Sorry this is a bit short - just wanted to wrap up the story cleanly :) I'm glad everyone loved this so much, and I hope you continue to read my Covert Affairs stories... this season is shaping up to be both intense and inspirational! xo.


"Joan!"

Arthur set Emily down on the couch and ran to the front door the second he heard Joan's key in the front door. She walked into the foyer and Arthur collided with her, wrapping his arms around his wife and squeezing her tightly. Joan practically had the wind knocked out of her.

"Arthur…"

Arthur just held her tightly, shaking his head.

"I want to be mad at you for going over there, but nothing matters other than the fact that you're safe."

Joan pulled back. "How did you – "

"Please, I've had Auggie tracing your phone since the minute you and I left the hospital," Arthur said, stroking her cheek. "Honey, why did you do it?"

Joan sighed. "Because, I needed to look into his eyes and understand why someone who used to be charming and intelligent became paranoid and reckless. Someone I used to care about ran me off the road, Arthur. I'm used to being targeted by foreign nationals, people I don't know, who just hate me because I represent a country they hate. But this is different. He used to be a good guy. For a few months, we were actually really happy. I've never been…betrayed like this."

"Promise me that it's over now," Arthur said, kissing her cheek and hugging her again.

Joan nodded. "I promise. The man I knew is gone – I could see it in his eyes."

xxxx

Joan walked into Annie's house and sat down at the kitchen table. Annie was at the counter, emptying the dishwasher. She turned and smiled, happy to see her best friend.

"Hey, Joanie," Annie said, pouring her a glass of orange juice. Annie was wearing running shorts and a coral tank top, and she was pulling her hair into a ponytail. "How are you feeling?"

Joan took a sip and smiled. "Better," she said, looking at the raised scar on her arm from the shard of the driver's side window. "It's been almost 4 weeks, and I'm finally starting to feel normal again."

Annie grinned. "Glad to hear it. You had me scared there for a second, Joanie."

Joan nodded. "I was scared too. And I should have been more open – with you, Arthur, and Auggie. I put my own safety in jeopardy, something I can't do anymore. Now that I have Emily, I can't take these kinds of risks anymore. I can't be reckless, because I'm no longer coming home to an empty apartment."

Annie smiled softly. "It makes me so happy and relieved to hear you say that. One day, I'm going to tell Emily how much of a badass her mom is."

Joan laughed. "She'll probably think it's a joke. Kids never think their parents are cool."

Annie nodded. "True. But you're a spy, that's gotta count for something."

"Maybe. I just hope she never wants to do what I do," Joan admitted, finishing her orange juice.

"I don't know about that," Annie said slowly. "You and Arthur are both fantastic spies. It would be a shame not to pass that on."

Joan shook her head and stood up, pulling on her foot and stretching her hamstring.

"Well, I'd rather she inherit my strengths than my weaknesses."

It was quiet for a moment, and then Annie broke the silence.

"Okay, enough talk. It's time to run," she said, tossing Joan a water bottle. "Think you can beat me, momma?"

Joan grinned, a glint in her eye. "I'll race you. 2 and a half miles?"

Annie raised her eyebrow. "Make it 3."

Joan grabbed Annie's arm and pulled her out the front door, smiling and laughing.

"You're on."