Author's Note: I'm in the U.S. so we're still a few episodes away from the end of Series 2. As for spoilers, everything through 2.05 is fair game. I don't own the characters (can't afford the exchange rate!), but would like to send a big virtual hug to Nick Cutter because, frankly, the poor guy could use one.


Scientifically speaking, you shouldn't miss someone who wasn't there in the first place.

It's not logical.

Moreover, it's not worthy of a hypothesis, you can't formulate a study with a focus group to share their opinions on the topic, and it certainly isn't enough to warrant a research question. (Though, if one were to attempt it, a good place to start would be something like, "To what degree can loneliness be measured in a man who deeply loved a woman who was never there?")

For once in his life, though, Nick Cutter really doesn't care about logic. He used to, of course. He built his entire career on it, in fact, and used to pride himself on his methodical mind. After all, evolution makes perfect sense when you think about it, especially if you have all of the pieces – this creature preceded this creature because of this biological or physical connection that the two forms share. Simple. Clean cut. Linear.

Unfortunately for logic, Claudia Brown defied all of its fundamental tenets right from the start and he now thinks that perhaps it was that defiance that attracted him to her in the first place. She was different – daring even – and she made all of Nick's linear, evolution-based predispositions about women and relationships seem frivolous and without merit. Logic would have dictated that any relationship between the two of them follow a set "getting to know you" course, whereas Claudia Brown preferred to throw all of that out the window upon their first meeting, choosing instead to walk up unannounced and kiss him soundly on the lips. She hadn't even taken the time to introduce herself first.

From then on, whenever he was with her, logic paled in comparison to those shining dark eyes.

(Of course it didn't hurt Claudia's case that logic had already lost a lot of credibility with Nick Cutter on the night he was chased through the forest by a rampaging Gorgonopsid.)

But even if he did still believe in logic and scientific reason and everything that was supposed to be so prominent in the life of a scientist (and a teacher of science to boot!), his heart had ceased to listen to his brain anyway. His brain understood the truth (and its implications) and still clung to what traces of logic it could capture as they swirled by. His brain understood order and science just the way it always had, but it hadn't yet figured out how to make his heart understand that Claudia Brown had vanished.

In fact, she had never existed.

Thus, every morning, without fail, it was his heart – illogically and infallibly – that somehow insisted upon waking that he roll over in bed and reach across the cool, empty span of sheet beside him. And that very same heart gave a lurch every morning when his hand discovered nothing but air, once again dashing any hope that maybe – just maybe - this time she'd be there, that it all would have been a bad dream and that the stark reality of the morning would reveal her warm form beside him.

Ironically, the truth was that even when she'd existed, she'd never been there. Claudia Brown had never slept next to him, never awakened in his bed to share coffee and the newspaper in the mornings. Their relationship had been – save for a few stolen kisses – professional, a friendship.

(Of course, his heart didn't even care to hear that logic expounded by the brain that had once served to balance it but now merely plagued it with truth.)

So every morning he reached into what had become an abyss and every morning his heart was that much more disappointed.

Every morning he misses her a little more.

It's almost funny, he thinks. One would assume he'd miss her the most when he argues with Jenny Lewis about her occasionally questionable (read: nonexistent) ethical and moral standards and she somehow manages to conjure an expression that reminds him so much of Claudia's "I dare you to challenge me, Cutter" face that he forgets who she is. Or maybe that he'd miss her the most when Jenny smiles at something someone has said to her and her eyes light up the way that Claudia's used to when she was teasing him.

(Jenny Lewis rarely smiles at Nick Cutter with any sort of sincerity and, due to the uncomfortable memories of Claudia that it conjures, he's decided he prefers it that way.)

But no, Cutter doesn't miss Claudia the most when Jenny reminds him of her in something she says or does. He doesn't miss her when the team is searching for the latest creature to pop through an anomaly or even when he sits at his desk at A.R.C. and glances at the only picture he has of Claudia Brown – his Claudia Brown. (After all, if no one else believes that she ever existed, who else's could she be?)

No, Cutter misses her most in the mornings when he wakes alone and realizes that, as long as Claudia Brown doesn't exist in this world – the world he lives in, an anomalous, shifting world in desperate need of her grounded sense of propriety and biting humor - he's always going to wake alone. Claudia Brown has never filled the empty space in the bed beside him and now, she never will. Instead, there will always be an expanse of cool sheet because the only woman he would want to fill it has never existed.

Perhaps that particular fact offers a sort of logic all its own, he realizes – something in the realm of not expecting someone who doesn't exist to do something that you want very badly. But Nick Cutter is committed to the defiance of logic these days; between the pteranadons, the dodos, and the raptors, his lifestyle has begun to dictate it.

Instead, Nick Cutter believes in rips in space and time. He believes in dinosaurs and future predators. He believes in good and evil and still occasionally finds time to believe in the science of evolution – but only when the situation allows for it.

He also believes that if he continues to learn about the anomalies – about where they come from and where they lead to – he might just find a way to bring Claudia Brown back.

It isn't a logical or scientific thought, he knows. But whoever said hope had to be?