Ivory Covering Bronze
By Christine Leigh
Summary: Season three. A continuation of the last scene in "Oubliette." Written for the After-the-Fact post-ep challenge list.
Category: V, M/S friendship, UST
Spoilers: Oubliette, and a minor reference to Little Green Men.
Bright Angel Halfway House
"Mulder, are you all right?" Scully felt a little awkward asking this, but as she had turned to look at him from her seat on the bed, she could see that he wasn't, and not knowing what else to do she opted for the mundane. He didn't answer her question. She wondered if he'd heard her. Time passed in minutes or seconds, she wasn't sure which, before he spoke.
"Lucy never had a chance, you know, and to be honest, I don't know that I'm sorry she's gone, Scully. Sad, yes, but I think this has to be better for her."
"Mulder, you don't really believe that."
"What did this life hold for her, Scully? Beyond the fast-food job and residing here, what was there? She was thirty and hadn't had a day of peace since her abduction twenty-two years ago. The fact is that she wasn't the kind of person that either of us would even notice if we'd encountered her under different circumstances. She was used, and old before her time. There was no one who loved her, and she probably wouldn't have wanted that or been able to deal with it anyway. There were no prospects for her. She was alone. More alone than anyone I've ever known.
More alone than you, Mulder? You're the person most alone in the world that I know. Will that always be? I pray to God not, but sometimes I can't see you any other way. And believe me, I try. Are you ever going to not see Samantha in the Lucys we come across in our work? Are you ever going to be able to acknowledge that she's gone and not coming back? And if you do come to believe that one day, how will you structure your life from that point forward?
"She had her friend here, Henry. He's terribly distraught over what happened."
"They were friends borne of a desperation to not want to be invisible alone. I'm sure he was genuinely affectionate toward Lucy, but it's not the same as having family or friends who aren't part of this environment."
"Mulder, it was only for a short period of time, but Lucy did have you on her side. I think she knew that you held her to be special, and that you believed what she was telling us all along. That may not seem like so much to most people, but to Lucy I have no doubt that it meant something. Have you considered that?"
Mulder looked at Scully, but didn't say anything. He was having a terribly difficult time with this. Truths be told, at this moment he, too, was feeling used and very old for his years. He didn't know any other path in life than the one he'd been on since Samantha's disappearance, and at times lately, he couldn't remember the details of his existence that had come before that happened. His eidetic memory seemed to contain a sieve, and those things that he'd held to be good so long ago were slipping through it. What if he never saw Samantha again? He wanted to remember those times. The pieces of his past life that had been circling in his brain throughout the duration of this case had finally coalesced into realization, and had then combined with his concern for Lucy to kick him in the emotional gut harder than he'd been kicked in a long time. As he'd knelt next to her body on the stretcher, he had been unable to hold back the tears.
He moved to sit down again next to Scully on the bed. He'd been so exasperated with her a few days ago, but that had dissipated as it always did, and now he was relieved to have her presence. More than relieved, actually -- he needed it. He wondered if she knew this about him. He should tell her, he thought. But then he thought the better of that; he still was afraid that one day, without ceremony, that she'd leave. Better to keep things on an even keel. Frankly, though, he didn't know if he had it in him any longer to work a case like this without her along for the ride. He didn't want to think about the possibility of ever having to do that, so switched gears back to the matter at hand. He wanted to attend Lucy's funeral, assuming that it would be held soon. He didn't know if Scully would be able to stay a few extra days, but hoped that she might be willing. He felt her hand on his. She was holding it, and squeezing it gently. She'd done that before once, after they'd returned from Puerto Rico. He remembered that.
"Mulder, I checked with the director here. They're planning to hold Lucy's funeral on Saturday. Would you like me to look into switching our plane tickets?"
I should tell her.
He remembered a day in late May. It had been warmish, but not yet summertime-warm. Samantha had come home from school with a great, big "A" scrawled across the spelling test she clutched fiercely in her small hand. She'd been so proud, and had a grin two miles wide on her seven-year-old face. That had been about a year before she'd been taken.
"Do you mind staying, Scully?"
"No. I want to."
Just let me be with you, Mulder. I can do that. I want to do that. You don't have to be alone all the time.
"Thank you, Scully."
"Mulder, would you like some lunch? Or maybe a drive first, and then lunch? I've been to the Seattle area once before, but didn't have time to see anything. Or we can just stay here as long as you'd like. It's your call. Tell me what you'd like to do."
"Lunch and a drive? Sounds good. In either order." He rose then, taking Scully's hand and pulling her up with him.
"I'm ready to leave, if you are."
He took a last glance at the pictures scattered on the bed. Lucy looked so ordinary in them. Just another school girl. He hoped that Amy Jacobs would one day fully know and appreciate what had happened to allow her life to be spared.
And then there were other things to learn to hope for.
Mulder looked down to the hand that still held his. The sight of their contrasting flesh tones always amazed him, and at the moment he found it particularly touching.
Ivory covering bronze. It was beautiful.
~ End ~
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This story is (c) Copyright 2004 by Christine Leigh. "The X-Files" and its characters are the property of the Fox Network and Ten-Thirteen Productions and are borrowed here without profit or intent for profit.