Three Times Mulder and Scully Got Caught and One Time They Didn’t Care
Rating: Teen (for part 1 only)
Author’s Note: Part 1 was written for @txf-fic-chicks post-ep challenge. Subsequent parts are not part of the challenge. This was a fun challenge to take on! Mega thanks to my beta @piecesofscully for helping me flesh this idea out and for the stellar work of making my words work.
Hey Philes! In lieu of a Novel-Length Friday and for a very special Bonus Saturday, we’re reblogging the updated masterlist for our Post-Episode Challenge. Thank you so much for writing, everyone. We were so floored by the response to this challenge, and we hope you had fun writing, whether it was your first fic or your fiftieth!
If you haven’t read these fantastic ficlets for some of the most random episodes, curl up with a warm beverage of your choice and give these a read!
A post-ep one shot for Monday, written beta-less for @txf-fic-chicks post-ep/missing scene challenge. This one is for Kristin. She knows why.
He grabs Scully’s elbow as soon as Skinner’s door edges shut, desperate to grasp her firm angles and so rewrite his last sensory memory of her, warm hand on his dying chest, with his living breathing partner. She looks at him like he’s insane. She’s looked at him like that a hundred times in the last hour as his always questionable testimony was distilled from a barely plausible chain of events to him saying over and over, “I just knew”. Scully can’t apply science to his gut, and Mulder wishes there was some way for him to tell her that he’s lived the same day 24 times and watched her die 24 times and that all he can think right now is that she’s alive, they both are, and please, please, never let him live that Monday again.
He’d slept like the dead last night, passed out on his couch under the weight of two dozen heartbreaks, and woken convinced another was on its way. His commute had been surreal, the newspaper headlines telling him Tuesday seeming just a cruel trick, until Scully had brought reality through the basement office door, red hair and rosy cheeks telling him that it really was over. He’d wanted to hug her then, to close the distance that Diana and a thousand almost arguments have opened between them but when Scully had met his gaze, he’d realised she didn’t remember; that all those Mondays, all those desperate goodbyes as Bernard’s hand had dropped finally, fatally to that killswitch, were his burden to bear. And so he’d told Skinner, with a nonchalance betrayed only by the clench of his hands in his lap as he relived that explosion over and over again, Scully flying boneless away from him in a marble framed inferno, that he “just knew”.
Man sometimes I just think about how mad it is that Buffy delivers one of the most painful, dramatic episodes/reveals in song form. Like wtf Joss get it together. WHY IS THIS EPISODE SO GOOD. IT HAS NO RIGHT.
Post-ep for 2x02 “The Host”, MSR UST, PG-13
I have a second part in mind unless this part is so bad that you guys think it should not be continued. I completely rewrote this thing three times and I can no longer tell.
Here’s the story:
It’s not easy to observe Mulder here from the bench while his
back is to her, but Scully decides to give him this moment to himself. She wants
to watch him for a while; these days she doesn’t get to do it. She hardly gets
to see him as it is.
He’s staring straight ahead, away from her, into a future
neither of them can know. The distance between here and the railing, between
Mulder and Scully is a mere reflection of their current professional
relationship; she can pick up the phone for him, help him along, but it’s never
Scully shivers in the chilly night air, missing his warmth
by her side. Her eyes are glued to his back as if afraid that once she takes
her eyes off him, or even just blinks, he will be gone. So far he hasn’t run,
though. She can only hope he won’t. Watching him, she can’t help but think back
to what now seems a lifetime ago. Their first day out in Oregon when she was still
so green and he never missed a chance to remind her of that. There had been no
trust between them at first, dancing around each other, just trying to figure
out what the other one was thinking. Right now, even with the x-files closed
and their partnership dissolved, the thought of not trusting him, of not being
beside him seems unfathomable. Mulder shifts his weight from one leg to the
other and that’s her cue.
As if on autopilot, Scully gets up from the bench and joins
him at the railing. There’s nothing to be seen here in this lake except for the
dancing reflections on the water, she thinks, but if anyone can catch monsters
and wonders in the dark nothingness, it’s Mulder. Her gloved hand reaches out
to touch his arm. They need to get out of this cold, but for the moment she
merely absent-mindedly strokes his arm through his coat sleeve as if that could
provide him with enough warmth.
“Are you still thinking about leaving the Bureau?”
Scully asks him without taking her eyes off the water. When he told her about
it, a flippant, throw away comment, she didn’t want to believe it. She still
“I did think about it, but now…”
“But now?” She tightens her hold on his arm.
“We can’t just give up. I mean I can’t give up and I
Success in our work is imperative, Scully. Reinstatement of the X-Files must be undeniable.” He repeats the words he told her early; they sound like a mantra, now.
“We’re in this together, Mulder. I want the x-files
back just as much as you do.” As if she could ever be anywhere else now,
she thinks, but she is not ready to admit it to herself yet. Let alone him. Mulder
smiles, his eyes directed towards something out there he’s not sharing with her.
Could it have ever been different? She wonders. If they’d met differently.
Maybe right here one night; she walking a tiny dog, he out for a run. They’d
bump into each other, perhaps, smile and then… just silly thoughts.
That wouldn’t have been them; it never could be. But right now, Scully wants a
do-over anyway. She wants to know him again, to know him differently. To
salvage something just in case. In case they never get to work with each other
again. She couldn’t let go of him when they closed the x-files and she followed
all of his ridiculous rules just so she got to see him. He insisted on secret
meetings and on every possible precaution. Scully didn’t let go then and she’s
not going to let go of him now.
Fight, he told her. Fight they will. But maybe not tonight.
“Hm?” His eyes, glazed over, still lost somewhere,
“Let’s go home.” He chuckles and the wind carries
the sound away way too soon, replaces it with a heavy silence, words that get
“Come on, Mulder,” Scully tugs at his sleeve,
“You have to go home. It’s cold. And I really didn’t want to say anything,
but you do need a shower.” Another chuckle and this time he moves. His
shoulder bumps hers as they slowly walk away from their bench.
“I don’t really want to, you know…,” he pauses,
licking his lips, “this work is my life and I… I need you on this, Scully.
To get our work back.” His voice breaks at the end, his statement almost
lost in the cold air surrounding them, and Scully reaches for his hand. She
wishes she had taken off her glove because all she wants is to feel him now,
his skin, his warmth.
“You won’t lose me, Mulder. I’m always just a phone
call away.” She assures him with a smile. They’re hidden here; the
streetlights not giving off enough light to catch them together in the shadows
and so she leans closer to him, sharing more body heat. A justifiable action,
she reasons with herself.
“Scully, we shouldn't… this is-” Mulder looks
around, frantically searching for shadows that aren’t there.
“Mulder, no one cares about us. Not as long as the
x-files are closed.”
“How can you say that, Scully?” He steps away from
her and she feels the loss of this warmth immediately, “Or maybe you don’t
really want the x-files back.”
“Of course I do. Do you think Flukemen are part of my
current assignment? They’re not, Mulder. None of this is. I do want the x-files
back, but most of all,” she takes a deep breath, “Most of all I want
to know you’re all right. I don’t want to lose you.” It’s Scully who takes
the step. She is drawn to him, like a moth to light, and he lets her. Her arms
go around him, hold him close as she buries her face in his chest. He stiffens
for a moment and she knows he wants to push her away. They shouldn’t be doing
this out here where anyone could see them. But her need to feel him is stronger
now than anything else. And finally he relaxes against her and his arms sneak
around her waist, resting still on her lower back. He’s not going to let go of
“Scully, I really need a shower.” He mumbles into
her hair and she chuckles, because he is right. The faint smell of the sewer
clings to him, but it can’t cover up his own, very specific Mulder scent
“Want company?” She surprises him and herself.
“Always.” He kisses the crown of her head gently
and then he lets go of her, his arms falling to his sides. There’s a question
in his eyes, on his tongue, and Scully will answer it. Once they’re safe in his
apartment. Where no one can see them. Where no one can stop them.
This is a post-episode for “Kaddish,” for @txf-fic-chicks‘ post-ep challenge.
The air inside the oncology clinic is stale, antiseptic, a hospital smell even though it’s not technically a hospital. Though it’s not a smell that’s ever bothered her before, this time, Scully begins to feel nauseous just walking through the front door. Not a good sign, wanting to vomit before the treatment has even started, before she’s even consented to be treated at all… but after Allentown, after Scanlon’s “treatments,” she’s a acquired a whole new selection of experiences to associate with the smell of a hospital.
She gives her name at the front desk and takes a seat in the waiting room, trying hard not to look around at the other patients, all in various stages of treatment. Some look perfectly healthy, some are a bit pale, many are sporting scarves and soft, knit hats, and a few are living ghosts, thin and listless, staring lifelessly at the taupe carpet.
Scully wonders, if she decides to go through with the treatment, whether she’ll lose her hair… then mentally chastises herself for her vanity. She should be using this time to make a decision, one she should have made long before her appointment, not worrying whether or not she’ll need to invest in scarves and wigs.
It’s not like her to arrive at an appointment like this not having made up her mind already. Dr. Zuckerman had outlined her treatment plan on Monday and had told her to go home and think about it for a few days, and to come back on Friday. She had been ready with an answer right then and there, but Zuckerman had pleaded with her to discuss it with her family first.
She hasn’t. She had never planned to. This is her choice to make, and hers alone. And until a day ago, she had been firm in her decision: even with aggressive chemo and radiation her prognosis is exceedingly poor, and she doesn’t see the sense in spending what little time is left curled over the toilet vomiting, or lying exhausted in bed. Until yesterday, Scully had been prepared to tell Dr. Zuckerman to give her a good, strong prescription for the headaches, and to send her on her way.
But then had come the case in Brooklyn.
A year ago, Scully would have scoffed outright at the very idea of the golem, at the suggestion that earth and clay could be shaped into a man, animated and given life- after a fashion- with a few Hebrew characters written on its hand. And she still isn’t sold on the idea, not literally… but in a figurative sense, the notion is all too real to her.
Isaac Luria, Mulder claims, had been brought back to life by the love of his fiancee, Arial Weiss. But absent his soul, it had been a pale imitation of life, one where he had known nothing but a thirst for vengeance, stumbling mindlessly from one victim to the next.
For Mulder, Scully knows, it will be the other way around. She will die, and he will be left behind, empty and broken, feeling nothing but hate, caring about nothing but exacting revenge, taking out the men responsible for what has been done to her, one by one, until there is only himself left.
And then, she fears, he will finish the job,
She doesn’t think she’s being overdramatic. Her mother and Melissa have told her the full story of what a wreck Mulder had been when she’d been taken, and when she’d been returned comatose. She’s seen herself, these past weeks, how he’s looked at her with guilt-stricken horror every time she’s had a nosebleed. In the hospital hallway, in Allentown, he’d kissed her forehead, right over the spot where the tumor is lurking, his lips lingering a fraction too long, as though he’d thought that maybe, somehow, he could siphon the cancer out of her and take it into himself.
She knows he would. He wouldn’t eve stop to think about it.
Kenneth Ungar, the scholar from the Judaic Archives, had explained that the golem was animated by inscribing three Hebrew characters onto it: Aleph, Mem, and Tav, spelling out “emet,” the Hebrew word for “truth.” The golem could only be killed by erasing the first character, the Aleph, changing the word to “met,” meaning “death.”
Scully is Mulder’s truth. She is the Aleph being gradually erased from his life, and when she is gone, she will leave behind only death.
She reflects, again and again, on his words to her in the hallway: “The truth will save you, Scully. I think it’ll save us both.” She knows he’s right. And she knows she cannot give in without a fight, no matter how painful and difficult the battle may be.
“Ms. Scully?” The receptionist calls Scully’s name, jerking her out of her reverie. She follows a nurse back to the office, where Dr. Zuckerman is waiting. He smiles as she enters and takes a seat across from him.
“So, Dana,” he says, “have you had some time to think about how you’d like to proceed?” Scully takes a deep breath.
“Yes,” she says firmly. “I’d like to go ahead with the treatment.”
Philes, after the week we’ve had as a fandom, we thought it’d be a good idea to focus on what it is that unites us: Our awesome show!!! Our love for The X-Files is what brings us together in the first place, and we hope that our newest fic writing challenge will do exactly that.
When we’re combing through the archives for the best post-episodes and missing scenes to bring to you all, we noticed that there are some episodes that get a lot more play than others. You know the ones…all things, En Ami, Requiem, Per Manum, Existence, heck even the Pilot. And we LOVE all of those post-eps, don’t get us wrong. Seriously, we can’t get enough post-eps for all things, put them all in our eyeballs.
But we thought it would be fun (and challenging!!) to send you on a treasure hunt for the least-common episodes that are written about and write your own post-ep or missing scene for those episodes that don’t get so much love. So get your rewatch on! Cuddle up and scour the seasons on your streaming service of choice and watch an episode you haven’t seen in, like, forever.
A Note: You’ll probably notice that our list of “outlawed” episodes features A LOT of episodes from Seasons 4 through 7, and that’s because that’s when fic writing in the fandom really took off, and because the sexual tension between Mulder and Scully was at an all-time high, so we needed it as a fandom.
The requirements for the fic challenge are outlined below, followed by a list of the episodes we DON’T want you to use. Everyone who writes a submission will get reblogged by us, and we’ll compile a masterlist when everyone’s submitted their stories.
Anyone can submit. Yes, ANYONE. If you’d prefer to submit anonymously, that’s fine too, just message us and let us know.
Must be under 2,000 words
Must be a new fic you’ve written for this challenge
Must be a post-episode or a missing scene
You may submit up to two (2) stories
Do your research! Comb through the seasons and click on an episode you can’t remember the last time you watched.
Due date is midnight exactly two weeks from today, Thursday, March 9.
Pilot Irresistible Pusher Never Again Memento Mori Small Potatoes Detour Redux / Redux II Christmas Carol / Emily The End The X-Files: Fight the Future The Beginning Triangle Dreamland 1 & 2 Two Fathers / One Son Arcadia Milagro Field Trip Biogenesis / The 6th Extinction / Amor Fati Millenium Orison Sein und Zeit / Closure En Ami all things Je Souhaite Requiem Per Manum Existence William The Truth The X-Files: I Want to Believe Season 10 (Yes, all of it.)
Please message us if you have any questions. Otherwise, happy writing!
by: mldrgrl Rated: PG Summary: for @txf-fic-chicks post-ep/missing scene challenge - At the end of Firewalker, Mulder reports that they are in day 4 of a month long, mandatory quarantine. So, what was that like? Thank you @sunflowerseedsandscience for narrowing things down for me!
After the first week of the quarantine, they relaxed our decon status to level 3. It still meant the same checks, same blood samples, same fluid samples, same vitals taken, just less often. The week after that, they relaxed it even further down to level 2. Which was still the same tests, less often, only this time the personnel weren’t required to wear masks. At the very least, Scully and I weren’t isolated. Not from each other, anyway.
Those first two weeks we were kept in a ward resembling a hospital, complete with adjustable beds and every kind of monitor known to man. It was just us, ten empty beds between us, and a rotating staff of CDC doctors and nurses who were pretty excited about a possible fungal contamination when we first arrived, but quickly grew bored with our complete lack of presentation of any symptom and generally left us alone if they weren’t drawing blood.
Scully read a lot. They had a whole library of material to choose from to keep us biohazards from going stir crazy, but Scully wasn’t the type to sit down with the newest Michael Crichton novel. She requested textbooks on pathology to kill time. I would rather swallow nails than read a textbook. I did get to consult on some behavioral profiles that were sent over for me to offer input on, so I did get something done. One evening, I amused myself by turning on all twelve TVs in the room to MTV, turning out the lights, and tried to convince Scully to come party in Club Quarantine. I even sweet talked one of the nurses into providing me with a tray of test tubes and I filled them with gatorade. Scully humored me by doing one shot and then went back to her little corner of textbooks while I played air guitar to some new Aerosmith video.
I wasn’t worried about a fungal contamination at all. From what we witnessed out at the institute, we’d have been long showing signs by now if we were exposed. What I was worried about, was Scully. In all honesty, I didn’t think it was a good idea for her to return to work so quickly, but she was adamant about it. And though she cleared her physical tests and her recertification training, I just thought that taking a break to deal with the abduction, which she has no memory of, would be wise. The only reason I agreed to sign off on her reinstatement was because it meant I could keep an eye on her myself.
I don’t know if she knows it, but she’s had nightmares almost every night since we’ve been here. I’m not much of a sleeper, so I stayed up late watching TV down on my end, volume low, and I could hear her soft whimpers from across the room. I didn’t really know what to do, but I didn’t want to wake her. What exactly would I say, for one thing? And if I know Scully, she’d be so mortified she may not sleep again the entire month if she knew I saw her like that. I suppose the cat would’ve been out of the bag if she was more like me and woke up shouting, but she just whimpered with a furrowed brow. I put my hand on her shoulder and eventually she relaxed.
Three nights in a row I was pulled from bed by the same whimpering cry and then nothing for the next four nights. Towards the end of the second week it was happening more frequently and multiple times a night. She never woke up and I never did more than touch her shoulder and wait for her to stop.
The third week of quarantine, they moved us into a unit that was more like a hotel. It had a separate bedroom and a pull out couch and a kitchenette. Gentleman that I am, I gave Scully the bedroom and I took the pull out couch. It wasn’t all that comfortable, but the only TV in the place was in the little living room and I could make do. The best thing about the new digs was that they let us make requests for groceries and it turned out that Scully actually likes to cook things. She also wasn’t half-bad, even if she prefered things that are rather bland.
Now that we had a real room and a VCR, Scully grew less interested in her textbooks and started joining me for movies at night. Most of the time, she went to bed before they were over and considering she shut the door to the bedroom, I have no idea if the nightmares continued.
We were in the home stretch with only a week to go of this imprisonment when she fell asleep next to me during movie night. Another nice thing about the new stage of quarantine was they let us wear actual pajamas instead of hospital scrubs and she had on this pair of pinstriped flannel pj’s that looked pretty cozy. I had stretched out on the pull out, propped up by cushions and pillows and Scully curled up on her side, propped up on her elbow. I saw her lay down at one point, but I didn’t realize she was asleep until the nightmare started.
It was just a little whimper and I picked up the remote to mute the TV. The light from the TV made her skin glow and I could see a tear trickling from the corner of her eye and glistening down the inside line of her nose.
“Shit,” I whispered.
Crying was something else. She hadn’t cried before and my heart felt like it was being squeezed in a vice. It brought back memories of nights when Samantha was little and she’d run to my room after having a nightmare, after our mother had told her one too many times to go back to bed. I would hug her and tuck her back into bed and look in the closet for monsters until one night when I’d just gotten too old and impatient to deal with an annoying little sister who came running every time she heard a noise. I told her to stop being a baby and stop barging into my room and I don’t know what she did to comfort herself after that because less than a year later, she was gone forever. If I’d known then what I know now, I never would’ve turned her away.
Scully isn’t Samantha. I can’t hug her and tuck her in and pretend to have a bottle of super potent monster repellent hidden under the bed to chase all the bad guys away. I can’t tuck her in and tell her I’ll stay until she falls asleep. Scully isn’t seven and she doesn’t hero worship me and think I can do no wrong.
So, I did what I’d done the first weeks of quarantine and I put my hand on Scully’s shoulder, but still she whimpered and still the tears continued to trickle. I wondered what the nightmares were about. The abduction? Something else? I wished she’d confide in me, but honestly, one of my biggest fears since she’d been returned to me was that she blamed me for what happened. I wasn’t there to answer my phone. I didn’t track Duane Barry down in time to stop it from happening. And I spent months looking, but still I never found her. I’d understand if she didn’t trust me anymore, but I really wanted a chance to earn it back.
Suddenly, Scully gave a jerk and her eyes opened. She shivered and her eyes rolled in confusion. Her breathing was quick and shallow.
“It’s okay,” I said, quietly, giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze.
“Mulder?” she whispered, voice thin and breathless.
“Unfortunately. You okay?”
“Fine,” she whispered. “I’m fine.”
She pulled at the collar of her shirt a little and smoothed her hand up and down her throat as she nodded slightly. She brushed her hand across her cheek and then pulled her fingers away and a look of surprise crossed her face when they came away wet.
“I don’t remember,” Scully answered.
“Was it about the spores?”
“I don’t know.”
Scully curled her body up a little tighter and I was surprised she hadn’t already gotten up to leave. I was hesitant to do it, but I put my hand on her head.
“If you wanted to talk at all,” I said. “We can.”
“I told you, I don’t remember.”
“Not just about the dreams, about anything.”
“I meant the abduction,” she said, quietly, her eyes slipping shut. “I don’t remember.”
I moved my hand away and put it in my lap. “I know.”
“Don’t be sorry, Scully.”
She took a deep breath and sighed as she exhaled. She shifted slightly and curled up a little bit more. Quietly, I leaned forward and grabbed the blanket from where it was folded at the end of the bed. I opened it up and draped it over her, adjusting it over her shoulders so she wouldn’t be cold. She sighed again and one of her arms flopped out towards me. Slowly, I leaned back again and when a few minutes passed and she hadn’t moved, I reached down and put my hand in hers. Her fingers twitched and reflexively curled over mine. There weren’t any more nightmares for her the rest of the night.
Decided to write one more for the txf fic chicks post-ep challenge! Here is some Beyond the Sea smut! (I freaking love this episode and just had to) Thank you to @alittlemissfit for helping me out as always :)
It also should be noted that I was inspired partly by a @msrafterdark pic that is at the end.
“The only advantage we have is time,” Mulder says as he hands me the paper. I look at it for a moment before setting it off to the side.
My head is foggy and I shut my eyes against the overwhelming flood of anxiety that hits at the thought of Luther Boggs being killed. I hate myself for feeling this way. The man is a cold-blooded killer and a liar. But he was singing my parents song, he called me Starbuck and led me to the warehouse. I can’t help but wonder if he’s my final connection to my father.
“Scully?” Mulder’s voice and his warm hand taking hold of mine shake me from my trance.
“Scully…” He squeezes my hand and I look up into his chameleon eyes, now flooded with concern.
“You alright?” He rests his hand on my cheek as he did before and my heart beats a little faster.
In that moment I’m not sure what comes over me. Maybe it’s his hand on my face or the love in his eyes, or maybe I just feel lonely. But when I lean forward and kiss him it feels right. So incredibly right.
I think I’m late with my second entry for the @txf-fic-chicks challenge? Or is the deadline tonight? Either way, I had to write it.
Post-ep for “Chinga”.
“So, uhm, if you want I could take you.” Scully
raises a questioning eyebrow at him.
“To the shop. For the poster.” Mulder explains, swiveling
in his chair to point at it. Another pencil falls on his head with a soft plop.
Scully bites the inside of her cheek, hard, to stop herself from laughing. She
missed him; but obviously not as much as he missed her.
“We have work to do, Mulder.” She tells him in what
she hopes is a commanding voice.
“Nah, look around you,” she doesn’t, “The
office is impeccable and each and every report is filed.” Scully stares at
“I’m serious,” Mulder assures her as another
pencil falls on the desk, rolls away and lands on the floor. Mulder clears his
throat and quickly rises from his desk chair. “Call Skinner if you don’t
believe me,” his hand lands on his spot on her back and she can’t help the
small sigh that escapes her lips when she feels his warmth there, “Now
come on.” Mulder gently pushes at her and finally Scully gives in.
“I do want to believe.” Scully sighs and Mulder,
grabbing his coat, stops for a moment to glance at her. She grins, knowing he
has questions; what really happened on your vacation, Scully? Maybe she is
going to tell him. Right now though she enjoys the vague teasing too much.
“Well, then,” he swallows hard, “Let’s
And they do.
The head shop is not a place Scully wants to set foot in.
Ever. She steals a glance at Mulder, who doesn’t even think twice about
entering. She’s right behind him when a wall of sweet, heavy scents hits her in
the face and immediately makes her dizzy.
“You sure this is where you got the poster?” She
asks him and he nods. What she really wants to ask him is why he went into this
shop in the first place. Then again maybe she doesn’t want to know.
“FBI dude!” Scully crashes into Mulder’s back
momentarily before he takes a few more steps forward. She can barely see anything
thanks to Mulder’s large form, but she sees a moving shadow and a moment later,
when Mulder steps aside, she is introduced to “Spooky Carl” if his
name tag is to be believed.
“Oh,” he grins at her, revealing a set of slightly
crooked, very yellow teeth, “Is this an FBI lady?”
“She sure is.” Mulder replies. “This is my
partner, Dana Scully.” For a moment she is afraid he’s going to extend his
hand, but he just nods at her. Relieved, she does the same and gives him a
“What do you need, FBI dude? Some-”
“No,” Mulder immediately interjects, “The
poster. Do you still sell them?”
“I sell a lot of posters, dude.”
“The I Want To Believe one,” Mulder specifies.
Spooky Carl narrows his eyes for a moment before they spring open in acknowledgment.
He snips his fingers, which Scully notes with some disgust, are almost as
yellowish as his teeth.
“I know the one, dude. Let me check in the back. Took
them there a while ago. Be right back.” He wanders off and Scully breathes
a sigh of relief.
“Great place, huh?” Mulder point to some paraphernalia
on a low hanging rack, grinning like a school boy. Scully has no idea what
someone would even do with a thing like this, whatever it is.
“Yeah, I can see why you frequent this place.”
“Hey, I only came here because you wanted to get a
poster for your – what was his name?”
“Jack, right.” Mulder seems to chew on the name,
trying it out for taste. Judging by his face, he doesn’t like it very much. Or
really at all.
“You know, he might misinterpret you sending him
this.” Mulder tells her, his gaze averted.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s a powerful message, Scully.” She feels a
tickle in her throat; she swallows the need to laugh.
“He might think it's… you know.”
“No, Mulder, I actually don’t know. What are you
“Let me explain it to you,” he turns to her,
holding a small alien toy in his hand. What is this place, Scully wonders,
before she loses track of her own thoughts. Mulder’s face is too close to hers
to concentrate on anything else. “You spent some time with this Jack,
right?” Tentatively, she nods.
“So you see, your dear friend Jack will probably think
that you like him.”
“Like him.” She repeats slowly.
“Like him, yes. In a I like you, let’s date kind of way.
I can’t believe I have to spell it out for you. Scully.”
“Mulder, it wasn’t like that.” Scully tells him,
her voice sounding uncertain. Because maybe it was like that. Just a little
bit. On his side anyway. She hardly got a good look at him, or spoken to him,
really, with Mulder constantly calling her. Or Mulder’s ideas running in her
head as if they belonged there.
“All right, if you say so.” Mulder shrugs, putting
the alien back. “Should I buy it?”
“Seriously, Mulder it wasn’t like that!” Mulder
tilts his head slightly and stares at her, puzzled.
“I just wanted your opinion on whether I should by the
figurine, Scully.” She feels the blush start on her collarbone and creep
up into her face..
“Uhm, yeah. I mean, no. Don’t buy that junk,
“You’re right,” he nods, “It’s just crap,
isn’t it? Not worth it?”
“Right.” Scully draws out her answer, uncertain how
to judge Mulder’s expression. Still pondering it, she almost doesn’t notice his
face coming closer again.
“Scully?” His breath tickles her cheek and she
“Do you really want to buy that poster?” She
doesn’t. She doubts Mulder is right – who sees a poster as a form of flirty
invitation? Well, Mulder would. That thought almost makes her smile. But just
in case. He’s right either way; she doesn’t want to buy that poster and send it
to Jack. Jack who? Her mind asks her, her eyes fixated on Mulder now.
“Hm, maybe not right now,” she admits, “Do
you know what I really want?” His face inches even closer, awaiting her
answer. Or something else entirely.
“I want to get out of here,” she breathes against
him, enjoying his closeness, his warmth, and she almost closes her eyes just
“And get a coffee. Oh Mulder, the coffee in Maine was
terrible.” His head snaps back, his eyes big as the saucer on his precious
“Coffee.” He coughs.
“Yeah, come on. If I decide to get a poster for Jack after
all,” Mulder looks ready to pout, “I know where to go. Now I want a
coffee and I want you to tell me exactly what you did while I was gone.”
And she never wants to lay eyes on Spooky Carl again ever. She’s fairly happy with
her very own Spooky Mulder.
“It might surprise you.” Mulder tells her, his
hand finding its spot again, ushering her out. The fresh air feels wonderful
and Scully takes a deep breath. Mulder watches her in amusement.
“Then surprise me, Mulder.” He chuckles, shaking
his head slightly.
“I really missed y-” he stops himself just in time,
clears his throat. A soft blush spreads across his cheeks and around his nose.
It looks unbelievably cute, Scully thinks. “You know, coffee.” He
“I don’t believe you abstained from coffee while I was
“I thought you wanted to believe.” He grins again
as she hits his shoulder playfully.
I missed you, too, Scully thinks, and hopes that one day
they manage to actually let the other know.
This was written for @txf-fic-chicks Post Ep Challenge. No beta, just written and posted. It’s post “Paperclip.”
Author: piecesofscully Rating: teen Spoilers: Season 3′s “Paperclip”
Her jacket falls to the chair with a muted thump, followed by the discarding of her purse and shoes. The yellowed beams of street lamps stream through her slitted blinds, offering her just enough of a glow for her to see as she pads across her living room floor to the stereo. The mixed tape Missy had made her years ago still sits rewound in the cassette player from her last impromptu visit, having been played and rewound multiple times over a few bottles of wine and stories full of laughs.
“Ah, remember Jodi from down the street?” Missy had asked. “The one with the curly brown hair and gap in her teeth?”
“How could I forget?” Dana had said between sips of merlot. “Her boobs stole my boyfriend that summer.”
Melissa had gasped. “Oh my god, that’s right! Henry! He went around for weeks afterwards bragging about how she let him put his hand up her shirt!”
“I should have known…”
“Maybe if you would have stuffed your-”
“I was fourteen!” Dana had said with a cough, nearly choking on her wine.
“So much drama over a B cup,” she’d said as she laughed. “You cried for weeks.”
“I’m going to need more wine.”
Her index finger slides along the buttons until she feels the indentations for the Play button, then presses it down. Piano begins to filter through the speakers, the light-hearted intro contrasting the sudden darkness she feels bleeding into her apartment. She gingerly lowers herself onto her couch, and mindlessly flicks on the lamp that sits nearby.
For you, there’ll be no more crying.
For you, the sun will be shining.
And I feel that when I’m with you,
It’s alright, I know it’s right.
“Sometimes I feel like we should have been twins,” Melissa had said.
Dana’s eyebrow raised, and she had laughed.
“No, seriously. Seriously, Dana, stop laughing and hear me out! You and I, it’s like we’re the same person.”
Tears had begun to trail down Dana’s face as she laughed harder.
“Dammit, Dana, I know we’re different, but sisters have a special bond, you know,” Melissa had said, her voice echoing into the nearly empty glass of wine.
“Well, yeah,” Dana had replied, wiping her eyes. “We grew up together.”
“No, I mean, our souls are connected, intertwined, tethered together for eternity. Wherever you are, Dana, I’m there, too.”
From the drawer of the side table, she pulls out what’s left of a short stick of incense and the small glass holder Melissa had given her as a birthday gift years before. It feels smooth and lightweight between her fingers, it’s emerald color glimmering under the lamp. With the light of a match and the quick forced rush of her breath, the tip of the incense begins to smolder. A thin line of smoke twirls from the end gracefully, the way Melissa used spin in the center of the kitchen while pretending to be a ballerina.
The warm musky scent of patchouli surrounds her, it’s smell tweaking the sides of her mouth into a small smile. It’s sweet undertones remind her of summer evenings from long ago, of two teenage girls listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk album on repeat. It reminds her of a time when she was Dana, just Dana.
And for a moment it feels as if Melissa is sitting right there next to her, cuddled into the far corner of the couch with her legs folded underneath her.
To you, I’ll give the world.
To you, I’ll never be cold.
‘Cause I feel that when I’m with you,
It’s alright, I know it’s right.
Melissa would roll her eyes dramatically, and inform her that patchouli was for depression, it’s properties used to help ease you from the murky depths of the prison of your own inner mind.
“Feel the hurt and then let it go, Dana,” she would say. “Don’t hold onto it, that’s toxic. Death, no matter how sudden, isn’t an ending.”
“I know, Missy,” Dana whispers into her empty apartment as she curls herself into the opposite corner of her couch.
“Energy doesn’t vanish or die, it transfers,” she would say. “You of all people should know that, Miss Bachelors Degree in Physics. Our souls are energy; energy that’s just waiting for the right moment to transfer and bring a new form of beauty into the world.”
And the songbirds are singing, like they know the score.
And I love you, I love you, I love you, like never before.
And I wish you all the love in the world.
But most of all, I wish it from myself.
And, when alive, she had been that very beauty in the world. Her life was lived loudly, and without regrets or apologies. She was as vibrant as the red roses that bloomed in spring, the air about her had been exuberant and invigorating.
Never a woman to be eclipsed into a shadow, her emanation too stunningly bright and commanding of attention, her energy affecting the incoming and retreating tides of Dana’s life from a distance. Now, even in death, her rich presence still lingers.
Hot tears sting Dana’s eyes. “I don’t…” she whispers hoarsely, not trusting her voice to remain strong. “I don’t know how to do this alone, Missy.”
Her sister would smile, her eyes shaded with a thin veil of sadness, and then grasp her hand. “You do,” she would say, her voice encouraging. “You’re not alone, Dana.”
A sob that has been gradually building and churning in the highest part of her belly finally escapes Dana’s lips as she buries her face in her hands.
And the songbirds keep singing, like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before, like never before, like never before.
The last few chords of the song are interrupted by the muffled shrill of her cell phone, and Dana immediately wipes her eyes and sniffles sharply, composing herself as if the caller has just walked through the door and caught her in a vulnerable moment. She sighs heavily as the ringing persists, and shakes her head briskly, then heaves herself off of the couch, stops the tape, and crosses towards her summoning.
“Scully,” she answers curtly.
“Hey, did I wake you?”
“Mulder?” Her brows furrow.
“The one and only,” he quips. “Well, really there are actually plenty of Mulder’s-”
“I wasn’t sleeping,” she answers with a sigh.
He pauses, waiting for her to continue. When she doesn’t, he asks, “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” she answers quickly, then eases herself back down to the couch.
“Right,” he says, and she can practically see him pursing his lips. “Of course.”
She pulls the blanket from the back of the couch and lets it tumble into a heap across her body, like the comfortable silence that has fallen between them. If she strains she can hear the slow rhythm of his breathing, and she finds herself slowing her own, matching his relaxed pace.
Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. She closes her eyes.
“Hey, Scully.” His voice penetrates the quiet, it’s warmth and tenderness slowly mending the frayed edges of her heart with each syllable. She hums in response.
“Did I ever tell you the story of Kenneth Arnold?”
Her swollen eyes ache as her smile reaches her eyes. “About how he saw nine high-speed flying saucers near Mount Rainier?”
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
She pulls the blanket to her chin, settling in deeper into the cushions of the couch. “Tell me again, Mulder.”
for @txf-fic-chicks post-episode/missing scene fic challenge … cranked out after feeding the dog and cat and before leaving for church … proofed while my kid watched, at high volume, Shawn Mendes sing ‘Mercy’ … any and all errors are her fault :)
She needed to eat.
He needed to eat.
That’s not to say they wanted to eat but need took
precedence over desire to curl up and die while the Peacock brothers headed to
points unknown with their mother in the trunk and a straight family tree laid
out in front of them, uncurving, unbranched and unthinkable.
Scully saw that he was guiding her towards the diner
across the street and thinking about shaking his steadying hand from her elbow,
she felt him lean in, “we need food before we drink liquor or else we’ll be
drunk as soon as we open the magic bottle and passed out by the third sip.”
She couldn’t argue the sound logic and relented, her
feet shuffling her across clean roadway and up unchipped curb to a diner that
looked like it fell out of Maybury, much, she cringed, like Andy Taylor had.
About to slip further into her depression from the last four days, she perked
up at the smell of homemade food and ‘Chantily Lace’ playing passively through
the speakers. Leading her to a corner booth, complete with red, shiny vinyl
seats and chrome table edges, he gestured in a gentlemanly fashion, “ladies
choice. Left or right?”
Choosing left so her back was to the wall, she slid
in, involuntary smile floating up at the memory of 5-year old Dana and her
family eating out on the rare occasion her father deemed them rich enough to afford
a restaurant dinner for his family of six.
Mulder caught the memory skirting across her face
and tapped her hand, “hey, dime for the thought behind the smile.”
Settling into the cool backrest, the material
creaking slightly under her movement, “once in a blue moon, dad would be home
and he’d look at the family checkbook and doing all kinds of math in his head
and dramatically scribbling for effect on the corners of several old
newspapers, he would decide that the bank account could handle taking six people
out to the local diner in town for dinner. Now, today I understand that he
would have taken us regardless but all his showy dramatics back then made us
appreciate our night out more than probably most kids did. We didn’t see him as
much as most families so a night out was special enough but then when we’d see
just how special it was and we thought it was costing him a small fortune, we
made sure not to fight, we were extra polite, we talked and tried to one up dad
with stories of how tragically exciting our elementary school lives really were
in comparison to his boring existence on a Navy carrier.” Thanking the waitress
for the water she’d just set down, Scully pulled the glass towards her,
spinning the ice with her straw before looking back at him, “there was a diner
like this in town, blue and green instead of red but I swear to you, that
waitress over there is the same and I desperately want to ask if she lived in
San Diego in the 70’s.”
Mulder, glancing over his shoulder, returned to her
gaze a moment later, smiling as well, “I double dog dare you.”
Scully felt some of the angst of the case draining
away, “no, I’m good for now with the wondering and the suspecting, proving
isn’t necessary to existence at the moment.”
“Fine. Take away my fun.” Opening the menu, “what
are we eating? Want to share a shake? Pretend we’re 13 and on our first date?”
With an eye-roll, she poked his leg under the table
with the rounded toe of her boot, “I don’t share ice cream well, Mulder. I’m
greedy and terrible and need to selfishly have it all to myself. I will,
however, give you the cherry from the top in compensation for the denied
Tapping the side of her calf back in response, “fair
Burger and meatloaf consumed, shakes slurped and cherry
surrendered, Mulder sat back, “what’s next, G-woman. We don’t leave until
“Well, you’d mentioned gallons of liquor and I’m
still pretty okay with that idea.”
Figuring there had to be some kind of liquor store
around the town that time forgot, he signaled the bill, stood to leave and held
out his hand, “come on. Inebriation awaits.” Dropping a sizeable tip, he then
charged the meal to the Bureau and led her out with his now standard hand on
her back, guiding her forward simply because it always felt like the natural
thing to do.
He chose to turn left randomly and before reaching
three storefronts down, Mulder pulled her to a stop by the back of her shirt,
halting their beeline to liquor and forgetting. Looking over her shoulder,
Mulder, eagle-eye that he could be, was pointing to
a flyer in the window of the Post Office, “we should go see that.”
Following his finger, she read the sign, “you want
to go to Home Elementary School’s production of,” squinting slightly to make
sure she was reading it properly, “Wizard of OZ?”
“Yeah. We need some culture, Scully. We never do
anything cultural, worldly, sophisticated.”
The eyebrow flew miles into the air, “elementary
school plays are cultural, worldly and sophisticated?”
“We just lost, into the general population, an
entire incestuous family who keep their mother in a trunk. We need this more
than we need the entire contents of a liquor store, trust me.”
Realizing he was completely right, “let’s go.”
The folding chairs wiggling in haphazard rows across
the cafeteria floor transported her back to an age where folding chairs were
meant to wiggle in haphazard rows across the cafeteria floor. She grinned as she
bought her $3 ticket and nearly giggled at the flying monkey who took it at the
door, the small boy poking his friend and whispering, “go show them two seats
and they’re tall so put them in the back.”
The friend whispered back, “shut up, Tim, I know
what to do.”
In an 8-year old huff, the friend led them to two
seats in the back row, handing them copy paper programs before walking away.
Scully leaned up to Mulder, talking low into his shoulder, “they think I’m
“They’re delusional kids huffing glue. You’re the
shortest thing in adult world and they’ll be bigger than you by sixth grade.”
Dropping into a chair and patting the one beside it, “now, sit before they call
the giant squad to come take you away.”
Smacking him hard on the upper arm, she settled in,
“you are enjoying this too much already.”
“If I had popcorn, I’d be in heaven.”
While he lamented his missing snack, around them parents
and kids, grandparents, friends, assorted other relatives filled the seats for
the next 15 minutes, the room soon darkened and the play beginning.
An hour later, they had witnessed four
stage-frightened kids, one tremendously loud and surprisingly on-key Dorothy,
two fighting trees who threw their apples at each other instead of the main
characters, several set mishaps including the curtain falling to reveal the
wizard before the wizard was to be revealed, a crier, two trippers and a
nervous nose-picking palace guard who then screamed when he realized his nose
was bleeding from the aforementioned furious gold-digging.
Once Dorothy finally got back to Oz and all was set
right with the world, the lights went down, another kid wailed at the sudden
darkness, then, the stage lit up again, a straggling line of kids awaiting
applause in the middle of the floor and visibly fearful it wouldn’t come.
They didn’t have to worry … because Mulder was there
and he was so damn happy with what he’d just experienced that he jumped from
his seat, clapping as loud as his cupped hands could achieve, his yelling
praises and congratulations and hooting driving the rest of the hesitating
audience up and standing, first looking at Mulder and each other to see if this
was proper etiquette then realizing their kids needed hooting and yelling.
Scully buried four fingers in her mouth, letting out
a wolf whistle that echoed throughout the cinderblock room. More whistled
joined and it took nearly four minutes for the room to quiet again to a
manageable level. Kids cheered, bowing and giggling, coming out to the audience
to find their families while Mulder and Scully stood quietly alone, grinning at
the best night they’d had in a very long time.
The ticket taking flying monkey turned from his
parents in the row ahead of them, “hey, which kid do you belong to?”
Mulder gave him an appraising look, wondering
fleetingly what it would be like to be owned by a kid, “none, actually. We were
just passing through and decided to take in a show.”
The kid nodded, then looked up at Scully, “sorry I
didn’t realize you were that short. I would’ve had Tim put you closer up.”
Scully smiled at him, “I saw the whole thing and it
was wonderful. Thank you for doing such a good job.”
Something twinged in Mulder’s chest as he watched
her speak to the younger boy. He wanted to see her with her kids, watch her
raise them in Scully fashion, science quizzes at the dinner table and midnight
slime concocting at the kitchen counter because she had to prove Mulder wrong
about the consistency and use of Borax in solution.
He would revisit the fact that he was at these
midnight sessions and dinner table tests another time but for now, he took her
elbow as the kid turned back to his parents, “come on, shorty, time to go.”
Instead of moving, Scully put her hand on his
shoulder and climbed onto the folding chair, making her taller than him by
several inches. Standing in front of her now and grinning up like a love-struck
fool, she grabbed his tie, fiddling with it for a moment, “not so short now, am
“Nope. Not at all.”
Returning his grin, she wrapped her arms around his
neck, hugging him tightly, crowds be damned, “thank you for the culture,
Arms around her waist, he held her steady and safe
high up in the air, “thank you for the world, Scully.”
Well fuck me, right?
Two years ago, maybe even last year, there was the potential for most of
the shit that comes out of my mouth to piss her off. But none of it was ever taken literally, or as
an accidental personal attack. Scully is…
most likely… sicker than I thought she was.
And that makes me a horse’s ass.
I walk such a thin line with her it’s infuriating. I care too much, I don’t care enough. There’s a desk I could get for her but it
doesn’t fit in the god damn office. If I
nail her name to the door, it’s a silly gesture and I’m going out of my way. But god forbid I, as the senior agent, task
her. God forbid I fucking do that. Because the second I do, she’s got a damn
tattoo and is fucking a guy that looks…
Well he looks a whole lot like me.
If that isn’t symbolism, then I don’t know what is.
And if you think for a second that I haven’t profiled the
shit out of my partner, you’re as ignorant as me. I’m an Oxford educated psychologist, and a
BSU Golden Boy. I figured about 85% of
Dana Scully out the second she stepped in my door.
It’s the other 15% that tied me down, confused the shit out
of me, and fellated me until I couldn’t get it up anymore… figuratively.
“Maybe Harold is sicker than we thought he was.”
Fuck me. She’s in the
bathroom right now and I know the sounds.
I don’t have to be by the door to hear it. I’ve been in twenty hotel rooms now hearing
her pitch dinner into the toilet. Scully
is probably rough as hell in the sack but her gag reflex is for the birds. She’s in the bathroom the second she feels
that blood tickle itself down her flamingo sized neck.
But I’ve refused to believe it with the same vehemence she’s
refused to acknowledge it. We’ve drug
each other into case after case, ditch after ditch, pursuing the faded ghost we
thought was the truth. The truth is Fuck
Yeah Fuck Me.
Except every time, I think those words now, her voice
bounces in my head. “Not everything is
about you Mulder. This is my life.” Yes. Yes,
it is. But it’s my work. My work is my life. It’s my life.
And you’ve fucking buried yourself in every little piece of it, haven’t
I look at the first year of files and see Diana trickle
away. Scully only grows stronger in each
file. She’s killed people for me.
“Maybe Harold is sicker than we thought he was.”
I’m a good-looking man.
I’ve never had to try before.
With anything. And here is the
truly fucked up part. You ready? I’ve never had to try before with a woman who
wasn’t in my league. And that first year
together? I actually thought I was out
of Dana Scully’s league. So I never
hesitated to hold my arrogance in check, no matter how often she threw it
It wasn’t until almost half way through that year I realized
she wasn’t just my equal, but maybe even a head above me. And then she was gone. And it hit me that I had a partner
again. One that had been trying to
insinuate me into her life rather than press me out. Still, I’d been fucked over before. After she came back, I didn’t want to let her
in. But Scully kept trying, kept
twisting that little knife in my side.
And now? Well now,
apparently, even more so than I thought, she’s sick as shit.
“Maybe Harold is sicker than we thought he was.”
I wish I could jam my own fist down my throat until I shut
the fuck up.
“I know what you’re afraid of. I’m afraid of the same thing.”
But ya know… her doctor said she was fine. As fine as you can be with a tumor that butts
up against the first or second most important organ in your body.
When I get home, when I sink down on my couch, I tug my
cheeks in between my teeth. I clinch
down on my jaw. My eyes are so god
damned dry I almost scope out the Visine.
I can feel my breath heaving. I
am dry crying and it’s humiliating.
Thank whatever deity you chose that I don’t come home to someone at
Harold was very much sicker than we thought he was, Scully,
but are you? What are you doing
tonight? Soaking in that tub with three
quarters a bottle of wine killed? How
does that work out with your pain meds? It’d
be pretty peaceful, no? To sink right on
“Maybe Harold is sicker than we thought he was.”
An eternity later, on my couch, I rack my slide. Eject.
Rack. Eject. Each time I chamber a bullet, I like to think
back. Especially after that fourth or
fifth beer. Modell. Rack.
Eject. Your sister. Rack.
Eject. My dad. Rack.
Eject. Your dad. Ha.
Not even my fault. Rack. Eject.
Misfeed. Whoops. Was bound to do that eventually.
Harold was almost certainly sicker than we thought.
As I pull out the bloody, wadded-up Kleenex in my pocket, it hits me like a paper thin brick.
Dana Scully is sicker than I thought.
Dana Scully is sicker than I thought.
Dana Scully is sicker than I thought.
Rack. It’s locked
back. Chamber’s empty. Brass is on the living room floor.
Fuck. I guess I have
to try to keep going tonight.
He shows up at her apartment without prompting. He has never done this; when he does show up he always calls beforehand. He tells himself it’s to check on her. Because she was kidnapped. Because she needs him.
(He’s afraid she doesn’t need him.)
He will never forgive himself, not for this. They had him right there, in plain sight, they were talking to him and he—
He let her go.
(That is his greatest fear. Letting her go.)
When she opens the door he can tell she’s not surprised at this late-evening intrusion. Worry lines form between her eyebrows, and he wants to reach out with his thumb and smooth them away, gather her close because he could have lost her today.
“Mulder,” she says, and he can’t tell if it’s relief or want or exasperation in her tone. Her cross necklace glints in the faint light from the hallway, nestled between her collarbones.
“Can I come in?” he asks, and she doesn’t look at him, pushes her glasses further up her nose. But she steps back, she lets him in.
He feels awkward, standing in her doorway, though he’s done it so many times before. Something between them is different and for a moment he regrets coming here unannounced, for a moment he contemplates turning around and leaving.
As if she can sense what he’s thinking she heads towards her kitchen, motions for him to head into the living room. He does, standing by her couch with his hands shoved in his pockets awkwardly, looking around. Her laptop is still open, and he can see those photos stacked by her computer, evidence to finish her report.
If Schnauz had taken a photo of him, what would he have seen? His own fears spelled out in print? Worse, his own desires? His want for her? His fear of losing her?
She returns with a bottle of whiskey and two glasses, setting them down on the coffee table. She catches his eye, motions her head towards the photos.
“I can’t explain them,” she says. “And don’t—I don’t want to hear about psychic photography right now.”
“What else could it be?” he says, taking a glass of whiskey. She sighs and pours herself a glass, sitting on her couch.
“You don’t believe that,” she says. “What Schnauz said. About howlers. Mulder, we create our own monsters—there’s nothing wrong with those women, nothing to save them from. There was nothing troubling us, there was just… something wrong with Schnauz.”
“What did he think was troubling you?” Mulder asks.
She quirks an eyebrow and takes a sip of whiskey, a gesture he’s so familiar with. “You don’t seriously believe that.”
He doesn’t respond. He shoves his free hand in his pocket, takes another sip.
“Mulder, he was a sick man who used fantasies to cope. I’m not troubled. I have no unrest.” Her voice goes quiet on the last words. She brings her knees to her chest.
What isn’t she telling him?
(Here is what she is not telling him: the nose bleeds, the headaches, the fatigue. She is tired, she is run down, the air is dry and he doesn’t need to worry about her more than he already is right now.)
“You think he was a sick man?”
He uses fantasies to cope. That statement could describe him.
Do you think I am a sick man?
She must sense the meaning, because she turns away. “You shouldn’t be here,” she says.
“I came to check on you.”
“I’m fine, Mulder,” she says. “Alles in ordnung. Everything’s okay.”
But he doesn’t believe her.
“You should go,” she says, standing abruptly. “I… I’m tired. I want to sleep, after today.”
He nods. “Okay. Yeah. I should.” He sets his glass down on her coffee table. She doesn’t stop him.
Do you think I am a sick man?
What’s troubling you?
He wants to ask but he doesn’t. Wants to hold her but he doesn’t. Wants to kiss her but doesn’t.
She hides her face from him when he leaves so he doesn’t see the blood on her face. She should tell him but doesn’t. Should ask him to stay but doesn’t.