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Title: I Was A Ghost Before You Came
Author: Bigsciencybrain
Fandom: The Bourne Movies Series
Rating: R
Summary: Unable to trust the CIA, Bourne and Landy go into hiding after he escapes from the training facility.
Spoilers: Post-Ultimatum
Pairings: Bourne/Landy
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine. Bourne belongs to the Ludlum Estate and Universal Pictures. Landy, Vosen, Hirsch, Kramer, Paz, etc. belong to Frank Marshall, Tony Gilroy, and the rest of the series writers.
Notes: Written as a back-up gift for [livejournal.com profile] ficangel who requested... Jason Bourne/Pam Landy, or even gen featuring the two of them.




“Sir?” Wills leans into the conference room where Vosen has been exiled. “There’s someone asking for you.”

Vosen is too exhausted and strung thin to do more than look up over his coffee. “The entire Justice Department is parked in my office. You’re going to have to be more specific.”

“He’s says he’s not with the Justice Department.”

“I can’t discuss an ongoing investigation with reporters, you know that.” He lifts the mug to his lips just as a tall, broad shouldered man with a very distinctive scar cutting across the left side of his face muscles past Wills.

“Good thing I’m not a reporter.” One corner of the man’s lips turns up into a smile that makes Vosen’s blood turn cold.

“What are you doing here?” The last thing he wants is one of Kramer’s hired guns anywhere near him, let alone in the same building with the investigative team from the Justice Department. He knows Mark Reynolds only by reputation and, other than the scar, very little of that is credible fact. He’s a spook in the most literal sense of the word. There is no oversight, no protocol, and no Blackbriar umbrella for men like Reynolds.

“A mutual friend thought you might need some help.”

“Everything is under control.”

“That so,” Reynolds muses, looking around the conference room as though he’s casually wandering through a museum. “Have you found Bourne yet?”

“They’re searching the river as we speak,” Vosen answers tersely.

Reynolds chuckles softly; his hands are tucked into the pockets of his slacks, giving the russet trench coat he’s wearing the appearance of a cape. “Little Davey Webb. Who knew? Goes to show you can’t ever really know a man. What he’s really made of, deep down. Ever read the works of Shan Yu?”

“Should I have?”

“He had some interesting ideas.” He turns toward Vosen slowly, the chill inducing smile still firmly in place. “You’ve got a pest problem. I trust you have the means to fix it?”

“It will be taken care of.” Vosen isn’t sure what makes him angrier: Reynolds barging into his space without care or concern for how much damage his mere presence would do or the insinuation that Kramer doesn’t believe Vosen can handle the situation. “If Bourne’s body isn’t in that river, we have a good idea of who he’s with and the direction they’re heading. We found the car this morning.”

“Car?”

“Tom Cronin reported his vehicle stolen last night less than a block from the facility where Bourne was last seen. It was found abandoned this morning with Bourne’s blood in the backseat.” Vosen settles back into his chair, confident in their progress.

“Trail goes cold from there?”

“If we were looking for Bourne, yes. The man’s a damn ghost when he wants to be. But a Deputy Director of the CIA has no secrets we can’t find.” The sardonic smile doesn’t fade but Vosen has the distinct impression that Reynolds is suddenly more alert and more interested in what he has to say. “Pamela Landy didn’t come in today. There’s only one reason she would disappear and that is to protect Bourne.” He deliberately omits the fact that she faxed the Blackbriar Operations manual to the Justice Department.

“A man’s got to wonder why a Deputy Director would take such an interest in a man like Bourne.” Neither his voice nor his expression gives away any thought process that might be going on inside his head. Except for an extremely eerie smile, he’s a mask of disinterest.

“Whatever her interest, if we find her, we find Bourne. And we will find her.” Vosen sets down his mug with a forced attempt at finality. “Everything is under control.”

“Would this version of under control depend on the same asset who let Bourne go last night?” Reynolds voice turns icy, “I asked around. You were the one who fired on Bourne. The only one.”

Vosen has no answer to that. He didn’t even know the asset was on the roof until afterward. “How do you--”

Reynolds interrupts with a dismissive shrug. “Training must be pretty sloppy around here. Your man lost Bourne how many times? And you’re sure he’ll be able to find his own ass, let alone a Deputy Director on the run.”

“I have every faith in his abilities.”

“Never had much use for faith.”

Vosen isn’t sure why he finds that statement so ominous. It may simply be that Reynolds’ very presence makes the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. He hates lawlessness, hates the disrespect for authority that men like Reynolds always spread behind them. Men like him breed anarchy and chaos, selling anything and everything to the highest bidder. There’s no loyalty, no respect; there’s no control over a man who puts himself on the auction block. He nearly sighs with relief when Reynolds turns to leave.

“Tell your man I’ll be tagging along on this field trip. I’d sure feel bad if he choked again and I wasn’t there to do his job,” Reynolds says over his shoulder.

The distaste in Wills’ expression mirrors his own. Motioning for him to shut the door, Vosen takes a long sip of coffee. Hating the very thought of Reynolds stepping all over his operation, he mentally churns through the ways they could alert the asset to the unwanted shadow. “Did the investigators notice our guest?”

Wills shakes his head, glancing over his shoulder nervously. “Who was that, sir?”

“A rabid dog on a very long leash.”

***

It’s dark when Landy wakes, only the glow of embers casting pale illumination into the room. Shivering against the cold and feeling her way, she moves to the fireplace and pulls a handful of kindling from the basket on the hearth. Blowing gently, she coaxes a small flame from the coals. Fragile, flickering fire begins to eat into the narrow strips of wood. Once she’s satisfied that it won’t die out, she finds a medium size log to add.

With more light, she can see David in the chair. He’s asleep; curled and folded awkwardly into the side of the chair. The sheen of sweat over his forehead and face, despite the chill in the air, is worrisome. Unexpected physical contact with sleeping assassins, reformed or not, is dangerous; and it’s just as dangerous to startle a former Army Captain suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Risking a painful reaction, she moves to the chair and reaches out to touch his shoulder. “David? David, wake up.”

He comes awake as though he’s coming to life, with a sharp inhalation and his eyes suddenly wide open. His hand is clamped down on her wrist before she can pull back. He blinks several times, as though clearing away a veil to see who she is.

“How do you feel?” She watches him swallow hard, his brow furrowing as he struggles for words. “I need to take a look at your back. But first I need to get the generator going so I’ll have enough light.” When he moves to stand, she pushes him gently back into the chair and shakes her head. “Rest.”

She leaves him there, ignoring the knot of concern forming at the pit of her stomach. Pulling on her coat and gloves, she ventures outside into the night, her breath peeling out in a cloud before her. The full moon turns the snow-covered landscape into an eerie picture, full of shadows and dark magic. She doesn’t believe in magic anymore. There’s a flashlight hanging on the wall beside the door. The utility shed is where she remembers it and the key to the padlock still hidden beneath a false panel.

It’s as though she never left.

Once the door to the shed is open, however, the memories end. Instead of the dirt floor, she finds concrete. A new, high-powered generator waits for fuel in the far corner. She examines all of the markings and labels on the three tanker style drums along the wall before selecting one. Each of them has been fitted with a locking spigot to dispense gasoline and every one of them gleams. Carefully and deliberately, she pours out enough to fill a plastic container. Once that is full, she makes her way to the corner, eying the generator determinedly. If she’s capable of planning overseas covert operations, she can certainly figure out a single piece of machinery.

Remember Berlin?

She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, forcing thoughts of that very ugly Deputy Director meeting out of her mind. It was hardly her fault that Conklin sent Bourne to kill Wombosi, Bourne got amnesia, and Abbott shot himself.

The smile is involuntary. If she didn’t know better, she would’ve guessed that she’d woken up as a character in a spy novel.

With her courage and her grip on the container both readjusted, she approaches the generator and looks it over. The manufacturer must have anticipated exactly this occurrence because there are instructions embossed onto the casing of the machine itself. It’s a few simple steps and she’s pouring the gasoline into the creature made of steel and plastic. Once the container is empty, she crosses her fingers and turns it on. An overhead light comes awake above her and she exhales with relief.

The inside of the shed is the same and yet so much different than she remembers. The tools are new, but they’re still laid out like a surgeon’s instruments. Her fingers stray, reaching out to brush over a pair of heavy work gloves.

Come with me, Pam.

I want to see the world, Rick.

Why not see it with me? We can change the world together.


Remembering her purpose for venturing out into the cold, she shakes away the long-forgotten conversation with Rick and hurries back through the snow to the cabin. The memories of long ago have her rattled; she’s smart enough to admit it. But David is here, in the present, and he needs her.

She’s stripping off her coat as she reaches for the light switch inside the door. Light floods the entry. David is still where she left him; the dark circles under his eyes look worse in the shadowed living area. She fights down the need to turn on every light in the cabin as she moves back to the fireplace to add another, larger log to the now healthy fire.

“David?”

The look he gives her speaks volumes. He’s beyond tired, he’s lost everything that meant anything to him, and he just wants to be left in the quiet – in the shadows – to fade away. He looks as fragile as the fire she coaxed to life, as broken as the kindling she tossed into the hearth. In that moment, that instant, she wishes she could unravel his past and undo everything, every step that led him to her.

His hand closes around hers as she pulls him to his feet, slipping her arms around him to prop him up. One step at a time, she half leads, half carries him to the bedroom and eases his collapse onto the bed. Once again, instinct guides her; the feelings, the intuition, everything she discarded long ago in exchange for fact and analysis. She presses her palm against his forehead. His skin feels like it’s on fire. She helps him tug the t-shirt over his head and sets it aside. The gauze bandage on his back is dark with blood. He doesn’t wince as she pulls the tape away. The skin around the wound is an angry, inflamed red.

“Lie down.” She manages to keep her voice from shaking, just barely, and thinks only of what to do next as she retrieves the first aid supplies from the kitchen. Selecting a heavy ceramic bowl, she fills it with hot water before returning to the bedroom.

She washes away the dried blood, scrubbing as hard as she dares. Her hands are streaked with his blood, the water in the bowl darkening ominously. When she’s satisfied that the wound is clean, she pats it dry and slathers on as much antiseptic cream as she can. Praying she’s doing the right thing, or at least that she’s not doing more damage, she tapes fresh gauze to his skin.

“Try not to move,” she orders before leaving him to rest. She has to get away, has to wash the blood off of her hands.

It takes twenty minutes of scrubbing with scalding hot water and soap for her to be satisfied that her skin is clean. Once every trace of blood has been erased, she searches for a can opener. She may not be much of a nurse, but she can manage canned soup like a pro. Two cans of chicken noodle go into a heavy saucepan – I owe you, Rick – and onto the range to heat. With the smell of soup in the air, she realizes how hungry she is. First things first, she pours a tall glass of water and returns to the bedroom.

Brushing his shoulder gently, she crouches down at the side of the bed so she’s eye level with him. “You need to stay hydrated.” He nods ever so slightly as she sets the glass down on the floor.

Retreating to the kitchen, the minutes crawl by at an agonizingly slow pace before she can ladle the soup into two bowls. There’s a wooden chair against the wall in the bedroom that she turns into a makeshift table, setting the bowl and spoon within his reach. Setting her bowl down briefly, she opens the cedar chest at the foot of the bed and pulls out another heavy blanket to spread over him.

“You’ve been here before,” he says softly, startling her.

“A long time ago.”

Shifting his weight, he pushes himself into a sitting position and leans back against the carved wooden headboard. “I found pictures. Of you.”

Following his gaze, she sees the envelope on the bed for the first time. Her heart is practically in her throat as she reaches for it. Inside the paper is a pile of slick photographs that bring a wave of memories crashing down around her. She has to stop, sinking down on the corner of the bed as she flips through them. In her determination to keep the past in its place, she never kept any of the mementos from that summer. Even the postcards were discarded after she read them a hundred times. At the very bottom of the pile is one awkwardly framed picture; Rick holding the camera at arm’s length to get a picture of the two of them, their heads pressed together and both of them smiling. He’s just as she remembers him, beautiful blue eyes and cropped brown hair that always seemed to have a mind of its own.

“His name was...is...Rick,” she tells him absently, lost in her own thoughts. “I never saw him again after that summer. We went our separate ways and that was it. But I never forgot this place.”

“You never told anyone.” It’s a statement rather than a question.

“One person. She died several years ago. Cancer.” Her fingers are shaking and she has to force them to set the pictures aside. Being here wasn’t supposed to bring up so many ghosts, so many unanswered questions. It wasn’t supposed to make her life feel so empty. The happiness in those pictures is something she’s never felt again but, without the tangible reminder, she hadn’t felt the loss of it.

When he speaks again, his voice is rough and thick with emotion she doesn’t see reflected in his face. “I burned it all. Her passport, pictures of us, everything. One picture is all I have left of her.” It’s his attempt to connect with her on a personal level, however tenuous and ill advised it may be.

Her stomach growls a reminder that there’s a bowl of soup waiting to be eaten. She has to focus on the present, on the now, if she’s going to get through this. This new world, without cell phones and staff meetings and all of her carefully planned routine, has her floundering for control and understanding. Her first impulse is to quantify, to define, and to fit Jason Bourne into a neatly defined box; a pursuit doomed to fail.

It’s tempting to retreat to another room, away from the raw intensity that electrifies the air around him and the unexpected vulnerability she feels now that he knows. With a handful of photographs and a five-hour drive, he knows more about her than anyone else in her life.

“Try to get some sleep,” she tells him awkwardly.

“You’ve never done this before. Taken care of someone.” There’s a hint of amusement in his voice.

“I had an aquarium once. The fish didn’t last very long.” She smiles, always preferring to face reality rather than run from it.

“Do you regret it?”

She’s not sure if he’s alluding to Rick, the death of her fish, or the suddenly glaring absence of family and romantic entanglements in her life. She answers him point blank, choosing not to shy away from a potentially painful topic. “Long hours, frequent travel, and what I do everyday isn’t dinner conversation. I can’t ask anyone else to make that kind of sacrifice. I can’t put them in that position. And you may have guessed already that I’m not the easiest person to get along with.”

“Marie wanted,” he pauses to reach for his water. Moving forward, she gets to it first and presses it into his hand. “She wanted a family.”

“But she knew you couldn’t.”

He nods slightly. “Sometimes, I could see it. How sad it made her.”

“David.” The carefully planned words stick in her throat. She wants to tell him that he doesn’t have to keep talking. He doesn’t have to pour out his secrets to her. But part of her can sense that he doesn’t understand why he’s telling her these things; he’s simply compelled to tell someone what’s been bottled up inside him since Marie died. She hesitates in asking, but more than anything wants to move the subject of conversation back to safer ground. “I’ve been meaning to ask. About Tangiers. About Nicky.”

“She’s alive.” He looks years older than he is, watching her with a tense sadness. “They’ll come after you like they came after her. You know they will. That’s why you’re here.”

That reminds her of the remaining files tucked inside the backpack. The precious information she risked her life, and threw away a hard earned career for, still contained inside of them. “I hope, with the information you gave me, that I can find a way to end this for good. For both of us.”

“Everything I find just makes it worse. I started looking for my name, for who I was. Then I...I wanted to know why. How it started. I thought it would make a difference.”

“Did it?”

There’s a hint of a smile as he takes another long drink from the water glass. “I chose this. I volunteered.”

There’s nothing she can tell him that will make any difference now. It’s not simple, she knows that and he knows it as well. “So did I. So did Nicky. You had your reasons. Maybe they were the right reasons, maybe they weren’t. What matters is what you do now.”

“I won’t go back,” he says with unexpected force.

“You could do a lot of good. Have you considered that?”

“Not enough.”

“Will it ever be enough?” She meets his gaze evenly, refusing to look away under the weight of it.

“What do you want from me?”

The question is sincere; she can hear the weary confusion in his voice. He doesn’t understand why she pulled him out of the river, why she brought him to the safest place on earth that she could think of. She’s not sure how to answer him. She doesn’t know why she feels so compelled to reach out to him, to protect him. Looking away, her eyes fall on the envelope of photographs. They’re a stark reminder of where she came from, of all her hopes and dreams, and of everything she passed up on her way to a Deputy Director office at the CIA. “I gave up everything else for the chance to serve my country. Because I thought I could make a difference, that I could help people. I thought I could save lives.”

“Even mine?” His eyes are almost closed and she can see weariness in the lines of his face.

She manages a smile. “Especially yours.”

Once she’s sure the conversation is over, she leaves him to rest in solitude. Rubbing her arms against shivers that may or may not be from the cold, she adds another log to the fire before returning to the couch and blanket. In an attempt to pull her mind away from the past, she dumps out the rest of the files from David’s backpack and begins to sort through them.

There has to be something – a reason why - she can use as a bargaining chip.

Date: 2008-03-11 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ficangel.livejournal.com
Hi, I haven't had a chance to comment before now, but I am loving this fic. You're doing a great job of exploring both Pam and Jason (and the relationship between them).

Date: 2008-03-16 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigsciencybrain.livejournal.com
YAY! I just hope I can pull the rest of it off...*crosses fingers*
(deleted comment)

Date: 2008-03-16 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigsciencybrain.livejournal.com
Now if I can just manage to do the "/" part of the "Bourne/Landy" request without screwing everything up. LOL

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