Title: Last of the Jedi
Disclaimer: Characters owned by J.J. Abrams & Co.
Spoilers: For all four seasons.
Summary: "He wanted to do something useful now."
Marshall didn’t know Nadia that well. He liked her, of course, and he thought she was hot in an utterly platonic, Carrie-is-the-only-one-for-me way, but she was still the new girl, and they didn’t have many conversations aside from mission briefings. And that one time, about Elena Derevko and her Dad, when he did his best to give her a pep talk and narrowly avoided finishing with “you’re a Jedi, like your father before you”, because in his book, Nadia was completely Luke Skywalker, redeeming bad parents left and right. In very shapely female form.
He should have remembered Luke nearly got fried for his troubles on the second Death Star.
When the world had not ended and everyone came back, the news about what happened to her hit him. Not as badly as Weiss, obviously, who had this complete suckerpunched look and cried without even pretending to hide it, and swore he’d kill Sloane until Sydney told him the full story. But still, Marshall thought it was monstrously unfair, and started to research the net for anything that might help with a cure at once. But that would take time, and he wanted to do something useful now.
Visiting Nadia meant you had to go into a highly restricted security section of the hospital they had put her in. It meant watching her tossing and turning despite all the stuff they had injected her with to keep her sedated and unconscious, and seeing her arms bound and restrained. Marshall didn’t want to intrude when Weiss was visiting, or Sydney, so he came when he knew neither of them was there, and wouldn’t you know it, that was just when the security guards escorted Mr. Sloane in.
He didn’t even look that surprised to see Marshall. His voice didn’t have much of an inflection when he said hello, either. And then he sat down next to Nadia’s bed and kept looking at her. Marshall would have thought he’d say something, because if Mr. Sloane was anything, he was verbose, and really good with the long speeches, too, but he was utterly silent. Which was just wrong.
Of all the SD 6 employees who went on to work for the CIA, Marshall was probably the only one who didn’t hate Arvin Sloane. He had meant it when he told Sydney last year that the idea of Sloane getting executed made him feel very sad, though he had known better than to share that sentiment with anyone else. It wasn’t that he didn’t get Sloane had been Blofeld pretending to be M, or that he didn’t understand why Dixon loathed him. There was a reason why Marshall was really good about not telling Carrie about whom he worked for, after all. But he still couldn’t muster hate of his own. On the other hand, he really had no idea of what to say now. The “what would Jack do?” mantra didn’t help, either, because he never had quite managed to figure out whether Mr. Bristow and Mr. Sloane were Xavier and Magneto or just Batman and Two-Face.
When Jack Bristow showed up, only five minutes after Arvin Sloane, he didn’t say anything at all. Well, not to Mr. Sloane. He did identify himself to the security guards who were waiting outside of the room, and he nodded in Marshall’s direction. Then he looked at Nadia, and his face did this weird thing which was when his eyes were completely glare-free and the mouth wasn’t two thin lines, either. Marshall was about to file that in his archive of Jack Bristow Looks under “when Jack thinks something really sucks”, but then something even weirder happened. Jack stepped directly behind Mr. Sloane and put his left hand on Mr. Sloane’s shoulder. Just that, and they were both completely silent; still, Marshall tried very hard not to gape.
He decided he had tarried long enough and did what he came here to do. Pulling out a discman from his jacket, he went around to the other side of the bed and carefully put the earphones on Nadia’s head.
“Maybe she hears it,” he explained, feeling self-conscious and not sure whether he was talking to Mr. Sloane or Mr. Bristow. “I hated that stuff I heard when I was in the hospital last year until Carrie brought me my collection, so I figured I’d burn her some CDs.”
The one he had put into the discman to start with was his own choice of John Williams’ best movie themes. He had no idea whether Nadia liked sci-fi, but it seemed fitting. He looked down at her, and her closed eyes were still red-rimmed. Marshall swallowed.
“The force will be with you, Nadia,” he whispered. “Always.”
When he left the room, Mr. Bristow was still standing behind Mr. Sloane, and Nadia had stopped moving as well.