standalone; pg-13 for drug use; mentions of homophobia; Dana Scully & Melissa Scully; pre-series; Melissa Scully comes home from college with a plan: to get Dana high.
A/N: Dedicated to my best friends and my sister and all the people who’ve shared moments with me, just like this.
Roberta Flack is singing about what god doesn’t like and Melissa figures she is probably emulating it. Whatever. God doesn’t like a lot of things – it is just too damn hard to keep up.
Footsteps resonate through the heavy calm of her body – tap, tap, tap, perfect posture, a Navy cadence – and a smile spreads lazily across her face. She has been waiting for this all day.
The door clicks open. “Melissa!” and then: “Melissa! What are you doing?” Rolling over on the well-made bed to face the doorway, a fondness floods her instantly. Dana always looks so much younger every time she comes back to visit. In hand-me down bell bottoms and a pastel turtle neck, high school senior Dana Scully looks positively pre-pubescent.
“Mom told me you got your braces removed,” Melissa replies, languidly hoisting herself up. “I wanted to see it for myself.”
“You did not fly across the country to see me without braces,” Dana rolls her eyes. Then she sniffs the air warily. “And smoke cannabis in our father’s house.”
“It’s not technically his. Uncle Sam owns us all. Come here, Dana.” With much reservation, Dana carefully places her bookbag down beside her military-issue desk and turns to face the bed. “Give your sister a hug.”
“I don’t like hugs,” she says moodily, but pulls her sister into her arms anyway. “Missy, why are you here? Classes start up soon for you, don’t they?”
“It’s a three day weekend – I’m catching a plane in the morning. And I don’t care, you always hug your sister every time you see her.” The younger woman climbs on the bed beside her, choosing wisely to avoid any complaints when Melissa clasps both of her hands in her own. Dana’s nail polish is chipped, a terrible color for her skintone. Melissa loves it.
“You shouldn’t have brought all those drugs here, Melissa, mom and dad might–”
“Mom and dad won’t be coming back til midnight. It’s the vet banquet, remember?”
“Can’t say shit after I caught him and Shelly Mackey in the garage this morning.”
“You didn’t. Shelly Mackey? Isn’t she like…”
“Seven feet tall? You got it. I think it’s great. Boorish brother Bill needs to get smacked around a little by someone his own size.”
“Charlie’s due to come back from his scout meeting anytime now.”
“Mom told me he’s spending the night at Roger’s house, that little scout boy down the street. And Charlie’s the least likely tattle-tale in this family. That’s all you and Bill, Dana.”
“Hey! That was one time! We were sharing a bed!”
“And now I’ll never see Darrin Jamis again. I think he’s actually in seminary school now after our dear old father put the fear of god into him. Anyway,” Melissa reaches behind her and pulls out an Altoids tin from out of Dana’s perfectly pressed pillowcase. “I didn’t come to reminisce on all of that. I came to smoke some pot with my sister.”
“Excuse me?” the shorter girl hisses, scooting back hastily on the bed. Her eyes are hard steel as they pass over the open tin in Melissa’s hand, full with five plump little joints. “I am not smoking marijuana with you, Melissa! Are you out of your mind?”
“Don’t call it marijuana, Dana, the U.S. government spread that term to capitalize on our fear of Hispanic people to stop us from deriving pleasure from a substance that was planted here by God himself. It’s much better than your little cigarette habit. No harsh chemicals.” To her sister’s loud protest, Melissa pulls a zippo out from the pillow case and pleasantly sparks up.
“That’s a dumb thing to say. Everything is chemicals. I learned that in my chemistry class.” She studies archly Melissa over the elegant slope of her nose. “And I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Smoke fills her lungs and she holds it there, a comforting pressure that warms her limbs and massages her eyelids. After exhaling in an impressive, pretty cloud, she lets herself fall back onto the pillow and thrusts the joint in her sister’s direction.
“We shared a bed,” she throws Dana’s words back at her, curling her lips in patient smile. “You’d sneak out at midnight and you’d come back drowning in that cheap dollar store body spray… what was it called, Summer Seduction? Not exactly subtle. And you’d brush your teeth and floss – you’re the only one besides daddy who’d do it once, let alone twice – and I could hear it in the bathroom.”
“That’s not – I wasn’t –”
“Then you’d spend the whole week sassing the entire family. I kept expecting you to put on a leather jacket and ride off into the sunset on some kid’s motorcycle.” She nestles her face into the pillow and moans, waving the joint in the air. “Smoke this weed, Dana.”
“You’re not supposed to pressure people to do drugs, Missy,” she grumbles, but to Melissa’s extreme pleasure, she snatches the joint from between her fingers.
Her eyes snap open when loud coughing interrupts their easy silence. Oh. She’d been too high to remember that Dana’s never smoked weed before. Oops.
“That’s horrible,” Dana cries out around a weak cough. Melissa rubs her back and grins apologetically.
“It is if you try to suck it like a straw.” She takes the joint out of Dana’s hand and goes to demonstrate, pinching it neatly between her fingers and sucking in easy. “See,” she says through the haze of smoke leaving her mouth. “Hold it in a little and exhale. Slowly.” Ever the quick learner, the prim teenager takes a steady drag and lets it sit before exhaling in a hesitant stream.
Melissa barely has the chance to put it back in her mouth before her sister is doubled over in high pitched giggles. She rolls her eyes. Every first timer is this annoying, without fail, laughing like mad and voicing any and all slightly out-of-the-box idea they’ve ever had before the THC even kicks in. She typically goes quiet, likes how loose her muscles get, likes the way the sun gets a little brighter and the air covers her like a blanket. Sometimes she’ll read the same sentence over and over again and marvel at how it feels different every time. But Dana’s going to be a talker, even after the first time jitters. She can just tell those things.
She is proven right after some time and her sister’s second hit. “I can’t believe I’m doing drugs in daddy’s house. In Ahab’s house.” Collapsing beside Melissa and spreading out like a starfish, she sighs wistfully. “Daddy’s so mean, Melissa. He’s so mean to me.”
“What are you talking about?” Melissa asks sharply, annoyed. “You’re clearly the favorite, Starbuck.”
“I’m the favorite? You’re the only one he never yells at.”
No reason to yell at someone you have absolutely no expectations of, Melissa thinks bitterly. Never mind. That’s not why she’s here. “Mom called me, Dana. Last week.” She feels rather than sees her sister freeze up. The movement pulls at the sheets just a little.
“Yeah? What’d she say?” Already so defensive. Oh, Dana…
“Oh, you know,” Melissa says airily. “How are classes going. Are you making mass. Your sister is kissing girls, Melissa, what have you been saying to her?”
Dana’s voice goes tight and hard, thick with the weed and a little slurred. “It was practice, you know, for boys. All girls do it.”
Melissa says her measured words to the ceiling, not wanting to see the look on her sister’s face. It’ll break her heart, and she always feels too much when she’s stoned. It’s why she listens to R&B and goes to art museums when she’s this high, that extremely human need to feel all things painful and beautiful all at once. But not now. This isn’t about her.
“Normally, when you practice,” she starts slow, patient. “You keep your shirt on.”
“I like boys,” Dana says firmly. In control and resolute. Sometimes her younger sister is so kickass it makes her want to punch a man in solidarity. “I like Marcus. I want him to feel me up.”
“I believe that, Dana, I do.” Melissa rolls on her side and pets Dana’s unruly red hair, teased to hell and full of tangles. She suppresses a smile. “I just want to say–”
“Missy, stop it. There’s nothing for anyone to worry about.”
“I want to say that whatever you’re feeling is okay. I was just thinking earlier. About God. You know, God doesn’t want us to do a lot of things. And it’s impossible to remember all the stuff we’re supposed to stay away from.” Maybe Melissa judged herself wrong, she can be a talker too. “I don’t buy the idea that we’re supposed to just follow this arbitrary list of… rules and hope we’re granted eternal life in return. It depresses me to think life is that simple. Doesn’t it depress you?”
“Rules and order aren’t depressing,” Dana says seriously. It’s not upsetting because Melissa knows that’s Dana talking, not their father, not Bill Jr. “I mean… they’re necessary. And sometimes it’s necessary to break them. But we still need to have them because I think we… come to be comforted by them. And I think our need for order is what separates us from other species.”
“That’s deep, Dana,” Melissa says. She wants to look at the ceiling for hours and keep talking like this.
“Or maybe it’s the one thing that keeps all of life connected,” Dana contemplates. “You know, laws of the jungle. Predator chases prey, prey runs from predator. It’s innate. It’s gut instinct. Maybe we rely on it so much because… it’s just there. Some vestigial thought organ we’re slowly growing out of. We just learned about that in A.P. Bio.”
“I’m going to take you Penn with me, Dana. My friends are going to get a kick out of you.”
“Her name is Valeria,” Dana says suddenly. “She’s very tall. I met her in Youth Group. I thought she was really strange because she kept bringing up all of these literary references during bible study that pissed off Father Manuel. She had me read this book, The Monk, and it’s about an ascetic’s fall from grace and… I didn’t like it, really, not because it was sacrilegious but because I didn’t like the writing style. It’s obscenely melodramatic. We started arguing about it and…”
“And you like her.”
Very shyly, “Yeah. I do. I was really sad when her parents took her out of the church.” Then brightening up: “But Marcus finally asked me out after I got my braces removed. He’s going to take me to prom. I like him a lot, Melissa. He’s funny and he’s the only boy in my class with abs.”
Melissa struggles to hold her laugh in. Her sister sure is a lightweight. “That’s very important.”
“Not really, not in the grand scheme of things, but he’ll look good in a tux.” Dana lolls her head over and watches Melissa tap the ash into a little bowl. “Give me some more.”
“You’re lucky you’re my sister, Dana,” Melissa grumbles good naturedly, passing her the joint. “Normally I make people cough up money when I get them this high. Right about the time they start talking about vestigial organs.”
“I’ll talk about vestigial organs any day.” Joint in one hand, she tugs at Melissa’s ear with the other. “Darwin’s tubercle. You have it.”
“I know what Darwin’s tubercle is, I’m an anthropology major.”
“Explains where you get all the weed.”
“What do you want to do with that?” Dana asks, genuinely curious. Melissa has watched her perfect posture slip away, and this might be the only time her sister could ever be described as languorous. “What do people even do with that?” And a little less worried with her manners, too.
“Well, I’m working on my bachelor’s at Penn State. I think I’ll stay there for graduate school, too, just to save money.” Daddy’s not paying for my school, Dana. “But…”
“Yes?” her sister urges.
“GWU has a really great doctoral program. I think… that’s what I want to do. There’s a need for more female anthropologists,” she says in a rush. She hasn’t told anyone in her family this, only her college friends and her on-again off-again boyfriend who says he’s studying abroad this but is probably doing magic mushrooms in Amsterdam. “Male ones don’t always get access to study women in certain societies… and that’s part of the reason why we say things like mankind, refer to any kind of peace as brotherhood, or fraternity. We know so little about women.” She’s blabbering but she means it. It’s what she wants to do. Her sister is the only one whose opinion she cares about in this house. Maybe at all.
“We’ll both be doctors then,” Dana says softly. “That’s really cool.” A word Melissa has never heard her say. “Washington D.C., huh? I like D.C.”
“There are so many museums,” Melissa agrees. “And the music scene is awesome, Dana, we have to go together sometime.”
“D.C.” Dana repeats. “Maybe I’ll go there too, and we’ll live by each other.”
Melissa smiles at her, at her droopy eyes and molten body. “How are you feeling?”
“My mouth hurts… and I feel like I haven’t eaten in ten years.”
“Let’s go get pizza at that spot right outside the base. Trust me, being out in the sun feels amazing.” As they leap off the bed, Melissa frowns and sniffs the air. “I’m going to open a window. Do you still have that Summer Seduction crap?”
*A Smoke Shop/Hippie AU (trigger warning for abuse) Now on AO3
It took all of Andrew’s considerable self-control to wait while the cashier rang him up and bagged the liquor. He wasn’t thinking rationally. His brain had connected the man and Rain, the bruise and the fist, and now the rest of him was itching to deliver some payback. He felt reckless and violent, like he had felt when he had beaten the men who had assaulted Nicky. The drugs in his system were doing little to inhibit his aggression and that was a problem. It was all one big fucking problem because if he lost it here he could lose everything. Would Wymack give him another chance? Would he be allowed to?