Nik took a deep breath. She knew what she was doing could be suicide. But she had to try. She rolled her neck and tried not to procrastinate. She checked the gun in her side holster was loaded and the safety was off. She prayed she wasn't going to die today. But she didn't have any other options anymore.
She walked down the alley way, ignoring the warehouses on either side, focusing only on the door up the stairs at the end of the cul-de-sac. She tried not to notice the camera above the door. It was only going to make her more nervous. The door opened before she took two steps.
He stood there, leaning casually in the door way. He looked like he'd just got out of the shower, hair still wet and dripping onto his bare shoulders. The waistband of his jeans was a little damp and his feet were bare. He smiled slowly, amused by my presence. He did not look like a dangerous man. His blue eyes twinkled. Okay, Nik amended, he looked like a sexually dangerous man. He didn't look gun-toting super-assassin dangerous. But she knew that's exactly what kind of dangerous he wanted.
"You know," he said, amusement lacing through his voice. "I don't get too many visitors. Especially visitors that look like you." Nik smiled at him involuntarily. He rolled his eyes over her lazily, taking her in. She tried to think of something to say that wasn't going to get her killed. In hindsight, Nik decided, she probably should have thought of this before walking down the alley and into danger. He took a step toward her and Nik fought the urge to take a step back. She wished she was as strong as her sister.
"You look an awful lot like… an old friend. An old dead friend," he said, eyes narrowing with thought. Nik's breath caught and she fought back tears, her eyes not leaving his. She knew before she came here that her sister was dead. But his words confirmed it. Nik knew her eyes leaving his would be suicide. She longed to close them but she couldn't.
"Who are you?" he asked, taking one more step toward her. There was only one step between them now and she knew that if he decided to kill her she wouldn't stand a chance. Not when he was so close.
"I… I uh, know who you are, Wesley," Nik managed. His gun was to her temple before she could take another breath. He was standing directly in front of her, on the same step.
"Who are you?" Wesley asked again. "Give me one reason not to kill you." Nik gulped down hard.
"Fox," Nik began but didn't know where to go from there. In one smooth motion Wesley grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and span around, up the stairs, moving her into the house and shutting the door behind them. When he let her go, she fell back into a ratty old arm chair, gun in hand, pointed at him. Wesley had his gun pointed at her and when he took in the situation he laughed. Nik hesitated, drawing her gun slightly back.
"Okay so maybe we got off on the wrong foot," Wesley began. "I would like some answers. Fox." Nik nodded.
"She's my sister," Nik said. Wesley raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "Half-sister," Nik qualified quickly. "Her mother remarried. Our mother, I should say, married my father." Wesley gave a small laugh.
"Are you serious?" Wesley asked. "Are you shitting me? Because I swear to god if you're just adding to the mind fuck that is my life…" Nik shook her head.
"No. How else would I have found you? Known who you were?" Nik asked. Wesley narrowed his eyes again.
"Sloan," he said. Nik shook her head quickly.
"No. He and I… we didn't exactly get along," she explained. "That's why I'm not in the Fraternity. I wasn't always… I didn't agree with some of his methods. And before I was initiated Fox introduced me to Cross, your father, and when he told me his theory… well, I knew the Fraternity wasn't for me. Fox calls me every month on the twentieth at 7PM. No matter what. Even when she's on a hit. She calls so I know she's still okay. Fox may have been a lot of things but she was still my sister. Even if we didn't agree on the Fraternity. She hasn't called me for two months. So I came looking for you." Wesley laughed and then looked at me, smiling in disbelief incredulously.
"Fox told you about me?" Wesley asked. Nik made a noise in her throat and looked away, relaxing.
"Kind of. She always said more to me than she meant to. And I knew how to read between the lines. Fox said Cross had to die for what he knew and you were going to do the hit. She wouldn't accept that Cross was right. I figured Cross killed her. He was better. But then Cross wasn't answering his calls either. I got in touch with Pekwarsky and he told me what he knew. Fox said, last time I spoke to her, that if anything happened to her, I should do what I knew I should do. So I came here," Nik explained.
"Fox told you to come here?" Wesley asked. Nik grinned then.
"No. She told me never to come here. I think her exact words were: the Fraternity will kill you if you seek them out," Nik said. Wesley looked at Nik, trying to figure her out. The question was in his gaze.
"Because she said to do what I knew I should, not what she said I should. Besides, you have answers I want. Is it true that the Fraternity is gone? Everyone is dead?" Nik demanded. Wesley looked at her then, strangely.
"Yes," he said, his voice strange. "Fox." Nik raised her eyebrows. He sighed and looked away.
"She killed them all. Curved the damn bullet around the library and killed them all. Sloan showed us the loom-hits. We were all on there, because Sloan was using us to kill people who didn't deserve it. And she just… she believed in the Fraternity that much," Wesley said. Nik nodded, tears slipping down her face. She brushed them away and laughed.
"She did too," Nik sighed and shook her head. "Oh shit, now I'm crying. I hate crying." Wesley looked at Nik strangely.
"You're not very much like her, you know. I mean, you look like her a little, but you aren't like her," Wesley commented. She laughed, then.
"I know," Nik said. She coughed and looked up at him.
"This might seem like a strange question," Nik said after a moment. "But what are you going to do next? Seems like a war is kind over. Are you going back to pathetic cubicles or… what?" Wesley looked at Nik like she was an alien.
"I'm sorry, what was your name again?" he asked. She smiled at him.
"Nik," she replied. Wesley gave a bark of laughter.
"You'll excuse me if I want a little more than a nickname. It's been a hell of a year," Wesley said. Nik smiled at him indulgently. She understood.
"Annika Cooper," Nik said. "But you should call me Nik." Wesley nodded.
"Well, Nik, I have no fucking idea," Wesley said.