|Is It Just Me?
Author: NCISgirl1527 PM
"Is it this way for everyone at the CIA or is it just me?" Joan muses over various aspects of her life including her relationship with her husband, her career, and what her life with the CIA has cost her.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Friendship - Joan C. - Words: 1,352 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 04-01-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6863991
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm not entirely sure about this one…I wrote it last August or September and never really got around to posting it, but I actually rather like it so I though I would give it a shot and see what happened. Anyway please enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Covert Affairs team
NOTE: given that I wrote this last August/September it is set in the middle of the first season when Joan and Arthur are having major problems. Remember the episode where he walks out of her office and pauses to watch a young woman in a skirt walk down that hall? Yea this officially set after that episode…but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter to much.
'Is this what it was like for everyone who worked for the CIA?' I asked myself as I watched Arthur leave the office. 'Does everyone else spend their life looking over their shoulder? Does everyone else look for signs that people they love are lying to them? Does everyone else find it impossible to trust completely? Or is it just me?'
When Arthur and I first met, we were both already working for the CIA, and he was married. I feel obliged to add that his marriage was not a happy one. He started staying late at work to help me with my operations. Then he would occasionally take me out to dinner.
We grew closer to each other, and somewhere in there I fell in love with him, but we never crossed that line. Contrary to what people may tell you, I am not cold hearted or evil. I was also not willing to be the other woman, and he knew it. A year after I joined the CIA, his divorced was finalized. I have never known if that was because of me or just because they were not a good match. I have always assumed that it was some of both…
When we first got engaged, I was warned by more than one person that marriages between CIA agents rarely worked out. I was also warned that marriages involving one CIA agent and an outsider rarely worked either. Of course I ignored all of them. I was young, in love, and still believed in my own invincibility. I was convinced that somehow we would operate outside the odds. I was convinced that nothing could break us apart.
I had only been with the CIA three years at that point, and I still felt like everybody else in the world. I still held onto my belief that one could work for the CIA the way they would work for anybody else. It might not be a nine to five job, but I could still leave work at work, and I just assumed it would stay that way. That was a blissful yet sadly mistaken belief.
About six months after our marriage, an informant in my custody was gunned down. That was the first time I really understood. Those minutes that I sat there covered in his blood were the first moments in my career when I truly understood what being CIA meant. Being CIA meant knowing that some days you were going to be over your head in mud, and you would never be able to wash all the mud off no matter what you did.
I swore to myself then and there I would never forget that mans death, and I would never let it happen again. I held true to that belief though five more years of employment and the loss of two more informants, but somewhere in those years I discovered that you cannot remember every death you see with piercing accuracy. If you do, it will eat you alive. So I buried all the memories and concentrated on the here and now.
Call me cold hearted, but it is the only way to survive in this job…especially as a woman. The CIA is still mostly a man's world and to survive as a woman you have to work twice as hard as the guys. All you have to do to really make this point is to look at Arthur and me.
We both are at almost the same level in the chain of command. We both received the same training and have give or take the same background. We started with in two years of each other, and we are married. The only really significant difference is that I am a woman and what a difference that makes. He climbed the ranks much faster than I did and even from where I am now I have very little influence over what happens.
I cannot even protect my people. Okay I cannot protect Annie and Auggie. The rest of the people I am allowed to command are pretty much on their own. I cannot look after everyone in the CIA. That is not my job, but everyone in the upper levels of the CIA has their protégés and those two are mine.
Auggie is a much easier case than Annie because for the most part Auggie goes with the flow. Sometimes he needs a favor, and I am more than happy to give it to him. I may not have Arthur's influence, but I can still pull strings.
Then there is Annie. She is, at times, the most insufferable, incredibly self-assured, woman, who believes that she is invincible. Actually she reminds me quite a bit of me when I was her age... I have stuck my neck out on the line for her more than once already, but I feel like I owe her more for the game Arthur is playing with her. I do not like the game at all, but I cannot stop Arthur from using her as bait. There is only so much I can do for her. I know that she thinks I am cold hearted and out to get her, but that is the price I pay for the life I lead.
There are side affects to working for the CIA. Not showing emotion in any setting is just one of the many. Another is learning that anyone can lie to anyone else about anything. That is the thing that is working to tear apart my marriage.
I have found over the years that I no longer completely trust my husband. I am not sure he really trusts me anymore either. There are times of course when I feel sure that he still loves me, but there are other times I just do not know. I am not blind. I can see him when he stops to watch the younger females in the office walk down the hall. It makes me wonder he sees in them that he does not see in me. I know that they are ten or even twenty years younger than me, but I am his wife, and what ever else may be true: I love him more than anything else in the world.
Maybe it is all benign. When I asked him if he was having an affair he told me that he was not. What worries me most is not that he may have had an affair, that would break my heart but we could work through it, it is that I do not know if he is lying. I should be able to tell. More than that, I should be able to trust him, but I cannot.
I am a highly successful woman in one of the top agencies in the country, but what did it cost me? I have very few friends either inside or outside work. I have almost no life outside work. My marriage is falling apart.
If I could go back and change it…I do not think I would, but I ask again.
Is it this way for everyone at the CIA?
Or is it just me?
I think the ending my be my favorite part. Anyway I hoped you like it. Please review and tell me what you think.