A new chapter from my Kaymond fanfic. Keep an eye out for a few familiar Blacklist characters, we will be seeing more of them in the future! Enjoy!
The motel was a considerable step down from the Leningradskaya Hotel Raymond had left three months prior. The walls of the room were bare, save one mirror over the lone dresser. The television set that came with the room had all of three channels and looked like it had been purchased in the 1970s. Still, he was reasonably confident the sheets he now sat upon were clean. It was far from the worse place he’d ever waited for an asset.
Raymond had received word a few days ago that Katarina was heading stateside. Per their S.O.P., he’d placed an ad in the New York Times arranging a time and place for their meeting. The agents in Russia had sent him Katarina’s dead dropped notes on her mission parameters. She was heading to Norfolk, Virginia to take over the management of an mercenary spy ring that had lost its original handler.
Raymond had gathered from Katarina’s information that the group was falling apart. The original member, John Anthony Walker, a Naval officer, had walked into a Soviet Embassy in the late 1960s, selling a classified document and had been collecting a paycheck from the Reds ever since. He’d recruited his older brother Arthur and his son Michael to his cause. He’d also tried to involve his daughter Laura, who’d been in the Army, but she’d refused to participate, and quit the military to become a full-time mother.
The official counter-mission he’d planned was to gather evidence on the group, then leak it to a third party law enforcement organization to make the arrest. The idea was to plug the leak in such a way that it couldn’t be traced back to Katarina.
Raymond heard the lock turn and stood, his heart beating slightly faster than it had been the moment before. The door swung open and suddenly she was there, the woman he’d been dreaming of nearly every night since he’d left her in Russia. Her hair had changed, gone from blonde to auburn. It suited her ivory skin, and her eyes, that could seem green or blue depending on the light.
“Were you able to get Katya and her family out?” Raymond shook himself. He needed to focus.
“Yes.” When Raymond had managed to track down Katarina, he hadn’t gone to his superiors at the Office of Naval Intelligence. They had made it very clear they had no confidence in him after what had transpired. Instead he’d hounded the Central Intelligence Agency until he’d eventually gotten a meeting with one of the their supervisors, a serious and shrewd man named Alan Fitch. Fitch had pushed Raymond’s proposal up through the ranks, and gotten it approved. When Raymond returned from Russia, he’d gone to Fitch again for help and once again the man had come through. Raymond only hoped he could pay the company man back one day.
“I’m glad you were able to help them. Katya deserves better than to spend her life hiding.”
Raymond raised an eyebrow. “Technically speaking that’s exactly what she’s come to the United States to do.” Katarina shot him a look that plainly said he knew that wasn’t what she meant.
“Changing your name doesn’t change who you are. I know that better than anyone. At least here she can love who she loves without fear. Everyone should have right.” Raymond cocked his head slightly to the side, somewhat surprised to hear Katarina speak of the US favorably in comparison with Russia.
“I wouldn’t have expected you to be sympathetic.” She once again fixed him with a hard look.
“The Soviet Union is my country. The doesn’t mean I agree with everything they do. I’m sure you could say the same of the United States.” Raymond broke Katarina’s gaze. She did have a point.
“Fair enough. Did you meet with Walker?” Katarina nodded, distaste twisting her featured.
“Yes. He’s concerned about his ex-wife Barbara. He claims she’s a security risk we might want to ‘take care off’. Please tell my counter-mission is to nail this bastard to the wall.” Yet again Katarina had caught him Raymond off guard. He wouldn’t have predicted the Russian agent would be eager to expose her comrades in the cause.
“Why the sudden enthusiasm for punishing Soviet spies? Seems a little strange, given your own professed allegiance.” Would Raymond ever fully understand this woman?
Katarina’s eyes flashed in anger. “I chose to serve Russia because of my mother and because I believed in their core ideology of equality. I betrayed my country, because I was trying to protect my family. John Walker sold out his country FOR MONEY. He involved two other members of his family in his treason FOR MONEY. He is asking me to kill his ex-wife, the mother of his children, FOR MONEY. John Walker is NOTHING like me.”
She was magnificent. Strong. Passionate. He’d caught glimpses of her before, as ballet teacher Sara Dawson, as KGB Agent Rostova, as Masha’s mother, but now he saw her fully. Katarina was all of them and none of them. She loved her family and her country. She believed motives mattered as much as actions. She was willing to die for what she thought was right.
“No. You’re right. He’s not.” Katarina’s seemed taken aback by his retreat. After a moment she dug into her pocket and removed a small recording device. She passed it to Raymond.
“Here’s a copy of the conversation. If you play it for Barbara Walker, I think she’ll cooperate, point the finger at John.” Raymond turned the device over his hands.
“What about her son?” Katarina grimaced.
“She doesn’t know Michael’s involved.” So they’d be tricking an unwitting mother into sending her child to jail. Raymond could tell from Katarina’s expression that sit any better with her than it did with him. Still, they didn’t have much of a choice.
“I’ll go to Boston, get her cooperation, and talk to the local FBI. We can backdate the interview so it will appear this was set in motion while you were still in Russia. The feds can kick the report to the Norfolk office and they’ll take care of the rest.” Raymond knew he should be happier about this. It was a huge win victory, shutting down a spy ring that’d been operational for over a decade. That wasn’t what was on his mind however. Instead all he could think about was the small piece of paper in his pocket and how he desperately didn’t want to remove it.
Katarina stood, staring at him, waiting for him to say something indicating that their meeting had in fact ended. He sighed and instead fished the small white square from his coat. “One last thing. I need you to memorize this.”
Katarina took the paper, scanned it for all of ten seconds, then handed it back to him. “Who is Sam Milhoan?”
Raymond dropped the paper into the ashtray on the room’s nightstand.“He’s a smuggler. He does a lot of business providing goods for the Soviet black market.” He used one of the motel’s matches to set the note on fire.
“Why are you giving me his number?” Raymond reluctantly turned back to Katarina.
“If you ever find yourself in a situation like the one we faced in Moscow, call him. He’ll help you.” Raymond had meet Sam only a few years back, while Raymond was still in the Academy. He’d been fond of sneaking off campus when he couldn’t to sleep, and heading down the ports.
One night he’d seen a man being jumped by three other men and he’d rushed in to help. The next day he’d been called in front of the superintendent to explain his mysteriously acquired bruises. They hadn’t been able to prove what he’d been up to, so he’d merely been “fried”, rather than expelled. Despite the rigid punishments that had followed, it had all been worth it. Not only had Raymond gained a true friend, but he’d also unwittingly acquired his first CI.
“You trust him?” Despite his vocation, Sam Milhoan was one of the most loyal and honorable men Raymond had ever known. When Raymond had been under review last year, more than a few of his fellow ensigns had mysterious evaporated from his life, not wishing to be tainted by association. Sam on the other hand had stuck by him, offering his assistance. It had been through one of Sam’s contacts he’d been able to trace Katherine Richards to Katarina Rostova.
“Yes. He’s a good man.” Raymond took a deep breath in, painfully aware of the ramifications of his next words, “There’s something else you should know. I lied to you.” Katarina blinked at him.
“About what?” This was it, the moment he’d been dreading for the past few months.
“The United States government doesn’t know as much about you as I’ve lead you to believe. They know about Sara Duncan and about Katarina Rostova. They don’t know about Katherine Richards. They don’t know about your father.” He’d released the chains that had tied Katarina to him, to their agreement. He had deliberately betrayed his country.
“Why are you telling me this?” Because he loved her. Because he wanted her to live. Because he didn’t want his daughter to grow-up without a mother.
“You could take Masha and run.” He would never see them again. He’d never hold Katarina in his arms. He’d never watch her take her first steps. Still, they’d be free. He could make that trade. He was strong enough for that.
“No, I can’t do that.” Now it was Raymond’s turn to blink. What did she mean, 'no’?
“If you stay you’ll die, or end up in jail.”
“If I run they would never stop hunting me. Besides I can’t just leave…everything behind.” Konstantin. Of course, that was what this was about. She didn’t want to leave her husband.
“Konstantin loves you. He’d come with you, if you asked him.” Saying the words felt like choking up vomit, but he managed. If the Russian businessman was what Katarina needed to make the choice that would save her life than so be it.
“Ask him to give up him to give up his whole life? Everything he’s worked for? No. I couldn’t do that. It wouldn’t be fair to him.” Fair? What was she talking about? Konstantin would have her and Masha. What man could ask for more than that?
“Why not?” Katarina’s looked at him incredulously, as though he were missing something obvious.
“You know why not.” Raymond was immediately transported to the hotel room where Katarina had given birth. She gotten angry at him for refusing to leave her and he’d asked why she’d cared. She’d told him that he’d known. The piece of his heart that had been dead since the moment he’d realised she was a KGB plant had suddenly pulsed back to life. Did she…love him? It seemed impossible, a foolish hope, and yet…
“No, I don’t. Tell me.” Katarina’s eyes were filled with painful regret.
“Please don’t make this harder than it already is.” She turned to leave, but in two short steps Raymond caught her arm and turned her towards him.
“Say it, out loud. Say it.” They were inches apart. He could smell the lavender scent of her hair. Every nerve ending in his body was alive, waiting for her to say something, to do something. Finally Katarina looked up at him.
“I love Konstantin…but not the way I love you.” The words were barely out of her mouth before he claimed it for a kiss that was immediately and hungrily returned. The past year vanished like a bad dream and suddenly he was back in her arms where he belonged.
Raymond picked Katarina up and carried her to the bed, not caring about what had come before, or what would come after. They were here, now, together. Nothing mattered but that.
Hours later Raymond was laying in bed, shameless staring at a sleeping Katarina, feeling a genuine contentment he hadn’t known in twelve months. The small, modest motel room had miraculously become his personal heaven and he never wanted to leave it. Hell, he never even wanted to leave the bed. On an impulse he leaned over and kissed Katarina’s forehead. Her eyes slowly opened and she greeted him with a sleepy smile.
“I missed you.” Katarina’s smile broadened at his confession and she ran her hand lightly across his chest.
“I missed you too.” Raymond was deeply tempted to let her fingers continue their travels, but there were things on his mind that seemed too pressing to put off.
“I’m sorry.” Katarina, eyebrows puckered together, as though she couldn’t imagine what he could be referring to.
“For hunting you down. For making you a double agent. For putting you in more danger.” If something happened to her because of what he’d done…
Katarina gently stroked his cheek. “In your place I would done the same thing. Besides if you hadn’t found me, I would never have seen you again.” Raymond took her hand and kissed her palm in gratitude for the absolution she so freely granted him.
“How’s Masha?” Katarina smiled warmly at his inquiry.
“Wonderful. Although I’ve never been more grateful for my sleep deprivation training.” Raymond found himself laughing softly at her joke. The casual reference to the KGB no longer stung the way it once would have.
“I remember that from when Jennifer was a newborn. One night I was so tired I accidentally filled the baby bottle with hot coffee.” Carla had walked in in time to stop him, fortunately. The thought of his wife sent a sudden, unwelcome surge of guilt through him. He’d been unfaithful. Disloyal. Things he swore he’d never be.
“I wasn’t going to go through with the pregnancy.” Katarina’s rushed words brought Raymond out of his dark thoughts.
“I only kept the baby for Konstantin, because he wanted a family so badly. I thought of her as a curse. Now I look at her and I am overwhelmed by what a miracle she is. I can’t imagine my life without her.” Raymond thought back to the small, sweet face with large blue eyes and his heart began to ache. When Rostov had burst into the hotel and asked Raymond to relinquish the baby it had taken every ounce of self-control to comply. Masha was his daughter. She belonged with him.
“We could go. The three of us. You, me, and Masha. We could disappear.” Between the two them, they could get the money and papers. They could do this, together. Start over, leave it all behind them. No more handlers, no more spying, no more secrets, just them.
Raymond watched as Katarina mulled his proposal over in her mind. The fact that it wasn’t an immediate rejection was comforting. She did want this. She did want him. Still something was obviously troubling her.
“What about Jennifer? I know you Raymond. You’d never forgive yourself for abandoning her. What about Masha? What kind of a life would that be for her, growing up on the run?” Raymond’s heart sunk. She wasn’t wrong. He loved Jennifer. He’d promised her that he’d be there for her. To disappear forever and never see her again was unthinkable. And Masha deserved a stable home, Katarina was right about that as well. He was trapped. They both were.
“I don’t want lose you. Either of you.” Katarina leaned over, tears in her eyes and kissed him.
“You won’t. This war won’t last forever. Some day things will be different.” It was a desperate hope, but it was all they had to hold onto. Raymond nodded, resigned.
“Some day.” He pulled Katarina to him, newly determined to make the most of the precious time they had. A conviction filled him, stronger than any he’d ever felt, that he would not rest unless the Soviet Union fell and the KGB was no more. On that day, they would all be free.
Spock fucking shredding it on an electric guitar. His eyeshadow is vibrant blue and he’s got black eyeliner with wings out to here. He’s all tight t-shirts and black jeans and knee-high black boots as he calmly plays the most beautiful, heartwrenching, earshattering melodies.
McCoy on drums pounding away with his classic Bone drumsticks like a boss. He looks like something out of the 1970s with his huge gold pendant around his neck and his eggshell white bellbottom onesie. He carries the beat like nobody’s business even as everyone swoons over the lead singer.
Who you know has to be Kirk in a flamboyant green wrap top, hair feathered lightly, winking at every opportunity. Singing about stars and love and beautiful women and all kinds of stuff like that.
Meanwhile, in the back McCoy is rolling his eyes at maximum velocity and Spock is raising an eyebrow, wondering at how illogical it is that their fans think they have a chance with Kirk when they know very well he has two boyfriends.
Dean is a big rock star, and his songs are usually about sex, drugs and the devil.
But during his shows he likes to bring out the guitar and play an acoustic version of ‘Tiny Dancer’. Fans listening closely will notice that Dean changes the lyrics from she to he, and those paying even closer attention will see Dean’s boyfriend, Castiel, dancing in the wings.
Driving along the Tokyo Shutoko highway one day, I caught a glimpse of a classic, red racing car in my side mirror. I said to my girlfriend “quick, get my camera, you’ve got to get a picture of this thing”. As it roared past me, I felt like I had entered the world of Ridge Racer. This thing was low, wide and very noisy, with flowing fenders and candy red paint. I’d never seen anything like it on a public road before. It looked like a Le Mans racer from the 1970s. I thought it might be an old McLaren GT car (perhaps an M12?), but as I only have a photo of the back of it, I can’t be too sure. It was very special seeing such an unusual car on Tokyo’s legendary highway. If you know what the car is, please let me know.
Update: Big thanks to ‘818874′ on tumblr for identifying the car as a Manta Mirage (we’re 99% sure). It seems that the Mirage was an American, mid-70s, road legal, light-weight sports car, based loosely on the McLaren M8 Can-Am race car (So I wasn’t far off with the McLaren M12 guess!). The mystery has been solved!
Carrie gets a hand in her hunt from Quinn’s old German-spy flame Astrid, after a testy exchange where the two don’t even try to hide their contempt for each other. Even more than Miranda Otto’s Allison, Nina Hoss’ Astrid is up to the task of putting Carrie in her place, like teasing her about a wig that looks like a leftover from the Baader-Meinhoff gang of the 1970s. But she helps out anyway because of the Quinn factor. Love is complicated. x
skinny eyebrows biches are soo oppressed now I’m dying ! like as a former bushy caterpillar eyebrow of color I took all my eyebrows off when ppls called me a hairy ethnic gorilla and now when large eyebrows are popular I no longer have any this is soo unfair and ppl call my drawn on clown eyebrows ugli now can I ever win I’m so exotic and this oppression… like can we just admire giant eyebrows and skinny ones too I just want to look like a 1970s glam diva who just snorted coke off of Tony Manero’s ass at the discotheque like it may look fake and drawn on and like I’m a cadaver but that’s the purpose mayhaps let me live