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Ruth smiled as she looked over to the table where Harry had left Henno and Kathy. She genuinely liked the MI 6 officer. They had met during a training exercise when she was in GCHQ and had remained friends ever since. Kathy was one of the few friends outside of the Grid that hadn't batted an eyelid at her surprise return. She couldn't help but smile as she saw Henno and Kathy sat nervously together, it reminded her of herself and Harry not so long ago.
"Penny for them?" Harry returned to the bar.
"Oh I don't think they are worth even that much. Did you manage to find a taxi?" She could feel Harry's eyes burning in to her skin. It wasn't an unwelcome sensation. Smiling slightly she looked away from her friend as Harry nodded.
"Yes. It'll be here in about ten minutes, if that's ok. I was thinking are you going straight home from here? I mean I didn't want to presume but " He knew he was rambling and looked away. Ruth touched his arm. Things had moved quickly since the explosion at the hotel. She had learnt life was too precious to wait for what you really wanted.
"I'm not going straight back to the flat. Not unless" She was suddenly a little unsure of herself. The noise of Becka and Louis teasing each other and laughing cut through their thoughts.
"I've got some malt somewhere at home. I'm sure Fidget and Muggles would love to see you" He watched at her half smile.
"Just the cats Harry?" She watched as he blushed.
"Well, no not just the cats. I just didn't want to presume that you were, well" Ruth nodded. She understood what he meant. Watching as Kathy and Henno remained oblivious to them as did the remaining members of Red Troop and Section D. She slipped her hand into his.
"Take me home Harry" He smiled at her words. He didn't need to be told twice.
Henno didn't know what to do when Harry had left him with the MI 6 officer. He cursed himself, he had led Red Troop through operations in Colombia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and countless other operations in the UK, Ireland and the rest of the world but he didn't know what to say to the petite blonde in front of him. He swallowed the remains of his drink as he glanced towards Harry and secretly cursed him for putting him in the situation.
"How are you Henno?" Kathy asked.
"Do you want a drink? Um white wine wasn't it?" Henno went to stand up but seeing Kathy shake her head he sat back down.
"No Henno. I won't stay long." She sighed. She had wanted to see him so badly and then when he was in front of her she wanted to run away. She could remember talking about him with Ruth, the only other person who had understood what she was going through. She had been worried about Henno and had been desperate to see him but now she was there she cursed herself for acting like a shy schoolgirl in front of her first crush.
"Why weren't you there today? At the Embassy" Henno decided to keep the conversation on work matters. It was easier. He looked around noticing that Dempsey had left, along with Dave and a few of Section D. He could see Harry and Ruth deep in conversation but the rest of their team had long since left. Even Adam had given up on the barmaid and gone home. He remembered Zoe had a daughter and assumed she had left early to collect her. Kathy touched his arm gently returning his attention to her.
"It was MI5's operation. Not international. My Section Head insisted I keep away. I wanted to be there but Fothergill said it wasn't any of 6's concern." She looked at her hands as Henno covered her smaller one with his larger hand.
"What about you? Was it any of your concern?" He knew he was on dangerous ground but something Harry had said had struck a cord. Grab whatever happiness you can with both hands. He intended to do just that. The MI 5 man was right, he thought. Life was too short, really too short to sit around and wait.
"Of course it was" Kathy hissed. "I wanted to be there. I" She looked away before grabbing her purse from the table.
"Can I walk you home?" The staff sergeant had never been so nervous in his life. She smiled and nodded.
"Yes, I'd like that" Henno stood and followed her out of the pub.
Ros glared out of the window in her flat. The night sky was illuminated by the streetlights and car headlights passing below her window. Lucas was watching her. She had scared him today and she knew it. The incident where she had asked him to kill her would be etched in his mind forever. He knew it would fuel his nightmares as much as his time in Russia ever could.
"Ros" He watched as she turned to face him, completely expressionless. "TOday you meant it. Didn't you?"
"What?" She knew exactly what he was referring to.
"When you had Carlos in front of you. You wanted me to shoot him knowing the bullet would go through his body and kill you. Like Jo" He watched as her eyes clouded over.
"Lucas. It was the only way" She shrugged "I didn't see another way until Becka Gallagher spoke up." Lucas held her gaze. He knew she was lying. He stepped towards her. He was suddenly angry that she had so little respect for her own life.
"Never ask me to do that again. You may not care what happens to you but I do. A lot of people do. You have a death wish Ros Myers, you put yourself directly in the field of fire" His voice was low as he held her gaze. He knew she would never appologise for the position she had put him in. To her it was operational necessity, if she died then so be it.
"Lucas" She held his gaze as he stepped towards her. His hands found their way to her waist.
"You don't get it do you? Jo was never the same after what happened to her. I read the file Ros. Adam told me she asked him to kill her, begged him to. She was already on self destruct when she came back to work. You think she would want you blaming yourself? You think she died thinking you would slowly kill yourself over it? The best way you can repay Jo Portman is to live." Ros closed her eyes.
"Spare me the psychobabble please" She sighed.
"No. I love you Ros Myers. If something happens to you it happens to me. You have to understand that" He bent his head slightly and kissed her. Ros paused for a moment before wrapping her arms around him and kissing him back.
Becka walked back to barracks with Louis and Dave. The explosive expert knew his two friends would have terrible headaches in the morning. But then he reasoned Dempsey had brought it on himself, telling them to go and enjoy a little R&R. Louis was teasing Becka about the operation when she had been forced to save him. Dave shook his head, Louis went to far sometimes.
"So there I am thinking my number is well and truly up" He shook his head. "My head feels like it's about to explode, my arm is hanging off and this numbskull has a bleeding AK47 pointed at me. Henno's friend sold us out! Only I'm the last to know that arent I? I mean super woman there didn't even tell me!" He pointed at Becka who had suddenly stopped laughing.
"Leave it" Dave interjected.
"Nah let him say what he's going to say" Becka held Louis gaze "I'm sorry Dave, but he's been brewing this since we got home" Suddenly the teasing had stopped and turned deadly serious. Louis looked at the floor momentarily before catching her eye again.
"I was only having a laugh"
"None of us knew we were going to be sold out. None of us Louis, not until it was too late." Becka kept her voice low as Dave nodded. "Henno trusted the bloke"
"Well he shouldn't have" Louis spat
"We know that now. I'm sorry I wasn't fast enough." Becka sighed. "I should have been fast enough, Finn would have been, you would have been Dave" She was suddenly more sober than she had been leaving the pub. Dave shrugged. Becka was much faster than him, and the reason he was still alive after triggering a land mine a year earlier. Louis shrugged.
"Finn would have left me to rot. Shut up you dozy cow. I'll live I always do" He threw an arm around her neck "Stop being a bloody girl!" He laughed as Becks thumped him in the chest. Dave shook his head. It had been a good day at the office. He followed the others into the Barracks wondering what was next for Red Troop and when they'd cross paths with Section D again.
authors note. Well thats all folks! Please let me know what you think :D