- Summary: Byers tells Scully a truth or two.
- Disclaimer: They're not mine, if they were, Mulder would be handcuffed
to my headboard, and I would not share...and I'm looking real hard at Byers
these days, too. Leave me alone, CC, I got no one else to play with.
- Misspells, typos, and grammatical errors are mine...hey, it's something.
Not funny, gang, "Memento Mori" about ripped my heart out. I
hate this show.
- Archive this, please, and e-me, I need the stroking...I'm pathetic.
- It's late, past visiting hours, and I'm uncomfortable as hell. The
adrenalin rush of the near-miss with security has left me cold and clammy,
pulse still pounding; I raise a hand to my aching skull and barely recognise
my own trembling fingers. I push the heel of my hand into my burning
eyes, draw a quavering breath, and let out a long, shuddering sigh.
- Damn Mulder....damn his passion, his obsessive, bull-dogged determination.
Damn the desperation in his eyes as he'd turned to me in that dim corridor
"I need someone to get to Scully, to get her to stop treatment. Right
now, you're the only one who can do that." I felt my own eyes widen,
my heart constrict. No, Mulder.....please. Conspiracies, assassins, covert
operations, alien autopsies, ok .... but please don't ask me to face a
dying Dana Scully, alone.
- But I'd do it, of course....you don't say no to Fox Mulder.
- I will someday look back on my escape from the clinic as an adventure,
an exciting physical diversion from the mental calisthenics that is my
life. The hallways were a labyrnith of eerily shiny floors and huge plate
windows, in the daylight, I'm sure, a sunny celebration of the life that
this clinic professed to propogate. In the dark, and sans the headset
Mulder had unceremoniously ripped from my ear, I felt like a mole in the
Underground Zoo. The hushed gait of my own hurried footsteps spooked me.
I rubbed two fingers under the unfamiliar collar of my turtleneck, feeling
the slick, fear induced sweat, and suddenly, foolishly wished for the comforting
constriction of a silk tie and my Brooks Brothers suit, signs that I was
back to my own, boringly safe life, and not playing "Mission: Impossible".
- A side corridor, darker, protected...and the red beacon of an "Exit"
sign. So long, Mr Phelps. I saw the security vehicle and stopped myself
from crashing through the glass doors, flattening back against the wall,
out of sight, clenching my eyes tightly shut and wishing I'd wake up.
I wondered if Langly could see, through the security camera that swept
the entanceway, the terror on my face. I was sure the emerging security
officers could hear the pounding of my heart as they headed for the door,
and I stumbled backwards, flattened, again, into an open offfice doorway,
barely out of sight when they came hurrying past. I relaxed, took half
a step, and there was a third man,a bull, drawing a weapon, his stride
purposeful and deadly menacing. For the third time, I threw myself against
the wall, hands clenching, grasping at the smooth plaster, seeking SOMETHING
solid to grasp in this hazy nightmare. When he was out of sight, I stepped
cautiously out, checked both ways.... I don't know, I must have blacked
into a fear-induced overdrive, because I don't remember crossing the lot
or climbing the chain link fence. All I know is that I was suddenly barrelling
down the highway like a maniac, the reek of my own sweat turning my stomach,
and I was ten miles gone before I slowed down and wondered how Frohike
and Langly were going to get back. Fuck Mulder.
- Now I stand outside her room, more scared than I was in that clinic.
Okay. What *is* protocol when one visits a woman in the hospital, after
visiting hours?? Especially when one has bad news?? Go in?? Knock??
Run?? I draw another deep, painful breath and am surprised that it sounds
suspiciously like a sob. I wipe my waterey eyes with the pad of my thumb,
and click the door open.
- Her back is to the door, and she's curled into herself, barely a ripple
in the vast expanse of the hospital bed. I cross quietly, and lean slowly,
cautiously over her still form. One tiny fist is pressed to her bloodless
lips, and I suddenly, absurdly hearken the silent movies Langly is so crazy
about, where the heroin mimes "OH, NO!!" as she bites her fist.
But this is no silent screen siren; this is Special Agent Dana Scully,
MD, strong, independent, intelligent....waxen, fragile, her face drawn
in pain, even in sleep. My chest tightens, and I turn away, afraid, afraid
of her, afraid of the pall of sickness that permeates this room...afraid
of my raging emotions.
- I pick up a book from the floor. It is one of those hard cover, blank
paged oddities that got so popular a few years ago...a journal. She has
half filled this one with her upright, Catholic school cursive. I glance
down, read "Mulder, I feel you close..." ...and hastily lay
it on her bedside table. I feel sullied, dirty, like I've snuck a peek
into the depth of her soul. She stirs, sighs, and I jump guiltily. She
turns toward me, her beautiful hair lackluster and hanging, her cheeks
hollow, the startling blue of her eyes glazed with pain as she tries to
focus, the skin beneath them transparent and shadowed with bruise. She
is beautiful and tragic, and I bite, hard, the inside of my lip to keep
from crying out.
- "Mulder?" she reaches blindly, and I take her hand. She
starts, freezes...she knows, just from that touch, I am NOT her partner,
and she yanks her hand away, "Mulder! Who are you? Where's Mulder?""
She is fighting to sit up, and I am nauseous with fear and anguish and
I hate you, Mulder, for making me do this to her.
- "Agent Scully, it's Byers,take it easy, please, Agent Scully,
it's Byers, you're all right, it's Byers, please, it's ok" I'm babbling
and I don't want to touch her and I want to touch her and FUCK YOU, Fox
- "Byers?" She slumps back, then springs up again "Mulder!
What's happened, Byers, MULDER..."
- "Mulder's all right." I don't know if this is true...but
Mulder is ALWAYS all right, he leaves the rest of us to pick up the pieces
as he careens through life like Indiana Jones. I hesitate, then push a
hand against her bony shoulder, help her ease back into the pillows. "How
are you feeling?"
- "I'm fine, Mul..." she catches herself, smirks, and looks
up at me, and my heart goes into my shoes. She sighs, deep and cleansing,
and her face finally relaxes "Actually, Byers, I feel like shit, and
I'm sure I look just about as good."
- My lips twitch, and I swallow a reply <you look beautiful>
- Her face slams shut, and for a horrifying second, I am afraid I spoke
out loud. I really AM going to throw up. But she has just gone into Apecial
Agent mode "Byers, why ARE you here?"
- "Mulder asked me to...he needed me to...Agent Scully...."
- "Huh??" Smooth, Byers, really smooth.
- "It's Dana. Humor me, Byers, I'm fairly vulnerable at the moment"
- I can't breath.
- "Dana..." It's foreign and sweet on my tongue, like English
toffee, and I savor the moment "Dana, there's no easy way to tell
you this..." She gasps, and struggles again to rise "You SAID
he was all right, what..."
- "HE'S ALL RIGHT!!" I yell, surprising us both. I flush,
look away, embarrased by my outburst.
- "Then what is it, Byers?" she asks softly, and reaches out
and takes my hand. "I have Cancer, Byers, but I'm still strong...I
can take it, as long as he's all right."
- "It's your doctor, Agent Scully" I can't call her Dana...I
have no right "Dr Scanlon. We..."
- "You and Mulder?"
- "...and Langly and Frohike" Scully rolls her eyes, and for
just a second, I see the old Agent Scully "...we infiltrated a reproductive
research clinic this evening..."
- "You broke in." It is not a question.
- I study my shoes, the nubby fabric of her blanket, her small hand clasped
around my fingers and nod "Yeah...we broke in. I had found evidence
that this clinic is experimenting with DNA...." I hesitate, and she
softly squeezes my hand...I'm gonna lose it...."Your doctor is on
the staff there, Agent Scully, Mulder saw his name on the directory. Mulder
feels he may be involved in covert genetic engineering."
- "But he doesn't know this to be fact." Scientist mode.
- "I don't know what he found at the clinic, you'll have to talk
to him about that when he gets here." If he gets here...I think about
the ox with the gun. "He thinks it is within your best interest to
discontinue treatment at this time, from this doctor."
- She stiffens and pulls her hand from mine. Nods. "All right."
- Just like that...all right??
- She sees my confusion. "Byers, if you had come in here and told
me Mulder said to jump out that window, I would do it."
- "Just like that?"
- "Just like that. I TRUST him, " she hesitates, swallows
"I trust him with my life."
- "He loves you, you know." Who said that?
- She smiles softly "I know...we're partners."
- "No, Agent Scully", someone else has GOT to be speaking,
I would NEVER say this out loud "I mean, he LOVES you....he..."
- "I KNOW, Byers...I know" She takes ahold of my hand again,
and squeezes gently...I feel it around my heart, like a vice.
- And I can't stop myself, I raise her hand to me. I don't kiss her
fingers, just hold them against my trembling lips, squeezing my eyes tight,
fighting for control "If I can do ANYTHING, Scully....."
- She turns her hand and strokes my beard, once, twice, caressing my
cheek "What's your name?"
- I stiffen, startled, and open my burning eyes "What?"
- "What's your name, Byers?" she taps me lightly on the cheek
and lowers her hand, her eyes spark with a joke I don't get "Or did
you even make your parents call you Byers?"
- I hesitate, confused "Jeffrey...Jeff....but no one..."
- "Be there for him, Jeff." Her eyes are serious again. "He
only has you guys, you know"
- "And you."
- She smiles, closes her eyes and sighs wearily. She's tired... she's
tragic...she's beautiful. I can't breathe.
- "Agent Scullly...Dana..."
- "Thank you, Byers."
- It's Byers again. My chest is heaving and my eyes smart and I HAVE
to get out of here "Mulder...Mulder should be here soon. I'll wait
outside..." She's asleep.
- I pull the door open and click it softly shut behind me. I want to
slam it, I want to smash my fist into the wall, I want to run, screaming,
down the fucking deserted corridor and when Fox Mulder gets here, I want
to beat him senseless.
- I just hope I've stopped crying by then.
- <phew> I need some pee pop, this hurt.
- "I need to find a fish that can live with my deep chocolate layer"
- Jack, in "One Fine Day"
- Feedback to: gizzie
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