Chapter 1

Ignorance is Bliss

Her eyelids flickered as her senses slowly came back to her, feeling as though she was coming round from anaesthetic, threatening to reveal the cold, cruel world she had been enveloped in and consumed by these past few days.

He had always protected her from it before, always kept it at arm's length, thinking that she was too fragile, too delicate to live in it, too afraid to lose her to it as he had done with how many others? He had been right...

It was strange now that she thought about it, to be so caught up in the life she left, to be taken into the country's heart and have all of its dirty little secrets laid bare before her and still manage to live a sheltered life, to not know everything, to still have a little naivety, a little innocence left to her. That she could live in naivety fully aware of its existence, but never a part of it, not completely, only ever allowing herself to dip into it behind one-way glass, watching but never watched.

That had all changed now. She had been thrust in at the deep end, the only think that had stopped her from drowning before was now gone, taken away from her to God knows where, leaving her nothing to hold on to, floating in a black abyss beyond the reach of those who would move Heaven and Earth and still be unable to find her in Hell.

She allowed consciousness to wash over her without allowing herself to become fully conscious of her surroundings, whatever they were, she did not want to see them, did not want to have to accept the reality of what had now become her life...Ignorance was indeed, bliss...

She shivered and pulled her knees closer up to her chest, trembling with cold and trying not to, burying her hands into the armpits of the thick cotton jumper he had given her and that she was now infinitely grateful for, pulling it tightly around her as she did so, withdrawing like a turtle into its shell.

She pulled herself closer to the harsh, freezing, stone wall behind her, hoping to seek some comfort from it. She had never fully appreciated what it meant to be in solitary confinement, never understood what kind of effect it had on a person, and have not appreciated the company and solace he had provided in this Hell.

She jumped as a drop of icy water landed between her eyes and caused her to open them involuntarily, becoming suddenly aware of the cold pool that was forming beneath her.

Muffling a sharp scream of horror and alarm in her woollen sleeve she staggered to her feet, shocked, the thick soles of her boots splashing in the half-inch of water that had formed beneath them.

Someone that would ordinarily have caused her some irritation and discomfort now, in her shock and confusion, caused terror to flare in her chest as her heart began to flutter rapidly like that of a dying bird as she realised this was far from ordinary. Waking up where she had done these past few days would have been bad enough but now she wished she could return to the cold, clinical, white-walled cell now that she discovered she was trapped at the bottom of something that resembled a deep, square well. The walls behind her rose in sharp, unyielding sheets of cold stone to a small opening above her, the thin tube was only about four feet wide but stretched up for what seemed like miles above her, though in reality was only around fifteen feet, its seemingly endless ascent halted by a thick iron gate that was protected by thick chains, locked together by a combination padlock that loomed down upon her with an almost mocking air of awful finality.

She looked around her in desperation, the insistent water had already risen to her ankles as she pounded on the thick walls, panic giving way to hysteria and accomplishing nothing but scraped fists and bruised knuckles, sliding down the wall in despair.

From her position curled on the floor she noticed that, just over her head, a slim piece of paper had been taped precariously to the sheer stone wall, she tore it down, her eyes reading the words that sickened her and made her wish she could throw them away as she did the paper they were written on,

Water, water everywhere and far too much to drink. "

Your friends trade codes or what do you think,

The greater good

They always do

So I'd say your goodbyes before you sink.

She knew that the twisted poem was right; she knew what they would do because she knew what they would do in her position. As a spook, it was an unspoken clause in the job description that you would give everything to this job, up to and including your life, both physically and emotionally.

How many times had she seen it? How many of them had she watched forced through Traitor's Gate? Wasn't this job and all the 'necessary evils' the reason she believed that a man she had worked with for three years, had trusted, had cared about, would have attempted to kill her because of what had broken inside him because of this job. And how many of their funerals had attended in how little time? Had she really been so naive as to think that her desk or his protection would have stopped them attending hers one day? Everyone was chewed up and spat out by the machine that was MI-5 and if that was all you got then you were lucky, but no-one left with what they started, they all lost something...

They all went in to this job on a timer; knowing that they had an expiry date, that they were disposable, that when it came down to the choice between an enforced self-sacrifice of the most extreme kind, against the 'greater good' that the greater good would always be chosen. A democracy to the bitter end.

And what did they receive, what did they expect for working with bombs on their brains and devil's on their backs? Nothing. No medals, no red-carpets and black-tie award ceremonies, no fame and no fortune, no-one would ever remember your name and your sacrifice because no-one would ever know that you existed...

Without ever giving it permission to do so, she found her body shaking violently and slumped back against the frozen wall as she collapsed, screaming in frustration and fear, hands going to her mouth, her tears adding to the swelling pool around her as she broke down.

She knew, she knew that had her worst fear had come true, down here, very alone...They would not pick her at the cost of thousands of innocent lives, both here and abroad, not to mention the international chaos...She would not pick her, and he could not pick her, not now...She was going to die. She was going to die down here alone and in the dark. She was going to die in pain and terror because no-one cared enough to save her and she had almost six hours to come to terms with that. To come to terms with the things that she hadn't and now couldn't say, with the people she loved and would now never see and the ones she loved who would now never know, she would not be able to tell them because, in just under six hours...She would be dead.

A/N: Thanks for reading, review if you have a minute :)