scratchy beard

WIP: Corrigenda (part 6/?)

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 6/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  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! :)



4:42am

The silk of her tank top caressed her back as she rolled over in her slumber. Scully snuggled her face deeper into the Egyptian-cotton pillowcase determined to fall back asleep after the long shift she'd endured that day at the hospital. Mulder's breath floated across her cheeks and Scully instinctively pressed her body closer to his. Reaching up with sleep-addled laziness she let her fingers run its familiar course across his bare chest: through the downy tufts of hair, over the relaxed pectoral muscles that gave slightly beneath the minimal pressure she applied.


His arm wrapped around her waist to pull her closer and she hitched her leg up to squeeze between his, swaddling herself further into Mulder’s warmth. Scully never tired of the way Mulder's body reacted to hers, his hard length pressed firmly against her stomach: The most erotic sex they'd had always started in their sleep, drunken with carnal arousal. Remembering how badly she needed to sleep Scully contemplated rolling over, but her aching desire for him won out when she heard the fabric around his pillow rustle as he moved his face towards her. Mulder's lips were supple against her own, his breath hot as she darted her tongue inside his mouth, and the groan he elicited had her stomach doing flip-flops. Their kiss deepened and she was barely conscious of being rolled beneath his body. 


Mulder slid his mouth away from hers to nibble and suck on the skin of her throat; Scully's hips thrust involuntarily against his, seeking out the ultimate satisfaction her body required, and he grinded himself against her in answer. Moving down her body, he let his mouth hover over nipple -- steaming the silk with his moist breath -- before taking it between his teeth. Her fingers clenched around the locks of his hair in her grip and she let loose a guttural moan. They were wearing far too many clothes.

His hands slid down her waist to pull the hem of her shirt over her head and she opened her eyes to watch.

And suddenly the room was filled with her screams.


Tony immediately fell on top of her, muffling her cries with one monstrous hand. She tried to claw and scratch at him but his position gave him too much leverage: her movements were futile. She could feel her earlier dinner threatening to reemerge, but she couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow. Scully writhed harder, lungs and throat burning as angry tears streamed down her cheeks.


“Shhh-shhh! Just stop screaming and I’ll get off you, okay?”


Scully nodded feverishly, her skin crawling everywhere it met his. Slowly, he removed his hands and she sucked in an enormous, cleansing breath. He rolled off of her slowly, and she waited: all she needed was leverage to make it work, and a helluva lot of luck. When he moved off her body just enough for her to free her legs, she pulled them up to her chest with blinding speed before issuing a kick square to his jaw.


With a loud thud, Tony’s body fell backwards, landing in a huge heap on the floor. She jumped out of bed, not knowing or caring if he was conscious and raced for the door. It had occurred to her that maybe in his haste to get in bed with her – though she still hadn’t figured out how the hell that had happened – maybe he had forgotten to do something as routine as locking the door.


She yanked the handle of the lever down but the door didn’t move: He had indeed remembered to lock the deadbolt. Scully raced back to where Tony’s body laid, unmoving on the floor. She couldn’t see any blood, but it was dark, and she had bigger things to worry about. Except for the small bluish glow from the nightlight on the opposite side of the room, it was too dark to see much more than her own hand. Scully tamped down her revulsion for the man’s partial state of undress and ran her hands along his body. There were no pockets in his pajama pants and she almost moved away from him when she heard a tinny sound – like a coin falling to the hard floor – coming from the area around his shoulders. She felt around and her fingers brushed against a small beaded chain across his collarbone. Pulling gently, horrified by the idea of him regaining consciousness at that moment, she let the chain through her fingers until she reached a large object hanging from the end. The key.


Being extra-careful not to rouse him, she lifted his head with one hand, freed the chain with the other, let his head rest upon the floor again, and bolted for the door. Hand trembling, it took her a solid minute to finally get the teeth inside the lock. She held her breath and muttered a quick prayer – and the lock turned.


Scully threw open the door, unsure of what she might discover, to find herself standing in a hallway. The only light came from around the corner and she sprinted towards it not even stopping to think what could happen if he had an accomplice. She contemplated screaming for Jeffrey, though the idea of what might happen to him if he got caught in the middle nixed it. When Scully reached the lighted corner she was still alone and now inside a small kitchen. Her eyes frantically searched the tops of the granite countertops, but she saw no knives. Scully began pulling every drawer – the loud clanging making her wince each time she did – until she got to the one just to the right of the sink station. The knife wasn’t large – the blade barely longer than her finger, but it was sharp with tiny pointed teeth on its serrated edge.


A muffled curse, coming from the direction of the bedroom, sent Scully’s pulse racing. The adrenaline coursed through the blood rushing through her veins, preparing her for the fight she saw as inevitable. There was a door where the kitchen joined another room – perhaps a living area or family room – and she dashed towards it, slipping slightly on the tile in her bare feet.


“DANA!”


If she could just make it in time to get outside and find help…Scully wrenched the door knob to the right and yanked so hard her elbow nearly popped out of its socket. It was locked.


She could hear Tony’s booming footsteps in the hallway and realized he would be upon her in seconds. She thought about hiding, but knew he was too close. If she waited where she was – his size grossly outmatching her own even with her newly acquired weapon --she had no chance. There was only one way she could win, she knew. The plans ran through her head so fast that Tony was still only one step closer when she made her decision.


She darted back across the kitchen to hide around the lip of the khaki-painted wall that obscured her view of the hallway and his view of the kitchen. Keeping an eye on the corner in case he beat her to the spot, she didn’t see the clear puddle on the floor in front of the refrigerator. Her heel hit the water and, with no friction between her foot and the tile, Scully's legs flew out from under her.


Tony heard the cry before he reached the kitchen and raced, if it was possible, even faster towards the sound.  When he rounded the corner, Dana glanced up and then began scrambling on the ground, searching for something. Following her line of sight, he saw the silver and black object and lunged towards it before she could.


“NO!” Dana screamed and – finally on her feet – jumped on top of him, sending them both to the floor.


Still reeling from his recent blackout, it took Tony a few seconds before he won control and for the second time that night she was pinned under his crushing weight – only now he wielded a knife.


“Why?” he growled and Dana closed her eyes against the spittle flying from his lips. The words flowed quickly now, her attack having pushed him past the breaking point. “I have done nothing but care for you! Can’t you see, Dana? I don’t want to hurt you? Why are you making me do this? SAY. SOMETHING.”


 He squeezed her wrists and knocked them against the ground.


“Because you tried to rape me!”


Tony released her upper body, pulling back like he’d been shocked with a live wire. He didn’t miss her cringing when his hips inadvertently pushed down on hers. “Rape? I-I would never…you started touching me…I-I thought…”


“I was asleep! I didn’t know who you were—” Scully’s words were an explanation, but she didn’t know if Tony was the one she was trying to convince. Her teeth worried her lip as an emotional breakdown loomed closer. “What were you doing there?”


He grimaced. “You don’t remember?”


"Oh my God..." she gasped feeling sick; that she should have realized immediately: “You drugged me!”


“What? No! No, no, no. The only time I have ever done that was the night I brought you here.” He shook his head, his face twisting up as he replayed her accusation. “I saw you screaming on the monitor, in your sleep. You left the lights on for some reason, but it never helped pull you out of your dream. I waited a long time for you to stop…but then I was afraid you were going to hurt yourself or something.” She raked her eyes over his chest, and he could read the question there. “I was already dressed for bed when I realized I had forgotten to transfer a file for work. That’s when I saw you thrashing around.”


Scully felt like he was leaving something out. She didn’t remember any of this. One of the last things she could recall before waking was having put on her pajamas after she finally gave in and took a bath. Even though she had been wearing her clothes, the water and soap pouring over her skin felt fantastic. She had wrapped the towel around herself and crept carefully, as she was sopping wet, to close herself up in the dark closet. In her boredom that afternoon she had studied and memorized every nook and cranny of it so that she would be able to find any item she needed in the dark where his eyes couldn’t see her undress. She refused to imagine that he was using some kind of infrared technology – her positive, proactive mood was too brittle to withstand such an idea. She had grabbed the silk pajamas that she knew were on a built-in shelf to the left of the door, exactly at eye level. The slide of the silk on her grime-free skin was heaven.


So, after changing into her pajamas, she had returned to bed and begrudgingly opened one of the books Tony had brought to help ease her boredom. All the titles involved the paranormal. Once Bitten and Ruby Cravings had to do with vampires. Lost Until Love, a story about ghosts who only found each other once they realized their love for the other, was such a laughable idea that she had dismissed it without a second glance. Forbidden Genius – the tale of a scientist with a God-complex: a chill had run down her spine so hard that the book fell from her grip to the floor. Too close to reality, she had murmured to no one and kicked it into the abyss under the bed. The plots all seemed so strange to have been selected by Tony – until she realized they must have been favorites of his wife. She finally settled on the title, Glory in Weakness, the story of a fallen angel. It had seemed harmless enough…and then she had woken up with a warm body next to her.


There was no memory of a nightmare, let alone of Tony coming to her bed…. “Why did you stay?”


He looked down with a guilty expression and Dana pulled her arms protectively over her chest. Pushing off the floor, Tony stood over her and extended a hand (the one not gripping the knife) towards her. “I’m taking you back to your room.”



3 Hours Earlier
An Unremarkable House 
Just Outside Richmond

He had torn apart their room, starting with her dresser drawers, then moving on to the closet, then his dresser drawers. Mulder ripped the sheets from the mattress looking for signs of a struggle, another note, blood stains, anything that she could have left for him.


“Help me, Scully,” he moaned as he flipped the mattress onto the floor not caring about the water glass that shattered as it was knocked off his nightstand in the process. His forehead was dewed with sweat from his exertions and, coming up empty-handed again, he collapsed on top of the mattress. Mulder's eyes traveled across the room where they landed on the bright, ruby red book jacket she had left on the vanity; and he remembered the last conversation he had with her.


She drove him to Richmond International – after a morning of intense passion that began hours before dawn – for his nine-thirty flight, leaving her plenty of time to make it to the hospital by ten. Scully was so glad she only had a few consultations and some paperwork to do after the exhausting, twelve-hour day she had endured the day prior.


“It’s funny that you scheduled my trip so two of my three days matched up to your off days,” he teased, waggling his eyebrows until Scully finally looked up at him. His heart seemed determined to burst when he saw the moisture pooled in her eyes -- tears she was desperate to blink away.


They were stopped in front of his gate, one of Mulder's arms hoisting his carry-on higher up his shoulder, the other grasping her tiny hand for dear life. And he hadn't wanted to think about the last time he had told her goodbye, but...It's like you said. It's why we shouldn't be together.


God, I am such a short-sighted prick sometimes! But this,
he told himself, this time will be different. I won't leave her another memory like that.


"Scully," he began in a whisper as crowds of strangers bumped and brushed his back. They could have been brandishing AK-47s for all the attention he paid. "We have seen each other every day, slept by one another every single night for the last six years. It's enough to make anybody ready for a little time to themselves." She gave him that crooked little grin that he couldn't remember her ever giving to anyone else and he had to pause, his lungs suddenly devoid of air. "So tell me why the idea of waking up tomorrow and Friday morning without you beside me makes me physically ache?"


"Oh, Mulder," she chided -- though her tears were spilling over, wrapped her arms around him, and buried her face in the leather of his jacket so that her next words were a muffled, "mish you, too."


He could see the large digital clock over the gate and sighed, wanting to damn it to eternal hell. "Scully? I don't want you to be late."


"Hmmm?" she replied drowsily.


"It's after nine."


"Oh." She pulled away from him then, wiping the escaped tears with the backs of her fingers before giving him another smile. "I want you to have fun, okay?"


"Of course, Scully...I'll be in my element again."


"Well, yeah, that's what I was hoping for" she laughed and looked at her watch. "Okay, well, I guess I need to go. I love you."

He leaned forward to kiss her lightly on the lips, but she linked her hands behind his neck to pull him in closer. He rested his forehead atop her, breathless, when they broke for air.


"Promise me you'll be careful, Mulder," she whispered, her tone slightly panicked. Scully released her fingers' grip so her eyes could search his. "I can't forget the last--"


"Shhh, shhh..." She was remembering Oregon...or possibly after William was born...or even this past month...or all of them. "I know. But this is just a leisure trip. Your idea, remember?"


She nodded. "Just promise me you'll come back, okay?"


"Okay. Will you promise to wear the red one?" he asked with a leer.


"MUL-DER!" Her hand smacked his chest.


"Okay, okay...Geez, can you blame a guy for trying?"


"I guess not," she chuckled.


There was ten seconds of silence between them. Neither wanted to say the words aloud.


"I'll see you Friday, then?"


"Sure, you're buying dinner, right?"


"If you're still picking me up," he answered, teasingly. "Where do you want to go?"


She grinned for just a millisecond and then bit her lip to try and play it off. "Oh, I don't know. Somewhere kind of secluded?"


"Secluded?" Mulder asked, completely baffled by her response.


Scully glanced into her purse for a few moments, though whether actually searching for something or simply to frustrate him he couldn't tell. She reached her arm deeper into the oversize bag and pulled out her keys. "Yeah," she finally answered, slightly breathless from her 'excavation'.


He waited for more, but she simply took a step away from him towards her exit. "Okay. I'll see you Friday."


She gave him one last, long look and then turned her back, her red hair spilling across her ivory coat. "Oh, and Mulder?" she called, whirling around, her long hair whipping away from her face.


"Yeah?"  


"I'll be the one in red."



Mulder now lay on the edge of the mattress, doubled over in pain as he thought of another -- could be many more -- morning waking up to no Scully. I won't let it be the last time, he said, berating himself for even thinking it.
I need to be strong. She needs me to find her.


He pulled himself up off the mattress and was taking a step towards the bathroom, ready to continue his search, when he heard something scrape the floor beneath his sneaker. Removing his foot, he peered down to see a stringy, yellow object...and a hollow ringing sounded in his ears.


It was Scully's cross.

*************

END PART 6/?

*************

scully's mine

WIP: Corrigenda (part 5/?)

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 5/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  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! :)



1:34pm

 

“It was the morning after the accident. Jeffrey had just gotten out of surgery and he…well, it was hard to look at him. His head was so heavily bandaged and swollen that I could barely see his little face. And he had lost so much blood…Two inches more in either direction and…”. Tony left the sentence unfinished, the death sentence his son had nearly been given hanging in the air between them. “But then you came into his room. You…you look just like her, you know.”

 

Scully smiled sadly, having already assumed as much; it fell perfectly in line with the typical kidnapper profile.  

 

“Physically, the attraction for me was immediate. But, then I saw the way you were with Jeffrey. He adores you. And, he’s a great kid. Didn’t deserve to have his mother stripped from him so young.” Tony sat forward, his expression dark. “But that can be corrected. That’s why I had to do it, Dana.”

 

“You think that by kidnapping and locking me up, I might be able to be a mother to your son?” she questioned, her voice sharper than she intended. Take it easy, Dana. Don’t push him too far.

 

Nostrils flared, he spat, “I wouldn’t have needed to take you if it wasn’t for him.”

 

“But, you haven’t even let me see Jeffrey!”

 

“No. That’s not who I meant.” Tony got to his feet, resting his hands on his hips as he tried to regain his composure. Refocused, his eyes bore down on her. “Fox. Mulder.” He didn’t miss her wince. “He’s the reason I have to keep you here.”

 

Tony crossed the room to sit directly beside her on the edge of the bed; she scooted six inches the opposite way. “I wanted to court you, Dana.” Her head jerked from where she stared at her hands, eyes wide with what could only be shock, and he couldn’t help but laugh. “It was really hard to work up the courage, to figure out the right time so…” He bit his lip and groaned. “This is going to sound terrible.”

 

She motioned around herself with her hand as if to say, “How could it be worse?”

 

“I started following you. But only when I knew Jeffrey was sleeping or bored of me,” he quickly amended. “It took weeks before I finally had everything planned out in my head. I just needed you to say, ‘yes’. But then, you discharged Jeffrey.”

 

A light bulb went off in her head as she remembered his strange reaction to what should have been fantastic news. Oh my God…

 

“It was harder to watch over you after that—“

 

“Watch over me?” Her voice sounded weak even to her own ears.

 

Tony pointed at himself and in his deep bass said, “Psychotic stalker, remember?” She didn’t seem to see the humor. He sighed. “Anyway, my job allows me lots of freedom – as you can probably tell from all the time I spend around here. So, I was able to come visit you at work from time to time. And if I was really lucky I got to make sure you arrived back home safely.”

 

Scully could feel the red and white walls closing in on her. This was too much. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. She and Mulder had successfully evaded the FBI for all those years only to be preyed upon by a random, demented widow?

 

“But I never saw him until we ran into you at the store. I didn’t—I don’t understand how I could have missed it. I never saw the two of you out together.”

 

She choked back a laugh and Tony wondered at her.

Of course, he didn’t. Mulder has only been a free man for a couple of weeks. I wanted to give him the trip to Seattle as my gift...let him spread his wings a little.
Her lower lip quivered and a tear rolled down her cheek. Told him he wasn’t even allowed to call more than once a day…

 

“Dana?” Tony covered her hand warily with his own, letting out a breath when she didn’t pull away. He couldn’t see the tear that had fallen, but Tony could tell she was visibly shaken – from the idea of having been followed without her knowledge or possibly something else he didn’t know. “How long had you been with him?”

 

She knew he didn’t mean professionally. “Almost nine years.”

 

His gasp was loud in the quiet room and she turned her eyes to him wanting to relish his surprise. “B-but I looked. There was no ring. What…nine years?”

 

“We never married,” she admitted, unable to hide her remorse.

 

He felt the fire of anger towards this man burn from his heart to the tips of his fingers and toes. All the derogatory terms Tony knew couldn’t combine into one that was adequate enough to describe Fox Mulder. What the hell was wrong with that guy?  And what the hell was she doing putting up with such an asshole! Devoting yourself for so long and getting nothing…oh, shit. “What about kids?”

 

For a millisecond she thought about being honest. Maybe, she thought, he would let me go if he knew I had a child waiting for me. And, in the next millisecond, she realized what would happen if he demanded to meet him – William. “No. No kids.”

 

There was no denying that – the drop of her shoulders, the way her teeth sank into her lower lip, the hitch in her breathing, the crease between her eyebrows – Tony had hit her deep. He immediately regretted even bringing it up: the idea that Dana might not even be able to have kids, that it might be a painful subject, never occurred to him before now.

 

But Tony was also immensely relieved, feeling reinvigorated in his attempt to make her understand why he couldn’t let her go. “If you hadn’t been involved with him, I wouldn’t have brought you here. I needed to make you see how I feel about you…that you have choices. And I don’t care how long you’ve been with him, that guy can’t possibly love you as much as I do.”

 

“There’s a difference between infatuation and love.”

 

“You sure about that?”

 

Her eyes were blue steel; her gaze so cold it sent a shiver down his spine. The words dripped like acid from her tongue. “Love is a two-way street.”

 

Scully meant the words to wound, but it merely made Tony more hopeful.

 

“Let’s say –hypothetically, of course,” he laughed, “that you were the subject of one’s ‘infatuation’. And day after day after day you were shown how much this person cared for you, wanted you, needed you. And let’s say you were treated like a queen, never expected to do anything but let yourself be loved. Don’t you think that eventually it would become impossible for" --he glance carefully at her-- "the subject to keep from reciprocating that love?”

 
“Not if the subject was being held prisoner by that person.”

 

He nodded, having had this same debate with himself before deciding to take action. “But the subject would only be held prisoner until,” Tony paused to beam at her, “she proved that it was no longer necessary.”

 

She was apprehensive of his implications, but pressed on. “How?”

 

Tony remained silent, choosing instead to stare at her. The intimate gesture was unnerving. When he finally looked away, it was to check his watch.

 

“I gotta get back to work before I head to the school.” He gathered the tray – bits of crust and crumbs from the club sandwiches they had eaten, two empty soda bottles, and a half-eaten bag of potato chips — and stood, looking down at her as he did. “I’ll see you tonight, okay?”

 

“I’ll be here,” she muttered.

 

Standing in the opened doorway, he looked back wistfully. “If I had any doubts about that, I’d never be able to walk away.”

 

****

 

12:06am

 

Mulder watched his former boss walk out the front door and into the darkness. He inhaled through his nose and waited until he could no longer hear the gravel of the unpaved drive being crunched beneath the weight of Skinner’s SUV.

 

“I’m sorry, Mulder,” Skinner had almost whispered, unsure if the man in front of him could hold it together. “I know it can’t be easy, but I think you need to accept that what happened here was voluntary.”

 

Voluntary. Voluntary? “FUCK!” He reached for the nearest object, a three-tiered candlestick and chunked it at the door.

 

This can’t be happening, he told himself.  Scully wouldn’t do this.

 

 

I won’t be coming home… Her words uttered little over a week before -- though it felt like a different lifetime -- mocked him. Mulder had wanted to die when she said that. Literally, cease to be. The only thing he knew to do was solve the mystery. If he did that, then it would be over: Scully could come home. Until tonight, he couldn't imagine her not coming home.

 

But I didn’t do anything this time! he wanted to shout to anyone who would listen. Hell, she was the one who sent…me…away. Oh no…oh fuck, fuck FUCK!

 

"NO!" he yelled, bringing his fist crashing down on the coffee table. His chest burned, every breath requiring more effort. Pain. His face burning. Mulder knowing he was about to die, but unable to do anything to stop it. Scully surprising the Russian whose axe was raised to decapitate him. Heaven. Scully tenderly inspecting the cuts on his face. The look in her eyes telling Mulder just how close he'd come to dying -- and just how happy she was that she'd made it in time.

 

Her beautiful, slanted script: "I've met someone."

 

"That just doesn't make any sense!" Not after all this time, he thought. And not now that I'm free...He rose from the couch with a new determination.He was a detective and he couldn't give up on her. What if she's in danger? Skinner doesn't buy it, but even if -- he shuddered at the idea -- even if it what he believes is true, Scully would tell me in person. Not in some note while I was on the other side of the country.

 

Mulder decided he would start with the bedroom, look for signs of struggle,  and move on to the rest of the house. There has to be something here.

*************

END PART 5/?

*************


scratchy beard

WIP: Corrigenda (part 4/?)

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 4/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  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! :)



April 11, 2008

7:56am

 

Scully inhaled through her nose. Tony's breath was warm; a hint of mint slightly overpowered by the scent of bacon he had just consumed. What was he saying? Everything was starting to blur together, her brain becoming increasingly muddled with each passing second. Her heart began to beat faster as her mind caught up to the present predicament she was in. His eyes, ocean blue and impossibly bright, were locked upon hers. She barely noticed when his tongue darted out to wet his full, lower lip.

 

His voice was barely a whisper. "Do you trust me?"

 

“I-I, uh…”

 

He brushed his thumb languidly across her lower lip…then dropped his hands to pull the tray into his lap. Holding a spoonful of eggs up to her mouth, he pleaded, “Just a few bites. Please?”

 

“Scully, please,” Mulder begged again.

 

The sound of his voice combined with the intense hunger she was experiencing was too much and Scully hastily snatched the spoon from Tony, refusing to let him hand-feed her, and swallowed the scrambled eggs. She bit down on her lip to keep from moaning when the savory flavor assailed her taste buds.

 

Tony didn’t miss her reaction though. “Good, huh?”

 

She pretended not to hear him, scooping up another bite and then taking a gulp of orange juice from the tall glass he provided. He reveled in each bite she took, knowing that this would help Dana get back to her normal, healthy self again. The last thing he wanted was for her to fall ill because of what he had done to her. What had to be done, Tony told himself. His thoughts turned to the man who would be arriving at her former home tonight and he grimaced. So lost in his hatred for this man, who cared so little for Dana that he would venture off for days at a time and leave her in danger, that he didn’t notice when her movements stilled.

 

“Mr. Patterson?”

 

He let out a frustrated breath at her stubborn refusal to use his first name. “Yes?”

 

Dana stared at him silently and then glanced down at the tray. The only thing left were the strips of bacon.

 

“You do eat meat, right?”

 

The corners of her mouth twitched for the first time since he had brought her here, but she pressed her lips together so fast that he wasn’t sure he had really seen the hint of a smile at all.

 

“Yes, I do.”

 

And that was all she was going to give him. Tony waited anyway, wondering how he could persuade her to bathe as he noted the way her now greasy hair had darkened the color to an auburn shade, while the ends still maintained a golden hue. He observed the tiny freckles that were splayed across her nose and cheekbones, free of the makeup that had been completely rubbed off in her sleep. She didn’t smell too terrible –he didn’t know if she ever could—but he had watched the way she held herself all those times he’d seen her. It was another characteristic that had won him over. Dana was a proud woman; and though he had taken away her most basic freedom, he didn’t want to be responsible for making her into a meek, half-starved prisoner.

 

Tony glanced at the clock on the nightstand. Unfortunately, that battle would have to wait until later. He gathered up the tray and stood to leave. “I have to take Jeffrey to school, but I’ll be back right after, okay?”

 

No reaction.

 

He sighed, but the high of seeing her eat had overpowered the slight rejection he felt at her disregard. She can be as silent as she wants, he mused. But she may not feel like keeping her mouth shut when I get back.

 

As the door shut behind him, she collapsed, her limbs folding in on themselves. The click of the deadbolt echoed in her mind, compounding the devastating feeling that she had somehow let her captor win. She wasn’t even strong enough to starve herself.

 

It had been two days and she hadn’t made a bit of progress in finding a way out this place. Even if he slipped up and she managed to get to a phone or computer, she didn’t even know where she was! Was this Tony’s place? He had repeatedly mentioned needing to take Jeffrey places…surely he wasn’t leaving the boy by himself to take care of her.

 

Something niggled in the back of her mind, something that she knew she should remember. And then she did: their run-in at the supermarket. Tony had mentioned he and Jeffrey lived close to Scully. Would he really be so arrogant as to keep her in an area so close to where Mulder resided? Did Tony actually believe that she would eventually feel the awful things she wrote to Mulder? That she could fall in love with someone else? With the man who kidnapped her?

 

 

10:02am

 

It seemed that the food was helping because when Tony arrived home from an installation, Dana was finally out bed and walking around the room. He watched her through the monitor, the urge to touch her getting stronger by the second. This morning he came dangerously close to kissing her. His blood boiled just remembering how warm the air between them had been. Tony asked for her trust and, for a moment, he had believed that her eyes were actually saying "yes". It had taken everything he had to keep from pushing her backwards, crushing her to the mattress, pleasuring her until Fox Mulder was a distant, abhorrent memory.

 

Tony’s mind wandered, remembering the soft feel of his wife’s lips against his. She had been a deeply passionate woman in all facets of her life: as a lover, a mother, and a nurse.

It was impossible to disregard the similarities between Mary and Dana, he knew.  But did that make him psychotic? Tony didn't think so. A cloud moved from in front of the sun, throwing the beams of light around the room and glinting off the picture of his wife that lay on the desk. The pain of her loss was so overwhelming at times that he couldn’t stand it.

 

Movement on the monitor caught his attention and Tony lamented again over how much the two women favored one another: strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, pale complexion, petite frame. He also knew how much more difficult this would make refraining from physical affection towards Dana. It was why he had yet to return to the part of his mother’s property in which he kept her. Even after resolving to speak to her more intimately, it saddened him to know how scrupulously she would be judging him. But he wanted her to know him. And if she thought he was crazy? He chuckled at Dana’s image despite himself. Of course, she will think I’m crazy! Who kidnaps someone just because they are involved with someone that can’t love them the way they should? But it’s too late to go back now, he reminded himself. Besides, her independent spirit and sharp mind…that’s why Dana’s the one. The one for me and for Jeffrey.

 

Dana Scully was a problem-solver with a work ethic that surpassed her peers. Tony had been lucky enough to talk to the parents of one of her long-term patients while in the family waiting area one night. She had apparently been working with their son (whose name escaped him) for months: he had a disease that, the boy’s mom and dad claimed, hospital administration had determined as “incurable”. But the woman who was pacing on the screen before him would not be beaten and, in fact, the young boy was now recovering and stronger than he’d been in his life.

 

How could he not want someone like that to be the mother of his child?

 

Dana's phone vibrated against his thigh and he removed it from his hip pocket. He grinned to himself when he read the text from the infamous Fox Mulder: Flight scheduled @ 4:05. Sorry about dinner. Will make up for it with breakfast :) Miss you. It was only the third time she had received a message in as many days, and he couldn't help but wonder how such an inconsiderate asshole had ended up with a gem like Dana. Hitting "delete", he stood with newfound purpose. Tony brought the tips of his fingers to his mouth in a kiss before pressing them against the glass over Dana's projected image. Then he quickly bounded up the stairs.

 

****

 

10:13am

 

Scully scoured the room from top to bottom for the fourth time that morning. The sugar from the orange juice and the protein in the eggs had rejuvenated her. Mulder was coming home tonight. He would see the note, and he would.... Well, she knew too well how he would react. There would be denial at first, paranoid disbelief. Then he would probably put out a search for her. As time would pass, she knew Mulder would begin to feel the doubt of those around him: Skinner, possibly even her mother? And then Tony's plan might work...but only if Mulder gave up on himself. She recalled a stark white hospital room so many years before; a game of Russian roulette. It was so damn easy for him to put the gun to his head...but when it came to her?

 

Scully tried to scrub the idea out of her head, kneading her knuckles into her closed eyes. He would only give up if he thought she was better off without him...

 

"Dammit, Mulder!" she cried out, slamming shut the drawer she had recently inspected.

 

"What's going on?"

 

Scully whirled, heart in throat, as Tony glared down at her. "Oh, you startled me!"

 

"I'm sorry," he said, though there was no apology in his tone. The sound of his name, the intimate way they called each other by their last name, coming from her mouth had enraged him beyond imagination. "I knocked."

 

He was less than two feet from her and when Scully tried to back away, to put more distance between her body and his, the edge of the tall bureau pressed uncomfortably below her shoulder blades. Tony's chest was at her eye level, the thin blue t-shirt taut over the hard muscles beneath.

 

"Let me by."

 

"You look better," he said, encroaching further with one step. "The food seems to agree with you."

 

The smell of his aftershave floated over her, the scent so familiar it brought unwanted moisture to her eyes. It was the same brand Mulder used. The fury of this new knowledge heightened her nerve and she tried to push by him with one deliberate step.

 

"Don't." His voice was agonized, almost begging, but his actions commanded her to listen: both hands grabbing the tops of her shoulders, his hands so large that his fingers lapped over themselves.

 

She glared up at him, her eyes void of fear, and her stomach turned when the corners of his mouth pulled up into a lecherous smile. Releasing her left arm, he brought the back of his hand up to lazily stroke her cheek. Scully closed her eyes against his touch and swallowed down the breakfast that was threatening to emit itself.

 

And, suddenly, Tony surrendered his hold.

 

Saying a silent prayer of thanks, Scully took a deep breath and opened her eyes. He was sitting in the chaise staring straight ahead at the bed. Though she currently detested the sight of her captor, she used this opportunity to study him. Tony's body looked like it had been chiseled from stone; solid and obviously powerful. There was no doubt that most women probably found him to be devastatingly handsome: his skin had a healthy tan, despite the recent end of winter, and was clear of any scars or pock marks. The eyes were large almonds, his shirt complimenting his irises so that they seemed to sparkle like sapphires. He had a full head of dark hair that, for the first time, was in an untidy mess that fell to his cheekbones. And, as he had so recently flaunted, the man was huge; six-feet-four or taller, she guessed.

 

Tony was sitting on the edge of the chair, elbows resting on thighs, his hands absently locking and unlocking. As she watched, his fingers stilled and he returned her stare. "Come," he said and motioned to the area of the bed directly across from him. "Sit for a minute. I'd like to talk to you." Sensing her hesitation, he raised his hands, palms forward. "Just talk, okay? There's some things I need to get off my chest."

 

Scully remained rooted the spot.

 

Tony sighed and looked at his watch. "Okay, then, I guess I deserve that." Pushing himself off the chair, he took three strides to the door. "I'll be back to bring you lunch. We'll talk then."

 

Only when the door shut behind him -- the sound of the lock now so familiar to her -- did she finally allow herself to take another breath.

 

*************

END PART 4/?

*************

scully's mine

Corrigenda (part 3/?)

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 3/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected”


April 10, 2008

1:47pm

 

A few minutes after the tense emotional scene, Tony came back with lunch. Scully was still unwilling to eat, however, not believing he wasn't actually going to drug her. She merely looked at the delectable tray of enticing choices and let her stomach grumble. Sure the spinach salad, grilled chicken, wheat roll, and ice cold lemonade looked wonderful -- the sounds Tony made in appreciation of the same meal he brought for himself not helping -- but she didn't want to show any sign of trust towards him.

 

When he was sufficiently sure that she would not eat, he took the tray and left to pick Jeffrey up from school. Confident that he wouldn't be watching her via video, she began to move about her room.

 

On the wall opposite the door was an oversized black wardrobe and matching dresser with all her things placed neatly inside. Scully figured he must have done that while she was unconscious the night before. On top of the dresser was a simple, but elegant jewelry box with two glass doors with three drawers standing between them. She touched her bare collarbone and threw up a silent prayer that Mulder would see the necklace lying out of place on his nightstand. It was the only sign she could leave him without drawing attention to herself. She just hoped it would be enough.

 

She continued searching, looking for things she might be able to use as a weapon. There were no sharp objects that she found and the only item that contained glass was the jewelry box. The nightlight bulb she considered using was too small to be worth the effort it would take to use it -- especially when she considered the size of her opponent.

 

The bathroom was absolutely exquisite. There was an oversized tub with built-in jets and a separate shower that stood without a surrounding door or curtain in a giant, black-and-white, tiled corner, also equipped with at least twelve jets placed in areas designed to reach the entire body. The only thing missing was a mirror, but she guessed as to what the motive behind that might have been when she was on her search for weaponry. He had provided all the toiletries she might have needed -- all of them in light, plastic containers -- and included an electric razor in place of a more advantageous disposable one.

 

It was just after seven-thirty that evening when he reentered the room, her cell phone in hand.

 

"What's going on?"

 

"I need you to do something, Dana. And it's very...important that you not mess this up." He looked directly at her when he said this, making it completely clear what might happen if she were to disobey. Yet, as intimidating as he tried to be, looming over where she sat in the red, overstuffed chaise she couldn't bring herself to feel fear him.

 

How odd, she thought. "What is it?" She motioned towards his hand. "What's that for?"

 

"You need to make a call to the hospital."

 

Scully's eyes widened as understanding dawned. She supposed she should have seen it coming, but had held on to the tiny chance that Tony might not think to have her contact her employer. Then, if Mulder was suspicious -- she prayed with every fiber of her being that his paranoia and ego wouldn't give up on her -- and called to catch her on the job, they would be able to tell him that she hadn't shown up or called in. The dread was slowly taking over her body and, combined with not having eaten in over twenty-four hours, she begin to feel faint.

 

Tony watched as her skin paled in response to his answer and, less than five seconds later, her eyes rolled back in her head. "Dana! Oh my God..."

 

He ran into the bathroom and yanked the cabinet open to grab a washrag. He doused it in cold water and ran back to where she was still passed out in the chair. Laying the rag across her forehead, he checked her wrist for a pulse and breathed a sigh of relief when he found it beating strongly beneath the pads of his fingers. Tony shook her shoulders gently. "Dana. Dana, wake up. Dana. Can you hear me?"

 

Her eyelids fluttered and he could feel her warm breath as she released a deep breath through her pink mottled lips.

 

"Are you okay?"

 

She flinched at his voice and, so grieved by her reaction and not wanting to inflict more mental anguish upon the tiny woman, he pulled his hand from her shoulder. He got to his feet and gave Dana a few seconds to compose herself.

 

"What happe--" Her voice died when her gaze fell upon the phone dangling from the ends of his fingers.

 

"I'm sorry." The daggers she unleashed with just one look sent him staggering another step backwards. The time he had spent with Dana at the hospital had not adequately prepared Tony for this side of her. Ironically, it served to enchant him further, reminding him of how crucial this next step would be. "When you call, you have to explain that there has been a critical family emergency. One that will require an indefinite leave of absence."

 

He could see her struggling for a way out: something that would prevent her from having to complete the task at hand. "I-I don't have that kind of authority."

 

"You don't have a choice, Dana."

 

She raised one eyebrow in defiance. "And if I refuse?"

 

"He returns home tomorrow."

 

Scully bit her lip to hide its quiver and held her hand out.

 

"What's the number?" he asked, knowing what would happen if she were to dial.

****

April 11, 2008

7:48am

 

Tony arrived at the same time he had the day before with a similar tray of breakfast items. It had been over thirty-six hours since Dana had last eaten -- lunch in the hospital cafeteria, he had observed from his inconspicuous hiding place in the lobby -- and he was starting to panic. Her black out the night before had alarmed him tremendously. And the revulsion he saw in her eyes when he had threatened Fox Mulder's life erased the idea of using that stratagem again.

 

After the successfully completed phone call, Tony came back with dinner that Dana refused. For nearly an hour he had sat with her in silence, eating his meal while she watched in hopes that it would persuade her to at least take a few bites. He didn't want to think about how much of a setback it would be to the little trust he wanted to believe he'd gained since her arrival if he were to force her to eat at gunpoint.

 

So, when Tony had not seen Dana wake -- while viewing her room through the monitor he had set up in the basement -- he was all the more distressed. After flipping on the lights and setting her tray at the foot of her bed, he allowed himself to touch the gold and red strands the fell over her shoulder. He prepared himself for the usual response, for Dana to recoil or a violent attempt to get away from him. But when she sighed in content, one tiny hand moving to join his upon her body, his hand gripped the denim on his knee to keep himself under control.

 

"Morn' Mul-ler," she slurred with a smile, eyes still closed in her exhausted state.

 

Though her words pricked his very soul, her peace was enough to soothe him. "Dana," he whispered. "I brought you some more food."

 

It took her a few seconds, but Dana finally managed to regain enough awareness to realize where she was. The fantasy in her mind, breakfast in bed with the man she loved, filled her with despondency when she understood how off the mark it had been. The smell of bacon and eggs assaulted her, but her weakened state made it that much easier to refuse. What was the point of sustenance if the ultimate goal was unattainable?

 

Two days gone and the once-resilient Agent Scully has given up on life, she laughed to herself. How utterly pathetic.

 

"Don't do this, Scully!" His voice broke through her reverie and she immediately pushed herself up to a sitting position. The room seemed to spin around her in swirls of white and red. She looked with wild eyes at the man sitting inches away from her, panic clear on his face.

 

"Dana? You...you're not well. You really need to eat, something. Look, I swear to you, I haven't drugged anything." He took a bite from her plate to further illustrate his point.

 

She shook her head and groaned, immediately regretting the previous action.


"Scully, please...eat something. Keep yourself alive..."

 

Her breath caught as the voice faded. "W-what did you say?"

 

Tony studied her slightly hysterical countenance before answering. "I said that you need to eat."

 

But he was not the one her heart ached for; the one who had vocalized the words so clearly in her mind. "I-I can't...not going to let you hurt me." Her hand flew to her mouth when she realized she had spoken her thoughts aloud.

 

Tony brought both hands up to hold her face between them. He had hoped this might spark something within her, resuscitate the fighter he had come to understand the last few days. But she didn't, and his close proximity filled him with a new longing. "I would never hurt you," he breathed.

 

Scully inhaled through her nose. Tony's breath was warm; a hint of mint slightly overpowered by the scent of bacon he had just consumed. What was he saying? Everything was starting to blur together, her brain becoming increasingly muddled with each passing second. Her heart began to beat faster as her mind caught up to the present predicament she was in. His eyes, ocean blue and impossibly bright, were locked upon hers. She barely noticed when his tongue darted out to wet his full, lower lip.

 

His voice was barely a whisper. "Do you trust me?"

 

*************

END PART 3/?

*************

 

scratchy beard

Corrigenda (part 2/?)

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 2/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected”




April 10, 2008

7:26am

 

Scully's eyes fluttered open under impossibly heavy lids. Her body laid beneath the silk and down comforter, knees tucked beneath chin in the fetal position, trying to tell itself that it wasn't cold. Her years of medical training --and previous hostage experiences-- told her that her body was merely shivering to try and protect itself; attempting to maintain a state of equilibrium. Also known as going into shock. Not wanting to lose any warmth --or visual protection-- the quilt provided, she peeked her head out from underneath just enough so that she could see the glowing red numbers of the digital alarm clock on the nightstand.  Not even seven thirty, she sighed.

 

Less than ten hours ago, she had been forced --gun pointed to her head-- to write Mulder a "Dear John" letter.

 

The bile rose up her esophagus instantaneously. She toyed with the idea of letting herself vomit so that Tony -- though she shuddered against the thought of him -- would have to clean it up, but then swallowed it down anyway to avoid having to see him any sooner than necessary. The room was dark, no windows to provide the natural morning light she was accustomed. But he had provided a plug-in night light so she could see her way to the dresser and adjacent bathroom.

 

The queasiness was probably another side effect of whatever drugs he had put in her drink, she realized. And, had it not been for the gun aimed her direction, she would have refused it. The idea of him touching her while she was knocked out had her giving her body the once over; but she was still in the clothes she changed into after her shift ended. Feeling a little more confident knowing she was in her jeans, camisole, and cardigan, she ventured to sit up and take in her surroundings. Everything in the room looked brand new and right out of a catalogue: from the modern black, white, and red striped rug spread atop the pale, polished hardwood floor to the low-set, black painted, king-size wooden bed frame. There was a ceiling fan spinning lazily in the arched, wood-paneled ceiling and two matching chandeliers all painted in a soft white.

 

Just to the side, where the arch met the crown molding, Scully saw it: a video camera, its red blinking light mocking her where she sat. Tony had warned her that he would be watching her this way. So don't try anything funny. But his tone had been pleading, not the demanding one she expected from her captor.

 

A thumping noise coming from her right caught her attention and she immediately stiffened. She could hear the jangle of keys as the barrel of the deadbolt clicked and the lever door handle turned.

 

"Good morning, Dana," the tall, foreboding figure said in a voice he hoped was soothing. Nevertheless, he could see the woman grip the sheets tighter, her spine stiff with what he knew must be fear. It saddened him. He moved one hand underneath the tray he carried before flipping on the two side-by-side light switches.  

 

She blinked quickly, hoping her eyes would adjust that much quicker. Tony was walking towards her with careful, measured steps. Scully could tell he was doing everything he could not to frighten her but his motivation was still unknown, making it impossible not to tremble.

 

He laid the tray of food beside her on the bed and remained standing. "I brought you some breakfast before I go." At his mention of leaving, she looked him in the eye for the first time. Tony smiled. "I have to take Jeffrey to school, but I won't be gone too long."

 

Scully's eyes widened as he knelt down on the floor beside her. From the moment she first saw him, two months ago in the ER, she had secretly admired his physical beauty. He had a dazzling smile to go with his sleek, dark hair and brilliant blue eyes. Tony had obviously been a fan of the gym given his powerful but lean build on such a tall frame. But the way he was looking at her now, all feelings of attraction were shattered, replaced by loathing and anxiety.

 

"God, I know you must be absolutely terrified of me after the way you were brought here," he began and the yearning to calm her caused his hand to reach towards her.

 

"Don't! Don't you touch me!" Her irises were blue flames as she scooted away from him, nearly toppling off the bed as her feet tangled in the covers.

 

He was up in a flash, reaching to keep her from falling before remembering he was the reason she had nearly hit the ground in the first place. "I didn't mean to...I'm..."

 

Scully's forehead creased in confusion as she heard him groan in frustration. This was not how these types of situations had played out before. He seemed genuinely concerned for her. Well, she internally chided, despite the fact that he kidnapped me from my home and forced me to make Mulder think I never want to see him again. The idea of him arriving from Seattle tomorrow to find her hand-written letter reminded her of what she was dealing with.

 

"Are you going to keep drugging me?"

 

He looked stunned to hear her talk, and so directly. "No. I only...I wanted you to be able to rest after..."

 

"After you kidnapped me?"

 

"After I brought you home," he corrected, but with no anger to his words. "And this is your home now."

 

"Home? You are keeping me prisoner here, Mr. Patterson." His eyes flashed when she used his last name. She had remembered his distaste, wanting her to use the more intimate first name. If only she had understood back then what motives lay behind the seemingly innocent request.

 

He stepped backwards, his lips pressed into a grim line. "I'm sorry you see it that way, Dana. Hopefully one day you will come to understand what you have here. Then, you won't need to be a prisoner any longer." He reached for the door and pulled down on the pewter lever. "And please call me Tony. I'll be back in a little while."

 

As he shut the door behind him, Scully started shivering again. And while she contemplated everything that had just transpired, she realized that not once did she try to think of a way to attack him. He may have been completely unarmed, for all she knew. Except for one recent event, it had been six years since she had been in any type of hand-to-hand combat; her chest heaved as the reality consumed her. Maybe by losing "Agent" Scully she had lost the part of herself that remembered to look for things that would help her survive and succeed in a situation like this. The unbidden tears welled in her eyes and it took all her effort not to collapse under the weight of her terror.

 

****

 

"Dana? Dana can you hear me?"

 

Scully's eyes opened involuntarily and she squeezed them shut when she remembered where she was. 

 

"Listen, I know you're awake and I want to talk to you." At a painstakingly slow rate, he moved until he was laying beside her on the bed. He laughed inwardly when she attempted to jump off, seizing the wrist and knee closest to him and sliding her underneath his body. With their difference in weight, he easily had her pinned.

 

"Please, don't do this," she begged, forcing herself to look him in the eye.

 

"I only said I wanted to talk. If you hadn't made a run for it, then we wouldn't even be touching," he reminded her sternly. Then, as Tony realized just how nice she felt pressed up against him, he shifted his torso slightly away to keep from embarrassing himself -- and frightening her further.

 

Scully's face went slightly green when he adjusted his place above her, understanding too well what he was trying to conceal, and she stubbornly fought against him. When he didn't fight back, instead rolling off her, she was too stunned to move.

 

"Do you believe me now?" he asked, pushing to his knees to sit across from her atop the comforter.

 

"What?"

 

"I. Don't. Want. To. Hurt. You."

 

Scully simply stared at him.

 

"I just want to talk to you. Okay?"

 

"Why are you asking permission?"

 

He laughed and nodded in understanding. "I guess it must seem a little strange. Not that I would know how someone in my position should act."

 

I'm his first then, she mused. Great.

 

"But I am a little curious, though," he began and adjusted himself so that he was sitting in a more comfortable, cross-legged position. "Because you seem to be almost...accustomed to being in a situation such as this."

 

"And what type of situation would that be?" she countered as coolly as she could manage.  From his previous behavior, she knew he was delusional, even psychotic. Scully knew the sooner he fully understood the depths of his actions, and that everything he did was against her will, the sooner he might crack and leave her a way to make a run for it.

 

Tony leaned forward, bracing his elbows against his thighs, and locked his eyes with hers. The way he gazed at her was unnerving. Like he was reading her. Like he could see into her. Reading her mind. It was far too intimate for her comfort.

 

"I'm not crazy, Dana. But...I am in love with you." He dropped his head, releasing her form his stare. "And for that, I'm sorry."

 

"W-what?"

 

"I'm sorry. Sorry for having to keep you here."

 

Is he letting me go? she wondered. Her pulse raced at the idea of walking out of that room alive and free. "So...?"

 

He saw the confused, almost hopeful, expression on her face and it nearly broke his heart. "So, I vow to do everything in my power to show you how much you are wanted." His chest rose as he sucked in a shaky breath. "How much you are needed."

 

She watched in surprise as he rose unsteadily from the bed, his long fingers ruffling the dark locks that fell forward as he did, and swore she heard him sniffle. He turned around to face her, still looking at the ground. "I, uh, just need a minute. Please excuse me."

 

And he was gone.

 

*************

END PART 2/?

*************

hotel promo

WIP: Corrigenda (part 1/?)

TITLE:  Corrigenda

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  Dana Scully was treating more patients than just Christian during the winter of 2008.  This is the story about the father of one of those patients who is awed by the miracles our favorite former-forensics-dabbling-FBI-agent-turned-pediatric-surgeon performs.  Drama ensues, of course :-)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase meaning “things to be corrected”

 

 

Our Lady of Sorrows Hospital

March 3, 2008

5:15 PM

 

He watched her approach Jeffrey's bed, the light coming in from the hospital window making her long, red hair seem to glow around the pale skin of her face.  She patted his son's arm gently, drawing little Jeffrey's attention from the underwater adventures of Spongebob and his goofy friend, Patrick Star.

 

"I thought you'd seen this one before," she laughed, the sound so carefree that --- for those brief seconds --- it drowned out the incessant beeping of the heart and other miscellaneous monitors to which the man's tiny six-year-old son was connected. 

 

Jeffrey smiled, exposing the missing tooth in his head.  "But, it's my favorite.  Patrick gets a trophy!"  The little dark-haired boy with freckles across his button-nose and big, blue eyes that seemed to hold all the excitement in the world had captured her heart in just the three weeks he'd been at Our Lady of Sorrows Hospital.

 

"I see.  Well, then I am sorry for interrupting."  She turned to acknowledge the man, whose son so closely resembled him, for the first time since she'd entered the room.  "Good morning, Mr. Patterson."

 

"Please, Dr. Scully --- I've repeatedly asked that you call me Tony.  Mr. Patterson makes me feel like such an old man."

 

"Sorry," she replied, smiling shyly in apology.  She moved to the foot of the boy's bed to join the man who, at six-foot-four, towered over her tiny frame.  "So how did he do last night?"

 

"Great, actually.  The nurse had to wake him a couple of times to check some things," he shrugged his shoulders to convey he had no idea what had been looked at, "but he slept just fine otherwise."

 

"Well, that's good news.  I know you were concerned about the new medicine's effect."

 

His smile turned to a grimace for half a second --- remembering the violent retching and extreme fever Jeffrey had experienced when they switched his pain meds last week --- before his son's giggling over something on the screen, put it back on his face.  "Yeah, but it seems like this one is doing the trick.  You have no idea how grateful I am to you for putting in all those long hours to take care of him."

 

She glanced at the boy, still tickled by the scene he was watching.  "The results are more than worth it.  And," she craned her neck slightly to look Tony more fully in the eye, "after looking at his charts this morning, I think we can probably have him discharged by tomorrow afternoon."

 

Tony's jaw fell open.  "Really?  Well, that's great."  However, his voice sounded slightly disappointed.

 

Dr. Scully's brow furrowed at this unexpected response.  "I'm sorry," she said, apologizing for the second time in as many minutes.  "I thought you'd be excited, given how anxious you seemed about all the school Jeffrey's been missing since the accident."

 

"Oh, I am," he chuckled nervously, unhappy that she'd picked up on his distress.  "I am.  It's just...I wasn't expecting it to be so soon.  But this is good.  He's really missed being with his friends." 

 

"I'm sure he has," she said, trying to think of something to fix the awkwardness that had sprung from the news.  Tony watched her shoulders rock back and forth --- the movement so slight it was only discernible because he had known to look for it --- as she cogitated.

 

"Daddy, what did Dr. Scully say?"  The two adults jerked their head his direction, both startled and relieved at his interruption.

 

Tony grinned.  "She said that you should probably call Kevin and Gabe to invite them to go to Mickey D's with us in a couple of days."

 

"Daddy!" the little boy gasped.  "You mean I'm going home?"

 

He nodded, casting a sideways glance at Dr. Scully's smiling face and then down --- for the one-thousandth time --- at her left ring finger.  Still nothing around it.  Just then, she reached into the pocket of her pristine white lab coat to retrieve her cell.  After flipping it up, he noticed her lips fighting to hide a smile --- trying to be sly about whatever the text said that had her pale neck and cheeks flushed --- as she pushed the phone back into her coat.

 

She turned to him, then.  "So, I will go file the paperwork, make sure we get a physical therapy schedule worked out, and then" --- she grabbed Jeffrey's big toe through the blanket --- "I will see you two in the morning to talk about discharge procedures."  Her smile signaled it was time for her to go.

 

"You got a big date tonight?" he said, hoping it sounded as nonchalant as he intended, as she turned towards the door.

 

She stopped where she was and cleared her throat, her smile barely cracking as she tried to hide her surprise at his question.  "I'm sorry?"

 

"No, no," he chuckled.  "You seemed really excited about going home.  I just thought maybe you had special plans tonight or something."

 

"Oh."  Now she was completely confused.  She wondered if she had been rude or seemed overeager to get away from this place.  "Well, no.  But it's always nice to have a little time to myself to unwind from an 18-hour shift."

 

Tony nodded.  "I can understand that.  It'll be nice to have Jeffrey home again."  He cast his bright blue eyes around the room.  "I feel like I've begun living here myself."

 

"Well, the good news is that will all change tomorrow.  You have the number for my direct line?"  He nodded.  "Call me if there's any change before tomorrow.  Bye, Jeffrey," she waved.

 

He gave her a cheesy grin and she disappeared from the room.

 

Tony sighed and collapsed into the armchair beside his son's bed, the room suddenly seeming cold and dark without her presence.  And, as he watched the rest of the cartoon with his son, he wondered how in the world he'd managed to fall in love with this beautiful woman who he had only known for a few weeks.  There were so many questions he had for her and now he had less than twenty-four hours to get the answers. 

 

The absence of a wedding band told him she was still unmarried, but he had a feeling there was someone in her life with whom she was very close.  The way she blushed after reading that text made him think it must have been sexual, but then he quickly pushed the repulsive thought away.  He had to focus on the most important questions --- the ones she might actually confide.  Maybe he could persuade her into dinner sometime, or "bump" into her at one of the places he knew she frequented --- as he made sure she got home safely every night.

 

He kissed Jeffrey on the forehead and, with a promise of chicken nuggets upon his return, went out to the parking lot to wait for Dr. Dana Scully to get inside her white Ford Five-Hundred.  After fiddling with his visor mirror and berating himself for looking so disheveled in front of a woman like that, he saw a small, dark shape coming from the east portion of the garage.  His breath caught in his throat as he noticed her hair was now pulled into a loose knot at the base of her skull, exposing her long, graceful neck. 

 

Suddenly the sound of her laughter echoed throughout the open structure; she was on the phone again.  He tamped down on his rage, reminding himself it might just be one of her friends.  Tony would not allow himself to think otherwise; it was too ridiculous.  And, besides, there was something more important to be sorted out: how to convince her that she was the perfect person to become Jeffrey’s new mother.

***********************************

 

March 29, 2008

6:20PM

 

"Dr. Scully!  Dr. Scully!"

 

The small red-head turned at the sound of her name to see the little boy whose life had nearly been taken by a drunk driver less than two months before.  "Jeffrey!" she greeted as he ran up to hug her around the waist.  She waited until the air came back into her lungs to acknowledge the man by the shopping cart.  "Tony.  It's good to see the two of you out and about.  How's he been holding up?"

 

"Oh, he's really struggling to make it through each day," Tony replied as Jeffrey bounced up and down while he held on to Dana's hand.

 

"Yes, I can see that," she laughed. 

 

And, just as Tony opened his mouth to suggest that the three catch up over an "impromptu" dinner, an unfamiliar man with longish dark hair, big nose, and an air of arrogance strode up to her side.  "Aren't you going to introduce me, Scully?"

 

Scully? the man thought.  He must work with her at the hospital.  I wonder why I've never seen him before?  Are they shopping for things to take back to work?  And then, he watched the same flush creep over her skin that he had seen when she approached her car the night at the hospital.  "Sorry," she mumbled.  "Mulder this is one of my former patients, Jeffrey Patterson, and his father, Tony.  Tony, Jeffrey," she gestured to the tall man beside her, "this is Fox Mulder."

 

After coming down off his high of hearing Dana introduce him by name --- the sound rolling off her tongue like they'd known one another their whole lives --- Tony managed to ask the man, "Do you work at the hospital, too?"

 

Dana and Mulder exchanged sideways glances --- as if sharing some inside joke --- and Tony was suddenly stricken with the desire to throttle this "Fox Mulder".

 

"No, Mulder and I met a long time before I started working there."

 

"I see."  And he did: they were an item.  He hadn’t understood why the name sounded familiar until she, too called the man by his surname. It was meant with affection, almost possessively. The notion that the obnoxious man invading her space --- with no visible sign that this bothered her --- was someone she might love...?  Tony’s fingers folded into his palm so tightly he was afraid he might have drawn blood. 

 

Mulder eyed the man --- standing two inches taller than himself with decidedly more muscle --- who was currently doing the same, and felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise to attention.  There was something strange about him; the way he'd been staring at Scully --- almost reverently --- when he approached the group....  He shook his head, quickly dismissing the thought as paranoia.  Mulder had been locked away in that house for over half a decade, only to be let out recent days.  He wasn't used to seeing his...his...?  Well, jealousy over seeing a man look at Scully in the first time for so long was bound to happen.

 

"So I guess you live nearby?" she asked, breaking the silent pause that had befallen the group. 

 

Jeffrey opened his mouth to speak, but Tony answered first.  "Yeah, we just moved out here recently."  His face darkened.  "It was too hard to stay in the same neighborhood..."

 

Scully looked down at the ground, knowing he was referring to his wife's passing.  She had found out from a friend of the Pattersons --- an ER resident who had been present when Jeffrey was brought in --- about the car accident that had taken Mary's life a little more than a year before Jeffrey's.  She was on her way home from her job as a nurse at their local elementary school when a car opposite her lost control, hit the median, flipped, and crashed into her windshield.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

What Dana Scully couldn't know was that Tony was lying: they had moved, but it wasn't to this area.  Tony's mother did live close by, however, and so he promised her they would pick up some groceries for her in the hopes that he would run into Dana.  The past month --- when he wasn't at the hospital visiting with Jeffrey or working as a computer technician at the Computech department store in Richmond --- had consisted of tracking the doctor's routine.  And every Saturday evening, around six, he had watched her make the trek from her country home to this super-sized market.  What he hadn't seen, though, was a passenger in her car.

 

"So, Jeffrey was everyone at school glad to see you back?"

 

"Oh yeah!"  The boy's face glowed in remembrance.  "They had a big sign up and everyone wrote on it.  Then I got cake!"

 

She and Mulder laughed at Jeffrey's exuberance.  "It sounds like they missed you a lot," Mulder commented.

 

The boy smiled up at the man he had only just noticed.  "Are you Dr. Scully's husband?"

 

Tony grabbed his son's hand, pulling him away from the doctor; a reaction Mulder didn't miss.  "Jeffrey, I think we need to go.  Your Nana is probably waiting with her home-made spaghetti and meatballs as we speak."

 

The diversion worked and Jeffrey was immediately climbing back onto Tony's cart.  "It was good to see you again, Doctor.  Nice meeting you, too," he replied without acknowledging the man's name.

 

"Be good, Jeffrey," she called as Tony pushed the cart quickly out of sight.

 

"Was that the kid you were telling me about a couple of weeks ago?  " he asked now that they were alone.

 

She nodded, still thinking about the tragedy of his mother's death.

 

"You must have done a good job with him.  The dad seemed...talkative."

 

She glanced up at her partner of nearly fifteen years --- well, eight if you counted from the beginning of their romantic relationship.  "He's had to endure a lot of hardships as of late."  She pushed the cart the opposite direction the father and son had gone.  Mulder caught up to her in two long strides, knowing she would answer the questions in his mind without him having to voice them.  "He lost his wife last year in a car accident...and then Jeffrey almost died the same way."

 

Mulder was instantly disgusted with his earlier jealousy.  He knew what it was like to lose a son; but he couldn't imagine if, on top of that, he lost Scully, too.  "It makes sense then.  You saved him."

 

Scully reached for a gallon of skim milk, checking it for leaks before gently placing it in their cart.  "Mulder, that's my job.  The boy had internal---"

 

"No, not the boy."

 

She cocked an eyebrow at him.  "What are you talking about?"

 

Mulder grabbed the shopping cart handle, his hazel eyes staring past the obstacle course of customers in the refrigerated aisle while steering past them with little effort.  "If he had lost Jeffrey, too...after losing his wife...let's just say he wouldn't have lasted long."

 

A shiver raced up her spine at the certainty in his voice.  She placed her tiny hand over his and their eyes locked; no more words were necessary. 

 

Tony turned his back angrily as the man named Mulder leaned down to place a kiss atop her head.  All those hours lying in bed, thinking of ways to ask her out had been for nothing, he told himself.  But he wasn't the kind of person to give up so easily.

 

"Daddy can we go see Nana now?" Jeffrey asked, waiting patiently in the toy aisle where his father had positioned them to observe the couple without being seen himself. 

 

Tony turned to smile at his little man.  We're standing in the middle of a thousand toys and he's begging to see his grandmother?  His heart constricted at the thought, his mission becoming that much clearer.  "Yeah, we can go." 

 

There were new plans to make now.

***********************************

 

April 11, 2008

10:55PM

 

"You've reached the voice mailbox of 'Walter Skinner'"---droned the robotic voice of the Deputy Director's message center --- "please leave a message after the tone."

 

He bit nervously on his lip as he waited for the 'beep'.  "Skinner, this is Mulder.  There's...something's happened.   It's Scully...I need help ASAP.  Call me when you get this."

 

He clicked the red button on his cell, effectively ending the one-sided conversation, and looked again at the yellow sheet of legal paper in his trembling hand.  Collapsing on the leather couch just inside the door, he read the note --- despite having already memorized it --- for the tenth time since he'd arrived home fifteen minutes before.

 

                        "Mulder,

                                    First, I want to say I'm sorry for not having the courage to say

                                    this in person.  But, after knowing you so long I have no doubt

you would have tried to talk me out of this.

 

It's ironic isn't it?  I mean, as afraid as you say you are to lose me...

but you won't let yourself make a commitment, either.  And, now I'm stalling.

 

This is so hard for me to say....  I've met someone.  He makes me happy.  It's so easy to forget all the pain in my life when I'm with him.  Please don't try to come after me --- I need this.  I just want a last chance at happiness.  If you truly love me, then you'll let me go.

                                   

I'm so sorry.

                                                                                                Sincerely,

                                                                                                            Scully"

 

"She met someone?" he said, repeating aloud the words that had mocked him in Scully's beautiful script.  It's not that he couldn't believe it...in fact it was easy to believe.  This was Scully, more beautiful, caring, brilliant, loyal than any woman he'd ever known.  Definitely, he thought, more than he'd deserved.

 

But something about the letter itself niggled away at the back of his brain; made him question the validity of it.  He knew, or thought he knew, Scully.  And she was never one to stand down from a confrontation.  Even when she was nearly forced to leave him ten years before, she had come to his apartment to let him know.  To get a chance to say goodbye.  I have no doubt you would have tried to talk me out of this.  Just like he did that night when he finally admitted to her and himself that he couldn't live without her.

 

He wanted so badly to rip the offensive paper into a thousand pieces...but he didn't.  There was something off.  This was coming out of nowhere!  He only hoped that by saving it, showing it to Skinner --- the only man who knew her nearly as well as himself, they might figure out her mysterious behavior.

 

Just three mornings before they had made love on this very couch.  The thought assaulted his senses; the leather that had touched their bare bodies now seemed to burn him through his clothes.  He stood, pacing across the room towards the fireplace.  The vase she picked out when they were living in Montreal seemed to laugh at him.  He sent it soaring towards the wall where it shattered upon impact.

 

Mulder had arrived home from a MUFON conference in Seattle and found the note taped to their bedroom door.  Walking inside, the first thing he noticed was her closet doors: thrown open with nothing inside but a few plastic hangers.  His heart lurched at the sight, a cold sweat suddenly damping his brow.  He moved next to the bathroom and found all her toiletries and other belongings gone.  It was like she'd never lived there at all.  At that point, he was hyperventilating, his lungs never fully filling with the oxygen his body was desperate for. His knees suddenly gave out and he collapsed into a pile of mush on the floor. 

 

A loud chirping brought him back to the present and he all but sprinted over to the coffee table to retrieve his phone.  Picking it up, he quickly pressed "accept".  "Sir, it's Scully" --- the man on the other end waited silently, praying it wasn't as he feared --- "she's...she's gone." 

 

Mulder could hear the man take a shaky breath before answering.  "I'll be right there."

**********************************

April 9, 2008

9:46PM

 

Dana Scully awoke in the darkness with a pounding headache.  What the hell had happened?  She remembered being excited about going home after a twelve-hour day that had started with presenting the follow-up report on Christian's recovery process to the board.  Unfortunately, Mulder wouldn't be home from his conference for two more days; but at least she would have some time to finally get some things done around the house.  She'd been sleeping off and on at the hospital so, with Mulder in charge of housework, she could only imagine how disordered their place had become.

 

"Dana?"

 

Her eyes popped open and a mixture of relief and surprise washed over her when she saw the walls of her bedroom and felt the familiar satin of her comforter pressed against the skin of her shoulder.   

 

"Are you awake, sweetheart?"  The unfamiliar voice, close enough to blow flyaway hairs around her face, put her on high alert.  She immediately tried to sit up, only to have two strong hands forcing her back down.

 

She blinked, hoping it was all a dream, but when her eyes refocused they were staring into a pair of slightly, wild blue eyes.  "Tony?"

 

"Yes," he breathed, pressing down with his body so he could free his arm to push the stray strawberry-blonde hairs from her eyes.  "Don't be alarmed."

 

Her instincts told her to scream and push him away, but her years as an FBI agent had taught her how to drown those fears in order to survive.  Engage him in conversation.  Find out his motivation.  "I don't remember getting home," she admitted, in as calm a voice as she could manage.

 

"Yes, I am sorry about that..." Tony grimaced, making it clear he would say no more on the subject. 

 

Keep him talking, Dana reminded herself.  "Has something happened to Jeffrey?"

 

He looked at her with a confused expression.  "No...you think I'm here just... No."  Suddenly, he moved off her and her eyes went wide at seeing the gun in his hand.  Her gun. 

 

"Please, Tony..."

 

"Shhh," he cooed, kneeling so that they were on the same level.  "I really, really don't want to use this, but I will if you don't cooperate."

 

A million different scenarios ran through her head: rape, kidnapping, robbery, ransom.  "What do you want from me?"

***********
END Part 1/?

boat

The Return 12/12

TITLE: WIP: The Return (part 12/12)
AUTHOR: CB Files (aka charvill)
GENRE: MSR
Spoilers: Post-IWTB
Summary: There are some things you just can't escape



Mulder gasps audibly causing William to turn his attention to his father and rescuing me from his incredulous glare. My body trembles as the chill sweeps across the part of my body recently vacated by the child who is undoubtedly too smart for his own good.

 

“I have a sister?” The question is my undoing and I hunch over, protectively clutching my mid-section. All I can think is how I never wanted him exposed to these things; and hollow it feels beneath my arms. Empty. Barren.

 

“Scully?”

 

“Mom?”

 

Both of them have come to flank my sides on the couch. Mulder’s broad hand rubs smooth circles on my back; William twines his fingers through mine. How utterly pathetic I am. What happened to the strong, vibrant Agent Scully? Where did she go?

 

“You’re still her to me, you know. Even though I was only a baby then. And…it’s okay to be sad.”

 

I smile ruefully at the boy who reminds me more of his father with each passing second. “I don’t deserve such kind words,” I state and shake my head.

 

“Will, what did you hear?” Mulder voices the question slowly, surely afraid to shatter the fragile woman next to him.

 

“Mom?” he asks carefully, seeking permission. I squeeze his hand and nod. “She was thinking about a little girl and I heard the word ‘daughter’. The girl looks like her, too. Beautiful, you know? Do I have…is she my sister?”

 

Another dismal wave of emotion floods me at the twinge of excitement – hopefulness – in his voice. He did have a sister.

 

Mulder’s tone is solemn as he says the words I cannot. “Emily was very sick. She passed away a long time ago.”

 

“Oh.”

 

I see the pucker between his eyebrows as his lower lip quivers slightly, and something deep inside me sparks. Moving from Mulder’s touch, I turn and pull my son into my arms.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“William, no. You have nothing to be sorry for. Ever.” I stroke his hair back from where his head is tucked beneath my chin. “There’s a lot you don’t know about your father and me. Neither of us has ever led a very normal life. But you are part of our family, and you have a right to know the truth.”

 

His arms fly around me, clutching fiercely. “Thank you,” he sobs, digging his fingers into my sweatshirt like he’s trying to fuse himself to me. “I missed you so much, Mom!”

 

I am taken back to a night so many years before. One that started out a nightmare and became – until tonight – the best night of my existence. Mulder cocooned around me in a hospital bed while we held our son between us. My heart felt like it had been broken into a thousand pieces only to be reformed into one twice the size. It was both excruciating and euphoric. And now it was happening again.

 

I made the choice to send him away. And the three of us had suffered immensely because of that decision. Yet, here we were: Mulder, me, and our son. Holding onto one another for dear life. Mourning our losses together.

 

How could I be deserving of such pure love? How could this child be so forgiving after the horror I had surely put him through?

 

“There’s nothing to forgive,” he says in a voice choked with tears.

 

Mulder chuckles painfully, astonished as I am. “Think I’m gonna need to work on my campfire stories a little bit.”

 

“Why?” I ask, my brainwaves too overwhelmed to pick up the underlying sarcasm there.

 

I hear William giggle in response to something going on in Mulder’s mind. He leans away from me slightly and sniffles. “Dad, you’re kinda strange. You know that, right?”

 

We surrender to laughter before retiring inside. I didn’t know –or want to process, just yet—the status with William’s adopted parents, but Skinner assures me that we will have little trouble regaining custody. The unfurnished guest bedroom adjacent to the master suite has been empty for far too long. Like those four walls were merely waiting for William to finally come home. Now there will be a child to decorate the room as his own. Until then we have an oversized, inflatable mattress on the floor next to Mulder’s side of the bed.

 

Mulder helps our son find his new pajamas and get cleaned up while I finish making the temporary bed. The two of them join me about fifteen minutes later. I tuck him in and crawl over the aqua colored comforter to lie beside him. Propping myself up by the elbow I begin, whispering one last story for the night.

 

“There once was a man who met a genie that gave him three wishes…”

 

 

THE END

************************************************************************  

************************************************************************


Author’s Note: Yes, I know I left a lot of loose ends…and this probably seems like a cop out. I may eventually continue this fic further….but for now, I want them to have a little happiness. So it’s done.

 

For now ;-)

truth hand kiss

WIP: The Return (part 11/?)

TITLE: WIP: The Return (part 11/?)
AUTHOR: CB Files (aka charvill)
GENRE: MSR
Spoilers: Post-IWTB
Summary: There are some things you just can't escape
Author’s Note: Yes, I know this part is short---but at least I’m FINALLY feeling the story again ;) And I thought you guys might be a happy with some rather than none, lol




The sun is setting just behind the dark linen curtains framing the front room window. I glance again – will I ever be used to the sight of him? – at where William reclines on the couch beside his father, both immersed in the viewing of the latest sci-fi television show remake to claw its way into the network schedule. A hard breath of a laugh escapes my lips drawing two pairs of eyes to my face. Mulder, eyebrows raised in confusion. William, smiling with a tender look of understanding. It is then that I remember: I am an open book to my son.

I shake my head and sink into the leather chair beside the couch, tucking my feet up under me. As soon as I do, the person on the TV screen freezes.

“Scully? You feelin’ okay?” Mulder’s arm is out in front of him pointing towards the flat-screen, the DVR remote balancing precariously in his long fingers.

It bubbles out slowly at first, this laughter. Then his words – such a wary tone – replay in my head and the laughter turns into uncharacteristic, side-splitting fits complete with watery eyes and red cheeks.

“Well, I guess that answers my question,” I hear – but am still too bleary-eyed to see – Mulder chortle in return.

“She’s just happy.” And William is right. I am blissed out of my rational, orderly mind.

There is a rustling of fabric and I wipe my eyes to find Mulder throwing his right arm around our son, pulling him close to place a big wet kiss atop his mop of chestnut hair. His eyes glance up to find me grinning at the sight of them like this. Mulder merely replies, “Of course, she is.”

The day has been a long one spent mostly in the bland, sterile rooms and hallways of the hospital. Skinner and Mulder wouldn’t rest until I got the proper testing done to see if Krycek’s theory had been true. We won’t know the official results for days, possibly weeks – but I know. I knew the second William’s arms clung to me in those very first moments in Skinner’s apartment. I experienced a similar feeling over eleven years ago. It is a sensation that I have never been able to accurately describe. But, if I were forced to compare it to something…it’s like when you finally get over a cold and can breathe deeply again. Or, like when you have a tension headache that finally fades away. Like I said, it’s not something easy to put into words. I just feel well again. Whole. Healthy. Perfect.

The room grows quiet after a few seconds and I can tell that neither of them have any interest in returning to the show. Besides, they can just watch it later – the beauty of modern technology. An idea springs to mind and I notice William sit up a little straighter. “Hey, it’s been awhile since we lit up the pit you built out back.”

Mulder nods his head thoughtfully, his lips curving in harmony with my new idea. “It’s a nice night. Good for storytelling.”

“Storytelling?” William chirps with unbridled enthusiasm. “What kinds of stories?”

Mulder braces his elbows on his knees, turning his face away from me as he explains. “Campfire stories.” He throws me a wicked glance. It is an odd sensation to know that he speaks aloud solely for my benefit – and I for his. “Although these aren’t your run-of-the-mill campfire stories.”

“X-Files! Seriously?” Our son is on the edge of his seat now, exactly as Mulder hoped. I grin wondering how long he had dreamed of a moment like this; handing down stories that might one day be retold to future generations.

“Yep. We used to sit out there every night, when the weather allowed for it, recalling old cases and seeing whose memory was better-”

“Or more accurate,” I say just loud enough to be heard. William giggles.

“ANY-way,” he begins again, rolling his eyes, “it’s been…” – his voice trails off curiously, his face darkening along with the young boy’s sitting across from him – “too long since we’ve done that. What’d ya say, Will?”

“Can I help you build the fire?”

“Of course you can!” He stands then, shuffling toward the back door before calling over his shoulder. “Hey, Scully, wanna grab the blankets and hot cocoa?”

“Sure, you want marshmallows?”

“Yes!” two nearly identical voices declare.

****
“So, you really ate a grasshopper?” William says, turning in my arms to stare at me with a new respect. I sip on my cup of hot chocolate and wink at him. “Wow…”

“Your mom’s done a lot of things I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t been there to witness it,” Mulder adds. “Always keeps me guessin’.”

I comb my fingers lazily through William’s hair, enjoying the secure feeling of having him so close. He and I chose to sit on the weatherproof padded couch while Mulder sat close by in the chaise. The night is crisp, the stars and half moon crystal clear in the cloudless sky. We started with the easy stories – ones that we figured were safe enough for this eight-year-old. As the stories progressed – gargoyles, faith healers, sewer mutants, escaped zoo animals, and circus freaks – William scooted closer until finally, after Mulder brought out the second round of piping hot cocoa, I put my legs up and angled our bodies so that he could rest his body back against my chest. The thick woven blanket that used to cover the back of Mulder’s couch now lays over us, providing ample warmth.

“You look a little sleepy William…”

He sighs with content. “No, I’m fine, really. Can I hear some more? Please?”

It is so hard to resist his innocent request, but I know just how few “safe” stories are left.

“Mom?” My heart strings tug hard every time the word falls from his angelic lips. “I, uh…I don’t mean to be too nosy, but there were some questions I wanted to ask. Some things I heard in your thoughts that I— ” My arms immediately go rigid around him as I begin to wonder what I might have let slip and, remembering he can hear me, I try to stop thinking. “It’s okay, you don’t have to protect me.”

I bury my face for one brief second, inhaling his scent.

“What is it, Will?” Mulder asks, avoiding my eyes and the daggers I throw at him.

“It’s just that…earlier…when you were talking about the church guy. The one who thought God was helping him heal people. Do we believe in God?”

Mulder chuckles softly. “Doesn’t beat around the bush, does he?”

“Wonder where he gets that from?”

“Do we?”

“Well, with all that we’ve seen over the years,” – and having you here, I omit saying aloud though I know William hears me – “it’s hard for me not to believe that someone is watching over us.”

I wait for him to question his father, surely hearing Mulder’s doubt in a deity, but he instead asks, “So we’re Christian?”

My eyes widen as I look at Mulder – who is suddenly staring with intent at the glowing embers. “Well, I was raised in the Catholic church. So…”

“But you don’t go to church anymore? In Wyoming, we went to church every Sunday. But it wasn’t a Catholic one. It was more like the one I saw in your head when you were talking about the healer.”

“Your mom used to attend mass regularly, too.”

It happens before I can think to stop it. Her tiny cherubic face, chubby little cheeks, familiar blue eyes begging me to make the pain relent. “Mommy, please! Please, make it stop!”

William sits up immediately. “Who is Emily?”

****************************************************************
END PART 11/?
scratchy beard

Vignette: A Half Hour Can Change Everything

TITLE: A Half Hour Can Change Everything
AUTHOR: CB Files
TYPE/GENRE: Vignette (possible intro to another fic)
SUMMARY: the title says it all
AUTHOR'S NOTE:
I was feeling self-indulgent and decided to make an XF3 vid that is based on my lil vignette here (CLICK FOR VID)




It’s been thirteen minutes and ten seconds since my heart went cold.

Twelve minutes and twenty-eight seconds since the anger started burning my frozen chest, trying to revive the vital organ that had just turned to stone.

Eleven minutes and fifty-three seconds since the flames licked up my throat as my lungs involuntarily pumped that first new breath.

Ten minutes and forty-two seconds since my nervous system gave up the fight for rationality.

Ten minutes and thirteen seconds since my living room became a maelstrom of flying glass, metal, and upended furniture.

Nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds since I found my gun.

Seven minutes and forty-one seconds since I pulled out my cell phone again.

Six minutes since my foot pressed the gas pedal into the carpeted floor mat.

One minute and twenty-two seconds since I pulled onto the freeway that would take me to Skyland Mountain.


Thirteen minutes and eighteen seconds since I saw the scrolling text “Massive Cult Suicide in the Northern Blue Ridge Mountains” below a scene of smoke and censored bodies that had been charred beyond recognition on my television screen.

Fifteen minutes since the generic voice informed me that the cellular customer I was trying to reach was outside service area.

Thirty minutes since Scully was supposed to be home from work.