Title: "Someone Else"
Author: Alicia K.
Email: spartcus1@msn.com
Rating: PG-13, for language and sexual
situations
Category: Scully/Other, Angst
Summary: Scully's turn.
Archive: Spookys, yes. Anywhere else, please
ask.
Disclaimer: Scully and Mulder belong to 1013
and Fox. No infringement is intended.

Author's note: This is a companion piece to
"Black Coffee In Bed". It would be helpful to
have read that one first. It can be found at
http://members.dencity.com/aliciak/fanfic.html

Many grateful thanks to my beta readers, Joanna
and Mish. You guys are truly wonderful.

XXX

She stares at the ring, turning it in her
fingers, studying it as if it held all the
answers.

She knows it isn't like her to feel this way,
to act this way, but she figures she's on a
roll and might as well continue being someone
else for a while. For tonight.

"Take it," he had said, pressing the gold band
into her palm and curling her fingers around
it. "Take it. It belongs to you, just like
everything else, Scully."

He'd looked at her, begging her with his eyes
to stay, to talk, to listen and believe. But
she had turned and walked out of his apartment,
the ring clutched tightly in her hand. He had
called her name once, both a plea and a curse,
but she'd stepped into the elevator and let the
doors close on his voice.

She turns the glass in her hand, liking the way
the condensation feels on her hot palm. She
wonders if she would be here now if she hadn't
set herself up for such a hard fall.

If she'd kept herself closed off, kept herself
private, would she be here in this bar?

If she hadn't let him kiss her at midnight on
the false millennium, would she be holding his
ring in her hand?

Maybe if she hadn't opened herself up to such
vulnerability, she wouldn't be here.

Maybe if she hadn't let Mulder in so far, so
deep, she wouldn't be here at this bar, drink
in one hand, ring in the other.

Maybe.

There is movement beside her as a man settles
onto a stool two seats to her left. She
stiffens, awaiting the inevitable attempt at
bar conversation. Only then does she finally
lift the glass to her lips, letting the whiskey
burn and soothe her throat. She downs the two
fingers of liquid in two swallows, then sets
the empty glass back down on the bar
emphatically.

The ring is still pressed firmly in her other
hand. Its weight is slight, and leaves no
physical impression, but she knows she will
always carry it with her, carry its mark upon
her heart.

Mulder had been married.

She wonders if she would be here, had he come
out and told her, rather than her finding out
accidentally.

"It means nothing to me now," he'd said. "It
hasn't in years, Scully."

"Then why do you have it?" she had demanded.
"Why was it hidden in your desk drawer like a
dirty little secret?"

It wasn't bad enough that they had been called
on to help with a case in the middle of what
was to have been a so-called romantic evening,
but to find this ugly thing while looking for
his spare car keys was really the kicker.

Maybe if he hadn't locked his keys in his car
in the first place, she wouldn't be here.
Maybe if he hadn't offered their expertise to
Agent Gonzalez, she wouldn't be here. Maybe
she shouldn't have answered her cell phone.
Maybe she never should have let herself fall in
love with Mulder.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda, she thinks, raising
the glass to her lips again; she's surprised
and disappointed when only ice clinks against
her teeth.

"May I buy you another one of those?" the man
beside her asks.

She turns to appraise him coolly, eyes sweeping
over his lean form, longish brown hair, and
warm, dark eyes. The fact that he looks a
little like Mulder does not escape her, and she
gives him a crooked smile. "Sure," she says
with a shrug.

After leaving Mulder's apartment, she had
driven around for almost an hour, but instead
of calming her, it had made her even more
determined to strike back.

She had clutched his ring fiercely during the
drive. Stopped at a red light, she'd opened
her palm to inspect it fully. It was plain, as
men's rings often are. No engravings, no
stones, no inscription on its inner circle.

Her fingers had closed around it again, and she
slammed her hand back onto the steering wheel.
She hadn't known what she was out to do, but
she had driven for another few blocks and
pulled the car into the parking lot of a small
bar.

She'd figured she wouldn't be drinking the
Merlot she had brought to Mulder's, so she
might as well drink something.

Mulder must have still been mad, she'd figured,
or pouting, because her cell hadn't rung yet.
She hadn't heard his voice over the line,
insisting that they talk. She didn't even know
if she would have answered, had it rung.

The man next to her stumbles to begin an
awkward chit-chat. "Haven't seen you in here
before," he says, then visibly cringes.

Any other time, she would have ignored him or
fixed him with a withering look, but tonight
she responds. "No, I usually don't hit the
bars after work."

"You must have had a crappy day."

She flips the ring between her fingers,
watching the dim light glint off of it. She
turns to him, balancing her fresh drink on her
leg. "Why do you say that?"

"Because you aren't really giving off that
'happy hour' vibe."

A happy hour vibe. She wonders if she's ever
given off a happy hour vibe. "You know," she
says thoughtfully, "I haven't had a happy hour
in quite some time. I'd kill for even a happy
minute."

She stares down into her drink, pondering the
circumstances of fate that had led her here,
rather than engaging in some happy minutes with
Mulder right now.

She wants to strike back at him. Craning her
neck slightly to the right, she peers at the
guy's left hand: no ring.

He's looking at her when she meets his gaze
again, and they share a smile as she realizes
that he's just done the same thing.

"I'm Mike," he says, extending a hand.

She stares at his hand for a moment, wondering
if this is the bridge she should cross. She
takes his hand. "Dana."

Drinks and talk follow, and she feels her
inhibitions loosening with the liquor and with
the looks he sends her way.

She likes the way he's looking at her: like he
can't believe his unbelievable luck, that she
had just fallen into his lap. Every woman
deserved to be looked at like that. Mulder
just looked at her like he was afraid of her,
especially since they'd embarked on this new
journey.

They'd agreed to be more open with each other;
they would have to be, if they wanted it to
work. But it seemed to Scully that the thought
of her opening up terrified him. He had
listened attentively when she told him how it
had felt to watch her daughter die, what it had
been like to receive the last rites. She had
even told him about her first boyfriend and
their disastrous prom date.

Aside from telling her a little about Phoebe
and letting her know that he did indeed love
her, he hadn't shared much else.

And now that his elephant is out in the open,
lumbering around the room, she feels foolish.
How dare he hurt her like this? He knew how
difficult it was for her to open herself to him
and had repaid her honesty by delivering a hard
kick to her soft, exposed underbelly.

She finishes a third drink and makes a
decision. If she can't fuck Mulder the
traditional way, she's going to fuck him this
way. He's not the only one who can have
secrets, she thinks. And if he should find
out, then let him hurt the way that I'm
hurting.

"Dana," Mike begins, then clears his throat
nervously, "would you like to come home with
me?"

"Mike, are you propositioning me?"

"Not if you're an undercover cop posing as a
hooker," he blurts.

She struggles not to smile. "If I were a
little more sober, I'd kick your ass for that."
She turns to pick up her small purse, and
realizes that Mulder's ring is still clutched
in her palm; she had forgotten it was there.

Opening her fingers, she sees that it has left
a darkened impression in her skin. She knows
that the image will stay with her longer than
the physical mark.

Rising from the stool, she tosses the band onto
the bar, where it slides over the surface and
clanks against her empty glass.

She turns to Mike, who is staring at the ring
and blinking furiously. "Let's go," she says.

His apartment is nearly empty, boxed and ready
to go. She refuses to think of another writer
she once knew with a barren apartment, and
instead turns her head away from his kiss. She
ignores his confused expression and takes his
hand, heading down the hallway to where the
bedroom must be.

She stands in the middle of his bedroom and
undresses quickly as he watches, looking as
though he wants to tell her something. She
knows she can't let that happen. Whatever he
has to say can wait, or better yet, not be said
at all.

Feeling bad for pushing him away before, she
pulls him down to her mouth and kisses him
fully, letting him taste her and fill her mouth
with his tongue. He reaches for her bared
breasts, but she swats his hands away and
begins to undress him.

Have to do this quickly, she thinks. Have to
do this before I change my mind, before I stop
to think, before I bring Mulder into this
bedroom, too.

But she knows that Mulder is already there,
watching with hurt, accusing eyes. He's
sitting on the floor against the wall, arms
folded over his chest as he watches her give
herself to a stranger.

Mike goes to find a condom, and she tosses off
a silent 'fuck you' to invisible Mulder before
stretching out on the bed, ready.

He cries her name when he comes, and then falls
asleep beside her. Although she is drowsy
after her own sharp orgasm, she gets out of
bed, dragging the sheet with her. She stands
by the window, wrapping it around her naked
body, and shoots the invisible Mulder in the
corner a defiant glare.

Happy, Scully?

"No," she whispers.

She goes over to Mike's discarded jeans and
pulls out his cigarettes and lighter.
Returning to the window, she opens it a few
inches to let the smoke out. She knows it's
presumptuous and rude to assume she can smoke
in his bedroom, but she does so anyway.

When the cigarette is almost gone, she wonders
if she should leave while Mike is still asleep,
but then he stirs behind her. "Hey," he says.

She gives him a small smile of acknowledgement.
"Hey."

He offers her coffee, and she dresses while
he's in the kitchen. He looks briefly
disappointed when he returns, but then he
smiles and hands her a steaming mug with a
Superman logo on it.

They sit on the bed and talk of Chicago and
divorce, and when he says her name, she has to
stop him. He now looks at her like a man with
an infatuation, which makes her feel strange
and sad.

"Don't, Mike," she says gently, and leans in to
give him a small kiss.

Her cell phone rings, she spills her coffee and
swears, and one moment of strangeness is
exchanged for another. The sharp trill jolts
her back to her real life for a moment, and she
pushes the button automatically. "Scully," she
snaps.

And it's the hospital, calling because Mulder
has a broken wrist and a concussion. Duty and
a sick sense of devotion overshadow everything
she'd felt that day, and she knows she must go.
No matter what they've done to each other, she
has to be at his side, and the thought angers
her.

She drops her chin to her chest and pinches her
lips together, fighting back the frustration.
"I have to go."

She lets him drive her to the hospital, and as
much as she wants to leap out of the car and
avoid this awkward situation, she waits for
just a moment. "I'm sorry," she says wearily,
eyes drifting closed in the darkness of the
car, outside the emergency entrance.

"I hope everything's okay," he tells her, and
she dreads what will come next. "Can I see you
again?"

You can't see me, she thinks, turning to fumble
with the door handle. You can't see me because
I have nothing to give you - nothing that
doesn't already belong to someone else. "I'm
sorry." And she flees the smothering warmth of
the car, running away from her second mistake
and toward her first.

A nurse leads her to Mulder, who is awake and
looking embarrassed at being caught unawares by
the suspect. A bandage covers his forehead,
and his left arm is in a cast. He looks up
when she enters the room, and she stops only a
few feet in.

She feels awkward and silly, standing there,
holding her purse, her hair mussed. She
wonders if she looks like she just woke up, or
if she looks like she's just been fucked; she
hopes it's not the latter.

She lets him stare at her and tries to think of
something to say. She realizes now that she
needn't have run down here so quickly. I
wonder, she thinks, fiddling with a button on
her leather coat, if he thinks I rushed down
here to make amends, to take him home and fall
into his arms.

Raising her eyes again, she approaches the bed
and instinctively runs her fingers through his
hair; it's as if she's checking for any
injuries the doctors may have missed. It's an
absurd gesture, and she starts to pull her hand
back.

Mulder grabs her wrist and looks at her, his
eyes hard and hurt. She puzzles over this for
the briefest of moments, then realizes that she
smells like sex and cigarettes.

"Aren't you going to invite him in, Scully?"
His voice is chilly and flat, and she imagines
that she can read an underlying world of
emotions beneath the surface.

She doesn't blush or look away, but her eyes
fill with stinging tears. She wants him to
take her unwavering as an admission, and by the
way he drops her hand and turns away, she knows
he's taken it as such.

"Well, at least this time you stayed in town
instead of jetting off to Philadelphia."

She flinches and steps away to drop into the
chair at his bedside, pushing her hands through
her tangled hair. "This is so fucked up."

"What is?" he snaps unnecessarily, facing her
again.

She drops her hands and glares at him. "Us,
Mulder. We are."

He closes his eyes. She wonders if he's
disappointed with her apparent lack of remorse
or guilt; she feels both, but she'd rather die
than give him the satisfaction. "Yeah, so I
was married, and you like to go out and have
one night stands."

"Fuck you, Mulder," she says in a low voice,
right hand gripping her purse strap like she
had clutched his ring earlier; she remembers
that the ring is still at the bar and hopes
with a pang of smugness that it's been tossed
into the trash.

He turns his head away again. "You don't want
to fuck me, Scully. You'd have to face me the
next morning."

She leaves him then, slamming the door hard
enough to rattle the pane of glass within the
wood.

XXX

Still with me? There will be a third and final
story to this series.

Feedback lovingly embraced at spartcus1@msn.com