Hello :) First of all, I want to say that this is the last in this trilogy of Aaron and Marta ficlets. I wanted to round things out with a look at Marta's progression from scientist to warrior and proving herself. I hope I've achieved that. Thank you all so much for the reviews for this fanfic; all the kindness has kept me going when I couldn't think of anything to write. If you like this chapter, please review :)

So, here is the final part, wherein Marta picks up a gun and proves herself a warrior.


3

It's during the battle he first notices.

He wants to know how they went from beautiful rural idyll, making a home for each other to a scene of death and destruction in 10 seconds flat. The middle of the night, lit by candlelight, saw them strike. Five men, armed and dangerous, are storming their castle and chipping away at the life Aaron and Marta have made. Aaron, in just his ratty old sweatpants, grabs a gun and starts shooting, pushing Marta behind him. They have orders to bring them in alive so he has the upper hand. They always want people alive just to kill them that much slower.

Marta cries out as agent number one grabs her arm roughly, so roughly Aaron shoots the guy's hand off at the wrist and feels better for it. There's so much blood but it doesn't matter. He's made vows to her to keep her safe and he'll kill to keep it. He wasn't a liar and he won't let them turn him into one now, not when there's so much at stake for him too. He pulls her into the bathroom and barricades the door. He glimpses the sink and remembers tasting her on there the night before. Everything changes in a split second. "Aaron?" she's standing stock still, frozen in the corner, dressed in her vest and shorts. The night air is still cold. "Aaron, what do we do?"

He rips the mirror off the bathroom wall and pulls out his ammo stash. He hadn't exactly told her about this but there wasn't any time. "My job." He mutters, fitting together another gun and handing it to her, "I need you to shoot at anything that moves that isn't me. Just like we practised, just like all that training, okay?" He hears shots at the door and pulls her down as he crouches. She feels cold. "You want to get out of here alive, right?" Marta locks the ammo in the gun and nods. The steel in her once warm eyes is there. She may be a warrior but he's the one who's taught her how to survive. "Then we'll get out alive together or not at all." He presses a quick kiss to her lips. The last act of love for a man approaching the hangman's noose. "Okay?"

Marta smiles slowly, "I know." She pulls back the gun and looks at him. She's never been so sexy to him. Girls with guns. "Go." She mutters.

Aaron slinks along the wall and kicks open the door.

Everything is a blur. He immediately takes down number one, the one with his hand shot off, a bullet to the forehead, brains on their sleeping bag. He sees Marta behind the stone wall of the bathroom, poking her head through and shooting for the knees like he's told her to. It'd be good if they kept an assassin alive, extract what they needed to and left him as a message. Do not fuck with us or we will fuck with you. He's not even sure he's on the good side of right anymore. Aaron's going hand to hand with numbers three and four. It's a rhythm he knows too well.

Two's been downed by Marta, his screams of pain echo through the sounds of bullets past Aaron's ears. Aaron punches, kicks, disables their guns and shoots number three in the heart. 15 seconds down. He sees Marta come out and wants to scream at her not to. She starts firing at black blurs behind him. Five is hiding. Five is a coward. Number two, writhing in pain from the hole in his knee, grabs Marta's ankle and slices with a switchblade. She screams and Aaron's heart stops. "Mother fucker!" she cries out and stomps down on his shot knee, the crack as the patella breaks her victory and revenge. She kicks the knife from his hand clear across the room and grunts for her gun as shots swim past her body, Marta ducking them.

He looks over and everything slows. 25 seconds down. He's killed numbers one, three and four. Two is demobilised. Number five is aiming a gun at Marta's head. She can't see him. Aaron takes a breath, about to raise his gun and take down number five when Marta whips around and shoots five point blank in the head. Her arm is straight and unwavering. The breeze from the open window whips in and curls her dark hair around her pale, blood spattered face. The gash on her ankle is dripping blood down her foot. She's an agent now. His warrior made in 30 seconds. Done.

There's something in the air that makes 30 seconds seem so significant. He can't keep his eyes from her. His gun doesn't waiver, he doesn't even need to aim for number five, now dead in front of him. It was supposed to be an easy hitter, in one fell swoop. Aaron's target. Now all he wants to do, all he can seem to do, is to stare at her. See her warrior come out to the fullest beauty he knows she is capable of. He's always thought she glides when she fights in the forest with him, training quicker than any agent he's known.

She always dances with danger; only she was the one playing the grim reaper and cutting swathes through guards, armies, and champions now. She has the control but he prefers it that way. In 30 seconds, she becomes more than Marta Shearing; more than he could ever dream of taming (like he'd ever want to tame). She is power and beauty and death and dangerous liaisons. Aaron knew in those 30 seconds – among dust, blood, cries, destruction – that there was at one person he could come home to. Only one person he wants to come home to. Marta.

She looks at him and smiles, lowering her gun. "You're a good teacher." She answers his unasked question. The breeze still whips her hair and he smiles slowly. If Marta's an angel it's an angel of death sent to collect him. He's happy with that. Aaron steps over the dead bodies and kisses her hard, ignoring the whimpering number two on the floor beneath them. Aaron doesn't deserve her, but she deserves him and he kisses her even harder.

"You have no idea how hot you are right now."

She smirks and raises an eyebrow, "About as hot as you are." She pecks his lips, "Just a second." She steps back and kicks number two in the head hard, grunting as she does. "That's for interrupting."

Aaron laughs and takes her hand. There may be more battles, more running, and more trials but they had each other and that's always been enough for him.

He'll never fall in love again.


To be continued in

Radical Violence and Other Fairytales


A/N: so what do you think of avenging angel Marta? Do you think she can keep up with Aaron now? Will Aaron feel good about what Marta's become? Stay tuned for the next trilogy, coming this weekend!