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The Fixers #10

Len's voice again. "Seb what is it?"

Seb held the gun pointed at the attorney.

Remy, standing at Seb's side, leaned close. "In 1984, Thomas Burkhart earns an acquittal for the man who murders your mother."

Burkhart, still seated, kept his hands in the air. "I don't know what she's talking about. I don't know who this woman is. I didn't—"

"Shut up," Seb said.

"Seb, are you there?" Gretchen jumped as Len's voice came again into her and Seb's ear. "What's going on?" After a pause, "Gretchen?"

She didn't respond to Len. Instead, she called to Seb in what she hoped was a soothing voice. She licked her lips and, holding her hands up, considered taking a step forward.

Remy moved from Seb's shoulder and returned to the desk of the attorney. Gretchen paused to momentarily watch the redhead scribble something onto a sheet of blank paper.

"Sebastian, darling," she called, without looking up from her writing.

Gretchen moved her eyes back to the Englishman, who was still holding the gun leveled at the frantic attorney. Burkhart was babbling about his family and his life, telling Seb he was sorry for whatever he had done or would do. The muscles in Seb's face tightened and relaxed, while he stared without word at the man.

"Sebastian," Remy said again. She set the pen down and scooped up the note she had just written. She turned and carried it with her to Seb's side.

"It's okay," she told him, now standing at his shoulder again. She folded the paper in her hands. "Go ahead. You can make the world a little bit better place."

She reached out and took hold of the pocket on Seb's shirt, then tucked the folded paper inside.

Without turning to look at her, Seb spoke. "Killing him won't make anything better. It won't save my mum."

"Right!" The scared fat man quickly agreed. "Killing me won't change anything."

"It might make you feel better," said Remy.

Gretchen took a small step forward. As she watched, the redhead put a hand on Seb's shoulder.

"Maybe," he agreed at last.

For a moment nobody spoke. Gretchen opened her mouth, ready to try and soothe Seb another time.

When the gun went off, she jumped and let out a small cry. The shot was ringing in her ears as the stricken attorney crumpled from the chair onto the floor. Blood appeared. Gretchen quickly looked away.

After a moment she looked up at Seb, who was just lowering his arm. Smoke hung in the air in front of him.

"Seb!" Her voice elicited no response. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

The question hung in the air. Then Seb turned his head slightly, to look at Remy.

"No, I don't feel any better."

* * *

"Len," Seb was saying, "we're going to need to double back."

"What happened?" Gretchen hadn't known Len for long, but she could detect the strain in his voice from always having to rely on she and Seb for information. Why doesn't he ever come on missions? She would have to ask.

"Burkhart's dead. Can you double us back to a moment before we first arrive?"

"Was it Remedy?" He had only a moment earlier been informed of the the woman's presence.

"I'll fill you in when we're back in the Pod."

Remy, standing before Seb, leaned in and patted his chest in the spot where she had previously tucked her note.

"Don't say I never give you anything, Sebastian." She grinned.

"I don't know what your game is, Rem."

"No game," she smiled, stepping back. "Just a gift of information for an old friend. Just make sure you use it, okay?"

He took a step forward. "Rem—"

The buzzing sound Gretchen had grown used to rose in her ears.

She heard Remy's voice one last time: "I'll be gone when you arrive. But I'll see you both again soon."

Then a flash and Gretchen was whisked away.

* * *

"What is it?" Seb was looking at her. She opened her mouth to answer, but she wasn't sure how to explain. Seb nodded anyway. "You don't remember do you?"

"Remember what?"

"We were just here."

"We were?" She tried to think. They arrived in the bathroom. That's right! They had already arrived in the bathroom. Then they walked out and—

"Come on," said Seb. He reached out for the door knob. "We traveled back to a point before we first arrived. A timeline just disappeared, but you were there. Traveling may have mixed it up, but you'll remember."

He pressed up against her and pulled the door open. He had done that the first time, too.

"Let's go," he said looking over his shoulder. Then he turned and walked into the room.

There was someone already here. Someone they had spoken with. Someone who—

"Did you kill somebody?" She followed him out into the room, which was a well-furnished office law office. Seb was staring across the room towards the desk.

She considered him. "You did. I remember."

He walked across the room and seemed to search around the desk.

"You killed that attorney," Gretchen said.

Seb strode to the door and opened it and peered out into the hallway. He closed the door and turned to face Gretchen. "Indeed I did."

"But, why? What did it change?"

"It didn't change a thing," he said. "It didn't make any bloody difference."

He keyed his mic. "Len, we should be all clear to return." Looking at Gretchen he added, "I trust Rem's word."

"That's it?" came Len's response. "All set?"

"I said I'd explain when I get back," Seb said. "Bring us back."

"What did she write in that note?" asked Gretchen.

"I guess we'll see, won't we?

The buzzing returned.