Greetings From Russia
By Mistress Sara
Summary: For two years Lily Layfield lived and worked with Sam Axe in Russia. Two very long years… Companion piece to Welcome To Miami, I'd suggest reading that first.
Disclaimer: The usual sentiment here people, I own nothing except for the original character. Enjoy, reviews are appreciated.
Lily Layfield sometimes wondered why she chose this career. Out of all possible opportunities, why on God's green earth did she pick espionage? Because it was what her parents did? Possibly. Because it's what her sister does? Probably a greater possibility. Because she wanted to help her country while living a life made up of danger and excitement? I think we have a winner. She also wanted to get away from home. The only thing worse than living with spy parents? Living with an ex-spy father who has lost his wife but found consolation in a bottle.
That certainly was not the life that Lily wanted. She loved her parents, she really did, but her mom was gone and there was the shell of her father living in a house she had few happy memories of. Most of her childhood her parents assumed that she and Daisy had no idea what they really did for a living. Everything was built on lies. Lily figured out at a young age that her parents were not the vague business people they claimed to be. She puzzled that out at the age of 7, when mom came home from a business trip with a bandaged bullet wound… oh yeah, and there was the artillery room she found behind a bookcase one summer day when "Uncle Gregory" was watching them for the week.
Lily never brought it up. She just waited for the day when her parents sat her and Daisy down and asked, "what do you think we do?" They had figured out that their daughters knew something when Daisy decided at the age of 18 to look for a career path that would lead to the intelligence industry. That's a dead give away. They explained, in vague terms, that they worked a US agency.
Now that she thought about it, there really wasn't any other choice. What would she have done? Become a teacher? Maybe a housewife? No. That never would've worked out. She has this job in her blood, along with a sizable dose of wanderlust. Even if they hadn't reached out to her, she would've gone looking for them. These were the thoughts going through Lily's head as she waited for the overhead speaker to crackle with instructions. A few more minutes passed before…
Her second mission. The first went off unusually well, but of course she had Michael Westen training her. This would be her last mission in… well that's classified. Yesterday she received a letter assigning her to duty in Russia. The relocation was bittersweet, she was excited to really start her career but it also meant that training was truly complete. Michael would be leaving on his next mission and she was headed for Moscow.
Returning to the local office was a bit somber. Here she would receive her plane ticket and contact name for when she arrived. After this she would go to her temporary apartment and pack her one bag. There was no big hoopla at the office. When she left there was a small exchange with Michael.
"You ready?" He asked as they walked towards the exit.
"I think so. Not thrilled about the location, but it's still better than others. Do you know where you're headed?"
"I really appreciate everything, Michael." Lily said quietly as they waited for the elevator to arrive. "I know you weren't thrilled about this arrangement—"
"Not at first, but you're a natural so training came easy." He smiled. A moment of silence passed.
"Do you really think I'm ready?"
"I do. And there are some good guys where you're headed; they'll help you get settled in. You're ready for this Lily."
"Okay." She nods, a relived breathe escaping her.
They don't hug. Not really Michael's style. Or Lily's for that matter. But he smiles fondly at her and she has the faintest blush gracing her cheeks. He walked her to her car and said "good luck." That was the nice thing about the spy business. Everything was succinct and to the point.
Her apartment was also succinct and to the point. Very few personal belongings. Truth be told she didn't have much free time to spend on furnishing or decorating. The apartment had the bare essentials; a couch, TV, a bed for her to collapse on when she returned home from work in the wee hours of morning. Packing was easy and finished quickly. In a few hours she would have to get up again and catch the early flight into Moscow.
Lily loved waiting for contacts. Maybe it was part of the inherent difference between men and women. Michael always equated the wait to sitting in the dentist office. But she enjoyed it, the period of time could be used to people watch or just think. Either way it was semi-peaceful alone time. It was also a chance t hone her observational skills.
24 people in the lounge, 17 men, 11 over 40. 3 holding canes and 1 of them approaching her. While normally this wouldn't be odd, she was an attractive young woman and to older men she was the flame for the moth. There was something about Lily, a certain quality that set her apart from any other young woman. However, in this situation, her intended contact was in fact a man over 40 with a cane.
The man took the empty seat next to her and began to tap the cane lightly on the floor.
"Cooper handle?" She asked, gesturing to the metal knob at the top of the walking stick.
"Brass." His accent was Russian, but she couldn't quite place the region.
"Good eye, Miss Layfield."
"It's a gift." She shrugged. "Leo?"
"Yes, a delight to meet you at last." His smile was charming.
"We don't invite just anyone here. We do our research Miss Layfield."
"Ah." Lily nodded.
"We should get going, you're expected."
"Of course." The pair stood and made their way to the door. Lily took note that he didn't actually require the use of the cane, purely there for decoration. The drive was a silent one, Lily was keen to just take in the sights. They pulled up to a condemned factory. Lily eyed the building before looking to Leo.
"Probably should've asked earlier, but may I see your credentials?"
"I always loose faith when we get to the building." He sighed, pulling down the visor in front of him and producing an id badge.
"You can hardly blame me." She handed back the badge.
"Don't worry, it's much nicer inside. And certainly isn't where people would go looking for a top secret, American intelligence office."
He was right, inside was rather impressive. Everything was sectioned off into offices, training facilities, holding cells, interrogation rooms, and conference rooms. The whole thing reminded Lily of the secret headquarters in a James Bond film. Maybe that's why she decided to become a spy…
"Miss Layfield." She looked up and saw that Leo was holding a door for her. "If you would please."
"So, does the person expecting me have a name?"
"Muller? That was rather anticlimactic. I was expecting something… different, I suppose."
"We could call him 'M' if you prefer." Lily laughed.
"He probably wouldn't appreciate that."
"Probably not. Through here please." He held the door for her and then hurried to knock on another.
"Come in." Came the voice from the other side.
"I will see you later Miss Layfield." Leo smiled before opening the door then turning to leave.
"You can just call me Lily." She smiled.
"I will see you later, Lily." With a nod she entered the office. The smile quickly fell from her face and was replaced by pure shock.
"Hello dear." The man behind the desk smiled. It was the same man who had stayed with her and Daisy during their parents long spanning "business trips."
"What… what are you…?" She barely managed.
"Close your mouth dear, you look like a fish. In future you might want to work on containing your surprise."
"Of course. I'm just… surprised." She managed with an odd chuckle. "I never realized that you were—"
"In the same business as your parents?"
"Still working. I had it figured out years ago that you and my parents worked together."
"You always were brighter than your sister. She seemed utterly flabbergasted when I met her for her first assignment." He laughed, "Please, have a seat. We're still waiting on Sam."
"Sam?" Lily asked sitting down.
"The two of you will be working together. And if things go well, you will be partnered for the majority of your assignments here." She nodded, looking briefly around the room. The space was rather bare. His desk, two chairs for guests, a lone fern in the corner. The fern was close to death thanks to the lack of consistent sunlight.
"Miss Kinney?" He had picked up the phone while she was taking in the surroundings. "Would you please call Mr. Axe again?"
"Thank you." He hung up the phone, sighing briefly. "We might be waiting a few more minutes."
Chapter 1 of this new venture complete. Reviews are appreciated. Hopefully another chapter will be along soon.