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easy to put down, hard to keep there

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“It’s okay to be upset,” said Agatha.

“And why?” snapped Tarvek, recalibrating the security system around their hideout with more force than necessary. It was the fifth time he’d done so that day. It was a monthly maintenance chore. “Because Gil is dead? Ha! He dies on us all the time. He’s probably not even dead this time, we’ll probably find him in a bar with amnesia thinking his name is Rogelio. And there’s nothing–”


“And there’s nothing–” He put his face in his hands. “And there’s nothing we can do until he comes – hh – back on his own t-time.”

Agatha leaned her weight against him and didn’t comment on his shoulders shaking. He gave her the same courtesy when their positions were reversed.

(She’d lost people before, of course, but she only occasionally found herself translating that trauma onto Gil, who was just so…resilient. But Tarvek had lost Gil for ten years once. He could hog the drama today.)

“Do you wanna go blow stuff up?” she asked.

Yes,” said Tarvek.



(Gil did drag himself home the same afternoon with a story about alien shapeshifters, half a dead alligator, and a stolen raygun they spent the evening dismantling.)