She'd always had a younger taste in music than he. Right now, she was listening to the Divinyls. He made no comment on her choice of music, it wasn't his place to comment on such things, after all. For all that she'd said that they were friends, they were more like acquaintances really.
She'd spent some time working as an informant for the FBI, and now it was getting too dangerous and she needed out. It would all be organised by her FBI contact, she told him; all he'd have to do was answer their questions and stay cool. She really needed his help on this.
He didn't want to see any harm come to her, so he agreed. Of course, there would be no evidence, so no charges would be pressed. The FBI would ask him a few questions, they'd have nothing to go on, it would be declared a cold case, and that would be the end of it.
She would be okay.
But it had to happen now.
They spent some time working the details out and into a believable story; he told her he was working in the city for a couple of months, a temporary transfer, computer stuff, IT. Well, it wasn't a lie; he was.
She got it all fixed with her FBI contact, and that was that, it all should have been fine. She'd be okay now; she'd be safe.
She only came to see him once, afterward. She was keeping a low profile, she was supposed to have been dead, after all; murdered by her husband for assorted miscellaneous reasons that would remain a mystery, pointless or no. She'd be moving on, later.
He thought she'd come to say goodbye; he'd never asked her why she'd been informing to the FBI, or what she'd told her contact. He didn't ask how she'd found out what she had; that was her business.
She hid her anger; he could see it and hear it, but he couldn't feel it. If she didn't trust him, she hid that, too.
She left him with the photographs he presumed had been passed onto her by her FBI contact.
All he said was, "I'm sorry, Kiku," and she didn't even stick around to hear that much – she slammed the door on him, on her way out.
She had come to say goodbye. Forever.
Sure, the man was her father, that was undeniable. She even had a sister; a younger sister; perfect sister, nothing wrong with her, nothing different, special. Her father had moved to the USA some years ago, searching for his girls.
As a friend, he decided that the best course of action would be to hold up the official story, dispute nothing, bring into to question nothing, but admit nothing. It had happened exactly like the FBI had told him it had. No, sir, there's nothing wrong with your daughter – above that she'd dead.
For a moment, he wanted to say something, not to her father, but to her sister. Perhaps she could understand, perhaps she was young enough. He didn't say anything.
And so, now, it had become real, to everyone that it mattered to: her family, his, the FBI, even Jarod. And that was just what a good friend did, he thought, whenever he thought, or felt, he might have done the wrong thing. Hell, he wasn't just protecting her, her was protecting them both, protecting them all.
He put the Divinyls on over the CD player and hoped to everything he knew was true, everything he found he somehow still believed in – that the sun would come up tomorrow, that trees would grow, that, right at that moment, somewhere in the world, love really was real – that she and her sister were well.
Tazu sat with him, her head rested on his shoulder, and they listened to the CD. He held her hand and it wasn't okay, but it was as okay as it was ever going to get.
Well, he thought, weren't they just as depressed as each other; quite the pair, indeed.
So he pulled her to her feet – no more sitting on the couch dejectedly, let the neighbours complain – and turned the music up and they danced.
That was just what friends did, they argued over things that, to the rest of the world, may have seemed pointless, they invariably had their differences in favourite music, they had endless discussions that they insisted weren't arguments, but meaningful discussion, they talked too much, or they didn't talk enough, if there was trouble and it found them and they fell into it, or if there wasn't and they'd gone looking for trouble and, having some success, they found it, it was always someone else's fault – hey, watch what you say about my friend – or it was exactly their fault – oh, isn't that just your style – but when they were feeling down, they always found a way to make each other smile.