"He Was Asking For You"
Classification: Implied MSR
Keywords: I think I've invented a new one... Fowley angst!
Archive at will, but please provide this link to my site at www.foxsongfiles.net
Summary: Inside Diana Fowley's head from the time she hangs up the phone until she greets Scully at the hospital.
* * * * *
People, take a moment to ask yourself the question: Is Diana really Evil Incarnate, or could she just be Tragically Misled? ... On my count, open your minds.
One... two... three.
"... but I'm staying until I find out."
I hung up the phone, and turned back toward the bedroom, and pulled my tank top off over my head as I went. This was the night -- I'd been laying the groundwork for this night for months, ever since I'd come back to Washington.
This was the night that Fox would become my lover... again.
I stopped in the doorway to look at him. He'd turned onto his side, facing away from the door; I crept silently closer. His eyes were closed, his lips slightly parted. He'd slipped back into that light doze he'd been in and out of earlier. ...How long had it been -- how many years -- since I'd watched him sleep like this? It seemed like yesterday, though it had been so long ago. I found myself smiling softly, remembering...
I'd done a little investigating of my own since I'd come back here, and I knew even before I met him again that he wasn't dating anyone. A few discreet inquiries, a few conversations I could steer to the subject -- It was always the same. Mulder? 'Spooky' Mulder? No, he lived in that basement office; he was oblivious to the charms of a few secretaries who'd tried to make themselves noticed. The general consensus was that Spooky wasn't interested in Earth girls.
So I'd started to put myself in his path where and when I could; I even got lucky on that Gibson Praise case -- Yes, lucky, although I almost died. Lucky because after that we had reestablished a bond, and it was so easy afterward to invite him to go for a few drinks or to go out to eat, easy to call him just to talk.
And now he'd called me. He'd needed me. I'd tried not to show him how frightened I was when I found him almost incoherent in that stairwell; I'd helped him up, brought him home, put him to bed. And he seemed so much better already.
I studied his face.
I remembered... I remembered mornings, waking with him -- Making love one more time even though it meant skipping breakfast and racing through traffic to get to work on time. I remembered that face, pressed to my breast for comfort, late at night, after he woke from a nightmare...
Why had I left? Why had I ever gone? What had I been trying to prove to him -- to myself -- by going? All I had proven, in the end, was that I'd been wrong...
I shook my head and came back to the moment. This was the night...
I walked around to the other side of the bed, slipping out of my bra; I stepped out of my shoes and lay down beside him, softly, so as not to wake him -- not yet.
I leaned close to him. I reached out and slowly, gently, stroked his hair, let my fingers trail down the back of his neck, let them caress his shoulder, nudging the blankets aside. He shifted and sighed, and rolled onto his back toward me, and opened his eyes --
I felt his whole body stiffen with tension against mine. He took in my nakedness in a single glance and averted his eyes. "Diana -- " he said again.
He pulled back from me, inching away beneath the covers. I felt suddenly awkward and ashamed.
He licked his lips nervously. "Diana, it's... I'm sorry. It's not like that between us anymore."
"It could be, Fox..." I whispered.
He shook his head; he still wouldn't meet my eyes. "No, it... It couldn't. I didn't mean to give you the wrong impression. Please... please, Diana, get dressed."
I could feel myself blushing, and I plucked at the quilt to cover myself, even though he wasn't looking at me.
"Fox," I asked hesitantly, "... is there someone else?"
He glanced over at me and one side of his mouth turned up in what might, in another circumstance, have been the beginning of a smile.
"If I say yes, will you take me at my word, and not press me for details?"
Even after all these years, he remembered that part of me too well.
"I will," I said. "I'm sorry. I didn't know."
He only sighed and turned away from me again. I sat up and retrieved my bra; I picked up my shirt from the foot of the bed and put it back on as well. I sat on the edge of the bed and felt absurdly out of place.
Looking at Fox over my shoulder, I saw that he had dozed off again.
I pulled myself up against the headboard of the bed, and drew my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them, and nursed the hollow ache that had formed in the pit of my stomach.
* * *
He slept for a long while, but finally began to turn restlessly and mutter under his breath. His cheeks were flushed, his forehead felt warm; he was confused when I woke him. I went to the kitchen and brought him a glass of water, and he seemed better after he drank it, so I went back again and brought in a chair and a little bowl of ice water. I got a washcloth from the bathroom. I set the chair by his bedside, and sat down and sponged his forehead with the cool water.
He looked up at me and smiled just a little. "I thought I'd scared you away."
I shook my head. "That doesn't matter," I lied. "I'll stay with you till you feel better."
He sighed and closed his eyes again.
* * *
I was dozing myself in my chair a few hours later when he stirred again.
He was moaning softly this time, and sweating, and turning his head back and forth on the pillow. There were still a few little slivers of ice in the water bowl; I wiped his face with the cool damp cloth again, but couldn't rouse him enough to get him to take another drink of water. I was beginning to worry.
He was trying to say something, the effort written on his flushed face; I leaned closer to hear.
"Sc... Scully... mmm... Scully."
I closed my own eyes.
So that was it.
I swallowed hard. How had I not seen it? Or had I simply not wanted to see?
"Scully," he said, more distinctly now. "Scully."
I put the cloth back to his forehead. "Shhh," I whispered, but he flinched and pulled away from me. Even in this delerium, he knew I wasn't her.
"Scully," he moaned, his voice breaking.
Does she know? I wondered. She must know.
He was sobbing now, saying her name over and over, pleading. "Scully. Please... please, Scully..."
I rose from the chair and leaned over him, put my hand on his forehead, trying to settle him. His skin was hot and damp. When I touched him he lashed out - whether at the demons in his dreams, or at me, I didn't know; the result was the same - I fell backward, tripping over the chair and falling; I struck my shoulder and my head hard against the edge of the bureau.
I sat still for a moment, gasping at the searing pain. Fox had fallen silent. I sat up slowly.
I looked at him, sprawled across the bed, and bit my lip, remembering the nightmares he used to have, remembering him sleepwalking.
I was in over my head. Suddenly I was afraid.
I got to my feet and found the telephone and called for an ambulance. Then I called Skinner.
"Sir, it's Diana Fowley. I'm sorry to wake you so late."
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Agent Mulder has taken a turn for the worse. I've called for an ambulance. We're going to Georgetown Memorial. ...And, sir, I -- I wish you'd get in touch with Agent Scully."
There was a moment's pause. "I'll meet you there," he said, and hung up.
I leaned against the doorframe of the bedroom, watching Fox begin to toss and turn again. And I covered my face with my hands and I wept.
* * *
Skinner was there with me when she walked in just a few hours later.
She strode into the room and stopped short, eyeing me sharply, suspiciously. I watched her expression change as she looked over at the monitor and saw Fox pacing like a caged animal in the little padded cell.
No wonder, I thought. No wonder she hates me.
Does she know? ... Does she really know?
She was staring at me again. I met her wary gaze.
"Thank you for coming," I said. "He was asking for you last night."