Disclaimer: I don't own Covert Affairs or any places, things, characters, or ideas therein. Those belong to the USA Network and all writers, producers, etc., of the show. I am making no monetary gain from this fic in any way, shape, or form.

Summary: It must be love, Auggie decided. Otherwise, why would he be insane enough to subject himself to this? Auggie/Annie, spoilers for "I Can't Quit You, Baby"

Rating: K+

Warnings: None

Spoilers: I Can't Quit You, Baby

Pairing: Auggie/Annie

Author's Note: I know some of you are looking for the next update of The Newlywed Affair, and I promise I'm working on it, albeit slowly. Real life and some very frustrating circumstances tied to the story (that I'd really rather not go into right now) have left me with a bit of a mental block, so I can only promise that the next chapter is forthcoming, but not an exact date when I'll be able to post it. So, in a way, I'm posting this story as an apology for not updating TNA in a while. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for reading!

*~It Must Be Love~*

-fyd818-

It must be love, Auggie Anderson decided. Otherwise, why would he be insane enough to subject himself to this?

His head was already throbbing, ever so gently, and he thought longingly of the pills and the bottle of Patron in his desk at the DPD. Since he was being brutally honest (he didn't want to be here, anywhere near here, would probably never come here again), he had to admit that he had brought this all upon himself. He had been the one to take it upon himself to fix the CIA's screw up.

Oh yes, Annie Walker owed him big for this.

"Where's Sak-a-ga-weigh-ah?" A shrill female voice demanded.

"Sacagawea," Auggie muttered to himself.

"And Teddy Roosevelt?" Another chimed in.

"What about Amelia Earhart and General Custard?" The complaints were rising in pitch and frequency.

"Custer!" Auggie resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. "Look, guys, this is the Smithsonian. The real Smithsonian. This place is huge. There's no way we can make it all the way through here in one day, okay? I'm taking you to see all I can, but not everything you're going to see was in Night at the Museum, and not everything in the movie is here."

"My Aunt Annie told me that!" a voice happily chirped from the proximity of his left elbow. "She also told me that this place was really cool. I think she was right, Mr. Auggie." A tiny hand slid into his. "Show us more?"

His heart absolutely melted. Kids had their moments of being enormously infuriating, but they could also be utterly adorable. And Annie's niece definitely belonged in the latter category.

The other little heathens, however…

Auggie wound up keeping the older Brooks sister close to him as they continued the tour. Occasionally she would excitedly chip in with something when they reached an exhibit, saving him from having to keep up his monologue. He heard Danielle's voice murmuring proudly somewhere behind him, and he smiled as he thought about Annie sitting down with her nieces to talk about her cover at the Smithsonian.

For a while it seemed like the day was going to take an upswing. Eventually the kids started to get a bit tired, and some rather bored, so instead of firing questions right and left at him about the differences between the movie and the real thing, they stared complaining about being hungry, being thirsty, needing to go to the bathroom…

…And then he got mobbed.

Less than twelve minutes after he'd relaxed, thinking the worst was over, he became overwhelmed by twenty-nine third graders, all clamoring about how awesome the Smithsonian was, how cool the exhibits were, and that he wasn't quite as funny as Larry Daley, but that he was a close second. He supposed he should have expected that he couldn't top someone as great as Ben Stiller, but he'd had to try.

Over the shouts, the giggles, and the clamors for attention, he heard the voice of his little assistant, coming from an appreciable distance away. He blinked when he realized she was on the phone; he completely blocked out everything around him when he heard her say Aunt Annie.

"Mr. Auggie's even cooler than Larry Daley!"

A warm feeling started in the pit of his stomach, traveling upwards until it had enveloped his chest, crept up his neck, and flushed his cheeks. In the end, it really didn't matter what twenty-nine third graders thought of him. It didn't matter what two parents and four teachers considered when they looked at him. It didn't even matter that Joan was probably going to be seriously ticked off at him when he returned to the DPD after going AWOL for a few hours.

Annie's niece had just given him a more precious compliment than he'd gotten in his entire life, at least since he'd lost his sight. Something about having made the day of the niece of his best friend made him feel accomplished in a way he had thought he never could feel again.

Perhaps he'd let Annie off the hook, just this once. A moment later he laughed wryly at himself, because normally he'd never think about letting someone off the hook after he had to swing something like this for them.

It must be love, he decided. Then he went back to battling the kids, feeling happier than he had in a good long while.

*~The End~*

I know, a piece of total cotton-candy fluff. But this popped into my head and I thought it was sweet, so I wanted to write it. Apologies if everything isn't exactly right dialogue-wise, since I've only seen I Can't Quit You, Baby once, almost a week ago, and I was distracted while I was watching it. I really enjoyed writing this little piece, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!