AUTHOR: winter baby
FANDOM: The X-Files
SUMMARY: The breaking of a woman.
+  Fractures  +
She seems whole. She's worked very hard at giving off that appearance. But really, she's broken, with chinks and hairline cracks that could split wide open at any minute – fault lines, which seem sturdy enough because after all, they are made of rocks. But with one shake, it could all come undone, and a chunk of herself would drift away into the ocean. Something just as important and domineering as a landmass, like her willpower, which is what most people mistake as strength, but it's not the same.
Being stubborn and being strong are not the same.
She covers herself with make-up, waxy foundation and blush to fill in the cracks temporarily, to make her look as if she's solid. But it's all so tenuous. If it rained hard enough, her appearance would melt away.
Waterproof mascara, they say, but they don't always mean it.
Still, what she fears the most is not the rain, but words. She fears that it will all fall apart, instantaneously, with the right combination of words, like a password or a lock.
I love you, a soft voice would say. And then she would crumble.
She would expose herself for what she really is.
Vulnerable, fragile, feminine, weak – words she hates and has managed to avoid hearing from everyone but herself.
Phillip Padgett saw it in her though. He saw past her and through her and into her, and could see she wasn't as strong as she would have people believe.
His fixation frightened her and at the same time, drew her to him. Those eyes, which could undress her with just a glance, and that voice, which spoke truths with painful accuracy. Phillip Padgett knew her like no one else knew her, and she couldn't walk away from that kind of connection. As much danger as he posed, she needed answers from him, answers to questions she couldn't quite articulate. Questions about desire. About passion. About what it is to be unbridled.
Whatever else he did to her, Phillip Padgett did give her answers. She can't deny that.
Strange as it sounds, she can only call him by his whole name in her mind, because anything else would seem inappropriate. If she calls him Phillip, it would sound too personal, like they were close.
This is my friend Phillip...
And he wasn't, at least not in any known sense of the word.
But if she calls him by his last name, the way Mulder does, he sounds like a suspect, someone to be hunted down and locked away because he's guilty. And he was, she knows; she's just not sure how.
So she refers to him by his full name, which is neutral, like he's just an acquaintance that she rarely thinks about. Someone she neither likes nor dislikes. Someone harmless, which isn't the word to describe him at all.
There is no word to describe him, or what he made her feel, or what he was to her. Words are deceitful; they can mean anything and nothing, but never what she wants them to mean. They can lie and evade and give false hopes, which is probably why she talks so much around Mulder.
She hides behind her lengthy rational explanations, so he won't see her unraveling. Mulder has never said the right combination of words, but she still feels them radiating from him, seeping into her, and they're slowly undoing her from the inside out.
With Phillip Padgett it was much faster, because his infatuation – not love, not like Mulder – was so glaring and obvious. It stripped her bare in one smooth motion, left her naked and raw and exposed, which made it all the easier to have her heart ripped out of her chest.
Eventually it will be like that with Mulder, but gentler and with much less blood. The pain will be the same though.
[ end ]
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