The Dion Files

Call The Man

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

3/4/97

Rating: PG for possibly disturbing content.

Disclaimer (and all lawyers please take note): The X-Files and the characters portrayed therein are property of C. Carter, FOX & 1013 Prod. Celine Dion's song, "Call The Man" is also used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Spoiler Warning: Fourth season spoiler for "Memento Mori."

Relationship: Scully ANGST! That's all there is to it! Plus some unvoiced Mulder/Scully UST/romance.

Summary: As Scully ponders her diagnosis, she tries to put everything into perspective.

Alright, this one was supposed to be Jadar's, but I had this wonderful idea for this song after wondering what happened between the time in "Memento Mori" when Scully's looking at the x-rays and when Mulder shows up. (So I sort of stole it away.) Anyhow, this is my take on that missing scene . . .

I'm dying.

The image of the cancerous tumor on the x-ray film has permanently imprinted itself onto my memory. I've stared at it long enough for me to recite its size and shape and point out the exact location with my eyes closed. It's real now. I've seen it, and I've actually begun to accept it.

Now I have to face the toughest part of all this.

I have to tell Mulder.

Walking from the x-ray room, I wander back to the examining room my clothes are in. It is bright in the hallway, and I almost feel like squinting as I go. The light seems too much like a foreign thing with the dark I feel enclosing me.

This task I have set for myself is probably the hardest one I will ever undertake. Telling my mother and brothers will be easier. They have dealt well with loss. Mom was a picture of strength when Ahab died. And even when Missy passed on, she survived. She'll make it through my death as well.

Mulder on the other hand . . .

I stop dead in the corridor, my head dropping and eyes closing involuntarily. The cold floor seeps through the slippers they gave me. But the image of Mulder crying over my grave chills me even worse. It goes right to the bone.

He'll blame himself, I have no doubt about it. It's the way he works. Pain and guilt are inexorably connected with him. There will be denial. Of all the things he will believe, this isn't one of them.

It comes down to faith and belief with him. And I have no doubt that he believes and has faith in me.

I have accepted this. I don't like it, but it's the truth. And no amount of wishing and ignoring will make it otherwise.

Now I have to make him accept and understand it as well.

I raise my eyes to the door at the end of the corridor and will my feet to begin walking again. Yes, even though I've accepted this, I'm still scared. I don't want to die. But I've seen the growth's placement. I've looked at the research. There's nothing I can do. It is inevitable.

Slowly I walk past the nurse's station. They are happily talking amongst themselves. Their lives are fine, full.

They're not dying.

I envy them.

There's music playing on a transistor radio somewhere near them. I can hear it plainly. And as the lilting melody reaches my ears, I find my feet rooted in place. It is a female singer. I don't know her name, but I recognize her voice.

And as she sings I recognize the sentiments in her words.

"Close the door

Shut the world away

All the fight's gone

From this wounded heart

Across the floor

Dreams and shadows play

Like wind blown refugees"

It's true. All the fight in me is gone. There's no way to fight this. If there was, I would. But there's nothing I can do. My future is finite. More so than ever before. My dreams have fallen into shadow, and been blown away. With the force of an atomic bomb. An atom bomb called cancer.

"Call the man

Who deals in love beyond repair

He can heal the world

Of hearts in need of care

Shine a light ahead

When the next step is unclear"

My heart is in tatters at the thought of telling him. The love I have for him will now die stillborn. The darkness of this malignant mass in my head seems to be keeping out any light. Even the bright, shining feelings I hold in my heart for him. I don't know how we will deal with this. How we will survive. How he will survive when I'm gone.

With a violent mental stomp, I put down that thought. I'm getting ahead of myself. I have to take it one moment at a time. First I have to figure out what to do next. Where do I go from here I think. Then after a second or two of pause in the music, the words of the song remind me.

"Call the man

He's needed here"

Mulder, I think. I still have to call Mulder.

After focusing some small part of my brain, I get my feet to cooperate

and head me down the hall again. But the music seems to follow me.

"I close my eyes

I remember when

Your sweet love filled this empty room

The tears I cry

Won't bring it back again

Unless the lonely star should fall"

God, I love him so much. And I know he loves me too. I know that as surely as I know that there will be another sunrise tomorrow. We've never said the words. We haven't needed to. We haven't acted on our feelings because we both know that it would put us both in so much more danger.

But the love is still here. Like a presence between us. A force that binds us together. Mulder's love filled the empty room of my heart without my realizing it. He'd snuck in past my defenses long ago. And when I'd figured it out, I decided to keep the unspoken promise between us to never speak of it.

We've been together as friends and partners. We've never really needed the physical aspect of our love. The bouts of cerebral sex we seem to engage in as we argue cases or exchange caring words have been more than enough. Being with one another has been all we've needed. All I've needed.

Except now . . . Now I'm going where he can't. Where I don't want him following.

I won't grieve for not having pursued our relationship beyond this point. I'm not done yet. Not dead yet. Things can still change. After four years of working on the X-Files, I've learned that almost anything is possible. Anything and everything. Maybe even us.

"Call the man

Who deals in love beyond repair

He can heal the world

Of hearts in need of care

Shine a light ahead

When the next step is unclear

Call the man

He's needed here"

Pushing the door open, I gaze at my waiting clothes. Suddenly I realize that once I make that phone call, nothing will ever be the same again. I'd like to believe that we can deal with this rationally and logically. Be adults about it, but I know that I'm just lying to myself.

He won't, can't deal with this rationally. He'll fight it with every ounce of his being. He's lost too may people he's loved to let me slip though his fingers without a fight.

God knows I need someone to champion me in this hopeless battle. And who better than the King of the Lost Cause I think bitterly. My knight in Armani suit and tacky tie.

The little part inside of me that wants to fight, that wants *him* to fight surges with strength. I want him to deny the truth. And most of all, I want him to fight this loosing battle and win. For me. For him. For both of us.

But that's not reality. I know that. There are no miracles. No magic spells. No escaping the facts.

As I dress, I can still hear the song. Even through the door. Somehow my ears and heart have attuned themselves to it.

"Needed in the chaos and confusion

From the plains to city hall

Needed where the proud who walk

The wire are set to fall"

I always knew I could fall. When I joined the FBI, I knew that it was a dangerous job. I've seen death in more forms than anyone could imagine. Been a heartbeat away from it myself on occasion. But this is different.

I'm going to die, yes, but not in the line of duty. Not for my partner or my country or for justice. But because of some mutated cells in my body that don't realize they're killing me by multiplying.

"Call the man

Who deals in once upon a time

Maybe he can mend

This broken heart of mine

Shine a light ahead

Now the future isn't clear

Call the man

He's needed here"

There isn't any future for me now. That simple thing has been denied me because of this death sentence within my head.

Finally, I leave the room in resignation and begin to walk down the hall, heading back to the x-ray lab. I fish through my jacket for my cel phone, and stare at it for a long minute. With a sigh I hit the button for his cel phone and wait for the inevitable.

"Call the man

He's needed here"

The phone rings once, then twice, and then a familiar voice answers, and in hearing it I nearly loose my nerve. With a deep breath, I gather my courage and speak.

"Mulder, it's me. I need you to come to the hospital . . ."

I relay to him where I am, but it is like a fog. I don't remember it. Without conscious thought I hit the disconnecting button on my phone and continue towards the x-ray room to wait for him.

I've called the man who is needed here.

-End-

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