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Bend Over Backwards

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Vivian doesn’t usually have a personal hit list, and certainly never one that goes beyond the theoretical, since her time is too valuable to spend on personal vengeance. Anyway, it’s mostly comprised of ex-boyfriends, her old handler Trickler, and whoever invented Croc shoes. However, tonight she is willing to make an exception, and when she gets her hands on Gwaine Greenley, it is going to get rapidly less theoretical.

It isn’t that Gwaine isn’t perfectly charming, for a thief. He absolutely is, they’ve had more than a few beers together on weeks when they’re on the same side. It’s that when he chooses to make someone’s life difficult for his own gain, he really commits.

"He missed one of my knives," Freya says into her shoulder, as if that's a perfectly everyday thing to say and not something that's extremely relevant to the situation.

Vivian seethes. “You couldn’t have said that fifteen minutes ago? You know, when he left us here so we couldn’t interrupt his job? But nooo, you like being ziptied together like common criminals."

Freya lifts her head up from where she let it drop five minutes ago, after they’d squirmed and struggled together quite enough to prove that they weren’t going anywhere without outside assistance. Vivian can get out of ties when it’s only her wrists together, but the angle is all wrong with both of her wrists attached to Freya’s, and Freya seems to have similar limitations. “Fifteen minutes ago, Gwaine was still watching, and I wasn’t going to give it away. It’s in my left boot, we’re going to have to crouch to make this work."

Vivian smirks. “It’s a lucky thing I’m flexible."

"It's a lucky thing we're flexible. This is going to take both of us."

Vivian sighs and supposes there’s some justice in that. It takes a great deal of maneuvering to keep their balance, not to mention a great many knees making acquaintance with uncomfortable places, to get them to a place where Freya can move their joined hands to where her knife is sheathed in her boot.

Freya tugs it out, the angle pulling Vivian flush up against her. The proximity makes Freya pause for a second, but then she has her knife free and the two of them are bracing to stand again. Vivian stays as close as she can and grips Freya’s arm, trying to lessen tension on the ziptie. “This is going to dull my favorite knife," Freya mutters, looking down at it mournfully.

Vivian leans back just enough to eye her dubiously as she starts sawing away at the plastic, coming in from underneath and carefully doing it near her own wrist and not Vivian’s. At least she has good etiquette being a captive, though that's not particularly shocking, given some of the stories Vivian has heard about the Black Cat. “You have a favorite knife?"

"You have a favorite gun," Freya parries immediately. “You talked about it at Christmas last year. And Elena says you’re always stroking it whenever you have the excuse."

They don’t talk about last Christmas. Or stroking things. They made that quite clear on Boxing Day morning when they woke up in a hotel room in what later proved to be Prague, hungover and naked and with a few memories of eggnog and mistletoe. It was the first mission they worked together, when Vivian was young and foolish and sexually frustrated, the Black Cat was just a rumor in their circles, and Freya was the new girl who'd turned up out of nowhere and calmly put Percival on his ass by way of introduction. Vivian has made a point of not underestimating her since then, drunken hookups aside. “Just shut up and get us out of this, I’d like to get to Gwaine before he gets into the vault and we have to clean up that mess."

Freya breaks through the first ziptie and switches hands with her knife while Vivian shakes out her newly freed hand, checking on the mobility. “You started it," she says, just as calm and mild as ever. Really, someone as unassuming as Freya shouldn’t be as deadly as she is, it’s quite unfair.

Instead of descending into immature squabbling, Vivian goes back to the mission at hand. “Who’s Gwaine working with tonight?"

"Percival, probably. Maybe Morgana. Possibly Gwen, she’s the only one that good at picking locks." Freya gets through the other tie, and they both drop their hands to their sides. Vivian doesn’t step back. Neither does Freya.

"Gwen is pretty responsible," Vivian muses. “And really, Gwaine’s probably expecting us to go right after him."

Freya is a woman of few words, but she certainly knows how to take a hint. It’s barely a second before her mouth is slotted across Vivian’s, one hand going up to fist in her hair, the other still holding the knife. “He’s going to Moscow next," Freya says when she pulls away for air. “We can catch up with him and take all his money then."

"I’ve always wanted to see Moscow," Vivian says, feeling a little giddy, and kisses her again.