What I Might Have Heard
Spoilers: Pine Bluff Variant
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Summary: Response to a Pine Bluff Variant challenge. What the Surveilling
Man heard after Mulder’s finger was bandaged.
They’re still talking, and I’m still listening. I already have what I
need, I do. But I still listen to this pair, trusting their world, though
they should know better; and trusting each other, though she should know
“After five years, you still don’t trust me,” the woman’s voice growls,
low and angry. Five years. I think about how much must go into this
partnership, and how he still lied and lies.
“I trust you. I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t know. There are still
things that should be kept quiet, not broadcast to anyone,” he replies.
That dark voice. The voice of a liar.
“I’m not anyone,” she says. “You bastard. I don’t have to prove myself to
you. Not now.”
“Did I say that you did?” he asks. I imagine how they must be, at his
kitchen table, his bandaged hand tended to by her smaller ones. I’m not sure
if I’ve seen the woman; perhaps she was the redhead. Perhaps not. Her voice,
even when tinted with anger, is sensual, intelligent. I don’t know, and don’t
really care, who she is. I have what I need. Mulder’s a liar. He lied to
Haley and what about the woman, the partner? She deserves better, I’m sure.
Still, I keep listening.
“You go to Skinner to advice before me. You lie to me. You say you want to
tell me, so why not tell me? Why keep me in the dark?” she asks.
“I have to protect you. Scully, they did this to me for a reason. They’d
kill you. Can’t let you take that risk.”
“I’m not afraid,” she says. “Not of the terrorists. Not of dying. Not of
you. It’s not your job to protect me. So don’t you *lie* to me, I hate it
when you lie to me!”
In my mind’s eye, I can see her, leaning forward as she says this, face
flushed with rage. Maybe she is the redhead. Does it matter, it doesn’t
matter, our boy Mulder’s a liar. What can he say to her?
“I won’t, then,” he whispers.
Silence. Do they stare at each other, eyes caught in a moment of freeze?
An eternal freeze, a moment of cold recognition. Words spoken by a look, not
even as loud as a whisper. I can hear their words, even if they’re not being
Promise me, Mulder.
I’ll promise, but I’ll only do it again. And you’ll forgive me.
Promise me you won’t lie to me.
I don’t want to, but it’s unavoidable.
Promise me you won’t lie to me again!
Scully, I won’t lie to you.
Every time he opens his mouth, he lies to her in some way. And suddenly,
the silence, this heavy, living silence, it breaks. Over and over, do they
play this game? He lies, she discovers, they quarrel, he promises, she
forgives, he lies again. Do they realize this?
“Does your finger hurt badly?” she asks awkwardly.
“Yeah, but I’ll be okay. You. You need to get out of here, Scully.”
“Are you going to get some sleep?” she asks in the voice of a friend. “You
need some rest.”
“Yeah, yeah, Scully, I’ll get some sleep. You, too, okay?”
She’s smiling, I know it, a resigned smile. I hear the rattle of her keys,
she’s leaving, such faith she has in him! Does it matter, it doesn’t
matter, Mulder’s a liar. He’ll pay for it in the end.
“All right. Mulder– please just get some rest. Promise?” she pleads. The
“I promise.” The door clicks shut behind her. Mulder lets out a ragged
It begins again. The liar.
But what do I care? I have what I need. Our boy Mulder’s a liar. If she
wants to believe him, it’s her funeral. Maybe it’ll be his first. Does it
matter, it doesn’t matter. I click off the surveillance device. Til death
do us part, Mulder? Might be sooner than you think…
He leaves his apartment. And life goes on.