Well, until I find my funny bone (last seen being buried by my dog), I thought I might give a serious Spooks story a try. Naturally, I have decided on the topic of what happened in Baghdad. I've set it between series 4 & 5, the time I think it must have taken place.
If you've come to this story looking for a real action packed thriller, you still have a chance to press the back button. I don't believe this operation to be too overly dramatic and haven't written it as such.
Anyway, hope you enjoy somewhat.
Disclaimer: All characters, settings etc. are rightful property of Kudos. I own none of it, no copyright infringement intended, it has merely happened by accident.
"Yes, I- right, okay. Yes," Ruth drummed her fingers absently against her desk as she cradled the phone to her ear, "but everything went-? Yes, fine. Thank you very much. I'll tell them all right away."
She dropped the phone back onto her desk and turned in her chair to face the rest of the Section D team, who were watching her with baited breath. She didn't show any reaction on her face as she talked to the person on the other end of the line. Harry would have been proud; born spook indeed. Ruth took time out to shuffle some folders into order before looking at them all, her face covered by a beaming smile.
"He's stable, Adam's stable" she said, and her voice was drowned out by a collective sigh of relief and animated chatter. They had been waiting for almost ten hours for news on their colleague and friend. There had been one moment of pure panic when the doctor informed Ruth that Adam had died on the table once during the operation. But he was a survivor it seemed. Wes wouldn't be an orphan.
Ruth slumped back in her chair, smiling as she watched happiness alter everyone. It was almost as if the Grid was suddenly flooded with light and colour. No longer the blue pulsing of the lockdown, but genuine bright colours lit up with smiles.
She felt a presence behind her and knew immediately who it was. It was strange really, how she could pick out who it was by the butterflies that seemed intent on rising in her stomach and the quickening of her own breath. Ruth cocked her head and saw Harry leaning against her desk, his hands folded in his lap as he watched the team gathering their coats. End of the day, celebratory drink at The George.
"Good news I take it?" Harry asked softly, looking at Ruth.
Ruth gave him a brilliant smile, her eyes glittering in the light.
"He's stable. Resting. Wes should be allowed to see him soon."
"Good, that's good."
Harry watched as Ruth looked back over at her colleagues. Jo had just finished buttoning up her coat when she shouted across to the analyst and boss.
"We're all going for drinks to celebrate. Either of you coming?"
Ruth looked down at the pile of paperwork on her desk and sighed. If she left now, the paperwork would never get done and she would be in no mood tomorrow with a headache to do it.
"I'll pass," Ruth replied, pointing at the work that littered her desk. Jo winced in sympathy and looked towards Harry. He glanced down at Ruth, who tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and focused intently on the files, before standing up.
"No thank you, Joanna," he said, "While I am glad that Adam is stable, this country is far from it."
Jo nodded and accepted the excuse for what it was; an excuse. She wasn't stupid, she could see the spark between them both. If they wanted time alone on the Grid, she wouldn't be the one to get in the way of it. She was happy for them, really.
"See you both tomorrow then!" She called out, before exiting the pods. Silence reigned on the Grid. Ruth looked around and realised that she was alone with Harry. It was always them left, it had become almost tradition now. Usually they discussed the threat they had just overcome with a cup of tea at Ruth's desk. Ruth wondered briefly if they would do the same tonight and wasn't sure whether she wanted to or not. Angela Wells was a personal demon for Ruth. She didn't want to disclose anymore than she had to on the matter. Then again, it was Harry. She trusted him with her life. Ruth knew that if she told him anything it would stay between them.
Harry took control of the moment this evening, leaning over Ruth's desk behind her. She could feel his chest brush her back and suppressed a shudder while trying also to keep her heart rate under control. If he noticed her breath catch then it would lead to awkwardness.
"Ruth," he murmured softly, "can I have a word in my office?"
"Of course Harry," she replied gently with a smile.
She didn't question his serious expression and instead followed him diligently into his office. As she entered, Harry stepped behind her and slid the door shut, locking it with a soft 'click'. This was new; he never locked his door. Ruth watched as he moved towards the comfortable chairs by the office windows.
"Harry?" She asked, inwardly cursing as her voice shook slightly with anticipation. Calling her into his office and locking the door was not their usual behaviour.
Harry sat down with a sigh and indicated with his hand that she join him. Ruth acquiesced and chose the seat next to him. His arm lay across the back of her chair and the slightest movement brought her left shoulder in contact with his chest.
"Ruth," he started gently, "I asked you to come in here because what I am about to ask cannot be heard by anyone else."
Ruth remained silent and looked into his eyes, willing him to continue.
"It is of utmost importance that what I say does not leave this room, are we clear?"
Ruth's butterflies disappeared, replaced by a lead weight and a healthy dose of alarm and curiosity. Whatever it was, it was eating Harry up, she could see it in his worried expression.
"Harry, what is it? What's going on?"
"I need to ask something of you, Ruth. It is an imposition and I can only apologise, but you are the only one I trust enough to disclose this information with."
"Whatever you need Harry," Ruth immediately replied. She would walk to the ends of the earth for this man.
"You may not say that when I have told you what it is about."
"There's only one way to find out," She was becoming more uneasy with the way Harry wouldn't look directly at her. His gaze was shifting between the air above her shoulder and his own lap.
"I-" he cleared his throat, "I need you to accompany me on a trip."
Ruth took a few moments to hide her shock and formulate a response.
"A trip?" she eventually asked, "and is this trip relevant to the information you are going to disclose?"
"Very relevant," Harry replied, "I need someone I trust and someone who is adaptable with languages."
"Where are we going?" Ruth asked confidently. Harry's eyebrows rose at the strength behind her agreement and stared straight into her eyes this time. Her cheeks flushed red but she did not look away.
"We're going to Baghdad."
Would be lovely to hear your thoughts on this, please review if you have a moment to spare. Chapter 2 will hopefully be up shortly (maybe tomorrow, it's been written and everything).