I've had several requests to turn this into a multi chapter story, so I'll give it a go. Not exactly sure where this will go tough.
The season 3 premiere blew me away! It was VERY good and I can't wait to see the rest of the season. Especially looking forward to next weeks episode. A&A posing as a married couple in Barcelona... Can't wait! :o)
DISCLAIMER: Don't own Annie, Auggie or Covert Affairs. Just my storyline.
Anne Catherine "Annie" Walker
College student in her senior year of linguistics studies at Georgetown University. Decides to volunteer at a VA Rehab facility in her spare time.
August "Auggie" Anderson
Army Captain and Computer Engineer. Blinded by an explosion during his last tour in Iraq. Originally from Glencoe, Illinois, but relocated to Washington DC after a promotion a couple of years earlier.
Annie Walker pulled her red VW into the staff parking lot at the VA rehabilitation facility in Sterling, Virginia. It was Sunday morning and her first day as a volunteer. Although she had volunteered at military base hospitals through most of her teens she was nervous. It was something about the big building that was imposing. She straightened her spine, squared her shoulders and headed inside to meet up with the volunteer coordinator and get her assignment.
An hour later she was walking down the hallway toward the blind rehabilitation unit. If possible she was even more nervous. She'd never been around anyone blind before and had no idea what to expect. A smiling middle-aged woman emerged from one of the doors. She stopped and looked at Annie for a second.
"Are you Annie? The new volunteer?"
Annie nodded affirmatively and held out her hand. "Annie Walker, nice to meet you."
"I'm Judith Wilkins, the care coordinator here at the blind rehab center. Let's get you a locker and we'll get to work. Have you ever worked with blind people?"
"Never. I grew up as an army brat and from I started High School I volunteered at the base hospital where Dad was stationed. This is completely new to me though. I have to admit I'm kind of nervous."
Annie had butterflies the size of eagles flittering around her stomach when she walked down the hallway. Judith had given her a crash course in sighted guide techniques and a few pointers on how to interact with a blind person. Her first assignment was to guide a patient to the dining room for lunch. She reached the correct room, the door was ajar and she peeked into the room. She saw a young man, Captain Anderson she'd been told, sitting on the edge of the bed, his shoulders were slumped and he was fidgeting with what appeared to be an iPhone. She knocked tentatively on the doorframe and his snapped up and he turned in her general direction. "Wow," was Annie's first thought. "Hadn't expected to run into a cute guy here." She noticed his dark brown eyes, chiseled jaw and wavy brown hair. Definitely handsome in Annie's book, but she quickly tried to put those thoughts away. His baritone voice pulled her from her thoughts.
"What? Who's there?" he said in a harsh tone.
"Oh, I'm Annie. I'm here to take you to the mess hall for lunch."
"Not hungry," he spat out.
"Umm…okay then. If you're sure I guess I'll go ask Judith if there's someone else that needs my assistance," Annie said as she turned and left the room. There was something about the man that intrigued her, but his hostility came as a surprise. When she was halfway down the hall she ran into Judith.
"Where's Captain Anderson?" she asked.
"In his room. Said he wasn't hungry. Rather harshly actually."
"He's been angry and uncooperative since he got here a week ago. We struggle to get him to eat too. Says he don't wanna be a spectacle in the dining room."
"Oh…" Annie thought for a few seconds. "What about bringing something to his room? Is that allowed?"
"Normally no, but feel free to try. He really should eat something."
Annie nodded affirmatively and headed to the mess hall. She picked up a tray and filled it with a bowl of tomato soup, a club sandwich, a bag of chips and two bottles of water. A few minutes later she was back in Captain Anderson's room. He was still sitting on the edge of his bed.
"Captain Anderson?" she said tentatively.
"What now? I said I'm not…" His voice trailed off as he inhaled.
"I brought you a tray of food. You should really try to eat something."
"You brought food here?" he asked in a softer tone, looking slightly puzzled.
"Yeah, I'll set the tray down on the desk. There's a bowl of tomato soup, a club sandwich and a bag of chips. I also brought you a couple of bottles of water."
"Oh…" He didn't know what to say, but he stood up and cautiously crossed the room with his hands slightly extended in front of him, located the chair and sat down by the desk. Annie described the locations of the items on the tray to him and within minutes he had polished off the soup and moved on to the sandwich and chips.
"I thought you weren't hungry," Annie said as he finished the sandwich.
"I guess I was wrong," he replied with a shrug after swallowing the last piece of sandwich.
"No problem. Judith said you didn't like to eat in the dining room. I figured you'd be more comfortable in your room. I guess I'll take the tray and bring it back there."
He didn't answer as she picked up the tray and left his room, but Annie was still happy with herself; She'd managed to get him to eat something.
A couple of days later Annie returned for her second volunteer shift. Part of her was eager to see Captain Anderson again; there was something about him that intrigued her. As she walked down the main hallway Judith greeted her.
"Hi Annie. Glad to see we didn't scare you away. It's dinner time, could you try to get Captain Anderson to eat something today too? We didn't have much success beyond a couple of apples yesterday."
"Would it be okay if I brought the meal to his room, like I did with lunch the other day?"
"Sure, but don't make a habit of it. He really should go to the dining room to eat with the rest of he patients."
"Got it. I'll do my best."
Anne made a detour to the dining room to see what the menu choices were and then she headed for Captain Anderson's room, bracing herself for his foul mood. His door was ajar and she saw him lying on the bed, his eyes were closed and he appeared to be slumbering. She knocked tentatively on the doorjamb.
"What is it now?" he asked sharply, sitting up in bed.
"It's Annie, from the other day. I came to see if you wanted to go to the dining room for dinner or if you wanted me to bring your dinner here."
"Oh…" All of a sudden he seemed a bit deflated. "They let you bring my dinner here? Everyone else insists that I eat in the dining room."
"It's not something they usually allow, but I can be pretty persuasive. Today's choices are pot roast with mashed potatoes or fish and chips. What do you want?"
"Pot roast sounds nice," he responded flatly.
"Pot roast it is then, I'll be right back."
Ten minutes later Annie placed a tray with a plate of pot roast, mashed potatoes and glazed carrots on Auggie's desk. She'd also brought a chocolate pudding and a bottle of water for him. Just as the other day she described the locations of everything to him and he dug in hungrily. Annie sat quietly, surfing the net on her iPhone, while he ate. She didn't want to stare. She was deeply immersed in an article when August's deep baritone voice pulled her back to the present.
"Thanks Annie. I appreciate it."
"My pleasure. I don't know how long I'll be able to pull it off for."
He sighed heavily and his shoulders slumped. "I know," he said, sounding a bit defeated. Annie got up and grabbed the tray to bring it back to the mess hall with her. Just as she reached the door Auggie spoke again.
"By the way, please call me Auggie," he said quietly.
"Auggie? That's a new one, don't think I've heard that before."
"Short for August, but the only one that calls me that is my mother when she's pissed at me."
"I see. My full name is Anne Catherine, but I haven't been called that since I was grounded during high school I think," Annie said with a small laugh. A brief smile flickered across Auggie's face.
Almost a week passed before Annie was able to do another shift at the rehab center, the first week of the semester had kept her busy. It was midday Sunday when she walked down the hall toward Auggie's room. He was sitting by the desk, his fingers moving slowly over a page filled with Braille characters. She watched for a couple of minutes, 'till he suddenly pushed the pages across the desk and cursed. Then he turned in her direction with an irritated look on his face.
"Hi Annie. Staring at a blind guy is sort of rude. It's not like I can reciprocate," Auggie said with annoyance in his tone, but there was also a hint of teasing.
"Uh…oh…I'm sorry, you seemed to be so focused, and I didn't wanna interrupt. How did you know it was me?"
"Lucky guess. I don't think there are that many women here that wears Jo Malone Grapefruit."
"Oh, am I wearing too much perfume?" Annie said, worry lacing her voice. She'd just recently switched perfumes and still weren't 100% comfortable with how much to apply.
"No," Auggie said shaking his head. "It's just unusual. Most of the women here smell like flowers."
"So, how are you doing?"
"Okay I guess. Trying to learn Braille, which is damn impossible. My fingertips aren't sensitive enough. Where have you been all week?"
"First week of classes combined with moving into a new apartment kept me busy. I've managed to settle most things now, so the coming week should be less crazy."
"You're in college?"
"Senior year of a linguistics major at Georgetown. I've pretty much covered everything my major requires, but I still lack a few general credits. It won't be a very hard year for me study wise. That's why I decided to do some volunteer work."
"I know it's rude to ask a lady how old she is, but it's not like I can see you and judge for myself. I think you sound younger than most of the volunteers though."
"I'm 25. You're right; I'm younger than the other volunteers. I think most of them are at lest in their 40'ies, some of them are probably in their 70'ies."
"I suspected that. Some of them kind of act like my grandmother," he said with a small smile on his face. "Listen, I'm sorry I was such a dick the last time you were here. Everything is just so overwhelming; I don't know how to deal with it all."
"Don't worry about it. I can't even imagine how hard this is for you."
"Thanks Annie," Auggie responded quietly. Over that past week he'd realized he needed a friend. His family was halfway across the country in Glencoe, Illinois and his college and high school friends were scattered all over the country. He didn't have any close friends in the DC area. He'd moved there a couple of years earlier and he'd been immersed in his work since he moved there. His social life hadn't been on his list of priorities; being in a management position had proved to be more challenging than he'd anticipated and he'd let work take over his life. Then, about eight months earlier, he'd been asked to do a second tour in Iraq, which he'd accepted. The desk job was getting tedious and the action over in Iraq was tempting.
"Hi Auggie," Annie greeted him as she entered his room at dinnertime the following Tuesday. "How are you?"
"I'm okay I guess, been worse. How's your week going?"
"It's been good. A couple of my classes are proving to be more interesting than I thought they'd be."
"Well that's good. Is it almost dinnertime?"
"Yeah, I came to get you. They said you had to go to the dining room."
"I know. It's ok, I've had most of my meals there the past week." Auggie rose from his seat and headed for the door and grasped a long white cane that rested against the dresser.
"Um…do you want me to lead or are you using your cane?"
"Cane. Might as well practice. Do you mind keeping me company while I eat?"
"Sure, I'd be happy to."
Ten minutes later Annie placed a tray in front of Auggie. After describing where everything was on the tray and on his plate she sat down across from him.
"You know a little bit about me, but I barely know anything about you. Would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself?" Annie asked after a few minutes of silence, hoping she wasn't pushing her luck too much.
"Sure. I grew up in Glencoe, Illinois, youngest of five boys. Studied Computer Engineering at MIT, graduated little over seven years ago. I did ROTC in college and went on active duty after graduation. Did a tour in Iraq and when I came back got a job in Chicago. Got promoted and transferred to DC a couple of years ago, last year I got asked to do another tour in Iraq, which I accepted. Ran into an IED and here I am," he said with a shrug.
"How long has it been?"
"Almost a month now. First they shipped me to Landstuhl, then on to Walter Reed before I finally arrived here a couple of weeks ago. I hoped to do my rehab at the Hines VA in Illinois, it's close to my family, but there was a two month wait to be admitted there. I just want to get it over with, so I here I am."
"You don't have any family in the DC area?"
He shook his head. "No. My parents and all of my brothers and their families live in the Chicago area."
"Oh, what about friends in the area?"
"Not really. Not close friends anyway, co-workers and acquaintances mostly."
"Well, if you want a friend I'm here. It's got to be hard to go through this alone."
"Thanks Annie. I appreciate it, I could use a friend."
"No problem," Annie said, reaching over to give his hand a squeeze. Auggie gave her a small smile in return. He had the feeling it was the beginning of a great friendship, Annie was something special.
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