Another One-shot. A Sequel to
Irene's Wrath, Auggie's Fear, and Annie's Care.
Also Done to be After the Season Finale.
Disclaimer: I have no rights on Covert Affairs. I'm just a huge fan writing a story.
Before the season finale my previous fan fiction, Irene's Wrath, Auggie's Fear, and Annie's Care, takes place. After that was the Fall Season finale.
This takes place after a few months.
It's Christmas time. There is a light layer of snow on the ground. Smiles are on everyone's faces. Everyone is in the holiday spirit. Even Joan is being festive as Annie walked into the DPD, sporting a red dress with a white belt.
The motions were sent and Annie made a quick beeline to Joan's office. The only bummer was that missions weren't put on hold just because it was Christmas. She knew her chances of having holidays off were slim to none. But that was okay. The experiences she had of celebrating the holidays from another country were unforgettable.
"Alright everyone, let's get today's meeting started," Joan spoke as Annie walked in. Auggie was already there and she went to his side, handing him his usual coffee.
"Coffee, just how you like it," she said quietly with a smile.
"Annie, what'd I do without you?" He smiled back. But then a moment of confusion crossed his face. 'Is that peppermint and chocolate I smell?" Annie always had hazelnut and cinnamon in her coffee. Always with two cream and two sugars.
"Mhmm," she took another sip, "it's the holidays Auggie." She then focused on Joan's meeting. Auggie paused and then followed suite.
"I know the holidays start next week, and hopefully this assignment will be over by then. Our mission this week is a simple brush pass right here in the states. However, our asset only responds to one person…" Jai then walked in, "who has come late to his own meeting."
"My apologies, Joan," Jai said unconvincingly.
"Jai Wilcox running this mission?" Auggie whispered to Annie.
"Seems so," she replied.
"Jai will initiate contact and make the pass, then head for the rendezvous point. Annie, you'll be running point and be with back up if anything goes wrong. Auggie will be your link to each other." Each member nodded respectfully at their orders.
"Jai, even if it's your contact and your mission, Annie is calling the shots. You answer to her." Joan then added, giving Jai an intimidating glare.
"No problem, Joan," Jai shrugged and smiled coyly. Even if he was intimidated, he wasn't showing it to anyone. Joan then continued the business as usual reviews. Seeing little need to listen, Auggie leaned in towards Annie.
"Even if Jai isn't under the DPD, Joan isn't letting up on him." He whispered as he sipped his coffee. "Tell me, has Jai peed his pants yet?"
"Auggie," she cracked a smile at her friend. She glanced at Jai, only to see him looking back at her. Not trying to be flustered she took another sip of her coffee and looked towards Joan, acting like she was listening. But the whole time she still felt he eyes staring at her. At last the meeting was over. Annie offered her arm towards Auggie and headed towards his office. Barber was there waiting for them.
"Hey Auggie, hi Annie," Barber blushed. Even though he was seeing someone and he knew Annie didn't like him the same way she liked Auggie, he still got sheepish around her. "We're doing Secret Santa this year. Pick a name," he offered them a bowl full of names.
"No, thank you," Auggie said right away. This made Annie confused for a moment.
"Why not Auggie? It's Christmas."
"And Hanukkah, and Kwanza, and trust me Annie. Never let a blind guy be a Secret Santa and go shopping. Last time I did it I almost got myself a black eye, like that matters. Long story."
"Well, you should try again, you might get lucky and have someone you know really well." She reached in and grabbed a name. Opening it she took a quick glance and folded up the paper, placing it into her coat pocket.
"Well?" Auggie looked at her with a raised eyebrow.
"Well? What?" Annie said, playing dumb. She had to figure out what her best friend was thinking, even though she already ventured a guess.
"Who'd you get?" He said teasingly. Annie giggled. Leaning in real close she purred into his ear.
"It's a secret." With a turn of her heel, she stepped out of his office. Leaving him gawking as Barber, who heard it all, tried to suppress his laughter.
Annie went down the hall towards Jai's office. She knew he wasn't going play along well. But she wasn't going to allow him to jeopardize the mission either. She had to make the ground rules. And she had to do it now. With a knock at the door she walked in to see him on the phone. His back was facing her. Almost oblivious of her presence.
"Yeah, I know. I know I promised this year but something came up last minute at work and they want me on it. I'll try to be over by New Year's ok?" He turned to see her standing in front of his desk. He paused a moment, listening to whoever he was speaking to.
"Alright. I have to go. Okay. Bye." He then hung up, swallowing hard. Apparently she wasn't supposed to hear any of it. She shrugged it off.
"I had already knocked." She folded her arms and took a deep breathe. "Look Jai, It's not my business and I don't even care what grudge you have on Joan or the DPD in general. But-"
"You're right Annie." He cut her off, with a serious look on his face. It threw Annie off a bit. Did he know what she was going to say?
"I am?" Annie tried to maintain herself while not trying to be confused. He smoothly stood up and adjusted with his some of his documents.
"Yes, it isn't any of your business," he spoke icily at her while looking calm and collected. He feigned a smile towards her. This made Annie's blood boil. Can he really be such and insensitive jerk? Well, she wasn't going to take this lying down.
"All I want is for everyone to be home in time to celebrate the holidays. I don't find it fair that we have to deal with any repercussions just because you're having a pissing contest." She walked up to him, invading his personal space. He looked at her in the eyes from his towering frame. Hers showed the fire from her spirit. His showed analysis as he tried to figure out what made Annie tick.
She spoke calmly, but with a knife in her words.
"As long as I run point on this, you're not going to jeopardize this mission. Try to, and I'll pull the plug and leave you to the dogs." With a turn on her heel, she left Jai alone in his office. She later found herself in the bathroom. She couldn't believe what she just did. She stood up to Jai Wilcox. The CIA 'Prince' of Langley. Mulling over her thoughts she felt her coat pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. It was from the Secret Santa bowl. She opened it again and read the name.
"Jai Wilcox." So much for finding out what to get him. She was in no mood in dealing with him anytime soon. Not until they started their mission.
~ Two Days Later ~
Annie and the team had headed for New York. Jai was to initiate contact. Then after Annie gave the word, they were to make the pass at Rockefeller Center. Auggie was on contact. As she sat on a park bench looking over the ice, Annie contemplated what to do with Jai. She hadn't yet decided what to do for his Secret Santa. As she sat there thinking she saw Jai approach her. He had two cups of hot chocolate in his hands. Giving her one he took a seat beside her.
"Thanks," she spoke quietly. She and Jai maintained a civil behavior during this mission. But didn't properly spoke to each other unless it was on business. They sat there in silence for what seemed like hours. Jai eventually broke it first.
"You were right, Annie."
"For?" Annie took a sip. Where was he going with this?
"About me. I was letting my grudge interfere with the mission."
"It's okay." She knew she was right. But she didn't need her ego stroked. Jai doing the right thing was all she needed.
"It's not though, "he sighed. "I've been letting what others think or say of me affect my actions. And I was going to throw away all the good I've done in protecting our country, just in spite of my bosses and peers. And it was wrong of me to speak to you the way that I did when we got the assignment. And I wanted to say, I'm sorry." Annie watched him as he spoke. And she listened to the sincerity of his voice.
"It's alright Jai. I know what you mean. I did a lot to prove something to my dad growing up, but he left us anyway, in the end. But seeing my sister and her family reminds me that I'm doing the right thing. I gave up hoping my dad would approve of me. I don't care anymore what he thinks. It's what I think. And I think…" she nudged him hard, smiling. "I think you make one hell of a spy."
"Really?" He cracked a smile. Then he put on him most charming smile. "Am I, James Bond, material?" She nudged him again, and giggled.
"Don't push your luck," she teased. They went back to their drinks for a few moments. She decided now was the only time while they waited. "So Jai, any plans for the holidays?" He chuckled.
"No, umm, I WAS going to visit my mother."
"Yeah, she lives in India. I was on the phone with her when you came to see me. I got her this old necklace that has a saying on it. But I can't interpret what it says or means. Anyway, from what I found out yesterday, I won't be able to see her until after the new year."
"It's okay. I'm disappointed myself. But she understands."
"Well, maybe after this mission is over we can meet I can interpret the necklace for you." This surprised Jai.
"Really? You'd do that?" Annie shrugged indifferently.
"It's Christmas." Jai smiled.
"Yeah." They drank from their cups in another bout of silence. As they did Annie felt a tickle on her nose. She looked up. Her eyes lit up.
"Jai…"she whispered, and he looked at Annie then up at the sky to feel the same tickle on his cheek. "Snow," she breathed.
Jai nodded and smiled with her. Off in the not-so-distant field they heard children squealing and laughing. They had started a snowball fight. But before they realized it the two of them were being attacked as well. Jai was hit first. Annie was caught at her feet. A little war ensued between them and the local kids. They laughed and were having fun. Soon the fun ended as the mothers rounded up their kids and apologized to them for their kids' misbehavior. Again they were alone. Jai looked at the time.
"Hey, let's take a walk and see if my contact responded. We can look at the shops around the perimeter in the meantime." Annie nodded as Jai offered his arm.
As they walked along the side they pointed out various architecture details and the histories behind them. As they walked past a Bloomingdales, Annie noticed a cute gold necklace amongst the New Arrivals in the window. It was a small charm in the shape of a fox's head with green gems for eyes.
"They're cunning animals.." Annie looked up at Jai. She had lost her train of thought. "Foxes are known for their cunning behavior." She smiled. They continued to walk along the sidewalk towards the mark.
"You know, there was this one time when I was a kid I had pulled a prank on my sister. And I made it look like that I wasn't involved. However, my dad found a small slip up in my prank. My mom went on to say I was a fox because I'd outsmart all the local kids. I was the best in hide and seek, and even in the military games like capture the flag."
"Really? Well, that explains a lot."
"How you always manage to get out of the most impossible situations."
"Should I take that as an insult?" She raised an eyebrow.
"It's a compliment." They both laughed a little. At this point the mark was in there sights. Jai looked and saw the sign. "He'll meet us."
"Great. Once he gives you the time tell him here." She began to look around. She noticed a small hotdog stand by the Christmas tree. "Have him meet you at that hot dog cart. You can make the trade over an offer for a hot dog. We can have numerous angles to cover the pass."
"Sounds like a plan." Annie reached for her phone and called it in.
"Auggie, the meet's tomorrow."
"Sounds good Annie."
"I'll call you once we get the time."
"Alright. You guys turning in? Or is the city life calling your name?" He said playfully.
"Why? Feeling jealous?" She teased back.
"Me? Jealous of you and Jai? Never." She could hear the doubtful tone in his voice. Why would he be jealous though? It's not like he was single or anything. He went to Africa to meet a girl he just told her about. It felt awkward for a while afterwards, but they kept their friendship. The only difference was she didn't approach him as much about her life. She didn't lie. She just held back on what she would say.
"You knew that wasn't what I meant, Auggie." She reclaimed her composure on the phone.
"I know." He hung up. Oh, God, he knew alright. After Dr. Kessler confirmed everything. Auggie went to Africa to officially end things with Parker. Talking to her on the phone wasn't enough. He needed to move on, but he needed to do it right. So after a few days in Africa, he headed back to D.C. to spend time with Annie. To come clean about everything. But by the time he got back she was constantly sent on missions. They haven't been to Allen's in months.
The good news he found and celebrated with her was hearing her sister let her move back in. Annie said she was keeping her safe house for emergencies. That he agreed with. Plus, with her supplies she had from their trip to New Jersey, she would be fine in a pinch. What was also good was he could arrange to hang out with her or help her anytime she needed him instead of sitting on the sidelines because of her safe house location being confidential.
As he listened to make sure no one was around he pulled out a small slip of paper. Scanning it into his computer he heard the name read out loud.
Joan was in her home office when her phone rang. She sighed and answered.
"Ok. Okay. Yeah, I'll call her and ask if she can make it. Yeah, I'll take care of it. Alright. Bye."
Arthur walked in as she hung up. He was wearing his bathrobe and taking off his reading glasses as he spoke.
"Who was that?"
"Someone calling in a favor."
"At this late hour? And at Christmas too. Anyone I know?"
"Not telling Arthur. It'll spoil the surprise." At this Arthur strides over to his wife, and gives her a suggestive embrace.
"Not even a hint?" He grumbled deep and low. Affectionately holding her. Joan only chuckles.
"Hmm, at least you can't blame this old tiger from trying, right?" He grumbled into her neck. Joan laughed.
"Actually, I can." She smirked.
~ The Next Day ~
Annie had the team set up the watch at five different angles. She had herself with Jai in the van across the skating rink from the pass site. She was adjusting his radio so no one could see it or hear it.
"Remember, ask for directions, then offer to buy him a hot dog as thank you. Once you have your transaction completed, get out. After that is a flight home just in time for Christmas."
"Gotcha. Hear that Anderson?"
"Loud and clear Jai. Annie and I will be with you the entire time. If you need to say something, pretend your on your cell. Easiest trick in the book."
"Roger that," He made a partial pose in front of Annie. "How do I look?" They both smiled.
"Like a businessman lost while Christmas shopping. Remember the safe word is valentine."
"Right." With a smile he looked out the window. "That's him, white knit cap and Mets coat," Annie looked.
"Good luck," as he hopped out on the opposite side. Annie checked out the window again watching him. She got on the radio. "Auggie, he's going in. Everyone look sharp."
"You got it Annie." Auggie worked his genius in D.C. Meanwhile Annie had her team in the van drive onto the next road which had an alley giving them a clear shot of Jai as he approached his contact. "All New York cameras at your position are tapped and tampered. You'll have 30 seconds."
"Jai, you have 30 seconds to make the pass." Jai had his phone near his ear, faking a phone call.
"Yes, dear. I'll be home soon." He quickly made contact with his asset. "Excuse me! Can you help me? I'm looking for a specific store and I seem to be lost. You know, my wife for Christmas?"
"Sure," the rest was made in low whispers. Annie and Auggie were the only ones listening. "I think they're on to me. After this I may have to skip town."
"Were you followed?"
"I doubt it, but best not take the chance to stay. Here's your package." The asset slid the packet into the map as he loudly proclaimed, "If you take this street up to 15th. It should be the third block in." The pass was made. Jai folded his map over the packet. He placed on his best smile and shook his asset's hand.
"Thanks! Can I offer you a hot dog for your trouble?"
"No, man, its cool. Have a Merry Christmas."
"Same to you!" Jai quickly headed towards Annie and waved out like he was calling a taxi. Quickly, he hopped into the van and it sped off back around to their starting point.
"We got Jai. Everyone clear out and head for the rendezvous point now." Annie then patted Jai on the back. "Good job."
"Heh, I just hope my asset gets home to his family for the holidays." Hearing it from Jai makes Annie smile. As they hit their starting point Jai looked out the window and saw his asset heading in their direction as they slowed for traffic.
But out of nowhere two thugs came out and shot his asset in the back several times. As he watched in shock, Jai saw the thugs check their target. Showing signs of being empty handed, the thugs look around amongst the scattering civilians. Sirens are heard in the distance as their van drove away and the thugs make a run for it.
Jai slid down and stared at the ground. He never lost an asset. And this one had a family back home waiting for him for the holidays. It ate at him the entire ride. But then he felt a soft touch on his shoulder. It was Annie Walker, of all people. She was giving him, Jai Wilcox, a moment of compassion.
"I'm sorry Jai." He swallowed hard to get that lump out of his throat.
"He knew this could happen. And even then, he took it and we managed to cripple the bastard he assessed for us. This was supposed to be the intel that would destroy him and put him away for life."
"And we will put him away for life." She bent down to meet his eyes. "He knew he was protecting his family each time he gave us the information. And now, even though he died doing it, he gave his family the best Christmas present of all." Jai lifted his eyes to meet hers. He knew what she meant. The scum the intel covered was going to rot away in prison. And he wasn't going to hurt anyone ever again.
"Let's send these over to Joan then," He said with a smirk, waving the packet in front of Annie. And they headed out.
Auggie listened to the radio as the swat team went in. In a matter of minutes, the swat team called it in. The raid was a success. And the target was captured. Standing behind him was Annie, Joan, and Jai. Auggie removed his headphones. He turned to them and spoke.
"They got him." Joan then leaned towards Jai.
"Your asset died giving us the best information we could ever need. I guarantee this bastard will never see the light of day again. I will also send in something for his family. Great Job." She then turned to Annie, "Annie, a moment in my office." She then walked out of Auggie's office. Annie tailed behind her. The boys were alone.
Auggie removed his headphones and began to close up shop. As he did Jai Wilcox took a moment to talk with him.
"I can see why you like her Auggie. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, but she is beautiful on the inside as well." Auggie froze for a moment, trying to tread carefully. Where was Jai Wilcox going with this?
"I don't need to see to know that she is, as you say, a beautiful person."
"You're right. But I guess the one thing you can't 'see' is what to get her."
"What are you talking about Jai?"
"I know you're Annie's Secret Santa. And I thought, since you haven't spent much time with her lately, I can offer you help in getting her a gift."
"And why would you do that?" Auggie turned and eyed Jai suspiciously. Jai took the hint.
"This week, this mission, reminded me of a lot of things. And Annie did something for me. She helped me realize what I was forgetting. What was important. What really mattered. And I feel I owe it to her, and to you, for helping me out. Because it's Christmas." Auggie stared at him intently. He could hear the sincerity in Jai's voice. When Jai was finished, he couldn't help but smile.
"Annie's starting to rub off on you huh?" To which Jai smiled.
"Yeah, she is." Auggie then approached Jai.
"Alright, Wilcox, lay it on me."
As Annie walked into Joan's office, she braced for two things:
Either a congratulations or being reprimanded for her performance on the mission. She wasn't expecting either to be good. She actually expected the latter being the more likely topic. But she received two surprises.
"First off Annie, great job on the mission. Keep up that kind of work and you'll be working your way up to being a full field agent in no time." Annie was stupefied for a moment.
"Thank you Joan, I will," was what she said when she managed to get her voice back.
"Also, Annie, here is the information you requested. I have everything set up for tomorrow." Annie couldn't be more excited. But she maintained her composure for her boss. She picked up the yellow folder Joan gave her.
"So, everything is done?"
"And what do I have to-"
"It's all covered, Annie."
"You sure?" Annie couldn't shut her mouth fast enough. But Joan didn't seem to mind, as she organized her desk.
"It's alright Annie. When I first started out I was much like you. And when I noticed an opportunity to help out a teammate I did. Just like you're doing now."
"Thank you...Joan" Annie finally managed to say after a few moments.
"Don't mention it. See you tomorrow at the Christmas party and paperwork. I expect you'll be late." And with that, Annie stepped out of Joan's office; with her folder in tow.
As Annie headed for Auggie's office she noticed it was getting late and she should head home. Seeing Auggie and Jai still where she left them made her worry, only because they rarely got along. Though tonight they seemed civil and cheerful enough. Maybe they finally got into the Christmas spirit? Grabbing her purse and cover folders with her newest addition, she knocked on Auggie's door.
"Hey guys! Jai, I thought you headed home."
"Nah, it's okay. Anderson and I were having a little chat about tomorrow's Christmas party."
"Yes, and how I refuse to wear antlers and a red pom on my nose to portray a reindeer." Annie busted out laughing. "Yeah, haha."
"Oh, but Auggie, I've never seen you with antlers! Please we got to take a picture together!"
"Oh no, see what you started Jai?" Jai held his hands up.
"Hey, I didn't say anything," Jai was playing innocence.
"But you were thinking it," Auggie countered. "Anyway, I wish they offered beer for once." A twinkle came in Annie's eyes.
"Like Allen's? Speaking of which, Jai, why don't we meet there tomorrow after work and I'll translate that necklace for you."
"Great. Also, I'll be late tomorrow. I have a quick appointment. Auggie, think you can get a ride?" Annie placed her hand on Auggie's cheek. Auggie couldn't help but smile.
"Do birds have wings?" Annie laughed. Auggie could swear there were Christmas angels getting their wings now.
"Okay, see you both tomorrow." And with that, Annie left the office heading home. Tomorrow was going to be a good day. She could feel it.
Annie didn't get into the office until 11 that Friday. She was shining in a snow white dress covered with a red cropped blazer. Her pouty lips were accented with red lipstick. A pair of gold earings framed her face while her hair swayed to and fro as her heels clicked to the beat she had. She was humming along to a Christmas song in her head.
Auggie was in his office, letting his fingers wonder on the small box in his hands. His thoughts of how to present his gift to Annie were going through his head. Since it was supposed to be for Secret Santa he should give it to her at the office party. But…giving it this way didn't feel right to Auggie. It didn't feel special enough. He wanted it to be extra special for Annie. She was special. And she needed to be treated as such.
Upon the hearing of his oh so favorite kitten heels, Auggie quickly hid the box into his desk drawer. The Bloomingdales bag Jai took as they left the car earlier that morning. Hopefully she didn't notice him scrambling. He could smell the Grapefruit perfume that was her signature as she walked in his oasis.
"Good Morning Auggie," her voice made his heart melt.
"Good Morning Annie," his heart was then pounding and fluttering around in his chest again. Like a bird trying to get out of a cage. Why couldn't he stop this feeling in his chest? Ever since New Jersey, his heart was racing whenever Annie was around. And she was all he could think about. Even when he was with Parker, Annie was always in his mind. But finally, he came to the conclusion that Parker was a link to his past, the way he was, the way he wished he could but never be again. Annie was his future. She didn't let his past or his condition bother her. And even when he'd wish he could see again, Annie would say he 'saw' her just fine.
"..be happy." Auggie shook his head.
"I'm sorry?" Annie laughed.
"Auggie, I said everyone seems to be happy." He chuckled, trying to cover his tracks. "Are you alright? You seem distracted this morning." He shrugged.
"Meh, Nobody came at nine to give me my coffee."
"Oh, Auggie.." He smiled at the guilt trip but thought better.
"Ok, not true, I did get my coffee. But the girl got it wrong and I could use another one."
"Auggie!" She laughed and poked him in the ribs.
"Hey! Don't beat on the blind guy!" He laughed.
"Alright, come on. I'll get you some coffee and some Christmas treats. We have an office party to go to." She offered her arm and he took it. As he stood up he showed he was wearing white pants and a red buttoned shirt. The top button was unbuttoned and he had a loose, white tie. His shoes were black. Annie try to snicker a laugh. But Auggie heard it and got worried.
"What? Is there a stain or something on my face?" He felt himself over only to have Annie calm him down.
"You look great," she said. As they made their way to the Christmas party, Jai bumped into them.
"Morning Annie, Auggie." The prince sported his usual grey suit but with an emerald green shirt and a red tie that had little pictures of holly.
"Morning Jai, I see you're getting into the spirit." She nodded towards his tie. He smiled.
"Yeah, I got it last year from my Secret Santa. And with the holidays this weekend I went 'what the hell'. Speaking of spirit, you two look great together."
This made Auggie worry for a second. As they entered into the conference room.
"What do you me-"
"Auggie!" He looked to feel a strong hand on his arm. He could smell the strong odor of eggnog and peppermint. The scent of lavender and nicotine was also present.
"Madeline." He smiled. "Happy Holidays."
"You always seem to know," she giggled. The quirky secretary sported a fifties style wardrobe. Her black hair was swept into a tight bun with cute fifties style glasses. She wore a high neck emerald green dress and a little red scarf on her neck.
"Like a hyena," Auggie thought. "Lucky guess." "I'd be luckier to get her off of me…"
"Well, Merry Christmas Auggie! I'm your Secret Santa." She placed an envelope into his hands.
"It's not a secret anymore." As he opened the envelope, he could sense her excitement. It was nauseating. But might well humor the girl. Opening up the card he could hear the "Jingle Bells" tune emanating from the card. He also felt what seemed like a gift card taped to the inside. To prevent confusion Annie answered for him.
"Oh, a $50 gift card for Starbucks. That is so sweet Madeline!" Saved by Annie. God, what would he be without her? He then pulled out his best smile.
"Yes, thank you Madeline," giving her a light hug, "this was really thoughtful."
"Anytime!" She noticed Jai smiling. "And Jai, you're wearing that tie I got you last year!" The prince played his most charming smile.
"It fits perfectly, Maddie." The little secretary blushed.
"Oh stop!" Madeline was covering her face. "Well, I gotta go help with the games"
"Finally," Auggie tried not to show his relief.
"Oh, by the way, LOVE the matching outfits! You two look like a real couple!" As the quirky coworker left Auggie faced what he still thought to be Annie's direction.
"What was that?" Jai snickered, then tried to compose himself to answer.
"Well, it looks like-"
"I know what it looks like. I meant, what did she mean by it?" Annie smiled.
"Auggie, we're wearing the same colors. And they are in a similar fashion to the point where we look like a couple trying to match the other. It's just coincidence that we came to work with the same holiday vibe."
"So now there's a possibility of rumors starting that we are a couple."
"Hmm, maybe. But once they see that we're just friends it'll all die down."
"I rather we were more than 'just friends' Annie.." Auggie stopped himself. What was he thinking? He couldn't be in love with Annie Walker. Before he could think or saw anything else, Joan had come in with the latest announcements. Before he knew it he had forgotten about everything until he got back to his office. Annie had left to finish her paperwork from their mission. And he was still contemplating when was a good time to give Annie her present.
Annie came in a couple hours later when it was almost time to go home. She came in and took he usual spot at Auggie's desk. Though he felt extremely nervous because she was right above her present. Before anything was said Jai had walked in. Feeling rather pleased with himself.
"Annie, I thought you might like this. Merry Christmas." Auggie could hear something trade hands between them. Then he heard Annie squeal.
"Oh, Jai! It's so cute! I love it!" What did Jai just do?
"That's not the best part." Jai had a laugh in his throat. This couldn't be good. "Auggie, can you turn around please?"
"Should I?" Auggie definitely didn't like where this was going. Annie pleaded.
"Oh, come on, Auggie. Please?" Oh God, she had to be so cute didn't she? He eventually turned around. Out of nowhere he felt something soft on his nose and what felt like a headband on his head that jingled.
"Oh God. No." Before he could say anything a click was heard from a not-so-distant camera. Followed by a giggling Annie. In a second before he realized the damage done and take the cursed things off he felt the little oomph as Annie sat in his lap, wrapped her arms around him, and pressed her cheek against his. It made him smile. Annie was in his lap, smiling, with her arms around him. Another click was heard. As quick as she came Annie got off of him and looked over to the camera.
"Oh my gosh! I got to get these on my desktop! Thanks Jai!" And a few clicks and she was gone. Jai was there snickering. Auggie was doing his best to contain his anger. He quickly removed the antlers and pom, hoping no other pictures were taken.
"What was that about, Wilcox?" Some venom went with his tone. Jai only shrugged it off.
"I made a memory for Annie. And trust me, seeing you, made her Christmas." Auggie couldn't argue. "By the way, I'll be taking you home again tonight. Annie has a quick errand to run before we meet at Allen's. She asked me if I could and I said yes, as long as you're fine with that. Your house is by Allen's anyway so it doesn't bother me." Auggie nodded.
"Sure, I just have one pit stop to make."
A couple hours later Jai and Annie were sitting at Allen's. Annie was examining the pendant Jai had mentioned to her. Reading the inscription carefully, she noticed a lot that surprised her about it. But her plan was in motion. She focused on the points that mattered.
"It's beautiful Jai." He smiled.
"Thanks. What can you tell me about it?" They hadn't ordered drinks yet. Which he did find rather odd, but then he figured Annie needed to be sober for her to translate at her best.
"Well, believe it or not, it's actually Indian. From what I'm getting, it looks like a medallion for prayers under the Buddhist temples and their beliefs. It's over a hundred years old. You got lucky, usually reproductions are made, but this one is real."
"Really?" Jai was truly surprised. His mother would never believe him. Annie had taken out a small pad and wrote something down. Folding it in half she placed the pendant in it.
"Mhmm," she placed down the folded paper in front of him, "I'll get the drinks, what's your poison?"
"I'll take scotch on the rocks," he saw Annie giving him a look, "It's Christmas." She smiled at him and headed for the bar. He had to give it to Annie, she grew on you. And what's more she rubbed off on you. Smiling, Jai took the paper and opened it up. Inside was a message.
'Love Another, For Love Makes Us One.'
Merry Christmas Jai. The scotch is on me.
Your Secret Santa, Annie"
Before he looked up there was a scotch on the table and a woman standing in front of him. She was beautifully dressed in traditional Indian clothing. There were many similarities between them. It didn't take long for anyone to realize where their relationship was.
"Mom?" He slowly rose, not believing who he was seeing.
"Hello Jai." She placed a gentle hand on his face. Looking at her son. "You look ill, haven't you been eating?" He couldn't hold his suppressed laugh.
He smiled, but the emotions were too many to list showing in his eyes. An embrace was made between mother and son. And not-so-far away was Annie seeing this. A smile made it to her lips.
She watched a moment more as Jai presented his mother with the necklace. She loved it. It was perfect. As they took their seats she turned to leave. Jai looked up to see her retreating form. He couldn't help but smile and say it in his head, hoping it would reach her, "Merry Christmas Annie."
The following night it was Christmas Eve. Auggie was invited over for Christmas dinner. Danielle never said a word about her knowing that he was CIA. They had a great time playing all sorts of games, singing Christmas carols, and Auggie, thanks to Annie, got to lead in the story reading. For most of the books they were chapter books he already knew growing up. Eventually, it was time for the girls to go to bed. Placing their last bit of presents under the tree the girls hugged everyone good night. When they reached Auggie Katia then asked him something he'd never forget.
"Uncle Auggie, are you..are you gonna sleep with Aunt Annie and..and be with us tomorrow to open presents?" This surprised him, to where he couldn't help but chuckle. Before he could say anything Danielle and Annie came to his rescue.
"Girls, what have I told you about personal questions?" Danielle said in a stern voice. Annie then stepped in.
"Yes girls, Auggie is able to sleep over since it's snowing outside and he may not be able to get home. That is, of course, if Auggie wants to stay." It was true. It was snowing again outside. And this time it like it was going to last a while. The girls gasped for a second and rushed over to Auggie.
Auggie couldn't believe it. Why would he say no? To sleep near this fantastic woman that lit up his world, how can he?
"If you don't mind me wearing these clothes again tomorrow." He gave off his biggest smile.
"YAY!" the girls cheered.
Shortly after Auggie found himself in Annie's room. A small fire was on ambers while he sat on the couch. Annie just walked in with some clothes in tow.
"Danielle found some of Michael's old clothes. They should fit you alright." She placed them down and took her spot next to him.
"Thank you." He hated to sleep in his slacks. Even though that never stopped him from just passing out instead of changing first. They took turns changing in the bathroom and settled back into the couch. Sharing a bottle of wine from the Christmas party at work, Auggie couldn't help but worry who else got her a gift. He tried to play cool.
"So, did you got a lot of gifts from the party?"
"Not really, I got this wine from Barber and Stu, a few scratch off lottery tickets, cards, a $25 gift card to Starbucks, the pictures from Jai, and the traditional 'holiday bonus' from Joan."
"Wow, and I thought I was the favorite," he teased. Hearing Annie yawn and shiver, he felt worried. "You okay?"
"Mhmm, just a little chilly."
"Well, here, come over here." She adjusted himself so Annie could snuggle closer to him. She moved in and before he knew it, they were fitting together perfectly like a puzzle. It took almost all of his strength now to stop his heart from beating so fast. Especially with Annie laying her head on top of his chest. But as he listened to her breathing he felt himself calm down.
As the clock began to chime midnight Auggie thought to himself:
"I wish, even if it was just for tonight, I wish I see Annie's face. To see her reaction as I give her my present. To really see her." Slowly though, his eyes felt heavy and before he knew it, he was asleep.
Auggie awoke with a start. Was that a bell he heard? He began to blink, why is it so dark? He lifted his head off the couch and saw the coals still smoldering. The light it emanated was enough to determine shadow and light- Wait a minute. Auggie blinked again and again. He could see! But…that was impossible! Dr. Kessler told him so. Feeling for his watch he felt the numbers.
A sudden movement stopped him. Looking down he saw long, blonde hair. It was as bright as sunshine itself. She was slender, yet athletically built. With long legs, and a tiny waist. Her eyes were almond-shaped under a pair of perfect brows. Her nose was small and, in hi opinion, the cutest thing for him to see. Her small, but wide mouth was covered from a full and pouty lip. So soft, and so sweet…so kissable. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. No, not a woman, but an angel.
With a small moan, this beautiful creature stirred again in waking.
"..uggie?" She lifted her head and opened her eyes to see him staring right at her. "Auggie? What's wrong?" She stared back at him in worry. And for a moment he kept staring back into her eyes. Those beautiful chocolate brown orbs with gold flecks alone almost made his heart stop.
"Annie,…I can see.." he stopped. Even if this was a dream or real, he couldn't tell her. He just wanted to enjoy it, right here, right now. If he woke up again tomorrow, and he could still see, then he'd go to the hospital. But right now, he just wanted to be with her: Annie Walker.
"What did you say?"
"I can see…that it's Christmas. And I can't wait to give you your present Annie." He gave her a big smile. Annie took a moment to register what he said.
"Oh…okay," she smiled back, revealing a dazzling set of perfect teeth. She got up and stretched. She was wearing a fuchsia-red sports bra and black yoga sweatpants. Following suite, Auggie then looked around, trying to find the bathroom. He walked slowly though, remembering what he had just said. Annie caught him though. "Do you need the bathroom?" He sighed in relief.
"Yes, please." She padded up to him, and like she always did she guided him. Showing landmarks along the way to help him. Once they reached it she told him where everything was. "Thanks Annie," he smiled at her. She smiled back.
Once alone, he took a moment to look at himself in the mirror. His hair had grown much longer and it curled near his eyes. He noticed his wrinkles and the roughness on his face that he made over the years. He could see he still kept his shape. Considering what he went through, he still looked good. He smiled. After using the bathroom, he made his way back towards Annie. She was sitting on her bed. She had a couple presents in her lap. She saw him coming.
"Need any help?"
"No, I got it." Auggie smiled. Oh, he knew oh too well he had everything. Walking slowly and looking in a more general fashion to make it seem he was still blind. Once he made it to the couch he picked up Annie's present. Joining Annie on the bed, Auggie placed his present next to him. He took a deep breathe internally.
"So, do you want to go first or shall I?" He looked towards her. Seeing her smile gave away the answer.
"I'll go first." She handed him two presents. One was fairly big while the other was small enough to fit in his hand.
"Is there a specific order which one I open first?" he joked. While keeping his eyes on her, he opened the larger present first. Once the present was unwrapped, he felt the Braille and was able to establish what his gift was. "A chess set…"he started as he felt it and tried to steal a few peeks without Annie noticing, "that speaks out so a blind person can have eyes on the board." He smiled.
"Do you like it?" He can see Annie was concerned. He reached out for her, trying his best to keep up his façade, even though it pained him fooling his best friend. Laying a hand on the side of her face he leaned in and had both of their foreheads touching.
"I love it." God, he wanted to kiss her. Annie, sensing the same desire corrected her throat and reached for his other gift.
"One more. I umm…" she bit her lip as she spoke, "I got this made special. Because you're very special to me Auggie. I'm just not sure if…"
"Annie, I'm sure whatever it is, I love that you went through a lot to get it for me. Like they say, 'it's the thought that counts'." He opened his hands and slowly reached for his gift. Once he had it in his lap he slowly opened it. On top was a small index card made in Braille. It read:
"To My St. Bernard,
He traced his hand on the thick chain. His hand than came across the dog tags. Pulling them out of the box he raised them to eye level. He saw in a flash that they were both in Braille and in raised text. He read them.
Auggie & Annie
"They're...umm…made with real silver." Annie hesitated. Auggie, feeling the emotions running through both of them, leaned over and hugged her. He clenched the gift as he held her tightly. He breathed in her scent. After what felt like an eternity, he finally spoke.
"Thank you, Annie."
After taking a moment to put on his new dog tags, Auggie reached for his present. Placing the little black bag in front of Annie, he told her.
"I chose this especially for you. And I hope you like it." She pulled out the red tissue paper and reached in. A smile came across her face as she pulled out a little plush St. Bernard with little antlers, a red nose, and a barrel under his chin.
"Aww, he's so cute!" Annie spoke it with a cute scrunched up face Auggie couldn't help but laugh. Under the dog's paws was the small black box. Annie pulled it out and opened it. Auggie stared at her, drinking in every piece of her expression. No words could truly describe what she must've felt. But only one word could express what he truly felt seeing her reaction, Joy.
Oh! Auggie…" she lifted the gold pendant out of the box. It was a long chain with a round charm with an angel etched into it. On the bottom were three diamonds hanging, framing the cherub within.
"I know, it's umm…"he started to get nervous. But then he remembered all the times Annie had saved him. Especially that one time when he was in Istanbul, and earlier this year during the hurricane. He wasn't himself without Annie around. He wanted to tell her. He needed to tell her.
"It's more than a typical Secret Santa gift, but there was more of a reason why I chose it." He looked out the window as she watched him. He continued. "Annie, ever since I met you I've felt like a different person. And when we're together I feel like I could 'see' again. I feel like I can 'see' you right now. And you've kept me grounded."
He took a deep breathe as he went for the plunge, he looked at her with as much courage as he had in him.
"You've saved me, Annie. Back in Istanbul and again in New Jersey, you watched out for me. And you don't do it just for me. You've done it to hundreds of other people including all of your assets and team members. I know you got Jai's mother here for Christmas, even though you didn't need to. I feel like you're a guardian angel. And that necklace, I think, reflects most of who you are Annie Walker."
At this he saw her smile. But knowing what he said and felt he started to look around a little. He started to get nervous. But then Annie leaned in and gave him a hug. She held him tightly and his nervousness melted away like the snow in the sun. She slowly pulled away and said into his ear.
Once she pulled back she moved her hair and clasped the necklace in place. He reached out and found the necklace around her neck as she did the same for him. Only one thing was on his mind at that moment.
"If only I could dance with her and kiss her under the mistletoe; then this perfect night would be even more perfect."
As he stayed put on the bed Annie took the wrappers and cleaned off the bed. While she finished clearing the trash Auggie heard something faint.
Another bell? Soon voices were heard in the distance. They started low but then the voices grew louder. Annie walked to her window.
"Auggie, look, carolers." He saw her coming but played the part and had her guide him to the window. He looked out and saw them. Carolers singing with candles in the snow.
"Annie, can you crack the window open a little? I want to hear their song." Annie smiled and complied to his whim. As they listened, the carolers started a new song.
"Silent Night, Holy Night"
"Annie?" Annie looked up at him.
"All is calm, All is bright."
"Would you care to dance with me?"
"Round yon Virgin Mother and Child."
"Holy Infant so Tender and Mild."
Annie took his hand and once they found a clear spot they danced together. The carolers leading them with their voices. They swayed along to what felt like forever. The two of them had fit so perfectly together. Before they realized it, the song was over as the carolers sang the last verse.
"Christ, the Saviour is born."
"Chris, the Saviour is born."
Annie and Auggie just stood there in each others arms, oblivious to everything outside the two of them. Neither leaned in or pulled back. Their foreheads were touching. His arms around her waist. Hers around his neck. Neither knowing what to do.
There was that bell again. And Auggie could tell Annie heard it too. Slowly she parted enough to look up and he followed. And there it was, like it was sent from heaven itself, mistletoe.
Auggie, knowing what to do, asked Annie.
"We're under mistletoe aren't we?" It sounded expecting which wasn't his intention. But even if Annie lied and said no, he would respect her and back away from it.
"Yes." It was time to take the deepest plunge he had ever taken. There was no going back now.
"Annie," he took her head in his hands and looked her in the eye, "I'm going to kiss you now."
Closing his eyes he leaned in and felt for her lips. When he made contact he tilted his head slightly and Annie followed with. It was sweet and tender. Brushing her already parted lips with his tongue, he felt it open a bit more, letting him have a small taste. He returned the favor for her as the kiss built itself in passion, if only in small margins. Neither pulled back right away. But like all good things that come to an end, so did this kiss.
When they finally parted, Annie and Auggie stared at each other again. They were soon distracted by a cold breeze from the window. Annie took a step and went to close the window. Auggie glanced to see the fire had gone out. The only light was from outside. Slowly Auggie padded over to Annie at the window. He drank in as much more of her as he could stand. He didn't want to miss anything. If he did go blind again, he wanted to have his image of Annie right.
"Annie, you alright?"
"Yeah, just a little chilly."
"Well, let's get you to bed then." As he helped her to bed Annie had him stay with her because she still felt cold. Like they did before, only the roles were reversed in position, they lied next to each other. After thinking for a few minutes, Auggie realized something. He checked his watch again.
Listening, he could hear Annie almost fall asleep. And he felt very sleepy too. He knew that once he fell asleep, he'd be blind again. With a deep breathe he spoke.
"What would you say if I told you that from the moment I woke up to now I have been able to see. But once I fall asleep I'll be blind again. Would you believe me?"
"Would you believe me if I told you it was still midnight and that this was only possible because I made a wish at midnight?"
"I believe anything is possible at Christmas, Auggie."
"I can see…"
And that is the end. Like always, I wanted to steam things up but keep the friendship there. I hope you all enjoyed it. Please Rate and Review!
And yes, I made every indicator that he did buy the Fox necklace. (see below)
*The necklace I described in the story is actually the Elizabeth and James Gold Plated Silver Fox Necklace. It is sold by Bloomingdales. It is one of their newest additions and goes well with Annie's character. A cunning fox.*
**For Auggie's eyesight, I wanted to give off "The Polar Express" and "The Nutcracker" vibe. So he does get his eyesight back from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep. When he wakes up again later in the morning, he goes back to being blind. I didn't do this out of cruelty. I only thought of the whole, 'what if' factor.**
***The necklace he actually gave her was the Temple St. Clair 18 Kt. Gold Angel Pendant with Diamonds. Again, found at Bloomingdales. I didn't want the whole 'fox' thing be given by Auggie as that was more of a thing between her and Jai.***