Notes: I'm not super knowledgeable on the Bourne series, as I've never sat down and watched it except clips on YouTube, but here's a short glimpse of what another future could have held for Mr. Bourne. Also: I used Google translate a bit. To those who read both English and proper German, I'm so sorry for any potential mistakes.
Killers with Kind Faces
a Bourne fanfiction
by Celestia Craven
His lungs expanded, spitting out the ocean water with greedy heaves.
"Wie ghet es dir?" a voice wondered, helping to hold him up.
Even while getting much-needed oxygen to his brain, he knew what the other had said. Are you all right?
He tried to respond, but his lungs burned like fire, and his words came out like shards of glass in his throat.
"Schüttelfrost," the man's voice rasped without nonsense, the evidence of many cigarettes and old age. "Das ist gut. Besser so." Shivers. That's good. It's better that way.
He spit up the last of the water, struggling to sit upright on his own. "Alles gut," he replied roughly, the words coming out right, if painfully, but sitting wrong on his tongue. Just fine.
"Dummkopf," the old sailor huffed gruffly.
— — —
After a few hours listening to the old sailor putter around his ship and offer him food and dry clothing with a few words of German, he felt much more at ease. His lack of memories bothered him, but what could he do?
"Don't be ungrateful to the fates," the old man advised around a smoke that clouded up the warm cabin, eagle eyes focused on his wrinkled forehead. "They'll take offense and throw you right back into the water."
He accepted a bowl of chunky potato stew while bundled in the man's threadbare clothing and bundled in a spare blanket in front of the heater. He nodded in thanks.
"What's your name, boy?"
"Don't know," he answered, gripping the spoon tightly.
"Where're you from? Got any family?"
"You're a piece of work and no mistake," the old man said, chugging down more smoke before expelling it into a great cloud around his head. "Well. My name's Karl Schneider. You ain't got any other name, so you can be Klaus Schneider."
"Isn't it a bit soon to be adopting me?" he wondered. "I could be dangerous."
Karl peered at the young man from under his bushy eyebrows. "Dangerous, yes. You're a killer and no mistake. Bad I think not. You've got a good face. Too kind by far."
And so Klaus it was.
— — —
It became obvious to Klaus very quickly that whoever he had been before, he hadn't been very quiet or peaceable. Whenever they went into town to sell fish, Klaus wandering behind the old man like a shadow, images flashed into his head. He realized that he knew things. Things that haunted him.
I could kill him, he realized. I could kill him with the scissors on the tailor's counter. I could kill him in a hundred ways, and no one would ever find me. I could murder the entire village and walk away. I could pretend to be a lost foreigner. I could vanish into thin air.
"Klaus!" his adopted father interrupted his chain of thought. "Help an old man!"
Klaus quickly stepped forward to lift Karl's shopping. "You're only an old man when it suits you," he replied.
"Well, it's suiting me. I'm off to grab us — "
A man cut between them, and Klaus could suddenly almost feel the cold metal through the winter clothing he wore. He didn't show any outward signs of worry at the unyielding presence of a gun against his side, hidden in the stranger's pocket.
"Mr. Bourne? Could I have a moment of your time?"
"Business?" Karl wondered mildly, but Klaus could see recognition in his eyes. Not of the man, but of the way he'd lifted the edges of his coat during the unholy cold evening.
"Sorry, Mr. Schneider," the man apologized, and the other pocket lifted. "You've seen too much."
At that move, Klaus suddenly jerked his hand up and knocked the gun aside, discharging it harmlessly against a snow mound. He snapped forward an elbow to catch the other in the face, but the groceries proved their burden. Letting them fall out over the concrete was too clumsy a move. The other agent was already lifting his guns again.
Karl took a fortifying breath as he tucked his antique pistol away into his inside pocket. "Klaus, my boy," he said as the agent took one last heaving breath. "I think it's time we went on a vacation."
Klaus controlled his flickering surge of fight-or-flight, fingers twitching. "Yes, sir," he said respectfully. He cast one mournful glance at what was supposed to have been dinner, scattered over the snow.
"Good," Karl said. He nodded his head as he pounded a pack of cigarettes against his hand. "Let's move, son."