Disclaimer: Still don't own it
I am sorry for the extremely late updates with this fic but with me being sick all last week, the long hours at my job, and other factors; it was hard for me to even write. This is the last chapter of the story and I want to thank all those who reviewed as well as followed the story until the end. Also a huge thanks to Paraddicted for the pre-read as usual.
Mona was surprised that she was so nervous.
She hadn't been when attending the last Committee Session; especially for the Berlin incident which had been far more serious.
There was a chance that she might have crossed the line at long last; something that she supposed was inevitable. Mona had a habit of taking bold chances and doing what it took to accomplish a goal; whether it being A to get back at Alison or stepping on allies to save American Marines in a warzone. While the people above her might look the other way when it came to her saving others, they would only do it for so long before she did something really stupid and out there. Securing a military grade EMP Bomb from the military to activate in the heart of Philadelphia might have been a little too much when she thought about it. The move had surprised her superiors at the NSA and even her mentor sitting next to her. He wasn't mad that she did it but did warn her that this might be the last straw.
If she was let go, then there was no way that Mona was ever going to work in the Federal Government again; she would be blacklisted. Of course she would still be guaranteed her pension and she already had enough to live comfortably for the rest of her life; though she would have to look at another career path. Then again, Mona had earned such a reputation in her line of work that any Government worldwide would grab her in a heartbeat. Even the Russians and the Chinese had made subtle offers of employment if she ever found herself afoul of her own Government. While Mona would never take them up on their offer, especially with her mother still being alive, she did keep their offers under consideration. While she was loyal to her nation, the NSA Agent wasn't stupid either. In this business, it was smart to keep your options open and to have friends in other circles just in case.
Truthfully, Mona would rather be facing the Senate Committee alone; except for her mentor who was required to be here. While a part of her appreciated all the people who had shown up to support her, she was still somewhat put off by it. She had gone to a lot of trouble to keep her personal and professional lives separate that to have them collide like this made the young woman all the more apprehensive. When Mona and her mother visited one another, usually somewhere outside of Rosewood, they never talked about what she did for the NSA. Leona had understood that her daughter was living a dangerous life and did her best to stand by the young woman despite of it. It had been hard for the two of them but they would find other things to chat about; whether it be about the latest fashion or some sort of family event. The other subject that they never talked about was what was going on back in Rosewood; especially when it came to the people that had impacted her life in Rosewood.
Now they were all her with a front row seat to a life that she wanted to keep hidden.
"Ms. Vanderwaal; seems you have quite the gathering of support unlike the last few times you came before us," Senator Peterson observed as he looked about the room. His tone was surprisingly polite and somewhat gentle; which put Mona off a little.
"Just family and friends," Mona said neutrally, suddenly on guard for some reason. His friendly demeanor made her suspicious since her past dealings with the man never seemed to go well.
"Interesting; I knew you had a mother but was informed that you did not socialize outside of work," stated the Committee Member as he just sat back and stared at the young woman. There was a twinkle in his eye that Mona simply did not like.
"It's been an interesting case," the NSA Agent said dryly; maybe a little more harshly than she wanted since everyone was here to support her. It may have been at Hanna's prompting but it was still a nice gesture.
"So I have seen; when we last saw you, it was assured by your immediate superiors that you would be placed in a position that would be out our attention given past events. It seems Ms. Vanderwaal that you can cause chaos wherever you go," the older man said with a smirk; which caused Caleb to snort out loud. He smiled apologetically to everyone as Hanna just glared and even Mike gave the young man a dirty look.
"I was dragged into this Senator; once there, things escalated beyond my control and I did everything I could to resolve them without endangering more lives," Mona snapped, suddenly becoming angry and startling everyone around her. Though the Senator's colleagues were taken aback by the display, the man himself just met the outburst with a polite smile.
"And you accomplished that; I have to admit that. The problem now is that how you did it was your usual flashy and problematic way; thus we now have to find a way to fix this," countered the Senator calmly with the other Senators nodding their heads in agreement.
"This isn't a mess; everything has been resolved and no other lives have been lost in the process so I don't see why this Committee needs to deal with this," Mona said to the group as she tried to stay calm. She had been tempted to make a crack about investigating hair salons but decided it was in her best interest to stay silent.
"I see that you really believe that and I have to admire your convictions when it comes to how you accomplish your job; I really do. The problem we now have is how you do it and those who are affected by your decisions," Senator Peterson told the young woman with a smile that almost disarmed her. Mona had heard those words before; from other people in her life.
"If you don't like how I do my job in protecting this country; then just fire me and be done with it then," the NSA countered angrily, tired of all the runaround and wanting to get straight to the point. Truth be told, she just wanted this to all be over so she could decide on filling out a résumé or not for a new employer.
She was physically surprised when the older man just chuckled at that.
"In all my years of serving this country of ours, there are very few who I have met that is talented as you Ms. Vanderwaal. You might be a rogue of sorts and prone to going above your place to accomplish whatever task you are given no matter the consequences; but I cannot overlook your value which I want to remain here. So we are not going to fire you Agent Vanderwaal but make some recommendations," said the Senator in an almost fatherly tone of voice.
"What kind of recommendations?" asked Director Ward hastily before Mona could get a word in to inquire what the Senator meant. She was actually surprised the apparent praise she just gotten despite the whole situation she was in.
"We in the Committee have noticed that Ms. Vanderwaal has A LOT of Government required vacation time saved up; that she has not taken in the ten years of being in the service of the National Security Agency. It is strongly recommended that Agent Vanderwaal take some of that time off for the next month to get some rest; which we truly believe she needs. Once her leave is over, she is to be reinstated in the Philadelphia Office and to not get involved in local affairs unless given permission by Washington. Are we in understanding about this?" Senator Peterson asked and a quick look from her mentor made Mona nod that she understood.
"Good; because I am set to retire here soon and truth be told Ms. Vanderwaal, while I have been amused by our sessions with you, I don't want to have you before anymore. We are dismissed," said the Committee Chair as he banged the gavel and rose from his seat; along with the his other Senate colleagues. Mona just sat there slightly stunned about what just happened while Mike put a hand on her shoulder.
"I really thought this was the end for me," Mona said to Director Ward as they stood up from their seats and looked at each other. While Mike and Leona were close by, the others there to support her were hanging back just a bit.
"So did I; I even had Mossad on speed dial so we can put you where you are needed. You got lucky and I really agree that you need some time off to get some rest; you have been working non-stop for a few years now," stated the Director and while the young woman did not want to admit that she did need a break, Mona really had no choice in the matter.
"I am fine with that; it has been too long since my daughter has been home and now we can now spend more time together," Leona said as she and Mike entered the conversation. Though he tried to hide it, Mike was rather happy on how things turned out.
"I didn't say I was going back to Rosewood," Mona said to the group as the rest of those who came to support her entered the conversation. While she was forced to accept this little sabbatical, there was no way she was going back to the town where she was raised.
"It'll be fine Mona; the town hasn't changed that much and everyone has practically forgotten about all the drama back then. Why don't we all have a formal celebration back at Spencer's house when we get back into town?" suggested Hanna as she wrapped Mona in a side hug and smiled bubbly.
"Why my house?" Spencer inquired defensively, wanting to know why the blonde was bringing her into all of this. While she was secretly glad that Mona had made it out of this unscathed slightly, they still were not exactly friends; despite the fact that she did owe her life to the NSA Agent.
"Because your house is sitting there unused and has all the room we need. Emily and Paige will be in town next week, making this the perfect opportunity for a party; especially given that this will be such a rare opportunity for us to be one place for once," Hanna answered in a tone that indicated that no one should argue with her. While both Mona and Spencer were reluctant to want to attend something like this, they felt that they had no real other choice.
"Well why don't we have a pre-celebration party at the hotel's lounge; I imagine that we could all use a drink," Ezra put out and there were more than a few nods of agreement.
"I have to take care of something at the office before I start my official vacation; I'll meet you all there," Mona said and the rest of the group became suddenly concerned. While Hanna was worried that her friend was trying to get out of the celebration, Mike thought that Mona was trying to run away.
"It is just a little paperwork on today's events; I promise you all that I will drive her myself to have those drinks with you once things are taken care of," assured Director Ward and the group seemed to believe his promise. Once Mona said her goodbyes, she left with her mentor and his armed escort.
Heading to one of the side entrances of the Capitol Building, the two proceeded to the parking garage where they entered a black sedan.
"So when does she get transferred?" Mona asked as the driver drove them to NSA Headquarters just a few miles away. The building was new and lay just on the edge of the city; away from all the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C.
"Tomorrow; Guantanamo is expecting her," the Director answered as he looked over at his student, curious on what she planned to say to the prisoner. Truthfully, he was rather surprised that Mona didn't just have the woman executed rather than imprisoning the dangerous psychopath.
"Good; a shame that I can't escort her myself but it is out of my hands now," stated the young woman with a trace of regret in her voice. She was devoted to her career and wanted to solely focus on it rather than partake in a forced vacation.
"It's only for a month or two and then you will be back. You are perfect for taking over for my position one day Mona and don't let this set back deter you. Like I do with my wife and daughter, we all need a break to be with loved ones so that we can remind ourselves on why we do the things we do," the mentor gently taught; which had done since the beginning. Though Mona didn't like it, she nodded in understanding.
"If you say so," Mona said though she kept herself from rolling her eyes. While she could see a future with Mike, there were other important issues ahead of him; which he understood given his own job.
Instead of driving to the main building, the car veered off onto a side road and towards a side bunker that lay not too far away; next to a decent-sized airfield. Surrounded by plain grass and made completely of cement, it was eyeshot of the main NSA building though cornered off from outside scrutiny. The airfield itself had large transport planes on the tarmac and numerous personnel working that were a mix of NSA as well military. Getting out, the two approached the armed soldiers that stood guarding the entrance to the structure, moving aside once Director Ward flashed his credentials. Mona also showed the soldiers hers and one of them went to open the bunker's titanium door; allowing the two to enter.
After heading inside, passing more armed soldiers, they took a right turn and approached a large metal door that was sealed shut with an electronic lock. After typing in his password, the Director and Mona entered a large room that contained a glass prison; which a lone person was occupying. The room was covered by surveillance equipment which were all centered on the prisoner for good reason; making sure she was watched 24/7 until her transfer to a far more secured facility. Inside the glass prison was a single cot, a sink, and a toilet that the woman could use; who was lying on her cot and sat up after seeing Mona enter the room. The NSA Agent just smiled at the glare that was coming from the prisoner as she pulled up a chair to sit down on; in order to have a conversation with her. Director Ward left to conclude some business and left the two alone.
"Well this will be the last time we see each other so I thought I would come by," Mona told Doctor Tabitha Clark sweetly as she smirked at the woman.
"Why not just kill me now and be done with it?" inquired the insane doctor, both angry and curious at the same time. Ever since she had been grabbed back in the Dollhouse, she had been confined here without even a trial.
"Because that would have worked against my plans to get back at you for attacking me in my own home. I also want to punish you by keeping you imprisoned for what you did to the others; which means that you are going to spend the rest of your life in the deepest and darkest hole I can find," answered the NSA Agent with an evil smile as she leaned back in the chair. Given her connections and seniority, it had been rather easy to find somewhere to keep the doctor confined for the rest of her life.
"Even the others wouldn't let you get away with this; they are too much goody two shoes to let me be imprisoned without a fair trial," the psychiatrist pointed out, trying to make a point. She had studied the couple and knew full well they would stick to their oaths of office no matter the circumstances.
"This is why they don't know I have you; and this works in my favor for my revenge. You see, ten years ago I was framed for something I didn't do; I was forced away from my home and my graduation plans ruined. When I grabbed you, I knew that I now had a way to get back at the others without being totally overboard. As far as Spencer and Toby are concerned, they think you are still out there and that puts them on edge; which is also happening with the others since you decided to mimic their greatest nightmare. As long as they think you are free and able to return to haunt them, I get to sit back and enjoy watching them squirm," explained the young woman simply; which caused Tabitha to stare at her completely aghast.
"So you haven't changed one bit; you are still the same way back in high school," accused the other woman with fury in her voice. A small part of her couldn't help but admire what the NSA Agent was doing; but it was drowned out by anger.
"I have changed; a great deal. I could have crushed the others years ago for what they did to me. I could have sent a sniper team to take out Alison at any time; especially given the number of favors people around the world owe me. But this is a subtle way for me to remind everyone that I do remember those who wrong me; even if they don't know it. I am Mona Vanderwaal and I am still the Queen of Rosewood," stated Mona firmly as she stood up.
She then left the woman standing in the room screaming insults at her.
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