Let Me Love You
Disclaimer: Spooks is owned by the BBC and Kudos. There are a few lines of dialogue you'll recognize and those belong to Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent. Spooks is not mine and they never will be. Sigh. Is it really too much to ask to have Harry Pearce at my disposal for an afternoon?
A/N: This is in response to the challenge to write a story including the quote shared by Sigma Creations, "Tell me every terrible thing you ever did, and let me love you anyway."
Setting: This story begins at the end of 10.1 with the scene in Harry's office.
Ruth followed Harry into his office, walking past him towards the chair opposite his desk. She heard the door close and the lock click into place before seeing him move to his chair.
Harry sat down but rather than look at her he instead stared at his hands.
After a minute or so, Ruth gave voice to the question that she'd been turning over and over in her mind. "I've been wondering how a Chechen warlord obtains the high level intel to pass as you. What aren't you telling me?"
Harry finally responded. "Elena wasn't just an asset. We were lovers."
He still hadn't looked at her though his words confirmed her suspicions. She'd always known that Harry wasn't faithful to his wife so it wasn't a huge leap for her to make.
"So you burnt her because of your relationship?" she posited.
Harry finally lifted his head to look at her. "Sounds simple when you put like that," he replied with a slight tilt of his head.
Ruth had one final question but she wanted Harry to admit it without her having to ask. "Nothing about this is simple, Harry," she said. "But we can unpick it. Together. But the first thing we have to do is deal with Sasha Gavrik. Put him out of action."
Harry's reply was swift. "We can't."
Ruth kept her reply even. "Why not?"
"Because he's my son."
And there it was; the truth of what Ruth had been wondering ever since she'd seen Elena at the reception.
"Okay. Well, back to your codes. There are three possibilities. One, you gave the codes to someone, either willingly or under torture."
Harry was shaking his head before she'd finished speaking. "No, I've never shared my codes with anyone."
Ruth nodded. "I suspected as much. Two, the codes were stolen from Thames House files. Are you aware of any breaches in security where this information was possibly taken?" She knew this was highly unlikely as the codes would have been changed immediately but she needed to ask.
"No, I'm not aware of any security breaches. Tariq can do a search to verify that," he responded.
Only one possibility remained. "Someone else who knew the codes is using them to pretend to be you. Harry, who knew the codes? Max Witt did, but why would he try to warn you if he was the one impersonating you? Elena must have known the codes if she was your asset. Anyone else?"
Harry nodded. "Jim Coaver. He was my counterpart in Berlin from the CIA."
"Does he still work for the CIA? Are you still in touch with him?" Ruth asked.
"We've been in contact occasionally over the years but I've not seen him since I left Berlin. We… things were difficult between us just before I left but if anyone has a reason to hold a grudge it's me, not Jim," Harry admitted.
"What happened between you two?"
Harry paused and dropped his eyes, debating whether to answer.
Ruth pulled the chair closer to the desk and stretched her hand across Harry's desk in invitation. "Harry, I meant what I said before. We can unpick this but we need to work together." She tapped the back of her open hand on his desk and he accepted the invitation, placing his hand in hers. Harry didn't look at her, even when she squeezed his hand. "Tell me every terrible thing you ever did, and let me love you anyway."
Harry raised his head and his eyes snapped to hers. Declarations of love had not yet been shared during their few weeks together as a couple, though both knew that they loved one another. It was love five years ago when it was something wonderful that was never said and it was love now.
Harry squeezed her hand and blinked away the sheen in his eyes. "Jim stopped me, at gun point, from extracting Elena and Sasha from Berlin. I was supposed to pick them up in Treptower Park and I was going to bring them to Britain but Jim threatened to shoot me if I tried. He was right, of course. I was married to Jane, Catherine and Graham were so young, and I stupidly thought I could bring my mistress and son back to Britain. I never saw her that day, never got a message to her that I wasn't coming for her and the boy." Harry's voice was thick as the memories of that time came back to him.
"So given what we've ruled out, it seems that either Elena or Jim are most likely writing the messages," Ruth ventured, knowing Harry wasn't going to like the idea.
"It can't be Elena," Harry responded, almost automatically.
"Why not?" Ruth asked. At Harry's look, she changed tactics. "Fine, let's start with Jim. What does he have to gain from posing as you, provided that he's still with the CIA?"
Ideas bounced back and forth between the two after Harry verified that Jim still did work for at Langley.
"Jim could be using my codes as a way for the CIA to disrupt the talks between Britain and Russia," Harry summarized as he watched Ruth's face. "Do you think I'm wrong with that statement?"
"It just doesn't make sense to me. You said that Jim was an upstanding guy, as much as anyone could be in the job. You also said that he stopped you from extracting Elena because he knew it was a terrible idea, especially since you didn't have permission from your superiors to do so, which tells me he considered you as a friend and not just another agent. A lot may have changed in 25 years but with little contact between you, it doesn't seem logical that he would use such personal means to try and stop the agreement," Ruth concluded.
"But if it's not Jim that only leaves Elena, which makes no sense," Harry added.
"Harry, before tonight, you've not seen nor spoken to Elena in over 25 years. Other than the fact that she's still married to Gavrik, what do you know about her?"
Harry shook his head. "She was terrified of being discovered, she said so many times. It's why I tried to extract them, especially for Sasha's sake."
Ruth paused before asking her next question. "How do you know that Sasha is your son?"
"Elena told me. It happened not long after we started our affair. She said she'd not slept with her husband for several months because she was afraid of the things she'd heard about him, so the baby had to be mine."
Ruth nodded. "But given when he was conceived, there was no quick DNA test from a hair sample or cheek swab to verify her claims."
"Well no, but…"
"Harry, we need to verify whether Sasha is your son. Regardless of anything else, we can't take Elena's word on that matter." He made to interrupt her but she continued speaking. "Let me hypothesise here. Elena tells you that Sasha is your son as a way of controlling you, whether it's because she wants your attention, or a ticket out of Russia, I don't know. There's no easy test at the time to disprove her statement so even if she's not telling the truth it's unlikely her deception would be uncovered."
Harry's expression was neutral, as if she were talking about something banal like the price of tea in China, but Ruth knew he was listening, so she continued.
"Fast forward to now. Elena pretends that she's received a communique from you. I've no idea what her aim is, but based on how she acted with me at the reception tonight, as though she still had the ability to control you, I don't think she'll hesitate to manipulate you with Sasha. She can play the guilt card for having left her in a Berlin park with a little boy. As your Senior Analyst, Harry, I'm telling you that we need to research Elena Gavrik and see what she's been up to over the past 25 years – yes, and Jim Coaver, too – and we need a DNA test to see if Sasha really is your son. If she'd not been your asset, much less your lover 25 years ago, you would have already asked for an extensive background check on her. There are too many variables, Harry, and you need to let me and your team do what we do best. Give us a day or two and we'll have a few pieces of the puzzle slotted into place. And while we're working on that, you'll think of a way to get a DNA sample from Sasha."
She stood from the chair and pushed it back into place. "Now, you and I are going back to your place as planned and enjoying a good night's sleep. We have tomorrow off and we will not waste it by thinking or talking about the Gavriks or Russia. There'll be enough time for that come Monday."
Harry looked up at her and smiled. "You're right, of course. At a minimum we need to have a full background done on Jim and Elena; Sasha, too. As for the rest, once we have those checks we'll know better where we stand and maybe who we can trust." He stood and moved around to meet Ruth, having glanced out across the Grid before doing so. He quickly kissed her and then rested his forehead against hers.
"They're all gone," he said, reading her tension at his actions. He pulled back and smiled once again. "Thank you, for everything, Ruth. I love you. I know I'm terrible with communicating and emotions and relationships in general but please, never ever doubt that I love you like I've never loved anyone in my life."
Ruth blushed and smiled. "I love you, too, Harry. As for the communicating and emotions and relationship stuff, we're both a bit crap at it but you make me want to be better so that you'll always know how much I love you." She pushed up on her tip toes to quickly kiss Harry. "I think once we get back to your place we should work on our communication, especially the non-verbal kind."
"That's the best idea I've heard all week," he said as they walked out of his office.