Title: Fragmented
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Warning: dark themes
Category: Angst, Drama
Keywords: Jimmy Bond, Yves Adele Harlow
Spoilers: My story, "Name."
Summary: There's no place like home.
Disclaimer: The Lone Gunmen owned by 20th Century Fox.
Archival: Permission to AAJY (Archive Central). All others please link to my website. Notes: Part of what would be a larger story if I ever felt inclined to write it.

o-o

She fumbles the key at the lock, failing to unlock the door and tries to ignore her trembling hands and the way her keys clatter against each other, the sound louder to her than breaking glass. It's two a.m. and he'll be asleep. She doesn't want to wake him. She almost drops the keys and the familiar sick feeling she's been living with the past three months claws deeper in her stomach. She draws a sharp breath and almost chokes on the air.

(Sometimes she thinks he can smell the fear on her.)

She'll break apart if she doesn't get inside, she'll break apart and he won't be able to put her back together again. She tries again, gets the key inside, finds a sliver of strength, of relief in the simple action. She rests her head against the door, feeling its cool painted surface against her skin. She closes her eyes, breathes with measured breaths. Just a moment, just one second before she goes inside and she'll be all right, as good as she'll ever be.

(He'll touch her, but that won't make it all better. Not ever.)

This is a different war, one of lies and preemptive strikes, where knowledge is power and ignorance is no excuse. There's so much she never tells him. Too much to explain, too much for him to hear. He has before and he knows what she has to do and how much it costs her. She's no better than her father, no better than the men he helped.

("It's not like that, Yves. You know it's not.")

She does it because she knows he can't, because she wants her daughter to live, because the date grows closer every second. She does it because when the day comes she wants to stand and say she fought and when she dies she wants to do it watching the life drain from the enemy.

She turns the key and ducks inside. There's a lamp burning on a table in the hall, diffused light soft enough not to be seen from outside. She switches it off.

She walks through the house, stepping carefully. She stops at a door, which stands ajar, and looks in. The light of the moon falls across the rounded cheeks of a little girl with long dark curls poking out from the blanket. Yves goes inside, leaves a kiss on a cool cheek, pulls the blanket closer around Esther. Yves wants to wake her, to hold her close and whisper her love into her little girl's hair but goes, closing the door, leaving it where it was.

(Tomorrow she'll be gone again.)

She moves down the hall, to where Jimmy is asleep, inside their bedroom, the covers over his head, Yves shucks her clothes, stripping down to her underwear. She crawls in beside him and when he mumbles her name, she whispers, "Yes, Jimmy."

"What happened?"

(There's blood on her hands.)

"I came home. Go back to sleep, Jimmy."

He does. She only knows she's asleep when she begins to dream.

End.