AN: Just a neat little factoid I thought people would find interesting…

While searching for a place to meet with the President I looked at the map, specifically the area surrounding the District of Columbia, and chose completely at random West Virginia. I was hoping at best to be able to find some fictional resort in the rural hills but was completely shocked to discover The Greenbrier, America's Resort, beautiful and golf seems to be the main activity. I figure golf is probably a Presidential pastime…LOL While studying virtual maps of the resort I stumbled upon a YouTube segment that disclosed that The Greenbrier is not only a resort but it has an entire underground bunker system built beneath the West Wing of the hotel to house the government in case of nuclear war.

( www. youtube watch?v=DNxGcKcQQxM )

Slaying the Hydra DAY EIGHT

Aaron sat slumped beside Marta's bedside her cold hand cradled between his; her fingers were small compared to his long digits, delicate and in this artificial light they look frail. The rest of their party had gone back to the cottage hours ago; the secret service having taken over the west wing of the hotel and all of the outlying areas and assuring the group's safety. Marta was sedated but she had awakened for a few short minutes after they moved her into this private underground hospital room; just long enough to ease Aaron's mind. The doctors had tossed around explanations and terms that made no sense to him even with his improved cognitive skills. It was only after Marta woke up and murmured his name with a slight smile reaching for his hand that he felt the ice that had shrouded his heart begin to crack and fall away.

A shadow fell across her bed and Aaron was on his feet in an instant but he settled back into the chair when he recognized the President standing in the open door. The older man looked as haggard as Aaron felt and his good ol' boy demeanor was absent as he stepped into the room and glanced back into the hallway before closing the door after him. He stood there for so long, his eyes on Marta, that Aaron began to get uncomfortable.

"Mr. President," he murmured, drawing the man's attention even though he continued to watch Marta.

"Maggie has never been sick a day in her life," the President finally muttered, glancing briefly at Aaron as he spoke. "The only time I have ever seen her in a hospital bed has been when she delivered our three sons." Aaron watched the man's body language and took in the set of his shoulders and the clenching of his fists. "Now," the man's voice broke but he quickly controlled it as he continued, "The doctors aren't sure if she will ever fully recover."

"I'm sorry," Aaron told him and he could only feel relief that Marta was going to make a full recovery, but he was sure the President wasn't here just to impart that bit of history. Aaron could have asked him why exactly he was here instead of with his wife, but he knew the man would speak when he was ready and he was right.

"This man Byer," President Davis said quietly, "You know where to find him?" Aaron straightened in his chair and his full attention immediately settled on his Commander and Chief.

"Yes," he nodded refusing to say more than that because when everything was said and done he wanted to be able to go back to his life with Marta in their little house in the suburbs.

"I have read," the President sighed and met Aaron's gaze for the first time and held it as he spoke, "Everything you and Mr. Bourne have been asked to do for your country."

"Yes, sir," Aaron murmured, but he did not give away his nervousness as he realized this was the only man in America that could exonerate him and the rest of them for their parts in what was done under the auspices of the clandestine operations of NRAG.

"There is one thing I want," the President glanced away and said after a lengthy pause, "Something that doesn't seem to be beyond your skill—something that might be frowned upon—something permanent."

"Well," Aaron murmured letting his eyes fall on Marta's sleeping form, "That sounds like something that should never be committed to paper."

"Exactly," Davis murmured, "You'll need this." He pulled a paper from his pocket and handed it to Aaron before he turned to leave the room. At the door he stopped and met Aaron's eyes as he said, "I will see that things here are taken care of as if they were my own."

"Thank you," Aaron nodded. "I hope the First Lady gets better soon." President Davis nodded and stepped out of the room without another word. Aaron slipped his hand from Marta's and unfolded the paper staring in shock at what he saw.

"What is it," Marta murmured weakly, startling Aaron for a moment.

"Hey," he smiled dropping the paper onto the blanket as he stood up and kissed Marta's slightly chapped lips. "You need sleep," he murmured.

"I know," she smiled, as they mirrored their conversation from yesterday's early hours romp in their bed back home.

"I was scared," he muttered and his voice was testament to the truth of that confession.

"I know," she murmured, "what did he give you?"

"You're like a dog with a bone," he sighed.

"Trying to say I look like a dog," she asked with a mock glare startling a laugh from Aaron.

"No," he shook his head and kissed her lips again. "You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."

"Just trying to change the subject," she glared for real this time and Aaron sighed heavily as he picked up the paper and turned it for her to see.

"It is a post-dated Presidential Pardon," he answered.

"When," she asked.

"It has tomorrow's date on it," Aaron answered. She studied the document and then her eyes met Aaron's. They both knew what the piece of paper meant and it was a tribute to Marta's understanding of Aaron and who he was that she did not question whether this was right or wrong. Deep down he knew she would not feel safe with Byer and his ilk out there able to come after them at any moment.

"Be safe," she said after a long time contemplating what he was saying. "I love you."

"I love you more," he answered.

"Impossible," she shook her head.

"Nothing is impossible when it comes to you and me, Doc." He kissed her and caressed her hair out of her face. "I'll be back soon."

"You better," she ordered as he stepped away from the bed and moved to the door. He stopped at the door and turned back to look at her one last time before he went to finish this new mission.

Aaron is perfectly still as he watches his mark duck out of the hotel he checked into with a duffle bag in his hand. It makes Aaron smile the fidgety way that Byer is acting as he makes his way to the parking lot. One phone call from an anonymous caller had every reporter in a hundred yard radius racing to the NRAG building across town, but it was still funny watching the man sneak around trying to avoid the ravenous and nonexistent mob of reporters.

Aaron watches as Byer pulls his keys from his pocket and presses a button opening the trunk. The duffle bag is stowed in the trunk before Byer stops to really study his surroundings. It must have finally registered that there are no reporters clamoring for a comment or hassle him for a picture.

"This is for Marta," Aaron murmurs taking a smooth breathe as Byer turns to face his sniper's blind. Aaron squeezed the trigger sending a round into the lower left quadrant of Byer's side. Quickly advancing another round into the chamber Aaron watches as various emotions flit across Byer's face as he adjusts his aim targeting a little higher this time. It is strange watching realization dawn over the man's features as Aaron takes another deep breathe he fires on the inhale as Byer's lips form one word.

Breaking down his rifle, starting with the suppressor and working quickly to separate each piece and pack it into his canvas roll Aaron shoved it into the backpack at his side. He is nearly a mile away from the now cooling body of Eric Byer so he shrugs the back onto his shoulders and calmly exits the hotel room he usurped to hide his position. Stepping out onto the street Aaron pulls on a Washington Nationals baseball cap and joins the rest of the tourists as they converge on the capital city.

AN: Well, this is the end of Slaying the Hydra...I would like to thank everyone that stuck with me reading and reviewing this story. I might add an epilogue just to show my appreciation, but I am really not sure the story needs it. If you want a hot little epi let me know. Thank you for reading...Sidnea Blackstone.