The last of the vehicles pulled out of the cemetery, leaving the two of them alone next to the gravesite. Blair watched his friend silently as Jim stood, unmoving, staring at the casket.

"She wanted to get out," Jim said at last, his voice hollow.

"Yeah," Blair said softly.

"Damn it, Chief, why did she have to die?"

Blair could hear the tears in Jim's voice and his heart ached for his friend. Tears welled up in his own eyes. What should he say? Because she was an assassin who disobeyed her masters? Because she sacrificed herself to save you? Because life sucks? "I don't know, Jim." There was no other answer he could give.

There was only the sound of the wind in the trees. Then Jim said, so softly that Blair could barely hear him, "I loved her, Chief. I loved her."

Blair moved to Jim's side and put a hand on his shoulder. When Jim's shoulders started to shake, Blair moved around and grasped his friend in a firm hug. Jim stiffened for a moment then he put his arms around Blair and allowed himself to grieve for his lost love. Blair felt tears slide down his own face as he shared his friend's pain.

Long minutes later, Jim straightened, sniffling. He pulled out his handkerchief and blew his nose. He carefully avoided eye contact with Blair as he stuffed the used cloth in a pocket of his trench coat. "Well, I suppose we should get back to the loft."

"Yeah," Blair agreed, wiping the wetness from his face with his own handkerchief. He straightened his jacket and turned toward the truck. "I'll wait for you in the truck."


Blair walked slowly toward the truck as Jim said his final good-byes. He stared off into the trees as he waited, giving Jim privacy. When Jim opened the door and climbed into the truck, Blair glanced at him. He looked tired and wrung out. Not surprising.

Jim didn't look at him as he started the vehicle. "Thanks, buddy."

"No problem, man." Blair set a comforting hand on Jim's shoulder as Jim pulled the truck out of the cemetery and drove out into their city.

~ The End ~


Act IV