Schizophrenic Series by JLB

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Schizophrenic Series by JLB

Schizophrenic Series cover

  1. Schizophrenic
  2. Breakdown
  3. Treatment
  4. Shattered

Schizophrenic by JLB

TITLE: Schizophrenic (1/1)

AUTHOR: JLB ()

CLASSIFICATION: V, A, MSR

RATING: PG-13, i think, sexual situations

SPOILERS: up through US6, nothing specific though

SUMMARY: Scully deals with her split personalities, and what it means for she and Mulder.

FEEDBACK: oh, come on, you know you want to do it. so go for it. i’ll be your new best friend. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: somehow, i still don’t own these guys. CC and 1013 do, but they’re not using them right. i guess i have to show them the way. AUTHOR’S NOTE: okay, i don’t know what inspired me to write this piece at all. it’s just sort of came out and i went with it. i’m not really sure how i feel about it. i’ve been trying to decide if my vision of scully in this piece is true to character —would she really act like this? so if anyone has thoughts on that, let me know. i think mulder’s okay in this piece but if i’ve gotten his characterization wrong too, let me know about that as well. enjoy!

I’m sitting on Mulder’s couch when I realize that it’s finally happened—the thing I’ve long suspected would occur. He’s at his desk, pretending, though not too convincingly, that he’s enthralled with the paperwork in his lap. He must not realize I saw him throw that paper airplane into the fish tank moments ago. I watch as it begins to soak through and sink to the bottom. It’s good thing, I tell myself as I prop my feet up on his coffee table, that all but one fish has died. I try to refocus on the file in front of me, but I’m too busy coming to grips with my realization.

I’ve officially lost my mind, a cohesive sense of who I am. I’ve splintered, split apart somehow, become two distinct people. One who shows her face in the light of day, who is cool, detached, in control. She has a handle on her emotions, doesn’t relinquish her power to another person. And she hates my other personality, is disgusted by her. This one who comes out at night, in moments like this — in Mulder’s dark, quiet apartment, after midnight. She sits back and waits for Mulder to come to her, ravish her, drive her crazy with his body. She doesn’t care about consequences or complications. She likes that Mulder controls her. She needs him to almost.

“Hey, earth to Scully. Scully, come in,” Mulder laughs, as he throws a paper airplane in my direction. It misses my head by about an inch and crashes unceremoniously against the wall behind the couch.

“What?” I ask innocently, understanding he’s picked up on my mood.

“I know this paperwork is boring as hell, but you’re zoning out over there like some space cadet.” He smiles, and mimics my dazed expression.

“I’m just thinking, Mulder,” I tell him honestly, part of me hoping he’ll let it go at that, the other part of me knowing that he won’t, secretly thrilled with anticipation of the explosions it promises to bring.

“Ohh, Scully, what kind of thoughts? Is your mind in the gutter again?” He leers at me, sliding the folder in his lap against his thighs suggestively.

I knew that sleeping with Mulder would change things. I just didn’t think it would be quite so dramatic. For seven years, I stood by his side as his partner, his friend, his confidant, the one person he knew would always be there. He was an attractive man, I knew, and on some level, I wanted him even from the beginning. But I pushed those feelings so far down inside of me that I could almost pretend they didn’t exist. I became so good at pretending I didn’t want him that when he forced me to admit that I did, that I ached with want for him, it erupted from so deep within me that I was powerless to control it, to control Mulder. I’ve spent so long without his touch that now that I have it, I want it constantly. Every night. I’ll even plead for it — even if it means getting down on my hands and knees. Sometimes I think it’s easier if it does.

“It’s nothing important, Mulder,” I say finally, closing my eyes, and throwing my head back against the sofa.

“Sure. You get that far away look in your eye, and refuse to answer for so long and I’m supposed to believe it’s nothing. The next thing you’ll be telling me EBEs don’t exist,” he says lightly but I know there’s real concern there.

“Mulder I don’t—”

“Scully, just tell me what you’re feeling.” He says this quietly, his voice thick and heavy, but still playful.

What does he want to hear? Does he want to know that I can’t separate myself from him anymore? That everything I think, feel, and do is an expression of him somehow…that often the only time I know who I really am is when he’s touching me, when he’s inside me, sending me over that edge…that he’s the one thing I can’t let go of, that won’t let me go…that because of what’s happened between us, two parts of myself are at war, battling each other to the death? Does he really want to hear the almighty truth?

I can’t tell him these things. Even if they are exactly what he wants or expects to hear. Saying them out loud would make it all too real.

“I’m just tired, Mulder. Maybe we should go to bed,” I say quickly, casually, hoping maybe he’ll accept that, just let things go.

Somehow, I’ve reached this point where I think that sex can solve everything at the end of the day. Maybe not solve things exactly —but it’s so much nicer than talking. It feels so good, so right, and in those moments, all the things that I know are true, all the things I’m afraid to tell Mulder, they’re still true but I’m not frightened by them anymore. I can feel them, own them, and I’m not overwhelmed. I simply want more of him. I don’t want to stop the descent.

“Come on, Scully. There’s more going on here than a lack of sleep,” he says firmly, closing the folder in his lap. He’s serious for the first time since this conversation began.

He has to make the first move. That’s how this dance works — he takes what he wants, I surrender it. It’s so different from our partnership in which we’re equals in virtually every way. I know he doesn’t like it this way. Mulder wants us to share the control. I wish there was a way. But this is how I need it to be.

So I wait for him. I can’t think of a single thing to say that will move him, bring him to me. I’m trembling from sheer want.

“Scully,” he says sternly.

“I’m really fine,” I say, smiling coyly. “Why don’t you come over here and see for yourself?” What am I doing, I ask myself. Who is this woman shamelessly propositioning Mulder? Someone stop her.

“Damn it, Scully!” His voice is so sharp I can almost feel his words piercing my skin. He jerks forward, pushing several books off his desk. I watch as he moves towards me, pacing in front of the coffee table.

“Why can’t you just talk to me, Scully? Why can’t you open up to me?”

I want him so badly I almost think about letting this go, letting him get his way. But anger and desire are so closely related, fall along such a blurry line, and the two blend together inside me. I feel myself letting the anger, the indignation take hold.

“Can you explain something to me, Mulder? Why is it that you seem to think you have a right to my every thought and feeling? You demand to know every emotion that fleetingly passes through me, but I don’t feel I can even ask you about the important things, things that directly affect me, us.” I say the words calmly, with such reserve, and I know this will incite him. He hates when I act so casually about personal matters, emotional matters.

“Yeah, Scully, I really go out of my way to hide my feelings. I’m sure it must be very confusing for you,” he snarls at me, placing his hands on his hips, in what I imagine is an action to demonstrate he’s standing his ground. I notice his clothing suddenly — his jeans are tighter than I remember them being. I realize Mulder’s in the same place I am — desire and anger converging inside him.

I tell myself I can do this. I will do this. I want him to grab me, kiss me brutally, until I don’t remember daylight, until I forget what’s it’s like to feel split in two, until I don’t ever want to wake up again. I can force myself to say this.

“Who’s Diana, Mulder?” My tone is not at all even anymore. If you listen closely enough, the anger and hurt are apparent. Mulder will hear it.

“God damn it, Scully! What the hell does she have to do with any of this? Bringing up Diana isn’t going to get you off the hook,” he shouts, slamming his fist against the bookcase.

“I’m trying to make a point. You haven’t told me anything about her, so if I don’t feel like dissecting my mood tonight, confiding all my hope and fears, you don’t have any grounds on which to force me.”

He glares at me, the rest of his features still. I can’t wait much longer. I need him to take action soon.

“Neither one of us is perfect, Mulder. I know we said we’d be more open with each other after we…” Suddenly I’m tongue tied like a school girl. I can’t find the words. This ignites Mulder’s fuse all over again. He comes towards me, crouching down in front of my spot on the couch, and pulls my shoulders forward, pressing my body so tightly against his I can feel his heart beat in my head, my arms, my thighs, radiating throughout my body, throbbing wildly.

“Say it, Scully. I want to hear you say it,” he commands, his face barely an inch from mine.

“After we…” I stumble again, searching for some innocent phrase.

“After we started fucking? Huh, Scully? Is that what you wanted to say?” Part of me is disgusted, another part excited. It’s such a strange combination, making me feel lightheaded and dizzy.

“After we became lovers,” I finally manage in a weak voice.

“Oh, is that what we are?” he asks sarcastically. He lets go of me, and pulls away. I’m still angry with him but now even more so since he ended the physical contact. He slowly seats himself on the coffee table.

I stand up, shaking slightly, dimly aware that I’m flushed, out of breath. I can feel Mulder watching me, his eyes boring through me, making every cell in my body split in two, divide, and burn like crazy. I clear my throat to distract him.

“Whatever we choose to call it…” I try to say this lightly. I want the scorching anger to fade away, letting the white hot desire resume control.

“Yeah, potato, po-tah-toe,” Mulder says bitterly.

“Neither of us has kept that promise, Mulder. And maybe that’s okay. Maybe we can just—”

“No, I don’t think it is okay. Everything’s not going to be fine just because I take you back to the bedroom, Scully.”

The part of me that agrees with him applauds Mulder’s self control. Unfortunately, she’s off the clock. The raging, wanting part of me has taken over.

“So what then? I should sit here and listen to all the intimate details of your past with Diana, and you should—”

“Jesus, Scully! Let it go already. Jealousy is a really unattractive emotion for you,” he spits the words at me, and I flinch as if they’re pure venom.

“Screw you, Mulder.”

I start for the door but he grabs me again by the shoulders, and pushes me up against the wall, making sure I can feel his hips pressed firmly against mine.

“That’s exactly what you want, isn’t it Scully? That’s what you’ve wanted all night, right?”

God, finally, part of my brain moans. The other part is outraged.

“Oh, God, Mulder,” I groan, gripping his biceps so tightly my fingers turn white.

“Yeah, I know, Scully. I’ve been watching you,” he growls, yanking my shirt over my head and tossing it back towards the couch.

He pauses for a moment, and looks at me. His eyes are wild, black, and I want him so badly I almost push him to the ground and take him myself. But I can’t let myself do it. That’s not allowed.

For a second, maybe less, a softness settles over Mulder’s face. “Scully,” he whispers gently, “It doesn’t have to be this way. All you have to do is ask, tell me.”

It does have to be this way though. This is the only way I can allow it to be.

I pant heavily, and when I don’t respond, he continues, pulling the zipper of my pants down roughly, his hands suddenly everywhere at once. He forces his tongue into my mouth, and we grind against each other, unable to stop.

He’ll devour me tonight. He’ll have me on that razor sharp edge again and again. He’ll render me breathless, weightless, senseless. Powerless. And I’ll love it. I’ll beg him to do it, plead with him never to stop.

And then tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up beside him, sore, bruised maybe, and I’ll hate myself. Hate that I lost control, that I allowed myself to do it. Hate that I wouldn’t let Mulder be tender, slow, gentle — all the things he wants so desperately to show me he can be, all the things he needs to be for me.

I keep hoping that the two people inside me will merge back together, develop some kind of balance, harmony. That someday they’ll want Mulder in exactly the same way. I lose faith though, each day, as the divide seems to grow deeper and further. I can barely see across the gap anymore.

Mulder throws me over his shoulder, and carries me off to the bedroom. I take a shaky breath and prepare to split even further apart.

the end. (now’s the perfect time to send some feedback! you’ll know you’ll feel better if you do.)

––

Breakdown by JLB

From:

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 15:22:59 EDT

Subject: New: Breakdown by JLB (1/1)

TITLE: Breakdown (1/1)

AUTHOR: JLB ()

CLASSIFICATION: V, A, MSR

RATING: i’m so bad at this…i don’t know PG-13/R, sexual situations

SUMMARY: sequel to “Schizophrenic”

FEEDBACK: by now, you must know i love it, live for it, crave it like nobody’s business. so bring a little sunshine to my world — drop me a line.

ARCHIVING: sure, wherever. just let me know. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: CC and 1013 own them, yada yada yada.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: this is a sequel to “schizophrenic” and you really have to have read that to understand what’s going on here. if you want it, just email me and i’ll send it to you, no problem. and please, angst experts out there — let me know if i went too soft. enjoy!

His apartment is always warm. Hot almost. I lie in his bed, and feel the heat, the thick air coating my skin, bearing down on me. I run my hands up and down my arms, convinced I’ll find some kind of tangible residue. But nothing. Just my skin, tingling, burning.

Beside me, Mulder’s still, but breathing heavy. I glance over at him, and see that he’s not asleep, that he’s staring at the ceiling intently, his face a mixture of exhaustion and anger. His gaze is so steady and fierce that he could almost bore holes in the ceiling. I try to think of something to say. Something neutral or light. Nothing too serious. Just something to break the stony silence.

Mulder usually likes to talk afterwards. Not sugary, sweet pillow talk but simple communication. Polite almost. Just to reassure us both, I think, that we’re still the same, that nothing’s changed. We’re still Mulder and Scully who fight conspiracies and search for the truth. To convince us that sex has not affected who we are fundamentally, how we relate to one another. And that’s important. To both of us. As much as we might enjoy the physical component of our relationship, neither of us is willing to sacrifice what we had before. I cling to the memory of that time for dear life because it seems to be something so pure and simple, uncomplicated by the effects of tearing each other’s clothes off, the consequences and expectations such actions bring about. I love the feeling of Mulder making love to me but sometimes I wonder if we weren’t better off before, if somehow we weren’t more true to ourselves then, to each other, before we became lovers.

Tonight we’re different though. Mulder will not speak. I understand this as I watch him lying stiffly beside me. He’s angry, hurt, and I feel almost numb— not to the physical sensations. Never to the sensory experience. With Mulder, every touch, kiss, thrust has impact, a kind of indelible clarity that makes my body throb with pleasure. Maybe it’s been like this for every woman that Mulder’s been with. Maybe it’s just because it’s been so long for me. Or maybe it’s because of us, together, the way we have always reacted to one another — in some innate, fierce way that makes everything we say and do to each other take on an intensity and significance that’s impossible to ignore.

So I can still feel every brush of his fingers, sweep of his tongue, movement of his hips against mine. I swear that sometimes hours afterwards, days even, I can recall one of our encounters, and as the memory begins to play, I actually feel Mulder, smell him, taste his skin against my lips. The sensations are whisper soft, almost phantom like, but I feel them, get weak all over again.

He was relentless tonight. I don’t know if he thought that’s what I wanted or if he was trying to teach me a lesson, prove a point. He kept going for what seemed like hours — I lost all sense of time and space somewhere around the third time — and his actions were so deliberate, calculated to drive me wild. I couldn’t even find my voice to tell him to stop; I wouldn’t have even if I could. I was lost, utterly, terribly lost in him but I loved every minute. When we finally pulled apart, I didn’t care if I ever found myself again. For the moment anyway. Dana Scully comes crashing back before I even have time to miss her.

She’s here now, whispering that I have to do something, fix things, get the equilibrium back between Mulder and I. She doesn’t have any suggestions about how to accomplish that, just the razor sharp insistence that it get done. We have to be professional and detached tomorrow morning. We don’t have room for unresolved issues, can’t carry them with us. She’s demanding now that I take action. I want to tell her to shut up.

Mulder shifts slightly next to me, maintaining the distance between us. He hasn’t glanced in my direction once. I think about pretending to be asleep, or actually trying to drift off, but I know neither option is possible. He’d know I was faking and I’m too wound up to actually sleep.

“You’ve got all the blankets,” he says suddenly, his voice rough and thick.

I’m somehow unaware of this fact, but I lift my head off the pillow, and see that the blanket and all the sheets are indeed twisted around my legs and ankles. I’m so warm that I hadn’t noticed I was lying beside Mulder, entirely uncovered, or that he was bare himself.

“I’m sorry. Do you want them? It’s really warm in here,” I say, turning my head to look at him. He’s fully on his back now, an arm resting across his chest, the other draped across his eyes. His breathing has finally slowed, and the light from the street pours in through the window, catching the smooth skin of his chest. He’s beautiful — I almost tell him this but something stops me.

“I guess I feel kind of exposed,” he says sharply. Without thinking, I quickly untangle the blankets from my feet, and spread them across both of us. I lay the sheet across Mulder’s torso and pull the sheet up to my chest, holding it in place under my arms — the way women in movies and on TV always do. Not real women in bed with their lovers.

“Thanks,” he mutters, turning on his side, away from me. I stare at his smooth, golden back — marred now with bright red scratches — for as long as I can stand it.

Silence. Darkness. Heat. They are the only things I am aware of.

Suddenly I realize I’m frightened, deathly afraid. I’m not certain at first what’s sparked my fear. I struggle for a moment, trying to pinpoint it, and when I can’t, I reach my hand out and gently stroke Mulder’s back.

He’s startled, jumping slightly at the touch, but he settles back down. He looks at me over his shoulder.

“What?” he asks, annoyed.

“Mulder…” I caress his back again, running my finger along one of his scratches apologetically.

“It’s late, Scully. We have to be up early tomorrow.”

“So now you’re the poster boy for a good night’s sleep, Mr. Insomnia,” I laugh, trying to lighten the mood, make Mulder turn and face me, touch me.

He sighs loudly, and puts his head back down on the pillow. For a moment, he just lies there, still, motionless. I almost wonder if he’s still breathing. Suddenly though, he jumps up and sits on the edge of the bed, letting the sheets fall back across the mattress.

“I’m tired, Scully,” he whispers finally, burying his head in his hands, “I’m really tired.” He turns to look at me, and even in the darkness, even in the minimal light, I see his eyes. So sleepy and small, but glowing somehow. I’ve never seen anyone’s eyes glow the way that Mulder’s do. When he’s hurt, lost, angry, happy — those warm hazel eyes always seem to glow.

I watch silently as he turns and reaches down for his boxers. He pulls the navy cotton up his body slowly, thoughtfully, and then turns to face me.

“Maybe I’ll go sleep on the couch,” he says quietly.

I’m stunned for a moment. Too shocked to determine what emotion I’m feeling exactly. Sadness or guilt or anger. I quickly settle on anger. It seems to break the surface faster than the others.

“I’ll leave, Mulder,” I say, sitting up, “I’m not going to force you out of your own bed.” My voice is clouded with more emotion than I intended.

“Scully, don’t turn this around on me. Fuck, I don’t know what you expect from me sometimes,” he returns strongly, but not angrily.

“The problem is not what I expect from you, Mulder, but what you expect from me. I’m not perfect—”

“And you think that’s what I want from you? Perfection,” he laughs vacantly, “God, Scully, it’s the exact opposite. I want you to admit that you’re human, that you can’t be strong and in control all the time, that that’s okay. I want you to admit that sometimes you make mistakes, that sometimes you feel things that are too much for you to handle on your own, that sometimes you use me just to block out those feelings.” He stops and moves to the edge of the bed, close enough to touch me, though I’m painfully aware that he won’t.

“But most of all, Scully, I want you to admit that what’s been going here,” he gestures to the bed, “that it’s about more than simply wanting a warm body to press against your own.” His voice is firm and steady, more concerned than angry.

I snap. Something inside my head just bursts. From the pressure of too many unsaid words, unexpressed feelings. He’s a liar, I think, he’s convinced himself of something that’s entirely untrue. Defender and Champion of the Almighty, All Powerful Truth is spouting lies and half truths easily, effortlessly.

“You want me to be human? That’s funny, Mulder because I get the distinct impression that you want more than that,” I say bitterly, suddenly aware of the foul taste in my mouth.

“Scully, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I haven’t ever—”

“Mulder, you know this is not the truth. For a long time now, probably since my abduction, you’ve kept me on this pedestal. When you take the time to think of me at all, that is. You keep me up there, all alone, above you, above everyone, expecting me to be this flawless, noble person who’s there to save you or ground you, whatever you need at the time. You expect me to always know and choose what’s right, to do it even if it means some kind of sacrifice on my part.” I stop catch my breath and see that Mulder’s looking back at me, completely dazed, confused. He moves his mouth but no words come out, and I realize this is an opportunity I must take advantage of.

“But you, Mulder…you get to be driven by your emotions. You get to run off whenever the mood strikes you. You get to play the role of the flawed, tortured hero, while I have to be steady, dependable Scully. Always ready to pick up the pieces, clean up the mess.” I’m surprised by the relative calm of my voice. It almost sounds as if I’m reporting lab results to him, nothing emotional or dramatic at all in my inflection.

Mulder remains motionless at the foot of the bed. He shakes his head slowly, and then runs a hand through his hair. I’m not finished, I realize. I should say it all. Leave Mulder entirely speechless.

“In a way, it’s almost flattering. That you think I’m capable of all that but I have to tell you…it gets really lonely up here. It’s difficult to want to stay up here, Mulder. And what I’m most afraid of is that one day you’ll realize that I never belonged up here in the first place. That I can’t be everything you want me to be. Expect me to be,” I say in a rush, the words flooding the room before I have a chance to consider them fully.

I immediately want to slap myself. Jesus, what have I done? I’ve laid all my cards on the table, thoughtlessly, carelessly. I realize I have no idea how Mulder will react, that I’m unprepared for his onslaught. How could I have done this without calculating the risk? My head begins to pound dully and I feel my stomach flip several times.

Mulder stares at me like I’m a total stranger — certainly not his partner of seven years. Not even his lover of a little over two months. His face is impossible to read at this moment. I almost feel the urge to cry when I realize that I’ve never been unable to tell what he’s feeling before, that I’ve never looked into Mulder’s eyes before and not known what’s going on there. I’ve failed him. Or he’s failed me. I’m not sure anymore.

He places his hands on his hips, and his boxers slide a little lower. I fleetingly admire his stomach, the strong, defined abdominal muscles, before I chastise myself. This isn’t about sex anymore…right, Dana Scully? She declines to answer.

Mulder takes a deep breath, and wets his lower lip. He’s preparing for the attack. I try to brace myself, pulling the sheets around my body as some kind of protection.

“Okay, okay,” he whispers under his breath, trying to get his thoughts in order. I just watch him, unable to move or speak.

“You don’t get it, Scully,” he says finally, his voice hard and cold, “I might have you on a pedestal, I might hold you above everyone else…but only because you’ve given me reason to believe you belong there. But even so, I understand you’re not superhuman, I understand you’re flawed. You get scared and confused just like the rest of us. What I want is for you to admit that, to tell me how you’re feeling. Just talk to me.”

He stops and paces at the foot of the bed. When Mulder finally makes eye contact with me, I see what I couldn’t before. The pain in his eyes, the ache that I put there, that I have the power to make go away but for some reason, can’t.

“Scully, you can’t treat me all day as simply your coworker…someone you see because they’re paying you to…with disdain most of the time…and then come here at night, fuck me like your life depends on it, and not expect me to have a difficult time reconciling the two,” Mulder says excitedly. He’s trying to force my hand, I realize. Perhaps my poker face is that bad.

“Mulder, I can’t help it if you—”

“I can’t do it anymore. Either you let me…or we don’t this at all.” He lets out a sharp breath, and I know he’s serious. He will not back down from this.

“Why do you get to call all the shots, Mulder? Why is it your right to decide everything?” My voice is strained, hoarse.

“It’s all been on your terms so far, Scully! We both know this has never been how I wanted it for us. I never expected hearts and flowers but this is…I mean, I like it too. I like touching you, kissing you. I love your body, the way it feels to be with you like this but it’s not enough. Not anymore. Not with you, not after everything we’ve gone through.”

I can’t respond. I cover my face with my hands and pray that I don’t cry. I can’t cry in front of him. Especially now.

“You know, if that’s all this is,” he says, the anger back full force in his voice, “why does it even have to be me? If all you want is some fast, hot sex, I’m sure there are plenty of guys willing to—”

“Jesus, Mulder! You know how I feel,” I snap, enraged that he could imply such a thing.

“No. No, I don’t. And since you don’t seem to want to tell me, I’m left entirely in the dark.”

He moves to the head of the bed and grabs a pillow. He won’t look at me. I want to scream but I won’t. I’ll just sit here and watch him go.

“I’m going to the couch. Stay. Please. I don’t want you driving around at three a.m.” he tells me quietly.

I realize how absurd that is — we both know I’ve been in much more dangerous situations than driving from Arlington to Georgetown at three in the morning. But for some reason I won’t argue with him.

“Fine,” I say, watching him nod his head and then shut the door.

I move to the center of the bed and spread out, trying to take up as much room as possible. I kick the sheets off me again, and lie there, exposed, alone. I try to determine when things flew so entirely out of my control. The answer makes me tremble a bit — the day I walked into that basement office.

Before I even realize what I’m doing, I’m out of bed, searching the floor for some item of discarded clothing. I come across Mulder’s T-shirt, and slip it on, delighting in its softness, letting it rub against my skin for a couple of seconds.

Then I’m opening the door, padding down the hallway to Mulder’s living room. To Mulder’s couch.

He’s lying on his side, no blankets, no sheets. He hasn’t turned the TV on as he normally does. It’s so quiet I wonder if he’s fallen asleep.

“Mulder,” I whisper, standing at his feet, close enough to run a finger along his calf.

“You should be sleeping,” he says softly. I wonder where his anger has gone.

“I know. I…” I forget what I wanted to say, if I even knew in the first place.

“You know, in that light,” he rolls over so he’s on his back, and lets out a sigh, “you’re so beautiful.”

I shiver, even as I marvel again at how warm his apartment is. I know what he’s thinking, what he’s trying to do, and I panic. I self consciously tuck a strand of hair behind my ear.

He sits up, keeping his eyes on me the entire time. He’s daring me to sit beside him, I realize, so I do, close enough that our thighs are just touching.

“Is there something you wanted?” he asks, playing with the corner of a file I abandoned on the coffee table hours before.

“Mulder…” My voice is so soft I almost breath his name.

He looks up at me, suddenly, meeting my eyes quickly, then focusing intently on my neck. I look down but don’t see anything of interest. I wonder if he’s reacting to the fact that I’m wearing his shirt. He usually likes that but maybe tonight, I’ve crossed some line.

He reaches a hand out slowly, and slides his forefinger against a patch of skin on my neck gently. “You’ll have to cover these tomorrow,” he says quietly, and I realize I must have some bruises or bite marks on my neck. I slowly raise my hand to join his and for several seconds, we stroke the skin together.

“Unless of course, you want to set the tongues a-wagging,” he adds lightly, a small smile crossing his lips. He drops his hand to his thigh, and slowly rubs back and forth, his pinkie brushing up against my bare skin.

Slowly, smoothly, his hand slides from his thigh to mine, and he begins tracing figure eights just above my knee. I try to force back the sigh I feel coming, but it escapes. Mulder catches my eyes, and smiles at me smugly.

“It’s late,” he whispers, his voice husky.

“I know,” I tell him, nodding my head. I watch as my hands cover his on my thigh, almost against my will. I turn his hand over, and slowly trace the lines of his palm.

“Your hands are so warm,” he whispers, some kind of awe in his voice, as if he just realized this now.

I turn slightly and move my hands to his back, grazing over the muscles in soft, steady strokes.

We look at each other, his eyes pleading with me. From his eyes alone, I realize how badly he wants this, how badly he needs it.

He leans towards me so our foreheads meet, and for several seconds we stay like that, my hands resting motionless on his back, our breathing shallow but in synch. He moves suddenly, placing his hand on the back of my neck, pulling me towards him. He kisses me then — a kiss we’ve never shared before. It’s not desperate or angry or hungry. It’s soft and thorough and tender. When he finally breaks the kiss, I feel dizzy and slightly disoriented. Mulder’s got more tricks of sleeve that I ever realized.

He smiles at me, stroking my cheek, and I smile back. I can give him this, I think. He can have this exactly as he wants it. We’ll go slow and easy and gentle. But he can’t ask for more. I don’t have anything else to give him.

I feel his hands at the hem of his T-shirt, tugging lightly. I raise my arms as an invitation and pulls the shirt off me in one smooth motion. I’m bare again, and I can feel him taking in every curve and line of my body, noting, probably, all the places he was rough and careless with earlier so he can soothe now. Erase any marks or blemishes on my skin with his fingers and lips and tongue — gentle now, thoughtful, reverent.

I lie back against the sofa and wait for him — we must do this together, I understand, on equal footing, but I don’t know where to begin.

He presses his body against mine, and I feel myself start to give in. The feel of his skin, the taste. This is right, I tell myself. Mulder deserves this. I push up against him, trying desperately to merge our bodies together, eliminate all space between us.

Just as I pull his boxers off, he whispers against my ear, “We still have to talk, you know.”

I freeze momentarily — I don’t want to talk, can’t talk, have no use for talking. I need to have something for myself, that belongs only to me. He doesn’t understand. He won’t ever, I realize.

Mulder looks at me questioningly when I don’t move, and I nod my head slowly. Let him have this night, I think. I shouldn’t spoil this for him. When he’s finally inside me, words don’t matter anyway.

the end.

who loves feedback? i do! i do!

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Treatment by JLB

From:

Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 03:05:36 EDT

Subject: New: Treatment (1/1) by JLB

TITLE: Treatment (1/1)

AUTHOR: JLB ()

CLASSIFICATION: V, A, MSR

RATING: aghh…PG-13/R…sexual situations

SUMMARY: sequel to “Schizophrenic” and “Breakdown” — Mulder gives Scully what she wants… (if you need the first two parts, i can email them to you. just let me know:)

SPOILERS: none

ARCHIVE: sure, wherever…just let me know.

FEEDBACK: do you really want to see me beg…i assure you it’s not a pretty sight. i love feedback of all kinds…good, bad, indifferent. so make my day and drop me a line. ()

DISCLAIMER: who owns them? not me…CC and 1013 all the way.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: well this is a little different…i thought it was time for mulder to get the upper hand for a while, let him manipulate scully for a bit. i guess i feel sorry for him after “milagro”…i think my goodMulder vibe is coming back, folks! i haven’t entirely erased the memory of “one son” but i’m on the way there…maybe after a little batting practice this week i’ll be back on the mulder band wagon. (i so want to be…it’s no fun being angry with him…at least i know how scully feels 🙂 enjoy!

I’m running. I understand that, have chosen to do it even. I’ve made a concerted effort to avoid the unavoidable. And Mulder knows it too. I’ve seen it — in his eyes when he briefs me on our latest case file…the anger and resentment coloring the hazel…the disappointment that makes his sleepy eyes seem somehow more alert, more critical. I’ve felt it — in his touches, his hand on the small of my back pressing less insistently, a formal gesture now…not an indication of affection or concern. Detached. Distant.

Distance…the thing I’ve wanted from the beginning.

Yesterday he wanted to talk. He thought I had agreed — after holding me in the middle of the night, touching me, kissing me with a gentleness I had tried to deny he was capable of. It was strange, frightening but exhilarating at the same time. To give Mulder what he wanted, to take from him what he’s been desperate to give me, asserting my right, my need to be with him like that — skin on skin, burning lips, maddening touches.

I felt claustrophobic as soon as we stopped. So I ran. Dressed silently in the morning, drove to work beside him wordlessly. We both knew nothing would be addressed in the office — neither of us is willing to forget who we are, what our priorities are. But last night when I stood in the doorway of our office, slipping into my jacket, he asked me to come home with him and I panicked, I fumbled. I lied.

Can’t…sorry…promised my mother I’d…

I saw the recognition on his face — the realization that Dana Katherine Scully, his beloved partner, his eager lover, paragon of virtue and integrity, had lied to him, was actively seeking a way to avoid him, avoid the truth.

The change in his expression was barely perceptible but hit me like a kick in the stomach. It ate away at me all last night — his face, his clipped tone, the thud of the office door closing behind me, leaving Mulder there, me somewhere else, across a divide that suddenly seemed infinite, immense. All haunting me relentlessly, so now on Saturday morning, I’ve wandered — aimlessly I tell myself though I don’t believe it for a second — around the city and have wound up on Mulder’s door step. Words need to be said. I feel that now. Maybe not all the words Mulder wants to hear but something. My mind foresees explosions, raging infernos if I don’t find something, however small or insignificant, to say.

He doesn’t answer when I knock. I stand outside for almost a minute, wondering if he’s in and simply avoiding me. I couldn’t blame him really. So I go over my options — come back later…leave a note…sit in the hallway beside his door like some pathetic welcome mat…or go in. Let myself in, face him if he’s there, wait if he’s not. I choose to go in, too tired and anxious to leave.

The living room is empty. There’s a warm, half drunk can of Coke on the coffee table. I don’t hear the shower. His bedroom is dark but I know he’s not sleeping. It’s almost noon — he’d never sleep that late. So I sit, preparing to wait. I avoid the couch, opting instead for the stiff backed chair at his desk. Maybe to torture myself. Maybe to steel myself. I’m not certain.

I try to imagine things to say to him. Truths that can be told without giving too much away. Ways I can bend what he already knows a little further away from certainty, so he’s not sure if it’s true, if it’s only something he chooses to believe…a mere possibility, not an unwavering conviction that he can cling to, hold up to me as proof. I can cloud the waters just a little bit more, so he can’t find facts, evidence. Only whispers, glances, touches — all open to a wide range of interpretation. We’ve never been explicit with each other and now I’m grateful for the doubts that come with that.

For a brief moment, I wonder if I’ve changed. I wonder if sleeping with Mulder has changed who I am. Would I have sat here three months ago and thought up ways to hide from him? I didn’t have to then — that’s the answer plain and simple. We had boundaries, limits. There was only so much he could ask of me. Now it seems my entire being is up for grabs. Or at least, Mulder thinks it should be. I want to argue with him. Explain that my body is one thing — he can have that anytime he wants, I enjoy turning myself over to him in that way — but my soul is something else entirely.

I hear his footsteps outside, echoing the beat of song I heard on the way over here, echoing the sound of my heart pounding, and I feel myself go stiff. I brush a piece of hair behind my ear, and try to assume a relaxed expression. It’s impossible — I’m wound up, anxiety coiled way too tightly inside me — itching to touch him, feel him against me, needing to tell him that there has to be space, that what we have is good enough, it works just fine. Knowing he’ll disagree, force me to say the words I can scarcely conjure up, even in my head.

The door opens slowly, and he stands there in the frame for a moment. He’s bent over, hands on his knees, eyes half closed, panting wildly. Running — I immediately recognize the grey sweats, the faded Yankees T-shirt, and baseball cap turned backwards as his running attire. His shirt is soaked through, the heather grey material now almost back, I realize as I watch him catch his breath. He hasn’t seen me, so I wait patiently, unsure of what greeting would be best, appropriate.

He straightens up, and throws the hat off, somewhere beside the door. As he moves to the living room, he finally sees me. I watch his face shift — the tired, blank expression he wore in the doorway hardens into something darker, wilder. He doesn’t say anything as he moves to the couch and begins to remove his running shoes. I sigh just loudly enough so he can’t ignore me.

“I didn’t expect you,” he says hoarsely, still focused on untying his shoes.

“It’s good to know I can keep you on your toes,” I say softly, smiling, to myself, I realize. He’s thrown his head back against the couch, rubbing his eyes.

“That’s one way of putting it.” He turns to me finally, and I watch as he runs a hand across the back of his neck, trying to sweep up the sweat that’s collected there.

“Good run?”

“Yeah. Cleared my head.” He looks at me accusingly. “Temporarily anyway.”

I could leave. I could make up a reasonable excuse, a question, work related of course — something Mulder would see through immediately — politely say goodbye, and leave. No harm, no foul. Let whatever it is that’s filling this room fester. Divide and multiple until it suffocates us both. Maybe that’s the only way.

“Why did you come?” he asks suddenly, his fingers playing with the tab on the Coke can. He’s playing hardball.

“To talk,” I say simply. I can do this.

“Really?” He laughs loudly, harshly. “For some reason, I find that hard to believe. Imagine that, Scully. For once, I don’t believe.”

In one swift motion, he removes his T-shirt, crumples it into a tight ball, and throws it in the general direction of the television. I have to fight the urge to pick it up and toss it in the laundry basket he has hidden somewhere in his bedroom. Doing things like that, domestic things, things a girlfriend would do, will only complicate the issue.

He eases himself back against the couch, one arm draped across the back, the other resting lazily on his stomach. Almost all the sweat has dried but his chest still glistens faintly, the peppering of hair there shining against his tan skin. I’m distracted already. I feel a faint line of perspiration forming above my lips. I force myself to look down at my lap, and squeeze my voice out.

“I want to talk, Mulder,” I say finally.

The rooms seems to get smaller. Hot air circulates back and forth. From Mulder to me, me to Mulder, back again. I can almost feel his breath, the rise and fall of his chest, his pulse under my fingers, as if he were right beside me, touching me.

“So talk,” he says sharply. He toys with the draw string of his sweats, twirling it around his finger. “No one’s stopping you.”

If I’m going to leave, now is the time. We’re reaching a line, about to cross it, teetering on the edge. I try to inch across it.

“You’re upset with me.”

His only response is a cold stare, a stare that betrays almost nothing. It’s almost as if Mulder is painfully indifferent to the whole situation. I’ve stated such an obvious fact that he can’t even dredge up a response.

I wonder, if only for a moment, what Mulder would do if I just walked over to him and straddled his hips, kissed him until he was barely conscious, buried myself so deeply inside him that I couldn’t find myself, so that Mulder couldn’t find me. He’d never stop looking, I realize. Mulder could never let me go.

“Look at you,” he says suddenly. “It’s a Saturday afternoon and you’re dressed as if we’re in a meeting with Skinner. Don’t you ever relax, Scully? You know, put on jeans and a T-shirt, and just let loose.” He sneers at me, and I look down at my clothes — a short sleeve white blouse, carefully pressed, my black trousers with perfect creases, the matching jacket hanging on the back of my chair, and black heels to match. All I ever wear these days. It helps me understand who I am, remind me what I’m allowed to do, what I’m not allowed to do.

“I’m sorry,” is all I can think to say.

He glares momentarily, and then summons me with his finger. “Come here.”

I stand slowly, my fingers aching to touch his warm, bare skin, my head flooded with visions of legs tangled, arms full, bodies melting into one another. My skin is suddenly so sensitive to every sound, every smell, every color filling the room that I can barely walk.

When I reach him, Mulder moves over slightly, and I sit beside him timidly. I jump as he places his hands on my shoulders and turns me to face him. Mesmerized, I watch as he begins to unbutton my blouse, slowly, carefully. He pulls the fabric back so it just barely falls off my shoulders.

“That’s better,” he declares, lightly tracing the edge of my bra with his finger. He drops his hand to his lap, and moves back against the sofa.

I can hear myself buzzing, my skin is buzzing. I feel and hear it. I’m sure Mulder can see the waves rising off me right now, breaking into sparks at the surface of my skin. And I want to hit him — for touching me, for making me lose control…and then pulling away.

“I’m supposed to concentrate like this?” I say weakly, almost choking on the words.

“Is it a problem?” he asks smugly.

He knows the effect he has on me. He’s always known, I suspect, that he had the power to move me like no other, but I think he was taken aback when he realized how responsive I could be to him physically. It was something he hadn’t accounted for, prepared for, and I think it took some getting used to for Mulder. But now he takes advantage, revels it. I can feel it, see it even. The way he looks at me across the office sometimes, knowing he can make me scream, whimper, moan whenever he chooses. He can hold it over me, torture me. Maybe it’s what I deserve.

We have to get back on track. I can’t let myself lose sight of what’s important here.

“I know you wanted to talk last night but…I just needed time to gather—”

“I’ve never seen this one before,” he says thoughtfully, fingering the clasp at the front of my bra.

“No, I don’t think so…no.” I have to force the breath into my chest.

“I like it.” He moves to slide my shirt off entirely, and I find myself helping him, shrugging out of it.

“You’re warm, aren’t you, Scully?” He looks at me with dark, insistent eyes, a smirk breaking across his face.

I nod mechanically, feeling the flush come across my body. Boiling over, melting point, sublimation right there on Mulder’s sofa.

“I came here to talk,” I assert halfheartedly, watching his fingers slowly trace over the skin above my breasts.

“Yeah, like always,” he whispers, fingers now spread across my stomach. “I’m listening, Scully.”

“It’s just hard for me to know what to say to…” His hand winds its way down to the button on my pants, fingering it carefully but leaving it fastened.

“I know a secret, Scully,” he breathes, trailing a finger along my inner thigh, “Want to know what it is?”

“Yes…” I stroke his bicep absently, my vision blurring slightly.

“You don’t really want to talk,” he grins, smug, satisfied, “Oh, no…” He opens the clasp on my bra and slides it off gracefully.

“But you do, Mulder. You said we couldn’t do this anymore if we didn’t talk,” I manage to choke out, confused, by his words, his hands.

“I’m tired of fighting you, Scully. I’m tired of trying to convince you. I can’t show you anymore…so if you want this,” he tells me, unbuttoning my pants and unzipping them quickly, “then I’ll give you what you want.”

Something in the room freezes. I’m suddenly cold, shivering. I reach for Mulder desperately, pulling his warm skin against mine. I need to feel him on top of me, against me. I need him to ward off the chill.

“Come on, Scully…who am I to deny you?” He looks at me seriously. “This is the least you deserve.”

I’m lost…disoriented. I feel my heart beating against my skull. Loudly, uncontrollably.

“Mulder, maybe we should…”

His finger crosses my lips, silencing me. I feel his hands lightly caress my breasts, and I throw my head back against the cushions.

“What Scully wants, Scully gets,” Mulder says slowly, punctuating each word with a nip on my neck.

It hits me then — I want to talk. I want to ask. To know. How does he feel about me? What does he think? What happened between he and Diana Fowley? Did he love her? Does part of him still love her? What tore them apart? Why was it easier to trust her than me? Why does he seem to look past me whenever he gets a glimpse of the Truth? Why do I feel incidental so much of the time? Can we walk away from all of it? Ever? Will we still be together when it’s all over? Does he know how I feel? What I need? Why can’t we let go — why do we have to hold on so tightly, scratch and claw, in some kind of death grip? I want answers. I want the truth.

Mulder slides my pants over my hips, his finger trailing across my legs, thighs, and I’m trembling again. I’ve lost my voice as well — I try to say something but can’t, my mouth dry, my tongue heavy. All I can do is touch him, taste him, my tongue on his skin like some kind of life force.

I cling to him desperately. I can’t let go. Won’t. He struggles to stand up, my legs wrapped around him, making his movements awkward. He gets to his feet, and carries me to his bedroom. As Mulder lowers me to the bed, I shut my eyes and try to block out the voices.

accept this scully…it’s what you asked for…it’s what you wanted

The last sounds I’m conscious of before the room spins, swirls, splits in two with the thrust of Mulder’s hips, the touch of his fingers, are breathless moans. My own violent moans.

the end.

(to feedback…or not to feedback? oh come on it’s not a difficult question! 🙂

––

Shattered by JLB

From:

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 22:20:27 EDT

Subject: New: Shattered (1/1) by JLB

TITLE: Shattered (1/1)

AUTHOR: JLB ()

CLASSIFICATION: V, A, MSR

RATING: i’ll say R, sexual situations

SPOILERS: Two Fathers/One Son

SUMMARY: fourth in the schizophrenic/breakdown/treatment series (if you need any of these, drop me a line and i’ll send them pronto 🙂

FEEDBACK: good god, yes!

ARCHIVING: sure, wherever. just let me know. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: okay, i do not own them…never have, never will. CC and 1013 all the way. AUTHOR’S NOTE: first of all, i have to thank michelle for her super beta reading — she cleaned up so many mistakes that i can’t really thank her enough — and for counseling me through my problems with mulder. (batting practice made all the difference!) and she deserves all the credit for the title…i couldn’t come up with anything. also, big thanks to datya for her wonderful advice and suggestions — it’s not just anyone who can listen to my nonsensical ramblings. i think this is the last of the series, though if someone can convince me that there’s more to be done with it, i could be talked into it. i think, though, that i’d like to some light stuff for a while…no angst. DD inspired with his charming episode. so we’ll see. anyway, enjoy!

Rain.

It’s raining. That’s the first thing that registers when I finally wake up. I don’t take in my surroundings right away, unsure where I am exactly. I can’t even remember what day it is. All I feel, sense, hear is the rain against the window. The soft pitter patter, a gentle melody playing against the glass. Soothing in its cadence, disturbing in its persistence.

The next thing that registers is Mulder. Mulder in a towel, dripping wet from the shower.

When I slowly open my eyes, that’s what I see — Mulder emerging from the bathroom, a bright blue towel wrapped around his waist, his skin slick and shining with wetness. The blue of the towel plays against his tan skin in a sensuous way — I feel the flush blooming across my face. It comes back to me suddenly…Sunday morning. I’m in Mulder’s bed, I tell myself as he runs a hand through his hair. I watch as the droplets fly through the air like a dozen tiny bullets. We make eye contact eventually, and he grins at me sheepishly.

“I thought you should sleep in,” he says, yawning, “It’s still so early.” He gestures to the clock beside the bed. 9:37 AM.

I cringe internally as I calculate the figure. I’ve spent almost twenty-four hours in Mulder’s bed. With the exception of several trips to the bathroom and a few brief expeditions to the kitchen, we haven’t left the bed since sometime early yesterday afternoon when Mulder carried me in here. It’s a record for us, even if it was a shameless attempt to stifle the issues beginning to push their way between us, wedging their way into the room with us. They still haven’t found a way into bed with us — it’s our last haven it seems. The only place Mulder and I can connect anymore.

“I guess I’ll skip mass today,” I yawn quietly, as I reposition myself in bed. Guilt has always been a powerful force in my life because of my upbringing — my father’s influence as well as that of the church — but as guilty as I feel, the urge to stay in this warm, soft bed…Mulder’s bed…is stronger.

“You sure?” Mulder asks, concern etching across his features.

“Yeah. I’m still sleepy.” I fluff the pillow up under my head, and sigh.

He nods slowly, and goes to his dresser, pulling drawers out, searching through them. I watch the muscles of his back contract as he pulls out a random shirt and shorts. I love Mulder’s entire body — his toes, his knees, his chest, all of him — but his back is my favorite part. The skin is so smooth, so soft and tan, and the muscles beneath the surface are tight and firm. It’s beautiful. He’s beautiful, and I lie back and just take in the sight of him.

Suddenly I’m reminded of something — a look, a feeling — and a movie begins to play in my head. Grainy black and white images fluttering across the screen…hazy, gauzy memories of something elusive yet persistent. Haunting, like the sound of rain drops outside the window. Words echo suddenly, begging to be said aloud. Feelings resonate, desperate for expression. My throat feels swollen shut, each breath causing a dull ache in my chest, and my eyes are burning. I have to close them, the light from Mulder’s bedside lamp now strangely bright.

“Are you okay, Scully?” Mulder’s voice brings me back. He asks the question halfheartedly, expecting to be dismissed, prepared to hear the usual, monotone “I’m fine.”

I blink several times to stop the whirlwind of picture buzzing through my consciousness, and sit up against the headboard.

Deep breath…one, two, three.

“I was just thinking about how we got here,” I whisper, my voice thin and scratchy. I can’t prevent the frown that almost immediately crosses my face.

Mulder turns around slowly, and places his hands on his hips, causing the towel to slide further down his body. I’m enthralled with his navel for a moment before I hear his sigh, notice the slight flicker of his eyes.

“Oh, Scully, don’t worry. You’re only what, 100 pounds? My back’s fine.” He smiles blandly, trying to coax a laugh from me. I can’t even manage a smile.

“Mulder…”

“How we got here…right.” He looks at me intently, his gaze penetrating the distance between us. I feel his eyes everywhere at once, and as much as I want to look away, I can’t.

He moves to the edge of the bed, and sits down at my feet, stroking my calves lightly, almost wistfully. I finally force a half smile but it fades when I realize I have to say something. I’ve started this, brought us here, and I have to see it through.

“That first night…” I whisper, shaking slightly at the memory of the events that lead up to falling into Mulder’s bed for the first time.

“I didn’t think you wanted to talk about that…ever,” he says quietly.

“But it’s becoming an issue, isn’t it? It’s here,” I gesture around the room,” whether we acknowledge it or not.”

“Yeah…yes, it is, Scully.” He pulls my feet into his lap, and begins massaging them, kneading slowly and methodically.

“You know, Mulder, I think they’re the one part of my body that’s not sore,” I smile, relieved that he’s touching me at all.

“Never know what’s coming next, Scully,” he leers, flashing a playful smile, “Gotta be prepared.”

“Hmmm…you would have thought I’d learned that much by now,” I say absently, and watch as Mulder’s face transforms — guilt, sadness, regret taking up residence in his eyes, in the stiff line of his mouth.

“Scully…” He grabs me under my knees, and pulls me down the bed to him. I’m in his arms in seconds, and I begin to burn when he nuzzles my cheek.

“God, what the hell is wrong with us?” Mulder moans, burying his face in my shoulder.

The question…that question. It’s been obvious for some time that something’s wrong. With us, with me, with him…it’s hard to say exactly. But things have been so far from right that we seem wrong…wrong together. Like we don’t fit anymore. That maybe we were never meant to fit together in this way. I haven’t been able to admit that to Mulder, admit that maybe we’ve made a mistake.

I pull away from him slowly, and settle myself beside him, my legs stretched out in front of me, crossed daintily at the ankles, a wrinkled sheet wrapped around my body. The room is so eerily silent that I can barely remember how to speak, what words I intended to say. The falling rain is the only thing I hear … the rhythm echoing over and over again, matching the throbbing in my head.

“I try not to think about it, Mulder,” I say finally, my voice shaky, “I try to block it all out. But it always comes back. Always.”

I don’t look at him but I hear his breathing change. It becomes hurried, frantic almost. He must know what’s coming.

“I hear Cassandra begging you to kill her. I feel the scorching of the decon shower. I see…” I pause for a moment, taking in as much air as my body will allow, “I see Diana…the look in your eyes when you told me I was making it personal…”

Mulder sits up stiffly. His body radiates tension and heat in waves so strong that, when I close my eyes, I feel my skin soaking them in, feel it all dripping off me.

“And those burning bodies…God Mulder…and then I remember you, bringing me back here, neither of us able to look the other in the eye. And before we could even say anything…‘I’m sorry,’ ‘Let me explain’…things that should have been said, that we both needed to say…before any of that, we were here…that irreversible step taken…” I lose my pace, the words rushing out with little time to consider them fully. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Mulder slowly nod his head, his eyes shut firmly, almost as if he can block everything out if he simply refuses to look. I’ve tried…the visions keep coming. They wear you down.

“I guess now I can’t help wondering if we…” I can’t finish the thought. It’s too much for me to say it aloud.

“If it was a mistake?” The calm of his voice stuns me for a moment. I look at him, searching his face for his reaction. He looks slightly dazed.

“Mulder…”

“No, I think I understand, Scully. We lost each other that night. If only for a moment. But we did and I think we both believed that this would bring us back to each other, that it was the only way for us to hold on. And in a way, I think it worked. But it’s not enough now, Scully. Sex can’t make up for the fact that we barely know each other anymore.” His voice cracks as he finishes. It sounds like glass breaking, shattering into a million tiny pieces. I picture myself stepping in it — the sharp pain, blood seeping from my foot, an infection maybe.

“Mulder…” I whisper, as I run my feet along the stiff cotton of his sheets, “You’re always asking me to open up…so let me say this. I was hurt and angry that night. I can admit that. And I guess I worry about what that means for us now. What if we’re here for all the wrong reasons?” I wonder if I’m shouting. My voice seems abnormally loud.

“I want you, Scully. That’s a good enough reason for me,” Mulder says defensively.

“But Mulder, you’re the one—”

“I’ve thought about this, Scully…and I think we were inevitable. It was only a matter of time.”

I turn to him, raising an eyebrow. I try to fight back a smirk but it escapes, unfettered. He catches my look, and smiles in response.

“Okay, seven years is a long time but it was always going to happen, Scully. So if it took something like…if it took something like that night to make it happen, then that’s what it took. That in and of itself doesn’t have to affect us.” His tone is firm, tight by the time he finishes.

“But I think—”

“Look…the fact that I wanted to trust Diana, the fact that I blew you off…yeah we should deal with that. Because it doesn’t only affect us here, it affects us on the X-files as well,” he says excitedly, caught up in his thoughts.

I look over at him for a moment, silently regard him. He’s playing with the edge of his towel, rubbing it between his fingers as if he’s analyzing the texture and weight. His other hand strokes the back of his neck, slowly, easing the knots there.

Maybe that’s all this has ever come down to for him. Work. The X-files. Maybe it’s too difficult for him to juggle us both, and when push comes to shove, I can guess which he’ll chose. My vision blurs when I realize this.

“So we have to deal with this for the sake of our work?” I ask quietly, unable to hide the pain in my voice, the force it requires to get the words out.

“Scully, don’t. You know what I mean. This is a lot bigger than just a typical lovers’ spat. We need to recognize that,” he says matter-of-factly. I see the broken glass again in my head, working its way into my skin, imbedding itself inside me, scarring.

“I do recognize that. I do.” I don’t hide the anger, can’t make that effort right now. “That’s exactly why I held back from this for so long. Because it can’t be just you and I here. We’re never really alone. We’re responsible to and for so many others. We can’t make choices without considering what they mean for everyone else. That’s a lot of stress to put on a relationship.”

“I think the problem we have here is more elemental than all that. How can we have any kind of relationship — personal or professional—if you won’t let me in, Scully?” He’s looking at me now. I feel his eyes on me, as intrusive as imagined shards of glass.

When did Mulder start lying, I wonder. When did he stop being honest with himself? Yesterday I offered. As difficult as it was for me, I presented him with the key. And he refused. He brought us back here. To this place where nothing exists but the physical. How does he expect me to cooperate when he keeps changing the rules?

“I don’t understand you, Mulder. I told you I wanted to talk yesterday. I told you that we could—”

“You didn’t want to talk. We both know that much, Scully. If you were going to give in, throw a few crumbs my way, it was only because I was forcing you. Because I gave you an ultimatum. And I didn’t want it that way. That’s what yesterday was about, Scully. To show you that’s not us, that we can’t keep doing that.” He grabs a pillow, and clutches it to his chest. I hold the sheet in place against my body.

“That might be true…but there was a moment there, Mulder, right before you carried me in here, when I wanted to talk, when I had questions…I tried. I just couldn’t…”

“Be honest, Scully. You think that sleeping with me is going to bridge this gap…that somehow if you let me touch you, if you touch me, we can ignore the rest. But can’t you see that it doesn’t work? We can’t.”

He tugs lightly on the sheets, and they fall to my waist. I watch, in slow motion it seems, as Mulder leans forward to kiss me, his hand on my thigh, caressing lightly but enough that I feel it, that I respond.

He brakes the kiss suddenly, and I moan, trying to protest. My head spins…I have no idea what’s happening here.

“See. Nothing’s fixed,” Mulder announces as he moves back to his position next to me.

Angered or high on the feel of Mulder’s mouth, I pull him back to me, kissing him again, almost punishing him, stopping only when I feel him tremble against me.

“Scully…” he says breathlessly.

I pull the sheet back against my chest, and smooth my hair. I need to feel composed. I need to feel I’m in control.

“We’ve been together for seven years Mulder…and we’ve never really talked before. I just assumed you knew, that things didn’t need to be said. Because I know, Mulder. I don’t need to be told.” I tell him in my clinical, detached voice. Silently my body is thrumming, the after effects of Mulder’s touch and pent up emotions.

“Scully, that whole unspoken thing might have worked before…but it doesn’t now. We’re in too deep here to just expect one another to infer what’s going on.” He’s exasperated. His breathing is still slightly erratic.

“I don’t know what to tell you then, Mulder. I can’t give you everything you want.”

“Why not? Why can’t you just let me in?”

I notice suddenly, for the very first time, that Mulder has a photo of me on his bookcase. I study it from across the room, unable to tell when it was taken. Recently I think, based on my haircut, but I have no recollection of posing for it. I feel my heart race, all the blood rushing to my head. Sinking. I’m sinking. I feel myself screaming…praying for someone to throw me a line so I can pull myself out. I turn to Mulder, who’s looking at me like I have all the answers. I almost laugh at the thought…I know nothing.

“I’ve been alone in every way that counts for years, Mulder,” I whisper, my eyes closed, “There has to be something that’s just mine, that I own. Something no one else can touch.”

When I look at him, I know he’s confused, almost as if I’m speaking to him in an entirely different language, an ancient forgotten language that only I know. He takes a deep breath, and is about to speak but I beat him to it.

“You can’t understand because you’ve always had this quest of yours, this mission to find out what happened to Samantha. Your work.”

“You have the X-files too, Scully,” he asserts.

“I don’t really. Not the way you do, Mulder. You…to this day…after everything we’ve gone through, after everything I’ve done…you still think of them as yours. I’m always an afterthought.”

“Scully, that’s not—”

“Yes. Yes, it is. It’s okay. I think I’ve finally come to understand. But I need something too…room, space. I need to feel like I’m still me. Not just a piece of the X-files, some part of Fox Mulder.”

We look at each other, and I feel the distance between us. He’s right — we barely know each other anymore. Lately, we catch each other off guard, unprepared all the time. He’s hurt, I realize. His eyes give it away. I reach for his shoulder but he pulls away before I make contact.

“I told you, Scully,” he says in a dangerous voice, “I told you last summer that you make me whole, that without you I’m incomplete, broken. That scares me, sure, but I accept it, admit it. Why can’t you?”

His face tightens, and I know I shouldn’t touch him. He’s gone somewhere that I don’t know how to reach.

“It’s hard…I can’t explain it well…” I try to move closer to him — if I can’t bridge the emotional gap, I’ll bridge the physical one. He doesn’t seem to notice.

“I’m only asking you to try.”

“You make it sound so simple, Mulder. It’s not though.”

“Scully, come on. Just let go. It’s me. Only me.” His voice is gentle, desperate.

He thinks that should make this easier. Mulder thinks that I can do it with him when I couldn’t with someone else. I can’t tell him the truth — that it’s easier for me to open up to strangers than to him — because he would think it is a reflection on him. And in a way, I suppose it is. I am terrified of him. Absolutely terrified. Because Mulder is the one person who could make everything else in this world meaningless for me. He is the only person who has to the power to consume me totally, absorb me into his existence, leaving virtually no evidence that Dana Scully was ever a separate, distinct entity.

The room seems to get smaller. Mulder is so close, too close maybe. I realize that I’m at a fork — I either give him something or I stall yet again. I focus on Mulder’s eyes for a moment…all darkness, no light. Decision made. I fold my hands in my lap to keep myself from touching him. That will only make this more difficult.

“Do you know what it was like for me every time you ran off without me? Before this, I mean…” I see him grimace, his face scrunched so tightly I’m afraid it might snap in two. He makes no effort to speak. I look quickly at the photo of me on his bookcase before I continue.

“No…you don’t know. Because I never told you. Most of the time I was just scared, frantic to know if you were okay…you know, trying prepare for the worst but still remain hopeful…at times like that, I thought that maybe I could finally understand what you went through when I was abducted…how desperate for news you must have been, how easy it would have been to lose faith that I’d ever come back. But there was an important difference…I was taken against my will. You willfully put yourself in these dangerous situations, without regard for yourself, without regard for how I would feel. And that’s where the anger and hurt would come in.”

Mulder is listening, intently, but he’s started to rock back and forth against the bedpost. He turns to look at me, his eyes so sleepy and apologetic.

“You couldn’t trust me enough, Mulder. To take me with you or just let me know where you were going, what was going on. Either because you didn’t think I was strong enough to handle it or because you just didn’t think of me at all, you refused to let me be a part of it. And I told myself that I couldn’t really react because I didn’t have grounds to get so emotional over you. If I shared what I was feeling, you would have known…it would have been because of something more than partnerly concern. But now…now the stakes have been raised triple fold. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stand it when you go…”

I’m not certain anymore what this has to do with the conversation we’re having. It forces its way out because it’s something I’ve thought and felt for a long time. I could never find a way to say it…I don’t think I’d even composed the thoughts fully in my head. I suddenly realize I feel almost empty inside now…I’ve given something away, and I can feel it.

Mulder reaches his hand out to my chin, and turns me to look at him. I’m expecting to see guilt, regret — the typical Mulder emotions, especially when it comes to me — but not now. He’s angry. His eyes are entirely black now, dark, wild. I watch his lower lip tremble as he takes a shaky breath.

“So you think that if we just jump into bed together every time we’re alone, you won’t feel that way, Scully?” he taunts, pinning me to the spot with his eyes.

“No…I don’t know what I think. I just…you’re making this too difficult.” Tears. I feel tears flooding my eyes so I jerk away from Mulder’s hand, and tilt my head backwards. Anything to keep them from falling.

“Why, Scully? Because I’m holding you accountable? I’m sorry but I think I deserve an explanation,” he growls, gripping my shoulders now. The sheets fall back across the bed. I am painfully aware of my state of undress. I scramble for some sort of argument to throw at him, surprised by how easily I manage to come up with something.

“If you feel so used, Mulder, why do you let it keep happening?” I ask smugly. Take that, Mulder. Explain this one away.

“Because we can’t go back now, Scully,” he says softly, releasing his hold on my shoulders, “and I can’t lose you.”

I freeze. God, my emotions are buried so deeply, encased in some kind of cement inside me, so I have to actively chisel them out, allow myself to feel them. Mulder…I look at Mulder. He wears everything on his face. His eyes, his beautiful mouth, the creases in his forehead. We owe something to each other. We do. It’s not something I can ignore anymore.

His hand is in my hair suddenly, stroking lightly, gently. I want to cry. I could. Things should be easy for us. After everything, we’ve been through, this should be easy. And yet, everything is difficult. Every touch, kiss, breath. All the words. It’s a struggle, a constant battle. Mulder and I have lost so much that we deserve this. Uncomplicated, simple, painless.

He pulls me against his side, bare skin on bare skin, and I find myself playing with his towel, pulling the ends apart, searching for more skin. I need to see, feel more of him. He throws his head back, eyes closed, and his breathing quickens as I stroke his thigh.

“Why do you think you’ll lose me?” I ask quietly.

“Because we’re so far apart now,” he says breathlessly, almost a moan as my hand moves further up his thigh.

“Maybe it’s not as far as you think,” I tell him, trying to convince myself as much as Mulder.

“Scully…” He pulls me to him, so I’m straddling his lap, his hands stroking my hips, “I want to believe that’s true…” His eyes are so sad as he presses a kiss to my throat, but I can see light in them again. They’re almost too bright to look into directly.

“You’ve never had a problem with that before.” I smile as I bend slightly to kiss him. A kiss to prove to him that he hasn’t lost me, that I haven’t lost him. My lips and tongue can convey all the things that words can’t.

He brakes the kiss, and looks at me thoughtfully. “This is different…” His voice is rough, edgy. Without realizing it, our hips have begun to move together in rhythm. I lose track of everything for a moment as I feel Mulder beneath me, warm, close.

“It doesn’t have to be,” I say finally. I slowly fall back against the bed, taking Mulder with me, feeling his weight on top of me now, his entire body pressing against mine. And somehow, I can’t believe that we’re that far apart.

As I wrap my legs around his waist, he whispers in my ear, “Is this avoidance, Scully? Are you putting me off again?” I gasp as his hips rock against mine.

“I thought I was…*getting* you off, Mulder,” I tease. He grunts against my shoulder, and my body vibrates, head to toe. “Expression, Mulder. This is expression.”

“Scully…” He moans. It’s a protest, though, but we’re talking entirely too much right now. It can wait.

“Shhh…” I silence him with my fingers, and still his hips with my legs. “Let’s just take a nap, and then we’ll conquer all the world’s problems.” I smile at him, and he returns the favor. I feel lightheaded when I realize I truly believe what I’ve said. I will try to fix this with him.

“Okay,” he whispers, nipping at my neck lightly. “Stop trying to steal my thunder,” he growls, thrusting his hips so forcefully the grip of my legs can’t stop him, so I feel my body split in two, a pleasant ache taking up residence in every nerve ending.

Then the glass shatters, rain falls, the room tilts on its edge, and for the first time, I open my eyes to see Mulder as we fall.

the end.

(hmm…it’s over. what are you going to do now? could always send some feedback — what fun! )

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