Genesis: Ghosts 

SUMMARY: Scully struggles with a painful reminder of her past. A post-ep (All Things) vignette 

******

Tuesday, Washington D.C.

Mulder fumbled the phone to his ear. "Mulder--" he mumbled groggily.

"It's Marsh, Mulder. Is she there?" Her voice was even and calm, betraying none of her anxiety. She glanced again at the digital clock on the dresser. 5:25 AM

Mulder rolled off the bed and padded to the doorway, glancing across the living room to the sofa where she had fallen asleep. The handmade wool blanket with which he had covered her was neatly folded on the arm of the couch. He looked the other way across his bedroom to the bathroom. The door was pulled nearly closed, and no light shown beyond it. He returned to the bed, sitting heavily on the side. Wearily he brushed one hand through his hair as he picked up the receiver. He continued to rub his face, trying to wake up, wondering if he should make some excuse. But it was not his place to offer explanations. 

"No," was all he finally said.

Marsh knew from the prolonged silence that he had been searching the apartment. Her voice was flat, no trace of recrimination. "You know what time she left?"

Mulder sighed. "No idea. She was here around midnight, and I left her asleep on the sofa." He didn't see any reason to tell her that sometime in the night, Scully had lain down beside him in the dark. He had been awake, but had said nothing. When she reached for his hand, he had slipped his fingers between hers. He hadn't heard her leave.

It was Marsh's turn for silence. She respected Dana's friendship with Mulder, even though she admitted, if only to herself, that occasionally she was jealous of it. There were things that he shared with her lover that she could not. The two of them faced danger, and far too often - death, together. That produced a kind of bond that approached the intimacy of lovers, and a kind of interdependence that often out-lasted love. She also respected her lover's privacy. She trusted Dana to tell her what she could, when she was ready. 

Nevertheless, she was worried, and couldn't help but ask, "Is she all right, Mulder? It's not like her not to leave a message." 

Mulder knew what that question cost her. He thought for a second, weighing his loyalty to Scully, not wanting to betray her confidences, but sympathizing with Marsh's concern. "I think she's okay," he said at length. "I think she was just lonely."

It hurt Marsh to think that Dana had needed someone, and she was not there. She took a deep breath, and said, "Thanks, Mulder. And thanks for being there for her." 

Mulder carefully hung up the receiver, and whispered "That's okay. I love her, too." 

*****

6:15 AM

When Scully came into the apartment, she headed straight to the bedroom. By the time she reached the doorway, she had shed both shoes, had pulled off her rumpled sweater, and was about to push her skirt down and kick it into a corner when she stopped, one hand balanced on the doorway, and stared in surprise at the figure stretched out on top of the bed. "What are you doing here? I didn't expect you until tomorrow."

Marsh smiled faintly, a slight flickering at the corner of her mouth. She had shed her travel clothes and showered quickly after her call to Mulder. She was wearing the blue silk robe that Scully had gotten her. She tried to keep her tone light, but she could see the shadows under Dana's eyes from across the room, and she had to struggle not to question her. 

"I had all I could take of the meeting by last night. If I had to listen to one more person talk about the economic aspects of trauma care I was going to scream. I caught the red eye home." 

Unable to wait any longer, Marsh crossed the room and slipped her arms around Scully's waist. "Plus, I missed you and I didn't want to stay away another night." To her surprise, in a rare show of vulnerability, Dana pressed herself tightly against her, her arms encircling her in a near desperate embrace.

"Hey," Marsh whispered, resting her cheek against the soft reddish gold hair. "What's going on?"

Scully closed her eyes tightly, contenting herself just to listen to the slow steady beat of Marsh's heart. It always took Marsh coming home for her to realize how very deeply she missed her when she was gone. She usually buried herself in work, and tried not to think about how impossible it was to sleep without her, how difficult to start the day without hearing her voice. This time, it had been even worse. For three days she had been catapulted into the past, forced to confront choices she had made, some of which she regretted deeply, and the consequences that had followed. Some things she hadn't been proud of, and some feelings she thought she had laid to rest, had returned to haunt her. She leaned back, tilting her head to study her lover. Marsh's gray eyes were tender, the expression on her face accepting, and the strength of her embrace comforting. She felt safe, and loved. She took Marsh's hand and said, "Come lie down with me."

They lay face to face, arms encircling one another, hands softly stroking.

"I was doing an autopsy for Mulder on Saturday, when I accidentally came across the chart of a man I once knew," Scully began. Seeing his name had brought back a flood of emotion, memories of a time in her life when she had been uncertain and confused. She was following the prescribed path, trying to please her parents, fulfilling their desires and what she had thought were her own dreams. But she had found herself halfway through medical school feeling unfulfilled and desperate. And then Daniel had come to answer her questions. He had been her teacher, her mentor, and briefly, her lover. But unlike what she had found with Marsh, his love had not brought peace. She didn't know how to describe what she felt when she saw him again. Regret, a lingering tenderness, a reflection of her long ago pain.

Marsh felt her uncertainty, and brushed her long surgeon's fingers through the wisps of hair lying across Dana's face. She moved closer still until their bodies touched along their entirety. Whatever Dana needed to say, Marsh wanted her to know that she could hear it. "Tell me," she urged gently.

"We were lovers for a time," Scully said flatly. "He was married, and finally I left because I couldn't be with him knowing how much pain it was going to cause everyone. That was 12 years ago, and I didn't see him again until three days ago." 

Scully studied the woman whose love had changed her life, tracing a fingertip along the dark arching eyebrows, down over the sharp elegant cheek bone, along the strong certain jaw. Marsh did not need to know these things, and Scully would die before she hurt her. Finally, she rested her fingers in the thick mane of black hair, faintly laced with gray at the temples. Tenderly, she said, "Do you know how much I love you?"

Marsh pressed her lips to Dana's forehead. "I know. It's all right to talk about him."

Scully shrugged slightly, shaking her head impatiently. "It was hard. He seemed to think that nothing had changed, despite all the years that had gone by. He looked at me and saw the infatuated, needy person I had been. I looked at him and imagined what my life would have been like if I had stayed."

She parted Marsh's robe and pulled it around the both of them, so that they lay naked together under the soft cover. She slipped her leg between Marsh's, and pressed her breasts against Marsh's chest. She kissed the soft skin below Marsh's ear, then moved her lips slowly along the curve of Marsh's jaw to her lips. She kissed her, slowly at first, savoring the wonder of warmth and softness, the excitement of heat and strength. Pausing, her throat tight, she whispered, "I can't imagine my life without you."

Marsh brought both hands to Dana's face, brushing her fingertips over the furrows in her brow, smoothing the lines around her eyes with her thumbs. She held her head gently in her palms as she kissed her forehead, her eyelids, and finally her mouth. She stroked the inner surface of Dana's lips with her tongue, indolent languorous strokes that banked the fires that were building within. One hand drifted down, tracing the curve of full breast, lingering to brush softly over the swiftly hardening nipple.

"You'll never be without me," she murmured, "because I will never stop loving you."

Suddenly, urgently, Scully wanted her. She wanted _this_ life, _this_ woman. Marsh was her present, and her future, and she wanted the past to be buried. She brought her hands to Marsh's shoulders, pushing her onto her back and rolling on top of her in one motion. She pressed her thigh between Marsh's, insistently, pinning Marsh to the bed, fanning the flames of their shared desire. This time her kisses were harder, more demanding, bruising in their intensity. Marsh held her tightly, offering herself, welcoming her, giving her shelter. Scully's hips rocked into Marsh's, her hands roamed desperately over Marsh's lean taut body, claiming her. There would be marks where her fingers clutched her.

"Oh god," Scully gasped, "I love you."

Marsh grasped Scully's hand, drawing it between her legs, urging her inward. "Take me," she gasped, "make me come for you." Even as she spoke, Marsh's hips were thrusting upward, her fingers tight on Scully's buttocks, her neck arched, her breath an erratic rasp. "Please, please, please--"

Scully straddled Marsh's thigh, clenching her legs tightly, moving hard, pressing her clitoris urgently against the smooth skin. She heard nothing but Marsh's broken sobs, felt nothing but the soft strength of Marsh's body, wanted nothing but to be inside of her, to lose herself in the warmth, and the wetness, and the glory of her. Closing her eyes, pressing her face tightly to Marsh's neck, her fingers deep inside, her palm brushing over the slick hot folds, she surrendered all her pain and all her uncertainty on the indestructible alter of their passion.

When they came, it was with wonder, and gratitude, and joy. When they held each other, silently, their tears mingling as their cheeks touched, it was with peace, and certainty. When they slept, it was dreamless - and free.

*****

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.