Rating: PG, M/S UST, V
Spoilers: Duane Barry
Summary: Strange infatuation seems to grace the evening tide–
Disclaimer: Not mine. They belong to Chris Carter and Company. This
isn’t a song story, but the title is from a lyric from the Placebo
song, “Without You I’m Nothing” just to give credit where it’s due.
She walks into the airless, crowded room and her heart skips a beat
when he’s not there. She has to get to him, because he needs her. He
needs to hear what she’s saying, they all do, it’s very important she
tells him about Duane Barry. He’s dangerous.
Alex, the bright-eyed beaver boy, is buzzing around the room, wasting
air, raising the temperature. Scully turns her eyes on Alex and hates
him passionately for a moment. This slick, limp-wristed thing gets to
be near Mulder every day, while she has to maintain a distance. It’s
not wise or safe to admit that the physical distance is what’s driving
her crazy slowly. If she wanted, she could call Mulder any night and
he’d be there, just to talk. But she wants his presence. Why does she
There might be some chemistry there she refuses to admit. There might
be a strange current running between two strong people, who trust each
other implicitly, one that has nothing to do with the bonds of
partnership or professional admiration. She is more than willing to
admit that Fox Mulder is a brilliant, if eccentric mind who has an
amazing devotion to his work. Fox Mulder is Lancelot–
She catches herself right there. Lancelot? That’s a sign of this
dangerous feeling running between them. Certainly, Mulder is good at
what he does, and an admirable person, but why does she immediately
think of Lancelot? And Lancelot is the perfect metaphor– the parfait
gentle knight, but flawed and gloriously human because of it. Mulder is
no Galahad. And maybe she, Scully, is Gareth. Does that mean Mulder
might lop off her head by mistake in his ardor? And what head–? Oh,
what on earth is wrong with her?
Alex is buzzing too near her. That’s part of the problem. For some
reason she doesn’t think of him by his last name– Krycek, Cry CHECK,
the check They’ve put on the two of them. But it’s not mate. Mulder
can’t be stymied by these shadow puppets. But all of this is secondary
right now because she has to explain everyone that Duane Barry is not
what Mulder believes. She has to save Mulder from the blindness of his
quests. All abductees are not created equal–
She has to save Mulder because Mulder would save her. This has nothing
to do with currents or attraction– did she just call it attraction? —
it’s only about saving a man that matters to her. A brother. A friend.
A partner. Not a lover because that would be nonsense.
If she closes her eyes, she can feel his hand on her back. She has to
stop thinking in terms of cheap desire. What she’s feeling is the
chemical reaction between a male human animal and a female human
animal. Lust. No, the better word is infatuation. Because that terrible
strangeness is nothing more than simple infatuation. A crush, if you
will. Mulder is sexy as hell, after all, and she’s not blind.
Not only that. Granted, it could all be pherhomonal, granted it could
be instinctual, but Alex is a good-looking man, too, and she doesn’t
want to feel the sensation of his hand on her back on her face on her
anywhere. It’s physical, but it’s mental, too. Pure beefcake has never
been her style. She wants some substance, and Mulder has substance.
After he finished kissing her, and she did not just think of him
kissing her, it was a momentary aberration caused by the oxygen lack in
this room, he could explain art or literature or science or why the
original Nightmare on Elm Street far outstripped the sequels.
Duane Barry. These people are all so concerned about him and his
ranting, why won’t they listen to her talk? Do they want Mulder to die?
It would be terrible if Mulder died, as if she’d lost her father all
over again– there, there, there, Dana! Again, she’s made him into this
dream, as though she were in high school again, and he were Jake Darcy,
the handsome football player gawky Dana Scully adored. Jake Darcy never
knew how often that geeky, awkward Navy brat watched him walk down the
hall, the object of her affection. She is too old to have such a crush
now, she decides.
But hadn’t her stomach ached when Mulder had said, “If there’s an iced
tea in that bag, it could be love?” Hadn’t she wished silently that she
had chosen the cheap iced tea that always tasted like aluminum to her?
But instead, because she was an adult, and adults don’t moon after
their friends, she had charged ahead with her root beer. The whole
moment had been charged with something– her infatuation with him, she
thinks. Because he’s not into her type, and besides, forget it.
Boyfriends come and go. Mulder could last a lifetime. Mulder could be
someone to argue with long past her needy, hormone-driven years.
She thinks he thinks she’s hot, but just like Mulder, that’s as far as
she’s going to go. They have professional boundaries. And she’s certain
that soon enough, his appeal will fade. That porn habit, for instance,
is more than a little annoying. The smug, arrogant, I-have-a-secret
attitude is more than annoying. It’s downright infuriating. He’s such a
little boy– a damned attractive little boy, but–
Duane Barry. She has to explain Duane Barry, to save Mulder, because
that’s the right thing to do. Because she wants to do it. She wants to
help her friend and her partner, and this little twinge in her stomach,
this want to rush over and be with Mulder, that’s just a little
madness, a little physical desire, just a phase. It’ll pass with the