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"Shilo Died"

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Mag laid flowers at her best friend's grave, gazing up into the window of what once had been her home. A happy home. For the first time in weeks she saw a figure dart past. Nathan was home, then. He would not avoid her today. Isolating himself could not be helping his grief at all, she thought, even if he did have his daughter.

She knocked loudly on the front door. She waited. There was no response.

"You can't pretend you're not there, Nathan, I've seen you!" she called, after knocking again. Eventually she heard footsteps, and the door opened.

"Mag," he greeted, slightly colder in tone and manner than she would generally expect, but she could forgive him that. He had lost his wife, after all.

"Nathan, I've been- we've all been wondering how you are. And Shilo, too. We all feared the worst."

Nathan desperately fought the urge to slam the door in her face and run away. He didn't want people checking up on him constantly. Mag hadn't ever really been his friend anyway. She was Marni's friend. That was the only reason she was here. The only reason she cared.

Unless Rotti sent her. She had connections to GeneCo; she was one of their most valued employees. He didn't want Rotti to know how he was. He didn't want Rotti to know how Shilo was. Hed surely sabotage Nathan's efforts to keep her safe. He'd offer to fix her, give her new organs, and then, when they least expected, he would send one of the repo men and they would both be killed. The less Rotti knew, the better. The less anyone knew, the better.

Mag couldn't know that Shilo was still alive. He had everyone's best interests at heart. It wasn't safe for Shilo, of course, and it wouldn't be fair on Mag to burden her with the task of caring for an ill child. It was settled. Best that Mag didn't know.

"Shilo died shortly after her mother." He said the words without emotion. If he had wanted to give a dramatic display of grief, he would not have had to fake it. Marni's death provided him with more grief than he could bear. But he didn't want Mag to see that part of him. He didn't want anyone to see that part of him.

It didn't matter. He could see in Mag's eyes that she believed him. He always did think her too trusting, too easy to lie to or manipulate.

"Nathan, I- I'm so sorry." Her sadness had seeped into her voice, and Nathan could tell it was genuine. That was a good sign.

"I'm fine. I never knew her."

"But your daughter-"

"I said I was fine!" The first sign of any real emotion from him. Suddenly Mag noticed how tired he looked. Almost ill.

"You can't just stay here and wallow in your grief, Nathan."

"I can, and I will." With that, the door was closed and Nathan was gone. Mag didn't suppose he would last much longer.