Title: Loss of Time
Summary: Scully wonders what would happen if she told Mulder how she feels, but is afraid of the consequences-until she finds a modern day Witch who just might be able to help her find out.
"We're not like in the story books, Agent Scully," the brunette said pulling the teakettle off of the stove. "We don't ride broomsticks or use spells like 'bubble, bubble, toil and trouble'."
"Then what do you do?" Scully asks, taking the brightly colored mug Aryan was held out for her. Aryan smiled. "Well...mostly we commune with nature. There is nothing exclusive about what we do..." Aryan sits down across from the red-head, curling her left leg under her and cradling her own mug of tea in her palms.
"You could probably do it...anyone could."
"Anyone?" Aryan shrugs. "Sure...very few people are born knowing to do The Craft. It's something you learn-something you practice. Some people are called to it...some people have natural gifts and abhor everything we stand for."
"Natural gifts?" Scully asks, sipping the wonderful tea. "Yes...mostly those with natural gifts are called to The Craft, but they don't have to be. Psychics, paranormal researchers, and the like..." she trails off, eyeing Scully carefully. "Your partner...Agent Mulder, is it? I feel a sort of inexhaustible curiosity within him that usually signals those who have natural talents for The Craft."
"And what can you do?" Scully asks, ignoring the way Aryan's eyes seemed to burn into her soul. She laughed. "Anything the mind can conceive, the will can achieve, Agent Scully...that's a very old proverb and it's very true. That's all Wicca is, really. Every sort of magick, from reading the tarot, to brewing a potion is but a way of channeling your will to accomplish your goal."
"Any goal?" Scully asked tentatively. Aryan smiled slyly. She knew the pretty agent had come back to her for more than just scholarly curiosity. She leaned forward and placed the nearly empty mug on the table before her. "Come, Agent Scully...tell me what you really came here for? What is the true question that brought you here?" Scully looked down into her half empty cup, torn between telling this woman the truth of her heart...a truth she had told no one...and fleeing. Finally, she looked up, deciding to take the first step. "I want to know the true feelings of someone I think I love..." she met Aryan's smiling, all knowing eyes. She couldn't believe she was doing this. She couldn't be more than 25 at most and she was telling her...putting into words...
"You think?" Aryan asked. "In love, there is no middle ground...you do or you don't." Dana Katherine Scully's eyes were full of conflicting emotions.
Aryan felt for this woman. She had been in her position. Afraid to confess her true emotions, but unable to live with the secret inside. *Oh, she had been there* She smiled.
"Is there..." Scully faltered for a moment, breaking the gaze and finding her teacup once more. "Some way...some sp..." she stopped, unable to say the words. "There are no spells in Wicca to make him love you, Dana. It is against the Wiccan Rede to make him do something that might be against his will."
"Then there are no real love spells?"
"Yes...there is a spell to bring your true love to you...whomever he may be and wherever he may be...you have no control in who he is, you only ask the gods to send him to you. Then there is the lust spell...asking only to make him want you briefly, for a short time." Scully's face fell. "However, if there is someone in particular you want...someone you want to confess your feelings to but are afraid of what the consequences might be...say," Aryan trails off as if searching for an example. "Say your partner the handsome Agent Mulder...hypothetically speaking..." She watches with hidden amusement as Scully's face reddens. "If something along those lines were your problem, I have a potion that just might help the situation."
Scully looked up. "How?"
"Well, there is a mixture of certain roots and herbs that when ingested orally, induce an attack of amnesia approximately 24 hours after ingestion."
"So whoever takes this mixture won't remember anything?"
"No, no, no...he or she won't remember anything that happened from the moment the potion took effect...say approximately 5 to 10 minutes after ingestion."
Aryan watches as Scully almost visibly turns the prospect around in her mind.
"There is no harm to the system, it is a totally natural effect...the herbs simply block off the mind's ability to store information into the long term memory nerves of the brain. Therefore, no short term memory. The body will not feel drugged in any way, shape or form and it is non-habit forming...in other words, perfectly safe. And, one could tell someone after having ingested this potion anything one wanted, without fear of long run consequences. You'd know his reaction, for it would be totally his, but he wouldn't remember what you said or did after 24 hours."
"But how would I explain the memory loss?" Aryan shrugs. "If things go well, you won't have to...tell him what you did and what happened. Repeat the experiment if necessary."
"And if things don't go well?" Scully asks softly. "Then simple...give it to him at night...you show up at his apartment, saying you couldn't sleep or some sensible excuse...remember, this he will remember...and slip him the mixture...in wine, beer, or anything of the sort...except soda, the bicarbonates react in weird ways with the mixture.
Wait about 10 minutes, you'll notice when its taken effect, just because for a brief moment, his eyes will cloud up then come back into focus. You do your thing, and if it doesn't turn up well, he goes to sleep and wakes up and doesn't remember a thing. You tell him he was sick, feverish, and it's normal he wouldn't remember a thing. It was nothing to worry about, a 24 hour bug and bingo... you're in the clear with your information."
Scully looks impressed. "You've certainly thought this out." Aryan smiles. "Well, I have used this potion once or twice and that's usually the best excuse. Most guys will fall for it every time."
"With all due respect, how do I know it works?" Scully asks.
Aryan laughs. "I was wondering when you'd get to that." She stands up and gets a small gray camcorder from one of the shelves behind her. "We'll give you the potion, then tape you while you're under its influence. You'll wake up, 24 hours later...here, if you don't mind, just to make sure you see the tape in the morning, and we can decide then."
Scully thinks about this a moment, then nods, putting her tea mug on the table and looking up at Aryan. "Alright...I'll do it."
Aryan nods, a huge smile on her face, and puts the camcorder down, going into the kitchen and started to fumble around. "You don't need an altar or something to do that?" Scully asked from the sofa.
She heard Aryan's throaty laugh echo to her. "An altar is wherever you place it, Agent Scully. Even if there is no real physical one."
Scully stared at the TV screen before her. She knew she didn't remember falling asleep last night, and it was exactly one day after she last remembered. On the screen, she saw herself ingesting a cup of water and looking at the camera. This she remembered. She also remembered feeling exactly no different than when she had when she ingested the tea containing the mixture Aryan had prepared. "I don't feel any different..." the taped version of her said. This she remembered as well, as she did the sudden wooziness that overtook her as soon as the words were out of her mouth. Here is where everything gets kinda fuzzy. The TV her takes a hand to her head and sits on the couch. "woe..." she whispers. Within seconds of sitting down, the TV her looks back up into the camera. "Was that it?" she asked Aryan who was holding the camera.
"From now on, you won't remember anything that takes place, Dana...talk into the camera...you will see this when the effects wear off," Aryan instructed as she held the camera trained on her.
"Well," TV Dana says, looking into the camera. "Other than the slight wooziness of a few seconds ago which dissipated within seconds of its inception, I feel fine." TV Dana puts her hands on her wrist and takes her pulse. "My pulse is normal, there is no apparent side effects that I feel. I remember everything that went on before this point...I am in full cognizance of my faculties and nothing feels out of the ordinary." TV Dana pauses, looking into the camera as if lost. She looks down and then back up again. "Well...I guess there's noting more to say to..." she raises an eyebrow. "myself."
She leans back into the sofa. "Wait...if I know myself..." she pauses and her brows knit obviously at the absurdity of that statement. She shakes it off and continues. "And if I am watching this tomorrow, then I'm probably wondering how Aryan was able to get a double in to play me. Well, it is me. I am Dana Katherine Scully; I work for the Federal Bureau of Investigations. But all this anyone can find out.
Something only I would know..." she looks down as she contemplates this issue to assure the very obvious doubtful watching Scully. TV Scully looks up as if an epiphany has suddenly materialized in her mind. "I hate bees." She nods, satisfied. "The me watching this will know what I mean and why I say this. I utterly detest them. I haven't ever told anyone this." Suddenly, a ring of a phone is heard somewhere in the room where TV Scully is. "That's my cell phone...it's probably Mulder." She tells Aryan behind the camera.
"What do I tell him?" She reaches over for her coat and takes the phone out, un-flipping it and putting it to her ear. "Scully," she says into it. She waits, looking at the camera still trained on her. "Hey, Mulder...no, I'm fine...I know I'm not at home, it's Friday night...we're off for the weekend...what's wrong? Yes, Mulder, it's real sweet of you to call me when you're bored. No...I'm at a friend's house. Actually..." TV Scully looks mischievously into the camera. "We were just talking about you. No, you don't know her, but we were watching a movie and I was telling her how much it reminded me of you. You won't like it. Okay...that one with the...Independence Day...that's it...you remind me of the doctor...what's his name? The character that plays..." she laughs. "I told you that you wouldn't like it. Look, I'm missing the movie...I'll call you tomorrow. Bye..." She hung up and turned back to the camera. "Scully..." she says "He said that he'd get me for that one...just though I'd warn you. Then again...if this works..."
She looks behind the camera at Aryan. "You know, Aryan...I just though of something I'd like to do...is that enough tape?"
"I don't know, you'll have to tell me, would that be enough to convince you?" TV Scully looks back at the camera. "Yeah, I think so...you can turn it off."
The real Scully stared at the blank screen for a few seconds before turning to face Aryan. "Okay...I want it."
She hadn't called him on Saturday like she promised, or on Sunday for that matter, but he didn't think anything was wrong. She was taking some down time. After the way things had been between them these last few weeks, he hated to admit that maybe they needed it.
Fox Mulder was absently watching TV on Sunday night...actually Monday morning (it was about 3 am) as he thought this. After all, she had seemed really happy when he spoke to her on Friday night with her friend. *Her friend* A sudden pang of...discomfort ran through him. He had asked her if she was on a date and she had told him no, but still...a friend? Well, they were just talking about him, watching a movie of all things. He raised an eyebrow. *Independence Day* And to compare him to that... His thoughts were interrupted by a knock on his d door.
"At 3 am?" he mumbled to himself. On the second 'knock, knock, knock' he stood up and walked to the door, looking through the peephole and seeing Scully standing there. 'My God,' he thought. 'Maybe something had happened.' He opened the door, immediately looking her over for signs of distress. She was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a white, long sleeved button shirt un-tucked and loose down to her thighs. Her hair was picked up in a short little ponytail and some loose strands fell around her face. She was dressed so...so...casually. He raised an eyebrow as their eyes met and smiled. He liked this.
"What's up?" he asked, still standing at the door.
"Aren't you going to ask me in?" she asks. She lifts a bottle he hadn't noticed in her hand. "I come bearing gifts."
He smiles again. "Alright...come on in...who am I to deny someone bearing gifts?" He steps aside and lets her walk into the bare apartment following her and closing the door.
She turns around and faces him one she's halfway in. "So? Is it too much to ask that you might have some glasses for this stuff?" she holds up the bottle again. Mulder smiles sheepishly. She shakes her head. "I thought as much..." she reaches into her right coat pocket and removes two wineglasses and places them on the table beside the wine bottle. Then she reaches into her left coat pocket and removes a bottle opener.
"You do come prepared," he commented.
She shrugs. "Comes from having a father in the military." He moves to the table to take over opening the bottle. She takes off her coat, waving him away. "It was my idea, I'll take care of it. You go sit down," she orders. He shrugs and does as he's told, sitting on the sofa and turning off the TV.
Scully opens the bottle and sighs. 'Okay, red...it's now or never' she says to herself as she opens the bottle and pours the wine. She made sure to bring two different glasses so she'd know which was which. She took out the little folded piece of paper from her jean pocket and opened it to reveal the mush of herbs Aryan had given her. She dropped these into the glass she planned on giving Mulder and made sure it disintegrated well. "Not that I mind the opportunity to get drunk with you Scully," Mulder starts as she hands him his glass. "But I've just got to ask why you're here."
"I couldn't sleep," Scully shrugs, sitting down next to him. "I thought you might be awake so I figured I'd drop on by..." she shrugs again. "I don't know what I hoped to accomplish, but I thought maybe we could have a real conversation for once?" He still hadn't taken a swallow from his wine.
Before he could answer, she lifted her glass. "I know...a toast..."
"To what?" he asked, still somewhat shocked to find Scully sitting on his couch proposing a toast.
"To old friendships and the infinite possibilities of the future," Scully said after a few seconds of consideration.
"That works," Mulder says, clinking his glass to hers and bringing it to his lips.
She stops him though by placing a hand on his arm. "Wait...I know it's kinda silly, but there's this old custom my grandmother used to do and I've wanted to do it all my life."
Mulder raises an eyebrow. "Which is?"
"Well, she used to tell me that the only way to make sure that your toast was rewarded was by draining the glass."
"She was Irish, wasn't she?" he joked.
She shook her head. "Just can we do it?" she asked. "That is, unless you think you couldn't drain the glass in one swallow, that is?" she teased.
He lifted his glass to her again, and they clinked glasses again. He brought the cup to his lips and drowned the cup in one swallow. Scully did the same but watched him as his eyes clouded and he extended a hand to steady himself. "That's strong stuff..." he mumbled.
"Are you okay?" she asked, leaning close to him, noticing the time on the clock. It was 3:47 am. "You don't look too good, Mulder..."
He looked up at her, the wooziness gone. "I'm fine..." he smiled. "That's never happened before."
She smiled back at him. 'It won't be the first thing that happens tonight that hasn't before' she thought to herself. It had worked. She had had a strange paranoia that it wouldn't work on him. That for some reason, it wouldn't take effect on him. But it had. She sent a silent thank you to Aryan, wondering if the young witch could somehow hear her. It was now or never. She had to tell him what she came here to tell him. "There was another reason I came here tonight..." she started, looking away.
He was suddenly worried again. "What is it?"
She sighed. "Well, I..." she couldn't go through with it. She had to tell him what she'd done. "Well...I drugged your wine." She turned back to him-his eyes had widened.
Had he heard right? His Scully had drugged his wine? Had they gotten to her, too? Was this his undoing? More than anger, he felt pain...pain in the pit of his being at her being capable of betraying him. It couldn't be her.
He decided it was someone else. One of those shape shifters. "What have you done with Scully?" he ordered. "Mulder...Mulder, it is me...It's Dana Scully...your partner."
"My partner would never drug my wine!" he said, standing up and reaching for his gun. "Mulder!" she exclaimed. "Just listen...it won't do anything bad to you, I swear it! Trust me"
"How can I trust you when I'm not sure it is you!" She laughed. "It is me...I got this potion from Aryan Morrigan... remember, the girl you took me to see about the witchcraft?"
"The witch?" he asked incredulously. "I tried it on myself before I gave it to you...it doesn't do anything bad to you...she can't do harm, it's against their beliefs."
"Then what does it do?"
"It prevents you from remembering anything that happens from this point on until it wears off in 24 hours."
"Why would you want me to not remember? What's happening? What are you planning on doing?" suspicion once again enters his eyes.
"Because," Scully says, standing up and walking up to him. "I wanted to finish that conversation that was so rudely interrupted outside your hallway that night." My God...had she said what he thought she'd said? He thought that her reaction to his declaration after the incident on the Queen Anne had been her way of telling him that she didn't want anything along those lines, but...could he have just scared her off? Could he have just..."You what?"
"I don't have your courage, Mulder...I couldn't just tell you how I felt...I was worried about the consequences if you...if it didn't work out." His eyes softened. She was saying this...she was doing this...so what if he didn't feel any different. The damn potion probably hadn't worked, but if it would help her come out and say it, help her deal with this...he'd be damned if he told her that. "I've already told you that I loved you, Scully."
She laughed. "What kind of love? After all you'd been through, and you were on drugs...I couldn't be sure you meant you loved me the way that I..." she paused, turning away from him, suddenly not being able to get enough oxygen into her lungs to make the words. 'Dammit,' she cursed herself. She had never been so afraid of anything in her life. No, wait...scratch that...she'd felt this fear many times...every single time Mulder played with his life...every single time she was afraid she wouldn't find him and even more afraid that she wouldn't find him alive...She laughed to herself. It seemed all her fears revolved around this man...She turned back to him.
'Then how could I love him so'
"So..." Mulder says, closing the distance between them in an almost predatory manner. He takes her hands in his for once unmistakably enjoying the feel of her skin. He brings her hands up to his lips and kisses each one slowly.
"What your saying is that come 24 hours, we won't remember anything that's happened after 20 minutes ago?"
Scully nods and closes her eyes against the sensation of his lips on her flesh. 'If this was his effect when just kissing her hands...' "No matter what we do? We won't remember anything come tomorrow at this time?"
He pulls her even closer to him as she nods silently again, moving his hand to her neck. She lets herself be lead into his embrace, not bothering to correct him, not bothering to tell him that she would remember...she doesn't bother even while she had a chance before he captured her mouth in his.
"So, what are you going to do?" he asks her as they watch the sun go down through his window.
"I don't know," she says, still surprised at the way she loved to feel him play with her hair.
"Will you tell me? Once that clock hits 3:30 am will you tell me what really happened?" She turns on her stomach to look at him. "That depends on you, I suppose."
"On me?" he asks. "Yes...would you want to know?"
"If I say yes, you'll tell me?"
"Yes..." she trails off, sitting up and turning her back to him.
"There are so many variables, Mulder...It's been a wonderful day, but we haven't had to work together, we haven't had to watch each other go into danger or..." The shape of her back mesmerized him. The way the lines of her soft flesh curved ever so sensually down to the tattoo at it's small. He loved that tattoo as well. It seemed so her, but not her. "We've watched each other go into danger millions of times for the passed 6 years, Scully...and I don't know about you, but I've watched it happen at least a million times even after knowing I love you. How would the fact that we've accepted it and confessed it to each other change that?"
"I don't know." She repeats, standing up and taking the sheet with her in some unconscious show of modesty.
He smiled again, then stood up after her, standing behind her and taking the sheet from around her body, then wrapping around them both. "Well, now you have the opportunity, Dana...it's up to you. I'd want to know...I'd want to deal with this, knowing what I know now, I'd tell you that yes...tell me again. If I wake up and don't remember, tell me again. But it's up to you..." He trails off and kisses her. "I trust you," he murmurs against her lips.
'I can't think about this now,' she says as the last rays of the sun disappear from the room and they fall into darkness. The logical part of her knew that she had just a few hours before the potion wore off and he couldn't wake up in her arms if she decided not to tell him, but his lips were so damn soft. His hands were so damn...'good' she thought on a sigh. "I guess those movies really were educational," she murmurs softly against
his skin. She feels more than hears his laugh as she trails kisses down his chest. She had to tell him. She had to, now that she'd tasted them, how could she never taste his lips again? Not feel his caresses again?
She'd tell him, she decided before she dozed off to sleep in his arms later that night.
She awoke with a start, still cradled inside of Mulder's strong arms. It was still dark out and she turned to look at the clock. 3:30 am. She had 17 minutes to get out of his arms and get dressed before the potion wore off.
With a sigh, she carefully disentangled herself from Mulder's embrace and stood up. He stirred as she was sitting up and reached for her. She leaned over to him and kissed him softly. "I'll be right back...go back to sleep," she whispered.
"Hurry," she heard him mumble as he dug himself under the covers God, what would it be like to wake up to this man every morning? She wondered. A sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach and she picked up herclothes and started changing.
By the time that 3:45 rolled around, she was dressed and sitting at his couch, trying not to watch the clock and trying not to think that her happiness was slipping away. 'She would remember...at least she would remember.' She must have dozed off because the next thing she knew, she woke up to find Mulder standing over her, a confused look on his face. Before he could say a word, she turned to see the numbers on the clock. 6:15. Had he just woken up? Well, Aryan never told her he would wake up as soon as the potion wore off. "What happened?" he asked.
Scully turned back to him. "You were sick," she says softly. "You fainted all of a sudden yesterday and have been in and out of consciousness all day.
You had a really high fever...it just broke around 4 this morning." 'It wasn't the only thing that broke,' she thought to herself. Why was she doing this? She could tell him the truth. "A fever? All day yesterday? You mean today is..."
"I felt fine when you were over last...I mean, Sunday night."
"What's the last thing you remember?" His brows knit in concentration. "You came over, we made a toast, I drank some wine then I felt woozy, I thought it was the wine but you asked if I was okay, then it all went black."
"That's when you fainted," Scully said. "How are you feeling now?" she asks. Was it just him or did she seem a little sad, almost. She was probably tired, from the looks of it; she stayed with him all throughout his fever.
"Fine...a little tired, maybe...a bit sore..." he moved around.
"It was a fitful night," she said, standing up and grabbing her coat.
"You're leaving?" he asked, something like disappointed in his tone. "Yes...I called in sick for both of us yesterday, but I need to go home, take a shower and change before coming in today. You're better, but you might want to stay here another day." He beat her to the door, standing in front of it. "You know, I still feel a bit weak, Dr. Scully...you sure I can bathe alone? I could hurt myself or something."
"As tempting as your offer might be, Agent Mulder," she said, trying to bring some sarcasm into her voice. "I must decline." She walked out the door and down the hall to the elevator, trying not to think of what she was walking away from.
Mulder locked his door and walked back to the room. 'Strange,' he thought. 'Scully seemed almost sad that I woke up.' He laughed at himself and went into the shower. He did feel awfully sore. He hadn't felt this sore since the last time he... 'Nevermind,' he told himself. 'Don't even go there...you just might depress yourself' It was nice to wake up and find Scully in his apartment. Even if it was just on his couch. 'Don't go there either, Mulder,' he told himself. 'You know what happened last time you tried that.' He found it right after he had showered, shaved, and changed. It was in the pocket of his overcoat slung over a chair. He could have sworn he had left it in the living room when he got back on Friday.
He looked at the small camcorder tape carefully. "Watch Me" was written in pencil on its cover, but the stranger thing still was that it was in his handwriting. And he didn't remember writing it. He walked outside to his VCR and slipped the little tape into his adapter, then the adapter into the VCR. He rewound the tape and press play. To his utter amazement, his face beamed back at him. 'This is gonna be good,' he said as he leaned back into the couch. "Okay," TV Mulder said to him. "If I'm watching this with that 'what the hell is that' look on my face, then you need to listen to this. If I'm not...if I'm just as happy as I look now, then all I got to say is one thing and you can shut off the tape: It's this sorry, Red, but I'm paranoid by nature.
"If you haven't turned me off yet, Mulder, it's because you're wondering what the hell I'm doing taping this, when I taped it, and why you don't remember. If you're watching this still, then it's because Scully told you a lie. She probably told you that you had a fever and that's why you don't remember anything that happened yesterday. That's a lie. I know, I know...but hear me out. On Friday night...that glass of wine she gave you, was drugged. It had some potion that Aryan Morrigan gave her so that you-we- wouldn't remember anything that happened from the time it took effect until it wore off 24 hours later. She told me all of this, and- hold on to your holster, boy, because that wasn't all she told us..."
The Mulder watching this paused the tape and took a deep breath. He certainly didn't remember any of this, but it was him. He didn't have a twin out there anywhere that he knew of. "Okay, Mr. Mulder," he said as he pressed play once more "What else did Dr. Scully tell us?"
She was just picking up her overcoat when the door to her apartment opened.
She looked up in amazement as Mulder walked in purposefully. "Mulder, what are you..." He didn't give her a chance to finish. He walked right up to her, pinned her against the nearest wall and took her lips in a fervent kiss.
When they finally broke apart, he still had her pinned against the wall with his strong body. "Why didn't you tell me?" he asked. "But how?" was all she spoke. "How could you remember?"
"I'm paranoid, remember? I made a tape of myself telling me everything that happened. Why didn't you tell me, Scully?" Tears sprang to her eyes. "I don't know." After seeing the tape everything had come back to him. Their final conversation before they fell asleep together for the last time. "You keep saying that...well, it's too late. *I* know now, and I don't care weather you do or don't." He leaned forward and took her lips again, this time in a much more gentle, caressing kiss. When he felt her weaken and felt her response, he loosened her from the wall just enough so that he could remove her jacket, dropping it to the floor. He started work on the buttons of her blouse before she broke the kiss.
"Mulder, we can't...what'll we tell the Bureau?"
"The truth..." he says, smiling mischievously. "That I still need you."