By Leia Fee
Scully came to tell us. It was nice of her to come in person. I mean we were never even sure if she even liked us or if we just pissed her off. Though I guess managing not to slap Frohike all those times must count for something.
Anyway, she came to tell us as soon as she got back. Frohike answered the door, and of course he made some remark or other. She didn’t even react. We guessed then that something was wrong.
She asked if she could come in, said she had to tell us something. Her voice was shaking and I remember thinking how she’d always been the calm one – Mulder was supposed to be the emotional one. Then I thought, ‘Oh crap, Mulder. She must have found out something, something must have happened to him,’ and I didn’t want to know what had happened that was bad enough to upset Scully that much. I don’t know if the others realised then. Byers looked worried—though that’s pretty much his ground state—and Frohike was just looking like he wanted to kick himself for whatever comment he’d made at the door.
“You should probably sit down,” she suggested and that got us all even more worried but none of us moved. By then I think we’d all guessed what was coming. Only Byers had the balls to actually ask though and it was a simple, “What’s happened?”
“It’s Mulder…” She seemed to take forever to finish that sentence. It couldn’t have been more than a minute. “He’s dead.”
Suddenly I did want to sit down. News like that goes straight to the legs. I was standing right next to one of the desk chairs so collapsed onto that, but it was one of those twirly, wheely ones and it sort of slid away and I landed on the floor. Then Byers and Frohike were trying to pick me up and I was batting at them and trying to make them leave me alone because Mulder was dead and me falling on my ass was the least of anyone’s problems and if we felt bad then how much worse did Scully feel and…yeah I was babbling.
Anyway, they did pick me up—I’m told I’m heavier than I look—and made me down some of that awful scotch, that Frohike drinks, until I stopped shaking. And I was still feeling really guilty, like it shouldn’t be me at the centre of attention so I kept telling them I was fine which they didn’t believe because they know me too well and I obviously wasn’t in any way fine.
But then I’ve never been good at
coping with bad news. I don’t
understand how people do it.
I mean look at Byers—all that shit with that Modeski woman and he’s so damn calm. Any crisis and he just quietly works through it.
And Frohike—well he just rants and raves for a while then deals with things.
I’m the one that falls apart. And I worry about just how far I’d fall if the guys weren’t there to catch me.
Anyway, by the time I’d pulled myself together, everyone else had had more than a drop of the scotch as well. Scully had a bit of a sob and I wished I could too and instead I had more booze and we all got horribly drunk and maudlin. We must have talked half the night, and I can’t remember most of it.
I woke up the next morning feeling pretty much like shit. I’d been sleeping curled up on the floor in the bathroom where I’d gone to be sick. Frohike was asleep on the couch. Byers was the only one who’d made it to his bed. And Scully presumably, had made it home.
I made toast for breakfast, which I burned, and which nobody ate much of even after I scraped off all the black bits.
Later that week we went to the funeral and I thought that’d be awful. Which it was. Cold and miserable and I got this lump in my throat that was painful for hours. But it wasn’t as bad as that night.
He’s dead and it isn’t fair and it isn’t right and it shouldn’t have happened but it’s over. The past. Forget about the past. Move on, right?
We tried anyway. After the funeral we went back to work. It’s been two months. Sometimes I still find a particular case and think, ‘Oh I must let Mulder know…’ then remember. The others do it too. I can see it on their faces when it happens. A sudden change of expression then a blank look and a hasty flurry of other activity.
We try to ignore it. We pretend we don’t notice when we see each other do it.
It isn’t fair.
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