Just because Susan was a field agent didn't mean that everything changed immediately, of course. Patrick in tech came around enough to stop giving her butt or fungus related weapons. The covers and the wigs that went with them got less demoralizing, maybe because they'd learned that Susan would just change them in the field anyway. But with Karen Walker dead, Susan was one of three female agents in the field and she didn't get her due respect from the men. Even Ford was still an ass, and Susan had slept with him.
(Well, more like painstakingly coached him through giving a woman an orgasm, which he apparently had not only never done but never even thought of, but six of one, etc.)
It wasn't until she got back to Washington after the Prague mission that she found out why. Most of the male field agents attributed her success with the Rayna Boyanov mission to Fine, or Ford, or even Aldo, but not to her, because the only women they respected were super hard-asses like Elaine. Susan's buddy Katherine from the basement, who'd been Karen's analyst, said they weren't even cool to Karen, who'd had more successful missions than any of guys. All the women thought that was why Karen had turned double agent; as far as they could tell from the documents found on Rayna, she'd only betrayed male agents.
"I got here too late for Karen," Elaine said to Susan at one point, "but I'll be damned if they'll get to you."
Given the situation, Susan wondered if bringing a cake to the basement as soon as she got back from Prague had been a tactical error, at least in terms of getting respect from the male agents. She took Nancy out to dinner, one of those cute little places in Alexandria, and said, "Maybe I should stop baking."
"No," Nancy said flatly, "and I'm not just saying that because that Czech honey cake made love to my tongue like a drunken rapper."
"How is Curtis, by the way?" Susan asked.
"Oh god, Susan, I may have made quite the error there. He texts me constantly and keeps tagging me on Instagram." She hands Susan her phone.
Susan glances down, and— "Oh my god! Warn a person, would you?"
"Sorry, I've got used to the dick pics," Nancy replies with a shrug.
"It's so—is he using a zoom? Can a filter do that? Did you enhance it or something?"
"I did teach him how to color balance for fluorescent lights in hotel bathrooms, but other than that ..."
Susan cocks her head. "So what's the problem? Is he another Ford?"
"No, Curtis does know what to do with it, but he's never in town and he's so needy. I have a career; I'm not Linda McCartney. I can't just drop everything and go on tour with him! I visited him on the set of his television show and I've never been so bored. Once you've watched professionals in the field, watching pretty people play pretend really isn't that exciting."
"If you're going to break up with him, just be careful."
"Why?" Nancy asked. Her eyes widened. "Ooh, maybe he'll write one of those diss tracks about me! I'll be the mysterious girlfriend and all the rap blogs will be searching for me in vain."
"There are pictures of you rushing him on that stage in Rome all over the internet."
"I know! They call me the mystery lady on Rap Genius."
"Anyway, what I meant was, you don't want him leaving you weird messages all over the place begging you to come back."
"You mean, like Aldo has been sending to you? To be fair, you haven't actually told him to leave you alone."
"He's funny," Susan said, smiling a little and shrugging. "And I don't really have time for anything more."
Nancy put one hand on Susan's. "You deserve better."
She looked so sincere that Susan couldn't help but broaden her smile, turn her hand around to clasp Nancy's. "I know. And I'm holding out for it, I promise. In the meantime, I figure I can have fun. Just like you."
"That's right!" Nancy said. "And you'd better bake another cake for me when you get back from Maine."
"How do you feel about blueberries?" Susan asked.
Susan's fellow agent Timothy Cress tried to take credit for Russian sub operation in Maine, which was bullshit, but Elaine wouldn't let him. Ford would tell anyone who'd listen to him that it couldn't have been Cress because he was too much of a "vagina" to spend that much time in cold water. Susan thought that was sort of sweet of him.
But she barely had time for cake in the basement (lemon-blueberry, as promised) and dinner with Nancy before she had to make the drive to the penitentiary in West Virginia to visit an old friend.
The meeting room was cold and gray, just two metal chairs and a table, all bolted to the floor. Susan was glad she'd splurged on something colorful, a fitted plum top and violet pants. She'd even worn different clothes in the car so she wouldn't arrive wrinkled, and felt chic and professional and put-together. Certainly the warden and guards gave her all the respect that was due a successful agent.
The door opposite her opened and two guards came in with their prisoner, manacled at the wrists and ankles, thick chain around the waist of her orange jumpsuit.
Susan didn't bother to stand up. "Well, look who the guards dragged in."
"What are you wearing?" Rayna asked, upper lip curled. "You look like an overripe grape."
So much for that. "Sit down," Susan said, and the guards slumped Rayna into the other chair, none too gently. Rayna's hair was cut very short, and not in a cute pixie Audrey Hepburn style, either. Of course she was still a stunner.
"I see someone shaved your head so I won't have to do it," Susan said.
Rayna looked down and whispered.
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch that," Susan said.
"Lice, all right?" Rayna said. "It was already in the pillow. This place is disgusting."
"Yeah, well, you should have thought about that before you went around killing people and trying to sell a nuclear fucking bomb."
"Every time they make me work in the kitchen they're cooking cabbage. I suppose that's your doing."
Susan tried not to smile. "I'm not sad about it. But if you cooperate with me I might be able to do something for you."
Rayna sat back. "Such as what? Moving me to another prison? Minimum security?"
"Probably not," Susan said, shrugging. "But I might be able to get you out of the supermax, provided you don't make any escape attempts."
"Why would I?" she asked. "I could tunnel out of here but then I'd still be in the middle of fucking West Virginia!"
"Okay, okay, simmer down or I'll have Jimmy Jack and LeRoy take you right back to your cell. You got me?"
She said nothing more, and Susan waited for her breathing to even out.
"Now, are you going to help me or just sit there being useless?"
Rayna huffed, but she sat up straighter."Fine, what is it?"
Susan opened her folder and spread out the documents and photographs. "Someone's been buying weapons in Myanmar and smuggling them into China, we think through Nepal. Sophisticated operation, taking advantage of the new government reducing the size of their army and China—well, who knows what China's going to do with them, but it won't be good. We know these people are involved but it's unclear who the ringleader is. But the way they're operating, frankly, it sounds like something your father would have done."
"Yes, it does," Rayna said quietly, concentrating on the file.
"Recognize anyone?" Susan asked, trying to think of her next move because she figured Rayna would be a tough nut to crack. She was a lot of things but a snitch hadn't been one of them.
But Rayna showed no hesitation. "This man," she said. "Adnan. He was my father's right hand. Kept an eye on me while I was studying in England and for some reason thought that would endear him to me. He was unhappy enough when he found out that I was taking over my father's business instead of him, but was furious when he realized I had no intention of telling him where the bomb was. Typical Albanian trash."
"Okay, I'm pretty sure that's racist," Susan said.
"My next move as soon as I sold the bomb would have been to get rid of him." She looked up at Susan, steely-eyed.
"If you're fucking with me, you're getting solitary," Susan said.
"I'm not," she said. "You get Adnan and you'll be doing me a favor. Besides, it would really piss me off if the spy who caught me couldn't catch that idiot."
"Thanks?" Susan said, because she really wasn't sure how to feel about that one. "Anything else you want if this works out?"
"No more cabbages," Rayna said, scrunching up her nose. "And some good cigarettes. These American ones are unacceptable."
Rayna shrugged, and somehow the elegance of that gesture made the orange jumpsuit, the chains and the bad haircut irrelevant. "I never really had a female friend until I met you—or should I say, 'Amber.' But now I find that I quite enjoy the company of women. I might even prefer it, especially in bed. You should try it some time. You might have more luck with it."
"Is that supposed to be an insult?" Susan asked. "Because that would be homophobic."
"No, actually. Do what you like, but I hope you've at least stopped pining after Fine. He's pretty and charming, but he isn't that good in bed and ugh, the allergies. He sounded downright adenoidal in the mornings."
Susan couldn't help but giggle. "He does get stuffy, and he didn't have his neti pot with him, so …"
"And the manscaping was obsessive."
"I bet," Susan said. "He's very furry."
Rayna smiled at her, and Susan remembered why she'd liked her in spite of everything.
Then one of the guards cleared his throat, and the spell was broken.
"Well, I should let you get back to being the Strawberry of Cell Block C," Susan said, standing up and gesturing the guards over.
"They say that in fear now," Rayna said with a sniff.
"Ruling this place with an iron fist?" Susan asked, though she knew the answer.
"Someone had to. These women were a mess when I arrived. Do you know how many of them are here because they did what some man told them to do? At least I got here on my own."
"Yeah, murder, torture, arms smuggling, kidnapping, can't take that away from you!"
Rayna, near the door now, turned to look at Susan. "Fuck you, Susan Cooper," she said.
"Fuck you too, Rayna," Susan replied.
Agent Matthew Wright came with Susan to Montreal and acted like she was working for him even though Elaine had made it clear they were equals. He couldn't even speak French—he kept saying it was "just Spanish with a different accent" and then getting dirty looks from the locals.
When they checked in with Amanda Burke at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, at least there was a familiar face across the table. "Hello, Susan," he said, in a crisp English accent.
"Hello, Albert," she replied, smiling, and pleased with herself for remembering not to call him "Aldo."
"Ah, you know each other," said Amanda, who actually was in charge of the operation. "Good, good. The CIA and MI6 don't always get along, or so I understand."
"We get along very well," Albert said, and his broad smile didn't have even a hint of inappropriateness in it. It was like being with an entirely new person.
Wright, scowling, stuck out his hand. "Matthew Wright, CIA."
Albert took it graciously. "Good to know Susan has some junior agents working with her," he said.
"Junior?" Wright asked, indignant.
Amanda raised her eyebrows. "Let's get started, shall we? Thanks to intelligence from both of your agencies, we've put together that an extreme right-wing group from Manitoba has been raising money from certain wealthier members of the BNP and sharing knowledge with various white supremacist elements in the States. Now they're planning a hit on Prime Minister Trudeau while he's back home in Montreal for the Christmas holiday, and blame it on Quebecois separatists. They hope this will cause enough panic to put the Conservatives back in power. We'll need a tactical plan that protects the PM but doesn't show our hand."
"Tactics are Susan's specialty," Albert said, turning to her and smiling. "I'm sure she'll have a brilliant plan."
Susan could swear she heard Wright's teeth grinding.
In the end Wright mostly worked with Amanda and Susan with Albert. It was … actually quite enjoyable. Albert was everything good about Aldo, with the bonus of being respectful of her personal space. He wasn't quite as funny in person as all those emails he'd been sending, but that was just fine. Contrary to most movies, it wasn't actually a requirement of a good spy to be quick with the zingers. And it was Albert who took her out to dinner that final night in Montreal.
At least she made it through the appetizer before surrendering to her curiosity. "So I have to ask, what's with—"
"Aldo?" he replied, smiling ruefully. "Aldo can do things that Albert wouldn't dare. Sometimes it's easier, especially in the field. And when I saw you, I just—I wanted to dare."
"You dared plenty this week," Susan pointed out.
He hummed. "But now …"
Their entrees came then, and Susan waited for the servers to leave the table. "I'll tell you one thing," she said. "I sure as hell would never have let Aldo anywhere near my hotel room, but Albert? That's another story."
"I see," he said. "I'm not flying out until the morning."
"Neither am I," Susan said, smiling. "And you know, covers aside, I've been working on this whole being yourself thing for the past year or so and I have to say, there's actually something to it. Maybe you should try it."
Albert cocked his head. "Maybe I should," he replied.
Susan had a break after Montreal and mostly spent it perfecting her maple cake and learning how to make doughnuts. (Canada had been a big inspiration on her baking.) She was exchanging emails with Albert instead of Aldo, which was its own kind of fun, and it was good to have another friend in the field.
In fact, it was exactly the casual, no-strings good time that she'd told Nancy she wanted, and she was sure that as with Ford, she and Albert's working relationship wouldn't change. And it did scratch the itch, keep her from pining after what she couldn't have. With work, and her pals in the basement, and best friends like Nancy, she wasn't even lonely. She could dig in and wait until the real thing presented itself.
Besides, now she had plenty of time to spend with Nancy, who'd been the voice in her ear on all of her missions. Except, it seemed that Nancy didn't have plenty of time to spend with her—something about additional training that Nancy kept promising to tell Susan all about "later."
So Susan kept baking, and bringing her cakes not only to the basement but also to the admins up on the management floors (crucial to have on your side; they knew all the gossip) and sometimes even to fellow agents who were in the office between missions. This went on for two weeks before Elaine called Susan into her office.
"Cooper, remind me to put you undercover at a bakery. You have a real talent."
"Thank you, ma'am," Susan replied.
Elaine glanced up at her sharply. "And I see you've cooled it with the self-deprecation, good. You'll never get the respect of your fellow agents with that crap."
"Yes, ma'am. I'm learning that."
"But you have to stop with the stress baking. I spent a lot of money on these clothes and I'd like to continue to fit in them."
Susan nodded. "Understood."
"Now," Elaine said, putting a file in the middle of her desk, "we're giving you a protege. Patricia Stephens, top in her class at the academy, you'll be meeting her tomorrow."
"Really? I'm a mentor now?" She took the offered folder. "I'm very honored by your trust in me, ma'am."
"I think you're ready. We're keeping you in town for another couple of weeks so you can help her complete her training in the basement, get used to having her in your ear when you're out in the field."
"Oh, sure, of course," Susan said, but she felt as if someone had punched her in the stomach. She'd forgotten that just as with her and Fine, ten years ago, Patricia would now be her own analyst. "What about Nancy?"
Elaine's phone rang and she held up her hand. "Yes? Send her in." She hung up and turned to Susan. "I'll let her tell you."
The door opened, and Nancy came in, all smiles. She sat down next to Susan.
"I see you've passed all your tests with flying colors," Elaine said, looking through another file on her computer. "Easiest certification they've done in years."
"Yes, ma'am," Nancy said, and she was twitching with excitement.
"That training you were doing," Susan said. "What was it for?"
Nancy sat up straight. "I am now a sniper! I'm going to be sent out into the field as backup!"
"Wow," Susan said, eyes widening. "That's fantastic!"
"And I know that I've had a tendency to panic, and to chatter, and really, thank you so much for putting up with that—"
"Oh, Nancy, it was nothing!" she said, waving her hand.
"But oddly, when I have a rifle in my hand and a target in my sights, the entire rest of the world falls away and I'm nothing but focus."
Susan remembered Nancy's shooting DeLuca from one helicopter into another, and smiled. "I can absolutely believe that."
"Thanks," Nancy said. "I have to go take care of some things, but I thought we might have a little party for me. You'll make me a cake, won't you?"
Susan turned to Elaine.
"Fine," Elaine said, "but it's the last one until you've been back out in the field."
"Yes, ma'am," Susan replied.
As Nancy left, Susan smiled at her, but she felt strange. 75% of her felt excited for Nancy, and 20% flattered that she was going to be a mentor now. But there was a nagging 5% that was completely panicked about being in the field without Nancy in her ear. Was this what Fine had felt? Was she really no better than him, or all the other agents who had "sniped" women agents to keep them out of the field and in the basement?
She cleared her throat. "Ms. Crocker, I—"
"I know what you're thinking," Elaine interrupted. "And no, you're nothing like them."
"Did you, even for one minute, contemplate convincing Nancy to stay in the basement?"
"Of course not, but—"
"Then stop worrying about it and focus on making Patricia as indispensable to you as Nancy is now." She turned back to her papers. "You have one last cake to bake, so make it a good one."
"I will," Susan said.
Susan did end up making another cake after that, to celebrate the move of the analysts out of the basement to the second floor. Now that they'd developed rodent, insect and bat repellent storage, they were moving the archives downstairs and the people upstairs. There still weren't any windows—the room was entirely interior—but at least there was no rat poop on the cake. Of course they were still going to call it the basement, because agents who juggled several identities and kept all sorts of top secret information and tactics in their head couldn't be bothered to come up with a new name for the analysts' bullpen.
Patricia—Trish, she liked to be called—was fitting in well with the other agents in the basement, who'd all taken her under their wings. Susan's friend John in particular spent time with Trish, saying that it was important to "help a sister out and get some more color around here." Susan had grown to really like Trish during their probationary period; she certainly chattered less than Nancy did. But it had been over a month and Susan was itching to get back out into the field.
As soon as Susan came into the new office with her cake—blackout cake, in honor of the lack of windows—Sharon came right up to her.
"Hey, are you still in touch with that Aldo guy?" she asked.
"Ford's undercover in the Napoli Mafia and he hasn't checked in yet today. I don't want to contact the Italians unless I have to."
"Sure, let me call," Susan said, because ever since the whole going-rogue incident in Paris, Sharon (and Elaine) kept Ford on a short leash. And sure enough, as she dialed, Elaine was walking toward her.
"Put him on speaker," she said.
"Ciao, bella," came the voice, in full Aldo mode.
"Everyone can hear you so keep it clean, please," Susan said.
"Ah, bene, bene, as I was just going to contact you. We've heard chatter that the Camorra had uncovered an American agent. One of yours?"
Susan cursed under her breath. "You know him."
"Your angry bald friend, sì?"
"Susan will be on the first flight and will contact you directly," Elaine said, and Susan nodded.
"I am looking forward," Aldo said, and hung up.
"We'll get you your cover in a couple of hours," Elaine said. "Stephens?"
Trish stood up. "Yes, ma'am?"
"Take care of Cooper. She's one of our best agents."
Susan interjected, "Oh, Ms. Crocker, I'm sure I'll be just fine."
"You can count on me," Trish said, and saluted Elaine.
"No one does that," Elaine said, and left the room.
Susan turned to Nancy. "Dinner before I go?" she asked.
"Ooh, yes please," Nancy replied. "Probably don't want Italian, do you?"
"No," Susan replied, smiling.
The whole thing was a trap. It wasn't even the Camorra; they'd been paid to grab Ford as bait.
"I thought you were dead!" Susan said.
DeLuca smiled at her. "You know what they say in the comics: no body, no death. Not that swimming in a cold lake after being beat up and shot twice is my favorite way to spend an afternoon, but your agents were so busy looking for the nuke that they didn't bother to try to find me. Convenient."
"And now, what? What do you want?"
"Revenge, I suppose," he said, shrugging. "You cost me a lot of money and some serious time in the hospital eating jello. And let me tell you, Hungarian jello is truly terrible."
"You think we can't take you out, right here, right now?" Susan asked.
"Oh, with that shitty sniper who 'got' me the last time?" DeLuca replied, using his fingers for air quotes. "I don't think so."
"Really? Because that sniper has just gotten a lot more training and oh, yeah, that red dot on your chest? That would be her laser sight."
He looked down at his chest, alarmed, then back up at Susan.
"So here's how this is going to work. We can take you in, give you some good old-fashioned American-style justice. I'm sure you can afford the best representation available, though I'll make sure you're convicted. You can give Rayna a call in the penitentiary if you want to know how good I am at that. Or."
"Or?" he asked.
"Or you can make a move, and we'll gun you down right here in this warehouse."
He raised his eyebrows. "Given my experience," he said, "I think I'll take my chances with the sniper."
Even as DeLuca reached for his gun, Susan felt nothing but calm. She had rock-solid backup in the rafters, after all.
And indeed, no sooner did he point his gun at Susan than Nancy shot him between the eyes, and he went down.
"He's not coming back from that one," Nancy said.
Trish, still in Susan's ear, said, "The Italians have secured the perimeter, and I don't see anyone coming toward you. You only have to worry about the guys in the room with you."
"After Nancy's little show," Susan said, "I don't think we're going to have any problems with them." Albert and Ford had moved quickly to get them all on their knees, hands on their heads, and were quickly disarming them. Susan made sure DeLuca didn't have any other surprises for them, but he'd only had a couple of weapons on him. "Nancy, we're all set. You can come down from the rafters now. Great job."
"Thanks! That was amazing!" Nancy replied, just as cheerfully proud of herself as she had been after the first time she'd shot DeLuca. She'd definitely found her calling.
Ford turned to Susan. "Thanks for coming," he said.
"Sharon's making you say that, isn't she?" Susan asked, smiling.
"No!" Ford protested. "I can express gratitude on my own!"
"She totally made him say it," Trish said.
"You're welcome, Ford," she said. "But you should thank Alb-Aldo, here, too."
"Albert is fine," he said, in his native English accent, "and no thanks are necessary."
"I think Italy's over for me for a while anyway," Ford said, and walked away.
"Italy's probably better off, to be honest," Susan said, and Albert laughed.
"Good working with you again, Susan."
"Yeah, we make a good team," she said. "Though I admit it was strange being around Aldo without the constant come-ons."
Albert cocked his head. "I've been making some adjustments to the Aldo persona, it's true. Isabella thought he was becoming a bit stereotypical."
Susan raised her eyebrows. "Isabella?"
"She's a fellow agent at MI6," he said, smiling. "I didn't email you because we've only been out a few times, but …"
"You like her?" she asked. "Good for you, Albert."
He nodded. "I'm flying back to London tonight." He looked over to where Nancy was standing with some of Albert's other agents. "But I'm leaving you in very good hands, I think."
Susan turned and waved to her friend, who smiled back. "Yeah, I'll be fine," she replied, but gave him a double-cheek kiss for old times.
As she walked over to Nancy, she said, "Okay, Trish, I'm going off line. Great work, really fantastic. Couldn't have done it without you."
"Thanks!" Trish said. "I'm learning so much!"
"Good. You'll need to study up if we're going to get you out in the field someday."
"You mean that?" she asked, and from her question Susan could tell that she'd heard about "sniping" from the other analysts in the basement.
"That's my goal. Isn't it yours?"
"Absolutely!" Trish replied. "Talk to you when you get back. Everyone's looking forward to your cake!"
"Yeah? I'm thinking limoncello, polenta, olive oil? Something a little lighter?"
Then she heard Elaine's voice, and of course she'd been watching over Trish's shoulder. "I think we'll all appreciate that, Cooper."
"Yes, ma'am," Susan said. "See you soon!" She removed her earpiece.
"Can you believe it?" Nancy said. "And I did it right this time!"
"None of us knew that DeLuca was basically a cockroach," Susan said. "But of course I can believe it. I knew you could do it. You've always been brilliant, just as you are."
"You really think so?" Nancy whispered.
Nancy said, "I guess Albert's out of the picture?"
"It was never serious. He has something else going on." Susan paused. "Curtis?"
"Dumped him just before I went into sniper training," Nancy said.
"You never mentioned that," Susan pointed out.
"Yeah, I'm not sure why."
But Susan knew. Susan knew everything now. "How about we get some dinner and then see what happens?"
"I'd like that," Nancy said, with a shy little smile Susan hadn't seen before, and it made something in her tingle.
"Let's go," she said, and took Nancy's hand.
Nancy and Susan were able to hitch a ride on a small private jet the agency needed to get back to the States. It was making a few stops along the way, but the comfort was worth the longer flight.
Also, Susan wasn't quite ready to give up her private time with Nancy.
"Oh my god, I'm so tired," Nancy said, yawning.
Susan smirked. "Well, we didn't exactly get much sleep last night."
"No we did not," Nancy said, giggling. "Do you mind if I sleep on the flight? These seats are so plush, it's like we're on a couch or something."
"I don't mind at all," she said, because she couldn't think of anything nicer than spending the flight with Nancy tucked up next to her.
Once they were airborne Nancy got out her sleep mask. "Good night kiss?" she asked coyly.
"Absolutely," Susan said, though the one kiss led to six or seven before she relented and let Nancy sleep.
Susan meant to go through some files, but they didn't hold her attention. Instead she caught up on the Great British Bake Off season she'd just missed and wondered if she might try pastry next.
They landed in Paris, and sat out on the tarmac for nearly an hour before the front door of the plane opened and Bradley Fine walked in, as fresh and perfect as ever.
"Hey, Coop," he said, grinning, and she realized she hadn't seen him since Hungary, since her very first mission in the field. "Good to see you. I've been hearing all about your adventures."
"Yeah, me too. I mean, yours of course," she babbled, laughing nervously. She had six missions under her belt and Bradley Fine could still reduce her to an idiot. Great. "That mission in the Ukraine was pretty smooth."
"Thanks for connecting me with Verka Serduchka. She speaks very highly of you."
Susan shrugged and waved her hand. "Keep a bomb from going off at someone's open-air concert in Paris and you make a friend for life, apparently!"
"And you just saved Rick Ford from himself. Again."
"That isn't exactly what happened—"
"Coop, can I give you a tip? One pro to another? Always take the credit. Half this job is reputation. That's how you get people to work with you."
"I'd rather rely on what I've actually done," Susan replied.
Fine shrugged. "Fair enough. So this is new?" he asked, waving his finger at Susan and Nancy.
"Maybe. Or maybe it's really old."
He nodded. "Well good luck to you. And I mean that. Agency relationships can be tough, but you deserve it."
Susan scowled slightly, surprised. "Thanks, Fine. So do you."
"Well, we'll see." He sighed. "I think she has the right idea. I'm going to catch some sleep in the back. Talk to you later?"
"Sure. Maybe dinner while we're both in DC?"
"Looking forward to it," Fine said, and made his way to the back of the plane.
A few minutes later, Nancy stirred in her sleep. "Anything happen? Are we good?"
"We're good," Susan said, kissing her again. Then she turned off the monitor and followed Nancy into sleep.