Wahey, my first fic post to this journal, and naturally it's an AU with an unusual pairing, just to be contrary.
Title: Debtors and Dead Men
Word count: 921
Warnings: Modern AU
Summary: The police will search every building and never find the ones responsible – the two ghosts slipping away into the growing light and a revolution rising with the sun.
A/N: For fortassetu
. Erm, not quite the drabble I'd intended. Or the idea I'd intended actually, but what can I say, I like to see some hot girls kicking ass and taking names.
Dawn breaks over the tops of the skyscrapers in a sudden horizontal arc of gold, sliding over smooth glass and sharp geometric angles to gild the faceless towers of sterile steel.
Morgana shifts on the rooftop, resettles herself; it’s almost time.
The concrete digs into her knee through the dark, worn denim of her jeans and she’s cold even under her layers of T-shirts and her loose hoodie. She hefts her rifle and settles the cool, smooth stock of it against her cheek, sighting down the scope at the hotel steps below and opposite, the glass doors and empty foyer. Nothing yet. She strokes the long barrel, fingers drifting up and down in a precise and absent pattern, tracing the gunmetal glint of the morning light, and waits.
She’s been waiting for over an hour already but she has patience. For this, she has all the time in the world.
Behind her she can hear Nimueh talking into her phone in a low, urgent voice before she snaps it shut with a harsh click, the sharp noise ringing loud in the quiet; up here even the occasional rumble of passing cars is muted and distant.
A few soft footsteps and then Nimueh crouches down beside her, close, their bodies touching in a welcome line of heat.
‘He’s on his way down,’ Nimueh murmurs, hand light and warm at the back of Morgana’s neck. She combs Morgana’s hair away from her face and presses a kiss just below her ear. ‘Soon,’ she promises. Morgana doesn’t look up or reply – she can’t let herself be distracted, not after they’ve come so far – but she smiles, private and vicious and her hands tighten on her rifle in readiness.
When Uther finally appears it’s a shot of adrenaline straight to her heart and her finger almost squeezes on the trigger. He strides out onto the steps with the easy confidence of a man who owns the world; he owns far less than that, of course, merely a country, and even less of that than he thinks. He stands there boldly in his immaculately tailored suit with his golden-haired son beside him and his bodyguards swarming round them both. She bares her teeth – Uther has forced her hand to this himself, taking liberties and lives that he has no right to, and it fills Morgana up with loathing and disdain and righteous anger, with personal grief for all that he’s done. There is no remorse in her for this man.
His private car is pulling up in front of the steps, windows tinted dark with bulletproof glass. This is all the window they have; the shot needs to be perfect. She tenses, so ready now with her goal in sight that every second more of waiting cuts at her nerves.
‘Easy,’ Nimueh says, her hand skimming down Morgana’s back with a gentle, familiar pressure. ‘Not yet.’
Morgana doesn’t need to be told – she’s seen this moment, dreamed this moment a hundred times and more; she knows exactly how it will go.
She tries to regulate her breathing into slow, even breaths through her nose but it quickens anyway, her heartbeat shrilling in her chest and her blood rushing thin in her veins, singing with the flood of oxygen. She imagines that her body is a machine, fine-tuned and perfect – synapses in the brain, sparking, running, thrilling through her nervous system into muscle and tendon, arm to wrist and wrist to finger, finger on the trigger and then the bare bullet firing down the barrel to the target, the target that is everything they’ve worked for. It doesn’t help; she can’t contain the euphoric rush of anticipation, the breathless wonder of finally coming face to face with her purpose, her destiny, the goal that has tortured all her restless nights.
Nimueh feels it too – her breath is just as shallow and as fast, slipping into the same headlong rhythm as Morgana’s, their chests rising and falling in sync, their blood burning in tandem through their veins. Nimueh’s eyes are wide and blue with fierce excitement and Morgana knows that her own are the same. She lets herself lean back into Nimueh, bracing herself against her as she lines up the shot and they wait, poised together, each breath, each pulse a flickering countdown.
In her mind’s eyes she can already see the way Uther’s body will fall, the exact pattern of his blood on the steps, the way his son will go to him, drop to his knees and try in vain to stem a dead man’s bleeding; by the time he gives up this place will be full of sirens and flashing blue lights reflecting from a thousand cold glass windows. The police will search every building and never find the ones responsible – the two ghosts slipping away into the growing light and a revolution rising with the sun.
‘Not yet,’ Nimueh says again, but she means ‘please’ and ‘now’ and her voice is reverent.
Morgana takes a breath, stills her thoughts. The moment swells, ripens – almost, almost – and Uther turns, mouth open on a laugh, and the moment locks. She feels it filling up her lungs, tastes the rich familiarity of this exact second, this one that she’s seen so many times, this one that she was born for, that has shadowed her every thought both waking and sleeping, its certain knowledge soaking right down to her bones.Yes,
she thinks, I know this. I remember this.
She savours it, and lets the bullet fly.