Yes, it's Wednesday, not Thursday, but Thursday this week is Second Thanksgiving, so I'm posting this a day early. ^_^
Oilliphéist wandered through the upper halls of the empty Château Guillard. So this is where the other half has been living, she thought, dreamily. It's nice. She danced through the halls, with their old, grey walls, and their old... no... it's not all grey, is it?
Hello, she thought, turning the corner. New paint! Not fresh, not wet - dry, with sealed canisters full of more, put away, for the moment, obviously to be used later, blue, blue like her blue, blue not entirely unlike her own blue, and she put her hand up on it, comparing the colours, smiling - not the same, but well paired.
I wonder if Talon would let us live together, now, she thought, smiling, still so light, so calm. Ah, it doesn't matter, does it? Moira will make sure they will.
Oh, this room's red! A library? An office? A bit of both, maybe? Most importantly, an actual laptop, obviously the spider's home system, and she rushed over towards it, feeling as though she was gliding, so smooth, so light.
Logged out, of course, and in standby, and she had no idea what the password might've been, though the login - Danielle Guillard - made her smile, again. I'll take this with me, she decided.
Turning, she looking around the room, catching the scent of her other half, and keened a little, missing her so much more now, so much more, and that's when she saw her face - an old picture, not blue, but pale pink, and not truly her spider, her weapon, but Amélie, Amélie with him, Gérard, and she snarled from memory, and ran over to the frame, grabbing it, You fool, you wretched idiot, she is mine now, and...
...she realised she didn't care. At least, not presently - only in memory. She'd been so... jealous? Was that the word? No. But something, and now nothing. That was new. She'd hated Gérard - not that she'd ever met him - for every reason and for none, and had cheered when Widowmaker had killed him, her first kill outside training, so beautiful... but now, he was nothing, and the memories faded to grey.
She looked at the frame again. A photograph of a dead man and a lost woman, that's all. Irrelevant to her, to her spider, to her mission, and she wondered why she still held the frame, and she put it back down, back where it had sat before she picked it up, only disturbed dust revealing it had been touched.
Footsteps. Boots. Heavy, coming from the wine cellar. Two groups, she could hear them, the sound bouncing off the walls differently, six in each. The sound of ammunition and belts and guns. A silent alarm, triggered by the picture? Or just by her presence in the room. It doesn't matter. But then, she thought, neither do they. Target practice!
She smiled, broadly, readied her rifle, and relocated herself to a better position, just to see what they'd do - and what they did was demand surrender and open fire, with very little time between, but she was no longer there, and she returned fire, anticipating their dodges, watching them run side to side in such obvious, predictable patterns, and she made a game of it - this one, shot through the left eye, this one, shot through the right, this one, the centre of the forehead, this one from above, the final two in group one, up close, a domino shot, temple to temple to temple to temple, and she laughed, joyously and freely, bathed in blood and wonder.
She didn't even notice the Talon insignia until she was halfway through the second six, and it cost her a moment, a moment of grace, and for that, she grew angry, and so, she left the last one alive, constraining, for the moment, her delight in deaths, as she stood over him, his spine broken, his legs useless, her fangs, her two sharp blades, at his neck, not even blessing him with gunfire.
"Why?" she asked, "were you such fools?" as she doodled with one blade's tip along his carotid artery, imagining the blood it would draw with just the slightest bit more pressure. "Were you looking for her? You would've fared no better."
"...Em?" said the Talon soldier, through a cough. "...Emily?"
Oilliphéist tilted her head just a little to the side. Emily? Oh, of course, Emily. Who she once was, who she still was, though she hadn't even thought the name since reawakening. "Ooooooh, I remember you! Sven, isn't it?" Her smile shifted, just a little. "How's the new ammo working out?" She looked around. "Oh. Not well, I suppose. But I guess that's mostly my fault."
"Emily, why, why do you look like Widowmaker, have you been..."
"Ah, ah, ah, that's not an answer." She poked him, just a bit, with the tip of the fang. "I liked you, Sven. You always took such care of your rifles and pistols, they'd come back so clean, so nicely kept. I'd hardly have to work on them at all. So... why all this?"
"We thought... we thought you were her. Orders are to secure and kill or capture."
"Oooh, an upgrade for you, too? Orders-wise, at least? Last I heard, it wasn't a search, it was just... on opportunity."
"We're, we were supposed to beat anyone else to her."
Oooooh, very interesting, she thought. "So you don't know where she is either, then?"
"No, we don't. Em, please... Let me patch myself up, I'll say we attacked you first, that I'm sorry, it was our fault..."
"Oh, no, it's fine, Sven, I don't mind at all - it was an honest mistake," she reassured him, just before she sliced through his neck, and cleaned her blade, watching the blood pool so elegantly along the grout of the stonework, spreading everywhere as his eyes stilled and lost their sight. "Don't worry. Rest, now." She patted his head, and closed his eyes. "I'll find her. And I'll bring her home."
"It means," said the Widowmaker, "that they did not create me out of whole cloth. They... borrowed. They found what they wanted elsewhere, and copied it. From her, came my love of the kill. Amongst other things."
"So you're ... her, but turned up?"
"Oh, no. That part of me is her... but turned down. I cannot even imagine what she would be like, with that turned up."
Tracer shook her head, trying to imagine that, but not quite getting there. "And yet, somehow, she was," she gestured with her hands in no particular direction, "functional? And your lover."
"I was designed not to feel anything, except joy at kills. But... it was not always entirely so, and I realised, that was towards other people. In part - in this - she is not another person, she is me. Or, I suppose... I am her. And I could feel for her, because she was myself, and so I did."
Tracer thought it out. Wow, she thought. No wonder they didn't think of it. Who would? "So that's what..." She looked at the empty wine bottle next to the bed, leftover from last night. "That's what broke the seal, then. Freed the cork."
Widowmaker nodded, amused by the reference. "And it grew more difficult over time to pretend it had not happened. With her, I did not need to contain myself - not in my love of the kill, not in anything. With her, I could be free. And once I knew what she wanted, I arranged my best plan to make it happen, as a gift. Once she came for me, I'd planned to..." she struggled for words," ...return the favour, and help her herself the same way I freed myself. But if they have changed their methods..."
"Then it won't work. And you're just a defector, and she's coming after you, and that's all it's gonna be."
"Do not misunderstand, Lena Oxton. I love her. Differently - and more - than I love you. And she loves me still, I'm sure."
"Someone like that can love? Really love?"
"Yes. I am someone like that, and you already know I have found myself... burdened with love for you."
"Blimey, you're a romantic. Swept me off my feet with that. But..." She looked intently at her bedmate. "F'real? It's not just an act, anymore? I couldn't tell for sure if you'd actually started feelin' something or if it was just a whole lot better acting, but it felt like y'did."
Widowmaker blinked, stunned. "You... knew?"
Tracer shrugged. "It's not like we both don't like t'take a bit of pressure off, and hate sex is great sex." She smirked, and didn't bother to bring up Prague; she didn't need to. Neither of them would be forgetting. "And hey, the chance to pull a top agent out of Talon? I'll take that."
Damn you, thought the assassin, a little spike of anger flashing across her face. "And you have been making a fool of me. For... what? Information? Infiltration?"
"Somethin' like that. At least," she stressed, and paused, "...until everything shifted about six weeks ago and suddenly I didn't have t'fake it anymore." She wore a soft half-smile while looking into her lover's eyes, "That's about when it changed for you, too, innit?"
Yes, the Widowmaker thought, in shock, as her mind reeled. Damn you, yes. She shook her head. "I... I'd had no idea... I feel so..."
"Betrayed? Angry? Used? Funny comin' from you, love, you were doin' the same th..."
"Relieved!" the assassin cried. She leaned forward, and grabbed Lena Oxton around the shoulders, pulling the two of them together. "I am so... relieved." She started to shake a little, shaking that slowly turned into laughter. "We have both been horrible and terrible and manipulative of each other, and doing it so badly that we have both been caught in our own idiotic webs..." And she couldn't say any more through the giggles, because what fools, what fools they both are, and Lena found herself laughing with her, and they leaned on each other, laughing until tears fell.
"Oh, we're a bloody train wreck, you and me, aren't we?" said Lena, once she had her voice again.
"Yes," said the Widowmaker, wiping the last tear from her left eye, and she leaned forward, and kissed Tracer, gently. "We are a large jumble of wreckage strewn across the tracks, and Talon, I'm afraid, is sending another train."
"You really do love her?"
"I do. She has everything she's ever wanted, now, but it will not be enough - she'll want me, too. And I still want her, just as much."
"Well," sighed Lena. "She saw you first. You're both just lucky I've never been the jealous type."
"Perhaps, if we're very lucky - that might even help us both survive."
"But if she's a killing machine..."
"I am a killing machine."
"If she's a killing machine who can't put a bleedin' lid on it..."
Widowmaker chortled. "Yes."
"Then how's this gonna work?"
"I have absolutely no idea."