Three Times Scully Was Bound
She'd been expecting there to be a battle royale pitched by her new partner, some crazy way of asserting that his theories - lacking one shred of proof - were still better than the science that bolstered her, had stayed steady for generations, promising something larger than themselves. She'd been prepared for that, since that meeting at Headquarters.
It turns out it's no good preparing for an assault when the person on the other side refuses to wage war. Instead, he's leaving the logic to her, trusting her to follow wherever it leads, whether he’s next to her or not, whether she believes in the answers at the end of the road or not.
Chains of steel or bonds of silk, the result is the same. Somehow he’s got her wrapped up tight, matching him stride for stride.
And maybe even going beyond. Because he has no idea how to hide his vulnerability, because he could let himself be taken to find something that he believes could be the truth. To safeguard him, that questioning brain, that restless spirit, she’s stood against the government she pledged her loyalty to, that her father served his whole life.
Mulder has to be worth it.
Cold. The cold was biting through her, eating away at every cell of her skin, tearing down what was once soft and healthy. The cold destroying her from the outside in was racing to meet the cold coursing through her, ravaging her from the inside out.
The tube pulsing with alien life was an icicle lodged in her throat. She could feel herself shutting down, bound in this ice-tomb, far from Mulder, from all the things he was not but could bring her back to - safety, civilization.
They might have her body, but her mind was still her own. They might have taken her to derail Mulder’s quest, to cut him off at the knees, but they apparently hadn’t realized she was more than bait; she was dangerous in her own right.
And then Mulder appeared before her, wind-burned and alive with hope, and she took her friend’s helping hand.
The water looked like bright glass - fancy, handblown glass from Venice - but it retained that familiar rhythm she’d known since her days as the littlest of the Scully brats, that lulling cosmic heartbeat.
The sun was blazing directly overhead. Mulder was humming something, winding melody contrasting with the regular rhythm of his breaths as he pulled the oars.
It was nearly perfect. They had earned all the happiness they could find.
She untied the strings of her bikini top and let the material flutter into Mulder’s face. Settling back to wait, she thought how much better unbound was than bound.
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