Between the Rain Drops

It was Aaron and Marta. It always had been, though Marta had not realized it before. Her entire life before she met Aaron was leading up to the life she was meant to live—Aaron and Marta.

Doctor Marta Shearing's life before now seemed like an insignificant dream. Vaguely, she remembered parts of her normal life . . . Christmastime with her family. Parties with her coworkers. Late night take out foods in the lab when she couldn't afford to stop her progress in research and go home. But then all the memories went back to Number 5.

Number 5. The name itself, his name, gave her chills just thinking about it. How is it that she, a scientist, could be so oblivious to the life she was robbing, so oblivious to the feelings she felt for him?

She remembered those feelings now. She remembered when Number 5 would come into the lab for his check-ups. She remembered the first time she saw him, how bloodshot and pained he looked. She remembered the next time, when he was actually healthy! She remembered his tan skin, his bright blue eyes, his dirty blonde hair that clung to his head. She remembered how her heart sped up just a little faster when he took off his shirt to be examined. She remembered his mischievous little smirk when she looked at him. She remembered how her blood rushed when he said to her, "The cameras. Of course. Is that why you make such an attractive appearance?" She remembered holding his head as he blacked out, and how he had saved her life just days later when the people were sent to kill her. Marta Shearing remembered all that, and how she never once stopped to consider that this was the life she was supposed to live. She was supposed to be with Aaron until they were wiped off the grid, and perhaps even after that.

"Doc." Speaking of Number 5, Aaron's soft voice abruptly shook Marta out of her thoughts. She turned around and smiled thinly and wearily from her cabin in the boat.

"Hey," she whispered back.

Aaron Cross began to walk towards her. "We need to get off the next spot the boat docks," he said. "We've stayed on for too long. It docks tomorrow in Madagascar. Can you be ready?"

"Of course," Marta answered, smiling, trying to cover up the exhaustion, but failing. Being on the run . . . if this was the life she was meant to live, she had to be stronger.

Aaron saw the exhaustion in her face and gently placed his hand on her arm. Marta shivered under his warm touch. "Hey, I know you're tired," he whispered in a low, quiet voice. "I know. This kind of life is not what I wanted for you. I didn't want to take you away from everything, and I'm sorry."

Marta simply shook her head, looking into his deep blue eyes. "You saved my life," she replied. "You don't owe me an apology at all. Just a cup of coffee when we dock. I need a cup of coffee," Marta added with a sheepish grin. Aaron laughed out loud.

"Okay," he agreed. "I will get you a cup of coffee," he replied, his eyes dancing. "Get some rest," he said, bringing his hand back to his side. "It's going to be a busy day tomorrow."

Marta nodded, and went to the bathroom to wash up. This was the life she was meant to live.

Agent Aaron Cross laid in his cabin, staring at the low ceiling above him, sleep escaping him. He couldn't remember the last time he had been responsible for a human life, after he had become Aaron Cross. Kenneth Kitsom had been responsible for thousands, but Kenneth was over. Kenneth Kitsom was dead. Aaron Cross was alive, and it was up to him alone to keep Marta Shearing alive too.

When had this happened to him? When had he decided to take charge of this human life and put her own goodwill ahead of his own? Why had he decided this?

The lab shooting. That's when it had all begun for him. It was the first time Marta Shearing had crossed his mind as a warrior, the first time he knew she had willpower to live. It had started out that he needed her to survive, to get viraled off his chems and the pills to be a part of his DNA. But somewhere along the way, this need turned into a different kind of need. A need to survive emotionally, too. If Marta Shearing was dead, Aaron Cross wasn't sure what would happen to him. The life of his doctor was the reason for him to keep pushing, day after day, to keep her safe.

Aaron remembered his lab visits with Doctor Shearing. He remembered how her brunette hair and tied in a perfect ponytail on her head, strings of hair framing her beautiful pale face. He remembered casually flirting with her, simply because he was lonely, and she was a pretty face to flirt with. He remembered her soft hands holding his head as he slipped into unconsciousness on her table, and the tense smile he received when he said a comment about her eyes, her hands, or her hair. He remembered her holding him when he was sick from the virus, the only person in the world who cared for him.

Aaron Cross had a reason for being Aaron Cross. His reason was to keep Marta Shearing alive, and he would do whatever he could to do just that. Aaron remembered an old saying his old acquaintance, June Monroe, used to say to him every night, "I'll be with you, Kenneth, through the hard times and the bad. I'll be with you between the raindrops." A smile curled up on Aaron's face. "Between the raindrops, Marta," he whispered. "Always." And finally, Aaron Cross fell into a much-needed state of rest.