a carrier with hot coffees. Don't burn yourself." A two-finger salute later, and Matt had them, so Klaus climbed in and set the pastries where they were safest. He drove the rest of the way to work singing along with the radio and drumming the steering wheel. He helped Matt to his desk, carefully balancing the beverage tray and the pastry bag in one hand while helping his friend with the other.

Once Matt was to his desk, Klaus set his drink there and then gave him a pastry and walked the few steps to Kat's desk. "Vanilla latte. Double espresso, light cream," he recited as he set her drink down on her desk then tipped the open paper sack toward her so she could pick her pastry out of the four remaining.
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by: Katarina Bauer
Katarina groaned. She'd been favoring her side ever since that night, but when she was at work, she tried her best not to drag ass around the office, or the other agents would either ask or poke fun at her for the way she was walking. Luckily she'd been confined to her desk, with a (not so) nice cup of black coffee, her sweater to keep her warm from the chilly AC, and nice stack of work to keep her busy. She'd been by herself for some time, nearly dozing off at the surveillance sent over by Geoffrey from the night of her attack. It was timestamped for an hour earlier than when she arrived, but she still wanted to watch for any other suspicious activity prior to her arrival.

She was mid-yawn when she saw them walking up. Kat saw Matt first, and went to say hi but Klaus was not far behind with beverages and food in his hands. Klaus surprised her when he approached, with not only a pastry to offer, but her very own, special, maid to order latte, a drink she'd only had twice in front of Klaus to her knowledge...yet he managed to remember each component. "Morning Klaus..." She sounded genuinely surprised, Kat raised her eyebrows as she set down her half-empty mug on the desk. Not only did he help Matt to his desk, but he was standing there waiting for her to pick out her tasty breakfast treat. Katarina reached up slowly and retrieved her choice sugar foods and gave a close-lipped smile, the kind you give when you're too sheepish to look someone in the eye. "Thanks."

She had been this way with Klaus. Things were tense, really tense, between them since he'd seen her and Matt on the stairs outside of their apartment. So the workdate ended like a real date and now they were seeing each other. What else was there to say? She and Klaus had been together, working as professionals side by side for the past month and a half or so.

That's it. Right?

He hadn't even mentioned anything about her moving desks to sit by Matt, since he and Jones figured it would be more appropriate and conducive to their work to do so.
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by: Niklaus Schmidt
"Welcome," Klaus said with a wink as he held out his coffee in a salute then brought it up to his mouth. "You seem surprised, Kit Kat." It had been fun walking around Kat since he'd witnessed the kiss. It was like he was the Bogeyman or something. He wasn't sure if it was the fact he hadn't been entirely happy about the kiss and Matt had said something or if she was afraid he would out their little fling to Jones and the rest of the office. Klaus didn't know, consequently, whether he should feel offended or amused. But she sure acted funny.

"Been having fun here with Matty?" he asked, glancing toward his friend. "Or, excuse me, Agent Cox?" He could go on, let his bitterness show in a "joke" of a statement that he figured it would be dull after spending time with him working with a werewolf. But he wouldn't. Instead, he'd give a light-hearted chuckle and a grin as though he were in primary, making fun of his best mate's last name.
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by: Matthew Cox

Matt put a warning tone into his voice as he slid into his desk. His friend was still being prickly. It was okay for them to handle it between each other, but Matt didn't want Klaus taking it out on her or making her uncomfortable where she had to work. Still, joking was how Klaus relieved his own tensions, so Matt wasn't going to request that he stopped completely. Just...don't make Kat feel so badly.

Then there was the coffee and pastries. Klaus was sending signals that he was on the road to forgiving them. It could be a very bumpy road, full of twists and turns and potholes sometimes...Matt sipped his latte. Sometimes, however, Klaus made a concentrated effort.

"Kat's still your partner. Because Jones knows about our friendship, she supposed that Kat helping me would just be a natural extension of your charming compassion."

He sipped his latte again, turning on his monitor. Kat's capacity was one of a voluntary, friendly nature whereas her position with Klaus could make or break her job. Matt wasn't about to let Klaus make her feel like her job was in danger.
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by: Katarina Bauer
She narrowed her eyes slightly and finally managed to bring her gaze to his face. He seemed rather chipper today. It was probably the most chit-chat he'd given her since her date with Matt. Everything since then was just professional jargon, reports, briefings--as if the time she spent with him before was completely erased. The Klaus she remembered, the friendly sweet one who let her rant about the dreams and sightings of her dad, the forgiving Klaus that let her slip up during the interrogation with McGarret, the down-to-earth Klaus who had a drink with her at Alias--had all but vanished, it seemed.

Compassion... Was he being sarcastic? She didn't make a move to smile or snicker at Matt's remark. No need to poke the beast as he seemed rather docile for now anyway.

Kat shrugged. "No complaints, Klaus...just grateful is all. Thanks again." She raised the pastry with another smile and set it down on a napkin on her desk. She was thankful, since she didn't wanna climb out of her cubicle space just to grab a bit of food--past Geoffrey, past Cole, and everyone else. "Work is...work." She meant no offense to Matt, but that's all it was, when they were clocked in. She was here behind the desk, typing out reports, transcribing, reading back some things to him, sending emails and handling a lot of the in-office duties since she hadn't been asked out on assignment. "I guess until Jones says I'm ready for some out-and-about work, I've been helping Agent Cox get acclimated to his new job here. But, I'm sure you already know that." It was the best she could do without sounding too snarky.

Was this what Matt was warning about? The harmful chitchat from people around the office? She just didn't expect this sort of treatment from Klaus. Why did it affect him like this?Perhaps she had much to learn about their friendship...
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by: Niklaus Schmidt
Klaus rolled his eyes at Matt's interjection. He was talking, getting her to talk, and he'd be damned if she saw the emotion Matt had seen the other night. She'd been avoiding him since then, like he was some abusive asshole. Because, you know, he totally was. He totally was going to berate her and lecture her on what a whore she was for kissing his best mate and hurting his feelings. Because he totally was going to yell and scream at her for her decision to like Matt instead of him. She wasn't a whore, and there was nothing he could do to force her affections nor would he want to if he could, so there was nothing to fear. What was so scary about that?

"Yeah, fun times," Klaus said, noticing how easily Kat slipped back to business when he had been completely cheery and obviously teasing in his apparently off-putting joke. Well, fine then. If she wanted professional, she'd get professional. But he wasn't going to allow her to ignore him. They were still partners, and he hated the fact that even though he had done everything to make it clear she could approach him with a problem, she was choosing to do something other than that. She was choosing to make blind, unfounded judgments and avoid him. It was ridiculous. That was what cheesed him off the most.

"Anything interesting?"
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by: Matthew Cox
Well, he'd killed the mood, hadn't he? Good job, Matt. He blew out a breath and put in his head phones, letting his program read through his emails. There were a lot, with this being the first official day back to work. He clicked through them, deleting the unimportant things. Some of the more recent inter-department emails mentioned a man in black seen on the London police city network, beating up bad guys and rescuing their victims. There were comments about it the possibility of him being a werewolf trying to get a good reputation or something unknown. There were enough emails to constitute the case being interesting.

"Lots of reports of a man in black beating people up. Do we want to take the case?"

He cleared his throat and leaned back in his chair, letting Klaus and Katarina decide if they wanted to bite or let the opportunity pass. He didn't mention, didn't hint at the conversation that he and Kat had shared about the man in black. She wanted it to be a secret, so it was.
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by: Katarina Bauer
Katarina turned her head towards Matt when he brought up the case that had been circling the wire. Lots of chatter on it, no takers. "Uh, actually I just notified Jones about possibly getting this one." She looked back up at Klaus, "I hope that's alright with you, partner." On one hand, she wondered herself why she was being just as snippy to Klaus. He seemed like he was trying, but then again it might have been his way of coping. But should she accept it? Or should she press the issue?

She hit the minimize button on the footage she was watching. It was from her attack, which put her in a direct line with the Man in Black. She'd seen the Mask another time after that, which is why she emphasized in her bid to Jones that it would make her a perfect candidate for the investigation. Well, perfect--or perhaps a conflict of interest. The less people involved in the matter, the better, was her reasoning. If they brought in Calloway or any other agents, it would just get sticky, and she wanted to maintain this on her own as best as she could.

Kat leaned back in her chair, taking a bite of her pastry. She waited for any sort of reaction from them before speaking up again.
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by: Cole Callaway
Calloway yawned. He'd gotten some of that vile brew in the break room and sat at his desk. He'd just got back from an assignment, one that sent him away from his cohorts for a while but it almost felt good to be back in the office. He'd waved over at Katarina when she arrived. She seemed like a good kid, great agent, and a decent shadow. Jones had appointed her to almost all the Hounds at some point or another--making her Klaus' partner, asking her to follow him around when Klaus was gone (and he had to tell her he had no idea all that time), and now she was with Agent Cox, or Matt. Cox seemed like a pretty good guy, so if the rumors were true about them, Cole didn't mind. As long as he treated the girl right, he couldn't complain. Other than that, she was his assistant, helping the poor bloke around since he suffered that accident that made him blind.

It made Cole wonder how Jones let him into the Hounds at all, with his disability--the ignorant side of him wondering if his disability would make him more of a liability than any help...then again, he was a Marine, and a "damn good one" from what he'd read and heard, so there had to be something in his skill set that gave him more of an appeal. He took another sip. Blech... Cole thought maybe he could bring in some of his own coffee blends or pods or whatever the hell they were using in the break room to stew this disgusting bit of coffee, but it got the job done and woke him up, even if it did take a couple of mugs full.

When Cole looked up, he heard Klaus and Matt make their grand entrance, as they did. Mostly Klaus, actually. He'd delivered the brews to Matt and Katarina's work area, but when Klaus showed up empty handed, no coffee for Cole--He looked at Klaus, raised his mug and pointed at it, shaking his head in disappointment. That should be enough for him to understand that he was a little miffed at not being a part of the coffee run. Part of him wanted to get up and join the crew. They were only a few feet away, but it felt farther than that. Not to mention, Klaus had mentioned that he'd wanted to talk with him about everything going on at home and in office--so he waited until Klaus made his way over to bring anything up. He had a giant stack of paperwork to get to, anyway.
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by: Niklaus Schmidt
Klaus threw his head back and let it roll to the side as he rolled his eyes. "Kat," he said, leaning forward so one hand rested on the side of her desk while the other remained busy holding the cup holder with his coffee and the bag with the remaining two pastries, "if we're to remain compatible partners, you need to get past whatever this is. You and Matt kissed. I saw. I didn't tell. You didn't tell. He didn't tell. End of story." Perhaps his tone was a bit too jovial to be sincere and bordering on the tone one reserved for a petulant child, but he was trying here, people. He was trying to smooth things over with her. He was trying with a smile. That all had to count for something, right? It wasn't like he'd yelled at her or done anything worth this...rude little snippy snip bitchiness. He'd just walked out of his flat to find them kissing on his porch. No biggie. Except it was.

"And you know partners do all sorts of things together, including researching masked men in black kicking some criminal booty. Show me what you have in a moment. I've got a delivery for Callaway." He offered her another close-lipped smile before walking over to Cole's desk and setting down the drink holder once he was on the correct side of the cubicle to do so. "Thought I forgot you, did you?" he said as he held out the pastry bag and pulled back the side closest to him so Cole could see inside. "Lord only knows your danish costs an arm and a leg. Almost broke the bank there, mate."
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by: Katarina Bauer
End of story...END OF STORY? Katarina had a flurry of thoughts hit her surrounding that tiny little (yet infuriating) phrase, but she kept a faint smile up. She couldn't let any wavering be shown in front of Klaus, he'd probably take that and run with it, with the way he was being right now. Even when he leaned forward, she didn't move. Not even to drink some of the latte he so 'lovingly' brought for her, accompanied with this morning's tasty treat. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, She thought, More like beware of Klaus bearing gifts right now, you know he's pissed off at you, Kat.

The two of them had shared a few rather intimate moments prior to his month "vacation" in the wild world of Witches and Wolves. Not intimate in a sexual sense either. A smile from him maybe, those passing glances, inside jokes... they'd grown close, enough for her to expose him to some of the secrets from within her own family, stuff that she didn't necessarily share with just anyone. She talked to him about Tony, about her 'zombie dad' and the visions that distracted her during her first observation task with that McGarret fellow, hell, they'd even gone out for drinks a few times. Katarina didn't necessarily know Klaus like the back of her hand, but she knew him well enough to figure this was just a front. That cucumber-cool facade, the steely eyes and that cheeky grin? Yes...she would have to get the bottom of it later.

He'd at least agreed to the investigation on the Man in Black, the masked devil, the Devil of Judgment. He had a ton of names. Katarina decided she wanted to try and get ahead of the rest and get the case before anyone else. But she couldn't wind up and shoot back. He was already on his way to Calloway's desk when she thought to say anything.

Katarina sighed heavily as she looked over at Matt, sitting at his desk. "Dammit..." She whispered, quietly.
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by: Cole Callaway
"Next time give me a heads up, and I'll have some notes for you. You know I don't usually carry that on hand. But thanks for saving me from another round of break room filth." Cole thanked Klaus as he fetched his mini Bakewell tart from the paper. "Best one's in London, mate." He praised the artistry of the tart from its perfect pastry shell, to the jam on the inside. "Scratch that, please make sure you get the coffee on the bill next time, yeah? This office brew is pure shit."

Calloway was just being facetious, but partially serious too as Klaus seemed to offer the coffees to his roommate and his partner. So apparently that made him chopped liver. "Hey, what's going on over there anyway? You look a little tense, mate." He couldn't help but notice Klaus' eyes. They were always fierce, but today had a spark of something different. Cole couldn't help but see that something was the matter, since when he'd left Bauer's desk, she looked upset. "Trouble in paradise?"

He only heard the rumors but he didn't really want to put it together. He would ask when the time was right and he seemed it was a little appropriate to insert here. Katarina's personal life wasn't any of his business, but there was something unusual about the three of them today, he wanted to know.
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by: Matthew Cox
Matt kept clicking through emails, half listening to Klaus make his declaration that nobody said anything, so end of story. If that's what Klaus wanted, that's where they'd be at. He could tell Kat seemed a bit put off by it, however. The tense body language, the muttered oath...

Klaus wandered off to talk with Callaway, so Matt interjected to Kat quickly before Klaus returned.

"If he wants it to be end of story, he mean's he'll make the effort on his part for it to be end of story. It's a good thing. Laugh at his jokes and joke with him...makes him feel better. "

And now onto work. Which, honestly, was ridiculous. He had to design protections against magic, but he had no idea the power of the likely spells that would be used against his defenses and he had no real solution to getting that information. Frustrating. Okay...if you had to defend a location against an unknown assailant with unknown weaponry, what did you do?

Separate out the important stuff so you didn't lose everything if hit...okay, what did that mean for personnel and troops? Small groups, unpredictable schedules, rotating patrol patterns. Good, good that was a start and then...okay, but how did you translate that into Parliamentary defenses against rogue terrorists? Damn...he would need either a squad of magic users or be there himself, given his abilities in the mask. Well, wasn't that what the project with Dr. Ahoudi was for? Except it was losing its funding, so no more special soldiers...well, what about the others in his test group? Were there any others who had reactions? Matt searched with his resources.


Son of a bitch. That avenue was closed. What next? the wizard kid had made a lot of riot gear that repelled spells...maybe outfit the Parliamentary guards with that? Except if you took them out of the parade gear and put them in riot gear, people got nervous, thinking there was a threat.

Matt continued to puzzle over the piece, enjoying the problem just as much as he hated it.
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by: Niklaus Schmidt
"Yeah?" Klaus said. "I'll make sure I get you the most foo-froo drink on the menu next time." He winked then sighed, glancing over his shoulder at his partner and best mate. Seriously, it was ridiculous. Most workplaces wouldn't let family members or love interests work in positions where leadership was a question. This couldn't be kosher if someone told, yet Klaus wasn't going to be so petty as to do so. He didn't have to like the fact Kat had decided after just a few hours to date Matt and apparently had decided to see him as just fun despite their heart-to-heart or, excuse him, be "afraid" of him for whatever godforsaken reason. Seriously, afraid of him? No one was afraid of him. He was harmless. She, of all people, had heard the explanation for his behaviors. She, of all people, should know and, if somehow she didn't? Well, she was dating the man who carried the encyclopedia of all things Niklaus Schmidt.

At Cole's question, Klaus turned his attention back to his friend. "Huh?" he said then realized what had been asked. He shrugged and scratched his nose. "Naw, mate, just...differences of opinion. We'll get over it." He'd said "end of story" to Kat and he'd meant it. Much as he might want to rant to the one friend he had that he could, it was best not to. Cole worked here and, if he got a hair up his arse to do so, he could ruin things for them. He didn't want to ruin their happiness despite the fact he loathed it.


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