Hello lovely people!
New fandom, which is always exciting, but after seeing Fallout I've been a wreck for the amazing-ness that is Ilsa Faust. I just think she's such an incredible, complex character and that there's just so much to explore in her background and her relationships with everyone. Sooo in light of that (and despite the fact that I have exams in less than a month and another fic I haven't updated in forever) I hope you all enjoy! I haven't completely decided whether I'll continue with this past a one-shot; I guess we'll see :)
This story hasn't been beta-read, all mistakes are my own.
Title is from my current song obsession, by the amazing Joel Ansett.
Tired of winds that change my ways (won't you give our hearts some weight?)
The nauseating, pounding pain in her head isn't anything new- if anything, it's actually expected. After all, it was the nature of the job for things not to go to plan, and usually when things didn't go to plan it meant people were pursing her.
Usually people with guns.
Or, as the case may be, a person with a crowbar and killer strength.
Ilsa staggers from the force of the blow that catches at her temple, and falls heavily to the concrete. She groans, familiar enough with this sickening pain to know that it's more than a simple blow to the head with a throw-some-painkillers-back fix.
Her opponent- a massive brute of a man, one of the many guards their target had guarding this shipping yard- takes a second to check the shallow knife wound she'd delivered to his stomach. It'd been a sloppy move, desperate and uncontrolled and leaving her completely open to his counterattack featuring that bloody crowbar. Stupid, she thinks to herself, stupid and reckless.
"Fucking bitch," the guard spits, reaching for her. He thinks her too injured to keep fighting; he thinks her weak, an easy target.
But let no one ever say that Ilsa Faust couldn't take a punch; she'd been one of MI5's sharpest agents, for heaven's sake, and a part of that meant being able to fight through a crippling injury. So even though there's shadows darkening her vision and the ground is swooping in horrible, dizzying arcs, she fumbles for the knife she knows was dropped only a few feet from her reaching hand.
And when his hands close around her neck, pulling her prone form upwards, she takes a fierce and savage pleasure in showing him just how wrong he was by thrusting her knife deep into his throat.
His eyes bulge, breath choking in his throat as blood pours thickly over Ilsa's hands. An instant later his grip on her fails and he staggers back, falling heavily to the ground. She knows he'll be dead in another few moments, and so she spares him no other glance. It's not like she has too much choice in the matter, because only a few more seconds pass before her own body fails her.
Reflexively, her hands reach out so that her head doesn't once again smash against the concrete, but the myriad of injuries littering her body still protest as she collapses to the ground.
The concrete is still damp with the day's rain but Ilsa's almost entirely sure that it's not water she can feel seeping through her hair. "Fuck," she groans, letting her body slacken as the pain hits her will all the force of a train. She'll have to move soon, she knows, but for the moment she's perfectly fine with losing herself to the stars floating at the edge of her vision.
And through the fog her brain has conjured, she hears a shout of her name.
The voice is familiar- and even the slight panic tainting the words, she recognizes- but instead of the reassurance Ethan's presence should bring is lost to the pain his shout brings as it bounces through her skull.
"Ilsa- Ilsa, hey-"
The words are softer now, closer as well, but she realizes this only as gentle hands grip her shoulders, shifting her body slightly so that her necks not twisted at such a horrible angle. She's unable to hold back a groan as the blood in her head rushes at this new position.
Ethan hushes her gently. "Shh, hey, it's okay. Just open your eyes, Ilsa, just open them for me."
She wasn't even aware that she'd closed them, but now that she's aware, she's in no hurry to change that fact. Even with her eyelids closed, there's a sickening, roiling nausea gripping her that Ilsa's entirely sure wouldn't be improved by opening her eyes. But- as seems to be a frustratingly common case- she's unable to deny Ethan anything.
Her eyes flicker open, and she blinks blearily at the face above her.
Ethan's got a small cut above his eyebrow and a bruise darkening his jaw. Fumbling, Ilsa lifts a hand to brush against it, to reassure herself with his presence and fact that- for once- his injuries appear to be minimal.
He catches her flailing hand and brings it to his lips, his eyes fixed on her own. It's not nearly the first time she finds herself lost in his gaze; practically their entire relationship is built on these moments of silence and unguarded emotion. But each time she's struck by the enormity behind his eyes, by the fierce and unbridled commitment she finds there. For a man infamous for his undercover personas, he lets a thousand things readily show. Or maybe that's just to her. She hasn't completely figured that out yet- and if she's honest with herself, she's fine spending the next few years trying to find an answer.
She blinks. It's a pity the moments spoiled by the undeniable feeling of blood threading through her hair and to the pavement below.
"Oh my god, is she okay?!" That's a new voice, again familiar, and completely overridden with panic.
Ethan drops his grip but rests a hand against her shoulder, his thumb brushing an arc over the exposed skin of her collarbone. If she was coherent enough, Ilsa reckons that touch alone would've sent shivers down her spine. "Get the car, Benji," he says.
"Benji. Just get the car."
There's entirely too much fear in Ethan's voice- at least, there is to her at any rate. Despite the enormous effort it takes, Ilsa cracks open one eye. "That was too tough," she groans out, "you'll make him worry."
Ethan's grip tightens slightly. "You're doing that well enough yourself."
"You will be," he replies, "but that doesn't mean you are now."
Ilsa groans again, in annoyance now, and starts trying to gather herself enough to move to sit up. Stupid American agents be damned. "That's not your call to make."
She manages to sit upright, but then spends the next few moments fighting against the urge to vomit as the world swoops in and out of focus. She's vaguely aware of the annoyed noise Ethan lets out as he has to shift to keep pressure on the open wound to her head. He doesn't entirely move fast enough though, and she blinks heavily at the trickle of blood that skims down into her eye.
Ilsa grins, perfectly aware of the mess she must look. "See? Perfectly fine."
She can practically feel Ethan's eye roll as he helps her to her feet, one hand steady on her shoulder while the other presses hard against her head. And then- supporting practically all her weight- he guides her forward.
"I don't think you quite understand why we give you a comm unit," Ethan says conversationally.
Her tongue feels impossibly heavy. "Oh?"
He hums. "Usually we use them to communicate our positions and call for backup if needed."
His tone is forcibly light, but she's familiar enough with him now to catch the underlying emotion there. She can't quite figure out, however, whether it's worry or frustration that's colouring his words.
Frustration she'd understand.
Worry… well, that would present an entirely different set of issues.
"No time," she grits out.
She feels Ethan's grip on her tighten as her knees give out, her dizziness overcoming her. He stops suddenly, swinging her into his arms with entirely too much ease. A heaviness is pressing against her now, pulling at her body like an anchor and making it impossible for her to protest at him carrying her around like she's incapable of helping herself.
She's survived so far without a team at her back, after all.
And she has a second of wondering whether she's said that out loud, because then there's the feel of his hand in her own, strong, sure and comforting- they even have the same scars.
And the last thing she's aware of is his voice.
"You're not alone anymore, Ilsa."
Thank you so much for reading! If you could leave a review letting me know what you thought or if I should continue, it'd be amazing.
:D :D :D