Office Talking Points
Disclaimer: I own neither Covert Affairs, or the song that loosely inspired this fic, "Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt.
An Office Talking Point
"Ah, and here comes Miss Annie Walker." It didn't even surprise her anymore that Auggie always knew she was there before she announced herself. She just smiled and walked in, perching herself on the corner of his desk. "So, what brings your gorgeous self down here?"
"I'm making a coffee run," she said. "Did you want me to bring you back some?"
"I would love you forever, darling," he said with a grin.
Annie laughed. "You already do, remember? Because I brought you that apple turnover last week."
"Well then I suppose I'll just have to love you more," he said without missing a beat, flashing his signature charming smirk.
"Okay, I'll be back in a few," she said, standing up and smoothing out her skirt.
"A little extra sugar today, please?" he asked suddenly. "I'm going to need it to last through all this extra intel Joan's got me sorting through."
"Will do." She placed a hand on his shoulder and he patted it gratefully, giving her fingers a brief squeeze. Once the contact had broken she slipped out of the tech office and headed down the familiar path to the break room. Just as she was about to walk in she heard her name from inside and stopped, listening to the familiar voices from just outside the doorframe.
"And what about Auggie and Annie?" the first guy, who she placed as Conrad, asked.
"No way, definitely not," a second, very obviously Jai, said. The other two mean laughed.
"Dude, how dumb are you?" a third man – this one sounded like one of Auggie's tech guys, Greg maybe – asked, sounding thoroughly astonished. "They totally are! Have you ever watched them together?"
"I don't see it," Jai said more firmly.
"You're just jealous 'cause it's not you," Conrad put in and there was another pause for laughter.
"Seriously," Greg picked up again enthusiastically. "They are always together and laughing at everything. And even in your insane amount of denial, you can't have failed to notice that he smiles a whole hell of a lot more now than he used to. Not to mention, ever see how they're always touching each other?"
"Of course they are; he's blind. He's always touching everything," Jai argued.
There was a loud snort. "I would bet money on it. Annie and Auggie are definitely sleeping together."
"I'll take that bet," Jai said abruptly.
"Really?" Greg asked eagerly. "Sweet! Fifty bucks says they are."
Annie had heard enough. She schooled her features into a casual expression and worked to cool the color in her cheeks. Then she rounded the doorframe into the room.
The effect was instantaneous; Jai, Conrad, and Greg all fell silent and hurried to mask their guilty expressions. Greg was the worst, shooting shifty glances at the other two and grinning. Annie was suddenly grateful he wasn't a field agent. Ignoring the stares, she smiled at them all and made her way over to the coffee machine.
She tried to concentrate on making the coffees, fully aware of the three men watching her and the entirely non-verbal conversation going on behind her back. Grinning to herself, she counted out sugar packets for each cup, remembering to add two extra to Auggie's. When she was finished she turned around, gave them another bright smile, and left.
Her mind was humming as she walked back toward the tech office. People thought she and Auggie were sleeping together? Sure they had been best friends for the last year since she'd joined the CIA, and they were close. But sex? There had never been anything more romantic between them than a kiss on the cheek.
Or had there been? Sure there might not have been anything physical between them, but the more she thought about what the men had said, the more she realized what exactly other people might have perceived as being something more. The way they always sought each other out when they needed something; the way they were entirely relaxed around each other in a way they weren't around other people; the brief touches that were actually more out of habit than anything, like the way she would squeeze his shoulder before leaving, or the way his hand would find hers when she was upset.
But it didn't mean anything. Of course not. Auggie was her best friend. Just her best friend. Right?
To her surprise, the voice in the back of her head didn't respond immediately like she'd hoped.
It wasn't that she didn't find Auggie attractive. She didn't understand how anyone couldn't. From his sophisticated dress, to his lean, firm build, to the boyishly mussed hair, to that charming smile that made every woman within fifty yards swoon. And those eyes; those deep, searching eyes that somehow managed to see straight through to her soul even if they couldn't see anything else. Yeah, okay, so maybe her handler was a little more than attractive.
Annie shook these thoughts away as she approached the tech room. Auggie was sitting at his computer, his trusty headphones secured over his ears as he ran his fingers across the keyboard. A smile came to her at the sight of his focused expression, the tip of his tongue between his teeth in concentration. Crossing to his desk, she set the cup down beside the keyboard and then touched his shoulder.
He tilted his head up, reaching up to pull down the headphones. She smiled at the faint sounds of Mingus coming from around his neck. "Coffee at ten," she said.
"What happened, get lost?" he asked with a grin, his left hand crawling across the desktop until it touched the coffee cup.
"No, sorry, I got distracted," she said and was grateful he couldn't see the blush on her cheeks. "There was a pretty interesting conversation going on in the break room."
"Hmm, so what's the gossip around the proverbial water cooler today?" he asked knowingly.
"Apparently you and I are knocking boots."
Auggie choked into his coffee, coughing as he hastily set it down. She watched several emotions pass over his face so quickly that she couldn't place any of them, before he finally glanced up in her direction again. "You don't say," he said, cocking an eyebrow and managing to sound entirely casual once again. "Wow, I wish I had been conscious for that."
She laughed and smacked his shoulder lightly. "Yeah, I overheard some of the guys putting bets on whether or not we were sleeping together," she explained. Inside she was thanking her CIA training that helped her keep the embarrassment out of her voice even if she couldn't keep it entirely off her face. She needed more time to figure out just where exactly her brain stood on this whole thing before she let Auggie in on any of it. He was her best friend, the only person she trusted explicitly, and she wasn't about to screw that up on an impulse.
Smirking, she added, "You know, Jai seemed pretty against the idea. He was very firm in the opinion that there was nothing going on, no matter what the others said." Auggie's lips quirked at this, just as she knew they would.
"And how exactly did they plan on finding out?" he asked interestedly, in a tone that implied that they weren't talking about anything more than the most recent movie they'd seen. "Think they've got cameras in our rooms?"
"God I hope not, although it wouldn't surprise me here," she answered, earning her another smile for her comment.
Suddenly there was a mischievous light in Auggie's eyes as he stared at somewhere in the vicinity of her neck. "They tailed you back, didn't they?" he asked. On the pretense of fixing her hair, Annie glanced around and saw Jai standing at a cubicle with a clear view of the tech room, pretending he wasn't watching. Greg was ten feet away, still chatting with Conrad. Her short chuckle was all the confirmation Auggie needed. "I thought so."
He stood up and Annie felt her heart skip a beat. He was a full two feet away, but she quite suddenly felt like she was trapped in between his body and the desk she was still leaning against. She set down her coffee cup, afraid her shaking hands would drop it, and looked up at Auggie's face. His gaze went straight over the top of her head but even at this angle she could see something anxious and nervous in the set of his face.
"You know, Annie," he started and then paused to lick his lips quickly. Annie tried really hard not to watch that. "I'd really hate to let Jai win a bet if I can prevent it."
Annie was well aware of how wildly her heart was pounding in her chest, so much that it took her breath away. Auggie had drawn a small step closer, and she noticed that one of his hands had moved slightly forward, almost imploringly. Tentatively, she slipped her hand into his and felt a strange electricity shoot through her arm.
Maybe the others were on to something. Maybe they had seen something that she couldn't see, something that she'd been blind to. After all, sometimes it really helped to take a look from the outside. But what if they were wrong? She really should take time and analyze this. That was the rational thing to do.
She made an indistinct noise and Auggie's eyes moved down to her face, following the sound. Even though she knew he wasn't, it felt like he was looking straight into her eyes and the tingling in her hand erupted like fire through her body. One corner of his mouth pulled upward in a shy, hesitant grin.
To hell with rational.
"Well then I guess we'd better give them something to talk about," she said pointedly, and then she crushed her lips against his. Auggie froze, tense, and then she felt a smile on his lips and he melted into her. The hand holding hers traveled up her arm and over her shoulder until it settled on the back of her neck, and his other arm snaked around her waist, pulling her body flush against his. At that Annie lost all inhibition.
When they finally broke apart a few minutes later they were both breathing rather heavily. Neither of them had much time to process what exactly was happening, because at that moment someone cleared their throat in the doorway and they both instinctively stepped away from each other as they turned to face the intruder. Joan was standing with her arms crossed and Annie felt dread blossom in her stomach.
"If you two are finished, would you mind kindly returning to work?" she asked in her typical businesslike tone. Blushing bright red, both of them murmured affirmatives. Annie was quite sure her eyes were deceiving her in some dopamine-induced haze, but she thought that she had seen the slightest smile on Joan's face as their boss turned and strode away.
"Busted," Auggie breathed and Annie laughed behind her hand.
Her smile only widened as she glanced through the doorway just in time to see Greg, a triumphant smirk on his face, holding out a hand to a Jai, who scowled darkly and placed a folded bill into the techie's hand. She hastily turned around before they could see her watching.
Auggie was still standing there, tapping a finger against his thigh uneasily. She smiled and informed him, "Well looks like Jai just lost fifty bucks."
He grinned. "Excellent," he said enthusiastically and then extended a hand back until he found his chair. Lowering himself into it carefully, he said, "I suppose we should probably get back to work before Joan comes back feeling much less generous."
Annie felt a sudden wave of disappointment. Was it all about the bet for Auggie? Had he not felt any of what she had? Her heart sinking, she forced a calm voice and said, "Yeah, I'll be going then." She picked up her coffee and headed for the door. Just as she reached the frame –
Trying to restrain the hopeful smile, she glanced back over her shoulder expectantly. Auggie was leaning forward in his chair, almost like he was tempted to come after her, and she could see a look in his eyes very similar to the one she felt in her chest. Apparently the halt of her footsteps had let him know she had stopped, because his smile relaxed into something much more natural. "Are you doing anything tonight?" he asked, playing it off in the same charming, casual manner in which he usually bantered with her.
Annie bit her lower lip, grinning. After just long enough of a pause that she could see him grow nervous, she said, "I am now."
His laugh sounded behind her as she turned and left without another word.