That said, and to celebrate Don Cheadle in ER, may I present a The Hire fic that hasn't descended into parody.
BMW own The Driver, yadda yadda.
27th March 2003
She had the eyes of a lamb and the soul of a tiger, they said.
"You're not allowed to talk to me, are you?"
I wasn't. She was too precious, too much of a risk for me even to let her utter a word that I could create a conversation out of. National security rested on my shoulders at this moment, on the shoulders of the slight girl sitting to my right. So out the window I concentrated, watching the world chew away under the black wheels of my car.
From the corner of my eye, I saw her shifting in the seat. She'd demanded to sit up front - 'ride shotgun' - and I'd been told to give her everything she wanted. Drive where they wanted, give what she needed. For a million dollars, I wasn't about to start questioning anything.
"Can we stop for a cup of coffee?" A look in my direction. "You can look at me, can't you?"
The lights were red. One of four sets along such a barren road; two out of four on our arduous journey. Tired eyes met my own.
"Coffee. I need some." She nudged her head towards the roadside diner off the dusky road, crossing her hands in her lap and moving her ankles closer together. Both tense and sly, a mixture of someone who'd been bought up too quickly and too publicly. Old eyes, a young face, a dark contradiction in most facets of society.
"The light is green." Pressing the car forward, I made the decision and picked up the black walkie talkie stuck on the dash.
"Alpha one?" A statical crackle.
"Alpha one, go ahead."
"She wants to stop for dinner. Okay?" A pause, the static stretching out like a blanket of sound.
"Affirmative. Fifteen minutes, Driver."
"Right. Over." I slapped the device back in it's place, angling the car to swing into the almost deserted parking lot. Her hands uncrossed, her ankles positioned to flee, the door swinging open before I had a chance to open it for her, like expected.
"Come on!" Frantic pleasure resonated in her voice, as she ran-walked to the dank diner. Lined with pleather lounges and red Formica, the light was harsh and unwelcoming in the early morning light. Somehow she looked younger, if possible, and older without age.
The woman at the counter made no connection to the small girl in front of her with the woman so prominent in the tabloid's pages. She dressed deliberately, in a black skirt and boy-style t-shirt; her hair lank and product free, her face void of the caked on mess so usual of her and her lifestyle. Put together, they could have been different people.
The Princess and the Pauper.
"Coffee, please. And the big breakfast...with, with extra bacon and sauce. Please." Her hands clasp together, she ordered the meal and turned questioning eyes on my figure standing in the glass doorway. "Coffee, for you?" No response. So frustrating. She gives me a look, then turns back to the decrepit lady serving her. "Two of everything. For me and my friend here, please."
I walk over and hand the waitress two crisp bills before the girl has a chance to. "I'll pay." I don't let her, take the change and walk over to the sterile booths.
"I wanted to pay, y'know." I want to reply. "Don't just sit there! You're away from the goddamn surveillance, the walkie talkie...I'm not a fucking leper!" The words resonate through the diner, her face crushed and slightly flushed.
"I'm not supposed to, Mam."
"You can talk, then."
"I'm not supposed to."
"You're kidding. Who the hell do they think they are?" A rhetorical question, as she leans back in the booth, her face mixed with anger and fear. I look around, expecting to see dark figures looming in every corner, to see a camera or spot a bug. But I don't.
"This is for your safety, Mam."
"I didn't witness a murder."
"But you knew about it."
The words cut deep. Her face crumbles, but she doesn't break. A breath, then a steely look.
"I couldn't have prevented it."
I say nothing.
"That boy...my peer..." she bites her lips. "I barely knew him from the next guy in my dorm."
"He knew a lot about you."
"I'm a fucking princess! Of course he knows about me!"
"And that's why we're getting you out of the country."
"Because he was killed."
"And you overheard plans for it."
"By a bunch of screwed over school kids!"
"By the children of feared men. By the children of illicit drug dealers, the Teenage Mafia if you will. They found out you knew, and now you're in danger. End of story."
"It's a crock.
"It's your life."
Princess Sophia the Sixth skims her hair back with a pale, aristocratic hand. A hand seen on millions of Photostat images, a hand so often placed next to her parents in the context of posed royalty. A girl underneath all the princess, one who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time - and may pay the price for it.
"I'm to escort you quickly, into the next country."
"I can't stay with you."
"I'm sorry, Your Highness."
The eyes of lamb stare back at me.
"It's Sophie," she says, folding her hands again. "Just Sophie."
To continue or not to continue...
Hey...does this make me a BMW films BNF?
Don Cheadle! On ER! Every week! *dances*
"...music in spring, flowers for a king..."
she's feeling: cheerful
she's listening to: Jeremy Northam | The Land Of Might-Have-Been