Another one I haven’t been able to locate. Chances are it was from ephemeral.
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 02:40:42 -0600
Subject: Meditations on the Abyss (1 of 4)–Oops! by jemirah Source: direct
Reply To: email@example.com
*Title: MEDITATIONS ON THE ABYSS; part 1 of 4
*Category: MulderAngst, MulderTorture, ScullyAngst, and sort of UST/RST
*Rating: R for adult themes, including a disturbing nightmare which is based on one I actually had; sorry, no sex *Archive: If you want it (though I’m not sure why you would), you can have it, just let me know so I can print off a copy!
*Spoilers: Hmmm, let’s see,
*Summary: Mulder comes to terms…
*Feedback: Well, if you really want to…
*Disclaimer: I only wish I could create characters this propelling. If I could, I’d be writing something I could make some money off of, now wouldn’t I?
*Author’s Note: It took me about 4 months to write (and rewrite) and edit (and re-edit) this, and it’s my first fanfic, so go easy on me. It’s also my first completed piece of fiction of any kind, so if you still read this, please accept my thanks.
*Additional Author’s Note: GO TITANS!!!
*I have to send my eternal gratitude to Kelly Moreland, for mentioning me in a couple of her stories, and for helping me whenever I needed anything, including naming this! Also, thanks go out to Melissa, who read this even though she doesn’t like TXF #GASP#, and who has been my friend for no reason for almost ten years.
Mulder barely made it to the bathroom before he was violently throwing up. He was dimly aware of the fact that he had missed the toilet, but too sick to care. His head throbbed, his abdomen was sore from the heaving, and his tongue was like sandpaper.
As he crawled back to the hallway, he realized he was crying.
That realization didn’t make him feel better, but it did make him aware of the fact that he was alive–he wasn’t numb anymore.
She had said she was going to stay home and get rested up over the weekend before they had to begin boring, tedious paperwork Monday. She’d said she wanted to stay in, instead of joining him for dinner. But then she’d gone out anyway. She’d lied to him, to avoid his company.
At this thought, his stomach lurched again, and he was too weak to make it back to the bathroom, so he retched where he was until nothing more came up.
She didn’t want to be with him. That was the thought that left him totally incapacitated.
That Scully was at the restaurant with another man was what had him heaving yet again, though there was nothing left to be expelled from his stomach.
He could still see her, sitting at the table, with her back to him. He had felt her presence as soon as he’d walked in. He wondered if she’d felt his presence, but then remembered the surprise and discomfort on her face when he’d gone to say hello.
She’d blushed like a schoolgirl, then hastily introduced him to her date. His name was Roger Elliott. He was new to the area, having just transferred from the San Diego field office.
Mulder’s head swam and he felt nauseous again at the thought of the other man. He was polite, jovial, charming even. He could understand why Scully would find him attractive, but that didn’t make it any easier to bear.
He needed to get away from where he had puked; the smell was making him feel even sicker, if it was possible. He struggled to his feet, clutching the wall, and made his way to his living room. The only light came through his window from a nearby streetlight, and the otherworldly glow of his fishless aquarium, but it seemed terribly bright to his eyes. He thought about pulling the blinds, but the comfort his couch had to offer was too much to resist. As he collapsed there, he wished for the numbness he’d felt at the restaurant to return, or for alcohol to give him artificial numbness. But other than ancient bottled water, his refrigerator was a waste of electricity.
He laid his head on the back of the couch and willed himself to think of something else. The pattern on his mother’s good china was a good place to start. Jupiter’s sixteen moons–or was it 17? Did he ever remember not being able to read? His neighbor’s dog that had bitten Samantha the summer she was 7 and he 11. The name of the print hanging on the wall opposite him. The pained expression on Scully’s face as she’d seen him at the restaurant.
It was no use. It never had been. So he willed the pain in his head to go away. Then he realized he had no will tonight. Had he ever had any will at all?
Thoughts like this distracted him from his pain for a small while, but not in a good way, so he let his thoughts slip back to her blushing face. At least she’d still been wearing the same clothes she’d worn to work that day. That was a small comfort to him, but his mind wouldn’t leave his heart alone, and he remembered the man. The way he’d looked shocked to see Mulder there, and then embarrassed, as he’d watched Scully’s face for an explanation. Mulder had hated him from that moment, seeing the way he’d searched her face for an answer. Roger Elliott had no right to access her thoughts through her face like that–it was his right and his right alone.
A small gasp escaped his lips as he realized it wasn’t his right.
It was a liberty Scully let him get away with, as she had this new man, this Roger Elliott. To find himself in the same group with this man she couldn’t possibly have known long caused a new wave of sickness to wash over him. As he sat it out, he realized he was crying again–or had he quit the first time? He didn’t know, didn’t care. All he knew was that she had rejected him again.
He then wondered what part of his subconscious had supplied his conscious mind with that ‘again’, because he had no memory of an actual rejection on her part. But then when he thought about it, he could recall several rejections. There was her–whatever it was, after he had kissed her on the stroke of midnight at the start of the new millennium. He couldn’t put a label on it, but it _felt_ like rejection. There was the whole time they had spent undercover in Arcadia; that felt like rejection too. And in the showers at Fort Marlene, after they’d been “exposed to a contagion”. All of his half-serious innuendo-filled jokes that she’d ignored or haughtily raised her eyebrow at. And the creme de la creme–her disgusted “Oh brother”, when he’d drunkenly told her he loved her in the hospital after he’d nearly drowned in Bermuda.
He sat up faster than he should have, when his anger turned into shock at the dawning of the understanding of the situation. He fought for control of his raging emotions as the realization that not only did he love his partner, but he was _in_ love with her, hit him with like a bolt of lightning.
All the fear and anger and pain from the rejection he felt were zapped away then, by the fear he felt at being in love. He couldn’t stand the thought of being so out of control, of being at the beck and call of his heart instead of his guilt. Guilt had driven him for so long, how could he shift gears so suddenly and still keep on the road? There was no place in his life for this. He’d cared about Scully for a long time, but now he felt as if his world revolved around her. As corny as it sounded, it was hard to avoid. What was he going to do now, he already had too many pieces of himself farmed out in too many different places. And it wasn’t as if he could do something about this now, now that she was finally seeing someone.
His stomach stopped doing the awful flip-flops and somersaults it had been doing, but his throat and chest felt like they were going to explode from the pressure of the unshed tears. How could he have been so stupid?
He glanced at his watch, 9:11 p.m. Just over an hour since he’d left them to enjoy their meal and come home to enjoy vomiting his insides out. He wondered if she’d said goodnight and gone home, or if she’d gone home with Roger Elliott.
The nausea returned worse than ever, and he made a mad dash for the bathroom again. It was for nothing though, as there was still nothing left to be thrown up. After retching painfully for a few minutes with no results, he lay down on the cool tile of the floor and glanced up at his destiny.
The pair of scissors gleamed in the dim light of the single light bulb that lit the room, as if a hole had opened in the clouds that surrounded him to let one ray of sunlight through to point the way for him.
He got up from the floor, sickness forgotten. He stayed on his knees, eye-level with the scissors standing upright in the cup that also held his toothbrush. They were kind of all-purpose scissors, he didn’t know if they were sharp enough. He stared at them for a few moments, not thinking. Then he took the scissors and sat down with his back to the sink, where he looked at them some more. They seemed pretty sharp. He’d only ever used them for cutting itchy tags out of shirts and the like.
He slid one finger down a blade experimentally. He was shocked by the feeling–sharp but not painful. He looked at his finger, to see blood beginning to outline the invisible cut. He wished he could see the color of the blood, now cursing the colorblindness that he’d never considered anything more than an inconvenience.
He tested again, this time with a little more pressure. He felt a little pain this time, but found that he liked it, the way the blade zipped through the tiny lines that made his fingerprint unique. He then turned his attention away from the now bleeding second cut to his left wrist. Pushing his shirtsleeve back, he examined the threads of his life through the thin skin.
_This_ was his destiny, not a gun, like he’d considered before.
He wanted to watch his life flow out of his body onto the floor.
He didn’t deserve the quickness and ease of the sudden-death gunshot.
As the blade met the skin of his wrist, the phone rang. He paused in his task, but only for a moment. There was no one he needed to talk to, except his scissors. So the blade slid across, down, through his skin. It didn’t make a big cut, but he didn’t need a big cut, just a deep one. He watched with satisfaction as the blood ran furiously out of the opening he’d just made. When it got to his sleeve, he was fascinated, seeing the light fabric turn dark. It was as if it was soaking up everything that was bad in him.
But his other wrist still held the darkness in, so he now turned his attention to it. With some difficulty, he took the scissors in his bleeding left hand, and sliced his right wrist. His job done, he relaxed, put his head back against the sink, and waited for the numbness to swallow him whole.
A short time later, if Mulder had been conscious to know it, he would have heard a very worried Scully enter his apartment calling his name. He’d have known that she had almost left, assuming he wasn’t home due to the lack of lights. He’d have remembered leaving his jacket and food just inside the door and correctly assumed she’d spotted it. He’d have heard her come in, turning on lights as she searched the apartment, her hand on her gun. He’d have known she almost stepped in vomit he left in the hallway, and he’d have heard her shocked cry of anguish when she finally found him, unconscious and still bleeding on his bathroom floor. But he wasn’t conscious, he was walking in a dense fog, somewhere far away.
*Title: MEDITATIONS ON THE ABYSS; part 2 of 4
For not the first time that day, Mulder felt exceedingly guilty for the way he was treating his partner, but guilt was an emotion he knew how to deal with. She was just trying to help him. He understood her need to do something, her feeling of uselessness; he had felt those same emotions many times in similar situations.
But it was _his_ turn to be unable to let _her_ in. He couldn’t stand another rejection. For better or worse, she had saved him that dark night, and he had to preserve what was left of his sanity until he could decide what to do with his heart, with the new feelings there.
“If you’ll talk to me, Mulder, maybe I can help you.” she was saying. “You don’t have to go through this alone.” it was her turn to say. He could hear the coming tears in her voice, but was powerless to do anything to change the situation. The numbness he’d craved before had come unbidden, now that he was out of the hospital, but in the ‘loony bin’. It was the only way he had to cope. He had to see doctors every day. They expected him to just open up and let them in on his private thoughts, his personal reasons. The nurses, orderlies, even other loonies, they all expected him to just start talking as if he hadn’t spent most of his life perfecting not confiding in anyone. Skinner had been there, Byers, Langly and Frohike, his mother, even Scully’s mother. He had ignored them all, and all the ‘help’ they had come offering. They had all stayed where he had pushed them, except Scully and her mother.
Maggie Scully was the only one that didn’t really offer him help he didn’t take, for the simple reason that the help she offered was just her presence. She would just sit and keep him and his misery company for a while, then kiss his forehead and leave. He would feel calm and loved for a while after that, and he grew to love Maggie for that. He felt less pressure from her visits than anyone’s, Scully included.
Scully came every day, faithfully, bringing newspapers, magazines, books, and even case files after his doctors okayed it. But he could see and feel her desperation, annoyance and guilt. Desperation for being unable to do anything, and annoyance for him not letting her do anything, and guilt for being annoyed at him. He could see it more and more every day, but couldn’t make himself be different, as much as he wanted to do that for her.
His heart was breaking underneath all the ice he’d piled onto it.
He craved her company, knew the passing of the days only by whether she’d been to bring him that day’s load of books and case files. He read all that she brought him, because _she_ had brought it. He wanted to talk to her about what he read, but his voice would betray the pain he was trying to hide. As much as she dreaded it (he could see that too), she came unfailingly every day. She’d sit next to his bed, and sometimes read, sometimes tell him meaningless anecdotes about work, her family, something she’d seen on TV. Sometimes she’d take his hand if he let her, and he’d hear her silently crying. He knew she thought she’d lost him, that he’d lost himself. He just couldn’t tell her he was still there.
He had thrown himself back into his work. He found that if he was busy searching for the odd mutant or flying saucer, he didn’t have time to worry the wound caused by this new development in the most important relationship in his life. Put quite simply, he didn’t know what to do with his love for his partner, so he didn’t do anything with it. So it sat on his psyche, until it had become an open festering sore. He didn’t let himself think about anything but his current case, paperwork, or finding new cases.
His eating habits, never good to begin with, had become shockingly bad now. He resisted all of Scully’s efforts to get him to eat; he couldn’t let himself slow down long enough to take in sustenance. He’d lost 20 pounds in 2 months, but every time he allowed himself a moment of relaxation, he hurt. Physically and mentally, he ached as if he was never again going to see the person he worked with every day.
So on he worked, never noticing (or choosing not to notice) lines of worry on Scully’s face. She watched him grow thinner and more haggard every day as he denied himself even the smallest of comforts, feeling he didn’t deserve the self-indulgence.
They were in Knoxville, Tennessee, investigating a series of abductions. It wasn’t a difficult case, or even a really interesting one, but Mulder had jumped into his first field assignment in almost two months with his now usual super-vigor.
They had spent the previous two days there questioning the first two abductees, and going over the sights where they had been taken from. The third day, they had stayed out later than usual, then Scully had coaxed Mulder into eating part of his sweet and sour chicken. Back at the motel, they’d discussed the case for a few minutes, but outside the doors to their rooms (Mulder found he couldn’t stand the closeness any more. He couldn’t handle her annoyance at him. He couldn’t let her close again).
After their short discussion, they went into their respective rooms and settled in for the night. One of the strange things that had happened in the past 2 months was that he’d slept more.
It was only enough to bring him up to the minimum daily requirements, but it was more. The only drawback was that it gave him 2 or 3 more hours per night for his subconscious to let his demons out to play.
That night, he was having a particularly vivid one. He was in a dense, lush forest. Maybe even a tropical rainforest. There were two young children there in front of him, their distended bellies indicating severe malnutrition. They were gender-less children of indeterminate age. One was olive-skinned with dark hair, and the other fair skinned with red hair. Then in the strange way of dreams, he was looking out of the eyes of one of the children, at the other one, the red-haired one. He was so hungry, he’d never been this hungry, it was almost like it kept him from feeling any and all other sensations. Then he was eating something, ravenously. He looked down at the meat in his hands, then looked at the source of the food–the now torn-open gut of the other child. But he didn’t stop eating, didn’t feel the horror he knew he should have. He just continued feasting on the flavorless meat of the red-haired child, until he noticed that the other child had joined him, and was now eating its own flesh.
Then he was back in his sweat soaked bed in the motel. Scully was holding him, where he sat upright, with the sheets wrapped all around him. And he was crying. He couldn’t stop thinking of the dream–no, nightmare. He didn’t need his psychology degree to know exactly how to analyze it.
After he’d had a few minutes to calm down, he realized that Scully was still holding him. It felt good. Too good. But he couldn’t let himself get used to it. When he gently pushed her away, she sat still for a minute, not comprehending. Or so he thought. He chanced a look at her, to find rage where he’d expected pain. He got up and headed to the bathroom, hoping to bypass the imminent explosion. Too late.
“Damn it, Mulder! I’ve had about enough of you! I’m tired of pretending you’re the same as you were before. I’ve got to do something about where we’re going.”
“No! I don’t want– I can’t let– ” but he had almost done just that, let it out, let her in.
“I’m not going to act like nothing’s wrong any more. You’re sick, you need help. There are medications that will help depression, Mulder.”
But he knew his problem wasn’t depression, it was fear. He was crying then, he realized. And then he heard her sniffle, and knew she was crying too. It hurt him to know he’d hurt her again. The pain and the love was more than he could handle; his chest was going to explode, or maybe implode. It would be so easy to open his mouth and let those three little words escape, but he couldn’t. It would be so wonderful, heavenly even, to let it out. But he knew the rejection would come soon after. And there was only one way to solve that problem–he had to start keeping his emotions, his passions, in check. If he didn’t put his feelings out there for God and everybody to see, they wouldn’t get trampled all over.
He could hear her crying now. She wasn’t making any effort to hide it. Oh God, she should have let him die. He should have used the gun.
“I just can’t keep going on like this, Mulder, I can’t keep acting like everything is the same as it was. This depression of yours is beginning to get to me too. I can’t keep giving you everything I’ve got and getting nothing in return. Aren’t you even going to say _any_thing? Can’t you at least _face_ me?” He was facing the bathroom, with his back turned to her, where she still sat on the edge of the bed.
The next second, she was there, hitting his back, then his chest as he turned around to catch her in his arms.
How could he do this to her? How could she do this to him? How could he make this stop without hurting her?
“Damn you, Mulder, let me go!” Her eyes blazed and he let her go, only for her to resume her pummelling of him. He couldn’t take anymore, couldn’t deal with her anger.
“Go! Just go! I’m not doing anything to keep you here!” His voice had risen to an angry yell. It was the first emotion he’d expressed since he’d picked up the scissors nearly two months ago. It felt good.
He grabbed the nearest thing, an ice bucket, and threw it at the picture on the wall. That felt good too, so he went for a vase of cheap artificial flowers next, and hurled them at the mirror in the bathroom. And he continued until she was in front of him, bawling and begging him to stop.
“I can’t go, I can’t leave you like this. I won’t go.” She’d caught his hands now, and was holding them in front of his chest where they both had a perfect view of the angry, red welts that had just healed.
“Well maybe _I_ will then.” He dressed quickly and stormed out of the motel, leaving her crying, alone.
*Title: MEDITATIONS ON THE ABYSS; part 3 of 4
For a long time he drove the old country back roads of Tennessee aimlessly. There weren’t many other cars to challenge him and the auto-pilot-like condition he’d lapsed into. He was scared.
Scared he’d really done it this time, run her off. Scared he hadn’t run her off. He hadn’t really planned on trying to make her leave him. He wasn’t even really sure that this was what he wanted, but she’d forced his hand, so to speak.
He wished he could figure out what the hell it was that he did want. But that would require knowing what was going on in his mind, his heart, and those were the two things in the world he knew the least about at this point in time.
He was ashamed of the way he’d acted. Not only ignoring her, but then throwing a temper-tantrum like a child. Actually, a lot of his behavior these two months could be likened to that of a 4year-old child.
He wasn’t really paying attention to the curvy road that had been designed for slower speeds than he was doing. As he came to an especially sharp curve, it was all too easy to let go, lose control, and just watch as the car careened into the stand of trees off the side of the road.
Damn, this cast was itching like hell. And he couldn’t write, he couldn’t type much, he couldn’t do anything. He hoped it could come off soon. As he sighed in frustration for possibly the fiftieth time that minute, he risked taking a glance at his partner, at her ‘work area’ across from his desk. He didn’t deserve her sympathy, he knew, but just a little would feel so good.
He was surprised to find her looking at him with just the desired emotion flitting across her face.
“Have you tried putting corn starch or talc in it like I suggested, Mulder?” The slight tinge of humor in her voice didn’t hurt either.
“I can’t get anything down in between the cast and my arm. It’s too tight.” He was obviously whining and he knew it, but it did come naturally to him. Maybe the antidepressant he’d been required to take to be able to return to work wasn’t such a bad idea after all. He almost felt like himself again.
“It shouldn’t be that tight, Mulder. Let me take a look at it.”
He couldn’t believe his good fortune. But it seemed right, it was the way it should be for him to have a cast on his arm and stitches in his forehead and leg, and for her to check and make sure they were healing as they should be. Who was he to go against nature–against the way things were supposed to be?
As she inspected the (smelly) cast, and his arm, he took the opportunity to study her face, something he hadn’t done thoroughly in more than three months.
She looked tired, and weary. But amused at his plight, and relieved that he was letting her this close. He felt guilt and fear at that realization, but pushed it aside. He was tired of feeling guilt.
She somehow managed to scooch her small finger in under the cast, and ran her fingernail over precisely the spot that was driving him insane. Just as he sighed his approval, she shot him a look heavy with annoyance.
“God, Mulder, you’ve rubbed it raw, no wonder it’s bothering you.”
“_I_ didn’t rub it raw! Do you really think I could get my fingers in that tiny space?” They both laughed at the absurd turn their conversation had taken, as she retrieved the box of corn starch she had brought him when he’d returned to work a week previously. He had promptly put it in the rarely used top-left drawer of his desk and forgotten it.
She had just gotten the talc in place when was a knock on the door of their office. When she answered the door, she found a large security guard carrying a large bouquet of flowers.
“Agent Scully, these were delivered for you a few minutes ago. I thought I’d bring them down for you, so you wouldn’t have to come all the way to the lobby.” She took the flowers and thanked the guard, who left, but not before hearing and laughing at Mulder’s remark.
“Scully, you shouldn’t have! I didn’t get you anything.” They both laughed nervously at the joke, but he saw the worry on her face, and he knew she had heard the pain in his voice.
They were both unnaturally quiet as she sat the huge bouquet of flowers on her desk, a respectable distance from Mulder, and took the card out to read. As she turned even whiter than her usual shade of pale, Mulder knew who they were from, and didn’t even ask. He had a terrible desire to grab the hideous flowers and fling them to the grey government-issue pseudo-carpet and ground them into the fibers with his heels. But he suppressed it.
Scully deserved nice things like flowers, he just wished he’d been the one to think of them. Not Roger Elliott.
He came down from his anger quickly, and with a vengeance. Where once he’d felt only searing, blinding fury, he now felt only deep, black despair. He knew those pills hadn’t been helping, and now he had an excuse to not take them anymore.
It was even worse this time, the pain he felt. He was in such constant internal pain that he felt numb to external pain. His entire soul ached as if it had muscles that were totally tensed up, seizing, and he longed for relaxation, release. He longed for some way out, but knew that Scully would never let him out of her sight out of some misguided sense of loyalty or duty or something. He was the last person she should feel allegiance to.
She should do her best to get away from him, as fast as she could.
He marvelled at the intensity of this pain. Would it never go away, or was he going to have to make it go away? He felt like the pain was clouds clotting out the sun. He had to do something, it was cold in the shadowy fog.
He knew she had practically dug this case out of the waste-can, and that she’d had to get special permission for him to go back out in the field, but he was glad of the distraction. She’d pestered him all the previous night, calling every half-hour to make sure he was still alive. And he had seen what he was pretty certain was her car in the parking lot at the rear of his building.
But this would keep him from concentrating on the pain. He looked at her, sleeping in the passenger seat. She knew they were both ok as long as they were together. Still yet, he felt the depression creeping back up on him. It was taking control of him, just as surely as desperation was taking hold of Scully.
He didn’t quite understand what was motivating her, making her behave the way she was. He thought maybe she felt responsible.
He didn’t have a monopoly on guilt complexes, after all.
Soon they had reached Buffalo, and he had to wake her. He wondered what she would think of to keep him from going to his motel room, by himself. He wondered what he would think of to avoid her. Maybe he could solve their problems before they started. He knew she’d never leave him alone, and he didn’t really want her to. He was tired of being alone. Maybe it was better this way.
As he handed her her suitcase from the trunk of the rental car, he invited her to his room to watch TV. The look of pure shock and surprise made him want to laugh and cry at the same time.
She actually gave him a few minutes to himself, probably thinking his invitation meant he was ok. In the meantime though, he had made up his mind-or what was left of it anyway-and had gotten everything ready.
*Title: MEDITATIONS ON THE ABYSS; part 4 of 4
He’d have known her knock anywhere, even if she hadn’t been the only person in the world that would knock on his motel-room door at this time of night. He called to her to come in, as he came out of the bathroom where he’d just thrown up what little food he’d eaten that day. She came in with a look of relief on her face, and cans of soda and bags of snack chips in her hands.
“What’s playing?” He was confused for a minute, but then realized she was talking about the promised television watching.
“I hadn’t even checked yet; knock yourself out.” With that he tossed the remote control her way and sat on one of the room’s twin beds. She sat one of the drinks and chips on the night stand within his reach, subtly encouraging him to eat, and turned on the TV as she settled herself onto the other bed. He got comfortable, leaning against the headboard of the bed, as he watched her open her bag of chips. Then he tried to get interested in the movie she had selected, an old Ginger Rogers movie.
“Where’s Fred Astaire?” He had to say something.
She chuckled a little at the joke, “he’s not in this one. Don’t tell me you’ve never seen ‘Kitty Foyle’?
“Ok, I won’t tell you.” He took comfort in being able to make her laugh, even just a little, at what was not the best time for him. Maybe things weren’t so bleak after all.
He’d gotten to the part of the movie where Wyn, the love of Kitty’s life, expected her to run away with him, and become his mistress. But Kitty chose the nice, steady doctor who would make an honest woman of her. Maybe that was what Scully was doing, choosing nice, steady, sane Roger Elliott over the danger and insanity his ups and downs had to offer. Things were that bleak.
He glanced over at her on the other bed where she was entranced by the old movie. Then he opened and took a sip of the drink she had brought him. He wasn’t very thirsty, and he was afraid he’d throw up again if he ate or drank much.
As the closing credits began, he looked at the knife he’d dug out of his pocket. He’d bought it on the way home yesterday, a cheap little X-acto knife. But there was no doubt it was sharp.
He was so engrossed in the reflection of the TV on the blade of the knife, that she had to call his name twice to get his attention.
“You want to watch the second half of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, or ‘Dead Poets Society’ from the beginning?” What was she talking about?
“Um, whatever you want is fine with me.” She gave him a strange look, but turned her attention back to the TV.
He’d had to resort to the knife, since there weren’t many ways one could commit suicide while someone else was in the room, without the other person noticing. The gun was obviously out of question, and his nervous stomach wouldn’t let him keep pills down long enough to do the job.
He dragged his finger down that blade now, like he had done with the scissors, the other time. Mulder watched the blood well up with an almost clinical detachment. It was oozing out of this cut faster than it had with the scissors. He was fascinated by the way the blood seemed to come out of nowhere, so he did it again, and again, till he had small cuts all over the fingers of his left hand.
He knew it was time, and he didn’t hesitate, except to take one last sip of soda. His stomach was aching again, and it helped a little. He still had the hated but now forgotten cast on his right arm, so could only cut the left wrist this time. He stared briefly at the ugly, pink scar he’d left the last time. Then he took his X-acto knife and gave it a younger sibling underneath it. All that was left now was the waiting. He leaned his head back, and feigned sleep, as he waited for the numbness.
He vaguely heard a coughing sound, it seemed to be coming from terribly far away, but it must have been Scully. But it was so far away, he couldn’t make himself get interested.
Then he was above himself, floating, watching Scully cough as if choking. He saw her grab for her soda, but it was empty, so she grabbed his nearly full one. Finally the hacking cough was gone, and she sat back on the bed. She seemed distracted for a moment, and looked for the remote control. When she looked down at it, she jumped frantically, looking at her hands, and then involuntarily touching underneath her nose. She then seemed to realize that she was not the source of the blood on her hands, so she next picked up Mulder’s soda can and examined it, confused.
He watched her suddenly understand what was going on and drop the soda can, forgotten, to the floor, as she rushed to his side.
He could see her trying to talk to him, but he couldn’t hear her, even though it seemed like she was yelling. What was she saying?
It must be important, or she wouldn’t keep saying it. He felt himself go back towards the bed, toward her, and his own body.
He had to know what she was saying.
Now she was on the phone, calling for help. Why would she do that, he wondered. Then she was back at his side, or his body’s side anyway. He was close enough now that he could see that she’d tied something to his upper-left arm, it looked like the tie he’d taken off earlier. He could also see her crying, and finally he was close enough that he heard her as she now started whispering. It took a minute for him to understand her.
“Don’t leave me, I need you. I never told you I love you. Don’t leave me, I never told you, I need to tell you. I was afraid to tell you, I won’t be afraid anymore. Please, Mulder, don’t leave me.”
It was very bright where he was. Painfully bright. This must be heaven, he thought, but then remembered that he didn’t believe in heaven. But it was too nice to be hell, so he didn’t worry about the fact that he didn’t believe in it either. So this was how he decided that he must still be alive. He didn’t deserve heaven, and it wasn’t hell, so he must be alive.
He tried to think of where he was, but all he could think of, the only thing in his mind was whispering. Someone whispering. It had to be Scully whispering, he wouldn’t have remembered anyone else whispering.
The brightness seemed to become a luminescent fog then, and he fought to make his way through it. He had to find Scully, she was lost somewhere in this fog. He had to find her.
“Scully?” He heard his voice call out to her before he’d even thought of it. But maybe she didn’t want him to find her. He didn’t care though, he needed her. He needed her more than water. More than food, more than air. Not just physically, emotionally. He needed her with every pathetic emotion his wretched soul could muster. Needed her, just to be there, close by. Ached for her, craved her. Every fiber of his being belonged to her. He walked, ran, for miles and miles. The clouds and fog seemed to envelop him endlessly, but still he ran.
Then finally, in front of him, he could see blue sky. If there was anything beautiful and true and clear where he was, it was Scully. It had to be.
Finally he reached the blue sky, to be engulfed by it, till there was nothing but blue sky, and he was falling, falling endlessly through the blue sky that was Scully.
Then he was laying in a bed, a hospital bed. He still felt like he was falling though, so he called for help the only way he knew how.
“Scully?” And miraculously she was there. He opened his eyes to blinding sunlight from the window, and the blue sky of her eyes.
“Did you mean it?” It was the only thing that his mind knew to say. She started to cry, but it didn’t cloud her eyes.
“You couldn’t possibly have heard that, Mulder. For all intents and purposes you were de–”
“But I did.” He hoped she could see some of her own blue sky mirrored in the murky depths of his own eyes, because he felt like part of her was alive inside of him, and he needed her to know that.
“I know it seems like I always say this under less than desirable circumstances, but I mean it. I love you.” She continued crying, harder now, and then kissed him softly, on the lips.
“I know, Mulder. I’ve been waiting for you to come to terms with that for a long time.”
“What about Roger Elliott?”
“Who–? Oh my God, you can’t be serious, can you? Why didn’t you–, why didn’t you just ask me, I could have saved us both a lot of heartache and worry.”
“You mean you’re not–”
“No, Mulder. He asked me out a couple of times, but I only went that once, and that was to let him know he was wasting his time.”
“But I thought, what about the flowers?”
“Mulder, I just told you he was wasting his time. I can imagine what you thought.”
“I was looking for you, in the fog. I thought you were lost.
But I was the one that was lost.”
“I’ve been here, right here, all along.” she tapped his heart while she said this. It was the most beautiful thing he’d ever known. “All you had to do was look in the right place. I’ve been here all along.”
“I know now, I found you.”
“Yes, Mulder, you found me. I love you too.”
Thank you for reading!!!–J.