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A Woman Unscorned

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"A kiss," Moira says, and in the back of her head, she feels Charles react - surprise first, amusement second. Sympathy third.

The men in this room have never quite approved of her, but until today, she figured she'd be able to show them up by working hard, doing her job, serving her country. Like men do.

Now, she supposes she's ready for something new. It might be Charles, who definitely wants her but possibly doesn't need her, or it might be something else. (Not someone else, she doesn't think.)

You can get out of there now, Charles says. They will only remember what's in your file.

She's doctored it the way every woman in the typing pool knows how to. On paper, she's dead now, collateral damage. Deceased proof that women can be agents.

Come home, love, Charles says, softly. Knowing she'd have prefered to be living proof.

The door makes no sound as it falls shut behind her, the men still frozen in place, expressions scornful.