AN: Inspired by the song "Missing Person" by Michael W. Smith.
Disclaimer: I don't own either of these characters, etc, but if whoever owns Taylor Reese would like to give him to me, we could totally work something out...
Taylor: You told him?
Matty: Yeah I did.
Taylor: Good, you're finally done with it.
Those words, spoken to comfort and congratulate Matty, weren't entirely correct. He was done with it too. Taylor sat on the hood of that car, waiting while Matty severed ties with the only self he'd ever known.
He took a deep pull from his cigarette. Funny, Matty'd been in the mob his whole life, but he hadn't lost his soul. Taylor hadn't found the life until his teens, but those few years had taken his.
Who'd have thought you could live with a rock beating inside you?
The humor of the idea wasn't enough to budge his ever-present poker face. These days nothing was enough. His job consisted of strong-arming helpless people and hulking in the background, turning off the part of his brain that thought and the part of his heart that felt.
He'd been guarded and cynical for so long (emotions made you hesitate), he couldn't even remember what, much less when he was supposed to feel.
His mind drifted back to a simpler time. A little boy sitting in a pew, swinging his legs to and fro across the ground, yarmulke nearly swallowing the back of his head. He'd listened voraciously as the rabbi relayed the story of Moses and God's chosen crossing the Red Sea.
Then, he'd had the faith to move a mountain. God was in His Heaven and anything was possible. He'd known it in his bones; life had purpose – he had a purpose.
But then life had intervened. One day his dad went out for cigarettes and came back dead. He'd had the misfortune of walking into the middle of a robbery. Taylor was silent through the funeral, and that faith was buried along with the coffin.
No one could tell him why. The Powers That Be couldn't be found, and the little boy had disappeared without a trace. It was then that Taylor had started fighting, picking up the carnal knowledge suitable for just one line of work.
He'd flown out to Wibaux with the others; it was more of the same. All of it part of the stoic ordeal Taylor called life…until he saw his best friend beaten before his very eyes. He'd felt – he'd felt utterly helpless, and a crack appeared in the rock wall of his heart.
The supposed run-of-the-mill shooting and killing had taken a dramatically abnormal turn. Someone had gone for Matty, and that I'll hurt you if it helps me philosophy had gone out the window. Taylor had never considered taking a bullet for anyone, but he'd taken two without a thought.
He lay amidst all that death, knowing that he hadn't been lucky; he'd been spared, and for the first time in over a decade, he believed again.
In what? - He wondered as he sat on the hood of that car…the God who'd been missing for about as long? It was too soon to tell, but Taylor knew one thing: it was high time he went searching for that little boy.