It's a new story! Dana is relentless. Do not mess with her.

Un-beta'ed, so quibble away.

- o – o -

Can't Lie No More

The Cape is perched on the low wall around the roof of the apartment complex when she comes up. He looks like an enormous black bird, ready to take flight. Even though Dana has never seen him fly, she wouldn't put it past the vigilante to try.

She comes up here more than her son does, these days.

It's been two years, to the day, since her husband died. Trip is twelve, and has slowly grown out of his hero worship. Dana worries about him, but just prays he's going through a phase (and knows it's not). The Cape never stops visiting though.

Dana's done her homework this time. Now, she's going to have the upper hand. It's been two years since her husband died. She's had two years to collect her own evidence, two years to give birth to an idea that the vigilante she's about to interrogate has proven.

Her husband may still be alive. She won't hope or pray that he's the Cape. She can only hold onto the small glimmer of hope that says the vigilante knows where her husband is hiding. Dana just wants Vince to come home. Travis could have arranged for Witness Protection, sent the Faradays into hiding.

There was no cowardice in that. Vince would be able to come home.

Dana doesn't have much hope, but she does have this.

She clears her throat, and the vigilante looks up at her. Dana's breath catches in her throat. For a second, just barely a second, she'd seen Vince in the man's eyes. She so wants to believe that he's Vince. She can't let herself hold onto that hope. It will hurt too much when she's proven wrong.

"My husband is still alive," she says, voice clear. "Yes or no?"

The vigilante nods, lips twitching a little. Dana frowns and tries not to scowl at the man.

"You know where he is. Yes or no?"

He nods again, and Dana crosses her arms over her chest.

"He's afraid of Chess hurting us if he comes home." Before she can ask her question, the vigilante stands up. The cloak billows menacingly, but Dana stands her ground. Her jaw is set stubbornly, and she won't give up until she gets her answers.

"My husband is afraid of Chess. Yes or no?"

"Dana," the vigilante rasps, speaking for the first time since she came up to the roof. "Please…"

The widow isn't bothered by the pleading tone in the vigilante's voice. If anything, it makes her bolder. She keeps asking if her husband is afraid of Chess. The Cape tries to dodge the question, begging her to change the subject to something, anything else. Dana refuses to give him any quarter. She has to know.

"My husband is a coward," Dana finally hisses, eyes narrowed in anger and tone dripping with spite. "Yes or no?"

The Cape's shoulders slump, and he runs a weary hand over his face. Dana knows she's won, and keeps the triumphant smirk off her face through sheer force of will.

"Yes," the Cape replies softly. "He's a coward, Dana. I…"

Dana frowns when the vigilante's tone changes. The defeated air is still there, laced with something heavier. He's not perched on the wall like a bird anymore, and Dana can't help but feel like she's somehow broken the vigilante's wings… She forces the guilt to the back of her mind with ruthless efficiency and waits for him to answer.

"I have no more lies," the Cape whispers, voice thick. "I can't. Not… Not this time."

Dana stares at him as he stands up, pulling his hood back. His curly blonde hair is mussed and sticking up. She peers into his eyes, searching for any hint of what he's looking for. Her heart clenches painfully. He looks so much like Vince. But then…

The vigilante reaches behind his head, and Dana jumps as he pulls the fastenings keeping his mask on apart. They sound like gunshots. It takes her considerable self-control to keep from a panic attack, although she can't keep the memories of the bullets pinging off the gas tank just before it explodes out of her mind.

She breaks down sobbing as, for the first time in two years, she sees her husband's face.

"I have no more lies for you," he whispers, pulling her into a hug. Dana wants to scream, to beat her hands against his chest, to harangue him for leaving her and Trip. But she can't.

Because he's her husband.

And he's alive.

- o – o -

So, what did you think? Good? Bad? Think Dana should have pushed harder? Drop a line and let me know!