a/n: Voila! My first Covert Affairs fic is finally up and running :) I have been trying for forever and a day to write a good story for these two, and after seeing countless adorable Word of the Day stories, I decided to take a go at it myself.

We'll see how it works out..

F.Y.I., my story will take place chronologically, and reviews are always appreciated! Enjoy.


Mitigate: to lessen in force or intensity, as wrath, grief, harshness, or pain; moderate.


Annie let out a long groan, screwing her eyes shut against the wave of pain that washed over her as Auggie picked her foot up.

"Don't move," he instructed her, sliding her high heel off slowly and following the curve of her foot with his hand until he reached her injury.

She involuntarily jerked her foot away as his fingers probed around her bone curiously, but that only served to cause another onslaught of soreness. She managed to suppress a cry of discomfort, instead making only a strangled noise in her throat.

Auggie sighed exasperatedly, his eyes flicking up to settle somewhere above her left shoulder. "I told you not to move."

"I couldn't really help it," she ground out, gritting her teeth determinedly as Auggie groped along the floor until his fingers ghosted across her toes. Under normal circumstances, that would have made her giggle, but the ache emanating from her ankle simply made her steel herself for Auggie's ministrations.

Once he had found her bone, he continued his examination—admittedly gentler than before. His fingers felt all the way around her ankle, massaging and evaluating the muscle, his ear cocked for any wince or hiss of pain that would fall from Annie's mouth.

"How did this happen?" he asked curiously after a moment, and Annie was grateful that he couldn't see the blush that blossomed over her cheeks.

"I don't know," she fibbed, avoiding Auggie's incredulous gaze. "I was walking toward you, and then I was on the ground."

"One too many glasses of wine?" he asked, cracking a smile.

"I guess so."

If Auggie didn't believe her, he didn't say anything, and Annie was grateful. Nothing could make her divulge what had actually happened; how she had gotten distracted while following him to the kitchen because of how he shook his hips in tune to the saxophonist's solo. How she had observed how his sweatpants hugged his curves quite nicely; how she was remembering a shirtless Auggie calling her "sugarplum" with a tattoo and very defined abs, and how this had made her shin hit the coffee table and her leg buckle in surprise and her ankle twist painfully.

No way, Jose; that story would stay locked inside her mind forever.

She glanced at the red mark on her shin, grimacing as she realized it would leave a bruise.

"This might hurt," Auggie said suddenly, his brows furrowed slightly in regret.

Annie sucked in a breath, her left hand wrapping around the leg of Auggie's coffee table. "Okay."

His fingers rested tenderly on her bone as his other hand slowly rotated her foot in a circle.

He was wrong; it definitely hurt.

She pressed her lips together tightly, letting her head fall back against her shoulders. Her eyes focused on his ceiling fan making lazy circles through the air, just like her foot, and she bit down hard on her cheek as he rotated her foot the other way without warning.

Gingerly, he set her foot down on his carpet, sitting back on his heels.

"Is it broken?" Annie asked immediately, chewing on her lip nervously. Joan would kill her if it was broken, especially since there were rumors of an upcoming op against Russian Intelligence circulating.

Auggie shook his head. "No, but it looks like a really bad sprain. Stay here," he ordered as he stood up and made his way to his freezer.

Ignoring his command, Annie pushed herself up on her hands, eyeing his couch that was innocently sitting a few feet away. She hadn't even gotten as far as kneeling before Auggie's stern voice cut through the air. "Annie, stop it!"

She sighed angrily, sitting back on his floor and glaring at his profile as he pulled an ice pack from one of the shelves.

"I'm not a child," she mumbled, as he closed the door and turned towards her again.

"You need to let the swelling go down before you try walking," he said, holding the ice pack out for her to take.

"It's swollen?" she asked, wincing as she held her leg up in the air to get a better look at it.

"Unless your ankle is always that fat," he quipped, giving her a smirk as she huffed angrily.

"Auggie!"

"Hey, don't worry, I've always found cankles to be extremely sexy."

Despite herself, a smile pulled at the corners of her lips and she laughed softly. "You are unbelievable."

He smiled impishly, boyish charm pouring out of his sparkling eyes. "That's what they tell me."

She reached out a hand, a grin still playing on her lips. "Help me up, will you? I think it's time for me to head home."

His hand stretched until it found hers, his fingers tips touching, groping, sliding up her wrist to her elbow and then continuing up her arm—much to Annie's confusion—until his warm palm had smoothed over her shoulder blade and down her back.

"Auggie," she began curiously, "what are you—oh!"

Her question was cut short as his other sure hand snaked beneath her knees, gripping her heated skin-that had become even more heated as he was sliding his hands along her-and he stood up, lifting her through the air and holding her securely in his arms, as if she weighed as much as one of Chloe's baby dolls.

"Auggie!" she exclaimed, once again more than a little surprised by his strength.

"What? Would you rather walk?" he asked, raising one eyebrow.

"Well…no," she admitted, "but is carrying me really necessary?" Even as she said it, she let her hand curve around his neck and hold on tightly to his really, really muscular shoulder. How had she missed that? In all of their sparring practice and work outs, how had she missed how sculpted his musculature was?

He didn't answer her question, and she swallowed, tearing her eyes off of him before he felt her staring. "Hey, wait a minute," she murmured, noticing the route Auggie was taking. "You're bringing me the wrong way, genius."

"No, I'm not," he replied, rolling his eyes. "You can't even walk, Annie. How are you going to use the pedals in your car?"

"I'll use my other foot," she answered uncertainly. Admittedly, it was something she hadn't thought of yet.

"And when you get to your house? How will you get inside?"

She was silent. A dark driveway and a flight of stairs stood in between her car and her bedroom, and Auggie seemed to know she would have trouble by her silence.

"Just sleep here tonight, Annie," he said, feeling for the doorway of his bedroom with his foot. "Watch your head."

She tucked her head into the crook of his neck wordlessly as he walked through the doorframe, touched by his generosity. He stooped, depositing her onto his bed, and she sunk into it, a smile gracing her face as he took the ice pack from her, carefully wrapped it in a blanket and placed it on her sore ankle.

"Wow…" she hummed in appreciation.

"It's better than a futon, isn't it?" he asked, a smile blooming across his face as he opened a drawer.

"Yeah," she said reverently. "It's much better than a futon."

A dark t-shirt that smelled like Auggie sailed through the air, landing on her face. She made a muffled grunt and pulled it off of her, eyeing it suspiciously. "What is this?"

"Pajamas, if you want," he offered, turning to leave the room.

Of course. He would never make her sleep in a pencil skirt and blouse.

"If you need anything, just call, I'll be on the couch," he said, turning back at the doorway and leaning against the frame.

"The couch?" she asked, her brow furrowing as she unbuttoned her shirt. "Auggie, let me sleep there, and you can have your bed."

He was silent for a moment, his eyes unknowingly focused directly on her, making her feel self-conscious as she wriggled out of her skirt and pulled his t-shirt on over her head.

"Auggie?" she prompted curiously when he still didn't answer.

He blinked slowly. "What kind of gentleman would I be if I made the lady sleep on the couch? Trust me, Annie, I'm fine. And remember I'll be in the next room."

"Okay," she murmured, suddenly very sleepy and very content. Her ankle was only mildly throbbing now; the ice had numbed most of the pain away while the comfort of his bed enveloped her. "But I'll be fine. Like I said, I'm not a child."

Sometimes it felt good to be treated like one though.

"Okay, Annie. Good night," he murmured, his voice suddenly sounding like it was right next to her ear.

Her eyes flickered open, but he was still leaning casually against the doorway, his face bathed in the half-light from the moon that was pouring in through his window.

"Good night, Auggie," she mumbled happily, pulling his covers up to her chin.

He smiled then, and it seemed to her, in her sleepy, slightly tipsy state, that she had the most beautiful best friend in the world.

Not that she would ever tell him that.