Actions

Work Header

Angel Down

Chapter Text

Jane Kano prided herself in being able to assess a situation in five seconds flat. Sometimes quicker. Highly trained, she could read a room in an instant and fire off three rounds with her eyes closed, knowing they would hit their targets before anyone even noticed she was there.

But reading people she could struggle with.

Other than a few solo fact-finding missions Bosley had sent them on recently, Jane had spent the best part of the past four months in Sabina’s company while Elena finished her training. They had worked well together, much to Jane’s surprise, and had somehow settled into a new routine within the organisation. Jane had always been independent. She thrived on knowing every detail of every mission and could find herself rifling through backdated files saved within The Townsend Agency’s archive just to find that missing bit of information that could help, but Sabina was somehow showing her that control wasn’t always required.

They’d come a long way together since Jane had pushed Sabina off a roof in Rio but for the first time in her life, Jane felt that she had a friend she would trust with her life.

Even if Sabina was still the single most annoying person she had ever met.

It was a crisp winter evening and Jane had finally fallen into one of the soft armchairs in the living area of The Townsend Agency’s Los Angeles outpost having finished a sparring session (Saint shouting instructions to her from across the room) when Sabina came bounding in with a wide grin on her face.

“We’re going to London, dude!”

Sabina threw her hands in the air as she wiggled her hips in front of Jane and shook her messy hair from her face. Jane raised an eyebrow and waited for Sabina to calm down.

“Oh come on, it’s your place! Hundreds of well spoken Brits,” Sabina put on her best English accent and winked. “We leave in the morning.”

“I know.”

Jane had checked her emails as she left the gym and found the simple instructions from Boz:

‘London. 7:15am. Tomorrow.’

“You gonna sound a little more excited about it?” Sabina asked but Jane’s response was interrupted.

“We’re going to London!” Elena came skidding into the room with her phone in her hand. “I’m guessing you two already know, don’t you.”

They nodded in unison.

Jane knew that Sabina had been itching to move again after spending the past few months in Los Angeles. They’d needed time to rest after Istanbul, despite their protests, but had quickly picked up the new mission when neither Jane nor Sabina could take ‘relaxing’ any longer. Elena had practically sailed through her training and had joined them at HQ a little under a week ago, where all three of them now seemed to spend the majority of their time. Not that Jane minded very much. She was getting used to not working alone.

“I’ve never been to London before, what’s it like?” Elena asked.

“Cold,” Jane shrugged. “Sabina, please take some warm clothes with you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She frowned, looking down at her bare legs and oversized shirt. “This is fine. Anyway I’ve been before, I know what London’s like.”

Jane rolled her eyes and pulled out her phone to check whether Bosley had sent them any other information before their flight.

“Hang on, doesn’t London have their own Angels?” Elena questioned as she paused in her excitement.

“They do,” Jane nodded slowly. “But it looks like our guy has been travelling. Boz wants us to track him and be the ones to pick him up.”

“Which guy? Don’t tell me Australian Jonny has gone bad again,” Sabina asked, a hopeful tone to her voice.

“No,” Jane answered bluntly. “You remember Fredrick Gough?”

“Oh the one with the-“

Jane cut Sabina off before she could finish her sentence, her finger wiggling in the air and a playful grin on her face.

“Again, no,” Jane raised an eyebrow. “Our drug dealer friend who we’ve been tracking for over three months. He’s literally been our target since we got back from Istanbul.”

Jane and Sabina had been given the new mission after complaining to Boz that they were bored of sitting around while Elena had all the fun, and despite the littering of bruises that still painted their skin she had agreed to let them start a new mission.

Fredrick Gough owned a string of nightclubs throughout Los Angeles and was known by all authorities as a dangerous individual with connections to even more dangerous groups across the world. He had a list of offences long enough to fill a whole filing cabinet and yet he seemed to have evaded custody for the past twenty years.

There had recently been reports of Gough importing and dealing a new drug within some of his clubs that the Agency had named ‘FG32’ but was known on the street as ‘orbits’. Quick acting and tasteless, the drug came in both liquid and pill form and despite giving the users the high they were looking for it quickly rendered them unable to see, walk or think properly while the drug was in their system. The Agency, as well as the police force, were used to drug use in the clubs but when more and more people started dying from it’s use the Townsend Agency were called to help.

Gough had no issues with who died as long as they did so outside of his club and not on the dance floor. The drugs seemed to be a means to an end for him, giving him the connections he needed in various countries around the world, to people who could offer him more than just new customers. Both Jane and Sabina had already managed to uncover evidence of money laundering and the trade of illegal firearms across different countries, including London. Gough was certainly not the only individual involved but at this stage he seemed to be the one pulling the strings.

“Gough,” Sabina nodded and turned away from Jane and Elena. “Yep, I remember him.”

Jane knew Sabina hadn’t found it easy the last time she had come face to face with Gough. It had been weeks after they started the mission and they had both been assigned to surveillance only. They had picked up Gough pretty quickly and easily found which club he spent most of his evenings. After three nights of visiting the club, using various disguises, they had worked out enough to move the mission forward.

It had been Sabina’s job to lure Gough in. To act as one of the young girls that hung around desperate for attention and an escape from reality. And so she had ended up in one of LA’s busiest nightclubs, in one of her skimpiest outfits, with the sole intention of getting Gough on his own.

The decoy. She played it so well. Sabina could be charming when she wanted to, her beauty and smarts catching the attention of any man she wished. Jane smirked at the thought.

Jane on the other hand had been tasked with finding Gough’s office and searching his safe for anything that could be deemed useful. She couldn’t help her mind drifting back to Rio as she crept up the back staircase of the club, knowing Sabina was on the other side of the building keeping the target distracted.

Some things never changed.

Jane had heard Gough over the comms as she had been picking the lock to his office and felt a shudder across her skin knowing how close he must be to the wings on the back of Sabina’s neck.

“It’s loud down here, why don’t we go somewhere more private?”

She could almost imagine Sabina sitting on his knee, his hand on her back, breathing into her neck with his stale breath. Jane shook her head and focused, forcing herself back to the task at hand.

“Sure,” Sabina answered brightly but Jane could sense the nervousness in her voice.

She worked as quickly as she could and was in the office within minutes, finding the safe soon after. Getting into that proved more tricky.

“You want to have some fun?” Gough’s voice caught Jane off guard again and she blinked hard to push the images of him from her mind. The sooner she could get this done, the sooner Sabina could leave.

Gough was in his late fifties, heavy built and was as greasy as they came. Jane knew where his hands were likely to be roaming and felt sick at the thought.

“Always,” Sabina had responded, a raspiness to her voice she saved for these kinds of men only.

“I have something for you to try. I can promise you the best night of your life,” Gough spoke deeply, an accent Jane couldn’t quite place.

“Oh no, I-“ Sabina had started and Jane could sense the change in her voice. She was worried. Jane knew enough about Sabina’s past to understand why she was anxious at being handed an unknown drug from someone like Gough. Anyone would be, but Sabina had experience which Jane knew she was desperate to forget.

She had read some of Sabina’s file stored on the Agency’s database not long after they had first met; Jane always made it her priority to understand who she was working with. Of course, nothing had prepared her for the real thing, and she quickly realised that the Sabina on paper was completely different to the woman who had become one of her closest friends. And she had since learnt that Sabina would let her know of her past in her own time.

“Come on little bird, you’re not going to turn me down are you. You’ll hurt my feelings.”

Jane wanted nothing more than to smack Gough in his fat mouth and watch him recoil in pain.

“Here, let me help you relax a little.”

“No,” Sabina’s voice had changed again. Full fight mode. She wouldn’t be able to keep him distracted much longer.

“Then why are you here, if not to have some fun?”

“Get off me!” It was a growl and Jane knew it was only a matter of seconds before Sabina hit out.

“Sabina?” She spoke as clearly as she could hoping she would hear her. “I only need a few more minutes, I’m nearly in.”

Jane’s hands moved expertly across the safe; an old fashioned heavy steel casing, the kind she used to break into for fun when at MI6.

“Ah, you’ve brought friends,” Sabina laughed slightly and Jane knew that the words were for her benefit. She’d need backup once Jane had finished in the office. “Now I’m going to have some fun.”

The safe clicked open and Jane had been as quick as she could, grabbing the evidence she needed and throwing a full rucksack over her shoulders. She heard Sabina throw her first punch and the grunt of pain as she received one in return.

“When are you guys going to learn that no means no?” Sabina almost laughed, pushing against another of Gough’s bodyguards, and Jane took off at a run.

“Sabina, where are you?”

“I don’t know!” Sabina had responded between punches. There was a crash and a small groan that Jane knew was from her team mate. “But if you could maybe come and help, that would be great.”

“Boz?”

“I nearly have her,” Bosley’s voice sounded over the comms from the get-away car parked just outside the nightclub. “There you are. Third floor, second door on the right.”

“On my way,” Jane took off at a run, thankful for the tracking devices Saint had sewn into their clothing (no matter how small it was). “Sabina, how many?”

“Four!”

Jane found the room just as Sabina took a punch to the face, falling hard on top of a table as she tried to steady herself. She looked up determinedly, spitting out a mouthful of blood and launching herself at the man who had knocked her down.

Gough had disappeared in the chaos and Jane could see the other three men already slumped against the wall and under a heavy wooden desk. Jane knew Sabina wouldn’t stop fighting until there was no one left, but the longer they stayed there the chances of more company arriving only increased. Jane grabbed the only guy still standing by the neck and watched him crumple to the ground before she took Sabina’s wrist and pulled her from the room, dragging her towards the exit.

She stumbled in her heels and Jane knew from the dazed look on her features that she’d taken more than a few punches.

“You need to teach me that sleepy neck thing,” she shouted from behind her as they ran.

“Once we’re out of here,” Jane turned quickly and they were back outside in the crisp evening air. The car was waiting for them at the door and Jane pushed Sabina inside before she toppled over completely.

“That was fun,” Sabina panted as she lay across the back seat, Jane sitting on her feet. “Did you see where Gough got to?”

“Nope,” Bosley shook her head from the front and eyed them in the mirror. “But we’ll catch up with him again soon. You two ok?”

“Yeah,” Sabina wiped the blood from her lip with the back of her hand. “But the sooner Elena finishes her training the better. We could have done with another pair of hands in there.”

“Agreed,” Jane muttered, her eyes falling on the new bruise across Sabina’s cheekbone. They had been through a lot together over the past few months, had learnt how to trust each other without a second’s thought and know when the other one needed help before they even asked for it, but Jane still got a strange feeling in her stomach when she saw the injuries painted across Sabina’s skin.

She didn’t often escape a mission without a few herself but Jane was always aware of the additional risk Sabina put herself in by working the ground. They regularly joked at how good Sabina was at creating a distraction but she was the one that was put in harms way, often in direct contact with the threat, with her only protection being her charm. That and her ability to fight anyone who even thought about laying a hand on her.

“Who’s Gough,” Elena asked and both Jane and Sabina seemed to snap out of their trance and back to the present.

“A bad guy,” Sabina shrugged not wanting to offer any more information. “Who sounds like he’s decided to go global. It was only a matter of time.”

“There’s been reports of a new drug found in a number of London nightclubs,” Jane explained knowing that Sabina would be unlikely to read the reports until they were on the plane the next morning. “Same side effects as we’re seeing here, but I think there’s more to this. Gough has connections with some pretty dodgy people and it looks like they’ve all reconnected in London.”

Jane turned the tablet around and Sabina threw her head back in frustration, her fists clenched as she shot a hand in the direction of the image on the screen.

“Not this guy too!”

“And who is he?” Elena was starting to sound nervous.

“Someone who makes Hodak look like a teddy bear,” Sabina fell into the sofa beside Jane and crossed her arms.

“You know him?” Jane asked.

“Kind of. I met him on a mission about five years ago. He’s mainly a thug for hire but he’s dangerous. He’s skilled with a knife and he’s huge. I mean, huge,” Sabina raised her hand in the air as if to emphasise his height. “I’ve only met him once but it didn’t end well.”

Jane frowned and tilted her head slightly.

“Oh, I woke up in the hospital two days later,” Sabina shrugged nonchalantly. “Did I mention he’s huge? Like, the Hulk.”

“Oh god,” Elena’s eyes widened.

Sabina and Jane both laughed at the look on her face.

“You’re an Angel now Elena, welcome to the fun!”

Jane grinned as Elena’s head fell into her hands.

“Don’t worry, we’ll fill you in before the flight.”

Chapter Text

The flight had gone quickly despite the early morning start. Jane had spent the majority of the journey reading through the background information they had available on both Gough and ‘the Hulk’, whose actual name was Mason, as well as their previous notes on the kind of drugs that were getting sold within various nightclubs throughout America and now Britain.

As Jane had expected, there was more going on than they had first thought; Gough’s records alone were enough to keep her occupied for hours as Sabina slept beside her. Jane could never understand how she rarely saw Sabina even glance at the mission reports and yet she always, always knew the background information she needed. She seemed to absorb the details without reading a thing.

As much as it pained Jane to admit it to herself, Sabina was great at her job.

Even if it was hard to believe as her head lolled to the side and rested on Jane’s shoulder, her knees tucked up on the airplane chair with a scratchy blanket over her bare legs. Jane had been surprised when Sabina was first ready to leave that morning; she usually needed reminding at least twice that they were going to be late.

Elena on the other hand was wired. This was her first proper mission following the end of her training and Jane was sure that she would soon start bouncing off the plane walls with the excitement and nerves that had built up inside her. She was ready. Jane knew she was. She just hoped Elena realised that too.

“Elena, sit still,” Bosley finally muttered as Elena’s leg continued to bounce up and down. “I promise you don’t need to land this one, we’ll be there soon.”

“Yeah,” Elena nodded with a nervous giggle. “Right. I’ll just take another look through the notes.”

“Oh great, I have two of them now,” Boz muttered as she glanced between Jane and Elena who were both flicking through the notes she had sent them the previous evening, their screens flicking between the different people known to be involved with Gough. “I would say take a leaf out of Sabina’s book but to be honest, I’d rather two Janes. My nerves couldn’t handle another Sabina.”

Jane laughed, aware of the blonde hair that tickled her shoulder, and let the next few hours roll past without moving so as not to wake her.

They arrived in London late to heavy rain and dark skies. Bosley led them all to a waiting Jeep and they quickly threw their bags inside before they got too wet.

“It’s f-freezing,” Sabina shivered as she wrapped her leather jacket tighter around her waist.

“I told you so,” Jane muttered just loud enough for Sabina to hear and threw her a scarf she had been keeping in her jacket pocket.

“I know it’s winter,” Elena shivered and shook her arms in an attempt to warm them up. “But I didn’t think it’d be this cold.”

Jane laughed and wiped the condensation from the window so she could see the streets outside. She hadn’t been to London in years and there was a small part of her that missed it. The grey concrete and misty skies used to be home.

“Elena, once we get to the outpost I’ll show you your office. I have a job for you tomorrow morning. Think you could gain access to a few security cameras for us?” Bosley asked and Elena shrugged.

“Of course.”

The London outpost of the Townsend Agency was less than an hour’s drive from the airport. Elena was surprised when Bosley pulled the car into a small underground car park and spoke her name into the security door at the bottom of a thin block of apartments. The cramped lift took them to a floor that wasn’t listed on the menu and she could feel her mouth fall open slightly when it opened into a large, open plan penthouse that looked out over the centre of London. It wasn’t as big as Berlin but it was just as impressive and seemed to disappear into countless other rooms in every direction.

“Oh, begsie the room at the end of the hall!” Sabina called as she ran from the lift and out of sight.

“Hey, no fair!” Jane called after her but she had already vanished.

“How she remembers these things I’ll never know,” Bosley shook her head slightly and followed Elena and Jane into the living area. “The room at the end has a fire escape that leads right down to a bar that’s underneath.”

Elena laughed slightly and fell into the nearest sofa.

“Ok Angels, get some sleep and meet me back here at 8am tomorrow morning,” Bosley yawned slightly. “Jet lag’s a bitch so don’t sleep in. Saint should be here by mid-day then we’ll get to the closet to kit up.”

Jane stretched out a crick in her neck and headed for another bedroom, bumping into Sabina on her way to the kitchen. She had combed her hair back, her bare feet tapping the cold wooden floor as she bounced on the spot, her fingers wiggling at her side. Jane had seen her do this so many times over the past few months, each time just before they left on a mission.

“Where are you going?” Jane asked and Sabina spun on the spot.

“Just a bar,” she smiled. “Only a few minutes from here. I won’t be back late.”

“Who?”

“Edward Lewisham. Page seven,” Sabina shrugged.

Jane tried not to smirk again. She had spent the majority of the flight reading the files and yet even she couldn’t remember what page Edward Lewisham’s details were on. It was then that Jane realised why Sabina had been the first up that morning; she hadn’t slept. She had spent the night looking though the notes so she could then sleep on the plane and be ready to leave as soon as they had got to the outpost. They were a team and yet every once in a while they were needed for their own skill set.

Jane ran through the details in her head that she could remember for Edward Lewisham and frowned slightly.

“The one with the neck tattoo,” Sabina added with a tilt of her head as she pointed to her own neck. “If that helps any.”

“Ah, yes!” Jane nodded. “Six months out of prison, family connections to many other criminals and known for getting a little too personal with some ladies in the Phoenix nightclub. He worked in three of Gough’s clubs before he moved back to London.”

“That’s the one,” Sabina grinned, jumping on the spot. “He works part time at a bar not far from here and finishes work at one, which should give me time to get to know him a little better. So, what do you think he’d prefer. Blonde or brunette? Oh, maybe I’ll be a red-head this time!”

“Wait, you’re going out?” Elena had appeared from the living area with a confused expression on her features. “But we just got here.”

“Only for a few hours,” Sabina protested. “Don’t worry Elena, this is work stuff. Mostly. I mean if anyone wants to buy me a drink I’m not going to say no, am I?”

“Please be careful,” it was Bosley this time, leaning on the doorframe of the kitchen. “No repeats of Prague.”

“You know about Prague?” Sabina frowned.

“Oh Sabina, every Bosley knows about Prague,” Boz sighed and disappeared again leaving both Jane and Elena staring at Sabina. It was Elena that asked first.

“What happened in-?”

“Nothing,” Sabina spun away again quickly and grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl by the sink. “I’m going with blonde.”

Sabina left just before midnight dressed in a strappy dress that barely covered her bum and skyscraper heels that sparkled as she made her way across the living area towards the lift. Long blonde hair cascaded down her back and she wore a playful smile under dark red lipstick.

“I’ll be back in time to sleep before the briefing,” she wiggled her fingers as she walked backwards into the elevator. “See you soon.”

Jane and Elena sat in silence for a few minutes and it was Elena that spoke first again.

“She’ll be ok, right?”

“Of course she will,” Jane smiled. “This is what Sabina does best.”

Elena nodded slowly and yawned again.

“She’s going to be freezing.” Jane smirked and they both left to get some sleep.

Jane wouldn’t admit it to anyone, no matter how much they asked, but she barely slept despite the tiredness that lingered behind her eyes. She knew that Sabina was collecting information only, trying to find a connection to get back to Gough and work out who he was meeting in London, but it didn’t stop her from worrying.

She had managed to grab a few restless hours of sleep before she heard staggered footsteps in the hall and knew that Sabina was back. Jane felt her tense muscles relax as she sunk further into the warm bedsheets until she heard a small thud and a giggle from just outside her room.

Jane got up and rubbed her eyes, opening her door to find Sabina sat in the hall with her shoes in her hand.

“Oops,” she smiled up at Jane who rolled her eyes and took Sabina by the arm, pulling her to her feet.

“Yeah, oops. Come on, bed time.”

Sabina lent into Jane’s side as she guided her through to her room and helped her collapse on to her bed, pulling off the long blonde wig as she did so. Her arms were cold, goosebumps crawling up her skin, and yet it took Jane several minutes to pull back the covers and guide Sabina underneath. She could sleep in her dress, Jane decided. It was far too figure-hugging to help Sabina wiggle out of it at nearly 5am.

“So Edward liked a drink, did he?” Jane asked as Sabina tucked up under the bedsheets.

She nodded with a small murmur of agreement and yawned.

“What happened to ‘I’ll only be a few hours’?”

“You really need to learn to have some fun,” Sabina smiled as she sighed and closed her eyes, asleep within seconds.

“Great,” Jane shook her head and made her way back to her own room, falling asleep almost as quick as Sabina had.

~*~*~*~*~

“Morning,” Sabina smiled brightly as she dropped on to the sofa at two minutes to eight the next morning having showered and changed for the day.

“How are you awake right now?” Jane raised an eyebrow.

Sabina shrugged and Elena laughed slightly before asking “Did you find out anything useful last night?”

Sabina paused but Bosley appeared at the same time and nodded for Sabina to go on.

“Well, London has some really cool clubs. There’s one that gives you a free shot on the way in, and another has an indoor-” Sabina caught the look in Bosley’s eyes and changed the subject. “Fine. Edward Lewisham is no one special. I mean, he doesn’t make any decisions. He likes to party and thinks he’s a big shot, I didn’t buy a single drink last night because he was showing off so much, but he only works in the bar through the week. His boss also owns a club just across the river called Bluebird which is where he works at the weekend. Apparently his boss owns a number of places in London. Some guy named Simon Robinson.”

“Great,” Bosley was typing into her tablet as Sabina spoke. “Well done. You think Edward would want to meet again if we needed you to?”

“Oh, yeah,” Sabina smirked playfully.

“I’m not even going to ask,” Jane muttered as she looked to Bosley. “Do we have anything on Simon Robinson?”

“Plenty,” Bosley nodded. “And it looks like he returned on a flight from California three weeks ago.”

“Around the same time Gough left for London,” Elena frowned. “So it’s likely Robinson will know Gough. I mean it can’t be a coincidence that Edward has worked for them both in the past few months, right?”

“Looks that way,” Boz nodded. “Elena, I’m going to add the Bluebird on to the list of CCTV access points we need. I’ll show you the office.”

Elena and Bosley left and Sabina sighed, sliding down the sofa until her head was resting on Jane’s knee.

“Have you ever tried a London Fog?” She asked with a yawn as she rolled her head to look up at Jane. “It tastes like liquorice.”

“No,” Jane stated bluntly and Sabina nodded her head slightly.

“Figures. I’m sure I can still taste it,” she stuck out her tongue slightly. “I’m going to brush my teeth again and then we’re going for breakfast. I’m starving.”

Sabina pushed herself up and padded back down the hall, bare feet tapping against the wood once again.

Jane smiled slightly and tried hard not to roll her eyes.

~*~*~*~*~

“We have access to the CCTV cameras for all nightclubs within a three mile radius of the Bluebird,” Elena leant back in her chair in front of her laptop and placed her hands on the table. “Which if you’re interested, is a lot.”

“I think Sabina visited most of them last night,” Jane smirked and Sabina feigned laughter.

“Very funny,” she muttered. “But perfect timing Elena. Breakfast.”

Bosley had given all three strict instructions to use their time to scout the area around the Bluebird to find as much information as possible, and so all three had headed to a separate cafe within the same area with the intention of asking the right people the right questions. Elena hadn’t know what to expect during her first official mission as an Angel but she quickly realised just how different each of her team mates worked as she listened to their discussions through the comms tattooed on their skin.

Jane was to the point. Elena was sure she could have had the same conversation with anybody within the cafe and received the same response. She supposed being up front often got the job done but Elena quickly realised why it was Sabina that worked the ground.

Jane had chosen someone in the queue in front of her; picking up the same drink he was holding she had brushed past his shoulder as she headed for the till, stepping back with an exaggerated gasp.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she giggled, taking a hold of his arm slightly. “Hey, same drink. Good choice.”

The guy stared back at her blankly before shrugging with a mumbled “no problem” as he turned away again.

Jane rolled her eyes and paused slightly, not quite sure how to continue.

“So do you work around here? I’m looking for somewhere to go on Friday after a boring week in the office but don’t know where’s best,” Jane asked as causally as she could. “I’m new to the area so open to suggestions.”

New to the area? Jane bit her tongue and hoped he didn’t catch on to her accent.

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “There’s loads of pubs around this area.”

“What about nightclubs? Where would you go?”

“Look, I don’t really go out much,” the guy turned away from her and towards the till. “Sorry.”

Jane heard Sabina laugh over the comms.

“Jane, are you trying to flirt with nerds again? You know they’re not going to be the kind of people we’re looking for.”

“Shut it, Sabina,” Jane muttered under her breath. “I’d like to see you do better.”

“You know that’s not even a challenge,” Sabina laughed again.

Elena tried four different cafes before she chose one and took a seat at the window looking out over the busy London streets, trying to gauge the right person to ask. Sabina’s approach was the total opposite to Jane’s and it didn’t surprise Elena in the slightest.

Sabina had walked into a busy cafe and made a beeline to a woman perched on a high stool with a breakfast muffin in front of her, her attention glued to her mobile.

“Hi,” Sabina smiled brightly as she pulled up a free stool and held out her hand. “Sabina.”

“Emily,” the woman responded, putting down her phone and offering her own hand immediately. “Was that an American accent?”

“Maybe,” Sabina smirked. “I’m just visiting for a few days. My uncle owns a club near the river and invited me to visit, so I thought what better reason to see what London has to offer.”

“There’s a lot of river,” Emily smiled. “What club is it.”

“I can’t remember,” Sabina mocked confusion. “It’s got something to do with a bird. The hummingbird? Something like that?”

“The Bluebird?” Emily asked excitedly and Sabina reached her hands out with a smile.

“Yes, that’s the one! You know it?”

“Everyone around here knows it,” Emily raised an eyebrow. “It’s always packed. Are you going tonight?”

“Probably,” Sabina smiled again, biting her lip. “Look, don’t take this the wrong way, but say I wanted to get something other than a drink. If you know what I mean. Would this club have anything? I didn’t really want to ask my uncle!”

Just the thought of asking the question made Sabina feel sick but she kept the smile painted on her lips.

“Depends who’s asking,” Emily dropped her voice to a whisper. “But yes, if you know who to speak to.”

Sabina smiled, running her hand through her hair.

“And are they any good? I mean, we have some pretty good stuff back in the States but I have no idea what to expect over here.”

Emily glanced around the cafe.

“The Bluebird is known for having anything you might be looking for, if you speak to the right contact. But between you and me, they might have something you haven’t tried before. Depending on how adventurous you want to be.”

“Oh, I want to be adventurous,” Sabina leant in slightly and heard Emily giggle.

“You ever tried an orbit?” She asked.

Sabina shook her head with a smile and waited for her to continue.

“Neither have I, but I’ve heard they’re intense. I mean, they’re proper hard core. I work part time at the club across the road from the Bluebird and I’ve seen what this stuff can do to people. I don’t know if I’d ever try it but it seems to be some sort of hallucinogen. Everyone seems to react differently to it. Some good, some bad.”

“That’s a risk I’d take,” Sabina shrugged. “When in Rome and all that! Or London...”

Emily laughed and looked over her shoulder before pulling out a pen from her bag and motioning for Sabina to give her her hand. She pushed up Sabina’s sleeve and scribbled two numbers across her arm then sat back with a smile.

“That number will get you what you’re looking for,” Emily placed her finger to Sabina’s skin. “And that one is mine. If you’re there tonight and want some company then let me know.”

“Sabina, stop flirting,” Jane’s voice came over the comms but Sabina ignored it.

“And this guy, he wouldn’t ask any questions?”

“Of course not!” Emily shook her head. “As long as you pay him what he’s asking that’s all he’ll care about.”

“Cool,” Sabina smiled, pulling her leather jacket back over her arms. “Look, I gotta go but this has been great. Really great.”

Sabina took a pinch of Emily’s muffin and popped it in her mouth.

“See you around.”

She left the cafe with a smile on her face and didn’t even notice how cold the wind was any more.

“Jane, you didn’t tell me about the girls in London,” she grinned. “I didn’t know they were all as good looking as you.”

Jane didn’t quite know how to take those words.

Elena had heard every word and decided against embarrassing herself before midday. Sabina had managed to find a lead (and had already taken a photo of the number on her arm to send to Bosley with the instruction of ‘the second number is mine, hands off’) and Elena knew that her attempt at gaining any other information would have been even worse than Jane’s. And so they agreed to meet under the London Eye to get some proper breakfast before they headed back to discuss what they should do next with Bosley.

“Have you seen the number of flyers around the place?” Elena asked over the comms as she headed to their meeting point, just as Jane’s attention was drawn to a blue and yellow poster plastered to the side of a bus stop.

“Looks like they’re advertising a street party,” Jane answered as she side stepped between the tourists lining the London streets. “It’s only a week from now.”

“But have you seen the sponsors?” Elena asked again and Jane stopped in front of the next bus stop to read the details.

“That can’t be a coincidence,” Jane muttered as her eyes fell on the small print, ‘Bluebird’ first on the list.

“Why do you think they’re wanting to draw people away from the clubs at this time of year?” Elena asked. “I’ve just been handed a flyer so I’ll bring it back and we can check the other sponsors. Maybe Gough has a connection in some way.”

“Oh my god you are just the cutest!”

“Sabina, if you’re talking to another dog...” Jane warned with a roll of her eyes.

“But this one was a corgi!”

“Sabina!”

“I was listening, promise,” Sabina sighed. “Street party. We should go.”

“Not quite what I meant, Sabina.”

She didn’t miss the giggle from Elena over the comms.

Chapter Text

“The Bluebird has certainly had some publicity,” Bosley raised an eyebrow as she scrolled through numerous news reports that had been mirrored onto a large screen in the living area.

The Angels had returned a little after midday and had quickly filled Bosley in on what they had found during their first morning in London. The news reports of the Bluebird that now filled the screen painted a picture of a lively, popular club that often had a queue snaking through the streets just to get inside. But there were also numerous reports of other happenings just outside it’s doors; of ambulances being called to another individual who had taken an ‘unknown substance’ and was now acting erratic or had been found slumped in a side alley.

“Is that a statement from Robinson?” Elena asked as Bosley continued to scroll.

“He’s saying that none of this has anything to do with his club,” Bosley shrugged. “That they were probably waiting to get in and had taken something before they got there. At this stage I don’t know whether he has the police on his side or if he somehow knows how to hide all traces of this stuff once it’s in there.”

“Either way, there seems to be plenty of people who know where to go if they want- what do they call it- an orbit,” Elena sighed and leant back into the sofa. “But why here? Why did Gough ship his stuff here and what’s he getting in return?”

“Exactly,” Jane frowned. “California has plenty of places he could expand to so why risk bringing it this far away?”

“We need to work on Robinson,” Sabina shrugged. “He must have something he’s offering to Gough in return, so if we work out what that is then we get closer to stopping them doing whatever it is they’re doing.”

“You make it sound so simple,” Jane smirked. “You just want to go meet Emily.”

Sabina pulled a face that Bosley didn’t miss and Elena smirked.

“I think Sabina’s on to something,” Bosley glanced back at the screen which now had a picture of Simon Robinson stood outside the Bluebird with a coy smile on his lips. “We need to know what he’s up to. If he has multiple businesses in London then what’s going on with them? What’s he hiding? Elena, lets get on those cameras. Try to find anyone that looks like they could be involved with Robinson. How are they getting in? Are there any back entries to the club that we could use if needed? And try to get as much information as you can on the number Sabina obtained.”

Sabina held out her arm in Elena’s direction, the ink starting to smudge slightly at the edges.

“I have a photo,” Elena raised an eyebrow and Sabina shrugged, looking back at the screen.

“You two keep digging, there must be another lead we can follow,” Bosley passed Jane the tablet and sighed slightly. “I need to visit the London offices for a few hours to network.”

Bosley used air quotes with the last word and rolled her eyes.

“If I’m not back by the morning then we’ll have made our way through the British cocktail menu and I’ll be asleep under a table somewhere,” Bosley smirked but caught the look on Elena’s face. “That was a joke, Elena. Mostly.”

Jane smirked as Boz smoothed out her skirt.

“8am again tomorrow. We’ll catch up then. You three be careful and don’t go too far from here before I’m back. I’m keeping the comms switched off all evening.”

“Of course you are,” Sabina raised her eyebrows with a smirk but Bosley just shook her head in response.

Jane, Sabina and Elena spent the remainder of the day researching the sponsors that were listed on the flyer Elena had brought back, as well as Gough, Robinson and anyone else that had any sort of connection.

“Well that’s interesting,” Elena frowned as her fingers paused over her keyboard. “This guy - Nigel Mathews - he owns Tahikos. The second sponsor on the flyer. But that’s not his main source of income.”

“Which is?” Jane asked.

“Foreign currency exchange,” Elena spun round to look at them both. “His family have been involved for years.”

“Money laundering,” Jane frowned and Elena nodded.

“There are thousands of these kinds of businesses in London,” Elena glanced over her shoulder at her computer screen. “If Robinson is selling Gough’s drugs through his clubs then he needs a way of cleaning the money, he can’t just put it through the tills. He’d be questioned within months. These foreign exchange shops could take the money and send it abroad. It’s then run through various companies in different countries and wired back as clean income from an apparently legitimate activity.”

“That’s a very useful guy to know,” Sabina stated, pointing at the screen. “And he could be selling this stuff through his place too. We don’t know how far this has spread already.”

“Exactly,” Elena sighed. “It’s more than possible. Mathews will launder the money in exchange for drugs to sell in his club.”

She shrugged and Jane and Sabina both nodded in agreement.

“It’s worth following up.”

They each returned to scrolling through the ever expanding files of information, looking for any connection between their target and the sponsors listed on the flyer, before Sabina announced just before six that she was ‘literally starving’ and suggested they find somewhere to eat.

They had just reached the lift when the doors slid open and a soggy looking Saint stepped into the living area, his umbrella twisted out of shape.

“Saint!” Elena smiled and he pulled her into a damp hug. Jane punched him playfully on the arm with a ‘hey’ but Sabina had walked past and was already standing in the lift.

“You’re late,” she stated simply. “And I’m hungry. You want food?”

“No, I’m going for a hot shower to warm up,” Saint shook the rain from his shoulders. “My flight was delayed by four hours because of the fog. I thought we were going to be redirected.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to change?” Jane asked Sabina who had thrown on her leather jacket, but was met with a glare.

“Get in or I’m going without you.”

Elena waved to Saint as she jumped in beside Sabina and the three of them headed out into London’s drizzly streets.

As soon as they stepped out the apartment block it was clear why Saint was so soggy. The bitter winter air stung their skin as the three Angels ran to the nearest pub, a large sign outside advertising they sold food.

“I haven’t had proper British fish and chips in years,” Jane smiled as they sat at a cosy booth in the corner of the pub, Elena instantly scanning the menu.

“It’s still freezing,” Sabina muttered and Jane passed over her thick coat which she had just shrugged off her shoulders. Sabina grinned as she pulled it over her leather jacket, the sleeves reaching the ends of her fingertips, and pulled it tight around her waist.

They had stayed in the pub for a few hours before Elena yawned and stretched out a knot in her shoulder. Jane checked her watch and frowned.

“Shit, I was supposed to call Langston on his lunch break,” she stated and Elena quickly glanced at her own watch.

“Is he still in LA?”

Jane nodded. After everything that had happened with Brok and Calisto, including being kidnapped and locked in a cupboard, Langston had decided to spend a few months in Los Angeles while Jane was between missions. But when relaxing quickly turned in to a new case and Jane spent less and less time at her apartment, Langston had started working at a local tech firm where he could use his skills without worrying about unknowingly creating a weapon. And months later, he hadn’t left.

Jane spent most weekends showing him around LA and letting him join her in sparring sessions in her apartment, but hadn’t ever taken him to HQ. She wanted to keep Langston away from her work as much as possible, but how she hadn’t scared him off after a few mis-placed blows to the ribs while sparring she’d never know.

“I think I’m going to have an early night,” Elena stretched again and Jane knew that this was mainly an excuse to get back to the outpost so Jane could call Langdon.

When Sabina didn’t protest she knew the late nights were starting to catch up with her, and it was only when they were half way back to the outpost, the heavy rain now a light drizzle, that Jane realised her bare arms were covered in a thin sheen of rain. She smirked but didn’t say anything; it may have been years since she had lived in London but she was far more acclimatised to the cool air than Sabina, who was still wrapped inside Jane’s thick coat.

She had managed to catch Langston before he’d finished his lunch break and given him a quick update on their first few days in London. He had sent her a link to a band she had never heard of and she had fallen asleep by the third song, the jet lag finally catching up with her.

~*~*~*~*~

Jane and Elena were tucked up on the sofa the next morning when Sabina joined them, traces of smudged mascara surrounding her eyes. She yawned and fell on to the sofa beside Elena, pulling her feet up instantly.

“You smell sweet,” Elena screwed her nose up.

“Thanks,” Sabina smirked.

“No, I mean you smell like alcohol. Did you go out again last night? After we got back?”

“Yep,” Sabina yawned again as she slouched further down into the cushions. “Boz’s orders. She messaged me from her Bosley booze up.”

“To meet Edward?” Jane asked and Sabina nodded.

“Turns out he can’t keep his mouth shut after a few drinks,” Sabina shrugged as she slid to the side and leant her head on the armrest. “But when I say a few...”

“This mission is going to kill your liver,” Elena stated with a laugh and Sabina groaned in response. “Do you actually have to drink them all?”

“I’m all for authenticity,” Sabina smiled and Jane shook her head slightly.

“I’m more surprised you didn’t go to find Emily.”

“I’m not in the mood to argue with you right now,” Sabina waved a hand and closed her eyes.

“Anyway,” Jane pulled the conversation back on track. “Do you remember anything that he told you last night?”

“Gough and Robinson definitely know each other,” Sabina muttered. “Edward was going on about the street party and how the American was giving out orders when Robinson wasn’t around.”

“And ‘the American’ is definitely Gough?”

“Yep,” Sabina opened her eyes. “He was very descriptive, it’s definitely him.”

“So what else did he say about the party?” Elena asked.

“He was complaining that he’d be missing the fun,” Sabina shrugged. “Apparently Robinson wants him to work that night but not as part of the event. They have permission to close some of the streets around the area. Sounds like they’ll be selling glow sticks and the usual shit you’d expect to find at these sorts of things to entice people to attend, but he has to work somewhere else that night. I don’t know where yet.”

“And that’s what we’ll be trying to find out today,” Bosley had appeared from the kitchen with Saint following close behind. “I think we need to get a little closer to exactly what’s going on.”

She perched on the arm of the sofa as Saint leant against the wall.

“Some things don’t change despite the country,” Saint smirked with a nod to Sabina who Jane was sure had now fallen asleep.

“We’ll fill her in later,” Boz waved a hand in Sabina’s direction and connected the tablet to the screen in the living area, a map of London clearly displayed.

“Did any of the London Bosleys have any other information?” Elena asked.

“Not nearly enough,” Bosley sighed. “Robinson’s been on their radar for some time but as a person of interest only. The Agency has plenty to keep them busy but until last week they didn’t have any suspicions that he was involved in anything more than drug dealing within his club. Which is bad, of course, but not really any different to other places in the area. Just the usual class B, is-it-illegal kind of thing.”

“So not orbits?” Questioned Elena and Boz shook her head.

“And now?” Asked Jane.

“After Sabina’s first meeting with Robert I dug a little deeper into the Bluebird and it looks like Mr Robinson has been involved in some other activities he’d like a little less public, including an altercation at a rival club with one of their dancers. It sounds like he’s been trying to make trouble rather than stay away from it, which is an awful like our friend Gough.”

“Someone else who thinks he’s above the law,” Jane rolled her eyes. She had met so many men like Gough and Robinson over the years, each one as bad as the other. Each one thinking they could talk their way out of whatever situation they found themselves in. And it looked like it had been working for them both as despite the fact that both the American and British authorities were aware of these men, both had avoided any jail time.

Bosley scrolled through her open files and the screen changed to display a list of folders, each named with a different colour.

“Robinson really needs a stronger security system, I managed to get in within five minutes and that was without Elena’s help,” Boz smirked and opened the first ‘purple’ folder.

The folder contained a long list of documents with a series of numbers as their file names. Jane frowned, recognising the numbers instantly.

“They’re firearms,” she stated, pointing at the screen. “K1A, DH380, DR-200... these are South Korean, all of them. Assault rifles, pistols, you name it.”

Bosley smirked and clicked into another folder, this time labelled ‘green’.

“They’re all German weapons,” Jane learnt forward as her eyes scanned the list of documents in front of her. “Again, various models and sizes. That one’s an old sub-machine gun, that one a pistol.”

“What’s in the documents?” Elena questioned and Bosley opened one of them.

But there was little information contained inside other than a small table of figures with no headings, and a two letter code next to the side of each one.

“It’s like a catalogue,” Elena frowned, leaning forward to mimic Jane. “Each country is represented by a different colour, and each weapon has a different table. We knew they were up to something else-”

“But not this,” Jane finished and Elena shook her head slowly.

“This can’t be a coincidence,” Elena learnt back again. “Robinson and Gough have been working together, both have been selling these ‘orbits’ through their clubs and now these files.”

“There has to be something else,” Jane sighed. “Something we’re missing. Why would Gough choose now to travel to the UK? And why are they holding a street party next weekend, in the middle of winter?”

“I don’t know,” Boz shrugged, placing the tablet on the table and folding her arms. “We need to find their connection, but so far the only person we know who’s giving us any information is Edward.”

Jane glanced at Sabina before frowning at Bosley, a silent ‘really?’ across her features.

Boz shrugged. She didn’t want Sabina going out any more than Jane did, but she couldn’t deny that Sabina could get results. No matter how many drinks she consumed or how late she stayed out, Boz knew that her mind was on the job. She may like to have some fun but she was good at what she did.

They sat in silence for a few seconds before Saint broke it.

“I‘ve made breakfast,” he smiled, pushing away from the wall. “Including a hangover smoothie.”

“Is it green or red, because I prefer your berry ones?” Sabina muttered, her eyes still closed. “Or is this for Boz after her wild night partying with fellow Bosleys?

“Trust you to wake up for food,” Bosley rolled her eyes and shrugged out a stiffness in her neck that only came from sleeping in a bed that wasn’t her own. She’d never quite got used to it over the years. “We’ll eat then discuss next steps.”

Jane was still staring at the list of weapons on the screen, her mind racing. She hadn’t seen some of the names in years, some ever. There were some pretty dangerous weapons on the list and the thought of them in the wrong hands gave her a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach.

“Sabina?” Elena spoke, snapping Jane from her daydream.

“Hmm?”

“Please go shower,” Elena scrunched her nose up but Sabina buried her head further into the sofa with a groan.

~*~*~*~*~

“Ed, hi,” Sabina almost sang down the phone, her voice friendly but the roll of her eyes giving away her true feelings. “Look, I’m only in London for a few more weeks and I’ve done all the tourist stuff already. I’m bored, want to hang out?”

Jane watched Sabina as she lay on the couch, her damp hair falling over her eyes as she picked at a thread on her jumper.

“Yeah, that sounds good. No, no lets go somewhere else. We don’t want to go somewhere you work,” Sabina paused, looking over at Jane and holding her thumb up. “Ok, I’ll meet you there in an hour.”

Sabina hung up the phone and leant back into the sofa.

“Urgh, he wants to go for a drink again,” she groaned. “I think I may have met my match, I’m getting too old for this.”

“Taking one for the team,” Jane smirked but knew that Sabina would be starting to feel it.

“Hmm,” she yawned. “Wake me up in an hour, I’m going to have a nap first.”

Jane left to find Elena who was typing frantically at her laptop, her nose inches from the screen. Jane smiled as she watched. She hadn’t known Elena long and yet she could already tell that she was going to make a good Angel. When Jane had joined MI6 she had quickly learnt that you didn’t have to like your team mates, but you did have to trust them. Trust was paramount. Without it they may as well have been working alone, and then you became vulnerable. Distracted.

Despite their initial disagreements Jane had always trusted Sabina. Granted, she hadn’t warmed to her personality right away, but she could tell from the first time they met that Sabina was someone who would always have your back. And the same could be said for Elena. Once she had stopped throwing up long enough to tell them anything.

The fact that she also liked her team mates was an added bonus for Jane but it had surprised her how quickly she had fallen into their current routine. She missed Langdon when she was away and yet Elena and Sabina felt like a strange sort of family. Bosley and Saint only making everything that little bit better.

“Find anything useful?” Jane asked and Elena jumped slightly. She had been so engrossed in the information she had found that she hadn’t noticed Jane watching.

“I think I might have,” she nodded. “Maybe something Sabina could probe Edward on when she meets him.”

“Hey, Sabina! Wake up and get your butt in here,” Jane shouted down the corridor and seconds later a disheveled Sabina padded in with a frown that practically screamed ‘what?’.

They both looked to Elena who took a breath and clasped her hands together.

“Ok, so I’ve been looking into Gough and dug a little deeper into his family history. I know he’s managed to avoid being arrested despite his dodgy dealings, but his brother hasn’t,” Elena paused slightly as Jane frowned. “His brother, Harvey, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of illegal firearms with the intent to supply.”

“Oh!” Jane frowned again.

“Yeah, but that’s not all,” Elena continued. “He was arrested, and is currently locked up, in London.”

“So Gough has other reasons for being here,” Sabina nodded. “Do you think the brother has any connections to Robinson? I mean, it’s weird that we find the colour coded lists on his computer system and Gough’s brother has been locked up for dealing with something similar.”

“It’s something else that could link them,” Elena nodded. “Do you think Edward would know anything?”

Sabina shrugged.

“Maybe. You do realise I can’t just ask him though, right? Getting information takes time, otherwise he’ll be on to me in seconds.”

“Is he intelligent enough to notice?” Jane asked with a smirk. “So far he seems to have given you anything you’ve asked for.”

“Good point,” Sabina shrugged. “I’ll give it a go. We can ask Boz to keep the comms on this time.”

“I don’t think I want to hear you flirting,” Jane raised an eyebrow.

“Fake flirting, Jane,” Sabina grinned. “You’ll know the difference.”

~*~*~*~*~

Sabina left the outpost within the next hour after they had discussed Elena’s new findings with Boz and asked her to turn on their comms so they could listen in to Edward’s conversation.

They had agreed to meet at a nearby bar that overlooked the river but had no connection to the list of sponsors they had been studying for the past two days. Or none that they were aware of, anyway.

Edward looked up when Sabina entered and waved for her to join him at a small table in the corner.

“Hey,” Sabina grinned as she sat down.

Edward nodded to a drink on the table and she felt her stomach churn slightly, last night’s hangover doing her no favours.

“I got you a John Collins.”

“Who?”

“It’s a cocktail. We were drinking them last night,” he grinned with another nod to her drink.

“We were?” Sabina giggled, realising now why Elena had said she had smelt sweet. If she couldn’t remember drinking one then there was a high possibility that she’d managed to spill the majority of it. “Is this a cocktail bar?”

“No,” Edward grinned, leaning in closer. “But if you ask nicely enough they’ll make one for you. It helps that I know most people around this area.”

“Oh yeah,” Sabina smiled, biting her lip slightly. “So you’re the guy that everyone talks about when they say they know a guy?”

“Something like that,” Edward leant back and picked up his own drink. “What do you want to do then? You said you were bored.”

“I am,” Sabina nodded. “I’ve done all the things in the travel brochure, I want to see the real London. I want to have some fun.”

Sabina smiled and licked her lips slightly, watching as Edward tried to hide a grin.

“What kind of fun were you thinking?”

Sabina pursed her lips as if in thought before moving to the other side of the table, sitting on the bench next to Edward and leaning into his ear.

“Something we won’t get in here,” she whispered, her lips lingering by the stubble on his chin. She could see the tattoo on his neck stretching out from underneath his collar and snaking behind his ear.

He smirked.

“Don’t get your hopes up,” Sabina laughed slightly, not moving from her position pressed to his arm. “It’s far too early in the day for anything like that. Back home I know a few places that offer something a little more than a John Collins, if you know what I mean?”

Sabina knew that Jane and Elena would be listening in and felt a weird sensation crawl across her skin. Flirting came naturally to Sabina. She had worked out years ago how to manipulate men into trusting her, but it didn’t come without its risks. She was used to it and could tell the signs before it was too late but Jane and Elena were different. Their skills lay elsewhere and she knew that they would be feeling uneasy about where the conversation was going.

“I know a few places,” Edward nodded.

“But will it live up to what I could get in the States?” Sabina ran her fingers down the side of Edward’s arm, her long blonde hair tickling his knuckles as he wrapped a few loose strands around his thumb. “There’s a club in LA where you can get stuff you couldn’t even dream of.”

“Ha,” Edward laughed gruffly. “I doubt it.”

“What do you mean?”

“This is the problem with people like you, you think everything is bigger and better in America.”

Sabina sat back slightly and frowned.

“People like me?”

“Yeah,” Edward nodded with a shrug. “I lived there for four months and not once did anyone ask where the pills came from. They don’t care.”

“And you do?”

He shrugged again.

“I suppose if I was taking the stuff I wouldn’t.”

“So you haven’t tried?”

“No,” Edward laughed with a shake of his head. “I’ve seen what it can do to people, both in LA and here. The clean stuff isn’t too bad but some of the earlier recipes cause side effects I’d rather not risk. When you’ve seen someone inject it into their system and then not wake up, it puts you off trying it.”

“You talk about it like it’s the same drug.”

“It is,” Edward stated, turning to look at Sabina properly. “That’s what I mean, you don’t seem to realise where it comes from. It’s not some new, American narcotic. It’s British. It always has been. I know you’re talking about the orbits because we’ve been to the same clubs in LA. You told me so yourself.”

Sabina smiled, trying to remember what they had spoken about during their other meetings.

“That’s why I was working in LA, to make sure the American was happy with what we were offering. And now I’ve managed to get away from him he seems to have followed me back, the smarmy git. Strutting around like he owns the place. He wants me working for him for a full day tomorrow and my boss just expects me to fall in line.”

“We got it the wrong way,” Jane spoke over the comms and Sabina paused slightly. “Gough is the one with the firearms connections and Robinson the drugs.”

Sabina leant over and picked up Robert’s pint, pushing it into his hand.

“I’m sure it’s just bad luck,” she smiled, moving to sit closer to him again. “Maybe he has other connections in London. I’m sure your boss will know how hard you’ve been working.”

Robert scoffed.

“Yeah, he has a few connections.”

“What, a few ex-wives knocking around.”

“Hmm,” Robert seemed lost in thought. “And a brother locked up somewhere. For now at least.”

He downed the last of his drink and replaced his glass on the table with a thud.

“Hey, if you’re working tonight maybe we could meet up after you’ve finished?” Sabina glanced around the bar and leant in close to his ear. “We can have some proper fun, just the two of us. Take your mind off tomorrow.”

Robert seemed to relax again, his hand moving to Sabina’s knee as a coy grin spread across his lips.

“I’ll call you,” Sabina placed a light kiss to his cheek and stood, waving her fingers playfully at him as she left the bar and stepped back into the cold winter air.

“You’re not actually going to meet him tonight, are you?” Elena asked over the comms and Sabina laughed.

“Of course not! I think we have everything we need from him now,” Sabina quickened her pace as she headed back to the outpost, the bitter wind biting at her exposed skin. “And anyway, he’s so not my type. Right, Jane?”

Jane didn’t dare answer.

Chapter Text

If you’d have told Elena Houghlin just a year ago that she would leave what she had thought was her dream job and swap it for landing planes and combat training, then she would have called you crazy. And yet now, as she sat in the London outpost of the Townsend Agency, with Sabina stretched out on the couch reading a magazine and Jane with her feet up next to her, she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

The biggest decision Elena had ever made was moving to Massachusetts when she was accepted into MIT, both her parents encouraging her to move away from the family home and follow her dreams. After graduating top of her class she was then offered a job at Brok Industries and moving to Hamburg felt like the natural next step in her career.

The youngest of four, Elena had spent many nights video calling her siblings when she first moved to Germany and the home sickness began to creep in. It was one thing being in a different state to the rest of her family, but another country entirely often made her feel physically sick. Her siblings would spend hours talking about their day and what her nieces and nephews had been up to, and after each call Elena felt a little more relaxed. Within a few months Hamburg had started to feel like a new, different kind of home, and her work kept her too busy to worry about much else.

But when she’d heard the words “We’re recruiting you!” leave Sabina’s mouth, Jane grinning at her side and Bosley’s eyes fixed on hers, she had been left speechless. For the first time in her life she hadn’t even considered an alternative, the answer was obvious. She wanted to be an Angel regardless of where it took her or the training that was involved. She had only known of their world for a few days and yet she was desperate to be a part of it. To spend as much time as possible with the women stood in front of her.

By the time they had left Brok’s party Elena had felt like a completely different person to the one who had met Edgar Bosley in a cafe less than a week before. And that was entirely down to the two Angles who were currently relaxing beside her.

Elena often had a hard time making friends, choosing work over socialising during her study days, but with Jane and Sabina it felt easy. They instantly accepted her just the way she was, including her tendency to over-think every situation, and had welcome her with open arms. And a whole lot of alcohol to celebrate. They were all different in so many ways, but seemed to fit together perfectly.

Sabina showed her that she could have some fun even when she was stressed. Jane could bring her back down to earth when she started over-thinking. And both of them she trusted entirely.

Jane continue to scroll through her phone when it started to ring and she jumped to her feet.

“I need to take this, it’s-”

“Lang-don,” Sabina and Elena sang in unison and Jane pulled a face as she left the room.

Elena smirked as she watched Jane leave. Langdon had been one of her first friends in Hamburg and Elena knew he was one of the good ones. A total nerd, as Sabina had stated, but a good guy all the same. When everyone else was partying Elena and Langdon could often be found in the lab, getting excited about a new development or discussing the latest episode of whatever Netflix programme they were watching.

Sabina stretched and almost rolled off the sofa before she made the short distance to where Elena was sitting and fell beside her, taking Jane’s place and resting her heels on Elena’s knee.

If there was one thing Elena had noticed it was that Sabina liked contact. She supposed that after spending so long working missions where she had to pretend to like someone, physical contact with the ones that made her feel safe was important. Or that’s what Elena hoped, anyway.

There was a comfortable silence in the room before Sabina broke it.

“Have you ever tried a fried tarantula?” She asked as she sat up and pushed the magazine article under Elena’s nose.

“No!” Elena recoiled slightly at the thought. “That’s disgusting!”

“I know, right,” Sabina agreed, taking back the magazine and continuing to flick through the pages as she leant back again. “Reminds me of the grasshoppers in Thailand.”

Elena watched as Sabina quickly flicked through another few pages, suddenly realising that despite a few hints from her new team mate there was still so much she didn’t know about her.

“When did you go to Thailand?”

“A few years back,” Sabina shrugged slightly. “It’s a nice place. Brought back a nice scar as a souvenir.”

She slid her shorts down slightly to reveal a thin line across her hip bone.

“Don’t look at me like that,” she laughed at the look on Elena’s face. “It’s not that bad.”

“If you say so,” Elena muttered. “Do I want to ask how you got it?”

“Nah, it’s not very interesting,” Sabina shrugged, attention still on the magazine. “Just don’t get involved with anyone who has a monkey as a pet. Turns out, they’re not very friendly.”

“The monkey or the owner?”

“Both!” Sabina laughed.

Elena sat open mouthed not quite knowing whether Sabina was being serious or not. She was desperate to know more about how Sabina had become an Angel after their conversation in Berlin, yet every time she tried to ask she noticed the warning glances from Jane. But Jane wasn’t here now.

“You said Charlie saved you,” Elena pressed gently and Sabina paused, a page of the magazine between her fingers. “When we were in Berlin, you said Charlie found you.”

“Mm hm,” she mumbled without looking up.

“When I put on the glasses in the closet,” Elena stuttered, remembering the data that flashed across her vision as Sabina had wiggled her fingers in front of her. She hadn’t missed the ‘100% threat’ level that had stood out from the top corner despite Sabina’s grin. “I mean, I know you said you’d been in prison a few times.”

“Yep.”

There was a silence between them and Elena wasn’t quite sure how to continue, before Sabina closed the magazine and pulled her feet away, standing from the sofa but not moving away. As if unsure whether she wanted to stay.

“I’m sorry,” Elena started. “I didn’t mean to pry I just-”

“It’s fine,” Sabina shrugged quickly, spinning to face Elena. “You’re right. Charlie saved me from myself over eight years ago. I bounced between penitentiaries and asylums and some pretty dodgy places before Charlie found me and gave me a purpose. The only thing I’d ever known how to do was throw a punch, but when your family are involved with the people mine are you quickly get into trouble if you punch the wrong person. No matter what they’re trying to do to you.”

Elena stayed quiet, not wanting to interrupt.

“Some people think that money can buy you a way out of any situation,” Sabina shrugged but Elena could see the sadness behind her eyes. “Some think that women are only play things that should dress up and stay quiet, so when you fight back you’re called crazy. Out of control. I know what some people think of me but Charlie gave me the chance to be myself, you know?”

Elena nodded sincerely.

“I don’t think you’re crazy,” she whispered, biting her lip as she felt unexpected tears sting the back of her eyes.

“Oh I am,” Sabina grinned. “I’m totally annoying.”

Elena smiled slightly and Sabina fell back into the sofa next to her, so close that Elena slid down slightly so she was leaning against Sabina’s arm.

“And now you’re stuck with me too,” Sabina stated and Elena rested her head on her shoulder.

“I’ll take it,” she whispered again as Jane reappeared from her room.

“How’s Langdon?” Sabina raised an eyebrow with a smirk and a playful look on her lips

“Fine.”

“Fine? Just fine, that’s all we get? So have you let him play with your-”

“Whistle and I’ll shoot you,” Jane warned, pointing her phone in Sabina’s direction.

Sabina started laughing and Elena grinned widely. She had no idea what they were talking about but Sabina’s laughter was infectious, the look on Jane’s face only making Elena smile more.

~*~*~*~*~

“We have a tracker on Edward Lewisham,” Bosley stated as they all sat in the living area, the large screen again showing a map of London. “It’ll only last around a day but that should give us enough time to track where he’s going tomorrow.”

“A tracker?” Elena asked.

Bosley glanced at Sabina who shrugged.

“I have my methods.”

“Don’t want to know,” Jane frowned with a smirk. She had heard the conversation over the comms and knew Sabina would have had many opportunities to place a tracker on Edward.

“I slipped it in his drink,” Sabina rolled her eyes. “Which is why it’ll only be useful for a day or so.”

“Ew,” Elena scrunched up her nose but Bosley continued.

“I want you all ready to scout the area tomorrow. As soon as he starts moving we’re going to watch where he’s going.”

“Surveillance only?” Jane asked and Bosley nodded.

“Jane, I want you up high. Find a rooftop or a balcony, wherever is available, and keep an eye on who is coming and going. We want any sign of Robinson or Gough. Elena, you’ll be keeping track of the cameras. I’ve downloaded all the security camera access on to a tablet so I need you to monitor them in case there are any red flags. You so much as sense that Gough or Robinson are up to something elsewhere and we’ll have it covered.”

Elena nodded enthusiastically and Jane could tell that she still got excited by the thoughts of a new mission.

“Sabina, we’ll need another tracker. Robert’s won’t last long so we’ll need to get one on their car. Problem is, we might not know which car is theirs until they get in it.”

“Which Elena will be able to confirm once she picks them up on the cameras?” Sabina looked to Elena.

“Precisely,” Boz nodded. “We know there’s not just drugs involved any more. But we can’t stop this until we have the evidence we need to get the police involved too. We can’t go raiding a nightclub when there’s something much bigger going on. Why would they be drawing people away from the clubs with this street party otherwise?”

“So we don’t need to go out until tomorrow?” Sabina asked hopefully and Boz frowned.

“No. Unless you want to meet Robert again? You did say you’d call him.”

Sabina raised an eyebrow with a tilt of her head.

“I didn’t think so,” Boz smiled. “Have an early night for a change and stay where it’s warm. Ignore any calls from him, he’ll soon get the message. We’ll be out from first thing tomorrow.”

“You’re still hungover, aren’t you?” Jane stated and Sabina held up her hand, thumb and finger hovering close together as she mouthed ‘just a little’ with a scrunch of her nose.

“I have an appointment with a hot bath and a glass of wine,” Boz yawned. “Saint will meet you in the closet tomorrow morning before you leave.”

“So, movie night?” Sabina asked as Bosley headed towards her room. “I’ll get the popcorn.”

Bosley was less than surprised when she walked past the living area an hour later to find all three of her Angels asleep on the sofa as the movie rolled on in the background.

~*~*~*~*~

They met Saint in the London closet early next morning where they searched through the numerous items he had hand-picked for each of them.

“You’ll be needing these,” Saint handed Jane a pair of binoculars and smiled at the look on her face when she peered through them. “They’ll let you see for miles, clear as day. As long as there’s no obstructions you’ll be able to see exactly who is going in or coming out of any building. And they contain a memory card so if you press that button it’ll save an image of exactly what you see.”

“It’s not a gun, but I’ll admit. I’m impressed,” Jane handed the binoculars to Elena to look through as Saint handed Sabina a handful of trackers of various sizes.

“I’ve given you spares for when you lose one,” he smirked. “And don’t be sticking them to anything you shouldn’t.”

“Would I do that?” Sabina mocked hurt but Saint raised an eyebrow.

“You remember when you had me tracking a dog for three hours?”

“Oh yeah...”

“Elena, you have the cameras linked up to the tablet and you’ll have Jane and Sabina on comms. Once we know where Robert is headed then you go in the opposite direction. We need you to keep an eye on things without being seen.”

“Got it,” she nodded.

Elena had been practically glued to the monitor since she had got up that morning, waiting for the little dot that represented Robert to start moving across the screen.

“Remember, I have trackers in all your clothes. So we’ll always know where you are. But make sure you keep in touch. You’re going to be split up but you’ll need to work closely on this one.”

“We got this, Saint,” Sabina grinned. “We’ve been waiting for Elena to stop playing around and join us for months.”

Jane smirked but Elena was suddenly jumping up and down, the tablet clasped in her hands.

“Oh, he’s moving. He’s left his apartment.”

“The excitement will wear off eventually,” Sabina shrugged, Jane adding an ‘I doubt it’ under her breath as Elena grabbed her coat and headed for the door.

“Sabina, you want a winter coat this time?” Saint asked as they followed Elena.

“Nope!”

By the time they had made it out of the outpost and on to the street Edward’s glowing dot was only a few miles away.

“He’s at Tahikos,” Elena held out the tablet and right enough, the dot had stopped on Nigel Mathews’ club. “We have the drug dealer, money launderer and arms dealer all together.”

“Assuming they’ve actually shown up and trust Edward with this information,” Jane shrugged.

“Only one way to find out!” Sabina grinned. “I’m going to head that way now. Jane, get up high.”

They split up, each going in they direction Bosley had instructed.

“Comms check,” Boz sounded through their tattoos and ran through each one, their voices clear and precise as expected.

“Stay out of sight, we might be waiting around for a while.”

Jane scouted the surrounding buildings in search for a balcony to overlook the city and all three Angels took up their positions, the cold winter breeze nipping their skin while Bosley listened in.

~*~*~*~*~

“Anyone else bored?” Sabina asked as she sat on a wall opposite Tahikos, swinging her legs and bouncing her heels off the bricks.

“Sit it out, Sabina. It’s barely been half an hour,” Bosley sighed. “This isn’t a time when we need you to draw attention to yourself.”

“I know,” she groaned. “I was only asking. I’m freezing.”

“Saint did ask,” Jane interjected and Sabina rolled her eyes.

“There’s movement at the back door,” Elena spoke quickly and Sabina jumped down from the wall. “It’s him, Gough is here! He’s just left the club.”

“Stay with him,” Boz spoke evenly. “Sabina, can you see him?”

Sabina made her way down a side alley to the back of the club where she could see a waiting car, a sleek black Bentley, and a massive body guard stood beside it.

“He’s bigger than I remembered,” Sabina whistled as she crouched behind a bin to stay out of sight.

“Gough?” Asked Jane.

“The Hulk,” Sabina corrected. “Looks like he’s Gough’s driver now too. I’m surprised he can fit in the car.”

“Can you get a tracker on it?” Boz asked but it was Elena who answered.

“There’s too many people. Sabina, you’ll be seen as soon as you get near the car.”

“Yep, figured that,” Sabina looked over her shoulder and back towards the wall she had been sat on, a line of city hire bikes along the curb. “Jane, have you got visual?”

“Yup!”

“Stay on them, I’m going to follow the car.”

“With what?” Jane asked as she readjusted her view from a roof top balcony she had positioned herself on and saw Sabina running towards the bikes. “Oh, of course you are.”

“Jane, stay with Gough,” Boz instructed as Sabina reached the pavement.

“How do you take one of these things?” She asked, hitting the view finder on the post the bike was secured to.

“I don’t know, I don’t live here any more!” Jane shouted back. “Stick a coin in or something.”

“I don’t have any, I don’t understand your weird money.”

Sabina spun on the spot and noticed another bicycle chained to a nearby storage area. She broke the lock with ease and pulled it free.

“This one will do.”

“You can’t steal everything, Sabina,” Jane berated.

“Borrow,” Sabina muttered. “I borrow.”

“They’re leaving,” Elena stated. “And it looks like Robinson is there too. Robert’s staying behind but he shouldn’t be an issue, he hasn’t moved from the doorway.”

“Gough, Robinson and the Hulk, we need to know where they’re going,” Jane moved slowly along the balcony, binoculars fixed on the club as she waited for the car to appear. “I have them. Sabina, they’re heading North.”

“Which is what way?”

“Turn round, they’ll pass the street behind you in the next few seconds.”

Sabina did as she was instructed and sure enough the Bentley came into view as it turned on to the adjacent street and into the busy London traffic.

Sabina was much more comfortable with a motorbike than a cycle bike, but she quickly weaved into the line of cars that were now following the Bentley and peddled hard to catch up, one of Saint’s trackers secured between the handle bar and the palm of her hand. London traffic was slow with the numerous bus lanes and traffic lights but Sabina managed to keep the car in view as it made it’s way through the city. That was, until the traffic cleared slightly and the car managed to gain some speed.

“Sabina we need a tracker on that car!” Bosley instructed over the comms and Sabina rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, I’m on it,” Sabina called back as she tried to avoid the traffic in front of her. “Jane I’ve lost the car, which way?”

“Left!”

Jane ran from one end of the balcony to the other, eyes straining through the binoculars as she fought to keep up.

“It’s three cars in front of you, don’t let it get away.”

“What do you think I’m doing?”

The car in front of Sabina braked hard and she quickly manoeuvred around it, the peddle catching her ankle slightly. The Bentley was in view again and slowing, turning right at the next set of lights. Sabina overtook the car in front, weaving out into the other lane, just as a bus turned around the corner and they suddenly came face to face.

“Shit!”

Sabina hit the brakes again, sliding off the bicycle and slamming into the car in front as the bike skidded under the wheels of the bus. She hit the ground hard, quickly pushing herself to her knees as she tried to catch her breath. That one hurt.

“Sabina!”

She blinked, trying to work out whether the voice had come from over the comms of nearby but her ribs ached and her breath caught in her chest. It was Jane’s voice. But Jane wasn’t there. The gravel dug into her knees and she could hear a car door open but she couldn’t make herself move. She had to move.

“Sabina!”

Elena’s hand on her wrist brought her quickly back to reality and she was pulled to her feet, staggering to the side of the road in front of the bus which had braked to a stop.

“Come on, we gotta go,” Elena started running and Sabina followed blindly as they ran to the nearest tube station and disappeared under the city.

“Are you two ok?” Jane asked over the comms but Sabina couldn’t answer. All she could focus on was putting one foot in front of the other.

“We’ll see you at the outpost,” Elena responded, pulling Sabina on to a waiting train as the doors began to close. They fell into the nearest seats as the train pulled away, Sabina doubling over and coughing until she could catch her breath.

“The tracker is working perfectly, well done Sabina,” Bosley’s voice came over the comms and Sabina gave a weak thumbs up without moving her gaze from the train floor.

“You got it on the car?”

“Of course I did,” Sabina smirked, leaning back and taking a deep breath. “I had plenty of time while I was embedded in the back of it.”

She laughed slightly, smirking until she was bent over holding her ribs in laughter.

“What’s so funny?” Elena looked round the near empty train and Sabina grinned.

“I guess Jane was right. Some guy isn’t getting his bike back,” she sighed, leaning back and closing her eyes.

“You really are the worst,” Jane’s voice sounded over the comms but neither one missed the sense of relief in her words.

Sabina blinked and glanced down the carriage.

“Where are we going?” She asked.

“I have no idea,” Elena laughed nervously with a shake of her head, suddenly desperate to get off the train and back to the outpost.

Chapter Text

“Ouch!” Sabina protested as Saint pressed a cold mixture of ingredients to her bruised skin.

“Well that’s what you get for throwing yourself into the back of a car!” Saint shot back with the raise of an eyebrow. “Now stop complaining and lie still.”

“I thought you no longer felt pain,” Jane shouted through the open door of the medical room on her way towards the living area and heard a muttered ‘shut it’ from Sabina in response.

Bosley and Elena were hunched over the coffee table when Jane arrived.

“Where’s Sabina?” Asked Boz.

“Arguing with Saint.”

Bosley tilted her head as if to say ‘of course she is’ and nodded for Jane to join them.

“The tracker has stopped here,” she pointed to the screen. “Looks like a large, previously disused warehouse right on the bank of the river.”

“So a perfect location for Gough and Robinson to load up a boat?” Jane asked.

“Or unload,” Elena added. “The warehouse is big enough to store or distribute a number of things. Including the kinds of weapons we found listed in the files.”

“Either way we need to get closer,” Boz sighed, sitting back from the tablet. “Work our who else is involved and what they’re trading in. We can’t go in all guns blazing if we then let them get away with the evidence.”

“Ha, I see what you did there,” Sabina appeared from behind Boz and slid on to the sofa beside Elena, wincing slightly. Her bruised ribs and Saint’s concoctions of herbs were just visible under her cropped top. Boz stared at her blankly.

“All guns blazing,” Sabina grinned, pointing animatedly and looking towards Jane for backup. “And we know about the firearms trading. No? Doesn’t matter.”

Boz shook her head slightly and moved back to the tablet.

“This street party still has me worried,” Elena frowned. “It’s in less than a week and both Robinson and Mathews’ clubs are sponsoring it. And they’ve both just been in a private meeting with Gough.”

Bosley nodded, her eyebrows furrowed in concentration.

“Elena, I think we need to gain access to any camera within a mile radius of that warehouse. We need to know who is coming and going, by car or boat. There’s a reason they want a warehouse on the riverbank.”

Elena jumped from the sofa and followed Boz back to her office, talking quickly as they went.

“Good job getting the tracker on the car,” Jane smiled as she leant back. “Even if you nearly got run over by a bus.”

Sabina shrugged.

“Thanks for the directions, Hawkeye.”

Jane grinned, unable to suppress a laugh.

“How are the ribs?”

“Fine,” Sabina jumped to her feet as if to prove a point and stretched out a stiffness in her shoulder. “I just smell like Saint’s kitchen when he’s cooking. I don’t know what he put in this stuff but no wonder Boz didn’t want it.”

She looked back to Jane and then glanced over her shoulder.

“They’re going to be a while yet, come on. Let’s go exploring,” Sabina held out her hand in Jane’s direction with a playful smile on her lips.

Jane knew she shouldn’t. She knew that they had work to do and that Bosley and Elena would be back within the hour, but she couldn’t help herself when Sabina was in this kind of mood. She was infectious. A bad influence in the best possible way.

Jane’s hand was in Sabina’s before she had even realised she’d made the decision.

~*~*~*~*~

Jane sent Elena a text to tell her they were going for lunch and would bring her back a cake as they left the outpost, Sabina zipping up her jacket as she held the lift door open.

“I still smell like basil even after washing that stuff off,” she frowned as Jane joined her and pressed the button for the ground floor. “Why does Saint insist on covering us in moss.”

“If you stopped hurting yourself then he wouldn’t have to,” Jane raised an eyebrow.

“I’d never thought of that,” Sabina’s mouth fell open in mock surprise before being replaced with a smirk. “I’ve always been good at finding trouble, you know that.”

“You are the trouble!”

Sabina shrugged as if in agreement and they headed out into the London wind, Sabina having brought the scarf Jane had thrown to her the night they arrived.

They walked together along the riverbank, stopping to watch the street entertainment that had set up early for the evening and for Sabina to say hello to any dog they passed. For the first time in what felt like weeks they fell into comfortable conversation that didn’t involve the mission and Jane felt the tension that had built up physically leave her shoulders.

“You think Elena will be pissed we went without her?” Sabina asked and Jane shrugged.

“As long as we bring her back a cupcake I’m sure she’ll forgive us,” she answered. “Where are we going for lunch?”

They passed a small bakery across from the river and welcomed the warmth as they stepped inside, finding a table by the window.

“I’m starving,” Sabina announced, flicking through the menu.

“Why am I not surprised?”

Sabina ordered them each a milkshake and food and they fell into comfortable silence as they watched London pass by the window.

“Where abouts in London did you live?” Sabina asked as their drinks were placed on the table and she added “Yours is the chocolate one” as she took the strawberry.

“Nowhere around here,” Jane shrugged slightly. “There’s no way we could have afforded to live this close to the centre. We were more than a couple of tube stations away from here.”

“I’d love to live somewhere like this,” Sabina looked out the window again and up at the tall buildings that surrounded the cafe. “Maybe swap the cold, but everything else I’d keep.”

“You’d swap Park Avenue for this?” Jane asked with a laugh as she glanced up at the grey stone.

“In a heartbeat,” Sabina almost whispered, scooping the cream off the top of her drink with her finger.

Jane could tell that today wasn’t a day Sabina wanted to talk about her past and changed the subject.

“This is good by the way,” she smiled as she took another sip of her milkshake. “Good choice.”

Sabina reached across and took Jane’s drink, placing the straw between her lips then scrunching up her nose slightly.

“Chocolate tastes different in England,” she frowned. “Not bad. Just different.”

Their food arrived and Jane smirked as Sabina wiggled in her seat when it was placed in front of them. She had never seen someone get as excited over food as her team mate, not that you’d ever be able to tell by looking at her.

“These,” Sabina pointed to a bowl once the waitress had left. “There are fries. Not chips. I got so confused when I ordered them.”

Jane laughed and they quickly fell into conversation about the differences they had noticed between England and America, Sabina insisting on using her English accent as much as possible.

“Do you ever miss it?” Sabina asked and Jane frowned. “London? Do you ever miss living here?”

“Not really,” Jane shrugged, biting a chip in half. “It’s nice being back but it doesn’t feel like home any more.”

“I know why you left MI6, the whole Istanbul thing,” Sabina waved her hand around at the thought of when they were last there. “But how did you end up in LA?”

“I was recruited by Charlie,” Jane shrugged. “I was really young when I started at MI6 and then I quit when the going got tough. I suppose I must have got flagged on Charlie’s radar because a week after I left MI6, Edgar Bosley turned up in my life and offered me a job.”

Sabina smirked.

“And once you knew it involved jumping out of planes and shooting at people you said yes?”

“Something like that,” Jane smiled. “My mum was already thinking about leaving London so I had nothing to tie me here any more. LA was a big, exciting new adventure that quickly turned into home.”

Jane smiled and Sabina could see it reach her eyes for the first time since they had sat down.

“I don’t miss London but right now I’d love to be back in California,” Jane bit her lip slightly. “I don’t know why, but I feel like we shouldn’t be here right now. I know it’s part of the job but something just feels off.”

“Maybe you’re just missing Langdon?” Sabina asked and Jane shrugged slightly, her eyes falling to her milkshake as the pushed the straw through the thick cream.

Sabina waited a second before leaning her head on her fist and sliding her elbow along the table until her eyes were level with Jane’s.

“Is that all I’m getting? A shrug. What’s up?”

“Nothing,” Jane tried to smile. “I’m fine.”

Sabina raised an eyebrow.

“You’re always ‘fine’. Spill.”

Jane sighed and leant back in her chair, the cream from her milkshake slowly sliding down the edge of her glass.

“I haven’t had many boyfriends,” she spoke quietly, as if embarrassed. “I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about him. Or how much I should be missing him. How am I supposed to know when to call him or if he still wants to speak to me?”

“You’re asking the wrong person,” Sabina smirked but Jane had looked away again.

“Hey,” Sabina smiled gently, placing her hand on Jane’s until she looked up. “Those aren’t things you should have to question. I might not know what it feels like to be with the right person, but I know what it feels like when it’s wrong. Only you can decide what’s right for you.”

“But he’s so nice,”Jane laughed slightly. “He has an awful taste in music but he’s kind. And funny.”

“And cute,” Sabina added and Jane nodded with a smile, but she could see the sadness that had returned to her eyes.

“And safe?” Sabina asked and Jane knew instantly what she meant. She looked away again and pulled her hand from underneath Sabina’s, not daring to give away how she was feeling.

“There’s nothing wrong with safe if that’s what you’re looking for,” Sabina spoke gently. “But I know you, remember. I know you’d rather be out rock climbing or cave diving or shooting at something. You don’t do safe. Not in that way.”

There was a silence again.

“What am I supposed to do?” Jane asked softly, her voice cracking at the edges as she looked up at Sabina.

“I can’t answer that for you,” Sabina smiled, finishing the last of her milkshake and twisting the straw around her fingers. “You’ll know what’s right, don’t worry. These things always work out the way they’re supposed to.”

“You sound confident on that,” Jane raised an eyebrow.

“I don’t mean for me,” Sabina laughed. “I’m way beyond help. You know that.”

Jane smiled and Sabina glanced over her shoulder.

“Stop stressing, it’ll all be fine. Be right back, I’m going to get Elena a cupcake.”

Jane watched as she left, an all too familiar feeling flickering in her chest that she couldn’t quite explain.

The walk back to the outpost should only have taken them twenty minutes but Sabina insisted on taking the longer route along the river so they could watch the street entertainment again. When they eventually returned to the outpost Elena and Bosley were waiting for them, both sat with their feet tucked up and flicking through the information they had collected over the past few days.

“I thought you two went for lunch?” Boz asked as they entered.

“We did,” Sabina shrugged, falling into the sofa next to her. “And a walk. Jane was showing me the sights.”

“Really?” Boz raised an eyebrow and turned back to her tablet. “Well while you two have been enjoying yourselves Elena has found something else that could be helpful.”

She tapped the tablet and the blank tv mimicked Boz’s screen.

“Is that Robinson’s calendar?” Jane asked, sitting down next to Elena.

“Yep,” Elena smiled. “His security system really is shocking. But he’s got his diary blocked out tomorrow from 9:30.”

“You think he’s going to the warehouse?” Sabina asked.

“We think so,” Boz nodded. “There isn’t much information other than-”

She clicked the diary entry and it opened to read “FG & NM”.

“Fredrick Gough and Nigel Mathews,” Jane sighed. “So they’re all going to be there again.”

“Which is why I need you three on a boat,” Bosley instructed and both Sabina and Elena groaned.

“Let me guess, you get sea sick?” Sabina asked Elena with a smirk and she blushed slightly.

“Not all the time,” she protested. “Maybe if we’re on the river it won’t be too bad.”

“We’ve been on a boat before,” Jane stated.

“Yeah, but she slept through most of that,” Sabina added with a smirk and Elena rolled her eyes.

“Well why are you complaining?” Elena rounded on Sabina.

“It’s freezing out there, it’ll be even worse on a boat!”

“Anyway,” Boz continued. “If the calendar is right then Robinson will be meeting Gough and Mathews at the warehouse around 9:30 so I need you three there earlier than that.”

Bosley pointed to the tablet on the table in front of her which now showed a map of London again.

“I’ve hired a boat from here so you should be able to get near the warehouse from this side. Anybody going in or out will be visible from the river,” Bosley explained. “Jane, you still have the binoculars. Keep an eye on any boat that goes near the warehouse, I don’t care if it’s just a dinghy. The river is wide there so you don’t need to get close. And don’t draw attention to yourselves. We’re still working surveillance.”

Bosley glanced at Sabina who frowned with a silent ‘what?’, her hand finding her chest in mock hurt.

“And if they engage?” Jane asked while looking over the map in front of her.

“There’s no reason for that to happen,” Boz shook her head. “There are hundreds of boats around the area and as far as we know Gough has no idea we’re on to him.”

“As far as we know,” Jane pressed, turning to Bosley.

“Just stay out of sight,” Boz nodded. “You’ll get your chance to bring him in when the time is right. In the meantime make use of the Agency’s training facilities. I’m sure Saint would be happy to run some drills with you as long as you don’t hurt each other before tomorrow.”

Boz left with the wave of her hand, mumbling something about needing cheese to get through a video call she had to sit through with the LA office.

“Hey, what about that number I got from Emily?” Sabina pointed to her arm as she turned to Elena.

“No good,” Elena shrugged. “It’s a normal pay as you go sim, no details available for who owns it. We’re keeping it on file in case we need it later but there’s nothing we can use right now.”

“Unsurprising really,” Jane sighed.

“Right, you ready to get your ass kicked, Elena?” Sabina changed the subject as she wiggled her shoulders with a wide grin. “Let’s see what you’ve learnt during your training.”

Elena groaned, leaning her head back on the sofa.

“Go easy on me?”

“No chance.”

Sabina jumped over the back of the sofa and headed for the door.

“See you in the ring!”

Elena watched her go then turned to Jane.

“She won’t go easy, will she?”

“Nope,” Jane shook her head with a laugh. “Watch out for her left hook, I’ve taken her elbow to the head so many times.”

Elena groaned again and sunk further into the sofa, before she frowned and looked back to Jane.

“Hey, where’s my cake?”

“Sabina ate it on the way back,” Jane said simply.

“Of course she did,” Elena threw her hands in the air. “And now she’s going to beat me up. This is a great day.”

~*~*~*~*~

“Let’s play a game,” Sabina announced excitedly, bouncing in the sofa.

They had spent nearly three hours in the gym that afternoon, Jane and Sabina putting Elena through numerous drills to check how much she’d learnt, and they were both impressed at how far she’d come already.

Jane had made the mistake of going easy on Sabina when she noticed the darkening bruises across her ribs and was knocked to the ground within seconds, Sabina’s smirk more annoying than being taken down so easily. She’d decided after that point to focus on building up Elena’s combat skills and learnt never to ‘go easy’ on Sabina again.

“Or lets have an early night before we’re on a boat tomorrow,” Jane answered Sabina’s question with the raise of an eyebrow.

“No,” Sabina drew out the word in a groan and leant into Jane’s side. “Come on, it’s only ten. Stop being an old woman. We don’t even need to drink.”

The Angels had showered, changed into their pyjamas and ordered a pizza while Bosley continued her video call with the LA team and Saint complained about their choice of food, insisting he make them a detox smoothie instead. Which they had declined as politely as possible.

They had all decided to stay in the living area of the outpost with the lights turned low and the tv that nobody was paying attention to playing quietly in the background. Jane had planned on an early night but Sabina clearly had other ideas.

“What were you thinking?” Elena asked cautiously.

“Spin the bottle?”

“No,” Jane responded bluntly.

“Fine,” Sabina sighed. “Two truths one lie. Make it interesting. Elena, go!”

Jane smirked slightly at the look on Sabina’s face, her wide grin lighting up her eyes. This was the Sabina she liked to be around; the care free, life of the party. But it was also the one she worried about the most. When Sabina was quiet Jane knew to give her some space to let her work out whatever was going on in her head, but when she was like this then Jane didn’t know if it was genuine Sabina or she was trying to hide her pain.

She liked to think that she was getting better at working out the difference.

“I don’t know!” Elena panicked. “You’ve put me on the spot!”

“Ok, I’ll start,” Sabina grinned. “One, my favourite horse growing up was named Rolo. Two, I hate strawberries. And three, the most expensive car I’ve ever stolen was an Aston Martin.”

“That’s so easy,” Jane smiled. “I expected better from you.”

“Had to start off easy for our new recruit,” Sabina shrugged, looking to Elena for an answer. “I’m not giving away all my secrets this early.”

“You stole an Aston?” Elena asked, mouth hanging open slightly.

“I might have.”

“Of course you did!” Jane laughed. “Why would you have taken something easier and low key. That’s so not your style.”

“So what’s the lie?” Sabina was still grinning, wiggling her shoulders as she looked to Elena again.

“I don’t know,” Elena flustered, waving her hands animatedly. “The horse?”

“Wrong!” Jane almost shouted. “Sabina loves strawberries. That ones the lie.”

Sabina pointed at Jane and winked, her smile only growing.

“Oh,” Elena threw her head back. “I panicked, I didn’t have time to think!”

“You’re so cute,” Sabina laughed. “Jane, your turn.”

Jane groaned and closed her eyes.

“Do I have to?”

“Yes!”

“Fine,” she grumbled, suddenly at a loss for words and frustrated at having to think on the spot. “One, I had two hamsters when I was a kid that quickly turned into about twelve because they weren’t two males, like we were sold. Two, I accidentally shot my target practice instructor in the foot with a rubber bullet while training because I forgot I’d loaded the gun. And...”

This time it was Jane who was panicking, her arms waving around as she closed her eyes trying to think of a third. When she opened them again they fell on Sabina’s, her bright green pupils glinting under the artificial light as she sat crossed legged on the sofa next to her.

“Three, I once kissed a girl just for fun.”

Sabina smirked, a playful look on her features.

“Easy,” Sabina was definitely in a good mood, her hands clenched together in her lap as she faced Jane. “What do you think, Elena?”

“Em...” Elena mumbled as she thought over the question but Sabina’s eyes never left Jane’s, the smile still painted on her lips.

“This is a stupid game,” Jane stated as she broke their eye contact and looked down at her hands.

Sabina moved before Jane had a chance to react, leaning towards her on the sofa just as Jane glanced back up. And then Sabina pressed her lips firmly against Jane’s, just for a second, before pulling away again with a laugh and falling back onto her side of the sofa.

“Now you have three truths. The last one was obviously a lie!” Sabina was enjoying herself but Jane had frozen having been caught completely off guard.

Elena giggled at the stunned look on Jane’s face and wide grin on Sabina’s lips as she leant back and continued to laugh, her messy hair falling across her eyes.

“Elena, it’s definitely your turn,” Sabina breathed turning in her direction, but Elena was still smiling.

“Oh come on Jane, it was only a little one. Everyone needs to know how it feels. Elena, do you want one next?” Sabina joked as she pursed her lips and rolled from the sofa, jumping on top of Elena whose giggles only grew louder.

Sabina tucked her knees up and positioned herself next to Elena, glancing over at Jane.

“Look at her. Maybe I’ve just turned her to the dark side. I kissed a girl and I liked it,” Sabina started singing, wiggling next to Elena. “The taste of her strawberry chapstick.”

Elena laughed again at Sabina’s change in words and Jane rolled her eyes.

“That’s not how the game works,” she stated.

“My game, my rules,” Sabina shrugged. “Elena, go before I kiss you too.”

“Ok, ok. One, I blew up the lab twice with Langdon during our first three months working on Calisto. Two, I was scared of heights until Bosley made me land a plane. And three, I tried to dye by hair pink when I was seventeen and turned it bright orange.”

Sabina picked up a few strands of Elena’s hair and frowned.

“Would you ever be daring enough to colour your hair?”

Elena shrugged.

“Hair dye,” Jane nodded in agreement. “That’s the lie.”

“Nope,” Elena smiled. “It was bright orange for two weeks until I got it professionally fixed! The lab was the lie. We blew it up five times. And got banned from experimenting on a Friday because the cleaners didn’t like working over the weekend.”

“You little rebel,” Sabina smiled. “I think you’d suit orange.”

“Never again,” she groaned. “Does this mean I win?”

“Suppose it does,” Sabina nodded and turned to Jane. “What do you think?”

“Agreed.”

“Well as my prize, I’m going to bed,” Elena yawned. “But this has been fun. See you bright and early.”

She leant her head on Sabina’s shoulder briefly before heading to her room with a wave of her hand.

“We’re going to be busy tomorrow,” Jane agreed as she stood from the sofa and stretched, her eyes meeting Sabina’s again and not wanting to look away. “And I promised Saint I’d fit in a training session before we leave. I want to break your record on his assault course.”

“You shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep. That time is unbeatable,” Sabina smirked and Jane couldn’t help but smile in return.

“You should get to bed too.”

“I will,” Sabina nodded. “I just have a few things to do first. Don’t worry, I’ll be ready to go tomorrow morning.”

“I know,” Jane almost whispered. “Good night.”

“Night.”

Jane reluctantly left and headed towards her room, a strange sensation in her chest and a feeling that she had been the one to win this evening, not Elena.

Chapter Text

“Forgive me if I start to sound like a broken record, but you do remember how cold London is, don’t you?” Jane asked as Sabina appeared in the living area wearing a pair of denim shorts and a cropped shirt that barely covered her midriff, despite the grey morning they had woken up to.

Sabina pouted and threw her hands on her hips.

“Yes,” she sighed. “Which is why I put these on.”

She wiggled her feet at Jane who noticed the thick leather boots that laced up to the middle of Sabina’s calves, silver buckles glimmering on the front.

“Yeah, they’re going to keep you warm,” Jane’s words dripped in sarcasm as she shook her head. “Where’s Elena?”

“Here!” Elena came skidding out of her room and along the hall with a thick coat over her shoulders. “What do I need? Do I have everything?”

“You have got to stop overthinking, dude,” Sabina laughed, shoving Elena’s shoulder. “We’re on lookout today, nothing more. You might even get to do some sight seeing while we’re on the boat. If you don’t puke.”

“Yeah, of course,” Elena nodded quickly, slightly out of breath. “But I might bring my dots with me just in case, they’re small enough to fit in my bag.”

“If you must,” Jane was on her feet and checking the location on the tablet. “The tracker is moving and Boz is going to keep an eye on it while we’re on the river.”

“That I will,” Boz appeared behind them with a mug of coffee in her hands. “And I’ll be following you from the car as best I can. There’s a car park opposite the warehouse so I’ll be stationed there, but our comms will be connected the whole time so I’ll be with you. Let me know what you see and check any boat that goes near the warehouse.”

“Got it,” Jane nodded, her binoculars already packed into her bag.

“I’m going for breakfast while you three finish getting ready.”

“Saint made pancakes,” Sabina grinned and heard Bosley’s “yes!” as she practically skipped to the kitchen.

Jane placed the tablet on the table with the familiar map of London filling the screen.

“The car is still on the move but we’re almost sure Gough, Robinson and Mathews will be there. Which means that Mason will be-”

“Who?” Sabina interrupted with a frown.

“Mason,” Jane repeated but Sabina just shook her head. “The Hulk.”

“Ooh,” Sabina drew out the word. “Wait, is that his first name or last?”

“Last.”

“Right,” Sabina nodded. Jane began again but Sabina held up her hand. “Just one more question.”

Jane responded with a raised eyebrow.

“What’s his first name? Because I’m imagining something like Bruce, but I don’t know if it’s because of the whole Hulk thing...”

She was waving her hands around animatedly and Jane couldn’t help but roll her eyes again.

“I can’t remember, Sabina. Does it really matter?”

“Suppose not,” Sabina tilted her head and nodded for Jane to continue.

“I thought you’d read all the notes Bosley gave us?”

“I just skipped over him though,” Sabina shrugged. “I know enough about how he fights. He’s fast, strong and can knock you out with one punch.”

“Thanks for that,” Jane started again. “Anyway, Mason is likely to be with Gough. He seems to be his new right hand man so we can expect him to be at the warehouse too. We just need evidence of the firearms leaving or entering the building so we can start to move on from the surveillance stage.”

“Surveillance is always the most boring part of our job,” Sabina sighed and was met with a shake of the head from Jane. “Oh come on, you gotta agree. Sitting around watching people come and go is boring compared to a good fist fight.”

Jane couldn’t hide her smirk and Sabina noticed.

“I knew you agreed,” she whispered into Jane’s ear as she learnt over the tablet and then disappeared again.

“That wasn’t a joke, was it?” Elena asked as she watched Sabina head to the kitchen.

“She just loves to punch someone,” Jane shrugged slightly, distracted by the warmth of Sabina’s breath that still lingered on her neck.

Elena couldn’t help but feel nervous at the thought of the mission and their involvement in it. She was quickly learning that her training, which had been difficult and exhausting, was nothing like the real thing. Training had been relentless and fast paced, a new skill learnt every day, but it had also been lonely despite being surrounded by new recruits. They had encouraged each other to get through each task and spent hours in the gym improving their combat skills, but she had felt lost without Jane and Sabina by her side. Not that she would ever admit that to anyone.

She had been an official Angel for only a few weeks and yet she couldn’t imagine working with anyone else.

She wasn’t nervous at the thought of being in danger or getting close to the men that had previously stared up at her from the file notes Bosley had given her. She wasn’t even worried about having to physically fight off one of those men, although she would admit that the thought of coming face to face with Mason was a little terrifying.

What she was worried about the most was letting her team down. Of doing something so wrong that they decided she wasn’t Angel material after all and sent her back to a lab job. She didn’t know what she’d do if that happened.

“You’ll be fine today,” Jane smiled as if having read Elena’s mind. “You’re ready. And we’ll train again later before we get anywhere close to the warehouse. The only thing you need to worry about today is not going crazy when Sabina tells you how bored she is for the hundredth time.”

Elena nodded with a smile and felt herself relax slightly. Jane was right, they’d be fine.

Bosley appeared from the kitchen, Sabina following close behind with another pancake, and perched on the arm of the chair.

“Ready to go?”

“Yup,” Jane grabbed her bag containing her binoculars and threw it over her shoulder. “Elena, you’ll be steering the boat until Bosley confirms we’re in the right place.”

“I’ll be what?” Elena stuttered, her eyes wide.

“You landed a plane, this will be easy,” Bosley shrugged and handed Elena a small credit card sized piece of plastic. “Give that to the guy at the boat hire and he’ll know what to do. It’s all been organised.”

They left the outpost ten minutes later, Boz dropping them off at the boat hire before moving further up the river to wait for them. They were given the keys without complication and it took only a few minutes before Elena worked out the controls.

“Boz was right, this is much easier than a plane,” she smiled and Jane couldn’t help but laugh.

“Of course it is!”

The bitter wind nipped at their skin as they slowly made their way along the river towards the warehouse, Sabina complaining the majority of the way that she was cold despite Jane’s earlier warning. The compact passenger boat was big enough to hold around eight people at the very most, the controls covered by a short roof that offered little protection from the wind.

“This would be perfect for a party,” Sabina glanced around the boat. “Not so great in the middle of winter though.”

Elena nodded with a grin.

“I never knew the Thames was so busy,” she frowned as she steered around a small fishing boat that was headed in the other direction. “And so murky.”

“It’s supposed to be the cleanest river in the world that runs through a major city,” Jane stated as she looked over the edge of the boat. “Although it’s certainly not somewhere you’d choose to go for a swim. Who knows what’s in there.”

The river traffic got noticeably lighter and the river wider the further they travelled until eventually the warehouse came into view on the right hand side.

“About there should do it, Elena,” Boz sounded over the comms and Elena killed the engine, the boat coming to a stop in the middle of the river.

The warehouse could be seen clearly from their position, and most importantly the small dock at the back of the heavy wooden doors. Jane moved to the back of the boat and took out her binoculars, perching at the edge and focusing on the road that led to the warehouse.

“I can see the car,” she spoke and Boz confirmed over the comms.

“The tracker stopped about five minutes ago.”

“Now what?” Elena asked, a nervous edge to her voice.

“We wait,” Sabina lay along the small bench and wrapped her leather jacket tighter. “Next time we’re going somewhere warmer, this is ridiculous.”

Jane rolled her eyes and focused in closer on the back of the warehouse.

“There’s two boats there already. And about seven guys. I don’t recognise any of them,” Jane clicked the camera button to save what she could see and frowned. “Hang on, I can see Gough. They’re going inside.”

Sabina sat up and glanced in the same direction but couldn’t see a thing.

“Boz, how much do you think we’re going to see from this distance?”

“Don’t get any closer,” Bosley warned. “We need evidence of who’s involved before we can start moving nearer.”

“You’re no fun,” Sabina groaned.

Jane lowered the binoculars as the men disappeared into the building and sat on the bench by Sabina and Elena.

“Let me know if you see anything,” Jane sighed and placed the binoculars on the bench.

They sat in silence for a few minutes, each of them shivering slightly in the cold, until Sabina frowned and crossed her bare legs on the bench.

“Can we stop at the supermarket on the way back to the outpost?” She asked, rubbing her hands together in an attempt to feel her fingers. “We passed one on the way here and I really want to try a crumpet.”

“A crumpet?” Elena asked. “Why?”

“I just like the sound of it,” Sabina shrugged. “Crumpet. It’s so British.”

“And you’re so odd,” Jane spoke with a smirk.

“Or maybe we could go for afternoon tea?” Sabina’s English accent was back, the grin playing on her lips.

“You do realise Britain is a multi-cultural country, right?” Jane asked with a raise of an eyebrow. “Not everyone sounds like the queen.”

“I’m just copying how you sound,” Sabina smirked, knowing it was guaranteed to annoy Jane, then jumped to her feet and shook her arms, dancing on the spot.

“I swear this is one of the coldest missions I’ve ever been on and I’ve been to Greenland,” Sabina shivered before adding “In winter.”

Jane rolled her eyes and Elena picked up the binoculars, skimming the riverbank.

“We’re going to sit here and freeze all morning, right Boz?” Sabina asked playfully as she continued to jump on the spot.

“If you must, yes,” Bosley always seemed to have a certain tone to her voice saved just for Sabina.

“How’s the Jeep? Nice any warm?”

“Try not to sound too jealous, Sabina.”

“Bitch,” Sabina muttered under her breath with a grin and knew that Bosley would have heard.

Jane couldn’t help the smile on her lips, knowing that only her team mate could get away with talking to Bosley the way she did. She had that effect on people. The ones that knew the real Sabina anyway.

“Eh, guys? I think we’re about to get company,” Elena’s nervous voice instantly ignited a spark in Jane’s mind and she clicked back into Angel mode in a micro second.

Jane and Sabina turned at Elena’s words and sure enough, just within sight, they could make out what appeared to be a speedboat heading in their direction. Jane took the binoculars from Elena and focused on the boat.

“Shit. It’s Mason and Edward.”

“Boz?” Elena asked nervously but Jane was already searching through her bag.

“They shouldn’t know you’re there,” Bosley’s voice wavered slightly but Jane didn’t miss it.

“Well they do!”

Elena’s hands trembled, her heart hammering in her chest. They were supposed to be on surveillance only. She hadn’t prepared for this. But she was an Angel, this was what she had to expect from now on. She had to be prepared for any eventuality.

She could see Jane pull a small hand gun from her bag and tuck it into her back pocket. Sabina had moved to stand at the other side of the boat nearest the approaching speedboat, her hands clenched in tight fists and shoulder back, ready to fight.

They were both ready, and Elena had to be too. She couldn’t let them down.

“Be careful ladies, and get back here as soon as you can,” Bosley’s voice sounded over the comms. “Elena, if you can get the boat back then do it, I don’t want you three out there any longer than you have to be.”

The speedboat appeared quicker than Elena was expecting and circled their boat, water splashing onto their feet.

“We might be caught up a little,” Jane rolled a knot out of her shoulder and glanced at Sabina who grinned.

“Now this is more exciting,” she wiggled her hips as the speedboat pulled up beside them and both Mason and Edward stood up.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” Bosley’s voice was strained, nervous even.

“Would I?” Sabina smiled and Elena felt her heartbeat quicken further at the playful look on Sabina’s lips.

Jane took a breath as Mason stepped on to the boat and closed the distance between them in three strides, Robert close behind.

“This is a private party,” Jane tilted her head, her fingers twitching as they gravitated towards her gun in her back pocket. “And I’m afraid you two aren’t on the guest list.”

Mason smirked.

“You‘ve been following us,” his voice was deep and gravelly, his small eyes fixed on Jane.

“Don’t flatter yourselves,” Sabina frowned. “Why would we be following you?”

“My question exactly,” Robert stepped out from behind Mason, his own fists clenched. “Hello again, Sabina. I thought you said you were visiting London alone.”

Sabina shrugged.

“Did I? Or did you just assume?”

Jane caught Elena’s eye and could see the questions she was desperate to ask. Jane nodded slightly, hoping it would be enough to reassure her.

They seemed to pause, no one wanting to react first.

“Well thanks for the visit, but we really need to-” Sabina directed her thumb over her shoulder and towards the riverbank.

“I don’t think so,” Mason smirked, pulling a long blade from a pocket on the side of his trousers.

“That’s really not a good place to keep that,” Sabina stepped back slightly, Jane following her lead.

“I’m calling in back up, just be careful!” Bosley almost shouted over their comms and Elena could feel her hands tremble again at the sound of her voice.

There was a brief stillness and then Mason moved first, lunging at Sabina who managed to move quicker, stepping nimbly to the side and throwing her arms up to balance herself.

“Wow, play nice!”

Jane grasped her gun and aimed it at Mason’s chest before he could move again but he only smirked, a deep laugh escaping his lips.

“That’s cheating, bringing a gun to a knife fight.”

“We weren’t expecting a fight to begin with,” Jane kept her ground, hands not moving an inch.

“And yet you brought a gun. For what, fishing?”

He dropped his head with a smile, twisting the knife around in his hand, then threw a muscular arm upwards and knocked the gun from Jane’s hands. It hit the side of the boat and fell into the water, leaving Jane’s hands empty.

“Shit. Still think this is going to be fun?” she muttered, stepping back to stand next to Sabina.

“Yeah,” Sabina nodded with a nervous laugh. “Just avoid the knife and we’ll be fine. Elena, stay close.”

Elena nodded quickly and raised her hands which she’d balled into tight fists. She wasn’t sure who moved next but within seconds she had ducked to avoid an outstretched arm from Edward as both Jane and Sabina threw themselves at Mason.

They fought just as they had done in training, not holding back for a second. It was almost choreographed, the elbow to the ribs and fist to the gut. It was nothing they hadn’t done before, Elena included, and Jane knew Sabina would be enjoying it as much as she was. Even if they shouldn’t. Because Sabina was right, this beat sitting around watching the warehouse any day.

This is what they had been trained to do.

Mason threw an arm out and Jane felt it make contact with the side of her jaw, the taste of blood instant. She staggered slightly but remained on her feet, her hands balling into fists.

“Oh, now you’re in trouble,” Sabina smirked appearing behind Mason and kicking out, her foot finding the back of his knee and causing him to lunge forward. Jane was waiting and threw a punch in return, her knuckles cracking as they made contact with his temple.

“Sabina!” Elena shouted from across the boat and she turned to see Edward with his arm around Elena’s neck, before Elena stamped on his foot and drove an elbow into his stomach.

“I got this!” Jane nodded and Sabina jumped across the bench and towards Edward, throwing her own elbow in his direction and watching as he crumpled to the ground with a groan.

“I thought we were friends!” Sabina raised her hands as if asking him a serious question and Edward spat out a mouthful of blood.

“You didn’t call me back.”

“Why are all guys so needy?” Sabina shook her head, hands on her hips as she turned to Elena. “You got him now?”

“Yeah,” Elena nodded and Sabina was gone again while Jane continued to grapple with Mason, his blade worrying close to the skin on Jane’s neck.

As soon as Sabina had moved Edward pushed himself to his feet and lunged at Elena but she reacted quicker, her hand finding the pocket of her woollen winter coat and grasping the small tin of ‘mints’ she had dropped in there earlier that morning.

When Edward moved again Elena was ready, sticking a dot perfectly on the side of Edward’s neck before he’d had a chance to move any further. He fell back and slumped against the edge of the boat, the speedboat still bumping against the side. Elena quickly pushed him over the edge where he landed in the speedboat with a soft ‘thud’ and she pushed it back with her foot, letting a now unconscious Edward drift away.

“You didn’t tranq yourself!” Sabina grinned from across the boat as she ducked under Mason’s outstretched arms and kicked him behind the knees; he staggered but stayed upright, his grasp still on Jane’s shoulders. “That training really paid off, Elena.”

Sabina’s elbow to Mason’s arm was enough to loosen his grip enough for Jane to pull away but still he stayed on his feet. And he was quick, twisting on the spot and plunging the fist not holding the blade into Sabina’s bruised ribs. She stumbled to her knees, gasping for breath as the pain shot through her lung and her vision blurred slightly, but Jane was back in seconds.

She pushed her shoulder into Mason’s ribs and watched as he staggered, but he was quicker than she had expected and again he aimed his knife in her direction. Jane could feel the blade catch the top of her arm even through her coat but managed to outstretch her hands, pushing against Mason’s arms as the blade got nearer to her throat. Mason used his full force to push her across the boat and Jane stumbled backwards until her heel caught the side and she felt her balance waver.

“Jane!”

Sabina clambered to her feet as Mason held Jane over the edge of the boat, the blade catching the reflection from the water as it hovered by her skin, her knuckles turning white as she desperately fought to hold him back.

Mason smirked, a cruel glint in his eyes that told Jane he was used to winning the fight. Her arms trembled and she could feel her muscles screaming at her, willing her not to give in.

But Jane had never backed down from a fight in her life, and she wasn’t going to start now.

He shook his head slightly, the movement barely noticeable, and pushed against her once again. Jane barely had time to brace herself as she felt her knee hit the edge of the boat and her foot slip from underneath her, before she toppled over the side and plunged into the cold, murky water of the Thames. Pulling Mason in with her as she fell.

“No,” Sabina’s breath caught in her chest as she pushed herself to the edge of the boat, desperately searching the water below.

“Sabina, don’t!” Bosley’s warning came clear through the comms but Sabina didn’t hesitate for a second. Instantly shrugging off her leather jacket she stepped on the edge of the boat and dived into the murky water, leaving Elena suddenly alone on the small deck.

Sabina felt the coldness of the water hit her already aching lungs and her chest instantly tighten, fighting back the urge to inhale in shock. The salt water stung her eyes and burnt her throat but she pushed that aside, her training from many years ago kicking in instinctively.

She could make out the shape of Jane in front of her, her arms still tightly gripping Mason’s as she pushed back the knife that was directed at her throat. They looked like a tangle of limbs through the silty water as Sabina swam downwards, reaching them in seconds. She tried to pull her arm back but quickly realised that her punch wouldn’t have the desired effect underwater, so instead she swam behind Mason and grabbed him in a choke hold.

It’s effect was less than it would have been had they still been on the boat but it worked. The shock of Sabina grabbing him was enough for Mason to loosen his grip just enough for Jane to pull away and kick the blade from his hand.

Sabina nodded her head upwards to Jane as an order to get to the surface but she could see her ready herself to grab Mason again and knew she wouldn’t leave. She doubted Jane could see her roll her eyes underwater, but she knew Jane too well by now.

She knew how she fought.

She knew she wouldn’t leave until the target was immobilised.

But Sabina had to keep her safe. She had to get Jane out of the water.

Jane steadied herself and Sabina could tell she was about to move. In the split second it took for Jane to reach forwards Sabina kicked out her foot, relieved when it made contact with Jane’s stomach and the bubbles shot from her mouth in surprise.

She’d have to surface now.

Jane threw a hand out in frustration and started swimming upwards, Sabina letting the relief wash over her before she realised the tightness in her chest. She’d need to follow soon. Mason thrashed in her arms and Sabina let go of her grip, pushing him downwards and using his shoulder to push herself towards the surface.

Her chest ached and she was sure her vision was starting to blur at the edges, but she could see the murky sky getting closer and knew she was only a few seconds away from a soggy embrace from Jane as they laughed at how cold the water was on their bare skin.

Just a few more seconds and she could breathe in the crisp fresh air.

The pressure on her ankle made Sabina jump, cold water seeping through her nostrils and stinging her throat. Mason’s hand grasped tight and she was sure she could see the determined look in his eyes as he pulled her downwards, just as Sabina’s fingertips brushed the surface.

She didn’t know how much longer she could hold her breath. She could hear her heart pounding in her ears, screaming at her for air. She used to practice when she was in training and often annoyed Elena by asking her if she’d managed to hold her breath for six minutes yet, but her record had been just over two. And that was in much warmer water, without first grappling with a hulk of a body guard who was still pulling her downwards.

His hand reached out and grasped her shirt, pulling her towards him with ease until they were eye to eye. Even in the murky water she could see his smirk.

And then a sharp, all consuming pain struck her abdomen as Mason thrust a blade into her skin, his eyes never leaving hers. Sabina opened her mouth as if to scream and inhaled automatically, her fingers reaching for the wound and the water flooding her airways. She gasped again, kicking out desperately in an attempt to stop herself from sinking further, but Mason wouldn’t let go. The numbingly cold water seeped through her very veins as she desperately tried to grasp hold of something, anything, in front of her.

But there was nothing.

Mason finally released his grasp on Sabina’s shirt and pulled the blade away with a twist of his wrist, sending a lightening strike of pain shooting through Sabina’s already screaming body.

‘Of course he had another knife’ she thought to herself as a strange sensation pulsed through her veins, her limbs heavy and unmoving. She should probably have checked for that. Something from her training flickered at the edge of her memory but she couldn’t remember what it was.

Bosley would have something to say about that. She’d reprimand her for not paying attention. Jane and Elena wouldn’t have made the same mistake.

Bosley.

Elena.

Jane.

She smiled slightly as her eyes drifted closed and their faces filled her mind.

‘I’m sorry’ she thought and hoped that somehow they’d be able to hear her. That they’d know she was sorry for leaving them and understand why she had to. Bosley was used to her ignoring orders by now but Sabina had to keep them safe, no matter the consequences. She couldn’t leave Jane alone in the water with Mason, not when she had seen the look in his eyes.

Her lungs felt like ice, her body numb and on fire at the same time.

And then everything fell silent.

There was no sound of water rushing in her ears. Not even the pulsing of her own heartbeat. Nothing but stillness and darkness as Sabina felt the very last of her energy leave her body and she slowly drifted further into the abyss.

Chapter Text

Jane broke the surface of the water and immediately felt the cold wind hit her skin as she gasped for air, the salt stinging her eyes and blurring her vision. Her arms desperately pushed at her sides in an attempt to keep her head above the water as she slowly managed to take in her surroundings. She squeezed her eyes shut and when she opened them again she could just make out the small boat in front of her.

“Jane!” Elena’s voice wobbled as she leant over the side of the boat with her hands out in Jane’s direction. “Jane swim this way, come on!”

She did as Elena instructed, her limbs moving automatically as her chest tightened and she coughed out the salt water that had collected in her mouth.

“Where’s Sabina?” Jane asked as she dragged herself closer to Elena, her arms feeling like lead. She turned to look over her shoulder for any sign of movement on the river’s surface, but there was nothing. “Elena, where is she?”

“I don’t- I don’t know,” Elena stuttered. “I can’t see anything.”

Jane grabbed the side of the boat but made no attempt to pull herself inside. The water was too dark to see further than her own hands just below the surface but it didn’t stop her from trying, her jaw beginning to shiver as the cold water clung to her skin. Her thick coat was heavy on her shoulders, as if trying to drag her back under the surface and only trapping the cold against her body; she clumsily unzipped it and shrugged it off.

“Elena, speak to me,” Bosley’s voice wobbled and Elena could see her in the distance, stood at the rocky edge of the river having abandoned the car further up the bank. Elena could feel her hands shaking and muscles tense, and for a split second she had to remind herself that she was no longer Elena Houghlin, lab technician.

She was an Angel.

“I- I can’t see her!” Elena stuttered, her hands clutching Jane’s arm as if tethering her to the boat, scared that she would disappear too if she let go. “Boz, I can’t-”

She was an Angel but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t still terrified. Her training had taught her more than she ever thought possible, including many things about herself, but it hadn’t prepared her for this.

There was no training on what to do when your team mates were slipping away in front of your very eyes and all you could do was watch.

She didn’t feel helpless. She felt useless. A spectator in some cruel, sadistic game that she didn’t want to be part of.

“Come on Sabina, you were right behind me,” Jane muttered, gripping Elena’s arm with her free hand. “Come on.”

An eerie silence settled over the river despite the water that gently lapped at the side of the boat. Each second stretched into eternity as if the world had stood still. Until small bubbles popped at the surface only feet from where they were gripping to the side of the boat and they both seemed to freeze, watching as the they grew larger.

Jane hadn’t realised she had been holding her breath until the scream left her lungs.

“NO!”

Mason appeared at the surface of the water with thrashing arms and a shout of frustration, and Jane felt every muscle in her body tense in fear.

She had been down there too long. Something was wrong. Something was really, really wrong.

“Jane, I have him,” Bosley’s voice came over the comms. “Go!”

She didn’t need to be told twice. Jane knew that Bosley’s number one priority was, and always had been, to keep them as safe as she could wherever they may be. She could count on one hand how many times Bosley had encouraged one of them to dive (quite literally in this case) into an unknown danger.

As a team they were experts in planning ahead and working together. Granted, things often played out differently to how they were expecting, but the tattoos on their skin meant they could check in on each other at all times and step in where needed.

But not now. Now, that connection had been lost and for the first time since the explosion in Istanbul Jane felt that she had lost all control over the situation she now found herself in. And she needed to get it back.

At Bosley’s order Jane pulled her arm free of Elena’s grasp and pushed away from the boat, back under the dark, silty water.

She was exhausted. The water freezing. She could feel every muscle in her body tighten as she forced herself through the murky river, desperately searching for any sign of movement.

Jane was half expecting Sabina to swim up to meet her, a watery smile on her lips as if to say ‘ha, gotcha’. But there was nothing but more and more darkness and Jane couldn’t bring herself to surface without her. No matter how much her lungs ached for another breath, she couldn’t leave Sabina down here alone.

But she also couldn’t risk Elena coming in after them. She needed her to be safe too.

‘Give yourself ten more seconds’ Jane thought to herself. ‘Then go back up for more air and try again.’

She started the counting in her head and didn’t miss the fact that she was counting the longest seconds of her life.

‘One, two, three...’

Nothing. Just darkness and silt. Her eyes stung as she blinked, trying to focus on something, anything, around her as she swam down further.

‘Four, five, six...’

How had she let this happen? Why had Sabina come in after her? What made her life worth saving over Sabina’s? She had let her concentration slip only momentarily and had lost her gun when she should have been able to fight him off.

How had she let Mason get the upper hand after reading so much about him over the past few weeks. She should have known how agile he could be, despite his size. Sabina had said so herself. He was dangerous. Skilled. How could she have lost her gun so easily, she had been training long enough to know what to do in those situations.

This was her fault. If Sabina hadn’t come in after her, hadn’t stopped Mason’s blade from reaching her throat...

‘Seven, eight, nine...’

There! Jane caught a glimpse of something and swam towards it as if on instinct, realising within the next second that it was a buckle. A round silver buckle, just like the ones on Sabina’s leather boots she had been parading around in that morning, her bare legs and tiny shorts so common that neither her nor Elena thought twice about it.

The sight of Sabina in front of her sent a bolt of both immense relief and terror through Jane’s body and she was sure that had they not been underwater the tears would have stained her cheeks. But she had to focus. Sabina didn’t have time for her to think too much right now, she had to act.

She looked so small and lifeless even through the darkness of the river and Jane paused for a split second at the thought of never speaking to her again. Of never hearing Sabina’s annoying imitation of her accent or about how Jane had pushed her off a roof. No more movie nights where Sabina fell asleep on her shoulder before the opening titles had even finished, or toast crumbs covering the kitchen because her go-to ‘snack’ was always peanut butter on toast. Even at 3am in the morning when she couldn’t sleep.

No more drunken phone calls or Friday evening parties, Sabina’s warm smile and infectious energy encouraging even Saint to join in on a few of her games.

Jane quickly pulled herself together long enough to grab Sabina’s wrist and pull her limp body in to her own.

She couldn’t look at her too closely, not yet. Not until they were back with Elena.

The swim back up took Jane seconds but felt like a lifetime and when she broke the surface of the water again, the cold air stinging her lungs and whipping at her face, she coughed and scrambled for a few seconds before she managed to pull Sabina on to her back and swim towards Elena’s voice.

She could see Elena’s outstretched arms, her face already stained with mascara tracks.

“Is she-“ she started but all Jane could do was shake her head.

As soon as they were close enough Elena grabbed hold of Sabina under her arms and pulled her over the side of the boat before helping Jane to clamber in behind, both falling to their knees as they lay an unmoving Sabina on the small deck of the boat.

Jane’s hands shook with the cold and shock, and for the first time in her life she didn’t know what to do. All her training vanished from her mind at the sight of her deathly pale, lifeless friend in front of her and she wanted nothing more than to squeeze her eyes shut and make it all disappear.

“Sabina,” Elena was shaking her shoulder but Jane knew it was pointless. She had been in the water for too long. “Sabina, please!”

Jane blinked and took a breath, steadying her rapid heartbeat. She had to do something and fast.

“Jane?” Bosley was still stood at the side of the river and Elena could hear the tears through her voice.

“She’s not breathing,” Jane stated, crawling to Sabina’s side and tilting her head back. She heard Bosley’s breath catch in her throat in what she knew was bordering on a sob but she couldn’t think about her right now.

What had she learnt in her training? They were sent on an extensive first aid course every other year, and often joked with Sabina that it was for her benefit after the numerous scrapes and bruises she’d collect on a mission, but she had never thought she’d need to use what she learnt.

They had Saint to patch them up. But Saint wasn’t with them on the boat and Jane doubted even his expert hands would be able to fix the situation they now found themselves in.

Pinching Sabina’s nose Jane took a deep breath and brought her mouth to Sabina’s blue lips, watching her chest rise slightly with each breath she gave her.

“Come on Sabina, don’t be your usual stubborn self,” she cried as she placed her hands on Sabina’s chest and began compressions, the training that she hope she’d never need now kicking in instinctively. “Don’t do this to us!”

She was so tired, her arms aching despite the adrenalin that coursed through her veins. ‘Don’t you dare stop,’ she told herself. ‘She saved you, you owe her this. Start counting again.’

One, two, three, four, five... keep going.

Breathe. And again.

Elena could see Jane tiring and placed her hands on Sabina’s chest ready to take over once Jane was ready.

Jane looked up and nodded, falling on to the rough flooring of the boat as Elena started the compressions, counting out loud as she did so. As soon as she stopped Jane leant in again, feeling her tears fall from her eyes and land on Sabina’s cheeks as she brought her mouth to hers once more.

Her mind momentarily flickered to the night before, when Sabina’s lips had first found Jane’s as they had laughed together at the outpost, and a sob bubbled in her throat.

“Please don’t do this,” Jane cried as Elena started again and she finally dared to glance towards the riverbank where Bosley was stood with her hands at her mouth. She could hear Bosley holding back the tears and knew from her silence that she didn’t know what to say. Or what to do.

Jane had lost all concept of time. All she knew was that she had to keep going because there was no way they could just stop. Not now. Not ever.

Sabina wouldn’t if it were the other way around.

Why wasn’t it the other way? Why had Sabina come in after her? It had been Jane that had lost her gun. Jane that had fallen in to the river when she couldn’t hold Mason back any longer. And why wasn’t Bosley saying anything?

Because Boz thought they had lost her. That Sabina was gone. And she would never look at Jane the same way again because this was her fault. But she wasn’t letting Sabina go that easily.

“Damn it Sabina, if you don’t wake up I’m going to kill you!”

Jane brought her mouth to Sabina’s yet again and closed her eyes, willing her breath to Sabina’s lungs as if it were her last.

There was a small gargling sound and then Sabina twitched, a cough escaping her body as the water trickled from her mouth. Jane instinctively rolled her on to her side as Sabina continued to cough up water and Jane let out a sound she’d never be able to explain.

“Yes, that’s it Sabina. Come on!”

Jane rubbed her back as Elena fell onto her heels, the tears flowing freely down her cheeks and the relief evident in her eyes.

Lifting her slightly, Jane pulled Sabina on to her lap and under the crook of her arm, pushing her hair from her face.

“Sabina, can you hear me?” She asked softly. “Everything’s going to be ok. We’re going to get out of here.”

Jane could see Sabina’s body tremble slightly and only then realised how cold they both were. But none of that mattered, only the laboured rise and fall of Sabina’s chest that proved she was alive.

She coughed slightly and Jane could see a small bubble of blood form at the edge of Sabina’s lips. Jane wiped it away with her thumb, her hands trembling as she tried to focus on what was happening. That wasn’t right, but she couldn’t work out why. She looked to Elena for answers but Elena’s eyes had widened, her mouth falling open slightly.

“Jane,” Elena sounded panicked and Jane froze again, her whole body on edge. “No, no, no.”

Elena scrambled back to her knees, her hands hovering nervously above Sabina’s pale skin. Jane’s gaze followed Elena’s hands and stopped on Sabina’s previously white cropped shirt that was now stained a dark red, a small pool of blood beginning to form at Jane’s knees. Elena gently pulled aside Sabina’s top revealing a large knife wound to her abdomen and felt her stomach churn.

“Shit,” Elena instinctively placed the heel of her hand on the wound and pressed as hard as she dared, hoping Sabina wouldn’t feel the pain. “Jane, I need you to take over while I get the boat back.”

Jane looked at Elena blankly, her own breathing uneven as she tried not to break down completely, the cold water on her skin numbing her body to her core.

“Jane!” Elena grabbed hold of Jane’s hand and pressed it to Sabina’s abdomen, holding it in place while she looked her in the eyes. “You need to press down hard, ok. You got her out, she’s going to be ok. But don’t take your hand away.”

Jane nodded slightly, her eyebrows furrowing as she seemed to snap back to reality.

“She’s going to be ok,” Elena repeated more to herself than Jane because she had to believe it. She didn’t know what she’d do otherwise.

Elena let go of Jane’s hand and ran back to the controls. She could see the commotion on the riverbank and had no idea where Mason had gone but she didn’t care. All she could think about was getting the boat to Bosley.

“Boz, we need to get her out of here! Now!”

Jane could hear Elena’s words and feel the warm blood seep between her fingers, a stark contrast to their cold skin.

“Why did you come in after me!” Jane cried as she pulled Sabina in closer, letting her tears fall into her hair. “Don’t you dare leave us. Don’t leave me here without you.”

She was too still. Too quiet. She had been in this situation before, having to cradle Sabina’s lifeless body in her arms, but this time was different. Her lips were still tinted blue and her skin was paler than she’d ever seen it before. Jane didn’t dare focus on her chest which she knew wasn’t rising and falling as it should be, taking her small shivers as a sign she was still alive. Still fighting. And hoping it wasn’t a sign of something more sinister.

Jane could hear a helicopter approaching but refused to look up. If she let Sabina go now she didn’t know whether she’d ever see her alive again, and just the thought made Jane’s own heart falter in her chest.

“We’re going to be ok,” Jane whispered into Sabina’s ear as she stroked her hair from her face. “I promise, you’re going to be ok.”

She couldn’t help but hear Sabina’s words from the night before echo through her mind and felt the lump reappear in her throat.

“You shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep.”

Chapter Text

Jane was numb.

Sat alone in the back of an ambulance, a thick blanket draped over her shoulders and a simple bandage wrapped around the top of her arm, she stared at the blood that covered her hands and tried to remember how she had got there.

She could remember the cold water sting her eyes and numb her bones. She could see the blood pooling on the boat as she held Sabina’s lifeless body in her arms. The look on Bosley’s face as she staggered from the boat onto the riverbank, Sabina held tightly to her chest.

She even remembered the bright orange jackets that flooded her vision as the helicopter crew appeared in front of her, wanting her to let go of Sabina. Wanting her to trust them without question with the life of her best friend.

Bosley’s hand on her shoulder and Elena’s pleading eyes were enough for her to finally lay Sabina on the waiting stretcher, the medics crowding her immediately and an orange jacket being replaced by a green one as she was led away to the ambulance.

But none of that felt real now. Jane couldn’t work out whether they were her memories or someone else’s. It was only the blood on her hands that tied her to the images that bounced around in her head and the shivers that shot through her body.

She was so cold. And so tired.

“Jane?”

She looked up as Elena stepped into the back of the ambulance, sitting on the bed next to her and pulling her close in a one armed hug.

“You were brilliant,” Elena whispered. “I don’t know how you found her. Boz is with Sabina now and will meet us at the hospital.”

Jane could only nod in return, her hands still shaking. She didn’t know whether it was due to the cold or something else she didn’t dare consider. Elena placed her hand on Jane’s and squeezed them reassuringly.

“We’re going to be ok.”

“Please don’t,” Jane spoke, her throat aching from the salt water and unshed tears. “You don’t know that. And neither do I. But I told her that anyway. I lied to her, Elena.”

“Hey,” Elena rubbed Jane’s back before moving to stand in front of her, frowning until Jane looked up and met her eyes. “Don’t for a minute think about blaming yourself, ok? Don’t you dare. If you hadn’t gone back-”

She broke off and swallowed a lump in her throat.

“And if I hadn’t fallen in to begin with. If she hadn’t come in after me. If I hadn’t lost my gun,” Jane was speaking quickly now, feeling the panic begin to set in.

“Stop it,” Elena’s voice was stern and even, a stark contrast to Jane’s. “Jane, please. We need to stay strong, for each other.”

She sat next to Jane again and pulled her in close.

“The paramedics will be back soon and then you can get checked over properly at the hospital.”

“I’m fine,” Jane spoke, her eyes on her hands again. On the blood that had dried under her fingernails and stained the creases in her knuckles.

The sound from outside the ambulance of the helicopter blades starting to rotate was enough for the sob that was stuck in Jane’s throat to escape as she clenched her eyes closed.

“Elena-”

“I know,” Elena whispered, leaning her head on Jane’s shoulder and rubbing her back again. “I know.”

~*~*~*~*~

Rebekah Bosley wasn’t one to cry. She had learnt over the years just how difficult it was being a woman in a man’s world, and had fought to prove herself to any doubters. She was the first Angel to take the name of Bosley and had done so with pride. The name now rolled naturally off her tongue and her life of Rebekah had been left far behind.

She had proven she was just as capable as any other Bosley before her, if not more so. She had been an Angel and knew how important it was to have a Bosley you could rely on. Someone you could trust no matter what situation you found yourself in. She had been on the other end of the comms long enough to know how the right words could change a mission and had put her life in a Bosley’s hands on more than one occasion.

Which is why she had felt so terrible leaving her girls in Istanbul without any warning. She had heard them call for her, asking for an update, and yet she had left them on their own with no way of escaping or getting back to the safe house. She had truly thought that she was doing the right thing. Keeping them safe.

But keeping them safe had ended with all three being caught in an explosion and thinking she had something to do with it. That she was the mole.

It had taken her only a few minutes to push herself from the gravel after the shots from Hodak had hit her protective vest, forcing the air out of her lungs. She had managed to crawl to a nearby building and press her back against the cold brick, blinking back the pain that shot through her ribs, when she had seen Jane emerge from the rubble with Sabina in her arms.

She had wanted nothing more than to run to them. To check they were ok and get them to safety. But she couldn’t. Not while John had Elena. Not until she could contact Saint and make sure the others weren’t being followed.

She had thought she was doing the right thing. Just like she had that morning when she placed her Angels on a boat in the middle of the Thames. They were supposed to be safe and yet she had sent them out unprotected. Unprepared.

Bosley ran her hand through her hair and pressed her back against the hard plastic chair outside the operating theatre, the stark smell of disinfectant stinging her nostrils. She had lost all sense of time, the only sign of how long she had sat there being the numbness in her lower back. But she had promised Sabina she wouldn’t leave until she knew she was going to be ok, and there was no way she was going to break that promise.

Bosley had become fully aware of Sabina’s background within her first few weeks as a Bosley. Sabina was known for her unusual yet effective methods of obtaining the information they needed and for causing more than one Bosley some additional paperwork to keep her from expanding her criminal record. She had a painted past full of substance abuse and criminal activities and Bosley would openly admit that she was surprised when she had first met Sabina.

When she had been able to put a face to the name and quickly realise that the Sabina Wilson on paper was a completely different person to the real thing. She was witty and kind. Annoying beyond measure and loyal to a fault. And Bosley soon worked out that Sabina was desperate for comfort and approval despite her initial hard exterior, hiding her pain behind a smile and a sarcastic comment.

And so when she had heard that Sabina had been paired with Jane, her polar opposite in so many ways, Bosley couldn’t help but feel somewhat relieved. They were the perfect pairing, even if it took them a while to realise.

Jane was strong, physically and emotionally. She fought smart and hit hard, memorising her opponents moves with ease and using them against them. She was a quick learner and could shoot any gun that was placed in her hand within seconds.

She reminded Bosley of herself in a way, the way she’d pour over the files until the late hours to make sure she knew as much about the mission as possible. Which is why Sabina had been good for her. They’d been good for each other. And although she’d never admit it to either of them, she’d defend them to her last breath if ever required.

The introduction of Elena had been just what they both needed - to ground Jane and reign Sabina in slightly. At least that’s what she had been hoping for, but instead Elena seemed to bring both the other Angels out of themselves in ways Bosley had never thought possible.

Bosley had often been glad that she could hear their conversations over the comms but keep her side muted. Sabina could be annoying, but Jane fell for it every time and Bosley would often find herself laughing just at the thought of Jane’s reaction.

She has quickly learnt how to handle each of her Angels and had worked out how to help them re-focus after a difficult mission. She’d send Jane to the gym where she’d work for hours with a punch bag. For Sabina she’d arrange a solo-mission where she could flirt to her heart’s content and then punch the guy to the ground once they had the information they needed. And she had learnt from the latest training sessions with Elena that all she had to do was give her a fake bomb to defuse and she’d instantly focus on nothing else, forgetting whatever had been troubling her before then.

She knew how to help her Angels, but now? Now Bosley wasn’t in control. All she could do was sit and wait, hoping that the hospital doors would swing open and the doctor would appear with some good news.

But there was nothing. The hours ticked by, Bosley sent Jane and Elena to clean up and get some sleep, and still Bosley sat on the hard plastic chair outside the operating theatre as if her mere presence could somehow be helpful. She’d try anything.

“Boz?”

She smiled slightly as Jane’s voice came over the comms.

“Elena Houghlin, I hope you haven’t just hacked my system!” Bosley asked with a weak smile on her lips, knowing full well that’s what she had done. That lady really could break in to any security system, including their own.

“Any news?” Jane continued, ignoring the question.

“No,” Bosley answered. “And Elena, don’t link Sabina’s comms, ok? Please. We’ll hear some news soon enough. You two should try to get some sleep.”

There was a silence before Elena answered.

“We’re not tied.”

Lies, of course. But she wouldn’t push it further.

“Well, stay together. I’ll come find you both as soon as I have an update.”

Silence again and Bosley knew that Elena had switched off the comms. The system that only Bosleys were supposed to be able to access and which she had definitely switched off once they were back on dry land. Maybe Elena was more like Sabina than she had given her credit for, breaking the rules after only a few weeks as an official Angel.

Boz smiled at the thought but it quickly fell from her lips.

It had been her idea to put them on the boat. She was the one that had told them they were completing surveillance only. None of them had been prepared for a knife fight, especially not in the middle of the river.

She knew that part of their training was dealing with the unexpected; thinking on your feet and trusting your team mates. And Bosley would always be immensely proud for the way her three Angels worked together. But this was still her fault. They had no weapons other than a box of dots and yet they had still carried out their job expertly.

Bosley had felt sick as she watched the speedboat approach from the riverbank, the guilt hitting her instantly at Elena’s words. ‘We have company.’ She has been so distracted watching the warehouse that she had completely missed Mason and Edward head in their direction, and Bosley had felt her muscles tense when she saw them step from the speedboat. But her Angel’s had fought hard, as she had expected, and she had smiled at their different fighting styles.

Jane was calculated and precise. Much more at home with a weapon in her hand, Bosley smirked as she reached for her gun and aimed it in Mason’s direction. Despite the fact that she had been told they were were working surveillance only, Jane always seemed to pack her gun just in case.

Elena fought clever. Bosley could almost see her working out Edward’s next move before he’d even reacted, dodging each outstretched fist and ducking out of view before landing a dot on his neck and watching him crumple.

Sabina enjoyed the fight. She always had done. She went in elbows first to bring the biggest impact and would jump to her feet seconds after taking a hit. She was ruthless and relentless, and Bosley could never understand how she could keep going. Keep getting to her feet. Each time with a wry smile as if daring them to try again.

She trusted them fully to look out for each other. Which is why when Bosley watched Mason drag Jane into the water she had no doubt that Sabina would follow. She hadn’t been worried at first, knowing that both had been faced with much bigger challenges over the years. But as the seconds ticked by and slowly turned into minutes Bosley could feel a knot forming in her chest and knew something was wrong. Elena’s panicked muttering from the boat had caused her own hands to tremble slightly as she could do nothing but watch.

When Jane resurfaced she had expected to feel relieved and yet the look on her face, even from the side of the river, only made the knot tighten.

And Jane’s cry when Mason appeared at the surface of the water had nearly broken Bosley on the spot. But she had clenched her fists and raised her own gun, turning on the laser pointer to make sure Mason knew she had it aimed directed at his head.

“I have him. Go!”

She knew her words sounded controlled, she had trained long enough herself to make them sound that way, but inside Bosley could feel herself panicking. This wasn’t supposed to happen. How had she ended up with two Angels missing under the surface of the water with no way to help them.

“If you don’t swim in my direction I will shoot you!”

Despite his size Mason had obviously realised that Bosley’s words were not an empty threat and he was soon at the edge of the water, where she passed him over to a local team of police she had contacted as soon as the speedboat had turned up. After many conversations with the London Bosleys and the chief of police they had agreed that the Townsend Agency would continue investigating Gough and the rest of his contacts their way. Once the Agency had the information they needed and stopped their operations, then they would gladly hand over anyone involved to the police.

They had to play this right and that meant not getting too close to the warehouse until they knew they could catch all involved. No one was getting away with this one, especially now they’d made it personal.

“The other one is still on the water,” Bosley instructed the officer, pointing to the speedboat that contained an unconscious Edward.

Bosley quickly grabbed her phone and spoke her password, hitting the emergency option programmed in by the Agency.

“Charlie, we need evac immediately from my current location. Full medical crew.”

“On their way.”

She didn’t know what they were dealing with but Bosley could feel the control slipping away and it terrified her. All she could do was watch as Jane finally reappeared above the surface, a lifeless Sabina in her arms. Elena’s desperate voice had tightened that rope in her chest that little bit more and she hadn’t realised she’d fallen to her knees until the cold, wet ground began to numb her skin.

“She’s not breathing.”

“One, two, three, four...”

They had been the longest minutes of her life, until now. Every second dragged by at a frustrating pace and still no news came. At the river she felt the relief physically wash over her at the sound of Sabina’s cough as the water left her lungs. But now? Now she had no idea what was going on. Whether they had stopped the bleeding or if there’d be any lasting damage. Or even if Sabina’s heart was still beating.

Bosley’s hands trembled at the thought. Just as they had done at the riverbank as Elena had pulled the boat up to the edge of the water and the waiting officers had helped to grab a hold of it to stop it floating away.

Jane had seemed to move on autopilot, her eyes staring and unfocused, her hands covered in the crimson blood that dripped from under Sabina’s top. Bosley couldn’t quite understand what she was seeing at first. Couldn’t believe it. But she had composed herself as best she could and put on her mask of bravery before facing her Angels.

It had taken a few minutes to convince Jane to let Sabina go while Elena stood helplessly beside her. Bosley had wanted to follow them into the ambulance and wrap them in a tight embrace, tell them everything was going to be ok. But she couldn’t.

At that point in time Sabina needed her the most. And so she watched Jane and Elena leave, a little part of her heart following with them. They were hurting as much as she was and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

Standing behind the medics Bosley wanted nothing more than to run away, their voices controlled and steady through the chaos.

“She’s lost a lot of blood.” “We need to get her warmed up, and fast. I can’t get a line in.” “Let’s intubate before we take off, she won’t last the journey otherwise. Her BP is untraceable.”

Hypothermia. Cardiac arrest. Severe blood loss. Critical condition.

The words would stay with Bosley forever, etched in her memory and reappearing any time she closed her eyes. Images of the medics working frantically in front of her, Sabina’s deathly pale skin being prodded and poked as tubes and wires were connected to her frail body.

She had stood frozen on the edge of the commotion, wanting to get to Jane and Elena who were speaking to a paramedic each just in her line of sight but knowing that she couldn’t leave. It had felt like hours she stood and watched as the air ambulance crew were joined by the other paramedics, their hands moving frantically as their words scrambled and flew round about her.

Elena had disappeared into the ambulance with Jane. They weren’t alone, but Sabina was. Crowded by people she didn’t know who each seemed to be working on a different part of her body. Tilting her head back with a tube in their other hand, pressing against her abdomen, hitting the inside of her arm as a needle was positioned over her skin.

All Bosley wanted to do was hold her tight and tell her that everything was going to be ok.

“We’re taking her now,” an orange jacket finally spoke and Bosley glanced up at him through teary eyes, not quite taking in his features. “If you want to say something to her you can, but you have to make it quick.”

Bosley nodded, moving instantly to take Sabina’s hand in her own and squeezing it as tight as she dared, trying to push aside how cold her skin was.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I’m so, so sorry. You have to be brave, ok Sabina. You won’t be on your own long, we’re all going to follow you there. And then I promise I won’t leave you, not for a second. I’ll be waiting for you.”

And then she was gone, disappearing into the back of the helicopter and leaving Bosley feeling lost without Sabina’s hand in her own.

Sabina had got in countless scrapes over the years and had visited the medical wing of every outpost she’d visited across the world, but this was different. This time it was serious and not even Saint would be able to fix her injuries.

Bosley’s breath caught in her throat slightly at the thought of Saint, focusing her mind back on the situation she now found herself in and away from the river.

Saint would be waiting for them at the outpost. He had promised her that morning, just before she left, that he would make them all a warm lunch for when they got back. Her phone was in her hand before she’d even realised and he answered on the third ring, as he always did.

“Are you that bored-” Saint began but Bosley interrupted.

“Saint, we need you.”

There was a split second pause and Bosley could tell he was trying to work out what was going on.

“Where are you?”

“The hospital.”

“What’s Sabina done this time?” There was a laugh in his voice until Bosley’s breath caught in her throat again. “Rebekah? What’s happened?”

He was the only one she ever let use her name. The only one that ever dared to.

‘You haven’t always been a Bosley’ he had told her one day after a particularly difficult mission. ‘Don’t ever forget who you are when you’re not working. You’re a bloody good Bosley but don’t let yourself lose Rebekah.’

He never used it out of disrespect and each time he did she felt a strange sensation in her very soul, as if he had reminded her of how far she had come over the years. Rebekah had been pretty resilient to be promoted to a Bosley, and it didn’t seem fair to hide her completely.

She opened her mouth but couldn’t find her voice to respond. How could she put in to words what had happened?

“How are the other two?” Saint asked and Bosley couldn’t help but smile. She had no idea how he had a sixth sense for these sorts of things. She hadn’t told him what had happened and yet he seemed to know, seemed to sense which of their Angels needed them the most. Or maybe it was most commonly Sabina they were patching up after all. Did she put her in danger that often?

“Safe,” she managed to speak. “I haven’t seen them since we got here. I met them at the hospital but Sabina was already in surgery so I sent them to warm up and get checked over and I haven’t seen them since. I’ve left them-”

“You’re needed elsewhere, they’ll understand,” Saint’s reassuring voice remained even and controlled. “I’m leaving now. I’ll be there soon.”

Bosley hung up and dropped her phone back in her pocket, clasping her hands together to hide the trembling. She had to hold it together. She was a Bosley, she had to stay strong.

She knew Saint would take over an hour in a taxi to get to the hospital and yet any time there was the slightest movement around her she couldn’t help but glance up, not knowing whether she wanted to see Saint or Sabina’s doctor more. Only one of them was guaranteed to make her feel any better right now. Saint was always able to calm her nerves, even when she was on the edge of losing control completely. But the doctor has the ability to bring her world crashing down around her with nothing but the shake of his head.

Did she want Saint here before the doctor reappeared? Did she want him to have to listen to whatever it was the doctor would tell them? Bosley knew that Saint loved their Angels just as much as she did.

It had to be good news, there wasn’t an alternative. Bosley liked to think that she was one of the few people in the world that truly knew Sabina Wilson.

Her quick whit and sharp tongue were clear, as was the way she wore her heart on her sleeve. But she wasn’t always as happy as she made out. Bosley was still an Angel herself when Sabina had been recruited and stories of the new Angel, younger than usual and highly unorthodox, quickly spread. Sabina had never tried to hide her past but also didn’t offer up the information willingly.

It hadn’t stopped Bosley reviewing her file with more interest than she’d like to admit once she had received Bosley level access to the archives. It quickly became evident why their new recruit all those years ago had brought with her the reputation she had. And had only made Bosley more impressed by the way she now held herself. How she’d throw her whole being into every mission without question and always put herself in harm’s way if it meant saving her team mates.

She was fearless. Even when Bosley knew she was terrified. She’d never show it but Bosley could tell by the change in her voice. The slight wobble at the edges as she frowned in determination.

Sabina had fought for everything she had in her life from early on. She may have been born into wealth and comfort but that meant nothing when you were treated as a nobody. Bosley knew Sabina had spent more nights on the cold New York streets than she’d ever admit to, shrugging off the accusations with a joke or a sarcastic comment.

She had fought through addiction and a serious distaste for authority, as well as against the rumours and speculation that came with her name. She was one of the best Angels to have been recruited by the Agency and she had worked hard to gain that accolade.

So if Bosley had to take over fighting for Sabina to make sure she got through this new hurdle then she would do so in a heartbeat.

“Miss Bosley?”

She jumped slightly at the sound of his voice before realising that the doctor she had spoken to when she had first arrived was now standing in front of her. She stood immediately and clenched her hands in an attempt to hide the trembling, suddenly wishing Saint was by her side.

“How’s my girl?” She asked, not daring to believe that she was anything but ok. This was Sabina Wilson after all. She was too stubborn to let something like this defeat her.

“Critical but stable,” he smiled warmly, taking a seat and nodding for Bosley to follow. She didn’t want to - from experience doctors only did that when they wanted to deliver bad news - but she doubted her legs would hold her for any longer and so she followed.

“She’s going to be ok,” Bosley spoke, not a question but a statement. She was alive. She was going to be ok.

“We need to keep her closely monitored to make sure,” she doctor explained, turning to her seriously. “The knife wound did a fair bit of damage. As you know, she lost a lot of blood but we finally managed to stop that in surgery. From what I’ve been told she was under the water for quite a while. We’ll know if there’s any lasting damage if she wakes up.”

“When,” she hadn’t meant to sound so forceful but she couldn’t hide the anger from her voice. “Not if. When she wakes up.”

He gave her his practiced doctor smile which only angered her further and placed an unwanted hand on her knee.

“Her body temperature was extremely low when she was brought in which may have helped her in the long run. But we still won’t know if there’s any damage until later. We just need to stay positive and monitor how she responds to treatment. I’m sure you know that the Thames isn’t the cleanest of waters so we’ll keep her on a high strength antibiotic to give her lungs a chance to recover and reduce the risk of infection. She’ll be intubation for a few days too for the same reason. If she’s strong enough after that then we’ll check her breathing and try to wake her up.”

“Right,” Bosley nodded simply, wanting nothing more than to push him aside and get to Sabina. To see for herself that she was still alive.

“We’re taking her to ICU,” he continued. “You can stay with her there.”

She softened slightly at his words. He could obviously tell that she was wanting to ask that very question, and he wasn’t to know that he was wrong to doubt for a second that Sabina was going to wake up and make a joke about how she had got into another stupid situation. He didn’t know her like they did. Didn’t know how stubborn and determined she was.

“Everything went as well as we could have hoped for,” he smiled again. “We just need to wait and see how she responds over the next 48 hours. Try not to worry, we’ll know more soon.”

He gave her one more practiced smile and disappeared back through the doors.

It was then that Bosley finally let the tears spill freely down her cheeks.

Chapter Text

Jane stood in the shower and let the hot water run down her face and warm her bones. She closed her eyes and let the steam fill her nostrils as she rolled out the stiffness in her shoulder. Her arm stung under the water, her newly stitched skin beneath the clean bandage that she had been told not to get wet now soaked through.

Blinking open her eyes she glanced down at her shaking hands and watched as the blood started to drip from the ends of her fingers as the water ran over the top. But it wasn’t her blood. It was Sabina’s. And she wasn’t at the Agency. She was in a small hospital shower that made her feel claustrophobic yet exposed, the heat from the steam making her head spin.

Jane felt her heartbeat quicken as the reality of the past few hours seemed to come crashing down around her and she blinked again. There was so much blood.

Blood that didn’t seem to come off even when Jane rubbed her hands together. She turned up the heat and rubbed them again, scrubbing her knuckles into the palm of her hands with more and more pressure, desperate to get every trace of blood from her skin.

But still it remained, pooling at her feet in thick, crimson puddles, overflowing the shower cubicle, smearing the walls and the insides of Jane’s eyelids every time she blinked. Dark. Red. Gushing from Sabina’s pale, cold body that she held tightly in her arms, her hand over the wound in a pathetic attempt at stopping the blood from pouring out.

“Stop it, stop it,” Jane muttered, her eyes squeezed closed as she focused on the rhythm of her own heartbeat. “This isn’t real.”

She opened her eyes to the crystal white cubicle as the water continued to run down her face and off her fingertips, changing from red to pink to clear. She turned her hands over and ran a thumb across the callouses on her palms, formed from hours of sparring in the gym and target practice with Saint.

She was an Angel. She was trained to deal with these sorts of situations. Right?

Although she couldn’t remember her training including how to react when your best friend’s life was in your hands. In your shaking, panicked, blood soaked hands.

She would be forever grateful that she had had Elena by her side on that boat. Because she dreaded to think what would have happened if she wasn’t there.

Jane tilted her head back and closed her eyes again, the water falling on her skin and washing away the silt that stuck to her hair and eyelashes. Her eyes stung from having kept them open so long in the murky water, but she didn’t care.

There was a part of her that was glad of it. It reminded her that she could feel something other than the numbness that clung to her very soul. As if the cold water from the river had seeped through her skin and filled her veins, a permanent reminder that she would never feel warmth again. Not when a part of her had been ripped away.

Not when she didn’t have Sabina at her side, radiating an energy that was entirely her own.

When she herself was drowning, falling under, grasping for something tangible and finding only emptiness.

She could taste the salt water. Could see Edgar Bosley in front of her eyes, blood seeping from his neck and a sinking feeling in her gut that told her she was too late. Elena stuck behind the glass in the back of the car, fear in her eyes as she silently pleased for help. Sabina lying motionless on the murky riverbed, barely visible through the water that stung her eyes.

She had pulled Elena to safety. She had left Bosley in the car, strapped to the seat with his vacant stare. And Sabina? She didn’t know. The water from the shower continued to fall on her face and all she could picture was Sabina lying there, Jane frozen beside her. Letting the water seep into her skin and steal the oxygen from her lungs.

Jane’s eyes shot open as she gasped for air, quickly turning off the shower and letting the last few drops of water run down her back.

She had to focus. She had to keep it together, now more than ever.

Elena was waiting for her when she left the shower cubicle and returned to the family room they had been guided to after being checked over, her wet hair hanging over her shoulders and leaving damp patches on the shirt she had been given to change into. Jane had tried to rub her hair dry but her arms ached too much to hold them above her head, and she doubted she had the energy anyway.

“Anything from Boz?” Jane asked, knowing the answer before the words left her lips. If Elena had heard something she would have said. Jane could tell from the look in her eyes that Elena had been crying, her cheeks blotchy and eyelashes still wet, but she didn’t mention it. Didn’t admit that she had just done the same thing in the shower where no one else could see her.

Where the tears could run off her cheeks with the water from the shower, cleaning the blood from her hands.

“Feel any better?” Elena asked and looked away quickly as if annoyed at herself for asking such a question. “Warmer, I mean.”

“Yeah,” Jane nodded once and sat down at a small coffee table in the family room feeling suddenly out of place. They were used to moving around and making different outposts their home, but the family room was clinical, despite the attempt at making it feel welcoming. Still, Jane was glad to have somewhere they could hide away from everyone else. The doctors had known who they were as soon as they had arrived and Jane knew it was down to Bosley. She had called ahead and let them know they were on their way.

Elena sat beside her and clasped her hands on the table, her fingernails digging into her skin and leaving neat half moon indentations along the back of her hands.

They were red, Jane noticed. Her skin had been scrubbed clean just as Jane had done, leaving them sore and tender.

“The blood wouldn’t come off,” Jane spoke and Elena looked up, their eyes catching and instantly filling with tears. “No matter how hard you scrubbed.”

Elena nodded and wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand.

“How did we not notice sooner?” Jane asked but Elena just shook her head.

“We were distracted, Jane. There were bigger issues.”

“Bigger issues than the stab wound? Bigger issues than the blood that was pooling around us and I didn’t notice?”

“Yes!” Elena’s eyes were wide, her voice stern. “Yes, Jane. You can’t blame yourself for missing that when you were too busy saving her life. When you pulled her from the water-” Elena paused and swallowed hard. “She had been down there too long, you know that as well as I do. She wasn’t breathing so yes, we were a little distracted. Stop blaming yourself because it’s not helping anyone and none of this is your fault.”

Tough love at its finest, Jane figured as Elena’s furrowed brow seemed to bore into her further. But it was pointless. No matter what Elena said Jane knew she was wrong.

This was her fault.

She had let everyone down and now- now Sabina had paid the price for Jane’s mistake. Jane was known for being skilled with a gun and yet she had let it disappear from her hands with ease. If only she had been stronger...

Jane stood and ran a hand through her damp hair, her fingers catching on the knots she had yet to brush out. She couldn’t look at Elena for fear that all she’d see was disappointment and pity. And she didn’t know which was worse at this point.

“Jane, please sit down,” Elena spoke gently as she stood and watched Jane pace the room. “Bosley will give us an update soon. We just need to wait-”

“I don’t want her to!” Jane trembled, her voice louder than she had expected. “What if she comes to tell us that everything we did on that boat was pointless? I don’t want Boz to stand in front of us and tell us that everything is going to be ok when we know it’s not. Even if Sabina survives-”

“Jane, don’t-”

“No!” Jane couldn’t control the anger and frustration that bubbled in her chest. “Even if Sabina survives then nothing will ever be the same, will it? How can it be? And if she doesn’t-”

Jane could feel her chest tighten, the tremble in her hands worsen. Everything around her seemed to blur at the edges as her knees buckled and she stumbled backwards, her back hitting the wall before she slid to the floor, her arms barely propping herself up. Her heart felt like it was going to burst from her chest as she desperately tried to take a breath that just didn’t seem big enough, that felt like she was drowning all over again even though she was nowhere near the water.

“Jane,” Elena’s voice was controlled, steady, and enough for Jane to grasp on to through the darkness. “Jane, just breathe ok. In and out. Just listen to my voice.”

Jane did as she was instructed, the tightness in her chest beginning to loosen with every breath and soon the world became sharper again. She could make out Elena kneeling in front of her, a concerned look in her eyes.

“In, and out,” her hand was on Jane’s which was still placed over her chest. “That’s it, nice and slow. Just focus on on your breathing and nothing else.”

Jane’s arms shook and she couldn’t tell if it was due to the cold or something else she didn’t want to consider, but Elena’s soft smile was enough to keep her grounded. Elena slid down next to her and took Jane’s hand in her own, running her thumb along the back of her hand. A mantra of ‘breathe in, and out’ circulating between them until Jane finally felt the trembling in her limbs, in her heart, return to normal.

“Better?”

“Yeah,” Jane answered weakly with a nod of her head. “Sorry, I don’t know-”

Jane trailed off as Elena moved to sit closer to her, placing an arm around her shoulder.

“Don’t apologise,” she sighed, pulling her in for a one armed hug. “I used to get panic attacks all the time when I was studying. Surprisingly, never while landing a plane or firing a gun though, so that’s a bonus.”

Jane laughed slightly, wiping a stray tear from her eye.

“I don’t- I mean I’ve never-” she stuttered again before sighing. “I didn’t think it would ever happen to me.”

“What, a panic attack or nearly being drowned by a seven foot body guard,” Elena raised an eyebrow. “Or maybe having to save your best friend on the back of a boat after just escaping from said body guard and his annoying friend. Jane, I’d be surprised if there was anyone who didn’t react the way you just have.”

Jane sniffed and wiped her eyes again.

“But I’m-”

“An Angel?” Elena finished. “Yeah, you are. You’re one of the bravest people I’ve ever met and a few hours ago I thought I’d lost you both. When you didn’t come back up from the water-”

There was a silence between them as they leant against the wall in the hospital family room, heads together in the semi-darkness.

“As a brand new Angel I can confirm that your feelings don’t just switch off,” Elena continued quietly. “I still feel like I’m going to puke every time I pick up a gun and heights still make my head spin. But knowing I’m part of a team, knowing that you and Sabina will be there to make sure I’m ok, that’s what keeps me going.”

There was a silence again as Jane’s heartbeat finally returned to normal, the hammering in her chest being replaced by an ache she didn’t know how to stop.

“What if she doesn’t wake up?” Jane whispered, not quite sure if she was asking Elena or herself. “She was down there for so long, Elena. What if I didn’t find her in time, or they can’t stop the bleeding, or-”

She couldn’t bring herself to continue.

“I don’t know,” Elena shook her head, tightening her grip on Jane’s arm. “I don’t know.”

*~*~*~*~*

Jane and Elena sat together on the floor of the waiting room until Elena could feel a numbness beginning in her feet and she shifted slightly.

“I need a shower. You going to be ok on your own?” she spoke gently, watching as Jane rubbed at her eyes again and nodded.

Elena helped Jane up and headed for the shower leaving Jane sat cross-legged on the small bed.

“I won’t be long, promise.”

“Elena,” Jane stopped her just as she got to the bathroom door. “We would know, right? If the worst had happened, we would have felt it. We would just know somehow, so she must be-”

The word ‘alive’ seemed to catch in her throat.

“Yeah,” Elena nodded with a weak smile. “I think you’re right. You sure you’re going to be ok?”

Jane nodded numbly, her fingers tracing the thin line of blood on her upper arm beneath the damp bandage. The temperature in the room seemed to drop as soon as Elena left and she picked up a warm blanket from the foot of the bed, draping it across her shoulders.

This wasn’t Jane. This wasn’t how she acted when faced with uncertainty or danger. She had been brought up to face whatever happened head on with her shoulders back and head held high.

Jane’s parents had split up when she was eleven. It had been hard at first, readjusting to a life with only her mother and older brother, but it had been beneficial for them all. Her father was a good man. Gentle, kind, loving. He just fell out of love with her mum and they started arguing over every stupid thing they could think of.

She missed him immensely when he moved out of their family home and yet the tension that had built up over the years seemed to pack its bags and leave with him that day.

She had never blamed her dad for moving out and neither had her mum. Her brother sailed through life with apparent ease and soon moved out himself after starting a job as a high flying banker in the city. At seven years older than her, Jane’s brother had always been protective. But his head was soon turned by a pretty blonde who worked at the same bank and Jane had began to see less and less of him over the years.

Within a year he had packed his bags yet again and immigrated to Australia with his girlfriend to start a new life. Her father had gone back to Jamaica, sending her monthly letters to update her on how he had settled and found a new job. And Jane remained in London with her mum until she had finished school and started to dream of something bigger.

She was close to her mum, she always had been, but when she was offered a job at MI6 Jane had kept it a secret for almost two weeks, knowing her mum would only worry about the potential risks of her new position.

Jane knew her mum had been secretly relieved when she had walked away from MI6, which is why she had told her even less about what working for Charlie involved. She didn’t need the additional stress and worry. She was proud of her daughter and Jane didn’t want to risk changing that.

‘I look out for people, mum. A bit like a body guard but less dangerous. Yes I have a gun, but it’s standard procedure in the States, no one ever uses them. Yes, kind of like a spy but we’re all trained. I’m getting to use my combat skills. I’m part of a team, we look out for each other.’

We look out for each other.

‘Until I can’t any more’ Jane thought and felt a sob catch in her chest again. She swallowed it down and focused on her now steady hands, clasping them together tightly as she listened to the shower in the background.

Jane jumped slightly when the door opened, suddenly on edge again. She didn’t know whether the tension in her muscles was screaming at her to fight of run. She relaxed instantly when Saint appeared in the doorway, a small flask of something in his hand and a knowing look in his eyes.

“Saint.”

She couldn’t bring herself to say anything else. Her brain felt like it was moving in slow motion, pulling her away from reality and throwing her into a living nightmare.

“How’s my Angel?” He asked from the doorway with a watery smile.

“I don’t know. They won’t tell us anything right now,” Jane answered, wrapping the blanket tighter across her shoulders.

Saint moved across the room and stopped in front of her, stretching out his arms and waiting for Jane to close the gap between them.

“I wasn’t talking about Sabina,” he said seriously. Jane stood instinctively and walked into his arms, her tears rolling on to Saint’s shirt as he rubbed a hand across her back.

No matter what happened in her life, Jane could count on Saint to ground her. Bosley had taught her that sometimes a hug really did help, and Saint gave the best ones.

He didn’t let go until Jane was ready; she sniffed and wiped her eyes on the back of her hand, the blanket discarded on the floor.

“Sorry,” she whispered and was met by a disapproving look from Saint.

“Don’t start with the apologising. I’m not listening.”

Jane laughed slightly as she sat down and Saint draped the blanket back over her shoulders. He then disappeared to the kitchen area and took out two glasses, splitting the contents of the flask between them.

Elena appeared from the shower a few minutes later with her hair twisted in a towel and dressed in a jumper that was so long her hands disappeared into the sleeves.

“Saint!” She almost ran to him for a hug as soon as she noticed him in the room, gripping hold so tightly Jane doubted she’d ever let go again. When she did Saint handed her a glass and passed the other one to Jane.

“Drink it, it’ll help to settle your nerves.”

“I’m not thirsty,” Jane protested.

“I don’t care.”

Sometimes Saint left no room for arguments and Jane knew she’d be fighting a losing battle if she tried to resist. The very thought seemed to catch in her chest again as she took a sip and tried not to show just how much she enjoyed it.

The taste of something other than salt water which still seemed to linger, even hours after she had left the river.

“Injuries?” Saint asked them both as his eyes flicked between Jane and Elena. “Apart from the obvious.”

Saint pulled back the blanket on Jane’s shoulder and frowned at the blood stained bandage on her arm.

“That needs changing.”

Jane shrugged and Saint started to take off the tape holding the bandage in place.

“Anything else?”

“No,” Jane shook her head slowly.

“Would you tell me if there was?”

Jane paused, raising her head so she could look Saint in the eyes.

“That’s it, I promise.”

He nodded slowly and turned to Elena.

“Just a few bruises, I’m fine,” Elena stated as she sat next to Jane and drank from her own glass.

Saint’s hands moved expertly across Jane’s skin as he cleaned up the wound and checked the stitches, covering it again in a clean bandage and replacing the blanket. There was silence between them as he worked, no one daring to ask the question.

Once he’d finished Saint took a step back and sighed.

“She’s out of surgery,” he spoke evenly, his gaze not leaving theirs. “I got here just after the doctor had spoken to Bosley. She was on her way to see Sabina when I came here.”

“What?” Jane was on her feet again, glancing between Saint and the door. “You knew all this time and-”

“And what, Jane?” Saint asked calmly. “You wouldn’t have let me check you over if you knew earlier. There’s nothing we can do right now.”

“But she’s-” Elena swallowed hard. “She’s ok?”

“We don’t know for certain,” Saint finally looked away and Jane felt her heart sink slightly. “It’s too early to say, but she’s alive. And we all know how strong she is. We just need to give her time and hope she’ll come back to us.”

Elena was silent, her tears running off the bottom of her chin and falling into her lap.

“We can go see her, if you want?” Saint asked and suddenly Jane didn’t know what to do. She wanted to collapse on the spot and run for the door at the same time, her mind on overdrive. She didn’t know if she could see her right now, covered in tubes and wires and completely still. So unlike Sabina, who was always full of life.

She wanted to see her smile, her lop-sided grin that always promised trouble. Not the images that flashed across her mind whenever she closed her eyes, Sabina lifeless and cold In her arms.

“I can’t-” Jane shook but Elena placed a warm hand on her arm and squeezed it slightly.

“She needs us, Jane,” Elena whispered and Jane knew she was right. Elena may have been a part of their team for less than a year but she had quickly become their voice of reason. There to push Jane to see the right decision when the little voice of doubt began to whisper in her ear.

Jane nodded slowly, swallowing the lump in her throat.

“Yeah,” she nodded defiantly to Saint and shrugged off the blanket again. “Elena’s right. Let’s go see our girl.”

Chapter Text

Jane and Elena stood in the ICU department and watched as Saint spoke to one of the nurses, his hands moving animatedly as he pointed to the door of what Jane guessed was Sabina’s room. Jane hadn’t noticed she’d taken Elena’s hand until her mind forced her back to reality again and she was aware of the small trembles in her arm, although she couldn’t work out if it was her or Elena that was shaking. She guessed it was probably both.

Saint eventually glanced over and motioned for them to follow, the nurse glaring at them as they did. Jane doubted very much that it was usual visiting hours or that they would normally let four people in at once, but Saint had somehow managed to talk her round. Reluctantly, by the look on the nurse’s face.

“I promise it looks worse than it is,” Saint explained gently as he looked between them both. “She’s intubated to help her breathe and they need to keep her sedated to give her lungs a chance to recover. The doctor will explain but just don’t be worried, ok? You can still sit with her, let her know you’re there.”

Jane nodded and took a deep breath as she paused at the door, watching Elena and Saint enter the small room. The beeping and whirring of machinery drifted out as soon as the door opened making Jane’s stomach churn and she had to force herself not to collapse again.

She was being ridiculous. Since the second she had handed Sabina over to the air ambulance crew she had felt that a part of her was missing and now, when she knew that the missing piece was on the other side of the door, she couldn’t make herself follow Elena.

Saint had held the door open and Jane could see just inside. Could see Bosley stand and pull Elena into a hug as she entered, could hear her ask if she was ok.

“Jane?” Bosley turned in her direction and held out her hand. “It’s alright, come on.”

Jane swallowed and stepped inside, Saint letting the door swing closed behind her. Her eyes were instantly drawn towards Sabina, as they always seemed to be, but this time she wasn’t met by her wide grin and sparkling eyes. The tubes and wires that snaked across Sabina’s pale skin made Jane’s breath stop in her throat and it wasn’t until Bosley stood in front of her, hands on her arms and forcing her attention away, that she managed to catch it again.

“Jane,” Bosley’s voice was even, controlled, but Jane could see her smudged mascara and tear tracked cheeks. “It’s ok. Jane, she’s safe. You all are.”

Jane nodded slowly and focused on Bosley who pulled her into a hug and rubbed her hand along her back.

“Go sit with her,” she nodded in Sabina’s direction and Jane stole another glance before shaking her head.

“I can’t-”

“Jane, she needs you.”

Bosley was right. She was always right. As were Elena and Saint. Sabina needed to know that she was there because despite the fear that had crept under Jane’s skin and refused to move, she knew the only reason she was able to keep moving was because of the people sat with her in that very room.

She needed Sabina to know that she wasn’t alone either.

Jane moved as if on auto-pilot, Elena following nervously until Jane turned and smiled as best she could, letting her know that she was right to follow. Sabina needed them all right now. Jane’s hand hovered above Sabina’s but she was too nervous to touch her skin. As if Sabina was made of glass and just her touch would shatter her beyond repair.

It was then that the door swung open and a doctor appeared, a stethoscope around his neck and a surprised look on his face at the number of people in the room. He spotted Bosley and smiled weakly, picking up Sabina’s notes from the end of her bed.

“Well someone is popular,” he smiled but no one responded. “She’s on regular obs so there’ll be a nurse in every twenty minutes or so to monitor her.”

Jane swallowed hard and pulled her gaze away from Sabina.

“How’s she doing?” She managed to ask, the words scratching at her throat.

“Her vitals look good but it’s too early to say,” the doctor tilted his head slightly as he studied Sabina’s notes. “We just need to wait and give her time.”

“Waiting isn’t something she’s good at,” Jane smiled slightly, her hands finally enclosing one of Sabina’s, relief spreading through her veins at the warmth of her skin. “She’ll be awake and asking for a doughnut sooner than you think.”

They doctor smiled and looked away but Jane didn’t care. He thought Jane was just like any other friend or relative that sat in front of him and told him that he was wrong, that the patient was stronger than he thought. But in this case, Jane knew she was right. He’d never met anyone like Sabina before, and she would prove him wrong. She had no doubt about it.

“The surgery-” he paused and Bosley placed her hands on her hips.

“You said it went well.”

“It did,” he nodded. “But it wasn’t without complications. You know how long it took us to stabilise her. Her heart- we nearly lost her. More than once. The blade nicked a few vital organs so it took us a while to stop the bleeding. Then there was the collapsed lung from her broken ribs.”

“What?” Bosley turned to Sabina and bit her lip. “She told us they were just bruised. Saint checked.”

“Mason,” Jane muttered, tears forming in her own eyes. “He punched her in the ribs. Mason had a knife at my throat and Sabina hit him and he hit back. She got him off of me, but I should have-”

“Don’t,” Bosley frowned, pointing a finger at Jane. “Don’t you dare blame yourself.”

“Look, I can only give you the facts,” the doctor continued. “What I’m trying to say is that just one of these injuries could be potentially life threatening. We don’t know for sure how long she was under the water and she lost a lot of blood. Her body has been through a trauma and we don’t know how well she’ll recover from it.”

“You’re talking about brain damage?” Elena asked quietly, her voice catching.

Jane looked at her, eyes wide, and then to the doctor for confirmation.

He nodded.

“I’ve already told you, that’s not going to happen,” Jane hadn’t often heard Bosley angry and yet in that moment she looked livid. “You don’t know her like we do. You have no idea just how strong she is.”

“I have to give you the worst case scenario,” the doctor stuttered, stepping away slightly. “But what I do know is she wouldn’t be here at all if you hadn’t done what you did once you got her out the water. You saved her, both of you.”

He looked between Jane and Elena and smiled. Genuine this time.

“The fact that we’re having this conversation is proof that she’s strong,” he replaced the notes and ran a hand through his hair. “I’m on shift all night so if you have any questions just let me know.”

Bosley nodded as the doctor left and a silence settled over the room other than the rhythmic beeping from the heart monitor.

It was only then that Jane looked at Sabina properly. The mechanical rise and fall of her chest made her own tighten again, a sob threatening to spill over. But she had to remain in control. Had to look past the tubes and wires. She had to focus on the pinkness of Sabina’s lips and warmth of her skin. The way her hair fell over her left eye slightly, which she’d usually push away with a ruffle of her fingers.

“You need to get some proper sleep tonight,” Bosley addressed her Angels and Jane suddenly realised how dark it was through the flimsy blinds. The hours had disappeared while they had sat in the relatives room. “And don’t tell me you’re not tired, because I know that’s a lie.”

“I don’t want to leave her,” Jane whispered as she turned to Bosley.

“I know,” Bosley put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it gently. “She’ll be ok. There’s nothing we can do right now. You two should get back to the outpost for some proper rest.”

Just the thought of leaving the hospital without her was enough for Jane to feel the tears sting the back of her eyes again. Now that she was sat next to her she didn’t want to leave. That uneasy feeling of ‘could this be the last time I see her?’ etched in her mind and refusing to move.

When neither of them moved Saint walked to the foot of Sabina’s bed and sighed.

“We can’t stay here tonight and you two won’t sleep properly in the family room. I’ll drive you both back and Boz will meet us at the outpost later, once she’s caught up with the doctor,” his voice was steady but Jane could see a pain in his eyes. “We can come back first thing tomorrow and see how she’s doing.”

Always the voice of reason, Jane thought to herself as she brought Sabina’s hand to her chin and blinked away the tears.

“Just rest,” she sighed, running her thumb along the back of her hand. “And don’t be flirting with any of the nurses while we’re gone.”

Elena giggled slightly, rubbing at her own eyes, and they reluctantly followed Saint from the room.

~*~*~*~*~

Jane had fallen asleep the second her head hit the pillow, and woke up with a jump at 3am feeling guilty that she had.

Her body ached and she closed her eyes again, welcoming sleep but her mind was on overdrive. She couldn’t switch off. Couldn’t stop herself from thinking about what had happened to them all in less than 24 hours.

Couldn’t stop thinking about Sabina, alone in the hospital.

Jane sighed and rolled on to her back, staring at the blinking fire alarm sensor on the ceiling of her bedroom and willing herself back to a dreamless sleep.

‘Count how many times it flashes in a minute’ she told herself, eyes focused on the small red light. ‘Just like counting sheep. Just like a heartbeat.’

The thought stuck in her mind and suddenly threw her back to the boat, Sabina lying motionless in front of her.

Just like a heartbeat.

Bosley would have told them if there had been any news from the hospital, right?

Jane rubbed her eyes hard and took a deep breath, focusing her mind away from the boat again. It was becoming far too regular an occurrence. Residing herself to the fact that she wasn’t going to fall asleep again, Jane threw on a warm dressing gown over her pyjamas and made her way to the living area, picking up her tablet on the way. She knew Saint had left a supply of blankets behind one of the sofas after their latest movie night.

On the night that Sabina had decided the film was too boring and they should play a game instead.

‘Two truths, one lie. Make it interesting. Go!’

Jane shook her head again and yawned, smiling slightly when she rounded the corner and found Elena tucked up on the sofa under one of the reading lamps, her own tablet propped on the armrest next to her.

“Hey,” she smiled weakly. “You couldn’t sleep either?”

Jane shook her head and fell into the sofa next to her, running a hand through her hair.

“I got a few hours,” Jane explained. “I just keep waiting for the phone to ring.”

“No news is good news, right?” Elena said hopefully. “If Boz had any news then she’d tell Saint. And he’d tell us.”

“Boz isn’t back yet?” Jane asked with a frown. She had thought that Bosley was going to follow them back to the outpost after speaking to the doctor.

Elena shook her head and placed a hand on Jane’s.

“Don’t think too much about it. It’s still the middle of the night, they’ll let us know if anything changes.”

Jane nodded again as she bit her lip, the action now a natural reaction.

“So,” she sighed, turning to Elena and picking up her tablet. “You had the same idea. Find anything interesting?”

Elena unfolded her legs and placed the tablet on her knee, seemingly happy for a distraction.

“I was looking into Gough’s brother a bit more,” she explained as she clicked on a folder and a picture of both Fredrick and Harvey Gough filled her screen. “Something Edward said to Sabina the last time they met-”

Elena paused slightly, swallowing hard and taking a breath before she continued.

“The last time they met in the pub. Edward mentioned that Gough had a brother who was in prison, for now at least. So I had a look into his conviction and he’s only served two years of his ten year sentence. So why would Edward say ‘for now’. Do they think they can get him out somehow?”

“We did say it was strange that Gough had decided to visit London now, when he’s clearly been working with Robinson for a lot longer than we first realised,” Jane opened her own tablet and clicked on Edward’s profile. “I thought I’d remembered that right. Edward lived in California for four months and he told Sabina it was so he could make sure Gough was happy with the product. He worked in three of his clubs while he was there, probably to test how well it sold in each of them. But he’s only now six months out of prison himself. He was practically released and on a flight to California in the same week.”

“What was he in for?” Elena asked, her fingers moving quickly over the inbuilt keyboard as she searched their files.

“Sexual harassment and GBH,” Jane confirmed. “Sounds like he got a little too personal with some of the dancers at the Phoenix nightclub and was told to leave. He followed them into their dressing room, refused to go anywhere and beat up a security guard when he came to escort him out.”

“And was then put in the same prison as Harvey Gough,” Elena sighed and turned her tablet in Jane’s direction so she could read the information on the screen.

“How does this all tie together?” Jane sighed, pushing her hair from her face. “How long have they all been involved?”

“What if Edward Lewisham was arrested on purpose,” Elena frowned. “Everything just seems too convenient. His family are known for being involved with some dodgy dealings in London so the police probably have him on their radar anyway. They’ll be looking for any reason to lock him up for a few months. He was working for Robinson, was arrested and put in the same prison as Gough’s brother, then days after he was released was on a flight to California to work with Gough. He seems very involved with both Robinson and Gough now that he’s back.”

“And Mathews,” Jane added with a frown. “Don’t forget our money launderer. I wonder when he was brought into all of this.”

“We need to send Sabina into Tahikos, she’d find out in minutes,” Elena laughed and Jane smiled before they both fell into silence, neither one looking at the other.

“I wonder how she is,” Elena spoke first, voice barely a whisper.

“No news is good news, remember?” Jane slid nearer Elena and wrapped an arm around her shoulder.

“Yeah, but we both know that’s bullshit,” Elena muttered and Jane couldn’t help but smirk at her comment. She was so used to Sabina’s expletives that she didn’t think twice about them, but the words sounded strange from Elena’s lips.

“That we do,” Jane sighed, leaning her head back and tucking up her own knees on the sofa.

Neither Jane nor Elena seemed to realise how tired they were until they woke up just after seven with Saint stood in front of them, two mugs in his hands.

“I made you some herbal tea,” he smiled, and just for a second the world seemed normal.

~*~*~*~*~

“How is she?”

Saint had barely passed over the phone before Jane asked the question, Bosley’s tired eyes smiling at her from the hospital room over a video call.

“No change,” Bosley answered but caught the look on Elena’s face. “That’s a good sign, Elena. That’s what we’re hoping for at this stage. She’s stable, she had a good night. We won’t know any more until she’s no longer sedated.”

Jane remembered joking with Sabina months ago, one day when she had been particularly annoying while Jane was trying to concentrate.

“Remember my new toy from Saint?” She had asked with a raised eyebrow and Sabina had smirked.

“Your new cuddle buddy?”

“If you don’t stop bouncing around and distracting me I’m going to show you how it works.”

Sabina had grinned at her words, falling into the sofa beside her and leaning over her shoulder to read the article on the tablet Jane had been studying.

“When did you become so boring?” She had asked as she nudged Jane’s shoulder with her own. “Anyway you wouldn’t tranq me, you’d miss the entertainment. And apparently I talk in my sleep.”

“That doesn’t surprise me for a second.”

Jane smiled slightly at the memory, wanting nothing more than to have Sabina bouncing round and annoying her again. Craving her chaotic energy in the strangely quiet outpost.

“Ladies, I’m really sorry but-” Bosley began but Jane interrupted.

“We need to get to work.”

Bosley nodded. Jane had guessed as much as soon as Saint had handed over the phone and although her stomach sank at the thought of not seeing Sabina, she almost welcomed the distraction of work.

“We need to follow up on the footage you got from the boat and the police report for Mason.”

Jane looked away at the sound of his name and swallowed hard. She had promised herself she wouldn’t cry today but she hadn’t thought about what had happened to Mason and Edward since Elena had got them back to shore.

“We have a few other things to follow up on too,” Elena explained, remembering their early morning conversation. “We should only be a few hours then we’ll head your way.”

Bosley nodded with a smile.

“Look after each other and listen to Saint,” she instructed. “You won’t have comms so stay together at all times. I don’t want you straying too far from the outpost if you don’t have to.”

“We got it,” Elena smiled with more confidence than she felt. “See you soon.”

Jane had been an Angel for long enough to know how different missions worked depending on their complexity, and although they only involved the police when absolutely necessary, visiting a station to talk over a case had always been the least enjoyable part of the job. And something Sabina always seemed to be able to avoid.

She seemed to conveniently remember a promise she’d made to train with Saint or end up in the medical room with a suspected injury that had somehow appeared within the hour. Sabina had gotten pretty inventive over time and Jane often agreed to go on her own just to stop the obscure excuses from getting out of hand.

Jane had reluctantly sat through numerous monologues from middle aged men who thought of her more as an inconvenience than an asset. They couldn’t seem to see past the young brunette in front of them to the skilled spy, more than capable of stopping any criminal and higher trained than any of their officers.

But in this case going to the station was inevitable. They needed to exchange notes and pick up the reports on both Mason and Robert, and so Jane had showered, dressed in a tailored suit from the closet and met Elena in the kitchen with a professional smile painted on her lips.

“Ready?” Elena had asked and Jane bit the inside of her lip.

“Not in the slightest,” she shrugged, grabbing an apple and ignoring the cooked breakfast Saint had prepared for them, her stomach objecting to the smell. “Let’s go.”

~*~*~*~*~

The meeting had been as boring and monotonous as Jane had expected but they had left with a bundle of paperwork and a full police report on the incident at the river.

It had been clear from the second Jane and Elena had entered the station that the officer they were meeting was far from happy to be handing over any information, and Elena had quickly picked up on the way he dismissed her requests with a wave of his hand as if she were a work experience kid asking a stupidly obvious question.

“Look, we don’t want to be here any more than you do!” Jane had snapped after another question was deflected and the officer paused slightly at the tone in her voice. She hadn’t meant to sound so abrupt but her mind was elsewhere. The more time they spent in the station the less time they were at the hospital.

The officer softened slightly, finally taking a seat at the large wooden table Jane and Elena sat behind, a scattering of papers in front of them.

“How’s your friend doing?” He asked and Jane was sure she heard genuine concern in his voice for just a split second.

“She’s alive,” Jane answered bluntly. Partly because she didn’t think he deserved any more of an explanation and partly because she didn’t know much more herself.

“Your Boss Lady-,” the officer began and Elena couldn’t hide the smirk on her lips.

“Bosley,” she corrected.

“Right. Well, she’s explained what you’re doing in London,” he sighed. “I know why you’re here and who you’re looking for. I can’t say we’re happy for you to be leading whatever it is you’re doing, but we’ve agreed that we’ll only become involved once you call us in. But listen, we know what Simon Robinson has been up to over the years, we’ve just never been able to pin enough on him to lock him up. If your guy Gough and our guy Robinson are both involved- what I’m saying is a few girls against these men- you don’t stand much of a chance. I think yesterday is enough to prove that.”

“Thanks for your concern,” Elena interjected before Jane had the chance having noticed her knuckles turning white as she clenched her hands into fists. “But we can look after ourselves just fine. We’ve fought off bigger threats than this because us girls, we work together better than any team you’ll ever work with.”

Jane smirked.

“So thanks for the reports, but we won’t be needing anything else from you until we’ve stopped their operations and given you a call to pick them up for the cells. Three Angels and a Bosley are no match for these men. I don’t expect you to understand, but I don’t need you to. Just let us do our job and you’ll soon have enough evidence to lock Robinson and his friends up for a very long time.”

The officer frowned, seemingly lost for words.

“Thanks,” Jane forced a fake smile to her lips, tapping together the reports on the table to straighten the pages and pushing her chair back. “As Elena said, we’ll be in touch.”

They fell into stride as they walked from the meeting room and into the cold London morning; only once they were out of view of the front door did the laugh escape Elena’s lips.

“I’m bringing you to all our police meetings,” Jane grinned, pulling Elena into a hug. “You were great!”

“I just wasn’t in the mood for his rubbish today,” Elena smiled, shrugging her shoulders. “Right, give me the reports and I’ll take them back to the outpost. You head to the hospital and I’ll meet you there once I’ve had a look through.”

“No, I-” Jane started but Elena placed her hands on her hips.

“Go!” She laughed. “This doesn’t take two of us and I can tell you’re distracted. Otherwise you would have punched the officer in the nose before he’d had a chance to spout another sexist remark.”

Jane smiled and nodded slowly.

“Only if you’re sure? Bosley told us not to split up.”

“I’m not telling you again,” Elena nudged Jane with her shoulder and nodded to the nearest tube station. “We’re not working right now and I’ll see you there in a few hours. Give Sabina a hug from me and tell Bosley to get some proper sleep.”

~*~*~*~*~

Jane felt strange walking through London on her own, expecting Sabina to run past her every time she spotted a dog or a food stand. She couldn’t quite work out how she felt so alone standing on the busy platform and on more than one occasion she turned to speak to Elena before remembering that she was at the outpost. She had been close to calling her, just to distract herself from the uneasy feeling in her stomach, when the train stopped and she recognised the name of the station as the closest to the hospital.

She had heard nothing from Bosley since that morning and convinced herself that this was a good sign. Boz wouldn’t want to contact them while they were working but if there had been any changes she would have messaged them. She was sure of it.

Jane entered the warm hospital entrance and rubbed the feeling back into her numb hands. She glanced at the signs scattered through the entrance and quickly found the right way to go, passing a small gift shop on her way and pausing slightly when something caught her eye.

There was a stand of soft toys at the entrance to the shop and just visible within the bundle of bears and dragons was a small, cuddly corgi with a squint smile on its face and a lopsided tongue sticking out from the fabric. The only one in the whole shop. Jane had bought it before thinking twice and smirked slightly at the thought of Sabina laughing at her soppiness as she tucked it in to her jacket pocket.

The hospital was busy, numerous patients and visitors passing her in the corridors, and the more she gripped the soft dog in her pocket the more her smile grew.

She didn’t believe in horoscopes or fate. That there was a higher force defining the outcome of her life and giving meaning to the decisions she made. But the little corgi somehow felt like a sign that things were going to get better. That everything was going to be ok after all.

Jane entered the ICU and stepped to the side as a nurse came rushing past, her hair swishing to the side as she disappeared round the corned. Jane followed, coming to a halt when she realised that the nurse had ran straight to Sabina’s room.

Bosley stood outside, her hands clasped together as she stared at the medical staff that filed past her and crowded around the door, their voices jumbling together and creating a cacophony of noise.

Jane’s heart thumped in her chest as her thoughts crashed around her mind. This shouldn’t be happening, not now. Everything was supposed to get better. She had gotten a sign, a reminder that things were going to go back to normal, they just needed some time for Sabina to mend. To stay still long enough to give her body time to heal.

Jane swallowed the lump in their throat; she had to be there for her.

“Sabina,” Jane couldn’t tell whether her voice left her lips as a whisper or a shout, all she did know was that she had to get to her. Had to tell her to hold on. She had ran for the door before she realised her feet were moving.

“Jane, no,” Bosley stepped in front of her and grabbed hold before she could make it to the door.

“Get off me!” Jane struggled but Bosley held tight. “Boz, let me go! I need to be in there, she can’t be on her own!”

“Jane, stop!” Bosley pushed Jane away and shot her a look that made her freeze on the spot. “Please listen to me. She’s fine, I promise. You were right, ok. You were right. She was too impatient to wait the 48 hours.”

“What?” Jane’s voice was shaking now, as were her hands, while she tried to make sense of Bosley’s words. “What do you mean?”

“She’s rejecting the intubation,” Bosley smiled and Jane was sure she could see her eyes water. “She’s breathing by herself. She was too stubborn to wait until they woke her up.”

Jane let out a noise resembling both a laugh and a sob, running her hands through her hair as she began to pace in front of the door.

“She’s scared she’s missing out on something,” she sniffed, her cheeks streaked with tears.

Jane was exhausted. Drained both physically and emotionally. But the relief in Bosley’s eyes was enough to keep her on her feet despite the numbness that had crept into her legs.

Bosley closed the gap between them and pulled Jane into a tight hug, their tears of relief dampening each other’s shoulders.

“We’ll get through this,” Bosley soothed as she tightened the hug and Jane sighed, a tension that had built up in her shoulders finally relaxing slightly.

“Of course we will,” Jane agreed, and for the first time since she had pulled Sabina from the water she believed her own words.

Chapter Text

Bosley dropped her phone back into her pocket and stretched out a stiffness in her neck. The doctor had let them back into Sabina’s room after he had made sure she was stable and that Jane was calm enough to listen to what he was telling her.

‘I’m fine’ Jane had thought to herself as the doctor stood with his hands on his hips. ‘Just processing.’

She had smirked slightly at the memory and was sure the doctor had given her an odd look. He wouldn’t understand even if she tried to explain.

‘I pushed her off a roof. She still hasn’t got over it.’

It sounded crazy even in her own mind.

“Saint’s going to let Elena know,” Bosley smiled at Jane who nodded her head without looking away from Sabina, her hand tightly enclosing the sleeping blonde’s. “I’m sure she’ll be here in the next few hours.”

“You should get some proper sleep, I’ll stay with her,” Jane finally looked up and Bosley couldn’t help but notice the slight glint in her eye that she hadn’t seen in days.

“No, it’s fine,” Bosley waved a hand. “I promised her I’d-”

“And you kept that promise,” Jane interrupted sternly. “You spent the night asleep in a chair next to her bed, you didn’t leave her.”

Bosley didn’t remember telling Jane what that promise had been but she seemed to know anyway.

Bosley bit her lip as she glanced between her Angels. Jane was right, of course, she really should take her own advice and rest properly. But the steady rise and fall of Sabina’s chest, unaided by the machinery that had been keeping her alive only hours before, gave her a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach that she couldn’t quite explain. Despite the thin tube that now snaked around her ears and under her nose providing a steady supply of oxygen, Sabina looked like she was sleeping.

But she still looked so vulnerable. So unlike the strong, stubborn Sabina she knew.

‘What if she wakes up while I’m gone?’ Bosley thought, the words nearly leaving her lips. ‘What if she thinks I’ve abandoned her?’

Bosley couldn’t help but remember back to Istanbul and how she had got it so wrong. To when she had left them with no backup and given Sabina doubt to trust her.

‘She wouldn’t be the first Angel to turn.’

She had wanted to scream that day as she listened to the conversation over the comms. She had planned to storm out the car as soon as she got back to the safe house and grab Sabina by the arms, not letting her go until she understood that Bosley would never turn on her girls, no matter what.

And then she had heard the explosion and knew she was too late. She just didn’t know at the time how close she had been to not being able to explain herself. If either her or Sabina hadn’t been wearing their protective vests...

“At least go take a shower,” Jane smirked when she received no response, breaking Bosley from her daydream and throwing her back into a very different hospital room than Fatima’s clinic in Istanbul.

“Subtle, Jane. Thanks.”

“You know for a fact that you’d be telling me the same thing if I had been here all night. Actually, you did. You told me last night to get back to the outpost.”

Bosley sighed and ran a hand through her knotted hair.

“You’ll call me if anything changes?”

“Of course,” Jane raised an eyebrow.

“I’ll only be a few hours.”

“Go! Or I’ll call Saint!”

Bosley laughed, shaking her head slightly.

“Alright, I’m going,” Bosley placed a hand on Sabina’s shoulder, willing her eyes to flutter open. But there was nothing. “I won’t be long.”

Jane watched Bosley leave and let out a sigh that had been stuck in her chest. She rested her elbows on Sabina’s bed, tucking her hands under her chin, Sabina’s still enclosed in hers, as she watched Sabina sleep.

“Just rest, ok?” She whispered, rubbing her thumb along the back of Sabina’s hand. “Just rest and come back to us when you’re ready. I know you’re still in there. I know you’re the same person you were before we got on that stupid boat. You’re a fighter, so keep fighting. Fight for us. Fight for me.”

~*~*~*~*~

Sabina knew she wasn’t awake but couldn’t quite tell if she was asleep. It didn’t feel like she was sleeping. But she couldn’t feel her arms. Or her legs. The more she thought about it, she couldn’t feel anything. Was she still alive? Or had she slipped into another state entirely. Was she stuck in some sort of limbo, destined to forever float in the nothingness that drifted past her subconscious.

No. She felt something. A strange sensation that was both oddly familiar and overwhelmingly terrifying. What did it remind her of? This feeling that her blood had turned sticky, clawing itself through her veins instead of running smoothly.

So she did have a body. She could feel it, even though it felt like it belonged to someone else. But what was that feeling and why did it remind her of running through Park Avenue in the dark, her face streaked with tears and an ache in her chest where her heart should have been.

Why could she think of nothing but the stables. Her horses. The smell of hay hitting her senses and making her feel like she was going to explode into- she didn’t know what. She couldn’t tell what she was any more. Into sawdust? Stars? Complete and utter nothingness?

She tried to focus, tried to pinpoint something tangible in the middle of the void. She wasn’t nothing, despite what she had been told for the majority of her earlier life, she was a something.

She was a someone.

A someone with ten fingers, and ten toes, and two legs... she focused on each, trying to move them one at a time. She doubted they moved at all but at least she could feel them now. Or she was aware of them at least. She hadn’t disappeared entirely after all.

The new awareness of her body only brought the question screaming back. What was the sensation she could feel pulse through her veins, filling her with a numbness she couldn’t place?

She was back in the stables again. Back in a memory she had long ago buried and which only ever reappeared in her nightmares.

She could feel his hand on the bottom of her back and smell his breath on her neck.

“Come on Sabina, no one has to know.”

Uncle Drew wasn’t her real uncle, and neither did he act like it.

“You know you want to.”

Her breath had caught in her throat before bursting out as an angry ‘no’, her hand on his chest pushing him away. But he only followed, his body pressed against hers, hands roaming up her bare thighs to her short denim skirt.

“No!”

Sabina had always been good at throwing a punch when she had to. Before her training, before she could take out her frustration on a punch bag just for fun, she had learnt that sometimes brute force was the only language some people understood.

‘No’ meant nothing to Uncle Drew, but a fist to the bridge of his nose was enough for him to stagger back and loosen his grip on her waist.

And then Sabina had ran. Ran through the darkness, across the perfectly manicured lawn and perfectly placed paving slabs that decorated their grounds. Through their perfectly neat archway entrance into their perfectly lit living area.

Her father was sat in his usual chair, a glass of whisky in one hand and a book in the other. He glanced in her direction as she stopped in front of him, tear tracks smudging her skin and chest heaving with unshed sobs that had caught in her throat.

“You’ve brought mud in,” he spoke simply, glancing at the footprints on the carpet.

Sabina had stammered, her voice catching as she tried to respond. But she didn’t know how. Drew had crashed in behind her moments later and Sabina had found herself on the other side of the room before she’d even realised she’d moved.

“Stay away from me!”

Her hands shook and it took all her strength to stay on her feet as her vision blurred, the bile stinging the back of her throat as she fought the urge to throw up.

“Drew?” Her father asked over the top of his book.

“She just attacked me!” Drew’s hand held his nose as the blood seeped through his fingers onto the perfect cream carpet, leaving a much more permanent stain than Sabina’s footprints. “I was asking about the new horse and she came on to me. I told her it was inappropriate and she just punched me in the face!”

“He’s lying! He forced himself on me! He tried to-”

Sabina had never felt loved. Not a single day in her life and especially not by her parents. But that day had taught her many things.

One - Her father thought more of his reputation that he did of his only daughter.

“Don’t be silly, Sabina. You can’t spread disgusting rumours just because you’ve had your feelings hurt. Drew was right, what you did was highly inappropriate and you shouldn’t speak of it again. Now go and wash your face before someone sees you.”

Two - people with money thought they were untouchable.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure she didn’t mean to punch me. She just got a little overwhelmed at her mistake. I won’t tell anyone what happened, I’m sure the blood will stop in a minute. It was just a lucky shot. No one has to know.”

Three - as a woman, Sabina had to learn how to fight smarter, not just harder.

“You need to start acting like a normal girl, Sabina. No more of this silly fighting and spending your time with those awful boys from that awful estate. You can see what happens when you do. I’ve already had enough trouble with having to bail you out after your other incidents, you need to start acting like a proper lady. Your mother’s nerves can’t take much more of your lies.”

It had taken a few moments for Sabina to catch her breath but once she had, she knew there was only one option left for her to take. Home wasn’t safe for her to stay and the more she thought about it, the large house with all it’s grounds had never truly felt like a home.

Her parents may have paid for everything she needed and wanted in life, but they had abandoned the thought of a ‘family’ when they realised that having a daughter was more of an inconvenience for their social lives. Sabina had been brought up by nannies and housekeepers with summers spent at her grandparents’ house if she got in the way too much. She had gone two weeks without seeing her parents when she was eight years old and neither seemed to have noticed.

Sabina had learnt early on that love from her parents was something that no amount of money could ever buy.

She felt like an intruder in her own home and it was time to leave for good before Drew managed to corner her in the stables again. She wasn’t sure if she could continue fighting him off, not when he was so persistent. So adamant that her father would always believe his side of the story.

Drew was protected by status and wealth, the only language her father seemed to understand.

Sabina had scribbled a note to her mother asking her to get in touch and left that night. Her mother never called and Sabina had spent the next few weeks sofa surfing between the ‘awful’ boys, using her dad’s bank details to buy food and whatever else they asked for in return for a place to sleep.

Her father knew of course, but it was easier to stay quiet than to admit that his only daughter had not only disobeyed him but had stolen from him to rub his nose in it. Staying quiet meant they didn’t have to see each other and that suited both Sabina and her parents perfectly.

The problem was the ‘awful’ boys, already older than Sabina by a good few years, had quickly grown into awful men. Instead of pushing her out of trees and treating her as one of the gang they had began pushing her into their bedrooms and placing a bottle of something in her hand for courage.

She soon lost track of which decisions were her own and which had been planted in her mind after too much alcohol and a smile from a boy who promised her the world.

She had been too naive, or maybe just too lonely, to ever question why they liked having her around. The only girl. The one with a rich daddy and her rich daddy’s bank card.

Soon the requests turned from alcohol and junk food into something more serious and Sabina had accepted without thinking, desperate for anything to numb the pain that lingered in her soul every time her phone rang. Despite it all, she really thought that her mother would call her. Just to make sure she was ok.

“Here, try this. It’s just a little pick-me-up. It’ll make you feel better.”

“You look stressed. Try this, you’ll be much more relaxed.”

“Give me your arm. Trust me. You do trust me, right?”

The track marks that painted the inside of her elbows became like trophies earned by each boy that placed a needle in her hand, a secret on his lips that was pressed into her own as the substance spread through her system. She never managed to stay focused long enough to remember those secrets. But it had been enough to numb the pain, if only temporarily, and let her forget about her life as Sabina Wilson the fuck-up.

Maybe it was only because of the money, but at least they wanted her around.

“Trust me, Sabina. We’ll look after you. Just one more hit and then we’ll call it quits for a while.”

It was always only one more hit.

And now those same voices were screaming in her ears, tripping over one another as they fought for attention.

“You’re used to needles by now, Sabina. Give it a go. You’ll be fine. And then we can have a little fun.”

Sabina was suddenly aware of her heart in her chest, hammering against her ribs. She was alive, that much she could tell, but for how much longer she wasn’t sure.

Drew’s face drifted across her mind, his hand reaching into her chest and grabbing her heart. Squeezing. Smiling. A deranged laugh escaping his lips.

“Give me your arm, Sabina. We can make the pain go away.”

That’s what the sensation was. That’s what was wrong. She had been clean for so long, she had promised Charlie she would be, and now they had ruined it. They had taken her back to when she was lost and alone, filled her up with all the mistakes she had ever made in her life and left her there to bleed out.

She couldn’t be an Angel any more. Not with this stuff in her veins. Charlie wouldn’t let her back. She had promised that she’d never use again, not ever. And they broke her promise.

Sabina managed to force open her heavy eyelids just enough to glance at the back of her hand and almost choked on the confirmation, the small needle taped across her skin.

She had failed.

She needed it out before it grabbed hold of her. She didn’t think she was strong enough to go through that again.

Her arms were heavy but she had to make them move. Had to get rid of the poison before it consumed her entirely. Maybe then she could prove to Charlie that she was still worthy. That she could still be an Angel if they just gave her another chance. Just one more.

“You’ve ran out of chances now, Sabina,” the voice sniggered in her ear. “You’ve used up your nine lives.”

She ignored the voice as best she could and reached for the back of her hand, feeling a pressure on her wrist before she could get that far. Holding her back. Stopping her from escaping the nightmare in her mind.

“Sabina, no. Please.”

It wasn’t her voice this time, or Drew’s, or any of the boys she had grown up with. It was oddly familiar and strangely comforting. But Sabina couldn’t let it trick her. Not now. She let herself sink into the warmth of the skin on hers for a few more seconds, could feel a hand stroke her hair and a thumb across her cheek, wiping her cold tears across her burning skin.

It felt so- nice.

But it was all a lie. A trick to keep her under their control.

She was alone.

She had been alone in the world for longer than she wanted to remember and now was no different.

“Give me your arm, Sabina.”

“Sabina, it’s ok. I’m here. I’m right here. Please look at me.”

“Ignore her, she’s trying to keep you in the darkness.”

The chaos in her mind screamed at her and all she wanted was for it to stop. For the twitching of her blood in her veins to go away.

“Sssh,” there was a hand on her shoulder and one on her hair. Gentle. Soothing. “Keep fighting, please. Look at me. Please look at me.”

‘I’m sorry,’ she thought, despite herself. She didn’t know why. She didn’t usually apologise to her demons, although she hadn’t visited them this intimately in quite a while.

She glanced at the needle again, ignoring the voices that continued to scream at her. Ignoring the soft hands on her cheeks that tried to pull her into a world of blurry unknowns and promises she didn’t want to believe.

It used most of her energy to reach over and grab the needle from her hand, pulling until she felt it slip free from under her skin and the sticky substance instantly pour down her arm.

She sighed in relief, a new exhaustion taking hold of her bones and pushing her downwards. Away from the rapid bleeping noise that pierced her ears and the flurry of hands across her skin.

Back into the still darkness that lingered behind her eyelids.

She wasn’t going to let her demons win. Not today.

~*~*~*~*~

Jane had been slouched in the uncomfortable chair in Sabina’s room with her feet up on the edge of the bed, her tablet propped on her lap as she scrolled through the endless news articles on the men that had now become intertwined in their lives in a way she never thought possible.

It felt almost normal, flicking through the information while Sabina slept. She had spent many evenings in the same way over the past year. Sabina’s ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude to life often seemed to merge in the middle and Jane could now tell how long she would last once they got back to the outpost before she fell asleep on the sofa, usually with her feet tucked behind Jane’s back.

Elena had messaged Jane to say she had finished the paperwork and was waiting for Saint to finish packing them some food before she headed to the hospital. She wasn’t at all surprised that Saint was being so persistent.

Jane thought she’d imagined the twitch in Sabina’s fingers the first time, the movement so minuscule she was sure it had been a trick of her mind. It wasn’t until the rhythm of the heart rate monitor she had been focused on without realising began to increase that she set aside her tablet and took hold of Sabina’s hand again, running her thumb along her skin in an attempt to let her know that she was there.

Jane had heard Sabina panic before, although at the time she had tried to ignore it. She had been so caught up with stopping Hodak, with wanting to finish the mission and get Calisto out of the wrong hands, that she had ignored the calls for help over the comms.

She had ignored Sabina’s panicked “I need you” to Elena and Elena’s frantic shouting of her name. There was a little part of her, a small voice that lived at the back of her mind, that had told her that day that Sabina was fine. She was being dramatic again and was trying to distract her from the task at hand.

Of course, when she had ran back inside and found Sabina trapped inside a stone crusher, the boulders falling around her and one of Hodak’s men grabbing hold of her waist, the little voice had fallen silent. She should have listened to her team mates that day yet she had thought that she knew best.

Jane had learnt a lot on that mission, but one of the main things she had learnt was that she didn’t have to do everything alone. Being part of a team meant so much more to her now than she ever thought possible, and she didn’t ever want to feel alone again.

So now, as she felt Sabina’s fingers twitch between her own hands while she held on tight, the heart rate monitor’s rhythm increasing and Sabina’s chest shaking as her breathing became erratic, Jane knew that she had to be the one to make sure Sabina wouldn’t panic.

“Sssh,” Jane tried to sooth. “Sabina, I’m right here. You’re safe, we all are. Just relax.”

It seemed to work slightly, Sabina’s chest steadying out and her eyelids fluttering as if attempting to open.

“Everything’s ok, Sabina. I’m right here.”

Jane could feel Sabina’s hand continue to twitch in her own as if stuck in a nightmare and she squeezed it tightly, hoping that somehow she’d be able to break through whatever horrors Sabina was facing.

“Sabina, listen to me. Listen to me and come back to us.”

Sabina flinched and slowly opened her eyes, her gaze falling instantly to the back of her hand as he eyebrows furrowed together. Jane let out a noise somewhere between a laugh and a sob, moving to sit on the edge of Sabina’s bed.

“Sabina?”

There was no response, Sabina’s glassy stare fixed on her hand as she slowly blinked through heavy eyelids.

“Hey, can you look at me? Please.”

But there was nothing and Jane fought back the tears that were threatening to spill over. She almost missed the movement of Sabina’s free hand as she reached across and tried to grab the needle from her skin, Jane managing to catch her wrist before she got that far.

“Sabina, no. Please.”

Jane could hear the wobble in her voice and hoped that Sabina would miss it. She reached up and tucked a stray hair behind Sabina’s ear, wiping away the tears from her cheeks with her thumb.

“Sabina, it’s ok. I’m here. I’m right here. Please look at me.”

She could hear the pleading in her voice but didn’t care. Sabina paused, blinking slowly as her breathing became erratic again.

Jane could feel the trembling in Sabina’s arm as she lowered it to her side and gently pushed her hair from her forehead, a sheen of sweat coating her burning skin.

“Sssh,” Jane didn’t know what she was doing but she knew she had to try something. She knew her Sabina was still there, despite what the doctors thought. “Keep fighting, please. Look at me. Please look at me.”

In her desperation Jane cupped Sabina’s cheeks in her hands and moved her head so their eyes could meet, feeling her lip wobble as she waited for some indication that Sabina knew who she was.

But when Jane looked into the brilliant green eyes of her best friend she was met by nothing but a blank stare. Usually so full of life and the promise of trouble, Jane could only see Sabina’s wide pupils stare right out through her.

She swallowed hard, forcing the sob from her body in a stuttered breath instead of letting it break free completely and ran a thumb along her cheek again.

“Please, Sabina,” she whispered. “Please look at me. Let me know you’re in there.”

Jane couldn’t work out if the next few seconds passed in slow motion or twice the speed. All she could remember was Sabina’s eyes leaving her own, eyelids heavy, and then a movement beneath her arms as Sabina reached over and pulled the cannula from the back of her hand.

The blood started pouring from the newly formed wound instantly, running down her arm and on to the bedsheets.

“Sabina!” Jane moved quickly and pressed her fingers against the source of blood, forcing her mind away from the boat that suddenly flashed across her mind as she squeezed her eyes closed. The heart rate monitor shouted at her in the otherwise quiet room, bouncing off the inside of her skull. “Why do you keep doing this to me?”

Sabina frustrated Jane on a daily basis, she was used to it by now, but the sight of her blood on her hands again made Jane feel sick. Sabina’s eyes had drifted closed and Jane couldn’t help but shake her head.

“Yeah, you have a nap. Leave me to deal with this.”

Jane looked down at her blood covering her hands and he bedsheets and sighed. She had never been great with other people’s blood, even if she could sew her own skin back together without a second thought. But this was nothing compared to what they had to deal with on the boat.

‘Don’t’ Jane thought to herself as she squeezed her eyes shut again in an attempt at stopping herself from thinking about that day. It wouldn’t do any of them any good.

~*~*~*~*~

The door opened and Elena entered the room to find Jane stood at the side of Sabina’s bed, her hands as well as the sheets covered in a crimson red. She couldn’t stop her mind from instantly skipping back to boat and was sure she could feel her body sway as if she was still on the water, but it was the look in Jane’s eyes that tethered her to reality.

“What- what happened?”

“She woke up,” Jane raised her eyebrows as if her statement was enough to explain the chaos in front of them. “Can you please go grab a nurse, this will need re-bandaged.”

“Really, she woke up?” Elena grinned, almost bouncing on the spot. “What did she say? Is she ok?”

“She said nothing,” Jane swallowed before glancing down at the blood and back to Elena. “Could you-”

“Oh, yeah. Be right back,” Elena disappeared from the room leaving Jane with Sabina’s hand in her own, her thumb placed on the area the needle had been previously as she tried not to think about the way Sabina had looked through her like she wasn’t even there.

Even after the explosion, when Jane had unintentionally cried at her bedside, Sabina had woke up with a sarcastic comment and a scrunch of her nose. But not this time.

What if the doctor was right? What if the Sabina they got back wasn’t the same as she had been only days before. She didn’t want to have to be the person to tell Elena that her optimism was pointless. That Sabina had woke up and had no idea who Jane was.

Jane was used to being invisible, it came with the job. Blend into the background until you need to stand out. But Sabina’s unfocused, lifeless eyes were all she could think about as she watched her sleep.

Elena returned with a nurse who ushered them from the room and back into the quiet ICU, both taking a seat in the waiting area and falling into silence. It was Elena that broke it first.

“Did she- I mean, do you think-?” Elena couldn’t finish the sentence that was stuck in her mind, refusing to be heard. She didn’t want to know the answer, Jane’s features telling her all she had to know.

Jane shrugged slightly and bit her lip.

“She didn’t say anything,” Jane almost whispered. “She wouldn’t look at me and when she did, there was nothing there. She wasn’t our Sabina.”

Jane hadn’t noticed how close the sob had been to bubbling over until the tears ran down her cheeks and she buried her head in her hands. Elena moved quickly to sit next to her and pull her in close.

“Hey, it’s still early days. Right?” She soothed. “The doctor expected her to be sedated for 48 hours and she proved them wrong, she’ll do it again. She just needs time. We can give her that.”

Jane nodded and swallowed hard, wiping the tears from her cheeks roughly with the back of her hand.

“Yeah,” she sighed. “You’re right. And she did rip a needle from the back of her hand, that’s a very Sabina thing to do.”

Elena laughed and wiped a small tear from her own cheek.

“Call Bosley,” Elena suggested with a tilt of her head. “It’ll make you feel better. Let her know what happened and tell her that we’ll stay here until we’re told to leave.”

Jane didn’t want to at first. She had told Bosley to get some rest but knew that if it had been the other way she would have wanted to know.

Bosley answered immediately.

“Go sit with her, Jane. Talk to her. Let her know you’re there and she’ll come back to us,” Bosley had instructed over the phone and Jane instantly felt her own fears dissipate at her words. “She woke up, that’s a good sign. She also caused trouble within minutes, that’s also a good sign.”

“That’s what Elena said,” Jane laughed and was met with a smirk from Elena sat next to her.

“Saint is insisting on a bath and a proper meal before I get back but I know you’ll look out for each other. I need to call the London office too so I’ll be there as soon as I can. But I mean it Jane, talk to her.”

“Since when has she ever listened to me?” Jane laughed again and could imagine Bosley’s smirk.

“Never. But she likes to answer back.”

Jane grinned, wiping the tears from her cheeks.

“Always has to have the last word.”

Bosley sighed slightly.

“Let her have it, just this once,” she spoke and Jane couldn’t help but smile. “She’ll come back to us, I know she will. My Angels are invincible and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Chapter Text

Jane and Elena had been allowed back to see Sabina once the nurse had finished changing the sheets and checking her obs. The same stern nurse frowned as she opened the door and let them in with a warning not to do anything they shouldn’t.

“Like what?” Elena had asked as the door swung shut again and Jane shrugged.

“Look Sabina, you’re always getting me in to trouble. I did nothing.”

They had sat in silence for a few minutes before Elena had pulled out her tablet and turned to Jane.

“I need to tell you something but promise me you won’t get mad,” Elena spoke and Jane instantly narrowed her eyebrows.

“That’s not a promising start, Elena.”

She sighed and turned the tablet in Jane’s direction as if deciding that there wasn’t an easy way to tell her.

“The police don’t have enough to charge Mason or Edward. Both have been released-”

“What do you mean they don’t have enough to charge them?” Jane asked as she glanced towards Sabina. “What more do they want?”

“Jane, think about it,” Elena tried to calm her down but could see Jane’s hands shaking. “Bosley agreed that we’d lead this until there was enough evidence to pass everything over to the police so they could make the arrests. We wanted to do this our way, and so they have little to go on right now. But this could go in our favour.”

“Really?” Jane raised an eyebrow and bit her lip, trying to keep her temper even. All she wanted to do was shout what she was really thinking but she knew this wasn’t the place to do so. “How on earth is any of this in our favour, Elena?”

“That’s not what I meant,” Elena looked away quickly. “I just mean, if Gough and Robinson think they’ve got away with this, that they’ve scared us off and Mason and Edward have been released without any repercussions, then they won’t expect us. They won’t think of us as a threat. And then once we have the evidence we need none of them are safe. They all get brought in and locked up before anyone else can get hurt.”

Elena looked to Sabina and placed a hand on hers.

“They won’t get away with this, we’ll make sure of it.”

Jane swallowed hard and tilted her head back, letting her hair fall from her face. Elena was right. She knew she was. It just didn’t make things any easier.

And she still wanted to put a bullet through Mason’s skull for what he’d done.

Elena checked her watch and frowned.

“I told Bosley I’d join a call with the London team to run over some of this stuff,” Elena held up the tablet. “You going to be ok while I’m gone? I’ll only be in the family room so I’ll come back as soon as I’m finished.”

Jane nodded with an “of course” and tried to hide the relief of being left alone with Sabina as Elena let the door swing shut behind her. There was still a part of her that felt uncomfortable speaking to Sabina with someone else around, even if that someone was Elena.

Jane was used to being in control, but the anger and frustration that coursed through her veins made her feel constantly on edge. She needed a punch bag to take out her frustrations. Or a shooting range.

“This is your fault you know,” Jane turned to Sabina and raised an eyebrow, watching the steady rise and fall of her chest. “I know how to keep a level head unless you’re involved. You always seem to find a way to throw me off guard.”

She smiled as if waiting for Sabina’s quick comeback.

“Saint’s already fussing, you know? He’s started brewing all sorts of concoctions ready for when you’re back at the outpost. Can’t say I envy you, they smell disgusting,” Jane smirked before adding “But don’t tell him I said that. He’s very proud of them.”

Jane smiled slightly and took Sabina’s hand in her own again.

“I could really do with you awake right now, Sabina. I have so many questions that only you’d be able to answer,” she sighed again and ran her thumb along the newly bandaged area of Sabina’s hand. “I can speak to Boz and Elena about the mission but there’s other things- I need a serious answer and I know you’re the only one who’d give it to me. You don’t sugar coat anything, do you?”

Jane sniffed slightly and frowned.

“I think I need to speak to Langston. Have a serious conversation with him about what we both want in life. I can’t leave him hanging on with the promise of a maybe when I’m going to be travelling around the world with you and Elena and not giving him a second’s thought. He deserves more than that. Deserves better. He has no idea what’s happened in the past few days and I have no intention of telling him, which means there’s probably something wrong there. Right?”

Jane looked to Sabina and imagined her nodding in agreement, a coy smile on her lips.

“You told me as much in the cafe the other day. I know you like to act like nothing bothers you but I know better. You knew what you were talking about. I don’t want safe, Sabina. And that’s all Langston can offer. Which isn’t his fault, but he deserves someone better than me,” Jane shook her head slightly. “Those milkshakes were so good by the way, I can’t remember if I told you that at the time. We should take Elena once you’re out of here, get her another cupcake after you ate the last one. What flavour milkshake do you think she’d go for?”

Jane smiled, her thumb continuing to trace the back of Sabina’s hand absentmindedly. “I think she’d want one of those sickly-sweet smarties ones. The ones that have crushed chocolate and all he toppings.”

Jane smiled again and shrugged out a stiffness in her shoulder, feeling her coat fall from the back of her chair. She leant down to pick it up and grinned slightly at the small fluff just visible within her pocket, pulling out the soft corgi she had forgotten about when she entered ICU.

“You’re going to think I’m mad,” Jane smiled as she turned the dog over in her hand. “Or that I’ve gone soft. You tell anyone about this Sabina and I’ll deny it, ok? But I saw this and thought of you. It was somehow a sign that you were going to be ok, despite everything that’s happened. It was just sitting there with its funny little tongue out and I couldn’t help it. So now he’s yours.”

Jane reached over the bed and placed the small corgi in Sabina’s other hand, letting the soft fur rest between her fingers.

“You remember the first day we met Elena?” Jane asked as she sat back in the chair and placed her feet on the edge of the bed. “I still didn’t want to trust you, still felt that I didn’t need to work as part of a team. But you helped me pull Elena from the water and I know you wanted to go back for Edgar. If it had been up to me I’d have gone after Hodak and probably gotten myself killed but you’re the one that managed to get us out of there. I was ready to leave Elena and damn the consequences. You made sure I didn’t.”

Jane sighed and leant her head back in the chair.

“I know we joke that you don’t think before you act but I know what you’re really like, Sabina. I seen it that day, when the anger I had at losing Edgar would have caused more problems than it solved. You’d just thrown yourself off a bike to make sure Hodak didn’t shoot us, I remember the scrapes that covered your shoulder and the way you’d wince when you thought no one was watching. But you were still the one that had managed to steal a car and get us all out of there. The one that contacted Bosley and got us off the grid.”

Jane smirked slightly and glanced over at Sabina.

“Sorry, you’re the one that borrowed the car. Permanently. I know you don’t steal any more.”

The smile slipped from her lips again and Jane pressed the palms of her hands to her eyes, letting the small stars dance across her vision as she swallowed hard. She was exhausted. Drained. All she wanted to do was curl up under a thick blanket and close her eyes for a week, but she also knew that any attempt to sleep would be pointless.

There was no way she would be able to switch off properly when all she could see when she closed her eyes was Sabina’s blank stare looking straight out through her. And it was somehow so much worse than seeing her hooked up to the machinery that had previously been keeping her alive.

Jane took a breath and moved her feet again, resting her elbows on Sabina’s bed and clenching their hands together as she rested them against her forehead.

“I know you’d argue with me if you could, but I’m so, so sorry Sabina,” Jane sighed, feeling the tears sting her eyes once more. “If I hadn’t got distracted. If I didn’t think that I could beat him on my own, then none of this would have happened. I should have been stronger. Why did you come in after me?”

Her breath caught in her chest and she swallowed hard, her throat burning as she did so.

“I promise we’re going to stop him, ok. I promise. None of them are going to get away with what they’ve done. What they’re still doing. And once we’re back home then we’re going to take a proper break, just the three of us, and plan a holiday somewhere,” Jane could feel the tears begin to roll down her cheeks but she didn’t care. “You were right, you know. When we were in Rio. When we were stood on the roof and you were going on and on about having fun on a Thai beach and relaxing in the sun. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to switch off and enjoy myself. But I’ve been learning.”

Jane laughed slightly, tightening her grip on Sabina’s hand.

“You’ve been teaching me. You probably don’t even realise it, but you have,” Jane sniffed again. “Even that party we went to in Chamonix, I know it was part of the mission but I don’t think you realised how nervous I was. You can dress up as anyone you want to be and make it look easy but that still feels so strange to me. Putting on the sequins had felt daunting until you’d appeared with that damn frustrating grin you wear before any mission. And I had fun.”

Jane laughed and felt the tears drip from the bottom of her chin.

“Yeah ok, I took a few punches from Hodak, was constantly worried that we wouldn’t find Elena in time and there was a moment between impaling the assassin and you punching John Bosley where I thought we might be in trouble, but I had fun. And it was because of you, Sabina. You taught me that I didn’t have to do everything alone. I knew that no matter what happened in that castle you’d have my back and for the first time I could just be me. I could fight as me and not have to worry about looking over my shoulder. Because you were there.”

Jane swallowed hard.

“You were always there.”

Jane felt the sob grip her chest and tried to focus on Sabina’s steady heart rate monitor in an attempt to level out her own, the tears continuing to sting her eyes.

“I don’t think I can do this without you, Sabina,” Jane squeezed her eyes shut and brought Sabina’s hand to her forehead again. “Elena is doing so well, even now. She’s managing to hold it all together but I don’t know how to fix this. I don’t know how to be me without you. I know we have our own missions and skill set and sometimes we need to work alone but I don’t want to any more. I don’t want to do this without you. I don’t think I can.”

Jane sighed and blinked, trying to push away the thoughts that crashed through her mind.

“When we were in Istanbul. I mean, after the explosion. I thought I’d lost you, Sabina. There was so much rubble and noise and the flames were clawing at us in all directions, and all I could think about was getting you to safety. Because even then, you were the one that noticed first. I remember, I saw your reaction when Elena answered the call. You’re the one that worked out something wasn’t right before we did and knew we were in danger. And the first thing you did was push me out of the way. You sensed something wasn’t right and you’re immediate instinct was to protect.”

Jane swallowed hard.

“I know you, Sabina Wilson. Better than most people I’d guess. You’re one of the bravest people I know and also one of the most selfless. You have a heart so big I’m surprised it can fit in your chest and yet you hide it from everyone behind sarcastic comments and a playful smile. You saved me that day, Sabina. You knew Elena was safest in her room and you pushed me aside, I know you did. And you saved me again on that stupid bloody boat!”

There was no holding back the tears any more as Jane let the sob escape her chest, every muscle aching as her body tensed, her throat raw with tears and the after effects of the salt water that had stung her lungs.

Istanbul had been terrifying and yet Jane had seemed to move on autopilot, scooping Sabina in her arms and staggering through the streets until she had found Fatima’s clinic. They had been the longest hours of her life, watching as Fatima’s expert fingers traced the abrasions and bruises that littered Sabina’s skin, her eyebrows knitted together in concentration as she worked.

But that now seemed like a distant memory compared to the nightmare they were living through.

“I’m so sorry,” Jane mumbled, her tears falling on to the newly changed bedsheets as she squeezed her eyes closed and grasped Sabina’s hand in hers. “Please Sabina-”

The noises that came with being in a hospital seemed to disappear as Jane felt her chest tighten with the sobs that slowly escaped having been held back for as long as she could handle. She could think of nothing, see nothing, other than the darkness that she so desperately wanted to step into and shut off from the world.

“Why are you always crying?”

Jane paused at the words, not quite trusting her own mind. They had been spoken so quietly, her voice more gravelly than usual as it cracked at the edges, but it had been hers. Jane didn’t dare open her eyes, convinced this was just her mind playing tricks on her. Knowing what she wanted the most and taunting her with the possibilities.

“Jane?”

The slight worry in her voice as she spoke her name was enough for Jane to startle, looking up from the bedsheets and being met by Sabina’s brilliantly green eyes watching her intently, the hint of a smirk twitching on her lips.

Jane couldn’t say anything. Her own breath caught in her throat and escaped as a laugh and cry all at once as she threw herself on Sabina’s chest and gripped her tightly, letting her tears soak into the pillow.

“Ouch,” Sabina groaned and Jane stepped back, images of Istanbul continuing to play in her mind. “Easy.”

“Sorry,” Jane laughed, gripping Sabina’s hand in hers again and taking a seat. “It’s just so good to see you awake.”

Jane could see Sabina try to smile as she forced her eyes open with heavy blinks, her gaze never leaving Jane’s.

“This is what I have to work with. You cry and Elena pukes.”

Jane laughed again, noticing the way Sabina flinched each time she tried to move and knew that she would be in pain.

She felt guilty at even thinking it, but Jane knew Sabina could deal with the physical pain. It came with being an Angel. It was the thought of their Sabina being lost that worried Jane the most.

“How are you feeling?” Jane asked cautiously and Sabina smirked.

“Like I’ve been ran over by a bus,” she smiled, her eyes squeezing shut after each sentence as she tried to push aside the shooting sting in her ribs.

“The bus you narrowly avoided,” Jane smirked and Sabina copied her expression with a tilt of her head.

“Where’s Boz?” She asked with a frown.

“On a call with Elena. She’ll be back soon, she’s barely left this room since you got here. I had to send her back to the outpost for a shower and some sleep,” Jane stated, not wanting to admit that she had been told to do the same thing only the day before. “They’ll be so happy to see you.”

Sabina smiled weakly and looked away from Jane in an attempt to hide the tears that had formed in her own eyes.

“Hey, what’s up?” Jane reached over and tilted Sabina’s chin until they were looking at each other again, wiping a tear from her cheek with her thumb.

“I’ve really fucked up this time, haven’t I?” Sabina blinked and for the first time in all the time Jane had known her, Sabina looked lost. Which pained Jane more than she’d ever admit.

“Don’t be silly, you’ve done nothing wrong,” Jane tried to sooth, pushing Sabina’s hair from her face and fixing her with a look she hoped would reassure her. “Sabina, you saved my life. I’m sitting here because of you and we’ve all been so worried. The only thing you need to focus on right now is getting better, ok? That’s all. And we’ll all be here to help.”

Sabina smiled weakly and nodded but Jane doubted she believed her.

“Can I get you anything?” Jane asked as she glanced around the room.

“Saint’s pancakes,” Sabina smirked before wincing again. “And don’t scrimp on the strawberry sauce.”

“I was thinking more like a sip of water,” Jane laughed and Sabina shook her head slightly.

Jane ran a hand along Sabina’s shoulder but could see her eyes narrow slightly, following the thin tube that snaked from the back of her hand and up the side of her arm.

“What is this?” Her voice was still gravelly and Jane could tell that it was painful for her just to speak.

“I don’t know,” Jane placed her hand on Sabina’s shoulder, trying to distract her. “I think it’s just a cannula for fluids and morphine, it’s ok.”

“No,” Sabina frowned again, her eyebrows furrowed together in what Jane could only describe as fear. “Jane I can’t-”

“Sabina, look at me. Please.”

Jane didn’t know what she expected or wanted from her, she just knew that she needed Sabina to look at her in that moment. The last thing she wanted was a replay of the last time Sabina had woke up, when all she got in return was Sabina’s unfocused stare and her hands covered in blood again.

“Please.”

Sabina turned, her green eyes tired and straining to stay open. Jane had placed her hands over Sabina’s, stopping her from reaching the needle.

“I don’t want it, Jane,” Sabina blinked and Jane could see the tears reforming in her eyes. “Please take it out. I can’t have- I promised Charlie. I promised Bosley, please take it out.”

“It’s ok,” Jane soothed, her hand running down Sabina’s arm. “Sabina, it’s ok. I’ll tell the doctor, they won’t give you any more if you don’t want it. Ok? But you have to leave it there for now. You still need the antibiotics.”

Sabina nodded, her eyes drifting closed again as her breathing began to steady. Jane remembered seeing the words across Sabina’s file when she had decided to read up on her new team member. ‘Substance abuse’ and ‘detox’ and ‘withdrawal symptoms’. The file didn’t go into detail and Jane had decided fairly quickly that she would leave it up to Sabina to tell her about it if she was ever ready, but she had never imagined it to be that bad. Until now.

Until Jane could see a fear in Sabina’s eyes that Jane hadn’t thought she was capable of possessing.

“You promise?” She whispered and Jane smiled slightly, running a hand through Sabina’s hair.

“Yeah, I promise. I’ll go speak to them now, but don’t touch it.”

Sabina nodded and moved her free hand as if to reach for the bandage, pausing when she realised her hand wasn’t empty. Her eyes fell on the soft dog and she smiled instantly, turning it round so she could see it’s small, slightly wonky face.

“What-?” She asked with a frown and Jane was relieved at the distraction.

“That’s something to keep you company when we’re not here,” Jane continued to run her hand along Sabina’s arm as she watched her trace the fur of the corgi with her thumb.

Jane could see Sabina’s eyes grow heavy, like a toddler fighting sleep, but the small smile remained on her lips. Then she tucked the small dog under her chin and sighed slightly.

“I knew you had a soft side, Jane,” she grinned, closing her eyes completely. “I’m going to keep Colin forever.”

“Colin?” Jane asked with a laugh.

“Well he needs a name,” Sabina mumbled on the edge of sleep. “Colin the Corgi. He sounds so very British.”

She had added her annoying attempt at an English accent again and Jane couldn’t help but smirk.

“Go to sleep and I’ll speak to the doctor,” Jane shook her head. “You even think about touching that needle and I’ll make sure they keep you here for a month. Got it?”

Sabina nodded slightly but had fallen asleep before Jane had stood up, a smile on her own lips she doubted would disappear for quite some time.

~*~*~*~*~

“But it’s morphine,” the doctor frowned as he glanced through Sabina’s notes on the small computer screen in the middle of ICU. “You know what she’s been through, we weren’t expecting her to be awake right now, never mind making demands.”

“She’s not-” Jane shook her head and sighed. “She’s not making demands, but this is her decision.”

“As her doctor I have to make the decisions that are best for my patients, and the best thing for your friend is to stay on the morphine,” he tilted his head and Jane resisted the urge to punch him in the nose. “I have to know she’s in the right state of mind to make any decisions and after what she’s been through-”

“You haven’t spoken to her!” Jane hadn’t meant to raise her voice but the look from the doctor in front of her made her hands tremble. “We’ve been telling you since we got here, you don’t know her. She’s awake and she’s not- she knows exactly who I am and where she is. She’s not damaged, she’s not broken like you thought she was going to be. And this is her decision.”

“Until I know for sure that she knows the consequences-”

“Do you?” Jane clenched her fists tighter. “Do you know the consequences of not listening to her? Have you asked your nurses what happened a few hours ago?”

The doctor glared at her but didn’t speak.

“If you don’t listen to her then she’s just going to pull out the needle anyway, and then your nurses are going to have to clean up the blood again,” Jane spoke slowly as she concentrated on keeping her voice steady. “This way you can keep giving her fluids and antibiotics but without the morphine.”

The doctor paused momentarily before rolling his eyes as he glanced over Jane’s shoulder. Jane turned to see both Bosley and Elena walking towards them, Bosley wearing an expression that explained the doctor’s reaction.

“What’s going on?” Bosley asked instantly. “Jane, what’s happened?”

“Nothing,” Jane shook her head and gave Bosley a smile she hoped was reassuring. “I’m trying to explain that listening to Sabina is going to save a lot of trouble in the long run.”

Jane glared at the doctor and Bosley shook her head as if asking Jane to explain.

“She doesn’t want the morphine,” Jane answered simply and Bosley nodded, turning to the doctor.

“Listen to her, if she’s asked for no painkillers then it’s her decision,” Bosley crossed her arms but the doctor stood his ground.

“She’s going to be in agony without it,” he tried to reason but Bosley shrugged.

“She can handle it, go and speak to her yourself if you need!” Bosley threw her arm out in the direction of Sabina’s room and the doctor reluctantly walked away, shaking his head as he did so and mumbling under his breath.

Bosley watched him go then turned to Jane.

“Is she-?”

“She’s our Sabina,” Jane interjected with a relieved laugh, knowing Bosley wouldn’t want to ask the question and feeling a relief wash over her she hadn’t realised she’s been holding in. “She’s already requested Saint’s cooking, attempted to mimic my accent and thinks this is all somehow her fault.”

Bosley sighed, shaking her head as she pulled Jane into a tight hug.

“You two are as bad as each other,” she said as she ran a hand along Jane’s back. “We’ll stop the ones responsible for this, don’t worry.”

Bosley stepped away and shook a stray hair from her face.

“So she remembers what happened on the boat?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t ask,” Jane shook her head. “She wasn’t awake that long.”

Bosley nodded and glanced at Elena who had remained quiet since they had got there, her eyes red with unshed tears but a smile on her lips.

“We should probably go save the doctor from Sabina,” Bosley smirked. “You know what she’s like once she’s made her mind up about something, he has no idea what he’s letting himself in for.”

Jane laughed and took Elena’s hand, following Bosley back to Sabina’s room.

Chapter Text

“She’s sleeping,” the doctor met them at the door to Sabina’s room with his arms crossed tightly over his chest. “Which she’s unlikely to do much more of now that we’ve stopped the morphine. I give it a few hours before she changes her mind.”

“That’s not gonna happen,” Jane shook her head with a smirk and could see Bosley’s lips twitch as she tried to hide her own smile.

The doctor rolled his eyes and stepped aside, letting them back into Sabina’s room with the body language of someone who had given up trying to argue.

“She’s still on regular obs. Don’t get in the way of my nurses or over-excite her in any way, otherwise I’ll have you sent out until tomorrow. I don’t want to risk any internal bleeding, it took long enough to stop it in theatre with her body temperature being as low so she shouldn’t be moving too much just yet.”

“Sabina gets over excited at extra sprinkles on her hot chocolate,” Bosley muttered as they stepped past the doctor and Elena couldn’t help but giggle.

Jane and Bosley took a seat at either side of Sabina, Elena dropping onto the end of the bed, and Jane instantly tilted her head.

“You didn’t last long at the outpost,” she raised an eyebrow at Bosley. “You were supposed to be resting.”

“A shower can do the world of good, Jane,” Bosley shrugged in response but Jane could see the tiredness in her eyes. “I joined the call with Elena from the taxi on the way here and we finished it in the family room together. Saint’s here too, speaking to the doctors about herbal remedies and other things I don’t understand.”

She waved a hand absentmindedly as she stifled a yawn and looked back to the sleeping blonde in front of her.

“I suppose we should be making the most of the quiet,” she smirked and Elena giggled again, a sound full of relief. “It won’t last long.”

“I never thought I’d miss her waking me up at silly o’clock in the morning with her solo dance parties or endless sarcastic comments,” Jane laughed slightly, falling back in her chair.

“Or eating my toast before I’ve even buttered it,” Elena added with a grin. “How long do you think she’ll use this for once we’re back home?”

“She won’t,” Bosley sighed slightly with a slow shake of her head. “Which is the problem. Making sure she rests will be the biggest challenge once we’re out of here.”

Jane ran a hand through her hair and tried to block out the memories of Istanbul that kept finding their way into her mind. Memories of Sabina pushing herself from the small bed in Fatima’s clinic and pulling the needle from under her skin, just as she had done earlier that day.

She had been torn back then, between wanting Sabina to rest and wanting to get to Elena as quickly as possible. Saint had ushered them from the room with the promise of having Sabina ready to leave within the hour and despite the fact that she was concussed, bruised and exhausted, Sabina had bounded into the briefing with only slightly less energy than usual as they ran through their plan to rescue Elena.

Jane had watched the pain flash across Sabina’s features while they grappled with Hodak and could see her hold back slightly on the dance floor. Yet she had kept going, wearing a wide smile and a playfulness in her eyes.

But Jane was also there when Sabina crashed. When her body gave in before her mind did and she disappeared into a world she couldn’t follow. When she did nothing but sleep in the darkness of the safe house until they were ready to go home again.

That had been concussion and broken ribs. Scrapes and bruises. It has been terrifying and yet it was nothing in comparison to now.

Jane could feel a knot forming in her stomach at the thought of what could happen over the next few days, weeks even. They still had a job to do and although Elena had finished her training with relative ease, she wasn’t used to the big missions just yet. She needed Sabina by her side just as much as Elena. They each had their own strong points and this job needed all of them.

How would that work now?

Jane glanced at Bosley who gave her a warm smile and she knew that Bosley was thinking the same as she was.

“We’re together,” Elena shrugged, breaking the silence that had settled in the room as she glanced between them “That’s all that matters, right?”

~*~*~*~*~

Sabina woke to stark white walls and a screaming in her body that reminded her that she was very much alive. For the first time since she had become aware that she was in hospital her mind felt clear, the fog having lifted.

The morphine now almost completely out of her system.

And oh, did she feel the difference.

The doctor had reluctantly agreed to stop the painkillers after Sabina tried to explain her reasoning without having to voice the words, the worries, that sat in her mind.

‘I can’t get addicted. Not again.’

She could feel her tired lungs ache with every intake of breath and it took a few seconds until she felt that she could take a proper breath without it getting caught in her chest. It was then, after she was happy that she wasn’t going to choke on the air that was forcing itself into her body, that she let herself focus on her surroundings and could see Jane watching her intently, her hand resting on top of her own again.

“Hey,” Jane smiled and Sabina mimicked her actions before looking round and realising that Jane wasn’t the only one in the room.

“Oh, I wasn’t expecting a welcome party.”

Bosley, Saint and Elena all sat around her, the nurse having grudgingly provided more chairs as the room filled. Bosley moved as soon as she looked up, wrapping Sabina in a tight hug that pushed the air from Sabina’s lungs again. But she didn’t care. Didn’t even protest.

She knew Bosley needed a hug and her body was screaming at her anyway, so why not let her get it out her system. She was surprised to see the tears in Bosley’s eyes as she stepped back.

“Hey, I’m ok Boz,” Sabina smiled as best she could, feeling guilty at the look on her face. “See?”

Sabina raised her hands as if that was enough to convince Bosley that she was ok but quickly regretted her actions as the pain shot through her ribs and she dropped her arms again, her hands balling into fists. She smiled slightly when she realised she was still holding the small dog from Jane, it’s fur sticking to her clammy palm.

“Yeah, so I see,” Bosley raised an eyebrow and Saint was suddenly at her side, swapping places with Bosley so he could check Sabina over properly.

“You need to learn to stay still, Sabina,” he frowned before giving her a smile that gave away how serious he was. “The broken ribs will take at least six weeks to heal, and right now they’re the least of your worries.”

Sabina rolled her eyes and tried to hide the fact that every breath felt like her lungs were being squeezed tight, a sharpness clawing at her skin with every movement.

“What are you all doing here?” She asked, feeling the scratch in her throat as if she’d swallowed a razor blade.

“You’ve had us worried,” Saint tilted his head. “More so than usual, I mean.”

“What, because I-” Sabina paused with a frown. “I actually don’t know what I’ve done this time.”

She looked up at Jane with a smirk but she wouldn’t meet her eyes and Sabina felt the guilt that sat in her stomach begin to bubble up again.

“You’ve been giving me grey hairs is what you’ve been doing!” Bosley announced with a laugh and they all grinned, before Bosley sighed and tilted her head. “I think I’ve aged ten years overnight, you have got to stop doing this to me.”

“Sorry,” Sabina mumbled, the guilt turning to acid in her stomach while Saint moved back to the bottom of her bed. “I don’t mean to be so-”

“You’re not so anything, Sabina,” Bosley sighed, taking her hand and smiling at the fluffy soft toy. “Where did that come from?”

“Oh, this is Colin,” Sabina grinned, lifting it slightly but not loosening her grip. “He’s my emotional support dog which means I have to take him everywhere with me from now on.”

Sabina glanced at Jane who rolled her eyes.

“If you’re going to make fun I’ll take him back,” Jane held out her hand but Sabina instantly tucked the dog under her chin again with a look of surprise.

“No, you can’t take him back now. We’ve bonded,” she frowned, flinching slightly and hoping no one would notice as Elena continued to giggle.

“On a serious note,” Bosley sighed. “How much can you remember about what happened?”

Sabina squeezed the small corgi tighter and frowned, her eyes meeting Bosley’s and suddenly she felt lost for words. She had known the question was coming, she had only hoped it would take longer to get there.

“What’s the last thing you can remember?” Bosley asked gently.

“Yesterday morning. Saint’s pancakes,” Sabina almost whispered with a smile, looking across at Saint. “With chocolate sauce and extra strawberries.”

“For breakfast?” Bosley asked with a raise of an eyebrow, glancing over the fact that it had been a few days since they were all last at the outpost. She’d fill Sabina in on what day it was when she was ready.

“That was supposed to be our secret,” Saint smirked as he crossed his arms and Jane was sure she could see the tension begin to leave his muscles.

“What else?” Bosley pressed.

“Strawberry milkshakes,” Sabina frowned. “And eating Elena’s cupcake.”

“Anything not food related?” Bosley laughed and Sabina shrugged.

“I remember the important bits, obviously.”

Bosley rolled her eyes and Sabina frowned, the smile falling from her lips as the sound of water seemed to rush past her ears.

“I remember the Hulk,” her voice was quiet again and Bosley could see her tense, the fight or flight having kicked in. Bosley knew that Sabina had never fled from a challenge in her life. “He had a knife and Elena was on the ground. No, on a boat. We were on a boat.”

That explained the sound of water, crashing against the side of the small boat they had borrowed that morning. Sabina looked at Bosley for confirmation and she nodded once, aware of the rise in her heart rate that flashed across the monitor. Bosley wanted to grab hold of Sabina and hold her tight but she also had to know how much she could remember about what happened, and so she settled for a warm hand on her shoulder instead.

“He grabbed a hold of Jane and then Robert was there and everything is muddled together.”

Sabina covered her eyes with her hands and gripped her hair between her fingers, her lungs aching and her blood on fire. There was a pounding behind her eyes that she tried not to focus on, the soft fluff of the corgi tickling her nose as she forced herself to concentrate.

“Hey, it’s ok,” Jane took a hold of the top of her arm and spoke slowly, her thumb tracing her skin. “You’re doing really well. Don’t push yourself.”

Sabina took a breath and untangled her fingers.

“He pushed you,” Sabina lowered her hands slightly and looked over at Jane with a frown. “He pushed you and you fell over the edge. You disappeared under the water, and I knew that he was relentless and strong. And dangerous. He had a knife and I had to try to help you before he took you away. I couldn’t let that happen, Jane. He wouldn’t have stopped until he, until he-”

Sabina swallowed and squeezed her eyes shut again, her breath catching as she tried to force the air back into her lungs.

“Ok, that’s enough,” Bosley placed her hand on Sabina’s cheek and rubbed her thumb across her burning skin. “Sabina, you’re ok. Everyone’s ok.”

Sabina shook her head slightly and felt her ribs protest at the movement, her vision blurring slightly as she opened her eyes.

“He had a hold of Jane, but she managed to get free and kick the knife away,” Sabina continued as she looked over at Jane and felt her heart skip a beat at the sadness on her features. “But none of this was your fault, Jane. None. I kicked you. I made you leave, made you swim away. I thought we were ok, that Mason would just follow us and then we could get out somehow. I didn’t really think anything through.”

“Sabina, please-” Jane started but Sabina shook her head again.

“He had another knife,” Sabina looked over at Elena whose cheeks were streaked with tears. “I should have guessed, really. I’ve been telling you two for weeks that he’s like bloody Wolverine.”

Sabina laughed slightly but Jane wouldn’t meet her eyes and she had the sudden feeling that she should stop talking. Everyone else could remember what happened just fine without her making them re-live it. They knew more than she did after that point.

“Hey, it couldn’t have been that bad,” Sabina frowned, feeling an emptiness in her chest at the way Jane avoided looking at her while she desperately tried to lighten the atmosphere that had settled in the room. “I’m still here to annoy you, aren’t I?”

“This isn’t like Istanbul, Sabina,” Bosley frowned. “You won’t be out partying any time soon, this is serious. You need to rest. You nearly drowned, you’re not even supposed to be awake right now! You’re just too stubborn to miss out on anything.”

Sabina opened her mouth to protest but Bosley pointed a finger in warning.

“No, Sabina. If Elena hadn’t got the boat back when she did or if Jane hadn’t remembered her training-” Bosley tilted her head and Sabina glanced to Jane again.

She remembered the feeling of the blade striking her abdomen and the look in Mason’s eyes through the murky river. She could even remember the feeling of the ice cold water fill her lungs and was sure it was still there as she focused on ignoring the ache every time she inhaled. Sabina knew it must have been bad going by the new level of pain that engulfed her body but she hadn’t wanted to believe it.

She’d much rather take the agony than watch one of her team mates go through it.

“Did you kiss me? Is that why I’m alive?” She tried to joke as she tilted her head at Jane, feeling her hands tremble slightly and hoping they wouldn’t notice.

“Something like that,” Jane smirked without looking at her properly.

“Does this make me Snow White?”

“You’re pale enough right now,” Elena added with a laugh, her eyes puffy.

“Then where are my seven little men?” Sabina frowned as she pretended to look over the edge of the bed.

“What would YOU do with seven men?” Jane raised an eyebrow and Sabina laughed, instantly regretting it as her hands shot to her stomach and the pain coursed through her body. Every fibre of her being seemed to ache in a way she had never felt before, both inside and out, but there was no way she was going to admit that to anyone else in the room.

“Dude stop, you’ll bust a stitch,” she grinned in an attempt to hide the pain, but Jane had already glanced at the heart rate monitor and was frowning at her again, her hand on her shoulder.

“I’m ok,” she said seriously, catching Jane’s eye and smiling. But Jane looked away quickly and Sabina felt her chest ache for a completely different reason.

Bosley seemed to notice.

“Right, ladies. I think it’s time we let Sabina rest, don’t you?”

“No,” Sabina began, reaching out to stop her but Bosley raised an eyebrow and Sabina fell silent.

“We’ll be back,” Bosley smiled, leaning over to give Sabina another hug. “I promise. But it’s getting late and Nurse Ratched will be back soon to kick us out.”

“Nurse who?” Elena asked and Bosley rolled her eyes.

“Oh not this again, I’m not that old,” she smirked and both Jane and Sabina giggled. “We’ll be back in the morning. Sleep until then and listen to the doctor.”

They all stood to leave and Sabina caught Jane’s hand, holding her back as she tried to catch her attention. But it was clear that Jane didn’t want to look at her properly.

“I’ll see you soon,” Jane smiled weakly, pulling her hand free and leaving Sabina feeling lost as they filed from the room.

~*~*~*~*~

Elena woke early the next morning to find the outpost already full of movement and the smell of breakfast. Bosley was pacing the living area with her phone to her ear, talking animatedly as she waved her hands around with a roll of her eyes. Elena had quickly guessed that she was speaking to the Agency and would probably be for some time, and so had went to find Jane instead who was sitting in the kitchen with Saint.

“Morning,” she smiled brightly and was handed a plate of scrambled eggs. “This smells so good.”

“Only the best for my Angels,” Saint turned back to the sink and Elena sat next to Jane, watching as she pushed a tomato around her plate with her fork.

“How’d you sleep?” Elena asked cautiously and Jane shrugged.

Elena paused, biting her lip and was sure Saint was busying himself to give them time to talk. Jane had disappeared to her room as soon as they had returned from the hospital the previous evening and hadn’t reappeared other than to get a glass of water. For the first time since she had finished her training Elena felt a tension at the outpost she couldn’t seem to shake.

Even since officially becoming an Angel they had spent a few days apart, Elena taking the time to move into her new apartment (before Sabina had announced it needed christened with a party and they had had one too many shots in her front room), but she hadn’t once felt like she needed space. Jane and Sabina seemed to know when they needed to be together and had welcomed Elena into the trio without question, but now that a third of their structure was missing Elena didn’t know how to keep them all standing.

Jane needed space, but she also needed to know that she wasn’t to blame for anything. And no matter how many times Elena told her, she knew Jane wouldn’t believe it.

“I’m going to the hospital first thing, you want to come with me?” Elena asked but Jane slowly shook her head.

“I have some stuff I need to get finished before I head up,” she looked up and Elena was sure she could see a redness to her eyes. “Just some paperwork I’ve been putting off.”

“Oh,” Elena nodded, knowing that Jane didn’t have anything to work on because she’d finished it for both of them the day before. “Well if you change your mind I’ll be leaving in a half hour.”

Jane nodded again before clearing her plate in the bin and disappearing from the kitchen as she mumbled something about taking a shower. Elena watched her go, feeling the loneliness grow heavier on her shoulders.

“Don’t worry,” Saint appeared behind Elena and placed a hand on her back. “I’ll speak to her while you’re gone. She’ll be fine once she’s worked through it.”

Elena had quickly stopped at a nearby cafe then took a train to the hospital, glad of the distraction and the normality of public transport. There was something oddly reassuring about blending in to the thousands of early commuters on their way to work that made her feel safe, despite the busy train station.

Sabina had her arm over her face when Elena entered her room and she was sure she could see the remains of tears across her cheeks, but she didn’t question it.

“Morning, how’re you feeling?” She asked gently and Sabina moved her arm, smiling as best she could.

“Better now you’re here,” Sabina swallowed, her voice cracking slightly.

Elena could hear the strain in her voice and knew she’d be hurting now that she had refused all painkillers. She could see Sabina shudder with every breath and her other hand clutch her ribs.

“They could give you something weaker than morphine, you know. Just enough to help with the pain.”

“No,” Sabina shook her head immediately and swallowed again, her eyes squeezing shut as she did so. “Just distract me until it stops hurting. I’ll be fine.”

“Sabina-“

“Please,” Sabina’s eyes found Elena’s and she was surprised to see a pleading look glinting in the green. “I can’t, ok? Just believe me when I say I can’t have anything. It’s not some pride thing, I just-“

Sabina sighed and closed her eyes again, resting her head on the pillow.

“Ok,” Elena reached over and took Sabina’s hand. “I get it. I promise. No meds.”

Elena bit her lip and watched Sabina’s ragged breathing as she fought against the pain she had so boldly announced she no longer felt. They had all known that was a lie, of course.

“Did you get any sleep?”

Sabina shook her head with a frown.

“This place is too loud, then too quiet. I just want out of here. You gonna help bust me out?” Elena wasn’t convinced that Sabina was joking, despite the small smile that lingered on her lips.

“Afraid not.”

“You’re no fun,” Sabina groaned slightly before she squeezed Elena’s hand tight and held her breath. “Why is this getting worse and not better?”

“Because your body is trying to heal, Sabina. It’s going to hurt,” Elena sighed, running her hand along Sabina’s arm.

“That was a rhetorical question,” Sabina mumbled.

Elena wanted nothing more than to take the pain away from her, even just for a few hours to give her time to rest, but she also had a feeling that only Sabina would be able to handle what she was without any form of painkiller.

“You flirted with any cute nurses yet?” Elena asked in an attempt to distract her and Sabina smirked, her eyes opening and finding Elena’s.

“You’ve seen the nurse, right? She does nothing but frown and tell me that it’s my own fault if this hurts,” she smirked and Elena’s mouth dropped open.

“She did?”

Sabina shrugged and leant her head back again.

“She kinda has a point,” she sighed and swallowed hard, Elena noticing. “You’re doing a really bad job at distracting me, Elena.”

“Sorry, ok,” Elena let go of Sabina’s hand and rummaged in her bag, taking out the Agency tablet. “I know what’ll work. I’ve been looking through the files from the police station, the ones Bosley asked them to provide after- well, after everything that happened a few days ago. And there’s some extra information on Gough’s brother.”

“Extra information?” Sabina raised an eyebrow. “You hacked the Metropolitan Police Station, didn’t you?”

“Maybe,” Elena mumbled with a shrug but noticed the smirk on Sabina’s lips. “I knew they were keeping something from us so I thought I’d have a look myself.”

Sabina laughed and Elena clicked into one of the folders.

“We know his brother has been sentenced to ten years, but he’s due to be moved to a different facility,” Elena turned the tablet to Sabina. “This Saturday.”

“The same day as the street party,” Sabina frowned and Elena nodded.

“Exactly. You think that’s a coincidence?”

“In the same way that it’s a coincidence the wine disappears when Boz is around,” Sabina sighed, her eyes narrowing as she studied the notes on the screen. “What are they up to. Why is this Saturday so important?”

Elena shrugged and handed over the tablet, glad at the fact that Sabina seemed distracted.

“We only have- hang on, what day is it?” Sabina frowned and looked to Elena who clenched her hands together.

“It’s Thursday,” she sighed. “We have two days until the party and we don’t know why it’s happening or what they’re planning with Harvey Gough.”

“Then help me get out of here and we can be ready for Saturday,” Sabina held up her hands and Elena couldn’t help but roll her eyes.

“No, Sabina. I’m not even going to argue. Boz would literally kill me.”

“But I’m fine,” Sabina glared and Elena could see her clenching her jaw, before she threw her head back on the pillow and pouted.

Elena watched her closely, wanting to reach over and grab her hand again but not knowing whether she should. She knew Sabina should be kept up to date but she didn’t know whether to tell her everything after Jane’s previous reaction.

“Sabina,” Elena paused, Sabina turning at her name. “Mason and Edward-”

“What about them?”

“They’ve been released. The police didn’t have enough evidence to charge them.”

Elena spoke quickly in the hope that it would be less painful but Sabina just nodded slowly with a shrug.

“Figures. We haven’t really given them anything to go on yet, have we?”

Elena opened her mouth to respond but couldn’t find the words, settling on a nod instead. She had expected a very different reaction after how Jane acted.

Sabina seemed to notice.

“I’ve been doing this job long enough to know how it works, Elena,” she smiled. “We’ll get them when they’re not expecting it. We’re smarter and stronger than they are. If he’s the Hulk then we’re-”

Sabina paused as she thought then shrugged.

“I don’t know what we are, but together we’re something bigger and smarter.”

Elena giggled and sat back in the chair, watching as Sabina’s hand lingered above her ribs. She couldn’t help her mind drifting back to the rock quarry, to before she was an official Angel. She had heard Sabina’s panicked voice over the temporary comms on her wrist and had watched her fight off a guy twice her size while inside the stone crusher, all while desperately scrambling to get free.

Even now after her training Elena was convinced that she wouldn’t have stood a chance in the crusher. She had been taught how to shoot a gun and bring down a threat, but that was something different. That was claustrophobic and intense.

And yet despite everything Sabina kept going. Kept fighting. Blow after blow she fought back with elbows and nails and not a single weapon.

“You fight different to any Angel I’ve ever seen,” Elena frowned before she realise the words had left her mouth. “I know I haven’t known about all this for very long, but not once when I was training did I see anyone who fights like you do.”

“I didn’t learn everything I know from the Agency,” Sabina raised an eyebrow with a smirk but was met by a blank response from her team mate. “Prison, Elena. I learnt it in prison.”

“Oh,” Elena drew out the word and looked away but Sabina smirked.

“It’s ok, you can talk about it. I learnt a lot in there about how to defend myself. I had to. And I’m not ashamed of anything, I just don’t bring it up in normal conversation,” Sabina shrugged. “Hi, I’m Sabina. Ex-convict and previous resident of countless institutions.”

She looked away and Elena could see the smile slip from her lips, the sadness in her eyes returning.

“Sabina Wilson, bad ass Angel,” Elena placed her hand on Sabina’s and waited for her to look up.

“Sure I am,” Sabina sighed, pulling her hand from Elena’s and dropping her voice. “I haven’t messed up this bad in a while.”

“Sabina-”

She shook her head as if to focus herself again and turned back to Elena.

“Where’s Jane?” Sabina asked as casually as she could, feeling her throat ache with every word.

It was the question Elena had been dreading.

“She had to check a few things out,” Elena shrugged as casually as she could. “Something to do with the firearms docs we found. You know what she’s like when she gets distracted with that sort of stuff.”

“Don’t get between Jane and her weapons,” Sabina mumbled and threw her arm back over her eyes.

Elena sighed slightly, hoping Sabina wouldn’t press the subject any further. She was pretty sure she knew why Jane didn’t want to return to the hospital but it didn’t make it any easier for her to explain to Sabina.

‘She still feels guilty about what happened on the boat and now she knows you remember what happened, she won’t stop blaming herself for everything.’

Bosley was right. They were as bad as each other.

There was a silence between them while Elena dropped the tablet back into her bag.

“You asked me a few days ago, while we were at the outpost, about how I was recruited,” Sabina spoke quietly and Elena was surprised at the turn in conversation. “I told you Charlie saved me back then.”

She sighed and Elena could see the redness in her eyes reappearing.

“Jane needs this to feel like she can redeem herself after MI6. So that she can make up for all the mistakes that weren’t her fault to begin with. We all know you’re too smart to be stuck in a lab your whole life. It would have been a tragedy to keep you there forever,” Sabina smirked. “But if I wasn’t an Angel I’d be dead. I know you might not believe it but I’d have been long gone if Charlie hadn’t bailed me out when he did.”

Elena moved to sit on the edge of Sabina’s bed and could see her frown, fighting back the tears she knew were ready to spill down her cheeks.

“I need out of here, Elena. I need to be ready for Saturday because I’ve messed this up. I’ve let Boz down and if I can’t be an Angel-”

Sabina pushed herself away from the pillows and Elena watched as she breathed out slowly, purposefully, trying to level her heart rate that was giving away just how she was feeling.

“Sabina-”

“I have to leave. I have to-” she paused, closing her eyes as she held her breath. “I’m going to be sick.”

Sabina placed a hand to her mouth and Elena grabbed a bowl from the side of her bed, placing it under her chin just in time and moving to her side to rub her back as Sabina gasped, her hand clutching her ribs.

“Sorry,” Sabina mumbled as she managed to catch her breath and leant back against the pillows.

“Do you think that I, of all people, am going to be upset at a little puke?” Elena asked with a laugh and Sabina gave her a weak smile. “That’ll be the pain, Sabina you need something.”

“No,” Sabina groaned and leant back again, closing her eyes. “I don’t expect you to understand. I just need you to trust me on this one, ok.”

Elena knew how stubborn Sabina was but couldn’t work out why she was so adamant not to listen to the doctor’s advice.

“It would help, Sabina. And then you could get out of here quicker.”

“I’m an addict, Elena,” Sabina stated bluntly, biting her lip and looking away. “Or I was. I don’t know if you can ever stop being an addict but-”

She shrugged and Elena paused, a strange feeling coursing through her veins at the look in Sabina’s eyes. She had seen the pain since she had set foot through the door but the shame she could now see in Sabina’s eyes made something tighten in Elena’s chest.

“Powerless and ashamed, remember,” Sabina shrugged and Elena moved again, sitting at Sabina’s side and carefully rubbing her shoulder.
Sabina took a breath as if deciding whether to carry on.

“I don’t want to ever feel like that again, Elena. I know I’m not that person anymore but in my head-” Sabina pointed to her head and closed her eyes slightly. “No one wants to know what goes on in there. Prison I could probably deal with but the other place-”

“You don’t have to explain, Sabina,” Elena rested her head on Sabina’s shoulder and squeezed her hand. “But I promise, that’ll never happen again. Not ever. Not with Jane and I around. And that’s before we even get to Bosley, I’ve seen first hand just how scary she can be.”

Sabina wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and took a breath, placing her hand on Elena’s.

“Anyway, enough with all of this. You don’t need to listen to how I fucked up my life,” Sabina shook her head slightly and breathed out through her teeth. “Have I missed any more of Saint’s pancakes?”

Elena laughed slightly.

“Nope, it was eggs this morning. Oh, I almost forgot! I stopped at a cafe on the way here and got you a crumpet,” Elena smiled, reaching for her bag. “You still want to try one?”

“Yes!” Sabina grinned. The last thing she wanted to do was eat but she could see the glint in Elena’s eyes and was desperate to steer the conversation away from her past. “It’ll get rid of the taste of puke.”

She stuck out her tongue and Elena giggled as she opened the small foil bag and pulled out a barely warm crumpet, tearing it in half and passing Sabina some to try.

Sabina took a bite and turned to Elena who watched her closely as she made an effort to swallow, feeling her throat protest. She smirked.

“That’s not real food,” Sabina held up her hand with a laugh. “Crumpets sound much better than they taste.”

“Agreed,” Elena laughed as she fell back on to the bed, shoulder to shoulder with Sabina. “Next time I’ll bring you a doughnut. And I won’t eat it on the way here.”

She raised an eyebrow and Sabina couldn’t help but smile at the look on Elena’s face.

Chapter Text

Saint woke at 6am every morning without fail, and could guarantee that within ten minutes of cooking breakfast Sabina would appear in the kitchen to keep him company regardless of what time she had been awake to the night before. Some people barely survived on little sleep but Sabina seemed to thrive on it, her pent up energy bursting out before most people had even considered getting out of bed.

He had lost count of how many times she had danced around him as he scrambled eggs or gave in and made her pancakes. With extra toppings.

Instead of running on empty Sabina seemed to use the energy as a booster. Until she finally crashed after too many late nights and Saint would throw a blanket over her as she slept on the sofa.

They all had an apartment near the LA outpost yet Sabina rarely visited hers. He had asked her why, only once, and was met with a shrug of her shoulders and a mumbled ‘I don’t have your pancakes there’ but Saint knew better than to believe her stories.

Jane and Bosley liked their own space, as did Saint. On the rare occasion they had some time off they would spend it away from the outpost, but not Sabina. She would rather disappear to a beach than sit at home on her own and Saint knew why. He knew she had to keep the voices in her mind quiet in one way or another and being alone made that impossible.

She had been an Angel for years and yet she still couldn’t forgive herself for her past.

Saint glanced out the window of the London bus he had caught just outside the outpost and watched the wheels of the passing cars splash through the deep puddles.

Elena had returned before lunch and headed straight for her laptop, grabbing an orange from the fruit bowl on the way. She spotted Saint in the hall and paused, smiling warmly.

“How is she today?” Saint asked and could see Elena sigh.

“Bored. And in pain,” she pursed her lips slightly. “Did you speak to Jane?”

“Jane will be fine,” Saint nodded slowly. “I’ll visit Sabina next, Jane will go when she’s ready.”

Elena nodded and disappeared into the office leaving Saint stood in the corridor. He had tried to speak to Jane shortly after Elena left for the hospital that morning and soon realised that Jane needed to work out whatever was going on in her head on her own. She was too busy blaming herself to listen to what anyone else had to say.

“You think this is helping her, Jane?” He had asked as Jane clenched her fists having finally left her room. “Do you think that distancing yourself and ignoring her is going to help in any way?”

“Yes!” Jane shouted back, her eyes wide and bloodshot. “Yes I do, because if I stay away from everyone then I can’t hurt them!”

“But you are hurting them Jane, as well as yourself,” Saint spoke evenly, watching her hands shake. “Was it your fault you were caught up in an explosion in Istanbul? No. But did you save Sabina that day? Did you call me for help as soon as you could? Did you get her to Fatima’s clinic for treatment?”

“That’s not the same and you know it!”

“Exactly, Jane,” Saint shook his head. “But I remember how you sounded when you called me that night. I was on the first flight I could get but it still took me hours to get there and you didn’t leave her side. Not once. Sabina might act like she doesn’t need anyone but you know as well as I do that’s not the case.”

Jane paused, fists still clenched.

“Jane, she misses you. She needs you and you need her. None of what happened is your fault, but you’re the one that saved her,” Saint sighed. “I’m going to visit her this morning so go to the gym and get whatever this is out of your system. Then go see her. Speak to her, properly.”

Saint watched as Jane uncurled her fingers and nodded her head, then disappeared in the direction of the gym. He wasn’t sure if she agreed with him or just wanted to end the conversation.

And so Saint had found himself sat on a bus on the way to the hospital watching the world go by outside the window, hoping Jane was taking out her frustrations on the punch bag.

Saint smirked slightly at the thought. He’d often found Sabina in the gym once everyone else had gone home, more than once lying in the ring exhausted and sweaty. He knew she had to keep active, had to keep her mind busy as well as her body, and with no one else around the gym was where she seemed to gravitate to.

She could shoot a gun just as well as Jane but would never admit to it. He had watched her in the shooting range late one night, staying out of sight as she aimed her gun at the target.

Ten shots fired. Nine through the head and one through the heart. He didn’t want to think too much about the meaning.

Saint blinked hard and rubbed the condensation from the window, forcing himself back to reality. He was used to looking out for his girls, Bosley included, but the feeling that he wasn’t quite in control sat heavy in his stomach.

He wanted to be able to look at Sabina and tell her everything was going to be ok, but in reality he had no idea what was going to happen. Yes, her physical injuries would heal but then what? Saint knew that Sabina had spent her life desperately searching for a family to call her own, and for the first time since he had met her he could see a happiness glinting in her eyes that was usually hidden behind the sarcasm and partying.

He knew before he’d even got to the hospital that being away from the others would be taking its toll and he felt guilty at not being able to take Sabina back to the outpost with him. To wrap her in a blanket in front of the tv with the other Angels and let them look after each other.

But they weren’t quite ready for that yet.

Saint paused at the doorway to Sabina’s room once he’d made his way across the ICU and watched her through the small window, feeling a lump forming in his throat.

She was so still. So quiet. And so unlike he had ever seen her before. She was his firecracker, her lively personality always able to put a smile on his face within seconds with a joke usually at his expense. But right now she looked small and lost, her hands clenching the bedsheets the only thing giving away the pain he knew she’d be in.

“¿Como estas?” Saint asked brightly as he pushed open the door and Sabina turned in his direction, a smile appearing on her lips instantly.

“Saint! Are you here to take me home?”

“‘Fraid not,” Saint smiled weakly, knowing that that is what she would have been hoping for. “Not until you’re well enough. But the doctor said he’s thinking of moving you to a general ward which is a good sign, right?”

“You can look after me at the outpost, Saint please. I’m bored,” Sabina moaned, eyebrows furrowed, before she dropped her voice. “And lonely.”

“Sabina, it’s not forever. You’ll be out of here soon.”

She frowned.

“But I’m fine,” Sabina threw her head back in frustration but he heard the sharp intake of breath that came with it as she squeezed her eyes closed.

“Sure you are,” Saint sighed and perched on the side of her bed, passing over a flask. “You need pain meds.”

“No,” Sabina shook her head without looking at him. “You’re starting to sound like Elena.”

“Yeah yeah, I know. But I also know why you don’t want any so I’ve made you this instead,” Saint reached into a small bag and produced a flask. “It’s a Sabina smoothie. Full of natural anti-inflammatories and pain reducers. But I know you don’t really like my swamp juice-” Saint paused as Sabina smirked “-so it’s also full of strawberries and sugar so you’ll actually drink it.”

Sabina took the flask with a smile and placed it on the bedside table.

“You’re the best, you know that?”

“I have been told,” Saint smiled. “So, how are you feeling?”

“Fine.”

“Liar.”

Sabina dropped her head and focused on the thin tube that ran from the back of her hand. The one she had been promised supplied a steady stream of fluids and antibiotics only.

“Fine, like I’ve been stabbed in the gut with a kitchen knife and thrown beneath the ice. Better?” She muttered, biting her lip.

“Not really,” Saint’s voice was even, controlled. And it infuriated Sabina.

“Then what do you want me to say?” She hadn’t meant for the words to escape as loudly as they did, her throat burning as her hands began to shake. In frustration? Anger? She couldn’t tell. She didn’t want to know.

Saint remained silent and Sabina could hear the heart rate monitor change its rhythm as she glared at him, wanting him to say something. Anything.

“I feel shit, Saint. I feel like I’ve let everyone down and put Jane and Elena in unnecessary danger. Bosley is disappointed in how monumentally I fucked up this time, Elena will never trust me again and Jane-”

Sabina’s voice caught on a sob that threatened to escape. She looked up at Saint and he could see the wetness in her eyes he knew she’d be desperately trying to hide.

“What about Jane?” He asked gently but Sabina shook her head.

“It doesn’t matter.”

He sighed moved to the chair by her bed, leaning back.

“You blame yourself?”

“Wouldn’t you?”

“You blame yourself for saving Jane? Or for Jane saving you? Help me out Sabina because between the two of you everyone else is getting a little fed up of the blame game.”

Saint knew his Angels, and also knew that sometimes Sabina needed bluntness. She needed to-the-point questions that gave her nowhere to hide and put her on the spot, otherwise she’d manage to form an answer in her head that contained the precise words that the other person needed to hear.

She was used to being someone else so naturally that she could hide the real Sabina from everyone around her within seconds, pulling down the mask of Sabina Wilson, Angel, that everyone was so used to seeing.

“How is any of this your fault?”

“I don’t know!” Sabina shouted, her hand finding her ribs as her breath caught in her chest and she doubled over, fists clenched.

“Sabina?” Saint leant forward and placed a hand on her shoulder but she waved him away as she turned and buried her head in the pillow, throwing an arm across her face again.

“It really fucking hurts, Saint,” she mumbled and he was sure he could hear her voice crack.

Saint rubbed her back and let her catch her breath knowing that she wasn’t speaking about just the physical pain. Sabina needed someone in her life to look after her, even if she would protest at that fact in a micro second.

They were a team. They had each other. But on their down days where they could momentarily forget about being an Angel, Sabina was left with nothing. She couldn’t call her family like Jane and Elena did, or jump on a plane for a quick visit. When the Angels weren’t around then Sabina was alone. Or in a bar, and Saint knew that that often led to other issues.

He’d picked Sabina up from many unexpected places over the years, each time promising to keep it between themselves. The hospital was often the easiest to explain but the dodgy apartments in the middle of California were harder. The cuts and bruises could be hidden but the emotional scars were formed long before Saint got there to pick her up, and he wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to heal some of them.

The late night drunken phone calls had almost stopped since they had become a proper team. The three of them spent so much of their time together that Sabina rarely needed a distraction any longer but when she did, Saint was ready to step in. He knew it wasn’t healthy and yet he wouldn’t dare tell anyone. He’d just look after her as best he could and make sure she always had her phone to hand, his name programmed in as the emergency contact.

Sabina eventually managed to catch her breath and pushed herself back to a sitting position, her hand lingering above her abdomen.

“Is your swamp juice going to fix me?” She asked with a weak smile and Saint chuckled, leaning back again.

“Only if you listen to the doctors and do as you’re told.”

She sighed, swallowing hard.

“I know this wasn’t my fault,” she almost whispered. “Not really. But I still jumped in without thinking, didn’t I? I still went against Boz’s instructions and put both Jane and Elena in danger.”

“Sabina, I can guarantee you that Bosley knew you would go in after Jane,” Saint frowned. “I promise you, you have let no one down. Jane is just-”

“She’s what?” Sabina tilted her head with a frown.

“She thinks that she should have done more. Done better. You know what she’s like, she’ll come round eventually.”

Sabina nodded, pursing her lips as she swallowed again.

“I brought you some of your own clothes, if you want them?” Saint asked with a shrug and Sabina grinned, the first genuine smile Saint had seen since he arrived.

“Of course I want them. You really are the best,” Sabina seemed to light up as Saint went back to his bag and pulled out a pair of joggers and a thick jumper.

“I left your leather jacket at the outpost, but this should do.”

“Have you put trackers in them?” Sabina asked playfully with a raised eyebrow.

“Don’t tempt me,” Saint responded as he moved to her side, pulling back the sheets. “I left them out, just this once. Now come on, I’ll help you change.”

Sabina reached for the needle on the back of her hand but Saint caught her wrist before she could touch it.

“Leave it alone, I’ll sort it,” Saint warned. “If we have a repeat of the last time then we’ll be banned from visiting all together.”

“You heard about that?”

“Of course, I hear about everything,” Saint smirked and Sabina didn’t doubt the words for a second. “This is going to hurt, so tell me to stop if you need to.”

Sabina nodded but they both knew that no matter now much her ribs protested at the movement Sabina wouldn’t say a word. Her clenched jaw and furrowed eyebrows were enough to let Saint know how much discomfort it caused, but he kept just as quiet.

Once changed Saint pulled the sheets back up, reinserted the needle and rubbed her shoulder, watching as the heart rate monitor slowly returned to normal.

“I feel a little more me now,” Sabina smiled and Saint tilted his head in acknowledgement.

“I brought your phone too,” he added, taking it from his pocket. “Probably a good thing you never take it with you because otherwise it would probably have drowned.”

He laughed slightly but the smile quickly faded from his lips at the thought and he swallowed hard. Sabina noticed, taking her phone and smirking.

“At least I can spend hours scrolling through YouTube tonight if you’re not going to help me escape,” she shrugged, tucking her phone under her pillow and dropping her gaze to her bedsheets again.

Sabina wasn’t a cryer. Saint had watched her bite her lip so hard it bled rather than let the tears run down her cheeks, and he knew she’d rather punch something than admit to her feelings. But with Saint it was different somehow.

He didn’t say anything, didn’t do anything other than sit with a comforting arm around her shoulder. Yet he had witnessed Sabina completely break down on more than one occasion during the years he had known her, and he had let her. Let her pour out her heart in a flood of tears and watch the demons wash away. He never mentioned it, not even to Sabina. But when things got too much he seemed to know. And he’d be there.

He fed their mind, body and soul. And right now, Sabina didn’t know what needed fixing the most.

“Saint?”

“Yeah?”

There was a silence as Sabina pulled the sleeves of her jumper over her hands and looked up, her eyes bloodshot.

“I feel really stupid but-”

“What is it, Sabina?” Saint asked gently and she sighed.

“I can’t get warm,” she mumbled, twisting the sleeve through her fingers. “This helps, my own clothes, but every time I try to get comfortable all I can feel is the cold water on my skin and in my lungs and I can’t-”

She sighed and looked away.

“I’m just so tired,” she whispered. “But it’s too fucking painful to sleep and I’m too weak to ask for- to take-”

“Sabina,” Saint spoke sternly and his tone of voice was enough for her to look in his direction. “You are the opposite of weak. It is your choice what medication you are given and you have been strong enough to refuse it. I know what you’re worried about, and it takes strength to admit that to yourself. Never mind go through all of this with only my strawberry swamp juice to help.”

Sabina laughed slightly, wiping her eyes with the back of her sleeve and Saint smiled.

“I have an idea.”

Saint stood and pulled up the guard rail on one side of the bed, before placing a hand under Sabina’s arm and helping her to sit up as straight as possible. He heard the sharp intake of air but she didn’t say anything. She never did when she had really hurt herself.

That’s when Saint knew he had to keep an extra eye on her. She would never admit when it hurt bad enough for her to need something to take the edge off the pain, because he knew she’d never ask for the medication.

She was too scared to. And Sabina refused to show anyone she was scared, not even Saint.

“Come on, move over,” Saint slid Sabina to the edge of the bed until her legs were against the guard rail and climbed up beside her. It took him a few minutes to manoeuvre his hand behind her back and between the wires that tangled around her body, but eventually he had his back against her pillows and Sabina had slid down enough to rest her head against his chest.

She sighed, feeling her eyes grow heavy as Saint’s protective arm held her close to his warmth. He could feel the heat from her skin despite her shivers and knew it was due to the infection her body was fighting haven spent so long under the water, but if this was the only way he could get her to sleep then he would take it.

“Better?” He asked as she shuffled under the sheets and he felt her sigh as she made herself comfortable. She nodded slowly and he could feel his shirt grow damp with her tears that had finally spilled over but he ignored the fact completely.

There was a silence as Sabina’s breathing evened out and the shivers stopped, her body fighting against the sleep she so desperately needed.

“They don’t want me any more, do they?” Sabina spoke into the quiet room and Saint felt a pain in his chest he couldn’t explain.

“Why do you say that?” He pressed gently, watching Sabina wrap the bedsheets around her fists.

“Because I fucked up again.”

“We’ve had this conversation.”

“I know,” Sabina breathed. “But then why don’t they visit?” She asked sadly and Saint ran a hand down Sabina’s arm.

‘Why doesn’t Jane visit?’ Sabina thought but didn’t dare voice the question.

“Elena was here this morning.”

Sabina nodded and sniffed. She knew Saint was right, but she didn’t want to admit how alone she had felt when Elena had left again. She had been desperate to follow despite the screaming in her veins, in her bones, that refused to let her move.

“All I know how to be is an Angel,” she whispered. “Without this I’m nothing.”

“That’s not true, Sabina,” Saint held her close and let her bury her head in his chest. “But you have nothing to worry about. You’ll always be an Angel, we can’t get rid of you that easily.”

She chuckled and there was a silence between them again as Sabina’s breathing grew heavy and Saint continued to stroke her arm.

“Saint?” Her voice was barely a whisper.

“Hmm?”

“Does Jane hate me?”

Saint couldn’t help the single laugh that escaped as he tried to keep still.

“I need to rethink your meds, you’re delirious,” he sighed, looking down at the messy blonde hair across his chest.

“I’m being serious,” Sabina mumbled on the edge of sleep.

“So am I,” Saint tucked Sabina closer under his arm as she finally gave in to the exhaustion, resting his head against the pillows and letting out a breath he hadn’t realised had caught in his chest.

Chapter Text

Bosley received the now standard glare from the nurse as she walked across the ICU and towards Sabina’s room, pausing at the door at the sight of Saint flicking through his phone and Sabina asleep across his chest.

“Cute,” she smiled, leaning against the doorframe. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen her that quiet.”

“She just needed to sleep,” Saint smiled. “Or she’s passed out, I’m not too sure. But as least she’s finally resting.”

Bosley tilted her head in agreement.

“I’m just glad you found something that worked,” she smiled. “I won’t have to listen to Doctor Know-It-All telling me she won’t sleep without morphine. I know he’s good at his job but-”

Bosley rolled her eyes with a smirk as she fell into the chair by the bed.

“He doesn’t know our Angel,” Saint finished with a nod of agreement before he frowned. “She might be comfortable but I need to go to the bathroom.”

They both laughed, Sabina stirring at the movement as she blinked open her eyes and met Bosley’s gaze.

“Hey, how’re you feeling?” She asked cautiously, tilting her head with a warm smile.

“Hmm,” Sabina squeezed her eyes closed again and shuffled further under the sheets, pulling them across her shoulders.

“That’s all I get, Sabina. A mumble?”

“Mm hmm.”

Bosley laughed and leant back in the chair, feeling the exhaustion that had been clawing at her subconscious begin to seep in. She was in no doubt that it was only now that she could see for herself that the Sabina asleep in front of her was the same, endearingly annoying Angel she had always been, that she could allow herself to finally relax.

“I’m serious,” Saint raised an eyebrow as he looked over at Bosley. “I really do need to go to the bathroom.”

He nodded at Sabina and Bosley frowned.

“Swap?” He asked and Bosley froze. Saint noticed. “All you need to do is sit here, she won’t wake up for a while yet.”

It’s not that she didn’t want to. Bosley had been desperate to wrap Sabina in a tight hug and never let go from the moment she had seen her awake, but she also knew that it was her that needed the hug more than Sabina did.

Sabina liked contact on her own terms. She was either the most affectionate person in the room or she wanted her own space. There was no in between and Bosley was terrified of reading the signs wrong. The last thing she wanted to do was push Sabina away when she had only just got her back.

But despite everything, she needed this for her own benefit. She needed to feel Sabina’s warmth and the rise and fall of her chest beside her, reminding her that everything was getting better again. She could be selfish, just this once.

“Fine,” Bosley threw her hands up and kicked off her heels, waiting for Saint to slip his arm from behind Sabina and almost prop her up until Bosley sat on the edge of the bed. Sabina instantly melted into the side of Bosley’s shoulder and sighed deeply, her eyes barely fluttering.

“I also gotta check on Jane,” Saint added as he grabbed his bag and headed for the door. “I left her in the gym so she probably needs an ice pack or two by now. See you back at the outpost?”

Bosley had somehow known Saint was up to something but was glad of the excuse to stay a little longer than planned with Sabina. She nodded slowly, catching the knowing look in Saint’s eyes, and watched the door swing shut behind him.

Bosley moved slightly until Sabina was tucked under the crook of her arm and sighed, resting her head against the pillows.

She had read Sabina’s file over and over once she had been granted access to the Bosley system. She had been intrigued more than anything else at the feisty blonde that had gained her reputation within the Agency as someone not to be messed with. She was brilliant at her job but she was reckless. Act now and think later, damn the consequences.

She was guaranteed to get the information they needed but her methods were often questionable and Bosley had seen for herself how quickly she would put herself in danger without thinking twice if it meant she could get the job done.

Her split second decisions were even quicker when there was the risk of someone else being injured, be that a contact or another Angel. Bosley could see the eagerness to please hidden behind the years of experience she had gained. She was a bad influence and the best mentor you could ask for, all rolled up into one bundle of sarcasm and smiles.

Bosley could see already how quickly her energy had rubbed off on Jane and Elena, and although she would often complain at that fact, she couldn’t be happier that they had found each other.

As long as she remained the only reckless one of the trio Bosley was sure her nerves could just about handle it.

This wasn’t the first time Sabina had ended up in hospital, her file was full of medical reports and statements from whichever Bosley was working on the case at the time. Including one from Istanbul. That hadn’t been easy to write and had taken Bosley days to work up the nerve to put into words exactly what had happened between leaving the racecourse and the explosion at the safe house.

She had been a little less forthcoming with what had happened after that. Before Saint had arrived and convinced her that her ladies needed her, that she would be forgiven for trying to do the right thing.

She had been terrified of losing them all that day, and yet she couldn’t bring herself to visit Fatima’s clinic without Saint. He always seemed to know what to do to defuse the tension in the room before it could bubble over, and after hearing Sabina’s words through the comms she couldn’t face arriving on her own.

What if they didn’t believe her? What if she was too late to explain herself?

She had watched Jane carry Sabina from the rubble. Her Angels were hurting and she hadn’t been there to help them. She had hidden out of sight and watched them walk away, focusing on her bruised chest and fractured confidence before finally calling Saint to ask for his help.

She was their Bosley and yet she had needed Saint to calm her nerves and remind her of that fact before she could face her girls. The worry that sat in her stomach at the thought of them hurting seeming to root her to the spot.

They had been ok, if only just. Saint had worked his usual magic and had Sabina patched up and ready to go within an hour, the bruises and scrapes that covered her limbs so normal that no one questioned where they came from any more. By the time they had made it to the castle all evidence of the explosion had been concealed behind thick makeup and covered in sequins, hidden from sight until they had returned to the safe house.

But now? Now London would be added to Sabina’s file just as Prague had been, used when training new recruits as an example of what to do when things go wrong. The Agency would learn from their mistakes but it didn’t make things any easier.

Bosley smiled slightly as she remember the look on Sabina’s face just a few days ago, the slight hint of embarrassment in her wry smile.

‘You know about Prague?’

‘Oh Sabina, every Bosley knows about Prague.’

It had been one of the first cases she had studied once she had been promoted to a Bosley but it had taken her over a year to realise that the ‘case study’ was in fact based on one of their Angels, and one that she had been so interested in from the beginning. Looking back she should have been able to make the connection sooner. No one else would have done what Sabina did. Not so easily, anyway.

“What do you do if your cover is compromised?” Bosley had watched the new recruits as they sat in the classroom, eyes fixed on an older Bosley in front of them.

There was a murmur of suggestions before the Bosley crossed his arms and shook his head slowly.

“You get out of there. You don’t put yourself at any risk. We’d much rather have to rethink the plan than end up with an injured Angel to deal with. Or worse.”

Bosley had smiled as the recruits nodded their heads and thought back over the years at how many times she had found herself in that very situation. Sometimes, no matter how quick you tried to think, getting out wasn’t an option.

She had known that day that the Bosley was referring to Prague. Every Bosley really did know about what had happened and the mistakes that had been made during the mission. How close they had come to losing more than just their contact.

Prague had ended with an Angel in hospital, the destruction of a priceless stained glass window and endless paperwork with the US embassy before they could travel back to California.

Sabina had been sent to Prague with one goal: to get close to the target and find where he stored the blueprints to a new, wearable weapon that was being produced in an unknown location within the country. They had done their research and knew where he often spent his evenings, they just didn’t know where he went through the day or who he was involved with.

Sabina had been given two weeks to find as much information as she could before they brought in any other Angels and had quickly settled in to the city.

The first mistake the Agency made was giving Sabina access to a safe house that was only a five minute walk from the largest nightclub in Central Europe. Split over five floors, the club was open to the early hours of the morning and gave Sabina plenty of time to seduce the target without suspicion.

Sabina liked to party. That much Bosley had realised within days of her becoming an Angel. Even before she had been promoted, Bosley had heard of the numerous stories of the young blonde who could spend a whole evening drinking with a contact and still manage to return to the outpost with the information they needed.

Bosley still joked with her now that she liked to have a little too much fun, she had done so only the week before when she had agreed to meet Edward for another drink, but she knew that Sabina would always keep it professional. She never once worried when Sabina left the outpost wearing her skyscraper heels and playful smile. She thrived on the uncertainty and the promise of the unknown.

She did however worry about the roaming hands and unwanted assumptions that Sabina often attracted. She could protect herself, despite the alcohol content in her bloodstream, but the thought that she would have to often gave Bosley a strange feeling in her stomach.

Sabina was good at catching the eyes of the target within minutes and had been from day one. Bosley had read it in her files but had seen it for herself first hand. She could be charming and promiscuous, but she knew how far to take things. Visiting a club was nothing new to Sabina, or any other Angel for that matter, but the mistake they made was not taking into account the size of the building. The sheer number of people and floors making it nearly impossible to hear each other over the comms or track where she was in the club.

Everything had gone to plan. Until it then went completely wrong.

The second mistake was letting their guard down.

The contact had quickly fallen for Sabina’s charm and within a week had promised her all the things she had heard before. Including a private invitation to their large property just outside the centre of Prague, built mainly from glass and steel and secluded from all wandering eyes.

They had assumed that they were safe. The Bosley working on the mission had driven past the address throughout the day, stopping to take pictures of the heavily secured entrance gates. It was a normal part of their mission, the collation of intel. The images were sent back to the Agency and a team was prepared to leave LA within the next two days.

They should have left it there and waited until the team arrived to search the property, but they also had to keep their target on side. They needed Sabina to distract the contact while the team searched but they hadn’t anticipated their cover being blown.

Despite being careful the Bosley hadn’t noticed the bike follow him from the property, stopping outside a cafe near the safe house. Hadn’t realised he was being watched while he met Sabina in the open, or when he passed her the camera to check the photos of the front gate.

They had assumed they were in the clear.

Bosley had read the reports over and over. They had changed so many procedures after the mistakes made in Prague and yet Bosley had not once heard Sabina mention what had happened.

Five stories of the club made it easy for them to grab her. To drag her out the back door and in to a waiting car before anyone had noticed. The jumbled voices over the comms sounded no different to the rest of the night and it was only when they became silent that the Bosley had realised there was something wrong.

They had found Sabina a few hours later at a nearby church, lying on the cold stone surrounded in glass with a bullet wound to her shoulder. Her knuckles cracked and bloody.

There was a reason Saint now sewed trackers into most of their clothes.

Bosley smirked as she remembered the transcript from the report and questioned again why it had taken her so long to realise it had been Sabina in Prague.

Bosley: ‘You destroyed a priceless window dating back centuries.’

Angel: ‘No, he did.’

B: ‘He shot it?’

A: ‘No, he shot me and I fell through it. I really don’t think I should be blamed for that.’

B: ‘You had a number scrawled across your arm when we found you.’

A: ‘Yes.’

B: ‘The combination to the safe that contains the blueprints?’

A: ‘I assume so.’

B: ‘And how did you obtain this number?’

A: ‘I have my methods.’

The destruction of the window had taken the Agency hours to explain and countless trips to the US embassy until they finally agreed to let them all leave with no repercussions. The blueprints were found using the combination found on Sabina’s arm, along with all the other information they needed to hand to the authorities, and all involved were locked up without the need to involve any other Angels.

Sabina wasn’t supposed to bring them down single-handed and yet she had managed it anyway. Despite some of the comments of recklessness and inappropriate methods detailed within the report, Bosley couldn’t help but admire the skill and determination involved.

And the Agency had learnt a lot from their mistakes. Their communication and trackers had been improved dramatically once they realised how easy it was to lose contact with an Angel, the mission becoming a case study for new Bosleys to consider. Names and locations redacted, of course.

The cuts that had covered Sabina’s skin, as well as the bullet wound to the shoulder, had healed well enough that the scars were only visible if you were looking for them. And all Bosleys had been trained in how to fully assess a situation before letting their Angels anywhere near a potential threat.

Which is why Bosley couldn’t shake the feeling that had sat in her stomach since she had stood at the side of the river. Guilt and fear and a deep rooted disappointment in herself that all mashed together to form a monster that clawed at her soul, refusing to let her rest.

She had three Angels to think about. They were her girls, and all three were hurting in one way or another. If only she could split herself in three and still offer enough to each.

She had to set an example. Had to learn from the mistakes and protect her family. Because that’s what they were. Her family. Whether they realised it or not.

Bosley was aware that despite the fact she wasn’t the first Bosley Elena had met, she was the first to get her involved in a mission. It had been her decision to recruit Elena to the Agency and put her through training. It had been Bosley that had permanently introduced her to a world full of uncertainty and danger, masking it in excitement and a step away from the mundane. Away from the routine that came with working in a lab.

She had decided pretty early on that Elena fit into the trio seamlessly. Once she stopped puking, she had seen the glint in her eyes that Bosley had seen in so many new recruits; Elena had witnessed what being an Angel involved and wanted more.

And Bosley was in a position to give it to her.

Jane had taken a little longer to talk around, even if she tried to hide that fact. Jane’s admiration of Edgar Dessange had been evident since the day she had qualified, and so when he had taken over from John Bosley as her official mentor she had only grown in confidence. In both her own abilities and in what the Agency could offer someone with her skill set.

It had been Sabina that broke the news to Bosley in Berlin, seconds before the Agency had contacted her.

“Boz, we have a problem,” Sabina spoke quickly down the phone, voice quiet. “Bosley’s gone. I have no idea where we are but the contact is safe.”

“I’ll track your phone and be there as soon as I can.”

Bosley had taken over from Edgar seamlessly, pushing aside the ache in her chest at losing her friend in order to look after the three woman stood in front of her next to a stolen car, bruised and tearful and shaking.

“She’s in shock, and she smells like puke.”

Sabina had spoken quietly, squeezing Bosley’s shoulder just enough to make her words clear; it wasn’t just Elena in shock. Jane was struggling too. Bosley had seen the pain in Jane’s eyes as she fought back the tears, Elena hiding behind her.

“I don’t need a hug.”

“Well, I do. He was my friend too.”

It was decided by the time Bosley had taken them to the safe house and sent them to clean up that she would take over the mission. She had been keeping tabs on what was going on and had been the first to volunteer to travel to Berlin in case they needed any backup. She was the logical choice.

Bosley had told the Agency that she had been following all missions in progress across the LA outpost but that was a lie. Truth was, she was interested to see how Jane and Sabina would work together. She had read the files from the mission in Rio and they intrigued her even more than they had Edgar. Jane and Sabina were different in every way possible and yet they had finished the mission effortlessly, despite the fact that Jane had pushed Sabina off a roof.

It wasn’t clear exactly how they had ended up in the situation they were now but Bosley would forever be grateful that they had found each other.

Angels were used to working alone. They were trained to be able to work with anyone within the Agency without issue, but Bosley knew as well as everyone else that you couldn’t train people to like each other. That they had to learn on the job, or at least pretend until the mission was complete.

You didn’t have to like each other to get the job done but it certainly helped.

Jane liked to work alone. Or at least, she used to. Bosley had often caught the roll of Jane’s eyes as Sabina bounded around the outpost, waving her hands animatedly. But the scowl had slowly turned into a smirk and by the time they had finished the mission and asked Elena to join the Agency, Bosley could see Jane begin to engage in Sabina’s antics.

Sabina could make Bosley’s job the easiest in the world and then the hardest within seconds.

She smiled slightly at the thought of Sabina reaching out to her when Edgar had died, despite the ache that usually accompanied the memory of the phone call. Edgar had been a good friend and it had been his idea to put Jane and Sabina together on another mission. He had been just as intrigued as she was, knowing you couldn’t get two Angels who were more different.

Jane was controlled and pragmatic, Elena calculated and precise. But Sabina, she fought like her life depended on it. And in some ways, it really did.

They fit together perfectly and Bosley couldn’t help but notice a little of herself in each of her Angels.

Rebekah was an ambitious child. Her parents hadn’t been at all surprised when she had joined the Agency and left her family home, sending them a quick phone call from each country she visited over the year, giving them little information and the promise of a visit as soon as she had the time.

She still promised them that, even to this day, and yet she rarely got the opportunity to visit them. She was acutely aware that they were both now in their sixties and although they were fit and healthy the last ten years had flown by faster than she’d like to think, leaving her with an emptiness in her soul she couldn’t quite fill.

The Agency was her family. They had been for a long time, and it was that fact that had drawn her to Sabina when she had joined. She could see some of herself in the new recruit, despite their very different backgrounds.

Sabina was bright and funny but Bosley could see the desperation to ‘fit in’ in her actions despite how easily she could make herself stand out. She had watched the smile slip from Sabina’s lips numerous times as Jane disappeared to call her mum with an update of the week or when Saint grinned at his phone after receiving a text from his brother, always finding a reason to leave the room to spend some time on her own.

Bosley herself would often make sure she was alone before calling her parents just so Sabina wouldn’t hear her. Regardless of what Sabina said, Bosley knew enough about her past to know that there was still a part of her that craved the ‘normal’ life. But Sabina actively avoided visiting New York and Bosley often found a reason not to send her if ever there was an Angel needed there.

She may have grown up on Park Avenue but Bosley sensed Sabina knew the streets better than anywhere else. There were very real reasons she avoided the city but at the same time Bosley knew that she could handle it if ever needed.

There was a time, when she first became a Bosley, where she was worried of the temptations that could live in New York if Sabina was sent back, but she had quickly realised that she didn’t need to worry about such things. Sabina was far too afraid of losing what she had now to be tempted back to her old life.

She had too much to lose, and too many people in her life that would make sure that would never happen. Bosley included.

She glanced down at the sleeping blonde tucked under her arm and smiled, feeling her own eyes grow heavy. Bosley knew that she could never take the place of Sabina’s family and yet she hoped that Sabina could trust her like she would an older sister. Even if she found it nearly impossible to fully trust anyone with the thoughts that lived in her head.

Sabina stirred with a groan and Bosley ran a hand along her arm before she woke with a gasp and reached for her abdomen, her knuckles turning white as they gripped the bedsheets.

“It’s ok,” Bosley smiled, pushing Sabina’s hair from her face and giving her time to catch her breath.

“Boz?” Sabina spoke as she looked up and grinned wildly, sending a warmth coursing through Bosley’s veins.

“Saint needed to pee,” she shrugged and Sabina smiled, leaning her head back on Bosley’s shoulder with a heavy sigh.

“How’re you feeling?”

“Better,” Sabina nodded, her voice cracking slightly. “The sleep helped. I think I can probably leave now, right?”

“No,” Bosley laughed slightly. “You don’t go from ICU to home. Listen to the doctors and we might let you leave early next week.”

“Boz, no,” Sabina sat up again, her eyes wide. “We need to be ready for the street party, you need me to-”

“I need you to get better,” Bosley finished with a stern frown. “I can’t risk anything else happening to any of you.”

“Which is why you need me there, we’re a team,” Sabina tried to reason, her eyes pleading.

“Sabina, stop,” Bosley frowned. “We don’t even know what’s happening at this party. Jane and Elena will be there undercover, collecting intel.”

“Boz-”

“Enough, Sabina,” Bosley frowned and could see the look of resignation fall across her features.

“Fine.”

There was a silence between them before Sabina sighed and rested her head back on Bosley’s shoulder. She couldn’t tell whether she was forgiven or Sabina was too tired to argue. Although that had never stopped her in the past.

“I can’t lose you, Sabina,” Bosley almost whispered. “Any of you. You mean too much.”

The comfortable silence that settled in the room was strangely welcoming and Bosley was sure Sabina had fallen asleep again before she spoke.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing,” Bosley lied.

“Yes you are. You always play with your nails when you’re thinking,” Sabina tilted her head to look up at Bosley. “So, what you thinking about?”

It was the little things that Sabina picked up on that made her so good at her job. Bosley stopped picking at the edge of her nail and rolled her eyes.

“Prague,” Bosley sighed with a small smirk, giving in to Sabina’s gaze like every one of her targets.

“Why?”

‘Because I should have leant from those mistakes,’ Bosley had wanted to say but couldn’t bring herself to do it and so she stayed quiet.

“Do all Bosleys really know about what happened?” Sabina continued.

“Yep.”

There was a pause before Sabina spoke again.

“About the nine grand bar tab?”

“That’s not the part I was thinking of, but yes. I’ve read about that too.”

“People in Prague drink a lot of beer,” Sabina shrugged. “I might have forgotten I’d opened a tab that night.”

“And then announced that fact to a full club with five floors that was open until 5am?” Bosley raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah,” Sabina smiled, drawing out the word.

There was a pause again.

“Are you thinking about the wolf we managed to sneak into the safe house and hide for three days?”

“The what?” Bosley’s eyes widened as she looked down at Sabina, hoping to see a smirk that gave away she was joking. But part of her knew that wouldn’t be the case. “When you say we-”

“Ok, that I snuck in.”

“How-?”

“That doesn’t matter.”

Bosley smirked.

“I was thinking more of the fact you were found unconscious and bleeding in the remains of a shattered glass window.”

“A shattered, fifteenth century, irreplaceable glass window, actually,” Sabina muttered. “From a church in the grounds of the largest castle in the world. I heard that enough over the next year to remember it all, even now. Bosley was not impressed.”

The pause this time was heavy.

“No one asked me what happened that day you know. Not really,” Sabina muttered and Bosley frowned, running her hand through Sabina’s hair again.

“I read the transcript.”

“I know,” Sabina nodded. “I have too. But no one actually asked me what happened between getting shoved in the back of the car and then falling through a glass window.”

“You want to tell me now?”

“Not really,” Sabina shrugged. “I mean, it doesn’t change anything. And there’s not much to say other than they questioned me, pulled out a gun and I ran. I didn’t think I ever would, but I ran instead of staying to fight. I had no idea where we were or where I was going but I ran, dodging bullets until I didn’t. I was sure they were going to kill me, but he just stood over me and watched, waited. His friend’s boot was the last thing I can remember until Bosley showed up and pressed his hand to the bullet wound on my shoulder.”

She swallowed hard and sighed.

“I told myself then that I’d never run again,” Sabina muttered, biting her lip. “Running just caused problems. I wasn’t trained to run.”

“There were what, three of them?”

Sabina nodded.

“And you had no weapon. I’d have ran too,” Bosley sighed. “If you hadn’t- well, I don’t want to think about that. And if I remember right from the file, you managed to get a few good punches in before that point.”

“Well, yeah,” Sabina shrugged. “That was mainly in the club. There’s still something satisfying when you hear a nose break behind your fist.”

Bosley smirked and resisted rolling her eyes. Some things never changed.

“Am I really a case study?”

“Yes.”

“Am I mentioned by name?”

“No.”

“Oh,” Sabina whined but Bosley could see her smirk. “Jane and Elena never have to find out about Prague, right?”

“My lips are sealed,” Bosley smiled, her fingers threading through Sabina’s hair.

Sabina laughed, sinking further into Bosley’s side as her eyes grew heavy.

“You remember in Istanbul when I thought you were the mole?” She muttered and Bosley frowned at the change in conversation.

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry,” Sabina spoke quietly. “I don’t think I’ve said it before, and I don’t know why I believed it then. But I promise I trust you Boz. More than anyone else.”

“Ssh,” Bosley ran her hand along Sabina’s arm as she pulled her in closer. “None of that matters. But if it’s any consolation, I trust you too.”

“And I’m sorry I went in after Jane without thinking.”

“You wouldn’t be our Sabina if you hadn’t,” Bosley smiled. “I was scared of losing you both, but I knew you’d ignore the order.”

She really had. The words had left her lips automatically but she knew they were worthless. All orders disappeared when Sabina could see someone in danger. There was no way she’d have left Jane with no backup, regardless of the dangers.

“Can we promise to never talk about this again?” Sabina asked with a sigh and Bosley nodded.

“Agreed. Let’s file it away with Prague and never let you travel again.”

Sabina smirked.

“I’m sure I could find trouble in California if I tried hard enough.”

“Don’t I know it,” Bosley tilted her head back again and smiled as Sabina rested an arm across her waist, tucking into the heat.

Saint must have known just how much Bosley needed this moment. He always seemed to know.

“So this wolf,” Bosley asked with a raise of an eyebrow. “Where did you find it and how on earth did you get it to the safe house?”

Sabina smirked as she looked up at Bosley before giving her a small shrug.

“It was easy,” she smiled, cuddling back into Bosley’s side and closing her eyes. “They eat pretty much anything. Just lure it with some meat and stay away from the teeth. They’re just like big dogs.”

Bosley laughed as she shook her head and promised herself to check every safe house from now on for stray dogs that Sabina could have picked up on the way.

“I know the Bosley on that mission, I can imagine his reaction when he finally found it,” Bosley smirked, looking down at Sabina and realising that she had fallen asleep again.

Bosley smiled, pushing Sabina’s hair from her burning skin and pulling up the sheets to cover her shoulder. She checked the time on her phone before dropping it on the chair beside the bed and promising herself ten more minutes before she returned to the outpost.

It took less than two before she had fallen asleep beside Sabina, her mind far from Prague and Istanbul and the river.

She’d thank Saint when she got back to the outpost for letting her have this moment.

Chapter Text

Sabina Wilson wasn’t a patient person. She never had been, and nor did she like to listen to instruction. Or advise. In fact, tell her one thing and she’d automatically be inclined to do the opposite. It was the lack of that filter thing she had mentioned to Jane in Istanbul. But she had learnt over the years to trust her judgement when she had that gut feeling that wouldn’t go away.

Right now her gut feeling was constant pain and lingering nausea. Not that she would admit it to anyone because they’d only make her stay in bed for even longer than they already were.

But it was also telling her that this Saturday was the day they were going to have to be ready to move. The day of the street party that seemed to have slipped from everyone else’s minds as they had spent more and more time at the hospital, and now Bosley was going to send Jane and Elena in undercover and unprepared.

Sabina knew they hadn’t had time to work through the information on their files; they would have no idea what they were looking for at the party, all because she’d gone and got herself injured again and lost them even more research time.

The constant ache in every one of her muscles liked to remind her of that fact.

Sabina was used to the pain, in an odd sort of way. She hadn’t lied when she had told Jane and Elena she no longer felt it, she was just so used to it being there that it had become a cruel sort of normality. An old friend that lingered in her bones. It was rarer to feel no pain at all, be that physical or otherwise.

But she could deal with the pain. She was used to it after years of aching muscles and tender skin. What she couldn’t deal with was the thought of Jane and Elena being anywhere near Gough or Robinson without knowing exactly why they were there.

They couldn’t go in unprepared. She couldn’t let them risk it.

Sabina had done so herself on so many occasions over the years, but thats what she was good at. She could think on her feet and blend into a room within seconds, but just the thought of Jane trying to act natural in the middle of a street party made Sabina smirk. She tried her best, she really did, but Jane looked much more natural with a gun in her hand. And Elena would only overthink the situation until she malfunctioned and froze in the middle of the street.

They needed more information. They had to know what they were dealing with because then they could relax enough to not stand out. The last thing they needed was to draw attention to themselves after what had happened on the boat.

Sabina had tried to ask Bosley about their plan again before she had left but had realised very quickly that she wasn’t going to get any more information.

“I’ve told you Sabina, you have to rest for another few days before we even consider letting you out of here. And even then you’ll be confined to bed rest for weeks, including once we get back to LA. This isn’t like Prague, you’re not walking away from this one so easily.”

“You’re not giving me the chance to try,” Sabina had muttered and was met with a glare from Bosley.

“I have a meeting with the London Bosleys which has been rescheduled after I slept through the last one,” she smirked with a raised eyebrow. “But I’ll come back this evening, ok? We haven’t forgot about you, I promise. We just need you to get better before you go back out there.”

Sabina had nodded slowly, feeling her chest tighten involuntarily at the thought of being on her own again. She felt better since being able to get some sleep and had been surprised when she woke up to find Bosley asleep beside her, but the ache in her muscles and stiffness in her bones were so prominent that she knew she wouldn’t be able to relax for the rest of the day.

Which meant she now needed to keep herself distracted.

Sabina pulled out her phone from beneath her pillow and flicked through her photos. Her camera roll was full of images of Jane and Elena posing in the closet while Saint had his back turned, numerous selfies of all three of them with their tongues out or grinning at the camera. There was one or Sabina kissing Jane on the cheek and another of Elena nodding towards a corgi with her hands positioned in a love heart.

Sabina liked to take photos and would often lie awake at night scrolling through them when she couldn’t sleep. When she was overthinking and letting her demons creep in they were often enough to remind her that she could get through the night and be back with her team mates in the morning, stopping the negative thoughts in their tracks and refusing to let them take over.

She quickly found the photo she was looking for - the one of her arm with the numbers Emily had scribbled on her skin the day they’d met in the cafe - and Sabina memorised the first number before keying it into her phone.

Taking a breath, she hit call and placed the phone to her ear. It was answered almost immediately.

“Yep.”

The voice was deep, gravelly, and Sabina could tell he was trying to keep quiet.

“I was given your number by a friend of mine,” Sabina spoke evenly, hoping that none of the background noise that came with being in a hospital would be heard over the phone. “I was told you were the guy to contact if I wanted some pills.”

“What you looking for?”

“Orbits.”

There was a pause and Sabina stayed quiet, waiting for him to continue.

“Pills or needles?”

“Either. I don’t care.”

Another pause. Sabina kept her breathing steady and closed her eyes slightly. She had to sound genuine.

“You used before?”

“Yep.”

“Injected?”

Sabina swallowed, not wanting to answer the question. Wishing it was a lie she was telling as part of her cover. She was so good at lying when she needed to. But this time it wasn’t needed.

“Yes.”

“I can get you some,” the voice spoke again.

“For this Saturday?”

The silence was almost expected now and Sabina kept her eyes closed, waiting for an answer.

“Meet me around the back of the Bluebird at eleven.”

“There’s a street party right outside the club, won’t the place be swarming with cops and security?” Sabina asked hesitantly.

“Not at eleven there won’t. They’ll be too distracted elsewhere. Behind the Bluebird. Bring cash.”

The line went dead and Sabina finally let herself take a proper breath, her heart hammering and the stats displayed on the monitor next to her giving away just how much it was racing.

She was being stupid. This was her job, collecting information. The more they knew the safer Jane and Elena would be. She had to let Boz know about the new information as soon as possible.

But if she did then they would be busy until the party preparing their next steps, and she would be left on her own again. Sabina was used to working alone but that didn’t stop her from hating every moment. She missed Jane and Elena more than she could put into words but she knew that they had more important things to do than visiting her.

She could give it an hour before she told Boz, just in case Jane decided to visit. An hour wouldn’t hurt, right?

Sabina swallowed and typed a quick message to Jane, hitting send before she had time to change her mind and pushing the phone back under her pillow. One hour, and if there was no response then she’d call Boz and let her know she’d spoken to the dealer.

The seconds ticked by on the clock slower than they ever had before as Sabina bit her lip and hoped for a response.

~*~*~*~*~

“Helped any?” Saint asked as Jane swung her arm forward and watched the punch bag sway with the weight behind her punch, her shoulders finally slouching as she grabbed a hold of the leather to keep herself on her feet.

She smiled, ripping the Velcro from her gloves and dropping them to the floor as a bead of sweat trickled down the side of her cheek.

“Yeah,” she sighed and was sure she could see Saint smirk. “How is she?”

“Good,” Saint nodded. “She was sleeping when I left but Bosley stayed for a while. I came to find you earlier.”

“I went for a run,” Jane shrugged, wiping her forehead with the back of her hand. “I just needed out but I thought I remembered London better than I do. I ended up further away than planned before I turned back.”

Jane had followed the riverbank for miles, the pounding of her footsteps keeping her heart rate even, letting her fall into a steady rhythm as she followed her feet and finally managed to switch off some of the thoughts that had been bouncing around her mind for days.

It wasn’t until she reached a certain point along the river that she noticed the muddy bank that ran down to the water had been covered in tyre tracks and footprints, and Jane’s feet seemed to stop moving automatically, her eyes focused on the murky water that lapped at the edge of the bank.

She hadn’t remembered what it looked like that day, all she had been focused on was the blood that dripped from her fingers and the bright jackets that surrounded her as they asked her to let go of one of the most important people in her world.

Jane had given herself a minute to catch her breath and had turned away again, clenching her fists with a frown. She wouldn’t let herself go back to that place again, she was stronger than that. She was an Angel. She had been trained in how to focus on the task at hand and switch off from everything else around her.

All she had to do was follow the river back to the outpost and then she could find a punch bag to take her feelings out on.

Which is what she had been doing when Saint had finally found her, that knowing look in his eyes that he liked to wear when he knew she had finally processed whatever it was that had been pulling her under.

“Do I need to tape anything up?” Saint asked with a raised eyebrow.

Jane laughed and glanced down at her knuckles.

“Not this time, I’m good,” she turned them in his direction and wiggled her fingers. “I think I might visit Sabina later, if you think she’d want to see me?”

She could hear the uncertainty in her voice and swallowed hard, pushing her hair from her face.

“She’d love that,” Saint nodded with a coy smile. “I’m going to make food, any requests?”

“Has Boz asked for cheese?”

“Of course. She’s at a meeting but I’m making her something for when she’s back.”

Jane smiled.

“I’ll have anything warm. I’m going for a shower but I’ll eat before I go visit.”

He nodded and disappeared, leaving Jane alone in the gym with her gloves and her thoughts that had finally managed to organise themselves in her head. She knew now that she had been avoiding Sabina to protect her, but instead she was only hurting them both. It wasn’t Sabina’s fault that she had to work through the mess in her head, but she also knew that Sabina needed company. She craved it.

She was one of the strongest people Jane had ever met and yet she had quickly realised that Sabina seemed to be terrified of doing the wrong thing, even if she did hide it so well. Jane had a feeling she was one of the few people that had noticed.

Sabina often spoke before she thought, her playful smirk breaking the tension in any room. But she was also the first person to notice if anyone felt uneasy or needed comforting. She could read a room in a split second and gravitated to those who needed her friendly smile and easy conversation.

Which made her so good at working the ground during a mission.

Sabina walked that thin line between wanting to act strong at all times and wearing her emotions of her sleeve. She had learnt how to keep the real Sabina hidden so well that the bubbly, confident Angel she portrayed herself to be was so well known she could conceal her real thoughts from everyone around her.

And from herself.

Which is why Jane had felt a lump form in her throat when Sabina had reached out and held her wrist as Jane had made to leave the hospital room, silently asking her to stay without daring to speak the words.

‘I’ll see you soon’ Jane had promised despite the fact that she had wanted nothing more than to leave the hospital grounds and never return. But now, she had to put things right.

She’d shower, eat, and pick up a doughnut for Sabina on the way to the hospital. Jane smiled as she threw her gloves in her locker and headed for the bathroom, promising herself she’d look in on Elena before she left and hoping she’d agree to visit with her.

They worked best when they were together and it had been too long since they were all in the same room. Jane couldn’t help but miss the way Sabina could make Elena blush at an inappropriate comment within seconds.

She stretched out a stiffness in her neck and headed for the shower.

It wasn’t until nearly twenty minutes later that Jane picked up her phone having towel dried her hair and padded back to the living area, dressed in a thick hoody that covered her hands. She smiled as she opened her mobile and saw a message from Sabina. Three little words that made her heart skip a beat in a way she never thought possible.

‘I miss you.’

Jane hadn’t realised Sabina had her phone with her but quickly guessed that Saint would have dropped it off during his last visit. Her thumb lingered over the message and yet she couldn’t bring herself to respond.

“I miss you too, Sabina,” she whispered, biting her lip.

“Hmm?” Elena asked as she entered the room with a yawn. “Did you say something?”

“No,” Jane shook her head quickly and dropped her phone into her pocket, deciding she’d keep her visit to Sabina a surprise in an attempt to cheer her up. “I was just- I’m going to visit Sabina after getting some food if you want to come too?”

“Yeah?” Elena asked with a grin. “Of course I will!”

They met Saint in the kitchen and were welcomed with the comforting smell of his now famous pasta dish that brought memories of home flooding back to Jane. She hadn’t realised how hungry she was until she started to eat.

“What time is Bosley due back?” Elena asked as she chased the last mushroom around her plate. “I have a few things to run through with her before tomorrow. It’s just CCTV footage but it might give us an idea of what to look out for at this party tomorrow.”

“Soon,” Saint shrugged as he pulled another tray from the oven and placed a warm loaf of bread on the table. “She messaged a few minutes ago to say she was leaving the office but had promised Sabina she’d stop in again on her way back. So it depends if Sabina stops talking long enough for her to leave.”

Elena smirked.

“Maybe she’ll be asleep.”

“Doubt it,” Saint mumbled but Jane caught it, as well as his frown of worry. She could tell when Saint was thinking, he was awful at hiding it.

“She’s ok though, right?” Jane asked hesitantly.

“Yeah,” Saint smiled and placed a hand on Jane’s shoulder. “She’s getting much better. She’ll be back to annoy you soon, so make the most of the quiet and the extra food while you can.”

He laughed to himself and turned away again, but Jane could see the smile slip from his lips as soon as he thought she could no longer see. This mission was taking its toll on everyone involved, in one way or another.

They finished their meal quickly and were soon back in the living area where Elena took out her tablet and opened the file she had mentioned earlier.

“Before we leave, take a look at this,” Elena sighed, clicking the file and handing over the tablet to Jane. There was a short, blurry video clip which had obviously been taken from a CCTV camera, but Jane could still recognise the men in the footage.

Gough was stood outside the back doors to the Bluebird speaking animatedly to a larger man who towered above him. Mason would be recognisable from any footage and Jane could feel the anger bubble in her veins again at the sight of him on the screen.

“What are they talking about?” Jane asked with an attempt at keeping her voice even.

“I don’t know,” Elena shook her head. “But Gough gets angry. You can see from his body language. I’m sure he would have thrown a punch if it was anyone other than Mason stood in front of him. They’re there for about five minutes and then Gough leaves again.”

“So Mason and Edward have ran back to the Bluebird,” Jane sighed, handing back the tablet.

“Looks that way,” Elena nodded. “I’ve been keeping tabs on the Tahiko footage too but there isn’t much going on there, other than the usual dodgy dealings you get at the back of a busy nightclub.”

“And Boz knows about all this?” Jane asked. “We’re scouting the area only tomorrow, right? Spend some time at the party and keep an eye out for any of our drug dealing friends.”

“As far as I know,” Elena tilted her head. “But I want to catch up with her as soon as we can to make sure we know what we’re looking for. I mean, what do we do if they’re all there, we can’t watch them all. And now that Mason and Edward have been released we’ll need to be careful they don’t recognise us.”

The lift doors into the living area rattled from behind them and Elena raised a hand.

“Right on cue,” she smiled. “We can run this past Boz before we go to the hospital.”

They both looked over their shoulder to welcome Bosley back but paused at the sight of their team mate walking from the lift, her skin pale but smile bright.

“Hey,” Sabina smiled slightly, pulling the sleeves of her jumper over her hands as she tried to stop her jaw from shivering.

“What are you doing here?!” Elena asked, her voice high pitched as she jumped from the sofa and seemed to freeze on the spot, not knowing whether she could run to hug her.

“I live here!” Sabina laughed with a shrug before muttering “Well, temporarily at least.”

“But we didn’t know you were getting discharged today, we were just about to visit,” Elena spoke quickly, glancing between Jane and Sabina. “We would have picked you up. Did Bosley bring you back?”

“No, I’m a big girl who managed it all on her own,” Sabina had stopped and Jane could tell she was avoiding looking at her.

“They really thought you were ready to leave?” Elena asked with a frown. “Do they usually let you leave on your own? How did you get here?”

“Of course I’m ready, I’m fine,” Sabina laughed, her eyebrows creasing slightly as she avoided Elena’s questions. Jane didn’t miss the way she swayed on the spot but Elena hadn’t stopped grinning long enough to notice.

“But I thought Boz was going to visit, she didn’t mention anything about you leaving.”

“Stop with all the questions dude, I thought you’d be happy to see me,” Sabina’s lip twitched slightly as if she wanted to smile, but Jane could tell it was taking all her effort to stay on her feet.

Jane turned away in an attempt to hide the anger that was beginning to bubble in her chest and bit the inside of her cheek.

“We are happy!” Elena grinned, bouncing on the spot. “Right, Jane?”

Sabina looked in Jane’s direction but could tell even from the back of her head that Jane was trying to stay calm. And failing.

“I think you’re probably happier I’m back to annoy you than anyone else is, Elena,” Sabina smiled but she couldn’t hide the sadness in her eyes as she was met with a glare from Jane who had finally turned in her direction.

She had been expecting nothing less.

“I’m just gonna-” Sabina took a step towards the sofa and stumbled slightly, throwing her hands out to steady herself and wincing as the pain shot through her abdomen.

Jane moved instantly and managed to make her way to the other side of the sofa to catch Sabina before she fell, helping her to the nearest sofa and letting her steady her breathing. Jane watched as Sabina squeezed her eyes shut and bit her lip, her hands trembling. It took a few seconds before Jane was happy that Sabina wasn’t going to pass out before she released her grip on Sabina’s arm and ran a hand through her own hair, letting out a sigh of frustration that made Elena jump.

“I can’t believe you, Sabina,” Jane shook her head as she stood from the sofa and began to pace the room, her hands clenched. Sabina was now the one who refused to meet her eyes. “Why? Why did you do it?”

“What-“ Elena questioned sheepishly as she watched Jane’s knuckles tighten, her own feet still rooted to the spot.

“She’s discharged herself,” Jane threw her hands up and turned back to Sabina. “Or just walked out, neither one would surprise me any more.”

“No,” Elena frowned as she quickly looked between her team mates again. “You haven’t, have you?”

“I was bored!” Sabina protested, finally looking up. “You two weren’t there and I was fed up of hospital food. It tasted like cardboard. At least here I have you two and Saint’s cooking, and we need to be together if we’re going to stop whatever it is that’s happening from going ahead tomorrow.”

“Trust it to be your stomach that makes you walk out,” Jane muttered with a roll of her eyes.

“Hey, I signed all their paperwork. And you’re brushing over the part where I said I missed you,” Sabina spoke quietly as she pulled her sleeves further over her hands.

Jane felt her resolve melt slightly at Sabina’s words and when she finally met her gaze she could see the unshed tears in Sabina’s eyes. Shoulders slumping, Jane walked back to Sabina and fell on the sofa beside her.

“We missed you too,” she smiled, pulling Sabina towards her so her head was resting on Jane’s chest. It wasn’t until that very second, when she had Sabina back in her arms, did Jane realise just how true those words were. She had missed everything about the annoying blonde who tested her patience on an hourly basis.

Jane raised a hand and beckoned for Elena to join them. She moved quickly, tucking up on the other side of Sabina and letting herself sink into the cushions. Neither Jane nor Elena missed the heat that radiated from Sabina’s skin as she continued to shiver.

“How much paperwork did you have to fill in before they let you leave?” Jane asked as she ran her hand along Sabina’s arm.

“Lots,” Sabina mumbled. “Like, even more than Bosley makes us complete after a mission. I didn’t read any of it but I think I’ve just signed something to say that if I die it’s not their fault.”

“Please don’t joke about that,” Jane sighed, catching the look in Elena’s eyes.

“Sorry,” Sabina mumbled and Jane could see her struggling to keep her eyes open. “I know, too soon.”

“Just be quiet and go to sleep,” Jane smirked. “Not many people discharge themselves from ICU then make their way across London, you must be exhausted. Please tell me you didn’t get the train.”

“Of course not!” Sabina laughed, her words beginning to slur as she tucked further into Jane’s side. “I got a cab.”

“A black cab?”

“Yep.”

“And how did you pay for that when all you have is your phone?” Jane raised an eyebrow but could see Elena smirk with the shake of her head.

“Emm...”

“He’s still waiting downstairs to get paid, isn’t he?”

“Probably,” Sabina mumbled, her eyes now closed. Jane could feel the change in weight on her chest and knew that Sabina had fallen asleep.

“I’ll get it,” Elena jumped to her feet again and grabbed her bag that sat by the lift doors.

“You really are impossible,” Jane sighed, glancing down at Sabina with a shake of her head but feeling the knot that had tightened in her chest unravel itself and fall away.

She had missed this more than she realised, despite usually complaining when Sabina fell asleep on her shoulder half way through a film.

She smiled and sunk further into the cushions, deciding she’d stay there for eternity if she needed to, just to make sure Sabina stayed safe.

Jane tucked the loose strands of hair behind Sabina’s ear and noticed the clamminess of her skin, promising herself to find Saint as soon as he was free.

~*~*~*~*~

“I might go blonde, Sabina says it’s more fun,” Elena smirked as she looked over at Sabina who was now lying across the sofa with her head on Jane’s lap.

She knew that this wasn’t the best option for Sabina and that she really should still be under observation at the hospital, but she couldn’t help but feel that little bit better knowing exactly where she was. It was a selfish feeling, she knew that, but being together under one roof made Elena happier than she had expected, and she never wanted to be apart for so long again.

“She also says that brunettes can blend in easier, which is what we’re trying to do,” Jane shrugged slightly. “But we definitely need a disguise, we can’t risk being spotted by Mason or Edward.”

Jane and Elena had been quietly discussing their plans for attending the street party undercover, which was now only a little over a day away, when they heard movement from behind them and paused.

“Hi Angels,” Saint yawned as he appeared from the direction if the gym, making his way to the sofa as Jane looked over her shoulder and placed a finger to her lips.

“What-?” Saint began but stopped when he spotted Sabina, her head on Jane’s knee like a pillow and Jane’s arm resting on her hip. Elena had draped a blanket over her in an attempt to stop the shivering.

“Why is she here?” Jane noticed the annoyance in his voice rather than surprise as he rolled his eyes and sighed heavily.

“Why do you think?” Elena raised an eyebrow.

“She discharged herself,” Saint shook his head and leant over the back of the sofa, placing the back of his hand to Sabina’s forehead. “I thought our talk this morning might have persuaded her to stay a little longer, but obviously not.”

Elena noticed that he didn’t look the slightest bit surprised at the realisation she had walked out of the hospital before she was ready, and had a funny feeling this wasn’t the first time she had signed herself out.

“She needs fluids and antibiotics,” he stated with a frown. “I’ll be back in ten minutes.”

Jane repositioned her legs and rolled out the stiffness in her shoulder that had been present since taking her frustration out on a punchbag, but Sabina didn’t stir.

“It’s weird seeing her this quiet,” Jane frowned. “I know she has a habit of falling asleep, but it’s usually because she’s been up all night seducing a target. She looks different today, but I can’t explain why.”

Jane hadn’t meant to voice her concerns and yet she was slowly realising that speaking to her team mates made the world of difference. She didn’t have to do everything alone.

“She’s just exhausted,” Elena smiled gently. “You know how stubborn she is. I’m sure she knew from the second she stood up from the hospital bed that she wasn’t ready to leave and yet she somehow still managed to get here. She needs to rest, that’s all. She’ll get better, and we’re all together again. We can look after her now.”

Jane nodded slightly, knowing that Elena was right.

“Yeah, Saint will fix her up,” Jane smiled. “And then we’ll be wondering why we missed getting annoyed every five minutes.”

Saint reappeared with a bag of supplies and a drip stand before kneeling on the floor in front of Jane and Sabina, rummaging around in his bag until he found what he was looking for.

“Sabina?” Saint shook her shoulder slightly and Sabina’s eyes blinked open. “I need to put a needle back in your hand, ok? I promise it’s just antibiotics and saline. You know I wouldn’t give you anything else.”

“I know,” she mumbled with a nod and let Saint take her hand from under the blanket. “I trust you.”

“High praise, Sabina. Don’t say that too loudly or we’ll begin to think you’re delirious again.”

Sabina closed her eyes but moved her fingers on her hand that was still in Saint’s until she was showing him the middle one only, a small smirk playing on her lips.

“Ok, I take it back,” Saint laughed. “You’re doing much better.”

He finished inserting the needle and connected the fluids before placing his hand to her forehead again.

“Try to keep her here as long as you can and I’ll check on her in half an hour,” Saint stood back up and pulled the gloves from his hands. “Boz is going to be so pissed.”

It took all of thirty seconds for them to realise just how annoyed Bosley was as the lift doors rattled again and Bosley appeared in the living area. Even from a distance Jane could see the tension in her body which physically drained away when she spotted them all together on the sofas.

“Oh, thank God,” Bosley closed her eyes and placed a hand to her chest. “I’ve just had a go at the doctor for letting her discharge herself without anyone there to pick her up, but apparently she told them we would be waiting in the car park. Why they believed her is beyond me.”

Bosley made her way to the sofas, her heels clicking on the hard flooring, before falling heavily into the chair across from Jane and Sabina.

“How is she?” Bosley asked as she unbuttoned her coat.

“Exhausted,” Saint shrugged. “And running a temperature. This time I really think she has passed out, but I’m going to leave her until she’s ready to wake up. She seems comfortable enough.”

Bosley smiled as Jane looked down at Sabina and tucked the hair from her face again.

They seemed to fall into a comfortable silence as Saint cleaned up his supplies and disappeared again, still muttering under his breath. No one knew how long they let the stillness remain, each one of them enjoying it for a different reason, but it was Elena that finally broke it.

“Boz, this party tomorrow. We’re expecting Gough to be there, right? At his club? How are we going to get in without Mason recognising us, he doesn’t seem to leave Gough’s side when he’s working.”

“We don’t do anything risky,” Boz spoke quickly, finally shrugging off her coat and running a hand through her hair. “We don’t know how much they know about us, so we keep it low profile. We need to know why they’re wanting everyone out of their clubs and on the streets, but don’t engage with anyone unless you have to.”

“So we keep low profile and watch the crowd?” Jane asked and Bosley nodded.

“Don’t draw attention to yourselves and stick together as much as possible,” she instructed and both Jane and Elena nodded.

“It’s a distraction,” Sabina mumbled and all three of them paused, looking in her direction. “It’s the warehouse we need to be at, not the party.”

Sabina blinked open her eyes and tilted her head slightly on Jane’s knees as she forced her eyes to focus.

“Hey,” Jane smiled, running the back of her fingers across Sabina’s cheeks in an attempt at checking her temperature without making it obvious. “You’re awake.”

Sabina smiled, pushing herself up slightly and suddenly noticing Bosley sat opposite her with her arms crossed.

“Oh, shit.”

“You think?” Bosley raised an eyebrow and stood from the sofa with her hands on her hips. “Why is it always you that causes me the most paperwork, Sabina? And don’t start with the excuses, I don’t want to hear them.”

Sabina dropped her gaze and slowly pushed herself to sit up, Jane instantly missing the warmth at her side as Sabina frowned and tried to hide her discomfort.

“I don’t have one,” Sabina shrugged. “There’s no point in giving you an excuse because you won’t believe me anyway. But I have my reasons, even if you won’t listen to them either.”

Bosley frowned and Sabina continued.

“I was-” Sabina started but stopped as she looked up at Bosley and met her eyes. “I- I missed you guys.”

Sabina’s head fell again as she pulled her sleeves back over her hands.

“I’m sorry I left without telling you but I knew how busy you’d all be, and that you’d only try to stop me if I told you I was leaving.”

“Too right we would have,” Elena smiled and she was sure she could see Sabina’s lip twitch slightly.

Sabina looked back up to find Bosley still stood in front of her, her eyebrows creased and arms folded.

“I’m sorry,” Sabina spoke with more meaning than she thought she’d ever spoken the words.

There was a pause before Bosley let out a sigh and sat on the sofa next to Sabina, pulling her into a tight hug.

“I’m just glad you’re ok,” she almost whispered as she ran her hand along her back. “But please never do anything like that to us again. Any of it. We like you alive and annoying.”

“Have you just given me permission to be annoying, all the time?” Sabina grinned as Bosley let her go.

“Oh Angel, you don’t need permission for that,” Boz rolled her eyes with a smile. “You’ve been doing it since day one.”

“That’s why you love me, right?”

“Don’t push it.” Bosley smirked. “Now, what were you saying about a distraction?”

Chapter Text

“When I told you to relax, Sabina, I didn’t mean discharge yourself and travel alone across London,” Bosley shook her head, her voice giving away her relief at having all her Angels back under one roof.

Sabina had tucked up on the sofa with her feet under Jane’s leg, leaning back into Bosley’s side who had wrapped Sabina under her arm.

Elena was sat cross-legged on the shaggy rug in front of them, playing with a thread on her sleeve.

Sabina shrugged.

“I had to tell you about the distraction,” she mumbled.

“You could have called,” Bosley raised an eyebrow. “I know Saint dropped off your phone.”

“No one was answering.”

Jane felt a lump of guilt form in her throat at the thought of the message Sabina had sent her, and which she hadn’t responded to. She had wanted to keep her visit a surprise but now she couldn’t help but feel that she was the reason Sabina had left the hospital.

Then again, once Sabina had her mind set on something there was no one that would change it.

“You knew I was on my way back,” Bosley continued but Sabina only shrugged again.

“I called the number Emily gave me instead,” Sabina yawned and was sure she could feel Jane tense slightly at her words.

“You called Emily?” Jane asked with a frown. Was that hurt Sabina could hear in her voice? Or jealousy?

“No,” she smiled. “I called the other number.”

“The drug dealer in the club?” Elena asked, her mouth falling open slightly.

Sabina mumbled in agreement.

“He sounded like a creepy little guy,” she seemed to sink into the warmth of Bosley’s arm and Jane could tell by her voice that she was tired again. “Not Australian Jonny weird. More like- what was the name of the character played by- oh I can’t remember his name either. Franco. In that movie. You know who I mean?”

“James Franco,” Elena grinned, bouncing on the spot. “He played a drug dealer in Spring Breakers. I can’t remember his character name.”

“No, the other one,” Sabina shook her head.

“Pineapple Express?”

“No, the other Franco, not the other movie,” Sabina frowned in concentration. “Come on Boz, you’re the film buff.”

“Don’t start with that again,” Bosley rolled her eyes. “Ironically, you were talking about a distraction, Sabina.”

“Oh yeah,” Sabina nodded. “I phoned the number from Emily and the guy was weird. Which is to be expected given the reason we had his number. Anyway, he was happy to meet me behind the Bluebird at eleven to hand over whatever I asked for.”

Elena frowned and Sabina noticed.

“I think the street party is a distraction,” Sabina yawned again. “They’re going to create a scene outside the club to alert the police. Get as many officers as possible in the one location so they can do whatever it is they’re doing at the warehouse. And it’ll be happening around eleven.”

“How did you-?” Jane started but Sabina only shrugged. “Let me guess, you have your methods.”

“That I do,” Sabina smiled with a heavy sigh. “But we need to be ready at the warehouse to stop Gough and Robinson. And anyone else that’s involved. Let the police know to look out for trouble at the party but we need to be elsewhere. Remember what Robert said about having to work away from the party?”

“He’ll be at the warehouse,” Jane frowned and Sabina shrugged yet again.

“I could be wrong-”

“No, I don’t think so,” Bosley bit her lip. “We need to be at the warehouse. I’ll call in a few favours from the London Agency and make sure the streets are covered while we’re busy, we don’t know what kind of distraction they’re thinking of.”

“One big enough to stop Gough’s brother getting moved?” Elena asked, her eyebrows knitted together.

“I can almost see the gears working in your brilliant mind, Elena,” Sabina laughed and Elena blushed slightly before Sabina suddenly remembered their conversation from the hospital. “Oh, you said they were moving him to another prison!”

“Exactly,” Elena smiled. “So if the police are busy at the street party they won’t be expecting anything to happen to the van taking Harvey Gough across London.”

“And they’ll be busy tackling the crowd so will be slower to respond to any disturbances,” Jane nodded. “Sabina’s right, the party is all a distraction.”

“Don’t sound too surprised,” Sabina smirked and Jane couldn’t help but smile in return. “But we have less than a day to prepare.”

“Yes, we do,” Bosley nodded. “But ‘we’ doesn’t include you this time, Sabina.”

“We can argue about this later,” Sabina mumbled, tucking further into Bosley’s side.

Bosley shook her head with a roll of her eyes.

“It was Dave Franco in 21 Jump Street,” she added, pulling Sabina in tighter.

“See, I knew you’d know.”

~*~*~*~*~

“You look brighter,” Jane smiled from the kitchen table as Sabina entered early the next morning, a long, thick jumper covering her hands and a pair of dark sports shorts just visible underneath. Jane couldn’t help but notice how much she now looked like their Sabina again after returning to the outpost.

“I feel much better having been in my own bed last night,” Sabina smiled, sitting at the table and instantly leaning her elbows on its surface, a wry smile playing on her lips. “Were you up last night?”

“No,” Jane answered quickly but knew from the widening smirk on Sabina’s lips that she didn’t believe her.

Jane had barely slept, her mind on overdrive as she ran through every possible scenario of what could happen during their next mission. Every time she closed her eyes she was thrown back to the boat, or Istanbul, or a make-believe world just as terrifying as the real thing.

No matter where her mind took her there was one constant: the crimson red blood dripping off her hands and pooling around her. The body of her best friend lying motionless at her feet.

Twice Jane had left her room and peered round Sabina’s door, just to make sure she was ok. Saint had finally convinced Sabina to bed shortly after nine and had promised Jane that he would check on her every few hours, but it was Elena she had bumped in to after her second visit, both of them pausing in the hallway as if looking for an excuse to be there.

But neither one asked the other to explain themselves.

“She’s fine,” Jane had smiled and Elena nodded in response, turning back to her room with a simple “night”.

She had thought Sabina was sleeping each time she looked in, but now she wasn’t so sure.

“Where’s Saint?” Sabina asked as Jane continued to busy herself at the sink.

“Getting in supplies. Apparently he needs more food now that you’re back,” Jane smirked.

“Oh, so no pancakes?” Sabina asked and Jane shook her head.

“I’ve got you something else to try this morning,” Jane grinned as Elena padded into the kitchen with a yawn.

“You’re up?” She stopped as she noticed Sabina at the table and grinned widely. “You’re looking so much better!”

“I look a mess, which is concerning that I now look better,” Sabina frowned, ruffling up her hair. “But I need food before I shower.”

Jane joined Sabina at the table and placed a large plate in the middle containing three scones and individual pots of jam and cream while Elena leant over and gave Sabina a one-armed hug.

“One each,” Jane smiled before adding “And yes, I’m going to judge you depending on whether you put the jam or cream on first.”

“Which is the right way?” Elena asked as she sat beside Sabina and took one from the plate.

“You decide,” Jane smirked.

“Is this to work out whether we could ever pull off a true English disguise if needed?”

“Maybe.”

Sabina laughed and placed a pot of jam and cream on her plate, before spooning a lump of one into the other and mixing it together, spreading it across one half of the scone.

“Done,” she grinned, taking a bite and watching as Jane laughed, shaking her head slightly.

“Why am I not surprised?” Jane smirked. “When there’s two options available you always manage to find a third.”

Sabina shrugged and Elena giggled.

“You mean that’s not the right way to do it?” Elena asked.

“No!” Jane chuckled, something fluttering in her chest that had been still since the incident on the boat. There was a happiness returning now that they were together again, Sabina’s uniqueness and Elena’s giggles filling the room.

Sabina offered the other half of her scone with the jam-cream mixture on top to Elena who took it with a smile.

“If we eat it the same way then Jane’s the weird one,” Sabina stated.

She looked at Jane and took another bite, the cream coating her lips as she smiled.

“I give you cake for breakfast and this is how you repay me?” Jane asked jokingly and Elena giggled again at the look on her teammates’ faces.

~*~*~*~*~

“When we get back to LA I have so many boxes still to unpack,” Elena groaned as they all tucked up in the living area again, waiting for Bosley to finish a call with the London office so they could discuss the plan for the evening.

“We can help,” Sabina grinned. “Turn it in to a moving in party.”

“We’ve already had one of those, remember?” Elena raised an eyebrow. “You drank a bottle of tequila and fell asleep in my front room.”

“Which is probably why she doesn’t remember,” Jane muttered with a smirk.

“Well, we need an excuse for another party,” Sabina shrugged as Saint appeared behind them and perched on the back of the sofa.

He reached over and placed the back of his hand to Sabina’s forehead as she scrunched up her nose.

“I think your temperature has finally come down,” he stated, crossing his arms and looking satisfied.

“So no more poking and prodding?” Sabina asked hopefully.

“You still need antibiotics, but no more needles,” Saint nodded and Sabina leant her head back against the sofa. “And certainly no parties.”

“Until we get back to LA,” Sabina finished, holding up her finger. “We can all go to Jane’s place next time.”

“Do you spend any time at your apartment?” Elena asked.

“Sabina just uses hers as a closet,” Jane answered.

“I can vouch for that,” Saint raised an eyebrow. “Trackers, remember.”

“You three are no fun, leave me alone,” Sabina stuck out her bottom lip and they all laughed, Jane noticing how Sabina’s hand still found her ribs whenever she moved.

“Elena, I want to run through a new hacking device we have for this evening,” Saint nodded over his shoulder. “The downloads should be twice the speed but there’s a few extra steps to use it.”

“Great,” Elena jumped from the sofa and followed Saint from the room, leaving Jane and Sabina alone. Sabina instantly repositioned herself so that she was leaning into Jane’s side, her feet tucked up on the cushions again.

“How’re you feeling?”

“Good,” Sabina smiled. “Much better now that I’m out the hospital and away from the grumpy nurse. I don’t think she liked me.”

“I think it was us she had an issue with,” Jane laughed, remembering the look on the nurse’s face every time they had appeared on the ward. “Although pulling the needle out your hand probably didn’t help matters.”

“What? I have a hard time trusting people,” Sabina laughed once and shrugged her shoulders. “So sue me.”

Jane wrapped her arm around Sabina and pulled her in a little closer, letting Sabina’s hair tickle her shoulder.

“When did you start trusting me?” She asked cautiously, avoiding any eye contact. She was assuming, hoping, that Sabina did in fact trust her, even if she couldn’t trust herself.

“When you pushed me off a roof in Rio,” Sabina answered immediately.

“Really?”

“Mm hmm.”

Jane fell silent as Sabina’s response played in her mind, not noticing her mouth hanging open slightly until she felt Sabina’s soft chuckles against her shoulder.

“You’re joking, aren’t you? You just wanted an excuse to mention me pushing you off a roof again,” Jane asked with a raised eyebrow.

“No,” Sabina shook her head slowly, a content smile remaining on her lips as she took Jane’s arm and wrapped it tighter around her waist, her fingers gripping Jane’s jumper. “I’m being serious. You were being serious. The whole mission, I had no idea who you were. Other than a bad-ass ninja, obviously.”

Jane smiled slightly and bit her lip to stop the grin from growing.

“I know you didn’t approve of how I worked back then. Maybe you still don’t,” Sabina laughed slightly. “I remember you warning me not to follow Jonny back to his room, but it had to be done. The mission needed me to seduce him, because that’s what I do, isn’t it? I pretend. I make people like me as my job. I manipulate them.”

“Sabina-”

“No, I don’t mind it,” Jane felt Sabina’s grip tighten on her sleeve. “It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life, pretending to be someone else. But you wouldn’t let me in, and I didn’t want to pretend to be someone else around you. I knew from day one how amazing you are, but you just weren’t interested. It was the mission first and everything else second. As it should be.”

They fell silent again and Jane wasn’t quite sure what to say in response.

“I really wanted to know you but I know how annoying I am,” Sabina sighed, leaning her head back against Jane’s shoulder. “I don’t blame you for not liking me. Not trusting me. And I thought I’d never get to see the real you until I annoyed you that little bit too far and you shoved me off the roof.”

Sabina smiled again and Jane couldn’t help but mimic her actions.

“It was actually quite fun, after the first few seconds,” Sabina laughed. “But I trusted you to have secured the harness properly. It was the first time I got to see the real you, even if it was at my expense. And I knew then that I wanted to be your friend.”

Jane reached over with her other hand and pushed the stray hairs from Sabina’s eyes, smiling as Sabina seemed to lean in to her touch.

“I know it may have taken us a while but I don’t want to ever stop being your friend, Jane. And I promise I’ll stop being so annoying and clumsy and stupid,” Sabina almost whispered and Jane froze, a frown between her eyebrows.

She pulled her arm away from Sabina, noticing how instantly cold it felt, and turned in her direction as Sabina sat up straighter.

“Don’t say that,” it sounded like a warning even though she hadn’t meant it that way. “Don’t ever say that again.”

“Jane-”

“No,” Jane held up a hand to silence her and felt her heart rate quicken. “Sabina, you are not annoying. Well, you are. But that’s what makes you, you. I don’t want you to change, not ever. And I promise that we will always, always be friends. The best of friends. I won’t ever leave you.”

“You can’t promise that,” Sabina’s voice was still quiet, a sadness in her eyes that made a lump form in Jane’s throat.

“I can. And I have,” Jane took Sabina’s hands in hers and looked her in the eyes. “I promise, no matter where we are, whether we’re together or not. I will always be there for you. Ok?”

There was a pause before Sabina nodded her head slowly, not daring to speak.

“My life would be too quiet without you now,” Jane shrugged and Sabina laughed slightly. “The mornings haven’t been the same without you dancing around demanding pancakes.”

“Well I’m back to fix that now,” Sabina swallowed hard and forced a smile back to her lips. “You’re not getting rid of me either. Not ever.”

Jane felt her heart skip a beat as she turned from Sabina, the memories of sitting in the back of an ambulance pushing their way back into her mind. It had only been a few days since she had thought she’d lost Sabina entirely, and she had been so close to messing everything up once they had got her back.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Sabina spoke evenly, turning over her hands so she was holding Jane’s. “Please stop. We need to move on.”

“Was it my fault you left the hospital?” Jane asked seriously but Sabina only looked away, pulling her hands free. “I’m sorry I didn’t visit.”

Jane let the silence remain between them until Sabina was ready to break it.

“I didn’t think you cared about me any more,” she whispered eventually, looking back at Jane. “I know that’s not true, and I know I was just being impatient. But I missed you and Elena so much, I couldn’t stay there any longer.”

Jane sighed heavily and leant her head back on the sofa cushions, closing her eyes.

“I was a coward,” she spoke quietly. “I didn’t want to visit because every time I went to the hospital I was reminded of what I had done to you. I’m so, so sorry. I know now that I was only hurting you more, but I needed to- I don’t know. I needed to sort some stuff out first, and I promise I was on my way to see you yesterday just before you got here.”

Jane opened her eyes to see Sabina watching her intently.

“You didn’t do anything but save my life,” Sabina frowned. “We were unprepared, but it wasn’t your fault. You were the only one that thought to bring a gun with you in the first place! And Elena had her dots. I should have known better after some of the messes I’ve got in to over the years, but I didn’t. There was nothing we could have done differently once they had got there.”

“But why did you come in after me?” Jane threw her hands up, a desperation in her eyes she couldn’t hide.

“Because I’ve been telling you both for weeks how dangerous Mason is. You’re one of the strongest people I know but he’s physically stronger. I mean he knocked me out with one punch the last time we met. Dangerous!” Sabina waved her hands for effect and Jane smirked, realising just how much she has missed Sabina’s animated story telling over the past few days.

“You did call him the Hulk,” Jane shrugged and Sabina reached out her hands with a shake of her head in a manner that Jane could only guess meant “exactly!”

“Look, if it was the other way then you would have done the same,” Sabina shrugged. “Which is why we’re such good friends, right? We have each other’s back, always. Anyway, I owed you one after Istanbul until you one-upped me and saved my life again.”

Jane laughed.

“I’ll buy you a drink or two when we’re back in LA,” Sabina smirked, turning round so she could lean back into Jane’s side again and tucked herself under Jane’s arm. “If Boz ever lets us leave this place.”

~*~*~*~*~

Jane and Sabina remained in the living area, watching the morning sun struggle to make an appearance through the thick London clouds, until Bosley finally joined them and fell into the opposite sofa looking exhausted.

“You two are looking better today,” she smiled warmly at the tangle of limbs that were her Angels.

“You’re not,” Sabina answered before Jane could open her mouth and Bosley raised an eyebrow.

“Charming, thanks Sabina.”

“What, you just look a little-”

“Tired,” Jane finished before Sabina dug herself any deeper, and Sabina pointed up to Jane with a tilt of her head as if to indicate that she agreed.

“Yes, well I’ve been up for hours on the phone to the London office trying to work out logistics for this evening,” Bosley sighed and crossed her arms. “I just have a few more points to figure out before we can run through what’s going to happen.”

Jane nodded, feeling the uneasiness bubble in her stomach again at the thought of all the possible dangers that could be waiting for them in only a few hours time. She wasn’t usually one to worry and overthink this much, but after the past week everything in her mind seemed to shift.

Nothing was the same when they weren’t working together. She couldn’t bare the thought of putting Elena in danger too if she made another mistake.

“Where’s Elena?” Bosley asked and Jane nodded towards the door.

“In the closet with Saint,” she responded. “Saint has some new hacking thing-”

Jane trailed off with a shrug and Bosley nodded.

“Good, it’ll be easier to talk to you both down there anyway,” she sighed again and pushed herself to her feet, nodding her own head in the direction of the closet.

Jane reluctantly untangled her arm from around Sabina and let her slide on to the sofa behind her.

“I’ll be right back,” she whispered, falling into step behind Bosley.

But Bosley stopped before she got as far as she stairs, turning on the spot to face Sabina who had followed behind.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Bosley’s hands were on her hips and eyebrows furrowed. It was a rhetorical question and yet Sabina answered it anyway.

“With you, obviously.”

“How is that ‘obviously’? You’re not going anywhere!”

Sabina knew she wasn’t supposed to argue with a Bosley and yet she had never been one to follow rules.

“If you don’t let me come with you then I’m just going to sneak out later once you’re gone.”

“You know that’s the truth,” Jane mumbled with a smirk, turning from Bosley.

“Sabina, two days ago-”

“You gotta stop living in the past, Boz. Focus on the now,” Sabina held out her hands with a playful look in her eyes.

“Stop talking to me like a self help book,” Bosley warned.

Sabina shrugged, head bobbing slightly as she waited for Bosley to concede. It was when she closed her eyes and let out a sigh that Sabina would have sworn was exaggerated if she didn’t know Bosley so well that she knew she’d won.

“You can come to the closet with us but that’s it. You can be involved in surveillance only-”

“No!” Sabina interrupted. “Come on Boz, you know I can do this. Elena will be busy shutting down their systems, Jane will be ninja-ing around the perimeter to make sure nothing gets away before we can stop them. You need Gough distracted. You know I can distract him.”

Bosley would forever be amazed at how much Sabina seemed to know without being told. She was right, of course. She had been on the phone to the London office for hours, organising additional Angels to manage the street party while Jane and Elena worked in the warehouse, but they hadn’t yet worked out how to keep Gough distracted while they were there. That was usually Sabina’s job.

“That’s what I’m worried about,” Bosley threw her hands in the air for effect. “That, right there. You’re persistent.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

Sabina was sure that the exasperated look she received from Bosley was saved only for her.

“We’ll talk about this later,” Bosley muttered as she led them both to the closet and through into the armoury.

Saint and Elena were still huddled over a table with a laptop open between them, talking quickly as Saint’s fingers moved across the keyboard.

“Here we find two geeks at work in their natural habitat,” Sabina muttered under her breath and Elena looked up with a giggle, rolling her eyes.

“We got a little caught up with the new tech,” Saint tilted his head. “What are you all doing down here?”

They all understood his question and Sabina shot him a look of annoyance.

“Sabina seems to think that she can join you both this evening at the warehouse,” Bosley crossed her arms again and could see Elena tense.

“You need me there to-” Sabina began but the look on Bosley’s face made her stop in her tracks.

Saint moved from the desk and placed the back of his hand on Sabina’s head again.

“Dude, stop,” Sabina squirmed away, letting out a small gasp that was only heard by Saint. “I feel much better and I’ve taken my antibiotics, I promise. Now let me stay. Let me help!”

“I’ve told you, you can be involved with surveillance,” Bosley shot quickly.

“And I told you I can do this! I’ll just be keeping him distracted, I won’t be fighting anyone or running round, or doing anything that would jeopardise the mission,” Sabina’s hands were moving around quickly again, a determination in her eyes that Bosley had seen on so many occasions.

Bosley looked to Jane who shrugged.

“Sabina works the ground,” she said simply, as if wondering why Bosley needed any clarification. “No one can do it better.”

“Jane, can’t you-” Elena started but Jane cut her off.

“No,” her jaw tensed without warning. “I’ve tried that. The last time I worked the ground alone, Edgar died. I would have had a bullet between my eyes too if Hodak hadn’t picked up my gun instead of his own. So no, Sabina works the ground.”

Jane swallowed hard and pushed the thought of Edgar from her mind. She couldn’t focus on the blood that seeped through the water, or the look of fear in his eyes before they were driven into by Hodak. Jane couldn’t trust herself in that situation again, not without Elena or Sabina by her side.

But she was being selfish. Was Sabina really ready for this when she could see the effort it took her just to stay on her feet?

“We’ll be linked through comms,” Elena interjected Jane’s trance and she turned in her direction. “Any issues she’d just need to let us know and we’d be there. We should’t need him distracted for long, we just need enough time to shut down their systems and for Jane to make sure security won’t become a problem.”

“See,” Sabina opened her arms in Elena’s direction. “Even the sensible one is on my side.”

“That’s because you’re a bad influence,” Bosley muttered as she turned to Jane.

Jane shrugged with a tilt of her head.

“She is very good at distracting people,” she smiled and Bosley shook her head.

“And yesterday she could barely walk.”

“I still managed to get here from the hospital,” Sabina shrugged.

“You’re not helping your argument any, Sabina,” Bosley frowned, looking to Saint for backup.

Saint shook his head and raised his hands with a shrug.

“If it were up to me, she’d be on full bed rest,” he stated. “But I know the best I can hope for is she stays out the boxing ring for a few weeks.”

Bosley looked from Saint to Sabina, then Jane to Elena. She had spent so long on the phone with the London office, going over the plan again and again. And each time there was one sticking point: Gough. They had to keep him distracted somehow, and Sabina was the one to do it.

There was no other Angel as persuasive as she was. As Bosley was currently observing first hand.

“Fine!” Bosley sighed loudly, clenching her hands. “But the first sign of trouble and I’m pulling you from there, got it?”

“Yes!” Sabina grinned, running a hand through her hair and frowning. “Oh, I so need a shower before we go. I still smell like hospital.”

“I’m going to regret this,” Bosley mumbled under her breath as she shook her head and disappeared again, phone in her hand.

“Ok,” Saint exhaled slowly and tilted his head. “I’ve ran through all the new tech with Elena. Jane, I’ve upgraded your tranq gun which is now ready for you to play with. And Sabina, I’m running out of leather jackets but there’s a few new ones for you in the closet. I would say bring them back but I know you won’t.”

Sabina grinned and headed for the closet as Jane went to check the armoury, leaving Saint and Elena alone again.

“You knew we’d all be going?” Elena asked, noticing the strange look on Saint’s features.

“Of course,” he smiled. “There’s not much that would stop those two from jumping head first into a fight. Not even a near death experience, apparently.”

Elena blanched.

“Not that that’s what I think is going to happen!” Saint added quickly. “I just mean I know how stubborn they are. Both of them. Have you ever tried to stop them arguing? Impossible.”

Elena tried to smile and busied herself with the new gadgets laid out in front of her, not wanting to think too much about what their evening would involve.

“You’ll look out for each other, don’t worry,” Saint smiled, placing a hand on Elena’s shoulder. “I want Sabina to go as much as you do, but she’s right. You work best as a team, and you need her. Just please, stay away from anything pointy. I don’t think I could take much more of hospitals.”

Elena laughed nervously as Saint followed in the direction of Sabina, sure that he was going to take the opportunity to check her over again while no one was watching.

She hadn’t meant to agree so easily with Sabina, having seen the look of worry in Bosley’s eyes. And yet she couldn’t see any other option. The only real mission she had ever been involved with was prior to becoming an Angel, and she knew she was only alive because of Jane and Sabina. They had saved her life on more than one occasion and she couldn’t imagine going to the warehouse without them both.

But she’d have to focus. She couldn’t get distracted worrying about Sabina when she got there. She had a job to do, as did they all.

Sabina didn’t need Elena to worry about her, she’d been doing this long enough to know what she was capable of. They’d done the hard work, all they had to do now was to gather the evidence they needed to hand everyone over to the police. How hard could it be?

Bosley was waiting for them in the living area when they returned, tablet in hand and a frown between her eyes.

“As you’ve decided that all three of you will be going, I’ve had to change things up slightly,” she explained, tapping the screen of the tablet until it was projected on to the television. Sabina could see that she was avoiding eye contact and decided it was probably for the best.

She took a seat and hoped no one would notice the hand that instantly found her ribs as she bit back the pain that still lingered with every movement.

“The London Bosleys have agreed to position two of their Angels at the street party,” Bosley explained, clicking on the map of London right outside the Bluebird. Two small, gold dots appeared on the screen. “We’re expecting Gough, Robinson and Mathews to be at the warehouse.”

Three more dots, this time red, appeared on the screen at a different point on the map.

“And we think both Edward and Mason will be there too,” Jane added and Bosley nodded, two green dots now appearing.

“I’ve spoken to the police and told them to have a team on standby. They’ve also agreed to reschedule Harvey Gough’s transfer, although only a select few people at both prisons know about it. We don’t want anyone to realise that we know their intentions.”

Elena nodded and bit her lip slightly.

“So what do you need us to do at the warehouse?” She asked, the nerves just audible in her voice.

“I need you to shut down their systems,” Bosley explained. “It’s nothing high tech, but you’ll need to get into the actual control room to be able to override it. Once you do, the whole place will be on lockdown.”

“Just like at the quarry, right?” Sabina shrugged before remembering that Bosley hadn’t been around to witness what had happened that day, and pulled a face in Elena’s direction as if to say ‘oops.’

“That won’t be a problem,” Elena nodded quickly in an attempt to avoid any more arguments, knowing that Bosley was on edge as it was.

“Jane, I need you to keep an eye on everyone’s movements but especially Robinson’s. Stay hidden, but watch what he’s doing. We know Gough is the brains behind this, but Robinson is just as dangerous. He’s more likely to be giving the direct orders and we need to make sure nothing leaves the warehouse before the police get there.”

“So we want him to be caught in the act?” Jane nodded. “We need Gough, Robinson and Mathews together with the drugs and weapons.”

“Exactly,” Bosley nodded then turned to Sabina, letting out a sigh.

“Just do what I do?” Sabina asked, the playful smile returning to her lips.

“Keep Gough distracted as long as you can. His word will be final, so the longer you can keep him in the office then the longer Elena will have to shut down the systems.”

“Got it,” Sabina smiled.

“But what about Mason?” Elena asked, her voice wavering slightly again. “He knows what we look like and he’s bound to be hanging around Gough.”

“I’ll take care of him,” Jane frowned and Bosley instantly folder her arms. Jane noticed. “Please don’t give me the whole ‘Charlie frowns on revenge’ thing Boz!”

“I wasn’t going to,” Bosley shook her head. “But you’re only to engage if you really must. I don’t want any more unnecessary injuries, so stay away from him unless you have to.”

Jane stayed quiet, her hands clenched again.

“Sabina should be disguised though, right?” Elena asked and Sabina rolled her eyes. “I mean, Gough’s met you before. What if he recognised you?”

“He’s not the kind of guy to remember someone like me,” Sabina shrugged. “But if I have to go undercover then fine. I’m going as a red head.”

“You just want an excuse to try out your new lipstick that you insist will match your hair,” Jane frowned.

“Too right I do!” Sabina smirked, her leg bouncing as she quickly clenched and unclenched her fists.

To anyone else she would seem nervous, but Bosley knew that this was a sign Sabina was excited about the idea of the mission.

And that worried her much more.

“Isn’t it going to be weird if you just show up at the warehouse?” Elena asked, her voice higher pitched than usual. “I mean, if we were at the party or the club it would be easy to think of an excuse to talk to him.”

“Stop panicking, Elena,” Sabina smiled. “I have all that covered. It’ll be fine.”

“In and out ladies, I don’t want you in there any longer than you have to be,” Bosley sighed again and turned to study the map, the small dots almost glowing on the screen.

Elena couldn’t help the uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach that made her want to throw up. She could almost feel the acid burn her throat as she forced herself to swallow. Only yesterday she had been getting ready to join Jane at the street party and now they were planning on something that sounded must too like the quarry situation.

They had been lucky to all get out of there unscathed, other than a few bruises and the fact that she had managed to tranq herself. That was before the explosion that had torn them apart and nearly killed them.

No matter how much Bosley tried to convince her, Elena couldn’t help but feel uneasy at the thought of them walking into the warehouse after the week they had just had. She wanted nothing more than to get on a plane and leave this all behind. This hadn’t been in her training.

“No heroics and no risks,” Bosley warned. “From any of you.”

Jane didn’t miss the way Bosley’s gaze lingered on her.

“We have time to eat before we plan anything else, right?” Sabina asked, looking over her shoulder and towards the kitchen which Saint had disappeared to. “I’m starving.”

“That’s because you’ve barely eaten for a week, Sabina,” Bosley rolled her eyes. “But yes, go eat.”

She watched her Angels leave and let out a sigh that had been stuck in her chest, falling into the sofa and leaning her head in her hands.

Becoming a Bosley had been far from easy, but she hadn’t imagined ever having to make the kind of decisions she had done in the past year. Leaving them at the quarry had been one of the hardest decisions she had ever made, and yet she had that same strange feeling every time she thought of the warehouse.

She knew the dangers. Her mind had ran through each and every one of them last night, refusing to let her sleep. She had to be prepared for all of them, because if she wasn’t then she could lose them all. And she’d never, ever be able to forgive herself if something bad happened.

She couldn’t watch them hurting, knowing there was nothing she could do to help.

But she would be waiting for them this time, just outside. Nothing on earth would pull her away.

They were stronger together, she knew that. But it didn’t stop Bosley from worrying about every potential risk that had lined up in her mind and screamed at her when she stopped for just one second.

The sooner this was over, the better.

“Boz, you’re missing out on pancakes!” Sabina’s voice called from the kitchen and she smiled slightly at the thought of her Angels together again, a reminder than despite what had happened over the past week they were ok.

Battered and bruised in every way possible, but they were ok. And she was determined to keep it that way, no matter what.

“Saint needs to stop giving in to you,” Bosley shouted back, locking the tablet and joining them in the kitchen.

Chapter Text

“Does everyone know their positions?” Bosley asked again as Jane, Sabina and Elena stood in front of her, Saint trying to take Sabina’s temperature for the third time that hour as she batted him away.

Elena danced on the spot nervously, rolling her shoulders in an attempt to look controlled. Jane had seen the same look many times when working on other missions with newly qualified Angels; Elena was ready, but that didn’t stop the nerves from making an unwanted appearance.

“We want to be as quick as possible but don’t rush anything,” Bosley frowned and Jane could tell she was just as nervous as they were; she just showed it differently to Elena.

“Boz, calm down,” Sabina laughed, placing a hand on Bosley’s arm and squeezing it gently. “We’ve done this before, we’ll be fine.”

“Maybe you should stay,” Jane heard the words leave her mouth before she could catch them and instantly regretted it, but couldn’t seem to stop the ones that tumbled after. “I don’t think we should risk a repeat of what happened the last time we were out together. I mean, if I hadn’t lost my gun so easily-”

“Jane, no. I’m the one that put you all on a boat without any protection-” Bosley tried to reason.

“And I’m the one that jumped in the water when I was told not to!” Sabina shouted over the top of them, a frown on her features and arms crossed over her chest. Jane was always surprised at how threatening Sabina could make herself look, despite her small frame. “Elena, do you want to add anything. Why do you think it’s your fault? Because everyone else seems to be having a go!”

“Sabina-”

“This is no ones fault but theirs!” Sabina carried on, a new frustration in her voice that only matched the determination in her eyes. “Mason and Gough and Robinson and everyone else that’s involved. But it was Mason and Edward on the boat that day. It was Mason that pulled the knife and him that pushed you off the boat. It was no one else’s fault. Got it?”

Everyone in the room fell silent, their eyes focused on Sabina.

“Right,” she continued with a tilt of her head and a steadiness in her voice. “Now that we have that settled, can we please go stop the bad guys?”

Sabina finished with a thumb over her shoulder, a rise of an eyebrow and a hand on her hip.

Bosley shook her head slowly and sighed, knowing that she wasn’t going to win the argument, and Jane seemed to agree.

“Fine,” Jane shrugged. “But you distract me and I’m never working with you again.”

Sabina smirked at the playfulness hidden in Jane’s voice and the look that flashed across Elena’s face. She poked Jane in the ribs to watch her squirm and moved to sit on the back of the sofa, Saint following to sit next to her and Jane could tell that he was wanting to check her over again, despite Sabina’s constant protesting.

“We’ve managed to arrange for an Angel inside the Bluebird tonight,” Bosley stated, seemingly trying to distract herself. “There’s rumours that Robinson has invited a select group of people to his club tonight and arranged some special entertainment for them while the street party is going on. We think it’s drug related but there’ll be an Angel in there anyway to make sure it’s nothing more. She’ll have full contact with the London Agency.”

“Orbits,” Jane stated with a frown. “You think he’s trying to convince other club owners to let the stuff into their premises?”

“He wouldn’t want the competition, would he?” Sabina asked. “Right now everybody knows to go to the Bluebird if they want it. But if it’s the dealers-”

“He wants to let them try the stuff so they can then distribute it for him. He’s making them feel special, giving them free reign of his club while the street party is outside and everyone else is distracted.” Jane asked and Elena nodded in agreement.

“If they’ve changed the recipe, made it safer, maybe they’re trying to distribute it through London as well as other countries. Maybe start with Tahikos given Mathews’ involvement, but with the money Robinson will receive from their little laundering business he could open up more clubs and sell the stuff right across the city. They could be giving out samples at Bluebird tonight,” Elena suggested and Sabina laughed.

“You make it sound like they’ll be handing out a new flavour of ice cream.”

“But she has a point,” Bosley nodded. “The Bluebird has an exclusive guest list tonight. Our Angel will be undercover as a member of the bar staff, but the London team will have another three people outside ready to pull her out of there if needed.”

Jane nodded slowly and Bosley sighed before she continued.

“Right,” she pushed back her shoulders and studied them all intently. “Elena, the control room is on the ground floor of the warehouse.”

“Far right hand side,” Elena nodded.

“And Gough has an office on the first floor somewhere,” Sabina added. “Most likely to be away from the noise of the warehouse floor. So we’ll all be entering through the back side door before we split up.”

“Exactly,” Bosley nodded. “You just need to keep him busy long enough for back up to arrive and catch them in the act. We need them all in the one location with the firearms and drugs. We can’t call in backup until we have eyes on everything we need.”

“Mission bingo,” Sabina grinned. “Whoever can tick them all off the list first wins. Guns, drugs, bad guys.”

Bosley tilted her head and Sabina fell silent, but Jane caught the smile playing on Bosley’s lips.

“Robinson and Mathews we expect to be on the main floor. Going by the diary entries we have access to, as well as a few emails, it looks like Gough likes to stay away from the work side of things and leave that to everyone else. Jane, keep out of sight and don’t engage unless needed,” Bosley almost warned and Jane rolled her eyes.

“I know, we’ve been through this,” she frowned. “You can’t stall much longer, Boz. We need to go.”

Jane was right, and the thought formed a lump in Bosley’s throat.

“We leave in half an hour, go kit up.”

~*~*~*~*~

All three were ready to leave within Bosley’s timeframe, Jane and Elena both dressed head to toe in black. Sabina on the other hand had changed into a sequinned strappy top which she had tucked into a pair of tight shorts and paired with matching glittery heeled boots. A thick faux-fur coat was thrown over the top, complimenting a deep red wig. Bosley bit her tongue to stop herself from cancelling their plans, despite the fact that she wanted nothing more than to lock the doors and keep them all inside.

This was their job, and they were good at it. The best. But it didn’t stop her from worrying.

Saint had followed them from the closet with a duffle bag full of weapons and a glint in his eyes that Bosley noticed instantly. He was just as proud of their girls as she was.

“I call shot gun,” Sabina winked as they headed towards the lift, her boots catching the light and sending shapes dancing across the floor, a stark contrast to Jane and Elena’s all-black outfits.

Bosley watched them leave and swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat, desperate not to let Saint see her waiver.

“They’ll be fine,” he smiled, placing a hand on her shoulder. He didn’t miss a thing. “But I can come with you if you’d like. Just in case? I can wait in the car.”

Bosley nodded slowly, not daring herself to speak, and followed them to the lift.

~*~*~*~*~

“I’ll see you both soon,” Jane smiled, taking Elena and Sabina by the hand and squeezing them slightly as they stood in the darkness outside the back door to the warehouse, Bosley having dropped them as close as she could without being seen. “Be careful and don’t do anything stupid.”

“Don’t look at me when you say that,” Sabina joked with a smirk.

“I’m being serious.”

“I know,” Sabina nodded with a warm smile. “We’ve got this, you know we do. It’s just like the quarry but with fewer things trying to crush us. Now go be a ninja and don’t go looking for trouble.”

Sabina let go and playfully pushed Jane away with a wave of her hand.

“Go, before someone sees you!”

Jane smiled and felt for the gun secured to her belt, instantly feeling reassured that it was there. They had gone over the plan again and again, until everyone was fed up of going over the details. But she had to be sure they were prepared.

It was this bit that Jane had been worried about. The point where they had to split up.

“Jane, I can see you overthinking again,” Sabina shook her head and stepped past her towards the heavy door. “We’ll be fine. Elena, please go use your magical techy powers and shut this place down before Jane freaks out.”

Sabina tilted her head in the direction of the warehouse and stepped through the door without looking back, heading for the stairs before Jane could stop her.

The dark staircase was as dusty and damp as Sabina had expected, but the first floor was thankfully empty when she stepped out. She could hear voices from below and could see the large warehouse floor from the top balcony, at least a dozen men dragging heavy boxes across the work floor. Jane would have so much fun if she had to engage with a few of them, but Sabina pushed the thought from her mind and headed down the corridor.

She soon found the office she was looking for and slipped inside, noting the number on the door as she did and quickly scanning the room. Her training kicked in instantly, her fingers wiggling at her side as she bounced on the spot.

There was a second door behind a heavy wooden desk which she guessed led to more storage areas, and a shelf full of heavy books. Plenty of weapons, if she needed them, as well as the small blade she had secured to her hip underneath her shorts.

This was a normal mission. Just like Rio all over again but without a roof to be pushed off. They knew what they were doing.

Sabina could feel the ache in her abdomen make its way to her ribs again and kicked off her heels, sitting on the edge of the desk and letting her feet dangle. The pain subsided slightly and she took a breath, feeling the familiar excitement that came with any mission even after all her years as an Angel.

“I can tick a few things off your bingo card already, Sabina,” Jane’s voice came over the comms and Sabina smiled. “I can see Mathews and Robinson, they’re together down here but I don’t know what they’re doing yet. Oh, I see Gough too! He’s headed for the stairs.”

“Very good, Jane. You’re going to win this easily,” Sabina laughed. “Just make sure you don’t call bingo too loudly, yeah? That might give away your position.”

“Sabina, please be careful.”

“I always am!” Sabina protested. “Anyway, I’m just distracting an overweight creep while you two do all the hard work.”

“Oh, Bosley wasn’t joking when she said they needed new security measures, I’m through the first lot already,” Elena sounded excited and Sabina couldn’t help but smile. “Jane, are you watching the door?”

“Yeah, I got you. You just do your thing.”

Sabina was ready. To run or fight or simply seduce the sleaze bag, she was ready to keep Gough within the four walls of his office for as long as Jane and Elena needed her to.

It took only a few minutes before Gough appeared at the door, stopping in his tracks at the sight of Sabina sat on his desk.

“What are you doing in here? Who are you?”

“I’m Stacy,” Sabina frowned, giving him a look as if to say ‘duh’.

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

“I’m Louis’s girlfriend,” Sabina shook her head, hands outstretched. “He told me to wait in the car but it’s freezing out there, and I got bored so I came to look for him but I don’t know where he is. Then I saw this door was open and it was warm in here, so here I am.”

Sabina raised her arms with a grin, a playfulness on her lips.

“I gotta say though, I was still bored until you showed up. Do you work for that Robinson guy too?”

“What?” Gough looked put-out and Sabina was glad. “Work for Robinson! Try the other way, little bird. Robinson works for me.”

“Oh,” Sabina drew out the word and leaned forward on the desk, her legs swaying underneath her. “So you’re the guy in charge around here. I always thought Robinson sounded like a bit of an idiot. I kept telling Louis he shouldn’t trust him, but he never listens to me.”

Sabina pouted and Gough smiled, moving closer to where she sat.

“Oh, I don’t think you’re stupid,” he grinned, running a finger down her cheek and making Sabina’s skin crawl. But she had to keep up the act, even if it pained her to do so.

Sabina forced a smile and bit her lip.

“That’s because you’re not like Robinson, I can tell. You have the smarts. How do you keep them all in line?”

He laughed, cigar smoke on his breath, and stepped back with a raise of an eyebrow.

“What are you after?” He frowned with a wry smile. “Did your boyfriend tell you what we were doing here tonight?”

“No,” Sabina shrugged. “He doesn’t tell me anything, not really. Just that I had to hang around for a while before we could go have some fun.”

“Fun?” Gough smirked, stepping closer again. “If it’s fun you’re looking for I can help you out. How much are you looking for?”

Sabina had been worried about this. The last time Gough had offered her something she’d ended up with a bloody lip and being pulled out of an LA club by Jane, after taking down four of his men. She couldn’t afford for Gough to slip away from her this time, but there was no way she could bring herself to take what he was offering.

Not now. Not ever. She couldn’t go back to that place again.

“Nothing like that,” Sabina smiled, a fake giggle in her voice. “Just a few drinks. Good music. Maybe a little dancing, although Louis is terrible at dancing. Don’t tell him I told you that.”

Sabina bit her lip again and let her bare feet swing, brushing past Gough’s trousers slightly as she did so. She knew the nauseating feeling in the pit of her stomach had nothing to do with the ache in her ribs and was entirely at the thought of the images that would be running through Gough’s head.

But it was just a job. One like any other. Gough was the target and he needed distracting until-

“I can see Robinson clearly now,” Jane’s voice came over the comms in a low whisper. “And he has a stash of pills. We have the orbits! Elena, how are you getting on?”

Sabina knew that they would be able to hear every word she was speaking to Gough but she had to push that thought aside. She was doing this for a reason.

“I’m nearly there, just a few more overrides to go and I should have full control,” Elena sounded breathy but controlled, and Sabina couldn’t help but smile at how far she had come since her training.

If everything went to plan they would be back at the outpost by midnight, cosied up under a thick blanket while Saint made them a herbal tea.

“I know you,” Gough frowned and Sabina felt her heart skip a beat, snapping her back to reality. This wasn’t supposed to happen so soon. A small part of her had known it would, even if she had tried to reassure Jane and Elena that Gough wouldn’t ever recognise her. She had known he would, eventually.

“Yeah, I’ve just told you. I’m Louis’ girlfriend. You’ve probably seen me around. Anyway, do you have anything to drink, because Louis has definitely ruined date night and if he’s going to leave me here to wait then I definitely need a drink,” Sabina smiled and continued to swing her feet, but Gough had paused slightly as if in thought.

“You’re American.”

“So are you.”

There was silence again as Gough’s frown deepened, before a cruel smile snuck across his lips.

“You were at my club.”

“I go to a lot of clubs,” Sabina shrugged. “Is yours the one the other side of the river? The one by-”

Sabina pointed a thumb over her shoulder casually but Gough interrupted.

“In LA. You were at my club in LA.”

Shit.

“What? No, I’ve never been to LA. I lived in New York before I moved here like, five years ago-”

“It was you,” he smirked, stepping closer. “I remember. You took down four of my men while your friend stole some documents from my safe.”

“Sabina, get out of there!” Jane’s voice came over the comms and Sabina wished, not for the first time, that she could switch it off. She could do without Jane worrying about her.

“I’m sorry, but you have the wrong person,” Sabina shrugged again, pushing herself from the desk and feeling the cold floor under her bare feet. “Look, I’m obviously annoying you. I’ll go wait for Louis in the car.”

Gough moved before Sabina could register and blocked her exit. She tried hard not to roll her eyes; she had been hoping to keep him distracted a little longer before he realised he’s met her before.

“It was you, I know it was. But you were blonde then,” he said simply and Sabina sighed. There was no point in trying to pretend any longer.

“I still am,” she smirked, pulling the red wig from her head and throwing it on the table, ruffling up her short hair underneath and rolling out a knot in her neck.

Gough’s laugh was harsh and throaty as his eyes seemed to roam Sabina’s body, a sleazy look in his eyes.

“Ah,” he nodded slowly. “So, which one are you?”

“Sabina,” she answered simply, holding out a hand in the hope that he wouldn’t take it. To her relief he didn’t move, his eyebrows furrowing instead. “What is it? You suddenly look surprised to see me.”

Gough paused for a second before seemingly shaking himself back to reality.

“Not at all, little bird. I knew you were no match for Mason, despite what he said,” he smirked again. “Yes, I know what happened on the boat. I almost didn’t take him back when the cops let him go, or his useless little friend.”

“Be nice, Robert was very useful to us,” Sabina goaded, thankful for the fact that Gough seemed to be distracted again.

“I’m in! All systems are in lock down. No ones getting in or out,” Elena’s voice came over the comms and Sabina knew that was her cue to leave. Which was now easier said than done.

They were supposed to be meeting each other at the control room with Elena but Sabina had a feeling that wouldn’t be so simple now that she couldn’t slip away as ‘Stacy’. She had known this could happen, of course. But she hadn’t wanted to voice her concerns with Bosley or the other girls, knowing they would only try to stop her from coming along if there were any additional risks.

But they needed Gough distracted, she couldn’t let him go now. They only had a few minutes before someone realised the whole building was in lockdown.

“Jane, you got eyes on Robinson?” Elena asked.

“Yep, I can see him and Mathews. They’re both with the weapons, arranging them in coloured crates,” Jane answered and Sabina could imagine her watching them from the darkness.

“Purple for South Korea,” Elena muttered.

“Green for Germany,” Jane continued. “Now we know what the colour coded files were. They contained order forms. The letter codes were the buyers, and now they’re making up the orders ready to ship out.”

Sabina tried to hide the smirk from her lips as Gough watched her intently.

“So that’s how you worked out where we were,” Gough raised an eyebrow and Sabina could see his fists tightening. “Remind me to have words with Robert later.”

“Bingo!” She grinned, knowing Jane and Elena would understand. They had everything they needed all under one roof. Time to hand the evidence over to the authorities and stop Gough and Robinson from destroying any more lives.

“Boz, you there? System lockdown,” Jane’s voice drifted over the comms. “You ready for us?”

“I’ve got it, backups on their way!” Bosley sounded controlled although Sabina knew she’d be feeling anything but. They were nearly finished. All they had to do was keep the situation contained until they could hand it over.

“You mean Robert’s not here?” Sabina asked when Gough fell silent, feeling the ache return to her ribs and leaning back against the table. “I thought you’d have him around to keep an eye on him.”

“Not after what happened on the boat,” Gough scoffed. “I wasn’t trusting him after that. He should have been able to take your friend out with ease. No, he’s been put somewhere else.”

“The street party,” Sabina stated simply, watching as Gough’s eyes narrowed again. “You’ve put him on distraction duties instead.”

“You think you’re clever, don’t you?”

Sabina shrugged, biting her lip slightly.

“You can’t stop this. Us,” Gough threw his hands up and started pacing in front of the door, his face turning a deep shade of red. “We know too many people and have come too far to have someone like you get in the way.”

“Sabina, where are you?” Jane’s voice came over the comms and Sabina didn’t miss the tension behind her words.

“I don’t know,” Sabina almost sang knowing that Jane would understand she couldn’t answer. “We seem to have the upper hand right now, even if you don’t know it yet.”

“Ha!” Gough took a cigar from his pocket as he paced and twisted it between his fingers. “You girls really think you’re going to stop us, don’t you? But let me tell you, three little birds can’t stop this. This is so much bigger than you realise.”

“Really,” Sabina smirked, sitting back on the edge of his desk and letting her feet dangle again. Her ribs ached, her head spun and she had an uneasy feeling in her stomach, but she wasn’t going to let him know any of that. “So there’s more than the drugs you’re trying to sell across the world in your dodgy clubs in exchange for illegal firearms. And the copious amounts of money you’ve been attempting to launder in each of those countries. The high risk brother you’re hoping to break out of a London prison as he’s transported across the city and the three- or was it four- ex wives that are each demanding a stake in your corrupt business. Have I missed anything.”

Gough paused as if lost for words, before the smirk reappeared on his lips.

“Well done,” he nodded slowly, the cigar twisting through his fingers as he took a lighter from his pocket. “But this is already too far gone, and once we’ve got rid of you and your little friends then there’ll be no evidence you were even around. Three little birds against all of me. You don’t stand a chance.”

“Please stop calling us that,” Sabina threw her head back and sighed. “I know it makes you feel better but it still doesn’t change the fact that we know everything. But please, carry on. Tell me how you’re going to become a big-shot drug dealer, arms dealer, whatever you want to call yourself.”

“They know!” Jane’s voice came over the comms and Sabina swallowed hard. “Robinson has just tested the doors and knows the building is locked down. Elena, I’m on my way to you now.”

“Back up is here, ladies,” Bosley added. “Elena, open the back stairway door then all of you stay away from the warehouse floor.”

“On it!” Elena sounded more controlled than Sabina had expected and she felt a surge of pride as she smirked slightly.

She knew she only had a few minutes before Gough knew something wasn’t right and her chances of leaving reduced even further. But Sabina had been expecting this. It was all part of the job, being the decoy.

“Doors are open and the area is clear,” Elena stated. “But I think I’m about to get some company.”

“I’m right outside,” Jane responded and Sabina smiled at the sound of Elena’s relieved voice as Jane joined her in the control room.

All she had to do now was find a way of getting there too. Even with her ribs aching she was sure she would be quicker than Gough if she could make it to the door. He didn’t look like he’d ever ran a day in his life. As soon as he moved she could slip out of the room and down the corridor.

That was, until Gough’s phone rang and he moved to the doorway, leaning out with his hand against the frame.

“What?” He answered gruffly, the lighter now back in his pocket as his voice raised. “What do you mean locked down. Well go and sort it out, the first order is scheduled to be picked up at eleven o’clock!”

Sabina glanced at the clock on the wall and let out a sigh of relief. It was ten minutes to eleven. They had stopped the first shipment from leaving and backup would be here within seconds. They had done it. They had completed the mission.

Well, almost. She either had to get back to Jane and Elena or keep Gough in his office until he could be picked up by the police or the Agency. Right now she didn’t care who had him.

He dropped the phone back in his pocket and turned to her with a finger pointed in her direction, as if to start yelling instructions. But the anger in his features slowly turned to a cruel smirk as he tilted his head and laughed.

Sabina would have blamed it on the fact that two days prior to now she had been hooked up to numerous drips and machinery following major surgery, and so her reflexes weren’t as quick as they’d normally be.

Under normal circumstances she would have noticed the large bodyguard appear from behind her, through the second door she had seemed to have forgotten about, with a syringe between his fingers. She would have been able to kick Gough away before elbowing the guard in the chest and gaining the upper hand. She was good at her job, and had spent the past twenty minutes stalling Gough long enough for Jane and Elena to complete their job within the vast warehouse, but she had slipped up.

Her tired body had forgot to stay alert and so it was only once an arm had been wrapped around her neck and the syringe pierced the skin by her collarbone did she realise she had made a rookie mistake.

Sabina threw her elbow back enough to break free from his grasp and staggered to her feet, turning to face the intruder and feeling the air leave her lungs in a gasp.

“Mason,” she managed to stutter, her vision beginning to blur. She wasn’t sure whether it was the substance already making its way through her veins, the ache in her ribs from standing so quickly or the sight of Mason stood in front of her that made her head spin.

“Hello again,” he tilted his head, a cruel smirk on his lips, and Sabina heard Gough laugh in the background. He sounded close to her ear yet distant, and she forced herself to remain focused.

“Sabina?” Jane’s voice sounded frantic over the comms and she tried to push it aside, knowing it would only make things worse. “Sabina, what’s happening? Where are you?”

“You missed me that much?” Sabina goaded, feeling a fuzziness creep at the edge of her consciousness. “You know, I was just going so-”

Sabina staggered, catching herself as her hand hit the wall to keep her on her feet. She blinked hard, and as the room came back in to focus Mason was stood in front of her, the smirk still on his lips.

He moved before Sabina had a chance to react, his fist making direct contact with the wound on her abdomen. She felt the air leave her lungs entirely as she doubled over, a strangled sound escaping her lips as her knees fit the hard ground. It took all her effort to force the air, screaming, back into her lungs as she choked on a breath, her vision blurring again.

“Sabina?”

It was Bosley’s voice this time which somehow made it so much worse than anyone else’s. She had wanted to make her proud. Wanted to show her that she was capable, she wasn’t broken. And instead she had made her worry all over again.

Sabina moved her hand away from her stomach and saw the spot of blood staining her sequinned top. Mason had obviously bust a stitch. Saint would be so pissed.

Gough laughed loudly and the sound reverberated around Sabina’s skull.

“What did you-?” Sabina managed to choke out but could feel her heart rate quicken as she forced herself to focus.

“Was that the clean stuff?” She heard Gough ask and a mumbled ‘I don’t know’ in response from Mason.

“No matter,” Gough crouched in front of Sabina and tilted her chin so she was looking at him square in the eyes. “It doesn’t really matter what happens to this one. I’ve clipped your wings, little bird. And there’s nothing that you or your friends can do about it.”

“You have no idea,” Sabina laughed, feeling the strength leaving her arms but refusing to collapse in front of him. “You think I’ve been here just for the fun of it? Room twenty four. Second floor. Just past the main storage room.”

“I’m on my way!” Jane’s voice was clear over the comms despite the ringing in her ears. She could almost feel the substance spreading through her veins, pulling her under, and yet she refused to let him see.

“You think three girls are going to stop us?” Gough laughed. “Let them come and join the party if they want to, there’s plenty to go around. We can have a replay of the boat, but this time we’ll bring you all down. It’ll be easy.”

“That’s your problem right there,” Sabina smiled, a strange sensation clouding her brain as she tried to focus on the man in front of her. “You underestimate what we’re capable of. Who we know. How easily you can fall for our charms when we really want you to.”

She felt nauseous as the room continued to tilt, her arms finally giving in as she slumped to the floor and tried to catch her breath. She could see Gough standing above her, a cruel smirk on his lips, and yet the voice in her mind wasn’t his.

‘Come on Sabina, you didn’t think we’d believe you. Did you? Why would we trust what you say, you’re just a crazy little girl who won’t amount to anything.’

‘You’re not real,’ Sabina told herself as she squeezed her eyes closed. ‘This is the drugs, none of this is real.’

She took a deep breath and forced herself back to reality.

“You were right about one thing though, Gough,” she laughed, keeping his attention. Jane only needed a few more minutes, she could hear her running up the stairs through the comms. “We’re not little birds but we do have wings, and those you’ll never be able to take. There’s a lot more Angels out there than you realise. Maybe you should have been keeping an eye on exactly who you let into Robinson’s club this evening.”

It was enough to catch his attention. Gough crouched beside her again and grabbed a hold of her top, his face turning an odd shade of red.

“What are you talking about?” His question sounded more like a warning and Sabina couldn’t help but laugh at the look in his eyes. She knew it wasn’t funny and yet she couldn’t stop the giggles that escaped her lips despite the increase in her heart rate and the uneasy feeling her chest was going to burst open and spill onto the office floor.

Nothing felt right and yet she couldn’t explain what it was she was feeling.

‘You always were weak, Sabina.’

The voice was back and no matter how tight she closed her eyes it wouldn’t go away.

‘I told your mother when you were a child that all you’d do was bring shame to this family with your lies and inappropriate behaviour. The day you walked out was a blessing.’

“Stop it,” she mumbled, the panic beginning to build in her chest. “Go away.”

Gough laughed and loosened his grip.

“I didn’t think you’d fight it long,” he smirked. “Looks like it wasn’t a clean batch you were given after all.”

Sabina clenched her fists and tried to turn away from Gough but her limbs felt too heavy to move.

“Sabina I’m nearly there,” Jane shouted through the comms, her voice sounding distant through the chaos of noise in her mind.

“Me too!” Elena added and Sabina could tell she was running. “And I have back up.”

Sabina smiled, squeezing her eyes closed again in an attempt to silence the voices in her head that were fighting for attention.

‘You’re not real,’ she told herself over and over again. ‘You’re not real and I’m not listening to you.’

Her body felt heavy and not her own. Each movement was exhausting and the most she could manage was pushing herself on to her side so she was facing the door. But that’s all she needed.

“The likes of you, Gough, will never win,” Sabina smiled weakly. “Just ask your friend Simon. Oh wait, you can’t. Because we already have him. We’ve already won. We may be just girls to you but that’s what makes us so powerful.”

She could feel the concoction of drugs pulse through her veins like a poison and knew that she was losing the fight against them. Reality was blurring, the voices getting louder, and her already exhausted body had had enough. She couldn’t tell whether her ribs ached any more but her rapid heartbeat pulsed in her mind and only seemed to intensify the thoughts that were fighting to take over.

Her eyelids grew heavy as she struggled to keep them open, until the familiar sight of her best friend came skidding into view and Jane appeared at the door, her gun automatically pointed in Gough’s direction.

“Hands where I can see them!”

Sabina smiled weakly, pushing herself on to her back and giving in to the exhaustion that had been threatening to take over.

The last sound she heard before the demons arrived was a gunshot.

Chapter Text

“Jane?!”

Shit.

She hadn’t meant to pull the trigger, but her finger seemed to move automatically when she saw Mason stood by the heavy wooden desk, a hand hovering by his belt. Jane knew he’d have a blade in his pocket and the last thing she wanted right now was for him to get his hands on it again. She wanted nothing more than to aim her gun at Mason’s head and pull the trigger, damn the consequences.

“The next shot won’t be a warning!”

Her words were more for Bosley’s benefit than Gough or Mason’s, but she could feel a slight tremor in her fingers and was determined not to let them notice as she moved her gun between them both. She was lucky the first shot had imbedded itself in the wall behind Gough without taking his brains with it.

“Pfft, this was the backup she kept going on about,” Gough laughed as Jane froze, her attention now fully on Sabina. Thoughts of the boat quickly flashed across her eyes at the sight of Sabina lying in front of her, but she forced herself to focus on the quick rise and fall of her chest, reminding herself that she was alive. She was breathing. She was ok, or she would be once they had Gough and Mason detained.

“Me,” Jane looked back to Gough and pushed a smirk to her lips. “Oh no. You see, Sabina works the ground. She’s the decoy, the distraction. She could keep you talking for hours if she wanted to. Me, I’m the one that will put a bullet between your eyes without thinking twice about it.”

Jane heard Elena crash through the door behind her and arrive at her side, her eyes flicking to Sabina then Gough then Mason, her chest heaving. She had obviously ran through the corridors as Jane had done.

“This is our tech genius,” Jane nodded in Elena’s direction without looking away. “She’s completely shut down your operations as well as this building while Sabina was distracting you. All flight plans, all ship logs, everything. Gone. Deleted. You have no permission to take anything, anywhere from this location. But don’t worry, she made a back up. Right Elena?”

“Oh, yeah,” Elena nodded. “I backed up all your plans and sent them somewhere for safe keeping. The London police station should look after them for you. Actually, they’re probably looking over them right now.”

Gough laughed and glanced to Mason who had been hovering at the back of the room.

“Will you please shut these girls up? They talk more than the other one did,” Gough glanced down at Sabina and smirked. “Three little birds really think they’re smarter than I am. They have no idea! But maybe they want to try our product too, what do you think? There’s plenty to go around, and it seems to keep them quiet when given the right dose.”

Elena instantly raised her gun in Mason’s direction and shook her head slightly, as if to say ‘don’t you dare’.

Jane could see Sabina’s fingers twitching and the frown between her eyes, her breathing rapid and muscles tense. She knew she’d be fighting demons that Jane couldn’t save her from and the thought alone caused a lump to form in her throat. Jane didn’t know one substance from another but from the many reports she had read over the last month she knew that the common side effect of the ‘orbits’ was hallucinations so real that the user couldn’t distinguish between reality and the horrors it induced.

And she knew for a fact that Sabina had plenty of horrors to choose from to haunt her.

Mason took a step forward but Elena only raised her gun higher, her finger twitching, and he paused.

“You didn’t let us finish,” Jane continued, the instructions over the comms coming in thick and fast from various locations across the warehouse, the London Angels now linked up to their comms.

“Ground floor cleared.” “Police have intercepted a boat.” “All cargo has been stopped before transportation.”

“The thing is, all us girls,” Jane emphasised the ‘girls’ and took a step closer to Gough. “We couldn’t have done all this without a Bosley.”

“What’s a-” Gough started but stopped as Bosley stepped into the room and walked towards him, crossing her arms and fixing him with a look that made even Jane shudder slightly.

“I’m Bosley,” she stated bluntly, tilting her head. “And you’ve made a huge mistake. You hurt my Angels and I hurt you. That’s just the way it goes.”

She glanced at Sabina and Jane noticed the concern in her eyes despite how hard she tried to hide it.

“You wouldn’t shoot me,” Gough almost growled as he closed the gap between himself and Bosley. She seemed to smile at the challenge.

“No, I wouldn’t,” Bosley shook her head slightly. “Because then you’d get off too lightly. I would aim to kill, and that’s not what you deserve. There’s a number of armed police waiting for you just outside these doors and I promised them that they could have you. But before then, Jane?”

Bosley smirked and took a step to the side. As if choreographed Jane lowered her gun, took a step closer and swung her fist in Gough’s direction before he’d had a chance to blink. She made perfect contact with the side of his jaw and knocked him to the ground in one smooth motion, where he landed with a heavy thud.

“Don’t even think about it,” Elena warned as Mason made to move, her gun not lowering for a second.

“That felt good,” Jane smirked as she wiggled her fingers to check there was no damage to her knuckles.

The split second it took between Jane lowering her hand and turning back to Bosley, there was a crash as Mason lunged at Elena and knocked over a chair in the process, a blade back in his hand that he had grabbed from his belt.

But Elena was quicker and seemed to have been expecting it, stepping to the side as he tumbled into the wall and turned quickly to face her again. She had her gun inches from his skull, both hands on the grip and finger hovering over the trigger, before he had a chance to move again.

There was an unusual stillness in the room as Elena’s eyes locked with Mason’s, her arms steady despite the voice in her head that screamed at her to shoot him.

“You won’t do it,” Mason growled, a sly smirk on his lips. “Go on, pull the trigger. Do it.”

Elena could see Bosley from the corner of her eye but she didn’t say anything. Didn’t even move.

‘Charlie frowns on revenge’ she reminded herself, thinking back to her training and the very words spoken by Bosley. She had been taught to fight smart, to finish the mission with as few casualties as possible.

But he was the reason they had all been hurting so much over the past week. He was the one who had pushed Jane off the boat and injured Sabina without question or remorse. And yet Elena knew, deep down, that pulling the trigger wouldn’t change any of that. If anything, it would only make the uneasy feeling that had been sat in the pit of her stomach even worse.

Mason wasn’t worth the extra paperwork.

“Ha,” he grinned as Elena lowered her gun slightly, catching the glint of the knife in his hand as he smirked again.

This time she moved before he did, throwing out her arm and hitting Mason on the side of the head with the bottom of her gun as he lunged in her direction again, the contact instantly throwing him off balance.

He landed harder than Gough had, feet from where Bosley was standing with a proud look across her features.

“They’re all yours!” Bosley called and within seconds the room was filled with four armed men, all emblazoned with the London police force badge across their chest.

Jane moved quickly at the sight of the officers, crouching down by Sabina and shaking her shoulder.

“Sabina? It’s me, can you hear me? We gotta go. Come on, open your eyes,” Jane tilted Sabina’s head slightly but she only screwed her eyes shut tighter, her muscles tense and breathing rapid. “Elena?”

Jane glanced over her shoulder but Elena looked lost as she moved to kneel down beside Jane.

“I don’t know what to try,” she stammered. “No one knows what they put in this stuff, it seems to change with every batch. Everything that’s been tested has a different composition and there’s so many different side effects.”

“She shouldn’t even be here,” Jane rounded on Bosley. “Not after everything that’s happened over the past week.”

“In case you’ve forgotten, I was the one that told her to stay at the outpost,” she glared. “You three convinced me that this was a good idea somehow.”

Bosley crouched down and placed her hand across Sabina’s forehead, noting how clammy her pale skin felt and feeling the now familiar guilt rise within her chest again.

She was their Bosley. It was her job to keep them all safe.

Jane turned away again and tried to focus. Bosley was right, of course, but that wasn’t helping them now. She placed a hand on Sabina’s arm but she flinched away, a mumbled ‘no’ barely audible from her lips. She was agitated, tense, and Jane was worried she’d only hurt her further if she tried to move her.

“Sabina, I don’t know what this stuff is doing to you but you have to help me out here, ok?”

Bosley’s phone began to ring and she answered it quickly, moving to step outside as she did.

“We need to go,” Elena pressed and Jane nodded in agreement, suddenly noticing the room was now empty. Both Gough and Mason had been led (or practically carried) from the room by the awaiting police, the commotion from the warehouse floor still audible through the open door.

Jane took a hold of Sabina’s arm but again she weakly fought against her grasp, her muscles twitching and body wriggling just enough that Jane was worried she’d hurt her too much if she forced her to stand.

Bosley stepped back in to the room with an apologetic look on her face.

“Ladies, I have to go. The chief of police needs to speak to me about the information we collated so they can start their interrogations as soon as they’re at the station. I promise I’ll be back as soon as I can, but we need to get out of here. You think you can get Sabina downstairs? Saint has a car waiting.”

“Yeah,” Jane nodded but no one missed the uncertainty in her voice. “We’ll find a way. Boz, this stuff they’ve given her-”

“Don’t think the worst,” Bosley warned and Jane knew that she had been thinking the same thing. They had become involved in this case due to the number of people dying from taking the then unknown drug, and yet they still knew very little about it.

But that wasn’t going to happen now. Not after everything they had been through. This was nothing compared to the days they had sat in the hospital waiting for Sabina to wake up.

Bosley disappeared and Jane turned to Elena, a pleading in her eyes she couldn’t hide.

“What do we do?” She asked, suddenly wishing their comms were linked to Saint.

“I don’t know,” Elena answered desperately, her hands shaking as she squeezed her eyes closed. “We don’t what this stuff is and it seem to effect different people in different ways. I don’t know what we can do to help her.”

Elena took hold of Sabina’s wrist and her eyes darted back to Jane’s.

“We need to slow her heart rate somehow, we can’t move her until we do.”

Jane racked her brains for anything from her training that could be useful, but other than ‘put them in the recovery position’ and ‘try to find an antidote’ she couldn’t think of anything. By the look on Elena’s face, she had come to the same conclusion.

“Come on Sabina, you gotta help us out here,” Jane almost pleaded as she gripped her hand tight.

~*~*~*~*~

Sabina couldn’t concentrate. The world seemed to scream at her and yet be deathly silent at the same time, and she couldn’t work out how that was even possible. The only thing she was truly aware of was the hammering of her heart in her chest and the knowledge that no matter what she did she couldn’t slow it down.

Her body felt numb but achy. Her whole world a mixture of contradictions and chaos. She tried to open her eyes but it felt as if someone was pressing them shut, blocking off her reality and forcing her to remain in the darkness. In the unknown. The whooshing in her head subsided just enough for the voice to return and she tried to shake it away. But it remained. Taunting her. Reminding her of a past that she had hoped was far behind her.

‘I always told you, you’re too weak to last on your own. You’ll never amount to anything worth while. All you know how to do is fight and get in the way. No one wants you around.’

‘I’m not alone,’ Sabina tried to tell herself. ‘I’m not alone.’

‘Really,’ her father’s voice grew louder and there was no way of blocking it out. ‘You look alone to me. There’s no one else here to help you. You’re on your own, Sabina. Just like you decided all those years ago when you started with your filthy lies.’

‘They weren’t lies!’

‘Of course they were,’ she hadn’t heard Drew’s voice in years and yet now it seemed to reverberate off the inside of her skull, his wry smile visible as if he were standing in front of her. ‘Why would I have tried anything with you. Look at you, you’re a mess. No wonder no one wants you. No wonder you’re not loved.’

‘Stop it.’

But Drew continued, his voice growing louder, Sabina’s heart rate increasing as he seemed to press into her very being. She was sure she could smell his aftershave and taste the staleness of the air from the barn, just as she had done that dark evening all those years ago.

‘You know you wanted to really, Sabina. You were just playing hard to get. You know there’s a reason your father believed me over you. Why he always believes me over you. You know why he agreed to have you locked up in a crazy house instead of welcoming you back into the family when he was called to bail you out of prison again.’

“Stop it!” Sabina couldn’t tell if she had said the words out loud. She wasn’t even sure if her body was still working but the vision of Drew stood before her was as real as if he were in the room.

‘Did you expect me to believe your lies over Drew? Did you expect me to believe you after you’d already tried that before?’ Her father asked and Sabina was lost for words. She felt the sting of tears behind her eyes and was angry at herself when they spilled over, the sensation of them on her cheeks oddly permanent. As if they tethered her to reality somehow.

“Sabina? Can you hear me?”

Nothing made sense. It wasn’t her father’s voice. This one was soft. Comforting. Sabina smiled slightly and tried to focus on where the voice was coming from. Her world was oddly out of focus and Sabina realised her eyes were still shut, yet she couldn’t force herself to open them. As if the images in her mind has bolted them closed. They seemed to move and flow and suddenly Drew had gone, instead being replaced by an image of her mother. For the first time in years she seemed to be staring at a pair of green eyes not dissimilar to her own and Sabina felt a lump forming in her throat.

‘Mum?’

‘I stopped being that the day you walked out the house, Sabina.’

‘I left you a note. I told you why,’ Sabina thought desperately, the tears now flowing freely down her cheeks.

‘Lies,’ her mother spoke evenly, as if she had been trained. ‘Why did you do it, Sabina? You could have had anything you wanted and instead you chose that life over the truth. All you had to do was apologise and we would have taken you back, just like the last time. But the crime. The drugs. The life you chose to live when we didn’t believe your blatant lies, we couldn’t support that. You’ve been trouble since you were a child. You were crazy then and you’re crazy now. You belong in a penitentiary. You belong in an asylum.’

“Please!” Sabina pleaded. “I’m your daughter. Why do you always believe him over me?”

‘Because he’s telling the truth. Why on earth would he want to be with someone like you? You never were like the normal girls. You always had to be different. Challenging. Refusing to wear dresses because you’d rather play in the mud. Cutting your hair to spite me because I told you to keep it long. You were an ungrateful child and you’re an even worse adult. I’m glad I’ve had nothing to do with you all these years.’

‘You don’t mean that,’ Sabina tried to reason, squeezing her eyes closed as tight as she could. But the images wouldn’t change. Wouldn’t go away. Her heartbeat only quickening.

‘Of course I do,’ her mother’s voice was clear and certain, the only thing that filled her mind. ‘I have no daughter. I’ve never loved you. And it’s not my fault. You’re just unlovable, Sabina.’

“No, please,” Sabina could feel her heart hammering beneath her ribs, threatening to burst from her chest completely and letting her bleed out on the floor.

Her mother’s words seemed to bounce around her head, replaying over and over again. And then Drew was there, moving in closer, his breath on her neck and his hand on her thigh. Just like so many of the men she distracted as part of her job. Just like Gough had done only weeks before. And suddenly a thought entered her mind at full force, pushing aside everything else.

Maybe she was crazy.

Maybe her father had been right all these years. She had deserved everything that had happened to her after she walked out. She had brought it all on herself. She had been lying, because why would Drew have chosen Sabina, the crazy one, over any other girl he knew. She had been doing the same thing all her life, luring men in with no intention of taking things any further. What if Drew had just been her first mark. Her first target. He wasn’t that different from Gough in many ways and they had both acted the same way towards her.

The roaming hands and whispered promises.

“This is my fault,” Sabina choked as her fingers trembled, her heart rate quickening even further until she was sure her chest was going to split open entirely. Her ribs were screaming at her as face after face flashed across her mind.

Her mother. Father. Drew. Gough. Edward. Mason. Australian Jonny. Face after face and so many she couldn’t even remember the name of including her father’s friends and people she had let down. People she had played with, just as she had with Drew. Lured in in an attempt to break them. To distract them from the bigger picture. To hurt them.

“Sabina, this isn’t real. Focus on my voice, ok?”

There was a pressure on her shoulder pushing her in to the ground and she felt like the earth was going to open up and swallow her whole.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled. “This has always been my fault.”

Her father was right. She deserved to be locked up. No one wanted her around anyway. She was manipulative. Dangerous. Not to be trusted.

“None of this is your fault, Sabina,” the voice seemed to break through the chaos in her mind and push aside all the faces that clouded her vision, a soft hand stroking her cheek. “Just focus on me. Nothing else is real, I promise. We’re here, just come back to us.”

There was another voice in the background. A warm hand on her wrist as she heard them speak of things she didn’t quite understand.

“I don’t know how much longer she can last,” the voice shook slightly and Sabina couldn’t understand why. “This stuff is killing her.”

“Sabina, stop being so stubborn and listen to me for once in your life. You’re safe. None of this is your fault, we’re right here. Focus on me and nothing else.”

She tried. She really did. Sabina tried with every fibre of her body that still seemed to work to focus on the voice and ignore the screaming that continued to reverberate through her skull, but the more she tried the heavier the exhaustion seemed to pull at her soul.

She was drowning all over again, but this time the water had turned to treacle, filling her lungs and making her heavy. Sluggish. As if the world was now in slow motion.

And there was no one there to pull her from the depths this time.

“Sabina! Listen to me!”

Or maybe there was. If only she could reach out far enough...

‘No one is going to save you this time. You’re a lost cause, Sabina Wilson.’

The hammering in her chest made her whole body ache, her rapid breathing tensing every muscle.

She had never felt so exhausted.

‘Just give up, Sabina. Give up and put everyone out of their misery. They don’t need you. You’ll only ruin their life like you do with everyone else’s. No one needs your lies and problems. You’re only holding them back. You’re not good enough.’

She could no longer distinguish between her parents’ voices as they mashed together in her head and pushed into every fibre of her being.

They were right. She was a terrible daughter and an even worse friend. They would be better off without her there to ruin their lives.

“Sabina? Don’t you dare give up!”

The voices were getting quieter, distant. Her muscles suddenly weak as she felt her lungs gasp for every breath, the air rattling through her constricted throat. Give up. Don’t give up.

Give up.

Sabina had never been scared of dying. When she was younger and living a life of uncertainty and chaos on the streets of New York she knew it was because she had nothing to live for. She could have disappeared completely and no one would have noticed. Or cared.

On more than one occasion she had had a strange feeling in her very core as she had watched whatever guy had enticed her back to his apparent take her arm and place the needle to her skin.

She almost welcomed the nothingness. Dying couldn’t be any worse than what she was living through.

But now? Now she wasn’t scared, because she had something to die for. If she had to die so they could live then she would sacrifice herself in a heartbeat.

Which was ironic, she thought, given the speed her heart was now thumping against her chest.

She didn’t know how much longer she could force her lungs to keep working, the rapid hammering of her heart making her want to reach in and tear it from her body. She’d rather bleed out than listen to the chaos behind her eyes.

But there was no way she could move her limbs, all her energy being drained by the ache in her chest as her lungs seemed to finally give in to the exhaustion.

“Jane?”

She knew that voice. That name. She could feel soft skin brush her lips and a warm hand on her wrist again.

She smiled slightly, or at least she thought she did, and gripped hold of the comforting feeling the touch provided. If this was how she was going to go then at least she had this feeling.

“Sabina! Don’t you dare, not after everything that’s happened this week. If I need to kiss you again I will!”

The more she spoke the more the faces blurred in front of her eyes, the pressure on her shoulder now feeling more like a tether, pulling her from the darkness. She took a breath and focused on the feeling of her lungs expanding as the air was forced inside. The hammering in her chest finally subsiding enough for her ribs to feel as if they weren’t all going to snap in two.

“That’s it, just breath and focus on me. I’m here. Elena and I are both here.”

Elena. Their rookie. Their awkward little tech nerd who was so easy to wind up and who made Sabina laugh at how precise she had to make every decision. Her smile was contagious, her naive questions endearing. Recruiting Elena had been one of Bosley’s best decisions since Sabina had joined the agency.

Sabina sighed slightly and was suddenly aware of the hard floor beneath her hands.

Bosley. Their new Bosley. The one that had saved them in Istanbul despite the fact they had voiced their doubts about her intentions. They didn’t always see eye to eye and yet Sabina knew just how fiercely she would fight their side when they were in trouble. Which she and Jane always seemed to be in.

“Her heart rate’s lowering,” Sabina could hear relief in Elena’s voice although she couldn’t work out why. She worried too much, Sabina thought.

“Sabina, can you open your eyes? We need to go and I’m not carrying you this time. Come on, I know you can fight what ever is going on in your head. You’re stronger than that. You’re the strongest person I know. Now come on!”

The hand that was placed on her chest ran through her body like a lightening bolt and Sabina took a beep breath, forcing the air into her lungs and her eyes open against the bright artificial light of the office.

Don’t give up.

“That’s it,” Jane grinned at her as she pushed the hair from Sabina’s face and wiped a tear from her cheek with her thumb. “Hey. You had us worried there.”

“Jane,” Sabina breathed, her whole being suddenly aching as her tense muscles relaxed.

Sabina blinked hard and tried to focus. Jane. The one who never seemed to leave her side, despite how much Sabina annoyed her. The one that could have her laughing on the most difficult of days and who would cover for her without letting on that that’s what she was doing. The one that would fight off a hundred hitmen to protect her friends and who never backed down from a challenge.

Jane. Her best friend.

“We’re here,” Jane smiled, pushing Sabina’s hair from her clammy forehead. “You’re ok. We’re going to get out of here.”

Sabina nodded slowly, the world tilting as she did so.

“I take it all back,” Sabina said groggily as she squeezed her eyes closed. “The whole, ‘I don’t feel pain’ thing. It was a lie. This fucking hurts.”

Elena’s laugh of relief made Sabina smirk as she forced her eyes open again but Jane just shook her head with a roll of her eyes.

“Can I check your stomach?” Jane asked gently and Sabina nodded again. She’d forgotten about the punch to the gut from Mason. She’d have to ask what happened to him, not that she cared right now.

Jane moved slowly, carefully pulling up Sabina’s sequinned top and sighing at the blood soaked bandage underneath.

“It doesn’t look too bad, I suppose,” Jane pulled her top back down and turned to Elena. “We need to get her to Saint.”

Sabina swallowed hard and felt the bile sting her throat.

“Do you think you can stand?” Elena asked, gripping Sabina’s shoulder. “We just need to get as far as the car and Saint can check you over.”

Sabina nodded and slowly forced herself to her elbows, Jane and Elena supporting an arm each until she had managed to sit up. The voices in her head had been wrong. Sabina wasn’t alone. And she never would be again, because she had Jane and Elena. And Bosley and Saint. They were the only family she needed. The ones that trusted her decisions (no matter how bad they were) and didn’t think her crazy. They accepted her as she was, faults and all, and never tried to change her.

Never made her feel like she had to change.

“Ready? We’ll help, don’t worry.”

Sabina took a breath as the world tilted yet again and her vision blurred. Before she had a chance to move she pulled her hand away from Jane and leant to the side, throwing up and narrowly missing Elena.

Her abdomen screamed at her but the nausea subsided slightly, the room coming back in to focus as Jane’s worried eyes met her own.

“Sorry,” she mumbled, feeling her throat burn.

“Don’t be,” Elena almost laughed as she repositioned her grip on Sabina’s arm. “I’d rather that stuff was out your system. And anyway, it’s just nice to see it’s not just me that pukes.”

Jane laughed and took Sabina by the arm again, pulling her to her unsteady feet before she had a chance to think about it and wrapping an arm around her back.

“If you need to do that again, aim in Elena’s direction,” Jane smirked as Elena mirrored her action in supporting Sabina and they slowly made their way downstairs to the waiting car.

Chapter Text

Saint was out of the car as soon as they came into view, his expression flicking between worry and bewilderment. He was used to meeting them back at the outpost, or in whatever make-shift hospital they ended up in when things didn’t go to plan, with his homemade kombucha and herbal remedies. But he rarely became this involved in one of their missions.

This one had somehow become personal to them all.

“How does this always happen to you?” He rolled his eyes as he took the full weight of Sabina in his arms and nodded for Jane and Elena to get in the back of the car. “I’m checking you all over while we wait for Bosley.”

“I’m fine,” Sabina mumbled as she tried to push him aside but Saint was having none of it.

“Like hell you are,” he sat her down in the passenger seat of the Jeep and placed a hand to her forehead, frowning as he did. “I can’t even tell what’s due to past injuries and what you’ve managed to pick up today.”

“I like to keep you on your toes,” Sabina tried to smile but instead leant over and placed her forehead on her knees as the nausea returned and her head spun.

“That you do,” Saint rubbed Sabina’s back while Jane and Elena slumped in the back seat, a mass of lights and sirens surrounding the warehouse in every direction. It wasn’t often they got involved so heavily with the police but this was a special case. In more ways than one.

“I think she’ll need a few stitches re-done,” Elena’s voice shook slightly as Saint took a hold of Sabina’s wrist and checked his watch.

“Snitch,’ Sabina mumbled playfully but none of them missed the tiredness in her voice.

“You remember the conversation we had this morning, Sabina? The one where you called me overbearing for reminding you of the internal bleeding and broken bones,” Saint frowned. “Where I told you I would only sign you off as fit to work if you promised to stay out of trouble?”

“I don’t go looking for it. It finds me,” Sabina mumbled again without looking up. She had known the risks before they left, but that was the reason she knew she had to be there too. The thought of Gough getting close to Jane or Elena had made her feel worse than any drug ever could.

“Hmm,” Saint didn’t sound impressed. “You gonna puke again?”

“Quite possibly.”

Saint rested a hand on Sabina’s shoulder then moved to the back of the car.

“Injuries?”

“None,” Jane and Elena spoke in unison and Saint again rolled his eyes.

“You’re all as bad as each other.”

Saint placed a finger under Elena’s chin and tilted her jaw until he could see her face in the minimal light of the car.

“Scapes and bruises,” Elena shrugged. “I’m fine.”

“We both are,” Jane added, eyes fixed to Sabina.

“Yeah, well I’ll decide that,” Saint raised an eyebrow and looked over his shoulder at the sea of flashing lights. “If Boz isn’t back in the next ten minutes I’m taking you all to the outpost.”

He moved back to stand in front of Sabina and pushed her shoulders back slightly, her head lolling to the side as she tried to focus.

“Sabina, can you look at me? Sit up for me, ok?”

Sabina did as he asked and felt her head spin as soon as she raised it, her eyes still closed as her stomach turned.

“Now open your eyes.”

The world screamed as the lights and sirens pushed their way into her head that was still struggling to keep up. To block out the voices that lingered and whispered in her ear.

Sabina could feel the leather seat beneath her legs and the cool air on her face and yet there was still a part of her mind that was fighting to escape. To take her back to the place she so desperately wanted to stay away from. Squeezing her eyes closed as tight as possible she pushed her knuckle in to her eyelids and held her breath, trying to steady the rapid beating of her heart.

Her body was tense. And it ached. Every cell ached.

“Sabina, remember what we’ve been through. You’ve got this,” Saint’s voice was even and steady, like it always was. “Breathe for me, ok?”

She nodded, or at least she thought she did. She was so tired but she couldn’t go to sleep. Because she couldn’t escape when she was asleep. In her nightmares the hands just kept roaming, groping, strangling. She couldn’t breath. Couldn’t escape.

“Sabina. Listen to my voice. Focus on me and remember what you’ve learnt. Count, Sabina.”

She had laughed at him the first time he had suggested it. Brushed it away as a silly idea that someone like her would never need to use. But after she had manage to avoid more than one meltdown with Saint by her side, she quickly started to believe in his methods.

Five things she could see. Well, she refused to open her eyes right now so she’d skip that one. She didn’t want to focus on what she could see behind her closed eyelids, it only threatened to split her head open completely.

Four things she could touch. Her hair that was tightly grasped between her fingers. Her throbbing, pounding head. The comforting hand on her back that was slowly tracing small circles. The rough gravel beneath her bare feet.

Three she could hear. Jane and Elena in the back seat, their voices hushed as they whispered between themselves. The sting of the sirens that pierced her eardrums and rattled around in her brain with no intention of leaving. And Saint. Saint’s low hum. The one that used to infuriate her and now seemed to act like a tether between reality and her fucked up mind.

Two smells. Dirt. London dirt. It seemed to cling to her skin and to the very air. And the river. The river that had filled her lungs and stolen her last breath. Before Jane had offered her her own.

But she couldn’t think of that right now. That wasn’t helpful.

One taste. Vomit.

Sabina ran her tongue along her teeth and frowned, only then realising how steady her heart felt beneath her ribs. No longer did it feel like it was trying to escape. Even the throbbing behind her eyes had seemed to subside a little.

“Good,” Saint smiled again, knowing the signs. He’d been doing this long enough by now. “Get some rest while we wait for Bosley.”

He guided Sabina fully in to the car, not that it took much persuasion, and shut the door to keep out some of the cold.

“You two going to let me know what hurts yet?” He asked, moving to the back of the car and noticing the concerned looks on both their faces. “She’ll be fine, don’t worry. But you two look exhausted.”

“Thanks, Saint,” Jane smirked, her eyebrow raised. “I promise we’re good. There wasn’t much fighting involved, this one managed to shut everything down before they had a chance to engage.”

Jane nudged Elena’s shoulder and gave her a proud smile.

“It was nothing,” Elena blushed.

“Don’t be so modest.”

By the time Bosley had returned Sabina was asleep in the front seat, Elena had already started writing her report on her phone and Jane was still staring at the commotion though the window as more and more officers appeared from the doors around the warehouse.

“How are they?” Bosley asked Saint who had met her far enough from the car that they wouldn’t be overheard. Bosley had switched off their comms as soon as she was happy that they were all in the same room, but she had kept herself linked up to the London team that were still checking the rest of the warehouse.

Part of her knew she was being selfish. She couldn’t bear to hear her girls hurting again, or the possibility that Sabina wasn’t going to be ok, but another part of her knew that she had to cut their comms if she was to be able to finish her job.

She was their Bosley, she had to look after them, but being in the office wouldn’t have helped anyone. She had to make sure Gough and Robinson were detained, and that the police had sufficient evidence to keep them locked up for a very long time.

“They’ll be fine after some rest,” Saint smiled warmly. “I’ll take a proper look at Sabina when we get back but her heart rate is almost normal. I think they’re just exhausted. How are you?”

“Exhausted,” Bosley laughed, linking her arm with Saint’s as they made their way back to the car.

~*~*~*~*~

Saint had practically carried Sabina into the outpost when they returned, taking her to her room before disappearing to collect a variety of drips and herbal remedies to ‘flush out the poison’. Jane collapsed into the nearest sofa and closed her eyes, wanting to sink into the cushions and stay there for twenty four hours straight.

It had been a long week. She laughed slightly. That was the understatement of the century.

But Elena felt lost. Detached, somehow.

This was her first official mission and yet she felt nothing but empty. She didn’t know where she should be or what she should do, and the more she though about it the more she could feel her hands start to tremble. None of this had been included in her training.

“Sit down, Elena,” Jane spoke eventually, tapping the sofa by her side and forcing her back to reality. “It’s late. Just sit and relax for a few minutes.”

Elena did as she was told, relieved at being given an instruction. That she could deal with. Instructions she could follow.

She had been following them all her life, her exam results evidence that she could absorb direction and use it to complete whatever task was asked of her. She was technically brilliant and yet the real life stuff, the part that involved emotions and feelings and human interaction, that bit she struggled with.

“You’re not relaxing,” Jane mumbled without opening her eyes.

Elena sighed, noticing her rigid frame and tense muscles. Jane was right, of course. But how could she relax after everything that had happened over the past few hours. Weeks, even. How could she relax when nothing was as she had expected.

Sabina had promised parties and celebrations once the mission had finished, not- whatever this was. Despite what happened on the boat she had let herself believe that everything would go smoothly at the warehouse, and they’d all be back in front of the tv with Saint fussing behind them with a hot drink and an armful of blankets.

He looked after them. And right now she knew he was torn between who to check on first, despite the obvious priority.

Jane suddenly sighed, throwing an arm around Elena’s shoulders and pulling her into her side. It was only then that Elena realised there were tears falling silently down her cheeks, the sensation letting a sob break free from her throat.

Elena wasn’t sure where the tears had come from. Whether it was sadness or relief or frustration. Or maybe a combination of all three. Because only a few weeks ago she had been stood in LA watching Sabina dance around the living area and Jane rolling her eyes, an excitement in her veins at the thought of her first official mission.

Before Gough and Robinson and everyone else involved had taken her expectations and crushed them to dust.

Sabina wasn’t supposed to get hurt. Jane wasn’t supposed to be blaming herself for every decision made over their time in London.

And, despite the fact that she knew it sounded selfish even in her own mind, Elena wasn’t supposed to have been left feeling lost and alone in an unfamiliar country when some of the most important people in her life were under the same roof.

“It’s ok,” Jane whispered in her ear, as if knowing what she was thinking. “It’s over now. Charlie should sign us off within the the next few days and then we never have to think of this mission again.”

Elena laughed slightly, knowing full well that none of them were going to forget what happened any time soon.

“It’s not always like this, right?” Elena dared herself to ask. She would never regret accepting Bosley’s offer to train as an Angel. There was no way she could have gone back to the lab knowing what she would be missing out on, the excitement and adventure that was just at her fingertips.

It was Jane’s turn to laugh.

“That depends on what part of the mission you’re talking about,” she sighed again, resting her cheek against the top of Elena’s head. “If you mean ‘is Sabina always this reckless’ then yes, she is. As for everything else-”

Jane paused and let her unspoken words hang in the air, not needing to be voiced. Elena knew.

“I wanted to shoot him, Jane,” Elena said eventually, her voice barely audible. “I wanted Mason dead and I wanted to be the one to kill him.”

Jane nodded slowly.

“I know,” she answered, remembering the look in Elena’s eyes as she aimed her gun in Mason’s direction. “I felt the same when I saw Hodak after- after what happened to Edgar. When I saw him again it was like something inside of me just snapped and I couldn’t think of anything but stopping him. Killing him.”

“And you did,” Elena stated. “But I was too weak-”

“No,” Jane interrupted, pulling away and looking at Elena with a stern look in her eyes. “No, Elena. You were stronger than I was. I didn’t mean to kill Hodak but I did, and I didn’t feel guilty about it. But you were strong enough to let him live when all you wanted to do was put a bullet between his eyes.”

Elena frowned, the question on her lips.

“I know, because I wanted to do the same when I saw him.”

Elena sighed slightly.

“So what now? We just leave it to the police?”

“Suppose so,” Jane nodded. “The London Agency will take over Robinson’s connections, our team Gough’s. And Mathews- I don’t know. All I do know is that I can’t wait to get home and have all this signed off.”

“Agreed,” Elena mumbled slightly, a relief flooding her veins at the knowledge that Jane felt the same as she did.

She had nothing to compare it to but this wasn’t a normal mission.

“Then what happens? When we’re back in California,” Elena asked and Jane tilted her head.

“You mean our next mission?”

Elena nodded but Jane only shrugged slightly.

“We wait to see what fun we’re given next,” Jane smiled gently but could see an uneasiness in Elena’s features. “It gets easier, the travel and change. I know it’s hard to believe after what happened in Istanbul, but missions like this are rare. I can guarantee you’ll be fed up of the easy stuff within a few months and look forward to a little more excitement again.”

“Maybe with less hospitals,” Elena smirked and Jane laughed.

“Definitely!”

Jane leant back further into the sofa and pulled Elena with her, running a hand down her arm and letting their contact keep them warm in the dimly lit living area of the outpost.

Elena felt the exhaustion claw at her eyelids but refused to let them close. Not yet.

They remained cuddled together in silence until Saint appeared from the corridor and they both jumped forwards instantly.

“She’s fine,” Saint spoke immediately, noticing the look on their features. “She’s sleeping, as you two should be. It’s nearly 2am.”

“We’re not tired,” Elena answered before the same words left Jane’s lips, and she smirked. Jane knew that Elena believed that statement as much as she did. They were both exhausted, but neither had wanted to shut their eyes until they knew that they were all finally out of danger.

“I don’t believe you,” Saint raised an eyebrow. “But I’m not arguing. Who’s first?”

“We don’t need checked over. We told you in the car. Twice.”

“I don’t care. I didn’t believe you then either.”

Saint never let them argue. Ever. Not even Sabina.

They reluctantly let Saint check the bruises along their arms and the swelling under Elena’s eye that Jane felt guilty at only just noticing.

“I got shouldered by one of Gough’s men as he tried to run,” she shrugged. “It doesn’t hurt.”

Jane felt her stomach churn and looked away. She should have noticed.

“You both look ok but if anything starts to hurt overnight come and find me,” he stepped back and crossed his arms, looking between them both. “You can go see her if you want, I know there’s no point in telling you not to. Just- you know- don’t do anything that’ll cause me any more work.”

Both Jane and Elena laughed at the look on Saint’s face as he waved a hand and disappeared down the corridor.

“I’m going to bed, you know where I’ll be if you need me,” Saint yawned as he went.

Jane and Elena remained on the edge of the sofa, neither wanting to move first. Jane desperately wanted to see for herself that Sabina was ok but there was another part of her that knew Elena needed her more right now.

“I don’t think she should be alone tonight,” Elena spoke quietly and felt Jane nod beside her. “I know Saint’s checked her over, but we’ve seen the reports of what that stuff can do to you. We don’t know the long term effects.”

“Agreed,” Jane yawned, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hands before pushing herself to her feet. Elena shivered at the coldness Jane left behind.

Jane rolled out a stiffness in her neck and looked down at Elena, her hand held in her direction.

“You coming?”

Elena didn’t know why, but she hadn’t expected the question. Jane and Sabina had quickly become a huge part of her life since that first day in the cafe, and yet she hadn’t expected them to welcome her so openly into their lives.

“I- I mean-” Elena stuttered, lost for words. Jane let her hand fall to her side and frowned.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Elena answered quickly with a shake of her head, surprised and a little embarrassed at the tears that had returned to her eyes. “You go. I’ll catch up.”

Jane tilted her head before falling back into the sofa beside Elena, taking hold of her arm.

“Elena?”

“I’m fine,” Elena laughed watery, taking a breath and swallowing a sob that threatened to escape again. “I’m being stupid. Go see Sabina, she needs you.”

“She needs us,” Jane corrected, tilting Elena’s face in her direction with a finger under her chin. “Elena, what’s going on in that brilliant head of yours?”

Elena paused. How was she supposed to answer that? How was she meant to give an answer when she didn’t know it herself.

“You’re one of us, Elena,” Jane spoke quietly and Elena was again surprised at how Jane seemed to know what she was thinking without her voicing it. “Us three against the world, right?”

Elena laughed, wiping at her eyes with the sleeve of her jumper that she had thrown on when they had returned to the outpost.

“Yeah,” she laughed slightly. “Yeah, you’re right. It’s just-”

Elena sighed heavily and looked away.

“I don’t want to get in the way of what you two have,” Elena mumbled, tucking her hands further inside her jumper. “I can see how you two are and I don’t want to ruin anything by being there.”

“What are you talking about?” Jane laughed, her hand back on Elena’s shoulder as she willed her to look at her. “Elena, we’re friends. Sabina and I. Good friends. But we’ve only known each other for-”

Jane paused and frowned slightly, trying to remember their first mission together.

“Not even two years,” she sounded surprised and Elena could tell she had thought it had been longer. “But Elena, we’ve only been friends since Istanbul. Before that we were nothing more than teammates.”

Elena looked back and this time it was her turn to frown.

“But you two,” Elena waved her hands animatedly. “I’ve seen you together. Properly seen you.”

Jane wasn’t sure how to take those words and instead looked away quickly. What had Elena seen that had caused her to act the way she was now?

“Our first mission together I pushed her off a roof,” Jane smiled and could see Elena’s mouth fall open slightly. “Don’t bring it up otherwise Sabina will have a field day. She likes to remind me. All the time.”

Elena smirked.

“How high up?”

“I dunno, twenty something stories?” Jane shrugged and laughed at the shock that reappeared on Elena’s features. “What? She was secured, I knew she’d be fine. She was just pissing me off.”

Elena laughed and Jane felt herself relax at the sound. She couldn’t bare the thought of Elena feeling like she wasn’t part of their team. Part of their little makeshift family. She needed Elena as much as she did Sabina.

“I’m the first to admit that when I was told I had to work with Sabina in Hamburg, I wasn’t impressed,” Jane continued. “Bosley- Edgar Bosley I mean- he was the one that thought it was a good idea to put us together again. He had this odd way of knowing what I needed when I didn’t know myself. Sabina and I are different in pretty much every way, but Edgar had been right to pair us together. I don’t think I could have got through what happened in Istanbul with anyone else.”

Elena smiled sadly and looked down at her hands.

“And then you arrived,” Jane pushed her shoulder into Elena’s playfully and watched her smile. “I was stood in the ring with Edgar and Sabina was leaning against the ropes, going on and on about hamburgers and hotdogs and getting my name wrong, and we were told about our new client. The corporate whistleblower. Our next Angel.”

Jane turned to Elena again and tilted her head.

“We knew early on that you were more than just a client, Elena,” she spoke and could see Elena blush slightly. “You were too good for us to let you sneak away. We need you in the Agency, and Sabina and I need you in our team. You can’t get rid of us that easily. You’re one of us and there’s nothing that will change that.”

Elena nodded slightly and leant further into Jane’s side.

“Whatever Sabina and I might have,” Jane said carefully, the words feeling strange in her mouth as she let her mind consider the meaning. “That doesn’t change anything. Doesn’t change the fact that we both need you more than you’ll ever know. You’re our girl, Elena.”

Elena laughed slightly, nodding again as she took a breath and wiped at her eyes, feeling the tender skin on her cheeks sting slightly. She was so tired.

“So,” Jane pushed herself to her feet and held out her hand again in Elena’s direction. “You coming?”

Elena grinned and took Jane’s hand, feeling her head spin slightly as Jane quickly pulled her to her feet.

“I know it’s late, but I really need a shower,” Elena raised an eyebrow. “I promise I’ll be through right after.”

Jane seemed happy at Elena’s response and nodded her head, letting go of her hand and pulling her into a tight hug.

“If you’re not there within half an hour I’m coming to look for you, ok?”

“Fine,” Elena laughed, reluctantly pulling herself away. “Go see if she’s awake while I get cleaned up.”

Elena watched Jane leave and fell back into the sofa, closing her eyes and throwing an arm across her face. She wanted nothing more than to crawl into her own bed, and yet she wasn’t sure where that was any more.

Was it now in California, despite the fact she had barely had time to unpack her belongings in her new apartment? Or maybe it was the LA outpost. She didn’t think it was in Hamburg any more, or at her parents’ house. But between her training and their current mission she felt that she hadn’t stopped moving since the day Jane had pulled her from the river and they’d taken her to the safe house.

The thought of the river made Elena’s chest tighten, the memories of the boat crashing back through her mind and sending a shiver down her spine.

‘Don’t go in your mind where your body is not’ Elena told herself, repeating it over and over again. The same words she always told herself when things got too much. Like when she had first moved away from her family and had wanted to give up on her dreams within a week. To return to the familiarity and comfort of home, to forget about what the world could offer her if she was just brave enough to look.

But now she had that chance. The possibility to travel to so many places and experience new challenges. Ones that she knew she could excel at, if given half the chance.

She’d managed to disarm a bomb before anyone else when training, and had even managed to overcome her fear of heights when Bosley had given her the responsibility of landing the plane. She was well aware that some of the situations she had found herself in had given her no choice but to succeed, the consequences not worth thinking about.

And yet there was that little part that niggled at the back of her mind, reminding herself that she could have done better. Been better. If she had shut down the warehouse sooner, would that have stopped Mason getting to Sabina again?

‘Don’t go there’ she warned herself, knowing that Jane had spent the past week blaming herself for a situation she had no control over. Elena couldn’t start now, not when they were finally back together again. Properly this time.

She knew there would be missions where she’d have to work with other Angels. Where their certain skill set was needed and they’d be split up. She had been told as much during her training, warned not to get too close. Friendships were encouraged but they had to be ready and willing to pack up and move on to the next mission without question.

She understood the requirements. The expectations. And yet right then, in that very moment, she couldn’t imagine working with anyone else. Jane and Sabina had saved her life in Hamburg before welcoming her in with open arms. And a few sarcastic comments thrown in for good measure.

Elena smiled slightly and pushed herself to the edge of the sofa, running a hand along the back of her neck and suddenly craving the heat of the shower on her chilled skin.

Jane had been right. They’d been through a lot together, even before she had been recruited. Their friendship might not be how the Agency intended but that didn’t matter because they were good at what they did. Really good. And with Bosley’s oversight she had a feeling they would be sticking together for quite some time.

Maybe they would be needed on certain solo missions but that didn’t matter, because nothing could come between what they had. And no matter how far away they may be, they would always look out for each other.

They were stronger together. And someone had to stop Sabina from driving Bosley completely crazy.

Elena smiled again and got to her feet, the weight of her exhaustion sitting on her shoulders as she forced her tired feet to the bathroom and turned on the hot water, letting the steam fill her nostrils and clear her head.

Home wasn’t a place, she realised as she undressed and let the water sooth her aching skin. It was the people in her life that made her feel safe despite the chaos and uncertainty that followed them around on a daily basis.

Home was with Jane and Sabina, and that would never change.

Chapter Text

Jane leant against the doorframe to Sabina’s room and watched as Bosley pushed a stray hair off Sabina’s sleeping face, tucking it behind her ear. The room was dimly lit and yet Jane couldn’t help but smile at the warmth that radiated from within, a stark contrast to the hospital room she had peered into only a few days previously.

“It’s late,” Bosley spoke without turning around. “Have you been checked over by Saint?”

“Yep. Many, many times.”

Bosley nodded, pulled the bedsheets further up to tuck Sabina in tighter, and turned in Jane’s direction.

“You did good today,” she smiled, quickly closing the gap between them and giving Jane a tight hug before she had time to protest. Not that she wanted to. “You all did. I’ll make sure you get a proper break once we’re back in California.”

Jane smiled slightly but didn’t say anything; they all knew how much they needed a break. Bosley and Saint included.

“Try to get some sleep,” Bosley pulled away and held Jane at arm’s length. “And make sure Elena stays away from her paperwork, I know what she’s like. She won’t let herself switch off until she has everything sorted but all that can wait. I’m pretty sure we’ll remember what happened just as well in the morning.”

“Most of us,” Jane mumbled, glancing over at Sabina and catching the concerned look in Bosley’s eyes. The one that was directed at her.

“Jane, she’ll be fine. I give it two days tops and she’ll be bouncing around the outpost again,” Bosley raised an eyebrow.

“That’s what I’m worried about.”

Bosley nodded slightly and Jane knew she agreed.

“Sleep,” Bosley said simply. “I’m going to tell Elena the same. I’ll see you all tomorrow, whenever you’re awake. No time limits.”

Bosley tilted her head in Sabina’s direction with the raise of an eyebrow and Jane smiled slightly, knowing that Bosley was fully expecting them to stay together overnight. That neither her or Elena would want to be too far away from Sabina after what had happened at the warehouse.

Jane watched Bosley leave and sighed slightly, moving to sit on the edge of Sabina’s bed and focusing on the steady rise and fall of her chest, a thin tube snaking out from beneath the bedsheets that Saint had inserted back into Sabina’s arm when they returned. She could almost imagine the clear fluid coursing through Sabina’s veins, washing away whatever mix of poisons had seeped through her bloodstream.

Every muscle in Jane’s body screamed at her to sleep. To curl up beside Sabina and switch off for two days straight. But she couldn’t, not until they were all together again. Not until she knew her girls would both be there when she woke up.

Jane forced herself back to her own room to change into her pyjamas and brush her hair and teeth, before she returned to Sabina’s room and sat on the bottom of her bed, falling back across the sheets and closing her eyes.

Within seconds she couldn’t tell if she was awake or asleep, a ringing in her ears reverberating through the darkness.

“It’s warmer under the sheets,” a voice broke through the cacophony of noise behind her eyes and Jane smiled slightly.

“I thought you were sleeping.”

“I was,” Sabina stated. “I think. Come on.”

Jane sat up and Sabina pulled the sheets down slightly, inviting Jane in. She moved without thinking and let Sabina sink into her side, a content sigh barely audible as she blinked slowly.

“How’re you feeling?”

“Ok,” Sabina answered, Jane feeling her stomach sink at the word. Sabina was never ‘ok’. She would argue with Saint for hours on end rather than admit she was feeling just ok. Jane hoped she was just too tired to say any more.

Jane ran a hand down Sabina’s arm until she felt her muscles tense.

“Where’s Elena?” Sabina asked, eyes wide and suddenly alert as she searched the room.

“Gone for a shower,” Jane soothed, pulling her in tighter. “She’ll be here soon. Promise.”

Sabina nodded slightly and tucked in further, her arm catching the IV drip on the sheets.

“Ouch,” she mumbled quietly, frowning as she reached over and pulled the needle from her arm, placing her thumb to the small spot of blood that appeared on the inside of her elbow.

“Clever,” Jane shook her head with a roll of her eyes. “You really need to stop doing that. Don’t you think it’s there for a reason?”

Sabina shrugged as Jane slid back out of the bed and rummaged in Saint’s supply of dressings he’d left on the bedside table. As if he’d known they’d be needed before he was back.

“Move,” Jane swatted away Sabina’s hand so she could press the dressing to the blood and tightly secure it in place. “Don’t play with it.”

“I’m so annoying,” Sabina sighed and Jane caught a sadness in her eyes.

“Yes you are,” Jane responded simply, squeezing Sabina’s hand and waiting for her to look her in the eyes. “But we wouldn’t have you any other way. Now get comfy again while I clean this lot up.”

Jane turned to bin the dressing wrappers and move the drip out of the way, biting her lip to hide the lump that was forming in her throat again. She didn’t know what Sabina had gone through in the warehouse but it had obviously affected her more than she would admit.

It had been bad enough in Istanbul, listening to Sabina’s words in Fatima’s clinic.

‘I didn’t think you cared about me.’

Jane had been sure Sabina had meant her words because of Jane’s usual stern exterior. Her focus on the job and her determination to hide her feelings whenever possible. She wouldn’t have blamed Sabina for mistakenly thinking she didn’t care due to the fact the refused to let anyone see how much she still hurt over losing Edgar, or admit to the uneasy feelings that sat in the pit of her stomach at being back in Istanbul.

Back in Fatima’s clinic.

But that hadn’t been the reason. Sabina had thought that Jane didn’t care, because she didn’t think she was worth caring about. And that hurt Jane more than anything else.

‘I can be really annoying. Most of the time’.

But they had got over that. They had talked through the fact that yes, Sabina annoyed them all on a regular basis, but that’s why they loved her and they wouldn’t want her any other way. They cared more than she’d ever know. She had thought Sabina now felt safe, that she had a family of sorts, but now Jane wasn’t so sure. Whatever had happened in the warehouse seeming to have undone some of their hard work.

And Jane was determined to get it back, no matter how long it took.

“Right,” Jane sighed, turning back to Sabina and standing at the side of her bed. “Budge up while we wait for Elena.”

Jane tucked herself back under the sheets and wrapped her arm behind Sabina who was now fully awake. A stillness fell throughout the room and Jane slowly traced her hand down Sabina’s arm, feeling her relax and lean further against her side.

Jane didn’t want to break the perfect silence that had settled between them and yet there was another part of her that knew this was the only opportunity she would ever have to ask Sabina the questions that had caught in her chest.

If she didn’t want to answer then she’d leave it. She’d take this moment and treasure it for what it was. But if she did, if Sabina wanted to open up and let Jane in just that little bit...

“Some of the things you said at the warehouse-,” Jane pressed gently as she continued to trace shapes along her skin.

“Oh, ignore all of that,” Sabina waved her hand slightly and looked down at the sheets but Jane could see her biting her lip. “I didn’t know what I was talking about.”

There was a pause.

“You wanna talk about it?”

“Not really,” Sabina spoke quietly, swallowing hard.

Jane tried not to feel disappointed as she nodded slightly, knowing herself how hard it was to let your defences down enough to let someone else see inside. Whereas Jane obviously shut people out when she didn’t want to talk, Sabina was good at hiding the fact she was hurting.

But Jane had learnt to see the signs. And as long as Sabina knew she was there if she ever needed to talk, Jane could wait as long as it took for Sabina to be ready.

“You know you’ll always have us, right? That we’ll always be on your side,” Jane added, feeling a sudden similarity to the words she had just spoken to Elena.

“Are you trying to make me puke again? Because I think that stuff’s mostly out of my system now,” Sabina smirked slightly as she looked up at Jane, her hair falling across her eyes.

“I’m being serious.”

“I know,” Sabina sighed slightly, looking away again. “But there’s no point in piling that all on you. I’ll get over it.”

Jane frowned, unsure how far to push it. But she knew that if she didn’t ask her now, there was no way Sabina would allow her to bring it up again in the future. And she had a feeling she needed to talk about it. She could see the sadness hidden behind her brilliant green eyes. She couldn’t let her feel annoying and unloved when there were so many people around her that cared about her more than she’d ever know.

“That’s not what would happen. Sabina, I know some of your past. You know I do,” Jane almost whispered. “Whatever happened then, and whatever was going on in your head, it doesn’t matter. It will never, ever change anything.”

Sabina laughed slightly.

“That’s what you think now.”

Jane swallowed hard and felt a lump forming in her throat again. She had hoped that Sabina would trust her enough to open up slightly, but maybe her deferences were built so high that no one would ever get inside. And that thought terrified her.

No one deserved to feel alone.

Jane opened her mouth to try again but was interrupted by Sabina who had spotted Elena stood at the door.

“There you are!” Sabina grinned, holding out her arms in Elena’s direction and wiggling her fingers. “Come on, room for one more.”

“Are you sure?” Elena pulled the sleeves of her jumper over her hands and almost danced on the spot, the uncertainty clear on her features.

“What?” Sabina almost laughed, pulling back the duvet from the side of the bed. “Of course I am. Get over here!”

Elena grinned as she skipped across the room and quickly slid under the sheets, resting her head against Sabina’s shoulder. Sabina leant her head on top of Elena’s and linked an arm around hers.

“You did so well,” Sabina sighed with a smile. “Our clever little tech genius, I’m never letting you go. We’re going to be a team forever, no matter what the Agency say.”

Jane looked across and caught Elena’s eye, mouthing a small ‘told you so’ as Elena breathed in the warmth of having both Jane and Sabina by her side again.

They stayed tucked under the warm sheets in silence, no one wanting to break the stillness that seemed to engulf them in a safety net of comfort. Sabina felt her stiff muscles relax for the first time in what felt like weeks, a happiness radiating through her chest that she thought had been lost forever.

Maybe Jane had been right. Maybe opening up slightly would help in some way. Then again, there was the very real risk that it would also push them away forever.

Would Jane really want to work with her after she knew about her past? Not just the notes she had read within her file, but the real reason she had so monumentally messed up her life. Would Elena, so new to the Agency and the brightest person she had ever met, would she want to be associated with someone who was always one bad decision away from oblivion?

“Did you mean it?” Sabina asked softly, instantly wanting to take back her words.

“Mean what?” Jane asked, voice just as quiet.

“If I tell you-” Sabina sighed, closing her eyes and swallowing the lump in her throat again. “I don’t want you to feel sorry for me or to think of me as anyone different to who I am right now. If I tell you what happened, why I-”

Sabina broke off again and she felt Elena squeeze her arm.

“Sabina, if you want to tell us then we’ll listen. And then we’ll help in whatever way we can, but I promise we won’t judge you. Not ever.”

Sabina nodded again and sniffed.

“I don’t know what I said when- well, you know. Everything was so loud and I didn’t know what was real or what rubbish I was spouting.”

Sabina shook her head and sunk further under the sheets.

“You didn’t say much,” Jane spoke carefully. “You apologised. Blamed yourself for something. I think you mentioned your parents.”

Sabina laughed slightly.

“That sounds about right.”

There was a silence again before Sabina sighed and pushed her hand into her eyes.

What did she have to lose, other than everything?

“The first time I got a mark on my record was when I was ten,” Sabina shrugged slightly. “Breaking and entering. My dad was furious and told me then that I’d shamed the family name. I’d only done it because the kid down the road had told me the guy living in the house was abusing his dog so I broke in to free it. And technically I didn’t break anything, the door was left open but the guy had stuck his hand through it when he realised we were in the house and figured he’d bill my dad for the damages.

“My parents didn’t like the kids I hung around with even then, but there was nothing wrong with them. They just weren’t in the right circle. Their parents couldn’t offer mine anything in return for their company and so my parents thought they were awful.”

“That’s how you got a criminal record?” Jane smiled. “Saving a dog? Some things never change then.”

“One minor offence is hardly a record,” Sabina laughed slightly and felt Elena chuckle by her side. “But it was the start of one I suppose. I wish breaking in to save dogs was as bad as it got.”

There was a pause again and both Jane and Elena stayed silent, waiting for Sabina to continue.

“Around the same time as the dog incident my dad started bringing his golf friends back to the house for a whisky or two in the evenings. And there was one guy, Andrew Fenton but everyone knew him as Drew, who would follow me to the stables when my dad was inside with the excuse of offering to help. He had horses too and apparently he’d often help his niece look after hers so wanted to pass on the tips he’d learnt over the years.

“Back then I was a skinny, awkward kid who spent most of her time climbing trees and mucking out horses so I didn’t think anything of it at first. But then he started getting handsy. You know, an inappropriately placed touch or a whispered comment. And every time he’d emphasise how my father was such a respected member of the community and that I should make sure I didn’t do or say anything that would damage that.”

Sabina frowned slightly and looked at the bed sheets, avoiding both Jane and Elena’s gaze.

“You can only imagine what my father thinks of me now,” she smiled but Jane could see the sadness in her eyes and knew that it had been years since Sabina had seen her family.

“Anyway,” Sabina sighed. “I never let it get any further and I was too scared to tell my dad about Drew’s visits. But one day he brought a friend with him. Actually, he was the son of a friend. Some nineteen year old wannabe who was trying to fit in with the big shots despite having no idea what he was doing. Drew brought him to the stables while my dad was entertaining his golf buddies with whatever whisky he had in the house that week and it was clear there was only one thing on their minds. Even if I didn’t understand what that was when I was eleven.”

Sabina cut off and closed her eyes, Jane placing her hand on top of Sabina’s and Elena squeezing her arm that little bit tighter, both letting her choose whether to continue. She took a breath and swallowed hard.

“I fought him off,” she shrugged, blinking open her eyes again. “You can guess what he was trying, but I fought back. Even then. I’d spent plenty of time play fighting with the kids down the street to know where to aim a well placed elbow. And Drew just stood and watched, smirking as this nineteen year old jock tried to- well. You know. Apparently Drew had told him I was sixteen, he’d stupidly believed it and considered me easy picking.

“He had me pinned to the ground, his hands where they shouldn’t be, and the only thing I could reach was a loose horse shoe that I’d left lying around earlier that week. So I grabbed it. And I hit him. And he reported me for assault. Told them it was unprovoked and I was crazy. Drew backed him up of course and my parents took their side. They didn’t want to believe anything different in case they were no longer invited to the annual dinner parties.

“That was my first visit to an asylum because I was too young to be locked up anywhere else. My parents told everyone I was crazy and they believed them.”

Elena saw a tear roll down Sabina’s cheek but didn’t mention it, wanting nothing more than to pull her into a tight hug and never let go.

“The next few years I stayed out the house as much as possible and avoided contact with my parents. I started skipping school and spent more time with the boys a few blocks down because I knew my dad didn’t like them. And they treated me no different to anyone else. I was pushed out of so many trees over the years and was constantly covered in bruises. But if I stayed away then I didn’t have to be around when my dad brought his golf friends back.”

Sabina pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes and steadied her breathing, the feeling of Jane and Elena pressed against either side of her enough to keep her grounded. To keep her mind from wondering too far away from the present.

“You don’t have to go through this if you don’t want to,” Jane whispered, running a hand along her arm. “It’s late, we should get some sleep.”

But Sabina only shook her head and pulled her hands away again.

“It’s ok,” she shrugged slightly, resting her head back on the top of Elena’s and sighing.

There was a pause before she started talking again.

“When I was seventeen Drew tried it again but this time it was him that pinned me to the stable wall and I knew then exactly what he intended. There was a part of me that almost let him, as much as that makes me feel sick now, because I thought maybe if I did then he’d stop following me. I could go back to being able to walk around my own house without constantly checking over my shoulder. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I fought back and I punched him and I ran. My father didn’t believe a word I said, took Drew’s side and I left that night.”

“You weren’t- he didn’t-?” Jane asked cautiously, feeling the words sting her throat, and Sabina shook her head slightly.

“No. Well not by Drew anyway,” Sabina said distantly before blinking and turning back to Jane. “But that’s a story for another night. Another instalment in Sabina Wilson’s shitty teenage years. I couldn’t fight them all off.”

Jane hadn’t expected the tears to reach the back of her eyes but once they did she had no way of stopping them from falling down her cheeks. She noticed the same tracks streaking Elena’s and looked away in the hope that Sabina wouldn’t see.

“Hey, no more of the crying,” Sabina laughed, sliding closer to Jane so she was cuddle in close, pulling Elena to her side as she did so. “From either of you. I’m not telling you this to make you upset. It’s just nice to finally get it off my chest.”

“I know,” Jane ran her fingers down Sabina’s arm and nodded. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. And anyway, you know the story has a happy ending. I have you two now. And Boz and Saint,” she smiled. “But I can stop?”

“No,” Jane and Elena shook their heads in unison, knowing Sabina needed to keep talking. No matter how difficult it was for them to hear, they knew this would likely be the only time Sabina felt up to voicing the words that usually haunted her mind.

Jane let out a breath and Elena sniffed, pulling the bed sheets tighter around them.

“I was seventeen and Charlie didn’t find me until four years later so you can imagine some of the stuff I got up to in that time,” Sabina carried on but didn’t make any attempt to move away from the warmth of their contact. “I was charged with criminal identity theft soon after I left home and told the cops I stole it was so I could convince the bouncers I was twenty one and follow my friends into all the clubs. But I’d been sneaking in the back doors for years. My life consisted of copious amounts of alcohol, some questionable substances and a whole lot of partying.

“Prison wasn’t fun but it was warm and you got fed. The asylum was worse. The only time I saw my father after I’d left home was when he was called to bail me out of another misunderstanding but instead he had told anyone that would listen that I was clinically insane and no longer welcome at home. So I was locked up for a few months in various institutions until they gave up and let me go.

“I’d wanted the stolen identity to rent an apartment of my own, not to get into a club. I wanted to distance myself from the new group of so called friends I’d surrounded myself with. But obviously that all fell through. I had nowhere to go. My grandparents weren’t around any more, not that that would have made much of a difference. Both my parents came from wealth and their parents seemed no different in bringing up their children.

“My grandparents didn’t offer comfort and baked cookies. When I visited I was to be seen and not heard. Preferably not seen either. So with nowhere else to go I stuck with the guys I’d met while on the street, joining in with whatever stupid thing they came up with.

“I’d just left a short stint in prison when I was twenty one, after stealing another car and then being chased through New York, when Charlie found me. I swear I was going to find a dealer that night with the intention of taking whatever he could offer with a bottle of vodka, screw the consequences. But Charlie gave me a second chance. He’s the one that bailed me out and showed me that I could do some good, even though all I really knew how to do was throw and take a punch. Which I’d done so many times over the years.”

Sabina swallowed and shifted slightly, as if unsure whether to continue. But she did.

“I was an addict,” she said quietly and they both felt her muscles tense slightly as she went on. “I wanted to give up so many times before I was officially recruited by the Agency. I was a total nightmare for weeks. Months, even. They put me through a full detox plan before I could begin training and I hated them for it every second of every day. But it worked, and once I’d seen how good it could be as an Angel I wanted nothing more. The detoxing was worth all the agony because it gave me my wings. And then I knew I’d fight anyone who tried to take them from me.”

“Which explains the freak out at the hospital,” Jane raised an eyebrow. “When you woke up and pulled out the needle.”

“Yeah,” Sabina mumbled. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be, I could tell then that something wasn’t right. We just assumed it was due to- well, everything else that had happened,” Jane trailed off and Elena pursed her lips, not knowing how to add anything that would help Jane out.

“Hmm,” Sabina breathed out through her nose as if suppressing a laugh. “My parents visited me that day too. I think. They were just as welcomed then as they were at the warehouse. I didn’t think I’d ever have to fight against my own head again, but apparently Gough had other ideas. I’ll take the pain over addiction any day.”

Sabina swallowed and shook her head slightly, neither Jane nor Elena missing the way she winced every time she moved. Saint had repaired the stitched across her abdomen after her latest encounter with Mason, but it didn’t stop the constant ache that coursed through her body.

“My criminal record isn’t that long but that’s only because I got good at not getting caught, and Charlie seemed to realise that,” Sabina shrugged. “I know we joke about this job being dangerous and unpredictable but if Charlie hadn’t found me I wouldn’t be here. At all. I would have killed myself long ago, one way or another.”

Elena squeezed her eyes closed at the thought and again tightened her grip on Sabina’s arm.

“I lived my life a million miles an hour and didn’t care what happened to me,” Sabina’s voice wavered slightly and Jane raised an eyebrow, the words ‘what’s changed’ lingering on her lips.

“I know,” Sabina smirked. “Hard to believe it now, right?”

Elena giggled slightly.

“You still know how to steal an Aston Martin though,” Jane smirked, nudging Sabina again and trying to shake off the thought of her not being around. She’d had to witness the feeling of how close they had come to that possibility over her past week and it made her stomach churn.

“Of course I do!” Sabina laughed. “I’ll teach you both one day.”

“And I’ll finally show you where the sleepy neck button is,” Jane raised an eyebrow and placed her hand on Sabina’s neck as if pretending she was going to give her a live demonstration.

“Deal,” Sabina squirmed away with a laugh and nuzzled her head into Elena’s side, her giggle sending a bolt of happiness through Jane’s entire body.

God, she’d missed that sound.

Jane knew there was more. That Sabina could spend hours talking about her past and the missions she had been on to bring her to where she was today. But she also knew that every word was difficult for her to admit and she didn’t want to push it any further.

It was late. Really late. And Jane could feel a tiredness pull at her bones as the warmth tugged at her eyelids.

“We should get some sleep,” Jane spoke quietly, noticing the same tiredness in Elena and Sabina.

“Agreed,” Elena yawned, making to move from under the sheets before Sabina grabbed her wrist.

“No,” she almost whispered. “Please. Will you stay tonight? Both of you.”

“Of course,” Elena answered instantly, shifting back under the sheets and resting her head on the soft pillows. “We’ll stay as long as you need us.”

“Promise,” Jane agreed as she helped Sabina get comfortable and reached over to turn off the light.

They fell silent immediately, the only sound their steady breathing as both Jane and Elena rested an arm against Sabina, letting her hold them close.

“Do you think Saint will make us pancakes in the morning?” Sabina asked through the darkness and Elena giggled.

“All that you can eat,” Jane answered. “Now go to sleep.”

~*~*~*~*~

Sabina knew her nightmares would return when she closed her eyes, she just didn’t know which ones to expect.

Yet she still couldn’t pull herself out of it as the dust filled her nostrils and the rocks came crashing down around her while she pushed her back against the cold metal prison she had found herself in, the gravel filling her lungs and making her choke.

The screams of the bodyguard who had grabbed her waist filled her ears as he was sucked into the crusher but she couldn’t make herself look away. His eyes met hers, pleading, and all she could do was watch as the rubble beneath her feet crumbled further and pushed her in towards him.

Towards the grinding metal that grabbed at her feet and broke away her foundations.

And then the trickle of water appeared from above the metal container, sliding down the dusty sides and leaving tracks as it went. The grinding faded, replaced instead by the gushing of water that now poured over the sides, quickly filling the crusher and chilling her bones.

Her feet felt like lead, cementing themselves to the rocks and stopping her from swimming upwards as the water rapidly started to rise, covering her waist then chest then face.

And then she was back under the water. In the darkness. She couldn’t see anything other than her hands as she desperately tried to grasp hold of something, the screams from the bodyguard reverberating through the water in a strangled gargle.

She blinked, and when she opened her eyes again she could see her parents standing in front of her, their faces blank as they watched her struggle. Watched her reach out to them, pleading for help, wanting them to take her hand and pull her to safety.

But instead they turned away and walked into the darkness, leaving her alone again.

The salt water stung her eyes and throat.

Everything was so loud, so dark.

But this wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. Because if it was real then they’d be there by now. Her girls would save her. They always did.

A sudden grip on her ankle made her jump and when she looked down she could see Mason’s cruel smirk as he tilted his head.

“You’re not getting away that easily,” he spoke through the water as he pulled out a knife and lunged up in her direction.

Sabina woke with a scream as her limbs tensed and she threw out her arms, making contact with a warm body that lay beside her.

“Hey, ssh. It’s ok,” Jane spoke groggily, taking Sabina’s hand in hers and wrapping an arm across her chest. “Come here. It was just a bad dream, you’re safe.”

Sabina could feel her rapid heart rate begin to settle as Jane stroked her hair, clutching Sabina to her chest as she gripped hold of Jane’s pyjama top.

She was aware of Elena asleep behind her, her hair spread across the pillows and her mouth hanging open, the exhaustion haven taken over.

“You ok?” Jane’s reassurance turned into a question as she pulled the sheets higher to cover their shoulders, not letting Sabina go.

“Yeah,” Sabina sighed as she buried her head into Jane’s chest and felt her warmth course through her bones. “Sorry for waking you.”

Jane mumbled as she continued to stroke Sabina’s hair.

She wasn’t sure who fell asleep again first, but the next time Sabina dreamt it was of Elena getting her tattoo across her collarbone. Of getting Saint drunk on Tequila and persuading Bosley to join in on the karaoke.

She knows they’re memories and holds on to them as tight as possible, the warm hand draped across her chest and Elena’s warmth behind her reminding her she’s safe.

They were all going to be ok. Because they had each other. And that was more important than anything else in the world.

Bosley and Saint had given her a family.

Jane and Elena completed it.

Sabina was an Angel. And they were her wings.

Chapter Text

Jane blinked open her eyes and was met by a pair of sparkling green pupils only inches from her nose, scruffy blonde hair hanging in front of her eyelashes as a smile appeared on Sabina’s lips.

“Morning.”

Jane couldn’t help but smile in return at the sound of her voice, only then noticing that her arm was still draped over Sabina’s waist. She didn’t move it and Sabina didn’t seem to mind it being there.

“Is it still morning?”

Sabina chuckled, burying her head into Jane’s chest and letting Jane wrap her arms tighter around Sabina’s back.

“How’s the pain today?” Jane asked as she leant her cheek on the top of Sabina’s head, knowing the answer but not wanting to leave a silence between them.

“It only hurts when I breathe,” Sabina mumbled, making no attempt to move. Avoiding eye contact was easier. Sabina hated pity more than anything else and she couldn’t bare the thought of seeing it from Jane.

The silence returned and Jane sighed, running a hand through Sabina’s hair and smiling at the sight of Elena tucked up on the other side of the bed, her mouth hanging open slightly as she slept.

“Boz will be wanting a de-brief soon,” Sabina spoke quietly and Jane could hear the tiredness that remained in her voice.

“She’s given us a free pass. No timeline today,” Jane answered. “We can stay here all day if you want.”

Sabina pulled away slightly and tilted her head up so she could catch Jane’s eye.

“All day?”

“Until you need to pee,” Jane smirked and Sabina laughed, wincing slightly at the movement.

Jane tucked a stray hair from Sabina’s face and was sure she could feel her lean in to her touch.

"The fire escape leads down to a bar, remember. We could wake Elena and sneak out," Sabina’s smile was playful as it danced on her lips. “Boz would never know.”

"You're not sneaking anywhere," Jane raised an eyebrow. “Not for a very long time. And Boz always knows.”

“Spoil sport.”

Jane could see Elena stir as she blinked open her eyes and smiled softly, stretching her arms above her head before she frowned and nodded in Sabina’s direction. Jane nodded in return, a whole conversation between them without saying a word.

‘She’s ok. We’re ok.’

Elena reached out and ran a hand down Sabina’s back, Jane feeling her relax further in her arms.

“Morning, Elena,” Sabina sighed and Jane was sure she was on the edge of sleep again.

They fell into a comfortable silence as they let the weak London sunlight break through the bedroom curtains until Jane felt a numbness in her fingers and shifted slightly.

“I should probably go shower,” Jane spoke softly, pausing until Sabina looked up again. “You want to get up?”

“No,” Sabina answered quickly, reaching up to run a finger along Jane’s jawline. “You said I could stay here all day.”

Sabina smiled as she pulled away and wriggled back slightly until she was pressed up to Elena, who instantly wrapped her arms around Sabina and held her tight. Jane suddenly felt a coldness without Sabina by her side and shook her head slightly to distract herself from the thought.

“I’m staying here with Elena until you’re back,” Sabina sighed contently and Elena couldn’t help but notice the flutter in her chest at Sabina’s words.

Jane had been right. She had nothing to be worried about, she was part of their team whether she had noticed it or not.

“I won’t be long,” Jane told Elena as she pulled back the sheets and made to move from the bed.

“Wait, where is he?” Sabina interrupted sounding almost panicked and Elena felt her tense. Sabina’s hand skimmed across the top of the bedsheets, her eyes wide, and Jane didn’t miss the look of concern from Elena.

“It’s ok, Sabina. He’s gone.”

“What do you mean, gone?” Sabina’s eyes seemed to widen further, her bottom lip trembling, and Jane held her breath as she looked desperately at Elena who only shook her head, seeming just as perplexed as Jane felt.

Jane had almost forgotten how they had ended up in this situation, but now the events of the previous evening came crashing back around her. This seemed to have come out of nowhere and Jane had no idea what to do to make it better.

“Sabina, he can’t hurt us any more. He can’t hurt anyone.”

“No,” Sabina groaned, pulling up the sheets before reaching up to the pillows and wincing as the pain in her abdomen migrated to her ribs. “He was right here.”

“Sabina, who are you looking for?” Elena asked, the worry evident in her voice as she stroked Sabina’s hair in an attempt to calm her down. They had no idea what the long term side effects of the drugs were or how long it could stay in your bloodstream, but Elena had hoped they’d managed to flush most of it from Sabina’s system by now.

“Colin! Obviously,” Sabina seemed on the verge of tears but Jane suddenly felt the tightness of worry in her chest dissipate at her words.

“Obviously,” Jane smiled slightly as she pulled back the pillow she had been leaning against, noticing a small tuft of brown fluff poking out from behind the pillow underneath. She pulled it out and passed the small corgi to Sabina, who instantly relaxed as she clenched it between her fingers, Elena’s giggles audible beneath the hand that she had clasped to her mouth.

“You must have shoved him under there last night,” Jane shrugged and didn’t linger on the fact that Sabina had woken in the middle of the night in a panic, only relaxing when Jane had pulled her into a hug.

Sabina could talk about whatever nightmares lingered when she was ready. And Jane would be there to listen, just as she had been the previous night.

By the time Jane had returned the pillows and found her phone that had slid from the bedside table, Sabina had fallen asleep again. She passed Elena her own phone to keep herself occupied as Sabina slept across her arm and disappeared to shower before she could change her mind.

The thought of staying in bed all day was too tempting otherwise.

Jane had almost reached her own room when Bosley appeared in front of her, a sparkle in her eyes that Jane hadn’t noticed was missing until it had returned.

“How are my Angels today?”

Jane smiled and gave her a small shrug.

“Saint wants to speak to each of you when you’re ready,” Bosley placed a hand on Jane’s shoulder. “You know how he likes to worry. Just let him, yeah? It’ll make him feel better.”

Jane nodded and stifled a yawn. She really needed a shower to wake up.

“Did you sleep ok?”

“Mostly,” Jane nodded. “Elena was out like a light.”

“And Sabina?” Bosley asked gently. She had made the excuse of checking in on them more than once throughout the night but hadn’t dared to get too close in case she woke them. Bosley didn’t have children and yet she often felt that she worried about them just as much as she would a daughter.

“Restless but ok,” Jane nodded, not wanting to go into too much detail. Not wanting to admit to being woke up with Sabina lashing out with a cry in the early hours of the morning. “She’s fallen asleep again. I don’t know whether she’ll be awake long enough for a de-brief today.”

“It can wait,” Bosley smiled. “We don’t need to be back in LA until we’re ready. I’ve spoken to Charlie.”

Jane nodded again and looked away.

“Jane,” Bosley spoke quietly, waiting for Jane to look up. “It’s over. We’ll have a de-brief and draw a line under all of this. Just like Istanbul. Ok?”

“Yeah,” Jane smiled weakly knowing that Bosley believed those words as much as she did. Istanbul hadn’t been forgotten by any of them, and in some ways Jane didn’t want to forget. The mission had been difficult in the worst ways imaginable, and yet it seemed to have brought them all together that little bit more.

It had reminded them of just how much they risked loosing every time they left for a mission, and how important it was to have their team intact. There was no way Jane could have coped over the past couple of weeks without Bosley and Saint. And she couldn’t imagine working with anyone other than Sabina and Elena.

They were more than just team mates. And the very thought sent butterflies through Jane’s chest.

“Saint’s going to check on her in a few minutes,” Bosley reached out and squeezed Jane’s arm again as if knowing the worries that played in her mind. “You know as much as I do that once the exhaustion has worn off we’ll have a hard time keeping her still for even just a few minutes at a time. You and Elena should make the most of being able to do whatever you want without being distracted.”

Jane didn’t voice the fact that Sabina seemed to be a cause of distraction for Jane even when she wasn’t trying to be.

Bosley sighed slightly and carried on down the hallway.

“Oh and Jane,” she added as she looked over her shoulder. “If Sabina tries to sneak out without telling me, you have my full permission to use your sleepy neck thing to keep her here.”

Jane shook her head with a laugh as she headed to the bathroom.

~*~*~*~*~

The rest of the day seemed to disappear without any of them realising. Elena had left Saint with Sabina and joined Jane in the living area where they tucked up under a thick blanket to watch a documentary about penguins.

“Maybe we could go to Antarctica for a break,” Elena mumbled as she tucked up beside Jane. “Surely there’s nothing there dangerous enough to worry about.”

“Just the minus twenty temperatures,” Jane laughed. “I thought you didn’t like the cold. Antarctica would make London feel tropical in comparison.”

Saint had helped Sabina to the bathroom and changed her dressings which had been enough for the exhaustion to cling to her body again and she had gone straight back to bed. He knew that under normal circumstances Sabina would have still been in hospital, regardless of the incident the previous evening, and was relieved at how much she was sleeping despite the pain he could see she was in any time she moved.

But Saint also knew she was too stubborn to argue with if he even dared to mention the hospital, and although he wouldn’t admit it, he had known before anyone else that this would happen. That Sabina would discharge herself and insist on joining the mission. He knew his Angels too well. He had only hoped it would go a little smoother than it had once at the warehouse, but Bosley had since spent hours on the phone to both the police and Agency to make sure that once the final bits of paperwork were complete, none of them had to be involved in the mission any longer.

Despite their late start to the day Jane and Elena had gone to bed by eleven, both automatically returning to Sabina’s room. Sabina woke long enough to snuggle under the sheets as Jane and Elena lay down either side, falling asleep with a content smile on her lips.

Elena woke first the next morning and rolled out a knot in her shoulder, smiling as she realised Sabina’s hand had found hers during the night, their fingers now intertwined. Reluctantly stepping from the room, Elena met Saint in the kitchen who was preparing a variety of different smoothies.

“Morning, Elena. You look tense, sit down and drink this,” Saint greeted her and Elena did as she was instructed.

Saint ran his thumbs along the back of Elena’s neck and she instantly felt the tightness in her shoulders relax.

“How do you do that?” Elena sighed and Saint chuckled.

“I’ve had plenty of practice.”

Saint let the stillness settle in the kitchen before he spoke.

“I’ve been wanting to speak to each of you.”

“Bosley said,” Elena nodded. “Sorry, I’ve been-”

Tired? Distracted? She wasn’t sure. The past 24 hours had been spent sleeping or staring into the distance with no intention of moving, and only now was she starting to feel a little more like herself again.

“There was no rush,” Saint interrupted with a smile. “But we need to talk about what happened. Properly.”

“I’m fine,” Elena frowned as Saint moved to sit beside her and nudged the smoothie in her direction. “I hadn’t imagined my first official mission to go quite like it has, but I’m ok. This is to be expected, right?”

“Not really,” Saint shook his head. “I’ve worked with a lot of Angels, Elena. And not many have had to deal with what you have since you first became involved with the Agency. Most missions end with scrapes and bruises at worst, but nothing like this.”

“Thrown in the deep end then,” Elena laughed, focusing on the smoothie in front of her and swallowing the lump in her throat as she realised her words.

There was a pause before she continued.

“No one teaches you about this bit during training,” she spoke quietly. “I know how to disarm a bomb and land a plane and shoot a gun. But no one tells you what to do when one of your team mates, one of your best friends, is lying in front of you with a dangerously high heart rate and all you can do is watch. No one tells you that that isn’t as bad as it’s going to get. That you should be grateful that she’s breathing at all and not cold and lifeless on the back of a boat.”

Saint placed a hand over Elena’s but didn’t speak.

“I don’t know what I would have done without Jane there,” Elena said quietly. “I don’t know how to be like her. Being an Angel seems to come so naturally to Jane, she’s always so controlled and knows what to do.”

“I was just as lost as you were, Elena,” Jane spoke from the doorway and both Saint and Elena looked up. “I still am. I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing and all I want is for us to all be back to normal. Whatever that is right now.”

Saint nodded to the empty seat and Jane moved into the kitchen, feeling the cold floor beneath her bare feet.

“She’s still sleeping,” she said to Elena in answer to her unspoken question.

The silence settled back in the room as Jane reached over to take Elena’s smoothie, trying to hide her reaction when it hit the back of her throat and left a strange taste on her tongue.

“She knew the risks before we left, didn’t she?” Elena asked, dropping her head into her hands. “We agreed that she could go, but she must have known that there was a risk while distracting Gough when we were that close to everything. When Mason was around.”

“We all knew,” Jane shrugged, taking Elena’s arm until she looked up. “We all know what this job involves, and we went anyway. Even if she hadn’t left the hospital a day before we got to the warehouse, she would have been exposed to the same risks, just like we were. This is what we do.”

Elena nodded and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, Jane feeling her chest flutter slightly. She had been fighting against her own guilt since they had stepped foot off the boat and yet now that they were all back together, now that she could finally take a breath and switch her mind off from the mission, she could finally see what Saint had been talking about for so long.

They couldn’t blame themselves. They were doing their job, and they were bloody good at it. Not many people would have made it through what they had together.

Saint gave Jane a knowing look and she smiled, biting her lip.

“Sabina told us some of what happened,” Jane stated and the expression on Saint’s face changed into something Jane couldn’t quite read. “In the warehouse. And where some of the voices in her head came from.”

“Good,” Saint smiled. “That was long overdue.”

“I always dismissed her comments about being powerless and ashamed, just assuming it was Sabina being over-dramatic as usual,” Jane sighed, looking away quickly. “I never knew- I never thought-”

She trailed off and Saint reached over the table to take her hand.

“You weren’t to know, Sabina doesn’t tell anyone,” he smiled. “So the fact that she’s told you both is reassuring. It doesn’t change anything, but it might explain a few things.”

“Yeah,” Elena nodded distantly, her mind obviously elsewhere. “I just can’t imagine my family ever-”

She trailed off as the tears stung her eyes and Jane reached over to take her hand again.

“We’re her family now,” she said, leaving no room for argument and seeing a smile appear on Elena’s lips. “Whether she wants us to be or not.”

There was a silence again before Jane broke it.

“So, what’s for breakfast?” She asked, breaking the tension that had built up in the room as she stretched her arms and turned to Saint. “Please tell me it’s not just your smoothies.”

Saint raised an eyebrow.

“Which are great!” Jane added hastily but Saint chuckled, pushing himself from the table and opening the oven to pull out a tray of freshly baked oat bars.

“Oh, you’re the best,” Elena squealed as she reached over to pick up a still warm bar and took a bite before Saint had shook them from the tray.

“I know,” he nodded. “I’m going to check on Sabina. Leave me at least one.”

Sabina was still sleeping when Saint entered her room, sitting on the edge of her bed and placing the back of his hand to her forehead. He really had lost count at how often he’d had to patch her up over the years, and yet he couldn’t shake the feeling that this time was different. This couldn’t be fixed with his herbal remedies and stern words, she needed rest and quiet. The two things that Sabina was usually terrible at. And yet despite how much she’d usually have been fighting against Saint’s recommendations, she had spent the past few days doing just that. Which worried Saint more than he’d ever admit.

What was it within those drugs that could stop Sabina in her tracks? Or was it purely the fact that her injuries were enough to slow down even the most energetic person he knew? They had been so close to loosing her, and he was now as desperate as everyone else to have their Sabina back. Loud, annoying and constantly invading their personal bubble.

Saint pulled back the sheets and moved Sabina’s top so he could see the dressings underneath.

“You’re supposed to ask for consent first,” Sabina mumbled with a smirk without opening her eyes.

Saint smiled in return. He knew his Sabina was still in there, despite the exhaustion.

“Be quiet and let me have a look.”

“You need to work on your bedside manner,” Sabina stretched slightly and Saint watched as a breath seemed to catch in her chest, a small groan escaping her lips. She opened her eyes and met Saint’s gaze. “Don’t you dare ask me if I’m ok.”

Saint laughed, leaning over to help Sabina sit up and inspecting the dressing properly.

“What day is it?” Sabina asked as Saint removed the dressing and picked up his medical kit.

“Monday.”

“Where did Sunday go?”

“You slept through it,” Saint smiled. “Which you needed. Now stay still while I clean this up. I’ll put a waterproof dressing on so you can shower later if you want.”

“Subtle,” Sabina mumbled.

Saint rolled his eyes and cleaned the skin on Sabina’s abdomen, apologising when she winced slightly.

“Your hands are freezing!” She complained and Saint couldn’t help but smile again at the playful look in her eyes. He knew she was still hurting but he’d let her hide it if she wanted.

Once the dressing was changed and Saint had cleaned up, he sat on top of the sheets and wrapped an arm around Sabina’s shoulders, just as he had done in the hospital room.

“While you’re here, I want to talk to you,” he spoke, feeling Sabina tense slightly.

“That’s not fair, you did that on purpose because you know I can’t run away,” Sabina frowned and Saint nodded slightly.

“Maybe. I knew you wouldn’t come see me if I asked.”

“I would,” Sabina argued back. “Eventually.”

Saint knew full well what the ‘eventually’ meant. She’d come to see him in the early hours of the morning after finishing a bottle of vodka and arguing with whatever guy had tried to hit on her in a club. He’d been there too many times to think otherwise and knew Sabina agreed. He still hoped that her new pattern of staying away from those situations continued, now that she had Jane and Elena around.

“Is this really necessary?” Sabina asked, crossing her arms.

“Yes. Unless you want a formal Agency therapy session scheduled?”

“No!” Sabina protested quickly.

“Fine. Then you speak to me.”

The silence that settled between them was expected and Saint knew that Sabina would break it when she was ready. All he had to do was wait.

“I don’t know what you expect me to say,” Sabina shrugged. “I messed up again. Jane and Elena saved me again. We’re back to Bosley thinking I’m incapable. Again.”

Saint sighed.

“You know me, Saint. You know my fucked up past and the monumental mess I can make when I take my eye off the ball,” Sabina continued, her focus now on the bedsheets that she twisted through her hands.

“You never take your eye off the ball,” Saint stated. “You only pretend to.”

“Stop analysing me.”

“It’s my job. Amongst other things,” Saint could see the frown between her eyes and knew she was fed up of having to go over what had happened during the past few weeks. “You know I have to ask you about it. Bosley would string me up if I didn’t.”

“I know,” Sabina nodded without looking up. “But you pick me up from the middle of nowhere and never say a word. You know that if I feel shit I’ll come to you. We never speak about it. But I know you know why I visit.”

“I do,” Saint agreed.

“So do we really need to do this now?”

Saint rubbed Sabina’s arm and let her rest her head against his shoulder.

“I suppose not.”

He’d tell Bosley he had spoken to Sabina and sign off whatever paperwork was needed, but sometimes Sabina just needed time. And she was right, when she really needed to she’d find him. And they’d talk and drink tequila and put the world to rights until the early hours of the morning.

Sabina fell silent and Saint glanced down to check she was still awake.

“I told Jane and Elena,” she said eventually.

“About?” He knew, mostly. But he wanted Sabina to admit it.

“The stables. Drew. A little bit about my past in New York.”

“And?”

“And nothing,” Sabina shrugged. “They didn’t run away. Didn’t look at me with pity. They just let me talk and then we went to sleep. And in the morning nothing felt any different. Nothing had changed.”

“Do you want it to change?” Saint asked carefully.

“No,” Sabina’s answer was quick. “I think it changed something for me, but they haven’t acted any different.”

“So it was a good thing? Telling them, I mean?”

“Yeah,” Sabina nodded with a small smile. “Yeah, it was. I can trust them both completely. I think I’ve known that for a while, but now- I don’t know. It’s like I know for sure. That sounds stupid, doesn’t it?”

“Not at all,” Saint answered, pulling Sabina closer to his side.

The comfortable silence settled back in the room until Sabina started twisting the bedsheets back through her fingers.

“Saint?”

“Hmm.”

“The drugs,” Sabina’s voice wobbled. “Do you think-?”

She paused and Saint stayed quiet, forcing Sabina to continue. Maybe she didn’t need that much time after all.

“Do you think I’ve ruined everything? Do you think I’m going to slip up and go looking for more after being clean for so long?”

“Do you want to?” Saint asked simply.

“No.”

“Then you won’t.”

Sabina nodded slightly but still didn’t look up.

“Sabina, what happened to you was not your choice. None of it. But you fought against it all, both physically and mentally,” Saint leant away so he could look at Sabina properly. “What happened at the warehouse doesn’t change anything. If you wanted to go back to your old life, if you had even been tempted by it, you wouldn’t be going through broken ribs and a stab wound without painkillers.”

Sabina still didn’t react.

“I’ve spoken to the other two already. I know what happened in that room, but I don’t know what you saw in your head,” Saint continued gently. “And you don’t have to tell me. But whatever it was, just know that you are stronger than the voices will ever be. You chose to leave that life behind and you choose every day not to go back there.”

Saint reached up and tilted Sabina’s chin in his direction, forcing her to look at him.

“If you ever feel tempted or you just need to talk to us, you know we’ll be here. All of us. I promise.”

Sabina smiled, her eyes glistening with unshed tears, and wrapped her arms tightly around Saint’s waist.

“You’re the best,” she sighed into his chest.

“So I’ve have been told,” Saint grinned, the uneasy feeling that had been sat in his stomach now disappearing completely.

~*~*~*~*~

Jane had spent the rest of the morning under the duvet with Sabina watching old re-runs of Catchphrase (“That can’t be a real catchphrase, they’ve made that one up!”) and Supermarket Sweep (“Hang on, are they looking for the big banana again?”) before moving on to Mastermind, which Sabina decided was her new favourite.

“Who would choose potatoes as their specialist subject?” She asked Jane with a hand outstretched to the tv screen after getting over half of the questions right herself.

“Someone who likes potatoes,” Jane laughed.

“What would your specialist subject be?” Sabina asked as she turned to Jane who shrugged in response.

“I dunno. Firearms and weaponry?” Jane answered.

“Figures.”

Sabina answered a few more general knowledge questions, Jane constantly surprised at how many she got right each round, before she asked Sabina the same question.

“I don’t have a specialist subject. I know everything about everything,” Sabina smirked as she turned to Jane before adding “But if I had to choose then maybe something to do with dogs.”

After the third episode Jane turned off the tv and pushed back the sheets.

“Come on, you need a shower,” she stated. “I’ll help you up.”

Jane slid from under the sheets and held her hand out in Sabina's direction.

"It's cold out there."

"You can’t spend all day in bed again. Up,” Jane left no room for argument.

Sabina rolled her eyes and Jane leant over to gently help her move to the edge of the bed, giving her time to get her breath back once her feet were on the floor.

"Why does it hurt more today?" Sabina groaned.

"Do you really need me to answer that?"

Sabina smirked, shrugged slightly and gingerly raised her arms for Jane to take a hold.

"Ready?"

Jane pulled Sabina to her feet as she nodded her head, holding on to her shoulders until she was sure her legs were going to support her.

"You ok?"

"Mmm," Sabina nodded, her eyes tightly closed as she let the screaming of her muscles subside to an ache. "I'm getting too old for this."

Jane kept a hold of Sabina's shoulders until she took a deep breath and opened her eyes again, tilting her head back to look up at Jane.

"Thanks," Sabina smiled, Jane noticing it reaching her eyes for the first time in longer than she could remember.

Without thinking, and before she could talk herself out of it, Jane leant down and placed a kiss to the bridge of Sabina's nose, surprised at the warmth of her skin beneath her lips.

Sabina paused, the smile not leaving her features, before she wrapped her arms around Jane's waist and leant her head on her chest, Jane moving to wrap her own arms around Sabina tightly.

"Thank you," Sabina whispered and Jane didn't try to hide the tears that sprung to the back of her eyes. “For everything.”

“Ditto,” Jane mumbled into Sabina’s hair. “But lets promise each other that we’ll stop needing to be saved for a while, yeah?”

“Agreed,” Sabina sighed before Jane pulled away reluctantly.

“Come on, go shower before Saint comes to find you again.”

Jane hadn’t even tried to hide the fact that she was going to wait just outside the bathroom door while Sabina was inside, making her promise that she’d shout for help if she needed to. Sabina had welcomed the heat on her aching skin and had let the water run down her back until Jane gently knocked on the door ten minutes later.

“Sabina? You ok in there?”

Jane worried too much, Sabina decided. She wasn’t used to anyone worrying about her and she wasn’t sure how she felt about it yet.

“Yeah, I’m nearly finished,” Sabina called back. “I’ll meet you in the kitchen in five. Promise.”

Jane reluctantly left and met Elena in the kitchen who was sat at the table engrossed in a report on her tablet having spent the whole morning finishing her paperwork and giving Bosley the notes she needed to swap with the London Agency.

She looked up briefly as Jane fell into the chair opposite her and ran her hands through her hair.

“I finally got her to shower, there’s only so many British game shows I can stand,” she said and Elena giggled before returning to her report. “You need me to do anything?”

“No, I’m good,” Elena answered. In truth, she’d been glad of the distraction all day.

Saint arrived minutes later to start cooking lunch, Bosley was on yet another call with the London office, and Jane read Elena’s report from the opposite side of the table as she listened out for any movement from the bedrooms.

Soon after she heard the unmistakable sound of Sabina’s bare feet against the cold flooring before she appeared in the kitchen dressed in an oversized jumper and with her damp hair pulled to one side.

Elena felt the hair tickle the side of her cheek as Sabina’s warm arms draped across the back of her shoulders and she tucked her head into Elena’s neck.

“Hey, you,” Elena smiled, leaning her head against Sabina’s. “I’ve missed you. Feeling better today?”

“Yeah,” Sabina nodded as she sat beside Elena, Jane unable to hide her smile from the other side of the table.

“You haven’t eaten in days,” Saint stated as he turned from the kitchen counter and placed a thick, pink smoothie in front of Sabina. Jane saw her grimace slightly. No matter how many strawberries he put in it, Sabina could still taste the swampiness.

She sighed before Saint also placed a plate with three thick pancakes in front of her with a bottle of chocolate sauce.

“Please try to drink some of that before the pancakes,” he said simply, turning away as Sabina grinned and danced slightly in her seat. They all knew that the smoothie wouldn’t be touched by any of them.

Bosley met them just as Sabina had coated the last of her pancakes in chocolate, throwing her phone on the counter with a sigh of annoyance and crossing her arms over her chest.

“Well this is a nice surprise, all my girls together again,” she smiled as Sabina held out a fork with a chocolate covered pancake on the end in Elena’s direction, who took a bite before moving back to her report. “I think I’ve finally finished talking to the station so de-brief after lunch and we can sign off on the final paperwork.”

They all nodded in agreement and within twenty minutes had migrated to the living area where Bosley was waiting.

The tv screen in the living area was filled with a number of different faces, each one of them having disrupted their lives in one way or another over the past few weeks. Gough, Robinson and Mathews together with Mason, Edward and a number of other men they had met at the warehouse before the area had been surrounded with sirens and the flashing lights of the police cars.

Bosley watched as her girls fell into the sofa, Jane and Elena instinctively sitting either side of Sabina who immediately tucked her knees to her chest.

“I’ll keep this quick,” Bosley tilted her head towards the tv screen as she tapped on her tablet and the images changed to show Gough, Robinson and Mathews only. She didn’t want to spend any more time looking at those faces than she had to, and after spending longer than she had wanted at both the police station and the London office she was now desperate to get her girls home to LA.

Saint appeared from the hallway and leant against the wall, giving Bosley a warm smile. He knew how exhausted she was too.

“Ok, so we know more about these three then we’d like,” Bosley sighed heavily, tilting her head in the direction of the tv screen. “We came here to follow Fredrick Gough after the numerous reports of a new drug being circulated throughout his clubs with rather horrendous side effects.”

Bosley noticed Sabina shift uncomfortably in front of her and quickly carried on.

“His name has been connected to the trade of illegal firearms for years and yet no one has had the evidence needed to pin it on him, despite the fact that his brother is currently behind bars in London,” Bosley continued. “Giving us his first connection to Simon Robinson.”

“There’s stricter regulations in the UK,” Jane shrugged, nodding towards the screen. “Robinson needed someone who could provide him with the weapons he wanted in exchange for the drugs he had developed and was selling within his clubs.”

“Exactly,” Bosley held out a hand and nodded. “We know Edward Lewisham had been working for Robinson for a few years and had been on the radar of the London police for just as long. We don’t think it was a coincidence that he was arrested and locked up in the same prison as Gough’s brother. They needed someone to give them the details they needed from the inside. An idea of timings, how the prison ran. Who he thought could be manipulated to look the other way if needed.”

“And who could help them to intercept the van that was due to move Harvey Gough across the city on the night of the street party,” Elena frowned and again Bosley nodded.

“Turns out there was an officer that fit that description,” Bosley raised an eyebrow. “It looks like Edward managed to convince him that he knew someone who would pay the right price for his assistance. All he needed to do was make sure he was the one in the van when transporting Harvey Gough. He’d get roughed up a little to make him look innocent, and in return he’d slip Gough’s team the keys to release Harvey.”

“Bet he was pissed when they didn’t move him then,” Sabina smirked.

“It made it easier for them to work out who was involved though,” Bosley shrugged. “And he was very quick to give any names he knew were involved.”

“Do we know why Gough looked so angry with Mason? The CCTV from behind the Bluebird suggested that they weren’t getting on so well,” Jane stated and Bosley agreed.

“From what Gough was saying to Sabina at the warehouse, I think he was angry that they had got caught after what happened on the boat,” Bosley shrugged. “At that point he had no idea we knew about the transfer of his brother or the distraction, and getting arrested wasn’t part of their plan. Seems that Gough trusted Mason more than Edward to keep him around, although I’m sure his mere size probably worked to his advantage. Edward was demoted from the warehouse to the street party.”

“But Edward hated Gough,” Elena stated and Bosley again nodded, sitting on the armrest of the couch by the screen.

“He does. But when you’re working for Robinson you don’t get a say in what you do,” Bosley shrugged. “We know he was sent to California as soon as he was released from prison, and worked in a number of Gough’s clubs. He was there to make sure the orbits were as popular as they were in London. And to make sure that everyone knew where to go if they wanted to find them.”

“Mathews has been quiet in all of this,” Sabina pointed to the screen and frowned. “We know he was at the warehouse but how did he become so involved? Through Robinson?”

“We think so,” Bosley agreed. “He owns his own string of nightclubs and has the resources to clean the money. Or to make it look clean, anyway. The only reason these men are working with each other is because they can offer something that no one else can.”

“Robinson has the drugs, Gough the firearms and Mathews can clean the money,” Jane shrugged. “We managed to stop Gough’s brother from escaping but what about the street party? The distraction and the Angels in the Bluebird?”

“All dealt with,” Bosley smiled. “It was as we expected, the Bluebird was full of potential dealers for the orbits. Our Angel inside let us know when they were distracted and the place was raided. All are currently in custody.”

“And the street party?” Elena asked, not wanting to mention Edward’s name but knowing he’d have been there.

“Turns out the distraction was planned for the centre stage of the party,” Bosley clicked the tablet and the screen of the tv changed again to show a number of images of the streets of London. “We found fireworks rigged up under the stage that had been timed to go off at quarter to eleven. Just before they had planned to start the distribution at the warehouse and before Harvey Gough’s transport. We found Edward by the stage trying to pick a fight with a group of guys that were a little tipsy. We think he was wanting to start a fight to draw in a crowd before the fireworks were set off.”

“But we got there first?” Elena asked.

“Of course,” Bosley smirked. “The street party didn’t cause a distraction, Edward has been arrested, Harvey Gough wasn’t moved but the decoy van was full of armed officers who arrested Gough’s men who were there to try to apprehend the vehicle. The potential drug dealers from the Bluebird have been arrested and you three took care of the warehouse. No drugs or firearms left by any means. There’s going to be some angry Russians who won’t receive their order, and if the coloured schedules we saw are anything to go by, they won’t be the only ones disappointed.”

Bosley finished and dropped the tablet onto the sofa, the screen again filled with the faces of the men they had been following over the past few weeks.

Jane noticed the staring eyes of Mason on the screen and stole a look at Sabina, hoping see would be ok. But instead of the worried look she expected to see on her features Sabina was holding back a laugh as she shrunk back into the sofa cushions and clasped a hand over her mouth.

Bosley narrowed her eyes and shook her head slightly, as if inviting Sabina to explain herself.

“Sorry,” Sabina mumbled, biting her lip to try to stop herself from laughing any further. “It’s just-”

She held a hand out in the direction of the screen with a grin but Bosley only narrowed her eyes further.

“I might have skipped over Mason’s file on the way over. But is that really his full name?” Sabina asked, the laugh still playing on her lips.

“Yes, Sabina,” Bosley rolled her eyes as Sabina began to laugh louder, both Jane and Elena smirking in response. Bosley wouldn’t ever admit to the warmth that seemed to seep through her veins at the sound she had been missing for so long.

“No, but really?” Sabina continued. “I should have stuck with Bruce! Is his name actually Jason Mason?”

Bosley crossed her arms and tried not to smile, letting Sabina get the giggles out of her system and noticing the way her hand clutched her ribs as she laughed, before switching off the screen and pushing herself from the arm of the sofa.

“Is it really that funny?”

“Yes!”

The three Angels eventually fell silent and Bosley tilted her head.

“I’ve spoken to Charlie,” she announced as Sabina let out a sigh and rested her head against Jane’s shoulder. “We have a few loose ends to sort out here but we’ll be heading back to California next week. You’re all being signed off for at least two weeks once we’re back.”

Bosley’s gaze lingered on Sabina, knowing she’d have understood the meaning of her words and expecting her to argue. She opened her mouth, caught the look in Bosley’s eye and thought better of it.

Bosley knew for a fact that there was no way Sabina would allow herself to be sidelined once Jane and Elena were back at work, despite Saint’s warning that it would take at least six weeks for her ribs to heal. And that was before her latest encounter with Mason. She’d deal with that issue when they were back home. Bosley was sure she could find something to keep them all occupied while they recovered.

Charlie had been understanding as always when Bosley had discussed their latest mission and the conclusion to their time in London, and was more than happy for them to return home as soon as possible. Saint had watched the concern etch itself across Bosley’s features as she hung up the phone and ran a hand through her hair, pursing her lips slightly.

Charlie might have been happy for them to return but Bosley wasn’t. She had a feeling in the pit of her stomach that regardless of what they told her, none of her Angels were ready to pack up and sit on a plane for hours on end. Least of all Sabina, who still winced with every movement and would hold her breath to stop the pain from shooting through her ribs.

She thought Bosley didn’t notice, but she did.

Bosley was used to looking out for the signs by now and knew her girls well enough to spot them.

“I think we’re finished here,” Bosley concluded as she waved a hand and turned off the screen. “Go and do whatever you want, but no leaving the outpost yet. And Sabina, no gym. I’ll know if you do.”

Sabina rolled her eyes as Jane took her hand and gently pulled her from the edge of the sofa, Bosley watching them disappear down the hallway again and was sure she heard the words ‘sparring session’ before Saint turned to follow them.

Bosley knew they’d have to leave soon, but also knew that they would be on compulsory leave once back in LA and she really didn’t want to stick her girls on a plane for hours on end until they were ready.

She had an idea to keep them distracted for a little longer and had a feeling that they’d all be happy with the decision, especially if it meant getting out of London for a few days. Bosley pulled out her phone and hit the first number programmed in.

“Hello Charlie. Listen, I have an idea.”

Chapter Text

Jane, Elena and Sabina spent the next few days sleeping until the late morning, watching films in the living area of the outpost and annoying Saint in the kitchen by insisting that they make their own pizzas. Which turned out better than they had expected, despite the unusual ingredients Sabina snuck on when no one was looking.

“What?” She had complained when Elena raised an eyebrow and held a slice in her direction. “You put pineapple on it.”

“That I can live with,” Elena laughed. “But strawberries do not belong on pizza. Even you have to agree to that one.”

“And why is there the remains of a marshmallow on mine?” Jane scrunched up her nose.

“You gotta try everything at least once,” was the only explanation Sabina provided.

Jane could tell that Elena was itching to leave the outpost just as much as she was and yet neither of them voiced their frustration. Bosley had her reasons for keeping them at the outpost and Jane didn’t dare to question her about them. They all had to process the past few weeks in their own way so if that meant staying cooped up until they went back to California, she’d do just that. And try not to complain about it.

Not while Bosley was around, anyway.

On Thursday Jane and Elena returned to the gym for a sparring session with Sabina watching from behind the ropes, tucked up on a large beanbag that Saint had found in one of the store rooms. Jane had half expected Sabina to complain at the fact she was still banned from all physical activity, but she had stayed surprisingly quiet and Jane knew that the ache hadn’t yet left her body whenever she moved too quickly.

Elena had gone to shower after Jane had aimed a punch a little too precisely and knocked her off her feet, Elena landing on the cushioned flooring with a squeak.

Sabina had moved to the side of the ring to cup Elena’s cheeks in her hands and inspect the puffiness at the side of her lip.

“She’s such a bully,” Sabina said jokingly, placing a small kiss to Elena’s cheek with an announcement of “there, all better.”

Sabina returned to the beanbag as Elena left and Jane grabbed a towel from the edge of the ring.

“Maybe I should go a little easier on her,” Jane stated as she sat on the floor next to Sabina and tilted her head back to catch her breath.

“Nah, you need to toughen her up. The more practice the better,” Sabina shrugged. She didn’t want to mention Mason’s name, but she knew they were both thinking about him. They had to be ready at all times as part of their job, and that meant not holding back on each other during a training session. They never knew when they’d be faced with another ‘Hulk’ who tried to use his size against them.

That’s why they were trained to fight smart. To be quick and agile, able to duck away from a punch and land one on their mark in return. Most of the time.

“You missing it?” Jane asked and Sabina shot her a glare.

“What do you think?” She sighed with a frown. “I promised Saint I wouldn’t until he signed me off, but I can’t wait six weeks. So I thought maybe, if I behave myself, he’ll let me back to light sparring when we’re back in LA. Maybe then they won’t forget about me.”

Jane nodded but could see the sadness in Sabina’s eyes, knowing she was trying to hide it.

“Sabina, you know you can talk to me. Right? We wouldn’t ever forget about you.”

“I know,” Sabina smiled as best she could with a nod. “I’m fine. Promise. Just fed up.”

Jane couldn’t help the feeling of guilt that bubbled in her chest again and looked away quickly.

“And you can talk to me,” Sabina added having noticed Jane’s muscles tense.

There was a stillness before Jane sighed, not wanting to let Sabina know what she was thinking but knowing it was better than to ignore the thoughts that collided in her head.

“It’s just-” Jane paused. “If you hadn’t come in after me when we were on the boat then you wouldn’t be going through this now. It should be you in the ring, not me.”

“Jane,” Sabina frowned as she moved forwards slightly and took a hold of her hands until she looked up. “Please stop. We said we weren’t going to talk about this any more.”

“I know, but-”

“But nothing!” Sabina said forcefully. “Jane, if we were ever in that position again and I had the same choices, even knowing the consequences, I’d jump in after you. In a heartbeat. Without thought or question.”

Jane opened her mouth but couldn’t make a sound, the words stuck in her throat. When they finally escaped she was surprised at what they were.

“I can’t lose you.”

It was Sabina’s turn to fall silent as she watched the tears reappear in Jane’s eyes.

“You won’t,” Sabina’s voice wobbled slightly. “Not ever.”

“You can’t promise that,” Jane squeezed Sabina’s hands and swallowed the lump in her throat. “But that’s ok. That’s a promise we can’t give to anyone, not when we do what we do.”

Jane sighed and dropped her gaze to their hands.

“That’s why I had to end whatever I had with Langston,” Jane spoke quietly. “Because you were right. I couldn’t give him what he needed from me. What he deserved. And I didn’t want to give it to him, not really.”

Jane looked up again and Sabina blinked.

“You don’t give me safe, Sabina,” Jane almost whispered, remembering their conversation in the cafe only a few weeks ago. “And at the same time, you do.”

There was a pause and Jane could have sworn that the whole world stopped for just a second as she realised Sabina would understand the gravity of her words.

“Jane-”

“Please don’t,” Jane shook her head instantly and dropped Sabina’s hands, feeling her fingers start to tremble. “I’d rather you didn’t say anything. I shouldn’t have said anything. I don’t know what I’m doing or how I feel or- just pretend I didn’t speak, ok? It’s better that way.”

She was panicking now. Jane could hear it in her voice and feel it in her tense muscles. After everything that had happened, she couldn’t mess it up now. Not when they were so close to getting back to some sort of normality.

“Jane!”

Jane had pushed herself from the floor and turned to leave but stopped at the sound of her name, a look in Sabina’s eyes she’d never seen before when she turned back around.

“What are you doing?” Sabina’s eyebrows furrowed and Jane was suddenly reminded of the first time she had cried at Sabina’s bedside in Istanbul. The day she had admitted to Fatima that they were new friends. That she couldn’t lose her.

Despite everything, nothing had really changed since that day other than the fact that Jane now knew for a fact that Sabina was more than just a new friend. And that she couldn’t imagine her life without her in it. She meant too much to Jane and yet she couldn’t work out why everything was suddenly so difficult to explain. To Sabina and to herself.

She had never felt this way towards a team mate before, but she had also never allowed herself to get close to anyone before now. Was she supposed to be feeling this way? Were the butterflies supposed to swarm in the pit of her stomach and invade her chest whenever she let her mind wonder a little further into the realm of possibilities that she usually refused to consider?

“I don’t know!” Jane answered abruptly. She hadn’t meant to raise her voice and could feel her throat ache with a sob that was threatening to escape. “Please, just leave it.”

“Jane, wait.”

“I said leave it!”

Jane turned to leave and heard Sabina move behind her before she gasped and clutched at her ribs, her knees buckling.

“Sabina!”

Jane was at her side instantly, taking her by the arm and holding her tightly as Sabina doubled over, her shoulders shaking. Jane felt her hands tremble slightly as she kept a hold of her until Jane noticed that Sabina wasn’t crying, she was laughing.

“Did you actually hurt yourself?” Jane sighed, keeping hold of Sabina’s arm until she straightened up and caught her breath.

“Yes,” she smiled. “But not that bad, I just stood up too quickly. It’s feels more like a sharp stab now rather than a constant electric shock.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

Sabina shrugged and wrapped her arms tightly around Jane’s waist, leaning her head on her chest until Jane hugged her back, the confusion in her mind disappearing now that Sabina was pressed against her again.

“Doesn’t matter, it worked. You came back,” Sabina said quietly.

“I’ll always come back.”

Sabina tilted her head back and looked up at Jane until she met her eyes and smiled warmly. With a wry grin, Sabina raised herself up on her tiptoes and placed a small kiss on the edge of Jane’s lips before tucking herself back under Jane’s chin.

Jane could feel her heart rate quicken and was sure Sabina could hear it beneath her ribs, but if she did she didn’t say anything.

“I’m sorry,” Sabina whispered. “For making you worry. For always getting myself in trouble and leaving you to pick up the pieces.”

“Don’t ever be sorry,” Jane tightened her grip. “You came back too. I really thought I’d lost you but you fought harder than any of us ever could. More than once.”

“Because of you,” Sabina’s words were barely audible but Jane heard them and felt her chest flutter slightly.

She didn’t know how long they’d been standing in he gym with their arms wrapped protectively around one another, but Sabina finally shifted slightly to reposition her weight away from her aching ribs.

“You’re so sweaty,” she laughed and Jane mimicked her actions, still not letting go.

“Yeah, well Elena made me work hard.”

“She’ll do that.”

Sabina eventually pulled away and took Jane’s hand, squeezing it slightly before turning in the direction of the changing rooms.

“Come on, I’m sure we have another few new films to watch on Netflix before Boz lets us out of here.”

Jane watched her go and noticed the fluttering in her chest grow the more she thought about the feeling of Sabina’s lips on her skin.

~*~*~*~*~

“Boz come on, we’re bored!” Sabina groaned on Friday morning as they met in the kitchen to find Bosley sat at the table with a large cup of coffee. “We’ve been stuck in here for days. We need some air!”

Bosley crossed her arms and frowned with the raise of an eyebrow.

“Can I trust you three to leave the outpost and come back in one piece?”

“We’re not children,” Sabina protested instantly.

“You act like one sometimes.”

Sabina stuck out her tongue as if to prove a point.

Bosley wouldn’t admit that she was relieved to have the stubborn, argumentative Sabina back, and despite how much she’d been enjoying having them all under one roof for the past few days she knew she couldn’t keep them there forever. She had been waiting for Charlie to confirm a few points before letting them know of her idea, but it now looked like she would have to let them leave before she had a response.

Sabina held up a finger with a “hang on” and disappeared before Bosley could give her an answer, returning with the scarf Jane had thrown to her when they first arrived in London. She wrapped one end around her wrist before taking hold of Elena’s hand and tying the other end around hers.

“There. I can’t get into any trouble if I’m secured to Elena. She’s the most sensible one out of all of us,” Sabina stated proudly.

“You’re a bad influence,” Bosley countered back. “You’ll only lead her astray.”

“As if you couldn’t slip out and disappear before any of us noticed, anyway,” Jane mumbled and Sabina rolled her eyes as Elena giggled.

“You’re supposed to be on my side,” Sabina frowned before turning back to Bosley and waiting for a response.

Bosley stared at them for a full twenty seconds before she sighed heavily and threw her hands in the air.

“Fine, you can leave. As long as you stick together and are back here by six at the latest.”

“Yes!” Sabina bounced on the spot and grabbed Elena by the hand that was still attached to the scarf, practically dragging her from the kitchen as she giggled and tried to reach out for Jane while being pulled away.

They were ready within minutes and headed towards the elevator doors when Saint stopped them, holding out a jacket in Sabina’s direction.

“Compromise,” Saint shrugged as Sabina took the leather jacket which had a thick faux fur lining and a warm collar. “So you don’t end up with Jane’s again when you get too cold.”

“How does he know these things?” Sabina took the jacket from Saint and turned to Jane and Elena who shrugged.

“I know everything,” Saint stated. “Now go before Bosley changes her mind.”

He waved goodbye as they stepped inside the elevator and pressed the button for the bottom floor.

“How come the elevator will take us to the outpost on the top floor without there being a button available?” Elena frowned as she watched the numbers count down.

Jane held up her hand, letting her gold tattoo shimmer as she wiggled her wrist.

“Oh,” Elena extended the word as the realisation set in and Sabina laughed slightly.

“You’re supposed to be the clever one!” Sabina smirked.

“Then what about Saint?”

“Saint is Saint. He’s basically one of us.”

The cold air on their skin was a welcomed relief as they stepped out on to the London streets for the first time in nearly a week, none of them caring that the bitter wind nipped at their fingers. Despite the cold the sky had turned from dreary grey to a cool blue and they linked their arms as they headed in the direction of the river.

They took Elena to the nearby cafe Jane and Sabina had visited for breakfast a few weeks previously, Sabina buying Elena a cupcake to make up for the one she had eaten on the way back to the outpost and Elena ordering a smarties milkshake, just as they had predicted.

Jane made countless excuses to stop and sit on the low stone walls that surrounded the river or on a bench in one of the many parks, knowing that Sabina wouldn’t voice her discomfort at being on her feet for so long but noticing the way her hand found her ribs when she thought no one was looking.

For the first time in what felt like forever Jane felt herself relax as they walked through the London streets that were once her home, watching the sunlight glimmer on the surface of the river. More than once she felt Sabina’s hand slip inside hers and she held it tight, not questioning why she had taken it and not complaining about the fact she had.

“We should go get ice cream,” Sabina stated as they sat on a bench inside Hyde park.

“Sabina, it’s the middle of winter. And you’ve just finished a milkshake,” Jane stated incredulously.

“So?”

Elena laughed and rubbed her hands together.

“Maybe a hot chocolate instead?” She suggested.

They stayed in the park for another ten minutes watching the world go by, before Sabina jumped from the bench with a squeal of “look, another Colin!” and disappeared after a woman walking a corgi along the footpath.

“It’s like taking an excited child to the play park,” Jane groaned.

“Maybe she’ll forget about the ice cream,” Elena laughed. “I like this. Us, I mean. I like that we can do this without having to think about a mission or worrying about who could be watching. I suppose I was just worried that-”

Elena fell silent and Jane frowned.

“Worried about what?”

Elena bit her lip slightly. If there was one thing she had learnt recently it was that she should be honest with her team mates, no matter how ridiculous she thought she sounded. They had both proved that they would be there to listen and help her whenever she needed it.

“I was worried that we were only friends because we worked well together, and not the other way around,” Elena said quickly, as if it sounded less ridiculous in her head if said faster. “That once the mission was over you’d get bored of me, or that we’d argue or push each other away or something.”

“Oh, Elena,” Jane shook her head with a laugh and pulled Elena in to a one armed hug while they sat on the bench and watched Sabina kneel down by the corgi. “For a clever person you can be really silly at times.”

Elena laughed and leant her head on Jane’s shoulder.

“It’s us three against the world,” Jane added and gave Elena’s arm a squeeze. “The bad guys won’t know what hit them.”

“Probably your right hook,” Elena smirked and Jane laughed.

“You’ve come a long way since puking in a field in the middle of Hamburg,” Jane stated.

“Because of you,” Elena sighed and Jane felt her heart skip a beat at Elena’s words having heard them echoed to her in the gym by Sabina only the day before. “And Sabina. I couldn’t be an Angel without you two.”

“Oh I think you could,” Jane smiled slightly. “You were meant to do this. But we’d much rather have you on our team than give you to someone else.”

Jane could see Elena smile before she nodded her head in Sabina’s direction.

“We should probably go over,” she said with a slight laugh in her voice. “There’s no way Sabina’s going to be able to stand up on her own now that she’s practically sat on the ground. And the woman with the dog probably wants to leave at some point today.”

“Agreed,” Jane nodded, standing from the bench and pulling Elena behind her.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday morning brought even brighter skies despite the coldness that still clung to the air, and Bosley found all three Angels in the living area before ten.

“Morning,” she smiled brightly, Saint following her from the office. They had spent the last hour discussing various options with Charlie before they returned home and had come to a solution that, although Bosley wasn’t entirely happy about, seemed to work for them all.

“You sound cheery this morning,” Sabina stated as Bosley sat on the sofa opposite them, clasping her hands together.

“I’ve spoken to Charlie,” Bosley explained. “And we’ve decided that we should stay for another week.”

All three of them groaned, sinking into the cushions of the sofa.

“I thought you’d want us out of here as soon as,” Jane questioned and Bosley held up her hands.

“I do, but we need to wait until we know for sure that the police have enough information to keep everyone locked up before we leave,” Bosley said, watching Elena frown slightly and carrying on before she had a chance to question anything. “It’s only another week.”

“Are you going to keep us up locked up until our flight home?” Sabina asked, half playful and half serious.

“Actually, no,” Bosley held out her hand and let a set of keys dangle from the end of her finger. She was met by three pairs of equally as confused eyes as the smile played on her lips.

“These are the keys to the Jeep and to a safe house in the Lake District,” Bosley explained. “I thought you’d like a change of scenery before we leave. Saint and I need to stay here in case we’re needed by the London Agency, but that doesn’t mean you three have to stay.”

Bosley paused, smiling at the different expressions that appeared across the faces of her Angels.

“Are you being serious?” Sabina asked, the excitement evident as she unfolded from the sofa and perched on the edge.

Bosley nodded once and wiggled her finger.

Sabina reached out for the keys but Bosley closed her hand around them quickly, her finger still pointed in their direction.

“Only if you promise not to do anything stupid,” she warned. “No late night parties or drunken games or stupid dares. It’s for you to relax and unwind, not a new location to injure yourselves.”

“Sabina could hurt herself in a padded room,” Jane smirked and Sabina only tilted her head in response, as if in agreement.

“There’s a lot of things I could do in a padded room.”

Elena couldn’t stop the giggle that escaped her lips at the roll of Bosley’s eyes.

“Don’t make me change my mind,” Bosley almost groaned.

“We’ll be good,” Sabina grinned, bouncing on the spot. “Promise.”

“And we’ll know exactly where you are,” Saint stated having made his way to stand behind Bosley. “Trackers, remember?”

“Stalker,” Sabina mumbled playfully and Saint winked in her direction.

“Fine,” Bosley nodded. “Go pack and I’ll meet you downstairs in twenty minutes.”

Bosley watched them leave, their voices full of excitement as they discussed what to pack, and turned to Saint who instantly moved to sit beside her on the arm of the sofa.

“Am I doing the right thing?” She asked hesitantly and Saint laughed.

“Yes! You need to stop worrying. They’re all fine,” Saint squeezed her shoulder and Bosley nodded slightly.

He was right, they were fine. She could see that for herself, despite the cautious movements from Sabina and concerned glances from Jane and Elena. They just needed a little space.

It was Bosley that was having a hard time moving on. Letting them go again. No one told her how difficult it would be to be out of the direct firing line when you were promoted to a Bosley. She knew for a fact that she’d rather be the one getting shot at than have to listen to her Angels fight off whatever threat they faced over the comms.

It had been her idea to give them an extra week together away from the Agency and the outpost. Away from herself and Saint, even. Saint had agreed instantly despite the fact that Bosley knew he worried about them as much as she did. He knew better than anyone the physical and emotional effects of each mission and how each of their Angels coped.

It had been Saint that had questioned why she hadn’t agreed for them to leave London yet, knowing the concerns that kept her awake at night and stopped her from booking the flights. But this compromise seemed to make sense. This way she could give them enough space to relax and help each other process the last few weeks without them being too far away.

It was only a week and they’d be at the other end of the phone if she needed to speak to them.

Bosley had never known Jane, Elena and Sabina to all be ready on time and yet she wasn’t at all surprised when she heard the elevator doors slide open nearly twenty minutes later while she waited in the car park with Saint, who was just back from filling the car with fuel. He took their bags as soon as they arrived and disappeared to the Jeep, leaving Bosley stood in front of them with her hands on her hips.

“The safe house is over five hours away, assuming the traffic isn’t too bad,” Bosley explained. “Maybe add an hour just to get out of London.”

“Bet I could get us there in three,” Sabina elbowed Jane playfully.

“Sabina’s not driving,” Bosley added quickly and Elena laughed, earning her a nudge too.

“I want you to call me as soon as you get there,” Bosley added, feeling her chest tighten at the thought of saying goodbye and reminding herself that it was only for a few days.

“We will,” Jane and Elena spoke in unison.

“We’ll know where you are but you’ll be well outside the comms range so if you need us for anything you’re going to have to go old school and call me,” Bosley tilted her head in Elena’s direction. “And no trying to hack any of our Agency settings while you’re there. I know what these two are like together, they’ll be leading you astray within hours.”

“What will you do while we’re gone?” Jane asked.

“Drink a lot of wine and enjoy the quiet,” Bosley smiled, knowing full well that no matter how much she tried to relax she would be on edge until they were all back home again. The more she thought about it, the more she was beginning to regret offering the use of the safe house without her being there.

But they needed some space to just be themselves. Not Angels.

Saint appeared behind Bosley again and handed her the keys.

“I’ll be calling for a report each morning,” Saint turned to Sabina. “No lies, I’ll know. You are to relax so no sparring or running, even if the other two are. Actually, just move as little as possible. No faster than a walk.”

“When you say morning-” Sabina frowned but Saint only shook his head slightly.

“After breakfast and before lunch,” he smirked. “Not too early. And yes I’ll be wanting an update on all of you.”

“Deal,” Sabina nodded.

“Right,” Bosley sighed, not quite wanting to say goodbye just yet. “I’ll meet you all at Manchester airport next Saturday. We have a flight at mid-day and we can discuss further time off when we’re back home.”

She didn’t want to mention that they’d all require a full medical before being signed off as fit to work; Jane and Sabina knew the process already, and other than being exhausted she was sure Elena would pass the medical just fine. She’d have the argument about ‘light duties’ with Sabina when they were back in LA. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d had to have that particular conversation and she doubted it would be the last.

“Any trouble, any hint of you doing something you shouldn’t, and I’m going to gatecrash,” Bosley warned. “And yes, I will know if you throw any parties or bring in a wild animal.”

She glanced knowingly at Sabina who smirked in response.

“Is the safe house bugged?” Sabina asked, only half joking.

“Wouldn’t you like to know.”

“It’s ok, if it is Elena can disable them,” Jane shrugged and Elena blushed knowing full well that the statement was true.

“Just be careful!” Bosley warned again. “Now go and have fun before I change my mind.”

Sabina was the first to give Bosley and then Saint a hug, the other two following just behind.

“Call me if you need to, no matter what time it is,” Saint whispered in Sabina’s ear and she nodded slightly in acknowledgement, tightening the hug that little bit more.

“See you next weekend,” Jane grinned, a sudden feeling of freedom coursing through her veins. Despite the fact it used to be home, she couldn’t wait to get out of London.

“First one to the car gets to drive,” Sabina spoke quickly, turning to Jane before spinning on the spot and disappearing across the car park, Jane right behind her.

“Don’t-” Saint called after them before dropping his voice and adding “run” with a roll of his eyes, knowing his words were futile.

“I give up,” he stated, turning to Bosley. “I actually give up.”

Elena laughed before realising she had yet to follow and looked quickly between the car and Bosley who had held out her hand with the keys on her palm.

“Good luck,” Bosley smiled playfully, laughing as Elena grinned and took the keys, running after the other two and unlocking the car with the key fob.

Sabina had reached the car seconds before Jane and stopped at the left hand door, a smirk on her lips.

“Ha,” she scrunched up her nose in Jane’s direction. “Too slow” and she pulled open the door to jump inside.

Jane smiled as she pulled open the other door and slid into the driver’s seat, laughing at the look on Sabina’s face as she crossed her arms and frowned from the passenger side.

“We’re in London, remember?” Jane teased. “We drive on the left. But well done for getting to the passenger side first.”

Sabina stuck out her tongue as Elena slid to the middle of the back seat, closing the door behind her and rubbing her hands together to warm them up. She took one look between Jane and Sabina and let out a laugh which only made Sabina frown more.

“It’s not funny!”

“It kinda is,” Elena smirked. “And anyway, I don’t think you should be driving for a while.”

Sabina leant her head against the headrest and sighed heavily.

“When are you two going to stop treating me like an invalid?” She groaned.

“Once you’re back in the ring,” Jane shrugged. “And that has nothing to do with why you’re not driving, we just don’t want to get a speeding ticket on the way. Now come on, buckle up so we can get going.”

“How long do you think we’ll have off, once we’re back in California?” Elena asked from the back seat.

“A few weeks,” Jane answered. “Maybe a little longer.”

Jane thought back to the last proper break they had after returning from Istanbul, and how quickly they had both got bored of not doing anything while Elena was training. This time Jane was going to make the most of the stillness and enjoy every second of not being on a mission.

“So we can go on vacation?” Elena asked hopefully and Sabina turned in her direction.

“Where were you thinking?”
“Anywhere warmer than here,” Elena smiled before smirking slightly. “Prague?”

“Oh, I don’t think I’m allowed back,” Sabina waved a hand in Elena’s direction as if this were a normal response. “Thailand is nice though.”

Jane tried to hide the smile from her lips as Sabina watched for a reaction, knowing she was referring back to the roof top in Rio without daring to mention it again.

“I don’t care where we go, as long as there’s plenty of sun, sand and cocktails,” Jane shrugged, glancing briefly at Sabina and then to Elena. “But maybe we should see how the next week goes first. We might be killing each other before the weekend.”

“Never,” Elena shook her head quickly. “We’re too good together, you both know that. This is just what we need.”

“Agreed, now lets get out of here!” Sabina wiggled in her seat and turned to Jane with a grin. “And don’t drive like an old woman or we’re swapping.”

“I’ve seen Jane drive and I don’t think that’s possible,” Elena said with a tilt of her head. “Unless the old woman is used to high speed chases while shooting a gun.”

Jane rolled her eyes.

“We have over five hours before we get there, are you two going to comment on how I drive the whole way?”

“No, because we’re going to swap after a few hours,” Sabina stated and Jane shook her head again, knowing that Sabina had a knack for getting her own way. Saint’s pancakes every morning were proof.

“Am I forgiven yet? For laughing at how cute you look when you’re pouting?” Jane asked, one hand on the gear stick as she nudged Sabina with her elbow.

Sabina smiled, leaning over to softly kiss the bridge of Jane’s nose, her eyes lingering on Jane’s for a split second longer than expected.

“I suppose so,” she smiled, biting her lip. “As long as you buy me a doughnut at the service station.”

There was a pause before Jane seemed to realise what had just happened and they both turned in Elena’s direction, who was still sat in the middle of the back seat. Jane didn’t think she’d ever seen her grin so widely as she clenched her hands together and bounced up and down.

“Oh you two are adorable!” She squealed, reaching out to squeeze both their shoulders.

“Are you feeling left out?” Sabina joked, instantly unbuckling her seatbelt and turning to kneel on the seat before she learnt through the gap and into the back of the car. “Do you need one too, come here.”

Elena giggled as Sabina practically landed on top of her, her feet kicking the gear stick and Jane as she did so.

“Stitches!” Jane warned, knowing that the ache still lingered in Sabina’s ribs even when she sat still for too long which, granted, rarely happened.

Sabina pushed her hand against the back seat so she was balanced in front of Elena and paused, a playful smile on her lips as she caught Elena’s eye.

“Don’t tell Jane,” she whispered. “But I think I’m stuck.”

Elena giggled again as she took Sabina by the shoulders and guided her back into the front of the car, Jane only raising an eyebrow in response. There really was nothing that would stop her from being Sabina, despite the many warnings from Saint of ‘be sensible and no strenuous movements’.

“You really are the worst,” Jane shook her head, trying to hide a grin.

“Which is why you love me, right?” Sabina’s eyebrow twitched as she refastened her belt. “Now are we going to get out of here or not? I’m sure Boz and Saint will be stood watching us until we leave.”

Sabina leant forward to look in the wing mirror and nodded.

“Yep, still there. We better go before Boz changes her mind.”

Jane turned on the car and put it in gear, glancing in the rear view mirror and catching Elena’s eye. Sabina’s hand brushed hers slightly on the gear stick as she fiddled with the radio settings and linked her phone to the Bluetooth, connecting her music and turning the volume up.

Jane felt the butterflies in her stomach return and had no idea what they meant, never mind how to react to them. Her thoughts seemed to be filled with what-ifs and maybes as the feeling of Sabina’s soft lips lingered on her skin and made her whole body tingle.

But they had time. Despite everything that had happened since their first encounter with Gough and the inevitable new mission that would we waiting for them once they had finished their leave period, they had time to just be themselves. Angels, team mates, best friends. It didn’t matter. Not really.

Jane had time to work out what the butterflies meant and why she felt the way she did whenever she saw Sabina wrap her arms around Elena’s shoulders or when she intertwined her fingers with Jane’s for no apparent reason.

Jane had always struggled with reading people, but she was learning that sometimes she didn’t have to. Being around Sabina and Elena seemed to come as naturally as breathing, and just the thought of being separated from either of them was enough to send Jane into a panic.

She knew it would be frowned upon by the Agency, being so close to her team mates, but she also knew that their relationship, whatever it was or turned out to be, only made them stronger. That they would fight against anyone or anything that tried to get in their way.

They had proved as much since the first day they had met Elena in a little cafe in Hamburg.

‘Interestingly, not where hamburgers were invented’ Jane thought to herself and shook her head, realising just how much of her life was now interlinked with Elena and Sabina’s. How far they’d come from that day in the ring when Edgar Bosley had forced Jane and Sabina together again and they were told of Elena.

She’d forever be thankful for Edgar Bosley, in more ways than she’d ever be able to explain.

Jane often wondered whether Edgar had known somehow, that despite her eagerness and dedication to any mission, she needed a teammate. She needed someone to keep her grounded and pull her away from the tiny details of the mission she would become obsessed with. She needed someone like Sabina to remind her that things didn’t have to go perfectly to plan to still count as a success.

Jane had spent more nights than she would ever admit to after they had lost Edgar questioning how her life would have been different if he were still alive. Would he have left them at the quarry with no back up and no way to get back to the safe house? Would they have lost Calisto and been caught in the explosion if he were still around?

Would Jane have had to carry an unconscious Sabina through the streets of Istanbul to Fatima’s clinic and sit by her bedside, desperately hoping she’d be ok while also worrying about Elena who had disappeared from the safe house completely?

Yet if none of that had happened, they wouldn’t be where they were right now.

They wouldn’t have seen how resilient and determined Elena was in being able to fight off a fully trained body guard with no training herself (despite then managing to tranq herself).

And Jane may not have realised so soon how terrified she was of losing Sabina, even if Fatima had seen the signs before Jane had.

‘She means a lot to you.’

‘We’re new friends. I think.’

Jane had been able to tell from Fatima’s expression that she believed those words just as much as Jane had meant them, and yet her next words were so truthfully raw she couldn’t help the sobs that accompanied them.

‘I can’t lose her too’.

Maybe everything happened for a reason after all. Jane and Sabina were meant to find each other again, and Elena was certainly born to become an Angel. Edgar had first brought them together and Bosley had ensured they stayed that way. They were team mates. Best friends. Family.

And they had a full week together to get to know each other that little bit more.

Sabina rummaged in her pocket and placed Colin the corgi on the dashboard, patting him on the head slightly before lowering the Jeep window to wave to Bosley and Saint as Jane pulled the car out onto the busy road.

“You get to choose the music first, make it good,” Sabina smiled as she raised the window again and turned to Elena. Jane couldn’t help but laugh at the look on Elena’s face at being put on the spot again as Sabina added “You’re so cute when you’re flustered.”

Sabina made Elena choose a song at random and turned the music up louder, leaning her head back and closing her eyes with a smile.

“Does the Lake District have a lake?” Sabina asked and Jane laughed slightly.

“Is that a trick question?”

“No,” Sabina opened her eyes and frowned. “The Giant’s Causeway doesn’t have a giant.”

She shook her head as if this was an obvious explanation to her question and Jane groaned sightly.

“This is going to be a long week,” Jane laughed and Elena giggled in the back of the car, Sabina tucking her legs up on the seat as they headed further out of London.

“The next time we’re in London we should go see a show,” Sabina said casually. “Like the Lion King or the one about the witches. Oh, or Magic Mike!”

“We are never going to London again,” Jane stated bluntly and could see Sabina smile out of the corner of her eye.

“But we’ve had so much fun, right Elena?”

Elena opened and closed her mouth from the back seat and Sabina laughed heartily.

“It’s ok, you don’t have to answer that.”

Jane manoeuvred the car through the busy London traffic as she followed the sat nav directions until she found the road they needed that took them to the motorway. Sabina had closed her eyes again and Elena was flicking through her phone, a comfortable silence between them as the music continued to play.

“Are we there yet?” Sabina asked with a smirk without opening her eyes and Jane couldn’t help but roll her own. They’d been driving for less than ten minutes.

“I’m going to leave you at the first service station,” Jane shot back playfully and Elena clasped her hand to her mouth to hide her laughter. “Don’t encourage her, Elena!”

“You know it’d be too quiet without me,” Sabina smiled, resting her head on the window and Jane felt an odd sensation in her chest at her words, knowing how true they were. There was a time, not that long ago, when this had felt impossible.

When she thought her life would remain silent forever without Sabina’s lively energy.

But she had promised herself she’d stop thinking about that.

“Did you pack a swim suit?” Elena asked and Jane shook her head.

“Did you?”

“Well, yeah. I know it’s freezing but I thought there might be somewhere we could swim,” Elena shrugged.

“Skinny dipping it is then, Jane,” Sabina opened her eyes and winked in Jane’s direction, causing the butterflies to swarm in her stomach again and making it hard to concentrate on the sat nav.

“You really are a bad influence,” she managed to answer but Sabina only shrugged as if in agreement.

“There’s a whole lot I could teach you both in just a week,” she grinned and both Jane and Elena exchanged a look as Sabina began to laugh.

They had a whole week to just be themselves and get to know each other in ways they couldn’t while on a mission. To play spin the bottle or two truths one lie, or whatever other game Sabina had up her sleeve.

A whole week to work out whether Sabina was just being Sabina, or whether the lips that brushed her skin had meant something more.

A week to forget about being an Angel and, hopefully, let each other see past the barriers that had been built up over the years for reasons they were finally admitting to.

They had time.

And they could get up to anything in seven short days. Especially once Sabina had convinced Elena to disable Saint’s trackers.

~*~ END ~*~