A/N - thanks, it's been fun!


The Secretary of the Navy was enjoying a quiet breakfast. He'd reviewed his schedule for the day, knew how long he had before his car came to collect him. Realistically there was every chance that his schedule would be substantially reworked over the course of the day – it generally was. But, still he enjoyed this moment, when he could eat his breakfast and pretend that he was in control.

The crossword was challenging today and he was thinking about a particularly fiendish clue as he flicked through the rest of the paper. But when he turned a page and came face to face with a photograph of the Director of NCIS his peaceful morning was abruptly derailed.

Sighing he forced himself to read the short article that accompanied the image, bracing himself for the worse. She'd been quiet in recent weeks, noticeably absent from the gossip columns and while he knew that should have prepared him for, something – still, he'd foolishly allowed himself to hope that the peace would ask. He should have known he wouldn't be that lucky.

The photograph had been taken the previous evening as she left an Embassy reception. The article made a great deal of the fact that she'd arrived at the event alone and left the same way and there was a distinct sense of disappointment that she hadn't been accompanied by someone equally high-profile.

Suspiciously he narrowed his eyes and took a closer look at the photograph. Her security detail was very evident and she was looking in their direction, smiling slightly – presumably at the cameras. Or perhaps not.

With a sinking feeling he recognised one of the faces in the crown around her. The profile was familiar and even though the image was slightly blurred, he could feel the power of a glare that was famous in certain circles. A second look at the photograph convinced him that it was that glare which was making the Director smile.

Her expression coupled with his proximity could only mean one thing.

The Secretary of the Navy pushed the paper away and, glancing down at his breakfast, pushed that away as well. Suddenly he wasn't feeling hungry anymore.

The End