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He’s Still Here After All These Years

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It wasn’t long before Curt saw the cabin. It was sheltered in the secluded woods, no one would ever assume what it was used for. He pointed towards it so Owen could see, fingers going slightly numb from the cold.


“There, that’s where Barb is keeping a check on everything. She will help us.” He promised. A frown appeared on Owen’s face and he stopped walking, the light snow beginning to settle on his hair.


“Look, Curt, I don’t think I can do this.” He said, shaking his head and casting his gaze to the floor. Curt stopped too, turning to face him with crossed arms.


“What do you mean?”


Owen hesitated then looked back up at the other man. “Well, I’m sorry but I can still barely trust you. How on earth do you expect me to trust them ?”


Curt sighed. Them . It used to be that Owen trusted and was trusted by the CIA as much as Curt (and sometimes even more so). Sure it had been a while but was all that trust just going to disappear? Besides, they didn’t necessarily need to know what Owen had done, not yet…


Curt looked him dead in the eye. “Sorry, Owen, but you don’t really have much of a choice.”


It was Owen’s turn to sigh and he shoved his hands in his pockets, stalking past Curt as he did so.


“Let’s just get this over with then,” he muttered, eyes downcast once again. Curt trudged after him, rolling his eyes and rubbing his arms to fend off the cold.


When they reached the cabin, Curt went straight in first without checking who was there. Owen hesitated outside and Curt shook his head at the other’s distrust. He knew it was just Barb. That was why he was surprised to find a gun pressed against his head when he strolled into the room.


“Ah, shit…” he muttered, beginning to looking sideways. “Right, don’t come in, we may have a bit of a-“ he cut off his warning to Owen as he made eye contact with the woman behind the gun. Immediately, she dropped the weapon away from his head and pulled him into a hug.


“Curt, thank god!” Tatiana’s voice was thick. If he hadn’t known she would’ve have strangled him for suggesting it, he might think she had been crying.


“Tati! I wasn’t expecting you to be back here already! How’d everything go?” Curt pulled out of the hug as he spoke, holding onto Tatiana’s shoulders with a wide smile which matched her own.


“Perfectly! Everything went exactly to plan, thanks mostly to Barb,” She said and Curt heard a laugh.


“Oh come on, don’t discredit yourself like that, Tatiana!” Barb called, joining them in the room. “She did most of the work, I just gave the instructions.”


Curt let go of Tatiana and his gaze flicked between the two girls. “Well I think you’re both fantastic!” he grinned.


“Not sure why you’re surprised about Tatiana being back before you, you’ve been gone forever!”

Barb’s voice was accusatory as she stared Curt down. She was surprisingly intimidating when she wanted to be despite her small stature. “We were beginning to get worried, especially when you turned your tracker off! Again ! How many times do I have to tell you, Curt?”


Barb was frowning at him now and Curt scratched the back of his head sheepishly. He was spared from replying by a loud forced cough.


“I really do hate to interrupt this touching reunion, but am I allowed to come in? It’s fucking cold out here.”


The three friends froze and turned towards the front door where Owen was now standing sullenly. In his excitement, Curt had forgotten his order for him to remain outside.


“Oh yeah, of course,” he said awkwardly, stepping towards him and guiding him into the group. “You both obviously know Owen but…” he trailed off at their glares.


Neither girl spoke for a moment. Then they both exploded, most of their yelling directed at Curt.


“What the hell is he doing here?”


“Owen? Owen Carvour? He’s alive ?”


“That murdering prick should not be allowed anywhere near us-!”


“He was alive all this time and he never told anyone ?”


“If you think that I’m going to let him get away with this, Curt Mega, then you are even dumber than you look!“


“I think I’ll go…” Owen said awkwardly, starting to move in the direction of the door.


“Not so fucking fast,” Tatiana said, pointing at him threateningly and stopping him in his tracks. “After all the pain and suffering you’ve inflicted upon hundreds of people, upon Curt , you really think I’m going to let you get off lightly?”


“Erm, I…” Owen was surprisingly speechless and he ran his hand through his hair nervously. He looked pleadingly at Curt but Tatiana marched over to him.


“Oh no, you look at me asshole. Don’t go begging to Curt just because you know he’ll take pity on you.” She was up close to his face, jabbing one pointed nail against his chest. “I don’t know who thought sparing you was a good idea but I am going to make sure you regret it.”


Curt knew Tatiana didn’t give empty threats. He rushed over to them and pulled the two apart before Tatiana could slap him. “Enough!” He said, stepping in front of Owen and facing a bewildered Tatiana.


“Curt, can’t you see what he’s doing? He’s obviously manipulating you!” The anger that had taken over her had been replaced with concern. “I won’t let him hurt you again.”


Despite being touched by what Tatiana had said, Curt knew he had to stick up for Owen. “Look, I get why you don’t trust him. Hell, I’m not even sure I completely do.” He heard Owen scoff at his comment and kicked his shin lightly before continuing. “But he’s here now and we’re going to help him. I know what I’m doing, Tatiana.”


She sniffed and turned away from the boys and towards a shell shocked Barb. The scientist had remained silent after her outburst and was giving Owen a look of pure horror. Owen tried to meet her gaze but she just shook her head and followed Tatiana out of the room. Curt winced at her reaction. He needed to make sure he explained everything to her before Tatiana completely turned them against each other.


“Nice new girlfriend.” Curt spun round at Owen’s comment and found him leaning slightly against the wall with his arms crossed. “She’s certainly… feisty .”


“She’s not my girlfriend and you know it, asshole,” Curt scowled. “Just a friend, a great friend, who actually gives a shit about me.”


Owen regarded him cooly, pushing himself off the wall and standing over Curt threateningly. Damn height difference. “Of course! Because it’s not like anyone has ever cared about you before, is it, Mega?” Sarcasm dripped off every word. “Why, that person would have to be mad to put up with you, considering how often you cock things up!”


Curt returned Owen’s look with a steely one of his own. “It's a good job the people who care about me now aren’t murdering pricks who lie to me for four damn years then try to kill me!”


Owen’s fists clenched and then unclenched again. He appeared to want to argue back but something was stopping him. He sighed heavily, stepping backwards. “You’re right. I’m a fucking prick.” He collapsed back against the wall, sliding down it with his head in his hands.


“This was a bad idea, Curt,” he mumbled, voice muffled by his hands. “They hate me. You hate me. And with good reason too. I’m never… I can’t come back from this. I have nowhere to go.” He sounded on the verge of tears.


Curt’s chest ached seeing Owen that broken. He hadn’t mean to strike such a nerve. He crouched down next to him.


“Yes you do, Owen. You belong here, with us,” Owen huffed at his comment and Curt tried again. “They’re just in shock, like I was. Can you blame them? They’ll come around eventually, I’m sure of it.” He squeezed Owen’s shaking shoulder in an attempt to be comforting but now Owen didn’t reply.


Curt knew there was nothing more he could do. The Owen he knew liked to be left alone when he was upset. But is that the Owen you know? Curt didn’t want to think about that. He stood up and walked away.


“And, Owen?” He turned around one last time but Owen didn’t look up from his knees. “I don’t hate you.” Without waiting to see his reaction, he went to try and sort out the girls.


He found Tatiana still yelling in the kitchen, except this time a silent Barb was taking the hit whilst she stirred a cup of tea.


“-and he thinks I’m going to just take that? Well that dick has got another thing coming I swear to- oh, hello Curt.” She stopped herself when she saw Curt standing in the doorway. He gave her a grim smile and sat down at the table next to Barb.


“Sorry about just bringing him here, I didn’t know how to explain.” He said, staring down at his hands. “That’s why I’m so late, by the way. It takes a surprisingly long time to convince an apparent maniac not to kill you.”


Tatiana snorted and joined them at the table. “I’m still kind of pissed at you,” she said, and Curt rolled his eyes, “but I’m mostly worried. I just want to protect you.” She placed her hand on his and squeezed it gently.


“I know, Tati, but I couldn’t just leave him. I still… he’s still my...” His avoidance was obvious and awkward as he trailed off but neither girl commented on it. “Anyway, thanks for leaving him alone. I don’t think anyone but you could handle a fight right now.” She smiled humorously at him.


“I just can’t believe he’s alive.” Barb finally spoke up and Curt met her troubled gaze. He hadn’t considered that she was facing a ghost as well.


“Yeah, you and me both.” He replied, giving her a small smile. They sat there for a while, just appreciating each other’s company, the only sound being Barb’s cup clinking on the table every so often. Owen stayed alone in the other room.


“Right, let’s get going.” Tatiana said, standing up and bringing the other two out of their thoughts. “We can’t stay here forever and I’m sure your agency has a few, how you say, choice words for you?” She smirked at Curt and he rolled his eyes.


“Ugh, you don’t need to remind me. It’s bad enough that I went fucking rogue, never mind dragging Owen back with me.” Curt was confused as to why Tatiana began to laugh.


“And that, Mega, is precisely why I left him alone.”

She turned back to look at him as she exited the room. “Because I know that anything I do will be nothing compared to what your boss can, and will, inflict upon him. Based on what little you’ve told me, of course.” Her laughing increased as she left and Barb giggled slightly along with her.


“She’s right you know.” Barb said, stepping up from the table as well and placing her cup in the sink. “Cynthia’s going to have both of your heads.”


Curt felt cold dread seeping through him and his head landed on the table. “Shit!” He yelled and the girls just laughed harder. They were both completely and entirely fucked. How had he failed to consider this?


“Guess we’d better be off to our deaths, eh old chap?”


Curt’s head flew up from the table at the somewhat cheerful voice. His eyes were slightly red and puffy but Owen’s small smile appeared genuine. He beckoned from the doorway and Curt found himself standing and, despite everything, smiling back as he walked towards his… well, he wasn’t quite sure what Owen was to him anymore. But he knew one thing; they were going to be alright.

Well, maybe he could decide that once Cynthia was through with them...