Hello :) Thanks for everyone who liked the last chapter! I've been ill the last two days but I'm feeling better today so I thought I'd get this done before the last chapter of my other fic and/or this cold takes my head into self-pity mode. This is a chapter inspired by the song Gorecki by Lamb. It has to be the most haunting love song I've ever heard: if you've not listened to it, please go to youtube and look it up. I love it. (If you're a Torchwood viewer, you should recognise it!)
Anyway, this is were we get into the grittier fighting-for-their-lives part of the story. I'm not sure how many chapters are left but I think it'll be about 20, maybe 25 if I have some brainwaves.
Thanks for reading and please review :)
All I've known, all I've done, all I've felt was leading to this
It's broken but she can fix it. She knows she can fix anything, right? Marta panics and looks up at Aaron, expecting him to be dead, expecting blood or maybe it's her that's been shot and she's got a delayed reaction to pain and dying. Oh shit. It's all gone to hell in a hand basket too quickly for her liking; weren't they allowed just a little reprieve? Just half an hour to enjoy something before one of them – probably her – died in a whimper of glory. Thirteen exams over four years seem a century ago now. Marta grips his arm, not daring herself to look, "Am I dead?" she thinks love and death go hand in hand at this point. "Aaron?" she looks up finally and sees him, ashen faced and angry. Why is he angry? "Aaron?!" she smacks him. His eyes snap down to hers and he's an agent once again.
"Get dressed." He says, getting up and grabbing his pants, pulling them on quicker than he'd taken them off, "It came from downstairs. It's not Jason; they found us."
"LARX?" she mutters, pulling her clothes back on as her heart rate thunders in her chest, "They found us?" this is getting screwed in the bad way.
"Yes. And I'm going to kill them. We're not ready." Marta's steadily getting more and more pissed off as he keeps talking but saying nothing, "I need you to stay here. Barricade the door behind me and don't move."
"Like fuck I am." She looks at him, indignant. "Use me, I can be bait. Lure them up here so we can corner them and take them out."
He shakes his head, cocking his handgun and going to the roof door, "This isn't the time for heroics, Doc. We could be facing all the LARX agents and we don't know how many there are now. Could be 1, could be 100." He listens at the door and she can hear gunshots again.
"Jason!" she starts to call but Aaron clamps a hand around her mouth, his jaw set in determined anger.
"Don't give our position away." He whispers so softly she has to strain to hear him. "You know what they do, Marta, you've seen it. They won't spare you because you're a woman, because you're not an agent. They will kill you and use your body to torture me."
She shrugs his hand off, "I've killed one before, I can do it again." She reaches for the door handle but he stops her and pushes her up against the brick wall too roughly for it to be exciting, "Aaron, stop it."
"You got lucky." He stares into her eyes and she can't see warmth. Is that all she is? Lucky? "You got lucky last time, you won't be again." He presses his gun into her stone cold hands, "Stay here. Shoot anyone that comes through that door you think is LARX, even if it's not. I mean it." He presses a kiss to her lips that feels like a goodbye and dashes through the door, leaving her standing there with a gun in her hand.
What does she do? She can't just… be a nothing. He calls her a warrior but he doesn't mean it, obviously. She's not going to just stand there and wait to kill or get killed. Marta tries the roof door but it won't budge. Fucker's barricaded it. She thinks hard, has to find a way down, a way out. She goes to the edge of the roof, looking down. It's a three storey building, 30ft drop straight down. No way could a human body survive that drop; if she landed feet first, her fibulas would snap upon impact and thrust into her kneecaps, severing her femoral artery as the bones break. If she landed on her front or back, it's instant game over. Sometimes she hates being a scientist, knowing the outcome to these situations. If she jumped, she'd be dead in under a minute. Marta looks along the building and smirks as she sees the half rotten trellis with dead ivy crawling up it and walks over, gun still clutched in her stone cold hand. She's doing anything it takes to save him or die alongside him. She kind of hopes it's not the latter. Marta closes her eyes and climbs into the ledge on all fours as she hears gunshots and yelling from both Aaron and Jason. She's right by broken windows that run all the way from bottom to top along the building, giving her a window into the fishbowl. "Breathe." She mutters to herself as she puts the first foot on the trellis, testing its weight. "Just breathe." Heart thundering, Marta swings her other leg over and puts it on the trellis too, still gripping the ledge of the building with one determined hand. Slowly she takes her feet down until she can't keep hold of that stone anymore and puts the gun in the back of her pants.
The landscape is almost painted with darkness now the sun has set; the only light coming from the stars and the moon and making it glow like a target. If this were reality, it'd be a horror movie, she thinks. Marta hears a man crying out in grunted pain and wonders which man it is. She sees shadows inside the building and pants as her arms begin to burn. Don't look down. She has to remind herself over and over again that it's for him, to stop being a fucking damsel in distress and be the warrior he needs. Marta almost cries out as she loses her footing and has to put it on a window ledge to keep herself steady. She keeps going down, closing her eyes and smelling the dead ivy she's trusting with her life. Her legs manage to get her down to the third storey window, the dim light bulb inside flickering so much that it looks like it's on fire inside. She can smell the fumes of sparks through the broken glass, a hole where the window should be.
And then she sees him.
His left arm has a jagged slice cut out of it and he's limping a little but thank god he's alive. He doesn't see her and runs down the staircase, spotting something and shooting. Marta sees an agent behind Aaron, baring his gun and readying the shot. She doesn't think – it's an easy choice, after all. Kill the target or hope Aaron's skills are good enough to see black on black. She slides her gun through the hole and fires twice, shooting the man dead through his thigh and his stomach; even if he's not LARX, he's a threat. Aaron's head snaps up and he sees her, calling out. If he was angry before, he's livid with her now.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" he runs up, trying to get the window to slide up but it sticks, "I told you to stay where you were, I told you to-"
"Does it matter now?! I just saved your life, I think I deserve a bit of credit!" Her left wrist is bleeding from the glass cutting where she shot through it, "Don't bother with the window, it's all stuck tight." She pants as her footing slips slightly.
"Marta, you'll get yourself-" he spins and shoots an agent she hadn't even registered, "You'll get yourself killed."
"I'm a warrior, remember?" she slides her gun back into her pants and retightens her grip on the dead ivy trellis. "I'm going down, I'll meet you there."
She starts going down towards the bottom as he yells out, incensed and still trying to rip the window open, "MARTA!"
Two more steps down and she slices her thigh open with something sharp sticking out of the wood. Pain blossoms almost instantly and blood drips down her leg but she won't stop; this has to be a bad injury if the adrenaline in her bloodstream can't cancel out the pain signals. Marta battles through it and rips her leg back; she cries as it hurts so bad it kills a part of her brain. She repositions her foot and grunts, pressing her head to the brick wall. She's nearly at the second storey window, she can taste it. Come on muscles. "Shit." She mutters as she slips again and the trellis under her hand bends and nearly snaps. "Come on, Doc." She chuckles as she thinks of Aaron on her old table, cracking jokes even though she saw the pain inside him. She grunts and moves down again, reaching the second storey window. Without thinking, she shoots the glass out and fires wildly at the three agents inside, hitting one in the arm, one in the stomach and one – rather impressively, she thought – in the neck. She sees Jason going fist to fist with another agent. Jason looks worse than Aaron, his face bloodied with gashes down his arms and thighs, bruises starting to sprout and blood on his vest. Her shaking hand tries to line up a shot but she can't get it focussed when Jason's in the way. "JASON BOURNE!" She cries out and it's enough of a distraction for them both to stop and look at her leaning over to the window. Marta shoots three times, one hitting the agent dead in the forehead; blood spatters all over Jason. Maybe Aaron's right: she's lucky after all.
Jason pulls the gun from the dead man's holster and shoots down the corridor, calling back to her, "You need to get down from there, Doctor Shearing. We've got one LARX in here, and maybe 10 agents left. Tell Cross." He doesn't look at her as he shoots, wiping the blood from his face.
Marta tries wrenching the window up but it doesn't even wiggle. "I'll meet you down on the ground!" she yells but knows he probably can't hear her.
Her leg's starting to go cold under her; it's not exactly a good sign. She can't seem to keep her footing anymore and can't remember what Aaron's eyes look like. God. This is dying isn't it? Marta takes a few deep breaths and keeps crawling down the trellis slowly, her leg like a dead weight now. She hops and grunts as she gets to the first storey window, six or seven feet from the ground. The room inside is bathed in white light, glowing hot and she can see a LARX agent with his hand around Aaron's throat, lifting him from the ground. She snaps from her drowsiness and tries to aim her gun, firing at the LARX agent's ankles. Achilles himself would be proud, even though none of her shots land.
"Come on." She leans her whole weight onto the wall forwards and lays her wrist against jagged glass, beating her head against the brick to stay awake. "Come on." She bites her cheek as pain seems to flood her from toe to top.
His face is going paler and he's struggling to get the upper hand. If she doesn't act now, he's dead and so is she. She takes one deep breath. Do it for him, Marta.
She opens her eyes and shoots the last round in the gun, her last ounce of strength propelling it forward.
Things seem to happen in slow motion. A bullet hits its target and there's a scream of a man in pain as she closes her eyes. She hopes she hasn't hit Aaron but as she starts to lose her grip on the world around her to the pain she's feeling all over her body, she can't tell who she managed to hit. Marta pants and groans, she's been in so much pain for the longest time that the pleasure she'd felt maybe half an hour ago seemed like a distant memory. When she looks back into the white glowing room, thinking it's Heaven, she sees Aaron standing over the LARX agent with a gun trained on the body on the ground. She locks eyes with him and he smiles just a little. Her shot had hit straight to the heart. LARX isn't a match for her it seems. Marta smiles back at Aaron as Jason comes into the room, brandishing a gun. His mouth falls open slightly at the sight of Marta, her hand still leaning against the glass, with the dead man on the floor. She's not a warrior now; she's an agent of Treadstone and Outcome.
Marta tosses the gun inside, "S'empty." She mutters. "I can't…" she tries to yell, putting a bloodied hand on the glass as she loses her footing, grabbing the decayed trellis with both hands. She sees a blur she thinks is Aaron run to the window, a strong hand grabbing her arm as she starts to want to fall. "Aaron?" she looks at him, fighting to stay awake, alive and coherent.
"Don't you dare." She looks past him and sees the second blur of Jason run out the door. "I'm not letting you go that easily."
Marta puts her hand on top of his, her arm still gripping the trellis, "I don't want to die."
"SO DON'T!" he nearly yells, his nails digging into her skin. "Don't die. Stay here, I'm getting you safe one way or another." He's trying to budge the window again. "Marta…"
"Just let go of me and I can climb down." She looks at his hand still gripping her arm. "Trust that I can do this." She nearly whispers.
Aaron's still trying to kick the window in with his knee, get her to safety. "I can do this…" he grunts.
"Agent Cross." She says softly. His eyes meet hers, "Let go of my arm."
He stops dead. Aaron looks at her and she finally remembers the colour of his irises. His fingers, as if they were rooted to her arm, prise off one by one and she can take a breath.
Numbness is bad. Numbness is death. Pain lets you know that you're going to live if you had help: she doesn't. It's all on her shoulders to save herself now.
Marta's too numb.