Title: Past

Author: Katie

Rating: R (violence)

Characters: Joan Campbell, Arthur Campbell, Annie Walker, Meg Wilkins

Pairings: Joan/Arthur

Summary: "You were there for me when I woke up in that hospital bed." What was Joan talking about when she said that to Meg in 2x08, Welcome to the Occupation.

Disclaimer: The characters in Covert Affairs do not belong to me. They belong to a bunch of people who probably have more money than I ever will. I'm just borrowing them.

Author's Note: Hi all! This is my first CA fanfiction. I recently discovered the show and spent the summer watching all the episodes. It's such an awesome show. I adore Joan and Arthur, and really can't wait for Season 5 to see what happens. Please let me know what you think. I love feedback! This will be 6-7 chapters, and please be forewarned that future parts will be pretty dark and violent.

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If there was one thing that Annie Walker had learned about this job, it was to never assume anything.

For example, she never assumed she would go on a mission with Joan Campbell. In the short time that she had been at Langley, Joan had always worked behind the scenes controlling operations. Of course, she had heard that Joan had been an incredible agent in the field, but Annie never thought that she would experience working with her.

Now, as they clinked wineglasses together across the small table of the plane, Annie sat somewhat unsure of what to say or do. She took a sip of wine, trying not to think of the fact that the bottle probably cost a third of her paycheck. It tasted amazing, but it did little to calm her nerves.

The mission was complete, but it was obvious that Joan had not escaped unscathed.

Annie glanced at Joan underneath long lashes. Her glance lingered as the younger woman looked at her boss curiously. Annie noticed Joan carefully flexed her hand, testing the pain level of the action. Annie took in the bruise under Joan's right eye, knowing that it would turn into a spectacular black eye by morning. Annie could also see finger marks against Joan's long neck, and from the ginger way the older woman sat, Annie assumed there were some bruised ribs. She frowned slightly, feeling guilty for leaving Joan and Meg to fight off numerous assassins.

Noticing Annie staring, Joan attempted to keep a passive look on her face. "What?" she asked Annie, though her tone held no annoyance.

The agent blushed lightly, embarrassed at getting caught looking at her boss. "I…sorry," Annie muttered, taking a longer sip of wine to fill the awkward silence. Seeing that Joan was waiting for her to continue, Annie sighed. "I'm sorry," she repeated. "You just…are you okay?"

Joan raised an eyebrow, and Annie could have sworn that she saw a hint of a smile on the blonde woman's face. Still, Joan managed to answer neutrally, "I'll live. I held my own, and I've had worse than this, believe it or not."

Remembering Joan's statement to Meg in the bathroom, Annie couldn't help the curious question that followed. "Joan...what happened?"

Joan glanced at her, thoroughly confused. "With…?" she trailed off, waiting for Annie to answer.

Annie flushed again, wondering what it was about Joan that made her feel so tense. "What you said to Meg. About her being there when you woke up in the hospital," Annie replied.

Annie instantly regretted the statement. Joan's eyes darkened and a look of…Annie wasn't sure what exactly, passed over her face. It was a mixture of several emotions. She looked angry, hurt, fearful, ashamed, and sad.

An awkward silence lingered in the cramped cabin, and finally Annie spoke up. "I'm sorry, Joan," she said. "It's none of my business." She moved to stand, freezing when Joan spoke a single word.

"Wait."

The word was choked, and Annie was shocked to see tears welling in Joan's eyes. She sat still, waiting as Joan desperately attempted to get ahold of her emotions.

"I just…it's not something I talk about," Joan finally spoke. "It was a very dark time in my life, and…to think back on it is hard."

"I'm sorry," Annie repeated for the fourth time in less than five minutes. She regretted bringing up the subject. "I don't want to stir up bad memories."

"It's okay," Joan answered softly. "It was twelve years ago. Arthur had just proposed to me, and at the risk of sounding arrogant, I was on the top of my game. I had just had my ten year anniversary with the agency and was on my way up the ranks." Joan smiled sadly then added, "I was pretty much on top of the world."

Annie waited, allowing Joan to continue at her own pace. Finally, she continued.

"I thought that I was invincible. I thought that nothing bad would happen to me. Meg and I, as well as another agent, Lena Smith…we were pretty amazing agents. They called us 'Tres Culo Patadas Mujeres'." Annie chuckled at the nickname. "We took down a record number of subjects, including a large terror group. The three of us versus fifteen men. That was quite an interesting encounter."

Joan sighed slightly. "The three of us went to Switzerland to eliminate two members of a terrorist cell that was quickly escalating. Meg and I were working the field, and Lena was our eyes and ears. She wasn't too happy about that, and voiced her frustrations all the way from DC to Switzerland. By the time we landed, Meg and I were at our wit's ends."

"It didn't take us long to get the Intel we needed," Joan went on. "Meg and I were driving through a heavily wooded area. The weather was clear, and we were actually having a good time. Laughing, joking…it was almost as if we weren't covert operatives getting ready to kick some ass."

Annie smiled at Joan's laugh.

"One minute we were fine, the next, we were hit by another car." Joan closed her eyes for a moment, taking time to gather her thoughts. "We never could prove it, but Meg and I swore that Lena set us up. After all, we were ambushed when she wasn't with us. It was just too…convenient."

"Were you injured?" Annie asked, realizing that Joan hadn't elaborated.

"It's a long story," Joan responded with a sigh. Looking out the window, seeing the plains of Texas under them, she finished, "But it's also a long flight." Seeing the innocence in Annie's eyes, Joan continued. "I've never told anyone outside of Arthur and my therapist this story…and of course Meg. I trust you to keep it between us."

"Of course, Joan," Annie replied automatically.

Joan nodded, placing her trust in the young agent. She settled back, gathering her thoughts.

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End Part 1. Part 2 will be up tomorrow.