These damn Mondays.
Bzzt! Bzzt! Bzzt! Bzzt!

Her eyes slammed open.

Truth be told, most of the time, there wasn't much of a chance that Jamie Drewick would ever admit to much when a lazy joke would do in its place. But, if pressed, she'd confess something about her waking habits: that every single time, no matter if it was a nap or coming out of dead sleep, something would happen. The kind of confession that, if you said it out loud, it would just sound -- crazy. Totally out of her mind. And that one, single confession would've been this: that there was always that brief moment in time between wakefulness and sleep that the thought that something terrible had happened would enter her head. Not for long, granted. And it would always go away. But it was always there, knee-jerk, all-instinct, for the briefest sliver of time in waking. Panic would spike her in the chest, lock up her limbs full of adrenaline, seize her with some unexplainable thought that she had to move, had to go find her son, right now.

But it would pass. As it always did, and as it did today. Jamie stared at the ceiling of her bedroom and ran a hand over her face, groaning, mussing up her own hair in front of her own face in frustration, voice thick with sleep.

"Okay, Jamie," because obviously everyone did this, everyone spoke to themselves first thing in the mornings in an empty room with no-one else in it. "Get out of bed, Jamie. Get out of bed, drink coffee, and go back to work."

Objectively, she knew there wasn't much of a reason for her terrors to exist. It was, after all, why it was called paranoia; empty threats and useless worrying. But it didn't take a shrink to figure out why her terrors were visiting her today. It was normal, everyday, first-day back to work jitters, the first time she'd had set hours on a set job since Ozzi was born. In the last three years, all of her jobs had just been easy, uncomplicated -- bail jumpers and cheating spouses generally didn't operate on a nine to five schedule, and that meant flexibility where her son was concerned, but now the reponsibilities were more clear. No more working from home. No more lazy mornings with the guy who'd basically given meaning to her life.

Jamie repressed another spike of deep, existential regret, took a breath to remember how fucking great her mattress was, and then flung herself out of bed.

Moms did this everyday. So did dads. Regular parents with regular lives, single or together, co-existing or not, went back to work all the time. Even active FBI agents did it, and all Jamie had to do today was sit at a desk and look over some security metadata. No big deal. A gentle ease back to work from a then-boss who'd always been sad to see her go.

Absolutely no big deal.

It was a huge fucking deal.

She wasn't late, exactly, but she was cutting it close. Coffee this morning was out of an old, well-loved mug, a present from two Christmases ago when Mrs. Kim next door had taken pity on the solo mom up at all hours of the night. A older Korean lady with a greater command of English than she pretended to have, and also little interest in fools, Mrs. Kim was just one of the many powerhouses that had helped Jamie out in parenting way back then. Still did now, as a matter of fact, when Charlotte or Cate couldn't be roped into sitting for her. But not even the spiritual power of Mrs. Kim could help Jamie today, not when Ozzi had woken up with an incredible disinterest in both a) shirts and b) pants, nevermind c) having anything for breakfast that wasn't cinnmon toast.

"Keys, keys, keys," Jamie chanted to herself, rapidly pulling her hair up into a bun as she looked around her apartment kitchen, frantic. "Where did I put the keys?" Because of course she couldn't find her keys. The pantyhose she'd picked up two days ago had mysteriously developed a run in them, and there was a fold in her blazer that just wouldn't iron out, and maybe her slacks made her butt look big (in the terrible, bad sort of way), and-- and there were a million 'and's this morning.

Not that Ozzi looked too preturbed about it. That was the thing about kids: they were crazy resilient. Ozzi, finally coaxed into a pair of blue pants and a extremely green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt, was transfixed by the iPad in his lap. With one hand, he shoveled dry squares of cinnamon toast crunch into his mouth. With the other, he popped the balloons that gently floated up on the tablet's touchscreen, leaving behind tiny, sugar-smeared fingerprints on the surface.

Jamie knew she was going to hell, probably, for sending her kid off to preschool with a belly full of sugar so early in the morning. (Another thing to mentally berate herself over.) But she felt -- guilty? -- about abandoning him, maybe, and eating dry cereal just made him so happy, and if life was about the little things then she could sometimes relent on the little things, like feeding sugar to her three year old because of her weird complexes about work.

"Keys!" Jamie shouted triumphantly, picking a small bundle up from between the couch cushions. A piece of half-eaten toast stuck in her mouth, she abandoned it in the kitchen sink. No time to finish it; she'd just grab a big lunch. Picking up her bag, sliding into her black shoes, looking briefly into the mirror -- blazer, blouse, slacks, shoes -- she gave herself one, two, maybe three breaths before squaring her shoulders back.

"Okay, boyo, time for preschool, let's put away the balloon game. Mama loves you, okay?" Kissing her toddler on the forehead, Jamie pulled away the iPad and picked him up. "You ready to go?"

In response, Ozzi looked at her, frowning and displeased to be pulled away from his reigning high score, and burped in her face.

Yeah, that sounded about right.

Ten minutes. She'd reached the Boston office with ten minutes to spare. Just enough time to sit in her car, in the parking lot, freaking out about this job. Jamie tried to remember that all her Quantico training had been for this, that the years she'd worked here prior to getting pregnant were good to her, that she loved the work. Lightly dotting away the tears in her eyes in an attempt to not smudge her makeup any further, Jamie sniffled and unbuckled her seatbelt. Ozzi definitely hadn't noticed anything different about heading to preschool, completely disinterested in whatever his mother was trying to tell him as she dropped him off. Maybe it was time to just take a page out of his book.

"Just another day," she told herself, doing one last check in the rearview mirror before stepping out of her car. The lanyard around her neck was telltale blue, her laminated ID swinging over her chest. It wasn't even a terrible photo.

Sure, it was her first day, but she'd been here before. It was just another day. She'd have a lot more of these coming up. It was just first week back jitters. Nothing special at all, right?

Jamie squared her shoulders, put a smile on her face, and pushed herself through the front doors of the Boston FBI building.

Nothing special about this week at all.