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love the way that you conquer your fear

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Scully didn’t want to see him. That’s what she told the nurse after she threw up at 5 am and cried when they put another IV into her aching veins.

“I don’t want to see him, please don't let him in here,” is what she said to her favourite orderly at noon, when she’d refused another meal. She didn’t care that he’d been pacing in the waiting room for two days, living on the meagre scraps of news he got from eavesdropping on the nurses. She didn’t care that the hospital staff thought it would be beneficial for her to have a support system. She didn’t care that if she closed her eyes, she could almost hear him yelling and kicking chairs, just down the hall. She did not care that when she tried to sleep, she could see his face fracturing, confusion fighting with heartbreak when the nurses told him again that, “Ms. Scully is not accepting visitors at the moment.”

But she did care. She cared that she was lying. Scully cared that the truth was: she didn’t want him to see her. She didn’t want him to see her thinning hair, or her cracked lips. She didn’t want him to see her bruised elbows, or for him to count her ribs. She didn’t want him to see her skin, veil-thin and stretched over her bones, one quivering inhale from tearing open and spilling her organs out into the hospital room, her veins leaking a Scully-shaped bloodstain on the sheets.

She’d been fighting a losing battle all year, and they had both known it, but Scully didn’t want him to see that she had accepted it. One look in her eyes and Mulder would see that while she didn’t want to go, she was prepared to. He would see that she had given up. She hadn’t though, not really. With or without her blessing, her body was deteriorating. She was going to die, she didn’t have a choice. Maybe she’d never had a choice. But by accepting it, she could take back some of the dignity they had ripped from her when they had taken her autonomy, then her purpose, and now lastly, her life.

He wouldn’t see it that way though. So, she couldn’t let him see her lose, because that would be the final blow. If he saw her succumb to the poison eating away at her muscles, eating away at their work, eating away at her spirit, he wouldn’t make it. And she would not let that happen. One of them had to carry on and find the truth, and it couldn’t be her anymore.

Fox Mulder was the one person who had ever seen Dana Scully. She needed him to remember her when she was herself: when she was fighting, when she was bright. Selfishly, she wanted her memory to remain untainted in the one person who she knew, without a doubt, had seen her at her worst and truest self, and still thought she had glowed. So no, she would not let him see her.