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so of course it wasn't ideal that she had seen too much. it was supposed to have been an easy operation, eliminating a fellow agent that had gone rogue. his name was shrouded in corruption, responsible for a network of human and drug trafficking rings that he kept his name so seamlessly out of. he was an influencial man with a lot of connections, and that meant the potential to do a lot of harm.
any means necessary. theo's instructions were simple, and with a list of further adverseries embedded in his mind he had been discretely scoping them out one by one and taking them down. every click of his gun brought him closer to his goal, brought him closer to being able to put a bullet in the head of a man who's picture he had seen too many on a grainy computer screen.
he had told himself that he would only be another couple of days in the city, but then she happened.
taking out solano's right hand man had been easy, it was the aftermath that proved to be problematic. he had saw the way the man's limp body crumpled to the floor after he pulled the trigger of his gun, but what he hadn't expected was the smash and clatter of a bottle hitting the floor a few seconds after. he felt that brief lurch in his stomach, that glimmer of panic that he had been caught until his head cocked to see a the brunette waitress stood there looking as pale as a piece of paper. he knew that the noise would attract attention, that neither of them would be safe, so he had simply murmured "move," before he was attempting to drag her out the back exit that he had used to enter the building.
it was a blur getting back to the dingy apartment (they liked to call it a safe location) that he had been using for the last few days, and as he pushed the door to a close he realised that in his haste he hadn't cut the cctv in the back store of the restaraunt. fuck. "fuck."
"we need to get out of here, we don't have a lot of time," he started, his body lurching forward to start packing away the gear that he had brought with him. theo usually packed the bare essentials, but he'd known that this was a slight bigger job. his fingers were already tapping away at the keys of his phone to alert his colleagues that he had been compromised, that he was going to have to move.
my starters are always shaky so i apologise ;_; if there's anything you want me to change just let me know!! xoxo<
she just didn't expect it to be this big. and right now.
the gun shot rang out like a goddamn missile, and the plate hit the floor before she realized she'd dropped it. the red haired male, a male whom she recognized from a few visits but honestly would have never been able to describe had she been questioned, was standing there. he was so still that it was almost inhuman.
she forgot to scream.
he was moving so fast that charlotte didn't have enough time to even think about resisting. the flats on her feet could barely hang on as he drug her through the back door and into an apartment that looked even sadder than hers. her brain was running a mile a minute, so fast that the images in her head looked like they were stills, flashing on a projector screen too quick for her to make up anything but the broad picture. man. dead man. red hair. shitty apartment. finally, the images cut off, and everything was clear.
"what. the. bloody. hell. is. going. on." charlotte froze in the middle of the scummy apartment, her hands clenched into fists in front of her, every muscle primed with a thousand vials of adrenaline. "who the fuck are you and what the fuck is going on?"
it. was. perfect.
it didn't help that he was no longer alone. he knew that he could have just left her there, that eventually she probably would have been killed like many others before her. but even he realised how utterly cruel that was, especially when she had done nothing wrong. her only crime was being unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the complete wrong time.
theo was still trying to assess her as they stood there in silence. was she a flight risk? would she try to escape? he didn't even want to think of her as a prisoner but he knew that he couldn't let her get away - she had seen far too much. there would be people after her now, people looking to kill her, and he knew that her best shot at survival would be with him (not that he was thrilled by the prospect).
he was even less thrilled when she finally snapped out of her reveries. her tone was demanding, if not a tad shaky, the way that her fists clenched indicating to him that she did not trust him. that was good, sensible. naivety was a trait that they couldn't afford right now.
"who i am is irrelevant," he started, double checking that his gun was fully loaded as he slung his one and only bag over his shoulder. "and i can't tell you what's going on because it's classified- all you need to know is that you're implicated now. it's not safe for you here, so i'd strongly suggest that you come with me right now."
and she didn't want to be with this red headed murderer.
"i'm not going anywhere without answers." despite the false bravado in her tone, the shaking in her voice gave away the fact that she was scared shitless. "what the fuck just happened." this didn't seem real. this had to be some sick, fucked up dream.
but, most annoyingly, she wasn't listening to him.
"i've already told you that we don't have a lot of time, right?" he asked, his tone carrying more of a bite than he intended but this was why he didn't like having to work with other people. "i work for the cia, and the man that i just shot has friends. so we need to leave right now because if those friends find you then you're dead."
"right, cia. and i'm a part of the fucking MI6," charlotte was rambling now. she began to pace. her hands were on her face now, rubbing like maybe that would help her wake up. "this isn't happening. none of this is real," she muttered, fingers running through the loose bun that was her typical work attire. "this is all a bad dream. charlotte, you are dreaming. it's just time to wake the fuck up."
once she'd started moving, she couldn't stop. charlotte's feet carried her back and forth across the apartment. a steady, staccato rhythm helped her think, though it wasn't doing much good. she still firmly believed that this was a bad dream, one that was taking forever to wake up from. "seriously, get your shit together charlotte. did you take ambien or something last night? why aren't you waking up?" she was muttering to herself, under her breath. honestly, she didn't even care of he could here her because this. was. not. real.
it. was. perfect.
he huffed out a sigh at her sarcastic response, taking yet another step closer to the door in the hope that it would spur her to move. he dubbed that unlikely. "i understand that this is a lot to take in-" he was trying to be amiable, but he wasn't sure how long that would last. theo had an explicit plan in his mind and she was throwing a spanner in the works. "but we don't have time."
he wrenched the front door open, head poking around to peer down the hallway for any unwanted visitors. he knew that they wouldn't have had time to look through the security footage yet but that still wasn't reassuring. the only time theo would be semi-relieved was when he was sat in a vehicle, driving away to fuck knows where. "can you please have this internal crisis in the car? i think i mentioned that there are men with guns. men with guns that are looking to kill us."
oh my god.
adrenaline and panic rose to the back of charlotte's throat. she felt like she was going to puke. no, she was sure she was going to puke. charlotte reached a hand out, fingers scrambling until she felt something solid. she felt light headed now, and black dots were beginning to speckle her vision. but charlotte didn't have time to puke. james bond was opening the door and moving, and charlotte had a decision to make. she could choose to believe that this was all a dream and potentially get murdered, or she could trust a potentially schizophrenic murderer. neither option was good.
"why should i trust you?" charlotte blurted, brown eyes darting from the floor to the man's face, her gaze intent and wild. "how do i know you're telling me the truth? that you aren't crazy?"
his expression softened, only briefly, once he registered the look of utter panic on her face. it was one he had experienced himself many years ago after his first kill. he could still remember the sensation of bile burning the back of his throat, of his head feeling like it was about to burst because he couldn't quite comprehend the finality of what he had just done. but, like most things in life, theo conditioned himself to look at a dead body like it was no more interesting than a cup of coffee. or at least that was how he looked at the people that he had killed. the only consolation that he had was that none of them were innocents, they were all guilty of some heinous crime. he had adopted a very black and white outlook when it came to his job: bad people deserved to be punished.
"i can't make you trust me," he started with a shrug of his shoulders. "and i don't have time to stand here and plead my case. it would be in your best interest to come with me, but i'm not going to force you. but i promise that if you come with me right now, i'll keep you safe."
but her gut had also told her that her ex wasn't an asshole. she had been wrong.
a loud bang at the end of the hallway made her decision for her. charlotte left the opposite side of the room and moved towards him, fear forcing her to stand a little closer than she normally would when dealing with a stranger who had shot someone a few minutes ago.
his head darted in the direction of the loud bang, the sound a sharp sting in his ears. it took him just seconds to scope out where it had came from, tugging the strap of his bag further up his shoulder as the brunette finally joined his side. that was progress, right? "there's stairs straight ahead of us, there's a car just at the end of the block. anything happens, you take the keys out of my back pocket and go." his hand pressed against her lower back as he eased her to take a step out the front door, pulling it to a close behind him.
whether they'd been found or not, he didn't know, but he wasn't going to take any chances. he stayed a step ahead of her, hand poised on the handle of his gun as he took a tentative step forward.
charlotte stepped into the hallway, brown eyes darting from the supposed source of the bang to the end of the hallway and back. his hand had been steady on her back, not a trace of the nerves that were causing her to shake as she moved, her hands unable to stop twitching. for some reason, this calmed her down, though it probably should have made her even more worried. he'd just killed someone, and yet he had no signs that it had affected him. he'd either done that a lot, or he was a psychopath. fuck, it could even be both.
as they continued their slow descent down the hallway, charlotte tucked herself behind the red haired man as much as possible. rather than look around now, she kept her gaze level on the small of his back, willing herself not to look around out of fear that she'd see something she didn't want to see. not that anything could be worse than seeing a man shot directly in front of you. the image was still tattooed across her brain, reminding her of just how bad her day could get. please don't make this day get any worse, charlotte pleaded inside her head, sending up a prayer to a god she'd never really prayed to. please just let me go home.
he was all eyes and ears as they stepped outside, their footsteps and charlotte's slightly panicked breathing being the only immediate things that he could hear. maybe that bang had been nothing - maybe they would be able to get outside completely unscathed. they were halfway down the stairs but he still hadn't relaxed any, shoulders square as he continued to scope the area for any possible threats. they finished their descent and he had been on the verge of sighing a breath of relief, had been on the verge to trying to make quiet conversation with her when he heard that all too familiar metal click. he had pulled charlotte to the ground before he could even blink, an expletive leaving his lips as he heard the ricochet of a bullet off the bannister of the stairs. "fuck," he hissed. they were so close - the door was just inches away from them, but as he spared a quick glance up he could see three of four gunmen leaned over the stair rails, all on different levels of the building. his gun pointed up and theo managed to hit one of them square in the shoulder, buying him enough time to force the car keys into her hands, pushing her, hard, toward the entrway that was sheltered from their shots. "go, right now-" he yelled, darting to the right to avoid another fired shot.
that just spelled more trouble for the waitress.
she was trying to formulate some sort of plan the man threw her to the ground. in the split second it took before she heard the shot, charlotte cried out in a complaining yelp, her knee dashed against the concrete of the stairwell. she was bleeding, she knew before even seeing it, her skin split into a rather nasty cut. her injury was instantly forgotten however, when the bullet ricocheted off the concrete immediately above her. all the panic from before leapt to her throat, and charlotte clapped both hands over her mouth, brown eyes going wide as a deer in the headlights. she was frozen on the ground, every muscle tensed into a still position.
what the fuck was happening?
the man pushed the car keys into her hands and shoved her towards the door. charlotte was forced to move to keep from pitching forward and landing on her face, so she scrambled to stand, her knee aching and blood trickling down her shin. "what? go where? what about you?" her words were streaming from her lips in a hasty, jumbled mess, practically incoherent. in the same instant, another bullet ricocheted, and self preservation beat out curiosity. charlotte flew from the building, the keys grasped tightly in a shaking hand. clicking the unlock, she looked for the car, finding it after a few more clicks. charlotte slid into the driver's seat. she missed the start the first few times, her hands shaking so badly that she couldn't hit the ignition. finally, the engine rumbled to a start, and charlotte immediately got the hell out of there. she was a block away when she threw it in reverse, turning back towards the way she came. why? she had no idea. but charlotte pulled in front of the back entrance, leaning over to open the passenger side door right when the male exited the building. "get in!"
her panic was practically palapble as they both clumsily scrambled to their feet, shooting her a desperate glance as she tried to protest his attempts to get her out of here. "just go!" he hissed, another bullet slicing the silence. he dodged to the right and much to his relief saw her bolting toward the door, his gun pointing up at their attackers once more as he shot blind. footsteps started hammering down the stairs and he could gage that there were about four or five men - enough for him to take out if necessary - but if he could avoid it he would. and then he saw the fire exit, his entire body lurching forward as he catapulted himself through the door. he was breathing heavily, the voices from inside the building growing louder and he knew that he only had seconds, that he was going to have to brace himself to use the gun in his hand.
but then he heard the graze of tyres against gravel and charlotte's voice call out. there was nothing graceful about him as he rushed into the passenger seat, pulling the door to a hard close. "i thought i told you to get out of the city," he frowned. probably not the best attitude for someone that had just saved his life, but theo didn't like his instructions being ignored.