Left Unsaid

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Summary: missing scene for Sein Und Zeit “I’m still here,” she said quietly, not knowing if it made a difference.

Original posting date: 17 March 2001

Author: Circe Invidiosa
Rating: PG
Classification: MSR, Mulder angst, MS-UST
Spoilers: SUZ, ref to events in Demons, Detour, Anasazi, Amor Fati II
Disclaimer: I make no claims on the show or the characters. They are owned by Fox, etc.
Archive/Distribution: Yours for the asking.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Carol A.

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Somehow Scully managed to get him into bed. She sat beside him until he fell asleep. It didn’t take long. She was the only witness to Mulder’s grief and the depths it reached shook her. Ever since Mulder had lobbed his accusations at his mother under the influence of a hole in his skull and a hallucinogen, their relationship had been indifferent at best.

Now that Teena Mulder was gone, he didn’t have the opportunity to take back what he said or find out the truth. Scully could only surmise what he was going through. When her father died, her insecurities made her doubt his judgments about her choices, but never his love.

Scully eased herself off the bed when she was satisfied her movements wouldn’t wake him. She looked at her watch, 3AM. She had to be up in three hours. She’d never get to sleep now. She went into the living room and found her jacket. She fished her cell from its pocket and called her answering machine. No messages. Of course. She just spent the entire evening with one of the only people who regularly calls her. She sat heavily on the leather couch. She hoped that the wave of fatigue sweeping through her body would carry her into sleep, but she couldn’t quiet her mind.

Scully leaned back, slouching so that her head rested against the back of the couch. She propped her feet up on the coffee table as she remembered what she had tried to tell Mulder earlier: “She was trying to tell you to stop — to stop looking for your sister. She was just trying to take away your pain…”

Even as she spoke, Scully had known it was a futile attempt to try to soothe Mulder with words. She had sought for anything to say knowing that time would be the only thing that would heal his pain. She really had no idea what that woman’s motivations were. Yes, his mother was facing a certain and painful death, but Scully was angry with her for taking her own life without giving Mulder the answers he so desperately sought and deserved.

What was her hurry? What difference would a day or two have made? Why couldn’t she wait for Mulder to get in touch with her? Scully wouldn’t let her own paranoia allow her to think that there was some sort of conspiracy behind Teena Mulder’s death. Her autopsy findings left no room to deny what had happened to his mother.

She cringed as she remembered the autopsy, as she remembered begging Mulder not to make her do it. She had to think of something else. She had to try to relax.

But as much as Scully tried to relax now, the events earlier in the evening were still vividly playing out in her mind. She knelt before Mulder holding him against her as he cried until her legs and shoulders ached. She stood up, looking down at him and quickly peeled off her jacket. She urged him to get up from the chair for a moment and move to the couch with her. He followed her practically crawling to the couch.

She motioned for him to lie down on the couch, but he pushed her away, his anger resurfacing. She sat down on the couch beside him and gently squeezed his arm.

“Go. Just go, Scully,” he said hoarsely, shaking her hand loose from his arm. “I want to be alone.” He wouldn’t look at her.

“No, Mulder. I really don’t think you should be alone tonight.”

“I already am.”

“Don’t say that…”

“It’s true…my sister, my father, my mother…”

She closed her eyes and waited for him to finish. Don’t say her name, she thought as an image of Diana flashed through her mind. If you say her name, I will leave.

He added nothing else. “I’m still here,” she said quietly, not knowing if it made a difference.

His hand went to her knee, but he still didn’t look at her. Before she could reach out and take his hand, he took it away and held his head in his hands. His elbows rested on his knees as he leaned forward. “You should go, Scully. Go.”

“You can’t keep doing this to me, Mulder…”

The harshness of his voice startled her as he yelled, “Do what to you? Other than fuck up your life too…Just go.”

She was trying not to get angry. “Stop the martyrdom, Mulder…You can’t keep telling me you need me and then tell me to get away from you the next moment. I’m not leaving.”

His face twisted in pain. He said with a tight voice, “How much more do I have to lose, Scully? How much more before everyone’s gone? How much more? I should have called her. Why didn’t I just take a minute to see what she wanted?”

His voice was breaking. His body shook as he tried to hold in an uncontrollable sob. Scully put her arms around his shoulders and gently pulled him down so she could hold him. His mood swings were unpredictable.

She eased him down further, resting his head in her lap. He lay on his side facing away from her. Her fingers combed gently through his hair, hoping her touch might calm him. She sought for something to say to him, but could only think of meaningless platitudes. Like the things she heard from others when her father and sister died. She couldn’t think of anything else so she sat quietly waiting for Mulder’s breathing to steady. His collapse filled her with the need to mother him. She resisted the urge to hum a lullaby, but she wished she could take his grief on herself if only to spare him. Insensible words spilled out of his mouth.

“What am I going to do?” he said through tears. It was the only audible thing Scully had heard him say.

She whispered into his ear, “You’re going to take some time off. You’re going to get some rest. And above all, you’re going to listen to me.”

He chuckled in spite of himself. At least it seemed to stop his weeping. He took a deep breath and wiped at his eyes. He still faced away from her but remained in her lap.

“I’m listening,” he whispered.

“Good. Mulder, as much as you think it might justify your remorse and your pain, you can’t blame yourself or anyone else for this. She was doing what she thought was best.”

“It hurts,” he murmured.

“I know.”

They said nothing else. Scully’s fingers still trailed through Mulder’s hair. He put his hand on her knee and gave it a squeeze. Scully reached forward and offered him her hand. This time he took it and held it. She remembered another time she held him like this. They were lost in a forest and they were sitting on the ground. Mulder was hurt then too and she held him to keep him warm and to let him sleep. She watched over him all night making sure his injuries didn’t cause him any further harm. She’d watch him tonight again, for the same reason.

Mulder’s hand relaxed in hers. He seemed to be drifting. She took the opportunity to lean towards the desk. She hit the ‘off’ button on his answering machine and made a grab at his phone.

Mulder snapped to attention and turned to look at her as she sat back. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“Turning the ringer off on your phone. I don’t want anyone bothering you tonight.”

“Scully, I’m going to be okay. You don’t have to be so drastic.”

“Humour me.”

He turned back and relaxed again. He reached up and held his hand out to her. She grasped it again. She wondered if he realized just how much she took care of him. She wondered if he knew just how much she secretly enjoyed it.

Scully wished for a distraction now. The television cart was along the other side of the wall. The pizza box on the coffee table was too far for her to reach without disturbing Mulder. She hoped he would fall asleep soon.

As if he could sense her discomfort, Mulder suddenly spoke quietly, “Seriously, Scully. If you want to get going, I’ll be okay.”

“I thought I told you to listen to me. Is my company that awful?”

“Never,” he replied, squeezing her hand.

She leaned her head back and watched him through half-closed eyes. He spoke again, “I was a really lousy son.”

Don’t do this, she thought, wincing, but said, “Mulder, how can you say that?”

“Pretty easily.”

“Mulder, I don’t know what your definition of being a good child is. But I would say, under the circumstances you were given, you turned out better than you should have. A lot of people come from messed up families…for someone who grew up surrounded by secrets and lies, you’re a good man.”

“I never made enough of an effort.”

“Did she, Mulder? Did your father?”

He had no answer. His shoulders began to shake though and she knew he was crying again. He let go of her hand and buried his face in his hands. It was too much. Her heart was breaking for him and all she could do was hold on to him.

He hadn’t had the opportunity to mourn his father, coming so close to death himself. He was never given the closure he so desperately needed with his sister’s disappearance. It seemed like with his mother’s passing, he was finally mourning all the losses in his life.

“You’re all I’ve got left, Scully.”

She closed her eyes. Insecurity made her wish he hadn’t said that. She didn’t want that kind of responsibility.

He continued, “I couldn’t go on without you.”

“Mulder, you’re going to say something you’ll regret…”

“Maybe I regret not saying anything…Maybe I need to say these things…If anything ever happens to me, I want you to know…I don’t want anything left unsaid…”

“Nothing’s going to happen to you, Mulder…”

“You don’t know that…”

“Mulder, shh…please…”

She couldn’t handle this. What was he trying to say? Was he going to harm himself? Now she really had to stay…

Scully felt guilt wadding up into a lump in her throat. What was wrong with her? Why was she shutting him up? If he needed to talk, why couldn’t she listen, especially now? He needed the release.

She swallowed, “I couldn’t go on without you either, Mulder. But I would try.”

“I’d want you to.”

“I know.”

Her hand ran through his hair again. Her fingertip grazed the scar from the forced surgery he endured. She felt him flinch under her touch. Before she could take her hand away, Mulder took her hand in his again.

“I’d want you to try too,” she said.

“I couldn’t. You’re so much stronger than me. You are my strength.”

Scully shook her head even though he couldn’t see her. She leaned forward to kiss his cheek, but he turned to face her as she neared. Her face hovered just above his not knowing what to do now that her plan was ruined. Her breath caught in her chest. He was bridging the gap. She felt his hand curl around her neck pulling her down further. He strained to reach her until his lips crushed against hers. Her mind railed against what was happening telling her it wasn’t the right time. But she allowed it to continue. She couldn’t risk what could only be perceived as a rejection of him.
And she wanted it to continue. Could she admit that to herself? Why else wasn’t she stopping this? She couldn’t even try.

She involuntarily deepened the kiss. She could taste the salt of his tears on his lips. It brought back the reasons why she should stop this, but before she could, he released her and sat up a little.

The abruptness of their parting made her realize that as much as she questioned it, she didn’t want it to end. He turned to face her, supporting himself on one arm, which he placed on the other side of her. She could feel his breath on her face as he leaned closer towards her. She felt trapped. The only way she could get up and away would be to slouch down and slide under his arm. Why did she always look for an escape route?

She looked at him. His eyes were red and puffy. His cheeks were still damp. She reached to wipe his face dry with her fingers. He pulled her hand away and kissed her palm. His hand brushed her cheek. His hand moved through her hair until it rested on the back of her neck again. He pulled her forward to him. She felt his nose brush under hers. She could feel him breathing in her breath as he pressed his mouth to hers again. She made no movement to resist him and began wrapping her arms around him when he suddenly broke off. His body jerked up and turned away from her with his back to her pulling his head into his hands.

“I’m sorry, Scully.”

She put her hands on his shoulders and rested her head against his back. “For what?”

“This…I shouldn’t have…I’m sorry…It was inappropriate.”

“No, Mulder. It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not right. I’m trying not to feel by feeling something else.”

“It’s okay to want to feel something else.”

“Scully, you’re my friend, and I can’t use you like that. If this is ever going to happen, it’s going to be about you and me. I don’t want to associate us with death and hurt feelings. It’s not the right time.”

His words echoed her earlier thoughts. She didn’t want him to feel rejected and yet now she was the one feeling rejected.

“There’s never a right time…” she said, her voice barely a whisper. She hadn’t meant to say it out loud.

He swung his legs around to sit up on the couch and then pulled her into his arms and held her. He murmured in her ear, “Maybe not, but there will be a better time.”

She took some comfort in his words but wondered how their roles got reversed all of a sudden. She was the one who was supposed to console him.

But he would need her support again. She watched his metamorphosis. It wasn’t long before he dissolved into grief again. He ran the gamut of his emotions and it exhausted both of them. And at some point she pleaded with him to lie down in bed and try to sleep. He acquiesced and let her lead the way…

As her mind remembered, she felt it slipping away from consciousness. If she just stayed still, maybe she could trick herself into falling asleep. But she thought she heard someone speak. Was Mulder talking to her? Her eyes opened and listened carefully.

“Scully?” he called from his bedroom softly. She wasn’t sure if exhaustion was making her hallucinate. She waited and heard him called again, louder. “Scully?”

“Yeah,” she replied taking a deep breath before hoisting herself up off the couch. She walked back into his bedroom. “I’m right here, Mulder.” He was sitting up in bed looking groggy and confused. He lay back down as she neared.

“I thought you might have left.” He patted the mattress beside him as an invitation and she accepted.

“I told you I wouldn’t.” She sat up on the bed with her legs crossed at the ankles, looking down at him.

“I know. I was just afraid that maybe you might have anyway. Something I might have said…I can be an idiot sometimes.” He tugged on her arm until she gave in and lay down beside him facing him. He let his arm drape across her waist.

“You know, one of these days, Mulder, I’m going to take you seriously and leave when you tell me to.”

“I know,” he repeated sleepily.

“What will you do then?” she asked before drifting off.

“Find you.”