Stagger [X-Files]

Stagger
by Jennifer-Oksana
Fandom: X-Files
Pairing: Scully/Krycek
spoilers: Biogenesis
summary: Blood and rhetoric without the love.
disclaimer: Oh, please. Duh, not mine, no money in this, either.

It stands before her, proof undeniable, the final, brutal end of a
chapter in her life. The ship. It undulates beneath the water, full
fathom five my father lies. He lied, he said that there was logic and
God and duty and right in the world, and she, being a child, had
believed him without question. Even when she grew up and understood
that things were not so simple, that between her father’s black and
white there lay an ocean of grey, she’d hoped that even so, there was a
place for her father’s world, where things were true and hopeful.

And so she stands alone and tries not to gag. The truth? This is the
truth? It’s supposed to set her free, not deliver her into Mulder’s
world, a dark world that ends, ultimately, in madness and emptiness.
And as she thinks this, she represses another heave of conscience. The
truth has left Mulder a raving lunatic in a padded cell, and she
staggers against the thoughts, back, back, back, she can’t get far
enough away from this shining, final proof that leaves her full of
ashes and tears. And though she does not know and would not care, her
aching eyes sparkle with saline tears to feed a hungry ocean of
indifference that spreads before her as far as eyes can see.

She staggers, past her guides. Past these men, these simple men who
feared the ship for its foreign-ness, unaware of its greater
implications. These men who watched her descend to the water’s edge and
arise a new creature, one whose mind is wild with half-elucidated
thoughts and fully elucidated connotations. One for whom the moon is
now rock candy, and Satan and his choirs of angels wear little grey
faces and jeer her. The men move away, frightened by her
transformation into this rich and strange new woman. Who wouldn’t be
afraid with those eyes staring out at you from a brave new world–

With *such* people in it.

A man stands at the edge of the spectacle with a feline smile across
his pretty face. He’s waiting for her to stop this desperate, half-mad
reeling for just a moment. The man is a predator with infinite
patience– but when the prey is just to his liking, he will pounce
without thought. And the thought of pouncing on the once-proud and
infinitely stubborn Dana Scully is enough to keep the grin slung across
his face.

The thoughts keep breaking like waves across her mind, throwing up more
connections and obvious realizations as she sways and lurches around
the beach, looking for a fixed point, a still point in a turning world
where nothing is rotating. But Scully can’t stop and let this
hyperreality envelop her. Dear God in heaven, no, not on this foreign
shore can she be left alone to face every dark doubt and fear alone,
and find that perhaps the world turns around this ship. For no matter
what submerged truths hide under the ocean sands, to follow the path
created by it would be suicide, and she, the honorable daughter of an
honorable man, has too much pride, too much stubborn force to join the
enemy and his cause simply because the point belongs to him.

She wheels around again, and when she sees him standing there, a
hallucination nearly, a shape in the circles of her mind, she cannot
accept him as he stands there. It’s the last insult to her welted
soul, and to see that grinning rat bastard there, just standing there
looking down at her with a smug victorious leer on his face–

It cannot be borne. It shall not be borne. There is enough fight left
in her sick and maddened psyche to react to this.

“*You*,” she hisses through painfully clenched teeth. And he is.
Lying-beautiful-cocksucking-sister-killing-filthy-motherfucking-son-of-
a-one-eyed-bitch. Thought is unnecessary– instinct and adrenaline
carry her small frame as she charges him, completely forgetting in her
rage-addled haste that she has no gun, no weapon to destroy him other
than a piercing scream. She will kill him and then ask questions.
It’s her very own Omaha Beach and this thing before her is the enemy’s
flag–

He knocks her off her feet with one blow.

From the sand, stunned, she looks up, defeated by force but not reduced
in spirit or determination. It’s a hollow victory to see her at his
feet, the victory of a coward, a dishonorable win. Caught in the
pitiless, hateful gimlet of her crystal eyes, he fiercely desires a
victory with honor, or at least, a dishonorable adversary at his feet.

So he raises her to her feet with one arm. Caught there in his power,
he kisses her lips– and lets her go, preparing for the inevitable
smart across his face.

Instead she stands there on the sands of an African shore, lips
burning, fingers covering her mouth as if to hide a sin. He looks at
her with the eyes of a reclining Buddha, she thinks, asking her a
question. But she cannot answer, because she can’t understand the
question. The only thing registering at all in her feverish, shaking
brain is the burn of his lips and the fires of Hell in her belly.
Trapped, she doesn’t move, just stares as the nightmares of daylight
swarm around her, and embrace her, leaving her desolate on a beach,
with Alex Krycek and his mouth, which has burnt her lips all the way to
the brain.

She stares at his mouth now, listening distractedly as he plucks words
from the air with it and gives them to her.

“Now that you know the truth,” he says, “Is it what you wanted?”

“Go to hell.”

“We’re already there, angel,” he replies, scorching her further. His
eyes, his words, his lips, they’ve all aided in this new transformation
of Dana Scully, and she wishes, suddenly, for the ecstasy of pain, for
the searing communion of hopelessness, anything except this numbed
burning. He was right, he was right, they are in hell, and the truth is
a slap in the face from God.

Still in this numbing reverie of revelations and horror, she grabs his
neck and pulls him close, so close she can smell him, feel him against
her and shiver.

“What do you know?” she asks, hellfire searing its way down her veins,
completing this change within her, raising a new and frightening Dana
Scully from the sea, made of coral and pearl, despair and terror, and
the beating drumbeats of madness echoing in the corners of her mind.
This Scully, she knows, wants to drown herself in her new world, to
purge the child who watched through a glass darkly from her completely.
And what act other than this could do it so completely, bring her down
from the paradise of an indifferent God to the hell of an active Satan?

“I know plenty,” he replies, disentangling himself from her. Something
like pity flickers through his hunter’s brain. But it’s only momentary,
and he nearly licks his lips, looking at her. “What do you need to
know?”

“I know everything already,” she replies, realizing as she says it that
she’s not far off. How many things mean something else now that there
is this ship? How much larger is the world? “What can you give me that
I can’t find somewhere else?”

His eyes glitter now, registering her slight changes in posture and
attitude and reading something frightening and alluring there. “I can
take you to Hell in style.”

She sneers at him, unable to discard her old world so completely. This
is the man, the very man, who killed Melissa, who led them through the
mazes of Tunguska and Terma, whose only motive is self-interest. But
burning in her stomach is the need to embrace hell fully, to give in to
the devil and see what happens next.

Scully’s jacket comes off her shoulders and she looks up at the
greenish eyes of a very angel in Hell, one whose mind desires the
victory that’s before him now.

“Here. Now.”

“There are–” but the men have run away, unable to bear the madness of
this red-headed Anglo, the transformation that has come upon everyone
unfortunate enough to gaze upon the horror within the water. There are
only the two of them and the ship to witness as he pushes her down
again.

“Here. Now,” and the fever that has consumed Dana Scully and left her
in a state of virtual rebirth starts to infect the man with the feline,
selfish soul, who never dreamt that madness could be so lonely. He
kneels now; looking at the dazed woman whose entire life is new again.
And he needs to get rid of the terrifying, empty loneliness burning his
body, and when she reaches up in a gesture of hideous weakness, he
grabs her.

It is neither an act of love, nor an act of force that passes between
him. As he finds the spot on her neck that tastes just right, she
arches up into him, wailing her consent to Hell, yes, yes I will,
begging for an end to the pain as he presses against her, finding a
rhythm with her instinctual, devastated response.

“Oh, God, oh God, oh God,” she keeps whispering quietly, pressing him
hard, clutching his body to hers as a punishment, seeing in her mind so
many dead ends. Melissa and Daddy in the grave, Samantha Mulder in
Neverland, Mulder in his cell, screaming for her, as though she and her
delusions could save the world that never even existed. He wonders if
perhaps she’s praying for something, even as her legs wrap around him,
demanding more from this connection.

He pushes the dress around her waist. She helps him, closing her eyes.
At a certain point, he’s sure she’s not paying any attention to this
frenzied sexual act between him, though her hips are rocking into his
and she’s got him around the neck like a child afraid to fall. And even
though he doesn’t stop, it crosses his mind– perhaps she’s gone crazy.
Perhaps the truth proved that madness is the only sane path. But this
moment of reflection causes him to move his one real arm from around
her wildly thrashing waist to her face, and brush it gently.

“You know, there’s always hope– even in hell,” he murmurs into her
ear, licking the earlobe as she ignores him and arches up further,
trying to get the right angle–

And finally, she cries out in passion, shuddering around him, sweet and
tight, and he keeps going until he can’t anymore, and comes hard,
listening to the woman beneath him moan and cry in dampened– what? He
doesn’t know what’s going through her mind, just her body. It could be
passion, but it could just as easily be rage.

She lets him go, at last, and he pulls himself away from her. Various
thoughts play through his mind, like the delight of the act, the nasty
enjoyment of what Mulder would think, the desolate ache of loneliness
Scully has shared with him in their brief intercourse on this beach,
and itch of the sand that has re-imposed itself upon his reality. Time
suddenly exists again, and he needs to escape this beach and this woman
who is caught in a hell that is half-real and half her own thinking.

“Scully,” he says, rising to his feet and brushing himself off as best
he can. “It’s never as bad as you think it is, even down here with the
rats.”

He leaves then, back to his jeep and its supplies, watching from the
corner of his eye her lying there, staring not at the sky above, but
the sea before her.

* * *

The cold rush of high tide water wakes her up from a dreamless sleep
and she remembers everything in precise, painful detail, from the first
moment she saw the ship that changed everything. She realizes that
she’s been covered with a white sheet, and she thinks that Krycek–
fucking wretched doublecrossing Alex–

Fucking wretched doublecrossing indeed, she chides herself, remembering
her body clinging to his, united in some sort of animal ecstasy. But
perhaps he left her this thing, and after all, her skirt is still
around her waist, revealing profane things. She gets out of the way of
the next wave, feeling sick but not the same paralyzing sickness of
before.

Hope even in hell, she thinks to herself, struggling to her feet,
swathed in her white sheet and walking to the point where all of this
started. She stares at the markings of the plate and shudders to think
of a future before her. But the hopelessness that had left her so close
to madness has transformed now, to a desperate, lunatic wish that
perhaps the God who is so clearly the God of Job will relent in the
end, and deliver his children.

Her footsteps are slow and measured as she moves off the beach, heading
towards the village and the world solemnly, but still burning with
hope. The world she loved is dead, the man she loves is mad and perhaps
dying, and the truth she’s wanted is poison, but even in this dark
place, she carries a whisper that is the first step of her life in this
brave new world.

The End

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