Play Back

I should have realised it was going to be a bad day almost from the minute I got up. Well, to be honest, before I got up. It was then, you see, that I realised that I had been so tired I slept through my alarm clock.

We've been working on finding out where Gazal is hiding. Working so hard, in fact, that at about three this morning I was told in no uncertain terms that I needed to go and get some rest by Director Harper. No, the chair at my desk was not good enough; it had to be my proper bed in my proper home or I would not be allowed back to work today.

You can always tell with Harper when he means it. He gets this little tic to the side of his jaw and it is as if he is daring you to contradict him.

Still being relatively new to this office and still trying (and probably failing) to make a good impression, I haven't dared to try that. Maybe one day, although I doubt that day will come. They will have sent me back to the FBI first, I think.

I made it home. The last thing I want is to give them ammunition against me. Right? I parked my car in its usual place and made for my apartment. I don't even remember lying down on my bed and falling asleep...

I woke up almost hacking up a lung. Since arriving here, I have hopped from one cold to another without them ever really seeming to recover. I seem to get through cough syrup within a few days. I guess I should be going to see a Doctor but I am a little too busy at the moment.

Anyway, I look blearily at the eerily silent alarm clock and almost knock myself out getting out of bed. As it is, I catch my left cheek on the nightstand. That is so going to leave a bruise! Can anything more go wrong today? I don't think I want an answer to that question.

I pad to the bathroom and curse under my breath. If my Mother was alive to hear me she would box my ears. But here in the quiet of my own place I can do what I want. I crank up the heat. Why did I have to be moved somewhere so damned cold? It makes my chest tight and makes me cough even more than ever.

The shower is scalding and welcome. My head is thumping as I lean against the tiles; I have slept too long and too heavy. Sleep is so over rated, trust me.

I shave as my coffee is brewing. I know I am late but the few minutes longer this is going to take is not going to make much difference. Once I am dressed I hurry into the kitchen area and pour my black coffee, I savour the first taste with eyes closed. Coffee, nectar of the Gods. No one should start the day without it.

My eyes pop open as I hear it! It is an abomination! And now I am going to hear it all day long. It will play over and over in my brain as the door it sits behind bursts open to reveal it in all its glory.

I used to love the programme when I was a child. I used to drive my mom crazy singing the song. But since I have been an adult, I have managed to stay away from it.

It is just my luck to get an apartment next to a fan who plays the music aloud.

Scooby Dooby Doo where are you, you've got some work to do now.
Scooby Dooby Doo...

Yes there we go. All day I will be thinking of that song. All day it will play over and over in the background as I think things through and work out where Gazal is hiding and how we get to him. Still I guess it could be worse. It could be the Sesame Street song!

My phone rings and I pick it up without thinking as I put the now empty mug in the sink.

"Dean." Terri Merriweather answers me. "Yea, sorry, be with you in thirty minutes just running a... " I have to stop to cough. "Little late."

I listen to her chatter on about how she would have the bribe money by then and nod.

"Good, I'll be with you shortly." I made for the door. Grabbing my coat from the stand, I don't even realise that I am singing a certain song under my breath as I make my way out of the building.

Getting to the office was awkward with traffic really heavy at this time of the morning as mothers tried to get children to school and then to work. Talk about a nightmare ride and all the time that stupid song is playing in the background. I may have to wash my brain out by the end of the day if this carries on.

It is late when I get at the office and to say that I am unimpressed is an understatement. I am running incredibly late and if I am late for my meeting with Costas, I am so going to do something incredibly stupid to myself. How could I over sleep today? How could I do that knowing how important today was to the investigation? This could be the day that we finally get Gazal and I have to go and over sleep.

By the time I make it to the office I am fuming. I am unhappy with the world and myself. I am coughing harshly as well and the pounding in my head is even worse than it was when I got up. To put it bluntly, I feel like crap. Not that anyone else will know that I feel bad unless I want them to.

Unfortunately for my plan by the time I get to said desk I am hacking and coughing as if I have been smoking since birth and I reach into my draw of the desk to get the cough syrup. I can feel the others watching me as I blearily look at the bottle to determine just how much of the awful stuff I can have, not that I don't know, I just like to be thorough.

My morning goes from bad to worse as I cough the stuff all over my shirt. This really is not fair. At the rate I am going I wish I had not bothered getting out of bed this morning. I really do.

Then I hear the others teasing me about the observer I will have shadowing me today.
Hang on a minute, back up a fraction. Observer? What observer?

My heart starts thumping harder than ever as I realise that I will be the one with the observer and not them. This is so unfair. I bet they never got an observer so soon after getting to the NSA.

They want me out. I know they do, it has to be. Why do this now? Why do this when I've had no chance to prove myself, make myself a niche here?


OK, Brendan calm down, just keep cool and act as if it does not upset you. Never let them see you sweat is what my old instructor at the FBI said.

Calm. I can do calm. Calm is:

Scooby Dobby Doo where are you, you've got so much to do now.
Scooby Dooby Doo where are you...

That's better, much better. Much calmer.

Terri finally brings in the money and then she comes. The observer. Nice looking, but I will reserve judgement on her until I have had time to 'observe' her. If they think I am going to go easily they are much mistaken.

Now if I could only find some little way to annoy her I would be happy.

Scooby Dooby Doo Where are you...

She is frowning at me. Why is she frowning at me?

Scooby Dooby Doo where are you...

She's rubbing at her forehead as if she has a really bad headache. Hm-mm, guess I'm not the only one in pain. I wonder what is wrong.

Scooby Dooby Doo where are you...

She has her head in her hands. Maybe I should offer her some Tylenol. After we see my contact I am already running late and it would not do to make her think that I am being sympathetic already.

Scooby Dooby Doo where are you...

Time for action, Brendan Dean time to go and show them what you can do!

The end