Note: Sometimes one line in one episode sticks with me and sparks a fanfic. . . that and an Adele song gave me inspiration for this . . .not sure if this one will be long or where it will lead, but it has been in the works and then left for a long time. I worked on it a bit today. Hope you enjoy!

Based off some events in Season 5 Episode 3

After tying up loose ends in Argentina Annie and Ryan fly out of Buenos Aires, Argentina in Ryan's private jet. It's a long journey home and the couple decided to have a layover in Caracas, Venezuela to refuel. It happens to be where Ryan took out a six month lease on a fancy vacation villa while he and Annie were on the run from the Venezuelan police. Ryan remembered Annie said in another lifetime she'd take the over the lease. He paid in full, plus a deposit and had more than three months left on the lease. Why not use it for a day or two? So he landed in Caracas and they took a cab to the villa.

/

Annie walked over to the spot where Borz Altan died remembering how defeated she felt when he took his last breath. The only thing she got out of him was that he met a contact in D.C. named "The Postman". At the time, her first thought wasn't that a man was dead at her hands, the only remorse she felt was that she hadn't extracted enough information from him before he died. She remembered sitting on the cold floor by his still warm body and feeling nothing for Borz Altan at all. The tears that began to fill her eyes weren't for him. She let out a long exhale and took another deep breath before phoning Auggie. She gave him the info. Auggie heard something in her voice, she was back, but she wasn't the same.

Ryan went through the house opening windows and taking stock of the place. He brought their luggage in from the entrance. He saw her starring off and looking at the spot where Borz died as he placed the two bags down on the terracotta tiles.

Ryan walked over to Annie bringing her back to the present. "There are plenty of rooms, we can keep this one shut," said Ryan as he put his hand on the small of her back and led her out into the courtyard. He turned back and shut the door on the past. He wanted to put Borz Altan behind him too.

"I spoke to the property manager, he said the maintenance guy would come over to clean the pool and hot tub within the hour."

"Aren't you tired after flying for nearly eight hours?"

"A little stiff, but this layover with you in this lovely villa is just what I need," said Ryan plopping himself down on the lounge chair beside the pool. He wore his bright and cheeky smile on his face.

"What?" ask Annie shaking her head. She sat down on the lounger across from him.

"Just thinking about that shower upstairs and how impressed I was by you when we were last here."

"I wasn't trying to impress you," said Annie with a crooked smile. "Not getting blown and getting Borz to talk was my chief objective that day," said Annie.

"I know, you just expertly and effortlessly did your job and I fell in love with you."

"You fell for a cold hearted killer who lied to a dying man and then deceived two police officers by pretending to be a drug addict?" laughed Annie shaking her head while trying to blink away the tears.

Ryan sensed that she wasn't joking around anymore. He had seen her that way before. Defeated and down on herself. He stood up and walked over to her lounger where she sat and kneeled down by her. He took her hand into his, "Hey, hey, you were doing your job and you are damn good at it. Look at what you stopped Belenko and Caitlyn from doing. The world may never know it, but you saved countless lives."

Annie nodded her head closing her eyes. He watched a tear roll down her cheeks creating a wet spot on her pants.

"Now that everything's over, I have time and space to evaluate what's happened and myself and. . .I don't know. I'm not sure I can keep making compromises. Sometimes I don't like what I've become. Do you ever feel that way?"

Ryan looked at her. He never felt any remorse or regret over his kills. His role and orders had always been more black and white than Annie's job as an operative.

"Honestly? No."

"How do you do it? How do you not let it consume you?"

"I'm a soldier, not a spy. There are different expectations of us. I know what side I'm on and I've always had a clear picture of the enemy. Things aren't always so cut and dry for operatives like you. That's why the CIA frustrates me," winked Ryan.

"I love my job, but the last year has been challenging. I took a break and I was ready to return, it's all I wanted. Now, I don't know what's next for me, I have no job left at the CIA, I quit."

"I know you've faced insurmountable odds and challenges, but you're here! After gunshot wounds, heart conditions, explosions, prison breaks, and having the Vega force after us, I'd say we deserve a little vacation before going back to work."

Annie looked at Ryan while wiping away another tear.

"What if I don't want to go back?" That wasn't a question that occurred to Ryan. He took it for granted that she would return with him. He proposed. He envisioned them getting married. She was baring her innermost insecurities to him. From the moment he met her he knew she had been through hardships and made tough choices and he admired her strength and courage. No matter what, Annie Walker get back up and kept fighting, but at the moment he just saw a tired woman who had doubts about her future.

"What are you saying?"

"Nevermind. I'm starving. Let's see what we can find to eat nearby."

"You're changing the subject Annie, tell me what you were thinking."

"I'm just tired, I don't know what's left for me at the CIA, they won't let me in the field again, but I know I won't be happy as an analyst."

"I would trust you in the field. Work with me, you're technically still an employee at McQuaid Securities. You can work whatever missions you want."

"Wow a marriage proposal and a job offer."

Ryan smiled. "I don't need an answer now, think on it."

He leaned in and kissed her.

Annie looked at him and smiled. It felt right with him, he lit up her life, but she was sick and perhaps getting worse. Her most recent episode while chasing Belenko weighed heavily on her mind as well as a jumble of other questions and worries. She couldn't marry him if she wasn't getting better.

"Let's get into something more appropriate for the weather and we'll go out and find a place to eat, how's that Walker?"

Annie put on a smile and walked to her bag. "I don't have anything but black jeans and tee-shirts."

"How about you take a shower and I run out and see what I can buy," said Annie.

"We'll go out together, it's not a safe country you know," said Ryan.

"Do you know who you're talking to? I did just fine when I was last here," said Annie.

Ryan didn't think anything of it, he shrugged, she was right, she could very well handle herself and she spoke the language. It was Annie, she needed her alone time and he wasn't the type to smother a woman. "You're right, you can take care of yourself. Have fun shopping," said Ryan.

/

Annie walked out of the villa. She had planted the idea of stopping in Caracas in Ryan's head and it worked. Her deception and diversion skills were excellent as always. Annie read people and she knew how to manipulate them, it wasn't something she meant to do to Ryan, she loved him, but she didn't want to hurt him or cause him to worry over her health. She did what she set out to do, Auggie was safe now, Belenko had been neutralized. It was time to focus on herself and her health. It wasn't Ryan's fight.

/

Ryan dozed off after his shower, he was tired from the long flight from Buenos Aires to Caracas. When he woke up to a growling stomach, the sun was setting. He called out Annie's name and there wasn't a peep in the house, it was eerily quiet. He saw that the pool had been cleaned as he walked around the house, but there was no Annie. She had been gone for at least two hours. He looked through her bag, her wallet, passport, nitrate injectors and gun were gone. Where could she be? He took out his phone and called her cell. To his surprise, she picked up.

"Hello?"

"Annie! Where are you? I'm starting to get worried."

"I'm sorry Ryan, I didn't mean to hurt you, but I can't go back with you."

God, he should have known something was going on in her pretty little head earlier. "Is this about our conversation earlier?"

"It's not just earlier, I've been thinking about this a long time."

"There's more to it than that, what is it Annie?"

"I have to go, thank you for believing in me and trusting me in the field with you. It meant a lot to me, more than you'll ever know. I'll always love you Ryan."

"Then don't do this, where are you, I'll come and we'll talk this through together. We can spend a couple of days relaxing, things will be clearer after we decompress."

Ryan could hear a lot of background noise in Spanish. She was somewhere crowded. He could hear her breathing.

"You don't have to feel any pressure to marry me and you don't have to worry about losing me, I'm right here so don't let me go," pleaded Ryan.

She wasn't worried about losing him, she was worried about him losing her. She knew it nearly killed him to watch his wife die and it took him years to get over it. She loved him too much to do that to him. She wanted him to have more than she could give him. He'd want to save her and she couldn't let him go through that again.

"Thank you for everything Ryan, you mean more to me than you'll ever know. I hope you can forgive me one day."

The phone went dead and Ryan was left alone in the silence of his expansive villa. Annie tossed her phone in the trash before she crossed the border into Columbia.