Author's Note: Just a one-shot from The Girl Who Played With Fire about Dag Svensson and Mia Johansson. All characters belong to Stieg Larsson. Hope everyone enjoyed, and please review! :)
"I'll be in touch." The small girl said.
"Right. After Easter." Dag smiled. "Thank you."
Lisbeth Salander did not reply, but merely turned and walked out the apartment door.
Mia and Dag exchanged a look.
"Quite a character, she is." Mia remarked.
"But she definitely has important information." Dag ran his fingers through his golden hair, and reached for his cell phone, on the table directly in front of him. "I'm calling Nils Bjurman. It's the only name she dropped. It's late, but, I have to try."
Mia nodded in agreement, and vanished to the bedroom to find his laptop. He would need it, should Bjurman have anything of value to contribute.
Back in the living room, she placed the laptop on the coffee table next to the half empty china tea cups. I should put those away, she thought, before I break them.
She put her head close to Dag's, and could hear the faint ringing of his phone. It gave eleven rings, and then went to an automated voicemail. Dag didn't leave a message, for fear that it would scare Bjurman off. If the man was guilty, that is.
Dag sighed, but he was not surprised. The man was probably in bed already. Dag could relate. He had spent most of the last few weeks in a state of constant exhaustion. But the book must be published. He had worked to long for some lazy fuckup on his part to ruin the impact it would make. Which was why he checked and rechecked whenever possible, every source, every statistic, every sentence structure, down to the difference between there, their and they're. Mikael Blomvkist had told him that if Millennium was going to stick their necks out like this yet again, they would need to be 100% behind it. There could be no mistakes.
He moved from his spot in the recliner to next to Mia on the couch. He wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her toward him. He felt her let out her breath, and he angled his head so that their lips met.
It was a long while before she pulled back, ever so slightly. "I should put the china away." She smiled. "Then we can continue."
She rose, half a second before the door opened with a supersonic bang. Both froze, Mia in mid stride.
Quite possible the largest man either had ever seen lumbered in without hesitation. He did nothing to hide his intent, the gun in his hand. He stepped all the way into the living room, one massive leg tipping the small coffee table over with ease. The china tumbled to the floor and broke with a crash. He raised his weapon to aim directly at Dag's head.
Mia didn't have time to move, but if she could have she wasn't even sure what she would have done. Take on this hulk of a man? Throw herself in the path of the bullet?
In the millisecond of time between taking aim and the firing of the gun, she looked at Dag. He mouthed what was clearly, "run."
Then the millisecond was gone, and Mia turned and ran before she could see the aftermath. Adrenaline pumped through her. She repressed the horror, the overwhelming grief, the fear of the chase, and commanded her legs to take her forward, towards the bedroom, where the fire escape was. Where possible safety awaited.
She never made it that far.
Ronald Niedermann knew the consequences of her leaving this apartment alive. It would mean very bad things for him, Zalachenko, and everyone they'd ever had dealings with. And so he finished the job with a second bullet.
Mia barely knew what hit her. Her last thought was a memory. The day she met Dag. It was just a brief instant. It gave her strength, for whatever awaited her in death.
The bullet entered through her jaw, exited through the opposite temple. She was long gone before she hit the bedroom floor, her feet still on the edge of the threshold.