RATING: R for disturbing imagery
SPOILERS: En Ami
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; the X-Files belong to CC, FOX, etc.
NOTES: "And now for something completely different...." This story is somewhat dark, and perhaps not entirely in character. It is set during "En Ami" but diverges from that plot and is instead based on a story from the Apocrypha (see further notes below). In a sense, it is similar in genre (or at least in content) to Grimms' fairy tales (the original versions, not the Disney remakes). Can't say I didn't warn you. But, there's nothing graphic, and it has a happy ending, so just go with it.
The day had been a long one, not because it was full of activity, but precisely because it wasn't. Scully's choices were either to spend more time with her endearing host, or to sit alone in her room. She opted for the latter.
The hours alone had therefore given her time to think--too much time to think. The trip had been a strange and uncomfortable one, climaxing this morning with her waking in an unfamiliar bed, having been placed there, in her vulnerable state, by a man that she was now forced to trust. He claimed he hadn't drugged her, but the container of sleeping pills that she found in the bathroom didn't put her mind at ease.
In the intervening hours, she had only grown more disgusted with herself for coming on this journey, but especially more disgusted with Herr Spender for his incessant manipulation and power games. And the more she stewed over it, the more she desired to finally become a player and reclaim control over her own life. The fact was, she was in a unique position, alone here with extended access to their longtime nemesis. With the right strategy, she could make use of this opportunity. She decided that it was time for the grand manipulator to get a dose of his own medicine.
Scully was distracted from her scheming by a knock at the door. Without waiting for her answer, her host entered.
"We'll be getting final instructions from our contact tonight. He's invited us to dinner. I took the liberty of getting you something to wear." The dress he held out was a standard little black dress, of modest length, yet with a neckline designed to leave little to the imagination.
"It's, uh...it's beautiful."
He looked far too pleased with himself at her guarded praise. "I'm glad you like it. I look forward to tonight." To her relief, he didn't linger and had the courtesy to shut the door on his way out.
So it was to be dinner. The mention of this venue planted an idea in her mind.
She recalled a story she had once heard in catechism, a tale from the Apocrypha about a woman who took matters into her own hands. When a powerful foe invited her to dinner, this woman used the opportunity to her own advantage and single-handedly brought down the enemy that had been plaguing her people.
Tonight, her foe would learn his lesson: never underestimate a woman.
* * *
Dinner was elegant but uneventful. Whoever this contact was, he had not shown, nor had he sent any additional communication. It was clear that Spender was gravely disappointed by this development, not least of all because it meant that his charming companion would soon be taking her leave.
Upon their return to the cabin, Scully did not head straight to her room but sauntered into the living room ahead of her escort.
"This really is a beautiful cabin. It would be a shame to leave here without fully enjoying it. Why don't you build us a fire?"
Her back was turned to Spender as she stood facing the fireplace. She knew that she had surprised him and that he was weighing her motives. At his hesitation, she turned to face him and raised her eyebrow. He recognized her challenge and rose to the occasion.
As he moved past her, she stepped back out of his way to allow him access to the fireplace. She watched for a moment while he assembled the logs and crumpled the newspaper, and then she stepped off toward the kitchen.
"I'm assuming you have some wine in here?"
He turned to her in surprise, and anticipation, and once more hesitated before meeting her challenge. "There should be a full wine rack, and glasses in the cupboard. Help yourself to whatever you'd like."
Scully acknowledged this with a nod and disappeared into the kitchen. When she reemerged several minutes later, with two full wineglasses in hand, the fire had already gotten off to a promising start, and its master stood tending it, awaiting her company.
Handing him a glass, she proceeded to toe off her shoes and sit down on the Persian rug in front of the fire, in a ladylike pose with her knees to one side. Again Spender hesitated, unsure whether to join her on the rug or sit more comfortably on the sofa. Again, she issued her challenge with a look, and his decision was made.
Following her example, he toed off his shoes and sat down on the plush crimson rug, not too far away, but still at a respectable distance. Unlike her pose, he sat cross-legged, and soon was met with her laughter.
"You look a bit ridiculous like that, with no shoes and a full suit. This isn't a Japanese restaurant. You should get more comfortable."
Setting down his glass, the Smoking Man removed his suit jacket and set it aside. Loosening his tie a little, he took up his glass again. "Better?"
With a coy look, Scully set down her own glass and rose up on her knees, leaning close to him. She deftly undid the knot in his tie and slowly slid it out from his collar. Her eyes then sought out his, only to notice that his were fixed directly ahead of him, on her cleavage. He almost looked guilty when he realized he had been caught, and Scully smirked at him knowingly as she lowered back down to her previous position.
He took a draught of his wine and cleared his throat. "I would have thought you couldn't wait to get far enough away from me. To what do I owe the pleasure of your continued company?"
"Maybe I want the chance to get to know you better before I go. It's a good idea to know one's enemies, don't you think?"
He smiled and nodded once in concession, and they both sipped from their glasses as if in toast. If there was anything unusual about the way his wine tasted, he seemed to take no notice.
"I have to say, you look rather lovely tonight, Dana."
"Thank you. This is a beautiful dress, and somehow it fits perfectly. I suppose you took great pains to learn my dress size."
"I know everything about you, Dana, perhaps more than you know yourself."
A chill ran down her spine at this comment, bringing back painful memories of past violations, not to mention a disarming conversation with a "stranger" in an empty church. The discomfort only served to strengthen her resolve to follow through with her plan.
They sat in silence for a while, listening to the fire crackle and sipping at their wine. They occasionally made small talk, but Scully avoided any more free offers of his pop psychology.
The atmosphere grew warm with the fire and the wine, successfully lulling her prey into a haze of sated contentment. As Scully noted his eyes begin to flag, she decided it was time to make her move.
"You know, you never told me your first name."
"It's of no consequence. But you can call me Raul, if you'd like."
"Raul," she said as though testing out the word. Rising up on her knees once again, she moved to his side and removed the nearly empty glass from his hand. Setting it out of the way, she placed one hand on either of his shoulders and looked down at him seductively. "Raul, you were right before when you said that I'm attracted to powerful men."
Pressing gently, she pushed him onto his back, watching as his eyes continued to grow heavier. With the motion, his legs instinctively extended from beneath him, leaving him fully reclined in the center of the rug. Sitting back on her knees, Scully waited until his eyes met hers, and then she reached down for the hem of her dress and slowly pulled it up her body, over her head, and tossed it to the side. After all, she thought, it was a beautiful dress, and she didn't want to risk soiling it.
As Cancerman watched her languidly, his eyes slowly losing the battle to stay open for a show that he was loathe to miss, she raised one leg over his torso and straddled him. His hands struggled to reach for her, but they would not cooperate and lay as dead weights at his sides. Leaning forward into his line of vision, Scully focused her gaze on his so that he could see the fire burning in her eyes.
With their eyes fixed, she rose up on her knees and tilted back, one arm extending behind her as the other held her weight. The free hand reached for the edge of the rug and groped for a moment until it seized upon its prize, hidden just beneath. As Scully shifted forward again, the object in her hand gleamed in the firelight and caught his attention. He struggled to focus on it and couldn't fully distinguish the shape until she graciously brandished it directly in front of his face. It was a scalpel.
By the time his sluggish brain registered this information, it was too late; his body would no longer cooperate. All attempts to escape were in vain. As he blinked once more and finally succumbed to unconsciousness, the last words he heard were: "I think I'll start with a Y incision."
* * *
Upon returning to Washington, Scully pointed her car straight toward Alexandria. She had not spoken to Mulder yet, although she had left messages for him on both his home and cell phones. She knew he would be awaiting her call and that if he really wanted to speak to her, he would have answered.
As she pulled up in front of his apartment building, she noticed that his lights were off but his car was parked on the street. It was possible that he wasn't home, but somehow she knew that he was. She knew he was waiting for her.
When she arrived at his door, she knocked twice, but there was no answer. She then tried the knob, which yielded to her hand. He was expecting her, but he wasn't going to make it easy for her. She would have to come to him, all the way.
Pushing the door open, she saw that there were no lights on inside the apartment. Only the glow of the streetlamps pouring through the slats of the blinds provided enough illumination for her to see him sitting on the couch with his face turned away. For a moment, she wondered if he had even heard her come in. And then he spoke.
"You lied to me."
His soft tone belied the tightly controlled anger behind his words. He still didn't bother to look in her direction, as though she wasn't worthy of such acknowledgment.
"I only did what you would have done."
That caught his attention, and the full wrath of his gaze was focused on her. But he wouldn't let her bait him into deviating from the words he had scripted during his long wait in the darkness.
"He set you up. He used you, and you played right into his hands. You should be dead right now."
Scully didn't respond, and Mulder turned away again. She noticed his hands clenching into fists and unclenching, as though he were squeezing the life out of something. Probably her neck, she mused. Once he stilled, she followed through with what she had come for.
Taking a step toward the coffee table, she threw down the box she had been holding. At the sound of it hitting the table, Mulder turned and watched it slide across the surface to stop directly in front of him. Although his eyes remained fixed on it, he made no move toward it.
Scully snapped on a light, and they both blinked at the intrusion. "Open it." Her statement was a demand rather than an invitation.
"What is it?" He continued to watch the box rather than look at her.
"Think of it as a souvenir."
Letting his curiosity override his anger, he glanced at her inquisitively and then leaned forward toward the box. Leaving it on the table, he carefully opened the top and peered inside. With a gasp he drew back from the contents, turning a horrified and fascinated expression toward his partner.
"My God, Scully. Is that...a lung?"
"A rather unhealthy one, I'd say. Looks like the old bastard had lung cancer after all. Don't worry, he won't be needing it. I only took maybe the last six months of his life. Pity, really, that there wasn't more to take."
Her delivery made, she turned to go, leaving Mulder with his trophy.
"Scully...what about the rest of him?" By the tone of his voice, it was clear that he was afraid to ask, yet he still wanted to know.
"They won't find him. I fed him to the fishes, piece by piece. All that practice at cutting up dead bodies proved to be rather handy."
Without awaiting further response, she walked out of the apartment, closing his door gently but firmly behind her.
* * *
* * *
No missing persons report was filed on the nameless man who smoked like a chimney, but his disappearance was widely noted by those who both feared and despised him. It was rumored that Special Agent Dana Scully had a hand in his destruction, but there was no evidence one way or the other. However, there was a newfound respect for this woman who apparently silenced the man that had taken down presidents. Never again was she abducted or experimented on, and for the rest of their lives her family remained untouched.
Many times in his miserable life, this man had faced down the barrel of a gun. Mulder had threatened him. Skinner had fired at him. Krycek had blackmailed him. But in a battle where so many men had failed, victory was claimed at the hand of a woman.
Author's Notes: That wasn't too bad, was it? The tale in question is from the Book of Judith in the biblical Apocrypha; if you haven't read it before, I highly recommend it (you can find a copy online here
; Judith's story starts in ch. 8). In very brief summary: while the Israelites are under siege by Holofernes and his troops, Judith marches into the enemy camp and lures the commander into dining alone with her; after he gets drunk and passes out, she chops off his head to bring back to her people as a trophy.
This story is a favorite of mine, and I wanted to give Scully a chance to act it out, even if such a thing wouldn't really happen on the show. And "En Ami" seemed to provide the perfect setting.
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