“Her Too?”

I want to see you.

What does that mean?  Lucius’ old hands wrinkled his pants legs, eyes burrowing into his lap.  He didn’t even know Hector still texted.

He hated doing it but he couldn’t get Hector off his mind, so Lucius had to ask for someone to cover him at work and there he was, wedged uncomfortably to the side of a park bench.  Waiting to see an old face he wasn’t quite ready for even though it had been a few decades.

“Lucius,” a gruff voice announced plainly.

Lucius turned up those shining brown eyes to meet Hector’s gray ones.  Disappointing.  the dusty overcoat on him was more costume than reality.  He knew Hector once and —

“Glad you came,” Hector smiled and there it was, that twinkle in his eye. For just a moment.  The kid he knew back in high school.

“Yeah,” Lucius sighed, arms sliding up to his hips, leaning back and rocking his head back, heavy frames sliding back up the bridge of his nose.

“Ever the dramaturgy, Lucius” Hector chuckled, sliding onto the bench as if he owned it, wresting a wrist on the back.

Not what he was hoping for from a reunion.

Hector was dressed in all black. Pinstripes. No tie. Balding.

Lucius remembered a boy forty years ago that wore his best friend’s prom dress so that his friend could wear a tuxedo.

He remembered a boy that had looked so cute in that dress.  He remembered him laughing while saying,  I hope this doesn’t awaken something in me, and Lucius remembered laughing with him.

Now it was pinstripes and a body flanked by clothing more than it was wearing it.

“I need to talk to you about last night,” Hector hissed, following Lucius’ empty stare over to a group of college kids playing Frisbee.  Smiled as if it meant something to watch them.

“I’m not sure if I’m comfortable talking about this,”  Lucius said as he turned his face to face those same college kids.

“Her too?” The gentle crack in Hector’s voice shimmered like a bell.  It was almost convincing.  But he was smiling, teeth bared.

Lucius’ deep brown mustache folded with the crease of his frown, eyebrows sinking.

His daughter, now his ward.  She didn’t know that though.

She put on the cape and cowl and saved the day last night, working alongside an old hero through radio.  She didn’t realize it was him who was guiding her.  But Hector knew.

“She wants this,” Lucius shot back.

“Well, I want to remind you of something then.”  A seething whisper.

Lucius looked back to Hector, jaw clenched.

“I let you get away,” Hector smirked.

What made it possible for Lucius to sit close to this man who willfully looked away from his lover’s torture?  What could possibly motivate him to still sit there and still watch the pieces crumble apart?

Lucius sighed and shook his head.  Always a binary with Hector.

 

“It’s going to be different this time, I’m there for her,” Lucius’s eyes trailed elsewhere.

Hector grimaced.

“If you don’t stop this, Lucius, I will kill her.”

Such a bold threat from a tiny man; if only he knew what Katrina was capable of.

But if it wasn’t Hector it would be someone else.  Whatever Lucius was up to this point was over; he needed to protect his daughter at all costs.

“Do you really mean that?” Lucius frowned.

Hector raised an eyebrow at him.  Those cold stones for eyes widened. “Why?”

“Because I want to know what happened to my friend.”

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