Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully sadly do not belong to me. They are the property of Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Broadcasting. I claim nothing. Even though I did make up most of the story, they can even claim that. I don't want ownership of anything.Caved In by conspiracy (What? That IS my real name.)Classification: MSR Rated: PG-13, possibly R for language Spoilers: none, references to Detour, Pusher, Kitsunegari, Redux Summary: Mulder and Scully are trapped in a cave while working on a case in Washington state.
Caved In by conspiracy
More than one of my fantasies has involved variations of being trapped in a cave with Scully, but not during an important case, and definitely not when I know that the suspect's getting away in our rental car. The guy's name is Fred Jacobs, or so he says. Then again, someone claiming to have witnessed a crime who then leads you and your partner into a cave rigged with dynamite isn't exactly the most credible person on the planet. Scully and I were (and still are if we ever get outta this place) investigating the disappearance of several local women in a small Washington town when this jack-ass contacted us and said he knew where we could find some answers. Yeah, so far I've found lots of answers. For instance, I've always wondered what it would be like to make a complete ass out of myself. Now I know. To think I believed the sonofabitch! We've been stuck in here for about an hour now. My cell phone's not working and neither is Scully's. Bad reception under all this damn rock. Scully's finally starting to give up searching for an opening in the pile of rocks that caved in the entrance. I stopped that about thirty minutes ago. The only light we have comes from our flashlights, which are set on the floor facing the ceiling so that they light the whole of the relatively small 12 by 7 ft. cave (12 by 12 before the dynamite). Their batteries are already beginning to run out. All that's left to do is sit and wait and pray someone will find us, and I've never been very good at that. "Fuck!" I shout, slamming my fist into the wall of the cave. The jolt when my knuckles come into contact with the solid rock makes me wince, but the pain is nothing compared to my frustration and guilt, to things that go together often with me. Jacobs didn't lead us into this trap, I did. I don't care what Scully says, I should have known. I have a fucking psychology degree from Oxford, for God's sake! I'm supposed to be able to tell when someone is fucking lying to me! "Calm down, Mulder, we're getting out of here," Scully tries to reassure me. Right now her cool headedness is just pissing me off. "Goddamnit, Scully, I should have known." "Look, Mulder, neither of us saw this coming. And it's no use trying to put your fist through the wall, it's to thick anyway." "Jesus, Scully. How the fuck are we gonna get outta here?" "I don't know, yet, Mulder, but not by beating ourselves up over something that's already done." I know she's right, but once I've started down that path it's hard to turn back. Damn hard. "I just don't understand how I could have been so blind. I've been doing this for to damn long to just walk into a set-up." "I'm hearing 'I' a lot. You're not the only one who was mislead." "Yeah, well..." I'll never understand how Scully can be offended by someone else taking all the blame. God knows I wouldn't have minded my dad taking some of the blame off my shoulders when Samantha was taken. But that's another issue entirely. Scully is now sitting against the wall opposite me, legs crossed. "Sit down, Mulder." I hadn't even realized that I've been pacing the length of the cave this whole time. I'm probably driving her crazy, but right now I don't really care."I'm fine where I am." She raises her voice authoritatively as I continue to pace. "At least stay still!" I obey and lean against the wall opposite her. Her face looks weary in the light of the flashlight she's set upright between her legs. I finally decide I've been enough of an asshole already and leave my wall to come sit beside her, my legs bent upward to form a v shape. It strikes me that the other flashlight is missing. I survey the tiny cave and finally spot it laying on the ground on the other side of Scully. I nod towards it, throwing a questioning her way. "There's no point in using both of them. It'd just waste the batteries." Makes sense. Sorry, I have trouble thinking rationally when I'm being completely fucked over. "So..." Scully begins, a hint of cinicism in her voice. "When's the last time we were stranded in the middle of nowhere?" "Florida," I reply. She looks at me with a faint grin on her face. She hadn't expected an answer."The mothmen?" She asks, still grinning. "Yep. Hey, look at the bright side Scully, this time we've got our own cosey little cave. No wild animals, no creepy noises, no invisible, man-eating predators with red glowing eyes." "Now there's a silver lining." We exchange brief smiles. For the billionth time in the past almost 6 years that we've been working together it strikes me how amazingly beautiful she is. Our eyes meet and we continue to stare at each other for a few endless moments when, abruptly, the light goes out. In the darkness, I can hear Scully fiddle with the flashlight for a few seconds before giving up and letting out a soft sigh of defeat. She reaches out for the other flashlight as I place my hand on her knee. "No." Despite the fact that we are only about a foot apart from each other, I cannot see her, but I can clearly picture the questioning look that she is no doubt giving me right now. "There's no point in wasting the only light we have left when we don't need it." I can hear her settle back down against the wall. I am grateful when she places her small hand on mine instead of shrugging away from it. I feel her shiver as a small sigh escapes her mouth. "Cold?" I ask. "A little." I remove my hand from her knee and put my arm around her shoulders, drawing us closer together. She rests her head on my chest as I rest mine on hers. It feels good to be this close. "Mulder?" Her soft voice comes out of the darkness."Hmm." "Have you ever thought seriously about dying?" "Haven't we had this conversation before, Scully?" "Yes, and as I recall you gave your usual sarcastic response." This hits home. Her voice sounds slightly annoyed. I have the feeling that I better not screw this up. She needs me to be truthful. "Sure I've thought about dying. You don't come close to it as often as I have without ever giving it thought." "Have you ever thought about taking your own life?" Woah. Hold on there. Now that is a road I don't particularly feel like going down. Not tonight. Not with Scully."Wh- Why do you ask?" "Well, when Modell got out of the hospital a few months ago, it, uh, it brought back a lot of painful memories." "How does that have anything to do with me wanting to kill myself?" "It just got me thinking about what happened in that hospital room, Mulder. Why was it so easy for you to pull the trigger when you had the gun to *your* head?" "What do you mean, easy, Scully? Modell made me. It wasn't a choice. Or do you still doubt whether he had those abilities?" What is she thinking? Of course I pulled the trigger. Modell made me. I wasn't in control. If I had been in control does she think I would have pointed the gun at her?"Of course I don't doubt that he had those powers, Mulder." "Then what are you talking about?" I'm becoming frustrated. I don't want to be talking about this now. Doesn't she understand that those memories are painful for me, too? "When you had the gun pointed at me you were able to fight Modell, you were able to resist him, but when it was pointed at your own head, Mulder, it was like, like it was familiar. Like you just didn't have the will to fight him." "So I value your life above my own, Scully, you should be happy. You know they say that's true love." "Stop the bullshit, Mulder. Why can't you just be truthful about this with me?" She's right. She's opened up to me enough, she deserves the same in return. I just don't know if I can do it. "I just don't see why it's important." "It is important to me, Mulder. Just tell me the truth. Have you ever tried to kill yourself?" "Yeah." I can hear her breathing as I still hold her in my arms, but she has begun to sit up so that her head no longer rests against my chest. "When?" She tries to sound level-headed, almost business-like. Most would think that she's succeeding, but I know her too well for that. "You want me to go down the list?" This gets a definite reaction out of her. I know she must have guessed that it wasn't a one or two-time thing, but I guess that hearing me say it is a different matter all together. She maintains her calm, collected tone of voice. Barely. "When was the last time?" I REALLY don't want to get into this, but I figure I'm in too deep to stop being truthful with her now. "You remember when I shot the D.O.D. employee who had been surveiling my apartment? Well, I already had my gun out when Kritschgeau called me to tell me about the surveillance." This leaves her dead silent. So I continue. "The lie you told was almost a truth.""Oh my God. Mulder." There is shock in her voice. And something else. Pity. I can't deal with that. Anything but that. "It's okay, Scully," I try to reassure her. Yeah, that works. It's okay, Scully. God, I'm an asshole. "I mean, I could never have actually done it. I've been holding a gun to my head since I was 12, if I haven't done it by now, chances are I never will." I can hear a faint sigh. Suddenly it occurs to me that Scully's crying. Barely, and doing a good job of concealing it, but still crying. Good one, Mulder. Tell her you've been suicidal your whole life, that'll make her feel better. It's okay, Scully, nothing to worry about, I'm a pro. I feel for her face with my hand, feeling truly sorry for what I've done to her. Funny, isn't it? Here I am talking about how many times I've held a gun to my head, and *I'm* feeling bad for *her*. I locate her jaw line and gently run my fingers over it. "You okay, Scully?" She's silent. I can still hear a few little sighs and gulps which tell me she hasn't stopped crying. Actually, my gesture seems to have brought on more tears. "Dana? I didn't mean to hurt you." She reaches up and places two fingers over my mouth, silencing me. She then returns her head to my chest and I hold her close to me as her tears recede. Finally she speaks. "Mulder?""Yeah.""What stopped you?""Huh?" "This last time. When you had your gun out, and you were ready to kill yourself, why didn't you? What stopped you?""I told you, Kritschgeau called me." "No, I mean before that. Or after. You still could have done it. What stopped you?" I really don't wanna get into this. But I knew it was gonna come up eventually. Why must Scully always ask the questions that I'm not ready to answer? Why can't I just answer them? "I guess I just felt I had too much to live for." There. I've effectively dodged another important question. That's me, Fox Mulder, hypocrite of the year. Spends his entire life searching for the truth and can't even be truthful with the one person in the world that he actually trusts. "Yes, I assumed that. I mean specifically. What was it exactly that you felt you had to live for?" Why won't she just give it up?! I know I could easily lie and feed her some BS about needing to find the truth before I die, but she deserves more than that. Why do I keep on saying she deserves the truth and then not giving it to her? "Well," I begin, shakily. "I-uh, I had given up on my search for Samantha, and pretty much accepted that everything I had ever believed about the existence of extra-terrestrials was a lie. These two things had been the sole purpose of my work, of my life, for so long that I didn't know what I'd do, how I'd live without them. But Scully, this quest that I had been on all those years, that I'm still on, hasn't been, and isn't alone. If it had been, I would feel no guilt in taking my own life. I wouldn't have any reason to stay here, to continue on. But you're here Scully, you're a part of my life, a part of me. There's no way I'd ever put you through that. I may be selfish, but I'd like to think I'm not that selfish. Then again, it may have actually been a more selfish decision than I'm making it out to be. I-uh, I didn't want to leave you, Scully. I don't. As long as you're with me I still have a reason to live. Even if it is just to see you at work every day. I don't know how much sense I'm making right now, but..." "Shhhh..." I am grateful that she has allowed me stop, but also that she made me say it in the first place. It feels good to have admitted this, to have told her how much she means to me, even though I know that my words don't convey even a fraction of my true feelings. She sits up, once more removing her head from my chest. I can feel her staring in my direction, though neither one of us can see the other. In the dark, she feels for my face, and uses her hand to guide hers as she leans in to close the gap between us. Her lips brush against mine softly and then, with more force, she snakes her tongue out as I open my mouth. We exchange several slow soft kisses, when suddenly, we both hear something coming from the forest outside. It is a man's voice, sounding very distant, calling out, "Hello!" In one swift motion Scully picks up the unused flashlight, turns it on, and stands up, using the light to guide her to the caved in entrance. She answers back, yelling. "Hello! We're in here! Hello!" I stand up and grab her hand pulling her back toward me. "I love you," I whisper."Me too," she replies, smiling. Finally able to see her as she points the flashlight up toward the ceiling, I lean in for one more soft kiss. God this feels good. I think I can live with being set up just this once. As long as I have Scully.