Was this week's episode crazy or WHAT? I think my head is still spinning from all the crap they shoved into one hour. First there was Liza being all skanky (Jai is one thing, but the USA channel CAN'T make me like her), and there was the Natasha thing, and then they actually 'fessed up that Auggie was just using her to find out the leak (I could have swore they were gonna drag that one out until the season finale), and when there weren't weird flirty moments with Jai and Annie it suddenly got super serious with Auggie and Annie and I had pause and think, "Are they…?"

In short, it was one hell of an Auggie episode.

Though, I can admit, if anyone's allowed to get that much tail in one episode, it's definitely a guy who looks like that in a towel. Damn.

This is my latest ep-oneshot for the season, which means there are obvious spoilers for Communication Breakdown (1.07).

I know I said I was planning on writing something set during this week's episode, but after everything that was covered, I couldn't find a good place to base this oneshot. I think I write better afterward because then I can sort of process everything. And I know I don't write nearly enough Auggie-centric oneshots, but I judging on the burst in fics in the last 12 hours, I have a feeling most people are trying for Auggie's p.o.v., so I'll stick to what I know. ;)

$4$

Did you know, when you go it's the perfect ending
To the bad day I was just beginning
When you go, all I know is you're my favorite mistake
You're my favorite mistake

- "My Favorite Mistake," by Sheryl Crow


The last few conversations rang through Annie's head, looping over and over like some demented form of broken record.

This was easily the most difficult and confusing op she had ever been through (including the clusterfuck that was the botched brush pass in Zurich and the guilt trip that came with that Florida senator), and she barely did anything. She spent most of her time chasing Auggie around half of the northeast coast and didn't even get into as much as a scuffle. Any other op, that probably would have been ideal and maybe even fun.

Nope. Not this mission.

She was trying- really trying- not to be too bitter about the whole thing. Everyone had secrets, things they didn't tell anybody else- she was no different. Auggie knew about the mess with Ben, but she never said Ben's name outright and she definitely never mentioned the pooka shell bracelet that was still hanging from the lamp by her bed.

Annie understood the stress with Natasha. In a weird way, she felt a sort of camaraderie with the pretty Russian hacker- they had both been in love, and they were both left in the dust by their respective boyfriends without any sort of warning.

It was bizarre to think that, though. She couldn't imagine Auggie ever being that person- being just like Ben, in fact- and it made her sick to her stomach. He's the person she trusted the most of everyone in the whole damn CIA, and yet he was totally willing to break up with a girl he loved just because the higher ups gave him new orders.

"Anything new on the TV?"

Annie looked up sharply. Danielle had walked into the living room, scaring the bejeezus out of her and breaking her depressing thoughts. She had needed down time after this operation, and she hadn't been spending nearly enough time with her family (even though she lived in the guest house right next door) so she decided to camp out in front of the big HDTV for a while in the living room. Nothing like watching a few hours of mindless drivel to start feeling happy again.

"Not really," she said with a sigh, pushing her blonde locks out of her face and handing her sister the remote. She hadn't been paying attention to the TV at all, too lost in everything that had happened in such a short amount of time.

Danielle flopped down on the opposite end of the couch, flipping through the channels quickly before finally settling on some news program that was winding down.

"-as I've been saying for these last few months, the CIA needs to stop covering up its own mistakes and start opening up to the American public."

Sitting up, Annie's lip curled and she let out a soft yet menacing growl at the television screen. Liza Hearn. "Skank," she mumbled under her breath.

Danielle shot her an alarmed look, neatly shaped eyebrows rising in surprise. "Do you know her or something? I didn't know the Smithsonian had ties with investigative reporters," she said, and Annie could tell she was trying to be jokey but just sounded suspicious.

Letting out a sigh, she slumped back against the couch and tried not to glare too hard at the brunette on the TV. "No, I don't know her," she admitted grudgingly, "I just know her type. She's an investigative reporter, but that just means she's willing to sleep with anything that moves to get the story she needs."

"Whoa, what is with this sudden hostility?" Danielle said, light eyes widening. "Wait, does this have anything to do with that co-worker you're going all green-eyed monster over?"

"No," Annie said, sounding more than a bit like one of her nieces when they were being particularly petulant. "I told you, I'm not jealous. And besides his ex-girlfriend being a little… over the top, she was okay. I liked her enough. I just don't like that scheming Liza Hearn."

Danielle clearly didn't buy that from the look on her face, but instead she turned back to the television, giving the journalist a careful onceover. "I think she's kind of pretty," she commented, tilting her head to the side as though she was examining some great work of art.

She scowled again, watching as Liza continued to whine about "more transparency in the CIA." She wasn't that pretty. She was only pretty if someone was into that dusky, exotic look. And liked muckrakers that were willing to comprise lives to get her story.

And who the hell was into that?

Auggie was, she reminded herself, and she had to hold back the sharp inhale that was threatening to break through the surface. Auggie was apparently willing to sleep with Liza Hearn- technically date, but the thought of using that term made her want to hug a toilet- even though she was the whole reason the CIA was almost falling apart at the seams.

She distantly realized she had grabbed one of Danielle's decorative throw pillows and was now digging her short nails into the fabric. She tried to let go, but every time she did she started grinding her teeth.

Auggie was using her, though. He wasn't actually sleeping with (dating) Liza because he wanted to, he was doing it to figure out who was the actual leak.

In other words, doing exactly what Liza Hearn was doing.

Annie hated that. Natasha was one thing- Auggie truly loved her, truly didn't want to leave her (even though he did eventually)- but Liza… everything about this situation with Liza Hearn made her want to run for the door. She almost wished she hadn't heard his phone, just so she could go on living her life blissfully unaware of Auggie's deceptions.

If it had been any other person, in any other situation, she probably would have found the whole scene amusing. Her, staring in shock as the telephone's electronic voice bleated out "Liza. Hearn." over and over again as Auggie, whose bat ears had finally heard the noise some four repetitions later, immediately jumping for the phone (as though she was really going to answer it), fumbling and knocking everything over to make it shut the hell up.

Funny.

If he hadn't been lying to her all this time.

She knew he was cute.

That was a lie. She knew he was way more attractive than "cute," mostly based on the way filled out that Mario Bros. t-shirt so well and how he could be such a smooth talker without ever coming off as smarmy (even Jai couldn't manage that one all the time).

Auggie was definitely closer to "hot," but the connotations attached to that word were hardly best friend-like (and while she was kind of disappointed in him she knew that wasn't enough for him to stop being her best friend) and after everything that happened in the past few days she was pretty positive they needed to stay best friends only. At least for a while. Definitely not until he dropped Liza like she wasn't hot.

At the end of the day, there had been that moment. In the grand scheme of things, it shouldn't have been there, because while she was happy the op was over and life would somewhat get back to normal, she was still annoyed with him because he was with Liza Hearn, and he was using sex as a weapon, just like her.

But he promised that as soon as it was all over, as soon as she had told him the leak's identity and he reported it to Joan, it would all be over and Liza would be gone. Done. No more sleeping with skanky reporters.

That was when she screwed up. They were standing too close, but she didn't mind because the smell of his soap combined with his fabric softener smelled really good and was comforting and reassuring and everything the Auggie she knew three days ago had in spades. She knew she was probably sending mixed signals because while she hated everything that he was doing with Liza this was still Auggie, her Auggie, and she hadn't been lying that time she called him mesmerizing.

But she believed him- really, truly, from the depths of her soul and all those other parts of her anatomy believed him when he promised her it would be all over. And then that moment of silence passed between them, that reminder that kept occurring with alarming frequency the longer they worked together. It wasn't like the immediate attraction she felt with Ben, or the shameless lust with Jai, it was serious and scary. Permanent scary. There's no going back from here scary.

That was too soon, for the both of them, so instead of doing something rash and dumb like her instincts urged her to try (he wore that Mario Bros. shirt a little too well) she just tugged on the collar of his jacket, straightening out the slightly rumpled fabric. It didn't quite end the moment (because they were still very much invading each other's personal bubbles) but it was a pretty efficient distraction, keeping them both from further toeing the dangerous line they had created on their own.

Annie glanced back at the TV screen, thoughts clouded in what might have been and what might happen. Liza Hearn seemed to have (finally) finished up her latest rant, because she gave the camera this knowing little smirk with a twinkle in her eye, as if to say, "Ha ha, I screwed Auggie Anderson."

Okay. Maybe not that. But it was certainly enough to cause Annie to fantasize for a second about stabbing that twinkle with something sharp and pointy. Preferably a pen.

"Are you sure you're not jealous?" Danielle said slowly, and Annie noticed she was still clutching the throw pillow in a very throttle-like manner. She immediately loosened her grip, her fingers smarting from the death clutch she had had them in for so long.

At the end of the day, Annie wanted to spend time with people because this mission made her feel so disgusted with CIA and life in general. If it had been different, the person she would have spent her time with would have been Auggie, no question. But he was sleeping with (dating) Liza Hearn, and she had this sickeningly sure feeling that calling him would interrupt some interlude she didn't want to know anything about. Damn right ignorance is bliss.

Annie groaned, dropping her head against the back of the couch. "Fine," she said with a groan. "I might be jealous. A little."

"No shit," Danielle said, summing it up so neatly with a sly wink. "Remember, big sister does know all."

And wasn't that the scariest thought of them all.

$4$

Considering its length, this was finished so fast. I only started it late this afternoon, and then just took an extra hour or two out of my day in between classes to zoom through it. It's fairly long compared to most, but that was because there was a ridiculous amount of information to cover and there were little lines and phrases that I knew had to be included in what I had just completed, so I kept adding it on and making it even more in-depth.

This isn't very Annie/Auggie-ish, mostly one-sided, but I did my best. My muse really didn't want to bother with Auggie in this ep-oneshot, and I rarely if ever write Danielle, so I figured it could hurt to throw in some sisterly bonding to counteract the manwhorish-ness that was this latest episode.

Note I don't actually care about the manwhorish-ness, because I am still a red-blooded female and, well, the dude has earned the right to be a manwhore. :)