Author's Note: This is intended to be a short one shot for now. If inspiration returns I will definitely continue writing.
Disclaimer: I have never and will never own the characters of the Bourne trilogy.
"It was difficult for me...with you." She watches the way his head tilts up suddenly and she hopes against all hope that those words will serve to be enough. Enough to trigger any small amount of memory laying dormant in his mind. But the blank searching look he offers reminds her that for him, gaining any memories back is highly unlikely.
"You really don't remember, do you?" She says, feeling the heart-sinking pain rise up in her throat.
"No." With his answer she presses her lips together and clenches her jaw, trying to gain some semblance of composure. She's grateful for the interruption by the police as they pick up and leave again.
She catches sight of him in the mirror, just a peek through the slightly open doorway and she pauses with the scissors. He stops on his perimeter sweep when his eyes spot her and she knows what he's thinking; knows what she looks like. A small sick part of her hopes that by remembering Marie and his feelings for her it will somehow trigger his memories of her. But then he's moving past the bathroom and down the hall again and she sighs as she redirects her gaze back to herself.
She stops a few feet from the bus and swivels sharply to face him. She wants to say something, can feel the words burning, but she chokes, she can't...won't force him to remember. So instead she takes him in, memorising the way he looks in case this is in fact the last time she sees him, which isn't altogether improbable. Then she turns after what she deems to be just long enough staring that it was becoming somewhat uncomfortable and heads for a seat on the bus.
"It gets easier", she hears him call out what little reassurance he can offer. She turns momentarily in acknowledgement before making her way into the bus, dropping herself into a seat on the opposite side so she won't have the temptation of watching him as they pull away.
She smiles with the flurry of giddy emotions that pass through her with the words of the newscaster. She's relieved he's alive, proud of his strength and determination, joyful that he's outsmarted them...but out of those she's mostly just glad he's made it another day.
The sensation that someone is watching her has her heart speeding up along with her breathing. But she resists the urge to walk faster or even run, knowing it will be an obvious tip-off to whoever's following her (provided it isn't all in her head, she thinks). Instead she continues on, but takes note of every junction, just like she has been for the past three weeks. Maybe that's the problem; maybe she's been in the same place too long. But after three months of spending a week here, and a week there...three weeks really didn't feel like much. Now it seems it may have been a luxury she ought not to have given herself.
She almost diverts into the crowded park on her right. But at the sight of all the children playing happily stops short. She can't bring herself to put innocents in danger. An assassin doesn't stop for children, she reminds herself. Instead she moves on at what she hopes is a reasonably consistent pace, hopes she hasn't alerted her tracker to her moment of indecision. When the train station comes into view she stops under the guise of stooping down to retie her shoelace, checking the times on the digital screen outside of the next trains departing from the station. The destination doesn't matter, as long as there are at least two trains leaving within minutes of each other she may just be able to confuse whoever is following her long enough to get away.
With the knowledge that the train she'll be taking isn't leaving for four minutes she steps up and swings left down a busy market lane lined with fresh food stalls and packed with people. She feels a hint of satisfaction; at least she's able to maintain some of her training. She feigns a slight left between two stalls, grabbing an orange shopping bag from the vendor and then weaves back through the people. As she moves she pulls a baseball cap from her shoulder bag and tugs it on (for such an occasion; always be prepared). She then slides her jacket and bag off her shoulder and shoves both into the orange shopper. The hundred metres back to the train station she doesn't let her guard down. After all, the limited disguise she's managed won't work for long once her hunter realises his target has 'disappeared'; which could be seconds or minutes.
Her steps carry a little more urgency now and she reaches into her right jeans pocket to swiftly pull out a small key as she enters the train station. She turns right past ticket collection to the left luggage area and hastily makes her way to locker thirty-seven. She slides and turns the key in one fluid movement, her left hand already reaching in to remove the backpack she's had in there since they day after she arrived. She unzips it briefly to remove an open-ended ticket, bought in anticipation of a day like today, before throwing it on over her back and heading for platform three, zigzagging between rows of lockers, and up and over the walkway. She's halfway down the steps just as the train rolls to a stop and she quickens her descent before striding across the remaining distance and onto the locomotive. Training tells her to pick a seat on the opposite side of the train from the platform. So she does, sliding in by the window, dropping her bag to her feet and letting out a sigh of baited relief. She relaxes just slightly in the relative safety of the train, but remains aware that she's not quite out of the woods yet. Her heart jumps when someone drops down into the seat next to her, but she doesn't dare look away from the window to face them. In her mind she knows that if it's going to happen it's going to happen. That's the risk you take when you get onto a moving vehicle with limited options and no escape routes.
"Impressive Nicky." A male voice says to her; a recognisable male voice. Her head turns sharply and she's greeted with a familiar site. Her mind stumbles over a name that doesn't exist anymore before...
"Bourne." She says simply as she leans her head back into the seatback and closes her eyes, wave of relief washing over her.
"I liked the added touch of the baseball cap; can't believe you still have that ratty thing." Her eyes blink open, but she stares straight ahead at the back of the seat in front. Wait, what?How does he...
"You can...?" She trails off lamely as she swallows her mouth suddenly dry.
"Remember? Yes. I remember everything." He says, and she finally turns to look at him seeing the honesty in his eyes. Seeing anythingin his eyes other than anger or a blank slate is refreshing, in fact it's comforting.
"I remember you." He says intensely, and she has to turn away again, swallowing harshly at the look he's giving her. He sits silent, patient, watching her as she pulls the baseball cap off, placing it in her lap before scrubbing a hand across her face tiredly. She doesn't know what to say, can't think of any words that could possibly be right for this situation. So when the train slows approaching the first stop she raises a hand to gesture for him to get up.
"Since I'm not about to be put out of my misery I think we can probably go back to the hotel I'm staying at." She says, forcing a tight smile. He nods and stands immediately, stepping into the aisle, waiting for her to gather her things, letting her out in front of him to lead them to one of the doors. She's thankful for the small act on his part to allow her some control, however small, over the unexpected situation they've found themselves in. As soon as they step out onto the platform she checks the time for the next train back a station, eight minutes, well at least she picked a town with good local transport to disappear in. She knows she can't keep her back turned on him for much longer or he's going to think she can't tell time. But maybe just a minute longer.
"Nicky", he says. His voice comes from her left and she turns to look at him. "I think we need to talk about a few things." He states, his voice calm.
"Understatement of the year", she mutters to herself, as she moves past him to sit in the middle of a row of metal seats. He overhears, because of course he does, with senses as sharp as his.
"Can we just pretend this isn't happening yet?" She says as he sits down beside her and she risks a glance at him, a frown forming on his face.
"Just until we get back. Please. I don't think I can do this here." She clarifies, voice reflecting a tired, pleading hint. He nods in response and she lets a breath out, as she turns to stare out over the tracks.
"I guess I didn't hide well enough." She says self-depreciatingly.
"You were actually kind of hard to find." He admits with the first real smile she's seen on his face in years. It's a small smile, but the genuine article nonetheless.
"Good to know it wasn't all a waste then." She says tiredly.
"I'm sorry it came to this Nicky."
"I'm not. Not really. It was my choice." There's a wistful look in her eyes, she knows it. "I'd never give you to them."
Author's Note: That's it for now. Read and if you want to review. I'm not holding the story hostage, but like I said, I will update if I get any ideas after semester ends in May.