Comics Creators

Story Question - Forbidden relationship between employees

Or to be specific, forbiden relationship between people of law.

You see, I am doing scriptwritting for a crime comic about two agents (I implied they are from FBI) who are secretly having love affair, while investigating a case. But I wonder if that scenario is possible. I don’ t really follow which policies companies and various organizations impose on their subordinates and crime investigating services are no exception.

(I never specified the setting, but it is obvious the story takes place somewhere where English is native language).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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If they are secretly having an affair, does it matter if it is legal? Might it add an extra element of excitement to the relationship if the affair was against the rules?

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@DaveWallace - “an extra element of excitement to the relationship if the affair was against the rules?”

Yeah, I am aiming at exactly that.

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In which case it seems unlikely that such a relationship would be impossible. Even if there were policies to prevent people from working together when having an affair, they would presumably be hard to enforce if the affair was secret.

Also “impossible relationships” are the bread and butter of fiction. Just look at the top sellers in the various romance categories. A lot of the relationships that sell can be seen as unethical, if not illegal.

As for law enforcement agencies, have you looked up the fraternization rules for the organization you want to use or model your fictional one after? That will give you an idea of what you can get away with. The Military, in particular, has definite interaction rules.


I don’t know about law enforcement, but when I worked in a bank, we were told that we had to declare any such relationships so that we could be separated to avoid collusion and fraud.

I work in public safety/local government and the main thing is if a relationship is known then the two parties cannot work together. They get put on different shifts/crews so there won’t be a conflict of interest and also to avoid distractions. Also, if the two were to ever want to go on vacation together, it’s easier to manage schedule-wise if they were on different shifts/squads as opposed to granting vacation time to two people that work the same hours/ days etc.

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Hm, good idea.

Now, it may sound banal, but I recall movie Ballistic, the severe backlash it received, and one of them was the fact that they showed FBI operating in Canada, where in reality the FBI has no jurisdiction there. I just want to make this a bit plausible.

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Maybe the case they working is too important for them, In a personal way, that they don’t want to risk being shifted apart making public their affair

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An extramarital affair in the FBI is in the headlines lately. One was an agent and the other a lawyer working on the Russian influence investigation. If they are having a “secret” affair, obviously, the most dramatic reason for that would be that they are married to other people. That may make them seem bad, but we’ve had plenty of protagonists who are engaged in affairs throughout the history of fiction and drama.

However, if they are keeping it secret because they are working together and don’t want to be separated from an investigation, that is a different kind of bad. It makes them seem unprofessional.

Now, considering the reality of how cop shows and movies present law enforcement, it honestly doesn’t need to be realistic at all. There are very few actually realistic portrayals of actual procedures in law enforcement even in shows that are based on real cases. So, you don’t really need to worry about plausibility in the context of actual policies.

Rather, plausibility is what you create in the dramatic and emotional reality of the situations. If you set up the risks, rewards and conflicts of the relationship consistent with the narrative, then people will buy it. No one ever cares if the story is realistic if it isn’t dramatic.


Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever?

I ah… I liked it. It was so nonsensical, but it had Lucy Liu blowing things up. The final fight between her character and Ray Park’s Ross, had my favorite “I’m tired of you let’s fight” line delivery.

The clip should start right before the exchange.


Ah, cool man. Thanks.

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