||[Feb. 1st, 2009|07:57 pm]
Title: Escape Plans|
Characters: Amon/Robin, with some random others
Disclaimer/Author Notes: Once again, many thanks to the beta of all betas jennaria, who without with, this fic would have raped commas, to be sure. (Also had offended tenses [past&present and POVs.) Quite obviously, neither Amon nor Robin nor any of subtlely-or-not-so-subtlely borrowed characters here are mine. I just write them.
Original prompt was: Robin/Amon, fugitive, travel, loneliness, of which two of the three got covered.
If they had been anyone else, anyone ordinary, it might have been something, traveling like this. But the train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto was flight, not amusement. They hid for two or three days in a tea house. Robin talked quietly with the geisha and dancers, and learned a step or two, while Amon made phone calls, arranging plans. He had contacts, he explained the night before they would leave, contacts who might help for the right price.
They crossed onto the mainland by way of China, on a small prop plane, just them and the pilot and a middle-age American couple with too much money. "They're safeholds," Amon said, without further explanation. Robin didn't ask. Instead, she spent the flight with her face pressed against the window, watching the mountains glitter pass from the ground.
"You're home-schooled, dearie?" the American woman asked in English. "Your father must be very lucky to have such a well-behaved child."
Amon wisely didn't comment, and he noticed Robin only smiled shyly, and ducked her head. He told them her name was Hope and his was Hiro, when the husband asked, and tried not to wince when the woman exclaimed what a lovely name that was. He couldn't afford to offend the Americans, not until they had led him and Robin to a tiny rat-hole of a safehouse in Xiang-Xi. Once there, he waved off their apologies, thanking them with the quiet exchange of bills. When they finally left, Robin asked, "Hope?"
"I thought it might be appropriate," he answered.
"Yes," Robin answered, and stared out the window for another moment or two. "Are you hungry?"
"You don't have to -"
"No", she shook her head. "I have to do something."
"Oh." Amon stared over her shoulder into the outside world. "Then yes."
They stayed in the rat-hole a week, and they only went outside after dark. Amon held her hand tightly, pulling her through the shadows of the dark alleys, into the deeper shadows of seedy bars and closed-off clubs. In the moments before dawn, Robin watched the crowds with a detached fascination, while Amon haggled with the merchants in the outdoor markets. She'd manage to sleep a few hours when they returned to the rat-hole. Amon never did.
After a week, they went by car to Beijing, then by train to St. Petersburg.
"We'll be safe here," Amon said.
"For how long?"
"Long enough," he answered. They were seated in a coffeeshop, just large enough to let them blend with the crowd in the late afternoon. He had remembered enough Russian to order coffee and pastries for him and Robin both. Robin had had her hand pressed to the glass, staring. "That one too," he had said, tripping over the Russian words, and the clerk smiled. He figured it might be worth it to see Robin's smile, if just for a moment.
"A month, maybe two," he added after several long, quiet moments of sipping coffee. He watched as Robin tore off tiny pieces of the hot cake and bread with her fingers, and licked the cinnamon away with her tongue.
"Where?" she finally asked.
"There is -" Amon paused, and almost sighed. He leaned across the table, whispering, so close he swore he could see the blush of his breath on her cheeks. "Another safehouse, on the outskirts of the city's heart. I've been warned we might not be alone."
"But we can trust them?"
Amon looked away from the directness of Robin's gaze. His contact here was a young woman he had never met, recommended by a common associate of theirs: a middle-aged gentleman who had lost both his legs in Vietnam. They had met once, briefly, when the gentleman had been tipped off to one of the witches Amon and his former partner, Kate, had hunted. "We walk similiar circles," the gentleman had said by way of apology, "this one's yours. You'll have to forgive an old man his immortal habits. If ever I can apologize more usefully, let me know."
The time had come, and the man had come through. "She'll meet you at the coffeeshop closest to the train station. You'll know her by her French accent and long, black hair. She'll take you to a safehouse. We're also hiding a brother and sister team there, but you can trust them not to say anything about you."
Robin's voice was quiet, and uncertain. The pastries were gone, and his coffee was cold. Amon finally caught her eyes, but he didn't smile. He reached a hand across, and tucked a lock of escaped hair behind her ear. He heard her breath catch.
We can trust them?
"I hope so," he answered.