Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this fic, and no money is being made from this. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: This is a fic for the movie "Hanna" starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. I was inspired by the intrigue of Cate's character, the "evil" Marissa Wiegler. There's SO much more to her, in my mind, and exploring that uncharted territory is fascinating and quite fun. I wanted to delve into her background, since when I initially saw the movie I had the feeling that she and Erik might have been romantically involved when they were in Berlin and that Hanna was actually their child. I was wrong, but that's what fanfic is for, right? ;)
It's rather undignified, she believes, the way her life is to unceremoniously end. In the middle of an abandoned roller coaster track in the middle of a dilapidated amusement park, bruised and bloodied, with a wild haired waif aiming her own gun at her.
Marissa does not move.
It would be inefficient to do so when she clearly knows what is to follow. She has never been anything but efficient in her life. She sees no reason to cower at the end of it.
As she vaguely regards the girl whom she has waited for and pursued longer than she would like to admit, she is arrested by a familiar gleam in those cold blue eyes and just for a second, she can't breathe. It's not because there's an arrow lodged in her stomach. She keeps breathing despite it all, her body unwilling to give up the fight even though her mind tells her in clinically detached terms that it's over.
There comes a point in one's career when right and wrong lose their distinctions, but it is often difficult to say exactly when that is. Marissa had never been one for introspection until she met him. She was a relic of the Cold War—of the days when young people fresh out of Ivy League schools were recruited by middle aged men to serve their country. She'd gone to Georgetown, graduated with degrees in international relations and German.
The fact that she began working for the Agency less than a year after graduation spoke volumes of her caliber as an officer. She was stationed in East Berlin before the wall fell, and she learned hard lessons fast. Adapt or die, as they say. She had some scars to show for her days in communist Europe that she now keeps safely hidden beneath tailored Prada and Armani.
She had been in the process of recruiting a man to spy for the United States—a man who had just crossed over from east to west and she was asking him to return the place he fled to spy for them. By her fifteenth (or was it twentieth?) recruitment, she liked to think she had mastered the art of remaining inwardly detached while projecting a deceptive warmth. The truth was that people were drawn to the ice in her veins—she was an unyielding force in a shaky situation.
His name was Erik.
He spied for them because she made him believe that it was right, that it was the correct thing to do. He brought back information for her about the Russians' attempts to create "super-soldiers" and despite the preposterous name of the project, her superiors took it seriously.
Living as she did in Berlin was not conducive to a social life. Perhaps she never really had one, as she studied hard in school almost to the point of self destruction. She treated her career with the same devotion although she couldn't afford to drive herself to quite the same extreme as she did then. Handling a 22 caliber Ruger whilst half asleep didn't do anyone any good, even if it was a mere lady's pistol.
That's not to say she didn't work the social and diplomatic circuits. That was quintessential to the job in fact, and she was one of those women who were well aware of her presence yet seemed to be unaware of her ominous allure. Many an ambassador had turned their gaze her way and all she had to do was flick her eyes once in their direction, then turn away as if they were beneath her notice. A subtle shrug of an unclothed shoulder, a display of calculated vulnerability-irresistible to men in power. Each recruitment was a slow seduction, but at the end of the night they were offered an American passport and CIA protection instead of the obvious.
Pathetic, and an easy way of covertly gathering what she needed to know.
One night in Erik's hovel of an apartment about three blocks away from the lab that housed their great efforts changed everything. She might have blamed the shitty wine that she might have had too much of, but she remembered the way her hands trembled as she dropped her glass as well as the way neither of them cared about the freshly stained carpet.
When she received the orders to terminate the project, she was momentarily blindsided with anger. They risked everything to get the scientists and materials to make this cockamamie idea work, and now when it was about the come to fruition they were pulling the plug. Her credibility as a recruiter would immediately suffer. She had no choice but to accept it; the fact that Langley's betrayal would mean she would lose face. For some, things like this ended careers.
Half an hour later she has come to terms with it, is ready to cut and run as she'd been trained to do so long ago. Erik however, regards her with a cool gaze as she notifies him. His eyes are guarded and she is dismayed that she can no longer read him. He bids her good day and she is left standing alone in her office.
When she receives the news that he is gone, that one of the patients and her child is gone as well, she sees red and is all too happy to take her orders this time. Langley wanted all vestiges of the experiment gone. She wants retribution badly, she wants nothing more than to be rid of the ache in her chest and she loads her gun in preparation. She welcomes the chilling detachment that had been her constant companion, but which had deserted her for some time since she met him.
One, two, three, four shots ring into the dusky air. She throws herself to the ground, ears buzzing as the car speeds by. Jumping up, she sees it's crashed into a tree and she's running toward it.
It's empty. A figure is sprinting in the distance and she knows in her heart that it's him, carrying the child to safety. She can't get to him but she runs anyway, the veil of red marring her vision never lifting until she's face to face with the woman responsible. She is standing over her, the washed-up singer they found in an abortion clinic and Marissa has never hated anyone more.
"You will never, ever have her." The other woman whispers triumphantly.
Marissa looks at her, lying on the ground looking for all the world like a pitiful fallen doe, misty eyed and utterly innocent. Her hatred flares, filling her completely so that she takes extraordinarily savage pleasure in pulling the trigger and firing once, twice, thrice…
It is more than a decade before she sees Erik again, and in that time, she's never been able to forget the doe-eyed singer she shot dead in a meadow in the German countryside.
He shoots the door and kicks it down, knowing that she is on the other side undoubtedly armed and dangerous as ever. He goes inside anyway. It is confidence and thoughts of his daughter that allow him to stride forward.
She's standing in the middle of her shot up living room, staring at him with those wide blue eyes. He's struck by the rawness there, when in his memory they seemed to be carved from coldly glittering diamonds rather than betray any emotion so human as fear. She drops the gun and it clatters when it hits the wooden floor. He watches her and is suddenly reminded of the spilled wine, all those years ago.
"Marissa." He says simply. He too lowers his weapon, though he does not drop it.
She looks strangely fragile. It is as if she is unconsciously seeking to destroy the previously immutable image of her that he has clung to and even relied upon all these years. She hasn't changed yet the woman before him now is completely foreign.
"You fucking bastard."
With the ten feet between them, he still feels like he's been slapped.
There is nothing to say.
Tenderly he relearns the curves of her frail shoulders, her waist—painfully thin now, her slender hips. He traces the faded scars on the alabaster skin of her lower back and she clutches him to her. He whispers to her in German, she responds with her lips and brutal teeth. This is not love; this is years of bitterness and forced isolation on both parts. They're back in his shithole apartment in Berlin and the gunshots that haunted him for more than a decade have relented, at least for the moment.
He's never held her like this before. It is a novelty after the perfect storm that posited them in this situation; that he gets to trace lazy patterns along her side. He's still marveling at her mussed auburn hair, still short, still vibrant against her skin. His gaze is like a caress ghosting over the spots where he left marks upon her skin; just below her jaw upon her slender neck. How he once cherished the delicateness of her neck, her noble cheekbones...Then he knows she is watching him and disengages from her.
Words are unnecessary and unwelcome. This changes nothing between them, the game is still afoot and he knows this. He only wonders how far she'll let him get before she resumes her deadly intent.
She lets him leave at dawn. When she returns from brushing her teeth, the bed is made as if he was never there. She is not hurt. Because she knows that their time will come again, and she will not be so friendly in spite of the damned ache in her chest.