NEW About The Maimed 1/1
Deslea R. Judd
DISCLAIMER: Characters not mine. Interpretation mine.
ARCHIVE: Sure, just keep my name and headers.
CATEGORIES: Vignette, Angst, Jeffrey Spender, Marita Covarrubias, allusions to Krycek/Marita.
SPOILERS: One Son, Existence, The Truth. Missing scene.
SUMMARY: Waiting to testify, Jeffrey meets an old acquaintance. Written for the Harem Jeffrey Spender 500 word challenge.
MORE FIC: http://fiction.deslea.com
FEEDBACK: Love the stuff. firstname.lastname@example.org.
AWARDS/ELIGIBILITY: 2002 Spooky Awards (Winner, Marita Characterisation). Recommended by IOHO and the Enigmatic Doctor.
She doesn't recognise you.
She looks on you for a fleeting moment, and offers you a perfunctory nod. She shows no pity. No dismay. You remember that she was maimed once too.
She sits in her chair, and she listens politely as the guard outlines what will happen in the hearing. You wonder if he knows who she is. That she has presided over inquiries. That she has reported on them to people in the highest levels of government, both formal and shadow. That sometimes her recommendations were followed.
You wonder if it would matter to him if he knew.
You wonder if it would have mattered to you. Would you have tried harder to help her? It shames you to know that you probably would. You were different back then. Back then you would have respected her for her former standing. Now you respect her because she's still standing.
The guard finishes his narrative and retreats to his corner. You look at one another across the table.
"You're here to help him," you say. It isn't a question.
She inclines her head. "Against my better judgement."
"You'd leave him to rot?" It shouldn't surprise you. You learned later that Mulder left her there, just like you.
She makes a mirthless sound of amusement. Shakes her head. "That bastard's not going to drag me back down to his level." You wonder whether she means Mulder, or Skinner, or both.
"You'd save him to spite him?" The idea amuses you somehow.
A ghost of a smile appears on her face. "Something like that." Then she surprises you. "But what about you, Jeffrey?"
She recognises you after all. But how? You ask her.
Her eyelids flicker when she explains. "Alex spoke of you."
"He spoke of you, too." That isn't precisely true, but you know he thought of her. You saw the dossier. You saw the softness around his eyes when he said her name.
"Thank you for saying so." She looks away.
"I'm here because I don't have anything left to lose," you say abruptly. "Mulder might not be much of a brother, but he's the only one I've got."
That earns a smile. "Family solidarity? I'm surprised you've got any of that left."
You grin. You wonder if it still looks like one. "That bastard wasn't going to drag me down to his level." There is a knock before either of you can laugh at the quip.
The guard coughs from his post in the corner. "Miss Covarrubias."
She rises. Suddenly she is composed. Austere.
She looks down at you. Now, there's sympathy in her eyes. It doesn't bother you the way you thought it would. "You know, there's something Alex used to say. About the maimed." She smiles gently to herself. You don't think it's a smile you were meant to see.
"What was it?"
"He said we always leave our mark on the people we meet along the way."
You think about it. "Yes," you tell her. "I think we do."
"You leave your mark out there, Jeffrey," she says kindly.
You nod. "You too."
She leaves you there. Leaves you to your thoughts.
About the three of you.
About the maimed.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I posted this to the list at the stated 500 words, but I have tinkered with it slightly to clean it up. So, consider it 500 words with a 10% margin.