DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Never have been, never will be.
FEEDBACK: OH PLEASE! Nothing's better than feedback! Except perhaps a triple chocolate fudge sundae with cherries on top.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I stole the title from my favourite Roxette song. Extra points if you figure out which is it.
No infringement meant.

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She doesn't live here anymore.

Nice statement. Dana doesn't live here anymore. Scully does. But, then again, there wasn't much Dana to begin with.

When did Dana leave? I'm not really sure. I could always take the easy way out and say she began moving out the day she moved into that basement office. But that wouldn't be totally honest.

Neither Fox Mulder nor the X-Files made her this rational, seemingly unfeeling and uncaring woman. The sharp scientific mind and the no-nonsense attitude were to blame on genetics and a military upbringing.

The need to excel can be awarded to being a middle child striving for her father's approval. The ingrained need for perfection came from years of medicine... one tiny mistake could make the difference between life or death. And the stubborn streak is part-Irish, part tomboy trying to prove her worth among two brothers.

That's what makes up Scully. That's her essence, her true colours.

Dana? Dana was a different story all together.

She was a sweet thing. Daddy's Starbucks. A kinda duckling, a tad insecure regarding her looks: Melissa's the beauty and Dana's the brain; Bill's the muscles and Charlie is the charm... that used to be her parents mantra... when they thought their children weren't hearing them.

But you know how your parents feel about you even if they don't say it out loud. Even in the way they choose your name. I cannot imagine a Dr. Melissa Scully anymore than I can imagine Dana, Homecoming Queen 1980. Put the other way around makes perfect sense, though.

Does this mean that since birth she was destined to be just Scully?
I wonder...

But I was talking about Dana. Dana loved to laugh. She had this wonderful deep laughter, the kind that is at times contagious and irritating at the same time. The kind of laughter that embarrasses your older sister at malls and movie theatres. Her Dad loved to hear her laugh. He said it reminded him of brass bells not quite perfectly polished but shiny nonetheless.

So when did she stopped laughing? Was it when the high school principal told her she sounded like a hyena? When her anatomy counsellor mentioned that it was unbecoming of a doctor to laugh like that, specially if she wanted to be taken seriously? When Jack told her that whenever she laughed he was reminded of a bratty mischievous kid and not an FBI agent?

Or perhaps her laughter died alongside Missy and her Dad?

Dana loved reading and talking with her friends. She could stay on the phone with her friends for hours on end gossiping and giggling. She could pack a bag with a moment's notice and be ready to hit the road faster than the speed of light. And she'd wear her heart on her sleeve for all the world to see.

But then Judy Blume and Nancy Drew and even those Harlequin Romances gave way to the Medical Journal and the Expenses reports. The long phone calls were replaced by short informative notes and yes/no curt answers. The friends grew fewer as the number of dead bodies grew higher.

She can still pack a bag in less than 10 minutes flat, but it's not for an impromptu ski trip in Tahoe or 3 days sunning in Catalina. Her bags nowadays carry her DKNY suits and her sensible 3 inch pumps and a couple of ammo clips.

As for her heart... it's no longer worn on the outside. Sometimes I even wonder if there is a heart after all. I know she still has feelings but Scully has shoved them down so hard, she pushed Dana aside.

"Ellen?"

I look up to see the woman I've known for almost 30 years. If I close my eyes I can still picture her in pony tails, all freckles and smiles. But the ponytails are now a stylish do, and the freckles hide under concealer. Smiles are so rare these days I don't even recall the last time I saw her smile.

But I love her dearly. She's been my best friend and confidant for as long as I can remember. I trust her with my life. Heck, I even trusted her with my son's life, should anything happen to me, when I asked her to be his godmother.

I've seen her go from girl to woman, from child to adult, from Dana to Scully. I loved the first two changes. I'm not so sure about how I feel regarding the third.

One of these days I'm going to ask Scully why she won't let Dana out.
I'm going to tell her I miss my childhood friend and that I'd like to see her for a while.

I wonder if she's still around.

THE END