Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Harry followed him out through the office door and the entire march across to the door to the stairwell. Once she saw the last of his purple trench coat floating down the stairs, the door slammed shut and she leaned against it, sighing. She could feel all of the eyes in the room and the thoughts that were floating through their heads.
“What? What’s wrong? Huh?”
The thoughts and the voices in the room were rising with worry and concern, but yet they still didn’t speak. They stayed silent in what they wanted to say to her. And Will remained in her spot by the window, while Harry scanned over the top of her partner’s mind for all the affection they wished to give. All of the hugs and kisses that Harry wished to receive just so that she could ask the final question in their first step.
She kept standing there, staring back at the deer in the headlights staring at her, until Glenn lead her back to the office. Glenn pushing them inside, making sure the blinds were still shut and that the door was still locked.
“Harry, you don’t want to hear this from any of us, but he did have a point.”
“And which point do you mean?”
“That you need to be careful, in every aspect of your life.”
Harry slipped back down into her office chair, lighting a new cigarette and brushing the ashes into the trash can. A definite issue with throwing the tray at Robe was the clean up she had to put in afterwards.
“Yeah Glenn, since you’re such an expert on being careful.”
“There are much bigger things at play here. Aren’t you wondering how I managed to find you all the way out here? You might be well known as Harriet Bivens on Delta but for the past five centuries, you were living a nice life as a ghost.”
“I know you’re baiting me but how did you find me?”
Glenn refilled the glass sitting on his side of the desk.
“When Vinconni passed from this world, a life sensor file was pinged to certain people of interest. It had a list of names and locations, all the information he had been gathering since the beginning of time. And near the top of that list was you.”
That. Fucking. Bastard.
The reasoning for killing Vinconni was defense against whatever he might tell the Federation. They were just moments away from arresting him when Harry threw the mobster into her trunk and drove out to the river. And they would have tortured him more than what she had let the rats do to his legs.
Give him a taste of the pain of their people.
“Harry, every single person who knows about the list, probably knows that you killed him.”
“So they’re either going to come here to hurt you, to thank you, and/or try to get you involved in his business.”
“If you haven’t noticed, I’m more about taking criminals down than being one.”
“This smuggling ring that you’re trying to break down is just one piece in a puzzle made up of thousands and thousands. It’s never going to stop, and you know it. You were the one who taught me that.”
Harry thought about the detectives down stairs and the projects that they worked on. It was never something as big and serious as this. Just little things like robberies, car theft, assault and kidnapping. They didn’t have the experience necessary to deal with this massive of a network, but they were the resources she needed.
“I guess we could put some junior detectives to work on it. The more involved the merrier, I guess.”
More people involved.
More people to be paranoid about.
“I know that you never liked the concept of partners or sidekicks, but I think you need to consider it for your professional life.”
“Sidekicks? Like superheroes?”
“Like apprentices. You could make a very safe life by taking on apprentices who want to get into certain fields, either out of their own request or by family pressure.”
“That’s all well and good until someone uses my methods as a serial killer, and then I’ll have the weight of all of those lives.”
Glenn lifted the bottle to refill their glasses while Harry plunked in another ice cube. She could feel the presence of the people in the outside room and this time they learned the lesson to stay back. Even though they weren’t listening to the conversation, they were still chatting and gossiping. And the thoughts against the back of Will’s mind weren’t the fears Harry had been expecting to see.
“It was fear that sent you out here in the first place.”
He was right in the statement but thinking back to why she had fled to the edge of the world was not a happy thought. Zinnia was a planet of criminals. No matter their role in the machine, everyone fell into that label.
“And why did you come out here, Glenn? Did you just wake up in the basement and remember the last girl you fucked, and then left to die on a battlefield?”
“That's not how it happened, and you damn well know it. Harry why is everything automatically my fault?"
"Technically you rank higher than me and technically you were the commander of our unit, so it all is on you."
The chair tipped back and Harry slowly felt it slipping from underneath her, the metal edge slowly pushing into her back as she maintained the staring match with Glenn.
He had been in command when the unit went down and he was the idiot that managed to get captured. Just like all of the rest of them had gotten captured, carried off to somebody’s basement and locked away with a gas mask. They had each been plucked from the battlefield, drawn up with hooks and strings by invisible discs in the sky.
Everyone but Harry.
“Harry, I feel guilty about leaving my troops behind. And I feel guilty for allowing myself to voluntarily be taken. But sweetheart it’s been five hundred years and neither of us have managed to unpack any of that.”
And then she saw the words slip across his mind.
“At least, I had a goddamn reason, Harry.”
“Pardon me but what did you say?”
It was easy to pop a message back across the void, creating a stronger link between the side thoughts floating. Maybe this was an abuse of power or maybe this was just being smart about the situation.
“Harry, would you please stop fucking doing that?”
“Whatever could you mean, dear?”
“This, this is why we didn’t get married.”
“No, I’m pretty sure we didn’t get married because you got kidnapped by men from Mars.”
Glenn sat up, pointing a finger at her and declaring, “You know damn well that hit squad was not from Mars – Oh.”
Someone pushed against the door, causing the blinds to shake and shift, cords hitting against the glass. Harry kept an eye on the shadow while slowly making out the form shape and determining who it was supposed to be.
“You can come in now, Will.”
Her partner had changed into street clothes, from the bath robe nearly shed to the floor of the garage.
“I don’t want to uh disturb your important meeting but there’s something you might want to see downstairs.”
“What is it?”
“Jud found the Cat.”