And yet… On the surface it looked like
any other fact that filled the drawers and lined the shelves: manila
folder, leaves of paper, photographs, computer disks.
But this fact slid in beneath the door
under the cover of night. Picked up without a thought on the way into the
office, like coffee and donuts, and set on the desk for later. Yet later,
upon perusal, it drained the color from her face.
“Scully, are you okay?”
This fact was sealed with the red stamp of
confidentiality: a scrawled directive and a phone number on a note that
smelled faintly of burnt tobacco.
Find her. Call me.
On paper it seemed irrefutable. A name
unrecognizable beneath a picture familiar, a secret history that answered
questions and posed more. In her hand were two possibilities vying for one
“Scully, isn’t that…?”
Isn’t it? Is it? She tucked the folder
into her bag, away from his prying eyes and reached for the phone.
* * * *
She was a face in the crowd that smiled
when all others sought pretense to look away. It was this familiarity,
dancing on the fringes of her memory, which first drew them together.
They began to spend time together, time
that neither of them had but managed to find. Stolen moments of laughter
and comfort as strangers became friends and friends became something more.
When the changes came they were slow. The
days were grim and barely tolerable. There remained the ferocious struggle
for sanity amidst the chaos. A sanity mortgaged precariously against the
cost of human tragedy.
The nights were Scully’s refuge. A soft
voice, a gentle touch, a strong embrace to gird her against the darkness
of her days. It was a softness she remembered from a time she had
she allowed it to fill a void she'd long since surrendered to.
* * * *
The first time was remarkable.
It was the movie that made Scully cry and
the tears that did her in. Even more astounding was the fact that it was
laughter that reclaimed the tears long lost to tragedy. And the fingers
brushing against her cheek stilled her heart with nervous fear in a way
even death and dying could not.
But the fingers did not stop with the tear
tracks. Instead they continued, following the line of her jaw and down the
length of her neck. Scully sighed then, languorous and longing, causing
the touch at her throat to hesitate.
“Please don’t tell me to stop.”
She reached for the warmth that was near
her, drawing it close and feeling timid caution replaced by bolder, daring
fingers that moved swiftly from the buttons of her blouse to the zipper on
her skirt. Barriers removed, softness melted against heat and eyes she did
not realize were closed fluttered open to gaze upon a face gentle with
“You make me so happy.”
Scully felt lips against her own, full and
comforting like the curves and swells that pressed against her. Her own
hands found their way, sliding over the smooth skin of her back and sides
and chest, coming to rest on the warm slope of her breasts. It was at once
intoxicating and disorienting.
“I have always wanted you, Dana.”
The body above hers slid down and away. Her
lips tingled in abrupt abandonment. She protested, clutching weakly at
shoulders that evaded her grasp, but received only murmurs in return.
“Let me. Just let me…”
She had to close her eyes again as those
lips found the sensitivity of her inner thigh. And it was her own voice
that she heard pleading as lips and tongue continued slowly upward. She
writhed beneath fingers that tenderly stroked her open and burned with the
tongue that slid into her. She felt the heat flaring ever higher in rhythm
to the stroking between her legs until she was fire, burning beyond
thought or feeling. And as the flames receded she rolled toward comforting
arms and allowed herself to curl into the protective embrace.
* * * *
Telling Mulder became an event. He was
happy for her, but suspicious. He insisted on meeting her and was
surprised when the date they set arrived without interference from acts of
God or man. Nervously he waited for them, but by then, suspicion had
lessened considerably in the wake of his partner’s obvious happiness.
They sat in the corner booth, talking and
laughing, safe in the anonymity of the evening crowd and catching only the
polite curiosity of passersby admiring the well-dressed gentleman and his
two beautiful lady friends.
They spoke of common interests: science and
politics and current events. When time came to pay the bill, Mulder found
himself reluctant to end the evening but Scully was charming and firm in
declining his invitation to coffee.
That night on his couch, with writhing
images and urgent voices taunting him from the television, Mulder found
himself alone with his loneliness.
* * * *
Two possibilities vying for one truth.
The information in the folder could not be
verified nor denied. It came from sources that had led them astray as many
times as it had led them true. Yet she hesitated, with quivering hands
hovering over the phone, to ask the question of the only person who knew.
Her heart hung between uncertainties. There
was the familiarity to contend with, which had allowed this one woman to
slip with supernatural ease through the barriers and defenses that defined
and haunted her.
I have always wanted you, Dana.
Yet what was most disorienting was the
unfamiliarity, the unusual but pervasive feeling that commanded her days
and left a tingling in her spine. It affected the way Mulder and the other
agents looked at her. It was beginning to affect her work.
You make me so happy.
Complacency was trouble. Satisfaction was
trouble. She looked over her shoulder and saw the tombstones trailing
behind her. It was her lot in life. She moved her hand from the phone with
a sigh full of regret and resignation.
* * * *
It started coming back, as best-forgotten
facts are wont to do, at first slow and vague then stronger and more
An echo of a laugh, a ghost of an image.
These are the memories you hide, deeper and
deeper until they are within you, beyond consideration, analysis, and
judgment. So far down you forget they are there, forget why they are
dangerous. Until one day, sitting at an outdoor café, she turns to you
with a smile so familiar it steals the breath from your lungs. And as she
reaches across the table for a taste of your soup, it’s not a spoon but
a syringe in her hand.
* * * *
“Agent Scully. You have some information
we are interested in.”
“Who is this?”
“We’re looking for someone and we want
you to find her.”
“Her? You’re going to need to be more
“An operative. Part of a government test
team evaluating the efficacy of extraterrestrial colonization. AWOL these
past 5 months.”
“I don’t know who she is. I can’t
“You have her file, we sent it to you
“What happens if I find her for you?”
“She goes into… protective custody.”
* * * *
Scully took her hand as she walked by but
didn’t let go with a squeeze, didn’t let go with a smile. Instead she
tightened her grip fiercely and demandingly. The hand, the arm, the body
she clung to did not pull away but submitted to her need.
They grappled on the way to the floor, a
tangle of clothes and limbs. They were hands and lips and teeth
everywhere. Their intensity was warm and red: lips bruised with kissing
and fingernails raking, drawing blood.
Scully’s fingers slipped between thighs,
open and eager. It was warm and liquid but not enough. She thrust in, hard
toward the heat and was rewarded with a choked gasp. She crushed her mouth
against a bared breast, sharp teeth finding a swollen nipple.
Quicker. Harder. Bodies rigid with
sensation arched upward and together drawing forth sobbing moans. When
climax came, it ripped through them both with pleasure and pain.
* * * *
She wasn’t floating. If she strained, she
could lift her hips slightly. Otherwise, she was heavy, particularly at
her wrists and ankles. There were lights, bright and hot despite her eyes
squeezed tightly shut.
Everything was hazy, but the vagueness
seemed familiar. Her neck and shoulders were throbbing and there was a
spot at the base of her skull that itched so badly she thought she would
go crazy from it.
She wasn’t dreaming, she was remembering.
A cool breeze and movement to her left. She
tilted her head toward it, the tendons in her neck burning with protest. A
voice soft and familiar preceded a gentle touch. She tried to open her
eyes but the lights were fading. She wanted to say something but her jaw
dropped open, slack and useless. The voice was still there, low and
She wanted to ask a question but words were
not part of the memory. She blinked furiously; willed the haze to pass so
she could see. A shape coalescing, leaning in. So close. So close…
And then a prick in her arm…
* * * *
Scully woke to darkness. The body by her
side stirred and then settled. The visions, faint to begin with, were
fading fast. Her body was tense with anger and remembered pain. She got
up, remembering who she was. She got dressed, remembering what she had.
She walked away, remembering what she lost.
They answered the phone after the third
ring. It took thirty-two seconds to complete a trace and by then Scully
had walked out the front door into the night.
* * * *
From her vantage point on the bed, Scully
could see yellowed plaster cracking and crumbling from the ceiling above.
The television was off so she could hear the frantic coupling next door.
The girl was a screamer, her loud cries carried easily through the thin
Scully closed her eyes but snapped them
open again to dispel the face that flashed, image unbidden, in her mind.
She contemplated knocking on Mulder’s door and dragging him to get food
they weren’t hungry for, but the thought of sitting in a booth across
from him, mirroring his darkest guilt, was more than she could bear.
In every new city he was seeking and
running away. Memory, regret, choice, and guilt. She understood him now.
And unprotected by the all-consuming mantle of work, he would look across
that greasy formica table and understand her too.
She rolled over instead, pulling the
threadbare blanket out of its precise tuck, and curled into a protective
ball. Next door, the headboard banged unabashedly against her wall and the
girl squealed her pleasure. Scully gritted her teeth against the hot
tremors that rolled sympathetically through her. And when the activity
beyond her wall finally subsided, she used the sheet clutched tightly in
her fists to dry the tears that fell.
* * * *
* * * *
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