Martini and Salsa 1.5: Sent a spy to catch a break

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Vay, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. It was only half a month after the death of the cardinal and Josh could walk without a limp, though right now he was sitting at the same cafe he had first met Cynthia at, a plain white button-up collared shirt with shirt sleeved and a faded pair of blue jeans replacing his usual suit.

    "Flight 227 arriving from Baltimore and gate 7.. all passengers are reminded to have their passes visible as they approach the gate, thank you."

    "Its quite something." he said to the woman sitting opposite him. "That this is the first time you've seen me out of a suit.."

    He smiles at Cynthia as he stirred his ices coffee with his straw. "And the first place we're going together that we're not going to get shot at."

    He had invited her to go with him on vacation as his was of thanking her for saving his life. If their short time of knowing each other they had done a lot of that, the Cynthia was getting her first taste Josh when he wasn't on duty. "I hear the surf is good this time of year, if you do that kind of thing."

    Josh did... once upon a time..
  2. Cynthia was leaning back, stirring her straw around, and smiling. She had been through an awful lot over the last several months. More then most people had to deal with in the course of their lives, it had not all been bad though. She had closure over her father's untimely death, and in the process stumbled into a career she was much more suited for. Cynthia got the impression there were regrets by some that she leaped into this, but she knew that it was because they cared for her.

    That was a bit weird still. Her best friend all but threw her into this, and yet did not want her involved with Josh or the others. Cynthia missed Lena.

    Across the table Josh almost looked like a different person. He was indeed much different then the man that grabbed her arm here some time back. That man had been cold, professional, and deadly, possibly insane even. This man though smiled. He had somehow escaped his own shell to allow a bit of humanity to peek out for her to see. Cynthia wouldn't claim to know Josh well, but she knew him well enough to call him not just her partner, but her friend.

    And maybe this vacation she would get to know him better.

    "I haven't, have I?" Cynthia let out a soft chuckle before taking a sip of her overly sugared drink. "I like the not being shot part. If we aren't too bored by it all we will have to try it more often." Cynthia had no doubts that she would enjoy the lack of excitement.

    More then once already she had thanked Josh for inviting her along. The destination was going to be lovely and she was glad she would get to share it with someone. "Surfing, I haven't done that in a few years. Might be worth seeing if I'm any good still."
  3. Josh smiled. "I haven't done so since my teens." he said "Back on the east coast." he sighed realizing there was still a lot the didn't know about each other, they would have plenty to talk about at least.

    "I should tell you the program." he said pulling out a well worn brochure. "We'll landing at the only airport n the archipelago and going strait to the docks." he smiled.. "Then a two day cruise on the St. Anne with nothing to do but whatever we can find.." he wouldn't tell her how much this trip had cost him. It by no means left him destitute, not with the danger pay he got and the bonus for taking a bullet but if he said the amount it would sound like it might.

    "Then I've got us a two bedroom suit where we can relax, theres surfing, beach hikes, horses.. enough to keep us relaxed and enjoying ourselves for weeks."

    he shot her a look. "That is if you're ok with sharing a suit."
  4. "Sounds like a good time to pick it up again," she remarked. For some reason she was surprised he was from the east coast. It likely had to do with the fact that he had once told her he had been a cop up in the Bay Area. As he pulled out the brochure she sat her drink down and leaned in. As he explained the trip, Cynthia found herself smiling.

    "I don't think that will be a problem at all," she looked up at Josh, her smile more a smirk now. "But thank you." She glanced at the brochure again. "I'm really looking forward to this. It's going to be a welcomed break after everything. For both of us I'm thinking."

    There wasn't too much rush since they both got to the airport early, so they took their time with their drinks before finally leaving the cafe and going through security to finally get to their flight terminal. Cynthia hadn't been on an airplane in years, but there was something exciting about the start of a trip.
  5. "First perk of the job." he said as the git closer to the gate, his backpack slung over on shoulder holding up his id. "Government official.. airport security just waves you through." he grinned. "He searches, no checks. Our bags will of course need to go though the scanner and us through the detector but they won't can exception to anything they find."

    He gave her a wink and placed his backpack and suitcase on the conveyor and began transferring things from his pockets into the tray, wallet, keys, ring. Then showed the ID to the guard.

    "You other than the pay and the travel its my favorite part of the job."

    His tine was casual but he was obviously not saying to much in public.

    "Alright Mr. Keegan..."

    Josh smiles and nodded stepping though the detector without it going off.

    "I trust the suitcase is going in the hold?"

    "Of course, I don't want to do the marshal's job."

    The guard put a sticker with nothing but a bar code on the suitcase and Josh began to put his things back in his pockets, and the ring on his finger.
  6. Cynthia folded Josh's lead, smiling politely at the man doing security. TSA workers were not the most liked by the general public and she felt a touch of sympathy for them. After all they didn't make the rules, they just followed them. Once they were on the other side of the security check Cynthia let out a low whistle, she always forgot how massive this place was.

    As they walked to the tram to take them to the gate Cynthia started asking questions about their vacation destination. It wasn't anything more then chitchat. She never would have tried to have chitchat with Martini, but she really didn't view him as Martini right now. Maybe it was the lack of suit. Cynthia wasn't sure, but she realized that not only did she view him differently at work, she treated him differently too.

    Then something of an epiphany occurred and she grinned at Josh as they exited the tram. "You know, I think I actually look up to you at work. I mean a lot of that is cause I still have no clue what I'm doing there, but it's also cause you just are that good." Saving her life probably helped too.
  7. He put his bag on the conveyor and started heading for the bus to carry them to the plane. "You surprised me." he said "I've never seen anyone take to this job like you have, its easy to forget you don't have any training." he slowed down so she could fall in next to him and sighed. "And thanks to you its now over, really you earned this holiday."

    He stayed next to her on the bus and up the stairs to their seats, business class, with comfortable seats, tv and LEGROOM. "I really don't like coach." he admitted at they made their way down the isle. "Sitting with my knees wrapped around my ears and my elbow bumping into the person next to me, this is worth the extra." He wasn't a small man by any standards but he wasn't a giant either. Stowing their hand luggage above their heads and letting her have the pick of the seat she wanted he sighed. "Next stop, the caribean."
  8. Cynthia took the window seat. She admitted to her excitement for the trip and wanted to watch the landscape from time to time. She was fairly certain she would be awake for the entire flight. The seats were comfortable and she was glad for the leg room herself. She always felt a bit bad for guys traveling coach when she felt fairly confined in the seating herself.

    Take off was wonderful, it after all a perfectly blue skied day in LA as they left. The first hour was nice, but then Cynthia closed the window as the sun glared at a bad angle. Besides the scenery was repeating itself. She had brought a book with her for the flight, but wasn't finding it as interesting as she hoped so she closed it for a moment and closed her eyes.

    Two hour later, Cynthia was still asleep, but she seemed to be not having a pleasent dream. Her face was turned to a scowl and she uttered a soft grunt.
  9. For his part Josh had continued light conversation with Cynthia for a couple of minutes then taken out his book. It was a guilty pleasure of his to head the James bond novels while avoiding the movies like the plague. He was just turning a page when he heard a sound next to him. Cynthia was obviously dreaming, and not pleasantly, he sighed and closed his book and put it on the seat next to him.

    When the trolley rolled down the isle he stopped it and bought two cold bottles of iced green tea. It struck him that he didn't know what Cynthia liked to drink but teas was a safe bet.

    "Hey." he said quietly and shaking her shoulder gently putting the bottle in her hand and putting his in the cup holder while placing his book on his lap and adjusting the bookmark. "You going to sleep the whole trip?" it was a tease. "When I said relax I didn't mean that much." his tone was joking but if Cynthia was stress dreaming maybe she was better talking about it.
  10. "Hm," she grunted groggily looking at Josh then down at the bottle. She then put a and to her face, briefly closing her eyes. "Sorry," she finally said sounding a bit more like herself. She then turned the cap and opened the bottle, taking a long drink before replacing the cap and putting it in the drink holder. "Thank you."

    Cynthia glanced over and saw Josh had put his book aside. She wouldn't have wanted to interrupt his reading, but since he'd set it aside on his own. "I think I was dreaming," she started hesitantly. "Lena was there. I... despite everything I still miss her. Is it weird that it doesn't seem real? What happened in that building I mean? I don't know, everything else, well... I feel like I've done a decent job of adapting. A lot's changed..." she looked down at her hands feeling like she was rambling. Yet who else could she ramble to?
  11. "Its always rough on your first job. I'd show you the scar I got from mine but they would get us thrown out of the plane and I don't have my pocket parachute on me." he gave her a wry smile. "But yes, it could have gone better and you will question everything about what happened. But you will realize you did everything you could and things like this happen. Its why you don't get many partners dating each other. It could come to it where a split second decision, a microsecond of hesitation makes all the difference."

    He reached over and put his hand on her shoulder. "Just try to relax and if you need to talk, I'm right here." he smiled again "We're partners, we should be open with each other, after all if you don't trust your partner, who can you trust?"
  12. Cynthia grinned at the parachute comment and wonder just how oftened he'd used one. As he continued to talk she nodded. What he said made sense, though she had the feeling she might have to be reminded once or twice about the point he was making before it stuck. This was still a very new life for her.

    When he put his hand on her shoulder, the gesture was as reassuring as the words that followed. "Thank you, really I appreat it. I'm glad I got you for a partner, and, well I hope I earn that trust." Even in the regular world trust wasn't always give freely and in the world of spies, she doubted it ever was so. That she trusted Josh though she never gave a second thought to, and not because she had to because he was her partner. "Because you have mine."
  13. "If I didn't trust you I wouldn't be your partner." he said "Our boss asked me if I still wanted to be after what happened. I said yes." he twisted off the cap of his bottle. Josh wasn't naming names or even codenames, it was a habit of his he followed in public even when on holiday. Not that spies ever really go holidays. "And I've been told you're going for training after this so I'll be kicking my heels.. or maybe going to visit you.

    He stowed the book and and checked his watch. "I don't think you need the training but its a formality, and maybe you'll feel better for having it. I know hoe overwhelming it was for you."
  14. Cynthia couldn't help but grin when Josh said he trusted her. She wasn't sure how many in their business he trusted, but she felt honored to be counted among them.

    "Training?" Cynthia asked. She tried to recall and she remembered something like that mentioned, but it had to have been soon after they took out the Cardinal since her recollection had been so fuzzy. "I think you're right about me feeling better with some formal training. At least to make sure there's no gaps after all." By now the grogginess had vanished and Cynthia's natural curiosity was coming into the forefront. "You'd come visit in D.C., right?" Cynthia was decently sure she recalled the location correctly. While she would be happy for the training in and of itself, if Josh was willing to visit while she was there she would be happy to see how he viewed the city. It was nice that he'd consider coming out.
  15. HE couldn't tell her but he would have to be the final judge of weather or not she passed, and her final test would be to go head to head with him in an arrangement of his choosing, and she wouldn't know who it was she would be after. This was all because he was the closest thing she had to a mentor still alive.

    "I will see you in D.C. thats for certain." he grinned and reached into his shirt pocket and pulling out a roll of lozenges. He always had some when he traveled. Its had begun by accident, a roll of lozenges on his person to keep his throat moist over Siberia in a military training exercise. The plan he'd been forced to make an emergency landing due to mechanical problems and Josh had been forced to take the role of co-pilot. Second time his helicopter had been shot down over Brasil. Every time he came close to death while flying and got out by the skin of his teeth he had lozenges on him. Subconsciously ever to the rational-thinking agent they had become good-luck charms. Josh was known in the agency for never stepping onto a plane without them.

    He offered one to Cynthia and popped one into his mouth before looking down the isle. "One thing to remember though that the minute you step onto the place to D.C. training begins, not then you get there, when you get on the plane, and it ends when you get told you've passed. Between those times, 24 hours a day you are being watched and judged. In this business a level of healthy paranoia is a good thing."
  16. Cynthia looked at the lozenge for a moment as Josh explained training to her, and griminced slightly. It made sense she knew, but it still didn't sound pleasent. She popped the lozenge and thought about her next question. "I'm going to assume they change the particulars of the training each time, though still looking for the same basics. So I'm guessing you can tell me a few amusing stories from your own training and it won't really revile any intended surprises?"

    Even as she said it, and had meant what she said, she realized that didn't stop her from inferring stuff if he did tell her stories. She would amuse herself by trying to put basic skills she knew was needed, that she picked up in the last few months, and later while being trained any of those skills to try to outthink any challenges presented to her.

    She wondered if everyone looked at challenges like that. Not that it mattered, it was nice to actually stretch her mind. The last few years until Josh stepped into her life she felt more and more like she was sleepwalking through life. She would still be doing that right now if Lena hadn't set her up, if the Cardinal wasn't getting antsy waiting Daddy Dearest out and looked for a different target to draw her into the open, if.... if....
  17. Josh chuckled.. "I might have burned the training center down." he admitted. "They said it was over two weeks into the program, this was trill when we did training out in New Mexico." he explained. And on the way back we get told theres an incident in LA we need to look into since we were in the area... we land, everyone but me is shot and I jump from the warehouse roof into a dumpster. Wait for night to fall, make my way to the parting lot and using the wirecutters and other equipment I had made a petrol bomb out of a citron and burned the warehouse and small hidden complex beneath it to the ground..." he chuckled. "You should have seen her face...."

    He shook his head. "She wasn't in charge back then but a field agent. She didn't want a desk job."
  18. Cynthia laughed, only imagining what there boss must have thought when the recruit she brought in managed that after only two weeks. "She does use the idea of desk jobs as a threat doesn't she?" Not that Cynthia wanted one, those weeks stuck doing paperwork under the donut shop was maddening. Granted that was also because of everything else going on. If she hadn't had a taste of field work first though Cynthia might have been content doing support work before. Now though, well, you can't ever go back.

    Their flight went on and Cynthia asked for more details about his story, because she was curious. She filed away what Josh told her, but for the most part it was a story for stories sake. She then asked a more general question as they were getting close to landing. "What was your favorite part? Of the training?"
  19. "Favorite part....?" he thought for a moment. "The assault course." he said "Or that part where they put all of us in a room, all of us being all the agents, those under training or not and told us to pick a country a region, from the rest of the week out in the desert we lived like a rural community from the north of Georgia, clothes, language, customs religious observances, disguises, the works. At the end of the week we were given a few crates of weapons and told to hide them in our village and three hours later the national guard arrives to search it. They were also under training... two birds with one stone..."

    He shook his head. "I hope they do something like that in your training... it was like camping, but more hard core."
  20. Cynthia grinned. "That does sound like a great experience," she agreed.

    As the pilot announced their final descent the young woman opened her window once more to look at where they were headed. "Wow, look at that water," she said to Josh pointing at the thick double layer of plexiglas that covered the porthole sized window. Below them the evening sun glittered off the water, making the turquoise water sparkle. In a few hours it would stain the color in a rainbow of colors as the sun sat.

    The landing had only a mold amount of turbulence and soon they had landed on the small island. As they stood to grab their carry on luggage now that the plane had taxied to it's terminal, Cynthia leaned up to her partner. She was grinning ear to ear by now. "I know I've said it several times already, but thank you. I think I'm more excited now then when you first told me."