Title: Shattered Happiness
Jason/Marie, post-Supremacy, pg
Summary: 'I've been dead for a long time.'
Months later found Jason Bourne in a small village in a remote part of India. Not Goa. He could never go back there; too many memories imprinted on every place, every sight, every face. In his hands he held the ever so slightly worn photograph of Marie and himself, carefully looked after; a most prized possession.
He looked up. The familiar face of the café owner was looking down at him, sympathetically. She indicated with her hand the pot of coffee and then his mug.
'No, thanks, I have to go,' he spoke quietly.
'Where are you going?'
He studied her. A few months he'd known her; never had he found any reason to doubt her. Though he doubted everyone; always had done. Everyone but Marie.
'Beware the water,' she stated. 'Tide comes in quickly, this time of year.'
He simply nodded. He knew that already.
She looked at the photograph in his hands. 'Girlfriend?'
'Where is she now?'
He took so long to answer she thought he wouldn't. 'I don't know.'
His facial expression had changed ever so slightly.
'Why don't you go and find her? You obviously love her enough.'
His voice was level. Practiced. Emotionless.
'But you said you didn't know where she was.'
He looked up at her. 'Do you know where people go when they die?'
She wanted to take a step back. His hard gaze hid so much pain.
Instead she took a step forward. 'What happened to her?'
He paused. 'She drowned.'
'Were you there?'
He nodded. Then he looked up at her; she could see the wheels turning in his head. Here he was, talking to an elderly Indian lady – what threat could she possibly be? An enormous one, his logical mind said. None, his emotional one countered.
'I couldn't save her,' he whispered, unconsciously running his finger over Marie's face in the photograph. 'I couldn't, I just… I tried. I couldn't save her.'
His face cracked and his pain washed over his companion. A silent tear fell down his face, then another, then another. She reached for his hand. 'I'm sorry.'
He looked up at her, grateful, before removing his hand from hers and covering his face with it. It was either that or use the other hand and let go of the photograph, and he couldn't do that. He tried to calm himself down.
'What's her name?'
He could've hugged the old lady for not referring to her in the past tense. He wasn't anywhere near ready to believe that he was never going to see her again.
'That's a beautiful name.'
'Yes. She's a beautiful person.'
'She looks it.'
'I don't just mean on the outside.'
'She makes me laugh. She knows how I'm feeling. I love her so much,' his voice becoming lower.
'I can tell.'
He looked up at her, smiling slightly.
'I can tell she loves you a great deal, too.'
His smile disappeared slowly as realisation dawned. 'We were happy,' he whispered.
She didn't know what to say, and so said nothing. He appreciated that. Silently, she watched him stare at the photograph in his hand. He had looked after it. It wasn't ripped or creased, or folded. He kept it, she had seen, in the breast pocket of his shirt. She didn't know that he had debated this choice with himself, hadn't wanted to risk it being destroyed were he ever to be shot at again; in the end he realised that were he to be shot in the heart he would most likely die anyway, and that then, he would have Marie herself once again, worth more than a thousand photographs.
'I have to go,' he repeated. He stood up. Put the photo back in his pocket.
'Be careful on the beach.'
He nodded, touched her hand briefly as a symbol of thanks.
'People have died there. It can be dangerous; rocks, tide comes in, there's no way out. I don't want to hear you're that the next unlucky one to die there.'
He stared at her from the doorway for a moment. 'I've been dead for a long time.'
The implications of his words hit them both hard; one who had noticed, one who hadn't until then. She looked down at the floor, then back up to him, but he was nowhere to be seen.
As he walked quickly down the road towards the beach while the sun began to set, he thought to himself that, were her words to ring true, he wouldn't consider himself unlucky.