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03 October 2013 @ 04:19 pm
"A Voice in the Dark" (Lucas/OC; Thriller/Romance- PG13/R) Chapter XII  
TITLE: A Voice in the Dark

AUTHOR: Lexie aka
lillianschild

FANDOM: Spooks/MI5

RATING: PG13/R (maybe in later chapters)

PAIRING: Lucas/OC

SUMMARY: Section D has a traitor in its midst and a mysterious man arrives with what appears to be the key to rid MI5 of the mole. This fic is my own version of Series 7.

Disclaimer: all recognisable characters belong to BBC and Kudos Productions; I'm just playing with them for a little while without making a profit. No infringement's intended.

READ THE BEGINNING HERE

READ THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER HERE

CHAPTER XII

THAMES HOUSE- 10 a.m. DECEMBER 18th

Harry was on the phone with GCHQ when Annabelle knocked on his door the following morning, but he motioned her in.

Sitting across from him, she struggled to keep her flared temper in check so, instead of slamming the door shut and demanding immediate answers, she waited patiently for him to finish the conversation.

“So...” he began, hanging up and greeting her with a smile,”you're leaving us. I see you've cleared your desk.”

“Yes, I've just collected my salary and said goodbye to the team.”

“I've never been good at farewells...”

“You could have fooled me. You're so good at pretending. I had a very interesting chat with Ros Myers last night. You lied to me, Harry. You've lied to me from the very first moment and I want to know why. You told me the man you arrested the day I shot Bateman had been deported and sent back to Russia. And yet Ros assured me no arrests were made.”

“Did you want him arrested, Annabelle?” asked Harry softly.

His response was disconcerting to say the least. Could it be he already knew what had happened between her and her captor? She'd experienced such guilt for loving her mystery man, for betraying everyone in Section D, including herself. Above all, she felt like the worst of traitors for having done the right thing in the end since that had entailed betraying the man she loved. And yet she'd been so furious when she learnt there had been no arrest.

“I just wanted what was right,” she shouted. “I did my duty as an agent of this service only to find out from Ros...”

“Rosalynd should have known better,” he interrupted.

“What does that mean? That she shouldn't have told me the truth? Because she did, didn't she? Nobody was arrested that day. Why? What possible explanation could there be for simply letting him go? It doesn't make sense. Did he make a deal, is that it?“

“I'm sorry, Annabelle, but I can't tell you that. Sometimes we can't choose what to do.”

“I slept with him, Harry,” she confessed after a short silence.”And I wasn't coerced. Nor did I use my body as a tool to try to earn my freedom. I loved him the way I've never loved any man before. But because I'm an MI5 officer and made an oath when I joined, I handed him over to you. I betrayed him and have had to live with that decision since then. It's the hardest sacrifice I've ever had to make and yet I was willing to live with the guilt because, despite my personal feelings, I knew I'd done the right thing. I would have kept on believing it if I hadn't met Ros last night,” she told the Head of Section D, trying to make him see the quandary she was in. “Isn't there anything you can tell me to make me understand?” she begged him.

“I'm sorry,” he answered with a slow negative movement of his balding head.

Grabbing her handbag and the box with her personal items, she got up and walked towards the office door without a word of goodbye.

“Annabelle,” he said softly.

She turned around at the doorway in time to see him lock a desk drawer.

“I believe you should have this,” he added, handing her a black velvet case.

She looked at the case with a puzzled frown and then opened it slowly to reveal a gold chain with a crucifix. The crucifix she'd taken off that night at the castle.

“Is he really dead?" she asked softly. “He told me the man at the castle didn't die that night."

“He lied to you, Annabelle.”

“Did he? How can I be sure now who's actually telling the truth?”

“The asset was who you thought he was. He wasn't FSB.Take the crucifix, Annabelle.”

“I don't want it,” she croaked.

“I thought you might want to have it.”

“I don't need it to remember. I wish I could forget everything. I was lied to and used by someone I trusted. I won't ever forgive you for what you did, Harry,” she finished, turning around and leaving the office

“Annabelle...”



* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*




DECEMBER 22nd

Annabelle was lying on her sofa, nursing a glass of white wine and surfing the channels on her TV, when the doorbell rang.

It'd been so long since anyone graced her doorstep that she'd forgotten she even had a bell. Not many knew where she lived and being a spook left very little time for socialising.

Sliding the security chain in place, she unlocked the door to find none other than Sir Harry Pearce standing in the corridor.

“Jesus, Annabelle, didn't you learn anything while working under my command?! You should have at least asked who I was before opening the door.”

“If I had been smarter, I would have saved myself the trouble of slamming it in your face,” she spat, trying to close it only to find Harry had already put his foot in place.

“You're coming with me,” he stated gravely.”I'm afraid you have no choice, Annabelle. Your presence's been requested at the Home Secretary's reception tonight.”

“Why don't you take Ruth with you? I'm sure she'd be a more amenable companion.”

“She's waiting for us in the car. You just need to put on your best smile, receive their thanks and I'll drive you back. It's me you're angry at not them. Don't do it for me. Do it because it's the right thing.”

“I always do what's right, don't I?” she replied bitterly, undoing the chain so that he could step in.




* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*




THE HOME SECRETARY'S RESIDENCE

The reception was everything Annabelle had expected it to be and loathed. And not even Ruth's efforts at distracting her with erudite conversation were enough to curve her desire to flee. After all, despite the 'grateful government' speech Harry had used to convince her to attend, everybody seemed to be happy to ignore her.

“Come with me. The Home Secretary wants to see you in private,” whispered Harry a couple of hours after their arrival.
At last.Let's put an end to this so I can go back and continue with my packing.



* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*




He would have recognised that chestnut hair and those delicately feminine curves anywhere. She looked lovely in that understated long black dress.

She seemed to have made a full recovery; at least, there were no physical lingering effects that he was able to notice.
Hiding in the shadows of an alcove, he smiled wanly and observed her being escorted by Harry to the Home Secretary's study. A woman other than Annabelle would have stayed away and done her best to forget the ordeal she'd been through; her courage was an admirable quality indeed.

Six months had elapsed since the shooting and not a day had gone by when he didn't wish things were different. And yet, he told himself, it was better this way. She deserved better than being condemned to a world of deceit and darkness such as his.



* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*




Harry escorted her into the study, where she met the Home Secretary face-to.face for the first time. He was a tall, slim and handsome blue-grey-eyed man in his mid-fifties with an innate capacity to put people at ease and make them feel as if their opinion really mattered.

As soon as the protocolar introductions and the exchanges de rigeur between both of Her Majesty's senior officials had been dealt with, the Head of Section D left the room.

“Please, do sit down, Miss Reed,” said the Home Secretary, showing her to a sofa placed near the fireplace.

“Thank you.”

“It's Her Majesty's government the one that should thank you for your role in helping break up the Russian operation to cripple our Security Service.”

“I'm afraid I can't take full credit for that. I only played a small part; the whole section worked really hard to see this to the end.”

“Sir Harry told me you'd play down your role. Still, on behalf of this office and the kingdom you serve, I want you to know how much we appreciate your efforts.Many have fought and continue to fight for the good of the Realm and die unsung heroes. My own brother gave his life for Queen and Country and no post-mortem medal or hommage will ever assuage a parent's grief Have you got any brothers or sisters, Ms. Reed?"

"No," Annabelle said, "but I know something about loss. My father was an army officer. He was also killed serving his country... My mother and I had a hard time trying to come to terms with the fact that he'd never come back to us."

"Your job and Sir Harry's an ungrateful one, Miss Reed. I had only one brother... half-brother, actually. He was the serious one- it was always a matter of duty and responsibility for him," he said softly, shaking his head. “He was the youngest, the light of my mother's eyes. Her heart was broken when he didn't come back home... You see, he had never told her what he did for a living, and she died believing he had stayed away because he hadn't forgiven her for not warming up to his Russian wife. ”

The Home Secretary's voice, which had a distinct northern accent, slowly faded.

Annabelle wondered where this was all leading. She couldn't see what his family history had to do with her being there.

"I'm afraid, sir, I don't understand exactly what..."

"Sometimes it's hard to keep one's emotional distance and this operation was too close to home to stay immune. I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable..." he paused, and then raised his long lash eyes to meet hers again."I was eager to meet you, Ms. Reed, and I'm glad I finally have. You're a credit to the Service. And now, Sir Harry tells me, you're thinking about going back to your old tenure."

"Yes, I think it'll be for the best."

"What can I say to make you reconsider?" he asked, smiling at her again.

"My mind's already made up..."

“And you aren't easily swayed.”

“It's been an honour and a privilege to serve my country and, if the need arises, I'll always be available to aid from my university chair as I used to before joining MI-5," she replied with a soft smile.

“You can count on that.”




* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*




As Harry was helping Ruth and her with their coats in the foyer, she caught sight of the Home Secretary standing in the doorway of the study; his deep blue-grey eyes were trained on her, which explained the eerie feeling she'd had of being observed.

On the way home, Annabelle went over the meeting and tried to decide what it was that she hadn't picked up on for she knew, instinctively, that there had been a lot going on that she'd missed in that study.

It wasn't until after Harry had left her at her doorstep and driven away, that it dawned on her. The man at the castle, the asset, had been the Home Secretary's brother.

She had always known the original contact to make the exchange possible had been achieved through diplomatic channels. The Home Secretary had told her that his brother had died for Queen & Country, but wishing to get past his gratitude, she had failed to decode what that meant. She was the one who'd been with his brother at the last; that was why he'd been eager to meet her.

She felt the moral duty to pay a second visit to the Home Secretary to let him know how much she'd admired and respected his brother's courage and endurance. She doubted it'd help lessen his grief, but it'd provide her with some sense of closure.

Since she wanted to leave London for good the following afternoon, she'd have to tell the Home Secretary tonight what his brother's sacrifice had meant to her. She'd just call a taxi and use the invitation Harry had given her to go through security before everyone vacated the premises.

When she got to the Home Secretary's residence, she was lucky enough to cross paths with the head of security, who had checked their IDs for the reception. The fact that the middle-aged officer had worked as Sir Harry's personal bodyguard in the past helped expedite her admission with the promise that she'd just have a quick word with the Home Secretary and then leave.

Annabelle found herself in front of the study door wondering whether she should announce her presence with a knock. The door being ajar, she was able to make out the Home Secretary despite the dimmed lights, thanks to the logs burning in the fireplace. He was standing close to the fire still in his evening clothes, minus the tie, and nursing a drink in his hand.

"Home Secretary," she said, opening the door widely.

It was at that moment, when she finally stepped into the study, that she realised he wasn't the only occupant. There was another man, and his piercing blue-grey eyes were focused on her face just as they had the morning she'd stood between him and a bullet, creating a bubble where only the two of them existed.

"Hello, Annabelle," he said softly from the sofa.

Her heart stopped and then galloped in her chest. She had thought she'd never see him again.

Nothing had changed. He still had the power to seduce her, to make her yearn for the touch of his hands and the caress of his skin against hers in the dark. Not a night went by when she didn't wake up and still feel the sweet, hot and tender ghost of his lips.

"What are you doing here?" she asked.

"And you, Golubushka?"

His velvety voice sounded as mesmerising as ever, and she responded to it as a sailor to the call of a siren in the middle of the ocean; she advanced further into the room and stopped in front of him, looking down into the bottomless pools of his striking blue-grey eyes.

The scarring which used to mar the left side of his face had been surgically repaired. He was one of the most masculine and handsome men she'd ever met; she'd thought so even in the dark and discovering his disfigurement hadn't made him less beautiful in her eyes.

It was hard to string a rational thought when all she felt like doing was to examine his features and commit every detail to memory before facing the painful truth.

"How foolish of me. When the Home Secretary told me earlier about his brother, I thought he was speaking about our asset- the man who died at the castle. But it was you, wasn't it? I returned to tell the Home Secretary how much I admired his brother and catch him entertaining the FSB. "

"Lucas," the Home Secretary intervened, meeting the piercing eyes of the younger man.

"That's why Harry couldn't arrest you. You had the Home Secretary's protection. Total immunity to get away with anything, right?" she continued, her eyes welling up with tears.

"Annabelle," he whispered.

"You told me to guard my soul. I should have listened," she said, struggling to keep her tears at bay. You had your own flesh and blood sell his soul for you, not a hero who gave his life for Queen & Country but a Russian spy."

“Miss Reed,” the Home Secretary cut in.

“Don't worry. Whatever's said in this room stays here. I've been long enough in this system not to know how things work.”

Golubushka...”

“Please, don't,” she shook her head.”I should hate you but even now, Lucas, knowing what I know..." she rasped. “I wish I hadn't come back tonight. To continue living a lie would have been infinitely more merciful.”

GO TO CHAPTER XIII
 
 
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rjforap: RArjforap on October 4th, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)
Wow! Loved this chapter. I really would love for things to work out between Lucas and Annabelle. I can't wait to read more. :)
scoraig on October 5th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
Another exciting chapter
As usual I gasped when I saw that you had posted a new chapter as I get really excited to see what you have written! :) I always like to recap a couple of chapters before I read the new one as the whole story line has had an effect on me. This latest chapter tugged at my heartstrings. I SO want Lucas to finally have a happy ending as I'm really tired of his character having to die! I have even found him "killed off" in other fan-fic. Why do writers have to do that? Spooks 9 was hard enough to deal with so why put us through it all over again? However I am still looking forward to reading whatever comes next!
melusine6619 on October 6th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC)
What a lovely chapter, and great, tense ending! Come on Annabelle, put the pieces together. I'm dying to see what comes next!