the calm before the storm...
He had never been able to understand the allure of sunny
ACT ONE- Reticence
"Just as a swimmer, who with his last breath/ flounders
ashore from perilous seas, might turn/ to memorize the wide water of his death"
Dana Scully turned up the volume on her television in a rather Don Quixotic effort to hear the irritatingly saccharine voice of the newscaster over the grating of her blender. The blender stopped abruptly, and she was immediately assailed by the excess of noise from the TV. She turned it down again into a dim buzz. Turning away from the impatient hustle and bustle of public life and opinion, she instead concentrated on the task at hand. Open the blender. Pour out the fresh strawberry orange juice into a tall glass. Carry the blender to the sink. Wash it out.
Lifting the glass of juice to her chapped lips, she decided it was probably little tasks like this that kept her sane. The rain outside was harsh and angry, and the candy-faced, heavily lipsticked girl on the television hid coyly beneath a plastic umbrella, carefully explaining the possibility of an upcoming hurricane. Dana settled on her couch, tucking her feet underneath her, and pushed the volume button upwards.
"...Hurricane Sandy is set to hit within a few days, so remember- lock those doors, bar those windows, and check those flashlight batteries!"
She grimaced at the irritating giggle attached at the end of the sentence, pressing the on/off button hastily- as if by letting the image fade on the screen, it would fade all together. Well, at least it was a step up from her usual practice of throwing things at the television. In the silence that followed, she settled into her established niche on the couch. Then, with a sudden feeling of isolation, she rose, grabbed a random CD off the shelf, and stuffed it into her stereo system. She didn't realize that she sighed with relief as the delicate sound of Mozart saturated the room with its gently undulating intensity. She sat back on the couch, feeling the ache within that had been pervading her more and more lately. She tried to put it away as hunger. She sipped the juice softly, feeling only the fresh-sour taste of it.
Then a thought, a desire came creeping into her mind in that one unguarded second- I wish Mulder was here- and warning bells went off immediately. But sighing, she let the bells go and they faded into skewed obscurity. She did wish Mulder was here with her: smiling his smile just for her and knowing she was looking, watching some movie together in the darkness of her apartment, and ending up unconsciously curled up together and half asleep at the end. In reply to her sudden longing, thunder rumbled in the sky in reminder. She could have scoffed at it. Mulder would come through a damn hurricane if she asked him to. They were beautiful together- two empty souls tethered together in a bond of faith. Isolation together was better than isolation apart. However, the temptation to merge together was always there. Letting him in, to share, to know even more about her than he already did, was out of the question. Unheard of. Because in that, the beauty they possessed together would disappear in a puff of mediocre sex and whispered pacification. No, it was better to let the untold remain untold, but always known. It had been a subconscious pact between them before he had said... that. He was the one who had nearly destroyed it, looking up from a hospital bed to her with bleary eyes and three words on his tongue.
I love you.
She had fled, afraid of their relationship coming apart at the seams with this proclamation that had seemed so much deeper when it had remained unsaid. She had hidden in her apartment, her tiny sanctuary, and waited for the storm to pass. When she came in to work Monday, he was there, watching her, beautiful eyes whispering. No words this time, and she could have collapsed in relief. But that had been long ago enough to become a memory. He had said nothing more since then.
Maybe that was what caused the ache.
Hunger, she told herself firmly, and finished the juice.
A sandwich and a bag of popcorn later, it wasn't gone. She'd never expected it to be. The CD finished playing with a final chaotic flourish of crescendo and forte, then left her again in blank silence. Running her hands through her hair, she leaned back on the couch, eyes closing. Then they flashed open again, as if she had suddenly realized she was alone and had been struck with fear. She grabbed the remote and flicked it on.
"....the cruelty of animal testing. Let's speak with Dr. Neumann on his thoughts about this."
"Thanks, Brenda. Can you imagine what it must feel like to be one of these animals? They are violated, poked, prodded, and often killed, for the sake of what some idiot deems to be 'science' and the 'greater good of all mankind'. This is medical rape at its worst, folks. What if these companies started kidnapping people off of the street and started doing to them what they do to these animals? It's the same principle. I guess that in the end, we're all just lab rats to them."
...special lab rat....
The TV went off in a flash of lightning.
...mommy said no more tests...
No no no.
Gibson? Gibson, sweetheart?
Let me go, mommy.
They weren't her children. Only scientific anomalies borne from unwitting bodies.
But children all the same. A strangled sob came from
somewhere. The bottom of her throat. She shoved it down, caged it in, made it hurt less
when it festered inside of her. It was the only way she knew how to live.
She knew she was going to die.
There was a feeble attempt to defend herself when the blow of
red came, so she could at least
A man stood in the middle of the living room. Beside him, a
man and a woman held the limp body of Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully.
Walter Skinner looked around the room, his intense eyes
falling on a photograph of Fox William Mulder. Then he smiled, one awful, lonely smile. He
turned to the others, gesturing to the apartment.