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keep in mind that I haven't actually *seen* the episode, since I live in
Hong Kong now. This was written around thoughts that developed in my head
upon hearing the spoilers (yes, I'm too impatient to wait for the tape of
the episodes my friend is sending me)

summary: Who had it worse? The one who died during the invasion, or the ones
left behind?

Angst warning. happy people and rabid MSRers might want to bail.

empty voices

She kicked the pebble with her shoe and watched it skitter away in fear.

"This is the way it ends, isn't it?" he said. Not softly, not passionately,
and not a shard of emotion. Just his usual fucking dead pan voice turned
towards the sky.

"It always ends," he continued.

She wanted to press her hands to her ears, block away the sound of someone
who no longer cared.

"I just never thought it'd end like this," he finished. His voice hadn't
changed a note, an octave, a stray sound. Just Mulder channeling dead
spirits as if he were reading them from a scrap of paper he'd found beneath
his shoe.

She kicked the pebble again, hard, then turned her face up to the sky
again. It was eerily silent in lieu of the brilliant explosions and ships
she couldn't identify. The battle up there continued.

"I should have taken you to the safe base when I could have," he mumbled.

No emotion. Just hollow beads of words strung together and tossed her way.

And she was tired of it. So fucking tired of it.

"I didn't want to go," she finally said. She wouldn't turn to look at him.

"I wanted you to," he said.

"I don't give a fuck what you want, Mulder," she said. She kept her own
voice level as his, leeching out any sort of feeling. Monotone and safe.

The battle above their heads continued-  invaders versus rebels.

He was finally silent. She heard a soft scraping sound as he sat down on
the rubble next to him. It was hard to believe that the wreck they were
standing in used to be his apartment building.

It was hard to believe that the ruined world they were standing in used to
be Washington DC.

She kicked another stray pebble harder, and ached, wanted that she'd been
there when the destruction had begun.

That would have been a fitting ending for both of them.

She hadn't even gotten to say goodbye to her mother.

Something shuddered inside her, a thin blue flame wavering and threatening
to topple, but she refused to cry in front of him again.

The pebble skittered, landing near Mulder's shoe. She wouldn't look at him.

She'd never be able to look at him again for as long as she lived.

He'd grabbed her when it'd begun, taken her away to some dark corner where
they'd hidden until emerging into the rubble of the city, the world they'd
once lived in.

Where they hid from the screams and pain and dirty fire lapping away at the
only world she'd known.

She'd tried to scramble out of his grasp, out into the street, out into the
line of fire to be struck down by the hand of the God that had abandoned her
long ago, but he'd held her so tightly that she bruised black and blue. He
ignored her hot cold tears and her screaming to be let go. He never flinched
at the way she scratched at him until he bleed.

She'd screamed let me go let me go let me go mulder let me go please please
jesus sweet mary hail mary full of grace full of grace so full of grace
abandoned me so let me go please please let me go.

And he'd said nothing. He'd made no effort to comfort her, only held onto
her so tightly that her insides began to fold in and crush.

He'd hidden away like just another fucking coward and he'd taken her
literally screaming and kicking with him.

For a moment, the screams and the memories faded from the glass of her eyes
at the sound of his empty voice. His empty soul.

"At least you're still alive," he said, at great length.

His voice never changed. Why had she never noticed the way that he spoke
until now?

What had happened to the passionate mad she'd once known? Back so long ago,
in the monotone of his voice, he could hold the stars. When had his soul
died? Had she been paying so little attention, lost in her own pain and
twists of cancer and children? He'd been sucked so dry that not even the
shell remained. Now he was nothing but a traitor to her.

And he expected it to all be ok because she was alive.


Alive with just another fucking traitor who sold his soul to the devil to
keep himself safe.

To keep her safe? Ha. He'd tried to tell her that.

But what was it that he'd told her only a few months ago?

"You make me a whole person."

He wasn't telling her that he loved her. God no.

He was telling her that she was just another person that he latched onto to
keep himself stable.

He was telling her that she was just another person that he used.

And she'd never seen it. She'd only seen a trembling lip and a body so hot
she wanted to lose herself in it forever.

She'd believed in him, trusted him again and again only to be thrown aside
like a torn crumbled tissue. After awhile it didn't matter how he did it-
leaving her to battle Kersh alone, running off with Fowley, closing himself
away- it all began to blur and fade for her. Her image of a noble man with a
cause had decayed and rotted before her eyes.

She saw right through him now.

And she was no better than he was. Another traitor alive when she should
have been dead. Another coward still alive because her partner had been too
fucking unstable to let her go. Just another bitch left alive with the scum
of the world- the smoking man, fowley, and mulder.

"At least you're still alive," he repeated behind her. No emotion, no
leaking of thoughts.

She still wouldn't look at him. She'd never look at him again.

"I want to die," she said.

  No beating around the bush. She had become as uncaring and monotone as he

"You won't," he replied. The silence around them grew and strangled the

A slow shudder trembled through her thin body. She tilted her head to catch
the light of the falling stars, the falling rebel ships. They were losing.
It didn't surprise her. The sound of crashing ships began to whistle and
shriek through the atmosphere. All she could hear was her own staggered
breathing, rasping and shallow, taking in gulps of stolen air and stolen
time. Behind her, Mulder turned his face down towards the ground, eyes as
blank as ever.

When Dana Scully had been a child, she never thought she'd stop believing in
faith, rain, and hope.

When Dana Scully had worked on the X-files, she never thought she'd stop
believing in Mulder.

"No," she said slowly, empty as ever. "I won't."


this came out of my fascination with the monotony of David Duchovny's voice.

thank you to the reader for making it down here!