Screaming in Cathedrals
Keywords: Slash. Mulder/Scully, Mulder/Krycek
Spoilers: Fifth Season
Summary: Mulder has to deal with his two lovers, their effect on him,
and what his life is becoming.
Love is a dangerous angel. Love is a poison, wrapped in rose petals
and sickly sweet chocolate. Love is a stunning woman with crimson hair
and eyes like the sky who is forever at your side. Love is a beautiful
punk in a leather jacket, crying your name as you suck him dry. Love is
the sword used to give me a thousand wounds, none of them mortal.
“Don’t you understand it? We hate ourselves for loving you.”
“You don’t get to have me, Mulder!”
Words like weapons that sear and slice at my soul. All I can say,
pathetic bastard I am, is I’msorrysorrysorry.
Scully, I never meant to love you, I never meant it to be more than
just a working relationship with a little fucking on the side. You have
to believe me, I didn’t mean to love you. You knew what I was when you
picked up with me. I love you because you’re all the good in the world,
shining behind two eyes that are candles in the dark.
Alex. You fuck. I love you as much as I hate you. Perhaps I’m merely
aesthetic, little boy. I love your beauty. Man, I do. I love you because
you are all my demons bundled in one amoral little package. I love you
because I have the sweet and exquisite right to hate your motherfucking
It will be quite a week.
Scully arrives the morning after, looking as though nothing happened.
She is the picture of confidence, in a pretty little navy suit, eyes
unswollen, heels click click clicking like it were any other morning.
Which, as it turns out, it is.
“Scully– I’m so sorry–”
“What are you talking about, Mulder?” she asks innocently. “What’s new
for today? Do we have a new case or something?”
I nearly choke. No threats, no tears, no chill. As though I have been
given a clean slate.
“Aren’t you mad at me?”
“Did something happen at work yesterday I should be angry about?”
Scully asks. Her face is a mask, all professional. I shake my head in
shock. Have I been lucky enough to be granted a reprieve?
“No. No. We have to finish up that paperwork on the Gralten case, you
know, the one I think was telekinesis but you insist was a freak
occurrence?” I say casually. “Not all that much, some new stuff to look
over and all. Maybe we could go out for lunch?”
“No,” Scully answers, just as casually. “I’m so broke this week. Nice
idea, though, Mulder. So, paperwork? Well, let’s get to work, Mulder.”
Only fools say hell is hot. Hellfire, the brimstone pits, that is all
bullshit. Hell is as cold as steel blue eyes. Hell burns with chill.
Hell freezes you by degrees, making sure you feel every bit of your
anatomy numb. To be in her bad graces is a hell beyond imagining.
And I know I have to be. Scully doesn’t do anything particularly
different. We’d just had our night, it’s not like I’d expect her to be
setting up another session so fast. She’s fine. Absolutely normal.
It’s driving me bugshit nuts! I don’t think a person can understand how
it feels to need to apologize, to want to apologize, and be absolutely
unable to do so. My fucking guilt is eating my stomach out. I know
what a terrible thing I’ve done to my partner. I know she knows. And I
know the extent she wants me to suffer for this.
So I suffer, playing along. Doing what she wants all over again.
She wants me to feel the guilt for cheating on her. She wants me to know
that she won’t give up on this life just because of me. I am nothing
but I must suffer everything.
These days pass slower than time could ever move. She is so nice, she
is so normal. We are working so hard, and then I go home and beat the
hell out of something, or jack off until I’m lathered because I can’t
scream at her, I can’t blame her for what she’s doing to me. What am I
supposed to do? Slap her and force her to accept my apology?
Then there’s the ghost of Alex Krycek, haunting me. His face, his eyes,
his voice. I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering
if he’s watching me in the crowd, wondering if I scared him off for good.
Hope so. Doubt it. He’s watching me. Looking to find me. To get me back
for making him get the hell out of my car.
Where the fuck does he get off? The bastard killed my father. He was
involved in Melissa’s death. He is scum incarnate, and just because
we’re involved– correction, he practically raped me once, and I gave him
a blow once– doesn’t mean he has any rights to my life, my soul, or my
attention. If I see him, I’ll kill him. Simple as that.
I never see him. I know he’s around but I don’t. Fucker. He knows I’m
looking for him. That’s why he hides from me.
The week is just getting worse and worse, Scully with her smiles that
slice like paper cuts, her stoic “what do we do today, Mulder” attitude.
Just once, I curl my fist, and imagine slamming it into her face. Then I
remember home. I see my father, after Samantha’s disappearance. I see his
fist raised, as if he can beat her small frame from my too-large and
too-real one. It didn’t happen more than three times, but I remember as
if each bruise were still shining on my body.
Scully. I won’t. I won’tiwon’tiwon’t. No matter if she’s trying to
kill me with kindness, I won’t do it.
Tonight, I go back to my place and sob like a broken little boy. The
face of my beloved, my beloved*s*, a cruel little voice inside my head
tells me– I am haunted. I am a cruel person, so close to abusive. I
can’t be saved, no matter who tries.
I sob myself dry, and then, surprise surprise, my manliness takes over.
I need something, a release from all this dreaming and self-hatred. Yeah,
Foxy, just fasten that hand to that cock and off you go. I don’t get any
satisfaction. Each stroke, I feel the ghosts of my life hovering around
me in silent judgment. Those who have died silently condemning me for
still being around and wasting this living.
I finish, of course. But I can’t stand to be here anymore. I have to go,
I have to get to Scully, I don’t care if I have to scream at the top of
my lungs while she hides in her bedroom, fingers in ears, chanting “I’m
not listening” I will apologize, I will stop this searing ache in my
But of course, I don’t. I can’t. I know what will happen. She’ll meet me
at the door with her whitewashed eyes and tell me she doesn’t feel like
company tonight. So I scrap that and just lay here, musing.
Who am I? I mean, what manner of man could do this? Love a woman but
betray her, lie to her, and expect her to take it. Use her body while
loving her mind and soul, yeah, like that’s really going to work.
Then there’s this giant new golem in the gears called Alex. Two weeks
ago, I could have told you honestly the only place I wanted to see that
fucker Krycek was six feet under in a box locked tight. Now I wonder,
how could I do it? I hit him. I’m kidding myself about being unabusive,
I am abusive. I just can’t hit a woman. But Alex Krycek? I could wallop
him from here to Sunday and screw him afterwards.
Maybe I was a good kid, but I’m a bad adult. I want to find everything,
to have everything I want– I’m relentless. Relentless isn’t always a good
thing. I have to see her, have to explain, don’t know what it’ll bring
in the morning, but if I don’t do it, I’ll explode. And him, too,
though this will be a logistical problem.
I have to go to Scully’s. I have to go. It won’t be pretty– why can’t
anything about our little affair be beautiful? Except maybe her.
I stand up and get myself another drink. I do drink, contrary to popular
opinion, and I need a sleeping pill. So I decide not to drink. I’d
rather not be found dead on my couch from an overdose. I can see the
scene in my head already, Scully’s silent sobs (she would cry for me,
wouldn’t she)? Alex, at the grave leaving something in a last tribute.
My mother, silent and uncaring. Would anyone remember me for being
anything than spooky?
I down the pill and stretch out on the couch, relaxing, letting my mind
drift into any pleasant memories I have, daydreams of good times, good
things, tomorrows that never come but never die, either.
Her voice is soft, as though she doesn’t want to wake me. I don’t open
my eyes. I may still be dreaming. In fact, I could be dreaming. This
doesn’t feel real.
“I’m here,” I reply, in a husky voice.
“I know. We need to talk.”
“I’m sorry, Scully. What can I do to make it up to you?”
My eyelids flutter open, and I stare. She’s sitting there, in a red silk
robe. Rather unusual for her, and it’s an unusual shade of red, like
crimson, like rich velvet, like roses in full bloom. She’s in full bloom.
I swear I can hear her heart beating, a steady rhythm. Dream or reality?
“I’ve learned not to put faith in your promises and apologies,” she
says, rising and walking toward me. She brushes against me, skin and
satin and heat and roses. Everything smells like roses, a smell that
crushes me, fills my nostrils.
By God, she certainly feels real.
“I want to be worthy,” I protest, and something prevents me from moving,
from touching any more of this apparition of delight before me.
She brushes her lips against my forehead. A shudder passes through me.
Her soft hands trace patterns down my chest. I curse the lassitude in my
limbs as she seems content to merely kiss me a few times, tickle my fancy
but not fulfill it.
“I want to be worthy,” she repeats. Or is she repeating? What is she
unworthy of? She’s beyond worthy of anything she wants. Does she think
she’s unworthy of me? That’s the last thing ever–
“But you are, you are. Scully, what is it? Do you need to know why?” I
ask. Her ghostlike touches become heavier, rougher, and I hear a laugh.
“Mulder, if I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s not to ask why,” Alex
whispers into my ear. His hands don’t feel delicate or whisper soft.
They’re rough, the very substance of life, and they’re not tickling my
fancy, they’re grinding and seeking for their own pleasure.
“Krycek– what the hell are you doing here?”
“What the hell are you doing here?” he replies with the same laughter,
nipping at my neck. He hasn’t shaved, I feel the stubble, and I try to
look at him but my eyes won’t focus, I can’t see anything clearly.
“This is my apartment.”
“No, man– I mean here,” he replies. I understand suddenly. In his arms,
what am I doing, I should be beating the life out of him as we speak. Or
do I misunderstand? I don’t know.
“Alex, I’m sorry.”
“That’s another thing I learned, Mulder,” he says, and I can feel the
twinkle in his eyes even though I can’t see them. “Don’t fucking
He grabs me roughly at the groin, and this is nothing about pleasure,
it’s about pain, hurting me. He lets go after a moment and slams into my
face with his fist.
“Let me go!” I yell. “Damn you– I can’t move!”
He keeps slapping me, abusing me, but in the midst of the agony, I hear
a voice and look up.
“Stuck forever between heaven and hell, paralysed by the very possibility
of action? How very Mulder,” Scully says. I can see her clearly, standing
there in her blood-red robe, with copper hair and eyes that blaze with
the righteous fire of the just. I try to look at Alex, but I can’t see
“Why can I see you, but not him?” I ask. “Scully, answer me.”
“You get what you want, Mulder,” she says cryptically, an angel anointed
in blood. “What is it you’re after here?”
“I want it to be beautiful,” I cry. “I want it to be beautiful without
sacrifice. I want you both. I hate myself for it.”
Alex slams his fist into my stomach again, and I scream in pain. The
pain is real, if this is not. My stomach is burning in agony. My whole
body echoes in sympathy aches.
“I could kill you if I wanted to,” he hisses. “I should kill you.”
“Then DO IT!” I scream. “Kill me, you asshole, don’t leave me here. I
can’t live like this!”
“Is that what you want, Mulder?” Scully asks. “Do you want to sacrifice
yourself to whatever’s driving you, whatever you won’t admit to yourself?”
“I love you,” I say, very inappropriate. “I’ve loved you for forcing me
to be more, to work harder. Why can’t we get a little grace?”
“Then what do you want?” she asks, a relentless angel.
“I want– I want–” and even as I stumble over the words and the
desires, I scream as Alex attacks me with one last blow and I can suddenly
look up and everything’s a jumble and it’s not Krycek and Scully it’s
Samantha and Cancerman no it’s little green men oh they aren’t grey after
all no it’s Mom and Dad and I know what I want but I can’t confess it,
ican’tconfesstothis, and it all fades to black–
I am jerked back into reality– whatever reality I have– with the sound
of my name.
“Mulder, I’m here.”
And I know the voice, tight with fear and I can’t answer. But I move my
hand to the other one I know is waiting, and squeeze it tight. This is
This is what I want.