Disclaimer: I don't own Covert Affairs or any characters, places, things, or ideas therein. The aforementioned belong to the USA Network and the producers, writers, etc., of the show. I am making no monetary gain from this story in any way, shape, or form.
Summary: Auggie had once thought there was nothing better than starting out the day with a hot cup of coffee and a fresh pastry straight out of the oven. He never really had minded being proven wrong, especially when it was to his benefit… AuggieAnnie
Warnings: Sugar and spice and fluff. Spontaneous squeeing may occur in some cases.
Author's Note: I was already amazed by the response I got to my first Covert Affairs fic, but the response to my second certainly blew me away. I am so incredibly thankful to everyone who took the time to read, review, and favorite both of my CA stories. You all are as much of an inspiration to me as watching the show - seriously, your kindness always keeps me going back to my Covert Affairs fic folder and making it grow. I really hope this story doesn't disappoint, and thank you all so much for checking it out!
-Cream and Sugar-
Sugar and spice and everything nice.
The old jingle bounced around like a rubber ball in Auggie Anderson's mind, playing accompaniment to the drum of his long, nimble fingers on his computer keyboard. He'd been called immediately to his desk when he walked into the office, and hadn't had time for a coffee run yet. But he could smell the delicious aromas of freshly ground beans, flavored creams, and sugar all around him, and it was driving him insane.
He decided that the perfect torture technique had just been invented, albeit inadvertently - filling a room with the rich smell of coffee and keeping it just out of reach of an addict. It was worse than just about anything else he could conceive.
The rhythm of his fingers increased in agitation. The additional sweet scents of fruits and cinnamon and chocolate bespoke the presence of pastries. He'd also forgone breakfast - a truly unwise decision, in hindsight.
Auggie decided the only thing worse would be actually seeing everyone else indulging in their coffee and sweets.
By now he was really taking out his frustration and hunger on his poor keyboard, which had done absolutely nothing to deserve his ire. But he found it difficult to remain in good humor when he was not only hungry and thirsty, but severely lacking a caffeine fix.
With a few quick clicks, some more keystrokes, and a little growl, the information was sent whizzing through the CIA's little (that was, really, rather massive) corner of secure cyberspace. Now that that matter was taken care of, he could finally get to Starbucks and get something extra-tall and wonderfully delicious.
As Auggie pulled off his headphones in preparation to leave his workspace, a fresh swirl of scents assaulted his nose: the richly bitter aroma of coffee, tempered with generous amounts of cream and sugar; the tang of fresh cinnamon and sweet apples; and the unmistakable intimation of grapefruit. The click click click of kitten heels was the last clue, as if more were needed, as to the identity of his approaching savior.
"Annie." Her name tumbled from his dry lips, in contrast to his mouth, which was wet from the smells of what she was carrying. He couldn't help the inflection of his tone, which intimated an unusual amount of adoration that he usually never showed toward her.
The footsteps paused less than a foot away, and he heard the brush of fabric on fabric right before something softly clunked to rest on his desktop. "An extra-tall with extra cream and sugar," Annie Walker informed him cheerfully. "And a fresh-out-of-the-oven apple pastry, just for you."
If Auggie had not already been beyond doubt, Annie's recent actions would have utterly convinced him that she was an angel sent straight from heaven just for him. "Thank you," he groaned. His hand fumbled across his desk for only a second before landing on the coffee cup. Never had Styrofoam and cardboard felt so wonderful against his skin. He lifted it straight to his lips and sipped, rolling the hot liquid in his mouth before swallowing just to savor the contrasts of the sweetness of the cream and sugar mixing with the bitterness of the coffee. Pure nectar.
Annie laughed, and he heard her moving things away from the edge of his desk before she pulled herself up to sit on its freshly cleared surface. "A little birdie told me you'd had neither coffee nor breakfast," she said. He heard her sip at her own beverage.
"That little birdie was right," he said. "You're an angel."
She laughed freely. "I've never been told that before," she said. "In fact, my mother used to tell me I was a hellion. My sister, Danielle, was always the angel. Someone had to offset her constant goodness, so I was the obvious choice." Genuine affection lightened her tone as she briefly reminisced.
"Well, whether anyone else believes it, it's true," Auggie said. He set aside his coffee cup only to take a bite of the pastry, relishing the relief it brought to his stomach, which was aching from being so empty. "Seriously, thank you. But how did you know how I like my coffee? I don't remember you ever being around when I got some before. Did a little birdie tell you that, too?"
"No," Annie said. Her tone fairly smacked of utter smugness. "I don't work for the CIA for nothing, you know. Even us lowly field agents know how to gather information." A light tap on his shoulder softened her words.
"Hmm. I'll have to be more careful from now on about what I do. Don't want you digging up the skeletons buried in my closet." Now that he had coffee and food, he had managed to regain his usual good humor. Then again, when Annie was around, he usually had no problems staying in a good mood. There was just something about her.
…And that was a thought it would be best if he did not pursue, at least at the moment.
Annie, it seemed, had latched on to the words digging, skeleton and buried. "Now you've just made me curious," she said. Her voice was deceptively smooth. "Let's see, where did I leave my shovel?"
"Dig all you want, rookie," he said fondly. "You'll never catch me." He waggled his eyebrows fiendishly and pretended to brandish a monocle.
He was rewarded by another round of her sweet laughter. "You look like one of those villains from the old black and white murder mysteries," she said.
Auggie paused, his coffee cup halfway to his mouth. "You're a fan?" he asked, surprised.
Annie was quiet for a moment, and he heard her take another sip of her coffee before she finally replied. "I've been known to enjoy one or two," she said cautiously.
"I'm the Turner Classic Movies enthusiast of the threshold between the CNN and MTV generations," Auggie said unapologetically. "I'd much rather listen to a murder mystery than the dry, boring 'facts' of CNN or the travesties MTV calls 'music and entertainment' any day. Besides, I get more than enough of the news at work. I'd much rather indulge in some pure escapist fun on my off hours."
"Sherlock was always my hero," Annie said. "Though Watson always held a special place in my heart, too. He was so clever, I thought." She laughed happily.
The last thing he had expected of today was discussing black-and-white movies with Annie Walker. It was not, he decided, an altogether unpleasant experience. In fact, he wouldn't mind making a habit of it. "You never cease to surprise me, Annie Walker," he said truthfully.
Annie paused, the silence stretching somewhat awkwardly between them. "Thank you," she all but whispered.
He wondered if she were blushing. On the heels of that thought came the inevitable speculation of the color of her flush - was she one who turned beet red, or was her coloring gentler, a soft rose or a pale peach? He decided on one of the latter. Deciding he didn't want to embarrass her further, he said, "Thank you again for the coffee and pastry. I owe you one."
"A big one," Annie said. All traces of discomfiture was suddenly gone from her voice. "Tell you what - buy me coffee the next late night at the office and we'll call it even."
"Sounds good." Auggie lounged back in his seat and savored the last few drops of his coffee. His veins happily hummed with the caffeine jolt, and now that his stomach was pleasantly replete, he decided the rest of the day wasn't going to be too hard to suffer through, after all.
The sound of Joan Campbell, their boss, calling Annie's name from across the room drew both their attention. "I'll talk to you later, Auggie. Thanks for the breakfast company." He heard her feet hit the floor and her shoes click off in the direction of Joan's voice.
Auggie grinned towards a vague approximation of where he'd last heard her voice. "Thank you," he said blissfully. He had once thought there was nothing better than starting out the day with a hot cup of coffee and a fresh pastry straight out of the oven. Then again, he never really had minded being proven wrong, especially when it was to his benefit…
Breakfast tomorrow was definitely holding more promise than it had twenty minutes ago.
Firstly, I don't drink coffee, so I hope all my descriptions of the taste of the drink was correct (I'm more of a tea person, so I have to depend on my friends' descriptions when it comes to writing coffee). Secondly, I'm not sure why all of my stories are winding up from Auggie's point of view - they just sort of naturally wind up that way, though I'm hoping to experiment with Annie's point of view shortly. Lastly, thank you all for taking the time to read my fic, and I hope you enjoyed it!