It took me so long to finish this, I'm sorry! I had no idea how to end, so it's a little short. Enjoy and review! :)

Time stopped and the gunshot still rang in my ears. I was frozen. I could barely move as Jai helped me into the helicopter and it took off, door still open. He lay there, in shock and infinite pain as we flew over the beach.


I jostled his body a little bit in an effort to get him in a more comfortable position.

"Ben, can you hear me?"

I gulped and caught my breath. Ben's eyes rolled back into his head and he closed his eyelids. Jai looked grave. He mouthed, "I'm sorry," but I didn't blame him for what happened. I shouldn't have let Ben out of my sight. I was his handler, and I screwed up. And now Ben could be dead. He still had a pulse, but it was slow. His breathing was shallow and weak. I brushed the hair away from his face and kissed his temple.

"It's gonna be ok."

When we arrived back at Langley, Ben had been shepherded into a top-secret wing of the closest hospital where agents who were seriously injured in the field were kept. Jai said they were operating as soon as Ben was admitted, but I didn't want to think about it. I had seen what had happened when we exited the helicopter. They had shocked Ben's chest, twice, then wheeled him into the hospital. He could have been dead before we landed, for all I knew. I had begged Jai not to tell me anything after he took over holding Ben an hour into our helicopter ride. I couldn't bear to have his dying body next to mine anymore. It hurt too much.


I looked up from my desk and saw Joan. Her eyes were sympathetic and caring, something I had rarely seen in her. I swallowed and held back the tears. She sat on the edge of my desk and reached out to touch my arm.

"Do you want to talk?"

A few tears fell. "I…. I don't know," I choked out, avoiding direct eye contact. Joan nodded and took her hand off my arm.

"I'll be in my office if you want someone to talk to, or even someone to just listen. I know it's hard."

"Thanks," I whispered. Joan stood up and walked to her office. I saw Arthur at her door, and when she reached it she took his hand and he kissed her cheek. All of the sudden I couldn't hold back. I let more tears stream down my face and rested my head on my desk. I felt someone put their hand on my shoulder. The DPD was practically empty, so it had to be…

"It's Auggie."

I jumped out of my chair and wrapped my arms around him, sobbing. He felt for my hair and stroked it.

"Oh, Auggie…"

It had been 4 hours since we had landed, and still no word on Ben. Joan, Jai, and I sat in her office in silence, waiting. It was almost more terrifying than the possibility that Ben was dead. The waiting, the uncertainty.

Joan's phone rang, startling all of us. She got up and walked to her desk to answer it.

"Joan Campbell… Ok….Thank you….I'll tell her….Good bye."

Tears slid down my face. Joan turned to me, her face completely unreadable. There was no sympathy, but there was also no joy. No relived smile. Jai put his hand on my shoulder. We waited as Joan walked over to the couch and sat next to me. She looked into my eyes.


I broke down into sobs. "Just tell me, Joan. He's dead, isn't he?"

"He's in a coma."