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Trilogy Series by Alanna
THE “TRILOGY” SERIES BY ALANNA
• ∞ • ∞ •
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. The situation into which I have placed them is my own.
SPOILERS: Post Redux II, but gives away none of the plot. Hints at the Official Spoilers for Detour.
CATEGORIES: V, safe for both shippers and noromos — it’s all subjective.
RATING: PG, contains “unsavory” language.
SUMMARY: A celebration of life.
This is for Michaela, Chris, and Paula — I love y’all!
LAUGHING By Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
When such as I cast out remorse So great a sweetness flows into the breast We must laugh and we must sing, We are blest by everything, Everything we look upon is blest.
— William Butler Yeats, “A Dialogue of Self and Soul, II, st. 1”
• ∞ • ∞ •
I feel like dancing.
You know the feeling you get when you just cannot keep still? You have to run, you have to jump, you have to live. As we tramp through the red clay earth of Georgia, the mud clings to the soles of my boots. The FBI motor pool Taurus lies prostrate about 50’ behind us, crumbled up against a tree, another victim of Mulder’s fucking shortcuts. And the sky rumbles with low clouds. But God, I’ve never felt so happy in my life. The kind of happy which sings through my veins and makes me feel so incredibly alive.
Definitely not your typical day for Agent Dana Scully.
Yes, damn it, I’m alive. I looked death in the face and calmly turned my back. Hell, I kicked it in the face and flounced off without a backward glance. I know people have a certain set of expectations for me — that I’ll always be dignified and so very serious whenever these circumstances confront me (far more often than they should). But those circumstances just don’t seem to work right now. I don’t feel like sitting idly by and being all angsty about what had happened to me, having been brought back from the brink of death by an honest-to-God miracle. Because angst only makes you sad and regretful, and so much life is wasted through sadness and regret. If this had happened any time before now, I might have sunk into a deep funk, distancing myself from those I love and wallowing in what I’d narrowly escaped. But the point of escape is the breakthrough into a new, more glorious world.
What a perfect word. I’m drowning in glory right now. Glory from the heavens, glory from the red earth beneath my feet, glory from the man at my side who is trying his damnedest to beat himself up over wrecking the car.
Hell, Mulder, it’s only a two-ton piece of steel. It’s not a life.
I have a life and I sure as hell don’t want to spend it worrying about car accidents and having to walk through a field to get to a gas station. I want to spend it living.
The idea of us being down here in Georgia at all is really quite hilarious. As things calmed down back in D.C. after The Great Mystery Revealed, Mulder and I pretty much knew what was expected of us — to get the heck out of Dodge, so to speak. So we did.
And lo and behold, what should present itself but a speaking engagement at Florida State University in Tallahassee? It was just a leeeeetle too convenient, but it was also a nice escape for a few days, so how could I resist? Mulder acted none too pleased, but at this point he’ll do anything for me.
What a feeling. I have him wrapped around my pinky finger.
Life is grand.
And what should Mister I’m-Going-To-Sulk-and-Be-All-Angsty do but slam our car into a tree just outside of the middle of nowhere? Through the eyes in the back of my head, I see him trudging just a few feet behind me, still beating himself up. Oh, Mulder. Life is too short to beat yourself up.
Just live, okay? Live.
To hell with work, to hell with obligations, to hell with DENIAL. Just live. That’s my new mantra.
I scream my mantra at the top of my lungs, then just burst out laughing. Imagine me, Dana Scully, screaming and laughing. Like I said, definitely not my typical sort of day.
The joy overwhelms me. It sings through my veins, it bubbles with an incredible effervescence I can scarcely contain. I love the grey clouds overhead, I love the kudzu dripping from the trees, I love the red earth beneath my feet, I love Mulder. I’m alive with love.
I do a little spin, my arms thrown open to embrace all I love. And I promptly tumble over onto the ground. Fortunately, I don’t have far to fall. And fortunately, Mulder’s there to break my fall. He tries to pull me back upright, but I manage to pull him down with me. I’m down now, flat on my back. As Mulder stumbles from the chaos, I yank on his arm and pull him down with me. He lands gracelessly on top of me but I barely feel the pain, I’m laughing so hard.
Before I almost died, I never realized how wonderful it feels to just laugh. To really laugh. To let it come from your belly and move through your chest and throat until it spills out of your mouth. To forget every trouble in your life for just a short moment while your body shakes from laughing.
And yet, I live. Damn it, I LIVE.
I shout it again. Loudly. My throat hurts from the scraping of my vocal chords, but I don’t care. Poor Mulder hasn’t a clue what to think of this, but he’s enjoying himself all the same. He rolls over on his back and pulls me into his arms, my back resting on his chest and his arms hugging me close to him. I close my hands over his and let my head fall back on his shoulder. We laugh together. I’ve never felt closer to him than I do right now.
Imagine that — something as simple as a big field of kudzu and clay being such a life-affirming moment.
I pull him closer. I have to feel him beneath me, his chest shaking with laughter. But something in the sound of his voice as he laughs tells me that he doesn’t share my joy. This poor man has been conditioned to find joy suspect, as if some evil is lurking behind every triumph. My heart goes out to him. I want to give him the gift of this moment of joy.
I bend up just a little bit then turn over so that I’m facing him, my body pressed into his. I lean my face down and kiss him on the cheek, then again right at the corner of his lips. And then I put my mouth right next to his ear and whisper, “Hey Mulder, I’m alive. Do you know that? I’m alive!”
Maybe it had started to rain. Maybe he was crying. Maybe I was. I don’t know where the moisture on his cheeks came from, but at that moment I couldn’t have cared less. Because, as I held him so very close and our chests collided with each other with our laughter, we were alive.
We were alive.
• ∞ • ∞ •
Date sent: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 09:26:29 -0600 Subject: Alegria
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. The situation into which I have placed them is of my own creation.
CATEGORY: V, MSR
RATING: R for mild sexual situations
ARCHIVAL: Please archive at Gossamer. Please contact me before placing at specialty archives. Do not forward to ATXC.
SUMMARY: A sequel to my earlier story, “Laughing”.
My prolificity of late astonishes even me ;). For those who have read my trilogy of vignettes (“Burn”, “Inside”, and “Million”) and asked me just how Mulder and Scully became lovers in my little universe, please consider this your answer <g>. I began to write this and realized that I love the idea that my M&S could have their first coupling be marked by joy and laughter instead of angst.
This story is for Chris, an online friend who brings me a great deal of joy and laughter.
ALEGRIA (“Joy”) By Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
The most important thing that dying taught me was that as you’re lying in a hospital bed, the life slowly being siphoned from your body, you don’t remember all the wonderful things you did, but rather all the things you didn’t do. All the things you didn’t have time for, that just didn’t seem proper or you didn’t really care about at the time — those things suddenly take on the most amazing importance. Nothing else matters but achieving them.
Things like spending more time with my nieces and nephew, so they might have fond memories of their Aunt Dana to carry them to adulthood. Like taking time to travel and go where I want to go, not simply where the day takes me. Or maybe just that — to go exactly where the day DOES take me. To be more spontaneous, more honest with myself and with others. To tell them just what they really mean to me now, not in some distant future, because that future might suddenly cease to exist.
The most important person in my life is here with me.
And we are laughing together.
Mulder lies below me, on the soft, rich earth where we have collapsed in a fit of laughter and joy. He is so beautiful. The light rain casts a sheen over his face and mixes with the soft tears of happiness spilling over his eyelids. Tiny flecks of red clay soil sift through his hair as he looks at me. Oh, God, the look in his eyes. I can scarcely find the words for it. I feel like a goddess. His gaze softens and deepens, all the while piercing me. Something rich and warm lurks behind it, spilling out and over like the sound of our laughter. A smile of pure, childlike joy still lingers on his parted lips.
I love him. And I know he loves me. It is etched into every pore of his beautiful skin.
I’m alive. He is here. Why can’t I tell him? Why should I not?
“Hey.” My voice sounds shy and still hoarse from all my laughing.
“I love you.”
As the words form on my lips, my face breaks into a smile of pure radiance. I can’t see it, and yet I see it reflected in Mulder’s astonished face, a sheen of sheer wonder spreading over it. Does he believe me? He is still under me, his hands having gone slack on my back as he tries to process just what is happening. I can barely comprehend it myself. And yet, it feels so right. So very right. And so pure. His fingers slowly begin to trace over my back, their featherweight touch igniting my soul. I rise and fall with his every deep breath. I have to tell him everything in my heart right now, while we are still immersed in our bubble of joy.
“I love you.” I nuzzle the soft, pliant skin of his chin.
“You love me?” I look back up at him, smile, and nod. His face is so beautiful, so perfect. I realize I have bestowed upon him the greatest gift I could ever possibly have given. And I watch his face and his body open that gift and blossom with joy. He’s such an amazing man and I feel so powerful that I help to make him that way.
“Yes. I’m so proud of you — of what you do, of who you are.” I kiss the faint stubble on his jawbone, feeling its hardness against my lips. Every touch is new to me, and I relish the sensations greedily. But they are also timeless, born of a love nascent for years but only now consummated. We did not have time, but we do now. Because we are alive. And we stand, poised on the thrilling precipice of forever.
“I fear for you and what you’ll do for me and for us.” I bury my face in the soft plane of his temple, brushing my lips against his ear. My face and my voice have darkened. I do fear for him — for the leaps he makes, for the risks he takes in the name of Truth. And yet….
“I believe in you.” The joy has returned — the fear having made this joy so much sweeter. I kiss the space between his eyes, mirroring the place in me where the cancer had been discovered such a short time ago. I move my lips down his nose, coming to rest against his own lips. I stay there, breathing against him. His eyes meld with mine own. And then he speaks.
“I love you.” Our lips are touching and I’m able to feel him saying the words — the way the tiny puffs of air bounce against my lips, the way his tongue slides across his teeth and flicks against my mouth as he says the “L”, the way he curls his lip inward with the “v”, and the way his lips pucker when he says “you”. The phrase itself is like a kiss — so sweet and pure, and yet so sensual.
And my body stirs, overwhelming me. I wonder if he can feel it too, feel the blood rushing through my veins and pooling in my abdomen and heart.
“I want you.” I punctuate my words with my own lips, capturing his fiercely and hungrily. Tenderness has given way to a deep desire erupting from both our souls, a perfect complement to the passionate laughter which has brought us here. I push my tongue through the barrier of his lips, his teeth. His mouth tastes of joy. We devour each other as our bodies quickly awaken. I press my body into his, willing him to consume me, to take me into himself. The tingling of my skin reminds me of laughter. If joy can be personified, then let it be me.
I am joy. We are joy, as we lay here together, soaking into each other.
And the rain begins soaking into our skin. It is coming down softly, misting over our faces. I feel drunk, giddy. Drunk on Mulder. His face is so close to mine that I can feel its warmth. The taste of his tongue against mine enthralls me. I pour my soul into him. His body feels so warm under mine, so hard. So soft. I sink into it.
We kiss. My God, Mulder and I kiss. The idea would be overwhelming if it weren’t so incredibly arousing. In a spark of clarity, I realize that in this perfect moment, I have achieved everything I need to achieve in this life for me to be considered whole. I have beaten death and I have become a lover. Anything more and I would attain nirvana.
But first, we need to breathe.
I pull my face back slightly, gasping for air. Mulder’s hands creep under the hem of my t-shirt and caress my back. His eyes caress my face. He looks at me with awe.
“We’re alive.” The words slip out of his mouth with a whisper of joy.
I love him.
I bend down quickly and brush my lips across his, then bring my legs down to straddle him and raise my body so that I am sitting above him, on top of the world. On top of my world. He is my everything and he gazes up at me with a pure, beautiful love. I clasp one hand, then the other, and bring them up to my waist.
A question hovers on his lips, mingling with a soft smile.
“We’ve wasted so much time. Why waste more? We have forever.”
The smile explodes across his face. His hands slowly inch up my sides, pulling my shirt above my head. My breathing has become heavy, along with my heart and head. And I realize that I don’t need him physically. I don’t need his hands on me, his body beneath me. I simply need him. Everything else is an added bonus, an affirmation of the bond we share.
I sit above him, clad only in my bra and jeans. He lays below me, wearing a white long-sleeved henley t-shirt and jeans. The light rain begins to soak his shirt, giving me a glimpse of tawny skin underneath. I think right here I’ve captured what it means to live — to lay in a field of green leaves with the one I love, as rain slowly spills over us. I could never move from this place and still be deliriously happy.
My hands move under his shirt, caressing his skin. He arches his back just slightly and I move my hands underneath, pushing the soft cotton fabric up and over his head. It tangles on his arms and we laugh together, then I take one arm in my hands and remove a sleeve, then repeat my attentions with the other.
He lies back against the earth. The verdant leaves of the kudzu frame his body. We lie together on a lush carpet of emerald green. It is alive too. How wonderful. And we’re all breathing together.
We begin to devour each other once again, roaming our hands over our mutual expanses of bared skin. It’s such a wonderful feeling — skin mixing with rain mixing with life. His hands close around my back and somehow unfasten my bra, then slide it over my shoulders. I grin and can’t resist a small biting kiss on his earlobe. He gasps. Wow.
Every moment of our lives together has built up to this moment, when we are in each other’s arms and slowly beginning to make love. Slowly. Tenderly. Making it last. Enough time for passion later – right now, we simply need to learn each other.
And we do. Somehow, in a haze of joy and desire, our jeans are shed and we lie together with no barriers. Our bodies move instinctively, naturally. I am inside him and he inside me. We touch each other everywhere, moving in synchrony. And then we explode together, the vines and raindrops the audience for our cries and moans.
As we lie together afterward, still consumed with each other, he brings his hand up and brushes hair out of my face, tucking it behind my ear. The tenderness of this simple motion eclipses anything we have felt together all day, all year, all our lives. And I know that he loves me.
And I love him.
And we laugh together.
• ∞ • ∞ •
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. The situation into which I have placed them is my own.
SUMMARY: A chaise-longue and a dream.
Inside By Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
I watch him from head to toe.
He lays on his stomach. Naked. A warm sea breeze whispers over his skin. His body responds to it, burrowing down in the vinyl straps of the chaise longue. I sit, naked, on the chaise next to him. Inches away. My soul inside of his already.
I let my eyes roam over him. I begin at the tips of his toes, which curl up into themselves. The backs of his legs, all sinewy and muscular. The soft roundness of the cheeks of his behind. The smoothness of his back and shoulders. I love his back. I love how it glows like honey in the late afternoon sunlight.
His face is turned toward me. Mulder is asleep. All the guilt and turmoil and focus flow out of his face as he sleeps. He is reduced to his basic elements of cells and blood and muscle, all of them lying out for me to see.
Voices float over the balcony railing. This deck is high enough off the ground that passersby wouldn’t see us, but I still love the small thrill I receive from being so exposed and yet so secreted. We’ve finally taken advantage of our frequent flyer miles. When we checked our accounts, we discovered we could have flown to Tahiti on them, but we chose Guayama, Puerto Rico, for a long weekend. You know, a few months ago I would have said my idea of a vacation would be to just lay around my apartment for a week. But now that Mulder and I are lovers, we need to get away just for ourselves — not on the clock, and not surrounded by familiar fixtures. Someplace only we can visit.
Someplace only a couple hours’ drive from Arecibo and the SETI complex. This is Mulder, after all. He says he wants to go back for sentimental reasons, but I think he still believes he might find something — some evidence left behind. I don’t share his confidence, but I go along with him anyway. I’m not here to always agree with him, I’m here to support him. And if he needs support, by God he will get it from me. Every ounce of support he needs.
He still sleeps. His eyes flutter under the onionskin lids. I wish I could step inside of his dreams, inside of his head. See what he hides from me. Reconcile that with what he chooses to reveal.
I pull my chaise over next to his, flush against each other. We’ve learned to lie together like this, just touching. Just being together. Those are some of my favorite moments, when we can soak up each other’s presence. I soak up his. I decide he’s been asleep far too long. I need him more than do his dreams.
The sun reflects off his skin. I reach out my arm and run it along his back. The skin of my palm is nearly seared from the contact. The breeze picks up and soothes it. His skin is burning, toasting in the sun. I reach down and grab my bottle of suntan lotion. I squeeze a generous amount onto my palms then scoot over closer to him, tucking my legs up under me in lotus position.
My hands flutter over his skin slowly at first, dabbing little bits of lotion over his back. I began to move them in lazy patterns, watching the white cream disappear into his skin, absorbed into it. He stirs, awakened, but does not move. I tilt my head a little bit so that I might get a better glimpse of his face. Bliss rests there. My hands increase their pressure slightly, exercising the power they’ve just realized.
“Thank you.” His voice murmurs softly, mingling with the breeze.
“Just trying to help.” Mulder’s eyes are still closed, so my smile does not find a target. “You’re lucky that you don’t burn, but I didn’t want to take any chances. I have plans for that back.”
“Oh, do you?” He opens his eyes this time, just for a moment, and I settle myself within them. We remain silent for a while, my hands still moving over the now fluid softness of his back, toward the rich curves a little lower, down the backs of his thighs. My fingers begin to loosely trace over him, just enough to make him shiver. My fingers begin to tingle as they pass over the slow vibration of his back as he speaks. “What are your plans, Scully?”
“Well, after I ravish you right on this deck chair, I plan to take you into town and feed you fresh Gulf shrimp at some little restaurant. Sound good?”
“Yeah,” he pauses, with a darker note creeping into his voice. “But I mean your plans, for the future.”
I am taken aback. I don’t quite know what to say. For us, the future has always been an intangible. We live for the present. We don’t have the luxury of forever. He looks at me again. I feel luxurious.
“Well, I really haven’t given it much thought.” I stay silent for a few moments, lost in contemplation. He allows me the silence, and turns over on the chaise so he is lying on his back. As my eyes sweep over his body, I see my future right there.
It’s not just a physical thing, I promise. It’s not just the gold of his skin, or the lithe muscles it covers, or the way the planes of his body seem to meld into one another like bronze. It’s not in the way his eyes capture mine and probe within, or his lashes reach out for me, or the curves of his face beg for my hands.
It’s so much more than that.
My future is in the way I can look at him every day and find something new to love. It’s in the way I can mold my body into his like a living and breathing sculpture. It’s in the way we have the power to create something together, both tangible and elusive. But even more simply, it’s in the way his entire body cries out with love for me. It floats over his skin, like an aura.
Imagine that. Mulder has made me believe in an aura. He makes me believe in so many things. I want to give him forever, to make me believe in more.
But first, I have to tell him.
“I see us growing old together.” It’s as simple as that — possibly the only thing in our lives that is simple. “I want you to keep challenging me, making me feel special. I just want you in my life. That’s all I need.”
He reaches out, takes my hand. “Me too.”
Nothing he could have said would have been more beautiful than that.
I uncurl my legs from under me and scoot over onto his chaise. I pull myself up on my knees and straddle him, settling myself back down on his stomach. He brings his hands up, lightly traces my sides. I feel his penis twitch against my tailbone. We sit very still for a few minutes, listening to the soft sounds of seagulls and children in the sand floating up toward us. We smile at each other. It rivals the radiance of the sunset.
Mulder finally speaks. “So, earlier you said something about ravishing me?”
I bring my right hand up to my chin, pretending to consider the proposition. “Yeah, I think I did.”
“Right on this deck chair?”
“Right on this deck chair.”
He grins quickly, then also feigns a thoughtful expression. “What does ‘ravish’ mean, anyway?”
“Well….” I bring my finger up to trace the creases the vinyl straps of the chaise have left on his chest. I let them tangle in the wiry hair of his chest, then circle his flat nipple. I shift my hips ever so slightly, rubbing the insides of my thighs and my core against his belly. I hear him gasp softly. His penis twitches harder this time, with an increasing pressure on my tailbone. “It means to steal something violently.”
“So, if you were to ravish me, what else would you steal?” His eyes dance, the orange light of the sunset reflecting off his perfect pupils.
“What else?” I repeat, puzzled, but I get the feeling he’s playing with me.
“Well, Scully, you’ve already stolen my heart, my life.”
After a few moments, I remember to breathe. I remember to smile. I remember how much I love this man beneath me, how much I need him. I brace my hands on the metal frame of the chaise, then swoop down to steal his mouth. My head instinctively tilts into the position where our faces perfectly fit. My tongue curls around his, craving the metallic taste of his saliva, his palate. We kiss each other as if this were all we needed in life. But it’s not. We need more.
I pull away and sit back up, scooting a little further down on his hips as I do. He brings his knees up and I lean back on them. I extend my legs down the sides of the chaise, opening myself to him. He rests his hands on my knees and looks at me with heavy lids. Mulder begins to speak.
“When you woke me up, I was having a dream.”
“Oh? Lots of people have dreams, Mulder.”
“Yeah, yeah….” His hands move up my thighs and hips, then slowly cover my belly. My breathing quickens. “It was about you, about us.” I remain silent, waiting for him. The husky depth of the sunset air mirrors the opalescent gravity I feel from his words. He inches his hands up my stomach until his fingers probe the crease where my breasts meet my ribs, then slowly traces the arcs. “We were laying together, on the beach. Just laying there. Naked.”
I smile at him. My fingers count his ribs, seeing how many contain his heart. Thinking they are not nearly strong enough to keep me out, nor him inside. He flicks his wrists around so his hands are cupping my breasts. His fingers splay and his thumbs brush across my nipples as his eyes watch. Those eyes shoot out sparks of ecstasy which blossom in my breasts and bloom through my body.
I somehow find my voice through the dusky redness. “Tell me more.”
“We had just made love. I could see through your belly. It was clear and iridescent. I watched —” His brow furrows into tiny rivulets, then the creases melt away into bliss. His hands still stroke my breasts. His voice slows, dissolving into honey. “I watched a life being created. Just like that. It was amazing. And your stomach, which was still covered with sticky sand, slowly began to swell before my eyes. I put my hand on it. I could feel it moving.”
He grins up at me with simple, pure joy on his lips. I feel faint. “I know we don’t really want children — at least, not for a good long while — but it was just so beautiful. You were just so beautiful. WE were beautiful.”
I don’t know what to say. I try to summon words, thoughts — but they have lodged themselves down in my heart, refusing to move.
I don’t have a chance to speak.
His hands drop down to the humid spot where my legs lay open for him. They twist around to cup me, then one finger slips inside, moving along my hard, unbudging muscles, igniting the cells. As his thumb brushes against my clitoris, I lean my head back as far as it can go, my hair brushing against his legs. The crimson light of the sunset melts into the capillaries of my eyelids. My hands fly around limply at his sides as his fingers increase their pressure and speed. His other hand grabs mine, entwining our fingers together. My blood rushes to where his fingers meet me, are inside me. I am a fountain of blood in the shape of a woman.
The world explodes.
I open my eyes and see blood. The passionate colors of the sunset — red, orange, gold — staining the blue of the sky. Mulder’s hands anchor me to him, resting on my hips as they quiver, still settling from the explosion of beauty. He steals so much from me — love, trust, amazing pleasure — then gives me the same from him.
As my breathing slowly returns to normal, the sea air flows over my arms. I scarcely notice the heat, except that of his erection along my spine. I shiver. He begins to speak again. His voice is low and steady, fighting with his heart for control..
“When you were gone, I had another dream. I’ve had it quite a few times since then. I dreamed they were doing,” he pauses, licks his lips. My heart cries out for him more than for myself. “… horrible things to you. You were in a white room, just laying there. They put something on your stomach that seemed to inflate it. Make it big. You were unconscious. You didn’t notice. The bastards didn’t even wake you, so you would know what awful things they were doing to you.”
Through my tears, he shimmers under me.
“But the dream I just had….” His voice fades and wavers, a flame caught in the sea breeze. “The roundness was from me, from us. And it filled me with joy. I don’t necessarily want the reality of it, but I love the idea.”
I look at him. “Me too. I love the idea.”
We are creators without creating anything. I brace my legs on the chaise frame and raise my hips until I’m nearly standing. I struggle for balance as my hand reaches down between us and guides him toward me. I lower myself onto him, then sit quietly as we adjust to each other. He absorbs me into him. I do the same. We slowly move, create a friction. The sticky-sweet smell of our bodies floats up toward me. I feel heady, delirious. We move until we can feel our limbs no longer — all sensation is concentrated into the place where I am inside him and he inside me. It is his turn to explode. He graciously invites me along for the ride.
I believe in ecstasy.
I believe in communion.
I believe in love.
And as we lay together on the rickety chaise longue, I believe in him.
• ∞ • ∞ •
Subject: Burn by Alanna
Date: 14 Oct 1997 02:07:51 GMT
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. The situations into which I have placed them are my own.
SUMMARY: Withheld at author’s request.
KEYWORDS: V, MSR
RATING: R (for sexual situations)
ARCHIVE: Please archive at Gossamer. Please contact me before placing on specialty archives.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Although the finished product bears no resemblance, I was inspired to write this after the wonderful “Secrets I and II” by Leyla Harrison and Madeleine Partous. Thanks, you two! And thank you to the MG crew for their continued support and friendship.
BURN By Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
I was right.
Now, how often do I get a chance to say that?
This time, it wasn’t little green men, or little grey men for that matter. It wasn’t a psychic or a flesh-eating monster. Just an ordinary villain who got her (Her! Evil seems to be equal-opportunity for once) kicks from using various herbal combinations as incendiary devices so clever and hidden that even the arson experts thought the victims had spontaneously combusted. And then she sat and watched while they went up in flames, timing them with a stopwatch to see how long before they succumbed.
I thought hippies were supposed to be pacifists. Go figure.
So if it’s Tuesday, it must be Dallas. I watch Mulder as we drive back to the hotel from the police station. He knows I’m looking at him. He loves it.
Mulder can be so vain sometimes, but in a good way. Daylight Savings Time has just taken effect, so the streetlights have been set ablaze a bit earlier than usual. The sky is dark but the interior of the car seems to glow.
His face seems to glow.
We drive and I watch him. Each streetlight we pass hits his face like a slap, then slowly fades away. The gold plays over his skin, suffusing it with a luminescence seeping out of his pores, blending with the warm hues of his skin.
I think it’s his skin I love the most. No, not his eyes or his hair, or that little mole on the side of his cheek — the things I’m supposed to like — but his skin. The way it contains his body, but doesn’t. His soul escapes it on a daily basis and plunges into me as we make love. His skin has always been amazing, even more so since we took that weekend at the beach (Imagine that Mulder and me on a vacation) and lay naked on the deck, basking in the sun and daring passersby to stumble across us. I love the way his skin feels under my fingers, the way it molds against their pressure with a warm smoothness. And I love looking at his skin in these streetlights as we drive, the lights hitting it, keeping time with his own innate rhythm.
But tonight the skin acts as a barrier. We stop at a traffic light and he turns to look at me. I look back. His eyes blaze. I’m reminded of the video footage of one of the fire victims, her eyes calm as her body slowly melted.
I am melting. But not yet.
“How are you feeling?”
Mulder can be woefully unoriginal at times — monotonous, even.
I love that about him.
“Ah.” He reaches over and runs his fingers along my jawbone and I muster up a smile for him. Only for him. As a car behind us honks its impatience — the light is green now — his hand drops nervelessly to my lap, begging me to take it. I don’t.
He tries, he really does. But he just doesn’t know. He’s always watched everyone he loves be taken away, sometimes snatched from his very arms. And now me too. The cancer remains, lurking just below the skin of my forehead.
Still the same, never changing. No rhythm of its own. Every day I feel like I’ve taken the step down and am waiting for the impact of foot on cement, but it never comes. I just stand, poised for disaster. For how much longer, though?
We are nearing the street of our hotel, getting ready to turn. Mulder shifts in the driver’s seat. “Dinner?”
“Just pull into a Subway or something. I don’t feel like going out.”
“Okay.” And as if by magic a sub shop appears on our right. He pulls over a couple of lanes on the road and turns into the parking lot. As he stops the car, I make no move. He knows me by now — knows how to read my signals.
“Club sandwich with mayo?”
“You know what I like.”
That earns me a rare smile. He’s so beautiful when he smiles.
I watch him go into the small storefront then up to the counter. He places our order then has to wait while they melt the cheese on his meatball sub. I have a flash of tomato sauce smeared over the side of his mouth, and my tongue moving over it, cleaning him up. Mulder turns and smiles at me. Two in five minutes — I feel privileged. And though a pane of glass separates us, I’ve never felt closer to him than at that glorious moment. We need more moments like this, I decide.
The sandwiches retrieved and paid for, he comes back out to the car, then deftly starts the engine with one hand while I take the bag. We are enveloped in silence once again. The hotel is just around the corner and we pull up at a parking place close by, then juggle briefcases, laptops, and sandwiches on our way up to the front lobby.
I punch the elevator button for 13. I love being on the top floor, high above it all.
Imperial. Mulder has it easy, having been blessed with a briefcase complete with shoulder strap. Ever the gentleman, he takes the bag of sandwiches from me and wraps his other arm around my waist, pulling me close. He kisses the top of my head in an old familiar routine. I’ve come to appreciate routine.
It gives life an order mine had sorely lacked.
We walk down the hall to our room as I fumble for our room key. OUR room key.
Ever since we became lovers, the FBI has been surprisingly supportive. It’s my pet theory that since nothing we’ve done so far has caused them to separate us, nothing ever will. So much for the “Thou shalt not sleep with thy partner” old wives’ tale. Besides, everyone knows that Jeff Wilson and Mark Romo have been sleeping together for years. Don’t ask, don’t tell. That’s our new motto. And if we save the American taxpayers money on a second hotel room, more’s the benefit.
I step inside and he follows. In tandem, we set our briefcases down, slip out of our shoes, and sit down cross-legged in the middle of the bed, our knees touching. Neither of us has the time or energy for formalities or unnecessary motion. We eat in silence. I don’t get the chance to lick tomato sauce off of his face. Damn his cleanliness. He finishes before me, and watches as I wipe my own face off after my final bite. The wonderful man has already cleaned up all the trash. I add that to my mental list of things Mulder is good for. I close my eyes.
His hands are fire. He caresses my shoulders as I feel the heat of his skin through the silk fabric of my blouse. I feel the bed shift below me as he leans forward and nuzzles the crook of my neck, balancing precariously on his knees. The thin gold of my necklace rolls against the tender skin. I bring my hand up and hold his head there for a moment, stilling it. We sit there, balancing, letting the rhythm of our hearts merge. I feel the fire all around me, but just want quiet. Peace.
Mulder begins to unbutton my blouse. I catch his hand.
He looks at me, reading between the lines of my eyes.
I tell him I need him.
I tell him I want him.
I tell him I love him.
But not tonight. Tonight I just want him here, just want the knowledge of him here. I want to return to myself, if only for a night. Just one night. And then he can have me again. I can have him.
He pulls away from me and stands next to the bed. I can’t tell if he understands. I follow him up and stand next to him. I put my hands against his chest.
“Let’s just get undressed and go to sleep.” I smile at him. He smiles back.
Not a smile of desire or seduction, but of a deep abiding love and understanding. He is such a good man. I am such a good woman when I’m with him.
I undress him slowly, indulging myself with the warm friction of the hair on his skin rubbing against my palms. He undresses me, his own hands giving me goosebumps. We stand together, naked and calm. I watch him as he walks over to the door and turns off the overhead light. The brightness flashes into darkness, but the burnished gold of his skin has imprinted itself on the backs of my retinas. A beautiful afterimage.
We lay on the bed together, falling into our old rhythm. He spoons me into his body, his chin once again resting against my shoulder and his knees bending into mine. I remain there, thinking of everything and nothing, for who knows how long. His breathing lengthens and deepens as his chest slowly rises and falls into my back.
I feel peaceful, content.
In sleep, his arm snakes out and wraps itself around my waist, curling around my other arm. My limbs are a mass of kindling, slowly igniting even as he rests. I forget about the cancer in my head. I remember it. A rhythm of pleasure and pain. The blaze spreads through my body, invades my sinusoid cavity. Burns the cancer to a crisp in my memory. Only in my memory. I realize I am wasting time.
I don’t have much time to waste.
I roll away from Mulder, separating our skin. I turn toward him. My hands roam of their own accord over his body, over his stomach. I love his stomach.
I love the broad chest that encases his heart. I love the collection of cells that form his skin, holding so many passions and thoughts within.
His eyes open. They catch a mystery light within the room, showing a devilish glint. This is exactly what he has wanted. I feel so powerful giving it to him.
I love feeling powerful.
I love him.
I indulge myself in his skin for a while, not tasting it, just running my hands over it. All of it. Drinking it with my fingers. Sating myself. Sating him. Stoking his fire. Stoking my own. Spilling over, but not dousing it.
• ∞ • ∞ •
Date sent: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 18:17:19 -0600
Subject: Million (1/1)
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. The situations into which I have placed them are of my own creation.
ARCHIVING: Please archive at Gossamer. Please contact me before placing on specialty archives. Do not forward to ATXC.
CLASSIFICATION: V, MSR
RATING: TV-14, L
SUMMARY: Withheld at author’s request.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story is dedicated to every wonderful person who has given me feedback on “Inside” and “Burn” — thank you so much! A special thank you to Jill Selby for beta-reading this.
This is the third vignette in my little trilogy. It takes place immediately after “Burn”. I had to give Mulder a chance to speak, so now I’m going to try my hand at adapting this universe to a longer story with an actual plot <g>
Million by Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
I am a million different people.
She is one.
I change, I adapt. I allow my moods to overwhelm me, color me. Paint me in different hues, some of which I don’t like. Some of which I do, like the ones Scully creates in me.
I am an enigma. She is an enigma, too, never more so than at this moment. I look at her. I have been watching her off and on since the plane took off from DFW almost three hours ago. It might be a cliche, but I can’t seem to stop looking at her. We have known each other for so long, and yet I feel like I’ve only really just begun to know her. I know her body now, of course, but even more importantly, I know her mind. Her soul. But she’s still such a mystery. She’ll probably remain so until the day I die, but I don’t mind. I’ll enjoy trying to unwrap her enigma. And enjoy her trying to unwrap mine.
The plane hits a bit of turbulence and she is jostled out of sleep. Scully always looks so beautiful as she wakes up. She always denies it, though, with some sort of feminine modesty at not looking put-together, but I love the way I see the raw woman in her. The one who belongs to me, not the world. Me.
“Hi.” Her voice cracks, fizzles. It is raw. It is her.
“Is it still morning? I lost track of time.”
“Late night?” I run my fingertips along her leg.
“Yeah…. but I enjoyed every minute.”
I love her brazenness and the slight twinkle in her eye. She speaks softly, coyly. “Was it as good for you as it was for me?”
I narrow my eyes. “I made love with a beautiful woman all night. So yeah, I think that qualifies as ‘good’.”
She blushes slightly at my gaze, which is still intense and searching. As I search her face and she mine, the world slowly dissolves, until it could fit in the pinpoint of air between us. Scully leans over and kisses me, devouring my mouth with hers. Air leaves my lungs and rushes into hers. What was I saying about loving her brazenness? A flight attendant passes by, asking us to prepare for landing. We need to breathe, so I slowly break the kiss, inhaling then peppering the sides of her mouth with tiny kisses. I reward her with a huge grin. She rewards me in kind. Imagine that, a Scully grin.
I am a comic. I remember the first time I made Scully laugh — really laugh. That was, I believe, the proudest moment of my life. We were lying in her bed after some incredible lovemaking (yeah, we’re having sex a lot these days — sue me). I said something, though I can’t remember what. And I watched as a bubble of joy seemed to rise from her chest and burst in her face. She laughed — such an amazing sound, so loud and hearty. Her face broke out in a toothy grin she could barely suppress. I felt something wash over me. I’m not sure what it was, exactly, but it sang through my veins and made me glow with joy. Wow.
I see a hint of that same laugh in her eyes right now.
The plane lands. We get off. I walk behind her, letting her lead the way. I love watching her — have I mentioned that already? She is so composed, so together. A hot, fiery woman encased in the body of a cool, intelligent professional. It’s a wonderful contrast. Scully is nearly swallowed whole by her huge garment bag, but she’d never ask for my help. Stubbornness is not one of her better qualities, but it’s a strangely endearing one.
We walk past commuters, past tourists, past airport employees. Ordinary people, ordinary lives. Sometimes, but not often, I wish my life were ordinary. A house in the suburbs, a wife, two kids. The American Dream. But that’s not me. I’m extraordinary, in the literal sense of the word. Outside of the norm. I kind of like it that way.
And if I were just ordinary, I wouldn’t have Scully next to me, taking my hand as we board the escalator down to our level of the parking garage, lacing her fingers through mine. So quietly, so blithely. Like it’s the most natural, most ordinary thing in the world. She’s become so demonstrative since we became lovers. Never flaunting, just more physical than I would have expected. I’m just trying not to take advantage of it. She’s like a cat I want to lure inside, but don’t dare make any sudden moves, exploiting her trust in me.
She drives this time. It’s her car, after all. Besides, it’s my turn to sit and watch her. She basks in my attention, I can tell. We like to play a game when she drives. I say the most outrageous things I can think of to get her to crack a smile. Personally, I think she’s just biting her cheeks so she’ll win. She almost always does, but when she doesn’t…. the smile that spreads over her face is just amazing. I wear the scar of it on my cheek, on my soul, as the just rewards of a hard-fought battle.
I win today.
I have to trump her this time, so I slyly say, “I hear Frohike has a date with Cindy Crawford tonight.” That gets her. She throws her head back and laughs, all the while keeping a steady eye on the road. I feel victorious.
I am a best friend. I share everything with Scully. I can only assume she shares everything with me. We can talk about anything and nothing, and I know that she will listen to me without ridicule, even if she doesn’t necessarily agree. And often times, we don’t even need to talk at all. She and I can pass miles without saying a word, without a need to talk. Our connection serves as our voice. I could be with her a million years and never tire of her company. Love does that to a man, I guess.
She pulls into the parking garage at the FBI Headquarters, wiping the smile off her face and putting on her Agent Mask for the guards at the gate. She’s a human kaleidoscope at times, though nobody would ever know it except me. I’m so grateful she lets me see all her emotions. It’s one aspect of her to which I have exclusive rights.
We walk through the entranceway, punching in the necessary codes to get through the doors. We maintain a brisk space as we take the labyrinthine route to the basement, my hand keeping a steady vigil at the small of her back. The Bureau allows us to sleep together, so long as we compartmentalize. No public displays of affection. Small of back is skirting the edge, but acceptable. I glue my palm to the soft flannel of her suit blazer, feeling her skin move under the fabric, marvelling at the way her body is so still even as her legs move. Those legs provide a staccato beat traveling up my arm. It mimics her heartbeat. Our blood flows together. And yet, we’re apart — or so they think.
I feel so clever.
I am a knight. I quest. She unlocks the door of our office and we step inside, heading toward our respective desks. Hers is plain, almost spartan, furnished with the simple necessities for productivity. Mine is my castle, my armory. I glance over the weapons of my mind — photos and newspaper clippings of flying saucers and aliens. The truth is my Holy Grail. Truth about conspiracies, about my sister, about Scully’s abduction. I’m seduced by the idea of truth even as I harbor fears about what it might mean. But that doesn’t stop my — our — quest. Nothing ever will, even after it is over. We have our own truth to seek together. The truth about us. A package we are opening every day.
I lack the nobility of a knight, though. I am good, but I am not pure. I am honorable, but I am not without blemish. I am a lover, but I am not deserving. If I were all those things, I could be content with just loving her. But as I glance over at Scully taking her seat, I feel a flash of pure light and love, and know that just loving her isn’t enough. I need more, I want more.
We settle down for a couple of hours of work. We could have just gone home but we have too much work to do. Good thing we’re both workaholics. As we sort through the piles of flotsam that have accumulated on our desks in our absence, I feel myself returning to the old life, to safety. And sure enough, as if she has read my mind, Scully calls out, “Here we go again.”
“Yeah?” I can’t help but be excited.
“Seems they want to send us out on another case tomorrow.” She flips through the file. “Hmm, Mississippi. We haven’t been there, have we?”
“Does this mean we get to christen another state?”
I earn another grin, closely followed by a mock-glare. “Watch it, or I’ll have Shari book us separate rooms this time.”
The smile lingers on her lips. I want to kiss her so badly, but I restrain myself with as much force as I can muster. Finally, I just have to look away. I can’t resist her if my eyes are on that dear face.
She begins speaking again. I force myself to concentrate on her words. “Looks like another case involving herbs. Two in one week? That must be a record.”
I lean back in my chair. “Could you hand me your Bureau directory? I’ll call Shari this time.” Scully’s taken aback. She’s so used to doing the little tasks like travel arrangements that my volunteering has thrown her for a loop. She reaches over and hands me the booklet. Her fingertips brush against mine. Fire courses through my veins. I want to seize her hand and press it to my chest, into my skin, but I file away that urge for later.
I am a dreamer. I spend the rest of the afternoon shuffling papers, but lost in fantasies — of what Scully and I already are, of what we could become. As the clock marches onward, she picks up the phone and calls her mother, just to let her know that we’re back in D.C., safe and sound. They chat for about fifteen minutes, about everything and nothing. I admit that I envy their easy closeness and affection. Aside from Scully, I’ve never really had anyone to give me that. Not for many years. Not since Sam. As Scully’s voice murmurs over the wires, I dream about what might have been had things gone differently. These dreams often feature a grown and happy Samantha. Yet, somehow the “might have been” never includes Scully because I was never sent to her in the first place. And I fear that “might have been”. I drift over to what could be. Samantha back, watching Scully and me continue to build the life we have together. A perfect circle. Dreams are often so much better than reality.
But then I glance over at Scully and realize that reality isn’t so bad after all.
A couple of hours pass. Once again, we are in her car, going home. I drive this time. She’s too tired. The commute is relatively easy this evening, even though we’re in the middle of rush hour. She pulls her laptop out and begins typing, but leaves off after a few minutes and just turns her head and looks at me. I love it. I love her. I love being the focus of her attention.
I am a lover. I give so much love I can scarcely contain it and I receive so much love I might collapse under its weight. We stop at a light down the street from her apartment and I glance over at her. She robs me of breath. She stuns me. I am agnostic, but I’ve been blessed. Looking at Scully is my religious experience. The cravings in her eyes are my absolution. I want to take her and show her my love in as many ways as we can imagine, plus a few we haven’t imagined yet. I can’t drive the final half-mile home quickly enough for my —our— sanity. Time is of the essence.
We make it into her apartment on shaky legs born of desire, then stumble over furniture on our way to her bedroom. We’ve been lovers for perhaps three months now, yet we’re still at the insatiable stage. I hope we stay there for the rest of our lives. I run my hands over her skin and her soul, both bared to me, exposed and open. I come alive in her hands. I feel my blood and my souls begin to gel. I am on fire. I am all of my selves, merging.
And I am a million other people, slowly coming alive under her.
• ∞ • ∞ •
Date sent: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 17:24:15 -0600
Subject: Semantics, by Alanna
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. The situation into which I have placed them is of my own creation.
SPOILERS: Post-Kill Switch
CLASSIFICATION: V, A, MSR
ARCHIVES: Gossamer is fine. Anywhere else, ask me first.
This story belongs in my Burn universe (I really need a name for it — suggestions?), though you don’t need to be familiar with it to understand what is happening. All you need to know is that in it, Mulder and Scully are already romantically involved. This is a quite dark story, so consider yourselves warned.
Special thanks to my editing team of Kem, Amanda, and Mara.
NOTE: The events as Mulder tells them are not wholly in keeping with the timeline established in the episode; however, as Bad Blood proved, memory is subjective and fallible.
Semantics by Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
There’s a difference between fucking and making love.
That knowledge has been with me for some time, but I feel the difference now. I’ve never been comfortable with using “fuck” as a verb, though I’ve been known to use it as an expression of anger, hostility or peevishness. But I’ve never “fucked” someone — never reduced the physical aspect of intercourse to that simple word of carnality, just like I always say I make love *with* someone, not make love to them. Imagine that. Me, a proponent of semantics.
But Mulder and I just fucked.
We have made love before. We have engaged in the physical act of intercourse, imbuing it with such passion and devotion and deep, spiritual meaning that the process itself becomes something beautiful and glorious. Yet we have never fucked. We have never taken from each other selfishly, without that emotional connection. We have never thrown one another down on a hard surface and “had our way with each other”, to use a phrase out of silly romance novels.
He needed this as did I, in a way. I’m still not sure what happened in that trailer — what that AI machine showed him — nor do I really want to know. He’s terrified to mention it and I’m afraid to ask. Mulder stumbled into my arms, broken down and defenseless in a way that had little to do with physical rigor. He needed me to heal him. I wanted to.
This in no way makes me co-dependent, nor does it make me a victim. We love each other. We trust each other. We know each other better than we do ourselves. He needed to feel the life within himself again. He needed to feel me within him. I gave myself to him, but our fucking was as much for me as it was for him. And I wanted him within me.
We stumbled away from the trailer as it blew behind us, nearly knocking us over with the force of the explosion. I curled him within my strong arms and as we approached the car I began to compile the case report in my mind: “Nairn and I entered the trailer and discovered Agent Mulder strapped into what appeared to be a Virtual Reality helmet and was subjected to some violent visual impulses. I removed him from the bonds and we exited the trailer immediately. I attempted to convince Nairn to leave, but she insisted on remaining. Seconds later, the trailer appeared to have been targeted by an espionage satellite and exploded.”
Words only begin to convey the story.
Mulder is not a crier — at least, not around me. I know he is fragile, so fragile. But he often tries to maintain a veneer of strength around me, as much for his own benefit as for mine. I wish he would show me his weaknesses more often. We began that case so tough, so focused, then split up to pursue separate leads. I should have known better than to leave him alone. Instead, I did my job, following my lead to that trailer. Whereas I’d spent the past twenty-four hours royally pissed off at technology and the world at large, Mulder had spent them as a victim. My entire reserve of tension melted when I saw him there.
Oh, God, he looked so small.
He’s a tall, lean, beautiful man, but he looked so small and frail. Pathetic — and I mean that in the best possible way. He needed me, and I needed to feel that. I wanted to stand there and run my fingers over his face and through his hair and down his body to reassure him that I was here for him, but Nairn had more than proved the urgency of our situation. So I hauled Mulder’s beautiful ass out of there. Laying him down on the dead grass, instinct drove me to tear myself away from him and go back for Nairn. I had to. But as cruel as it may sound, she could be blown to smithereens, so long as I had my Mulder. My kingdom for a Fox.
But she wanted to stay with the man she loved, so I grabbed the one I loved and RAN. I ran as fast as I could, with an urgency born of fear. And then I took Mulder home.
I’m not sure how we made it back. The drive must have taken an hour or so, but I barely noticed a minute of it. I couldn’t think of anything, anything at all, but Mulder hunched over in the passenger seat, rubbing his arms disconsolately. He scared the shit out of me, all lost to the world. The only time he looked up was as we pulled up in front of his building. I really don’t know why I chose to take him there. We usually stayed at my place — I guess for the warmth it offered. It was more of a home. Maybe some part of me saw us as homeless, aimless. We were in a very dark place and we needed the gloom of his apartment as a way of punishing ourselves, though heaven only knows why.
Mulder was out of the car before I could take the keys out of the ignition. I followed him inside, nearly tripping over myself in my haste to keep up. I didn’t stop moving until I was inside his apartment, watching him pace around the room. When I shut the door, all I heard was my heart beating within my chest, it was so quiet. And dark, so dark. I called out quietly, “Mulder?”
I hung my coat on his coat rack and set my briefcase on his cluttered dining room table, knocking over a couple of cellphone batteries and a wadded-up tie. The debris of a life. I stood there, my hands flat on the cool wood. I could feel the energy flowing out of me, the life slowly dripping through my fingertips. But it didn’t frighten me. Instead, I felt an eerie sense of peace about it all. Well, peace wasn’t quite the right word, but it was as close as I could manage. The solitude born of waiting.
I didn’t feel the air around me shift, though I should have, considering how closely bound we two are. I didn’t feel his hands come around either side of me or his head move to rest on my shoulder, until he was there.
Oh, God, he was there.
It started out… It began so simply. One hand on either side of me, crossing over my chest. I was held within his clasp as surely as I had been so many times before. Except this time was different, unsettled. I breathed deeply into his hands, which tightened around me and slowly began to knead my breasts, fingers digging into flesh. I lolled my head against his shoulder and concentrated on the sensation of his breath on my neck. I couldn’t close my eyes against the harsh morning sunlight slanting through the blinds on the window. I wanted the rays to sear my eyes, to implant this moment on my retinas as surely as I wanted to forget and help him to do the same. And so we stood together, living so surely in the moment that I fancied we had disassociated ourselves from everything else in our lives. But he had not.
“Touch my arms, Scully.”
I tried to tilt my head back to catch his eye and ask the question within, but his shoulder trapped my head. He repeated himself, his voice more harsh and gravelly.
“Touch my arms.”
I did. I brought my fingertips up to his shoulders and rested them on the smudged and wrinkled cotton of his shirt. I began to run my fingers down his biceps, but he stopped me, stepping back and removing me from his arms. Before I had a chance to turn around, I felt the whoosh of air as the shirt fell to the ground and I started to move to face him, but he growled, “No.”
Well, not obey, per se. Semantics yet again. In a way, I felt like an accessory. Instinctively I knew this was something he needed, but I wanted it too, in a way I couldn’t define. In a flash his bare arms were circling me, tightly and unyielding.
I wrestled my own arms out from under his hold and began to touch his own, kneading the warm flesh like his own fingers had massaged my breasts. The tension cut through our bodies like a pulse. He shuddered slightly under my hands and pressed against my back. I couldn’t see his face, so I relied on hearing and touch to break through his reticence. Rising and falling against me, his chest carried the weight of his numbness. Hands massaged arms and my head lolled back against his shoulder, moving with a syncopated, erratic rhythm. His arms shifted slightly and one hand moved under my shirt and up my belly, his touch searing and scarring me.
In moments like these — moments of intense sexual experience — all conscious, rational thought becomes trivial. Lucidity is trivial. Reaction, not action.
My cheek hit the table with a muffled thud. My breasts burrowed into the table and the chilled wood rubbed against my erect nipples like tissue on sandpaper as the hard edge of the table pressed into my stomach. One of Mulder’s hands closed over the side of my face while the other snaked around my hips, fumbling with the clasp of my slacks and jerking the zipper down with a sharp motion. A cool rush of air swirled around the sensitive skin and I felt myself lit like a wooden match.
Wood, wood everywhere.
Everything happened so quickly that I couldn’t separate the movements of Mulder tilting my pelvis to meet him then entering me with the force and finesse of a fireplace poker cutting through butter. I tensed around him and he expelled a long, harsh moan against my neck. Tighten, release. My body milked all the fear and shock out of him. Breathing became difficult and a luxury all in one. Each deep breath shuddered through my body, heightening the sensations Mulder drove into me. We inhaled in counterpoint as his chest rocked against my back, the wiry hair on his scratching the smoothness of mine.
It was all so quick, so pointed, so urgent. Focused but diffuse. Colors swirling together then breaking into needlepricks against my eyelids. I saw nothing, I felt and heard everything. It all focused on him — his breathing, his body, his needs. My need was for him, for this moment. We were quickly, furiously penetrating the shell his shock had erected around him.
We entered a vortex, a wormhole. His hips slapped against me, the fleshiness of my ass cushioning them, dampening the impact. Stoking us. The feel of him pushing inside of me hurt, but with the burning of arousal. The air around us reeked of sex — of musk and sweat and animal fervor. Mulder’s breath rushed and tumbled across me and his orgasm hit me like electrocution. In my heightened state of arousal, I felt every bit of him swirling inside of me, filling me with liquid flowing through my organs, my belly. It lasted an eternity — the tidal wave rolling and rolling.
I tossed about like the flotsam of his life.
Mulder’s hand moved heavily against my belly as his body sagged into me and his penis slipped out of my womb. His fluid ran down my thighs, warm and slippery. I shuddered against him, still fiery with sexual tension. I think this might have been his first awareness of me, of my state. His voice was molasses against my shoulder.
“I— ohhh,” the word more moan than voice. I rubbed my back against him, squirming like a centipede, needing the release.
Mulder pulled me into him, his hand tangling in my forgotten blouse scrunched around my neck. His other arm moved around my hips and threaded through my thighs as his sex-drunken voice murmured, “Oh God, baby, I’m sorry….”
All he had to do was press into my clitoris with a firm, urgent motion and I was gone. My ecstasy was pure and simple. No emotion entered it — just unadulterated sexual bliss. I found myself needing and reveling in the raw release as much as he had just moments before. Thrashing in his arms, the orgasm overtook me and tossed me around on the waves once again. Every electron burned, then simmered out.
And we sunk to the floor. Together.
• ∞ • ∞ •
And now I lay here with him. Quiet. Calm. Sore, but healing. We are slumped together on the floor, his back against the wall and my own against his chest. Our legs are tangled together and his arms clasp me tightly. We are still breathing heavily and our bodies are coming down. Mulder has one hand tucked underneath my blouse, pressing gently into my stomach, then he brings his hand up to my hair and twists his fingers through the strands, his fingernails dragging along my scalp. My eyes focus on the pale beige wall opposite us and I realize that I’ve not seen his face this entire time. Somehow, that’s appropriate. What we just did was about our bodies, not our souls. It was the primal need to release tension. Fucking. Love was not directly involved, yet I love him so much that I needed to give him what *he* needed. He needed a good fuck. We all do sometimes. And now was our moment for emotion.
“Thank you,” he whispers.
I take his other hand in mine and press a kiss to his palm, then sink back into him. Our bodies coalesce into each other as I murmur, “You’re welcome.” Pause. “You feel like telling me what happened?”
Tension shudders through his body, so slightly that I might not have noticed had I not been so attuned to him.
“From the beginning?”
“Welcome to my nightmare.” I can’t resist a slight chuckle at that. What are our professional lives but an immersion in one long nightmare, tempered by our private lives and the love to which they are a testament? His own testimony begins.
“I’m not quite sure how I got trapped in that… thing…. but I found myself strapped into some sort of upright full-body harness. You saw it. And then this visor thing came down over my eyes, and I was powerless to close them. I couldn’t help but watch. The highlights…. well, there were no highlights. It was all just so damn real, though I guess that’s why it’s called ‘virtual reality’, huh?”
I squeeze his hand once again, trying to ward off my own fear at hearing what kind of madness had driven him into shock and terror. He soldiered on without a pause, as if afraid that to stop would be to shrink back from the telling.
“It was awful. I was in a strange, Art Deco-ish hospital. There were these nurses, and they were like something out of my….” I swear that I feel him blushing under me. “Anyway, they cut off my arm. I saw it, Scully! And then this nurse told me that if I didn’t cooperate and tell them about the kill switch, they’d cut off the other one, then my legs. I remember falling asleep and having this dream. I dreamed that I was twelve and that instead of being kidnapped, Samantha was just walking away from me, telling me she never wanted to see me again.”
Welcome to his nightmare, indeed. That “memory” is worse than the supposed reality. I didn’t want to interrupt his flow of thoughts, and my litany of questions wouldn’t come to my tongue.
“Then I had a good dream. You and I were in bed and you were just holding me, rubbing your hands over my legs, my body.” I smile along with him. “I woke up and you were there in that room. You took out all the nurses using those kickboxing moves you’ve been practicing down at the Bureau gym on Saturdays. You came up to me. I showed you my arms, I wanted you to hold me and tell me it would all be all right. But you just yelled at me. You didn’t care.” Good Lord. “And that’s how I knew it wasn’t you. That’s all I remember.”
I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t say anything. And so I didn’t — I merely sat up a little straighter, then turned around in his arms and brought my lips to his in a long kiss. A kiss of renewal, of understanding. He bent his leg so I could shift my position and hold him more closely.
“Mulder, I’m here now, and I love you.”
“I know that.” I knew that he did.
I turned back around and leaned against him. He shifted behind me, the sunlight streaming through the blinds in stripes on my legs. I honestly had no idea what to say to him, so I chose to just listen.
“How many more times is it going to happen, Scully? How many more nightmares do we need to endure before we’re judged good enough?” His hands tightened around mine. “It could have been anyone in that helmet. It had nothing to do with me, personally. I mean… when I get screwed over by the Consortium, I can accept that responsibility. But it just never ends, does it? There will always be a suspect chasing after us, or a VR helmet waiting for me. Or for you. God, it’s enough to make me want to just scream ‘Screw it all!’ and walk out.”
I felt my heart crunch ever so slightly. “Mulder —”
“But I won’t. I won’t walk away. This is the life I chose for myself, and I need to be right here with you, searching for the truth. All this other torture is just part of the job. It just gets so damn hard sometimes.”
His voice trails off just a bit and he sags against the wall, pulling me back with him. Instead, I sit up straight and turn around to face him. It’s the first good look I get at his face, and my heart contracts some more. He looks so sad, so defeated. So frustrated. But the love he feels for me shines through his eyes with a bittersweet ache. I bring my hands up to that face and caress his cheeks with my palms.
“You know what I think, Mulder?” Two eyebrows raise a hair’s breadth. “You’re a good man who just has really fucked-up luck.” That gets me a pained smirk. “And you are right — this whole thing today could have happened to anyone. You were just unlucky enough to be there. But you know what your saving grace is?”
I nod my head matter-of-factly, trying to suppress a grin. “Besides me. You keep going. You feel all these things but you endure. You don’t give up. You learn from them sometimes and that’s why make you such an incredible man.”
We hold each other’s gaze for a very long moment, neither of us making any faces which might break the spell. Then he brings his hands to my back and pulls me toward him with a swift motion that knocks me off-balance. He kisses me or I kiss him. Whichever. Semantics. All that does matter is the kiss we share, the way we make love with our lips. Moments pass as we stay together, then I realize the time.
“Ready to endure some more? We need to get in to work — already way too late.”
He shifts under me slightly, rubbing against my core, still a bit tender from our sex. I breathe deeply then raise up on my knees. Getting aroused wouldn’t be too good an idea when we have work to do. So I stand up and hold out a hand, which he clasps and pulls himself up.
“Hey, Scully? I love you.”
“Me too,” I call over my shoulder as I walk toward his bathroom.
“Narcissistic much?” That breaks out the laughs. I’m sorely tempted to slam the bathroom door in his face, but he’s too quick for me, reaching for the razor and washcloth before I’m even able to take off my wrinkled blouse. After a long and highly satisfying shower together, we dry off and I make friends with his iron, trying to salvage my suit.
And thus begins another day of work. I replay what he has told me about his virtual reality sequence and think of all he — we — have had to endure. But it is our life. We endure. We love. I want to hold him close for the rest of my life, but I know I can’t always do so. And when I can’t hold him close, I can be right beside him. His right-hand woman.
So long as I’m the only one.
Mulder collects his keys from the floor near the front door while I find my briefcase. I can’t resist one tiny bit of teasing.
“So… tell me about these nurses….”
• ∞ • ∞ •
Date sent: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 17:53:59 EST
Photos by Alanna
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting/1013 Productions. The situation into which I have placed them is of my own creation.
CATEGORIES: V, MSR, fairly lighthearted but I wouldn’t call it “humor”
SPOILERS: US Season Five.
ARCHIVAL: Gossamer, please. Anyone else, ask me first.
SUMMARY: Ringfic. I admit it. But with a slightly different twist.
AUTHOR’S NOTES: I started this story in the week preceding “Travelers”, while everyone was nearly hyperventilating with curiosity over The Ring Possibility. Our speculations having been proven correct in the episode itself, I wrote some more, then put this away, then pulled it back up again. It’s like a disease <g>. No angst at all in this story, just some good old-fashioned closeness.
This story takes place in my little Burn universe, though if you’re unfamiliar with it, all that needs to be assumed is that Mulder and Scully are already romantically involved.
PHOTOS By Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
Mulder’s bedroom is a mess.
The thought doesn’t surprise me in the least, nor should it anyone else who knows and loves him like I do. I’m sure it was meant to harbor a sleeping person once upon a time, but, judging from the layer of dust covering everything and the deep grooves etched into the rug under my feet, the bed herein hasn’t been touched by a slumbering human in ages. And it probably would have always remained just like this, had I not gotten fed up with passing the room on the way to the bath and seeing stacks and stacks of boxes and other discarded junk littering the floor.
Does Mulder realize he fits the male stereotype to a “T”?
And so while he jogs, I’m having a ball getting this place into some semblance of order. He shies away from order. I thrive on it. Sorting through Mulder’s possessions is like taking the proverbial trip down memory lane. I’m seeing a whole new side of him. Boy scout badges, flyers for junior high basketball and baseball games, a high school diploma still in the fake-leather display folder, the seams creaking as I open it for what must be the first time in twenty years. Among the very grown-up possessions of Mulder’s life rests a tattered teddy bear. I never would have expected him to be the kind of boy to carry one, yet the image of a fuzzy bit of fur crooked in his chubby baby arms makes perfect sense. Mulder needs love desperately — reaches out for it in nearly everything he does. The poor, perfect man seldom finds it, except with me.
After tossing in a few cedar shavings, I close the box back up, sealing the top with some duct tape for good measure. That would be box #12. We should really find him a good self-storage facility. As I lift it to stack on top of another carton, straining my back in the process, one bit of debris falls free, clattering against the floor with the rustling of paper.
My interest is piqued. For a man with such an obsessive memory, the number of photographs he owns could be counted on one hand. Several of Samantha, several of me, several of various other assorted objects or people. Freeing my overburdened arms of the box, I stoop down to collect the snapshots, then sit down on the floor to glance through them.
A man and a woman stare back at me. Both are smiling, the corners of her cheeks bursting from her face in a wide grin, his turned up in a slight smirk. She’s in a simple white dress and he’s in a dark suit. Her curly blonde hair reflects the lights of what appears to be a bar, neon beer ads hanging in the background. His skin glows amber in the dark light.
Ah, so this must be Deborah.
• ∞ • ∞ •
Mulder has a ritual. After getting back from jogging, he paces the apartment for a good five minutes before finally settling down. In the midst of flipping through the photos, I hear the door shut and the footsteps begin. The easy, rhythmic movement brings a smile to my face. I set the photographs aside and clear a path to the doorway.
I stand in the hallway for a few moments and watch him. Even covered in sweat and his chest still heaving slightly, the man is beautiful. There’s no denying it. Drinking in the sight of him without his noticing is one of my indulgences.
He makes his final circuit and catches sight of me.
“Oh, hey there.” I smile at him in response. “Hope I didn’t wake you up this morning. Didn’t mean to trip over the coffee table.”
“No, not at all. Though really, Mulder, we need to do something about these sleeping arrangements. I’m not spending another night on that sofa, which is barely big enough for one person, much less two.”
That brings a grin to his face. “Hey, you knew what you were getting into….”
“… And I didn’t think it involved huddling on a six-foot leather couch all night when we slept over here.” I raise one eyebrow reflexively.
Closing the distance between us, he mocks, “What, my sofa isn’t good enough for you?”
“That’s debatable.” He tries to pull me into his arms in a good-morning hug, but I pull back just as quickly. Dirty as my clothes may be, I don’t want to add Muldersweat to the stains. “And that’s why I’ve taken the liberty of cleaning out that bedroom of yours.”
“Oh?” Arms cross over a chest harboring muscles barely concealed by a t- shirt.
“You’ll never guess what I found.”
He flinches and draws back, trying to grimace down a wince of shock.
“A bed, Mulder. I admit surprise that you own one, and I’m hurt you haven’t seen fit to grace it with my presence.”
Mulder has this terrible problem of displaying nearly every emotion he feels over that dark-and-handsome face of his. I’ll have to lure him into a poker game one of these days. “Is that all?” he murmurs.
“‘Is that ALL’?” I mock. “What other secrets do you have hidden away in there?”
A flash of childish guilt flickers over his face. “Do I have to answer that, Scully?”
I give him a pointed look, loving this toying with him. “Actually, I did notice these.” I hand over the envelope of photographs. “Hmm…. she doesn’t really look like your type.”
He opens the packet and gapes at the contents. “Whoa, I’d forgotten these even existed.”
“Forgot, or hoped to forget?”
“Both.” Mulder starts thumbing through the pics. “Wow, we both looked so young back then.”
“You were a cutie. So was she.” I walk across to him, standing next to him so that I can look at the photographs along with him. “Funny, I never would have figured you to be the sort to go for cheerleaders.”
“She was a cheerleader in college. Did you know that?”
I could count on two hands all he had told me about that brief period of his life. Met Deborah at a party. Got drunk with her. Fell into bed, which lasted two consecutive days. Dated and somewhere along the line got married in a quickie ceremony. Got drunk yet again at the quasi-reception, then got divorced just as quickly when they both realized that they couldn’t spend their lives in a marriage caused by, well, general drunkenness. Having been in a couple of (non-alcohol-related) situations myself, I’d sympathized wholly when he’d told me about it after we’d been partnered a few months. And then what had we done? Proceded to go through a bottle of champagne at a very average bar somewhere in the Midwest while we catalogued all our embarrassing relationships of the past.
I think the alcohol helped me fall in love with him. And the love remained even after the buzz faded.
Putting his arm around my waist, he leads me over the sofa and collapses down upon it. I ungracefully sit down next to him, then scoot over closer so that I’m nearly on top of him. Maybe it’s my subsconscious method of asserting my ownership. Who knows.
Still looking at the photos, he murmurs, “You know, there’s something quite amusing about the girlfriend finding photos of the ex-wife.”
“Oh, I’m the ‘girlfriend’, now, am I? Gee, Mulder, I thought you thought better of me.” I scoot away from him slightly, pretending to chastize him for his comment.
“Should I call you ‘the little woman’, then?” I very deliberately roll my eyes and swat his shoulder with my palm. “Hey! You are little. Admit it.”
“Watch it, or this sofa won’t be seeing any action anytime soon.”
“Eh, that’s okay. We’ll let the bed see some action. It’s probably getting jealous.” I grin at that. “So, Scully, are you jealous at all?”
“Jealous of Deborah? What is there to be jealous of?” He looks a bit hurt by that comment, and I can’t help but laugh.
“Thanks a lot.” Petulance has never been his strongest suit.
I put my arm around him and plant a quick kiss on his cheek. “Go get yourself cleaned up and maybe we’ll give this sofa a fond farewell.”
The comment earns me another grin. He rises from the sofa, the shirt sticking to his back, and calls over his shoulder before disappearing into the hallway, “I hear Deborah’s available again…..”
“Why would you want a cheerleader when you could have a woman who packs heat?”
His laughter echoes down the hallway.
I pick the photographs up again, my fingers moving over the glossy texture and the swaths of color printed beneath. Her radiant smile shows happiness and youth. I only hope she’s still happy, and I’m glad she’s away from Mulder’s life, so that I can have him.
Nope, she’s not Mulder’s type at all.
• ∞ • ∞ •
Date: 20 May 1998 03:42:51 GMT
Subject: Scars (1/1), by Alanna
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. The situation into which I have placed them is of my own creation.
CATEGORIES: V, A, MSR RATING: NC-17 ARCHIVAL: Please archive at Gossamer. Anyone else, please ask first. SPOILER: The End. SUMMARY: Fires cannot destroy the scars of experience.
This story is part of my Laughing-Burn-Positive universe, though no knowledge of those stories is needed to read this one. All you need to know is that Scully and Mulder are already romantically involved ;).
Special thanks to Juliettt for “nitpicking” and general beta-reading expertise.
SCARS By Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
For the first time since It happened, she lets me pull her close as we sleep. One of my arms curls around her warm, naked stomach and the other pillows her head, stroking her hair in a gentle rhythm until her breathing settles into sleep.
I have no sleep in me.
I want desperately to lose myself in slumber, to forget about it all for just a few hours and give my soul a rest, but it can’t happen. My body — 180 lbs of muscle and blood and pain — refuses to lose itself to suspended animation. I want to rage against the world, I want to carry on and defy Their attempts to silence us, I want to curl up in a corner and weep. On that first day, I vowed not to brood, not to let Their cruelties destroy me, not to give them what they want. Easier said than done when your cement and marble world becomes limestone eroding under a fierce, bitter wind.
And Scully needs me, more than she will ever admit or perhaps even knows herself.
After a few hours of lying still, so still, so as not to disturb her much-needed sleep, while my mind consciously replays every moment of the past few years, trying to find where I — we — went wrong and how we can begin to repair the rubble, she changes. Her body shivers violently in my arms and her breathing quickens and rumbles through her throat. I pull my body up on one elbow and lean over to see her face. To my horror, it is contorted in fear, as if a demon she couldn’t ward off is attacking her.
This is too much. Oh GOD this is too much.
I pull her close, so close one jerk of my arms might crumple her like tissue paper. My voice, hoarse from rest, speaks directly into her ear, calling her name and summoning her awake. After a minute or so, she jolts upright, the quickness of the motion surprising me and dislodging her from my arms. Her face is a portrait of shock and her body is erect and very stiff, as if the slightest motion would call back the devils.
In the time we’ve been lovers, I have learned that Scully’s Honest Hour is just after she awakens. Training my voice in calm and soothing, I quietly say, “What was it, Scully?”
After a few moments of my watching her back rise and fall with each breath, she slowly shifts in the bed until she is facing me. “I….” I raise my eyebrows expectantly, quietly encouraging her to continue. “It was all gone. One of those… men,” her ragged voice spits out the word, “stood at a doorway and wouldn’t let me escape. He laughed at me and said, ‘It’s all gone, Agent Scully. Everything is. You’ll never know.’”
She stops, her incredible mind processing the memory.
Amazing how Scully’s most terrifying dreams are the same as my waking nightmares.
I sit up behind her and place one hand on her shoulder, waiting for her to go on, knowing that she has to do this on her own terms, or the terrors will stay locked within, continuing to decay inside of her.
“Mulder,” her gaze lifts to meet mine full-on, “My file….was it in there?”
Oh, my God. In all my fears over how to reconstruct our lives, I hadn’t thought about the file itself. Foolishly, it had slipped my mind. Of course we had copies of the truly important files, including hers and Samantha’s, the entire thing saved on microfiche and stored deep within her mother’s basement and the Gunmen’s safe. But a microfiche copy is not the same as having the papers in your hand, knowing that your fngers are moving over the actual hard evidence of your life’s work. I don’t know what to say, so I remain still, my breathing speaking for me.
And then, like a sunrise, the memory hits me. Good Lord, how could a man with such a perfect memory be so forgetful when it really counts?
Without a word, I slip out of the bed and settle myself on the floor, lying on my back against the cool wood which freezes my ass, my back, and my legs. The fortunate thing about insisting on a mattress and box spring on an old, slatted bed is that it provides opportunities unimagined by manufacturers — or devious searchers and ransackers.
Peeling back the fiberglass gauze covering the box spring, I feel around through the coils until my fingers graze across cold steel. Nearly ripping off a nail in the process, I slide the box out of its hiding place and pull it out from under the bed. It is heavy and firm in my hands, something concrete in the midst of the ashes of our lives, our quests. Slowly, I stand and climb back up onto the bed. Scully is looking at me with open curiosity, the shadow-light of the room bathing her beautiful face in pale silvery hues which give her an air of innocence in the midst of the horrors we have faced.
My fingers fiddle around with the dials on the lock until they hit upon the correct combination — Scully’s birthdate. The latch pops open with an audible click and a whoosh, and the lid is lifted. Inside rests the original file I have kept these many years on Samantha, and an even more treasured file, labelled, “Scully, Dana Katherine.” My two women. My two beloveds, in such different ways. These files are originals; the ones resting in the soot of our former office a painfully reconstructed carbon copy. Bless the Gunmen and their powers of deception.
I set Samantha’s aside and pull out Scully’s, then hand it over to her.
She thumbs through it in shock, cautious relief spreading over her face and her entire body.
“It’s not gone….” Her voice trails off at the end.
“No, Scully. Everything we need to know is there. Waterproof, fireproof, bombproof. It will always be here, for when we need it.” I set the box back on the floor, then take the file from her after having given her the time she needs to see for herself. “And what isn’t there is preserved in our memories.”
She looks up at me.
“And on our bodies.” I take her left hand in mine and shift in the bed until I’m able to extend her arm in front of her. My fingertips play over the soft skin of her inner elbow and wrist, tracing the slight pockmarks of a hundred IVs and injections. “Here is the evidence of all your hospitalizations because of what they have done to you.”
Glancing up at her eyes, I see tears forming in their corners, and her lips part, giving entrance to breath. Next, I bring my hand to the side of her stomach, tracing a rippled, puckered circle of skin. “Here is the evidence of your being burned by those fires on that bridge,” my shoulders shuddering at the memory of finding her, passed out from shock, on that hillside.
I place two fingertips on the upper bridge of her nose, as if in silent benediction. “Under your skin and bone is the evidence of what those bastards tried to do to you to make me believe.” Raising up on my knees, I brace my hands on her shoulders and bend around to place a soft kiss on the nape of her neck. “And here is the evidence of how they try to keep tabs on us, to control us.” I pause for a moment, unsure of whether to continue, but my need to help her outweighs my reserve. “But you know what, Scully?”
“What?” Her voice has to strain to reach a whisper.
“We won’t let them.”
A faint smile of triumph and communion paints her face. My hands slowly move down her body, catching every inch of her skin on my fingertips. I catch her right hand in mine, and bring it to my lips. The tip of her finger receives a soft kiss, then remains against my lips. “This finger has held the trigger of a gun against them so many times. We fought back.”
“Yes….” The word is a sigh, a whisper of desire and renewal. I ease her back on the bed, a pillow under her head and her beautiful, haunted eyes focused on mine. Covering her body with my own, I shift my weight to my knees and crouch over her, as if I could protect her from everything in our world. As if our being here, together, would keep us from the pain of our world being taken away from us.
I catch her gaze in mine and hold it as I slip one finger inside of her. She gasps and her hips rise up to meet me. Though my voice is silent, we both know of this evidence — of the future they have stolen from her, from us. Scully is breathing heavily now, tears slipping down her face. I bend down to kiss them away and capture one of her breasts in my hand. Kneading it gently, I lean down to kiss her and circle my finger around her core. She returns the kiss, the tears on her cheeks spreading over my own. My finger leaves her entrance and is replaced by my cock, filling her, joining us.
Somehow my voice stays steady even as my pulse doubles and my heart swells with love. Beginning our rhythm, I whisper to her in a tear-soaked voice, “They can burn our office and they can give us scars, but they can’t take this from us, Scully.” Her name is a triumph on my lips.
“Thank you,” she whispers, and I see tonight and all our tomorrows on her face.
Our lovemaking is over fast, so fast, and — like the miracle we are — we climax in each other’s arms. But the physical release is secondary to the relief and the triumph we feel.
We have not won — yet. We are not healed — yet. We have not rebuilt — yet.
But, lying in each other’s arms, I know that we have a future.
And sometimes, this is all we need.
• ∞ • ∞ •
Outside by Alanna
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and
1013 Productions. The situations into which I have placed them are of my own creation.
CATEGORY: MSR, V, slight A
ARCHIVAL: My site only. Please contact me if you’d like to link to my site.
SPOILERS: Anything through the sixth season is assumed, but this contains few specific spoilers.
SUMMARY: As difficult as the journey has been, the outcome is beautiful. A sequel to “Inside”.
Thank you, Holly, for being there… and for all the books! And thanks to Susanne “Cheer” Barringer for the last-minute beta.
Feedback is like a frozen top-shelf strawberry margarita —
OUTSIDE by Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
Scully is the color of the sun.
When you glance up at it, the strength of the rays can easily blind you.
You close your eyes instinctively, but the sight has already burned itself on the backs of your retinas, and only after a few moments of pain and red glare are you able to see again without a bluish-violet spot dancing across your field of vision.
Scully is like that. Of course, her hair is red and her skin is slowly bronzing amidst patches of red-orange sunburn. But she’s just like the sun that burns itself across your vision, except without the pain.
She can bring pain sometimes. We’ve seen more than our fair share over the past seven years, although much of that was inflicted upon us. But she can cause pain too. Most of the time it is unintentional, from such grand causes as cancer, infertility, abduction. More seldom — but more horrific — is the pain she brings upon herself, and upon me. Missed opportunities, fear, conversations needing to be had but always smothered. I always forgive her these pains she causes. I love her. I have to forgive her. And forgiving is easy when someone is as vital to your sanity, your life as she is to mine.
And I cause pain. I cause so goddamned much pain that sometimes I wonder how she can bear to be within fifty yards of me. How she can listen to my voice without wanting to scream and clamp her hands over her ears. If the harsh rays of the sun cause our retinas to be seared, do my words cause her ears to reverberate with pain? Once upon a time I would have said yes, that I’d scarred her that way. Now I know that she does feel that pain sometimes, but that she loves me enough to forgive me my transgressions, just as I forgive her hers.
That’s what being in love is all about.
Plus ca change….
The more things change, the more they stay the same. We’re not the same people we were two years ago, when we first vacationed in Guayama, Puerto Rico. Back then, we were not the same people we were three years earlier, when she followed me here to pull me back from an abyss of closed X-files and my own blind need to reach out and find something I could hold onto. We’ve changed so much. Would the two people who ran down an Arecibo hillside, having nothing but their own survival, recognize the two people lying here on the deck of a beach house about thirty miles away? Aside from the physical similarities, they probably would not. We’re so far away from who we were five years ago. We’ve grown into our bodies, our souls. We’ve grown into each other’s bodies and souls.
We went out last night, to a seafood restaurant we’d first visited the last time we were here. She fed me fried shrimp, twisting the tails against my lips then pulling them away, creating a little pile of them on the plate. Smiling as she did so. Slowly sipping her Cuba Libra — a drink I never would have expected her to order. Rum and Coke, so filled with Latin machismo, but strangely fitting for her. I tasted it on her lips and swirling around her mouth, feeling the bubbles burst against her tongue. They were a shock, a salve. We held hands as the sun set over the porch railing, drinking the frozen margaritas the waiters brought, licking the salt off one another’s lips instead of along the rim of the glass. Happy with just being together — something we hadn’t felt in far too long.
And then we stumbled back to our rented house, barely managing the two miles on our drunken legs, but unable to find a taxi at that late hour. The alcohol wouldn’t let me get an erection, but I made it up to her by pushing her into some ferns near the front porch and tasting the way the salt of the margaritas mixed with the salt-honey tang of the liquid between her legs. She brought me several glasses of water in bed that night to stave off the dehydration, and I was able to wake her up properly this morning, with smiles and sunrise climaxes for the both of us.
We’ve done nothing today except watch the sun rise in the sky, until it beat down on us from straight overhead. She has been careful about keeping sunscreen on her skin, but she conceded to the risks by donning a long, gauzy robe over her naked body. It doesn’t provide much extra protection, but it’s a start, and at least it lets me see her skin where a proper coverup would not.
I was surprised when she suggested we come here. She had said that she considered these vacations a tradition, and I found it amusing and rather wonderful that she was now creating traditions for the two of us — good traditions, not ones involving abductions or missed opportunities. Of course, this tradition of vacationing hasn’t always been for the best. We tried one this time last year, but it turned out to be an awful idea. She chose St. Maarten in the Caribbean, and with the degradation of being in the professional doghouse after the fiascoes in Dallas and Arizona hanging over our heads, we spent most of our time bickering and doing things like snorkeling, shopping, or sightseeing — not lying around, making love and being happy together. Even our sex was more physical than loving. I looked at her on the flight back and wondered if she was regretting the trip, or even regretting the two of us becoming lovers.
It was such a terrible time.
We’ve moved past it, though. It took a long time, but I think it has made us stronger and better people. We had to once again learn how to communicate, how to speak of our fears and frustrations instead of letting them bottle up inside. It took the reappearance of Diana and a betrayal of trust for it to happen, but as much as I’ve loathed the journey, I love the outcome.
I glance over at her. She is stretched out on her deck chair, asleep. She’d slipped her arms out of the robe earlier and now it is barely draped over her body. I can see the beginnings of a sunburn, so I lean over and pick up her tube of sunscreen. My movements don’t awaken her, but the book she’d been reading slips out of her fingers and lands with a thud on the wooden deck.
I hook my fingertips underneath the collar of the robe and draw it off her body. She shivers slightly, even though the wind is warm, but she still sleeps. I can feel her begin to awaken as straddle her hips, feeling the curves of her ass against my pelvis. My cock certainly rustles itself out of sleep at the contact, and I draw in a slow breath, feeling my nostrils flare as the scent of the sun lotion fills them. Tangy and tart, just like the way she tasted against my tongue last night.
Scully is all my senses. Her beauty is my sight, her low moans are my hearing, her silky skin my touch, soft perfume my smell, and the honey of her arousal my taste. I could live within her and want for nothing.
Her voice is scratchy as she begins to speak.
“I was just dreaming about you, Mulder.”
“Were you?” My rough voice matches hers.
“Yeah.” The corners of her mouth curl up in a smile, but her eyes remain closed as if she’s trying to recapture the dream.
I squeeze a bit of lotion onto my palm and rub my hands together, then begin to work the lotion into the warm skin of her back. “Tell me about it.”
She moans, and it’s my turn to shiver. “We were lying in a gondola in Venice, of all places.”
I can’t help but laugh. “Do you want to go to Europe next time?”
“I don’t think that having sex in gondolas is allowed there,” she murmurs around a chuckle, and her eyes squeeze shut as if she’s fighting to keep them closed, to keep the sunlight from intruding upon her waking dream.
“Sex in a gondola, Scully? That sounds like an old Madonna video.”
“‘Like a Virgin’? Oh, I don’t think that’s apt in this case.” Her hips grind against mine, and I’m already planning just how I’ll take her this time… or rather how she’ll take me. I always seem to give myself to her when we make love. She’s very possessive of herself, but each time she seems to give me a little more of her soul.
“Go on…” I prompt her.
Her head lolls to the side, and I can see the faint creases of the chaise on her flushed cheek. She isn’t sunburnt, but everything about her seems orange-red, just like the sun.
“Oh, there isn’t much more to tell. Just lying with you on the gondola, surrounded by tapestry pillows and gold everywhere.”
Sounds beautiful. I tell her so.
Isn’t inspiration part of being in love? I move off her and go into the house, making my way to the bedroom where I gather an armful of pillows and the cool duvet. I walk back out to the deck, and my erection stands straight out from my hips, as if it’s an arrow pointing the way to my love.
We’ve come so far together. We’ve run a circle of horror and pain and intrigue and love. Always love, even when it wasn’t expressed the way we’re about to show it. I’m so glad that we’re at the top of that circle again. I hope we can create a tangent moving off the top, so that we might never again be on that downward cycle.
She has turned over on the chaise, and raises an eyebrow when she sees the bedding in my arms. The bemusement turns into a fully belly-laugh, and the sound is as erotic as any sexual fantasy, if only because of the rarity of her beautiful laugh.
“Mulder, you’re not —”
“Time for another dream to come true, Scully. These aren’t tapestries and gold, but they’ll do the trick.”
“Oh, I’m sure they will,” she replies as she stands up next to the chaise. “I have the utmost confidence in your ability to make that particular dream come true, even if this isn’t Italy.”
“It’s not?” I glance around in mock-horror. “I thought surely it was.”
“And surely you don’t expect me to believe that flight of fancy, Agent.”
I glare at her. “Cool it,” I order her, but my stern voice is a ruse we both see through.
I’m glad that the other chaise on the deck is a deluxe version of the simple resin-and-vinyl ones which were here on our last visit. I set the bedding down on the deck next to the chaise, then adjust the back so that it is raised at an angle, then begin to arrange the feather duvet along the length of it. Pillows complete the scene, and I hold out my hand in a classic waiter pose. “Your gondola, signora.”
“Grazie,” she replies, but then I realize that for what I have planned, she can’t be the first to sit down.
“Just a sec,” I mutter, then ease my body onto the chair, sinking down into the billowy feathers of the comforter and pillows. Even before I hold out my arms in invitation, she knows what to do and settles herself onto me, her hips resting in the space between my legs.
She sits up quickly and reaches over to grab the tube of sunscreen, and I remember that only her back has been coated. Scully hands it to me and I squeeze a dollop onto my palms, then begin to rub it over her belly. She moans lightly and shifts her hips so that my cock is wedged between her tailbone and my own stomach. I groan and realize that one of the benefits of nearing forty is my increased staying power.
Although she’s the medical expert of this partnership, I do know that there are certain places sunscreen should not go, so I delay in moving my fingers to the place between her legs. Instead, I begin to rub the remaining cream into her neck and chin, feeling her tendons flex and the soft vibration of her throat against my palm. I’m reminded of a kitten purring, and I revel in her feline intensity.
Just a little more sunscreen on my hands, then I begin to rub it into her breasts, feeling the way they give under my fingertips, flesh both soft and unyielding, almost springlike but also very natural. And then her nipples… oh, they’re wonderful against my palms. They press into the roughness of my hands, and I splay my fingers until they peek through. I glance down and they’re like two little suns, the crinkled redness imprinting itself on my eyes as surely as if I’d glanced up at the sun itself.
My hands are dry as they skim down her body, and this is my license to move them to the juncture of her thighs. The liquid warmth there rivals the Caribbean temperature, and is far more lovely.
She is lovely.
Even with eyes closed and face both soft with bliss and tense with arousal, she is lovely.
I could sit like this forever, my fingers working their way through her folds and circling her clit, but she knows just what to do to make me even happier, my wise Scully. She takes my hand in hers and pulls it away from her labia, then she plants her feet on either side of the chaise and shifts until her ass is pushed back toward my stomach and her hands are braced on my thighs. Then, with the grace of a wave crashing on the beach, she sinks down onto me. I am inside her.
I am where I belong.
We have come so far, Scully and I. We’re back where we’d found such happiness two years ago, but in that time we’ve emotionally circumnavigated the globe. I guess we needed those trials and pains for this to be so perfect. A year ago, I didn’t think I belonged here — not only inside of her body, but inside of her heart. I was mired in self-loathing, thinking I didn’t deserve her and that we were only having sex because we’d grown accustomed to it. Physicality without emotion. But like I said, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We were always in love, even if we didn’t believe it. Now we can let ourselves believe it again, even if we still have the same professional doubts and disbeliefs. We can let ourselves be in love again.
She rocks against me, not moving up and down but letting the back-and-forth motion of her hips enthrall me. I feel the blood rush through my body, and the faint sound of the waves below mirrors my approaching orgasm. Once again I thank my rising age for allowing me to stay within her for countless minutes, whereas years earlier this would have been over before we’d be able to really appreciate it.
On the beach below us, I hear the raucous laughter of a few people playing in the surf, but I don’t care what they find amusing. They can’t possibly see us all the way up here, but even if they could, I’d be proud to show them this sight. One of the people down on the beach begins clapping, almost as if they’re congratulating us on our lovemaking. Scully cranes her head around to look at me, and she smiles, her radiance rivaling the sun. I can’t raise my body enough to kiss her, and she can’t lean back enough to do the same without my slipping out of her, so I bring my palm to my face and kiss it, then place that on her lips. Her tongue snakes out and licks my palm, capturing the kiss. She takes one of my fingers and begins to suck on it, and I’m undone. My hips begin to buck as I empty into her, but she’s steady as she rides out my climax.
Her face still has that beautiful strain painted on it, as she climbs toward climax herself. Between panting and shuddering, I move my other hand to her clit and rub it the same way I’d rubbed sunscreen onto her body. A few strokes and some panting moans, and she follows along the same path I’d just traversed. My finger is still inside her mouth, and she bites down on it in her orgasm. I think she has drawn blood, but I don’t care. I let the blood seep into her mouth, giving her another of my fluids. Filling her in another way.
She sinks back onto my chest as my cock slips out of her, and we look up at the sun, which is beginning its afternoon descent. I let its radiance burn my eyes, but when I close them, all I see is her.
She has burned herself into my vision, but without pain. Only love.
• ∞ • ∞ •
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 22:44:27 -0600
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are the property of Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. The situation into which I have placed them is of my own creation.
RATING: R for adult themes.
CLASSIFICATION: S R A
SPOILERS: Vague allusions to US Season 5 events.
ARCHIVAL: Please archive at Gossamer. Do NOT forward to ATXC.
SUMMARY: The creation of life.
This story is dedicated to my dear online friends — they know who they are. It belongs in the universe I’ve created in my Laughing-Million vignette arc, though it takes place sometime in the not-too-distant future.
POSITIVE By Alanna
• ∞ • ∞ •
This can’t be happening. It can’t.
I’m not supposed to be kneeling here over the toilet, wracked with nausea. I’m not supposed to have missed a period. I’m not supposed to be doubled over with pain and a splitting headache. I’m not supposed to be gasping for air.
I’m not supposed to be pregnant.
It’s just not possible. Since Mulder and I have been sexually involved — and for years before that — I’ve been on the Pill to regulate my cycle. I had some tests done after he told me about what he saw in Allentown, PA, which revealed that I had few viable ova left. And after Emily, I’d given up hope of ever having another child of my own. Pregnancy just isn’t something that should or even COULD be happening to me.
And yet, here I am. The dry heaves have finally subsided, and I lean back against the wall, trembling and breathless. My mouth is filled with the putrid taste of bile and my body is weak and helpless. My mind reels.
I’m not supposed to be alone.
And yet, here I am. I remember last night — lying in bed with Mulder’s arms wrapped around me and him asking, “Are you sure you don’t want to join us at Trade Days tomorrow?” Mulder and the Gunmen always go on the first Sunday of the month to a big electronics street market, where they buy all sorts of (probably illegal) equipment. Not my idea of fun, so I rubbed my hand along his arm and said that I’d much rather sleep in, thank you very much.
Then I fell asleep, one day late for my period but assuming it was late because of stress, and never realizing that I’d wake up this morning in such pain. Never realizing that our assumptions and my own flawed biology might surprise us and that I might be pregnant.
So I sit here curled up on the tile floor, in shock but trying to maintain composure, and torn between wanting to wait for Mulder to come home and needing to know now. Afraid to believe until I know for certain.
I have to know.
Somehow I manage to pull myself up and over to the sink. I fill a cup with tap water and swirl it around my mouth, not quite getting rid of the awful taste. I want nothing more than to curl up in bed and wait for him to get home, but I remind myself that I have to remain strong and that I have to act. So instead of turning right into the bedroom, I head toward the living room on unsteady legs and retrieve my organizer. The book flips open to my gynecologist’s name and I dial the number.
“Dr McNickle’s answering service,” a singsongy voice answers.
“Um, yes, I need to know if Dr McNickle will be in her office on Monday.” I’m surprised my voice is so steady.
After a slight pause and the sound of papers being shuffled, the voice says, “Yes, she has hours that day. I can’t make you an appointment, but I can leave a message.”
“Yes, thanks,” I nearly whisper. “Could you have her receptionist call Dr Dana Scully first thing tomorrow morning? It’s a bit urgent.” I give the voice my home and cell phone numbers and hang up, the receiver clattering loudly onto the base.
I switch on autopilot, going into the bedroom and slipping on some jeans and a sweater. The world seems to have slowed down, or maybe I’m just too numb to notice. I exist on a finely-tuned sense of shock. This is all just so sudden and so completely unexpected. And I’m alone.
Mulder permeates my senses, my environment. I can feel him everywhere as I float through our apartment. I see the obvious symbols of his existence — his razor in the bathroom, his clothes in the closet — but I also see him in the rumpled sheets of our bed, in the treadmarks of the carpet, and in the way the light streams through the windows. I need him. I have to have him here with me right now. I miss him terribly.
I’m formulating a plan of action. I need to find out if this is true. As a physician, I know that the tests I’ll take at the gynecologist’s are really just more elaborate ones than I’d be able to get at any drugstore. I’ll most certainly be in that office first thing Monday morning for a test, but right now I just have to know something. I curl up on the sofa and dial Mulder’s phone number. He answers on the second ring and I simply ask when he’ll be home. He says he’s on his way and I see no need to worry him further — at least, not yet. We say our goodbyes and Iloveyous and hang up.
I’m so tempted to not tell him anything — to go to the doctor’s office alone tomorrow and wait until I know something certain before I let him know. I would hate to get his hopes up, only to have them dashed if the test is negative. But I made a commitment to him when we became lovers — that we were in this together. That whatever happened, we shared with each other. And he needs and deserves to be part of this process, even if it ends in heartbreak.
A chill courses through my body, so I pull down the afghan draped forlornly on the back of the sofa and wrap it around myself. It’s amazing how many thoughts can course through your brain in such a short amount of time. I’m caught in a kaleidoscope of emotions, few of which make sense, except the fear. Not a negative fear, but a fear born of shock. I’m afraid to hope, afraid to think of how much I might want this. My arms crossed in front of me feel so empty. They ache to hold a baby, a life created by Mulder and me as a celebration of our love. He says he is perfectly happy not to have children, but I watch him when he’s with them and I clue myself into his moods and I just know that he wants so much to be a father. I saw it the first time he held little Emily in his arms and even though we lost my sweet little girl, I wanted then so much to give him a child of his own. I still do.
I close my eyes, blotting out everything but the bright spots against the black lids. I try to clear my mind, or at least all thoughts of what might be happening to me. I can’t think about it because I want it too much to be rational about it, too much to think of it scientifically. All I can do is wait, so I think of everything and nothing, the minutes passing in a daze. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I know, I feel breath against my cheek and a hand on my shoulder.
“Hey, Scully. You okay?”
He’s here. Oh, he’s here. I lift a weak arm up and bring it around his neck, pulling him down in a tangled embrace. Mulder stiffens in my arms just a little bit, then leans into me, kissing my lips tenderly. My body finds itself trembling of its own volition, and I feel Mulder sinking down next to me and pulling me close.
“I….” Lord, how do I tell him? How do I tell him our most secret dreams might be coming true? I begin to compose a speech with guardedly optimistic terms, but as I open my mouth to speak, all I can say is, “I think I might be pregnant.”
The wind is knocked out of him as Mulder stares at me, dazed. His lips move but no sound comes out. His hand clasps mine harder, but I feel no pain. And then he looks at me with wide, beautiful eyes. They are the eyes of a man who has been given his heart’s desire.
I have to say something, I have to make sure he knows that nothing is certain, and so I say just that. “Mulder, I don’t know for sure. But I woke up this morning with nausea and cramps, and I’ve missed my period. They usually come like clockwork so this has to mean something.” He’s still staring at me with awe. I love him so very much, but I fear for him right now. I fear that I’m setting him — both of us — up for a fall. “I’m not certain that I am, but I think perhaps I should take a test to be sure.”
“Oh, Scully….” His voice draws out my name on a sweet, wistful chord. Mulder’s other hand comes over to clasp my own and he sinks back against the cushions, leaning over so that he’s nestled against my body. We tremble in unison, our bodies vibrating into each other. The news seems to have penetrated into his analytical realm, because he sits up a little straighter and his brow furrows.
“I’m not sure — how is this possible? I thought you… I mean…. I thought we couldn’t.” His voice trails off at the end. For once, Mulder’s “theories” fail him and he’s left grasping for an answer.
“Mulder, I have no idea, really. The tests I had done back when we first found out —” (he flinches against me, remembering the horror of that time) “said that the chances of my experiencing normal conception were close to zero, but that the chance is always there. And we both know that birth control is never one hundred percent effective. So if we are pregnant, then I guess it’s a miracle. IF we are.”
“What if we’re not?” His voice falters and hesitates. He’s trying not to get his hopes up, but it’s just so damn difficult. I sympathize completely.
“Well, then,” I smile at him, “We continue to love each other like we do now.”
I turn and look up at him. Though he maintains his sense of composure, his eyes brim over with tears. I bend up and kiss his cheek, and his face leans into me.
“But first, Mulder,” I whisper against his cheek, “we need to know for sure.”
He follows my cue, as he always has. “Drugstore, then?”
“I want to try to get in to see Dr McNickle first thing tomorrow, but I just need to know something now. So yeah, the drugstore. Those are the same kinds of tests she’d give me, anyway.” He nods, then we rise in unison, grab our coats and car keys, and leave.
• ∞ • ∞ •
We find ourselves at Safeway, of all places. In the car I’d mentioned that we needed to get a quart of milk and some bread. Besides, I think that in some subconscious way we needed to couch this in with grocery shopping to ground ourselves and keep us within the realm of normalcy in the midst of this new dream world.
I’m still not sure what to think, or even if I’m getting too far ahead of myself. I was completely honest when I told my mother that I hadn’t realized just how much I wanted this until it was taken away from me. The fury and sorrow I felt then hasn’t abated over time — in fact, time has only made it worse. The cycle of life — marriage and parenthood — moved on for everyone but me, or so it seemed. I tried to put my life into perspective, thinking of how I now have a lover who adores me as much as life itself, and that I have maintained my physical and intellectual strength and fervour after all these years. I thought my life was complete when I first lay in Mulder’s arms, but now I realize that a small part of me has always been missing — the need to be a mother.
As I grew into adulthood, I proudly labeled myself a feminist and was annoyed by the women who claimed that a woman could only realize her full potential through marriage and family. On an intellectual level, I still feel the same. But that doesn’t put the baby I need in my arms. We have a genetic need to replicate, but mine is more than simple genetics. Mine is the need to create a life out of the love I share with Mulder.
And now we may have succeeded, against all the odds. Wow. I have to take a step away from myself and my desires, telling myself that nothing is certain yet and that we need nothing short of a miracle. But the idea of it just feel so incredibly good that I don’t ever want to leave.
It must be Family Day at Safeway.
Children are everywhere — in the fold-out seats of shopping carts, walking alongside parents, strapped into baby carriers. A reminder of everything we lack, but soon might have.
We walk down the aisles, filling our cart with cereal, bread, milk, pasta, cheese, vegetables. All the accoutrements of a young, upwardly-mobile (though that phrase still makes me laugh, considering our professional reputation) couple. We unspeakingly but deliberately leave the medicine aisle for last, almost afraid to venture over there. Afraid to let the reality set in, but all the while craving it so deeply we can practically taste it on our tongues.
And here we are.
I study the boxes of the various kits on display, checking chemical balances and accuracy percentages. I mention to Mulder that we need to find one which will work at any time during the day, seeing as how I’ve already spoiled the first-thing-in-the-morning aspect. He glances over my shoulder, intrigued by my thought processes. We choose one and then place it in the cart. We lean into each other and breathe deeply, then he pulls me in close and kisses the top of my head. He quells my fears and strengthens my foundation. I love him for that, and for so much else.
As we stand in the check-out aisle, I suddenly feel like I did when I bought my first box of tampons at age 14. My ears begin to burn. God, I’m supposed to be more mature than this. Mulder looks at me and laughs softly, then whispers, “I won’t tell if you don’t.”
And I look forward to forever with him.
• ∞ • ∞ •
“Where do you want me to put this last bit of the loaf of bread?”
“Go ahead and throw it away, Mulder.”
We’re putting away the groceries, each item in its proper place. The fastidiousness is helping take our minds off the small box at the bottom of one of the paper bags.
And then we’re finished unpacking. I pull out the box and set it down on the kitchen table, then just stare at it. Funny how something so utterly life-changing could be contained in such a small package. Mulder stands next to me, his hand resting on my shoulder, both of us awed by the pregnancy test kit in front of us. He doesn’t say a word.
“Well, I guess I should go take the test.” His hand tightens on my shoulder. I pick up the kit and begin to turn it around in my hands, over and over. He stands behind me and wraps his arms around my waist, bending his head so that his lips rest against the nape of my neck.
“You ready, Scully?”
“Yeah.” I take a deep breath, cleansing my lungs of all the fear and tension. I open the box, taking out the various equipment and instructions. It’s really very simple — a sticklike gadget and an instruction sheet. Mulder reads the directions over my shoulder as I lean my head back on his own.
“Shouldn’t be too difficult. All you have to do is pee on a stick.” Then he gives me a little squeeze. I can’t help but laugh. Trust Mulder to take a moment of such tension and lighten the mood enough to put us at ease.
I clasp the test stick in my fist and Mulder releases me. I begin to walk toward the bathroom and call out softly, “Let’s go find out.”
His voice is flustered and so very adorable. “Um, I’ll go make us some coffee.”
As I walk through the bathroom door, I can’t help but smile. We’ve been more than intimate for some time now, but the bathroom is a bit more personal, so to speak. So I go inside, pee on the not-so-proverbial stick, wash my hands, then set it on the counter to wait for it to develop.
I have to leave the room. Standing there and watching it change (or not) will drive me crazy. I absently run my fingers through my hair then smooth down my sweater, trying to calm the reflexive trembling of all my muscles. Mulder is in the living room, managing the remarkable feat of pacing with his eyes closed, his face scrunched up in fear. I’m afraid he’ll bump into something, so I walk up to him and place my hand on his shoulder. His eyes fly open and his arms snake around me with a fierceness that surprises even me, one who knows all his moods like I know my own.
“Oh, God, Scully.” His voice shudders out of his lungs and he sobs without tears. I absorb his anxiety and his need to know. It mirrors my own. We stand together, embracing, for a long moment, soaking into each other.
We don’t speak, but I know what he’s thinking. He’s terrified of the idea of being a father, even though he has no idea what a wonderful daddy he would be. I’m terrified too, but exhilarated and longing for this so much that I can taste it on my tongue. We fit together so perfectly, and I imagine us as a complex jigsaw puzzle.
Five minutes must have passed by now. I whisper into his ear, “You ready?” and he nods against my shoulder. I pull away from him and lace my hand in his. We walk over toward the bathroom and stop in the doorway. I crane my head back and look at Mulder’s face. Hope and fear rest there. I squeeze his hand, then walk over to the test stick.
It is a bright, clear blue.
• ∞ • ∞ •
My mother once told me about the day she found out that she was expecting me. It was a clear summer day and my father had just left on a five-month tour of duty, so she had to take Bill and Melissa (both of whom were still in diapers) with her to the doctor’s office. When the nurse informed her that she was expecting again, she gave my mother a hug and said, “Another one? I’m sorry.” My mother simply smiled and and told her that every baby was a blessing from God.
I feel blessed.
I imagine telling my daughter — somehow, I feel that the baby is a girl — about the day we found out she was growing inside me. The sky is grey, not blue, and a winter chill permeates the air. Her father and I are not in a doctor’s office, but our home. Together. A blessing my mother didn’t have. Though a generation separates us, we share my mother’s profound joy and peace at being given the blessing of conception.
Mulder and I stand together, beyond speech. His arms are wrapped around me and his face is buried in my shoulder. Tears seep through the fabric of my sweater and his back vibrates under my fingers. I’m sobbing too, overcome with emotion. But for once, our tears are of joy. My knees give way under me and we sink down onto the floor of the hallway together, crumbling into each other. I am still reeling from shock and a vague disbelief, as my heart beats wildly and my breathing is shallow. This isn’t supposed to be happening to us, and yet it is. I’m slowly getting used to the idea, and discovering how much I love it.
I pull away from Mulder and bring my hands up to cup his face. We stare at each other, tears leaving trails down our cheeks and our eyes dazed from emotion. Then I look at him with new eyes and begin to see him as the father of my child, and feel an incredible surge of pride.
“Hey, Daddy.” I smile and feel radiant.
“Hey there, Mom.” He returns my smile, and I’ve never loved him so much as this minute — I love him for this miracle that he has given me, and for everything he has ever given me.
“So we’re going to be parents, huh?”
“Looks that way, Mulder. Though, of course, we have to wait and see what the doctor’s tests turn up.” He doesn’t seem to care, and at this point, neither do I. I know we’ll have to step back and carefully assess just what this means, but right now we’re caught up in the moment and it feels so very good.
His hands come up under my arms and he slowly lays me down on the floor, then scoots back so that his head is resting on my belly. He rubs his head across it, nuzzling the soft skin, then oh-so-quietly whispers, “Hey Baby.” I feel this rush of incredible peace and joy I can’t begin to explain.
And then his hands are under my sweater — skin upon skin — and he’s inching it up my body until it is rolled up somewhere around my neck. I lift my head slightly and raise my arms to help him out, and the sweater is discarded. His cheek returns to my stomach. I never realized how erotic parenthood can be. Every bit of my body feels alive — and not simply because of Mulder’s touch. Of course, I am two now. Three, even, since Mulder is as much a part of me as is our baby. He kisses my belly, his tongue rubbing along my skin. Our eyes lock and his hands begin a slow ascent up my body, unfastening my bra and pushing the fabric aside. He begins to knead my breasts lightly, his fingers caressing the skin and his eyes still searching my own. He watches me gently writhe under him and my eyes close, then open, reeling from the sensations he evokes. As his fingers tweak a nipple, my mind rests on the thought of nursing my child, and I realize that I no longer own my body, or even my soul. They belong wholly to Mulder and to our baby. And though I am my own person, I give my body and soul to them freely.
We make love quietly and gently, taking our time and reveling in the feelings of creation — that this is how our baby was made, one night perhaps a month ago. As he enters me, Mulder suddenly stops and looks up at me. I can’t suppress a smile at the look on his face.
“Will this hurt her?”
The smile turns into a full-fledged laugh. “No, Mulder. I don’t remember much about my obstetrics classes in med school, but I think this early in the game we’re just fine.”
“Good.” He grins and continues his sweet invasion.
And then we slowly, quietly, lovingly melt into each other, all three of us.
• ∞ • ∞ •
“I think we should get married.”
It’s a few hours later, and we’re resting on a bench in Rock Creek Park in the midst of a long jog designed to take our minds off the long afternoon before tomorrow morning’s doctor’s visit. I glance over at Mulder, who is sitting next to me on the park bench, apparently having forgotten how to breathe. We’ve never discussed marriage, so I can imagine he’d be taken aback by my words. But I wonder if he understands that I am very sincere.
“You think so?” His voice wavers and flickers like a flame. He falls back against the bench, his mouth open with bewilderment.
I turn my body toward him and place my hand over his, twining our fingers together. “Well, it certainly seems like a logical step to take, don’t you think?” Mulder says nothing. “I mean, we do love each other, right?” He expels a puff of air which might be a chuckle, and gazes into the middle distance. “And this is something that would probably have happened eventually, right? And though I can understand if you don’t want to, I do want our baby to be born to parents who are married to each other. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s something very important to me.”
Why do I suddenly feel the need to convince him that this really is a good idea? I feel like I’m thirteen again, pleading with my mother to let me go out with friends when I knew I should have been doing my homework. But I’m not thirteen and this is *marriage*, for heaven’s sake. This is about spending the rest of my life with the man who means more to me than that life itself, and declaring to those in our lives that we are committed to each other.
And this is about a baby — one which might be growing inside me right now. Even if we’re not pregnant, this is about the potential for our being a family, however that might happen, and binding ourselves to one another.
A group of children walks along the path in front of us, and I catch Mulder’s eyes following them, staring intently. I have been watching him all this time, as his face remains slack while myriad emotions flash in his eyes. The one which strikes me the most strongly is fear. I can’t help beginning to worry that perhaps I’ve been too forward with him and that he is feeling this is too much, too soon.
“How do you feel about this, Mulder?”
His head bobs downward a tiny bit, and I pull my fingers up to his chin, tilting it toward me.
And then his eyes lock on mine, and I see a profound love and gratitude and awe mixed in their hazel pools. Relief floods through me, but not without a measure of anticipation at what he might say.
Finally, he speaks.
I have to laugh — softly and silently. “Wow?” I repeat.
“Are you sure about this?” His brow furrows and he’s trying to mask his emotions but he’s not doing a very good job. And suddenly I wonder just how dense he can be — how he could possibly doubt my feelings for him, my commitment to him. I unconsciously slip into lecturer mode.
“Marriage is an institution that I take extremely seriously. I know what an incredible responsibility and commitment it is, and I want to make that commitment to you.”
“Well, to be honest, Scully,” his face scrunches up and the look on it makes me love him all the more, even as my heart aches for his insecurities, “I’m not sure how good a husband I would be. Lord knows I didn’t have the best example, growing up.”
I feel an obsessive need to reassure him, so I say, “I had the best possible example with my parents, and if you and I can have even a portion of what they did — and I know that we have even more than that — then I will consider myself extremely fortunate.”
He looks away, a reluctant smile playing across his lips.
“But — look at me, Mulder — I don’t ever want you to doubt how much I love you, and I don’t ever want you to doubt my decision to spend the rest of my life with you.”
His hand tightens in mine, and he looks at me with a beatific smile mixed with worry. It’s his turn to speak, and I willingly concede him the floor.
“Scully, you know I love you, more than I could have ever imagined loving anyone. And I want to be with you for the rest of my life. But — “
He looks away and I can’t resist breaking my vow of silence. “No ‘but’s about it, okay? This isn’t about conditions.”
“I know it isn’t.” A shuddering sigh escapes from his chest. “I want you to know that I can’t promise that I’ll be any good at this, but I do want to try. I truly do.”
I squeeze his hand. “No ‘trying’ to it, okay? I wouldn’t suggest something like this if I didn’t think it were a good idea, right? And have I ever been wrong?”
That earns me a laugh and a smile.
“Okay, then, Dana Katherine Scully. Let’s do it.”
• ∞ • ∞ •
Dr Christine McNickle glances over her charts one more time. She shakes her head slowly, in shock, then looks up at us with a huge grin on her face.
“Well, you two, congratulations are in order! I’m not sure how it happened — actually, I know how it happened — but it looks like you two are going to be parents.”
I catch Mulder’s eye and smile, then our fingers once again curl around each other. I shift in my seat, still sore from the pelvic exam which confirmed our pregnancy, and very grateful to be back in Dr McNickle’s office, where I’m far more in my element.
“Thank you so much for seeing us on short notice, Christine,” Mulder says, his voice infused with gratitude.
“No problem at all. I had to, simply because of the shock of Dana’s calling with this possibility. Now, I know you pretty much know what to expect of a normal pregnancy, with your medical training, but considering your earlier problems, I think we’d best err on the side of caution, don’t you two agree?”
Mulder looks at me, his eyes confident and secure. “Yes, definitely. Scully and I don’t want anything to happen which could possibly jeopardize this baby, so I’m sure we’ll be fine with whatever you suggest.”
Once again, he voices my thoughts exactly.
“Well, Mulder,” Christine says, using the name by which I’d introduced him, “I don’t think it’ll be anything that drastic. I’m just going to suggest that Dana take it easy — don’t do any really strenuous exercise or any activities which might put undue stress on your abdomen. How does that sound?”
She catches the quick glance I give Mulder, and I hear her say, “Don’t worry, you two — I won’t include sexual activity in with that warning.”
Oh, heavens, I’m blushing again. Mulder just laughs. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem, Christine.”
I have to laugh too.
Christine stands and extends her hand, which I take and shake firmly, an action which Mulder follows. “Congratulations again, you two. For now, I’d like to see you again in two weeks. We’ll keep up the biweekly visits for the next few months, until we can be sure that everything is progressing along normally.”
“Thank you so much, Christine.”
As she smiles, we make our exit, and I believe that our feet never touched the floor between there and the car. We head to the office slowly, against the traffic, still trying to bring ourselves down to earth so that we might begin to do the countless things we need to do.
While Mulder drives, I start to make a verbal to-do list: “Okay, we need to tell Mom, of course, and we need to let Skinner know. I wonder how he’s going to take it?”
“Shocked, to say the least.”
“Oh, you’d be surprised, Mulder, how little will faze him. Not that I’m particularly eager to see for myself, of course.” Mulder laughs at that. “We also need to come to some pretty big decisions.”
“Yeah, I’d thought about that.” Mulder’s voice gets quieter, and the car exiting the freeway helps quell the silence. “I think I should officially give up my place and move into yours, if that’s okay with you.”
I love how Mulder has to ask my permission before doing something I’ve wanted for ages now. His asking is rather amusing, considering it has been “our” place for months. His apartment is merely a formality — and a way for him to escape when he’s getting on my nerves and vice-versa. I turn and look directly at him. “I’d love that, Mulder. And I think we should probably find someplace larger, anyway. I think the apartment on the top floor should be available in a few months, and it’s nearly double the size of mine.”
“You want to carry a newborn up two flights of stairs, Scully?”
“Who said that I would be the one carrying her?” We laugh together. Something about this new path to our lives has lightened them considerably, and brought out the love and the bond we share.
I am so very proud that I have created a life with this man — that I will be able to call him the father of my baby. And I realize that I can indeed spend forever with him and never love him less than I do now, as we drive together, celebrating the conception of our child.
• ∞ • ∞ •
I watch my wife glide around our new apartment, lighting candles and closing the curtains. The starched satin of her wedding gown rustles as she walks, and the golden light shines against her skin and hair. And the thin gold of the new band around her finger glows.
I can do nothing but simply stand and watch, amazed by her beauty. And as I gaze at the ring on her finger, I suddenly realize that she is mine. We are bound by spirit, by our child growing inside of her, and now by an official document issued by the State of Maryland. And she is mine.
She turns around and sees me standing here, watching her, and I realize that I am as much hers as she is mine. Scully owns me, body and soul.
My wife smiles softly, and holds out her hand to me. I nearly float into her embrace, then pull her into a dance without music. We sway silently for a few minutes, one of my hands clasping hers, and the other nestled in the small of her back. And between us, pressed into the firm flesh of my abdomen, is the soft curve of her own — our child.
“Remind me to send Mom some flowers as a thank-you for cleaning this place after the reception.” She whispers into my ear.
“I’ve already arranged for it.”
“You’re so good, Mulder. So very good.” Her voice trails off as she places a soft kiss on my neck, just above my collar. My body thrums with love and desire for her. All my life, I’ve felt I was never quite good enough — that there was always something I could have achieved if I had only been a better person.
But here, tonight, Scully makes me feel perfect. She has — in small ways — ever since we met.
I can feel her smiling into my shoulder as we still sway into each other. I place a quiet kiss in her hair, then hear her murmur, “The rocking chair’s beautiful, isn’t it? Did Mom tell you that it was my grandmother’s before she inherited it? She said that she used to rock me to sleep in it.”
“Really? I didn’t know that.” My voice is filled with awe. I love the idea of giving our daughter — or son — that tradition. I love the idea of giving her a family, a lineage. Something she could hold onto and know it is filled with love. I love the idea of giving her this something that I never had.
The presents have been put away in the nursery of our new third-floor apartment — how very modern to ask for baby things in lieu of the more traditional wedding gifts. The knowledge that I will be a father in about five more months is slowly beginning to sink in. It terrifies me. Everything about this terrifies me.
I want to be terrified.
I love this new thrill — that we are embarking on such a strange, profound new journey together. Parents and lovers in one fell swoop. I was honest with Scully when I said that I didn’t know if I’d be any good at this husband thing. I still don’t know, but I am desperate to try. And I am thrilled that this afternoon, I stood in front of those I hold dear and proclaimed that my Scully was mine to have and to hold, for better or worse, until death do us part.
Somehow, I know that even death wouldn’t do that. We’re too much a part of each other to ever part. And we now have, growing inside of her, a tiny legacy of ourselves — a child who will create generations from this bond we share.
Wow. I’m nearly drunk from the excitement and the profundity of it all.
I lean Scully back in my arms, letting her back arch in my hand. And then I bring her back up to me and still our movements.
“Do you think our baby would mind if I made love with my wife?” I wrap my voice in dulcet tones of seduction.
“I think our baby would be more than happy for my husband to make love with me.” Her own voice is thick and smoky.
My husband. She called me her husband. That is a title I never expected to receive, but it is one which spreads through me with a warm flood.
I am a husband, I am a father, I am a lover.
I bring my hands up to the mandarin collar of her short-sleeved gown, and slowly begin unfastening the tiny buttons that run down her body. One by one, each revealing a tiny patch of Scully’s beautiful skin, burnished bronze in the candlelight. The buttons are finally undone and I move my hands to her shoulders, hooking my thumbs under her dress collar and slowly pulling it off her body. She steps out of it and I carefully lay it on the sofa.
My wife stands before me in creamy silk underwear and camisole. Her breasts are slightly swollen and her belly is beginning to curve just enough that I fancy I can see our child under the soft skin.
I hold my hand to her and she moves toward me, running her hands over the smooth cashmere of my grey suit. I can feel the cool gold of her wedding band under my clothing.
Scully smiles up at me and I realize we have created a family.
• ∞ • ∞ •
This morning, at approximately 9:53am, I became a father.
Hannah Grace entered the world kicking and screaming, a small miracle of fire and intelligence just like her mother. And her mother simply amazes me. Over the years I have seen her do some truly incredible things, but nothing will ever compare to watching her hunched over in a birthing chair, delivering our child into my waiting hands as an R.N., midwife, and Maggie Scully looked on. I am so glad and so very proud that our daughter was first held by my hands, and first looked upon by those who love her and treasure her as the precious miracle she truly is.
We were never supposed to have a child, and yet here we are, parents. A family. The knowledge takes my breath away.
The rest of the day passed in a daze. We were so fortunate to find The Birth Center at Northern Virginia Memorial Hospital — not only were we surrounded by the best doctors available, but everything about Hannah’s birth was focused on us. She has not left our side all day (though a nurse is coming soon to move her to the nursery for the night) and I’ll be able to sleep tonight by my wife’s side in a large bed.
We’ve been left alone for the most part, which is exactly what we wanted, seeing as how we’re not really the social type. Maggie stayed for a few hours and we’ve received a basket of wildflowers from the Gunmen, a generic bouquet from the Bureau plus a houseplant from Skinner himself, and some irises from a friend of Scully’s. When Hannah opened her tiny blue eyes earlier as she lay nestled in her mother’s arms, I was thrilled that she awoke to an explosion of color.
She is so beautiful — a small blend of Scully and myself and a testament to the love we share. She has my eyes and Scully’s rosebud mouth, but she’s still bald and her nose is too small for either of us to lay claim to them just yet. She has ten fingers, ten toes, a healthy set of lungs, and a steady heartbeat that nearly stops my own. All of our fears that she might have been affected by the mysteries surrounding Scully’s biology were for naught. And as I hold her one more time as her mother sleeps, I am simply amazed that I could help create such a perfect little person.
That she’s here at all is a profound miracle. I had never given much thought to my own fertility, since I never really expected to settle down and have children. But the idea that my Scully would never have a baby of her own broke my heart, even before we became lovers. When we said our goodbyes to Emily, I knew that our chance for that kind of joy was gone, and my heart and soul bled for it. Yet one late winter’s morning eight months ago, the Gods decided to smile down on us, and the truly supernatural happened. We became parents. And now I hold that small miracle in my arms.
I whisper her name aloud, hoping that just maybe through her sleep she’ll hear it and know that I’m her daddy. And my soul aches to hear the same in her sweet little voice. Soon, very soon. Almost too soon. I want this moment to last forever.
Her mother shifts in the bed, finally indulging in some sleep after such an exhausting day. I feel so close to her, though I stand apart, holding my daughter next to the window. Scully is incredible, and I feel a rush of pride that I can now call her my love, my partner, my wife, the mother of my child. I love her so much, so very much, but more than that, I respect her deeply. I’ve loved her for so long now that Hannah seems a natural extension of that bond, yet I know I would feel the same even if I were not holding our daughter in my arms.
I think the scene my memory will choose to capture from today will be when the lactation consultant came into the room this evening to show Scully how to begin breastfeeding. I was sitting up in the bed, leaning back against the headboard, with my wife sitting between my legs and Hannah cradled in her arms. Scully moved Hannah so that she could latch, and I brought my arms around them until I was hugging them both. As our baby began suckling, Scully sighed softly and leaned back into me. And my arms held them. Wow. At that moment, we three became one person.
The nurse comes in to take Hannah for the night, and I give my daughter one last kiss before handing her over to the nurse. Then I whisper in her tiny ear, “Goodnight, Baby.” And I feel like a daddy.
I watch her leave and my heart contracts. I miss her already. In the pale light from the streetlamps outside our window, I slip into the bed next to my beautiful Scully, her face calm and peaceful. In sleep, she turns and I gather her into my arms. My eyes catch on the flowers in the room, and I realize that I’ve been given the gift of a family. Our lives are not perfect, nor will they ever be. But I know that we will survive — the three of us.
I feel blessed.
I feel loved.
And I feel happy.
• ∞ • ∞ •
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