This is my very first time writing on FanFiction! I like McQuaid's character and the banter he shares with Annie.

"Chameleon"

Post Paris/Embassy Debacle (Episode 6 of Season 5 of Covert Affairs)

Annie awakens on McQuaid's couch after a couple of hours of sleep. She sees McQuaid is on the terrace with a newspaper and espresso. Annie says, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to doze off like that. McQuaid gets up, "It's not the first time, seems I bore you so much you need to snooze to avoid me." As McQuaid walks closer to the couch, Annie says, "You're anything but boring Ryan, don't take it personally"

As he reaches Annie, he says "Sweep team cleaned out your hotel and brought your things here."

"What? The CIA knows I'm here?" says Annie.

"Well, you had to go somewhere safe after nearly getting dragged to a Russian prison to be only God knows what. No one knows who Ivan told about you and whether the Russians would start to hunt you down after realizing Ivan was missing or not," says McQuaid

Thinking that she really needed a shower and clean clothes starts getting up and is still a little wobbly, steadies herself on the couch. "Um, can I take a shower?"

McQuaid, looking at her concerned says, "Sure, be my guest, but maybe after sleeping it off a bit more, you were asleep for less than two hours and after the night you had…"

Annie cuts him off by saying, "Give a girl who was forced to down GHB and knocked around a break will you? Besides, remember, I don't need looking after." She walks towards the bathroom with her bag.

McQuaid speaking to her back, "While you were asleep, you murmured the name Simon a few times."

Annie stops on the way to the bathroom thinking and then touching her right hand to her chest where she was shot and thinks about to her time in Paris with Simon. She murmurs, "Must be Paris" with a longing smile.

"What was that?" asks McQuaid.

Annie responds without turning around, "Nothing, just someone I once spent time with in Paris."

"A lucky someone to have spent time in Paris with you," says McQuaid.

Annie ignores that last remark and walks into the bathroom. She shuts the door behind her, then leans her back to it as tears well up in her eyes at the memory of Simon. She hadn't thought of him in many months and being told she was dreaming about Simon and calling out his name gave her a terrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. More thoughts and images of Simon flood to her brain, she was bombarded with memories of him, of the short yet memorable times they spent together in Morocco, Paris and Cuba. She never really had a chance to mourn him or say good-bye. Everything in her life since she started working for Lena was on fast forward, a complete race from crisis to crisis, then there was Auggie for a brief period, she felt she was running on empty sometimes, but couldn't get off the roller coaster. There were good reasons she didn't ever stop to think about Simon and their connection. Now she was bombarded by memories and images. She just wanted it to stop.

Stirred out of her thoughts by her phone ringing Annie picks up and hears a concerned Auggie asking her if she is okay and why she didn't answer her phone for the last few hours. Annie assures him she is fine, just needed to sleep off the GHB. Auggie makes a smart remark about Annie sleeping it off in the company of McQuaid, then goes on to inform Annie that new intel demands that she return to DC for briefings ASAP. While they talk, Annie turns on the shower. Not missing a beat, Auggie hears the shower turn on. Before they hang up, Annie senses that Auggie wants more information. He says, "Annie, remember, I'm more than your handler."

Annie says, "It's a long story, and just FYI, nothing untoward happened. I might have been drugged up, but McQuaid was a perfect gentleman. I'll fill you in over beers, meanwhile you can get the official version in my report. I'll write it up while enroute to DC." He puts her on a plane leaving De Gaulle in two hours. Annie hangs up and goes back to her task at hand, to shower and get the heck out of McQuaid's apartment.

Familiar with needing to work fast and motivated by the need to catch a plane and be alone, Annie showers quickly though her body is stiff and sore from being dragged and knocked around by Ivan. She notices bruises beginning to form on both her kneecaps and notices that a chuck of hair is missing from her head. Annie looks through her bag for fresh clothes. She puts on black jeans, a cream sleeveless top and finds her key from Simon inside the lining of her bag. She puts it around her neck. She takes a hair dryer to her still damp jacket.

As she dries her jacket, she can't shake the feeling that last night's very close call meant her luck was running low. Maybe her instincts were no longer sharp because she felt so overly confident and focused on her mission that perhaps she couldn't see clearly. She missed or simply overlooked Ivan's suspicions of her, she took a huge gamble last night. Had she sensed that he was in the least wary of her, she would have left the Embassy before he took her to the private office. Auggie was right, there is always another way, but she had worked alone for so long and only relied on herself. At the time risking everything by maintaining the cover as a gun sales rep and going to the Russian Embassy as Ivan's guest seemed to be the best option to finding out his connection to the Chicago bombing. But what if, what McQuaid said was true? If Annie were honest with herself, McQuaid was right, she would be on her way to a Russian prison to be tortured if it hadn't been for him or she could be dead at Ivan's hands. She hated that she had to depend on someone else and that she had to be indebted to someone like McQuaid. She pushes these thoughts aside and opens the bathroom door.

Unknown to Annie, while she was in the bathroom, McQuaid receives a call from his headquarters. Arthur Campbell just landed another contract from the CIA. His wife, Joan Campbell requested that Arthur work with them on following the Ivan Kravec trail. McQuaid himself plans on joining in on the initial review of information and strategy session followed by the interrogation of Kravec. McQuaid was satisfied that his confidence in Arthur had panned out in more ways than one, but he was mostly feeling good about the possibility that he would continue to work in close proximity to Annie. This feeling seemed to keep a grin on his face.

McQuaid is sitting at the table with breakfast laid out as Annie exits the bathroom and says, "I need to go back to Washington."

"So do I, hitch a ride on my plane"

Annie smiles, "Thanks, but you've done enough for me. I have tickets already and less than two hours before my plane leaves."

"Aw, come on, don't take a commercial coach flight, you'll be miserable and it will take you a lot longer to make it to DC. My plane is ready, has leather seats that recline, you can keep sleeping off the GHB or we can continue talking about this Simon in your dreams"

Annie is immediately weary and bothered that Simon kept coming up. "That doesn't tempt me at all, I am looking forward to spending time alone."

"Like this apartment, the plane is plenty big, you can have all the space you need, you don't even have to talk to me unless you want to."

Annie grabs her bag, "No thanks, goodbye McQuaid, and thank you again for helping a girl out last night."

"All right, suit yourself, but you do need to eat and all this food will go to waste if you don't have some."

"That I won't say no to, I'm starving actually, should only take me 30 min to get to De Gaulle at this time"

"Great! Champagne or a mimosa?" asks McQuaid.

Annie laughs, "Didn't we just kick back some beers less than 4 hours ago? None for me, thanks, I think drinking post being drugged wasn't a good combo, I'll just take some coffee and juice."

McQuaid looks concerned, "Are you sure you're okay?"

Annie responds, "If you keep asking, I'm taking the food to go."

McQuaid stands up and says he to start eating without him, he goes off to make some a phone call

Annie is happy to be alone, waves him off as she takes a bite of a flaky croissant.

In the other room, McQuaid makes a call to Joan Campbell requesting that Annie fly back on his plane. He makes the argument that they can begin their debrief and strategy session much more quickly if she accompanies him, plus it is also cost effective since the agency wouldn't have to spend money on a last minute commercial flight from Paris to DC. It doesn't take much convincing. Joan, very astute senses when talking with McQuaid that he cared more about being with Annie than efficiency or cost savings. There was definitely a connection there and Joan intended on keeping that on the back burner. McQuaid, just loves getting his way and "winning" and smirks all the way back to the table.

Annie's phone rings as McQuaid is walking back to the breakfast table.

Annie looks up and says, "Excuse me, I have to take this call", and walks out to the balcony. It was Auggie again. He explains the change in plans and that she is to hitch a ride with the McQuaid Security company jet home. Auggie senses that something is up as he hears Annie's exasperated sigh and says, "What's the matter Annie?"

She responds, "It's nothing, I'm just feeling the effects of being drugged, dragged, and pummeled through the streets of Paris. I was looking forward to resting up and being alone during the eight hour flight back to DC, instead I have to shoot the breeze with Mr. Chatty."

Auggie being the consummate handlers says, "Well, don't forget that we still don't have intel on what he discussed with Borz. This change of transport is a good thing, use it as an opportunity. Use the time to get to him. Looks like you already have an in with the guy, because what guy wouldn't want an in with you?" Auggie chuckles.

Annie, knowing full well she is lying to Auggie because she is keeping McQuaid's secret. At that moment she makes a decision to keep McQuaid's search for the mole in his company a secret. A decision that she feels terrible about, but knows must be done. Afterall, McQuaid kept her secret about her heart condition.

She responds to Auggie "Work's never done is it? See you at the office." Annie hangs up and walks back to the table thinking the CIA is always going to want her to blur the lines between personal and business. Here's another familiar road to go down of keeping secrets and only giving half the information if any at all. The worst part was keeping something from Auggie. She hadn't forgotten what he said about how put the mission above him the last time they were in Paris. But he didn't understand that the missions were all she had now.

McQuaid while at the balcony table waiting for Annie to return from her call, thinks to himself, she really doesn't accept any care or concern. Was she always like this? Was it a wall she developed because of work going dark or personal circumstances? She reminded him a lot of himself when he was younger and in the Navy, but he matured and learned to work with others and rely on others. Then again, him relying on others brought about a mole in his own company. He wondered why she was so wary of others and relying on others for help. What were her intimacy issues about, he loved the challenge she presented and he really liked her, he found her interesting and his thoughts turned to her during the few free moments he had.

Annie arrives and sits back down.

"Don't think I'm that naïve. The call you made was to my boss wasn't it?"

McQuaid is smiling, "I don't know what you're talking about."

Annie laughs as a distraction, then with lightening speed snatches McQuaid's phone and runs inside to the bedroom, McQuaid with a 'no you just didn't do that' look and laughter catches up from behind and grabs her as she looks through his recent calls. Just as Annie sees a call to Joan's direct line, she winces in pain where McQuaid bear-hugged and tackled her from behind and landed them on the bed.

McQuaid, while he enjoyed having gotten Annie on the bed with him, quickly gets up and off Annie, "I'm sorry! Look, you're not okay, that bastard Ivan must have hurt you badly before I got to you. Show me where it hurts."

Annie is now furious and up from the bed, she looks indignant, throws McQuaid's phone at him says, "Don't know what I'm talking about my ass. You don't get to manipulate and lie to me. I'm done eating. Let's go then, you win.

McQuaid says, "Look, I'm sorry. Yes, I made a call. There's just no getting through your stubbornness. I wanted to be efficient and get us all to DC quickly and yes, I wanted your company. Look, you hardly ate, I'll have it packed up for our flight. But seriously, let me look at your injuries. I do have field medic training."

Yeah, I saw your work in Venezuela and where it got Borz. No thanks.

Annie gets her bag and purse with a little difficulty. McQuaid tries to take her bag and she holds up her hand to him. I'll wait for you outside.

Once McQuaid collects his things, they ride the entire 30 minutes to the airport in silence.

Once on the luxury plane, Annie picks a corner and drops her things on the seat next to her as if to signal, "don't sit near me". McQuaid gets the silent message and puts his things down diagonally across from her.

Annie goes to the galley and looks for ice and way to bag it. Her knees from where she hit the cobblestone ground are feeling swollen and she thought she might have injured a rib or two. Ice would help bring the swelling down. After Annie gets settled she begins to work on her report on her MacBook Air as they take off.

McQuaid is checking his emails and wondering how Annie will react when she finds out that they will be working together. He realized it was wrong of him to go behind her back to get her on this plane with him, he can't keep lying or working things behind the scenes to get to be around her because it would just backfire on him. He realized he needed to be honest and direct. He decides to tell her what's in store once they reach Langley.

McQuaid gets up, walks to Annie's seat where she is icing her knees and ribs while working on her reports. He looks at her, beautiful though tired and all he wants is to take care of her. "Look, I'm waving a white flag here, I'm sorry that I called Joan, but we have an eight hour flight and I would like to spend some of it in your company."

Annie without looking up and continuing to type says, "I'm busy writing my report"

Will you at least let me look at your injuries? Do you need any aspirin?

Annie looking up and straight into McQ's eyes.

Will it mean you leave me alone of the rest of the flight?

McQuaid nods in agreement

Annie takes off her jacket and scarf slowly and with her teeth gritting lifts up her shirt to her bra line revealing bruising.

McQuaid looks at her and asks for permission, "I'm just going to feel around here."

Annie nods.

McQuaid kneels down beside Annie. Then he puts his hands on her icy ribs as she pulls back a bit gritting her teeth. Looks like nothing is broken, probably just some surface muscle bruising. Does it hurt to breath? While he examines her, McQuaid really feels terrible for not having a better plan last night. He wonders how the beating might have affected her heart condition.

Annie hasn't answered yet, so he asks again, "Does it hurt to breath?"

Annie says, "No."

Knowing she's lying McQuaid looks into her eyes and says, "Most men would be laid out on the couch in the fetal position with this type of injury."

"I'm not most men."

"I'll be back, keep your shirt up" says McQuaid with a wink.

McQuaid returns with a first aid kit. He applies some icy hot and begins to wrap Annie's torso. He reclines her seat back and hands her a blanket. Then says, "Keep the ice on it and take these," handing her some painkillers.

"Thanks, but no thanks."

"Come on, it has to be painful, I've had this type of injury before."

"Well, it doesn't make you less of a man because you popped some pills. I'm fine without them."

McQuaid sighs and says, "You know you're too stubborn for your own good."

"I told you I don't need you to look after me and after the moves you pulled, I'm back to having my guard up"

McQuaid, looking hurt, smirks and says, "Well, remember what I said, eventually you're going to have to trust someone. Look, I didn't tell you everything, when we get back to Washington, we're going to the same meeting at Langley. We ARE going to be working together and given our history, I think we're going to kick some serious butt together, but I need you to start talking to me because like it or not, you're stuck with me for the next mission and I do want you to trust me."

Annie is surprised, "I work better alone. I'll talk to Joan as soon as we land."

"Walker, don't bother, Joan gave Arthur or basically McQuaid Securities the contract to handle the Kravec interrogation and to dig deep, come up with a strategy for next steps."

Annie realizes she can't win this one. McQuaid hands her the pills.

Annie says, "It's not that I won't, but I can't." Annie taps her heart to signify that pain pills don't mix with her heart condition and heart medication.

"I see. Okay, how about some tea then?"

Annie says, "I have to finish my reports."

"How about I bring some by with food in 30 minutes since we never finished eating breakfast."

Annie knowing there's no use to refusing says, "Sure."

Thirty minutes later (AW actually finished and sent her report 20 minutes ago, she was sitting back and trying to rest while thoughts of last night, Paris with Auggie, Paris with Simon, and the Russian Embassy drifted in and out of her thoughts, and when she thought of Simon tears began to form)

McQuaid approaches with a tray of tea, tea sandwiches, fruit, scones and cookies. "May I?"

Annie looks up, "I thought you were kidding about the tea"

McQuaid notices her watery eyes, he was if anything, observant. Being a Navy Seal taught him to look out for anything and everything and assess the situation. "My mom is Irish so she takes tea very seriously. Would always make me tea when I wasn't feeling well or when I was upset. Me, I like espresso too, but tea always reminds me of home and as mom would say, "a spot of tea makes everything better".

Annie looks down and smiles, it was nice to hear something personal about McQuaid and his family and it made her miss her own. She was reminded of how she and Danielle would eat ice cream right out of the carton. Annie's challenging early days at the agency were made better after late night ice cream with Danielle. "Thanks for the tea."

McQuaid sits down and pours tea for both of them. He hands a cup and saucer to Annie. "So, tell me more about this fellow in your dreams, Simon."

Annie stops sipping her tea. Touches her necklace and sits back in her chair. "There's nothing to tell." She realizes that her moods are changing like a chameleon around McQuaid and she just can't stand that he gets under her skin. One minute she wants to send a jab and left hook his way, and the next, she just wants to sit and listen to him talk about his family.

McQuaid keeps pressing. . . "He was obviously in your dreams and you called out his name. Must be more than nothing. He must be important to you."

Annie grows irritated. She sees where McQuaid is going and how he is trying to get her to open up. She has done the same in the past, with Simon actually. Pushing just enough, but not too much. Annie decides to nip it in the bud and says, "Simon is dead, but you know that already don't you? I know what you're trying to do here, but teatime's over."

McQuaid looking surprised says, "I am only trying to make civilized conversation. We keep moving forward and then backward. To make it clear, since we're being honest or I'm being honest with you, what I'm trying to do is get to know you because I like you and because we're going to be working together."

Annie looking him straight in the eye and speaks harshly and with resolve. "You read a file on me already correct? When we first met you said you did recon on me. Then you already know about Simon and what happened. So, don't pull this concerned and curious, I want to get to know you act as a way to get me to open up and share what you already know."

McQuaid looks honestly hurt and shoots back at Annie with a serious tone. "I did read a file on you, but it made no mention of a Simon. If I knew, I wouldn't ask, that's not my style Walker!"

Annie looking incredulous. "I want to see that file."

"It's on my computer, if I show it to you can we start over?"

Annie puts her head in her hands for a few seconds, then looks up. "I don't know. I don't want to start anything. Simon died saving my life."

"I get it, people around you died, you lost things, you've been solo for a long time, but it doesn't mean you need to play this lone ranger scenario out forever."

Annie with watery eyes, but just floored that McQuaid thinks he has her figured out: "You don't know me at all. Do you think you can take one piece of information about me and then draw conclusions? You're a soldier, not a spy, there is no normal for people like me and I don't expect or need you to understand me. Now tea really is over."

McQuaid sighs deeply, but doesn't let Annie off the hook so easily. He doesn't take her growing wall as an end. "I didn't mean to upset you and I can see that you're upset, this Simon guy, he meant something to you. He's the reason you don't mix business with pleasure and want to go it solo all the time. I don't know what happened, and you're right, I'm a soldier not a spy, but it doesn't mean you need to push people away when they try to get close to you."

Annie, clearly looking shaken, no one had talked to her like that or called her out in a long time. Danielle was the one who did it in the past or sometimes Eyal. Since her return, she hadn't really been forthcoming with Auggie either. "What happened to the plane is plenty big for the both of us and I didn't need to talk to you unless I wanted to?"

McQuaid knows when to walk away, he had done enough pushing and he could tell she was upset, he was satisfied that he was able to get her to think a little. But says to her before he gets up and walks back to his seat. "Get some rest, we have about six more hours of flight time."

Annie finishes having a few bites and the rest of her tea alone. She shifts to get comfortable though her body aches. All she wants to do is forget about the conversation she just had with McQuaid and about Simon. But she drifts off to restless slumber.

As Annie sleeps, McQuaid sends her file via email. He hopes it helps in gaining her trust.

He also decides he is going to place tracking devices on her phone, laptop, and go bag. He wished he could track something she wore all the time. He noticed the necklace she put on, but he couldn't very well get that off of her since she wanted him nowhere near her. Being in the security business, McQuaid had all the equipment in a locker on his plane. He's not quite sure what he's doing, he'd never done anything remotely stalker-ish before and feels a bit in the wrong about watching Annie. All he knows is he has a deep need to protect her and this is how he justifies his actions to himself. He has a bad feeling about the Russians and how historically, they have memories like elephants. They weren't going to forget about Annie Walker anytime soon and he feared they would not stop hunting her since crucial assets of theirs had been killed and captured because of her. Ivan had tipped FSB off about Annie and while she didn't seem concerned, Ryan McQuaid was very worried for Annie. He makes a phone call to ask one of his trusted workers to place a couple of cameras at Annie's apartment and a tracking device on her car before their return in DC.