One.

They offer her medals and money and 'missions' and everything she once thought she'd ever want. They want her overt. They don't want a spy. They want a poster child for American heroism.

She tells them to shove it. She tells them to go to hell. She tells them she didn't do this for recognition.


Two.

They offer her medals and money and missions and everything she once thought she'd ever want. They want her deep cover. Not dead, but very deep.

She accepts. Her first mission is a complicated web of lies. She thinks, I'm used to that.

She gets killed in the line of duty.


Three.

They don't think she's sane enough. Good enough. Trustworthy enough. Maybe that's the worst part too. That she did all this for her country, her Agency, and they say thanks but no thanks.

She gets a generous severance package and a plane ticket out of D.C. It's implied that she shouldn't return.


Four.

She doesn't know how it's possible, but Danielle forgives her immediately. She doesn't want to lie anymore. So she hops on the next flight to the West Coast.

She kisses Auggie on the cheek and says, "It's too late for heart to hearts," because she doesn't think she has a heart anymore.


Five.

The metal barrel unsurprisingly tastes like metal. Maybe she should have wrapped a Fruit Roll-Up around it. She always liked the wildberry ones. Too late now.

Bang.


One.

He is there waiting for her when she steps off the plane. She wonders what kind of protocol he is breaking by being there, steady, calm, unwavering. She thinks of the cliched description, He's my rock. But rocks break. Solid like an oak. But trees get cut down.

He is more powerful than any force of nature. He is the transcendental lighthouse that guides her.

"Welcome home, Walker."

He is home.

"I could use your help on a mission," he murmurs into her hair with his arms securely around her.

She smiles. "Really?"

"Only if you're coming back," he smirks because he already knows the answer.

"I'm back."


Author's Note: Experimenting with a new style here. What do you think? Thank you for reading and reviewing!