templemarker: generation kill: two soldiers watching artie rain on a city (when the world ends)
[personal profile] templemarker
Clandestine Activities
by templemarker

Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] maribouquet in [info]yagkyas in 2010. Generation Kill crossover with Covert Affairs. Set post-series, contemporary future-fic. Thanks to my dedicated beta. Originally posted here.


***

The first day Brad walked into Langley, he took a deep breath of recycled air and spent twenty minutes trying to find the bathroom.

The second day, he passed through security, bypassed a group of admin staff planning a baby shower, procured a coffee, and was at his desk in less than ten minutes. This job, as unfamiliar as the terrain was, would not get the better of him.

Brad had joined the paramilitary division of the CIA, the Special Activities Division, because he was bored. He was bored in DC, bored with re-grouting Nate’s tile, bored with waking up and having nothing to do except convince Ray to play Call of Duty with him during the workday. So when Rudy had called him, talking up this "new opportunity," Brad was on it like white on rice. He didn't even listen to what Rudy said--just took the interview and figured he'd work out the details later.

Of course, now he was assigned to a team centered on a rookie agent so fresh she looks like she barely left college. She was smart as hell, spoke a dozen languages or more, but sometimes her naivete put Brad's teeth on edge. She tried so hard, and if he wanted to give her credit, she did generally succeed. When she was thinking innovatively she actually did pretty well. But Brad had enough of green when he made Gunny, and training a bunch of horny, drunk-ass Marines to walk an AO seemed a lot less difficult than getting Annie Walker to keep from getting herself killed.

Herr Campbell, as he and the rest of the peons called Joan behind her back, reminded him a lot of Godfather--focused, fierce, goal and results oriented. It made it easy for Brad to work for her. He knew exactly what to expect. She hadn't noticed him yet, which was probably for the best, but she did know his name and Brad would make sure she never had cause to curse it.

Auggie...Auggie was the one thing that took this job from "something to pass the time" to "something worth getting up out of bed in the morning." He took Brad's measure seconds after meeting him, threw on a blinding smile and started razzing him about being a tall-assed motherfucker. Brad knew they were going to get along just fine, especially since Auggie's lair has become Brad's de facto workspace. Brad tinkered away with electronics to his heart's content, when he wasn't coordinating security details and reviewing engagement plans for Herr Campbell; he had started to help Augie with some stuff too, on his own time.

And Jai? Brad was gonna punch Jai in the face if he made one more fucking knowing comment about Nate.

The upshot of the job was that Nate said Brad was less bitchy, which made Nate happy, and since Brad had moved across the country to make Nate happy that meant more than a little something.

By Brad's nintieth day at Langley, he had half the staff ready to jump as his command and the other half too scared to do anything but comply. Ninety days was a good measure for how the rest of it was going to go.

Brad was sitting at his desk, rifling through some papers detailing a "border checkpoint" between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which deserved his mental air quotes because there was really no such fucking thing, there was just Pakistani Army idiots sitting on their asses drinking chai with the Taliban. Annie Walker came up to him with a smile and the click of her expensive heels; Brad thought wearing them to a job where you spent half your time walking paper to different places and the other half at a desk was both pointless and stupid, but he never commented. It would probably hurt her feelings, and it was looking more and more like Herr Campbell wanted to push Annie into being the new poster child for female operatives, so it didn't pay to poke at the protege.

"Brad," she said warmly. "My sister Danielle is hosting a barbecue this weekend, and she really wants to meet my co-workers from the Smithsonian. Jai said your cover is as a techie at the Smithsonian, so it would be perfect if you could come." She angled herself so that Brad could see Jai waving at him; Brad scowled. "You could bring your partner, if you wanted?" she said hopefully.

Brad squinted at her. "What do you know about my partner?" he said neutrally. It's not like he spread it around or anything, but word got out that you were with someone if you didn't really go out with the other single people. He didn't keep a picture of Nate on his desk; or, not only Nate. There was a framed photograph from the OIF invasion of First Recon, all of them dirty and smiling out in the Iraqi dust, and Nate was tucked there in a corner, looking so goddamn young it hurt to look at him a little.

Her eyes widened a bit in innocence, and she cocked her head to the side. "I can make some guesses," she said, "but not anything, really. I just heard you on the phone talking to him once, that's all."

And this was why she'd keep going with this job--she always, somehow, managed to stumble into information.

He didn't say anything, just worked it over in his head; finally, he said, "Fine. When and where?"

Annie beamed at him. "I'll forward you the evite. Thanks, Brad, this really will help with my cover at home."

Brad grunted as she turned back towards her desk. This was going to be fun.

*

Nate laughed at him through a mouthful of pizza. "So, what, we have to go to a work party this weekend?" His tie was loose around his neck, feet swinging where he sat perched on the island in their kitchen. He looked tired but happy, the way he generally did after he got home. "So much for that romantic dinner I had planned. Do I need to look nice for your colleagues, honey?" he said, comically batting his eyes.

Brad thwapped him. "You look like you're having an aneurysm when you do that," he said. "And it's only a work thing insofar as I'm going to get overtime for establishing Walker's cover, and because we supposedly both work for the Smithsonian. It's pretty much just a regular barbecue. We don't have to stay long, just enough time for her family to ask me some questions about how great Walker is to work with." He managed not to sigh as he said the words.

"It's a good thing I got cleared by security when you took this job," Nate said, eyes twinkling, "otherwise I would be asking some very pointed questions about tech installations at the Smithsonian that I bet you couldn't answer."

Brad snorted. "Do you know how much junk I've had to read about the Smithsonian since I started this job?" He raised an eyebrow. "Anyway, I'd expect your recon skills to be better than just questions, Nate. There should be stalking involved."

"I've done that enough as it is," Nate said. He was smiling, but his voice was a bit serious. Brad slipped the slice of pizza from his hands and put it in the box, moving between Nate's legs and only craning up a bit to swipe at Nate's mouth.

"Nah," Brad said. "You can always do more," but the thought was cut off when Nate ducked down to kiss him again.

They'd had some very satisfying sex on this kitchen island, but Brad instead opted to tighten his grip on Nate's thighs and tug him closer, hooking Nate's legs around his waist and bodily carrying him to the study off the kitchen which, conveniently, had a very comfortable sofa. Nate was laughing at him through the kiss, and wasn't that Brad's favorite sound in the world, right there.

Brad dumped him on the couch, and Nate's legs sprawled out. Nate himself slouched low, bunching up his shirt to reveal the white t-shirt beneath, tie askew over Nate's shoulder. This, right here, was why he took a job that gave him almost no field time, didn't send him off to the other side of the world, kept him pushing paper during the day and spewing bullshit about the Smithsonian at night. Brad's breath caught, like it had a hundred thousand times before; Nate made that choice seem like the most obvious thing in the world.

"Get down here," Nate said roughly, starting to unbuckle his belt, and Brad fell to his knees without a second thought.

*

Virginia in June was possibly one of Brad's least favorite things. The South, in general, had lost any favor it might have had from Brad just by virtue of the humidity. He felt soaked through and they'd only been at this barbecue for thirty-five minutes. Nate, of course, had already run off to talk to five or ten people he somehow knew, leaving Brad to procure the beer that almost made this thing bearable, and to make small talk with a bunch of people he didn't know and Annie Walker.

And Auggie. Auggie tapped his way over to Brad, and Brad stood patiently in place, giving Auggie a chance to feel out space based on Brad's position.

"I'm pretty impressed the Iceman was talked into coming out to a social function," Auggie said with mock sincerity. "Not to mention bringing his life partner on the journey of the soul."

Brad peered at him. "You've been talking to Reyes," he said accussingly.

Auggie took a pull of his beer and said nothing, but his wide, teasing grin gave him away.

"That man is a menace," Brad said, curling his toes in his sandals.

Auggie did laugh at that, and held out his bottle to be clinked. "But never was there a more dedicated training officer for young agents."

Brad grunted his agreement. He watched some kids run around the adults, the burgers and brats being flipped, Nate smiling as he talked to an old guy wearing a crisp linen suit.

"Do you ever miss it?" Auggie asked abruptly.

Brad looked at him sidelong. He'd been anticipating some variation on this question for a few weeks now, ever since Brad had told him a couple of things about his previous career exploits. Everyone knew Brad was a Marine; hell, people he'd never met could tell that from a hundred different little tells Brad knew he had. But Brad doubted even Herr Campbell had gotten to see all the interesting bits and pieces that made up Brad's career in the service, and Brad was generally not inclined to share much even with people he liked.

He did like Auggie. And when they were shooting the shit over a couple of microboards, building a tracking device into something small enough to be effectively untraceable, they had talked about Auggie's field service and Brad's two wars.

"It's kind of futile to ask a question already knowing the answer," Brad said finally.

Auggie didn't say anything back, just shook his head a little roughly. Brad shut up the voices in his head that said Auggie got lucky, so fucking lucky; Brad didn't have it in him to count the number of guys he'd lost on tour, or the guys who'd come back more damaged than could ever be repaired; or the guys like Kocher, who got hit and hit and kept going back for more. He didn't feel sorry for Auggie. It sucked, but Auggie got lucky. He just wasn't ready to hear that yet.

Brad stood in companionable silence with his friend and watched as Nate detangled himself from a coterie of younger people who all looked desperate for Nate's card. Nate shook all their hands and then came up to Brad, grasping his arm warmly and stealing his beer.

"God, I'm parched," Nate said through pulls on the Corona. "It's hot as hell out here."

Auggie's smile returned, almost as bright as before. "So you must be the secret husband Brad never talks about."

Nate's sharp gaze turned to look at Auggie. "Does that make you the work husband? I gotta say, he does like 'em wiry."

Brad groaned. "This is why I don't like going to social functions."

Auggie and Nate just laughed at him.

As Brad listened to Nate and Auggie talk about him like he wasn't even there, Walker came up with her usual wide smile and pulled him away. "Brad! My sister wants to meet you, come on! She has a bunch of questions about Smithsonian exhibits."

Brad looked significantly at Nate, but Nate just shook his head. "I'm not rescuing you from overtime, buddy," he said, and Brad slumped a little.

"Brad, this is Danielle! Danielle, this is the guy I was telling you about!" Annie said excitedly, curling an arm around a similar-looking blonde woman.

"Oh, the tech guy! Yeah, I really wanted to know how they positioned those dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum!" Danielle said with a smile, expectantly.

Brad closed his eyes for a moment, took a breath, and said, "Annie did tell you I work for the Renwick Gallery, right?"

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-25 04:13 am (UTC)
jebbypal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jebbypal
Oh so cute :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-25 09:58 am (UTC)
glittertine: (asoiaf - Arya wolf - by iconsbycurtana)
From: [personal profile] glittertine
*flails* Brad so precious!

... Nate made that choice seem like the most obvious thing in the world.

You have this way with showing Brad's thoughts. Even when I think I couldn't love the character any more than I do, your Brad always ends up taking it a notch further.

Very lovely snippet. Thank you for sharing.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-25 10:29 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: Auggie does not approve (Covert Affairs Frownies)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
I have new personal canon. And I adored the "work husband" bit!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-26 01:55 am (UTC)
sorchar: Sparkly brain (Default)
From: [personal profile] sorchar
How did I not know you were on Dreamwidth?

Profile

templemarker: (Default)
templemarker

October 2016

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags