The Future by Rain
Summary: “I have seen the future, brother…,” Leonard sang…
written for the E-muse Songfic Challenge
First Posted: 28 May 2003
They drove in silence, accompanied by Leonard Cohen. The battered cassette tape had been in the tape deck of the truck they’d acquired in Phoenix, Arizona, and neither of them were in the
mood for country music or talk radio. The silence had become oppressive, though, so Scully had pressed “play” and each of them had returned to their thoughts, accompanied now by the low-level cadence of Leonard’s deep voice.
I dreamed about you, baby, it was just the other night
Most of you was naked, ah, but some of you was light
The sands of time were falling from your fingers and your thumb
And you were waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come
Mulder watched Scully carefully as she was illuminated dimly by the dashboard light. She was clenching the wheel a little more tightly than normal, tension evident in the set of her shoulders. He didn’t know what to say to her. Their first few days on the run they had been all right, because they were together. The adrenaline from the chase and the novelty of renewing their physical connection had distracted them. The world was going to end, their son was forever beyond their reach, the Gunmen were dead, and they were unsure of the fate of their few remaining friends. Scully had lead her family to believe she was dead. But they had each other. Each other and a decade.
But now reality had set in. They had no plan, no means to fight this. No strength to continue, really. They were not talking, not fighting, not eating. Not doing much of anything but driving.
They had lost their motivation together, and were spiralling downwards with nobody to stop them. “I have seen the future, brother: it is murder,” Leonard sang, and Mulder wondered if
maybe country music would have been less depressing after all.
Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold
And it has overturned the order of the soul…
Mulder roused himself and hit the stop button. “Scully, where are we going?” he asked in the sudden silence.
She shrugged. “You have the map.” After a moment she reached towards the cassette player and pressed the fast forward key. “Maybe it’s less depressing further on.” She hit the play button and returned her attention to the wheel. They were in the middle of nowhere.
“There is a crack, a crack, in everything” sang Leonard, mournfully.
The corner of Mulder’s mouth turned upwards. Much less depressing. “God, Scully, this is music to commit suicide by! If we can’t pull ourselves out of this, we should at least be listening to something happy.”
She shrugged again. “There *is* a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in,” she said, matter-of-factly, gesturing toward the tape deck as Leonard sang those very words. “It’s an
uplifting song.” She didn’t sound too convinced.
Mulder rubbed his nose. “Scully, we can’t keep driving around in the dark like this forever.”
“Just for ten years” she murmured. He looked at her but could think of nothing to say. He wanted to touch her, but felt himself unable to do so. The silence became absolute for a moment as the tape passed through the blank area between songs.
She took a deep breath and pulled off the road, putting the truck into park. “What are we going to do?” she asked, dully. “I know we have to keep going. I know the world depends on us. But I
don’t know what we can do right now. I don’t know where we’re driving to, or where we should stop, or if we should stop. Is anybody looking for us? Is anyone who cares about us still
alive?” Her voice broke slightly.
He put a hand on her shoulder. breaking the paralysis. She slumped slightly at his touch, relaxing her tense shoulders. He felt a similar relief flooding through his arm and spreading to
his body. At least they could touch each other. That was something.
“We need to stop running and make some kind of plan.” he said, slowly. “We can find out if your family is all right. We can find out about Skinner and Doggett and Monica. There are ways.” He
paused, not mentioning the most painful missing person. “And Scully, what happened to your skepticism? How do we know that CGB Spender was telling us the truth at the end? We don’t know. The truth is still out there, and we can find it.”
“I don’t give a damn about the truth, baby. Except for the naked truth. Oh yeah!” interjected Leonard.
“Well, at least we’ve found that” Scully said, covering his hand with her own fingers.
He smiled. “I guess Leonard knows what he’s talking about once in a while.” He squeezed her hand and took a deep breath. “Let’s see where we are.” he suggested. “I think I dropped the map down here by my feet somewhere.” He reached down to find it as Scully fiddled with the dashboard controls, breathing in a way that suggested to him that she was trying not to cry.
His fingers found the map and he sat up, turning towards Scully just as she found the control for the overhead light. He studied her face. “Scully, we’re going to be OK. We just have to stop
running and we’re going to be OK.”
She sniffed and gestured at the map. “Do we even know what state we’re in? How will the map help us if we don’t know where we are in the first place? Mulder, we have no idea.”
He ran a finger down her cheek. “So we’re starting from square one. Tomorrow morning we’ll drive into a town and we’ll find out its name and we’ll start from there. We can do this, Scully. You didn’t let me quit that first night, and I’m not letting you quit now. I need you, Scully, and I know you need me too. We will do this together. The world isn’t going to end.”
She took in a deep breath. “It’s going to be hard.”
He nodded. “It’s going to be the hardest thing we’ve ever done. And we’re going to lose hope again and again, but we’re going to make it, Scully, I can feel it.”
“I guess we have to just keep pulling each other up” she said. She swallowed hard, and they looked at each other for a long moment. “OK” she finally said, sounding much more resolved. “OK, we can do it. It’s got to be better than driving for the next ten years”
He smiled, unbuckled his seatbelt, and leaned over to kiss her. The spark was still there, still strong.
“What do we do right now?” she asked, some time later. “You want to keep driving? I have no idea how far it is to the nearest town, but we have a half tank of gas. I’m sure we can find a
sleazy motel somewhere.”
“Ever sleep in the back of a pickup truck, Scully? Looking up at the stars?” He slid his hand across her belly, slowly inching his fingers into position to unbuckle her seatbelt.
She smiled. “No.” His fingers continued to stroke her abdomen. They had been apart a long time, and too depressed to do more than barely touch each other after the first few days of their reunion. But their quest was starting up again, their resolve had been renewed, and Mulder knew his partner’s breathing patterns very well. He released the catch on her seatbelt. She smiled and reached forward to turn off the ignition, plunging them into darkness.
He turned the key back a notch so that the light came back on. “I just need to see you for a second” he said, pulling her hip towards him, turning her so that she faced him full-on. She
“I’m really going to be OK, Mulder” she said. “We’re going to be OK. And right now, although I can’t believe I’m going to do this, I am about to have sex with you in a pickup truck.” She reached for the top button of her shirt and raised an eyebrow. Mulder took a deep breath and nodded once.
In the background, Leonard crooned softly.
She stands before you naked
You can see it, you can taste it
And she comes to you light as the breeze
Now you can drink it or you can nurse it
It don’t matter how you worship
As long as you’re down on your knees….
“Ooh, it’s the oral sex song!” said Mulder. “I take back everything I said about Leonard. He’s all right.”
She rolled her eyes, the tension broken. “God, Mulder, you are such a guy sometimes.”
“I hope you *like* that I’m a guy” he said. “And you know, not every guy is as enthused as I am about that sort of thing.”
She smiled. “True. But you are going to wear out the batteries of this truck listening to your newfound favorite singer if you don’t get moving.”
He nodded, opened his door, jogged around the front of the truck, and pulled Scully’s door open, turning her around to face him and taking over the task of unbuttoning her shirt. “Sorry for the delay, ma’am. I was under the impression you women-folk liked a lot of foreplay.”
She opened her mouth as if to reply, but instead breathed a shaky breath as his tongue followed his fingers in a path down her abdomen, past her belly button and into one of the few
territories that Mulder was absolutely sure of.
And Leonard sang on.
So I knelt there at the delta, at the alpha and the omega
I knelt there like one who believes
And the blessings come from heaven,
And for something like a second
I’m cured, and my heart is at ease.
Note: This story quoted several Leonard Cohen songs. In order, they are: Waiting for the Miracle, The Future, Anthem, Be For Real, and Light As The Breeze.
God help me, I’ve written songfic