Summary: Having escaped the Golem with their lives, Kitty and Jakob wait in hiding.

This is my first Bartimaeus fanfiction, so I'd really appreciate any feedback you could give me! I'm a die-hard Kitty/Nathaniel shipper but I've had this idea in the back of my mind for a while as something that could have happened. It's set during the Golem's Eye, after the Golem has been defeated, and Kitty and Jakob are hiding out in the Hyrnek factory. As already said, any feedback would be great! ♥



Kitty could hardly hear herself think. The printing machines rattled and roared, seemingly never-ceasing, and just when there was a fleeting moment of silence there would be an even louder whirr and clatter and crash, and another book would begin to be made. Hyrnek and Sons was an establishment of repute for its efficiency, not its tranquillity.

"Can't you ask them to turn it down?" She snapped irritably, her voice kept to a whisper despite the noise.

"The magicians would realise something was up if we stopped the machines."

"You're right, I suppose. If they find us..."


"Is it always this loud?"

"Oh, probably. I wouldn't know. I haven't been out of the house for so long..."

At this Kitty rolled her eyes and, noticing the boy had begun to nervously scratch his hands again, she reached out to end it with a quick grasp. "Stop it, Jakob." Under her touch his cold fingers instantly ceased to move, and his arms sank down to rest at his sides. And once more the room was silent and still, apart from the constant noise of machinery.

They would have made an odd sight, had anyone stumbled across the secret room. Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, with dark eyes and hair (though the boy's was both longer and greasier than the girl's) - they could have been brother and sister. She was leather-jacketed and slightly bloodstained, though a clean white bandage was wrapped around her shoulder. He was clad in well-worn pyjamas and an old army coat, so big he seemed to shrink under the weight of the heavy material. Seated on the floor, amongst old papers and broken table-legs, thick with the smell of leather and glue, they seemed to be waiting for something. But from the way they glanced frantically at the door at the slightest echo of a voice, and the way Jakob bit his nails, and Kitty drummed her fingers against each other in a steeple... it was clear that the something could be very bad indeed.

Sighing heavily, Jakob shifted on the floor, bringing up his sprawled limbs to sit cross-legged. "How's your shoulder?" There was a note of real concern in his voice, not merely a desire to break the uncomfortable tension that had settled between them.

"It's fine. I'll live. Are you—"

"Yes, yes, I'm fine."





They both rose up awkwardly to their feet at this, each mirroring the other's movements like some living, distorted mirror. The girl coughed. The boy scratched his ear.

"I'm grateful to you for—"

"You don't need to thank me, Jakob."

He shook his head. "You saved me, of course I have to—"

"Don't! You were only..." she ran her hand through her hair. "The only reason you got into trouble in the first place was because of me! Mandrake was after me, not you!"



"Don't... it's nothing." Jakob walked towards her; his smile was faded now, and as he moved his hand to brush against her shoulder his touch was soft, cautious. "Does this hurt?"

"No. Stings a little, but it doesn't really hurt," she shrugged curtly.

He sighed again. "Kitty..."

And before she could question once more exactly what he wanted... Jakob kissed her.

Kitty had been kissed before of course, but most boys who initiated the process walked away with a black eye. Their kisses were always hurried, rushed, a claiming press of lips in the hopes of asserting dominance, ultimately failing as all they received was a swift blunt punch and swifter sharp words. This was different. The kiss was calm and gentle yet enthused with a relentless energy (as everything was with Jakob). It felt foreign, strange and yet not wholly unwelcome, and Kitty found herself relaxing against his mouth and into his touch as one of his arms curled tenderly around her good shoulder. But after a moment her eyes flashed open, and she pulled away, biting her lip.

"This is stupid, Jakob."

He exhaled sharply, clearly flustered, cheeks bright red. "It is not!"

"We haven't seen each other for years," Kitty protested without missing a beat, keeping her voice level and calm, trying to ignore the heat she could feel spreading over her own face. "This is stupid."

"It's the marks, isn't it? On my face? My scars?"

In exasperation Kitty rolled her eyes for what must have been the hundredth time that day. "Oh, don't start that again."

"Then why—"

"This isn't the time, Jakob. This isn't the place, and this isn't... this isn't right."

There was silence in the room once more, only this time the tension between the two young commoners was so palpable you could almost feel it; thick and heavy in the air like a musky, angry fog. Again, Jakob was the one to speak. His voice was monotone, his face expressionless as he fixed his gaze upon the girl. "Why did you leave the staff, Kitty?"

"I didn't..." she began to reply before stopping suddenly, thrown by the question. "It would only have brought us trouble."

"But we're in trouble enough already. Why did you leave it?" The boy's face seemed more open than ever, his dark eyes serious and penetrating as he quested for an answer. "What do you have left now? Did you gain anything from the last few years?"

At his words Kitty froze, her mouth slack as she struggled to formulate a response... and failed.

What had she gained?

What had she lost?

Fred was dead. Anne was dead. Mr Pennyfeather was dead. Hopkins didn't care. Nick had run - and she grimaced at the memory, and the realisation that not only would they probably never see each other again, but that he would not regret it. Then there was the young man - a man probably younger than her - Mandrake, who dressed like a fop and talked with the practiced air of a politician. Who laughed with those arrogant eyes and that gleeful smile plastered on his face as he waltzed in and stamped on anything that had remained of her life. Her parents...

Her parents.

She wanted her room. She wanted her bed. She wanted her father's voice, and her mother's slim arms wrapped around her. She wanted it to be just like it had been before all of this, when they all used to gather in front of their little mirror each morning to get ready, her parents flanking her on either side like an armed guard, loving her with each gesture as they straightened ties and hair and smiles.

What had she gained?


Nothing but a bloody shoulder and her name on the list of terrorists at large.

What had she lost?

Everything. But—

But this was Jakob. Her friend. Her friend who had always been optimistic, always grinned as they played their games in the yellowing grass behind his half-tumbled-down house. The Jakob of her childhood memories was all smiles and dark hair, running with her till they began to sweat, and then sinking down by some cool brick wall, panting heavily as they wiped the backs of their necks. Translating for her the Czech curses his mother was yelling, and beating her at cricket, and kicking her lightly on the leg when they disagreed - affectionate even in his irritation.

Jakob was still here. He was older and thinner, sadder, and his flesh hung from his bones like a second coat, and dark circles stood out under his eyes, and his skin was greyed even without the marks from the magician, but... he remained, he was constant, he was alive.

Kitty Jones was a practical person. She did not love Jakob Hyrnek. But for all her practicality, she suddenly felt very small, and very young, and above all very alone. Call it a desire to be proven otherwise, call it selfishness, call it... whatever you will. But in that moment, Kitty Jones kissed Jakob Hyrnek once again. And this time, she did not pull away.

They sunk to the floor, lips moving hard and fast against each other, Jakob's hands trailing down her body from her neck, lightly caressing the curve of her breast, making her gasp deeply. He whispered her name as he matched her grasping touches and kisses with gentle ones, never taking his eyes off of her as they both began to fiddle with belts and buckles.

"You'll come to Brugges with me? When it's safe to move? When they have our papers? You'll—" Jakob was cut off by a quick kiss, and before too long all thoughts of questions or words were forgotten on both sides.

They were young, and as with all youthful acts it was rushed and hurried and yet full of life. And Kitty knew that was what she was. Her shoulder hurt like fire, and her muscles ached more than ever, but she was... alive. Mandrake had not taken that from her. She would live, and she would fight, and someday long after it was over she would walk down to the quay on strong, healthy legs and take the first ship that came - not caring for anything but the salty smell of sea and the promise of a journey.

In their speed it was over quickly, and soon they were awkwardly putting on clothes as hurriedly as they had tugged them off, eyes averted to try and preserve modesty. Jakob looked up just once, as Kitty shrugged her jacket back on and pulled her hair free from the collar.

It was only then that he realised she had never answered his question.

And he knew, even before she said it, that she would not be coming to Brugges.

It had been more than a consummation; it was a conclusion. Sweet, but bitterly so. But for that one moment Jakob had forgotten everything - his troubles, his fear, his face. They remained, but now he could remember something new next to them, something that was not all demons and death.

"I'm grateful," he whispered calmly under his breath. Without looking around, Kitty nodded in agreement. And they both knew exactly what the other meant.