A/N: Author's note at the bottom. Enjoy! :D New York City, New York
New York City, New York
5: 37 AM Western Time
Now, fueled with fresh coffee, she picked up the oh so familiar folders containing basically Jason's life. Though, this time, added Nicky Parson's file. Pulling back pages, she leafed through useless information, simultaneously with both files. She paused, coincidently as Tom entered her office.
"She knew him. Before the investigation." Tom closed the door and took a seat in front of his boss' desk.
"Pam...you already knew this. She was stationed in Berlin.-"
"Of course. And was Jason's contact in Paris, as well."
"Yes.." he replied hesitantly. Where was she going with this? She stood up, promptly.
"We need to dive in deeper, Tom."
Outside City Limits of Urbino, Italy
6: 53 AM Eastern Time
She didn't wake up necessarily but just became more alert as the sky began to lighten to the slightest degree.
"Are we there yet?" she asked, allowing herself to smirk. He shifted lanes and glanced sideways at her.
"Oh." The car rumbled noiselessly over the paved road, which oddly enough seemed vacant. Nikki was slightly tempted to ask him if he knew where he was going but she knew that that'd be pointless. He was like a human compass. Her foot shifted and she heard a plastic bag shuffle. A glass bottle of apple juice and other food items wrapped in plastic wrappings were inside it. Shifting upright, she hid a yawn and winced at the shift of light.
"Eat," he instructed after a while. Parting him a side glance, she reached for the apple juice and took a sip. They were surrounded by grass fields, and one or two animals every thirty feet or so.
"No trace of him?" She didn't have to know his name for Jason to know who she was talking about.
"No." Nodding, she took another sip. She swallowed.
"Did you sleep?" He blinked.
"Liar," she whispered and peered out into the landscape.
"...I'm not lying to you." Suddenly, she felt her throat close up on her by surprise. Her eyes began to sting and she wasn't much on religion nowadays...but she begged whoever was looking over her to not let her begin to cry.
"I'm not lying to you," he swore. Somehow, they had ended up on the floor and were now sitting before one another. A curl of her newest perm hung over her face.
"Right," she dismissed.
"You know what I do."
"I help you out. Of course I know what you do." Someone yelled outside in the streets, the yell echoing all the way up to their slightly open window. But it fell on deaf ears. The room always did get stuffy. The small desk fans didn't help much. "Therefore I know how good you are at lying."
"I'm not lying to you," he repeated. She almost believed him. She stood and turned towards her desk. They shouldn't be doing this. This – this "interacting". She closed her eyes briefly.
"How do I know you're not lying?"
"You don't." He replied bluntly, now up on his feet as well. She paused and released her breath.
"You should go." Their 'boss' would be here any minute, and if he found Bourne in here still...
"..." he turned and stepped out of the room. She gripped the desk and bit her lips. She was just his contact. Just his contact! But, if that was true, why didn't it feel like that?
"...Parsons?" She blinked.
"No I'm not. I have something in my eye." She guessed that the 'ethereal being' looking over her didn't grant her plea. She faked rubbing said 'something' out of her eye and sniffed. "There, it's out." Bourne didn't reply – physically or vocally – and switched lanes again. She noticed no signs indicating they should take that exit but said nothing of it. "Did the agent say anything?"she redirected. He paused, to recollect his thoughts it seemed.
"You're aiding the enemy." Bourne remained expressionless. The man made a move to jerk out of Bourne's gaze and Bourne followed. He pulled back the man's arm and jerked him to the floor.
"Who sent you?" Bourne deadly mumbled. Night time had rendered most of the crowd in doors now and the lack of light played strange shadows on Bourne's face.
"...they'll come for her..." The man mumbled.
"Nothing?" He didn't seem to want to go into the matter. But she had to know. "What did you mean when you said he was lead to believe he was BLACKBRIAR?"
"A rogue agent. Not trained under the drill of BLACKBRIAR," she dully noted the grimace in his lips at the word BLACKBRIAR, "He's a spare agent." Nikki gripped the glass of apple juice harsher. A spare agent. The TREADSTONE agents were too precious, she guessed, more so the BLACKBRIAR agents. She side glanced at him again. One more than all the others.
Still, the though of having spare men for other agents to dispatch was.. horrible.
"That's horrible." He hesitated but then nodded.
"Horrible." They began to see the beginnings of a city at a distance away. It wasn't what she expected but Bourne knew what he was doing. Suddenly, the inside of the car filled with immediate tension. "Seat belt," he ordered. She complied and placed the capped bottle of juice in the single cup holder in between them.
The squeal of tires chilled her spine. Daring a glance backwards – the side view mirrors were a bit foggy – she gaped with wide eyes as the agent they had been talking about not a full minute ago, was chasing them. She barely heard Jason cuss under his breath, over the roar of the blood in her ears.
"Hang on," he warned before he hit the accelerator.
New York City, New York
8:21 AM Western Time
"What do you expect to find, Landy?" Tom asked. He peered down at the papers now littering her desk.
"Something, Tom. A connection," she looked up and fixed him with her gaze, "Why would Bourne take Nikki with him? To him, she's indispensable. More so because she helped us look for him, remember? So why take her?"
"Are we not talking about his body anymore? You know they haven't found anything yet."
"He's not dead, Tom."
"What!?" the man stilled, "Has he contacted you – ?"
"Don't be ridiculous. He wouldn't contact me now. He believes there's no reason to. Though, there really is." She paused and raked a hand through her hair. "He needs to be proven innocent of his accusations in court."
"He's not free of all blame, Pam. He did kill people."
"He's was ordered to," she snapped, " 'Brainwashed' to follow orders. He didn't know who he was killing."
"How do you know?"
"I don't. Gut feeling, I guess." She sighed. "I hope. Vosen and the others really didn't clarify on that point during court." Tom hesitated then cleared his throat.
"Right," she returned to looking at the papers.
"Maybe he wasn't as forgetful as you think he was. Maybe he remembered Nikki as his contact and rather than pick up another stranger like his girlfriend Marie, took Nikki with him."
"Maybe... but it seems rather odd to me. These are agents who are trained to work alone. In the shadow. And for him to take on another with him, especially after Marie was killed..." She peered up at him through tired eyes. "You don't find that odd?"
"To be honest with you, Pam, I don't even like the guy, much less trust him to be a amnesiac assassin who suddenly went good." She glared at him. He rose his hands in defeat. "Sorry. Just voicing my opinion here."
"You and every other official in here," she sighed, "Sorry. I'm getting a bit agitated here. I apologize."
"It's alright," he dismissed, "So, you believe he's alive?"
"You really think he'd just roll over and die, just like that?"
"Me neither. I believe he's long gone. And with Nikki Parsons." A knock came to their door. Tom called for the new agent to step inside. She opened the door and hesitated.
"We've found ex-agent Nikki Parsons." Tom looked back at Landy. Pam nodded, allowing the girl to place the files on the desk. They allowed the agent to leave before Pam picked up the files.
"You sent for Nikki to be found?" Landy simply nodded, not looking up from the files. "Why?"
"Bourne won't come to court. Perhaps Nikki could speak in his behalf."
"You think she would – "
"She was in London." Tom stopped in mid question. Landy turned to her sleeping monitor and began a search in the news bulletins. She keyed at the keyboard rapidly. She blinked and leaned back.
"Landy?" Tom wheeled his chair to the side to peer at her monitor.
"He's with her."
"Bourne? With Parsons?"
"Yes," she seemed to recuperate from her thoughts and connected with Tom's gaze. "Nikki isn't able to pull of her own death like this. There was a report this morning on the online news about an apartment blowing up in London. I didn't think much of it but now...it makes perfect sense." she stopped herself.
"They wouldn't do this deliberately. They must have two motives."
"To make officials think Nikki's dead. And, to let us personally know he's alive."
7:03 AM Eastern Time
His driving was amazingly. It really was. Only it chilled Nikki to her core at the speed at which he drove them. He swerved to the next lane. Cars began to appear as they got closer to the city. It was still dark, adding to her fear of crashing.
"Hold on," he warned again, and caught an exit ramp off of the highway, in a move most would have missed. Several cars were driven off of their course and crashed slightly into one another. Creating a sort of shield after themselves. However the pretend-assassin expertly maneuvered around the pile of metal and followed them down the ramp. Bourne manipulated the car to swerve around a few cars and brought them into the inner network of highways and streets of Urbino. "Nikki." she ignored the small pang of feeling that sprung from within her when he mentioned her first name.
"Grab the bags." Wordlessly, she complied and undid her seat belt. His speed lower gradually as with a glance through the rear view mirror, noticed them a safe distance away from the assassin. Nikki squeezed herself into the space between the two front seats headed for the small latch that protruded from the middle back seat, that lead into the trunk.
That's when the hail of bullets followed their tread.
She heard a surprised yell come from inside the car. Then shortly realized it was her yell. Nikki suddenly felt Bourne's hand on her thigh and with a sharp inhale of breath from her part, he pushed her back into the back seat. She landed harshly, followed by a sharp swerve of the car.
"Get between the seats!" he snapped. She complied and nestled herself uncomfortably in between the backseat and the front seats, on the floor. Nikki could now feel the vibrations of the car over the pavement of the highway. She vaguely wondered about the bullets when – as if hearing her – more bullets rang out. She covered her head with her arms and bit her lips. She could hear Bourne grunt with effort as he maneuvered around the traffic. She heard the squeal of tires, followed by honking. They'd cut someone off. For what seemed like a lifetime, they weren't bombarded with bullets as she expected. But then she heard another squeal of tires.
And this time, it was their own.
She didn't have time to brace for impact, mostly because she didn't see it coming, but suddenly, they were rear ended. The car shifted forward on impact. Bourne shifted gears and drove forward again. She heard the groan of crushed metal being separated and finally, the dull roar of traffic falling faint. Without sound to distract her blood-roared ears, she heard Bourne panting slightly.
"Are you injured?" It took her a second to respond.
"Get back in the front seat," he replied. His speed lowered, but she knew his foot was on the accelerator, ready to break the speed limit if the need served to. Licking her lips, she rose stiffly and looked behind herself. Her eyes widened. Bullet holes decorated the back bumper of the car and one had hit the windshield. Her face immediately spun to face forward.
The bullet had gone through the passenger seat and gotten stuck in the windshield.
Her mouth ran dry.
"...I'm coming." She squeezed forward again. Her eyes never left the bullet lodged in front of her. She sat down, her hands gripping the arm rests tightly.
"Did we lose him?" she heard herself ask.
"What the hell...?"
"He's fallen back. We've left him without a vehicle," – she vaguely noticed he had said 'we' – "It will take him at maximum four minutes to recover and salvage another vehicle for his use."
"Was anyone injured?" images came into her mind. She hadn't seen what had transpired but she had heard and felt the movements.
"No one is dead." Though a small chill settled in her chest, she nodded, glad.
"Good." He blinked, and switched lanes. They sent back a glance. The back of the car wasn't completely totaled but obviously, it attracted attention. Nikki's glance switched to the clock on the dashboard. Six minutes had passed.
"Hold on!" he stepped on the accelerator and Nikki jerked back into her seat. It took her a second for the shock to clear out of her head and rush her to put on her seat belt. Her hands scrabbled for the buckle to her right. Her breath quickened. The buckle wouldn't click! Why wouldn't it click closed!? Several cars behind them, honks rang out. Cars drove out of the way of the SUV that had it's back door opened. The driver's side window was down. The driver's hand was outside, a gun at ready. Giving up, Nikki gripped with all her might at the seat belt and swallowed. She sneaked a side glance at Bourne, and another chill had settled in her chest.
He was hesitating.
The Jason Bourne she read about didn't hesitate. He was always steps ahead of everyone. Why was he hesitating?!
A thought suddenly struck her. This wasn't the Jason Bourne she read about. This was The Jason Bourne, trained assassin, with a newly regained conscious of his actions.
Their car got off another ramp and dove into a neighborhood. Tall, weathered buildings engulfed them, making Nikki experience a small dose of claustrophobia. Hardly any cars were on the streets. She sneaked another glance at Bourne. Is that why he had hesitated? Because he was afraid of ...casualties? Turning left, the now faced a tunnel. Traffic was able to be seen again, giving the old neighborhood a sense of being back into the new century.
Wheels squealed behind them.
She gripped the seat belt tighter. Another glance at the dashboard. Since the last time she had checked, two minutes had passed. Had it only been two minutes? It seemed so much more. Soon they were surrounded by darkness. The echoes of the engines in the tunnel echoed up into the fifteen foot tall tunnel, roaring in her ears. The cobblestone décor held little interest to Nikki, though otherwise, she would have found it handsome. At the moment, her mind was a little preoccupied.
"How does he keep finding us?" she mumbled. Instantly, her lips squeezed together, regretting the question. Had she insulted him? She wasn't completely one hundred percent sure how an agent's mind worked but was this part of strategy? He didn't reply. Not even glance at her. She distracted herself by burning her gaze into the side mirrors. His SUV was blocked by a late modeled van but shortly delved into the tunnel. "He's inside." She heard him mutter something like a curse under his breath but didn't pay much attention. The would-be-assassin held her attention. Her hands hurt from how hard she gripped at the seat belt. He bumped into a car, sending it to crash into the small wall of concrete dividing the lanes of the tunnel. How damn long was this tunnel? Why were they still in here? She blinked, and the assassin seemed to have gained momentum. "He's gaining on us." She knew she was stating the obvious but right now, it mattered little to her. Bourne cut off two small cars – a blue one and a silver one company cars – but suddenly time seemed to have stopped for her.
He gripped her arm, wrenching her from the worthless harness of the seat belts. He crushed her against him and wrapped his arms around her, not before reaching for the 'useless' seat belt of hers and making them lie down. All in a blink of an eye.
Followed by the ear drum splitting sound of their vehicle being rear ended towards the end of the tunnel. Into a concrete wall.
Her scream stuck in her throat.
A/N: this chapter is definitely different. I guess different rhythm. And this obviously points out that I can't write action scenes to save my life! So, I apologize. For the late update, and the lack of Bourne-rythm-ness this story had before chapter six.
I thank those who are still reading this.
And for the record, this chapter was going to go a different way but I forgot I hadn't saved the 'changes' in this document and when I exited out of the window, it erased the progress I had. So I had to start from scratch. I hate that.
PS – Why Bourne sent Nikki to get their bags in mid-motion isn't pointless. There's a point. Hopefully, it'll be clarified in chapter 7!!