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Title: Who Am I?
Author: Gabi Fisher
Email: blueeyedxphile@hotmail.com
Feedback: I'd love some :)
Rating: PG-13 probably
Classification: VA
Disclaimer: I found a magic lantern, and now I own all the characters and I still
have two wishes... Till that day, CC, 1013, FOX, and god knows who else still own them.
The weren't even willing to *loan* them out without a fight... But I promise I'll
return them when I'm done! :)
Summary: Scully realizes that she is no longer sure who she is, or who she even wants to be.

Annmaree, you get all my thank you's for this one. :)

*****

If who I am is what I have and what I have is lost, then who am I?

-Anonymous

*****

Mulder angrily drove me home, stopping only long enough in front of my building for me to get out and barely shut the door before racing away. He was upset because I was not nearly as optimistic about his supposed new lead on our most recent case-more like completely against it, because from what I could tell, it was no more than a hoax. Actually, all of our cases, lately. It just didn't matter anymore. Nothing did, but I didn't know why. I couldn't pinpoint a turning point in my thoughts, nor a change in my beliefs. Since I didn't understand whatever change I
was going through, Mulder certainly didn't, and all that happened was that over the past few weeks we've grown farther apart. We barely talk to each other, and when we do, it usually ends up as an argument or shouting match. I had never been at odds with Mulder for so long, and I am beginning to feel like I have no one left to count on without him. I'm not sure if I could ever say it to him, but he must know that he is not just my partner, but my best friend. Without him I am lost. Lost and alone.

As soon as I got to my apartment, and slammed the door behind me, drawing forth a complaint from my across-the-hall-neighbor. I ignored her and drew myself a hot, bubble bath. I couldn't tell you how long I was in the bath, but the water was practically freezing when I realized I hadn't gotten out.

As I rinsed the shampoo suds from my hair, I got to thinking. I realized I don't really know who I am anymore. I don't even know who I want to be, not anymore. It has been so long since I've even asked myself that. I can't even remember the last time I thought about who I was. I have just been what others want me to be, molded myself to fit the expectations of others. Somewhere along the way I lost track of myself, the real me at least.

At one time I was Starbuck, the devoted daughter. In my parents' eyes, I could do no wrong, and I lived to keep up that reputation. I rarely did anything that was not expected of me. I was following the path my parents wanted, not me, so as I went, I either lost pieces of Starbuck or buried her inside me, exposing Dana. Dana veered from the pre-approved path to become an FBI agent, against my parents' wishes. At that time I didn't really give a damn I about what they thought of my choice, but later I realized how much I wanted-needed, really-my parents' approval and how much I wanted them to be proud of me. But by the time I realized that, I was too far down the road to becoming Scully that I was no longer to turn back and try to change anything, no matter how much I might have wanted to. Starbuck showed up again as I went back to the self I thought I had been able to shed. I was a devoted student, sure of my goals and letting little stand in my way. I graduated high in my class, both in medical school and at Quantico. When I was paired with Mulder, I became Scully, the dependable, sure-headed,  perfect partner, with my beliefs in science, rather than the paranormal. As always, reliable was the best way to describe me. I still rarely did anything unexpected. I stuck firmly to the reputation I had gotten as "Scully" and thought I was happy. It was only recently that I really took an introspective look and saw how wrong I was.

For so long I had been what others wanted, I have lost myself somewhere along the way. I'm not sure where to look to find myself again. I'm not even sure if I want to find myself again. Is there any reason for me to believe that doing so would make me happier? That it would make me a better person? Is there really anything wrong with the way I am now? Does it matter to people who I am, as long as I am there, and I am fulfilling their expectations? Would anyone even notice if I was gone, if I didn't show up for work tomorrow or the next day? I only wish I knew the answers to the questions my mind keeps spitting out.

I've been thinking about it. Who am I? Who do I want to be? I realized I not only did not have any answers, but I didn't care. I felt like everything I had spent my life building myself upon had crumbled, leaving me confused and exposed, and I didn't give a damn. I wasn't sure if that more depressing or saddening.

My head was swimming, and yet I felt strangely numb. I jumped at the suddenness of the telephone ringing. It cut through the silence like a knife. Though I was only a few feet from it, I just stood and listened to it ring. I never realized how the phone jiggled slightly when it rang. I don't know if that matters, it was just a simple, insignificant observation. The only simple thing in my life at the moment... The phone rang four times before the machine picked up.

"Hi, this is Dana Scully. I can't take your call at the moment, but leave me a message and I'll get back to you. Thanks," I heard my mechanical-sounding outgoing message play for the caller.

"Hey, it's me. I just wanted to see if you needed anything before I go. I'm going to turn off my cell phone while I'm on the stakeout tonight, so I guess I'll just see you at the office tomorrow morning," Mulder said, his voice taut. I wasn't sure if he really meant what he had said or not. I wondered what he would have said, had I answered the phone. He doesn't usually call me in the evening unless he has something to say, especially when we've been fighting constantly for several weeks... The machine clicked, whirred, and finally stopped before starting the little blinking light, alerting me of my waiting message..

I had almost picked up the phone when I realized that I had no idea what I would have said to him anyway. I didn't *have* anything to say to him. "Hi, Mulder. Iím having some identity crises tonight. Want to help me sort them out?" seemed rather odd, even when directed at Mulder.

I stood, staring in the direction of the phone, my mind a million miles from my apartment, until the cold water dripping from my wet hair started soaking through the towel I had wrapped around myself. I walked into my room, rubbing my hair vigorously before putting on my bathrobe and curling up on the couch. Earlier I had put on a classical CD, and quiet chords continued to fill my living room. I rested my chin on my knees and sat, thinking.

The same questions were still swirling in my head, demanding answers, mingling with a few new ones. Finally, I could take the voices in my head no longer and I screamed, "Stop!" I had attempted to yell, but all that came out of my mouth was a strangled sob, bring forth a flourish of tears. My sobs resounded hollowly in my apartment, reminding me of how alone I was.

* * *

I must have cried myself to sleep, because when I woke up, the sky was almost completely velvety black. The only specks of color were the few white, glittering stars I could see over the cityís lights. I felt more alone and depressed than I ever remember feeling. I needed to talk to someone. I wanted to talk to Missy. Right then I would have given anything to see my sister one more time. To be able to talk with her one more time, even if it was just to say "I love you." But I would never talk to Missy again, I reminded myself sadly. I considered calling my mother, but she had taken a cruise with several of her friends and would not be home for another three days.

The only other person left to call was Mulder. I picked up the phone and dialed the first six digits of his phone number before I hung up, remembering what he had said earlier. I changed my mind, hoping that he had gotten home early and called his
house.

"Hi, Mulder. It's me. I just needed to talk. Call me or come over or something when you get in. I'll probably be up all night anyway," I said into the answering machine when it picked up. Just in case he had changed his mind, I tried his cell phone, but only got the operator telling me the phone was out of range or off.

I tried to hang the phone back up, but the cord got tangled and the receiver landed next to the base. I ignored it, even when the incessant beeping started and the operator told to hang up and try again if I wanted to make a call. With very little
effort, I could completely tune it out.

Eventually, when I could no longer stand the headache that was rapidly growing, I stood up and walked into the bathroom. I put my hands on the counter and leaned on them, my head down. I took a deep breath and opened the medicine cabinet. I had been hoping for some Tylenol or Advil, but both those bottles were empty. The only full bottle was prescription sleeping pills from ... well, from one fiasco or another, I don't really recall which one. After a while, they all seem to fade together. I vaguely remember thinking for a moment before swallowing the contents of the translucent orange bottle, but quickly decided to. I then filled a glass with tap water, and swallowed the handful of pills. From then on, my memory of the nightís events are really
hazy. After swallowing the pills, I'm pretty sure I lay down on the couch. All I know is that I drifted into a peaceful, calm sleep.

 

* * *

When I opened my eyes again, I was in a stark, sterile hospital room with Mulder asleep in a chair next to the bed. I struggled to keep my eyes open, but the pain seemed overwhelming. I felt like my head had been hit by a truck and my stomach felt only marginally. I realized I was fighting a losing battle, and closed my eyes once more and succumbed to sleep once again.

* * *

"Hey," Mulder said quietly the next time I woke. "How do you feel?"

"Hi," I replied. I thought about it for a moment before answering. "Truthfully? Like shit. I think the ambulance must have run me over a few times on the way over here..."

"That bad huh?"

All of a sudden it hit me. How did I get here? I didn't recall getting in an accident or anything... what had happened to put me in the hospital? "Mulder, what am I doing here?" I asked. He look startled momentarily, then almost sheepish.

He didn't answer for a moment. When he did, it was unusually quietly. "I called the ambulance when I couldn't wake you up. The paramedics found the empty bottle and realized what you had done. They had to pump your stomach."

Vague memories of my actions the previous night flooded my mind. "Oh," I simply said. I didn't know what else to say. Mulder obviously didn't either, because we didn't speak for several minutes. I stared at my folded hands, sitting in my lap while he
stared, concerned, at me. I could tell that he was wondering if I thought he had done the right thing, but I wasn't even sure myself. I was not sure if I was glad that I was still there, able to talk to him or if I was angry with him for contradicting my actions. As he always did.

It seemed like an eternity had passed when his voice finally broke the silence. "Why?" he asked.

I suppose it was a fair question, though it caught me off guard. I had no good answer. I hadn't even begun to consider it, myself. "I don't know," I said, truthfully.

Mulder sat silently for a moment before continuing, "Was it me?"

"No," I automatically replied. "Yes," I corrected myself. "I don't know. Yes and no I guess."

A pained expression crossed Mulderís face, but he said nothing else. I'm not sure what he was expecting, or even hoping for me to say, but I don't think he had thought about it before asking. I added to my previous, hasty response after seeing that look. "I guess I just wanted things to make sense. Noting seems to anymore, and I realized that I don't know if it ever did. Or ever will. And now I've just gone and screwed everything up even more than it was before."

"I don't think it is possible for things to make sense. *Life* doesn't make sense, and I don't think it ever will. You just have to go with the flow, hoping that the highs and lows will balance out in the end."

I absorbed what he was saying, promising myself to muse over it later. I was not up to contemplating heavy things like that at the moment. My head just hurt too much. Changing subjects, I asked, "Why were you at my apartment? I thought you had a
stakeout or something..." I almost added "And you didn't really seem to be speaking to me last time I saw you" but I'm glad I kept my mouth shut.

"Nothing came of it, so they let me go home and I heard your message. You didn't sound too good, so I tried calling, but your line was busy and your cell phone was off. I let myself in and found you on your couch," he replied. He seemed slightly
uncomfortable.

"Oh," I said again. I wasn't too articulate at the moment, I noticed.

"Scully?" he asked, tentatively.

"Yeah?" I looked up at him. He looked down at his hands, and then back at me again.

"I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For not being there when you needed me. For being such an ass lately. ForÖ for everything," he said. His eyes begged for forgiveness, though he must have known that I hadn't blamed him for anything I had done. Yes, it concerned him, but what he had done was not enough to drive me over the edge.

I searched my mind for the right words...

Should I tell him that nothing he could ever do to me could upset me so much that I felt I had no way out?

Should I tell him that the thought of losing him or even his friendship tore my heart in two... That to be a whole person, I needed him by my side...

I decided to just talk. Whatever needed to be said, I hoped I would say. When I opened my mouth, the words just tumbled out. "Mulder, why do we always end up doing this to each other? Screwing up, only to end up apologizing later anyway. I know I can trust you, and I do with all my heart, and you at least tell me you trust me, and yet we always bottle up our problems and
emotions. If we really can trust each other, why can't we be comfortable enough to share these things before they get to this stage? You have donít need to apologize for all this. It wasnít your fault. It's my fault, and I take full responsibility for my actions."

Mulder looked like a weight had been removed from his shoulders, though I'm sure there was more weighing down on him than any man should have to carry. "Did I do the right thing, Scully?" he asked. "s this what you wanted or would you rather I hadn't done anything?"

This time I genuinely had to think before I answered. "Yeah, I think you did the right thing. I don't think I was really ready for everything to end. There is too much I haven't yet done. I've just been really depressed lately." I turned my gaze from Mulder to the tiny window in my room. The afternoon sun shone in, though it did little to brighten the room.

Now it was Mulder's turn to be unsure of what to say. "You don't have to say anything, Mulder. Thatís just the way it is."

Mulder stood up and bent over my hospital bed. He pulled me into a hug, which I returned fiercely. "Whatever happens, I hope you know I'll always be there for you. No matter what."

"I know Mulder," I said. I smiled for the first time in weeks into his shirt.

                       *         *        *

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