Welcome To The Harem

You Have Loved Enough by David Hearne
Summary: Post-col, part of the Leonard Cohen collection.





SPOILERS: Mythology in general

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Leonard Cohen seems to be the inner voice of "The X-Files." When I
heard "In My Secret Life," I thought, "What a perfect MSR song." I
knew that I would write a fic based on the song, even though it ended
up being about William.

"In My Secret Life" comes off Cohen's latest album. I've been
listening to the other songs and feeling inspired by them as well. I
decided to write a series of stories based on this album. Each fic can
be read independently as well as in the order in which they were
written. All of them are set in the post-colonization world.

Cohen's lyrics are quoted at the end.


Shannon McMahon stuck a severed head onto a pole. Three other heads
were already displayed on the front lawn. The latest head still showed
traces of color in its cheeks. The oldest had lost most of its skin
and flesh.

After taking care of the head, she entered the house. She checked the
food and water supplies. Then she went upstairs.

An old woman lay in the bed. Shannon had expected her to be asleep,
but she greeted Shannon with open eyes.

"What was that I heard outside?" Margaret Scully said.

"Just another looter. I took care of him."

Margaret frowned. "They keep coming back, despite your warnings."

"That just means they're getting dumber."

"No. They're desperate. They know that the world will be completely
different soon." Margaret looked at the soft colors of her bedroom.
"But not here."

"As long as I have any say in it."

Margaret turned her eyes to the beautiful, dark-haired woman. "Why are
you protecting me?"

Shannon smiled slightly. "I told you. I owe John a favor."

"You owe him this much?"


"But that was the old Shannon, wasn't it? You're not her."

"That's what I used to think. But none of the replicants could ever
really lose their old identities. That's what William has been

Shannon closed her mouth. Margaret slowly raised her shoulders off the

"William?" she said. "Is he back? Is..."

"Please, Miss Scully, lie down."

"No, I need to know. Has he returned? Where is he?"

Shannon walked toward her. "I shouldn't have said anything."

"He's my grandson!" Margaret managed to shout. "I have a right to know

The replicant placed her hands on Margaret's shoulders. Even Shannon's
gentlest touch warned Margaret of the strength in her metal skeleton.

"You can't do anything about it," Shannon said calmly. "And I know
your daughter would prefer you to stay here."

The old woman rested her shoulders back on the bed. Shannon
straightened out the blanket.

"Shannon?" Margaret whispered.


"Could you turn on the radio?"

"There is really nothing to hear, Miss Scully."


Shannon decided not to argue. The radio was placed on a table next to
the bed. She turned one of its knobs.

"...encouraged to stay in their homes. The quarantine is still in
effect. On a happier note, the body of terrorist Walter Skinner was

Shannon quickly looked at Margaret. The old woman had squeezed her
eyelids shut.

"...in Oklahoma. While his accomplice Alvin Kersh is still at large,
the public can at least take comfort in the fact that one criminal is
no longer spreading chaos in our nation. The time is 10:45 A.M. The
date is December 20th, 2012. Long live the President."

Shannon turned off the radio. "Put it back on," Margaret told her in a
soft voice.

Shannon let out a long breath, then did as she was told. "I'll be
downstairs," she said, leaving Margaret alone with a confident voice
telling lies.

Margaret sorted through her memories of Walter Skinner. She had first
met the man when Melissa had gotten shot. She had quickly recognized
him for a war veteran. He had spoken in a direct, blunt manner while
at the same time measuring every word he said. She had seen the same
honest yet guarded attitude in her husband and many of his friends.

She had met him a few more times after that. The one moment which she
remembered most clearly was after Dana's cancer went into remission.
When he had entered the hospital room, he and Dana had given each
other little smiles. Margaret had seen love and respect in those
smiles, but there had been something else hinted in their expressions.
He had talked with Dana briefly, claiming that he didn't want to
"intrude on the family here." However, Margaret sensed that her
daughter and Skinner were going to have their own private talk.

This had been the private story of Dana Scully's life. Certain details
had been reserved for Mulder, Skinner or those three men with the
newsletter. She had never fully explained to Margaret why the X-Files
had affected the Scully family so much; why a daughter had been
killed; why a granddaughter had appeared out of nowhere and then died;
why Margaret had to watch Dana linger on a deathbed not once, but

Now the truth was all around Margaret. She could hear it in the voice
which warned about the penalties inflicted on the disobedient. She
could also hear it in the distant movements of a woman who was human
yet inhuman.

If she had known the truth years ago, what could she have done?


Well, maybe a few things. She could have watched. And she could have
loved. This was what she had always done. She have given love to her
daughter when Dana had cried for her lost faith. She had given love
when Dana had pointed a gun at Fox and accused him of being one of
'them.' She had also given love to Fox when he could only show his
failure at protecting Dana.

A hug, a comforting touch, a kiss on the forehead -- these were the
gifts of a mother.

If her husband had still been alive, what would he have done? He would
have probably forced himself into Dana's secret life and insisted on
fighting alongside her.

"Are you sure? I was pretty good at building walls myself."

"You would have reconciled with Dana. And I don't think you would have
stood idly by after seeing Dana on a respirator."

"Then maybe I would have gotten shot just like Melissa. Don't judge
yourself by what could have happened. Think about what you did."

"I wasn't able to protect her."

"Dana never wanted to be protected."

Bill Scully sat on a chair next to his wife's bed. "At least...not by

"Then who is protecting her?"

Bill sighed. "I'm afraid we're way beyond the point of safety. The
next two days will require sacrifice."

Margaret was quiet for a few moments, then said, "I'm thinking about
the last time I met Dana. It was in some little restaurant. It
happened after...that other FBI agent got shot...I can't remember her

"Monica Reyes."

"That's right. Dana was very bitter about it. 'One more pointless
sacrifice' is what she called it." Margaret opened her eyes and turned
her face to Bill. "She seemed so tired -- as if she didn't have the
strength to fight anymore."

"She will always have that. What she no longer believes in is her own
happiness. Our little girl has been through the fire so many times
that it's hardened her. Her own life no longer has the value she gives
to her cause. I don't see her going on after this war."

"Oh, Bill..." Margaret reached out to her husband. "...our

Bill looked at her hand as if he wanted to touch it, but couldn't yet.
"They were never harmed by you. In the end, you gave all you could."

Margaret dropped her hand onto the bed. "It changed nothing."

"Was it supposed to?" Bill stood up. "No one can fault you for the way
you lived your life and how you faced the challenges presented to you.
You can finish it with no regrets."

Realization brightened Margaret's eyes. No other spot on her body
showed life now. "You mean..."

"Think about whom you're talking with. Doesn't it seem odd to you?"

"You know...it doesn't seem odd."

Bill laughed. "That should tell you something."

Margaret half-lowered her eyelids. "I've missed you so much..."

"I've missed you, too."

"But...I don't want to leave...just because of that."

"You actually don't have a choice in the matter. Why do you think I'm
here now?"

Margaret's breathing became softer. "Well...it's strange..."

"What is?"

"To just...die...in your bed...when so many others...are dying...in
less...peaceful ways..."

"Everything dies. One death is no stranger than the other."

Margaret nodded, then fully closed her eyes. The voice on the radio
became the only sound in the room, but other voices were speaking to
her. They were welcoming her, guiding her, making her feel young
again. Some of the voices were recognizable; others weren't. Yet they
all spoke of the same two things.

Of children.

And of love.


"And when the hunger for your touch
"Rises from the hunger,
"You whisper, 'You have loved enough,
"'Now let me be the Lover.'"