Timeline: This story takes place early in the fourth season, immediately after "Unfinished Business".
Summary and author's notes: A very short "what-if" story, occurring in the aftermath of "Unfinished Business". Thanks to Ceeg for her comments and suggestions.
The slender woman sat alone quietly, straight-shouldered and dignified,
as was her manner. She reflected on the conversation she'd had with her
friend Percival earlier in the day. He was a good friend. He kept her well-informed,
especially if she was unable to figure something out for herself. She liked
his name. Percival. It was a good English name; it had been the name of
one of King Arthur's knights. Lee called him T.P, but that didn't seem
to fit him. T.P. was what one wrote on the grocery list when one needed
. . . well . . .
Percival had called her that morning. They had met for breakfast. He had told her that Thomas Blackthorne was dead and that Lee had killed him. She felt nothing but gratification. Her husband's death had been avenged, and the threat that had hung over her own head for more than thirty years was gone. She had nearly been killed in the accident, too, and her recovery had been long and difficult. To protect little Lee from Blackthorne, she had voluntarily removed herself from his life. It had been a painful decision, but one that she saw as absolutely necessary. She had taken her grandmother's maiden name, and had actually been surprised that Lee, having recently dug deeply into his parents' files, hadn't made the connection. Maybe the files didn't go back that far.
Now she had a decision to make. Should she come out of hiding? Should
she reveal herself to her son? Or should she let him continue living his
life as he knew it? She hadn't told anyone who she really was, except Percival.
Anyone in military intelligence, British or American, who had known her
true identity would have been long-since retired, if not dead. How would
Lee react if she made herself known to him? How would he react when he
realized he already knew her?
She saw Lee almost every day. In fact, she had seen him almost every
day for the past several years, except for when he had apparently been
called out of town on business for his company, IFF. She laughed to herself.
The Agency's cover really did seem to work well, but she knew her son wasn't
a documentary filmmaker. She would have guessed the truth, even if she
hadn't known for sure. She had always hoped Lee would become an intelligence
operative. He had to. It was in his blood.
She leaned forward in her chair, elbows on her desk, as she reflected
on how she had found a way to observe his comings and goings. It had been
amazing to watch him mature, to watch the changes he had gone through over
the past few years. She was aware that he was currently going through another
change; this time, it was one that she thought was very, very good. Her
son was falling in love. She was delighted with the object of his affection,
and she hoped they would marry. Amanda would make a good daughter-in-law.
She wondered if there would be any grandchildren, in addition to Amanda's
two sons. She wondered if she would be a part of their lives. She wondered
if she should be a part of their lives, or if she even wanted to be. It
wasn't so bad, really, the way things were now.
Even though she saw Lee regularly, she rarely spoke to him, other than
to say good morning or good afternoon. She wasn't concerned that her face
would give her away. She'd always had a poker face, and her features were
different now than they had been 30 years ago. Before the accident that
wasn't really an accident. No, it wasn't her face that worried her; it
was her voice. There was no remaining trace of an English accent, but there
was always the danger of releasing a hint of emotion. She was very careful
to control her emotions. Control had been necessary in her field. It still
She looked at her watch and realized he was late. Again. She worried when he was late. In fact, he had really scared her a time or two. She heard the door open and quickly looked up. She felt a familiar sense of relief wash over her, as she saw him standing there. She couldn't help but think of his father as he strode across the room to her desk. She listened attentively as he correctly recited the day's password. He sounded so much like Matthew. She smiled at him as she reached across her desk to hand him his badge, letting her fingers brush against his. It was the only contact she would allow herself. She stared after him as he mounted the stairs to his office. Maybe someday she'd tell him. Or maybe she'd provide some clues and let him figure it out for himself. But not today, she thought. Not today . . .