This is an alternate beginning to the Bourne Legacy, taking place before the burning of Outcome, and essentially cutting the story off from any relation it had to the original trilogy.

OoOoOoOoO

Aaron followed the man into a bare room with another door at the other end and two baskets. He wasn't even sure who he was following, but it was a superior officer and that was all that mattered.

"Strip naked," said the man, which took Aaron by surprise. He didn't show it, of course, just began doing as told. "Put your clothes in one of those baskets and then go through that door. Wait there for further instruction."

"Yes, sir."

Aaron did as he was told, folding his clothes neatly before putting them in one of the baskets. He opened the door to find—not what he was expecting. It was a cell, with a heavy door and surveillance cameras, but it was strangely dim. It was lit by lamps, even though there was a switch for the fluorescent lights in the ceiling. And there was a bed, very comfortably made up and totally at odds with the white walls and tile of the room. It looked like someone had tried, and not tried very hard at that, to make a containment cell more comfortable.

He sat on the bed to wait and tried not to let his unease show.

OoOoO

"Thank you so much for coming, Dr. Shearing."

"Can I ask why I'm here?" Marta tried not to sound too irritated, but Lt. Colonel Banks had pulled her away from some delicate testing and her whole schedule was going to be messed up now. But when the head of your program says jump, well…

"We have some questions about the health of one of our operatives. Specifically his sexual health."

She blinked, surprised. "That's not my field of expertise. You should consult—"

"You have a medical doctorate in addition to your Ph.D. in genetics."

"I do, but that's—"

"You do function as the medical examiner for the operatives."

"Yes—"

"Then please, just listen." His tone left no room for argument. "One of our operatives has developed a… fixation. Sexually. On a particular woman. He wants her, and our psych evals show he thinks about her much more than he ought to, given the nature of their relationship, which up to this point has been… clinical."

Something about Lt. Colonel Banks' tone was putting Marta on edge. Though nothing showed on his face, there seemed to be a small smile in his voice, a hint of amusement that she really didn't like.

"But recently it has come to our attention that this operative has disobeyed orders on numerous occasions to see this woman, and that is unacceptable. So we're asking for your advice about what actions might be taken."

"These two have not had sex?"

"We are fairly certain they have not."

"Well, it's not my area of expertise, and you really should ask a psychologist, but it sounds like he's fixating because he can't have her."

"So the problem would be solved if they had intercourse?"

"If the fixation is purely sexual, then it's likely."

"Thank you, Dr. Shearing, that's exactly what I needed to hear. Now, if you wouldn't mind following me."

"How long is this going to take? I have sensitive experiments underway in my lab."

They were walking down a hallway now, flanked by two soldiers carrying guns.

"Well, Doctor, that's up to you. If you're… cooperative, then this shouldn't take long at all."

The hint of amusement was back, and Marta was liking it less and less. She opened her mouth to ask what that meant, when they arrived at their destination. Banks opened the door and let her into a room that was almost totally bare except for two baskets. She walked in, followed closely by the other three men.

"Okay, Dr. Shearing, I want you to take a moment to remember the contract you signed to us, because you aren't going to like what I tell you to do next. Take off your clothes."

"What?"

"You said yourself that the solution to our operative's sexual fixation is intercourse with the woman in question."

"You mean… you meant… me? You expect me to… There is no way…" Marta was sputtering, infuriated. "You set me up. You manipulated me into saying… No! No, I absolutely, categorically refuse."

"I am afraid you don't have a choice. Five has become dangerously attached, to the point of disobeying orders. We will take whatever steps necessary to insure that our operatives are not compromised."

"Five," Marta murmured, remembering a man with strong hands and kind eyes, who flirted clumsily and always left her sessions a bit more cheerful than he had come in. She was surprised. She knew he liked her, but she would never have guessed that she was the object of his infatuation. He had always been respectful, keeping his eyes on her face and his hands to himself. She actually had received better treatment from him than from some of the men she worked with every day. She could hardly believe that he was to be her rapist.

"What do you mean, he's disobeyed orders to see me? I've never seen him outside the examination room."

"On numerous occasions he has deliberately failed to send in his blood work so that he is required to have a full check-up. With you."

Marta was silent, trying desperately to think of a way out of this.

"Are you going to force me to do this? At gunpoint?"

"If I must."

"You understand that this is rape, right?"

"You will be compensated."

Marta gave a hollow, hysterical laugh. "And you think that makes it okay? You think that will make it right?" She was crying now.

"I have no illusions that there is anything right about this. It is necessary. Now, please, Doctor, I really must insist. Take off your clothes."

She took a few gasping breaths, trying to get her tears under control. "You won't… you can't shoot me." She looked helplessly at the stony faces of the other soldiers. "I'm necessary to the program."

"I can't pretend your death won't set our research back, but you are not vital. There are many other qualified people who could take your place. And your death would certainly fix our problems with Cross. With Five."

Shaking, silent tears streaming down her face, she looked into the eyes of all three men and didn't see a drop of compassion in any of them. "Please," she whispered. "Please don't do this."

The two soldiers raised their guns.

OoOoO

Aaron was still sitting on the bed when he heard voices in the room outside. They were muffled through the heavy door, but he heard a woman shout, "No!" He wanted to get up to see what was happening, but his orders had been to stay put. So he did. There was a few more minutes of voices, and then the door opened, and someone was shoved through.

It was Dr. Shearing. And she was… naked. And sobbing. The door shut quickly behind her, and locked solidly. The woman looked around the room, clearly terrified.

"Doc?" He stood up, about to move toward her, but she pressed herself against the door, cowering away from him, and sobbed even harder. Him. She was terrified of him. Distress and worry lanced through Aaron's chest. She was trying desperately to cover her naked body, and so he did the first thing he could think of to help. He turned around and ripped the comforter off the bed he had been sitting on. When he stepped toward her, she squeaked and sank to the ground, drawing her knees to her chest.

"Hey, hey," he said gently, setting it on the floor and holding his hands up. "I'm not gonna hurt you." He bent down and shoved the comforter across the floor to her. Tentatively, she reached for it, then after a second of staring at him, she quickly wrapped it around herself.

"Not going to hurt me?" she said, managing to sound sarcastic even through her tears. "What, did they tell you I was a willing participant in this?"

"This? What do you mean? They didn't tell me anything, just to sit in this room and wait until someone comes."

Dr. Shearing's sobs were quieting a bit into hiccups, but she was still eyeing him with fear. Almost as an afterthought, Aaron pulled the top sheet off the bed to cover himself. Normally he was totally unfazed by nudity, even around others, but the Doctor was… different. He felt the need to protect her. She was delicate. Beautiful and fragile. And standing naked in front of her—it felt like disrespect.

When he wrapped the sheet around his naked form, she seemed to relax just a hair. "You really… you really don't know what's happening?" She looked at him with a strange mix of concern and suspicion.

He shook his head. She opened her mouth, presumably to explain, then closed it again. Her brow furrowed, and Aaron tried not to pay attention to how adorable that was.

"I'm trying to think of the least… humiliating way to explain it. For both of us." She was quiet another minute. "It has come to your superiors' attention that you, um… like me." Aaron blanched. He could see where this was headed, and it was a bad, bad place. "Well, they called it a fixation. A… sexual fixation. And since you disobeyed orders and didn't send blood work in so you could see me," her voice was rising, anger filling the hollow of fear and distress, "they think you need to be 'cured.' And I guess it's obvious how they think that's going to happen."

It was obvious. Two naked people and a bed in a room with a locked door was pretty damn obvious. Aaron looked at the floor, humiliated and afraid. And she wasn't done. "So, whatever you're going to do, please do it soon-" her voice cracked—the brave front she was putting up was pretty damn thin. "Soon, because I need to get back to work."

Aaron looked up in shock. "I'm not… Jesus, Doc, I'm not going to do anything. Do you really think I would… that I would rape you?"

She met his eyes warily. "I've got no reason to believe you wouldn't. I barely know you. At this point the only thing I know about you is that you want me. And that you kill people for a living." He flinched. That was true, but it was a brutal assessment of their relationship.

"Well, I wouldn't. I would never rape anyone, least of all you. I mean, you're beautiful. And I think about you a lot more than I should, and I guess I mentioned you a few too many times during my psych evals, but that's all the more reason…" He paused. "I don't want you like this. Ashamed, afraid, that's not… I'm not an animal," he finished quietly.

She looked at him for a moment. "I'm sorry," she said softly.

"You didn't do anything wrong."

"I shouldn't have presumed…"

"You were afraid. You were forced to take your clothes off at gunpoint; I really can't blame you for assuming."

She trembled under the comforter, and wrapped it tighter around herself. They sat silently like that for an indeterminable stretch of time.

"What do we do now?" she asked.