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John woke up just before 7 a.m., and looked over at his wife.  Marlena had been up several times during the night to check on Kim, the last time only about 30 minutes earlier.  He leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

She murmured sleepily, "Do I have to get up now?"

"No.  Go back to sleep, Doc.  I'm going for a run with Andy, remember?  Or do you want me to keep an eye on Kim while you catch some zzzzzs?"

Marlena did not even open her eyes, but just lifted the plastic baby monitor resting next to her pillow.  "Go on.  If Kim needs me, I'll hear it."  She mumbled something else unintelligible before falling back to sleep.

John quickly donned some running gear, and headed into the living room.  No sign of Andrew there, but he spotted a pair of running shoes on the far edge of the deck, so he headed outside.  It was cold by Los Angeles standards, but John had been living in Lugano, where this weather would have been considered unseasonably warm for March.  He looked around for Andrew, not spotting him among any of the runners that passed the house.  He glanced again at the shoes and realized they were sitting on top of a beach towel and a pair of shorts.

"Crazy fool kid," John muttered as he scanned the water and spotted a dark figure in the distance.  He picked up Andrew's stuff and climbed the stairs from the deck to the beach.  About 10 minutes later, Andrew emerged from the surf.  John just shook his head and tossed him the towel.  "Cold enough for you?"

"Not really, mate," Andrew said, unzipping his wetsuit.  "Try surfing in northern Scotland sometime.  Cape Wrath has some great waves, but it's bloody cold."  He peeled the wetsuit down to his waist and began drying himself off.

"You going to go inside to change?" John asked.  "Or do you plan on giving your neighbors a show?"

Andrew laughed as he wrapped the towel around him.  "One of the first thing you learn from surfing."  He slid the wetsuit off underneath the towel, took the shorts from John, pulled them on, and pulled the towel away.  "Voila.  Almost set.  Can you hand me my trainers?"  John looked around, not certain what that meant, but then Andrew said, "Oh, right, I mean the shoes.  You don't call them 'trainers' here."

John handed the shoes over and waited as Andrew put them on.  "Marlena heard you on the phone last night.  She knows about the ISA."

Andrew looked up from tying his second shoe.  There was a glint in his eyes that John had not seen before.  "What did you say?"

"I told her how you used me to get in and that your pop had nothing to do with it.  She's pretty mad, but I think she won't say anything to Kimmie."  Andrew seemed relieved as he stood up and motioned John to begin the run.  They started at a fairly slow pace along the wet sand, which provided a fairly solid base for running.  "You've got to be more careful, kid."

"I know," Andrew said.  "It was just supposed to be a quick check-in call.  Then my direct superior got on.  He's pretty peeved about me leaving in the middle of a mission, but truth be told, they didn't really need me by that time.  I think he's mainly ticked off that the Head of European Operations overruled him about my coming out here."

"What was the mission?" John asked.  "If you can say."

"I think I can now."  Andrew picked up the pace a little.  "There was a big operation to take out some drug cartels and suppliers.  From what I heard, it mostly involved you yanks, but we also took down some traffickers back home.  I mainly dealt with some small-fry dealers, the kind who sell at clubs to partying trust-fund babies."

"So it wasn't much of a stretch for you?" John joked.

"Very funny, Uncle John.  For that, let's see how you are at sprinting."  Andrew took off, forcing John to race after him.  They sprinted for about 100 yards until Andrew slowed and waited for John to catch up with him.

"Not so funny, kiddo," John gasped.  "Remember I'm still not 100%."

"Sorry."  Andrew shrugged and John thought he may not have been as sorry as he tried to sound.  "I'll keep the pace somewhere between a tortoise and a sloth.  How's that?"  He deftly dodged John's attempt to shove him into the surf, and laughed good-naturedly.  "So the old dog has some bite left in him."

John chuckled as they settled into an easier pace.  Andrew's joking manner reminded him so much of his father.  Yet, as with Shane, John had the feeling that the jokes were covering something.  Shane had always been wound very tightly and there was a similar undercurrent of tension in his son.  Or maybe John was just projecting from father to son.  Now Andrew seemed relaxed as they jogged, and John figured this was as good a time as any to talk shop.  "I got a lead on your pop."

Andrew eyed him.  "I figured there had to be something if you flew all the way out here.  Obviously, not something you wanted to discuss on a phone."

The kid was good, John had to admit.  Those aptitude tests didn't lie.  "One of the bigwigs at DHS said your pop got involved because of his brother, Drew."  That got John a raised eyebrow from Andrew.  "You don't think so?"

"What was Uncle Drew supposedly doing?"

"The guy said he was involved with an Al Qaeda sleeper cell in North London?"

Andrew came to a sudden stop.  "You're kidding, right?  Uncle Drew?"  He began to laugh like it was one of the funniest things he had ever heard.

"Why's that so funny?" John asked, grateful for a chance to take a bit of a breather.  Then it hit him.  "You know where Drew is, don't you?"

Andrew gave him a wry smile.  "Sorry, mate, but I'm sworn to secrecy.  I will tell you that Drew's not involved with terrorists.  Come on, we still have another two miles before the turn-around point."  John grimaced as they started to run again.  Andrew still seemed amused when he asked, "So what did they tell you about this sleeper cell?"

John had read the file about a dozen times and had it mostly committed to memory.  "6-8 British citizens of Middle Eastern origin.  Three live in Tottenham and the others live in Enfield.  All belong to the same mosque.  One works for a construction company where they plan to steal explosives."

"That's Mohamed Kassem," Andrew said, interrupting.  "Born in London.  Parents are both doctors who fled Iraq in the early 80s, because they're Shi'ites.  Educated at top public schools, including Winchester College until he was tossed out for objecting to the school flying the Union Jack.  I believe he called it the symbol of 'western imperialist dogs.'"  He looked at John, that earlier glint in his eyes returned.  "How'm I doing?"

"You know the case, I guess?"

"Yeah."  Andy nodded.  "My first assignment.  We concluded that the so-called 'cell' was just a bunch of wankers who liked to discuss grandiose plans in internet chat rooms, but there was no chance they'd ever get their hands on explosives and, if they did, they'd be more likely to blow themselves up than anyone else."

"So what's their connection to Drew?" John asked.  "And why would your pop go into the field if these guys were bozos?"

"None at all -- that is, there's no connection.  As for Father, there's no way that was his mission.  I'm certain of it."  Andy pursed his lips as he thought.  "What I want to know is who was stupid enough to try to sell you that story and send you on a wild goose chase?  If they knew anything about you and Father, they would've known you'd check it out with me."

John nodded, but then remembered who had given him the file.  "The lead didn't come from within the ISA; it came from a political appointee in DHS.  He didn't seem to know much about me, so maybe he didn't realize I would contact you."

"Homeland Security," Andrew muttered shaking his head.  "Now that's a joke."

"Yeah."  John thought a bit.  He had always questioned the validity of the lead, but Andrew's comments made him wonder even more.  The lead seemed so sloppy, so easy to debunk that it seemed almost too weak.  He and Andrew continued to jog in silence for another several minutes until John thought of something else.  "Hey, kid, you don't have to tell me where Drew is, okay,  but can you tell me if the ISA knows?"

Andrew shook his head.  "Only three people know.  Drew, Father and me.  I think Peachy knew too, that is, before she died."

Interesting, John thought.  So DHS or the ISA wanted to know where Drew was, and they thought the fake lead might cause John to lead them to him.  But why?

Andrew obviously had the same thought.  "Why would anyone in the ISA want Drew now?"  He looked at John.  "You don't think they want to--"

The kid was really good.  "It's the logical answer.  Drew and your pop are identical twins.  He could pose as Shane and avoid a possible scandal."

Andrew shook his head.  "You haven't seen Drew in what?  Two decades.  Whoever is behind this has utterly no clue."

John started to say something, but stopped as they passed a woman running the opposite direction.  She turned and began running alongside Andrew, her interest obvious as she began peppering him with questions.  Where did he live?  What did he do?  Wasn't he cold?  John tried to figure out the woman's age, but it was impossible to tell.  She had had more work done than a construction site.  She was at least 40 and probably closer to 60, he guessed.  Meanwhile, Andrew was responding to the interrogation like a champ, giving curt answers that tested John's ability to keep a straight face.  "In my Mum's basement."  "Ask him.  He'll tell you I'm an expert."  "Not really, I've got my sugar-daddy here to keep me warm."  The last two comments were said pointing to John.  The woman finally got the message, turned, and began jogging the other way.

Andrew laughed as they put some distance between the woman and themselves.  "Sorry, I completely forgot about the cougar problem around here."

"Next time, wear a shirt," John advised.  Then he turned back to the subject of their conversation.  "Andy--"

"Oh, it's 'Andy' now.  Not 'kid.'  That means you must want something important."

John sighed.  "Yeah, I do.  I need to know where Drew is.  I need to see him and warn him that he's in danger."

"You don't think Drew knows he's in danger?" Andrew said sharply.  "He's been living with a Stefano DiMera contract on his head for 20 years.  I doubt he needs a warning."

"That may be, but. . . ." John said.  "Look, I know it's a secret, but I really think I should talk to him."

Andrew looked pensive and did not say anything as they reached the end of the beach.  "Let me thing about it, Uncle John, okay?"

That was about as good as John was going to get right now, so he said nothing as they turned around and began heading back in the direction of Kim's house.  More people seemed to be up and about now, and he noticed that a number of women they passed seemed quite interested in them.  In an attempt to appease his own ego, John tried to ignore the possibility that their interest was mainly in shirtless Andrew.   After all, John was still in pretty good shape.

They ran in silence for about a mile.  John could tell that Andrew also was thinking about the search for Shane.  He studied Andrew as they ran, noticing that he was not running as easily as before.  That tension was back. 

John let his thoughts turn back to his own mission.  What Andrew had said about Drew and the sleeper cell convinced John that the DHS official had given him a false lead.  The question was why?  As they both surmised, the most obvious reason would be for Drew to impersonate Shane, but the more John thought about it, that theory made little sense.  Shane's cover with Nightwing was so deep that very few people even knew he was heading the ISA, and would those people really be duped by an impersonator?  And for what reason?

"You know, Uncle John. . . ."  Andrew's voice trailed off.  "The more I think about it, I'm not sure we're right about why they want Drew."

John chuckled.  "We seem to be on the same wavelength today, kid.  I was just thinking the same thing.  All the more reason to talk to him."

"Okay," Andrew said, sounding exasperated.  "You win.  I'll just have to find the right time to give you what you need.  I just don't want to do it when Mum's around, okay?"

"Sure."  John suppressed a smile.  The kid might be good, but he was a pushover when it came to family.  They continued running, but he noticed Andrew was slowing down.  He glanced over and saw that Andrew's gaze was fixed on one of the houses they were approaching.  John looked in that direction and saw a lone figure standing on its deck.  John thought back to the conversation of the night before.

"That her?" John asked.   "The girl from the 'thing'?"  Andrew took a noticeable swallow, and nodded.  John thought he looked surprised and nervous.  "You going to talk to her?"

"I don't know."  Andrew's words came out slowly.  His eyes remained steady on the woman, who John now saw was wearing only a robe as she sipped from a coffee cup.  Her eyes were fixed on them.  John had to admit that Andrew had good taste.  The woman was definitely attractive.   Tall and lean, with long, wavy dark hair.  Even in a robe, she looked pretty hot.

"Go on, kid," John said.  He gave Andrew a shove and began jogging away toward Kim's house, leaving Andrew behind.  "You never know what could happen."