Title: The Unwanted Friend
Author: XScout
Rating: PG
Classification: VA
Spoilers: Detour
Keywords: Fill in the blank, first person
Summary: What do I know of death? Too much, more than any person should.

Disclaimer: Anything related to the X-Files isn't mine but CC's, 10-13's, and Fox's. But can someone really own them?

Author's Notes: Taking a break from writing the last installment of the Fine Series and was hoping it would give my mind a creative nudge. If you liked it, let me know at xscout@hotmail.com


The Unwanted Friend



A simple five letter word that is limitless in definition. It can be just as elementary as it sounds - the body stops functioning and brain waves no longer send information through the system. But it rarely is so uncomplicated.

What do I know of death? Too much, more than any person should. I know it so well that it has almost become a friend, someone I expect will show up on my door at any moment to elicit another piece of my soul. I first became aquainted with death a very long time ago, at a time when no one should have to, in a place that should evoke memories of comfort and happiness.

In my own home as a young boy I was introduced to the specter that I would come to know all too well. My sister was taken from me, from the very house that I was responsible for while my parents were gone. At the time I had no memory of the event and it wasn't until years later that I could finally reconcile what fleeting moments of remembrance I had with what actually happened. Up until I underwent regression hypnosis with Dr. Verber more than a decade later I thought that my little sister had been kidnapped - and most likely murdered. At the age of twelve I learned what death was and that I had no control over it. Or so I thought. My mother was devastated by Samantha's disappearance and she soon tried to escape from the harsh reality of it by becoming addicted to Valium. My father drowned his memories in alcohol and took out his anger on the only target available - me. I was there when his daughter was taken and I did not stop it, and so he felt the need to punish me for such transgression. That was the only reason I could come up with at that tender age for why the man I was supposed to look up to would beat his own son. Now, after I have discovered more about his involvement in Samantha's abduction, I realize that it was more of a case of his guilty conscience being displaced onto an easy target who willingly accepted the blame.

After my safe and comfortable world was torn apart I began to contemplate a way of escaping it. Abusive father, neglectful mother, and such a burden of guilt that at times I could not breathe, were combined in a formula for serious depression. It was the first time thoughts of suicide ever crossed my mind. It was a way to control death, bend it to my will in a desperate attempt to have some say in its result. My resolve failed me however as I thought of Samantha and her fate. There was a possibility that she wasn't dead and I felt it was my duty to find out the truth of what happened to her.

In that vain, I later joined the FBI and became a criminal profiler, trying to understand the workings of the minds of killers. With death as a constant companion I came closer and closer within its grasp. I had such an aptitude for seeing the darkness that any light inside of me slowly began to dim. Nightmares drove me from my bed, food tasted like dust from the grave, and piercing headaches plagued me. Conditions not conducive to a healthy human being. I ended up in the hospital several times for exhaustion but I never stopped. Because I understood death and I knew that I had a means to fight it.

I did stop eventually, only because I found another weapon with which to combat the demons of fate. The X-Files provided me the opportunity to find Samantha and vanquish the survivor's guilt that had lain upon my shoulders since I was a child. But death comes in many forms and so it followed me, reluctant to give up such a promising disciple. My very presence had become entwined with death, its effects seeping outward to affect those who were close to me.

Intellectually I know that I am not directly responsible for the death of my father or Scully's sister, but emotionally I am positive that it is this empathy with death that infects the lives of anyone I care for. Scully herself has been introduced to death because of me. Taken by my enemies, experimented on and returned so far gone that only a thin tether held her to this world. While she was gone thoughts of suicide once again crossed my mind. They passed almost as quickly as they came and I was ashamed of my weakness, the very idea of giving up on my partner making my stomach roil with disgust. Eventually she was returned and I forgot the dangers that being linked to me produced.

I myself was not immune to the effects of this closeness with death. Many times I was almost hand in hand with the dark angel, my hold on life tenuous at best. Injuries and sickness brought me to the brink but I was always pulled back by someone who refused to let me go. Perhaps it was this loyalty to me and acceptance of my dark side that made Scully my reason for existing, a symbol of my purpose in this world.

Which is why I came closer than I ever have to death when I almost lost my reason for living. They gave her cancer to make me believe. In signing her death warrant, They signed mine as well. Guilt, loss and despair were overwhelming, making the idea of giving up seem like the only way. My gun was in my hand, tears on my face and pain in my heart. The very concept of living without her was unbearable and I was prepared to go through with it. I had come close so many times it was relatively easy to decide to take the final step.

Fate interceded and both my partner and I were released from death's embrace. We barely escaped and there is light shining once again in the darkness of our existence. I hesitate to cast a shadow on that brightness, to dim the exuberance of living by reminding her of the threads of death that are indelibly tangled within my soul. So perhaps I shall... participate in a campaign of misinformation. Deflection is an art I am a master of and I know sarcasm will divert her from her current line of questioning.

Have I ever thought seriously about death? God, yes. But she doesn't need to know.

I stare into the darkness of the forest and answer, "Once. When I was at the Ice Capades."