title: a blade for you and a bullet for me
word count: approx. 1120
fandoms: McFassy, Haywire, Wanted
characters: Wesley Gibson, Paul
notes: Written as a response to this quick video about the characters in the movie Haywire - which pretty much tells you right out Fassbender's playing an assassin. So naturally I had to put him together with McAvoy's assassin character, my own favorite dangerous mouse Wesley. Spoilers for Wanted.
For papercutperfect, who knows why.
Wesley has next to no time to note his target's movements - there is something too easy, too worn-in to him, to the way the man in the suit suddenly springs up from the head of the table and draws a P232.
He allows himself a tiny smile and he deliberately throws himself off, rolling onto the floor and the man's still managing to track him. As he gets to his feet he flips out his knives from the sheaths strapped to his forearms, and he closes his eyes briefly, remembers where the other man is standing - and as he opens his eyes he throws the left-hand knife.
As soon as the knife's left his hand he's darting forward.
He watches the man in the suit drop, not dodge, to get away from the knife.
And that, more than anything else, tells Wesley everything he really needs to know about this job, which is that he's fucked unless he really moves - so he puts on an extra burst of speed and falls most of the way onto his knees, right hand coming up with the knife and.
Hand around his wrist - Wesley hisses, tries to pull back. That hand stays on him. Well, all right, if that's how this suit wants to play - he yanks back, again, and the man lurches forward and Wesley, too, is moving forward with all the momentum he can generate here on his knees. He's done this before. Sparks behind his closed eyes and they both groan when he hits, solid crack of forehead against temple.
The hand at his wrist goes slack for a moment.
That's all the opening Wesley needs. Up, away, twisting; shoulder into midsection, and the man in the suit goes down with a soft grunt. He snatches the suit's gun out of his hand and presses it beneath his chin. "I win after all."
"Who the hell are you," the man says. A completely different accent: he sounds British, now. Five minutes ago he'd sounded like a native New Yorker. Now it's like he's come straight out of Masterpiece Theater or something.
"You're asking me questions like you expect to actually walk away from this, what the fuck," Wesley mutters. "I don't exactly have a reputation for leaving people behind." Finger on the trigger, racing pulse. He draws a breath.
"So answer a dead man's question, if you really intend to have done with it."
Wesley rolls his eyes. "What."
"Correct me if I'm wrong. I noticed the scars on your hands. Fine patching up. Someone ran you through?"
"Is that your question?"
"Yes, I suppose it is."
"Fat bastard. Mean guy. The first time was to prove a point. The second was for shits and giggles. Why're we still talking?"
When Wesley looks down, the guy in the suit has turned pale. "I've heard of a...well, someone like you and me, clearly, who. Well. Let's just say he liked to play with his food."
"How would you know," Wesley sneers. He still has nightmares about the Butcher, about the edges on his knives. The smell of raw meat, the thick taste of blood and bile.
"If he was a short bloke, rather unwashed, smelly in the extreme, then perhaps we might have something more in common than just these."
Wesley tenses when the man in the suit opens his hands. Slow, deliberate - no sudden moves.
And fuck if Wesley doesn't know what that faint dark lines cutting down the other guy's palms are. He'll bet there are matching marks on the backs of those hands.
"You trained with him? You know about...." This is ridiculous. Wesley killed many of them with his own hands. He shouldn't be having problems with saying the name. "The Fraternity. The Chicago branch. You know about them."
"We knew of them, yes, but we were rather too busy mopping them up on the continent. As I understand you're the man who, er, dealt with them here."
Wesley narrows his eyes. "And now you're just giving me reasons to kill your scrawny ass."
"Hark who's talking," the man in the suit mutters.
That should not be funny. But Wesley laughs, bitterly and knowingly, and in the end he gets up, catches a surprised look as he steps away.
"One good turn, and all that," Wesley says as he retrieves his other knife. "I'll go after the guys who sent me after you instead. I'm not killing anyone else who got screwed over by the Fraternity. That's enough bad shit to last a fucking lifetime."
"That seems fair." Wesley looks up, and the man in the suit is right up in his personal space, ghost of a smirk around his mouth. "Paul."
And that's when it happens - he grabs Paul's outstretched hand and yanks him in, Paul's arms coming up around his waist. Gun in the other hand, which he uses to track the third assassin, drawing a bead on him in a split-second and there's a lot of kick for such a dinky piece, but he ignores the pain in favor of curving the bullets into a perfect Mozambique drill.
"To your ten o'clock," Paul murmurs.
Wesley swings them both around and fires, fires, fires at the other attacker. A shout, and a thump, and silence.
Paul moves away, prowls the edges of the room, peers out the windows. Checking all directions for anything else coming after either of them.
Wesley can still feel the weight of those scarred hands on him.
When Paul is satisfied he crosses his arms and leans one hip against the table. "So now I'm a human shield?" Wry humor.
"You have to work with what you've got," Wesley says as he ejects the magazine and empties the chamber - and then he's handing the pistol across. "But next time I'll stick to my own pieces, thanks."
"If you remember to bring them next time."
"I'm talking about these," and Wesley flicks out one of his knives again, throws it - and it lands, quivering, right next to Paul's hand. "Hang on to that. Not leaving you unarmed."
Wesley smiles, and slips away - and it's only when he makes it back to one of his boltholes that he notices the slip of paper in his pocket. Email address, and he has no doubt any message he sends will have to get through layers of encryption and miles of misdirection. So he doesn't bother to play games; he only sends, "Catch you later."
He's genuinely surprised when a response comes in almost instantly: "My place or yours?" He has to think about it, and he smiles slyly to himself, thinks up a reply, and hits Send.