Disclaimer: Of course I own Hitman. That's the reason I write fanfic. *eyeroll*
A/N: Second oneshot in the collection. You could call this one a sort-of sequel to "Waking Up" but it can be read on its own. 47 POV. As always, this is dedicated to breadanchoc the Magnificent. Enjoy!
***Awake (or Waking Up, Part 47)
47 walked up the hotel stairs expecting the worst.
She must've woken up by now. She would undoubtedly make a scene, and her emotional tantrums tired him at the best of times.
This was not the best of times.
In the School – a lifetime ago – he, and others like him, had been trained in mental objectivity. They were taught to recognize elements of a situation, analyse these elements, and come to a logical conclusion… without any irrational variables being introduced. A disciplined mind was considered equally essential as a disciplined body.
Detachment was crucial to survival in his profession. Detachment was how 47 knew he'd been emotionally compromised. Consistently so, in fact. There could be no denying that emotions had interfered with his methods and actions.
This was unacceptable. Intolerable. And extremely dangerous to the both of them.
Agent 47 continued climbing the stairs. The imperceptible tension in his jaw and shoulders were the only indications of anger: not directed at the woman in Room 23, but directed more towards himself.
The indisputable fact that emotions were interfering with his tasks had come to him as he'd walked away from what once was Udre's den. Because there had been no logical reason for the violence that had occurred there: the meeting, the gunfight, the explosions… all of this had been so unnecessary. And not at all according to plan.
It would have been so simple to kill Udre as he'd walked to his car. So simple. Then the drug-trafficker would be safely dead, the funeral safely underway, and every carefully laid piece would've safely fallen into place. Bellicroft would've been assassinated in the church tower and the debacle of the Russian Mission completed and filed away. 47 would've been in the clear – able to continue doing what he did best – with this particularly troublesome assignment safely behind him.
That had been the original plan: no contact, no evidence, no unnecessary time or energy wasted.
But then Nika Boronia had gotten involved. Or rather, he'd involved her. Nika, with her eyes and her words and that small undeniable tattoo on one cheek. Nika, with her broken innocence and incomprehensible trust. Nika, with her confusing expectations.
Because of this new element into his otherwise-perfected routine, his plans had changed slightly. And this slight change had snowballed into its final climatic end: Udre, safely dead but in the most unprofessional way.
The thought of taking Nika somewhere for any other reason than cover – this thought had not crossed his mind. Rather, it had simply presented itself inside his mind as a familiarly detached line of reasoning: didn't it make sense for her to be satisfied? Wouldn't her happiness deter her endless questions, wouldn't pleasure make her more acquiescent to his orders? More compliant to the necessary steps that the mission required? And it wasn't as if taking her to a restaurant would endanger the inevitable conclusion of the mission… rather, if he made some alterations to a few details of the plan, he could actually insure a speedier outcome.
That was how it had started: the jeopardising of the assignment, and by association, himself.
47 reached the floor of his destination. His footsteps were sure and certain: he'd automatically memorised the twists and turns that led to the room when they'd arrived. His mind, however, was elsewhere. This elsewhere included wine, red silk and warm skin under his hands.
Every lesson learnt in his training forbade him to dwell too long on what had happened after the restaurant. So he didn't: he would only coldly acknowledge the – incident – as yet another element that had led to Udre Bellicroft's assassination.
The emotional interlude with Nika had caused… an influence, on both his behaviour and on his reasoning. Because he'd made not just one mistake in Udre's lair, but many. Many mistakes.
He could've easily lured Mikhail Bellicroft's younger brother away, killed him privately. But he hadn't. He could've dismissed the meeting entirely, waited for a better – more risk-free – opportunity to assassinate his target. But he hadn't. Looking back, he realised these things couldn't compare to the worst mistake of all: he had knowingly, and in full awareness of the fact, goaded Udre. Taunted him. Practically begged a man, already high on narcotics and power and stupidity, to react. Which the bearded Russian had, in explosive fashion.
47 stood before Room 23. The smell of gunpowder and explosive was heavy in his nose; a powerful reminder of his misjudgement. No, misjudgement was too generous a word: failure. Of course he hadn't failed to kill Udre, but he had failed to stay objective and detached. This failure was weakness, and weaknesses in his world were unfulfilled death sentences.
He took a moment to collect himself again, and to prepare: Nika's reaction to her unexpected sedation was not likely to be a calm or sensible reaction. Frankly, he did not have the energy to fight with her. The mental, physical and emotional trials of the day had left him weary to his core.
So when he opened the door to darkness and silence, 47 felt a momentary flicker of gratitude. Later, he would tell himself that it was this fleeting feeling that caused him to walk into the bedroom and watch Nika pretend to sleep.
She did so quite convincingly; deep breathing, relaxed posture, sheets in disarray. If it had been anyone else, it would've worked.
He stepped forward and sat on the bed. Exhaustion was dancing on the edges of his consciousness – he really needed sleep. Or rest, at least: neither of them could afford for his reflexes to be slower in the days and events to come. He loosened his tie, listening to her slightly too-deep breaths behind him.
Sometimes – most of the time – Nika's motives were too complex and foreign for him to interpret, such as why she'd stopped him killing that FBI agent…
(and why had he let her stop him?)
Or why she found the prospect of eating with a killer pleasing…
(and why did he want her to find it pleasing?)
Or why she wore no underwear in his company…
(and why did he always notice?)
Or why she was pretending to sleep right now…
(and why did he care so much?)
Her motives – and his own, much that he disliked admitting it – were beyond him. He'd learnt to let such things be; Nika was Nika, unexplainable and emotional. Why he left such mysteries unsolved, he did not know.
Suddenly, he was aware of the cold temperature of the room: the window was open. And Nika was in the path of the breeze. And she was – he felt no surprise – naked.
He ignored the strange mix of emotions that these facts caused.
He couldn't let her become ill. Sickness, with the all its inconvenient symptoms, would be contradictory to the completion of the assignment. Her discomfort would be counter-productive.
That is what he told himself.
When he pulled the covers up, he ignored the fresh onslaught of emotion as his fingers brushed against her skin. He laid the covers gently over her exposed skin.
Her breathing was different after he did this: shallower, slightly faster. But he was too tired to analyse the significance of this change – he got up and headed to the bathroom.
The smell of gunpowder and blood would eventually wash away. It always did.
A/N: Was 47 in character, and if not, how so? Writing him was far more difficult than writing Nika… hope I managed okay! This fic came from me wondering during the movie: why did he have to go into Udre's hideout if he only needed him dead, to get Bellicroft to that funeral? Wouldn't a car-bomb or other long distance assassination done the job just as effectively? This fic was my answer to those questions – only speculation, of course.
If you have any suggestions, comments, criticisms, questions, whatever: feel free to review. Reviews are always welcome :)