This is a very crazy idea that I came up with after a watching Season 1 of Covert Affairs non-stop. It sort of serves as a prequel for the Avengers fanfic, but it could be read & understood separately (I think.)
Disclaimer: I don't own Mockingbird, Avengers, Covert Affairs, Auggie, Annie or anything else.
Update: Thanks for the reviews! I've rewritten a bit of the last part to make more clear who's talking to who. Keep reviewing, I'd love to hear from you!
Chapter 1: Allen's
Allen's was packed with people, loud, noisy. Beers here and there. The usual sophomore college brats trying to score with the suits, to have their own Bond girl's fantasies fulfilled. If they only knew that half of those suits worked 9 to 5 schedules in some boring law firm and just pretended to be secretive and charming to score...
You had 3 types of people in the pub: the sophomores, the suits and the after-office buds that just wanted to blow off some steam. Contrary to people's beliefs, the secret agents were mostly among these folks, not the suited up and playing cool by the bar. It was the strangely fit geeks that were doing beer racing matches and playing darts in the back the ones with the Bond's lives.
If the sophomores only knew how hard these people's life really was they would take off their kitten hills and run for their lives. Quite literally.
But it wasn't the case. And some took advantage of it. Case and point: Auggie Anderson.
Annie had lost track of how many girls had taken him home in the last two years of being together - working together is more like it. He had this ability of eyeing, hovering at any chick in the room, focus his attention solely to her and somehow in the next 30 minutes she'd be sitting at their table. They even had a code for Annie to take off when he wanted privacy. It was a wing-woman kind of thing.
They had codes for everything these days. They even had one to scram when a jerk or a bimbo was obnoxiously trying to get their attention. Auggie particularly enjoyed those times when he could pretend there was more to them than what was out there.
They were much in tune, they didn't need to complete each other sentence's and make obvious remarks to one another, but in some level they knew. They were connected in a level that not many people understood. Most just read it as sexual tension or brotherly/sisterly bond, but it was much more than that.
Unfortunately, they hadn't quite picked on it. At least Annie hadn't.
So until she would, he had two choices: wait sitting until his blond would see him for the man he was, for the guy that was always there for her, holding her hand, cheering her, watching her back. Or, he could continue in this trend of mindless one night stands.
He tried to be charming with Annie, she thought he was joking. Then he tried the "I wanna be alone for a while" approach, but she thought it was a pose.
He was starting to think he needed to pick up his game. Or give Annie up entirely. Leave Annie Walker as the all american next door girl's fantasy he'll never be able to fulfill.
But she was so much more than that. She wasn't a fantasy. She was so real. Her laughter, her humor, her boldness in the field (who had him worried more often than not). The fact that she saw past his blindness, that she took him for who he was, not the blind guy in tech. They had an instant connection that kept on growing. He only hope she'd see that before it was too late.
He took another zip of beer and scouted around. A scent came clearer than the rest. Table next to them. He moved his head involuntary to the perfume coming from the table and back to Annie, and she snorted.
"I knew you were gonna pick her, I'm starting to get your traits Mr. Anderson!"
"I'd say it was about time Ms. Walker. Brief me in." Annie looked at the now self-conscious red-haired on the next table. Heels, hair to the side, playing with her necklace. Acting demure. Shoulders standing behind, crossed legs. Sexual invitation. Everything about this young woman was yelling "take me now", and considering the several glances towards Auggie's direction, Annie had a feeling he wouldn't sleep alone tonight. Or sleep at all.
And then the red-haired looked at her. For a second their eyes met. Something wasn't right. The young woman picked her phone and texted something quickly. She seemed more interested in their conversation than in whatever the legal department people she was sitting with was telling her.
"Well, she's red-haired, 5'4", clean dress, kitty heels, broad smile." Auggie wasn't buying it. "What is it?"
Annie cleared her throat and clenched her teeth, something was off. She knew those looks. She knew that hair flip. And she knew how to make contact with a mark, make them interested enough for them to make the first move. She knew how to do that long before the Farm. This woman had been at the office for four days now, enough time to study a mark. Enough time to make a first contact.
Annie thought she may be overreacting. The farm rewires your brain and makes you see everyone as a potential threat, as a mark. But maybe she wasn't, maybe this red haired was just a new girl from legal that is trying to fit in. And she probably heard about Auggie and is intrigued. Hell, even Annie was intrigued. "She's talking to the legal folks, I guess she's new?"
"Legal? No one in legal would use Havana Pour Elle. She could be bureau." He knew the red haired's perfume screamed agent, not asset. Definitely not legal aid. Inter departmental spying, just look at that.
"She's too clean to be bureau. But she keeps on eyeing you, I guess your fame precedes you and reached all the way to legal"
"Hey! I resent that!" she giggled into her now empty glass of beer. "run out of beer, bummer"
Auggie was suddenly excited "So, should I play her tune? See where that goes?" Annie casually looked at her and the red-haired looked away. She was getting nervous. Why would girl from legal get nervous? Inter departmental spying with newbies? "Do you want to pull another Liza?"
"You really don't like her, do you?" She didn't. Something about her whole projection of a demure girl didn't add up. Annie made the conscious decision of "Auggie-ing" the room as she called it.
She focused her attention entirely on her red-haired mark while Auggie kept on discussing mindless things. The red-haired Rs were slightly dental. The more Annie focused on the red haired, the more nervous she got, and her Rs got worse, sloppy. Accent. Russian.
Could she be working for Tash's former employees? Could she be after Auggie? See if he had kept in touch with his ex? Was he at risk? Why pretend to be in legal? Nah, she had to be a mole. And Auggie was her mark, her way in. She was after intel.
"I think I forgot those papers at my desk. Joan's gonna kill me if I don't get them to her first thing in the morning" So, she used the "Need to talk to Joan" line, there was something definitely off about this girl. He wanted to follow the lead and see what the red haired wanted to get from him. But Annie just picked on something else and probably wouldn't let him.
"Well, what if we do one more round and I take you home?" His charming smile and sexual innuendo went amiss on his audience. "Sure, why not? If I get boozed up to home again Dani's gonna kill me" and there was no way she was to leave Auggie alone knowing he was someone's mark.
He beamed at her and raised his hand to the waitress, who just nodded at him. She was clearly new, and missed his white can. "Could you bring us another jar? And 3 shots?" she said a quiet Yes and started to walk away when he grabbed her by her arm. "Thanks Lois"
"Three shots?" Annie was puzzled. The waitress half smiled "There's no surprising you, is there Clark?" His smile broaden towards the waitress while he brushed her arm slowly. That was "Leave Us Alone Sign #1".
"Clark?" Annie didn't like not being on the joke. At all.
Auggie moved towards Annie's voice and then back to the waitress "It's a long story. So, waitress? Weren't you in Shanghai saving lives?"
The waitress repressed a snort "That's a stretch. Plus, you know I've been back for 2 months now." Annie went from one to the other. The looks, the touch, the familiarity... So these two have a history... The plot thickens!
The waitress leaned slightly "I do have other tables to serve Augs, I'll leave you guys to your companionship scouting, nice to meet you Annie. I'll get your beers right away" Something in the phrasing tipped off Augs. His posture changed slightly for a second. Annie may have missed it if she wouldn't have had farm training. Game was on.
She looked at the waitress walking away and saw a distinct frown on the red-haired. The young woman was eyeing the waitress coldly, and texted again. Annie's eyes met hers and the demure facade was gone. The red haired grabbed her purse, nodded at her table co-workers and took off, bumping slightly on the waitress.
"Where do you know this Lois from Augs? How come she knows who I am?" Auggie looked at her in disbelief. "I think she's the red-haired's handler" Auggie didn't seem surprised.
"She may as well be" Lois as he called her brought them the beers and shots, leaving them near Auggie. He moved his hand slowly until he reached them, placing one in front of Annie, grabbing one for himself and setting the third on the empty chair next to him, right where their waitress was standing "I'm working Augs"
He talked towards her voice. His eyes may not see, but they were commanding the waitress to sit down "Sure, and now you're taking a break. Sit."
"You're bossy today. With that kind of attitude you're gonna be a lonely old grumpy man, you know" She sat anyway, held her tray over her legs and nodded at the main bartender who nodded back. "Well, I'm sure someone will keep me company"
Annie couldn't restrain her comment "I'm sure of that" Lois looked at Annie and then back to their common friend.
Annie figured they looked alike. The waitress had darker hair yes, but the same small but sturdy complexion, tall... She had blue eyes though. She seemed relaxed around Auggie. Annie attributed this to his ability of giving calmed but direct orders without you noticing until you had done whatever it was he wanted you to do.
"It's been a long time Nell" the waitress' eyes got cloudy for a moment but then went back to smiling at him, staring at his. Annie was sure he could see her in his head. "Not that long, what is two years in our line of work?" Without realizing, he brushed her cheek with his hand and moved a lock of her hair to the back of her ear. It was a very soft gesture, it wasn't rehersed, it wasn't a signal. The waitress was the real thing. Annie shifted positions in her chair, something was suddenly upsetting her.
Auggie didn't seem to pick on her. He spoke, still talking to the waitress' voice.
"A lifetime?" she snorted and disregarded him, looking at Annie. "We hadn't been properly introduced," she extended her hand towards Annie and they shook firmly but amicably. Her tone was all business but Annie could see that her eyes were saying a complete different story. And so were Auggie's. "I'm Penelope Morse, an old friend of Auggie's. He talks about you all the time. That's how I knew you were Annie."
That comment made her a bit warmer on the inside. He talked about her all the time. "And I'm guessing waiting tables is not your day job"
The waitress half smiled "On occasion it is. A lot less stressful than handling patients."
Auggie raised his hand when she said handling. "She's a doctor. For real, don't let the handling fool you. And smell that? That's her perfume. No one under 50 years old uses that perfume, except her. No one on a waitress salary could afford that perfume."
"Right. I knew I shouldn't have used it. But heck, habits gives us away." She was beaming at him, showing a small dimple on her cheek. He moved his left hand towards hers and they locked fingers. That was sign #2.
"Why do I have the feeling you wanted to be given away?" She just smiled and took the shot in one quick zip. "I have other tables to wait on, I don't wanna loose this gig. How could I ever afford my perfume?" She nodded at Annie while getting up. Then she realized they were holding hands, looked at Annie and then at their common friend. Auggie and the waitress shared an accomplice giggle, then the waitress pressed his hand and let it go.
They shared a giggle. The kind of giggle he only shared with Annie. Annie twitched in her seat again. A sudden rush covered her senses but went away too quickly to be dwelt upon. It was foolish, she had had too much to drink already.
"10 years later and you still have the locked fingers signal for your wing woman? Auggie, please, catch up with modern times sweetheart" she kissed him on the top of his head, patted on his shoulder and took off. That last gesture from the waitress threw her off. She wanted in the joke, fast.
"Ok, she's gone. Spill." Auggie sat back on his chair and realized the other perfume wasn't around anymore. "What happened with our little legal red?"
"She scrammed. I need to report it."
"I don't think we'll have to. Not if Nell is here. The red haired is either her agent or her mark." He zipped his last beer slowly.
"You mean your friend works in the company?" Annie had never seen her before. Maybe she was one of the ghost agents, or in deep cover. But why would she expose herself as a waitress, in Allen's of all places?
"Not ours. But not... foreign either. It's complicated."
"How complicated?" He took a deep breath, he didn't want to explain. It showed. He got the briefing tone he always had when running her through the details of an ops.
"3 levels above either of our clearances complicated." Annie made an ohh noise. That company. The one blacked out on every paper, the one with the long name that seemed too boring to be real.
Allen's was to be opened for another hour and Annie had the feeling he'd stay until Lois/Nella was done. She decided to relax, but she still wasn't sure she wanted to leave Auggie alone, not even with a black ops operative.
She leaned on her chair "So, 10 years huh? I wanna hear that story"
He leaned on the table nearer her "Oh do stay around, I'm sure you will soon enough. Nell loves telling that story"