Never for acclaim, always for country.

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[Post Finale] ... whoo
What to do?, Tightlipped
Amsterdam had been a nightmare.

Between finding the tracker that they'd dug out of Eyal's thigh to actually planning to be beaten up in public in order to land herself in the Embassy's infirmary, Annie was fairly certain that she, Auggie and Eyal had really only managed to survive the ordeal by the skin of their teeth.

Running, being shot at and boat jumping, not to mention the part where she'd hunted a known terrorist down on her own and pretty much convinced him to go kill his own father... it had left her exhausted. By the time the plane landed back in DC, she wanted nothing more than to sink into a hot bath and sleep for twenty-four straight hours.

Thankfully, she knew someone with an exquisite bathtub. And even better? That person would have been furious if she hadn't gone to see him first.

So, it was with no small amount of pleasure that Annie took her bruised and battered body over to Clayton Webb's house at five in the morning and knocked.

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There was someone knocking at his door at, he looked at his clock through one open eye, five AM. He still had an hour and a half before he had to get up for work and someone was knocking at his door. He highly doubted it was good news.

Saying that he was surprised to see Annie was an understatement since he still wasn't exactly sure where they stood in terms of their relationship. That didn't stop his smile as he opened the door.

"Welcome Home, Annie."

He hadn't pulled a gun on her, which meant that maybe - just maybe - he was getting used to her showing up at odd hours of the night.

That she was happy to see the smile on his face couldn't possibly have gone unnoticed as she stepped past him into his house, dropped her bag and turned to face him. Her own smile was a little shaky from all the tiredness and adrenaline, but it didn't stop her from stepping into his personal space and wrapping her arms around him.

He was warm from sleep and dressed in his pajamas and Annie thought he'd never looked better. It wouldn't be until he hugged her back that she'd wince. Yeah, bruises.

He was and he wasn't. If they'd dated consistently over the past few years he'd be beyond used to it now. At the moment though, he had get get re-used to it all.

Clay saw the exhaustion on her face when she hugged him, but it didn't stop him from hugging her back.

Annie made a small noise when he hugged her, then pulled back with a face, not really trying to hide the fact that it hurt. He'd find out sooner or later, and sooner was really better than later.

"Hey," she said with a small shrug. "I thought about going home, but I had a feeling you'd want to know how it went." She smiled a little more fully. "Everything's okay. We did it."

"And that hurt," he said quietly.

His smile didn't fade all that much though. Clay was still thrilled that Annie was home.

"I'm glad it worked out, for all three of you," the sentiment was completely genuine. "Though that sounded like whatever happened to you out there was pretty bad..."

"I..." He was not going to like the next words out of her mouth, she could tell. "I had to fake a beating. I mean, the beating was real enough, but it was planned." She made another face as she raised her arm to push her hand through her hair. "It's not pretty."

There were bruises all across her back where she'd been kicked and it at least explained the bruising above her eye and along her cheekbone. The ones along her body still looked pretty ugly for what she'd taken, though they hadn't done any real damage.

"I was hoping to take advantage of your bathtub."

"I'm sure it's not."

That's when he took a look at what injuries he could see. All of that had to hurt, and he hadn't seen what's under her clothes.

"I'll go clean it..."

"I'll get naked."

Lifting her bag, she headed for his bedroom and, once there, she undressed slowly and folded her clothes up. Setting them on the bag, she lifted a shirt from his top drawer like she lived there and held it over her front as she walked into the bathroom.

The fact that it was just after five and she woke him up wasn't lost on her, so she watched him with a fond expression from the doorway for a moment before she said quietly, "Thank you."

Clay figured that Annie, anywhere near his clothes meant he always had the possibility of losing another t-shirt. He didn't mind one bit.

He finished scrubbing the bathtub for Annie and started to fill it adding those bath salts she liked.

"You're welcome. But, I'm going to need it at 6:30."

She set the shirt down near where the towels were before stepping one foot, then the other, into the bathtub. A look of bliss settled over her face as she slid into the water, as the bath salts began to soothe her bruises and aches, and she nodded before looking up at him.

"If I fall asleep, just yell. I'll get out."

"I will." With that he leaned over and kissed Annie. Clearly happy she was home. "Just relax. I'll be right outside."

Clay doubted he'd be able to go back to sleep but he could spend the next hour just trying to relax and figuring out just where he stood in terms of Annie and their relationship.

Annie relaxed into the tub, closing her eyes to soak it all in. Being back wasn't the same as being home and at the moment, safe in Clay's tub, she felt home.

Then she fell asleep.

Just like he thought, Clay didn't go back to sleep. He read his book that was by the side of the bed, and flipped on the morning news shows, mostly to keep apprised of the weather and the traffic.

At 6:45, Annie wasn't out of the tub, so he knocked on the bathroom door and went inside, there she was sound asleep. His bathtub and his couch, two things that were sure to put Annie to sleep.

"Come on Annie, I need the bathtub."

It wasn't just the bathtub (or even the couch). When it came to either, circumstances (and company) usually mattered. Of course, in this case, the cold water should have woken her up.

His voice startled her and she woke up with a start, then a groan, as her entire body protested the way in which she sat up so fast. "Right. Sorry. I'm up."

Moving more slowly, she stood, popped the drain, and reached for a towel. She'd need a shower when he was done, but she felt bad for not being out fifteen minutes earlier.

Clay would have skipped the shower if Annie wasn't actually asleep. But she needed to wake up before she got too waterlogged. The fifteen extra minutes really didn't put him too far behind schedule anyway.

He took a fast shower and headed back to his bedroom to get dressed for the office, "You can stay as long as you'd like. I'll leave an extra key on the coffee table."

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