TITLE: Genesis XVI: Beyond Loss
SUMMARY: As Scully struggles to adjust to Mulder's death, she and Marsh search for reconnection. This episode contains spoilers for Deadalive
Raleigh, North Carolina
The ceremony was over. Two lone figures remained, saying their final farewells.
"Is she all right?" Margaret Scully asked the tall, dark-haired woman who stood next to her in the cold wind, waiting. She pulled her coat closer around herself and shivered. She wasn't sure if the cold came from the weather or the empty feeling in her heart. When she looked at her daughter's lover, what she saw only intensified her concern. Marshall Black stared across the cemetery, her expression remote, her charcoal eyes bleak.
"I hope so," she whispered almost to herself. Dana stood at the edge of the open grave, leaning against Skinner. Marsh could tell she was crying. She wanted desperately to go to her, but she knew that Dana needed these last moments alone with the only other person who had known Mulder as Dana had known him. Mulder's family was gone. Mulder and Skinner and Dana had been more to one another than colleagues, closer than partners and associates. Each of them had suffered and sacrificed for one another. In a way that defied convention, they had loved one another. Under any circumstances it would be a terrible loss, but now, with the fate of Dana's unborn child still uncertain, and the everpresent fear that former abductees, including Dana, might be retaken, it seemed too much for any one person to bear. Marsh was frightened for her. For the first time, she was frightened for them.
Maggie slipped her hand into Marsh's, clasping the cold fingers tightly. "She's going to need you, Marsh."
Marsh turned to Maggie, the strain of the last few weeks apparent in the hollows beneath her eyes. "What if I'm not enough?" she said quietly. "Everything they went through together - they were part of each other. She's lost so damn much."
Maggie looked at her daughter and thought of her other daughter, and of her husband. "I know."
Marsh heard the sadness. "I'm sorry, Maggie," she said quickly.
"No," Maggie said, shaking her head. "It's all right. Let her grieve, and then let her come to you. She will."
Marsh watched them approach, Dana with Skinner's arm protectively wrapped around her. Marsh could never remember her looking so fragile. It broke her heart.
"I hope so," she whispered again.
She lay awake in the still, dark room. She was alone. Time had lost all meaning. It might have been a day, it might have been a week. She lay awake, waiting to feel something.
For so long she had hoped, against all reason and logic and training, she had hoped. Up until the very last moment, and beyond, she had hoped. Even when she had seen him there, lying motionless on the cold dark earth, even when she had touched him, and felt death, she had hoped. Now she didn't even have that.
She searched for her faith, but she had lost that, too. She had seen too many horrors, witnessed too many senseless deaths, to go on believing.
She rested her hand on her abdomen, imaging the life to come. Where there should have been joy, there was only fear. She didn't dare dream, because what if she were wrong? She shuddered with the agony of that thought, unable to even contemplate it.
Even pain would be a welcome sensation. Or anger. Something, anything to break this exile. She turned on her side, curled around herself, closed her eyes.
Eventually sleep would come, but it would not heal.
She awoke, her arms wrapped around a pillow for comfort. The room was very quiet. She would get up, as she had been doing each day, and shower, and get dressed, and go to the office. She would talk to people, and do her job, because she had no other choice. She closed her eyes, wanting just a few more moments to prepare. A few more moments to find what remained of her strength so that she could do what she needed to do.
She turned her face from the light coming through the windows, pressing her cheek into the pillow. And she smelled her. That faint scent that was part softness and part heat, part tenderness and part sex, part comfort and part desire. She drew in the memory of her and felt her heart beat again. She ran her hand over the cotton, imagined her skin, and felt the blood course through her again. She remembered the press of her body and the sound of her passion, and felt her body pulse with life again.
Finally, she found the one thing she had not lost.
Marsh stretched, pulled off her gown and gloves, and looked at the clock. Dana should be getting up just about now. She thought about calling her, but she didn't want it to seem as if she were keeping tabs on her. Her stomach clenched all the same, and she struggled with the familiar sense of helplessness. God, she wanted to make her better. She wanted to take away her pain, and erase her bad memories, and destroy every last nightmare. And all she was able to do was hold her at night and hope that was enough.
She watched the residents and nurses wheel one lucky motorcycle rider out of the OR. A broken arm and a ruptured spleen. In a few weeks, he would be back to terrorizing the roadways again. But she was pleased. A save was a save.
Her beeper vibrated on her hip and she pulled it off to check the readout with a sigh. She was off in an hour, unless this was another level one coming in. Then she'd be back in the OR until it was done. She stopped abruptly when she saw the number, then turned hurriedly to grab a nearby wall phone.
"Dana?" she asked as soon as the line was answered, unsuccessfully trying to hide her anxiety.
"I'm fine," Scully said. It was a lie, but it was a lot less of one than it had been. She took a breath. "Can you come home?"
Marsh swallowed her fear. "You bet," she said as calmly as she could muster. "Be right there."
Marsh found her upstairs, freshly showered, her hair still damp. She was wearing only a robe and had curled up in a large chair by the window in the corner of the bedroom. She glanced over at Marsh when she walked in, giving her a gentle smile that halted Marsh in her tracks. She looked different. Still drawn, and a little pale, but there was a light in her eyes that hadn't been there for a very long time. That light warmed Marsh all the way through, in places she hadn't even realized were cold.
"Hey," Marsh said softly, her hands tucked loosely in the pockets of her jeans. She rocked slightly back and forth, uncertain. She had never hesitated to touch her before.
Scully shifted to one side on the big over-stuffed leather chair, patting the space next to her. "Hey."
Marsh eased her length next to Scully's, turning so that Scully could rest against her chest. She slipped her arm around Scully's shoulders, pulled her close, brushed a kiss across the top of her head. It felt so good.
"We're not going to fit together in here much longer," Scully said, pulling Marsh's teeshirt out of her jeans so she could rest her hand on her bare stomach. It was a familiar, always comforting gesture. It felt so good to feel the faint heat of her skin.
"We've got a while," Marsh murmured, her heart thudding. They hadn't mentioned the baby, or the fact that they should have the results of the genetic karyotyping in a few days, or anything about the future since Mulder's body had been found.
"Marsh," Scully said softly, unconsciously running her fingertips up and down Marsh's belly, "I'm sorry."
Marsh studiously avoided thinking about the effect that Scully's fingers were having on her. Always had on her. Still, it'd been a long time, and she couldn't stop her blood from racing. "For what?"
"For everything I've put you through."
Marsh reached down and stopped the movement of Scully's hand, serious now. "You did what you had to do. I know that."
"But I did it in spite of how hard it was for you," Scully said softly, remembering the hurt in Marsh's eyes when she had walked away from her before the engagement in Helena. "I knew there were things you didn't want me to do, and I did them anyway."
"Dana," Marsh said quietly, running her free hand gently up and down Scully's back and arm, "I don't expect you to be anyone other than yourself. I don't expect you to do anything other than what you have to."
Scully smiled faintly and lifted her head enough to kiss Marsh's neck. "But sometimes you'd like me to."
Marsh thought about those few moments before the hostage rescue in Helena. She thought of how very much she wanted Dana to stay behind, to stay out of harm's way. She had asked her not to go, and with every fiber of her being she wanted her not to go. But in her heart, she knew that Dana would go. Because that was who she was, and even love didn't change that. Marsh sighed and kissed Scully's forehead. "Yes, there are times, now and then, I wish you didn't have to do what you do."
"But you still love me," Scully said, and it wasn't a question.
"Yes," Marsh said without a second's hesitation, "I still love you."
"Marsh," Scully said softly, "I think that's exactly what I need right now."
They lay naked, facing each other, the sheets pulled up to just above their hips. They looked into each other's eyes as days and weeks of distance dissolved on the first tentative touch of their hands. They explored one another with slow caresses and long kisses, but they did not yet yield to passion. Their skin touched lightly all along the length of their bodies, but they lingered just on the edge of arousal, coming together almost chastely at first. For these few moments, they were content just to heal.
Scully sighed as the comforting familiarity flowed through her. There was sadness still, and unshed tears, that might one day be shared. But for now, what she wanted, what she needed, was what she could only find with Marsh. She watched Marsh's eyes grow wide and dark as she moved her hand from Marsh's shoulder to her breast, lifting her and gently squeezing. Marsh's eyes flickered closed, and Scully leaned closer to grasp Marsh's full lower lip between her teeth, sucking on it gently. Marsh sighed, almost a groan, and Scully quickened.
"I love you," Scully murmured. She watched the pulse beat in Marsh's neck and saw the first blush of arousal rise in the pale skin over her chest. Desire fluttered deep inside, and she welcomed it. She was alive.
"Dana," Marsh breathed, her voice husky. "I love you."
When every secret place had been anointed with lips and mouth and fingers, when muscles and nerves ran white-hot, when flesh and blood and bone threatened to explode, Scully slipped her fingers into Marsh, and Marsh followed into her. Only a breath apart now, they watched each other's passion build, matching stroke for stroke, long and slow and deep. When Scully's lips quivered on the brink of a moan, her blue eyes a liquid haze, Marsh moved her thumb softly back and forth across Scully's hard, swollen clitoris, felt it pulsate under her touch, and watched her lover slide over the edge.
Scully arched her neck and shuddered violently, unconsciously thrusting her hand harder between Marsh's legs. The unexpected pressure fired every nerve ending in Marsh's body at one time and the orgasm ripped through her like lightning.
"Ah, god," Marsh choked, and was gone.
They had made many vows, many times, with a caress. They had whispered many promises with a kiss. Never before had their joining been as precious as coming home this time from a place beyond loss.
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.