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XI. Through the Door We Never Opened

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened

                       -Burnt Norton, T. S. Eliot -

Old Calendar: July 1, 2011
New Calendar: Day 11, Year 3 A.E.

Now Iím sitting outside, late at night, in Mulderís seat, 24 hours later. Only 24 hours. Itís only been one day. One day since I started being Mulderís shadow at work and at home.

I donít know if I can write about this stuff if I canít even talk about it out loud. On the other hand, I donít know if I can afford not to talk about it, at least in here. Iíve survived ĎNam, my career in the FBI, the Consortium, the aliens, my time with the UN Peacekeeping forces, but I have feeling if I donít vent some of the things inside me right now, I wonít survive this. Thereís too many things I need to do, I canít throw everything away because of stress.

And God knows, thereís no one I can discuss any of this with, other than the problem source.

I always thought to myself that Mulder had lousy timing. No, thatís not accurateÖhis timing wasnít exactly lousy, maybeÖfated. Over the years, there were moments his timing was exquisite: the many times he escaped being caught, or wiggled out of some damned disastrous situation.

So now, faced with an impending, faceless threat against his life, Mulder decides itís time to discuss all the personal things weíve all managed to avoid for years. Damn! but the man pisses me off. I canít believe heís pulling this crap. Nothing but damned blackmail. I want to talk about strategy and planning and security, and he wonít unless we first talk aboutóthings.

I swear Iíd walk, if I thought I could live with that decision. But I know that's an impossibiliy, so even thinking about it is a colossal waste of time better spent.

Here it is over a decade later, and he still drives me to the brink.

When I accused him of that today, the smartass looked at me with that big-eyed innocent look of his and just said, "Itís a talent."

Ah, damn. Itís not that I donít ever want to talk about it, God knows the subjects have been right at the front of my mind lately. But thinking about them, trying to get a grip on things, is a little different than discussing them out loud with the very people in question. How in the hell can there be any kind of coherent discussion when I canít even get a firm handle on what Iím feeling?

Itís so typical, so like the Mulder I remember to rush forward into something without thinki  v,m klsdv,/.,blmdpojDV/dglkp . jjjjjm mmmmbbbbbbb

Old Calendar: July 1, 2011
New Calendar: Day 11, Year 3 A.E.

Look at that gibberish. It's exactly how I feel...he's turned me to gibberish. Seidelman, you had better be right about the benefits of keeping this journal. If there was ever a time I need to keep my wits about me, itís now. Now, when theyíre scattered to the four directions. Now, when I need to be thinking of serious matters and all I can think of, God help me, is how I feel, how he feels against meÖand Scully and Krycek are going to be here in less than two hours and Iím being so damn pathetic, Iím typing this in bed because I canít bear to leave it, to leave him.

Iím a pathetic old man. Thereís no writing in the world that can save me from that. And I donít have a clue how Iím going to face Scully, much less Krycek, after last night.

War and law enforcement are a hell of a lot easier than this. I was never any good at personal relationships.

I canít lie to myself. Even now, I want him. Heís lying next to me, smelling like sex, all honey skin and sleek muscles, runnerís lines. He still runs, out here in the open spaces, out away from all the voices and thoughts intruding into his head. Why me, why now? Just because I wanted to? Iíve wanted to for years, so that doesnít answer it.

Despite the outward professional mask I kept in place, for years I sat and listened to his intuitive leaps of logic, listened to his wild and improbable scenarios, and it tugged at me. The proof of his accuracy was in the bottom line, no matter how much it cost the rest of us to admit it. And secretly, or maybe not so secretly, I was riveted. Glued to the window looking into his life, wanting to know what was next, wanting to somehow be a part of the grace that followed him even into the midst of chaos.

But my role wasnít to walk that path of grace with him. Someone had to misdirect the encroaching evil. And I guess it takes someone with darkness inside to be able to deal with others on that level, doesnít it.

Thinking about thatÖKrycek. Ah, fuck. How can I continue to condemn him for being exactly what I admit I was, also? I donít have to admire how he went about fulfilling his role, Iíll never find the actions he took to be admirable. YetÖeven I agree that, in the end, actions arenít the same as true intent. Wasnít his intent not all that far off from my own? Or was it? Heís been too slippery to capture and see clearly. I'm still too confused about him, I don't have a clue how to proceed there.

Which brings me back to Mulder again, looking youthful in his sleep. The lines of stress that mark his face when awake are now curiously absent. What does Mulder see when he looks at Krycek, at me? I know whatís inside meÖand I know that never in my life have I had such mind-blowing sex before. If it felt good, if I felt good, he knew it, knew it and repeated it, or intensified it, or played me to the edge and backed away, nearly driving me to the brink. OrÖI guess he did drive me over. I guess thatís what he wanted, fuck it scared me. I couldnít tell if Iíd hurt him, he lay like the dead. The deadóand Iíve had experience with the dead in my bed. Old memories, old nightmares never die, they linger in the recesses of the mind to be triggered by future moments like this. I didnít remember anything then, and God help me, I honestly didnít remember much outside the explosion of feeling going off inside of meóno, I wasnít aware at all of Mulder as a separate person, someone apart of from me, someone whom I could be hurting (how can you hurt yourself and not know it?) Is that just a small bit of how Mulder feels, 24 hours a day? No boundaries, no limitations between himself and other people?

They say that the sex act is designed to make two into one, to lower boundaries and create a joining on all levels. That it has the potential to change a person by its power. Iíve read all that, and always thought it was romantic, mystical nonsense. Sex is sex, loneliness and lust, erection, orgasm-release. Nothing mystical about it at all, just a solid sensory experience, a warm body to lie next to, pleasure to feel.

IÖI was wrong. God help me. The last time I cried like that, I was 19 years old. Something seemed toÖturn off in me after the war, maybe it was a defensive mechanism kicking into place after all the horrors ripped me wide open.

Last night, I cried like a baby, felt splayed open and as helpless as oneÖbut strangely not panicked. StrangelyÖsafe. There was no threat, being vulnerable wasnít a risk. It was almostÖnecessary. I donít understand what happened, itís all mixed up in this sluggish brain of mine this morning.

And Mulder is stirring, opening his sleepy eyes. And time is ticking by and the others are coming. Iíve got to pull myself together into some semblance of a coherent person.

Old Calendar: July 1, 2011
New Calendar: Day 11, Year 3 A.E.

I can be thankful that the only person who can read my mind today is the one that knows whatís in it. I can thank years of hiding my reactions for getting me through today. Because thatís how I survived itósheer pigheadedness. And for once in my life, I sat back and let Mulder run the show.

Thatís not true, though. Didnít Mulder run the show, really, all those year ago? Didnít I let him have his head, only jerking the reins back when he threatened to do something I knew was lethal? I gave him thatÖbecause I knew, at heart, he was a hell of a lot more brilliant than Iíd ever be, and much more courageous.

Watching him today, the one thought that kept going round my head as he paced the living room, talking out loud and arguing with Krycek, Scully and occasionally me, was: how often had he snowed me like this back when he worked for me? Oh, Iíd known the obvious ones, but how often had things completely hidden been running through his mind while his face and his body betrayed nothing? He was, is, a hell of a lot better poker player than Iíd ever given him credit for.

Iíd sat there and watched him, and couldnít believe this was the same man who just hours before had pulled me away from my computer even as I typed and told me he couldnít take the way I was projecting out my internal conflict and desires anymore, he couldnít stand being around such conflicted pain and need, so we were damn well going to put me out of my misery.

I must have sounded like an outraged virgin. At my age, and I reacted to him like a damned outraged, scared virgin. Maybe one day, Iíll look back on that and laugh, but I canít do it today. Today itís too painfully embarrassing.

Itís beyond embarrassing to know someone can know your every desire, and that each one of those desires centers around him. I was left with no dignity, no shield to hide behind, nothing but me and my every need laid bare for him to see. I couldnít talk about it out loud, my God, that was too much to ask, but he did. He pushed past that and wouldnít stop, wouldnít let me back away from what he saw going on inside of me.

At the moment, I donít know whether I hate him or love him. Maybe both. He pushed past places no one else had gone, pushed right into my nightmares and dreams and brought them to the surface. ButÖwhatís that line from Hoffer, one of the contemporary philosophersÖ We do not really feel grateful toward those who make our dreams come true; they ruin our dreams.

Iíve never considered myself much of a dreamer, butÖI donít want what dreams I have ruined. I donít want our reality ruinedÖand for that, I need to be alert, aware, functioning at peak, not like I am now, unable to think past my body and this need that he let loose inside me and now buzzes around like an electric current, connecting me to him. How will I deal with it if we screw up, if I screw up, and I fail to do what needs to be done to protect him?

I also donít know what to do about KrycekÖhow am I going to work closely with him? I donít understand why Mulder did this, pushed me into this right now. Is this his way of dealing with feeling out of control as he faces an unknown threat against his life, asserting control where he can? What is going through his mind, what does he see that I donít?

I need answers to these questions so I can get a better grip on the situation. I canít afford to miss any variables that might effect the outcome. I canít afford to be fuck-blind to whatís really happeningÖeven if it means seeing that Iím nothing more than one more chess piece on the board in Mulderís head. And God help me if thatís the truth.

to be continued in part twelve...

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