Characters: Alex, Yassen
Rating: Err, G?
Word Count: 995
Summary: Not everyone is cut out for tranquility.
Warning(s): Spoilers for Eagle Strike and some mild AU.
Author's Notes: First fic in this fandom.^^ I'm afraid it's unbetaed as I found no-one to do it. Sorry.
This isn’t the first time. He tried to mention it to Mrs. Jones, not intending to ever go back to them but still feeling that she ought to know – but he’d felt ridiculously like MacGyver proclaiming Murdoc immortal and even at the time he sensed that she didn’t believe him. Angry and ashamed and doubting his own instincts he’d left and never come back.
But this time he knows he’s not wrong. He would honestly recognize that posture anywhere. His heart’s resumed beating at double pace. This is Oslo! Alex himself has come here for peace, because he has no connections to this place whatsoever and it seemed like a good place to go if you have a knack for attracting trouble. The city has never even had a terrorist attack. So what the hell, he thinks with a strange lightheadedness, is a guy like you doing in a place like this?
He waits until the fair-haired man has just disappeared from sight, then follows. As he rubs his hands together against the biting cold he wonders if Yassen feels at home here, amid the snow and the lethal frozen pavements. It seems to suit his temperament.
At the top of the stairs he has just time to spot Yassen entering the station building across the square, past the lounging teens and the sagging junkies. He makes his way past them without a sideways glance, and as the sliding doors close behind him he looks around quickly, searching for the familiar silhouette.
Nothing. He’s not here.
Alex feels himself begin to panic – if there’s one thing worse than suddenly seeing Yassen Gregorovich it’s suddenly not seeing him. He scans the crowds again, to both sides, even turns and casts a glance back outside in case he somehow missed him. He’s not there, not on the escalator… perhaps he’s gone up? But Alex was right behind him, he would have had to elbow his way up, and Yassen isn’t the type to attract attention if he has any other alternative.
Alex bites back a frustrated groan. He’s losing valuable seconds. The escalator is his best bet, so he winds his way between the travelers as carefully as he can until he reaches the top, but here the station hall spans out before him in its entirety, with a new and bigger crowd going to and fro with bags, trying to find their track. Not one of them looks familiar. Against his will, his heart sinks. There are too many people. Yassen could vanish in an empty room; Alex will never be able to find him in here.
Cursing softly he turns and heads for the escalator that will take him back down, walking slowly, still letting his eyes rake over the dozens of strangers, hoping against hope. Eventually, he has to admit to himself that he’s lost the man. He feels like kicking himself. How could he have been so slow to react? It was Yassen, his every instinct told him so, and he should know to trust his gut feeling by now, screw what anyone else says. He can’t help a bitter half-smile. Mrs. Jones, Jack… they both looked so worried when he told them, and at first he’d thought they were being reasonable – but then he realized they were worried about him.
Jack had seemed to think he was imagining this because he was obsessed with Yassen – unable to let his previous life go, or unwilling. Or perhaps it was because Yassen was the only real link he’d ever had to his parents? Mrs. Jones had looked at him earnestly and told him in the gentlest voice she could manage that he needed to move on, that perhaps retirement was a good idea – he could go on holiday, rest, give himself time to heal.
Making his way out of the train station and back into the snow, he scoffs, but he can’t help a small gnawing doubt, the same that assails him every time. It’s been stronger lately. He did see the man die. He still remembers the curious look his eyes had, as the usual sharpness slowly drained out. Maybe all that killing or being killed finally did something to his 14 year old brain. He’s been responsible for more deaths in the name of Britain than most of the country’s murder convicts – is it so unlikely that he finally snapped, that he keeps seeing Yassen because he wants to see him? Maybe he should take someone else’s advice for once, and see a therapist.
His phone vibrates against his thigh – Jack’s always nagging now – and he pulls it out and opens the text absently, too preoccupied to be annoyed as he glances at the display. It takes him a moment to realize what he’s seeing.
You look unwell. I hope you did not expect retirement to magically cure you?
Alex freezes, staring from side to side frantically, barely noticing that a man walks into him from behind. Naturally there’s nothing to see. His heart thumping, he turns his attention back to his phone, his mouth feeling cotton dry. The number isn’t withheld.As he presses the call button and lifts the phone to his ear he pinches himself with his other shaking hand, reeling and needing to know that this is real, and the reassuring pain makes a flare of hope burst in his chest. And when he hears the familiar voice on the other end of the line, softly accented English seeping under his skin and filling up the silent void, he’s unable to keep from smiling, because this, finally, is what he’s been missing.