Title: A Deficit Disorder Of Heart
Author: Dryad
Finished: December 2006
Rating: mytharc, AU, strong R, S/o, MSsomething
Spoilers: Terma, Tunguska
Archive: Ayuh.
Disclaimer: Alas, alack, they are not mine. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Feedback: I like it. Look, it's a new email addy: dryad@dazzleships.net

Summary: There was a side to Dana he had never seen, that she had never shown him, for her own unfathomable reasons. That feminine mystique which had driven him first mad with lust, then with desire, and finally with love. But now he wondered what it was she had been hiding, whether or not he knew her, had ever known her.


Glen swirled the golden liquid in the snifter, staring into its warm depths. He took a sip and wondered why the hell he put himself through this. An explosive sigh sounded over the phone.

"I love you and I don't want to see you get hurt, Glennie."

"How can you say that? You hurt me, and her, every time we have this discussion. Don't you think she would love getting to know you? I don't see what your problem is with her," he said, setting the glass on the bit of wooden riser outside of the balustrade. He eyed the runner, noted how faded it was getting. Come to think of it, was it time to replace all the carpeting? That beige wasn't holding up very well.

"Problem? Gee, I don't know. You've been living together for how long, two years, with no kids to show for it yet."

"Angela, how many times do I have to tell you that I don't want children?"

"Glen, you don't know what you're missing!" she yelled.

He jerked the phone away from his ear while she continued on. When the volume died down a bit he gingerly moved it back into place.

"Mom wants more than just two grandchildren, I know she does."

"Mom doesn't know a handbag from a handbasket," he replied bitterly, reaching for the brandy. "You should be glad I can afford to keep her in Serenity Lane. It's not cheap, y'know."

"You son-of-a-bitch," she hissed. "Who brings everyone home for Christmas? Who's the one who goes to see Mom every week, every day? Who's cleaning her goddamned house on weekends? Who, Glennie, who?"

He rolled his eyes and nodded along to the rhythm of her diatribe. Poor Angela. The stress must be killing her.

"Mikey hardly gets to see me anymore, and the other day Drew ran to Blanca when he got a boo-boo on his knee. Blanca, can you believe that? Blanca!"

"And it's so hard to find good help these days," he murmured. Baby-talk, another excellent reason not to have children. The doorbell chimed and he motioned for his sister to hurry up already, even though she couldn't see him.

"I don't care for your tone of voice, Glen. I want to know when you're coming to see our mother. And no, I don't want you to bring her."

Another chime and Glen interrupted her spiel. "Look, I've got to go, someone's at the door. I'll call you next week," Or when hell froze over, whichever came first. He cut her off by dropping the handset back into the cradle.

Rubbing the sore spots on either side of his nose where his glasses rested, he silently trod down the hallway and opened the front door. "Can I help you?"

The woman had long brown hair curling into ringlets, blue eyes highlighted by dark purple crescents on pale skin, thin, bloodless lips and a dimpled chin. She was nervous, constantly glancing over her shoulder while she spoke. "Hi. I'm sorry to bother you so late, but I'm looking for Dana Scully?"

"Glen? Who is it?" Dana came out of the living room, drying her hands on a kitchen towel. She stopped and stared at the woman. "Samantha?"

The woman nodded, face screwing up in the beginning of what Glen's Aunt Opal called 'The Ugly Cry'. "I'm sorry, I didn't know who else to turn to " "It's all right," Dana slowly approached the stranger. "Why are you here?"

"I learned some things I didn't know before," the woman wrung her hands together tightly, bit her lip. "I...there were other people involved. My fa-, m-my s-stepfather...it's complicated."

"Your brother loved you very much," Dana said softly.

"I know," murmured the woman, her voice cracking. "I think I always knew."

Dana stepped back, but Glen could see both sympathy and anger warring on her face. "What can I do for you?"

"I need your help," Samantha turned slightly. "It's okay, you can come out now."

Glen blinked at the sight of two children, a dark-haired girl and a boy, who appeared out of the darkness to the left of the door. They must have been hiding in front of the bushes, out of the direct line of light spilling out of the hallway. They struggled to lift a dual baby carrier between them.

"Hurry up," Samantha grabbed the carrier, urging the two in the hallway before her. "This is Adam, he's six, and Beatrice, she's four. These two are Sarah and Amelia."

'These two' turned out to be the babies in the carrier. Glen hadn't had much experience with babies, but they looked awfully tiny to him, little pink bundles in a cradle of scuffed grey plastic.

Dana's face softened as she looked from the small girl to Samantha. "You had an Aunt named Beatrice, your father's sister. She lived in Boston."

"Oh? I did?" Samantha's face screwed up again, but no tears fell. "I just thought it was a pretty name."

She set the carrier down, knelt on one knee. She hugged the boy, then the girl. "Remember what we talked about. Your Auntie Dana's going to take care of you, okay? And don't go with any stranger who says they know me. Do your homework, be good. I'll be back as soon as I can."

"Samantha?" Dana asked, a frown beginning to crease her forehead. "What do you mean you'll be back?"

The other woman glanced up at her, and for the first time Glen understood the meaning of the phrase "dead eyed". She stood, biting her lower lip bloodless. "I have to go. You kids be good now, okay?"

"Wait, you can't just leave them here!" he protested as she walked out the door. "Hey!"

Dana shot him an equally shocked glance before trotting after the woman.

Glen pushed Adam out of the way as the boy tried to follow his mother. Damned kid was underfoot already and they'd only just met. There was an odd noise, the hollow thud-crack the pumpkins used to make when he and Andrew tossed them off the back of the truck onto the pavement, and then Dana staggered back into the house, her eyes wide. Her white blouse was stained with dark blood and wet gloop the color of vanilla pudding across her chest and side. "Jesus Christ! Are you hurt? Dana, talk to me!"

"Get them under the stairs, now!" she yelled.

He hesitated, watching her slap her own back, look surprised, then leaping for the telephone table, jerking the drawer out and scrabbling through it for something.

"Glen!"

"Sorry," he muttered, quickly opening the understair door. The little closet underneath was home to the vacuum and various other cleaning equipement, with just enough space for two small children and a dual baby carrier. He pulled out the vacuum, then put the carrier on the left, underneath the third riser, and pushed Adam and Beatrice to the right by the mop and broom. "Don't make a sound, no matter what happens, okay?"

He shut the door and stared at Dana when she raced past him into the living room.

He stood there stupidly, knowing he should call 911, knowing he should check on his girlfriend, knowing he should be doing something besides just standing there like a lump on a log. Before he had a chance to make up his mind on what to do first, Dana backed stiffly into the hall.

Glen reached for her hand, but was brought up short by the dark-haired man who came out of the room behind her. He was all in black, from dull leather jacket to jeans to combat boots, and he held a gun at arm's length, pointed at Dana.

The man tsked. "You're losing your touch, Scully."

"What do you want."

Don't antagonize him, don't antagonize him, don't antagonize him.

"Well?" Dana asked coldly, folding her arms. "You're here for a reason."

Christ! Glen glared at her, willing her to shut up already so the guy would take what he wanted and get the hell out of their house.

The man gave Glen a slow, contemptuous once-over. "Not exactly his twin."

Twin? He didn't have a twin.

"Dentist, right?"

"Y-yeah," Glen said, looking unsurely from Dana to the intruder. "Although I prefer Odontologist."

The man shook his head and huffed softly. "Unbelieveable."

"Cut the crap," snapped Dana. "What the hell do you want?"

The man lost his smirk and grabbed Dana with his left arm - god, it was a fake plastic one - drawing her tight against his body, bending her back in a bow. And then the man, this gun-wielding thug, kissed her. Far from a light peck on the cheek, tongue and a not inconsiderate amount of moaning were also involved. Glen debated whether or not to run for it, but the guy still had a gun, and he had Dana.

Finally, it was over.

"Get the hell away from me, Krycek," She spat.

What kind of name was that? Foreign, obviously. Russian, maybe?

"So very pretty," Krycek muttered, winding his gun hand through her hair. He jerked her head back, nuzzled her jaw. "Pretty, pretty, pretty. Women like you shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets."

Glen bit his lip. Who the fuck did this guy think he was? Yet, there was also an undeniable flush staining Dana's bloodspattered cheeks, her breath short, eyes blazing in a way he'd never seen before. Christ, he was under seige in his own fucking house and all he could think about was his girlfriend and how she looked like she wanted to screw the fucking maniac until the new millenium swung around. He wasn't a stupid man. There was a side to Dana he had never seen, that she had never shown him, for her own unfathomable reasons. That feminine mystique which had driven him first mad with lust, then with desire, and finally with love. But now he wondered what it was she had been hiding, whether or not he knew her, had ever known her.

"Ow!" Dana struggled to get away. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Relax, Scully. It's just a little love bite, something to remember me by."

Sure as shit, there was a circular red mark on her neck. Funny, when they'd first begun dating, she'd made a point of telling him how much she'd hated hickeys. They were unprofessional.

"Hey mister?"

Glen grabbed Adam and shoved the boy back behind him again, made sure his sister was still in the closet.

Krycek froze.

"Where's Mommy?"

Trust a child to get to the heart of the matter.

Krycek released Dana and started backing towards the front door. "1668 Canyon Suite, Coldstream, Colorado."

Dana took a step forward. "Why?"

"There's something there you want, something you've wanted for a long time."

"Alex "

His manic grin dropped as he fumbled for the doorknob. "You'll need backup. Bring Skinner."

Unspoken communication flowed between the two of them, Glen could feel it. It made him sick. Yet he still found himself shocked when Dana let the man walk out the door without further protest. Openmouthed, he rushed to the door and peered out. The neighborhood was quiet as always, nightlights on above porches and garages, curtains drawn against the dark night, no one too bothered about the body on their front lawn. Jesus. Nausea threatening to unman him, Glen returned to her side. "Are you going to call the police or shall I?"

She brushed past him with an irritated look. He was relieved when she picked up the phone as a former FBI agent, she had far more experience with this kind of thing than he did. Hell, he'd never even gotten a parking ticket.

The children were sitting down now, holding hands and leaning into one another, preternaturally quiet. Christ, what the hell was going to happen to them? Foster homes, undoubtedly, at least until a family member came forward. Who the hell dropped their kids off at the house of a complete stranger? Oh, no, wait, she and Dana knew one another. He grimaced. Had known.

"Sir, it's Dana Scully - "


Glen crouched down and dragged the baby carrier out of the understair closet. "Hey kids, uh, what are their names again?"

Adam got on his knees and pointed first to the left, then the right. "That's Sarah, and that's Amelia."

"Dammit, he was just here, in my house!"

"Hi, Amy," Glen whispered, smoothing soft chocolate-dark hair away from her forehead. Amazingly, both babies had slept through the entire ordeal.

"Amelia," Adam corrected. "Amelia Grace. She's Sarah Elizabeth, and that's Beatrice Anne, and I'm Adam."

"Colorado "

Colorado? He glanced over his shoulder to see Dana turn towards him.

"Yes, sir. I need to call the police," she said. Her eyebrows rose. "Bureau forensics? I would appreciate that greatly, sir. I'll see you soon."

"What's your name?"

He turned back to Adam. "Glen. Glen Olsen. Don't you have a middle name too?"

Adam shook his head.

"What, are you kidding?"

"Don't like it."

"Aw, come on," he pasted a pleasant look on his face and tapped the boy's wrist. "Couldn't be that bad."

Beatrice peeped around her brother's shoulder. "'s Fox."

"Bea, shut up!"

"Fox?" Glen struggled to keep the smile off his lips. "Could be worse. Mine's. . .Marion."

Adam looked highly sceptical. "Marion?"

"It's a girl's name," Glen explained. Actually, his middle name was Bradford, but what was a little white lie in a situation like this? "At least foxes are cool, smart."

"Glen, could I talk to you for a minute?"

Dana drew him away, blocking the view out of the door. Even though he was used to it, her eyes were an even more startlingly bright blue above the spatter of blood on her cheekbone. He tried to remove it with the edge of his sleeve. "You knew that man."

"He was someone I...knew...in the Bureau."

"Not a friend."

She snorted lightly, drew away from his attempt to clean her face. "No."

He nodded. "So what now? What about the kids?"

"The police are on their way, as is my mother," she closed her eyes briefly, and when she opened them again he knew he wasn't going to like what she was about to tell him, even as she stepped around him. "Excuse me, I've got to go pack."

"Pack?" he repeated dumbly, watching her crouch down in front of the children.

"Listen, your mom wanted you to stay here for a little while, but I've got to run out, so my mom is coming here to take care of you while I'm away, okay?"

They both stared at her, no doubt shocked by the events of the night. As he was, in truth.

Then Beatrice patted Dana on the cheek. "It's okay. Mommy said you wouldn't let anybody hurt us, even if she never comes back."

Jesus H. Christ. Judging by the look Dana sent him over her shoulder, the same thought was occurring to her, too.

While Dana went upstairs, he brought the children into the kitchen and gave them milk and cookies, made them use the toilet. They were terribly quiet. Afterwards, he settled them on the long couch in the living room under the throw, watched them fall asleep. Through a gap in the window curtains he saw flashing blue lights and headed towards the front door even as Dana thudded down the stairs.

She had changed into all black and washed her face, carried a black overnight bag in one hand. Without sparing him a glance she whipped open the front door and charged out into the night. Glen followed, making sure to close the living room door after himself. He had enough of crying children in his regular job, he didn't want to hear them in his house again tonight if he could help it.

There were three squad cars, a black van that read MEDICAL EXAMINER on the side, and a couple of other government-issue looking cars. Photos were being taken of the body Jesus, half her head was missing and people wearing navy jackets with the letters FBI in bright yellow on the back were slowly and carefully crossing the lawn with flashlights, intent on finding something, maybe a bullet casing or a footprint.

"Agent Scully!"

Glen turned towards the call, saw a bald, broad-shouldered man with glasses, wearing a dark trenchcoat walking rapidly towards Dana. Not wanting to be left out of the loop, he hurried after her.

"Sir, thank you," Dana said, stopping just short of the sidewalk.

Glen stepped up to Dana and slung his arm around her shoulder. Even though she worked as a coroner for the local morgue, she'd been out of the field for a long time and he felt he needed to support her in the face of this...what, he couldn't call it a disaster, exactly. A tragedy, maybe? A random act of violence? So he was a little surprised when she twitched his arm off, stepping closer to the bald man instead. He was big, not in height, necessarily, so much as in muscle. With all that had gone on - the dead body on the lawn, that man breaking in to his house, the childen and babies, babies! - ordinarily he wouldn't have felt threatened, but with Dana behaving so coldly towards him, he was beginning to feel as if he just wasn't necessary, wasn't needed.

Especially when the bald man gave him the once over and found him lacking. "Who are you?"

"Who the hell are you?" Glen retorted. Goddamn if he was going to let anyone else push him around tonight.

Dana sharply said, "Glen. This is -"

"Director Skinner," Baldy finished. "Word came through this afternoon."

"Congratulations, sir. Uh, this is Glen Olsen."

Yeah, whatever. There were more important things to be concerned about.

After nodding at Glen, Skinner towered over Dana, but she didn't seem to mind. She half turned, motioned towards the body. "Sir, it's Samantha Mulder."

Startled, he jerked back, looked hard at the body, looked back at Dana. "Are you sure?"

"Sir," she nodded, hesitated. "She said...she has children, sir. I've called my mother and asked her to come and get them."

"You don't want DHS involved."

"No," Dana glanced down at her hands. "I owe him at least that much."

"Of course. Was it Krycek?"

"I don't know. I don't think so. He was waiting for me in the living room, he wouldn't have had time to shoot and get inside otherwise."

Skinner looked like he'd tasted something bad but had to swallow it down anyway.

"He told me to go to Colorado, and that I should bring you with me."

And just like that, Glen was forgotten. In retrospect he wasn't sure he'd ever been remembered, but that feeling, that feeling when they both glanced at him at the same time, and then simply walked away, still talking...he felt a burning rage.

Fists clenched, he returned to the house, endured the endless, pointless questions by the cops, by the FBI, by the gods-be-damned 'concerned' neighbors who'd finally noticed something awry in the neighborhood. Maggie arrived and took the children, delivering him of responsibility he hadn't ever wanted. No doubt when Angela heard she'd be on his case even more. He could hear her voice now, Glengy, how could you let those precious children out of your sight?! And Glengy, if you'd take care of them you'd realize how much you want children after all!

He waited for Dana until three in the morning, and then went on the hunt for her, figuring that she would be around somewhere. But he didn't find her, because according to the men taking fingerprints and photos in the living room, she'd left some hours before with Mr. Skinner.

And hadn't told him.

Hadn't even bothered to leave him a goddamned note.

Glen spent the next week alternating between fear and anger. Fear that something was wrong, that she was hurt or dead or waiting for him to come and rescue her. Anger that she'd left without a word.

He called the FBI and was told that Director Skinner was on personal leave, and no, Glen couldn't have Director Skinner's phone number, but he could leave a message if he wanted.

He called the police, however, they didn't know of any death on Pine Avenue West and what was his name again?

The hospitals had no record of a Dana Scully being brought in, nor the morgues.

Numbly, he went to work. Teeth were teeth, and poor hygeine was poor hygeine. He filled cavities and created caps and set in tooth buds, made molds and dentures and recommended Mrs. Slater stop giving her two year old soda to drink when he was thirsty, because she was rotting the teeth right out of the kid's head.

When he got home at night, he listened to Maggie's increasingly terse updates about the children on his answering machine, watched tv, microwaved a dinner or two, drank a lot of beer. He lay in bed, stared at the ceiling.

On the fifth night, he paid what he suspected was an underage and drug abusing teenager for a blow job behind Harper's Cash 'N' Carry.

The seventh night, he came home, reeking of cigarette smoke, half smashed from one too many gin and tonics, thanking his lucky stars he hadn't been stopped by the police. Flicking the light switch off, he stumbled on the first riser of the stairs, wondered why the hell the light wasn't on, hit the switch again. Christ, he had to stop drinking, it wasn't like him to get so out of control that he didn't know what he was doing.

Of course, it wasn't like he was drunk, drunk, just...he'd had one, maybe two, too many. In the bathroom he peered at himself in the mirror, held up his left hand. Oh yeah, double vision. Glasses didn't make it any better. He was loosey goosey, all right, but managed not to spray the the rim of the toilet too badly while urinating. Funny word, that, yooouuuurrinaaaaaatiinnng. Bloody Latin. What the hell had the Romans ever done for them, eh? Just roads and plumbing and architecture, bread and circuses and law, ha.

With one hand on the wall to steady himself, he decided to change, then go downstairs for some water or juice, stick a frozen pizza in the oven. Food was always good, would help sober him up a little.

Keeping his hand on the wall, Glen carefully swung his hips out of the way of the antique walnut credenza, tilting so much he had thoughts about maybe throwing up. Nah, just a temporary twinge. There was the door to the guest bedroom, then the linen closet, then their room, his and Dana's, where he could change into sweats, or maybe just slacks and a sweater because that's how a gentleman should be, presentable at all times, because you never knew who was going to be knocking on your front door.

Which was a laugh, because it sure as hell wasn't going to be Dana, now, was it? Because she had her own key, ha ha ha! Oh, he was funny.

Now that was odd. Why was the guest bedroom door open? Why was the side lamp on? And who the hell was in the bed? Was it a bear? Did they want porridge? Glen stiffled a giggle and slowly moved into the room, ready to bolt if it was that foreign guy again.

Whoever it was, they had dark hair. And they didn't smell too hot, either. Tip-toeing closer, he saw the guy, it was definitely a guy, had dark hair and thin cheeks covered with dark stubble. He eyed the body under the blanket, yeah, there was movement, the guy was breathing.

Glen scratched his elbow. Enough staring. Time to call the police and have this vagrant tossed on his ear. The itch was insistent on his elbow and he scratched again, turned to go make the call and shrieked at the sight of Dana by his side, staring holes into his skull. Heart thudding in his mouth, stomach sour from alcohol and adrenalin, he followed her out of the room. "Dana! Where've you been, I've been worried sick about you!"

"Shh," she reached around him and closed the door to the guest bedroom. "You've been drinking."

He shrugged, trying to play it casual. "Yeah, well, you weren't around to stop me."

Grabbing his upper arm tightly, she brought him downstairs and into the kitchen. She opened a cabinet and took out a glass, filled it with tap water, handed it to him. "Drink."

He leaned against the counter, took a few sips. He stared at the two of her until they looked away. "You didn't call me, you didn't even leave a fucking note, Dana. I called the hospital, I called the morgue, I even called the FBI. And you have the gall to be angry at me because I've had a few drinks?"

Dana sighed heavily, briefly covered her eyes, then her mouth with one hand. Folding her arms and looking back at him, she said, "The man upstairs is...not to be disturbed for any reason. You can't tell anyone he's here, Glen. Not even your sister."

He'd hoped she would be equally angry with him, but unfortunately it was the same old, same old. She wasn't a screamer or a cryer or a manipulator, all things he loved about her, but at the moment hated, too. Those things he knew how to deal with, however, even after two years, he just couldn't figure out how to respond to her cold reserve, her frequent 'yes' and 'no' with no further explanations. Half the time she changed the subject completely, just like she was doing now. Plaintively, he asked, "Can't you understand that I was worried about you?"

She frowned, shifted from foot to foot. "I...I'm sorry. I should have left you a note. I wasn't sure when I was going to be back, though."

Somewhat mollified, he sniffed and drank more water, felt the drunkenness recede a bit more. He jerked his head towards the kitchen door. "Who's the guy, anyway?"

"Uh," she glanced at the ceiling and straightened, visibly steeling herself for what she about to say. "Mulder. My partner."

"Your what?" Partner? Which she had never, ever, ever mentioned before as having? Of course, she'd never told him the particulars about why she'd left the Bureau, so maybe it wasn't all that unusual for an ex-partner to come out of the woodwork.

Right?

"My partner, from when I was in the FBI."

Okay, that made some sort of sense, then. He could be nice about it. Ignore that he hadn't known about him before. "Doesn't he have his own home to go to? I mean, he looks like shit."

"I thought...I thought he was dead," She froze, stared blindly at nothing. After a moment she took the kettle off the stove and began filling it with water. "He'll be staying here."

"For how long?"

"I don't know," she said shortly, turning the stove burner on to 'high'.

"Aw, come on, Dana! We barely have room enough for ourselves!"

She turned and glared at him. "Glen, I don't have time for this crap. Mulder will stay here until he improves. If you have a problem with that, I suggest you get over it."

As soon as her tea was done, she disappeared upstairs. Glen watched Amazon Women On the Moon, but didn't laugh at a single line. He had the niggling feeling that something about the whole situation just wasn't right, but he couldn't put his finger on what, precisely, was the issue. Yeah, her former partner was sleeping upstairs, and there was obviously something deeply wrong with him, yet wasn't Dana's concern just a little too...just a little too? After all, she'd never mentioned what she had done at the FBI. Indeed, this whole 'partner' thing was news to him, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to see that this guy was important to her.

So why did he feel like chopped liver?

On the cop shows on tv and in the movies, buddies always did thngs for one another, sure, they were protective and stuff. He couldn't recall one instance of a buddy bringing another buddy home, though, not to the wife and kids. Home and family were supposed to be protected above all.

Exasperated by his own circular and quite frankly, depressing, thinking, he clicked off the tv and went to bed. Alone in the room, he hoped Dana would finish doing whatever she was doing in the office and join him. He was lonely. The week had been long and stressful and he just wanted a little comfort from the woman in his life. Sex would be nice, although he figured his chances being pretty low. Early in their relationship he'd tried to put the moves on her after he'd come home from a night out and hoo, boy. In no uncertain terms she had made it clear that she hated the stink of alcohol on his breath, and that his adolescent fumblings were disgusting.

He rolled over, rubbed his stomach as its contents sloshed. Come to think of it, that had been pretty much the one and only time they'd ever fought. Even during sex she was pretty quiet, although she did seem to enjoy herself. God, brain, Turn. Off.

The next few days passed quickly. Glen made sure he spent a lot of time out of the house. He simply wasn't comfortable there, sitting downstairs by himself, watching tv or reading a book while she was upstairs in the office or, alternatively, in the guest bedroom with the door closed. One time he'd pressed close to the guest bedroom door and heard her speaking in low tones. There was no response, at least none that he could hear.

One day, he came home to a scene of frightening domesticity. He walked in to the kitchen and stopped dead. Their guest was awake, clean shaven, dressed in Glen's clothes and sitting in Glen's chair at Glen's place at the table. Dana sat next to him, her hands wrapped around a mug of tea, gazing at him in an expression of tenderness that in Glen's experience she reserved only for children and the proverbial small animal. Worse, her ex-partner, Mulder, was returning her look with the same expression of adoration.

Then Dana slowly leaned over and kissed Mulder on his cheek. She pulled back and smiled, the merest upturn to the corners of her lips.

Sick to his stomach at the sight, Glen cleared his throat and they immediately separated. Dana had the grace not to look at him, knowing she'd done wrong, touching another man like that in his presence. So what that they hadn't known he was there, that wasn't the point! From Dana, he turned to Mulder, who was gazing right back at him. Glen could see that the man hadn't exactly filled out, but he did look less hollow. What was more, there was a smugness about him, a confidence that made Glen feel his lack all the more. And then Dana stood and poured her tea in the sink, and when she turned around and silently regarded him, he understood that he'd lost. He didn't know what was missing, yet it was gone all the same.

Glen spent the night in a daze. He went out, went to a couple of bars he'd never been to before, seedy places just a few streets over from Pine Avenue West. Not wanting to risk driving drunk, he walked, footsore within a few minutes from walking on the pavement in his rarely worn dress shoes.

It had vanished, all of it. Ever since that night, when that woman had been murdered on their lawn, everything had changed, disappearing under his fingertips even as he'd held on as tightly as he could.

Dana had changed.

He didn't recognize her any more. She looked the same, even down to that damned hickey, now yellow and fading...no, no, that wasn't it. She was focused, sharper, hard, cold. There was purpose, the passion he'd always known to lurk like a banked coal now brought to the surface, blazing for all to see if they but looked.

Bourbon burning down his throat, his eyes watering from the harshness of the liquor, he nonetheless motioned towards the bartender for another shot. Nodding his thanks, he took a sip, huffed a silent laugh at his own stupidity. He'd thought he been the luckiest bastard in the world when she agreed to go on a date with him, luckier still when she agreed to move in with him. God, he should have known it wasn't going to last, should have known it was too good to be true when she said she didn't mind not having children. Maybe what she'd meant was that she didn't want children, not with him, anyway.

Making his way home hours later, he couldn't decide if he was so drunk he didn't feel it, or not drunk at all. Maybe he'd gone so far over the past three weeks with the drinking and the hookers that his tolerance had increased, or something. The thing was, no matter what state he was in, he knew she wasn't going to be there.

"Not gonna be there," he sang to himself bitterly, kicking a plastic Coke bottle off the sidewalk and into the gutter with the rest of the trash. "Joke's on me, yeah, joke's on me."

Still, standing on his own doorstep, key in the lock, he closed his eyes tightly and wished upon a star, because surely one was falling somewhere, he wished upon a star, hoped against hope he was wrong, because he wanted it to be true.

Everything was where it should be. Her favorite mug was in the drying rack, her little snacks in the cupboard. Pictures of Maggie and her family were still hanging in the hallway, as were her coats and jackets, sneakers and winter boots.

But in the office, her laptop was gone.

And in their room, her drawers were mostly empty, and a few items of his own were missing, even though he was heavier and shorter than Mulder.

Glen sat down on the bed and sighed.

Then he threw up.

The End


Note: Ah, another tale that's been languishing on my hard drive for the better part of, um, let's just 'a number of years'. Since winning NaNoWriMo 2006 (finally!!!) I've become determined to finish off the bits and pieces that have been in my XF Works folder. Also, I've become reobsessed with all things fanfic as well as the show, so, well, ya know.

Dryad

- "Ten percent of nuthin' is...let me do the math here...nuthin' into nuthin'...carry the nuthin'..." Jayne, Firefly.

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