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Guardian

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The Chief's gone again. That cunt Guillam won't say where. He got pompous about secrecy when Fawn asked, then said, "He can look after himself, for Christ's sake!"

It's not so simple, Fawn tried to say. Yeah, the Chief's clever. His tradecraft's not too rusty, even. But he's a good man, you can see it in his eyes. He's kind and he's sad and he hates hurting people. Remember Bill Haydon. Remember that rotten bitch the Chief won't even divorce.

Maybe he can look after himself, but what'll it do to him, later?

Fawn tried to say it, but Guillam didn't listen.

The Chief's gone, and no one's worried. They never worry about him. Call themselves his friends, think they know him, but they don't pay attention. They can't tell when he's tired or has a headache, the way Fawn can.

Don't care, probably. Don't wonder if he might be cold, wherever he is. If he needs a cup of tea. If someone's following him. Torturing him. Killing him.

Fawn could keep him safe. But here he sits, useless, twisting the handkerchief tighter round his thumb. All he can do is keep hurting, keep remembering, until the Chief comes home.