Genesis VII: Resurrection

 

Part One

Day One

She knew she had done it before -- countless times -- but it had never been like this.  She was fully clothed and might as well have been naked. She felt Marsh against every centimeter of her body, tight and hot. Exquisite. Her nipples were painfully erect, the thin cotton of her black silk tee shirt offering little barrier to the piercing sensations produced by Marsh's linen shirt brushing against her chest. It felt like the wet rough surface of Marsh's tongue licking the tip of each one. Her breasts seemed to swell in anticipation of Marsh's long sensitive fingers caressing them. She inhaled unevenly as Marsh fitted one lean thigh a little tighter between her legs. *Oh godd* The seam of her black jeans rippled dangerously over the ridge of her clitoris, telegraphing shock waves that made her stomach tighten. Unbidden, her pelvis arched forward, seeking the elusive contact as Marsh moved insistently against her. Her thighs tightened around Marsh's leg as the teasing pressure drew a flood of warmth from her. *Underwear - I should have worn underwear. Oh fuck -- this is bad* Her head was pounding. She rested her cheek against Marsh's shoulder. *She smells so good*

"I love you," Marsh whispered in her ear.

She felt Marsh tremble almost imperceptibly in the circle of her arms. *Oh lord, I love you too*  She groaned faintly, licked the side of Marsh's neck. Salty, soft, sweeter than anything she had ever known. She bit lightly, tugging at the skin. Marsh gasped. The hand on her back slid lower, to the junction of her spine and buttocks. Massaging firmly in tantalizing circles. Her hips followed suit, slowly rotating on Marsh's leg. She tried not to whimper.

"Behave," Marsh rasped.

"You never said it would be like this," she accused weakly, struggling for her voice.

Marsh's body shook with silent laughter.

The reverberations seemed to center directly in her clitoris. In fact, every nerve in her body seemed attached to it. This was making it too hard to breathe, too hard to move on trembling legs, too hard to remember there were others nearby.

With the last ounce of her control she moved away a fraction of an inch. The loss of contact felt like dying. "We have to go," she gasped.

Marsh leaned back, not loosening her hold on her lover. She looked at the beautiful face, the sharp angles and sculpted planes muted by desire. Those clear, piercing blue eyes were hooded with need. Even in the dim light she could see the pupils flicker and dance with arousal. She was the most alluring woman Marsh had ever known.

"I thought you wanted me to take you dancing?" Marsh teased.

Scully placed both hands flat against her lover's chest and pushed away another inch. "_This_ is not dancing! This is torture. Take me home."

Marsh laughed out loud, caught her hand, and led her through the crowd of women lost in the music, and each other. As soon as they slid into the car, she leaned over to Dana, kissing her thoroughly until she had her gasping.

"You are the sexiest woman I've ever seen," Marsh murmured, moving her lips over the edge of jaw, the ridge of cheekbone, the delicate eyelids. She tugged the teeshirt from Scully's jeans, laid the flat of her hand against her lover's abdomen. The muscles tensed beneath her fingers. She stroked around the dip of navel up to the undersurface of Dana's breasts, using her nails lightly to elicit little flickers of involuntary response. Dana moaned and pulled at Marsh's lips with her teeth, alternately licking and sucking her.

"You're making me crazy," Scully warned breathlessly, her mind hazy with a multitude of sensations. She grabbed Mash's hand, drew it higher to rest on her breast. "God I need you to touch me."

"Mmm--" Marsh murmured, finding a nipple, twisting repeatedly until Dana's hips jerked with each pinch. She lowered her head, caught the opposite one between her lips, sucking it in, teeshirt and all. Dana clutched Marsh's head, pressing Marsh's face hard to her breast.

"Marsh--" Scully whispered urgently, no longer able to form coherent sentences. Her mind was suffused with heat and color, swirling with pulsating urgency.

Marsh heard her distantly, her own desire thundering in her ears. She was precariously straddling the stick shift, one leg over Dana's. She had lost all awareness of anything except the woman in her arms. She groaned, reached for the zipper on Scully's jeans, her lips still trying to devour Dana's breast through the encumbrance of clothing.

Scully lifted her hips, pushing her jeans down -- desperate to help her. *Oh god -- touchme hurryhurry -- touch me -*

Marsh's fingers dipped down, parting the moist hair, sliding between the slick swollen lips, entering her effortlessly, fully, in one familiar movement. "Oh yess-" Marsh moaned.

Scully jerked back against the seat, her head slamming against the head rest. "Ohyeah--ohyeah, fuckmeMarsh--" She grabbed Marsh's forearm, pressing it harder between her legs. "Comeonbaby --- do it, do it now--"

Marsh was lost in Dana's passion, trying hard to time her thrusts with the wild bucking of her lover's hips. Every stroke wrenched a groan from her lips. "Oh you are so hot -- so good, oh godI loveyou-" She closed her eyes, pressed her forehead to Dana's shoulder -- half on top of her -- pumping into her as Dana rode her hand.

Scully buried her fingers in Marsh's hair, clutching her like a lifeline to sanity. Her body was no longer her own, relentlessly seeking that ultimate explosion, and her mind seemed to be following into the abyss. Dimly she heard herself crying out, erratically, wildly, and she knew she was about to come. A squadron of police could have pounded on the windows of the car and she couldn't have stopped. She pushed down on Marsh's incredibly gifted fingers and let the storm take her.

Marsh felt the first contractions as Dana emitted a strangled shout. She pushed higher, curling her fingers slightly, and stroked the distended clit with her thumb, milking out every last tremulous spasm. She didn't stop even when Dana collapsed back into the seat.

At last Scully grasped Mash's wrist weakly. "Please stop," she gasped, her eyes still closed. "You're going to kill me."

Slowly Marsh eased her long length back into the driver's seat, reaching for Scully's hand with a sigh. "Well, the dancing went well."

Scully turned sluggishly in the seat to face her lover, thinking that she really should close her jeans. The effort seemed beyond her. "Yes, I thought so." She stroked Marsh's cheek tenderly. "Maybe next time, I should lead."

Marsh gazed at her, one dark eyebrow raising suggestively. "I don't think so. We wouldn't even make it to the car."

Scully smiled. "Then we'd better make love _before_ we go dancing."

*****

Scully watched her lover undress. She never got tired of seeing her form slowly revealed, transforming the imperturbable surgeon into the warm, vulnerable woman who held her close each night as they slept. Marsh caught her staring and smiled.

"I'm getting spoiled having you here every night," Marsh remarked, sliding naked into bed. She reached for Dana, gathering her into her arms.

"Mmm--" Scully murmured, threading an arm around Marsh's waist. "Now it's _your_ schedule that keeps us apart."

Marsh kissed the top of the golden-highlighted red head. These last few weeks had been so peaceful. She wondered how long it could last. "When do you think Skinner's going to decide on some permanent place for you?"

Scully sighed. "I don't know. I don't mind filling in at Quantico with the forensic work, or the teaching. I don't even mind being called for the occasional field assignment when Skinner needs us. It's just hard being a floater like this."

"How's Mulder taking it?"

Scully snorted. "About the way you would expect. He can't work for anyone, and he won't work _with_ anyone except me. He goes through the motions, but it's just a matter of time before Skinner loses patience with him. At least for now we're still being assigned cases together -- even if they are routine investigations."

"That's something, I guess," Marsh said, knowing it wasn't enough.

"I think he's secretly trying to piece the files back together -- from notes and information he had personally recorded. It's his life. He can't give it up." She sighed again. *And it's been my life too -- my whole life, really -- before you*

Marsh pushed herself up on the pillows, settling Scully's head against her shoulder. "How about you? Do you miss working the x-files?"

Scully was quiet a long moment. "I never thought I'd say this, but, yeah -- I do. I felt like the work I was doing was important. Oh -- not all of it -- the crank UFO sightings and blood sucking mutants --" She laughed faintly at the memory of some of their more bizarre cases. "But we were on the track of something -- whether it was of this world or not didn't really matter. It was a threat, and now, suddenly, we're expected to forget it. It's hard."

Marsh could hear the discontent and frustration in Dana's voice. She wasn't going to tell her how much better she felt with the x-files closed. At least now she didn't feel like Dana was in danger every time she left for work. There were plenty of positions in the bureau for a woman like Dana that didn't involve conspiracies and kidnapping and ungodly experimentations. In her opinion Dana had more than paid her dues. But it wasn't her opinion that mattered. It was how Dana felt, and Marsh knew she was unhappy.

"I'm sorry. Maybe you both just need a little time to adjust."

Scully nodded, unconvinced. She wasn't sure she _or_ Mulder would ever be satisfied with routine cases again. She sighed, and held Marsh tighter. The only good thing to come of the dissolution of the x-files was that with her more available, Marsh seemed calmer and less stressed. The nightmares seemed to be abating, too. That alone was almost worth the boredom bordering on emptiness she was experiencing in her professional life.

"Well one thing I'm having no trouble adjusting to is having more time with you," Scully murmured, rolling over onto her lover. She fit her leg between Marsh's and lowered herself onto Marsh's body.

Marsh raised her head to meet Dana's lips as she reached one arm out to turn off the light. Her lover's kiss promised it would be a short night.

*****

"The phone is ringing," Scully mumbled, pressing against Marsh, who lay with her front to Scully's back.

"Mmmph," Marsh acknowledged, casting a bleary glance toward the bedside clock. Two-thirty am. She woke fully as the ringing sounded again. "It's yours." It had been weeks since Dana had gotten one of these middle of the night summons. Marsh had forgotten how much she disliked having Dana dragged from her arms. Not that it didn't happen because of her own work, but at least she was only going across town. And no one was likely to shoot at her.

Scully fumbled on the nightstand for her cellphone. "Scully," she announced in a perfectly alert tone.

Marsh felt the woman next to her tense, and she knew their peaceful night was over. She tried not to be disappointed.

"Yes, sir. I'll be right there," Scully said as she swung her legs out from under the covers. She tossed the phone toward her clothes piled on a nearby chair and started toward the bathroom. "I have to go to Dallas."

Marsh sat up, switching on the light. "Now?"

"Yes," Scully called, turning on the shower.

Marsh padded in after her. "What's up?"

Scully looked at her, aware of the anxiety in her lover's voice. Marsh tried to hide her concern, but Dana sensed it. *Fuck. I hate to do this to her* She pushed the shower door open. "There's been a bomb threat called in to the Federal Building in Dallas. Skinner wants me and Mulder to join the search team."

Marsh stared at her, her stomach knotting. "Oh."

There wasn't time for anything else. Ten minutes later, Scully was on her way to the airport, and Marsh was lying awake in bed, alone.

 

Part Two

Day 2

Fifteen hours later
In the air over Georgia

"This is Dana Scully. Is Dr. Black in?" Scully scrunched down in the seat of the bureau plane, trying to eke out a private moment. This was the first opportunity she had found to call Marsh after the whole damn building nearly blew up in her face in Dallas. With Mulder in it. As it was, the SAC had been killed. They were all still reeling from that. *God I hope they weren't televising all of this* She could only imagine what Marsh would have thought if she had seen the bomb level nearly one square city block.

"No, I'm sorry. She's in surgery. May I take a message?"

*Yes, you may take a message! Tell her that her lover called and that I'm fine!* Scully took a deep breath. "Just tell her Dana called. Thanks."

Mulder opened an eye and peered at her. "D'you get her?"

"No," Scully snapped.

"Whoa. Sorry."

Scully sighed. "No, _I'm_ sorry. I just know she's worrying."

Mulder turned his head to look at her more fully. "She still having trouble with the flashbacks, and the nightmares?"

Scully's initial reaction was to deny it. She hated to reveal Marsh's private struggles, but Mulder knew already. "They're much better the last few weeks."

He heard the hesitation in her voice. "Since our office burned and we've been side-lined." It wasn't a question.

"Yeah," she admitted. "It seems like we've been catching some rough assignments lately. It's hard on her."

Mulder chose his words carefully. Scully rarely talked about her relationship with Marshall Black. "Scully -- all our assignments are potentially dangerous ones -- we're field agents."

"What are you saying, Mulder?" Scully asked. *As if you didn't already know this, Dana*

"As long as you work cases, there's some potential for danger. Marsh has to accept that."

*What if she can't? What if her fear that I'll get killed, like Karen, is what's tearing her apart?* Scully pushed her seat back and closed her eyes. "She just needs a little time."

Mulder watched her in silence, never having known her to lie to herself before.

*****

It was nearly midnight when Marsh let herself into her apartment. She'd been on trauma back-up and that had turned into a full night of surgery. She should have been tired, but she was too anxious to see Dana to think about sleep. She sighed out loud when she saw the familiar trenchcoat and briefcase on the table just inside the door. Dana was here. Safe.

She climbed to the loft and undressed quietly in the dark, sliding under the sheets and fitting herself against the smooth back outlined in moonlight. She slipped her hand around her lover's waist, clasping the soft swell of breast as she pressed her lips to Dana's shoulder.

"I love you," she whispered after a moment.

Scully reached up to cover Marsh's hand with her own, needing the pressure of Marsh's fingers against her body. "I love you, too."

"Are you all right?" Another kiss, softly, against the base of her neck.

Scully brought those exquisitely trained fingers to her nipple, gasping faintly as Marsh squeezed. "Yes." Darius Michaud's face flashed through her mind. The deadly calm in his eyes as they left him there -- with the bomb. What it must have felt like alone in that room.

"I heard what happened," Marsh said softly, edging one thigh between Dana's legs, bringing her weight a little more firmly against Scully's back. She tried to shield her now as if another explosion were imminent. *I was so goddamned scared*

"I'm all right," Scully repeated, remembering the horrific noise and the shock waves and the shower of breaking glass and debris. She arched her hips back against Marsh's narrow pelvis, spreading her legs so that Marsh's skin touched the dampness high between her thighs. She gasped faintly as the under surface of her clitoris pressed into Marsh.

Marsh groaned as the wet heat spread on her leg. She moved her lips down to the point of Dana's shoulderblade, running her tongue along the sharp edge. Her free hand dropped to the base of Dana's spine, massaging the muscles coiled tightly there. Dana's hips began to rock under her. "I'm sorry," she whispered. *I'm so fucking glad it wasn't you. Or Mulder*

Scully concentrated on the tingling ache starting deep in her belly. "I know." She braced her hands on the bed and pushed up onto her knees, forcing Marsh to rise up behind her. "Put your hand in me." She forgot the fear.

Marsh's clit spasmed at the words. "Oh fuck," she moaned. She looked down over the long expanse of Scully's back, at the rounded prominence of her ass, and the tight line of her thighs. She wanted her right then, hard. She wanted to plunge into her, and claim her, and keep her there, always. Part of _her_, far from harm, safe. Her head pounded with the urge to protect her, fill her, own her. She ran her left hand over the strong firm buttocks, squeezing each one, working them in small circles. With the other she stroked the smooth skin on the inside of Dana's thighs until Dana's hips surged back against her.

"Marsh," Scully urged, rotating her pelvis unconsciously, opening her legs wider. "Don't torture me," she pleaded. The pain receded in the rush of arousal.

Marsh rested the tip of her thumb against the tight muscle between Dana's buttocks, running the fingertips of her other hand over the moist soft delicate folds of skin below. She fondled the slick swollen tissues, spreading them, lightly caressing the firm bulge of Dana's clitoris, nestled in the thick wet sheath. She tugged on the cum soaked lips, rolling them between her fingers, pressing them together, massaging the surrounding muscles -- softening them to receive her.

"Ahh -- god!" Scully cried, tilting her hips higher, trying to urge Marsh into her. "now -- please --"

Taking a deep breath, trying to control her surging desire, Marsh entered her in both places simultaneously. *Oh jesus -- so tight, so warm* She began a slow steady rhythm, pulling her fingers almost all the way out, then moving deeply inside once more.

"Oh yeah --" Scully panted, feeling the pressure coalesce in the nerve endings around her clitoris. She closed her eyes tightly, her forehead resting on the mattress, her hips thrusting up to meet Marsh's downward strokes. "fuckmefuckmefuckme" she chanted almost silently.

Marsh steadied herself by leaning against the back of Dana's legs, her arms trembling with the effort to be careful -- she didn't want to hurt her, but God, she wanted her. "I love you," she gasped, beginning to rock her pelvis against the back of her own arms. The friction caused her clitoris to swell further, and she began to lose her rhythm. "Oh Dana--" she murmured, "you make me so crazy."

Scully only groaned in response, aware only of the spiraling tension building inside. "Harder--" she cried. "I'm -- almost -- oh -- there--"

Marsh caught her lip between her teeth, holding onto her orgasm by sheer will power. "I'm gonna -- come -- with -- you --" she managed. Her arms were a blur of motion.

"Noww -- do it -- nooww --" Scully moaned, pumping hard on Marsh's hands, contracting on the long fingers inside her. Her head snapped up as the first spasms rolled through her. "ohh godd"

Marsh lurched forward, her hips moving erratically. "I'm --coming--"

For a timeless moment, their bodies joined, their senses fused, and their minds knew only each other. When at last their orgasms subsided, leaving a momentary peace, they collapsed still entwined, and slept.

*****

"Professional review?" Marsh asked incredulously. "But why?"

Scully shrugged, straightening her skirt, checking her make-up one last time. Her eyes were hard chips of flint. "There doesn't have to be a why. Simply an order. They asked for Mulder and I to be there this morning."

Marsh pulled on her grey flannel trousers, tucked in the silk shirt, stepped into her loafers. She clipped the beeper to her belt.

Scully smiled fondly, her face softening for a brief instant. "That's mine, darling."

Marsh stared at her uncomprehendingly for a moment, then pulled off the pager as if it were on fire. "You should stick this up someone's ass," she grumbled. "How can they possibly be calling you up over this? Didn't you and Mulder find the goddamned bomb?"

"Mulder actually found it. Sheer luck. And we were in the wrong building."

"Which probably saved dozens of lives," Marsh commented sourly while rummaging on the nightstand for her own beeper.

Scully took a deep breath. "I have a bad feeling about this, Marsh."

Marsh stopped what she was doing and gave her lover her full attention. "What do you mean?"

"Mulder and I have been skating on the edge of disaster for years. With the x-files gone, and now this, they may push to reassign us."

Marsh sat on the bed. She regarded the composed, regal-appearing woman across the room from her intently. "And?"

"They could send me anywhere."

Marsh didn't hesitate. "I'll go anywhere you go."

Scully walked to her, smiling softly. "Darling mine -- you are Chief of Trauma at Memorial, or have you forgotten that?" She ran a hand through Marsh's thick hair, already unruly despite Marsh's careful attempts to tame the persistent waves with the dryer. "You can't just leave."

Marsh leaned forward, resting her face gently against Dana's belly, her arms lightly encircling her waist. She sighed, thinking she never felt better than when she was close to her. "I can find another job. I need to be with you."

Scully pressed a little closer, her hand stroking the back of Marsh's neck. *I can find another job, too*

 

Part Three

Day 4

Forty-eight hours later, after a near disastrous unauthorized autopsy and a delightful romp through the Texas countryside with Mulder, Scully walked down the hall toward AD Skinner. He looked impatient. She didn't blame him -- she was twenty minutes late. She had on the same clothes she'd been wearing for two days now. She was tired, sore and frustrated. Whatever they had found out there in Texas, it was not going to help her with the review hearing. The second in as many days. She needed tangible evidence to support the strange findings from her cursory examination of the corpse sequestered at Bethesda Naval Hospital. The body of a fireman supposedly killed in the bomb blast in Texas -- a body that showed signs of overwhelming infection, but certainly not of an explosion. She needed more than the few fossilized bone fragments she had been able to salvage in Dallas that suggested viral infestation. It wasn't enough, but it was all she had.

"I'm sorry I'm late, sir," she offered as she approached.

Skinner nodded curtly and pushed open the door for her.

Thirty minutes later she walked briskly back down the hall, her face composed, but her eyes strangely empty.

*****

"Are you sure?" Marsh said quietly. They were seated side by side on the sofa in her office.

"Yes."

Marsh moved closer, reaching for Dana's hand. Dana looked drawn and tired. She'd been gone for almost two days, and looked like she hadn't slept in three. It was hardly the best time for life-altering decisions. "I meant it when I said I'd move."

Scully sighed, and leaned her head against Marsh's shoulder. "I believe you, and I appreciate it. More than you know. But there is no way that I am going to Salt Lake City, even if I would let you quit your job. There's nothing for me there -- and maybe there never has been _anywhere_ in the bureau. Maybe I've been deluding myself all these years that the work I've been doing could have any significance."

Marsh stroked her lover's cheek. "Dana -- you have probably impacted countless lives, in ways you'll never fully know, through the work you've been doing. I don't want to see you give up on it unless you're absolutely sure."

Scully knew how hard it was for Marsh when her bureau work put her in danger, and she appreciated Marsh encouraging her to stay. But she wasn't about to let Marsh sacrifice her own career to follow Scully to some dead end post that _she_ didn't even want. She pressed closer to her lover's lean form. "You know, I really missed you the last few days."

Marsjh kissed the soft hair at Dana's temple. "Mmm -- me too. Whenever you leave one of those cryptic _I'm going out of town with Mulder_ messages, I've learned not to expect you home right away." She kissed the corner of Scully's mouth. *And every time you go I worry until you return*

Scully turned her head, catching Marsh's lower lip between her teeth. She bite it gently, then pulled it into her mouth, sucking the sensitive inner surface. Marsh groaned and slid her hand inside Scully's jacket, moving up to cup the undersurface of her breast. Her thumb rode over the prominence of nipple under the sheer blouse and bra.

Scully drew away with a groan, her breasts already full with anticipation. A familiar heaviness suffused her belly and thighs. "Sweetheart -- I want you to make love to me -- immediately, right here, on this couch -- on the floor -- I don't care where."

Marsh grinned that rakish grin and lowered her head to nudge open Dana's jacket with her nose. Her goal was to capture a hard nipple in her teeth.

Scully tangled her hand in Marsh's hair, pulling her face away. "But I can't let you. I need to talk to Mulder before he hears about this from someone else. I need a looooong shower, and then I need you to come home and do things to me with your wonderful hands and your incredible mouth all night long."

"I'm off at six," Marsh said hoarsely, her hand still stroking Dana's  breast. "Will you be ready for me by then?"

Scully leaned close to kiss her, her fingers slipping between Marsh's legs, pressing into the damp fabric at her crotch. She massaged the hard ridge of Marsh's clitoris, smiling against Marsh's lips as she felt her tremble. "I'm ready for you now,darling," she whispered.

"Oh fuck, Dana," Marsh gasped. "Don't do that now."

Scully smiled, pulling at the engorged shaft through the loose material. She forgot about her urgency to see Mulder as the thrill she always felt when making love to Marsh coursed through her. In her mind, she saw what her fingers fondled -- the swollen bright red tissues, the clear sheen of  slick sweet cum, the pulsations visible in the sensitive tip. Knowing what she was doing to her lover excited her as much, maybe even more, than being touched herself. She felt powerful -- godlike. "You want me to stop?" she teased lightly, working the prominent thickened base in circles between her fingers.

Marsh tried to focus on Scully's face, but her vision was hazy, her breath coming in erratic gasps. "Do you  -- want -- to make me come?" she murmured brokenly. Her inner thigh muscles began to spasm violently, and she involuntarily pressed her hips up into Scully's hand.

Scully's blood surged. She increased the pressure of her strokes. "Am I?" The cotton beneath her fingers was soaked.

"Oh yeah -- " Marsh grunted, her eyes closing. She pushed back against the upholstery, bracing herself for the contractions she knew were coming.

"Look at me," Scully whispered. "I want to watch you come."

"Hard," Marsh gasped, her lids flickering open.

"Do it any way," Scully ordered gently. Her breath catching in her throat, she watched Marsh's eyes darken from grey to almost black. The fine muscles along Marsh's jaw bunched and tightened. Marsh's entire body lifted a fraction off the couch as Scully brought her closer to the edge. "Oh god, you're so beautiful."

"Going -- to -- come," Marsh whimpered. Her face dissolved into waves of pleasure bordering on pain as her orgasm began.

Scully stopped breathing. It was a sight she would never tire of, more moving than anything she had ever experienced. She watched her love and passion flow through the woman she adored, a gift she meant to give but received instead, each time Marsh came for her. Her chest tightened and her eyes filled with tears. "I love you," she cried softly. "Oh god, I love you."

Marsh collapsed back into the cushions, twitching slightly under Scully's hands. "Fuck," she gasped weakly. "I'm hopeless. You touch me and I lose it."

Scully laughed, forgetting for a moment bombs, and viruses, and cornfields -- and bees.  She loved, and was loved, and the world made perfect sense. "Oh my darling -- you are so easy!"

Marsh tried to look offended but all she coud manage was another grin. "Yeah, so? You complaining?"

Scully kissed her once more. "Oh no. Not at all," she whispered, her lips lingering on Marsh's. Her pulse quickened. "Not at all."

Marsh reached for her, but Scully pulled back reluctantly. "Later, my love. I _have_ to talk to Mulder."

Marsh relented graciously. "I know. Go. I'll see you at home soon."

Scully left reluctantly, knowing she was about to do the hardest thing she had ever done. They had finally won, whoever _they_ really were. Maybe_they_ were nothing more than the combined forces of evil, dividing them at last, wearing down their resistance. Or maybe just hers. Mulder would never give in, but she had. She couldn't ask Marsh to follow her from one hell hole assignment to another, and she couldn't go without her. Wouldn't want to go without her. There was no choice in the end.

*****

God, she hated to hurt him.

Mulder stared at her. "You can't quit, Scully."

She closed her eyes, knowing the words by heart. Seeing the torment in his face was only making it worse. He would never understand. That she was tired, that she wanted a normal life, that she was finally being selfish -- in the way that _he_ had been selfish all these years. She was choosing what _she _ needed, and not what someone else needed her to do, or to be. She was no longer Dana Scully the dutiful daughter, the dedicated doctor, the determined federal agent, the dependable partner. She was Dana Scully, the woman, and she chose happiness, and love, and the only person who had ever given her both.

"I have. I did. It's done."

He shook his head, stunned. There had to be a way to get through to her. God damn it! He needed her. Anger warred with caution. She couldn't leave him now! They were close -- so close! They were finally about to get the answers he had been seeking his entire life, and he needed her now more than ever. She kept him steady, she kept him on track -- Christ, she kept him sane!

"Scully--" he pleaded, the panic rising. *Don't do this to me -- please, not now--*

Determinedly she persisted, trying to make him see reason. She had been assigned as a deterrent in the first place; her skepticism held him back; they were splitting them up anyway. His anguish flooded his dark eyes, overflowing into the expressive planes of his face. Her heart ached, but she held fast. *Let me go, Mulder. I need for you to let me go*

She steeled herself to his pain. "I'm contacting the state medical board tomorrow so I can practice again --"   She had more to lose than she was wiling to risk. This time there was more than herself to consider. *I have a lover now, Mulder. I have a chance for a _life_. I _have_ to choose*

He placed his hands lightly on her shoulders, wanting to keep her from slipping away, wanting the strength of his passion, his conviction, to infuse her. He wanted her to _see_.

"I don't want to do this without you. I don't know if I _can_. And if I quit now, they win..."

*Oh, Mulder -- my sweet dreamer -- don't you see they've already won?* She leaned forward, wanting so much to comfort him. If it hadn't been for Marsh, she might have given in one more time, followed him on his quest one more time, but not now. Not this time. She stood on tiptoe and pressed her lips to his forehead. *I am so, so sorry*

He felt her leaving him -- he felt her goodbye. It was as horrible as watching Samantha float beyond his grasp, helplessly reaching for her as she faded from sight. He pulled her closer, his fear overriding conscious thought. He stared into her eyes, willing her to stay. His heart pounding, he lowered his head.

Scully was awash with his anguish. She stood motionless in the face of it. Suddenly she was aware of his movement. *Mulder?* His lips brushed hers and she jumped. *Oh God, Mulder -- no!* She started to step back, then slapped at the back of her neck. "Ouch!"

"What is it?" Mulder asked urgently. *Jesus Christ, what was I thinking?*

Scully fought for air. "...something stung .. me." Her legs were rapidly growing numb. *This can't be. Oh God -- I can't breathe --" She stared at Mulder, then at the bee lying crushed in her hand. "Pain -- in my chest --" She began to fall. She was losing consciousness. *Oh god -- Marsh! Someone call Marsh --*

She could see his face, peering down at her. Frantic, panicked. She sensed movement, heard voices dimly, as if underwater. She was breathing, but she couldn't feel her chest move. Oh god -- what was happening. Neurotoxin of some kind -- motor paralysis, but selective. Autonomic system still functioning. What the hell was it? The bee sting? The virus??

Her eyes flickered in a limited arc. This isn't the hospital -- plane. Men in tactical gear. Not again. Oh god -- please not again.

Oh Marsh -- I am so sorry! Do you know how much I love you? Will you remember?

 

Part Four

Evening
Day Five

As quickly as possible Mulder hurried through the halls away from the Intensive Care Unit. The exit sign pointed left and he breathed a sigh of relief. Almost there. An arm snaked out and dragged him into a small alcove by a deserted nurses station. Strong hands pinned his back to the counter. For an instant he thought he was looking in a mirror. Wild smoky eyes, ringed with dark circles, burned in the pale stone-like features. He sensed the taut nerves about to snap.

"Let me go, Marsh," he said urgently, but he made no move to take her hands away. He sensed her anguish, knew her fear.

"What happened, Mulder?" she rasped, shaking him frantically. "Where the hell is she!"

"I don't know."

Her eyes rolled for a second and he thought she was going to collapse. A terrible moan started somewhere deep in her chest, an animal sound, a howl of vast emptiness. The hands on his arms clenched, twisting painfully in the fabric of Byer's shirt. He thought he could see her body begin to crumble, breaking apart like a jigsaw puzzle stood on end.

"I'll find her!" he vowed, his voice certain, strong. "I'll bring her back, Marsh, I promise."

She stumbled on the edge of darkness, barely able to hear his voice. She couldn't stand the pain, so much worse than before, so deep inside her, ripping at the fabric of her sanity. She had to let go -- of her feelings, of her mind -- she had to go far away from the memory of Dana's touch, her smell, her voice in the night -- She began to drift -- her thoughts receded into nothingness. Peace was so close --

Mulder watched her giving up -- sliding into catatonia. "Dana loves you, Marsh. Dana needs you, Marsh." He grabbed her face hard, felt her flinch. Good, she was still with him. "Dana needs you to be here when she gets back. Marsh -- Marsh!"

She shivered, shook her head. Her eyes began to focus. They were pools of endless pain. "Find her, Mulder. Please."

He nodded. She dropped her hands, and in the next instant, he was gone.

*****

Day Six

They stared at one another silently for hours. He got up and paced. He wished she would say something -- curse at him, at the faceless men and nameless enemies, at the fates -- someone, anything. He drank coffee; she shook her head _no_. He picked at a cardboard replica of a ham sandwich from the vending machine; she waved a second one away. He snatched up the phone at the first hint of a ring; her body coiled and tensed each time. Each time he replaced it gently, his eyes apologizing, hers grew dimmer.

Twenty-two hours. Nothing.

How could that be? How could the greatest investigative operation in the world, with contacts in every country on every continent, not be able to find one man and one woman?

His starched white shirt wilted, grew circles of sweat under the arms. Her body slowly turned to stone as the hope bled from her like a mortal wound.

He searched desperately for some words, a phrase, to keep her alive. The platitudes died on his lips. It was so much worse than before, this disintegration. At least then he had not had to bear witness in helpless impotence.

The phone rang. She didn't even look up.

He listened, then covered the receiver and spoke. "We've located Mulder. He's in Antarctica."

Marsh stirred, met his flat hard gaze with feverish eyes. "We'll need thermal resuscitation units -- two of them. Portable immersion tanks. Full emergency operating facilities on the transport--"

Skinner interrupted her, holding out the phone. "Tell them yourself                                                -- then let's go get them."

*****

Day Eight

She was on fire. Her face, her hands, her skin -- raw burning flames licked at them. She moaned, tried to draw away. Something cool, soft, soothing, tempered the inferno. A quiet murmuring and a gentle touch calmed her. She sighed and slept again.

Special Agent Dana Scully opened her eyes slowly, giving herself time to adjust to the dim room light that seemed so bright after hours of unconsciousness. She tried to surreptitiously survey her surroundings. Hospital bed, hospital smells -- no restraints. That much was good. An IV -- not so good. Were they drugging her? No -- thoughts too clear. She flexed each hand, tensed each leg -- motor function intact. Another plus.

She closed her eyes -- trying to reconstruct the events leading up to this strange awakening. Images floated in her mind's eye like fragments of a long ago dream. Floating and falling and climbing. An endless stretch of blinding whiteness -- a shadow coursing overhead.  Mulder beside her, telling her to look --_look_.  She was so very cold -- so very tired. She couldn't look anymore. So tired -- Another face -- bending over her, holding her, calling her name -- a face she knew. Fierce and strong. Beautiful in its terrible anger -- calling her back, again and again-- like the first time. Out of the chaos -- into the light.

Scully opened her eyes, knowing where she was, knowing who was there. "Marsh?"

"Here, love," Marsh answered, sitting forward in the chair next to the bed. She took the small pale hand, brought it to her lips. "I'm right here."

Scully smiled, wincing slightly as the movement stretched the frostbitten skin on her cheek. "Haven't we done this scene before?"

"Mmm -- only this time I get to take you home with me." Marsh edged nearer the bed. "Soon."

Scully surveyed her lover anxiously. She was drawn and thin. "When's the last time you ate? Or slept?"

"I'm fine," Marsh said firmly. *Now that you're better*

"This won't happen again, Marsh, I promise." Scully squeezed Marsh's fingers to emphasize her words. *I'll never do this to you again*

Marsh shook her head. "We don't have to talk about this now."

"I mean it. I'm done. That's what I was trying to tell Mulder -- oh god! Mulder! is he--"

"He's fine," Marsh assured her quickly. "In fact he was released yesterday."

Scully relaxed visibly. "Thank god -- How did you find me?"

Marsh laughed faintly. "If I can't find you, I just need to follow Mulder."

"I'm sorry--" Scully began.

"You're not going to let this go, are you?" Marsh sighed. "Even with the fastest supersonic transport known to our great military, it's still a long way to the South Pole. Skinner and I had a long time to talk."

Scully waited.

"He told me everything he knew, and some he was guessing at. About you, and Mulder, and the X-files. About Samantha, and a strange group of shadow men whose power appears to extend everywhere. And some things about events that have no earthly explanation."

"Now you know why I want to leave. It's not fair to you," Scully whispered. "And I love you so much."

Marsh leaned forward, and kissed her tenderly, with barely restrained passion. " I love _you_, Dana. And that's why I want you to stay."

An eyebrow arched. A good sign. "Come again?"

"You're in this, Dana. Wherever it goes. However deep it penetrates. And you're safer working to uncover it, expose them, stop them -- than you would be if you walked away. Because I don't think they'd _let_ you walk away."

"It won't be easy -- " Scully warned. *And I can't watch it tear you apart*

"I know that. But I'd rather deal with the enemy we know -- and --" she smiled grimly. "I trust you with Mulder."

Scully's mind flickered to the strange moment in the hallway outside Mulder's apartment. The fleeting touch of his lips to hers. She felt his need, and his love. She felt their connection, deeper than shared experiences or ideals. She had no need to think of what might have been, in another lifetime. She looked at the woman she loved with all her being. "You _can_ trust me with him," she said quietly.

"I'll be fine," Marsh said quietly, drawing Dana's fingers to her lips once again. She kissed each finger tip, brushing her lips gently over the still healing areas of frostbite. "I know you're not Karen. And I know you won't leave me."

"Oh god, no. Never."

*****

Day Eleven

Marsh sat at the bar in the nearly deserted room, nursing a scotch and waiting for her lover. It was early by lesbian nightlife standards, only eight pm, but it had been a long day for Dana. She had another session with the Office of Professional Review that afternoon. And then Marsh knew she was meeting Mulder. To tell him she was staying. To tell him she was going to fight. To tell him she wanted to beat whatever forces were engineering the virus that had infected her.

Marsh sighed and sipped the rough-edged liquid fire. She was resigned to it. Loving Dana meant accepting her past, and her future, and the dark forces that shadowed her. Ultimately she trusted to Dana's skill and determination, and to Mulder's presence by her side. Loving Dana meant accepting him, too.

She signaled for a refill and listened to the old love song someone had played on the jukebox.

_I'll always remember that magic moment
When I held you close to me
Cause when we move together I know forever
You're all I'll ever need

Could I have this dance for the rest of my life
Would you be my partner every night?
When we're together it feels so right
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?_

Marsh turned slowly on the seat and glanced across the room to the jukebox. A stunning redhead leaned against it, her arms crossed, one hip tilted seductively, a soft smile lifting the corners of her full red lips. When Marsh's gaze met hers, she lifted an elegantly arched eyebrow in silent question.

In response Marsh eased off the seat and began to cross the small dance floor. Scully moved too, her blue eyes fixed on Marsh's. When they met in the middle, Scully raised her arms and wrapped them around her taller lover's neck, pressing her face into the soft warmth below Marsh's jaw. She breathed in her scent, opened her mouth to her skin.

Marsh slid her hands down Dana's sides to her hips, and then around to the dip just above her buttocks. She pulled her close, fitting the angles and planes of her frame to Dana's curves. She closed her eyes and rested her cheek against the silken hair.

When they moved to the music, two bodies -- two hearts --in perfect harmony, it was impossible to tell who led.

End

*****
DISCLAIMERS: The characters of Scully, Mulder, Skinner and others/events introduced on the X-Files are the sole property of Chris Carter etc, and are used here without permission for entertainment, not for profit.