All around them was the darkness, permeated by the lights of a city that they hadn't seen for 20 years. It was a place that they had thought of as home all that time, and yet, staring at that bright sea of white, it had never felt more foreign.
It was beautiful, but it was overwhelming, fitting for everything that they had faced in the last 48 hours. Twenty years of living as completely different people in a country with completely different ideals, and just like that, it was gone. The house back in Virginia would now be empty of those that had called it home. But still filled with the items of a family that was now torn apart by politics, borders and thousands of miles, at least until the FBI tore through the place finding all the evidence that would have convicted them as enemies of the United States.
From behind they were silhouettes of soldiers, standing ramrod straight with their legs slightly spread as if anticipating the next attack. But the sadness and anguish written on their faces, the pain in their eyes and the slightly defeated hunch of their shoulders made it clear they were dealing with the unimaginable.
Back in mother Russia they were no longer Philip and Elizabeth but Mikhail and Nadezhda, two people who were as much strangers to one another as Elizabeth and Philip had been when introduced in Moscow all those years ago.
But their American personas and experiences would never not be a part of who they were. Their children, Paige and Henry, so clearly a part of them both, even if they forever remained back in the US. They may never see them again, but would always be at the forefront of their hearts and minds. America had given them their family.
It was the place that Philip and Elizabeth had come to trust and then love each other. Two people forced together by arrangement in the interests of the Soviet government. They had been strangers who fought and hated one another, but come to rely on the other implicitly, now never quite able to picture a life where the other wasn't there. It was their life in America that had made that happen. Nadezhda may dream that she could have been a factory worker who met Mikhail on a bus in Russia, but quite probably if not for their decision to serve their country and their subsequent identities as the Jennings, they would never have known each other.
Back in Moscow, their future was uncertain and for all the situations they'd found themselves in as spies, this was the least familiar. Their first language felt uncomfortable on their tongues, American accents they'd struggled so hard to perfect, now strongly coming through with every word they spoke. It had been so long since they had spoken anything but English fluently, it was easier to communicate in their adopted language.
Never shying away from telling their children each country had their issues, the stark differences between where they now stood to where they were only days earlier felt like a strike to the face. In their loyalty to the Soviet Union they had had tried to remain true to the communist cause. But for Philip, and even Elizabeth, it become apparent how disillusioned America had actually made them.
But now they were once again caught behind the iron curtain, staring over a sea of lights on a cold dark night, not knowing the turmoil and turbulence that would accompany the downfall of the Soviet Regime in only a few years time. All they knew now, as they stood hand in hand overlooking city lights, is that they'd face whatever came next together, just as they'd done countless times before.