DECEMBER 10, 2014
The cold metal felt foreign in his hand as he ran his thumb over the engravings of his badge number. It had been months since he'd thought about it, even longer since he'd even looked at it. His assignment meant it had to be stored away, in a place where no one could find it. Out of sight, out of mind, they said, and sometimes it was easy to forget that he was a cop. Some days, he has just head chef for a popular restaurant in the heart of Boston, and, the company at his cover job made him wish that that's all he was.

The more time had gone on, the more he realized his alliances had shifted. No longer did Jack Winston want to be a police officer, no matter the cost. He realized that the corruption in his department ran far too deep for him to ever do some good. He was almost certain he had only been given this assignment because his superiors had hoped he'd die. Where did his alliances lie?

It had been easy to fall in love with Scarlett Nolan, and it had been easier to admit it when he'd realized she was his wife, his Shiklah, his queen of the undead. The first night they'd kissed, after she'd revealed her secret to him, he had told himself he was on her side, always.

That was why he was doing this. She knew the truth, all of it, and he was ready to give up everything he'd worked a third of his life for. For her.

The look on the first sergeant's face when he entered headquarters was priceless. If he weren't nervous about the big guy's reaction, he might have snapped a photo. It had been a year since anyone here had seen Jack walk through these doors. Part of having a cover was cutting ties with the life before, making contact through designated burner phones and locations, but Jack's secret was out with anyone who could do him harm.

Not that it would matter in about ten minutes. He had decided that he was done, ready to give it up and turn over a new leaf. The addition of Wade Wilson in his head had something to do with that, and he knew it. Without Wade, he wouldn't have done many of the things he had recently that were leading up to this.

He killed in cold blood, and still he was a saint compared to his co-workers. Deadpool with a better grasp on morality than a bunch of cops. There was a joke somewhere in that statement, he decided, and he laughed to himself. A few looks from around the room told him he laughed too loudly, but he shrugged it off as he took a seat outside of the captain's office.

His eyes bore into the metal object in his hand, and he wasn't quite sure how long he stared at it before he heard the distant but familiar voice of his captain.

The look on the man's face when he placed the badge onto his desk wasn't one of surprise but of understanding. It was more likely than not that he had seen it coming. Jack knew the man on the other side of the desk was one of the few with a good moral code left, one of the only wants who wanted to do right by the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts. He had a feeling if the other man weren't so close to retirement, he'd have done the very thing Jack had just done long ago.

"I can't convince you to change your mind, can I?" was all he said, and they both knew it was only because he had to.

"No, there's really not. This just isn't for me anymore," Jack replied as he stood up to leave. He realized he still had his gun on his hip and removed it from its holster to place beside of the discarded badge.

The captain stood and crossed to where Jack was standing, and Jack extended his hand to shake it. The man shook his head and pulled him in for a brief hug. They had always gotten along, respected one another, and maybe they had been friends. His stints undercover didn't give him much opportunity for lasting relationships, but maybe that could change now that he was free of his confines.

"Let's grab a beer sometime," Jack said after he pulled away, and the man actually smiled and nodded. He doubted it would ever come to pass, but the promise was enough to help him turn around and leave the office.

His eyes focused on what was in front of him and not on the dozens of eyes he knew were on him as he left the building. As the cold street air hit his face, he could only smile as he thought about the future he could finally allow himself to have.