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The Haven

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This was when they were most themselves, when they didn’t have to be anyone else. When they have taken off all the other titles or faces, when their job descriptions were clearest. Here and now, they weren’t decker and shaman. They didn’t have to be shadowrunners when they could just be Zee and Dietrich, resting in his (or was it their?) bed at the end of the day, the lights low, the world banished.

As usual, she was amusing herself by tracing his tattoos – swirling a fingertip around the turns of bisected circles and spelling ancient words in the runes on his shoulders. He smiled bemusedly. “I sure am glad I got all these so you could play with ‘em,” he said.

“That was very nice of you,” she replied, turning her attention to the anarchy symbol on the right side of his chest. He chuckled and closed his eyes.

Her fingers trailed down his right arm, where a knife emblazoned with the word MESSERKAMPF! down the blade occupied most of his forearm. It, along with the anarchy symbol, was one of his oldest, and the ink was faded. Or at least it looked faded in comparison to the three Chinese characters on the hilt, vivid and black. She blinked. “When did you get this?”

He glanced at the location of her hand. “’Bout a week ago.”

“How did I not notice you got a new tattoo?”

“It’s been a busy week.” A little smile pulled at his lips. “Konrad was all ‘You know what these mean, right? ‘Cuz I got a policy about Asian characters.’” He shifted a little, the better to look her in the eye. “Though…I guess I probably should have asked what you thought of it before I got it. You don’t mind, do you?”

Zee brushed her fingertips over the tattooed knife hilt. As usual, Konrad’s work was exceptional, capturing perfectly the beauty of the calligraphy, rendering the characters that spelled her name. “No. I don’t mind at all.”