Annie had been shuttled from the yacht to an aircraft carrier and then helicoptered to an airstrip in Vietnam where she rode a military cargo jet to the Philippines. In the Philippines, she was able to join some US diplomats that were assessing the US response to the typhoon damage on a private jet back to DC.
Through all of this, she said little more than "Thank you," to anybody. Her near-comatose state on the flight to Dulles led the other passengers to assume she was a young traveler who had been caught in the area during the storm and was suffering from post-traumatic stress. They were right in more ways than one.
The CIA still had no idea how they were going to treat Annie upon her arrival. Other than rewarding her as a hero, she needed thorough debriefings and psychological evaluations. Since her actions were well known to those with the power to decide her future, they were willing to make exceptions to protocol for the immediate days ahead.
This is why, when Annie stepped off the plane in Dulles, Auggie was waiting on the tarmac, rather than the government goons that whisked her away to Bluebonnet almost a year earlier.
She saw him as soon as she stepped out of the door, and her heart began to race. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs and stared at him a moment, caught up in her emotions. Then she let a smile spread across her face and walked directly toward him.
"Hey," She said softly as she got close enough.
"Hey," He responded with warmth in his voice.
She walked until she was standing in front of him.
"Welcome home, Walker." He said, almost uncharacteristically quiet. He was fidgeting with his cane.
Annie had a lot of things to figure out in order to put her life back together, but in her travels she had come to one conclusion about which she didn't need to worry. Without hesitation, she stepped forward and pulled one of his hands to her waist, opening up his body for her to press into.
Auggie reacted quickly and pulled her close as their arms wrapped around each other. He held her tight as she reciprocated. For a moment, neither of them said anything.
Finally, he pressed a kiss onto the top of her head and spoke. "I tried to get them to give you some time, but after all that happened, the DCI wants to see you immediately."
"Of course." Annie responded, standing up straight and looking around the tarmac and noticing the black SUV. She brushed Auggie's arm to give him a lead.
"The biggest challenge right now is going to be the psych evaluations. Just be careful about those, Annie. They can hurt you as much as help."
Annie swallowed. "They can hurt my chances of continuing with the Agency, you mean."
Auggie squeezed her elbow and pulled them to a stop. "I'm with you, Annie. However you want to go forward."
"You have no idea what that means right now." Annie replied.
He moved his hand to her face. "I hope that I do."
"Let's get this out of the way," She said, pulling away from his touch slightly.
Auggie obediently moved back to his position on her arm and they continued to walk to the car.
Once in the back seat together, Annie could only focus on business. "What sort of firestorm am I walking into?" She asked.
"One that now sees the whole picture of what we were working toward, and that thinks of you as a hero."
"Braithwaite?" Annie asked.
"Gone," Auggie replied, not elaborating.
"Acting DCS at the moment. He's not ready to go overt, though, so Joan is likely to regain the position. Or Arthur. That's all up in the air."
"What about you?"
"Not sure yet. The Agency is focusing on more important things than the impending re-org."
"They haven't offered you anything?"
"There are a lot of things up in the air right now, Annie."
"It's possible that what I'm willing to do depends on you being with me." She responded.
Auggie sighed. "Annie, you've proven yourself to be the most competent field agent, ever. What you have done is getting you all of the respect that you deserve. I just hope that, whatever you decide to do, you know that you have something to live for."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you've shown that you are willing to take risks, and that you can survive where nobody else will. They aren't likely to reward that with a vacation."
"I don't know what a vacation would be, at this point."
Auggie gently reached for her hand and pulled it in his direction. "I was kind of hoping we could figure that out together."
Annie smiled. "I like that idea, though I'm not sure if I'm that pleasant of a travel companion at the moment."
Auggie shrugged. "As long as I don't get shot."
Annie was silent. She felt guilty about Auggie getting hurt in all of this.
"Or, if I have to get shot to go on vacation with you, I'm willing to reconsider that part of the deal."
Annie shook off the thoughts. "I hope that part of our lives is behind us."
"How about we start at Allen's? It's a fairly safe location." Auggie suggested.
"That sounds nice."
A/N Just spent the weekend doing some super brainstorming on potential off-season fics, but before I moved on to working on my other works in progress (ie: Overt!) or starting something else that may be more intense, I wanted to have a nice fluffy ending for the story that we got.
Special thanks to WillyNilly for making me pancakes this morning while I sat on the couch and wrote.
I look forward to seeing everybody else's version!