One thing you may have have missed by not following me on Tumblr is my continued obsession with the idea of Idris Elba and Polly Walker as CIA operatives in love. apiphile shamelessly encourages me. It is my favorite thing in the entire world.
Doctor: This medicine is for your insomnia, this one is for your nervous breakdown, and this one is for your depression.
Patient: Thank you very much, doctor, but do you have any other medicine besides vodka?
POLLY WALKER COMES OUT OF RETIREMENT TO HELP HER PROTEGE, IDRIS ELBA.
The director of the CIA is being forced into retirement because of an intelligence leak from the Russian desk. His last official directive is to put his best people on it. Idris specialized in Semitic languages, so he calls up Polly, who has retired into teaching Russian at a rural college and drinking off her second marriage. They chain smoke their way across Russia, looking for a turncoat who may or may not exist.
>>apiphile: CAN IDRIS BE IN LOVE WITH HER
like, the last mission they’re on together before she retires, right after she gets married for the second time, he gets hurt pretty badly and they’re at this no-tell motel while they wait for the company’s local license-revoked doctor to show up because they can’t go to the hospital and she gives him a mystery pill she found in her purse that she’s pretty sure is vicodin and he’s all laid out on top of the chintzy, slick comforter and feeling warm and far away from the pain in his leg and holding her hand because he needs her steady pulse to reassure him everything’s going to be fine.
Idris gets his first solo assignment as the paperwork for Polly’s retirement is processed. Feelings are mixed.
>>apiphile: but I’m proud of you. I thought you might as well know that before you leave.
>>formanymiles: PLEASE FEEL FREE TO WRITE ALL THE POLLY/IDRIS
>>apiphile: — You’re going grey.
— You’re not. Now why do you get all the luck?
— My “luck” is 108 “natural golden auburn” and I buy it from Walgreens every second week. How’s your assistant?
— They’re meant to be.
>>formanymiles: you’re going grey askdf;jaslkdfj
— Shall we pretend it’s the stress of the job?
— I’ve had your job, sweetheart. It’s okay; we don’t need to pretend anything. How’s the scar?
— Still scaring off women.
— And men?
— Attracting them in droves. You know how it is.
i accidentally he’s bisexual
>>formanymiles: i am fine with that.
argh one time they go trolling for dudes together, after they’ve been working together for around six months, but instead it turns into a game of oneupsmanship about who can pick out the weak spots on random drunk people the fastest and since he’s getting cocky she makes him do it in russian because that’s his weakest language.
>>apiphile: He ends up going home with a Ukranian grad student and feels weirdly bad about it the next day and he can’t quite figure out why there’s this nagging sensation the evening didn’t work out the way he wanted it to and about four and a half years later he’s trimming his hair with someone’s borrowed beard-trimmer in a bus-station toilet in Odessa and it just passes through his mind that maybe, maybe he wanted to go home with her, after all.
the team splits up. idris gets his first solo mission, and polly decides she’s going to at least fake giving marriage #2 a try.
>>apiphile: Idris has thoughts on the matter of this marriage but he keeps them to himself, because if anyone’s going to manage to make a go of a normal life he firmly believes it ought to be Polly. Even though he’s pretty sure she’s as well-suited to relationships as he is: ie, not at all.
>>formanymiles: It’s why he always encourages her to answer her phone when Husband #2 calls. She’s got an answer rate of about 35%, but it makes him feel better when he pretends he doesn’t want his best friend’s marriage to fail.
There had been a period of about a year between Divorce #1 and Husband #2, though, where they were pretty happy.
>>apiphile: The occasions when, late at night, he finds himself vaguely fantasising about Polly’s marriage imploding, he tells himself it’s because he’s jealous that he’s never really managed to get any of his relationships past the 3-month mark, let alone into marriage territory.
>>apiphile: i accidentally imagined their potential offspring
>>formanymiles: HMMM. pretty, talented babies. the first one is born in russia. yes good.
>>apiphile: first one is a girl yes :D
hah i find myself quite addicted to the longing stage of polly/idris
>>formanymiles: god, i know. so much pining. and the quiet downtime between missions, or between mission completion and extraction, when they're in the hotel or a diner or in a park and neither of them acknowledge the fact that they're happier together than with anyone else means anything.
>>apiphile: that they can sit in companionable silence watching the ducks and the polly will murmur one of the code words from a previous mission that related to meeting a guy by a duck pond and idris will laugh and give the countersign.
>>formanymiles: that idris insists the ducks are odd-looking and a public nuisance, but always accepts the bit of bread or muffin polly passes him to feed to them.
the way he aches for her when his leg hurts and she's not near.
>>apiphile: the way he sometimes wakes up feeling as if someone's just got out of his bed.
>>formanymiles: the way she doesn't use the lighter he got her around him, only when she's at home and wants the reminder.
>>apiphile: he doesn't even know she still has it, the way she doesn't know that he has his pointless service medal pinned to a t-shirt in the back of his wardrobe, not because he cares about what it means but because she was the one who presented it to him in their uberboss's absence.
>>formanymiles: oh my heart, my actual heart
he misses the way they kept their desks shoved together, a united front, because when she left and he got moved he very deliberately kept his apart from the others.
>>apiphile: he misses the fact that she persistently wrote up all her reports longhand and made him do the typing.
>>formanymiles: she misses his running commentary on the way her spelling and lettering tends to the cyrillic. she remembers being terrified when he hands in a perfectly transcribed copy of her report, because it'd been half in idiom and all in other languages as a joke, but he'd understood everything anyway.
>>apiphile: He misses her occasionally spiteful use of English spelling and grammar with cyrillic alphabet, or the way she would tap her teeth with her pen or her fingernails while she was wrestling with something technical and her foot against the desk if she was daydreaming. He misses knowing someone well enough to know those differences.
>>formanymiles: she misses knowing what his face looks like in response to any given stimulus without looking. she misses his solid, steady presence at her side like she's lost an arm; she's never felt or been vulnerable in the field, never wanted a partner for protection, but he'd been an extension of herself.
>>apiphile: It's just like being a bigger, better person when they're both around, they fill in each other's shortcomings. And Idris can't ever think about it for too long, but after his leg was injured and he was briefly and shamefully terrified that he was going to lose it, her presence was more of a comfort than the painkillers or the doctors' assurances, later.
>>formanymiles: There's a reason he works alone, now that she's retired, because missing her is still nowhere near being able to replace her. He's not as weathered in the field as some of the other agents his age who'd joined the Company younger, but he already feels too old to learn a new partner's habits and secrets, to fill up the places inside him she took for herself with someone else.
>>apiphile: his bosses are worried about him. he doesn't hide it as well as he thinks.
>>formanymiles: They try, every six months or so, to woo Polly out of retirement. They're never explicit, and Idris is too careful to get hurt badly enough to bring her running.
She hates, a little, that she knows exactly what degree of pain he'd have to be in for her to go back to him.
When she's teaching Russian for Beginners at her quiet community college, she finds herself telling her little newbies about the time Idris had accidentally proposed marriage to one of their contacts in Yugoslavia because he didn't pay attention to his accent, and she smiles for the rest of the class.
>>apiphile: ahaha and her students wonder if he was someone she was in love with, or if they're married now, and why they never see him
>>formanymiles: when danny, the struggler who can't keep his inflection straight, asks her about it during office hours, she gives him this look that makes him quail, a little, and doubt the story that before this she'd been a librarian in moscow.
>>apiphile she keeps wearing out typists :D she still can't type and they can't understand her writing
>>lj user="formanymiles">: & when husband #2 attempts it, her love notes - or grocery lists, he can't tell - remain indecipherable. her text messages are worse.
>>apiphile: her husband laughingly calls himself the failed codebreaker
she's surprised by how unfunny she finds that
>>formanymiles: hah yes he met idris once, at the wedding, one of the handful of guests on polly's side. most of it was his family, his friends from work; she didn't give a reason as to why her parents weren't there. it's one more thing he doesn't know about her that he's fucking sure idris does, one more thing that is slowly driving him crazy.
>>apiphile: husband #2 played by like, John Thompson or something
>>formanymiles: yeah or that guy who played blair in the queen
an essentially hapless creature, which is what had attracted polly at first.