"How did you get so good?" he asks once.
"Men have an alarmingly singular focus. You can work that to your advantage."
"Is it that easy?"
"Mostly." she admits.
She's a woman of few words but he's a man of fewer.
"Maybe that's why you're still alive." she muses. They're in his room - her, with her feet propped up on his fold-out desk, leafing through a briefing.
He's cleaning his gun. "Why?"
"I don't work on you." She is about to elaborate, but decides against it. What can she say? You don't fall at my feet when I walk by? (Not that she is bothered by this).
He doesn't reply.
"Or you're extremely disciplined." she postulates.
"One of the two", he agrees blandly, not even looking up.
"I could have killed you." she states emphatically. Perhaps she'll start to believe it if she says it with more confidence.
He checks his blind spot (how prudent) before making a turn. "The events that unfolded that day indicate otherwise."
If they were facing each other, she probably would have gotten confrontational. "I could have, but didn't."
"If you could have," he says calmly, "what stopped you?"
"I'm still trying to figure that part out."
"Actually", he says later "I could have killed you. But I didn't."
"I know. I haven't forgotten.
They sit in silence for almost an hour in the car, still waiting for the mark to emerge, before he offers, "Maybe I should have just offed you then. Saved you from the existential crisis you're going through now."
"Your consideration is touching." she snaps.
She hauls him out of bed one night to meet her in the training facility. She makes him stand in front of the target and trains her gun on him. They stand like that for 30 seconds before he speaks.
"Can I go now?" He squints blearily at her and she feels a rush of affection for him that she immediately tries to tamp down. He's still wearing his sleep pants. Poor thing had been abruptly awakened by her just 10 minutes prior.
"No. This is important. I need to figure out I couldn't shoot you. Otherwise it might happen again."
"It can't wait till the morning?"
"I can't just point my gun at you if everyone's watching. They're going to think I've lost it."
"What about what I think?"
She ignores him. "Do I scare you?"
She switches off the safety. "How about now?"
She fires a shot, wide. He doesn't flinch.
"No." he repeats, before she'd even had a chance to ask.
She knows he's been trained to manage his reflexes, but tosses her gun aside in frustration anyway. He's already walking out. "See you at breakfast." he calls.
She doesn't see at breakfast. In fact, she doesn't see him for the rest of the day, but he's sitting in her room when she gets back from her evening jog.
"I don't even know why we bother having door codes around here." she mumbles.
"The illusion of privacy." he shrugs. "Give me your gun."
A part of her was expecting this - she knew she couldn't get away with their little episode 16 hours ago - elite assassins do not take well to having lethal weapons pointed at them ever, let alone in jest. She unstraps the pistol from her leg (hey, you can never be too safe in this line of work) and tosses it to him. "You know I wouldn't do this for just anyone, right?"
"Oh, I know." he responds. "In fact, I'd be disappointed if you did this for anyone else."
She only has a second to puzzle over his words when she's staring down the barrel of her own gun. She was expecting this too.
"Scared?" he asks.
"Uncomfortable..." She has a healthy respect for what a gun can do at close range to her face, but she also knows with complete certainty that he'd never shoot her. "...but, no."
"Good." he says. "How about now?" and he presses the muzzle of the gun to his temple.
"What the hell are you doing?" she asks, forcing her voice to stay steady. Her gaze flickers to the gun and ok, she can do this. She can take him out first if she needs to, or even just land a blow on his arm, either way, long enough to distract him...
"Just asking you a question."
She's rifling through her mind now. Has he been depressed? Did she push him too hard? How long ago was the bloodbath in Brisbane? She's 98% sure he's bluffing but right now, a 2% margin of error seems like a gaping void. She knows suicide rates in their line of work was at least twice the national average- she pushes that thought aside. "Stop dicking around." she orders. There was a reason why she's never been tapped to work as a negotiator. She was never good at talking someone down. "If you don't put down the gun, psych eval is going to look like a fucking cakewalk compared to what I have planned for you."
He clicks off the safety in response and ok, now she's had enough of this shit. She knocks the gun from his hand and kicks it under her bed in one fluid movement.
"What the fuck was that?" she yells. He barely looks fazed and she thinks that perhaps a roundhouse kick to the head could change that quite quickly.
"There's nothing wrong with you," he says evenly. "just because you didn't kill me. In fact, I'm glad you didn't. I don't know many chances you had. I don't know why you didn't. But I know you didn't try. This morning, that little stunt you pulled? You missed me by a mile. You weren't even pointing the gun at me. You were practically facing the other wall. ("I was not," she tries to interject, but he talks over her). You wouldn't give your gun to anyone else. Call it a gut feeling. You didn't blink when I was holding a gun to your face, but the second I aimed that gun at myself, you had already decided to disarm me within the next 5. Tell me what that means."
Which is a relief, really. If he's the one man in the world she's determined to keep alive, she can live with that. "You're my fatal flaw." she concludes.
"Good," he says. "Because I know you've always been mine."