Blood courses down his cheek as he crosses the clearing, but he takes no notice. His heart stops beating as he walks away from her, but he takes no notice. He is stone. Weeping stone. A miracle.
Is he wishing she would call his name one last time? Is he wishing that she had left him to die? Because this is worse? Or is he wishing nothing...except that his feet continue to carry him further and further across the woods?
Viscous, red, liquid drips from his chin, staining his mission gear. Perhaps there is a little saltwater mixed in...perhaps not. Perhaps blood tears are enough. Are all he will ever cry again.
When he is far enough away from her cold, blue-gray eyes, he feels his knees begin to weaken. He feels the jagged cut beneath his eye begin to throb. Sensations trickle in from every side, every pore.
"I don't love you. I never did."
His own words thrown back at him. Fitting. Because she has become him. Perhaps a truer joining than the desperate, slow, lovemaking on their boat in the middle of the ocean. They have traded bodies. Traded souls.
When he is far enough away, he allows himself to laugh.
And his hand closes around the Section-issue automatic weapon.
The student becomes the teacher.
And, oh, what a lesson she had taught him.
Every time he sank into her body and lied to her beautiful, honest, face, she was lying back to him. Every time she had feigned innocence and let him rescue her, it was a test. Every time she had said his name, it had been a manipulation. She had come back to him three years ago only to never truly be his. She learned his game and beat him at it.
"You can live without me better than I can live without you."
Bravo. Bravo, Nikita.
He wants to clap. Instead, his fingers squeeze the trigger.
The bullets entering his body are mercifully swift...letting the pain numb him as he drops to the ground. He closes his eyes...remembers the face of an innocent boy who truly has lost his father this time. He whispers, "Adam" as soft grass and twigs pillow his head.
And then he hears it.
Her eyes aren't cold anymore.
Not a master at the game after all.
He feels her arms...and her tears...her mask slipping away.
"Why?" she moans, raw like an animal. "Why? You could've had a life!"
Things are hazy. Blurry. And pain is so bright...brighter than her guilt.
"Its...not...life...without...you...in...it," he whispers, even as blood coats his lips and strangles his words.
She nods. Her mouth is tight. Her cheeks and nose red. Saline pours down her cheeks in great rivulets. She has never looked more lovely. The suicide vest's C-4 timer twists in her hands. The display is frozen at 16 seconds. "I'm sorry," she says, bowing her head. The numbers unfreeze. Begin to fall.
"I'm not." He smiles. And, this time, it doesn't hurt as much. He can't feel his legs or his arms. Everything below his neck is like bliss. Pure, clear, nothingness. Freedom. He is so close to freedom. It has taken ten years to get here...and he is ten seconds away.
"It wasn't all a lie." Her fingers smooth his hair back from his face. And more of his own words come back at him.
Teacher rocks student. Her lips are so soft. So soft.
"I love you, Michael."
One last lie? Or her final truth?
He doesn't care.9...
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