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I Watch You Fall Again

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She stands in the cemetery, half listening to the droning of a paid-by-the-hour all occasion speaker who has to glance at his notes to remember the name of the man this memorial is for.

"Bryce Larkin was loving and gentle-

-Bryce high kicks a security guard in the chest and knocks him to the ground-

"He was honest to everyone who met him-

-'Isn't he like an accountant or something?'-

"And he would always put his friends before himself-

-'I'm sorry Chuck, but you forced me to do this'-

They've been through Hell and high water, she and Mr. Anderson. And not just missions either. Now the only thing left of her friend, partner and first love are a little marble plaque, a jar of ashes and an ID badge stamped with DECEASED in red letters. She's buried more than a few comrades over the years, sprinkled dust over mislabeled headstones, but she's never thought Bryce would be one of them.

She had already buried him, goddammit, and this time there is no chance of his return. She doesn't flinch as a man with curly brown hair and a sad smile comes up to her and slips his hand into hers. Chuck, with a computer in his head and somehow no hard feelings for the person who singlehandedly destroyed his life, is the only one who comes to Bryce's (second) funeral.

Long after the speaker takes his fee and leaves, they are still here, hand in hand.