The Fox and the Sloth
University Hospital, Birmingham, UK
Date: Monday, March 16, 2009 09:52 Lima
Kim walked down the hall of the University Hospital. This particular section of the facility was called Shelly Oaks and served all of the armed forces of England. She reached up and absently pulled at the collar of her camouflage duty uniform. The camos were a little baggy, similar to the mission pants she used to wear. She was posing as 1st Lieutenant Kay Pat Darins, her cover identity while she visited the facility to see Ron. The staff had other names for her, some nice, some not so nice depending on if said person had incurred her wrath or appreciation for one reason or another during Ron's stay. Auburn Angel was one of the more complimentary names. Some of the less complimentary names were not to be said in polite company. Passing the nurses station on the 3rd floor, Kim waved at one of the nurses that she had come to know over the past couple of months since Ron had been admitted to the hospital.
She remembered the flight back to England after leaving Paris. Just before they landed at RAF Cosford, a small airbase thirty minutes outside Birmingham, the medics changed Ron into a bloodied battle dress of the British Army. A similar battle dress was handed to Kim with the silent hint for her to change also. She struggled into the small on-board lavatory and changed out of her dress, wiping off her makeup and putting her hair up in a bun. When the plane landed at the airbase, a military ambulance was waiting for them. Ron was placed on stretcher and put into the back of the ambulance with Kim jumping in right behind him as she struggled to slip on the combat boots that had been given to her. The two tone siren started to wail as the ambulance pulled out on the road and headed for the hospital. Ron was admitted into the hospital under the premise of an accident during a live fire training exercise for a special operations unit. Kim posed as his girlfriend over the past weeks. This allowed her access to him at most hours. Covington also had the cover story that she was also there as a liaison from their unit until Ron recovered. .
Kim knocked on the door of treatment room 3 and then entered the room. It was a standard room that anyone would be familiar with. The smell of alcohol came to her nose as the door started to close behind her. Kim's face immediately blossomed red upon the sight in the room. Ron's surgeon, Major Dorothy Proctor, or as Kim referred to her, as that brickhouse on safety pins, was examining Ron's shoulder in a manner that was too close for the redhead's comfort. Kim had grumbled that the doctor had more curves than a mountain road and had two bazookas up front to top everything off. Ron, who appeared to be enjoying the attention was oblivious to the sixteen kinds of kung-fu that he was in danger of seeing, looked up with a smile.
Major Proctor glanced up to see Kim standing in the door. She continued her close examination of Ron's chest, arm and scars. Finishing the examination, the surgeon stepped over to the sink and washed her hands.
"Good morning Lt. Darins. I think we can let your boyfriend go here after this complete and through evaluation, of course. And some more good news, both of you will be receiving some extended leave, courtesy of the powers that be."
Kim quickly snapped to attention.
"Thank you Major. It will be my pleasure to get him out of here."
Dorothy smiled at Kim.
"Out of here and away from me Lt. Darins?"
Kim's face hit a level of color that bordered on infrared as she remained at attention.
"Oh, for God's sake, at ease Kay, have a seat before you erupt."
It took a beat, but then Kim visibly relaxed and cracked a small smile before taking a seat in a chair by the door.
"Thank you Maj…"
The Major glanced over to Kim and she stopped talking then started again.
"Thank you, Dorothy. Sorry, old habits you know."
Major Proctor helped Ron to stand and handed him his shirt.
"No problem Kay, I know my reputation around here and some of the things that have been said."
She raised her hand before Kim could speak.
"Like I said, no problem. Although if Harry here was not taken the story might be different. He does have the cutest butt."
It was Ron's turn to blush as he pulled his shirt on while the Major pulled a chart from the counter top.
"Okay, 2nd Lt. Harry McCormick. You were admitted to this hospital with a gun shot wound to the inner arm. This injury was fairly minor as it only gouged the skin. It bled badly but, like I said, nothing too difficult. You were lucky Kay here bandaged it up quickly. The other wound was another matter. The second round entered your side opposite of your other wound and fractured your scapula, ricocheting up to fracture your clavicle. It was a miracle that you did not bleed to death. You were lucky to have been brought in so promptly. I was able to reconstruct both bones, and, while your rehab has been long and painful, I am confidant that you will fully recover. Now…"
There was a knock at the door and Covington stepped into the room wearing a Commodore's uniform of the Royal Navy. The three officers in the room snapped to attention.
Covington glanced around the room for a moment before affixing his gaze on the major.
"At ease, Major. May I have a moment with these officers before you discharge Lt. McCormick?"
Major Proctor nodded and picked up the charts.
"Surely Sir. Lt. McCormick, Lt. Darins. I hope the future will treat you well," she said before she left the room
"Karen, Henry, have a seat."
Kim and Ron took seats on the other side of the room while Covington tossed his hat on the examination bed. He sat down and looked over at the two agents. He turned and opened the briefcase he carried and pulled out two files, handing each of his agents a copy.
"This is just some basic information on the incident at the chateau. After your release, you will return to your apartment, and then report to the center for a full briefing tomorrow morning. What I can tell you now is what you already know. Laurent disappeared the night you hit his chateau. There was enough fallout from the hell you two raised that there was some investigation into the matter. However, there has been no sign of Laurent since he was last seen after returning to his study after your escape. Now, the rest of this cannot be discussed here. Go home. Show up at my office, tomorrow morning, 10'oclock sharp."
Kim and Ron glanced at each other in surprise.
"Sir, we thought we would be getting at least a little time off."
Covington shook his head.
"Sorry, this has become a priority situation. Get checked out and back to your apartment. My office assistant will contact you about any changes in plans."
Kim and Ron stood while handing the folders back to Covington. They gathered Ron's bags and left the room.
Covington waited as they left the room, and then put the folders in his briefcase. Picking up his hat, he placed it on his head. Taking his briefcase in his hand, he pulled the door open and walked out of the hospital. There was a nondescript car waiting by the front door. The driver opened the rear door for him then turned to get into the driver's seat. The car pulled away from the front and headed into London. Covington opened his briefcase and pulled out another file. There was a name across the top of the file: POSSIBLE. He opened the file to a specific page and began to read.
Re: Possible, James; Possible, Anne.
Re: Blue Fox, Pink Sloth
There is credible information that POSSIBLE, JAMES, and POSSIBLE, ANNE have selected to vacation in the city of London for their 20th anniversary in the next few days. This information has only come to light by accident when an analyst picked up on the reservation list for their trip. The POSSIBLES will tour the city on the following dates and will complete a tour of the British Isles over the following week. While it will have been four years since Agents BLUE FOX and PINK SLOTH 'died' in a plane crash, it is imperative that Agents BLUE FOX and PINK SLOTH not be in the British Isles during the Possible's visit. There is a chance, however small, that they could meet. Given the tremendous consequences of such a meeting, it is best the Fox and Sloth be given orders to be elsewhere.
Covington laid the paper in his lap. "DAMN!"
The car that picked them up from the hospital had taken them to Hereford where they were allowed to change into civilian clothes. The driver from that first night many years ago drove them back into London to their apartment. Covington had also created a cover story the Ron had been in an accident. This explained his absence from their flat.
Ron tossed his bag on the floor at the door leading to the bedroom as Kim stepped over to the answering machine to check for any messages. Not that they had any friends, but sometimes coded messages came in by innocent everyday messages. There were no messages so she headed for the refrigerator and pulled out a coke. Ron pulled the door wider to get one for himself and noticed the refrigerator was full of sandwich makings and leftover takeout. He glanced over at Kim.
"A girl who can't cook has to eat somehow. One thing about this past sitch was I learned to use the microwave and I even learned to cook a little."
Ron's eyes grew wide as he stepped back and opened the cabinet where his kept his favorite frypans and cook pots. Kim grimaced at the whimper that came from his mouth. She stepped over to pat him on his back.
"As an apology for what I did to your cookware and as a welcome home present. A 14 piece set of Emeril cookware should be here tomorrow."
Ron spun around and grabbed her by her waist.
"The 14 piece set?" he asked excitedly.
Kim nodded. "Ye..."
Before she could say yes she found that she was the recipient of a rather intense kiss. She put her hands on his chest to push him away and found her hands sliding up around his neck. Ron pulled away after a moment.
"Thanks KP, you're the best."
Ron stopped and realized what he had just done. Kim's face was red from her shirt collar to her forehead. Ron opened his mouth for a second, and then started to lean forward again. Kim closed her eyes...
Be be be beep.
The two jumped apart.
Be be be beep
Kim grabbed her glasses and slipped them on.
Wade's face appeared in the lens of her glasses, instantly noticing her flushed complexion.
"Karen, are you okay?"
Kim nodded. "Yeah, it's just good to have Henry home."
Wade nodded. "Okay, Covington sent me a message cancelling the meeting in the morning. He said something about a priority situation and that the briefing had to be done ASAP. I'm ready to do it online right now."
"Now?" Kim asked. "We literally just got in the door."
Wade face gave her the answer.
"Okay, let me get Henry online."
Kim and Ron sat on their couch with their feet propped up.
"We analyzed the download from the chateau. Mostly it was high value industrial espionage on British and French industry focused on European and North American markets, except for one, a study done by the BGS for the Aktrif Kable. The company is a Turkish regional telecom who wanted to know about seismic stability in Eastern Turkey, specifically a town called Van on Lake Van, a nice little resort town. They are thinking of expanding ISP service in the region with recent deregulation in recent years and want to lay new fiber optics but ground stability is an issue. This one makes absolutely no sense from where Covington stands, as there is no connection to Laurent or any one associated to Laurent to a regional Turkish ISP."
The lenses of their glasses showed a number of documents and maps. Then Wade's face reappeared.
"Covington has set you up to travel to Trabzon, Turkey on the shore of the Black Sea. Your cover will be a couple on vacation. MI5 has a local asset there. Her code name is Bordeaux-Blue and she will contact you shortly after you arrive. This will be a working vacation. Covington just wants you to survey the area and report back."
Ron sat up.
"Mannnn! Everyone gets a cool code name except me."
Kim and Wade glared at Ron for a moment. The blond sat back quietly. Wade continued.
"You will be staying in the Zorlu Grand Hotel under the names Henry and Karen McMillian. Your tickets will be ready for pickup at the airport and I'll have all your documents ready in the morning. Right now, Covington asks that you get some rest tonight and be ready to fly out in the morning."
Kim touched the rim of her glasses.
"Any reason for the rush?"
"Yeah, some new developments has come up which necessitates a fast response to this. He was short on specifics, but Covington does want you to get on this right away."
Ron nodded. "Okay, we'll be ready. Fox and Sloth out."
The picture disappeared from their glasses. The two agents put their glasses up and headed for the kitchen. Ron winced as he reached for a pan.
"Well, the shoulder's still not a hundred percent."
Kim pulled him away from the counter and guided him to the bedroom.
"Well, why don't you get out of those regular clothes and into something more comfortable. I'll call Pizza Express and have them deliver your favorite. Meanwhile, I'll work on that shoulder for you like Dorothy showed me."
Ron headed into the bedroom, grabbed a t-shirt and a pair of boxers and went in the bathroom. When he came out Kim had also changed and was hanging up the phone.
"Our pizza will be here in about 30 minutes. Now, you sit down on the couch and let me work on that shoulder like the doctor showed me."
Ron sat on the couch at the window overlooking the corner. Night was starting to fall and the city lights were coming on. Kim pulled his shirt off and started to knead his muscles and work his arm. Ron leaned forward to lie down on the couch as her hands did their work. Kim worked her hands up and around his shoulder, worked his arm as she had been instructed. She started to notice how firm his muscles were. Her touch turned to soft caresses. Her finger ran down the surgery scar, then the scar where the bullet had gouged the furrow in his arm. Her mind went back to that night and her feeling of utter panic of losing him. She stopped as Ron rolled over and took her hands in his. He sat up and she sat down next to him.
"Thanks KP, you are the best."
Their eyes met for a few seconds. Then they started to lean towards one another. Kim turned her head to the side as she opened her lips and closed her eyes…
Kim jumped with a shriek and fell to the floor.
Ron grabbed his shirt and quickly put in on.
"The pizza's here."
He grabbing his wallet, he stood and headed for the door.
'What were we thinking? What were we doing?' his jumbled thoughts swirling around his head. Kim was thinking the same thing as she sat on the floor fanning herself.
Kim got up off the floor and stood. She shook her head and headed for the kitchen to get a couple of cans of coke and some plates. She put the plates on the table and put the cans of coke against her face. She felt so hot. The door to the apartment shut and Ron entered the room carrying the pizza box. He put the box on the table and turned heading for the bathroom.
"Be right back KP."
Minutes later he returned the bangs of his hair wet as well as the collar of his shirt.
He saw her glance.
"Just got a little hot, thought I'd splash a little water on my face."
The sun shone through the windows of their hotel room as Kim pulled back the drapes.
The porter set their bags on the floor and turned to Ron.
"I hope you enjoy your stay at the Zorlu Grand Hotel. Is there anything else that I can do Mr. McMillian?"
Ron shook his head as he tipped him.
"No thank you. I think we are just going to unpack and rest."
The porter smiled as he accepted his tip.
"Thank you sir, if you need anything just ring the desk."
Ron closed the door behind the man as he left and turned to see Kim already unpacking. Ron joined her and soon the task was finished. Kim pulled her bikini from her stuff and headed for the bathroom.
"Get your trunks on 'dear'. Let's go take a swim in the pool, get a little dinner and take a little stroll. Out contact is supposed to meet us at a local bazaar."
After dinner, the two agents walked toward the open air bazaar where the other agent was to meet them. Ron was wearing khaki slacks and an open knit shirt. Kim wore a pair of khaki slacks and a white blouse. She finished off her outfit with a tesettur, or headscarf. She and Ron walked arm in arm along the street of the bazaar. They found the shop they were looking for and entered. It was a small sports shop dedicated to the local football team. Ron rummaged through some of shirts and shorts while Kim approached the man at the desk.
"Excuse me is there someone who could tell me more about the Bordeaux-Blue football team. My husband was slow as a sloth getting here and we don't have tickets yet. I was hoping to catch a game."
The man behind the counter blinked and glanced at the two of them.
"Would you like reserved or regular seats?"
Ron approached the counter with a pair of blue shorts.
"I think we would like reserved seats. Better to see and keep our head in the game. I think I'd also like to purchase these for my blue fox."
The man nodded at the two of them and motioned for them toward a curtain covered doorway behind the counter. Pushing past the cover, Kim and Ron entered the small office which was cooled by a window unit. A lithe dark haired woman was on a ladder working with her back to them, moving a few small boxes of clothes. Ron stopped for a moment to appreciate the view before Kim gave him an elbow as the lady turned. She approached the two of them.
"How is my friend Rufus?
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