by Jennifer-Oksana

It stands before her, proof undeniable, the final, brutal end of a chapter in her life. The ship. It undulates beneath the water, full fathom five my father lies. He lied, he said that there was logic and God and duty and right in the world, and she, being a child, had believed him without question. Even when she grew up and understood that things were not so simple, that between her father's black and white there lay an ocean of grey, she'd hoped that even so, there was a place for her father's world, where things were true and hopeful.

And so she stands alone and tries not to gag. The truth? This is the truth? It's supposed to set her free, not deliver her into Mulder's world, a dark world that ends, ultimately, in madness and emptiness. And as she thinks this, she represses another heave of conscience. The truth has left Mulder a raving lunatic in a padded cell, and she staggers against the thoughts, back, back, back, she can't get far enough away from this shining, final proof that leaves her full of ashes and tears. And though she does not know and would not care, her aching eyes sparkle with saline tears to feed a hungry ocean of indifference that spreads before her as far as eyes can see.

She staggers, past her guides. Past these men, these simple men who feared the ship for its foreign-ness, unaware of its greater implications. These men who watched her descend to the water's edge and arise a new creature, one whose mind is wild with half-elucidated thoughts and fully elucidated connotations. One for whom the moon is now rock candy, and Satan and his choirs of angels wear little grey faces and jeer her. The men move away, frightened by her transformation into this rich and strange new woman. Who wouldn't be afraid with those eyes staring out at you from a brave new world--

With such people in it.

A man stands at the edge of the spectacle with a feline smile across his pretty face. He's waiting for her to stop this desperate, half-mad reeling for just a moment. The man is a predator with infinite patience-- but when the prey is just to his liking, he will pounce without thought. And the thought of pouncing on the once-proud and infinitely stubborn Dana Scully is enough to keep the grin slung across his face.

The thoughts keep breaking like waves across her mind, throwing up more connections and obvious realizations as she sways and lurches around the beach, looking for a fixed point, a still point in a turning world where nothing is rotating. But Scully can't stop and let this hyperreality envelop her. Dear God in heaven, no, not on this foreign shore can she be left alone to face every dark doubt and fear alone, and find that perhaps the world turns around this ship. For no matter what submerged truths hide under the ocean sands, to follow the path created by it would be suicide, and she, the honorable daughter of an honorable man, has too much pride, too much stubborn force to join the enemy and his cause simply because the point belongs to him.

She wheels around again, and when she sees him standing there, a hallucination nearly, a shape in the circles of her mind, she cannot accept him as he stands there. It's the last insult to her welted soul, and to see that grinning rat bastard there, just standing there looking down at her with a smug victorious leer on his face--

It cannot be borne. It shall not be borne. There is enough fight left in her sick and maddened psyche to react to this.

"You," she hisses through painfully clenched teeth. And he is. Lying-beautiful-cocksucking-sister-killing-filthy-motherfucking-son-of- a-one-eyed-bitch. Thought is unnecessary-- instinct and adrenaline carry her small frame as she charges him, completely forgetting in her rage-addled haste that she has no gun, no weapon to destroy him other than a piercing scream. She will kill him and then ask questions. It's her very own Omaha Beach and this thing before her is the enemy's flag--

He knocks her off her feet with one blow.

From the sand, stunned, she looks up, defeated by force but not reduced in spirit or determination. It's a hollow victory to see her at his feet, the victory of a coward, a dishonorable win. Caught in the pitiless, hateful gimlet of her crystal eyes, he fiercely desires a victory with honor, or at least, a dishonorable adversary at his feet.

So he raises her to her feet with one arm. Caught there in his power, he kisses her lips-- and lets her go, preparing for the inevitable smart across his face.

Instead she stands there on the sands of an African shore, lips burning, fingers covering her mouth as if to hide a sin. He looks at her with the eyes of a reclining Buddha, she thinks, asking her a question. But she cannot answer, because she can't understand the question. The only thing registering at all in her feverish, shaking brain is the burn of his lips and the fires of Hell in her belly. Trapped, she doesn't move, just stares as the nightmares of daylight swarm around her, and embrace her, leaving her desolate on a beach, with Alex Krycek and his mouth, which has burnt her lips all the way to the brain.

She stares at his mouth now, listening distractedly as he plucks words from the air with it and gives them to her.

"Now that you know the truth," he says, "Is it what you wanted?"

"Go to hell."

"We're already there, angel," he replies, scorching her further. His eyes, his words, his lips, they've all aided in this new transformation of Dana Scully, and she wishes, suddenly, for the ecstasy of pain, for the searing communion of hopelessness, anything except this numbed burning. He was right, he was right, they are in hell, and the truth is a slap in the face from God.

Still in this numbing reverie of revelations and horror, she grabs his neck and pulls him close, so close she can smell him, feel him against her and shiver.

"What do you know?" she asks, hellfire searing its way down her veins, completing this change within her, raising a new and frightening Dana Scully from the sea, made of coral and pearl, despair and terror, and the beating drumbeats of madness echoing in the corners of her mind. This Scully, she knows, wants to drown herself in her new world, to purge the child who watched through a glass darkly from her completely. And what act other than this could do it so completely, bring her down from the paradise of an indifferent God to the hell of an active Satan?

"I know plenty," he replies, disentangling himself from her. Something like pity flickers through his hunter's brain. But it's only momentary, and he nearly licks his lips, looking at her. "What do you need to know?"

"I know everything already," she replies, realizing as she says it that she's not far off. How many things mean something else now that there is this ship? How much larger is the world? "What can you give me that I can't find somewhere else?"

His eyes glitter now, registering her slight changes in posture and attitude and reading something frightening and alluring there. "I can take you to Hell in style."

She sneers at him, unable to discard her old world so completely. This is the man, the very man, who killed Melissa, who led them through the mazes of Tunguska and Terma, whose only motive is self-interest. But burning in her stomach is the need to embrace hell fully, to give in to the devil and see what happens next.

Scully's jacket comes off her shoulders and she looks up at the greenish eyes of a very angel in Hell, one whose mind desires the victory that's before him now.

"Here. Now."

"There are--" but the men have run away, unable to bear the madness of this red-headed Anglo, the transformation that has come upon everyone unfortunate enough to gaze upon the horror within the water. There are only the two of them and the ship to witness as he pushes her down again.

"Here. Now," and the fever that has consumed Dana Scully and left her in a state of virtual rebirth starts to infect the man with the feline, selfish soul, who never dreamt that madness could be so lonely. He kneels now; looking at the dazed woman whose entire life is new again. And he needs to get rid of the terrifying, empty loneliness burning his body, and when she reaches up in a gesture of hideous weakness, he grabs her.

It is neither an act of love, nor an act of force that passes between him. As he finds the spot on her neck that tastes just right, she arches up into him, wailing her consent to Hell, yes, yes I will, begging for an end to the pain as he presses against her, finding a rhythm with her instinctual, devastated response.

"Oh, God, oh God, oh God," she keeps whispering quietly, pressing him hard, clutching his body to hers as a punishment, seeing in her mind so many dead ends. Melissa and Daddy in the grave, Samantha Mulder in Neverland, Mulder in his cell, screaming for her, as though she and her delusions could save the world that never even existed. He wonders if perhaps she's praying for something, even as her legs wrap around him, demanding more from this connection.

He pushes the dress around her waist. She helps him, closing her eyes. At a certain point, he's sure she's not paying any attention to this frenzied sexual act between him, though her hips are rocking into his and she's got him around the neck like a child afraid to fall. And even though he doesn't stop, it crosses his mind-- perhaps she's gone crazy. Perhaps the truth proved that madness is the only sane path. But this moment of reflection causes him to move his one real arm from around her wildly thrashing waist to her face, and brush it gently.

"You know, there's always hope-- even in hell," he murmurs into her ear, licking the earlobe as she ignores him and arches up further, trying to get the right angle--

And finally, she cries out in passion, shuddering around him, sweet and tight, and he keeps going until he can't anymore, and comes hard, listening to the woman beneath him moan and cry in dampened-- what? He doesn't know what's going through her mind, just her body. It could be passion, but it could just as easily be rage.

She lets him go, at last, and he pulls himself away from her. Various thoughts play through his mind, like the delight of the act, the nasty enjoyment of what Mulder would think, the desolate ache of loneliness Scully has shared with him in their brief intercourse on this beach, and itch of the sand that has re-imposed itself upon his reality. Time suddenly exists again, and he needs to escape this beach and this woman who is caught in a hell that is half-real and half her own thinking.

"Scully," he says, rising to his feet and brushing himself off as best he can. "It's never as bad as you think it is, even down here with the rats."

He leaves then, back to his jeep and its supplies, watching from the corner of his eye her lying there, staring not at the sky above, but the sea before her.


The cold rush of high tide water wakes her up from a dreamless sleep and she remembers everything in precise, painful detail, from the first moment she saw the ship that changed everything. She realizes that she's been covered with a white sheet, and she thinks that Krycek-- fucking wretched doublecrossing Alex--

Fucking wretched doublecrossing indeed, she chides herself, remembering her body clinging to his, united in some sort of animal ecstasy. But perhaps he left her this thing, and after all, her skirt is still around her waist, revealing profane things. She gets out of the way of the next wave, feeling sick but not the same paralyzing sickness of before.

Hope even in hell, she thinks to herself, struggling to her feet, swathed in her white sheet and walking to the point where all of this started. She stares at the markings of the plate and shudders to think of a future before her. But the hopelessness that had left her so close to madness has transformed now, to a desperate, lunatic wish that perhaps the God who is so clearly the God of Job will relent in the end, and deliver his children.

Her footsteps are slow and measured as she moves off the beach, heading towards the village and the world solemnly, but still burning with hope. The world she loved is dead, the man she loves is mad and perhaps dying, and the truth she's wanted is poison, but even in this dark place, she carries a whisper that is the first step of her life in this brave new world.


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