Hearts and Minds

Note: Another missing scene from 4X15, this one takes place after the noodle-slurping and before "I've never been more ready for anything in my life"

Annie and Auggie returned to the safe house and delivered a bag of noodles to Calder and Oliver.

"Dinner," Annie dropped the bag, clearly big enough for 2 on the coffee table in front of Oliver.

"Thanks," Calder looked up at the pair.

"We're going to get a few hours sleep, you mind if we take that room in the back," Annie mentioned the room with the double bed.

"Not at all, sleep well," Calder said as Oliver looked on curiously.

Annie led Auggie through the strange maze of the safe house to a room with a low metal bed, barely a double, but wider than the bunks Calder had slept on earlier. She folded back the blankets to find cool, clean sheets, more than she hoped for and she was so tired she might not have protested dirty ones. Clean ones made it easier to strip her clothes off though, sleeping in jeans was never pleasant.

Auggie was cataloging the sounds of the bed being turned down, boots toed off and slid under the foot of the bed and the zipper of jeans.

"I assume you're not stripping for my benefit," he grinned.

"Two blind jokes in one day? You're feeling better," she said softly.

"I finally feel like I am doing something instead of play acting back in DC," he shrugged.

"Lucky for you, we have the opposite policy from most strip clubs," she informed and smiled when he looked suitably confused.

"At a strip club you are encouraged to look and not touch, with us it has always been the other way around," she stepped right in front of him and found his hands flexing at his sides.

She took both of his hands in hers, laced their fingers together and squeezed before freeing them and placing them on her bare hips. He ran them gently along her bare torso, teasing along the edge of her bra and panties, neither of which were very stylish. She couldn't help the goose bumps that broke out along her skin.

"Cold?" he asked concerned.

"No," she shook her head and he could hear how much longer her hair was.

"Just to be safe," he pulled her body against his, wrapped his long arms around her and kissed the top of her head.

The warmth of his body, the comfort she felt there and the steady beat of his heart conspired to lull her practically to sleep on her feet.

"We need to sleep," she said as she grudgingly pulled away.

Auggie matched her state of dress and the two of them climbed into the small bed. Annie molded herself to Auggie's side, her hand over his heart and her head right next to it. It should have felt more awkward than it did, but truth be told she slept like this with a pillow for the months they were apart.

Despite the comfort she felt in his arms Annie could not get her mind to stop racing or her body to fully relax. Auggie rubbed circles on her bare back trying to release some of the tension.

"Annie, sleep," he murmured against her hair.

"Got a few things on my mind," she laughed and the feel of her breath against his bare chest made Auggie nearly vibrate with desire.

"We'll get him," he tried again to assure her despite his own swirling doubt.

"It is such a long shot," it was the first time she actually vocalized her doubt and Auggie was certainly the only person she would share it with.

"We'll find a way," he said his voice hard.

"We've lost so much already," she repeated her point from earlier.

"Have we lost everything?' he asked quietly in the dark room.

"I can't answer that for both of us," she said honestly.

"I thought your decision to go dark, to stay completely dark was your definitive answer on the subject of us and then you came home and wouldn't see me and then I got a text to meet and I was certain it was you…"

"…but it was Helen," Annie finished for him.

"I'm sure a shrink would tell me that sleeping with Helen was about closure or misplaced longing for you. I won't hide behind psychobabble Annie, it was wrong. I hurt you and Helen at the same time. The last thing I said to her was that I loved you, not her. It seems incredibly cruel now that she's dead," Auggie huffed and turned slightly, dislodging Annie but bringing them face to face on the bed.

"How is that I can trust you with my life, but am having so much trouble trusting you with my heart," Annie sniffled and Auggie reached out to clear a tear from her cheek.

"It demonstrates how much you value this, nothing worth really having comes easily Annie, relationships, or so I've been told, take a lot of work and from day 1 we have been fully distracted by Henry."

"Our friendship was so easy."

"Is that what you want Annie? To just be friends?" he asked with terror laced in his voice.

"No," she said softly and slid her leg between his, pulling him closer still, "no."

"So we finish this Annie, we get Henry and if we survive it, we go as far away from the CIA as we possibly can. I can't imagine Calder or Joan would refuse us a vacation after all this. We go away and we figure out us. I have a feeling it will be worth the work," he smiled brightly this time, even in the dark.

The End