GENESIS XVIII: Ouroboros
SUMMARY: Spoilers for season eight. As it began, so it ends.
Ouroboros, the ancient symbol of a serpent devouring its own tail, expresses the unity of all things ... which never disappear but perpetually change form in an eternal cycle of destruction and re-creation.
In the Genesis series, I have had the opportunity to imagine Scully with a female lover, and to imagine the world of the X-Files within that context. Writing the love affair of Marshall Ellen Black and Dana Scully, and the friendship that Fox Mulder shared with them, has provided me with innumerable hours of pleasure. The support and friendship that I received from readers along the way was more gratifying than I can ever explain. All I can really say is Thank You.
Democrat Hot Springs, Georgia
Through the red haze of pain, she could hear the helicoptors coming.
Tears streaked her cheeks, and she fought the terror choking her. She listened to the drone of engines growing closer and some part of her fear eased. She had known that she would come, just as she had come that first time, just as she had always come, just as she always would. When she needed her, Marsh would come.
Dana Scully clung to that belief as another wave of rending, ripping pain gathered, as she stared into Monica Reyes' worried eyes, as she tried to bite back the scream.
"Set it down! Set it down at that compound," Mulder shouted above the roar of the rotors. There were lights punctuating the darkness; there were vehicles parked haphazardly in front of the ramshackle buildings. No one should be there; no one should have known Scully was there. He held on as Marsh angled the chopper steeply and gunned the engines. She felt it, too.
Something was wrong.
Marsh could hear her as she raced across the uneven, hard-packed earth. The blades were still churning the air behind her, but they did not drown out the screams. The sound of Dana's pain speared her heart, knifed through her guts, and she almost fell. The image of Dana hurt, frightened, ripped holes in the fabric of her soul. She shouldered through the door on trembling legs, past the shadow figures gathered in the half light, not even certain they were real. All she could see was Dana. She was propped up on a narrow cot, drenched in sweat, eyes wide and wild with the stress of months of uncertainty and fear, and she was beautiful. She was everything that made Marsh's life possible.
Scully sensed her before she saw her, and she turned her head, searching for her. In Marsh's sure, steady gaze she found the strength and safety she had built her dreams upon. The fear and the pain receded further as she reached out her hand. "Marsh," she whispered, her voice a prayer of thanks.
Marsh spared a quick glance down at Reyes and saw the crowning head before she fell on her knees by Scully's side. One hand grasped Scully's as the other moved over Scully's abdomen. Strong firm contractions rippled under her fingers. A pulse beat, rich and steady, in Dana's neck, echoing the pulse of the life emerging from her. Satisfied that nature was well in control, she pressed her lips fleetingly to Scully's. "How are you, sweetheart?" she asked softly. "Almost there?"
"Close," Scully gasped. Dimly she heard Reyes telling her to push, but it was beyond her volition now. She clung to Marsh and let the inevitable force carry her beyond pain to the journey's end.
For an interminable moment, they looked wordlessly into one another's eyes - sharing their strength, making their promises, exchanging their vows. *It will be all right. I'll be here. Always.*
And then he broke the moment with a startled, indignant howl. Marsh grinned as Dana sobbed out a laugh. Marsh took him from a very frazzled Reyes and passed him to Dana, searching his body swiftly with her intense surgeon's gaze. All parts accounted for. "Nice job, Dr. Scully."
The moment she took him, Scully knew he was fine. She could feel it. She looked past Marsh, who was running her fingers lightly over the baby, checking him again, to the tall figure standing just behind Marsh's shoulder. "Hey, Mulder."
Marsh walked down the hall, juggling groceries and a bag of baby essentials in both arms. She stopped when she saw the three men approaching. "Hello, fellas."
"Hey, Marsh," Frohicke chirped. The other two men echoed his greeting. "We just came to pay homage to the miracle child."
Marsh grinned good-naturedly. "I have another name for him at two in the morning and he lets us know he wants to be fed. Immediately."
She turned sideways as they shuffled past, offering their shy congratulations and well wishes. She set the bags down outside the door and unlocked it. When she pushed it open and started for the kitchen, she realized that Dana still had a visitor.
Mulder and Dana stood in the bedroom doorway in an embrace, the baby cradled between them. Marsh was fairly certain she had glimpsed the tailend of a kiss. Mulder looked over at her, an odd expression on his face. There was sadness in his deep brown eyes, but that wasn't new. There was something stiller, something deeper in them this time - something midway between desire and goodbye.
The three of them stood looking at one another for a moment, and then Scully broke the silence. "Hello, love. Can you take him a minute while I get a change of clothes for him? He feels a little damp."
"How you doing, Mulder?" Marsh asked as she propped the baby against her shoulder, his head tucked against the curve of her neck. Babies and puppies. They smelled like innocence. Felt like it, too. She patted his back absently as she watched Mulder, wondering if he'd say what was on his mind. They'd always had this uneasy truce, the two of them -- an unspoken agreement to share the task of keeping Dana safe. There'd been other things they hadn't talked about, at least not when they'd been sober. About the feelings they had in common for her. Now he was leaving.
He shrugged, thinking how naturally she held the baby. He didn't think it had anything to do with her being female. It had to do with her knowing that he was hers. She held him just like Scully did. "I'm okay. Getting used to not being dead," he said with a wry smile.
"Bit of a challenge," she agreed, listening to Dana rustle about in the baby's room. "You know, Mulder, in a lot of ways, having the baby changes everything. The whole future looks different."
"I imagine," he said warily, never completely certain with her. She had a fierceness about her that always gave him pause.
"And in a lot of ways, it doesn't change anything at all." She wasn't aware of Dana standing behind her as she kept her eyes on Mulder. "It doesn't change what Dana feels for you. You might not be her partner any longer, but you were always more than that. You always will be."
Mulder blew out a breath. He'd always wondered how he'd feel if he was in Marsh's place. But he never had been; he'd never been that certain of anyone's love. Looking into Marsh's calm eyes, he knew that whatever part of Scully loved him, it didn't touch what the two of them shared. It never would.
"I figure I'll be sticking around long enough to play a little one-on-one with him," Mulder said, something of the old sparkle returning to his eyes.
"That's good," Marsh answered, smiling faintly. "Because football is more my game."
Scully moved forward and reached for the baby. "While you two determine his athletic future, let me change him."
As she left them, Mulder said softly, "She looks happy."
Dana Scully put her son in the bassinet and stretched out on the bed next to her lover. Marsh had been propped on one arm, watching while she did the things mothers did with babies to get them ready for sleep. "He'll be down for a while, I think," Scully said with a sigh, curling against Marsh's body and slipping an arm around her waist.
Marsh kissed the top of her head. "Tired?"
"Mmm, some," Scully murmured, sliding her hand under the bottom of Marsh's tee shirt. "God, it feels good to lie down with you."
"Uh huh," Marsh said softly. She pulled her a little closer, running her hands up and down her back. It had been so hectic the first few days after the baby came home, with both of them getting used to the newness of having another being to consider in their plans and their schedule, that they hadn't had much time alone. "I've missed you."
"I know. Me, too," Scully replied. She smoothed her palm over Marsh's abdomen, surprised as she always was at the strength in her slender form. "Marsh?"
"About that kiss," she began quietly.
"Yes?" She continued to stroke the soft, smooth skin left bare at the tops of Dana's shoulders by the oversized shirt she wore. Dana's hair smelled like the baby's shampoo, or maybe it was her face where she had held him against her cheek. She marveled at the delicate beauty of her scent.
"You know it wasn't about ... sex," Scully continued hesitantly, amazed that she couldn't quite find the right words. She only knew that she needed Marsh to know it wasn't about _them_. "It didn't mean ... oh, hell ... I don't know how to explain ..."
Marsh tipped Scully's face up to hers with a finger under her chin. "Dana, it was a kiss. It was what it was."
Scully searched her eyes and found what she always sought. What she needed to make everything else in her world right. Understanding. She cupped Marsh's face in her palm, leaned close to her. "You know I don't feel that way about him. You know that, don't you?"
"I know," Marsh murmured, their lips so close she could feel Dana's breath, light and cool in her mouth. More than her blood flowing or her heart beating, Dana was life to her. "I've always known."
Scully slid on top of her, settled her body comfortably along her length as she had done a hundred times. She felt every inch of their bodies touch and just like the first time, she gasped. Coming together was always like that. Joining as naturally as two parts of a whole, as miraculously as two lost souls meeting.
"I love you," Scully said softly, slipping both hands into Marsh's hair, holding her head as she bent to take her mouth.
Marsh worked her hands beneath Dana's loose sweats, cupped her hips, pulled her hard into the space between her legs as she took her tongue, hot and seeking, into her mouth. She rocked her hips and heard one of them groan.
It had been so long.
Suddenly Scully sat up, straddling her, pulling off her own shirt as she whispered urgently, "Get undressed. I want you -- right now. Right this minute."
Marsh cast one uncertain glance at the small form a few feet away as she tugged at her fly. "What about ..."
"He's _fine_, Marshall," Scully said hoarsely, working on the buttons on Marsh's jeans with a vengeance. "Damn it," she muttered, pulling at the waistband.
Marsh grabbed her hands. "I can't get them off when you're sitting on my legs, Dana. Besides, my feet are numb."
Scully stared at her, then began to giggle.
"Shhhh--," Marsh said desperately, pushing her pants down. "Don't wake him up now. I'll explode if we have to stop."
"Believe me, we're not stopping," Scully promised, her expression intense again as she slid her hand up the inside of Marsh's thigh. Watching the muscles in Marsh's belly twitch, she stroked higher. "But you are definitely going to explode."
Marsh's breath caught in her throat as she saw Dana's blue eyes deepen to purple. Dark hungry eyes. She caught Dana's wrist in her fingers, stilled her hand a whisper from being inside her. "Wait," she gasped.
"No." But - heart racing, aching for the feel of her lifting beneath her, enfolding her - Scully forced herself not to move. She trembled, poised above her, poised to take her. "What?"
"Together, this time." Marsh raised up and grasped Scully's shoulders, pulling her down beside her. She shifted her hips until they faced one another, bringing her thigh over Scully's. She touched her forehead lightly to Scully's and whispered. "Now."
They joined with a kiss as they entered one another - each welcoming, each claiming - the other. They came together out of passion -- beyond need, past desire. They came together in celebration and in promise.
Beside them, the baby slept, another cycle begun.
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