Title: Had we but world enough and time…..
Rating: PG13 – (One use of the f-word…)
Disclaimer: The wonderful Bourne movies belong to Robert Ludlum, the film scripts to the wonderfully talented Tony Gilroy, Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass. All hail. Buffy of course belongs to the god like Joss Whedon. I own nothing. Also the poem belongs to Andrew Marvell, although the copyright on that ran out an awfully long time ago!
Summary: This was one of those things that just stuck in my head again and wouldn’t go away after seeing the fabulous Bourne Ultimatum with the equally fabulous Matt Damon. Imagine Bourne a few years later, and a very special girl that he rescued, a girl who walked out of a demon dimension into the wrong parallel world by accident two years before he ever joined the program and somehow became patient zero at Treadstone…..
Had we world enough and time.....
He is not sure what wakes him, perhaps the change in temperature as the door opens or the faint exhalation of another’s breath in the other room but he is up and moving long before his conscious mind has anything to do with it. There is a gun under his pillow and a knife under the mattress and both are in his hands without thought, his body reacting to a threat that would be imperceptible to almost any other man. But he can feel it. Feel it in the minute creaks as the walls react to the feather light tread on the floor, in the disturbance in the air as something moves through the other rooms, in the way the hair at the back of his neck is standing on end and the frission of hyper vigilance and nervous tension that is shivering down his spine.
He scans everything but everything is as it should be, even the seemingly careless piles of belongings that have been strategically placed to note and mark the slightest intrusion by a stranger. But he can’t shake that feeling. Like he is being watched.
He doesn’t have a particularly active imagination; hard reality burned that out of him a long time ago, but he replaced it with something fundamentally more useful in his line of work. A survival instinct that is almost unparalleled, an instinctive awareness of when he is being watched and from where. He’s come to trust it over the years; he ought to, it’s saved his life more times than he wants to think about. And just now that hardwired awareness is screaming a siren wail in his ears. Danger – Will Robinson! His face doesn’t change, but underneath the blank mask, just for a second he is smiling, appreciating the humour implicit in having a kids tv flashback in this situation. But then the smiling man is gone, submerged beneath Jason Bourne and he is moving, bare boards under his feet cool and sanded, conscious of his muscles moving under the tee he wore to sleep, the sweat from the humidity pooling between his shoulder blades, trickling down his spine, the comforting weight of the gun in one hand, knife in the other.
He quarters the room, heads elliptically for the doorway, back against the wall as he feels his way out just in case, senses stretched to the utmost. But even so he almost doesn’t catch it, the infinitesimal stir of the air that tracks movement, the tiniest moist exhale of breath. But he does and he is moving, dodging and rolling in a frantic ballet and the spinning kick and punch that should have taken his gun and his knife and left him dazed from its collision with his head merely takes the gun and leaves stinging bruised fingers in its wake as he catches and deflects the majority of it with the edge of his forearm. The gun goes spinning off into the darkness and part of him tracks it with his peripheral vision but just now it’s not obtainable, not an asset he can utilise instantly so he puts its position on the backburner and moves forward. The next punch comes spinning out of the air but he is gunning on all cylinders now, the faint fuzziness caused by sleep long gone, replaced by the sharp cutting edge of adrenaline and he spins and ripostes without thought, rewarded by a faint grunt and the satisfaction of fist partially connecting with flesh before the intruder moves away again. And then it is a deadly dance of unseen exchanges, his senses stretched to the utmost and catlike in the dark. Punch, kick, grab, thrust, lose the knife to another exquisitely placed kick, roll, dive, don’t think, only react, react to the hair on the back of your neck and the shape you are outlining in blows and the bloom of bruises on unseen flesh. He connects almost as many times as the other, but there is an inhuman quickness in the way his opponent moves and little by little he is losing ground. He can feel the bruises blooming on his own flesh, the slipperiness of the salt sting of his sweat it trickles down his own skin, the sharper bite of cuts and bruises but it is all a little distant, any pain locked away from him as he lives in the moment. All he really is aware of is his heart beat, the blood pumping in his veins and the overwhelming adrenaline spurt that is raging at him to win, to live, to kill.
And then it stops.
In a flurry of blows his unseen opponent finally goes on the full out offensive. It is brutal and deadly and he meets it as best as he can, with all the skill and strength at his disposal, no quarter given or asked. Fingers turned into axes meet unprotected skin, blows are hard enough to kill and only miss due to the sheer skill level of the two dancers, but bit by bit he is being driven back, back until he feels the solid plaster of the wall behind him and his moves become increasingly defensive. The other keeps coming on and somehow there is a knife involved, adding advantage and reach and he can’t quite reach it in time to stop its deadly parabola towards his throat. But if he is going down he will take the other with him. A snarl breaches the fighting mask that he wears, a wolf’s last defiance and he reaches out like a striking cobra and grabs the other’s throat in an adamantine grip even as they move in to press the edge of the knife against his carotid artery. With one spasm of his thumb he could break that slender neck even as his life blood poured onto the floor. For if he is going down he will take his killer into hell with him.
They both breathe shallowly, panting in the darkness. He can feel the wall at his back, the floor under his feet, his heart beating frantically in his chest, the edge of the knife resting ever so gently against the thin skin of his throat. He swallows and winces slightly as the edge cuts into his skin, feeling the trickle of blood run down into the hollow of his throat and then turns his attention outwards to his opponent.
She stares up at him consideringly, green eyes narrow, the pressure on the knife not abating one inch, but then he relaxes his grip on her throat, the thumb that could have snapped her spine sliding up and around to rub over her cheek in a caress and she relaxes abruptly, eyes widening, mouth softening from its hard lines into the rosebud bow he knows so well. Its edges twitch and he finds his own mouth quirking in response, until both of them are smiling at each wryly, the heat of her cheek as it is cupped in his hand telling him that she is blushing just a little.
At the sound of her name she softens further, her eyes losing the majority of their wildness, the knife slipping away from his throat to be held comfortingly close to her in her hand, like a child with a particularly deadly teddy bear. Her body language is definitely embarrassed now, curled up into itself and his smile widens into a full blown grin as he uses his hand on her face and the other that he has slipped around her waist to urge her closer. She resists for a second and then surges into him all in one movement, slipping her hand over his shoulder, the other cuddling the knife between them like a puppy, her face burrowed into the hollow of his shoulder, rubbing her cheek against the sweat soaked material like a cat. He closes his eyes briefly, kisses the top of her head, breathing in the smell of vanilla shampoo and the faint perfume of her skin. The adrenaline is ebbing and he is aware of his bruises, the cuts and mini abrasions that he was able to ignore so effortlessly before but the minor pains are nothing compared to holding the warmth of her in his arms, supple curves and iron muscle beneath silken skin, feathered breath on his throat as she apologetically kisses the drying line of blood that her knife had caused mere moments earlier. He doesn’t care. As far as he’s concerned she could do almost anything to him and it wouldn’t be enough to balance the pure joy that he takes from moments like these when she is relaxed and plaint, humming with apology and pleasure in his arms. She shifts against him, a slim thigh clad in thin cotton pyjamas slipping between his own, the cotton rubbing against his exposed legs and his body surges in response, the aftermath of the fight suddenly making itself felt in other, more primeval ways.
She feels him twitch and laughs soundlessly, her body moulding itself even closer to him, looking up at him with eyes that are sparkling with amusement and mischief. Almost against his will he grins down at her, running his hand through her hair, carding the sweat soaked locks at the nape of her neck with his fingers and she purrs and arcs into his hand like a cat, bonelessly relaxed.
She reaches up to buzz a quick kiss across his lips before dropping back down onto the flats of her feet.
“Got it out of your system?”
She glances down and then up at him through her lashes, a little bit embarrassed and he smiles at her, laughing with his eyes just a little.
“I couldn’t sleep.”
“My skin felt like it was tight all over. And I had a headache.”
She sounds almost childish, her explanations simplistic but he knows what she is not saying, how the headaches used to make sleep impossible, how the remnants of the conditioning can sneak up on you in the middle of the night and leave you wanting to claw your skin off. The only way he knows to get rid of them is exercise, hard and violent exercise and when he was with Marie he used to slip out of one of the many places that they shared and run for miles until he couldn’t think any more and he couldn’t feel the touch of Treadstone, like a sweaty hand sliding proprietarily over his skin. But he doesn’t like it when she runs alone in the night and she is reluctant to leave him sleeping and vulnerable, not that either of them is ever really vulnerable, even when asleep, except perhaps emotionally and then only to each other.
So she dances her own ballet of slaughter alone in the small hours in their living room, spinning gracefully in katas that can last for hours, losing herself in an orgy of potential violence. But sometimes it takes her over, takes her back to the centre and Kirsch and her conditioning and at times like that, times like this, she needs him to pull her out of the abyss and he is glad to do it.
Even if it does cost him a few bruises.
He pulls her in even closer until she is splayed across him like a second skin, one big hand almost spanning her entire back.
“It’s okay now, right?”
She hums soundlessly, rubbing the top of her head against his jaw before looking up at him. Her eyes are a shadowed grey in the moonlight, the night washing the colour out of them and her skin is pale rather than the golden tan that it holds in the day but his heart clenches in his chest at how beautiful she is, the moonlight limning the contours of cheekbone and chin, casting mysterious shadows across the hollows of her throat.
“Yes. Sorry about…” she gestures eloquently in a way that somehow encompassed everything, from the bruises on both of them to the mess their encounter had no doubt made of the small apartment.
“It doesn’t matter.”
He leans down to kiss her and she reaches up eagerly, the sweetness of her mouth and the softness of her lips as they part for him so familiar that they felt more like home to him than anywhere else he can remember being. Even Marie didn’t make him feel like this, didn’t match him so perfectly in every way, female to his male, ying to his yang, opposites and so totally absolutely the same under the skin, fitting each other’s empty spaces until there is no empty space left. If they ever found her – his arms tighten involuntarily around her at the idea and she lets out a surprised gasp before casting her knife to one side and using both hands to cup his face as she deepens the kiss. He can feel everything that she is not able to say in that kiss, her loneliness and the pervasive fear of madness that consumed her before he came, her anxiety that some day she might wake up and find that they have taken him from her, the red wrath that she will rain down on anyone who hurts him or tries to separate them. And he can taste all this in her kiss for it is a mirror of what he feels too. She is home to him and he would destroy the world and then himself if they ever take her from him.
He only prays that he will never have to.
They break from the kiss and he stays close, feeling the puff of air on his cheek as she holds him, slim fingers stroking his skin, caressing over his cheekbones, butterfly fluttering over his closed eyelids. He smiles against her shoulder and then abruptly switches his grip on her waist before even she can react hoisting her up against him as she squeals, so she is forced to curl her legs around his waist to get purchase, hanging on to him like a monkey and frowning down into his amused face. She pretends to glare but her eyes are laughing.
“You better watch it buddy.”
“Or what?” He pulls away from the wall and starts to make his way back to their bedroom, still staring up at her as she tries to formulate an answer, but he can see how her concentration is slipping away as his fingers start to play an arpeggio with intention on her skin. She wiggles against him as his fingers hit a particularly sensitive spot and he gulps, his skin suddenly turning to fire. She giggles as she looks down, enjoying the glazed look in his eyes and he chuckles in response and moves faster towards the bed, tossing her down on the rumpled sheets and pouncing, covering her body with his own.
He nuzzles into the space between her shoulder and her throat and bites down gently, enjoying the way she gasps and squirms beneath him. It is yet another way that they are similar; they both like a little violence with their play. But then he props himself up on his elbows and just looks at her, lying trusting and relaxed beneath him, one slender leg hooked around his calves. The moonlight has turned her into a fairy creature, a gossamer sprite and she gazes up at him, eyes meltingly tender and he wonders once again at the fucked up luck that gave him this and how he could have possibly ever have deserved it.
She smiles up at him and reaches up a lazy hand to touch his face, her eyes softening even further as he presses a kiss into the palm of her hand.
“I love you David.”
He smiles into the palm of her hand and runs a finger across her cheek and the perfect cupid’s bow of her lips, smiling again as she presses a soundless kiss to his finger as it passes over her mouth.
“I love you too, Buffy. I always will.”
And then he leans down to kiss her again and the world goes away for a little while for both of them.
To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.