March 09 --- Another Day

Holiday: Get Over It Day

You're not afraid of failure. You're afraid of other people thinking you're a failure. - Joey Justice

The city lights stretched out below him, a cool breeze ruffling his hair. A glass of fine wine sat on the small patio table, untouched, and an unlit cigar rolled slowly in his fingers as he leaned on the railing.

Hannibal had called earlier with an update on Fulbright's latest activities. Obvious set-up, but Hannibal thought there was something more to it this time, and wanted to carry on as if they hadn't noticed. Face had doubts about it, wanted to just send Fullbright down another dead end, move on...

He studied the still unlit cigar. He didn't have doubts about dealing with Fulbright. He had doubts about himself.

The last few months it just seemed like he was screwing up more and more. And the guys were getting more and more pissed at him. When they weren't smirking. Not that he blamed them. Especially after that damn fake pardon. He'd really fucked that up. Big time. How could he have been so stupid!

He didn't know what was happening to him. It used to be he'd have a wild moment or a bad scam once in a while. No big deal - he was human, after all. Make a mistake, learn from it, move on. Not any more.

Was he losing his touch? He didn't think so. When he focused, it worked. He made it work. But that focus was missing so much of the time. The scams had become so automatic that he didn't really pay attention like he should.

Instead, he'd begun taking night classes and studying investments. He'd even started a couple small businesses. Desperate to do something - anything - that would open a door into the legit world. Things thousands of other people did. Maybe that was the problem. Kept forgetting that he wasn't like other people. Other people didn't have to drop everything with only a few hours notice, didn't have the military chasing them, didn't get constantly shot at, didn't lose all their belongings over and over again.

Other people could be normal.

No, he wasn't losing his touch - he was losing touch with reality. Taking shortcuts because he didn't have the luxury of consistency, thinking he could make it work anyway, and failing miserably. No wonder the guys were losing what little respect they'd had for him.

He turned back to his apartment, dropping the cigar carelessly on the table. Looked around at the room that wasn't his, the furniture that wasn't his, the art that wasn't his.

Wasn't his and never would be.

He sighed and began turning out the lights. Tomorrow they were supposed to spring their own trap on Fulbright. See what exactly the general's plan was.

He hoped it would at least be entertaining...