We All Die Virgins
By Jaime Lyn
* Disclaimer and other such information in chapter 1. Enjoy ;)
Early December 28th, 2001
4:20am, give or take.
In Between Lynbrook and Hewlett
In the history of asinine, boneheaded ideas, Mulder’s brilliant plan for the evening surely ranked among the top ten.
Lily Ann Harbor was going to stay with them at the motel; not that she couldn’t go elsewhere—of course, there were about a million other places she could stay within the confines of the governmental social services system. But Mulder had decided, after evaluating his plan with a perturbed looking social services escort (and not with, say, his partner,) that Lily would be better off bunking with he and Scully. At the Holiday Inn off of Broadway Avenue. “Lily’s just a scared kid,” Mulder had insisted. “Scared and lonely and hardly a potential threat to herself or to those around her.” Mulder then said he had a feeling about her. A feeling. He had a fucking feeling.
“This,” Scully had hissed, while motioning towards Lily, who was curled up like a ball on the back passenger seat, “Is a shitty thing to do without consulting me first. I’m your partner, not your secretary.”
“I consulted you,” Mulder said. A defensive note crept into his voice.
“Suggesting is not consulting,” Scully remarked. She yanked open the front-passenger-side door, got in, and slammed it closed. She didn’t feel like speaking after that. She didn’t need to. Annoyance fairly crackled in the air like sparks.
Scully’s bad feeling lasted her all through the car ride back into Hewlett. She folded her arms, twiddled her thumbs, and bounced her foot on the floor-mat like an irritated child. She imagined flicking Mulder in the ears with her forefingers and nearly snorted at the thought. Lack of sleep did bizarre things to the human brain.
Mulder kept his eyes focused on the road; he refrained from looking directly at Scully, just as he might refrain from looking directly into the sun. Either he knew he had acted like a near-total jackass or else he knew he was going to get his ass kicked, regardless.
Scully pursed her lips. Light flashed through the window from blinking streetlamps and she had to squint to see clearly. She pressed her hand to the window and felt the glass, cold, hard and smooth beneath her fingertips.
Something was just…not right about this situation. There was a charge in the air, an imbalance that seemed to go all the way down to the molecular level.
Scully was sure that the problem was Lily, although she’d never in a million years admit her bizarre intuition to Mulder. Mostly, she’d be embarrassed by the lack of empirical evidence behind her ‘gut instinct,’ and Mulder would never let her live down the slippage in logic. And Dana Scully, as they both knew, didn’t operate on instinct alone. Dana Scully operated on intellect--instinct could figure in, of course, but only after a good degree of science was present to back it up. Role reversal was nearly unheard of in the Mulder/Scully partnership dynamic, and God forbid either one of them should crack.
Which was probably the saddest part of the whole damn thing.
The one solid friendship in Dana Scully’s life, and she had to constantly keep herself in check. She had to do what was expected of her. She had to act as expected, be the person she’d carefully constructed from years of controlled emotions. She did it for herself, for her family, and for Mulder. Scully was the strong one. Scully was the capable one. Dana was just there, floating. Not so amusing when she thought about it hard enough. Special Agent Dana Scully was ‘Scully’ to just about everyone in her life—even herself.
“Rules,” Scully said out loud, her eyes growing heavy.
“What?” asked Mulder.
Scully shook her head without looking at him. Ghosts. Abductions. Witches. Missing Houses. Happy New Year, Dana Scully.
“Nothing,” she responded. She bit her lip and returned her thoughts to the case.
Lily Ann Harbor sat in the back seat, her eyes focused on the window, her hands folded neatly in her lap. Scully shivered. If nothing else, the girl was guilty of perpetuating an unfortunate situation. That wasn’t a paranormal revelation; it was logic. Lily’s family records were gone, but that didn’t mean someone hadn’t erased them. Besides that, circumstantial evidence pointed to Lily having murdered her parents—but in cold blood?
Likely, Scully thought. But why?
Assumingly, rage was the key motivator. A locked up girl with equally locked up emotions was capable of anything. And then when she thought she’d be found out, she burned down the house to destroy the evidence. Or else she got someone else to burn down the house. Of course, Scully’s main cause for concern was the extreme amount of damage done to the house itself. The breakdown of solids into pure ash in a manner of mere minutes was seemingly impossible—unless natural fire wasn’t the only key element involved. Tomorrow, Scully would have to do some more research on that particular train of thought, look into the possibility of chemical reactants. Some kind of accelerant. But even accelerants didn’t work that fast---at least, not to Scully’s knowledge.
So the final question was Lily’s sister; how did she fit into this equation? Was Kesley Liz Harbor a ruse? A plant? Or had Lily actually taken her own sister for nefarious reasons? Killed her? Perhaps Kelsey had been adverse to the murder of their parents and Lily had killed her to keep her quiet.
Scully shook her head to herself. No, that wasn’t it.
She glanced again into the rearview mirror. Lily picked at her cuticles in the back seat, alternately glancing out the window and staring at the ceiling. Suddenly, Scully felt like the narrator of an Agatha Christie novel: ‘And then the butler strode into the room, and he had a knife. Aha, said the young maiden. I’ve found you out!’
Scully closed her eyes and felt another chill—third one in a fifteen minute interval.
Of course, that inexplicable ‘feeling’ of an imbalance in the air also gave Scully the distinct impression that perhaps Kelsey never existed at all. Possibly, she was just a figment of her purported sister’s deranged imagination. Lily Ann Harbor—angry, crazy, both, or none of the above?
Scully sighed. She continuously watched Lily from the rearview mirror, alternately glancing at Mulder to see whether or not he’d start up conversation. Scully was tired, annoyed, and stumped. Certainly, she was in no mood for small talk. And surprisingly enough, neither was Mulder. Instead of talking, he chewed on his lower lip while eyeing the road, as if he was seriously considering the nature of the Universe or other such important issues.
Lily, for her part, continued to stare complacently out the window as if just noticing the scenery for the first time. Which, Scully assumed, she was.
Scully couldn’t remember the last time she’d missed her own bed so badly.
Early December 28th, 2001
4:30am, give or take.
Holiday Inn Express,
“You’re not to leave this room tonight,” said Scully, as she pressed her hand tiredly against the concrete wall of the motel. She felt like a prison guard, like a well-dressed, overtired corrections officer. “You’ll stay here until we get you in the morning. Understood?”
Lily blinked at Scully as if waking from a coma. Scully didn’t blink at all. Both women were silent for a long while. Then Lily turned to Mulder. “Mr. Mulder? Could you please open the door for me? My key isn’t turning right.”
Lily leaned against the doorjamb of room 4-D wearing only her sooty nightgown and Mulder’s overcoat—the temperature was a considerable level below freezing, and Mulder had given her his jacket to keep her from shivering. Scully took a deep breath and moved silently out of the way. Mulder nodded and, shivering, he stepped forward, taking the key from Lily.
“Thank you,” Lily whispered, her arms folded carefully in front of her. “You’re a lot stronger than I am.”
Scully’s lips pressed into a thin line. Her patience dwindled. She felt like vomiting over the railing. Maybe it was lack of sleep getting to her. Or maybe she was just so disgusted that a seventeen year old had taken total control of Mulder’s ability to reason that she wanted to bop Lily over the head. Or bop Mulder over the head. Or bop them both over the head. Whatever.
“Try and get some sleep, Lily,” said Mulder. “We’ll be by in the morning, around 8:30 or so, and we’ll just wing it from there. We’ll need you to answer a few more questions, take a few different kinds of tests for us, okay? Agent Scully will come by a little earlier that 8:30—you know, to lend you some clothes.”
Scully flinched at that last part. She didn’t mean to. She saw Mulder catch the slip from the corner of his eye; he cleared his throat.
“Okay,” said Lily. She leaned into the doorjamb and batted her eyelids. The girl actually batted her eyelids. Then she shrugged her arms out of Mulder’s overcoat and handed it to him, her arm daintily outstretched, her bosom thrust conspicuously forward in her white nightgown. Mulder smiled in appreciation, his expression utterly blank except for the pleased upturn of his lips. He didn’t seem to be noticing any of the inappropriately channeled attention. Not even a blessed second of it. Jesus. Was he oblivious or just dead?
“Alright. It’s late. Goodnight,” said Scully, her voice sweet, her arms folded over her chest, her gaze directed only at Lily.
Lily frowned, and then broke her connection with Mulder to regard Scully. Both women looked each other up and down carefully. Lily appeared to size up the competition. Scully just wanted to make sure Lily knew her place in the grand hierarchy of things. Scully was the FBI agent. Lily was the witness. Scully was in charge. Lily was being carefully scrutinized; Scully was the watcher and Lily, the watch-ee. There was a distinct difference between the two.
Just a Seventeen year old girl, Scully said to herself. No harm, no foul. Just a seventeen year old girl.
A seventeen year old girl who’s probably also a murderess, the back of her brain easily supplied.
Oh, right. That.
“Goodnight,” said Lily, her gaze focused not on Scully, but on Mulder. The door closed behind the girl just when Scully thought and she would have to kick it shut herself. The light flicked on behind the closed curtain. Their work for the night was done; end of story.
Both Mulder and Scully stared at the locked door for a silent few seconds. How late was it again? Scully had lost track.
“Well…" Mulder cleared his throat. "Guess I’ll see you in the morning.” His tone was airy--a little too airy. Scully turned to face him, her eyebrow raised. Mulder grinned at her, shrugged, and turned on his heel, taking off like a rabbit in the direction opposite his room. He wiggled himself into his overcoat as he jogged.
Scully frowned. Didn’t they have to be awake again in a few hours? Where the hell did he think he was going now?
“I’m going for a run,” Mulder called over his shoulder. “Helps me clear my head.”
Scully just stood there, completely baffled and a tad intrigued, despite herself. “You’ll give yourself a cold in this weather,” she said.
“I just might,” Mulder called back.
“And then what use are you to me?” Scully went on. She crossed her arms.
“None,” answered Mulder. He reached the edge of the walkway and turned. “Unless you think you could keep up. The second I start snifling, you could just send me packing.”
Scully blinked in disbelief. It was the middle of the night—almost morning, actually. She wasn’t sure whether she was surprised or disgusted or both. “Not interested,” she answered, shifting her weight and turning resolutely towards her room. She really WASN'T interested. She had a bed and a night of dreamless sleep waiting for her just two doors down.
“I see,” said Mulder. He shrugged and turned back around. He got about five paces from the railing when—
“You see what?”
Mulder twisted back around to regard his partner. Scully’s brows furrowed. Both of them narrowed their eyes at each other. The air was thick with competition. Scully took a few steps towards Mulder and waved her arm as if to say “and?” She wasn’t quite sure she liked where this was headed, but she wanted to go there anyway.
“Nothing,” said Mulder. He nodded and ran his hand along the back of his head. “Just ‘I see.’ It’s fine. I like to keep my own pace anyway. Get some sleep, Scully.”
Scully’s hands went to her hips. She was cold, she was tired, and suddenly none of that mattered anymore. “So do I,” she argued, trying to ignore the defensiveness she heard in her own voice.
“Do you?” asked Mulder. He was grinning. Like someone who had just been handed the key to the Universe. “So you’re in?”
Scully jutted her chin. “Just let me change my shoes.”
Lily was definitely not interested in staying in her room. Not now, not when she was spending the night in a new bed—for the first time ever. And certainly not when Fox Mulder’s and Dana Scully's rooms were right down the hall, just waiting to be explored.
‘You are to stay in your room. Understand?’
The words rang again and again in Lily's head. The diminutive red head appeared in her imagination and Lily waved the image away, snorting. Ha! was all she had to say to that. Just who did that waspy woman think she was, anyway? All she did was order poor Fox Mulder around, throw her weight all over the place like the goddamned President of the United States or something, and give people dirty looks. Lily had lost track of the sheer number of dirty looks that Dana Scully had shot her way in an hour time period. God, how someone hadn't beaten that woman to a pulp by now was beyond Lily. But maybe that was why Fox Mulder put up with her. Maybe he felt sorry for her. Surely, someone had to.
Lily rolled her eyes.
Only thirty seconds had passed, and she was sick of wondering about the red head. There were definitely more interesting things to think about at the moment.
Love, for instance.
Lily peered out the window. Fox Mulder stood just two doors down, his hip pressed against an open doorway. He blew air into cupped hands and hopped up and down for a brief moment. His backside—oh, his backside. It was glorious, exquisite.
Lily sighed and leaned against the cold glass. She smiled. She imagined that one television show—the beautiful Jeannie and her master, and the bottle that was filled with pink, magic smoke. It never mattered what Jeannie did to upset her master, because he would always love her. He said he would. He promised her. In the end, Jeannie and Master married, and even though Jeannie continued to cause her master all kinds of problems time and again, they returned unscathed and unharmed from the fray. Every half-hour of programming was a promise, a whisper of truth. Happy endings; that was the ticket. Love seemed to exude happy endings.
The redhead appeared from the doorway then, and both Fox Mulder and Dana Scully paused for a moment before closing the door behind them and disappearing down the walkway. Lily frowned. She wasn’t sure she liked the idea of Fox Mulder and that woman running around together—alone. Beautiful, ruthless women always managed to stand in the way of true love. On Soap Operas, women were always fighting, and the evil woman threw the good woman into a well, or else down a flight of stairs. Then the evil woman somehow managed to trick the other woman’s friends into believing that she was the REAL good one, and all the good woman’s friends turned on her—including the man who originally loved the good woman. Lily shuddered. Could Dana Scully really do that to her?
“Well,” said Lily. She narrowed her eyes. Certainly, there was only one way to find out. “Surely, that woman’s got something interesting in her room.”
Lily bent down and re-tied her sneakers—Keds borrowed from the big-nosed lady who had lived across the street. Unfortunately, the sneakers were ugly and Lily hated Fox Mulder seeing her in such ugly shoes.
“We’ll just see,” said Lily, smiling to herself. She recalled a trick that Kelsey had taught her a long time ago, a trick that often worked for breaking into other people’s homes. It would work again. It would. It had to. Someone had to save Fox Mulder from that evil redhead, and damn it all if Lily wasn't going to play the part of Wonder Woman.
End Chapter 7