"Mortician has a mission."
The words are spoken into the quiet air of the apartment, the "for us" implied, and Aleksander, even being the gentle man he is, still feels a little put off.
Their leader did abandon them at the drop of a hat to chase after her de-aged previous medical companion, after all.
Unfortunately, Alex is the first one who hears him. "Really?" The German asks, more than a little pissed off. He's always had authority issues. "That fucker still thinks we're just going to bow and scrape? He is nothing next to Andrea. She shot him with a f-cking tranq. Individual Collective Unit? Ringing any bells? We're supposed be the best, but we only ever run at full capacity when Heichou's here. Tammy and Derek remember the disaster of losing..." His voice trails off, and for a moment his body is perfectly still, overwhelmed with grief once again.
But he is, after all, an agent. He's tough, and he knows how to manage loss, however temporary, so he swallows it down and straightens his back, body adopting military-precise posture as Ellen watches from the bed, curled up like an oversized cat again. His voice is monotone when he speaks again. "The Archers don't require an agent-in-charge. We're a self-functioning team. That's one of the main aspects of us - we even have our own system of command and rank. Officially, on the records, we're Strike Team Alpha. That means we're the best that C.A.R.D.'s got to offer."
"You okay?" Derek emerges from the kitchen. Most of them have been sleeping in Andrea's room, but Rosemary's room is empty because she's headed back to the lab.
"Nein." Alex mutters angrily, composure shattering as he sinks to the ground, tipping over and letting his face smush into the carpet. Derek leaves him there, because sometimes they all just need a moment. Andrea's always been with them for their ops - the only constant aspect of their otherwise changing-at-the-drop-of-a-hat lives.
Sometimes one of the more emotionally stable agents of the team would go on a short solo mission, but those were few and far between. Derek was the most common pick for the rare ops, but Tammy "Shut-Up-And-Suffer-Through" Fujiwara and Eve "Get-The-Job-Done" Llewellyn were the only other ones to ever do it.
So to Alex, this was a betrayal of the worst kind. He was unused to Andrea leaving, and he was not happy with the new development. It didn't matter to him that she would be back. "Besides, воз и ныне там." He said, mouth set in a hard line.
"Yeah, I know." Derek scrubbed a hand over his face. The team was sulking. A lot. The six of them were sprawled out, trying to relax despite their instincts screaming bloody murder at them. "Also, why are you speaking Russian? You're German."
"I've been teaching him some stuff. He's actually quite good with the accents." Aleksander offered up from where he was sprawled across the bed. "Been improving не по дням, а по часам."
The larger man rolled his eyes.
Alex, Derek, Ellen, and Aleksander were all in Andrea's bedroom in various positions. Eve was off doing who knows what (the others were imagining the worst, but in reality, she was feeding Harley and giving him some attention - the cat had been mostly forgotten after his first week with them, and Rosemary had been taking care of him, but she was away now), and Tammy was slogging her way through their untouched paperwork (some of the stuff dated back to over five years ago, it was quite honestly a terrifying prospect).
It was... probably not their best moment, all of them trying (and failing, failing spectacularly) to find normal things to do. They were spies. It wasn't really their best field.
"MORTY HAS A MISSION FOR US." Alex, becoming bored with the situation, yells out at the top of his lungs.
Tammy rounded the corner (her speed was scary) into the bedroom, and somehow managed to convey the I-am-pissed-off even better than the German man. There was a small smudge of ink on her chin, but no-one was going to be the person to tell her. "Seriously?" She asked, disbelieving.
"Yeah, I think he actually thinks that he's going to go on an op with us and have it go off без сучка без задоринки, the poor deluded man." Alex snickered to himself, and Derek whacked him upside the head with a rolled-up magazine (when had he even gotten that?).
"Let him hope," the large African-American man scolded. "Sure, it's impossible, but still. Give him a chance."
Eve entered at the that moment, and scoffed, the sound humourless. "What chance? There is no chance."
Derek clapped his hands. "Anyways. We should probably report." He says, uncertainly. He isn't, after all, the leader. He's quieter than people usually assume. Most of the time, they peg him for the vicious one, when in fact, Tammy is the one they should all be afraid of.
Very, very, afraid.