Everyone loved this and wanted more, so here you go! I'm thinking it will be about 5 chapters, more or less, so please continue to give your input :) I always like to hear ideas & speculations, they help me make every chapter better.
Joan runs into Arthur's office, all poise and coolness gone. She's crying, which she never does.
"Arthur, it's…. it's Henry. He got to Annie."
Arthur's eyes widened. "What do you mean?"
"He gave her a file. The first thing in it is a picture of us from the days of our affair, and it gets progressively worse. Those unsanctioned ops you and Henry used to run, Conrad's quick departure…"
"Damn it." Arthur is seething, and he whips his glasses off to toss them on the desk. "This is why we needed him behind bars."
"Well, now he's out. And all those secrets from the last 15 years, they might come out too," Joan wiped her eyes. She hates to cry, because it is the ultimate sign of weakness. And she is not weak. She sits down in a chair across from Arthur's desk.
"Wait, how did you know?," Arthur asked, reaching across to grab Joan's hand. She sighed.
"Annie." Joan sighs. "She asked me to come to her house this morning. She wanted to apologize to me for bucking my authority, for all the fights we've been having lately."
Arthur sighs too, because he knows that all Joan wants is to be bale to mentor Annie, show her the way. It's hard to get Joan to cry, and Annie did it in ten minutes.
"We're going to make this better, honey, I promise," Arthur says. He walks around the desk and leans down to place a soft kiss on Joan's lips.
"Go home," he whispers. "I will take care of this, okay?"
Joan nods but feels confused. How can something like this just go away?
Arthur watches her leave, then closes the door behind her and sits back down in his desk chair. It takes the unlocking of a bottom drawer to find Joan's answer, sitting under a stack of legal pads.
A .45 Colt Revolver. Dark, cold, and loaded.
Annie is still sitting on her bedroom floor when she gets the call, her face stained with tears.
"Walker. Bring it to my office. Now."
She stands up, slips the file into her purse, and grabs her keys. The feeling is the kind one feels on the way to their execution.
She has sunk to her lowest low. She never thought she would betray someone she cared about.
Joan sits on her and Arthur's bed, feeling betrayal in the cruelest way. She knew the moment Annie brought back Staas's phone from her first mission that she was special. Determined, and the glint in her eyes still visible under the heavy DC-hooker makeup. Someone Joan could mentor, someone who could even be better than her one day.
Was all that gone now?
She unzips her sheath dress and tosses it on the floor, climbing under covers in her pale pink bra and matching panties.
Arthur will wake her when he gets home, and update her if anything changes. Normally, it would be hard to fall asleep, but she's so exhausted (more mentally than anything else) that it only takes a few minutes.
Annie needs to stop to get gas, and she sits in her car as the tank fills up, trying to think of a game plan. A way to defeat Henry and keep her relationship with Joan intact.
She gets out of the car to take the nozzle out of the now filled gas tank, and turns around for 5 seconds to put it away. When she sits back down in the driver's seat, someone else is in the car.
"Don't even open your mouth," the man says. He is a little older than her, with dark hair and dark eyes. He's wearing a fancy suit, and hands her an envelope.
"Henry Wilcox wants to make sure you follow through with your promise," he says, almost whispering. "You will help him with the first part of the plan today."
He gets out of the backseat and walks away, and Annie stares down at the envelope. It's bumpy, and when she rips it open, a cell phone falls out.
"Hello?," Annie cradles the phone against her shoulder as she straps on her seatbelt. Her voice is timid.
"Miss Walker, I see you met Michaelson. Very good. Now, I need you to do me a favor: tell me where Joan Campbell is."
Annie is confused. Her boss is probably at work, channeling her anger into being an expert spy."At the DPD."
"No, she's not," Henry says. "So find out where she is and tell me. Keep me updated on her location."
Now Annie is scared. "Why? What are you going to do to her?"
"That, Miss Walker, is none of your concern," Henry says smoothly. "You agreed to help me. I was under the impression we had a common goal."
"Yes, yes, of course," Annie stammers. "What you said at the diner was vague, but…."
"Let me worry about the details. Oh, and Annie? Not a word of this to anyone. Especially your little tech op."
The line goes dead and Annie tosses the phone onto her car floor. Shit.
When she arrives at the Agency, it's like any other day. With one exception: instead of going to the DPD, she goes straight to the 7th flood. Arthur's secretary, Midge, sees her and immediately says, "The DCS is waiting for you."
Annie gulps and nods. Midge goes back to work, because she knows nothing. She has no clearance level at all, but Annie still feels like she is being judged.
He's at his desk, pouring over papers. He looks up at Annie, his eyes cold and unforgiving. That signature Arthur Campbell charm is completely gone.
Annie pulls the file out of her purse and hands it to him. He flips through it, showing no emotion. When he's done, he tosses it down on the desk and stares at her.
"So, got a plan? Because I sure as hell don't, and you got us into this."
Annie sighs. "I wish I did, sir, but…."
Arthur rubs his temples. "Fuck."
"I am so, so sorry, Arthur, I…"
"Save it." He holds up his hand. "Truth of the matter is, if you didn't alert us to this, we may have never seen it coming. But you need to be with us, not against us, got it? No matter what he says."
"Is this all about that photo?," Annie asked, sitting down in a chair across from Arthur's desk. He shook his head.
"No... there is much more to this. Without knowing what I know, those documents in the file look meaningless. But they tie Henry, Joan, and I to some pretty bad ops. Dark ops."
Annie and Arthur just stare at each other for a moment, both wondering if Arthur is going to read her in. After a few seconds, Arthur speaks.
"Fifteen years ago, Henry was still DCS. I was his third-in-command, and Joan was a field agent in the DPD. Henry had gotten in trouble several times for the dark ops he ran, so he needed to take them off-book. I'm sorry to say I helped. I had my eye on his position once he retired, and helping him would get me there. Joan wasn't involved until a few years later, when her safety became a problem."
"So he's threatening you with the past?"
Arthur sighs and rubs his temples more. "If only it were in the past. But about 2 years ago, right after you were recruited, I sent Conrad on another dark op. It's classified, but I wouldn't have done if it wasn't necessary. How Henry found out about it, I don't know, but he made it clear to me later in the year that if he wasn't included, he would dig up the past. That threat was gone once he was in prison, but now that he's out…"
"… nothing is safe, and he has no more secrets," Annie finishes. She puts her head in her hands. They are both silent for a while, and then Annie pulls herself together.
"Well, then let's craft a plan," Annie feels guilty over her conversation with Henry earlier. "Is Joan here? I want us to all work together."
Arthur shakes his head. "She went home, she wasn't feeling well. I'll read her in tomorrow. We need a team, so grab Auggie and Barber. No one else."
Annie heart sinks. Auggie can't be pulled into this, he just can't. If he knows he's part of the threat he'll throw himself into the line of fire for her. She shakes her head.
"No. Not Auggie."
Arthur looks confused, but then he understands. It's how he feels about Joan.
He nods. "Okay. I'll assemble the team, bring in some of guys in OSP."
Annie nods. "Thank you, sir."
"We have a lot to do, so get comfortable," he says, standing up and walking over to his filing cabinets. "Let Midge know what kind of coffee you want."
Annie feels trapped. She doesn't want to, but she has to call Henry. "I'm actually going to step outside and use the restroom, so I can get it myself. But thank you."
Arthur nods and watches her leave, then continues to search for documents on the old dark ops.
"She's home," Annie whispers into the burner phone, after checking under all the stalls.
"Thank you." Henry says, then hangs up. Annie stuffs the phone in her purse and slams her fist into the stall door, much like her first day of work. She feels similar too: lost and scared.
Joan wakes up at 2 in the afternoon and checks her phone. She has 2 messages, one from Auggie saying that he can cover for her, and one from Arthur telling her that he and Annie are working on a plan. A smile dances across her lips, because she's always wanted Arthur to see Annie like she does. And if he didn't scream at her and then send her back to the DPD, he finally sees why she is special.
She hopes that tomorrow she can talk to Annie, figure everything out. Joan knows Auggie is in danger, which matters to her too. She wants Annie to know that they can fight together, and keep everyone they love safe.
She's sitting up in bed when she feels a migraine coming on. Last week, she ran out of Advil, and has been too busy to pick up another bottle, so she dresses in yoga pants, a slightly oversized cranberry-colored t-shirt, and converse sneakers. She throws on a gray hoodie and stuffs her wallet and phone into the pockets. She almost picks up her car keys, but then decides to walk. It's only 30 minutes to the drugstore, and she could use the fresh air.
5 minutes later, her blonde wavy hair is brushed and she is walking out the front door. She only makes it a few feet down the sidewalk before someone throws a bag over her head and drags her into a van, speeding off down the empty suburban street.