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 Eight: All That Matters

You've never seen her cry. At least, not for real. There was that one time – you with your damp hair and her eating your food, a crocodile weeping by your side – but that was ages ago. You wonder, sometimes, if she knows how and if she does, if she decided to stop one day, to drop the need for tears like a bad habit.

You wish you could do that. You've come close, but never quite close enough. You still feel so much, feel so much all the way from the tips of your fingers to the bottom of you feet to the marrow in your bones. You feel rage. You feel loss. You feels happiness. You feel hunger and heat, you feel depressed and dark.

You feel everything.

You wonder if she can do the same, you wonder what it would take, and if she could, if she could feel as much as you do, would you still want her? Would you have ever looked at a photograph of her kill – a man bleeding out from one tiny wound in just the right place – and been as mesmerized as you were if she were even a bit like you?

Not that she is completely different from you. Or you from her, for that matter. You both love getting your way, you're both smarter than so many others around you, neither one of you know how to let go or how to fully forgive, and when you stare into her eyes, you see something familiar mirrored back to you.

Something intangible but oh so real. Something beyond desire, deeper than longing. Something more twisted and more lovely than anything you have ever seen in your whole entire life...

...and it brings tears to your eyes, whatever it is, and you can feel the warmth of these tears sliding down your cheek and that reminds you just how cold the rest of you is and these tears fall down just like you do, your body no longer in your control, and you don't know how you can feel more pain than you already do, but hitting the hard ground lets you know just how much more things can hurt.

You open your mouth and you try to say something, her name or to curse or to just say something, anything will do, won't it? If this is it, if whatever you were trying to do has led to this and if there's nothing left but the gaping maw of endless nothingness ahead of you, then you want to say something, anything, anything at all.

But you can't.
You can't do a damn thing.
Not now.

"I don't do what you do, okay? But that doesn't mean I don't feel things. I just don't fall apart. I go on because that's all I can do. I go on."

You've had this talk before. It's not new. None of this is. And normally you understand, normally you don't even care that much, but every once in a while, it matters to you. Maybe for your own sake, maybe for your own sense of balance, maybe for the used-to-be morally conscious you.

She's not going to stay. Not tonight. She dislikes arguments, even the gentle kind. Even after all these years, she can still pout like a spoiled child if she does not get her way, and you've long given up the urge to convince her to stay.

You have your own pride to contend with. You have your own fights not worth fighting and you are perfectly fine with sleeping alone. You've done it enough, after all.

"I know. Doesn't make it any easier on me, that's all."
"God forbid that things are not easy for you."

Oh, now she's feeling truly irritated and a part of you wants to rise up to the bait. Perhaps she thinks that you'll get mad enough to kick her out. Or perhaps she thinks that a spark of mutual anger will boil over into lust and you'll both fuck the words out of each other.

You've done these things before, too. One gave you really good orgasms and the other gave you weeks of annoyance. But not tonight, tonight you just shake your head, finish your glass of wine and walk away.

She does not follow.

You don't know how it can be so loud and so quiet at the same time. But that's exactly how it is, a booming in your ears and a deafening silence in your head, a strange science that you cannot explain – and you couldn't explain it, even if you could talk. Which you can't, not one fucking word.

You catch it all in flashes now and everything blurs, everything is an unholy mess in your mind. You hear a crash and someone screaming, you hear the beating of drums and see strobe-lights, you see something red closing in on you and you feel sick to your stomach, you feel like the world is spinning underneath you and you want something solid to hold onto.

Suddenly you are face first into the ground and you cry out – oh, you can do that, but you can't speak, that's just great, just great – and you can actually feel the blood leaving your body, feel everything slipping further and further away and you don't remember how you got here, you don't remember why this is happening at all, you don't remember a goddamn thing.

Maybe it's better this way.
Maybe it's about time you forgot.

It was in Moscow, that's when you decided that nothing else mattered. All that you cared about, honestly, was catching her. Catching her and maybe killing her. Maybe helping her. Maybe you didn't know what you wanted to do with her, but you had to find her. You had to, you just had to.

You remember that first night, ramped up on the chase and eager and determined, ignoring the man you left behind, ignoring the nagging doubts, losing sight of the dead in the midst of your own mission. And you couldn't sleep. And you didn't want any more alcohol or food or hot showers. You paced and you read over the files for the hundredth time. You wondered what she was doing, if she was asleep or if she was awake, if she were alone or with someone, if she was thinking about you.

And it was somewhere after one in the morning that you thought about her face. Her wicked smile. Her horrible, beautiful eyes. The sensation of her so close, breathing you in. The tip of a knife against your flesh. You thought about her constantly, relentlessly, and you knew that something must be wrong with you, something must have been terribly wrong with you because you were turned on.

By her. By the fear. By the power. By what you were so near to but had not yet touched.

It was in Moscow that you fucked yourself while thinking about her. Just the once. It was complicated and it was delicious and you vowed to never, ever do it again.

Never, ever again.

Someone's talking.
Or not. You can't be sure of anything anymore.
You think your eyes are open.
But if they are, then it is really, really dark.
You can't see. You can't see and you can't tell if someone is talking or not.

You are moving, though.
At least, you think you are.
You feel numb, mostly, but something is being moved.
Your arm. Your hand, you think.
Someone has your hand, that's what you think.

It's nice. Nice to be held.
You are so cold.
You want to tell them to hold you closer.
But you can't talk and... and...
What were you thinking about anyway?

Oh, that's right. You're dying.

You've never heard her laugh, not until this moment, and it is so ridiculous, so unexpected, that your only reaction is one of wide-eyed shock. But she is laughing, at a not-so-funny moment in a film, and isn't that just like her? Isn't she wired in just the right way to be wrong according to everyone else?

It warms her face, this laughter. It's genuine and relaxed and when she finally acknowledges your stare, one eyebrow gets raised in response.

"What? He got hurt, it's funny."

You just nod your head, finding a slow smile growing on your lips, and she is still sort-of chuckling and her body sags closer to you. Close enough to be intimate, but only unconsciously. It might be the only time that she hasn't used proximity as a chance to have sex with you not that you've been complaining, you've been incredibly agreeable in fact but this is different. Her shoulder pressed into yours, her hair falling down and tickling the edges of your arm, and her legs tucked up into her chest.

And you wonder if anyone has ever seen her like this.
And you wonder if you are the only one given such access.
And you wonder when you fell in love with her.

"Stop watching me and watch the movie."

You do as she says, but only because you don't know what to make of your feelings. And you need time to sort all this out. You might need a fucking lifetime to sort all this out.

"You don't get to do this, you arsehole... Are you hearing me? You never fucking listen...You do not get to do this. You don't. Not to me. You don't get to do this to me, you stupid..."

You want to tell her to shut-up.
You want to see her dumb face.
You want to hear her laugh again.
You want to fight with her forever.

"...stupid woman, what were you thinking, eh? That you could just, what, stop it all from happening? That you could save me or something? I don't need you to do that, I don't need you to save me, Eve..."

You want to smirk at her.
You want to roll your eyes.
You want to nudge her shoulder.
You want to kiss away her fear.

"...Eve? C'mon, you are not allowed to do this, I told you not to... You need to open your eyes, okay? People are coming and they are going to take care of you, alright, and you just gotta, uh, you gotta... Eve? Fuck... Look, I'm going to press a little harder. It's going to hurt and you cannot get pissy with me, okay? Or you can... Get mad, okay? Get mad at me and open your goddamn eyes..."

You want and you want
and you want and you want
and you want want want
you want everything when it comes to her.

How long has it been? Since the start of you and her? How long has it been now, surviving the death of friends and the end of a marriage, the loss of jobs and the earning of new journeys, the countries crossed and the secrets kept, a knife in your hand and bodies left behind her – how long has it been?

You counted up the days, once, and it wasn't anything. Just a drop in the ocean of your life so far.

You were someone else before her. You had someone else lurking inside of you, too. Someone cold, someone calculating, someone capable of so much destruction. She has always been some version of who she is now, rough where now she can be refined and cool where she was once hot-headed – well, some of the time. No one is perfect and who are you to judge?

And how long has it been? It feels like ages, it feels like you've known her for all of your days. You know the lines on her hands and the shape of her delight, the curve of her lips and the terror in her gaze. You know how she breathes when you are inside of her and you know how she yearns for something simple, something pure, something soft and reliable. You know her hunger, her anger, her intelligence, her silliness and her sins.

It feels like you know her better than you know yourself.

The first time she kissed you like truly kissed you it was snowing outside and she had a nasty wound down the side of her face. She showed up, after at least a year since you had last seen her, and you froze when you saw her standing there by your front door.

She hadn't made contact with you since you started your new job, the one that made her bosses and your bosses quite close, and you hadn't reached out either. You knew you had not killed her and that's all that mattered. Her name would pop up in case files and reports, as talented within this new world as she was in the old one, and you kept a surreptitious eye on her exploits. You rose up the ranks, too, solving this and that and she continued to kill with aplomb, the two of you drawing ever nearer to one another again.

You let her in. She tracked mud into your carpet. You were renting and you'd have to pay out of pocket to get that cleaned. She drank your alcohol and you offered to clean her up. She let you. You stayed away from her stare, focused on soap and water and hydrogen-peroxide, and she sighed heavily, like you were disappointing her.

And then she stilled your hand, forced you to look at her, and she kissed you.
Right on the mouth. No skill or finesse, just barreling into your lips like she'd chicken out otherwise.

And that's when you decided to just kiss her back. Just kiss her back and be done with whatever story you'd been telling yourself all along the story where you didn't want her, didn't dream about her, didn't ache to pull her apart and spend your days figuring her out and you kissed her back.

God, how long has it been?

You think you might have loved her for a long, long time. Needed her. Desired her. Hated her.

A few minutes? Eons?

You think she might have loved you for a long, long time, too. Loved and loathed you in equal measure.

Decades or hours? Seconds or...?

You think you might never know the truth. Not in this lifetime. But does it even matter? With her lips against yours, does anything else matter at all?

...how long has it been?

Oh, that's right. Not long enough.

You've never seen her cry.

This might be your best chance of catching a glimpse of whatever sorrow would look like on her face, the slant of sadness against her mouth or within her dark gaze. You try to focus, outside of your skin and your muscles and everything else, you try to focus on her face. But there's so much to see around you: two or three bodies, contorted and broken on the ground, and flickering lights hitting the wall from the small window, and the stains of red running over concrete.

You try to focus on her face. A bruise coming to life along her jaw, god, she's always getting hurt.
You try to focus on her face – and lips moving, knuckles white, blood seeping past the fingers – you try to focus, you've got to focus, you need to focus.

You've never seen her cry. You're not sure why you want to see it. To prove she is human? To prove that you have this one thing in common? To know that, if you were gone, she'd care? To know that, if all this were to end, she'd give a damn?

You try to focus. On her face. Dirt on her cheeks. Brow furrowed.
You try to focus... on her face... and you've studied her for so long now, every grin and every frown, the sheen of youth and the shattered spaces she's barely aware of... and you try to focus, to focus on only her and not how cold you are, not how motionless you are, you try not to focus on yourself.

"No... please, no, don't do this... Eve, I can't... not without you, I can't..."

You try to focus.
You try and you try.
You try and try and she seems so far away and you want to reach out for her, tell her it is all okay, that none of this matters, and you focus on her face – her gorgeous, damnable face – and you watch her as she is left behind, slumped on the floor, staring at nothing and oh, how her eyes shine, like stars exploding, and you see meteors falling, a slow descent before they disappear and she is so beautiful, so beautiful, so beautiful...

...and if this is the last sight you ever see, then whatever comes next is just fine by you.

You had a dream about her. You cut your way into her body, held her beating heart in your hands, and you told yourself not to drop it. Don't drop it, don't you dare drop it. You are so reckless with precious things.

The name 'Niko' tattooed on your wrist, burning you. Bill, hanging on your shoulders like an overcoat.

"You said you'd kill me. You didn't say you'd keep me alive, too."

Her voice washes over you and you smile, you smile and press her heart to your chest. You want to stitch her to you, bind you to her, and then maybe it would all make sense. She laughs at you. You laugh at yourself. It's funny how much you are willing to throw away for this, for her. It's funny how much you feel like crying.

"Don't cry."

You look up at her and only see yourself. You look up and you are alone. But her heart, you still have it, and that means something... doesn't it?

"...don't cry..."

You can't see anything, but you can feel so much. You feel every inch of yourself and every inch of yourself is in agony. You are hot, you are sweating, and you want to claw your own skin off your body. Everything is blinding white, even with your eyelids closed, and you wonder if 'blinding white' is the color of pain.

"...don't cry..."

It's your own voice that you hear, though – weak and cracked – and talking hurts but you can't seem to stop your lips from moving, tongue thick and syllables slicing along your throat. A new sensation grips you, presses warm and wet touches to your palm, again and again and again.

"I'm not crying, I don't cry, okay?"

You can't see anything, stupid eyes won't open just yet, but you think she might be lying – just a little bit – and maybe you don't ever have to see it, maybe you don't want to, in the end, and maybe all that matters is that she is here and, strangely enough, so are you.

"...okay, love..."

And maybe that's all that has ever mattered.


Part 9

Return to Killing Eve Fiction

Return to Main Page