This project began with a single scene in my mind: Mulder appearing at the garden gate beneath Scully and Daniel's apartment. Her first sight of him, and the subsequent conversation in her apartment, Mulder seeing the photos on the mantle, seeing her son. In this early incarnation, Christopher was a couple of months younger, and when he was growing fussy in Scully's lap, rather than excusing herself for his evening nursing, she merely tossed a nearby blanket over her shoulder and latched him on as she continued talking, blowing Mulder's mind when he realized she was breastfeeding.
I saw an image of Scully, in the wake of Mulder's "death", coming down the stairs in slow motion, several months later, stepping into a new life, scored by the main theme music from The Virgin Suicides. This image was used for me as a mental "trigger" to sink back into the story for much of the time I was writing, though this exact scenario never took place in the text.
Other scenes that were conceived very very early in the development of the story:
--Scully in the car on the street beneath Daniel's apartment after telling him to "Fuck off", crying in her car, then fixing her make-up before returning to talk to him. When this scene was first conceived, certain elements of the story were a bit different. In the original outline of the story, much more time of Scully and Daniel's relationship was covered (this changed for dramatic pacing, tension, and to better correspond with the timeline of the casefile). They moved in together--not into Daniel's apartment, but into a new, larger place they rented together. That apartment was at the front of its building, with a huge picture window overlooking the street from the living room. Daniel was watching Scully from an armchair in their living room, not from the window in the hallway, as was necessary in the final version. As this new apartment was gradually cut from the storyline, the garden below Daniel's apartment was added. Because it was essential to the story, but it originally belonged to the apartment they rented together. In the early drafts Book II was to end either with Daniel's proposal, or just after they were married.
--What I, in my mind, have oh so delicately termed the "blow-job" scene, or sometimes the "under the desk" sequence, was also very early in the conception. As such, it was an integral part of my image of the whole piece right from the start, so it was strange to me, when it shocked some readers and actually caused a few to drop out of continuing to read. I couldn't imagine the novel without it. Apparently this was seen as far more of a betrayal of Mulder than good old missionary sex.:) Live and learn...
--Finding the children's bodies in the warehouse came early. In the original draft, the children were a bit younger and the scene more graphic. I shifted this a bit, purely because this crime scene was not really essential to the core plot (only the nature of it), and the violence quotient was much higher than in the rest of the novel.
--Ridiculously enough, the scene at the Gunmen's lair and subsequently on their staircase, in which it first hits Scully with both barrels that Mulder is in all likelihood dead--was written before the conception of "Water's Edge".:D When originally composed, it had no story attached to it, just a vague scenario. And it wasn't until I was already beginning work on Chapter 3 of WE, that I realized the scene had already been written and dug it out of my notes. The mind works in mysterious ways, eh?
The following quote -- **"I called your cell phone yesterday when I was trying to reach Daniel at work. I didn't realize what I'd done until a stranger's voice answered. They've given your number to someone else."** -- was written very early, and, in fact, gave birth to the entire concept of the "internal monologues" that begin each chapter.
Interesting (to me, at least:) factoid: Water's Edge was not originally intended to contain a casefile.:D But, see, I have this little problem when I write...it's something of a running gag in my family...I can't write anything for more than a few pages without a dead body showing up. So, I tried. I really tried, to just write a full out AU Relationship story. Well, I wasn't more than a few pages into the preliminary work on the piece, when the first dead body showed up. Obviously, it snowballed from there. And when I got to Book III, and there really was no overt casefile, and truly there *couldn't* be, it was an Extreme Strain on me, to the extent that I began throwing in dangling fragments of the X-File with Michaels, and even revived the killer from Book II for a brief round of angst. (That was NOT planned, and didn't occur to me until several chapters into Book III). I very nearly brought back Miranda Lockheart for a brief scene in an alley with a knife to Scully's throat, but I managed to contain my impulses.
"In Jokes" (or Stuff Hidden in the Text For Fun):
There is a nod to each of my betas:
--SheaClaire named the bad guy for me, James Maley
--Michaels' wife is named Amanda after MaybeAmanda
--The "Tennessee Witch" X-File is placed in a town called Smyrna. This is the name of Carol's hometown (though in a different state)
-- Mulder's undercover name - "Mike Stephens"- is for Miriam Stephens
--For my Mom: There are many references for her, really. Much of the dog humor was written with her in mind, as we are both devoted dog people.
--For my husband: There are really many little references in there for him as well. The most obvious one that comes to mind is Mulder's comment about Prince Caspian being the best of the Chronicles of Narnia novels. This was my husband's childhood favorite. Oh, and Daniel's apartment number is my husband's birthday. Chapter 12b also has a personal significance, but I'll just stop talking about that now...
--Margarite, Christopher's nanny, is named for a dear friend of mine I met while writing Water's Edge (through the Gillian Anderson fandom) and intend to keep forever.
--"Christopher" is my son's middle name
--"Tasha" is one of the girls' names we had favored when waiting to find our perfect Labrador puppy. As it turned out, we ended up with a boy instead, so the girl's name got used in WE.
--The notes at the start of Chapter 10a mention an obscure reference to one of my older fics. The fic was "Hallways" and the reference was in this paragraph:
"She felt the familiar and long lost ripple of sensation spreading down her spine as her body awakened into his touches. Her posture shifted, her awareness of her own sexuality rushing her sensations. Memories of a life she didn't know she had left behind. A way of moving, a way of thinking. Little reminders had come over the years (*"Scully...you do know that I think you're beautiful?"*), but they had always faded, unrealized."
The quote in asterisks was never in the dialogue of the show, but rather comes from a line of Mulder's at the end of "Hallways".:)
--"Gannon" was the name of my son's best friend in our playgroup when he was one and two years old. His mother was a fellow 'Phile.:)
--I chose "Pink Floyd" as the CD of Mulder's that had landed in Scully's briefcase as a nod to AnnaK, dear friend and Edgehead.
Scully's shoulder injury from the fender-bender with Michaels: That was me. Several years ago my husband and I totaled our car on Memorial Day. Not our fault, and no one seriously hurt but the car, but I jerked the heck out of my shoulder on the seatbelt. Failed to see a doctor, thinking it was nothing, and now, to this day, it still bothers me. Scully was smart enough to get treatment.:)
I've worked a lot here with premises established in 'all things'. That episode rocked my world on levels I can't even explain without seriously violating the boundaries of TMI.:) "Water's Edge" is truly one giant expansion of the themes explored in that one hour of 'all things'. Instead of Scully exploring the road not taken with a few brief touches and conversations while she was ticked off at Mulder and he was off in England, she explores the entire life not chosen while thinking Mulder is dead; two days became two years.
I tried to carry through certain concepts Gillian Anderson took such care in establishing. The concept of "moments". I began and ended the story with snatches of time, pivotal moments, paralleling those captured with slow motion and sound isolation in the episode. I continued the use of water as an element of change, chiefly through the sound of the water fountain in the garden below Daniel's/Scully's apartment. (Also seen with the fountain in the atrium at the charity ball). I performed the literary equivalent of 'slow-motion' in the scene in Daniel's kitchen, when he and Scully are teasingly arguing over the cobbler and Scully realizes this is a moment of pure happiness and reaches out to capture it. That one is the most blatent 'all things' tribute, complete with wind chimes.
My favorite scene is the kiss in the rain. With the exceptions of "Learning You", which was short and quite limited in scope, and "Another Night in Roswell" which was well within canon at that point (and definitely established MSR), before WE I had never truly written an MSR--despite my ten year devotion to the relationship.:D So that moment in Chapter 20 was, for me, the culmination of a decade of UST. It was really kind of earth-jarring. Like the closing of a chapter of my life. Or the opening of a new one. It was amazingly vivid in my mind. I feel like I've been there. It was almost hard to post it. But the reception so many of you gave my work was an amazing gift, and gave me continued confidence to keep writing what is truly in my head, and not what I think I should be writing (a constant struggle for me in both fanfic and Real Life work--I mean, let's face it--y'all sure wouldn't have told me I should be writing a couple of hundred pages of Scully/Daniel!:D)
"Water's Edge" is Scully's story. And despite all evidence to the contrary, it is, to me, a Mulder/Scully romance from Prologue to Epilogue. This is the story of a woman living an extraordinary life and sorting out what truly matters in the end. It is a journey of seeking. Of trial and failure and joy. Of love and loss and second chances and soul mates on the journey. It is two utterly intensive years in this woman's life, in which all that has ever mattered to her rises to the forefront and insists on being faced and defined. It brings her to the Water's Edge where the ultimate choices must be made, and life purposefully and deliberately pursued--no longer weathered as a bystander.
My heartfelt thanks to anyone who chose to take this journey with her.
H O M E
Copyright (c) 2003 Elizabeth Rowandale