Author: Mrs.JohnReese PM
When a young woman leaves her shattered home for a career in the military, she encounters more than she ever dreamed; and learns a lot about the secrets that have been kept from her in the process. How will John Reese come into play? Read to find out more ;)Rated: Fiction T - English - Crime/Drama - J. Reese - Chapters: 8 - Words: 23,460 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 05-14-13 - Published: 10-09-12 - id: 8595346
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I would be a fool if I tried denying how hard my heart was pounding as Mark drove the SUV to the top of the parking structure. It would be a lie if I said that my hands weren't firmly planted underneath my legs in the back seat of the car as I attempted to be stealthy about the deep, steadying breaths I was taking. I knew what the end of this night looked like. We had found Reese. We…or at least, Mark…planned to kill him on sight.
As far as Carter and I…we were just along for the ride.
Several times during our journey, I caught the detective casting glances in my direction. I could tell she was watching me…Mark must have told her of my apprehension. And now she was searching my face from the front seat…looking for evidence to my feelings on what we were about to do. But for my part, I tried to keep my gaze rooted firmly on the passing scenery as we raced through the lower levels of the parking structure; giving myself a silent reprimand as my doubts continued to plague me.
Tonight, I would become a party to murder. And for what? So that I could try to make myself believe that Mark loved me?
"Natalya" Mark's voice came from the front of the SUV then, eyes locking with mine in the rearview mirror "You with us?"
Shaking myself, I managed a nod; fighting back the nausea that hit me then as I caught a flicker of motion a bit further ahead of us in the garage.
I couldn't see his face. I couldn't really make out any distinguishing characteristics from the angle we were at currently…really, I had no guarantee that the man walking towards the car at the far end of the rooftop was our target. But somehow…inexplicably…
I knew anyway. This was it.
Mark brought the SUV to a stop with a squeal of the tires, causing the man who had been walking to stop and turn around to face us. I took one last attempt at a steadying breath as I prepared to get out of the vehicle; shutting the door behind me and slowly walking to stand by Mark's side. Casting a brief glance at Carter, I saw that she stood across from us, hand at the holster of her gun; and I sent her a faint nod of acknowledgement before returning my focus to the man we had waited so long to catch.
John Reese stood before us, at last. And my God, if he didn't look every bit a trained assassin as Mark…as Evans. His face was almost identical to the picture Mark had given me when he first explained this assignment; as though he hadn't aged a day since his disappearance. Except for one difference.
In the old Agency photo, he had appeared cold…distant. As though he couldn't care less what he had done…what he was responsible for. But here, in person; it was different. I watched his eyes scan from Carter, to Mark, and finally to me. And it was then that I saw it.
A complete lack of surprise…as though he had been waiting for this day…this reckoning. But shadowed behind that stoic mask of calm was something else. Something that I might have missed, had his eyes not remained locked with mine; as though he had just seen a ghost.
Regret. Or was it a flare of recognition?
I tilted my head to the side as I studied him, trying to figure him out. He was armed…I could see how his hand twitched in the direction of what could only be a gun hidden underneath his suit jacket. But he never made a move to actually grab it. And that spoke volumes.
Maybe he had been a cold-hearted killer. Maybe there was a monster in there somewhere. Buried beneath whatever scars, emotional and physical, he had earned throughout his life. But could I really allow myself to believe that he was still that person…that monster that Mark had painted for me; if he had already had ample opportunity to draw his weapon on us…and hadn't?
My focus was temporarily jolted as I heard Mark's voice ring out from beside me; and I found myself only barely tearing my eyes from Reese's as he spoke.
"Hello John." Mark's voice was cold…tight with eagerness. That much was clear to me, as I watched a familiar, predatory gleam come into his eyes as he awaited John's reply. Trying my best to ignore the apprehension that was settling itself in the pit of my stomach; I allowed my eyes to flit back to Reese as he shifted slightly on his feet. It was obvious that he was uneasy…that he was trying to figure out a way out of this as quickly as possible. I could read it in the way his shoulders almost automatically stiffened as he stood there…in the way his lips had drawn themselves into a thin line; signifying his apprehension. But none of that anxiety was portrayed in his reply; his voice every bit as calm as though we were simply discussing the weather as he issued his one-word reply.
"Glad to see you're still alive" Mark forged ahead, clearly unabashed by Reese's guarded demeanor. I felt him edge slightly closer to me then, his right arm brushing against mine and causing me to look up at him; my heart jumping into my chest as I saw the look on his face.
It was the look he always got just before throwing somebody under the bus.
"I bet you are." John's voice once again succeeded in wrenching my attention away from Mark, his voice carrying a hint of sarcasm. I saw his eyes narrow as he watched Mark grab my arm; tugging me forward a bit as he addressed Reese again.
"Surprised you ended up in New York City. Thought you'd get yourself a cabin in the woods. Montana maybe."
"What do you want, Mark?" John interrupted, clearly not amused by Mark's false attempt at humor…at bridging the gap between Agent and former Agent…at making him feel comfortable. But even as he questioned Mark's purpose, his eyes never once left my face…and I couldn't deny the shiver that rolled through me as I tried to decipher that gaze.
"It's time to come home, John. Slate's been wiped clean" Mark's words caused me to jump minutely as he spoke from beside me; his hand tightening its hold on my arm, and I bit back another wave of nausea as I realized that this was it. These words signified the end of our mission…of Reese's life. I knew it…Mark knew it…and by the look in his eyes as he continued watching me; I could tell that Reese knew it too.
It was in that moment that I realized that I couldn't do this. Murder, cold-hearted and undeserved…I couldn't. No matter how much I wanted Mark to approve of my actions…no matter how I desperately desired approval from someone, anyone…I couldn't let that force me to do something that I knew was wrong.
I wouldn't do this.
"You know that'll never happen" John replied, steely determination lacing his tone. I barely caught a glimpse of his hand moving towards his hidden gun before shots echoed out around the top of the structure; causing Mark, Carter, and myself to duck down instinctively. When I looked up once again, I saw red staining the front of Reese's shirt, down by his stomach. I registered Mark straightening, taking aim with his gun for the kill shot as Reese sprawled on the ground shooting…but not at us…at the headlights of the SUV…and I knew that I couldn't let Mark kill him. Even if it meant I jeopardized everything I had come to know throughout my relations with him…I would not allow him to kill this man before us.
Acting on pure instinct and adrenaline, I dodged to the left; knocking Mark off balance as the shot he would have fired flew to the side of where Reese's head had been only seconds before. Turning my back on the man we had been hunting, I focused all of my attention on Mark…on making sure he would not fire at Reese again; all the while silently praying that the ex-agent would have the strength and the mental clarity to run while he still could.
Before Mark could make an attempt at taking aim again, I kicked my leg out; catching him in the groin, and taking the opportunity presented by this distraction to knock the gun out of his hand with a quick slap to the inner wrist. The weapon skidded off to the side, out of reach, but I barely had time to prepare myself before he had recovered; anger setting into his expression as he realized Reese was nowhere in sight. He began advancing slowly towards me then; forcing me to take a couple steps backwards as my mind began frantically trying to figure a way out of this.
"You've made a mistake, Natalya" Mark ground out, clearly still feeling the sting from the kick I had given him "A mistake you will pay for."
Backing away from him slowly, I risked a glance at where I had guessed the shots that hit Reese had come from; taking it as a good sign, albeit a dubious one, that Evans was no longer perched in his position. Where he had gone to, I had no indication, but that didn't matter much to me anymore. In my search for Mark's partner, I confirmed that Reese was indeed gone…Carter too…and that allowed me a small moment of victory before I noticed Mark reaching for the spare gun in his ankle holster.
"What will you do, Mark; kill me?" I asked, tension lacing my voice as I continued moving away from him; my hands automatically going up in front of my body…not that they would do any good in stalling a gunshot wound. A part of me knew I was stating the obvious…I had disobeyed a direct order. Of course I would pay for that, likely with my life. But that still didn't stop the instinct of self-preservation that I felt crawling up within me.
"What did you expect, Gerard?" He said nonchalantly, as though we were merely analyzing the outcome of an all too predictable sports match "You interfered with our mission…jeopardized it. And you know what happens to people the Agency deems…a loose end."
I had no reply to that statement…a fact that caused a cold smirk to etch itself onto Mark's features as he continued stalking towards me; open laughter escaping him as my back bumped into the concrete wall at the edge of the parking structure.
"Nowhere left for you to run, it seems" He said, leveling his weapon so that it aimed directly at my chest "Nice knowing you, sunshine."
I clamped my eyes shut then, bracing myself for the impact of the bullet I knew would end my life. A part of me was screaming to save myself…to get out of this. But I remained rooted to the spot, unable to move…taking a small amount of comfort in the fact that I had, at least partially, aided the man we had come to kill. I took one last shuddering breath as I waited for the shot…for the pain that would tear through my chest as the bullet connected with my body. But it never came. Before Mark even had a chance to fire, the sound of sirens and squealing tires echoed up from the lower levels of the structure.
Someone had called the police.
Mark spared me one final glance, a low snarl leaving his lips before he turned tail and ran; leaving me to stand there, stunned as he disappeared into the night. I had no idea where he would go…what he would do to avoid the rapid outflow of police cars that were now spilling onto the top floor of the parking structure.
And a few moments too late, I realized with chagrin what was happening.
Officers spilled out of their cars, some of them running over towards the spot on the ground where Reese had fallen…where his blood now stained the concrete as the only evidence to indicate that someone had been injured. Still more darted towards me as I braced myself against the wall; guns drawn, and orders of "On your knees" echoing through the air. Completely helpless to do anything else as I had just been effectively ringed in by the law enforcement of New York City, I raised my hands up obediently; slowly bending down until my knees rested against the cool pavement. The majority of the officers kept their weapons trained on me, only breaking form once to allow a rather portly officer with curly brown hair through to approach me.
"Ya know, the way they called it in, it sounded like we were going up against a hell of a lot more fire power" He said as he moved to stand in front of me, looking me up and down before plucking some cuffs out of his pants pocket. I allowed him to lower my arms behind my back; wincing as the cool metal of the cuffs slid into place around my wrists and I was hefted roughly to my feet.
"Play time's over, sweetheart" He joked, nudging me forward while keeping his hands planted firmly against my arms "You're under arrest for attempted murder."
Here we are, another chapter! Once again I have to thank all of my lovely reviewers for continuing to give me your input! I love hearing your thoughts, so please do not hesitate to continue sharing them!
I had some issues with this chapter in the beginning, namely getting Natalya to be involved in the roof top scene without changing too much of the original episode. I wanted to really try and show her conflict, here…on the one hand her loyalty to Mark, compared to her realization that he was using her, and her discovery that she couldn't be a party to murder, no matter how much she strives to belong somewhere. So I'm hoping I did that part justice…and as usual, feel free to share your thoughts regarding this matter!
What will she do now, though, I wonder? We'll just have to wait til the next chappie to find out! *wink wink*
Until next time…