A/N:At this point, I'm not even sure anyone is reading, but Walkerson needs closure in my head and heart, even if it's been half a decade. They so deserved more, and this is how I keep them alive. Sadly, I still don't own CA.
Auggie and Annie had come home to a jam packed Anderson house after their excursion with Louise and Caroline. Aaron and Jason's family had decided to come and drop by to visit James, and Amanda wouldn't have them leaving before they could have a family dinner. It was well after 9pm before silence befell the walls of Auggie's childhood home. He had gone to his room to freshen up after Annie had, and was surprised to find himself alone when he exited the shower room.
"Annie?" He asked as silently as he could as he headed to the living area. He could still feel a balmy warmth radiating from the fireplace— no one would have left that alight if the room weren't occupied.
"I'm here, Auggie." She whispered back. "couch,"
He reached out, and immediately was rewarded with her light touch. Auggie melted into it, curling up beside Annie. He wrapped his arms around her figure, realizing she was already cloaked in what Auggie recognized was one of his mother's old knit blanket projects.
They sat there in silence for quite some time, simply enveloped in a bubble of each other's warmth on an otherwise bleak winter's night. It was a beautiful description of how they were- alone, both sharp and cold, but together, comfortable. Simply right.
"This feels good. Perfect even." It was Annie who broke the silence first. He only nodded into Annie's shoulder. "Didn't think we were going to get this peace and quiet tonight."
"An Anderson household is rarely silent." Auggie could remember his days he'd spent in this same house as a child- the eternal fracas that came with a household of five boys growing up together. "It never was when we were children, and now, I guess it's up to the grandchildren to continue the legacy."
"I want us to be part of that," Auggie whispered. He had always secretly wanted that, but in their line of work, it was easier to be flighty- to be a man with no ties. He was always known as a ladies' man, sure, but for a while, settling was not an option. Hell,even the CIA seemed to agree with him on that when he decided he wanted to commit to Tash, and they had disapproved his close and continuing. And then he left for Iraq, and in the most literal sense of things, the world had exploded on him, and it seemed like it wasn't ever to be an option. Until now. Until he had Annie in his arms.
"Could we?" Her answer caught him off-guard a bit. She sounded so hesitant. So afraid.
"Why are you scared?" Auggie found no reason to beat around the bush. She shook her head under his cheek.
"How do we make this work, Auggie?" She sounded so fragile, so unsure of herself. "When things are good between us, there seems to always be something thrown our way to pull us apart. What if, the next time it happens, we don't find our way back?"
He stood to circle her, face her, proverbially of course. He held her face in his hands. "I don't even think that's possible. I love you. I will always choose you. We've made some shitty decisions in our lives, but Annie, those things that blow up in our faces- forgive the pun- have always pushed us into each other's arms. All we truly need to do is to choose to stay."
Annie sighed, taking his cool hands from his face into her own tiny palms. She held them, caressed them- almost spoke through them. That's how she was with him. Annie could be absolutely silent yet tell him a million things through her touch. It was one of the many, many things that Auggie loved about her-something she simply did as Annie. With her, Auggie was never truly left in the dark.
"Before you left with Tash," she recounted. It felt like a million years ago. "I bared the many life-changing decisions I needed to make. You told me to trust my instinct, my heart. I told you before you left that I got it. I did, and didn't at the same time." She paused. "It was you, Auggie. It was always you. I knew then I needed to choose you, but you had chosen otherwise. And it hurt me. So absolutely much."
"I'm so sorry." He was. "I thought then... that Tash was my person. I thought Tash was finally the one thing that I could finally have that hadn't been ripped away by this," Auggie motioned towards his eyes. "I couldn't have been proven more wrong. This- what happened when I had been deployed- upended my life. I went from a man so, so sure of himself to one who questioned his every damn decision, because suddenly, I needed to put all my mind into doing the most mundane tasks. Hell, Annie. For a long while then, I didn't know who I was. There was, both literally and figuratively, no man staring me back at the mirror."
"I try my very hardest to not think of my life in two portions- before Tikrit and after- but there isn't much I can do about those who have known me before I came home blind. Tash was one of those. She had been so in love with that Auggie- fearless, reckless, impulsive, devil-may-care Auggie. I was so tired of being patronized, that I fell in love with the idea of having a semblance of that back in my life through her. But I can't, Annie. I can't be the Superman I thought I was anymore. Everything I do has to be so calculated and prudent, even down to the steps I take, because that could mean life or death to me."
He didn't expect her to chuckle. "You're still my Superman, though. God knows how many times you've swooped in to rescue my sorry ass when you were my handler." She kissed him fiercely on the lips, and they lingered for a bit.
"You've only known me as who I am today, and that's how you see me. How truly blind we were to not realize how meant for each other we were from the beginning." Auggie spun her in his hands so her head rested on his chest. She giggled again- that beautiful laugh of hers was music to his ears. She touched his cheek, and he rested it on her palms.
"I'd choose you too, Auggie. Every time. I can't loose you anymore. I'm tired of running, of lying to myself. It's always been you."
"We'll make it work. We'll keep doing this- talking. There will be no more secrets, no more lies. We'll face this life and all the mess it can throw at us together. The way we should. The way we're best at." Annie had slipped her hands into his sturdy ones as he spoke. She squeezed them tight, as if to say she agreed.
"I want this with you too, Auggie. So much." His heart did a somersault in his chest when she'd said this. He couldn't help but smile.
"I love you, Annie Walker"
"I know," She'd always known. She had always just been to terrified to accept anyone's love, especially after Ben. But this, this was different. This was Auggie. The choice had always been so much easier than she'd made it out to be. It was always Auggie.