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Even Steven

Chapter Text

Villanelle has enough self-awareness to admit that every now and then, once in a blue moon really, she fucks up.

Getting caught after seven months on the run is one of those occasions.

As far as interrogation rooms go, this one isn't bad. Villanelle likes the fake plant next to the door. They (who arrested her again?) chose a peace lily. Its artificial green leaves droop even though it's a not a real plant. Did the manufacturers add that in for authenticity? Is that crucial to consider when you're looking for the perfect fake plant to spice up your interrogation room? Is the market competitive for fake interrogation room plants? All valid questions that Villanelle is fully intent on contemplating. 

Then the door opens, blocking the peace lily from view and jerking Villanelle back into the beige walls of the interrogation room. She groans at the figure standing before her. "Can't you people take the hint? Leave me alone."

Carolyn Martens looks down at her she's a very annoying housefly. "Did you know they stopped serving those little cracker packets on British Airways?" she says.

Villanelle frowns.

"Yeah. Nobody likes them."

Carolyn nonchalantly opens the manila folder tucked under her arm. "They discontinued them a couple months ago. It came as quite an unfortunate surprise, alongside having to leave London at four in the morning for the Czech Republic." Carolyn sighs and flips a page. "I suppose I'll have to seek another airline."

Villanelle idly wonders if the contents of the manila folder are empty, and Carolyn's simply using it to psych her out. "Look," she says, "if this is your way of getting me to crack, it's not going to work."

Carolyn doesn't look up from the folder. "Yes, this isn't your first time at the rodeo, is it?" Villanelle stifles a laugh. She's not wrong. "Where exactly have you been these days?"

"Prague," Villanelle says. There's no reason not to tell her. It wasn't like Villanelle was keeping any secrets in Prague.

"Ah. Prague is lovely in the spring. Shame you won't get to see it." Carolyn's phone buzzes. She pulls it out from her suit jacket. "Good. Right on schedule. If you'll excuse me."

She shuts the folder and pockets the phone. Villanelle rattles the handcuffs pinning her arms behind the chair. "Are these really necessary?"

"She wanted them."

"She?"

Carolyn doesn't answer. She breezes out of the interrogation room just as easily as she breezed in. Villanelle rolls her eyes. Who is she trying to impress?

Who was she referring to?

Villanelle returns her gaze to the peace lily, but it no longer holds her attention. Her talent for withstanding long hours of solitary confinement has vanished, and each second passes in agonizingly slow motion. Who is it? Who is she?

She knows.

Even before the door handle turns, deep down, she knows it's her.

Eve.

When Eve, the real Eve, not the Eve in Villanelle's revenge fantasies, enters the interrogation room, the world disappears.

After all this time, they meet again. She looks good. Very nice, very not dead. Villanelle doesn't love the ponytail she always seems to come back to, nor the scowl on her face, but the black button up and the charcoal pants are a serviceable combo. The colors of mourning.

Villanelle is in a red suit. The same color as last time.

"Eve." Villanelle smiles that smile that she's seen in a million rom-coms when the heroine thinks she's lost him, and he shows up at the airport (or the bus stop or the school dance or the wedding). "Eve, I thought you were dead." Shiny, perfect tears pool in her eyes. "You have no idea how happy I am to see you."

Eve stares hard at her.

"Bullshit."

Villanelle drops the waterworks and bursts out laughing. Eve doesn't share her amusement. "Wow! How have you been?" Villanelle asks like they're two friends who just haven't seen each other awhile. 

Eve doesn't answer. "No small talk?" Villanelle says. "Fine. How did you sleep? After you hacked Raymond into pieces?"

Eve pales. So Raymond gets a reaction out of her. Even from beyond the grave, he is still popping up into Villanelle's life. What a dick. She hopes his ugly children die young; the last thing the world needs is more Raymonds.

"I didn't sleep," Eve says.

Villanelle leans forward as much as the handcuffs allow her. "After my first, I slept like a baby."

"Of course you did."

Eve makes no attempt to hide the contempt in her voice. As if Eve can take the moral high ground. Villanelle sits back in the chair. "If this is their way of getting me to cooperate, it's not going to work. I'm over you."

Eve doesn't react. God, if the only thing that gets her to react is fucking Raymond, maybe Villanelle should have aimed for her head.

Eve pulls out the other chair. "This wasn't my idea," she says. When she sits, finally eye-to-eye with her, Villanelle ignores the shiver that passes through her body.

If she wasn't handcuffed to this chair, she could reach out and touch her.

Pick up where they left off.

"Carolyn thinks I can get you talking," Eve states.

God, now Carolyn. After everything Villanelle did for Eve and she chose her? "Seriously? You're back to being Carolyn's little dog?" Villanelle spits. "How long are you going to sit, stay, and bark your pathetic mouth whenever she tells you to?"

Eve looks offended. "She's making me-" Then she looks frantically at the peace lily. In a more even tone, she repeats, "This wasn't my idea."

Eve keeps her head to the table. Villanelle can't believe her. Coming back from the fucking dead and not even having the decency to let her know? Villanelle sent her a post card. And traveling all the way to the Czech Republic at someone else's behest? Only then to sit across from her and not even have the guts to look her in the eye? What kind of sociopath do you have to be to do such a thing?

"Well, Carolyn's an idiot. You broke my heart."

Eve's head shoots up.

"You shot me."

"And?" Villanelle tilts her head. Is this really the best Eve has to offer? "We're even now."

"Even?"

Now there's a reaction. "Even Steven," Villanelle says with a smug grin.

Eve looks like she's going to snap her neck. "Is that what this was about? Getting even?"

"Isn't it?"

"I thought I was going to die."

"But you didn't," Villanelle says like Eve got a paper cut. "And it was your fault for being so stubborn in Rome."

Clearly that was the wrong thing to say.

"What did you expect?" Eve says with an air of bitterness. "That I would run off to Alaska with you? That we'd spend our days chopping firewood and cuddling by the fireplace?"

"I mean... yeah." And Villanelle knows Eve threw that out as a fantastical delusion, but in Rome, Villanelle really thought that could be them. They could watch movies and sleep in a big bed and get rid of bodies. Why does Eve make it sound so ridiculous?

Eve huffs out a laugh. She sits back and grips her midsection. Right where the bullet landed. "I should have stabbed you in the heart," she mutters.

That comment stings. "Don't say that."

"It's true."

"You don't mean it."

"I do."

"No, you don't-"

"Why do you assume you know everything about me?" Eve snaps. "I didn't want to kill for you."

Now it is Villanelle's turn to tear her delusion down. "You didn't want to kill?" Villanelle says with a laugh. "Don't forget, Eve, I was there. I saw the way you wanted him dead-"

Eve slams her hand down on the table. "You have no idea what I wanted!"

"You have no idea what wanted!"

Villanelle's voice cracks, and she hates it. The unplanned show of emotion. But it affects Eve. She stares wide-eyed at Villanelle, too stunned to say anything. She stands, and Villanelle expects her to leave. But she doesn't. Instead, she lets down her hair. She slowly, purposefully strides around the table to where she is right in front of Villanelle.

Then Eve does something unexpected.

She slides onto Villanelle's lap. "Is this what you wanted?" she says in a low voice.

Villanelle has to bite the inside of her cheek to keep herself from reacting. Is this what Villanelle wanted? The warmth of Eve's thighs pressed against her? Her palms resting against her chest? Did she want this? No. Eve rejected her. Eve played with her heart and then she crushed it. Eve is a monster, a coward, a pitiful, worthless-

"Answer me."

"Yes," Villanelle whispers.

Crap.

Something shifts in Eve. A decision is made. "What about this?" Eve runs her hands down Villanelle's chest, brushing over her breasts so quickly it's cruel.  

Villanelle stammers, "Eve, what- what are you doing-"

Eve yanks her by her ponytail, ejecting a whine out of Villanelle. "Don't. Talk."

Villanelle strains against the cuffs, hoping in vain for some slack, but they hold. If this chair wasn't bolted down, Villanelle could hurt Eve. She would hurt her so much. But she's stuck, and Eve smells like the perfume she got her, and Villanelle wonders if that's a deliberate choice, but she's also too distracted by the feeling of Eve's body against hers to think too hard about it. 

Eve's free hand closes around the back of her neck. "Do you have any idea how long I've spent trying to get you out of me?" she says. 

All Villanelle can focus on are how close Eve's lips are to hers. 

"You shot me and you left me," she hisses.

Kiss me.

Her nails dig into Villanelle's neck. "I wish I could make you feel the hurt I felt in Rome. I wish I could watch you bleed out. Most of all..." For the briefest moment, Villanelle sees a glimmer of the Eve she knew before Rome.

Kiss me.

"I wish I'd done this sooner."

Villanelle briefly thinks maybe there is a god, because Eve grabs the lapels of her suit jacket and kisses her.

It's a visceral, forceful kiss. Villanelle feels like her head is being held underwater, only she wouldn't mind if Eve held her head underwater- what is she thinking, she hates Eve. She hates Eve, and she doesn't want Eve kissing her, but if she's going to kiss her, Villanelle's going to kiss her back and do a better job of it too.

The kiss descends into kisses, neither one of them willing to admit defeat. Eve is vicious. But so is Villanelle. Villanelle feels Eve bite down on her lip, followed by the coppery taste of blood, and she bites back. Two can play at that.

But Eve has an advantage. Her hands are free, and they claw at Villanelle's skin, down her neck, on her collarbone, around her waist, like Eve truly believes she can rip her apart. At the very least, she's going to leave Villanelle with a multitude of bruises. Villanelle shudders as Eve kisses her way down to Villanelle's neck, and she can feel herself getting wet. 

She hates feeling this.

She hates Eve for making her feel this.

But dear god, please don't let her stop.

"Is this how you pictured it?" Eve murmurs between kisses.

"Not-" Villanelle has to catch her breath "-not the handcuffs-" she squeals as Eve bites her neck.

Eve's hands go back to her breasts, finally giving them the attention they deserve. Villanelle's nipples harden beneath her gauzy silk blouse. Eve pulls back the blouse and kisses one of them. God, Villanelle's really wet now. It would be a crime for Eve to stop. 

Villanelle is really starting to consider the god thing, because Eve unzips her trousers and slips her hand down. Villanelle's back arches when Eve's fingers touch her clit. She could kiss her right now, but they're already kissing. Her thumb goes in circles, starting fast and getting even faster, eliciting moans out of Villanelle. Villanelle briefly forgets she's supposed to hate her. "Eve, you're really good at this-"

"Shut up."

Villanelle's body doesn't give her much of a choice. Especially not when Eve thrusts her fingers into Villanelle, and she just about screams.

"Eve," Villanelle says breathily, wanting her to slow down, to let Villanelle savor it, but Eve is the one in charge. Eve thrusts again and again, each one faster, each one bringing Villanelle closer to coming. "Eve, wait!" It's too fast for Villanelle's liking because that means it will be over sooner, and Villanelle doesn't want it to be over. "Eve-"

The orgasm hits her like a bullet in in the back.

Villanelle lets out a long, staggered moan. She's never been particularly vocal with her orgasms, but Eve just... wow. Villanelle feels like she's floating. Eve was right. 

Now they are even.

Then Villanelle returns back to the real world, back to Eve. They make eye contact. For a moment, they just take each other in, take in what they just did. Eve's eyes are so beautiful, so dark. Her face has that serene, distant look she had right before burying the axe into Raymond's shoulder. Villanelle opens her mouth to speak-

Eve scrambles out of her lap like Villanelle is contaminated.

"Eve," Villanelle says, confused. Why is she being rude?

Why is she looking at her like they did something wrong?

"That," Eve says, "is all you will ever get from me."

She coldly turns for the door. She doesn't see Villanelle's face fall. Only when the door clangs shut does Villanelle realize, with absolute dread, that she is not over Eve.

Not by a long shot.


The moment she's out of that room, Eve crumples to the floor. Her body shakes and she starts to hyperventilate as the shock at what she just did sets in. She squeezes her eyes shut and puts her head between her knees, hoping it'll take her anywhere but here, anytime before seeing Villanelle again. Holy shit, she just saw Villanelle. She didn't just see her, she... what the hell did she just do? Eve hears heels clacking down the hallway.

"Well, I think that certainly rattled her."

"Why?" Eve looks up at Carolyn, her voice raw as an open wound. "Why did you make me do that?"

Carolyn glances pointedly to the door and back to Eve. "I didn't make you do that."

Eve feels a firm hand on her arm -the same hand that escorted her here- and it pulls her up off the ground. The guard leads her down the hallway, presumably to a car then back to the hotel they're keeping her in. She fights the urge to look back in the vain hope of seeing Villanelle one last time.

Only when she's in the back of the car does Eve realize she hasn't forgiven Villanelle. But she's not over her.

Not by a long shot.

Chapter Text

Stabbing her felt easier.

In a run-down hotel in the Czech Republic, Eve lies curled up in a ball on a stiff, uncomfortable bed. Lying in bed is pretty much the only thing she's done in the Czech Republic. Aside from...

Eve digs her nails into her arms. She pleads with her brain to not make her relive her reunion with Villanelle, but there she is, and there's Villanelle, and there she goes sliding onto her lap like some fucked up roleplay-

She digs harder. It's a little past three in afternoon, but maybe she can force herself to sleep. There's nothing else she can do; the hotel room isn't exactly stimulating. She's already flipped through every channel on the tiny television in front of the bed. She can't preoccupy herself with work either. Her electronic devices were confiscated a long time ago. The only time she ever gets to use a laptop or cell phone, someone is there watching.

They're always watching.

Eve listlessly reaches for the phone on the nightstand. She keeps hoping the cleaners will come in and notice the line's been cut. She holds the phone up to her ear. They still haven't noticed. If she could just get in contact with someone, even Niko...

No. Eve puts the phone back. That door closed in Rome. Every door closed in Rome. She stares out at the doors that lead to a small balcony, her closest shot at freedom. She could go out on it, but what's the point? It's too high for her to jump. She checked. And the agent outside her door would be on her within seconds. And who knows how many of them are outside. After all, Eve is a, "very valuable asset," according to Carolyn. Can't have her going rogue again. So she's stuck. Stuck waiting.

Waiting to see Villanelle.

The thought of Villanelle sends Eve crawling back into bed and trying to squeeze herself so tight she'll disappear. Eve had only wanted to spin her up. She had fantasized for months all the ways to make Villanelle hurt the way she hurt, but that... It was never supposed to actually happen.

It was never supposed to feel so good.

The lock on the room buzzes, mercifully distracting Eve from thoughts of Villanelle, and the guard from yesterday enters. Dread fills her stomach. There's only one reason he's here.

"We're going," he says.

Eve stands. It's not like she has a choice.


"I don't want to do this."

Across from Eve in the elevator, Carolyn doesn't look up from typing on her phone. The elevator is excruciatingly slow. This station dates back to World War II, and its elevators clearly haven't been updated since then. Every creak and groan only amplifies Eve's anxiety. After what feels like an eternity of waiting, Carolyn stops typing and finally acknowledges Eve. "Is that it?"

Eve frowns. "I mean... yeah."

"Oh." Carolyn returns to typing on her phone. "I just thought you'd have a more convincing argument."

The elevator stops on the fifth floor, and Eve knows she's not getting out of this. Did she ever truly believe she could? The doors open, and she follows Carolyn down the hall to the interrogation room. Each step and Eve grows more and more convinced this is a bad idea.

But her opinion doesn't matter.

They reach the door. Eve gulps. Now only a few inches concrete separate her and Villanelle.

"As... entertaining as that little display from yesterday was, do try to get some real information out of her," Carolyn says.

She leaves Eve in the hallway. Eve stares at the door to the interrogation room with dread. Some real information. Villanelle may not even know anything about the Twelve. As far as anyone in MI6 knows, she's spent the last seven months vacationing. But she's been notoriously tight-lipped with everyone else who's tried to interrogate her. Eve was the first person to have a conversation with her that lasted longer than ten minutes. Lucky her.

Eve straightens her button-up shirt. Villanelle can't hurt her. Also she has a job to do.

She opens the door.

The setup is jarringly identical to yesterday. Villanelle is still handcuffed to the chair. She's still in that crimson suit, and even though it's clearly been slept in, she still looks stunning. "Ugh, it's you," Villanelle snarls. "Back for seconds already?"

"You know why I'm here," Eve says as she takes a seat.

"Eve, you can't just go around using people for sex. It's not healthy." Eve ignores her. Villanelle leans forward with mock concern. "I think you have a serious problem-"

"Do not start with-" Eve reins herself in. This is not about them. "You know I don't want to be here."

"I don't want to be here either," Villanelle snipes back.

"Okay."

"Okay!"   

They nosedive into an awkward silence, like two bickering children forced to sit together until they say sorry. Eve looks down at her hands. Villanelle looks down at the floor tiles. Irritation radiates off the both of them.

Villanelle is the first one to speak. "Can I see it?"

Eve's hand flies protectively to her midsection. "I don't..." And maybe the way Villanelle just casually asks her, with no ulterior motives, is what changes her mind. "Sure."

She stands. She slowly goes around the table just like yesterday, but this time, she feels calmer. Clearer. She controls this. Villanelle isn't going to hurt her this time. She undos the first button on her shirt, then the second, then the third, gradually working her way down. Villanelle watches her with an impatient hunger. Which makes Eve take her time purely out of spite.

She did shoot her after all.

The last button comes undone, and with a deep breath, Eve pulls back her shirt. The sound that comes out of Villanelle's mouth can only be described as pure joy. Eve on the other hand looks at the dark circle on her abdomen as little as possible. For the first two months, she didn't look at herself in the mirror at all. And the day she finally brought herself to, when it was three in the morning and she felt the closest to being alone, Eve could only stomach it for a few seconds before slamming her fist into the mirror.

Getting shot and left for dead will make you do crazy things.

Villanelle marvels at the scar like an artist admiring her masterpiece. "My aim was perfect."

"Fuck you," Eve spits at her.

It's the only thing she can say to force out the image of Villanelle pressing her lips against the scar.

"Now we truly are the same," Villanelle says, and Eve feels sick. No more than ten minutes in and this interrogation has completely gone off the rails. "Also you have amazing breasts."

"Why don’t you tell me what you’ve been doing for the past seven months," Eve says.

Villanelle lets out a laugh, and Eve knows she brought that up too soon. "Eve, you think you can crack me so easily?" Her voice drops from playful to spiteful. "I still want nothing to do with you."

Then Eve gets an idea. A bad idea.

"Fine then." Eve starts to button her shirt back up. "We have nothing to discuss-"

"Actually!" And Villanelle's voice rises a little on the end of that word, enough to make Eve stop and more than enough to make her stomach flutter. "Show me the other side."

Your move, Eve. 

Eve grips the edges of the table so hard her knuckles go white. She can do one of two things. Acquiesce to Villanelle. Which may work temporarily but might send the message that Eve is a pushover. Or deny Villanelle. In that scenario, neither one of them gets what they want, but Eve retains the power. And she gets to see Villanelle squirm. If Eve doesn't get any information though...

Villanelle has a smirk on her face. She knows she's won this time.

Then Eve gets a worse idea.

"Okay. I'll show you."

Eve turns around, giving Villanelle a full view of her backside. The shirt comes off, Eve drawing it out as much as she can. She doesn't do it solely to torture Villanelle. The scar on her back feels more personal. More vulnerable.

But Eve can only prolong the inevitable for so long. Despite the goosebumps forming on her exposed skin, despite the phantom pain of a bullet, she sets the shirt down on the table just within reach. Eve sneaks a look at Villanelle. Her mouth is parted open, ravenous. She looks ready to devour Eve. Good. This next part will only work if she feels that way.

Eve unhooks her bra.

Villanelle draws in the slightest breath, the kind of breath you take when you're trying not to gasp. Eve smiles. She has her. Eve slips her bra and her last bit of nerves off and tosses it to the side. Her nipples are already hard from the cold. Definitely the cold. Eve reaches for her shirt and puts it back on. 

"So." Eve turns around, her shirt tantalizingly open. "What have you been doing?"

Chapter Text

To borrow a phrase from Urban Dictionary, Eve may or may not have Villanelle whipped.

It's Eve's fault after all that Villanelle is furiously masturbating during her shower time. Also MI6's. She's been so bored. And when she's bored, she either kills or she masturbates, and killing is a little difficult to do right now. If MI6 allowed her to masturbate in her cell like the Russian prison system did, she wouldn't be so pent-up. Over the rush of lukewarm, probably dirty, bathwater, Villanelle aggressively works her fingers in and out while her brain replays the interrogation from yesterday.

"How about we play a game?" Eve leans on the other side of the table with her palms. The open flaps of her shirt show only a tortuous sliver of her breasts. "Every time you don't answer a question I'm going to do another button."

Villanelle shudders and thrusts faster. That stupid game. Eve only managed to get one button done.

"How am I doing, baby?" Villanelle asks.

Eve has now shifted to the other side of the table. Her finger tilts Villanelle's chin up. "You're doing so well. But we're not done until I say we're done."

Villanelle moans loudly over the water. It's honestly more of a scream. She hopes MI6 is listening. It's the only thing she can do right now to spite them. MI6 is much more intent on keeping Villanelle isolated compared to Russian prison guards. Which leaves her with virtually no stimulation to speak of beyond the limits of her own imagination. 

And Eve.

Stupid, sexy Eve. Why did she have to take her bra off? Why did she have to leave the fucking shirt on?

"You can do better than that," Eve says.

"Eve." Villanelle breathes heavily. She tries once again to twist her hand through one of the cuffs to no avail. "I really can't."

"Are you sure?" Eve stretches her arms back, giving Villanelle only a cruel glimpse of one of her nipples-

Villanelle holds on that moment, that one pitiful look at Eve's body, and finally comes, and it racks her entire body like a tidal wave. 

The shower cuts off seconds after, and Villanelle finally reaches a sense of clarity. Eve surprised her. That wouldn't happen again. Villanelle may not know what fresh hell Eve has planned for her today, but that doesn't mean she can't concoct her own methods of torment. 

Eve wanted to tantalize her?

Fine.

Villanelle can tantalize her right back.

She squeezes the water out of her hair then reaches for the towel. As she wraps the threadbare towel around her body, she wonders what Eve is doing right now. Probably taking a bubble bath. Scheming of more ways to make Villanelle suffer. Villanelle smiles deviously. Eve has no idea what she's in for. Once Villanelle puts her suit back on, she won't wear the shirt. Or underwear. 

But when Villanelle steps out of the coffin-sized shower stall, her suit isn't there. "Hey!" Villanelle yells at the guard. "Where are my clothes?"

The guard, some ferret-faced middle-aged woman, looks at the clothes laid out next to the shower stall.

Villanelle follows suit. She rolls her eyes. "These are obviously not my clothes."

But the guard just points at that pile of clothes like there's a joke that Villanelle isn't in on. Then it hits her.

Villanelle scowls.

She's going to kill every member of MI6.


"Nice outfit."

"Do not mock my pain."

Villanelle has been in a pissy mood since she was arrested, but this... abomination they call clothing cranks her pissy mood up to eleven. Eve is not supposed to have better clothes than her. Villanelle sits across from her in a pair of denim overalls two sizes too big and an itchy flannel shirt. Flannel. Not even the butchest lesbian would touch this shirt. 

"I look like a hillbilly," she mutters.

"You look fine."

The words slip off Eve's tongue so easily. 

Eve pales. The tone of the room shifts as the weight of her words sink in. Villanelle has the faintest smile on her face. Eve said You look fine. Three simple words that say so much more. They say I've been looking at you. Not in passing glances either. Eve has been looking at every inch of her, assessing her appearance, and coming to the conclusion that today, in spite of her atrocious outfit, Villanelle looks fine.

Eve has been looking at her.

She tries to backpedal. "I-I mean you look-"

"No," Villanelle says with a lick of her lips, "I know what you meant."

"I just-" A flustered Eve flips to a blank page on her notepad. "I meant to say-"

"You like my nice and supple body. I get it." Villanelle spreads her legs apart in a way that makes even these overalls look irresistible. "I mean why else would you have me in handcuffs if you didn't get off on it just a little bit?"

There is a long pause where Villanelle likes to imagine Eve is thinking of all the things she can do to her in said handcuffs before Eve picks up the notepad. "Why don't we pick up where we left off yesterday. You were in Florence?"

"Actually, I don't feel like it," Villanelle says flippantly. She props one foot up on the table. "I'm tired."

Eve gives her a look that could melt ice. Villanelle smiles innocently. There is something so amusing about spinning Eve up, watching her scramble for a way to get into Villanelle's head. Which is not happening today. Eve can take off every stitch of clothing she wants, but Villanelle is not giving her any information.

In a calm, calculated tone, Eve asks, "And what would you like to do?"

"Leave."

Villanelle feels a twinge of irritation. What did Eve expect her to say? Is she only going to ask stupid questions today? "You know that's not how this works," Eve says.

"Well, I'm bored."

"I thought you were tired."

"I can be both, Eve!" Villanelle snaps. "I am a multifaceted person."

She sits back with a huff. Eve is boring her today. Maybe she should just take her top off again. Then at least it would give Villanelle something to do. In vain, she tries once again to twist her hand out of the cuffs, but even that is being boring and predictable today. 

"And what if we did?" Eve says softly. "What if we did leave?"

Villanelle sneers. "So now you want to leave with me." Of course now she wants to leave. All of this could have been avoided if Eve had just left with her seven months ago. "Honestly? I don't think you could handle it."

"Oh yeah?" Eve challenges. "And what makes you say that?"

Villanelle cocks her head. "What if we encounter someone who wants to hurt us? Who wants to kill us even?" When Eve doesn't respond, Villanelle leans forward and whispers, "There are a lot of people after us. People that we would have to kill."

She still relives that day in Rome. When Eve buried the axe into Raymond's skull. When everything was perfect, and Eve was still hers.

"Could you do it again?" Villanelle asks. "Could you kill for me, Eve?"

The room is deathly quiet. Villanelle could be naked and feel less vulnerable than she does right now. Eve is silent, just staring. Staring at her with an intensity Villanelle hasn't seen since Rome. She looks like she could either burst into tears or rip Villanelle limb from limb, and she just needs to know what Eve will say. Finally, her lips part, and for the briefest moment, Villanelle imagines a yes coming out of those perfect lips.

"Not for you."

Eve's voice is hard, like the knife that she plunged into Villanelle's stomach. Villanelle can’t say she didn’t see that coming. It was childish of her to think Eve might have changed. But- Villanelle blinks back a tear, trying to suppress any emotion on her face- but how? After all this time, everything they've sacrificed for each other, and Eve still can't do it. Of course she can't do it.

Villanelle hides her pain with contempt. "I knew we weren't the same."

"And what does that make Raymond?" Eve says.

"A fluke!" Villanelle spits. "I gave you the perfect kill-"

"You manipulated me-"

"Who cares?" she yells. There’s that stupid word again. Manipulated. "Call it what you want. You killed, and you didn't like it. Simple as that. You are just as weak and afraid as you've always been."

"I am not afraid," Eve says quickly.

A small laugh escapes Villanelle. Followed by a bigger one. Then an even bigger one. The sound bounces off the walls in the interrogation room, getting bigger and bigger until Villanelle is doubled over with laughter at just how fucking funny Eve is. She really needed a laugh! Finally, her laughter dies down.

Villanelle looks at Eve and sees she doesn’t share the sentiment. "Oh." Her smile fades. "You're being serious."

Eve’s not afraid, is she?

Villanelle hooks her foot around one of the legs on Eve's chair and yanks it forward, slamming Eve into the table. Eve tries to pull back, but Villanelle pulls the chair even harder this time, eliciting a yelp out of Eve. Good. She can scream, cry, whatever her rotted heart desires. Villanelle’s not letting go of her. She leans across the table, only inches separating her and Eve. Eve stares wide-eyed at her, and Villanelle wishes she could slit her throat. Just to capture the fear spread across her face.

"If you really weren't afraid," Villanelle hisses, "you wouldn't have me in these." She gives the handcuffs a shake, and Eve nearly jumps out of her seat.

Just as suddenly as she pulled Eve forward, she pushes the chair back in disgust. Eve is still. Maybe she’ll cry. Villanelle would love to see her cry. But after what feels like an eternity, she finally speaks.

"We're done today."

With trembling hands, Eve grabs the notepad and pen. She stands then sways a little, like she's about to faint. But she doesn't. Instead, her grip tightens on the notepad, and its pages bend and tear under the force. Her body shakes. Her face is blank. Then, the same way an earthquake stops, Eve goes still again. "Yeah, we're done."

She turns her heel toward the door. "I had fun, Eve!" Villanelle calls out to her. "Let’s do it again tomorrow!"

The door clangs shut, and Eve is gone yet again. All in all, not a bad day. Villanelle’s actually looking forward to the next time she sees Eve.

Who knows? She might even kill her.

Chapter Text

Eve holds it together all the way back to the hotel. She doesn't flinch under Carolyn's disappointed glare. She even manages a, "Thank you," when the agent opens the car door for her.

But the moment the agent shuts her back in that hotel room, Eve grabs a pillow from the bed and lets out a long, agonized scream into it.

Eve slumps to the floor in frantic gasps. Everything from that last interrogation plays over and over in her head, and trying to stop it only makes it play faster and louder- Eve presses her fingers to her temples. It hurts. Everything. Just. Hurts.

Villanelle is slipping from her grasp.

What did she expect? Eve is an idiot. An arrogant, reckless idiot. Her breathing begins to slow, but the desperate urge to claw her way out of her body remains. Eve rolls up her shirt, exposing the scar. Without hesitation, she presses her fingers against the scar as hard as she can. She presses, and she presses, until finally, pain blossoms. Eve tilts her head back as the pain becomes the only thing her brain focuses on. She misses when the wound still hadn’t healed. When pressing down left more than just a dull, sad ache. She'd press her fingers against the bandages, and white-hot pain would explode in her abdomen. It was the best way to remind Eve.

This is what Villanelle does. 

This is what she did to you, Eve.

Eve lifts her fingers off the scar, but her overwhelming sense of dread lingers. How in the hell is she supposed to go back in there tomorrow? Villanelle's not going to talk to her now. Not with any real information that Carolyn thinks she has. And say she does. What about after? When Eve has squeezed every last bit of information out of Villanelle? Will Carolyn cast her aside? What use is she to MI6 after Villanelle?

She tries to picture her life post-Villanelle, but all Eve can imagine is her own corpse. Eve pulls her knees to her chest. Maybe that might be best thing. Just put her down like a dog. God, what is she supposed to do? A year ago, is there where she expected to end up? Shot? Imprisoned?

Eve should never have spoken out of turn in that meeting.

She shouldn’t have intervened at the hospital.

And she should have smashed Villanelle’s head against the sink in that hospital bathroom.

Her eyes go wide. Have her thoughts always been this violent? Eve thinks back to all the times she thought of how she would kill Niko. She thought in great detail of how to hypothetically kill him, yes, but she never went so far as to picture herself straddling him in bed and pressing the pillow to his face. Not the way she pictures the crack of Villanelle's skull, the blood and the brain tissue seeping out of her head, her staggering breaths as the life slowly drains out of- 

Eve makes a run for the toilet. She tries to throw up. She really, really tries. Tries to purge herself of the violent thoughts that have infected her like a toxin. She doesn't want to feel this, she doesn't want to be here. Her stomach heaves, but nothing comes up.

She needs some air. A resigned Eve gets up and heads toward the balcony. It's cloudy in Ostrava today. As Eve steps out onto balcony, she feels a few drops of rain. Eve looks down past the railing, down to the gravel sidewalk. The human body can survive a jump if it's lower than five stories. Eve is on the sixth floor.

Well, Eve thinks grimly, if she did jump it would at least inconvenience Carolyn.

What if we did leave?

What a stupid question. Villanelle wants nothing to do with Eve at best and wants her dead at worst. But what if Eve could leave? She'd go with just about anyone to get away from MI6. They could cram her in a box and smuggle her out of the Czech Republic if they had to.

Eve scans the city laid out before her, the feeling of freedom in such close reach but also so far away. Eve stares at the neighboring balconies. Do the guests inside them know how lucky they are?

That's when she spots it. The balcony doors next to hers. 

They're open.

Eve freezes, half-expecting the doors to suddenly slam shut. But seconds pass by, and they don't. She hears the whirr of a vacuum and realizes a cleaner must be in there.

She doesn’t think about what the agent guarding her room will do. She doesn't think about what the cleaner might do if she sees her. She doesn't even think about the six-story drop. Eve darts back into her hotel room and grabs the desk chair. She practically sprints back to the balcony and shuts the doors, securing it shut with the chair. She swings her legs over the balcony. The other one is only a step away. So she steps, thinking either she falls and this ordeal comes to a merciful end or she makes it across and she gets the closest shot at freedom she's had in a long time.

Eve makes it across.

She has only a narrow window of time before the agent notices something is off and comes in to check on her. She enters the opposite hotel room, another single room like hers. She sees the cleaner scrubbing the shower in the bathroom. Her back is to Eve.

Eve slides under the bed. A lifetime ago, she hid under a bed in Rome. She also left someone to die.

She watches the cleaner's footsteps, each second ticking by like a countdown to the agent finding her. After what feels like an eternity, Eve hears the roll of the cleaning cart and the click of the door shutting.

Eve makes quick work of securing the room. She places the chair under the balcony door knob. As for the door to the room, she makes sure the deadbolt is in place and latches the door chain shut too. As she slides the chain into place, she hears the angry tones of the agent outside. Eve swallows. She has to be quick.

There's a phone in this room too. It rests on top of the nightstand next to the bed. Her lifeline. Eve picks it up and nearly cries at hearing the hum of the receiver. But only when Eve has the phone pressed to her ear and her fingers hovering over the dial pad, does she realize something awful.

She has no one she can call.

Everyone she could trust is either dead or thinks she's dead. Eve has... absolutely no one. She chokes back a sob. She's so close, and this is what gets her in the end.

There is one person she could try.

With sickening dread, Eve dials the number. It rings. Slowly. Behind her, the sound of the lock being picked permeates the room like a death knell. Eve squeezes the phone, begging silently for him to pick up.

"You've reached Niko Polastri ," the weary, pre-recorded voice of Niko says. "I can't come to the phone at the moment, but leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible."

No. She is not risking her life only for her call to go to fucking voicemail. Eve dials the number again. The phone rings, but suddenly, there's a bang on the door, and Eve nearly jumps out of her skin. Pick up, pick up, please, for the love of god, pick up.

"You've reached Niko Polastri. I can't come-"

Eve throws the phone down with a muffled scream. Another bang on the door, this one harder. Like someone is throwing their body against it. A third bang, and the screws on the latch latch loosens just enough for Eve to hurriedly dial his number again.

Please. She can't spend the rest of her life cut off from the outside world.

With each excruciatingly slower ring, the banging gets faster and faster, and the wood around the door begins to splinter. Her call goes to voicemail yet again. Her stomach drops. The latch finally breaks, and in a fit of rage, Eve yells over the voicemail, "Niko, you piece of shit-!"

"Hello?"

The door flings open.

It's him.

Niko, I'm alive.

Eve only forms the breath of a word before a devastating click cuts her connection. She stares down at the hand on the receiver and follows it up to the stern-faced agent tasked with keeping her in line.

It's over. Her one shot at freedom. "No," Eve murmurs. Her face twists into anguish then... fury. "No, no, no-!"

She swings her fist at the agent. It connects with his nose with a satisfying crack! The agent staggers back, letting go of the phone, and Eve feverishly attempts to redial. Then the agent clamps his hand around her wrist, and that is when Eve really and truly snaps.

She throws herself at the agent, slamming him into the wall. She claws at his face, kicks at his body, anything to make him hurt. Initially, she does. But then the agent reels his fist back and hits her in the stomach, right where her scar is. Pain, real pain, explodes in her gut. Eve doubles over, unable to take in a breath. As Eve thinks she'll never be able to breathe again, she feels the agent's hand grab her by her hair and drag her forward.

The agent slams her head against the nightstand, and only then does Eve think she may have made a huge mistake.

Chapter Text

"I hope you realize you brought this on yourself."

Eve, flanked by two agents much bigger than her, stands in the elevator across from Carolyn. She doesn’t say anything. She hasn’t said a word since yesterday.

"You broke his nose," Carolyn adds as she sends a text. "Bit of a nasty break at that." Eve still doesn’t say anything, but Carolyn remains annoyingly unfazed. "If we had known you were this much of a danger to yourself, we would have increased security measures a long time ago."

Eve holds her cardigan bunched around her hands to conceal the handcuffs biting into her skin. She still remembers the sadistic gleam in the agent’s eye as he tightened them around her wrists. The excessive force was probably payback for the broken nose. In hindsight, Eve should have broken more of him.

The elevator grinds to a halt. "Well. Off to it then," Carolyn says with a joviality that fills Eve with dread.

Eve limps past her. Carolyn's eyes stay on her, appraising her like she's livestock. In all fairness, each step toward the interrogation room feels like one step closer to slaughter. 


By the time they march Villanelle back into that depressing interrogation room, she's really gotten on board with killing Eve.

It’s a good idea, fantastic really! Villanelle will kill her slowly. Something personal. She also wants Eve to be awake for the entire duration, which rules out a few methods. But it's been very creatively challenging to figure out the best way to get rid of her!

All her ideas do unfortunately require Villanelle to get out of this pesky predicament. She tugs in annoyance at the handcuffs for any slack that might allow her to pop her hand out of them. But nothing. Not even breaking a few fingers would give her enough room. She once watched a movie where a woman degloved her hand to slip out of a handcuff. Pretty good movie. But this woman also had a shard of glass. MI6 is not that careless.

So today Villanelle will simply have to find other ways to make Eve miserable. Eve already does a fine job of that on her own. And Villanelle spent most of last night in the jail cell thinking of insults. She already knows what she's going to say to Eve when she first comes in.

Is it petty? Yes.

But jail will make you petty.

At the click of the door opening, Villanelle turns her head. "Eve, are you a masochist? Because that would explain a lot of..."

But then she sees Eve. And all the cutting remarks she had prepared dissipate.

"Who did this to you?" Villanelle growls.

"It doesn’t matter."

But it matters. Bruises mar her face. The worst one is a deep purple around her left eye. There's a poorly bandaged cut on her right temple. Her lip was definitely split open. Most alarming of all are the rings of red enflamed skin around each of her wrists, not far off from the ones around Villanelle’s wrists. They’re the biggest indicator that somebody has hurt Eve, and that thought makes Villanelle’s blood boil. How dare they.

The only person who has a right to hurt her is Villanelle.

Eve winces as she takes a seat. "Eve, tell me," Villanelle says.

She shakes her head. "There's no point."

"I still want to know-"

"Really, it’s best if you just-"

"Was it Carolyn? Did she set someone up to-"

"Villanelle, please." That's the first time Eve has said her name since Rome. Maybe that what gets Villanelle to shut up. "Just. Drop it."

So she does. Not that it stops Villanelle's mind from racing. Especially as Eve makes no effort to start up a conversation. She pulls out that notepad with all the questions on it, so she intends to converse with Villanelle. But in lieu of questions, Eve just sits across from her with an empty look in her eyes. Villanelle has never known Eve as someone who can stay still for very long. It's weird. Minutes pass by, and Villanelle gets antsier and antsier at this silent, distant Eve. Finally, she can’t take the silence anymore.

"You look like a grape."

There's a solid two seconds where Eve stares at Villanelle like she told Eve she has something in her teeth.

Then she bursts out laughing.

Not just a short burst either, the kind that makes Eve throw her head back and cram the entire room with the sound of her laughter. It racks her entire body to the point where Villanelle wonders if she gave Eve a seizure. All the ways she’s fantasized about killing her and a fucking seizure is the way Eve goes out.

But she doesn’t die, and she does eventually stop laughing. "I do, don't I?" Eve says. She runs her fingers through her hair, which is exceptionally unkempt today. It makes her look wilder. Less... contained.

What is this Eve capable of?

The answer is drift back down into silence, but Villanelle isn’t putting up with it again. "Well? Aren’t you going to ask me more stupid questions?"

"Is that what you want?" Eve says warily

Villanelle gives a slight smile. "You know what I want."

Eve smiles back, but she looks sad. Villanelle has always envied how other people can do that. Fake an emotion but do a poor job of hiding how they really feel. Villanelle is too perfect at pretending. No one ever suspects her true feelings.

With a heavy sigh, Eve looks down at that stupid notepad. The instigator of all their conflicts since this reunion. Then she does the unthinkable; she pushes it to the side. "You're not going to answer my questions, are you?"

Villanelle shakes her head slowly, tauntingly.

Eve isn’t surprised. Or at least she doesn’t look it. If anything, her shoulders relax and the ever-present frown on her face softens just a bit. Eve's eyes meet hers. "You're right," she says softly.

Now that perks Villanelle up. "I'm right?"

"Don't let this go to your head-"

"No, I won't," Villanelle says. "But do tell me in great detail what I'm right about, Eve."

Eve glares at her. "You're right," she repeats calmly and evenly. "I am fucking terrified of you."

Of all the things Villanelle expected to come out Eve's mouth, that was the last thing she would have guessed. 

"But I don't know how to... exist without you," Eve continues. "I don't remember what my life was before you. I don't know-" Her voice cracks. Villanelle watches intently as Eve takes a moment to compose herself. Then, in a quiet, wavering voice, Eve says, "I don't know if I want to kill you or love you."

Hearing Eve, hearing that raw vulnerability, Villanelle does not melt.

"I have no one. Except you," Eve says. "And that terrifies me."

But she thaws.

Villanelle's mouth twists into a hard line. "I wanted things to work out between us."

"I know."

And Eve has to know because the ache in her voice could sink this entire building into the earth. Villanelle tries hard not to feel anything, something that comes to her so easily, but that aching... she inhales sharply. How could she have been so stupid? This is what Eve does. This is what she does to you. She worms her way into Villanelle's head so easily it makes her want to tear Eve to shreds. Just to get her out of her head.

But Eve doesn't need to know that. "So," Villanelle straightens in seat, "are we just going to sit here until MI6 grows bored with us?"

"You mean before they get rid of us..." Eve trails off. "You know what?" She stands and pulls something out of her pocket that makes Villanelle's heart race.

Villanelle keeps a placid expression on her face as Eve goes around to the back of her chair. She makes no sudden movements as the key goes into the lock, even as Eve's fingers brush against her skin. Especially as the lock turns.

The slide of the handcuffs coming off her wrists is cathartic.

Eve steps away from the chair. "Do what you want."

Villanelle brings her hands in front of her, amazed at the amount of mobility she now has. She looks at Eve. Then her lips widen into a vicious, predatory smile.

She approaches Eve with the swiftness of a viper. Eve remains still. If she were smart, she would run. But Villanelle looms over Eve, mere inches separating them, and Eve does not run. Villanelle can't believe it. After seven months, seven months of running, and here they are again. Closer than ever. She lifts a hand, and traces her fingers over Eve's cheekbone, the bruised one. Eve makes a sound somewhere between pain and bliss, but she leans into Villanelle's touch. Her skin is so soft. So breakable.

Villanelle's hand travels down to Eve's neck then to her hair, her luscious, perfect hair. She grabs a fistful of Eve's hair and pulls. The force is just enough to tilt Eve's head up, just enough to make Eve flinch. But she makes no effort to pull away. Villanelle leans in and inhales. Eve smells of cheap soap and dried blood. 

She could snap her neck right now. It would be so easy.

"Do you want this?" Villanelle says. Eve nods, but Villanelle tugs harder on her hair. Eve whimpers. "I need to hear you say it." She won't have a repeat of Rome. Not again.

Eve's eyes are wide, like she knows what's about to happen as much as Villanelle does. "I- I want this."

Villanelle's smile deepens. "Okay." At last. At long fucking last. "Was that so hard?"

And Villanelle scoops her other hand around her waist and kisses Eve.

It makes every movie kiss Villanelle has watched look cheap and desperate. Even with the shittiest of circumstances, even with the threat of MI6 only a wall apart, the kiss is perfect. Eve is limp in her arms, so completely and totally hers. Her lips are so soft. Villanelle kisses her with a ravenous hunger until that isn't enough to satisfy her. Not when there is still so much of Eve she hasn't had yet.

She guides Eve to the table and lowers her down onto it. Villanelle goes on top of her, relishing the sight of Eve beneath her, of having Eve willingly. She kisses her lips then works her way down her neck. Her hands slip beneath Eve's t-shirt.

Beneath her, Eve is breathless. "I... fuck, you're..."

"Shh." Villanelle plants another kiss on her lips and says, "You don't have to talk if you don't want to."

She caresses Eve's breasts, a payback for the torture Eve put her through a few days ago. Eve doesn't seem to mind it though. Villanelle is tender because in spite of everything, Eve deserves tenderness. For just this moment, she can grant her that. Their hands lace together.

"To say yes, squeeze my hand," Villanelle whispers in her ear. She slides her free hand down Eve, below the waistband of her jeans, and finally into her. "Does this feel good?"

Eve's back arches as Villanelle's fingers go to work, and she eagerly squeezes her hand.

"Do you want me to keep going?"

She squeezes her hand.

"Did Carolyn's people do this to you?"

Eve tenses, reality briefly crashing back down on her. Understanding washes over her face.

She squeezes.

Those bastards did this to her. Just as Villanelle suspected. She kisses each of Eve's bruises like her kisses will make them go away. If only she had that power. She'd take down the entire operation if she could. Although...

An idea comes to Villanelle. One that might even work.

"Do you want to leave?" she asks Eve.

She squeezes.

"Are you afraid?"

She squeezes.

Villanelle can't resist. "Are you afraid of me?"

Eve looks at her.

She doesn't squeeze her hand.

For Villanelle, that is the only sign she needs to go through with this. "Okay. Good."

Villanelle finishes her off, and Eve comes in a breathy moan. It is all very poetic, although Villanelle hates poetry. Eve finished her. Villanelle finished her back. She allows herself to take in Eve one more time. Her dark, inquisitive eyes. The way her hair is spread out on the table. The part of her lips. Villanelle leans down and kisses her gently. Then her hands clench around Eve's neck.

And she squeezes.

Chapter Text

Eve's body reacts the same way every other body does to strangulation. Her fingers claw at Villanelle's arms. Her lungs try desperately to take in air. Her entire body spasms as each second ticks by and just a little more airflow gets cut off.

But with Eve, there is one thing lacking: fear.

Villanelle has done this enough times to feel the terror of imminent death radiating off her targets. As it turns out, most people don't want to die. But nothing radiates off Eve. It's like she's already dead. If Villanelle didn't have to concentrate, she'd be impressed. She's reaching the point where Eve's vision will start to go dark. Another minute and she will lose consciousness. Not long after that, death. Villanelle pictures these things with a clinical detachedness that comes from the watching dozens of other people she has killed in the exact same way. 

In Villanelle's unrelenting grasp, Eve resists less and less. Her body is shutting down, trying to preserve its last bits of energy. Time is precious now, and Villanelle doesn't have much left for this plan to work. Then again, maybe that's not so bad. Maybe this was how it was always meant to turn out. Villanelle smiles.

Maybe, just maybe, she'll kill her.

Then the door busts open. Four agents run into the room. Villanelle's head whips in their direction. They see her on the table with her hands around Eve's neck and a huge grin on her face.

But she sees four men.

With weapons.

She springs off the table and goes for the agent closest to her. Eve lies on the table, unmoving. Villanelle punches the agent in the throat then grabs his arm. She twists it back with a satisfying pop! and his gun clatters to the floor.

She grabs the gun and shoots the first agent. One down. The agent with red hair grabs her by the ponytail. She elbows him then stomps on his foot. He staggers backward, and in that moment of weakness, she shoots him.

Two bodies, two agents. The agent with the big nose swings a fist at her, but she kicks him in the stomach. He doubles over, and a moment later, she puts a bullet in his head. She disarms the last agent almost effortlessly. Did MI6 send in the sloppiest fighters to test her boredom?

She looks to Eve. She hasn't moved. She should be moving.

In hindsight, she shouldn't have taken that moment to look at Eve.

Suddenly, the last agents grabs her wrist and yanks it backward, causing Villanelle to drop the gun. Villanelle cries out. He sprained her wrist. The nerve of him. She tries to hit him, but he dodges her punch. He's too fast, she didn't anticipate this last one being this fast. The agent hooks his foot around her ankle, and Villanelle drops to the floor. She scrambles for a gun, but he stomps on her arm, forcing her to draw it back. Villanelle searches the floor desperately for a gun. There has to be a gun-

The agent grabs her by her ponytail and whips her around to face him. He has the gun she was looking for.

Pointed only inches away from her face.

"So this is the demon with no face," he says in a rough Ukrainian accent. He yanks her ponytail, and Villanelle whimpers. "I'm not impressed."

"Are you going to shoot me?" Villanelle hisses. "Or are you going to keep running your fat, ugly mouth?"

The man smirks. He cocks the gun.

BANG!

Blood sprays on Villanelle's face.

The agent slumps over.

And there is Eve, so awake, so wonderfully alive, pointing a gun.

They each remain frozen for what feels like an eternity, Eve pointing the gun, Villanelle staring at her in awe. The bodies of the four agents lay strewn around them in a grotesque tableau.

The gun smoke clears. Eve's right eye is bloodshot red. Her breaths are short and raspy. But she is alive, and she just killed for Villanelle. Again.

Villanelle pushes the dead man aside with a thud. "You did so good." She cups Eve's face, kisses her, runs her fingers through her hair because she is alive and she killed again and that is beautiful. "You did so good, baby."

Eve does not cry. She does not sputter half-hearted exclamations about taking another life. She is completely still. Villanelle knew she always had it in her to kill. And now she knows if she had just had Eve use a gun instead of an axe, the entire debacle in Rome could have been avoided!

"Let's get out of here," Villanelle says. She pulls Eve up. Villanelle smooths her hair down and approaches the door-

Then she hears the cock of a gun.

She stops. Turns around. And there is Eve, having the audacity to point a gun at her. "Eve, don't be stupid. We need to go."

Eve doesn't budge. "How did it feel?" Her voice is rough as gravel.

"We can talk about it later-"

"How. Did it. Feel?"

Villanelle bites back a scowl. Of all times Eve could do this, and she has to do it now? "You're upset. I get it," Villanelle says. "I didn't know it would take so long for those agents to-"

Eve lunges. She slams into Villanelle, bringing them both to the floor. The back of Villanelle's head meets the hard tile with a disconcerting thud. Her brain feels like it's being bounced around in her skull. Before Villanelle can fight back, Eve is on top of her. The gun presses into her forehead. "Tell me!" Eve says.

"Tell you what!?"

"When you pulled the trigger!" Her voice is on the edge of hysterical. "How did it feel?"

"I don't know what you want me to say!"

"I wanna know how it felt!" Eve screams.

"Stop pointing the gun at me!" Villanelle screams back. She searches desperately for the answer that will get the gun off her head. How did it feel? How did it feel? How did shooting the one person she ever loved feel?

Eve looms over her. "I swear to you I will blow your brains out if you don't-"

"It felt empty!"

The room goes disconcertingly quiet. The gun trembles in Eve's hand, not lifting away like Villanelle hoped but not shooting her either. "I thought it would feel good," Villanelle says. She stares into Eve's eyes. Her eyes are wet. "They always feel good. But it didn't. It felt like... nothing."

She wishes she was lying. She even wishes it was head trauma. But it did. Shooting Eve felt abysmally, devastatingly empty. Villanelle feels something wet go down her cheek. At first, she thinks it's blood, but then she lifts her good hand to her face and realizes it's a tear. Why does Eve make her do stupid things? Why does she have to feel so much when this woman is around?

Eve's chest heaves. Finally, she lifts the gun away from Villanelle's forehead. Villanelle sits up, and winces when she puts pressure on the arm the smart-mouthed agent stepped on. It's not broken, but it's going to bruise. Badly.

Villanelle helps Eve up with her good arm. Despite being conscious, her entire body's gone limp and she has a blank look look in her eyes. There will be more agents. "We need to go. Now," Villanelle says.

Eve still holds the gun. If she's going to be like this, the gun's is useless. "Let me-" But Eve's grip on the gun tightens, the way a child refuses to let go of a toy. "You want to keep it? Then you have to use it." Her voice is hard. "Come on."

Eve holds the gun to her chest and nods, understanding. Villanelle picks up a gun that slid into the corner of the room. One handgun is not ideal for a building full of MI6 agents, but she's been bored these last few days. When she gets bored, she gets creative.

Villanelle turns back to Eve. "Stay close to me. Go for the spots they'll bleed the most."

She holds out her hand. Eve stares at it like it's poison. She must still be upset. But Eve killed for her. Twice. If Eve didn't love her, she wouldn't have killed for her twice. Sure, love alone doesn't build a sustainable relationship, but it is a necessary foundation. Villanelle realizes that now. Besides, what other option does Eve have?

When Eve takes her hand, Villanelle's smile lights up the entire building. Villanelle squeezes her hand, and together, they leave the miserable interrogation room.

Yes, despite the obstacles, they are going to make this work.

Chapter Text

Villanelle does not have to cram Eve into a box and smuggle her out of the Czech Republic. But they do hijack a car. And stow away on a ferry.

A new set of clothes and two counterfeit passports later, they end up at a train station about thirty minutes outside Berlin. Eve sits on a bench. While waiting for the train, she idly observes the other passengers behind the safety of the large pair of black sunglasses. Her eye is still alarmingly red. After one too many concerned looks from passerby, Villanelle swiped some shades off a kiosk in Warsaw. Eve, begrudgingly, likes the shades she picked out. It still doesn't stop Eve from flinching every time she catches her reflection in a window or a passing train.

But Villanelle looks at her like she is the most exquisite thing in the world.

In her peripheral, Eve sees Villanelle walking toward her with a paper bag and a spring in her step. "Hi." She wears a wig, this one a wavy auburn bob. "I got snacks." She dumps a pile of junk food onto the bench. How or why she expects the two of them to eat all of it is a mystery to Eve. "I... got you this too."

She holds out a card.

A moment passes with Villanelle's arm extended to Eve and Eve staring stone-faced at the gesture. Then Eve reluctantly takes the card. A hand-drawn tabby cat sits next to a broken flower pot, its eyes cartoonishly wide with guilt. The caption reads My a-paw-logies!!! in blocky orange letters. Cute. Eve almost laughs. She opens the card and scrawled in Villanelle's delicate handwriting is:

Sorry I strangled you.

Also sorry I shot you.

And sorry for sneaking into your house and using your toothbrush (you didn't know that but I am on a roll so might as well get that out there).

xoxo,

V

Villanelle shifts impatiently from foot to foot. "Do you like it?"

Eve stares at the cover of the card. It's a very... Villanelle way of apologizing. Of course, how the hell is a cheap German card supposed to make up for everything they've done to each other? Eve doesn't know whether she wants to laugh or scream at her.

"This is..."

Villanelle's face falls. "You hate it."

"No, it's-" Eve has to clear her throat. One of the wonderful by-products of strangulation. "I just didn't expect it."

Her voice is faint and hoarse. Again, the strangulation. Makeup can hide the bruises around her neck and sunglasses can hide her eye, but there's no hiding the vocal damage. Villanelle said she'd sound fine in a few days. She would know. 

Villanelle sits down next to her. "I think we should go to Copenhagen," she says, thankfully changing the subject. "I have a flat there on retainer. Also the Little Mermaid statue is pretty cool."

"Sure. Copenhagen works."

"Good."

They sit in silence, waiting for the 3:55 train to Hamburg. Eve thinks back to Rome after she had just killed Raymond. That calm between catastrophes. Maybe this time, Villanelle will push her onto the train tracks. Or, more fittingly, they'll both fall onto the tracks, dying together and finally ending this dance they've been doing. But for now, Eve is alive. Villanelle is alive. And for now, that means Eve needs to figure out what to do next.

"So," Eve says, "you said you have money."

"Hm?" Villanelle says through a mouthful of sour candy. It takes her a moment to remember that conversation from seven months ago. "Yes, I have money. Is there something you'd like to do with my money?"

"Just weighing my options."

Now that the boot of MI6 has been lifted off her back, Eve is at a bit of a loss of what to do next. Not that she wishes to go back to her previous situation, but MI6 had far more resources. 

Her only ally now is Villanelle.

Villanelle, who is currently going to town on a German chocolate bar with the fervor of a child. Eve wishes she could say she saved Villanelle out of the goodness of her heart. A year ago, she might have been able to. But as that nameless, insignificant agent raised the gun to Villanelle's head, all Eve could think was He doesn't get the right to shoot her.

That privilege belongs to Eve and Eve alone.

The thought makes her shiver. And slithering around in the back of Eve's mind is the fact that she killed another person. Two more people, if the agent she shot on their way out of the building bled out from the leg injury. It happened so quickly. She thought she'd feel shock. That was what she felt in Rome. Instead, she felt incredibly frightened. Not from the kill. No, what frightened her more about the incident was what she didn't feel. 

The realization that if she had to, she could kill again.

Eve thought she hadn't changed. That was ignorant of her. How could she not change? After everything she had learned, after all the death she had witnessed, how could Eve Polastri expect to come out on the other side virtually the same? It's like she's been fighting against an ocean, constantly coming up for air only to be pulled under again by the waves. No one's coming to pull her out. No one's waiting for her at the shore. And each day, the waves get stronger and stronger.

Doesn't she just want to stop resisting it?

Doesn't she just want to go under?

An oblivious Villanelle holds out some chocolate to her. "You should eat. I can't eat all this by myself."

"I don't feel like it."

"Eve, you haven't eaten since yesterday-"

"I know-"

"So eat something!"

"Can you just let me think for a bit?" Eve snaps. She should eat, and it's obvious, and Villanelle isn't wrong to admonish her but... god. She crosses her arms, nails digging into the fabric of her coat. She doesn't even know why she's taking her stress out on Villanelle.

She feels Villanelle's eyes on her. "What?" Eve says.

"Are you still mad that I strangled you?"

"No."

"Be honest with me," Villanelle says firmly. She puts a hand on Eve's thigh. "If we're going to make this work, we have to verbalize when we have a problem with something."

"When did you become a self-help book?"

Villanelle sinks into the bench, her cheeks red. "I did some reading. After I thought I killed you. Do not judge me."

She tries to picture Villanelle reading one of those books in Paris or Barcelona or wherever she hid. It probably had a cheesy title like Loving Bravely or The Journey to Co-Commitment. How long could Villanelle stand it before chucking the book into the garbage? Or did she really make it through the entire thing? Could Villanelle do that for her?

Her hand is still on Eve's thigh. Eve laces her fingers into hers. "I appreciate it," Eve says.

A contented hum escapes Villanelle. Her thumb traces Eve's pinkie. It's such a gentle motion, such a contrast from the violence of the past few days. How can this be the same person who had her hands around Eve's throat? Eve feels Villanelle's eyes traveling up from her hand, drinking in every inch of her. "This coat looks good on you," she says playfully.

The coat is a dark green trench with a high collar, for obvious reasons. The lining is silk the color of charcoal. It does, for better or worse, look fantastic on Eve. "Well, you did pick it out."

Villanelle leans in close to her. "I have a lot to work with."

Before Eve can pull away, Villanelle takes Eve by the chin and pulls her into a kiss. The candy makes her lips taste sweet, deceptively sweet. But isn't that Villanelle as a whole? Sweet, until she's not sweet. Protecting Eve, until she's shooting Eve in the back. Humoring Eve until she's- god, why is she such a good kisser? Eve pulls away. "I'm still a little mad that you strangled me."

Villanelle huffs out an astonished laugh. "I'm still a little mad that you stabbed me."

"So what? We just run around Europe being a little mad at each other?" Eve says.

"Works for me."

Eve looks down at her lap. They can only run around Europe for so long. "Villanelle," she removes her sunglasses, her bad eye blazing intensely into Villanelle's. "I want to find the Twelve and end them."

At first, Villanelle doesn't say anything which only makes Eve more nervous. They haven't really talked about their plans for the future. "Why do you want my help?" she says quietly.

The tone of her voice is unreadable. "Because..." Eve's hands bunch into fists. She hates that this is what they've come to. "Because I can't do it without you, and you have nothing better to do."

Villanelle balks. "Who says I have nothing better to do?"

"What have you been doing the past seven months? Really? Don't tell me you haven't been bored out of your mind," Eve says.

Villanelle stares ahead, thinking. "Okay."

The breath Eve has been holding practically falls out of her. "I want to go to Alaska," Villanelle adds. "After we get this out of the way."

She makes it sound like an item on their shopping list. If only it was that easy. Villanelle doesn't have to add And you're coming with me, because they both know that is part of the deal. The Twelve for Alaska. Villanelle's help for Eve's companionship. Villanelle would have asked for worse. And yet, the thought of living with Villanelle turns Eve's stomach into knots. But what choice does she have?

"Okay."

And that is that. They don't have to shake on it, because let's face it, there are no other alternatives where they both stay alive.

Villanelle sits back with a smile. She nudges Eve. "That man is following us."

Eve looks in the direction Villanelle indicates. He is. She recognizes the dark hair and glasses. Eve knows what Villanelle really means. That man two benches over has been following them, and they'll have to deal with him. Villanelle wants to know if Eve has it in her to do so. Challenging her.

Does Eve have it in her?

Eve numbly slips her hand into her coat and feels the cold metal of the gun. "I'll take care of him."

"Good."

She hates the smirk on Villanelle's face. Hates the pride in her voice, like Eve has finally overcome some great moral obstacle. Eve doesn't want to kill again. It's hard, nearly the hardest thing to do.

But finding reasons not to kill again is harder.

Which is why Eve rises up from the bench, ready to shoot a man, ready to prove that Villanelle is not the one holding all the power in their sick, twisted relationship.

They're even.

For now, at least.