"There Isn't Much Else to Do in Purgatory"

Six wasn't designed for this. A katana in each hand and a trail of men behind him-these were his earmarks, traits almost as ingrained as his taste for suits. In training they had honored him as a force like none other-not as a man, but as a walking weapon, and one look at Rex could tell anyone that walking weapons weren't made to sit and wait. Somewhere there was an EVO wreaking havoc. There was always an EVO wreaking havoc somewhere and there'd been a day when he thought somewhere there would always be him, chasing after it. Not that he was too far off the mark-he usually was chasing after them, considering how often Rex needed help. In a way, he could even appreciate downtime like this. He'd never even consider asking for any, but he could in theory take it since it was freely given.

In a way. In theory.

He stepped closer to the monitor, giving it another look. The mess of squiggles and numbers made as much sense as Hamlet to a second grader, but Dr. Holiday's expression told him things were going well. Her eyes were softer now, no longer distractedly trying to calculate how much time they had to get here, and her hands slowly retreated from the keyboard into her pockets as she settled back to watch.

"He should be fine now," she said aloud.

"I didn't ask."

"Okay." She didn't seem convinced, giving him a curious side-glance, but she didn't say anymore and soon turned back to the monitor. The room had been cleared for conversation now though, whether intentionally or unintentionally on her part, and after a few moments Six had to ask:

"Is this how it's going to be from now on?"

She looked his way again, then back to the monitor, eyes growing hard again. "Well, hopefully Rex isn't going after someone in Weaver's situation again."

"I meant in general."

Holiday let the question roll around in her mind before answering. If there was a ever a time he doubted it, it was moments like this one that assured Six that as unfit as he was for this kind of duty, Holiday was perfect. She was a poor field operative, no question. Even now her emotions played out like a dance, each one weaving into the other and grabbing at his attention (concern, fear, sadness, guilt, all chained together in a chorus line). But as a doctor, a guardian, she was ideal. She genuinely cared for Rex; had probably countless times stayed in the lab until late night became early morning, checking and double-checking again after a close call. She'd probably love a year to sit and wait-to not have to wonder in what direction his levels were going to go with every punch but to actually develop a system to stabilize it.

And it killed her to answer honestly, to say the only thing she could:

"I don't know. It snuck up on us this time, and hopefully Rex learned something about listening to me but . . . I just don't know. It's just so hard to get a clear reading of him sometimes. At least here the systems should be up and ready at any time; no lost time."

"We can't afford to lose him."

"You make it sound like I'd want to."

Six had no response for that. It wasn't what he meant, not at all, but he knew no better way to put it and he could see the only path this conversation could go down if he tried to explain. Holiday would rave against treating Rex like a machine and Six would be privately right in knowing that he was one. Six certainly didn't hate the boy but there was no arguing facts. Providence would first and foremost always see him as their true walking weapon, and so that was what Rex would have to be: a weapon. How Holiday felt about him was irrelevant, and whatever complicated feelings he stirred up in Six even more so. Six wasn't designed to sit and wait but he was designed to obey, and he'd do it to a fault.

Whether he wanted to or not.

"It's funny," Holiday said slowly, now looking in Rex's direction. "He spends every day fighting EVOs for his life but it's when we have to do things like this that I really worry."

"I don't think funny is the word."

"Probably not."

A beep from the computer drew their attention for a second, but Six didn't hesitate. He knew that sound-Rex was waking up, and in a few short strides he was by the machine waiting.

He wasn't made for this. He wouldn't even try to pretend otherwise. Part of his brain was flipping through all the things he had left behind at the home-base. He had more important things to do, and even if he didn't, the amount of paperwork still unfilled would probably horrify any man. Sitting and waiting for a cocky teenager shouldn't even register as a possible priority on the to-do list.

Shouldn't. Maybe.

"He really is fine now," Holiday reiterated, sliding in across from him.

"I didn't ask."


Generator Rex does not, and will never, belong to me. This fic is written for pleasure, not profit, with full respect to the correct copyright holders.