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Lane visits Francis in an attempt to recruit a police officer as a private detective.

Date It Happened: January 28th, 2002


Police Station

It's a late night at the Police Station. It's only those working the late-late shift and those who have some extra paper work they need to get done left. The drunks are sleeping off their liquor in their holding cells and other people are getting processed. In LA there's rarely a time when there isn't some activity going on at the police station. However, it's more subdued than the daylight hours. Dressed in her lawyer power-suit (with a skirt instead of pants) and gripping onto her briefcase, Lane approaches the desk and asks, "Hello there, could you please direct me to Mr. Doakes?"

The sergeant who's currently in charge of the desk is a tiny woman with bright gray eyes. She looks up, and says, in a voice equally small, "Detective Doakes is the third door down on the right, but who's asking, please?"

Lane gives a smile, polite but still somehow giving the impression that she's the boss here. "Lane Murphy. He won't be expecting me. But, thank you for your diligence." And with that, whether or not that grey eyed lady is okay with it or not, she strides down the hallway, her heels clicking on the floor until she reaches the third door down on the right. Giving a firm rap on the doorway, she waits a moment. If he doesn't answer, she'll try the doorknob.

The sergeant's stood up, but there are no impatient calls from her. It depends on if Francis is there or not. It's only a moment before the door swings wide and the frame is filled with the blonde cop. "Yes?" he says, impatiently, narrowing those blue eyes at her. Apparently they breed them to smell lawyers from miles away, and he's definitely caught the scent. "What is it?"
Maybe they do, but Lane isn't hiding what she is. If she was, she wouldn't have come here dressed like a picture postcard of what everyone thinks a lawyer should look like. "Isn't it the polite thing to ask me in?" The blonde woman tilts her chin up a little so that she can look Francis in the eyes when she speaks to him. Just because he's taller and more muscular does not mean she's intimidated by him. "I won't take up much of your time, but things really would go much quicker if we have some privacy."

Lane gets a quick looking-over. Just an assessment, not the usual sort of lascivious scoping that a pretty woman gets from a man on a first meeting. Once he's back to her face, Francis says, bluntly, "Who are you, and what do you want? If this is about a case, I'm off the clock and you can call me back tomorrow."

"Do you think I'd bother coming down here if this was about a case?" Lane gives a short laugh. "I'm no ADA or some paralegal. If I wanted to talk to you with something so mundane as a case, you'd have heard from my assistant. I came here at this ungodly hour because you're off the clock. I have an offer I'd like to make you." There's a bit of a look around. "You know, the least you could do is offer me some of that terrible police station coffee I hear so much about."

Frank steps out of the way in an abrupt motion to let her pass in to the little room. It's stuffed with desks, with barely enough room to move. "Enter freely and of your own will and leave some of the happiness you bring," he intones, with a mocking curl to one corner of his mouth. "There's no coffee at this hour, but I can get you some, if you like. Offer, huh? Are you going to bribe me? Because everything, even police corruption in the LAPD, is expensive in this city."

"Oh, an orator, too." Lane steps into the office without hesitation after Frank steps out of the way. Picking a seat, she doesn't wait to be asked before slipping into it and crossing her legs at the ankle. "It was merely a suggestion. Don't worry, there's no bribery involved. Wolfram and Hart as far more interesting and important things to do than worry about bribing a sergeant of the LAPD. What we require from you has more to deal with your specific brand of firepower." There's no pause, no hint that her words hint at something else that she may know. But something is going on here. "We think you would fit right in with Wolfram and Hart. In a freelance sort of manner, that is." Why bother with small talk?

Firepower. That has Francis doing his Mount Rushmore impression. Stony, silent, impassive. And finally one brow creaks up to half-mast. "Really?" he says, closing the door with excessive gentleness behind him. "And what, precisely is it that I could do for Wolfram and Hart?" He indicates a battered office chair. There are no spares for guests, but of the four detectives crammed into this closet, he's the only one in at the moment. And he seats himself in his, and leans back. It groans in protest, as if it hadn't been oiled since the Ford administration.

Seeing the reaction her little bit of bait has garnered from Francis, Lane smiles like the cat that got the cream. Just enough to show that she may know something. "Oh yes. You're a special man, Mr. Doakes. I'm sure you've heard of my firm." Instead of leaning back, her back is totally straight, posture perfect without trying. "We specialize in cases that wouldn't end up on the LAPD radar. We protect people who just aren't….as well understood in the world we live in. Make sure that everyone gets their fair shot at justice."

She, on the other hand, gets a look from Francis that would not be out of place on the face of a Colosseum lion contemplating that first Christian martyr. Before he veils the blue eyes with lowered lids, all very demure. "The name has come up, now and then," he concedes, steepling his finger before him, lazily.

"I'm sure." The stony-faced look that she's receiving doesn't seem to put Lane off any. She's used to negotiating with people who sometimes have no face so someone who just doesn't have any expressions is a lot easier to handle. "I'm not sure if you've noticed in your department, but strange things are happening in LA, Mr. Doakes. The crime rate is soaring, murder is through the roof. And, well, the police aren't able to handle it because they don't know what they're dealing with. We, at Wolfram and Hart, however, know a little bit about the strange and unnatural. But, we're not police. And we could sorely use someone with expertise to help us get to the bottom of the problem."

Oh, well played. "I could hardly miss it," he comments, drily, but he does put his hands on the arms of his chair and heave himself more fully upright. "This sounds like it could be useful. What did you have mind from me in terms of actual duties?"

As a lawyer, Lane is quite used to knowing how to play a room. "I thought you might agree." Brushing the hair out of her eyes, she smiles and folds her hands in her lap. "Mostly investigative work. We would hire you much like a private investigator with a set beginning fee, expenses to be added up by the end of each job after you've reported what you've found to us. There are a few leads we have already that you could get started on once you've agreed."

Francis purses his lips. "With the right to refuse any case I please, of course," he says, though his tone is far from certain. "And the understanding that LAPD work will always be the priority."

There's a tilt of her head. "It would, of course, but up to you which job you take. However, once you take one, we do expect reports. We aren't about to hire someone who won't actually work." Lane smoothly slides the briefcase she put on the floor toward the front so she can pick it up when needed. Contracts and information sound like they will be needed. "And your LAPD work will be a priority, but at the same time we do expect progress. And you will hear from us if a significant amount of time has passed and we have not received any updates." Negotiation.

He holds out a hand for the paperwork, eyeing her keenly. "Why me?" he says, abruptly. "How'd you hear about me?" Because that's really the sticky question.

"Why not you?" Lane reaches down to pull the briefcase onto her lap and snap it open. "You'd be surprised how much the Senior Partners of Wolfram and Hart know. Sometimes I think there isn't anything they don't know." Pulling out a contract for Francis to sign, she puts it on the desk for him to look over and sign at his leisure. Hopefully a quick leisure. "You understand that there are things in this world that aren't explainable by what the ordinary person knows. There aren't many cops like that."

That point he doesn't argue, inclining his head coolly. "True," he says, simply, tone a little flat. "I'll look these over, get back to you in forty eight hours or less," he suggests.

"Sounds fair." Lane snaps her briefcase shut. "We can talk about your first assignment when you turn them in." It seems she's fairly confident that he'll sign up with them. "Believe me when I say your talent is needed in a timely fashion. I would make it closer to less if you're serious about helping. Every day is turning into a more dangerous one and we prefer to not wait." No matter how hard Francis looks over the documents, he's not going to find any clause that says he's signed his soul over to Wolfram and Hart. It's not that kind of contract. It's exactly what Lane told him it was in much more legalese.

She'll have it returned by morning, dropped off at their door by a courier. With his name on it. Not in blood, of course. "Sounds reasonable enough. I'll let you know," Francis says, rising.

Standing up, with a hand still on the briefcase to shift it to her side, Lane nods. While she's all business, she's also smiling. It's as if she can tell she's theirs already. "I'll look forward to it, Mr. Doakes. Have a lovely rest of the night." And with a smile, she moves for the door. She'll even give a friendly wave to the woman at the desk as she passes out into the night again.

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