So here's chapter 2 (and the reason for the higher rating for this piece). This one takes place between the attack in Iran and when Elizabeth arrives at the bunker.

"Abdul, stay down!" Elizabeth shouted, reaching for the child. Gunfire still tore through the room. The heat from the explosion was only beginning to dissipate. And she couldn't get to him. She wanted to with all her heart, but it just wasn't possible. Not with Fred's heavy weight on her back; not without being shot to oblivion, which would do no one any good.

Suddenly, it stopped. The new silence rang in Elizabeth's ears. They would be coming inside now, she knew. They would be coming inside to make sure their target and everyone with him was dead.

It took all her strength to pull herself from under Fred. Then, snatching his sidearm, she scooped up Abdul and started looking frantically for somewhere to hide.

"You will be safe," she whispered repeatedly to the crying child in Arabic. "I will make sure of it."

She crept around the corner after making sure it was clear. Then, she noticed a closet in the corner. It was just big enough for the two of them.

It wasn't long before she heard voices in the room outside.

"Stay here," she whispered, tucking him into the corner of the closet. "Stay here, and be quiet. It will be okay."

He nodded at her with big eyes and sniffled slightly. "Be careful," he whispered back.

Elizabeth squeezed his hand, but didn't make a promise she couldn't keep.

She took a deep breath. Fred's gun was heavy in her hand. She prayed she still remembered how to use it from her CIA days.

"Zahed Javani is dead," she heard one of the men outside say in Arabic.

"Good," a somewhat familiar voice replied. "Except for one thing. This guy is American Diplomatic Security."


"So, the United States' Secretary of State is here. Find her."

There was a general murmur of assent and a patter of footsteps. Suddenly, Elizabeth placed the voice: it belonged to Vincent Marsh.


She took another breath and stepped out of the closet. Only Marsh and one other remained in the room; Elizabeth took a few shots at the unknown man before either could notice her. He crumpled, but she couldn't be sure he was dead.

Marsh whirled towards her, his own weapon drawn. "Elizabeth McCord," he said, recognizing her immediately. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance."

"Wish I could say the same."

He smirked. "You've got spunk. I see why Dalton likes you."

"Better than you, apparently."

"Apparently, you're as arrogant as you are misguided," he bit back, taking a step towards her. "But as entertaining as this squabble is, we really must be going."

"We will be going nowhere."

"You're going to stop me?" he scoffed. "Look, lady, you're a CIA deskwarmer-"


"-turned college professor. Maybe it's me, but you're not qualified to stop me."

"It's you." And she shot him point-blank.

She shuddered slightly. The sound of her shot echoed through the room. Marsh's expression turned to shock as he fell, very much dead.

"How did Conrad hire that guy?" Elizabeth muttered incredulously as she ducked to relative cover behind a chair.

A few moments more and the troops that had been with Marsh came ambling back.

"She's killed him!" one snapped, kneeling beside Marsh's body and checking for a pulse. "Find her! NOW!"

Elizabeth knew her hiding spot wouldn't last for long. So, she decided the element of surprise would be more useful than waiting and stood. Six shots and a couple of assailants in, however, and she was out of ammunition.

"Surrender!" one of the men demanded in Arabic.

She shook her head firmly, mind whirring.

"I will not repeat myself," he stated, raising his weapon.

Slowly, Elizabeth lowered Fred's gun to the ground, realizing that, if she didn't, they would kill her and then likely find Abdul. This way, at least, he would be safe.

"On your knees!"

She knelt carefully, and next thing she knew, her hands were bound roughly behind her back. It was all she could do to not waver in her eye contact with the de facto leader as her mind filled with thoughts of Henry and her sweet children and everything she'd never get to be there for.

"I'm sure you will fetch a nice sum of money," he told her, bending to her level. She winced inwardly at his implication. "But first-" he slapped her "-for killing Vincent Marsh."

The others laughed as her cheek turned a vivid red.

Suddenly, a gunshot echoed through the room, and the leader keeled over. Elizabeth swung around to see the remainder of Javani's security detail come bursting in. One made a beeline for Elizabeth and slit her bonds; she nodded her thanks before striding to the closet where Abdul was hidden.

"It's time to go," she whispered gently to the child in Arabic.

He nodded and crawled into her arms.

"We need to get you to the bunker," the leader of Javani's detail told her urgently when she returned with Abdul. "His mother will meet us there."

Elizabeth sighed, relieved that at least one of his parents had survived. "One more thing," she stated, suddenly remembering, and nodded towards Marsh's body. "Is he going to be a problem?"

The leader looked at the body for a moment and turned back to Elizabeth. Then he shook his head.

"Good," Elizabeth nodded as she allowed herself to be led to the waiting motorcade and taken to the bunker.