Some Weird Sin

By Cameragrrrl

Disclaimer and some such:
I do not have the rights to use any characters 
officially associated with The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen 
television series. I am using these characters without the 
permission of FOX, 1013 Productions, Chris Carter, or 
any other copyright owners. Of course, this is intended for 
[non-profit] entertainment only, and no 
infringement on copyrights or trademarks 
was intended by the author.

Any similarities to people, places, and other works of
fanfiction are purely coincidental.

All other characters not officially associated with 
The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen (including, but not limited to, 
Smithee and Ellroy) are property of the author 
and should not be recycled into another story without

No animals were harmed during the making of this fanfic, 
except for two mosquitoes and one waterbug.

Cost of coffee drunk while writing this: $15.82
Cost of paper used to print out draft copies: $2.38
Cost of Anne Hawley's beta-reading skills: PRICELESS

The 'present' of this story takes place a few years 
before The Lone Gunmen series timeline.

* * *

On a plane, somewhere over Ohio, trying to stay calm. 
I've been on a steady diet of seltzer and 
Dramamine for the past several hours.

The last time I made this trip, in reverse, I 
couldn't afford to fly. It took me six days 
to get from Saltville to DC by Greyhound, including
a few nights' sleep on benches in bus stations, with 
varying degrees of seediness. I turned nineteen on 
one of those benches. Anyway, it didn't matter how long it
it wasn't about me going anywhere. 
It was about me running away from someplace. 
As long as there was at least one state 
between me and Nebraska, I felt free to take my time.

Things haven't changed that much; I still can't afford to
But I can't afford to wait six days either. 
So I hacked myself a seat on this flight - Byers 
looming over me, making sure I didn't boot anyone 
off the plane in my favor, or give myself
anything higher than coach. I argued that coach wasn't 
designed for people over five feet tall, and 
Byers' diplomatic compromise was for me to get a 
first-row seat."

"Great," I'd said. "I can toss my cookies, be cramped and 
uncomfortable, and surrounded by screaming babies, all in
one trip."

Byers just raised his eyebrows; The Byers Ethics Look.

Coach it is.

And I know the queasy feeling in my stomach isn't from 
the plane. It's nerves. From whatever's 
going to happen when I land. What the hell am I 
going to say? What do I say to a man I haven't seen
in ten years - a man who dislocated both 
of my arms, at different times, from yanking 
me around too hard? A man who begrudgingly 
learned to cook something other than grilled cheese 
after my mom left, so I could eat normal 
food? A man who I disappointed horribly by not 
wanting to follow in his footsteps? A man who -

Shit. It's simple and impossible: What do I say to my

I wrote my dad a postcard after I left Nebraska, 
which I never sent, but kept it folded up in 
my wallet for years and years:

Dear Dad,
Sometimes I get so angry at you I can't even feel it.
But I don't hate you, and I hope you don't hate me. 

I think that pretty much sums it up.

* * *

My parents argued a lot when I was young. I mean, 
when they weren't totally avoiding each other. 
It was weird - I know my mom had pretty valid 
reasons to be afraid of my dad. But the weird 
thing is that I think he was scared of her, too. 
Of her fragility, how easily hurt she was. 
She was the only person who could make him feel guilty. 

The walls in our house were thin. I could hear 
them arguing at night, their voices chasing 
each other around the rooms on the bottom floor. A 
rhythm developed over the years: They'd start 
fighting in the bedroom over something 
petty and when it escalated to 
all-out war, she'd storm into the kitchen. He'd 
follow her into the kitchen, and after
a few rounds of shouting and throwing 
dishes, she'd run to the living room. 
He'd chase her into the living room, and 
there'd be a another few rounds. 
Things would break, furniture would get knocked 
over. If it escalated to the point of 
brutality, she'd lock herself in the 
downstairs bathroom and leave him pounding 
on solid wood until both of them ran out of energy. 

The house got a lot quieter after she left. 

Anyway, this dance would last about an hour. 
It was a three act structure, with a variety of 
climaxes, and generally ended up with her spending the 
night at my grandparents'.

I trace back my love of numbers to these arguments. 
Numbers; mathematics, coding, binary, 
even hacking - I've heard people wax poetic about the 
beautiful simplicity of these things. But what 
I liked about them was their reliability. A 
three, for example, was always a three. 
It had a specific value that never 
changed, and followed a rigid set of 
laws that dictated how it would react to an 
infinite number of variables, which also 
never changed. I loved numbers because 
I could trust them: They never let me down, 
they didn't require milking or 
plucking, and I could interpret and manipulate them easily. 

So while my parents danced the two-fisted tango 
downstairs, I would jam my fingers in my ears 
and count, loudly. Loudly enough to drown out 
their voices: 

"- hate you, you bully! You threaten, you bully 
everyone around -"

One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven -

" - what do you do? You sit around, all day, staring into 
space, you lazy -"

- fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen
twenty-one twenty-two twenty-three -

" - down? I don't want him to hear this. He hears enough -

- twenty-six twenty-seven twenty-eight twenty-nine thirty 
thirty-one thirty-two thirty-three thirty-four -

" - bring this on yourself, I'm sorry, but if you'd stop 
being so damn foolheaded I wouldn't -"

- thirty-seven thirty-eight thirty-nine forty the square 
of forty is ix-point-three-two-four-five-five-five-uh-
three-something-something forty times forty is 
sixteen-hundred divided by six is two 
hundred-sixty-six-point-six-six-six-six-six-so-on and 
two-hundred-and-sixty-six cubed is eighteen-million-
eight-hundred-and-twenty-one-thousand-ninety-six plus 
one is seven seven fourteen twenty-one 
thirty-five forty-two forty-nine 
fifty-six sixty-three seventy sevety-seven 
eighty-four ninety-one nighty-eight ninety-nine one-hundred
square root of one-hundred is ten ten minus ten is zero
anything multiplied by zero is zero one 
plus one is two two plus two is four four plus four is - 

I could trust numbers. 

* * *