Author: Anne Phoenix PM
What did it matter if Ian wanted to spend some time on his own for once? Part of the Blood & Fire arc. Set just before the events of Stormbreaker.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Tragedy - Words: 2,544 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 2 - Published: 09-17-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5383197
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author: Anne Phoenix
Summary: What did it matter if Ian wanted to spend some time on his own for once?
Part of the Blood & Fire arc. Set just before the events of Stormbreaker.
Warnings: Violence, character death
He prided himself on his self-control. He was cold, calculating, efficient. He didn't make mistakes. Unlike Sayle, who was an idiot and an egotist and completely and utterly wrong.
Ian Rider spends a lot of time in the village, doesn't he?
Yes, well, security at Port Tallon was hardly rocket science. It was nothing Yassen couldn't take care of. What did it matter if Ian wanted to spend some time on his own for once? He'd only just returned from a long and excruciating security job in Somalia. Where he'd nearly been hacked to pieces by a gang of machete wielding mercenaries. It was understandable that the Sayle job didn't command the same level of commitment. Ian knew what he was doing.
It wasn't like Ian was meeting with anyone …
And when he is on site, he doesn't do blidding anything, the lazy bastid. I expected more when I engaged Scorpia.
And Scorpia expected more of its operatives. But Ian deserved a break. Yassen was just grateful that they'd been sent to the same job – the board normally made a point of sending them to opposite sides of the planet. It wasn't out of some sort of misplaced sense of professionalism, either. No. Yassen knew that idiot, Hale, still wanted Ian. Well, no one else was having Ian. Not if Yassen had anything to say about it.
And Ian certainly wasn't a lazy bastard, even if he wasn't a typical Scorpia operative. His dedication to the organisation wasn't as diehard as that of most of its agents, and sometimes Yassen thought Ian might only be in it for the money. But just because Ian wasn't a fanatic, that didn't mean he didn't do a good job. He was definitely one of the better freelance security coordinators Scorpia had to offer. His jobs rarely failed. Not while he was still in charge anyway. Yassen knew as well as anyone that clients often bollixed things up the moment a job ended and they were left to their own devices.
It wasn't like Ian was sabotaging his jobs …
He's too nosy for his own good, as well. Always snooping around where he doesn't have any business.
Ian was always nosy. It was just the way he was. It was a character trait that set him apart from his brother, who had always minded his own business and couldn't have cared less who did what, where or why. No, Ian always wanted to know the real identity of their clients. He wanted to know exactly what they were doing, why, when, how. But then, it was his job as a security coordinator to ensure that all jobs ran smoothly and without outside interference, so in a way, Ian needed to know more details about jobs than most operatives.
Yassen smiled when he thought of how, after a few drinks, Ian would sometimes go into his curious mode. He would question Yassen about his latest assignments, always wanting to know every last detail. Yassen knew that it was his lover's way of coping with the stress of his job. No matter how good their training, Scorpia operatives were subjected to a lot of pressure. And pressure made people act in funny ways.
It wasn't like there was anything sinister behind Ian's inquisitiveness …
Are you sure you can trust him?
Yassen almost lashed out then. One well placed blow to the neck would end this stupid conversation with this slimy, mistrustful little man. If there was anyone in this world Yassen trusted, it was Ian. And Yassen didn't make mistakes. Yassen wasn't ever wrong about things like trust and …
If you're so sure, then maybe you could explain this? Or should I contact your bliddy superiors and ask them to explain it?
Yassen didn't make mistakes. Yassen didn't make mistakes. Self-control, self-control. Sayle made mistakes. Please. Sayle had to have made a mistake. Yet as he listened to the recording of Ian's voice talking to the Head of Covert Operations at MI6, Yassen could think of no plausible explanation. The recording was telling him that Sayle was right and that he, Yassen, had been wrong for a very long time.
Nodding thoughtfully – self-control, self-control, Yassen pulled out his gun. "I'll deal with him," he promised, his voice cold and controlled. As always. After all, he prided himself on his self-control.
He went straight to Ian's room. For a moment, he hesitated. Then he shoved his gun back into its holster and banged on the door. In the split second before Ian opened the door, Yassen suddenly realised that he was sweating. He felt uncomfortable, clammy. His heart beat against his chest and he wanted nothing more than to turn around and leave the compound. When Ian opened the door, however, Yassen felt his normal calm sweep over him, leaving him focussed and in control.
"Yassen ! I thought we'd agreed to be discrete? You look stressed. Let me help release some of that tension." Ian's blue eyes sparkled playfully. He always sported that slightly knowing look, like he could see the inner thoughts of the person in front of him, like he was watching, spying, prying ... With a cry of rage, Yassen stepped into the room and slammed the door. "You bastard," he hissed. "You absolute fucking bastard!"
"What do you mean?" Ian asked. Yassen felt mesmerised by the blue eyes, the unperturbed expression. He knew this man so well, didn't he? His playful smile had given way to a more enquiring look, but Yassen still wanted to punch him. He clenched his fists instead, grounding himself in the pain of his nails digging into his palms. "Sayle intercepted your communication."
Yassen was silent for a moment. It took all his strength to say: "To MI6."
The colour drained from Ian's face, and if Yassen had needed any confirmation, this was it. He felt a surge of emotion rush up and turned away. When John had died, it had been like losing a father. The grief had been terrible, but at least it had not been accompanied by the agony of betrayal.
"You going to kill me?" It sounded like a challenge.
Get out, get out, get out! "I don't have a choice."
Did he have a choice? Rage coursed through him. Rage and grief an- Yassen punched the wall, not caring about the pain that shot up his knuckles. "For fuck's sake, Ian. Why?"
"Why the fuck do you think? Scorpia is the reason my brother is dead!"
"Scorpia did not kill him!"
"Scorpia corrupted him."
Sorpia had tried to save him! Yassen thought of John, his mentor, his surrogate father. John Rider had not needed corrupting; he'd enjoyed his work for Scorpia, thrived on it! Yassen searched Ian's expression. It was deadly serious now; no trace of any emotion – no fear, no anger, no resignation.
"I can't let you leave."
Yassen's voice was weak. Ian's lips twitched. "Stop me, then," he said arrogantly, before striding past Yassen. He took confident steps, but Yassen knew he was on his guard for an attack. They were well matched in unarmed combat – it wouldn't be an easy fight to win. Yassen did nothing. Did not even turn to watch Ian leave.
He felt torn. On the one hand he knew he should stop Ian right now, whatever the cost, and bring him before Scorpia for just punishment for his betrayal. On the other … this was Ian. If he could walk away, MI6 would protect him to the best of their ability. Scorpia would never know. And if Yassen never saw Ian again ... well, that didn't really matter, did it?
Yassen laughed at himself. He was being ridiculous. A stupid, pathetic lovesick teenager. He tried not to think why his laughter brought on tears. It wasn't that funny. He stood there for ages, moving only when Herod Sayle banged his stupid cane on the doorframe.
"Gregorovich, do you have any idea how much bliddy money I paid for your services? I was told you were the best bliddy package – a security coordinator and an assassin. Now my security is corrupted and my assassin is standing around like a bliddy flowerpot."
Yassen felt his resolve strength. In a way, Sayle was right. Yassen had a reputation; not just with Scorpia, but with many international clients. "I'll sort it out," he said. It came out as a croak.
Sayle pulled a face. "You'd better bliddy sort it out, Gregorovich. You fix what you've broken. I'm sure your superiors will be bliddy delighted when I tell them their security coordinator was a bliddy spy. Maybe I'll get my money back. Bliddy useless, the lot of you!"
"I said: I'll sort it out, " Yassen snapped angrily. His hand itched to go for his gun to shoot Sayle. Not because it would fix anything, but because he would feel an intense pleasure at watching this despicable man bleeding to death. But luckily for Sayle, the helicopter had arrived.
Yassen's legs felt heavy as he climbed on board and his gun was like lead in its holster, weighting him down, holding him back. He nodded to the pilot, who shrank back when he recognised him. Inwardly, Yassen snorted with amusement. His reputation preceded him. Outwardly, he maintained his ever-constant façade of self-control. "We're going to London. There's a helipad near Old Street Station. Drop me off near there. I'll find my own way back."
The machine rose vertically and Yassen felt a little nauseous, but he looked straight ahead, observing the grey clouds that covered Cornwall. "Follow the coastline," he ordered. He had always liked the sea – it was ever-present, dependable. Unlike that fucking traitor …
It seemed to take forever to get to London, but Yassen knew they were well ahead of Ian's car. The pilot looked relieved to leave Yassen behind and Yassen waited for the chopper to disappear into the grey clouds overhead before making his way down into the street. He was right by the western entrance to Old Street Roundabout – it was about as empty as he'd ever seen it, probably due to a combination of the introduction of the congestion charge, the late time of day and the draining effect of the summer holidays. Ian could not avoid this roundabout on his way back into London. All Yassen had to do was wait.
He managed to keep his mind blank for over an hour, refusing to think about of he was about to do. The past was nothing. Loyalty was everything. In a way, he was going to give Ian an easy ending. If Scorpia ever found out about his betrayal … Yassen shuddered. It didn't even bare thinking about.
Nevertheless, when the sleek silver BMW finally pulled onto the roundabout, Yassen felt a moment of uncertainty before the serenity of the kill took over. He caught a brief glance of Ian's look of surprise as he stepped onto the road. Then everything exploded in a hail of glass as the bullets of his handheld automatic weapon sprayed the side of the car. The driver's window shattered first, then the windscreen. Yassen held his ground as the car veered dangerously before tearing off the roundabout and hitting a lamppost.
Ignoring screeching brakes and a few screaming bystanders, Yassen sprinted to the wrecked car. It was smoking a little, but Yassen knew it was unlikely to explode. He hadn't hit the motor and the BMW's crumple zones had activated upon impact, shielding the fuel tank from internal damage.
Ian had bounced off the airbag, which was already deflated, and lay sprawled in the driver's seat. Yassen felt cold, numb, as he took stock of Ian's injuries. There was blood every where, which was a relief, in a way. A part of Yassen had been dreading the coup de grace, and it was obvious here that no other bullets would be needed to finish off Ian.
Yassen managed to pry open the driver's door of the wrecked BMW and crouched down by the seat so that he was level with Ian's face. The familiar blue eyes still sparkled, but Ian's handsome face was drawn with pain. Blood continued to gush from his wounds and the flow of crimson was spreading onto the seat of the former luxury car, seeping in, staining it. Yassen wanted to scream and shout and protest the unfairness of the world.
"I loved you, Ian." It came out as an accusation. "I even thought you loved me."
"I know," Ian whispered. His voice was strained. The words seemed to hurt him, but Yassen couldn't tell whether it was their content or the action of speech itself. Ian coughed painfully. His eyes went wide as the agony of the spasm crushed his lungs. He looked confused and lost, almost like he did not know where he was or who he was speaking to. But then his gaze regained its focus.
"Yassen! You have t- to look aft- ter Alex. I—
Ian went so still that for a moment Yassen thought he'd stopped breathing, but then he wheezed and drew in a painful breath. "I f- fear MI6 might t- try to get Alex. I don't want th- those bastards t- to have him. Please Yassen, protect h- him."
Yassen felt angry. Why should he protect the traitor's nephew – what did a shielded teenage brat have to do with him or with anything? But just as quickly, the irritation drained away. The traitor was Ian … and Alex was all that was left of John. Alex was all that was left of Ian.
Yassen looked up at Ian with a rush of almost overwhelming sorrow. His lover's breathing was too shallow, too erratic. He didn't have long. "I promise," Yassen said, taking Ian's hand and squeezing it as tightly as he could. "I promise to look after Alex."
Ian's hand went limp. The wheezing had stopped.
Self-control, self-control, pain is nothing, love is nothing, loss is nothing. Yassen screamed out loud. Self-control, self-control, self-control! Sirens cut through the night. With a final squeeze that almost broke his heart, Yassen folded Ian's hands over his bloody lap. He wiped his eyes. The smoke from the wrecked motor seemed to be making them itch. It was irritating his throat. He couldn't breathe, couldn't see, had to get out! Self-control. No mistakes.
"Goodbye, Ian," Yassen whispered.
Fuck, I loved you.
Chapter End Notes: