The Exquisite Art of Patient Revenge
Fandom: Kill Bill
Rating: R for language
Distribution: Lists, standing orders, others by permission.
Disclaimer: Quentin Tarantino, Miramax, Lawrence Bender, and A Band Apart own the film; Q&U the Bride. I own zilch.
Summary: You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?
It’s Sofie who finds Elle, burning, bleeding, and blind in Budd’s trailer, the black mamba sliced in half at Elle’s swollen feet. Bill is dead; Beatrix has BB, and Sofie has Vernita’s little girl stashed away at Bill’s peaceful Tokyo abode and Bill’s vast fortune legally at her fingertips. All the remaining fingertips.
Sofie Fatale was always a clever one, and more importantly, she’s a lawyer. She knows how to acquire assets. But not to worry, because Elle appreciates that in a girl, especially one she’ll be working with as long as she’ll be working with Sofie.
Elle Driver has a Hattori Hanzo sword of her very own (paid for at a price that she’d never expected), a beheaded black mamba, and a burning desire for revenge that won’t be quenched until she hears Beatrix scream out her last breath on Elle’s sword and know, know completely and utterly, who the true master is.
“Given the circumstances, I could understand if you opted for an early retirement,” Sofie says uncertainly, and Elle remembers the woman’s sleek, smugly pretty face and takes a sick sort of satisfaction that Bea cut her down a notch or two. Perhaps a one-armed Sofie Fatale will understand she’s merely useful, not special, in a world like theirs, and no match for women like Elle. Like Beatrix.
As she’s said before, Elle respects Beatrix Kiddo. She simply despises the bitch, every daddy’s best little cocksucker, no mind of her own except what she’s told to have.
It’s not as though Elle proved any less loyal. She went through Pai Mei’s insane sadistic training, and she didn’t run off with Bill’s baby and expect to come away clean.
But nobody loves a woman with a mind of her own, and Bea was always so good at not having one. Even now, she’s got herself a kid and she plans to be the kind of mother one sees in crappy long-distance ads. Cuddles and love and bonding as Mom shows BB how to use a sword so she’ll never use it except in self-defense. How very original.
“Fuck a whole hell of a lot of that shit, Sofie,” Elle says, pleased when only half the glass of vodka Sofie’s offered her dribbles down her shirt. She’s getting better. Soon she’ll be able to feed herself without getting covered in shit like a mental patient. “The bitch will pay.”
“Undoubtedly,” Sofie agrees. “But as you are…”
She makes a delicate noise in her throat. Elle laughs, and before Sofie can make another, there…there is Elle’s hand, pressed against the soft tissue.
“We will not pursue Kiddo,” says Elle, realizing that the slightly rank smell she’s been smelling is herself — her clothes aren’t clean. That the sound she hears is the ticking of Sofie’s watch. “It’s too soon.”
“When pursuing revenge, the elements should be arranged correctly,” Elle says, amused to hear this shit coming out of her mouth. “More accurately, dear little Bea will suffer so much more when she’s settled into her life as a retired assassin and she has something to lose. And I *want* her to suffer.”
Sofie chuckles nervously and Elle releases her. “You’re the expert in this department,” she demurs. “I’ll provide whatever you need.”
“Thanks ever so, Sofie,” Elle says sardonically. “Where’s the kid?”
“No, shithead,” Elle says, shaking her head with a sigh. This new alliance will take time. O-Ren apparently liked Sofie all cream and smiles; Elle is going to have to grind away all that bullshit Jap crap layer by layer. “Vernita’s kid. Another happy by-blow of Bill’s. The one who’s got her own reasons for wanting sweet Bea dead.”
“Nikki is four,” Sofie says, sounding shocked. “Surely you don’t…”
“We have time, Sofie darlin’,” Elle purrs, liking the thought more and more as she thinks of it. Nikki, who a traditionalist like Beatrix would grant the right of revenge, not thinking just how easy it is to train up the young into things other than they would first appear to be.
Imagine that. After all the hollering, Elle and Bea are both going to be mothers. And Elle intends with all her heart and soul to be the better mother the way she’s the better foe.
One day, it will happen. Instead of a passionate, sloppy child seeking revenge for her mother’s death, Beatrix Kiddo will face the perfect weapon of Elle Driver’s long and patient pursuit of her masterpiece: the glorious (and very, VERY painful) death of both mother and cub at the hands of the perfect warrior.
“You’d wait that long? Training yourself will take years. Training Nikki…”
Elle fumbles for a cigarette and waits until Sofie hands her the lighter, unable to do the task herself. The cigarette smoke twirls down her throat, and Elle for the first time suspects blindness is not all bad. Well, it’s pretty fucking lousy, but the feeling of smoke, the scent of cigarettes, the sound of Sofie’s breathing…they’re useful.
“We’ll wait that long,” Elle says, blowing the smoke out of her lungs. “Understand?”
And is that the sound of Sofie’s heart as the other woman takes the cigarette from Elle to take her own long, comforting drag?
“Perfectly,” Sofie replies.