the definitive version
june, 2019
  1. in the official recording of events, submitted to the Commission on Superhuman Activities, Special Agents Arthur Keats and George Larsen entered Cosmo Diner to speak to a suspected Shifter. Upon entering the diner, they found that the suspected shifter was not there, and failed in their mission got make contact with her or ascertain her identity. They later were dispatched to track other shifters, and at present, retain an otherwise perfect record.

  2. a curious detail of their report was that the coffee at the diner was excellent.

  3. What neither of them added to the report was that the waitress who served them, was a sweet woman. She was short, with red hair, and her name tag read Lynne. She wore glasses that were a bit too large for her face, and at her suggestion, they had the coffee. lynne, as she told them, had worked at the diner for several years, and would be happy to serve them. They tipped her at 25%, soundly, and when they departed, she had given them a cheerful wave.

  4. Arthur Keats has gone to the diner once a week, every week since. He has not told his partner of this: he thinks that the diner is the best spot to have a spot of coffee, to think, and to start the day. He does not mention that he always is served by Lynne, and he always goes whenever he's sure that she is there to wait on him. He has never been a man who has enjoyed diner coffee, until now. In fact, tea was his preference after all of his years in England, but the tea here at this little place, served by an eager, sweet Lynne was the highlight of his week.

  5. He does not know that George Larsen visits the diner every week as well. George Larsen is a man who has prided himself on athleticism, wit, and altogether a healthy disdain for Americana in almost every pervasive, kitschy form it took. He somehow still finds himself in the diner, enjoying whatever music Lynne has picked out for the evening, and every so often, enjoys the pie she recommends. The pie is always good, without failure.

  6. what matters the most is that lynne is the lynchpin for their experience. Lynne is cute, sweet, and she always has time to listen to Arthur talk about how stressful his days are. She never pushes too much, only asks him if he feels that work is going better than usual, if he enjoys his time away from London, if his children are still calling him, if he has any information on the superheroes seemingly everywhere now. He takes his time out to reassure her; he has never been the warmest father, yet for Lynne, he feels the need to console her about the work he does. He explains that they are monitoring the heroes, that they have a pattern of behavior, that there is no need to fear anyone when the CSA is working heavily to help everyone available. He of course, ever experienced, is careful not to go into detail. Only enough to make Lynne smile at him, and pet his hand.

  7. George Larsen finds Lynne fascinating. He has never had many female friends, and he is intensely private. Lynne, however, is someone who can keep a secret without judgment, whether it is the fact that he feels some apprehension at the tasks before him of monitoring so many people or that he feels awkward in his own skin, trying to date a man who he thought was never possible. Lynne is always friendly, easy with advice as she cleans the counters before her and gets the diner completely clean. Larsen even sometimes explains to her that the superheroes he is instructed to keep on, well, some of them are more obscure than what she thinks. Lynne is always surprised, never pries, and when Larsen leaves with a lighter heart, he's sure that Lynne is the cause moreso than the diner itself, a resolve that strengthens every visit.

  8. Neither of them seem to ever notice that whenever they arrive at the diner, Lynne is the only waitress available. They always gloss over that fact, knowing that they come at the very opening or very closing. Neither of them have seemed to notice that sometimes Lynne's hair is a differing shade of red, or that at times, her teeth are whiter, longer, sharper. Nor do they seem to realize that any other occupant in the diner with them is rendered strangely: no one looks at them directly in the eye, there is no soft clutter of forks and knives, or people eating. Lynne is Lynne: trustworthy, smart, and always there for them. Her voice is soft, her opinions align with their own, and not a single inch of her is confrontational, angry, or demeaning.

  9. Neither of them have pieced together who Lynne really is. Neither of them have thought to speak to the other of the kind, friendly waitress they had encountered while first working with each other. Something feels sacrilegious to speak to anyone else of such a place, of such a woman who seemingly had a heart willing to be shared. There are white lies, excuses, for why they do not share the diner or Lynne why they gloss over why she seems so important to their lives. There is only the inevitable fact that every week, they would see her, no matter what it took.

  10. Neither of them suspect Lynne is short for another name in their books. Not that they would know; the moment they had left the diner in June, they had both come back to their offices. They did not check in with their superiors. Instead, they worked diligently to erase both Molly Patton and Madelyne Pryor from the archives of the Commission on Superhuman Activities, and once complete, there weren't any memories to consult for what they had just done. instead, they were left feeling like they could use a cup of coffee, and an easy conversation with a woman with red hair.