Hi there! So this is a continuation of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall but I think it can stand alone (I would love it if you've read the first one, though :) ) This is Aaron and Marta dealing with trying to find another place to settle, with Marta becoming colder, and with Aaron trying to negotiate with himself about his conflicting feelings towards it.
I hope everyone likes this because I think it's a little risky and new to me to be dealing with this kind of thing... so, please, if you like it, please please review :) writers love reviews because they make us better at what we do (to me at least!). I love this pairing and I can't seem to stay away from them... (Also buoyed by the announcement of a sequel to Bourne Legacy, YAY!)
Here comes Aaron and Marta in their journey towards safety...
Radical Violence and Other Fairytales
Aaron wakes in the middle of the night; the sweltering humidity rouses him easily these days and discovers her gone again. He knows where she is, where she always is now. He gets up from their sleeping bag on the floor of a wooden hut and looks out the window to Marta sitting cross-legged on the beach, unloading and reloading her gun until the sun comes up. She does it every day now.
Two long months. Two months since he'd first seen the steeliness of a warrior in her eyes. Two months since they ran from their utopia of a cottage in England, leaving it to burn to the ground. Aaron is proud, so proud, of her. Two months of running, holding her at night as their hands intertwine and making love have given him pause to consider their options. They couldn't stay in England anymore; they have to keep moving and moving. There have been no battles since she held that gun and shot an agent sent to capture them, but they still train together. Every morning, they train and scrounge what they can from wherever they're laying their heads for the night.
He feels her hand in his get bolder and braver with each passing day, the first resonance of her survival instinct kicking in. The coldness in her eyes disappears only for him and people in need when they meet them; she can't stop tending to people who need her. She is an unselfish woman made of better substance than a man like him deserves to keep but he cannot help but love her. Aaron loves her as much as he can believe himself and keeping her alive and happy day to day has become his life's mission. He's a dangerous man, has been for as long as he can remember, but Marta? Marta is a trigger finger, readying to go off at any second, wading into another battle for a lost cause.
The coast of some Greek island, somewhere he wouldn't tell her, is their home for now. He's told her, once, that no place is safe for them and certainly this little warm island isn't either but it makes her happy to lie in the sun and it certainly makes him happy to watch her sunbathe topless on the beach. Three months ago, she'd blush when he'd tell her of his fascination with her skin, how it went pink and then turned slightly golden and yet stayed soft as silk in sunlight. Now, when he tells her about his love of her body, she smirks gleefully and he kisses her sexy cockiness back into that lithe form. It's her favourite pastime, to wind him around her finger and let him go now. The way she caresses a gun in their training sessions every morning makes him want to push her up against a tree or a rock or just push her down into the sand and do things most people would deem to be despicable. He loves it that way.
The new Marta, the Viking warrior he awoke is closer to agent now than he likes. He had worn the pills around his neck as a chain and feeding tube, forcing him to rely on and hate Outcome in equal measures when he was training, but she is loose and wild like an animal. He couldn't get much of a jump on her anymore. Early mornings, which she used to hate, are now spent wrestling on the sand but quickly descend into frantic sessions of tasting and taking each other in a battle climax for pleasure. It amazes him how much of a kink she has for disaster. The warrior doesn't only come out in times of war, it seems. He hates to admit it, even to himself, but the win/lose rate between them is getting closer with every day and Aaron kind of likes being beaten.
He doesn't want her to make a vice from a virtue. Lately, Aaron still sees the tension in her at times, the sadness of her lost family, the need for a home. They're fugitives and proud of it but he sees the longing for stability in her every day. He's used to being without family, to being without anything but Marta had once felt the love of her family and now it's been stolen from her. He wants to give it back to her, gift wrapped. If making her happy meant fighting for survival to get her back to her real family, he won't stop until he gets what she wants.
He thinks blindly to their little home in England and reminisces about fantasies of marrying her. Seeing their home burn to the ground has given Aaron a reason to jump back into reality. Fantasies are only that. They may love each other but it can't ever be enough; not for her until she can see her family again and not for him until he can give it to her. Their sojourn into domesticity fell flat on its face because they had fallen into the trap of believing it to be real.
She's been distant. He catches her looking at him when she's gutting fish he's caught. Marta smiles more now but there's something… something bubbling under the surface threatening to boil. There's tension when he wakes after the sun's come up to find her wrapped around him as his blanket. She's unreadable as she kisses his neck and he makes love to her slowly but she can't look at him in the eyes. Aaron wonders whether she blames him for her loss and he realises he blames him too.
She's survived massacres and assassination attempts, killed a LARX agent, ran all over the world, and shot another agent in the head without so much as a flinch but now he thinks she's realised her hands are as deadly as her intellect. He's known all along he's had a penchant for her dangerous side but even Aaron doesn't want her to make a saint from a sinner. She's scared of him and what she's becoming. He's scared too.
"Marta." He says quietly, sitting down on the beach alongside her. Her features are soft as ever, even more so by the torchlight in front of her. It makes her eyes glow a little more gold and he's reminded how beautiful she is again. "We have to talk."
"We always talk." She chuckles, running her fingers through her hair. She curls her knees up to her chest and lays her chin on them, looking at him, "But yeah, we do…" she nods.
Aaron puts her hand on top of his, "I know you miss your family."
"Of course I do."
Aaron looks at her, "I'm going to get you back to them."
"No." she says finally. Her tone doesn't betray any lie. Why doesn't she want to go back?
"What?" Aaron frowns a little, "I thought-"
"Then you thought wrong." She grabs a gun and reloads it, pulling back the safety, "I don't want to go back to them now; it'll only make them hate me even more. I won't go back to see them hate me, Aaron. Especially not now."
Aaron cups her cheek and deftly she points the gun to his head. He got the drop on her and that's her natural response. "Marta. Tell me what's wrong."
"Stop ordering me around, aren't you scared? I have a loaded gun to your head and you haven't even tried to stop me. What the hell kind of agent are you?" she drops the gun to the sand.
Aaron grabs her chin a little harder. "I'm not an agent, remember? I'm not a number anymore, Marta. I don't stop you because I trust you, don't you trust me?"
"With my life." She looks into his eyes. "But it's… you'll hate me. We're going to get captured and tortured and it's my fault."
Now he's confused. "How the hell is it your fault? It's theirs, not yours or mine. They're the ones who keep coming for us, they won't let up."
She wrestles her chin from his grip and stands up, "Exactly. They aren't going to stop but you'll want to stop, to settle…"
"I thought that was what you wanted, to make a home again!" he stands up to meet her as the sun starts to come up. He's angry, so angry at how she's giving up so easily. How can she give up so easily when all she's done since is fight? "Or is this it? You're leaving now I've trained you enough so you can survive alone?" he seethes through his teeth and instantly regrets it as he sees a tear drip, unnoticed, down her cheeks.
"I can't survive alone, you… moron!" she stomps her foot and presses a finger into his chest, "I never could survive without you, not since you barrelled your way out of my pantry and just blew it all to hell."
He grabs her wrists and holds them apart, pulling her closer to him. "Then why is it ruined now? Why is it your fault?"
She pants a little. The dappled sunlight there is tells him she's more scared than she ever has been, her darting eyes spin around his face. She's pleading for leniency. Aaron looks into her face and sees the Marta of before.
"Because I… I think I'm pregnant."
Whatever explanation Aaron is expecting, it isn't that.
A/N: Told you it was risky... :) what do you think?