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A/N Carrie's second stint in Iraq, based around dialogue from

The Pilot (between Carrie and Brody)

"Sergeant Brody, my name is Carrie Mathison. I served as a case officer in Iraq. Your picture was on our MIA wall. I saw it every day for five years. It's good to meet you in person."
"Thank you, ma'am."
"I'm sorry we were unable to find you sooner."
"I appreciate that."

and The Vest (S1 ep11) (Saul to Carrie)

"Carrie? I'm so sorry. About all this. I feel responsible in a way, cause when you came back from Baghdad, I knew. I saw something had happened. You were damaged. I left it alone. Other times when you were so out there, I guess I half knew.
Maybe hoping it was something else. Anyway, I should have asked.

"She's fine, Strickland."

"I don't agree. You may like that to be true, Saul, but it doesn't mean it is."

The silence that greets him from the other end of the line tells him he has pushed Saul too far. Eventually Saul speaks again. "She's staying." Stuart has no time to argue as the connection ends.

Stuart eyes the subject of his worry and ire through the window of his office. Standing exactly where she had been standing for the past 45 minutes. In front of their MIA wall. It were as though she saw it as a puzzle and if she stared at it long enough, she might figure out what no one else could. They are just pictures on a wall. No code hidden in there, no clues and no conspiracies. Just pictures of two missing Marines that had been MIA for a long time. Probably dead now, at least he hoped they were for their own sakes.

Staying, Carrie Mathison might be, but fine she most definitely is not. It seems obvious to him. She's always been intense. He remembers that from her first stint here. But there is something else just visible, poking its head out from underneath the surface. She's running away from something and it is never good to have an agent who is using their work to get away from personal issues. He'd tried politely suggesting that she isn't a prisoner and is allowed to go home and take a break occasionally. She never laughs and isn't for budging. She spends too much time in the office. More than is necessary and absolutely more than is healthy.

He wonders how much hell Saul could wage on him if he went over his head and had her sent home. Probably more than he could imagine. Sighing, resigned to the fact that Mathison won't be getting shipped back home where she should be, Stuart stands up and puts his jacket on. He has a wife to go home to. He switches off his computer and light as he exits his office.

"Goodnight, Carrie." He gets no answer. She's here, but she isn't. He sighs. She'll be here tomorrow. He leaves.

Maggie doesn't understand. Never has. She's fine. More than fine, now that she is back here, very busy with lots occupying her mind. Much better than being back home with time to be idle and Maggie's lectures about grief counselling and her medication.

It's quiet now. She turns towards Strickland's office and sees it is in darkness. She never heard him leave. She prefers it this way. The freedom to think as loudly as she wishes.

Tom Walker and Nicholas Brody. Two names and faces she knows well. Marines, fathers and husbands. Still MIA. Still on the wall. Missing for so long now that they cannot be considered a priority. Presumed dead by most even if people don't say it out loud. If someone stumbles across intelligence on what happened to these two then great. If not, oh well.

She dare not mention Nazir. She's mentioned him so much that everyone rolls their eyes at her, but she knows. 'Always, Nazir, with her.' She hears them whispering when they think they're safely out of ear shot. There's two simple reasons for that, (1) it always is him; and (2) he was in charge of co-ordinating attacks against coalition forces at the time these two disappeared. It isn't her fault if everyone else is too stupid to connect the dots.

Tom Walker and Nicholas Brody, staring right back at her.