Author's Note: I had to take a break from writing my usual Loki/Tony fanfics and suddenly this movie popped back into my head. It's appalling that Body of Lies has such a small fandom so I felt like I should contribute. I am planning one more sequel to this that will be NC-17 which will ONLY be posted on Archive of Our Own.
"Are these Khanafeh for you or for a friend?"
For a moment Roger looked around thinking that he had imagined the familiar voice. Men with sunglasses on and their arms behind their back dotted the market place. A few meters away stood the man himself; his back turned as he looked at a fruit vendor's wares. Roger went back to looking over the sweets, choosing a few to place in a white box he was holding with his injured hand.
"Because if they are for someone special . . . as I believe they are, then I can show you were you can get better ones."
"They'll do just fine, thank you." Roger shook his head, a small grin breaking on his face.
Even for something as simple as Khanafeh, Hani seemed inclined to always have a preference for everything of the highest quality. He almost broke out laughing imagining taking Hani somewhere like a Subway or a Burger King.
Most likely, the man would sit upright, his forearms resting on the table as he looked down condescendingly at his burger.
"So you are no longer working for Edward Hoffman?"
He finally turned around with a raised eyebrow. The question effectively pulled Roger out of his thoughts and his smile faded.
"No. No, Hani, I'm not."
"That is interesting."
"Yeah, why is that?"
But Roger knew better. Hani practically gave himself away: the way his eyes darted around, the way he kept a false respectable distance and even the way he eyed the figs with feigned interest. All of these minor actions, "tells" they would be called in Poker, told Roger everything he needed to know. Hani may be an enigma to others, but in the brief time they had spent together, Roger believed he could almost feel Hani's thoughts.
"I'm too modest to take the credit for Al Saleem – it should be you."
"Most beneficial for Ed Hoffman to take the credit, I mean he will anyway, right?"
A sparkle caught Roger's eye and he looked upwards. Speak of the devil. If Ed had been nearby Roger would have punched him in the face. The fact that he believed Roger would not notice the little spy satellite watching him made Roger's blood boil. He scoffed before slipping one of the sweets in his mouth when neither Hani nor the vendor was looking.
His nose crinkled. Dammit. He hated when Hani was right.
"You sure you're not Arab? Somewhere way back?" The question was asked with a raised eyebrow and a twinkle glimmering in his eyes.
Roger wondered why Hani lacked the ability to reconcile the fact that he was an American in tune with his culture rather than a "secret Arab".
"No, we think like you, too."
"You know the fight will go on with or without you," Hani spoke low as he picked up a fig and turned it around in his hand. "What will you do?"
"The best I can."
"You're right. Live your life. Enjoy your pastry in the company of your friend." He placed a few figs in a white bag before walking forward. "We can always talk later. You know where to find me."
The way Hani had said the word "friend" caught Roger's attention. For a moment had had almost seemed jealous. Grinning, Roger turned to leave before Hani's voice stopped him.
As he turned Hani handed the paper bag with the figs, his fingers lightly brushing across Roger's. A shiver ran down Roger's as he wordlessly took the offered parcel.
"Take the figs. They will make up for your inferior Khanafeh."
"Thanks," Roger mumbled as he stared at the green-colored figs, partially wondering if they're ripe.
Soft fingers delicately traced the bandages and splint over his two fingers.
"Is it better?"
"It's fine." Roger pulled back his hand, uncomfortable with the tender gesture. He inwardly cursed when he felt his cheeks flush and hoped Hani wouldn't notice.
"You know where to find me if you want to talk."
With one fluid motion he brushed past and Roger watched his flock of guards follow him from the market place.
The setting Jordanian sun truly was a marvel and many times Roger had watched it set from the balcony of his hotel room with a scotch in hand.
He threw his head back against the chair and began considering Hani's unspoken offer. Hani was willing to forgive his transgression now that Ed was no longer in the picture. Hell, Hani might even offer him a job at the Jordanian Agency.
Like a movie reel, snippets of the past events flashed before Roger's eyes.
"You are young, but you respect your elders. You speak Arabic. So you are a secret Arab?"
He had winked, making Roger blush. Every time Hani gave him a compliment, Roger had the same strange reaction. He was both comfortable and uncomfortable in Hani's presence. Their conversations were interesting and invigorating but at the same time, Hani's lingering touches, intense gaze and close proximity made the hairs on Roger's neck stand up as a shiver ran over his skin.
"I have one rule if we are to cooperate, my dear. Never lie to me."
Roger pinched the bridge of his nose as an effort to quell the oncoming headache. He had never intended on breaking that rule but with Ed breathing down his back, he had to do something.
"We are going fishing."
Who goes fishing in a Mercedes? For lack of anything better to do, Roger had joined Hani in his fancy car as it drove into the desert. He had almost felt sorry for Mustafa as the five Mercedes moved in a herd to circle him, kicking up sand in the processes.
"So we throw him back into the sea. To swim where he naturally swims. To learn what he naturally learns and see how long he remembers my benevolence."
"What if he forgets?"
"Then I remind him that I have the power of life and death over him because, you see, any time I wish, I can let them know he works for me."
With a shake of his head, Roger dispelled the memory and got to his feet to replenish his glass. The sun had set, leaving behind a blanket of darkness in the sky, highlighted by the dimmest glimmer of distant stars.
The pain in his hand caught his attention and he brought it to his face to take a closer look. Blood had seeped through the bandages again, signaling an overdue changing. He sighed as he sat on the chair again, the memories of the worst and most interesting day of his life flowing back to him.
He had pleaded, no, begged Hani to help him. After he searched Aisha's house, he had no one else to turn to so he sought out Hani. Looking back, Roger finally understood that Hani had already known. From the minute Roger had walked into the bar, Hani had already known everything about Sadiki. Still, hurt had flashed across his face. Most of the time, his eyes looked everywhere and at everything except at Roger as if unwilling to accept the truth. Roger had broken his one rule.
"That is impossible."
"Because it will mean that you sat in my office and lied to my face."
Panic now evident in his voice, he had told Hani that they had kidnapped and planned to execute Aisha. He had even offered a deal – his life for hers. Still, the only thing Hani seemed to take away from their conversation was that he lied.
"You lied to me. I will not help you."
Hani had walked away and Marwan blocked Roger from another chance to talk to the fuming man. With Hani refusing to help, Roger had turned to Ed for help. What a great idea that was. Little did he know that mid way through the prisoner exchange, Ed had lost sight of him and he had ended up face to face with Al Saleem, the very man he and Hani had been trying to capture.
He immediately thought of Aisha. She was a sweet woman and a good nurse and he would do everything in his power to keep her safe. His eyes darted around the crowded room that smelled of nothing but sweat and gunpowder.
"Either you're trying to be clever or someone has done to you what you do so often to them. Lie."
In the corner, Mustafa shifted uncomfortably and Roger's eyes kept darting to him, contemplating whether he should throw him under the bus or not.
"No one's coming for you."
Al Saleem's words had hit Roger harder than the hammer that broke his fingers. Everything from then on was just a flash of images as he was cut loose from his binds. Strong arms threw him roughly on the table. He tried to look through his battered eyes but only noticed the light bouncing off the walls. Sure, Roger spoke Arabic fluently, but at that moment all their words were nothing but white noise.
Painful memories of torturing prisoners for information came back and he almost laughed at the irony that he was now on the receiving end. Roger felt his strength leave him as soon as his mind began to accept the likely possibility that he would die. His only wish was that it would be swift and not painful like his broken fingers.
Bullets ricochet around the room as men with masks burst in through the door. Blood sprayed everywhere and Roger could no longer tell where his blood ended and the blood of the others began. Flashes of light made him feel nauseas and for a brief moment he considered the possibility of being an epileptic before deciding that his loss of blood might have made him delusional instead.
Someone had turned off the camera but through his bleary vision he could not tell who. For a brief moment he caught sight of caramel eyes staring down at him. Was it with concern?
The image frayed and blurred before pulling itself together to form a man in an impeccable suit.
Hani . . .
Then all went black.
The insistent beeping of the medical equipment brought him back to reality and he caught a brief glimpse of the nurse by his side before she turned to leave.
"You know you can always tell who cares about you the most by who comes first to visit in you in the hospital"
Roger had craned his neck towards the door to watch Hani enter with his usual gentlemanly flair.
"And I believe I am the first."
The Bastard. Roger lay there, beaten and bruised and Hani had the gall to look smug.
"Edward could not find you. Not with all his aircraft, all his people, all his money . . ."
The subtext of the conversation was evident. Even after he had lied, Hani had found him and rescued him. Efficient as always, Hani had put him in harm's way to both capture Al Saleem and teach him a lesson. Irritated with the truth, Roger had turned on his side, content with feigning sleep until Hani left.
The clicking heels of Hani's expensive leather shoes echoed in the room as he walked to stand by the bed. After a few moments of pretending to sleep, curiosity got the better of Roger and he opened one eye just a crack.
"My poor dear . . ."
Roger snarled as Hani looked down at him with those false sympathetic eyes – or were they genuine? Hani reached out a hand and Roger flinched on instinct. Undeterred, Han lightly traced his fingers along Roger's bruises in an almost tender gesture.
"Shall I kiss them to make them better?"
He pursed his lips and Roger batted away his hand with a growl. Hani turned to look around the now vacant room. His guards had moved outside and closed the door. Turning back towards Roger, he allowed relief to cross his features before slowly bending down. Like a frightened cat, Roger tensed up, ready to defend himself.
Instead of attacking him, Hani closed his eyes and placed a gentle kiss on the purple bruise on Roger's cheek. Shocked, Roger stared straight ahead as Hani continued to lightly brush his lips across the various bruises dotting his face. Roger closed his eyes and took in scent of Hani's musky cologne, slowly relaxing against the pillow.
His eyes bolted open when he felt Hani's soft lips hover over his own. Surprise rendered him motionless and he could do nothing but stare.
"I hope you feel better." Hani pulled away. Wordlessly, he walked out of the room without even so much as a glance back.
A few days later Roger had talked with Ed who had offered him a corner office in Washington. Strangely, Roger couldn't imagine leaving Jordan.
"What if I like it here?"
"Ain't nobody likes the Middle East, Buddy. There's nothing here to like."
"Hmm. Well, maybe that's the problem right there, Ed."
Ed had looked at him like he was crazy and had reluctantly let him go. The more Roger had walked around Jordan's market places, the more he felt his decision had been correct. He thought that he could stay and learn to live like an average citizen, but then he saw Hani . . .
Placing the glass on the ground, Roger went back inside his room, closing the balcony door with a simple click.
He had made up his mind. There was something in the Middle East he liked.