Running. Sprinting through the forest. It seemed like all she was doing lately was running. Running from her past, that haunted her every day even if she didn't know the whole story. Running from the FBI that set her up to look like a terrorist and a Russian spy. Running from the FBI who believed she was the terrorist and Russian spy she was set up to be. Running from her feeling from the ones she cared about the most because she couldn't bring herself to hope those feelings could ever mean anything. But most of all, right now she was running from her ex-partner, who would stop at nothing to haul her back into the /Post Office/ or wherever the FBI wanted to hide her and make her pay for the crimes that she didn't even commit.
She could feel the adrenaline pumping through her veins. Her heart was pounding in her ears. Her breath was quick and shallow. She continued to dodge trees and hop over fallen limbs so she could put distance between herself and that agent. He wasn't her friend anymore, and she couldn't safely think of him as a person if she wanted to live, so from then on he was just another 'agent' to her, or, at least, that's what she told herself.
He was yelling at her. Yelling for her to stop, shouting her name as if that would make her less scared of being incarcerated and prosecuted by the same officials who worked for the organization that wanted her dead. No, she wouldn't stop. Not for him, not for anything. He would have to shoot her, but they both knew he wouldn't, because if he stopped to aim and shoot like his training dictated, she would put so much distance between them and get out of his line of sight that she would lose him for sure. On the other hand, if he miraculously decided to stop to shoot her, he would need to make sure she lived because she knew he wouldn't be able to live with her death on his record or on his conscience.
And so, they kept running, weaving around tree trunks, ducking under low bows that hung from young trees.
She felt like she had been running for days, and yet of all the things she could be thinking about, that she should be thinking about, only one thing came to mind. One person in particular in the midst of this madness popped into her head and she couldn't stop herself.
What if she never saw him again? All of his efforts would have been for nothing, and he would never know how much she appreciated him, not only for his help and resources but him as the one constant in her life that hasn't ever abandoned her. The one person she knew loved her without a doubt, and whom she loved as well. But if that blonde agent caught her, she would never be able to tell him. He would never know, and she would never see him again. She needed to make sure that wasn't the case. She had to get to him. She needed to, for him.
The water in her eyes made it almost hard to see, but she blinked it away. The burning in her legs made her want to just die right there, but she couldn't, she had to keep going.
She had an idea. She swerved and ran straight for a tree with some low hanging branches but instead of dodging them, she ran right into them pulling them forward until she could duck out of the way, leaving them to slam into the poor agent's face, dazing him enough to allow her to pick up her pace and extend the distance again. She turned around for a second to see him try to run after her only to stumble on a fallen log. That was it. That was her chance. She continued running and didn't look back.
Cars. She heard cars from not to far away. She came to a road, and not more than a quarter mile away there was a gas station. That gas station represented all of her hopes for getting out of there, and if she didn't get there now, then she was damned.
If she couldn't convince someone to give her a ride, then she could hijack a car instead, she just hoped she wouldn't have to.
She stopped just short of the gas station at the sight before her.
The man at the pay phone. It couldn't be, and she didn't dare to hope until he turned towards her about to hang up the phone but dropped it instead.
"Lizzie" He breathed. Shocked and confused, but relieved that she was still free and that she was there. So much so that he had no words to express it.
She couldn't believe it either, how had this even happened that they were in the same place right now? She didn't know, but with the last strength she had, she ran to him wrapping her arms tightly around him and he was still at a loss which was unusual for him, but he reciprocated the embrace. That was until they heard the same familiar yelling of the FBI agent who had found his footing again and continued chasing her. They were too far ahead, though, pulling out of the gas station in the red pickup truck Red had taken before the agent got anywhere near them.
"Oh my god Red" Was all she could say before she completely broke down, all of the emotions that overcame her while she was running away, afraid for her life, came flooding back to her and it was too much. She couldn't stop the tears from flowing down her face.
He was content to drive one handed as he lent her his hand to hold to calm her down, and eventually she ended up crying herself to sleep, tightly gripping his arm as if her life depended on it.
They drove for hours on end until they came to an airstrip where his jet was fueled and ready for takeoff. Lizzie was so exhausted from her running that she didn't wake up, even when he lifted her out of the car and onto the plane.
He had draped an arm around her shoulders and she snuggled unconsciously closer to him, and he didn't mind at all. He longed for moments like that when they were both free after a narrow escape, for the times when she felt she could come to him for security and reassurance. He longed for the times when she would look at him and he would see not only trust but also what he wished to believe was hope and love in her eyes.
The day had been hard on him as well, not knowing if she was caught or if he would ever see her again wore him out, and as long as she was sleeping he let himself relax, if only marginally. As he let his eyes close he was sure he would wake up before her, heaven forbid she wake up before him, but he couldn't fight sleep anymore.
About halfway through the flight, she stirred. Her head was resting on his shoulder, and his head was resting on top of hers. She smiled softly to herself, thinking how good it was that he actually allowed himself to sleep, and of how peaceful he looked. She shifted so instead of her leaning on him, he was leaning on her, and although she was very careful not to wake him up, she heard him mumble something to the effect of "I love you" but she couldn't be sure. It didn't matter whether that's what he said or not because she knew then what she felt for him, even if he didn't or wasn't willing to admit what he felt for her. She believed that when he was ready to finally let her in, he would.
Although, she may not be finished running from the Cabal, or from the FBI, she was done running from her feelings for the man leaning on her shoulder, for the man she loved and depended on more than anything else. Eventually, she would tell him when he could understand, and was aware of what she was saying, but she decided one step at a time was for the best and for right now that was how it was going to be.
She kissed the top of his head and muttered so softly that only he would be able to hear if he were awake and listening. "I love you too". He hummed lightly and gravitated closer to her if it were at all possible, but she didn't care at all, and it actually made her smile, something that happened so rarely nowadays. She held onto one of his hands, let her eyes gently shut, and allowed herself to focus on the melody of his breathing combined with the steady vibrations of his soothing heartbeat for the remainder of the flight, not giving a single thought as to where they were going, because as long as she was with him, it didn't matter.