Author: Cassie - email@example.com
Dates: First Draft - November 25, 2003 - March 24, 2004.
Final Draft - May 3, 2004
Distribution: ATD, CSFTDS, The End of the Road, NFW,
Spookys, XFMU. All others please ask.
Rating: R - rape, sensitive material
Category: ScullyAngst, DSR, past dark MSR/rape,
Timeline: Season 9 - in between "Sunshine Days" and
Episode References: Redux II, Christmas Carol/Emily, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas, Requiem, Per Manum, Alone, Existence, Nothing Important Happened Today, 4-D, Audrey Pauley, Sunshine Days.
Thanks to Kristi and RPcrazy for looking over this story before I posted it online. Your comments and suggestions are very much appreciated.
Extra special thanks to Alexa: for her excellent beta on this story. You're the best.
Summary: "Loving someone is not a failure. It's a blessing. No matter what has happened or what will happen. Love is never a failure."
WARNING: This story contains content dealing with rape, and the aftermath of rape. I strongly suggest that rabid Mulder/Scully shippers and rabid Mulder lovers stop here. The rape in this story is only shown through flashbacks. If you are sensitive to this subject or it could trigger you, please close out now. You have been warned.
Author's Note: This story came about because of my theory that Mulder may have raped Scully at some point during Season 7. This is how I believe things could have panned out.
"You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
But now I'm bound by the life you left behind Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams Your voice it chased away all the sanity in me
These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase."
"My Immortal" - Evanescence
That's what it feels like inside her mind, body, and soul. Scully never believed that a person could endure so much pain in life. She had suffered through so much loss, heartache and regret in life already. The loss of her father, the loss of her daughter, the decision to put her son up for adoption, and finally the heartache she feels when she thinks about how the love that she could have received had slipped right through her fingers.
Scully rolls onto her back to stare at her living room ceiling. The shadows from the street lamp outside create abstract images on the wall. These images are inkblots to her, and she is the only one who knows what they represent. Each different shape represents a part of her mind that she hides from those around her. Each different shape is a part of the reason she could not sleep tonight. This isn't the first time she has suffered from insomnia and she knows it will not be her last.
Her eyes fall on the digital clock of her VCR, four o'clock in the morning. She lets out a heavy sigh, why should she even bother trying to get sleep now when she'll be getting up in two hours anyway?
For the most part, she ran on auto-pilot these days. Each day was the same as the last: get up, get ready for work, teach at Quantico, come home, have dinner, watch the evening news, go to sleep. She liked to stick to this predictable schedule. She felt more in control of her life this way. For years she hadn't felt in control of her own life, and she desperately needed it now.
Her sleep patterns are always erratic. She never knows if one night she'll sleep peacefully or if she'll awake, panicked, from vivid nightmares that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Details of her day went unnoticed. She only writes in her personal journal when she needs to take a moment and realize what is said or done around her that triggers her frightening memories. By doing this, she can learn to understand what upsets her, and she can anticipate having panic attacks or flashbacks. This allows her the opportunity to prevent them from happening. When she is successful, she feels in control of her life and emotions.
Since being assigned to the X-Files Division years ago, Scully had gradually shut out her family and friends from her life. Even while she was pregnant with William, her eldest brother, Bill, hadn't bothered to visit her or talk to her. She suspected the reason to be because Mulder is the father and Bill could never accept him as a part of her life. She hates that her brother looks down upon her, she hates the fact that she pushes her family and friends away. She especially hates the fact that this happened because of Mulder.
There had been a time when Monica Reyes used to ask her if she'd like to go out for drinks after work with her and Doggett. Despite knowing that the Bureau expects its agents to socialize outside of the office, she declined, citing fatigue as an excuse not to join them. The fact of the matter is that she doesn't want to be among other people. She'd rather stay at home and do nothing. She feels safe this way, and feeling safe is always her number one priority.
Scully often felt that Monica's offerings of friendship were out of sympathy rather than sincerity. For someone so lonely, a friendship with Monica would have been welcoming, but she refuses to let it happen. Maybe she feels this way because of her jealousy of the closeness that has developed between Monica and John these past couple of months. She has definitely felt a vibe between the two of them that speaks of much more than just friendship. Monica is lucky to have him in her life. He is a good man. He would never betray their friendship.
Scully turns to lie on her side. She shuts her eyes and breathes deep, thinking of her ex-partner.
A man of his word, loyal, faithful, stubborn in his beliefs, strong, tough yet caring and gentle. A man unafraid to speak his mind. He is unafraid to show his weaker, softer side. She sees so much of herself in him, so much of herself that she has lost. She admires his strength to get through hard times and his ability to maintain an unbroken spirit through adversity. She longs to feel this way again and now wishes that he could be there with her, to help her heal both physically and emotionally, to feel his strong arms around her body, the low rumble of his voice comforting her through her fears, but it was too late. She let opportunity pass her by and now she was left to wonder what could have been.
When she first began working with Doggett a few years ago, after Mulder's disappearance, she felt that he had developed feelings for her that had grown beyond professional interest. She didn't trust him. She didn't want to give him a chance, and in some ways she found herself scared of him. Though as time carried on, she grew to care for him too.
She wishes that she had taken hold of the opportunities that had been presented and told him how she feels. She wants to know what it's like to feel safe in the arms of a man that would never hurt her. She is afraid to do this. When she left work to go on maternity leave, it had taken all her strength and courage to thank him for being there for her. She gave him her Apollo 11 medallion, which symbolizes partnership. She let him know that she wouldn't be here without him. With some hesitation, she opened her arms to him and let him embrace her.
Their relationship had grown so much over their time together, yet she purposely ignored the feelings they felt for one another. She was afraid to have him close to her, afraid to let herself love him. She was afraid of betraying Mulder as he betrayed her. She feared what Mulder might do to her if he discovered she had fallen in love with another man.
She wants so desperately to know what it feels like to make love without fear, without pain, without reliving the horrors of her life. She knows that she wants to experience all of this with John. Yet she continues to find ways to prevent their relationship from moving to a more intimate level.
When John would attempt to get to know her at a personal level, she would use Mulder as an outlet by obsessing over his disappearance or talking about what he might say or do to crack a case. She used Mulder as he had used her. Granted, her way of using him is nothing like how he had used her. He would suffer no consequence.
Shortly before his disappearance, Scully and Mulder had crossed the border of their friendship, and for lack of better words, she became his reluctant lover.
Scully never understood why their first sexual encounter happened. To this day, she still has frightening memories and feelings about what he did to her, not only the first time, but many times afterward. This is why she's more comfortable sleeping on her couch in the living room rather than in her own bed at night. She never let the darkness swallow her, she always left the kitchen light on as she fell asleep. This was another way she made herself feel in control.
She should have handled her friendship with Mulder differently. She should have been more careful in her choice of words and actions with him. Perhaps if she had done that, she could have prevented the repulsive incidents that occurred between them in the short time before his abduction.
She believes that her mistake lies in asking Mulder to donate his sperm so she could try to have a child of her own. A child was something that she had desired since her cancer had gone into remission. She had a chance with Emily, but that was not meant to be. Mulder was so supportive back then. It wasn't until after he found closure with Samantha that he began to change. He seemed more relaxed, but there was something unnerving about the way he acted. When she asked him to donate, he was reluctant to help, but did so anyway. He didn't want anything to come between them.
The procedure failed and that tore her up inside. She was devastated. So much had been taken from her life, why this as well? Why was God punishing her? What had she done to bring this upon herself?
Mulder took her into his arms and held her close, offering his comfort and encouraging words "Never give up on a miracle". He kissed her for the first time, a lingering touch on her lips. Soft and gentle. She felt so vulnerable, so hopeless, so loved. She didn't care about hiding her emotions from Mulder and she let tears flow freely down her face.
When they parted their kiss, Mulder took her hand in his and led her to her bedroom where they laid down on her bed, carefully removing each other's clothing. She savored each touch, each kiss as if they would be a part of the most intimate and erotic moment of her life.
Mulder slowly unzipped her pants and stripped them from her body. His lips kissed her ankles, her knees, her inner thighs. He slipped his hands underneath her underwear and slowly stripped them from her body as well. One hand reached up under her shirt and gently squeezed her breast, further arousing her.
At that moment, she realized what he had meant when he told her to never give up on a miracle. He wanted to give her the opportunity to naturally create life inside her body.
With this revelation, she greedily undid his jeans and pushed them to the floor as quickly as she could with her feet. She felt Mulder's hands on her back and his lips on her neck as he unhooked her bra and tossed it to the floor. His hands delicately explored the soft texture of her breast. Scully rolled herself on top of him and used one hand to slip off his silk boxers to reveal his full erection. A surge of arousal flowed through her body and she knew she wanted to feel him fill her inside. She laid back down next to him, pulling him on top of her.
Mulder pressed his body onto hers and she spread her legs for him, begging him to enter her, to take her pain away. She wanted him to bring temporary pleasure to her life. She felt the head of his hardon slide over her erect clit as Mulder teased her by not immediately entering her as she had hoped. It had been so long since she had felt a man inside of her. The anticipation of his penetration was like an orgasm in itself. He was so big; she knew that this would hurt her but she trusted that he would do his best to accommodate her and make the experience as comfortable and pleasing as he could.
Mulder's left hand caressed the side of her torso as he slid his hand down to her wet entry. His touch gave her goose bumps that only added to the sensitivity of the experience. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the sensation of his fingers circling around her clitoris. She moaned in ecstasy as his fingers stroked her, she hadn't felt this good in so long. If Mulder kept this up, he might well bring her to orgasm before even entering her body.
As she laid there, allowing her body to free itself of stress and sadness, her mind began to wander. Was this really how she wanted to conceive a child? With Mulder? Did she want this single event to change their relationship forever? Did she really want to have sex with him in order to have a child? The answer was obvious.
She snapped out of her thoughts when she felt his penis enter her in one harsh thrust. It hurt like hell; he definitely tore the fragile skin of her opening. Her mind raced as to what she should do to stop what was going on. She pushed at his chest.
"Mulder, stop." She was breathless.
She felt him slide halfway out of her and then he thrusted deeper into her. It hurt so much that tears formed in her eyes. He covered his mouth over hers, in a ravishing kiss. His tongue dipping deep into her mouth. His fingers worked vigorously and painfully at her clit to help her climax. He was being too rough on her.
She no longer wanted this from him. Maybe he didn't hear her.
"Mulder." She spoke loud and stern to him, wincing with every thrust.
Mulder opened his eyes and looked at her, continuing to rhythmically thrust into her, harder and harder. If he had heard her, he chose not to listen to her, and he continued to do as he pleased. She felt tension inside her and knew she was coming close to reaching an orgasm. This bothered her because she no longer wanted this with him. Her arousal for him was gone. She only worried about stopping his actions.
Mulder was panting and closing in on his climax. He was quicker than she expected. She thought he'd have more control over himself. He was fucking her as if racing against time. Time that she did not want to allow him.
A murderous thrust, followed by sharp pain inside, caused her to wince. Mulder had inserted the entire length of his erection into her; she felt like she was dying. He was too big for her to comfortably accommodate. A frightened scream escaped her mouth and tears stung her eyes then fell down the side of her face.
How could Mulder not hear her asking him to stop? He looked her in the eyes as he continued fucking her mercilessly. How could he not see the fear he was evoking in her? The pain? More importantly, the betrayal...
"Dammit, Mulder!" she screamed. She lost her energy to try to push him away.
He quickly covered her mouth with his in a passionate kiss of betrayal, muffling her pleas for him to stop.
He tilted his head back and squeezed his eyes shut, pumping quicker and harder into her until he let out a climatic scream and released his semen into her body. Tears were streaming down her face as he rode out his orgasm, slowly pumping his penis deep inside her. Her own body shook underneath his as she experienced an orgasm of her own. It was the worst feeling she ever had. Her cries for him to stop came out of her mouth in pained sexual release. She felt dirty for having experienced orgasm during such a revolting moment in her life.
After his last betraying thrust, he laid down on top of her body, crushing her. His sweaty chest hair running over her erect nipples. He rested his head against her neck and allowed her terrified cries to be heard. He kissed her again as if thanking her for allowing him to do this to her.
She was too afraid to move. He had disregarded her wishes to stop what they had started. His lips parted hers and he spoke gently into her ear, and whispered:
"I love you."
He caressed her breast, rolling his thumb over her nipple. The sensation made her want to vomit. He shifted his body weight to remove his dirty weapon from inside her body. He stood up, wiped himself off with her bed sheets, and redressed as if he had done nothing wrong.
"I'm sorry, Scully." He pulled his T-shirt over his head then reached down to the floor and picked up his boxers and put them back on.
His words were so threatening to her ears. She was plagued by what had happened that she could not bring herself to tell him to leave her alone, to leave her apartment.
"I've been told I've got magic fingers. Did you come?" He cracked a joke, hoping it would make her feel better.
He returned to her side on the bed and wiped a tear from her cheek. She couldn't bring herself to look at him.
"Dana?" he spoke softly to her. "What's wrong?" He tried to look her in the eyes.
She couldn't believe him. He acted as if he didn't rape her! She rolled over onto her side, her back facing him. She didn't care if she was still naked. She only wanted to die.
He touched her bare shoulder. She flinched, afraid of his touch. Afraid he wanted to take her body again.
"Don't be upset, Dana. I was just helping you get what you want." This was his attempt at an apology. He knew what had happened and he was trying to rationalize his actions in his mind.
His behaviour made her sick. It seemed, and would later prove true, that he wanted her to be in a relationship with him despite what he had done. He was doing and saying anything he could to make her forgive him.
Unable to hold it back any longer, Scully sprang from her bed and ran naked into her bathroom. Mulder's semen ran down her inner thighs, leaking out of her, mixed with her own blood. She dropped to her knees beside the toilet and threw up. She was dizzy, and her mind spun out of control.
The incessant ringing of Scully's telephone wakes her with a defensive start from this recurring nightmare of one of her many incidents that she endured with Mulder. She wishes she could forget it ever happened. However, her mind and body aren't as willing to let it go.
Scully reaches to answer her phone on the coffee table in front of her. Her hand trembles and her heart beats a million beats per second as she picks up the phone and raises it to her ear.
"Scully." She answers; her voice is frightened and weak.
"Agent Scully...?" Doggett's concerned voice echoes through her phone. "I hope I didn't wake you." The soft rumble of his voice soothes her.
She sits up on her couch and runs her fingers through her hair. Though she was startled awake, she is glad to hear his voice on the other end of the phone. It helps calm her down.
"You didn't. I was just... ah..." she looks at her VCR clock, it's fifteen past six. "I'm getting ready to go to Quantico."
"Hold that thought. Agent Reyes came across an x-file last night about some ghost in South Carolina. Supposedly it saves the homes of people who see it from hurricanes. If you ask me, I think the homes left untouched by the storms are just better built, but Monica thinks it's worth investigating and she got Skinner's approval last night while we were out having drinks."
"You need me to look at the file and give my scientific opinion?" Her voice is calm now. She's recovering from her nightmare well.
"Actually, you'll be joining Mon' and I on this one."
"I think Monica could use a good dose of reality, plus where we're going is considered a nice vacation spot. Maybe you and I could enjoy the beach while Monica attempts the FBI's first ever stakeout of a ghost. Though, there is a tropical storm headed toward where we're going, but it probably won't amount to much."
"Well, it wouldn't be the first ever ghost stakeout in the history of the x-files. Mulder manipulated me into meeting with him at a haunted house on Christmas Eve one year."
"Turned out to be nothing, huh?"
"I guess you could say that."
Doggett isn't sure what to think. He is quiet for a beat.
"You mind if I pick you up around seven?"
"Ok, I'll call Monica and let her know you'll be joining us."
"I'll see you then." She hangs up the phone and sighs, releasing the last of her feelings from her nightmare.
She stands up and walks toward the kitchen, glancing warily at the entry to her bedroom. The morning light isn't bright enough to lighten her room. She is afraid to go in after having the nightmare. The darkness of her room and the smell of her room are both triggers for her, and could bring about a flashback if she goes in there while conditions are how they were when Mulder hurt her. She decides to eat breakfast before getting dressed, to allow the sunlight to shine brighter into her room.
As she sits at her table, sipping a glass of orange juice, she can't help but hope working a case at a South Carolina beach may help her forget the pain she lives with everyday in her own apartment. It will be nice to spend more time with John. Lately she's been feeling a lot happier about herself around him.
His presence lifts her spirit and can temporarily allow her to forget what Mulder has done to her. Over the past two years she has grown to trust Doggett. She hadn't always felt this trust with him as she does now. She found it difficult to trust anyone back then. Over their time together as partners, he had proven himself to her more times than she can count. He saved her life, comforted her, made her smile, he let her regain control in her life by giving her control in their partnership. Regaining control in her life is important to her and with Doggett, she found more and more stability in her life. Her life is beginning to move forward, slowly, but surely. She believes that it is because of him that this has happened.
As usual, Doggett is early when he comes to pick her up to meet Monica at Dulles airport.
He helped her decide the best clothing to bring on this trip as she expressed her concern to him about spending the Bureau's money.
"I'm telling you, John, if you can't substantiate this case and spend the Bureau's money, our division will most likely be under the metaphorical microscope of the Director. Believe me, it happened to Agent Mulder and I before his disappearance."
"We've got approval. Don't forget I've read all those files, I know several handfuls of those cases were sporadic, on-the-fly investigations. It's no wonder Mulder never got promoted out of the basement."
"Hey, you're stuck in the basement too." She jokes with him.
"Yeah well, I was working my way up and a certain Deputy Director felt pressure and decided to do something about the competition."
"I have no doubt in my mind that you'll dig your way out of the basement and into the Bureau's hierarchy."
Scully smiles at him with sincerity. She's been around long enough to recognize a promising agent when she sees one, and John Doggett is definitely promising. Doggett is pleased to have heard this come from her. He stands up and carries Scully's bag out of her room and into the living room. He looks back at her.
"You got everything unplugged? Hair dryer? Computer? Toaster?"
She appreciates how protective he is of her.
"Yeah and if I don't, my mother will be here to check my mail and to water the plants, she'll double check me."
"All right, let's get outta here. Mon' thinks she'll beat us to our departure gate, I'm out to prove her wrong."
Scully and Doggett step outside the apartment and the door is shut and locked. The apartment is left dark, quiet, and alone. Reflecting the emotional state of its owner, brightened temporarily only by the presence of John Doggett.
Pawley's Island is a nice, relaxing coastal community. Though Doggett, Scully, and Monica have been here for a few hours, they have already spoken to witnesses who have seen this Grey Man ghost. The three of them casually walk along the beach. Old, weathered beach houses line the beach, adding to the southern charm of the island. Though they have only been there a few hours, the town and its people make Pawley's Island seem as comfortable as a home away from home.
Scully enjoys the atmosphere. It is a long cry from the emptiness she feels back in Washington.
The beach is beautiful despite the fact storm clouds are approaching miles away from shore. Sea oats beautifully line the beach, stirring in the strong wind.
Monica is excited. If a storm is approaching, the more likely the chance that she would see the Grey Man ghost. Currently, the National Weather Center has issued a tropical storm watch for their area, so if the legend is true, her chances are great.
On the flight to South Carolina, Monica had given Scully the file on the Gray Man. The legend says that a long time ago, a young woman had suffered the loss of the man she loved. She married another and one night while her husband was away fighting in the Revolutionary War, a violent storm swept through the island, causing a ship to wreck offshore. A single survivor emerged from the wreck. Slaves of the young woman told the man that their master was away, but that their mistress would provide him shelter through the storm. When the young woman came to meet the man, she fainted and he immediately ran away.
The stranger was her lost love who she had believed to be dead. Later it was discovered that the man had died from yellow fever and exposure. It is said that his spirit continues to haunt the island near the area his lover's home used to stand. It is believed that if a person sees the Gray Man and listens to his warnings of dangerous storms to come, that person's home on the island will be untouched by the storm.
In the file, Scully had seen pictures of homes standing undamaged in neighborhoods where every home had been destroyed. Reports of clothing hanging inside screen porches during a storm, were still there after hurricanes had blown through. The reports were intriguing and currently Scully couldn't think of a scientific explanation to contradict the paranormal.
Walking on the beach, Scully can't help but wonder what it would be like to see a ghost... if they really do exist. She looks out ahead of her at Doggett and Monica. They walk a few feet in front of her. If she didn't know any better, she'd think they were a couple. Monica's body language toward Doggett is very inviting. She watches as Monica gently touches Doggett's arm and laughs at something he said. A bolt of jealousy tears through Scully's heart as she watches Monica take Doggett's hand into her own.
Scully has suspected that Doggett and Monica had grown closer ever since their case involving The Brady Bunch house a few months back. There seems to be this spark between them. Of course, it could be a spark caused by their professional differences that have nothing to do with their lives outside of work. She is sure that they are concealing a relationship from her, their superiors, and the rest of the Bureau. She's not sure she understands why they would do this. Bureau policy only frowns upon romantic relationships between superiors and their inferiors, not agents of equal rank.
She shouldn't feel this jealousy toward Monica. It is her own fault that she didn't realize the feelings Doggett had for her and her for him until it was too late. She is happy for the two of them. They both deserve something good to come out of a career-halting assignment to the X-Files Division.
Doggett coughs and Scully is brought out of her thoughts. She looks at Doggett and Monica and sees that he has removed his hand from hers. He covers his mouth as he coughs again. He looks back at Scully and waves at her, encouraging her to catch up with them. Scully slowly walks toward them, uncomfortable as if she is intruding on their time together.
"I thought you two forgot about me already." Scully's heart is heavy as she says this. She wishes she hadn't come.
"Nah, " he places his arm over her shoulders, "Monica just got a little carried away with her hopes of seeing this ghost during our stay on the island,"
"It would be quite an experience." Monica gives them a lighthearted smile.
Doggett and Scully share a look. Doubt is written all over Doggett's face. It's obvious that he thinks this is mumbo jumbo.
"So what exactly can I do to help you two with this case?" Scully wonders why her expertise is needed.
"John requested your presence on the case." The tone in Monica's voice tells Scully that she did not agree with him on this decision.
Scully suddenly becomes well aware that Doggett still has his arm resting on her shoulders. She sees the smile fade on Monica's face as a beat of silent awkwardness encompasses them. She respectfully steps away from Doggett, giving Monica an awkward smile.
"So... what's the game plan for the rest of the day, Agent Reyes?" Scully hopes to break the tension among them. She hopes that Monica is as exhausted as she has become, and decides to call it a day.
Monica glances at her wristwatch, "Let's see... it's a little after five now. How about we go grab some dinner and come back later this evening and stakeout the beach for the Gray Man?"
Scully and Doggett share a look. This is ridiculous.
A strong gust of wind blows, spraying a cool, salty mist of water from the Atlantic onto all three of them. Doggett looks upward at the sky.
"Looks like you're gonna get that storm you're hoping for, Mon'." He smiles at her. "Maybe this will up your chances of seeing that ghost." His tone is sarcastic.
Doggett heads back in the direction they came from, heading back to the beach house they are renting while at Pawley's Island. Scully and Monica watch him.
"I know exactly how he feels," Scully states with a hint of nostalgia in her voice.
"Agent Mulder took you on a lot of ghost hunts?"
They begin walking back to their beach house.
"Ghosts, aliens, mutants, freaks. You name it, we investigated it."
They walk quietly, both women lost in their own thoughts.
Scully often wonders if Monica can read into the fear that the name Mulder puts in her. She tries her best to pretend as if nothing horrible had happened to her. Most people had become aware that she had asked him to donate for her cause and that it had failed. Most assumed that her pregnancy was the result of the consummation of hers and Mulder's relationship. They were right. It had been a consummation of a relationship, one that Mulder so desperately wanted to be a part of. After he had discovered what happened to his sister, he had nothing left to obsess over. He had obsessed over Samantha for so long that once the mystery was solved, he had to find a new obsession. Dana Scully.
Mulder is a very possessive and controlling man. It was either his way or the highway more often than not. If he wasn't in control, there would be problems. Scully learned early to go with the flow, let Mulder do as he wished. Despite breaking protocol on more than a dozen occasions and treating her life as if it were nothing every so often, Scully got used to living life the way Mulder wanted her to live life... revolving around him and the x-files.
She should have seen the signs early on in her partnership with him that he had the potential to hurt her. He behaved immaturely around her now and then. More than once he was angered with her for disagreeing with his theories and he hurt her, telling her that she was wrong (what was it? Ninety-nine percent of the time?). Mulder liked to be the dominant figure in their partnership. He made the decisions and rarely allowed her to do so on her own if he did not agree with her choices. When she tried to keep her social life alive, he became jealous and possessive of her. He'd call her when she was with her family and talk her into ditching them to help him uncover government conspiracies. He took her away from her friends and family until all she had was him. If by chance she had the guts to go against his wishes, he made her feel guilty and accused her of not wanting to fight for the truth (whatever that may be). He invaded her personal space early on in their partnership, he made her uneasy in their first year together. He stood too close for having just met her.
What makes her sick now is looking back at how friendly he had been when dealing with her family. Her mother likes him, and since her father had passed away, she was the one person that Mulder would need the most approval of. Her mother trusted him. Scully wishes that she had listened to Bill's concerns about Mulder. Perhaps if she had been more open to hearing his perspective on Mulder, her life wouldn't be so horrible now. Because of Mulder, she rarely spoke to her brother anymore. He never understood why she blindly followed him in his quest. Now she wonders why she did so as well. She misses her brother. She desperately wants to have his approval, but feels it is too late.
Monica's soft voice breaks Scully's train of thought.
"What is it like being involved with your partner?"
Monica is hesitant to bring up Mulder and Scully's relationship, knowing that it is a sensitive subject for Scully, one that never fails to upset her.
Scully takes a deep breath. "Things were better before he thought I was interested in him outside our professional life."
"I see." Monica's eyes fall to the sand beneath them.
"You and Agent Doggett seem to be getting close..." Scully tries to lighten their mood.
"I guess so." Monica pauses. "I think he's having a difficult time realizing he's finally interested in someone after having been divorced for nine years. He finally found the man who killed his son. He held onto Barbara and Luke for so long, I think he still finds them hard to let go of."
"Emotional baggage... that can definitely hold a person back."
"Speaking from experience?"
Scully sighs heavily.
"Yes and no. I've dealt with the loss of family including my own children, so I can relate to how he feels. However, the situations John has dealt with are different from my own."
Scully wraps her arms tightly around herself. She does this to shelter herself from hinting at what Mulder did to her. There is no reason to bring that up, no matter how badly she needs to talk about it to help herself heal.
Monica wipes a raindrop from the side of her face and looks up at the sky.
"Looks like it's starting to rain. We better hurry up before we get down-poured on."
Scully and Monica take off running down the sandy beach, heading closer to their house. The rain falls down harder and harder with each passing second.
John Doggett runs up the stairs of the beach house two at a time. The pouring rain drenches him. He walks through the screen porch and living room and enters the bathroom in between two bedrooms. He grabs a towel and rubs it across his face and through his hair. He places the towel on the hook on the wall next to him.
He stares at himself in the mirror, his hands resting on the counter. He's getting too old for this shit. When he graduated from Quantico, he believed that he'd quickly rise to the top of the Bureau. Never in his life would he have guessed that he'd be hidden in the basement, investigating paranormal mumbo jumbo, with no opportunity for advancement.
Now here he is in beautiful South Carolina, hunting for a ghost with Dana Scully and Monica Reyes. One who he has grown to care for and to love, yet never received the feelings in return. The other he suspected wanted something more than professionalism and friendship between the two of them.
He peels his wet shirt off his body and wrings the excess water out and into the sink. He's convinced himself the past couple of weeks that he needs to let Scully know how he feels for her regardless of what she may or may not feel for him. He can't allow himself to look back in life when he is older and wonder what if.
He isn't sure if it would be appropriate to tell her his feelings since she is already involved with another man, Mulder. A man that despite his love for Scully, had run away, believing his life to be threatened when all evidence was of the contrary. It was Scully's son, William, whose life had been in danger. So much danger that Scully felt that there was no other option than to give him up for adoption. She told him after making the decision that she felt incapable of protecting him.
Recently, he had been pushing his boundaries with Scully. Being more friendly, calling her more often just to talk, showing his interest in her in front of Monica. He hadn't been able to find the right time to tell her how he feels, and Pawley's Island could very well present him with an opportunity. Only Monica was always with them.
He hears the door to their screen porch open, followed by the laughter of Scully and Monica. He grabs two dry towels and heads to the living room to greet them.
"Hey, thought you two might need these." He tosses the towels at them.
"Thanks." Scully wipes water from her hair and face. She smiles at Doggett, her eyes enjoying his bare chest. For the first time, she notices that he has a tattoo on his left arm: "We shall not forget".
"I think if the weather isn't too bad later, that I'm going to continue looking for the Gray Man. Maybe it's still possible to see him when a storm has arrived."
Doggett laughs, "That's crazy, Mon'. You're likely to catch a cold if you do that."
"A cold won't kill me, plus I'll have you with me to keep me warm."
"Ahh... I don't know..." He nervously rubs the back of his neck.
Scully speaks up. "I already told Monica that I don't want to ghost hunt in the rain. So since I've had my fair share of cold, wet nights ghost hunting, I think it's only fair that the agents currently assigned to the X-Files Division work the field. I'm staying inside to catch up on some reading."
Doggett points to Scully.
"See Mon', that's my idea of a nice evening, reading a good book, not ghost busting."
"I didn't say anything about using proton packs." Monica smiles. "We're hunting, not busting."
"Hunting, whatever. Are you sure you can't do that alone?"
"John, though you might not think this is an official investigation into the validity of the appearance of the Gray Man ghost, and his association with homes left untouched by damaging storms. No matter if we see this apparition or not, Skinner expects us both to hand in case reports of what we did out here. I don't think he'd be amused by a case report about how you spent a night reading a book instead of investigating."
Unbelievable, Doggett shakes his head in disbelief.
"I swear, Monica, you and Agent Mulder would have worked together famously."
"That may be, but he's not here. We are." She walks past him and playfully punches his shoulder. She disappears into the bedroom to the left, taking the bag of clothing and personal items that she brought with her.
Doggett looks at Scully. She has taken a seat on the couch. He points to the room Monica is in.
"Mulder do this to you too?"
Scully nods her head.
"How'd you ever put up with it for so long?"
"I had no other option. Mulder has this way about getting what he wants despite the objection of another."
Doggett sits down next to her, resting comfortably in the corner.
"What book are you reading?"
"Patricia Cornwell novel."
"Why's that odd?" He's sparked her curiosity.
"I just figured you'd be the kind of person who wouldn't read fiction based on what you do at work. That's all. Most guys I know in this field prefer to escape from work in their free time." He jokingly adds, "Ya know, there's more to life than fighting crime, right? Wait. Let me guess, Mulder got you obsessed with the work too."
Obsession and Mulder in the same sentence, this disturbs Scully. This hits directly with her thoughts earlier on how Mulder needed a new obsession after finding out what happened to his sister. She believes that she became his obsession and that is why he hurt her. Why then if he hurt her, would he act as her friend? Treat her kindly as if what he had done to her was not wrong? Maybe he didn't rape her. She had consented at first. Sometimes she got confused about what exactly was going on with her relationship with Mulder. He hurt her. He was nice to her. It was an ongoing pattern.
Doggett's eyes look into Scully's and he sees something in her that he hasn't seen in a very long time: confusion, hurt, and fear. His expression changes to concern. What are her eyes trying to say to him? What is it that she can't bring herself to say to him in words? Her eyes scream out for help.
Scully hesitates to look away from him, and she is saved trying to explain her reaction to their conversation when Monica rejoins them.
Monica sits in between Doggett and Scully on the couch, she places her hand on Doggett's knee.
"Why don't you go get a shirt and dry pants on and we'll go pick up some dinner to bring back here. I'm sure Dana would like to get washed up without us around to get in her way."
Monica takes his hand in hers and stands up, pulling him to his feet.
"We'll be back within the hour, all right?"
"No problem." Scully waves them out of the room.
Doggett disappears into the bedroom to the right where he's placed his bag of clothes. He leaves Scully and Monica alone in the living room.
"If you could pick me up something light, I'd appreciate it. I haven't been feeling very well lately and can't eat anything too heavy."
Monica is confused. "You don't look like you've been sick, maybe suffering from a little sleep deprivation..."
"Ok, let's go." Doggett exclaims. He steps into the room, wearing a gray sweatshirt, the sleeves rolled up, accenting his toned forearms.
Scully follows them to the door and shuts and locks it behind them. Her hand lingers on the doorknob. She takes a deep breath and allows her ears to hear the ringing silence of the room.
She slowly turns around, watching the empty room with cautious eyes.
Heavy pelts of rain hit the roof of the house. It's all she can hear. She looks out the window at the ocean. Storm clouds have darkened the sky, making it look much later than five thirty. She eyes her bag that lies next to the couch. She sits down and takes out her pen and journal. She opens it to write a short entry:
::: They keep saying his name, they don't know what that does to my mind. They can't know. They see me as their guiding light as they struggle to understand working x-file cases. If they only knew what happened between myself and him. How much it destroyed me, they'd never see me as a strong individual again. I hope I haven't said anything to make them suspicious. :::
Scully bites the top of her pen. That sums up her feelings for the day. She shoves her journal back into her bag and heads to the bathroom to take a warm shower. She tosses her bag into the same bedroom where Doggett has placed his belongings.
Inhaling the warm steam from the shower relieves the headache she had felt developing earlier in the day. She has already rinsed her hair and body from her favorite raspberry shampoo and body wash. The gentle pulsating water from the showerhead feels so good on her body. She hadn't realized how tense she is until now. She breathes deep as she massages her shoulders and neck with her hands.
She closes her eyes and imagines that her hands belong to John. What would they feel like touching her body? She imagines that he is gentle, she longs to feel the sensual touch of a man who loves her, who cares for her, who will understand her.
Her fingers caress over her breasts and move down toward her center, the feeling she gives herself, scares her. She opens her eyes. Her breathing is quick and uneasy. If attempting to self-pleasure almost triggers a flashback, how would actual sexual contact make her feel?
There is no way that Mulder is going to effect her sexual life after him. She is stronger than that, she knows it and if ever presented the opportunity to make love, she would take it and prove to herself that Mulder has not destroyed her ability to express love to another human being. He can't take that away from her.
Scully shakes her head to keep herself in the moment and not reflect back on what Mulder did to her. She focuses on the water coming from the shower. She is here, not back at her apartment with Mulder. She is safe. He is not here.
She turns off the water and steps out onto a towel John had designated as their bathmat. She grabs the towel hanging on the hook on the wall. It's damp and smells distinctly like John Doggett. She smiles. She dabs the towel over her skin and walks into the bedroom. She slips into a short, dark green satin nightgown and throws on her matching robe. She runs a comb through her wet hair and then heads into the living room. She picks her book up from the coffee table and makes herself comfortable on the couch.
"Hey! There she is."
Doggett's loud voice startles her. She gasps, covering her mouth with her hand.
Doggett steps into view, eating what could only be polish sausage.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." He smiles at her.
"She probably thought you were a ghost." Monica steps next to him. "John found a polish sausage stand..."
"They're not M Street, but they'll do for now." He gives Scully a smile. "I got one for you too."
"I told him not to, but he refused to listen to me." Monica explains apologetically.
"You can't make the generalization that women don't like polish sausage." He's argued this point with Monica before.
"I've never met a woman who likes those things."
Scully smirks, John's going to love this.
"Actually, I love polish sausage."
Doggett's face lightens up. Seeing his smile warms her heart.
Monica makes a face. That's disgusting.
"Ok, maybe I just had a really bad time in Gadansk with Brad several years back. You've proven my generalization wrong." Monica smiles at him.
Doggett hands Scully her sausage, no plate. She bites into it and the garnish starts to fall out of the end. Doggett places his hand below to catch it as it falls out.
"Don't want to get garnish all over that nice nightgown you've got on."
He and Monica sit with Scully on the couch. Monica eats a sub sandwich.
Outside the window, a flash of lightening illuminates the sky. Doggett looks to Monica, still not wanting to believe that she is going to make him join her on a ghost hunt.
Cold drops of rain continue to drench Doggett and Monica as they sit on wet sand on the beach. Doggett is cold. All he wants is to go back inside and warm up. He and Monica are both wearing hooded sweatshirts so they wouldn't have to worry about getting too wet. The rain is falling so hard that within minutes of stepping outside, they were soaked. So much for hooded sweatshirt protection.
They watch the huge waves crash against the shore as thunder growls around them, warning them of worse things to come. Doggett glances over at Monica, her eyes are intense, scanning the beach for the ghost. As time passes, the winds pick up and the harder it rains.
"Monica, relevant question: if we were to see this ghost, don't you think he'd appear to us before the storm hit shore?"
"Not necessarily. Remember the story. The man ran away in the middle of the storm, so theoretically we could see him now."
Doggett lets out an irritated sigh and glances back over his shoulder toward their beach house. He doesn't see Scully from the angle he is at.
"I hope she doesn't mind me requesting her to accompany us here..."
"What?" Monica doesn't know what he's talking about.
"Dana. She hasn't really been needed."
"I told you she didn't need to come."
"Yeah... but sometimes it's nice to have a like-mind on a case like this. No offense."
"I'm going to go check on her. I don't want her thinking we've forgotten her again."
He says nothing and runs back up to the house. Monica watches after him, she can sense he is nervous about something. What? She doesn't know. She looks out at the ocean, thinking about how nice it would have been if he had wrapped his arms around her to keep warm.
Exhausted from having little sleep the night before, interviewing witnesses, and walking on a beach all day, Scully has fallen asleep on the couch. Her book lies on the ground, having been dropped from her hand.
Doggett enters the room and sees her sleeping. He doesn't want to wake her, but he needs to talk to her. He takes off his hooded sweatshirt and drops it on the floor. He doesn't notice how wet his Marines T-shirt is due to the rain.
He gently touches her shoulder. She defensively sits up straight and brushes his hand off of her shoulder. Her eyes are wide open. She is relieved to see that it is him, and not an unwanted visitor.
"You scared me."
"That's twice in the same day..."
He's really getting concerned for her. He's never seen someone wake with such a start.
"You plan on going to bed or do you have a moment? I need to talk to you about something."
Scully yawns, "It's too early for bed."
"Stay here, I'll go put something dry on."
Doggett goes to the bedroom she follows him, not staying in the living room as he asked.
She stands behind him in the doorway, watching as he strips off his T-shirt. She redirects her eyes as he begins removing his jeans. God, he has a beautiful body. She wonders what it would feel like to touch him, to feel his skin underneath her touch. She loves him. She has no doubt about that. It hurts her to know that he doesn't feel the same for her. She wishes that she could tell him how she feels, but her emotions scare her.
Doggett turns around as he finishes putting on his flannel pajama pants. He sees her watching him, but she hasn't noticed he's facing her now.
She looks at him. Sadness has washed over her. She steps into the room, walking past him. She sits on the foot of the bed.
"What's wrong, Dana?"
"Nothing. Why?" She lies.
"I don't know, you seem a little distant today, that's all."
"You said you need to talk to me about something. What?" She quickly changes the topic.
"... and me." He looks her in the eyes, she doesn't shy away from his gaze.
Afraid that he has figured out what her darkest secret is, she tries to redirect the conversation.
"Don't worry about dragging me with you and Monica on this case. Despite my mood, I'm having a good time."
"I care a lot about you, Dana." He takes hold of her hands to show his seriousness. "I've never known if it would be appropriate to say this to you, but I'm tired of waiting for signs that you care for me too."
"I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to know if there's a chance you could ever feel the same for me. If Mulder never comes back to you, could you... do you think you'd be able to love me?"
Scully's jaw drops involuntarily. She never in her life thought she'd hear words like this come out of his mouth, directed at her.
"Dana... I tried not to let myself fall in love with you, but time and again I watched you fall apart over a man who didn't seem to care what happened to you so long as his x-files were safe and he was out of harm's way. I wanted to help you, to comfort you, but Mulder was always so highly regarded in your eyes and I felt useless to you... I felt that you didn't want anyone but Mulder in your life, that my help was unwanted."
He hesitates and looks deeper into her eyes, speaking to her soul.
"Then last year when he ran off, leaving you alone with William... I watched you face danger, which ultimately lead you to give up your son..."
A quiet sob escapes Scully's mouth at the thought of her son, William. She had wanted a child so much and then when she was blessed with a miracle, it was a result of Mulder's rape. She didn't care that he was not conceived in love. As months passed, the harder it became for her to look at her son without remembering what Mulder had done to her. She not only gave William up because she felt she couldn't protect him, she gave him up because he was part of her life that she wants to forget.
She lowers her head to break contact with Doggett's eyes. He carefully lifts her chin with his hand so he can look at her. She sees how much concern he has for her and can feel the love he wishes to share with her.
"You deserve someone who cares for you, Dana, not someone who needs you to aid him on some quest for proof of alien existence and government conspiracies, but for who you are and who you want to be."
Scully shifts closer to him so she can wrap her arms around him. All she ever wanted was a man to love her unconditionally. To love her despite her flaws, and to love her for who she wants herself to be. Hearing John Doggett say this to her only confirms that he is the right man for her.
"Thank you." She whispers into his ear.
Doggett kisses the top of her head and wraps his arms around her as well. Her body tenses under his touch and she pulls away from him, looking into his eyes. She is afraid that she is unable to allow close physical contact, fearing that this contact could trigger a very real flashback.
Time stands still. Thunder gently rolls outside and lightening flashes. Heavy rain occupies all the sounds of the room.
Feeling the need to prove to herself that what happened to her has no effect on her sexuality and her need to pursue a relationship with John Doggett, she hesitantly reaches out and touches the side of his face, her thumb gently caressing his skin. His face is smooth, clean-shaven.
She leans into him and kisses him, her soft lips brushing against his. She hesitantly opens her mouth to him, her tongue caressing his upper lip. Cautiously he slips his tongue into her mouth, gentle and loving.
Doggett can't believe this is actually happening. He had expected to be turned down. His hands caress her back and slide up her neck and into her hair. Scully trembles into his mouth, this encourages him to go further.
Her delicate hands run underneath his T-shirt, her fingernails sensuously teasing his skin. He pulls her closer to him. She breaks from his grasp and stands in front of him, dropping her robe to the floor, the silky texture sliding gracefully down her skin.
His eyes admire her beautiful body. He places his hands on her hips as she places her hands on his shoulders.
Time does not exist. They have all the time in the world to express their love for one another. Scully exhales nervously and closes her eyes. Her legs weaken under his touch. Her fingers grip hard into his shoulders, she is fighting away the fear all her senses are recalling.
The satin of her nightgown is so smooth, he imagines her bare skin is even more so. He slides his hands along her outer thighs and hooks his thumbs around the bottom of her nightgown. He is surprised that she is not wearing underwear. He looks up at her, his eyes darkened by his arousal for her. He lifts her nightgown over her head and tosses it to the floor. He runs his hands over her naked skin. Her skin is so soft. His eyes admire every inch of visible skin on her body. Every curve, every imperfection is beautiful.
She holds her breath as he lowers her to the bed and removes his flannel pants. He lies next to her, his hand touching the soft skin underneath her breasts. They watch one another, neither one of them is sure what to do next. There is no need to rush. Doggett wants them to savior each timeless moment they have together.
"You're so beautiful, Dana..." he whispers.
He cups his hand over her breast and rolls his thumb over her erect nipple and then teases her by caressing the side of her breast with his delectable fingers. Her body shudders under his touch.
Scully closes her eyes and moans approval. He lies on top of her and kisses her forehead... her cheek... her mouth. Their kiss deepens and grows with love and passion. Their tongues thoroughly exploring each other. As they kiss, he slowly repositions himself on top of her, preparing for the inevitable.
Scully's mind races as she realizes his body weight on her. His hand continues massaging her breast. She questions whether or not they should be doing this now. She began this seduction to prove to herself that being physical with a man would not bother her. Who was she kidding?! Her heart begins to race and her stomach turns. She isn't ready for this. She and John, as a couple, are absolutely not ready for this. Not until he understands what she has been through.
She squeezes her eyes shut and winces in pain. A tear falls down her face.
She's suddenly very aware of the physical and emotional pain resulting in her sexual encounter with Mulder. His hands roughly and eagerly grope at her breasts, hurting her, bruising her. His erection thrusts hard into her body with no lubrication. She's sure his size has torn her delicate skin again. He's angry with her for telling him she no longer wishes to be involved with him romantically or sexually. Now she is paying the price.
She pushes at his chest as hard as she can in an attempt to make him stop fucking her. He ignores her pleas to stop and continues. She screams quietly, afraid to be heard, fearing that if someone did, Mulder would only hurt her more.
The concerned voice of John Doggett enters her mind. She jerks her head to the side and gasps in fear for air. Tears are streaming down her face. Doggett touches the side of her face with his hand, wiping away her tears. Her eyes snap open and she holds her breath. Her mind slowly comes to realize that she's with John, not Mulder. She is having a panic attack, coinciding with a horrid flashback.
"Dana, look at me, what's wrong?" He's very worried for her.
She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. She rolls away from him and onto her side.
Doggett isn't sure what to think. One minute they're about to make love, the next she's reacting to him as if he is hurting her and making love to her against her will. He reaches out and touches her; her body tenses in fear.
"Talk to me, Dana... what's wrong?"
He spoons up behind her and places a kiss to the back of her neck. Whatever is upsetting her, he wants her to know that he is here for her, to provide her security, protection, and comfort.
She cries uncontrollably and doesn't want him to see her. Her hands grasp onto his arms, holding him to her, as if he is the last thing in the world that means anything to her.
He hears her sobs. His brow wrinkles with concern. He doesn't know what to say or to do other than lie here next to her.
She holds him tight, not letting go of his arm. He feels that she needs him. She needs him to understand her without question right now. He does. He feels her pain and it breaks his heart. What has she been through to bring her to this?
"I'm so cold..." She shivers and backs closer into his warm body.
He feels goose bumps all over her arms. He reaches down and grabs the blanket at the foot of the bed. He pulls it over both their naked bodies. Scully wipes tears from her face with the back of her hand. She turns to face him, her eyes do not meet his. She lets them rest on her hands.
"I'm sorry..." her voice shakes.
"For what?" He tries to look into her eyes. He's unsuccessful.
"I'm sorry..." she tries to say more, but she chokes back more tears. She cries, unable to continue speaking.
He brushes a strand of hair off her face and tucks it behind her ear.
"You have nothing to be sorry about... we shouldn't rush into our relationship. Neither one of us is ready for this."
He rubs his hands along her shoulder in an attempt to warm her up. His mind is preoccupied with Scully's behaviour in the past few minutes. Before he was assigned to the X-Files, he worked in Criminal Investigations in the FBI. In that division, he had seen his share of violent crimes, but none disgusted him more than the rape of a woman. He had dealt with rape victims and had seen a variety of reactions: shock, humiliation, guilt, denial and complete shut down. Though he had never dealt with helping a victim recover, he had read enough on the process to make an educated guess that Dana had been raped.
He's sure what he just witnessed had been a flashback triggered by their physical actions. He had never seen someone so frightened in his whole forty-three years of life. He understands that the healing process can take years to go through and even then the memories and the experience will always haunt them. He takes a deep breath and gives Scully a light squeeze.
"Do you want to talk about what happened?" He whispers into her ear.
"You mean tonight?"
"No. About what happened to you."
She is quiet for a long beat, deciding whether or not she wants to let him know what happened to her. It's been three years since Mulder first forced her into a sexual relationship with him. She's dealt with this for so long on her own...
"Mulder..." her voice is below a whisper.
Doggett's tone expresses surprise and doubt. The very reason why she had never reported the incident, she had been afraid she wouldn't be believed.
"He's hurt me in the past..." She's reluctant to continue. "Not only by sucking me into his quest, distancing me from my family, my friends and my faith. He's disregarded what I wanted. He made me feel guilty if I thought of leaving him to do what I wanted with my life. So I continued on with him." She's getting angry. "He was my best friend, my only friend. The only person I felt I could trust. I wanted to have a child and I asked him to help. In vitro failed and I think he misunderstood my reasons for asking him as something else. I don't know... you know how you should be able to trust your best friend... I wish I never made that mistake."
She pulls the blanket up to cover more of her upper body.
"He thought I wanted more than friendship. No... first he thought he could offer me comfort by fucking me. I went along with it at first. I selfishly hoped the act would impregnate me. Then the more I thought about it..." She starts crying again. "He raped me, John..."
She holds back tears and her breathing shakes. This is the first time she has said this aloud. It's both frightening and relieving to finally have told someone. She takes a breath before continuing.
"I tried to push him away, but he kept going. I yelled at him to stop..."
Her whole body is shaking in fear, reliving the hell she went through. It's so hard to tell John what happened to her, yet it feels good to get it off her chest, to let someone else know. She no longer feels she is the only one with the knowledge of her burden. She swallows another cry and continues.
"He said he was sorry. That what he did, he did because he loved me." She sneers with hatred at her last three words.
Doggett wraps his arms securely around her body, protecting her.
"I didn't know what to do, John. He pretended as if he had done nothing wrong. He believed that what he did brought us closer together... that we became... that I became his reluctant lover."
"He did this to you more than once?" John's voice is soft and comforting.
She nods her head, ashamed of herself for letting Mulder get away with his crimes.
John hesitates in asking his next question.
"Did he hurt you after we found him last year?"
She nods her head again, not wanting to talk about the night before Mulder left her and William. She had hoped he wouldn't have hurt her so soon after she had given birth to their child whom she had named after his father in an attempt to please him. Maybe by doing this he would spare her body the dark secret of their relationship. She had been wrong.
Anger burns through Doggett's veins. If Mulder weren't in hiding, he would pay him a visit as soon as he and Dana returned to Washington. He'd give that son-of-a-bitch exactly what he deserved.
Doggett has been quiet for a long time; this concerns Scully. She gently touches the side of his face.
"John?" She's quiet.
"Yeah?" His voice is tense, anger toward Mulder is evident.
He looks at her now, fully realizing why she always seemed to carry such pain and fear inside her. This explains why she rarely called her son by his name, why she got upset at the mention of Mulder's name, why she had a hard time trusting him at first, and was more trusting of Monica when they first met. It all made sense to him now.
Doggett is angry with himself for not realizing that this was going on. He could have prevented it from happening to her last year, after they found Mulder.
Scully presses her forehead to his and speaks quietly to him.
"I want to trust you completely, John, but I find it difficult to trust anyone after what happened to me... do you understand that this is going to take time... I need a lot of time..."
She holds back more tears and her body tenses, she is afraid of the words that are coming from her mouth. She sits up and grabs her bathrobe from the floor and puts it on.
"I'm sorry." She seems angry.
Scully quickly leaves the room, in tears.
Doggett looks on, he doesn't know what to say to her. The right words can't find their way from his heart to his mouth.
He gets out of bed, puts on his flannel pants, and follows her into the kitchen. She slams a cupboard door shut and turns to the sink, filling a glass with water.
"Don't John. I can't deal with this right now."
She takes a gulp of water then slams the glass down on the counter, spilling water everywhere. She is angry with herself for opening up to someone when all she wants to do is pretend this thing with Mulder never happened.
"Can't deal with what?" He's trying to understand.
Her arms flail in the air, indicating herself and him.
"This what? You and me, or Mulder?"
"Leave me alone."
She glares at him and storms past him into the living room.
Outside, there's a loud crack of thunder, immediately followed by a flash of lightening. The electricity flickers, adding to the confusion.
"Dammit Dana!" He follows her. "Don't push me away!" He raises his voice involuntarily. "Not again, not after what you told me." He's trying not to be frustrated, he's failing miserably.
"I said leave me alone."
She turns her back to him, heading back to the bedroom. She wants to protect herself by avoiding what she knows is right, allowing John Doggett into her heart. Allowing herself to finally love again.
Doggett can't let her win this battle. He loves her too much to see her suffer alone. He wants to help her, but first she must realize she needs it. He grabs her arm and she swiftly whips around and slaps him hard across the face. She brings her hand to her mouth, muffling her cries. She didn't mean to hurt him.
The door to the house opens and Monica enters, not noticing the tension in the room right away.
"You guys will never believe what I just saw..." She is excited.
She looks at them and sees that Scully is in tears and Doggett is holding her arm.
"Dana, I want you to understand you're safe with me."
"Let me go." She's weakening, knowing that he is right. Tears flow freely down her face.
"No, you'll only push me away, and you know that's not what you need. Why else did you tell me about what Mulder did to you?"
Monica looks on as Scully bites her lower lip and lowers her gaze from Doggett's. What the heck has she walked in on? She takes a step toward them.
"John? Dana?" She speaks softly.
Doggett hears her and gives her a quick look. "Monica, this doesn't concern you."
He returns his attention to Scully. He sees a break in her determination to escape him so he lets go of her arm.
"I don't know what to do..." she is shaken by her emotions. "... I've lived so long like this, shutting people out. I've silently dealt with what happened. I thought by fucking you that I could prove to myself that what he did to me has no lasting effect."
Having heard this come out of Scully's mouth, Monica excuses herself from the room and retreats to the kitchen. She numbly takes a seat at the table, going over in her mind what she just heard. It doesn't make sense.
Scully tried to have sex with John? What exactly is going on between them? Since when does Scully want to be with John? She's involved with Mulder and is hoping that he'll return to her some day. At least that's what Scully's led her to believe anyway.
What about John? Doesn't he have feelings for her? She sure feels as if he does. Maybe he never did. Is she playing a fool in this game? Considering the tension and tears in the other room, and John telling her it doesn't concern her, she feels as if she's lost hope of having a relationship with her partner. He prefers Scully.
Monica looks around the kitchen and sees spilled water on the counter top. She stands up and grabs a dishtowel and wipes it up, doing anything to keep her mind from accepting the fact that her heart cannot have what it wants.
Though Doggett said none of this concerned her, she can't help but listen in to what is being said in the living room. They speak quietly as if what is happening is a very private moment between them. Most of what she hears is whispers then she clearly hears Doggett state: "I'll never hurt you, Dana. I promise you that."
All falls silent.
Several tense, silent minutes pass before Monica figures it's safe to re-enter the living room and when she does, she sees Doggett and Scully holding each other. Scully's head rests on his bare chest, and his head rests in the crook of her neck, holding her close. He's whispering comforting words in her ear.
The image of the two of them embracing sends a harsh blow to Monica's heart. She swallows hard, preparing to speak to them without disappointment showing in her voice from having discovered that Doggett cared for Scully as she wished him to care for her.
"Agent Doggett? Agent Scully?"
Scully lifts her head from Doggett's chest and looks at her friend.
Monica swallows again. "I think I may have seen the Gray Man ghost." Her voice is soft, reflecting her heartache.
Doggett snaps a doubtful look in her direction.
"That means we have a couple options. One: we stay here and ride out the storm that is approaching to see if this place will hold up. Two: we head inland and return once the storm has passed, to see if this place was saved from any damage because I saw this ghost."
Doggett and Scully look at each other, not acknowledging what Monica has told them.
Scully rises up on her toes and kisses the red handprint on Doggett's face, where she slapped him. She holds his face in her hand.
She whispers, "I'm sorry."
"I know..." he takes hold of her hand and gives it a kiss as he looks her in the eye to assure her that they will work together to make their relationship work despite what has happened to her.
Scully disappears into the bedroom and Doggett turns to face Monica. He's exhausted, but manages a smile for her.
Monica is numb of emotion, and his warm smile breaks her heart.
"I think we need to head inland before this storm comes to shore." She's emotionless.
He nods his head, understanding that it is safer for them to leave before the worst of the storm hits. He disappears into the room that Scully is in, leaving Monica alone with her thoughts. She hears him call Scully's name: "Dana."
Once he's out of sight, Monica's face is flooded with confusion and sadness. All the signs were there that he could have been interested in her. He rarely called her "Agent Reyes" anymore. More often than not he used her first name, even more so than he did with Scully.
Disbelief encompasses her, she knows that John cares for Scully, but never in a million years could she have guessed he had fallen in love with her. Perhaps if she had opened her eyes she would have seen this coming. So many times she had witnessed him take special interest in Scully. When Mulder left her after William was born, he had been worried sick about her wellbeing. Monica knows that he thinks Scully can do better than Mulder, that she can have a man who would always be there for her, that person just happened to be him.
John was always calling her up, asking her for her expert opinion, to accompany them on a case. Scully had been the only one he called when she had been in a car accident earlier that year. He wanted her there with him and she wanted to be with him. Why else would she show up, when she had her own classes to prepare and a child to watch over at home?
Monica thinks about how realistically she never could have had a chance with John. She had been the head investigator on his son's case back in 1993. All she succeeded in was finding his son's dead body. She never found out who had killed him. She knows that it took John years to accept her friendship, he had blamed her for not finding the man that killed his son.
John would always connect her with that time in his life, the worst time in his life. Why would he even think of considering her as a romantic interest when he'd look at her and remember how they first met in New York?
Doggett and Scully step out into the living room, both dressed and carrying their luggage.
"Mon', you ready?" He looks at her, confused as to why she's still standing in the middle of the living room, not ready to leave.
Monica takes a deep breath to compose herself so she can answer him without sounding broken-hearted.
"Yeah, I was just going to grab my bag."
The rain falls hard on the windshield of their bucar, making it hard to see too far ahead in front of them. Doggett has never seen rain downpour this bad in all his life. If he were in any other place right now, he'd have the sense to pull off to the side of the road and wait out the storm, but this is no ordinary storm and he does not want himself, Dana, and Monica in harm's way.
The rhythmic swishing of the windshield wipers has put Scully quickly to sleep in the back seat of the car. Monica sits next to him in the passenger seat. She hasn't said much since leaving Pawley's Island an hour ago.
Doggett turns up the volume on the radio to hear the latest information on the storm. There's nothing new. An hour ago the National Weather Service upgraded Tropical Storm Oliver to a level one hurricane. The eye of the storm is about one hundred miles from the South Carolina shore and is expected to gain momentum as it heads inland.
Doggett looks behind his shoulder at Scully, she continues to sleep peacefully. She reminds him of a storm: beautiful, turbulent, yet calming. Beautiful not only on the outside, but especially on the inside.
He's known her long enough to know that she has a kind spirit and is a very caring woman. No matter how hard she tries to push others away from her, she is always there for those she cares about.
Ten years in the X-Files Division has hardened her, some have even called her an "Ice Queen", but he knows better than to listen to those that believe that. Her experiences within the Bureau and her experiences with Mulder have created turbulence within her spirit.
He had watched her tonight as she opened up to him on a very personal aspect of her life, and then he watched as she turned around and seemed angry with him. That is the turbulence she carries with her, it is a turbulence that he will get to know well for years to come.
Despite all that has hurt her, and changed her, being with her calms his soul. Before he was assigned to the X-Files, he was a hard-ass investigator. He never let personal emotions effect his work ethic. Since meeting Dana his emotions have been getting the better of him. There is something about her that speaks to him at a level deeper than anyone else he knows. He feels his own soul again, something which he thought he'd never be able to do again since Luke died.
Monica's quiet voice interrupts his thoughts.
"What exactly was going on between you and Agent Scully earlier?"
Her question is a timid one, he can tell she's been wanting to ask him this for some time now. He hesitates before answering her.
"Something very personal between Dana and I."
Monica bites her lower lip. That isn't exactly what she wanted to know. John is stating the obvious. She questions him further.
"Did it have to do with Agent Mulder and you confessing your feelings for her?" Monica asks bluntly.
"Yeah." He pauses. "You know how I feel for her?" He looks at Monica with an eyebrow slightly raised.
"It's obvious." She watches his reaction. He nods his head. "You'd do anything for her, John. I don't doubt that."
Doggett stares out the window of the car. No matter how many times he thinks Monica's ideas and feelings are mumbo jumbo, he can't ignore that the woman can hit everything on the nail ninety percent of the time. Especially when dealing with him.
"Do you love her?" Monica's tone is serious.
He gives her a look. "Of course I do." He takes a breath and continues. "She's the best thing to happen to me since Barbara and I divorced. I thought I'd never know love or happiness again, and then I met her. She breathes life back into me... I don't know any other way to describe the way she makes me feel."
Monica doesn't have a reaction to this. She's always thought she'd be the one to "breathe life" back into him.
"You all right, Monica? You look sad." He's concerned.
"I'm sorry, John. I didn't mean to make it seem as if I'm not happy for you and Dana, I am."
"But I guess I always thought I helped `breathe life' back into you." She laughs nervously. "Silly, huh?"
"That's not silly, Mon'. You did help me." He sighs. "You know how I was after Luke died? I shut as many people out of my life as I could, but you... you continued the investigation weeks, months after we had found him in that field. You kept me updated on any developments." He glances at her and his voice becomes very serious. "You were there to comfort me when I wouldn't let anyone else come close to me." He looks back at the rain-soaked road ahead of them. "Sometimes I wonder what could have happened to me if you hadn't been there."
Monica doesn't know what to say. The silence in the car is deafening.
"Thank you, Monica." He is relieved of a heavy burden he's been carrying on his shoulders.
"I never thanked you for being there for me and working so hard on Luke's case. Thank you."
Monica's mouth tries to utter a "you're welcome", but only a hushed whisper escapes her mouth. She never realized how important their friendship is to him. So many years have passed since they first met and she has been blinded by her attraction to him to realize that their friendship had already reached its full potential. She is his best friend. She'll always be here for him and he for her.
No matter what problems he'd have with his relationship with Dana, she would always be his friend.
Relationships are risky. If something goes wrong, you lose the person you are close to. Friends are always friends. It's not typical that you lose friends more than you lose romantic relationships. Friends are friends for life. Monica smiles to herself, happy to know that John has finally found someone to love and who loves him. She's happy that she is his friend and always will be.
It's one in the morning and the hotel room is dark and cold. Scully can't fall asleep. She keeps thinking about all that she revealed to John last night. The darkness in the room terrifies her, she's not at home and can't just get up and turn on the kitchen light for comfort, she has to consider that there are two other people in the room.
John had worried about Bureau protocol regarding agents of the opposite sex sleeping in the same hotel room. Monica reminded him that Skinner wouldn't mind, otherwise he would have had them rent two beach houses on Pawley's Island, not one. John gave in when he was informed that vacancies were quickly running out in the Florence area since everyone on the coast was escaping the storm. A smile forms on Scully's face. She loves how he worries about following orders and doing everything by the book.
The storm outside is more like a severe thunderstorm, not a hurricane. A loud crash of thunder, and a flash of lightening frightens her. Now she really feels the need to get up and turn on the bathroom light and leave the door open a crack.
The events of the previous day had exhausted John and Monica and they had both fallen asleep before her. She had dozed off too, but the violence of the storm outside had disturbed her sleep, producing a nightmare for her. She awoke with a start and sat straight up in the bed that she is sharing with Monica.
She's glad that her nightmare hadn't woken Monica and John, they need their rest and she doesn't want to be a burden to them both.
Restless, Scully rolls over onto her side and watches Doggett sleep in the other bed. In his sleep he looks years younger than his age. The stress of life must have a good grip on him when he's awake.
What does he dream about? What dreams seem to bring him so much peace? She wishes she could have normal dreams again. The dreams she's had the past couple years have been unbearable, digging up details that she'd rather forget about altogether. After she awoke from her nightmare, she found herself afraid to try to get back to sleep. This unfamiliar hotel room makes her uneasy. She's afraid that her nightmare will haunt her again tonight.
Scully looks at Monica to make sure that she is fast asleep. She quietly and carefully gets out of bed and crawls into John's. He shifts his position as she makes herself comfortable next to him.
In some ways, she is still afraid to be so close to a man, even a man she knows she can trust. After Mulder raped her she found it increasingly difficult to trust men - even those that she had known for years. She never called her brothers to let them know that she was pregnant. She left that up to her mother. She had a hard time trusting Skinner, a man who had proven time and again that he was on her side. She knew deep in her heart that these men would never hurt her, but there was always that negative voice in the back of her mind that reminded her that she had trusted Mulder and he betrayed her in the most gruesome way possible.
One day, she would have to explain to John her rash behaviour towards him when they first met. He is a man and when he came into her life so suddenly, she was revolted by the male species. She hated men. She hated the sight of men. She had acted according to her emotions, not her gut instinct that he was one of the good guys - she chose to ignore that to protect herself.
Scully watches him sleep. She's so close to him. She wants to reach out and hold him, however she is afraid to touch him. Afraid that if she does that he would be startled awake, which in turn would startle her.
She props herself up onto her elbow and looks at his face. She wonders how he got that small scar on the bridge of his nose... did he do something foolish as a child? Had be been attacked by a large dog? In a heated debate with Monica about psychic plasma, did he overreact and whack his face with a manila file folder? She smiles, one day she'd find out.
What does her future hold with this man? Will he know what to say or do when she's struck by a panic attack? A nightmare? A flashback? Could he really help heal her pain?
Where would they be in a week? A month? A year? Thirty years from now? Would she one day conceive a child through love with this man, or had she had her one gift of a miracle with Mulder?
What would Bill Jr. think of him? Surely he'd like him more than he liked Mulder.
She squeezes her eyes shut and bites her lower lip. A tear falls down her cheek. She's sure that everything John had said to her is a dream. Her life has been much too unfortunate for John Doggett to tell her he loves her and to mean every word. She must be dreaming.
Doggett shifts in his sleep. Scully opens her eyes and watches him. His nose twitches and a low rumble rises in his throat as he slowly wakes up. His eyes open and look at her. He sees that tears have built up in her eyes.
"Dana?" he whispers, "You okay?"
"Had a nightmare and couldn't get back to sleep. I hope you don't mind me joining you." She adjusts the blankets around her to trap in the warmth of their bodies. She rests her head on the pillow next to him, keeping her eyes on him at all times.
He moves closer to her. "Is it all right if I put my arm around you?" He asks to make sure she's comfortable with him being close to her.
"Yes. Thank you for asking." She gives him a tired smile.
He places his arm behind her head and she rests her head against him. He feels her muscles tense up from his touch.
"It's okay, Dana. I won't hurt you..." He repositions the blankets around them to keep her warm.
A ground-shaking crash of thunder startles Scully, her body automatically jumps and she gasps loudly. She squeezes her eyes shut, attempting to push her fear away. Doggett isn't sure what he can do to help her. He's never personally dealt with this situation before.
"Are you sure you're all right, Dana?"
"Just scared." Her voice trembles.
"Scared of me or something else?" He hopes he's not digging in a place that she's not ready to explore yet.
"I'm scared of so many things, John." She takes a deep breath and exhales slowly. "I'm afraid of us."
Doggett looks at her with worried eyes.
"I'm afraid that one day Mulder will return and I won't be strong enough to say `no' to him. He frightened me into a relationship with him, I'm afraid if he comes back, that he'll make me feel obligated to be with him again. I'm afraid that I'll be too scared to find the courage to stay with you..."
This is the God's honest truth, Doggett sees this in her eyes. Even in the dimly lit room, her face is pale. He sees her weakened soul and knows that if Mulder were to come back sooner rather than later, that she would be with him for fear that he would hurt her more. Doggett would never let that happen and if it did, he'd find a way to save her.
"What are you afraid of, John?" She whispers.
He takes a deep breath. He does not want to give her the go-around response he'd give anyone else. This is Dana Scully. Their relationship deserves brutal honesty.
"I'm afraid of failing the ones I love."
She nods her head encouraging him to continue.
"You know that I was stationed in Beirut in 1983, right?" He pauses. "I was with the Marines back then, our headquarters was located at the Beirut International Airport. The night of the bombing, I was at the far end of the building, sharing some late night - early morning jokes with a friend. Um..." He holds his breath before continuing, "We heard a terrible explosion that shook the base of the building's foundation. Before we even arrived at the barracks, I knew..." His body involuntarily shivers, "I knew that my battalion, my friends were attacked by a terrorist..."
Scully wraps her arm around his waist, drawing herself closer to him. She can't even imagine trying to grasp the concept of what it would be like to be involved in a terrorist attack. She doesn't hear him breathing, and sees that his eyes are closed, reliving the emotions of the attack in his mind.
"John...?" She wants him to breathe.
His eyes open and look into hers, "I rushed inside the rubble to do all that I could to help those that needed to be saved. I got to my friend, George, and was almost out of the building and it collapsed on top of me, on top of George, on top of hundreds of young soldiers who had families of their own and there was nothing I could do to save them." A tear falls down his face. "Most of those guys were like family to me, Dana. We all trained at Camp Lejeune before being sent out to Lebanon. We hung out together, we were all we had in terms of family for months..."
Scully had never realized before how much pain he kept locked up inside himself. He always presented himself as the strong one. Nothing could penetrate through his tough exterior. She now knows this to be false and she is glad to know that he wants to share his pain with her. She knows that she is not alone in silent suffering.
"We shall not forget..." Scully whispers the words of his tattoo that she had seen earlier. She realizes for the first time the significance of those words. He lost not only friends, but men that he considered to be his brothers.
"That's one of the things in my life that I don't think will ever escape my memory. It's been nearly twenty years, and every so often, the day repeats itself in my dreams... same with the day the task force found my son, Luke, dead in that field... the morning of September 11th when I heard that men and women of the NYPD, that I worked with, lost their lives."
Scully gives him a small squeeze, acknowledging that she knows exactly the feeling he is talking about.
"My wife left me because I didn't know how to support her and deal with my own grief at the same time, I pushed friends and family away and overworked myself. I worked with the NYPD at the same time I worked my way to graduating from the FBI Academy. I immersed myself in the work in order to force emotion out of my life. I never wanted the opportunity to share love again." He pauses and rests his hand on hers. "That was until I met you, and now I fear that I'll fail you by not understanding what you're going through or how I can help."
Scully takes a deep breath and speaks from her heart.
"You can never fail the ones you love, John." She takes hold of his hand. "Loving someone is not a failure. It's a blessing. No matter what has happened or what will happen. Love is never a failure."
Doggett curls his fingers around hers and feels her give his hand a reassuring squeeze. He runs his thumb over the top of her hand. Her skin is so soft, so delicate - like both their souls. If there's such a thing as a soul mate, he knows that his is in his arms tonight.
From the moment they first met, there was a spark between them. Truths about their lives had been revealed delicately, as if fate itself was weaving them together in a bond that grew stronger each day that eventually led them to this moment.
Time lingers for them as they lie awake in comfortable silence, listening to the storm outside. The sound of rain hitting the window tires them until finally sleep takes over their minds and bodies. Tonight, in his arms, her nightmares will not come to haunt her.
The drive back to Pawley's Island is calming for Monica. Perhaps because she's at the wheel and in control. The weather is still gloomy and wet. Hurricane Oliver hit the coast of South Carolina hard and then headed eastward and is no longer a threat to coastal United States.
Monica's head races, wanting to know the fate of their beach house since she saw the Grey Man ghost. The closer they get to the Island, the more damage they see: fallen trees, destroyed businesses, flooded streets, collapsed housing, etc.
Monica slows the car as they turn left onto the street their house is on. The damage is awful, personal belongings are scattered all over the street. Families are wandering through shallow floodwater, searching for anything of value to them that they left behind. One house has shifted and is slanting to the right. The roof is missing.
"Oh my God." Scully is saddened and deeply hurting for the people who have lost memories from their lives.
Monica stops the car in front of the house they are renting. She, Doggett, and Scully get out of the car. They are speechless. From where they are standing at the foot of the driveway, the house looks untouched from the damaging storm.
"No way, Mon'." Doggett can't believe his eyes. "What kind of hocus pocus did you learn down in New Orleans...?"
Monica opens up the car door and takes out a video camera, still camera, notepad and a pencil. She snaps an exterior still photo of their house, making sure to get the house next to theirs in frame for comparison of damage surrounding them.
She switches the video camera on, and walks toward the house, filming their findings. She climbs the stairs and peeks inside a window to see if there is any damage on the inside. Everything is as they left it the night before. Barely any sand and absolutely no water.
"John! Dana! Come here, you've got to see this!"
She looks back over her shoulder only to see that they aren't there. She presses her face against the window again and holds the video camera up. Her jaw is dropped in awe. Screw the skeptics, the legend of the Grey Man is for real. She fumbles around in her pocket to get the keys so she can film the interior of the house and touch it with her own bare hands.
Inside, she runs her hands over the furniture. Dry. The wooden floor is dry. She happily takes still pictures of the house. This is frickin' unbelievable, and she's a believer!
She goes to the back porch and sees that their beach towels are still hanging on the back of a chair. She places her hands on her hips and looks out at the ocean. This is amazing. She can't wait to write up her case report for Skinner, and she can't wait to see what John and Dana will have to say.
Monica looks down the beach in the direction where she saw the Grey Man the night before. She sees John and Dana walking together, dodging debris from the storm that lies on the beach. They are holding hands. He moves to wrap his arm around her waist and kisses her cheek.
The salty air is energizing to Scully after very little sleep and the emotional roller coaster she and John braved through last night. Even though everything around them has been violently pounded by the storm, there is a calm surrounding them.
They stop walking and Scully feels John wrap both his arms around her waist, pulling him safely toward him. She inhales the ocean air when he gives her a little hug. She rests the back of her head against his chest and wonders how much easier life could have been if they had met years ago, but there's no need to ponder over that now. What matters now is that they have found themselves and peace with each other and that they both will help the other heal from their sufferings. One day, they will live the normal life together that they have both wanted to live for so many years.
Another note from the author:
I've never personally dealt with rape and I haven't known anyone personally that has been raped. All character reactions and actions in this story dealing with the aftermath of rape are the result of researching the topic and reading testimonials of rape victims. I've also never been in South Carolina during a hurricane, I've watched plenty of Weather Channel documentaries on hurricanes and I did some research of the South Carolina area.
Love it? Hate it? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org You can find my other stories at these sites:
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