Come on Skinner. Come on! Aim true and stop fucking around with shots that only wound. Get me; get me at last because I want to have the last laugh. Do you think I don't want this, you sanctimonious bastard?
I want this.
Oh Mulder, you're an asshole too. You hold onto your personal grievances as if they were gold and rubies when all they are is sand and clay.
Pain, blossoming scarlet and bursting crimson, nobody needs to bring me flowers, I am making my own.
Silence. Only silence. Not peace, not light, not dark, neither warm or cold, just silent.
Alone. Not loneliness, not separation, a totality in and of itself.
Not silence, un-silence, non-silence? Am I hearing? Listening?
Thinking. Is this thought, memory?
I am sitting on a tree stump. I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE. It was my secret spot. I was the only one who came here.
A long time ago it was a tall shade tree, and someone once planted red and white pansies around the trunk. They reseeded themselves for generations, continuing to bloom year after year even when the tree itself was cut down.
I was twenty-five when I came here for the last time. I never intended to return. It was a promise I kept. I buried my mother's gold wedding ring beneath the pansies next to my father's watch.
The red Ford pickup truck I rented remained empty. There was nothing really I wanted to take with me. The more charitable neighbors thought I was too overcome by grief to want to keep reminders of my life.
I wanted to tell them, 'What Life?' But it seemed inappropriate, and they would have only mouthed platitudes about being a young man with everything in front of him yet to come.
I buried my mother's wedding ring next to my father's watch, which was next to my brother's gold tiepin. The one we gave him when he got his first job after college.
We all really died the same day he did. We just went through the motions waiting until 'real' death arrived. First my father, then my mother and now my own, but when he died it was the first time I died too.
I am lying naked on the narrow motel room bed. I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.
It was my first time with a man and my first time with him. You can only have first times once, and then you can never return to the not- knowing place you were in before.
He has returned to his room, unconcerned that he killed me, gave me death and made me alive.
I am nothing to him. He is already consumed with his own intense life and quest and partner. I am a passing interest, a temporary intrusion, not even a milestone he will mark along his way.
I will surprise him soon, but I will not become important. I understand single-mindedness, they drilled it into me the way he drilled his cock into me. They did it deep and hard and without mercy. They did it with fear and pain; he did it with pleasure, annihilating pleasure.
I writhe and twist in the tall dry grass, smell the earth and see the sun and the sky. I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.
I don't know how I got from 'there' inside the dark slimy place to 'here' in the rough grass, but I don't care. I am 'here' and I can breathe again.
I wonder, briefly, if I have been reborn. I don't remember the first time when I was expelled from my mother's womb in dark burgundy blood, no one does. The passage analogy amuses me, but then I am giddy, anyway. Out, out, out! I am out and alive and brother/father/mother and Mulder be damned - I am alive and I love it.
I will do whatever it takes now, to keep it, to stay alive to live. I have achieved the single-mindedness no one could teach me before - not through pain and not through pleasure.
I am important, finally important to me.
I am pain. Drenched in blood and piss and vomit. I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.
I never wanted to return. It was a promise I knew I couldn't keep even in the terrible moment of it happening. I knew I would return and return and return here whenever I closed my eyes.
I have become the walking wounded.
I am cold. I am as cold as the ash-strewn snow of Kazakhstan and Marita's eyes. The fire, which burned the innocent, doesn't warm me and it doesn't melt my heart with pity for the rest of the innocents yet to burn. And they will burn; the beginning of the end has just begun.
I was innocent once.
The only heat I feel is the bottomless pit of hate I have accumulated along the way. It is a cold heat, but it burns bright.
I am crouched above his warm body and sullen face. I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.
Mulder, Mulder, there is more to it than your selfish single-minded desire to know your personal truths. I find it hard to care for the six billion, but I still care about you and I think I still care about me. So, here - here, take this 'truth' and run with it.
Am I important to you now? I may not have become a milestone, but sure as shit, I have become a millstone and you won't forget me again.
This time I walk away unconcerned and he lies on the floor, annihilated.
I am in a filthy hot prison. I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE. I am in the smoky confines of a small dark apartment and I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE. I am in the FBI office with Mulder and Skinner and I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE... I am at the bottom of the stairs and I step over the body of the old man and I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.
I look at the clear night sky and know he is 'there' somewhere and I am 'here', god-damn-it, I am here and I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.
I am pleading with him in the cement and steel garden of the garage. I cared, I tried, I helped, I love you, and his face surprised, cynical, sullen and blank, and I BEEN HERE BEFORE.
Come on Skinner. Come on!
Crimson flowers at the base of the tree stump where I buried the golden treasure of my heart.
I was - 'there'. Or was I? I have never been here before.
Mulder runs into the passageway and I open a door for him. He is stunned but frantic, so he goes through it.
I am 'here' with him in a jail cell. He looks worse for wear and when he sees me he begins to question me, gesturing wildly, grabbing my arms, both of them.
I tell him things. Armageddon is at hand.
"Why are you helping me," he asks over and over.
"Because I can," I say.
He believes me this time.
I see him again. His face is intent and alive and passionate, "The truth," he says, "the truth!"
They believe him this time.
I am with him when his friends rescue him from the prison, when he says goodbye to Gibson. After he touches the boy's cheek in farewell and turns toward Scully, the boy smiles at me.
I am with him in the desert when his trio of longtime compatriots spooks him. When he turns to answer Scully's call, they smile at me.
I am with him when Spender spews his final vitriol, and when Mulder and Scully run Spender gapes at me and I laugh, and I have never been here before, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
I am with him when he and Scully, after long weeks of exhausted sorrow, finally part. She goes to reclaim her son and her 'belief' in a destiny that cannot be stopped by Mulder or anything or anyone else, except perhaps a god who wills it.
He is driving and I watch the truck speed towards us. I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE, but not for long. The rocks and grass of the Virginian mountainside come toward me in a deafening thunder of twisted metal and red flames.
I have never been here before. I am sitting on a park bench under a shade tree with red pansies and tulips growing in orderly profusion around its base. I can see the Washington Monument in the distance. He approaches the bench, sees me and smiles.
"You look so young," he says.
"So do you," I reply.
"The invasion never happened," he says. "The aliens and all those connected to them are gone."
"There never were any aliens," I tell him. "But there was, I think, a mountainside and a crash."
He closes his eyes and thinks, if it is thinking, and remembers - if it is memory.
He opens his eyes and looks at me and there is silence.
"Where is she?" He asks.
"Working at Quantico," I reply. "She is waiting for another partner and field assignment."
He takes out his badge. Special Agent Fox Mulder, and the renewal date on the back reads 1995.
I hand him my badge. Special Agent Alexander Krycek, and it is still a very, very new card.
He hands both badges to me and smiles.
I get off the bench and go down on my knees and I bury both beneath the crimson flowers.