The Millennium Effect
SUMMARY: A wrinkle in the fabric of time, a glimpse between universes -- a once in a millennium's occurrence.
December 31, 1999
"Do you think Mulder is managing all right alone?" Scully murmured as she pressed close against Marsh's body.
Marsh lifted her cheek from where it rested against Scully's temple, glancing across the room. She kept her hold on the woman in her arms, continuing to move gently against her. Mulder did not appear to be watching them, but you could never tell. "He seems to be amusing himself."
Scully shifted enough to press her lips discretely against the soft skin at the base of Marsh's throat. "Mmmm, that's good. I was worried about him. Not that I wanted to spend the evening looking after him." She bit ever so lightly to emphasize her words.
Marsh chuckled deep in her throat, and slowly moved her hand over the small of Scully's back. They fit together so effortlessly, and moved as one without thinking. They so seldom had the opportunity to be together in such an ordinary way, although the circumstances made it seem extraordinary. She looked about the room, aware of the others only peripherally, feeling as if she and Dana were the only two people in the world. The orchestra music provided a gentle backdrop as they danced on the eve of a new millennium.
"This was a wonderful idea," Scully sighed. "I'm so glad we came."
"So am I," Marsh responded quietly.
"Even though we had to bring Mulder?" Scully said with a laugh.
Marsh turned them with a slight dipping motion, neatly avoiding a male couple intent on demonstrating the results of their recent dance lessons, then shrugged one shoulder slightly. "We could hardly leave him on the doorstep with that puppy-dog expression on his face, could we?"
"I suppose not," Scully breathed softly, shifting her thigh subtly to press between Marsh's legs. "But his timing continues to be terrible." Scully slipped her hand under the lapel of Marsh's gray tuxedo jacket, not missing a step, and pressed the palm of her hand flat against Marsh's chest. Her fingers trailed lower, caressing the faint curve of breast beneath stiff cotton. She could remember exactly what they were doing when the doorbell rang.
"If you answer that, I will spontaneously combust," Marsh groaned.
"Whoever is on the other side of that door is going to hear exactly what we're doing," Scully whispered, making a valiant attempt to catch her breath.
Marsh stood with her back braced against the front door to her apartment, legs slightly spread to accommodate Scully's hand, which was inside her trousers. That was as far as she had gotten after Scully greeted her with a welcome home kiss. The kiss was rather more than a simple greeting, since Scully had just returned from a case that had something to do with hidden caves, psychedelic fungi, and disappearing campers. They hadn't seen each other in a week.
Marsh's hands were poised over the third button on Scully's blouse, and she could just see the edges of a filmy lace bra. Her mouth actually watered from her desire to run her lips over the smooth creamy skin she was laying bare. "Don't look. They'll go away," she pleaded, emphasizing her words with a brush of her thumbs over each of Scully's very erect nipples.
"Don't ask, don't tell," Scully muttered, her fingers slipping of their own volition into the hot, wet irresistible --
"Scully?! You there?"
Not for the first time in their relationship, Marsh cursed, then vowed, "I'm going to kill him. This time, I'm really going to kill him."
Scully leaned her forehead against Marsh's chest, closing her eyes as she slowly withdrew her hand. She counted to ten, willing her heart rate to steady and her mind to focus. She lifted her head, raised up on her tiptoes, and brushed her lips quickly across Marsh's. "It'll just take a minute. If it's not something urgent about work, I'll send him on his way. Immediately."
Marsh nodded numbly, fumbled her zipper closed, and walked on slightly unsteady legs across the room. She leaned her hips back against the rear edge of the couch, buried her hands in her trouser pockets to hide the trembling, and attempted to look composed. Scully always had this effect on her - an arousal so immediate, so consuming, that her body veered off on a trajectory all its own. She could no more control it than she could control her own heart beat. As many times as Dana had touched her, each time it ignited a desire so deep her skin burned, and something molten flowed through her limbs. Dana alone, like no one before her, and Marsh was certain, no one ever to follow, could reduce her to helplessness with the mere stroke of a fingertip across her palm. It came, she knew, from loving Dana so completely it centered her life and defined her future. Dana was like air for her, as necessary as the blood that flowed through her veins. And at the moment, her blood was on fire.
Dimly, she heard the murmur of voices, then Mulder's excited voice greeting her. She narrowed her eyes and stared at the wisp of paper he was waving in his hand. It looked suspiciously like a ticket. A bright rainbow colored ticket.
She opened her mouth to hurl an epithet, then clamped her jaws down on it. "He is Scully's partner; he is Scully's friend; he is Scully's family," she intoned silently in a supreme act of will power. She cleared her throat, then said mildly, "What's that you've got there Mulder?"
He grinned happily at Scully, then Marsh. "When Scully told me that the two of you were going to the AIDS Benefit tonight, I found out there were still a few tickets available. It's a gala event, you know -- but I got lucky!"
She noticed then that he looked quite spiffy in black tie. Black tie -- at their doorstep. She looked to Scully, who was smiling at her with that soft look in her eyes that said, "It will be fine. I promise."
Marsh sighed, then grinned at him good-naturedly. "Guess it's a threesome, then."
She didn't hear his reply as Scully grabbed her hand, called, "Put the television on, Mulder - we have to get ready," and dragged her off to the bedroom. The next thing she knew, she was in the bathroom, and Scully was making short work of stripping naked.
"Out of those clothes -- now," Scully ordered, pushing down her own skirt and stockings. As Marsh hastened to comply, Scully reached behind her to turn on the shower, then pulled her inside, sliding the glass door closed.
"You think I don't know what state you're in?" Scully asked, a wicked gleam in her eye. She backed Marsh against the tile wall, her full lips parting in a smile that no one else ever saw. A smile that said, "You are mine, and I will do as I like."
"I could wait," Marsh said feebly, very aware of Scully's breasts pressing against her. God, they were so incredibly full, and firm -- yet soft like nothing else. She lifted her hands, cradling them gently, bending her head low to caress them with her lips. "But I might die."
Scully allowed the distraction for a moment, the pressure of Marsh's fingers producing another kind of pressure deep inside. Oh -- so-- good-- right there-- She closed her eyes with a soft moan, and reached up to capture Marsh's mouth with her own. The warm water cascaded down her back as she fit her body to Marsh's, one leg riding insistently between Marsh's long thighs, creating a wetness of quite a different order.
Marsh's hands had fallen to Scully's buttocks, pulling her in tight, urging her with a demanding circular motions to push harder. "I might be quick, but I can't be quiet," she whispered desperately.
Scully laughed softly, then lifted her hips far enough to allow her hand between their bodies. She cupped Marsh, squeezing rhythmically, but not parting the soft swollen folds to touch her completely. "If I know Mulder," she gasped, "he's already watching something that sounds a lot like us."
Marsh closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the shower wall. She was rapidly reaching the point where she didn't care if Mulder, Skinner, and a dozen aliens were in the living room. She wanted to come.
"I hope so," she mumbled, "because if you don't touch me soon, I'm going to scream."
Scully reached for Marsh's hand and brought it to her own center. "We'll have to double up, or we'll run out of hot water," she managed before her throat closed around a groan. *God, you know just how to touch me*
Marsh matched Scully's rhythm, holding the smaller woman close with her free arm. The muscles in Marsh's neck tightened as the breath halted in her chest, and her heart pounded wildly. She yielded in paralyzed silence to the violent throbbing that threatened to spill over into orgasm at the slightest touch. She moaned softly when Scully's fingers tightened around her achingly stiff clit, pinning her to the wall with the exquisite torture. She had barely enough strength left to grasp Scully in the same way, squeezing her thumb and forefinger down hard, then milking the length of her gently.
Scully bit back a cry, her hips jerking at the lightning stab of pleasure. She felt Marsh's fingers sliding into her, and the reflex contractions that spiraled through her belly made her cry out again. She thrust several times, riding the length of Marsh's hand, driving herself higher. "That's got it, lover," she finally gasped. She pressed her face against Marsh's breast, sucking hard on her nipple as the spasms fused and blended into a rising surge of blinding sensation.
"Did I lose you there at the end?" Scully finally murmured, clinging to Marsh unsteadily.
Marsh laughed softly. "No, I was already long gone."
Scully raised her head, her blue eyes twinkling. "So you _ are _ capable of being quiet."
Marsh grinned. "It's difficult to vocalize when you can't breathe."
Scully pushed away and let the water run through her hair and down over her body. She pulled Marsh into the stream with her, and reached for the soap. "Oh good," she said finally, running the soap over Marsh's chest and belly. "I was worried for a moment that I was losing my touch."
"Not in this lifetime," Marsh assured her vehemently.
When they emerged from the bedroom, Marsh in her tuxedo and Scully in an off the shoulder black dress, Mulder regarded them both in obvious appreciation. "Oh yes, happy happy New Year," he whispered softly to himself as he trailed after them down to the car.
Scully stiffened slightly in Marsh's embrace. "I thought you weren't on call."
"I'm not," Marsh said grimly.
"Well, you're vibrating."
"I know," Marsh responded, pulling the small beeper off the waistband of her tuxedo trousers. She glanced at the number, but she already knew what it was. "It's not the hospital, it's a red line number."
Scully knew that in addition to Marsh's responsibilities as Chief of Trauma at Memorial Hospital, she had clearance to treat medical emergencies involving clandestine operations, and covert agents. She followed Marsh across the crowded floor to an alcove where Marsh dug her cellphone out of her topcoat pocket. It wasn't the first time their personal lives had been disrupted by work. She leaned stoically against the wall and watched Marsh talk.
Marsh turned to her after a brief conversation, her face apologetic. "I have to go. I'm so sorry. Mulder can take you home later."
Scully shook her head, a small smile lifting the corners of her generous mouth. "I want to go with you. I want to be wherever you are at midnight."
Marsh stared at her for an instant, then pulled her close. "God, I love you." She kissed her swiftly, then stepped away. "Let's tell Mulder."
December 31st, 1999
A blond woman lay motionless on a narrow hospital stretcher, a sheet pulled up to mid-chest. An IV tube ran from a bag containing electrolytes, glucose, and antibiotics into a large-bore plastic needle inserted into a vein on the inner surface of her left forearm. A cardiac monitor beeped steadily on an overhead rack. Heart rate 58. Well below average. A thin cuff encircled one tightly muscled arm, inflating and deflating rhythmically. Blood pressure 80/55. Better than average. A small plastic clip attached over the end of one finger gave a constant readout of blood gas levels. Oxygen sat 99 percent. Normal. Carbon Dioxide - 36. No hyperventilation.
*She could be taking a nap. Not one physical sign to indicate pain.*
Marsh walked quietly to the side of the stretcher. "I'm Marshall Black. Are you awake?" she said softly.
Surprisingly clear ice blue eyes gazed up at her. "Yes."
"Are you in pain?"
A small wry grin. "A bit."
Marsh nodded, smiling gently. "I can give you something."
An answering smile, bitter and brittle at the edges. "Best not."
Marsh said nothing, lifting the sheet with gloved hands, peering underneath the blood stained surgical pad taped to the woman's right chest. "I'm going to need x-rays, and probably a CT scan. The report I got indicated no major organ damage, but the bullet is still in there."
Brett nodded. "That's why I'm here."
Marsh straightened. She hated being restricted like this, working with little information, but it was part of the game. Don't ask, just treat. She did it because she was good at it, and because it needed to be done. Still, she was not a mechanic, and they were not machines - no matter how much they were trained to be. "This won't be pleasant. Is there someone -- "
Marsh should have let it go, but she saw the brief flicker of pain pass over the chiseled features. She leaned down, her dark eyes intense, her voice barely a whisper. "No one has to know. No one _will_ know. You'll leave this room and we'll never meet again. Whatever happens here will end when I walk out that door." She stepped back, and laid her cellphone on the sheets. "I'm going to make arrangements for the x-rays."
Dana Scully pushed through the hospital doors and moved quickly through the nearly deserted lobby. It was just as well that this particular New Year's eve most people had elected to stay home or were already where they planned to be. No one noticed her; no one would remember her. She caught a glimpse of a redhead in a black evening gown talking to a taller woman who appeared to be wearing a lab coat over, of all things, a tuxedo. They turned to walk down the opposite hallway.
Scully found the room she had been directed to, hesitating for a second before entering. She'd been in rooms like this thousands of times, a few hundred or so as a patient herself. But it was always harder when it was someone you knew.
Brett's head turned slightly, and she attempted a smile. "Did I drag you away from a hot date?"
In the few seconds it took for her to cross the room, Scully had taken in every monitor reading visible. Everything stable. She let out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding. "As a matter-of-fact, you did. Mulder and I were watching Peter Jennings change his clothes every half an hour and grow bags under his eyes. If I had to watch the new year ring in one more time in one more country, I would've been ready to run into traffic myself."
Brad started to laugh, then winced in pain. The machines around the room clamored in disapproval.
Scully took Brett's free hand, and leaned close. "Hey, hey. Take it easy, baby." She smoothed the damp hair back from Brett's forehead with her other hand, her palm lingering on Brett's cheek. She stroked her face gently for a moment, then kissed her softly on the lips. "Should I ask if the other guy looks worse?"
"There is no other guy," Brett said wearily. "Well, there must be, but I don't know about it. I wasn't working. The hit came as I was walking to my car." She coughed suddenly, grimacing again with the movement. A small patch of blood appeared on the dressing.
Scully looked at the monitors in concern. "Where the hell is everybody? You need attention. Who's in charge?"
A calm voice behind her responded, "I am."
Still holding Brett's hand, Scully turned to look over her shoulder. The sudden movement must have affected her balance, because suddenly she felt a wave of dizziness. For an instant, her vison blurred. She must have looked shaken, because the handsome woman across from her was staring at her with the oddest expression on her face.
Scully stared back -- she had the strangest feeling that she knew her, or _should_ know her. Tall, with brooding dark eyes, and an elegant refinement to her sharply sculpted features that said that beneath the calm, there was steel. Scully blinked, tried to dispel the disorientation. She suddenly realized that the woman bore a striking resemblence to Brett, if you changed the coloring. Same lithe build; same classic features; same aura of intensity and power. Brett looked a little wilder, a little hungrier -- not quite as haunted. But the similarity was uncanny. That must be it.
"I'm ... " Scully began, then stopped quickly as Brett squeezed her hand. *Of course, no names*
Marsh took a deep breath, and shook off the eerie sensation of looking at someone who might be Dana's twin. She was dressed in jeans, sweater and a worn leather jacket. Her hair was slightly shorter than Dana's, and her body a little leaner, and there was an edgy look to her face that belied how tightly she was wound. But her eyes were the same cerulean blue, and her features the same perfection. Whoever she was, she looked fiercely protective and completely undaunted by the situation.
Marsh walked to the wall-mounted view box and put up a series of films. Without preamble, she said, "The bullet shattered your clavicle, which probably saved your life. It was deflected enough to miss both the brachial plexus and the subclavian vessels. No nerve injury, no major arterial damage."
She began uncovering several trays with surgical instruments, sterile drapes, towels and other supplies. "The bullet is sitting about three inches under the skin in your pectoral muscle. I would recommend we get it out of there."
"Sounds like a plan," Brett said quietly.
Scully walked to the Xray boxes and studied the films. She was aware that the surgeon was watching her intently. "I'm a doctor," she explained.
"I'm not surprised," Marsh remarked flatly. She didn't have the luxury to be surprised, or confused, or anything else. She had a job to do. She washed her hands, reached for the sterile gown -- something familiar, something solid.
Scully assured herself that the assessment of the bullet's position and the treatment plan were correct, then returned to Brett's side. "Are you planning to do it here?" she asked of the surgeon.
"It's simplest," Marsh replied. *And will attract the least amount of attention. In and out. Someone will come to take her back to wherever she came from and her records will disappear.*
"I can help," Scully said.
Marsh nodded, certain that she could. "What I would prefer is that you talk to our patient while I work. It won't take long. I'll be sedating her, but she's going to feel some of this."
Scully looked down at Brett, who returned her gaze steadily with a trust so clear it almost hurt. "Does it have to be this way?" Scully asked softly. *All of this? The danger, the silence, the pain?*
"I'm sorry," Brett answered just as softly. *I can't change it*
Scully silenced her with a gentle touch of a finger to her lips. "Not now. It's all right." She looked over at Marsh, feeling oddly comforted by her presence. "Go ahead. She'll be fine." Scully continued to hold Brett's gaze, one hand in her hair, the other intertwined with her fingers. *I don't know how, or when, but someday, you'll be fine*
Marsh stripped off her gloves and tossed them onto the pile of bloody sponges and towels. She glanced at the clock -- two minutes to midnight. "You have a few minutes before someone comes," she said to the red-head. "You should leave soon"
She walked out and went in search of her lover. She had an urgent need to see her, to touch her. She desperately needed to be connected to her.
Scully took one look at Marsh's face and wrapped her arms around her. "What is it? Are you all right?"
Marsh held her tightly, smelling the fresh scent of her hair, feeling the familiar curve of her body, sensing her world righting itself. "I'm fine now. I was just missing you."
Scully didn't need to ask more, she simply held her. "Well, Mulder's timing may be bad, but yours is always perfect. It's midnight."
And then she kissed her.
Dana Scully crossed the deserted lobby and prepared to greet the first moments of the new century alone. In the bright lights reflecting off the double glass doors, she saw the image of two women wrapped in an embrace. She hesitated for a second, shaking her head at the peculiar sense of light-headedness.
When she turned, they were gone. She pushed through the doors into the darkness beyond. It was 12:01 am.
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.