(INSPIRED BY THE PROMPT: “You’ve always been clumsy, One day, you wake up tied to a chair and in front of you is the best hitman in the world, who has been trying to kill you for years.”)
Jackson groaned, arm twitching from having fallen asleep, cursing that he’s somehow slept on his neck wrong. Muttering, he swore he would never again let Jed subject his Saturday mornings to the aftermath that inevitably occurs with just the right mixture of vermouth and mezcal over the course of one evening. Bracing himself for the bright light of day, Jackson attempted to raise his right hand to cover his eyes but couldn’t lift his arms.
Eyes snapping open, he winced and heart racing, began to hyperventilate as he realized he was tied to a wrought iron lawn chair surrounded by pink hydrangeas. Flaky white paint peeled off the chair as he tugged his arms frantically trying to get out of--were those Hermes scarves?! Jackson leaned down to get closer and inspect the material.
Leaves crunched behind him, and Jackson straightened and tried to breathe. He saw a young brunette woman wearing sky blue Oxfords and bold red lipstick step around from behind him. Biting his tongue in caution they stared at each other. Jackson waited for her to speak.
The young woman sighed. “Hello,” she said quietly. “Just so you know, this is incredibly unusual for me to really meet people like, well, you face-to-face.”
Jackson was amazed and more than a little put out that it appeared the lovely creature in front of him had spirited him away in the early hours of the morning when he was drunk and comatose.
“In fact, it’s incredibly unprecedented,” the young woman pouted, “You’re absolutely ruining my name--this is a black mark on my otherwise stellar record!”
Jackson attempted to clear his throat and get a word in edgewise, but the young woman seemed to be winding herself up into a state. “In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were some sort of sleeper agent robot the Ops team is testing in the field to drive us up the wall for pranking them all at the holiday party last year! We only released a handful of squirrel at HQ while they were grabbing donuts from the break room, which I honestly think shows restraint on all the agents parts. Katterman wanted to go full out with dead puppies, but I insisted we had to draw the line somewhere.”
Eyes wide, Jackson determined the woman in front of him was clearly unstable as she started screeching, “And anyhow! There’s no way anyone could be quite that clumsy. How you manage to circumventing poisonings by knocking teacups off counter tops, surviving fatal stabbings by mere inches, and crouching to tie your shoes just as I’ve pulled the trigger! I’m the best sharpshooter in the entire North Eastern hemisphere and it’s been years--YEARS--since you were assigned to the Agency and none of us have been able to touch your bloody arse, hard as we might try!”
“Pardon me!” Jackson interjected. “I don’t quite know how to put this, but I honestly think you have the wrong person. Who are you and who do you think I am?! And this bloody bush you’ve got me next to! Do you know how much I hate pink hydrangeas? They really do wash me out with my complexion.”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but--” she frowned and yanked a manila folder out from the hydrangea bush off to the side of the room, strode back over to Jackson, and dumped the entire contents worth over his head. Polaroids upon polaroids of Jackson puttering about his day with a coffee cup and spread out across the ground and spilled across his lap.
She cleared her throat and recited “--Jackson Finnegan Green. 6’5” and fancies himself a budding young talent on the West End primed to overtake his uncle’s theater legacy with his rousing turn as--blah blah blah--I have the right person.”
“But who hired you to take me out?! And more importantly, what is my life worth monetarily speaking?!” cried Jackson in disbelief.
“Well, I sort of owed a no-questions-asked-take-no-prisoners-show-no-mercy favor I’ve been trying to get off my plate for ages. Quite a relief when it was finally called in. So, really you’re my get-off-scotch-free card. But bloody hell have you been the most frustrating assignment to date. If you would just bugger off already, I could move on!!”
“Well then,” Jackson shook his head, grinning ruefully, “I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you, but do you think we could press pause for a tad bit. I suspect this is as good a situation as any for a spot of tea. Let’s get the kettle on and we’ll get to the bottom of this.”
Whatever the assassin was expecting, this wasn’t it. “I suppose tea’s as good of an idea as any,” she muttered as she stooped to slash at the scarves holding her victim in place, “but I maintain if you’d just die and quit bloody well reincarnating when I get a direct hit in we wouldn’t be in this mess and I could finally go on holiday!”