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How it will happen, when

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She doesn't go to the funeral. They have a private service the day before – Wes, her parents, Adam's father who always hated her and embraces her like someone is holding a gun to his spine. It makes sense, really, that after everything, Adam belongs more to both of the security services than he ever did to her.

(Or maybe, part of her thinks abstractly, this is her warped sort of penance. Her apology for messing around in her past and getting their golden boy killed; for not being grateful for what she had. But she doesn't really think that. The funeral seems too trivial to argue over. Let them have it.)

She sends Wes to her parents' for the week and starts to pack up the house.

Ten a.m., the funeral is starting, and she half-expects someone to turn up on her doorstep and implore her to change her mind. Ruth, she thinks, or Zaf, but of course their first loyalty is to Adam and their second to Harry, and Harry would have told them to stay away.

At two, Zaf is on her doorstep, still in his suit and looking about twelve years old in his distress. She lets him in because he has always been kind to her.

"How are you?" he asks, standing awkwardly in the kitchen, trying not to look at Adam's things.

She almost says fine, meaning numb, because she's felt nothing at all since the rage of white-hot anger which made her take the gun from Adam's dead hand and put three calm bullets in Farouk; head, heart, balls. But fine seems an insult when Zaf looks such a wreck. "All right," she settles for, the pause lending an uncertainty to the words which she doesn't feel.

Zaf nods, as if he understands. She hands him a mug of tea.

"How's the team?"

"You're missed," he says carefully.

A lie for a lie. It would pain her, Zaf trying so hard to be fair, if she could feel anything. Ruth crying in the toilets, she guesses. Malcolm silent and furious. Colin going through old surveillance tapes. Jo traumatised for life and already back to being an out-of-work journalist. She doesn't need to guess at Harry's reaction.

"Who's Section Chief now, anyway? You?"

Zaf shrugs, uncomfortable. "No one at the moment. Harry's adamant he won't bring in someone from another section, though." He shakes his head, looking sick at the prospect of filling Adam's shoes. "I don't want it."

"Adam," she says firmly, "would want it to be you."

"Yeah? I think he would want it to be you."

She doesn't reply. Zaf takes the cue she knows he's been waiting for.

"It wasn't your fault, Fiona."

She stirs sugar into her tea, not meeting his gaze. "Harry thinks differently."

"Harry's grieving. Everyone is. Cut yourself some slack; you can't blame yourself."

"I bet you said that to Jo too."

Zaf is surprised for a moment, a tiny flash of hurt before he can look at her steadily. "Are you saying it was Jo's fault?"

"Of course not."

What is she trying to do? She doesn't know. She set out to help him, let him reassure her like he needs to do in order to reassure himself, but somehow she's on the defensive, her hand clenched so tightly around the mug of tea that she feels her fingers burning.

"Come back to work. I'll talk to Harry."

She shakes her head. "I think you underestimate the depth of Harry's grudges."

The hurt look again. She's dealing too lightly with this, she knows, or too harshly. She can't help it.

"I think you underestimate me."

She finds a smile for him, with effort, because he is so earnest and young and this must be so hard. He worshipped Adam. She knows this more than Adam knew it.

"Thanks, Zaf. Really. But I don't want to go back."

He smiles sadly at her, as if he knew it all along. Which, she supposes, he probably did, but owed it to himself or to Adam or to some ingrained sense of decency to try his best regardless.

"What will you do?" he asks.

She bites her lip. The first thing she's let slip all day but he's looking at the tabletop, at the door.

"I don't know yet."


Nearly midnight, and the doorbell goes again. She throws the last of the books into the box, standing to wipe the sweat from her forehead. Something important. Or someone with no regard for common courtesies. But she's left all the lights in the house blazing – stupid. It's obvious she's still awake.

Regardless, she has no intention of answering the door. She pushes her hair back and gets started on the next box. If she keeps working steadily she should be able to finish the bedroom as well as the living room by morning.

The doorbell is persistent. She ignores it until she hears the faint click of the lock being broken, then she pulls the gun from behind the bookcase and moves to the doorway in one smooth step.

Ros Myers is peering in the freezer, the white light washing her features to ice. "Let myself in," she explains, before straightening with a bottle of vodka. Fiona is still pointing the gun. Ros raises an eyebrow, pouring two shots. She slides one across the counter. "Drink."

Fiona stares dumbly. "To what?"

"To his goddamn memory, what do you think? Or have you forgotten already?"

Fiona blazes with fury. It's so sudden and so unexpected after the week of numbness that she nearly cracks, nearly shoots Ros like she did Farouk. She watches Ros throw back the shot. She doesn't move.

Ros grimaces. "You could invest in some better vodka."

"We don't drink it," Fiona says tonelessly. "It's for visitors."

"Lucky visitors."

"I thought you were in Russia."

"I came back. Thought you could do with some direction. Work," she clarifies when Fiona still doesn't move. "You need to work, am I right? And I can't imagine dear old Harry Pearce is in a hurry to have you back at Five."

Fiona sets the gun on the counter. She picks up the shot and tips it calmly down the sink, putting the bottle back in the freezer, rinsing the glasses under the tap. Ros, submitting to the shift in control, moves aside. Her heels click on the tiled floor.


"Germany. Private funds somehow ending up in the pockets of Al-Qaeda. Lord knows who's checking the claims of our new Arabic-speaking recruits, but half of them can't string a bloody sentence together. I suppose they put it on their CVs thinking it might get them along in today's world. Somehow it has." She shrugs, a narrow movement of the shoulders, almost an annoyed flinch. "Not for much longer if I have anything to do with it."

She's giving Fiona time to finish cleaning the glasses, head bowed over the sink. Fiona wonders idly if Ros thinks she's crying. She's not.

"I have to look after Wes."

"Three weeks," Ros says smoothly. "That's all I've been given clearance to offer you and all the budget can spare. Don't pretend there's another way to deal with this, Fiona."

There's a slight softening in her voice which Fiona recognises is as much leeway Ros Myers ever gives herself. Don't pretend this is the way to deal with it, she thinks, but she knows that isn't what Ros is saying. No one can tell her how to deal with it. Ros is only offering her the first step.

Something has changed between them. Fiona looks up, folding her arms, belatedly feeling the chill of the freezer.

"You were right about Harry. There's talk of disciplinary action."

"What, because you forced Adam to be a hero? Give me a break."

Fiona shakes her head. "Because I shot Farouk."

"Bloody hell. The man killed your husband and you're not allowed to take him out?"

"Not," says Fiona grimly, "when Harry would rather do it himself."

"That man has the kind of problems which can't be solved by all the shrinks at Thames House. It's fine. I'll talk to Siviter; he'll be more than happy to meddle in Five's internal affairs."

Fiona nods her thanks. "Three weeks?"

Ros doesn't reply straight away, and when Fiona follows her gaze she realises that the sleeve of her jumper has slipped, exposing the bandages at her wrists. She can't think of a way to explain her ruse to escape from Farouk without it sounding like a lame excuse, and so she says nothing, matching Ros' steady gaze when she looks up. That's it, she thinks. Offer withdrawn on account of mental instability. Thanks for the drink.

"We've lost enough people across the river, Fiona. Three weeks and your old job at the end of it, if you want it."

Fiona hesitates for a moment, then picks up the gun, weighing it in both hands. It's still warm, which surprises her. She half-raises it and points it at nothing.

"I'll take the three weeks," she says. "Then we'll see."