A/N: I don't own these characters, all thanks to CA writers/producers. Of course, Eyal makes his appearance. Really enjoy his character and how he was written on the show as well as the special banter he had with Annie. Let me know what you think. Enjoy and thanks for reading. Keeps me motivated to write.
Ryan had a jumble of reactions after hearing Annie's confession. His first thought was: the damned CIA! The notion of mandatory "Close and Continuing" contact updates was a joke to him, while he understood the need to keep tabs on agents and their relationships and connections, he resented it and didn't believe it worked as a preventative measure. From Ryan's perspective it was as if the CIA didn't trust the people they supposedly vetted.
Ryan figured Annie kept the news of her close and continuing to herself for the last few days. In light of that, the weight the news made her recent behavior understandable. She pulled back before she left on the recon mission. He wasn't imagining it after all.
"You found out before your left town?" He asked as he dried his hands.
Annie nodded and turned around facing away from him. She didn't want to do this now.
Ryan walked over and stood behind Annie. He wrapped his arms around her with his chest against her back. She winced just a bit.
"Oh sorry," said Ryan. "Let's save this discussion for when you're feeling better, how about we just get some rest?" He could tell she didn't want to talk about it, he knew her well enough now.
Annie nodded and they settled into bed after Ryan took off all his clothes except for his boxers and they both washed up in the small bathroom. It was nice to have him around and it would be nice to feel him next to her. Those were feelings she tried to suppress, telling herself, she had been alone and was used to it. . . but she couldn't deny how comforting it was to have Ryan next to her.
Although Annie was conflicted about her next steps, it didn't mean she didn't love Ryan. The fact that she did love him surprised her. She had fallen for him in such a short time despite her vows to never let herself fall so hard for a man again. After Ben, Simon and then Auggie, she swore off relationships, trying to figure herself out, why was she always falling so fast and hard for the wrong men? What did it say about her that she was so open to these men and so willing to be drawn in by them?
Somehow things with Ryan were different or was she only fooling herself? Was it different enough to give up her life as an operative? Her relationships cost her a lot in the past. Annie wasn't ready to close the door or chapter on her career at the CIA and the hard part was accepting that it meant letting go of Ryan since she couldn't continue to be covert and continue a relationship with him. Would he understand if she chose to remain covert? Could they move on as friends? He had been a good friend to her once they established trust between them.
Ryan listened to her breath before she fell asleep and lay in bed thinking about the future, a dread or bad feeling he couldn't shake lingered. Eventually, he was asleep too. Shortly after midnight Annie woke when the dryness in her throat became too much to bear. She gingerly shimmied herself out of bed to get a glass of water. Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard the buzzing of her phone. It was an unknown number. She thought about letting it go to voicemail, but something told her to pick up. She saw Ryan stirring, so she quickly took the phone into the bathroom and answered it.
"Neshema?" It was clearly Eyal Levin. Annie hadn't heard from him since their paths crossed in Turkey a few months ago.
"It's late over here, Eyal," said Annie trying to sound annoyed.
"I know, are you free?" asked Eyal.
"You're here?" asked Annie beginning to run down a list of possible reasons Eyal would be in D.C.
"Yes," said Eyal.
Annie is not allowed contact with foreign agents without clearing it first with the DPD, especially a foreign agent on domestic soil. This wasn't prearranged or sanctioned for an op and she was pretty sure Joan would have said something had she known that Eyal was in town.
Annie thought about all of this for a few seconds before saying, "Where are you?"
By now, Ryan had fully woken up and gotten out of bed when he saw that Annie was no longer next to him. Ryan scratched his head as he walked into the kitchen. He heard a phone vibrating before he got out of bed and hushed voices. He saw the bathroom door closed and light coming from under the door.
"Do you remember that place where we met for the first time in D.C.?"
"Oh, you mean the time you were impersonating a CIA officer?" laughed Annie.
"Ah, so you remember," said Eyal. Annie could hear the smile on his face.
"How could I forget?" said Annie.
"Thirty minutes?" replied Eyal.
"I'll be there," said Annie.
"I'll be waiting," said Eyal.
The phone went dead. It was just like Eyal to keep it short and not be terribly specific over the phone.
A knock came from the other side of her bathroom door. "Are you okay in there?"
"Yeah," said Annie opening the door. "Sorry to wake you," said Annie before closing the door to the bathroom.
"Are you coming back to bed?"
"I'll be out in a few minutes," said Annie.
Annie dialed Joan's "after hours" line.
"Joan," said Annie.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, took some painkillers and got in a couple of hours of sleep."
"I just got a call from Eyal Levin," said Annie.
Joan sat up in bed. "What did he want?"
"He's here in D.C. and wants to meet," replied Annie.
"What did you tell him?" asked Joan.
"That I'd be there in half an hour," said Annie.
"You couldn't stall until the morning?" asked Joan.
"I didn't think so," said Annie.
"Okay, where are you meeting?"
"The Gibson, I think he's already there," said Annie.
"I'll make some calls and find out what he's working on and I'll have someone out back and front," said Joan.
"Thanks," said Annie.
"Don't let your guard down just because it's Eyal," warned Joan.
Annie looked at herself in the mirror. She didn't look great. The couple of hours of sleep wasn't enough to take away the dark circles under her eyes. Concealer would have to do the trick. Her body still ached as the pain killers wore off. She washed her face quickly, brushed her teeth and applied make-up. She quickly brushed out her hair before twirling it up into a messy bun.
When she opened the door, Ryan looked over sleepily and asked, "What's going on?"
Annie went straight to her closet. "Something came up, I'm sorry," said Annie.
Ryan watched Annie. She was going through all her outfits looking for something sexy yet understated. She undressed by pulling off her t-shirt with a little difficulty. He watched her strap a gun to her thigh before putting on a black bra to match her underwear. She took a bit of timing stretching her arms to get the hooks in the eyes of her bra, but he had to admit watching her turned him on, he started to kiss the back of her neck. "You don't have to put that on for me you know," said Ryan. Annie laughed.
"I wish it were for you, something came up and I need to head out for a bit," said Annie. She slipped herself into a black cocktail dress with a low back. Despite her lack of rest and bruised body, she looked stunning. Ryan watched her struggle with the zipper and helped her with it.
"You're going out now? It's after midnight." He was incredulous.
"You should get back to your home anyway, we're not supposed to be seen together."
"Wait, first, you shouldn't be going anywhere but to bed. And secondly, what do you mean we're not supposed to be seen together?"
"We'll talk about that and everything else, just not now. I don't want to be late," said Annie putting on black heels.
"You need help, you can barely dress yourself!" said Ryan.
"I can handle myself," said Annie popping in a couple of painkillers and checking her phone.
"You're carrying a gun to this meeting? That doesn't make me feel good, let me come with you," said Ryan getting dressed.
Annie shook her head. "This is what I do remember." She looked at her phone. "Looks like my UBER is nearly here," said Annie. Ryan tried to look on her phone. He couldn't see where she was going on the app.
"Where are you going?"
"I'll call you tomorrow, maybe you should just go home," said Annie grabbing a shawl and putting it over her shoulders.
"It is tomorrow, I'll wait here, how long will you be?"
She gave him a crooked smile.
"I don't know. I might need to go straight to Langley, so go home," said Annie kissing Ryan before leaving.
From the window he watched her get into the car.
"You're looking well," said Eyal standing up when Annie appeared. He kissed her on both cheeks and looked her over. Annie noticed what he was doing. Then he motioned to the bartender.
"Two sazeracs," said Eyal to the bartender.
"Uh, just one sazerac, I'll take some sparkling water," said Annie to the Bartender.
The two looked at each other and smiled. They waited for the bartender to be out of earshot. They had a unique relationship and banter going between them ever since their first op together.
"You seem surprised that I'm well," said Annie.
"My colleague, Eli, he doesn't look so good," said Eyal raising one eyebrow.
Annie understood now or thought she did, so she said, "Eli? Does he happen to be hairy, 200 pounds, brown hair and with massive B.O?"
"Yeah, that's the idiot whose nose you busted," said Eyal laughing. "So it's not just me who thinks he stinks?"
Annie sat there in disbelief.
"He is with Mossad? Huh!"
Eyal nodded and lifted his glass in confirmation. "Embarrassed to say so, you did good my friend, I was secretly proud when the surveillance at the hotel showed that it was you."
"You wiped the surveillance," said Annie. Mossad beat them to it.
Eyal had a way about him and hearing him say he was proud of her made her feel, well, proud of herself.
"Not bad for a girl with a mitral valve issues, he must be quite ashamed," giggled Annie.
"Oh you know I didn't mention that, I did say you were half his weight," said Eyal.
Annie started thinking. . . her recon and intel collecting mission brought her into contact with Eli. She thought he was a scout working for the suspected terrorist recruitment cell she was gathering intel on.
"How's your man?" asked Eyal changing the subject.
"You were whispering earlier."
"Means someone was there with you," concluded Eyal.
Annie stared at him, he looked smug like he had something figured out. When she said nothing because she needed to pause to think, Eyal continued.
"Is it that friend you were worried about when we were in Turkey, the one with the pulmonary embolism?"
Even though Annie knew Eyal was a friend and not someone who would leverage people she cared about against her, goosebumps formed. If Eyal knew that she and Ryan were a couple, it meant anyone who knew what he or she was doing could also come to that conclusion.
It was unusual to share personal information with a spy from a competing agency, but they had both shared more than most in the past. But despite their friendship and history Annie chose to be cautious. She changed the topic and tried to maintain control, an upper hand even though she had no idea what Eyal wanted from her.
"So why are you here?'
"I wanted to make sure you were okay."
"Liar," said Annie.
"You hurt my feelings, you know I care about you," said Eyal reaching over to rub Annie's upper arm. This was classic Eyal, using his charm to disarm her.
"What did Eli find?"
"Nothing, that's why I'm here to ask you to share your intel," said Eyal.
So that was it. . . "You'll have to come to Langley in the morning," said Annie taking a sip of her sparkling water.
"That would take too long and haven't you learned anything from me?" said Eyal.
"What you're asking is above my pay grade to decide and if I just gave up what I found, I'd be out of a job and thrown into jail even if it was for Israel," said Annie getting up.
"What happened to you owing me?" quipped Eyal.
"It's late, I'm going home," she said getting up.
Eyal stopped her and caressed her face. He leaned into her ear. "If you're tired, my apartment is just a block away," he whispered.
"Tempting, but no thank you," said Annie not flinching and turning to look him in the eye. Their faces and lips were within inches of each other. Eyal looked at her and smiled.
"I'll walk you out," said Eyal taking out his wallet to pay for the drinks.
He helped her with her shawl and walked her to the entrance.
After Annie left in an UBER, Eyal made a call.
"I didn't get anything from her," he said.
"I'm disappointed, you've lost your touch with her," said the woman on the other end.
"She's not going to break her agency's rules for me," said Eyal.
"She has in the past. Did you try sleeping with her? She seems to respond to men in that way," said his boss, Rivka Singer.
"That's never happened and never will," said Eyal.
She sighed. "This will just have to take longer than I hoped."
"You're welcome," said Eyal sarcastically.