Disclaimer: Not Mine. Rating: 13+ Language. Set: post-Six Pack, pre-X-Force. X-Files AU: post season 9.
Notes: I needed something to write, because I'm blanking on Helo/Boomer stuff for the ficathon (the one idea I can come up with has been done before). And, I felt I should write some more Domino fic, and then it wasn't just Domino fic.Sangga has declared it obscure fandoms week, but my brain decided to make it obscure characters night. Milo is the least known, I think. The title comes from Sarah Mc's "Fear".

better than to fall
by ALC Punk!

The words take too long to make sense. 'Dear sir, I regret to inform you...'

Not that it matters. Milo has always understood that this is his life. This cell is his home and they can give him a beat-up couch (like the one from his grandfather's place in Seattle), mis-matched plates and as much beer as they want. But it still doesn't change the fact that he will never leave their grasp. For a brief moment, there was more to it than that. He had laughter and life and something he thought of as love ('You're so damned confident.' 'You love me anyway.' 'Bastard.')

And now there's no reason for him to care whether he ever leaves it.

"How?"

Maybe he doesn't want to know.

Agent Doggett gives him a look over his sunglasses. "I'm not sure that's information I'm allowed to pass on."

He has to say something, anything. "She was beautiful."

Of course she was beautiful. She was fucking gorgeous and full of life and laughter--he forgets the moments when her eyes went distant and grey.

"I'm sorry, sir." The agent looks almost uncomfortable, here in the stark lighting of the ante-room to his 'quarters'. Or maybe Milo's just reading into him. Because he would be uncomfortable, delivering this sort of news.

"Yeah. Sorry." He doesn't laugh.

"Did you... need anything, sir?"

Milo considers being flippant. "Can you bring my wife back to life, Agent?"

"No, sir."

"Didn't think so." Now he laughs, short and sharp. "How about giving me my freedom?"

"Can't do that either, sir."

"Yeah. Didn't think so."

Beatrice Gordon is dead, and Milo thinks his future is a lot bleaker than it was 24 hours before.

--

In a perfect world, John Doggett wouldn't be dealing with a man who rents out assassins. He also wouldn't still be wallowing in guilt and depression over the death of his son and the loss of his wife. Since the world isn't perfect, both are true. And he's come to appreciate how useful it is to have contacts with the slightly grey side of the law. Especially in recent months.

Jonathon (no last name, please, I don't want to be tracked) was waiting in the coffee shop they always met in.

Not that it was the same every time, but a coffee shop is a coffee shop. They all had the wood flooring, the rustic paneling, some attempt at 'chalk' on a board for their menu, and the smell of beans roasting or burnt.

"John."

"Jon."

Greeting done, Doggett drops into his chair with a sigh. "How's Candace?"

"I missed her mother's birthday."

"Oooh. Bad one to miss, man."

"Yeah."

They share a commiserating look, then Jonathon takes a sip of his mocha. After he's swallowed slowly, he says: "How's the geek?"

Doggett is used to him having better knowledge about his assignments than even Scully had ever had, and she'd been his partner for a time. "He's just lost his wife. How do you think?"

"Yeah." Jonathon sips again, then sighs. "Sorry to hear about that."

"Beatrice Gordon was a damn fine agent, so they say." Doggett shrugs, "It's difficult to fill her shoes."

"Even with the whole--" and here, Jonathon wiggles his ring finger, "--thing?"

It's something Doggett himself has been wondering--fraternization with ones assignment was so against the regulations, he'd been surprised Gordon had still been on her detail. "So they say. She is--was--a very lucky woman."

Another moment of silence neither bother to fill, then Jonathon sighs, "I've got to go, John. Been nice seein' you."

"If you see him, give Mulder my regards."

For a moment, Jonathon almost looks surprised. Then he nods, "Will do. Don't get cocky."

"Don't plan on it. And buy Candace's mother a knitting kit. Women like that sort of thing." He feels slightly proud to have surprised the other man. But then, he's always had to be a good guesser (and he thinks Scully would mock him for the intuition).

"Thanks, man."

Doggett sits at the table a while longer, pondering the turns his life has taken. Then he calls Monica and asks her to dinner.

--

She's smoking a cigarette and standing in a cemetery when Jonathon finds her, the night spilling around them. It seems stupidly poetic. He wonders which headstone is hers, or if she even has a grave anywhere. Not that the poor man buried beneath the NSA's death-grip would ever be allowed to leave his cell and see it.

"Well?" The demand in her tone is slightly uncertain, but she's not backing out.

And Jonathon can't take her to task for that, as much as he might want to. "He's not okay."

"I know he's not okay."

Jonathon glances sideways at the woman who's standing there, her cigarette dangling from one hand, her other arm crossed over her chest. He figures she's trying not to give an impression of fragility. "Yeah."

"Fuck you."

A slight smile graces his lips. "You're a married woman."

"Not anymore." Her lips tighten.

"Hey, you're doing--"

"Stop fucking psyching me, Jonathon. I'm not some fucking bimbo for you to lay out on your god-damn couch." The movement to stub her cigarette out on the nearest tombstone is full of anger, though her fingers might be shaking.

"All right." He pulls an envelope out of his pocket. "Have a job for you."

She takes it, shoves it into one of the pockets on her coat. "Thanks."

"Standard arrangements apply."

"Gotcha." Another cigarette, and her hands aren't shaking at all as she lights it.

He stands there, trying to think of something else to say, and can't think of a thing. "Don't die for real, Domino."

"Fuck you." She snaps, but the words are half-hearted, and her head's turned away.

"No thanks."

She doesn't wait for him to say anything else, just leaves, steps silent, the glow from her cigarette fading swiftly. He's okay with that. He has better things to do with his time than keep an assassin heart-whole.

-f-