recognition by phoenix.writing

27 Jun

Cat was a good reporter.  She let nothing get in her way.  The world was changing bit by bit, but reporting was still largely a boy’s club, and Cat prided herself on the fact that young, pretty, and female as she was, she could still command the respect of those around her because she was brilliant at what she did.

It was hard to be brilliant when you were dead.  Working crime as she did, life expectancy was a bit less certain than it was in other jobs, and in that moment when the pain had exploded as she was shot, Cat had thought that was the end of her career, the end of her life, the end of everything interesting.

Only George hadn’t let her die.  It was impossible to explain what he had done, difficult to put it into words that made sense, but she had felt that he wasn’t letting her die, that he was exerting some sort of pressure from outside of her that was keeping her alive.

It didn’t make sense, and the whole night was a mess of thoughts and impressions that had ended with her slipping into unconsciousness and hovering on the edge of life and death for far longer than she was comfortable with, but while she knew most people would tell her logically that she was confused, that her mind had been playing tricks on her, she was nevertheless sure of what she’d seen and felt.  It had confirmed everything she had come to suspect about him, brought everything together in that moment of sharp and perfect focus, the ultimate “Eureka!” that was every reporter’s dream.

Only she’d been dying, been rushed to the hospital, nearly not come out of it at all.  But she’d known what she’d seen, known what she’d felt, and when she had swum back to consciousness, everything hazy and difficult to hold onto, she had grasped at the one most immediate thing in the forefront of her mind.  George.  Who was right there.  And she had to tell him, tell him she’d figured it out, tell him she knew the truth, tell him….

Cat was a good reporter.  She prided herself on it.  So she was astonished by the speed and efficiency with which George disappeared.

She had been doped up, in pain, and still sort of astonished that she was alive, so the fact that George had disappeared in the influx of nurses and doctors hadn’t impacted at first.  The fact that she hadn’t seen him in the hours following hadn’t seemed so very odd because she had slept through plenty of it and they were partners; if she was in the hospital, he needed to be out there or at the office making their news come together.  It was perfectly logical.

By the time she realized that he was gone, it was far too late.  By the time she realized that he had walked out of the hospital the moment that she had spoken to him and proceeded to disappear off the face of the planet, there was nothing she could do to take back those hastily spoken words.

A first-rate reporter, she called herself, and she hadn’t known better than to blurt out that line and scare him off.  It was a classic mistake and one it was looking like she wouldn’t be able to correct because George did a damn good job of ceasing to exist.  He was gone, his paperwork was gone, the fact that they hadn’t known his real last name seemed only now to be causing any fuss.

She had worked with the man for months, was supposed to be an investigative reporter, for god’s sake, and she couldn’t find her ex-partner.

But she wasn’t going to let him get away from her.  She had a goal, and it helped to get her out of the hospital, out of rehab, back to the job.  It gave her a purpose.  She searched databases, kept an eye on other newspapers—crime and economy—and generally kept an ear to the ground.  Someone was bound to hear something.

What she hadn’t expected was for it to take twelve years.  Only it had, and now here she was, knocking on his door after a chase that had spanned more than a decade, feeling more nervous than she had when she’d done her first big interview and jump-started her career.  She was only going to have one shot at this, and she needed to get it right.

It was probably her imagination that the door opened in slow motion, but that was what it felt like, the slowest moving door in existence, and then he was standing there, large as life.  She hadn’t known what to expect.  He would be older, obviously; everything else was up in the air.  So much had changed, but there was the shocked recognition on his face, and it was now or never, so Cat did what she should have done the first time.

She flung herself at him, wrapped her arms around him, and kissed him for all she was worth.

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George and Cat previously appeared in Anonymity.  George and his family can be seen in Infinite Possibilities, T’Was the Night Before Christmas, Expect the Unexpected, The Dangers of a Red Shirt, ConspicuousConsequences,  Falling-OutThe Uses of Math, and Subliminal Salvation.

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2 Responses to “recognition by phoenix.writing”

  1. ingridfnl June 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Yay! 🙂 I love that it took 12 years. I love that it wasn’t simple…

    • phoenix.writing September 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m a sucker for happy endings, but I recognize it shouldn’t always be instantaneous. 🙂

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