Cancerman + Scully?
by Henry Wyckoff
May 18, 1996
WARNING: This is a 'Cancerman + Scully' relationship story. If the mere thought of it disgusts you, please continue reading. :-)
DISCLAIMER: The characters and situations of The X-Files television program are the creations and property of Chris Carter and Fox Broadcasting and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.
N.B.: This story takes place before the X-Files episodes begin -- by a few hours.
N.B.: I haven't seen the first episode, but I've managed to put it together in bits and pieces. If there's anything I'm assuming about the first episode that's not right, I'd be happy to hear about it.
It was lunchtime at the University Medical Center, which didn't mean that it was noon, but rather that the three doctors had a few moments in between tasks. They sat at a table together in the cafeteria, joking about everyday things in their lives. After dealing with the stresses that are involved with medicine -- even the medicine of slaughtered corpses -- the last thing they wanted to do was talk about business.
One was named Ulla Thorgensen, a visiting scholar from Sweden, specializing in biotransformation of organic chemicals in corpses. She had her hair tied into a severe ponytail so precise that not a single hair was out of place, and an expression that was just as severe. But at least she knew how to laugh and relax.
The second was Brenda Davis, a specialist in entymology who could determine the date and time of death by identifying the number and types of insects eating up a corpse. One would expect this type of specialist to be on the wacky side, and she never disappointed anyone.
The third was Dana Scully, an FBI agent who hacked up corpses for a living so that she could determine the manner of death. It was what Brenda called 'overkill.' She was so wacky that Dana never had the heart to beat her over the head with a mallet. It would be like killing the town clown.
At the moment, they were talking about the man who had just entered Brenda's life.
"So tell us the details," pressed Ulla. She had spoken English for so long that her accent was almost indistinguishable from that of an educated Oxford graduate."What's he like?"
Brenda smiled,"He's a lunatic -- like me -- and he *really* likes 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!'" Ulla and Dana looked at one another with raised eyebrows. "But the good thing is that he's stable. He owns the Bookstore Bohemian, so I know he's not going to be working 'til 2 AM, like Bill."
They all shook their heads. Bill was a lost cause.
Ulla smiled,"It looks like someone has his eye on you, Dana."
Dana subtly scanned the room, but didn't find anything out of the ordinary. "Who?"
Ulla's smile was even wider. "It's the old man over there smoking a cigarette."
While the other two were snickering, Dana caught him out of the side of her eye. It wasn't an 'old' man -- just an 'older' man. He was looking up at the ceiling as if he were deep in thought, and smoked his cigarette with a great degree of tension. Maybe it was his way of killing stress.
Dana shook her head,"That man's old enough to be my father!"
The other two just smiled. Ulla looked at her watch,"I have to get back."
A moment later, Dana was sitting by herself at the table. She would have left too, except that she hadn't finished her lunch, and didn't like food to go to waste. She'd finish her sandwich and get back to work herself.
"Hello," said an older voice from beside her. It was the cigarette smoker that she'd spotted a few moments before."Is this seat taken?"
"No, it isn't." She wanted to scream at him to get lost, but she didn't have the heart to. He might have even had a legitimate reason for walking over, and she at least owed him the few moments it would take to hear whatever he might have to say to her.
He sat down, and thankfully, he wasn't sucking on the cancer stick. "I couldn't help but overhear your name. You are Dr. Dana Scully?"
Her eyebrows rose."Yes, I am."
"I would have come over before, but I saw that you were already busy talking with some friends... I just wanted to give you my sincere admiration for your work on the Pamela case."
Dana smiled,"I'm flattered. Most everyone else criticized me for 'using unorthodox techniques.'"
"...But you solved it, while your colleagues did not." His smile was warm. "I must thank you for giving an old cynic some fresh hope. I was beginning to fear that the next generation of doctors would be worse than the last -- but you've rid me of that fear."
Dana couldn't help but smile. He was a charming old man, and she couldn't understand why she had such bad vibes about him before.
He continued,"I was wondering if you'd like to take on a job that will enable you to use those skills in a challenging fashion."
"I might. What do you have in mind?"
"Have you heard of the X-Files?"
She shook her head.
"The X-Files are classified as any case that is unsolved, and involves bizarre circumstances."
"Inexplicable circumstances... You'll find out what I mean if you choose to meet the individual currently working on the project. His name is Fox Mulder."
Fox Mulder... That was certainly a well-known name. "So
that's what he's doing... I've heard a whole lot about him."
The man stood up,"I have to leave now, but if you're interested, perhaps we could talk about it over dinner?"
Scully nodded. "I'll be happy to."
"Good. I'll meet you after work."
Scully went her own way back to the morgue, but she did so with a lighter step, and whistled. She hadn't whistled in a long time. When she caught herself, she realized that she was whistling to the tune of, 'I'm in the mood...'
Scully still felt that clean Zest feeling on her hands when she left the morgue and met the smiling cigarette smoker in the hallway. He was dressed impeccably and had a beaming aura about him. Just looking at him cheered Scully enough that she totally forgot all the gruesome details about her recent task.
"You look dashing," he smiled, even though she was still dressed in a clean-suit. She hadn't even taken off the hair-covering.
Scully had to laugh at that one. "And you look charming." She pulled off the plastic hair-covering, and her red hair fell down in waves. Something occurred to her,"All this time, and I never caught your name."
It wasn't too often that the government types introduced themselves by their first names, but she didn't mind. He was human, and that's what counted. Maybe she didn't mind because she was so tired of working with faceless government personnel. Seeing someone human was a breath of fresh air.
"Well, Martin, where do you want to go?"
"I know this great place that serves British food."
"British?" she raised her eyebrows. "You mean like broccoli that you drink?"
Martin laughed,"Nothing that bad, but they do pour bree across everything."
"I can live with that."
* * *
The Frog and Falcon was a place where people went to drink first, and then to eat. Most of the college types hung out here, and so the music was loud and 'alternative'. Because the drink and food were pricey, however, it managed to keep most of the undesirables out. The only one there who came to drink for nonsocial reasons was an individual who managed to clean out their weekly stock of Glenfiddich and Guinness on a regular basis. He was known as the 'Bar Fixture,' and had a reputation of coming up with ten creative ideas for every occasion. The local saying around the bar was,"If you're in need for a conversation or a career-saver, talk to the Bar Fixture."
The two who walked into the place would have found that saying quite useful, albeit for two totally different reasons, but it was also a good thing that they didn't know about this man, even though they walked right past him, because this was a business date, and there's nothing more embarrassing than having an obnoxious, drunken intellectual butting into a conversation where he's not wanted.
The inside of the Frog was wooden and had a very 'old' look to it, which made it quite charming. Half the place was dominated by the bar, and the other half was filled with tables for two. The bar had three shelves full of various liquors, and in the corner, there was a quarter-barrel filled with beer taps.
"Where do you want to sit?" asked Martin.
"How about there?" Scully pointed to the corner, where there weren't too many people. It also happened to be on the other side of the room from the Bar Fixture, though that fact hadn't entered her mind at all.
Once they seated themselves, a tall man wearing a waiter's apron stood at the side of the table, as if by magic. He was quite bulky with fat and muscle, and had a thin goatee on his face. "Welcome to the Frog and Falcon. My name is Chris. How may I help you?"
Scully, who looked started at such excellent service -- and didn't even have time to look at the menu, looked uncertainly at Martin, who smiled,"We'll have a small brussel sprout pizza with salads." Scully made a face, but nobody seemed to notice it.
"And what would you like to drink?"
Scully was more certain in this department,"I'll have some of that Apricot." She pointed at a flamboyant advertisement hanging on the wall. The waiter nodded and wrote it down.
Martin pretended to think about it for a moment and said,"I'll have a Screwdriver."
Now that they were settled, they were both silent for a moment. Martin looked silent because it looked like he was making sure he wanted to find the right thing to say; Scully because she didn't know what to say.
Martin finally spoke,"I always wanted to ask you one thing."
"Why it is that you decided that the cause of Thomas Draker's death was contact poison."
Scully seemed a bit startled that he'd ask her a question like that -- instead of telling her something about the job he wanted her to do. //Maybe he wants to make sure...//"Well," she began, reviewing everything in her mind,"it seemed to me that the overall scene was too pat, so I tried looking for the simple explanations..."
A few moments passed, and the drinks arrived. Scully took a sip of her Apricot ale and made a sound of absolute contentment,"This is wonderful."
"So is this," he smiled, holding up the Screwdriver. "It tastes just like orange juice."
Scully stared at him for a few moments with her jaw dropped, and then burst out laughing. It took her a few more moments to get all the laughing out of her system, and when they continued their earlier discussion about the Draker case, the job wasn't even in her mind.
The brussel sprout pizza came, and the shock of that -- along with another two pints of ale -- put her whole being into 'relax' mode, and it felt good. The stress of the last few months vanished from her nervous system. She even allowed herself to enjoy the pizza, once she got past the brussel sprouts.
This relaxation was a very relaxing drug.
Everything was funny -- the current events, Martin's jokes, and even their waiter. As time passed, Scully found it harder and harder to stop laughing.
That enjoyment, however, came to an abrupt end. It must have been after pizza number two and pint number four when Scully looked at her watch by chance. "It's late, and I'd better be getting back!" She tried to stand up, and couldn't quite do it. "That must be some strong stuff," she giggled softly.
Martin smiled without any hint of embarrassment or intolerance. "Let me help you." He held out his arm and helped her up. Scully wasn't just unsteady -- she was sloshed. "I think I'd better drive you home."
The bartender winked at him as they walked past, but other than that, nobody seemed to notice anything unusual -- or anything worth staring at.
The Pontiac wasn't all that far away, but even so, Scully was glad to have a seat. A few moments later, they were driving to her place. She must have passed out for a few moments, because the next thing she knew, they were at her front door. It never occurred to her that she only drank four pints -- it never crossed her mind that she could have sipped one of those 'special' drinks.
"So soon?" she asked drowsily.
"You were asleep, but I have your business card, so I knew where to go." His look was one of genuine concern. "Are you sure you're going to be all right?"
"I'm sorry," she said then, her expression a bit downcast.
His look was blunt in a kind sort of way,"You have nothing to be sorry for. You've had a hard few months, and you needed to relax and enjoy yourself. Why should you apologize for that?"
She impulsively kissed him on the cheek, her eyes ever more tender,"You're right. Thanks."
With difficulty, she unlocked her door, and on entering almost broke her neck tripping on the floor. Martin let himself in,"I don't think I should leave yet." He helped her back up, and she leaned on him. The strength had almost completely left her legs.
"Thanks," she slurred, her eyes half-open. "I think I could use some help." He closed the door and helped her walk to her bedroom, where she promptly collapsed on the bed.
She wasn't quite asleep, however. "You're a perfect gentleman."
He smiled,"I try to be. If you need any help, you can give me a call." His look was very fatherly.
Just as he turned around, Scully said,"Wait. Don't go."
Martin looked down at Scully from where he stood a few feet away. Only a small sliver of moonlight sliced through the darkness of the room. It lit her face from below, and made it look almost like the face of a monster. It was bad enough as it was -- the hangover coursing through her whole body was something that he didn't envy. He no longer had hangovers, but he could remember them from those long years of conditioning his liver.
He came back to her side,"How are you feeling?"
She grimaced,"I don't feel so good."
He smiled,"I have a home remedy. I'll be back in a moment."
She could hear the sounds of water running in the kitchen, and a cupboard shutting. When he came back a few moments later, he had a tall cup of water in his hand. "It'll taste pretty awful, but you'll feel a whole lot better."
"What is it?"
He put a finger to his lips, lips that were grinning mischievously,"Trade secret. Can't tell you. Just drink it."
She made a face as she drank it,"It tastes like baking soda!"
"And it'll taste worse as it goes down. Drink the rest of it."
She did, and he took the glass from her. "Good girl. You'll feel it almost immediately."
Scully smiled dreamily,"I... do..."
He kissed her on the cheek,"Try to get some sleep. I'll be here if you need anything."
She looked as if she would say something, but soon closed her eyes...
...Scully woke up in her dream. She stood in a raging inferno with erupting volcanoes and forest fires.
A single individual emerged from the burning forests. It was a dream character she remembered very well. It was a man she never met, and never reminded her of anyone in life. His face was full of rage as he charged towards her, grabbing by the shoulders and slamming her against a tree.
"What in God's name have you done?!" he roared. "You've destroyed the Dreamscape!"
"I- I- don't know what you're talking about!" protested Scully.
He let her go with a snort, pacing back and forth. "This is your dream, and you don't know why this is happening!" He spit on the ground. "You're pathetic."
"I don't even know what's going on here!" she protested.
He looked at her straight in the eye,"You mean you don't remember..."
...Scully woke up from her dream, but didn't remember it. All she knew was that she was so tired that she wanted to go back to sleep. The clock said 3:12, she noted. //Good.// Then she noticed that Martin sat on a chair next to the head of the bed. He was asleep, and didn't snore, which she thought was a miracle. The expression on his face was troubled, and his hand would twitch occasionally.
//God. He shouldn't have to sleep like that!//
She shook him awake. Martin's eyes snapped open, and he looked around nervously.
"It's okay," she murmured. "Why don't you sleep here on the bed? You shouldn't have to sleep in a chair."
"That sounds like a good idea," he smiled. He pulled off his jacket, which he hadn't yet done, and climbed onto the bed as Scully made room for him.
They were both so exhausted that they immediately fell asleep, but not so immediately that Martin couldn't put an arm around Scully's shoulders, and that Scully couldn't burrow into Martin.
The last thought she had in her mind before she returned to sleep was that he smelled so pleasant -- the smell of cigarettes was quite comforting, in fact.
Scully's sleeping face had a pleasant smile, even though her dreamworld was in flames.
Scully woke up to the smell of eggs, sausage, and pancake mix. It smelled wonderful. Her eyes opened then because it suddenly occurred to her that she didn't have any of that in her kitchen.
The clock said 5:30, and the faint glow of dawn told her that it was A.M. She closed her eyes for a brief moment. //What the hell is going on?// It took a few moments for everything to sink back in. The bits and pieces of last night fell together until she could replay everything that happened.
A sudden understanding came to her then. She should be in horrible pain. She should be praying to the porcelain throne. There was no pain. She felt like she had a week's worth of sleep. //No wonder Martin's cure 's a secret. If the bars found out about that, they'd be selling twice as much beer...//
When she stood up, she realized that she wore the same clothes that she had last night. She'd have to do something about that, but later.
Somehow, the sight of seeing Martin cooking breakfast -- quite well, in fact -- was an odd one. Maybe the inner image of him as an immaculate government type made it seem so odd. Whatever the reason, she had to fight hard to keep from giggling.
He was flipping the pancakes like a pro, and had already served delicious-looking eggs and sausage on two plates. Some orange juice was already poured.
The look on his face was a lot more peaceful than it was last night as he slept on the chair. It was not only relaxed, but still releasing tension.
"Good morning," he said, turning towards her with a gentle smile. "Are you feeling better?"
"Better than I felt in my life. Whatever that stuff was, it sure worked."
His smile was a more knowing one this time.
"You're a good cook," she smiled, leaning against one of the counters.
"You haven't even tried it yet."
It only took another minute until breakfast was served, and Scully had to admit that Martin was right. She didn't even know how good it was until she took her first bite. "This is incredible! What are this pancakes made out of?"
He made a guilty face,"Would you believe... a family secret?"
"I'd sure love to meet your family, if you have any more secrets like this!"
"I have many... secrets." Another few moments of silence passed,"There's something else on your mind besides your work, isn't there?"
Her look was one of shock, and she tried to hide it, but she gave in. "I've been having the most horrible dreams lately. Normally, I'm not one to have them."
His eyebrows lit up,"Really? What kind of nightmares?"
She made a face, but another bite of pancake made it less severe. "I dream that everything I've known and been has turned into an inferno, and this one person I know I've met before is fighting himself to keep from killing me. He always screams, 'What have you done?!' And then it ends."
"Inferno? Really? So you're in hell?"
The more she thinks about it, the more she decides that wasn't the case. "No. For some reason, I'm in Toronto. I'm standing next to an abandoned factory, and there are others that I don't recognize." Details began to return."I think I was mad at one of them because one of his decisions almost led to the death of my partner."
Her eyes became focused as most of the details of that dream fell into place. "I know now. My partner and I went to Toronto because of a crazy lead he was following. I don't know what it was, but I seem to remember that it was crazy. He got taken, and I got help finding him. ...I don't know how, but the phone company was somehow involved." She shook her head quickly, as if to shake something off her head."Anyway, I had help rescuing him, and that's when everything erupted into an inferno."
Martin nodded thoughtfully. "Are you feeling regrets about anything in your life?"
She frowned,"Not particularly. I can't think of anything bad going on."
He smiled,"Let me show you something that helped me when I once had horrible dreams." He pulled out a glimmering necklace with a multifaceted crystal. It was real, and not synthetic. "Look at it, and tell me if you see it."
She looked intently at it, her pupils contracting. "See what?..."
"You'll know." His grin was tight. When she entered that 'other' state, it was quite obvious. "Dana. I want you to pay very special attention to what I am about to say.
"First, you will forget your dreams. Your dreams will occur, as they must, but you won't remember them. Ever. As far as you know, you don't ever recall your dreams or nightmares.
"Second, you will forget about me. Totally. You never saw me. You don't remember me.
"Third, whenever I hold your left hand with my right hand, and ask the question, 'Do you remember the Frog and Falcon?' You will enter this state of hypnosis immediately, without question.
"Fourth, you will accept the X-Files assignment. You want to do it, and you will tolerate all of Agent Mulder's quirks and aggravations, although you will react to them as you normally would. No matter how tough things get, you will show your natural responses, but you will never walk out on him for more than a few days.
"Fifth, all of my previous commands will be a shell that I reserve the right to erase. If I do that, you will return in your mind to two days ago, and anything that would have occurred after that point in time will be erased. It will be as if we had never met.
"Repeat your instructions."
Scully did so.
"Excellent," smiled Martin. "Count slowly to 100 when I command you to. When you reach that number, you will come back to normal consciousness, clean up, and get ready for another day at work. Your only memories of last night will be that you met an older man who wanted to have dinner with you and discuss your previous casework. You got drunk and forgot everything else in an alcohol haze. You will account for the second set of dishes by 'remembering' that you thought that a friend would come by, and didn't.
Martin left Scully, nodding somberly as he shut the door behind him.
As he drove off towards the FBI headquarters, he couldn't help but reflect on the last evening. While Scully had slept, he had spent much of the night hard at work. And it worked, apparently. Now, all he had to do was wait for the seeds to germinate.
All it took was time and patience... and maybe a little guidance now and then.
A hint of guilt stabbed at his heart. As he remembered last night, he realized that this wasn't just another job. She was young enough to be his daughter, but somehow, she had affected him greatly. He wanted to slam on the brakes, turn around, and erase everything he did... All the plans he had made for her. He wanted to apologize for everything and beg for her forgiveness, and hope that things would go well from there.
He lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. "No. It just wouldn't work. The plan continues."
The guilt was gone with a puff of the cigarette.
Funny thing, those cigarettes. You never know what's in them or what they'll do. The one thing that Martin never knew was that he never had to pay for a single cigarette. It never entered his mind.