DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but my own name.
SPOILERS: Spoilers for Season One, then we go off script and into a possible future. Love, angst, introspection, and spy stuff.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To spheeris1[at]yahoo.com

The Two of Us In the Unknown
By spheeris1


Chapter Seven: Vacation

She's not the only one out there.

She's not the only one you've been tasked to hunt down, to understand, to attach a series of motives and murders to. Sometimes you get just as excited, just as intrigued, as you first did with her; sometimes you marvel at an unknown face, at different tricks on display, and at the deadly ingenuity of someone new.

You get close to your quarry, too damn close – you always do, though – and you get in over your head, gloriously driven and so very reckless, and your car skids and slams into a wall, the chase over as they easily get away, and you curse and you sway in your seat and you pass out to the scent of burnt rubber, surrounded by a cloud of dust and blaring horns.

The following week, you are told to take a break.

You don't do so well with down-time, though. It chafes against your skin, against all the tender places, and leaves you sore. But you don't have a choice, you walked away alive and mostly unscathed – your neck still aches, there's still a purple-ish bruise upon your forehead – and you didn't manage to lose your job this go around, so you should be pleased, right?


You watch television. You read. You study the details of old crimes already solved. You go for walks and you clean the cupboards out and you have alcohol delivered straight to your door. You eat sparingly and doze constantly and wake up disoriented –  is it 2 p.m or 2 a.m...  – and you repeat various aspects of all of this for days and days.

Just waiting to be called back in.
Just waiting to be useful again.
Just waiting and waiting and waiting.

It's driving you crazy.

You come back from the store one afternoon, a smattering of food in your tote-bag, and you find her in your living room. She grins at you and then pointedly looks at the fading shadow on your brow.

"Heard you've been bad, running into things and such while I was away. Thought I'd come by, help you convalesce."

A soft chuckle passes your lips and you motion for her to follow you into the kitchen. You put stuff into the refrigerator and she snags what she wants of your tidy haul, opening and eating as swiftly as she does everything. You let her get a few more bites in before you swat at her hands, taking the box of salty-sweet snacks from her grasp and she frowns at you.

"So, how'd you hear about my little accident?"
"A little sparrow told me."
"Leave it to you to be specific and not just say 'birdie' like the rest of us..."
"Why would I want to be like the rest of you?"

At times, you ask yourself the same exact question – usually between dusk and dawn, usually with her in your bed – and you guess that you'll always have a thin tether to normal, to a few black-and-white morals, to something that can't wipe away all the wrongs just because one thing feels so very right.

Still, you've learned to compartmentalize. You have to. You must.

And you didn't notice her stepping closer to you, not until her fingertips graze over the bruise and then slide on down your cheek, eventually stopping at your jaw, holding you there. God, how does she always smell so good? You feel your eyelids wanting to flutter, to swoon for a moment in her presence, and you just manage to swallow the impulse back into your aching heart.

"How long are you here for?" Your voice, however, betrays you and you sound a little breathless. Her responding smile is knowing yet astonishingly tender.

"As long as you want."

She makes you dinner and she talks animatedly about where she's been – Tangier a few days ago, Cyprus before that – and you feel yourself relax as she speaks. You pour her more wine and she teases you, says you don't have to get her drunk for her to put out.

You smirk at her and fill her glass up anyway.

You both eat, your fork moving quietly to your mouth as she licks her fingers, and she talks about her old days in Paris some, about the little cafes there that she would frequent, about how much she misses good coffee whenever she's in England – "...the British can't do coffee for shit..." – and you agree, even though you prefer tea in general. Your conversation meanders for a while over plates shoved aside, words shifting from business to various pleasures until she's finished the bottle and you feel warm all over, like you've been sitting by a fire.

You are sleepy and full and feeling inordinately content. She's watching you from across the table, legs outstretched and shoes off. You let your head tilt to one side and return her calm stare.

"I think I'd like to go upstairs now. Want to join me?"
"Well, I am pretty drunk, so I doubt I can resist you."

You reach out with your bare foot and kick her in the ankle. She doesn't grin at you, but her eyes light up. She's happy. She's happy and you are happy to have her here – partially to end this tediousness you find yourself forced into, true, but mostly... mostly because you are always happy to have her here.

You don't tell her that you'll probably just fall asleep once you both lay down.
You don't tell her that you like having her close as much as you like fucking her.
You don't tell her. You don't need to, not anymore.

The two of you don't have to say anything, not after all this time.

You undress her, letting touches stray and linger, and you kiss her – on the lips, on the shoulder, at the hip and at the kneecap – and when she falls back onto your bed, you take a second to look at her, to take her in completely, and you step between her legs, lean down slowly and brush your lips over her neck and she embraces you with a sigh.

"Take off your clothes."

Her voice is a whisper, hot by your ear, and you turn to cover her mouth with your own, to kiss and kiss and kiss. By the time you pull away, her gaze is blown a little wide with wanting, and you pull off your shirt and shimmy out of your pants, and you crawl on top of her, straddling her hips and resting your hands on her chest.

"Can we sleep for a while?"

She caresses your arm. You close your eyes.


You smile, eyes still shut. She tugs one of your hands forward and kisses your palm. And then you are both rolling over, into the comforter and into the sheets, and you turn off the lamp by your bedside and she backs into you, her ass nudging your belly – impatient but not overly rude – and you laugh into the darkness of your room, pulling her into your arms.

"Better. You were taking too long."
"So needy."
"You love it."

And you do. God, do you ever.

One of the things you were most surprised to learn about her is that she doesn't sleep in. You noticed this fact long ago, after those barriers between your body and her body finally fell away, with you waking up around ten in the morning – groggy and sore and maybe a little ashamed of what you did to her, of what you allowed her to do to you – only to find that she had been gone for hours, the space beside you cold and dirty dishes left in your sink.

She likes to keep her body fit, like a fine-tuned machine. She's methodical – warm up, cardio, run – over and over, every morning, up before the rest of the world. You like a slower rise into the land of the living, limbs sluggish and bones popping, squinting at the day and mouth in a permanent yawn.

You roll your neck this way and that as she walks by, towel wrapped around her waist – not around the top half of her body, mind you, and yes, this is just how she walks around your home after a shower and yes, you are still affected by the sight of her, all flushed and damp – and she winks at you and you smile at her, lazy and barely awake and it's too damn early get aroused so you gently tamp the urge down before it can grow.

She likes to cook, She's messy as fuck, but she definitely knows her way around a kitchen. You've been lucky in that department, first with Niko... ah, well, perhaps it is best to not let your mind go that route... She likes hearty meals, nothing simple and nothing light. Butter and cream and oil, pots boiling over and multiple pans, herbs have to be fresh and meat has to come from a butcher. You've lived off of boxed pasta and packaged deli sandwiches, cheap wine and take-out – food never meant as much to you as your work, as your endless obsessions.

She turns her nose up at most of what fills your cabinets, even going so far as to toss out certain things – you tell her to stop, she doesn't listen – but she makes you breakfast. It's delicious and you roll your eyes at her smug, gorgeous face.

She even made you tea. Just as milky as you like it, too.

The first few times that you and her had sex, it wasn't awkward – there was so much lust, so much darkness built up between you both, this was inevitable – but it wasn't perfect or anything. You had to learn the ropes, not of being with a woman, but of being with her. And she had to adjust to you, read your signals, relinquish control and realize that she liked it that way, to give in and to know that in doing so, you'd do the same.

She enjoys digging her nails into your skin. She adores your attention to detail – if you pick up on something that makes her breath hitch, makes her spine lift upwards, makes her eyes roll back – you do it to her again and again, until she is begging you for salvation, for your sweet sweet mercy. She always wants more, you can feel it in her touch, but she is considerate as well. She won't push the point, even as her tongue rounds the curve of your ear and her thigh slides quietly over your own.

You boss her around in bed, with your words and with your hands, with your tongue dipping in and out of her, and she'll do anything you ask, anything you want. She is so completely yours in these moments – not a killer, not a prisoner, not Villanelle nor Oksana...

...but yours and yours alone, gaze fixed upon you in wonder, legs coiled about your hips and fingers weaved into your hair...

She belongs to you – and you to her – in those moments. And isn't that what you've wanted all along?

To belong somewhere.
To belong to someone who gets you, who gets all of you.
To belong to someone just like her.

You are doing some work, at least what they've allowed you to keep your eyes on during your 'vacation', and she lurks over your shoulder – making a comment or two, judging whoever you are tracking down on their style and technique – but you shove her out of your office. You trust her, you do, and yet, you don't trust her about this kind of thing, not fully.

It's best to keep this aspect of your lives as separate as possible.

You know most of their names now, the heavy-hitters of this world-wide espionage that used to haunt you, and you've watched a few get caught, seen some of the carnage left in their wake. You know what she does and you know what you do – the murky waters of your life, of her life, of all the places where the two of you intersect – and it is for the best to keep the details vague, to exchange information when it is needed and then move on to safer ground.

The danger of what you do draws you in, just as it always has, but you find that you are settled in your own weird little way.

You have your home, always being worked on and rough around the edges, and you have your work, your insanely risky but still stupidly enjoyable work, and you have yourself – new wrinkles and gray hairs to greet you, but a brightness to your eyes all the same, the headiest of addictions leaving you simultaneously wired and worn out – and you wouldn't change a thing.

And you are happy, like truly fucking happy.

You are happy and you have her, right now. In your chair. Leaning against your counters. Rummaging through your closet. Tugging blankets off you in the middle of the night. Arm around your waist, breasts pressed into your shoulder blades. Lounging on your back porch. Criticizing your books, devouring your movies. Sharpening a knife as she talks idly of wanting to go back to Italy. Stretching when she is bored, ligaments pulled taut in the sunlight. Fucking you on the living room floor, as eager for your orgasms as she is for her own, her grin like a tattoo on your neck.

You don't tell her that you could live like this forever.
You don't tell her that when she goes, you'll miss her.
You don't tell her that this past week with her has been goddamn wonderful.

You don't tell her. But you don't need to, not anymore.

After all this time, she knows.

She's packing a bag just as you get off the phone, your suggested sabbatical now at an end, and you'll have to go shopping again just to have food in the house – you won't be cooking any of it, but it's the principal of the matter.

Besides, you like to have at least a few items on hand. For her sake.

"All set?"
"Mmm-hmm. You?"
"Yes. Finally."

The look in her eyes is one of fondness and you wonder where she'll be going next, if you'll get to keep an eye on her or not, how long it'll be until you can both do this again.

"Such a busy brain. You kept me up every night with it tossing and turning beside me."
"I don't think it was my brain keeping you up every night."

She lowers her head a bit and grins at you and you feel it, the warmth of desire and of playfulness, you feel it throughout your bloodstream, and yes, it'll never be regular, this thing between the two of you, it'll never be you and her into old age, knitting or playing canasta, drifting peacefully into the next life.

The two of you will never be like everyone else. You'll never be like the rest of them and neither will she. And it's okay. It's better than okay. It's... it's...

"I love you."

You weren't planning on saying it. Then again, you can't plan saying those words. They tend to tumble out of you without your consent anyway. Her eyes widen just a fraction, so you know that she heard you and the thing is, you don't need to hear it back. It took a long, long time, but you know her now, you know what she can and cannot do, what she can and cannot say.

The thing is is that you know that she loves you. But maybe she doesn't know you feel the same, maybe you need to say it, maybe you should have been saying things all along – just in case you hit another wall and don't come back, just in case she runs out of her nine lives, just in case the world decides to end.

"Yes, good, I mean, uh, I mean –"
"What is happening to you right now?"
"Stop interrupting me, you are so bad at listening."
"Fine. Continue then."

And you find yourself smiling at her, stupidly amused at flustering her, and you love her. You love her and you are going to stand right here until she says whatever she can say, whatever words she can pry from her own heart and apply to her tongue. You love her and you're going to watch what you said sink into her psyche and let it wreak havoc with her head.

You love her and now she knows it.
You love her and now you've said it.

"I mean to say me too."
"You love yourself? Yes, I know this."
"You are so annoying sometimes."

You love her and you walk over to her and pull her into your arms and you close your eyes and breathe her in – your favorite assassin, your crazy catalyst, your greatest fascination, the end of all things normal in your life and you are ready to accept it, to accept that this is how you feel and this is who you feel these things about and you don't need to hear her say it back – you love her and you had to let her know, just in case, that's all.

And her arms wrap around you softly.
And you can feel the beat of her heart.
And she doesn't need to tell you, not anymore.

After all this time, you know.

Part 8

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