Title: Untouchable Face
Author: Rihannsu
E-mail: maximana@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.geocities.com/maximana/
Classification: Vignette, Scully Angst, DS(R, sorta)
Rating: PG-13 for adult language and situations
Spoilers: general season 8 up to DeadAlive and TINH.
Archive: XFMU, sure.  Please ask otherwise, cause I'm obsessive like
that.
Feedback: go for it.
Disclaimer: The characters of Doggett and Scully are property of 1013
productions.  This particular arrangement of words is mine.
Summary:  "She's never let herself regret the strange, fascinating
trajectory of her life. But now, now, she's obsessed with the
conventional, with what is normal and usual and ordinary."

Author's note:  If the thought of Dogg and Scully 'together' makes
you phsically ill, skip this one.  Please. Thanks to Meridy for
giving it a read through, and to all the ML patrons for their support
and encouragement. Title comes from the Ani DiFranco song of the same
name (best break up song ever).
***

She'd like to think that the reason he only sleeps on one
side of his big bed is because of her. That he knows she likes to
creep in here in the middle of night and claim the other half of the
bed. Knows it so well that he's unconsciously adjusted his sleeping
habits to accommodate her.
But she knows it's not true. He was married long before he
ever met her. Some other woman whom she'll never meet had impressed
the habit upon on him. She wonders if the automatic way he pulls her
to him when she joins him is another hand-me-down from this unknown
woman.
She's never considered herself conventional, has scorned the
label in fact. She's never let herself regret the strange,
fascinating trajectory of her life. She's seen a thousand impossible
things in the last seven years, and she's loved the wild
unpredictability of her life, of her partner.  But now, now, she's
obsessed with the conventional, with what is normal and usual and
ordinary. This past life of his that she sees only in it's lingering
effects is endlessly intriguing to her. She wants to know what it was
like to have a marriage. To come home to someone at night. To wake up
in the morning next to them. To have someone know all the ordinary,
incidental details of your life, like where you keep your car keys
and whether you dog-ear the page of books or take the time to find a
piece of paper to mark your place. Wants to know what it's like to
glance at a room and know just by how cups and papers are arranged if
your other half has been there already. Wants to know how you gain
this knowledge and how two people can blend their personalities to
that point.
There are things she knows about him, of course. Knows that
he has barely visible freckles. That he reads the Post and the New
York Times every morning. That he knows how to cook and considers
leaving the kitchen a mess afterwards a serious offense.
But there are so many things she doesn't know. She knows he
was married and she's pretty sure there was a child. He seems too
knowledgeable, too supportive not to have done this before. But she
doesn't know what happened to the child . . . or the wife.
She knows that sometimes when he's distracted he runs his
thumb over the place his wedding ring should be, but she doesn't know
why it wasn't there any more. She wonders why she is jealous of this
unknown woman.
And wonders if he feels the same way toward her lost partner.
Something tells her that he doesn't.  He's not a petty man or one
given to unproductive emotion.  His character often borders
dangerously on `too damn good to be true.'  He treats her with
endless attentive kindness and makes love to her with gentle
reverence despite the fact that she's heavily pregnant with another
man's child.  He didn't refuse her this affair though sometimes she
catches a sad troubled look in his eyes and knows he thinks what he's
doing is wrong.  But she wanted this, needed this intimacy, this
connection with another human being.  And he has yet to refuse her
anything, no matter how much damage it could cause him.
She feels guilty for this and wonders how she will be able to
live with the knowledge that she's hurt him.
Part of her mind tells her to get over it.  That he's a grown
man and quite capable of looking after himself.  Another part mocks
her for her concern.  `If he wants to be a martyr, let him,' it says.
St. John, she thinks wryly, patron saint of the normal life.
He shifts restlessly next to her and she realizes she's been
stroking one of his big, calloused hands while she thinks.
"Dana?" His voice is quiet and slurred with sleep.  "You all
right?"
She squeezes his hand gently.  "I'm fine."
Moonlight turns his eyes a strange steely gray and she wants
to turn on the lights and see them properly.  "Can't sleep?" he
asks.  His deep voice is waking up and she lays her head against his
chest to feel its rumble.
"I was thinking."
"Hmm," he says, a soft sound with no real meaning just an
acknowledgement that she has spoken.  He never asks her what she
thinks, and she never tells him.
"Do you know that you always sleep on the left side of the
bed?"
He stays silent for a moment.  "Yes."
"Why?"
It's a long moment before he answers.  "In my . . . our
apartment in New York, we had the bed next to the wall, and if I
slept on the right, I'd have to crawl over my wife to get up in the
morning."
"What was her name?" She asks.
"Alison," he answers readily this time, but she can hear even
deeper pain this time.
"How long were you married?"
"Dana . . ." there is anguish in his tone now, deep and dark
and soul-destroying and she wonders if she could make him cry.  She`s
not sure.  Once she would have taken it as a given that she could
break any man she met.  But he's stronger than she can imagine.
"How long?"
"Ten years."
A long time, she thinks.  Longer than she knew Mulder.
"Where is she?"
"Stop it."  His voice is quiet, but she can hear the anger in
his voice.  She doesn't think she's ever heard real anger in his
voice.  There have been varying degrees of irritation, annoyance and
displeasure, but never real, true anger.  She's glad now that the
faint light has turned his eyes silver.  She's not sure she could
face them.  They're hard enough gone thermonuclear blue in
irritation, and she doesn't want to know what color they would turn
in real anger.
He's staring at the ceiling now and she listens to the ragged
edge of his breathing.
"I . . . I have this life, this strange, incomprehensible
life in a world gone mad controlled by powers most people can't
imagine," she says her voice breaking.  "And I just . . . want to
know what a normal life is like."
"There's no such thing."  His voice is hard and flat.  "No
one gets a free pass through life.  Everyone gets their own share of
pain and heartache and loss."
His eyes are bottomless silver pools of anguish.
"What happened to you?" She asks softly. 
He looks at her steadily, his expression so still it makes
the roiling turmoil in his eyes that much worse.  Finally, he looks
away, and had he been a lesser man she knows he would have gotten up
and walked away from her.
She shouldn't have asked, shouldn't have pushed him.   It was
too much, too intimate.  That's not the way this relationship works. 
But it's too late to take it back.
The baby chooses that moment to pummel her stomach with its
tiny feet.  To her surprise, he turns his attention away from the
ceiling and smiles at her.  "Kid's going to be a soccer player." 
There's something like bitterness in the set of his features, but
there`s joy in his tone. 
Suddenly, they're no longer standing on the brink, an abyss
of secrets and unacknowledged emotion yawning before them.  They are,
once again, just two people in a bed.
She kisses him lightly.  "You'll have to teach it.  Sports
are outside my area of expertise."
He's silent for a moment.  "Okay."
She wonders what she has just offered and wonders if he knows
what he`s agreed to.  Maybe he does.  She has the feeling that if
Mulder were to return tomorrow, and she were never to spend another
night in this bed, he'd still teach her child to play soccer.  In her
own confused and complicated way, she loves him for that.  And that's
normal enough for now.
***
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