Owen hears, "Three it is" and consequently hurries.

.

He wonders, after: did Curt forget? Did his mind blank out on him, right at the moment of escape? Did he slip on a fucking banana peel or something?

.

He visits his father's apartment, sometimes. In between visits, he does enough coke to wipe out the country, and a dozen experimental herbs besides. It's the 1950s; weed hasn't reached its oncoming level of unpopularity yet, but it also doesn't do much for him. Booze, well- it was never Owen's poison.

.

The Kingsman organization tries to re-recruit him. He throws things until they go away. This is how grief works.

.

(Sometimes he wonders if maybe Curt survived, if he walked a few blocks before succumbing to his injuries. It haunts him, especially when he turns and sees Curt's face out of the corner of his eye and thinks it should have been me.)

.

His old boss is as... forthright as ever. The lab tech- some Scottish girl, he can never remember her name- tricks him out with enough gadgets for him to be a guaranteed survivor no matter where he ends up. Or so he hopes.

He's told to meet his contact, a supposed master of disguise, in a slimy bar.

.

He meets the contact. He doesn't expect to like their wry sarcasm.

.

He doesn't expect the Russian woman.

.

She reminds him vaguely of an American comic book character, a relatively new one, one that Curt liked- no, don't think about that.

.

There's something familiar about the supposed- well, not really supposed anymore, he supposes- "Deadliest Man Alive." Something about him is known. It's a flag waving in the back of his mind, pushed away by the more immediate fear. It's almost like he recognizes the assassin; where from, though?

.

Fucking Nazis. He thought the world was done with that shit.

.

Oh, okay. She helps him escape. He's not totally fucked.

(That's new!)

.

He doesn't understand much about this network thing, but he knows it'll be bad. What horrors could people create, with that kind of technology? What kind of awful things could be put out there, for the world to see?

.

"So, you're into-"

"Yeah."

"Ah."

.

"Friends?"

.

His father's planning out a fake wedding so Tatiana can get visas for her family to come to England, and if that doesn't work Owen'll talk to Lancelot. (Even in this moment, he misses Curt as intensely as if it were yesterday that he died.)

.

Even now, he misses Curt, misses him with a sharp stinging ache that worms itself between his ribs and into his skull. It's a pain that grinds its way into his jaw, escaping only in figments and lost expressions.

They don't know this, as they play drinking games over the grimy table and talk about the future. He's a spy, after all; he learned long ago how to hide what he feels. And once a spy, always a spy.

.

"Personal history does have its benefits."

Remember, remember.

.

And when the last disguise is revealed, he misses him even more, because the man he knew and loved might as well have died in that explosion. (He does briefly wonder if the man he loved really had killed that many people, then remembers that he's seen some of it himself.)

.

Owen is the one to sing their final reprise, as before; but this time, he lifts the gun first.

...

AUTHOR'S NOTE: ngl i started writing this in French and then had to translate it back and then i started translating it into Greek for no reason but my brain being conspicuously absent from my head. so if you're wondering why some of the writing is choppy and weird in the beginning... yeah.

anyways i'm polysexual and full of angst