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Prophecies and Eulogies

Max lit a cigarette. Three left in the pack. 

Suki watched him. She had seem him do the exact same thing hundreds of times, but years ago, so it seemed familiar but distant. “It's good to see you again, Max.”

He exhaled smoke. “I... I wasn't sure... What it would be like.” 

She smiled softly. “So what is it like?” 

”It's scary... And nice.” 

She reached out and gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “You really haven't changed.” 

”No? I feel different.” 

”I'm sorry about that..."

”Oh, I don't mean because of the device-” 

”I didn't know what else to do, Max. Things were starting to get really messed up, and I needed to think of something. Anything that might give us a shot.” 

”I know that feeling, Suki.” 

”Yeah, I guess you do.” 

”I'm sorry I couldn't see it happening..." Max said. "It's like... I've been living like this for so long, I can't even notice when everything's falling apart. If you hadn't been here..." 

”Except now everyone's dead. Except for them-” She gestured to the others gathered a little ways away. “-and the priest.” 

”Yeah, but they're safe," Max said. "And now we have a chance to get them all back. What's the line? 'You did what you always do: turned death into a fighting chance'. Or something like that.” 

”Bones to Kirk, in the third one. I still remember doing that marathon with you and Akimoto. I liked the one with the whales the best.”

Max smiled at the memory. “Simon says that Alice was already dead... According to the intel LEGACY got from Hank. No idea why. They played me Suki, and I didn't see it. They cut me off from her, and from you...” 

Suki gave him a light punch to the arm. “If you beat yourself up now what will the bad guys have left to do when we hit the place?” She watched the tip of his cigarette flare in the the deepening night. “You haven't asked me why I was looking for you...” 

”I'm not sure I'm ready to know.” 

She changed the subject. Went professional. “What about this Light guy? Scorpio says LEGACY has had their eye on him. You think this was supposed to be his initiation?” 

”I don't know... He seems familiar to me... Maybe from another version? There's something about him...” Max shrugged. “He's been initiated now, either way.” 

She smirked. “It's what you do.”

Max looked at her with a mix of nostalgia and sadness. He took another drag, glanced over to Scorpio, who was cleaning a rifle for the third time. 

Suki shrugged. “Hey, I learned from the best.”

Max dropped the butt and ground it out. Looked at Suki, standing beside him, older, in her school uniform costume, the Godhammer hanging at her side. The smirk, the eye-roll, the frown, all so familiar, but she had new expressions too; she smiled in new ways, she looked sad in new ways. 

He opened his mouth to try and say it, to try and somehow turn it into words he could say to her. 

”No Max,” she said. “Not now."