Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and violence.
The cliché and the way they had to interact was unfortunate in his memory. After a thousand and a half years of being carted around the universe as a science project, he was left to have freedom on the new Galveston. And that new friend brought Harry and learning what it was like to care about someone again and –
“And it was taken away as quickly as you got it. Try not to be so obvious with the thoughts you don’t want to share, Glenn. You are far too easy to read after all this time out of practice.”
“Sorry, I just don’t know how to approach any of this. It’s not every day that you wake up out of a coma and suddenly need to run away from one military base to another.”
“But it used to be.”
The silence fell between them again. Glenn realized that he didn’t have a single fucking clue how to deal with this situation or even what it was. To be fair, he never had too much of a clue about what was going on, but now was not the time to be having such a deficit.
“How did you find me?”
“No. How did you really find me?”
Glenn sighed and looked at the bleeding foot he had forgotten about before.
“Your case agent.”
Harry got up and walked towards him with her knife in her hand.
“Which one, Glenn?”
“Uh I think his name was Champsa. I didn’t really catch it before I handcuffed him to the stairwell.”
“I would have expected you to do more than handcuff him if you really did read the file. If I got within five feet of that man, his body would be in the bottom of the Hei river right now.”
“Yeah I got an idea of that from how he’s banned from directly interacting with you.”
She covered her mouth with her hand and bit down a bit when starting to laugh.
“What’s so funny about him?”
“He’s just like the rest of the case agents I had, weasels. There’s a reason I kept getting new case agents and that’s because they kept disappearing under ‘mysterious’ circumstances.” She lit another cigarette and took another sip of the tea. “Those were fun times.”
Glenn took a bite of one of the cookies on the table, trying to swallow how dry and awful it tasted.
“So this is what you’ve been doing for the past 500 years? Running around the universe being a spy for every government in existence and killing whoever pisses you off?”
“You thought I would have changed?”
“I guess I shouldn’t have expected you to be the happy homemaker or anything, but I just thought you would have grown up.”
As the words slipped out of his mouth, Glenn knew it was a mistake but coming to Zinnia in the first place had been a mistake. Even after he read about all the things that she had done, Glenn was still looking for a chance to see her again. The chance to see what happened while he was ‘away’ and in some slight corner of his mind, was a hope she still loved him.
“I do but not like what you want it to be.”
“Can you please stop doing that? I don’t think you realize how rude and offensive it is for you to go digging through my thoughts.”
“It’s not really digging if I’m just reading what’s floating on the surface.”
“It’s still rude.”
It’s still rude.
It’s still rude.
It’s still rude.
Glenn repeated the words to keep them at the top of his mind, trying to keep them floating so that he would be able to have a moment of silence. And it would just be a moment because he knew that little barrier wouldn’t last all that long.
It was occurring more and more to Glenn that he should have thought out this scenario. At least the thoughts about the big mistake would be running rampant and that would give her a lot to pick through. But then there wasn’t much more going on in his head than thinking about how bad it was and how he most certainly was going to die.
“How many times do I have to tell you that I’m not going to kill you?”
“One, that’s still rude. Two, if you would please remember, you’re not the only one that I’m worried about currently. It seems that not rescuing that soldier back in the bunker was probably another mistake that I should have thought more about.”
Harry got up again and did her stroll around the room, leaning against the window in front of the pool table.
How didn’t I notice that before?
Then Glenn looked at how her pant legs were pushed down, not sticking out at all from the braces and his thoughts started dancing again.
“Glenn, it sounds like you didn’t think through any part of your plan at any point. If you even had a plan, which is something I’m really starting to doubt since you just seemed to be in the mood to punch and shoot.”
“Well see the thing with the soldiers I saw is that I started to free them but then I might have accidentally been involved in killing one of the.”
“Unless you just vaguely dropped a piano out a window, I don’t see how you would ‘accidentally’ kill someone.”
The silence fell between them for another minute and Glenn glanced over to still see her friends peeking out the office door. The telepath was leaned against the wall with their eyes closed, pointed towards Harry with a keen focus. A kid rose out of the back of the small crowd, masculine with a dark orange and crimson skin, spines sticking out every so often. Then he saw Harry’s hand shoot out from beside the window ledge and motion them back.
“Isn’t it a bit risky to hire a guy like that?”
“Yes but I didn’t have that much of a choice.”
“I’m surprised of your status on this planet, Harry. I thought most of space thought about citizens of Tanis as enemies to every state.”
“Look who’s talking.”
Glenn heard her sigh from all the way across the room when it sort of bounced on the walls. The scene was finally starting to relax, and he was reminded of why he came here, why he decided it could possibly be a good idea.
“I’ve missed you.”
She spun around with an unnatural, “What?”
“I missed you. Ya know, the emotion that comes from long distances apart from someone you like?”
“I know what it means dumbass. I just doubted that you would feel anything for you.”
“Do you know why I came here, Harry?”
As she walked back around the pool table, her heels clicking on the wood floor, she said, “To get me killed? Funny way of showing how fond you are of me.”
Glenn decided it was time to take a small bottle from the bottom of his satchel.
“I guess we both need a drink, huh?”
“That’s a fair summary of the mood, yeah.”
The little bottle was vaguely labeled ‘whiskey’ and had a green tint to it. He knew that the design of the bottle would tip her off to where it came from, but every action was just an experiment at this point.
Harry picked up the bottle, twirled it around in her hands a few times and took out her pen knife. He glanced at her as she carefully carved the label off and drew a drop of water from the tap line. When both materials sat together on the table, the paper quickly lit up in flames and turned to a violet color. She dropped the paper into the liquor waiting inside the bottle and watched how the hue turned darker until it reached a blackish green.
“Was that really necessary?”
“It’s the Nerot tradition. If you don’t do that before hand, you might as well be drinking sugar water.”
Glenn called out to her while she left the room to find some glasses.
“By the way, do you still have that cowboy quote on cross stitch in your office?”
“‘You tell ‘em I’m coming and Hell’s coming with me.’ That one.”
“Yeah it hangs right next to my PI license.”
The phone rang in her office and Harry got up to fetch it, leaving Glenn alone for a moment more. He stared down at the weapons in his satchel, sitting neatly next to all of those wonderful files and tried to think how to word his new business best. When he first found the files, he never thought that Harry would approve of such a plan.
But seeing her files changed something for him and he realized it would come to a different point.
“This will indeed be a special case. That is the one thing I’m sure of.”