Giving Notice

From the Story Arc: K MOCKBY

Previous Story in the Arc: MIdnight in MOSCVA by Kostyak (Friday, August 20, 2004)

Next Story in the Arc: This Is a Rescue? by Ursa Minor (Friday, August 27, 2004)

(posted Tuesday, August 24, 2004)

God, sometimes Viktor can be sooo... Just catches me out and says "We leave for Switzerland in the morning" like I'm supposed to jump whenever he says. And, God! You'd think a girl like me in a miniskirt might get SOME notice from him. Is everything immortal on him after 500
years...


"Hey..."


"Oh, what is it, Kos?" God, he looks like hell. Jadwiga said she had him on tranqs for the last few hours. At least he trashed that damn costume and made an attempt to clean up when I said something earlier. "This stupid mission is gone all to hell! Look at you, you're falling apart. You're eyes are all blood-shot and you haven't shaved in days. We should
have brought more people from the Brigade..."


"Bear..."


"...how can we do this on our own?"


"Bear... Will you shut up for a second; I have something I need to tell ya." I glared at him, I HATE when people tell me to shut up. Like what you have to say is SO much more important than my feelings. Like I'm some sort of child that needs to be...


"I quit the squad."


"What the hell are you talking about?"


"I quit."


"You can't quit. You..."


"I mean it. There's been too much goin' down that I can't live with. I left my resignation at the Base before we left."


"Are you serious? You're going to leave me to rot in Red Brigade all by myself?


"This ain't about you, Bear... God, don't ever think... it's the others. Red and The General, they let Moj and Pack go off into the Lion's Den without blinking an eye." God, I hate it when he calls Fei Li that. Like she's better than the rest of us... like she can't do any wrong as far
as he's...


"The General wanted to kill Moj. Rememeber when I was
tellin'ya 'bout that?"


"yes", I can barely get the words out. He clutches my hand almost like a reflex.


"What kind of team is this?... I can't..."


My eyes started to well up. I didn't want to cry, dammit! But he couldn't leave me all alone with these people. Why are people always turning against me? He was right about Natayla. We were friends for a long time, as long as I've been in this time, and she just turned on me. I don't know what her damn problem is but she's gonna find herself without a team pretty soon. Kostyak was always there... always!  And now he tells me he's leaving. I stare at him, tears are running down my

face. I'm so mad at myself for letting him see me this way. I look like hell.


"This is so unfair! What the hell do you think I'm going to do? I can't leave. I've go no family here. WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME!"


"I'M NOT... I'm not leavin' you, Bear... It's just the team. I can't stay here... with them, if they just let each other fall like this. You know where I came from... you KNOW what this team means to me. Look at me! You see what's goin' on! I could have gotten Vik killed out there!"

 


He's squeezing my hand tighter and his voice drops... barely above a whisper...


"What if it was you out there?... Bear... you're the only

One who's said anything. 'Bout me, 'bout Pack. None of 'em will do anything to stop it. We fought Red to stop pushin' Pack. You see me fallin' apart... I'm makin' mistakes, Bear."


He stops for a second and won't look at me. "Pack could be dead... It's like they don't even care. We could have the entire squad here if they would've..."


He's off again. This is his rant mode. My hand is cold now and throbs once he let go. My back is so rigid I can barely move. He keeps going on and on about Red and Bestla and Moj. Tears are running down my face...The world is falling apart. He can't leave. I need to calm him down. He can't leave me alone. I've lost so much. I grab him and kiss him.


He jumps like a startled cat, then all the passion and anger seems to take hold and he almost squeezes the breath out of me. He can't leave me. He still tastes a little of whiskey. He needs this. It lasts forever. I rest my head on his chest, my voice is hoarse from the crying, "don't leave me". He is holding me so tight I can barely breathe...


-----


Oh God. The first damn light of the sun just HAS to hit through THIS window. I'm not looking at him but I know he's awake. Doesn't he ever sleep? No wonder he's a basket case. "Are you staying?" I can feel him up against me, his lips right above my ear.


"Bear, I'll..."


"DON'T. YOU. DARE..." I shut my eyes tight... I won't do this again...


"I'll be back, I swear... I just need some time away from them..."


"Them?" I squeeze in closer to him...


"You could go with me... It'll be a vacation. We could see why the hell they seem so damn fond of this place. C'mon, when was the last time you had a vacation?"


"Number one. Where the hell do you think we'd get the money for a 'real' vacation?"


"Oh, come on... you used to run with a biker gang. I'm pretty sure they didn't shack up at the Ritz-Carlton. And we both know that not every dime from these busts gets reported... or do those shoes just find their way to your place on their own?"


"Listen. You don't get to play amateur detective in a sewer base (really Kos... a sewer?) on what the Brigade pays you, either." God... I can feel his grin. The big dope. "And second, you think that I'm ready to just jump and follow you after one night? you think I have nothing in my..."


"Bear... I'm just sayin' you want to come... It'd be fun. (and by the way, nobody searches sewers... it's perfectly secret, part of the key to a 'secret' base.)"


"No, you have your little trip... you have 7 days, Mister. 7 days or you better not EVER come back. (God, you are such a little kid... why didn't you just build a treehouse?)" I smile to myself and settle in for a few more minutes of sleep, he can't leave.


-----


We board the train before the sun is really all the way up. Viktor and Jadwiga are still going over the papers. Kos and I sit nearby. I get a weird look from Jadwiga like I was in some sort of trouble. I give her a wicked grin.


About an hour into the ride, he starts doing it again. He's staring off into space, drifting through everything that's been going on. I can tell he's about to start either getting all worked up again soon or start asking them a lot of questions. I'm not letting that happen now.


"I've been trying to talk to Jadwiga, but she's so serious all the time. Like I want to hear about enzymes and mitocondrias and shit. Sometimes I can get her off the medical stuff. We had a great conversation about
shoes the other day. I just love her platform boots! Those were just coming into style when I had my accident. I need to get me a pair. She told me about this great website (this whole internet thing is so cool!) called FunkeFeet. She says they have THE best shoes on the planet."


He's not really interested but at least he knows enough to pay attention. I see him grin a bit... "so, when are you going to tell Viktor?" and then he's blank...


"uhhh.. I kinda..."


"You told him FIRST?" I can hear my teeth grinding.


"Bear, I had to... he's the commander... he has to know..." oh, how he will pay for that... "and Jadwiga?"


"Why the hell would I tell her?" Better. God, he's such an oblivious dope every now and then. At least he was smart enough to wear the clothes I pulled out for him. I toy with the idea about asking him about the boots just to see him squirm and search my face for the right answer, but I'll save that for later.


"At least we'll always have the filthiest hotel room in Moscow" I put my hand on his and I can tell he has no idea about the reference. I was the one that missed 3 decades, right? Check out a movie once-in-a-while, Kos.


"Kostyak, Ursa, we need to speak" DAMN... I jump at his voice. He's bigger than Kos but I swear Viktor just makes NO noise when he moves, even in that suit that looks like it was made of burlap... It's not natural, and if Kos doesn't quit grinning I will make him wish he was staying in Russia for good. We get up and head into the private car that they've been using. I make sure to grin at Jadwiga as I enter.


"Soviette has been going over the files and we think that she has managed to track down their location."


"As Viktor said, while it is not marked on our maps, He knows of a facility used for medical research during the Cold War. The Soviets had it as a front in Switzerland due to the reluctance of the Americanski...I apologize. The Americans, to push too hard inside of Swiss territory. This is where Bestla and Mojiotok have been kept. It is my best guess."


"Military?" at least Kos sounds better today. I smirk at Jadwiga as she levels her eyes at me. Some of us are just better healers than others.


"No, but it was never unguarded. It presents a false face to all around." Oh, great, he's gone cryptic again. Kos just loves this. It's like they have their own little 'Mystics' club. Like some sort of Boys Club they can keep us out of and I KNOW he's going to start breaking down a...


"Tech? because Jadwiga's the closest we have to a Tech expert on this squad." I wonder why that is, Mr. I-don't-trust-the-mechs.


"It shouldn't be anything that advanced, if memory serves..." Jadwiga has stopped paying attention to them and has gone back to the files. They're into their 'thing' now, like a dad and his kid talking football. They live for this. This is so boring, might as well make sure they have it covered enough to not get any of us killed...