The Return, part two.

It's a cliche, Jamie knows, but these days, all she can do is think about running.

It's an overreaction to, you know. Packing up your whole life. Traveling a lot. Living in two different cities over the course of three months is a lot to contend with, especially when it comes to a four year old son.

And sure, the guilt gets to her, every moment of every day. Outside, feet drumming against the pavement, cold air biting at her cheeks, Jamie wonders if it wouldn't have been better to leave her son in London. Not with her parents, but— her brother, maybe. Couldn't he have done that? Couldn't he have just... made sure Ozzi got to school? Made sure he was safe? Stayed somewhere familiar? Wouldn't it have been better, for her son to be anywhere else but in Boston?

Jamie turns a corner, feet still pounding the pavement. Her chest is tight. Her lungs are struggling for breath. She briefly glances at her watch: she has another fifteen minutes.

Right now, back at that Airbnb that is part of Jamie's incredibly convincing idea that she's not back in Boston for good, Mrs. Kim will be there. Mrs. Kim, who was annoyed but eventually happy, in her own way, to see Jamie and Ozzi again. Mrs. Kim, who ended up being willing to nanny during the mornings, even though they didn't live next door to the Kims anymore. She'll be making eggs, and waiting for Ozzi to wake up, and there's a part of Jamie's heart that suddenly hurts with missing that. Those mornings. Is it always going to be like this? Feeling guilty about working. Feeling guilty about being back home. Feeling like she can't quite—

She wonders what's going to happen to Ozzi. If he's going to grow up like this, too, the longer he stays in Boston. If he'll be healthy. If he'll be happy. If he'll know she loves him.

Ten minutes. Jamie breathes, keeps running, runs like there's not enough time in the world to figure out how to not be so fucking lonely.

When she gets home, Ozzi's already eating his eggs, bright blue eyes sleepily glued to the tv. Mrs. Kim wordlessly gestures towards the kitchen counter, where there's a plate of eggs for Jamie too, and a french press ready to go. God, Jamie could cry then. With relief. With gratitude. With everything. With a small smile, Jamie grabs her towel, slings it over her shoulder, and goes to the bathroom.

She stays in the shower for a long, long time.

When she steps out, she stares at her reflection in the mirror. She wipes it with her hand, clearing the steam from it, and blinks at herself. The same green eyes, the same dark hair; the same high cheekbones and huge forehead and slender nose. She sighs, and closes her eyes.

Why is it so hard, some days, to feel like yourself?


"Stop! Stop right there!"

Work isn't like the movies. Most of her job is staying at her desk, idly clicking through work emails, keeping an eye on field reports and meeting up with the odd BPD detective. The other part of her job is prowling around Charlestown. Everyone knows about the series of bank robberies that used to happen here, back in the day; how it worked like the family business in some households, passed down from father to son. There's one benefit from leaving town so abruptly: nobody really remembers her. It's the reason she can spend hours loitering in a bar, drinking tonics and pretending to be drunk in the middle of the day. It's the reason she can spend hours inside an FBI van, bored out of her mind, listening to a bug they've put into a guy's phone.

And it's the reason she can do this, using speed and flexibility rather than weight to swear loudly as she flings open that FBI van door, running out in a sprint to chase a guy in the dead of night. She can only make out the bare shape of him underneath the streetlights, the sweating, heaving mass of him in a dirty tank top, but like hell he's getting away. It's the suburbs. He won't' make it far. It's definitely the reason she can clumsily tackle a guy to the ground. He could easily shake her off, and almost does, but Jamie ducks and rolls, elbowing him in the solar plexus, jamming the butt of her gun into the guy's nose in a violent upswing. There's not much in her life she knows she can do right, these days. Sometimes even being a mom seems like a hard ask.

But chasing a guy down in the suburbs, a guy easily twice her size, sweating like a bull, clutching his bloody and broken nose? While she stands above him, in her FBI flak jacket, panting but with her gun pointed at him, knowing that she's got him? Knowing that that's one less potential bomb threat out there in the city, one less car bomb, one less whatever?

Sometimes the adrenaline helps. Sometimes — and God, this sounds so bad, this sounds awful — the blood helps. Is something wrong with her, that she enjoys this? Exhaling, heart hammering in her chest, she knows.

Jamie knows, then, what she has to do.


She leaves behind a survival kit. To be used whenever it needs to be. She can't quite— remember, who she becomes, only that her memories are never quite right during that week that comes up. She puts it exactly where she keeps her gun: in the safe, under her bed. In it is her passport, some cash, both her and Ozzi's birth certificates, and a small letter. It's folded shut. On the front, addressed only to J. D..

Please, she thinks, as she puts the letter into the safe. Closes it. Locks it, and slides it back underneath her bed.

Please, please. Please keep him safe. Please say I'm not losing my mind.

Let me do this one thing right.