A/N: Dunno where this little bunny spawned from, though it's been around for a while. Originally intended to be much longer and have some sort of romance, but...well, this is what came out.

Inspiration

He's good with people, she thinks.

Of course he is. He's only the president of the WRO, after all. But, he's not all computers and cats. He can inspire people.

She watches the crowd, trying to see everywhere at once. The people keep breaking into applause; she never quite feels comfortable here, she's still a Turk and Turks like the shadows, not the spotlight. But it's her job, and if that's the job that's the job because she's a Turk and the job is all that matters.

The people matter too, of course, quite a bit, more than the job sometimes. Her sister had told her once she was too soft for this job. Whatever.

A window. A flutter of curtain, a darker shadow on a dark background. She's already moving, gone from watcher to protector in one fluid movement.

(bang bang)

There are two shots, and she barely registers them over the impacts against her chest as she steps in front of him. She's lying on the ground, though she doesn't remember ever lying down. There are more gunshots, and there are frantic hands pushing on her chest. She looks up, staring at Reeve, trailing her eyes down his arms until she realizes it his hands on her chest.

They're stained red. Oh right, she thinks, and feels much too detached for it to be a good thing.

She never liked Kevlar. To restricting. Probably wouldn't have made a difference anyways, as any proper assassin would use armor-piercing rounds.

There's red above her now too, but it's a lighter, livelier red than the blood oozing out of her chest. He's paler than usual, his scars stark on his white face. He looks scared. She can't remember him ever looking scared before.

Rude's lost his sunglasses. She likes it. He has pretty eyes, and she can never understand why he would hide them. He looks scared too, mirroring his partner's look. She can't remember why they're scared in the first place, but she supposes it's okay, since they're scared together.

High cheekbones, a sloping forehead, carefully decorated with a single dot. She wants to smile at him, all dark hair and serious looks – and he sure looks serious now – but she finds that she can't and she gives it up as a lost cause.

She loves them all to death. She really does. They're her family. Cocky, arrogant, short-tempered Reno. Cool, collected Rude, all stony exterior and broken hearted. Serious, dedicated, fatherly Tseng. And Reeve, that joker, who she doesn't know that well, but he sure can inspire people.

They look surprised. Like they never expected that she, that loudmouthed rookie that she still is, even after four years of service, would be the one lying with much too much red on her chest.

Should she say something? She ponders this for a while, but people keep shaking and yelling at her, distracting her from her thoughts.

She decides not to. She does not do inspirational speeches. They were her inspiration, not the other way around. She would probably make a fool of herself anyways, and end up flushing red - she always was a terrible blusher.

(Elena don't go –

The red disappeared.