28 Dec 1997
Disclaimers: Characters owned by Chris Carter, inspiration drawn from FINALLY seeing "Terma" and sniffling as Alex screamed. Poor boy. CC is a royal bastard, isn't he? Being beta-read as I send this, and I may post an updated version at some point.
Author's Note: Of course, my VCR decided to fritz out on the last night of play for Terma, on FX. I've only seen it once, and I hope I've gotten the "scenery" right. Comments, questions etc. welcomed and encouraged to <InsanePixies@yahoo.com>
Everything I've Lost
They cut it off. It's gone. They held me down, and I watched, after I finally quit screaming, as the heated blade sliced away at my own flesh. It was an odd thing, I was watching from outside, above myself. Mulder'd love it. An out of body experience.
I watched it drop to the ground when they were done, and I was surprised by how white the bone was, glittering under my blood and that firelight. I expected, I suppose, to be black to the core. I could catalogue it all, save the information, the sights and smells for later, as I'd always done.
The stump still hurts, but somehow my missing limb aches more. Nothing I do warms it, nothing I take eases the cramping feeling of my phantom arm. The false plastic copy they've given me is a cruel joke, like so many other promises. But then, nobody ever said the health plan for professional assassins was all that wonderful.
I've faded into the woodwork for now, to watch my plans unfold. Like so many other things, they've left me waiting, wanting... I've even figured out what I want. Who, I should say. It took me long enough, for precisely the reason I always record things and look back...I don't think clearly when I'm deeply involved in something.
I think it was on the plane ride to Russia that I finally knew it, but I couldn't risk thinking about it then. Sitting next to him like that, seeing the soft light profiling him as he caught a few moments of desperately needed sleep, I realized how vulnerable he was. That alone wouldn't phase me normally. Weakness needs to be eliminated, or so I've always thought. Flawed men leading flawed lives make an uncomfortable world.
His lower lip has this way of quivering just a little when he dreams. Don't ask me how I knew he was dreaming...I just did. Do. His nose, which from a merely aesthetic point of view is a bit on the large side, kept twitching, like he felt a sneeze building. The little crease between his eyes, and the fine lines around them, they were somehow highlighted by the overhead reading lamp. Finally, after an age or a second, he murmured a name, then another, till a softly whispered litany of them filled the airspace around us.
"Scully. Samantha... Dad! Samantha..." There was pain in his voice, twisting the whispered monikers into a snarling history of failures. He was quiet again soon enough, slipping under the waves of slumber, but I watched him anyway.
Protectively. I don't believe in a God over all, but Fate is a convincing mistress. Pulling outside my situation, handcuffed to the seat of an airplane, I ran over every moment since I'd met him, since they'd shown me a picture of a slightly younger man and a red-head, and told me what I'd have to do to undermine their work.
I'm not unemotional. Uncaring perhaps, or unwilling to be held down and have my life fucked with, but not unemotional. I'm also not stupid. It didn't take much to figure out why I always ended up running to the one person I should have stayed furthest from.
The fact that I was in love with him did not hit me like a ton of bricks, a Peterbilt, a racing freight train or any other hokey metaphor. It was a gradual acceptance of things that had puzzled me for some time, and a validation for my incautious actions in helping him. It was something soft, but so unlike weakness that the two would never be compared in my mind. Affection has never been my strong suit, but I could recognize a certain masochistic enjoyment of his dry humour.
The fact that I was in love with him also didn't change much about my situation. I was still being dragged to one of the last places on earth I'd ever want to go. He still hated me, and not without justifiable cause. Maybe I've been around him too long, but I was sorely tempted to wake him up and tell him, just to watch his reaction in an environment where he couldn't exactly beat the holy hell out of me. Not surprisingly, I didn't. I let him steal a few hours of sleep that wouldn't give him any rest, and I set about memorizing his face, the tiny tics and twitches of his drowse. I felt sorry for him, and I never had before. That in itself was enough to startle me. Combined with the sudden need to touch, to connect, it was enough to send me scrambling towards the window, curled as far from him as I could get in the cramped coach seats of an international flight.
I do not touch.
He'd hit me again to make me find us a ride, something he really hadn't needed to do. I knew there was no way out of it by now, and I was good and tired of everything being a battle between us. The truck ride itself was awkward, painfully so at times. Huddled in the back, we gradually moved closer together, millimeters separating us. It was just too cold to do anything else. The icy walls between us kept us more frigid than the wind though, and it surprised me to hear him speak after so long.
"You did kill him." Was it a question, a statement? It almost sounded like begging on his part, and that alone made me look at him.
"Why Mulder? So you can have a convenient excuse to kill me before you leave Russia? Because you actually want to know?" I was again surprised, this time by the weary tone of my voice. He didn't answer, and I let it drop, edging away again. He could piss up a rope for all I cared; I've never held with vengeance, and certainly not for something so brutal as family. Family can strip you to the bone, in the name of love, and you're expected to do nothing. Family can degrade and hurt you like no one else, merely by the vestige of being related.
"I'm just trying to figure out what's in this for you. I thought maybe you had some sick need to be forgiven." And this, from an Oxford psychologist. My only answer was a smirk, and that effectively ended our conversation, such as it was.
More telling than anything we said were our actions, I think. We played a game, dancing along the dagger's edge, one moment leaning against each other as though our strength had gone entirely, the next pulling into our self-contained "safe-space" and shivering. Neither of us was on sure footing. Mulder hated me, or did a damn good imitation of it, but he had to keep it in check, or trust that I wouldn't say something detrimental to him in my translation.
For my own, I still wanted to touch him. I couldn't believe how starved I was for physical contact, and every time I'd realize what I was allowing myself to do I'd have to distance myself from it again. There was serious shit about to go down, and I couldn't afford to be thinking with my heart, or my dick.
We both must have dozed off at about the same time, because when the truck stopped I awoke to find my face pressed into his neck, inhaling his scent like some intoxicating poison. In a subtle mockery of a kiss, my lips trailed along the curve of tense muscles leading to his shoulder when he pushed me away. I wondered how long he'd been awake.
We set off through the woods at a fast jog, his longer legs and runner's gait keeping him just that edge in front of me, and the sight of his body keeping me distracted enough not to care. I could have told him that standing on the top of that hill was a stupid thing to do, but he wouldn't have listened. Somewhere, I'd known that we were as good as captured as soon as we got on the plane. It didn't stop me from running when the guards came after us either, but it kept me from despair at the thought of being caged.
Despite my catalogue and record outlook on things, I can't recall a large portion of my time in the gulag. One of the weaknesses I cannot rid myself of is claustrophobia to the extreme of entering a shock-state. I exist in reaction only, and I rarely recall what goes on around me. I remember the first few hours or so, when they "questioned" us, and I recall very clearly the act of being led to a small room of cold grey brick. I sat in the middle of the floor, because the corners were too cramped, and I didn't say much.
I don't remember when they took me away, or what I said to them to make it worth their while. I couldn't really tell you when it became clear what exactly it was that I'd promised to do for them.
Sex is many things. It can be an expression of desire, or a tool of rage and hate. It can be a job, like anything else, and it can be a bargaining chip. I know my assets, such as they are, and I harbour no inhibitions about using them to my advantage. Blow jobs all around it seemed, and that wasn't so bad, since it got me a little time outside that cramped cell. It cleared my head enough that I could think as lips and teeth and tongue did their work.
There might be a chance that I could get both of us out of here with nothing more adverse than a little weight loss and a few tumbles with some guards. Women, or so it appeared, were not common around these parts, and in simplistic terms, you took what you could get. -Who- you could get. I'd just have to convince Mulder that whoring himself out wasn't such a bad thing. Right after I sold that bridge that had been in my family for years.
I was suitably scared when they dumped me back in the cell. I'd heard the cries, the whispers, and the plans the guards were making. I didn't consider the fear weakness either; any sane man would feel the same at the thought of being tortured.
I barely had time to catch a breath before Mulder laid into me. I don't know if I regret my words to him or not. Somewhere along the line I'd decided that if he couldn't touch me in something other than anger, I didn't want him to touch me at all. The moment between us was as brittle as ice, and I still think the gold flecks in his eyes make them absurdly warm when he tries to stare me down. I almost leaned forward to kiss him, but I didn't want him to taste our captors in my mouth.
Stony silence met us head on, and I suppose neither of us wanted to be the first to speak. Typical male posturing, though I doubt either of us would ever be described as typical. We glared at one another from either side of the cell, our legs brushing ever so slightly as we shifted towards some imagined source of warmth. I still find it somewhat amusing that our last hours spent together were torn between staring into each others eyes and pretending that neither of us saw what lay beyond them.
Things moved. Shadow images danced through the air, hid in the too-close corners of the cell, until I could no longer tell them from the real men who forced us out of it.
They turned Mulder one way and me the other, and I barely noticed. A smile greeted me, and I didn't see it, connected in some telepathic way to what I could hear going on so close. Not close enough to touch, or to help, but so close...
I barely recognized the hands which deftly stripped the man before me as my own, yet they must have been. I could hear struggle beyond the wall, the sounds of anger and that rusty voice. When my lips met his I thought of what I had seen, the chickenwire being forced down over that lithe body. I must have shivered as I imagined soft pleading, though perhaps it was passed over as nothing more than the chill air striking my bare flesh.
His screams, wrenching cries of fear and pain, mingled later with rhythmic grunts of animalistic pleasure. Not my own. The little of myself I was left spent everything to hear those frantic yelps, and if I had known how at that point, I might have wept. I learned true loathing then, the depths of the disgust I could feel for myself, and I live with it still.
I did nothing for him. I couldn't, beyond the little maneuvering my "position" (pun fully intended) could allow me. If I ever had faith in anything divine, it left me as I heard his terror slice across the cold air. I wait for my plans now, for my petty machinations to wend their way back to me, and I wait for the time when I can repay my debts.
I know well what I have lost, and it has nothing to do with flesh and bone. It is not weight, or spirit, or money. Some days, as I stare out my begrimed window, to the city ringed in grey clouds that cry in my stead, I see his face, before he knocked me into the truck. Hollow, hate-filled, beautiful and deadly. I detest myself enough to want him, enough to love him.
I know well what I have lost.
It is my soul, and Fox Mulder it's keeper.
"You're happy 'cause you smile, but how much
can you fake?"
-Superman's Dead-|-Our Lady Peace-|-Clumsy
~*~Have a thoroughly adequate day.~*~
----- http://members.tripod.com/~LadyReesa -----