“I’ll locate the island and destroy the system.”
“No. I should be the one. I need to be the one.”
“What you need is to go after Owen.”
Curt hesitated. One part of him wanted nothing more than to chase after Owen, to beg him to come back, to just see him one more time. But he knew that he had to destroy the compound. He didn’t know if he could bear seeing his ex lover again, but more than that, he knew that everything that Owen had done was his fault, and for once he had to put his mission above the person who he still loved.
Because he did, Curt realized. He still loved Owen, after four years of mourning him, and then seeing him again and realizing that the person who he still loved despised him.
“I must have hated you almost as much as you did.”
He didn’t know if that was possible. The depths of self loathing that he had sunk to in the time following Owen’s death felt pretty hard to beat. But god, if Owen somehow did hate him that much-- not that he would blame him-- he felt like every part of his body was screaming in agony, his heart shattering into jagged pieces.
“I need to fix this.” There was so much meaning in that. He needed to fix something, make some difference, and honestly he didn’t know if he could fix anything with Owen. He didn’t know if he should, and as much as he wanted to, he had no idea if he could. But at least if he destroyed the compound, he’d be doing something. And maybe he could forget even for just a second that his ex was still alive and wanted nothing more than to kill him.
Tatiana grasped his forearm, and somehow she seemed to understand what he was trying to say. She hesitated for a second. “What do you want me to do about Owen?”
He opened his mouth, but had no idea what to say. Try to convince him to come back? Knock him out and force him to come back? Kill him?
Even imagining the last one made his stomach churn.
“I don’t know.” His voice was soft, and he could see the sympathy in Tatiana’s eyes.
Curt contacted Barb, programmed the bomb to go off on a timer, and planted it inside the facility. He set it for eight minutes, forcing away the flashback of the last time he set a timer and how horribly wrong it went. He promised himself that he would never again try to set some record or show off if it was possible one of his friends could get hurt because of it.
He could make sure in the future that Tatiana and any of his other friends--he pushed away the memory of the informant slumped on the ground, yet another friend dead because of him-- would live. He couldn’t lose anyone else. He didn’t really care what would happen to him; he would have traded any amount of torture and pain for Owen not having fallen, for Owen being alive and safe.
He paused a couple hundred feet from the compound, watching the smoke and fire explode high into the sky, showering the forest with ash and bits of rubble.
This was so much like last time. Alone, without Owen, watching another facility explode, feeling that same burning pain that he had four years ago. Even if Tatiana killed Owen, he doubted he could just accept it and move on. It was four years after his fall and he was still seeing Owen every time he turned around.
He tried to imagine his life in five, ten, twenty years without Owen, but couldn’t see a future. Just like four years ago, just like last year, any vision he had of the future had Owen by his side.
Curt turned and left, heading to the safe house where he would wait for Tatiana. He had no clue what was going to happen, if she was going to walk through that door alone, or carrying Owen, alive but injured, or holding his dead body.
He sank onto one of the small chairs and watched the clock.
Three hours went by in silence. Then he heard the door creak open, and, heart in his mouth, knowing that what he saw would determine his future, turned around.