I started this fic just after the episode in Chile and with everything that's happened I'm probably never going to finish it.
You get to keep your real name when you’re dead. Some comfort, but it means when she looks Owen up after he’s left her with sheets to wash and not much else, his entire story’s there, saved on the internet and easily accessed government databases. His parents died in a car accident when he was fourteen. It made the front page of the Red Oaks Courant because his father was the town mayor. The black and white picture of him, face shuttered with grief, shows a boy breathtakingly beautiful. No one would ever guess where his life was headed. No one would ever think someone with a face like that would become one of the world’s most ruthless killers.
She doesn’t snoop any further. She can’t. When she thinks about how, but for a few things, it all could’ve been different it nearly chokes the life out of her.
The difference between agents and cleaners is that there’s no espionage--no costumes, neither metaphorical chess games, nor cloaks and daggers. They’re the last resort, the little red button, the checkmate. Nikita doesn’t like cleaners because they only believe in ends. They don’t have to trust or read people when they’re one function is to get rid of them. And she’s never met one different, one who didn’t deal in such absolutes. And then there’s the casual disregard for incidental death. As long as the job gets done.
Owen’s a strict utilitarian. If the loss of ten innocent people means fifty are saved, it’s a calculation he’ll make. And being that kind of goal-oriented thinking frankly pisses her off. Nor does she like the fact that he’s got all the subtlety of a jackhammer. The details matter. Expediency is for people who don’t know how to finesse a situation.
“You’re clenching your jaw,” Owen tells her, not looking up from his book. He’s sitting in the sunlight filtering in through her dirty windows.
She goes to snap at him but as soon as she opens her mouth she realizes her teeth feel sore, almost tender. It’s not exactly his fault he is how he is, despite how much it makes her want to dump him ass over end. She sighs and stares at her computer screen where a black highlighted chess piece blinks at her, signaling her move. The computer just moved to C4 to threaten mate. “I’m losing this game,” she replies, prevaricating.
“Rook to D8,” he calls back.
“What? How can you see from over there! Also, that would never--” she snaps, but then she looks at the screen. Rook to D8, forcing the white queen to defend, then rook to D2--”It’ll be checkmate if the king retreats.”
He rolls his eyes at his novel. “Try it.”
Three moves later and she’s won the game. She knows it’s wrong to hope he gets non-lethally shot, but perhaps she can be forgiven for desiring just a graze.
“What are you doing?” she asks, pushing her chair back from the computer.
“Reading ‘The Waning of the Middle Ages’ and waiting for you to finish fiddling around on the computer.”
“It helps me think,” she replies acidly. Which, she wants to add, she wouldn’t have to spend so much time doing if he hadn’t just barged back into her life, after insisting he had to do it his way.
“Mmm,” he replies, eyes still scanning across the text.
The thing is she never expected him to be able to read her so well. She’s used to being inscrutable. She likes being inscrutable. But he sees right to the heart of the matter and she sits there speechless in the car, finally leaving him with a weak, “just wait here,” that of course he ignores. And he’s not afraid to admit he was wrong. After so many years surrounded by pride-fueled operatives and her own reluctance to acknowledge failure, it still blindsides her. It reminds her of Daniel at the same time that it doesn’t. Similar because Daniel wasn’t the least prideful, different because he was the most guileless person she ever knew. When the thought comes to her she has to pause for a moment, squeezing her eyes shut at the frisson of pain that unexpectedly overtakes her. She can’t think about them at the same time.
That first day in her apartment she’d gone off to get takeout and came back to find the doors on her bureau thrown open and Owen standing in front of it with a measuring expression on his face.
“What are you doing?” she’d asked, furious. What made him think he had the right to go through her things, especially her clothes.
He blinked at her and held out part of the smoke detector. It was the only thing in the entire space that worked and the first week she’d been there she’d pried it off the ceiling and thrown it in there in frustration after setting it off three times experimenting with home detonators. “It was beeping,” he said in explanation. He turned back to the bureau stuffed with dresses and heeled shoes she always felt she needed and barely got to wear.
“You...have a lot,” he said tentatively, of clothes he meant, eyes skimming the other rolling racks around the room, all laden with clothes.
She shrugged. “I like nice things.”
And Owen’s lips had slowly curled into a smile, like he’d understood in that one sentence that she’d never had nice things. That she’d never really had things at all--there’d been no one to take her shopping or teach her how to put on makeup. No pretty things--just a grubby pencil case and an equally grubby stuffed bear that had probably come from the salvation army. The girls in grammar school had patent leather Mary-Janes and bright colored plimsolls that she’d ached for. She supposed that longing never went away.
She doesn’t know why it makes her angry, but it does. Maybe it’s that little smile, or maybe it’s that he’s kind of a rambunctious jerk. And she will never forgive him for forcing her hand on this whole Quintana thing.
There are things you should not do in life. Fucking the man who murdered your fiance and made it look like a boating accident is one of them.
He startles her in the pool again and in the middle of spitefully beating him up for scaring her so badly (she’s pretty sure he’s letting her), she kisses him. The bastard actually laughs against her mouth, grabbing the wrists she was already lifting to pummel him with and trapping them against his chest.
“You taste sweet,” he says, and then kisses her again, tangling a fist in her wet hair. They end up in one of the dingy showers, washing the chlorine from her skin. There’s a little metal bench for the geriatrics who can’t stand, and he sits down on it, parting her with two fingers and then pulling her down onto him.
She cries out, body shuddering. It’s been so long. Not since Daniel. And Owen is big, the biggest she’s ever had. At this angle, she’s worried she’ll feel it all the way up to her throat.
“Shh,” he says, running his nose along her neck and cupping one small breast, flicking the nipple. He doesn’t move, just lets the water pound over them. She clenches reflexively around him and he makes a noise and scrapes his teeth over her shoulder. She can feel his eyelashes, wet and spiky against her neck. There’s something about this, the way he’s wrapped around her that reminds her that she is vulnerable, that this body wasn’t just meant as a weapon.
Slowly she lifts herself off of him, opening her eyes briefly to look down at where he’s splitting her open. She gasps and shudders again. Owen belts an arm around her waist, lifting her and tugging her down. His hand sneaks between her folds, fingers pushing almost punishingly on her clitoris, water slicking down, running over his knuckles and onto the delicate pink skin of her vulva.
“Too much,” she says, knees coming together to protect herself from the onslaught of sensation, but he doesn’t ease off and she comes on a knifepoint of stimulation. After that he’s gentle with her, slowly rocking up into her, kissing her ear when her head rolls back on his shoulder. She cries out, voice hoarse when the head of his big cock shoves right against her g-spot.
What a way to end it. ALSO, those horrifying tattoos. Dear god, why.