Disclaimer: I do not own Covert Affairs...I could only BE so fortunate as to create such fabulous characters!

Author's Note: I am humbled. Over 100 reviews! Thank you to all of you who reviewed (zoraya h, pearlofeuphoria, jade-angel5, Gonzo76, Griffinesque, scubagurl22, RLBB, Jtrevizo, peanutmeg, alice2104, kcarter1, call2wrshp, bndiniowa, imtweetybird, Miss-Gypsy-of-Creativity, kiwibrazillian99, Millemini, GarnetFox, LittleMissIsabelle, MuttsandMoggies, Queequegg, liferscove2118, babyluv360, Spyridon, FB, zebraboymom, Cynthus, Angels-heart1, Hmtaylor, EnsignRo, LeighJ, jgirl6281, cloudydays, BaltimoreJaxs, Kimberly-A, SakuraMoon8, splashes-of-silver, and Morgan – hope I didn't forget anyone and if I did I apologize!)! I enjoyed talking to each and every one of you! :) To those who Alerted and didn't review...I thank you too! :)

The end is satisfying to me (and this is probably T+ at the moment, but not enough for an M – at least I certainly don't think so). So without further ado...

Song: Lifehouse - Everything

Chapter 8: Everything

An undisclosed time in the future...

A moment of truth is a critical or decisive time on which much depends: a crucial moment. Auggie once explained that a single brave individual's action can change the shape of war and, while no one can predict how one might react in a crisis, if the choice was cowardice or bravery there was only one option. Feeling the steady rhythm of a heartbeat beneath her ear in that unique state of consciousness right before becoming fully aware. A smile tugged at the corner of her lips as she inhaled deeply, her senses alive with a feeling associated with protection and comfort. Of home. As a small beam of sunlight caught the corner of her eye, Annie Walker slowly traced the lines of his well-defined abdomen memorizing him in a way that only he had memorized her. These were the moments she cherished the most before life became hectic and reality intruded upon their carefully constructed cocoon.

"Five more minutes," he grumbled as he arched into her touch, rolling toward her and pulling her closely to him as his unruly curls tickled her forehead.

Annie chuckled softly as she wrapped her arms around his waist, allowing her fingertips to ghost over his strong back and kissed his chest right above his heart. She felt his lips connect with the top of her head signaling his gradual acceptance that morning had indeed come. When his own fingers began to roam over her back, sliding over her shoulders to trace a sensual line down her arm only to retrace their paths, it was clear that he was in a playful mood.

"Auggie," she whispered as her body shivered beneath his touch, her eyes closing as she slowly became lost in the sensations.

His lips brushed over the sensitive curve of her neck tracing a path up to her ear where he whispered, "Five more minutes, Annie."

Annie placed her hands flat against his chest, gasping involuntarily as he latched onto a particularly sensitive spot at the base of her neck, "You are not a five minute man, Auggie."

A husky chuckle in her ear sent another chill straight to her core as the infuriating man ignored her protestation and continued to explore her neck at his leisure. Closing her eyes she allowed herself to become lost in his touch. Every moment of every day felt like this when she was with him. He knew every single inch of her – body, mind, and soul. He always had from the moment he'd retrieved her on her first day at Langley. To admit any of that, of course, would only cause the object of her affection to say something sarcastic in an attempt to minimize her embarrassment for having thought it or uttered it in the first place. That was her Auggie. Her Auggie. In one crucial moment she had almost thrown it all away.

The moment Annie opened her eyes the events of the previous night came flooding back. Her heart plummeted as she remembered knocking on Auggie's door (well attempting to anyway) and being discovered. She'd told him everything. Every fear and every thought she'd had while in Germany. Fear coiled low in her belly and immediately felt embarrassed by her behavior. Swallowing the ever present lump in her throat Annie attempted to slide out of bed only to find that she was being held firmly in place by a rather strong grip.

"I could hear the wheels turning," came the sleep laden voice of the man beside her, his face still buried in his pillow, "You're a noisy thinker, Walker."

Annie froze at his words and tried to sit up but found his grip only tightened, "Let me go, Auggie."

"Nope," he told her as he rolled to his side, pulling her closer to so that her body molded against his allowing him to rest his chin on top of her head.

"Auggie!" she cried out, her eyes going wide as he held her firmly and maintained a steady, even cadence to his breathing.

"Stop running, Annie," he whispered as he kissed the top of her head.

She could feel the beat of his heart through her shirt and felt all of the fight go out of her. Shifting her body around so that she could face him, she looked into his eyes and could only see the love and concern he felt for her. This was the crucial moment when she realized that no matter what dark thoughts she had in her head, he would always be there to pull her back. This was the crucial moment when she realized that it was all right to let him.

With an impressive display of athleticism, Auggie managed to roll Annie onto her back and settle between her legs without even releasing her neck from the assault by his lips. Annie groaned thinking that once again he simply enjoyed showing off entirely too much. Her arms circled around his back as she wrapped a leg around his waist in an attempt to break his single-minded concentration.

"Auggie," she sighed as his lips began to travel over her clavicle to her breastbone and then slowly downward, "You're distracting me!"

She felt his smile upon her skin as he nipped the tender flesh, "That is the point, Annie."

Running her fingers through his hair she rolled her eyes, his lips continuing their exploration between her breasts and down to her abdomen, "Appointment. Soon."

"Shhhh," the low rumble in his chest made her toes curl, "I told you five more minutes."

Five more minutes. When the stakes are high it seems like time runs at a stand still. Annie's leg bounced slightly as she once again glanced from her watch to the brass wall clock high above Arthur's secretary's desk. The clock was a relic from the Cold War, reliable but distinctly lacking in fashion sense with its large numbers mocking her. It had to be broken. Every time she looked up it seemed to be exactly 10:55am. She was going absolutely stir crazy! She opened the folder one more time and began to peruse the contents in a futile attempt to distract her from the fact she was going to destroy that clock if it didn't move!

"Director Campbell will see you now, Agent Walker," Arthur's secretary announced sweetly as the damned clock clicked to 11:00.

Annie huffed, pasted a faux smile on her face, and rose from her chair with as much grace as she could muster after plotting the demise of a Cold War era clock. If the situation before her weren't so critical she probably would have laughed at her internal monologue – or was it dialogue. Focus Annie. She made her way inside the large office and nodded to Arthur who sat behind a large, mahogany desk and to Joan who sat directly in front of him.

"Annie," Arthur acknowledged as he motioned for her to sit, "Welcome back. To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"This," Annie tossed the file at him, wondering at the prudence of such an action then dismissing it just as quickly, and sat in the chair adjacent to Joan.

Joan raised an eyebrow as she watched Arthur slowly pick up the file folder, "Do you care to explain?"

"That folder contains a full account of what happened to me in Afghanistan including the origin of the intelligence allegedly sent by Ben Mercer requesting my presence," she stood tall, rigid, and her voice was calm and even.

"I've read the report, Annie,"Arthur shrugged as he slid his finger under the cover but pausing before flipping it open, "That doesn't explain why you're here."

"Call off the dogs, Arthur," she told him evenly, "I know the intel was planted by NCS as a means to cause Ben Mercer to surface. It worked once so why not do it again?"

Joan frowned as her eyes met Arthur who, for his part, looked sufficiently surprised by this revelation, "Did you know about this Arthur?"

Arthur shook his head slowly as he opened the folder, his face darkening with anger, "No."

"There is also a communique from an unnamed NCS operative that authorized the attempt on Auggie's life in Montreal," Annie revealed clinically even though every fiber in her being wanted to leap across the desk and pummel Arthur Campbell despite his lack of involvement in the entire sordid situation.

"Wha-what?" Joan raised an eyebrow, flinching slightly as her face suddenly became tight with unleashed fury.

"The thought was if his life were in danger I might be more amenable to securing Ben Mercer," Annie told them matter-of-factly as she clasped her hands in front of her body, "I suppose that was the only thing NCS got right in all of this."

Arthur frowned as he perused the evidence, "I had no idea-"

Annie held a hand up to stop him and turned to Joan, "I know. But this ends now. Never again. I hand over Ben Mercer and you make it clear to the DNI that there is no relationship with that man that I care to have."

"You have Ben Mercer?" the shock in Arthur's voice was not lost on Annie, "He eluded us in Germany."

"I know," Annie smirked, her eyes flashing dangerously, "He didn't elude me."

"You have Ben Mercer?" Arthur repeated as he rose from his chair, his palms flat on his desk as he searched her face for the answer.

"Who do you think gathered that intelligence?" Annie shrugged and looked at her nails in a move that could have only been influenced by the Head of DPD Tech Ops.

"Where?" Arthur virtually salivated.

"In writing," Annie told him as she tapped her finger on the desk before leaning back in her chair, a feeling of satisfaction washing over her.

"Done," Arthur smiled as his eyes grew wide with the possibilities.

"There's no guarantee he won't run off again," Annie remarked as she rose from her chair and straightened her pencil skirt, "Ben is his own man. I won't be dragged into his spy-soap spera-shit again."

"Of course, Annie," Joan answered for Arthur as she, too, rose from her chair and reached out to squeeze the younger woman's shoulder."

Annie nodded to Joan appreciatively before turning back to Arthur one last time to deliver one final message, "One last thing that I want known before I leave you to draft that letter. If ever the Agency thinks to use my relationship with Auggie to further its own agenda or to harm him in any way...I will show you just how dirty I'm willing to get."

In that critical moment, Arthur and Joan Campbell recognized that it was better to have her on their side than against them. Besides, who they really wanted was Ben Mercer and Annie had neither the time nor inclination to waste another moment on the man. Yes, he'd saved her life several times but he'd endangered it because of his reckless choices. He never meant to cause her pain and harm, but that was exactly what he did. If it's one thing that Annie Walker knew it was that she didn't want to hurt anymore.

Annie squirmed under his skillful ministrations and tried in vain to wriggle out of his grasp. It wasn't that she didn't enjoy the attention, but she had something on her mind that she needed to talk about before she drove herself crazy. Auggie would probably tell her that she'd gone crazy long ago given that she was trying to stop him from making love to her.

"I have my answer for you," she told him quickly and his entire body stiffened at the words.

He looked up from his position at her abdomen, a look of confusion marring his face as he tried desperately to figure out what she meant, "Ok, you lost me."

"I can't keep doing this, Aug," she told him quietly, the tears stinging her eyes as she searched his face for understanding.

Sighing heavily he rolled off of her, capitulation that his fun was now over (for the moment), and he pulled her close to his heart once again, "You're going to need to speak in complete sentences."

Annie moved so she could look up at his face, her hand gently tracing the line of his jaw, "I love you Auggie Anderson and I'm tired of hiding."

He frowned for a moment, then cocked his head to one side, "Spell it out for me, Annie girl because I am a guy and we don't do subtle."

"I want to marry you-"

"We are married," Auggie chuckled as he captured her lips in his for a quick kiss.

"If you count a clandestine wedding with only Joan, Arthur, Jai, and Stu as our witnesses as a wedding then you're right," she huffed and rolled her eyes, shifting again so she was on her back and his arm lay across her waist.

"What are you saying, Annie?" he asked quietly, afraid to get his hopes up because this was a conversation they'd had time and time again over the last couple of years.

Annie took a deep breath and placed her hand over his heart, "I've been offered a position at Georgetown as a fully tenured professor of linguistics."

"Annie that's-"

"I've accepted. I start in the fall," she cut him off by placing her finger to his lips, "I don't want to be the covert wife of the very overt Director of the Office of Congressional Affairs."

"Hallelujah!" he breathed a sigh of relief and once again pinned her beneath him as his lips resumed their roaming.

"Hey!" she frowned and pushed against him which earned her a hearty groan from her husband, "What do you mean by that?"

Auggie sighed as he captured his wife's face between his two hands, forcing her to meet his eyes in a way that would unnerve most, "I learned a long time ago, Annie, that sometimes you just have to figure things out on your own. You've never failed to see things my way in the end."

Annie opened her mouth to protest but decided that this called for drastic measures. With a smirk worthy of her husband, her fingers found their target and began to mercilessly tickle him. He flinched, rolling off her in an instant as he laughed loudly and attempted to capture her hands in his. Annie, seizing the advantage, straddled his waist and then leaned forward to capture his lips in hers.

"I love you Auggie Anderson," she murmured against him.

"And I love you Annie Anderson," he chuckled as he wrapped his arms around his beautiful wife.

There was only one truth that he felt like acknowledging in that moment as he felt her body pressed against his – if he were to die in this very moment, he would die a happy man. Of course, he'd be even happier in five more minutes...well, maybe twenty...or thirty...Oh hell, you get the point...