It was over.
After years of careful planning and execution, Operation Strix was done.
Heart hammering in her chest, her feet pounded against the laminate floors as she flew down the long corridors, occasionally glancing into the rooms quickly. Her breath was shallow with anxiety, her eyes wide and tired as they searched, as her mind screaming at her to stop. The blood from her nose was masked by the large bleeding gash on her cheek, mixing in with the soot that covered her skin to drip onto her clothes. Her other injuries were throbbing with dull pain but she ignored them, continuing her frantic run.
She didn't have enough time, they were surely looking for her by now. The staff she passed were startled, yelling in surprise as she weaved around them.
Sliding around the corner in her dainty scruffs, she tried not to trip and instead use the momentum to carry her forward, her singed curls slapping across her face. Brushing them aside in annoyance she continued on, straining to hear anything other than her own heartbeat. She ignored the voices calling her to come back, her desperation calling her forward. She was scared of what might happen if she ignored this tugging at her chest, demanding that she search. Screw the consequences of her actions later, this was important.
She somehow managed to sped up, clinging to the fleeting familiar thoughts like a life line. Her chest hurt unbearably and she knew her lungs had smoke in them. But none of it matter. She had to get there, she had to.
Approaching the last corner, she managed to sail around this one more smoothly and immediately spotted her target, sitting outside one of the rooms by himself. He looked a mess as well, though for an entirely different reason to her. She must have called out, as his head jerked up in surprise, his eyes widening when he spotted her. Hurriedly he jumped to his feet but before he could do anything she was slamming into him, clutching at him tightly.
Despite a small stumble, he managed to hold his ground, holding her just as firmly as if he was afraid to let go.
“You’re here, you’re here, oh thank god you’re here. You’re safe. You’re here.” She gasped raggedly against his shoulder, feeling his shocked confusion roll over her.
“Anya what are you doing here? How'd you escape? Are you okay? What’s going on?” He babbled, trying to hid the shakiness in his voice. He tried to step back to look at her, but she just clung to him tighter, afraid of what might happen if she let go.
“I’m okay, it’s you I’m worried about Sy-on boy. Are you okay?”
She felt him start to shake, hands clutching at the destroyed coat around her shoulders.
“What’s going on Anya? I thought I'd never see you again. Then I get this call that Father was in some sort of serious accident and they weren’t sure if he was going to survive, and then these guys just turned up at the house and took me here and no one is telling me what’s going on, or how Father is, or if the rest of my family is safe, and I've been here for ages waiting on someone to let me in and no one has stopped to answer me and-”
She pulled back enough to take his face in her hands, halting his flow of questions. Stroking his face soothingly she tried to give a comforting smile.
“Hey, hey, it’s okay. Your family is safe. I'm safe. Your Father is in the operating room and from what I heard he’s responding well. He should be out soon.”
He stared down at her in surprise, eyes shimmering with tears.
“How’d you know that? What’s going on?” He asked again, but she could only shake her head in response.
“It’s hard to explain. I have to wait until your Father is in recovery before I’m allowed to tell you anything Damian. I’m truly sorry about that. I know how hard it is being kept in the dark.”
“Can you at least tell me where we are? And who those people were? Where you've been? And why you look like you’ve just gone through a battlefield? Seriously, you should be getting some medical attention for the cut on your cheek, it could get infected.”
She just buried herself back into his embrace uncaring about her injuries.
“We’re in a safe place. Though its location is undisclosed. The people are a group of intelligence officers that have been working for as long as I can remember to help your family and the country. And like I said, I’m okay. You’re more important right now.”
She could tell that her response brought up more questions than answers but he also knew she wouldn’t give him any more information. Burying his face in her filthy hair, he inhaled shakily, body starting to tremble.
“I’m so scared Anya.” He whispered making her clutch at him tighter. “And so confused. I just want to know what’s going on.”
“I know, I know.” she whispered back, hands rubbing his back in comfort. “That’s why I’m here.”
She didn’t want to reflect on her involvement in the situation just yet. She didn’t want to think of the screaming and gun fire, or the sound of bodies falling heavily to the ground. Didn’t want to think of what was going to happen outside these long corridors once the aftermath came to light. All that mattered right now was the tall teen in her embrace and how she could help him. She had been scared and alone before, wishing for someone in her darkest hours. She could afford to be that pillar for him now.
Burying her nose into his chest, she had fleeting moment of guilt as she savoured his embrace.
Well, as long as she was allowed to at least.