I do not own Covert Affairs, or any of its associated characters and storylines. No material gain is intended or sought through the publishing of this story. (I can, however, be bribed with reviews and/or chocolate.)


Annie's sing-song chanting of his name was usually a foreshadowing of doom- his doom. The handsome tech-ops agent flung his hands in the air and turned to face the sound of her voice. "No. I will not, under any circumstances, baby-sit your nieces, wash your neighbor's dog, or go to a barbeque with Jai Wilcox."

She laughed, hard. He liked to imagine what she looked like when she laughed. Did she throw her head back and arch that long neck of hers? (He'd had one or two occasions to touch her- purely professionally, of course.) Did those big brown eyes sparkle, the skin wrinkling at the corners? Did her fair skin flush? Did…

"Auggie?" The playful, wheedling, tone was gone. She touched his arm. Both touch and voice were tinged with concern. He'd been standing there, in his blue oxford shirt, black vest, and entirely indecent tight jeans grinning at her in mock surrender. Then his face changed. He had that look he got when he was listening intently to something in his headphones. He wasn't wearing headphones, though, and there wasn't much that could make him look so … sad.

"Where were you?"

He shook his head, unwilling to dive into deeper emotional waters. "Just wondering how high a price to ask for the favor that you are, inevitably, about to ask me for."

She pouted. He was so arrogant, sometimes. The petulant little-girl part of her wanted to turn around and stalk right back out of his office. Sadly, though, she needed his help. Again. Really, it was galling how often she had to turn to this man for help. She vaguely recalled being an independent free-spirit before meeting August Anderson. Where had the self-assured world traveler gone? Why was she suddenly a clingy, helpless waif?

Auggie's voice interrupted her thoughts. "Ok, now where did you go?"

She smiled. Her fondness for him transformed her features. "Sorry. It's a wonder we get anything done around here."

Auggie adopted his superior tone and stance. "I was working, before someone started singing my name."

"I wasn't singing! But I won't keep you. I was going to ask if you'd help me out and be my plus one at this function I have to attend for my Smithsonian cover. Joan says I cannot get out of it and it is black tie."

He cocked his head to one side and pursed his lips. "Hmm. I have to dress up?"

"Yes. I'm sure you remember how." She was trying to keep a straight face, but she sensed the humor in his tone.

"Will there be lots of hot, lonely, bored, museum types?"

Annie's whole face wrinkled in pert disgust. "I don't think hot and museum should EVER go together, Auggie. But, yes, there will be champagne and young women. There might even be desperate young interns with half a brain cell."

"Sold. When are you picking me up?"

"You are so damned easy."

"Don't you wish you knew how easy?" He waived his hand in a shooing motion. "Be gone, temptress. Adults are working here."

She stuck her tongue out at him, not caring in the least that he couldn't tell what she was doing. Hmph. Maybe she should have asked Jai, after all.