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"Brody!…Brody…"

Aasar had asked her to clarify who she was speaking about. Who she was actually seeing while she was staring at him. But Carrie was either too inconsolable to hear him, or just didn't want to.

Rubbing her back he kissed her hair, heard her sobs fade into soft whimpers. While he was relieved her crying was subsiding, anxiety thrummed through him. He was worried about what was in store for her next tonight, what was in store for him by extension.

Aasar didn't need to wonder though what would happen if they stayed here much longer. They'd both fall asleep in the middle of the sitting room, stiff backed against the chair or sprawled out on the hard floor. Either position would leave them sore and exhausted in the morning, and in Carrie's state he knew additional pain was the last thing she needed. Slowly, still holding her he moved to sit more upright.

"No! No don't…don't"

"Shh…" he soothed as she whimpered, held tighter to him.

"I'm just going to bring you upstairs, Carrie. It's alright," Aasar soothed as she sniffed, still clung onto him and seemingly content to stay that way.

Scooping her up as he stood, adjusting her weight in his arms Aasar carried Carrie to the master suite. Her face was pressed against his chest, hidden in the crease of his button down shirt that was still damp with her tears.

Cradling her closer Aasar kicked the door the rest of the way open, crossed the spacious room to deposit her on the king size bed.

When she twitched, whimpered in alarm he knelt down, reached to hold her face.

Immediately her hand moved to rest on the back of his as her eyes opened, focused the best they could on his own.

"I missed you," she choked out, her cheeks flexing into a smile. "I missed you so much."

"Carrie…", Sighing Aasar shook his head, went to move his hand but she clutched it tighter to her cheek.

"We have a baby."

"What? We..." Momentarily thrown, after a beat Aasar nodded in understanding.

"Her name's Frannie. Frances. After my dad."

"That's lovely," he said softly, sincerely.

"Her middle name's Nicole though. After you," Carrie said tearfully. Still holding the back of his hand she turned her head, brushed her lips on his palm.

"What does she look like?" Aasar asked. "I'm sorry, who does she-"

"She's got your hair. Your eyes too. God, she looks just like you," Carrie laughed.

"I see," Aasar nodded, deciding his question would just have to go unanswered. Especially when her smile faded and her gaze fell downward, away from his.

"Carrie?"

"I was so scared. Since my fucking water broke I've just been…"

"Scared of what?"

When she didn't respond, fought back a yawn Aasar looked on sadly, sympathetically. When he tried to shift away though she tightened her hold, shook her head.

"You should rest, Carrie.''

"No, I can't. I...I can't sleep."

"Why not?"

"Because I don't have my fucking Ambien!" she spat. "I...I need my meds, my eye mask, my mouthguard. Otherwise I can't sleep! I don't sleep."

Concern flooding his face Aasar frowned, wondered if he had any of those items on hand in the guest room. Realizing it was doubtful he did, even more doubtful that she'd let him leave to check, he sighed, moved to lie down next to her on the bed.

"Why don't you sleep?" he asked.

"As if you don't fucking know," Carrie scoffed, rolling her eyes that were starting to well up. At his arched brow she snorted, tucked her head to her chest as she sniffled.

Cradling her face again, Aasar thumbed away a tear as Carrie squeezed her eyes shut. A last ditch effort to block the memory out, everything from that horrible night out.

"The flashbacks didn't stop. You, what happened in Tehran. They never stopped," she said numbly. Curling away from him, then up in a smaller ball on the bed she shivered, prompting Aasar to sit up, reach for a throw blanket at the foot of the bed.

"What are you-"

"Because you're shivering," he sighed, tucking the soft fleece around her as she rolled her eyes, looked at him incredulously.

"What?" he asked.

Moving to lie next to her Aasar frowned, seeing her face. "What in the world is that look for? You were-"

"How come you're being so nice to me?" Carrie choked out.

"What kind of...why would you ask me that?" Aasar asked as she looked away.

"Carrie!", he snapped, reaching for her. "Why would you ask me-"

"Because you should fucking hate me!" she shouted, taking him aback. "You should fucking hate me. Because I was willing to let you..." Voice breaking she shook her head, forced the words out.

"I left you behind, Brody! I left you to fucking die in Tehran! And then I left our daughter so I could come here and sign off on even more death! Jesus, if you even knew what they call me the fucking queen of..."

Shaking her head she sniffed, shivered again. "I took this job to get away from our child. I've fucking abandoned her!"

"Carrie, Frances has no place here. She is safer in the States with your sister. And you are working here to keep her and your country safe. You are very brave and you're a protector. You are protecting her!" Aasar said as she shook her head, curled up smaller.

"Protecting her from me," she said, shuddering over the words as Aasar frowned.

"What does that mean? I don't-"

Shaking her head she bit her lip. "I can't tell you. You...you'd hate me," she insisted as he rolled his eyes, shook his head.

"What?" Carrie spat as he snorted.

"You keep saying that to me. You'd hate me. Hate, hate, hate! What will it take for you to understand that that's not how I feel!" Aasar asked. "That I've never felt like that! Of anything I love-"

When he stopped short she smiled, gave him a teasing smile.

"Hey, what happened to being careful?"

"I'm sorry? What did-"

"Being careful?" Carrie repeated as he scoffed, rolled his eyes.

"You interrupted me," Aasar said, annoyed. When she laughed he frowned more at her.

"What?!"

"That's my line," Carrie grinned as Aasar's frown was replaced with an intrigued, soft smile.

While he knew he wasn't the reason Carrie was being teasing, playful with him now, the reason she'd been vulnerable and emotional earlier and still, it was a refreshing change. One he wanted to make last as long as he could.

"Do you know how beautiful you are when you laugh?"

When she blushed, it was Aasar's turn to smile at her, say something he hoped would manage to keep her smiling.

"You know what I think about, Carrie? The best time you and I had together," he said as she smirked.

"You mean when we got carried away with the Nazis?"

Not expecting that answer it took Aasar a moment to recover. "I...I'm sure that it was after that."

Smiling softer now Carrie sniffed, moved closer to twine her fingers with his.

"I think about that weekend all the time. The cabin. I just wanted to live there too," she said sadly. Rolling onto her back, hand still in his she glanced out the large window at the front of the room, one looking out onto the property and the clear, night sky.

Chin quivering she nodded for him to look.

"What is it? The stars...?" Aasar frowned, looking out the window than back to her.

"I drew you one. On the memorial wall at Langley," Carrie sighed. "It probably got fucking wiped away by now," she scoffed, wiping her eyes with her hand not clutching his.

"You drew...why?" Aasar asked. Rolling back over to face him Carrie snorted.

"Because you were a hero. I needed them to know that! When Lockhart wouldn't okay it I gave you one myself!" she said firmly. "I owed you that."

Biting his lip Aasar looked down at their hands, back into her eyes. "You do not owe me anything, Carrie."

"Yes. I do! After what I did, what I was willing to-"

"You did your duty, Carrie. Just as I did mine," Aasar sighed, easing his free hand around to the nape of her neck. Holding her gaze when she tried to look away.

"And now you have a duty to Frannie."

"How am I supposed to tell her about you?" Carrie asked tearfully. "That I'm the reason you're-"

"She's a baby, Carrie. You will tell her what you need to when the time is right."

"What about your family? Telling them?" she asked curiously, tamping down her guilt as best she could. "I wanted to. I was going to, but I-"

"The only family I want you worrying for is yours, Carrie. Frannie, your team here. You are responsible for them," Aasar said emphatically, then sighed. "Not for what happened to mine."

His voice low but emotions high, he forced himself to keep in check. His responsibility now was helping Carrie cope with her own grief and losses, not letting his own come into play. But nonetheless, he didn't feel a tear slide down his cheek until her fingers moved to wipe it away.

"I am though," Carrie sighed.

"No. You are not!" Aasar growled. "My grief, my grieving is my own," he said firmly as her chin quivered.

"I'm still griev..." Voice breaking she swallowed hard, tried again. "No I'm not. I never even let myself. I couldn't. If I do it's admitting that you're gone. That I lost-"

When her voice broke again, not able to handle seeing her in that kind of pain again tonight Aasar moved his hands to her face, made her see him.

"I'm with you now, Carrie."

After a beat she nodded, managed a smile.

"Yeah...you are."

Moving closer she leaned in, kissed him again. When he didn't come off as cold, actually kissed her back she made it more passionate. Kept it going until Aasar forced himself back, breathless.

"What? What's wrong?"

"You need to rest, Carrie," Aasar sighed, tried to be patient when she looked ready to refuse.

"I told you I can't, I... fuck," she muttered. When her chin quivered, Aasar turned her face towards his, stroked her hair.

"You're safe. You're with me and everything's fine. Everything's fine," he assured, earning a watery smile.

"Those words sound familiar," she said softly as he thumbed a tear off her cheek.

When her eyes got heavier, heavier still, Aasar slowly shifted away from her on the bed, went to try and stand but she reached over, clasped his hand tight.

"No, don't go," she pleaded.

"Carrie.."

"Please. Can...can you just stay here? Just...just for a few more seconds."

Seeing the tears shining in her eyes, unable to resist her Aasar nodded, moved back on the bed so they were nose to nose.

"I'll stay. I promise. Until you go to sleep."

Nodding, Carrie reached to stroke his face with her hand not in his, smiled sadly at him. "I love you. I love you so much."

Nodding back Aasar leaned over, brushed his lips on her forehead. "I love you, too."

When she finally drifted off, slowly moving his hand from her grip Aasar stood up, slipped off her shoes before setting them on the floor next to the bed, then tucking the blanket around her.

Crossing the room, after switching off the lamp in the corner he turned, looked at her sleeping form in bed with a soft smile on his face.

"I love you too."