TITLE: Corrigenda (part 14/?)
GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTBSUMMARY: see part I
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)
Thursday, April 17, 2008
"Dana, what's happened? What's going on, Fox?" Maggie Scully's frantic questions fell upon deaf ears as her daughter embraced her in a hug so strong, that the first thing it reminded her mother of was an oncology ward hospital bed over a decade before. She said a quick prayer for her daughter and whatever her troubles were at that moment.
The sun was peeking out over the eastern horizon, white wooden porch around them now a haze of pink and orange. Mulder stood on the bottom step as Scully continued to hold on to her mother. And then, hesitantly, she pulled away.
Scully could see that her mother was still expecting an explanation that would hopefully erase the horrible visions she was creating in her mind. But Scully knew that truths were usually worse than what one's imagination provided; because the truth stripped away hope. So, it would be a half-truth then.
"Can we talk inside?"
Scully waited for her mother to sit before choosing the easy chair. She expected Mulder to take the spot next to Maggie on the couch or maybe by the fireplace; but, instead, he stood directly behind Scully's seat, placing his hands on its back.
"Mom," she began with her best attempt at a calming grin, "I, uh...what I have to tell you is not easy. And, I know that you and I have not always seen eye-to-eye since..."
"Dana, you're my daughter." Her pale blue eyes seemed to get darker as she spoke, and Mulder felt the goosebumps rise on his forearms. "The past is done. Something has obviously happened that affected you in such a way that you need your mother. I'm here, Dana."
Scully felt, instead of a metaphorical weight being lifted from her shoulders, like the past week -- the past eight years for that matter -- had suddenly crashed down on the crown of her head. The crushing blow ripped down her neck to her shoulders, her torso, her arms, her legs, her fingers, and her toes.
And she cried. God help her, she was sobbing harder than she had since the morning Skinner and the social services' worker drove away with William.
Maggie reached across the short distance and tugged her daughter over onto the sofa, rocking and whispering sweet words of reassurance into her ear. Mulder watched the display half in horror and half in utter astonishment. He took Scully's former spot in the chair so that he could be closer to them without interrupting the therapy that was going on right before his eyes.
Minutes passed, and then Scully suddenly sat up. Maggie yanked two tissues from the antique box on the coffee table at their knees and handed them to her.
"Thank you," she sniffled and dabbed at her eyes like it would do any good. "I'm sorry about that. I know it must seem...you don't know--"
"Shhh. It's alright baby." Maggie turned and looked briefly to Mulder as if to ask, "What in God's name is going on?"
"I was kidnapped."
Mulder's eyes squeezed shut at that moment, preventing him from having to see Mrs. Scully's jaw dropping or her eyes bugging out in horror and rage.
Scully simply nodded, affirming her previous declaration.
Staring through leftover tears, she said, "Mulder found me. Tonight."
Maggie immediately shifted in her seat to face him, but before she could speak, he did.
"The kidnapper led us to believe that Scully had" -- his eyes narrowed and his Adam's apple bobbed, fighting the words that were attempting to form -- "left me. For someone else."
Mrs. Scully covered her eyes with both hands. "Oh my God..."
Scully gripped her mother's knee and looked at Mulder for the first time since they had entered the house. "But he didn't believe it."
"Of course not, Dana! Why would--"
"Not everyone held the same opinion as me, though, Mrs. Scully. It took me several days to track her down." Too many days, he thought to himself.
She turned back to her daughter. "Honey...are...are you hurt? Did they catch him?"
"Yes. He's being held in Richmond."
Maggie stared into her daughter's blotchy and tear-stained face sensing that there was something deeper, something terrifying that she wasn't being let in on. Would God ever leave these two in peace?
"And you are here," she stated.
Again, her daughter chose not to answer aloud and nodded.
"And you haven't slept."
"No. I, uh, I had to give a statement and," Scully paused briefly, wondering if she would ever be able to confess the horror of what had happened to her, before continuing, "and then I called you and asked Mulder to bring me here."
"Well, you know you two are welcome to stay as long as you like." Though it's never as long as I'd like it to be. "Why don't I go make up your room for you."
"Mom, you don't need--"
"I know what I do and don't need to do, Dana," she said sternly and pushed herself up to stand. "It will just take a couple of minutes. There's a fresh pot of coffee in the kitchen. You two help yourself to whatever you want."
When Mrs. Scully vanished halfway up the staircase, Mulder took her former spot beside Scully. She fiddled with the wad of tissue in her hand, looking everywhere it seemed but him and finally said, "Thank you for bringing me here, Mulder. I'm glad we came."
"So am I."
A long, awkward silence fell between them.
"Mulder," she sighed and then let her wandering eyes fall upon his face. The natural light that streamed in through her mother's front window curtains highlighted every tired line on his face. The dark stubble on his chin, his cheeks, his upper lip, his throat. The dark circles beneath his chameleon eyes that were, for now, a light greenish-grey.
She shook her head, adding, "I don't know what to say."
He took a leap of faith and placed his hand atop the two of hers, still clutching the tissues. Despite the sheer exhaustion he felt, at that moment he knew he could run a mile just from the high he experienced when she didn't flinch or pull away. Continuing the eye contact he had longed for, he whispered, "You don't have to say anything."
Her face crumpled and she broke their gaze. "Thank you."
"Can I...can I ask you something?"
She glanced up, a question apparent in the crinkle of her brow.
"Would it be alright...if I held you?"
Oh, God, Mulder...I thought you'd never ask...She immediately scooted forward and wrapped her arms around his back, cocooning herself in Mulder.
"I'm so sorry, Scully...so sorry..." He positioned himself back against the cushions so that he might hold her at an angle that was more comfortable for her. She was shaking her head furiously and he released her enough so that he could read her face.
"Don't...there's nothing to...you believed me...I couldn't...I don't know why you even came back--"
"Shhhh, shhh," he said softly, when she didn't fight him. "I'm here. You're here. That's what matters. That is why I came back."
Scully looked as if she had something to say but. just then, Maggie emerged from the staircase. "Okay, Dana," she said and smiled warmly at the scene before her. "It's ready, whenever you wanna go up."
"Thank you, Mom."
"Thanks, Mrs. Scully."
She waved off their unnecessary gratitude and stopped in front of the kitchen entrance. "I was just going to make myself some toast and eggs. Would you two like something?"
Scully was opening her mouth to decline but Mulder spoke too quickly. "That would be great. Would you like some help?"
"You are a guest in my house, Fox," she answered, shaking her head. "Just make yourself at home. I'll let you know when it's ready."
He smiled and nodded in response. Mrs. Scully's small form disappeared behind the narrow double doors and he felt Scully moving to stand.
"I'm going to take a shower."
"Okay." His heart began to race as he equated this to having to be further away from her than he wanted to permit.
Scully didn't miss his "panic face", but when she opened her mouth to tell him she would be fine the words locked up on her tongue. She chewed on her lower lip and headed towards the stairs; the heat of Mulder's stare seemed to burn the skin of her back as she ascended.
Mulder sat in the easy chair, catching up on current events courtesy of the Baltimore Sun, while Scully slept on the queen-size bed.
Earlier, when he insisted that he wasn't sleepy, she had all but demanded that he go downstairs and relax, watch television, do something besides baby-sit her. So he had gone out in the hallway and sat on the floor -- as close to the door as he could get without casting a shadow for her to see in the inch-wide crack below it.
Maggie Scully had come up the stairs an hour after cleaning up their breakfast dishes to find him sitting there with a worried expression. It quickly became one of embarrassment when he realized he'd been caught, but she didn't admonish him, instead continuing on her path to her own bedroom. She came out less than ten seconds later, that morning's edition of the paper in her hand.
Mulder wanted to hug her. But he simply accepted the token with a boyish grin.
Another thirty minutes passed before his tailbone started screaming at him. He heard a slight movement from the room behind him and decided it would be okay if he checked on her.
She was fine. And he ended up in the much more agreeable -- to his ass anyway -- padded chair.
He scanned the sports page and slowly, carefully turned the usually-noisy-but-now-silent page. A flash of movement caught his eye and he saw that Scully was twisting the comforter in her hands while her legs twitched beneath it. Mulder held his breath. And then she moved again. Only now the twisting and twitching became flailing and kicking. His jaw dropped in horror as she cried out "Please!"
The comforter had, in her nightmare, become an attacker and it was currently covering only the top portion of her tiny body and her head. Mulder acted quickly, shoving the covers from atop her, freeing her arms. As he did, one of her hands made sharp contact with the back of his head and he, instinctively, gripped her wrist to protect himself.
"NO! PLEASE, NO!"
"Scully, it's me," he said in a voice he hoped was loud enough to rouse her quickly. Every movement, every utterance was ripping him apart. "You're okay. No one's going to hurt you. You're okay, Scully."
Her eyes popped open and she gasped for air. Mulder immediately stepped away.
"Oh, God..." she moaned, pushing herself up to a sitting position and burying her face in her hands.
Mulder sat on the edge of the chair and alternated between looking at the floor and at the place in the mattress cushion that curved beneath Scully's weight. He concentrated on the gradual slowing of her breaths, debating about whether he should or shouldn't say something. It was completely unnecessary, however, because even as he decided he would let her break the silence, she did.
"Mulder?" she said, her voice muffled by her own hands.
Her next words flipped his world upside down.
END PART 14/?