A/N: I have only actually seen the first five pisodes of WHR (they haven't released it in the UK, dammit) and wrote this before I found out how the series ended, so I warn you it is AU and there is character death (non-graphic). That aside I hope you like it and if you have any suggestions or critisms I would like to hear them, especially if you feel I have either of them acting out of character. However, unlike Robin I don't like flames.
I knew as soon as the chase started exactly how it would end; her humble on her knees with head bowed as though in prayer to her God for mercy and forgiveness, draped in my shadow awaiting the inevitable end my gun would bring. To guess – to know – with such certainty one's future actions inspires something like despondency in creatures with a spontaneous nature such as ours. It hinders the actions you take when you realize you already knew you were going to take them. The whole thrill of the chase is in the uncertainty of what you will be presented with, how the chase will end. To know its ending spoils it like it spoils a good book and demotes it to a run – literally – to the climax.
And so I find her, on hands and knees, shaking from fatigue and choking breathes, fallen from some careless trip or skid. Her body, frail and incomplete, has let her down. And for that it shall pay. As I close the distance she tries to get to her feet only to find her hands and knees steadying her against the floor once again. Your body has had enough, little Robin; your wings are clipped. It will be put out of its misery soon enough.
A sentence of precise metallic clicks and rattles assure her the chase is indeed over. She stiffens for a moment and then begins to shake again with terror and acidic tears that make her gulp for breath. I make sure to aim the gun before she turns; the side of her pale face she allows me to see is dusted with brown and hatched with red, stubborn stains not even her tears can move. She looks up at me out of the corner of her eye, emotions shooting through them like bullets, subway trains; anger, helplessness, confusion, betrayal, remorse.
"Why?" she asks in the manner of a child wondering why something is not allowed rather than someone who feels betrayed by one they believed to be their keeper.
"I know only my orders. I do not know, nor care about their nature." I answer. Ever the good soldier.
She looks me up and down and nods, causing a premature tear to fall and withdraws her gaze "Yes," she murmurs, as though allowing me to hear her thoughts rather than actually talking to me. "you don't care. I think I begin to understand."
"You can never understand," the silence stretches making the comma loud and clear "witch." Whether or not she reacts I can't tell; she's shaking too much.
No more holding it off. Time to terminate. Now that I have her like this I can't just put the gun back in my holster and walk away leaving her crying and confused like I did before. Orders are orders and if I don't do it this time I might well find myself in a mirror of this situation. I don't suppose it would be fair on Robin to play around with her like this, either. Yet something about this feels not quite right. Not wrong but...improper somehow. Like I'm ignoring some kind of protocol.
I reach forward and grab one of the loops she tied her hair into everyday, sure as she went to pray at that little white chapel in the park. The other has been worked loose by her constant, stuttering movement, now a tangle of hair and ribbon. I give it as smooth, irresistible pull, forcing her to face me; the ribbon unravels as though trying to escape. She looks up at me; frightened, despairing, unsure what I'm doing, but no longer caring, her face split by superficial cuts and vagrant wisps of hair into a mosaic of adult and childish features. And still she cries.
No need to drag out the moment.
With a ringing bang and less blood than I expected the bullet penetrates, making her cry out and double over in pain. I jerk her head back up in time to see her eyes, wide with shock, slowly shudder shut and then her head falls victim to gravity. Slowly her hair slips from my fingers, pulled to earth by the dead weight of her head.
I let her drop from my hand feeling...I don't know. I usually felt some satisfaction when the chase ended and I caught my prey. This time there was something else. Not regret or grief. It felt anti-climatic somehow, as though my purpose were served, as though there was nothing further I needed to do. Anywhere.
I shrugged it off, sure it would pass and leave me in peace with my usual bitterness, and left her there; arms spread wide embracing the earth with her hair a shattered halo at her head.