AU 2015

He looked up when she walked in, his gaze following her as she paused at the door and then walked into the room. She could feel him looking her over, and she kept her hands at her sides rather than self-consciously adjusting the dress she was wearing. There was a seat empty at the bar, and she slid onto it, ordering a drink as she looked around the room again.

It probably said a lot about her current life that the settings she had been dropped into barely bothered her anymore. They were familiar now – no longer an over-decorated room filled with people that had more money than brains. Or at least not only such a room – now they were places where the seemingly empty-headed girl lounging against the bar might be as dangerous as Red himself should she choose to be.

The man tipped the rest of his drink back and stood, smoothly crossing the room towards her. For a moment, she considered getting up and moving – but he hadn't taken his eyes from her and she doubted that his attention would not make him follow her.

He was well-dressed, but in more of a...casual way, rather than Red's older fashion. 'Smooth' was the word that best came to mind to describe him – all nice words and smiles and nothing tangible beneath. He'd have what he wanted, and then he would leave – the perfect creature for the world like this.

He almost gave the impression of someone bowing when he paused before her and reached over to drop his glass on the bar. "What are you doing here?"

The faint German accent was noticed and filed away, and she smiled slightly as she turned to fully face him. "Wishing the night away. Alone, it seems."

"Ah," He picked up the refilled glass, "But you are not here for that."

"My plans are always ready for a change."

He looked her over again, an experienced glance. "One who is loose with one's schedule is always in demand." He looked up to meet her eyes again. "But you do not belong here."

He was dancing around whatever he had to say, and she doubted he was the sort of man to take 'no' for an answer in this instance. "Would you have a better setting?"

"Like a jewel in silver. The perfect setting for one such as you." He took his right hand out of his pocket and she noticed that he was missing his index finger – that it had been cut off nearly at the knuckle. "But it would not be in such...appealing clothes, nor in such a hot environment." There was a dark amusement in his eyes, and she looked to the door for Red's arrival.

"You don't know me though."

"Do I not?" He glanced at the clock. "It happens to be my birthday today – it's an old gift of mine that I like to use." He shrugged slightly. "I do not need to know you, darling."

"You have me at the disadvantage..."

"What are you doing here?" He took another sip. "You are not alone – you are waiting for someone. You are quite a good actress, but I have had the...fortune to know better. This is a place to relax or loosen up – you are here on business."

Red still hadn't come in yet. "'Business' is a matter of opinion."

"Indeed."

She resisted the urge to run to Red's side when he came into the room, reminding herself that she did not need his protection – that it would likely not be worth the price.

Red looked over the room and immediately came towards her. "Willem!" He held his arms out, dropping them again as he came up to the two.

The man turned around, a smile breaking across his face as he saw the other. It faded slightly as he tilted his head back towards her.

"You've met already – good: Willem, meet Lizzie; Liz, the man we came to see."

They both looked at each other again.

"Then you know-"

"Yes, yes. Probably shouldn't have sent her in here alone with you."

He took another sip, shrugging. "All's well that ends well." He slid onto the seat beside her. "What do you need now?"

AN: The man is Willem Karg from Alias again. Because I like him. I am so sorry for the other two – I've not seen the series in a while and tried my best to keep them in character. This is set sometime in the beginning episodes of the Third Series. The reason for this is that I think Red got him the papers and necessities to disappear after they 'faked' his death, and Red is always willing to have more trustworthy contacts. In my headcanon (well, there really isn't another for any of this...) he doesn't go out with women any more. Unless he knows them very well – but THAT I wouldn't write anyway, so... So when he sees Lizzie walk in, he sees too much that reminds him of (wow – I just realised that her name was Liz too...) the woman that lured him to the hotel room and then cut his finger off – so he goes to see what she wants. The reference to his 'birthday' is because Liz was pretending to be an early birthday present for him. It was...interesting and challenging to write. 3-22-2016