“Dana Scully speaking”
“So how’d it go?”
“You know hello would have been nice Missy”
“Tell me! You can’t just leave the house on Thursday with that dress in your suitcase and expect me to not want details?”
“Did you go through my luggage?”
“I was looking for a top. But who was the guy? Was it David from work? Or Mark from that bar that one time?”
“And why should I tell you?”
“Dana this is the first time you’ve gone out in a year-”
“Whatever. I just want to know who the lucky guy is.”
“His name is Mulder…”
“It’s his last name. He doesn’t like his first.”
“Mysterious. I like it. Go on.”
“He’s living in my old apartment”
“Wow Danes that seriously some rom com shit”
“I know, I know. He’s cute. Tall, far too confident, obviously brilliant…”
“Sounds like you’re already in love”
“But I don’t think it’s going to work out.”
“What, why? It was only the first date what could he have possibly done wrong”
“He works at the FBI. On unexplained cases of the supernatural variety. X files he called them.”
“I don’t know if I can see him again.”
“Does he know?”
“Did I tell him on our first and probably only date that if he looks hard enough he likely has a file in his office with my name in it? No, he doesn’t know.”
“Do you think he’s doing an undercover investigation on you?”
“Gee thanks Mis, because the only reason a guy would be interested in me would be because he’s on a secret case”
“I’m not saying that! But don’t you think it’s a little weird that the minute you moved out of your old apartment an FBI agent investigating the paranormal moves in to take your place?”
“I don’t know Missy. I don’t know, it's just too much to think about. I’m going to go to bed now.”
“Ok. You’re coming home on Monday right?”
“Yea. I’ll see you then.”
It was her luck that something like this would happen. Hadn’t she already been through enough? She left Stanford with a medical degree and all the freedom in the world, moved to her favorite city, and started saving lives. She made the world a better place, worked her ass off day in and day out to help children, saving God’s little angels, and how does He repay her? By ripping her life into pieces and throwing them into the trash, and then lighting the trash can on fire. So she moves back home, stays with her family. She recovers, she fights to get the life she had back, and she finally develops some sense of normalcy, even getting confident enough to go back out with a guy. And he’s a fucking alien investigator at the FBI. Like she hadn’t dealt with enough G-men already. Now this man who had somehow captivated her mind for the last month was just another threat. And she really was so naive as to believe the world would throw a perfectly good man in her lap.
She certainly hadn’t been looking. When he had first called her all she wanted was for him to leave her alone. She didn’t trust men anymore, and certainly didn’t feel like putting in the effort to court one. But talking to him in her apartment made her feel those butterflies she hadn’t felt in a long time. He just had this air around him, an aura that projected both confidence and a pure wild energy, a mix that intoxicated her every time she drew near him. He grabbed her wrist and she hadn’t worn a bracelet for the next week. She could still feel the phantom grip of his fingers and the electricity that flowed through them, like a newly connected circuit powering up for the first time. He hadn’t left her head since. She tried to call him as soon as she got home the next day, but she had been so caught up with his floppy hair and lopsided smile that she had completely forgotten to save his number from her mother’s phone to hers. So she placed faith in the postal system and hoped he would be charmed by her antics. And it worked. She was going out on a date with a man who made her head spin, one who tried to pretend that he was unphased by probably the tightest dress she owned even though he didn’t close his mouth for a full minute when he first saw her.
The date was perfect until they had talked about jobs. And then he dropped the bomb and she tried to brush off the feeling in the pit of her stomach by making stupid jokes and he laughed but she couldn’t help but dwell.
“UFO’s, cryptids, anything from crop circles to spontaneous human combustion. If the FBI can’t solve it, they toss it in my pile”
Did he know? He couldn’t have. What kind of psychopath brings up the fact that he studies alien abductions to someone like her. And if he really was undercover he wouldn’t want her to know what his real job was would he? He would have lied.
Unless he was toying with her.
Unless this was another experiment on her, another way to keep tabs on her, make sure she didn’t talk, make sure she was doing her very best to forget everything that happened to her.
She got up from the bed abruptly and shut the blinds on the windows. They clacked together and then the room fell into deep silence again.
He didn’t talk about work for the whole rest of the dinner. He talked about baseball, about how he goes for runs in the park she used to walk through after a long day shift. He said “Behold, a man” when the waiter brought out her garlic and herb chicken. Mulder wouldn’t do that to her. Mulder was just a man with a job whose only interest in her life was whether she was free next Friday to go out again. He paid for the cab back to her hotel and opened the door for her to get in. He was a gentleman.
He’s trying to get her to trust him.
And suddenly everything clicked into place and the air left her lungs. She found herself stumbling to the bed, she knocked over the lamp but it was in her way and she just needed to be in bed. Her ears were ringing, she couldn’t hear, everything was going in and out of black.
He’s watching you. He’s with them. He’s trying to silence you. He’s going to follow you, gain your trust and then he’s going to kill you. He knows where you live, he can track you down, they’ve tried to take her before and he will try again. He’s with them, he’s with them, he’s going to kill you, they’re going to kill you.
Everything’s bright and she’s back in that place with needles and tubes in and out of her, and she knows she’s in a hotel in DC but as many times as she tries to wrap the blankets around her and tuck her feet under her she cannot become small enough to escape them. She feels tears hot down the sides of her cheeks and the sounds of drills in her ears and there's no escape. She hears pounding and wailing and hands grip her wrists and they burn, they burn, so she screams. She won’t let them take her again, she won’t.
“Scully, Scully it's me”
She fights it, and it’s him, it’s Mulder and he’s trying to take her, like she thought.
“Let go of me!” She shrieks, flailing about but she’s trapped, he’s got her trapped, in bed sheets tied around her wrists and feet. “Don’t take me!”
He lets go but she’s still trapped, still fighting.
“Scully no one’s going to take you.”
“Yes! Yes they’re going to take me! You’re going to take me!” He touches her hand and it doesn't burn but it makes a lump in her throat and her fist turns flat. He pulls a sheet off of her and she feels exposed.
“Scully look at me.”
She does. She looks through tears at a blurred man in her hotel room. He doesn’t look like a threat. He looks sad.
“How did you get in here.” He steps to the edge of the bed and she pushes herself back towards the headboard, away. He raises both hands and walks to the other side of the bed where he sits.
“You left your wallet in the taxi. He called me because I paid and I picked it up and brought it here. I made it to your room and I wasn’t going to come in but I heard the lamp crash. So I used the spare key in the wallet and let myself in.”
He seemed to be telling the truth, holding up the wallet as evidence. She hadn’t even realized it was gone.She unlocked the door with the key she kept in her purse. She started to take in her surroundings, the lamp crashed to the floor, the bedsheets thrown from the bed. She looked up at him and saw nothing but concern over his face.
Every emotion, shame, embarrassment, anger, sadness, all of it hit her at once and she sobbed.
He reached over to touch her but she shouted “No!”, like a wounded dog. Her voice didn’t sound real. “Please don’t touch me”.
“Do you want me to go?”
He watched as tears racked her body, never moving from his spot on the bed. She cried in a ball, hands covering her face, arms and knees tucked to her sides, protecting her from nothing. Then, she laid down, and cried until the tears had to be blinked down the sides of her face while she stared at the ceiling. She felt him get off the bed, and she bolted up, dizzying herself, but he nodded and only walked over to the minifridge to pull out a bottle of water. She sat up and he resumed his position at the end of the bed.
“Drink some water. Can you breathe again?”
She hated the way he talked to her, like she was a child. But he was right. She accepted the bottle and drank half, gulping down cold water as a welcomed change to the hot sheets.
“Yes. I’m sorry you had to see that. You can go now.”
“Don’t be sorry. I know panic attacks can be bad.”
“I’m ok now. You can go.” The crack in her voice made both of them wince. A different type of silence filled the room.
“You know I am a psychologist, but it doesn’t take an Oxford degree to diagnose PTSD.”
“I said I’m fine. You can go now Mulder.”
“What happened Dana.”
She sat and stared at him, sitting on her bed, asking her to spill her darkest secrets to him. Everything about telling him felt wrong but this is the first time anyone has offered to listen.
“About a year ago, a man broke into my apartment and abducted me. He drugged me and put me in the back of his truck and drove me to a cornfield in Virginia. I remember waking up and seeing the stars and trying to run but I was tied down. And then a bright light came and I-” She choked back another sob, but he shifted closer to her, eyes wide, and nodded for her to continue. “I don’t remember what happened. But my mother found me on her doorstep a month later in a hospital gown and…” her voice cut out. He again moved closer and when she didn’t pull back he slowly raised his hand and put it on her knee. He looked at her as if to ask “is this ok” and she nodded in response.
“I don’t remember anything except seeing my mother’s face again for the first time. She looked so… so terrified of me. Like I had grown another head or something. And then I looked down, and I was holding a baby”. She felt another tear run down her cheek.
“I was holding a baby and I didn’t know whose it was and I almost dropped it. Mom took it from me and my sister came and helped me inside, the whole time they were asking me where I’d been but I didn’t know. I didn’t remember anything. All of these people showed up at our house and asked me over and over again “where were you?” “what happened” and I just kept answering them I don’t know, I don’t know. They said I went on a bender. That I ran away from work and responsibilities, probably with some friends. They said I was pregnant and didn’t know it, and they tried to take the baby for testing but my mother wouldn’t let them. She didn’t believe them, she knew I wouldn’t do that. I don’t remember much of what happened next, but we packed up everything and moved out of my apartment… your apartment. They didn’t even open an investigation on the man that took me.”
“I can.” She had been staring at the lamp on the ground, she hadn’t noticed him staring at her with such intensity it made her shiver.
“You don’t get it. They didn’t open a case on me because there wasn’t enough evidence-”
“They didn’t open a case on you because you were abducted. The FBI has been trying to suppress alien abductions for years and you are just another victim. I could open a case on you, start an investigation, really stick it to them-”
“I am not a case that needs to be solved, Mulder.”
“But I can help you Scully. Do you remember anything from that night, anything at all?”
“I don’t understand, why would you not want to know what happened?”
“Because Mulder, because sometimes the weight of what happened is too much to bear. Because while you try to hunt down monsters they terrorize me in my sleep. Because there’s a baby in my house and I don’t know where it came from.” She realized she was yelling at him but she didn’t care. “Because frankly it’s none of your goddamn business what happened to me if I don’t want it to be. The men who you work for threatened to kill me and my family if I tried to find out what happened to me and for all I know you’re one of them.” Her voice was shrill and sharp like broken glass and it cut just where it needed to.
She met his eyes again and they were wide and sad.
“I want to help you Scully. I’ll do…” he took a breath, “anything. I’ll do anything to help you.”
“I need you to leave.”
He got up and she remained on the bed, drained.
“Will I see you again?”
“I don’t know.”
“Ok. Goodbye Scully.”