I'm back! This is the sequel to Surviving; it's Sasha centric but there's a good amount of Harry and Ruth as well. For anyone who hasn't read 'Surviving' I suppose you don't need to have read to understand but here's a quick update of the situation. Harry and Ruth are engaged, she's on medical leave and planning their wedding and Sasha is now one of the good guys, as is Ilya Gavrik.
This is just a short prologue, there will be more soon.
The air was cold on the steps of the National Gallery and Harry drew his coat tightly around him.
"You are early."
Harry started slightly, then frowned, annoyed at himself for letting someone sneak up on him. He turned, meeting the eyes of the FSB officer with an irritated stare.
"Why did you call me here, Sasha?" he asked, dispensing with pleasantries. The young Russian looked stressed, tension was evident in the lines of his shoulders and there were dark circles under his eyes, showing his obvious exhaustion.
"The FSB delegation in London is being targeted," he replied without preamble. Harry's eyebrows rose. "We have had five agents killed on operations in the last three weeks. These operations were all non-contact and only MI5 and the FSB knew about them."
Harry frowned. "You believe that we may have a leak?"
Sasha sighed. "My father believes that the leak is within MI5. I don't know-it could be from either agency. He believes that, due to the cooperation talks, the FSB and MI5 should work together." Harry's mouth opened to reply with an emphatic negative. A small smile tugged at Sasha's lips. "Just a suggestion. And not mine, so don't shoot the messenger." The smile faded. "I would appreciate it if you would consider it, though. I must get back to work. I will call you with any developments."
Harry nodded. "Okay. I hope this works itself out."
Sasha grimaced. "So do I."
Harry watched as Sasha walked away. It was amazing how things had changed since the disastrous incident with Elena Gavrik. With Ilya Gavrik back in Russia and Sasha in charge of the FSB presence in London, things had become far more relaxed between Harry and the Gavriks, and the FSB had become allies. Even so, he had been surprised to receive the call from Sasha, telling him to go to Trafalgar Square. No indication of the reason had been given; Sasha had not wanted to give details over the phone.
Harry sighed. It had only been a month since the events at the MOD bunker and Ruth was still on medical leave, though she would return to the Grid in the next week. He would be glad when she did; the temporary replacement was good but not...Ruth. He smiled at the thought of his fiancée. While at home, Ruth had not been idle. Instead, she had been planning their wedding with unexpected enthusiasm. The venue and guest list were already sorted, she was currently working on the invites and the reception.
He sighed again. He would have to talk this FSB matter over with her tonight, but first he had to discuss it with his team.
Section D were all gathered in the meeting room, staring at Harry expectantly. He cleared his throat.
"The FSB delegation in London have had five agents killed in the past three weeks, all on low risk operations. Only MI5 and the FSB were aware if these ops." Harry took a breath and glanced at each agent. "It is believed that there is a leak in one of the agencies. Sasha told me that Ilya Gavrik believes that the leak is in MI5."
The replacement analyst, Emily, piped up. "What does he believe?"
Harry sighed. "He doesn't know. Sasha is leading the investigation into this matter. He relayed a suggestion that MI5 and the FSB run a joint investigation. We are the only ones aware of the potential leak at the moment."
"Did you agree to the joint investigation?" Dimitri asked.
Harry shook his head. "Not yet. I told Sasha that we would think about it. I would like your opinions."
Erin frowned. "I don't know. A joint op with the FSB? It could be risky."
"Yeah, but if we have a leak, that could be even more risky," Callum put in. "It can't be good for diplomacy if FSB agents are getting picked off in London because of a leak in MI5."
Dimitri nodded. "Callum's right. The Russians won't be too happy if we let their agents die because of a lack of cooperation."
"But we'd have to be very careful about the amount of information we share," Emily said, frowning. "Personally, I'm not as ready to trust them as you all seem to be."
The four regular Section D officers shared a look. The new analyst had not been happy about the possibility of the FSB being their allies.
"What do you think, Harry?" Dimitri asked.
Harry thought for a moment. "You all have valid points. I think that we should help, however I will discuss it further with the Home Secretary."
"And Ruth," Callum added. At Harry's look, he suddenly discovered that the table was a fascinating object and stared down at it, avoiding his boss's glare.
"Okay, that's everything," Harry told them. "I will tell you if anything happens."
They all filed out and Harry sighed. He could see them discussing the matter, Erin and Emily arguing against the suggestion, Callum and Dimitri arguing for it. He knew that Callum had become friends with Sasha in the past month and he had no doubt that this fact at least partially influenced his opinion. He had been surprised at Dimitri's view, however, as the former SBS officer was usually less charitable towards foreign agencies. He pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. He really needed to talk to Ruth.
Hope you enjoyed this, please review. Constructive criticism is welcome but no flames please.