The Morning Like Thunder
by not jenny

They will race the dawn at 100 kph, eventually losing ten kilometers outside Saint-Michel-Des- Saints. They will drive through breakfast; when they stop for lunch, Scully will order her salad in French.


He pushes the key under the manager's door before they leave.


The walls are paper-thin.

When she comes, she bites his shoulder; he muffles his cry of pain in the pillow beneath her head. She is furious and tender, and they kiss until her lips are bruised and sore. They are never not in contact with one another.

Licking the sweat from her neck, he watches her eyelids flutter shut. Sleeps only when he has convinced himself that she is safe. Alive. His head rests on her chest, and he counts her heartbeats like sheep.

Their suitcases are already in the car. The tank is full.


At night, she counts the stars. One, two, three, pi; and she tries to calculate the distances between them. Tries to visualize the infinite galaxies as she scibbles jumbled formulae in her tattered notebook. Ignores the nagging feeling that she's missing something important.

She remembers she was once a scientist.

Mulder says "they're beautiful," and his eyes twinkle. He looks at her when he says it, "I dare you," and she thinks he may have been a poet, once, in a former life. She believes in such things when the moon is dancing behind a cloud.

She walks inside.


She dyes her hair brown in the sink while Mulder packs their bags. Jeans, tee shirts, and sweaters mixed in with vials, guns, and notebooks. Test tubes wrapped in rolled up socks. He trims his beard as she starts the shower and joins her in time to wash her back. Stomach. Thighs.


Her hair drips on the cracked floor, and she wrings it out over the tub. Wraps it turban-style in the threadbare motel towel. There are little burnt sienna specks on the walls.

She dresses quickly and carries the suitcases to the car.

They bought it used, and she thinks the title may be a forgery. She imagines flashing her shiny badge at the balding salesman, recites his Miranda rights in her head. Wants desperately to arrest him, if only because his eyes never once left her chest.

Instead, she sits on the hood and looks to the sky.

Mulder will follow her; unless, of course, she's already following him.


He jokes about it, saying it's probably just a soccer mom and a schoolteacher conducting an illicit affair. "The PTA scandal of the year," he mock-whispers, "public education will never be the same."

Hushed sibilants pierce the walls.

A thump. Two. A moan.

Words. Secret. Silence. Scu-

The sound of flesh hitting flesh before an empty silence.

"What will little Jimmy Jr. say when he finds out Mom's been fucking the gym teacher?"


The keys are on the bureau; the gas tank is full.

They're lying naked in the lumpy bed, sprawled on top of the scratchy puce spread. His hands comb through her hair, massaging her head.

Scully looks up and smiles.

On the other side of the wall, the bed squeaks. A woman moans.


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