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triptych (but for the urge of this unrest)

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I.
Scully feels as though she’s swallowed antifreeze and it has dripped, dripped, dripped through her thoracic chamber, leaking into her lungs until she can’t breathe. You’re a surgeon. You can crack your own ribs. The needle’s vibration matches her resonant frequency, thrumming just under her skin, erythrocytes brushing against each other without a polite word. Spontaneous combustion only happens in Dickens novels and Mulder’s case files. She feels twin gazes on her back and hates that Mulder thinks her thoughts for her. Hates that desire, like pride, lives in the upper cavity of the chest; hates that he’s eked out a dwelling there. Two gazes focus into one and pass her boiling point. The human body is 75% water, sublimated directly to a gaseous state.

Her face is a Bernini sculpture, an exegesis of St Teresa’s ecstasy. This is not a face that Dana Scully makes, desireprideanticipationfuck inscribed in subcutaneous ink. She makes it anyway.

II.
Jerse’s hand hovers over her lower back and she arches toward him—his hand moves up her ribs and she feels its absence overlap with Mulder’s. Déjà vu is a result of hyperdopaminergic action in the mesial temporal areas of the brain.

She’s talking too much (Dana’s Electra complex, a husband like a father who’d even teach you cardiology if you asked; oh, he’d teach you anatomy too, if you asked in that voice)—but she and Mulder never talk like this. Circumlocution, endlessly iterating cycles of contradiction and concession. All of nature is self-similar. They used to speak in paragraphs, marked like a dog-eared dictionary; now they’re reduced to single syllables.

Staccato sentences, bitten off like shotgun shells: I have a life too.

III.
Ergotism. On a visceral level, it’s not scientific at all; on a cellular level, it’s altogether too scientific. She knows better than to show him her tattoo, and he knows better than to ask.