Beyond Fragile

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Title: Beyond Fragile
Author(s): Leyla Harrison
Date(s): March 5, 1998
Length: 23,687 words
Genre: het
Fandom: X-Files
External Links: Beyond Fragile

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Beyond Fragile is a MSR X-Files story by Leyla Harrison.

It is a rewrite of her story Fragile which had been written three years earlier.

Unspeakable Act is a prequel to both stories.

All three stories are posted here.

Introduction to "Beyond Fragile"

Important Note to the Archivists: Please archive this separately as "Beyond Fragile". Thank you.

Summary: Scully is assaulted by a stranger and Mulder struggles to help her deal with the aftermath.

Rating: Section one rated NC-17 for depictions of an explicit rape; all subsequent sections rated a strong R for subject matter and language.

Spoilers: Very minor spoliers for the first three seasons, and you can assume that this story is sometime after Melissa's death. However, this story exists in a universe where there is no cancer and no infertility. Other than that, though, there shouldn't be anything in here that you don't already know about.

Also: I have changed one important fact -- in my world, Scully lives in Bethesda, Maryland, not Annapolis. It's inconcievable to me, anyhow, that she would drive that far to work every day. Every other location detail should be correct.

Disclaimer: If I owned Mulder and Scully, I would be rich by now. Unfortunately, I'm poor, so you know what that means. Chris Carter probably wouldn't like what I'm doing to his characters. Oh well. Any characters you don't recognize are my creation and belong to me. Alas, they won't make me rich like Mulder and Scully would.

Classification: SA, MSR to develop later on

Archive/Distribution: Anywhere, as long you ask me first and as long as my name stays on it.

Author's Notes (and these are going to be slightly long, so bear with me...):

This story was originally written back in October of 1995 at a point in time where the subject matter was still rather new to fanfiction. As a matter of fact, I don't recall seeing any rape stories on the archives before this point. Now, however, there are an astounding number of stories that tackle this particular subject, and there have been numerous threads on the newsgroup regarding rape and domestic violence stories that you had to be living under a rock to have missed.

I don't know how many of you reading this now were around when I posted the original Fragile. I wrote that story, then its sequel, and finally its prequel. Confused? So was I when I went browsing on my hard drive. I decided to put this story right, once and for all. I wasn't thrilled with a lot of what I wrote back then. My writing style has changed a lot in the last two years; personal events have shaped and changed me as a writer as well as personally. So I decided to edit it.

Then I decided that editing was not enough. So I decided to do a re-write.

What you've got now is a story that has been completely overhauled. In addition, there are new sections that weren't in the original story -- things that I wasn't able to add for a number of reasons. I'm more educated on the topic of rape now, and so those scenes and situations had to be added.

Oh, yeah, and I decided to do everyone a favor and edit as well. The bad grammar and any typos are gone. At least I hope they are.

Why am I doing this, you may wonder? I think that unfortunately, we live in an age where rape is used as a plot device and I don't particularly like that. I also think that was my motivation in writing Fragile in the first place. I wanted people to understand that having Scully get raped shouldn't be used as a way for writers to get Mulder and Scully together, and that (unfortunately) even the strongest woman on earth might have to deal with this in her lifetime.

The original version of this story got a lot of feedback from people who have been raped or know someone who has. I think that the more we face these kinds of issues head on, the more we are able to decrease their power. I know that writing this two years ago helped me face some demons that I'm finally putting to rest with this re-write. I hope that it can do the same for others.

There is an element of MSR in this story. I'm not using the topic of rape as a plot device to bring Mulder and Scully together. I don't agree with those kind of stories. When rape happens, a woman's life is affected completely, and her relationships are included in that. That's why I'm inclding the MSR in this story -- to show the effect rape has on all relationships, including sexual ones. In my mind, and in the fanfiction stories I've written, Mulder and Scully have always been attracted to each other, and I'm exploring here what a rape would do to their relationship, which currently has a high degree of sexual tension in it. Mulder and Scully's union is not being written as a way for them to seek comfort because of the rape.

Acknowledgements: There is no way in hell I could have done this alone. Writing this story was like fearing giving birth to a big, ugly, hairy monster. Amazingly enough, it's done and what came out was much better than I expected. A lot of people provided emotional support and I thank them for it. Thank you also to Mary Ann for technical information, to Angie who provided a lot of feedback about some of the really emotionally gut wrenching stuff, but most of all, one person read this and edited it and dealt with me even though I was an incredible pain in the ass. Thank you, Miki, for your expertise; for understanding; for being so patient; and for sticking with me and with this story.

Somewhere out there a young woman exists who made it through some horrific things and managed to come out strong. This one is for AF, who decided to not be a victim anymore. [1]

Reactions and Reviews

Fanfic has lost one of our bright lights, a truly classic author who helped pioneer much of the way for XF writing online, and in so doing, set the standards of quality for everyone else. I often think that half the MSR that gets written nowadays is just an attempt to recapture those former glories -- but that's misleading since Leyla herself was still posting new fic of her own after "Requiem," and damn good fic, at that. Still, I'm sure those of you familiar with her work will agree that Leyla could do it like no one else. Case in point -- "Beyond Fragile," which is the only rape story I have ever believed did the genre justice, by thoughtfully and courageously exploring the seriousness of the issue from both Mulder's *and* Scully's perspectives, and by not allowing pat resolutions to difficult situations. I advise everyone to read this one-of-a-kind story, and then follow the link above to get to Leyla's website for more of her amazing writing. After you've spent some time there, you'll see just how very much Leyla will be missed. [2]


  1. ^ Beyond Fragile, posted at Whispers of X
  2. ^ The Basement Office, rec by Jintian, February 12, 2001