His hand presses in the small of her back all the way back to the apartment, a constant contact.
It’s a good suburb in a big city. The sun tracks across the northern sky rather than the south, and they drive on the wrong side of the road. There are plenty of Americans here - plenty of people from all over the globe. It’s a good place to hide - nobody notices two more drifters.
Nicky lets her gaze skim the sunset crowds at the beach before resting her eyes on Jason’s profile. She’s learned to read his moods - the pinch at the corners of his mouth, the tension in his jaw, the flare in his eyes as he meets her gaze.
She looks away, navigating them both through the people out in the summer Saturday as his fingers burn through her cotton shirt.
At least the cops are gone when they get back to the apartment.
Jason watches the hallway as she pulls out her keys, then pauses. There’s an envelope under their doormat - a notification of the death upstairs and that the police may come back to ask questions if it’s deemed necessary.
Inside, the apartment is unchanged - as it was when Nicky ran out this afternoon when the first gunshot sounded in the apartment above. She forces herself to walk to the kitchen, to drop her keys into the bowl as though nothing happened. Yes, the cops came, but it wasn’t for them. For once, they were the bystanders to death.
Jason’s hand closes over hers before she starts to shake. His gun callouses rub rough against her knuckles, grounding her in the sensation.
“Do you want to run?”
Not need, but want.
“No.” Then, because it’s them, she amends it. “Not yet.”
They’re not the people they were before. David Webb is gone, although Jason Bourne remembers most of David’s life. Nicky Parsons has grown up, and a part of her has died. The years between are many and complicated - by his training and hers, by Marie, by Danny, by the secrets they hold and the organisation that made them and that would destroy them if given the opportunity.
Nicky Parsons shares an apartment and a history and a life with Jason Bourne, but not a bed. They’re not lovers, and never have been.
So the hand that brushes through the curls at her nape is unexpected.
She lifts her gaze from the laptop screen, and her query is lost under his mouth - a swift, almost bruising kiss that needs as much as it wants.
It’s hungry at first - a desperate need to taste and touch.
Nicky doesn’t think for the first few minutes - too caught up in the way he tastes, in the way he feels. Her pulse pounds as she skims her hands up his arms, as she tugs up his tee-shirt. He draws back to give her space to strip his top off, then lowers his head again, his mouth deep in hers.
His hands are hard on her shoulder, on her arm as he pushes her back against the wall - a little too hard, a little too urgent.
Nicky tenses as unwanted memories surface - a bunker wall and a man she didn’t recognise at all, a gun barrel pressed to her forehead in the midst of harsh accusations and choking terror.
And when he lifts his head, he sees that in her eyes and lets her go, stepping back. “I’m sorry.”
They face each other in the hallway, silent and haunted by ghosts of who they were and who they became.
Jason looks at her like she’s the salvation he can’t have. His hands clench by his sides, then forcibly relax.
Nicky swallows hard and draws in a shuddering breath. There’s a moment when she wants to get out - scramble for the door, grab her passports, and run. If she thought she could make it out alive, she would.
But she’s got nowhere left to run - nowhere that he won’t follow.
So she exhales and pushes herself off the wall. Holds out her hand for him to take. Curls her fingers around the calloused flesh that slips into hers. Leads him into his room, and turns to close the door behind them.
No escape routes. No exit plans.
“Are you sure?”
Nicky doesn’t hide her fear, but her answer is true. “Yes.”
His hands press against her skin like she’s a revelation - tracing the length of her legs, the curve of her breast, the shape of her head. Jason touches her like she’s something entirely new to him.
Nicky explores him with the delicacy of a connoiseur.
He’s more muscular than he was - leaner lines, hard muscle. She traces her fingers over the scars - the pale puckers where bullets went in and were levered out, a silent testimony to the life he lived, to the death he died.
He’s more gentle than she remembers - not unsure of her, but unsure of himself. And careful. Careful when he brushes his hands across her flesh, careful when he rolls her over into the mattress, careful when he fits into her, hot flesh completing hot flesh.
When they move together, it’s a different kind of resurrection.
Sweat-dampened hair slicks under her fingertips as she draws her fingers down his back in the breathless silence. The rising tenderness is hard to hold back as she wriggles a little beneath him - breasts and belly and balls and legs all tangled up in damp and delightful pleasure, with the lassitude of sex draped over them both.
Jason shifts as though to climb off her and she digs her nails lightly into his skin. “Don’t.”
She feels him tense and lets her lashes rise as he props himself up on his elbows. “I remember this,” he says. “Us.” His eyes trace her forehead, her mouth, then fix on her, haunted by the past he does and doesn’t remember. “I don’t... I don’t think I could stand losing it. You. Again.”
Nicky doesn’t say he won’t, because she can’t promise that.
“I won’t run without you.”
It’s all the promise she makes, and - from his kiss - all the promise he needs.