The Vanisher: Stray

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The Vanisher returns in this sequel to help the MCU on a strange case.
With new dangers lurking everywhere, no one is safe.
With Campbell gone, a new threat has come to Brimswood, and no one knows how to stop it.
A mystery causes people to break apart, for an end to trust, and death to arise throughout the city.
The Vanisher, almost a year later, has returned to solve the case, and the one respinsible comes as a shock to all.

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19. Fight

"Welcome back, Agent Hart." Jones shakes my hand as I enter the MCU.  I took the rest of the week off to spend it with Tim.  He needed someone with him.  He went back to school today and I went back to work.

"Thank you." I say.  "Anything happen while I was gone?"

"Unfortunately, no.  No new leads."

"That's a shame."

"It is.  Trust me, though, we're doing everything we can.  I know this has become more than personal for you."

"It has.  Thanks, Director Jones."

"If you feel up to it, Agent Shields can help you train before you go out on patrol."

"Sounds good."

I train for the day and patrol the city at night.  I come home and Tim is asleep.  

Things seem to be slowly getting back to normal, well, as normal as they can get.

________________________________________________________________________________

The murders have been happening about once a week for the past month.  The MCU still has new leads and all of us agents are getting antsy.  The mayor also has been complaining about our lack of progress.  The curfew is being taken less lightly for some reason I can't explain.  It seems like everyone is about as fed up as we are.  People are demanding answers, and we can't give them any.

I wake up and check my pager.

'Meeting 9 am' -Jones.  I look at the time and hop out of bed, scrambling to get dressed.

I'm gonna be late.  

I run out to the kitchen and find Tim frying eggs.

"Good morning-" he starts.  I grab a piece of toast from his plate.

"Sorry, gotta run.  I'm running late-"

"He called you in early again?  You were out all last night." Tim rolls his eyes.

"Sorry.  I'll see you later." I grab my bag and put my toast in my mouth.

"Don't forget, I have my concert at 7 at the performance hall.  I got that feature."

"I know I know, I won't forget."

"You said that last week about our date."

"I won't forget, I promise." I kiss his cheek and run out the door.

_________________________________________________________________

"The public is restless.  We need to make progress, people.  Our criminal will slip up eventually, and I want all of on high alert, ready for him." Jones says, ending the meeting.  I walk up to him and others exit the conference room.

"Ragan, once again, I appreciate you working overtime.  It's very good having you and your abilities volunteer so much of your time."

"It's no problem, Director, like you said, we need to be focused and ready for this guy."

"Alright, I have some more field work for you to do.  You're going on patrol tonight, right?"

"Of course."

"Excellent.  Your patrols are crucial."

"I think so."

"Well, Smith is probably waiting for you.  Go find him."

For the rest of the day, Smith and I investigate previous crime scenes and re-interview witnesses, the few that we have.  I then begin my patrol of the city once the sun goes down.

I hop between the rooftops and watch for any activity.  

Nothing seems out of the- suddenly an alarm goes off.  I turn and see someone breaking into a parked car.  The figure starts to speed away.  I start running and leaping across the rooftops.  I get in front of him and jump down from the roof, landing his way.  He sees me and slams on the brakes.  I walk around o the driver's side door and open it up, grabbing him.

"Going somewhere?" I snarl.  He looks at me, wide eyed.

"I-I...."

"What are you doing out here so late?  The curfew started 2 hours ago."

"I was just-"

"Stealing?" I look at him and notice his eyes.  They looked.....off.  They looked dark.

Dark eyes.  I call into headquarters.

"Smith, I think we may have a suspect." I say into my comm link.  "I'm bringing him in."

I bring the guy to headquarters.  Jones and Ming meet me when I enter.

"Good work, Hart.  We've got it from here."  I nod and go back out on patrol.

I watch the streets.  They're so empty.  Hopefully, we caught the guy, and Brimswood can be safe again.

I start to zone out and then bells start ringing.  The church bells ring at the top of every hour.  They're really quite beautiful.  

And then it hits me.

Tim.

"Crap!" I verbally scream and sprint towards the college.  As I run I change into civilian clothes.  I reach Brimswood University, and dash to the performance.  I try to open the auditorium doors.  They're locked.  I look throughout the hallway.  Three people, professors it looks like, are talking.  One glances up at me.

"Are you here for the concert?  Sorry, ma'am, that ended almost an hour ago."

No.

I run out of the hallway and to the front doors.  I push them open and there, at the bottom of the cement stairs, is Tim, his trumpet case sitting next to him.  He looks over his shoulder and sees me.

"You're late.  Show's over."

"Tim-"

"Don't." He says, standing up.  He grabs his case and starts to walk away.

"Tim, I'm so sorry-"

"Are you now?" He doesn't stop walking.

"I totally forgot-"

"Ooh, shocker." He says sarcastically.

"Tim, I'm sorry-"

"Forget it, Ragan, obviously you had more important stuff to worry about.  I mean, I just got a major trumpet solo during my first performance, which I thought was pretty significant, but I guess it wasn't."

"Tim-"

"I mean, it's not like I reminded you over and over.  I should have known you wouldn't show up.  When are you ever there for me anymore?"

"What are you talking about?  I'm here now, I've been home everyday for as long as I can.  You know my work is demanding."

"Yeah, do I know." He replies bluntly.  I start to get mad. 

"Can you stop for a bloody second?!" I grab his jacket and spin him around, pulling him towards me.  He glares at me.  "I'm sorry, okay?  It won't happen again."

"You're right.  It won't happen again because tonight was the only performance.  You missed it, Ragan.  You missed it like you missed our date, and the seminar, and the party, and whatever else you forgot."

"I did my best to get here!"

"You did, did you?  Did you check your phone?  Oh, nope, not like I called and texted you."

"It was an accident-"

"It's always an accident!  I know you forgot!  I'm blame myself because obviously I'm so damn forgettable my girlfriend can't even remember me."

"It's not like that-"

"Oh yeah?  When did you remember about the concert?  Hmm?  Was it before or after you decided to go out on patrol, which starts at seven, the same time as the concert?"  He looks at me, setting his trumpet down.  "Or did you forget so early that you went on patrol without a second thought?"

I open my mouth and shut it.  Tim shakes his head.

"I knew it." He mutters, grabbing his trumpet and walking away again.

"Tim-"

"I don't want to hear it, Ragan."

"I know, I forgot, I'm sorry-"

"One thing.  I ask for one thing-"

"I had a job to do, priorities-"

"Oh, so now I'm not a priority to you?  We're not a priority?" He spins around, gesturing between us.  He sets down his trumpet and walks up to me.

"That's not what I meant-"

"I think it is."

"Tim, you know I'm doing the best I can."

"I know, and I'm gonna sound like a total jackass, but your best isn't cutting it anymore."

"What do expect me to do?  Drop everything, let some criminal get away?  I was there doing my job!"

"But you weren't here!" He screams, pointing to the ground.  "You weren't here when I needed you, when I wanted you here!  You didn't show.  You're never here anymore!  You're aren't here for me!"

"I'm trying, Tim, God knows I am!  I was helping people when they needed me!"

"I needed you!  I was so stupid, I actually thought you were coming.  And you know what, at first I blamed myself when you were late.  But then I realized it wasn't my fault, it has never been my fault."

"I said I was sorry-"

"Words can only do so much, Ragan."

"What do expect from me, Tim?"

"I can't expect anything from you, clearly."

"What the hell, Tim?"

"Don't you turn this on me, I'm not the one running around forgetting everything!"

"This isn't just about me forgetting tonight, is it?"

"It's about tonight, it's about everyday for the past six months.  I need you and are never there.  You care so much about your stupid job-"

"My job is not stupid!  I save people, I protect them!"

"Then where the hell were you the night someone teared out my brother's heart?!" He screams.  He stops, breathing heavily.  I stare at him, jaw-dropped.  "You weren't here, just like you weren't there."  He turns around and walks away.

"Tim, stop!"

"Shut up, Ragan.  We're done here." 

"No, we're not."

"Yes were are."

"You're acting like a crybaby, it was one bloody concert."

"It meant something to me, Ragan, and I guess that if you care so little about stuff I care about, I guess I don't mean anything to you."

"I didn't say that!"

"You didn't have to!"

"You're being unreasonable!"

"I'm upset, Ragan, I'm disappointed.  Forgive me if I seem unreasonable."

"Why do I always have to be the bad guy?"

"You tell me you protect people, Ragan, you make their lives better.  Well what about me?  Because you're making my life hell right now."

"I'm making your life hell?  Wow, Tim. You know, I'm have problems too, and they're big problems.  I don't have time to-"

"So now my problems aren't important either?" He asks.

"No-"

"I already know the answer." Tim says.  "Ragan's too busy to worry about the problems of simpletons like myself.  I'm sorry to waste your time."

"That's not what I meant-"

"Whatever.  I don't even care anymore...."

"Ugh, I hate you!" I blurt out.  I gasp and cover my mouth.  Tim stops and turns around.

"Thanks, Ragan.  Right back at you." He says, turning and unlocking the car.  He climbs inside and starts it.

"Tim, wait, I didn't mean-" I run up to the car.

"Yeah, you did."

"It just came out, I-"

"Goodbye, Ragan."  Tim rolls up his window and drives off.  I cry out after him, telling him to stop, but I watch as the tail lights get further and further away.  I'm left all alone in the empty parking lot.

Damn it Ragan.

Look what you've done.

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