Title: Hindsight is 20/20
Author: Takada Saiko
A/N: I'm going to regret doing this. Gabrielle Day and I are working on a mutli-chapter Sherlock (BBC) fic now and I'm starting this on my own. Ugh. Well, at least it's between semesters at school, so maybe it'll get done. I just discovered this show the other day and have been watching the eps on hulu for the last couple. I absolutely adore the chemistry between Auggie and Annie. Hope you enjoy the story!
Annie Walker had been stuck behind a desk for the better part of the evening and into what some might consider the night, filling out paperwork on her latest assignment. She was glad to have it behind her, sorry to have had to call her sister to tell her to set one less plate at the dinner table, and sure that there was a seat somewhere in Allen's Tavern that was just calling her name once the paperwork had been appropriately filed and settled. She knew she was right about the name calling when she entered the Agency's seemingly regular bar to see her favorite tech geek sitting on the porch. She resisted the urge to smile when she saw him nursing a glass of Jack and attempting to end the conversation with a pretty girl that looked like she hadn't made an intelligent statement yet.
"Auggie," she greeted, laying a free hand on his shoulder to announce her presence.
Auggie Anderson seemed to rouse from his stupor and inclined slightly towards Annie. A smile lit his face. "Annie Walker, finally pull yourself away from work?"
"Don't get me started," she groaned. She glanced over at the girl and noted the irritated look.
"If you'll forgive us…Meredith," Auggie said to the girl, looking as if he might have forgotten her name amongst the mindless jabbering. "Annie was supposed to meet me here tonight."
"Oh… yeah," the girl responded and stood, leaving without an other word.
Annie had to suppress a giggle. "I wish you could have seen the look on her face. It was priceless. What was she going on about anyway?"
"I couldn't even tell you at this point," Auggie sighed. "Regardless, I think I owe you a drink for saving what's left of my sanity."
The blonde grinned and sipped at her beer. "So, were you planning to sit here tonight or -"
"To be honest," he answered, his voice slightly rushed, "I was kind of hoping you'd be here tonight."
Annie felt her face heat up suddenly and she was glad he couldn't see it. She knew, though, if she were forced to speak he'd hear the embarrassment from her.
"You have this weekend off, right?"
"Yeah, but you know how that goes," she responded after a moment and several sips from her drink.
Auggie took a deep breath, as if steadying himself for what he was about to say. "Okay, well, I've got a favor to ask you, and don't feel like you have to say yes, alright?"
Annie laughed at this. "Alright?" she managed.
"Every year my mom throws this big birthday party for me. She drags the neighborhood into it sometimes and it's all way over the top… It's actually kind of a pain…" He took a long drink of his Jack and Coke. "Well, you see, I didn't go last year because Joan had me working, so I'm in kind of deep to come this year. I was wondering… if maybe you'd like to come along."
Annie had been watching him as he stumbled through his entire awkward request, noting that he was now blushing and seemed to be hiding behind his quickly dwindling drink. She sat in shock, almost unsure of what to say. She and Auggie often went out for drinks, and at times if they both had a free weekend they would catch a movie – something that she'd found to be an interesting experience with him leaning over and asking for descriptions of the scenes that he couldn't put together from the dialogue – but he had never asked her in any sort of a serious tone. As far as she knew, they had never been on anything that she might have considered a date, and she wasn't sure how to take this request to go home with him for a weekend.
"You can say no," he reminded her when she didn't answer. "It just… all of my brothers will be there and it'd be nice to have a friend at my side. It always gets hectic."
A friend by his side. Annie gave a soft smile and placed a hand on top of his. "I'll have to get it cleared with Joan, you know."
"I think she'll clear you."
"You've already talked to her."
A grin that gave away just how embarrassed he was over the entire conversation spread across his face. "Well, that's on a need-to-know basis."
Annie laughed and gave his hand a squeeze. "That's fine then. I didn't have any plans for the weekend anyway."
"Good," Auggie responded, nodding slightly and sipping at his drink only to find ice rushing to meet his lips. He frowned at it. "When did I drink all of that?"
"Oh, as you were rushing through asking me if I'd go home with you to meet your mom," Annie joked, nudging him slightly. She signaled for two more of what they had. "You know… I've never heard you talk about your family. What should I expect?"
Auggie sighed heavily. "They're fine… normal, I guess. I'm the youngest of five brothers."
"Good grief," she mumbled.
"Yeah… I was the runt," he grinned. "Am still the runt. Mom and Dad still live in Glencoe and the others live close by. Brant's the oldest. He's married with a kid on the way. I don't think his wife like's me too much."
"I missed their wedding because I was sent to Iraq," he said quietly. He shrugged, accepting his next drink from the waitress that set it right in front of him. "Anyway, second down from Brant is Peyton. He's married and divorced already… Kind of a big kid. Hugh and Dixon are worse. They were high school jocks and never really grew out of it. Then there's me."
"The baby of the family?"
"Yeah… I don't think Mom really meant to have any more after Dixon."
Annie laughed. "Your mom dotes on you?"
"More than I'd like and especially… Well, she thinks I should have moved home after I lost my sight. It's been a long-standing argument."
Annie watched him carefully as he spoke, noting his expression growing thoughtful and slightly darker than she was used to. "I'm sure she just never grew out of the mom and little boy stage," she murmured quietly. "I know my mom still likes to play the over-indulging mother part every once and a while."
Auggie nodded. "I guess. Anyway, I'll get everything squared away with the plane tickets tonight. I should probably head on home."
"If you wait a few I can drive you."
A smile crossed the blind agent's lips. "Annie, what would I do without you?"
A/N: Please feed my review addiction.