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"Poems" by Khyber
TITLE: Poems
AUTHOR: that_khyber 
RATING: PG-13 for mature content
KEYWORDS: Mulder/Scully
SUMMARY: Post-ep for "Wetwired." This is part of Khyber versus Season
(Kvs7). If you haven't read everything else in the series up
until this point, particularly "Home From The War", "Coyote Luck",
and "Where I End And You Begin" you're probably going to wonder
what's going on and what this has to do with anything.

Many thanks to Cathryn as always.

* * *

"We're alive."

* * *


May 2, 1996

8:48 PM

In her fifteenth year Dana Scully thought she might have poetry in
her,  that there was something there besides the A's in science and
algebra and trig and the A-minuses in everything else. But blank
pages didn't even do her the honor of mocking her. They just sat
blank, occasionally getting intricate ink scrollwork in the corners
to frame the emptiness in the middle.

Everyone believes for a time at a similar age that they are a poet,
an artist, a musician. The happiest of them are unaware that they are
terrible guitarists, atrocious writers, awful painters.  It's simply
enough that they are.

Dana didn't even have that.  The page was blank.  She wasn't even a
lousy poet; she was no more a poet than she was five-foot-nine.

"We're alive."  The glass door of the shower clicks open.  Mulder
looks at her and it is utterly transparent, clear like glass and
water drops, that he thinks she's beautiful.

It was a perfect moment of her creation, and in a careful, sensible
way that she did not allow herself to fully imagine lest it seem
trite, she felt that she had created a poem that night.

There had been others, but they were mostly his.  Mulder was a poet,
with the frustrating unconscious and heedless brilliance he brought
to everything. 

These were not things that Dana, in her thirty-first year and
confined to the hospital, was quite willing to put into words.

* * *

We were ghouls, but we were a pair of them at least.  Thinking about
China made us want Chinese food.  We went for dim sum, I think it was
called.  Mulder knew, it was a Hong Kong thing.  Carts rolled around
the restaurant, bringing tiny plates, strange things in baskets and
leaves.  I didn't know rolls came in something besides "egg."

The tastes were unfamiliar.  Mulder didn't know what anything was
either, but it turned out that everything non-cubic and non-
gelatinous was safe.  Except "phoenix claws."

That morning we had been together, she remembered.  Deep down, she
knew that they had made love, but was unwilling to apply the label.

"So.  We've got a few hours to kill," she'd said, when he knocked on
the door of her hotel room.

"Yes, we do."  He'd pulled her light sweater from her belt, put her
back in the unmade bed.  One of those hours died quickly at their

It was like an actual date, except in reverse.  They score first,
then have flirty and loaded conversation over lunch after.  A
rendezvous, perhaps, since the feeling that it was somehow illicit
was strong.

They were like sleeper agents, going days, a week without the
slightest hint of their true intentions.  Dana needed things to be
right, needed to be rested, clean, not pissed off at him.  The sex
--six times now?--was amazing.  She was, or would say if required to
sound knowing, used to patient, considerate older men who'd learned
the right buttons to push from their first wives.  They made her a
project, like building a birdhouse from a set of plans, and it did
work. Mulder came at her like a poet, throwing pen to paper, lips to
skin, without worrying about how it would end.   

He took her hand when they left the Chinese restaurant, until they
needed to jog to beat a changing light.

* * *

Mulder's only ever elegant in repose, managing to stretch out on the
precarious support of the chair beside her hospital bed. She's been
conscious of how other women look at him for months. She's terrible
with other women.

"Mulder, I've been thinking."

He does something.  It's a small, fine, thing he's never done before,
not in this exact way. The voice is different. He's laughing a
little, just a bit, in the gentlest way she's heard from him, and he
runs his fingers very gently into the hair at the side of her face.

"If I can hang my psychologist's shingle up for a minute, I'm almost
certain that this is a bad time to be thinking."

It's this, she thinks, this is what he can do right, this heedless
art of touch and words. She enjoys it for a moment and then gently
pushes his hand away.

"Mulder, what if I'd shot you?"

He leans back in the chair, in his frustrated-casual way, like
they're arguing about dinosaur tracks.

"What if you'd shot your mother?"

"Jesus, Mulder, don't say that," she fires back. 

"I'm just saying we can't know what situations...  I mean, if there's
any lesson of the past few months, it's that." He looks as if he's
examining the possibility for  the first time himself. "I've chosen
... this is a dangerous path."

"Mulder...  I think we should..."

The pause between them stretches for seconds, as if their
conversation were radio waves between distant moons.

"I think you may be right," he says evenly.

Mulder, you're supposed to win arguments, she thinks.  You're
supposed to be right. Don't do this, Mulder. You're supposed to talk
me out of this, bring me around.

Of all the times for you to agree with me.

* * *

She stands in the doorway of her bedroom, naked, small fingers
digging into the peel of an orange.  Mulder's used to calculated
poses: Phoebe's leggy strutting, Diana's calm awareness of her
knockout curves.  He can tell that Scully's suddenly conscious of
herself and his eyes, adjusting her posture. She's doing this for

Mulder feels his mouth go dry and stupid.

"G-Gerson's definitely lying," he says.  "We should go talk to his
wife again; I think she just wants to get this all over with."

Scully's shoulders slump forward slightly.  She abandons the orange,
half-stripped, and looks for a T-shirt to pull on.

* * *

Hospital rooms, by design, nature, or symbolism, magnify the
fractures. There's no perspective available; every conversation has
the exhausted rawness and ultimate futility of a whispered argument
at three A.M.

"I, uh, I don't know how much we've thought this through."

Mulder's silent.

"Damn it, Mulder!"

"What do you want me to say?"  Say it's a dangerous path again, you
pompous asshole, he thinks.  This is Scully. Scully knows most of
your shit and sticks around anyway.

"I don't know what I want you to say.  I'm trying to get you to say
something and I don't know what it is.  I don't know what I want to

She sounds to herself like a crazy girlfriend, like what men complain
to each other about.  She can hear it in herself.  Mulder.  Please. 
I know that there is something here,  that there's something between
us, and it's just too big and deep and strange for me to accept even
though I know it's there.  I need to know that you see it, because if
you do, I know that I will too, because that is how we are, that is
who we are.  She can hear it in herself but the words are not ready.

"That makes two of us."

It's the sound of himself in high school, making up for being scared
too often and lost too often by always having the snappy comeback. 
He wants to pull it back but he can't.

* * *

"Three days, Mulder.  Three days.  You disappeared."

He can tell that she's trying to pull him aside, that this is an
argument she doesn't want to have with an audience of detectives
and police cars.

"I was working."

"That's not working, Mulder, that's drowning.  Patterson set a trap
for you and you walked right in."

"Patterson set a trap for himself, Scully. You know that. I was the
trap. I was the only one who could solve the case."

"You can't do that Mulder.  You can't just..."

"What?  I can't work alone?  Profiling's not a team sport."

The voice she responds with is one he knows only from the times they

"That's not what I mean and you...fine.  Fine."

She turns quickly, glancing around to make sure they hadn't attracted
anyone's attention, and leaves him in as discreet a huff as she can.

* * *

Mulder looks back as he leaves the hospital room.  She's looking at
the window; with the shades drawn you can't look out, but it's the
only way to look away from him.

He thinks of himself, throwing his hands up when he came into the
room, the strange look her mother gave him.  He thinks of being
tongue-tied, how Phoebe would laugh at him, Diana would coo and kiss
his forehead, how Scully would just wait, wait, wait,because maybe
this would be the time he would say the right thing.

Dana Scully, in her thirty-first year, still has no poetry in her. 
She waits until the door clicks shut, staring carefully at the shaded
window, and then she cries.

* * *

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Nooooo idea if this is considered bad LJ form or not, to comment on your own thread. Apologies if so. A bit of background for those who are interested in such things. I initially wrote most of these scenes a while back purely for myself to establish some internal canon for later stories, since M and S's memories of these things in the past are important to the character development in the present (or, well, nine years ago.)

I'm not really a fan of vignettes in general and I should take a hint that my other like-to-take-those-ones-back stories ("Heresy" and "Weret-Hekau", "Collapsar" maybe) are the most vignetteish.

This one ("Poems") is meant to be read in context with everything else in Kvs7, and with the benefit of a whole four days of retrospect, posting it separately like this doesn't do it or the reader any favours-- what it really is is a flashback scene from "Where I End And You Begin" that's too long and fractured to put in a story that's already somewhat, er, opaque.

So, yeah, take that all as you will. Thanks for reading.

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