Denial is my greatest defense against the truth
by somuchbraver

I don’t love him. Of course I’d be the first to admit that I wouldn’t know love if it crawled up out of the sewers and bit me on the ass, but love is elusive, probably impossible when it comes to me. What I feel isn’t love. I get out of the car, glancing over at one of the few men in my life who’d never open a car door for me. He won’t do me the disrespect. I watch him close the car door hard, glancing over at me with a holocaust in his eyes that makes my stomach jump slightly. I think I like him the most when he’s angry. His gaze singes me and I hope he yells, it’s icy silence that I really can’t stand, I truly hope I get an earful.

“what the hell were you thinking out there?” He doesn’t disappoint, hurling glacial words my way. I don’t even flinch.

“having fun, Alex, geeze, no need to jump down my throat about it.” I close the door on my side with less force.

“you want to do acrobatics, you join the circus. You want to kill a government official, , you follow your god damn orders.”

“let me see, order number one, get the guy killed, order number two, don’t get caught. I pulled off both objectives and managed to still enjoy my assignment, could this be jealousy talking?” Some day I’m going to coerce Alex into actually enjoying his job, I’m determined.

“what’s there to be jealous of? You nearly got your head cracked open.” He wasn’t wrong, I’d been…well, distracting, the older man to give Alex a better shot, and when the old man fell, I noticed a balcony and couldn’t resist the impulse to show off. I’d done a flip off the ledge and made the pool down below by mere inches.

“…well I didn’t, see?” I tap my head. “brains still safely in place.”

“well, that’s not exactly conclusive either, is it?” He seldom smiles when making a joke, depending on me to know when he’s not serious. It’s usually a sign he’s tired of fighting, too. His jab coaxes a smile out of me, and I puff up my chest a little as my face transforms into a small pout.

“come over to this side of the car and say that, punk.” He drops his jacket and I tense a little, a tiny smile playing around the corners of my mouth as I wait for him to move, unflinching.

“well now you’ve done it.” He takes a few steps around the front of the car and I grin, running. I toy with him, keeping the car between myself and him. We dance, he moves a step to the left, I move a step to the right….my eyes locking with his solemn green ones. From looking, no one would guess we’re so close to evenly matched. I’m about a third his size with dark, carefully maintained hair. He, on the other hand, has wide shoulders and arms like steel cable, moving on a firm base, while I dart around on heels. I pierce the tense silence with a giggle and make a break for it, running half-heartedly since I know very well I’ve got nothing to fear.

One of those steel cables slips around my waist and yanks me back none to delicately, and we’re both met with a tense moment, the playfulness evaporating into tension as our bodies collide and both of us run face first into truth like a brick wall, and quickly retreat from it, as if wounded. He releases me and I step off as he runs a hand through his hair and clears his throat, his eyes darting around, desperately searching for a subject change.

He finally squares his jaw and picks his leather jacket up off the ground, glancing at me only briefly. “be more careful next time. I’m not going to keep saving your ass.”