This is what happens when you get a goofy idea for a story and actually write it down for some reason. Uncharted and everybody involved belongs to Naughty Dog and SCEA.
Are you kidding me… and after all the bullshit I just went through. Typical. Nathan Drake felt a twinge of annoyance, no matter how much the tiny voice in his head insisted that he was compensating for a bruised ego. I fought through all those guys to come save her, and she doesn't even need my help. Look at her, she's fine.
Ok, so that wasn't entirely true. She had managed to untie herself and get out of wherever they had been holding her, but there was still the courtyard to cross before she was even halfway off the grounds. The estate was crawling with guards that he hadn't gotten to yet and since she had probably been blindfolded or unconscious when they brought her here she would have no idea how to get out, especially in this darkness. There was only a sad little sliver of moon behind the clouds and not enough stars out to see by; the guards had LEDs on their gear to help them but Nathan had no such luxury and neither did she.
She was too far ahead of him for a whisper to carry, inching along the flagstone wall with her back pressed against the shadowed rock. Because the path she chose was a good distance from the lantern lit walkways near the house, offering cover in the way of an occasional tree and the height of the wall itself, he almost hadn't seen her at first.
Nathan closed the distance carefully. He had to get her attention, and before she got too far on her own. But that carried the risk of inadvertently getting the attention of the guards; he could not simply tug on her sleeve and say hello. She was more high-strung than anyone had a right to be, apparently so impulsive and impatient that she couldn't even wait to be rescued, quick to anger and slow to give in, but most of all Elena Fisher (not for long, she said yes!) was loud.
A few more steps and he was right behind her, but she was watching the men patrolling a short distance off and never noticed him. Some chloroform might come in handy right about now. Good thing I don't have any because that's a terrible idea. It would definitely minimize any noise, but she would be mad at him when she woke up and he didn't think he would win that argument. Instead Nathan clamped a hand over her mouth to stifle the inevitable scream and wrapped his arm around her to keep her from bolting.
"Shh, it's me!" His whisper was lost in her muffled shriek as she writhed and twisted like an eel. An eel with teeth and fingernails and fuck that hurts! Elena was fighting him to the point that he had to lift her off her feet to take away her leverage, squeezing her so hard he was afraid she would pass out after all. "Stop that!" Nathan growled through clenched teeth as he struggled to hold on, "It's me, it's-" but she cut him off with an elbow to the ear. The impact made his skull throb from the inside out, and as he dropped her she spun in a blaze of blonde fury and kicked him square in the balls.
There were suddenly way more stars in the sky than there had been, and when Nathan blinked them away he was on his knees trying to remember how to breathe. She stood over him as he moaned into the grass, blurry through a haze of agony and possibly tears, and his stomach was clenched up tight with pain so bad he wanted to throw up. If you do puke, puke quietly so the guards don't hear, he told himself.
Elena still had the ragged remains of rope tied around each wrist, eyes wide as she finally recognized him. "Nate?! You scared the shit out of me, don't ever grab me like that! I thought you were one of these assholes— if I'd been armed I could have killed you!" Her voice was a frantic whisper.
"Never happen again," he wheezed, hands between his legs. He was pretty sure that if anyone had shit their pants it was him. I didn't want kids anyway, he wanted to say, think of all the money we'll save, but it hurt way too much to be a smartass just now.
"I'm sorry, Nate," she said as she knelt, reaching out a tentative hand. The knots around her wrists were sticky with blood. "I didn't know it was you." Up close he saw the bruises they had given her while she had been their hostage, dark smudges on pale skin, but somehow she seemed more upset about what she had done to him.
Nathan made himself stand despite the awful pain in his groin, hoping she didn't notice how his legs trembled as he pulled her closer to the wall. "Don't worry about it." He touched her face. "You're hurt."
"What, this? Nah, you should see the other guy." It was disconcerting how pleased she sounded with herself. She quieted at the approaching glimmer of light as a guard wandered up to urinate on the wall ahead of them, doing the world around him a favor by turning off his lamp beforehand. They waited in silence for the stream to trickle to a stop and he geared up for another fight, ready to pounce now that there was no more chance of getting sprayed. But Elena held him back and the guard switched his LED back on, and then he and the moment were gone. "Nate, are you sure you're okay?"
Seriously? It was tempting to ask her if she was even aware that she looked like she had been hit by a truck. "I'm fine," he reiterated, kissing her to make up for the harshness in his voice and wishing the guard was still nearby. He needed to hit someone. "I'll kill them for what they've done to you."
"That's what 'you should see the other guy' means, how do you think I escaped?" Elena dismissed with an impatient shake of her head, and he was aware of a grin steadily replacing his scowl as her words filled him with admiration. "If you want you can come back later to kill him some more but right now we should get the hell out of here before his friends show up," she suggested.
With that settled they were back to following the wall, damp grass squishing underfoot as they passed the wet mark on the flagstone. He stopped her from going through the first door they came to; it was unguarded and unlocked, but it was the wrong way. "You know that's just a storage closet, right?" he warned as he led her past, glancing back to see the skeptical twist of her mouth. "What? It could be a closet."
Her smile was effortless, as though they were on a casual midnight stroll. "Bullshit," she said, forcing him to admit that he had no clue whatsoever where that door led and was just circling around so they could leave how he had come in. They had a lot of ground to cover on their way back, and before reaching the gate he had entered through they had to wait out another patrol that paced the yard directly in their path. When he was finally gone and the exit was in sight Elena squeezed his arm and said unnecessarily, "Thanks for coming to get me."
She didn't have to say it, but it still made him feel good. "Come on, at the rate you were going you'd have been home taking a bubble bath before I even figured out a way inside." After kicking the living snot out of anyone stupid enough to try and recapture you.
Once they were out of the courtyard and in the water gardens he was pleased to see that no other guards had come along and the ones he had already met were just as dead as he had left them. Their weapons lay untouched where they had fallen, too noisy whether he was coming or going. Elena kept up easily as they jogged between pots and fountains and hopped over the bodies of men he had killed to get to her. "Well, still. When we get home there's a good chance you're gonna get rewarded for rescuing me."
Nathan winced. "I don't know about all that… I don't want you to feel bad, but I'm actually pretty sore down there."
It was not in her nature to simply take no for an answer. "I'll be gentle. The hero's supposed to get the girl when they beat the bad guys."
"We're running away from the bad guys."