Work Header

Long Time Coming: 3:03 AM

Work Text:

(Night. Late. A dark bedroom. Carrie Mathison wakes from an unsettled sleep and reaches for her phone. Doesn't stop to consider why. It's that kind of night. Carrie dials; Peter Quinn, offstage, answers.)




(He sounds sexy as hell. He sounds like he was expecting the call.)


CARRIE: You awake?


QUINN: I am now.


CARRIE: But you were sleeping?


QUINN: Not really, Carrie. You can't sleep?




QUINN: You okay?


CARRIE: Uh, no. Not so much.


QUINN: What's wrong?


CARRIE: What's wrong ? (laughing in self-derision.) What's not wrong is a better question, Quinn. My dad's dead, my baby doesn't know me, I sent my mother away yesterday, and did I mention that my sister is barely tolerating me? If I'm not fired, I should be. And let's not forget the scores of our colleagues who are dead because I kept a fucking tunnel open.


QUINN: (in spite of himself, amused by the Carrie-litany; there is a smile in his voice.) Look at the bright side, Carrie.


CARRIE: Says the ever-so-happy assassin. What?


QUINN: The lasagna was good.


(Carrie can’t help a soft laugh, is clearly relieved by his light tone.)


QUINN: And we made it out alive.


CARRIE: We did. That's true. And you… you showed up today.


QUINN: (lightly, boldly.)  And I'd make out with you against a pick-up any day.


(Carrie smiles.)


CARRIE: That was good.


QUINN: (chuckling.) How good?


CARRIE: Do I detect anxiousness, Peter Quinn?


(a beat.)


QUINN: We being real here?


CARRIE: (sobering.) Yeah. We are.


QUINN: Try a pit of self-doubt, then.


CARRIE: Really? I don't think of you as insecure.


QUINN: Everyone is insecure, Carrie.


CARRIE: Well, let me ease your nerves, then. That was maybe my best first kiss ever.


QUINN: Good to know. How do I get rid of the qualifier?


CARRIE: Hmmm, let me think. A replay comes to mind.


QUINN: Well, that wouldn't be a first kiss, then.


CARRIE: Hey. You asked. You are welcome to decline on a technicality.


QUINN: Nope. I'm game. The pick-up is twenty yards away.


CARRIE: (chuckling.) Well, anyway, it was high time.


QUINN: Fuck you, Carrie. (his voice softens) You don't get to play the "high time" card.


CARRIE: (indignantly.) I do! I will! The whole fucking embassy and half the Agency thought — no, thinks — we're sleeping together and you know it. How do I get the blame?


QUINN: Carrie, you try to block and tackle a Marine terrorist, pregnancy, and a Taliban nephew and get back to me on that front, okay?


(Carrie is speechless for the first time in memory. Her mouth opens, closes. She doesn't know what to say.)


QUINN: You there?


CARRIE: (softly, finally.) Guilty. Guilty. But just so you know, I wasn't so sure you were still even in the game, Quinn. To be honest. I wouldn't blame you.


QUINN: Sure you were, Carrie. C'mon.


CARRIE: Before Frannie, sure.


(This time it's Quinn who falls silent.)


CARRIE: Quinn?


QUINN: Yeah.


CARRIE: Remember the… banter? And... and the flirting. What happened to that?


QUINN: Honestly?


CARRIE: No, I want you to lie. Of course I want honesty.


QUINN: Frannie had nothing to do with it. Not directly, anyway.


CARRIE: What, then?


QUINN: You started dropping bombs on weddings is what happened to that. To you. It wasn't exactly compatible with sexy banter.


CARRIE: Oh, so, I'm getting blamed? For doing my job? You're accepting no responsibility?


QUINN: None comes to mind. Not for this. Not for us.


CARRIE: Okay, okay, wait. Let's get this straight. One second I'm begging my top-notch flirty best friend to help me in Islamabad, and the next thing I know Colonel Jessup shows up. Colonel Jessup with censorious, paternal stares.


(Quinn lapses into silence again. Their easy back-and-forth is starting to feel very distant.)


CARRIE: Hello?


QUINN: I'm just flattered by the Jack Nicholson comparison.


CARRIE: That's called a deflection.


QUINN: You bet it is.


CARRIE: Yeah, well, my dad loved the movie. And you and Jessup both have anger issues...


QUINN: Well, then, I have to ask: can you handle the truth?


CARRIE: (smiling.) I'm trying, Quinn. (suddenly distracted.) What's that sound?


QUINN: The wind. I've gone outside for air. How do you know they were so censorious, by the way? Maybe I was just trying to picture you with no clothes on.


CARRIE: (nice try.) Uh, no. Your eyes never left mine.


QUINN: Not that you know of.


CARRIE: (smiling.) So, is this before or after you were sleeping with Astrid?


QUINN: (under his breath.) Jesus.


CARRIE: Hey, don't shut down on me now. We're finally getting somewhere.


QUINN: Carrie, some of us choose to keep our private lives private.


CARRIE: So wait, you get to know every detail of my private life and I'm not allowed to ask about yours?


QUINN: Carrie, I only know about your private life because you have a bad habit of making it about your work.


CARRIE: Whatever.


QUINN: I take that as a white flag.


CARRIE: From what I can tell, you almost proposed marriage tonight, Quinn, so you might want to consider unlocking some of that famous reserve.


QUINN: Jesus Christ, Carrie. Do you ever consider a lighter touch?


CARRIE: Hey, I'm not the one who proposed.


QUINN: I didn't propose.


CARRIE: You basically did.


QUINN: Fine. But it's not like I planned it.


CARRIE: You sure about that? It seemed pretty fucking thought out to me. You were doing dishes with Maggie for Christ's sake.


QUINN: Well, she's pretty cute.


CARRIE: (laughing.) Fuck off.


QUINN: Okay, I didn't plan on saying it, then. Blame the whisky. But it was time — I don't regret it. And, for the record, I stopped seeing Astrid when you came to Islamabad.




QUINN: Why the fuck do you think, Carrie?


(The moment feels a little too raw; a thousand responses on the tip of her tongue, and Carrie has nothing to say.)


QUINN: You there?


CARRIE: (softly.) Do you love her? Because it's pretty clear she loves you.


QUINN: (exhaling.) Christ… yeah. I guess. We've known each other forever, but its not… it's not like that.


CARRIE: Like what then?


QUINN: There aren't expectations.


CARRIE: "Expectations." Interesting word.


QUINN: Better than "crazy," right? (Quinn chuckles at the memory; he'll never understand how they got here from that day.) If it makes you feel any better, she was pissed I didn't call you after you left that message. You'd just found out about your dad?


CARRIE: Yeah. I resorted to a mute hug from Max. Wholly unsatisfying.


QUINN: I should have called you back.


CARRIE: Yeah. You should have. I wanted you, Quinn.


QUINN: If I'd known…


CARRIE: (shaking her head.) Yeah, well, I probably should have helped you with Haqqani. Maybe. I don't even fucking know, Quinn. I… is it messed up that the only way we can talk about this shit is over the phone?


QUINN: No. It's very us.


(a beat.)


CARRIE: I've missed us.


QUINN: We've been practically living together for the last two months.


CARRIE: That's not what I mean. You know what I mean.


QUINN: Yeah. I do. Me too.


(Carrie starts to cry; the sound is muffled over the receiver, but Quinn can't take it.)


QUINN: Shit, Carrie, don't cry.


CARRIE: I'm okay. Really. It's just, it's a lot, you know? I'm a little — I don't know — untethered, right now.


QUINN: I know. I'm trying to throw you a rope.


CARRIE: I know, I know. And I get it, I really do. It's just… everything, all at once, you know?


QUINN: I know.


CARRIE: Quinn?


QUINN: Yeah.


CARRIE: I'm sorry.


QUINN: What for?


CARRIE: (honest.) I’m not really sure, I just… I know I should be.


(Quinn starts laughing. It's a little surprising. Not unwelcome.)


CARRIE: What's so funny?


QUINN: You, Carrie… Hey, did you notice earlier that it's a full moon?


CARRIE: No. You were… highly distracting.


QUINN: How distracting?


CARRIE: Oh, for fuck’s sake. Really distracting. You always are.


QUINN: I’m glad I distract you. Carrie, go out on the back deck and look. It’ll make you feel better.


CARRIE: You’ve already made me feel better.


QUINN: Come out anyway. It’ll do you good.


CARRIE: Okay. But keep talking, okay? I’ve missed you.


QUINN: I’m not going anywhere.


CARRIE: Shit. Frannie…


QUINN: Bring the monitor.


(Carrie obeys, flings the covers to the side and stands, turns on her bedside lamp. A cardigan is flung over the back of a chair; Carrie puts it on.)


CARRIE: By the way, what’s with the pick-up?


QUINN: What’s wrong with the pick-up?


(Carrie grabs the baby monitor before she exits her room, closing the door gently behind her.)


CARRIE: (hushed voice.) It’s a fucking pick-up, that’s what. I’ve only ever seen you in Agency cars. When’s the last time you were hauling around two-by-fours for home improvement?


QUINN: What vehicle would you have me in? If you say a Prius, this conversation is over.


CARRIE: (laughing) I dunno. Something black. And a little angry. A Humvee?


QUINN: The pick-up’s a loaner from the garage. My car wouldn’t start when I got back yesterday.




QUINN: It’s a black Jeep Wrangler.


CARRIE: Ding ding ding. See? I’m good.


QUINN: You’re good. What’re you doing?


CARRIE: Getting a bottle of water from the fridge.


(She tucks the bottle of water under her arm, baby-monitor in her free hand, and kicks the refrigerator door shut before heading outside into the night.)


CARRIE: Okay, I am outside. Looking at the… Quinn, that is not a full moon.


QUINN: (suddenly in stereo.) Yeah, I know.


(Carrie looks up, surprised, and sees him. He is leaning against the trunk of the oak tree. They look at each other for long seconds, both amazed yet comfortable with the situation.)


CARRIE: (finally.) Goddamn, Quinn. How many grand romantic gestures can a girl get in one day?


(Quinn casually closes and pockets his phone. Smiling, his eyes don't leave hers.) 


QUINN: If I didn’t think it’d wake up the house, I’d’ve brought a boombox and some Peter Gabriel.


(Charmed, Carrie tilts her head and smiles fondly at him.)


CARRIE: God. I loved that movie. But this is better.


(Quinn extends his hand, waiting.)


QUINN: C’mere.


(Carrie deposits the water, her phone, and the monitor on a nearby chair and descends the steps to the lawn. She places her hand in his. He sinks down to the ground, pulling her with him, and she realizes that there is a blanket on the lawn. He brought a fucking blanket.)


QUINN: So, the moon is setting, but it’s still pretty. Look.


(Carrie obliges, settles back against his chest and looks up at the sky.)


CARRIE: That is not a full moon, Quinn.


QUINN: It’s waning gibbous. Sue me.


CARRIE: I might.


(Quinn slides his arms around her, pulling her close.)


CARRIE: Is this where you point out the constellations and talk about how small it makes you feel in the vast universe?


QUINN: That’s another Cusack movie, Carrie.


(Carrie laughs and feels herself settling, her whole body heavy against him. She lets herself rest. And this was his objective, she knows; she wonders how he knew. She needed him.)


CARRIE: It is really beautiful.


(Long minutes go by. Long, settled, we’re-actually-okay minutes as two soldiers are able to relax and bask in peace for the first time either of them can really remember.)


CARRIE: How’d you get here, anyway?


(Quinn smiles and cocks his head. Leaning against the fence is a red Huffy 12-speed bicycle, clearly much too small for a man Quinn’s size.)


QUINN: I borrowed my neighbor’s bike.


(Carrie laughs at the image, burying her face into his neck because she can. Because he’s given her the space despite the horrifying mess that had decimated her life, because he made her look at the fucking moon on a night when she needed him.)


CARRIE: You’re not gonna kiss me, are you?


QUINN: I have no agenda, Carrie. It just wasn’t a night for you to be alone.


(Everything comes together for Carrie. All of a sudden and in this moment, she realizes and decides. Carrie stands.)


CARRIE: C’mon.


QUINN: Where are we going?


CARRIE: Inside. Guest bedroom.


QUINN: (watchfully, as always.) Carrie…


(She looks up at him. Open, complicated as ever, but resolved. Clear. Absolutely clear on this, if nothing else. Finally.)


CARRIE: Quinn, just fucking come. I’m okay. And I’m in, Quinn. So in.


(She takes his hand; Quinn follows.)