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"Who Prophesize With Your Pen" [version.Upgrade]

"But you don't get to punch anybody," Max said with a smirk.

Wraith laughed. Warmly, not wickedly. Max blinked.

"You look surprised," she said. "I meant it when I said it."

"I believed you, I did." He took a sip of wine, the candlelight reflecting in the liquid, refracting in the glass. "I guess... I guess out of everyone I never thought 'happy' was a version you'd wear. Or that if you had to, you'd at least be unhappy about it."

Wraith kept smiling as the waiter cleared their salad plates and began serving the main course. "Maybe you never really knew me all that well," she said. "Or maybe you knew me the best, I could never be sure."

The chef of the restaurant had appeared on a Reality TV show that Max used to watch; he was excited to try the dish. He was thinking about what Wraith had said.

She started eating. They finished the meal in silence, but it was comfortable.

After dessert she said, "You thought Dexter and I might end up married, raising a family in a small town somewhere. Or you wanted us to - and maybe in some version out there we did - but in most versions it's not about happy, it's about the work."

Max nodded. "You're working now," he said, glancing at the other well-dressed patrons.

"The couple by the window overlooking the harbour; the CEO of a transnational corporation and the ambassador of a relatively small but controversial dictatorship. Their second meeting this month. By the end of the next I will have gathered enough information to publish an expose that will do them both a decent amount of damage for the rest of the year. No, it's not as dramatic as infiltrating their hotels and assassinating them, but..."

"No, I understand." 

"Besides Max, you were the one who convinced me that writing was a way to make magic happen."