And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had

I find it hard to tell you

I find it hard to take

People run in circles

It's a very very mad world.

Mad world…

Gary Jules, Mad World

All Marie can see, seared on the back of her eyes each time she closes them, is him. Depending on her mood, or even sometimes on the day, she pictures him differently; but nevertheless, there he stands in her mind's eye. On bad days, he comes to her with his arm outstretched, a red bag in hand and a determined look in his eyes. Another picture, one of her own creation, all blood and gore and hurt is usually superimposed over it.

These days make Marie wonder. She asks herself how on earth she got to a place where her happiness depended on a guy. She is Marie Helena Kreutz, not some superficial blonde (although she was blonde, once, and she'd do it again, but she tells herself that this is just because she looked good) with artificial breasts and a small IQ. So each morning when her (damn irritating) alarm goes off, she ignores the temptation to turn over.

Because good days come too (and you know life is incomplete when you wonder which is worse; a good day or a bad day) and they bring a different Jason. Smiling, sometimes, or just plain relieved. The genuine Jason - not just layers of mystery, but a man. Her Jason.

Both sides of him hurt. Each time she sees him it leaves a wound. Pain at leaving him; fear of losing him with a permanence she doesn't want to feel. The pain at awakening to his absence, the fear of losing the memory of his smile- these follow each vision. But somehow, this is not the worst of it – this is liveable, this is survivable. After all, she is Marie Helena Kreutz, and she is a survivor.

On days when Marie is particularly depressed (and she knows it's far too often), she knows which Jason she'll face, when, if, she gathers up the courage to close her eyes. This Jason is the hardest; he leaves the deepest scars, and bruises her spirit. This Jason is the reason for the tattoo on her shoulder, the memory she couldn't let slip away. (JASON is etched permanently into her skin, the letters hidden among an extravagant design, small enough to escape notice, but enough for her – she reasons that she will never forgive herself if she loses him.)

Each time she faces this version of him, she feels hands (too gentle for their size) work through her scalp; feels the water rinse it. She hears the metallic resistance of the scissors in her hair, feels her entire body tingle at his closeness. Watches his eyes darken as she approaches; feels the pressure of his hands on her shoulders; savours the textures of his skin.

These moments end with her shaking, alone, scared, her hand pressed to her mouth in a vague remembrance. This makes Marie laugh. The one time in her life she has everything she's ever worked towards; the money bought her the shop by the water, gives her security and a great interest rate at the bank (but they don't know that she keeps half the money in zip-lock bags all over the house, hidden like he taught her, one day on the subway) and she's more afraid than she's ever been before.

Somehow, though, she manages. She survives. Maybe it's the presence of the same memories pictures sensations that wound her that keep her alive. Maybe it's the faint glimmer of hope, the existence of maybe. Marie believes it's her own strength- that and the aftermath of his protection, floating over her like the blankets she clutches to her when she awakens crying his name.

Day after day she gets up, opens the shop, puts the flowers on the table, mans the cash, laughs smiles gives directions, (sometimes even flirts, but Jason, I don't mean it!) and does the same in reverse order. Sometimes she forgets to eat, but most days she wonders what it would be like, making food for more than one again (what is his favourite food, anyways?) and having someone to show off for.

Standing there one day, she notices the wind and grabs a sweater (this is unusual because it's not normally cold and she never bothers with sweaters) before gathering up the flowers. When her eyes catch a glimpse of him she ignores it for a second, (because this isn't the first time her mind sees him where he isn't) but the image persists and she stares.

Her heart feels funny, beating in these rapid clumps and she thinks she might have a heart attack, right there in her shop before he can reach her. Unaware of her body, she is moving towards him, slowly, but gradually speeding up.

Then his arms are around her and she almost can't breath and then his mouth on hers and oh. Hard, insistent, passionate, like he can pour the depth of his soul into these kisses, and she drinks them in and revels in the sense of home. He drops his bag on the rock and takes her back into his arms, his hands stroking her arms and her hair, and Marie is suddenly frightened, holds him closer.

She wants to yell out, scream at whatever cosmic power does these things to her, ask what part of this will blow up in her face (because life can't not blow up in her face). She looks at him, takes in his face, soaks up his presence and prays that he will stay. (Oh, damn, let him stay.)

Her face is in his hands and he is promising forever and she lets herself be reassured, because she is Marie Helena Kreutz, and he is Jason Bourne, and they will survive, and together they are right.


Fandom: The Bourne Identity

Pairing: Jason/Marie

Rating: PG 13

Warnings: Suggestive language; spoilers

Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. I just get to play... sometimes.