“I’m an assassin,” Ty said, his voice unsteady. “I’m a killer. I’m the tip of a spear.”
The hair on Zane’s arms rose. His stomach tumbled. Another tear followed the trail of the first down Ty’s dirty face, but Ty didn’t seem to notice.
“And you,” Ty continued, his voice breaking. “You’re a phoenix, Zane. Rising from the ashes. And all I do is make you burn.”
What he was afraid of, he’d come to realize, was not dark spaces or falling from great heights or being buried alive. His greatest fears, in the end, were letting down those he loved and saying the words “I love you” without any hope of hearing them in return.
“Why a compass?” Ty asked. He hadn’t taken his eyes off Zane’s yet.
Zane smiled and ran his thumb across the pendant. “Because you gave me direction when I was lost. You showed me the way.” He looked up to meet Ty’s eyes. “You’re like my very own compass.”
"It seems the man you brought in was not, in fact, Julian Cross.”
“No?” Ty asked, feigning surprise as he sat back up and doing it badly just to annoy his superior. “Huh. That’s weird.”
Burns hummed, meeting Ty’s eyes and trying not to smile. “You want the CIA to believe that you mistook your partner for your prisoner, handcuffed him, and delivered him to Langley?”
Ty shrugged. “I mean… he grew a beard. It was an honest mistake.”
“How is it that you can love cats so much and hate all other forms of animal?”
Ty frowned. “I don’t hate all other animals.”
“Horses. Dogs. Chipmunks.”
“They’re twitchy, Zane. And chipmunks have shifty eyes.”
“They have erratic flight patterns!”
Zane doubled over, laughing so hard he couldn’t catch his breath.
Ty glared at him. “I’m glad my phobias amuse you.”
“Just the fact that someone like you has a chipmunk phobia amuses me,” Zane gasped.
“We’ll solve this like men.”
“What do you want, MacGuffin, a duel?”
“No.” Julian held out both hands, one palm flat, the other held over it in a fist. “Rock, paper, scissors. Two out of three.”
Ty rolled his eyes and held out his fist, apparently willing to play. Julian hit his palm three times, and Ty kept time with his fist in the air. But when Julian threw a paper, Ty reached into his jacket with his other hand and pulled his gun, aiming it at Julian. (…)
“Glock, paper, scissors. I win.”
“Who are you, Zane?"
Zane cocked his head. „I'm an artist. I'm a geek.” He felt Ty smile. „I am one badass motherfucker on a motorcycle.”
Ty began to laugh.
Zane dipped his head until they were staring into each other's eyes. "And I'm yours.”
Ty rolled his eyes and leaned back in his chair. “You wanted to work together,” he reminded.
“When did I say that?” Zane asked quietly.
“It’s in the silent pleading in your eyes,” Ty answered sarcastically.
“I needed a break.”
“In the broom closet?” Ty leaned against the door and met Zane’s eyes, smiling and shaking his head.
Zane moved in close, placing a palm flat on the door on each side of Ty’s shoulders, caging him in. “A little more private than a bathroom stall.”
Ty raised his head, making his hat hit the door and slide up away from his eyes. “ That kind of break,” he said, a hint of playful sarcasm to his words. “It’s the hat, isn’t it? Just can’t help yourself.”