XFVCU-fic differs from XFVCU. It's set within the XFVCU universe, but isn't part of the official series. Sometimes it can co-exist with the series, but in other cases it's experimental or alt-universe and contradicts the series. In other words, don't take this as gospel. This is just playtime for the writers and readers of the project. We invite you to take part - there are two challenges up now at the XFVCU forums: http://xfvcu.deslea.com/forums
[XFVCU-fic] Other Duties
Deslea R. Judd
DISCLAIMER: Characters not mine. Interpretation mine. ARCHIVE: Yes, just keep my name and headers. RATING: PG.
SPOILERS/TIMEFRAME: XF Release, XFVCU Catacomb. CATEGORY/KEYWORDS: Follmer/Reyes UST, missing scene. SUMMARY: New light is shed on an old grief. 375 words.
MORE STORIES: http://fiction.deslea.com FEEDBACK: Love the stuff. email@example.com AWARDS/ELIGIBILITY: Spooky Awards 2004 eligible.
"It never would have worked, you know."
Monica looked up from her martini. "What wouldn't have worked?" she wondered, shifting her barstool a little to let her neighbour pass.
"Us," said Brad, frowning into his scotch.
He didn't often bring up "us." He didn't need to. It was years ago, and she'd moved on. She'd thought that he had too.
She pondered ways of approaching it, and decided to do what she knew best: tackling it head-on. "What's got you thinking about that?" she asked him at last.
Brad shrugged. "I wasn't. Not exactly. It was just a discussion Spender and I had today."
Monica frowned. She couldn't imagine a situation that might lead him to discuss her with Jeffrey. "What about?"
"About responsibility." He set down his glass and toyed with the rim. "You know, when you and Kersh told me about the operation - Jesus, Monica, we were together for two years. I never knew -"
"That I was undercover?" she said. "Brad, you were undercover too, with Rigali. If I'd known that, I might not have left."
They fell silent. The spectre of things that might have been rose up between them, then drifted away just as quickly.
"I didn't keep it from you to hurt you," she said at last.
"I know that, Monica. I finally worked that out." He swallowed a little. "You just...had other duties. And so did I."
"Do we need to talk about that?" she wondered. Hoping, in a secret selfish little part of herself, that they didn't.
He shook his head. "No. I'm okay with how things turned out, Monica." His smile was wistful, but real enough that she believed him.
They sat silently for a few moments. He cleared his throat. "Will you stay and drink with me for a while, Monica?"
She shook her head. "I'm meeting-"
"John. Of course you are."
Her throat felt tight and hard. Stupid - it was years since - but it was still a loss. "Goodbye, Brad," she whispered, fussing with her wallet so he wouldn't see.
If he saw, he didn't say anything. "Goodbye, Monica."
She hurried out of the bar, brushing fleeting tears away with her fingers, and closed the door behind her.
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