Hitman:It’s In the Eyes
Title: Hitman: It’s In The Eyes
Category: Games » Hitman
Language: English, Rating: Rated: K+
Published: 10-03-09, Updated: 10-03-09
Chapters: 7, Words: 4,801
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
A/N: Same characters, 47 and Nika, only with a slight AU change with Nika. Not that I don’t love the ‘whore with a heart’ theme, but wanted to go with something a little different than that. Strictly movieverse. Seven short chapters that lead to a place where the M world starts, but is left to your imagination and already in my head. Characters you recognize belong to their respective owners. Plot includes an AU part of the movie, but the rest is mine. Thomas Lynley is from PBS/BBC series The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.
Hitman: It’s In The Eyes
Her breath was coming rapidly now as she stopped at the corner of the corridor. She could hear his as well. He was stopped probably midway down the hall. Seconds ago, she was pretty sure she had seen him drop his weapons, but he was much further down the hall from her and she had no way of knowing if he had any other weapons on him or not.
She drew a deep breath and spun around the corner, “INTERPOL! Stop!”
He was maybe 20 feet from her with his back to her. She saw his shirttail untucked and his feet bare. The tall, completely bald man turned his head and looked over his shoulder. He had his hands in the air.
The woman spoke softly, but confidently, danger in her voice, “Turn around slowly.”
His body moved like a lion, all muscle and sinew, packed into that solid frame. He was facing her, hands still in the air, his eyes looking into hers.
And their souls touched.
Their breaths hitched at the same time as their eyes met. She saw the raw danger, anguish, even pain, and certainly the fatigue that he must fight all the time. He saw the fearlessness, the beauty, the intelligence, even the possibilities in hers.
He took another deep breath, discipline taking over, turned quickly and kicked in the door beside him. As he flew through the door, she fired her gun into the door jamb barely missing him. She followed him through the door just as Mike flew around the corner and quickly found himself looking over the railing edge with her, watching the tiny wake that was all that was left of their Ghost.
Four days later found Nika back at Interpol in London, going through files and writing profiles. Her main job at Interpol was now as a Forensic Psychologist. She wasn’t the only one Interpol had, but she was certainly the best, probably because she had been in the field for so many years, and lived around the world in so many countries.
As she stared at the open folder in front of her, cigarette smoke surrounding her, she thought back to that moment four days ago. She wasn’t even supposed to be in the field that day. Mike had requested that she join them there in St. Petersburg to help profile the government officials he was going to be dealing with. And to check out the scene from the last assassination to see if there was anything more she could glean to add to the already thorough profile. After all, he’d been chasing this guy for three years. She’d been profiling him for three years, and had been to almost every scene after the fact. She knew Mike’s “Ghost” as well as he did.
Nika had been drawn into the gunfight much as everyone else. Civilians, if they were smart, left the building or took cover. Everyone else there was a cop of one sort or the other, and she was as well, so gun in hand she entered the firefight. And she had been the one who got the closest to catching the guy. According to her report, she had shot at him but missed as he went through the door. She never got a good look, certainly nothing to make a sketch of.
And she had lied. She knew every feature of his face. The way his eyebrows raised slightly in surprise when he had turned and saw her. The way his expensive white shirt fitted him perfectly, and the top three buttons were undone showing just a hint of chest. The way he was barefoot, but despite going feet first through a window and running through glass, there was no blood. That was curious, but she realized that only after the fact. And his eyes. His eyes were what haunted her day and night. They weren’t the dead eyes of what one would expect of a person who killed for a living. He wasn’t dead inside, he wasn’t soulless. Not yet. Jesus Christ Nika, get a grip. You are not going to save this man… She shook her head and returned her thinking to the folder, and criminal mind at hand, letting her foolish romantic thoughts fall away. For now.
Since the night in the hotel when he had been compromised, he had begun his own search. Who was the woman in the hallway? He was concentrating on who had put the hit on him, sure. But he couldn’t get her eyes out of his mind. He stared silently at her picture on his computer, her beautiful face framed in the target site. He found himself holed up in another anonymous London hotel room, researching the woman. Surprisingly, it wasn’t hard to get information on her. She was apparently somewhat famous in her own world of crime fighting. He read articles she had written for journals, he hacked into Interpol and retrieved her dossier, learning she was an expert shot among a lot of other things. She hadn’t missed the other night after all. She had seen him clearly, he had no doubt. And yet there were no sketches of him out in the news or transportation centers. They were still looking for him. Mike wouldn’t give up until he got his man. But she had not betrayed him.
The bald man had followed her back to London. And he watched her. He watched her come and go from the office. He watched where she ate, who she saw, what she did in her free time. He watched her in the dark through his scope as she ate, read, and wrote in her flat. And he watched as she sat on her huge stone balcony in the dark and smoked. She never smoked inside. But it was her habit, about an hour before bed, to sit on the ornately carved balcony six stories up, in full darkness, and smoke watching the city around her.
She knew he was there, somewhere. She could feel him. Since she wasn’t already dead, she figured he didn’t intend to kill her. She doubted he ever doubted about killing. He would make up his mind immediately and carry through, never revisiting the decision. It occurred to her that she might actually be being stalked by the Assassin Ghost, HER Assassin Ghost as she now thought of him, but that was all it could really be: watching from afar…. Only she didn’t get to see him, but she was fairly certain he was watching her.
She entered her doorman building and picked up her mail and a few packages. She recognized several Amazon deliveries and another from Harrods, but there was one that was delivered by FedEx where she didn’t recognize the return address. Nika took all of it upstairs. She tossed it all on the counter, fixing a drink while she carelessly sorted the flyers and junk from the letters and bills. She picked up the packages, tearing open the ones she knew of and setting the books and the dress from Harrods aside.
The box with the FedEx label was typed neatly, computer generated. She turned the box over looking for any clues to what would be inside. She looked for wires under the tape. She felt the weight of it—not C4, it was too light. She hesitated to rattle it, like a child on Christmas morning. If it was a bomb, that was surely not going to help. Nika, working this job is making you even more paranoid than ever…. She picked up a pair of scissors and closing her eyes, cut through the tape. Nothing happened. She moved the scissors around the box further, still finding nothing to be concerned about. Once the box was opened, she peeled back the paper around the item and found a factory-sealed, international burn phone with charger. And a note…”I’ll be calling…. Keep it charged.”
Through the night-scope he had trained on her, he saw her smile.
They were both patient and disciplined people, even known to be the most patient of people. Sometimes he would have to wait for weeks or months to gain enough intel to plan and carry through his assignment. Patience and Discipline…the two things he had been weaned on. She had been raised to be disciplined, her parents dragging her around the world for this ambassadorship or that one, learning yet another language, meeting yet more people, trying to be quiet and polite all the while feeling like a pawn in other people’s game. Nika learned Discipline. And she learned patience, dealing with the worst of the worst criminal minds day in and day out, long term man-hunts taking usually years to come to fruition, and sometimes having to pull thread after thread of true evil out of another’s head over months or even years.
Regardless of patience and discipline, they both knew this was becoming a very dangerous game. She could compromise him at any time. He could kill her at will. And yet, they still engaged themselves in the interest, if not the pursuit.
She sat outside her balcony, wrapped in a warm woolen blanket to stave off the cold of London’s wet winter. Again she sat in the dark. Again she smoked. He had learned she only smoked Ricardo Pleasures Butterscotch mini-cigars. His lip curled up in humor at that. She never smoked at work, in public, or inside her home. But what she did choose to smoke was a very well regarded, but definitely a girlish-type cigar. He’d even gone so far as to try one…at least it tasted sweet.
He watched her bring the cigar to her lips and then without thought let the smoke out to curl around her beautiful face. She looked so beautiful and so lonely. He knew she had lovers, she was no virgin but she was not a whore either. He had only seen her occasionally with one man, an Earl no less, Thomas Lynley. For the last month or so that he had been watching her, he thought Lynley had only stayed over twice. But he wasn’t there every night to watch her, and he couldn’t know for sure.
He picked up the phone and dialed the number he knew by heart, listening to the ring through his earpiece. He watched through his scope as she slowly looked at the phone, looked out towards the skyline where she couldn’t possibly see him but it seemed like she looked right at him, and then flipped the phone open to accept the call. The caller id read Unknown. Of course.
He didn’t know if it was the scotch and cigars, or if her natural voice was the deep timbre of silk and sex tangled with sin, but that was how it came across the phone and into his ear.
She picked up the phone and just listened to the other end, waiting for him to start.
His deep sonorous and measured voice came through, “You shouldn’t smoke. It’s bad for you.”
He saw her smile slightly in the darkness. “So are you.”
“Perhaps we are both bad for each other.”
She laughed slightly, “Of that I am sure….” She sobered up slightly, “Are you going to kill me?”
“I should. You have seen me.”
“I have. And because I know what you look like it would make sense for you to remove the danger to yourself. But it has been weeks and you haven’t.”
“What does that make you think?”
“That if you wanted me dead, I would have already been buried.”
“I don’t plan to kill you, Nika. More than that I cannot promise.”
She paused, hearing the hint of humor in his voice. “Well, that sounds promising, although no doubt quite dangerous.”
He paused, “You like danger.”
He saw her nod her head slightly, “I suppose I do. Sometimes.”
They paused their conversation, uncertain where to go next. There was so much to say and it wasn’t smart to talk for long. The phones may be untraceable, but there was always a way.
“In the hotel…you missed.”
She smirked, “I didn’t miss.”
“I know. Why? Why did you let me go and take such a risk?”
They were both silent again, listening to the other’s soft breath coming through the phone. “I don’t know. I think about it a lot. It was a very dangerous thing to do. You could have come back and killed me and I would have never seen it coming. Michael might have seen me intentionally miss and I could be in jail. They could know I had seen your face and accused me of treason because I lied. Ultimately, I saw something in your eyes that made me decide to let you live. I have faced true evil, and I have killed true evil. You are not evil.”
She stopped talking, afraid that perhaps she had said too much. She waited for him to respond and she waited. “I have killed many men, without mercy, and been gone before their bodies hit the ground. How am I not evil?”
She sighed into the phone, sadness on her breath. “And that is a much longer conversation than we have time for tonight. What is good and what is evil is a philosophical discussion waged for centuries. I think this conversation has gone on longer than it should have already.”
He was silent, watching her in a silent desperation. He felt like she might be a life-line he didn’t know he needed. He did not want to let her off the phone. But he was patient. And he was disciplined. And this was another test that he would not fail.
She felt the silence coming over the phone. Her imagination putting emotions on something she couldn’t see on someone she didn’t really know. This was the most dangerous thing of all…attributing emotions and feelings to others. She knew better, but still she listened to the silence and heard desperation and attachment and a hard-line of discipline. She was surprised from her thoughts when she heard a soft voice come from the other end of the phone.
“Good night, Nika.” And the phone went dead.
She looked at the phone as the backlight died as the phone call ended. She felt the loss of the conversation as much as she would feel the loss of any warm body, any connection she had before. And tears came to her eyes.
He watched her as she stared at the silent phone, and then lifted her eyes to the exact point where he was. He knew she couldn’t see him, but it was surprising to be looking through the night scope and see her looking straight at him. And he saw the shimmer of tears spill over onto her cheeks. His jaws clenched as he watched her reenter her flat, close the doors, and pull the curtains, leaving him alone again.
She dressed in a flowing white chiffon dress. The straps came around her neck leaving her neckline bare and her breasts plumped. The back of the dress draped to the lowest point of her back in levels. She had spiked her short black hair into a shapely bob and made her makeup very dramatic, with dark painted eyes and lips. She looked stunning and knew she would draw a lot of attention at tonight’s ball. It was one of the biggest social nights in London and she was going with Thomas Lynley, 8th Earl of Asherton. Every time she thought of that in her head, she put on a haughty English voice, although Tommy was the farthest thing from the typical snooty upper crust English aristocracy.
She walked out onto her balcony, looking into the darkening skyline. It had been more than a week since she had last spoken to her Assassin. He hadn’t called, and she had no way, or at least no safe way, to track him down. She would have to wait for him, if he would call at all. Just as she was thinking this, the throw-away phone rang and her heart leaped into her throat. Knowing she was probably being watched she forced herself to turn slowly and walk to where the phone was on the counter. She picked it up after four rings and walked back onto the balcony.
They both stayed silent listening to the other one’s breath. It wasn’t like one of those scary movie shows where there is all this heavy breathing going on. It felt more like a soft touch across the miles that stood between them, however many miles those were. They both waited, feeling the caress for at least those few seconds.
Finally, the man spoke in his measured, soft voice. “You look beautiful. In the moonlight, you glow like an angel with all those sheer white layers around you.”
She was silent for a moment and then blurted out, surprising herself and him. “I wish you were here.”
It was his turn to be silent, and then clearing his throat his whispered, “I wish I was too. Have a nice time tonight Nika. But, it could be very dangerous for your friend if you bring him home tonight.”
“Jealousy is not a very disciplined emotion, my Assassin.”
“No, it is not. And yet there it is. Good night.” The phone again went dead.
Her head dropped to her chest as she closed the phone and rested her arms on the edge of the balcony. The doorbell rang behind her and she took a deep breath, turning away from the night and returning to the light of her flat and her date.
By 11:00pm the ballroom was in full swing, crowded with dancing couples. Dinner was, for English food, considered excellent. Company was, depending on where one was sitting, either quite entertaining or quite dull. Fortunately, Tommy had some pull and had managed to score them a great set of people who were quite entertaining. He despised these things as much as Nika, but in some cases, one had to do what needed to be done. This was one of those times. If he was going to drag himself, or Nika there, he would try to make it as entertaining as possible for them both.
They danced on the hardwood floor. Tommy and Nika were both excellent dancers, having been raised in boarding schools and around the world. Dancing, conversation, knowing all the right words and positions were things they were raised to know. What they learned on their own, well their parents never really wanted to know. When they were alive, neither set of parents could understand why either of them would go into law enforcement. If they didn’t need the money, then why take the risk…? She and Tommy had talked about those conversations many times over the months they had been dating.
Nika was dancing with an older ambassador to a country she wasn’t sure of, when a tall man approached the ambassador from behind, tapping him politely on the shoulder. The man turned around expectantly, still holding Nika uncomfortably close.
The tall, bald man asked the ambassador very quietly, “May I cut in sir?”
The ambassador looked displeased at having to let go of his catch, but couldn’t very well decline either. Nika held her face completely still while she felt herself pulled into the other man’s arms. Surprising Nika, he pulled her close to him wrapping his arms around her waist, while she put her arms around his neck, looking up at him. Neither of them spoke, but their bodies swaying together said volumes. He was dressed in a Brioni tuxedo that fit him like a glove. To her, he was by far if not the most handsome man there he was surely the most enigmatic.
She looked up at him, staring into his eyes, feeling his warm hands on her bare back, his thumbs barely moving. Both of them were barely breathing in the moment.
As she stared deep into his eyes, she started to say something, and he shook his head. He leaned in to her ear, breathing in her scent, his lips touching her ear as he whispered. “Shhh….”
Her voice caught in her throat and she sighed into him, her body fitting to him like one of the black leather gloves that were a part of him, like she was a part of him. He moved them slowly around the dance floor holding each other in that intimate embrace. They held each other like that for two more songs before he let her go. “I have to go now. Thank you for the dance, Nika.” He bowed his head stiffly and turned away and left through the open patio, no one ever being the wiser. Nika stood at the edge of the dance floor, letting the cool air from the patio rescue her breathing and allow it to return to normal as Tommy approached her from behind.
Two weeks later, Nika returned from yet another trip to Moscow after Mike stumbled onto train carnage he was sure had been done by his ‘Ghost.’ Nika was surprised at the number of dead, many of which had been hidden and found later. They all looked the same: bald well dressed men. Several caches of hidden, bloody weapons were found there as well. Mike was convinced that all these men were part of this ‘Organization’ that his ‘Ghost’ was a part of. What he couldn’t figure out was why there were so many dead ones in one place, and if one of them wasn’t possibly the one he was looking for? How would he know?
When Nika got the call, her heart dropped into her stomach. What if one of them was him? She had to know so she flew back to Russia allegedly at Mike’s behest, but in reality, out of her own need to know. Like Mike, she had been surprised at the carnage. It must have been quite a sword fight. But in fact, none of the dead men they had found were HER Assassin, but of course no one knew that. Even so, Mike felt like he would know if ‘his guy’ was dead, and he didn’t think he was. He was right, but she could hardly tell him that.
Nika returned to London tired but relieved that at least as far as she knew, her Assassin was still alive, but where he was she had no idea. She returned to her flat rolling her small suitcase into the apartment. She could smell the scent of her favorite Indian food filling the apartment, but it looked exactly as she had left it.
She reached behind her slowly and pulled out her gun, walking from room to room, clearing each one before moving to the next. The last place she went was onto the patio where the doors were left open. As soon as she had smelled the food, she knew, or thought she knew, who was here. Tommy didn’t have a key, and while he didn’t really need one, he would never invade her privacy like that. But her Assassin…he never needed a key, and he would probably always come and go as he pleased. She wasn’t even sure he hadn’t already been there.
She walked onto the balcony. He sat in the chair she always sat in, smoking one of her butterscotch cigars in the dark.
She sighed and dropped her gun to her side, standing silently just watching him as he smoked. “Those will kill you, you know.”
“I imagine I will die from other causes before butterscotch cigars could kill me.”
“Such a defeatist attitude coming from you, you always manage the impossible. Like bringing my favorite Indian food for dinner as I return from the abysmal food in Russia.”
He laughed. It was rusty and she thought maybe he didn’t laugh very often. “Is Russian cuisine worse than English?”
It was her turn to laugh as she sat comfortably in the chair beside him. “Nothing is as bad as English cuisine. Nothing.”
He smiled at her as he turned to look fully at her, “Then clearly you haven’t been to Niger for dinner or breakfast.”
She smiled and nodded in agreement. They sat there in silence again. She thought how nice it was to be around a man who didn’t feel the need to talk all the time, who used language in monosyllables but where every word he chose had meaning.
After several minutes, enjoying the pleasure of their company and the silence, she stood, her hand running lightly across the top of his head. He moved his head upwards to her hand, his face looking at her from where he sat. She slowly moved her fingers across his forehead, her thumb stroked the lines beside his eye as he closed it to her touch. Her fingers caressed his cheek while her thumb brushed gently across his soft lips. His lips parted slightly, his tongue carefully stroking her thumb at his lips. She moved to cup his face in her hands, leaning down over him, bringing her partially open lips to his. Their lips met and then their tongues tentatively touched before they both pulled away, reluctantly.
She sighed at the moment, not releasing his face and keeping hers close to his. “I need to shower away the jet lag and then let’s eat. Do we have a time limit?”
He smiled at her, just barely, but it was a smile. “I am apparently unemployed and no longer have a schedule to keep. I think the only time limit we have is yours.”
She gave him a sultry smile, gripping his tie and pulling him towards her. With her voice deep and filled with sex and need, she whispered, “Well then, my shower is big enough for two. Care to join me?”