Someone to Watch over Me
Sweet Little Mary Sue
Synopsis: Garrett McGill was scheduled to be executed in a week's time for the rape, murder and dismemberment of twenty-five women, but had the police found all of his victims? What if there was one who was being held, to be the first kill for McGill's protégé? Enter Dominic Cobb and his team of professionals, who are committed to the task at hand, but will they have enough time to reach their goal? Can Eames use his skills as The Forger to save her in time, or will it be too late? And can he set his own feelings aside when things take on an intimate tone for him, or will his personal conflicts threaten to destroy the mission, and the woman that he has fallen for?
Disclaimer: I own nothing in the Inception universe. The only things that I can claim as my own are my OC's. I also borrowed the title for this story from the song of the same name, by George Gershwin, with the primary influence coming from the version that was performed by Katharine McPhee.
Please Bear With Me: I am the furthest thing from an expert where the Inception world is concerned, so please keep that in mind as you read. I will strive to keep all of the established players in character as much as possible, but this is a love story, beneath all of the suspense and the terror, and as such, Eames will be a tad bit smitten and twitterpated by Sophie, so I can't say for sure how this will affect his personality. I will endeavor to keep things as saccharine free as I can, but I'm going to go ahead and apologize in advance, just in case I stray into the land of lovey-dovey a bit more often than I ought to.
Just So You Know: This story is rated M for violence, mild to moderate cursing and an eventual outpouring of citrusy smut, both limes and lemons.
I'd heard it said, on more than one occasion, that the craziest of crazies looked as normal as could be, that they were the people who lived next-door, that they worked with you and shopped with you and sat in the pew beside you in church, and maybe that was true, but I don't think that there was anyone who'd say that Garrett McGill looked even remotely normal, not unless they were a complete nutter themselves, that is.
I didn't let on to the others, but I was relieved that we didn't have to be in the room with him, sitting anywhere near him, while he spoke with the warden. He wasn't supposed to see us, because that would monkey with whatever plan we devised, and I couldn't say what the others thought or felt, but I was grateful to have the one-way glass between us…though I had an idea that he knew that we were there, given the way that he kept looking directly at us, directly at me and smiling.
"We've got an idea that there was one of your girls that you didn't tell anyone about," Nathan Burwell, the warden, said softly, but firmly, opening a manila folder and perusing its contents, just out of sight of the confessed madman. "We think that you're saving her, that you're keeping her hidden away, waiting for just the right moment….."
McGill's smile grew, and was paired with a twinkling in his eyes that sent a cold shiver racing up and down my spine. "Ah, my girls," he said, in a tone that a man might employ for a woman that he loved with all of the passion that he possessed, and that was a sound that made me sick to my stomach, because I knew what he'd done to all of his "girls". "Now, then, Boss, you know that I ain't the least bit ashamed of any of my sweethearts, so why in the world would I keep one all to myself?"
He was doing his best to keep his urgency for seeing the photo that was clipped to the file to himself, and he did a pretty good job overall, but I saw the tiny tells that he probably wasn't even aware he was making. His right eyelid twitched just a little, and he swallowed nervously, once, then twice, before he sat back in his chair, and I knew that it was all that he could do to keep from snatching the folder out of the warden's hands, though it would have been one hell of a trick on his part to do so, considering that he was bolted and strapped to his chair, to ensure that he couldn't move anywhere but forward or back a couple of centimeters at a time.
"Well, I think that we both know why you'd do that, McGill," the warden said, sitting back in his own chair and studying the file, as if this was the first time that he'd laid eyes on the contents, just to screw with the prisoner, if I had to guess, which said that he had bigger stones than I did, that, or he was a hell of a lot crazier than me. "I think that we both know that you have an apprentice waiting in the wings to take your place, and what better way for him to do that than to make this woman his first victim?"
McGill was staring at the folder, with a look of outright hunger on his face that had my stomach turning somersaults all over again. "That might be true, Boss, but I can't say with any certainty unless you give me a gander at her face. How am I to know whether or not she's one of mine, if I can't see what she looks like? C'mon now, Burwell, what's it gonna hurt if you show me her face, if you're so sure that I snatched her up, hmm?"
I knew that the warden was feeling just as sick as I was, I could see the disgust that was in his eyes, and I knew that it would go against everything that was in him to let McGill look upon the face of that poor woman, but desperate times called for desperate measures, and a retired police officer had staked his reputation on the idea that this woman was alive, but marked for death. That had to have been what he was thinking as he slid the folder across the table, at least, that was what I would have been thinking, and I was thankful that I wasn't the one who had to deal with the sick bastard…though my time for doing so wasn't very far away.
McGill's hands were bound up tight, but he still had the ability to reach out, with one finger, to touch the photo of the missing woman. "Hmm…I always did have a powerful weakness for the ones with big brown eyes," he said softly, trailing the tip of his finger as far as it would reach. "This one wouldn't cry in front of me, no matter how much I hurt her. I could see the tears that were in her eyes, they made them seem even bigger, but she wouldn't let them fall. She was so filled up with pride, but what good did that do her in the end….?"
I didn't like the way that he was speaking of her in the past tense, I didn't care for that at all, and I could see that Burwell didn't either. His face took on a look that said that he'd just taken a punch to his gut, and he was on the verge of panicking, but stopped when he saw the smile that was curving McGill's lips, a sickening, self-satisfied grin that grew even wider when he looked down once more at the image laying on the table in front of him.
"She was walking to the bus stop when I snatched her," he continued, still smiling, until he remembered something about that day, a something that made him frown, and almost, for just a moment, to pout. "I remember the way that she looked at me when I drove past her to admire the view. She looked at me like I was bothering her, like I was trash, and I didn't like that one bit, no sir. I circled her a few times, and it made me chuckle, the way that she kept walking faster and faster, until she was almost running, and once I was sure that it was safe to do so, I tapped her with my car and made her fall down, which was what I always did with my girls, to make them a bit more, docile, you might say."
I was leaning forward in my chair, staring through the glass at McGill, willing him to look at me, which was surprising, I suppose, when one considered the fact that the thought of him doing so had rattled me not too long ago. Nothing that he was saying about his tactics was surprising, I, like the rest of the team, had thoroughly studied his file and looked over the details of each and every case, but I hadn't had to hear his voice as I read the words, I hadn't had to see that gleam that was in his eyes, and his enjoyment rankled me, it enraged me, and my indignation tore my fear to pieces and took the place as the dominant emotion, so much so that I didn't realize that I was rising from my chair until I felt Dom's hand on my shoulder, holding me in place.
"We're not supposed to be here, remember?" he murmured, pushing down on my shoulder, to encourage me to take a seat. "He can't see us through that mirror, but a ruckus is bound to make him take notice, and that's the last thing that we need right now, don't you think?"
I knew that everyone agreed with him, I knew that they wanted me to sit still and keep my mouth shut, but I didn't want to stay calm and collected in my seat, I didn't want to keep my voice down, but I would do what was expected of me. This operation had the potential to be a cockup of colossal proportions, but there wasn't any reason for me to give them the opportunity to blame it on me, was there?
"Where is she?" Burwell asked, in a voice that was filled with a healthy, or, perhaps, a foolish dose of exasperation and rage. "What have you done with Sophie Evans, you sick son of a bitch?"
It was never wise to show your hand, it was always best to play your cards close to the vest. That was good advice, I knew that it was, but it wasn't easy to keep what you were feeling and thinking to yourself in moments like this one. This wasn't about money, or glory, this was all about saving a woman's life, and it was a task that was going to rest completely with me, and that was enough to make me break out in a cold sweat, because I was already teetering on the edge of losing control of my temper, so much so that it would make Burwell's slip seem small in comparison.
"Calm yourself, Boss," McGill said, sitting back in his chair, wearing a smug smile that practically begged the warden to plant his fist in the center of his face. "You're liable to give yourself a coronary if you keep on the way that you are. There ain't no reason for you to be fretting over Miss Sophie; she's safe and sound…for now."
Scruffy was really starting to live up to his name, but I suppose that was to be expected, wasn't it, after ten years of love and hugs and tears. I'd received him as a gift the day before I was taken out of my life, and he'd quickly taken on the role of my best friend, of my only friend. He shared every moment of my life, he comforted and consoled me, he was my source of normalcy, he was my confidante…it was just unfortunate that he was a dog, a beagle, and a stuffed one at that.
I was sitting on my bed, holding Scruffy in my lap, stroking him and whispering to him. I'd finished all of my chores already, my bed was made, my makeshift bathroom was scrubbed and smelled wonderfully of bleach and pine cleanser, and my tiny kitchen was practically sparkling, which meant that I had nothing more to do to pass the hours, nothing but spilling my heart out to a tatty little toy beagle.
I would have liked to have been able to offer a change in the topics of conversation that we shared with one another, but unfortunately the life that I led allowed for very little variance in my day-to-day experiences. I hadn't seen the man who'd snatched me off of the street ten years before for some time…not that I was one hundred percent certain that it had been ten years. It could have easily been more than that, just as it could have been less, I had no way of knowing without a doubt, but I was at least partly sure that it had been a decade.
Good Lord…it sounded absolutely awful when I thought of it that way.
I was fairly certain that there wasn't any way that I could have painted things that would have made the circumstances that had surrounded me sound palatable, but I was all too familiar, painfully so, with how bad things could have been. I don't know how many girls had moved on before me, but I did know that there were seven who'd done so since I'd joined the group. At one time I'd had a lot of company all around me, but they were all gone now. Sarah had been the first, Kelly had been the last, and now I was the only one waiting for my date to arrive, and I had a bad feeling, a sinking, horrible feeling that the time for me was quickly drawing closer and closer.
In my bolder, more foolish moments I might have been tempted to ask Jude how much time I had left. I might have confronted his staring and startling eyes and asked him when his master intended to do to me what he had done to all of the others, but I wasn't feeling particularly brash at that moment. I was frightened instead, and I was sad, and all I wanted to do was hide myself as best as I could, but I couldn't because Jude chose that moment to approach the door of my cell, and his face filled the space where the bars rested and he watched me, seemingly without blinking, with a look in his normally dead eyes that made my skin crawl.
He grew still, just like he always did, so much so that he didn't seem to move at all, for hours at a time, save for his eyes, particularly the one that twitched, and the slight rise and fall of his shoulders which proved that he was breathing. He'd never done this sort of thing in the beginning, when the others girls were there, not with me, and not with any of them, but lately it had become a regular thing, and for the past couple of weeks he made it a daily occurrence, one that lasted two hours, at the very least, topping out at five hours the day before the last.
When he'd first begun I'd been afraid that he meant to pull a Norman Bates move on me, staring in the room, lusting over me, so much so that he was driven to pleasure himself, only to murder me afterward for tempting him, but from what I could tell he never touched himself, he only looked. I suppose that he might have done so later on, when he was all alone, with no earthly being to witness his lust, but that was something that I preferred not to think about, if I could help it.
"Good afternoon, Jude," I said quietly, directing my gaze and the majority of my attention to Scruffy, because I knew that my keeper hated to be looked at, and my doing so against his wishes might inspire him to beat me. "How are you today?"
He didn't answer me, but I hadn't expected him to do so. In all of my time spent beneath the ground I'd never heard him speak, not once, I'd never even heard him utter a sound, but I knew that he could hear me just fine. I knew that from the same source that had provided me with his name, that being the man who was in charge of everything, and though it was undoubtedly a naïve hope that had me using his name when I spoke to him, I continued to do so, just in case he decided to be benevolent to me one day and let me go…as if that would ever happen.
"Is it a beautiful day outside?" I asked, in a manner that said that I was doing so because he was listening to me, even if I knew that he wasn't. "It seems to me that it might be spring, and if I was asked, I'd have to say that springtime is the best part of the whole year, because everything comes back to life, and is young and innocent and full of hope. What's your favorite time of the year?"
Once more he refused to answer, just as I had known he would, and I simply went on with my thoughts instead of waiting for him to acknowledge me. I'd had my fair share of experience with dealing with those who frightened me in my time before this one, and I was more than capable of ignoring him while he attempted to mess with my mind and with my nerves…at least, that was what I told myself.
"It must be dreadfully boring, spending all of your time here with me, one day after another, with no rest," I said, boldly sticking a toe into waters that would undoubtedly prove to be dangerous, if I was to linger too long. "Don't you ever wish that you had something more to do with your life, something honest, something honorable?"
I hadn't meant to say so much, I really and truly hadn't, but once my mouth got to going it completely disregarded my brain and went off on a tangent that was of its own devising. His displeasure wasn't exactly clear on his face, but I'd seen enough of him to know that I'd made him angry, and it took every last bit of bravery that I had to keep me rooted in place when he pressed his face against the bars of my cell for just a moment, resting his huge hands against the surface, before he moved away, and seemed to leave altogether, more likely than not to find a place to lick his wounds, even though I hadn't caused him any that could be considered even remotely life-threatening.
I stared at the empty spot for several moments, wondering if he'd be back, wondering what he would do to me, if he was to come back, and then I moved toward the door, treading very softly and very cautiously, until I was where I could lay my own hands on its cool surface, where I could look outside and all around, in the hope of catching a glimpse of him, so that I could know exactly where he was at as often as possible, only to have him move from his spot beside the door, just out of sight, focusing his one good eye on me while the other danced all about and made me swallow back a shriek of fear.
A/N: I know that Eames wasn't his usual charming self in this, but I figured that there would be plenty of time for him to be witty and debonair later, when he and Sophie meet face-to-face, which won't be for a few chapters yet.