NOTE: Ahh, this took so long! Thanks for your patience. Whipped something up. Building this out as I go...have some ideas in mind ;) Let me know what you all think.
One Helluva Agent
"Luke Hobbs. What a surprise," Hattie said into the phone. Her heart was doing hopscotch in her chest. Part of her felt embarrassed.
"Hattie Shaw...great to hear your voice," he replied.
She smiled. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"I've been meaning to call you. I was going to a bit earlier but I see that you were busy. Say 'hi' to Magdalene for me."
"Oh," Hattie chuckled. "She knows what she's doing she...managed it on her own."
"I'm sure she did...I was actually calling to ask for your help. Somethings come up. Another assignment. You're the first person I thought of."
"What is it?"
"We've got intel that a rogue American scientist is working with the UK's criminal underbelly to build a bioweapon and sell it to the highest bidder."
"We knock one down an another takes their place."
"Yep. And this might require some off-the-books work. We don't need red tape getting in the way."
"Alright...I'm in. You've got more information?"
"I'll tell you more when you get here. Already booked you a flight to leave London tonight and get to Los Angeles by the afternoon."
"How'd you even know I'd say yes?"
"If there's anything I learned while working with you is that you're one helluva agent. Anyone willing to risk their lives for the sake of the world would jump on board for something like this.
Hattie beamed. "I'll see you soon."
"Look forward to it."
Hattie hung up still trying to process that she was already jumping onto another mission after finally having her family back together.
After clearing her name with MI-6 and subsequently resigning, she thought she'd have some time to relax and be normal, whatever that was. It wasn't in the cards for her, and now she had to explain that to her eldest brother and her mother.
She already knew that Deck would try to thwart her plan to travel to the states and her mother would try to tug her at her heart. Nothing would hold her back. Although the timing was unfortunate, she wouldn't have been able to truly rest knowing that there was a weapon being created that could hurt people and disrupt society - like the snowflake virus.
She no longer had MI-6 at her back, but she knew that Deck would be there if she needed it. That alone solidified her decision. She was going no matter the cost.
With a huff, she got up to break the news to her family - but not before carefully setting out her mother's pajamas on the bed.
Her steady focus was broken when she heard her mother and Deckard laughing across the massive room. She walked over to the lounge area in the far right corner and saw her mother keeled over, belly laughing on the black leather couch and Deck sitting on the floor, leaning on the adjacent loveseat. A platter of fish and chips was open on the coffee table.
"Have I missed out on the party?" Hattie said.
"Oh, I think it's just begun. The whiskey hit my system much quicker than I expected. Guess that's what happens when you've been locked away," Magdalene said through tears of laughter.
"I know you had some guard bringing something into your cell," Deck said.
"Not the guards...I can make a mean pruno," Magdalene smirked.
Hattie chuckled at her mother's candor and sat on the floor in front of her. Deck handed her a plate so she could grab some fish and chips.
"Did you make this, Deck?"
"I whipped up something in the kitchen," he answered with a shrug. "Thinking I'll close the bar today anyway since mom's back."
Magdalene sat up and scoffed. "Close the bar! I've been looking forward to conversing with regular old people since I got out."
"An hour ago," Hattie said, sarcasm pouring from her moth.
Magdalene gave her a playful shove.
"Come on, Deck. I'll be great! I'll drink and chat and you man the bar. It'll be nice to have a proper seat at the bar."
"Alright...if you say so."
This change of plans was perfect for Hattie. She knew exactly what she would do - slip out of the bar after it's gotten a bit busy and her mom's had a few drinks. They wouldn't know she was gone until she was already on her flight to sunny California. Hattie was more concerned about Deckard's reaction than her mother's. Deck and Luke were finally on friendly terms.
This mission would be almost, if not, as dangerous as their experience with Eteon. It could bury their newfound friendship. Deck would fly himself out to LA to kick Hobbs ass for pulling his little sister into harm's way.
It was best to be discrete, she thought. They were enjoying their time together now, and she didn't want to squander it with worry. She relaxed and decided to focus on these last few hours she'd share with her family before leaving. Her phone pinged - flight details. She focused her gaze on her phone, soaking in the information. Magdalene peeked over her shoulder.
"What's that? Got a date we don't know about?"
Hattie threw down her phone and reached for the almost empty bottle of whiskey on the table and a fresh glass Deck must have set out for her.
"If I did you wouldn't know about it."
"Is that so?" said Magdalene.
"Oh I'd know," Deck scoffed. "And if he does, in fact, lay one of his greasy fingers on you I'll go and-"
"Deck..it's not like that and you know it."
"Is someone going to tell me who this mystery man is?
Hattie got up pretending to look at the time. She needed an immediate escape, and this is where her training came in handy. She stood up and turned to look at them.
"...I need to use the loo."
She rounded the corner, passed the first bedroom to shut herself inside the bathroom.
She sighed and splashed water onto her face to calm her jitters. She couldn't distinguish the usual restless energy she'd get before every mission from the excitement she had to see Luke. It'd been a while since she'd felt this way about someone, and part of her despised the loss of control. The other part of her couldn't resist. The trained agent in her, however, always took the front seat and could guide any decision or feeling she had when faced with a challenge. The mission always came first.
She went down the hall to the bedroom she now inhabited since quitting MI-6 and losing her government-funded loft. She grew to like the new space and even preferred its obscurity. Packing up her duffel bag wasn't much of a task since she downgraded her wardrobe and sold most of her possessions.
After packing, she rejoined her mom and brother. They grew quiet as she walked up.
"Talking about me?"
"Don't flatter yourself," Deck said.
She made a face at him and picked up where she left off with her drink.
"A couple of hours until we open up," Deck said. "Going to get the bar ready."
"And I'll find something to wear," added Magdalene.
"So much for those pajamas," Hattie joked.
"None of that yet. We're going to have some fun."
Hattie shook her head with a laugh and helped Deckard clear the table.
Within a few hours, the bar dimly lit pub was full of patrons already buzzing after a few ales. Magdalene warmed a corner seat. Her flirtatious giggle could be heard at the other corner where Hattie silently filled her belly with more brown liquor.
She studied Deckard's standard deep-set frown as he churned out drink orders. The bar-back grabbed food orders from the kitchen. The two of them handled all of the orders with ease. It was like Deck to keep his teams small - that way he knew who to come after if something went wrong, or if someone went snooping where they shouldn't. The pub was a perfect cover, and a great way to access free booze.
Hattie checked the time and knew it was the perfect time to slip out unnoticed. She slipped out of her seat and went to the back of house to grab her duffel bag from her room. The lively, animated sounds of the bar disappeared as the door closed behind her. She was alone and enjoyed the silence more than she expected.
After grabbing her duffel bag, she slipped from the room and closed the door carefully though no one was around - or so she thought.
Magdalene stood in the hallway with her arms crossed and a smirk plastered across her face as if she'd caught a child sneaking into the cupboard.
"Shit-mother" Hattie breathed. "I-I didn't know you were down here.
"I wasn't. Not until I saw you sneak down here. Where are you going?"
She nodded at the bag.
"Please don't tell Deck."
Magdalene walked up to Hattie and placed a hand on her cheek. "I remember watching you are Deck come up with your little schemes, having to defend you when neighbors would come knocking on our door. It wasn't easy, raising all of you by myself. You all definitely didn't make it easy. But it was worth it. I knew I had my hands full with the boys, and you sure had your moments. But I saw something in you. You are truly remarkable. I don't know what you're about to get yourself into. If it's anything like the mess Deckard filled me in on, I really don't want to know. But if you need me, you don't hesitate. Now go, before Deck starts looking for both of us."
Hattie hugged her mother tight, letting herself rest for just a moment. "Love you."
"Love you too, darling."
Note: Thanks for reading! If you have comments, thoughts, or constructive criticism, I'd love to hear it! Appreciate grammar or style crit but content is focus for me. Writing this for fun.