TITLE: Mad Season
AUTHOR: Shelby Parker
CLASSIFICATION: MSR, Scully Angst; Not Sallie Safe(tm), sorry luv.
DISCLAIMER: I only own their naughty bits.
ACHIVAL: Kindly, just please let me know where. Author's notes to follow.

SUMMARY: Some choices are made for you.

They say the trick is to just keep breathing.

You remind yourself of that until it becomes your mantra.

Thanks to the wonders of L'Oreal, your hair is once again its semi-natural shade. You've taken special care to blow it straight, just like you have thousands of times in the past. Your face is scrubbed bare, with the exception of a drop of foundation to hide the mole by your lip; you never used to show it before.

Instead of the faded cotton dress you arrived with, you now have on a pair of silk pajamas, men's style of course.

Keep breathing.

Tonight you are allowed to be Dana Scully once again. Ex-FBI, ex-physician, ex-daughter, ex- friend, everything you've been forced either to abandon or mask.

In the past six months, you've been a Texan, a waitress, a student, a drifter. In fact, you've become so adept at this game of charades that you figure it shouldn't be hard to pretend that you are still his partner. Pretend that, in this fucked up, renegade life, you are still together instead of what you will soon be.


Well, almost alone.

Keep breathing.

He won't know.

Your palms sweat and your hands shake and you wonder if you can pull this off as you smooth your hair down and give yourself one last fleeting glance in the streaked mirror.

Dana Scully, you think, hey, I remember you.

Don't allow yourself the luxury of continuing to hate her, because she is exactly who you have to be to pull this off. Once more, you need to be that direct, nonplused, brass-balled Dana Katharine Scully.

It is she who turns the handle on the shoddy bathroom door. It is she who, with her superior posture, walks into the bedroom knowing that her transformation into her former self steals the breath from his body. Maybe he thinks you're a ghost, surely you must a figment of his fertile imagination; you've both pledged that neither Scully nor Mulder could ever resurface, not even in private.

His brow knits in confusion, his head tilts to the side in question. After all, it's not like you to break a promise. At least that is what he has come to trust.

Keep breathing.

You do the only thing you know will effectively shut him up. You slowly unbutton your pajama top and say his name.


His name. Not Joe, not Mike, not Matthew, not David.


You say it a third time simply because you can, and, for a moment, you try to shake the tears that threaten to fall from your traitorous eyes.

You're a brave solider, Dana Scully. That's what you've always heard.

"Starbuck, you have the heart of a lion."

You know it is a lie. It's always been a lie. You know that your heart is just a muscle and that the only reason you've ever been particularly brave is because you had no other choice. That deep down, just as you are now, you have always been terrified. Terrified enough to give up the one thing aside from Mulder that made you whole; you know you cannot go through that again, that this time you'd never come out of it. And frankly, you doubt he would either.

"Scull..." You still his generous mouth with a touch of your fingertip.

Tell yourself this is for the best. You are doing this not for yourself, but for him, your partner, your friend, your lover. Remind yourself that you've worn so many masks over the past six months, been so many different people, that he's sure to be blind to the obvious.

That this is goodbye.

That in all likelihood you will never feel your flesh against his again, that you will never again experience how it feels to be held in his arms.

Keep breathing.

His hands are not idle and it isn't much longer before your silk armor is pooled at your feet. It's even less time then you had calculated before he is poised above you, mapping out your body for his own personal survey.

But, you had thought by now that he'd make you forget. You hadn't counted on that nagging voice in the back of your mind, the voice that won't let you cover up your intentions with sweet lies and smooth gestures.

Still you move in tandem with your lover, indulging yourself in your only true vice.

Remind yourself to pick up a pack of cigarettes on your way, because, if you taste him on your lips, you are liable to turn back. To tell him. And you know you can't.

Keep breathing.

Push it out of your mind; you have exactly twelve hours to be everything in the world to him. Twelve hours before he will get up and take the train to one of many odd jobs that he seems so adept at scoring. Twelve hours until you pack your bag, take the keys and drive right into the very core of Hell itself.

You can't help but shiver as the blunt head of his cock slides its way into you. You're still amazed that he is actually inside of you, filling your heart just as he fills your cunt. Block it out when you realize that it is this very act that fucked it all up in the first place, borne of your na�ve stupidity and foolish need to have what you knew by every law of nature you shouldn't.

Keep breathing.

You place your feet flat upon the mattress and push up hard into him, you know you will be sore for days and that you will deserve the ache and more.

"God, I've missed you, Scully, I've missed us..."

You silence him again with your mouth, because each word slices into your heart. Even now, as you feel his body tense and his thrusts become erratic, you hide your face in the crook of his neck like a thief, stealing his love and trust, because this is the only thing that does give you courage. Even if it means stripping him of his own.

His body falls down upon your own, spent from his climax. You almost faked orgasm, knowing that he receives more joy from your pleasure than from his own, but you couldn't do it. Instead you whisper to him that it's alright, that this is the way it is meant to be, and you mean it. You didn't fuck him for the pleasure of it; you made love to him because you are selfish. Most likely this will be your final time. You are sure that you have lived your ninth life together, and you needed one last fix.

You don't sleep very well, instead cataloguing the actions you have already planned. Some of them are still haphazard. You have no clue as to how you are going to pull this off, you know only that you have to.

Or die trying.

Keep breathing.

When he kisses you goodbye it almost breaks you. Again, you tell yourself that you have no choice. This is what you must do. You've already robbed him of the future that you yourself begged him for. You cannot do it again.

The car is packed and gassed and soon you find that, within what seemed like the blink of an eye, you have traveled for hours. You've tipped the rearview mirror all the way down, because there is no looking back.

No looking back even when you realize that you've left the test in the cabinet under the sink. Even when you realize that, soon, he will know. You can see him in your mind's-eye, ransacking the motel room looking for any clue he can latch onto. You can picture the confusion on his face and the bitterness in his eyes. Oh, you would like to continue to lie to yourself and think he won't check it, that he won't even realize, but....

Even someone without an Oxford degree would be smart enough to know what the little blue plus sign means.

To know why you have to go, why you have to fight.

You've already given away your heart, but you cannot give away your soul - not twice.

Not even for him.

The End

For Gail, this is not the proper birthday gift she deserves, but I hope she enjoys it nonetheless.


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