There is no intended infringement on the trademark or copyright of Necessary Roughness.

Any original characters and storyline are the intellectual property of the author.

It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.

Sally Kempton

At a peaceful cemetery, sailors in uniform saying their goodbyes. From the distance a woman is walking

up to the dispersing crowd. Nico is offering his condolences to the widow when he notices the woman's

approach. They acknowledge each other with a warm glance and a sly smile. Nico moves to allow

others access to the widow and stands off to the side speaking with several military men. The woman

approaches the line forming where the widow is standing. Nico watches has she offers a warm but

tearful hug to the widow.

As they speak for a few moments. Nico is now leaning against a tree waiting for her to approach. The

woman warmly greets many of the men and women in attendance, then makes her way toward Nico.

She smiles "Hey you."

"Hey yourself" Nico offers a warm greeting. They reach to embrace. The hug is long. Nico leans down

into her. "It has been a long time Maggie. When did you get back?"

"Too long Neeks… last night" She locks arms with him as they talk and walk.

They start walking toward the cars. Nico has his arm around Maggie's shoulders. "I can't believe Ray is

gone." Maggie accepts Nico's guiding hand. He stops for a moment and faces her looking beyond her back toward the crowd.

"I know." He returns his gaze back to Maggie. "Are you going to Connelly's"

She looks back at the crowd. "I don't think so… that's for the family" They approach his car. "Did you drive?"

"No… cabbed it." Nico smirks at her. "Get in… I need a drink."

She smiles. "If you are buying, I need several." He smirks as if her words are some sort of inside joke.

"Get in Maggie."

"On your six." She smirks back as she grabs the handle of the Lincoln. "Nice ride."

"Get in Maggie." Nico takes command.

Maggie and Nico are sitting side by side on stools in a quiet Irish Pub in the heart of the city. Both have a glass of whiskey in

their hands. Maggie raises her glass. " old friends and absence friends" Nico clinks his against hers.

Nico takes a long draw from his glass. She leans into Nico's shoulders with a bump and nudge.

"I have really missed you Nico." Maggie takes a smaller sip. They begin a quiet but animated conversation.

Outside the Pub.

Nico and Maggie walk down the street toward Nico's car. Maggie is slightly drunk and leaning into Nico's

side as they make their way. They laugh as they approach the car door. "By the way, where are you staying?" Nico opens

Maggie's car door for her. "The Carlyle." Nico helps Maggie into the car and shuts the door. He rounds the front of the car and

gets in.

At the Hotel:

Nico takes her key and opens the door to the room. They walk into the room together. Maggie flops

onto the bed kicking off her heels while tossing her coat and purse onto the couch in a overexaggerated but majestic single movement. Nico pushes

her feet out of his way and sits on the side of the bed looking back at her. Maggie sits up and slides over to sit on the side

of the bed next to Nico. "Don't go." Nico leans his head next to hers as she reaches him.

"I have to Mags." She puppy eyes him. "Maggie, I hate when you do that." He gives her a stern look

as he stands up. Nico takes off his coat and tosses it on the chair and takes off his shoes. He walks back over

and lies next to Maggie on the bed. He extends his arm out near her. "Come here Mags." Maggie lies in the crook of Nico's arm with a smile.

She darts up and reaches over to the side table.

"I know, audio surveillance." She clicks on music before a lying back down. Nico laughs. Within seconds,

Maggie is sound asleep. Nico plants a kiss on her hair. "I have missed you too Mags."

During the night, Nico has moved to the couch and is dozing off again when he wakes with start at the sound of Maggie

thrashing on the bed. He jumps up and goes to her. As he reaches down to grab her shoulders to wake her, she pulls a gun out of seemingly thin

air and holds it to his forehead. "Christ, Maggie." Nico grabs and shakes her. When she does not respond, he slaps her across the face.

Maggie's eyes fly open. She is shaken and confused staring at him. Nico slowly reaches up and takes the gun from her hand.

"Hey… Hey… it's me. Mags, you 're safe.. shhhh." He takes the clip out of the Sig and sets it on the table.

He touches the side of her face where his hand landed.

"When the hell did the nightmares start?" Maggie is sitting up rubbing her face under Nico's hand. He reaches out again

and touches her face raising her eyes to look at him. She doesn't speak and only looks at him when she

removes her hand from her face. "That long" She shrugs her shoulders.

"God Nico, I'm sorry." He leans against her. "Hey it's me here…" She rolls her eyes.

"I know. Not like it's the first time you have pulled a gun on me." He smirks.

"Hell, it's not even the first time I pulled a gun on you in bed." Nico stands up and helps her to her feet.

"Ok, before you go back to sleep" He waves his hand at her in a gimme fashion. Maggie rolls her eyes at

him. "Fine but this is totally unnatural." Maggie reaches down and drops another Sig on the bed, a

knife, spray, and a Swiss Army knife. Nico gives her a look.

"Hey, it was a Funeral, I went lightly armed out of respect." Nico smiles and rolls his eyes. He removes

the clips and stowes all the weapons on the table.

"Mary Margaret O'Brien." He walks back over to her shaking his head. "You never disappoint." Maggie is now back on the bed ready for sleep.

"Lay down". He lies on the bed next to her with his hands behind his head. Maggie mimics his position

with one arm. The other rubs her pink jaw. "By the way… Ouch." Nico glances over at her. "Loaded Sig"

"Yeah but I didn't hit you with it."

"Good Night Mags."

"Can I ask you something?" Maggie rolls over and looks him straight in the eyes.

"Sure."

"Are you really over Gabrielle?" Nico sighs and shifts his posture. "Nico …. I know about Brussels…. New York… Par.."

"Maggie." Nico stops her mid-sentence by planting his finger on her lips.

"Nico… It's me… hello… know the history and I saw Marshall in Nepal. You finally told him?"

"Yes… I told him. Marshall had you come to Nepal..."

"I was already there… Going back soon too." She snuggles into Nico's side. Nico raises his arm and wraps it around Maggie.

Next Day:

Nico is standing on the side of the field watching someone in the stands. Maggie walks up behind him.

She notices his focus. "So who is the douchebag?" Nico shoots her a look.

"Sorry… who is the gentleman of questionable social graces that is the current focus of your attention?"

She mimics his stance. Not breaking his gaze, he answers. "Agent"

"Ah… a professional DB." Maggie looks Nico up and down intently. "Michael Corleone called. He wants his

wardrobe back." Amused, he looks down at Maggie. "Fashion advice from paramilitary Barbie."

"Touche…. I mean the look is very sexy…it's just different for you." Maggie watches the players at work.

"Sexy?" She looks up at him with a sly smile. "Very sexy."

Players notice the woman with Nico. TK mentions it to Matt. "So who is Nico's mini me?"

Matt glances over. "No idea, Never seen her before."

Nico looks down at Maggie. "Come on, I'll show you around." He offers his arm. Maggie takes

his arm as they head towards the tunnels.

They round the glass. Dani, Coach and Matt are in Matt's office. Nico leads Maggie towards the group

for introductions. Greetings are exchanged between Nico and the others. "This is an old friend of mine,

Maggie O'Brien "… goes through the introductions.

"Are we still on for dinner tonight? Maggie is welcome to come." Dani asks Nico. Figuring this maybe one of Nico's women, Maggie

answers for him when Nico hesitates. "Sounds fun." She looks back at Nico. He relents and nods

acceptance. Maggie looks at Matt. "Care to join us?"

"Sure sounds fun." Matt is curious about this situation. Nico guides Maggie out for the rest of her tour.

Matt is sitting at his desk leaning back in his chair. Dani is sitting on the edge of his desktop.

"So … who is that?" Dani looks at the door then back at Matt.

"I don't know." Matt starts to fiddle with some papers on the desk.

Restaurant.

The four of them are sitting around the table. Marshall walks up. He sees Maggie next to Nico. He

walks up behind Maggie and speaks quite loudly on his approach.

"Retreat? We just got here." Maggie does not even turn around but a huge smile crosses her face at the sound of Marshall's voice.

"Retreat… Hell we are just attacking in the other direction." She stands and gives Marshall a huge warm hug.

"Damn Maggie… I have missed you darling." Maggie smiles back. "You just saw me."

"I know and I missed you already." He kisses her cheek.

"Okay… have to ask. How do you all know each other?" Matt is more than curious now.

Marshall pulls up a chair between Maggie and Dani. "We served together."

"Well you know Nico and I were SEALs… Maggie here was one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children."

Dani and Matt look confused. "A Marine, Mag's a Marine." Nico explains the term.

Matt asks "If you two were SEALs and you were a Marine, how did you serve together?

Marshall pipes up. "Mags, here was our ride."

Matt a confused look crosses his face. Maggie speaks up "I was a Naval Aviator." Matt smiles with

recognition. "So did you have one of those cool names like top gun?" Dani continues the conversation.

Nico laughs with Marshall. Maggie looks at them. "Well I did but these bastards changed it."

"My call sign was Mitsy. Dani, I graduated from Harvard. Not surprisingly that is hard to live down in the Marines."

"So did they change it to?" Matt downs some of his beer. Marshall pipes in. "BABS." Without even looking at

each other both Marshall and Nico define it. "Bad Ass Bitch…Sir"

"Ok, I am intrigued." Dani leans in to hear the story.

Marshall starts the story with how Maggie's call sign was changed.

"We were wrapping up a mission and end up in an absolute shit storm. Mags and crew flew in to

extricate our team. We were having a, let's say difficult time connecting, we were taking fire from all

over. Smoke… and shrapnel flying all over the place. Armageddon… end of days kind of shit…

Mags's crew are calling back to see if they can return fire…and keep getting denied. Finally Mags gets

everyone on board and gets the go ahead to return fire. Over all the freaking noise… all you can hear

is Mags going all Tony Montana… (complete with Cuban accent) "All right you cockroaches… you want to

play rough… okay… I'm reloaded… say hello to my little friend …mo fo"….Her second mouths that the

mike is still on. (Marshall takes a drink of scotch.) "Genius here realizes what she has just said over the

open channels and follows it up with "Sir" and just starts unloading the guns on the bastards shooting

up her helio." The Admiral responds with "do you know who you are talking to" Without missing a beat,

Mags comes off with "Sir yes Sir… just enthusiastically facilitating a smooth departure for your sailors with

the efficient application of superior fire power. Please excuse me sir I have to blow some shit up now. "

All you hear over the mike is "Carry on Marine"

"When we get back to the carrier… she calls for clearance to land and they start calling her BABS…."

"If you haven't noticed, our little Boston Deb here curses like a freaking sailor… so babydoll, you ever

out rank me?" Marshall nudges Maggie's shoulder.

"Sweetie, since the day you graced my life. That's LT Col Babydoll to you and I only curse like a sailor

because obviously I spent way too much time with the f'ing Navy."

Nico laughs into his drink. Marshall waves down the waitress and orders another round for the table.

Dani asks Maggie more questions to get some info about Nico and Marshall's past. "Are you still in the Marines?"

Maggie smiles. " No… I retired. I work in the alphabet soup now." Dani looks more confused.

"She works for the CIA." Marshall weighs in. Dani's eyes get wide.

"You're a spy?" Maggie laughs at the question.

"Oh no… no cloak and dagger for me. I have … other unspecified duties as assigned." Maggie leaves it vague. She is not one to advertise her current

affiliation for obvious reasons.

"So how long have the stooges been together?" Dani asks. Nico smiles.

"God, too long. Military, career changes, marriages, kids… what twenty years of history give or take."

Marshall adds. "Maggie, are you married?" Dani figures the more she knows about this new friend the

better. "No… unfortunately with my career choices… most of the men I date tend to wonder if I am a hit man for the mob

or a serial killer neither of which lends itself to long-term relationships."

Suddenly there is music playing in the background. Maggie starts to tap her fingers in time. Nico

notices. "Michael Buble… really…." He pokes fun at her.

Maggie shuts her eyes. "Do not knock the musical genius of Michael B. Besides, you will require me to

bring up the Celine Dion incident of 1998."

Nico looks at Marshall and Maggie who are giving him a sly look back. "Don't you dare."

"The Celine Dion incident?" Matt asks. Marshall pipes in. "Nico's bride chose the love theme to the Titanic as "their" song."

Maggie adds. "coincidence or premonition. Hmmmm… ?" She puts her finger on her lips.

Nico laughs and adds. "Ask the divorce lawyers."

"What was your first wife like?" Dani seizes the opportunity. Maggie immediately starts to answer.

"She was a pretentious, gold-digging, spoiled bit…." Nico puts his finger up to Maggie's lips to shut her

up. "She was not who I thought she was."

Maggie mumbles through Nico's fingers. "but she was exactly who I thought she was."

The five of them are laughing at a table littered with glasses and coffee cups continuing the animated conversation.