running to stand still

 


Title : Running to stand still by ValÚrie
Spoiler : Dead alive.
Mulder Angst, MSR. Mulder POV, 3 third personne POV, Scully POV.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own'em. I'm just borrowing them. They'll be
returned in the state I found them in. :o) They do, however, belong
to CC and 1013 Productions and that's about all I have to say about
that.

English is not my first language. So Toomsie had translated and Lisa has done a great job to help us to make it coherent.
Gratitude for my friends.

Feedbacks ? Yes, of course. I need them to carry on !



Running to stand still



I never felt that bad.

Three weeks since my "return to life" (I refuse to call that a resurrection). I have as much energy as a new born.

Oh, for sure, nothing like how I felt in the first few days, when I felt like I was a total burden for others. I couldn't do anything; eat, wash myself, take a pee. Everything seemed so impossible. Any movement, even the simplest one, needed extreme concentration and energy, something I just didn’t have.

And then, there was the pain; my whole body was one raw nerve; even Scully's hand stroking my hair hurt like crazy, a thousand nerve endings sang out in agony at the slightest touch.

Along with this physical pain, almost bearable now with the right happy juice, was the psychological pain. Learning that you've spent six months in a coffin isn't a barrel of laughs, I can tell you.

My post trauma crisis started the day after my awakening, so tough was the waking death I felt, that they had to restrain me in my hospital bed (which pushed up the anguish a few notches more.)I was terrified, in pain and stuffed up with Valium. I hated that.

I was terrorized by vivid flashbacks that felt so real that I wanted, for a time, to throw myself out of the window and shatter them along with the wreck of a body I’d been left with. If only I would’ve had the strength…

My terror seemed to grow exponentially like a never-ending horror film stuck on a loop; when they let me look at myself in a mirror for the first time, after I ran my fingers over my scared cheeks and the thick angry line of intrusion that seemed to jump out at me from my bare chest, the pain, the helplessness came back full force along with noise of steel ripping through bone, feeling every cell of my body alight with that all too present memory.

Scully was there; watching each and every reaction that crossed my face. For her, I even tried to look at the situation with humor ( I told her that now I was sure, that she didn't like me just for my boyish good looks), although deep inside me, I knew that even if those scars should one day disappear, there would still be a mental reminder of the nightmare I’d lived, died…and lived all over again..

I feel like I'm not part of this world anymore. I’m on the outside looking in, as if I ever really belonged. Scully is pregnant but she says nothing about the father of her child; it breaks my heart all over again, that I might not be the father. I don’t like to bring it up. I’m so scared.

I am a non-person right now. I seemed to have forfeited my identity when I got put in the ground from my little sabbatical from the living; which is fine for dead people, but here I am in this half-life and apparently I need it again.

Scully is currently fighting the government department, tooth and claw to make them understand that the man who was buried a few months earlier, is in fact quite alive and kicking, obviously they are not equipped for this kind of surrealism and it may take some time.

I constantly want to cry and scream my anguish. I want to throw things and tear them apart as my psyche surely has. I don't want Scully to see me like this, she’s had a hard enough time to manage her pregnancy, my faux death and then my being dug up again, so complicated. So I cry under the shower, now that I can take one alone (at last), I cry in the toilet, overwhelmed by the anguish that ambushes me unbidden and relentless, as I try to make sense of all this.

It makes me unavoidably cold with the only person who connects me to this world and I can't forgive myself for that. She's waiting for a word, a question that I can't ask because I'm too afraid that the answer will shatter what’s left of my brittle heart. If I'm not the father of this baby, I don't know if I’ll have the strength to continue to live. If the answer is yes… my distress will still be as strong. How could I take care of him when I didn't succeed in protecting his mother, or myself?


How could I prevent him from being hurt, the terrible way I have been? We are abductees. The doctors have reassured her that this child is normal, but everything else is in the wind.

My worry is an endless plain surrounded by layers of darkened sky, so I swallow the prescribed antidepressants they assure me, will help, but I feel that the depression follows me and waits to swallow me whole. I barely sleep, I barely eat, I just want to be at home and never leave again. I still have my apartment. When I discovered that Scully had paid for my rent in my absence, I cried the first tears of happiness I could remember. Her conviction that she was going to find me, warmed my heart. But even my apartment seemed strange to me, during the first days when I came home. I could no longer sense my place in this life, which had continued without me during my absence.

Scully tried to help me, but she can't understand my attitude or crashing mood swings. We don't manage to communicate well, even less to find the intimacy we had finally established a few weeks before my abduction. All our moorings have been cast out to an unforgiving, cruel sea.

I’ve been pacing in my apartment for hours now, unable to fall asleep or just to rest. I should pick up the damn phone and call Scully, try to connect with her the way I want to, but I haven't got the strength. Skinner? No. Even if he is certainly my friend now, I can't see myself telling him my fears and my doubts. Frohicke and the guys? They mean well, but they have no frame of reference to understand what I am going through. In fact, I don't want to speak. I just want to forget.

I get dressed like an automaton, a tin man without a heart and go out. It's the first time in days. I only hope I won't have that panic attack I fear is waiting to ambush me with every breath. I feel the urge to run, but know too well that my body is still too weak for such exertion. So I go to a familiar place, a place where I know nobody will ask me questions, a place where I will find a tangible peace.

**************************


I don't like Friday nights. It's always at night that men drink more than usual. The end of the week is popular for depression to take its toll, dark moments that encourage them to seek solace in the bottom of a beer glass or whatever their poison is, casting away the cares of the day in a giddy haze.

Tonight is like that. My bar is crowded with regular customers, seated alone in front of their glass of whisky or vodka. Most of them are at tables; some are in front of the bar seated on high stools. I fill their glasses; I smile at them, and do my best to help them forget their sorrows or anguish.

The one guy in front of me today isn't a regular customer; although I’ve seen him, from time to time. He comes here sometimes to have a beer or even a coffee. Rarely strong alcohol, sometimes a glass of whisky. He's been here 2 hours now, his shoulders are hunched like he carries the weight of the whole world on them; stubble on his face, which is unusual for him, seem to cover odd scars I never noticed before; like tribal markings on his cheeks. Thinking about it, I haven't seen him here for months now. He seems thinner, almost scraggy, as if he'd been ill recently. His appearance is neglected, his hair is dirty, it's surprising that doesn't look like him, and usually, he is so elegant. Mr Armani, wonder what happened to him.

There are four glasses in front of him. His haunted eyes, between green and gray, become hazy as the alcohol bites home. He wavers on the stool, voice sluggish as he continues to talk to me. I have never seen him like this.

Usually, he is smiling and courteous, a little sad, but always sober and pleasant. He always gives me good tips. I believe that he's an FBI agent, a single guy. According to my colleague who tried flirting with him once or twice one evening, but he politely blew her off. His heart lay elsewhere. Single, may be, he seems to want to steer clear of a woman’s charms, not interested in a one night stand.

As soon as his glance catches mine, he drowns in it as if I were an anchor. I don't know what to do. The other customers desert the bar, little by little, and I'm alone with him now. He talks about his long dead sister, his mother, Scully.

Scully, she's the young woman who accompanies him sometimes, a little red head luminous and lively. When she's near him, he's a different man, alive and funny. He talks to me about his job, and about his guilt, his innate inability to succeed in the important things in his life. He talks about his “abduction”, the tortures he underwent. Unbelievable stuff, but he obviously believes it, and something happened to him, maybe that explains his frail appearance, his scars; some kind of case gone badly.

His voice is muffled and low, and his eyes are full of tears. He asks for another glass, his body shaking with sobs. I don't know what to do. I should call the police, as I always do in other situations. He is obviously in need a good shrink for one, but I don't have the heart to do that. He seems so sad, so desperate, and so vulnerable. That doesn't seem like him at all.

A sudden careless move, sends him toppling to the floor like a damaged puppet with all his remaining strings cut. I’m with him in moments as I try to help him up again and finally, he’s standing up straight. He buckles a moment later against the dark wood bar, hiding his face behind hands almost twisted into claws with his grief. His sobs are uncontrollable now and I know what I have to do.

Slowly, I feel in his pockets to find his cell phone. He just remains where he is, allowing me the intrusion; he is in no fit state to fight anyone now. I take his phone and press speed dial 1. I'm fairly sure that that the person who picks up, will be someone who cares for him enough to be able to come here, and take care of him.

A soft, sleepy voice answers me. I explain the situation. Dana Scully; so it is her as I had hoped; she asks me to keep him in the bar just long enough for her to get here. She sounds worried and says she will be here in twenty minutes.

She keeps her word. Sure enough, a short time later, she's here; thanks me with a smile and kneels down to her partner’s level; his still shaking body is now slumped like a discarded old coat on the deck. It's months since I’ve seen her and I see that she's pregnant; nearing the end of her pregnancy too, from what I can tell. She asks for my help to get him on his feet and out to her car, he clings onto her like a precious lifeline, still shaking with spasms, his face wet with tears. She whispers comforting words, voice soft and tender, and her fingers caressing his hair.

Before they leave, she turns toward me, her features concerned. She's sorry. I shake my head and close the door behind them.

*******

I knew this time would come sooner or later. For days now, he’s closed himself off from me, unable to speak of his fears or offload what certain terror he holds in too frail a body, to cope alone. For my sake, he tried to maintain that unbreakable fašade, but I see a new set of cracks every day from the enormity of all that frightens and horrifies him. But I knew deep inside my heart that he was feeling broken, and I I’m still trying to understand it all. He didn't want to talk to me; perhaps through the fear of reawakening my Pandora’s box of anguish over my own abduction. Unlike him, I don't have any memories to go with that experience, save for a few fleeting glimpses of the horror, he must be reliving in full right now. He's terrified by what happened to him and I can understand that perfectly now.

Then tonight, this impasse came to an end. I'm hurt that he preferred to drown his sorrows in alcohol rather than talking to me about it, but how can I be upset with him, I’m not angry, just unutterably; unbearably sad that he can’t reach out for the help he knows will be his for the asking. He’s being alive is all I could pray for these last harrowing months. But I didn’t get him back whole, and that what I have to face.

He succeeded in getting into the car with me, staggering, shaken by deep sobs. Back at my dark apartment, he collapsed onto my sofa, his face hidden behind his hands, his shoulders shaking, and breath hitching noisily from having cried so much. I knelt down in front of him, my hands on his knees, and I talk to him softly, as with a frightened child, trying to calm him. His breathing improves now; his tremors cease little by little.

Suddenly the words he’s harboured inside him for too long, come spewing out of him like a great torrent of despair. His hoarse voice fills my small room to bursting as he starts to disgorge all what happened during his abduction. Tortures, both mental and physical, deprivations, humiliations, and sheer terror, the legacy of scars on his poor body could only give a glimpse of before.

The panic and fear, which almost devoured him whole, the scale of true horror that nearly, cost him his sanity. He talks like this for hours as if stopping is too painful a contemplation for him; and I listen to him, my eyes brighten with heavy tears, and I reassure him that all is over now and that maybe he will forget in time with love, acceptance and a new lease on life.

This man, who lived so much of his life with terror and peril, has finally arrived at the end of his tether, but I know that he has enough willpower and strength inside him, to overcome this last ordeal. If only he will allow me to love him again, to take and nullify some of this pain and sooth it away with my arms and my body. That’s what he needs most of all and it’s what I intend to give him with every fibre of my being.

He's exhausted now; his eyes are almost closed, but before he shuts down for good, he asks me a question; the question! The one I’ve been waiting for him to ask for days, the one he's so afraid of, nearly as much as the memory of his captivity, the one which continues to consume him since he opened his eyes in his hospital's bed, and they fell on my gloriously round belly. I tenderly draw his fingers to cradle our unborn child and whisper a simple..

“Yes.”

And when I answer, his sad, tired eyes brighten suddenly with untold joy and pride, finally falling asleep in my arms; his chest rising and falling in deep slumber against our son.

**************

The End

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