Am I A Ghost Or Real?

Take Me Under

"Hold on. Who was on the phone?" I ask to see if the phone showed any name on the caller ID. If it didn't, then I could play it off as a wrong number. Then again, it would still depend on the conversation.

"It said Caroline calling. It rang twice, so I answered on the third time, and before I can say 'Gail's phone, she's not here, she'll call you back in a few minutes,' She says, 'Agent Sawyer, Emergency meeting at the base.' and then she hangs up." She explains why she answered the phone and she relays the conversation. Damn it. So like Caroline to just say what things before an answer when she has something important to say. Then again, she'd never expect me to forget my phone. How did I even forget my phone? I'm never out of focus.

And Holly says emergency. We weren't supposed to meet up till later. An emergency call from Caroline is bad. I need to fix this situation and get there as fast as I can.

"Care to explain now?" She asks with raised eye brows as she hands me back my phone.

"Yeah you need to explain." Zoey adds from the back seat. She's probably waiting for me to say something wrong to change her mind and decide I'm all wrong for her sister. "But first, give me the ice cream. You can argue all you want after." She begs with raised hands, asking for me to hand her the ice cream. I guess I was wrong. She's probably too drunk to care about this situation now. So I simply hand her the bag.

And considering Holly is somewhat drunk too, she's probably over thinking things.

"Holly, Caroline is one of the people working on this job tonight with me. Sawyer is my undercover name." That was technically not a lit.

"And why did she say Agent?" Holly asks. She's supposed to be drunk, how can she still catch on to things this fast.

"If I have to go in at any point, my undercover job gives me the title of agent. We're practicing it just in case we are needed." I hope this lie passes.

"Gail, you told me this job wouldn't be dangerous." She still has things to argue with. Only this time, anger has left her face and worry has replaced it.

"I didn't say that. I said tonight won't be dangerous." I remind her. I told her tonight I'll be on surveillance, so I'll be watching, not fighting. "Besides, even if I was to go after these people, I'll have a team, I'll be okay. I'm not the one completely undercover."

"Then why did your expression show differently when I relayed Caroline's message?" She is determined to make things difficult I see. And how did she catch on to my expression? I'm losing my hard exterior in front of her. Good thing I can still answer fast. Sort of.

"I just don't want to drag you into this. I don't want to put you at any risk." I hope this lie works.

"Gail, she said emergency." She tries to reason again.

"Which is probably a technical one. I'll be fine." I say in promise, hoping she'd believe me then.

"I'm sorry." She says avoiding my eyes. I guess she believes me now and I feel guilty for that. I feel guilty for making her believe the lie when she was close to the truth. A truth I could've told her in this situation if my mission was unchanged, and if it didn't put her in complete danger. Also if Zoey wasn't in the car with us, enjoying her chocolate ice cream.

"Hey, it's okay." I reach out to her, hoping to catch her eyes again and when I do she smiles at me.

"We'll talk about this tomorrow okay? I need to get to work and you really need rest." I try to make an escape of this situation. And when she nods I lean in and peck her on the lips.

"Ugh, I'm eating here. No make up sex in the car." Zoey whines and Holly just rolls her eyes at her. I on the other hand reach back and grab the bag from next to her.

"Hey!" She protests but I ignore her as I hand the bag to Holly.

"Got you Vanilla ice cream." I say with a smile and she returns it.

As she eats her ice cream I drive her home.

.

When we get there she hands Zoey the keys to the house.

"Can you give us a minute?" She asks her sister, hoping she'd say yes and leave us alone in the car for a while.

Zoey however doesn't verbally answer, she just grabs the keys and goes in the house, without a comment. Just a small wave.

"So Sawyer huh? Why'd you pick that name?" She's back to that again. I hate lying to her more every time I do.

"I didn't really pick it." I lie, and she just nods.

"Gail. Promise you won't get hurt, or worse die on this mission." She begs, meeting my face with worry.

Drunk Holly shows her worry, more than sober Holly does.

"Holly. I really want to make that promise, but I can't. What I can promise however, is that I'll do my best to always come back to you." I hope this promise works. Because in these past five years I've come too close to death several times, and I know that promising to not die on the job is hard to keep.

"Okay." She answers. And then she leans in to kiss me, forgetting the current conversation. And I return her kiss with just as much feeling.

And the kiss carries on for a couple of minutes, before she breaks it.

"If I keep kissing you, I won't be able to let you go do your job." She admits.

"Yeah I don't think I'd want to go either." I agree with her.

She just pecks me on the lips and smiles.

"Goodnight." She says.

"Goodnight."

And then she opens the door, and I stay parked in the driveway until she gets in her house.

.

"What's going on? Call Stevens." I ask the second I walk into The Fortress where Marcus and Carl are already waiting, with my eyes trailed on my phone as I answer Nick's texts, telling him that when he arrives, the door is open, and the code to entering the fortress is McNally saying '922 requesting access'.

"Not necessary." Marcus says, and at that I look up to find Stevens in the room with us.

"You're here." I acknowledge the facts and she just nods in greeting.

"The matter requires it." She says seriously.

"What's going on?" I ask.

"Two of our agents went missing today." She says.

"Were they on this mission?" I ask, fearing that these tattooed people are killing more of our agents and we'll now need to work faster.

"No. They had no mission at this time. Which means, all of our agents are being targeted. Whatever name they get, they're going after." She says hurriedly as she goes towards the screen to pull up the files of the agents that have gone missing.

"Most of our agents have been notified of what's going on, but we need to bring these guys down as fast as we can. They're too dangerous, especially since they're targeting us first." She warns, and explains about the agents.

"I'm working on finding out who the mole in the CIA is. If we can bring the traitors down, we can use all trusted agents in this fight." She adds and we agree with her. "So I'm here to help. We research from here. I've made sure this is a safe facility, no access to any data in this place is allowed. We'll work from here for now." She says.

If we can figure everything out and fight these people soon, then this mission should be done in a week or two.

And before anymore can be added on the subject, Andy and Nick enter the base.

"Hi." Andy greets on entry.

It's easy to tell that she's not an agent. Agents don't greet when a mission is happening. They go straight to the questions.

Nick however just nods in greeting.

"Marcus. Is the ring ready?" I ask him before Andy can even take a seat.

"Yes. Hang on." Everyone gets comfortable then whole Marcus gets the ring.

"Andy is it?" Caroline asks her and Andy nods.

"I'm agent Stevens. Head of this team. You need to be careful when you're in there. Things have gotten more complicated now." Caroline warns and Andy questions her on the complicated part.

"Here." Marcus holds out the ring to Andy once Caroline is done telling her that agents are going missing. Agents that are not even on this mission.

Andy takes the ring in hesitation.

I guess we're starting to scare her with all this information.

She shouldn't have been dragged into this mess. It's too dangerous even for us, and most of us in this room have come too close to death more than a dozen times.

"If you get into any trouble, all you need to do is twist the middle part twice, and the tracker will activate." Marcus explains when Andy puts the ring on. "It's undetectable, so don't worry about being searched." He reminds her and she nods with a tensed jaw and wary eyes.

"Andy it's okay. Just go in there. See what they need, and then get out." I try to settle her nerves down. "Think of it as that easy, even when it's not. They haven't suspected you yet, so don't give them a reason to. And you have us on your side now. Anything happens and we'll barge right in. Okay?" I can tell that my words are not helping much but she nods anyways.

"See if there will be any faces you recognize, and then tell us names. If you can't tell the name then you won't have to worry about them." Carl tells her.

"How come I haven't seen you there yet?" She asks Carl.

"I'm on missions, you're on intel. We barely know each other when we're on the same teams, imagine when we're on different ones." He explains to her.

"Speaking of names." Marcus cuts into the conversation and goes towards one of the desks and grabs a file off of it.

"You remember a while back when you asked me to look into someone?" He directs his question at me and I think back towards any names I might have asked him to check out.

Right. Mr Burt. Right after Izzy told me about him, I asked Marcus to do a check up and he said everything turned out clean.

"Jonathan Burt." I say the name and he nods his confirmation.

"Well guess who's name was on one of the lists?" Marcus asks as he hands me the file. And on opening it I see his name circled among other names, and on one of the loose pages, there's a photo of him and some basic information.

"Shit. What does a high school teacher have to do with this?" I ask stupefied. My old teacher is a traitor? And that's when another plan forms in my head. If he's to be brought in, I'm doing it.

"I don't know. But we'll find out." Marcus promises.

"Good. But I'm the one who gets to bring him in." I announce and he nods.

.

"Has she gone in yet?" I ask into the ear piece.

"Yes. She's in." Carl answers.

We were sitting in a van a few blocks away from where Andy was supposed to go, while Carl was sitting in his car only one block away. Since he's already on the inside, then he's the only one who could get this close to the place.

"How long do you think she'll be in there?" Nick asks worriedly and Carl hears his question.

"No more than thirty minutes." He answers and I relay the message to Nick.

And he was right, because twenty eight minutes later he announces that Andy has walked out.

So we wait for her to walk towards the van, while Carl follows her after a couple of minutes.

Once she's in we drive immediately back towards base.

"Are you okay?" I ask once Marcus drives off.

"Yes." She answers with a nod.

"Okay. Everything went well? Anyone you recognized?" I spurt out more questions.

"They explained what they needed, handed four of us these," She then holds up a small bag, a hard drive bag to me and I take it. "I didn't know anyone there." She adds.

"What do they need you to do with this?" I ask as I open the back to see the hard drive.

"They just need me to plug it into a computer at the station for thirty minutes. Plug it in and open the folder. They said that's all I had to do." She explains her mission.

"They need to get access to our records. Through one computer, they'll access them all." I drift off thinking of ways to know what could possibly be the bug they're using on this drive.

"I'll need to plug it in first." I tell them, and Caroline nods in approval.

.

Back at the base, I immediately go for the laptops on the corner desks of the room.

The two laptops placed there are not connected to the same network as the base and will reveal nothing, plus they're completely protected and have nothing on them.

I turn them on and turn towards Andy and Nick.

"There are two rooms with two bunker beds in the back, each of you can take any bed if you're sleepy. This might take a while." I inform them. "There's also a mini fridge there, with water and snacks. Also you'll find a few comfortable change of clothes in the small closets, and the bathroom sn right in between the rooms." I add and they nod in gratitude as they both make their way towards the back.

"What do you need?" Marcus asks once both laptops have turned on.

"I need to see if I can keep it plugged in for more than thirty minutes without getting them on our system. This needs to be done carefully and fast." I tell him as Carl walks into the room.

"What's the plan?" He asks.

"Let's find out." I point towards the laptops as I take a seat and plug it into one of the laptops.

Before I open it I scan it for bugs and I detect nothing. So I open it and it's empty.

"Why would they send an empty hard drive?" Marcus wonders. And he's right, why would they?

"Wait." I say as I realize that it can't be empty, an Empty hard drive is of no use to them.

"Whatever the bug they put on this is, it's hidden. This drive is not empty." I announce as I then get to work on showing the hidden file and unlocking it as fast as I can.

Twenty five minutes later, I've managed to open everything. I realize that the files they've put on there are meant to track information and plant bugs on computers, just like we've predicted. So I unplug it.

"What?" Caroline asks me. She's been sitting next to me watching me work.

"Two more minutes and they'd have had access to this computer. Then they'd have known that the drive was used before tomorrow." I explain my sudden behavior.

"What do we do then?" She asks.

"We plant wrong information on this computer. And we create a fake server. We put the information we're allowed to give up. And then we plug it in, and give them exactly what we want them to know. Put them right where we need them." I announce the plan and Caroline nods her confirmation.

"How long would that take you to do?" She asks, knowing we don't have much time till this drive needs to be plugged in.

"A while. But I should be done before morning." I then turn my attention to all three people in the room. "You guys should go sleep. I'll be fine working on this on my own."

"No way. There's gotta be something you'd need us to do." Marcus objects.

"Really. You guys are tired as it is. I'll be fine." I try an attempt at convincing but I could see they're not wavering.

"Come on. Think, there has to be something we can do." Marcus tries again and I consider his offer.

I could use their help. Might make some of my work easier.

"Okay. You guys can help arrange the information we can give up about the police. I'll need you to access the police data and put all the information that we can use in one file. Anything that can help us mislead them, and put them right where we want them, put it there. After that, you can sleep." And the second I finish announcing what I need, all three get to work. Even though Caroline is in charge, it seems that when it comes to computers, she trusts me to lead.

.

Six hours and five cups of coffee later, I'm done with the files, and the laptop is ready and equipped.

The others had went to sleep three hours ago, after a lot of persuasion from me. Marcus was the hardest to convince. But he made me promise that if I'd finished early, I'd catch some sleep too. However, noticing that the watch indicated that it was Eight AM and the fact that my shift starts in two hours, means I can't sleep.

So I make my way upstairs into my room. I take a shower and get dressed, ready for work.

Once I'm all ready. I make my way downstairs, back into the basement. I'll need to wake Andy and Nick. I believe their shifts are same as mine today. Also, Andy needs to be briefed about the hard drive and she needs to know exactly what the plan is, before we go in.

I find that Nick and Andy have picked the same room. Andy took the upper bed while Nick took the lower one. I guess they decided to leave more than enough room for the rest to sleep, since Carl seems to have taken the lower bed of the other bunker bed in the room. And Marcus seems to have taken the upper one. Which means that Caroline got the other room to herself.

I wake Nick and Andy first and tell them to get ready. I point them towards a clean change of clothes and towards the second bathroom, in case they both want to shower. And while they get ready I wake the others.

"All done?" Marcus asks once he's awake and he finds me in the computer room packing my computer and a couple flash drives into a bag, and Carl appears right behind him.

"All done. In a few hours, they'll have the information we want them to have." I confirm and then with a mischievous smile add, "And we'll have all the access we need to their system."

"What?" Marcus asks incredulous.

"I may have planted a hidden bug. So when they get all the information, the bug will be transferred too. It'll take about forty eight hours to activate though. So until then, we'll have to wait." I explain.

"Why forty eight hours?" He questions as he makes his way towards the coffee machine in the lair.

"To remain undetected. It'll take me a while to activate it and remain hidden." I explain and he nods in understanding.

"If everything works out great then, we'll have wrapped this up and arrested them all in a couple of weeks." Carl sounds excited about this new notion. He's been working on this the longest and I'm sure he's eager to have it end.

So after Andy and Nick join us, and even Caroline, I start explaining the plan.

"I'm going to take my computer and leave it open. I will pretend to have connected it to the bigger computer servers. Andy, you'll have to plug the hard drive in yourself. Not to be paranoid, but we've established that no one is to be trusted, so let's keep the pretenses, even in the precinct. Keep it plugged in for thirty five minutes. It takes them thirty to have all the information, but it'll take five more minutes for the bug I planted to go through. Don't remove it before thirty minutes otherwise you'll have to plug it for that same amount of time again. Got it?" I ask and Andy nods. "Good. After you've plugged it out, Text me and we'll meet. I'll need to clean the bug off before you have to give the hard drive back to them. And don't worry, I already informed Frank that you'll be on desk duty in my office today." I continue telling the plan.

"We're going after some of the names on the list. We have five agents for now on our side, and we're going to go after two names today. You should call any agents that you trust. I trust your judgment, so we'll need more people with us." Caroline starts explaining her plan after I'm done with mine.

"Which means everyone will have to be on high alert. We hide everything. Because from now on, everyday, we go after them." Caroline warns us about the added dangers this will bring to us.

"Also, someone inside the CIA is going to help us find the traitor. Once he's taken out, we can recruit from there." Carl adds to Caroline's information. "I'm going to go into the enemy's lair in a bit, see if I can learn anything on this. So I'll meet you at the station later?" I nod at his question.

This mission seems to be reaching it's peak. The dangerous part is just starting and I can't wait to just be done with it.

.

"Where are you going?" Traci asks when I abruptly get up from my chair by my desk.

I've been sitting there doing nothing, and fighting the urge to fall asleep.

"I've finished my paper work and I haven't slept at all last night. I can't just stare at my laptop or do any work without falling asleep, so I'm going to the lounge to find a comfortable couch." I can see the worry on Traci's face at the mention of no sleep.

"The mission you're on is that bad huh?" She asks.

"I'll probably be facing a lot more of sleepless nights for a while, but we're close. I'm sure McNally can take over some things while I take a small needed nap, because my head is about to explode." I give her little but enough information to ease her mind a bit before I leave the room towards the lounge, iPod in hand, knowing fully well that my laptop is still on and and that McNally already has an excuse to use it, so now she can plug in the hard drive and do her job.

On my way towards the lounge, I find McNally making her way back into the room with a cup of coffee, and I nod, telling her with that nod that she can do the needed job now, since I found an excuse to stay away from my computer and the room.

And once I'm there I find myself laying down by the couch in the far end corner, putting my earphones in and closing my eyes with hopes of napping.

And thankfully I do get to nap.

.

I wake up to buzzing in my pocket.

I reach out to retrieve the buzzing phone and when I see the name Lunchbox flash I smile as I get ready to speak to Holly.

"Hey Lunchbox," I greet.

"I'm never drinking again." She groans into the phone and I chuckle at that.

"I'll make sure to remind you of this statement for next time." I say as I get up and get into a sitting position on the couch.

"Why does your voice sound sleepy?" She's good. She catches on fast.

"I was napping in the lounge at the station." I answer knowing she'll feel bad about waking me up, so I get ready to reassure her.

"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to wake you." She apologizes.

"Oh no. I need to be up. So much to do, but I haven't slept at all last night. So I couldn't do any work without falling asleep." I inform her honestly.

"How did last night go?" She asks then.

"Good. We're close and I just can't wait to be done with this mission." I sigh as I give her honest answers.

"That bad huh?"

"Yep." I add on the p.

Holly's voice gets a bit farther then as she says: "I'm on the phone. I'll call them back in a bit." And I'm guessing she's saying that to her sister.

"You guys okay?" I ask, bringing our conversation back to the fact that they're both hungover.

"Slightly hungover. Nothing a little food and energy can't fix." She groans into the phone as I hear a thud from her background.

"Too much noise Zoey." She complains and I chuckle.

"How long are you working tonight?" She changes the subject again.

"I'm not sure. Hopefully I leave the station at around five." I answer as I glance at my watch to see how far away that is. "But I have to go back on surveillance tonight as well."

"So when you get off work, sleep. How much did you get of sleep now?" I can hear the concern in her tone.

"Maybe a little over an hour." I answer.

"Then when you leave the station, please get some sleep." She asks.

"I will." I promise.

"Be safe. And…" She pauses before she continues. "Please, finish fast. You got me so used to you, that I'm scared I'd go through withdrawal without seeing your grumpy face." She adds with a bit of teasing.

"Trust me, same here." I couldn't help the smile on my face then.

Before I could say anything else Carl bursts into the room, interrupting my peace. When I look up I can tell the look on his face is not reassuring.

"We need to talk. Now." He urges and I look at him with question.

"Holly. I'll call you back, okay?" I say to the phone and wait for her okay before I hang up.

"What's going on?" I ask him.

"Not here." He then uses his head to indicate that we need to leave the room.

"Hold on." I say as we exit the door.

"Gail…" He starts to protest when he sees me walking in an opposite direction.

"I have a feeling whatever you'll tell me is going to be big and need all my focus." I interrupt before he protests. "So let me go check on McNally, before I have to put all my energy into whatever this problem is."

"If you can read the expression on my face, then you must know, it is that bad, so hurry." His tone is full of urgency and it almost makes me worry.

"Text me which of the interrogation rooms is empty. And I'll meet you there in less than five minutes." I say before I leave to find McNally.

She's not in the Ds office, but neither is the hard drive, so I'm guessing the work is done.

I find her sitting at her desk next to Dov.

I only get a little closer to give her questioning eyes, and she understands what I'm trying to ask, so she nods in indication that the job is done. I couldn't answer her back, so I nod back before I walk away to find Carl, who seems to be in room four.

"Okay, what's going on?" I ask him the second I walk in and close the door.

"You need to sit down." He points at a chair in the room.

"I'm fine. Andy did her job, in forty eight hours, we'll access all their data. So what are you fretting about?" I ask.

"They know." He starts, but pauses and my mind immediately wanders. What part do they know? Him? Andy?

"They have your name." He continues.

"What are you talking about?" I prompt him to continue.

"Gail, your name is on their lists, and they just put a kill on you." He informs me.

"They won't know Charlie Sawyer is me, not that easily." I try to reassure him with that.

"No Gail, they have your real name. Gail Peck. Someone must have gotten the real information on you, hacked into the system." His tone is worried and shaky. "They want you dead."

I let this information sink in for a bit.

"I don't get it. How do they know I'm a threat to them?" I ask.

"I don't know. I tried to convince them that you're probably after me, not them and you have no idea about them. Which was kind of true at first. But they're not buying it. And for that reason alone, they'd still want you dead." He explains and I think about it.

The enemy is coming after me. Wouldn't be the first time I have people who want me dead. But this time, I guess I have much to lose.

"Who did they send?" I ask.

"They were going to send Reiner, but I convinced them otherwise. He may be ruthless but his kills always leave evidence. So I used that angle, playing on the fact that you're pretending to be a detective, so they'll have everyone looking into your death thoroughly. So they agreed, that no trace of DNA should be left behind, and I already have easy access to you." He explains and I understand then. He diverted them, so they'd send him instead. He's been faking his kills for so long, we'll have to do the same now.

"How long?" They must have given him a time line.

"They want you dead by tomorrow morning." He answers.

"Shit." So soon.

"Gail. If you're not dead by then, they'll send them all, and not just after you." He's right, I do need to sit down for this. So I find the chair and take a seat. "They could harm Steve, other officers, Holly." His voice shakes when he says Holly's name.

"I do something cruel, so they don't have to face crueler, huh?" Faking my death, will be a cruel thing to do. I can already see their faces. Steve's face, my parent's, Holly's face. Isn't it bad enough I left for five years and my family had to suffer my silence? Now this?

Damn it.

I brought Holly into this mess.

It wasn't supposed to be this complicated. I was supposed to be coming after one guy. Not a whole bunch of people that are numbered enough to form an army.

"This sucks." I complain almost childlike.

"I know." Carl says as he takes a seat opposite me.

"What's the plan then?" I ask bracing myself to hear how my death will go.

"Not sure yet. I'm going to the base, talk it over with Marcus and Caroline. We'll come with something. You can meet us there in a few hours." He stands up and reaches over to pat me on the shoulder.

"I'm sure you have a few things to do before this starts." By this, he means the pain they will all feel. And I can't seem to answer him.

"Gail. We'll get them. It'll be okay. In a week, two max, and you'll be back to them." He tries to reassure me and I still can't vocally answer so i nod.

He seems to take that as confirmation as he walks out.

I sit there in that room for ten more minutes thinking of what my next move should be. And when I figure it out, I walk out.

Thankfully when I walk into the detectives office, Steve's there. That means I won't have to go find him in order to make amends for that last time we spoke.

"Steve." I greet as I clench my jaw at the image of what his face will look like tomorrow.

"Hey sis." He greets back. "Everything going well?"

"Ugh, no. This mission sucks." I groan as I close the laptop I left open.

"Sorry if we made it difficult." He refers to their undercover mission.

"Nah, you helped actually. Sorry I was a bit mean about it, I just got worried about McNally, but clearly she can handle it." Lame attempt to make peace, but it's all I got. I want to say more, but this is probably better.

"Good." He smiles and I return it.

"You leaving?" Traci asks when she notices me packing my stuff.

"Yeah. Figured if I'm going to have another long sleepless night, I need my fix of sleep." I tell her. "And maybe a fix of Holly." I add with a smirk and Traci laughs lightly at that.

"Be careful, eh?" Steve says as he approaches me.

"I will." I answer and then I take him by surprise as I hug him. It takes him a second before he hugs me back.

I make sure the hug only lasts a few seconds though. Wouldn't want him to think anything's wrong, because a long hug from me would definitely do that to Steve.

"See you guys later." I say as I walk out. Knowing that later will have to be weeks from now.

"They texted me where to drop off the hard drive." Andy tells me as I approach her desk where she seems to be alone now.

"Good. Get Nick to Follow you and park only a few blocks away. Once it's done and you're safe, you text me to let me know okay?" I order. If this hadn't happened, I'd probably send Carl, but they need to plan my death. If they have my name, it doesn't just affect my family, but my co-workers, Andy especially, and it could affect this mission. If they dig farther they might know the reason we're here.

"Do you need me tonight?" She asks. And I probably would've said yes, and we would've planned more, but not now.

"No, get some rest for today. Tomorrow we start forming teams to go after them." I hope that works enough to ease her mind off this mission for a while.

So I leave the station after that, with small smiles and waves at some people.

I should probably go to my parent's, but they're supposed to come back to town today, and I had promised them dinner tomorrow night. So that won't be happening.

Instead I go to Holly's.

.

"Hey. I thought you had work?" She asks when she opens the door, and finds that I'm the one behind it. Though her face did break into smile.

"I got off early. Thought we could get some needed sleep together before things get crazier." Crazier than I want it to get.

"Did you eat?" She asks as she lets me in. "Cause me and Zoey just ordered in a lot of greasy chinese food." She offers.

"Sounds good." I smile and peck her on the lips and then I make my way towards the living room, where boxes of chinese food fill the table and Zoey is seated on the flow.

I'm too tired to engage in conversations, and too worried to pay attention to half the things happening.

So I eat in silence as I watch Holly.

"You okay?" Zoey asks after a some time, while tapping me on the leg from her position on the floor. It seems we've all finished eating.

"Yeah, just tired." I attempt a smile and she accepts that answer.

"Then go rest." She urges giving Holly a nod.

"I will clean up here and put the leftovers in the fridge. You two go rest. I have to go somewhere anyways." She says getting up and stretching.

Holly stands up and extends her hand to me with a head tilt and I just take it, as I stand up and follow her, as she drags me towards the stairs.

"Say hi to Jenny for me." She tells her sister before we make our ascend.

And once in the room, she gives me comfortable clothes to wear. I change and sit on the bed. She then changes her sweat pants into shorts and I let my eyes roam as she changes.

"Nuh uh." She says once she's done changing and she catches the look in my eyes. "You look way too tired, and you need rest before you have to go back on the job." She then walks towards me and she straddles me.

"So it's sleep time." She then kisses me and I know that sleep is far from my mind now. Tired or not. She's going to think I'm dead tomorrow. She's going to go through so much. And I will be risking everything to keep everyone safe.

I need this. She needs this. I need to show her how I feel.

"No sleep. Not when you do this." I say as I break the kiss and then in one move, I flip us around and fling her on the bed with me on top. "Sleep after." I say as I capture her lips in a heated kiss. A kiss that shows everything I feel. A kiss she returns just as intensely.

"I guess we should've just gotten undressed instead of changing." I say when I reach down towards her top and she helps me lift it over her head.

We then get undressed, and we get lost in each other. Every move I make is intense and hopeful. I do my best to show her that she means a lot to me. Maybe this is selfish of me. Maybe it won't help as much as damage her tomorrow. But in this moment, we need this. I need this.

And when it's done, we curl into each other and sleep. I let myself rest next to her for a while. Knowing that in a few hours, no peaceful moment will be found for a while. Especially not one as peaceful as this.

.

I wake up a few hours later, still tangled up in Holly. I reach to check my phone and realize it's time to go to base. The text from Marcus tells me a plan has been formed.

My movement must have woken Holly.

"Hey." She greets with a smile.

"Hey." I smile and peck her lips, putting the phone away.

"I hate that I have to go." I sigh.

"It's okay." She reassures me. "Just be safe."

"I will." I lie. A total lie and I hate it. I do kiss her however. A kiss just as intense as the ones I gave her a few hours ago and she moans into it.

"I really hate that I have to go." I sigh into her lips and she just peck them with a chuckle.

"You two better be descent cause I got sugary food." A shout interrupts us. Zoey's home.

I chuckle at that.

It's good Zoey's here. Holly will need her tomorrow.

With one last peck I get up and get dressed. Holly does the same. And then we make our way downstairs.

"You're not staying?" Zoey asks when she sees me putting on my jacket and holding my keys.

"My job really sucks." I complain.

"If you have to miss out on this sugary delights then it really does." She affirms.

I don't focus on the desert or anything else other than Holly though.

"Call me later?" She asks.

"Yes." And I kiss her. It was meant to be a small peck, but when all the thoughts of tomorrow flood back into my head, I deepen it.

Zoey's cough breaks us apart.

With a smile I leave her house.

And I go the base.

When I enter The Fortress I find the three of them packing some things, and I find some boxes lying around with some of my stuff from the house in them.

"What's this?" I ask, pointing at some of my comics in a box.

"Back door has been activated for use." Marcus points at the other entrance in the base. The one that gets installed for emergencies and is only activated to open when an emergency takes place. The door leads through an underground tunnel to another base.

"So I'm guessing we have a plan?" I ask as I take a seat.

"Yes." Carl answers. "Tomorrow, you and your house will go boom."



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