text file (7k)

"In that moment he knew he would no longer
have to experience life alone."

RATING: suggestive but not offensive
SPOILERS: season 4
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; the X-Files belong to CC, FOX, etc.

NOTE: Thanks to Obfusc8er for being my trial audience. This orb's for you! ;)


Every time he closes his eyes, he sees her face. It's been like this for months now, maybe years, but never like tonight. Never like this. The memory of those baby blues riveted to him is seared into his soul.

As he lay prone before her, he found he could hardly breathe. He yielded himself to her skilled hands as she reached to deftly dispense with his tie. Seizing next his shirt, she swiftly unbuttoned it, all too eager to access more of his skin. When her eyes landed on his exposed chest, they grew wide at the sight. His heart began to race as those expressive orbs told him what was to come. In that moment he knew he would no longer have to experience life alone.

Her hand then moved to his face, and he felt the first contact of her skin against his. With gentle fingers she stroked his cheek lightly, soothingly, cooling his heated flesh. The fleeting caress was but a promise, though, and over all too soon.

At the withdrawal of her touch, she disappeared from his line of sight, but he entrusted her with his fate. He lay there in wait, feeling his heart beating erratically--he knew it wouldn't be long now.

Soon, she was beside him again, her hands reaching for him with strength and confidence. From the focal point of her touch, he could feel a tingling radiate throughout his body, all the way down to his toes. Overwhelmed with sensation, he found it difficult to hold open his eyes and finally gave up the struggle.

The warmth of her breath caressed his cheek as she leaned over his body. Eager to take in the vision of her face hovering above him, his eyes fluttered open again. She was so close now that each hot, heavy breath he exhaled brushed her hair away from her face. He was tempted to reach up in assistance and caress those silky strands, but he felt immobilized. All he could do was surrender to the ministration of her hands.

And those eyes--he could lose himself in those eyes. They communicated more expressively than the caring words flowing from her lips. Her gaze was intense, pouring her vitality into his soul, leaving an indelible mark. But the sensations engulfed him and eventually he succumbed, letting his lids slip closed once more.

Yet even in the darkness, he could still see her face.

* * *

The minutes that followed were a jumble of foreign voices and sounds. He could make out only fragments as he drifted in and out of consciousness.

"...male, GSW to the chest...."

"...Hold on a little longer, buddy, we're almost there...."

"...Let's lift him on my count. One...."

"...pupils equal and reactive...."

"...He's coding...."

He feels himself now floating back to the surface, as though he's been submerged in a thick, heavy liquid, and he has no concept of how much time has passed. The sounds are more distant, and he no longer feels the gloved hands and metal instruments. Nor does he feel the pain, but he *can* feel his body, so he knows it's still here--and that he's still in it. As he blinks his eyes open, all he sees above him are generic ceiling tiles and track lighting.

Then suddenly she's there again, filling his vision and soothing his eyes.

"Agent Pendrell? No, don't try to talk. They've inserted a tube down your throat to help you breathe. They were able to remove the bullet, but you had a collapsed lung and a lot of internal bleeding, so they're taking you up to surgery soon. Don't worry, you'll be in the hands of the best doctors. Before you know it, you'll be as good as new."

*But you're the only doctor whose hands I want to be in,* he wants to tell her. Since he can't say the words, he only hopes she can see it in his eyes.

Now that she's done delivering the news, her face softens slightly and her professional mask melts into a gentle smile. So seldom does he get to see that smile that he drinks in every detail. This is the way he wants to remember her.

"You saved my life, you know. I guess I owe you one. I'll have to find some way to make it up to you, maybe a nice dinner."

Her eyes drop, as does her smile, and he longs for them to return to him.

"I, um--I know about the present, your birthday present for me. The nurses found it when they were searching your jacket for ID." That unassuming smile is restored, and he feels his heart melt again. "How did you know I liked the opera? But I'll only use those tickets with you, so you'll have to get better first. How 'bout that, Pendrell? Dinner and the opera. I'm holding you to it, so don't even think of backing out on me."

He thinks he's hearing those operatic voices now, or maybe they're angels singing. Either way, the ringing in his ears is growing louder and drowning out Dana's beautiful contralto. The light is intensifying, until it almost blinds him, and he knows it must be coming from someplace other than the fixtures above. This is so different from the darkness that swallowed him earlier. The light is freeing, liberating, and he feels as though his burdens have been lifted and he could just float away.

As Dana leans in closer and dominates his field of vision, the light surrounds her like a halo, confirming what he has long suspected: she is an angel. He feels her touch one more time, her fingers brushing against his scalp as she strokes the hair from his brow. The contact is soft and gentle, like the kiss of an angel's wings, and he closes his eyes to the sensation. He thinks right now he could die a happy man.

The light grows brighter, even behind his closed lids, and he is embraced by its warmth. Awareness of his body begins to slip away as he willingly surrenders.

His last sensation is the splash of a teardrop onto his face.


Author's Notes: This story came to me as I was watching "Max" and noticed Scully touching Pendrell when she checked his wound and his pulse. For a guy who was so enamored with her, I can only imagine that even in his current predicament he wasn't immune to the sensation of her hands on him. I don't think that at that moment he would've found it to be an erotic experience, but it could easily be described in such a way that it remained ambiguous, so I wanted to take a stab at it.

I really love Pendrell because I feel that he represents so many of us in his longing for the unattainable Scully, so I was very sad to see him go. In honor of him, I think it is only fair to let him attain his wish and die in Scully's arms, so to speak.

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