Little Things in Life
Disclaimer: The Bourne Legacy is a part of the Bourne franchise created by Robert Ludlum and I do not own even the slightest part of that. This is only a labour of love adding to the ever expanding Bourne universe.
Agent Aaron Cross never had time for the little things in life. It was hard to slow down and take a moment when you had Outcome constantly riding your ass. Either he was running a mission in some shitty part of the world cleaning up someone else's mess or he was on some bullshit make work treasure hunt like Alaska. Now that he finally had the time to think about it that was probably the point. Keep your assets running around like the lab rats they were, rather then let then stop and think about the situation they found themselves in. Soup up their brains, and then don't let them stop for a second to question the status quo.
He was pretty sure poor old Kenneth Kitsom hadn't appreciated the little things either. Sure he had the time but he never had the means. What was the point of a glorious sunset or the laugh of a pretty girl when you didn't have the brains to enjoy them? Didn't have the support structure to understand the little things, didn't have a family to teach you to take the time to smell the roses. Aaron always felt a little guilty thinking of Kitsom. Luckily the memories were getting harder to dredge up these days, Aaron wasn't sure if that was because he was consciously trying to suppress them or because the magic blue pills and conditioning he had undergone to become Aaron Cross was slowly but surely destroying Kitsom forever.
No, Agent Cross never had time for the little things, so imagine his surprise when he discovered Doctor Marta Shearing had all the time in the world. Who would have thought that the uptight ever so proper Doc lived for the small moments in life? Not that he realised this at first. It was kind of hard to find the time to just stop and breathe when you had the most powerful institution on the planet hell bent on killing you. It was just enough that the two of them had kept ahead of the game long enough to viral Aaron off the blue chems. Even that had been touch and go, with that crazy terminator style agent almost catching them in Manilla. They'd gotten lucky that day and Aaron knew it. Lucky that Marta was the warrior he suspected she was, lucky they had reached the water and found a sympathetic fisherman with a love for gold watches to sneak them out of the country.
It was a few days on the fishing boat before Aaron realised that the Doc loved the small things. Her comment about 'hoping they were lost' was the clue. It forced him to stop for a moment, not to think or to plan ahead but just to be in the moment with a beautiful, smart woman. That was the day he realised that the little things were what most people lived for. Their time together on the boat and the months that had followed out in the world had taught him a few things. Things not necessary for their continuing survival, but important just the same, things that Outcome had never bothered to teach him.
It was the music that drew Aaron onto the deck of the boat, the music and Marta's laugh. A radio was playing some Asian dance hit, if the language was anything to go by, but it had enough of a rhythm for Marta and the young fisherman's boy to dance to.
Aaron stood in the shadows of the doorway for a moment, just watching. Marta and the boy held each other's hands; bare feet thudded on the deck under the canopy as they swung around like little kids. Marta threw her head back and laughed again as a dip in the boat's movement almost made her fall over. She was moving better after a few days rest, her bruises and scrapes from the fall off the motorcycle healing in the fresh sea air.
The fast paced song came to an end and Marta gave a small whoop of delight as she bent over to catch her breath. Standing up she caught sight of Aaron. 'Hey, you.'
The boy noticed Aaron watching and blushed. He mumbled something to Marta then rushed off to the bow of the boat.
'Sorry to interrupt.' Aaron said as he moved onto the deck towards Marta.
'You scared him away,' she protested.
'I scared him away?' Aaron replied, standing in front of her. 'Did you ever think it was your dancing that scared him away?'
Marta standing with her feet firmly planted shoulder width apart and her hands on her hips, glared at Aaron. 'I'll have you know I am a great dancer!'
Aaron scratched his head. 'If you say so, Doc.'
Marta's eyes narrowed. 'Right, just for that you can consider yourself volunteered as my new dance partner.'
Marta held her arms out. 'You heard me.'
Aaron tried to laugh the suggestion off. 'Listen, Doc, I've got stuff to do. Plans to make, big bad governments to piss off. You don't think these things happen by themselves do you?'
'Oh no you don't, mister,' Marta grabbed his arm as he began moving away. 'You've not getting away that easily.'
Aaron fought off the first instinct to flip Marta on her ass when she grabbed him. Dammit, this was going to be embarrassing. He looked sideways at her. 'I can't'
'Course you can, we're still lost remember. How can they find us?'
Aaron turned back to face Marta. 'No, I can't,' he explained. 'I don't know how to dance.'
Marta's mouth twitched a little. 'Really, have you ever tried?'
Aaron shook his head. 'Pretty sure I would have remembered learning to dance, Doc.'
Marta held out her hands again. 'It's easy, I'll teach you how.'
'What if I have two left feet?'
Marta snorted at the thought. 'Aaron I've seen you fight, how could you have two left feet?'
'Is it?' Marta asked as she took his left hand in her right and guided his right hand onto her waist.
Was it that different? Two people moving about in an enclosed area of space, at least with dancing he didn't have to worry about killing the other person. Aaron's jaw clenched a little, damn she was standing close. When was the last time he'd been so close to a woman? He had vague memories of the night he had viraled off the blues sweating and mumbling in her arms and there were times at the lab with the good doctor but those were always monitored, never a real chance to connect. Aaron's fist tightened on the back of her t-shirt.
Marta reached back and slapped his hand gently. 'Don't get frisky on me, soldier.'
Aaron laughed a little as he loosened his grip. 'Yes, ma'am. So now what?'
'Now, we move.' Marta took a small step to her left, Aaron following. Then she repeated the move to her right.
Aaron stared down into Marta's hazel eyes, marvelling at the green flecks that seemed to dance within them. 'Aren't I supposed to lead?'
'We'll work our way up to that,' Marta flicked her head to one side to shift a curl of hair that had worked its way loose from her ponytail. 'So, they never taught you how to dance in Super Spy School?'
Aaron looked away as they continued to sway from side to side. 'Wasn't that kind of school.'
Marta tutted. 'I thought all you spy types could dance, James Bond does.'
Aaron was scanning the horizon, looking for trouble when he registered Marta's words and looked back at her. 'Wouldn't have picked you for a Bond fan.'
Marta squirmed a little under Aaron's gaze. 'Not really, you pick up things. I did watch one movie, Casino something, the actor playing him seemed okay.'
'The blonde Bond?' The radio playing the music had shifted to some talk show programme but the pair still continued to move around the deck. 'You got a thing for blondes? Cause you know,' Aaron grinned at Marta, 'I'm blonde.'
Marta raised an eyebrow as she took in Aaron's light brown hair.
'– ish, blonde-ish. It goes light in the summer,' Aaron shrugged. 'Give me some hair dye and I'll give Bond a run for his money.'
'Aaron,' Marta replied, laughing at the mental image, 'you do realise you're dancing.'
Aaron stopped moving and stared down at his feet. Sometime during their conversation he'd taken the lead, moving them effortlessly around the deck. 'Well would you look at that.'
Marta felt herself suddenly spun out full stretch before being reeled back in to land against Aaron's chest. Two strong arms encircled her as she looked into Aaron's happy gaze, the surrounding ocean bringing out the intense blue of his eyes.
'I guess it is a bit like fighting,' he decided.