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“Due caffè per favore”

The words flow from Villanelles mouth, sing song and perky. Warmth engulfs Eve, sitting outside the cafe, hands in her lap and realizing a waiter had popped up next to her. She hadn’t heard his steps, had no recollection how they even made it to this place. Her mind was in a strange state, caught between empty and then flooding with terror. Back and forth, back and forth.

“Can I have your biscuit?”

Blinking Eve looked up, finding herself almost blinded by the sun behind Villanelle. The younger woman looked at her imploringly, then down at something. Following her eyes Eve found the Espressi had arrived and wonders briefly at time flying. There is a biscuit delicately laid on a plate, espresso cup on it. Her nostrils flare but there is no smell of coffee and she stares emptily at the biscuit.

“Eve?”

A hand lays on hers and Eve flinches, pulling her hand away from the contact. The sun heating the street by them is the only thing Eve smells, warm dirt.

“Take it.”

She doesn’t care about the damn biscuit, nor the coffee. She feels she would retch would she drink it, her stomach a knot of angry emotions swelling inside.

“You look pale Eve. Maybe you should eat something. A Bruscetta?”

Eve is used to the absolute calm from Villanelle towards situations that make her want to scream. But the blase tone infuriates Eve and She grips the warm table, nails scratching on the surface as she tries to reign in her emotions.

“No.”

“Are you quite alright Eve?”

She glares up at Villanelle and the damn sun behind her, making it almost impossible to see that delicate face, haloing the younger woman where there should be no halo. Like a Saint she sits across from her, sipping the espresso with sheer boredom.

“Nothing is alright.”

Because she killed a man. Eve killed for her. Hacking at the body in absolute anger, hacking away her innocence at the same time. The feelings inside her rage, bubbling up and she wants to be just a bit like her. Just a bit emotionless so she can deal with the aftermath of her murdering a man.

For Villanelle! She killed to save Oksana.

That is what she keeps telling herself. She killed only for Villanelle, to save her, keep her alive. The pit in her stomach grows and its searing as if it wants to rip her apart. There is no going back now. She murdered.

“All will be fine.”

Anger explodes inside of her at the empty words spoken with such bored fashion at her. She stands suddenly, staring down at the woman across, hands in fists at her side.

“Oh do sit back down Eve! See you made yourself bleed again! You are causing quite the scene!”

Exasperation now, the tone deflates Eve, makes her want to cower. The words don’t register at first, but as they do her gaze follows hers, down to her belly where blood is spreading across her clothing, fast. Gasping she sits, holding the spot. That searing feeling centered in the wound.

“Villanelle!”

The world around you is devoid of any sound, only her voice is clear through the fog.

“I am...bleeding, please…”

Sweat breaks out on her skin, Eve feels clammy and something between hot and cold. Villanelle finishes her coffee and shrugs.

“You made me angry. You have to stop doing that”

She is confused at first but then she remembers. She remembers the ruins, talking to Villanelle, being angry. Why was she angry?

“Did you hurt me?”

There is no answer just another long stare before a red mouth is padded with the napkin, a biscuit is unwrapped and Eve can only stare as Villanelle eats it slowly.

She feels no blood trickle through her hands and briefly she wonders if the bleeding had stopped. Her eyes wander back down, her clothing dark with blood, sticky too. She feels it pull at her skin.

“You hurt me first!”

Her head turns sharply at the angry tone, she gets dizzy from the sudden move, mouth flooding with bile. Villanelle’s hands are fists on the table, working angrily, nails digging into soft skin.

“It’s your fault. You knew better than to talk to me like this.”

Her words are explosive but Eve can barely hear them, as all she hears is the rush of blood in her ears.

“Oksana….”

She gasps for air as pain explodes in her belly, angry white hot pain.

Villanelles eyes soften suddenly and she stands, making it to Eve’s side and crouching next to her chair. A hand grasps hers tenderly but Eve feels no touch, only pain.

Muffled Villanelle’s voice tries to break through to her.

“Please help me!”

She is bleeding out in a fucking cafe in fucking Italy after she killed a fucking guy for Oksana. Cold sweat lines her skin as she gets more and more dizzy from blood loss.

“I can’t Eve...I am sorry.”

“Why...why...please!”

She doesn’t feel Oksana’s hand on her face, does barely hear the soft whisper of the blonde. Her eyes are flitting back and forth, table, Villanelle, table, Villanelle.

“I am not here.”

“I am not here.”

“I am not here.”

“I am not here.”

“I am not here.”

“I am not here.”

“I am not here.”

Over and over and that’s all she hears as she succumbs to the pain, tears rolling down her cheeks. Eve heaves and every labored breath makes the pain worse. Her eyes close and her world tilts, and Eve is falling and falling until she feels hard ground under her body, tastes dirt as she sucks in a pained breath.

The last thing she hears is a whispered: “I am sorry.” and she doesn’t know if she hears it or imagines it. Sirens start blaring in the distance and Eve wonders if it is too late. And maybe she will die but then at least her guilt will die with her. She has murdered a man and now she was murdered in turn and possible that was the fairest outcome.

Eve’s fingers are raw and bloody from scratching at the ground of the Ruins, futile tries to get away from the situation. They spasm harshly and then stop.

“ ‘s ok.”

And then a deep, painful breath sucked in before she closes her eyes a final time.

Chapter Text

“You...you want me to what!?”

His voice is booming through the speaker of the burner phone and Villanelle sighed exasperated. She had made quite clear what she needed him to do. There was absolutely no need to yell in such a rude fashion. She pouted, then rolled her eyes.

“Go to the Hospital in Tivoli and check for Eve Polastri.”

She yelled, almost wondering if reception is spotty in the countryside and that is why he asked to repeat herself. She hates to repeat herself. Konstantin knows that.

“Villanelle! What have you done this time?!”

Anger flared in Villanelle and she thinks she should stop the car for a moment, instead she accelerates further. She hadn’t done anything. It was Eve’s fault! Eve was always hurting her, Eve never understood. Eve had refused to go with her. Eve deserved it! Absolutely. No discussion! Eve with her stupidly amazing hair, halo around her head as she laid in the dirt, blood seeping from her weak body. Stupid Eve with her stupid guilt and her stupid convictions about things.

“I need you to hide Eve Polastri.”

Stupid Eve, that had gotten so tangled up in the web of lies that were spun around them. Stupid weak Eve, that would probably be killed by the 12 or Carolyn’s people. She shouldn’t have refused to come with her. Villanelle would have kept Eve save forever. Save and only for herself. No one would ever be allowed close again. Just them, somewhere, together.

“I AM SPEAKING TO YOU!”

The booming voice broke Villanelle out of her inner angry rant and apparently she had missed something he had tried saying to her.

“DON'T YEEEEEEELL AT ME!”

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN DON’T YELL! What have you gotten yourself into THIS TIME?”

She hits the breaks furiously, turning the wheel and driving the stolen car onto the side of the street.

“Stupid Eve…”

She muttered, then heard protesting on the other side of the line.

“You owe me Konstantin!”

“OWE you what Villanelle? You kidnapped my daughter! You tried to kill me!”

They both knew in a world of assassins and spies and secret power hungry factions, owing someone was not as clean cut as one might feel. They owed each other nothing. But Konstantin was the only one Villanelle trusted at least a bit.

She closed her eyes and remembered the ruins. Stupid Eve and her stupid argument. They had been so close to leaving together. Why hadn’t Eve understood the only safety was to be found with Villanelle?

“And I will do it again if you don’t help her! This time I will aim better! You used me Konstantin...”

There is that sigh again. She always imagined this was the heavy sigh of a father, annoyed by his daughters antics, still succumbing to her begging for something. Because he loves her. Because she is family and Villanelle had believed he might feel a bit like this for her. Just a bit.

She hears him sit down heavily and at least he is pondering it now. Any other person would sweeten her words now, make him feel like she is soft and begging. But they both knew better and Villanelle knew she couldn’t bullshit him this time.

“What do you mean stupid Eve? What happened Villanelle?”

She was sure this is what shame must feel like, that sinking feeling in her gut.

“It isn’t my fault. She was supposed to come with me.”

All of a sudden she can not even bring herself to say what she had done.

“She is not save! Either the 12 or Carolyn…”

She hears Konstantin drum his fingers on a table.

“Tell me what you did”

“No!”

Petulantly, like a five year old.

“NOW VILLANELLE!”

She rolls her eyes and makes a ‘harumph’ sound.

“Shot her….”

It is barely audible.

“YOU DID WHAT?!”

“I said I love her and she did not say it back!”

As if that somehow made it fair.

“She hurt me first. No one ever cares when I am hurt.”

And it was true! She was just supposed to be hurt over and over, rejected by everyone.

“Oh Villanelle…”

Everyone always used her and then rejected her. Anna had been the same. Stupid Anna with her stupid hair and stupid husband. Anna who seduced her and made her feel like she was worth something. Stupid Anna who made her fall in love, made her feel home. Stupid Anna an der stupid husband who had dared touch her, who dared trying to rape her. Everyone always treated her like dirt. She had to function but never ask for anything in return.

Pain on her palm alerted Villanelle to her nails digging painfully into her own skin. The anger flared again. How dare she always be treated like this! And then she felt small and unbelievably alone. Because she knew with the 12 against her now, there was no cover and stupid Eve…decided against her too.

“Please.”

It’s short and she wonders if Konstantin can hear some of the desperation she feels.

“I will send you the name of a place...just bring her there. Nothing more.”

Her hand grips the steering wheel tightly, the faux leather making creaking sounds under the pressure.

“What if you killed her?”

Nostrils flare, a tiny bit of fear is like lead in her belly.

“I didn’t shoot to kill!”

She had really wanted to hurt Eve. She had wanted it so much, to make her feel the pain she had felt. It had seemed like poetry to shoot the same spot where Villanelle had her scar from their last encounter.

She heard Konstantins resolve falter.

“What about you?”

She cant tell him, they both know this. He is still too close to her enemies on both sides.

“I need to clear up some things.”

She had always hidden money and weapons away should she ever need it. Many of the places she had traveled to, held a cache of stuff.

“I...can pay you.”

For some reason Villanelle needed to make absolutely sure he would do this one thing for her.

“No Villanelle...You will owe me.”

It’s the only deal she knows he will honor. If she owes him, he has something of worth from her, something much more powerful than money.
It would be easier to decline now. Not bind herself to him further like this. And then she saw Eve again.

**

Lying there all pale, tears seeping from her eyes, breath heaving, the name Oksana falling from her lips as her hands moved relentlessly against the stone. She remembers the smell of iron, fresh blood, as she crouched next to Eve and watched her for a moment, the reality of what she had done settling on her. She had stared and dialed 118 and called an ambulance.

“I’m sorry…:”

Fell from her lips and when she realized the depth of that feeling, she stood, turned and walked away from her victim almost missing the “ ‘s ok” .

**

“Fine…”

She swallows hard. She had done many bad things in her life. Somehow making this deal though felt worse.

“Send the info”

Was all he said before hanging up on her. Deal Done. Although she had no more soul to sell.

Stupid Eve Polastri...

Chapter Text

Eve floats in and out of consciousness, never awake for long, her drug muddled brain trying hard but never succeeding in staying up for more than a few minutes. She has no idea how long this goes on for, only that when she is awake her head feels as if it is filled with cement, eyes barely able to focus, throat parched and this excruciating pain in her belly.

One time she is awake, her hand actually follows her orders and she feels it inching towards where the pain radiates from, she is almost there to touch, when a hand grasps hers.

Musically the italian floats around her. She understands nothing and maybe she frowned adequately but it causes a switch in the language.
Broken english hits Eve’s ears and she can not understand much but: awake, happy and uncle.

She shakes her head but feels the painkiller pull her under once more and tries hard to open her eyes, mumble something. Did she hear uncle?

For a little moment Eve gets her eyes to open, blearly adjusting to the light in the room. There must have been a light source next to her, everything else was bathed in relative darkness and Eve is grateful for it because she guesses it’s better than blinding brightness.

Her head lolls and in the corner of that room a man sits in a chair, staring at her silently. Her painkiller reaction is something between confusion and shock and she wants to say not uncle but instead says:

“Uncle?”

Konstantin reacts with the perfect precision of someone having held such a charade up before. Eve’s eyes close and she takes deep breaths trying to keep awake, the danger of the moment somehow registering with her. The wound on her side is burning painfully, making her gasp.

“Yes my dear. I am here.”

His accent is heavy, she hears his footsteps, feels a hand squeeze hers. He must have leaned in because his voice is so close.

“No worries now”

“Please...please...please…”

She whimpers and the nurse seems to take this as her cue, She feels her arm being touched, then cold spreads along her vein and she is sucked down into sleep again, the pain in her belly fading.

Eve has no idea how much later she wakes the next time but this time warm light floods the room and she groans as she wakes, the light way to bright. She blinks rapidly and takes deep breaths, smacking her lips and feeling that they are chapped from dryness.

Soon she feels a presence next to her. A spoon presses against her lips, cold wetness opening her mouth even against her will. The ice chips are much needed and she realizes this could be used as a form of torture.

She knows who is next to her, she refuses to open her eyes again.

“I know you are awake Eve Polastri. We do not have much time. So listen well. Right now authorities are made to believe you were mugged and murdered in the Villa Adrian. You died en route to the hospital, your body will sadly end mixed up. Things happen, this is italy. The 12 will hopefully just take that and concentrate on finding Villanelle. Carolyn will just accept it because you being gone, vanishing completely, is better than her having to explain how you ended up killing a man with an axe. As soon as you are awake long enough I have arranged for you to vanish from this room. No questions will be asked.”

His voice was no nonsense, precise and Eve concentrates but finds herself wondering if this was the voice Konstantin used for Villanelle and her contracts.

“Why?”

She rasps, swallowing thickly, trying to not even think about the part with her murdering someone, because if she does, she will end up a crying, screaming mess.

“Want to stay here and see who comes here first? The 12 or a rogue MI6?”

He is not bullshitting. Eve knows that for sure.

“She...shot me.”

“Yes. But she also made a very bad deal with me to ensure you are safe.”

There was no trusting any of the sides in this. Carolyn had lied over and over again and hadn’t even hidden it. The 12 wanted her dead for turning their favourite assassin into Carolyn’s tool and for killing Peel. And Villanelle...had shot her.

“Why?”

An annoyed sigh from Konstantin and she could feel his eye roll.

“I will not even try to understand Villanelle’s motives for what she does Ms Polastri. She shot you, called you an ambulance and as soon as possible arranged for me to bring you to a safe location. I am in this for the deal. I will fulfill the deal. I don’t think I would survive, should you refuse and something happen to you. But let us be honest: You have no real choice.”

Her eyes glossed over with tears that stemmed from anger and absolute frustration to what was happening to her. Konstantin was right, there was no other route she could take. In a safe location she could at least think of what to do next. She could try to find a way out.
Lips trembled as Eve nodded her head in acceptance and Konstantin gave her more ice chips.

“Good! Good! As soon as you can be transported then.”

He clapped his hands happily and she jumped a little at the loudness of it. A boisterous laugh escaped him and in the back of her mind Eve wonders if that was because he really feared something would happen and knowing Villanelles wrath would be upon him.

“Where...is she?”

She doesn’t really want to know but then she does and it’s confusing.

“Gone. She didn’t tell me. I don’t want nor need to know.”

It is not long after that question that Eve falls asleep again.

The next day marks the first time she is awake for a little longer. A nurse slips in, redresses her wound and nods strangely to Konstantin, who hands her an envelope. After that Eve finds herself being dressed by said nurse in wide clothing, hat on, put into a wheelchair and before she can protest that she is in pain from all the manhandling, she feels that cold sensation in her elbow again, looks down and sees the venous catheter still there, a syringe emptied into the entrance.

Everything blurs as the nurse rolls her out of the room.

 

The next time Eve wakes she finds herself in absolute agony. Clothing clammy from sweating and retching from the pain radiating throughout her, centering from the wound and radiating outward. Each tiny movement makes it worse and she realizes they must be moving in a car and it’s a bumpy ride. Her gasp alerts the driver and the car stops after a little more.

Konstantin looks at her unfazed and Eve wonders how often he had transported someone in such a state. Wordlessly he hands her pills and water.

“Good you are awake this time. Take this.”

She does, hoping the stuff is as strong as whatever the nurse kept giving her, because that had her out in a minute flat.
No such luck. She stares wide eyed through the front window hoping to just die from the pain, the bandage irritating her skin and making it all even worse. They are in the middle of nowhere. It looks hot and dry. Like italy.

“You want to lay in the back?”

Her neck screams yes and she knows everything will be better than sitting in the front.

“Not much longer till we reach the first safe house.”

Eve’s breathing comes ragged, hands in fists to ward of some of the pain. She turns and looks at the older man confused.

He rolls his eyes, unused to non assassin people questions.

“We can not use planes to get to where it is safe. Too official, too many cameras. We need to drive some of the way in cars. Some parts can be done via trains. It will take a bit.”

Later she would realize just how long it took to get across countries without people noticing you.

Chapter Text

The First week and a half Konstantin and Eve used mostly cars to get from safe location to safe location. Through the backlands of Italy, Austria, lower Germany across to France. They used mainly country roads and Konstantin easily found places for them to stay. Had Even not been in pain most of the time, the pills dulling it but not all of it, she would have been more fascinated than she was.

When you looked at Konstantin, heard his tender voice, you would believe him someone’s caring uncle, father or Grandfather. He was a smooth talker and knew his way around. He wasn’t in the least bit harsh. Just easily annoyed. He didn’t like questions being asked.

“Since I was made handler for Villanelle there is only questions in my life and arguing.”

He complained one day, but his eyes did shine fondly. Eve had learned, before their little road trip, that there was a soft spot in the ex KGB agent for the Assassin.

The day had started badly. Eve didn't feel too good and even the painkiller hadn't helped much, his driving made her queasy and combined with the pain she was grumpy.

“You need to eat ….”

“I already said ….”

“..something! It is really Im….”

“Stop mentioning food I feel sick…”

“But Eve..”

“I dont know why you keep…”

“I am only looking out for you!”

“Not hungry!”

He sighed heavily and stared ahead.

“I am just saying Eve…”

“For fucks sake Konsta…”

“DO NOT curse at me!”

“Then stop with the food!”
Nostrils flared, a deep calming breath was taken and his hands gripped the steering wheel tightly.

“Is it your Period?”

“WHAT? NO!”

“I am just asking! Irina is always angry with me then…”

“I am NOT talking with you about…”

“...always short...”

“Oh my GOD! Would you please…”

“Always not eating…do I need to get you tampons?”

“You know what? FINE! I will eat!”

Eve grabbed the bag of food from the space between her feet, she just needed the russian to shut up about periods. Konstantin had handed her the things this morning after waking her and getting her into the passenger seat. She rummaged only for a second before she just grabbed a packed sandwich, lips pressed in a thin fine line as she unwrapped it. Eve ate, with annoyance. What a ridiculous situation.

She ate the stale bread and had to admit that some of the sickness vanished afterwards. The pain was just always there. Always a reminder of Villanelle. After she had finished her half of the sandwich she unwrapped the other and wordlessly handed it to Konstantin. He took it with a soft ‘thanks’ and ate while driving. Her head was back against the side window, staring out at the passing tree’s.

When she was younger and someone entirely else, Eve would have loved taking a road trip through France. Right now she just felt overwhelmed and tired.

“We need to stay here a few nights. There is a place they don’t know about”

His voice broke through to her and she nodded numbly. ‘Them’ was all parties involved. The 12, MI6 and Villanelle.

“Do you want to know why?”

Konstantin probed, having learned from Villanelle that somehow the secrecy and spy stuff excited Eve Polastri.

“You said the questions annoyed you.”

That exasperated sigh again and Eve wondered how close to the brink Villanelle and his own daughter drove him sometimes. Both were in his words “notoriously annoying”. From the glove compartment she grabbed her antibiotics and painkillers, swallowing them down quickly with some water.

“I have a contact who will make you new papers. Identification, Birth certificate, bank account. But it takes a bit. You need to choose a name.”

Eve’s heart fell. Of course. They were hiding her. She could of course not be Eve Polastri any longer. She was actually dead.

His large hand landed on hers, Konstantin had seen her frown.

“It’s never easy. But the only way to hide you.”

“I ...know.”

God wouldn’t Eve from a year ago have felt elated at the idea of going deep undercover like this? Stupid, childish Eve.

Konstantin broke the awkward contact by squeezing her small hand one last time.

There was no chit chat in the car for the rest of the drive. They arrived at a small cottage in the middle of nowhere, en route to Nantes, by late afternoon. They had stopped at a grocery store to buy more things and for some odd reason, she had found Tampons in the grocery bag, Konstantin had bought them. They had both stared and blushed, closed their mouths tightly and not said a thing to it.

Once at the cottage they only took inside the most important things, always ready to vanish if need be. There is a routine to everything Konstantin does once inside. Eve has to wait at the door, he checks the rooms, regards them for long moments, until he is satisfied no one has been there a while. Then he checks all the windows, closes blinds or shutters to hide their presence better. Once he is happy with his once over he marches Eve inside.

“Not as comfy as the other one…”

He mumbles almost as an apology.

“It’s fine.”

Eve didn’t really care, she just felt tired and cranky from the pain. All she wants to do is eat and then sleep. Sleep and sleep and always hope she will wake from this nightmare. She never does and each morning she goes to wash up and redress her bullet wound, she is harshly reminded of the things that had happened. Killing Raymond. The feeling of the axe slamming into his body, Breaking his skin and bones. The smell of blood, the sound. The hatred she felt that moment. Because she thought he was killing Villanelle and that only she, Eve Polastri, could save the girl in need.

It was all lies. And ever since she walked into that ruddy office in London, which smelled funny, everything had been a lie. She had been used and cajoled and manipulated. At some point it had stopped to be about finding a murderer and Eve had wandered into the dark underbelly of crime. She thought she could play the spy game just as well, only to be bested and ‘tsked’ at by Carolyn Martens over and over. Master puppeteer.

So when Peele died in front of her, when Eve realized how every little thing had been a lie and planned, she had been ready and willing to leave with Villanelle. There was nothing left for her in this world but hide away. She had killed Raymond and some part of her was relieved when he was dead at her feet. But even that was just a lie and she felt thrown back and forth in that web that had been woven around her. Always lied to, always used for some other scheme. No one could be trusted and even that one person who she thought...but no. How could she ever forget that Villanelle was not some young girl thrown into a bad world.

“Eve….I asked if you want some of that soup and bread.”

Blinking Eve looked up from her position at the kitchen table, hands angry fists in her lap.

“Sarah Yang”

Konstantin stared at her for a little while, then nodded and brought her soup and bread.

 

He placed the call later that night with another burner phone he had purchased.
Sarah Yang: born a year later than her (“too much age difference won’t be believable...not that you look old”), in summer instead of Winter. Only Child to immigrant parents, which had passed away in an accident of her choosing (“No living family means harder to connect you”). Barely passed school and never went to university (“It’s hard enough to forge simple school records”), always in and out of odd jobs and never staying anywhere long (“Easier to explain why you have no work credentials”).

She knew of course he had done this often enough but the swiftness with which all of this was done still made her wonder: how many identities did Konstantin Vasiliev have?

Eve sat, bowl of soup half eaten and pushed away, at the table. Her head had turned heavy with emotions as Konstantin repeated the story over and over and soon it laid on the cold wood surface, a tear escaping unbidden from her eye.

Goodbye Eve Polastri. Goodbye Niko Polastri who was maybe now informed his wife was killed in a “mugging”, probably already knowing who had really ‘happened’ to her.

Maybe Niko would be relieved and maybe she was a bit relieved that she didn't have to return to the mess she had made of her perfectly normal, boring life. Boring and naive Eve Polastri was dead. Her boring marriage was long over. Still the feeling was heavy inside of her chest. She paid the price for stupidly wishing for a more challenging and less boring live.

Stupid Eve Polastri.

Chapter Text

They stayed for 4 days in the little cottage in the middle of nowhere in the french countryside. 4 days of waiting for new papers but also giving herself some moments to heal. The bumpy car rides had stressed Eve’s wound and she had been worried of it not healing well under these conditions. Konstanting had told her early on there was no way he could get her another doctor, it would draw way too much attention and questions.

Eve Polastri had fallen from the face of the earth and now Sarah Yang was quizzed daily about her new credentials.

Konstantin had just returned from the closest little town with fresh groceries and things for her to keep her wound clean. He referred to her as Sarah now.

“Can you please stop quizzing me on this?”

“No, not until you can do this in your sleep. This is the most important step. Once we arrive at our destination you must be Sarah Yang. People notice slip ups in strangers too fast.”

Konstantin explained and handed her disinfectant and bandages.

Eve sighed but nodded. She knew he was right, Hell she knew simply because he was the KGB spy and she was just former boring Eve.

“Name?”

“...Sarah Yang…”

“You have any siblings Miss Yang?”

“No… I was an only child.”

“Where do your parents live?”

“They are dead.”

Konstantins eyes were burning through her. He nodded as if he decided to stop grilling her for now. But Eve knew he would return with questions at strange times, trying to catch her off guard.

“Show me your wounds. I want to see if they heal properly.”

Eve blinked strangely and their eyes met. Her mind hitched suddenly, as if a light was switched on inside of her head. The answer came natural and without so much of a thought.

“I have no wound. I don't know what you are talking about.”

Konstantin nods short and appreciative and in a way Eve feels a bit of pride of having done something right.

“I’ll make us some dinner.”

Eve said then,but found Konstantin's answer was a frown as he pulled away the bags of groceries from her reach, clearly trying to find the right words.

“I would like to live…last night was enough.”

It hadn't been that bad! She was hurt and under constant stress. It at least didn't taste as charred as it looked.

A pout bloomed on her face as she watched Konstantin pull things from the bag and then swiftly throw something easy together. He never seemed to have time, always in a hurry. She got it really, she knew they had to be able to leave swiftly if need be.

“Where…is she sending me?”

Would Villanelle hide her away from the face of the earth in some lonely place like this? Would it be the ultimate possession of her? Alone and waiting for the murderer to return, maybe finish what she started?

“Place called Tongue, Scotland. Never heard of it before.”

He pushes a plate towards her, then pulls it back again as she tries to reach for the sandwich.

“Show me your wounds.”

“I don't know what….”

“No test this time. We put too much stress on it.”

He sounds almost like a father now and Eve sighs and grabs the hem of the baggy pullover she was wearing. Baggy because all the clothing she owned now had been purchased by konstantin and for most of it he must have just grabbed things and paid. She lifted it just enough to reveal the bandage and with her other hand she peeled the corner of the tape, then pulled.

The skin was angry red around the scar but she checked everyday if there was signs of infections.

“The redness…?”

She asks him because Eve thinks Konstantin must know this stuff.

“From the Tape. I think you might be a bit allergic.”

He says and walks around the corner, bending down for a closer look.”

“Any feeling heat in the wound? Oozing that isn't blood”

“No. Just…the pain from it…”

He nods understanding. Repeats the check over on the entry wound on her back.

“You kept it clean well. It will hurt a long time but, and this is no consolation, she made sure she hit nothing vital. Just a flesh wound yes?”

Eve rolled her eyes exasperated and dropped the pullover on her wound.

“Oh lucky me!”

She replied with dripping and scathing sarcasm in her voice.

Both of Konstantin’s hands went up in an excusing fashion.

“You know what I mean. A shot hitting organs and I wouldn't have been able to get you out so fast.”

“None of this is right or excusable Konstantin.”

“Well of course not. But she is who she is. You knew that before. You still played cat and mouse with her.”

Walking back around the counter, Konstantin weathered Eve’s glare like a man that had too many crazy women in his life.

“Maybe she even did you a favor.”

He mumbled and pushed her plate towards her, shrugged with one shoulder.

“By shooting me, By tricking me into killing someone?”

Eve tried to keep her voice low but the anger laced each word.

“Why not let her get killed then?”

Could she have walked away? Could she have let Raymond squeeze the life out of Villanelle? He would have probably come at her next.

“I…don’t want to think about it”

Konstantin shrugged uncaring.

“Ok. But one day you will anyways.”

“We…were used.”

He bit into his ham and cheese sandwich and nodded. Took a sip from the piping hot tea and seemed to sink into his thoughts. Minutes of silence and only chewing passed between the two and Eve tried so hard to make her mind stop screaming inside.

“She is always used. Villanelle...was a tool. A tool that now decided to stop doing what people want.”

It sounded so callous to Eve. So matter of fact.

“She was convenient. Dead mother, Father a drunkard that couldn't care less. Her troubles with other people. When I was sent to pick someone up from the prison for training I already treated her like a weapon. She knows nothing else. She...she doesn’t understand anything else.”

Konstantin tried to make it sound distant, matter of fact. But she saw the tiniest frown on his face.

And then whatever the training he spoke off had done to her…

“Anna...she seemed to care.”

Eve spoke, remembering her afternoon in Anna’s apartment.

Another shrug and Konstantin seemed to ponder what to say.

“Anna...wasn't good. Villanelle had her on a pedestal. But I read the files. Anna used Oksana too. But Oksana...wanted to believe she was loved.”

Because no one had ever loved Oksana. No one had ever shown any care or emotion for her. She had always been alone and the people in her life used her for their gains. They used her psychological state as a weapon.

There was a heaviness in his words and he was hiding things from the story. Eve had seen the files herself. The picture of a beaten young woman. The story of her having murdered Max. She had asked Anna about their relationship and felt the older woman had lied about the extent.

Konstantin stood and coughed.

“No need to analyse now. Things are done. Can't take them back.”

He was right of course. Nothing could be changed now. No turning back but Eve was who she was and she analysed and thought things over and over and over. She just wasn't good at self analysing. If she had been, she might have understood that dark place inside of her. That need to always surround herself with anything Villanelle. The fascination she seemed to harbor for each art like kill.

Eve didn't want to think about her obsession with the younger woman. She had seen where it had put them both.

*You love me!*

In a way she did, a very unhealthy way, because Eve wondered how she could feel herself so enamoured with an assassin. a woman that murdered with such passion and skill.

Once someone had quibbed: ‘Well she kills some really bad people.’

Which was true mostly. But sometimes Villanelle caused collateral damage.

Bill…Bill wasn't a bad person. Neither was that young man that was found dead in front of Villanelle’s Paris apartment. The Apartment where she had stabbed the Assassin, revelled in the feeling of the knife gliding through skin smoothly. Until those cat like eye had snapped to hers, full of confusion, pain and betrayal, blood rushing past her hands. Then Eve had realized what she had done and she pulled the knife without thought, without heeding Villanelle’s orders. Everything got worse from then on.

Eve grew silent, food forgotten and staring at the wall behind Konstantin.

“I killed...because I thought he was killing her. I had no remorse when it happened. Only when I realized she had lied to me. “

She whispered to no one in particular, it was more of a revelation to herself, before she turned and left to lay down and just sleep. Still wishing she could just wake and have forgotten.
She had felt Konstantins eyes glued to her back but he had known better than to respond to her.

Chapter Text

The first Place Villanelle finds herself is Venice, where she once, during carnival, killed a female Doctor who sold transplantations to the highest bidder. She had dressed up in an elaborate carnival costume with white and gold mask and followed her target through the throngs of tourists and venetians alike. On the Piazza San Marco they danced and danced until everyone around them seemed a blur and Villanelle found the perfect moment, sharp scalpel glinting in her hand. She remembered how they moved, simply being carried by the masses, and once close to the Basilica di San Marco, under the watchful gaze of the 4 horses, the knife swiped at an alabaster neck. It was fast and sadly she couldn't watch her targets life end, couldn't stare at those chocolate brown eyes she had seen on the target file.

It was a clean kill and it took minutes, long after she had vanished into a side street, to register to the party goers. Yells descended onto Venitian city, people tried to make place for the ambulanza.

Sitting at a stationaire in her cheap hotel room, all the windows in her room wide open and filling it with the smell of salt water and the sounds of the tourists wandering along the canals. She had easily found her stash of Money, smiling when she packed it and then went her merry way. But as she made her way back to her hotel she saw a store selling fine paper and envelopes. Her fingers had itched and without being able to stop it Anna was in her mind. Anna who had blown her own brain to bits. Without thinking much about it She bought a few sheets, envelopes and a pen.

‘Dearest Eve,’

Villanelle had been stuck long on what exactly to write but after a moment she found herself writing down what came to mind, feeling rusty with writing. Oh how had she loved writing letters to Anna. Mostly in french, but Eve only spoke Korean and English, so English would have to do.

She wouldn't send the letter from Venice but the next place she could stay at, In Vaduz she had more money and new ID stashed away and she could get a car there to get to her hidden places.

Folding her letter she kissed the back of the paper, leaving a deep red stain and signing with Sorry Baby.

There was that image again of Eve beneath her, laying on the hot Stone of the Villa Adriana, breathing labored, eyes lined with tears and skin going white. V’s jaw clenched and the pen in her right creaked as she exerted pressure.

She knew Eve wasn't dead. She had made sure of it. She also made sure Eve was save somewhere where no one would find her easily. Whatever Deal Konstatin would have in his mind couldn't be as bad as things she had done before. Still the emotions of that day still run through her, strung her tight like a bow, made her feel like her skin was itching inside out.
Yes, she was oh so angry that her carefully laid plan didn't go as she wanted. Villanelle hated when something crossed her plans and this time it had not been something she could straighten out with a bit of work. It was a vital part. Eve had been supposed to jet off with her. To Alaska, a safe Cabin, preferably at a lake, deep inside some wood lined with inches of snow. And they would spend days rolling about in a feather bed just...just …

Angrily Villanelle wiped that stupid tear that rolled down one cheek.

“I HATE THIS!”

She yelled to no one in particular. Was she not deserving of a simple live, movies, dinners, cuddling?

*You don't understand what that is!*

Yes she did. She knew exactly what love was. She had seen it countless times. But she had never been allowed to find it herself. Villanelle was always only watching when people loved.
Anna, she thought, had been different. Anna had taken her in. 13 something and shown her such trender care. And she had marveled at the feeling of someone wanting to be around her, wanting to care for her.

* ‘Why is your face bruised my dear? Here...let me I will clean you yes?’ *

And Villanelle had sat on the chair and looked upwards into Anna's tender eyes and somehow they had started sleeping with each other at that point. Anna who always treated them as a dark secret and who broke Villanelle’s heart each time she cried after they had had sex.

She knew very well what love was. Knowing it was not the problem. It just seemed like the rest of what she was, stopped her from being deserving in some way. It was as if some deity had decided she had to do her penance by being unloved.

It hurt so much when she saw Eve turn from her. Eve was supposed to be the same! She was supposed to understand that carnal lust for murder inside of her. When Eve had driven that knife inside of her, for the first seconds Villanelle had stared deeply into her eyes, and she had seen the flicker of something well known there. Eve had liked the feeling, the power behind it, the wonder. Only when Eve realized whom she had stopped had that switched and that had been the point of hope for Villanelle, the one thing she had not been able to stop thinking of.

Her hand went under her shirt, stroking the puckered scar Eve had painted on her. That mark that she stared at so often.

Teeth clenched together, gnashing in anger. Why had Eve not embraced the darkness like she had? Why didn't she understand there was no stopping that torrent once you were in it. She would have just had to let go, let Villanelle guide her.

“I want to love you….”

She mumbled, staring down at the letter.

She wanted to love so badly. She wanted popcorn and movie nights. She wanted everything she had seen in these stupid movies. She had thought Anna would run away with her. But instead Anna had told her husband. And instead of Anna waiting for her for a tryst, Villanelle had found herself knocked out as soon as she had crept into Anna’s bedroom. The struggle with Max had left her bruised and him... without a vital male part. Before the memory of what he had tried to do forced itself into her mind, Villanelle shut it down, standing fast, pushing her chair back and hearing it crash over.

The breeze blowing through her rooms windows, the fresh feel of it in a room without Air conditioning, lured her to the floor to ceiling windows.

How she would have loved to show Eve Venice, traverse the many bridges, hands dangling clasped between them, telling her about the kill on the Piazza San Marco. Eve had always been somehow drawn to her work and Villanelle had felt pride in it. But Eve had thrown it away.
Had she not miscalculated that thing with Raymond...she had made a mistake there, had thought Eve was ready. Had she never seen the gun they would be on their way together now, Eve safe at her side. But Villanelle had wanted too much too soon.

Villanelle acknowledged the mistake had started there. Eve was someone that needed trust, and she understood she had broken Eve’s trust. But she would build it again. She would show Eve she could love, could protect. It just needed time. And she needed to secure some of her funds.

She had had secret Bank accounts, used one not long after arriving in Venice, to wire Money to Konstantin for Eve. She would need a head start. At least she had to worry less about Eve’s safety. For now, Konstantin had done his best and it would keep people from searching for Eve for a while.

There had been no newspaper blurt about the brit having been killed in a mugging in Tivoli, Carolyn Martens had probably done her best to wrap everything up. Carolyn who she wasn't sure was even rogue MI6. She seemed too deeply tangled in everything, seemed to steer too many little things for the bigger picture. That kind of scheming seemed rather well known to Villanelle. Too well known.

She would have to do something about that later. After she had secured her assets, because without the 12 she knew she had to make sure she had enough funds. But she couldn't go back to them. They had dared putting a cross on Eve’s head and she would not stand for that.

“I do! You’re mine!”

Villanelle would prove it to Eve Polastri! She would show her how she could love.

Chapter Text

On their fourth day in that tiny cottage in the french countryside, Eve heard Konstantin leave the house way before dawn, driving to wherever he always went to get whatever he needed. There would be no note which said where he would go (“Too Dangerous”), but he had placed a knife on her night table next to her tiny one person bed (“Heard you're not too bad with a knife”). Konstantin himself had slept on the couch.

Their safehouse had a kitchen with dining table, small couch, bedroom and bathroom. It was all they needed right now and Konstantin saying no one knew this house was connected to him, calmed her alot.

Not long after he had left, Eve got up and went to the bathroom to wash up and redress her wound properly. Once done with that, she changed into fresher clothing, suppressing a chuckle as she realized how she was swimming in these things. It was not really something to laugh about. Anything she wore, Konstantin had paid for and she knew that money probably came from Villanelle.

She wanted to forget the circumstances of everything so badly, but being here in a safe house, side burning whenever she moved wrong, wearing clothing someone had haphazardly bought her since she had nothing that she ever owned with her, made it impossible. Eyes glassed over and she sunk onto the bed once more. The situation threatened to suffocate her. Nothing she once was, was left. She was running away, hiding because she had gotten herself into a mess.

While her brain went over everything that had gone wrong, cursing herself for her naivety, Eve did not even realize when Konstantin returned. He busied himself making breakfast in the kitchen, leaving her to her thoughts. Not many words had been spoken the night before but many things had been thought without words, Eve felt.

When his puttering around grew too loud to ignore, she traipsed to the kitchen and sunk into a chair, watching him silently. He turned to her to acknowledge she was there, then grabbed a folder from his bag and handed it to her.

“Your papers.”

Nodding, Eve opened the envelope and grabbed her new passport, leaving the rest like birth certificate, school diploma and bankdata in said envelope.

“There is more.”

Then Konstantin turned back around and she smelled bacon and eggs.

She looked back inside the envelope and found another one inside, thick and barely able to close. Grabbing it she realized there was cash inside.

“What...where does this come from?”

The envelope fell down on the table with a thud, Eve dropping it like it had burned her.

“Was wired to one of my lesser known identities accounts. It's for you from her.”

Eve dared not check how much it was, she didn't even want that money. Konstantin saw the emotions flit over her face.

“Look...you will need the money. Let's be honest, I am not good in getting clothing and you will need things once we arrive in Tongue. Right now you don't have many options until you can secure a job of some sorts at that safe location.”

“What's that? Her way of saying: sorry I shot you? Sorry I lied?”

“Don't get me wrong...but you have other problems then wondering what that money is about.”

Eve decided she hated when Konstantin was right and bagged the envelope again.

“I hate this...thank you for helping but…”

Eve had always wanted the excitement of the spy game, hadn't realized the sacrifices it could come with. It was all fun and games until you hacked someone to death with an axe.

“I wish you would not thank me...”

Konstantin sighed heavily and placed breakfast in front of her.

“I know...you have a deal.”

Right, she almost forgot he did this for something Villanelle had promised him.

“You play your roles really well Konstantin Vasilliev...you had me fooled.”

She said darkly and pushed scrambled egg back and forth on her plate. His face sunk a little more and he plopped down across from her.

“I really wish the circumstances had been different. I can see why she …was drawn to you. And I am sorry about the situation this has put you in.”

It sounded so heartfelt and Eve wanted to believe it so badly, because right now Konstantin was all she had. But she had learned the hard truth weeks earlier in Italy. Everything was just smoke and shadows. She felt herself tear up a little and a sniff escaped her.

“Please...no crying...I am not good with that.”

Konstantin whined helplessly and it actually did get Eve to chuckle, because she had seen him around his daughter and, yes, she could imagine it.

“Sorry...I am...all over the place today.”

“You have taken this whole thing rather well actually.”

He shot back and it felt like such a strange camaraderie between them. She really had no one else right now, and it was probably absolutely stupid to be so frinedly with the spy and thus she sobered a little and looked at Konstantin imploringly.

“As her handler...do you know why she gets send?”

“I…”

His hand came up to make sure she let him think, and Eve saw the older man gather his thoughts.

“I don't even know who she gets, Where yes. I just keep her in line remind her if they want it to look like an accident... Which...apparently I have done better than others.”

“Why..did she kill my friend?”

His face fell a little more and a hand rubbed over it wearily.

“That was not...she had no orders. I can not explain why. They were angry. I was angry.”

“Yes, because it ruined things.”

A scoff from her and Konstantin shrugged.

“Yes.”

“And the young man, dead in front of her apartment?”

Confusion before Konstantin remembered.

“He…had seen and heard too much. He had walked in on me and Villanelle fighting about..about her breaking orders.”

Leaning back in his chair, Konstantin regarded her carefully.

“After a while...this business makes you cold. You have to grow cold. Next thing you know you get orders to kill your friend, your wife. It makes us callous towards life and death. It’s not romantic like in the books. You learn that each day could be your own day. It all depends on what the rich person that pays feels like that day.”

Eve frowned and realized that Konstantin too was always on some hitlist.

“How...do you live like that everyday?”

Another shrug by him.

“I just do. When it ends, it ends. And I will deserve it for all I have done and been part in. If I live everyday waiting for it, I am not living. It will happen at some point. But then...I have also done some good things. Having Irina...I try to think of that. We all tell ourselves: we are only killing bad people...but you know it is not as easy as that and there is always collateral. You have to keep going or give up. There are only these two ways.”

 

They clean up breakfast together, in silence, both mulling their thoughts over and soon they are on their way again, companionable silence in the car as they made their way through france, trying to avoid the big cities. First they went towards Nantes, then up in the general direction of Le Mans, which Konstantin rounded in a wide circle.

**

“I think we should avoid Calais and drive to Dieppe instead, take the ferry to Newhaven.”

Konstantin and Eve had taken a rest stop and poured over their ferry options. She had proper documentation, but it was still better to avoid trouble.

“Amsterdam to Newcastle is out?”

Konstantin shook his head vehemently.

“We can't run and hide if necessary on such a long ferry ride. It is easier to change cars and hide somewhere. The ferry from Dieppe only takes 4 hours to reach Newhaven. Amsterdam is over ten I think”

He explained and Eve nodded in understanding.

“It is probably cheaper too.”

Eve surmised.

“True. We need to lose the car beforehand. I have a safe place just outside Brighton which should be easy to reach with a bus. And then...I can find us another car.”

**

All in all, if you traveled from Brighton to Tongue in a car via the M6 it would need you a little over 12 hrs. They needed a week. Between hopping from safe house to safe house so Eve could get proper rest, they also tried to avoid the mainroad as much as possible as they had done on their way through the Mainland of Europe.

 

Once in Tongue Eve found herself truly at the end of the World.

“Why here? A place in the literal nowhere. Called Tongue?!”

She asked as they had parked their car in a side road, Konstantin sighing.

“Let me check the full coordinate set.”

He answered and after a few minutes sighed.

“It’s ten minutes from here at Loch Craggie. Hold my phone and navigate me.”

The weather was grey and wet, winds howling over the highlands.

Any other day Eve would have marveled at the look of this place. It was postcard style with rolling scottish highland hills, large clouds in all colors gray in the sky. But could it ever be home to someone who had no will to be here?

They drove and drove and it seemed ages before they reached a lone two story cottage at a huge lake. The cottage seemed lived in, large garden, boat bobbing at a pier on the lake. There were chicken to the side of the cottage and to the other side was a kind of garage, larger shed.

Konstantin parked their car further away and stared into the rear mirror frowning.

“This looks lived in.”

Eve remarked and he nodded. Steam rose from the chimney, the smoke being blown straight away by the winds. Eve shivered a little.

“Hand me the gun.”

Came the gruff order and Eve opened the glove compartment, grabbed the Sig Sauer. There was also a knife for her in there and She wondered when the ex Spy had added that one.

“No need to wait, whoever is inside has surely heard the car come up. Let’s get out and see why Villanelle send us here.”

They left the car and Eve swallowed thickly following a few steps behind Konstantin, who had hidden the gun in the back of his pants. The ground was wet and felt strange under her boots, like pudding, mud soon lining them. They made it to the gate of the little garden in front and Konstantin shrugged. No name, no postbox. He opened the gate and Eve looked around, trying to make out any movement around them.

She waited behind the gate, let the older man rap his knuckles against the wooden door. No answer followed. He checked the windows and shrugged confused.

“Let’s check the garden in the back.”

All Eve could really do was follow him, hand in her pocket clasping the knife. She wanted to roll her eyes really. You stab someone once…

Once in the garden they found patches of veggies, an apple tree, a beautiful view over the lake and a log with an axe in it. Everything looked meticulous. The look of the axe in the Log made Eve’s fingers tingle and she swallowed throat suddenly dry.

Cold weather made her side spasm painfully and maybe it was her groan that hid the steps, but the next thing they both heard behind them was the click of a gun.

“Turn around!”

Clipped, short command, definitely from a female voice with an accent. Not Russian, but rough just the same, just that the r’s weren’t rolled.

Konstantin nodded and they both turned to the source of the voice at the same time.

Eve had no idea who the woman was. She was average height, average built, scar through one eyebrow. Blonde Hair in a not too short pixie style cut, being moved haphazardly by the wind. The green eyes where piercing and cold and a gun with Silencer was pointed at Konstantin.

“Well, well Vasilliev...I thought she would have killed you by now.”

“To be honest, I was sure she did kill you Katarina, since she was paid for it and all.”

“I like your chicken.”

Eve said and was rewarded with odd blinking stares by the others, her own eyes going comically wide and she wanted to facepalm herself hard for that comment, but well it was rather like herself to say something odd under pressure.

Chapter Text

In Frankfurt Villanelle had slept with a rich Chinese business woman who had built herself a makeup emporium, only to hide her weapon sales. It was one of the kills she remembered most fondly because the plan had been complex but worked perfectly.

She had played an expensive Escort, wined and dined her contractor and then followed the invitation for a bit of playtime at the Hotel suit. Mrs Zhao loved it a bit rough and luckily she provided her own toys. Which made it all the easier for Villanelle to kill her with the poisoned condom.

Death came fast and Villanelle watched her victim.

“I am sorry, didn’t you come?”

She asked as she watched pupils dilate the final time.

The rest of Frankfurt was shit, Villanelle hated it. It was business cold, whereas Berlin was artsy and stylish. She liked Berlin more, alas a very large sum of her money was in Frankfurt and being a banking city, nobody wondered about big sums being wired into an account. It was fast, easy, and Villanelle was happy to be on her way to her last destination before finally embarking on her travel to Eve.

She had read in a german tabloid women’s magazine called ‘Welt der Frau’ that when your relationship hits an impasse and arguments, you should try reestablishing the spark with things that made it exciting in the beginning. And thus she sat in her hotel, Writing to Eve about her very artful murder of a spanish art trader, whose love for too young children had put him in a pickle with the 12. Eve loved her work after all and Villanelle thought it connected them somehow.

The last line though was something she felt needed to be said as a way to show Eve that she was willing to work on herself. Being a better person for Eve.

‘I am sorry I shot you and I am glad you didn’t die.’

She sealed the letter with her infamous red lips and then went to bed, staring at the ceiling and wondering when the last time was that someone renovated these rooms. Maybe the 80’s.
She hated not treating herself but she had to watch her funds, until she could find another source of proper in come in her preferred field of work.

Villanelle knew her options were slim. The 12 would send killer after killer at her throat and the same probably for Eve. She needed them out of the picture. After that Jail visit by Martens she had thought that might have been an option. The Rogue MI6 would send her onto contracts and her position with them would have made the 12 cautious. But after everything in Italy she didn't really trust the older MI6 agent any more. Konstantin did though, so once she was back with Eve, guarding her, she would contact her old ‘friend’ and have him weigh her options.
She knew she was far too impulsive to do so her own. But guns blazing was not an option were her old employer was concerned. Also, only if she showed Eve she would take such sacrifices for, did Villanelle think, would the other woman accept her back after her little..meltdown in the ruins.

“Oh Eve...we could have been in Alaska by now.”

She sighed and closed her eyes, rolling onto her side and imagining.

The fire would be crackling inside, warming them as they watched a movie together, both in large pullovers and only socks, having popcorn and kisses as the on screen protagonists slowly fell in love. And Villanelle would hunt and fish for Eve. Beautiful Eve with her messy amazing locks, waiting for her at home when she returned. Mesmerizing Eve and her spending lazy mornings in bed, kissing and softly stroking here and there. Nothings whispered between them, Eve calling her a dick when she makes an inappropriate joke. Her finally teaching Eve how to properly cook. They would work in sync in the kitchen, a beautiful domestic dance.

Villanelle would love and adore Eve as she deserved and show her no one had treated her properly before.

It was her little fantasy world. A world she sunk into when she was in bleak hotel rooms, alone and without guidance.

“I just want to love.”

It came as almost a whimper because when she opened her eyes, Eve was gone and her only true memory of the older woman was the sight of her bleeding, broken body.

She had been told once she was a psychopath and thus that morning, for breakfast, she had read about it and googled the ‘Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised’.

*1. glib and superficial charm*
Her charm surely was NOT superficial. She was super charming. But she had to look up what glib meant and found she could proudly check that yes, she was glib.

*2. grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self*
Was it exaggerated if she really was amazing? Villanelle didn't think so.

*3. need for stimulation
That test certainly needed context. So she fiddled around when bored, millions did that. Nobody said fidget spinning kids were psychopaths.

*4. pathological lying*
What was Villanelle supposed to do working for the 12 and Assassinating people. It wasn't like she could tell the truth about that! And she didn't lie to Eve about it so she felt she was fine.

*5. cunning and manipulativeness*
Why was cunning even bad? And she only manipulated when she absolute had to!

*6. lack of remorse or guilt*
She wanted to yell ‘hah!’ because she did feel guilty. Like for going about things wrongly with Eve. And shooting her. Definitely guilty!

*7. shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)*
Another thing she had to look up and then decided that was not the case. She could bond perfectly well with people Villanelle felt. Other people did hold Value for her. Eve did, Konstantin did.

*8. callousness and lack of empathy
She had shown that boy in the hospital empathy. She was perfectly fine there she thought. Yes her work might make her seem a bit callous but that often was an act.

*9. parasitic lifestyle*
Well she crossed that out swiftly.

*10 poor behavioral controls*
So she didn't always know how to properly deal with situations or other people. That just made her this modern thing everyone kinda was: socially awkward.

*11. sexual promiscuity*
That certainly didn't feel like her. She might enjoy sex but she would rather only have sex with Eve if the other woman would finally realize they could be so good.

*12. early behavior problems*
Well growing up in Russia isn't really helping that point Villanelle thought.

*13. lack of realistic long-term goals*
She had goals. It was keeping Eve save and finally being with her. That was her long term goal.
There another non on that checkbox.

*14 impulsivity*
At that point she had to google who wrote this dumb test. Half the things in her were things everyone was kind of guilty off.

*15 irresponsibility*
Well Villanelle had always done the things she was supposed. She sometimes added some flair...so what?

*16. failure to accept responsibility for own actions*
When people used and betrayed you all the time, she thought, it was kinda easy finding the base failure in them. She acknowledged some things she could have handled differently but well she was young.

*17. many short-term marital relationships*
Not married once!

*18. juvenile delinquency*
Ok, so well she had been in Jail. But Max tried to rape her. It was rather in self defence.

*19. revocation of conditional release*
The what now? She didn't even bother to google that one, it sounded like bullshit.
Villanelle had frowned and wondered why science people had to make everything sound so high and mighty.

*20. criminal versatility*
She openly admitted that one to herself. It was part of the job to her.

All in all she did rather well in that Test and was way below Bundy and other serial killers. So really she felt insulted by the label psychopathy. And with that last thought she had finished her breakfast that morning and went about her day with a smile.
How relieving to not get a bad diagnoses.

Chapter Text

The sound of spoons clanking in metal cups, as well as an old clock on the wall tik toking away happily, filled the small open style kitchen-dining-living area of Katarina’s cottage. Rain was viciously pelting windows, wind howling around the roof and whipping the water of the lake in frenzied waves.

Konstantin and Katarina had lost their weapons at her front door, where a small chest of drawers held knick knacks like bullets, knives, zip ties, keys, wallets and the lot. Eve’s eyes had scanned the house while the two spoke, but she dared not look like she was snooping with looking alone.

The silence seemed heavy, the two others staring each other while teaspoons turned and turned. Eve looked back and forth between them, unsure what was going on. The younger woman looked emptied of all emotions, cold and absolutely closed off.

“She let you live?”

Apparently Konstantins mind was still reeling from discovering their Host was alive. She shrugged shortly.

“Why? She went to the trouble of staging your murder!”

There was confusion in the older man's voice, his brow furrowed as he tried to understand.

“I don't know why. The 12 had us all eliminated by their contractors. I don't know why she decided against doing it. Maybe had a bad day yes?”

Konstantin decided to best accept that explanation towards the sudden and strange show of mercy.

“Has she informed you?”

He asked, deciding to drop the other subject.

Katarina stood and went to a drawer in the kitchen, pulling out a letter and waving it.

“Got this a few days ago. Asks me to hide someone.”

Her answers where precise, to the point making Eve wonder what kind of history this stranger had. Was it an act for Konstantin?

“This is her. She asked me via burner phone to bring her here. Name is Sarah Yang. She has proper documentation.”

A few slow blinks and green eyes glued to her. Then a nod.

“Where is Le Papillon?”

“Didn't tell me. Only to bring Sarah here. Job done. Time for me to leave.”

He said, stood and Eve, out of force of habit stood too, but then remembered she was supposed to stay with this stranger. She slumped back down slowly, looking sullen. It was so sudden, the end of their time together. Eve knew Konstantin felt uncomfortable here, she did too, but he could leave and she couldn't.

“You surely understand that should someone turn up here Konstantin..stirring trouble and asking stupid quetions I…”

“Yes you will suspect me. I know better than to cross Villanelle.”

That wasn’t a lie. Eve knew for sure, this one thing Konstantin did not lie about. He feared what Villanelle could do because she had already shown him once.

His large hand landed on her shoulder, squeezing softly and looking down at her. Eve blinked up at Konstantin, begging with her eyes to not just leave her like this. She knew she looked panicky, brows drawn and his own features softened immediately. In his eyes she saw a softness, begging her not to make a big deal of him leaving. He hated tears after all.

“Take care Sarah...and maybe one day we will see each other again under better circumstances.”

He said, squeezed once more and then let himself be let out. There was honesty in his words, Eve believed. She swallowed thickly, her eyes brimming with tears. She felt so stupid sitting here and feeling like this. She should feel the relief of being safe. What kind of person would Villanelle refuse to kill though? Why did she think it was safe here? And what if it wasn't. What if it was a ploy to get back at her.

Minutes later Katarina returned walking into the kitchen and dropping Eve’s duffel. She sat back down, slouching more now, one elbow on the table, that hand on her forehead rubbing back and forth.

“Please...call me Alex from now on. Katarina …”

“Is dead?”

Eve finished and much softer green eyes met hers now.

“Yes.”

Finally she drank the cup of tea in front of her, eyes scanning over Eve, taking her in and noting the look on her face.

“He told me to watch out for you and if ever something happened he would send his russian friends after me. It seems he likes you.”

It was supposed to sound almost joking but Eve shrugged.

“He has a deal with Villanelle. It scares him.”

“Mhh...maybe. Maybe he likes you a little bit.”

Came the fast retort.

Eve’s hands were still wringing themselves.

“Why...why am I here? Why should I trust you?”

She was probably just another contract Killer, hiding in a cottage and now Eve was supposed to stay with her.

“All good questions…she sent you here for me to hide and protect you. That is what the letter says. Here:”

She pulled the letter from the envelope and pushed it to Eve, who took it and slowly unfolded only to be met with a language she did not speak. Brows furrowed and scanned over the words.

“German?”

Suddenly that dialect made sense.

“Ja, Deutsch.”

“I...can't read german.”

Alex took the letter from her and pulled it close to read.

“Let me...she wrote: Sending you something I value. Please hide her and keep her safe from all harm. See you soon. Le Papillon.”

“Le Papillon?”

“When…when I met her she had a fake Butterfly tattoo on her arm. I guess...it stuck. ”

“But in french not…”

“No..not in German. In German it sounds like something brash. Something large and painful. Schmetterling. Le Papillon...it fits her better yes? ”

There they sat across from each other at that tiny kitchen table and for some reason it felt her host was also uncomfortable by the situation. It made it a bit easier for Eve. At least they had something in common. Eve felt so incredibly tired all of a sudden. It wasn't even noon but she felt her whole being sack into itself, exhausted body and mind her side spasmed and she groaned.

“Sorry…”

Eve said and Alex frowned back.

“He said you were hurt and to make sure you finally got some rest. Come on. I prepared the second bedroom for you. You can lay down and just sleep. By what Konstantin told me about your travel here, you didn't really have time to let yourself heal.”

She was beyond tired and it made it impossible for her brain to tell her just how dangerous this all was. She knew nothing about Alex, all she knew Villanelle was once supposed to kill her but hadn't and now she was hiding away here, top of Scotland, far far away. But then again with all the threats issued should she be harmed...Eve knew Villanelle’s threats meant something to these people. So for now this could be safe while she waited and hoped that the 12 wouldn't try to find out what really happened, or Carolyn trying to find her. And then...It seemed Villanelle planned to come here too, was Eve still save then? Would Villanelle go through all this trouble just to Kill her in the end?

“I...Thank you.”

Eve whispered and stood slowly, her tea now cold and not one sip taken.

Alex let her up the narrow stairs and thankfully eve wasn't too tall, the cottage wasn't really built for tall people. The hallways held three doors, one to each side, one at the end.

“Up here is the bathroom and bedrooms. Yours left. Mine at the end of the hallway. Here …”

She opened the door to eve’s room and there was a bed inside not a single just a bit wider. Small window, a night table and dresser across the bed.

“Linens are fresh. In the bathroom there is fresh towels should you want to wash up. There is medical supplies under the sink. Call if you need anything. And…if you should fall asleep longer I might be out in the garden or shed.”

The other woman's voice had softened considerably now that Konstantin had gone, the intonation had changed too. The clipped almost military sentences where gone.

“Thank you.”

She felt so so tired and simply stepped into her room, sinking onto the bed and barely able to really lay on it before she fell asleep to the sound of the rain hitting her little window.

When Eve wakes hours later, she felt sluggish, limbs still heavy with sleep. So she stays on the bed for a while, listening closely. The sound of rain was gone, the wind seemed to have died down a little. Inside the house she could hear no sound so the owner was probably outside as said.

After she got up she grabbed her duffel, Filled with clothing too big for her frame. But she actually liked the wide pullovers, the way they hid her way from the world. She grabbed her things and put them in her dresser. Hers now for the time being. Until…

She mused it over. Until when?

Until the end.

When something would come, something would happen to end all of this. Maybe it was when Villanelle arrived and finally killed her. Ended this misery Eve had put herself in with her naivety.
Who knew. For now she felt so empty, so alone that she would gladly take the bit of peace this cottage seemed to offer.

After her things were put away she looked out her window. What a beautiful view it really was and how she wished she wouldn't feel so much dread tainting this view. Eve was scared now all the time. Scared of shadows and things lurking. And with that feeling she understood why someone like Kata...Alex would chose this place. She could see far in all directions. It would be hard sneaking up to this place.

Eve startled at the thoughts in her head. When had she become like this? Looking at things not for their beauty but analysing escape routes, finding spots someone that wanted to murder her could hide. Her frown deepened and she tried to force herself to see the beauty of the things out the window. Her exercise was broken as she saw a boat head towards the pier. Alex was in it, expertly stopping at the pier, towing the boat and then grabbing a cooler and carrying it towards the house.

When Eve made it down the stairs not long after, Alex was in the kitchen, cooler at her feet. She was sharpening a knife. Watching mesmerized Eve stands and stares.

“I got us dinner. You skipped lunch, you must be hungry.”

Alex said without turning and in answer Eve’s stomach growls.

“I...could eat yes.”

“Can you check the drawer over there for the fish scaler?”

The knife pointed to the cabinets left of her and ALex guided her to find the thing.

“Thanks, check the cooler and bring me the fish?”

So that was where her Host...maybe now more of a roommate had been.

Eve did all Alex asked for and watched with fascination how the younger woman swiftly de scaled the fish under running water. Meanwhile Eve under Alex orders cut herbs from the kitchen windowsill, then Alex explained the exact act of gutting the fish, showing Eve every cut. It felt so normal, it calmed the older woman so much to just stand in this kitchen and watch and help. For some moments she simply forgot that she wasn't Eve Polastri any longer. That she was hiding away from all kinds of factions.

“Thank you…”

She mumbled after they had put the fish into the oven and the green beans where cooking in a pot.

“You are welcome Sarah.”

A nod, acknowledging that this had been needed. A normal moment to ground her. To just let her calm down, before her mind would explode. And for a short moment Eve believed things might be getting better. It would never be okay. Hiding like this as someone else, waiting for her own demise. But at least maybe she could find something here. Something that would make her a little happy as Konstantin had said, living every day until it finally happened.

Until someone would end up Killing Eve.

Chapter Text

Dearest Eve,

I was back in my old apartment these days. It hasn't been lived in since but at least someone has given it a proper clean. No more blood on the floor.

I think of that day often. I think of how much I wanted to kiss you and how relieved I had been to see you there after escaping russia. I always feel relieved when I think of you. My travels have been rather boring and mundane elsewise.

I think you will still be angry with me once we meet again. I haven't done things right by you.
I hope I can redeem myself and show you I mean it honestly when I say: Sorry.

V

Saying Sorry, Villanelle felt, was an integral part of showing Eve she was serious about things.
Each day alone felt like solitary confinement again. Oh she knew she would have a lot of groveling to do. For the whole Raymond thing at least. After all Eve had stabbed her first.

She missed Konstantin even, his nagging, his eyerolls, the way he sighed at her antics. She had been sitting in a cafe in Paris, eating a croissant and having some coffee while writing her letter to Eve. She had decided that before she went to Scotland she had to get some more info of what she was chasing, and there was just one person who would be willing to talk to her.

“I can not believe you dare come back here. Are you crazy Villanelle?”

Konstantin hissed as he sat across.

“You followed my invitation, how crazy does that make you?”

He ordered a coffee and sandwich to appear as if two friends where meeting for brunch.

“Go where they least expect you”

Villanelle said in a deep voice trying to sound as Konstantin would and he rolled his eyes annoyed.

“No games Villanelle! Not in these times. The 12 are on the search for you. You know better than to prowl through Paris! What are you even doing here?”

“Why I had to get my face cream from my old apartment of course!”

His face paled then turned crimson and he leaned in, staring at her incredulous while she looked as if that was the most normal thing in the world.

“I didn't know how deep your insanity was! Are you trying to alert them?”

“Calm down.”

Her tone changed from playful to serious and she pulled another piece off of her croissant, munching on it thoughtfully.

“I need information.”

“No...absolutely...No. You know I know nothing about them.”

“I know ...I know you have told me many times. When I asked or even when I did not. I don't mean about them. I need a way to keep them from Eve.”

Villanelle seemed to have caught his attention. The old spy leaned back in his chair, shaking his head.

“Your obsession with this woman has cost you everything. For what? Because she looks like Anna? I warned you. I offered you a secure out. They would have taken you back in even after your little transgressions.”

Now it was her eyes turn to grow cold at the things her old handler said. Checking around them the place was almost empty, the main time for breakfast long passed.

“Do not dare to talk about Anna as if you know anything about me and her or what was between us. You have no right! She has nothing to do with Eve and you know had I gone back they would have sent me for her.”

A heavy sigh later Konstantin leaned closer.

“You two burned every bridge around you furiously to the ground. Look where it has put you. She is livid with you. You think she will forgive you for shooting her? Will forget the things you made her do to Raymond? Do you think i have forgotten your threats? I say leave her hidden where she is, she is save there, keep away from her and maybe they will forgive you.”

Villanelle knew of course that her going back, tail between her legs, would make it more secure for Konstantins family too. She played with the knife next to her plate, mulling his words over.

“She has stabbed me before and I have forgiven her too!”

“Villanelle this is not some schoolyard argument. You basically ended her life that day in Rome.”

“I am trying to...to make things better okay?”

He shook his head and rubbed his eyes tiredly, feeling for her somehow. As he had felt for Eve Polastri while traveling with her. Every since she had met the Korean MI5 Agent everything had gone to shit. But there was such sincere desperation in her voice at that moment.

“And how do you think you can make things better?”

She worried her lip, staring outside and watching the passer bys.

“I want to know about Carolyn Martens. I want to know if YOU trust her. Back in Russia she made me an offer. I want to know if that still stands.”

“If you really think after all that has happened...that she will still have that offer for you…”

Her eyes went back to his and he knew she was right, if both she and Eve where to survive this, it certainly wasn't with making Villanelle go back to the 12. They would find Eve and make it their utmost pleasure to torture Villanelle by killing her. But Carolyn Martens was cunning and even though they had a strange bond of friendship, even Konstantin knew trust was a fickle beast where she was concerned.

He had not seen Villanelle like this often. Thoughtful instead of brash and brazen or making stupid jokes. She was serious, a lioness backed into a corner. All because of her stupid infatuation with a much older woman. Much like what had landed her in russian prison with Anna. It seemed to be an ongoing theme.

“So now you want me to talk to her?”

“Not yet...I need information on her first. I want to know more about her before I speak to her.”

“And then you hope to use this against her to make her give you a deal?”

He did not see that working at all and was about to tell Villanelle so when she pulled something from her purse. A small usb stick.

“What is that?”

“Found this in Peele’s private computer room where he liked to watch his snuff videos.
I wonder why it is so heavily encrypted ...”

Villanelle had a very good idea what exactly was on that stick. She also knew it was her only bargaining chip.

Judging by the way Konstantins eyes bulged, he realized what this could be.

“So you want to bargain for Carolyn to go back to her deal, So you and your infatuation can come out of hiding, if the woman even wants to see your face again?”

All of a sudden something dawned on Konstantin.

“You do this for her? So she can be herself again. Didn't you tell me you two are the same? Did you realize you were wrong about her?”

It baffled Konstantin endlessly that Villanelle would go to these lengths to get Eve to forgive her.

“Can you help me or not? I haven't risked this meeting to have you gloat at me.”

She bristled and shoved the Datastick back into her purse, face reddened either from anger or something else.

“This woman will be your end...”

“I said….”

“...let me finish! I will help. It is your decision to fall into this madness. I have just one thought for you. Do not lie to Eve one more time if you want to pull this off. She will accept no further manipulation by you. She knows your tactics well after Rome. If you truly don't just see this as a fun little thrill...have some respect for her.”

He wrote down a number quickly on a napkin, then laid some Euro bills on the table to cover for his food.

“Contact me when you are ready to meet with her. I will send whatever I think can aide you back to you then.”

He stood but could not stop himself glancing at her almost softly. But his voice was back to no nonsense.

“Stay out of trouble! And leave Paris! Have I taught you nothing?”

She stared after him as he left, leisurely eating that last piece of croissant. Yes she knew one thing, If Eve was ever to forgive her, she had to give her freedom back. She had made her a fugitive and now she would try to make her a normal citizen again. And maybe under Martens she could keep up work and they could grow closer together. Villanelle would show Eve that she could work for the side Eve seemed to prefer. Not That Villanelle believed they were any better. All organizations that worked in the shadows had something to hide.

His warning about lying to Eve was heard. He was right. Eve had been lied to by everyone in Rome, thus she had felt even worse after seeing Villanelle had a gun. Deep down inside Eve must have known that Villanelle could have easily fought of Raymond, but she had left the initiative, the possibility to Eve. Yes it had been manipulative, knowing Eve had run to her rescue even against Peele, she had known the older woman would want to help her here too. She had miscalculated. And her lies had cost her, them really.

Getting up she had to smile when she saw Konstantin had put down enough for both of their meals and left, nodding to the server.

There was no reason to spend more time in Paris, it was time to go to Eve.

Chapter Text

Her time running away with Kostantin had schooled Eve on some things as watching her surroundings closely, always listening, always being alert. The older Spy had taught her some tricks, often when they drove, to kill the time, he would explain to her why they did things this way, what to look for, what to suspect. She had thought it was just something to pass time. But nothing that Konstantin did was born from boredom. He had given her important lessons. It reminded her of what was hiding behind that facade of the elder gentlemen. It also reminded her that he would have taught Villanelle or others like this.

Lying in her bed at 4 am hearing her companion leave the house, made her thankful for those lessons. She realized how that new alertness could aide her. Getting up she looked through her window and found a light in the shed on. After a few seconds Alex emerged, carrying a bucket and going to the chicken. She fed them in the grey early morning dusk, then went into the coop and emerged again, probably with eggs in the feeder bucket.

It seemed even the chicken were not enthused about the time and largely kept calm. Sighing, Eve stepped back from the window, feeling wide awake. So instead of going back to bed she went into the bathroom, washed herself and redressed the slowly better looking wound. Long moments she stared at it, fingertips stroking the skin, feeling the numbness there. After long Eve pulled herself together and taped gauze over Villanelles signature and went down into the kitchen.

A large candle in a glass gave the only soft light and Alex sat at the tiny table, sipping what smelled like coffee. She nodded gruffly at Eve, then pointed over her shoulder to the coffee maker that held more of the black stuff.

“You can look around to pass time. Sorry for waking you.”

With Konstantin, Alex’s underlying accent had been prominent. But now she spoke british english, barely any trace of any german accent.

“Not your fault...being on the run...kind of made me..”

“Careful. It’s not a bad thing. I must apologize, Sarah, I realized this morning when making coffee, that I had forgotten to give you letters that have arrived. I did not wish to mention them in front of Vasilliev.”

Letters? Eve stopped the coffee cup midway to her mouth.

Alex stood and from the same drawer where her letter had been the day before, she pulled another set of envelopes.

“Reached me just yesterday.”

She sat, pushed the champagne colored envelopes to Eve and went back to sipping her coffee, allowing Eve a kind of privacy while reading. One envelope seemed to house a card, the other a letter, both envelopes held red kiss lips and Eve felt a corresponding anger flow through her. She opened the one with the card first. On the front of the postcard was the Romeo and Juliet Balcony in Verona. On the back it simply said: Missing you.

Nostrils flared and Eve curbed the instinct to rip the card into tiny bits. The second envelope held a letter, like the one’s Anna had in masses, hers in english though.

‘Dearest Eve,

When this letter reaches you, you will have arrived at your destination. I have sent you there in the hopes of my friend being able to hide you away and not get tongues wagging about you. ;-)

I reckon you must be very angry with me. I wish things in Rome would have been different.

I hope my friend, whatever name she has taken, can provide you with security until I find my way to you. Tell her she is free to hammer anyone into ground that seems a danger, and to teach you some way to defend yourself.

I hope the pain in your side is fading now and that your scar is not as ugly as mine.

Sincerly Sorry Baby

X

Calmly, Eve laid the single sheet of paper down, breathing harshly through her nose, trying to not start screaming like a banshee.

“No good news?”

A voice across asked.

“Typical...Villanelle…”

“Any instructions as what to do?”

Alex didn't even look up and Eve noticed while she read the note she had opened that lone newspaper on the table and started on a crossword.

“I...she said something about you Hammering people and teaching me some defense.”

A snort and shaking head.

“You kill someone with a hammer once…”

Then silence again and Eve gapes, opening and closing her mouth like a fish.

“Memorable saying, 6 letters starting with B?”

As if they had not just talked about the master assassin, as if Alex had not just revealed she had killed someone with a hammer. Once.

“Uhm...Byword.”

“Thanks.”

More mulling and scratching of the pen later, Alex leaned back in her chair, regarding Eve, who was staring down into the coffee, finger strokin over the lipstick imprint.

“Calmed down?”

Her brows furrowed but she nodded. Alex had read her mood and decided not to say anything until Eve was calm again. Gauging the anger.

“She has that effect on people. I still wonder why she hasn't been shot yet in a random act of annoyance.”

“You...killed someone with a hammer…”

Hands folded over the cross word and Alex looked at Eve imploringly.

“You knew I wasn't some woman hiding in the middle of fucking nowhere just because I like freerange chicken. I am here for a reason. I greeted Konstantin with a gun for a reason. Sleep no more than a few hours at a time for a reason. Don't be obtuse I know it is the same for you. Do I care what you did to land yourself here? No. As of now we are in the same boat, both hoping it won't sink once Le Papillon arrives, yes?”

“I am not exactly judging.”

The older woman defended herself and then sighed. She had been a little. Until she was reminded of what she had done.

“I...killed a man. With an axe.”

Alex nodded as if it was the most normal thing to hear.

Weather is looking up, fish are biting, I killed someone with an axe, want more tea old chap?

“We both can not turn back time and must now reap what we sow, Sarah. Best be prepared should something come our way. Once you are healed better.”

Eve’s hand went to her side without her noticing and she nodded.

“I have today and tomorrow off from work. There is a job waiting for you there. It will help you blend in.”

“Your boss won't ask questions?”

Her documentation seemed airtight but how would they spin her being there, living with Alex, story wise?

“He isn't a man to ask questions. And to the others I said my Cousin will be living with me.”

Eve’s eyebrows arched up.

“Uhm…”

“Modern world Sarah. We just have to align the story you decided for with mine a little.”

The Korean chuckled weakly and nodded. It was all so ridiculous really. Her hand went to her forehead and she rubbed it tiredly.

“It’s a whole lot to take in and understand. This lifestyle isn't easy Sarah. But you are not alone.”

That was, in a way, very soothing. To know she didn't have to run away on her own, hide away without proper knowledge.

“I never thought…”

She never thought her fascination with female serial killers would do this to her. But it wasn't just that fascination. It was that strange and dark attraction towards a certain Killer.

“I never knew another life until she let me live and found me this place. Want to show me that wound?”

Alex voice was perpetually soft with her, calm and soothing and Eve wondered what would make such a gentle seeming woman kill someone. What would it take to turn her from lamb to lion?

Standing, the older woman pulled her pullover up, peeled away the gauze and stepped up to Alex. The latter sighed, realizing she has not switched on the light and grabbed the candle.

“Gunshot... through and through. Flesh Wound really. It looks to be healing as good as possible for the circumstances. We can take the stitches out in two weeks. Somebody needs to work on their aim. You were extremely lucky that is such a bad shot.”

She examined the entry wound the same way, nodded when satisfied.

The Candle went back to the table and Eve dropped her pullover after refastening the tape.

Had Villanelle caved when shooting her, had it been an accident? No if Villanelle had wanted to kill her she would have done so. Easily. And she had mentioned the scar in her letter. Eve closed her eyes and with shaking breaths remembered Paris, having tried not to remember that fateful day. And then the spot of her shot was crystal clear. It was exactly where she had stabbed Villanelle.

’You are like me.

Did they match now? Everyday Eve found herself moving closer and closer to the darkness lurking. Having murdered, hiding now, pretending to be dead, taking on a new identity and having money wired to her.

Green eyes where on her as she sat, hands wrapping around her coffee mug. Alex let it go though, didn't ask further questions and Eve was rather grateful for it.

Before it was time for breakfast, Alex actually showed her around the house. Part of that was showing Eve weapon hiding spots and she was surprised and shocked how much weaponry such a little cottage could hold.

“We will practice you on some of these guns.”

Alex said as she put the MP5 back in it’s case, stowing that under the living room floorboards.
Then Alex showed her where she had put the knife Konstantin had given her.

“A knife is a close combat weapon. As an untrained person against a killer you will barely get a stab in.”

She frowned, staring at the knife in her hand.

“But I have…”

She shut her mouth as soon as that had left her, not having wanted to share so much with Alex.
Alex only nodded.

“Well then, once the stitches are out.”

In the shed was a beat up car and Alex said she preferred her bike, which didn't look much better. There was a plethora of tools, a work bench, fishing rods. Eve looked around taking it all in.

“No weapons here?”

Eve quibbed, chuckling eyes suddenly turning wide when Alex picked up a large Hammer and shrugged at her.

“Fine...I was asking for that.”

Was what Eve said and they moved on to the garden.

“You like gardening?”

“It calms me. It takes my mind off things. Sometimes I walk the hills, sometimes i set up traps for hares. I hate not doing something. I hate...when I can't control what my mind is thinking of”

The answer was deeply sincere and highlighted that the calm demeanor of the woman standing in that shed was probably not natural to her.

“Want to see my chicken?”

Eve snorted unlady like remembering her stress born outburst.

“I don't handle stress well. I say strange things, my mind is all over the place and in my head things make sense but when I say them it's a word dump.”

Would her wound not pull painfully from time to time, Eve could almost forget what was going on, could forget why she was here. But she knew that kind of thinking could land her in even more danger. Each time she had forgotten where she was, why she was there around Villanelle it got dangerous.

After breakfast, Alex had set up cans behind her shed, deeming it a perfect start, showing Eve some of the guns, letting her see how they functioned, letting her shoot. Alex explained things well, and Eve saw her hit all targets without much difficulty. Her first shots went way past the cans but slowly she got better. And soon she imagined the cans trembling in fear. Eve’s smile grew each time she hit something.

“Want to try this one?”

Alex asked, attaching the silencer to the MP5.

Eve grinned actually and she wondered if this was a normal feeling after firing a weapon. The smell of gunpowder was ripe around them when Alex showed Eve how to hold the MP5 properly, where to grab securely without burning her fingers and then explained how burst fire worked and why it was the best way to shoot this MP.

“If you ever find yourself in need to use a gun, I want you to take the one you feel you can fire the best, not the biggest one.”

Alex said when they cleaned up and Eve stared back, the fun gone from her mind.

“This is training Eve. Understand if you are tangled with people like Villanelle and Konstantin...you need this knowledge.”

There was an urgency in Alex’s words and she sobered swiftly.

“I am not teaching you to shoot as a hobby. The moment you see someone come here that you don't know, the first thing you do is grab a gun. “

All of a sudden there was a wildness in the younger woman's greens, not fear, more of an anticipation for the things that they could end up in. This was the woman that had killed someone, this was Alex who had in some capacity worked for the twelve not the kind stranger that had taken her in.

“Who...are you?”

Eve wondered, out loud.

“It is best you don't know what my kind of work was, you seem to have enough nightmares on your own.”

Chapter Text

After leaving Paris, after the meeting with Konstantin, she felt like there was something there to grasp for. She had not wanted to go back to Carolyn Martens and had spent long days and nights mulling over it.
Villanelle felt that it was the safest route right now. The most important thing was to make sure the 12 could not reach Eve. After that Villanelle needed some job and Martens had offered her one in Russia. Also she would rather keep that scheming lady close to have an eye on the things
Martens was planning.

It was her peace offering to Eve. She just had to get the older woman to listen to her. Explain it to her properly. Villanelle believed Eve would see the benefit of her plan, surely.

Her angry face in the ruins came to Villanelles mind and she frowned. She had tried to analyse over and over how she had reacted to Eve. The accusation she didn't know what love was had stung. Villanelle had always been reduced to what other people said about her. Somebody wrote something in a file about her and she was doomed for the rest of her life.
Everyone had been allowed to make mistakes but she had been punished severely and her rebellious side had readily lapped up opportunities to prove them she could do even worse.

Who cared anyways? Certainly not her father when he beat her in drunken fits. Not her mother who killed herself with pills while Oksana sat next to her on the bed. She remembered the life draining out of her mother's eyes, the way she had stared at Oksana while dying. It had stuck with her for the rest of her life. She still stared at people when they died.

No her parents had never cared. When she had been taken away from her father, after he had drunkenly beat someone to death, she was relieved. But then she was placed in that home with the stinky woman and the man that did strange things to the little boys. Too many kids, not nearly enough space. The children were only there because the state paid a fee. None of that money ever went into care. There was barely any food, nor clothing. They were beaten senseless when they didn't do their chores properly and if one child speak about it to someone, said child would suddenly be ‘rehomed’. Oksana Astankova had learned early on not to cry when she was beaten by them. They told the children that was what they deserved for the unfortunate event of being alive.

The children started stealing early on in that home. They were send stealing by their foster parents and if you wanted food you best not hope for them to give you something. And if she could not steal food from others in school, she had to beat them for it and when she was caught, she was beaten in return because someone had to pick her up from school.

She had never been wanted. Had always been a burden. And then she was kicked out of school and sent to another. There she had felt, for the first time in her life, that there was something in her. Anna Leonova had caring eyes. And when she was beaten half to death and then kicked out by her foster parents, Anna had told her all would be better.

For the first time in her life Oksana had felt a warmth bloom inside of her. A strange feeling overcoming her dark thoughts. She lived mostly squatting in empty buildings and had only returned to school daily because of Anna. Anna who gave her food, Anna who cleaned wounds. Anna who baked her a birthday cake when she turned 14. No one had ever once thought of her birthday. Nor was there celebrations, because why celebrate a burden?

She had first seen Anna on her first day of school, because her hair reminded her of her mother. Her mother had had beautiful dark locks. But Oksana had been bestowed her fathers blond and straight hair. She remembered when she was little and her mother still alive she would brush her mother's hair with her large brush and marvel in the texture and feel of it. She also remembered her father often pulling her mother on her hair to the bedroom in a brutal fashion.

And there stood Anna, in the hallway at her classrooms door, being handed roses by the students since it was the first day of the new school year. Oksana had been walked down that hallway, brought to the principal, probably to listen to what her new school expected of her. For a moment she had paled and thought there stood her mother. It was not but she was still staring and Anna Leonova smiled the softest of smiles at her. Her first question was which class that was. French.

That was her turning point. She had a reason to try and she easily made it into the french class after half a year of showing she wasnt as stupid as her childhood file suggested. The only good part about her week was French classes and she lapped every word up that Leonova spoke.
Anna was the only person that did not see a feral animal in her. The only person that showed her some affection. After a year Oksana wrote a daily letter, exclaiming her teenage love to her teacher, searching for presents to give her. She was proficient at stealing and used that ability often for Anna.

It was her 14th birthday when Anna had invited her for cake, to celebrate her birthday and it was the best day in Oksana’s live because she had never thought someone would say Happy Birthday to her. She had wanted to look pretty and had attempted to take a dress of some washing line, only to be caught by a man who beat her for it. So she had turned up, face bruised and lip bleeding and tears in her eyes, because never did anything go well for her. Anna had sat her down in a chair, cleaned her face and when tears spilled from Oksana’s eyes because someone finally touched her tenderly, Anna wiped them.

And every private french lesson had turned into Anna showing Oksana that being touched didn't have to be painful. Touch could be something good and Oksana worshipped Anna for it. More and more private lessons were added and soon Max asked questions. And he stared at her angrily when she left and he just returned from work. Soon people talked behind their backs and some boy in her class said she was a dirty lesbian. She she beat him until he stopped talking.

When with Anna, the dark bleak world Oksana lived in changed. It was warm and full of promise. And they kissed and touched and loved. Someone that loved her. No matter that she was crass, someone loved her. Each time she held crying Anna she begged her to please not be ashamed. They could leave, somewhere where people didn't speak of them, and they could be happy and Anna wouldn't have to cry any longer. But Anna did not want to leave. She wanted to stay with her stupid husband.

It ended when Oksana was 16 and went to Anna's, on Wednesday morning like every Wednesday, because she had no school for that time. They had always met then, Max would just be out of the apartment and Anna made her breakfast and then she would make Oksana say thanks laying between the older womans legs.

Just this time there was no Anna in the kitchen. So Oksana went to the bedroom calling out for her. He beat her for an hour before he pulled his pants down and told her he would teach her why his wife would always prefer him. The darkness inside of her had bloomed with terror as Max held her down, beaten half senseless. She remembered the crying of the little boys in their foster home when her foster father went to them at night, and when she came back to her senses, Max was dead.

She felt betrayed, Anna had known what would happen. But Anna had decided it was better to have Oksana go through this than leave her husband, had sold her to the man to vent his anger on her. And hatred bloomed where once she loved so completely. She had stolen Max’ money and went to the closest bakery. She bought cake and set it up in the kitchen for Anna, together with Balloons that Anna always had there for her birthday, a nice present for her betrayal.

That was the day she realized she had just been used. She was always used. She didn't even try to run away from being arrested. She felt so worthless that she accepted where she belonged. And her life had turned darker and darker until Konstantin picked her up and she could vent her anger at the world on those who did bad things. She made it her profession and the worse the people that were her contracts, the more artful her way to kill them. There had never been any mercy for a small russian girl who had to watch her mother die and then get beaten and abused regularly. So why should she show mercy towards the people that did these atrocious things to others?

And her soul spiraled deeper and darker from there. And in her mind now Villanelle yearned for the lives she watched from afar. Remembering the words Konstantin had once said to her when she had rather wanted to flirt with a server at a restaurant then listen to him.

‘Who would ever love a murderer?’

With every kill she deviated farther from her dreamworld and when someone looked at her tenderly or friendly, she would bristle at it because everyone always only used her for their gains.
So she took what she could and when they declared interest, she would mock them because if they only knew what she truly was, they would turn in disgust.

And then she saw Eve. Eve in that bathroom, her hair open, wild and dark locks and it had taken Villanelles breath away. In her eyes was no maliciousness or judgement towards Villanelle.

’Are you okay?’

A simple look had her undone.

It had made her breath hitch for painful seconds and she had to leave the room, almost forgetting why she was there in the first place. And Eve soon knew what she was and for some reason she was still admiring her in her house, when Villanelle ate her shepherds pie. She had spoken to her with fascination not disgust and maybe Konstantin was wrong. Maybe someone could love her even though. That was why, when Eve turned from her, like all the others, she had lashed out.

 

“I asked if you are okay Ma’am?”

Villanalle’s head whipped around and she stared at the older Ferry company worker.

“We have arrived you need to get off.”

Without saying anything she gathered her heavy duffel and threw the guy a dirty look. Because she was thinking of Eve and how dare he break her train of thought.

Of course it rained in Newcastle. It never not rained in this shithole. She frowned as she wiped her face from the spray and then briskly took off. Her mind was in such shambles from her childhood memories, that she almost went past the bus terminal. She just needed to get into the countryside without delving into her shit past. There was no use for her as frazzled as this left her.

Bloody welts had been left by her fingernails in her palms.

’Who would ever love a murderer?’

Chapter Text

Time passed faster than Eve had anticipated and every few days a letter would reach her, as Alex complained she never even knew her mailman before this all.

Each letter was marked with red lips, each letter infuriated Eve but at some point when there hadn't been a letter for day, she felt worry. Alex grew increasingly confused with her behaviour but had settled to ignore and not ask.

Her new work was an office Job for a fish company, logging sales, stock incoming and outgoing, and so on. Alex working in different fields from fishing some nights to gutting fish on others. True to the younger womans word the boss didn't ask any questions and she soon found out that was due to his own colorful past.

Eve did not want to touch any of the money Villanelle had given her and with her first paycheck she bought some better fitting clothing. She still liked her wide pullovers at home though. And people had somehow not even bat their eyes when Alex introduced her as her Cousin.

After her stitches had come out Alex started showing her basics of hand to hand but mostly dirty tricks when you had to fight.

“You will have a hard time against a trained person with standard hand to hand. The dirty tricks is what gets them. Your goal is to run not kill. You kill when there is no other way out, when you can not run.”

They hiked around one weekend so Eve would know her surroundings if need be. And there was lots more shooting training, Eve quickly becoming proficient with certain weapons. She felt she was doing especially well with her training on days a letter from Villanelle had arrived.

“So is she sending you love letters?”

“What? NO!”

But Alex only raised one eyebrow and stared at the red kissy lips on the envelope.

Eve had blushed and put the letter away hastily, it had talked about one of her contracts but the puzzling part was her closing sentence:

‘I am sorry I shot you and I am glad you didn’t die.’

It sounded, almost genuine.

 

That evening when they sat outside on the pier, staring at the lake, drinking beer, Eve told Alex how she had gotten her scars. How she had given Villanelle hers. And the younger woman listened silently, let her vent and rant and then simply said:

“Do you think you are a bad person?”

“I...I don't know any longer.”

“Do you think I am a bad person?”

Eve frowned and looked at Alex who was staring straight ahead.

“No.”

“But you don't know me. You don't know anything about my past. You judge me by the person I am here. I am now. Would you still look at me the same if you knew the horrible things I did?”

Green eyes regarded her with nothing but calm, a bit curiosity mixed in.

“That's a tough question.”

“Yes, because humans like to think in black and white. We get taught from very early on what is right and what is not. At least most of us. Sometimes some of us do things to survive that a posh Londoner would find abhorrent. You would look at me with disgust. But because you have met me first at this time not earlier in my life and you think I am good now it is harder for your brain to reconcile I might not be. Humans always want to categorize clearly. No room for interpretation it all has to be 100 percent. But some of us don't have that luxury because from early on we aren't taught anything but: this is what you do to survive. You do this and we let you live.”

Alex took a deep breath, fingers peeling the label of the bottle.

“Why did you kill that man in Rome?”

She then asked a few minutes later after she had Eve stew on her words.

“I...I don't want to…”

“You have to at some point.”

She sucked in the crisp night air, mind going a mile a minute.

“I thought he would kill her. I thought she was in danger. I thought she NEEDED me.”

“She is a trained Assassin Sarah.”

Matter of fact. And Eve knew it was true, she had known it deep down in Rome too.

Eve swallowed a big gulp of beer down, remembered the knife she had once put against her own leg. Remembered how she had stabbed Villanelle.

“Because he deserved it…”

She whispered and tears brimmed.

“Why did you stab Villanelle in Paris?”

“Please...don't… .”

“Why Sarah?”

She bit her lip until it hurt, fingers flexing around the bottle neck. Alex wasn't forcing with her eyes, she was staring ahead across Loch Craggie.

“Because she deserved it for Bill. Because I wanted to and I wanted to punish her and cause her the same amount of pain. I wanted to feel what it feels like when the knife glides into the skin, wanted to see her face as I did it. I wanted to see her life end. I wanted to watch her die gloating as her little life passed because she had done the same to Bill. She deserved it, that's why. I did it because I could. The same with him: I could and I wanted to! Because he was part of them. He was bad, he was a murderer and he hurt her. And I could so I did. Because I decided that he deserved no mercy. I decided his life was over the moment he choked her. I decided his life was over because I could make that decision. Because I had that power and because when I felt I had done it, for a moment it felt good. Because I had achieved it, something he had never thought I could do.”

It burst from Eve as angry tears spilled from her eyes, rolling down her cheeks.

“I still think you are a good person.”

Alex said and then stood, leaving her to think about her words, chest heaving from emotion and side in pain, because as she had spoken her free hands fingers had angrily pressed into her scars. She could barely swallow past the lump in her throat, her emotions a roller coaster. She had never let her mind stay long on the things she did. She had locked her feelings and Alex had simply pried the cage open.

Black and White and so many greys in between.

Eve did not speak the next day, nor the day after. She was miserable, lost in her mind and the darkness she had tabbed on since meeting Villanelle, a darkness she had been so scared of exploring because she regarded it abnormal. Because it was scary to have that part inside of yourself, closer and closer to the surface and Eve did not think she would ever be able to fully bury that thing again.

**

“Get changed! We are doing what every respectable Brit does a Friday night: we’re going to the Pub.”

Alex said when she returned from her shift at the third day, an hour after Eve had.

“I don't think…”

“I said we are. I didn't ask. You need to get out of this house for a bit. There is a live band playing in the pub. It isn't often someone gets lost around Tongue. “

And so they went in that beat up car, which made strange sounds when they drove it, which they barely did because Eve, soon after arriving, had gotten her own badly looking bike. The pub wasn't packed but there were more people there than on a usual evening. Many of their co workers where there too and they got a mini table with two chairs in the back of the Pub, where the light of the pub did not reach really and they said almost secluded by the shadows.

They shared a large plate of fish and chips and Eve listened to Alex explain why a sauce named Remoulade was better than vinegar. The live band was amazing, as Alex had promised and Eve found herself listening to the Scottish brogue songs, feeling better minute by minute. And at one Song, that seemed to be a Pub song judging from all the people singing with it, everyone got up and a wild dance was had through the pub. Eve laughed and Alex grinned, while they danced in circles around each other, Eve’s hair open, wild locks bouncing. And they danced until they where breathless and slumped back down in their seats, sipping their drinks.

For this moment in the pub, her mind was off of those things darkening her mood for days now. They just existed in this little pub with no worries.

**

That night when she went to bed, Eve felt a slight bit lighter. As every night, laying in her bed, her thoughts went to Villanelle, her fingers one of her scars, rubbing it lazily. It was like a connection and her mind was filled with Villanelle’s words from her letters.

Were they really so different after all? Probably not. Just their remorse system was. Villanelle had some point had stopped registering the remorse. Maybe she didn't feel it any longer after all those kills. Alex’s words rang in her mind. How some people only learned to do to survive.
There had been genuine anger and hurt in the ruins when Eve had argued back. And Villanelle had explained she felt when she was around.

Blaming her alone for Raymond tho...Eve could not anylonger. She had wanted it too. What hurt was that constant betrayal around Eve. Everyone she thought was a friend had used her.

It was a fitful sleep she went to and when she got up at 6 am Her head was a mess.

There was another Letter waiting for her, Alex nowhere in sight so probably feeding the chicken.

It was the shortest letter yet. A flowing script proclaimed:

I have a plan. Soon Baby X

It made her shudder and worry her lip. She still wasn't sure if the Assassin simply came here to finish her off.

Outside Alex was ripping feathers from a chicken carcass. She looked to Eve and found her with the MP five, checking everything and taking 3 magazines from the case.

“Target practice?”

Eve nodded.

“Might get us some hare.”

Another nod from Alex and Eve was off. She needed that Hike to clear the cobwebs in her head.

**

Villanelle had arrived in Tongue friday night, she was tired, she was cranky, she hated cheap transportation methods. But she needed to lay low. She remembered exactly where Katarinas house was and decided to walk from the towncentre, stealing a car here would be stupid.

Slinging her duffel over her shoulder she walked and at some point she heard music which grew louder and louder. It was slightly drizzling by the time she reached the towns Pub and She gazed into the windows fascinated. There was laughter and people moved, dancing to the band playing live.
Her catlike eyes watched and watched, drinking her fill of normal human interaction, feeling that starving feeling inside of herself that she always felt when she watched others have this kind of thing. Not all the money in the world could buy her this.

Villanelle was about to turn away from the scene when she saw a mop of amazing black locked hair swiftly move past. A gasp escaped her and her nose almost went up against the glass.

It was her. HER! She was dancing, she was laughing and Villanelle watched like a man starved and drank her in. Gasping breaths pushing past her lips and eyes wide in absolute wonder.
And then someone grabbed both of Eve’s hands and they spun and they laughed and her heart felt like cold lead. She watched with growing anger as Katarina, alive only because she had granted it, spun Eve in circles, drawing laughter from her, like Villanelle never had.

With an empty mind she went to the tiny guest house further down the road, mind on fire as she checked into the Tigh Nan Ubhal Guesthouse, the lady at the front desk telling her about the live band playing right now.

“I hate music”

Villanelle snarled and went to her room, her brain already forming angry plans.

**

Eve had gone to her hare hunt with an MP5 about two hours ago when Katarina heard steps coming from the front garden. She was in the back garden in the veggie field, pretending she hadn't heard hands puttering around in the soil, knife close by.

“Kata...Katarina?”

She did turn then and smiled fondly when she saw who had finally joined them.

“Le Papillon!”

A warm smile blossomed on Papillons face and Katarina stood, wiping her hands on her work pants.

“I wondered when you would finally make it here!”

She said and walked towards her once saviour.

Just before she could reach her, really just a few steps short, something in Papillons eyes made Katarina stop. She looked at her friend curiously and wondered if she had made a mistake in assessing the situation.
As she had stopped, Villanelle took it upon herself to close the gap between them, fake smile blooming on her lips.

The next thing Katarina knew, she was trying to block a flurry of punches and she definitely saw metal in the right hand.

“LE PAPILLON!”

She yelled as they fought, Katarina trying just to get some space between them somehow.

“What is going on?”

Villanelle danced around her and it was like watching a viper dance.

“I asked you to keep her safe!”

Katarina was absolutely baffled.

“I DID! She is out hiking!”

Was it because Sarah had not been here? Had Villanelle thought she had done her job badly?

“NOT TOUCH HER!”

Le Papillon yelled back and the shock of the accusation made Katarina stop short for a second, which was all Villanelle needed. She struck and her ears rang with the blow, as she sank to her knees, trying to block her face from further blows. It was futile, as elbow and knee rained upon her and Katarina realized she was stupid for not being prepared for this.

“Le pa...papillon”

She forced from split lips, blood running into her eye from another Brow wound.

Katarina saw the knife glint, turning from back hand hold to proper and she prepared to block her neck, first position this would possibly swipe at.As the Assassin prepared, and Katarina tasted the blood in her mouth from the punch, a single shot exploded a meter next to Villanelle and she startled, jumping back.

There, on a little hill behind Katarina, maybe 100 meters away, stood Eve, hair blowing wildly about, MP5 with a silencer on her shoulder. The hold was expert, MP slightly slanted on the shoulder bone to avoid it painfully pressing back. Villanelle gasped at the view, as if she had laid eyes on the Madonna herself.

A round of burst shots landed close to her right side and her eyes going wide was the only indication she realized she was being shot at.

Katarina stood, albeit a bit wobbly, wiping her mouth and spitting out blood.

“I’ll be inside...”

She mumbled, having realized weeks ago something dark lurking between her friends. Something that seemed uncontrollable. Something you better not get in between, because they always ended with one or the other mortally wounded.

Villanelle moved to let Katarina pass, eyes glued to the most volatile Eve she had ever laid eyes on, feeling the resonating pull in her belly.

“Hello Villanelle.”

Eve’s voice was ice cold and deadly. It send shivers of anticipation down Villanelle’s spine.

Chapter Text

Eve walked toward Villanelle slowly, face cool and devoid of emotion. Slung over her shoulder was a Hare, mouth and eyes open. Villanelle stared, nostrils flaring and pupils blown. She could not believe the sight in front of her!

Oh, Eve was mad at her, furiously so and Villanelle shivered in anticipation of whatever interaction would follow.

“Hello Eve…”

She whispered reverently, like a prayer.

“You are standing on the Lilies. Would you move? I’d rather not spray them with blood.”

Hazel eyes looked down confused and yes, in her fight with Katarina she had moved into a flower patch. She took a few steps to the side, out of the Lilies.

“Are you still angry with me?”

She made it sound fake incredulous, like that ditzy blond in that Telenovela she had watched years ago out of boredom.

“Oh no darling! I have moved past angry. It might be because of the cooler weather making my side hurt like bitch but I feel quite murderous right now. Drop that knife.”

Villanelle thought she had hidden it fast from sight but apparently this Eve had learned to look out better. She threw the knife left and emotions tried to spill out of her, she had to exert so much control right now, because Eve still would not lower the MP5 and Villanelle was sure she would be shot point blank would she dare hug Eve, like she wanted.

“I said sorry quite a few times…”

Well she had written it.

“I really meant it too you know.”

Eve took the hare, strung up, from her shoulder and rolled her eyes.

“I bet you did.”

Villanelle frowned and watched as she was thrown the hare, catching it.

“Let’s have a talk in the shed yes?”

Eve said and her head nodded towards the side.

Well there was no arguing right now with Eve, so Villanelle did as she was told, hare flopping at her side as she held him by his ears, swinging him for effect, Eve following her, MP still pointed at her back.

Once inside the shed, Villanelles eyes flit around. She was always searching for ways out, possible weapons.

“Are you really still so angry Eve? I did save you, you know.”

And when she turned to look at Eve a bit incredulous, because really at which point would the older woman start forgiving her, the stock of the gun connected with her jaw. Pain exploded in her face and she saw stars before her vision faded completely.
When she came back to her senses she was propped against the side of the car, facing towards the work bench where Eve was skinning the Hare, hands a bloody mess.

She groaned feeling the bruise blooming under her skin and Eve turned her face slightly so she could check if her guest was awake.

“You didn't even restrain me Eve. How dangerous.”

Working her jaw Villanelle tried to stand.

“Stay down.”

Eyebrows shot up and she saw Eve holding up a knife.

“We both know what kind of a mess a knife is. I want to avoid a repeat”

Gods dammit had the woman any idea how aluring she was right now? This was torture! She plopped back down and looked like a petulant child, having been told off for being naughty.

“You will apologize to Alex”

“But…”

“I don't think you should argue with me.”

Villanelle bit down the harsh words. How ridiculous to be so turned on while basically being reprimanded like a naughty child.

Eve, she realized, was nothing like Anna. Eve was better, Eve was more. Eve had become something that made Villanelles chest constrict and ache with need. How could she have ever thought she could forget this woman?

With her work done, Eve hung her pray and then wiped her hands off on a piece of fabric, she marched past Villanelle and towards the house and the younger woman stared, absolutely enthralled. Konstantin had been right, this woman would be her demise. She would burn the world down if Eve so much as gave her a look. Swallowing thickly, she got up and went to the back door of the cabin, taking her muddy boots off outside, because she was quite sure, if she dared enter with those, she would have more than an aching jaw.

Inside a fire crackled and Villanelle stared at Eve and Katarina in the kitchen, the younger pressing frozen peas to her face while Eve dabbed the blood off of her face. She huffed and marched over, plopping down in the chair across from Katarina. Eve’s browns landed on her, expectantly, and she rolled her hazel eyes and sighed.

“I am sorry I hit you.”

Eve still kept staring at her.

“I...I am sorry I was wrong and misjudged and should not have attacked you because you helped me in the first place.”

Eve rolled her eyes and shook her head annoyed, leaving Katarinas side.

“Blöde Ziege!”

Katarina spat at her.

“Arschloch!”

“Du kannst mich mal Papillon. Als ob ich mit Ihr! Bist du bescheuert?”

Katarina looked absolutely incredulous at her and Villanelle rolled her eyes.

“Ich habe mich entschuldigt.”

“FEIN!”

“Ja, FEIN!”

Eve was simply staring at them having their little exchange, then grabbed Villanelle’s jaw, causing the younger woman to gasp in pain, eyes shooting to Eve and glassing over. Yeap, Eve had wanted that to hurt, and her hand tightened still, until Villanelle whimpered in pain, hand grasping the older woman’s wrist trying to make her let go, squirming in her chair. Then another bag of frozen goods was softly pressed against her bruise.

And so they sat and sulked while Eve made coffee, massaging her temples to ward off the oncoming headache these two had caused her.

“Nice gun control Eve. I am surprised Katarina could teach you that, she likes the more brute style.”

“Du bist so ein Miststück Villanelle..”

The Russian stuck her tongue out at the german, the insults started flying back and forth in german and in Russian and after a few back and forths, Eve’s fist connected with the kitchen counter, shutting them both up and staring at her.

“I swear on anything you believe in, if you two dont stop behaving like children I will take you both out back.”

One arm crossed over her chest, the other still holding her frozen peas to her swelling face, Alex slumped back in her chair, staring at the floor. Villanelle’s eyes widened comically.

“To the chopping block? Have you gotten better with an Axe too?”

She waited for another something to connect with her face as punishment, was actually a bit giddy for it, but it never came. Instead she watched Eve walk away and upstairs silently.

A snort stopped her stare at the now empty staircase.

“Smooth…”

And she had no retort, slumping in her chair herself, feeling absolutely shitty for what she had said. Gods she hated that thing Eve did to her. The having feelings thing. She hadn’t lied when she told the Korean that she felt around her. Not just the good, the bad too. And she felt like an asshole right now.

**

Eve went up and washed her hands and the wet cloth she had used of Alex’s blood, watching the red water swish around in the sink. The Axe comment had stung, which was stupid because she knew that was the intention and she had promised herself not to do let herself be riled up by Villanelle any longer. All the pent up stress from finding Villanelle beating up Alex left her and she felt she was shaking slightly as she went to her room and sat on her bed. And then she felt drained and laid back, rolling to her side to face the wall.

When the door opened behind her, she didn't move to acknowledge her visitor. She knew the steps, knew the smell of Villanelle perfectly. The sound of a cup being put on her nightstand, the smell of hot coffee.

Then her bed dipped and she felt Villanelles body press close, arm slung over her side.
The younger woman's breathing was ragged, face pressed into Eve’s hair, but Eve refused to react to the feeling.

How long had it been since someone had hugged her like this? Held her?

“Will you end it now? Finally?”

Gods it would be release to finally be out of this misery. Here Eve laid in bed, hiding from Assassins and spies alike, with the woman who had shot her.

“I’m sorry Eve! I am sorry for shooting you. I shouldn't have reacted like that. I shouldn't have lied to you in the first place! I know what you felt like. Always lied to, always used. And I shouldn't have done the same to you as the others. You trusted me. And I used it. And I am really Sorry I hurt you over and over.”

And it was genuine. Eve had no idea how to react but it was actually genuine.

“I don't ever want to kill you. But I know me and I will hurt you again. Because I always hurt the people around me.”

“I just want to sleep. I am so, so tired Villanelle.”

Of everything. Of her life, of running, of hiding and of being scared. She was tired of feeling for Villanelle too, of having all these conflicting emotions inside of her, of having enjoyed causing Villanelle pain, seeing her reaction to Eve threatening her with the MP, the power of halting everything the Assassin did. She had loved the power play, had loved seeing the pain in Villanelles eyes, loved breaking her with the pain and Eve hated herself for it.

Her fingers were pressing into the front scar until she hissed and then she felt long, thin fingers surround hers, pulling her fingers away from the spot, and then that warm hand pushed under her pullover and covered the scar, that same hand had left on her in the first place. The pain faded and Eve let her mind go and fell asleep. She couldn't care less if she never woke again.

Chapter Text

When Eve woke, her mind still swimming tiredly, she thought for a moment that it had all been in her had a vivid dream, but then a weight across her midriff alerted her to someone else in bed, the arm pulled her back against that body and Eve felt things that made no sense. Because this was Villanelle, who had shot her in a fit of anger. The Villanelle she had killed for, the Villanelle that had hidden her away. Villanelle, that understood her like no one else and that wasn't disgusted by her darkness.

They had fallen asleep before noon, and Eve felt she had at least gotten some rest this time.
Carefully she turned to face Villanelle and wondered if the younger woman was really asleep or professionally faking it.

The bruise on her jaw was bluish purple and eve’s hand went up to stroke it, but before she could, a fast hand stopped her.

“Please don't hurt me again.”

Villanelle whispered in a strange tone Eve had not heard her use before, vulnerable, keeping her eyes closed and then burying her face against Eve’s neck, under her chin. For a moment Eve floundered, unsure of how to react. But at some point her arms did go around the younger woman, holding her as she simply buried against Eve as if wanting to hide herself inside of Eve.

She didn't mean only the bruise and how Eve had intentionally grabbed to hurt her. Villanelle spoke about Rome. How they had fought.

“We can't promise each other not to hurt each other Villanelle. You realize we are really, really fucked up? I can’t promise that we won't say things that hurt you because right now I have no idea what ...what this is. I can't grasp my feelings because the last few weeks I have been on the run, trying to learn to survive, getting a new identity, all because the thought of following you consumed me and my whole life.”

Arms tightened around Eve as if she did not want to hear these things, like a small child trying to bury away from the truth.

“I am...I stabbed you and killed someone and everything I thought I was, is drifting farther and farther away and half the day I look around me, wondering if someone will kill me soon.”

She gently stroked her fingers through Villanelles hair in a soothing fashion.

“You shot me because you were angry I didn't do as you wished and that scares me. It scares me what you feel.”

A shaky breath was drawn against her neck and Eve knew she had hit a nerve.

And suddenly a low voice with a thick accent told the story of Oksana Astankova, her parents, the foster family, the hunger each day, the stealing, Anna and the seduction by the teacher, how Oksana had felt when she felt loved, how Max had tried to end them and how she ended him instead and how she knew she deserved no one because who could ever love a murderer. And how it felt when Eve didn't look at her with disgust.

The woman in her arms was, for a moment, Oksana Astankova, alone, scared and hurt and Eve felt for her because it was like Alex had said. Some people did not have the privilege of normal childhoods, they never had a childhood to begin with. Eve held her tightly and she understood the desperation to be loved in spite of what you are.

The confession of her past, something Villanelle had always hidden not just from others, but from herself, had left her drained and she had fallen asleep again limply. Eve held her for longer before untangling herself to use the bathroom. The silence in the house had her worried before she realized Alex was on a three night fishing trip for the company. Their boss wouldn't like the look of her but Eve knew the girl would have a lie handy.

She went down to the kitchen knowing she should prepare something, anything to eat. Settling for a prepackaged soup she put that on, made tea not long after she heard soft footsteps amble down the stairs but once in the kitchen Eve saw the younger woman's eyes wild with terror, before they landed on Eve and she calmed immediately.

“I thought…”

Eve rubbed her eyes and nodded. Villanelle sat heavily, shoulders sagging.

“I never...I shouldn't...I am not supposed to feel like this. I don't feel. I just do. But now I feel and I don't know what to make of it.”

It made sense, she had never been brought up in the traditional sense, had never grown into standard emotions.

“We are tumbling down a slope Villanelle. I...have lost everything. I have nothing left, nowhere to turn. And you turn up here. And my heart aches but at the same time...you make me feel darkness. I am scared.“

Eve admitted and then stood, pouring them both a bowl of soup, placing tea in front of them.

“I thought I wanted you like me. I thought if you were like me you had no reason to leave. But I was wrong. I just want...you, whatever you are. Something that I can never have. Because I am what I am. And I know I am not right in the head because I watch people die and I enjoyed what they asked me to do.”

She heard the whisper of a girl scared of speaking up to loud and stirring demons.

The rest of the meal was spent in silence, both of the women deep in their own thoughts. Afterwards they did the dishes together and put everything away again and somehow they existed in this place where the outer world could not reach them. An inbetween where their emotions where in limbo too.

“Can...can I see it?”

Villanelle whispered, behind her and Eve had not realized the woman had come so close. Eve swallowed thickly, then nodded and the cups in Villanelle’s hand were left on the counter, Eve’s hands bracing her there. She felt hands on her hips and shivered, her pullover was slowly pushed up, Villanelle’s lithe frame pressed up against her. Fingertips danced playfully over her exposed skin, taking time to map what the other woman allowed her, ghosting across her ribcage and then back down and Eve’s eyes closed as she sucked in a breath. Her fingers clutched the counter desperately in need of grounding.

When was the last time such a simple touch made her feel like this?

The Assassins fingers found the scar on her back, stroking it, breathing labored, then went across to her stomach and the way she touched made Eve wonder if that hand would wander somewhere else. Instead the body pressed strongly against hers left and she almost whimpered at the loss.

She could not hold back the moan bursting from her throat as she felt lips touch that scar and Eve swore her knees buckled.

“Villanelle…”

“I am...really sorry Eve.”

Was whispered against her fast heating skin, long fingered hands splayed on her stomach, touching the underside of her breasts, holding the older woman in place.

Eve knew she shouldn't enjoy this like she did. She shouldn't want this. But she was trembling anyways and there was this dark thing inside of her rejoicing at the contact, the perceived danger of doing this with someone who could so easily end her life. Maybe that underlying fear was what turned her on. And excitement she had never felt with her husband. Not once had he looked at her and made her fall apart with one look.

Licking her lips the Korean turned slowly, hand landing on an unbruised cheek.

“Why are you doing this to me?”

“Because I have never wanted so much in my life. Because you are the first person that knows who I am but doesn't recoil in disgust. Because I have feelings I never had before. Because I can't let you go, I tried. But all my thoughts go to you and I feel and want to feel all these things while also being terrified of what you do to me. You make me weak. You will be my end.”

Villanelle whispered, leaning into that hand.

“Because nothing made sense until I was back with you.”

Brows furrowed with understanding and something broke inside of Eve. Something let go and she pulled Villanelle up and brazenly pressed her lips against hers.

And this time It was the Assassin who whimpered and fell into Eve. And they would fall and fall and everything was wrong, both wishing that it wouldnt be this complicated, that they could have been just two women meeting each other instead of their story of murder and hunting. And they would crash and take everything around them down with each other, because they both had no understanding of healthy but at least they would fall together.

Teeth teased and bit, hands grabbing hungrily, nails scratching and Bodies entangling until they somehow ended up back in Eve’s bedroom and the world around them mattered no more. Not for these moments together, when all Eve thought about was never having felt anything close to this and that this must be how addictions started. She wondered briefly how something that felt so right could be so wrong but Eve also knew now that they had started this, the torrent would take them under. Everyone that had ever warned them had been right. They would burn their worlds down and no one would get out of the circle they had woven unscathed.

Eve had never done this before but it felt natural and Villanelle told her not to think about it when she had said she had never touched a woman. Eve did let go of her fears and let herself take this being in completely. With lips and hands she explored this enigma moaning her name, absolutely pliant underneath her. She had thought she would be the one being held down until she fell apart but it was the other way around and her taking the lead while Villanelle seemed to crave her holding that power.

It was explosive and eye opening and ripped Eve Polastri open at the seams, changing what she was forever.

“Please...don't cry, please.”

Villanelle whispered to her as they tried calming down, naked on the sheets, breathing heavily, limbs tangled. It broke Eve’s heart because she remembered what Villanelle had said about Anna, how Anna would cry after they had sex. She pulled the younger woman in for a kiss much changed from the hungry one’s before. It was tender and caring and Eve hoped Villanelle would understand something that she didn't even understand.
Her thumb stroked Villanelle’s cheek softly and a sense of doom blossomed in her chest. Whatever this was, it wasn't sustainable, it would consume them and spit them back out.
Hazel eyes searched meaning in hers, tried to read a face for its emotions.

“Regret?”

Villanelle guessed and Eve saw darkness coil, waiting to lash out.

“No.”

She answered in a whisper.

“I can't explain you emotions that I can't understand myself. I wish I could stay forever in this house and forget who I am. I wish nothing mattered any longer and everything ended here. I sometimes wish I had stayed at my boring desk job.”

The plethora of emotions stayed confusing to the young woman.

“You wish we hadn't met?”

“Both of our lives ended the day we saw each other.”

She saw that Villanelle tried hard to understand things she couldn't understand and Eve simply shuffled close, and pressed their bodies closer together.

“I wish...I could be normal. For you.”

Villanelle said softly and Eve knew Villanelle had always just craved normalcy others had and did not appreciate. But they would never get that.

“Why did you beat Alex?”

Eve asked after a while.

“Because I saw you dance. Because I could never make you laugh like that. Because all we do when we are together is run from someone. Because I know you have no reason to stay with me. I am a murderer and I get people around me killed. I was jealous.”

Eve didn't think that Villanelle had ever been so sincere in her life and she was grateful for that.

“I came here because I...might have a plan. So you can go back.”

The younger woman's words surprised her and Eve tried to look at her but Villanelle looked anywhere but her.

“Let’s not...not now. I just...I just want to keep this moment for a while. I want to just be with your for some time. I don't care what happens after. “

Eve retorted and then shuffled the bedsheets up and over them. She felt Villanelle’s muscles uncoil at her words, at wanting to just be for a while, with her only. She knew she would never be able to return to an old life that ended when she had stabbed Villanelle in Paris, because from then on she had changed too much to be the old Eve Polastri and at some point she would have to accept that.

Chapter Text

There was fingertips ghosting over her scar, teasing the uneven tissue and the skin around. Then lips added and Villanelle sighed at being woken like this.

“You are right...we match”

And teeth nipped, making Villanelles hips buck in return, that breath she was taking, violently caught in her throat. How she wished she could wake like this every morning, how she wished this didn't have to end at some point. That she and Eve could just stay in this place forever.

The things they had stirred would not allow it though. Another bite, stronger this time and Villanelle hissed, staring down at the woman with the amazing hair.

“Ouch!”

Petulant but also oh so turned on by this Eve. The feral Eve, the one that had shot at her, beat her, touched her to cause pain. Eve crawled up again and Villanelle frowned but then lips where back on hers and warmth spread through her chest.

They spend the rest of that day and night in bed, resting then kissing and rolling between the sheets, then resting again before hunger carried them back down.

Eve didn’t really care for the outside world. The only thing still getting her attention was when she fed the chicken. Other than that her mind was on Villanelle. When she returned from feeding, eggs in a basket she found Villanelle in the kitchen, and her face was somber.

She knew what was coming. They had to think further.

Eve made them tea and then sat across, waiting for the younger woman to speak.
She did not really want to do this. All Eve wanted was to forget everything else.

Villanelle pulled something from her jeans pockets and laid it on the table. It was a data drive.
Confusion made Eve’s brows crinkle.

“I found this in a room at Aaron Peels place. It was attached to his personal computer.”

She gaped and stared at that tiny drive.

“Is it…?”

“I can’t open it. It’s encrypted.”

Which meant something important was on there.

“Maybe….just his sick movies?”

Villanelle shrugged.

“Okay so if this is his program...what do you have planned with this?”

She had said she had a plan in her letter.

“I...will offer this to Carolyn Martens. In return for your security. She offered me a deal in Russia. I want to bargain for that. I can't go back to the 12 because they want you dead. I need to know you are save Eve.”

Swallowing thickly Eve reached across the table.

“Is there nothing else…I don't trust her?”

“It’s the only option where your life isn't in danger Eve. I don't trust her either but it's more safe than on the run from the 12. If they protect you, the 12 won't dare touch you. Especially since we might have Peele’s weapon.”

How strangely selfless of the younger woman, who had not really exhibited selflessness before in her life.

“You want me to return home to my life, my husband?”

Vulnerability, being scared of being left behind like always played on Villanelle’s face. Eve went to her side and crouched next to her chair, laying her hand on one of the fists.

“Look at me Villanelle!”

She did and her eyes were almost empty.

“I don't...Niko and I haven't been alright for a while. And I hadn't planned to return to him after Rome. Because he deserves better than me: someone that can never commit to him. I need you to stop...lashing out in jealousy. I need you to stop deciding what is in my head or what I must feel.”

“I...can't change what I did before. I am trying...But I am not good. I was never…”

No their revelations and understanding about what they were, had started after Rome.

“Gods what are we doing here?”

Eve mumbled and stood, feeling shaky. Villanelle hadn't stopped staring, fingers now playing with the drive.

“If she takes you back...if she gives me what she offered...I can at least keep her close and keep an eye on her schemes. It is less dangerous. I can protect you.”

“The 12 will always hunt us.”

Matter of fact, their truth, their reality. They would never be safe with the 12 in the picture. Because to them Villanelle was a traitor and Eve had taken her away from them, a very expensive asset.

“How do we get her to talk to us?”

“I asked Konstantin to find info on her. Which I might be able to use. He will arrange a meeting if I want.”

“If this isn't the weapon...we have nothing and she will take us apart.”

Villanelle nodded and frowned down at the data stick.

“We need someone to decrypt this drive first.”

“I don't have trustworthy sources in that field. I could find someone and pay them but that’s...dangerous.”

Eve bit her lip, mind going a mile a minute.

“I know someone…”

“That son of Martens?”

She sounded incredulous and looked at Eve as if she was out of her mind. Which she was.

“His sense of doing good...He helped me against her before. I trust Kenny more than Carolyn.”

Villanelle sighed but nodded.

“It’s not like we have other options.”

So Kenny it would be. The first person they needed to talk to. Carolyn's skittish son who could not even say the word Penis.

So they sat, both lost in a sense of finality after having decided what to do, both wishing reality didn't have to settle with them.

“Why did you come here to tell me your plans?”

Her usual Modus Operandi would have been to do everything she wanted and just spring it on Eve, slowly, revealing bit by bit.

“Because I promised myself I would try to...to be better for you. I don't care about the rest of the stinking world. But I care about you and you make me ache for things I can never give you. I feel...I just feel and it hurts and it makes me feel stupid things.”

Like being bad, being undeserving. It was the truth they both knew it. They would never have an ounce of normalcy. They could pretend and play but in the end the truth was something else entirely.

“I lied to you in Rome. And it made everything worse. It would have been bad anyways but…”

“Yea…”

No they couldn't change their past. It was impossible to turn back time.

“I don't think we would have cared for each other had we been normal Villanelle. You do realize I am not right either? I got excited by being chased by an Assassin! I threw my life away and let it fall to shambles because I am so unhealthily obsessed with you.”

Head in her hands Eve spoke not sure if Villanelle would even be able to grasp that.

“My obsession with you gets people killed.”

The younger woman’s eyes shot up.

“You were raised in a world in which everybody can just simply be disposed off, if they don't function as they should. Where money and a Postcard decided a life had to end. And here I sit after sleeping with you and I can’t even make sense of what I feel. Because I am still obsessed with you after all you did, we did, and this makes it just harder to ignore...what I feel for you.”

Eve did not voice that feeling of impending doom she had felt since she woke naked in Villanelle’s arms. There was no other way out for them than trying to get on Carolyn's side. Villanelle was right that made them at least privy to what that woman was up to.

“We should talk to your Kenny before I call Konstantin. But for that we need to get to London and to him.”

That would need proper planning. Eve nodded.

After they had a simple dinner it felt like there was a deafening silence that had fallen between them. She showered cold that night but that was apparently an urban myth because, no, she was still horny for the assassin.

Staring at herself in the bathroom mirror incredulously.

“You sicko!”

She accused herself and yelped when the door sprung open and naked Villanelle sauntered in like she owned the damn place. She heard the shower curtain open and then Villanelle turned back around to look at her in the mirror.

“Why would you shower cold Eve??”

Eve gaped as the hand slapped her rear and Villanelle winked at her before finally getting into the tub and pulled the shower curtain closed.

She blubbered like a fool and stared through the mirror at the silhouette behind the curtain, the french Anthem being hummed.

“Want to wash my back, baby?”

“Don't slip and break your neck”

Eve simply replied and left the bathroom absolutely mortified at herself for feeling the spike of arousal, for having stared at the naked beauty.

“Yeap...I am doomed.”

She wondered if therapy would help, while she got dressed in a tank top and pajama pants for bed but her therapist would probably turn up dead.

Eve wished that the day had not ended on such a heavy note but she felt she didn't even deserve that for the things she’s done in her past. Eve felt changed, like Rome had turned her into something else. She thought differently under stress, where before she would make mistake after mistake, now she calmly plotted, reacted with coldness. Because maybe she didn't care any longer what happened to her. And thus she just wanted...just a little time with that person that had started this all.

It was feeding her need of Villanelle, that obsessiveness that she had never been able to shake, that had just gotten worse each time they met. She had had a feeling they would be explosive, an all consuming but then something in her companion had changed too. There was still Oksana Astankova inside, a girl just in need of some love and underneath that was Villanelle, coiling, waiting.

Eve was pulled out of her reverie as she heard her rooms door click open. In came Villanelle, towel on her hair, skimpy lace knickers. Nothing else. She groaned and let herself fall back on the bed. She swore Villanelle answered with a chuckle, but couldn't think of it further or have a retort, something witty, which frankly wasn't really her stick at all, because all of a sudden she felt the younger woman crawl over her, lips on her neck, teeth scraping teasingly.

“You always think too much!”

Her eyes opened and she was so close, her now playful hazels almost twinkling with mirth.

“You put me into situations where I have to think a lot.”

And then teeth nibbed her earlobe, hot breath fanning over her skin and Eve was sure her pupils had blown wide.

“Want me to put you into a situation where you don't have to think?”

“You’ll be the death of me…”

“Ohh I can do le petit mort!”

And Oksana was gone and this was Villanelle suckling on the pulse point on her neck, making her feel a mess inside and her skin pebbling. Eve swallowed hard mind blank as Villanelle had promised. And then something switched in her and she smirked up, flipping them and sitting on the younger woman’s flat belly. Villanelles eyes widened:

“Ooh…”

Chapter Text

Eve sat on the pier early morning, staring out at the lake, sipping coffee. She had woken really early, even though she had barely gotten much sleep the night before.
Soft steps alerted her to Villanelle having woken, she plopped down behind Eve, legs on each side of hers and chin on her shoulder.

“I hate when you slip away like that.”

“Just needed to...look at this.”

Because they would have to leave soon and Eve would truly miss this place.

“It's pretty.”

Villanelle said, squeezing Eve in her arms.

“I woke this morning aching all over Eve. I really like your bossy side.”

She whispered and it made Eve shiver.

“I don't want to leave here. This. Us.”

Eve spoke softly and felt the younger woman's forehead press against the back of her neck.
She knew Villanelle understood, felt it too. Here they could be just them and they didn't have to think about multimillion secret society trying to murder them, MI6 using them for their twisted feeling of right and wrong.

Her coffee wasn't really warm anymore and Villanelle grabbed the mug and took a sip, then kissed Eve’s cheek and handed the mug back.

“I will make breakfast, don't get too cold out here.”

She said and dropped one more kiss on Eve’s forehead before leaving her to her deep thoughts.

Eve knew once in London things would change once more. But all she wanted was mornings like this. She wanted nights like the ones before and Eve knew whatever this was could not sustain in the real world. Finishing the last dregs of cold coffee she got up and ambled back inside, finding herself dead in her tracks staring at Villanelle in the kitchen. It was such a natural look for her, it made Eve’s chest ache.

“I made some more fresh coffee.”

She said as Eve walked up to her and then felt herself forcefully pulled into a searing hot kiss, eggs forgotten in their pan as Eve’s lips claimed hers, hands clutching at her waist hungrily. Villanelle barely got the stove to switch off, before her hands landed in the black curls she adored so much, massaging a scalp.

She pressed the smaller woman back against the kitchen counter, grabbing thighs and hoisting her up as their moans filled the kitchen. Villanelle stepped between Eve’s legs, which went around her waist, pulling her against her, so the Russian couldn't just leave.

It was sloppy kisses, bites and tongues sweeping, Eve’s hands pulling up the thin shirt of the woman between her legs, laughing when it got stuck on her arms that were grasping at her hips and shoulders.

“OFF!”

Eve commanded and Villanelle nodded stupidly.

“Uhm...guys…”

Eve jumped out of her skin on the counter, clutching Villanelle close and staring over her shoulder at Alex, standing in her doorway, staring at them.

“You know what...I...I’ll go put my duffel in my room…”

Alex said and moved up the stairs fast.

“Fuck…”

Eve muttered and hit Villanelle’s shoulder as she laughed.

“Okay...let...let me get down.”

“No...wait..just one more.”

And there were those soft lips again on hers, tenderly kissing as she lifted the smaller Asian off the counter, letting her slide down her body until she was back on her feet.
Villanelle tucked a stray strand of hair behind Eve’s. There was such tenderness in Villanelle’s eyes that moment, such deep feeling that it took Eve’s breath away and it almost made her cry because now Alex was back, it was time to leave.

A kiss on her forehead and then Villanelle started anew on the eggs, making more now that their host was back.

It was almost 15 minutes before Alex came back down, her face map of bruises.

Breakfast was a strange affair, they ate, sipped their coffee and Alex had no idea what to say to them.

“How's the face?”

A single middle finger in answer from Alex and before Villanelle could say more, Eve kicked her shin under the table. Seeing the look on her face, the Russian shut up though and went back to spearing eggs with her fork.

After they at their fill they spoke about having to leave for London.

“Not gonna lie...you guys don’t have much. But It’s your decision. I get that you have to try.”

Alex said softly.

“I’ll miss you though Eve.”

“And me?”

“No...you can piss off.”

“Fuck you!”

Eve leaned back and simply stared back and forth as the insults flew again and just ignored them really. It seemed to be their thing.

“I can get you a car by tomorrow morning.”

Alex said, breaking the verbal sparring.

“Would be helpful I hate trains.”

Alex and Villanelle got up then, packing some stuff from the weapons stash. When they returned Alex handed her her knife and a gun with a silencer.

“Here. You may need it. Can't give you the MP5 though.”

Alex joked and Eve took the things, staring down at them. She did not want to leave this place ever. Her place of peace.

“Can...can I come back here one day?”
Alex crouched next to her chair.

“Only under certain circumstances Eve.”

Sighing she nodded, understanding that just going back to visit would put Alex in danger.

“I...I’ll..”

“Please don't Eve. I don't like goodbyes. Gone but not forgotten ok?”

Another nod, weak though because Eve hated that they might never see again. She had grown frond of Alex, considered her a friend.

**

The next morning, true to her promise Alex went to town and returned with a beat Volvo. While Eve packed their bags in the trunk, checked the maps they had to plan where they could possibly go from here, Alex and Villanelle where chatting in the shed. As soon as they emerged Alex said her goodbyes, hugging Eve and speaking to Villanelle.

“You get her hurt, I’ll find you Papillon.”

A simple nod and they both knew the Russian would die herself if anything happened to Eve under her watch.

Eve’s head was against the side window, staring as the scottish hills flew past, ache in her heart for leaving. A soft hand landed on her thigh, squeezing.

“I’ll miss it.”

Another squeeze and then Villanelle concentrated on driving.

**

They stopped here and there, planning while they went. Halfway to London they called Konstantin to get info on Kenny instead of Carolyn, the older man had stumbled a bit over the request but had promised to call back.

They rented and Air B’n’B in Blackpool deciding to wait for the info on Kenny there.

“I wish we could do something…”

Villanelle proclaimed, propped up boredly on the couch while Eve read the Newspaper at the Kitchen Island.

When there was no reaction from Eve, long limbs dragged Villanelle over to the Korean, standing there, immersed in the paper.

“Eveeee...I am bored.”

Lithe body pressed against Eve’s and the older woman put the paper down finally, standing up more fully, which pressed their bodies tighter together. There was not a hair's breadth between them, Villanelle’s breath washing over her skin, followed by her hands on her hips, fingertips dipping under clothing to ghost over quickly heating skin.

Eve licked her lips.

“Is there only sex on your mind?”

“With you? Can you blame me?”

And a leg pressed between hers hungrily.

God that feeling she ignited in Eve. That endless longing that seemed to feed off every time together. Instead of dying down a little, the excitement growing a bit old, it seemed to get worse each time they ended in bed, or whatever place Villanelle seemed fit to seduce Eve at.

“You have a thing for kitchens?”

“I like to imagine bending you over and taking you on a table, so yea maybe..”

Eve gasped and Villanelle used the moment to turn her in her arms, lips connecting with hers hungrily, a bite drawing a hiss and some blood. The reaction had stopped the Russian and her hand on the back of Eve’s neck, buried in her hair, pulled Eve back a little, causing mild pain and judging by Eve’s reaction, she rather liked it.

“Ohhh naughty Eve! Do you like some pain mhh?”

Eve stood gasping for air, eyes glossy with need and could simply stare back.

This time as Villanelle lifted her on the island Counter, there would be no one breaking them up and Eve swore she had never really had good sex before, because what the younger woman did to her left her aching all over, sligthly bruised and turned on beyond words. She had not been with a lot people before Niko and their intercourse had been rather, tame, boring really. Like everything in their boring marriage. And here, this wild child seduced her anew on a daily and Eve wondered how she could feel like this over and over. With Niko she had never dared explore her needs and Villanelle had made it a personal mission to just have her reinvent herself each time.
Never had she even thought of having sex on a kitchen counter!

It was hot, steamy and Eve’s mind was blown after she finally came down from that high, feeling herself in Villanelles arms and being carried back to bed.

“I thought you wanted to do something.”

Eve mumbled after Villanelle had laid her down, then gotten back into bed with her, her robe falling open seductively.

“I would rather stay in and do someone.”

She rolled her eyes at the younger woman’s words and found her fingertips teasing the revealed skin.

“What if I would rather sleep.”

“Then I would hold you.”

The sincerity was unarming and Eve leaned in, kissing the woman tenderly. She was about to say something back when Villanelle’s burner rang, making both fall back to bed suddenly as the real world came knocking once more.

**

“What did he say?”

Eve put down plates and started unpacking the chinese Take out they had ordered, best not leaving the apartment if not needed.

“He gave me Kenny’s address. Asked if I was stupid, told me to tell you he said hi. He clearly favors you.”

Villanelle danced around her as she filled plates, fingers stealing chicken pieces.

“Stop it!”

Another piece of chicken vanished and Eve rolled her eyes.

“Sit down and stop bothering me! Of course he favors me, I haven't abducted his daughter!”

“Worst...WORST abduction of my life! Irina is sooo annoying.”

She did sit down though, pouring them the Wine she had wanted from Uber eats, for which they had paid extra.

“Takes one to know one.”

Eve said and walked past, expecting the slap on her ass as she did so by now. She put Villanlelle’s plate down and then went to her place across.

“Are you saying I am annoying?”

Eve cocked her head, raising her brow. She had decided that as long as they could be, she would just enjoy this feeling, this spending time together, eating, joking. Being normal. Not just for her sake, but also for Villanelle who rather enjoyed herself.

They ate, bantering back and forth and it felt so down to earth. As if they had just both returned from their respective jobs, spending their deserved evening together. It was so easy to get lost in this feeling. And Eve let herself, smiling and laughing with Villanelle. After dinner they washed their dishes Villanelle standing behind her, gazing over her shoulder, arms around her midriff.

“Go put a movie on. I will be done faster without you distracting me.”

There was no argument and the girl skipped off towards the couch.

Chapter Text

London was just as loud as Eve remembered. They had rented another Air B’n’B not too close to Kenny’s place but just close enough to be able to keep him on their radar. This place wasn't as nice as the others they had gotten before, smaller studio but it would do.

“Do you think he will talk to us?”

“Alone, yes.”

Villanelle pouted.

“We can't scare him off.”

Eve said and then turned her head away as Villanelle tried to kiss her. A look of hurt ghosted over the younger woman’s face and she was about to get up from the mini dining table in a mood and annoyed, when Eve grabbed her jaw tightly.

“Stop huffing. We need to concentrate and think of our next steps right now and it won't help if you joke about or distract us. Just...just let us get a plan down.”

The assertiveness coupled with dominating grip made the Assassin sit back down and eve used the newly purchased laptop to look up Kenny’s street on google maps.

“Will he listen to you?”

“Kenny will have to. He won't like it at first but the challenge of decrypting this will be alluring to him. Also he for some reason loves doing things his mother would forbid.”

They looked at the area together and Villanelle pointed out some places she could hide and wait. They had new burners they could use too. It was all well prepared.

“Will you take your…”

Her eyes went to the duffel holding their guns.

“No. No that won't work with him. I’ll appeal to him because he just left in Rome.”

“And you still think he will help?”

“Villanelle...we’ll have to wait and see. He is our only chance.”

And Kenny liked puzzles and for some reason he had always liked Eve.

“So go up, ring his doorbell?”
Eve shook her head leg going up and down a mile a minute as her teeth worried her nail.

“No...no I need to get inside before he comes home. He’ll just close the door on me and yell like a girl. I don't think breaking down his door will help. I will keep the phone on in my pocket so you can listen in. When I say the word…”

“Are we done planning now..’cause I think I have been an awfully good girl…”

The Laptop was closed on her hand and she hissed at the woman across.

“You would think so huh?”

Pouty lips, a big nodding motion. But Eve simply sauntered past her, leaning down and whispering.

“Prove it.”

Villanelle licked her lips hungrily and stared at Eve as she walked to the bedroom area, swaying her hips and getting undressed on the way. Villanelle realized no matter how this would end she would find a way, always try to find a way to be with this woman. There was no staying away from Eve, she was like a moth to the flame. She would do anything. Her heart did the thing, squeezing painfully at the thought of something going wrong. It felt as if she was choking on a breath when this happened.

She loved laying in bed, holding Eve, face pressed into her hair, breathing her in and committing everything about her to memory. The feel of her skin, the look of her body, how Eve frowned when she was in thought, how she looked after sex, glowing. How Eve’s hands and lips felt on her. How Eve sounded when she went down on her, how her hands tangled in her hair. It felt so good to have dinner, watch movies. So normal and it caused a perpetual yearning in her chest.
There was this thing in the back of Villanelle’s head, the constant fear this would be taken from her.

She knew when she offered Eve a way back into her world they might never be again. That thought woke her at night, But she told herself she was doing this for Eve. Because she had taken everything from her and somehow Eve still touched her tenderly. When she had spoken to Konstantin he had warned her of their plan.

“Why are you doing this Villanelle? What if they dont want you and only her?”

“I don't know!”

“What will you do then? Try to run the rest of your life from the 12?”

“No…”

No, she would probably just let them get her. End her misery because she did not think she ever wanted to be without Eve again.

“Why are you putting yourself into this situation? Just give her the stick, they will easily let her back with it.”

“Why do you protect your wife and Irina? Why did you make a deal with Carolyn? Because that’s why.”

Villanelle had said and Konstantin had been silent for a long time before he said:

“Then you have to do what you have to do.”

He accepted her answer, had understood it.

“I’ll do my best to help you two along. Tell Eve I said Hello. And I swear to god Villanelle...if you hurt her…”

 

And now here they were naked once more, in bed together and Villanelle’s head was on Eve’s flat belly, Eve stroking her hair as Villanelle looked up into her face, drawing circles on the Korean's skin.

“What...if they only allow you back and Carolyn doesn't offer me the deal again?”

She had no idea why she asked Eve but...maybe she just needed to hear the possibilities as Eve saw them.

“Then there is no deal.”

Matter of fact, straight out and no hesitation.

“Then you won’t be safe.”

“We will never be really safe.”

That was true. Even with a deal they would have to watch out.

**

They took three days to just watch Kenny, check when he left, check when he returned. On the fourth day they walked to his place, went up like they lived in the apartment complex and Villanelle picked the lock and let Eve in. It wouldn't be long before he would show up and so Eve checked the Russian could hear her.

“Tell me when you see him walking up.”

“Ok. Make sure he doesnt place a help call or something.”

And then Eve looked around the apartment and found it was, decidedly Kenny. Computers, laptops, phones, soldering stuff and so on. A utilitarian kitchen, bachelor bedroom.

“He’s coming”

She heard and sat down on his couch. It wasn't long before the door opened and the hallway light was switched on. She heard him go to his bedroom, bathroom, minutes laster flushing before another few later she heard his fridge open. He came into the living room, drinking milk from the bottle and switching on the light.

Eve thought he was choking on milk for a moment as his eyes went very wide and then he did cough out milk. She simply kept staring at him. With urge Kenny place the bottle on his desk, coughing until it was all out of his airway. Then he stared opening and closing his mouth like a fish at her.

“You...you are alive.”

Kenny said, pointing out the obvious and standing in front of her, arms at his sides unsure what to do.

“They...said you died in a hospital.”

“Technically yes.”

“Are...you here for revenge?”

His eyes flitted back and forth as if checking if she had something prepared.

“Why would I seek revenge Kenny? Maybe because you abandoned me in Rome?”

He turned white as a sheet and started trying to form a full sentence that explained why. It said a lot about how her former co workers saw her after the whole Rome thing. His mind immediately went to revenge.

“Don't. I don't care. We all did what we had to, didn’t we? Now...there is however something I need professional help with.”

“Can...can I just say something?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

She tried really hard to mimic what she imagined Villanelle would sound like, aloof and bored, unapproachable.

“I was against leaving. I argued with her. She threatened me and I felt shit ever since.”

One thing Eve know when he looked at her with that face, he was telling the truth. Kenny simply couldn't lie. Eve realized Kenny was just too good for the job. All the shit he had been put in, the deceit by his own mother.

“If you are sorry...help me.”

He fell into his armchair, staring at her and leaning towards her.

“It’s nothing illegal. Just decrypting something for me.”

“Coming from you that almost sounds too easy. Where have you been anyways?”

She pulled out the stick and put it on his coffee table.

“You know I can’t tell you.”

“But…”

“Kenny...I need your help and want that without putting you in danger. I need to know if you can decrypt this and no one...ESPECIALLY your mother can know. No one can know I am alive either.”

He stared at the stick and nodded.

“What do you need this for?”

Then he saw her face and threw his hands up.

“Fine…gosh you have turned into my mother…”

She rolled her eyes at that one and pushed the stick towards him.

“Wait...how did you get in here?!”

“Kenny...really?”

And she did have to smile softly. Red faced he took the stick from her and went to his PC, booting it up and then for an hour he was silent as he looked at the sticks encryption.

“That...won't be easy Eve. It’s top notch.”

“That’s why I came here. Because I know you can do it.”

He blushed harder still and sat up a bit straighter. Yeap men were easy. It took Kenny the night, it was already slightly getting brighter out when he finally said:

“Oh...I got it.”

And then he stared at the screen before he stared at Eve.

“Eve...this…”

“Yes Kenny. It’s Peele’s.”

He seemed suddenly wide awake, mind going a mile a minute. Pale again, bathed in blue PC lights.

“What are you planning?”

“I can’t tell you that Kenny. I have caused you enough trouble haven't I?”

While she spoke she took a picture off the encryption password, then quickly grabbed the stick from his PC. Then Eve hugged Kenny.

“It was good seeing you again Kenny. Thank you.”

She whispered and left his apartment as fast as possible, leaving behind Kenny, who stared at his open front door. Not sure if any of the things had really happened.

**

Once out of the building she was quickly met by an almost bleary eyed Villanelle. She had to laugh a bit at the look, a leaf sticking out of the younger woman's hair.

“I am sorry it took so long.”

She said and hugged her tightly, Villanelle’s arms only slowly coming up probably a bit confused by the bubbliness. Eve wanted to kiss her so bad, but first they had to get back to their place.

As soon as they arrived Villanelle slumped on the couch and conked out and Eve let her, ordering Uber eats, telling them not to ring the bell.

“Bless Uber eats..”

Eve mumbled as she ordered them a good big breakfast. She felt sorry for Villanelle having waited outside in some bushes all night. Eve felt elated. She knew the feeling of being wide awake was because the stick really was Peele’s program and with this they had a strong bargain side. Even if Carolyn refused, they had the Program. They held a lot of power right now.

She got a message from her Uber driver and went down to the door, paying him and tipping rather well. Upstairs Eve set the table up, coffee smelling divine. When everything looked neat she went to the couch and stared down at long limbed villanelle slumped, sleeping. Eve wasn't sure if she would ever grow tired of how she looked when asleep. Almost innocent, though they both knew she would never be that.

Crouching next to the sleeping form Eve felt like the prince in sleeping beauty, softly stroking her cheek, kissing the side of her mouth. It had an immediate effect. Villanelle turned her head and smiled, kissing Eve fully.

“I ordered breakfast.”

Eve spoke in a whisper.

“Okay...why are we whispering?”

Villanelle whispered back. Eyes rolling, Eve pinched the side of her belly playfully. Then left the younger woman as she went to the kitchenette and poured them coffee.

“So it’s the program Peel used?”

“Yes.”

Placing the coffee in front of Villanelle, Eve kissed her forehead.

“Lets just eat, then get some rest before we think of the next step.”

Eve knew they needed to be alert now, needed to think things through better. Kenny had been easy. Because he was Kenny. His mother would be a complete different thing though.

Villanelle had loved being woken for breakfast, seeing the array, seeing Eve, changed herself into something Villanelle had bought her on their way down to London. They had to stop somewhere because Villanelle just couldn't stand the clothing Eve always wore. For some reason she was fond of overly pullovers and the Russian had learned it was because Konstantin bought her those things and it had sentimental value. So she had driven them to Liverpool and while Eve stayed in the Air B’n’B Villanelle had purchased more clothing. Better pajamas, pants, tops etc. . Eve had sputtered about it but seeing her now in the silk pajama pants, top and robe made Villanelle happy she had done it.

 

“Stop staring and eat.”

Eve broke her train of thought.

“You’re beautiful.”

Eve’s eyes did shoot up to hers then and a soft smile was on her lips.

“Charmer.”

After Breakfast Villanelle had really wanted to get Eve out of that pajama, but Eve said they needed sleep and since she was almost immediately gone after laying down, she realized Eve was probably right.

“I love you.”

She mumbled against Eve’s neck sleepily and Eve squeezed her tighter in her arms.

“I believe you.”

And Villanelle almost whimpered because Eve believed it.

Chapter Text

Eve and Villanelle did not stay in that Airbnb for longer, moving to the next one so they wouldn't be spotted somewhere. They had wanted to act fast on Carolyn but then Konstantin had called and alerted them she had been sent out of country. Which at least gave them time to plan ahead properly.

“I want to check her house.”

Villanelle said staring at the pixelated google street view picture. Eve nodded.

“It won't make sense to meet her anywhere else really.”

“If I know her security set up I can make it in.”

They agreed on that.

“Do we simply just bait her with the stick …”

“No it's our last hand. I want to ask for the deal from prison first.”

“You never told me what that entailed.”

Eve said sitting next to her on the couch, legs tucked under herself.

“Working for MI6. Same capacity as with the 12.”

Eve felt she didn't question it any longer after everything she had seen now. Yes she believed every side had their own team of people working in the shadows and not pertaining to law.

“I’ll go there now, do a check of the house. I should be back by evening latest.”

Villanelle said, checking the map again searching for the best side streets to avoid CCTV.

“Promise to be careful.”

**

Eve was not used to not being around Villanelle and felt a bit at a loss being alone. But then she quickly threw herself into work writing down anything she remembered about Carolyn Martens. Anything that could aide them once they did meet with her for their talk.

They planned to surprise her in her home as they had Kenny, this time though Villanelle wanted go alone, not wanting to give up that Eve was alive and endangering her if there wasn't a 100% chance that they would be taken in by MI6. If their plan did not go as planned it was better Eve stayed hidden, Villanelle said while they argued about it
.
Eve had not even realized that she had skipped dinner and when her stomach rumbled it was afternoon. There was a little side street cafe not far away across the street with boutiques. The side street would not be seen by CCTV and so she decided to get some fresh air for the moment. It felt good just to sit in the cafe, watch people walk by and sip coffee. She had pastry with it and read the paper. After an hour it was time to leave and as she stepped out a flash of honey blond was seen in a boutique across the street.

Eve stopped and stared, feeling idiotic because she knew there was more blonde women in the world than Villanelle but something did compell her to look.
It was the Russian Assassin now standing at a display. That wasn't what had Eve staring. It was the way Villanelle leaned against the rack, talking to the assistant.
Eve felt a need to get closer to get a better look and thus crossed the street and got a better view inside.

Villanelle was actually looking flirty, playing with the lapel of the assistants jacket, and the girl smiled back looking bashful. Eve turned and went back to the Airbnb, unsure what to feel. There was a lump in her throat and she felt jealousy rage inside of her. Like a stupid Teenager. It stung.

Not long after she had returned the door opened again and Villanelle came in, carrying bags.

“I would have really thought her house would have better surveillance. It seems Carolyn Martens trusts her reputation to keep people away.”

Villanelle said and dropped the bags next to the couch.

“And since I had some time I got us a more functional outfit. We really need to get you better stuff. I know you love Konstantins pullovers but I really love your body baby and it deserves better.”

Villanelle slumped in the chair across from her on the couch and she eyed the bag. Inside she was boiling but she had learned to hide her emotions better from Alex, understanding surprise came from hiding what was on your mind. Eve stood, sauntered over and sat on the younger woman's lap.

“Did you miss me baby?”

“Did you like that little blonde in the store?”

Eve asked instead of answering and a sugary sweet fake smile shone on the asians face.

“I was in the bakery in the side street.”

Fingers played with a loose strand of Villanelles hair. Then stroking down the side of her cheek, before her hand landed on a jaw.

“Are you jealous?”

“No Villanelle, I am unsurprised.”

And with that she stood and went back to her Laptop, completely ignoring the other woman who stared at her from her perch on the armchair with something akin to shock at her words. Even when dinner arrived their conversation was short and Eve ignored the playfulness of Villanelle.
The moment had brought back memories of why they were here, how dangerous that game they played was.

“I flirted for a discount. I got a discount Eve.”

She explained as they prepared for bed. Sitting on her side and watching Eve get changed. Eve kissed her forehead and got in and under the covers, but when Villanelle got in and went to spoon up behind her, Eve refused.

When Eve woke the next morning the bed next to her was empty. She found the younger woman on the couch and felt shitty. Rubbing her forehead she remembered what her mother had once told her. Never go to bed angry. It was the same thing she had done with Niko over and over. They shouldn't even be doing this any longer. They were back in London and their little, whatever it was, she feared it put them both in danger.

The couch was much to short for the long limbed russian, feet dangling of strangely and Eve knew that might not be comfy waking. Her anger evaporated some and she sighed, kneeling next to the couch and tucking a strand of her behind Villanelle’s ear. She woke at that, blinking at Eve.

“I didn't realize I did it…”

“I know...”

There was a sadness in the Hazel eyes and Eve’s forehead leaned against hers, thumb still stroking a cheek trenderly.

“I should have talked more. I have no idea what we are doing here. I have no idea what I am doing with a young girl like you and maybe I shouldn’t wonder about such stuff. “

She felt off her rocker really.

“Come on, I’ll order us some breakfast.”

She stood to leave but a hand on her wrist stopped her.

“My old habits are...hard to break but it hurt you and I don't want to hurt you. I did not flirt because I was into the girl. I dont really care for anyone besides you and the rest of the world can go fuck themselves. But I ...I don't know normal. I…”

It broke Eve’s heart a little how she had reacted and she leaned down and gave Villanelle a tender kiss.

“Villanelle...when you came to Tongue, when this started, I was sure it could only be up there, because in Scotland we were far away from everything. Far away from people wanting us dead or wanting to manipulate us. I was sure that this could not continue once back in the real world. But I don't even know if this is my place and world any more. And I don't have anything or anyone besides you.”

Villanelle sat up and frowned.

“We did a lot of bad things to each other and none of that was healthy, and maybe it entangled us so much that there is no way for us to be apart. But at some point if I am to be here again I have to reconcile myself with these things.”

There was a meek nod of understanding even though Eve knew the younger woman would need time to grasp the feeling, maybe more talking.

“You made me a mess. And I felt angry yesterday because there is only you left for me and I saw you … doing that and I was reminded of our past. I was reminded of the age difference.”

“I don't care about your age…”

And that was almost yelled.

“I know. Come now. This couch wont have done your neck any good.”

The mood seemed to lift as she pulled Villanelle up and with her and it relieved Eve.

**

“She will return tomorrow night I think there is no reason to wait any longer and endanger being found here.”

Eve was sitting on the couch between Villanelle’s legs, the younger woman's chin on her shoulder.

“I will enter through the backyard, wait for her inside. Do you think I should bring pastries?”

“No. I will wait in the back garden behind the shed. Easy to leave without being spotted if we have to leave. I have the second stick ready with video of proof of us having the stick.”

Making a screengrab video was rather easy in the days of twitch and youtube.

“I...don't want you there Eve.”

She was squeezed by the arms around her.

“I won't let you go alone, we have been through this.”

Villanelle was not happy, Eve knew that. She closed the laptop and turned to look at the honey blond.

“We are in this together now. I am not letting you go alone.”

“Eve...the whole point of this is to make sure you are safe. I don't think I will achieve that if someone gets to you. I will not put you in Carolyn Martens way before we have secured a deal.”

Eve frowned.

“They don't know you are here right now, if your Kenny hasn't said anything. Let's be honest Martens knows you are not dead. She just took the story because it was or convenient you vanished.”

**

There was no arguing with Villanelle on that part, she was overprotective to a fault of Eve and the older woman felt almost caged as she watched the Russian get into her newly purchased Dark outfit the next afternoon, with sturdy Pants, boots and functional top. It would allow her freedom of movement should something go wrong.

And then she left and Eve felt wrong for staying behind. After minutes of pondering her options, she changed into the outfit that had been purchased for her, before Villanelle got overly protective (well more so than usual) after they had argued about the whole sales lady thing.
Eve had told her she had no idea how to make them work in this world in London and felt Villanelle tried to guard her from it so she could keep what they had safe.

She took her MP22 compact, silencer and then realized that she had to make sure no one stopped her because basically she had a black market gun in her backpack with a filed away serial number.

There was a thrill running through her at the thought and she realized that thrill was what got her in trouble in the past, so she tried to suppress it and remind herself that this wasn't a fun evening. It was serious. Eve followed the google maps route religiously, hair tied up and under a cap, head low to avoid recognition by anyone. She took back streets and alleys and soon she arrived at the back of Martens house, the darkness cloaking her. Just when she arrived at her spot behind the shed, she received a call from Villanelle on the burner. She hit record to make sure they had anything spoke on record.

In the darkness behind the shed she could hear Villanelle look around the place.

“I like her style mostly, but that Painting in the living room is hideous…”

Villanelle said

“Look...whatever happens tonight Eve...I know I have done a lot of wrong by you in the past and to be honest I have no idea how you could ever...whatever happens tonight...i need you secure. I don't care about me, so whatever deal I can...oh...she’s here.”

Eve stared down at the phone in her hand, feeling hot and cold all over from the words, it had been as if Villanelle had said goodbye not sure what would happen to her.

She listened closely, heard sounds like a door, a key dropping and then a very calm voice.

“I knew I should have gotten my security system updated.”

Carolyn Martens sounded as always, calm, collected, downright bored.

“Please do take your boots off my couch table. Also have the decency to pour me a whisky from the set on the table. I have just returned from the most boring days of meetings.”

Villanelle seemed to play along and Eve heard a glass being pushed over a hard surface.

“Will you tell me what this is all about?”

“Maybe I was ordered to kill you.”

Villanelle’s voice sounded bubbly, without a care. Eve knew how she put on these persona’s.

“Maybe I am just here to tell you you need better locks.”

“We both know you can't have returned to the 12without them getting their hands on Eve Polastri and I believe had that happened, there would have been a flurry of murders I would have been informed about. So no, I dont think you are here to murder me.”

Eve sometimes had a hard time to make out the words proper since the phone was in Villanelle’s pocket and the headphones aren't the best.

“Please don't waste my time here Villanelle. What do you want. What do you and Eve want, and please spare me stories of her passing. We both know you hid her away after whatever happened in that hotel and later the ruins in Tivoli.”

“I want that deal from the Russian Prison and her back in MI6.”

She heard clinking as a glass was sat down.

“Eve Polastri has refused to return from Italy with us and quit her job. I see a possibility to take you in but Eve and MI6 haven't worked in the past and we have given her some chances.”

“Well there is no deal if Eve isnt in it.”

“You seem to misunderstand Ms. Astankova, You have nothing to offer. You are here because you need us to shield the two of you because at some point, the 12 will realize Eve is not dead and at that point, they will send everything after the two of you. They will find you and they will slowly take Eve apart in front of you to make sure whatever reconditioning you went through in training sticks this time. To just make sure that you understand not to cross them again.”

Eve knew that moment that Carolyn Martens would only be persuaded with the stick. If they held this she knew they could take anyone down they wanted. Her specially. And she knew her words about the 12 were real. They would torture Villanelle by ending her. It made her stomach feel like lead, heart pounding with fear at the thought.

“Now I would kindly ask you to leave my house. Through the front door.”

There was a click Eve knew all too well and it wasn't close enough to the phone to be from Villanelle. Her nostrils flared at the perceived danger and she opened her pocket, getting out her side arm and attaching the silencer.

Then there was the sound of Villanelle pulling her side arm.

“Now, now Carolyn. In fruitful conversation it is rather rude to pull a gun at the other. Or not let them properly make their point. You seem to be under the impression I would go through all of this trouble to be a beggar. See if Eve was still with you, you would understand me better. I DON’T BEG. So please...let us lower our weapons and talk like the mentally stable adults at least one of us isn’t.”

While Villanelle spoke Eve made her way to the back entry, cameras off as well as the door security system. The backdoor let to Martens kitchen. She tiptoed slowly, checking double how the angle to the two people speaking was. Villanelle would definitely see her, if she was unlucky she would be pissed enough to show. But then this was Villanelle, Eve wasn't sure anything phased her.

“Well then...go on.”

Villanelle pulled, what eve thought, the stick from her jacket and put it on the table.

“You still have interest in Peele’s weapon? See ‘your Eve’ told me, after I killed him, to make sure I check his rooms for anything important. And I found this heavily encrypted data stick on his personal laptop in his little wank room, where he preferred to watch his snuff videos.”

Eve came around the corner then, hearing Martens move on the couch. As she had guessed there was no visible reaction from Villanelle to her appearing behind Martens, the light above her placed so that no shadow would be cast visible for the MI6 agent. Martens seemed to be regarding what Villanelle had said for long moments but the gun stayed up.

“Regardless...why shouldn't I shoot you? You might get a shot off too but in the end the stick will be found here, and ‘your Eve’ won't be safe without you for long. You have probably even made the mistake of bringing her to London in the notion of keeping her close to keep her safe, which means she will be found because Eve is not like us Villanelle. She isn't an Agent, she can’t kill if needed. Without you she will be found.”

The Spiel of the two with the ‘Your Eve’ wasn't lost on the affected person. She also knew Martens would absolutely go out like that to secure that data stick. But Carolyn still underestimated her and it did make Eve angry.

The Agent pulled her gun up aiming for Villanelle’s head now instead of her midriff.

“Now drop your gun and tell me where the Data stick is because we know this is not it. We will retrieve it and after we have seen that it is real, I might be talked into a job for you. And then whatever you do with Eve is up to you.”

It was that moment that Eve decided she had heard enough, she cocked the gun making it click, aiming at the back of Carolyn’s head.

“Well Ms Martens, it seems I have the same troubles you had with Ms. Polastri and her not taking orders well. Alas I also don't make the mistake of underestimating her. Please would you lower your weapon? The last time someone attacked me, Eve went at him with an axe and I don't think this beautiful white leather couch needs a dash of red.”

Spoke the russian with a gleeful glint in her eyes and bright grin, rubbing the leather couch tenderly.

Chapter Text

“I am not sure if I am immensely turned on or livid with you right now!”

Villanelle yelled at her as they entered their Airbnb, throwing her jacket in the corner and staring at it as if it was an offensive object.

“So you want me to simply listen to you two shooting each other?”

Eve retorted and picked up the jacket, hanging it over a dining chair, to Villanelle’s chagrin. The younger woman considered just grabbing it and throwing it back down but then settled for staring it down. Because she had absolutely lost her vicious edge around Eve. She was smitten, she admitted it. And now she could understand why Konstantin protected his large Wife, though she was sure that woman was an ex Russian Hammer thrower and would do fine on her own.

“She knew I would be there. She knows us too well. The thing between us, she saw it from the beginning. But she didn't think I would show up.”

“Because I do ‘crazy’, not ‘downright endangering’ the outcome of the mission!”

“OH PLEASE!”

Eve retorted and threw her hands up in disbelief. The Please sounding more like a ‘puuuhleaase’.

“Why can’t you just let me protect you Eve? I am doing everything I can to make sure you survive the next years here.”

Eve watched her pace like a tiger in a cage, opening the tight ponytail her hair had been it, making a loose bun, re doing it five times.

“Because you make me do and feel really stupid things ok? But ...I am sorry I went against your plan. I understand why you wanted to keep me away.”

Eve sat down on the couch after disposing of her weapon in the right bag, hands held up in the ‘I am sorry I fucked up’ way.

“You...understand why?”

“Yes…”

Villanelle sunk onto the couch, this time leaning into Eve and letting her arms engulf her tenderly. The Koreans lips landed on her forehead and she took a soothing breath.

“I really do...that painting in the living room is hideous as fuck.”

“Okay...this ‘stupid quibs in moments you should be serious’ shit is my thing and I am offended you blatantly stole my thing here.”

The mood between the two calmed and Eve felt in the last couple of days she had truly found a way to de-escalate situations where before Villanelle would have flown off in a rage.

“I mean the first part though. I am sorry for doing what you asked me not to. Maybe for once I wanted to save the damsel in not so much distress. But Villanelle...I need you to trust me too. I sometimes wonder if you think me too weak or...I don't know.”

Was whispered into Villanelle’s hair.

She saw delicate eyebrows curl into a frown.

“I know you aren't weak any longer. You basically stabbed me, shot at me with an MP5 and beat me unconscious. It’s about being in situations like today all the time and recognizing when they turn. Would...you have killed her?”

The stroking of Villanelle’s scalp stopped for a moment.

“I would have knocked her out. Because she is still important in this plan.”

The Assassin was silent for long moments, mulling things over. Eve could see her mind going a mile a minute, thinking back on the encounter, thinking back on each word said, remembering and reassessing the moment. It was barely there, a small nod to admit Eve’s solution would have been better.

“We got her to go back with the footage of the stick. Let’s see what she has to offer.”

“You were fucking sexy though.”

The Russian said and then leaned in, kissing the older woman hungrily, as if needing to devour her whole.

 

**

Carolyn Martens hated one thing: Chaos. Since she had introduced Eve Polastri to the work, since then Chaos with the name Villanelle seemed to follow her everywhere. She sat in her office with Kenny, looking over the stick Villanelle and Eve had handed her, after breaking and entering and threatening her.

She had known Polastri wasn't dead, she had guessed Villanelle had hidden her, maybe to secure her from the 12 after realizing they would be after her and the Asian. She had not thought though that they would be so bold.

“Does it look real?”

Her skittish son looked at her wide eyed, stumbled over his words and she rolled her eyes.

 

“I...well...I would...know more with the actual data...but I reckon.”

She stared at him and then shooed him out.

They had the Peele program, something they had tried to find since he had been murdered. They had turned his place upside down but had found no trace, wondering briefly if he had lied. Of course Eve Polastri had to have a hand in that one again. Every time something went wrong Polastri and Villanelle were involved.

It seemed the young Russian was caught in a trap of infatuation, nothing which Carolyn understood for many reasons. Why fall for someone like Eve Polastri for one? Also she had never understood women who dropped everything for some love affair, she certainly had not. And why a world class, high pay assassin fell for skittish grey mouse Polastri was beyond her.

Her fingers played with the Data stick and she knew there was no way but to offer a deal, it had been nodded on by her Superiors as soon as she had said Villanelle wanted to work for them officially unofficial. Having that Assassin at their beck and call would have even secured a spot for Eve. First though, she would make some preparations, learn some more about the chaos she was supposed to embrace, and she knew just the man for that. The only handler that ever survived Villanelle.

Picking up the phone, Martens leaned back in her chair, waiting for the other person to pick up the call.

“I already said I don't want a job. Why you keep calling me?”

His accent was thick when he answered absolutely annoyed. Yes, he had said he did not want to work for MI6. But only because of their deal was his family safe, it was time to remind him of that. She pulled his file on her laptop and looked through all the new intel.

“Your daughter is doing fine in her new school. She has settled in perfectly well teachers say. It really would be a shame if…”

There was a deep breath on the other end and she heard Konstantin sit down heavily.

“Why…”

“Because there has been a change in plans.”

He understood perfectly well that there was no getting around it. If he wanted to keep his daughter and wife save he needed to work with MI6 however they seemed fit.

“I expect you here next week. We will set up a place for your family.”

If she had to make the decision she would not have made a deal with Polastri and Villanelle, she just hoped the two would simply cause their own downfall.

She had seen early on that Eve was falling in a bad way for the Assassin. Sometimes Agents got too deep into the investigations, got to close and their mind was too deep in the subject, they got obsessive. But Eve was not just obsessive from the start, she was also too fascinated. The combination was bothersome and Carolyn had watched the strange bond form. Admiration, blind hatred and lust formed a heady mix. When she had experienced Eve and Villanelle together the first time it was the strangest thing she had ever seen. There was no real fear in Eve, or it had been muted by her fascination and obsession for the younger woman.

She thought Italy would be the climax of it. Had found a use for her co workers self destructive ways that could actually aide her. Only to be stumped about the shooting in the Villa Adriana and the announcement that Eve Polastri had died. Not to mention the dead man in the hotel, slain by an axe.

The Team had rushed back to London and found Niko, Eve’s almost estranged husband, locked in a storage closet. He was whisked away into witness protection, fed the story that Eve was dead. It would be easier for him to understand and not blow his cover. Her house was cleaned, and sold, her belongings put into storage.

Carolyn had known that nothing about the things that had happened in Rome added up but had let it rest. Maybe she shouldn't have in retrospect. The Eve that had held a gun with suppressor to her head had changed. She was not the clumsy, boring woman any longer. She held the weapon well, there was no sign of emotion in her eyes, no wavering, no faltering and Carolyn had wondered if that would be her last evening. It had intrigued her especially since Villanelle sounded different too.

None of that mattered in the end. The higher ups had ordered the deal and told her to get a handle on the two and make sure they kept in line. Thus her decision to make sure Villanelle’s handler could...well handle the Assassin. Eve Polastri was for now a Conundrum. She had no idea what had happened to the woman while she was hiding away but it seemed like Eve had died a little in Tivoli.

Just minutes later, 4pm on the dot, her phone rang. She put it to her ear after accepting the call and said, steely:

“Deal accepted. Work starts next week, Monday. Be here 9 am sharp Monday morning. I hate tardiness.”

God how she wished Eve had stayed dead and hidden. She felt the Chaos already creeping up on her and wondered how she was supposed to contain and channel that into actual work.

Chapter Text

“We are going to be late!”

“But I want breakfast!”

“WE HAD BREAKFAST!”

Villanelle turned around sharply, staring at a flustered and yelling Eve. The line in the Cafe was long, the older gentleman turning around when he heard the yelling, staring at Eve in disbelief. She looked shocked at her own outburst and then found Villanelle tearing up next to her.

“Oh, I can't believe you!”

Eve mumbled almost wincing at the fake sniff, seeing people look and stare at her and lowering her gaze.

“Why are you always yelling at me like this? I am sorry I feel hormonal and hungry!”

The stares grew angry and disbelieving and Eve’s shoulders sagged, she handed Villanelle 20 pound and mumbled:

“Waiting outside…”

Villanelle was sure there was a lunatic added under her breath as she stood in line holding her flat belly like that pregnant duchess had done on TV.

15 minutes later, having refused to jump line and telling people who offered, that her partner would have to learn to wait, positively and delightfully having made them late (suck it Martens!), Villanelle emerged from the shop with A smoothie (they didn't have fruit that morning so Villanelle had settled for cornflakes which she hated), a large coffee for Eve, as well as two croissants for her ultimately annoyed lover.

“I hate you... dick!”

Eve exclaimed.

By the time they arrived at the old office, Villanelle had finished her smoothie, adding the container to the trash bags in front of the building. Eve had not touched any of her food, grumbling still. Once they were up, Carolyn opened the door for them annoyed beyond belief.

“What could have been...Really Eve? It was more important to get coffee than be in time?”

Eve rolled her eyes as they walked in with Martens unlocking doors for them.

“I refused to let her come here without breakfast.”

Villanelle said coldly and Martens regarded her carefully, probably trying to gauge whatever the bond between them was.

“Sorry for the smell. Eve you know where your desk is. Kenny will brief you on new cases. Villanelle to my office please.”

Martens left them in the hallway and Villanelle gazed around unimpressed. She leaned in and wanted to peck Eve’s lips but she turned her head, eyes staring back.

“Not in the office! You promised!”

Huffing Villanelle walked past her, remembering their talks over the weekend about being professionals, about her not wanting to give Martens a reason to get rid of them. Reminding the young woman they had to play nice with MI6 and that some of her co workers would not like her. Because she was who she was and some had still worked with Bill.

The mention of the man had made Eve very sad all weekend, she had moped and nothing Villanelle had offered seemed to cheer her up. Confronted with the other woman's grief for someone Villanelle had murdered, she had floundered in a funk too. It was not like she could simply apologize. She had looked up what to do when you made your girlfriend sad and then went out and bought the biggest bouquet of roses she could find. The cashier had asked her if she wanted to attach a card but there was no: ‘I am sorry I killed your friend’ card so she had said no.

“Where have you been? I was worried Villanelle!”

Eve said as Villanelle returned from the store by ten pm having missed dinner because she was searching for flowers.

She had handed the bouquet over, eyes stoic. But she couldn’t say anything because there was nothing that would rectify that one.

“Oh god I need therapy…”

Eve had mumbled, holding the roses. They had stayed mostly silent, besides Eve stating they had to keep their personal life away from the office, the rest of the weekend.

Now, standing in front of Eve in this office, she hated the idea but well, Eve needed time and she would give her that. She followed Martens to her office then, one last lingering look at Eve as she went into her office.

**

Hugo still hated her with a passion, be it because she had used him to get off with Villanelle on the other line or the fact that she just went past him as he lay on the ground shot. Kenny greeted her, pretending his mother had informed him of her not being dead and for once he actually played that well.

“Is...it true Eve? She is here too?”

He had said after she had sat in her own chair, staring at the croissant in front of her. He sounded scared again.

“Your mother would not lie about that Kenny.”

Eve replied, implicating her other many lies.

“So you brought your little murderous affair here? My my Eve…”

Hugo mumbled. Eve simply turned with her chair and regarded him cooly.

“If I were you I would make sure she didn’t hear such things. I might just forget to explain to her she can not kill her co workers.”

And then she was back at her PC going through the files that had been dropped at her desk. The Deal was that only Eve had access to the drive for MI6, something that Villanelle had absolutely not budged on, making sure Kenny, who they had visited after the talks with Carolyn at her place, locked the drive with Iris scan and fingerprints. It was secure for know like this but the women were sure that MI6 would want more at some point.

The use of the program for now would be checking the backgrounds of Victims, finding their connections and seeing if something stuck out, same for suspects. Her mind was only half on the files and checking the victims, the other half wondered what was going on in Martens office.

She did not have to wonder for long, a door crashed open and loud russian cursing was heard.
Her head snapped around recognizing the booming voice and she stood, briskly walking to the doorway.

True enough, in the hallway, cursing out an angry looking Villanelle, was Konstantin. He was crimson red, finger pointing but stopped when he noticed her, his face breaking out into a big smile.

“Eve!”

He said, walked towards and gave her a big hug.

“See now we see each other again. You look good.”

She smiled up at him and felt such yearning for the simplicity of what she had left behind in Scotland.

“How are you Eve?”

Behind him Villanelle scoffed at him muttering something in french. Kosntantin shot back in Russian before concentrating on her again.

“Better.”

“Good. We must have dinner soon, yes?”

She nodded and with one last curse he dragged Villanelle after him and out of the office. Eve watched them confused wondering why he was even here and why he was so angry. Martens was still standing in her doorway, staring too.

“I presume you have work to do Eve?”

Yeap Carolyn hated her guts. Eve could live with that though, at least for now.

**

Villanelle came back to office just around noon, plopping down at the desk next to Eve, looking annoyed until she handed Eve a take out bag with fried rice from her favorite place.

“Thanks”

Eve muttered feeling the tension in the room. Kenny was positively shaking in his chair, probably imagining all the ways Villanelle could kill him and Hugo was glaring at the back of Villanelle’s head, who by now had her feet on her desk, leisurely leaning back in her office chair and staring at the ceiling.

“So what’s it like sleeping with an assassin Eve?”

Hugo quibbed and before Eve could so much as react, Villanelle answered without even looking away from that spot on the ceiling.

“She sounds more excited with me than with others…”

Eve stood, grabbed the take out and was about to leave the office, when she turned and punched Hugo straight in the nose. Not even waiting for his reaction, walking past Carolyn and calmly stating:

“I’ll be out for lunch.”

“Certainly…”

Was the last thing she heard from her Boss.

When she returned 30 minutes later there was a spot of blood on the carpet, Hugo was nowhere to be seen, Kenny was kinda grinning at her while still not daring to look at Villanelle, while the latter was briefed by Martens to not forgot to log her reports, a look of disgust on her face.

Eve sat down in her chair like nothing had happened, feeling her bosses eyes burning into her.

“Besides Hugo clearly being deserving...please this office already is a dump. Stop splattering it with blood.”

That was almost an okay to her actions, though Eve was sure that was going straight into her file.

**

The day dragged, it did not help that Villanelle was bored out of her mind and started telling Kenny all the interesting ways you could kill someone during sex. By the end of the office hours Eve almost wanted to yell in relief. They were just about to leave when Martens handed them both a key.

“Your house was...sold Eve. After your sad passing. We have your belongings on hold though, they will be delivered to your new address as soon as you have found something. Konstantin has relayed to us what kind of place you prefer Villanelle and we have ...found something that should be to your likes.”

“Oh you can move in with me.”

Villanelle stated as if it was the most normal thing to do when Eve looked at they key to, what was probably another Airbnb.

“I…”

She felt like she was overwhelmed by it all, blood rushing in her ears. No place, old stuff on hold and Villanelle wanting her to move in. Everything she once called home just gone. And she felt untethered because she had no idea what to feel, what to do or where to turn.

“I am getting a headache sorry.”

She said and stormed off, leaving a confused Villanelle behind.

 

**

“I had not thought you would want to have Dinner so fast Eve.”

Konstantin said as he walked up to the table, engulfing her in a hug.

“You look very tired”

He commented and sat across, Eve almost wanted to tear up.

“Please...no crying.”

He begged when he saw her sad and tired face and then reached for her hand on the table, squeezing it.

“Can you explain to me what happened and why I have an inconsolable Villanelle at my hands?”

Eve took a deep breath heart squeezing when she heard his words, worrying her lips, brows furrowed as she wondered how to explain all of this.

“I never thought...I would be back here.”

“Overwhelmed then?

“Yes. I have no place, none of my things and Villanelle wants me to move in and….it…”

He nodded in understanding.

“You and her, need to use your words better yes? Talk.”

“I know and I will. But I just needed to...get my thoughts together. And I walk away when I do. I know it doesn’t help, I know it makes it worse. But I can't always give her the explanation to my feelings exactly when she is looking at me for that. I have to somehow get over old Eve hunting Villanelle and new Eve being the hunted and with Villanelle. We aren't really a healthy...thing.”

They ate and talked about uneventful and normal things after her little revelation, Eve feeling extremely calmed soon.

“Why the screaming match today, why are you here?”

Eve enquired as they sat over their desert, she saw his shoulders sag a little.

“They decided my family will only be protected if I am Villanelle’s handler again. They considered you first but they wondered if your...special relationship would turn this too chaotic.I thought I could retire…I thought she had requested it at first but she explained, and I actually believe her, that she had not known.”

She felt for him, he had been played like they all had.

“I know it’s no consolation...but I am really happy to see you again.”

He smiled warmly.

“It is good to see you again too.”

Chapter Text

Villanelle had not understood what she had done wrong this time. Eve had left her standing in the hallway, storming off. She had thought Eve would love staying with her. They had lived together since Scotland. She thought Eve was happy!

She had stood there, even after Carolyn had went back to her office, dumbly staring at the door Eve had just left through.

“Oh...uhm...you’re...still here…”

She turned to the office door where Kenny stood staring at him.

“Uhm...where is Eve?”

She felt so many things at once that Villanelle had no idea how to deal with it. She shrugged numbly and stared down at the slip of paper in her hand. For some reason Kenny had not been too scared to walk up to her, he looked at the address and whistled.

“Nice neighbourhood. It’s actually close by and on my way. Come on.”

It was as if this little shy mouse had forgotten she was the large Lion, which kind of intrigued her. It also helped immensely that he had because Villanelle suddenly felt like it would be helpful before she would end up wandering the city all night. The young man grabbed his bike and together they left the building. Halfway to her place Kenny stopped at a street vendor with chinese street food, looking at the menu.

“I don't exactly cook…Come on my treat.”

He sounded so excited about the food and Villanelle had nothing to come home to (that thought almost made her whimper). Kenny was so exuberant he forgot himself and pulled her to the store on her jacket sleeve and he was a conundrum of either always scared or insanely unguarded. Even though he surely must have known she had way more money than he had and still he insisted on paying. Ordering for them an array of different foods, he handed her her own share of food items ‘She absolutely must try’.

Villanelle had to hand it to him though, the Baozi and skewers smelled divine. She was just not sure she could stomach anything.

“There we are.”

They had arrived in a side street and where looking directly at her building, Villanelle wondering how she had gotten here.

“Is this really on your way?”

“Sure! I am taking the Metro so anything is. See you tomorrow Villanelle.”

And as fast as he had turned up at her side in the office, he was gone again. She suddenly understood why Eve persisted that Kenny was a good boy. She trudged up the stairs, feeling a heavy feeling settled inside of her stomach. Had this been any other day she would have marveled at the semi open plan studio they had found for her. Apparently they absolutely wanted to make her feel wanting to stay just for the living perks.

High walls, industrial style, modern colors. It was sparsely furnished with a kitchen that had modern appliances but looked classic, a dining area with a table and 4 chairs that looked horrific, a living room that was covered by glass sloped roofs and held a small semi detached area, that looked like a space for an office. The two rooms that lead away from the Living room on the right where a bathroom with shower and tub and a bedroom with only a mattress. It would do until she could purchase things she liked. Eve certainly would not appreciate if there was no bed.

She took a deep breath, feeling like she wanted to throw her take out against the closest wall. Eve apparently wouldn't care what kind of things went into her apartment. She put the food on the Island Counter and then went to her mattress, falling down on it and just laying there, confused, angry and so, so hurt. She didn't even hear the door to her place open, she had buried her head under her pillow because she had felt tears burning her eyes.

“Villanelle?”

Konstantin found her unmoving on her mattress, walking up to her he stared for a long time.

“First day back and you are already playing dead on me again?”

He muttered only half annoyed.

Today at Mi6 he had dropped his burner number in Eve’s jacket pocket when he left, truly hoping the two could catch up. Still when the call came 30 minutes before he had been slightly confused. On the other end was Eve, asking him to check on Villanelle, so here he was, because apparently he was a softy and not ex KGB spy.

He heard sniffling and saw Villanelle hastily wipe her face before she turned to him. It shocked Konstantin because she truly looked absolutely distressed. Walking to the dining room he dragged a chair back to the bedroom and sat down.

“What happened?”

“Eve...”

He was stumped. Konstantin had a 12 year old daughter who had not yet noticed other humans in a romantic capacity, so of course the world gave him a heartbroken Assassin.

“Villanelle...let her settle. She is no whirlwind like you. She thinks everything over a long time. Today wasn’t easy.”

He soothed and she fell back to the mattress, pulling the blanket back over herself. That is how she stayed and Konstantin had to go to the Restaurant to meet Eve. Those two would be the end of him.

**

It was close to 11 pm when Eve had finally retrieved their bags from the place they stayed at before, then she instructed the Uber to drive to the Apartment that had been given to Villanelle, the knowledge of the address and Key to the apartment thanks to Konstantin. Once more her inability to express herself properly had messed things up. Was she really so different from the younger woman? Both seemed to be unable to make sense of the whirlwind of feelings or properly talk to each other.

Konstantin had not been impressed with how she had handled the situation at all and had told her as much and Eve was rather ashamed of herself. The moment Villanelle had happily declared she could move in with her, Eve’s mind had gone blank. All day she found it hard to reconcile what she felt. It was home, but not. Everything had come crumbling down around her at that moment. She was not home. She had no home any longer.

To someone like Villanelle, that never stayed long anywhere, apparently that would seem ridiculous. But Konstantin had been adamant she needed to explain things better since the younger woman was not privy to her thoughts. Of course he was right. Konstantin was probably used to being the voice of reason after having been handler to Villanelle.

She opened the door with Konstantins Key, walking into the dark apartment. It was a rooftop semi open studio, beautiful glass sloping roofs, rain sluicing down them. The Kitchen, dining and living where open plan, from what Eve could see in the darkness. She set down the duffels and took off her coat making her way towards the other doors.

Finding the bedroom was easy and the sight made her shoulders slump. Villanelle was dressed on the mattress, head buried in her pillow, face unrelaxed. Eve took off the shoes the younger woman still wore, a habit of hers (‘If I have to run from something’), then Eve took off her own before getting onto matress behind Villanelle and pulling her into her arms. She knew Villanelle was not sleeping any longer. But she let her simply gather her mind, kissing her neck and nuzzling in.

That smell she would recognize anywhere, the softness of her skin, the feel of her body against Eve’s. It grounded her immediately and the rushing sound in her head stopped.

“I don’t think I want you here.”

Villanelle whispered with no anger in her voice, sadness yes, defeat also.

“I know. If you want, I will leave. I don’t think I deserve to stay.”

Eve answered tenderly and truthfully. If Villanelle wanted Eve to leave her alone she would.

“I...just want to explain. I don’t want you to think my reaction today was because of you.”

“Could have fooled me.”

Disentangling herself from Eve, Villanelle scooted away, sitting up and pulling her knees up to her chest.

“I know this won't do much, but I am sorry for storming out on you like this.”

Eve whispered, then sat up too, moving across from Villanelle so she could look into her eyes, mirroring her position.

“I thought if I came back here I would finally feel at home again. But nothing is left but the job. My house is gone, my things are. My life is gone too in a way. Everything changed in a matter of weeks and everywhere I look things are familiar but then they aren't. I feel like...like I just need to make sense of this place again. Villanelle even I changed fundamentally. I am not her any longer. She was out to hunt you. I am hunted. We are. My world has tilted upside down…It is like a copy but everything I once was is gone.”

Chin on her knee’s Villanelle watched her and Eve knew she was trying to make sense of what was being told as she just worked differently.

“You...don't want to live here…”

She gauged and Eve took a moment.

“I do want to live with you if this...goes on. If it works and I don't end up completely crazy. But I need to just have a space to call home for a while. My home. Villanelle...we are explosive, every third day something comes up tilting us. We both need our spaces to turn to if needed.”

“You are my space…home”

Came the reply and Eve got it. She did! Villanelle had nothing nowhere, so yes, Eve was her space and her home and she understood now why Villanelle was so hurt that Eve saw tears glisten in her eyes.

“I thought if I brought you here to where you belonged and wanted to...that it would be…”

“Different?”

“In a way. I never really had role models that showed me how this relationship thing worked Eve. I thought coming here would be, us living together. You with me and no more running.”

Unbidden the memory of her Parents entered her mind, her father beating her mother, pulling her into the bedroom screaming. Shaking her head to clear it she then slumped back against the wall taking deep breaths.

“I thought once we made it here we could finally just be. As I wanted for us. Before I fucked up again.”

Eve nodded. Yes she understood what she felt. Villanelle had wanted to run away with her. She wanted them to run away together, live together in Alaska, no one disturbing them. She had hoped if she gave Eve security and MI6 back, Eve would in turn fulfill that need of hers. And now she found them teetering on a thin edge, trying to balance what was normal life with the not normal things they were hiding.

She held out both her hands, giving Villanelle the choice to take them or send her on her way. But strong hands grabbed hers.

“Can we get through the week and then just sit down and talk about this?”

If she could just find a way in this week to return to this place not just with her body but mind too.

Villanelle nodded and Eve leaned in and kissed her forehead.

“Still want me to leave?”

A clear no.

Eve sat up and nodded and while her eyes stayed glued to Villanelle, she slowly pulled the blouse she had been wearing for dinner over her head, watching the reaction on the younger woman's face. There was a hitch of breath and eyes started wandering. Eve made her sit up too, hand on her neck pulling Villanelle in for a very tender kiss.

With their foreheads pressed together, breathing in the same air, hands started teasing and soon Villanelle’s own top was off, making eve groan when she saw the red lace underwear.
Gods dammit that girl would give her a stroke. The rest of clothing vanished somewhere in between their mouths tangling playfully and Eve pushing Villanelle back onto the mattress forcefully.

It was slow this night, tender and loving and conveying the feelings they were unable to put into words. Sweet touches and languid kisses to re-ensure each other that all would be fine. Somehow. There was no dominance of one or the other. It was a dance of sorts, both touching at the same time, both feeling the slow build up crawl along their spines and when Eve came she gasped into Villanelle’s mouth as if the room had emptied of all oxygen, Villanelle came a mess in her arms not long after and their bodies stayed glued together on that lonely mattress, hands and lips soothing until they fell asleep, a naked tangle.

’You are my space…home’

Chapter Text

When she woke, Eve felt disoriented. She was definitely on the ground, then she remembered that she was at Villanelle’s place and there was no bed yet. Sounds came from somewhere in the apartment and Eve smiled because THIS was familiar. Villanelle always woke way before her, puttering around, mostly making them breakfast.

Their day at work brought nothing new besides the revelation that both Eve and Villanelle would have to see a shrink especially put into place just for them. Hugo’s face now centered a broken nose and angry bruises around it but at least he finally was shut up, Villanelle and Kenny seemed to love talking about the best street food stalls in London, thinking of which one to visit next and Carolyn was still being cold.

By the time to leave Villanelle’s nervousness seemed to rise tenfold and when Eve grabbed her jacket and purse Villanelle stood hastily too.

“I… do you...can I make you dinner?”

Eve looked at her and suddenly realized that after all she had done the previous day, Villanelle was treating this with caution.

“Grocery shopping first then before home?”

Eve said, pulling on her jacket and recognizing relief in the other woman’s shoulders.

“I ordered things this morning it will be delivered in an hour.”

“Sounds great, perfect really.”

And there was that large grin that broke some of the tension that had lingered.

They walked to Villanelle’s, softly speaking between them about dinner options and since she had no TV yet maybe they could just do other things. Villanelle had suggested that with a waggle of her brows. Eve rolled her eyes but grinned anyways. She had never been so...well excited about sex in her life. Before it had been a chore, a duty to her husband. They spoke about it, planned, shuffled it to other dates because there were other things to do. It was never like it was with Villanelle, spontaneous and whenever one felt like it. It often just happened when they started kissing because kissing leads to more with them, neither able to really keep their hands to themselves. But it was never a must.

Eve had found out that Villanelle just as well loved and craved contact of the simplest forms. It was her technique to soothe the younger woman when she was getting angry or annoyed. Eve would simply reach out and touch her tenderly, hold a hand, touch a shoulder. Looking at the woman's past that made sense. Touch for her had meant something painful, from childhood to adulthood. She had turned her bad childhood experiences with touch into her job and with the old Villanelle, touch meant death. And Eve’s first touch was painful too. She had grabbed Villanelle’s bruised jaw, squeezed to cause pain and control the other woman. Eve was a bit ashamed of that. Because she had used that controlling touch twice now and she saw it made Villanelle uncomfortable. That was why she tried so hard to establish soft touches and Villanelle loved it. From simply being held when needed or when Eve would hug her from behind, grounding herself against the taller woman.

Villanelle’s touches were evolving too, from frantic touch to please, to get off, to touch where she simply wanted to make Eve feel her presence, reassure that she was there. A kiss dropped on her shoulder blade in the bathroom in passing as they went about their morning or night routine.

The only loaded thing was their scars. Eve had the nervous habit of pressing into hers, irritating it until it was bruised and tender again. The scars where a cold reminder, a reminder of how dark and twisted they could turn. That they could turn against the other. Only when Eve would not stop hurting herself would Villanelle reach for her hand there, cover the tissue with her own hand, guarding. If it was already too late to guard the scar, Villanelle would use her mouth to soothe the ache deep within. Sometimes Eve felt like these scars where an outward testament to the darkness within them. Something gnawing, wanting out.

When they made it to Villanelle’s apartment they grabbed the delivered food boxes, and there where at least ten, then unpacked everything together in the kitchen.

“No...no Eve not there. Spaghetti and Rice go over there.”

Eve stared, seeing Villanelle point where.

“It makes no sense for them to be in that cupboard.”

“It’s the dry food cupboard Eve.”

She was still not moving and Villanelle turned to her. She was about to say ‘its my kitchen’ but stopped herself.

“Ok, let's compromise and maybe put them here.”

She pointed to a cupboard between the one Eve wanted and the one Villanelle prefered.
Eve seemed to mull this over then nodded. It took them forever to mix and match their preferences and they opted to order in, Eve not wanting Villanelle to spend a whole evening cooking for them. That was something else that was different from Niko and her. With him, she had not cared, if he wanted to cook so long then so be it.

Eve was so confused by the whole kitchen thing that she sat at the Island counter in one of the barstools, sipping the redwine Villanelle had poured her, in deep thought, trying to untangle the meaning of this. She felt an arm sneak around her hugging her losely shoulder height, Villanelle behind her, then a kiss to her temple.

“Take your time whatever is on your mind right now. I’m going to online shop some furniture.”

Realisation hit, Konstantin must have spoken to Villanelle about her needing time to process sometimes after Eve had explained the problem at dinner.

She took her time, swirling the wine in her glass, staring at the freshly filled kitchen, remembering exactly where everything was. Her train of thought or confusion was only broken when she heard a knock at the front door. It turned out to be Konstantin, who had given his key to her and suddenly she remembered the man could walk in anytime he wanted. He had a key. He was used to doing that probably.

Konstantin greeted her with a hug, checking her face for sadness and being satisfied she was not close to tears this time, Then he went to Villanelle and handed her a letter.

“Job?”

“No...order list for whatever you might need in the future...weaponry wise.”

They spoke about that while Eve was still in thoughts, staring. Konstantin tilted his head in question and Villanelle shook hers. He had told her this morning when they went out of office to some health check up, that she needed to start giving Eve the chance to mull over things.

**

*Earlier that day*

“You can’t spring things on her!”

He said as they sat in his car, driving to an undisclosed (at least to her) location.

“I...it was not springing it on her. We already live together practically.”

“Because you were running away and hiding together. This is different. She needs time.”

“I want to live with her…”

Konstantin had looked at her shortly before turning his eyes back on the road.

“I get that but relationships and such take time.”

“She just...let me stand there and left.”

He sighed and swore to himself he would put Irina into a cloister cause he sure as hell didn't want to do this love sickness and relationship thing again. That's why he loved his wife. They did not need to speak. She accepted. He made her life a nicer life with what he did and she did not argue nor question. She simply enjoyed her lifestyle.

“And that was wrong. Did she apologize?”

“She tried to explain. I don't understand sometimes. When I want something, I get it.”

And that was the Crux of the problem. Villanelle had been raised to take what she needed. He had seen it with many Russian kids.

“You need to compromise. Relationships are compromise. Understanding you sometimes can not have what you want and then finding middle ground.”

**

They went over everything and it felt so strange how she had to order stuff but well she reckoned this was a bit more official then before and then Konstantin was about to leave.

“Konstantin...about the key...and walking in…”

He almost had to laugh because he knew Villanelle had never cared before but she did this because Eve would care.

“I get it.”

He left and Villanelle went back to her laptop on the dining table browsing the online shops for things she would like to put in her Apartment. Eve turned to her after finishing her glass and sat down at the table with her.

“I ordered you around in your kitchen...told you how to set it up. I shouldn't have…”

“It’s fine. Eve...When you are here I...want you to be happy! Comfortable, yes?”

Eve took it. Because she did not want to overthink this and maybe she should let go a bit, let things happen however they wanted to.

When dinner arrived the mood had brightened considerably and they ate as if it was the most normal thing.

“Did you find furniture you liked?”

“Yeap, will be delivered as soon as possible. Some things might be taking longer but I need a bed, dresser and at least a sofa.”

She would not tell Eve that she had bought a large almost full wall bookcase for her, a desk and chair to put in that little nook, that seemed to be a bit separate from the living room, for her to work at. She would also not explain the double Dresser where each would have their own side. Nor why she bought a large couch. Well that was mostly for her benefit, she might be using that when she had pissed Eve off beyond belief and after that night cramping herself onto the small couch a bit ago, she had told herself she would make sure she had a comfortable couch.

Together they cleaned their dishes, Eve washing, Villanelle drying and she rejoiced at seeing Eve in her kitchen, doing this and just being together.

“Do you want to stay overnight?”

Villanelle asked after she put away everything in the places they had compromised on. She would get used to her kitchen layout. Compromise had felt good. Villanelle looked down into Eve’s eyes smiling and reaching out to stroke her cheek.

”If you stay I am sure I can come up with something to pass the time.”

And Eve snorted and it was the best sound Villanelle had heard all day.

“Yea, I am sure where your mind is.”

She said and then let her smaller body fall into the Russians, arms loosely slinging around the thin hips.

“My mind is with you. Always.”

“Charmer…”

But Eve did stay and Villanelle surprised her by not immediately jumping her once they entered the bathroom. She suggested a bath and since it had been raining and storming outside half the day, Eve was all for it. They helped each other out of their clothing, taking their sweet time with it. Just enjoying the touch. Once inside the tub, which thankfully was spacious, eve leaned back in Villanelle’s arms, the back of her head on the shoulder behind her.

“Where were you and Konstantin this morning?”

She asked, fingers tangling with Villanelles on her stomach.

“Some medical and weapons testing for MI6. They bossed me around. I had to do circuits, aim testing and so on. I don't know why they need me to do this. I never needed to do such stuff. And a shrink...really?”

She sighed, then kissed Eve’s shoulder. She didn't care about that shit. As long as she had Eve she would do it. Because the time with Eve made this stupid stuff better.

Eve realized that while she was griping about the change in her life, Villanelle went to the same thing. She had changed too. Accepting of these things just to make sure...Eve swallowed hard.

“Villanelle...if...if you feel you don't want to do all this stuff. I don't want you to feel like you have to do all these things for me.”

“Well...I am doing that for me no? I get you. I don't want for anything else.”

She could live in an absolute dive, If she could have Eve she did not care.

“You told me you did not want me to interpret what you might think in your head. Same for you Eve. I am simple. I wanted you. In any capacity. I am happy and if they make me jump through burning hoops...I don't care. I just want you. The world could burn around me if I had you…”

Fingertips stroked the skin of her stomach tenderly, swirling around Eve’s belly button. There was no urgency to the touch, no goal to arouse.

“I want simple. I want anything you can give me.”

Chapter Text

“I have a meeting today about a possible...contract. I have never been to a meeting for murder….what do I wear?”

She yelled through the open door, towards the kitchen where Eve sat, reading her paper and having breakfast. Villanelle had gotten a subscription so she would always have a paper. Eve loved reading the paper in the morning. She also loved eating the things the younger woman cooked, because she was just better at it and Villanelle refused to eat watery eggs.

“Hmmm? OH! Well...a ...a suit?”

Villanelle feared she would have to buy many an ugly colorless suit for that job and shuddered.
Well she could always add a bit of color she surmised and anyways she could make anything look good.

When she left the bedroom Eve looked up at her in a business dress up, Slacks form fitting in all the right places, striped and topped by a buttoned corset style vest, that closed below her breasts, and jacket in the same color as pants and vest. A cream, high collar shirt beneath the jacket. Mouth ajar, Eve almost choked on her eggs. She stared, unable to form a single intelligent sentence.

Oh it made Villanelle proud like a peacock as she strutted over to her lover, who was staring at her with wide eyes.

“What do you think Eve?”

She asked seductively, biting her lower lip as she stepped up to the Korean. She saw Eve swallow thickly, nostrils flaring and cheeks reddening as her eyes darted from Villanelles breasts to her lips, up and down. Apparently Eve could not form an answer and that made Villanelle close in on her. Villanelle’s hand landed on her thigh, up high, close to where Eve had just felt herself twitch in need. A stray thumb rubbed were the ache was and she almost jumped off of the chair at the feeling.

“If I had not already put my makeup on I would take you on this counter Eve. Sadly I will have to live all day with the fantasy only.”

She whispered into Eve’s ear and then bit her jaw, making Eve whimper. Eve in turn felt heat pool in her lower belly, hands twitching and breathing coming out short. Closing her eyes there was this image in her head, Villanelle with her head buried between her legs, the bite leaving her almost feeling delirious. Before she could react, a kiss to her temple was dropped and She heard the click clack of Villanelle’s pumps as the woman left her there at the Counter, hot and bothered.

Eve groaned, head dropping to the cold marble of the counter. Feeling the pressure between her legs, thighs pressing together.

“Fuck…”

She said and slid off that chair, knowing she better get that cold shower that barely helped and got ready for work.

‘You’re a massive Dick’

She wrote to Villanelle adding a middle finger Emoji. A simple heart and kiss was the answer.

**

Eve herself was in meetings till noon, afterwards taking Kenny out for lunch. It had been tedious explaining what she could find with Peele’s weapon, how they could use it for good, seeing the greed in the eyes of the higher ups.

They sat at the Tortilla place when her phone rang, seeing the familiar number she had to smile softly.

“Hey.”

“Hey…listen Eve I won't make it home tonight…”

The hint was clear. Villanelle was sent to her first target. It would take some time.

“Oh...wow...that’s soon…”

“Yes. My furniture should arrive tomorrow Konstantin will be there to take care of it though so you don't need to worry. I will miss you.”

“Me too. Stay safe.”

The call ended and Eve sighed.

“She got a job?”

Kenny asked and Eve nodded. She had kind of been blindsided by Kenny’s and Eve’s liking to each other, was all the more happy for it though.

“Who knows how long this will take her.”

“Must be one of the things we checked with the thing.”

“Possibly. Maybe something older. Kenny...how did you two go from scared shitless to talking about where to go next lunch break?”

He laughed boyishly and then rubbed his neck.

“I found her alone in the hallway. It was...oh...well when you...you kinda left her there. I walked her home and took her to that Chinese Street food stall.”

“Thank you.´”

Eve simply said and Kenny nodded understanding.

“I am also really happy you decked Hugo. At least now he keeps his mouth shut.”

They finished lunch and Eve paid for him, then went back to the office grind. Later that day she had her meeting with her new shrink for the first session and felt that while the guy was nice and all, she had no trust. He was MI6. So she stayed guarded realizing they were searching for signs of Stockholms. Just what she needed.

That evening was the first time she went to her temporary Airbnb, trying to settle into yet another place and feeling incredibly alone for the first time since she was sent to Scotland. Her mind wandered to the cottage at Loch Craggie with its olde charm, garden and chicken. She thought of Alex and the way that girl just understood her, could make her understand herself. The things she had been taught by her. At this moment, without Villanelle at her side, she missed it more than ever.

Her mind wandered to Villanelle, wondering where she was, what she was doing. As if on cue her phone beeped and she basically dashed towards the thing, smiling when she saw the message was indeed from her lover.

‘What are u wearing baby?’

Eve rolled her eyes, well of course. She smiled anyways.

‘I miss you.’

‘ :( <3 ’

‘You can't tell me anything about the mission?’

‘Not yet, maybe after the brief...do you think the Dragon was serious about me writing a report?’

Laughing, Eve fell back onto the couch, turning down the volume of the TV she had switched on because the silence in the place had been deafening without the younger woman in it.

‘I fear so.’

‘The shrink thinks I am manipulating you with sex.’

At this her eyes widened in shock.

‘Well…’

Eve joked, leaving it at that.

‘I told him you seduced me quite often yourself and you rather enjoyed dominating me.’

‘Dick’

‘None needed, I am very content with you.’

‘My bed feels lonely without you’

‘See, you are seducing again. I will show this to my therapeut.’

Maybe she had thought there would be a different answer to her confession. Eve sighed and rubbed her forehead thinking of what to say but her phone beeped again.

‘JK. It shouldn’t take me too long. Stay with me this weekend? I want to take you to dinner on Friday’

‘Yes’

‘Goodnight Baby x’

After finally hearing from Villanelle, she felt she could maybe get some sleep. Realizing how used she had gotten to that long limbed body engulfing her at night. Wrapping around her as if she made a shell to protect Eve. Fuck the shrink! He had no idea about them. Eve squashed the anger at the man as she got into bed. Villanelle would be home in a day and a half if they were lucky and the weekend would be theirs. Her mind went to all the things they could do and Eve smiled as she fell asleep.

**

"She asked me not to let you in."

Huffing she tried to stare Konstantin down, who was blocking Villanelle’s door thursday evening.

"No...does not work. Too used to it from her."

"I need my duffel from inside."

Eve tried, wondering what this was suddenly all about. first Villanelle wanted her to move in, now she was not allowed in at all.

"I will get it for you. Where did you put it?"

"Ok. Out with it! What is going on."

He sighed at her and rolled his eyes.

"Can't you just wai…."

He gaped at her when she fake teared up to get her will, throwing his hands up.

"I knew she would only teach you bad things! And no you can bawl your pretty eyes out i will not let you in. She made me promise! Said she wants to surprise you ok?"

Eve's shoulders sank, defeated.

"Fine…"

"Come I shall take you to dinner and tell you all about Irina and her new private school here. She wants to see you and Villanelle by the way."

Eve did not know his daughter much, well only because Villanelle had shot her father in front of her and Eve had been there to help them.

"I am sure we can find the time."

And they walked to the closest good restaurant and sat and ate like old friends. When she returned to her Airbnb that night a large parcel, beautifully packaged with a large bow stood at her door. Being more cautious than she used to, she checked her phone first. Sure enough there was a message.

‘I Send you a little something.’

With a smile Eve took the parcel inside then and once she unwrapped it she found a beautiful Sheath dress in a deep burgundy color. There was a card in the parcel.

‘Saw this and had to think of you’

The fabric felt unbelievable between her fingers and she did not want to know what that dress had cost. She searched for a tag and did find it, heart beating loudly, turning it she laughed.

‘You are worth it baby’

Under the dress was fitting shoes with another tag.

‘Wear us friday’

She felt a thrill as she tried the dress on and it fit perfectly, of course. She looked amazing in it and hoped she would steal Villanelle’s breath away.

**

She was a mess on friday when she finally sat in the cab towards the Restaurant, to which Villanelle had messaged her the address on noon. It was fine dining and the secretive behaviour of the younger woman made her all strung up.

Inside she waited for the Head of service and then given him her name.

“Ah yes of course Madam, if you would please follow me. Your companion is already waiting.”

She felt her stomach to a flip and followed the man into the restaurant. All the way in the back, she already saw her. Dressed in THAT suit, immediately causing Eve to remember their kitchen encounter. As she came to stand in front of the Russian, who was thanking their waiter softly, she found she had to stop herself standing there mouth wide open.

“You look beautiful Eve.”

Villanelle whispered, touching her elbow and leaning in for a feathery kiss to the side of her mouth.

“I missed you so…”

Eve whispered back, feeling so relieved now that Villanelle was back home and save.

The younger woman pulled her chair out and she sat and wished they weren't here but at home where she could simply devour the other woman's lips until they did not know any longer where one started and the other stopped. A hand on her thigh, brought her out of her reverie and Eve beamed at Villanelle, relief at being here, at her lover being unharmed.

They ate, conversation between them flowing freely and after dinner Villanelle took her to her place. Before they could enter she said:

“Close your eyes for me?”

Eve, due to Konstantin already having revealed Villanelle planned to surprise her, cover her eyes without questioning. She was lead inside the Apartment by her elbow and reckoned she was in the middle of the open plan area when she was told to open her eyes. She did, blinking a little and then gasping. The furniture was there and put in as she had said. But it was different from what Eve had thought it would be.

The Assassins Paris Apartment had been a Bachelor pad so to say. It was stylish in its way but you could see the owner did not live in it long bouts of time. The Living room housed a big L form couch and a fitting wing chair with stool, blanket comfortably draped. There was now a TV and next to it a huge bookcase, a handful of books scattered there and in the far corner there was a niche which now housed and desk and chair.

“Wow, Villanelle this looks amazing. “

The dark furniture went perfectly with the wall colors. The younger woman flopped down onto the Couch holding up her hands.

“No more crick in my neck when you send me to sleep here.”

Eve grinned and rolled her eyes for good measure. Then Villanelle got up again and grabbed her hand, dragging her to the bedroom while Eve still mulled over the big Bookcase. Was her lover a secret avid reader? In the bedroom there was now a large bed, amazing headboard, the blankets and pillows looked so soft. Two nightstands and across a large dresser. It was opened and Eve saw one side completely taken up by Villanelle’s things, the second side was empty and the implication was clear.

“I mean, you can’t always go to work with the clothing of the previous day. Now you can leave some things here.”

It was said sheepishly and Eve suddenly understood the bookcase and desk in the living room. Villanelle was saving space for her. She had made her place about her and included Eve.

“It's not...to pressure. I just want you to be comfortable here.”

Villanelle explained quickly and watched as Eve cocked her head sideways, then smiled softly.
“Thank you.”

It meant a lot to Eve. Her hand tangled with one of hers, pulling her in smiling and stretching to softly kiss the taller woman.

“Come on I got some champagne to celebrate my new place. That's what is done right?”

Her laugh was infectious and Eve followed her, grinning from ear to ear.

“And then I will have all weekend to make a mess of you in every spot in here that I can think of.”

And Eve almost stumbled in her high heels.

Chapter Text

In the end, Eve never found herself an apartment. Somedays, mostly when Villanelle was sent to a mission she went to a Airbnb but mostly she stayed with Villanelle, without even noticing she did it. Only when Carolyn Martens called her into her office and told her to find an apartment and stop using Airbnb’s did she think about living arrangements and where she would be most happy.

Villanelle had looked at her and shrugged, saying she lived in the apartment practically anyway. So they made it official. It was as if pieces fell in place and Eve felt home, finally.

Every few weeks Villanelle would be sent on a mission, most of the time returning within a few days. It was, besides that Villanelle was sent to kill, normal, but never boring. Villanelle would return and those days they would make love as if it was the first time, devouring each other, their need never ending. To Eve it felt like each day they spend it did not get more calm between them, none of the daily routine settled on them. They seemed to grow more needy.

Eve also discovered what a romantic Villanelle could be, dinners out, movies in, walks at the Thames. She had sometimes wondered where things with Niko went so wrong that they never had this. That somehow from the moment they met, it was anything but breathtaking. She thought it was probably her, having settled for Niko...feeling surprised he loved her even though she had never really given it her all.

Villanelle made her excited with a look alone. She had this way of gazing at Eve with this never ending hunger. Some weekends they simply stayed in, just them. Not allowing the outside world into their place. They had a constant visitor though, Eve had even gotten used to having Konstantin over all the time. She would greet him, make him coffee, prepare a plate for him. She was fond of him because he filled the spot of a father with his tender advice. When Eve’s and Villanelle’s characters clashed, he would guide them through their storms.

“Easy target, so what?”

Konstantin argued, as he and Villanelle looked over the file he had brought, Eve sitting at her workplace in the living room. She kept her space usually when they spoke about their missions, not because she could not reconcile with the fact that her partner was an assassin. It was not wanting to know how dangerous it could get for Villanelle. She was constantly on edge when the young woman was gone, missing her lover endlessly. Their bed cold and empty without her.

“Why him? He seems like no one.”

She shot back, squinting at the file to find anything.

“They ordered, you do.”

“Fine... should be quick.”

“You leave tomorrow morning. I have to go now, I promised Irina a movie.”

Eve stood then, walking over to him and hugging him as always.

“Tell her I said hi.”

“I will.”

And he left, while Villanelle was still staring at the file, Eve had gone to her side, pressing soft kisses to her neck and the shoulder her pullower revealed, then she closed the file, looking at the Russian suggestively.

“Come say goodbye to me?”

She husked, fingers playing with the hem of the soft fabric of the pullover that fell over her lithe frame like water cascading, shoulder revealed on one side by the wide neckline. A grin met her and eyes grew hungry, Villanelle pulling Eve in, kissing her deeply, hands grabbing Eve’s sides and lifting her on the dining table.

“No goodbye Eve...remember.”

They did not say goodbye when Villanelle left on a mission, they said: see you soon. Goodbye was too final and Villanelle had been against it always. Stepping between Eve’s legs, she pulled her in for another deep kiss before they got lost in their need for each other once more. Most of that night was spent touching and loving. In the end both knew why it was so important to them to connect like this before Villanelle left. You never know when life had other ideas.

Their lips tangled softly as Villanelle made swift work of her shirt, leaving her sitting on their dining table in her jeans and bra. The clasp holding her hair was taken off and thrown across the room. Her young lover hated her hair pulled up. Hands carded through Eve’s locks then stroked down her back fingernails teasing down her spine, eliciting moans and goosebumps, before her endlessly strong hands grabbed Eve’s rear and pulled their hips together. They both moaned into each others mouth, the urgency growing.

“Not here...bed.”

The Korean said, finding her hands not listening to her commands, pulling that ultimately soft pullover over her lovers head, letting it fall to the floor as their bodies crashed together, hot skin on skin. Villanelles hands took off her bra and then landed on her breasts, moaning at the feel of the soft skin under her palms, soon replacing those with her lips. Eve’s hands, which had moved to help keeping her sitting upright, almost gave out at the feeling of teeth grazing her nipple, her legs around Villanelle’s hip pulling the honey blond against her tighter.

“BED!”

This time the younger followed the order, picking Eve up as if she held no weight and then carrying her to their bedroom.

**

Eve saw her lover off as usual the morning the day before, then going to work herself with heavy shoulders. Days when Villanelle was on missions, the others usually left her alone, knowing Eve’s mood would be atrocious at best. She hated feeling like this but she would be nervous and sad until Villanelle was back. She had been reassured it would be an easy mission, no long time required so at least Villanelle would be home within that week.

Standing at the kitchen counter in the morning, eating the food she had made herself and which wasn't as bad any longer since Villanelle had taught her some basics (‘Can't have you starving when I am gone’) Eve was not bothered by hearing her door open. Konstantin would often pop in checking up on her when his Assassin was on a mission, she did not even look up from her newspaper.

“There is some coffee left in the machine but I can make more.”

Only when no answer came, did she look up, and stared into a masked face.

**

It had been 3 days, the quickest and most boring contract ever. A banker, a boring old banker. He almost died just laying eyes on her. But Villanelle did not question her contracts, there was always reason found in them but she was not privy to it. She could not wait to be home, just in time for the weekend, to be with Eve again. And maybe they could take a little trip somewhere and just stay between the sheets the whole time.

Arriving at London central station she put her backpack on and was about to leave the terminal, when she spotted Konstantin waiting anxiously for her. Her blood felt as if it had gone ice cold, crashing towards her feet, as she saw him urgently walk towards her and felt like yelling as her elbow was grabbed and he whisked her away. Her mind was screaming at her, her blood rushing in her ears and blood pressure and dropping.

“I am sorry..”

He mumbled and pulled her through the station, and to his car. Villanelle was numb, stumbling behind him and thinking the worst, breathing coming in gasps. Once inside the car he turned to her. She stared, feeling as if the world had stopped turning. Her mind was screaming loudly, screamings Eve’s name as if she could get a response of life from the other woman. What if someone had killed Eve?

“Listen...Villanelle...she was taken.”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?? What do you mean taken?!”

She yelled back, grabbing his lapels and pulling him to her enraged. Her mind was a mess with that inner thing yelling like a caged animal, rattling the bars of control Villanelle had built around it.

“When?”

“Yesterday morning.”

He said, trying to loosen her hands.

“Why was I not called home?!”

She saw the older man swallow, eyes nervous. Tears of anger spilling from her own eyes as she struggled with believing what was being said to her.

“They forbid it. They said your mission was first, since MI6 is on it already, investigating, whoever broke in and took her. “

He saw how hard of a time she had to reign in her rage and he knew the feeling all too well.

“How could you Konstantin…”

Came the accusation and his own heart sunk. Villanelle might not understand just how deeply he felt for them both by now.

“Drive me home!”

“First you need to listen! Villanelle...we need to keep a cool head. Something isn't right, something does not add up with it all.”

“I don't care I want her back. I need to….I need her back!”

She said strongly, desperately and he looked over again and Villanelle was pale, a tear running down her cheek and hands balled into fists. She kept mumbling to herself.

“I know. I know! But she needs us to think Villanelle. She needs US.”

The murderous rage in Villanelle grew and she felt like she had to get out of the car, grab her knife and slit people open, watch them split wide, spill their guts, watch them bleed watch their eyes widen with death. Punish the world for the slight against Eve and her, with a torrent of blood. At the same time she was scared beyond words. She felt like she wanted to sink into herself crying. The ache inside of her chest intensified, making her feel more panic. Like a cold fist around her heart, pain, so much pain.

“They told me to get you and bring you to the office straight away. Villanelle we need to...to listen closely and try to stay calm.”

“I...I am terrified.”

Her voice was small, hands grabbing her thighs looking for something to ground her.

“Me too...but she needs us Villanelle.”

He was right she knew that technically. But the thought of Eve being hurt, taken, alone and scared killed her inside.

“Something seemed off to me from the beginning. I can't put my finger on it. Don't talk to anyone there just let me keep listening around.”

“I can't just sit still! I can’t wait I need to...I need to find her!”

“I understand but our best chance right now, is to do whatever they say and do our own searching in the background!”

From the moment Carolyn had called him and told him that Eve had been taken, Konstantin had a bad feeling about it all. He had learned to trust his feelings. He had stormed to the apartment and found investigators there, door broken in. Carolyn had stood in the living room, overwatching it all with her presence of haughtiness. Her reaction had been her usual coldness. But something had tipped him off. Something had made him weary and he had called his own contacts as soon as he had left the place, feeling anger inside. Eve had grown into much like a daughter for him and he felt at a loss, scared for her life.The Korean had fallen into their world and had always somehow adapted. She had put up a struggle when being taken. A broken vase, levkoi flowers on the ground, both women's favourite, battered by feet trampling them.

**

A scream cut from Eve’s throat and she grabbed the vase that was close by on the counter and threw it towards the masked man. It crashed into his chest with a thud, fell down and burst into a thousand angry pieces of porcelain mixed with white flowers. While he was shortly distracted with that, she grabbed a knife from the Knife holder. For a moment she hoped this was just a really stupid robber, but knowing their history, she feared she was out of luck. She kept standing rooted, staring as her assailant walked towards her, remembering Alex saying not to even try hand to hand with a professional. When he was close enough to reach, she swiped over the counter with her arms, making her half empty plate fly towards him. He dodged that one and Eve tried to stab but he was not distracted long enough. He used her outstretched arm against her, grabbing, and twisting it into a hold. He twisted a bit on the wrist and her hand sprung open painfully, knife cluttering to the ground, then he marched her forward to the counter as she struggled.

Once there he pressed her down on it, large hand on her head forcing her skull against the cold marble. She groaned at the feeling, her left blindly searching for something while her right still throbbed from how he had twisted it. The attacker tried to get something from his jacket pocket and once he did she saw a white cloth, realizing where this was going, her left finally found what she had been grappling for. With a scream she slammed the fork into his thigh, trying to use the moment he screamed and maybe reached for that to run. He did start cursing, pulling her up by her hair and then pressing the cloth into her mouth.

**

The drive to the office was silent, but he knew Villanelle next to him was close to flying into a rage, a rage that could kill someone in her way. Everything was a blur and somehow they ended up in the office, surrounded by people that were as white and shocked at them. No one though, was as dangerous as Villanelle right now, deadly silent, breathing deeply as her insides twisted with hate. She stayed still as Konstantin had advised, listening as they were told the cruel cold facts.

“There has been a call to MI6 just minutes ago. Her abductors want the Programm in a week or she will die. They have sent a picture of Eve with today's newspaper as evidence.”

Carolyn briefed in her office and handed the picture to Konstantin, keeping it away from Villanelle who was wringing her hands painfully and staring at a hole into the carpet. He nodded at her to confirm it was Eve, looking even paler.

“We will save her right?”

Bless Kenny’s heart, he stared at his mother and only when she coldly stared back did he shrink into himself, realizing Eve would not be exchanged by MI6. The spy game wasn’t romantic or heroic. He was learning that lesson right now.

“Right now our sources are going through the little evidence left and listening to all sources MI6 has contacted some extras. We believe it was the 12. As soon as we know more I will brief you again. I suggest you not return to the apartment for now Villanelle.”

Konstantin watched as Villanelle stood slowly, laboured and nodded before leaving, Kenny’s eyes on her too.

“If something happens to Eve...she will not be stopped by anything. She will rip anything apart in her way. I...will try to keep a handle on her...for now.”

He said with an underlying threat and followed.

It was a warning for Martens to do her best to return Eve. She had been beaten on the picture, tied to a chair, the newspaper propped against her upper body, staring into the camera with one eye swollen shut. It was best Villanelle had not seen, or she wouldn't have been silently sitting in his car when he had made it out of the office.

“Whatever it takes Konstantin. Whatever...I will do it.”

He nodded and swallowed.

“I am meeting with someone. I will get all the info I can.”

**

It took a bit over a day and lots of threats to send Villanelle herself, before He received a message with coordinates from an unknown number. Eve had been taken out of the UK and to an russian location. When the coordinates had shown up on his phone he had felt something inside of him burst in relief and fear.

He knew it could be a folly, but it actually could also be very real. It made sense because the 12 knew Villanelle hardly liked to step food into the country. Once there she was barely in control over herself and she was prone to make mistakes and rash decisions. Anyone that knew her, knew Russia was her endgame.

She had been staying with him and Irina outside of London, close to Denham in his house at a lake. He needed to keep her farther away from MI6 and stupid decision making. And frankly he was worried about the state she was in. She barely spoke nor ate, locked deep inside of her own mind. Even Irina, who adored Eve and Villanelle, stayed away. The young woman was sitting in his garden, staring at the lake. She seemed haggard and tired as he stepped up to her sitting with her.

“I have received coordinates from an unknown number. Probably my contacts work”

He said softly, watching her reaction. There was that darkness too close under her skin, rippling and coiling like a snake waiting to strike.

“They took her to Russia.”

“Of course they did.”

She mumbled, hands clenching and unclenching.

“When are we leaving?”

She was going there and whoever was in her way would end up dead.

“First we need to plan this better. It won't help her if we run in there like idiots. We have one chance.”

“Don't you lecture me Konstantin…”

Just then they could hear a car pull up and Konstantin stood, holding his hand out to her to help her up from the garden chair.

“Come now. I have called in some help. We are here for you, you can direct your anger at whoever holds Eve.”

“You should have been there… that morning.”

And there it was. The thing that made her so angry at him.

“Don't you think it kills me knowing I was not? You should know by now how important she has grown to me. How close you are to me. Don't you think I think about it every time that I was supposed to be there?”

“You didn't even tell me...you just let me keep on my mission in France.”

Yes he had been guilty. He had followed Carolyn’s orders.

“You are not the only one always trying to keep your loved one safe. I was expressly told not to dare break the orders or we would not be safe any longer. I have no other excuse than keeping my family safe. But as soon as I was informed I started asking my contacts trying to find her on my own.”

Looking up at him then, Villanelle saw that raw emotion in his eyes. He was just as scared as she was. Not just for Eve, for his daughter too.

“Heed my warning...I will kill ANYONE standing in my way. Anyone involved, anyone who dared lay hands on her is dead. I will kill them and if I so wish, I will kill any one they ever loved, from mother to child.”

And with that she went inside and Konstantin knew after all she was not sure if she could trust him any longer. But maybe, the help he had called would make her realize he was really trying his best. The 12 had no idea the kind of hell they had raised upon themselves. They had made a huge mistake taking Eve. Nothing would be able to stop Villanelle now, she would kill them all and erase anyone involved with them from the face of the world. They signed their own end and opened the gates of hell.

“And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”*

Chapter Text

Inside Konstantin’s house, being ogled with a large grin by his much too young daughter, sat Kenny on the couch, holding a glass of water and looking less than comfortable.
When Villanelle game inside he sat his glass down on the coffee table and went to her, hugging her tightly. Her forehead came to rest on his shoulder for a short moment. Taking a deep breath Villanelle stepped back from him again, wondering what Carolyn Martens son was doing here.

Konstantin sent Irina upstairs and then they sat down. For a minute, the silence between the three was deafening, they weight of Eve’s abduction weighing them down then Kenny put two sticks on the table, looking identical to the one Eve used at work.

“What is this about?”

Villanelle asked and stared at the sticks as if they could answer her if she just looked long enough.

“They said they want the program. MI6 won't surrender it.”

Kenny spoke, then pointed to the sticks on the table. He had watched that morning of the obduction unfold, his heart hammering in his chest all day, unsure of how to react. So when he saw MI6’s reaction he had felt empty and in a way betrayed.

“I made 2 copys. One is for the 12 to exchange for Eve.”

Konstantin nodded, apparently knowing what the plan was. Of course he would, Villanelle thought. He always knew. He was a schemer from old days. Once Eve had joked he and Carolyn alike probably schemed their cornflakes into their bowls each morning.

“Did you get it done?”

“Yes, the one for the 12 has the failsafe. It will work a few days, long enough to be tested by them. Then it will destroy the data on the stick, rendering it useless.”

She could not form thoughts nor words. She sat there listening, and all she could think of was the fear inside of herself. A fear she had never felt before. It felt crippling. What if...what if Eve was dead? What if she went their and found her dead? I fear seemed overwhelming, only rivaled by her burning hatred.

Kenny left soon after explaining, Villanelle staying on the couch as Konstantin said goodbye. Everything seemed a blur to her, her mind all over and unable to concentrate on what was going on. Her fear was overtaking it all.

“Carolyn will never allow us to go.”

She said when he walked back in. He poured them both a large whiskey, placing one in front of her. Konstantin stared at her for long moments, taking her and her state in.

“We won't tell her. It is not like she can make us come back.”

“We need to speak about the plan.”

She wanted to say they just did, but the look in his eyes was off.

**

Eve had no feeling of time. She had no idea how long she had been out. She remembered being in her kitchen in the morning and then, when she woke she was in pain, tied to a chair. The room was bathed in darkness, smelling mouldy. Her headache and she felt like she had not had anything to drink nor eat in a while, the feeling of her empty stomach making her sick.

She drifted in and out of consciousness and it reminded her of the time in the hospital. At one point someone had entered the room and she was beaten for whatever reason, two or three punches landing on her eye. The next thing she knew someone pushed her lolling head back and placed something on her lap. A picture was taken and then she was alone again.

One time someone came in and unbound her from the chair, it was taken and Eve left beaten on the ground. A water and a stale bread in front of her. She drank slowly knowing not to upset her stomach. And then she rolled into a tight ball in a corner, praying that someone would save her, praying that she would see Villanelle again.

**

It took them a bit to find a plane to charter, but once more Konstantins shadowy contacts jumped in for the right price. She would have given all the things she owned for Eve. She would turn the world upside down.

When Villanelle slept, she dreamt. She dreamt of amazing hair. She dreamed of being back in bed one sunday morning, rolling between the sheets with Eve, playful laughter and kisses. Her smile for Villanelle so breathtaking. But she woke from it. She woke and found herself without Eve, alone. Swallowing thickly, Villanelle sat up in her seat, staring out the planes window and taking deep calming breaths, heart going a mile a minute and squeezing painfully.

The seat next to her was empty until that moment, Konstantin sitting down and staring straight ahead.

“Are you...can you do this?”

The doubt in him resonated with her. It was the first time she doubted herself too. She knew if she made a mistake not just her life was on the line. Someone far more precious would suffer.

“What...what if she is…”

He took her hand and squeezed.

“You can't think this way. You need to concentrate on the task at hand. Villanelle...are you sure you want to do this? We can get her out another way. We...we can find a way.”

She closed her eyes tightly and willed back the memory of her dream, Eve’s laughter, her smell. The way she sounded when she touched her lover. They way she sighed and her lips felt. The way she tasted. She wanted to hold on to those memories forever. She had been undeserving and life was taking it away again. She never had any right to being loved. She had just been granted a moment in time.

“No...there is no time any longer. All that matters is Eve.”

Konstantin marveled at the woman next to him. How she had changed since Rome, how she had grown. They had always told him she would never be able to feel anything but hatred and lust for killing. They had been wrong. She felt and they had taken the one thing Villanelle had loved with absolute abandon. She had found that one thing she would willingly walk into death for if she had to. They had made the mistake to take that one thing away.
The Conviction in the younger woman’s voice made him lower his head. But he got it. After seeing them almost daily, being witness to their little happiness in their world of murder and lies, he understood. It was a one of a kind love not many were privy to.

“Try to get some more sleep...You will need to be alert.”

He said and stood again, leaving her to her thoughts. She knew he was right, but sleeping meant dreams and dreams meant waking and realizing they had just been that. Endless dreams. How could she have ever believed she could find happiness in the world she had been put in. She had done too many atrocities and now life paid her back.

She is numb on the inside. How fitting that she had to return to Russia. Where her life had ended before.

**
Konstantin worried about Villanelle. He looked at her and saw a ghost, even in her sleep she was haunted, tossing in her seat on the plane, gasping when she woke. As soon as they had landed something had switched in her and it scared him to see that Villanelle. The Villanelle from the 12 had been ruthless and cunning. But she had always been a little like a kid with weapons, as if she had never truly grown up.
The girl across from him now in her hotel room, going over the plan one more time was a cold professional.

“Our reinforcements have checked in also.”

He said, then rummaged in his jacket pocket, pulling out a pill in a blister.

“You need sleep.”

He said, holding the pill between them.

“I can sleep when i die…”

She mumbled and then laid back on her bed, turning away from him. Burying under her blankets as if she needed it to shield her. In a way she did, Konstantin thought.

He left the pill anyways, hoping she would see reason, knowing she would never take it.

**

They spoke russian whenever someone entered her room and put food and water with her. Once she had asked why and was spit on another guard yelling.

Time passed and she had no idea if it was day or night. Her body ached from the cold and wet floor, feeling the coldness had seeped into her bones. Eve had never believed in a god. Her parents had been christians but she had never found the merit in believing in a thought.
She found herself praying still. But not to god. She prayed for Villanelle and each time the door opened she hoped. And each time when it wasn't she whimpered, feeling too weak to cry.

**

“If anything goes wrong...I will call you.”

The young woman across from konstantin with her wild green eyes and messy hair nodded. When Katarina had been called she had immediately offered her help, knowing what it would entail for her.

“Do...you have everything.”

“Yes. it...was hard to get but...yes.”

He actually swallowed thickly, staring at Katarina then at the two capsules on the desk in front of them and knowing what would be unleashed.

“Konstantin...If the dosage...If the antidote does not work.”

“I know. I will.”

When he had seen Katarina back at the cottage, he had wondered how such a woman could have been what she had been. He simply had not been able to imagine what she was capable off. In a way it was not Katarina, it was drugs. An experiment taken way too far. Exploited orphans raised for nothing else than cleaning what others botched. He understood it had been failed military experiments the 12 had bought. And once they realized the carnage these people caused, got rid of them as if they were toys that stopped functioning. But one had survived.

He himself had seen the aftermath of such a clean up, had seen the way they murdered their way through objectives. Anything was used to dispose of any breathing being inside and it could only be stopped if the antidote was given.

“You administer them at the same time. We have a time frame of not even 30 minutes. If it works right. The...shocker..use it if you see me still under the influence. It will give you a few seconds to react. Do NOT falter.”

It sounded urgent and he knew it was. A cleaner was no toy. You could not command them. You drugged them, send them in and waited for the carnage to be over. A shocker around their neck could halt them shortly, usually to be able to land the killshot to stop them if they went out of control.

Maybe it was fate that Villanelle had spared Katarina.

**

Kenny had given them the contact number that had been given to MI6 to set up a meeting, having stolen it from his mother's own desk. Konstantin placed the call the morning after they arrived in Russia.

It was all so easy and fast that Villanelle simply worked on auto. Getting dressed into more heavy duty clothing, knowing she would have to be able to move properly.

The House Eve was kept in was in the woods, only once bumpy street leading to it. It was not heavily guarded and Kenny found the utilities were paid from the accounts that had paid her apartment too. So they were sure it was not fake.

They had searched for some time before they found a spot they could wait and still have a good out when they needed too, Villanelle would walk the rest of the way. The whole walk her thoughts where on Eve, Yelling at her to hold tight, she would get her out. Eve Just had to wait a little longer and she would be free again.

The building looked derelict, windows painted so no light would go in, some bared up and it looked like the normal left to crumble building, but there were guards watching her walk towards it, weapons clutched, ready to kill. She raised her hands yelling in russian that she was here for the exchange. Holding up the stick in her hand. It took only a few seconds until another person stepped out, saw her and ordered for her to be brought inside.

“No! You bring her out.”

“You are in no position to bargain!”

All this time, while she looked cold on the outside, her heart was hammering in her chest. If she did one thing wrong Eve’s life was on the line. She had no care for her own life. But she cared for Eve’s.

She was ordered to come towards them, hands kept raised and she did until she as close enough for the guards to pad her down. After they were sure she had no weapon on her, she was lead inside to a bigger room where one man was already waiting, a laptop in front of him.

“Where is it?”

He said with a thick russian accent.

“I want to see her first.”

He nodded to one of his men and in russian said:

“Make her yell.”

Blood froze in Villanelles chest when seconds later she heard the piercing scream of her love. She strained against the two men holding her, as their leader laughed at her distress.

“You have become soft.”

“I brought you what you wanted. Let us go!”

The stick was taken from her and he put it into his computer. It took a few minutes but when he was finished with the result he nodded to his goons. She was lead towards the basement knowing they wouldn’t simply let them go.

But still all her mind was on was seeing Eve and once the door to the cell opened and she was pushed in, all her mind was filled with was Eve, laying on the floor in a tight ball, whimpering from whatever they had done. Villanelle went to Eve straight away no waiting. The door crashed close behind her but she cared not. Falling to her knees she carefully pulled Eve into her arms. Holding her close, whispering to her.

“I’m here Eve...I am here. I love you so.”

She whispered and Eve’s grasped at her.

“Villanelle…”

“I will get you out of here Eve. I love you! I love you.”

She held her, the darkness making it impossible to take in how hurt Eve was but her movement seemed labored. Over and over Villanelle whispered how much she loved Eve, that she had to stay awake, help was on the way, she would be free again soon.

Just minutes later the room opened once more and two men stepped in, grabbing her arms as she trashed trying to get free off them, before they could pull her from the room, Villanelle told Eve:

“I love you always. I love you so much no matter what happens. Don't forget!”

Eve screamed when Villanelle was taken away, trying to raise herself up and go to the door, but she could not. Just minutes earlier someone had come in and kicked her in the side of the knee.
She had no idea how long she was writhing on the ground to get to the door, it seemed to have been ages. Then she heard gunshots, and screaming, a flurry of steps, running and so on, sound filling the house, commands and shrill screams. The house seemed to explode with the screams and Eve had no idea what was going on.

**

It had been over 20 minutes that Villanelle had been in the house, one person had left soon after and he thought it was on of the attackers leaving with the stick. He was worried, knowing the plan could easily fail, so Konstantin grabbed his Walkie talkie. He clicked the button, opening the channel.

“They need you.”

He simply said, knowing what he had set into action, closing his eyes and praying that somehow all would go to plan. He watched with Binoculars as dressed all in black, masked and armed, Katarina descended upon the building. As soon as the shots started resonating through the landscape, he pulled his own gun, got up and made his way slowly to the house, waiting for anyone to emerge. Inside, the closer he got, he heard shots and screams until the shots started dying down and then soon the yelling too. He kept his watch in check knowing the antidote would kick in, in not too long, watching the building closely.

**

Eve had no idea what was going on, yelling for Villanelle as the house around her slowly grew silent. It seemed to take forever, long minutes of yells of shock and horror.

When the door was kicked open, there stood an all black masked thing, something around their neck with a green LED on it, breathing harshly, long knife in its hand and fingers flexing. Eve stared, beyond terrified, eyes wide open, cowering in a corner. The assailants whole form seemed to have been doused in blood, knife dripping and in the hallway behind, bodies littering the floor.

“Please…”

She begged trying to cower closer into the corner. All of a sudden the figure went down on one knee, grunting, breath exploding from them and a black balaclava was ripped off a face. The room was filled with relieved cries from Eve and labored breathing from Alex. Swiftly Alex went to her side, checking Eve over for major injury.

“WE NEED TO LEAVE..!!”

She yelled and Eve tried to get up but failed and Alex quickly came to her and picked her up.

Villanelle!

“No...no we need to get Villanelle...she was here. She was here!”

A cry burst from Alex, tears streaming down her face, as she started their ascent through the old house, bodies in each room or hallway, upstairs a fire had broken out in the kitchen. She had to hurry to get them out knowing this house had gas pipes. Alex held Eve so tight it was actually painful.

“Please no...Alex..please. We need to help Villanelle! Turn around!”

She commanded, her tiny fists battering her friends shoulder as something settled on her. Some feeling she could not grasp. A deep rooted fear.

“Forgive me. I was too late.”

Alex kept muttering, gasping really, as they finally made it out the door and into safety.

Chapter Text

Konstantin had seen that a fire had broken out in the kitchen, was about to run towards the house and go in himself to rescue his friends, when the backdoor opened forcefully and Katarina, Eve in her arms, emerged.
Eve was yelling, crying and hitting the younger woman, struggling to be let go. Katarina stumbled towards him, a mess of blood, the look on her face stricken, tears streaming down her cheeks, partially washing off strangers blood, leaving in lines. They met at the fence and Konstantin took Eve from her before they ran up the hill, away from the house that was being eaten up by flames. They only stopped when they were far enough away. Katarina was staring at Konstantin and shook her head, his arms automatically tightening around Eve who kept yelling at the young woman. She did decide to run back to the house, wanting to do as Eve said and at least...at least getting their friend out of that house of horrors.

Just as she had reached the fence, with a loud boom the house combusted in flames. Desperate screams behind her and Katarina, ears ringing, almost crawled back to them, Konstantin still with Eve in his arms. She was crying and screaming as the house she had been held in burned, Katarina was kneeling, staring at the structure.

“I was too late. I…I failed her.”

He stared at the house, stared at the young German, doused in blood but also hurt herself. The drug itself protected her for a while from the pain but soon she would feel it. Eve was in shock in his arms.

“What is going on...what happened!”

Konstantin asked, his accent thick and heavy, eyes fearful because he knew the answer.

“I...I remember going in, they started shooting immediately...I saw her after I killed the man with the PC. She...they had shot her.”

Katarina choked on the words dropping forward as she kneeled, elbows on the ground and crying. Konstantin bit back a sob himself, hugging Eve to him and muttering that he was sorry. That he would get the bastards. That they would pay. And Eve sobbed breathlessly in his arms, clutching at him. The three sat in the high, dead grass, staring at the brightly burning house, watching in horror.

Eve was still struggling in his arms, he knew they had to leave, they could not stay even though running was the last thing on their mind right now. They had to! At one point Konstantin pulled a syringe from his jacket, filled with the tranquilizer that had been for Katarina if something was going wrong. Soon the heart breaking screams died down to whimpers.

**

Everything after the rescue from the house was a blur to Eve. She was brought to a Hotel, where she had woken from being tranquilized and hours later was on a plane to England. All the while she tried to understand what had happened. Konstantin explaining they did not have much time to plan big and that Villanelle had not been able to stage the exchange in the outside but was brought into the house, which had immediately tipped the plan they had made.
The understanding of Villanelle having been killed had not even reached her head, yet she was already back to the UK.
Alex had been brought to a friend of Konstantins, as she needed medical care before returning to Scotland. She had been shot, knife cuts, bruises and needed to recuperate, having not felt any of these wounds until they had been on the way back to the hotel.

She was numb. Nothing of what had happened the last few days made any sense to her. It all seemed so wrong. They sat dejectedly in their seats and Eve had bouts of breaking out into tears, where a memory was stuck in her head and she felt herself break down more and more.
She had not even been able to say goodbye. All she had as a last memory of Villanelle was her holding her in that cell

“I love you always. I love you so much no matter what happens. Don't forget!”

Emptiness settled in her hollow chest, pain squeezing her insides and she let the tears roll down her cheeks silently. Had they simply not deserved happiness for the things they had done? She felt cheated by the world and fate.

Konstantin watched her, blinking against the tears himself. A True handler had no emotions when his Assassin died. But he had known from the moment he had gotten Villanelle from the prison, that nothing would be normal with her. Just days earlier he had sat in that seat watching Villanelle suffer. Now he watched Eve with closed eyes, hands in her lap and big tears rushing down her cheeks as she was brought back home. She had not spoken since she had woken in the hotel, had simply gone to her room, rolled up and cried until he had gotten her after having secured their way back to Russia. When Eve had seen the bag Villanelle had brought, he had watched her crumble and retreat into herself.

He had thought for a moment to sit with Eve but feared that in a way. He could offer her nothing.
Nothing he would say could be of help. But then he did go to her and simply hugged Eve, letting her sink into him as she sobbed, big wrecking one’s the first sounds he had heard her made in a day. It had broken him to hold a woman he had thought so strong in his arms griefing. All this time he asked himself if there could have been any other way to get her out.

Once again she had been battered down, once again she had nothing of worth left in her life.

“Who did this?”

She asked between sobs, Konstantin holding her steadily.

“It was the 12.”

And whoever else because he still felt this whole thing was wrong. It never added up. But he would work continuously on clearing up who had done this to his friends.

**

Once they landed in the UK, Eve felt at an absolute loss. She did not want to go to a place that was now devoid of Villanelle, she did not want to be anywhere close to MI6, after Konstantin explained to her they had never planned to free her. Again Carolyn Martens had shown no regard for her life.

Konstantin offered she stay with them and she accepted. He was the only thing she had left now. They did retrieve her things from the apartment, finding it still closed off with a sigil from Investigations. She broke it and went inside. Everything was as she had left it, besides the signs of fight. She had stood for minutes in the living room, eyes closed, taking deep breaths as the world went on around her, while hers had stopped. The silence in the place was deafening. There was no Villanelle puttering around making them a meal, or playing her national anthems.

All of a sudden this place was filled with grief and pain, only memories left behind. She had gone into their bedroom, sitting on the bed and staring at their dresser. Time went past as she sat and cried. Just once she had felt love so thorough and it had been taken from her. Just like that. She packed her clothing, then decided on a few of her items, needing something from Villanelle to hold on to. Eve also grabbed the only photo existing of them together, sitting on what had been Villanelle’s nightstand. It had been taken by Irina at a dinner at Konstantins place, Eve sitting in her chair at the table, Villanelle standing behind her, arms around her upper body and chin on the Koreans shoulder, both smiling not realizing a photo was being taken.

She stroked the face in the picture with a fingertip , sucking in a deep shaky breath.

“I am sorry”

She whispered.

After packing what she thought she would need she called Konstantin and he brought her to his home.

**

Konstantin’s family had been very accommodating, leaving her be in her room and Irina bringing her food she barely touched. She had seen Irina’s eyes red, knew she was crying too.

On the second day Konstantin had told her they had to go to MI6. he had briefed Carolyn after their return and now she wanted to see Eve. She did not want to go but he gently squeezed her shoulder and told her there was no way out of it.
Her eyes were puffy and red, she was pale and in some haphazardly thrown together clothing, hair in a messy bun. Eve did not care what she looked like, she certainly did not care what Carolyn Martens thought or had to say. She also did not want pitiful stares. Eve simply wanted to be nowhere near this place.

Once they arrived, they were immediately brought to Martens’s office. She barely even lifted her head for them, sitting their all calm and collected. Eve promised herself she would not cry in front of this woman.

“Welcome back home Eve. I asked you here to inform you about some things regarding the trauma you have just gone through. We are sending you on paid leave. You will receive leave to grief for a month. As I have been informed, you will receive a compensation for loss of life of an Agent, since Villanelle had listed you as her next of kin. You will be evaluated after your leave and we will see in which capacity you can work here or be transferred back to MI5.”

Carolyn was matter of fact, cold and collected.

“MI6 and the country are sorry for your loss.”

Was added, as an afterthought. Villanelle had always just been an afterthought to people. No one cared if someone like her was killed.

“Oh fuck you Carolyn! We both know you could care less.”

“I shall chalk that up to grief.”

Eve stood and held her hand out to Konstantin.

“Car keys please. I think I heard enough bullshit today.”

He did as asked without questioning and she left the office, not even giving Carolyn the satisfaction of slamming the door. As she made it to the stairs, Kenny entered the office, going white as a sheet when he saw her. He said nothing as he hugged her tightly, just holding her for long moments before he let go and she saw he had a sheen of tears over his eyes. Kenny walked past and into his office and Eve left, waiting for Konstantin in his car. It took another 30 minutes before he was back.

**

“Did you see Kenny?”

Konstantin asked once they parked in his driveway. Eve nodded softly.

“I told him...after we returned. I did not want Carolyn to tell him like...she probably would.”

“Thank you.”

She mumbled.

Once inside he insisted on taking her coat and sending her to the kitchen saying she needed something to eat.
Eve had no strength to fight him on this and left him to put her jacket away, traipsing into the kitchen and sitting at the Island.

Once he joined her and made her tea and a sandwich he sat across from her, watching her eat and sipping his own tea.

“Will...you go back?”

He asked after a few minutes. Her brown eyes landed on his, such endless sadness in them, all happy sparkle he had noticed in her and Villanelle’s eyes weeks before, gone and erased.

“I...just don't know...”

She commented truthfully and Konstantin nodded in understanding.

“Did she fire you?”

“No. But I got reprimanded. I did not use any MI6 resources. That might be the only reason they keep protecting us.”

A memory of the house hit her. Alex dressed in a dark combat outfit, something around her neck, the carnage in the house.

“Alex...she told me once I don't want to know what she is. Did...did she kill all these people in the house?”

Konstantin played with his cup, gathering his thoughts.

“Years ago the 12 bought 6 people of an ex military organisation in Europe. A failed experiment of soldiers and drugs. They take a mix of drugs that makes them absolutely uncontrollable. They feel no pain, no emotions. You send them into a building and anything living in there...gets eliminated. To stop one of those is pretty hard as they notice no pain whatsoever. They were so hard to control that the 12 had them eliminated. I had to send her in as the plan had changed.”

But it had been too late.

“I have spoken to my wife and Irina. They want you to stay here for as long as you need.”

“I don’t even know how to thank you for everything…”

“Don't Eve...You are like a daughter to me.”

She knew what he said was heartfelt and got off her chair, going to him and hugging him before she went back to her room, feeling her days energy had been spent.

How she had wished to lash out in that MI6 office, how she had wished to glide a knife across Martens neck, watching the older woman bleed out in front of her, probably as emotionless as everything she did. Villanelle would have cheered for her, but Villanelle was gone.

“No goodbye Eve...remember.”

She choked when the memory hit her. Their last evening together. The last night they spend making love. They had never said goodbye because Villanelle had feared a finality with it. If you said goodbye, you were ready not to see the other again. She closed her eyes at the fresh onset of tears, cowering under her blankets as memory after memory of her dead loved one hit her.

”No goodbye Eve…”

But it had been goodbye. It had been their end and she would never see Villanelle again. She would never again feel those long and strong arms around her, guarding her from the cruel world. She would never hear her whispered confessions of love at night anymore. Never again would Villanelle teach her to cook. Everything she had come to love and cherish had been taken. Her punishment for the crimes they committed.

She felt like starving inside, there was this emptiness nothing could fill again, a void left by Villanelle and Eve just wanted to die herself.

Another sob wrecked her frame and she wished she could turn back time and just Kiss Villanelle one more time. Spend just one more moment in her arms, just hear that sing song voice one more time. She would sell her soul to the devil, if any of it was still left, to say I love you one more time to Villanelle, feeling she had not nearly done it often enough.

”Goodbye Eve…”

**

Two days later Eve was gone. In Konstantins fireplace burned her ID, passport and MI6 passcard. Konstantin watched it burn, committed the burner number she had left to memory and stoked the flames. He wasn't surprised she had run. He had waited for it to happen. His phone was on his ear as he watched the moment Eve Polastri stopped existing once more.

“She is gone as we thought. Keep me updated on anything regarding the stick the 12 have Kenny.”

Chapter Text

“I got a trace. The Program was started.”

“Does the tracking work?”

“Yes.”

Konstantin hung up and mulled the news over. They would be able to find whoever had started this. While he dialed another number he poured himself another whisky, waiting for the person to answer, when he heard the click he was relieved she had not changed phones again.

“I need you to come back. Kenny and I have some news.”

He could hear breathing on the other end, seagulls in the background, Eve was somewhere at the sea.

“What news.”

She spoke clipped.

“There was a trace on the data stick.”

Long silence stretched between them before he heard her speak softly.

“I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Hanging up he stared at the glass in his hand, swirling the amber liquid around in it. With the Stick activated the 12 now had a few days of use. Then surprise would hit them, they could not see it coming. Losing the stick would make them rather angry and someone had to take the fall.

**

Kenny was nervous. He had been nervous since Eve had been taken and he had made copies of the Peele stick. When he got a trace from the programs he had added, he had felt his heart plummet because he had hoped he would not. Not because he did not wish for revenge for Villanelle, but because he was scared of Eve dying too.

For a moment he had pondered not calling Konstantin and then done it still. Now he sat once more in that living room, waiting for the third person to arrive.

When Eve entered she was nothing of the old Eve he knew. She looked tired, thinner and just overall done. Irina was basically glued to her side, hugging her and Eve holding her back before she was sent upstairs again. Then Eve went to Konstatin and he saw the change in the older man’s demeanor, he held her tightly for as long as she needed him too.

When she came to him Kenny hugged her tenderly feeling awkward as always and his heart broke a little each time he saw her now.

Sinking into the couch, then looked at them both back and forth.

“So you said something about a trace?”

She had only been told the stick would destroy itself not trace anything. But suddenly, just as she had settled in Blackpool they told her there was a trace too.

“Well we had no hopes there would ever be a ping from the stick so we...didn’t want to raise hopes. It was Villanelles idea.”

Kenny watched her visibly flinch and pale, hands wringing each other as Eve tried to keep her composure.

“Where is it?”

Konstantin got his laptop and pulled up a google map, turning the screen to her.

“Old military base.”

She stared at the screen, mulling things over in her head. Russia of course. It was always stupid Russia.

“We can’t take on a base full of them. But we might at least get a face”

Konstantin nodded knowing Eve would hunger to know who had done this to Villanelle and her.

“I will call an old friend, see if he can get us some intel.”

Her eyes never left the screen

“I want to go there.”

Konstantin sacked a little in his armchair looking like he had known she might suggest this. He could not deny her. Denying her meant she would definitely go alone and Konstantin had promised Villanelle, if anything ever happened to her on a mission, he would look out for Eve.

“Eve…”

“Dont. You don't have to come. But I will go.”

Her voice was hard and she looked at him in a way that suggested that there was no point in discussion. He nodded slowly and sighed. He hated Russia but letting her go alone, he would never do that.

**

Kenny was biting his nails as he stared at his screen at home, feed bouncing nervously. He had not said anything to Konstantin and Eve and when they decided to go to Russia he had left, heart sinking.

He had wanted to tell them, really did but he balked at it. The thought of telling them what he had found and what would happen once they new. He was saddened and angry too. Placing a tracking chip in his mothers luggage had been, a stupid idea at some point. Because he hated how much she lied about anything. He had done that so long ago, he forgot he had done it.
A child's game so he could look at her and call out her lie, have her wonder how he did it, show her how good he was. Maybe make her just a little proud of him at some point in his life.

When he had gotten that ping of the stick he realized that his mother had just, coincidentally, been traveling herself, Kenny had no idea why, but he checked where she had gone to.
His heart had been hammering in his chest before he started feeling sick. She was in a city close to the pings location.

His mother. Carolyn Martens who treated him like he was a nuisance, an annoyance. But he had seen the look in Eve’s eyes. Nothing of the slightly klutzy, smart and friendly woman seemed left. They had destroyed her over and over and it seemed his mother was part of it. In him a war was raging. That boy in him that at some point had really loved his mum and hoped she would at some point love him back was against telling them. The rational side of him knew they would find out anyways and did she not deserve to be found? It seemed like she had been part of the 12 all this time, scheming against them to make sure they never got close to them, trying her hardest to kill people he considered friends.

Villanelle had already paid her price.

He picked up his phone and dialed Konstantin.

**

Eve had slept a lot when she arrived at Konstantins, he had told her he would get everything ready for them to travel to Russia again and so she had gone to the guest room and laid down.

She knew the symptoms of depression and she checked them all. She had wondered in her safe location if there was anything left for her to live for but then Konstantin had called and it seemed like Revenge was still on the table.

The hatred that had burned in her, sometimes seemed to eat her up, making her go where she did not think she had energy any longer and maybe it was the only thing still making her go.
She would make someone notice that killing Villanelle had been a mistake. That she had been someone that was missed. That she was remembered, that she had been loved and her killing had been a mistake. She would make someone regret their decision. That had become Eve’s new goal. Someone would pay. Someone would die and as they died they would realize that Villanelle was not someone that could be killed and not remembered.

 

**

Getting to Russia was easy, getting close to the base was more of a chore and thus Konstantin had found them a, as he called him, contractor.

He could have told Eve what Kenny had told him, but maybe he hoped a little she was not part of it. For old loves sake. He wanted picture proof that Carolyn Martens had really gone to the wrong side. He needed absolute proof that she had dared to scheme against the women he considered daughters. Every time he laid eyes on Eve his heart broke for her.

It did not take long to get a result, the picture grainy but the face known to them both.
As Eve had looked at the picture, her fists had balled together.

“All this time...it was her all this time.”

She forced out and then sat, face in her hands.

“She sold us out to them. She could not simply steal the stick because of the security measures on it. She knew Villanelle would go for me. She knew and she had her killed. It was never planned that we would be exchanged.”

His hands took hers from her face. Looking at her softly, knowing what was coming now would be hard decisions.

“What do you want to do?”

“I...don't know. No I do know. I want to...I want to kill her.”

She had to pay she had to die.

“If...I...find a way to kill her, they will come after me again.”

The 12 would never let her live.

“Tell me Eve, do you really want to kill her? No turning back.”

Konstantin spoke softly and she realized why he asked. If she killed Carolyn there was no going back. She could not wake one day and not have that on her mind. But Carolyn had tried to kill her so often, took Villanelle from her, that the hatred in her overwrote any feeling of wrong and right in her head. She was Kenny’s mother and Konstantin needed Eve to understand that there was that.

“She does not deserve to live.”

He nodded and leaned back in his chair.

“You need to give me some time. I am looking into something that could smoke her out. The programm Kill switch should work soon and then we might find an opening to her.”

She seemed to mull that over, leaning back in her chair, eyes closed.

“We don't have forever.”

Konstantin nodded, squeezed her hand and then left Eve to her darkening thoughts. She had never felt such anger and betrayal. Carolyn Martens was part of the twelve. She had been part in Orchestrating her kidnapping and ultimately Villanelle’s death. She had probably been part in many hits. She had schemed in Rome, in the end she had turned Eve too.

**

By evening, Konstantin had set things in motion concerning the stick. Come the next morning the 12 would find the stick was not working any longer and maybe they would realize some of their Data had been taken. He still had plans for the rest of the 12 that were not Carolyn after all.

What would happen was that Carolyn would find herself in a very bad spot. She had brought the stick in and it would fall on her. If they did it right she would soon find herself out of friends on all sides. Which would make it easier for Eve to get to her.

Eve, who he suddenly had to regard as someone to handle. She had changed since he had woken her in the hospital. She had lost the innocence and naivety. Gone was the woman who bumbled her way through the spy business. She was exchanged by someone that had been hurt once too often. It had shaped her into someone that lived off revenge right now. How odd to have witnessed Villanelle turn from narcisistic assassin extraordinaire to lover that only had their partner on mind, and see gentle, too friendly Eve plan an assassination.

 

**

They played the waiting game and Eve hated every moment of it, her mind on Carolyn the whole time. She knew that if she killed that woman she would lose another friend. She was kenny’s mother and she knew it would never be understandable for him. She was jittery and annoyed, she wanted this to be over with. She was walking towards a close by cafe around noon, Konstantin away on some meeting with an old friend, and realized too late that a car had driven by her and slowed down. She heard a door open next to her and was forcefully pulled into the black Limousine.

Chapter Text

“Hello Mrs Polastri.”

The proper dressed gent across addressed her, after she had finally got her body to properly sit down in the seat she had been dragged into. The car set off and Eve found herself checking doors, checking the people in the car. Two guys, burly and the gentleman in the suit. One of the men had pulled her inside so they were strong.

“Quite a flashy car for abductions.”

She quibbed and the gentleman chuckled.

“Do you know who I am Agent Polastri?”

He knew her occupation, sounded british to boot, besides that he had also basically abducted her, she was sure a lie was about to be told.

“Someone that drags women into cars.”

His face went from soft to serious.

“We don’t have much time. I am one of your superiors in MI6. To be exact I lead foreign missions. This morning our office received photos of Carolyn Martens at an empty military base with...less than favourable company. The Company we believe kidnapped you and sadly killed one of our Agents.”

Eve wanted to bristle. How dare he speak like he cared? No one had cared to rescue her. No one had cared for Villanelle. She had simply been a tool and now they pretended like she had been important to anyone besides her and Konstantin and maybe Kenny?

“Oh you mean the people you did not want to make a deal for my life with?”

“And still you are here. You are on leave of grief so I presume this is...you vacationing?”

They both knew she surely wasn't enjoying this place. But Eve played along.

“Yes of course.”

“We have feared since Rome that Carolyn was not clean. We wanted someone close to her that knew her well and would be persuaded to control her. That is why we forced her to take the Deal with Villanelle, because with that Vasilliev was signed on.”

She had thought something like that really. She did not doubt him. She had guessed he was deeper than she knew but he had loved Villanelle and Konstantin loved her. He had done things for her no one else would. And he had possibly alerted the fellow in the car that they were in Russia. She got why Konstantin would have left that out of the things he had told her. Knew her feelings towards MI6 were not positive anylonger.

“Now there is a reason I picked you up on this beautiful day. Just after we received the picture of Carolyn and evidence of her traitorous ways, we were also informed for some reason the 12 are really unhappy with her.”

This did intrigue Eve although she did not show it, looking as bored as she had from the beginning.

“Now if a rogue agent, that MI6 believes is in London, would actually be here and...say exalt some revenge on Carolyn, I think MI6 would have to make sure to cover for their Agent. So if anything happened and we knew where...Carolyn was...we could make sure that her plane had a little...accident to cover her...demise.”

MI6 had just sold out Carolyn to her.

“Well...I am here on vacation I hope your...little plan goes off well though.”

He did not even nod, just handed her a phone number and had the driver return her to the cafe.

**

When she returned to her hotel she found Konstantin sitting in the restaurant, beckoning her over. She walked towards him, her mind still heavy from meeting her superior in such a fashion.

“Where have you been? I was searching for you. I have news.”

“Carolyn Martens has trouble with the 12.”

He leaned back in his chair and stared surprised she already had that information.

“I had a very interesting Limo ride.”

She told Konstantin everything she had been told and then in turn he told her that he had been contacted by an informant from the 12. Their message to Konstantin was that she was let go and if she went missing...they would just see it as an accident.

“I had to tell foreign relations this morning. It’s not like it would be easy to cover her dead by us two.”

“So basically both MI6 and the 12 are…”

“They know Villanelle was with MI6 I don’t even think they were too happy with your abduction, that is not their style. It seems it is their way of trying to calm you and MI6.”

In giving Martens life to her they hoped she would just forget what they were.

“It is a free pass. They won't come after you if you do this. MI6 will cover it.”

How easy it was to forfeit your life these days. Eve thought, but really it played well into her hands.

“She has checked out of her hotel in the middle of the night. She will have to contact someone to help her cross borders. I have made sure the right people know that she has a hit placed on her head.”

And once they knew where she was Eve would take care of that hatred that grew inside of her. It might destroy her too, to kill Coralyn, but there was not much to take. She would never be able to let it go with Martens alive somewhere. The only thing she regretted already was Kenny. She knew that boy tried so damn hard to please his mother. He did love her.

“When this is done...I will leave. I will go back to where I was safe. Will you tell Kenny that I am sorry?”

“I promise Eve.”

**

After Dinner with Konstating the next evening, she found a black duffel bag placed on her bed. Inside was things she might find handy for her confrontation with Carolyn. A little note stated all serials where off. It was Konstantins handwriting. There was also an address. She googled it and found herself looking at a village far out, a handful of houses. Carolyn had lost her game of scheming.

A knock on her door, then the order to be at the back entrance in twenty, so eve changed into the black clothing provided, deciding against taking the balaclava. She wanted Martens to see her face. She wanted the woman to know it was her.

A car was waiting at the back entrance, Konstantin talking to the driver in russian. Before she got in he stopped her.

“He will drive you close but not all the way. He will you up the same spot exactly at the same time a day later. You can’t be late he will leave without you.”

Eve nodded in understanding, his large hands framed her face, looking deeply into her eyes.

“If you want to turn back...I can send someone else.”

He gave her another out, the possibility to let someone else do this and Eve thought for a second but then shook her head.

“There is nothing good left of me. She took it.”

And with that Eve got into the car.

**

Getting to the House had been easy, getting inside without being heard was impossible so she grabbed the gun that had been provided, checked the Trigger pressure needed for a shot with no magazine and then slung the duffel over her shoulders like a backpack.

After checking the windows she had found carolyn in what would have been the kitchen but now only housed a stove and table. The older woman was sitting at that table, foot twitching from time to time and drinking from a cup, weapon next to her. There was windows and a back porch door. Eve opted from the latter and opened it, rolling her eyes as it creaked and made Carolyn jump and twist around coming face to face with Eve and her gun.

“They always creak when you don’t want them too.”

Eve stated calmly, finding Carolyn looked at her with a mix between shocked and incredulous.

“MI6 send me. They said you needed to be picked up? Please put that gun down.”

Her gun stayed trained on Carolyn's head.

“So who send you to do this? The 12?”

The gun was still in the older womans hand and Eve was getting a tad annoyed.

“Drop the weapon and kick it over.”

“Why would I Eve, I certainly have nothing to lose now.”

Eve rolled her eyes, sighed and then shot at Marten’s hand, the older woman screaming out in pain, grun dropping to the ground and blood dipping.

“Stop being so overdramatic”

Eve sneered and walked to Martens, knocked her out with her weapon and watched her drop to the floor.

 

When Carolyn woke next she was tied to a chair in the living room, Eve sitting across on the couch, eating an apple and cutting it with a stiletto knife. The wound on her hand had been wrapped, throbbing painfully.

“I have money. I have connections…”

Martens said, writhing in her chair.

“You also had me kidnapped and caused Villanelle’s death. Do you really think I care? Also...I would not count on your connections. Last I heard they were pretty shit.”

The apple core was dropped to the ground and Eve just watched her, regarded her closely as if committing it all to memory.

“You aren’t a murderer. You almost had a breakdown because of Raymond.”

Eve stood and wiped the knife on her black pants.

“Things change Carolyn. I think we can both see how you pushed me just a bit too far. You pushed everyone too far. MI6 send me by the way. The 12 just said they wouldn’t care”

That seemed to throw Carolyn in a panic and she begged, tried to reason, brought up Kenny and Eve let her for a while, she wanted to see that panic and feed off it. It was the panic she and Villanelle had felt when they realized what was going on, that their chances weren't good.

“I thought of making this fast but I’ve run out of mercy when I watched the house burn down where Villanelle’s body laid.”

She procured a gag from her duffel and finally shut the older woman up, who was whimpering, which somehow rather pleased Eve. She had thought long and hard about how she wanted to kill the Rogue agent, had gone through different ways and settled on one she felt was justice. Martens deserved no fast death.

Once upon a time, when she was happily in love with an internationally feared assassin, said assassin taught her a few sweet spots she could hit to kill someone with one stab. Her knife came down fast, puncturing Marten’s thigh, Blood gushing out like a fountain. The other woman's eyes widened as Eve watched with a smile on her face. She saw the panic in the other woman’s eyes, drank it in. Hands pulled against the rope she was bound with, breathing fast as she tried to free them to cover the wound.

“I didn’t think I would ever see you not bored Carolyn. If you move around so much it will be faster.”

She was not heartless though and so Eve landed another stab to the pulsing vein in Martens neck.

“What makes me really sad is that Kenny deserved better. From all of us.”

Carolyn Martens died in a Plane crash over the Ukraine War zone. An international board found no involvement of either side of the war, it was a simple engine failure caused by a swarm of birds.

Shit happened.

**

The Taxi had dropped her off at the junction of main road and driveway and it would be maybe 5 minutes of a walk to reach her destination. She simply stood, sucking in the clean air, heavy with the smell of the rain from just a few minutes before. They sky was grey, clouds swiftly moving from the wind that was blowing.

Once she arrived at her destination, she found the door opening without her having to knock. Alex enclosed her in a tight, pulling her in and then making them coffee as they simply sat at the table, unable to form words.

“You vanished a year ago...Konstantin had told me you would come here after...after russia but you never made it. What happened?”

Alex asked after they had had their coffee.

“I needed time. I went to the places...Villanelle told me she wanted to take me. I just wanted to…”

Alex nodded at the older woman, grief washing over their faces.

“What...what did I miss? Did he keep you informed?”

“Konstantin? Yes. He is still with MI6, working on destroying the 12. He sounded pleased last we talked.”

Eve nodded feeling she had no interest left in that life. MI6 had offered. She had been contacted by Konstantin saying they would always have a spot in his team for her. She asked him to leave her be with MI6.

In Scotland Eve felt safe. She felt like this could be a place to live with her grief and just be. She still thought of Villanelle whenever she did not keep her mind busy. Everything was as if she had never left, her old job, Alex and her cottage. They lived day by day, Eve still dreaming of Villanelle, still dreaming of Carolyn Martens dying. Live was not great. It was ok. She lived on, feeling like half of her was missing while Alex tried her best to be a good companion, to watch out for her.

Some nights they would spend on the pier, reminiscing and Eve would tell her about Villanelle and how much they loved, Alex holding her while she cried. Then for a few days all would seem better, before that cycle started again. Alex was her therapist, listening attentively, helping her murk through her feelings as best as she could. And together they collected Newsclippings of strange Business people, politicians, Oligarchs passing in accidents or murdered. Wondering if any of them were part of the 12 and Konstantins work.

She had wondered how Konstatin would find the men and women, always having sworn to her that he had no idea who they were and Alex explained that Carolyn's downfall was that the Stick had revealed Data back to Konstantin, which he kept to himself.

In a way life went on at Loch Craggie and she filled her days as best as she could. It was not the life she had ever imagined herself in but she somehow got by, hidden away at the end of the world. Another year came and went and she still felt her wounds from Villanelle’s death, even though it had been two years. Her passing had left a huge gaping hole and Eve was not sure she wanted it to close.

She was standing in the kitchen, thunderstorm raging outside, preparing vegetables for a stew Alex wanted to cook and was getting some stuff in town for. She wasn’t much hungry and had said as much but Alex insisted, also promising to bring booze. It was to the day 2 years ago that Villanelle had been shot and Eve had wanted to stay curled up in bed.

The door opened, thunder crashed loudly and without thinking Eve said:

“Hey how’s the weather?”

“Seriously though?”

Eve turned, looking at Alex in her green raincoat and wellies, dripping water all over the floor.

“Oh…”

After Alex had taken off the clothing she came back to the kitchen, stealing a carrot and evading Eve’s slapping hand.

“Oh I almost forgot you had mail. Did you order something? Rather large parcel?”

Eve turned and looked at the pointed out parcel on the kitchen Table confused.

“Uhm...no. Maybe Konstantin or Irina…”

Wiping her hands on a dishcloth she went and looked at the package confused, her mind going over things they had ordered lately. Nothing came to mind so she decided to just open not even checking for a label.

Inside was a lot of those airpacks that protected fragile articles, her fingers fished and soon felt a box of some sort, it felt like wood. When she lifted it out her eyes took note of the design and she sank into a chair, sobbing loudly.

Alex was immediately by her side, looking at the box with the lid Proclaiming: Alaska, North to the future!

Chapter Text

For long minutes Eve sat weakly in that kitchen chair, crying while Alex held her, silently and just rubbing her back in circles. After she had calmed the older woman somewhat, she realized how Eve’s whole body was shaking.

She grabbed her a glass of water but Eve had stood, pacing with her arms wrapped around herself.

“Sarah?”

Eve walked back to the kitchen, staring down at the box as if she had seen a ghost, a shaking hand reached out, tracing the word Alaska. Her insides tingled and she felt lightheaded. What was the meaning of this? Was someone playing a sick game with her? Was her punishment not done? Nimbly she unlocked the lid and slowly opened it.

In the box was photographs. She took them confused. She flipped the first and found a cross.

A man in his 60’s at a Press rally - x
A woman maybe 30 something in a restaurant - x
A man and his grown up Son on a Yacht - x x
A woman about 60 or 70 in a Judges Robe - x
A man in some Parliament maybe 50 - x
A young man that stood in front of Servers - x
A woman middle age in doctors robes - x
A catholic looking Priest - x
A man and a woman, her sitting on a couch him standing behind - x x
Carolyn Martens photographed at the russian Military base

Her breathing was erratic as she turned the picture around. As soon as her eyes laid on what was on the back, she sunk to her knee’s next to the table breaking into a fresh onset of tears.
The back of the picture, in a flowing script, said:

I am sorry you had to do this - x

Alex picked it up, laying it to the others on the table, squeezing Eve’s shoulder and then leaving the house to give Eve space.

When Alex returned late evening Eve was still at the kitchen table, she stood slowly and walked towards the younger woman. Alex’ head whipped sideways as Eve’s hand connected with her cheek loudly, leaving an angry red imprint on the germans pale skin.

Alex’s head hung in shame, staring at her feet.

“Is there anyone not in on this? Did everyone know but me? Congratulations Alex, you deserve an Oscar for that performance at the house. Have you no shame? You held me when I broke down every second fucking night of each week crying for her. You had the audacity to offer words of grief? Did you all have a laugh at stupid Eve?”

Alex winced at the words, then looked up at her with teary eyes.

“I am sorry.”

“I can't stand to look at you…”

Eve went to the front door and grabbed her jacket, wallet and car keys and with a slamming door she was gone.

Alex rubbed her cheek and yelped at the feeling, knowing she deserved it, then grabbed a phone and dialed Konstantins number, filling him in on what had happened.

**

Eve had just driven and when it was too late to go any further she had found a bed and breakfast and booked a room. She just drove from town to town, taking in the rolling hills, lakes, rivers and sea. She was a mess inside it was like she was in limbo between grief and relief at the news.

She was also beyond livid. Everyone had played her again, stupid little Eve.

She had griefed, she had thought about ending things in her deep depression and it was another ruse. She was so sick of it all while at the same time she yearned. 3 days, then the clothing from the duffel she had stored in the shed for emergencies ran out. Eve knew at some point she had to face this, she could not run away this time. Did not want to really.

For once in her life she needed to get closure on something instead of always wondering. She had no idea how and what to feel. There was this feeling of happiness. There was unbelievably raw anger and so much sadness. So she drove back to what was her home and when she stepped out of the shed after parking the car, on the end of the pier stood a well known figure.
Eve walked slowly, willing the person to turn around. When her feet hit the first board of the pier Shoulders in front of her sagged as if a weight had been taken off them.

Villanelle turned around towards her and Eve almost gasped at the sight. She looked tired, eyes with dark circles. Slowly the younger woman walked towards Eve, who stood stiffly, just staring. She wore Jeans and some thick jumper, looking tiny in that thing. Hazel eyes drank her in, traveling up and down her body. There was fear in them, Eve knew her face was set like stone, disappointed. The russian sank to her knees in front of Eve, Face pressing into Eve’s belly and a sob erupted, not from Eve, but from Villanelle.

“I am sorry.”

Villanelle whimpered and wrapped her arms around Eve as she searched for any kind of contact from her once lover. Something inside Eve hurt at seeing her so broken but she also hurt. Her hand reached for the younger woman's face, touching her cheek slowly tilting her face up.
Villanelle’s face was a mask of agony.

“I...can’t...I can’t do this right now.”

Eve’s whispered and unwound the arms around herself, stepping away from Villanelle and wrapping her arms around herself, shielding herself from the woman kneeling, head hanging.

“Why would you do this to me Villanelle? I broke apart thinking you were dead!”

Eve argued hotly, wiping her face angrily of her tears.

“I can explain Eve.”

It was begging but Eve shook her head.

“I don't want to hear it. I want to get over two years of grief and those moments when I just did not want to go on any longer.”

Eve turned towards the house and walked to the back door, hearing Villanelle follow her. At the door she blocked the entry.

“Eve…”

Villanelle stared and realized that Eve was not about to let her inside. She nodded in understanding and stepped back.

“Can...can I just...I love you Eve. I did not want this but I had no choice.”

She did leave then and once she was gone from sight, Eve sucked in a deep breath, fresh tears filling her eyes. She whimpered, forehead leaning against the door. On the kitchen table she found a note from Alex, stating she had taken a longer fishing trip to give her the space she needed and deserved.

That night, she had sat in front of the fireplace, drinking the whiskey Alex had gotten and trying to understand what the people around her had thought. Had they considered her feelings at all? Eve said she had had no choice in the matter, so her next thought was Konstantin. He had called from time to time so she did have his number. After her first whisky she felt calm enough to call him and not break into sobs. He picked up immediately.

“Why?”

She asked, fingers picking at the hem of her woolen jumper.

“I...made her. From the moment you were taken, realizing her contract had seemed like a ruse, I feared there was other powers at play than just the 12. We knew we needed to bring the 12 down. Because you would have never been able to be safe and with Villanelle had we not. I suspected a mole in MI6, the higher ups had already thought of Carolyn but we had no hard evidence. When you vanished… I told Villanelle she could not just plan this as a one time event, she had to think of the future. I made the plan, I got her, Kenny and Alex in. Although Kenny had no idea she was alive until we used the stolen data from the 12 to kill them off, one by one. It took her until last week when she finally found the last one who had hidden away after all his allies having been killed.”

He talked slowly, wanting to make sure she could follow. So that’s what Villanelle had been doing. Over the course of time she had been gone she had taken care of the 12.

“She wanted to tell you so often, Eve I know you might not believe this right now, but this hurt her beyond belief. All she wanted, all she thought about was getting them all, so you can be safe. Because you being kidnapped or getting killed was her worst nightmare. What we did was wrong towards you and I apologize for having done this. I consider you as a daughter and I hope at some point you can forgive me. But please...don't make my mistakes hers. I simply used her deepest fear to make her go this way. I used her love and that deep sense of duty towards doing right by you against her.”

She understood what he was saying, why he had done it. She believed him when he said, they would never have been safe with the 12 living. They would have been hunted over and over again. But they had used their vulnerabilities against them. They were always used for the bigger grand scheme.

“I trusted you like a father. Even when I was told how deeply entangled you were with MI6…”

She hears him move, knows he has no idea how to respond.

“Will you ever stop scheming? What else don't I know?”

The clink of a glass made her take a big sip from hers, the alcohol burning down her belly to her throat.

“MI6 has no entry to the two sticks, one is with me, one with Kenny and only he can access them. It secured his position even after Carolyns…..treachery. You...brought that out of MI6 when he met you the day we were called into the office. He dropped it in your jacket. Villanelle still hasn’t forgiven me for letting you kill Carolyn. Eve...If you can never forgive me, then so be it, I deserve that, but Villanelle only did it for fear of your life.”

She sighed and rubbed her forehead, then sniffed as she felt that deep sadness wash over her.

“I know…”

**

She had barely slept that night, rising early in the morning to feed the chicken and then finding herself huddled under a blanket as another storm washed over the land. The fire was crackling and Eve stared into the flames, her mind a mess. The knock on the front door almost made her yell out.

Villanelle was stood there, soaked to the bone, waiting as the door opened revealing Eve. Eve had not believed it possible, but she looked even worse than the day before.

“Are you trying to catch your death outside?!”

She reprimanded when she saw the sad figure, grabbing her wrist and pulling her inside.

“Stay here! I am going to get towels.”

Eve was angry again, she felt ambushed, had planned to not talk to anyone today, go through her emotions one by one and then found Villanelle at her door, like a lost puppy. She grabbed 2 or three towels from the fresh stack and went back down. As ordered Villanelle had not moved a bone, leaving a puddle at her feet.

Teeth were chattering as Eve made her step on one towel, dumped on Villanelle’s head and wrapped the rest about her shoulders and torso. Villanelle still did not move, nor stopped looking at her feed stoically. Once the taller woman wasn’t dripping torrents of water any longer, Eve dragged her up into the tiny bathroom.

“Take those soggy things off. I still have some of your stuff…”

She remembered the things she had taken, as keepsakes, heart squeezing at the memory of sitting in their bedroom, barely able to breathe through her tears. Konstantins words rang in her head as she returned to the bathroom finding Villanelle sitting on the edge of the tub in underwear.

“Why the hell were you out in the rain?”

Eve asked trying not to sound harsh. A flinch, then a shrug of shoulders.

“Just...just go shower to warm up…”

She left, not able to take the sad view any more. How they always had to navigate through the fallout of others was beyond Eve.

Downstairs Eve made tea, then dragged herself back to the couch, feeling the tiredness of not having slept nearly enough. She was a mess. They were a mess. Footsteps alerted her long minutes later that Villanelle was coming back downstairs. She wore her old clothing, which seemed very out of place.

“Why...tell me...just tell me why.”

Eve begged, not looking at her as she stood close to the couch, staring down at Eve. Hands were ringing, shoulders sagged.

“When...when you were taken I never experienced such fear. I never thought it possible. And we talked about plans and we realized everything seemed wrong. I knew I could not keep you safe. As hard as I tried, no matter who I worked for, you would never be safe. The thought of finding you killed one day…”

Eve nodded.

“And still you did this to me. I thought you had died and then burned. I grieved and everyday was a fight. I spoke to Konstantin, I get...in a way why you did it. But I ache. I have grieved for 2 years and all of a sudden you stand in front of me.”

She saw Villanelle nod and Eve felt tears trickle down her cheek.

“2 years I have wished to just have one more moment to tell you how much I love you because I didn’t get to tell you. I wished for one more kiss, one more time of your arms around me. For 2 years I tried to daily keep your voice in my head because I feared forgetting it.”

Eve sobbed holding herself again. Slowly and carefully Villanelle approached her, sinking on the couch next to her and then wrapping her arms around Eve, holding her as she sobbed.
Eve took her time, then wiped her face with her sleeve, finding, as she looked up, that Villanelle had been silently crying too.

“I am sorry.”

She muttered and Eve saw her pain reflected in the other woman. Her hands framed that face she knew so well in all emotions but these tears, stroking red cheeks and gazing into the sad hazels.

“I can't do this again.”

Defeat and loss played over Villanelle’s face and then she was about to stand, saying:

“I...I will leave. I am sorry for all I did.”

Eve was confused and pulled her back down with her, practically throwing herself on Villanelle to stop her from leaving again.

“No..I...I can't do this lying and stuff again. Please… please for once promise me.”

She whispered against Villanelle’s neck hotly. The Russians arms slung around her, pulling her infinitely closer until there was no space left between them.

“I promise!”

Kisses peppered wherever the younger woman's lips could fall, whispering that she promised over and over. Eve held onto her remembering the days when she tried to hold on to memories that felt like wispy smoke, but this time Villanelle was real, solid, warm and breathing. Their bodies molded together, tangling around each other. They ended up nestling on the couch together, Eve crying when she felt the younger woman curl around her protectively, Eve’s head pressed against her chest so she could hear the heartbeat.

“I will make it up to you. I promise Eve. I promise.”

“I need time…”

She could not press a switch and all of a sudden her trust was back. Especially since the people closest to her had done this.

“I know. I will do whatever you need me to.”

Eve nodded burying into the warm body as if trying to hide further in those arms.

“I want to go away. I want to just leave for a while. Just us. No one else.”

Villanelle nodded and seemed to pull her even closer into herself, stroking Eve’s back slowly.

“Where ever you want to go, for however long. I just want to never be parted again.”
**

It had been 7 months since Konstantin had last heard from Villanelle and Eve, they had been hiding away wherever, trying to heal from what they had been through.
His house was lined with balloons and garlands for Irina’s birthday and he smiled as he watched her unpack her presents with glee, hugging Kenny for giving her, whatever a raspberry pi was, it seemed to make her very happy.
The doorbell rang and he sighed, getting up and finding the postman with another parcel, wrapped in brown paper, Irina’n name and Happy Birthday written on it in Villanelle’s handwriting. He smiled brightly as he heard his daughters yells of happiness at having gotten parcel from Villanelle and Eve.

Inside was a scrapbook filled with photographs of the two on their little getaway together.The first picture showed Villanelle and Eve next to the ‘Welcome to Alaska’ border sign.

The writing underneath:

“Happy Birthday Irina! Miss you. see you soon (maybe) - x x ”