I want to thank everyone who has read, reviewed, put alerts on Omega. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Slight spoilers for series 7.
Another mission, another scar. Another day of helping a country that didn't want his help. Another day of waking up to a child screaming for attention, another day of going to sleep next to an icy wife.
Harry Pearce no longer knew himself. He looked in the mirror as he woke and saw the ghost he had become. The cold chilled him; the bitterness of the air only matched the bitterness of his heart. The service was all he had now, all that screamed for his attention. No longer a husband or a father. Just a Spook.
He watched as Lucas and Ros swept up the last of the paperwork from their latest mission, and then turned the blinds so he wasn't visible any more. The office he now sat in had belonged to Thomas Mason, a good man. He had been here as a Junior Spook, to Section Chief to now Section Head.
A good strong glass of whiskey, that was what he needed. Nothing more than that, nothing else was required. Problems in his heart, in his head, all sorted with a drink. The three women that had consumed his life, all who he had loved dearly, one he still did. Life was much simpler then, the Iron Curtain was more straightforward, or at least he thought it was at the time.
Time to go back.
Up the steps, children away at their Grandparents. Night for him and Jane. An unexpected night in of course, he had phoned her earlier to say that he would be home very late, maybe not at all. Such was the problem in his line of work, a line of work that he despised.
Hand on the door handle, always apprehension at the handle. Opening it up, he could smell something in the air, and then that's when he heard it. So that was why she had been so distant recently, she was having an affair. He could hear the noises of them upstairs. Then silence.
"Harry? Harry is that you?"
He didn't know whether it was in revenge for what he had done with Juliet; or rather she had fallen for this man. Harry found that he no longer cared.
Pictures all around his house of a life he had once hoped for, wife and children. There was one of Jane and her new husband, something that Catherine had sent. Oh, there were plenty of her and Graham as children, smiling faces all around.
There was lots of Catherine as an adult now that they were talking again. Her and her fiancé, he had been invited to the wedding in six months time. He didn't know whether he would have clearance to go, considering where it was going to be held. He didn't know whether he could see Jane happy, knowing that the life he had chosen had cost him the love of his life.
Time to go back.
"Charlie I want you to lead this, Ash I'd like you to do some dirty tricks on these blokes, show off your creative side. Harry…you can stay on the Grid and supply everyone with the essentials to keep going. Tea, cakes, that sort of thing."
Thomas was still incredibly bitter, but that was understandable considering that Bernard had been killed in an operation six months before. He believed that if Juliet had stayed with him, then he wouldn't have been so stupid in the field. Harry had no opinion. He just rode it out, let the chips fall where they may. A part of him felt like he deserved it.
His ring finger was bare now, no longer a ring there to contemplate. No longer a marriage or love there to think about.
He remembered the day that Thomas retired and Harry took over his position. The man, reduced to a wheelchair, shook his hand and smiled as he handed over the keys to his office. A friendship born of pain, but that was indeed the Spooks way.
Harry watched as Thomas played chess in Hyde Park, smiling as he won the game. He was behind a tree, observing as only a Spook could. He wondered if that would be him one day, no wife, no children left. Just him, alone, in a chair playing chess.
Thomas tipped his hat as he saw Harry behind the tree before going off into the distance. He wondered just how much Thomas knew about what was happening in Thames House now. He wondered if he knew the truth about his former daughter in law. Ah well.
Time to go back.
"I need your help with this one Pearce," Ash muttered, passing Harry the file under the cover of a dark corridor. They both knew what would happen if Thomas had any inkling of what they were doing. Both their heads would be an appropriate punishment.
"Why me?" Harry was the unofficial tea/ whipping boy. No one would talk to him, listen to his opinions. He had wanted to file complaints, but he considered it one more punishment for giving into temptation.
"Because you're the best, Harry."
Ash winked to him as he moved off, and Charlie gave him a smile and passed him a cup of coffee when he returned to the Grid. Things were starting to look up.
He felt like a voyeur at this moment, he didn't especially want to be there. But it felt natural to go see Ash again, or rather his grave. He had died on a mission, one that Charlie had been on. Charlie had left the Service after that; went into politics.
Harry saw him at the grave, sharp suit, straight hair cut. Not like the wild football fan he had known back at 5. No ring on his finger, no need when the only person who mattered to you was now dead. It was a loss he had never gotten over, one that tore him apart. Harry had been promoted to Section Chief after that. Charlie couldn't stop looking at him with disgust, and then eventually stopped looking at him whatsoever. Then he left.
Time to go back.
"Shut up! I don't care about your excuses! We together are the British Security Service, but apart we are 5 and 6. You answer to me, Delilah, not Oliver Mace! Well in fact you don't answer to me anymore either. You are fired. Get out of my sight."
Harry watched as the young Delilah left the room in tears, fired from a job she was actually good at. Nevertheless, any pity Harry may have felt for her was swallowed up in the fact that she had let slip to Oliver. Spooks, come, Spooks go.
"Shame, she had nice legs," Ash muttered next to Harry, and both of them smiled and continued on with their work. The service had a short memory, although Harry had a long one. He had been waiting to dish the dirt on Delilah for a very long time now.
Same legs, same haircut. A little bit of extra weight, hair extensions, and false nails. She stumbled a bit as she served him his coffee, not recognising him at all. Guess he had changed since she had last seen him; guess she had tried to repress any memories of being in the Service at all.
Delilah, little Delilah the waitress. Some people did get what they deserved, and Harry felt even less pity for her now, especially as she had gotten his order wrong. Maybe she did recognise him after all. Two hours till his flight, he had some time to kill. He could pick up a book next door, spend some time reading a spy novel and complaining at the inaccuracies.
"Anything else Mr Pearce?" She did recognise him. No hate there, just a sense of confusion and worry. Why would a spy be in her coffee shop?
"No thank you Delilah. Have a lovely day."
Time to go back.
He was at a party, one in a crowd sorting out the unimportant from the suspects. That's when he saw her, straight back and as elegant as always. She wore black like she was mourning, something that he found disturbing. Her date was a gentleman from the Civil Service, chatty and very drunk. She looked bored.
Oliver was with Natalie, the birth of their new daughter the topic of much conversation. They caught eyes too, but only for a moment before turning away. The service had a short memory; Harry had already sent a congratulations card to the Mace's. They would be allies again by the end of this year, but Harry would never again have the infinite trust he once had in Oliver.
He passed Juliet as he followed his target and gave her a small smile as he walked by. No feelings, just a sense of regret for what happened, and what could have been.
It was funny how the two people in the world who he had trusted the most when he was younger turned out to later betray him. But that was the way of the service, and he would not apologise for his choices anymore. Juliet had betrayed her country and his friendship. Oliver had betrayed his loyalty and cost him Ruth.
"Time to go forward."
Harry sipped his whiskey from the balcony of his hotel in Cologne, watching as the lights on the city glittered in the winter air. He imagined he could see the figures of Price, Roupell, and Howard. He could see Ash and Charlie kicking a football down in the middle of the road. He could see Juliet and him dancing in happiness and in romance, neither of them knowing the future and neither of them caring.
For one moment he could see her. But it was all shadows and memories, shadows and dust in Cologne. Shadows and memories of a Spook.