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A New Start

I can't bear to see him like this. I almost wish I had never come.

I've seen Michael upset before. I've seen him hurt bad enough that his crumbling world was visible through his pale green, normally so blank eyes. I've seen him so full of fear that when it was gone from his heart, he nearly shattered with relief. I've seen him love so greatly that he shook in fright that it would be taken away.

But I've never seen him like this. I've never seen him so...broken. Like a car wreck.

A life in Section isn't much. It's hard. The life span is all too short. It requires to be on your guard at all times.

But Michael's always strived in it. I've always admired his great confidence. His skill. His ability. No matter what was going on around him, he always kept his composure.

A shot through the window, poorly aimed at him. Not a flinch. Not a muscle moved. He didn't care. His life meant nothing. Nothing at all. Broken. Practically already gone. Dead.

He was once my mentor. My harsh, cold, mentor. Nothing reached him. Nothing affected him. He was hard as stone. Thick as steel. Anything aimed at him bounced right back off. Heavily armored. Numb inside.

And now I witness what happens when his true side shows through. When the ice melts. The hardness turns to mush. The skills stop. The ability withers. The fire inside dies out. When there's nothing more that matters to him.

Michael's son was taken away from him. He's not even furious at Section. He's angry at himself. He's torturing his soul. He's so quiet, so not in this world. His head is full. His thoughts come by the ten fold. He thinks this is all his fault.

On top of it all, he adds guilt to his pain.

I tried to help him. I tried to reach him. But I can't. And now, I wonder if I have any right. Why should I try to make him snap out of his anguish? He's hurting. He has every right in the world. He lost his son. If I were in his position, I have serious doubt that I'd still have a pulse. He's doing hundreds time better than how I would. So why should I force him to suddenly get better? To tell him to stop feeling sorry for himself?

I have no right. I'm not trying to make him return to normal status. That's Operations. I'm just trying to sooth him. As if there could be anything possible that could ever be soothing at this point. I want to help him.

So I wrap my jacket around me closer. I pull my hat as far as I can down upon my head to cover my reddening ears. It's cold here, on this late fall night. But I'll stay out until dawn. Until Section makes him come in. Just to be sure that he isn't attacked in the dark. And welcomes those who'd want to end his life.

Because he's more than willing to do it himself if he had the courage.

I couldn't sleep anyway. Not with Michael like this. He's been there for me more times than I can count. Like I've lost count with how many human lives I've taken, I've lost count on how many occasions Michael has saved me from Operations and cancellation.

I owe him my life. So I will give him as many safe nights as he needs. Until he realizes that there's something worth living for. As if there is anything worth living for anymore. I'll be here until he gathers the inspiration to get back on his feet. To start working. To start living again. I'll be here, in the cold. In the wind and rain and snow if it happens. I don't care what comes.

I may have spent my last few weeks in my own confused agony after finding out about this mysterious second life Michael has led for so long, but it's no longer relevant. I don't know when that started to happen, but it did. All the hurt that caused me seems so...lame. So silly. So juvenile.

In the aftermath of losing a wife and child, this is a new life waiting for Michael. A new beginning. And now that so much has been brought in to light for me to see, I know that this is the beginning of a new start for me too.

No matter what Michael is to me now, I know I want him in my new life. So I stand here. In the cold. And wait. To repay Michael for all his generosity. And to make sure that he stays alive long enough to make it in that new start that's to come.