Rating: K (for now)
Summary: Post- Bourne Ultimatum. Nicki and Jason are reunited, after he gets some of his memories back.
Nicky sat at one of the outdoor tables of the coffee shop on the boardwalk, watching the people on the beach.
It had been almost a month since Jason had put Nicky on the train and sent her away. She knew he'd done it to protect them both. She would have slowed him down, and he'd have brought more attention to her. The CIA wanted to find her, but they were putting a lot more agents on the task of finding him.
She knew they'd never find him and, thanks to him, they wouldn't find her either.
Her mind drifted back three weeks. A couple days after she'd left him. She'd made her way back to Paris. To a bank that, as far as the CIA knew, neither she nor Jason had used. The safe deposit box was heavy in her hands until she set it on the table. Opening it, she couldn't help the wistful smile on her lips.
A large amount of cash and a clean identity were in the box. She and Jason had set it up when they were… friends, was the only word her mind supplied, though she knew that was far too simple a description of their relationship.
"Nicole O'Rourke," she whispered aloud. A name she'd let Jason choose for her. She was now Nicole O'Rourke. Nicolette Parsons was dead. She'd worried about leaving her first name so close to the truth, but he'd assured her the name Nicole was common enough it couldn't be used to track her. She had a feeling he'd known how much she'd want, need, something familiar.
She put the contents of the box into the over-the-shoulder bag she carried. Closing the box, she stood and left the room. Outside she hailed a taxi.
"Where to?" the driver asked.
Suddenly a shadow fell over he shoulder, and she startled back to the present moment.
"Relax. It's me," said a familiar voice.
The surprising gentleness in his tone allowed her to relax a little. It told her he was here to talk, not threaten her yet again. "Jason… Or, should I say David?"
"Jason," he replied, taking a seat. For better or worse David Webb was dead. Too much had happened to Jason Bourne to ever let him truly go back to being David Webb. Besides, if he was right, Nicky cared a great deal about Jason. She'd never known David. He'd decided to take the good parts of David and make them part of Jason.
"Why are you here?" She asked, genuinely curious. She'd hoped to see him again, but hadn't dared let herself expect it.
"I needed to see you. You said it was hard for you, with me. What did you mean? What was our relationship?" He asked, curiosity coloring his tone.
"I suppose the most accurate term would be 'friends with benefits'. We cared about each other, more than was wise given our jobs, but we weren't in love. We needed each other. Helped each other."
"So we… slept together?" He asked, needing to confirm the snatches of memories that had returned.
"Yes. In both meanings of the phrase. You had nightmares, but when we slept together you were able to sleep through the night. I would wake up a few times during the night, just to make sure everything was still quiet and safe. With you, I felt safe enough to let myself fall deeply asleep. And even the… being together. It was comfort, not romance. We were both starved for human contact. Simply human touch. We provided that for each other." She paused for a heartbeat, and when she continued, her voice was soft, and her eyes vulnerable. "I guess you could say we were each other's pain killer… and I was an addict."
"I have some of my memories back… I think… I think I was an addict too," he admitted in a soft voice. He hadn't missed the vulnerability in her eyes. "Did we spend a Valentines Day together?"
Nicky's face softened as she remembered that evening. "Yes. It was our first time together. You had your usual check in that day. I was lonely, and wanted to go home. Wanted Valentines Day to be over. You noticed I was… not myself, and asked if I was okay. None of the other agents had ever asked me that. I was too spent to lie, and told you the truth. You suggested we get dinner. After that, we ended up at my place. What do you remember?"
"Peace. Comfort. Warmth. How soft you felt. Your taste. I know we talked, but I can't remember about what."
Nicky gave a gentle smile. "I don't remember details of our conversations either. Just that we had those conversations. What we talked about didn't really matter. Just that we talked. It was always that way with us."
Jason thought for a moment and nodded in acceptance.
"What else do you remember?" Nicky asked, curious as to how much of his memory had returned.
"I think it was a Christmas morning. You'd made French Toast. There was a decorated tree. Your apartment?"
"Yes," she confirmed, also remembering that morning. It was one of her fondest memories of them.
"I gave you… a necklace?"
She pulled the necklace she wore out from under her shirt. A small rose quartz angel hung from the thin silver chin. "You said that in my job I'd need a guardian angel, and…" her voice broke, and she fell silent.
"…and I might not always be around," he finished.
She blinked away the tears that had formed in her eyes. Neither of them had imagined how prophetic his words would be. "I always wore it under my shirt so no one could see it and ask who'd given it to me," she mused aloud.
'And to keep it even closer to my heart,' she silently added. As she'd told Jason, they hadn't been in love - but she had loved him. And she'd always wondered if they'd have actually fallen in love if things had been different.
"You gave me a new shirt?" Jason asked, wanting her to confirm it. "Blue?"
"Yes," she answered with a nod. It had been a deep, rich blue, and made his eyes look even more amazing than they usually did. She decided it was time to change the subject. "Where are you staying?"
"I don't know yet. I came to see you first," he explained. In truth, once he was in San Diego he hadn't been able to think of anything other than finding her and seeing her. He was lucky he'd gotten a few hours of sleep on the overnight flight.
"You can stay with me if you want," she offered.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he said.
She heard the reluctance in his voice. "Why not?"
"I… Marie and I rushed things. I don't want to do that again. I'm not ready to do that again," he admitted. "And I'm not sure you are either," he added, in a soft voice.
As much as she wanted to deny it, he had a point. Her life had been so crazy for the last few years she was still reeling from it. And their relationship had undergone a lot of changes and stress. It would be smarter to take some time, rather than rush into anything.
"Okay. But there is another empty apartment in the building. Unless you think that's still too close…"
"No. I like that idea," he said. Living in the same building meant he could be close and keep a watch out for her. Protect her. It seemed the perfect solution. They would be close, but not living together. They'd be able to see each other every day and get used to each other, but each have their own place to retreat to if they needed space.