DISCLAIMER: The X-Files characters are the property of Fox, Chris Carter, 1013, etc. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2000 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG.

 

Looking Further

by Djinn

 

She watched as the tiny shard of mirror joined the others in the small stainless steel bowl that the emergency tech had brought over.

"Just a few more, ma'am," he said gently. She tore her gaze from the bloody fragments and looked at him solemnly. 'Shock,' he thought to himself, 'she's been through hell.'

She could hear Mulder out in the living room. Explaining what had happened to the other agents and the policemen who were there to clean up after her...her what? Accidental shooting. Self defense? Scully sighed.

"All done, ma'am. I believe that I got them all, but if you notice anything odd, or any strange pains, get to your doctor as soon as possible. "

She smiled at him. "I am a doctor. Did you know that? I'm a doctor." A doctor she thought. A doctor saves lives. Not takes them. But what if in taking one life you saved many others? Not unlike cutting off a limb to save the rest of the patient, right?

"No ma'am. I didn't know that." The young EMT looked slightly disturbed by the news. As if trying to marry the woman with the gun who had taken down the big escaped serial killer to this quiet woman claiming medicine as her life's work. "Good night ma'am."

"Good night." Scully echoed. She sat in the bathroom for a minute. Her mind was whirling, belying the stillness she displayed. She kept thinking about those last minutes. She kept replaying them. Trying to make them over. But in each one she could not see Pfaster alive. It always came down to that last fatal moment. The gun came up, she looked into his eyes, aware of Mulder standing just on his other side, and it happened, she emptied the gun into Pfaster. She saw it over and over and over. She could not bring herself to the final moment without him dying. Mentally shaking herself she rose, pulled her pajama top down, reaching for the shawl she had wrapped around herself while she and Mulder had waited for the others to arrive. As the tech finished gathering up his gear, Scully walked out of the bathroom, not sparing a glance toward the living room or the body being removed, closing the bedroom door behind her.

She walked to the open window, curtains blowing just as in her dream, and closed it. Shrugging the shawl off, she heard the door open, then Mulder's voice. The voice of normalcy saying "if you want to pack some things we can get out of here." He was right, get some things, leave this place. She opened her drawer to bring out some clothes, her bible was in there. Pfaster must have put it there. She stopped, stared at it, ran her hands over it.

"You can't judge yourself," Mulder, rational, concerned. She looked at him. A derisive little breath escaped her. She moved to the bed, sat. "Maybe I don't have to."

"The Bible allows for vengeance," Mulder encouraged.

She finished the thought for him "but the law doesn't."

Mulder leaned into her, speaking slowly, capturing her eyes with his, trying to convince her or himself. "The way I see it, he didn't give you a choice and my report will reflect that, in case you're worried. Donnie Pfaster would have surely killed again if given the chance."

She agreed with him on that point. "He was evil, Mulder. I'm sure about that without a doubt. But there's one thing I'm not sure of."

Quietly came his reply, "what's that?"

"Who was at work in me? Or what? What made me...what made me pull the trigger?"

"You mean if it was God?"

She found herself replaying it even as she speaks, "I mean, what if it wasn't?"

He straightened up. Brushed that thought away. "Scully, if it was supernatural it was God. Pfaster was evil and you aren't. That's all there is to that argument. My god, if anyone asked me to define goodness, define god-liness, Scully, you...you would be my answer. I'd just tell them to look at you. There was evil here tonight, maybe even a devil, but it wasn't you, it could never be you."

She looked at him. He meant it. He could not imagine her evil. Could not imagine the rage that had come pouring through her when she saw Pfaster standing there subdued. "Nooooooooo," she had wanted to scream, "no, he's mine, mine to kill, mine. You weren't supposed to be here, you weren't supposed to stop him." She had wanted nothing but to kill him. Those moments crawling across broken glass, feeling the shards poke like needles in her belly, her arms, her cheek, that hadn't been to escape. That had been to kill, to forever stop the evil.

As she had untied herself, torn the tape off her mouth, the mixed scent of candles had hit her like a hammer. It had made her sick and it had made her furious. My candles, my house, my bedroom, my hair, my fingers, my life! The rage made her feel alive, made her feel powerful. She had grabbed the gun, walked out of the room, ready to kill, ready to stop Pfaster. Only to see him there, in the hall, standing, helpless, beaten. But looking at her. His eyes. So evil. So genuinely evil. He would never stop. Evil was out there. She knew that. But just this once she would stop it. Just this once she would stop it forever. And she had.

She went back to packing. Mulder watching her, eyes calm, she knew he didn't doubt her, could only trust her.

Having packed what she needed in the bag, Scully grabbed some clothes and went into the bathroom. She changed quickly, the sight of candles reminding her. She felt close to gagging, grabbed the toiletries she needed and got out, closing the door, walking back into the bedroom, ignoring again the men in her living room. She knew that they didn't judge her any more than Mulder had. But she knew. She knew.

"Mulder," her voice was nearly inaudible.

"Scully?" immediately he was there. Taking her elbow, worried for her.

"Mulder, I executed him."

"You did what you thought you had to do at the time. That doesn't make you evil."

"No, Mulder, I think it does make me evil."

"Scully, no. If you were evil, you wouldn't care, you wouldn't be saying these things. It wouldn't bother you that you made a mistake."

"But Mulder," she sighed, looked up at him. His dear face, so trusting. So innocent. "I don't care. I'd do it again. I keep replaying it, over and over. And I'd do it again."

Mulder grabbed her bag, moved toward the door. "Try to stop thinking about it Scully. You're in shock. What you feel right now, it could change."

She said nothing, only stood staring through the wreckage on the floor, seemingly at nothing, or else at something that only she could see.

"Scully," he sounded patient but firm, "let's go."

She nodded and walked with him out of the bedroom, out of the apartment, out of the nightmare.

***************************************************

Scully walked into the hall, saw Pfaster, saw Mulder beyond him. She felt the gun in her hand. Walking up to Pfaster, she pulled the gun up, near his skin. His eyes never left hers as he whispered, "You're all I've thought about." She smiled, moved the gun away from him, toward her partner. Squeezed the trigger. Saw Mulder's look of stunned horror, the blood, and in the background heard Pfaster's laughter, his horrible laughter.

"Scully wake up! Scully please!" She started awake, screaming still. "Scully, shhhh. It's ok. It was just a nightmare. He can't hurt you. I won't let him hurt you."

She shook, staring at Mulder. Reassuring herself that he was alive. That she hadn't killed him. She was in his bed, the covers pushed off during her dreaming. The back of her t-shirt felt soaked. "Oh god," she said as she pushed herself frantically off the bed, ran for the bathroom. She made it to the toilet in time to vomit, over and over again.

"Scully...what should I do?" He was right behind her. His hands on her shoulders, fingers clenched more tightly than he probably realized. "Scully, god, he can't hurt you. Never, never again..."

"I need to be alone, Mulder. Just leave me alone for a while." She closed her eyes, felt the sick feeling subside. "Please, Mulder."

"Why, Scully? Why be alone right now? You're not fine this time. I've been lying on the couch for the past two hours listening to you in here. Talking, crying, screaming at the last. You were alone and it wasn't doing you any good. I'm not leaving you."

"Mulder, you have to. I'm afraid."

He sounded wounded, "afraid...of me?"

"No, not that, I'm afraid of what I'll...I'm afraid of me."

She felt his fingers on her shoulders again. "Scully, tell me. But not in here." He eased her up and out of the bathroom. For her part, she had quit resisting. He led her to the couch. Pushed her down, wrapped his blanket around her shoulders.

He crouched down in front of her. Gently stroked the damp hair off her forehead. "Tell me, Scully. Tell me what's wrong."

"I'm evil, Mulder, just like him. I wish I could say that it was self defense, that I had to kill him. But we both know that it wasn't. I saw your face Mulder. When it was happening. You were shocked. You were utterly shocked by what I had done. I killed him because I wanted to kill him. In any other situation, I'd be in jail for this. Because what I did was evil."

"Scully, what you did was stop a rabid dog. Nothing was going to change what he was. You put him down. It was going to happen sooner or later. You just made it sooner."

She looked at him, her eyes searching his for any hint of a lie. "Mulder, I saw your face."

His gaze tore into her as though determined to make her understand. "Yes, I was shocked. I was stunned! I didn't expect you to do it. But I also wasn't here when you were fighting him. When he was victimizing you for the second time. When you were fighting a devil because some ex-con's loony ideas of God set him free! Yes, Scully, I was taken aback. But did I betray you? Do I seem afraid of you now?"

She finally tore her eyes away from him and felt the tears beginning. "Maybe, Mulder, maybe you just aren't smart enough to be afraid of me?"

"Or maybe," he lifted her chin up to meet his eyes again. "Maybe, I have more faith in you than you do. I've been replaying the scene in my head too. And I don't seem to be able to make it end any differently either. But not because you are evil. It's just the opposite. It's because you are good. You are the avenging angel that will put down the devil. That will make the world safe for mortals like me. You could never be evil, Scully. You have proven over and over the depths of your compassion, the ability within you to suffer other's pain with them. Nothing evil would have stayed with me all these years, would have saved me as many times as you have. I know you, Scully. You are good."

Her tears came more freely now. "Mulder, what I did, it won't ever go away."

"Maybe not. But neither will all the good you've done. Let it go, Scully. It's over."

She gave him a small sad smile, through the tears. "Could you sit by me, and hold me, and just keep telling me that till I believe it?"

He moved up next to her, wrapped his arms around her, rocking just a little. He pulled her tightly against him, kissed her cheek very gently, and whispered so softly she barely heard it, "even if it takes a hundred years."

THE END