Rated: Strong R
Summary: A misunderstanding. A lie. A truth…post En Ami…
Rated: Strong R
Key Words: Mulder/Scully Romance
Spoilers: Post-En Ami
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully belong to Chris Carter and 10:13, but I have them on loan for this story.
Archive: Gossamer, please. Email me before archiving elsewhere. I don’t see why I’d refuse.
Summary: A misunderstanding. A lie. A truth.
Comments: Thanks to Vickie for her wonderful, encouraging beta! 🙂 She helped me feel more confident about this story.
Also, a big thank you to Circe Invidiosa, for the time and effort she put into creating a beautiful web page to house my fic. Her collages are amazing!
Finally, just a general thank you to everyone who’s sent me supportive feedback or recommended my fic at their site. Thanks guys!
“I weave for you
The marvellous web
Glow in the dark threads
All neon like…
…don’t get angry with yourself
I’ll heal you
With a razorblade
I’ll cut a slit open
And the luminous beam
Feeds you honey, heals you
Don’t get angry with yourself…”
– Bjork, ‘All Neon Like’
Scully is no longer who she seems to be. Not to him.
All day after their argument, and the day after that, she tries not to believe it. But a simple truth is not easily denied.
Mulder has stopped trusting her.
It doesn’t matter what she’s done or what she’ll try to do, or what he’s said or hasn’t said. She has lost his trust, and blaming someone won’t change the situation. Nothing will change the situation.
There are too many options in her desolation. Too many ‘or’s and ‘maybe’s. Scully had never expected there to be so many options. She thinks that maybe getting drunk or smoking cigarettes might dull the pain. Or maybe not.
More disturbing – and confusing – are the questions she finds herself asking. If she is no longer who he once thought she was, who is she now? And who was she before? She was a woman he trusted, of course. What kind of woman was that? If she acted in a way that was true to her personality, then she didn’t change at all. He was wrong to trust her if he doesn’t trust her now.
And if he is indifferent to her now, does she exist at all?
Mulder doesn’t crack jokes. He doesn’t make passes at her, or even faux-pas at her. He is cool and polite. He doesn’t eat sunflowers or throw pencils at the ceiling. It seems he is too busy hating her to do any of these things.
She eats salad and watches him writing a report, wishing he would complain about the paperwork or make it into an aeroplane. If only he would do something annoying and unexpected, or exciting. Or get excited about something. If only he would call her in the middle of the night to chase demons through a forest or stake out a haunted house.
There are rows of shoes in her closet, waiting to be ruined by mud or alien slime. Donna Karen suits, freshly pressed, waiting to be torn by claws or tree branches. But here she is, clean and healthy, watching him from the corner of her eye.
Scully realises it’s been two weeks since he smiled at her.
Throughout his life, Mulder has been abandoned and betrayed. He has been tortured, physically and mentally, and he has tortured himself. He hurts all the time, about everything. He feels guilty about everything, and blames himself for everything.
He often thinks he can’t possibly hurt any more. But then something always proves him wrong.
Sometimes he can’t tell when he’s angry or worried. There are too many ‘or’s sometimes. Too many ‘maybe’s. Maybe Scully betrayed him, because of the person he is. Maybe she has abandoned him, just like everyone else in his life has. Obviously, he’s not worth the effort.
Maybe he’s just being an asshole.
But she’s Scully, of course. She wouldn’t leave him. Even if she wanted to go, she would stay.
Scully is watching him again, from the corner of her eye. He wonders what she’s thinking. She might be hating him, or loving him, or doing both at the same time. He’s never figured her out. Then again, he’s never really figured himself out either.
He knows he’s doing the wrong thing, but he can’t seem to stop. It’s her turn now, to make up with him. Her turn to pass his muster.
There have been many times when he did what he had to do, against her wishes. Many times he was forced to decide – to make an impossible choice. Follow a lead, jump on a train, or lose a connection. Leave a cryptic clue or ignore her completely. Keep on swimming or sink to the bottom.
All of those times he almost died, and she saved him or tried to save him. The times when she lost sleep and bit her nails to the quick, and wanted to remain stoic even though everyone could tell.
The times she thought – he’s left me behind because he thinks I’m unnecessary.
Afterwards he was met by her stony silences, her cold eyes. For hours, for days. Sometimes even for weeks or months. Always until she felt he’d suffered enough. The old silent treatment, dished out time and time again. He was too afraid of her to apologise, because she was so aloof. So able to survive without him.
Weeks have passed when she never even smiled at him.
He has nightmares where she leaves him because she doesn’t care. Because she doesn’t carry his depth of feeling.
Well, he thinks, turning his attention back to the report. Well. Let her see how well I can survive without her. If she can get away with this, then so can I. Goddamn it.
He’s not sure why this kind of revenge is necessary. He’s not even sure if it’s revenge.
At five p.m., Scully packs her briefcase and walks to the door. She pauses when she reaches it, then turns back to face Mulder. She says, “I’m leaving,” and tries not to sound melodramatic.
“Okay. See you tomorrow.” He mumbles the words into his open laptop.
“No, Mulder. I’m leaving.”
“Leaving?” He’s looking now, all right. “As in, leaving?” Scully notes his utter disbelief, and feels both guilty and successful.
She tries to look as cold as she can, straightening her spine and raising her eyebrows slightly. “Mulder, I’ve put in for a transfer. You obviously don’t find me necessary as a partner any longer, and I feel that I no longer have a purpose here. My skills will be more useful in -”
“Cut the bullshit, Scully. What are you saying?”
“I’m leaving Mulder,” she empties her voice of all emotion. “I’ll send you your key.”
“Scully, can we talk about this?” he stands up and walks over to her. She braces herself for his emotional outburst, which is sure to come soon.
“No. It’s not your decision, Mulder. Nothing you say can change my mind.”
He looks on the verge of shouting, but then…
Then his expression shifts, becoming something else entirely. He was furious, and now he’s…well, now she doesn’t know what to think. She knows she was wrong, but is too horrified to process why.
Instead of making things better, she has made them infinitely worse.
Scully recalls the time Mulder cried by her hospital bed at night, when she was dying of cancer. He held onto her arm like he was dangling from a great height, and she was all he had to cling to. He thought she was asleep.
Sometimes he is all that keeps her from falling, too. She wants to explain this to him.
But before she can say anything, Mulder has pushed past her and is out the door. He slams it shut and she can hear him running down the corridor. She has never seen him move so quickly.
She opens the door and races after him, but the elevator is almost closed. “Mulder? Where are you going?”
He doesn’t reply.
Scully is sobbing in the shower. The water scalds her skin, turning her whole body scarlet. She doesn’t notice.
She lied to Mulder. She tried to manipulate him, telling him she was leaving when really she has no intention of doing this. She hasn’t requested a transfer.
Scully compares herself to Diana Fowley and Phoebe Green, and decides she is out of their league. She has far surpassed them in hurting Mulder. She has sunk lower than both of them combined. Suddenly, all of the hatred she’s felt for them is turned on herself.
“I wanted a reaction,” she mutters into the shower wall. “I just wanted a reaction.”
Well a reaction was delivered, Dana, she thinks. Just not the right one.
She’d wanted a heated argument. Some passion, maybe. Like a fist slammed onto the desk, or a slap. She’d wanted him to push her against the door and maybe kiss her. Or something. Anything.
Enduring three weeks of his impassive face was more than she could stand. But instead of telling him this, she lied to him.
In an effort to bring him out of himself, she has destroyed him.
She’s never seen that look in his eyes before. Actually, she hadn’t thought such a look existed. Because it wasn’t a look. There was no look – there was nothing there. Absolutely nothing. Before her eyes, in a few seconds, he became a statue.
The opposite of a masterpiece. She has chiselled him away. Broken him down to this.
Suddenly she is afraid for him.
“Mulder, please. Let me in.”
Scully imagines him with a gun pressed to his throat, about to pull the trigger. Or already slumped across his coffee table, blood and brain matter splattered across his wall. Bile rises in her throat but she can’t stop seeing Mulder as a cadaver. Mulder with eyes blank as marbles, or maybe with no eyes at all.
She lets herself in with his key, while thinking that she’d never send it back to him. She’d never even consider doing such a thing. Never.
His apartment is dark and silent, but smells familiar and warm. She is almost too afraid to keep going, but manages to walk through sheer force of will. “Mulder?” she calls, when she reaches his living room.
He is lying on his sofa, unmoving. He’s staring at the ceiling but he isn’t blinking.
Scully is going to black out. She never wants to see light again.
Or maybe not.
Because he blinks. He doesn’t even seem to be breathing, but he blinks. There’s enough light coming from the street for her to see the movement. His soft eyelashes flicking his skin. Then his eyes, opening again. They don’t seem to have pupils in the light. They are dark as obsidian.
Scully kneels beside the sofa and waits for him to move. When he doesn’t do or say anything, she speaks instead.
“Mulder, I lied,” she says softly, not touching him. “I didn’t request a transfer and I’m not leaving. You can call Skinner to make sure I’m not lying about this, if you want. I’d understand,
considering what I’ve done.”
He doesn’t move.
“I hope you can forgive me,” she whispers, her voice about to break. “I hope you can still trust me, even after all of this.”
Then she realises he is moving, in a way. Tears are running from his eyes and trailing down his cheeks. His eyes shift to meet hers. “Scully.”
Suddenly everything is very clear, and bright.
Mulder’s kiss presses her into the sofa. His lips are hot and rough against hers. Trapped between his body and the leather, she becomes smooth and fiery, like liquid metal in a mould. She feels herself twisting inside and out, being reshaped by Mulder’s passion. Who knows how she will end up?
He is burning her up. He is boiling her. Rational thought floats from her head, light as steam. Ignited, she moves beneath him like a flame.
They are kissing too much to speak – they can’t even manage names. His hands slide beneath her shirt, stroking and plucking the bare flesh they find. She gasps when he unhooks her bra, but doesn’t start seriously moaning until he finds her nipples.
She feels absolutely sick with lust.
His passion is what she missed the most. What she needs the most. And only now, when he’s finally touching her like this, can she see how much she values it. He is so focused, so relentless. Covering her body with his hands and lips, making sure she feels him all over. Her undressing is so swift that she doesn’t notice.
The same passion rises in her – the same need for him to really see, to really feel. For him to know what he does to her. He has to know that his taste is the only taste and his smell is the only smell. That he’s more important than the universe itself. He has to know.
After working his shirt over his head, she tries to taste every inch of his chest, leaving new moon crescents with her teeth and nails. He makes sounds like she’s never heard, and she just wants
to hear more. She undoes his jeans and runs a hand along his length, while his sharp noises of ecstasy explode into her mouth.
They stop kissing as he pushes into her, and she finds her voice. “I love you.”
He buries his face in her neck, his tears searing her skin. “Scully,” he says, moving deeper inside her. So deep she feels his pressure in the fine nerves around her eyes. “Oh, I love you. God,
Scully, I love you.”
His voice is guttural, primeval. She cries out in response. Already sweaty and steaming, they are reverting to their most basic natures.
Scully arches in pleasure, exposing more of her skin to his roaming mouth. “Deeper,” she whispers, digging her fingers into his back. He obliges by pulling her knees up to her breasts, and sinking
inside another inch.
If he was anyone but Mulder, he would be filling her too much. As it is, she can’t seem to get enough.
“Oh God,” she groans, when he begins to move, “Mulder, how can you feel this good? How can anything feel this good?”
His response is to start moving faster, harder.
He’s pushing her out of this world, into another dimension. Their expression of love is too big for this place. It belongs in an alternate plane of existence, where there is nothing but magma and
nuclear explosions. It belongs on a hotter star than the sun.
Their eyes are white heat, burning into each other. They are two galaxies about to collide.
When he trails his fingers down her belly and starts slowly circling her clit with his thumb, the contrast between this and his sharp thrusts forces her into oblivion.
For a few moments, there is no Scully. There is only a body, writhing and screaming. A bundle of singing nerves and burning blood.
Mulder follows her, out of existence.
They lie meshed together in his bed.
Scully runs her hands over his shoulder blades as he caresses the small of her back. She watches headlights flash over his features, illuminating his eyes. They are full of love and guilt – she doesn’t know which emotion is greater.
“I’m still not sure why I acted the way I did,” Mulder says, finally voicing the conversation they’ve been having since they moved from the sofa. “Scully, I think I wanted your control.”
“Your control over me…your power in our relationship. I don’t think you understand how much you dominate me.”
Her anger is almost automatic, an involuntary reaction. She starts untangling herself from him. “Mulder, what I did today was wrong, and I apologised,” she whispers, afraid that if she raises
her voice any higher she’ll be shouting. “I’ve never tried to manipulate you before, and I never will again.”
“I’m not saying that, Scully. Not that at all,” he says, panicked. He pulls her back into his arms and she relents, sensing the deep fear in his tone. She realises that no matter what he says, she has to hear him out. She has to let him explain.
“Go on,” she says, rubbing her nose against his heartbeat.
“You don’t do it intentionally, Scully. It’s just that no one can hurt me like you can. You can make me feel worthless with just one look.”
“Mulder, you’re worth more to me than anything in the world.” She leans up to kiss him, but is stopped by his palm to her lips.
“You’re my whole world, Scully,” he murmurs, “There’s a difference.”
“I don’t know how I can love you any more than I do,” she looks him dead in the eye, trying desperately to make him believe her. “I don’t know if it’s possible.”
“I know, Scully, I just -”
Her anger takes control again, and she doesn’t let him finish. “Mulder, these past weeks…I didn’t know what to say to you. Are you telling me you put me through this just to test me? To see how much you can hurt me?” Her eyes never leave his, and he feels like a specimen. A body she is dissecting.
But he understands her intensity, and ploughs on. “Whenever I’m angry and hurt I tend to do stupid things, Scully. I wasn’t consciously testing you – I just wanted to lash out. I wanted you to feel like I’ve felt, when the roles were reversed. I thought it was about revenge, and by the time I wanted to stop it was too late. I’d already hurt you so much -” he swallows and breaks their eye contact, staring at her chin. “I’m sorry, Scully. For being like I am. I wish I could give you more.”
She tilts his head, forcing him to look at her. A sudden clarity comes over her, and she knows exactly what to say. “Sometimes I wonder why I deserve you, Mulder.”
“You deserve me? Scully -” he shakes his head, smiling in his self-deprecating way.
“It’s true,” she says, “No one has ever loved me as deeply as you, and no one ever will. You give me everything you can Mulder, yet you still wish you could give me more. And I struggle just to give you tiny pieces of myself. I struggle to let go of being alone.”
“Then we’re struggling equally, Scully,” he whispers, too seriously for her liking. He’s trying to convince himself, not her. “We’re both afraid of being hurt,” he adds, stroking her hair behind her ear, then leaning down to press a soft kiss to her forehead. “We just avoid each other in different ways.”
“No, Mulder. That’s not entirely true. You’ve spent the past few years wishing you could give me more, while I’ve spent them wishing I didn’t love you at all.”
She sees his eyes glitter with pain, so she reaches to cup his jaw, smoothing his cheek with her thumb. “But I do love you, Mulder,” she says, “and I’m not going to suppress it anymore. I don’t want to suppress it anymore. I’m not sure what to say to make you understand…I just want you to know that I could never leave you. It would be like leaving myself.”