Author's Note: This was written early on in Season 1, before we'd seen Auggie's apartment, so certain details are bound to be wrong. :)
Annie tossed her car keys into her desk drawer and glanced at her inbox. The file from the case they'd wrapped yesterday awaited her closing statement before she submitted it, and then she just had to sign off on a few of her expenditures from the previous week and she'd almost be caught up.
First, though, she wanted coffee.
She stood up, and automatically headed towards Auggie's office. Chances were he'd already have coffee, but he usually came in early enough that he'd be ready for a refill by now. When she arrived, though, she found the office empty, and it was immediately clear that he hadn't even been in yet. His computer was still in sleep mode, his coffee cup sat clean and empty on his desk, and there was no sign at all that he'd even sat at his desk all morning.
She frowned, considering. In the sixth months she'd been working there, she'd never seen him take a day off. She knew he had; he'd told her about the vacation he'd taken in Florida the previous year over beers one night. But she'd never seen him not show up for work, and she couldn't imagine that he'd suddenly decide it was time for another vacation without even mentioning it to her.
Had he mentioned anything to her? She went over her most recent conversations with him in her head as she started back towards her desk. Yesterday had been a relatively normal day…
Annie stopped dead, remembering a mysterious phone call Auggie had taken yesterday afternoon. He'd been over at her desk, teasing her about her heels again, suggesting that next time someone attacked her she could use her shoes as weapons since the heels could probably penetrate someone's skull. She'd laughed and answered that she was willing to perform the experiment if he were willing to be her test subject… but then Stu had suddenly leaned out of the tech room and announced that Auggie had "Bravo 2 on line 3."
She remembered being confused, since as far as she knew he wasn't working on any active cases with the current one closed, but when he'd emerged from his office a few minutes later and resumed his teasing, she'd forgotten all about it.
Annie redirected her steps towards the upper level intent on asking Joan. If anyone knew exactly where Auggie was, and when he'd be in, it was the head of the DPD.
Annie found Joan at her desk scrutinizing something in a file folder in front of her. She probably would've walked away and waited for a better time, but Joan immediately spoke without even glancing up.
"File ready, Annie?" Joan raised her eyes to Annie still hesitating in the doorway.
Rather than make and excuse, Annie went with the direct approach. "Do you know where Auggie is?"
Annie sighed, and fought the urge to roll her eyes. "Do you know when he'll be back?"
Joan shrugged. "I can't say for sure, Annie. Definitely not today. Do you need his help with that file, or are you just being nosy?"
Before Annie could answer, Joan continued in a slightly softer tone. "I know you're friends, Annie, but Auggie is as much an agent as you are. You have to get used to the fact that you might not always know where he is and what he's doing. Finish the file."
Annie turned sharply and left, barely resisting the urge to retort something that only would've made Joan more irritated.
She finished her segment of the file and dropped it off with Joan ten minutes later.
That night on the way home, she found herself veering towards Auggie's apartment. It was stupid, really. It wasn't as if he had a car she'd find outside his place to prove he hadn't left. Even if he were home, the lights would probably be out and she'd never know he was there.
Unless she knocked.
Just to be sure…
Annie parked and crossed the small courtyard to Auggie's front door. She knocked gently, not wanting to draw the attention of the neighbors.
"Auggie? Are you home?" she called, just loud enough to be heard from the inside (she hoped).
She leaned forward when she thought she heard the sound of a TV inside. She knocked again, with a little more force, and called a little louder.
After what seemed like forever, but was probably closer to thirty seconds, the door finally opened. There stood her friend, looking rather disheveled and confused.
"Annie? What are you doing here?"
The sound of his voice, combined with his appearance told Annie everything she needed to know. He must've called in sick. Now Annie felt herself blushing at her own stupidity. She'd been worried about conspiracies, and secret missions, and Auggie had obviously stayed home from work because of an illness.
"Annie? What's going on?"
His voice brought her out of her own embarrassed musings. "What? Can't a girl check on her friend? I came to see how you were doing."
She watched him process that statement, and it was obvious that his thoughts were moving a lot slower than normal.
"M'fine," he finally said. Then his hand wandered to his wrist, and not finding a watch there he asked, "What time's it?"
"Do you have a fever? Have you taken anything? Because you sound really out of it, Auggie." She decided if she were going to pretend she'd come just to check him while he was sick, she'd better actually do it. "Can I come in?"
Auggie stepped back from the door, letting it swing wide to let her in. Annie watched as he shuffled uncertainly to a couch in the middle of his living room. He wasn't using his cane, which wasn't surprising since he didn't tend to in places he was very familiar with, but Annie noticed that he seemed to keep one of his hands either braced on a wall or a piece of furniture almost the entire time he was up.
"Are you really okay? You look a little unsteady." Annie tried not to let her worry show too much in her tone. She knew her friend hated being coddled.
"Cold medicine makes me a little dizzy, that's all." He sat down and plucked small damp towel from the seat next to him. "There's beer in the fridge, if you want. Might be some sandwich stuff around, too." He leaned back and laid the towel over the top half of his face.
Annie stood in the middle of the living room staring down at her friend. It irritated her to realize that Joan could have simply told her that Auggie had called in sick. Instead, she'd been vague and made it sound as if Auggie was out doing something dangerous. He's as much an agent as you are, she'd said. It's no wonder she'd begun to imagine half a dozen scenarios involving field work, each one more dangerous than the last.
"Okay, you're not allowed to stand there staring at me."
Auggie's voice brought her back to the present again. "Sorry, I was just thinking about something Joan said earlier."
She shook off her irritation at Joan and focused on her friend. "So, when was the last time you took something? And what are you taking, anyway?" She turned in a slow circle, taking in the layout of the apartment. It wouldn't take her long to find the bathroom – that was probably where he kept his medicine.
Auggie sat up and took the towel off his face. "Annie, no. I'm a big boy. I appreciate your concern, but I don't need it, okay? I can take my medicine all by myself, and you can get yourself a beer, or you can leave." He sat back again and sighed. "Just don't move anything, okay? I need to have everything exactly where I left it."
Annie frowned. She didn't understand why he suddenly sounded so irritated with her. She acted the same way when her sister was sick – it had nothing to do with him being blind. Annie just tended to want to help people she cared about. She opened her mouth to explain, when Auggie beat her to the punch.
"Sorry if I sound short tempered, but I'm sick, Annie. I'm not good company right now. You're probably better off coming back another time." He eased himself down until he was laying across the length of the couch, his face pressed into the back cushions.
Auggie woke to the sound of his portable alarm clock. He turned on the couch, and groped towards the side table, shutting it off before it made his head any worse. Time for more medicine, apparently. He hit the button on the top of the clock and listened as the digital voice told him it was 5 in the morning. He sat up carefully, but was happy to find that he was a lot less dizzy than the previous day. He also noticed that his sense of smell was returning, much to his relief. Except…
Was that grapefruit? He vaguely recalled Annie stopping by, but he hadn't thought she would stay. Where was she? He felt along the length of the couch until he reached the end where he knew there was an overstuffed armchair sitting at a right angle from the edge – and yes – there was a leg. Judging by the position of the leg, and the intermittent snoring he was just now noticing, Annie had spent the night in his arm chair.
Auggie seriously doubted she had any idea how much the gesture meant. He'd had women in his bed before, but never any that would willingly sleep all night in his arm chair just to make sure he was okay. If he weren't careful, Annie would end up owning too much of his heart. God, woman. What am I going to do with you?