BLACK - "SETTLED"

He stared out the window at the rain, waiting, mind wandering. Thinking about Rena. Where she was. What she was doing.

A permanent address. That wouldn't matter now. The whole world could know where he lived and it wouldn't matter. He could live anywhere.

They could live anywhere.

He sat on the sofa, tinkering with the radio, not that it was broken or anything. His mama had an old radio when he was a kid, the first thing he'd ever taken apart. Mama had had a fit, but he caught her smiling as she stalked out of the living room.

She liked how he could fix anything. More than how he could outfight anyone. Never said anything, and accepted all the why's and the good guy, bad guy stuff, but he knew what she really wanted.

Why she'd just mentioned that little shop a few blocks from home...

He watched the yo-yo travel up and down the string. Life was like that. Up. Then down. Then back up again. Down, with the MP's close on their heels. Up, when the bad guys lost. Down, with Stockwell pulling the strings. That was life. Up, down, up, down...He'd thought it was going up now. What they'd all thought. Before they really thought...

His concentration faltered, and the yo-yo spun uselessly in place before landing with a small thud on the floor.

The door swung open, and Hannibal strode in, cigar dangling from a wide grin. He clapped his hands together, announcing gleefully, "Okay, fellas, we're on! Our first clients as totally free agents!"