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Hope and a Cup of Coffee

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The cup of coffee steamed in the cool air of early autumn. Robin stirred it once to help the powder dissolve, then placed the spoon next to the cup. This wasn't espresso or even proper coffee. It didn't even smell like it. She traced a circle on the table, drawing lines that were only visible in her mind. "Wood," she murmured. "Water."

It'd been drawn in the pattern of the paving stones on the market place, barely visible among the white paint designating stands and fast food trailers. Red stones among plain, grey granite. She'd seen it only by accident, standing by a window in the cathedral loft as she guarded Amon with her flames.

The bell above the door tingled as Amon came out of the coffee shop with his own cup of coffee. Their hunt hadn't been successful and they’d found no trace left for them to follow. His eyes traced the movement of her fingers. "There's something about the circle that looks familiar to you."

Robin rested her fingers on the tabletop for a split second, then let her hand drop. She didn't need the visual aide, the pattern burned into her mind in more ways than one. "I have seen it. Somewhere."

The breeze swept around her legs and she wished she could still wear her long skirts. They'd kept her warm even in winter, in all kinds of weather. Amon dropped his jacket into her lap wordlessly. Robin nodded in thanks, smoothing out the thick, durable fabric over her knees. It was still warm from Amon's body. When she next brought the coffee to her mouth, she could smell him on her skin.

"Do you think we need to follow up on it?" Amon held her eyes.

Robin considered the question, weighed it against the knowledge in her head. "It's old," she finally said. "It won't change anything."

Amon nodded, then picked something out of his pocket. A letter, Robin realized, with Japanese writing. "This was sent to me through one of my old contacts." He pushed it towards her. "You should read it."

Robin ran her fingers over the folded paper. Who would contact them like this? She looked at Amon and received no answer, no change in expression. She opened it, skimmed the contents. Read them again, more closely this time. "Is this true?" she finally asked in a small voice. "Can we really...?" 

Amon nodded. "I wouldn't have showed it to you otherwise." He reached across the table, took her hand. "We can go back."

Robin smiled, slowly. Go back. They wouldn't have to be on the run anymore -- they wouldn't be there under their own names, but they'd be... The candle between them on the table sprung into life, flickering in a hiccuping dance of joy.

"We only need to finish what we're doing here," Amon said quietly. "Then..."

"Yes." Robin smiled. "Home."

The coffee was cold when she finished it off. She couldn't say she minded.