Author's Note: First story in this fandom. Hope it doesn't suck...I'm not sure I'm comfortable in this playground yet, but since we saw little of Auggie and Annie interacting in WIAWNSB I thought I'd take a stab at writing the ep. from Auggie's point of view. It won't be more than about 5 chapters, if that.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, or anything to do with Covert Affairs on USA. I'm making no profit from this work of fiction. It's just for fun. I have nothing worth suing over. I did borrow a few bits of dialogue from episode 8.
Summary: "My problem is, I like you, and I'll always want to cover for you." (Auggie to Annie, WIAWNSB - 1x08) Just how much did Auggie cover for Annie when she went on an unsanctioned op with no backup? Implied Auggie/Natasha, implied Auggie/Liza, Auggie/Annie friendship with hints of something deeper.
Auggie was returning from his daily briefing with Joan when the strident beep of an "access denied" alert, accompanied by a sharp intake of breath caught his attention. He didn't need the subtle waft of citrus to tell him the guilty party was Annie Walker.
"Right on time, Annie," he thought, grinning knowingly as he counted back the weeks in his head. She'd been with the Company just long enough for her curiosity to overcome her fear of committing a security breach. He wondered which particular conspiracy theory she'd decided to query, and couldn't resist teasing her.
"Uh-oh, I know that sound! Access denied," he said gleefully. "Someone's gonna throw a net over your head in five...four...three..."
"Har har," Annie replied acerbically. "I mock your attempt at humor."
"So, what are you researching? JFK's assassination?"
"Uh, no. Just a blown password. I'm checking on something for Joan."
Auggie paused a moment, his smile fading slowly. Annie was lying to him; he could hear it in her voice. Whatever she was searching for wasn't necessarily a big deal. Even after a few months on the job she was still a rookie. Her clearance was restricted to data concerning operations she was directly involved in, and cases that were considered required reading for farm-fresh recruits. Still, the fact that she felt it necessary to try to deceive him bothered him more than he cared to admit. He was unsettled enough to make another lame attempt at a joke – though one that had some truth to it.
"Be careful. The walls around here have ears and eyes," he said. "Try to avoid committing any major felonies."
Annie didn't respond. He hoped she was merely engrossed in her work rather than offended by his teasing. He turned to head back to his office, only to stop short when he heard another obnoxious beep.
Annie tittered nervously. "Damn password," she murmured.
"At least turn down your speakers," Auggie said in a stage-whisper.
Again, Annie didn't answer. Something was up with her, he was sure of it now. He resolved to catch her before she left after work to try and suss her out. He had one of those feelings that left his scalp crawling and sent goosebumps down his arms. Annie had been the cause of too many of those sensations during her short tenure at the CIA, and they usually involved her hurling herself into mortal peril. He didn't think he could take another close call with Annie so quick on the heels of the fiasco with Tash.
An hour later he heard the sharp staccato of Annie's heels as she walked down the hall past the open glass doors of his office.
"Hey, Annie, do you have a minute?" he called.
Her steps paused in front of the door but she didn't step past the threshold.
"Sorry, Auggie, can it wait?" she said briskly. "Joan asked me to help with translating the audio from a surveillance feed and I was just on my way to deliver the results. I'll catch up with you when I get back," she called as she continued past the door. She hadn't stopped long enough to give him the chance to argue, and he didn't want to make a scene by calling her back. So he waited.
Half an hour later, he could no longer ignore the nagging feeling that something was amiss. Annie hadn't returned to her desk, and, after a quick circuit around the floor (including a brief inspection of the ladies room) failed to reveal the scent of her perfume, he came to the conclusion she had left the office. Cursing softly to himself, he returned to his office and dialed her blackberry, breathing a sigh of relief when she answered.
"Hey Auggie. What's up?" she asked breezily.
"Annie, where are you?"
"Um, on my way home," she answered, sounding puzzled. "Why?"
"I wanted to talk to you, remember?"
He heard a smacking sound, as if she had slapped her forehead with her hand.
"Oh, God, Auggie, I'm sorry. The girls have a thing at school and I promised Danielle I'd be there so I left a few minutes early. I completely forgot. What did you want to talk to me about?"
Auggie began to feel a little foolish. Annie sounded perfectly normal. Maybe he was being paranoid. Seeing Tash again after all these years had put him into a tailspin. It would probably be months before he got over her losing her for the second time. Not knowing where Tash was or if she was in danger had him on edge and had probably magnified his natural tendency to be overprotective of Annie. Transference would probably be the official diagnosis, he thought, giving himself a mental shake. He cleared his throat awkwardly before answering.
"It was nothing important. Why don't you come by my place after you're done and we can talk then?"
There was a brief pause before she replied, "I thought your ladyfriend took up most of your evenings these days."
Auggie sighed at the tone in Annie's voice, the one that made him feel as if he was about three inches tall and covered in slime. "She's out of town on an assignment and won't be back until Friday."
Annie chuckled lightly into the phone. "So what you're really saying is that you're bored and want some company?"
Auggie grinned, glad the conversation had returned to a lighter note. "That, and takeout. How does Thai sound?"
"Mmm, it sounds great. I've been craving Tom Yum. Would nine be too late? I don't think I can get away before then."
"Nine is good. Just give me a call when you're on your way. And have fun with the girls."
"Huh? Oh, yeah, I will. Bye, Auggie."
Auggie disconnected the call and began the process of shutting down his computer for the evening. Footsteps sounded outside his door, and he waved to whomever might be waiting outside, indicating they should enter. As the door slid open with a whisper, Auggie's olfactory senses were immediately assaulted by a blast of Jai Wilcox's Polo Double Black.
"Jai," Auggie replied, not bothering to look in his coworker's direction as he flipped switches and straightened his desktop.
"On your way out?"
"Yep," Auggie answered shortly. He knew what Jai's next question would be, and he was unable to keep the irritation out of his voice. Three...two...one...
"Seen Annie?" Jai asked, trying to sound casual. It was all Auggie could do not to laugh.
Auggie knew he could have been more polite, but Jai Wilcox rubbed every nerve he had the wrong way. Auggie knew he, himself had a reputation for playing fast and loose with women, but he at least didn't brag about his conquests the next day. His stomach rolled sickeningly at the thought that Annie was next on Jai's list, knowing there wasn't much he could do to stop it. He was surprised she'd held out this long. Jai's record for "breaking in" a rookie stood at 36 hours, and Annie was his favorite type...petite, blonde, and smart enough to know better. In other words, she was a challenge.
"Really?" Jai said skeptically. "I would have sworn I saw her stop by earlier. Thought she might want to grab a drink after work. You're welcome to come too, of course," he added as an afterthought.
Auggie's irritation quickly changed to smoldering resentment. This evening was the first opportunity he'd had to spend any time with Annie outside of work since his impromptu railway adventure. He missed the easy friendship he and Annie had shared before she'd found out about both Tash and Liza. He was looking forward to the chance to talk with her and hopefully clear the air, and he'd be damned if he let Wilcox circumvent his plans.
"Come to think of it, Jai, she did pop in and mention she had to leave early. Family night with the girls, a school function or something," Auggie supplied. "Said she'd be busy all evening."
"Odd. She didn't mention anything about it this morning."
"I wasn't aware the two of you were coordinating your schedules these days," Auggie said icily. "Anything else I can do for you, Jai?"
"No. Have a good one."
Auggie breathed a sigh of relief when Jai was gone. Before he left, he snapped on his ionic air filter, hoping that by morning the lingering scent of Jai's cologne would have dissipated. On the way down in the elevator, he was chagrined to find himself whistling happily, anticipating a pleasant evening for the first time in weeks.