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One More Shot

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1975

"Agent Curt Mega was my only true friend for the longest time," Tatiana's accent had softened over time, but all of her demeanor had, really. It had been fourteen years since she and Curt met, and she gave up being a spy a couple of years ago. She chased down what really mattered to her, family, and spent time with her mother just before she died and Tatiana met her girlfriend. "Many of you, might even say that he and I were more than that." She said, followed by a knowing chuckle. The few people attending the funeral laughed solemnly. Mrs. Mega smiled for the first time in a week. "And we were. At one point, we stopped becoming friends and became family." Tatiana bit her lower lip trying to keep it from trembling. She took a breath and looked over the small group: Susan, Mrs. Mega, Cynthia, Barb and herself. Susan wore an expression that told Tatiana he found it hard to believe the Agent Mega could ever die; Barb was on the verge of exploding into a ball of sobs, everyone could see; but Cynthia, bless her, she kept an emotionless mask. It could've fooled anybody else. "In his deathbed, my friend, my brother and my partner, he asked me to tell you the identity he's always hidden. Not because of espionage, but because of hate and fear." Cynthia shot her a look. Tatiana guessed before that if anyone knew, she would. "Curt was gay, and he loved his partner with all his heart. Now, I tell you this not just because he wanted me to, but because he would want all of us to learn to give everybody a chance. No matter how strange or vain, unprofessional, and absolutely gay they are." All of them smiled and clapped softly at her message-- his values.

As soon as Mrs. Mega approached Tatiana she knew she would cry in her embrace. Her tears touched her, in more ways than one. She remembered when Cynthia contacted her two weeks ago reporting that Curt had been shot in his neck during a mission. Cynthia meant carotid artery, of course, but she sounded so breathless during the call-- she knew she wouldn't be able to say it. Tatiana cried for hours that day. After a few shirt-soaking minutes, Mrs. Mega finally stopped. She put on a brave face and said: "It breaks my heart knowing he'll never know how much I love him for him." Then she went home, exhausted. She was an old woman now. Tatiana wondered if she could even handle the distress this would put on her. Barb turned away, unable to look at the open casket for long, then she cried. A silent one, contrasting her whole demeanor. It was painful to see such a bubbly girl get so sad. She excused herself, her kids were getting antsy. She really didn't want to go, she couldn't face it, but she didn't want to leave. Still, life came at her. Tatiana understood, she had kids herself, and her girlfriend would always complain about their twins missing their "Ex-Spy Mom!". So she smiled, gave the girl a long hug and let her go.

"Damn that fucking kid." Cynthia still had a sharp mouth for an old woman. Tatiana smiled at her. "Even with a terminal illness, he still beat me to the punch." Anguish seeped into her words. "I'm sure he'd rather it be that way, Ma'am." Tatiana responded, and it was genuine. Curt cared for Cynthia, even after leaving the agency. She ignored her. "Getting fucking shot and shit...Dumbass..." Now she couldn't hide it. The deep hurt she felt, it showed on her face. There was no point of hiding, she didn't know why she tried. She'd die in a week because her liver was failing from hemochromatosis. Tatiana couldn't even say she lived fully. Cynthia was mostly alone, except for the company of Susan and Curt. She was married once, a few years after Curt left, but he died in a car crash. Then Curt died. Now, Susan is the only person left, but he's old as well, and he has a family to attend to. She had nothing.

She was alright with being alone, but being left alone-- that takes a toll on someone.

Cynthia left with Susan, Susan greeting goodbye with a soft nod. He didn't have the emotional energy to say anything.

Tatiana left two hours after Cynthia did, just sitting down next to the freshly turned earth of the burial and drinking a bottle of vodka. She couldn't get intoxicated anymore, but she did it for tradition.

"Fuck you, Mega. Next time I see you," She laughed. "I'll say it again."