Thoughts on a Fallen Comrade
He had his head down, working and she was behind him anyway, he couldn’t see her. So she was watching him. He seemed different but she couldn’t put her finger on the change exactly. He was quieter, a little more subdued.
Well, he had lost someone close to him. She shuddered slightly. She had felt a little hypocritical expressing her sorrow to him when Diana died. She and Diana had not been what you could call close. But she hated for anyone as young as her to die. Really. Her feelings for Diana were confusing, she hadn’t been fond . . . oh hell, admit it Dana, you were jealous of the woman. She had known Mulder longer than you had, not better, but definitely longer. Diana had exploited that advantage at every opportunity; at least that’s the way it had seemed. And she had agreed with Mulder on nearly every point. At times it felt like Mulder was taking her point of view when talking to Diana.
Dana had wanted to laugh at that, Mulder being the rational one. Maybe she had taught him well. She should be pleased, so what was wrong with her?
He shifted in the chair and ran his hand through his hair. It was growing back slowly, but was still short enough to be spiky on top. It was a new look for him and even if she hated to admit it, he looked good anyway he cut his hair. Damn him.
She didn’t know what their relationship had been, for that matter she didn’t know what they were to each other at the time of Diana’s death. That was as it should be. It was none of her business. Well it wasn’t!
What kind of person was she anyway, to feel anything except grief at the death of a fellow agent? But grief didn’t describe her feelings about Diana’s death – not if she was honest. Damn it! Why was she dwelling on this? Because it affected Mulder and thus for good or bad, it affected her, she answered herself.
But something else was bothering her, not just her ambiguous feelings about Diana. She was having ambiguous feelings about Mulder right now too. He had been able to read minds. Skinner and Kritschgau had run those tests. His brain had been functioning at unbelievable levels. When she had approached his room he had felt her presence and begun calling for her. She’d seen it, but they wouldn’t let her near him.
What had he seen in her mind? What secrets of hers had been revealed to him? He hadn’t wanted to talk about his experience, what his mind had gone through while she was frantically trying to find the pieces of the puzzle to save him.
The experience, whatever it was, had changed him. Had he read her feelings for him in her mind? Did that account for his distance now? He didn’t want that kind of relationship with her? Well, that made sense, why else would she have kept the feelings secret. She must have always known how he really felt and that didn’t include a relationship – a personal one anyway – with her. Why else take such pains to keep her feelings secret?
It hurt though. If he did know of her feelings and was avoiding her, what was she supposed to think about that? Of course, being open and honest about this would be the smartest thing to do. They were bright people and honesty was important to both of them, so . . . So what? They had never; no she had never been honest about her feelings toward him. For all she knew this was exactly how he felt, working away, unaware she was even in the room. She could be anyone in the Bureau, hell, anyone in Washington and he wouldn’t be thinking of her any differently.
That thought sank her spirits even further. It hadn’t been that long ago that he had told her he loved her. She’d pretended to ignore it, pretended that she thought he was delusional, but she remembered every aspect of the scene – the sound of his voice, the look in his eye, the way he’d touched her hand. He’d sounded sincere.
God, she felt like crying. This was ludicrous. All of this was projection on her side, he wasn’t rejecting her by sitting there doing his work. There was absolutely no reason for him to be aware that she was mooning over him like some stupid love-struck adolescent girl. She should be grateful he was unaware of her when she was acting this moronically.
"Scully?" She jumped. She hadn’t realized he had looked up. "I’m ready to talk about it anytime you are." His eyes had a smile in them. Her eyes widened for a moment, then she nodded. He’d read her mind, he knew. They did need to talk.