In Medias Res

"Nathan, I miss her, too. Please don't shut me out." Mag pleaded up at him. They sat in a coffee shop, talking. She looked up at him through her long eyelashes.

Mag said he needed to get out and that he was spending too much time at home. Little did she know, thought Nathan. It pained him to keep things from her they were friends, but so far as Mag was concerned, Shilo didn't exist. He planned to keep it that way. It was in his plans to keep Shilo out of GeneCo.'s hands for as long as he could, even if it meant robbing her of a mother figure. Mag could be manipulated by Rotti, and Nathan couldn't have that.

Shilo was his number one priority. She was his only living link to Marni. Marni. . .God he felt so broken. His 'work' left him exhausted these days. He could only capitulate to the needs of two people and two people alone. Taking care of an infant by day and Rotti's will at night was wearing him down. He couldn't help it.

"I know you do Mag. I'm sorry, I thought I'd be able to talk about it today, but it's too much. We wanted to have a family and now that dream is dead," he put on a disappointed face, which wasn't much of an effort, and used the lower registers of his voice.

Mag took his hand and held it awkwardly across the table. "Nathan, I just want you to know that I care." Mag could see what Marni saw in him. Even though she was blind when she first met him, she had begun to fall in love with him just that much. She would have had to tell Marni eventually.

Mag hurt on so many levels. It hurt that Nathan wouldn't open up to her. It hurt that Marni and her infant were both dead. She and Marni would talk for hours on end about her plans for the infant. Marni had decided on the name Shilo as soon as she found out it was a girl. Mag agreed that it was a beautiful name. There was no doubt the child would look just like Marni. How could she not? They had laughed about it together.

But there was Marni's cure to work on. She was still sick. Who knew if she would live through the birth? Marni was scared but hopeful. Her enthusiasm was catching. Mag missed her. Due to her past with Rotti, Marni stopped coming by GeneCo, so Mag would to go to the house. Coffee in the afternoons had become a sort of tradition. She was hoping it would do the trick for Nathan, but hew as far too distracted by recent events.

Nathan had been so cheerful in those days. They both were. Just months ago. Now it seemed an entire lifetime had passed. Were they all really the same people they were back then? Suddenly, Mag decided she wouldn't do this forever. It seemed that GeneCo had only had the worst effects possible on their lives. As soon as she had enough money, she'd quit GeneCo. Perhaps she could convince Nathan to get off this Godforsaken island and travel with her. They could start a new life, find new people, even if it wasn't with each other. She just wanted Nathan to feel close to the way he did all those months ago.

Rotti's jealousy is a powerful thing. He would never have harmed Marni, would he?

Mag watched in fascination as the early fall leaves fell from the trees. Nothing ever lasted.

Nathan looked at his watch. His father had given it to him on his death bed. Nathan became a doctor to help people, not to hurt them. It was time he got back to Shilo.

"I need to go back to the house." It was a statement.

"Alright. When do you want to meet next?"

"Mag, I'm not one for visiting these days. Please." He felt bad treating Mag this way, but Shilo needed him, she was just an infant.

"I'll come by the house, and we'll have coffee there, like we used to."

"No!" Nathan hadn't meant to shout. It was absolutely imperative that Mag not stop by the house. One peep from Shilo and all his current plans for her would come crumbling down. He would not have his daughter influenced by the outside world, plain and simple, Mag included.

"Well then why don't you come by the apartment at your convenience? I'll make it easy for you." Mag had to get him out of his shell. Why was he being so stubborn? Whatever it took. Her apartment was spacious enough. She wanted Nathan's trust. He needed human contact.

Nathan felt a little worn down. "Ok. I'll contact you." He had to throw her a bone. Haha? commented his alter ego. Shutup!ShutupShutp!! he shouted at it. Mag was really very sweet and acting out of kindness. God how long had it been since he had talked to another human being, about normal things? He was trying today, but maybe if he knew in advance he could be little more congenial. He'd ask the nurse to stay later that night. Perhaps a location that Marni had barely been in would help him feel less morose.

He used to brag about Marni at his practice. She was so beautiful, she was so intelligent, she was so witty. He wanted to say those things again. Wordlessly, he got up and reached a hand toward Mag.

"I'll help you into a cab." He did so and headed back toward his house, and the infant, Shilo.