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Like Father, Like Son

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I actually really liked Abduction, so have fic.

 

 

Title: Like Father, Like Son
Author: Melanie
Summary: He gives his son up to keep him safe, that doesn’t mean that he is actually safer.
Rating: PG (for language and implied violence)

 

He’s on a look see, nothing going on, but there’s the hint of an assignment in the future and since he’s got the time between assignments.

He’s surprised that Kozlow isn’t here, this assignment that is not an assignment yet will be high-profile. Kozlow should be here, he’s as anal as he is about laying the groundwork.

He’s supposed to meet Lorna and Nathan in New York, he’ll take seven different flights using four different passports, it’ll take over three days but that’s one of the only ways that he knows how to keep them safe.

That and to stay away. Which he can’t, which he won’t do.

His son, his wife.

His.

He gets the phone call and he takes it, because it’s a look see not an assignment and he’s going to board the first of the seven flights in three hours.

“Martin,” Bennett’s voice is soft, there’s a faint tremor in it and he stands, leaving his newspaper on the bench, the only indication that someone had been sitting there.

Kozlow isn’t here, and Bennett’s voice only gets that tremor when she’s about to deliver bad news.

“What’s happened?” he asks, he’s got keys in his hand and there’s the comforting weight of a gun tucked into his pocket.

“Lorna’s dead,” she says, his heart stops, just for a minute, it stops beating and he stops walking and…

“Nathan?” he asks, his stomach is up in his throat and he’s killed men and women and even some children, he thought he didn’t have any of those types of emotions left.

“He’s okay,” Bennett’s voice is soothing, even through the breaking notes. “He was hiding under the bed, Lorna managed to get a mask to him. He’s okay.”

Half his heart starts beating again, the other half is breaking.

 

***************************************************************

 

Kevin meets him at the airport, he looks grim and young and Martin is not prepared to deal with any of this. He’d forewent three of his flights and two of his passports, his rush to get to his son, to cling to the only thing that he has left of Lorna.

Even as he’s thinking this, tossing his bag into the backseat, sliding into the passenger seat and buckling in, he knows he can’t stay.

His mind is already trying to work up acceptable alternatives.

Both he and Lorna were only children, Lorna’s mother is still alive but her father and his parents are dead. He can’t consider Lorna’s mother suitable protection for his son.

“We’re tracking Kozlow,” Kevin says. “He just left the country, fake passport of course and Nathan hasn’t spoken since we pulled him out from under the bed so he’s not been able to identify if he saw anyone.”

“Kozlow’s assassination weapon of choice is gas,” Martin says, his voice sounds unfamiliar to his own ears. “Kozlow did this but he was probably wearing a gas mask, Nathan might not be able to recognize him regardless.”

“Problem is unless Nathan can identify him we can’t pursue him for Lorna’s murder,” Kevin states.

Martin looks out the window, just because the agency can’t pursue him for Lorna’s murder, doesn’t mean that Martin can’t.

 

***************************************************************

 

Nathan is a small ball in the bed when they get to the hospital, he’s curled up on his side in a private room with all the lights on, he’s crying in his sleep.

Martin nods at Bennett who squeezes his arm and looks at him with knowing eyes before she leaves.

He lays his hand on his son’s forehead, brushing back hair, runs a finger across his cheeks to wipe away tears. He ignores the ones that are running down his cheeks. He can allow Lorna this, grieving for her with the one person that can understand what they’ve lost.

Nathan doesn’t wake, even as Martin pulls him into his arms, rests his head on his shoulder and holds tight to the son he knows he’s going to have to give up.

 

***************************************************************

 

“We sedated him,” Bennett says, Martin nods from where he sits, he can see into Nathan’s room from here, he’s still curled up in the ball on the bed. He’s safe.

“Protective custody,” he says. It’s the only thing that he’s taken away from the words that she’s spoken to him. They want to take his son from him, give him a different name and place him into protective custody.

He wants to scream, what right do they have to decide whether or not he’s sane enough, safe enough to raise his son.

“Kevin and Mara have volunteered for it,” Bennett says, “And I’ll stay as close as I can without compromising their cover.”

“And you want me to stay far, far away.”

“He can be used against you,” Bennett says. “I told you both, back when you were so excited about Lorna being pregnant, that to you he was a child but to your enemies he was a pawn.”

Martin doesn’t say anything, he can’t. Bennett saw the excitement of two newlyweds finding out they were pregnant. She wasn’t privy to the arguments; to the knock down drag out fights (literally at times) about what to do. They’d talked seriously about abortion right up until her third doctors’ appointment and then they’d seen him. That was their blurry looking alien hybrid on the screen and Martin had known at that moment that he would do whatever it took to protect him.

He hadn’t had a clue then that protecting him would mean leaving him.

“I want updates,” he says softly, “Daily updates and pictures and…”

“Martin…”

“He’s all that’s left of us,” he says, he feels broken. He doesn’t know if he sounds broken, he doesn’t look at Bennett because if does and he sees pity he’ll have to face the stark realization that his wife is dead and he’s voluntarily giving up his child in the hopes that he’ll have a better, safer life.

 

***************************************************************

 

The first year is the hardest. Especially once the pictures start actually getting to him.

Nathan looks good, happy. In one picture he’s being danced around what looks to be a kitchen on Mara’s shoulder, in another Kevin is obviously trying to show him how to throw a punch.

They look like a family, even though Nathan doesn’t look a bit like either of them.

 

***************************************************************

 

He tries to back off, he keeps an eye on things but he tells Bennett to forward all the pictures and updates to an apartment that he rarely visits so he’s not tempted to drop in on them.

To become an old family friend, just dropping in for a visit in the hopes that maybe his son will see him and call him ‘dad’.

 

***************************************************************

 

The list was a fluke; it wasn’t even what he was going after though it’s what he ended up with. He knows what’s on it, the list of names; he knows that Burton’s name is on it as well.

He sends it to the apartment, spends a day fiddling with it before he leaves for his next assignment.

He’s got the list and he’s trying to figure out what to do with it, who he trusts enough to hand it over to; when he catches the wind talking about Kozlow going after his son, hears it whispering about Kevin and Mara dead trying to protect him, how he’s on the run.

How he knows that Kevin and Mara weren’t his parents, how he remembers watching his mother being murdered.

He drops everything and goes rushing back, Bennett has already sent Nathan and his girlfriend to his apartment, the one that he’d told her years ago to send all his updates to. Maybe she hoped that he’d be there.

He’s not.

And by the time he gets there (he’s maybe a few hours behind them, he’s too slow, he’s going to end up being so slow that his kid is going to end up dead because of him), they’re gone, his car is gone, the list is gone.

And there’s a picture of Lorna unfolded on his desk.

 

***************************************************************

 

The boy is good, Martin’s not sure if its innate talent, the best of both of him and Lorna bred into the boy or if Kevin had gotten further along in training him then Martin had thought he would.

The boy is a teen-ager, from what little he knows of teen-agers, save from what he remembers of himself as one, teen-agers are sullen and moody, with short attention spans unless it comes to a girl and prone to fits of temper.

His son is it seems all these things, added into the fact that with a few years of training under his belt he’ll be even more deadly then he already is.

Like his father, like his mother.

 

***************************************************************

 

He doesn’t want to hear his son beg, he doesn’t, he hears ‘dad’ and he wants to be that for him so much he aches in places he thought he didn’t have any feeling left in. But he hasn’t been Nathan’s dad since he was three years old.

Kevin was his dad, Martin was just the one that brought him to life. It hurts him to remind him of that fact.

 

***************************************************************

 

Nathan goes to live with Bennett and she starts weekly updates. Pictures of Nathan with Karen, the girlfriend who apparently hadn’t been a girlfriend, that had stood by his side anyway and supported him through the whole thing.

“She’s nice, I like her,” Bennett says. “She’s got a backbone and she doesn’t take shit from him.”

“So she reminds you of Lorna,” Martin laughs a little.

“You should stop by for dinner, I’ll make chicken,” she says. She sounds serious but Martin knows she can’t be.

“You mean you’ll order chicken, it’s been a lot of years but I remember your cooking,” Martin says.

“I’m serious, Martin,” she says. It’s a soft voice, the one that Lorna used to call her therapist in session voice.

“It’s a bad idea,” he knows it’s a bad sign that he doesn’t just say no. “He’s not a child anymore, he doesn’t need me.”

“Him not being a child doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need you, you’re his only family left in the world, you don’t think he deserves to know you?”

“Bennett…”

“You can be someone from the office; he doesn’t know everyone that I work with.”

“He’s heard my voice,” he reminds her.

“In a moment of high stress, he probably can’t even remember what you sound like, just that he talked to his father on the phone.”

“You’ve already placed the order, haven’t you?”

“It’s time, Martin. Kozlow is dead.”

“And he’s not the only one that would have used Nathan as leverage against me.”

“I think Nathan has more then proven that he’s not going to be the victim here.”

Martin sighs.

“I need flowers for the table, dinners at six.”

 

***************************************************************

 

Nathan answers the door, smile on his face and no recognition. Martin doesn’t know whether to be hurt or happy that no awkward questions are going to be asked in the foyer.

“Nathan, was that the door?” Bennett calls from another room.

“Yeah.”

“Can you get it for me?” she calls back, Nathan rolls his eyes at him, there’s long-suffering amusement there. Probably mostly at Bennett’s expense.

“Already did,” he yells back. Martin grins.

“Hello Gerry,” Martin calls out in a sing song. He watches his son for a sign of recognition, for something sparking in his eyes that say that he knows who Martin is.

There’s still nothing. He’s either a fantastic actor or Bennett is going to allow them a brief time to get to know each other before springing it on him.

Nathan closes the door behind him and they stand there in awkward silence for a moment before Bennett appears.

She looks much the same as she did the last time he saw her face to face. More lines in her face, which is okay because there are more lines on his as well. He’s got more gray but she’s most likely coloring which hides the majority of hers.

They’re mostly the same, just older and wiser and with a ton more baggage.

“Nathan, this is my associate…”

Martin cuts her off, before she lies to his son for his sake and becomes someone else that he needs to second guess.

“Nathan knows who I am,” Martin says. It takes a moment before it sinks in what he’s saying, then a small smile graces her face, she spreads her hands out in front of her, indicating that she’s letting him have the floor for the time.

It’s an old signal, one they haven’t used in years, since the brief moments when they were lovers and partners; before he met Lorna and fell head over ass, before Nathan came along and stole what remained of his heart.

“What…?” Nathan looks between them, eyes staying on him longer and longer before his son has focused his entire being on him.

“You have your mothers’ eyes,” Martin says, “though that’s my nose and my chin,” he muses, he crosses his arms over his chest to stop himself from reaching out for the son that will most likely deck him if he tries.

Nathan is staring at him, eyes wide, mouth slightly open. There’s a look of disbelief there, then one hand shoots out to touch his arm, when he lets his arms drop to his side that hand grips his wrist.

It’s well within Nathan’s rights to hit him, if he were in his sons’ shoes he’s not sure exactly what he’d want to do.

“Dad?” Nathan says, it’s one syllable; his voice still cracks a bit at the end.

He lets his free hand wrap around where his son still is gripping his wrist.

“I have it on good authority, that just because you’re not a child anymore doesn’t mean that you don’t still need me,” he says. He glances to the left and Bennett has faded away, leaving them alone to have their moment.

Whether that moment devolves into violence is completely up to them he supposes. Though Nathan looks more inclined to curl up into a ball like he had as a boy lying drugged and silent in a too big hospital bed after watching his mother be murdered.

Martin wants to curl up with him, this last remaining link to his dead wife. His son is a grown man now, will be turning eighteen in months, all those years as a kid are gone, leaving behind faded photographs that are his only memories of his sons childhood.

He pulls his son into his arms, a loose hug that could be broken out of, Martin’s not used to giving affection to anyone, and his son doesn’t know him at all except as a voice on a phone all but ordering him to trust him.

He pulls out of the hug, slings an arm over his son’s shoulders and lets him navigate them into the house.

“C’mon,” he says, even though Nathan is leading. “I’ll tell you stories about your mother and you’ll tell me stories about being a kid and we’ll ignore how badly Bennett has ruined dinner.”

“She ordered out,” Nathan says, Martin glances over and can see the grin on his kids face.

“Then I’ll tell you the story about how she almost burned down the villa in Venice with a store-bought chicken that was already cooked completely and only needed to be heated back up.”

Nathan laughs and Martin grins and he can see Bennett scowling at him and opening her mouth to probably level a threat about telling Nathan about the activities that had preceded the villa almost burning down.

He smiles at her until she smiles back and he squeezes Nathan’s shoulder just to see Nathan look at him and grin.

He’s got his kid and his kid isn’t hitting him, and Kozlow is dead and they might just be safe enough that he can be a father without also being a danger.