How I Slept With My Partner (Without Really Trying) by JL

How I Slept With My Partner cover

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How I Slept With My Partner (Without Really Trying) by JL

How I Slept With My Partner cover

How I Slept With My Partner
(Without Really Trying)
by JL

Includes “How to Blend in With Normal People”

Title: How I Slept With My Partner (Without Really Trying)

Author: Jaime Lyn

Category: UST/MSR, careful lack of Doggett/Reyes mentions (just because I didn’t want them in here. If you’re a fan, I apologize.)


Spoilers: Season 8 stuff. Basically, if you didn’t know about Scully getting *&^%$#@!, you probably don’t want to read this.

Archive: Nowhere until I post all the parts. This is NOT (I repeat NOT) a work in progress. All the parts can (and DO) stand alone. But this IS a series. And I bet all those archives would rather have all the parts before they post only the beginning, right? I assure you, once all parts are posted, anyone and everyone who would like to archive this is more than welcome to.

Disclaimer: I don’t own anyone in this story except… well, me. I own me, but not anyone else. I also don’t own a BMW. But if you’d like to buy me one, please feel free to email me.

Short Note: “How I Slept With My Partner (Without Really Trying)” is just the “secret-header-name” for some notes José Chung is gathering for his next fiction novel. He’s asked me, Jaime Lyn, to conduct a few interviews for him, as he is sick at home with the flu. All personal accounts contained, herein, are the property of Dana Katherine Scully and Fox William Mulder. The names will be changed, of course, but the accounts will most likely remain intact. For those of you who read “How to Blend in With Normal People,” this piece is also a direct follow up to that story (or an indirect one, or a prequel, or a sequel, or a “middle”-quel, or a whatever) so please read at your discretion.

All insanity I blame on the cat, who likes to sleep in the sink.



How I Slept With My Partner (Without Really Trying)

Compiled by Jaime Lyn

Co authored by Dana Scully and Fox Mulder


Interview Notes for

“Outside the Boundaries”

a novella by José Chung

September 13, 2002.

Subjects: Dana Scully, Special Agent: pathology department, The X Files division. Fox Mulder, Special Agent, VICAP, behavioral sciences.

Addendum: Interview meeting for fictional follow up novella by José Chung. (Interviewer is not the author. See notes for José Chung’s “From Outer Space.”) Novella to focus on aspects of Diana Lusky’s emotional state, romantic relationship with the outlandish Muldrake, and the birth of her son.

Interviewer: Jaime Lyn (filling in for Mr. Chung)


Mulder Tells a Funny Story

(Just to Begin the Session):

All I know is that Scully told me she was going to start a baby book. Just one day out of the blue she came into the living room wearing her nightclothes and her blue robe and she said, “Mulder—“

And I looked at her funny because she was wearing these two different colored socks, one red and green striped sock and the other one blue, which was a bit odd for Scully but I wasn’t going to question her. She’d just, you know, popped a baby out of her uterus the week before and she was kind of irritable . Understandably irritable, that is. Or else the pain and the lack of sleep was killing brain cells left and right. Nevertheless I said, “Yes—“

And she folded her arms across her chest and said, “I want to keep a baby book. A record of things. Do you mind, Mulder?”

I shook my head vigorously that I didn’t mind, mostly out of common sense and self-preservation. Scully had a look on her face. That ‘my whole body hurts so go ahead and fuck with me’ look that you just don’t argue with. So I said, “I think that’s a very interesting idea.”

And Scully said “Good,” and nodded at me. Then she walked out of the living room just as randomly as she had entered and she disappeared into our bedroom. A dryer sheet fell off the back of her robe as she grabbed the door handle and closed it behind her. She may have slammed the door. I don’t know. The TV was awfully loud at the time.


“That is absolute crap, Mulder.”

Dana Scully, a small but very lovely and well-tailored looking young woman, crisp in a pair of black slacks and a gray vee-neck shirt, makes a face like she’s tasted poisoned seafood.

Fox Mulder, a rather good looking young guy, with dark brown hair, unreadable hazel eyes and nicely toned arms, turns to look at Scully with an innocent expression. “Do you deny that you asked me about the baby book?” he asks.

“I deny that I walked into the room looking like a welfare case.”

Mulder folds those nice arms of his across his chest. “Well, how would you describe it?”

Scully narrows her eyes. “First of all, I wasn’t wearing mismatched socks. Second of all… I don’t even have a second of all, Mulder. Is that what you think of me? That I’m this post-partum, vagabond looking, blood sucking….” Scully pauses and waves her hands in mid-air for emphasis, “…monster-personified X File that’s going to rip off the top of your skull if you so much as disagree with me?”

Mulder stares at her, not blinking. “Did I say bloodsucking? I never said bloodsucking.”

Scully shakes her head and rubs her forehead with her thumb and index finger. “Oh Christ,” she says. Then she looks at me. “You’re not recording this, are you?”

“Well…” Uncomfortably, I clear my throat. “Yes. I’m sorry. I was told that every little thing is important.”

Scully nods slowly and shoots Mulder a look that could very well have shattered the coffee table.

I am sitting on the couch across from both of them—Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, with a tape recorder in one hand, a notebook in my lap, and a number two pencil in my other hand. (I started off with a roller-point pen but I find that the eraser comes in handy with these two. All they do is disagree with each other. How do you live like that?)

Basically, I’m here because of José Chung. Apparently some book he wrote forever ago, “From Outer Space” or something like that, broke some landmark record for the most amount of copies sold in a five-year period. Thus, his agent (who makes ten percent of José Chung’s royalties,) advised that Mr. Chung should write a sequel. So just yesterday, Mr. Chung called my publishing company and my publishing company called me in to consult and edit. Then I called Mr. Chung’s agent and was advised that Mr. Chung had subsequently fallen ill with the flu and would be unable to complete his research for the follow up novel. My boss was, of course, extraordinarily unhappy. Without the research for Mr. Chung’s novel, the book could not be published in time and that would put Harperly Publishing way, way behind schedule. (In other words, nobody would be making money.) So I –being the only willing editor and consultant on hand, rode in on my crappy, non-white, underpaid steed to make the rescue. I was ordered to contact Mr. Chung’s research subjects—a miss Dana Scully and a Mr. Fox Mulder, for an interview. (For those of you without intimate knowledge of “From Outer Space,” Scully is the woman whose bizarre real life inspired the character Diana Lusky, and Mulder is the man who inspired Muldrake.)

So anyway, that was Friday afternoon. Today is Saturday. My boss said the interview was to be done ASAP (like, when is anything ever NOT needed in rush order these days) and if Miss Scully and Mr. Mulder (or one or the other) gave me their permission to be interviewed, I was to use Mr. Chung’s questions and instructions to gather an amalgamation of their everyday lives and fax it to his agent’s office by Sunday evening. Yeah. So this interview is for a book I’m not even writing. If not for Mr. Chung being at home with a fever of one hundred and three, I’d probably be sleeping right now. Or else I’d be eating breakfast in bed. Damn that man and his damn best selling “From Outer Space” novel. Why can’t he just leave well enough alone? I hate sequels. They’re never as good as the original and this is the kind of nonsense you have to put up with to write them.

I clear my throat. “Why don’t we backtrack,” I offer, looking from Scully to Mulder and back again. They both look incredibly agitated.

“To where?” Mulder asks, leaning forward on his tanned elbows. His black t-shirt rides up slightly as he moves, revealing quite dashing biceps. The guy’s about as emotional as a piece of wood, but Jesus, he really is in good shape. Okay. I need to quit staring at him. His girlfriend—err, partner, err…whatever they’re calling it these days—knows how to fire a gun.

Scully snaps her head around to glance at Mulder. “Mulder, I hope you understand that is not your interview,” she says to him. “I was the primary research source for the first book. You bowed out of that one, rather ambivalently, if I recall. I don’t know why you’re all of a sudden so interested in sticking around. You don’t even like the guy’s work. You’ve never even read ‘From Outer Space.’ ”

Mulder wags his index finger at her like an angry five year old. “You underestimate me,” he says. “Don’t think I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, Scully. When you decided to open your mouth and I ended up looking like a complete buffoon because you thought it best to completely circumnavigate the truth and spin some otherworldly tale—“

Scully arches an auburn eyebrow. “Otherwordly tale, Mulder?”

“About a case we investigated involving teenagers and alien abductions. You reduced the entire scenario to nothing more than science fiction — at least from my end of it. It was all girly screams and fake aliens and my ‘willingness to believe in almost anything.’ You honestly think I didn’t read that book, Diana Lusky?”

Scully opens her mouth but nothing comes out. She blinks a few times. Then she shakes her head with what looks like derision. I decide to make a note of her hands—neatly folded in her lap, but the right one is slightly fidgety. I wonder if she’s debating whether to slap him or choke him. Maybe she really can’t make up her mind.

Mulder shakes his head. “Look, all I’m saying is that your account of certain events and mine are completely different. You know that, don’t you?”

I sigh. This is getting us nowhere. I want to be out of here by one. Damn it.

“Okay,” I say, “how bout this. I’ll leave this tape recorder with you. Mulder, why don’t you give me an overview of yourself, your life, and your version of Dana with the baby. Dana, I’d like you to do the same. And if either of you notice anything completely removed from your own recollection of the events, you can feel free to amend each other’s stories. I’ll leave you be for awhile, then I’ll come back to get your stories—“ I pause, flipping through several pages of pre-recorded, typed out notes and advisories. “—at three o clock. And we can review a bit… oh, and I need you to talk about this ‘following a light in the sky’ thing. Okay?”

Scully glances at Mulder’s profile with what appears to be apprehension in her eyes, her hands still folded neatly in her lap. Then, as if he can feel her looking at him, Mulder returns her glance with warm hazel eyes and a sort of half-smile; he shrugs his shoulders crookedly. Scully cocks her head to one side. I don’t know what the hell he’s trying to say to her but apparently he’s doing it quite clearly without opening his mouth. This is nuts. Are they talking with their eyes? What the—

Neither of them answers me for a good thirty seconds; they just stare at each other with these bizarre expressions on their faces. Scully smiles at Mulder as if he’s just told her a joke. Her silent, amused response is a rather odd reaction to nothing, but she has a rather nice smile to make up for it. Her delicately shaped lips upturn so that her blue eyes sparkle and her ivory cheeks redden…. Wait—is she blushing? What the heck is she blushing about? I must have missed something in the translation.

“That sounds fine,” Scully finally says, looking not at me but at Mulder.

“Mr. Mulder?” I ask.

“Fine,” he says, looking not at me but at Scully.

Oh for the love of God, this is going to be a long day.





Mulder and Scully

(Or how we get by without agreeing on any one damn thing)

I: On the X Files:


Mulder, 2002:


(Insert Exciting Introduction Here)


Dana Scully and I have a strange personal history you have to understand. For eight years while we were partners, we investigated a series of cases called X Files, claims of honest to God, substantiated paranormal or unexplained phenomena that other agents would just as soon have tossed aside. These investigations were often intense and dangerous, and during the course of our work together, the situations we were presented with ended up causing Scully and I a lot of personal tragedy. The loss of family members, the loss of friends, the loss of health and safety…

On the other hand, these cases also brought my partner and I closer together in ways that I don’t think anyone else could ever possibly duplicate. For example, I may not necessarily understand where she’s coming from at all times, (I.E: it WAS a spaceship, Scully, and you KNOW it) but we read each other; we communicate without words when necessary. When she’s hurt I know it. When she’s upset I feel it. If something happened to her, if she were…killed… I would feel the pain like a rock in my gut and I’d probably lie down and never get back up. The bond we have is… well, beyond my comprehension.

Not that this bond stops us from arguing about…

Well, everything.





(Mulder Always Gets the Shaft)


“This case involves a nightclub.”

Assistant Director Skinner’s arms were folded in front of him, a case file open beneath his knuckles. His face was impassive, his big shiny head as bald as ever. “Three patrons were shot in plain sight and at close range, with over a hundred witnesses in the vicinity. The shots were all allegedly fired on the dance floor, each gun-shot within minutes of the previous, but nobody seems to have seen anything. And moreover, nobody seems to have heard anything either. We have a few leads but only a two eyewitness accounts: similar reports from two separate locations; apparently there was someone at both clubs, a white male, aged thirty to fifty, with a gun in his pants.” Skinner rolled his tongue in his cheek, shooting me what looked like a warning glance, before he went on, “And then he just…vanished. Before the shots, after the shots, nobody knows. And this isn’t the first time. Three other such incidents occurred at four separate cross-dressing themed night clubs in a twelve week period.”

To my credit, I did not make a single crack at that last statement. I sat like a good little agent, my hands folded in my lap, my face sincere with rapt interest. Skinner sat elevated in front of us, his big, bald, head reflecting the back-light from the window behind his desk. As I sat listening to him, I wondered if I could see my face in his forehead if I looked really closely. How shiny WAS Skinner’s head? Like, really?

Scully was, as usual, just as rigid as a board in her seat of choice: the gray, plush armchair facing the left hand side of Skinner’s desk. Her slender hands intertwined neatly and they rested completely stationary in her lap. I glanced at her and I wondered why she always seemed to look like a cardboard cut-out when she thought she was trying to be professional.

She just looked… more real than real?

Scully wore these… gray suits, these drab, formless THINGS, (especially in the first few years) and she never walked with her head down. Not that there was anything wrong with that, of course, but I think that Scully often scared people with her perfect posture. She carried her gun in the holster beneath the shoulders of her boring, gray suits, and she made everyone feel her authority. I mean, people parted for her in the hallways when she left for lunch. They stood at the far side of the elevator if they thought she was looking at them funny. Honestly, Scully was a warm, inviting person. She always has been and always will be. She just….

Overcompensates sometimes. Maybe that’s just a ‘short’ thing, I don’t know. Scully’s only five foot three. I’ve been tall my whole life.

Anyway, on top of having the posture of a really mean substitute teacher, Scully was also rigidly scientific. And when I mean rigid, I mean: it’s either my way or the highway. Scully didn’t meet people halfway. She also didn’t take any crap from me that she thought was nonsense. So of course, when she heard the words “vanished” from Skinner, she refrained from asking him any questions. After all, as Scully’d once said to me two years earlier, “time can’t just disappear.” So I was positive that she felt the same way about material objects as well.

Which left the ‘talking about the unexplained’ up to me.

As usual.

“Well, sir, if I may,” I said, slightly intrigued, “Although I don’t want to jump to any premature conclusions, this kind of occurrence is not without precedent. Telekinesis, mass hypnosis, both types of phenomena are generally associated with accounts of people and objects vanishing, seemingly into thin air–“

Scully made a sort-of snorting noise. “I’m sure that’s not what happened,” she said, a note of irritation apparent in her voice. Then, like clockwork: “Things don’t just disappear, Mulder. This isn’t ‘The Outer Limits.’”

“Scully, I never said—“

Skinner nodded. “I quite agree with Agent Scully,” he said.

Hmph, I thought—and wanted to say. But I didn’t. Skinner usually agreed with Scully and I knew that. Over the course of two years, I’d come to accept it and be familiar with it. Scully’s science was something Skinner could get behind, something he could follow. My theories were often less grounded in biology and more grounded in the less believable (but not less plausible) unexplained. Sometimes, my case reports presented little room for science and the laws of physics. If Scully found me hard to believe, then Skinner, a hulking, ex-army man, held even less patience for my daring, original approach to investigating.

I folded my arms and leaned back into the soft cushion of the chair. Yes, well, fuck you too sir, I thought.


“So, ah, you’re asking us to go investigate this?” I asked, eyeing the file on Skinner’s desk. A disappearance at a night club. A few murders that’d left no witnesses behind. It sure didn’t sound like anything Scully and I hadn’t seen before, but the idea seemed interesting enough and besides…I really wanted a look at those pictures. A cross dressing themed night club, I thought? HA!

“More or less.” Skinner cleared his throat. He looked… anxious. “Actually,” he said, “I would like you to go undercover.”

For a moment I had to backtrack the course of Skinner’s sentence because I wasn’t sure I’d heard him correctly. I’d been so concentrated on imagining whether or not I could spot any U.S senators in those pictures, that I’d nearly missed Skinner’s last few words.

“Excuse me, sir?”

“I’m sure you heard me the first time, Mulder.”

First thought that popped into my head: Undercover at a transvestite themed nightclub? What the hell? Second thought: No seriously. What the hell? Third thought: Obviously, when Skinner says “you” he means me. Only me. That much was clear. Especially since Scully would most likely have a problem with the whole “missing a penis” thing.


I stole a glance at Scully. Her long-lashed, light blue eyes were shiny and unfocused, almost as if she was imagining herself resting someplace far away. Her upper back was still as straight as a piece of sheetrock, her shoulders poised and squared, her arms folded loosely in her lap. While she didn’t look at me, and while she neglected to speak for or against the matter, I assumed she was probably picturing me in various forms of drag and a few of her navy blue pumps. Maybe that’s where her pretty blue eyes had taken her. To a galaxy far, far away, where Mulder wore evening gowns and everybody knew your name.

“A cross dressing themed nightclub,” I said.


“A predominately MALE cross dressing themed night club.”


I closed my eyes, almost afraid to ask. “And?”

“And,” Skinner went on, the corners of his mouth twitching, “all the victims were described as what one might call… handicapped or mentally challenged. Males. The working profile of this killer would suggest that he’s compulsive. He likes to clean the blood from the crime scene, although nobody has specifically seen him do this, and his victims have all been.. lovers, if you will, of the same woman. The possiblity also remains that he has tried to poison this woman, since she turned up in a hospital about two months ago with strychnine poisoning… a Mrs—” Skinner paused to flip through the light yellow, manila envelope. He read something to himself, his lips moving silently as he scanned the page. “Mrs. Grimes. She’s been interviewed, as her husband has been, but neither seem to know anything. It’s all in the report I’m sending with you. What I’m proposing, Agent Mulder, is that you pose either as an onlooker or as the next potential victim. Agent Scully will be assisting with the operation in the van. Please note that the last victim was the son of the governor of Georgia. I’ve got a lot of people breathing down my neck about this, Agents.”

Oh dear God, I thought, what did I do that was so terrible?

I paused in my internal cringing for a second, trying to think back to what I could have possibly done to irritate Skinner THIS much.

Well… For one thing, I remembered parking in Skinner’s spot the day before the day before, which, by the way, had been perfectly warranted because Skinner was supposed to have the day off anyway. But since Scully had parked in my spot because I had parked in her spot two days before the day I had parked in the no parking zone, I had nowhere else to go. Really. It’s not like I was the one who towed Skinner’s fucking car.

“Have I pissed you off, sir?” I asked.

“You fly out two weeks from now, agents.”

This time I shifted in my seat to regard my obviously untalkative, still-as-stone Scully: she who never fucking got the orange jumpsuit. How she managed to sit there, perfectly complacent and docile, while she knew my ass was on the line, was beyond me. And the way Skinner looked at her between chewing me out…You know, I think he’s got a thing for her, really. I’ve always thought that. To this day I think that.

Oh come on, I thought. Bail me out here, Scully. I brought you donuts this morning.

I stared at her with the silent plea in my eyes.

But she didn’t budge.

She didn’t even blink.


Finally, seeing as how I truly was alone in the room, I opened my mouth, speaking as cooperatively and patiently as possible. “There has to be a more thorough and prudent course of action, sir. I mean, there’s no telling whether I’d even be convincing in such an extreme persona. Perhaps another angle of investigation would be more logical. Scully, what do you think?”

Both Skinner and I looked pointedly at Scully. Her face was its usual mask of seriousness and steel—really, really cute seriousness and steel. Her hair was especially flippy that day, and while I swear I never truly noticed those kinds of things, I did appreciate the way her auburn waves framed her face.


Scully cleared her throat. And with her statuesque expression: “I have no doubt that Agent Mulder will be quite convincing as a mentally incapacitated transvestite—“ She paused, her mouth not even twitching as she added, “sir.”

Oh for the love of God, Scully, I thought. I took a slow breath and tried to figure out what I’d done to royally piss her off, too. She was my partner; she was supposed to be on MY side, right?


It was a conspiracy, I decided. It had to be. Scully and Skinner had planned a late-night rendevous and had decieded that putting me in a dress would be the answer to all their problems. Yes, that had to be it.

I supressed a sigh and tried thinking back to that morning. Scully’d mentioned something about me parking in her spot again and how she’d been relegated to park at the Starbucks across the street. She said that a car had splashed water all over one of her non-descript gray suits, and now she would never get the stain out.

But you know, I don’t think that’s the whole truth.

See, Scully really likes coffee (she likes a lot of coffee) and so I’m sure she wasn’t FORCED to park by the Starbucks. Besides that, I brought her donuts. The crème filled ones she loves so much. (She says they have a lot of fat in them but you know, she sneaks them in when she thinks I’m not looking. You should see her when she gets a little dollup of filling on the corner of her mouth. If she’s working on something, she’ll forgo a napkin and just… okay, off topic.)

Right. So I think Scully’d also mentioned something about blah de-blah, expense reports from last week, blah de blah, I’m always the one, Mulder you suck, blah de blah, crazy, unfeasible, you’re wrong, blah de blah, you’re still wrong, blah…

(Please note that I DO listen to Scully. When we’re on a case, I rely on her brilliance like I rely on oxygen. And honestly, Scully IS brilliant. She’s the best pathologist the bureau has ever —and will ever — see, bar none. Plus, she can shoot a dime off a cola can at twenty paces —which is unbelievable—I’ve seen her do it at a bureau competiton. AND, she could probably beat the crap out of half the men in this agency. That alone is scary, but also somehow alluring in a nutso type of way.)

Anyway, my point is this: While I need Scully by my side for almost all things, sometimes she talks too goddamned much. Really.

Sometimes I have to tune her out just to keep from popping asprin all day.




“I beg your pardon, Mulder?”

“Okay, so maybe I phrased that a bit—”

“I talk ‘too goddamned much?’”

“Well… not in so much the sense that—”

“I do NOT talk too goddamned much.”

“Okay, what I meant is that—”

“And if I DID talk too goddamned much, which I DON’T, I certainly wouldn’t have wasted my rational arguments on someone who, as you so blatantly put it, needs to ‘tune me out.’ I’m a highly trained specialist, Mulder. I work hard and I’m good at what I do. I may not always believe in some of your more outlandish theories, but I don’t appreciate being ignored as blatantly as you’re suggesting in your story. I’d honestly rather not know that you…. Mulder? Mulder are you even listening?”



“No, seriously. What?”

“Never. Fucking. Mind.”

“Ohhhh kay… So ah, anyway, moving on–”





Skinner looked over at Scully and I swear something passed between them that had “conspiracy” written all over it.

“It’s settled then,” Skinner said.

And so there was nothing left for me to say except, “don’t I get a say in this?”

Both Skinner and Scully looked up at me with odd glints in their eyes—evil glints, like something you’d see in the eyes of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters. They answered me in tangent. “NO.”

Then they glanced at each other and quickly looked away.

And I was left in the orange jumpsuit holding the bucket.




“One last thing, Mulder—”


“Cardboard cut-out?”

“I don’t understand. Did I say something wrong?”

“And when did I ever look at you with an ‘evil glint’ in my eyes?”

“I think, Scully, that the question should be when have you NOT?”

“Oh, please, Cinderella.”

“I’m just telling the truth.”

“You know, for someone who talks volumes about searching for the truth, I have a hard time believing that you’d know it, even if it came up and bit you on the ass.”

“The truth always hurts the one you love, dear Scully.”

“Oh, BROTHER. That’s not how our meetings with Skinner usually went and you know it.”

“Alrighty then. Know-it-all. How DID they go?”

“I’ll tell you how they went.”

“Well, alright then, you tell me.”

“Alright, I will.”







Mulder and Scully

(Or how we get by without agreeing on any one damn thing)

I: On the X Files:

Scully, 2002:

(Or DAMN Those Pesky Intros)


Contrary to what Mulder believes…

Skinner surely thinks I’ve cracked like an egg years ago. Just look at it this way: If everyone thinks Mulder’s nuts for thinking what he thinks, surely they think that I’m certifiable for following him even though I don’t necessarily believe him. What I mean to say is this: I was and am, first and foremost, a scientist. I will always be motivated by the power and philosophy of science and nature. But my time on the X Files? Well, I should only read to you from my case reports: Insanguinated cows, slug monsters, demon babies, telekinetic children…

Sometimes I loved my work and other times I felt like shouting up at the skies until my voice died. What if it’s not a spaceship, Mulder? What if it’s just a hallucination brought on by hypothermic shock? You ever think of that? What if your ghosts aren’t really ghosts at all but tall tales or images projected with mirrors or sheets or… God! Sometimes I felt like Thelma from Scooby Doo except the mystery machine was a borrowed Lexus.




(Or how Meetings with Skinner REALLY Went, MY Version)


“The chickens…” I paused and bit my lower lip. “Displayed signs of sexual molestation suggestive of psychotic beastiality, a known sexual paraphilia. After a thorough interview with Mr. David Lockhart, I concluded that the cause of the event in question was neither supernatural nor spectacular. Mr. Lockhart’s fixated sexual behavior towards animals most likely caused the ah…” I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. “The damage to his chickens. Not ‘alien intervention,’ as Agent Mulder so vehemently suggested.”

Skinner didn’t respond. Rather, he stared at me like I had grown a third arm out of my neck. Beastiality? UFOs stealing chickens? Sure, why not? Five bucks said he had a little button under his desk that ejected crazy agents from the building –a little red button like from one of those Bugs Bunny cartoons. Finally, he managed, “have you anything to add, Agent Mulder?”


I turned slightly in my seat to regard my partner. Mulder’s long, finely tailored pant legs trembled at hummingbird rate, and his right foot tapped patterns on the floor in four/four rhythmic timimg. His head was cocked to one side, his thumb tracing circles on the tip of his angular chin. His green eyes narrowed with a far-away quality to them; physically, Mulder was sitting next to me, but metaporically, he was hundreds of miles away. I hated how Mulder could do that so easily. How he could just sit there and seem like he was paying attention, but in reality, he was off on his own planet, formulating something strange and unusual, existing in a place that was so far removed from my own, serious reality.

It was easy to resent Mulder’s ability to remove himself almost completely from any kind of rational seriousness. To be able to have the open-minded sensibilities of a child would be nice sometimes, I thought. Especially when I always have to be the voice of reason, the grounding force.

I supressed a sigh. Once again, Mulder had a restless, energetic look to him, like he wanted to pop right out of his chair like a pop-tart from a toaster oven. All I could think of was that the upholstery in the rental car was totally ruined and I would never be able to look at KFC the same way again. It had not been a real case we’d investigated, I thought. It was a mockery of our U.S tax dollars at work. If I were the A.D, I think I’d throw the book at us.


I might add—

was even more reason for Mulder to back me up, to not to make me look like an incompetent jackass. So long as he could agree with me that the weekend had been a total bust—an accidental total bust, that is— then maybe the meeting would start looking up, and Skinner would have less reason to consider throwing us both in Georgetown’s Mental Lock-up.

Please, Mulder, I thought. Make me sound credible. Make me sound like I did my job correctly. We examined every possible angle and while no aliens turned up, the chickens have been confiscated. Now I can go home and take a nap and you can go do… whatever it is you do with those tapes I didn’t see that you didn’t get off of Ebay.

Mulder turned to face me.

Say something logical, I thought. Oh please oh please, just for the novelty of it. I met his eyes and tried to read him. I think his foot was tapping out “All Along the Watchtower.”

Finally, he spoke.

“Those chickens were probed, sir.”

I coughed, slinking ever so slightly into my seat. Skinner moved his hands from the top of his desk to underneath the surface and he looked from Mulder to me and back to Mulder again. I thought of Willie Coyote and gripped the armrests just in case a spring popped out from the seat cushion.

“You don’t concur with Agent Scully’s findings then?” Skinner asked, the back-light from the window making his big, bald head seem even balder.

Mulder turned to face me with an odd glint in his eyes—an evil glint, like something you’d see in the eyes of the Jaberwocky. “I think Scully’s findings may be…A bit short-sighted, considering. Her theories reflect her autopsy findings almost exclusively and they completely disregard the eyewitness accounts.”

Astonished, I opened my mouth to speak but closed it when Skinner turned his head to stare at me with accusing eyes. On the one hand I wanted to kill Mulder with a large, blunt object for making my job harder than it had to be. But on the other hand I worried over whether Mulder truly did see me as a… as a what? A completely closed minded person? We’d been working together for two years now, bouncing theories off each other in a symbiotic-like co-existence that had, thus far, proven sucessful. Our solve rate was eighty percent, higher than any other working partnership within the bureau.

But still the question remained: did Mulder really trust me to do my job in tangent with his? Or was he still always worried that my scientific tendencies were set as nothing more than booby traps specifically engineered for his capture? I’d hoped that Mulder trusted me with his life, as I trusted him with mine. I certainly had no other ulterior motives for remaining on the X Files as his partner. I believed in our work and I believed that Mulder’s quest for the truth was right and just. But he was so unpredictable sometimes, and he also had no problem with completely undermining me, as he did at this meeting. Why he seemed to get a kick out of antagonizing me, I was sure I didn’t know.

Plus, I also worried that Skinner thought I’d been utterly unprofessional. Skinner was a tall, muscular guy, an ex-vietnam veteran, and he was not an easy man to work under. He certainly wasn’t forgiving when he was sure one of his agents had fucked up; Mulder always broke federal rules and guidelines and fell within that rubric. And I knew that the X Files wasn’t high on Skinner’s hit parade. I could almost read his thoughts: Agent Scully, why aren’t you working productively with Agent Mulder? Why would you disregard evidence? This isn’t like you and I don’t appreciate it. One more reason to shut down the X Files.

You know, that man has never liked me.

I sighed, trying to rescue myself from drowning. “Sir, David Lockhart is Mulder’s primary eyewitness. He’s also legally blind.”

Mulder blinked expressionlessly and stared at Skinner. “That’s not entirely true, sir. By legal definition he IS blind, but he can, in fact, make out shadows and outlines—which, I might add, is an important factor to consider.”

Silence for a moment.

Again, Mulder sought to prolong the argument. His eyes were an impressive shade of dark green: the deep color of excitement. Sometimes I wondered whether this whole thing wasn’t just an excersize in breaking up the monotony. Mulder simply enjoyed watching my belligerent reactions to his “fun little debates.” I was almost positive that this was why he argued with me in front of Skinner. What better way to egg Scully on and make her turn that fun shade of red? Nothing else to do today? Why not instigate a fight? Why not, I thought.

Resisting the urge to drop kick Mulder to the floor for playing this ridiculous game, I held back and said, “I’d like to point out, sir, that ‘shadows and outlines’ do not amount to even the remotest type of circumstantial evidence and it neither proves nor disproves anything.”

Mulder snorted and twisted in his seat to face me. “Oh come on, Scully.”

I gritted my teeth to try and control my annoyance. Someone had to bring the conversation back to a level playing field, damn it. Why was it always me?

“This is neither the time nor the place, Mulder.”

Mulder glared at me. “If you would just rely on your instincts for once in your life you would see… ” He paused, his eyes darting towards the wall, his brain seeming to search for just the right end to his statement. With a quick glance back at me he finished, “That I’m right.”

I pursed my lips. It was impossible to NOT answer a statement like that. I mean, when someone comes up to you (someone who is obviously driven by nothing more than petty vanity) and says, “I’m right and you’re wrong,” you have to answer them. Especially if it’s impossible to walk away because you’re sitting in your superior’s office.

So I answered him.

“YOU’RE right?” I asked, wringing my hands in my lap to keep myself steady in the chair. “I’m sorry but I don’t understand the statement. Is this a competition? Because I don’t recall—“

“Forget I said it,” Mulder interrupted, shaking his head. “It’s just…Lockhart’s story concurred with that of his next door neighbor’s. Both men claimed that they HEARD something crash into the trees behind Lockhart’s barn. They FELT the ground shake. We found traces of that not-so-organic-I can’t-believe-it’s-organic-ash in the forest. You don’t need twenty/twenty vision for that. Plus, both men claim that tiny creatures rushed past them and stole the chickens right out of the front yard. Afterwards, the chickens disappeared without a trace for nine whole hours. You can’t discount that out of hand.”

I took a breath and faced Mulder fully. I wondered, spitefully, how any one person could retain the logic of a five-year old and still be licensed to carry a gun. “I can when Mr. Lockhart’s next door neighbor has a blood-alcohol content of .546 percent,” I said. “The man was… he was tripping over his own shoelaces, Mulder. He asked me if I was Lucille Ball.”

Skinner cleared his throat. “Agents—“ he began.

“Oh come on, that’s not so bad,” Mulder said, squinting his eyes, “I do see the resemblance.”


“I think you’ve got some explaining to do, Scully.”

I pursed my lips. All I could think of was that I was going to kill him, goddamn it, if it was the last thing I did. In a brief flash, I remembered something my parents used to say to me when I was little: “Dana, if we could only tape-record the things you say and play it back for you, you’d laugh because you’d see how unreasonable you were being.”

Gripping the armrests, I suppressed a sigh and leaned in towards Mulder like a parent towards an unruly child. “That’s enough,” I ground out. “I think this conversation has gone well beyond the point of—”

Mulder held up a surrendering hand. “Okay, so he was buzzed. I’ll give you that, Scully. But the point I’m trying to make here is that inebriation is no reason to ignore a man’s testimony and automatically reduce him to a stereotype. If the world were to look at you and assume you were Lucille Ball simply because you had red hair we’d all be reducing you to a stereotype. But I won’t do that, you see, because it’s narrow minded.”

I shook my head. Mulder’s logic was astonishing in its ridiculousness. I was about to open my mouth and tell him exactly that when –

Something slammed hard on Skinner’s desk.

“AGENTS!” he damn near bellowed.

Both Mulder and I turned sheepishly in our seats.

Skinner cleared his throat. “Are the both of you quite finished?” he asked, annoyance clear in his voice.

For the briefest of seconds, I turned to face Mulder. His cheeks were red and flushed with excitement. His green eyes were dark, bright and luminous. He had that dark hair dripping into his eyes again — so damned attractive on him, and he was biting his lip. He’d turned to look at me like a child staring at a Three Musketeers Bar in a candy store. For Chrissakes, he was enjoying this. He was actually getting a thrill out of arguing with me, as if it lit him up from the inside.

And the sad thing was, I was getting a thrill out of arguing back. Mulder’s intense eyes, the way his cheeks flushed, the way he pointed his chin just so… I was angry at him for fighting with with me, but I was exhilarated simply by sitting in the same room as him. If being his partner out in the field wasn’t physically exhausting enough, just talking with him was emotionally debilitating.

God damn you, Mulder, I said to myself. If you didn’t have such a nice ass I’d punch you.

I shook my head. “Quite finished,” I said. And to Mulder: “I’m not arguing with you on this matter. My findings were my findings. It’s all in my report.” I returned my head glance to Skinner. “Sir, I think you can plainly see that—“

“—Agent Scully and I have differing opinions. Not that this scenario is anything new. However… my conclusions for this particular investigation may be slightly more thorough.”

Tension sliced through the air between Mulder and I. It was almost a palapable heat, something dark and crackling. We glared at each other, facing off for a second under the hard stare of our superior. I rolled my tongue in my cheek. “Sir,” I said, turning back to the Assistant Director, “I think the autopsy data and the interview material speak for themselves.”

“I think Assistant Director Skinner can draw his own conclusions.”

“Please refrain from interrupting me, Mulder.”

“I think I need a glass of water,” Skinner muttered. He wordlessly got up and moved to the shelf by the door. He poured himself a glass of what looked like water from a bottle of what looked like Absolute Vodka. Mulder eyed me speculatively, gesturing with his head towards Skinner’s back. I shrugged my shoulders at him and took a long breath. Skinner downed his drink in one large gulp. Both Mulder and I kept our mouths shut after that.




“I’m not a nutcase with a gun, Scully.”

“Did I say that? I never said that.”

“No, but– I never said that shit about the chickens and the front yard and Lucille Ball with your hair and —”

“Really. If you didn’t, then why I do remember it exactly that way?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you’re the nutcase with the gun.”

“Nutcase with a gun. Flattering, Mulder. Thank you.”




Mulder and Scully At Work… Yes, STILL

(Or how we get by without agreeing on any one damn thing)

II: Scully, 1995

Stake-outs Are More Fun With Mustard

(Sex Always Gets in the Way?)


“Do you see anything, Mulder?”

My partner, with his hands wrapped around a pair of government issued binoculars, turned his head just far enough to manage a quirky little, half-cocked grin. My eyes wide with expectation, my eyebrows arched in question, I opened my arms wide, palms up. We’d been sitting in the car for two straight hours now, watching an old, upper west side apartment building in the hopes that Mulder’s suspect, a thirty-nine year old male, would return to his old stomping grounds. The FBI had disapproved an official surveillance operation (and no wonder… it wasn’t like we had any evidence or witnesses or… anything to back up Mulder’s theory) so Mulder told me that he wanted to stake-out the apartment building — alone. “No reason you have to come along, Scully,” he’d said. “Might be a late night and I know how you like to get to bed early.”

So of course I told him I’d come – but only because we were going to stay a grand total of six hours. No more, no less. It was dangerous for any agent (let alone two) to remain on a surveillance operation for more than twelve hours without a relieving agent. And Mulder, I knew, hadn’t slept much the night before. So that left us with four hours left here, and if I had to follow him up to his apartment and force him into bed, he was going to get some sleep and have a fresh start tomorrow.

But still, even with only four hours left, at the very most, my neck and lower back hurt. At the very least, I was sick of listening to Pete Rose’s all-talk baseball network.

“Well?” I asked.

Mulder nodded, as if to himself. “A hot girl on the second floor’s taking her top off.” His hazel eyes sparkled and he turned back to the driver’s side window. I groaned in disgust and yanked the binoculars roughly out of his hands, shaking my head and depositing the hijacked equipment carefully on the armrest between us.

“Hey!” he exclaimed, eyeing me mischievously. “I could be missing something highly important.”

“This is ridiculous,” I returned, reaching down for the paper bag I’d placed in front of my seat.

Mulder shifted to face me. “Why is this ridiculous?” he asked, folding his arms protectively in front of his chest. He looked positively chastised, like a petulant five-year old whose mother had just informed him that no, indeed, there was no purple spotted elephant in the backyard.

“You mean besides the fact that I don’t believe in invisible men?” I asked, yanking out from the paper bag a Rubbermaid container that held a garden salad.

“Yeah.” Mulder narrowed his eyes. “Besides that.”

“Well,” I went on, fishing though the bag for a fork, “Let’s just say, theoretically, that I did believe in the existence of invisible men. Even in that case, I’d still say that what we’re doing out here is patently ridiculous. Let’s look at this logically for a minute. If a man could become invisible at will, why would he choose to be perfectly visible while visiting a place that could very well be monitored by police? That is also, if I might add, in a not-so-good neighborhood that probably has cops here round the clock. It makes no sense, Mulder. This killer – and I’m not going to lend credence to this invisibility theory of yours – has managed to go successfully without capture for nearly four months now. What makes you think he’d be stupid enough to make a move that could possibly get him arrested?”

Mulder licked his lips and nodded his head, a bemused expression on his lightly tanned face. For a second I let my mind drift off, and I noticed how Mulder’s upper lip was slightly crooked on one side – the left side. The pigment was a little darker on that side and it curled downwards only slightly, almost like a pout. The ‘almost pout’ was actually very endearing in a puppy-dog sort of way, very attractive and oh my God, what the hell is the matter with me?


I shook my head to try and clear it. Maybe there was something funny in the Iced tea. I frowned and glanced down at the half-imbibed bottle sitting the cup holder. “I’m sorry,” I murmured, looking back up at him. “What did you say?”

Mulder frowned, but repeated himself. “I said I bet you never tried something just to beat the thrill of getting caught.” He reached across the space between us and touched my shoulder. His fingers grazed lightly over my light-blue blouse and trailed down my arm. “You spaced out there for a sec. Everything okay?”

I swallowed and shivered as Mulder gazed at me; my arm was acutely aware of his touch. For whatever reason, my body had started reacting to him in a foreign way – like I found him attractive or something. And now the passenger’s seat was noticeably three degrees hotter. God fucking damn it, I thought. Something must be wrong with me. First my mind wandered and then a distinct temperature jump invaded my system. Well, I decided, it can’t be Mulder. Mulder is… Well, he’s MULDER, for chrissakes. Must be a cold, the flu, a hot flash or… the Iced tea. Yes, definitely could be the Iced Tea. Although I’m not sure how LSD would have made it into my drink –

“Fine,” I answered, averting my eyes to the container in my hand. I cleared my throat and decided to focus on the topic. “Killers who manage to go on killing for long periods of time don’t just do idiotic things simply to obtain an adrenaline rush, or to thwart getting caught. The murder itself brings the emotional high, not returning to a place that was never the sight of any murder at all.”

Mulder clucked his tongue. “Agreed on most points,” he said. “But Sociopathic personalities will often attempt to do dangerous things, even if they’re stupid dangerous things, like shoplifting and aggravated assault, simply FOR the adrenaline rush. Mr. Grimes – and I don’t believe he’s crazy, just a little compulsive – may be fulfilling some genetically pre-programmed instinct: almost like hunger. You get hungry; you eat a sandwich. You get an urge for unlawfulness; you see it through. The difference is that most people have the means to suppress their more basic instincts. If Mr.Grimes attempted another murder but was unsuccessful in his attempt, like say he was unable to locate his next victim, he might be compelled to fulfill his desire for excitement through other means.”

I pursed my lips and nodded, satisfied for the moment, in a rational argument coming out of my normally irrational partner. “So you think adrenaline is the motivator here? Passion? But crimes of passion aren’t normally premeditated. Plus, those types of murders are often sloppy, simply because they ARE so impulsive. The crime scenes in this case were almost compulsive in their cleanliness.”

Mulder shrugged, a nonchalant air to his expression. “I think passion’s a part of it, yes. Maybe not the motivator — longevity-wise, but definitely the grounding force. I mean, the guy gets hit by lightning while getting out of his car, and suddenly he believes that he can turn invisible at will. He’s had no previous history of hallucinations or mania. Now, whether or not he truly CAN turn invisible has been argued for by me and disputed by you. At any rate, he’s killed three times already — all in crowded places — without getting caught or leaving witnesses behind. His wife’s been cheating on him with who knows how many of those cross-dressers. What an opportunity for a little, angry man who was described as a cold, unfriendly, money-grubber.”

I sighed, watching shadows play upon Mulder’s face as a passing car striped his forehead in a yellow-gold glow. He really was attractive in an off-beat kind of way. I suppose acknowledging his attractiveness couldn’t hurt me.

Could it?

“Well, I won’t argue with you that Grimes isn’t the killer,” I said, my fingernails tapping on the lid of the Rubbermaid container, “Because I think he IS. The fact that his wife was poisoned and he’s now conveniently disappeared lends credibility to the idea. But I still don’t buy any of that invisibility nonsense. And I also don’t believe sitting in this car is going to do us any good either, because there’s no reason for him to even come back here. The man lived here once, Mulder, back in 1976. Now, unless he plans on reliving his days of Disco Fever, why would he –“

“His mother’s got a ‘guy friend’ here, Scully. His DIVORCED mother, I might add. He also just found out about his wife’s infidelity a few months ago. You don’t think our old friend Grimes would want to pay this place a visit?”

“No, I don’t. Besides the fact that his mother, from what police have gathered, isn’t even SEEING the man that lives here anymore. She dated him back in the eighties. Grimes wouldn’t find her here even if he wanted to.“

Mulder pointed a finger at me. “What if it isn’t his mother he’s looking for?”

I let out a deep, frustrated-sounding breath. “Mulder, we’re going in circles here. I don’t –“

Before I could even finish, Mulder snorted at me, a loud, irritating snort, something that sounded like a pig going through his mud pies in order to chose the best one. The sheer volume of it caught me off guard and made me gawk at him with a raised chin. “What,” I asked, “was that for?”

Mulder grinned, a self-satisfied look on his face. “You really have NEVER done something bad, just for the thrill of it… have you, Scully?”

I narrowed my eyes, angered by the ignorance of his assumption and by the unprofessional turn in the conversation. “”Don’t be ridiculous,” I said, snapping my head around in order to stare out the passenger’s side window. Of course I’ve done… bad… things. All people do bad things at one point in life or another. Okay, so maybe my things weren’t as bad as some other peoples’ things, but that was nothing to be ashamed of, right?

My cheeks were burning red and I didn’t want Mulder to see them. To admit to having been a world-class-nerd in my younger years would be tantamount to stripping myself naked and running down the street. And besides, there was no point to any of it.

“I knew it!” Mulder said to my back, and when I turned my head he was lounging against the seat in a superior fashion. “You’ve never –“

With an air of mild anger surrounding me, I leaned forward and said, “Yes, I have.”

Mulder raised an eyebrow. “Nah, I don’t think so.”

“Yes, I – You know something, Mulder? — and not to instigate this ludicrous discussion any further, but I don’t know why you see me as some giant prude. It’s not like I’ve never been there. I WAS a teenager, you know.”

“You’ve been there,” Mulder said, his face completely expressionless. “I don’t believe you.”

I sighed and tapped the container on my lap, my head falling back against the headrest. I licked my lips and nodded with my eyes closed. How sad this whole night really was, I thought. “You would say something like that,” I said, as if that summed up the entire conversation from my end, and I went back to work on prying open the top of the salad container with my fingernails.

Mulder made a sound like a sigh. “Now what does that mean?”

“It means…”

I stared at him. Mulder was a tall guy, so tall that when he adjusted the driver’s seat he had to bend his slightly muscular legs at odd angles. He sprawled next to me lazily, like a teenager would straddle a classroom chair. A single lock of deep brown hair had drifted into his intense greenish eyes and he looked… like a young person, like someone just out of college. He seemed like a normal guy, an easily dateable guy, yet he never dated. He never went out with friends just to knock some beers around, to shoot the breeze. I’d been partnered with Mulder for two years at that point, but he was still a mystery to me in most ways. I supposed, as I sat there staring at him, that he was still in that phase where he always looked excited to have someone to share his off-the-wall theories with.

Even if I didn’t always believe him. Or even if I never believed him.

I still wasn’t at all sure where I stood with Mulder; whether or not he trusted me completely, or even mostly. But at least he seemed to genuinely enjoy my company now, and that was enough. In the very beginning he’d made it quite clear that I was a hindrance. He’d let me know, by ditching me or by lying to me –as if I was stupid – that he disliked my intrusion in his already established lifestyle. I’d often suspected that Mulder truly did believe that I’d made it my mission in life to spy on him and report back to the big wigs.

But after our separation and official reconciliation, after I’d been abducted and returned three months later, and after the X Files had been re-opened that first time, Mulder began to change. Sometimes he’d come in early just to bring me coffee. Or he’d call me in the middle of the night for no reason at all, to check on my well-being was what I suspected, but I’d never said as much to him.

While on some occasions Mulder was a pain in the ass, I couldn’t help but find it endearing that he worried about me in such the abnormal way that he did. He looked at me differently now, as if I were somehow a very valued part of his life instead of simply a tag-along, and I appreciated that change very much. Even if we did disagree about nearly every single facet of life, whether it was my science or his aliens, the friendly debating was always fun. It was just a shame that Mulder and I couldn’t connect on a personal level: that we couldn’t go out socially as other friendly coworkers did, because I knew that Mulder didn’t understand me as well as he could. And I wasn’t entirely sure whether that was his fault or my own.

“It means you don’t know me very well,” I said honestly. “It means you only see what you want to see.”


I sighed. “And… let me put it this way.” I balanced the container on my lap and spread my hands wide. “Invisible men, aliens, ghosts… Is that shadow a nightmare or is it real? Or does that even matter? Even if nothing’s there you see it, because you want to see it. You’re so convinced in your self-righteous pursuit of the unknown that when you’re faced with a phenomenon that is totally and completely natural and of this world, you don’t want to see it. And when you think you’re right you think you’re so right that you don’t need to know anything else.”

Mulder squinted his eyes, blinked a few times, his expression still unreadable. “Your point?”

I studied his hands in his lap, the way he seemed completely calm and in control of the situation. Why did it seem that I had somehow spiraled out of control while Mulder remained in the driver’s seat? And on that note, why the hell did he always get to drive anyway? I had a license, after all. I wasn’t a child.

“You don’t think I’ve ever been caught with my hand in the cookie jar because you don’t want to know about that aspect of my life. I think it’s easier for you to see me as this straight laced, professional ally because then it’s easier for you to trust me. I think you like believing the most unusual possibilities because they are easiest to believe.”

Mulder laughed, a short, easy laugh, and he scratched his chin with his hand. He hadn’t shaved yesterday and the chestnut colored stubble was starting to show. “You think you’ve got me all pegged, don’t you?”

I laughed once and pulled the plastic fork from my paper bag. “I didn’t say that.”

“Oh come on, Scully. We both know how much you enjoy knowing everything.” His tone had a suspicious edge to it, a dark underbelly that I wasn’t sure I liked. Suddenly, I felt bad for ever having said anything.

Taken aback, I stammered, “That’s not true. All I said was that you—“

“That I don’t know anything personal about you because I don’t want to know. And that I’ll cease to trust you if I find something that doesn’t agree with me.”

I scrunched my nose at that not-so-accurate account. “You make me sound like bad Chinese, Mulder.”

Mulder laughed and reached for the bag. I handed it to him and our fingers brushed over the crumpled opening. “I’m just summing up your end of the conversation,” he said. Then he pursed his lips and nodded. “Okay then, tell me.”

I furrowed my brows, confused. “Tell you what?”

“Tell me all about these sordid things you did that you knew would get you in trouble.”

At the sound of my partner’s voice using the word ‘sordid’ in reference to me, I felt my cheeks warming and I pretended to focus on opening up my salad container. “Mulder, I don’t think –“

”Oh come on, I want to know.”

My fist curled tighter around my fork. My head flew back against the headrest in exasperation. “Since when?”

“Since you told me I only see what I want to see.”

“Mulder –“

”You know you want to tell me.”


“Aw, come on. The invisible man wants to know.”

I raised my eyebrow. “Don’t you think we should drop–“

Mulder sighed, his hand fishing through the bag for his ham sandwich (made fresh at MY house, by the way.) “Look Scully, you already think this surveillance operation is a waste of time, right? I’m just trying to prove to you that it’s not. Just tell me one ‘naughty Scully’ story and I’ll shut up. Promise.”

I leaned forward on my hands and narrowed my eyes. Suddenly the turn in the conversation seemed very orchestrated and I wanted to know why. “You – “

Mulder was smiling now. He was very much grinning. Like the cat who’d just eaten the mouse.

I was the mouse.

Fuck, I thought. I was the mouse.

“You tricked me,” I said, pointing an index finger at Mulder. “You –“

Mulder yanked out his tin-foil wrapped sandwich with a victory smile. “You know you want to tell me,” he said. “Or else you wouldn’t have made it into an issue.”

My mouth opened in protest but nothing came out. Obviously, I’d been had. It was amazing how he did that to me: how Mulder knew exactly when to press my buttons while I still wondered over his. It seemed to me that I’d never get it right, our building a friendly relationship, because he insisted on being in control of it. And because he consistently kept me at arms length, at a safe distance where he thought he could keep from trusting me.

He was always trying to push me away.

Once I’d tried calling him Fox, an attempt at reassuring him of my faith in our partnership, but he’d brushed me aside. He told me that even his parents called him Mulder, something I of course didn’t buy, but I let it slide. Another time, right after my father had died, Mulder decided to change the rules on me again by calling me Dana. “How are you doing, Dana?” he’d asked. And the amazing thing was that I’d let him do it. I needed to hear the concern coming from him. I needed to know that he grieved for me on more than simply a professional level. Hearing my first name come out of his mouth made me feel that he cared for me. I don’t know why I felt that way—



“Scully –“

“What, Mulder?”

“I wasn’t brushing you off by not letting you call me Fox. I swear, I DID ask my parents to call me by my last name. Do you have any idea how cruel it is to name your son after a small forest animal? It’s like naming your kid after toilet paper. So I said to my father one day, I said, ‘Dad—‘”

“Mulder! Be quiet. You are going to ruin my story.”

“What? No, I’m not. I just want you to have your facts straight.”

“I do have them straight. Now can I get back to what I was saying?”

“But you distinctly said that I’d tried to push you away but not letting you call me by my first name. That’s not necessarily the truth. What I meant was—“

“Mulder, the point here is that I’m recalling this situation from my perspective, not yours, and my perspective of you, and of our relationship at that point in my life, is that you –“

“Is it THAT important for you to overanalyze everything to the point of dissecting it?”

“Yes. And you do it too, Mr. ‘that’s not necessarily the truth.’ Can I finish now?”





Back to 1995:


Sometimes, my personal conversations with Mulder seemed forced, almost as if he felt that anything unprofessional was not allowed, or that such things were outside the boundaries. Occasionally, I wondered whether I’d ever know anything personal about Mulder — something that didn’t involve his sister and aliens, that is, and I felt bad for letting that part of him slip past my radar. How, I thought, could any professional relationship succeed if both parties refused to come to some sort of compromise? And, since that compromise wouldn’t ever be professional… scientifically speaking, that is, it would HAVE to be personal, wouldn’t it?

“Okay,” I finally said, an embarrassed smile creasing my face. “There was this one time –“

“Oooohhh.” Mulder leaned forward on both his hands, his wide eyes a becoming shade of dark green as another car passed us and threw him into the light.

“—When I was thirteen years old, and the whole house was asleep, and my father had just come home from one of his long hauls –“

“Long hauls?”

I waved my hand distractedly. “Naval assignments,” I amended. “My father was a navy captain. Sometimes he’d be gone for months at a time.”

Mulder nodded, his forehead slightly creased, his eyes gazing at me as if he were going to drown me with his attentiveness. It didn’t escape my notice that I had his complete and undivided attention, and that I rarely ever got such an opportunity. I felt powerful, almost dizzy with adrenaline at knowing Mulder was watching me so intently.

“Anyway,” I said, “my father had taken my mother out to dinner that evening, and I knew they’d probably been out drinking, or else they must have been very tired. I knew this because my mother didn’t have her purse with her when she passed by my door, and that meant that she’d probably left it in the living room. My mother only left her purse lying around when she was too tired to take it upstairs with her. And she was probably distracted that night, what with my father home and all, and it being her birthday…”

I realized in that moment that I’d never before revealed to Mulder any information about my family, and I was blushing because of it. And damn it, he knew I was blushing. Telling Mulder any kind of personal story did that to me and I think he understood that very well. I also think that he liked watching me blush, and that was why he’d asked me to tell a story in the first place.

“So I was wide awake and Missy – my sister Melissa, that is— we shared a room – she’d gone to bed hours ago because she wasn’t feeling well. So on impulse I got up and I crept out of bed, even though I was terrified of waking anyone. My sister, I wasn’t so much worried about her because she could seep through anything. But my brothers shared the room down the hall and Bill – my older brother – he was a light sleeper. Plus, he enjoyed being the disciplinarian. I knew that if he caught me wandering around at such a late hour, he’d have no problem telling my parents he’d caught me.”

Mulder nodded and took a large bite out of his sandwich, wiping his knuckles across his chin to catch a dollup of mustard that had gotten away. The mustard lingered for a second, yellow and unusually bright against the contrast of Mulder’s smooth, beige skin. I couldn’t help but pause for a moment as I watched him chew, as he licked the mustard off with his tongue, and think how I would love to have been the one to reach across the seat and wipe the mustard away. Just a small gesture, I thought, but ultimately intimate on my part, especially if I decided to lick the mustard off my fingers afterwards.

Maybe this was why we never talked about anything intimate, I thought. Because anytime we did I thought about Mulder in a different light, in a newer, aesthetically and emotionally pleasing light. I’d see him as an attractive man who just so happened to be my partner, instead of as a person who was my partner and nothing more, and I’d find it increasingly harder to avoid inappropriate lines of thought. I’d remember that Mulder was a good looking guy, a well-intentioned good looking guy, and that he was someone who, under different circumstances, I’d probably ask for a date.

Thinking of Mulder as a MAN would only lead to distraction. And the last thing I needed was distraction.

“So?” Mulder said, waving around the arm with the sandwich, “Go on, go on.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at his eagerness, my cheeks still a deep, bashful red.

“So,” I said, a note of teasing in my voice, “I crept downstairs, still scared that I would wake someone, that the stairs would creak or I would accidentally trip or Bill would get up to get a glass of water… Something like that. But I made it, much to my relief, and once I got downstairs I felt determined, convinced in my course of action. So I snuck around in the dark to find my mother’s purse and…”

“And what?” Mulder’s nose scrunched as he chewed.

I sighed, leaning back as I finished. “And I took out her cigarettes, even though they’d never been opened before, and I popped one out to smoke out on the porch. I kept looking up at the windows the whole time, just waiting for a light to come on, positive that someone would wake up because I was doing something I wasn’t allowed to do.”

Mulder shoulder’s slumped, his hand going slack with the sandwich. “And that’s it?” he asked, his eyes wide with something that looked like incredulity.

I frowned, a bit offended he would ask. “Well… yeah,” I said. “Why?”

Mulder leaned back and for a second, he was silent. Then…

He laughed, lightly at first, then harder and harder until he was holding his sandwich out in front of him with one hand, and grabbing his stomach with the other. A tear rolled down his cheek and he wiped it away with his free hand, his chest bobbing up and down like an amusement ride. He fought to catch his breath. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember when I’d ever seen Mulder laugh that hard. And if I hadn’t been positive that he’d needed it so desperately, I would have taken out my gun and shot him.

“What,” I snapped, “is so damned funny?”

Mulder laughed for a few more seconds, sighed, and finally took a few normal breaths. “You,” he managed, placing the back of his hand over his mouth, “sneaking a cigarette.” Then he laughed again, letting out a long “ahhh” sound, as if he was thoroughly sated.

“Is it so hard to believe that I smoke?” I bit, yanking so hard on the container of my salad that the top snapped off and flew up past my face. My head fell back against the seat in surprise and I gasped, flinching as the top hit the glass window and dropped to the floor. Mulder’s laughter started up again, more obnoxiously loud this time, and I turned my head to face him slowly, angrily. Oh for goddsakes, I thought, of all the stupid, irritating things to laugh at –

“Are you done yet?” I asked, stabbing at my salad with the plastic fork.

Mulder licked his lips and held up a hand to me. “No, give me a second…” and he laughed for a few more moments, yanking off another bite of his sandwich as he bobbed his head up and down. His cheeks filled with an impossibly large supply of ham and cheese and bread and mustard, and I was surprised that he didn’t choke. As a matter of fact, I was almost half disappointed when he didn’t.

“You smoke?” he asked, breathlessly.

My eyes narrowed. “I used to, yes.”

“But not anymore.”

I shoved the forkful of salad into my mouth. “No.”

Mulder nodded thoughtfully. He took another bite of his half-devoured sandwich and said, “Curiouser and curiouser, dear Alice. Well, don’t worry. I promise not to tell mom if you sneak one out of another agent’s desk.” And, like a small child, he erupted in giggles all over again.

I took another stab at the salad. “Shut up, Mulder,” I said, and I tossed a cherry tomato at him. He caught it easily with his left hand and shoved it into his mouth, whole.

“I hope you choke on that,” I muttered.

Mulder grinned. “Anything to get you off the wagon,” he said, and he tore into the crust of his dinner.



“You’re not going to tell the rest of the story, Scully?”

“There’s nothing left to tell. That is the story.”

“No. No, it’s not. What about the suspicious figure we chased?”

“You took five shots at a cat, Mulder.”

“It was a stray. Could’ve had rabies. I did the neighborhood a service by driving it away.”

“You woke everyone up. Plus, we had to turn in our firearms the next day because you discharged your weapon, AND I had to explain the whole thing to Skinner, who was NOT pleased with either of us.”

“That hot girl gave me her phone number, though. Didn’t she?”

“What hot girl?”

“Oh come on, you know what ‘hot girl,’ Scully. The one —“

”Oooh, HER? Please. She wasn’t hot by any known definition of the word. Her hair was… and her stomach was… she was just… That blonde? The one with the overbite?”

“Okay, now you’re just being snippy.”

“Snippy? I’m being snippy? How about I tell everyone what happened when you actually had to go undercover in that silver sequined—“

“Okay, Scully. That’s good. You can turn the tape off now.”

“Oh no, I think inquiring minds want to hear about this—”

“No, they don’t.”

“Yes, they do. Either you tell it or I tell it. And I don’t think you’ll like my version very much, Mulder.”

“You–I— Fine, okay? Fine. You’re relentless.”

“You’re in love me.”

“I’ve been tricked into submission.”

“No arguments here.”




Still on The X Files:

STILL 1995

(STILL working, but not agreeing on any one damn thing:)


Drag Queens Have All the Fun

(Or Why Mulder Likes Pina Coladas)


“Ow ow ow ow ow ow…Scully get it out get it out–”

Everything in my world narrowed down to blinding, gut wrenching, twisting pain. Horrible, terrible, miserable, put me out of my misery pain. In my back. Oh GOD, in my back. Stupid undercover shit, I thought. If not for Skinner’s increasingly bad moods, and if not for Scully’s getting to “run the official operation from the van,” I’d have been at home eating beans out of a can in front of the TV. I wouldn’t have been standing in a sequined dress, groaning in pain with a goddamned sword of SOMETHING sticking out of my back, while the mad Doctor from Hell, Ms. “I wasn’t the one who gave the orders,” tried to fish it out with sharp fingernails.

Let me tell you, I just wanted to pass out. I wanted to faint like a motion disturbed kid coming off a Ferris Wheel.

It was bad enough that for this idiotic undercover assignment, I’d been forced to wear a silver cocktail dress that frayed in long, gray strands of silver beads at my ankles. And it was even worse that I’d had to run in these goddamned high heels (with a gun strapped to my –well, you don’t even want to know where) with the strain of stilettos sending waves of agony up my ankles. All that would have been just dandy if not for the fact that something was stuck deep in my back like an ice-pick, and now it was trying to rip me in half.

“He okay?” Someone randomly asked. I stared out the corner of my left eye and saw silver haired, Agent John Cromwell watching me with embarrassment stark in his old, gray eyes. He was a quiet guy, a sturdy member of the FBI old guard who was about five months away from retirement.

“He’s fine,” Scully answered in clipped tones, and as if to reassure Cromwell of my health she patted my shoulder. I made a loud hissing noise. Scully sighed into my neck, her hands working on my upper back. Crazy doctor, I thought. Mad, psychotic—

Cromwell nodded. “Well… Okay. But please just let me know if you hear from the Assistant Director, Agent Scully.” Cromwell cocked his head to the side as if he were staring at something with five arms –and not a seasoned agent wearing a drag queen outfit. He backed away from me slowly, as if he were afraid I might hit on him or kiss him or something, and he threw perplexed sidelong glances at me over his shoulder.

“Cromwell looks like he’s seen a mutant,” I muttered.

“Nah,” Scully answered. “I’ve seen mutants before. I’ve never looked at them like that.”

“You would if you had enough time to think about it.”

The block behind Scully and I was bathed in the harsh glow of red and blue flashing lights. The aura of flashlight beacons bounced back and forth between night-camouflaged police officers, and the drone of radios and commotion waltzed into our ears. A group of agents decked out in jeans, t-shirts and navy blue, FBI emblazoned windbreakers milled around with their cell phones glued to their ears. Exhausted looking groups of men clustered near the APD (Atlanta Police Department) squad cars and kicked at some overturned garbage cans.

At least the night hadn’t been a failure, I thought, and I was sure everyone else was thinking it, too. We’d had virtually no solid leads, no evidence of guilt, no anything when we’d gone in, and in the end we came out with our man in custody. Mr. “I swear I can turn invisible” Grimes. It so could have gone the other way and everyone knew it. If not for me spotting the gun and getting the handcuffs on Grimes before he could turn… well, WHATEVER… and of course my knowledge of occult obsessed personalities…. Well, let’s just say that I was the reason the perp had been followed and apprehended. I was the reason the evening went so well. I showed all those self-absorbed, self serving, doubtful agents, showed them all –


“Oh, give me a BREAK, Mulder.”


“You and what drag queen army?”

“Can I help it if I’m just THAT good?”

“Uh huh…A little accuracy would be nice.”

“Picky, picky.”



Okay, so Scully was the reason that the asshole had been caught successfully. She lead the surveilence and apprehension team; nearly thirty men under her control. You get the idea. But of course, ninety percent of the coordinating agents hated me and they hated “Mrs. Spooky” for being my partner and for being the woman in charge (official ASAC, my hard-headed Scully was,) and so nobody said anything congratulatory to either of us.

Basically, the night was over. Everyone involved –FBI and APD alike, was tired, irritated, and just waiting around for the go-ahead to take off for home. The problem was that Scully had no jurisdiction to officially “wrap” the assignment and Assistant Director Skinner (who DID have the authority) was nowhere to be seen. He was… somewhere. Somewhere far away, probably spearheading the whole fucking operation from a Starbucks while drinking a Latte and eating Biscotti and making me do all the crap work. Of course.

Another sharp pain resonated in my back. Higher this time, almost as if the object had moved. Or maybe there were two of them. Fucking wonderful, I thought. OW OW OW.

“Scully, do you think you could –“

“Quiet, Mulder.”

“Scully –“

“Give me a second.”

“But Scu—“

“Not now.”

“You didn’t even hear what I was going to say!”

“I didn’t need to.”

Scully stood directly pressed to my back, one finely muscled arm covering my neck, the other arm draped across my shoulders. Her slender upper body swam beneath an extra large, FBI emblazoned windbreaker and I could feel her breathing on me as she worked with deft fingers. – OR, should I say, EVIL fingers… She was acting like the queen of fucking Egypt — of course, because I was injured AGAIN and she was in charge of the situation. Scully liked being in control of things—especially medical things. That was her specialty.

I blew out a small puff of air. “Can’t I just –“

“Quit whining, Mulder.”

I narrowed my eyes, wanting to turn around and thwonk that invisible crown off her head. I so would have. I could have. But then again, I was very much in pain and mostly immobilized by it. And Scully had her hands all covering the affected area and stuff. She could very well have used her advantage to kill me –errr… not that she would have. But you know, Scully was tired and she got pissed off easily when she got tired, and I had my health to think about.

“You know something,” I said, watching random agents mill restlessly from place to place, “Sometimes, you’re a real pain in the–“

Scully pinched me in the arm. Hard. I winced, sucking back a stream of obscenities that I promised to keep to myself.

“Shut up, Mulder, or I walk away and you can hobble home.”

I sighed. “Oh gee, oh yes, ma’am, Ms. ASAC special agent ma’am,” I mumbled under my breath.

Why was it that Scully seemed perfectly content to back out of the conversation when the unexplained was presented to her, but she felt it necessary to take my head off otherwise? If we could just agree on something, like ONE thing, like ONCE, I thought I might pass out from the intense surprise of not being second guessed. Then I’d need to be electro-shocked back into coherency.


On top of the intense pain in my back and Scully’s ATTITUDE, I was acutely aware of being gawked at from all sides. Agent McCarthy, a tall, class of 89 man (who never hid his contempt for me nor intentions towards Scully) stared at me with a twinkling of what appeared to be delight in his eyes. He bit his lip and turned to the man next to him, “fatboy” Agent Joe Laherty. Both men shared a snicker as they whispered a few words and pointed oh-not-so-inconspicuously at me. Then they turned and walked away towards Cromwell, both men waving their arms and shaking their heads.

I pursed my lips, forcing a dozen expletives down my throat. Yes, I’m wearing lipstick, I thought. Yes, I look like a jack-ass. Thanks for noticing. Pictures are available in the lobby.

“McCarthy’s in his glory,” I said, squeezing my eyes shut as Scully probed my back and finally found the source of the pain. “Maybe you and I should place bets on the half-assed rumors that’ll circulate about Old Spooky this week. I wonder what the going rate is for me in a dress.”

Scully poked at the object in my back and the motion drew yet another a hiss from deep within my chest. She sighed. “McCarthy’s an asshole, Mulder.” I couldn’t see her but I could feel her frowning. “Besides, whatever bets circulate about you, they almost certainly include me in some form or fashion.”

I glanced down at my sized thirteen, blindingly silver old-maid evening gown, and my silver, high-heeled pumps. As it went, half the bureau already thought I was fucking Scully. Whether we truly were biblical (which we WEREN’T) didn’t matter to them. Male-female partnerships were just good office fodder. Always had been, always would be. But then, the sight of me in drag would probably send those “Mr. And Mrs. Spooky sitting in a tree” theories to a whole other level I just wasn’t prepared to think about.

I blinked a few times to clear my head. “That supposed to make me feel better, Scully?”

“No. It’s supposed to shut you up so you’ll stand still long enough for me to help you.”

I shifted my weight to stretch my torso and groaned with the effort. “I AM standing still–“

A pair of slender, firm hands latched onto my shoulders and I was steadied in the other direction. Tiny shards of twisting agony ripped holes through my nerve endings.

“What the motherfucking hell, Scully? God damn it, don’t fucking do that!”

Scully’s fingertips brushed my skin as she wrapped her hand around the sharp, horrifyingly murderous object. Whatever it was.

“Am I going to have to wash your mouth out later?” she asked.

I tried twisting my head to leer at her. “If you want something to wash, partner, I’m sure there are other places on my body that wouldn’t mind some immediate attention.”

Scully let out something that sounded like an annoyed snort and she dug her knuckles into the base of my shoulders. “I said stay still,” she muttered. “I have to—“

“You have to what?” I asked, clenching my fists and cursing my life, my partner and my hideous job, “Maim me? Kill me? Where’d you go to medical school anyway, Dr. Madness? I think—“

In one quick motion Scully yanked—hard, and white-hot, scalding, boiling pain followed her fingers as she pulled something short, sharp and thin out from my upper back.

“Jesus, What the hell—“

Scully sighed and moved away from me with a firm pat to my back. Another moment and she walked around to stand in front of me, dangling something impossibly tiny and silver in front of my nose. “A safety pin,” she said dryly. “All that fuss over a miniature safety pin. You must’ve gotten it in the back while you were chasing the perp. You’re not dying, you great big baby, although I’d like you to get a Tetanus shot.”

Great. Big. Baby, huh? Thanks a lot partner, I thought. See what I mean? AT-TI-TUDE.

All I could do was shrug and try to rub my back where I’d been jabbed. It still hurt, although not as piercingly as it had just seconds earlier. “Yeah, not NOW, no thanks to you,” I groaned. At that Scully smiled, although I didn’t know exactly why. Maybe it was because I was sporting her Coral colored lipstick — smeared now onto my cheeks, or because I had silver-blue eye shadow caked on above my lids, or perhaps because I was wearing a dress that a disco ball could have been buried in, silver heels that were two sizes too small, and a kinky, curly brunette wig.

All this combined and I made the ugliest damned woman you ever saw. I looked like an ass with a face painted on it.

“My feet hurt,” I somehow managed, my arm still draped across my lower shoulder, my fingers kneading into my sore back.

“Aw, poor thing,” Scully said, her smile growing wider. She glanced down at the hemline of my hideous, solar panel of a dress, and then she ran her eyes up, up and up until she reached my face again. Her sparkling blue irises twinkled with mischief and she rocked back and forth on her heels. “I must say, Mulder, you ah, you make quite a….a large woman. NBA worthy. And glaringly ornate. The whole ensemble is just spectacular in its opulence.” She stole a quick glance at my feet. “Gee, can I borrow those when you’re finished with them?”

I pursed my lips. “The shoes or the breasts?” I asked, wiping off some of the red lipstick with the back of my hand. I grinned at the change in Scully’s expression and folded my arms smugly across my chest. Finally, I thought. The queen comes down a peg.

Scully shook her head and smacked me hard in the shoulder. “I’ll put the safety pin back in,” she muttered.

“Just go ahead and try it, Mrs. Spooky.”

“Maybe I will, Dame Edna.”

We smiled at each other for a moment, staring, reveling in… something, I didn’t know what. Familiarity? Comfort? Between us, the air seemed to crackle with warm, sticky intensity despite the black hose I wore that bunched at my ankles. I cocked my head to one side, watching Scully with possessiveness, feeling suddenly as happy as a little gir—

Well, anyway.

All I knew was that Scully was playing with me. She was teasing me, flirting in a ‘Scully’ sort of way. And I liked that side of her. I liked it very much. (Certainly better than “evil bitch doctor woman” Scully.) A crooked streetlamp flickered on and off directly behind her, and the angle of the bulb threw dancing patterns on Scully’s rust colored hair. Her arresting blue eyes were a fascinating shade of sapphire in the dim light and her shiny, pink lips curved into a grin meant only for me. She was beautiful, I thought. Quite beautiful. Even as an evil doctor, she was bewitching in every way. How many times had I really, honestly looked at her?

Not enough.

I couldn’t help but wonder what Scully was thinking in that moment, watching me with those intelligent eyes, seeing me dressed like a lunatic. Did it really matter how silly I looked? I liked to think that Scully only saw what she wanted to see; she saw me in a tender, uncompromising light that nobody else ever bothered with. We argued, yes, but we understood how important the journey was. We were like two halves of a coin; we were opposing sides meant to argue, but we always came together in the end.


Did Scully know how I really felt about her? That I cared very dearly for her? Did she hear it in my voice? Perhaps she did. Or perhaps the heels and the whore paint had thrown her for a loop.

“Meet me in five,” Scully finally said, breaking the silence by pivoting away from me and sauntering off in the opposite direction. With one hand she felt at her waist to (probably) make sure her gun was still securely holstered, and with the other hand she tossed the safety pin to the ground and reached for her cell phone. She walked and talked for about twenty seconds, then paused in mid step and threw back over her shoulder, “The Five and Diner across the street. Skinner’s meeting us there. He says not to get changed yet.”

Eh? I thought. Skinner said what? Why?

I narrowed my eyes at this latest job perk. And to think, I’d just begun to give myself reconstructive breast surgery. Scully looked at me for a moment with a raised eyebrow. I sighed, dangling one foam-rubber breast precariously over a muddy puddle that rippled on the pavement.

“Don’t you dare, Mulder.” A challenge seemed to shine in her eyes. “Skinner gave me specific orders.”

“Ah, that’s right,” I said, lowering my arm and sticking my right breast back in my borrowed control top. “Orders are orders and we have to follow orders. But just where is the Skinmanator anyway? Working a TV camera somewhere? How do I know that Agent Kamron isn’t waiting in that diner with a Polaroid that you’re going to use to –“

“Save it, Mulder.”

She walked away without another word.

When I looked down I noticed that my right breast was misshapen and slightly perpendicular to the other. “I look like an abstract mound of sequined clay,” I said to myself, dragging along on poor, dead, stiletto-wounded feet to try and keep up with Scully. “I call this piece… ‘sucker in a dress.”

Scully turned in mid-step, her cell phone lodged under one ear. “What was that, Mulder?”

I blinked, pulled a matted cord of brunette hair out of my face and smiled. “Nothing, dear.” Scully rolled her eyes at me, turned around, and kept on walking.


The Five and Diner was a large, square, pink and blue building situated directly next to the Overpass for the Ninety-Five. From the outside it looked like a pastel checkerboard with a blinking white, neon sign. Inside it wasn’t much better. Dark pink tables, light pink walls, and sparkly blue vinyl seats that crunched when you sat on them served as decor. On the walls were pictures of various celebrities: Cher, Barbara Streisand, Ru-Paul, Anne Heche. None were autographed, but all were framed in blue, sparkly frames and hung at odd angles beneath fake-looking, plastic forty fives and silver music notes.

No Polaroid cameras though. And nobody staring at me either. Apparently this whole situation was normal round these parts. A big, scary looking woman with an adam’s apple walking in, that is.

I sighed and stared around, feeling tired and used and very cheap. I finally spotted Scully situated at a table with a file opened in front of her. She had her cell phone pressed to her ear just as she’d had it when she walked in. I could hear her authoritative voice issuing orders as I approached:

“Yes, that’s Fox Mulder. M-U-L-D-E-R. I’m sending him in for a Tetanus. Yes. Approximately…” She looked at her watch. “Thirty, maybe forty minutes. Uh huh. Yes, I know. Special Agent Dana Scully. Do you need my badge num—what? Oh, okay.”

I stopped at the head of the table and stared at Scully with a plea in my eyes: Get me out of here, please, oh please, or get out your gun and shoot me. I sighed, bunching my shimmering dress in messy clumps at my hips, my black tights ripped in about five places,. The hair on my legs was seeping through the cracks of the hose. Attractive. Really.

Scully finally hung up the phone and looked at me. Really looked at me. She bit her lip and placed a hand over her mouth in a bad attempt to hide her amusement. “Problem?” she asked.

“Of course not,” I said, and flopped down next to Scully. A whooshing noise in the vinyl announced the arrival of my big, fat ass in my big, fat dress.

“You look…” She stared at me with scrutiny in her eyes. “Like you just broke up with your boyfriend.”

I shook my head and let my neck droop until my face plopped miserably down upon my arms. Scully was playing again, I thought with a sudden second wind. “Unnghhh,” I groaned, the sound muffled by beads, silk and lace. “I was too good for that bastard anyway.”

At that, Scully giggled. She actually giggled. The sound was like happiness, like sheer, unadulterated happiness, and I wanted to hear it again. Scully rarely, if ever, giggled.

I picked my head up and stared at her with eyeliner streaming in black streaks down my face. My eyes were rimmed above and beneath with blue shadow that made me look as if I’d gotten the bends. My lips and cheeks were smudged with pink and red and splotches of caked foundation. I looked like the thing that crawled out from under a rock. We both knew it.

Yet we couldn’t stop staring at each other with these idiotic grins on our faces.

The rainbow colored jukebox in the corner kicked on and the faint strains of Doo-Wap and “One Fine Day” grew unnaturally loud in the small diner.

Through the static and the crackles I heard: “One fine daay-ay-ay…. you’ll look at me-ee-eee. And then you’ll know our love was… meant to Bee-ee-ee.”

Okay, so the situation was priceless; too good to pass up, I admit it. And as you know, I am never one for passing up good situations. Especially since, at that moment, I felt like an idiot and it seemed rather unfair and selfish to hog that feeling and keep the embarrassment for myself.

So I stood and fixed my dress rather unattractively; with my legs stiff and wide, I yanked the bodice up by the shoulders of the dress and shook my lower half. My face scrunched in concentration. Scully raised a disgusted looking eyebrow at me and stifled yet another giggle. I held a sparkling arm out to her. “Come here, Scully.”

Scully leaned back slightly in the booth, darting her head around with what looked like either nervousness or embarrassment. She cleared her throat. “For what purpose?”

I sighed. “Just come here.”

One thing you should know: There are times when Scully doesn’t talk at all. During those moments she’s usually contemplating the situation or thinking about her best course of action. Sometimes she can be downright infuriating with her thoughful silences. But when Scully does talk, she doesn’t shut up. Ever.

“Mulder, this is completely inappropriate, what I believe you’re insinuating we do, and I don’t think the assistant director will approve of his two senior agents loafing around this diner when—”

So I grabbed her (not too hard, mind you) by the arm and literally dragged her out of the booth. Her right foot caught on her left foot and she tripped most ungracefully into my arms, steadying herself quickly with two hands pressed firmly against my chest. In return, I wrapped an arm loosely around her waist. Scully stared up at me with her eyebrow raised, her expression screaming “this doesn’t at all demean my presence as an agent.”

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I feel like dancing and I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go.”

I grinned and slipped the other arm, beads and sequins and all, around Scully’s middle to join my left hand. Then I squeezed her suddenly and briskly, and I whipped us around, forcing Scully’s arms to instinctively wrap around my neck. My blood thrummed as I looked back down at her, a lopsided grin on my face. Scully smelled like honeysuckle. It was all I could think of. Jesus Christ, she smells like honeysuckle.

Scully just stared at me, her arms still wound around my neck. “You can’t be serious.”

I grinned widely, winking at my partner in a way that I KNEW partners were not supposed to wink at each other. I didn’t care. “I am extremely serious. You look hot in your little ‘safe-in-the- FBI-van-jacket.”

Scully narrowed her eyes.

“And you look like a shmuck in a dress.”

“Your point?”

She sighed and unwound her right hand to draw her thumb over my cheek, slowly smudging away the bleeding mess of colors on my face. “Mostly? That this is completely inappropriate.”

I clucked my tongue. “Really? How UN P.C of you.”

“You know what I’m talking about.”

“I do, I do… but Scully… you wound me. Can’t a good natured transvestite dance with his best girl to—“ I paused and cocked my head to listen to the music. The song had changed. I grinned at the newest selection “— the Pina Colada song?”

Raised eyebrow. Scully’s fingers tickled patterns around my neck. We were almost nose to nose now. Her eyes were a soft blue shade under lids that had somehow fluttered half closed. Her head was nearly tilted to one side and we were watching each other with an intensity that seemed to drown out the entire restaurant. Oh God, Oh Christ, I thought. That Honeysuckle. She smelled so damned good. And she was breathing with her mouth opened in this small, delicious looking “O” shape. She looked like she wanted to be kissed. She looked like she NEEDED to be kissed. Lord knew I needed some kissing.

I cleared my throat to try and distract myself. “Oh, I see,” I said, my voice slightly higher than I would have liked. “It’s the dress, isn’t it? I knew I should have gone with lace. Sequins just make me look so bloated this time of year…”


I want to kiss you, I thought to her. I want to kiss you so badly that sometimes I can’t breathe. I want to drag you home with me and make love to you and just… look at you, talk to you until the sun comes up. Whatddya say? That okay with you, Scully? Today’s Friday and we can sleep in tomorrow.

I didn’t say that out loud of course. Instead — “Hmmm?”

A much more banal but acceptable response.

Scully smiled, blissfully unaware that her shampoo was driving me to come up with stark raving mad thoughts.

“You have actually managed to surpass bizarre,” she said. “Do you know how frightening that is? I mean, for you?”

I pretended to think about it. “About as frightening as Skinner and his fancy towards Absolute Vodka?”

I was rewarded with another giggle –throatier this time, and with something odd and husky fogging her voice.

“Almost…” she agreed, “but not quite.”

I licked my lips and pulled her closer, spinning us around one last time for effect. We looked utterly ridiculous, me in my old-lady evening gown and Scully in her sensible suit and FBI jacket, both of us swaying to the Pina Colada song. In all honesty, it wasn’t a romantic set-up. We looked like a couple you’d see in a prison movie.

But when our eyes met (mine lined with blue shadow like a Racoon prostitute) we were both breathing hard and fast, although neither of us had done anything to provoke breathlessness. I could still smell that damned shampoo of hers wafting over me and it drove me NUTS. Briefly, I wondered if there was chemical poison in female shampoo that fucked with male pheromones.

“So tell me something,” I said, swaying us to the right and then back to the left, “Does dancing with you like this make me one of those healthy heterosexual males who’s over compensating for his inadequacy to…” I ran a dangling, red -polished, Lee Press-on over her cheek, “to touch…beautiful women by compulsively reaching out for his feminine side—“ I brought my finger back down and stared at her lips. She stared at mine. “Or am I just a big scary lesbian trapped in a man’s body?”

Scully closed her eyes and giggled softly, her head lowering for a minute tso that her chin rested against the front of her neck. When she looked at me again her eyes sparkled.

“I’m going with shmuck in a dress.”

I shook my head. “Ouch,” I said, smiling.

We both laughed, our bodies still swaying with the music. It was like magic, like magic in a pink and blue diner with gum on the floor. And God, I just wanted to hold Scully like that for as long as the world would allow me to. If time could have stopped and everyone would have just disappeared, I would have turned my face and kissed her for as long as she would let me. Scully was the only person in the world who bothered to know me, who bothered to care. She had a good heart, a beautiful interior that spoke of loyalty and conviction. She was one of those people you could pass on the street and never know, NEVER understand that you’d just bypassed the most incredible person on the face of the planet.

I would’ve said something else to her, but someone interrupted our quiet little soiree with the loud clearing of his throat. And goddamn it, I knew that “throat clearing” anywhere. Scully knew it, too.

We both whipped our heads around in unison to see a very stern looking, very bald looking, very tired looking Assistant Director Skinner staring at us like he wanted to shoot us. Next to him stood poor old Agent Cromwell, who looked like he wanted to die right where he stood.

Flustered, I pulled away from Scully quickly, my arms falling listlessly to my sides as if I’d been burned by Scully’s waist. Scully’s hands ripped away from my neck and she gave me a shaky, forceful shove in the chest –not really hard, but just hard enough to knock me off balance in my silver stilettos and send my arms pinwheeling out of control in large, uneven circles. Scully’s eyes widened and she gasped my name, reaching forward to grab my arm to steady me, to pull me upright, to do ANYTHING. But it was too late. Way too late. And I was too heavy anyway.

I fell like a sequined sack of shit, crashing to the pink and blue checkered floor on the boned part of my ass. “Ow,” I muttered.

“Sorry,” Scully whispered.

“Agents,” Skinner said simply, clearing his throat again with the back of his hand. He looked for all the world like he was trying to keep a straight face.

I looked up at Scully. She stood ramrod straight, her shoulders back, her face as even and as composed as if nothing at all odd had happened: I wasn’t in a dress. She hadn’t been dancing with me. We weren’t standing in a diner that looked like it owned its own theme park. How Scully managed that complete professionalism, (or how she ALWAYS managed that) I didn’t know.

“You’re relieved, agents,” Skinner said after a beat, his expressionless face trained first on Scully, then on me. “I just wanted to see for myself…” He cleared his throat again. “Anyway, unless of course, you’re busy. Do you have something to add?”

“No, sir,” Scully said.

I yanked the left breast out from my chest and tossed it to the floor. “Everything’s just peachy down here, sir,” I said.

And that was that.





“Did you know that I asked ‘Special Assignments’ if I could keep that dress? They were going to throw it out, so I took it and kept it in the back of my closet.”

“You… what? You kept the dress? Why? That ugly thing? Why?”


“Besides the fraying material I doubt it would fit you, Scully. Unless you found an unbelievably good seamstress and ripped out the sequins, and then of course, took up the hem, in which case —”

“I’d never danced with you before.”

“Wh… what?”

“I’d never danced with you before, Mulder. When I tripped and you caught me… let’s just say I’d never before felt anything like what I felt when when I looked up at you. It was intense and blinding and so… There were no conspiracies at that moment, no pretenses, no arguing about science and aliens and how to handle the investigation.. There was just you and I, existing in a place where none of the world’s ‘Cancermans’ could ever touch us. Suddenly, I felt safer than I had in awhile. It was as if I had found a reason to keep on going. So I kept the dress as a souveneir.”

“You mean you still have it?”

“Well, I thought we’d never dance again. At least, I never imagined —”

“That a few years later we’d be doing the horizontal Mamba? —OW! Scully!”

“I’m TRYING to have an adult conversation here, Mulder.”

“So am I. You want me to put it on right now? Because I can. I think I’ve got some Chubby Checker albums lying around here somewhere. We could do the twist.”

“No, Mulder.”

“Or YOU could put on the dress.”




“One time, Scully. One time. We can look deeeeeeeeply into each other’s eyes and–”

“Oh, Shut. Up. Jesus, I don’t know why I tell you anything.”

“Oh come on, it was funny.”


PART 3A: How to Blend in With Normal People (By Dana Scully)

Summary: There we were, Mulder and I, Mulder naked beside me, me on my side with my face upturned towards the window. I was watching leaves trickling down from their branches, twigs twisting in the wind and fluttering from sight, thinking about nothing really…Or everything. Nothing or everything or something like that. Damned if I can remember.

Author’s note: This is Scully’s story, really. I just helped her? edit it. Actually, after visiting the Haven Boards and reading all the conflicting theories concerning certain events that may or may not have taken place during the episode “all things,” I, of course, wanted to know what REALLY happened. So I got right on the phone and contacted a Miss Dana Scully M.D of Georgetown, Maryland, and (after I promised I wasn’t a consortium member, or from the National Enquisitor, or constructing a follow up Cops episode) she agreed to tell me the whole darn thing. This is what she had to say.


How to Blend in With Normal People

By Dana Scully

(Edited and compiled by Jaime Lyn)


I: Allow Me to Introduce my Life

(Work Together, Cry Together, Screw Each Other’s Brains Out—Or Something Like That)

Four words:

“I’ll think about it.”

That’s what I said to Mulder thirteen months ago—or maybe more than thirteen months ago, I don’t quite recall. I think it was… March? April? No—May. Must’ve been May; Rain was pounding like chunks of rocks outside: loud, snarling wind and branches blowing and slapping against the window. May had the highest percentage of rainfall last year…

Last year seems like such a long time ago.

Mulder and I have a child now. Did you know that? A perfectly normal, beautiful little baby boy named William, who looks mostly like me but who can fight sleep long enough to wake me up in the middle of the night just like his father. William and his dear old Dad share many habits actually, not the least of which is a hearty appetite. Mulder tells me all the time that the kid “certainly can eat a whole damn lot,” but then again, last week Mulder accidentally grabbed the breast milk out of the fridge instead of the regular milk, and before I could warn him he’d downed the whole bottle–

No—wait. You won’t understand the importance of that incident if I start there. I need to go further back than that. Before the baby. Before May. Before that one night Mulder and I–

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

First of all, my name is Dana Scully. I’m a medical doctor and a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The division I work for is called “the x files,” a highly scrutinized department of mostly unsolved cases that has a penchant for getting blown up, discredited and/or shut down. Specifically, I’m a forensic pathologist who specializes in assisting the unorthodox investigations into these cases (x files) pertaining to the paranormal. Vampires, ghosts, aliens, monsters… Fun times.

These days I don’t get my ass kicked nearly as much. Since I have a child at home and a—well, a Mulder who likes to play basketball in the apartment, I have other priorities that require my attention.

But I’m getting ahead of myself again. Back to what I was saying:

For seven long years, most of my waking hours (and some of my non-waking ones,) personal or professional, were spent with my partner, Special Agent Fox Mulder (Mulder, the one I mentioned—but don’t call him Fox) a man who can be described as nothing less than chronically obsessed… with his work, with his search for the truth, with anything important to him and truly bizarre. Mulder and I worked side by side, crying together, getting our asses kicked together and supporting each other for nearly a decade. During that time I toughened my skin and racked up so many frequent flyer miles for the hospital, I probably have my own ward somewhere. Basically, during the course of my work with Mulder I was shot at, chased down, mowed down, thrown through plate glass windows, abducted by unknown forces, tampered with on a biological level and robbed of nearly all chances for motherhood.

I kid you not.

But I’m not a bitch about the irregularity of my life. It’s just that sentimentality and normalcy are highly overrated in my line of work. And besides that, life isn’t entirely brutal. I have my family, a few friends here and there—and Mulder. Well, mostly I have Mulder. If not for him by my side all this time I surely would have lost my mind long ago. He really is this beautifully flawed, incredible human being when he’s not being a total jackass. When he’s not single mindedly focused on his work—or even when he is. The way Mulder can take apart a mystery and put the pieces back together in all the right places…

He’s a marvel to watch sometimes.

So where was I?

Ah, yes: a month and a half before the rainy May night in question, I decided I wanted a baby. Well, no—that’s not entirely true. My whole life I’d always wanted a baby, but back in February of last year I started wanting a baby more than I’d ever wanted anything in my life. I wanted to feel a child growing inside of me. I wanted to feel real, feel whole. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted what most women in their thirties wanted: a chance. The opportunity to take my life into my own hands. I wanted to say yes, I can do this. YES, god damn it, this is what I want and none of you bastards can take away my right to chose this path.

But knowing what you want and getting it are two different things. Like I said, my life with Mulder wasn’t ideal. Besides the dangerous nature of the work, Mulder and I weren’t a couple. We were… friends. And yet I was alone as ever.

Funny how noble it seems in the beginning, waiting like some aristocratic virgin for the man you know you love, but who you’ll never allow yourself to have. I wasn’t sure how Mulder felt about the subject but he invested in a lot of porn. And sometimes I caught him looking at my legs when he should have been looking at other things. Like work. Then his eyes sparkled when he gazed at me, or when he touched my hand, and there were times I could’ve sworn we’d made love without taking off any clothes.

Professionally, the relationship was sound. Personally, I spent many of my lunch hours ruminating on how to make love without ever touching someone. Pathetic, in other words.

So Mulder and I weren’t horizontal. We weren’t biblical. We were just friends. We were comfortable. Christ almighty, we were living a life that normal people would have laughed at because the ridiculousness of our sexual dysfunction was staggering.

How would a normal person handle loving a man who’s more in love with his work? Would they do what I did and skirt the subject, take the careful route and ask for some white swimmers in a little plastic cup? Or would a normal person have just kissed him? Told him the truth? Made love to him on the desk like a crazed white rabbit?

Maybe I don’t fucking care. I just don’t know.

At any rate, I needed a man to have a baby (no kidding.) And oh, I wanted a baby so badly I couldn’t breathe while thinking about it. So I told Mulder my idea one night in the basement. I told him I needed a father with pictures of Big Foot fluttering on the wall behind me. Above me, the fan spun and hummed from its suspended perch in the ceiling. Circulating air chilled against the back of my neck.

“Mulder,” I’d said, “I want a child. The doctor told me it was possible—that I could become pregnant, but my situation is precarious. I’d need to undergo an in-vitro-fertilization procedure. – I’m sure you know what that is. It’s…a costly, painstaking process, but my chances are nearly 50 percent, which is better than what I originally thought. I… this is what I want…at this juncture in my life. I think you know why I can’t deny myself this opportunity, Mulder. So in light of that, and of other things, although I didn’t want to ask you this for fear of straining relations between us, there isn’t anyone else I’d ask. I—I need… you’re the only man I would ever ask to be my child’s father…”

There. I’d said it. Whether because of relief or nausea, the room seemed to contract like a rubber band. A short hug was shared between us friends, an awkward, tight embrace. Then Mulder shot me a tight-lipped smile and nodded (as if to himself) while he hastily backed away from me. He said nothing.

“You don’t have to give me an answer right away,” I muttered to myself, my hand clutching the corner of his desk. He was already gone.

So I was left standing there, my head pounding, my body stiff as a piece of sheetrock. I drove home alone from work fifteen minutes later. Two hours afterwards I waited at home for a phone call, for a knock on the door, for anything from him. I sat dumbfounded as I realized the ramifications of my request. Had I ripped apart our friendship? Destroyed our working relationship? No Mulder meant no baby. I knew this as much as I knew anything. And I was sure he was going to say no.

But then he knocked. And I let him in. “The answer is yes,” he’d said.

Fast forward to one very rainy May night last year: I came home to find Mulder sprawled on my couch. The gray clouds that had begun to open up as I walked through the door made the apartment feel dark, ominous. The weather-man on the radio had mentioned something about rain but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what. The air smelled like humidity and evaporation. For a split second I hoped I remembered to close all the windows.

Mulder twisted his body around on the couch to see me and said something that I didn’t quite hear. Everything was falling apart.

I was empty: empty and cold and inhuman. Something was wrong with me, something I could never fix. I was abnormal, a medical abomination. And I would never have a baby because of my mutation. I wasn’t real. I was a hologram. I was a faded image.

Mulder stood up, watched me and waited for news of my procedure. He looked anxious, hopeful even. Part of me wondered how much of him wanted a baby as badly as I did. So I took pause, tried to choose my words carefully but nothing escaped my lips. Not one single sound. The tests had come back. But how to tell him? Mulder, I’m not pregnant. Mulder, I’ll never be pregnant. Mulder, you’d be better off if you got as far away from me as possible. Hot tears burned my eyes until I wanted to rip my eyeballs halfway out of my skull.

Mulder must have seen the contortion in my face right away. He said to me, “It didn’t take, did it?”

I didn’t answer him. Rather, I sobbed, shook, grasped him tight when he took me in his arms to try and comfort me. There wasn’t anything left to say, was there? After a few seconds I somehow managed, “That was my last chance.”

Mulder sighed and held me in a fierce embrace: another hug between close friends— highly dysfunctional, unstable friends, but friends nevertheless. Mulder told me that it would be alright; he listened to me gasp for air, said everything, everything was fine— never give up on a miracle.

A miracle.

“I think I used up all my miracles,” I whispered between sobs.

Mulder’s lips brushed my cheek. “You can have some of mine, then,” he said.

I cried. He cried with me. Then he pressed a kiss to my neck; an innocent, soft kiss to my neck. One to my cheek, so like the way he’d kissed me there before. I turned my head, ran my fingers through his mussed brown hair. I only meant to thank him for being so wonderful; our noses brushed quite by accident.

I don’t really understand what happened after that except… desperation. Passion. Explosion. Everything we’d ever denied ourselves:

A flurry of kisses, a flurry of hands, a breathtaking scurry of clothing removal and motion and trembling, slick bodies pressing against each other and lips whispering incomprehensible phrases; yes, there, yes, God, please more, please now, don’t stop, not ever, I want, I want—now, make me feel whole, make me feel, just make me feel something—

I never thought we’d allow for distraction, Mulder and I. Mulder’s focus was always with the x files. My focus was always (or at least nine times out of ten) with the science of it, the truth, seeking answers right there with him. We’d worked hard for a long time. Sex was something other people did.

Until that night.

So somehow I was naked. And Mulder was naked, curled around my back, trailing his fingers up my arm and leaving goose bumps in his wake…

Which is where the story begins.

So like I was saying in the beginning-

It was a rainy night in… May. (May?)

There we were, Mulder and I, Mulder naked beside me, me on my side with my face upturned towards the window. I was watching leaves trickling down from their branches, twigs twisting in the wind and fluttering from sight, thinking about nothing really…

Or everything.

Nothing or everything or something like that. Damned if I can remember.

II: The ACTUAL Story – Thirteen Months Ago (Give or Take)

(If At First You Don’t Succeed… Aw Hell, You’re Naked. Just Avoid the Subject)

No words at first.

One or both of us rolls away – it’s either Mulder returning to his side of the bed or me returning to mine. I can feel the space between us on the mattress open like a ravine– a satiny, wrinkled ditch of damp sheets and open air. We’re both searching for oxygen and space. Neither of us knows what to say. When we roll back together a moment later he’s spooning me from behind, one arm draped across my side. A shiver slithers through me, down my arms and out my toes. My legs feel long and heavy above the sheets.

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, Mulder’s breathing slows. Then my breathing slows. The room is hot, scalding, boiling hot and the sheets are soaked with us. Our legs are entangled; his face is buried in my hair. For five minutes silence is a choice.

I take a deep breath. “So…” I begin.

“So,” Mulder echoes. His finger traces around my ear: one thumb languidly brushing over my earlobe then disappearing back into my hair. He brushes a wet, curling lock away from my face.

“So…” I try again.

“So…” Mulder parrots back at me.

I bite my lip searching for something, anything. “It’s pouring out there,” I finally say.


“Lots of um, rain lately.”

“Lots and lots of rain lately.” Mulder clears his throat, starts absently tapping out a rhythm I can’t decipher on my sweaty, nude shoulder. “Thunderstorms. That’s, you know… weather patterns and complicated—what I mean is—May showers… I’m sure there’s a um… a whatchamacalit term for it—“


Mulder sighs. I can feel him shaking his head, though he probably doesn’t want me to know he’s doing it. “I knew that,” he mumbles.

Usually Mulder is brilliant. He knows how to articulate. Get him on things like witches and vampires, beast women ripping out eyeballs or anything ludicrous that pertains to the unexplained and you can’t shut him up fast enough. And Lord knows I can talk his head off when he gets me started on bizarre medical conditions, modern forensic technology or scientific rationalism. I know what I’m talking about when I’m in my element. We both do. We’ve argued for hours on such subjects.

Right now, however, we’ve somehow fucked each other stupid.

“That was…” Mulder trails off, taking a breath. His hand runs through the back of my hair as if he’s afraid to touch me anywhere else. I don’t know how I feel about that hand in my hair. I don’t know how I feel about anything. It’s as if I’ve been opened up and spilled all over the bed.

“That was…” He doesn’t seem to know how to finish the sentence.

“Words,” I whisper, absently.

Mulder grunts in agreement. “Subject, verb. I need an adjective. Help me out here, Scully.”

I clear my throat but end up saying nothing.

Jesus, this is my partner. My PARTNER. The Ops board would have a field day with this. SKINNER would have a field day with this. Half the Hoover building would be divvying up the office pool and putting up banners with sayings like, “Congratulations Mr. And Mrs. Spooky on your first fuck. Here’s to many more.”

I look down and realize my chest is uncovered, my skin slick and dewy. I feel naked – probably because I am naked. I don’t know why this surprises me, since sex often requires some form of nudity, but it feels somehow unattractive to have my breasts just…lying there, slumped like two limp packages. This must be like one of those dreams where you find yourself wandering the hallways at work naked. Except my skin isn’t the only part of me exposed and I don’t know how to cover myself up without retreating from my partner.

Mulder breathes in my ear again. Our legs are twined together, my toes halfway way up his calf muscles. Mulder’s legs, for the record, are smooth and long and finely toned. He feels good. Really good. He must be keeping up with those six am work-outs. Okay, damn it, someone has got to say SOMETHING.

I take a deep breath, say a short prayer. Here goes…


“You ever hear of the San José lights, Scully?”

Ummm…. “Excuse me?”

“The San José lights.” Mulder chuckles with a nervous twinge that seems to come from the back of his throat. “You’ve never heard of them?”

I close my eyes in resignation. “The San José lights,” I repeat, disbelief in my voice. I’m beyond lost here. What just happened? Aren’t we still naked? Am I the only one aware of that?

“Mulder, what does the San José—”

“Interesting story, Scully. See, there’s this little mountain town in California off highway seventy-five—Wanuta, which is primarily known for the infamous, haunted, Santa Ana Hotel. Of course—depending on the latest relevant information on paranormal disturbances and your own personal point of reference, the ghost of Santa Ana may or may not be a poltergeist… It may just be a hot spot for telekinetic energy or a rumor blown into mass hysteria…But that’s not… not particularly relevant. So um, you can supposedly see the San José lights glitter over this one hill top in Wanuta for a day or two, until they actually drift northward into San José so that by the third day, these brown and red lights are hovering somewhere over the highway. But of course, once you get outside Wanuta there’s a lot of light pollution that makes the phenomena hard to spot. And this goes on for a week or so in May, maybe the third or the fourth Sunday, and only once every three years or so…Actually this year, if I’m not mistaken, is a San José light year. So maybe we could—I mean, maybe we should look into that. When time frees up for us or…”

The room is suddenly very quiet. Dangerously quiet. After about five seconds I can’t take the stillness of it.



“Are you cracking up on me?”

Mulder laughs into my forearm. He still sounds nervous. “Technical impossibility, dear Scully,” he says. “Cracking up would require some pre established notion of sanity.”

“No argument here.”

Silence again.

Right now I’m trying hard not to think about all this.

Difficult task, considering Mulder’s curled up behind me like a long, finely muscled, sweaty cat. I suppose I could pull away from him or actually get up and dress myself. But I’m afraid to move. I’m terrified that if I break this unreality I’ll never get it back, and part of me is damned near cheering that I have naked Mulder here while I’m basking in my own sweaty nakedness.

But the other part of me – the dominant part – is scared so wholly and so completely that it hurts to breathe. Christ.

I drift in and out, allowing reality to poke holes into my strange wonderland; going to the grocery store later, heading for Quantico to consult for an old friends’ research study, meeting Monday morning with Skinner. All normal things.

Having sex with your government issued partner isn’t fucking normal.

Mulder sighs. “I can’t believe you’ve never heard of the San José lights, Scully.”

I breathe in the musky scent of Mulder next to me; perfunctory soap and sweat mixed with aftershave. When I focus my eyes, the room wavers like humid oxygen during those hot summer months. I can’t seem to find reality. I know it’s here somewhere…

Out loud I say, “I suppose I don’t subscribe to the same science fiction magazines you do, Mulder. Besides that, flashing lights can mean anything. You know that just as well as I do: Radio towers, airplanes, helicopters… just because some light appears over some hill in some remote farming town, that doesn’t make it any more credible as a UFO than the same scenario of flashing lights over New York City. Funny how you never hear of mysterious lights flashing over large, densely populated areas.”

Lightning shatters the darkness outside the window. Light, dark, black, white. Leaves crashing against the window, twigs whooshing past and whirling away… The weather reminds me of something: love, hate, and something else. I don’t know whether I want to shift towards Mulder or roll away towards the edge of the bed. Sometimes I want to crawl inside of him, stay someplace safe. Other times I can’t get far enough away.

Mulder shakes his head. “Automobile industry,” he says absently. He’s nuzzling my neck and it’s damned fucking distracting.

“What?” I sigh and close my eyes. If he doesn’t stop that we’re going to be in trouble all over again.

“It’s actually—Wanuta gets most of its income from the automobile industry.”

Mulder’s mouth moistens a trail behind my ear, slips slowly down the side of my neck. Holy Mary Mother of God—what the fuck is he doing with those hands? Is that legal? Oh, this isn’t normal. This isn’t—

Raspy, I manage, “You know what, Mulder? How about I give you—“ I swallow back a groan. “Thirty five cents. There’s a payphone outside. I’m sure there must be someone in this world you could call who… oh, that’s nice…. Who would give a shit about Wanuta’s automobile—Uhhmmm…Muh…Muhl..”

Suddenly, Mulder’s lips pull back from my shoulder. His hands stop someplace farther south. All I know is that I’m quite possibly losing all lucidity and all the blood in my body is rushing towards my reproductive regions.

“You don’t care?” Mulder asks into my neck, the situation almost completely detoured now. Oh. God. I’m going to kill him. “The San José lights phenomena is well documented throughout the United States, Scully. I can’t believe you don’t—”



I sigh, staring down at the floor. “Look, I know that somewhere in your warped brain a convoluted interpretation of my last remark is manifesting itself—and I apologize for that. Really. However, to be perfectly forthright, I’d care a little more if the present situation were altered. If I were at least wearing underwear, I’d care deeply about the San José lights.”

I feel Mulder nod, his nose brushing my earlobe. “Okay, Scully,” he says. “I can get behind that.”

He laughs at his own joke.

“You quite finished, Mulder?”

“For now.”

I stare at the floor some more.

The comforter, a goldish, greenish heap of cotton, is rumpled and curled on the carpet where we tossed it hours ago. It looks like a grassy little hill, like a pile of freshly raked leaves. I can remember something from long ago, a memory of raking leaves with my sister Melissa, pushing her back onto the grass when she called me names. I was so safe then, so unassuming. I was so innocent and I blended in so well with everyone, all the perfectly normal, perfectly natural, non-fuck-ups. I was one of them.

What the hell happened to me?

Back when I was a kid I didn’t have to worry about any of this: Monsters and aliens and metal chips in my neck and abductions and being barren, being emotionally drained, being sexually stagnant yet having Mulder with me. Life isn’t at all easy with him, yet sometimes life is so easy it’s comfortable. So easy I don’t know where to organize and store new information.

Oh the easy, comfortable life Mulder and I lead: Get up alone, go to work, have some lunch together, talk like professionals talk, like real friends talk, investigate some cases, come back home and have dinner – maybe together, maybe separate. At least once before the evening ends, the phone rings: Scully, it’s me. Have you ever seen El Nino? I mean really up close? Did I tell you about the Sasquatch sighting in Arizona? Me lying in bed, Mulder’s voice like a safety blanket around me; Goodnight Scully. Goodnight Mulder.

Rain slams against the window, pounds like hail. Lighting illuminates the sky in whorls of white and blue. Water drips in the bathroom like a hollow drum: drip, drip, drop, drip. It’s fucking cold in here now… And I’m naked. And Mulder’s naked. What have we done? Oh God—I can’t breathe. What have we DONE?

I swallow, wrapped in thoughts I can’t understand.

Mulder lowers his nose to my ear, pushes away the tangles of my hair. “You know, Scully, you smell like…hmm…” He sniffs. “Ivory soap.”

I turn my head slightly. “What’s wrong with Ivory soap?”


“Then why mention it?”

“No reason. I was just thinking.”

“Do I even want to know?”

“Know what?” Mulder asks.

He runs his fingertips slowly, tracing skin upwards from my arms to my wrists. He must be trying to warm me up even though me must be kind of cold too; his hands are cold and slightly clammy. It’s a cute, endearing gesture.

I lean into his touch and answer, “You were saying about the soap—“

“No, nevermind.”


“Seriously. Nevermind, Scully.”

Oh good grief. Why does he do this to me? I can’t go anywhere without my underwear—he knows this, right?

“Oh would you just say whatever it is—“

“You give me an hour and I could probably get you zestfully clean.”


I shake my head and say, “How long you been waiting to say that one, Mulder?”

He chuckles. “About ten minutes.”


Memories flash like lightning, hard and fast, moments with vivid color but no sound: Mulder’s pale lips trailing down the hollow of my neck. My arms, tight and shaking around his muscled shoulders. My fingernails scraping down, down until he grabs them and holds them in front of him. He stares first at my knuckles, then at my palms. Then his eyes find my face—he looks at me, sees into me, sees all of me. We keep our eyes open—Jesus, we keep them open the whole time. I’ve never done that with anyone before. I doubt he has either.

We made love. Had sex. Whatever you want to call it.

I breathe finally, long and deep, thrusting away adrenaline soaked thoughts of flight; we made love. We made love. So what? It’s fine. I’m okay. I will not succumb to panic I will not succumb to panic…

Mulder’s kissing the back of my neck again and Jesus Christ it feels good. Like a hundred chills shooting through every single nerve ending. Is that wrong? Are we wrong? Shouldn’t we be getting dressed, shaking hands, going off on our merry ways? I just don’t fucking know.

“How you doing over there?” he asks, pulling his lips away.

“Fine.” I pause for a moment. “You?”

“Fine. Well actually, my foot fell asleep.”

“Oh.” I take a moment to think. “You ah, you might want to massage that to correct the flow of circulation.”

Mulder makes a “hmmpphh” like noise. “It’s awake now.”


Until tonight I’d loved Mulder at arms’ length. I loved him from the safety of my room. I loved him in a safe place where I could pretend that danger and pain could never – and would never— touch us. I dreamt of him in vivid Technicolor and I never gave a second thought to the idea that my desperation, my need for him, would ever go beyond the confines of my own mind.

But things change.

“We don’t have to bring this up after tonight, you know,” I say, almost afraid of how he’ll respond. “It can stay here.”

Mulder sighs. “That would be…” He takes a second, then finishes, “professional of us.”

“Yes,” I say.

“We work together,” Mulder says. “And we’re friends. And I don’t want… to lose you.” His voice has a dull edge that I don’t quite understand. “As a friend,” he adds.

“As a friend,” I echo, almost inaudibly.

Oh shit what am I doing oh God Dana shut up just shut up and turn him around and make love to him until his eyes roll back in his head and don’t fucking TALK for chrissakes…

I have to shake my head to clear it.

“So where does that leave everything else?” I ask.

Mulder takes a breath. “Honestly?” he says. “It leaves us naked. And still here— together. And considering the Earth is still rotating and the building has not yet combusted I’d say that’s pretty much all you can ask for at one o clock in the morning.”

The window shudders again, panes rattling with thunder. I ask him, “Is it?”

Mulder shivers, presses his lips into my hair. “Is what?”

“Is that really all that matters?”

His mouth attached to my skin, Mulder mumbles words that sound like, “It’s going to have to be.”

I nod.

Blood thrumming in my ears, I realize that I can feel the most intimate parts of Mulder in the small of my back. I can feel him long and hard and warm, pressing against me. Even when he’s not moving I feel him. I don’t know what to do with that sensation. I know I want to catalogue it, to tuck it away in the recesses of my mind but the prospect frightens me and I don’t yet know where to go with this.

Mulder continues, “Maybe we’ve managed to outsmart medical science…” He reaches over me and rubs one palm over the slight contraction of my abdomen. “Maybe miracles aren’t so hard to come by when the sex is really good.”

I suck in a breath. I wasn’t expecting him to say anything like that. Choked, I manage, “Mulder—“

The next intake of breath is his. I feel him shake his head. “Oh Christ, Scully. I’m sorry,” he says. “That was in bad taste.”

“No…” I want to curl up inside myself and disappear. “No, I think I understand…”

But I don’t. I don’t understand—not really. I never have.

Mulder rests his damp chin on my bare shoulder and speaks so I can feel his jaw move, his breath warm on my neck, his lips close to my ear.

“I want to give you this,” he says, as if that can justify our situation. Put things neatly back where they’d been. “A baby—“

“Is that what this was about?” I ask. I can’t look at him. Mulder knows what I mean. My head hurts and I’m shivering and I don’t want things to change between us. I don’t have any clue what I’m ready for.

“Scully,” he says, and my name sounds like a sigh. He slides his hands up and down my arms, still trying to warm me. The hairs on my biceps stand on end. I lean into him, pretend I’m alright when really I’m… I don’t know. The antithesis of fine. I lean back and kiss the edge of his shoulder, the only place I can reach.

He says, “No. You know I wouldn’t… I just want to give you back what you’ve lost, Scully.”

“You wouldn’t what?” I ask, staring blankly out the window.

“Wouldn’t…” He pulls away slightly. “I don’t know. I don’t really know what I mean. We both got caught up in the moment, didn’t we?”

“Caught up,” I echo, remembering the way he held me, the way he whispered during his climax, when he called my name and said ‘only you, only you Scully’ a dozen times and buried his face in my neck. What the heck was all of that about? I saw a light, a new kind of single-mindedness in his eyes—it was… love? Was it? I think. Jesus, where is all of that now?

“You know… I want to give you your miracle, Scully. You deserve more than that, of course. More than I know how to give–” He’s awkwardly tripping over words. Maybe he’s sorry and he can’t articulate the emotion. Maybe he thinks we’ve made a huge mistake. Oh God, is he trying to justify our being here?

“This…” He touches my stomach. “I can give you this. I can help you make a baby, Dana.”


God damn it, Mulder.


I bite back tears that sting my eyelids. This isn’t about love. It’s about guilt. He IS trying to justify our predicament. I can’t deal with that. Anything but that. No, I’m not going to cry. I’m not. I breathe in and say, “You don’t really want a baby.” I tilt my chin towards the window. “Mulder, I can’t – I won’t have you committing to something you don’t want.”

Mulder doesn’t answer me for a moment. Finally he says, “You’re taking that out of context, Scully.”


He considers for a moment. “Well…” He runs his fingers back over my abdomen until he’s holding me closer. “I’d never considered the option before. I guess I always assumed that with things being the way they are, with my lifestyle being so unorthodox, I’d never have children. But with you it’s different. I would want your baby, yes.”

I close my eyes – whether out of exhaustion or relief I’m not sure. “You’re serious.”


Neither of us speaks. Lightning paints the room in white. We’re on dangerous ground here. I don’t think I want to know why Mulder wants MY baby even though he doesn’t really seem to want any baby. Or why I want him to want my baby. Not that I don’t already know why. Someplace in my mind I’m sure I must know why, but—

I avoid asking him. Instead I get out, “And you think… it’s possible I could conceive.”

Mulder presses his cool lips into my neck. “I don’t know,” he says honestly.

“Mulder—“ What to say to him?

The truth.

“I’m not going to the doctor again. This is… the end. The hormones, the procedures…I’m tired. I can’t afford invitro again. This is it.”

Oh god… This IS it.

Oh I can’t… can’t think about that–

Mulder wiggles his other arm under me, reaches with his thick fingers until he finds my hand. He squeezes it and whispers even though we’re the only two in the room. “It doesn’t have to end like that, Scully. We’ve already upped the odds.”


“And if that didn’t work…” His eyelashes flutter against my shoulder, then my neck, then the sensation is lost in my hair. “We’ll find a way.”

I swallow. “But if we don’t—“

“We will.”

“But… our doing this. We work together, Mulder. We’re friends. Neither of us wants to disrupt that balance.”

“It won’t.”

“And if I’m still not pregnant?”

“I could—we could try. Again. As many times as you want.”

“But—“ The rain is letting up. A few leaves hit the window and slide down to the ledge. Mulder hasn’t told me he loves me, hasn’t uttered it once. What does that mean? There are too many variables here, too many problems…

I turn my face to look at him. Oh, how earnest he looks. How honest and beautiful. I could so say yes to you, Mulder. So easily. I could so tell you how much I love you and want you and need you in this bed forever, for as long as I’m alive.

But somehow I can’t. Now’s not the time. Maybe if he and I ever make a baby together our time will come, but now’s not it.

I squeeze Mulder’s hand and say, “I’ll think about it.”

He nods. “Okay.”

I feel pulled in a million directions. I don’t know what I feel. I’m scared and hopeful and disappointed and — My eyes hurt. And I’m terrified. I’m not good at being in love. He’s not good at it either. Is this love or is this convenience? Or maybe this is all about him giving something back to me. Or maybe we’re just screwing each other and looking for a good excuse.

“So long as I’m not twisting your arm,” I say wryly.

Mulder laughs into my shoulder, his breathing fast and dampening my skin. “Scully,” he says, chuckling, “do you have any idea how many times a day men think about just fucking the hell out of someone?”

I snort. “Romantic, Mulder.”

“Well, I can do better than that if you like.”

I close my eyes, my hand beneath his, our fingers intertwined. So safe here, so warm… A perfect moment I wish I could close up in this bed and keep here forever. “Why don’t we just get some sleep, huh?”

Mulder sighs into my hair. Not even thirty seconds of my perfect moment have passed when I hear, “Who’s your daddy, Scully?”

My eyes open warily. “Oh brother.”

“Is it hot in here or is it just you?”


“Let’s say you and I get jiggy with it.”


“How bout you slide on over here and I show you my Oscar Meyer—“



“Shut up.”

Mulder chuckles. “Oh, I get it. Bossy at work, bossy in bed…” With a finger placed carefully underneath my chin, Mulder turns my head and angles it towards him—not all the way, not like the Exorcist mind you, but just enough so that his lips can reach mine. We stare at each other with wide eyes while he moves in and tilts his face, my eyes remaining open until long after he’s closed his own. When my lashes finally do flutter shut he’s REALLY kissing me, gently and thoroughly and deeply, and I kiss him back for a good twenty seconds.

Finally, we disengage. “Kill joy,” Mulder mutters into my mouth.

I raise an eyebrow. “Say that again and you’ll never get laid.”

Mulder smiles. “Been there, done that. Besides, Scully, this morning I heard the forecast called for a downpour of sleeping bags.”

I can’t help but smile at him. “Hmm… strange atmospheric disturbances are right up your alley. Perhaps an investigation is in order.”

“How bout you roll on over, Special Agent Scully, and I investigate you—OW! Hey!”

“One more smarmy comment and I get my gun, Mulder.”

“Whatever you say—“ his eyes twinkle. “But it certainly brings new meaning to the phrase ‘roughing it’—Ah, shit! Scully!”

The sheets are kicked off the bed rather quickly. We’re both laughing—and wriggling and twisting and tickling and wrestling and, ok so things get really interesting after that. (I.E: I’m going to have problems walking tomorrow but that’s a whole other story and I’ll deal with it later…)

III: Just to Wrap Things Up: Fast Forward Thirteen Months

(Never Drink the Breast Milk)

Mulder and I never did “try again.” Even though Mulder had left the door open for nature, I never asked him. And he never brought it up. We even returned to work the next day as if nothing had happened, of course. Then weeks went by and the topic seemed to float away into the breezes of June. The more time that passed afterward, the harder it was to bring up. Besides, after seven years of denial we were good at boxing up our experiences. Mulder went on obsessing over vampires and aliens as usual and I went on…living. Wondering “what if?” Maybe things were too awkward for us to try making love again, or maybe another perfect moment never presented itself. I don’t know. Life at work was too busy for me to worry over trivial matters.

Then one day Mulder and I were investigating a case in Oregon: a series of questionable “disturbances” that dated back to 1993 and our very first case together. Ultimately, the investigation started out routine-like but sentimental in a way, since both of us were able to reminisce about the first time we’d worked together. Everything was perfectly fine until old alien abductees started disappearing left and right. And then I got sick. Specifically, I collapsed. And my life changed forever.

When I came to in some hospital, nearly a week had passed me by. Or maybe I was awake for the week but I blocked it from my memory. At any rate, a week after I took a nosedive into the floor of the lone gunmen office, some doctor in this nameless hospital told me I was pregnant. And that Mulder was gone. Abducted, like the people in Oregon.

“Oh,” I’d replied, tears escaping from my eyes. I didn’t know what to say. “Can I have a glass of water, please? I’d really like a glass of water.”

Time passed like liquid after that. Life seemed to stop for awhile.

Six months later Mulder was returned to me, dead but alive, and life began and stopped in intervals. I was jagged and sore and pregnant. Very pregnant. I had a new sort of life. Mulder, for his part, didn’t know what to make of me. So I told him, quite simply, that I’d missed him. I hoped that my affection for him would be enough. Mulder told me he was sorry for my pain, to which I replied that it wasn’t his fault. Mulder, of course, thought it was. For weeks afterward we talked about nothing; the weather and some old cases and this one time we were kicked out of a motel in Boston. But we never talked about that night in May, or the baby. Not really. At least not until right before the baby was born.

It’s amazing how the most important things in life happen when you’re either not paying attention or not expecting them.

I expected a normal pregnancy.

I expected to raise my child alone.

When I finally had the baby I’m not sure where I expected Mulder.

So when he cradled William against him and leaned in close to kiss me for the first time in almost a year, I nearly fell over backwards from the shock of it. One perfect moment encompassed us and I wanted to hold Mulder and make love to him until I turned blue from lack of oxygen. I wanted to tell him that yes, I understood and yes, it was alright now.

When Mulder pulled his lips away he smiled at me, then at William. I smiled back and said, “stay.”

He did.

Ahem. Which brings me to life?s latest epiphany:

Last week.

The six o clock news droned in the background with Joel Markum reporting on a ten car pile up somewhere on the ninety-five. My coat was draped over the side of the couch where I’d dropped it after work. My white shirtsleeves were rolled up to my elbows and I was sitting at my desk, signing off on an autopsy. A raft of papers littered the wooden surface around me, and a tape recorder sat on its side a few inches from my elbow. At my feet, William played baby games in his blue, Fisher Price Playpen, and occasionally I turned to smile and make faces at him while he gurgled and ate his toes. William didn’t look especially hungry yet, and that meant I’d probably get another twenty minutes of solid, uninterrupted work time.

After my paperwork of course, I’d have to heat up his bottle. As part of a baby gift, my mother had given me this old fashioned, glass bottle in which to store milk for the baby. ‘It’s easier,’ my mother had told me, ‘to occasionally use a breast pump and store some milk in case you’re not in a position to breast feed.’ The bottle, as it turns out, had been mine from when I was a baby, and my mother thought I’d be able to make good use of it. I liked how the bottle didn’t especially look like a baby bottle; for one thing it was larger than a baby bottle, and for another, it looked more like an old-fashioned milk bottle from the 1940s.

I pressed play on the tape recorder. My own voice dictated back at me: “There appears to be some spotting of unknown origin on the epidermis just above the clavicle. The spotting is greenish in nature and slightly swollen–“

The front door burst open and I turned my head just in time to see Mulder bound into the hallway, sweaty and disheveled and sporting his gray, sleeveless, Knicks T-shirt. His chestnut colored hair stuck up at all angles and he had a rather dirty looking basketball under one arm.

“Whew!” he exclaimed, dropping the basketball into the entryway and making his way toward the kitchen. “You know, Scully,” he said, shuffling around into the cabinets, “some of those guys down at the bureau are getting careless in their old age. In two twenty one point games I made ten rebounds off Whitland. And Samson—who I might add, played college ball, or at least so he always bragged about in the bullpen–was rather easy to dog when to came to jump shots.”

I watched Mulder with a raised eyebrow, my hand still gripping the pen I’d been writing with. “Dog?” I asked.

“So I’m thinking,” Mulder yanked open the refrigerator door, “Either the bureau’s just letting all these out of shape geezers keep on truckin through, or else Whitland, Samson and Kamron don’t got game.”

I shook my head at him, a half smile on my lips. “Is there a reason I’m listening to this, Mulder?”

Mulder frowned and grabbed an old-fashioned glass bottle out of the fridge. “Maybe they’re just not paying attention,” he said, pointing a finger at me over the bottle. “After Kersh’s suspension all his little cronies got censured. Whitland and Samson worked directly beneath Kersh. I’ll bet the bullpen boys think the whole department’s being investigated. Makes for good distraction on the court.” He grinned and tipped the bottle up towards his mouth.

William’s dinner. I sucked in a breath. “Ah, Mulder—”

“Besides,” Mulder went on, taking a long gulp, waving one arm in the air, “with Skinner finagling me into back into VICAP, I’ll probably end up being their boss—“

“Mulder, you might not want—“

“And I’m sure they don’t want to piss off the big guy,” Mulder added with a grin, and he went in for the kill. His Adam’s Apple bobbed up and down as he gulped, the bottle tipped almost completely over his mouth. A few drips skittered down his chin. I dropped the pen and covered my mouth with my hand. Part of me wanted to gag and part of me wanted to laugh until I cried and fell off the chair.

Finally, Mulder downed the entire bottle and slapped it back on the counter. I stared at him, then at the bottle, then at him again with my mouth hanging open like a cod fish. “Remind me to go buy some more milk,” he said, striding into the living room and planting a kiss on the top of my head. He frowned. “And regular milk for that matter, none of this non-fat stuff you like because it tastes… funky.”

I blinked a few times and nodded wordlessly.

Then Mulder was off into the bedroom, peeling his shirt from his chest as he went. “Oh, sorry Scully,” he called from the other room. “You were saying?”

I frowned. “Wha-what?”

Mulder poked his head out from the doorway and smiled at me. “I was telling you about the game and you were saying something I didn’t catch.” His eyes darted to the playpen and he made a ridiculous face at William.

My lips pursed, I fought back laughter with such stealth I should have been awarded a medal. “Nothing,” I said, my voice perhaps a little higher than I would have liked.

Mulder nodded and winked at the baby. “See? Your Mommy wants me bad, kid.” He waggled his eyebrows at me. “She just goes all speechless and weak in the knees when I enter a room.”

Don’t laugh, don’t laugh, don’t laugh…

I propped my chin up on my elbow and stared at him, remembering the breast milk. “Oh yeah, Mulder. That’s exactly it.”

Mulder let out a snort and ducked his head back into the bedroom. A few moments later I heard his voice echo back from the bathroom. “You. Me. Bed. Later,” he yelled, and turned the water on.

Finally, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. My hand wrapped securely around my middle, I burst out laughing. I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my cheeks and I had to bang my fist on the desk to keep myself from bowling over. I shook my head and wiped the tears away, turning to look at the baby.

“Shh,” I whispered in between giggles, reaching down and scooping William up out of his playpen. “Don’t tell Daddy he ate your dinner.” William gurgled at me and waved his clenched fists.

I walked into the kitchen with the baby balanced on my hip.

I laughed again just for the hell of it.

I realized how normal it was for Mulder to go and accidentally drink my breast milk and I laughed one last time.

“Let’s go heat up some real food,” I said, pressing a kiss to William’s forehead. “I’m starving and I’ll bet Daddy is, too. Now that he’s had an appetizer.”

I smiled at the thought of the dirty basketball on the floor of the entryway, even though it was just a dirty old basketball.

Later that night, Mulder—true to his word— proved to me that no matter what kind it is, milk certainly DOES do a body good.

Then the next day I went out and bought a gallon of regular milk. I hid the breast milk in the crisper. And life in the Scully-Mulder household returned to its stunning irregularity.



(Just FYI: Part Three (1/2) is where “How to Blend in With Normal People” has been placed, just because I liked how it fit in there. So in case you’re wondering why it’s there, or when the author lost her marbles and decided to link to an already completed story, that’s why. I promise you, I’m perfectly sane. -Okay, nevermind, that’s a lie..)

More FYI: Slight angst warning.


Mulder and Scully:

III: On Conceiving a Child, Coming Together

And Tripping Into Love


(Or How Love Conquers Most)



There are six months of my life that I cannot account for, this much I know. Three of those six months I apparently spent on a spaceship, or hovering next to a spaceship, or in a laboratory near a spaceship, but I don’t recall any of that. The other three of those six months I spent rotting away in a dark suit, lying inside a very spacious, silk lined coffin. The hair on my chest fell out. My skin turned gray, then blue, then it pulled slowly away from my body, like old walpaper. My heart began to shrivel up and sink into my chest. I was decomposing. I was worm bait. Gone. Kaput. Finished. I was dead according to technical, medical terminology. Alive only because of alien intervention. Or maybe divine intervention. I don’t fucking know.

Again, I have no memory of any of this.

A funeral was held for me in Arlington National Cemetery that, of course, I do not remember. Pastel colored mourning wreaths were placed on easels next to the huge, gaping hole that the cemetery had dug for me. Scully had arranged for the minister from her family’s church to come and deliver the eulogy, since she herself did not feet equipped to do so, and from what I understand he gave a very touching speech. Langly told me all about the experience when he saw me again for the first time. He was very eloquent:

“There were flowers, and this dude from Scully’s church,” Langly said. “It was a nice service. You would have liked… well. Anyway..”

Mrs. Scully attended, as did Skinner, Agent John Doggett, The Lone Gunmen, half of Behavioral Sciences, Agent John Cromwell, Agent Kamron, Agent Laherty, and even Deputy Director Kersh.

I don’t remember any of their calls to my casket.

I don’t remember feeling Scully’s gaze as she stared down at me for (what she thought was) the last time. I don’t know what kind of sound the coffin made when she lowered the lid, or whether her voice trembled when she said her goodbye.

During my stay in the hospital, I had a terrible reoccuring nightmare that haunted me every time I closed my eyes. In the nightmare, Scully stood over my opened coffin, her red lips thinned and twitching at the corners. She was dressed in a black suit with a black shell underneath, and her red hair dripped into her face as she lowered her head. She clutched this big white rose between her thumb and forefinger, and she stared down at me with tear tracks staining her cheeks. Her blue eyes were dark and hard. She looked empty.

“You left me” Scully said, with her free hand rubbing over her stomach in circles. “You weren’t supposed to go.” Then she’d start to cry, although the emotion never seemed to quite reach her cold, blue eyes. Her voice trembled as she spoke. “You can go to hell, Mulder.” Finally, she dropped the rose onto my chest and covered her face with both of her hands. “You can go straight to hell.”

At this point I would always wake up, sweating and panting and incredibly angry.


Late Spring, 2001

Scully and I were lounging around my apartment the day I was released from the hospital: me because I essentially had no job and no Driver’s License and no living identity, and Scully because she seemed to be circling around me as if she were half-asleep. She’d said next to nothing during the car ride home, and the conversation we’d had once we walked in the front door hadn’t been fabulous either.

Two hours later, Scully and I had barely moved five feet: the distance it took to walk from the doorway to the couch. Scully had spent all of that time hovering a few feet away from me, almost as if she was afraid to touch me. Or maybe she was afraid to touch the couch. I don’t know. She was the size of a tractor trailer at this point.





“I would like to formally state my objection to the use of the phrase ‘tractor trailer.’ I was not that big. I want that on the record.”

“Duly noted, Scully. I hereby retract the words ‘tractor trailer’ and I officially substitute them for the phrase ‘small, colonial-style house.’ That okay? Oh come on, don’t look at me that way.”



During my stay at the hospital, I hadn’t really taken the time to look at Scully, like really and truly look at her (mostly because I‘d been put on every kind of sedative imaginable) and that afternoon, for the first time, I noticed how incredibly huge she was. Like, Good God Damn. When Scully sat, her pregnant stomach shifted and settled so that it was hard to see her face if you looked at her from a certain angle. When she walked, she held her back and she very nearly waddled. I couldn’t even begin to understand how Scully moved comfortably with that stomach, or how she slept, or how she even saw her feet beneath the obstruction.

Scully looked at me and smiled a tiny smile. Her face was a little fatter too, I thought. Her cheeks were bigger. Fuller. I wasn’t sure what to make of that.

“You want to turn on the TV or something?” she asked. Her voice was so soft that I almost didn’t recognize it.

“Whatever,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“Mulder.” Scully sighed, almost as if she felt she was addressing a small child. “I know this isn’t what you want to be doing right now, but I don’t see you having much choice in the matter. Now, we can watch TV or we can sit here and get you up to speed on current events, or… or else we can take a walk around the block. Actually, walking is good for healing your cardiovascular system. Getting your muscles flexing and back in shape and breathing in fresh air. As a matter of fact –“

“I KNOW all of this, Scully.”

We stared at each other from across the expanse of an empty couch cushion. Scully fixed me with her eyes, these sad, defeated eyes that seemed to be consistently rimmed with purple and pink. “Okay,” she whispered.

“Right,” I said.

“So,” Scully said.

“Yeah,” I agreed, not really knowing what the hell I was agreeing with.

“So,” Scully tried again. “So.. um—”

“So Bush is president now,” I finally finished for her, staring out the far window, wanting to say something but not knowing what she wanted to talk about.

Scully’s breathing seemed unnaturally quiet “Yes,” she said.

“You voted?”

“No.” Scully stared down at the hands folded in her lap. “I forgot to vote that day.”

I looked up for a moment, stared at the splotches on the ceiling, and wondered what she meant by that. “You shouldn’t forget to vote,” I said, a dull edge creeping into my voice. “That’s how morons and monkeys with revolvers get into office.”

I heard Scully swallow and shift her position. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’ll remember that the next time I see ‘Monkey With a Revolver’ stamped on the ballot.”

I nodded, still not looking at her. “This place is way too clean,” I said, glancing around. “How am I ever supposed to find anything around here?”

“I don’t know,” Scully said, her voice completely flat. “I’m sorry.”

“And you hid my basketball,” I added, nodding my head towards the TV stand, where I usually kept my Sunday morning sports necessities.

“I’m sorry,” Scully repeated, her words barely audible over the whine of a motorized hedge clipper outside.

Irritated with the conversation, I shook my head. “Oh for Christ sakes,” I managed, wiping sweat off my forehead with my hand, “would you please stop saying you’re sorry. I have no idea what the hell you think you’re apologizing for.”

Finally, I turned to face her. Scully’s eyes were wide, her lips parted, her posture slack. She looked floored, as if she didn’t know what to make of me. My heart was beating fast, my nerves about ready to pop. I hadn’t meant to snap at her, but I wasn’t quite used to this soft, quiet person who sat so placidly next to me. Who was she?

“I’m sorr—“ Scully closed her mouth.

I sighed and waved an apology at her, too tired to actually open my mouth and say it the right way.

Scully folded her arms, said nothing. Her lips pursed, her chin jutted out only slightly. Her whole face was set in a pale imitation of what I’d known forever as “Scully defiance.” But it really wasn’t “Scully defiance” because her hands were trembling inside the crooks of her elbows, and her eyes were so damned sad. God, I thought. Six months. SIX MONTHS. I didn’t even know her anymore. This woman wasn’t my Scully. This quiet, tiny woman wasn’t my partner.

“How are you feeling?” I asked, after a bit of time had passed.

“Fine,” Scully said, letting out a small breath. I wondered briefly when she’d begun holding her breath. Was it because I made her nervous? I just didn’t know.

“How are you?” she asked.

How am I? I thought to myself. How am I? I’ve been dead for three months. I have scars on my face that look like cancer growths. I don’t know where they came from. How do you THINK I am, goddamn it?

– I wanted to say that, but I didn’t.

I nodded to myself. “Well, considering all my limbs are intact and the world hasn’t exploded since I last saw it, I’d have to say I’m doing better than expected.”

Scully shook her head. “Mulder—“

“Apparently it’s true, what they say. When you die at the palace, you really die at the palace.”


“Except it wasn’t really much of a palace, was it? It was a space ship or something that looked like a space ship or… you know what? I’m still not real clear on the details. I’ll get back to you when my memory spirals back to me in blinding flash of light and I take a flying leap off the fire escape.”


The word exploded out of Scully’s mouth in an angry burst, a loud, familiar kind of burst — It was the first firm word I’d gotten out of her all day.

“What?” I asked, annoyed. “I was kidding.”

Scully turned to fully face me, a movement that took her nearly ten seconds to complete. We glared at each other for a few aching seconds, and then I had to look away. I could barely stand the sight of her. I didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to think about having missed six months of her pregnancy, and I certainly didn’t know what to make of being thrown back into the middle of something I’d hardly been a part of.

The last time I saw Scully, she was slender. She was normal looking. She wasn’t waddling around like an egg with feet. And she wasn’t… so weird about everything. I didn’t know what to make of Scully’s furtive glances in my direction, of her looking at me as if I was a bubble about to pop the second she took her eyes off of me. No. The last time I saw Scully she’d been confident. All business. Good lord.

“Do you think this is easy for me?” Scully snapped. “I don’t even know what to say to you, Mulder. I don’t know how to describe what I’m feeling right now, or even what I felt when I thought I would never see you again. Moreover, I don’t know what to say to you about this baby—“

At the mention of the baby, I pressed my head into my palms and closed my eyes. “I would really appreciate it if we didn’t talk about this right now,” I said, feeling helpless, as if I was being tethered to the world as I’d known it by a silk thread.

Jesus, I thought. Scully was having a baby. Where the fuck had normality gone?

“Fine, Mulder. That’s great. When would you like to talk about it?” Scully’s voice shook only slightly. “Or maybe you’d prefer if we never talked about it.”

I picked my head up. “Maybe YOU’D prefer if we never talked about it.”

Scully narrowed her eyes, the puffy, pinkish skin beneath them crinkling to her lash line. “What in the HELL is that supposed to mean?”

I shrugged and stared at her.

“It means…”

It means our partnership has brought us nothing but bad luck, I thought. It means you would have been better off leaving me, getting married and having two kids in the suburbs of Virginia.

I took a deep breath, remembering all the things that had made me apprehensive about Scully’s condition in the first place. For one thing, she’d been biologically tampered with before. She’d had all her eggs removed. She’d been physically violated on more than one occasion — by these people who seemed to crawl out from under every rock. She’d already mothered a child who wasn’t altogether human. Who was to say that there wasn’t someone else out there nursing plans, waiting for an opportunity like Scully rediscovering her few remaining eggs? What if they chose to strike in the event that Scully became pregnant? What would these shadow men do to such a child? What would they do to it if they discovered the child was mine?

“It means you may not want to hear what I have to say.” I said, and took another deep breath. “My concerns about you being pregnant now, with everything that both of us know about your previous inability to conceive a child. The fact that I was taken right after you discovered you were pregnant doesn’t bode well–“

No.” Scully held up a surrendering hand. “Don’t, Mulder. Just don’t. If you want to talk to me about how my having a child scares you, or how you don’t understand whether you fit into all of this, then fine. Go ahead.” Scully hands bunched into fists and her arms shook. Her round, ivory cheeks reddened and her eyes widened with an emotion I just couldn’t understand, no matter how hard I tried. Tears began to form in the corners of her eyes and a few of them rolled down her face. She looked as if she was ready to break down, right there and then on my couch. “But don’t you dare try and turn this child into an X File. My baby is NOT an X File. Don’t look for a way out like this… you… you and your bullshit talk of miracles.”

And then Scully truly was crying: full, hard, fast tears. So many of them fell so fast that I’m sure it must have taken her by surprise. She flattened her hand over her mouth and turned her head, almost as if she felt she was too proud to look at me.

“Scully,” I managed. “I—“

“No,” Scully whispered, her back facing me. “Just shut the hell up.”

I looked away, stunned by Scully’s words.

Was that was I was doing, I wondered? Looking for a way out? Was I scrambling to find way out of being a father? No, I thought. No. That wasn’t it. It couldn’t be. If I would have known… Oh DAMN IT, if I had only KNOWN before I left!

I had hugged Scully. I had whispered to her and breathed in her scent and right after I said, “ I won’t risk losing you again,” I went and I left her. I god damned left her and I never knew. I never had any idea that she was pregnant. I had put my arms around her waist, held her as she shivered in her sleep, helped her pull her hair back the next morning when she got sick, and I never fucking realized, never imagined that she could possibly be pregnant. How could I have been that stupid? How in the world could either of us have been that STUPID?

Okay, so maybe she couldn’t have known, couldn’t have possibly thought… but she was a woman. A WOMAN, for crying out loud. Wasn’t she supposed to know these things?

Scully sucked in an especially hard breath and I stared at her, dumbfounded, almost unable to move. My face went slack at the sight of her, at the sight of this woman who I’d worked with and loved for so long. It was as if a wall had grown between us, a hard, cold wall that my disappearance had built. I’d certainly never meant for this kind of pain to touch her. And I HADN’T lied when I told her that I wanted to help her create a miracle. I did want to help her.

“Scully,” I managed, and I scooted towards her on the couch, touched her arm. When she didn’t resist, I scooted forward some more. I wasn’t sure whether she would let me touch her or not, but she didn’t push me away. And when I felt her lean slowly into me, I pulled her into my chest as tightly and as carefully as I could, resting my head on her shoulder and closing my eyes.

“You told me not to give up,” she said. “I refuse to believe—“

I pressed my mouth into Scully’s neck and whispered to her. “I would never lie to you. You know that. I know you know that.” I dropped a tiny kiss into the slope of Scully’s shoulder. She smelled like… like Ivory soap— my bar soap. When had Scully started using my soap? I wondered, but only for the barest of seconds.

I shook my head to try and clear it. “I’m just…confused right now. And angry about a lot of things.” I cupped the back of Scully’s head with my left hand, ran my fingers through her hair. “But believe me when I say I want you to be happy. None of the rest of that shit matters, so long as this baby makes you happy.”

Scully pulled away from me quickly, her eyes searching mine. “That other shit,” she said, her voice brewing on dangerous. “What are you thinking about, Mulder? What is it?”

I cleared my throat, not really wanting to say anything more. I was clearly on very unsteady ground here and I knew it. “I don’t know. I don’t know what I mean.”

“Yes, you do,” Scully said, surprisingly calm for someone with tears running down her face. “I know you’re angry with the world. And because of what happened to you, you think this baby is –“

I shook my head and wiped some tears off her cheeks with the pad of my thumb. “I’m just feeling paranoid. You know, because everyone’s always out to get me. Humans, flukemen, mutants, little green men with pitch forks and blow torches.” I tried on a smile that didn’t quite reach my eyes. “But I don’t know why that surprises you. I just want everything to be alright. I want you to have your baby, Scully, and I want you to be able to have it without worrying about any one damn thing. That’s all.”

Scully’s eyes shined with something that looked like disappointment. “My…my baby,” she said. “You just want me to have my baby.”

“Yes,” I said, frowning at her tone. “I want it to be healthy, and for you to be healthy.”

Scully shook her head, squared her jaw. “That’s not all,” she said. “We both know that it’s not.” Her eyes had that sad look again, that look I’d been seeing constantly now that I had returned, but that I had only seen once before my abduction.

It was the year before.


Scully and I had just made love for the first time, for the last time, and we were lying in bed together. She was the only person on Earth that night, the only real person in the Universe, but I never told her that. I didn’t think that I had to. And I didn’t want her to know how badly I needed to make love to her again. How my whole body felt lighter and higher when she touched me. I couldn’t let her know that. I couldn’t shift the comfortable balance we’d so carefully created in our relationship. I didn’t want to. I was terrified to.

So anyway, it was raining outside, and we were talking about the invitro procedures. Scully was tired and miserable, and the final set of embryos had not successfully taken. She’d desperately been hoping for a baby, and all I wanted was to make her happy. I wanted to see her smile again. I wanted to see her belief in miracles renewed, for one of the things that made Scully truly beautiful was her unflinching faith in the power of miracles, of spirituality. I was terrified of seeing that fire within her die out. So I’d looked at her and told her I would try my hardest to help give her a baby. .

“Whatever it takes,” I’d said.

In the end, Scully kissed me for my trouble, kissed me long and hard and with desperation fueling her body. Her hands shook as they cupped my shoulders. I kissed her back and held her close, rubbed her tense muscles until she finally fell asleep. I didn’t let go of her, not all night. I didn’t sleep either.

I just stared at the ceiling and listened to her even breathing: in and out, in and out.

I never told Scully how terrified I was at the prospect of a child, or at the possibility of having a child under the advice of a doctor that Scully and I barely knew. I never told Scully how I thought it would never work – having a baby… not unless something else, something not quite holy stepped in and made it work.


I stared into Scully’s eyes and saw denial there, a denial that I knew was plain in my own eyes. There was just too much shit. Too much shit and nowhere to put it.

“There’s nothing to tell you,” I said, smoothing down a hair over her left ear. “Why don’t we watch some TV? That was a good idea, Scully.”

Scully breathed in deep, made a shuddering sound that belayed her attempt at calmness. “Yes,” she said, that robot-tone from the hospital entering into her voice. “Why don’t we watch TV?”

“Or we could take a walk,” I tried, feeling as if I had somehow done something bordering on completely unacceptable.

“No,” Scully said, dully. She leaned back into the couch and rested one hand on her distended abdomen. “Let’s just sit for awhile.”

I nodded and pulled away from her. “Okay,” I said.

Scully said nothing.

I stared at her again and bit down on my tongue to keep from saying anything more. This wasn’t how I’d pictured my first day back from the hospital. This wasn’t how I’d pictured my life. This wasn’t how I’d pictured anything. This was all wrong.

Scully was pregnant. She was fucking PREGNANT. I couldn’t believe it. Half of me refused to believe it. When I’d originally told her that I’d help her, I imagined Scully’s pregnancy as an eventuality that would come only when I was ready for it. When Scully got pregnant, I would have some time to adjust. I would have plenty of time to figure it into my life. In time, we would figure it into our work. We’d find out if the baby was healthy and un-tampered with….and then the world would keep on turning normally.

But this…

This was just wrong.

How could Scully be pregnant when we still had so much work to do? I needed her focus, her strength, her unwavering professionalism. I needed the Scully who saw that the work came first, and her emotions came second. This distracted, unhappy Scully was not what I needed. Not at all.

I grabbed the remote and flipped the TV on. The NBC symbol flashed briefly in the corner of the screen. Maury Povich was on again: a man and a woman who’d been sown together, another man sitting next to a cow, and a girl with a chicken in her lap. Scully’s voice finally re-emerged from deep within her throat. She sounded lost and very far away. “You remember that case we worked on in San Fransisco? The one with the man who said his wife gave birth to wolf babies?”

I smiled, staring not at Scully, but at the TV. “Yeah?”

“I was just thinking about the way that man went on and on about them –the wolf babies – how he said he would love them even if he had to take them out back and tie them to a tree, fit them with muzzles…” Her voice trailed away and she sighed. “It was nice to see a father so committed to his invalid wife and their mutant wolf babies….”

My brow furrowed, I turned to face Scully, staring at her as if she’d grown a second head out of her arm pit. “Huh?” I asked.

Scully’s lips twitched, and she kept her gaze trained on the television set. “You just don’t see enough wolf babies these days,” she continued, as if deep in thought. “And when you do, there’s never a fine man running around with two missing front teeth, ready to jump in and throw caution to the wind, and say –“

I nodded my head, trying to keep the grin off my face. “I’ll be the wind beneath their wings?”

Scully blinked and bit her lip, obviously determined to win this round of ‘I can make you crack first.’

“Dogs don’t have wings,” she said evenly.

“Sometimes they do,” I returned, playing the game to win. “My father used to tell me these stories about the Doberman who lived across the street from us. He said that if I didn’t go to sleep when my mother told me to, the dog would sprout wings and fly across the road to bite me in the ass.”

Scully’s eyebrow arched and she glanced at me from the corner of her eye. “Why would the dog have to fly?” she asked dryly. “What, there weren’t any rollerskates around?”

I grinned and shrugged my shoulders. “Duh, Scully,” I said, “My bedroom was on the second floor. How else could it get up there to jimmy open the window?”

Scully turned her face and regarded me with an expression of mild amusement. Then, as if remembering the game, she immediately pursed her lips and squared her jaw. “The dog jimmied open the window, too? Without opposable thumbs? How’s that, exactly?”

I leaned back and folded my hands behind my head. “He flew with a crowbar glued to his hand.”

“You mean paw.”


Scully smiled, her eyes sparking in a way I hadn’t seen them sparkle in a long time. “And where’d he get the crowbar?”

“Same place he got the glue.”

“And where’s that?”

“The Flying Dog Hardware Store.”

“Ah, I see,” Scully said, and she shook her head. “It all makes sense now.”

We grinned at each other, content for at least the moment, to be in each other’s company and to be talking the way we used to talk. I liked this part of knowing Scully, of having her in my life. I enjoyed the comfort level that came with having a friend who understood your motives so completely.

“Ha. You lose,” I said, pointing my index finger at her. “You broke first.”

“I don’t know what you mean,” Scully said, all innocent sounding and still grinning at me. “We’re both smiling.”

“No,” I said, spreading my palms wide as if in explanation. “I’m talking about before.”

“When before?”

I leaned forward and nodded my head towards her. “Crowbar. You broke on crowbar, Scully.”

Scully clucked her tongue. “Oh, I don’t think so, Mulder. That wasn’t a smile. That was the baby kicking.”

I waved my hand at her and shook my head. “Bullshit. I distinctly saw you—”

“Meaning,” she went on, “that techincally, you broke first.”

“I did not! When did I break?”

Scully folded her arms lazily across her chest. “Man with missing teeth running around,” she said smugly.

“Ohhhhhh…. You lie, G-woman.”

Scully shook her head, her expression conveniently blank. “I never lie, Mulder.”

To that I snorted and shook my head. “Cheater cheater pumkin eater,” I muttered, and I saw her break again from the corner of my eye.

Scully cleared her throat and glanced away, her smile fading all too quickly from her still lovely face. “So, um…Do you want to watch this fine example of quality programming or do you want to watch something else?”

I turned my head away and stared out the window, or what I could see of the outside world as obscured by mini blinds. “It doesn’t matter,” I said, distracted.

“I think the news is coming on,” Scully muttered, as if talking to herself.

“That’s fine,” I said, and I kept my gaze fixed upon the window.

The sill was clean, dusted, as if someone had come in here every day with a thin feather duster and a can of pledge and scrubbed it clean. The desk was also impeccable; I’d even opened up the compartments earlier. The drawers were organized by size of writing utencil and size of office tool, the shelves stacked neatly with books that were organized according to the alphabetical placement of each author. The clothes in my bedroom had been folded and put away – in color order, the carpets vacuumed, the cabinets in the kitchen stocked with cans of soup that were stacked according to size and brand name.

In my mind’s eye I saw Scully wandering listlessly around my apartment, making her way from room to room, arranging and rearranging my sock drawers, feeling useless and totally out of control. Scully hated when she felt her life was spiraling out of control. I imagined her sitting on my couch, looking around the living room with a restless expression, and realizing that there was nothing left to do. The fish were fed. The clothes had been put away. The windows and tables and shelves and even the walls had been dusted. She’d done everything she could possibly think of to do. She’d explored every avenue she could have explored to DO something, to be IN control…to find me.

I imagined Scully sitting here, staring off into space as she was doing now, watching the VCR clock blink the minutes on and off as they passed. “What’s left?” she said in this vision I had of her. “What now?”

“Are you sure you don’t have a preference?” Scully asked, remote in hand.

“No,” I said, and I leaned over and kissed the top of her head. Scully closed her eyes, her lashes fluttering shut as if I had kissed her lips. She smiled.

“Okay,” she said.

I nodded. “Okay.”





“I… I don’t think–”


“I feel kind of….ohh…oh God—”

“Woah—Scully, sit down. Here. Right here. Hey, what’s wrong? You look—”

“I’m not feeling so great.”

“No kidding. Talk to me.”

“Give me a minute…”

“Did you eat that yogurt or something?”

“What yogurt?”

“The one in the back of the fridge, the one from last month? It’s been sitting in there, collecting mold since–”

“Oh Jesus–”


“I’m going to—”


“Turn the tape recorder off!”

“Are you—”

“I said turn it off!”




By Jaime Lyn

Short note:

This chapter is a little more angsty that the first few. My reasons? Well, duh. I’m trying to tell a story here! Seriously though, I have always held the opinion that one can only know true comedy through true drama. So, if we can get through this chapter (and part of the next one is a wee bit angsty as well—but more comedic) then we are all good to go. Sound good? I promise you, there are some (I hope, funny) and interesting moments coming up in the next few parts. Really, I swear. It’s not my fault if Mulder tends to get long-winded. I keep telling him to stay focused, stay on topic. But Mulder doesn’t ever listen to me.

All disclaimers and headers in part one


Mulder and Scully

IV: How Princess Scully Got Her Crown

(and her man)


And the Prince Chased Aliens





“Hey,” I manage, rapping softly on the bathroom door. “Scully? Look, just… at least let me know if you’re alright.”

No response.

I poke my toe at a white-ish stain marring the beige carpeting by the wall. I bet you that’s toothpaste I think, trying to take my mind off the twisted, coughing, wheezing sounds coming from inside our hallway half-bath. Scully’s been huddled in there for about ten minutes, retching into the toilet.

But, you know. I’m sure she’s fine. She always is.


I keep staring at the circular spot of white on the floor, focusing on memorizing its exact shape and texture. The carpet fabric is a bit crunchy and matted around the edges of the stain– Yes. Definitely toothpaste. Most likely my fault. One of my worst habits (or so Scully says,) is that I can never stay in the bathroom when I brush my teeth. I have to constantly move around, turn on the TV, turn off the TV, set the alarm clock… THAT, Scully once said to me, is repugnant, If you’re going to foam at the mouth, do it over the sink.

Scully’s just… well, she’s a very neat person. She has drawers and cupboards for her drawers and cupboards. She organizes her organizers. That kind of thing. I don’t think she even had any stains on her carpet before I moved in. Typical, right?

Damn it Scully.

The coughing fades in and out, loud then soft, then nothing at all. I lean my hand against the door and press my ear to the wood, trying to discern whether she’s even still breathing. I can’t help but stand here and worry about her. I can’t help but think that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. I mean, she’s SCULLY for chrissakes. She’s MY Scully. I’m sure there are other people in this world who have a “Scully,” and I’m sure I’m not the first person to pace back and forth in front of a bathroom door.

“Do you need a glass of water?” I ask, not knowing what the hell else to say. “Asprin? Do you want me to call the doctor? Scully?”

Nothing. Not even a whisper.

I suppose that investigating strange phenomena over the years has left me wary of almost everything: air vents, trips to the forests, voyages out to sea, pharmaceutical companies, hurricanes, cats, sewers, sky-lifts… Flu-like symptoms are no exception. As a matter of fact, getting sick is probably the worst of all the unexpected miseries I’ve encountered. Illnessess are like silent, meticulous invaders who are virtually impossible to stop. Scully knows this better than almost anyone. I listen to her pained gagging and I think about her faded cancer, an unusual kind of cancer that formed in her nasal cavity and grew and grew until she was no longer a person to the invader, but rather a host for an unstoppable monster.

I can’t see her like that again. Sick and withering away. I just can’t. Fuck. What is going on in there? People don’t just get violently ill like that.

I take a deep breath, my ear still pressed to the door. For a few moments I hear nothing; a silence that nearly undoes me with its endless possibilities. Then I hear the reassuring sound of rushing water from the faucet. A few splashes interrupt the steady streaming sound and I pull my head away from the door, readying myself for whatever comes next.

Mulder, my nose is bleeding.

Mulder, I feel dizzy.

Mulder, my pulse is thready and there’s a funny taste in the back of my throat…

The door opens slowly into the hallway, a small stream of yellow light expanding over the carpet. Scully straightens her gray shirt and stands with her back to the light, one arm perching against the sink, the other arm wiping across her reddened cheeks.

“Sorry, Mulder,” she whispers, averting her eyes, clearing her throat and side-stepping past me into the hallway.

Oh, no no no no no–

I frown, shake my head. This is not okay, I decide. Normal, healthy people don’t just act fine one minute, throw up the next minute, then walk away like nothing happened. What the hell just happened here?

With a deep breath I kick the bathroom door closed with my foot, take a few steps into the hallway and wrap my fingers around Scully’s upper arm. She turns her head and looks up at me with wide, shining blue eyes. Oh christ. She doesn’t look sick anymore, she just looks… sad. Very sad.


Scully smiles crookedly, touches the back of her hand to my face. “We have an interview to finish. Let’s just keep going,” she says, a slight tremor underlying her soft, calm voice. “I’m alright. Really. I probably ate some of that bad yogurt you were talking about.”

The strange, nameless emotion still hovers in her gaze, her blue irises shining at me, almost as if she’s thinking about something she doesn’t even want to examine on her own What is it, Scully? I wonder. What has you looking like the world is about to end?

Man, talking to Scully sometimes makes me feel like a passenger on a crashing airplane. The supporting engines have just gone out, the landing gear isn’t working, and the pilot’s come over the radio to tell us that everything’s fine. Not to worry.

A half second passes in which neither of us says anything. Scully’s breathing sounds even and normal, which I suppose is good, and the olive color has seemingly drained from her clear, ivory face. I guess she’s alright. But I really don’t know.

“You sure you don’t want to lie down?” I take her hand and intertwine our fingers so that both our hands are pressed to my cheek.

“I told you, Mulder. It was a fluke, that’s all. You can turn the recorder back on now.” Scully pulls her hand back down to her side. She clears her throat again and walks away, patters on her bare feet into the living room.

I nod and watch her go, flashing in my mind to a few years ago: Scully lying in a hospital bed right after the cancer started spreading. I see wires extending from her arms and her nose, black screened monitors bleeping beside her bed, and the startling color of her red lips against her eggshell colored cheeks.

Beep… Beep… Beep… I’m afraid visitng hours are over, Mr. Mulder.

Scully turns her head, an amused looking smile creasing over her pale-pink lips. She pushes an orange lock of hair out of her face and stares at me with expectant, bright eyes. “We only have another hour,” she says. “If you want any royalties at all from this book, you’ll want to come in here. Oh and hey, you know what? Since we’re running out of time, I think we should talk about Will. Why don’t you tell the one about the ah,” she snaps her fingers as if trying to remember. “You know, the ah…” She frowns for a second, then stares up at the ceiling like she’s debating something to herself. Finally, she grins a wide, knowing grin at me. “The stories you tell the baby when you think I’m working on my laptop. You know, the Princess Scully stories. I just can’t get enough of those, Mulder.”

I blink to try and clear my brain. “Oh, I’m sure,” I say, trying to be nonchalant about the situation. “yeah, okay. Just give me a second.”



I never told Scully how I came up with the idea for “The Princess Scully Chronicles.” (Shut up. That’s what I call them and Scully loves them and William loves them, so don’t fucking laugh at me.)


Honestly, I didn’t want her to know how it all came to be. I’m not a very openly emotional person; I don’t cry, I don’t have long, intimate conversations with Scully about my insecurities and I don’t take romantic strolls with her through the park. We’re very utilitarian, Scully and I, and we rarely exchange words that aren’t practical and necessary for the duration of our conversations. For Christ sakes, it took us seven years to even admit to each other that there was a mutual attraction between us. It took us another month and a half to make love, and a year after that to find the courage to see each other outside of work without it being “wierd.” We would never say “I love you.” We wouldn’t even try. At least, not for the longest time.

Which is why, a month after the baby was born, I spent half my Friday night driving through downtown Washington D.C, wondering how in the world I could ever equip myself to settle down and raise a son, when over half my life I’d avoided committing to any one thing.

During my adult years, I spent most of my time feeling restless, moving from one case to the next with an urge to constantly keep up with the next big thing. Often, when I failed to find that “big thing,” I got discouraged with my work, with my sources, or with myself, and the darker side of me emerged. Either I took my anger out by running myself ragged, or by punching the furniture, or I took it out by ditching Scully, leaving her behind because she wasn’t moving fast enough for me.

Of course, no good ever came of going out alone. I usually ended up dicking myself over, finding myself in a shitty situation that Scully would certainly have found a way to avoid. And besides hurting myself with my arrogance, I hurt Scully. I hurt her a lot. Sometimes, I hurt her when I thought I was helping her, when I thought I knew better than she how to handle her own problems. And with a baby now in the picture… I was terrified of fucking the kid up, or fucking Scully up, or the two of us fucking the kid up together. How could I do that to her son – to OUR son?

After an hour and a half of driving, I finally found myself sitting on a bench in front of D.C’s historic Washington Monument, desperately praying for some hope or inspiration or SOMETHING. I shook my head and stared at my palms, my left hand on one knee, my right hand on the other. I was torn between two seemingly impossible extremes: should I stay with Scully, move into her apartment, uproot my life and help raise our son?

Or should I get back in the goddamned car and just keep on driving? Get a new apartment, look for a new job, be Scully’s best friend and bring the baby teddy bears on the weekends.

Maybe I just loved Scully too much. Maybe I loved her the way I loved my sister Samantha. My darkest moments always seemed to surface when the circumstances surrounding Samantha’s disappearance turned grim, or when Scully’s life was threatened. Sometimes I just didn’t like the man I became when I loved someone too much.

When my father died, I felt as if the world had imploded and left me at its empty center. I went after Alex Krycek with a gun, convinced in my self-righteousness, in my single-minded attempt at vengeance. I wanted blood. I wanted my life made right again. I went after the men who had led to my father’s destruction; I chased endlessly after the ones who had put that vacant, distressed look in my mother’s eyes.

When Scully disappeared, I imagined crawling out onto my ledge, feeling the wind hit me as I fell forward and dropped like a leaf to the street below. I imagined what the end of a rope would look like dangling above my head, how frayed and torn the edges would be. Finally, when there was nothing left to imagine, I chased down the cigarette smoking man the way I’d chased down other men before him, my life like a string of failures in front of me. I was like a missile going headlong into a submarine. I didn’t care what happened to me. I just didn’t CARE.

Letting myself love someone to the point of insanity had made me a dangerous man, a man I wasn’t even sure I recognized.

I would have killed for my father. I would have killed for Samantha. I would have killed for Scully. The idea that I was even capable terrified me.

“You’re not the savior of the world,” Scully once said to me. “Sometimes it’s impossible to even save yourself, let alone everyone else. When are you going to forgive yourself for your shortcomings, Mulder? For your sister?”


Back when I was a child, I had a sister, Samantha, who I loved very much. Even though she was just this annoying, mud-covered urchin in pigtails who followed me around the house, she was my only little sister and sometimes, my only friend. Samantha was good at board games. She was a great stickball playmate. She was mom and dad’s little princess, even when she threw tantrums because I won the spelling bees, and the math tournaments. Sam was always laughing, always running after me and yelling, “wait up Fox! You buttmunch, wait UP!”

Sam was always happy. She just was.

Then one evening Sam was torn from my parents and I, ripped out of our lives in a flash of mysterious light and broken glass. I’d tried to save her, tried to bring her back, but I couldn’t. I’d been assigned to watch her that evening and I let her down. I let her slip from our lives like water from between my fingers.

My parents didn’t know what to think.

“What happened, Fox?” my mother asked me, her arms wrapped tightly around my middle. She rocked us back and forth, over and over, but I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. “Please, baby. Tell me what happened. Did you see anybody? Oh God—”

My father stood with his back to us. He set his hands on his hips and stared for the longest time out the broken living room window. He didn’t say a word. Not one word.

“I don’t know, Mommy,” I finally cried, over and over. “I don’t know I don’t know…”


Years passed us, the memory of that night growing foggier with each moment. We all went on with our lives and made the best of what we had, as people often do, but always in the back of our minds was the pain of Samantha’s absence.

My mother grew more and more absent minded, especially during the holidays, and it was almost as if she was floating in a world of her own making, a place where Samantha thrived and never grew older. She kept old pictures of all of us up on the mantle and on the wall, and she never updated the faces. She’d say things like, “yes, that’s nice Fox,” and, “Oh isn’t that lovely,” before she left the room without saying goodbye. Sometimes I wondered if she even heard me.

My father grew into a stern but worrisome man, distracted but controlled. Sometimes he’d walk over to the living room window and look out onto the grass for hours. He’d say things to my mother that had no meaning for anyone but him.

“Fox is a good boy,” he said, after my high school graduation, “a good egg. I always knew he had the most smarts in this family. It’s important for the boy to have a good head on his shoulders. He has things to do. Big things, Teena. Remember I saw it first.”.

I was only a teenager when I decided, once and for all, that Samantha’s disappearance had been my fault. And none of the hugs from my mother or proud pats from my father could make me feel whole in their eyes. It was as if I had seen the evidence, examined the situation, and with the glaring stupidity of youth, I determined that everything had been my fault. I had single-handedly lost my sister.

The knowledge of my ineffectuality haunted me for years. It haunted me until I let the numbness drown me, and I vowed I would make right what I’d allowed to go wrong. I went into regressive hypnosis. I pulled up memories of aliens and bright lights, my sister floating through the window: things that made no sense at first. Then I immersed myself in anything I thought would help me find Sam: UFO sightings, government conspiracy theories, poltergeist research… After having read the literature, I was positive that something unnatural had stolen my sister and I needed, more than I needed anything else, to sew back together the tear her disappearance had created in my life.

“What are you doing, man?” my friend Llyod asked me once. “What is up with you?” We were walking back from high school on the last day before finals. Llyod had a bottle of soda in one hand, an apple in the other. I had a stack of dusty books in my arms, some with yellowed papers dripping out of the sides and from the binding.

“Research,” I said.

“For what?” Llyod asked. “The year’s over. School’s done. Let it go.”

“For myself,” I said, staring up at the trees. I nodded to myself and watched the clouds drift across the sky like globs of white paint on a blue dropcloth. “You wouldn’t understand.”


I went away to school, determined to find a career that could equip me with the necessary resources to find Samantha. It was all I thought about, all that mattered to me. Falling in love was never high on my priority list. As a matter of fact, I had made it my goal to prevent encompassing emotions from distracting me. I didn’t care about love and I didn’t want to fuck myself over, lose track of what was really and truly important.

I attended college at Oxford University in England, forced myself to get the best education. I lived in a dorm room with two guys who had never been with any women, (not that they told me this, but I could tell,) and I never skipped class. Not ever. I needed to be at the top of my game, ten steps in front of everyone else.

Then one day, as I sat doing my homework in Advanced Calculus Class, I glanced up into the eyes of a fair skinned, brown haired woman who had twisted in her seat to face me. Her name, I remembered, was Pheobe. Pheobe-something-or-other. The professor had called on her the other day and she’d skipped to the front of the room to answer the question.

“I’m sooorry to bother you,” she said in a suave, accented voice, “but I seem to have forgotten my number two pencil today. Would you have one by any chance?”

I cleared my throat, my heart racing. “I ahh—”

Pheobe frowned, cocked her head to the side so that her shiny brown hair slipped over one shoulder. “Is something wrong with you? Are you ill?”

“No,” I said, unable to take my eyes off her. “I just mean—that is, I have two. Two pencils.”

At that she smiled, eyeing me with a practiced stare. “All the better.”

Pheobe Green whipped herself around me like a hurricane; she was tall, beautiful and clever, and she loved herself almost as much as she loved falling in love. And maybe, at the time, that was what I needed.

I’d liked Pheobe, and I liked the way she made me feel. When I was with Pheobe I was free from myself. I was a kid out having fun, belonging to something, being with someone. For the first time since I’d been a boy playing out on the Vineyard with my little sister, I was full of energy and exhilaration. Pheobe gave that to me. And I liked that. Plus the sex was good, and she often concurred with my beliefs and my theories, made me feel I was headed on the right track with the search for my sister.

But in retrospect, I suppose it wasn’t love: not real, true love, the kind that sets your head spinning.

My love for Pheobe manifested from loneliness, the desire to be accepted by someone who could assure me that I was doing the right thing…I’d loved the habit of Pheobe, the idea of her. I was in love with something that didn’t exist in her angular, cat-like face. I was in love with a woman who existed only in my imagination.

Two years into our relationship, Pheobe left me for a Law student. She just up and went.

That night I drove out to Downtown London, drank until I couldn’t see straight. I took a walk into the woods and watched the trees coverge and dance over my head. Then I collapsed under a large, dying oak, muttering to myself. I tried to imagine a bolt of lightning hitting the tree, scorching the leaves to ash and sizzling me where I sat. I wondered what my parents would say if they saw me.

“God damn it, Fox,” my father would have said. “Is this what I’ve sent you off to college for? Screwing around? You’re better than this, son. You’re smarter. Either shape up or don’t do anything at all.”

I turned over and cried, balled my fists up and banged them against the trunk of the tree until my knuckles were shredded and bloody.

Some of my friends found me two days later, disoriented and mumbling to myself. When I had sobered, they told me what they’d heard me blubbering.

“She left me,” I said, over and over. “Samantha. She left me. Help… someone… drowning…”


For a few years afterwards, there was nobody. I made sure of that. I stayed behind and studied, or else I went out and played pool with the guys I knew would never get dates. Then I graduated Oxford and I discovered a sure-fire way to find my sister. I joined the FBI, at first working for behavioral sciences, hoping that maybe the bureau’s high connections could get me started.

When I stumbled over the x files one day, those strange, dusty files in an old, abandoned basement storage closet, I was ecstatic. Finally, I’d found a route that might lead me to Samantha. For the first time in forever, I felt the energy to keep on moving, to keep on working, to go out there and find “the next big thing.”

I was so head-over-heels flipped out, that while rushing down to photo-copy one of the vampire cases, I ran headlong into a tall, sly-looking brunette woman with a straight back and an endless quirk of her upper lip.

“Going somewhere?” she asked, her hands on her hips.

I glanced at her and smiled, scooping my papers up off the floor with one hand. “Not really,” I answered, shrugging my shoulders. “I just enjoy running around the Hoover building because driving to the gym is too much of a schlep. You?”

“I–” She folded her arms across her chest. “I’m sorry, what was your name again?”

Two days later I sat down with this woman (who introduced herself as Diana Fowley,) to have lunch and to discuss her interest in the paranormal. A week later Diana called me up to consult with her on a case. A month later, she arranged for a transfer to the x files.

Diana was cool and detached, much like I was. She believed in the existence of extraterrestrials, of paranormal activity, and she never stopped me when I ran off to harness these intangible things. Diana believed that the forces of nature were not necessarily relegated to science alone. She believed that finding my sister would help the greater good of the x files, of the universe. Diana had big ideas, but no follow-through.

For two years, Diana and I searched together, almost always coming up drained and empty handed. I had allowed her into my life and into my bed, and I let myself believe that because we were so alike, this euphoric thing I was feeling had to be love. I dreamed that our companionship was the ultimate truth, a truth to give me strength.

In reality, I’d only loved Diana in the way that a person lives his life thinking what he’s looking for is a better-oiled version of himself.

“We’re so alike, you and I,” Diana said to me once. She grinned and kissed my cheek, whispered into my ear, “we’ll do great things together. I’m sure of it.”

But if Diana was anything like me, she was like the worst part of me. Diana was single minded, headstrong and self-centered. She flew thoughtlessly headfirst into every case, into every investigation, just like I did. We were heedless, both of us, and we fought about divvying up the work nearly as much as we made love.

About a year into our partnership I decided to propose to Diana, thinking stupidly that everything would work itself out so long as we could marry and put our troubles behind us. I even bought her a ring that nearly cleared out my bank account.

“I can do this,” I said to myself, as the jeweler slid my VISA through the credit machine. “This is just the beginning. Diana’s an asset. She’s a compliment to the work. I can do this. I want to. I do.”

That same day I came home to a half-empty apartment, a full-red rose lying on the table and a hastily scribbled note perched on top of the couch:

“Fox – I’ve finally gone and done it. I’ve left Washington behind for bigger places, Saudi Arabia to be exact. I can’t tell you more than that because the assignment I’ve been given is highly classified. I’m sorry. Maybe some day things will be different. – Diana. P.S: I took some of the case files with me. I’m sorry I can’t tell you why.”

After reading the letter I dropped to the floor, disturbed with how easily I’d been duped, how easily I’d been manipulated. I perched against my dusty coffee table, stared at the space on my desk where my computer had been. The wires had been splayed about the table like the guts of a fish, the mouse tossed to the floor.

I’d been played for a fool.

I pulled my government issued Sig Sauer out of my holster, wrapped trembling fingers around it, and pressed the barrel to my head. How cool the metal felt, how right and true.

I was a failure, I thought. I truly was a joke. I had my fish and my fruitless search for the impossible truth, but I had no Samantha. And now I had no ally either. The love I thought I’d shared with Diana was gone. It’s absence had left a hole in my world, a tear right next to the one my sister had created. I wasn’t any closer to anything I wanted or needed. I wasn’t any closer to the truth.

In my mind I said goodbye to my father and mother. I imagined an old, white-haired priest making a speech at my funeral service – the same one who had spoken at my grandmother’s service. I saw the grave that would be dug in Arlington National Cemetary. I saw the dirt closing over me, the light seeping into dark.

“Do something, for once in your life,” I said to myself.

I closed my eyes and desperately prayed for the courage to pull the trigger.

An hour later I dropped the gun.

From that point forward, the x files consumed my life. It was all I did, all that counted for anything. My persistence, I know, didn’t make the top brass very happy. When I was on assignment, the SACs avoided me like I was bad take-out. The directors despised my relentlessness in poking around where I didn’t belong. Chief Blevins, to be specific, found me troublesome and dangerous. He wanted to put an end to my work on the x files, and he felt the best way to do this was to send in a plant, a spy to undermine my work.

Special Agent (M.D) Dana Katherine Scully was Blevins’ “brilliant” solution.

Scully was his plant, his spy, his answer to the “Mulder dilemma,” and she was like nothing I’d ever known.


Scully walked into my mildewy basement office with a purposeful gait and she extended her hand like we were old friends. She was small and impossibly young, yet pretty in that “Marion librarian” type of way, and sure of herself – as if she had all the answers and nobody could convince her otherwise.

“I’m Dana Scully. I’m looking forward to working with you,” she’d said in a friendly yet professional tone.

“Oh really,” I’d said, my voice sweet with distaste. “I was under the impression that you were sent to spy on me.”

Scully’s hands folded over her chest in response to my defensiveness. I turned up my nose at her unflagging reliance on science. We regarded each other with a stern, cool air: an unspoken decision that neither of us would ever understand the other.

Our first case together was quite awkward in many ways:

“I’ve arranged for two rooms,” Scully’d said to me, her tone firm and clipped. “Same floor, not connecting. I keep mine locked, just so you know, and you should keep yours locked as well. If you need something, knock. If I don’t answer, ring my cell. However—if you don’t have a problem with it, I’d prefer to keep unnecessary fraternization in the rooms to a minimum. The bureau has strict rules about that sort of thing.”

“I’ll do what I can,” I muttered, and I grabbed the keys off the counter without looking twice at her. I’d only gotten a few feet away from the front desk when I realized she wasn’t following me. I spread my arms wide and turned to call to her. “So, Agent Scully, are you coming or what?”

Scully nodded and smiled at me. “Yeah,” she said, scooping her duffel up off the floor. “Wait up.”

Despite our differences, it didn’t take long for Scully and I to develop a familiar routine: Scully made it clear that she thought I was nuts. I made it clear that I thought she was completely out of her bounds. We disagreed nearly as much as we rented bureau issued sedans.

Not that I minded as much as I let on.

Scully, I realized, was very low-key, and she was as smart as she was controlled. Although we butted heads on a regular basis, she never seemed to lose her temper. And where, in the past, Diana had disappeared to investigate on her own or worse – lied to me – Scully was honest. She was loyal. Not that I noticed such things in the beginning. Not that I wanted to trust a person who was only meant to spy on me.

Finally, at some point during the novice days of our partnership, the shit really hit the fan.





“Is there a point anywhere in this story?”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, you’ve been jabbering on for about… ten—no, thirteen minutes now, and you STILL haven’t gotten around to the baby or to the bedtime stories, or to anything remotely resembling—”

“I’m getting to it, Ms. I-can-spend-three-hours-cutting-up-dead-people but-I-can’t-listen-to-Mulder-for-thirteen-damn-minutes-Scully.”

“Okay, fine. I apologize. But what in the world are you leading up to with all this insanely long backstory?”

“I’m trying to be thorough, thank you very much. And when I do get to the point, you will be the first to know.”

“Looking forward to it.”

“Good. Now can I go on?

“Hey- did you know that I stepped on a piece of gum during our first case together? Completely ruined a pair of black pumps. OH —and I think I might have eaten a salad for dinner after examining Billy Miles’ dirty feet. You want to back-track and add that in?”

“You are so amusing I can’t even tell you.”



Scully and I were investigating crop circles in Pheonix, Arizona. Scully wanted to leave; she was disgusted with the lack of cooperation from the local PD, and she insisted we’d had no substantial leads. I disagreed with that conclusion. We debated back and forth until she ultimately asked me to meet her back at the Jack-In-The-Box motel where, she said, “we can discuss our inability to come to a conclusion over dinner. I’ll buy.”

I agreed to this deal with invisible fingers crossed behind my back. If Scully wanted to leave for D.C then that was fine. She could go. I didn’t care. I wasn’t ready to leave. I’d been planning to comb the area and interview some of the local residents. Crop circles were always a lot of fun to figure out, I thought, even if UFOs weren’t the source of the phenomena.

So Scully and I went our separate ways, she to the local field office to check back in, and me to “the motel.”

Fast-forward to later that night.

Seeing as how the local pub seemed to be the center of all the action, I set my sights there and had a few rounds with the bartender. I interviewed some of the high school students over a game of pool… or maybe two or three or four games of pool. It went something like this:

“You boys ever see anything strange out by the McDougall farm?”

“Nah, just cows and shit.”

“How about flashing lights, or lights that seemed to hover?”

“Nah, man.”

“Strange noises at night? Anything at all out of the ordinary? Missing farm animals, maybe?”

“Ohh man, I saw this one chicken once, right, and he was like, flying and shit. And then he crashed into a wall. It fucking rocked, man. Hey— nine ball, corner pocket.”

I didn’t even realize how long I’d been bullshitting around, drinking beer and playing pool, until it was too late to make up for lost time. Nearly four hours too late. Scully would certainly realize how long I’d been gone, I thought, and she’d be pissed.

“Shit,” I muttered to myself. “This isn’t going to be pretty.”

But that was only the beginning.


I drove back to the motel like a mad-man, nearly taking out four cars and a truck when I sped through a red light. (Okay, two red lights and one that was almost red —but it wasn’t. I swear.) Then I pulled up to the walkway of the Jack-In-The-Box Motel, yanked the key from the ignition, slammed the door shut behind me and stared around the lot for the extra rental car Scully had sequestered.

It wasn’t there.

Shit, I thought to myself for the millionth time that night.. Now I might as well just wait inside and call her cell phone. I’m sure she’ll answer and we can figure this out rationally.

Nodding to myself, I reached into my pocket to grab the room key. I fished around in my denim jeans for one second, then two, then three, and then I pulled my hand out empty. My wallet was gone. Scully being gone was bad enough, but now I was screwed. Completely screwed.

“Oh no,” I said, searching through my pockets, my socks, and my shoes. I walked up and down the pavement and ransacked the interior of the car. “On no, this is not happening.”

Behind the seats, under the seats, between the seats, in the glove compartment, on the dash board, in the trunk. Nothing. My wallet was gone. Totally, utterly gone.


It was then that I saw the hulking, (This guy was huge—like eight or nine feet) bushy-bearded front desk clerk heading up the walkway, a bag of toilet paper clutched in one hand.

“Hey!” I yelled, flagging him down. “Hey!”.

The clerk stopped in his tracks, glanced around, then took a few steps forward, pointing to himself. “Me?” He asked.

I ran up to him. “Yeah, you. Have you seen a red-headed woman pass by this way?” I rose my hand, palm down, in front of my shoulder. “She’s about this tall, wearing a dark colored suit and ah—” I shook my head and tried to remember what else about Scully (other than her hair) someone would notice.

The clerk nodded. “Yeah, as a matter of fact,” he said, flipping the bag over his left shoulder. “She ran outta here like I never seen and asked me for directions to the hospital.”

My face paled about five shades. “The hospital?” I asked. “You’re sure?”

The clerk nodded.

“Could you ah,” I scratched my head, “could you tell me the fastest way to get there?”

It took me some suave finagling, some spare change and a fifteen minute bus ride, but I finally found Scully walking through the hospital parking lot back to the car, a very angry look on her face. Her red hair dipped and settled in curls that bounced against her shoulders and upper back when she moved. She didn’t seem to notice the the bus slowing down, not even when the headlights bathed her in a deep, white glow.

So of course, I did the logical thing; I hopped down the bus steps and ran to catch up with her. It took me about a minute and a half of near-sprinting to do, mostly because the bus had turned around and plopped me down on the other side of the lot, but I finally caught up.



“Hey — Scully?”

No response.

Instead of speaking, she threw a slightly mangled, yellow piece of paper over her left shoulder. The half-wrinkled sheet fluttered for a second near her leg, and then she was up and going again and the paper fell to the ground. I snatched it up off the pavement and read as I ran:

“Victim, D.O.A: white male, aged estimated thirty to forty, brown hair, hazel eyes. Name: Unknown. Cause of death: struck by oncoming vehicle. Time of death: eleven ten pm. Personal effects found on body: Wallet, motel room key, driver’s license, insurance card, Visa Card, Mastercard, Federal Badge: owner listed as Fox Mulder. Negative Identification made by Special Agent Dana Scully, badge number JTT10485732. All personal effects for Fox Mulder have been signed over to–“

And I knew I was in serious trouble.

“Oh…shit,” I managed, and I ran faster to catch up with her.

“Scully?” I asked, out of breath and barely able to speak. “Hey—“

Scully stopped and turned on her heels to face me. Her eyes were a startling shade of blue, a dark blue that sparkled like fire from a blow torch. She looked positively livid. More livid than I’d ever seen her.

“Nice of you to show up,” She said, her fists balled at her sides.

I bent over to catch my breath, placed my hands on my knees and wiped my forehead with my knuckles. When I looked up, I forced a smile at her, hoping I could win her over. “I’m sorry,” I said, “I was just—“

Scully waved me away, her jaw working and her nostrils flaring in a way that lit up her whole face with fury. “I don’t fucking care,” she spat.

THAT got me standing in an upright position, although I still wasn’t breathing normally. Had I really just heard Agent Scully curse? MY partner, Agent Scully? Dana Katherine Scully of the FBI and of the x files?

“Wha… what?” I asked, still taking deep breaths.

“You heard me,” Scully snapped. “Whatever you’re going to say, you can save it.”

I shook my head. “Scully—“

“I said DON’T!” she exploded. Her breaths were short, deep and even, as if she was fighting to regain control of the situation. Scully, I knew, always required herself to remain in control. Being professional at all times was a big deal for her. She waved her finger at me and shook her head.. “You had no right to go behind my back like that,” she said.

I folded my arms across my chest, looked her up and down with a critical eye. Who was she to tell me what to do? I thought. Who was this woman to come into my life —uninvited— and order me around? I was so self-assured, so arrogantly positive that I was right and she was wrong, that I said perhaps the dumbest thing I have ever said to Scully in all the years I’ve known her.

“I run this unit,” I replied. “You don’t have the jurisdiction to chastise me. I have every right to conduct myself as I see fit. You do what I say we do.”

To that fine example of teamwork, Scully’s mouth dropped open and a small, shaky puff of air came out. Her fists shook at her sides and she took three small steps towards me, her blue eyes narrowed and unblinking. “You,” she started, her reddened face only inches from mine, “Are the most reckless, thoughtless person I have ever met.“

And then…


I never saw it coming. All I know is that her left fist came out of nowhere, smashed me in the face, and I tripped backwards over my own two feet, landing square on my back. It was one of the most painful, horrible, debilitating left hooks I’ve ever been on the receiving end of. She nearly took my face off.

I stared up at Scully from the ground, my eyes wide in shock, my hand covering my right eye. Her image swam in my brain till there was two of her, then three, then two, then one again. Then she was blurry, even though there was only one of her, and her body hovered over me in black and white.

“Son of a bitch!” Scully cursed, her right hand cupped protectively around her left elbow. She shook out her left hand and stomped her foot, groaned for another second while she flexed her fingers. Then she turned and made her way to the car, reaching it in five large strides. She yanked open the driver’s side door and slammed herself down onto the seat.

Anyway —Did I mention.. OW? And on that note… OW? It took me a good five minutes to peel myself off the ground and make it over to her.

After one solid, silent half hour of driving back to the motel, Scully muttered an apology and took us to the gas station. She bought me some ice, a box of ziplock bags and a small towel, and she made me promise to keep my eye cold. She told me she’d inspect it the next day, and if it didn’t look good, she was going to watch over me herself. I told her, through the cloth covered ice pack on my face, that this was fine with me. We finally made it to the motel and said our goodnights and that was it. We never discussed it further.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Scully managed, and then the door was closed.

Around three am that evening, I overheard something strange coming from Scully’s room. It sounded as if she was gasping for air, hiccupping and wheezing abnormally. At first I didn’t get it and I went for my gun, ready to bust down the door if she was in trouble. But then the truth hit me like a knife to the stomach and I dropped to the carpet.

Scully was crying.

I could hear her clearly on the other side of the wall, almost as if she was sitting against the paper-thin stucco and pressing her face to the walpaper: Wheeze, gasp, hiccup, wheeze, gasp, cough.

I figured she was crying over what she’d done this evening, over having lost her professionalism in such a precarious situation. I imagined what it must look like from her side, how fruitless the progression of our partnership must have seemed. And for that I felt… like the lowest person who had ever lived.

After all, I’d probably had it coming.

The funny thing was, I’d never heard Diana cry, not over me, and certainly not during the years we were together. Hearing Scully cry threw me for a loop. Did this mean that she cared, that she had a strong moral conscience about our professional and personal relationship? I didn’t know. I wasn’t even sure what to make of Scully, or how to treat her as a friend. I’d certainly never had many friends. But I wanted to start fresh with her, I thought. I definitely wanted to start over.

Shaking my head, I put my hand to the door and tried to imagine touching her face, wiping her tears away. Scully really was so earnest looking, so lovely and strong in a soft sort of way. She was a good, caring person. She deserved a second chance, I thought. Maybe even more than that.

I concocted an apology in my head and I wondered what she would say to me.

Screw you, Mulder.

Go to hell, Mulder.

I quit the x files, Mulder.

“God, I am so sorry,” I whispered to the door. “I am so sorry I made you cry.”

I closed my eyes and pictured her. Burnt orange hair dipping to her shoulders, blue eyes that looked greenish, almost sea-foam to me. Scully had such beautiful, pale skin, and I couldn’t imagine her cheeks being marred by the annoying presence of tears. It occurred to me then that I couldn’t recall ever having thought about her as a beautiful woman before. But she was, wasn’t she?

In the end I never went to Scully to apologize. I never brushed her tears away. I just couldn’t bring myself to admit that she’d gotten to me. I didn’t want her to get to me in THAT kind of way. But I did promise myself that I would never lie to Scully again. Even if I decided to go off on my own, even if I had to leave, I would make sure to get a hold of her and tell her… somehow. I wouldn’t keep things from her. I would never make her cry again. Never.



“You heard me crying, Mulder?”


“And you sat in your room and listened to me.”


“While I cried.”


“On assignment.”

“This is what I’m saying.”

“Oh…. Christ, Mulder…I was very young, you know. And fairly naive. I wasn’t thinking clearly and I would never—”

“I know.”

“Even still…I’m sorry.”

“Why are you sorry, Scully?”

“I–I’m not sure.”

“It was a long time ago.”

“I know that.”

“Hey… Are you sure you’re feeling alright?”


“You look tired. Exhausted.”

“It’s nothing. Keep talking… Please.”


“Please, Mulder.”



As the years past, Scully mentally kicked my ass many times, although she never again punched me. While she was loyal, she was not an “easy” person to get along with. Dana Scully had her “just so” way with investigating cases, and she made me look for my answers. She made me think.

Soon I started noticing “new” things about Scully: I noticed the way her eyes turned a darker shade of blue when she smiled, the way her hair curled around her ears in ringlet-fashion when the weather was misty. The way she walked fascinated me, the way she tapped her pencil on the desk when she was nervous, the way she read case reports straight through a six hour flight, and only gripped the arm rests when the plane warbled violently.

Every aspect of Scully was something new to study, to wonder about. How could any one person be more beautiful to me than anyone else in the world? What made her so staunchly loyal? Why was her faith in religion boundless, yet her life rooted in science?

The funny thing was that I wanted to know the answers, but I was afraid of them. I didn’t want to be attached to Scully romantically, didn’t want to fail her like I felt I’d failed at all the other relationships in my life. Plus, I didn’t want to put either of us in a situation that could be detrimental to both of us. Makes sense, right?

Well, it did at the time.

So I told myself that I just wanted to love her. I wanted to admire Scully, even if only inside my own head. I wanted to hold her close to me, as close as I could without dragging her down, and I wanted to keep her safe. Scully deserved at least that. And by protecting her, I was also protecting the x files. The x files needed Scully as much as I needed her, and I refused to lose my focus, my complete and unwavering desire to discover the truth about what had happened to my sister. Loving Scully on a physical level could only be a distraction, just as loving Diana had been a distraction, and I refused to subject myself to that kind of hurt. So I loved Scully without really loving her. I loved her so much that simply being in the same room as her made me feel safe, and wanted, and so much greater than myself.

And for eight years, it was all I needed.

Until one night, two years after she discovered she could never have children, Scully came to me and told me that she’d been seeing a fertility specialist. She said that it was possible for her to have what she’d wanted more than anything, a baby… but she needed my help. She needed a father.

I spent the entire day deliberating over that, agonizing over what the repercussions could mean for us. I mean, a baby? How was I supposed to give anyone a baby? How could Scully and I live with a baby between us, work together professionally? It could never be done, I thought. Never. I can’t give Scully a baby. I mean, a BABY. Jesus.

I went to her apartment that night with every intention of saying “no.” I even rehearsed the speech in my head:

“The work we do is dangerous, life threatening. You know this as much as I do. How could we ever hope to keep a baby safe, knowing what we know? We couldn’t, Scully, and if this baby had… complications, like Emily did, how would that affect you? How would that affect the baby? I’m afraid for you, and I’m afraid for myself. What if we tried this and it didn’t work out? I can’t see placing that kind of pressure on you, or on myself, and I don’t want to hurt you by failing you. I would never want that. And I don’t want things to change between us. I’m just not prepared for something like this. I can’t give you a child. Anything else, Scully. Anything but this.”

I was prepared to the letter. I had it all figured out.

But when I got to her apartment and I looked into Scully’s face, her eyes were glistening with unshed tears. She looked up at me as if I was her last hope, her last chance at anything true and real. I remembered all the times she’d saved my life, kept me going. I remembered that night from six years earlier, when I’d sat by the wall and listened to Scully sob because I’d failed her.

I can’t deny her this, I thought. I can’t deny her anything.

“The answer is yes,” I’d said.

We made love only once; joined in a burst of light that seemed to emanate out from every pore in every part of both our bodies. I don’t know why we chose that night, or how something as simple as being in love transformed into a miracle greater than both of us. It just did.

Nine months later, Scully had her baby: a perfect little boy named William.


And a month after his birth I found myself sitting on a bench in front of the Washington Monument at one am, staring up at a brightly lit, phallic looking white structure, wondering how I’d been lead to this point. Trying to figure out how in the world I could tell Scully the truth; I was in love with her and I wanted to be more than just the guy who donated his sperm. With the x files gone and the FBI gone and Samantha finally gone, there was nothing left to stop me. There was only Scully and William and the promise of a life that could be wonderful… if only I wasn’t so afraid of losing them, or of ripping open a new hole inside of myself. Maybe Scully and William would just be better off without me, I thought. But would I be better off without them?

I sat pondering these things, the directions I seemed to have traveled, when someone came and stood in front of me.

“This seat taken?” a deep, gruff voice asked.

I looked up and saw Assistant Director Skinner towering over me, his broad shoulders hidden beneath an expensive looking brown trench-coat, his big, bald head shiny against the light from the monument. I blinked up at him and frowned, puzzled by the intrusion but not necessarily angered by it. I wasn’t conducting a top-secret mission after all, just thinking to myself. And I probably needed the distraction. Even though I wasn’t sure why Skinner had decided to hover by a D.C landmark at one o clock in the morning…. I was sure I didn’t really want to know the answer to that. I had enough shit to deal with.

I shrugged and said amiably, “be my guest, sir.” Skinner wasn’t my superior or even my coworker anymore, but I couldn’t bring myself to call him Walter, or even “Mr. Skinner.” That just sounded silly. Walter Skinner was a former army man, a commanding, serious figure, not a buddy. To me, Skinner would always be “sir.”

With a swish of his perfectly pressed pants, Skinner sat beside me on the bench and stared up at the monument. He refrained from looking at me as he got right down to it and asked, “How’s Scully?”

I leaned back and watched the evening fog play shadows on the large, marble plaque that described the history of George Washington. “She’s doing well,” I said, folding my hands behind my head.

“Good. And the baby?”

“Also doing well. Healthy and normal, which is the most important thing.” I sighed and looked down at my shoes. “Good looking kid, even if he is bald.” I smiled ruefully and shook my head, remembering how tiny his hands were, how soft he felt when I held him. He was beautiful and perfect and I’d help create him. “He looks like Scully,” I murmured, picturing my son’s face in my mind.

Skinner shifted his weight. “That’s wonderful news,” he said

I nodded my assent. “Yeah, it is.”

“So,” Skinner turned to me, his thick glasses reflecting the light from the streetlamp. “Has she decided on a name?”

I nodded again, dropped my hands into my lap. “William,” I said. “She named him William.”

“I see.” Skinner paused a beat. “After her father?”

“After mine.”

He nodded. “Ah.”


“Mulder, I believe you’re familiar with my ex-wife Sharon. Did I ever explain to you our situation?”

I frowned, confused by this sudden turn of the conversation. Walter Skinner rarely offered up any personal information, and definitely not as small talk. He was a great ally and a good leader, but we were not friends in the widely understood definition of that term. We were barely acquaintances. Only the most unusual of circumstances (and our affection for Scully) had forced a bond between us.

“No, sir,” I said, folding my hands beneath my chin. “I don’t believe so.”

Skinner nodded and his head raised aristocratically, as if this admission would somehow demean my perception of him. “Sharon wanted children.” He licked his lips, a faraway look in his eyes. “I had a career with the bureau, and her goals had separated from mine. She was a… a handsome woman. I wasn’t surprised when she eventually found someone who could give her the things I was incapable of providing.”

Baffled by this, I blinked and furrowed my brows. “Sir?”

Skinner fixed me with a steel gaze. “I have no children, Mulder. And I will most likely never have children.”

Oh great, I thought, as I sat watching Skinner watching me. The man’s having some kind of mid-life, nervous breakdown and he’s got a spare firearm in his jacket holster.

“Sir, I don’t –“

“I do have a point,” Skinner interrupted, fixing me with a hard glare, “if you’ll let me get to it.”

Remembering that firearm, I shut my mouth.

“Did you know that I was the only person to see Agent Scully in the hospital the day after you disappeared?”

I shook my head.

Skinner nodded stiffly. “She had… collapsed… in the lone gunmen office while monitoring our trip to Oregon. When I got back and discovered she’d been taken to the hospital, I decided that the best course of action would be to visit her and simply tell her the truth. That you were gone and I’d seen a light I couldn’t deny. But when I told Agent Scully this, she said she already knew. She told me that she was determined find you, and that the reason she’d fainted was because she was pregnant. To be perfectly forthright, this admission shocked me. Especially knowing what I know of Agent Scully. Besides that, there wasn’t much for me to say to her. She was… She had an empty look in her eyes, Mulder, as if she felt she was truly alone in the world for the first time in her life. I’d never seen that look on Agent Scully before, and I wanted to help her. I promised her that I would assist her in any way that I could. I’ve kept that promise to her and I refuse to break it now.”

I nodded my head to this, now not only confused but perhaps a little bit scared, too. If Walter Skinner was about to tell me that he was in love with Dana Scully, only one of us was going to leave this bench alive.

“My point,” he continued, taking in my blank expression, “Is that Agent Scully deserves to know she’s not alone in this world.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Sir, I don’t know what you’re insinuating, but I can assure

you -–“

Skinner pursed his lips, anger flickering in his gray eyes. “It’s not good enough, Mulder. Whatever excuse you’re about to hand me, it’s not good enough.” He leaned back and examined me thoroughly, almost the way a father would sum up the worthiness of his daughter’s new beaux. I opened my mouth to try and defend myself, but Skinner stopped me before I could speak. “I signed divorce papers and let Sharon walk away. That was my choice as much as it was hers.” He cleared his throat as if to shove down his emotions. “You could fall off the face of the Earth and Scully would fight til her last breath to bring you back. She very nearly did. Don’t be an asshole and sign that away.”

Skinner pulled himself to his feet and stared down at me, his hands balled into stiff fists at his sides. I still had no idea why he’d come to the Washington Monument at one am, or even why he’d suddenly decided to stop and have a conversation with me. It had been weeks since I’d talked to the man. But I suppose none of that mattered in the face of the moment.

“Agent Mulder,” he said, addressing me stiffly by my former title, “You may not have the X files to propel your life’s work anymore, but you have a second chance. You have a son. And you still have Agent Scully.” He breathed in deeply. “But if you’re going to love her, then Jesus Christ, love her already. And do yourself a favor: get your ass off this bench.”

Skinner said nothing after that, just turned and walked away as if all that needed to be said had been said.

In the end I was left sitting alone on an old bench, an astonished expression on my face.

Five minutes later I pulled a piece of paper out of my pocket and fished a pen out from my leather jacket. I’d thought and mused long enough over my life. I certainly had enough material, didn’t I? Maybe Scully wouldn’t fully understand, but I could tell her. And I could tell the baby.

So I began to write something, a confession that seemed all the more easier to make to my son. It started with “once upon a time…”

Then I scratched that shit out and started over. My life was definitely not “once upon a time.”

“I can do better than that,” I said to myself.



“Scully? …….Scully?….. Hey—you still with me? This is mission control, over.”


“You spaced out there for a sec.”


“You were gone. Totally gone. Where’d you go?”

“Nowhere. I was listening to you.”



“Then what did I just say?”

“You said ‘then what did I just say?’”

“Okay, I walked right into that one, didn’t I?”

“So, did Skinner really say those things to you, Mulder?”

“He did.”

“He told you to get up off your ass?”

“He probably would have shot me if I didn’t. He didn’t look very happy.”

“Skinner never looks very happy.”

“No, he doesn’t.”



“I’m glad you got off your ass.”

“And I’m glad you’re feeling better.”

“Look, could we please not discuss that? I’m fine. Really.”

“Fine. Give me another subject if you don’t want to talk about it.”

“You want me to, then I will.”




** Warning: One order of humor mixed with angst mixed with romance coming up. All I’ll say is this: there are two stories going on here. One is humorous, one is slightly angsty. Mulder and Scully have promised not to totally dive off the deep end of angst, but only if you guys promise to be patient with them. I told them that I don’t like the deep end anyway. I’m the type to always wear my swimmies and huddle near the stoop. The deep end scares me. Mulder says that I needed to get out more. Scully says swimmies are overrated.


Mulder and Scully:

How Princess Scully Got Her Crown

(And Her Man)



Castles in the Sky

(Or Princess Scully Gets Knocked Up)


The air conditioner was broken AGAIN–had been for days. Not that the air was musty and humid: insufferable, like those long, hot evenings in July and August. But it was already mid-June, misty outside and quite warm in the small apartment I shared with the baby.

Surprisingly enough, William (maybe a month old at the time) was fast asleep in the basinet next to my bed, his tiny arms splayed across his abdomen and his silk baby blanket. Every once in awhile he would stuff one or two fingers in his mouth, shift sides, then switch hands. Will’s uncharacteristic silence was new and almost unsettling, especially in the dark, warm confines of our room. Usually he rested fitfully, waking like clockwork every other hour or so – either out of hunger or a craving for hugging and holding. But it had been a few hours since William had wailed for attention, or even awakened quietly, and I half worried about him as I tossed in bed like a half-finished house salad.

Every few minutes or so I glanced over at Will –just to make sure everything was in proper working order, that he was breathing properly, that he was THERE. I couldn’t help but worry about him. Sometimes it seemed as if all I did was worry. Even when I drifted off into the darkness, when I slept, my mind ran away with me, crippled me with fear; William fast asleep as Mulder peered over the side of the bassinet. Me leaving the room for a cup of hot tea, returning to find the window open and the baby gone, Mulder gone. Curtains fluttered against the wall, drifted with the wind. A bright light invaded the room—hot like lightning. And then nothing.

I sighed. No wonder I couldn’t get any rest.

The VCR clock blinked the late hour in red: one-twenty-two, on and off like a dimming flashlight (Mulder had failed to fix it after the blackout two days earlier,) and I glanced at the flickering light every time I flipped over in bed.

God, but it was warm.

Warm enough to crumble the sleepy haze that I’d been swimming through after dinner, the fog that almost all mothers of newborns suffer through. You know, when you’re exhausted during the day because at night you’re always feeding, worrying or brimming with discomfort? Yes, well, that was me. Except I wasn’t using the free moment to sleep and I really wanted to. Even if I suffered through the same old nightmares, even if I was afraid to close my eyes because I was the only person in the room equipped to protect my son. Even so, I needed sleep.

Sweat clung to my silk pajama top and slipped between my breasts, dripped like warm soda down my stomach. I hadn’t slept since the day before and I was damn frustrated that I couldn’t rest now. I also wanted to know when the hell maintenance was going to get around to fixing the air conditioner.

The air felt sticky, the room seeming warmer from the silence.

One-twenty-three, One-twenty-three, damn clock, I thought. I should have just unplugged it.

I’d spent the earlier hours of the evening glossing over the complexities of my life, the decisions I would have to make regarding my future with the FBI, my future with Mulder, my future period, and the twisting of these thoughts had left me feeling blindsided.

Mulder and I were not living together. We’d not even discussed anything remotely resembling love, being in love, and/or having a son. Rather, we’d danced pitifully around the subject of starting together a life that did not involve a professional relationship, and we’d spent many silent evenings watching TV on my couch. Sometimes I’d lean into Mulder’s chest and he would wordlessly wrap an arm around my shoulders, or else he would kiss the top of my head and go back to watching the game, or the news, or whatever the hell we’d been staring at. Other times he’d gaze at me with a half opened mouth, like he wanted to say something important…

But ultimately, he would just go back to the TV. Maybe he’d run his thumb over my cheek, or else he would get up and check on the baby. Or the baby would cry and I would have to go get him. Unsaid things remained unsaid, and as the weeks rolled by a chasm grew between us. Of this we both knew, but neither of us cared to comment on it.





“I understand that you’re in the middle of a very compelling oration here, but I just had a thought–”


“Well, no, that’s not necessarily true. I’ve been toying with this particular train of thought for a few weeks now so the action of thinking it isn’t so sudden. It’s the decision to actually voice this thought that’s more or less sudden, more so if you consider that I chose this particular moment at random to tell you. So to be honest, I suppose it’s less like a thought and more like a plan of action. A well thought-out plan of action that’s been carefully examined from all angles and built on practicality. I know how you value practicality.”

“Christ, Mulder. And you say I’m long-winded..”

“You are, but that’s not the point.”

“You know what, Mulder? Why don’t you go–”



“We need privacy. Maybe you should turn that thing off for a minute.”

“But I’m in the middle of a story, Mulder.”

“Then turn it off after you’re done.”

“Why? What’s wrong? What’s going on? Is everything—”


“You’re sure?”

“Finish the story, Scully. It’s okay. Seriously. I just wanted to voice this thought I had— that we need to talk when you’re done.”


“When you’re done.”

“Okay… That’s…. I promise you. When I’m done.”



Mulder came over to the apartment every day, sometimes in the afternoon, sometimes in the morning, and he spent most of his time entertaining his son. If before he’d been obsessed with his work, Mulder now found an altogether new obsession. He brought over impossibly tiny Yankees jerseys, big, colorful plastic blocks, and itty bitty leather baseball gloves. He showed William some of his old baseball cards and read to him from various Sports Almanacs, recited in a sing-song voice the stats of Ken Griffey Jr. and Mickey Mantle.

“Mulder,” I’d said, as I stood watching him read to William from a Major League Baseball update in the Times, “That’s not exactly fairy tale material. You could try something a little more suited towards a child’s interests.”

“HIS interests?” Mulder said with a laugh, looking not at me but at William. “I tell you what, Scully. Next time I come over here I’ll bring something interesting for you. I’ll read to you from the ‘Cat in the Hat.’ But Will here… He’s less picky. If you read to him in a nice voice, like this one, I could be reading one of your autopsy reports and he’d never know the difference. Isn’t that right, buddy?”

I shook my head. “Classy,” I said, scooping up some toys from the carpet.

The bottom line was that my partner –or my ex partner, as it were, loved his son. He loved him very much. I saw it in the way Mulder wiggled William’s toes, the way he struggled through changing diapers he didn’t know how to maneuver. I saw it in the way he smiled at Will, the way he smiled at me when I held Will and whispered things only babies could understand.

“Great kid you got here,” Mulder would say. He’d lean towards me from his place on the couch, William gugrling in his arms, and he’d kiss the corner of my mouth. “Doesn’t talk as much as you do—although I think he’s just biding his time. One of these days he’s going to open his mouth and say, ‘Daddy, just what are you suggesting?’ “

I shook my head at the thought.

Maybe Mulder truly loved me. I thought he loved me, and he insinuated that he did, but he’d never said the words. And I wanted more than ‘maybe,’ more than “I’ll see you tomorrow, Scully, and I’ll bring over Chinese food and this one vampire case that I hacked out of the bureau’s mainframe….”

I wanted more than perhaps I knew how to receive, and I wasn’t sure how much Mulder was prepared to offer. I mean, it wasn’t just he and I in the equation anymore. Now I had the baby to consider and William deserved more than what Mulder and I were too afraid to give him.

And on top of everything else, there was work. Somehow, even when life and death and love were at stake, it always came down to work. Maternity leave, I knew, wasn’t going to last forever. Mulder’s split from the X Files would. In a few months I would go back to the basement to work with Agent Doggett…and I’d leave domesticity behind. But how could I work on the X Files, do the investigating Mulder loved, without him trudging through it by my side? And with the baby in tow, how could I even commit myself to seeking out unusual phenomena on a moment’s notice, leave the way I used to for a case? There would be no more late night flights, no more adrenaline surging phone calls at one am: “Scully, something’s happened and I need you on this.” I would be in the office with the X Files and Mulder would be at home. At whose home, I wasn’t quite sure, but he’d be at home nonetheless. And my life as I’d known it would be over.

Just like that.

With a short sigh I toed the blanket off my legs, off the bed, and I rose into a seated position. I raised my arms to get the blood circulating and I shook my head from side to side. Sleep was obviously not going to find me anytime soon and I was damned sick of lying there trying. And it figured, the one night the baby decided to be quiet.

I stared blandly into the bluish- dark, wondered why summer always had to be so damned hot. The only breeze and light in the room filtered in from the window, the soft air like a siren call. Come breathe me in, it said. The curtains fluttered against the wall and fell back in towards the exposed screen.

Fresh oxygen, I thought. Need. Fresh. Oxygen.

My eyelids fluttered closed and I recalled the nights when Mulder had been gone: those nights when I’d gone to the glass and closed my eyes and found solace in the fresh air caressing my cheeks through the screen. I’d breathe in the scent of autumn mist and imagine Mulder’s disappearance had all been a dream. I’d think that he was just standing behind me, his arms wrapped firmly around my middle, his lips murmuring something into my ear.

“Don’t let go,” he said. “Never give up on a miracle.”

I’d held onto those images, those frighteningly real visions of Mulder, like one would cling to a life preserver in the ocean. Remembering him in that way and thinking of the child we’d created helped keep me tethered to reality– in such the tenuous way I’d clung to it during the first six months of my pregnancy.

But that was all in the past. History. Now Mulder was here with me; he was alive and breathing by the grace of God, and still there were problems that I faced at the very thought of him. Why were there always problems?

I opened my eyes and stepped forward, took a breath that smelled of fresh rain.

I stared out at the street below with my finger on the glass.

A streetlight directly below my apartment bathed the landlord’s gardenia bushes in a glow of yellow light, and a soft wind swayed the branches of the old oak tree back and forth. The leaves rustled drunkenly to the rhythm of the night, and as I stared into the darkness I felt somehow calm, liberated from worry. A few random papers rolled down the street, bouncing off of potholes and sailing up into the breeze. A scattering of cars were parallel parked beside the sidewalk: a red, Buick LeSabre with a dented passenger’s side door, a blue, Dodge Neon with a teddy bear hanging from the rear view mirror, and on the other side of the street, a black, Kennedy era Cadillac with a very familiar looking vanity plate.

At the site of the Cadillac, I took pause.

Mulder? What in the world –

With a frown, I backed away from the window, sliding into the shadows where I hoped Mulder wouldn’t be able to see me. Thankfully, he was preoccupied — It looked as if he’d just killed the engine and was getting out of the car. I doubted that he’d glanced up at the window while shutting the door, but I hid behind the curtain just in case.

Obviously, Mulder was coming up here to see me… but why? And at this time of night?

In one quick motion I turned and pressed my back up against the wall, rubbed my forehead in short, even circles. Had he forgotten something earlier in the day? Left his cell phone on the coffee table?

Or was he here simply because he knew I’d be asleep?

Holy shit, I thought. Oh God, oh no. There were only two ways that this situation could end, and one of them involved a farewell kiss and a whisper of goodbye.

“Sorry Scully, but it’s been real. I’m leaving to go in search of the truth and I can only do that alone. I don’t know how to be anything but your friend and I’m certainly not equipped to be a father.”

This can’t be happening, I thought, sweat beading on my forehead. Would Mulder really go and leave, just like that, just because the timbre of our relationship had changed? No, I tried to convince myself. Not Mulder. Mulder didn’t quit when things got hard. It wasn’t who he was. And besides, he loved the baby with every breath in his body. I knew he did. He wouldn’t leave William.

“I’m going to do things differently,” Mulder’d promised me—not even two weeks after Will’s birth. He gazed down at the baby and rubbed his tiny back through the thin blanket. “I’m not going to be the man my father was.”

“I know,” I’d said, standing a few feet away. Mulder smiled at me and I smiled back. “I believe in you.”

And I did.

I’d believed then, as I believed at this moment, that Mulder would be a wonderful father. But did Mulder love me enough? Did he love me in the way that I wanted him to, or did he love me as the mother of his child? And would he become a permanent fixture here? Like a husband? I suppose those were the things I wanted to ask, but never could.

Before long I heard the key in the lock, the door creaking slowly open. Now I truly was out of options. I swallowed nervously and took a breath. What to do, what to do? Feeling cornered, I did the only logical thing I could think of to do. With outstretched arms I ran on tip-toe to the bed, leaped in, yanked the blankets over myself and prayed to whatever God sailed above that Mulder would truly believe I was asleep.

If I wasn’t awake we couldn’t have the talk. And if we couldn’t have the talk then I could pretend, for the remainder of my maternity leave, that everything was fine. The baby was healthy and Mulder was back in my life, and when the three of us were together we were a family: a family like I’d always envisioned I would have someday. I didn’t need a real husband or a permanent arrangement. I could tell myself that it was enough. At least for now, even though Mulder had his own apartment and his own life and I had mine, it was enough.

My head turned towards the wall, my limbs felt cold, paralyzed. I closed my eyes and felt every soft footfall on carpet. I heard every breath he took, even from the doorway, and I breathed him in when he knelt beside the bed. Mulder smelled like fresh shampoo, like musky leather and sweat from being outside. He smelled like life.

I did not open my eyes.

Mulder’s fingers trickled slowly over the back of my head and wordlessly, he pushed a stray lock of hair over my ear. He did that so often and so without realizing it, just reaching over and pushing my hair back behind my ears, that I’d begun to associate the gesture with knowing Mulder… with loving him. I loved him for so many ridiculous little reasons. The passion I felt was different, but it was real.

Passion wasn’t the silly fairy tale I’d dreamed up when I was eight; passion was looking at Mulder wearing a ripped, lopsided, silver-sequined dress, and realizing that for all the insanity I never wanted to dance with anyone else for the rest of my life.

Mulder sighed and pulled his hand away. “I figured you’d be asleep.”

My heart beat like a stampede of horses in my chest.

“I don’t know,” he went on. “I thought maybe it would be easier for me to figure this out with you close by. I always seem to make my most rational decisions with you around. Or at least, you make it harder for me to be spontaneous and not feel guilty afterwards. ”

My pulse drummed up the sound of blood in my ears like a strong wind churning up the surf. I felt dizzy with need and sentiment, yet pulled in two completely different directions. Mulder was here because I grounded him, because there was no one else in the world he would ever go to. But was love and ‘settling down’ what he wanted?

Was it what I wanted?

Another few seconds rolled by and I couldn’t feel Mulder’s breath on the back on my neck anymore. He’d gone away from the bed, moved or paced in the other direction. Finally, his voice floated over to me from the basinet.

“Hey buddy,” he whispered. “You know I spent approximately half the night trying to rehearse what I’m about to say to you. I sat and thought about it, then re-thought about it —then I got a donut–then I thought some more, and then I came over here. Mostly I thought about you. And about Scully— but of course you know her better as Mommy; the cute, redheaded food machine sleeping in that bed right there.”

I smiled against the apprehension building in my stomach. It was impossible for me not to be in love with Mulder, I thought. Impossible to sit here, to listen to him and not need him. Not want him. At the end of the day, my last thought would always be of him. My fondest memories would always be of us. My child would always be of his flesh and blood, my eyes always focused on the door waiting for him to return home to us.

My greatest fear was that the door would never again open. Mulder would leave me and I’d spend the rest of my life staring at half-opened doorways, wondering “what if?”

About a foot away, the floor creaked under Mulder’s shoes. “Even if you’re a little too young to understand what I’m trying to say,” he went on, “I can break it down for you.” To my right, the bed dipped slightly and I imagined that Mulder was sitting on the edge of the mattress. “You know what? Your Mom always says I don’t tell you any good stories. She says all that baseball stuff isn’t stimulating enough for the still developing imagination of a child. I say that maybe she over-thinks things sometimes, talks too much, maybe is just a tad stubborn, unreasonable –“

I repressed the urge to snort.

“But maybe she’s just a little bit right about the story stuff, although you didn’t hear that from me. What do you think, buddy? Just gurgle once for yes, twice for no.”

I licked my lips, wishing suddenly that I could see Mulder’s face. He loved his son, loved him more than I ever imagined Mulder would. If someone had come to me years ago and told me that Mulder would grow to love something more than he loved his work and his sister, I would have laughed.

“Nothing else matters to me, Scully,” he’d said. “Nothing.”

But then one day, Mulder disappeared. And when he was returned to me from the abyss, he came back a man with serious considerations to re-evaluate his life and the direction of it. —Or so he’d said.

Mulder looked at me differently now, told me things he never would have told me before the disappearance. He said things like, “there are other priorities to consider, Scully,” and, “You’ve put in your time with the X Files. It’s time we focused on the baby.”

The years had worn hard on us, and the months we spent apart proved to be the last straw. Our difficulties peeled off a layer from both of us, leaving us exposed and exhausted, and in need of new shelter from uncertainties. And as we spent more and more time together, the fear of letting myself love Mulder melted slowly, dripped off me like sweat in the summer heat.

“Okay,” Mulder said. “You ready for the mother of all stories?”

I sucked in a deep breath. No, I thought to myself. No, I’m not ready. Please, just go home.

“Once upon a time,” Mulder whispered, then paused. “No… wait. That’s crap. Scratch ‘once upon a time’ because everyone does ‘once upon a time.’ It’s a bad cliché, makes me sound like I’m introducing a Disney movie. How about… Once upon a moldy basement office –yeah, that sounds good. Story-like, suspensful. So um, anyway…once upon a dingy, cramped, yet somehow aesthetically pleasing basement office, there was this sad, lonely — but strikingly handsome agent — named Mulder. All Mulder’s years he’d been a reclusive kind of guy, ever since he could remember; from the time he’d lost his sister as a child to the time he graduated college, and even when he joined the FBI; Mulder kept to himself. He looked for his answers in the dark. He kept the world locked outside his door, convinced in the goodness of his work and in his search for the truth. He researched weird federal cases because weirdness suited him, and because he hated that he felt responsible for losing his kid sister so many years ago. Thus, handsome agent Mulder spent his years at the FBI trying to right his wrong. He sifted through unsolved mysteries – the files, not the TV show – and he blamed his greatest mysteries on shadows and starlight. Mulder liked seeking out intangible things, liked burying himself in puzzles. Certainly, it was easier than imagining what could have really happened to his sister.”

Mulder cleared his throat.

“Not that I’m saying I was ever wrong, because ‘starlight’ is actually a very interesting–not to mention feasible— phenomena. But god forbid I should ever be classified as RIGHT, or that ‘Mad Scully, the Science Lady’ should ever entertain ideas that fall outside her own special rubric of logic….but that’s a whole other story and your mother would probably argue that I wasn’t being scientifically rigorous—“

I bit my lip to keep from laughing and wished for all the world that I’d had the sense to keep an extra tape recorder by the bed. If Mulder could only hear himself, I thought. Opportunities like this just didn’t come along every day.

“So, anyway,” he continued, “One day Mulder’s basement door opened up and in came this stubborn, pig-headed, argumentative princess, and her name was Scully –“

My eyebrow raised three full notches.

“ — And Princess Scully was always convinced that SHE was right and that Mulder was nuts. She pushed Mulder to be more thorough in his work, to look in more inconvenient places for the answers, to look inside himself and confront the demons that he had, in the past, refused to face. So as you could imagine, at first Mulder disliked Scully for tthe intrusion. He didn’t see her as his lovely princess; he saw her as… you know that yippy little Chihuahua from the Saturday morning cartoon? The one who’s always yipping and yipping and yipping–“

I rolled my tongue in my cheek and clenched a fist under the blanket. Alright. This is not romantic, I thought, a tinge of annoyance coloring my decision to feign sleep. Did Mulder even have a point? Was this simply ‘Insult Scully’ night? My new plan was to let him talk for a little while longer. Then, if he didn’t come to a satisfactory conclusion, my foot was going to meet the middle of his ass.

“Yeah,” Mulder said, a slight chuckle entering his voice. “You get the idea. So Princess Scully was a problem, a hindrance, and Mulder was convinced that nothing could ever penetrate his well-equipped defenses. But Princess Scully, she was a smart, smart lady, and she knew that Mulder needed a partner to keep him challenged. So she broke through all his walls, and soon Mulder saw Princess Scully’s beauty –and not just the outside beauty, for she was the most beautiful princess Mulder had ever seen, but all these other cool, princess-like things. He saw her kindness and her loyalty, and he saw that through her unwavering devotion, she’d hidden her innermost desires away from everyone — even him. He saw that what she wanted more than anything was to have a family like the one she’d grown up with.” Mulder paused to take a breath. The room seemed to shrink beneath the sound of his gentle, nervous sounding tenor.

Had he actually rehearsed this? The whole thing sounded too detailed and articulate to be spur of the moment.

My anger abating, I gripped the blankets with shaking fingers, praying against prayer that Mulder wouldn’t notice my trembles. I’d never heard him so open, so emotional and so liberal with his endearments. Mulder never said things like ‘beautiful’ or ‘lovely,’ and certainly not to me (as we were almost always embroiled in some sort of case or conflict that got in the way) and I wasn’t sure what to do with this new information.

Mulder was going to make me cry, goddamn it, if he went any further. And the very last thing I needed was to lose my level-head in this situation.

I swallowed and renewed my vow to keep up the “sleeping” farce. Mulder need never know I heard this, I thought. No, he doesn’t ever have to know.

Mulder cleared his throat again, and this time the gesture sounded hoarse and ragged, as if something had gotten stuck in with his words. “But one day,” he said, “something terrible happened to Stubborn Princess Scully, something so sudden and so unexplainable that even the princess, who had the best fitness record of any female agent in the bureau, couldn’t escape. And Mulder couldn’t save her either. An evil man named Duane Barry took the princess away from Mulder. And Mulder could only watch, helpless, as Princess Scully just…disappeared. Ascended… to the stars… There was never an explanation. Never a reason. There was only a time of loniness, a period of melancholy dreaming, all the while a curse was being placed on the princess. The curse made it so that Princess Scully could never have a child of her own.”

A curse.

I swallowed with the thought.

A curse it was.

A tear escaped from the silky prison of my lashes, dripped over my cheek and soaked into the pillow beneath me. Briefly, I flashed to recollections of the only daughter I had ever known— in the short time I had known her:

Emily’s heart shaped face, yellow hair and big blue eyes had been so familiar, so ‘Melissa Scully.’ I’d never seen Emily before, hadn’t raised her, but I knew she was a part of me. I was meant to find her as she was meant to save me. Her pink lips, her puffy cheeks; she’d drifted away in sleep, passed on as I held her impossibly tiny hands.

I pictured Melissa’s face in Emily’s face, Melissa’s baby-high voice floating to me from yesterday, from way back when she used to have to lift me up to see out the living room window.

“See? That’s Mommy’s car, Dana. She’s going to the supermarket to get some bread. But don’t worry. She’ll be back soon.”

I closed my eyes to wish the voice away. Emily was in a better place, I thought. Melissa was with her. Nobody could ever hurt them. Not anymore. Not ever again.

And as long as Mulder was here with me, nobody would hurt William, I thought —or I more or less prayed.

Please God, may Mulder stay here with us and help me protect our son. May our love for him be enough. For once it my life, may the strength of my convictions be enough.

Unaware of the direction my thoughts had gone, Mulder went on in his soothing voice: “Finally, when Princess Scully was returned to Mulder, silent and lifeless, lying under machines that hummed with her respiration and heartbeat, neither Mulder nor Princess Scully suspected the curse. All Mulder wanted was for her to awaken. – And she did, roused not by a silly kiss, but by nothing more than the strength of her beliefs. And Buddy, when she woke up and smiled at Mulder, it was the most beautiful smile that Mulder had ever seen. From there on in, Mulder vowed to keep Princess Scully from harm as best he could, and they went on to work together for a number of years.

Another pause.

“Oh, and ah, did I mention, Will – and this is incredibly important here — that during this time, Mulder remained as devastatingly handsome as he’d been when he and Scully first met. So handsome, in fact, he often caught Princess Scully looking at him over those bullshi – I mean, NONSENSE expense reports she always got stuck with because she always lost the coin toss. Great Scientist, bad intuitive sense.”

I had to fight really hard to shake my head at that. Mulder always seemed to get sidetracked, usually by his own self-congratulatory style. Even when he thought he was stayng on subject, if the story went longer than five minutes, chances were good he’d get carried away.

“ — But, like I was saying,” Mulder continued, “the curse remained a secret for a long time. Nobody ever suspected it. Then, one black, terrible year, the curse was finally revealed to Mulder and to Princess Scully, and a light seemed to diminish in the beautiful princess’ eyes; she would never have the child she so desperately wanted, and nothing Mulder could do would undo the curse.”

Quietly, and without realizing exactly when I had done it, I’d rolled over until I was facing Mulder’s back, my left elbow square on the mattress, my left hand propping up my chin. If Mulder noticed my movement on the mattress or realized I was even awake, he gave no signal. He just kept on going. Somehow the heat had abated from the room until nothing was left but the sound of Mulder’s voice and the beating of my pulse.

This odd little fairy tale was, without a doubt, the most beautiful thing I had ever heard from Mulder and I desperately wanted to know where he was going with it. Surely, as with anything Mulder said or did, this story had a direction and a purpose. And more than I needed anything, more than I needed my next breath, I needed to hear how the story ended. I knew that wherever Mulder ended up, our future together would hinge on the ending. This was Mulder’s way of ‘making a decision.’

Mulder took a deep breath and kept on going. “But Mulder promised to himself that even if it took his last breath, he would do everything in his power to help Princess Scully as she’d helped him. He would find a way to lift the evil curse. He would find a way to give her a baby. Unfortunately for Mulder, there were no magic potions and no benevolent witches to break the evil spell. There was nothing but prayer and hope and faith in the power of two being greater than the power of one. And for awhile, that was enough. Or at least, Mulder had convinced himself that it would have to be enough, since otherwise, he was stumped. But then one rainy night, Mulder finally did the logical thing. He got Princess Scully into the sack with him and screwed— No, that’s rude, isn’t it? Shit—err—POOP. What’s a nicer way to say that?”

Don’t laugh at him, I thought. Don’t laugh don’t laugh don’t laugh….

“Um… Anyway, Mulder had himself so fooled that he actually believed he could sleep —SLEEP, that is—not screw– with the princess, and not ever give a second thought to their incredible romp in the um, in the bed-for-which-we-sleep-and-only-sleep. That approach, of course, turned out to be bull—um, bull… poop. For one thing, whenever it was Princess Scully’s turn to get coffee in the morning, she would always buy the same stuff: Mocha-chino flavored ‘Taster’s Choice.’ This particular brand of coffee took on a whole new meaning for Mulder after the um, the sleep… sleeping had commenced. For one thing, the mug could not be handed to Mulder without him picturing the princess stark-naked and wearing a bow over her belly-button, which was not only totally inappropriate but also very uncreative, and when he didn’t answer her and he didn’t take the coffee, and she asked him, ‘what’s the matter with you, Mulder?’ –“

Finally, Mulder sucked in some much needed oxygen. Something he’d obviously forgotten to do while reciting how at work, he’d picture me naked. Lovely.

Mulder sighed and shifted his weight. “Oh… right. You don’t need to hear about the um… the SLEEPING, do you? No, of course not. No sleeping until you’re at least twenty. Or else not until all my teeth fall out and I’m chucking them at your mother from across the room. And wouldn’t that be – oh. Wait. Where was I?” Mulder paused, muttered a soft recap to himself and made an “ah” sound. “Okay, right. So one day, an unexpected terrible thing happened; the evil shadows that Mulder had searched for his whole life, the darkness of a truth he’d sought, well, that truth overcame him; Starlight SWOOPED down from the sky and stole Mulder away from Princess Scully. ” Mulder stopped, his voice on a louder, higher note. He took a few long breaths.

So melodramatic, I thought with a smile. Geez, Mulder.

Mulder’s voiced lowered. “BUT—and this is paramount here, Will, so pay attention —BUT, right before Mulder was taken into the night, he finally found a way to lift the curse and give Princess Scully what she wanted most desperately; a child. OH, and this really nice kaliedescope that he’d gotten her for her birthday, an antique kaliedascope with engravings on the side. Great deal on Ebay. Almost kept it for myself..”

Oh, for the love of God. The point, I wanted to yell at him. Get to the point. You’re killing me!

“So. Anyway…Um, Sadly, the price for this happiness meant that Princess Scully and Mulder would be separated, torn from one another like a tree from its roots. So while Princess Scully carried her child, Mulder was far, far away, trapped in a dreamscape of darkness, regretful that he’d never told his princess the entire truth behind their miracle, that he’d realized he knew all along what the cure for the curse had been.”

The bed beneath Mulder rustled as he cracked his back; another pause in the story, and a rather irritating one at that. I hated when Mulder cracked his bones like some low-class homeless person. Sounded like a skeleton falling apart.


I wanted to yell for him to keep going, to reveal what happened to ‘Mulder and his Princess’ even though I already knew what had happened, and the thought made me queasy all over again. I fought hard to keep my teeth from chattering. Everything Mulder had said hit me like a rock to my stomach. These were his feelings, his regrets, his guilt laid out bare to me like naked skin. These were fears that he’d experienced –fears that I’d experienced as well. Did Mulder know that I was awake to hear them, or was he simply entrusting these secrets to my son’s sleeping ears? What if this was the end?

I suppressed a sigh. How ridiculous it should have been that the suspense was killing me. Mulder was a good storyteller, a damn good storyteller and I knew it. While trapped in a car during numerous stakeouts with him, I’d often listened to his ghost stories and his vampire stories and his alien stories. He was always good at creating images, at keeping a detached, narrative air. But this story was somehow different. This story was an amalgamation of he and I, and I could hear the slight wavering in his voice as he told it. The crumbling of something that sounded so nearly rehearsed.

Plus, I was terrified that the ending would have the sad nuance of a tragedy, the misery he and I had grown so used to over the years.

Mulder’s voice was softer now. “Afterwards, months went by silently, almost like life had stopped in the midst of insanity. Princess Scully prayed a lot, and even from far away, Mulder could feel her. He dreamed about her praying.”

I bit my lip and ordered myself not to cry, not to go back to that dark place. The lonliness I’d felt without Mulder was still inside me: I’d locked such miseries away in my brain, back in a place where I wouldn’t want to reach them. I swallowed and forced myself to keep on listening, to ignore the tug of yesterday.

Mulder softened his voice to a shade above a whisper. “But then one day, a new miracle happened: Mulder was finally returned to his princess, scared but alive and breathing, and he realized that some things were more important to him than solving unsolved mysteries —Again, the cases, not the TV show hosted by that ugly guy.”

A breeze filtered through the opened window, tickled over my back and arms as I listened, my body completely stationary. I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe in the fresh air. I felt as if I might burst.

“Mulder,” he continued, “realized that he had never revealed to Princess Scully his secret, his understanding of the first miracle that had lead them down this new, strange path. And he regretted not having told her because he feared he’d lose her. So when Princess Scully had her baby, a very special baby who she named him William, Mulder realized that his time had come. It was time for Mulder to tell Princess Scully his secret, his answer to everything that had troubled them both for so long. It was time for him to tell her how much he loved her, and that the very next time she offered him Taster’s Choice, he really did want her to be naked… And maybe wearing one of his ties around her neck for the sake of his imagination. The gray striped tie, for instance, or the one with the blue diamonds on it because Princess Scully’s eyes are blue and… you know what? If she’s naked, I might as well throw in a desk and heels, right? So naked, drinking coffee, sitting on the desk and wearing a tie and heels. Or… No, I suppose at this point I really don’t need the coffee so much—“

Transfixed to the point of hypnosis, I leaned so hard on my arm that my knuckles slipped out from under my chin and I smacked myself in the face.

Graceful, right? But wait, I can do better.

The shock of receiving a slap from… well… myself… sent my head snapping forward so hard that I pulled a muscle in my shoulder. The mattress jerked with my movement and I gasped out a loud, short, “Ow—SHIT!”

My hand went immediately over my mouth. There isn’t any way he didn’t hear that, I thought. Not any way in hell. Crap.

“Bad dream?” Mulder asked, his back still turned to me.

I wanted to whisper, wanted to be as playful as his story had been, but I couldn’t. I didn’t. There was just too much, too much left unsaid.

“Mulder, I—”

The tears flowed silently and symmetrically down my cheeks, right and left and evenly down my chin, dripping with an almost rational pattern that didn’t escape my notice. How to deal with this logically, I wondered? How to do this right?

I couldn’t. I didn’t know how.

Salty, sticky drops slid over my lips and onto my tongue. I gasped, managed, “I love…I mean—”

When Mulder turned to face me I felt an immediate flush fire up through my face, one that went deeper when I noticed the broad grin he sported. “You love me,” he said, leaning across the chasm in the bed until we were a centimeter away from touching. “I know. Or else I assumed.” He cupped my chin with his right hand. Our foreheads kissed and I felt the sweat from his face moisten mine. Liquid, whether from tears or sweat I’m not sure, skipped down my nose and landed onto his chin. “You’re a miserable faker,” he whispered, then added, “Stubborn Princess Scully.”

To that, my mouth opened in shock: shock that he’d known the whole time that I was awake and embarrassment that I’d been completely had. I pulled away from him only slightly, just enough to get out, “Mulder! How dare you come in here and — I mean, I could have been honestly sleeping. And to think, you knew this entire time that I knew that you knew —“

Mulder grabbed the back of my head and pulled me closer, closer, closer… tilted his chin until the right angle was decided upon and my mouth was nearly flush with his. My eyes fluttered mercifully closed. His hands splayed gently through my hair. Oh God, I thought, Oh my. This is it: THE moment, the half-second to end all half seconds; the expanse of time that represented change.

I flashed to the baby, to medical school, to the first time I met Fox Mulder. I flashed to snippets of his smiling face, his voice floating, whispering to me:

“All your cares just fade away, all your everyday nagging concerns, the ticking of your biological clock, how you afforded that nice new suede coat on a—”

Then Mulder was kissing me, kissing me so soundly and so thoroughly that I had a hard time understanding when he’d even begun the kiss. All rational (and irrational) thought left my head. He kissed me until I was paralyzed beneath a feeling of being weightless, flying on and on until the universe ended. And I couldn’t comprehend anything but the insane idea of his lips on my lips, my lips actually remembering that they were supposed to kiss him back.

And good god, I could feel him smiling under my mouth as he kissed me. And his hands, his warm hands brushing through my hair, tickling my neck. He loved me, I thought. I doubted him and he called me on it. He loved me and this was it. Oh my God, this was really IT.

“I told you once before,” I whispered into his mouth. “I said ‘stay.’ I meant it.” He brushed his lips over mine again, then again. “Stay, Mulder. Stay…”

“If I do, it’s for good,” Mulder said, and he ran his hands methodically over the apples of my cheeks. He was on his knees now, kneeling before me on the mattress in torn jeans and a black t-shirt, his upper body pressing in towards mine at a forty-five degree angle. I was leaning on my hip, my pajama top hanging haphazardly off my nude shoulder, my weight supported by his. Our breaths came in short, hard bursts. My fingers cupped his knuckles until both sets of our hands were intertwined at my jawline. Everything else stopped, everything in the world stopped. The rotation of the Earth, the circulation of air, everything halted in the celebration of a perfect moment that seemed to pass like honey trailing down the side of a jar.

“For good,” I said, and I tilted my head to kiss him again. “All I wanted was to know—“

“—If we were doing the right thing,” he said into my mouth, pulling me closer. “But I should’ve asked you sooner—“

“No—It’s okay,” I whispered into him. “… We needed the time…we needed it to collect ourselves, and…. And—“

“You really want me here? You’re not sick or feverish? Or maybe under the influence of mind altering drugs?”

I placed one short peck to his upper lip, another one, right below his nose. “Mulder. Don’t be an idiot. I wouldn’t have asked you if I didn’t.”

Mulder’s mouth rested on mine, poised as if waiting for permission. His breath was warm and moist and he smelled like recently shucked sunflower seeds. “It’s gonna be real different,” he said. “And probably not the easiest transition. I like leaving my clothes all over the floor and I rarely shut the bathroom door when I shower. And I hate that you categorize your towels by color and brand name, because I don’t think you realize how truly bizarre that is—“

“Oh brother, Mulder. If you’re not going to kiss me –“

“The point is that I… I’m in love with you, Scully. –at least enough to deal with the towel thing.”

I ran my left hand along the side of his face, tilted my head for entrance. I kissed him softly on the corner of his mouth. “We’ve handled far worse… I think. That flukeworm, for instance. That was pretty… pretty disgusting.” And again, a tug on his lower lip. “I think you’ve ascertained by now… you know that I’m in love with you, Mulder. I—“

He touched my lips, earnestness clear in his hazel eyes. “No more words,” he said.

I stared at him with watery eyes, my breaths coming in shuddered gasps. “No more words,” I echoed.

This time I giggled into his mouth as I kissed him, tugging with his t-shirt gathered in my fists. We stayed like that until I awkwardly tipped to one side and, losing my balance like a rhinoceros on roller skates, I pulled him down onto the mattress with me. We laughed softly for five whole seconds as we stared at each other, just reveling in the contact. Then I couldn’t help but ask him, “so is this how it ends?” caressing his chin with my thumb, “the guy gets his princess and they live happily ever after? Just like that? That’s crap. I don’t believe that for a second.”

Mulder grinned and pushed a fly-away strand of hair back over my ear. “Well, no, actually. Did I get to the part where Mulder, sick with love and still as strikingly handsome as ever, wanders across a deserted parkway for nearly twenty minutes and arrives at the castle absolutely famished, and Princess Scully promises to get up and make Mulder a sandwich?”

To that I raised a suspicious eyebrow. “Princess Scully,” I corrected, “may be tired and lactating, but she is not stupid.”




“I know. I’m turning it off..”

“No—that’s not what I was going to say.”

“Oh? What then?”

“Just…I love you.”

“Oh brother, Mulder…”

“No—I’m being serious. I love you, okay?”

“I know.”

“So… what then? You don’t love me back?”

“Huh? Yeah, I suppose I do.”

“You suppose you do?”

“Yeah, why not? I don’t have to be anywhere today.”



“You’re a riot,” Mulder says.

“I do what I can,” I say.

Nothing for a moment.

Mulder stares at me with dark green, determined eyes. He looks as if he’s been thinking for a long time. About what, I don’t know. I can’t possibly know. Maybe I’d be better off not even wondering.

Scully, are you okay? Can I get you asprin? Call a doctor? Please, answer me…

Mulder’s been worried about me all day. I can’t say that it pleases me to know this, but I also can’t say that I’m not worried myself.

Please, just open the door–

I flash back to the feel of cold water slipping between my finger tips, to the rough, stinging sensation of bile rising, forcing it’s way like rusted nails up through my throat. The bathroom reeked of lilacs and Suave hairspray. I noticed the odor most clearly when I stared into the mirror, confronted my own blotched, exhausted face with wet hands. My nose didn’t bleed today and for that I was thankful — two days earlier I had stepped out of the shower to a wave of dizziness, and to a stinging sensation in the center of my face. Dark, scarlet droplets landed on my cupped palm, broke through the after-shower mist and stained the tile at my feet.

Scully? Are you coming out? I have to get in the shower you know…

I’d just stared dumbfounded at the blood converging on the floor, gasped for breath as if I’d gotten the wind knocked out of me. I grabbed a piece of toilet paper and pressed it to my left nostril, held it to my nose in shock. For one startling second I pictured myself lying on the cold tile, unconscious and shaking, bleeding uncontrollably and losing the battle for oxygen. I shuddered at the thought and wished it away, throwing out the toilet paper with an underhanded sweep. I turned to the sink and wiped beads of steam off the bathroom mirror with a trembling palm.


I blink, try to pull myself out of that dark place. I won’t go there. I won’t. “What was it you wanted to tell me?” I ask, my tone carefully controlled. I can’t let Mulder know what I’m thinking. I can’t let him know how much this bothers me, that it even bothers me at all.

I’m fine. Fucking fine. Whatever Mulder’s thinking, all I have to do is reassure him that everything is alright. And why shouldn’t it be? I have a good career. I have a baby. I have a man that loves me. I’ve had a heathly, cancer-free record for years now. People vomit all the time. People have fucking nose bleeds. Why does there have to be a big God dammned production every time it happens to me?

Mulder closes his eyes, opens them and takes a deep breath. “Okay,” he says, as if he’s preparing himself for the speech to end all speeches.

“Okay,” I answer, furrowing my brow. I know what he’s going to say. I just have to figure out how to respond. I can handle this. No problem.


I nod. “Yes?”

“I, ah… I need to say this,” he says, “because I’ve been… thinking….as I believe I mentioned earlier— and I’ve come to a proverbial fork in my thought process. I’ve been imagining us… well, no. Backing up. I’ve been imagining these two nearly identical roads in front of me— both roads have been placed as a means to an end. But while they both look alike and ARE alike in many ways, one road is merely a facade. If I chose this one, the result will leave both of us stagnant, trapped if you will, while the other road more may offer a more practical, stable solution. Something that could benefit all of us- you and Will and I. What I— what I mean to say is, I’ve realized over the course of my ruminations that…” He takes another deep breath, folds his hands in front of him. “Especially since what happened this afternoon, I’ve been going over and over this—”

I shake my head, force a smile. “Mulder, ” I say, “I know you’ve been worried about me—”

“–perhaps our living situation hasn’t been the most productive situation these past few months.”

The world stops.

My mouth opens but no sound comes out. Of all the things I thought Mulder was about to say, this wasn’t it. All sensation suddenly drains from my legs, from my arms. Blood rushes to my face and pools beneath my cheeks. I think I’m still breathing but I’m not sure. I don’t feel like I’m breathing. I can’t feel my hands, my feet. Everything’s gone.

Yeah Scully, we’ve had a blast and the sex was good. Bring the baby around sometime.

No. This isn’t happening to me. Not now. Not fucking NOW.

“What—” I shake my head, lean forward on shaky elbows. “What are you trying to—”

Mulder’s eyes widen and he waves a hand at me. His mouth opens and closes and he swallows, twines his fingers through his hair —almost as if he doesn’t know how to finish what he’s started. For a moment he looks frightened, uncontrolled. I don’t know what to make of any of this.

I’ll see you around, Scully.

It’s been fun, Scully.

Don’t be a stranger, Scully.

Somehow, I manage, “Mulder—”

“Marry me, Scully.”

And I am now officially floored.

“Wha… what did you say?”

“I said…” Mulder clears his throat. “I said marry me. I think you should marry me. I think we should get married. I know it sounds utterly insane, but I’ve been over it in my head and I can break down my argument for marriage in a few major points, most of which have clear, logical reasons behind them and–”

Pounding. My head is pounding like a stick banging on a bass drum. Blood crashing in my ears, my face hot and tingling. Again I picture myself on the floor of the bathroom, blood beneath my head, my arm extended towards the door. The ceiling spins and lurches above me and below me there is nothing but air. I’m floating on air. I can’t think like this, can’t keep my thoughts straight–

“—conclusions of which I’m sure you’ll agree, Scully, are most–”

I’m circling. Circling like water down a drain. Practical? Logical? Two identical roads? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Marry him? Just like that?

“— and for another, you can legally put me on the lease, which abates some of the difficulties we’ve had splitting expenses–”

Oh no Oh I don’t feel so well and oh jesus this is what it felt like to be sick to be really sick to be nothing but a form of cancer and dying and oh what if it’s all in my head not sick not sick I’m having a baby that’s all not sick not sick but I can’t have another baby so it can’t really be a baby not really not really oh please don’t take Will and don’t take me and what’s this about marriage I can’t marry anyone I can’t even see straight what are those spots—

“No,” I manage, the room rapidly twirling and twisting and converging until I can barely see at all. “Can’t… Not marry you, Mulder.”

Mulder says something else but I don’t hear him.

Then everything is black and the room is gone and I don’t hear anything.


* We’re getting closer to the end here, I promise. Both Mulder and Scully are very tired of talking and they want to take naps. My apologies for the late-night update. I ended up adding a few last minute touch-ups that took longer than expected. At any rate, enjoy the angst, enjoy the humor, and watch out for flesh eating mutants.

Well, you just never know.




By Jaime Lyn


Mulder and Scully:

On Domestication:


Woman, Let’s Play Shadow

(Or, How Mulder Lived to Tell the Tale)




“Okay, so maybe I’m not quite alright,” Scully says, a cold compress pressed over her left eye – the place where her head hit the ground like a rock when she fainted. Her cheek just below the compress is turning an interesting shade of rose and violet. She looks almost as if her face was painted by a carnival clown.

“Right,” I say, my arms crossed over my chest.

Scully blinks her right eye –the good one, and blows a puff of air out of thinned lips. “Oh for Christ sakes, don’t look at me like that.” She adjusts the compress. “I’m not an invalid. I just lost my balance and—“

“You fainted, Scully.”

“Briefly lost consciousness.”


“I blacked out for a second.”

I shake my head in incredulity and wave my hand at her. “You FAINTED!” I explode, for what seems like the fifth time in a row. “God damn, is it that hard to admit?”

Scully narrows her good eye. “I said stop looking at me like that, Mulder.”

“How would you like me to look at you?” I ask, standing up to pace. “Maybe you want me to jump around the room, do a little dance?”

“If you think it would help—“


It’s amazing that my heart’s still beating. Like, really. I thought she was dying. I thought she was dead. I thought the world stopped rotating the second her eyes rolled up into her eyelids and her limbs went slack.

One minute Scully’s arguing with me, giving me dirty looks, and the next minute she’s part of the carpet. How the hell do you justify something like that as “alright” or “not alright.” That’s not a throw-away type of event. That’s just fucking bizarre.

“I’m sorry,” Scully says. And this time when I look at her, she truly does look sorry. Or else, the part of her face that I can see looks sorry.

“I think you need to see a doctor,” I say, taking five steps left, then five steps right. I don’t know what the hell to do with my goddamned hands: put them in my pocket? Leave them out? Wave them around? I just keep picturing her unconscious face, her pale skin, her lips so red, almost out of place against her ivory skin. And then those wires –those ugly, gray hospital wires attached to her nose and her hand.

I’m sorry, Mr. Mulder, but you’ll have to wait outside.

No. Not going to fucking happen. Not on my watch.

I turn my back to Scully and stare at the far wall to try and shake my head clear of disturbing images. I watch slats of sunshine peek through the cracks of the closed living room blinds. The stripes of sunshine make me think of the baby: innocent, tiny William who’s asleep in the next room. I imagine the sun bathing him in a protective blanket, sheltering him from nightmares of darkness.

William’s blinds are never closed during the day.


Oh god, the baby.

What would happen to Will if Scully got sick? What would happen to me if I couldn’t help her? How could I hold up our family, keep us on track? How could—

“That train wreck of a marriage proposal didn’t alleviate matters either, Mulder.”


I turn my head to see Scully staring at me with both blue eyes, the compress lying on the couch beside her. The brow area of one eye is puffy and pinkish-purple, the other eye unmarred by bruising. Her hands are folded in her lap, her shoulders straight and narrow. She looks so honest and open, so incredibly focused that I don’t know what to say to her. I don’t even know why I suggested the idea of marriage in the first place. I suppose it’s what I figured she wanted. Marriage. A legal document to officially bind us together. A traditional lifestyle. Getting married, I assumed—or else I thought—would help her feel more secure in this relationship. Because as of late she’s been acting…



I don’t know.

Honestly, all I wanted was for her to tell me what was wrong with her. I wanted to capture that sad look in her eyes and bottle it up, then throw the bottle away forever. But I didn’t know how to do that. I never know how to do it—and Scully certainly doesn’t make it easy. I can’t force Scully to tell me why her feeling sick bothers her so immensely. I can’t force her to do anything. And I wouldn’t want to. Maybe I thought getting married–

I don’t know. I don’t know what I was thinking.

“It wasn’t a train wreck,” I manage, not knowing what else to say.

Scully sighs, puts one hand to her forehead. “Gee, Scully,” she says, “let’s get married so we can put my name on the lease? This is not a train wreck to you?”

I splay my arms wide, furrow my brow and shake my head. “Well, what did you want me to say? Tell me, for once and for all. Tell me the right thing to say and I’ll say it. I thought you wanted practicality. I thought you wanted stability. I thought—”

“I want you to say what you mean.” Scully’s voice is soft and even. She stares at me with bright blue, shining irises. “I’m not interested in what you think I want to hear. You never patronized me during our partnership and I don’t want you to start now.”

We stare at each other across what seems (to me) like a distance of a million miles.

She thinks I’m patronizing her? Okay, now I’m totally baffled. I can’t remember ever, not in the nine years we’ve known each other, ever having patronized Scully. That marriage proposal wasn’t me trying to please her. Doesn’t she understand that? It was me trying to do what’s right, me trying to make the best of a strange situation. I had examined all the angles and I decided upon a course of action. Isn’t that what people do before they get married?

“That wasn’t me humoring you,” I say, moving to stand directly in front of her. Frustration drips into my voice. “It was an honest request. Dana Scully, will you marry me? See? It’s a perfectly reasonable question.”

Scully shakes her head. “That’s not what you said.”

I have to close my eyes for a second. My head is going to explode. “That’s exactly what I said!”

She closes her eyes, wraps her fingers around the rubber compress. “No. I’m not marrying you, Mulder.”

Everything stops. A tear freezes itself on the tip of one of Scully’s lashes. Her voice doesn’t waver and the tear doesn’t move.

“I won’t do that to us,” she says. “Please believe me when I say I have your best interests at heart. I’m sorry.”

I frown, still baffled by the odd turn of our conversation. “What does that mean?” I ask, kneeling down to stare directly into her eyes. “Tell me.”

For a moment, Scully says nothing. Then, with a shaky swipe of her right hand, she brushes away the frozen tear. “It means no.” She takes a breath. “All it means is no.”

Bullshit, I think. Bullshit, Scully.

I stare at her lips, at the way her bottom lip presses to her top lip when she speaks. God, I love Scully’s lips. I love everything about Scully’s lips… I love the way her neck feels against my fingertips, the way she hums when I kiss her, the way her hands tremble when she’s really angry—

Scully doesn’t want to marry me.

Scully doesn’t want to ever marry me.

Not ever. Christ.

Weren’t we supposed to get married? Isn’t that what happens now? You have a kid, you move in together, one thing leads to another and you get married. Or maybe not. Maybe I’m not suited for marriage, or she’s not suited to be my wife. I can’t even tell if I truly wanted to marry her when I asked her. I just asked her without really considering what I wanted, as opposed to what I thought was “best.” Maybe I don’t want to marry her after all. I don’t know. I don’t know what I want other than for her to see a doctor.

Maybe a clean bill of health from the doctor can make this ugly feeling disappear. Or else I just need something new to occupy my thoughts. Something that isn’t going to shatter the remaining pieces of my ego.

“Why don’t we just focus on getting you to the doctor,” I manage, needing to change the subject. Scully’s sick and she won’t marry me. She won’t let me take care of her. I need to—

Jesus, is that what I think I’m doing? Taking care of her?

“Okay,” Scully says, much to my surprise. No argument, no raised eyebrow. Just okay.

Okay, Mulder.

Scully’s eyes have that look to them again: wide, blue, shining —almost as if she knows something she’s not telling me because she’s afraid of the implications. Or else she’s afraid of something else. Something I don’t know about. A hundred thoughts flare up in response to Scully’s pained expression. I can’t imagine what she must be pondering. I can’t even begin to understand why she’s looking at me that way, like she’s done something wrong and if I discover what that is I’ll never come back to her.

I wonder, in the brief moment that silence overtakes us, whether Scully knows how truly and honestly I care about her. Doesn’t she know I’m not going anywhere?

Even if you get sick, Scully, I think to her. I’m not leaving you. Even if you don’t want to get married. Even if you kick me out of this apartment. Even then. I’m here. I’m sticking around. Please know this.

I should say it out loud, I should say it out loud—

“I think it’s your turn to tell a story,” Scully says, leaning back into the couch. She tries to smile at me but it comes out all wrong— half-baked.

“I think I should call the doctor,” I say.

“Call Dr. Klausman at Georgetown Medical Center,” Scully says with a yawn. “But then come sit by me. And I’ll turn on the—“

“Who’s Dr. Klausman?” I ask, suspicion creeping into my voice. I remember my recurring vision: Scully’s pale hands unmoving, her chest rising up and falling back, each breath propelled by artificial machines and gray wires.

I’m sorry, Mr. Mulder, but you’ll have to wait outside.

“She’s a friend of mine,” Scully says, unnerved by my tone. “She works in emergency medicine at Georgetown. I shared a lab class with her back in college and when I ran into her last week, she asked me to call her when the mood struck. Not that this is the most appealing of circumstances, but I trust her. Plus, if she’s not overrun, I doubt she’ll make me wait an hour to see her.”

I pull myself into a standing position, all the while keeping eye contact with her. Scully, for her part, now seems entrely poised and composed. The facade is something I recognize. “If that’s what you want,” I say, turning towards the phone. “Dr. Klausman, did you say?—“



“Yes. Klausman.”




“See if you can get us in sometime soon. We need to meet up again with that editor.”


“You know what I’m talking about.”

“You want me to be there with you?”

“You want to come?”



“If your friend’s around, I’ll try to make the appointment for a half hour-hour from now, okay?”

“That’s fine, Mulder.”




Okay, I never claimed that Scully was a post-partum-blood-sucking monster, as she so articulately put it. I would never claim something like that. I just think she was… weird. Or wierded out, at least, for the first what? Four? Five months?


William was about three months old at this point. It was Wednesday night, my night to bathe him. That was all part of my deal with Scully. And my deal with Scully was all part of Scully’s deal with the FBI. See, as part of Scully’s request for remediation and re-assignment, and as what seemed to be best scenario for her to have a family and to consult on the X Files, she’d requested a desk job –or a sort of desk job. Something with a more accommodating position. Skinner, using nothing but his knowledge of Scully’s brilliant mind and of her competency over other candidates, decided to promote her to head of the Bureau’s pathology department not long after I moved in.


Approximately two weeks after I transferred the mess from my apartment to Scully’s, Deputy Director Alvin Kersh (the dick-head who fired me, on top of some other not-so-nice things) was censured and removed from his position at the FBI for “conspiracy to commit murder;” specifically, the “attempted” murder of Scully, and of Scully’s unborn child. (Secret “audio tapes” had “mysteriously” turned up in the Ops board office a month after William’s birth. I still don’t know what was on the tapes, as they were deemed “classified” and hidden away, but one day I’ll find them. I swear. I will.)


In accordance with Kersh’s censure, all terminations and assignments presented to agents, therein, by him, were re-assessed and re-considered. Thus, my own termination was re-considered and I was asked (by Skinner) to return to work —but not to the X Files. Never again to the X Files. I was asked.instead, to return to behavioral sciences, my old stomping grounds, if I’d be willing to head up part of the department—

And to behave myself. I agreed (with fingers crossed behind my back.)

But because of legalities, my assignment was still in the works. Since Kersh’s case was still pending in the courts and since Scully had returned to work at the FBI early, for the first few months of William’s life I was jobless. And companion-less.

Well, almost.

For about two months I stayed at home with the baby and lazed around the apartment while Scully went to work. That really… well, it mostly sucked. Being a sort-of stay at home dad for those first few months was bizarre in many ways – more ways than I can count, but I DID get to watch a lot of midget wrestling, which was cool. And a few times, I got to fool around completely and just be a kid again, which something I hadn’t had the opportunity to do in quite some time.

Like the “water balloon” incident which, as I remember, ended like this:

“Mulder, I just spoke to Mrs. Cassidy across the hall. She says that my ‘husband’ is not allowed to play with her son anymore, because this alleged ‘husband’ of mine is a very bad influence. Add to that the fact that I just hydroplaned twenty feet across a puddle of water that stretched from the elevator to our front door. Would you happen to know anything about this?”

Man, that was some funny shit.

Er, anyway. Where was I?

Oh. Yes. Scully’s schedule.

So Mondays and Tuesdays Scully met with other department heads to review older autopsies –or to do new ones, and she consulted with behavioral sciences as a sort of “forensic profiler.” Thursdays and Fridays were “big autopsy days,” or so Scully’d told me. For whatever reason, a lot of people seemed to die at the beginning of the week, which left the bureau with a slew of victims passed on from the local PD towards the end of the week. But Wednesdays… those were long, tough days that Scully did the grunt work for the bureau’s pathology department. In the mornings she summarized and proofed all the autopsy reports that came through the department the week before. (Sometimes she also had to perform an autopsy or two, depending on who had died, how they had died, and whether or not anyone in the department had called in sick.) Then in the afternoon Scully taught three forensic pathology “field” classes for Quantico. This meant that students (usually the best and brightest from Quantico and from other various military agencies) would bus themselves over to the Hoover Building for a hard nosed glimpse into real pathology work.

Scully’s last class ended at seven pm, and since I still had a week before I was to return to behavioral sciences, this meant that I didn’t get to see her again until she returned between eight and eight thirty. And by this time she only had three words in her vocabulary: “Food… Shower…Baby.”

So on Wednesday nights, I agreed to order dinner, take out the garbage, do the dishes and bathe the baby – such a well-trained, housebroken man I was. And you know, I would have done more for the baby—like feed him dinner— but, paying heed to my obvious lack of breasts, I left the evening feeding to Scully, who’d missed William ferociously during the day and wanted quality time with him alone. Not time with me, mind you. Just time with the baby. Only the baby. Alone with the baby.

(And I understood that, really. You know, because after a woman has a baby she has absolutely no interest in sex whatsoever. She starts saying things like “bunny wunny” and “tubby wubby,” and she plays “Ducky wucky” games. She thinks about the baby first and her return to work second, and be damned if there’s some pesky male around who’s going fucking stir crazy because he’s bored to death and bad at domestication— )



“That’s a bad generalization, Mulder.”

“What? I wasn’t generalizing.”

“Then what were you doing?”

“I was just saying.”

“Uh huh.”

“That maybe you aren’t so attentive with the baby around.”

“What then? You want me to breast feed you?”

“If you think it would help.”

“Now you’re just being irrational, Mulder.”

“I was being sarcastic.”

“How about you share your sarcasm with the couch this evening.”

“How about I take it back and you don’t get your scalpel all twisted.”

“That’s — you know, it’s a good thing I’m in love with you.”

“Or what?”

“You really want to know?”

“I really want to know.”

“Then come here –“

“Why? What are you—Hey! Ow! That’s –oh no. Not there. NOT there! Uncle, Scully! Uncle—“



So like I said, it was Wednesday.

Mulder-the-Slave night.

I had just walked out of the bathroom with my shirtsleeves rolled up to my elbows, my arms soaked in soapy water practically up to my shoulders. William was all scrubbed and squeaky clean, thanks to my absolute brilliance at the “daddy thing,” and he was fast asleep in the living room play-crib, his fists all curled up, his little feet kicking in the throes of REM sleep, his perfect mouth pursing in and out. (Daddy sidenote: just wait till this kid grows up. He’s gonna be one hell of a ball player, what, with a killer swing, a great arm, four-point-oh grade point average and the girls lining up and all. End Daddy sidenote.)

So I walked into the living room with my shirt half tucked and water dripping from where I’d tried to wring out the hem. Scully was sitting harmlessly on the couch, her eggshell colored robe pooled in folds around her hips. She was squinting her light blue eyes at an X Ray, her silver rimmed glasses perched precariously on the tip of her nose as she bit her fingernail … The X Ray was of… something. Leg bone, arm bone, tibia? I don’t know. It was big and white and um, white—

Shut up.

“Maybe you should change your prescription,” I said, moving absently into the kitchen where a package was waiting for me on the table. It was a manila envelope postmarked from the gunmen, obviously sent by Frohike, who had the handwriting of a homicidal maniac.

“Excuse me?”

I turned to see Scully staring at me with a very dangerous look in her eyes. She’d set down the X Ray and folded her hands in her lap.

I cleared my throat and frowned. “You were squinting,” I said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Then I turned back to the kitchen table to retrieve the manila envelope. I held the package in front of me and grinned at the site of it. “I was just saying that maybe you should—“

“I heard what you said, Mulder.” Scully’s arms folded stiffly across her chest. Her eyebrow raised, her posture straightened. Sunddenly, Scully wasn’t just Scully anymore. She was a horrifying, mutated form of Scully, a you’re-about-to-get-your-ass-kicked-across-the-room-Fox-Mulder-if-I-have-to-come-over-there Scully.

Mutant Scully pursed her lips. “I just want to know what you meant by it.”

Okay, obviously I was on dangerous ground here. Scully had just had a baby a few months before and she’d only recently descended into “hormone hell.” It was kind of funny actually, because she’d somehow managed to suppress most of that post-partum depression for the first few weeks. The first month, even. She’d insisted that she was fine and even returned to work early, (against all advice from her doctors, her mother, Skinner and myself.) And for awhile Scully was just peachy. But at the beginning of the third month, stress from work started getting to her. Or else being away from the baby started getting to her. Or else she started hating me. I don’t know. But it must’ve been something, because all those pent up hormones just… I have no idea. I’m not a woman.

Anyway, like I said, sometime during William’s third or fourth month, post-partum finally hit Scully… hard. I mean, she freaked out. Wigged out. Totally. I don’t—I mean…

She cried. She cried during Kleenex commercials. She cried when the pizza man arrived. She cried when her mother called. She cried while looking at the baby. She cried while talking about the baby. Then after she cried, she’d get all wierded out and tired and angry at herself and she’d not speak to me for hours. When I’d finally ask her what was wrong, she’d throw pillows at me. She’d say things like, “you are always under my feet, Mulder. Quit walking around me like I’m an egg or something.” She even hung up on Skinner once when they’d had a disagreement. I’d only caught the end of the conversation, Scully’s end, which sounded vaguely like, “Blow it out your—“ And then I walked out of the room. After the argument with Skinner she went and watched another Kleenex commercial and cried. It was… it was like living with “alien pod woman” Scully. It was Scully’s body, and sometimes the real Scully, but not always the real Scully. Very odd.

And dangerous.



“–if you want your arm back, Miulder, you’d better just say it!”

“– Uncle, Scully! I said Uncle!”

“No, the other thing –“

“I am NOT saying that–“

“You want to get up?”

“Yes…I do.”

“Fine. Then SAY IT!”

“OW! Okay, okay…Scully is right. Scully is always right, Scully is—”





“Mulder! No fair! What the hell?–”


“— OW! You double crossing– Cheaters never prosper, you know!”

“I’ll give you ‘cheaters never prosper…”




So when Scully asked me what I meant by the glasses thing, I stared at her with apprehension on my face. I swallowed and said the most intelligent thing I could think of, which was:

“Well, you know, squinting’s not good… for you know, your eyes. And when you’re writing those… reports… and then there’s all the reading, reading autopsy data and – not that your eyes aren’t good or your glasses aren’t… Not that I don’t like the glasses you have now. Not that you can’t keep the frames anyway and get new lenses, because you can get a new prescription and keep the frames, of course you can keep the frames—“

Scully frowned. “You don’t like the frames?” she asked, taking off the glasses and examining them as if she’d never really looked at them.

“No!” I said, backing away. “I mean, yes, yes I like them. You’ve had them ever since I met you and they’re… becoming, very becoming. I was just concerned with your vision, practically speaking…”

Scully blinked, narrowing her eyes, and she settled her glasses down on the coffee table beside a yellow folder. “I am not going blind, Mulder, if that’s what you’re insinuating. I’m not THAT old,” she said. Then she set the pictures and the reports and the X Rays aside and started to rise from the couch, her lips pursed, her eyebrow raised. She looked… dangerous. Positively murderous. I had obviously said the wrong thing.

I swallowed and held the manila envelope in front of me, a shield against… well, I don’t even know what. “I didn’t… didn’t say you were old, Scully. Or that your vision was– I was just…trying to be reasonable and practical and say that perhaps you should consider—“

“Oh,” Scully said, moving towards me slowly, methodically, her eyes seeming to throw sparks of fire all over the room. “I get it. Nothing’s wrong with my vision and I’m not getting old, but now you know what I should and should not consider. Oh, sure. Well, let me tell you something, Mr. Know-it-all, I’m-always-right-Fox Mulder. I’ve had a long day. I performed four autopsies in five hours because three people called in sick. All I have to say is that next time they had better call in dead. Then I went through fifteen reports, sat in for three consults, taught three classes and now I have a hundred and fifty papers to grade and review for the Quantico pathology students. I haven’t even been able to spend time with my son –not since yesterday! Plus, you know what I ate today, Mulder? Hmm? A half a cup of yogurt. And it wasn’t even good yogurt, either. It was that plain kind, the fat-free kind with just—“ She paused in mid-rant to form a fist with her hand and swirl it in front of her as if she were mixing something. “You know, the –“

“Vanilla?” I tried, a befuddled expression on my face.

“That’s not the point!” Scully exploded.

I frowned. “Um… What is the point, then?” I asked, confused.

Scully halted her forward movement a few inches from my face. Her cheeks were flushed red and she was panting –almost. She furrowed her brow and folded her arms across her chest as if she were thinking hard about something. Her head cocked to one side and she just stared at me, a faraway look on her face.

Aha! I thought. Finally she sees that I’m right.

Scully should never have gone back to work early, she should never have kept all those whirlwind emotions bottled up and she should have never yelled at me for something that was entirely not my fault. I’ve been waiting for this moment for –

Scully leaned in close, her breath warm on my face. We stared at each other for a heated moment. “I’m tired,” she hissed. “I have every fucking right to squint.”

Then, without warning, she grabbed the soaked center of my shirt and yanked me towards her with such ferocity it nearly left me breathless. My feet stumbled forward awkwardly and I would have fallen on her and knocked both of us to the ground — if not for the steadying hand Scully placed upon my chest. And then her lips held both of us up, her mouth crushing mine with a bruising intensity I hadn’t seen in Scully since… Well, William was about three months old, so that would make it… a year? Over a year?

Anyway, so instead of kicking my ass, Scully kissed me, long and sweet and hard, her hand smashed between our chests, her fingers gripping my shirt like some sort of psychotic “Mulder handle.”

To say I that I was utterly baffled, that I had no idea what had just happened to make Scully want to kiss me would be an understatement. And to say that I wasn’t at least a little bit scared by the sudden mood shift would be an even bigger understatement. But since I never claimed to fully understand Scully’s motivations, let’s just say it was a nice kiss. A really nice kiss. Okay, a fucking amazing kiss.

One of my arms awkwardly found her waist and the other snaked possessively through her hair. Scully’s cheeks warmed mine and the air around us seemed to tingle. The rest of the room disappeared. And our lips—my God, our lips were doing things I didn’t even think lips could physically do.

Basically, Scully and I managed to make up for three months of near platonic relations in fifteen seconds. Her mouth was soft and warm and wet and the way she moved with me… God, the way she MOVED with me! Her free hand was on my cheek, her fingers guiding my face to fit her features. We went left, right and back again, the tips of her thumbs brushing my neck, my forehead, and slipping finally into my hair. We tugged at each other and tasted each other until the smell of honeysuckle in her hair made me want to scoop her up off the ground and drag her to the bed and make love to her until I spontaneously combusted.

But before I could wow her with my articulate speech of seduction, which probably would have consisted of, “you woman. Me man. Sex now,” Scully closed her mouth, grabbed my shirt with both hands, and shoved me away so forcefully that I nearly went flying into the kitchen wall.

I gasped and somehow, by the grace of God or SOMETHING, steadied myself with my left foot and my right hand against the kitchen table. “Scully!” I managed.




“Are you interrupting, AGAIN?”

“That’s not the whole truth and you know it. You stepped on my foot.”

“Accidentally stepped on your foot.”

“And I never acted like Frankenstein’s post-partum nightmare, either. That’s a bunch of over-exaggerated nonsense.”

“My apologies, Princess Scully.”

“Again with the sarcasm.”

“You know, I wouldn’t have stepped on you if you hadn’t have yanked me.”

“I didn’t YANK. I coaxed. And you tripped.”

“Because you took me by surprise.”

“Please. I kissed you. I didn’t invade France.”

“This is true.”

“And you enjoyed it, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I did.”



Scully stared up at me, a perplexed glint in her eyes for a half a millisecond.

Okay, so maybe she didn’t shove me THAT hard… I mean, I kind of um… I stepped on her foot. A little. And her hands did some sort of shifty thing while we kissed, and when her fingers trickled up my chest she kind of forced me away… It was LIKE a push. And her foot caught on my foot when we disengaged. And I lost my balance. That counts as shoving where I come from.

So, errr…


Scully cleared her throat and smoothed her hair, pulled her robe tighter around herself and stared at me with that raised eyebrow again. We’ll not say I wanted to kill her. We’ll just say that certain parts of my anatomy were having certain bad thoughts about certain women in the room and my brain was a little too foggy for reasoning.

I sputtered. “Scu—I—what are you—how did—why—“

Scully smiled and sighed. “That felt really good,” she said, as she stretched her arms lazily at her sides. She looked dream-like, as if she could have cared less that I was angry, or that she’d nearly sent me careening into the floor.

I mean, I could have died. I could have—

Okay, not died.

That’s maybe a tad extreme.

But there could have been a very serious splinter involved.

“Thanks, Mulder. I needed that.”

Mortified, I just stood there, my legs somehow like liquid, my mouth dry, my manila envelope lying on the ground at our feet. “Gee,” I said, annoyed, “So glad I could help—“

“It’s really exhilarating, you know. How the mind goes blank when we do that.” Scully smiled again, stooping to her knees and scooping up the manila envelope with one hand. She looked up and handed it to me.

“Yeah,” I mumbled. “Exhilarating. That’s exactly the word I was thinking of.” I took the envelope quickly, backed away from her and nearly tripped over a kitchen chair in the process. Scully pushed up from her knees and she stood for a few moments, watching me with some sort of weird-womanly-thing in her gaze.

I cleared my throat. “So—”

“Well, I’m heading off to bed,” Scully said , as if nothing had happened. She turned away from me and sauntered into the living room where she picked up the sleeping baby (clad in his little choo-choo-train jammies) and she cradled him against her shoulder. “Hey, sweetheart,” she whispered to him. “Hey little man. You ready for bed? Mommy’s going to put you to bed now, so Daddy can sweep Mommy off her feet with his killer snoring.”

With red hair swept provocatively into her face, Scully turned her head from William to me, an odd sparkle in her luminous blue eyes. Seeing her as this woman, as Scully the Mother, standing there and holding our sleeping child in her arms, she’d perhaps never looked more incredibly beautiful or sexy.

But as a man – a man who knew that Scully had a service weapon on her nightstand, I was absolutely terrified that I wouldn’t survive the night.

“You coming, Mulder?” she called over her shoulder, moving into the hallway, “Or are you going to stay up all night and read through that mysterious envelope Frohike sent you? If you want, I can stay up with you and point out all the scientific anomalies, argue with you over the veracity of Frohike’s conclusions… Brush up on my knowledge of useless trivia.” She paused and added, “That is, unless you think I can’t read the report because my vision’s going.”

Her laughter floated in the air as she left the living room. I sighed and shook my head, perhaps a little more certain now that my Scully would return to me, but a little less positive that I would survive the night regardless. “Scully,” I managed, following her from a safe distance down the hallway, “that’s not what I meant about the squinting thing and you know—“

Scully twisted her head to look back at me. “How do I know that’s not what you meant?” she asked, baby balanced on one hip.

I waved my arms in frustration, trailing her into William’s little, white nursery room. The area was small, not even half the size of our bedroom, and it contained only a crib and a changing table. A bunch of boxes littered the floor, a few stuffed animals here and there, and some odd looking baby things Scully had gotten from her shower.

We weren’t decorating connoisuers, Scully and I, so the room looked kind of like “baby limbo.”

Scully sighed as we entered and I shook my head at her. I waved my arms and said, “What do you mean ‘how do you know that I know that that’s not what you meant?’ I thought it was obvious what I meant.”

Scully shifted William to her other side and frowned, a confused expression on her face. “What in the world are you talking about, Mulder?”

I frowned back. “Excuse me?”

“I meant…What do you mean?”

More frowning. I answered, “What do you mean what do I mean?”

Scully shook her head and sighed. “Oh brother. I refuse to do this Abbott and Costello thing with you. Not at this hour. Nevermind.”

“Nevermind, what?”

“Nothing. Forget it.”

“Forget what?”

Silence for a second. Scully paused in her “baby bed-time ministrations” to face me again. She looked… annoyed.

“Stop that, Mulder,” she said, her hand running up and down Will’s back.

“Stop what?”

“Stop repeating everything I say.”

To that I could only laugh to myself. Scully must have been an easy little sister to irritate, I thought. Then I remembered her rant in living room and the shove she gave me only minutes before. Payback’s a bitch, I said to myself. I raised an eyebrow and folded my arms smugly over my chest as we crossed the room to the crib.

“Stop repeating everything I say,” I said.

As if not believing what she was hearing, Scully’s mouth dropped open and she took a step backwards. “What are you, five years old? Stop that, Mulder. I mean it.”

I grinned. “What are you, five years old? Stop that, Mulder. I mean it.”

“I’m warning you—“

“I’m warning you.”



I snickered (okay I’ll admit it) kind of rudely.

Scully turned away from me with a snort of disgust. She put the baby down and kissed him, carefully touching his hand, then his feet, then rubbing his back softly. I smiled at the sight of her, at Scully acting like a mother. Knowing that I’d had a hand in her happiness sent a sensation like warm, thick soup flowing through my stomach.

A low hum in my ears, I went and stood directly behind her. I wrapped my arms securely around her waist, pressed my chin into her shoulder. I took a breath and kissed Scully’s neck, nuzzling my nose in her thick, auburn hair, luxuriating in the feel of her, the scent of her shampoo—God, that Honeysuckle. I marveled over the way her body felt so familiar, almost like an extension of myself. It was as if we’d been waiting for eight years to do something really big. Like something incredibly huge. We’d hunted aliens and fought monsters all during our careers, but that wasn’t the most incredible thing to ever happen to us. That wasn’t the payoff. William was it. William was the culmination of my search for the truth.

And good Lord, he was beautiful. He was perfect.

“Mark my words, G-Man…” Scully turned her head and sighed into my neck. “I’m gonna kick your ass, first chance I get. Just you wait.” She groaned into my shoulder when I kissed her neck again, her hands squeezing tightly over the arms I’d wrapped around her middle.

I grinned and whispered back into her ear, “Mark my words, G-man. I’m gonna kick your ass, first chance I get. Just you wait.” And then I kissed her earlobe playfully, letting my tongue brush across her neck until—


Something hard and fast stomped down upon my poor little foot, sending shockwaves of pain up my ankle and through my leg. I gasped and lurched away from Scully, hobbling over towards the door on one leg. “Scully!” I managed, grasping the doorjamb with one hand.

Scully grinned smugly, her hands on her hips. “Ow, shit! Scully!” she echoed, a mock whine coloring her voice.

“Shut up,” I growled.

“Shut up,” she parroted.

I groaned and leaned down to rub my aching foot, the sound of Scully’s giggling ringing loudly in my ears. A few moments later I turned and headed off all noble-like towards the bedroom, Scully laughing uproariously as she followed my hoppity bumbling down the hallway. She watched with amusement as I tripped into bed.

“You. Suck.” I mumbled.

“You suck,” she repeated.

Then it was Scully who turned off the lights a minute later, and Scully who cuddled up into my side when I shot her a look of complete disgust and turned to face the wall by the bathroom. Then she kissed my shoulder with a warm, opened mouth. I felt her hand in my hair, her fingers moving down the nape of my neck to massage away the tension. She said nothing. I sighed and shook my head to myself.

“Good night,” I finally mumbled, annoyed.

“Good night,” Scully echoed, and she broke into giggles all over again.

I moaned and pulled away from her, burying my face in the pillow, where I stayed for a very long time.



“What time is it Mulder?”

“Two twenty. I was just going to say—actually, we’ve got to get on the road.”

“So Vicki WAS on duty.”


“And she’ll see me?”

“She said she had a few people lined up in front of you, but yeah. She’ll do her best.”

“Alright then. Just let me get the baby–hey, did you call that editor? What’s-her name?”

“Jaime? No. Not yet.”

“Well, you might want to call her, just to tell her we’re not going to make the three-o-clock deadline.”

“What time should I tell her then?”

“I don’t know.”

“You even going to be feeling alright when we get back?”

“Mulder. I thought we went over this. I should be fi–”

“The truth, Scully.”

“What? I am telling–”


“I don’t know, okay? Honestly. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. “

“Thank you… “

“No secrets, Mulder. I promise you.”

“Alright. Well, I say we take this with us and finish it in the car, and then I’ll run it by the publishing house later. Or else we can finish it in the waiting room. We’ve got some time to kill. At least we’ll be occupied. You know it’s your turn again, Scully.”

“Yes. I suppose it is.”

“Then you’re positive you want to leave this on?”


“You’re okay to keep going?”

“I’m fine. Really.”

“Then let’s hit the road.”

“Don’t forget to turn off the air—”

“Got it.”

“Good. Let’s go. I want to finish this thing already.”





By Jaime Lyn

All headers and disclaimers in prologue.



Why Editors Have High Blood Pressure


The tapes are going to be late. My typed summary is going to be late. José Chung’s “creative zone” is going to wear out and it will be months and months before he can write again. My boss is going to throw me out a window. No kidding.

This is all I know.

Right now I’m sitting in my Toyota Echo, staring at a half-mile back-up worth of cars, and all I want is to crawl into the glove compartment with my Pepto-Bismol and fall asleep. If I can’t find Fox Mulder and Dana Scully and get those tapes back by this evening, my ass is going to be in a sling.

“Damn, stupid FBI agents,” I mutter, my hands clenched to the wheel.



So I was sitting at one of those wicker patio tables at Applebee’s — minding my own business, eating an Oriental Chicken Salad (which was almost-as-good-as-sex fabulous, by the way. I was waiting all day to eat this thing) and my jacket started to ring. But no—I don’t mean like, it rang a normal ring. I mean my jacket started shrieking like an air-raid siren. (Umm…I ‘d gone up to New York for a Knicks basketball game the night before, changed the setting to “ear piercing loud,” then I’d neglected to change it back…)

Okay, yes. My fault. Shut up.

Anyway, I jumped about five feet and screamed:


Like a war was being fought right there at my table. (Well, the phone was shrieking, I tell you! Shrieking!) Then after the scream, with the phone still beeping, and the entire restaurant staring at me like I was Sybil, my arm slammed into the chair…

That, in turn, slammed into the table, that, in turn, slammed into the plate holding my salad. The plate seemed to wobble for a painfully slow moment (imagine time lapse photography, complete with a moment of pause, then a slow, warbled, “nooooooooooo!”) and my salad went crashing to the floor. –And when I say crashing, I mean the plate shattered, the lettuce went flying, and all my crunchy little oriental noodles scattered across the ceramic tiled floor like stiff, golden worms.

Only when I’m eating—I swear to God, only when I’m eating.

I snapped my napkin down upon the table, growled again—


The restaurant still stared at me. Regretfully, I remembered the handsome waiter (Troy was his name, and he CERTAINTLY was no slouch in the muscle department), and how he’d winked at me when he brought me my iced tea. We’d had a nice thing going, a witty repartee if you know what I mean.

“Where you from?” he’d asked.

“New York,” I’d said.

“Good baseball team,” he’d said.

“Yes, well, I like them,” I’d said.

Okay, well I thought it was witty.

Witty enough for Troy to bring me four glasses of Iced tea when I’d had yet to finish one.

But after the screaming, and the salad dumping, and the cursing, Troy stood a good distance from me— cleaning Oriental Vinagrette dressing from his shoes and waving his hands at his manager. His manager was wiping tomatoes off his blouse. My phone was still screaming, Mental note: never sit near the kitchen ever again. Oh, and keep the phone on silent. Or else kill the technician who programmed “shrieking bleeping sound” into the memory chip.


I reached into the pocket of my jacket and pulled out the phone. The gray display read, “incoming call, 413-555-7951.”

Yeah, so I had no earthly idea who 555-7951 was. All I knew was that if I answered the shrieking ring and the voice on the other end turned out to be a solicitor, or my mother, I was going to drown myself in Oriental Chicken Salad till I died.

I jabbed the call button with my thumb and sighed. “What?”

“Ah, is this Jaime Lyn Morris with Harperly publishing?”

I didn’t recognize the voice but I knew it was a guy—slight growl, low tenor. Sounded vaguely familiar, if not a little bit sexy. Yum, I thought. Remembering my disastrous trip to the basketball game (with this guy named Ned, who carried professional photos of his six cats in his wallet, by the way) I grinned to myself and cleared my throat. “This is she,” I said, slinking into my chair. I lowered my voice a notch. “Who’s this?”

“Fox Mulder,” the sexy voice said, sounding slightly perplexed.

And thus, all my pipe dreams of sinking naked into a hot bath with “sexy voice man” disappeared.

I rolled my eyes and sat up straighter, rubbed the bridge of my nose with my left hand. Oh great, I thought, as I watched some bus-boy clean up the remains of my shattered porcelain/ chicken salad mess. Fox Mulder? That weirdo with the aliens? Shit. It’s not three o clock yet. This absolutely cannot be good.

I suppressed a moan, hoping to God Fox Mulder was calling because he and Scully had filled each of the audio cassette tapes I’d left with them.

“I’m sorry to bother you,” Fox Mulder said. “But I have… a situation.”

Right, I thought. A situation. Sure you do. And I had a salad five seconds ago. My eyes closed, I fought the urge to bang my head against the table until a concussion broke the monotony.

“A situation?” I asked, not sure that I wanted to hear the answer.

“Yes,” Fox Mulder said. “Unfortunately, something has come up that requires Scully’s and my immediate attention. We may or may not be able to finish the um… the interviews by this evening… basically, I can’t see getting them to you by three o’clock this afternoon. Or even by the end of the night. Perhaps I can run by your office tomorrow?”

A situation, I thought, grinding my teeth. A situation my ass.

In the back of my mind I imagined the tall, lanky weirdo and the short, intense red-head lying in bed together. They drank champagne by the goblet-full, dangled their feet off the edge of the bed and watched ‘Love Boat’ on the TV— meanwhile, Mr. Fox ‘a situation has come up’ Mulder shushed Dana Scully as she nibbled on his ear and he spun to me some bullshit story. Neither of them, of course, could possibly know that I was hungry, angry, working on a deadline, and apparently the only woman in the world without a boyfriend or a husband or a….


Bottom line was this:

My boss said to fax the information to him by Sunday afternoon. “You have one day, Jaime,” he said. “I want a typed summary. Not a bunch of notes or a bunch of tapes. You know me. Mr. Chung tells me that he’s doing better. That he’s cooped up and feeling very creative —and while that’s a good thing for him, it is, at the moment, a bad thing for us because he has nothing to write about without this background information. I want all the research by tomorrow. I am not kidding. I swear, I—“

You get the idea.

Again I saw ‘lanky man’ lying in bed with ‘red-headed woman.’ Why the heck was everyone getting laid but me?

“What’s wrong?” I asked, allowing annoyance to creep into my voice.

Fox Mulder allowed a moment before he spoke. “Scully is… she’s not feeling well. It’s nothing you need to concern yourself about.”

Okay, so call me insensitive, but the fact was that I WASN’T concerned. Heck, I’d woken up with a stomach-ache myself that morning. But I didn’t let a couple of dry heaves stop me. No sir-ree. I swallowed a bunch of Tums and held my breath all the way to Dana Scully and Fox Mulder’s apartment. But you know what? That’s the problem with law enforcement today; All brains, no gusto.

At any rate—

If I thought about it long and hard enough, I could almost see the unemployment check floating in the air in front of me. Ten years in the publishing business, seven of those ten loyally spent with Harperly Publishing, and it would all go to Hell on account of two Abercrombie and Fitch poster children for the FBI, José Chung, and something called “The X Files.” (Whatever the heck that was.)

“I need those tapes by three o clock,” I said, as if I felt that would help matters any. “Or I at least need them by this evening.”

“I know,” Fox Mulder said, “and I apologize. But like I said, Scully’s not feeling well. She and I both—“

“Well, that’s great,” I managed, spinning my fork on the table with one finger. “I have a deadline, you know. By agreeing to the interview you also agreed to the deadline. Can’t you just give me what you have right now and we’ll call it even? Most of the story is better than no story, right?” I was rambling now—and rather unprofessionally at that—but I didn’t care. John Duke (my boss) was a pain in the ass – a real stickler. I’d seen him fire people for less. I’d seen him dismiss his secretary on account of one high-heel being higher than the other.

Fox Mulder sighed on the other end. “I can’t,” he said.

I shook my head. “You can’t? What— what does that mean? Don’t say you can’t. Never say that. Of course you can.” A horn honked somewhere on his end. They were in the car, I thought. On the way to the doctors’? To the hospital? Well, no matter. I’d find them. “All you have to do is tell me where you’re going,” I went on. “I can stop by and—“


“No?!” Several waiters and a few tables-worth of people turned to stare at me once again. I lowered my voice and made a silent decision to never visit a restaurant within a five mile radius of this one.

“We’ve been… enjoying this opportunity. We’d like to finish it right,” he said, as if that explained everything.

“I realize that,” I answered. “But the fact is that extenuating circumstances–“

“Extenuating circumstances beyond our control require an extension.” He said this as if it were the definitive answer. Apparently, whatever Fox Mulder said was law. Just who the hell did this guy think he was?

“Look,” I said, “I’m sorry about your wife’s illness—”

“She’s not my wife.”

“Then your girlfriend—“

“Not, actually—”

“Oh whatever!” I managed, banging my fist on the table.

A waiter came by and took my fork away. Can’t say that I blamed him. “Look,” I said, turning my back on the kitchen. “Can’t you finish whatever tape you’re working on really quickly so that I can—“

“It doesn’t work that way,” Fox Mulder said. “Scully and I are on our way to–we’re in the car. We don’t know how long we’ll be.”

“You don’t.” I sighed, tracing an invisible circle on the table. “Why doesn’t this surprise me?”

“I can promise you,” Fox Mulder went on, “just as soon as Scully—“

I groaned, realizing that this was going nowhere fast.

“Do you know how bizarre it is that you call your wife by her last name?” I said suddenly, staring up at the ceiling fan above my head. I needed a drink. I needed one very badly.

A pause.


I cracked my back and shrugged my shoulders even though I knew he couldn’t see me. Why not ask him, I thought. At least then I’ll have SOMETHING type-written to give to ‘the Duke.’

“Why do you call her ‘Scully?’”

A longer pause this time, and I could hear the static crackling in the background.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve always called her Scully.”

“And she always calls you Mulder, doesn’t she?”


“Why? Doesn’t that strike you as—”

“She’s not my wife, you know.”

He said it just like that. Like, she’s not my wife; I’m just the guy she’s banging because I’ve already knocked her up once and I figured hey. What the hell?

But that wasn’t right, I thought— and frowned, remembering the way Fox Mulder had looked at Dana that afternoon – like she was the only woman in the entire Universe.

Pushing down the urge to practice my pop-psychology, I stared blankly at the wall and said, “You keep saying that, Agent Mulder.”

Another silence, this one even more awkward and most uncomfortable. “I’ll ah…” he paused as if thinking of something else. “I’ll call you when there are further developments.”

I raised an eyebrow, trying to figure out what the fuck kind of weird-ass FBI brush-off that was supposed to be. “Further developments?” I asked, as if he’d just suggested I go jump off the Chrysler Building. “Agent Mulder? Hello? Hello?”

And then—



The jack-ass didn’t even say goodbye.

No wonder Dana Scully is sick, I thought, shoving my phone back in my bag and signing the check. (I’d waved away the offer of a new salad. Suddenly, I just wasn’t hungry.) If I was living with Fox Mulder, I think I’d throw up too.

‘She’s not my wife’ rang inside my head. Why would he say something like that, I wondered. –Not that I knew Dana Scully very well. For all I knew, she could have been a prostitute in her spare time – or maybe sleeping around with midgets and dragging Mulder on Springer. Not that I could picture the scenario, but anything was possible.

“Nah,” I said out loud, forcing a smile in the direction of Troy-the-waiter, who did not smile back.

I shook my head at that and breezed out of the restaurant. Men suck, I thought, thinking of stupid-Troy-the-waiter and remembering Fox Mulder’s words: ‘She’s not my wife, you know.’

Christ, what a shmuck.



Mulder and Scully:

On Domestication:

Scully and the Fine Art of Seduction:

(Or, Why I Throw Pillows at Mulder)







“Why did you keep saying that, Mulder?”

“Saying what?”

“She’s not my wife. What was that about?”

“I was talking to José Chung’s editor.”

“I’m aware of that.”

“I was telling her that we aren’t going to make the deadline.”

“I’m aware of that, too.”

“She must be under some kind of pressure from this publishing company she works for. She sure sounded like she could use a vacation. Maybe a happy meal. Perturbed is actually the word I would use—“

“You’re skirting the subject, Mulder.”

“I’m not.”

“Then what would you call it?”

“The run around? Hey—isn’t there a song —”


“It was nothing, Scully. Look, the important thing is to make sure you’re healthy. Are we both agreed on that?”


“Well, then. That’s all that matters.”

“If that’s the way you want to look at it.”


“I’m just saying…maybe we both have a lot of factors to re-evaluate, a lot of choices that were perhaps made in haste. I just want the best— ”

“You know, you keep saying that. And these other things that I’m somehow supposed to automatically understand but I don’t. You say ‘I’m sorry. It’s better this way. I have your best interests at heart.’ But I don’t understand you, Scully. You make me sound like—“

“Let’s just go inside, Mulder. We don’t have to talk about this right now.”

“You mean we don’t have to argue about this right now.”

“I’m not interested in arguing with you.”

“But you’re not interested in marrying me, either.”



“Scully, I really think—”

“No. This is not up for discussion.”

“Jesus. I’m not trying to pick a fight with you.”

“Then drop it. Please. I’m asking you — out of respect for my wishes.”




“I have one, Mulder.”

“You have one what?”

“I have a story.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said I have a story. Can we just focus on my telling it? At least until I see the doctor, can we focus on something that isn’t so heavily weighted? Please.”



“I know, I know.”

“You don’t.”

“No… You’re right. I don’t. I don’t have any idea. But I… I do love you. I don’t know much beyond that.”

“Neither do I.”

“Then we’re agreed on something.”




“So you ah, you going to tell me this story that’s just to die for?”






Whoever said love is like a red, red rose should be shot. Seriously.

Allow me to elabortate:

This one night, not too long ago, I was in the mood for….um… intimacy.

The baby was fast asleep in his playpen. You just don’t get many opportunities like that. On the opposite side of the room Mulder sat at the kitchen table, his shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows. He was clearly immersed in one of VICAP’s murder cases—the West Side stabbings, I think; he was surrounded by autopsy photos, psychoanalytic profiles, surveillance reports and crime scene analyses. Every once in awhile he ran his fingers through his messy, chestnut colored hair and grumbled to himself: “not right… missing pieces… damned Agent Casey overlooking the tox screen… fucking frustrating.”

He was cute, my Mulder. Furrowed brows, tiny lines crinkling around his hazel eyes, tanned, sculpted arms attached to long, thick hands that shuffled back and forth between papers… Oh lord, what he could do with those hands when he was really concentrating. I remembered the way they went up my back, traced my spine, then floated down, down to—

At any rate, I wanted Mulder. I wanted him right at that moment – on the table, on the floor, in a hard-backed chair, it didn’t matter to me. I was stressed and wound up from work and he was sitting there looking all concentrated and delicious and I fucking wanted him so badly I could barely stand it.

But it had been over a year since we had made love. Over three months since Mulder had even touched me in that way, or since we had even seen each other naked. I suppose between me giving birth and taking Tylenol for the post-labor pain, both of us getting back to work sooner than expected and Mulder and I getting used to being… well, Mulder and I, we’d thought about little more than kissing. As a matter of fact, we’d done little more than coexist in the same household. We’d slept together in the same bed of course, but only in our respective nightclothes and only on our separate sides of the mattress.

Not that we weren’t, you know, attracted to each other. We were. Of course we were. We enjoyed kissing, like really, truly kissing, and actually found that we were quite good at the more complicated intricacies of the act. So we were intimate but not… well, INTIMATE, if you catch my drift. We had a baby. We lived in the same apartment and we slept in the same bed. Basically, we’d mutually decided upon becoming a family but we’d neglected to define the parameters.

What can I say? Mulder and I are all about the unspoken word. Love without saying it out loud. We loved each other, emotionally, spiritually, physically – I knew that. He knew that. The way he cupped my face in his hands to look at me before he brought his mouth down to mine, the way he pushed my hair back over my ears when he thought I was asleep, the way he told Will “Princess Scully” stories when he thought I wasn’t in the room and wouldn’t hear…

But most of our mornings were still awkward. What to say when you wake up next to the person who’s not your partner anymore but isn’t quite your lover but who is also is the father of your child? Good morning, honey? Time to make the donuts?

I didn’t know. And I was sick of it. I was sick of Mulder walking around me like I was a fragile little egg. The way he tiptoed around me, the way he refrained from touching me in any way that might be considered “sexual” was enough to make me want to kill him myself. I was sexually frustrated to the point of attacking Mulder in the middle of the grocery store’s frozen food section.

But where was I? Oh, right.

So with naked Mulder in mind, I went into the bedroom and slipped into one of Mulder’s blue and white striped dress shirts (with nothing underneath it, so clever was I) and I pinned up my hair for a hot little bubble bath. Then I padded back into the bathroom and sat on the edge of the tub. I twisted the knobs above the faucet and started a steady stream of warm water, reaching with one hand into the drain to tap in the bathtub stopper.

I smiled to myself as I shook beads of water from my hands, pleased with my covert operation thus far.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any romantic candles (Mulder and I aren’t exactly connoisseurs in the fine art of seduction) so I decided to settle for regular old, bathroom lighting. But after surveying the room for a minute and scrutinizing the tub, I realized I didn’t like the brightness so I turned the lights off. Then I realized that, practically speaking, lights would be the best idea because without them we’d probably trip over each other and fracture something…. So I turned the lights on again. And then I scrunched my nose and turned them off. I did this for about four minutes: lights on, lights off, lights on, lights off. Honestly, I had never done this before – purposely done the seduction thing, and I didn’t know what to do. Bubbles? No Bubbles? Lights? No lights? Underwear? –

I looked down at the shirt and grasped the hem in my fingers. It was kind of long and bulky on me but…what if Mulder wasn’t turned on by the no underwear thing? What if he thought it was odd? What if the whole thing seemed smarmy? I sighed. I wasn’t exactly Miss seduction. To him I ‘d been special Agent Dana Scully of the FBI. I hunted down predators. I did autopsies. I wore suits. I didn’t saunter around naked.

So I went over to the top drawer of my bedroom dresser and ruffled around to try and find these black lacy thingies I’d bought at JC Penney’s for half-off the month before. Those would work underneath the shirt, right?

I looked up and frowned, trying to imagine myself in black-lace, see-through underwear.

Okay, maybe not. Maybe black lacy underwear would seem even smarmier than no underwear at all and then I would look ridiculous to a man who’d seen me chase down monsters while covered in mud.

In the end I decided on one of my many pairs of white Jockeys.

So bedroom lights were next. Another decision I didn’t know how to make. Should I dim them? Turn on only one lamp? Would we have enough light to see each other or would the missing baby toys on the floor prove to be not visible enough in the dark and just as dangerous as a dark bathroom? What if I were to turn down the sheets? No, that was just silly because I had already prepared the bathtub. Oh—the bathtub! Did I even have any bath bubbles to add to the water? No, I didn’t think I did. Maybe I could just use a fourth cup of shampoo and mix it with a fourth cup of body wash and run it beneath the faucet. No, wait—Mulder was allergic to the Watermelon body wash I had bought which was why I hadn’t used it yet… and shampoo could very easily irritate our skin if we immersed ourselves in the sudsy water for too long.

God damn it, I thought. This is stupid. We live together. We’ve already established our desire to further the intimacy between us. Now I just want to fuck him. Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I go in there like a normal person and say, “Mulder—“

Mulder, What?

Well whatever, I ammended to myself. Fine. So I go in blind.

With a deep breath I sucked back all unpleasant thoughts, smoothed down my shirt, patted my piled hair and padded into the living room. I paused for a moment by the entryway to the kitchen and watched him from afar. Mulder’s jaw muscles moved as he mouthed something to himself and his arm muscles clenched and unclenched as he scribbled something down on a yellow legal pad. Oh God, I thought. I can do this, I can I can…Another deep breath and I managed to make my way slowly onto the kitchen tile, pausing by the wall to glance at him again. Mulder hadn’t looked up yet, hadn’t even noticed my presence in the room. What to do now?

I turned around and noticed the wall behind me. Okay, I thought. I’ve seen this movie before. This is when the woman leans seductively against the wall and her husband looks up and notices how incredibly sexy she looks. He takes her in his arms and carries her off to bed. They have wild, animal sex.

I shook my head at the image. No. I’d seen that movie –Sharon Stone had starred and it was cheesy and badly written.

Fine. So I went with plan number two.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I made my way to Mulder’s chair and stood next to the table, placing myself directly in his line of vision. I leaned to one side, crossing one ankle over the other and stretched out an arm to rest my hand on the edge of the table. Mulder’s big, striped shirt fluttered against me a few inches above my knees, and a couple of loose hairs drifted into my eyes. I took a long, deliberate breath and placed my right hand on my hip. Then I cleared my throat.

This time, Mulder looked up. “Hey Scully,” he said, and smiled.

I smiled back. My whole body thrummed. “Hey Mulder,” I echoed and nodded over at his papers. “How’s the case coming?”

Mulder swallowed as he looked me up and down, and I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. He leaned back in his chair and took a breath. “Oh you know, same old. Three women stabbed to death in what looks like a serial homicide case. No real leads. No traceable DNA left at the crime scene. A useless surveillence operation is already underway as we speak — at a local housing project where all the women lived prior to their deaths. One of the women had amphetamines in her system, which I’m looking into… but so far, to be honest, I’ve got nothing.”

I blinked a few times and nodded. “I see.”

Translation: get up off your ass, Mulder. Now. Right now.


“So, um, who’s been doing the autopsies?”

Mulder smiled faintly at the query. Lately I’d begun asking questions like that. I was possessive with Mulder and I missed being the one who gave him answers. I wasn’t yet used to not working in tangent with him and neither was he, I suspected.

Mulder glanced down at his papers, flipped a few of them over, tossed a few others aside and finally held two wrinkled photocopies up to his face. He read for a moment. “Local M.E,” he said, putting the papers back down. “But I was actually… That is, I was going to ask you if you could take a look at one of the victims if you had a moment. I don’t think Marisa Caldavar’s autopsy was very thorough. I suspect there’s more to the amphetamines that turned up in her tox screen – something the M.E probably missed.”

I nodded, licking my lips absently. “Sure,” I said, tapping a steady rhythm on the table with my fingertips. “I should have some time tomorrow after lunch. I’ll take a look and memo the results over to you.” I nodded to myself and bit my tongue. “Anything else you ah, you need, Mulder?”

Translation: I’m half naked, jackass. Can’t you see that?

We stared at each other for a pregnant moment.

“Well,” Mulder said, eyeing the top two undone buttons on my blouse, “I’m starving. I could go for some pizza. How bout you?”

I closed my eyes and brought my hand up to my forehead. Oh Jesus Christ, I thought, I am never going to get laid. Never.

“What? You didn’t eat already, did you, Scully?”

“No,” I managed, rubbing my temples. “Pizza. That’s… yeah, I could go for some pizza. That’s… that’s great. Great, Mulder.”

Mulder frowned at me, a befuddled look on his frustratingly handsome face. “Something wrong?” he asked, staring at me.

“No,” I muttered, nodding my head at the absurdity of the question. “I’m fine.” Internally, I wondered at my own absurdity. Why can’t I be up front about this? I thought. Why can’t I just say, ‘Mulder, would you please get out of that chair and come over here and screw my brains out until it hurts to walk a straight line? Please? I would be ever so grateful.’


We stared at each other some more. “Mulder, I—“



Mulder held his finger up to his lips, his eyes narrowed in thought.

I raised an eyebrow and frowned down at him. “Excuse me?”

“That sound,” he said.

“Sound, Mulder?”

“What is that sound?”

“What are you talking about?”

“It’s… Don’t you hear that?” Mulder rose from his chair to stare in the direction of the bedroom. His brow furrowed and he touched a protective hand to my shoulder. “It sounds like…” he cocked his head to one side and ran his hand slowly down my back, absently caressing my spine. Then he took a breath as if relief were coursing through his system. “…Like a waterfall. Like something smacking the tile.” He turned to search my eyes. “Scully, did you turn the water on or something? Because if you’re busy I can call in for the pizza. That is, if you want to go wait for the delivery boy to jump in the shower with you.”

Mulder’s eyes sparkled with mischief as he tipped my chin up to his face and then let go. I rewarded him with a breath of laughter.

In a low voice he said, “Answer me this, Lady. You got something going on with the pizza man I should know about?”

My mouth went dry and I lowered my eyelids. “Nah. Called it off.” I looked down for a moment, suddenly unable to catch my breath. “I met this tall, gangly guy at work. One day we’re chasing mutant cats through sewers, the next he’s gone and knocked me up.”

Mulder licked his lips. “Lucky guy.”

I looked him at him hungrily. “Mmm hmmm…”

Mulder’s hand was like a trail of cold liquid up and down my back, his fingers caressing softly, carefully over the thin fabric of the shirt. Something started rumbling far down in my belly, something warm and sensuous.

Mulder’s hand lowered to settle on my right hip and this time when I licked my lips, he was definitely watching me. Our eyes met, and Mulder drew me closer with the hand resting on my hip. His mouth opened slightly, just slightly, and he drank in my face with his eyes.

We gazed at one another like that without speaking or moving. The air was punctuated with something. Something slow and deliberate —

My lips came together in a soft ‘O’ shape and I breathed out a short puff of air, my chest fighting to keep up with my lungs. I was thrumming, pounding all over. Mulder remained silent and I took in his proximity as an invitation. I brought my hand to his chest and ran my fingers languidly down his shirt, across and back and up over the plane of his stomach. I undid one button with the edge of my fingernail and breathed him in deeply. Mulder was lean and smooth and he smelled of mint aftershave.

I closed my eyes and he bent his head, murmuring something in my ear: “I hear that doctors are good with their hands.”

His nose brushed my jaw, tickled like a feather over my cheek until he pulled away.

“Mmm…” I managed. “We’re good with more than that.”

We were close, so close, yet we remained inches apart… breathing slowly, watching each other like starved, wild things. I wanted him closer: to touch me, to kiss me long and hard…

Make love to me, I said silently, wondering whether Mulder could hear me if only I thought it hard enough. I was almost positive he could. We were synchronized, Mulder and I. If he was heads, I was tails. But did he want me like this? Did he really—

Mulder’s voice rumbled raggedly in his throat. “Scully…”

And then I DID hear a sound. Something like water smacking on tile—what the—?

Oh my God, I had totally forgotten.


My eyes went wide as frisbees.

Mulder frowned. “Um…Scully?” he asked, confused. “Why do you look—“

“Oh… SHIT!” I gasped, and spun on my heels.

“Hey!” Mulder called, but I was already gone.

Past the dining room I went, past the yellow couch and past the two end tables in the corner. I fled from the hallway, picking up speed, slipping and sliding up and down the hardwood floor until I nearly tripped over my own feet and slammed into the wall.

I heard footsteps trailing after me. “What is up with you?” Mulder called from the living room. “What—“

Oh Christ, the water, I thought. I can’t believe how stupid I am I can’t believe how stupid what was I thinking the floor’s not so thick and I left my clothes near the tub anyway and now everything’s going to be soaking wet—

I raced into the bedroom, skidded around the corner and slammed my right foot right into one of Will’s fisher price fire engines, the toy’s ladder piercing into the base of my heel.

“Damn it!” I gasped—

And totally lost my balance.

To make a long story short, I tripped.




“Oh no. No, no, no. I don’t think so, Scully. Come on. Tell it like it really happened.”


“You’re withholding.”

“Excuse me? That IS how it really happened.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“Yes, it is.”

“Oh please. You didn’t just trip, Grace Kelly. You practically –“

“Alright, alright. Just shut up, Mulder.”



With a shriek I pitched forward, my arms pin-wheeling wildly, my mouth agape. In front of me the bed flashed like a giant halogen bulb and I grasped for something, anything to give me purchase. It was perhaps the most ungraceful moment of my entire life. On the way down I snatched the corner of the comforter and dragged half of it off the bed with me. Then —




I caught the landing with my face – my left eye in particular. Why I always seem to land on my eye is beyond me.

A few seconds later I heard fast feet and Mulder’s half amused, half mortified voice behind me. “Jesus, Scully. Are you alright?”

I coughed and spit out a hairball from the carpet. “Fine,” I groaned from the corner of my mouth, my cheek smashed against the floor, my arms spread out like bent twigs on the carpet above my head.

“Ouch,” Mulder commented, and I saw his big fat foot float above my head as he stepped over me. His voice drifted into the bathroom

“You know you left the water running,” he echoed from inside. Then I assume he turned off the faucet because the sound of rushing, spilling liquid on tile suddenly ceased. “And you flooded the bathroom,” he continued. A pause. “Wow. I mean you really flooded it Scully. You should see this. It’s like the Chesapeake in here.”

My tongue in cheek, my left eye throbbing and my foot twisted in pain, I closed my eyes and felt a new sensation coursing through me. A familiar sense of annoyance, something built carefully from many cases on the road with my frustrating former partner. I raised my head just enough so that I could speak clearly.

“You know what, Mulder?” I said, groaning as I pulled myself into a seated position.

Mulder peeked his head out from the bathroom doorway. “Hmm?”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Fuck. You.”

Mulder nodded slowly as if to take that in. “Can I have my pizza first?” My fists clenched and I seriously thought about cutting off his manhood. “You know,” he went on, a huge grin on his face, “next time you try and accost me for sex you may want to invest in knee pads.”

I groaned and looked around the room, twisting my neck, my eyes searching for something — anything tangible that I could grab and hurl. Finally, I reached for the bed and snatched up a black polyester pillow. Mulder ducked back into the bathroom as I grunted and pitched one particularly heavy one at him, then another, then another.

“You throw like a girl!” he yelled from the relative safety of the bathroom.

I took a breath and ground my teeth. That’s IT.

Finally, with nothing but conquest on my mind, I scrambled to my feet and blew like a hurricane into the bathroom, poised and ready as hell to kick the ever loving crap out of my former partner. I can only imagine what my neighbors downstairs must have been thinking. What, with the thud of Mulder’s body hitting the floor and water leaking through the ceiling and all.

And okay, Mulder and I were loud. Really loud.

But I suppose that’s just what happens when you wrestle the man you love to the ground, force him to say Uncle and then make love to him in the Chesapeake.




“I remember— Man, that was one great fall, Humpty Dumpty.”

“Shut up.”

“No. I mean, you flew and flipped through the air like—“

“Don’t. Say. It.”

“A flying squirrel.”

[Phone ringing in the background. Static mingled with a barely discernable melody from the speakers. Shuffling. Faint rustling of clothing.]

“Gee. Where have I heard that one before? Imaginative, Mulder.”

“Oh come on. That Strickland case was the one case where I was unquestionably right and you were unquestionably wrong. Can I help it if I sometimes like to quote myself—”

“Alright. First of all, you were not ‘unquestionably right,’ Mulder. For one thing, nobody is ever unquestionably right. The definitions of “right” and “wrong” are simply not concrete enough to conclusively make that determination; nobody can ever consider him or herself right or wrong without compromising some level of objectivity. Second of all, I was drugged.”

“Ohhhhhhh, not with this again–“

“I woke up in a graveyard, Mulder, with all of my arteries intact and the proper amount of blood still pumping. I didn’t remember how I got there, but I certainly know I didn’t—“

“Ronnie Strickland came back to life. Can we agree on that much? You saw me kill him. How he somehow attacked the M.E and then reappeared good as new–”

“Hold on there. We don’t know for sure that he woke from the dead. We didn’t actually SEE him get up. Did you actually see him get up? Because if I recall correctly, you were drugged, too. More than once.”

“He was dead, Scully.”

“Yes, he was.”

“Then he was alive.”

“I’m sorry, Mulder, but I never personally saw Ronnie Strickland alive after that.”

“Ohhhh, come ON. I can’t believe—“

[Sound of a door slamming shut. Papers being flipped. A baby gurgling— loud, unintelligible words and phrases. Flute. Static, lobby vocals: “…heard energy in adversity…smile…the soul of witchery…”]

“Miss Scully? The doctor is ready for you.”




“Thank you… Mulder–could you um, grab the baby?”

“Yeah. I can, Scu—“

“I’m sorry, sir. What was your name?”

“Mulder. Fox Mulder. I’m—“

“I’m sorry, Mr. Mulder, but you’ll have to wait outside.”

“Wha—What? No, I’m not waiting outside.”

“Mulder, it’s alright, really. Just watch William and—“

“No. It’s not alright, Scully…”

“I’m sorry, sir, but you’ll have to wait outside. It’s policy.”

[Soft melody against static: “… barely balancing as it is…don’t want to drown in my dreams…wild plums and Agrimony…”]

[Another door slamming shut.]


End of tape….




By Jaime Lyn

All disclaimers and headers in part one


Mulder and Scully: On Figuring it Out


When You Have to Wait Outside





Georgetown Medical Center.

Jesus, I hate Georgetown Medical Center. How many fucking times have I been here? Right here?

I cross and re-cross my legs, fold my hands in my lap.

One of the Triage Admissions nurses—a young, blonde-haired, green-eyed woman— passes by my chair and catches my eye. “Hey Agent Mulder,” she says, grabbing some blue folders from a large plastic box mounted on the wall. She turns and bends to her knees to make gurgly faces and cooing noises at the baby. She smiles at Will, then at me and asks, “broken, shot, infected or poisoned?”

The nurse’s name—I remember it now—is Kara. Nurse Kara. She’s always at work in the E.R whenever I’m here, so I suppose she understands the hazards of a workaholic. She also knows Scully and I by name, which would almost be comedic if it weren’t the epitome of pathetic.

“Probably infected,” I say. “I think. I actually don’t know.”

“Ah, I see,” says Nurse Kara, clutching the bundle of folders to her chest, “Well, that’s why you’re here, right? To find out?”

I nod without answering. I feel like a grounded grasshopper, like a metal spring trapped inside a tiny box. If someone doesn’t let me out of here to see Scully soon, I’m going to start climbing the mountings of the waiting room TV.

Nurse Kara plays a brisk game of peek-aboo with the baby, her hands fluttering about her face as she adds, “I wouldn’t worry, Agent Mulder. I’m sure Agent Scully’s just fine. She always is. The two of you are like walking advertisements for the energizer battery.”

I close my eyes for a second, consider yanking out my gun and firing at the ceiling to relieve the throbbing tension behind my eyes.

“Thank you,” I mutter. Opening my eyes, I look up, picturing what the hospital bill would look like with ‘concussion from falling plaster-board’ on it. Okay, so maybe that’s not such a good idea. But… the energizer battery? I don’t even want to think about that one. Bad analogy. Terrible, in fact. It’s a good thing that Skinner wasn’t around to hear it—no matter how true it is.

“More holes than swiss cheese, both of you,” Nurse Kara jokes—an attempt, I suppose, to make me laugh.

It doesn’t work.

She ends the laugh with a long sigh, the folders hanging awkwardly in her hands. “Anyhow, bring that baby by more often, would ya? All of us at the main station think he’s just darling.” Her smile begins to fade.

I look down at William, who has fallen blissfully asleep in his carrier. His fists clenched, he purses his lips in and out as he his lids ripple with REM sleep. I can’t help but wonder what it is he dreams about. If babies even dream at all. When is that moment, exactly, when dreams transform from feelings and sounds into concrete images? Does Will know who I am? Does he know who Scully is? Does he dream images of Scully and I into feelings of safety and warmth?

“Right,” I say to Nurse Kara, although I’m not really looking at her. I touch one finger to Will’s blue and green baby blanket, pulling it down from his chin. “Sleeping well?” I whisper to him.

When I DO look up to officially conclude the conversation, Nurse Kara has already gone, and I am left with nothing but the echo of her heels on light yellow tile.

Ah, alone again.

Of course.

You know what? Scully and I should have frequent flyer miles for this place. One thousand more miles and we get our card stamped and a free saline IV. Thank you, Mr. Mulder, Ms. Scully, and please come again.

I glance around the room and lean back, crack my knuckles.

Pale yellow walls, over-stuffed yellow and white striped couches and a TV mounted in each corner serve as the majority of the formal waiting room’s less than impressive décor. A few impressionist paintings of ballerinas adorn the walls and in one corner, a make-shift play area with blocks, a rocking horse, a small train set and some baby dolls are scattered like debris. Not too personal, but definitely better than the standard ER waiting room down the hall.

I work my neck from side to side to try and loosen the muscles, but I can’t seem to get thte angles right. Damn it. My neck is sore and my head is starting to hurt from staring at all this yellow paint. Yellow. Yellow fucking everywhere. I feel like I’ve been thrown into the middle of that story—what is it called? The Yellow Walpaper? If I have to sit here and stare at these walls I’m going to go insane. Insane, I tell you.

I’m sorry, Mr. Mulder, but you’ll have to wait outside.

I close my eyes to try and relieve the ache. What the hell kind of thing is that to say to someone’s partner? What if she’s dying? What if there’s something really wrong? Is her condition a giant secret or something? Am I not supposed to try and help her? I can’t help but wonder about the hippocratic oath and doctor-patient confidentiality. It doesn’t help anyone, does it? Not really. What a bunch of bullshit.

It’s okay, Mulder. Really

Scully’s voice in my head, her voice forever in my head. Pained, ecstatic, angry, playful—

I love you, Mulder. But get off my arm so I can get some sleep.

I love you, Mulder.

Love you.

Seven years ago I never would have believed that Scully would utter those words to me. That anyone would utter them to me. After all, I was never THAT guy. Other men in the bureau were THAT guy. Those men had women up and down the block and they went and slept with their partners on the side. I didn’t sleep with Scully. I didn’t sleep with anyone. At the time, I barely even liked Scully. No. I was just the guy in the basement. The lonely, screwed up mother-fucker (I was actually called this by a witness during a murder investigation) who didn’t care for marriage and didn’t care about love, and only cared about diving headfirst into the truth.

Sad? Yes, it is. But do I regret any of it? No, actually. Not really. So what kind of person does that make me?

The same guy I was? A different guy? A different version of the same guy?

When I was in college I had a friend named Roy: Roy was one of those guys who never got the girl. All his life he’d been like me—a loner, an intellectual, a guy with a ten year plan. Roy wanted to be a police officer. He wanted to remain a batchelor, live in an old apartment, get laid once a week and eat donuts for breakfast every day for the rest of his life. Roy and I were going to start our own detective agency right after Roy’s five year stint with the force. We were going to make a difference. While we fought injustice, I would use the agency to find my sister, who’d been abducted when she was eight, and Roy would use it find his father, who had left him at the age of three.

But right after college life began to change for Roy and I—as life often does when the years rush past. I ended up getting recruited by the bureau, which meant that I would have to pack up and leave for Quantico. Roy ended up leaving our friendship behind for the marines, who he said, “are the absolute shit, Fox. You should see em.”

Roy and I parted company and the plan dissolved, along with everything else. He never wrote to me and I never tried to figure out where he was. I suppose I figured that if we truly were buddies, life-long ones that is, our paths would cross again and everything would be the same as it was.

Last month—for the first time in nearly twenty years— I ran into Roy at the Stop-N-Save by Scully’s apartment. Of all places for Roy to show up, a block away from my partner’s house was not the one I’d imagined. Maybe I just figured that this type of meeting would be too easy. Tennesse, Texas, Arkansas, these were acceptable places for me to see an old college buddy like Roy. But for Roy to have been living ten minutes away from me without my knowledge of it…

I don’t know. That just wasn’t right somehow.

So there I was, fishing around the snack aisle for some Pringles when I saw the guy: Roy was thinner and more muscular than I remembered him, and his dark hair was combed over a bald spot on the top of his head. His arm was wrapped around a short, homely looking woman who had a box of Stayfree Maxis under one arm, and his leg was being used as a footstool for a very tiny, brown-haired young girl.

My mouth half opened, I dropped a bag of chips by accident as I squinted at Roy and tried to figure out how I knew him. I mean, I recognized him almost entirely, but at the same time I didn’t recognize him at all. In my mind, Roy was a batchelor. He was a heavy set guy. Roy wasn’t this family man standing in front of me—Roy wasn’t married, and Roy couldn’t be living anywhere near me– which meant that Roy couldn’t be Roy, but instead had to be someone else. So in that case, what was this tingle in the back of my brain? I went over my mental rolodex one by one: Skinner, Doggett, Reyes, Langley, Byers, Frohike, Joe from basketball, Abe from basketball, Chris from basketball, John from basketball…

and Scully.

These were all the people I knew, and none of them fit the description.

Finally, Roy looked up and caught my eye. He squinted for a moment—same as me—until I suppose it finally dawned on him. He realized the connection.

“Fox Mulder!” Roy exclaimed, and he nudged the woman with the maxis to step forward with him. A second later, a filled, wobbly shopping cart emerged from around the corner with a slightly older looking young girl attached to it.

“What’s taking so long, Dad?” the older girl said to Roy, and she stopped the cart short in the middle of the aisle.

“Hold your horses,” Roy said to her, then he turned to me and extended his hand.

I blinked and shook my head. What in the hell, I thought…

And then it dawned on me.

“Roy Watkins,” I said, and tried on a smile.

Roy introduced the woman to me as Barbara—his wife of ten years. From behind Roy’s leg poked the dark head of a shy, five-year-old girl named Rhonda, and from behind the shopping cart stepped an older, similarly dark haired girl who removed her headphones long enough to introduce herself as Kirsten. In front of Kirsten rested a full cart of Cereal, Campbell’s Soup, milk, eggs and all that “responsible food.” Barbara dropped the box of maxis into the cart with her left hand and shook with her right.

“Nice to meet you, Fox,” she said.

“Likewise,” I said.

“So where you been all these years?” Roy asked.

“Oh, around,” I said. I couldn’t help but stare at little Rhonda and her chubby little cheeks. Rhonda really was just adorable: those big blue eyes and shiny dark bangs that parted in the middle. Looking at her made me think of William, and of Scully, and how none of us had ever pushed a cart down the aisle together.

The elder girl—Kirsten, grabbed a box of cookies off the shelf and tossed them into the cart. Roy reached down and plucked the box out of the cart without looking. He placed the box back on the shelf and grinned at me. Kirsten made a face and walked away.

“So you live around here?” I asked, trying to distract myself from dwelling on the shortcomings of my relationship with Scully.

“Yeah,” Roy said. “Got a job instructing at the local college. Marines paid for my education so I decided to milk it for all it was worth. Got my PH.D in physics. Barbara here was my lab partner.” Roy nudged her affectionately with his elbow and she giggled.

“You must’ve been brave to put up with this one,” Barbara said, and Roy gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“Yeah,” I said, forcing a smile. “Roy was really something back in the day.”

I sighed to myself. Suddenly, my potato chip run seemed very insignifigant, and I felt like the world’s biggest loser. Was Scully out of milk? I wondered. Were there enough diapers, eggs? And why hadn’t I even asked her when I left? Why didn’t I bother?

Because you never ask, my brain easily supplied. You never do the shopping with her. You never take her out. You never do anything with her as a family. You never publicly acknowledge what, personally, you acknowlegded to her and to yourself months ago. And for that matter—neither does she. And this makes the both of you happy? Why?

“Did the married thing,” Roy said, smiling at Barbara. “I like her. I think I might keep her. You married, buddy?”

I thought about saying yes. Truly, I did. I pictured Scully sitting in bed, reading to William from ‘Moby Dick,’ her eyes lighting up with every other passage. I thought about the toys in the living room, the make-up on my bathroom counter, the latest issue of Cosmo that Scully’s mother had brought over but that neither Scully nor I had touched. I thought about how nervous I felt every time I saw that issue of Cosmo sitting on the table beside my case briefs and my newspaper.

This is real, the girly magazine seemed to scream. This it it. Either you commit or you get out. You see me? You see me lying here on the table with your latest issue of the ‘Lone Gunmen?’ This is man and woman together. This is the trap. I represent everything that you’re afraid of. Admit it, you stupid male.

“No, I’m not married,” I finally said, staring at little Rhonda as she ran in spirals around her father’s leg. “I think I missed that train.”

Roy hummed to himself. “Yeah, you always were the loner,” he said. “But at least you’re still with the FBI. You get to be a G-man for a living. Nothing wrong with that.”

“Yeah,” I said, staring down at the full cart of groceries: milk, eggs, tea…Was this what families did? Shop together? Compromise on what bread to buy? I cleared my throat. “FBI’s going well.”

“Glad to hear it, Buddy,” Roy said.

I imagined that Roy must have spent more than his fair share of time in doctor’s offices—the ones that dripped with toys, paintings of ducks in the rain, and “girly magazines”—like the Cosmo that sat on my coffee table. I wondered whether this idea bothered Roy, or whether he had been forced to read Cosmo to pass the time. I thought he might have—or else he must have. In my head I had a picture of all the waiting men—normal looking guys who flipped through “girly magazines” to divert their attention: How to prepare a ten minute meal. How to be with your friends without alienating yourself from your man.

Jesus Christ, I thought. What in the hell is wrong with me?

What was it that these men in waiting rooms knew that I didn’t? Why didn’t the girly magazine scare them the way it scared me? How did Roy manage the domestic thing without going crazy? Why did I feel so trapped, so stuck within a circular pattern that I could never seem to escape?

That day at the Stop N Save, I had a terrifying epiphany. I realized that I wasn’t a boy in college anymore, and neither was I an agent of the X Files. I was just a man who had long ago decided that he didn’t need the girl, or the baby, or doctor’s office with the ducks on the wall.

Somewhere along the journey of truth seeking, ghost hunting, vampire killing, alien tracking and gun-toting with the FBI, I missed getting used to seeing a “girly magazine” on my coffee table. I missed marrying the girl. I missed sitting with the girl in the doctor’s office, watching the girl disappear behind swinging doors, and waiting for the girl with the latest issue of Cosmo in my hands. I missed Sunday food shopping with a full cart of groceries. I missed all the normal things that most people do and cherish, just for the blissful normality and familiarity of it all.

I didn’t think I wanted or cared about such things, but ever since I’d found out about Scully’s pregnancy I’d started feeling differently about my life. At first it was just a tingling in my brain—the idea that I should see her more, stay at her apartment longer. Then William was born and it was like everything I had ever done before his birth was a prelude. My life’s direction had changed. Instead of my search for the truth being paramount, my son and my ex-partner were paramount. I felt shifted and lost in a way I never would have contemplated five years earlier. And that shift scared the shit out of me.

Then: I had my work. I had Scully, my partner.

Now: I have a son. I have Scully, the woman in my life that I can’t live without.

I have toys that litter the apartment I share with her—dolls and cars and rubber duckies that never fail to topple off the bathroom counter.

I have the latest issue of Cosmo sitting on my lap—unopened, a baby carrier at my feet, and I’ve never been so terrified of my future in my whole life. Damn it. I can’t think anymore. Why are all these hospital waiting rooms yellow? All this fucking yellow, driving me crazy.

Quit being melodramatic, Scully would say. And she’d roll her eyes.

God, Scully. What’s going on with you?

All Scully ever asked of her world was that it repay her for the faith she put in it. All she ever asked of life was honesty, decency, a fair shot at happiness. Perhaps when she was a young girl she dreamed of the perfect man, the perfect house—the Brady Bunch existence. I wonder if, as she grew older, Scully gradually made the decision that she wanted to live her life differently than the way she’d dreamed it. Or if she just woke up one day and decided that things had changed during the night. That no, she would not be like other girls. She would join the FBI. She would put all other things aside. Is it even possible to make a brisk decision in that way?

Or maybe it wasn’t a decision she made alone. Maybe Scully had wanted the Brady Bunch family all along and I just got in the way. I stopped her. I beat ideas of paranoia into her head.

I wonder… did she ever pick up her mother’s issue of Cosmo and wonder “what if?” What if I left the X Files and got married, had two kids, sewed costumes for Halloween and baked cakes on Christmas? What if I had done all the cookie-cutter things that other girls did? What would my life be like now?

To be honest, I don’t pretend to understand what’s going on in Scully’s head when she pauses outside the windows of bridal boutiques—when she presses her finger to the glass for a split second before she turns away. I don’t know what Scully longs for in that part of herself she keeps hidden from me—especially since she refuses to marry me. I don’t know. We have yet to come to terms with marriage. We have yet to wind our way down that unknown path. Maybe we never will. Maybe I will never be Roy with the cart full of groceries.

Yellow fucking walls and this damn issue of Cosmo in my lap.

At least Will’s asleep.

I can’t even open the magazine. It’s like if I open it, I’m giving in to this trap. I don’t even know what kind of trap. Just a trap.

I can’t even sit still.

When is Scully coming back out?

When can we get the hell out of here?

Where the hell do I go from here?





One Week After William’s Birth

“I suppose you have to get going now,” she said. It wasn’t meant as a question.

Scully faced me from across the room, her back to the bassinette, her hands folded over her chest in that way she folded them when she was nervous.

“Yeah,” I said, and I stuffed my hands into my pockets. I didn’t know where else to put them. Scully’s lips were still dark red and puffy from having been good and properly kissed. Her cheeks were still flushed. I still didn’t know what to do with my fucking hands.

“It’s getting late,” she added, as if that would explain everything.

“Yeah,” I agreed, as all speech seemed to have alluded me.

Scully finally took a step forward, her hand waving as if in explanation of her behavior. “I want to thank you,” she whispered, keeping careful not to wake the baby she’d just put down to sleep. “I mean—for coming over here to see how we were. That’s—thank you…Mulder. It’s more than—“

“You would’ve expected.”

We stared at each other, the light from the street side lamp casting a faint glow into the room. Because she stood at a forty-five degree angle from the window, half of Scully seemed blanketed by shadow—just as she always seemed to be.

Cerebrally, Scully wasn’t much of a conundrum. After eight years I understood the way she thought and reasoned, even if I didn’t always understand the ‘why’ behind it. I knew how she liked her coffee, what her favorite lunch choice was. I knew what time she woke in the morning and I knew what time she preferred to go to sleep. I even knew what pencils she liked to buy.

Romantically, Scully was as big a mystery as she had ever been. I didn’t know how she liked to be kissed. I didn’t know what side of the bed she slept on—if she even had a side—or whether she’d just prefer to sleep alone. I didn’t know if that look in her eyes was love, or if it was just a supreme sense of pity for a man who had sorely misjudged the situation.

Scully swallowed and stared at her feet, breaking the eye contact. “Better than I would have…”

“Hoped?” I offered.

“Something like that,” she said. “I figured you wouldn’t have…” She wrung her hands, her blue eyes darting in all directions but the direction of my face. “I don’t know.”

Both my eyebrows raised. Had I really been cold to Scully during her pregnancy? Did she honestly think I wouldn’t have wanted to see my own child? The idea that I had made Scully defensive in this manner shot chills up and down my back.

“You didn’t think I’d stop by?” I asked.

“I wanted you to.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

“I know.”

The air felt hot, musty. My hands felt sweaty. I didn’t shoot a reply immediately, just breathed her in: That honeysuckle scent seemed to drench the room, and her steady, lonely looking blue gaze pierced right through me. Scully’s slender hands figeted with the hem of her silk top. Her thick red hair was lightly tousled and her full, pink lips parted slightly to take a deep breath. God, I wanted her. I wanted to kiss away the lonliness and dissolve the hurt. I knew I couldn’t do it entirely, but I wanted to try. Didn’t she know that I wanted to try?

“So you thought about it?” I asked.

Scully stared at me as if I had smoked myself retarded. “Of course I thought about it, Mulder.”

With that in mind, I decided that something needed to be done about the awkwardness. For one thing, this wasn’t how the evening was supposed to end. Not at all. I had planned on declaring my real feelings, kissing her, pulling her tight, and announcing my desire to be with her for as long as she would allow me.

So far I had only gotten halfway.

And for another thing, I was starting to chicken out. Big time chicken out.

“You hoped I would come by,” I said.

“I never hope for anything,” Scully responded, her steel gaze becoming less and less steelly as the conversation turned more and more emotional. “I thought about it, yes. But I figured you would do what you wanted. Hoping for one particular outcome wouldn’t have brought you here any faster. Neither would it have prevented you from stopping by.”

Floored by this, I folded my arms across my chest.. “That’s a terrible way to appoach a situation, Scully,” I said. I was beginning to feel offended, burned even, by her words. What in the world did she mean? That she tried never to hope for something when I was around, or she tried never to hope at all? Neither prospect said much for the state of our relationship.

Scully’s chin turned upwards, and she stared down her nose at me. “What do you know about it?” she asked, although her voice was anything but argumentative.

I sighed and shook my head. I can right this, I thought. I can make this better. She thinks I don’t understand, that I don’t know how she feels. But I do. I can show her just how much. If only I can make my feet move two fucking feet across the room—

“Look, I don’t claim to know where you’re coming from with this, but I DO know that it’s okay to hope for what you want,” I managed, trying a few steps forward. My feet felt like blocks of wood but I kept on going. “I know it’s hard sometimes…really I know. But maybe hope is stronger than fear… of the…the unknown… I know you have that faith, Scully. Where would you and I be right now if not for simple faith? Where would that baby be?”

I didn’t know where this was going. I didn’t even know what I wanted outside of a smile from Scully, or at least an acknowledgment from her that THEY hadn’t won this time. THEY hadn’t beaten us. By believing in each other, by coming together, Scully and I had finally found a way to overcome the shadow men, to shine over the monsters and all the hate. We had truth and we had William and we had love. Christ, we had so much love. Didn’t she know that?

Scully took a deep breath and grasped the corner of her bedpost, ran her hands up and down along the wood. She swallowed and offered part of herself in words: “Every time I hope for something it disappears. I can’t do it anymore.”

Oh, I thought. Oh God.

I remembered Scully’s father, the daughter she’d loved for such a short time—and lost in just as short a time. I remembered Melissa, whose red hair was so close to Scully’s color, and whose life had been halted by a bullet to the head. I wondered whether Scully and her sister had ever giggled together under the covers over boys or over Christmas presents. Melissa’s life, Emily’s life….

So much had been stolen from both of us. So many lives had been lost in the face of the truth, or what we thought was the truth. There were times when I’d seen Scully collapse, or give in, or just stare out the window and say nothing, her fingers pressed to the sill. I’d wonder what she was dreaming during those times—if she was dreaming at all.

Scully bit her lip but said nothing.

I moved closer and closer to her, watched the muscles of her jaw work beneath her skin.

“Not everything disappears,” I said, and finally I was close enough to touch her chin and raise it so that we were eye to eye.

“I want to believe that,” she said, her tone low. “But I think I’ve forgotten how…All this… hurt…” Her voice trembled and stopped.

I frowned, searched her large, sad blue eyes. “Don’t say that,” I said, running my thumb over her cheekbone. “Didn’t you hear? Believing is like Jell-o. Just look at me. There’s always room…” I trailed off when I realized Scully wasn’t going to smile. Not even a little bit. Her gaze dropped to the floor and she exhaled slowly.

“What if there isn’t room?”

I shook my head, furrowed my brow. “I don’t understa—”

Scully sucked in air, grasped my elbow and looked at me again. “I’ve forgotten how to feel this way,” she said. She swallowed and ushered me closer, as if the walls had ears and she was afraid of anyone knowing what she was about to say. “I’m having trouble… I’m afraid of wanting… this time with you. I don’t know if I can even want something anymore without looking over my shoulder, wondering if it’ll be taken from me the very second I obtain it. This—” She placed a hand on my chest and ran it slowly down my shirt until her arm fell back to her side, “—It’s the ultimate hope. The achilles heel of hoping. What if this is taken from me? What if something happens to you? I can’t give in to that hope and then watch it disappear. I can’t.”

I closed my eyes, feeling as a similar pain pricking invisible holes through my veins. “Scully, I’m sorry for everythi—“

“No.” She sighed. “Don’t. It’s not your fault.”

“It is.”

Scully shook her head, her tone firmer this time. “I’m not playing this game with you, Mulder. If you want to blame something, then blame the years of faceless liars, all the injustices, the months we spent apart. Blame the cigarette smoking man for all I care, just don’t blame—”


Scully stopped speaking. The silence finally broke us and we drank each other in, saying with our eyes what we were too afraid to put into words.

‘This isn’t our fault.’

The words floated in the air above us like the breeze, although neither of us seemed to know what to do with it. If the only thing holding us back now was the thought of “what if,” then I realized we would never get anywhere. We’d lived with “what if” for years, during every case, during every day we spent at work. We’d gone into much more dangerous situations with “what if” hanging over our heads like a funeral song, and “what if” had never held us back before. That “what if” should hold us back after we’d come so far in spite of it was… well, it was staggering.

“You’re afraid,” I said.

“Not any more than you,” Scully lobbied back.

“I don’t want you to be afraid—“

“It’s not you I’m afraid of, Mulder.”

My lips parted, we were so close I could nearly breathe in her exhaled air. “Yes, it is,” I whispered. “It’s me and everything else.”


For whatever it was worth, I was going to try my damndest to give her something concrete.

“Nobody touches this,” I interrupted, punctuating every word with a space. “This—” I touched my hand to the spot below her left shoulder, ran one finger down until it stopped an inch above her left breast. “—is something that will always be inside of you, whether or not you choose to explore it. And I will always be there, even if you doubt me, or don’t want to believe me. That baby and I will be there and nothing touches that. Nothing.”

Scully was silent. Neither of us moved towards each other or away.

“Nothing,” I repeated for emphasis.

Scully pressed her hand to my cheek. “Prove it to me,” she said, her voice low. My lingering hand trailed up to her shoulder and rested there, almost awkwardly. I could feel her hand on my face shaking, even if only a little bit.

For a second that seemed to last longer than a year, Scully’s mouth hovered over mine. Her hands drifted down to my chest. “Prove it to me…” One kiss: soft and short, her blue eyes fluttering closed and her voice breaking. “I’ll prove it to you if you’ll prove it to…”

I could feel the tip of her nose glide against my cheekbone as we moved. Her lips slightly dry—wet by mine, opened and closed deliberately until darkness evaporated, and shadows disappeared, and only Scully and I were left in the wake of the dismantling of the Universe. Her arms were warm, her neck soft. Her thick red hair—that familiar honeysuckle scent. She tasted like raspberry-herb tea.

“I always—“ My lower lip over hers, I tried a smile. “I always have to show you proof, don’t I?”

“Mmm,” was all Scully said. And then her hand was sifting through my hair, her mouth warm on my cheek. “The truth is something you have to work for, Mulder.” She pressed a kiss to my jawline. My eyes still closed, all I could do was feel her lips along the side of my face. “Haven’t I—“ another kiss, “—taught you anything?”

“Oh yeah,” I murmured, cupping her cheek with my hand to move her lips back to mine, “you’re a very wise woman.”

“I am, aren’t I?” she murmured.

The long, gentle kiss that followed filled us both with promise, Scully’s hands going tight around my neck. When she finally pulled her mouth away and we opened our eyes, my gaze drifted down to her reddened cheeks, her pink, swollen lips. The corners of her mouth were turned up in a mischievous smile. Ah—I thought, finally a smile. I’d been waiting for what seemed like forever for that smile.

“Something concrete,” she said softly, like a benediction, and touched my hairline. “I feel it… “

I smiled, not knowing what else to do or say. “Yeah,” I managed.

“Well,” Scully said, her grin stretching, her tone signalling that all the melancholy was to be put away for now. “We’re still here.”

I nodded. “That we are.”

“And I don’t see any brain-sucking aliens anywhere—“ Scully craned her neck as if to search behind me. “So that must mean we’re in the clear.”

I grinned like the world’s biggest village idiot. “Guess so.”


Scully cleared her throat, her cheeks growing redder by the second. “Out of curiosity, Mulder, how long have you wanted—“

“Seven years, three months, eight days and four hours.”

More silence, followed by Scully’s raised, left eyebrow. She blinked a few times and nodded mutely. After a time, she managed, “Ah,” and blinked a few more times.

We watched each other’s mouths and smiled. Scully bit her lip as if embarassed.

Finally, I couldn’t help it.

I laughed.

Just thinking about the fact that I had actually said what I thought I just said, that I could actually say something so incredibly stupid…. Oh Good Lord. And she was still here?

A millisecond later we were both laughing, our foreheads pressed together, until the amusement just seemed to die away.

I was the first to break the glow in the air.


But somehow, she knew what I was thinking before I could say it.

“You have to go,” she said, and closed her eyes again.

I ran my hand down the back of Scully’s head, fingering individual strands of hair as I pulled away from her. “Yeah,” I said, backing away.

Scully just looked at me, one hand wrapped around her middle, the other cupping the cross at the base of her neck. She seemed chilled, even beneath her silk pajamas and her silk robe.

“Stay,” she said, looking straight into my eyes.

Such a simple request, yet it was filled with so many complicated overtures.

“You need your rest,” I managed, knowing fully that it was the weakest thing I could come up with even as I said it.

“Stay,” she repeated, her voice growing softer, as if her resolve was weakening.

“Not tonight,” I said. “But I will. I promise, Scully.”

“You will.” She sounded deflated.

“I need… YOU need… to process this. And we both need some rest.”


“I’ll be by in the morning,” I said, forcing a smile as I backed out of the doorway. “The morning, I promise.” I nearly tripped over a folding chair as I crept backwards past the dresser. “And I can put together the play-pen. The one with all the um,” I waved my arms around like a numbskull, “the bear thingies on it.”

Scully sighed an exasperated sigh, her head shaking the way it shook when we drove to Memphis for a case and I asked her to try on the Priscilla bee-hive wig. Not on your life, you kook, that head-shake said.

“Good night, Mulder,” she said, a slight twinkling breaking through the disappointment in her eyes.

“Good night,” I answered, a wide grin on my face as I backed five paces directly into the wall by the door and hit with a thud.

Scully bit her lip, her eyes widened, and she covered her mouth with her hand. I groaned and ran my hand over the back of my head. Oh yeah, I thought. That’s going to leave a mark.

“Easy cowboy,” Scully threw at me, then she turned on her heels and made her way towards the bed.




Nurse Kara walks by again and waves at me. She winks and crosses her fingers for me, as if that will make everything okay. Oh, if only it could.

I should have proposed to Scully that first night I kissed her. She would have said yes then. She would have smiled and maybe cried a little, and wrapped her arms around me and said yes, yes, Mulder, I’ll marry you. Tonight, tomorrow, next week, I don’t care–

Or maybe all that shit is just in my head. Maybe Scully never had any intention of marrying me because she knew I never had any intention of marrying her.

I think Scully knew this would happen. We’d end up right here, at this hospital or another hospital, because one or both of us would fuck up. I would dive recklessly into a case, or else Scully would—Lord knows she’s proven through the years that she’s capable, and Will would be left without parents. I suppose she figures if we keep in not-legal she still has an out. She can head for the hills and seek out that Cosmo, family grocery-shopping life she secretly wants. The one I would never be able to offer her. After all, I’m certainly not Roy in the Stop-N-Save with the wife and kids, am I?

Was that what Scully’s mother was trying to tell her when she dropped off the magazine? Dana, get up off your ass and find a real man to raise that grandson of mine. Lord knows Fox isn’t equipped to settle down and somebody’s got to.

I run my left hand raggedly through my hair, exhaling slowly through an opened mouth. There’s never any right or wrong when it comes to loving someone. There just isn’t. There are only shades of gray, shades of joy and hurt and anger and you can never be sure which you’re going to step into next.

With a sigh I glance at William, who’s still asleep—thank God, and oblivious to the inner workings of his confused father. “You would be better off,” I say to him, and I glance again about the pastel-yellow painted room. Fucking yellow. I will never be able to look at the color yellow again. Never.

I touch a few fingers to the baby’s satiny, baby-powder sweet head, memorizing the exact texture, burning the feel of his soft skin on my brain. “You will be better off,” I amend.





by Jaime Lyn

* Prepare for a long, strange journey in this one. Actually, you know how this chapter came about? I had a really wierd dream involving a marching band show in college, a Christmas Eve dinner from way back in elementary school, and something that had happened in the library the day before. My dream kept skipping back and forth. No specific rhyme or reason. Strange stuff. Finally, when I woke up, (and I actually remembered everything) I sat down and tried to figure out what each event had in common, and why I would dream about them in the order that I did. The result is this…um… roller-coaster Scully chapter, but I hope you guys like it. I promise, I’m not smoking anything. Really.


Mulder and Scully:

On Getting it Together


There’s no Way to Cheat on a Blood Test





“So, Dana, how is life at the bureau going?”

Victoria Klausman—Vicki for short. We had a class together. Anatomy 101 or Advanced Anatomy or… something with the word Anatomy in the title. Might have been Gross Anatomy. I don’t know. College was so long ago that now I have problems remembering the name of classes I had, professors I once adored… But no—that’s not completely true. There are a few things… like a song that was playing on the radio when I drove up to Maryland for the first time—The Sound of Silence. I remember humming and drumming my fingers on the dash, smiling when the D.J announced weather for the College District. A balmy Seventy degrees, with mostly clear skies.

“Everything’s going alright,” I say, my voice soft.

How fucking funny is that? I can recall the weather, the slate gray color of the table Vicki and I sat at, the angle of the sun as it scattered rays over the heads of the people around us, but I can’t remember the name of the class. Jesus. Selective memory, you think, or will I eventually block everything out?

“Well, you know I’m always glad to see you,” Vicki says. She pushes a dark brown curl out of her left eye. Her long brown hair is still as long as it used to be, except now Vicki keeps it secured in a banana clasp. Her silver rimmed glasses have been replaced with blue contacts, and there’s a suspicious looking diamond and gold ring on her ring finger. Married? Divorced? Engaged? There’s no diamond solitaire anywhere on her hand to accompany the first.

“Sucks that an illness brought you in here,” Vicki says.


Damn, fucking blue gown is driving me fucking crazy— this fuzzy, paper itch that comes from something bunching and folding in all the wrong places. I feel like my skin’s too tight. About to burst. Maybe I’m just overreacting. I’m not used to being on this side of the table…

Or no—that’s all wrong.

Maybe I’m so used to being on this side of the table that I can’t stand to even think about the possibilities. Cancer, infertility, mass infection, gun shot wounds, bruises up and down my arms, my legs, black and blue and yellowing around the edges…


Vivki’s staring at me. How long has she been staring at me?

“I’m sorry…Could you please repeat that?”

“I didn’t say anything, Dana. You just looked sort of… spaced out.”

Neither of us speaks for an uncomfortable moment.

Alright. Nothing important has been said yet. Cancer. Lump. Growth. These are words I can see coming out of Vicki’s mouth. So far, I haven’t heard them. That must mean I didn’t miss anything.

I shake my head and clear my throat, although I can’t find anything to say. Vicki moves to my left, stands directly in front of me and kneels. Her palm finds my chin and she turns my face from side to side.

“Nasty bruise you got there,” she says. “You get that before or after you got sick?”

My eye throbs where Vicki’s cold fingers brush over the skin.

“After,” I say, choosing not to explain myself.

I think of Mulder, his arms outstretched, his face distorted by terror. He’d tried so hard to catch me before I fell. I could see him, the beige of his face, the brown swirl of his hair, the colors blended together in one distorted hue. He’d said my name, ‘Scully,’ just like that. And then a black curtain fell over my eyes and I couldn’t see anything. I was out for about nine minutes. How ironic is that?

“Right. Well, just… be careful.” Vicki eyes me with an expression that borders on curiosity. I can’t help but wonder what she must think of me, my cheek purple and my eye swollen. She probably thinks I fell into some sort of destructive relationship, possibly with some asshole who used to be a suspect from one of my “G-Woman” cases. Vicki sees a person who once had her whole life in front of her, but who now chooses to get the shit kicked out of her—not only for a living, but at home as well. Fucking embarrassing, that’s what this visit is. And I can’t even explain my lifestyle to her because I have too many problems explaining my lifestyle to… well, myself.

Vicki turns to the white counter-top behind her, picks up my chart and turns back around. “Well, the important thing is that you came in before your symptoms got worse.” She looks down at the chart and sighs, leaning one arm on her hip to crack her back. “Sorry,” she says, looking up with a brief smile. “Long day. I’m sure you can understand— Almost as bad as Spiro’s class back in College—you remember when we had to dissect that dead cat?” She giggles.

“Ah yes, Fluffy,” I say. “Best pet—”

“I ever had,” she finishes.

Both of us laugh.

For a brief second, all is forgotten in the wake of my backwards trek: Freshman year. A forty person Anatomy class, a half dozen metal utencils, a large metal pan, the smell of antiseptic and vinegar, and one very dead, very fat, furless cat that Vicki and I had named “Fluffy.”

Yes, yes, I know. Stupid. But we were nineteen at the time.


Vicki and I spent about forty minutes dissecting “Fluffy” before we got bored. With a lack of better things to do, Vicki started up a rousing game of Truth or Dare. The game went about four rounds before one of us actually chose Dare over Truth. Upon the question, “who was the last person you gave a blowjob?” I chickened out on account of the fact that I’d never actually given anyone a blowjob. (Not that Vicki needed to know this.) So I opted for Dare, of course. The dare was that I had to cut off one of Fluffy’s paws and stick it onto the end of my scalpel. I then had to approach this blonde girl named Christy, who hated dissecting anything, and wave to her with the paw adorned scalpel.

“Who says cats aren’t friendly?” Vicki said, and she gave me a shove in Christy’s direction.

In the end, Fluffy waved, the professor failed both Vicki and I for the lab—on account of dangerous and bizarre horseplay, and Christy vomited twice on her way out from the classroom. I was mortified, but Vicki thought the waving cat paw to be the funniest prank she’d ever seen in a classroom. “Best pet I ever had,” she said.

A crying baby in the next room jerks me back into the present. The mangled wails echo off the yellow walls of the exam room, each cry lancing through me like a white, hot sword. I think of William, his tiny hands and his tiny feet. My baby, my only baby. I should have just stayed home with him, and with Mulder. We could have all curled up in bed together and watched the sun set.

God, I don’t want to die. I don’t want—

Jesus. Where did that come from? What the hell is wrong with me? I’m not fucking dying. I’m not.

I smile at Vicki, my fingers interlaced tightly in my lap. How wonderful it would be to go back to college, to start everything over with all my choices laid out like an endless, bright green mesa in front of me.

“So,” Vicki starts, looking down once again at the chart. “Headaches, nausea, fainting, and the occasional nose bleed. All contained, for the most part, in a few brief, violent episodes that have been occuring at random intervals for the past two weeks or so. We’ve already established that you’re normally not prone to heat stroke, anxiety, acid reflux, or any of that fun stuff. Plus, you’ve also told me about your… what was this? A near fatal, Nasalpharangeal mass that spread a rare form of Cancer into your bloodstream, but went into remission a few years ago. This Cancer, you’ve told me, is the only time you can remember ever experiencing these… let’s call them ‘episodes,’ where either you’d feel nauseous, faint, or your nose would bleed. I get all that right?”

I force a smile, not really knowing how to answer. God. Vicki makes me sound like the Chief freak of a new army of modern medicinal freaks. Is this what Mulder feels like when I regurgitate his theories back to him in my own words?

“Yeah,” I say, not particularly wanting to look at Vicki. “That sounds like the right amount of bizarre.”

Vicki nods, returns the chart back to the table behind her. She faces me with her long legs crossed, her elbows leaning back onto the counter. “I’d say you’re one lucky duck,” she says.

I nod. “I’d say you’re probably right.”

Vicki clears her throat. “Yes, well, that brings me to my first question, which is… have you ever had children, Dana?”

I open my mouth, close it. On the far wall is a picture of three babies in a basket.

“Yes,” I say, distracted. “I um, I had a child last year. A boy. William.”

Five years ago the sight of babies in a basket would not have bothered me. In fact, I probably would have rolled my eyes at the very thought. Like I could always have a baby. Like I had time trapped in a box inside my pocket. I could turn the hands of my own specialized clock backwards, sideways, up-ways and down-ways. Time moved in all directions for me—just like the elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I could turn the time on, turn the time off; I could flip the clock any way I wanted it to go. I had it all fucking figured out, didn’t I?

“Ah,” says Vicki. “And during your pregnancy, did you experience any nausea, fainting spells, similar symptoms?”

I look up, confused. “What?”

Vicki clears her throat. “What I’m trying to say… here…Daye, is that I think you’ve overreated; that you ignored the most obvious and certainly, less terrifying answer, for whatever reason…”

I want to tell Vicki that she has no idea—NO idea what she’s talking about.

I was twenty nine when I began work on the X Files. I had the world stretched out in front of me like a giant blanket of safety. No matter how many miserable, disgusting monsters Mulder and I came across in our line of work, I always knew I’d be alright. I had my job and my family and my freedom of choice. I was secure in knowing that I could quit at any time to get married, to be a mother, to stop fighting the good fight. But I chose not to. I wanted to make the journey with Mulder. Maybe it was narcissitic of me, but I felt a measure of heroism.

I didn’t want to be ordinary.

Even though the world was often taken from me and returned with another chunk missing, I felt important. I felt important to the world and to Mulder. I was the most paramount person in Mulder’s life, and I knew it. I relished it. I’d never recieved that kind of devotion from anyone. And Mulder’s unwavering faith made me feel like I could conquer all the mysteries of the natural world and hand them to him. Like I could wrap all the evils up in a ball of light and toss them to the moon.


I look up, my chin quivering.


Is this what all the sacrificing was for? Another bout of cancer? Mulder forcing himself into marriage? What have Mulder and I given each other besides entrapment? What good was all the fighting, the working, the near deaths, when I’ve only held him back? Almost nine years later, and Mulder still has no retribution: no truth, no X Files, no justice, only now he has a child tucked under one arm to keep him tethered to a life he never asked for. A child and… and me.

“Daye—” Vicki touches my shoulder. “You need to hear me out. I’m not sure why you don’t want to hear this, because I get the feeling that you don’t. But you have to listen. I’m trying to tell you—”

“Just—” I close my eyes. “One second…”

I can’t deal with this right now.

I have to tell her—I’m barren.

And when I leave this room, I have tell Mulder no. I can’t have a husband who’s always staring longingly into the sky, wondering what if . I know Mulder doesn’t want to get married.. He thinks I want to get married. Fuck. This is insane. What the hell have we done to each other?

“I’m not—” I press a finger to my forehead. Tiny needles of hammering there. Soft at first, then harder and louder, resonating behind my eyes. “—Not able to have children, Vik. It was…a medical procedure that… it left me barren. So I’m not…not pregnant. If that’s what you’re insinuating.”

My head throbs, my overworked brain sending spirals of pain shooting out from every vein and muscle. I feel like I’m dying. Like small pieces of me are being eaten away by all the time I’ve squandered. The time I’ve stolen from Mulder and kept hidden for William, and for myself.

Vicki’s voice from far away, echoing. “Actually, that’s exactly what I’m insinuating.” I can’t tell where she is anymore; my eyes are closed. The light hurts my pupils. Stings like crazy. “And I don’t know who told you you’re barren, but whoever it was should get their medical license taken away.”

“No,” I say, my hand shaking and covering my face. Damn these headaches! “You don’t understand. It’s impossible. I was told—”

“This isn’t an hypothesis, Dana. I’m telling you straight out. As soon as I read your triage form I ordered the blood test. The work-up only took a few minutes, and the results were conclusive. You’re not in any way, shape or form barren. You’re pregnant. Beyond a doubt—Dana? Day? What’s wrong?”

Three babies in a basket. A husband. Mulder being free to pursue his dream. It all would have been believable nine years ago. How funny that time moves in a straight line when you’re not thinking about it, but when you think hard enough, or when you try hard enough, you can bend and twist time into a tiny knot—

“Dana! Dana, do you feel light-headed? Are you going to black out again? Speak to me.”

Pregnant. That’s funny. A real joke. Just like Fluffy, except Fluffy was already dead and so I suppose he wasn’t as funny as we thought he was. Wouldn’t it be great to go back and save Fluffy? I probably could have saved him if I really wanted to. Or maybe he wasn’t really dead. Just like I’m not really pregnant.

I want to climb the walls and scream until my face is purple and I pass out. No! I want to tell her. You’ve got it all wrong! I can’t have children but I CAN have Cancer. Cancer, Vicki! Don’t you know I’m supposed to have Cancer? I know how to fight Cancer. I know how to face death. I don’t know how to have another baby and justify nailing the lid on Mulder’s coffin.

Oh fuck, my head—

I know what’s coming now, I know—

Mulder won’t run away from me if he thinks I’m sick and oh jesus would another baby kill me because my body can’t handle the strain but it’s impossible that’s what Doctor what’s her name said but then that was a long time ago and times change oh how they change because time doesn’t always move forward and holy shit pregnant no that’s so wrong I won’t get my hopes up–

Sleep. Nice.





** *


“—Scully? Scully, you fell asleep. Wake up. It’s Christmas.”

“It is?”

“Yeah. Santa tried to come in through the chimney, but I thought he was one of those big, red Reticulans… so I shot him.”

“That sucks, Mulder.”

“I know.”

“Hey—not so fast. I think the fat guy left you a present before he dropped.”

“Oh, really? What? Coal?”

“Naw, that was last year. This is better. I promise.”

“I’m not going to have to put batteries in it, am I?”


“Hang it from my windshield?”

“Hope not.”

“Chase it around the house with a baseball bat?”

“Just open it, Scully.”

“Alright, I—… Oh… Oh Mulder. This is a—”

“Marry me, Scully.”


“I love you. All I know is that I love you. Marry me. Dana—”


“–Katherine, Dana Katherine!”

Melissa had the covers pulled up to her chin. In the dark, her ivory skin looked tan and her strawberry blonde hair looked black. The lavender walls of our bedroom were shadowed and warm: everything was safe here. It was Christmas Eve and neither of us could sleep. Melissa pretended that she was too old for all that Christmas, opening presents, Santa Claus garbage, but she was still too wired to close her eyes.

“What is it?” I hissed back.

Both of us glanced at the doorway. Mom and Dad didn’t like closed doors at night, and so the light from the hallway trickled into our room, creating a narrow path of light that stretched from the opened doorway to the foot of Melissa’s four poster bed. Billy paced back and forth outside the door, his lightly freckled face stuck in a comic book. Every once in awhile he lifted his head up and peeked into the room.

Melissa pointed at me with her hand beneath her comforter. “When you go downstairs, bring me up a cookie.”

I sat up a little straighter in bed, thankful that I wasn’t in the direct path of the doorway so Billy wouldn’t see if I wasn’t lying down. “What makes you think I’m going downstairs?” I asked, pushing my long, curly red hair back behind my shoulders. My fingers twisted in the gnarled locks, and I kept braiding and unbraiding long strands down my back.

“You always go downstairs on Christmas Eve,” said Melissa, her hand wrapped around a small pink flashlight. Upon the comforter beside her was a copy of ‘Seventeen,’ one of many copies that she kept hidden beneath her bed. Ahab—Daddy—didn’t like those magazines because he said they were trash, and it was bad enough that Melissa got crazy ideas from the girls at school. So Melissa bought magazines with names like ‘Madmoiselle’ and ‘Cosmopolitan’ from her friends, and she hid them beneath her mattress where she could read them and where I could reach them if I wanted to look at the pictures.

“I do not!” I said, lowering my voice as a shadow passed by the door. The clock on my nightstand said ‘9:45.’ Fifteen more minutes and Billy would have to go to sleep. Those were house rules.

“Don’t sass me,” Melissa said, and she glanced at the doorway before she turned her flashlight back on. “You know you’re going to wait until Billy has to go brush his teeth and then you’re going to sneak downstairs. You do it every year, Dana. All I’m saying is bring me back a cookie because I’m hungry.”

“No way, dumb butt. Mom said not to eat the cookies until tomorrow. She will so know that I took one.”

Melissa twisted her head towards the ray of light painting the carpet at the foot of her bed. After a second or so, she turned her head back and brought the flashlight up. The deep white glow of the bulb caught me in the eye and I groaned, my hand flying up in front of my face.


“Jesus, Dana. Don’t be such a downer. God forbid you should actually do something bad. You do know what bad is, right? It’s that thing that’s the opposite of good?”

I took a few deep breaths, my knuckles grasping tightly to the ends of my green and blue colored comforter. “I know what it is!” I hissed, feeling as if I might bang my fist against the night table and just knock everything off.

I hated that I was the smallest and the youngest. I restened how I was last to know about things like cigarettes and babies and falling in love. I was sick of being last. Billy was always saying how he was bigger and stronger, and how he would always be better than me. Melissa said that I was silly, and that if I was always covered in mud, or if I kept my head buried in all my boring books, I would never find anything fun to do. The hazards, Melissa said, of being the last born is that you get all the bad genes.

I just wanted to prove all of them wrong.

“What if I don’t want to get you a dumb old cookie?” I asked.

Melissa smiled. “You know you will.”


“Because you worship me. And because if you don’t, I’m going to… I’m going to pour water all over your bed and tell Mom and Dad you had an accident!”

I narrowed my eyes. “Go ahead and do it, stupid head. I haven’t had an accident in years.”

Melissa made a face beneath the beam of the flashlight. “Fine, maybe I will,” she said.

My mother’s strong voice called to Billy from down the hall, interrupting the argument and momentarily silencing us: ‘Brush your teeth, Billy. Then go and say your prayers.’

“Yes, Ma’am,” said Billy from the hallway.

Melissa flipped off the flashlight and dove beneath the covers. I flopped back down and turned my head towards the opened window. The white lace curtains fluttered back and forth against the wall: up and down, in and out, bringing in the smell of fresh rain.

Billy’s head popped in through the open doorway. I could see him from the corner of one eye. “You’d better be asleep,” he said. “You were due in bed at twenty one hundred. No sneaking around. It’s Christmas Eve.”


“It’s Christmas Eve!” I said, slamming the chipped, vomit colored door to the motel room shut behind me. Dark, hard, fast drops of rain assaulted my shoulders and stained the black fabric of my suit. “Do you think this is fun for me, Mulder? Do you think I want to do this right now?”

“That’s not what I’m saying,” Mulder said. His hair whipped about his face, a few dark brown locks getting soaked and stuck to his cheeks. “I just don’t appreciate being lied to. Mislead. By you, of all people.”

The sky was dark—a cross between navy, gray and black. I couldn’t say that it was one color or the other because the real and true sky was hidden—obscured by a mass of thunderous clouds. A torrent of water slanted and streamed from the sky. Across the street, a zig-zagged string of white twinkle lights blinked at me from atop the window of a two story house. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a Christmas tree in that house, if there was a family inside who told stories of Jesus Christ and Santa Claus. Were they at home? Were they at Midnight Mass? Did they have a dog or a cat?

What a joke, I thought. The rest of the world was celebrating and I was fucking working. No husband, no children. Just working. The bureau was under a lot of pressure, or so I was told. I was asked to help catch a psychotic. Undercover, Skinner had said, and by yourself. I’d agreed. Mulder followed me.

I turned to face my partner and felt my resolve melting. How easy it would be to tell him ‘okay.’ How easy it would be to go back into that motel room and forget about monsters and serial killers and all the evils of the world for one night. A Christmas Carol was playing on Channel Five continuously. I was supposed to unwrap that present he’d given me: the gold papered box. Jesus, what was I doing to myself?

“I didn’t mislead you,” I said.

“You kept this from me.”

“I did what I thought was best.”

I pivoted on my heel and Mulder grabbed my arm. A blast of lightning sizzled above us. “Why?” he asked me, his eyes filled with a mixture of anger and hurt. “What in the hell are you doing here?”


“We’re here for the presents, Puffy.” My stuffed gray bunny, Puffy, hung limply from my left hand. Puffy never seemed to be very interested in opening presents, maybe because he was just a stuffed bunny. Every year Mom would leave Puffy some carrots in my stocking, but Puffy didn’t really like those, either. “They’re not imaginary carrots, Mommy,” I’d told her last year. “Puffy can’t eat them.” Mom thought that this was hysterically funny for whatever reason, but I just thought it was logical.

“Okay, you stay here,” I said, and I put a finger to my lips. “Shh, don’t wake anybody.” I dropped Puffy to the couch and carefully laid him back against the pillows. It was very important that Puffy be comfortable while he sat and watched the tree.

I turned on ballet-slippered feet towards the center of the living room. The plate on the coffee table was empty, which meant that all the chocolate chip cookies had been eaten. Had Santa really come to visit, I wondered, or had Daddy eaten all the cookies?

“It must have been Santa,” I said to Puffy, and I walked towards the piece de resistance—the seven foot tall, Scully family Christmas tree. Silver tinsel swayed back and forth on the dark green, pine branches, and strands of puffy blue garland zigzagged around and around until all the strands converged at the top. All the ornaments were big, bright balls of silver, blue, and purple, and they hung aristocratically, as if proud to have been positioned by THE William Scully, Navy captain. This year, the flashing lights were multicolored— sparkling jems that made everything look bright and happy and beautiful.

I giggled at the sight, too giddy to speak.

An aura of red, blue, green, yellow and orange twinkle lights danced off the walls of the living room. The couch smelled like pine needles—the pillows, the woven throw… every piece of furniture and every stitch of cloth smelled like Christmas. If I closed my eyes I could see sunlight spilling in through the picture window in our kitchen, the rays of gold dancing off the back of my mother’s head. Mom had baked chocolate chip cookies for desert after Christmas dinner. She also cooked a banana cream pie the evening before—hands off, she told my father and my brothers. Strictly for Christmas Day.

I bent forward and touched the bows on one of the presents. My fingers danced over the ribbon as if an alarm were attached to it. I could hear my heartbeat thundering out of my chest, the throbbing going through my arms and vibrating out my fingertips. The glow of the blinking tree brought multicolored splashes of light to my hands.

I shouldn’t be up this late. I knew I shouldn’t. Nobody downstairs before six am—that was the rule.

‘To Dana, From Santa,’ said the tag beneath the big scarlet bow. This had to be the Easy Bake Oven I wanted. I’d been begging Mom and Dad for weeks. And oh, the package was so big and so heavy, all covered in green and red striped wrapping paper. What if I opened it now? Would Mom and Dad be mad? Like, really mad?

The floor creaked behind me.

“Dana! What are you doing?”


“What do you mean, what am I doing?” I took a deep breath and shoved a soaked lock of hair behind my ear.

Mulder stood facing me, rain beading down his face and onto the pavement. He let go of my arm but didn’t step back. His hazel eyes were narrowed, darting from me, to the door of the car, and then back to me again. His gun was in his free hand and he waved the barrel around like a madman. “What the hell business do you have using yourself as bait?” he demanded, pulling up in front of me. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, going in without me? You know how dangerous that is?”

Thunder sliced through the air, the static electricity charging the ground, the humidity pushing steam up off the pavement. There was a lopsided wreath hanging on the door to the lobby of the motel. Silver, blue, and purple ornament balls dripped with water that puddled on the sidewalk below. “Merry Christmas,” said the red and green plastic banner above the door. The parking lot was practically empty, save for one white rental car that bathed us both in the glow of white headlights. I’d left the engine running when I ran out the first time to drop my briefcase on the passenger’s seat.

“I’m going to catch this son of a bitch,” I said, and as if to prove my point, I yanked the extra clip from inside my jacket and shoved it up into the butt of the gun. My fingers dripped with warm droplets of rain, twitched under the weight of plastic and metal. Nobody should have to do this on Christmas Eve, I thought, and the click of the gun echoed in my ears.

God, Mulder, I thought. Like I want to be standing in the middle of a rainstorm thousands of miles away from my family. Like I want to go undercover on Christmas Eve. Like I was the one who’d been ordered not to tell you the specifics of the sting operation.

“This is insane,” Mulder said. “I won’t let you go in alone.”

I shook my head. “Don’t do this, Mulder.”


“Look—this isn’t some vengeful, impulsive decision. I’m not going on a suicide mission. We’re talking about two vans worth of agents and more in the bar.”

Mulder bent his head back into the rain for a moment, his chin tilted, his eyes closed. He opened his mouth towards the strands of droplets that fell like sheets of crystal. He almost looked like he was trying to drown himself standing up. When he lowered his head again, his expression was filled with steadiness and conviction. “I’m going in with you,” he said.

“What are you going to do, then?” I demanded, turning on my heel and walking towards the car. I kicked up water as I moved. “You going to hang around the bar and be my pimp, my father, my older brother, or my gay best friend?”

“Jesus, Scully!” Mulder threw his hands up in the air as if surrendering. His face crumpled in a heartbreaking mask of confusion and helplessness. I felt like I was walking away from him. Leaving him. God damn it–

Yesterday, Mulder had given me a baby Christmas tree adorned with beads and bows to put in my hotel room. He’d even cut a star out of paper to scotch tape on top. ‘Sorry the store didn’t have any real ones,’ he’d said, shrugging. I smiled and said that I thought it was simply the most beautiful tree I had ever seen, the paper star the most perfect topper he could have given me.

I taught Mulder how to sing ‘Sleigh Ride’ that night over a cup of mocha-flavored coffee. He’d fallen asleep on the edge of my bed afterwards, both of us spent from arguing over the validity of Auld Lang’s Ayne, and from one or two games of poker he’d insisted on playing over a bag of M &Ms.

The rain seemed to wash away everything, all the sweet, useless time we’d spent together the night before. Why couldn’t Mulder and I ever seem to get it together? Why did we always take one step forward and then three steps backwards off the edge of a ravine?

“What do you want me to say, Mulder? Because I’m not apologizing for doing the job I’ve been asked to do. I won’t.” I turned to face him.

Rain came like a waterfall splashing down from the sky. It felt like an ocean between us. My wet hand found his cheek and I ran my index finger along his jaw line. “I was asked to accept this position on the condition that you be kept in the dark. Skinner believed that your presence at the pub would compromise the sting. I believe he’s right. What I need for you to do now is trust me. Do you trust me, Mulder?”


“I knew you couldn’t be trusted, Dana.”

Billy stood with his arms folded, his chin jutted in much the manner I’d seen my father jut his chin when he was angry.

“Shut up, Billy!” I said, my arms wrapped around the big present with the bow on it. The box was as wide as it was tall, and the weight nearly had me bowled over. My legs shook beneath my nightgown and my knees nearly buckled beneath me. Even still, I wasn’t about to give in. Not to Billy or to anyone. The present was mine, mine damn it, and I was taking it with me to the couch to go to sleep, whether Billy liked it or not. Nobody was going to stop me. I was so sick to death of people telling me what to do.

“You need to go back to bed,” Billy said. “Now give it over.”


“Give it!” Billy lunged.

“Leave me alone!” I backed up towards the couch and fell to the floor. My tailbone connected with the corner of the couch as I dropped, and I suppressed the urge to cry out in pain. The package rolled out of my hands and knocked into the coffee table. Red, green, blue and yellow chaser lights waltzed in a blurred frenzy off Billy’s face and shoulders. He looked like a big wooden soldier. Behind him, more presents spilled out of the living room and into the hallway in an overflowing mess of boxes and oblong packages and bulging paper bags.

“I’m a big girl!” I wailed through the sting of saline. My cheeks were wet and a lock of hair was stuck to my jaw. “Quit bossing me around or I’ll tell Mom!”

From the floor, Billy seemed to tower over me like a giant building. His hands rested on his hips and he stood with his legs wide. “You’ll tell her what?” he asked.


“I’ll tell you what, Scully.” Mulder touched my chin. His fingers felt wet and slippery, the sensation shooting chills down neck and out my arms. “I’ll stay out of this—“ He tipped my face up so that we were eye to eye. “If you promise to leave the line open. I’ll call give you a call after you leave. Just hit ‘talk’ and don’t hang up. I want to hear everything that goes on.”


“I trust you.” He was close enough now to run his hand down the side of my face, tuck a stray lock of sopping wet hair behind my ear. “It’s everyone else that makes me trigger happy.”

I thought of the Christmas tree in my room, the gold beads that Mulder had strung along the tiny branches. One present sat beneath the tree in a small, gold-papered box. ‘To Dana Scully, From Spooky Claus,’ it said.

‘You don’t have to open it now,’ Mulder had said. ‘I mean, you can open it whenever you want. Tonight, when we get back… I just wanted you to have something under the tree.’

Rain dripped down my lashes, skipped over my nose, bounced off my chin. Mulder looked somehow taller in the beams of the headlights, his wet suit clinging to his lean legs and long torso. He looked almost like an overgrown child caught in a rainstorm. He was so… so…

My Mulder with water dripping from his chesnut colored hair. My Mulder with the gun hanging by his side and his eyes focused on the floor.

My Mulder.

And all I wanted to do was go back into my room, crawl under the covers with him, and watch the tree blink on and off from the bed. I wanted to pretend that it was just Mulder and I, that we had a house and a sparkly tree and the kids, and we’d never seen a day of work at the FBI, and instead of rain there was snow, so much snow that we would never be able to leave the house the next day.

Yeah. Like that would ever happen.

I shook the thought from my head.

“You can’t go charging in if something happens,” I said, a set of keys dangling from my hand.

“Well, my white steed is in the shop…”

We smiled at each other through the downpour. Mulder shook his head as if resigned to a decision he didn’t want to make.

“No, it’s fine. I won’t need to,” Mulder said, and he sighed. One hand went up to his chin and he swept away some of the water. “You can take care of yourself.”

Lightning slashed through the thrumming monotony of the rain, illuminating the sky and turning it to day. Through the white-blue light I saw Mulder’s eyes, and the confidence that shone in them. He had faith in me. Nobody but Mulder looked at me that way—like only I knew whether the sun would indeed rise the next morning. I knew Mulder was just upset, that his ego had been bruised. Mulder worried about me, and I knew he just wanted to remain in the loop, to stay informed. He wanted to know I would never lie to him, or keep anything from him.

“When I get back, we’ll watch A Christmas Carol,” I said, and opened the car door. “Besides, you owe me five M&Ms and I want to collect.”

I had to go. We both knew I had to go.

Mulder forced one last smile and gave a slight wave. “I’ll see you when you get back—”


“BACK! Get back, Billy!”

“No. Get upstairs, shrimp-o.”

“Shut up already! You want to—“


“Get down!”

“Agent Scully! Behind you!”


“Gun! He’s got a gun!”

“FBI! Don’t move!”


“Noooooo! I don’t wanna, Billy. It’s my present! I can keep it if I want—”

“Geez! Dana, quit screaming—“


“— in your sleep, Scully. I’m surprised Wisconsin didn’t hear you. What happened in that bar? Just… Tell me. Tell me what to do.”

“Stay here, Mulder. Stay here with me a little while–”



“Gun! Gun! Gun!”


“Agent Scully—”


“—I love you. Marry me. We can… we take the baby and run away. Far away from here. Wherever you want to go.”


“Don’t think about it. Just look at me. What is it you really want?”

“I want…”

“No! Taking too long. One answer. Close your eyes and—”





*** BANG***


The bed jerks.

I open my eyes and groan, squint against the light. Yellow walls. Large bed. I’m lying down and my clothes are gone. Oh God, what happened to my—Or wait, I’m still wearing that gown, the blue one from the Doctor’s office. Still itchy. I want to tearthe paper off and stuff it down the garbage. Fuck. My clothes must still be folded on Vicki’s chair. But…where’s Vicki? Did I pass out? I don’t remember passing out. I remember hearing about my symptoms, and how my blood tests had turned out to be—


Oh my God.

“Ms. Scully?”

I turn my head. A petite woman wearing green scrubs smiles down at me. I have no idea who she is, but I can only hope she’s not some evil nurse from some bizarro hospital on this planet I seem to have landed on. Her name-tag says “Marina,” and beneath her name the words “Georgetown Medical Center” are printed in small, black letters.

Okay. Well, I think I’m still on Planet Earth. Harmless enough.

Marina has wavy, strawbery blonde hair and big blue eyes. For a moment, I see a glimpse of my sister in her face. But when I blink, Missy’s face is gone.

“What happened?” I ask, stretching my arms and pushing back on my elbows.

“Oh…Nothing too alarming. You just fainted,” Marina says, a large brown clipboard in her hands. “You have dangerously low blood sugar, not to mention uncommonly low blood pressure. Dr. Klausman requested that you allow her to prescribe you some extra vitamins. She said that the intensity and frequency of your fainting spells probably have something to do with these factors—not to mention over-exertion and stress. I think that baby’s trying to tell you something.”

I swallow, suddenly feeling numb. I don’t… Can’t… How do I tell Mulder that I’m—

“The baby,” I say, my voice foreign.

“The baby, yes,” says Marina. “Dr. Klausman is going over your history right now. She said she’ll be in soon to check on you. She also said to tell you that ‘at least you’re not as bad off as Fluffy,’ or something like that.”

My mouth is dry. A baby.

“Oh—” Nurse Marina waves her hand as if afraid of forgetting something important. “Speaking of babies, there’s a man with a baby outside to see you. He um, he sounded pretty anxious—actually, he threatened to arrest the entire nurse’s station and bring everyone up on charges if he couldn’t see you. He said his name was ‘Mulder.’ Is it okay to send him in or should I just…um, call the police or ah, maybe a swat team?”

Oh Christ. I can just imagine Mulder waving his gun and his badge around the waiting room. For a second I’m tempted to tell Nurse Marina to just call the police.

“Tell him…” I shake my head. “Tell him to…um…”

I can’t finish the sentence.





By Jaime Lyn

** Yep, we’re getting close here. There are a few things in this part that are a little different than the parts before it. (For instance, there is no “Mulder” or “Scully” label on this part. You’ll soon see why.) Originally, I was going to post the ending as one long part, but I realized that it was just way too long. —And that everything would make more sense if I broke the ending up. I’m still not sure if I want to break it up further, so the ending may have one or two more parts, depending on what my mood is. (And whether Mulder and Scully get annoyed and tell me to just post the whole thing and get it over with.) So keep coming back to check. I promise to keep everyone informed.


Life in a Sling

What the Heck Happened to the Editor?






“Damn it,” I mutter. The sun isn’t so high in the sky anymore. Outside the glass doors of the ER, I can see rays of orange and yellow slowly descending towards the ground. I’m running out of time here. “Where are my discharge papers?”

Man, I hate fucking hospitals. All these sick people and old people and doctors who say, “I’ll be with you in a minute,” although what they really mean is, “you go rot in a chair while I make five long distance phone calls to China under the guise of being busy.”


But what happened, you say?

Well… I was in the car, five seconds away from pulling off the nintety five for the long stretch to St. Thomas Medical Plaza, (one of many medical plazas I had planned to hit during ‘The Great FBI Agent Search,’) when something hard and fast slammed full force into the back of my once beautiful Toyota Echo. Apparently, some asshole from The Galapagos Islands or Guam–or else some other country that probably doesn’t have roads or cars—had forgotten what lane he was in. Or else he knew, but he just didn’t care. Could have been all that alcohol he swears he never consumed.


At any rate, he crashed into my rear bumper going like, oh, I don’t know—sixty, seventy, a hundred million miles an hour… And my car bucked and bounced as if the ground was moving it, and one of those state-of-the-art airbag thingies shot up towards me in a splay of sparks and vinyl and white powder. BOOM! —just like that.

I now have a burned cheek, a swollen mouth and a black eye—thanks to the wonders of modern technology.

But that’s not even the worst of it.

The very worst was when the windshield shattered like crumbling sugar cubes, and my arm went flying through the driver’s side window. BOOM! again. Just like that.

This whole thing only took about a minute and a half. Can you believe that? Jesus. A minute and a half. I thought I was going to die—I mean, literally. Die. Cease to exist. Bite the big one. As if the day hadn’t been bad enough, now I was going to be splattered all over the road like a bug on the bumper of my car. I swear I saw a light. I saw God. It was like an epiphany. Heaven was stretched out in front of me and suddenly—

DAMN, my fucking arm hurt. And no, I was not dead.


The EMS guys said the accident was worse than it looked… that my car was probably repairable even though it looked like a silver accordion, and my face didn’t look THAT terrible, and besides, who really needs their left arm anyway, right? Yeah. Easy to say when you’re not the one with the cast and the approaching work deadline. At the very least, car-crash man—who didn’t even speak English except to say, “no. No me drink. No,”—was taken off in a squad car for DUI.

And thus, here I am. The goddamned hospital. Have I mentioned that I hate these places? Stretchers, heart monitors, yellow walls and white tile that reeks of bleach and antiseptic. I can smell death just hovering around the corner. In a minute the walls are going to close in on me and I am going to decompose while waiting around for that damn doctor to finish up with my presciption and my discharge papers. If I could just find someone to pay attention to me–

“Hey? Nurse? Excuse me?” I wave my good arm back and forth like I’m trying to disconnect it from the socket. My voice sounds kind of muffled, what with half of my mouth swollen open and all. Doesn’t matter though. Nobody looks at me. Great. This is just great. Perhaps compared to the old man retching into the corner, I’m small potatoes.

A very tan, very tall, very wide, very scary woman wearing a white uniform—what I assume—is a nurse’s uniform, rushes past me. She has a stack of blue folders bunched up under her right elbow, and her mouth is screwed up in a tight-lipped frown. She kind of reminds me of Mrs. Payne—my old third grade-reading teacher. All she needs now is a ruler and a Jersey accent and she’s good to go.

“Hey!” I try again, but to no avail. The nurse doesn’t even turn around or stop. This is crazy. It’s like that movie ‘A Christmas Carol.’ You know, when Scrooge walks around like a spectre and nobody can see him but the dead guys? Well, at least Scrooge had the ghosts to talk to.

“Hey!” Nothing.


Another one slips past me.

I take a deep breath. Okay, this is it—time for the big guns.

A few nurse-like people wander down the hall, all checking their watches at five and seven second intervals, as if they have to advertise to the world that they’re missing their coffee breaks for some pregnant women, a homeless guy, a couple of sick kids, and a man with a fork stuck in his ear.

Oh yeah—and me. The woman with the mangled t-shirt and the cast on her arm. Damn it. This is all that foriegn guy’s fault. Sober as a stone, my ass.

Leaning against the chair, I turn to the center of the room and raise my hand, palm up, to my forehead. “Oh help, I’m having chest pains Having a heart attack. My pulse is going. Oh, the horror! Does anyone care? Yoo hoo—anyone? Hello? Oh look, my leg is numb—“ A very cute doctor-looking man with a stethoscope around his neck and a chart in his hands, stops in his tracks to turn and look at me. He eyes me from beneath his sliver-rimmed glasses. Not knowing what else to do, I smile and cock my head to the side, wink, and send my very best, “come-hither-I’ve-always-wanted-to-marry-a-doctor-and-have-his-children” look. Cute Doctor fixes his gaze on my cast, shakes his head and walks away. He doesn’t even say hello.


I sigh, making my way over to the nurses’ station with my right fist clenched. “Oh , now it’s on—“

But five steps into my trek to declare war on the ER, I am stopped by a bizarre noise. My purse is playing the “William Tell Overture.”

“Oh shit,” I mutter.

My cell phone—ringing for the second time today. Let’s see…the last call cost me my lunch. This call probably isn’t going to be any better. I don’t even know why I even have a cell phone. That’s it—I’m getting rid of it. First thing tomorrow. I’d be better off with a tin can and some rope.

With my good hand I yank out the phone, put it to my ear, scrunch my brows and manage, “Yes?”

“Alright Morris,” says the gruff, slightly smoky voice on the other end. “You had better have something good.”

Damn. It’s the “Duke.” Speaking of bastards—

I try on a smile, not as if The Duke can see it, and I say, “Oh. Hey. I was just about to give you a call. I’m actually… actually en route to the um, the um—“ I turn my head to gaze around. Yellow nurses’ station. Guy with a fork in his head. Another guy puking. Where was I going again? The looney bin?

“I don’t want to hear it,” comes the voice on the other end. “So you can cut the crap. Unless it has ‘I’m bringing the summary over to you right now’ on the end of it, you can keep your excuses. As far as I’m concerned, you’re running out of time, Morris. I asked you to get the tapes and the summary to me ASAP—before you send it to Chung. I at least expected a phone call informing me of your progress. In my Universe, ASAP means fast. Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“Well—“ I look down at my left hand and realize that no, indeed, I do not know what time it is. At least, not anymore.

Two hours ago I had a one of a kind, collector’s item, Wizard of Oz watch. I was very proud of this watch.

Four hours ago I had some semblance of a career.

Just yesterday I was grateful that I had stopped smoking.

Now I’m watchless, half crippled, clawing for my job, and willing to stick my head in a trashcan if it means I can at least inhale some second hand smoke. Amazing what two FBI Agents, a deadline or two, and flying glass can do to a perfectly sane, slightly obsessive person

“Well, what, Morris?”

Go for honesty. Go for honesty…

“I honestly don’t know what time it is, sir.” I sink down into a maroon cushioned, slightly uncomfortable waiting room chair. My back hurts and I can’t feel my arm. I wonder how long it would take me to sign my own cast. I open my eyes and stare at the wall. I can feel my irises glassing over. Jesus Christ. This is it. This is the part where I go catatonic and some doctor finds me and, assuming I’m dead, covers me with a white sheet and takes me down to the morgue. God, what happened to her? asks the attendant. Gee, I don’t know, says the doctor. Death by frustration?

I let out a long breath. “They took my watch, sir.”

A snort from his end. “They?”

“The doctors.”

“What doctors?”

God, I sound like a fucking fruitcake. “The um, the ER doctors,” I continue, “I’m in the hospital. There was a… well… an accident, sort of. And the um, the links of my watch had broken and were cutting into my skin. And since my arm was already bent in half and the watch was beyond repair, the doctors chopped it off my wrist. One of the attendees signed my cast and wrote John 3:16 on it, but I don’t think that he was refferring to the time—“

I can hear The Duke breathing on the other end, but I can’t tell if he’s at that “red-faced” stage yet. Usually I can tell by now.

The Duke finally manages, “Are you on drugs, Morris?”

I shake my head. “No,” I say, “but if you see Juan Valdez anywhere, tell him I could go for some coffee laced with morphine right about now.”


Mulder and Scully:

On Reaching a Conclusion…Or a beginning.




Say What?



Okay, I can do this. I can. Really.

Nurse Marina stares at me with widened blue eyes, her fingers poised on the door handle. She looks like a neurotic cat about to pounce. If I don’t say something that sounds like, ‘no it’s fine, let him in,’ in the next thirty seconds, I am surely going to end up bailing Mulder out of jail. Not that this is anything new.

I take a breath. “Tell him…”

What am I supposed to say? Mulder, I think William needs to be fed and I might have left the stove on when we left the apartment and oh yeah, I’m pregnant. Can you stop by the store and get me some Pop-Tarts before we get home?

Oh, I can’t do this to him. Jesus, I can’t trap him like this.

“Miss Scully?”

“Just—” I put my hand to my head. “Hold on. I’m thinking.”

Nurse Marina sighs. “You want me to call the cops then?”

I close my eyes. “Yeah, that would be nice,” I mutter through my fingers.

“Then yes?”

“No!” I drop my hands. “No, of course not. Jesus.”

Oh, what have I done?

Mulder’s not… he’s not that guy. He’s a searcher, a hunter, a journeyer. I know that he wonders ‘what if;’ what if Scully and I were still free to pursue the truth? What if I had never disappeared? What if Scully had never gotten pregnant?

Does he think I don’t know?

I see Mulder so clearly. I always have. When he bounces his leg on the carpet at dinner, or taps his pencil unendingly upon the table, I know that he’s restless. He’s bored. He needs to be out there. He needs to be active. He doesn’t need to be locked inside this limited existence with William and I. He doesn’t need another baby to cement the deal. Maybe he loves me, but he loves the truth more. He always has.

And that’s the bottom line, isn’t it?

“Tell him to wait…” I feel like crawling inside of myself. I feel like retreating to a place where none of this matters, where Mulder and I can lie in bed, stare at the makeshift star on our ten inch tall Christmas tree, and wish the world away in a shared, dreamless sleep.

Nurse Marina frowns. “Wait for what?” she asks.

I touch one hand to my stomach, feel the soft , flat skin above my belly button. Nearly two years ago I was right here, pregnant and lonely, except at that point, emptiness wasn’t a choice. Mulder wasn’t there to share in my joy. He’d gone away…drifted into the sky, left on a star, shot through the Universe like a comet. I would have given anything for him to be there with me. I would have given up my job, my world—I would have let it all go for him. He was gone from my life, yet he was the most real, most tangible thing I had to go on. He always has been.

“Tell him to wait…” Christ. Time’s flitting away from me. I can’t keep this from him forever. “Just a minute. I need to think. I need… I need a moment.”

I close my eyes to try and picture two tiny hands, two tiny feet, eyes that haven’t opened yet, a body even smaller than Will’s. Or no, not even that much—not enough time has elapsed yet. My God, how far along am I? One month? Two?

There’s another person sleeping in my belly: a little boy, or maybe a little girl—God, a little girl would be nice—and this baby doesn’t care about X Files or wedding rings or aliens. This baby is it’s own truth, and Mulder is here with me to share in the miracle. Two years ago I would have killed for the opportunity. I would have grabbed myself by the neck and said, “Fuck, Dana! What are you doing, pushing him away? Pull him close. Grab him and for Gods sakes, don’t let him go this time!”

Why can’t I listen to my own advice?

“Fine. I’ll tell Mr. Mulder to wait,” says Marina, her chin dipping to her chest. She looks positively stricken, like she’d rather walk through a wall of fire than tell Mulder that he can’t come in here to see me.

“Tell him I only need a minute… or two,” I clarify, hoping that will make things easier. I know that Mulder isn’t exactly the easiest person to placate.

But… this is for the best. Really.

Because I love him. Because I love Mulder too goddamned much to see him chained to me forever, when I know he belongs out there. He belongs to the truth. He’s never belonged to me.

Nurse Marina nods. “Alright,” she says, pointing her clipboard at me, “but if he flips out and starts shooting people, I bring you up on charges.”

I can’t help but smile. “And what, exactly, would you charge me with?”

“Ah…” Marina narrows her eyes, scrunches her brows, and leans heavily against the door. She taps one index finger to her cheek and then runs it through her hair. “Failure to…” She purses her lips, nods to herself and smiles. “Failure to divulge to your husband that you’re expecting a child.”

“That’s not a crime.”

Marina shrugs. “So? Neither is getting knocked up, but we obviously can’t win em all, can we?”

Neither of us says anything. Marina turns to open the door.

“By the way—“ I can hear my own heart beating, tick by tick. It sounds like the tide thundering into the shore. I have to say this. I can’t let her think—

“He’s not my husband.”

Marina raises her left eyebrow. “The crazy guy? You kidding me?”

I shake my head.

Marina rolls her eyes. “Yeah, well…that’s not a crime, either,” she says, and closes the door behind her.



On Going in





I was told to sit—to sit goddamn it, and not move. Not even an inch. The head nurse, a beefy, dark skinned, narrow-eyed woman (I think her name is Carmen) said that if I moved even an inch out of my chair she would not hesitate to call the police, the swat team and the fire department. Personally, I think she was exaggerating. I mean…come on—the fire department? I didn’t set anything on fire.

“Hey, Nurse Carmen?” I wave one arm at her. “You know where the soda machine is?”

Nurse Carmen stands behind the counter, her face buried in some kind of paper work. All I can see of her head is her dark brown bun. “Vat Did I say Meestar Muldar?”


“You vant I should call zee polize to beat you with zee night sticks or you vant I should beat you myself?”

Nurse Carmen is probably about six foot two, two hundred and fifty pounds. I’m thinking she could break me with one finger. She looks like she eats live chickens for breakfast. This is probably why the second floor nurses’ station called her up from the ER station downstairs.

“No… thanks, really,” I mutter, staring at my hands.

I think Carmen knows that when I said, “let me in to see Scully before I have to seriously start busting some ass,” I didn’t really mean that I would bust anyone’s ass Neither did I mean, “you’re all going to prison. Every one of you, for obstructing justice and kidnapping and….and anything else I can think of.”

I was just excited. Provoked. Maybe a tad nervous. Okay, so Scully’s going to saw me in half when she sees me, but I swear I had her best intentions at heart. I don’t know who will destroy me faster—angry Scully or angry Nurse Carmen. Maybe they’ll just take turns.

“Hey, Mister?”

I shake my head to clear it.


Someone is tapping me on the knee.

I look down into the eyes of a very pudgy, very short, very curious-looking young person He’s got a tiny head—big blue eyes framed by dark lashes, and dark brown hair set in a miniature bowl-shaped cut that brushes across his forehead and sweeps back. A few hairs separate from the rest and stick almost straight up. –Someone apparently was playing under the chairs while I held up the nurse’s station . His eyes are level with the mid-section of my chair, so I’m guessing he’s about four or five. Although he could be six or three or he could even be a man-bat trapped in a boy’s body.

Hey, in my line of work you gotta be prepared for anything.

“Yeah?” I say.

The munchkin stares at me, then at William in his carrier, then at me, then at William again. He stretches his pudgy arms out to his side, throws them back behind his head, stretches them, clasps them in front of his stomach, and starts rocking back and forth.

“You have a big head,” he says.

I raise an eyebrow. “Thanks for noticing.”

“You have a big nose, too. Much bigger than my Daddy’s nose.”

I raise the other eyebrow. “Oh yeah? Well, you have really small feet.”

Munchkin-boy looks down at his feet. “Duh,” he says. “I’m only five.”

“No excuse,” I shoot back, folding my arms over my chest.

A slight pause.

“You got a baby,” munchkin points out. “My Momma’s got a baby and her name is Angelina. She looks like a egg with feet. I like your baby better.” Tiny-head boy squats down until he’s nearly touching the floor and then he springs upwards, as if he’s a grasshopper who’s been stuck in a can for way too long. My back hurts just watching him. Ah, the wonders of youth.

“What’s he doin?” munchkin asks, and he points to the baby. William, for his part, is diligently trying to stuff all of his toes into his mouth.

“Well,” I say, frowning for a second. “He was talking to his secretary a little while ago, and she says he’s busy all through next friday. Lots of meetings with the Fisher Price people. But right now he’s just sunbathing.”

I shrug and force a smile.

The kid is still standing there, but now he’s quiet and looking at me as if I’m a leper with six heads—or worse—a dork.

Okay. That’s it. I suck at this.

Granted, I’m a father now. Sure. Whatever. But to be honest, I haven’t been a father for that long, and the idea of being someone’s parent is still pretty much foreign to me. Don’t cross your eyes that way. Don’t play with your food. Sit still. Because I said so—

Nope. Can’t do it.

Kids are just—they’re like little, erratic, distracted insects, aren’t they? I mean, sure you can try and talk to a beetle, try to keep its attention, but eventually you’re going to realize how crazy you are because the beetle doesn’t speak English and you don’t speak ‘Beetle.’ And then the beetle will fly off for more interesting places and you’ll be left puzzled as to why you even tried talking to a beetle in the first place. Talking to children is same way. They’re all like buzzy little beetles. I’m telling you.

Scully’s voice sounds in my brain: “I have no idea what you just said, Mulder. Do YOU even understand what you said? Do me a favor, re-iterate that analogy and use actual logic this time.”

Jesus. Scully.

Scully in some sterile room with the nurse. Scully by herself, in some sterile room with the nurse. Scully nodding—yes, I understand. Yes, I’ll wait. No, it’s no problem. A few heart rate/respiratory monitors, a couple of IV tubes, some blood tests, some pats here and there to the stomach, maybe a catscan or an MRI later and the truth is revealed. I’m sorry, the doctor says. There isn’t anything we can do this time. But if we had just caught it in time—


Fuck. Why do I always have to fucking wait outside?

I look down and realize I am still being watched. Munchkin is staring at me with his head cocked to one side.

“No sunbathing” he says, scratching his head. “Got no beach. Need a beach.”

I nod thoughtfully. “Guess I do,” I say.

“Uh huh,” says the kid. He takes a deep breath.

“I went to the beach once with my Momma and my Daddy and it was hot because the sun has UVB and Momma says that all the UVB’s is bad because it burns but I didn’t see any fire so I guess the fireman put it out before we got there and I had a hat anyway but I don like it because it’s not blue and blue is the bestest color because my dog Raph has a blue collar but Raph isn’t allowed in the beach because he’s a Rotwiller…” A single breath. Then—“did you know that dogs can’t go to the beach at hotels?”

I open my mouth to speak but don’t get the opportunity.

“I had a soda with a cherry in it and we were almost at the beach even though we mostly stayed in the pool because Daddy says that there are sharks in the ocean and sharks can eat you —did you know that? But I don’t never get eaten because I have this special lotion that Daddy puts on me and it smells like coconuts and Daddy says that it’s shark apeller so I’m indivisibal to the sharks and none can get me. But that was a long time ago and now Momma says that I can go in the ocean but only because of my shark apeller and because I can swims better now that I’m this many—” He holds up five fingers, then continues, “and really because Daddy has to take me so he can get off his fat ass and Momma can put Grandpa into the retardment home. My grandpa used to watch me when I was a baby, but he is retarded now so he can’t do nothing but play golf. I like your baby. He has a big head, too. What’s his name?”

I blink, wondering how in the hell it’s possible to speak for two minutes straight and not take a single breath. Is that like, a childhood thing, or do you actually have to get a special degree? I think I met a few guys back in the academy who could talk like that. Maybe the kid’s an X File. Do his parents know about this? Where are his parents anyway?

“His name is Will,” I say, forcing a smile at the little blue-eyed urchin. “What’s yours?”

“Michael,” the little boy says.

“It’s nice to meet you, Michael— even though you think I have a big head. Where’s your Mommy?” I ask, glancing around the second floor waiting area.

Nurse Carmen looks up from her paperwork to check on me. After a moment or two, she looks back down and scribbles something on a clipboard. A few nurses glide past—all taking careful note to stay as far away from me as humanly possible– charts clutched to their chests. A man wearing a pair of black glasses stands against the far wall, an old issue of GQ propped in his hands. Another man paces back and forth with a newspaper. I don’t see any Mommy-looking people though. Not even one. I wonder where this kid came from.

“There,” says Michael, pointing towards the hallway.

I can’t see that far down, but I suppose his mother must be at the end of the hall or something. Or else she’s in one of the X-ray rooms. I hope she knows where her kid is. Maybe I should tell Nurse Carmen—

I glance breifly at Nurse Carmen’s big, fat head. Her hands are quite thick and manly looking, and she’s almost as wide as the shift board in back of her. I can hear her voice— ‘You vant I should beat you myself?’

And I decide against asking.

Micheal continues, “Momma has to call lots of people because she’s a liar.”

I raise my eyebrows. “A liar?” I ask.

“Yeah, a liar.”

Micheal grabs the front of his overalls and pulls them together into one fist. He rocks back and forth on the balls of his feet. “Mommy likes being a liar because she stands in a big court room and everyone pays attention to her. She’s impotent.”

I lean back in the chair and nod, somehow managing not to laugh. Little Michael’s energy makes me think of Samantha, oh way back in the day. Samantha could talk for hours about nothing, never once taking in a single breath. She would have been great friends with this kid.

“You mean important,” I say, glancing for a second to Will in his carrier.

“Uh huh.” Micheal nods, his eyes serious. “She is.”

“And she’s a lawyer?”

“Uh huh. A liar.”

I force a smile off my lips. Probably not appropriate to laugh, right?

Micheal looks at the baby again and then at me. His eyes turn dark blue, shift hue like mood stones. His expression is similar to something I’ve seen on Scully’s face, a mock version of seriousness. For a second I can’t help but wonder whether this is what Will is going to look like in four or five years: Scully’s blue eyes. My dark hair. A smile like Samantha had—one that stretches all the way to the sides of his face.

Will Scully even live to see him?

I’m sorry, Mr. Mulder, but you’ll have to wait outside.

Sit down, Mr. Mulder, or I’m going to have YOU arrested.

Damn it. No.

Of course she’ll live. What the hell is wrong with me today? Scully’s fine. Of course she is. All this talk about Cancer is just in my head. If Scully is just recently feeling sick and light-headed, I’m sure it’s only a culmination of all the years of stress and hurt. Scully’s not feeling well because of me, because I upset her. I asked her to marry me and I drove her to collapse. She doesn’t have Cancer; she just has ME. If I were her, I probably would have collapsed a long time ago.

Jesus. What have I done to her?

“Is Will’s Mommy okay?” Micheal asks. His tiny brown eyebrows scrunch; his feet bounce faster. “Because my Daddy is here today. He says the doctors found a lump on his brain but it’s gonna be okay because the doctors fix lumps all the time and it will be just like the time I chased Raph around the corner and I hit my head and the doctors fixed the lump and gave me a flinstones bandaid because all the Pokemons was gone. But you know, I don’t think Daddy’s lump is like that lump because Daddy’s real sick and he couldn’t take me to the beach today even though I knows that he and Momma likes to go with me. Is Will’s Momma sick like that too and the doctors have to give her a bandaid? Tell her to ask for the Pokemon ones because those are the bestest ones.”

Michael’s big blue eyes are filled with something I used to recognize as sincerity, as honesty, as truth. He means every word of what he says, even if he is only five years old and doesn’t quite understand the situation yet. Jesus. Has it really been that long since I’ve been around people (other than Dana Scully) who carried traits like goodness? Like truth? Has it really been that long since I recognized the existence of innocence? Since I remembered that there was still a good and delicate fiber tethering this world, and that life didn’t stop for me, or for Scully?

I want to tell Michael that I feel his pain. That even though our age separates us from one another like a range of mountains separates two cities, the anger is still the same. The unfairness of waiting is still the same. I want to tell him that I know what it’s like to watch the person you love lean over the toilet and retch until there’s nothing left but acid. I know what it’s like to hold her as if the world is ending and then listen to her speak through a thick wall of tears–

I have things to finish—to prove… to myself, but for my own reasons…


Everything would be alright if I just had that magic bandaid. I need just one giant Pokemon bandaid to stretch over the eight years of pain and loss. One bandaid for Scully’s cancer, for her sister, for her innocence, for her lost fertility. We could use the cushion-y cotton pad to blanket over us like a cocoon, to protect us. And then Scully would never again feel sick and she would be able to have all the babies she wanted. She wouldn’t resent me for what I represent to her, and when I’d ask her to marry me, she’d say yes. She’d want to marry me. I would want to marry her. I would never have to worry about conspiracies or lies, and Scully and I could be together.

Oh, my kingdom for a bandaid like that. My whole kingdom and my last breath. I would give it to her.

“I promise to tell her,” I say, leaning forward on my elbows.

Micheal puts his hands on his hips and rocks back and forth. “And you’ll tell them to give her the Pokemon ones?”

I nod. “It’s a deal. But I have to be honest with you, I like the Elmer Fudd bandaids myself. You wascawwy wabbit, you.”

Michael cocks his head to the side. “You are a strange man,” he says, and crosses his hands over his chest.

I smile. “Yeah, that’s what they tell—”

“Excuse me, Mr. Mulder?”

I look up to see the doctor from the first floor exam room standing a few feet away from me. Her face is nearly expressionless, save for a weak smile. Her arms are crossed, her head leaning to one side. Her body language screams exhaustion, although she doesn’t look any worse than Scully after a long case. I think the doctor’s name is Vicki—Dr. Vicki Klausman, Scully’s friend. Dr. Klausman was the one who told me that Scully had fainted in the examning office—and that I would have to wait. She didn’t really say anything more than that, just that Scully had fainted but she would very likely be just fine, so long as they could get some fluids into her. Then Dr. Klausman said something about an extra test Scully had requested—but that Scully would tell me the rest herself.

I’m sorry, Mr. Mulder, but you’ll have to wait outside.

Again with the waiting outside. I can’t stand waiting outside.

Dr. Klausman steps forward and extends her hand. “I apologize for having kept you waiting,” she says. “I know you were worried about Dana, but I assure you she’s alright. I had to go back downstairs and write a few prescriptions for her because her blood sugar and blood pressure levels were both dangerously low. I also noticed an iron deficiency in her blood stream, but like I said, it isn’t anything serious. I hear she’s been awake now for a little while. I’m not sure if you’ve been allowed back in to see her yet, but I can check. And as far as her test results are concerned, I apologize, but I couldn’t give those out without Dana’s consent.”

I nod, my heart nearly beating out of my chest. “I understand,” I say, slightly distracted.

Scully’s alright. She’s okay she’s okay she’s okay she’s okay–

Dr. Klausman smiles a mysterious smile. “I heard you broke into Dana’s room a little while ago,” she says. “And that you antagonized half the staff up here.”

I take a deep breath. Okay, well, that’s not entirely true. I did antagonize the staff, yes, but I was unable to get into Scully’s room. Dr. Klausman must’ve heard an exaggerated version of the story. My, how good news travels fast around here—

Hold on a second.

“Uh, yeah,” I say, flexing my arms back and forth at my sides. “I acually, um, I saw Scully right after she woke up. Then one of the nurses kicked me out and I had a um… an altercation with a few of your staff people.” I motion my head towards Nurse Carmen at the far desk. She’s still buried in paper work.

Dr. Klausman nods. “Ah, yes. I see. They brought Carmen in, huh?” she laughs lightly. “Wow. You must have really scared everyone. Carmen is Georgetown’s official bouncer. She works out of the ER downstairs. We only bring her up here for the real lunatics.”

I sigh, rubbing my forehead. “Yeah, thanks.”

“So,” Dr. Klausman says. “You saw Dana. Were you able to speak with her before… well, before you were—”

I clear my throat. “Yeah,” I say, as if everything else is perfectly fine. “She was um, she was a little groggy, but we talked for a little while before I got ah… bounced… is really… what you said…” Oh, my head hurts. Lies, all lies. I think I’m losing oxygen to the brain. If my mother was here, she’d tell me I was going straight to Hell.

“Then Dana told you,” Dr. Klausman says, a smile on her lips.

For a second I say nothing. I can’t go in to see Scully unprepared. I have to know now. I have to arm myself. I need to know what I’m up against. God, I’m a coward. And I’m afraid. I’m so fucking afraid.

I clear the expression on my face. “Oh yeah. Told me everything.” I fashion a smile identical to Dr. Klausman’s. Good to know that all my years of psychological training are good for lying.

“Well, then.” The doctor rocks back and forth on her feet. “I suppose congratulations are in order.”

I blink, not really knowing what to do with that comment. “Congratulations,” I repeat, keeping careful not to let the questionmark at the end of that word creep into my voice.

“Yes.” Dr. Klausman takes a short breath, her eyes drifting to my feet. When she says nothing more, I nod my head, trying desperately to puzzle this together. Congratulations? About what? About the fact that Scully’s not in a coma? Congratulations, you’re now conscious?

Klausman’s gaze rests on William and she grins widely, giving the baby a small wave. She bends to a crouch and directs her voice towards Will. “Ohhh my, look at you. Well hello there, little one.” She looks up at me. “Goodness, is this Dana’s baby? He’s beautiful.”

I can’t help the proud smile from tilting up the corners of my lips. “Yeah,” I say, amiably. “That’s William. As far as looks go—well, that’s all Scully. Good thing he doesn’t have a giant freak head— like his old man.”

I grin and glance around to see if little Micheal is still listening, but I don’t see him. Not by the chair.

Not by Carmen’s desk, either. Guess I really bored him. Ah well. I sure hope he found his mother.

Dr. Klausman laughs. “Giant freak head?” she asks, waving again to the baby. “Oh, I don’t think so. But two men in the house can be tough. I bet Dana hoping for a girl this time, huh?”



“What?” I ask, my mouth suddenly dry.

“Oh,” says Dr. Klausman, totally oblivious to the fact that my stomach just dropped into my feet. “Of course. You want another boy, don’t you? Yeah, well, I don’t blame you. William’s just adorable. But I guess you’ll have to wait a few months for the sonogram, won’t you?”

“The… sonogram,” I say, barely hearing myself speak. “We’ll have to wait… A few months…”

“Mm hmm,” the doctor continues, her tone even. “You’ve got a good amount of time to discuss baby names. I’d say Dana’s only about two months along.”

Two months along?

What the hell—


And the rest of the world has just been washed away.

“Holy shit,” I say out loud. “She’s not sick. She’s pregnant.”





By Jaime Lyn


*Hey guys. Nope, this isn’t the END, end, but it’s close. I’m thinking that I may break the rest of the ending up into two more parts: Three and Four. Then, expect an epilogue. I know, I know. This is absolutely crazy, how long it is taking to post this story. But I swear to you, I will have the whole she-bang up before Thanksgiving, so those of you who want to print it out or archive it can have some Turkey reading material. On behalf of Mulder, Scully, William, and as-of-yet-un-named-baby, I thank you for getting this far. Oh—speaking of babies, anybody have any good names in mind? (And I totally don’t mean that as a spoiler. heh.)


Mulder and Scully:

On Reaching a Conclusion… or a Beginning.



Wasting Time, Wasting Time





When I think of Scully and I, I picture our apartment only a few months earlier. The air was incredibly musty and thick, as the power had gone out and had taken all the lights and air-conditioning with it. One window remained open above Scully’s antique writing desk, and the curtains filtered fresh air into the all the dark places. William was asleep in his playpen by the couch, untouched by the electricity failure, and for once our world seemed at peace, at ease.

Scully lit a few candles and turned my halogen flashlight backside-up towards the ceiling. She rested the butt of the flashlight on one of the living room end tables. The yellow lighting flickered on and off her face, highlighting her blue eyes and then throwing them back into darkness. Her shadow flashed behind her, played an illusionist’s game with my vision.

The dark was almost unsettling, the room unnaturally silent. I adjusted the black and white Yankees cap on my head and sighed, my hands on my hips.

“Guess you can’t watch the game,” Scully said, and she flipped a red, handheld flashlight from one hand to the other.

I grinned. “Oh yeah? That’s what you say.”

Scully shot me a look. “I don’t say, Mulder. I know.”

“Do you really?”


I made my way to the hall closet, watching as my shadow twisted and played on the wall. With one quick twist of the knob, I pulled open the closet door and surveyed the space behind a few boxes. I grabbed Scully’s old, dented radio from beneath an ironing board and yanked out the radio’s metal antenna, kicking the closet door closed with my foot. Setting the old metal box down on the coffee table, I tried flipping the dial to a station that might be hosting the Yankees vs. Red Socks game. I mean…I just had to watch the game. I’d been waiting all week for that game.

At first, there was no sound from the old Sony. I banged the top of the tape deck once, then twice. Then the blue display on the tuner finally lit up and I nodded to myself. When the radio sputtered to life, I turned my head to gloat over my victory—but Scully was no longer in the living room. Frowning, I twisted my neck a little further, hoping to spot her within ‘I told you so’ distance. Frustrated with my efforts, I finally stood up and circumnavigated the couch.

“Hey Dahli Lahma,” I called. “It works. What do you think of that? “

In a chair at the kitchen table, Scully idly sat staring into the flame of a scented candle. She ran her index finger up and over the fire, back and forth, back and forth, her eyes widening as she repeated the action again and again. She didn’t answer me. Rather, she looked incredibly bored.

“Hey—I didn’t start the fire,” I teased.

Scully slowly turned to me, rolled her eyes, and went back to the candle. She cocked her head to one side and rested her chin on her fist, her elbow slack on the table.

I sighed and glanced down at the old, Sony, portable radio. I’d been going on and on about the Yankees game for days, and had even bought William a tiny black and white jersey so that he could sit and watch with me. Scully, on the other hand, could not have cared less about baseball. She had informed me on tuesday that if I intended to watch the game, she intended to grade papers in another room. ‘Fine with me,’ I had said to her.

But of course the power was now out. And thus, grading papers was out of the question.

I shook my head. Moving the dial about halfway down the tuner, I rested the needle on an oldies station. Crackling static, a slight wave of feedback, and Sitting on the Dock of the Bay filtered lazily into the room.

‘Sitting in the morning sun. I’ll be sitting till the evening comes, watching the ships roll in. Then I watch them roll away again, yeah…’

Scully turned to face me again, her head still resting on her palm. Her pinky tapped against her cheek, and she had a quizzical expression on her face. “So, what happened to the game there, slugger?”

I shrugged. “Oh, still raring to go, I’m sure. Good old Yankee Stadium. As a matter of fact, I think Christina Aguilera is singing the National Anthem—” I paused to click the indiglo on my watch—“as we speak. Damn. And me without my ‘girl power’ t-shirt. I guess it’s just as well.”

Scully shot me a raised eyebrow, and a look that clearly said, ‘your planet is not my planet.’ Stifling the urge to laugh, I turned the volume up and made my way across the living room.

Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the time roll away…

“Yeah, well—” She waved an arm as if in explanation. Her voice was flat and her eyes looked uninterested. “I thought you were irrevocably invested this season. Isn’t this the year you finally get that ‘Yankees’ tattoo on your ass?”

I smirked. “Only if you get ‘Rule’ stamped across yours.”

Scully snorted, the corners of her lips fighting a smile. I stopped just short of the kitchen table and extended a hand to her. “Come on. Didn’t you hear, lady?” Scully said nothing, merely furrowed her brows. I grabbed her hand and yanked her up. “The power’s out,” I finished.

Scully’s arms wound reflexively around my neck to steady herself. Our stomachs smacked with an audible ‘slap,’ and her legs crossed at an odd angle; she had to stomp hard upon my foot to steady herself. I winced, and my knees nearly buckled. Scully had to grind her knuckles into my back to keep me upright. The whole thing was very ungraceful, even if it had been well-intentioned on my part.

Oh, sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time, ah ha ha…

“Huh. Is the power really out?” Scully asked, her eyes twinkling, her lips dark and inviting in the half light.

I cocked my head to the side. “You hadn’t noticed?”

Scully licked her lips. “Hmm…Not sure. I was actually wondering if perhaps something was just amiss.”



“Out of sorts.”

“That’s not an ‘A’ word.”

I let my thumb brush over her cheek and trail down, down to the place where her thoat met her upper chest. “You’re right. You win,” I said.

Everything I touched seemed to throb and hum. If felt that if I listened hard enough, I could feel her pulse thrumming out of every limb in her body. Scully’s heart beat faster, faster—not too fast, but just the right amount of fast. Each beat ticked between us, vibrated against my chest. Her skin was warm, smooth, and sweet—one sensation of Scully blending into another sensation, until there were no rules and no boundaries between us, and I swear she was all around me.

Left my home in Georgia and headed for Frisco Bay, ‘cause I have nothing to live for…

Scully and I danced by moonlight, her laughter floating out through the window and into the night. I tried to get her to sing, but Scully refused. Instead, she rested her head on my shoulder and kissed my neck until her lips tired of the task. We swayed back and forth and I whispered into her ear, “Sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time, wasting time…”



I pause at the memory of darkness and music, Scully’s lips at my throat, her hands at my shoulders. Once upon a time, Scully and I had fallen in love, and we had dreamed up a life where nothing mattered but the power of that love. We moved in with each other thinking not of marriage or of more babies, but of simply waking up every day next to one other. First we said that living together couldn’t work. Then we said that it could. And then for awhile, we just stopped talking about it altogether. And for those few months that we pulled away from over-thinking every tiny detail of every tiny thing… our lifestyle just… clicked. Our situation wasn’t right or wrong, or my vision of perfection or Scully’s version of perfection, but it was nice. Life was good. For a time, we were happy.

Now, Scully’s pregnant. Jesus. I mean… she’s PREGNANT. You know?

I stand outside her room with my fingers poised over the doorknob. My feet feel nailed down to the floor. My arms are shaking. Everything good in my life comes down to this moment, to this twist of the knob and the first words that come out of my mouth. I have to go in there. I have to do this right. I know I do–

Not even an hour ago, I was convinced that leaving Scully would be the best thing for both of us. I thought I would be doing her a service, giving her a second chance. Now I know that I was wrong. I could never leave her, no matter how hard I tried or how much I wanted to. Maybe I’m just selfish or inconsiderate, but I need to have her. I need to feel her arms, warm and soft, splayed across my chest every morning. I need the rational arguments, the sound of her heels clicking on tile that tells me she’s come home from work. I want her with me wherever I am, wherever she goes. I know that it will take time, that we both need to open up and talk about this canyon that seems to have developed between us, but we’ve been through so much worse, right?

I close my eyes and think of the baby, new and small and growing inside of Scully. We’ve created another life together. We made love. We made a child. That means something, doesn’t it?

The metal of the door knob feels cold and smooth.

I can do this… I can.



Unattainable things:




When I was young, I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up. I don’t know why—maybe it was because of the Johnsons, who lived across the street from us when I was ten, and had three toy poodles that I used to baby sit for—Poopise, Moopsie and Hannigan. Or maybe I was upset because I had accidentally killed my baby rabbit, Kelsey, not too long after my brother Billy had threatened to use him for bee-bee gun practice. Or maybe I just really liked dogs. I seem to recall wanting a dog very badly. But, as my father often said, “we move around a lot, Dana. It’s just not fair to take an animal halfway across the world, now is it?”

The first time my father said this to me, I was only five years old. We were standing in the middle of a Japanese fish market, the odor of sushi and dark coffee floating around our heads like a fog. Behind us, half a dozen oriental men wearing gray t-shirts with odd letters on the front, jeans with holes at the knees, and black, wet boots, threw wooden boxes back and forth from the edge of the dock, down a long assembly line, all the way to the back of a large truck with some other strange letters on the side. Makeshift, wooden-slatted stands and metal carts were filled with blank, dead-eyed seafood, and stony faced merchants stood in wait. Patrons spilled out from the indoor markets and moseyed down onto the pier, where tall buildings aligned by wire and multicolored paper lanterns towered over the crowd.

Billy, Charlie and Mom had gone off in search of a place to eat breakfast—‘a place that doesn’t make that icky rice,’ Billy had requested. We’d been eating rice with every meal for days now, as was the traditional fare in most Japanese places, but we were starting to crave anything that didn’t get served with chopsticks. So Dad, Missy and I stayed behind while the rest of the family went scouting for food.

Melissa had perched herself in front of a red and white souvenir stand that sold only colorful fans and Japanese parasols. “These are pretty,” she said to the merchant, tiwrling a lock of strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder. “Can I spin these, please?”

The dark haired lady behind the counter stared at Missy with an expression of mild confusion. She huffed, but allowed Melissa to twirl one of the pink parasols, although I doubt the woman even understood what Missy had asked of her. Missy was always able to win people over that way. She had ‘spirit,’ as my mother once told me: ‘An inner light.’

Missy threw the parason over her shoulder, giggled, and spun around again and again with her new toy.

I had never realized how lonely it was, having only my brothers—who thought I was too girly for everything—and only my sister—who thought I was too much of a tom-boy for her liking. My mother was my good friend, of course, and she tried really hard to play all my drawing games and all my tree-climbing games with me. My father said that I was his “special girl,” and he took pains to read with me and talk with me, but my family wasn’t enough. I didn’t have any real friends. Or at least—I never had them for long.

Us Scullys were always on the move, always picking up and leaving. My mantra was ‘never stay too long, never get too attached.’

But I pretended to understand, of course, because I was only a little girl at the time, and because my father was a big navy man and his job was paramount.

Not that this made life any easier for me.

Just as soon as we would settle down someplace, start a normal life for ourselves, the navy would request Dad’s presence to oversee some struggling naval base, or head up some classified operation clear across the coast or worse—clear across the Ocean, and we would have to move again. For the first seven years of my life, until my mother finally put her foot down when we settled in San Diego, the whole family went wherever Dad went. Anywhere Dad got a new position, we went with him.

And I hated moving. I hated that I didn’t have a house, or a fence, or a swing-set, or just a special door to point to, a place on the wood paneling where my growth had been marked with a permanent marker. I hated never knowing whether we would have snowy weather for Christmas that year, or if I was going to have to learn how to say “Excuse me, where is the bathroom?” in Polish. But most of all, I hated the inconsistency. I hated not having friends my own age—American friends my own age. Sure, Nagasaki was beautiful when the sun disappeared behind the turned-up, triangular roofs, and walking all over the place practically barefoot was great, but I wanted something more: a life unattainable. I wanted to listen to the Beatles and to Fleetwood Mac, and I wanted to watch The Sound of Music for once without subtitles.

But I was, as you know, the youngest Scully. And the youngest Scully figured in quite low on the totem pole—especially when compared to Billy and Charlie, who thought moving around was so cool they had to learn the languages, and to my sister, who only wanted to buy a lot of colorful fans and parasols and never go to school. And then there was my mother, who had given up stability and normality to be with the man she loved.

So anyway, there we were, my father and I, both of us just standing in the middle of a Nagasaki fish market waiting for Mom and Billy and Charlie to come back. We’d come to this fish market every morning for a week, as the view was nice and the pier was on the way to town, but already I was bored to tears with all aspects concerning fishing. The smell was bad and the fish kind of scared me; I didn’t like watching people gut them, as I felt terribly bad for the fish.

So, I watched quietly as little men with funny shirts hauled boxes back and forth, all of them jabbering on and on in a strange language. It had been almost two and a half weeks since we had all come here, since we had started shopping in the villages, and still I hadn’t been able to learn “where is the bathroom?” in Japanese. This fact troubled me. Usually, by two weeks, I had ‘where is the bathroom’ and a few other phrases down pat. Somehow, something was wrong with my brain. I wasn’t comprehending anything anymore.

Just then, an incredible wave of loneliness hit me. I realized something that bothered me immensely: nobody in Japan dressed like me or talked liked me. Nobody looked like me either, and with my red hair and my blue eyes, I stood out like a brick house in the middle of a desert. I was sick of being gawked at. I was sick of the sound of words I didn’t know. I didn’t speak Japanese and I didn’t want to. What I really wanted was a bagel and some fruit punch.

So I turned to my father, intending fully to ask him about the fruit punch. But instead of words concerning food, the following random items just tumbled out of my mouth. I don’t even know where, exactly, the idea came from.

“Daddy, can we please get a Doggy? Please, please. I promise to take care of him. I’ll walk him and play with him and make sure he is never hurt. ”

Now, my father wasn’t a small man. Standing nearly six feet tall, he had a proud, stout waistline, and broad, perfectly poised shoulders. He had thick, warm hands that were the safest hands in the world, and a round face framed by small tufts of gray hair that he brushed back above both his ears. Daddy was regal and stern, and he usually dressed in his navy blues, as he was almost always working. But that day in te fish market, my father had not gotten into uniform. He had pulled on an old pair of jeans and a crisp, white shirt. He looked more like a dad at that moment than I had ever seen him look before, and maybe that was why I chose to ask him.

At my request, my father kneeled before me and smiled.

“Now Starbuck,” he said, using his special nickname for me, “You know we can’t get a dog.”

I turned for a second to spy on Melissa, who was giggling and prancing about in front of the Japanese vender with her pale pink parasol spinning over her head. I had never been interested in parasols or lacy fans like my sister was, although I had tried very hard at pretending. I had nearly forced myself to go shopping with her at all the booths in town. Missy was my only friend here in Japan, and she liked pretty things. If I didn’t like what she liked, I didn’t get to do anything at all. It just wasn’t fair. I wanted something for myself.

“Please,” I said to my father, and I really meant it. I really, really wanted a dog. “If we can just find a good dog maybe he can come with us and be my friend.”

My father looked at me then—as if perhaps he had never really looked at me before, and he smiled a very sad looking smile. “Now, now,” he said, and he patted a firm hand to my shoulder. My father was never the most affectionate man, and our relationship usually was more awkward when he hugged me than when he didn’t. So a squeeze of the hand or a pat to the shoulder generally meant that Captain Scully loved you, or that he was proud of you.

“You’re my strong girl,” my father said to me. “And you make me so proud because you’re so smart. I know you understand why we can’t have a dog. I know you understand that it would be unfair to the dog, and that it would be impossible for us to take him around with when we go places.”

I nodded as if I understood, but really I didn’t. I wanted a dog. I wanted a home. I wanted a friend.

“Yes,” I said, and I forced the tears out of my eyes with the back of my hand. I steeled my face and, using the nickname I had given my father, said, “I understand, Ahab.”

“Good,” my father said. The thin smile on his face indicated that he considered the subject closed. I waved my arms back and forth unhappily at my sides, and Dad pointed towards the white and red booth where Missy stood with the parasol. “Looks like your sister’s in love.”

“Uh huh,” I answered, although I didn’t care. I had turned back to the little men who started throwing the boxes again.

My father’s hand rested on my shoulder. “Do you want a parasol, sweetie?”

“No thank you Daddy,”

“A fan?”

“No thank you, Daddy.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, Daddy.”

I took my father’s hand and stared out at the endless, gray sea bordering the fish-market’s port. How long till we leave again, I thought? A month? A week? Would I ever be able to have a normal life? A place to call home? Would my mother finally tell Daddy to stop—that she was sick of all the moving around?

For years after that day at the fish market, there would be tension between my father and I. My mother said that we were just too alike, that our ability to distance ourselves from difficult situations rendered both of us incapable of coming to an impasse.

I don’t know. I think I was just angry—about the dog I didn’t have, about the years of stability I’d lost as a young child, about never being able to grow past the image of that small child my father saw in the fishmarket.

“I just want what’s best for you,” my father would say. “You’re so smart, Starbuck. You can do anything you want to do if you’ll just keep a good head on your shoulders.”

More often than not, Ahab would make my decisions for me. He’d tell me what I wanted, what I needed, and how I should go about obtaining it, even if what I wanted was truly the antithesis of what he suggested. And I listened to my father even when I wanted to scream. Everything was yes Ahab. No Ahab. I promise Ahab. I did what my father wanted me to do because I loved him, and because I was too wary to fight with him. I loved my father too much to see him disappointed in me. I gave up on my dream of veterinary school because my father said that veterinary work would not be as lucrative as a career in practicing actual medicine, or actual surgical medicine. (I believe he used the word actual several times.) I attended Georgetown University instead of U.C Berkeley, because my father insisted that Berkeley was too radical a place for a young girl. I listened to my father right down to the letter, right up until the day I decided to join the FBI.

The day I signed the papers to attend Quantico, the FBI Academy in Virginia, was also the day I finally broke away from my father. I knew he was unhappy with my decision, but I felt justified in finally doing what I wanted to do. For the first few years following graduation from Quantico, and my first few years with the bureau, my father and I barely spoke. We just didn’t know what to say to each other. I knew he loved me, even if my life had turned out differently that he expected, but he didn’t know how to communicate with me. I’d like to think that he was proud, just as my mother said he was, but I could never truly make myself believe. The last time I ever saw him alive was also the first time in years that he hugged me. I remember believing, at that moment, that things would turn out alright. I was finally free.

But then everything changed.

During the last year of my father’s life, I was assigned to the X Files, and to Mulder. Soon everything in my life— instead of coming back to Ahab— came down to listening to my partner, to following him, to doing what he wanted to do, even if it wasn’t necessarily what I thought was best.

During my early years, I’d been my father’s girl: Yes, Ahab. No, Ahab. I promise, Ahab. When my father died, I became my older brother’s girl: Fine, Bill. Okay, Bill. I know, Bill. As my time with the X Files progressed, I became Mulder’s girl: Okay, but this is crazy, Mulder. Fine, I’ll come and get you, Mulder. Yes, I’m on my way, Mulder.

I think that perhaps I’m sick of following people. I’m sick of those I love telling me what is and is not for my own good.

I want to figure out who I am—by myself.

I want a house in suburban Maryland, a place where I can carve William’s name on the wood paneling by the door, where he can run his hand over the notches when he’s older and wonder, “where has all the time gone?” I want a garden with daisies and those little signs that have the names of the plants written on them. I want a nursery full of laughter and a bookshelf full of children’s movies. I want a dog and maybe, somewhere down the line, I want a cat as well. I want to drive to ballet lessons and soccer lessons and every once in awhile I want to walk around the house in fuzzy-bear slippers just because I can.

I want stability, and I want it right fucking now. I don’t want to live my life always looking over my shoulder, always wondering whether somebody is after me, or whether some shadow man is going to take my children away. I don’t want to worry about Mulder leaving me, about him going off search of “the next big thing,” because nowadays he wakes up over a cup of orange juice and a table full of dirty dishes, and he just can’t look at me the way he used to.

So maybe Mulder really does belong to the truth, and I really do have a problem expressing my concerns, but I don’t have the luxury of taking the time to figure it out—not anymore.

I’m pregnant. Fucking pregnant.

I need to give my children the very best I can offer them, and I can only accomplish that by putting them before myself. I don’t want my son to one day look at me— in the middle of some remote desert, as we run and hide from forces unseen and unknown, and ask, “Mommy, why can’t I have a doggie?”

I won’t do that to him. I can’t.

And so here I am.




“Agent Mulder and myself have been spending the past few hours…debating and arguing over the best possible ways to define and summarize our lifestyle together. And I think that, ultimately, the truth is this: there is no way to easily categorize or compartmentalize my existence with Mulder. While, according to traditional standards, we probably fall outside the rubric, or the technical definition of the term ‘family,’ we have, in fact, been living together as such a unit for the past year or so…although Mulder and I have been a source of familial comfort and support to each other for much longer than that. The depth of my devotion and my… my affection… for Agent Mulder has never wavered—not during the years we were partnered, nor during my difficult pregnancy, nor during the emotionally trying year that followed the birth of our son. The physical boundaries of our relationship may have changed, but the relationship itself has not. Our son, William Mulder, is the product of that faith and trust— a miracle of sorts that would never have existed if not for this man that I call… I call….

“I call my partner. Thus, after having considered all possible options and weighing carefully all the consequences, I have decided to do the only thing I can rightly do for myself, for William, for the future of our family, and for this man—Mulder, the person I call my partner… in all things. This is the hardest… the hardest thing….God…


“…I am going to let him go. I have to. I’m doing it for Mulder, for his journey, for his truth, and because I—I—I can’t live in fish markets anymore—“



“You have the tape recorder going again?”




On dealing with Fishmarkets


“Mulder. You startled me. I—when did you come in?“

Scully stares at me with widened blue eyes, her right hand fluttering at her chest, the other hand clasped around a tape recorder. A tumble of red hair tangles about her pale cheeks, the ends curling just above her shoulders. Scully’s expression is flustered, nervous. Her blue hospital gown crinkles at her midsection; a white bracelet encircles her wrist. I can smell her shampoo from here—honeysuckle, same as always. Her voice echoes in my mind, replays over and over and over and—

I’m going to let him go… I have to.

I’m going to let him go.

Let him go.


What the hell does she mean? That she’s going to leave me? No. I don’t—I can’t accept that. We’ve lived through bullets and spilled blood, contagions and retro-viruses, aliens, death. I’ve followed her to the ends of the Earth and back. I forced her to stay behind when I went back to Oregon because I would never want anything happening to her. I sacrificed myself because I knew it was best. And you know what? I would die all over again in a second if I thought I could keep her safe that way.

Christ. She can’t leave me now. She can’t go. I’m supposed to be the one—I’m supposed to go first. I’m supposed to make the sacrifice—to keep her safe, to keep William safe, to make sure they’re happy and taken care of. How can I protect her if she leaves?

“When you were saying…” I rake a shaky hand through my hair, clear my throat. “You were saying something about… leaving? I …came in when… you…you want to leave me? Scully?”

I don’t even remember how or when I walked into the room. I just did. Somehow I opened the door and I got my feet to move. I managed to open my mouth. I even felt optimistic about it. God, what was I thinking?

I blink and stare at the clock on the far wall. Clocks everywhere. Clocks all around me, ticking the time away.

I look down at my shoes and try to calculate the amount of time it took for me to muster enough courage to walk through that doorway. Ten minutes? A year? Seems like a year. Jesus Christ, she’s pregnant. She’s pregnant and she’s going to leave me. She’s going to take the baby with her. William and now… now–

Scully shifts one shaky hand from her chest to her lips. Her eyes are watery but the tears don’t spill over. “Oh…. Mulder. I didn’t—“




“I don’t quite… understand, Scully.” I shove the hand through my hair again, wishing like crazy that I could turn back the last eight hours of my life. “Help me out here. You want to leave me? To quit? After everything we’ve been through, you’re walking out. Just like that?”

Scully’s saying something else, her knuckles pressed over her mouth, but I can barely hear her. She’s mumbling. The roaring in my head is loud, way too loud. I think it sounds vaguely like “—Mean for you to hear—“

I shake my head. “What?” I ask.

Softer this time, and without her hand over her mouth. “I didn’t mean for you to hear that.”

The roar of blood thumping through me sounds like lightning crackling through the trunk of a tree. I can’t deal with this. I can’t. Scully’s pregnant. Did she know that before we got here? Was this what she was keeping from me? What about her lost fertility? What does all of this mean? Either Scully got her fertility back or she had never lost it in the first place. Frankly, neither option is wholly convincing.

I’m going to leave him. I have to…

Damn it. No.

I would have walked away if I thought she’d be better off. I even spent an hour today contemplating when and how we would go our seperate ways. I wanted her to have a normal life, a picket fence, a man worthy and capable of giving her all the things she insists I cannot give her. I would have pushed my feelings aside to see her happy, to see her living her life the way she always wanted to live it. But Jesus Christ, I’m not going anywhere now. She has to know that.

I close my eyes. “You… you what? You WHAT?” I ask, not knowing what else to say.

Scully sighs. “Mulder….calm down,” she says. “Please. I need you to keep a level head.”

My eyes flutter open, and I’m not quite sure I heard her right. “Calm—level head? God, when did you mean for me to hear about this? When I come home from work one day and everything in the apartment’s gone except for the fish tank? Or maybe you wanted me to hear it from someone ekse. How about Assistant Director Skinner? He sure is a swell guy—”

“Mulder. Don’t do this.”

“Don’t do what?”

Scully’s eyes, blue like the sea. I teased her once—

So, I’m sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide go away…

I swallow. My throat feels tight. “Christ… Dana—“

She closes her eyes and shakes her head. “Dana,” she repeats in a low, disbelieving voice.

Sitting on the dock of the bay…

“Damn it…” I wait for her to open her eyes and when she does, we stare at each other over an expanse of unspoken questions. “I love you.”

“God, Mul–” She stops. A tear finally travels down her cheek, but she ignores it. “I love you. You know this. I…I’m sorry.”

Sorry? Sorry, right, sure. I forgot that sorry makes it all better. Fuck.

Sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time…

I can’t get that fucking song out of my head. Driving me crazy. All these thoughts I can’t stop from thinking—and that song. That motherfucking song. I feel like throwing something, like banging my fist against the wall until I break every single bone in my hand.

“Sorry about what?” I ask. “Sorry that I knocked you up again, or sorry that you’re leaving me because of… because of…” I throw my arms up in the air, exasperated. “I don’t even know what…”

Scully’s face flushes red, then white. Her hands fly to her throat. “Oh God…”

I narrow my eyes. “Pick one.”

The air between us thrums with pure energy. For a half second there is silence. Christ, I feel like I’m going to pop.

“You….You know,” Scully says, her voice strained, her eyes wide and rimmed with pink.

I take a step closer to the bed and clutch the foot of it with shaky fingers. “I know.”





By Jaime Lyn


Mulder and Scully on Endings

And Each Other


Not a Day Gone By


Once upon a time, I would have done anything for Dana Scully. I would have sacrificed our partnership, our friendship, our status as mere acquantances, if my leaving her meant that she would be happy and safe—that she would be far away from any damage my life or my life’s quest might do her. I would have moved out of the state, out of the country even, if I thought my absence would give her the normal life she deserved. Scully had always wanted more normality than I could ever give her. She wanted to stop, to get away, to get married and have a couple of kids, and maybe return to being “the sane and responsible daughter” in her mother’s eyes. I remember Scully once telling me that what bothered her the most about her job (and subsequently, our partnership,) was that her family never looked at her the way they used to look at her. Scully’s brother thought her reckless; her mother thought her lonely. Only Scully knew the real truth, and she certainly wasn’t telling anyone.

Not even me. What does that say about us?

One hour ago I would have agreed that perhaps I was doing Scully more harm than good. Forty five minutes ago I would have agreed that it might be better for her, and for her family, if I left her alone. Scully, I knew, always liked to fight her battles on her own. If she’d only been sick… well, I suppose I figured that we could go back to our old friendly commraderie, and she would do what she needed to do to help herself, and I could be there for her in a non-smothering type manner. I’d never had any doubt about Scully and I finding our way back to each other; reconciliation was inevitable, really. I mean—we had a track record. One of us would have to run, to get away, or to disappear, but we would always come stumbling right back here. Leaving was never really leaving. Scully would always be in my life, be the love of my life, no matter how far I went to run away from her.

Um… That is…. Um…Not that I meant to run away. I don’t run away. I’m no fucking quitter. I just… I don’t think Scully wants me around all that much anymore.

Which probably makes next to no sense, but…

Maybe I get too protective. Maybe I love her too much. Maybe she sensed the coward in me and decided that she would be the one to break first: So you were thinking of leaving me, Mulder? Well, I’ll show you. I’ll be the brave one and I’ll sever the tie.

William gurgles contentedly in his Vroom-Vroom carrier. He waves his hands at me and smiles, completely oblivious to the fact that his parents may never again reside in the same household. Wouldn’t it be nice to be that age again, to look at Scully and I from his baby point of view? All of our problems would go away, all our ridiculous fears and worries and all the gray areas—gone. The only remaining components would be…us. Us from William’s perspective. The entity without the complications. The two people who gave William breath, who now take care of him and play with him. Amazing how life is incredibly uncomplicated when looked at through the eyes of a baby.

William, My son. With his big blue eyes and his little tuft of brown hair, sometimes he looks like Scully. Sometimes he looks like me. My son. God, my son.

Scully stares at me with her own clear, blue eyes. Between us is the promise of another life, another child. But both of us are so afraid of what that fact could mean for her, for us—I don’t think we can get past it. Will Scully be alright? Will the child be alright? The idea of Scully leaving me terrifies me almost as badly as all the other thoughts about this new baby’s origins.

“How?” I ask, without looking away from her.

“We had sex,” Scully says.

“Really?” I ask. “So that’s where babies come from.”

“Christ, Mulder, what the hell do you want me to say?”

“I want to know how it’s possible!” I close my hands into fists, lower them to my sides to keep from throwing random objects against the wall. “Just… just tell me how it’s possible.”

Scully shoots me a look. “The initial…” She swallows. “…the initial….pregnancy… test… was performed twice, just to be sure. It came back positive both times. A few other blood tests were peformed at my request, including one that was designed to check for Ovarian Cancer—or at least a form of it. Since William was born under suspicious circumstances… well, I had to cover my bases. At any rate, the nurse informed me that my ovaries, from what my preliminary tests showed, are in perfect working order. So I asked for another test. And although that test has not been performed yet, I’m sure the procedure won’t tell me anything I don’t already know.”

Scully sounds so detatched, so scientifically sound, as if she was talking about someone else’s baby, someone else’s body. The monotone sound of her voice makes me nuts. I close my eyes against the drone. “Which is what?” I ask, feeling a sense of deja-vu flit over me. The shift is gone almost as soon as I feel it caressing the back of my mind.

“It’s possible that I never lost my fertility in the first place,” Scully says, her eyes cast down. She looks ashamed–of herself, of me, I’m not sure which.

“What do you mean?” I run a hand through my hair and turn towards the window, watching gnarled, twisted branches tapping the glass. This is all so fucking crazy I can’t even begin to wrap myself around it. “How is that possible?” I manage, “The doctors told you–”

“One doctor, Mulder.” Scully sighs. “I never got a second opinion until Dr. Parenti. The doctor who initially informed me of my infertility was Dr. Kristoff—you remember him. He was the same person who referred me to Dr. Parenti. At the time, I…I wasn’t looking to get pregnant. I had the test performed twice, but—”

“By the same doctor?”


I close my eyes.

“Mulder–” Scully shakes her head. “Mistakes were made. Bad decisions, yes… by both of us. But I think… the fact of the matter is that it’s over. I was lied to—we were lied to. And… while I believe that someone was trying to control the variables, to orchestrate and keep track of exactly when and where I would get pregnant… regardless, we now know the secret behind the miracle. I know the truth. William is healthy. And ever since he was born… well, the universe has been atypically quiet, hasn’t it? We can let it go, Mulder. Finally, we can live our lives and let go of the mystery.” She looks at me with watery, sparkling eyes.

“Scully.” God, this is CRAZY. I rub my hands over my eyes and continue, “How in the world–”

“These men we fought against, Mulder, they know everything about us. I’m sure they knew I wasn’t married and that I didn’t have anyone…anyone to…” Scully trails off, her voice breaking. “Isn’t it possible that these people…whatever organization that Dr. Parenti and Dr. Kristoff worked for.. that they could have orchestrated this deception? Doctored my initial test results? What if they felt that if I was forced, cornered, to try in-vitro fertilization… well, that the pregnancy could be more easily tampered with? A child conceived in a lab would be much more vulnerable to their experiments, to whatever tests they wanted to run, than a child conceived naturally. But in the end my body must have rejected the tampered embryos, or…. I don’t know—”

No…. no no no no… if Scully really did never lose her fertility then—Jesus. All that heartache and misery these past few years; it was all for nothing. We were both lied to—not just by the Cigarette Smoking Man or his cronies, but by everyone. Those clones, that doctor Scully consulted with. Lies, all lies. God damn it, is everybody in on this conspiracy but me? Is there a club or a secret hand shake or something, or am I just crazy? Maybe this is all a dream. Maybe—

“—William’s conception was natural, and he’s fine. This means there’s nothing wrong with me, Mulder. Nothing.”

I shake my head, finding that once I’ve started shaking it I can’t stop. “But I was told—”

“I know, Mulder. But it was a lie—whatever they told you. Because I’m fine. Jesus, I’m fine.”


Scully’s voice, louder, everywhere: “I am not infertile, Mulder. It was a lie.”

I think back to the old, kind-faced doctor who’d held the vial of Scully’s ova in his hands and told us that a woman whose ova was tampered with in such a detailed way would never be able to conceive. Dr. Kristoff performed all kinds of tests, had come recommened to me by Scully’s mother—her own mother! Jesus, the man had held her infertility in his hands! He told me, motherfucking told me… and…and what about all those men in that dark, musty lab? Those men named Kurt who told me the whole story—that Scully’s ova had been taken from her–they couldn’t have been lying to me. And what about Scully’s ill-fated daughter, Emily? Why had she been created? To fuck with Scully’s head? To throw her off track? My God, I let this happen. I let her suffer through all of that misery….

“Dr. Kristoff.” I frown and wave my arms at the ceiling. “Your mother’s doctor friend. He lied to you. This is what you’re saying.”

Scully says nothing, but her face says it for her.

“You’re saying you were never infertile.” I start to pace, one foot after the other, right, left, right. The room is getting smaller. I feel trapped, cornered. I’m going to jump out of my shoes and hit the ceiling. Really, I am. “I’ll go after him,” I say. Right, left, right, left, five steps, six steps, nine steps. “I swear, Scully—” I turn to her and wag my finger. “I’ll find this guy and I’ll get some answers. I could—”


Scully’s firm voice halts me in my tracks. I stop pacing long enough to look at her, at this woman who I’ve loved forever. “What do you mean, no?” I ask. “These people lied to us, they—”

“I don’t want to go after anyone anymore, Mulder.” Scully sighs as if this is the end, the end of everything for us. “I don’t want revenge. I don’t want to find out why I’m fertile when I thought I wasn’t. I don’t care why. I—I’m having a baby. Why can’t I have this baby and live my life? Why?”


She holds up a hand. “Do what you need to do, Mulder. Go after who you need to go after. I’m not going to stop you. I’m just not going with you this time.”

I narrow my eyes, baffled by this newest statement. What does she mean, she’s not going with me? Where am I going to go? Just because I want some answers doesn’t mean I have to go out to the Mohave Desert to get them. I close my eyes, wanting to bang my fist against something. Scully’s voice from the tape resonates in my head: I’m going to let him go.

Let him go…

No. Damn it.

Scully understands that I’m way too fucking selfish when it comes to her. She sees the way I look at her, knows the way I touch her, the way I hold her at night is only because the truth is in her. I mean… really. If she doesn’t want me to investigate any of this…. well, then I won’t. Fine. I love her too much. She loves me. I won’t play the game of self-recrimination anymore if I can help it.

Scully stammers, “Mulder—”

“Doesn’t matter,” I say, and close my eyes. I just want the hurt to go away. Away, away, away…

“What doesn’t matter?”

I open my eyes and sit upon the bed by Scully’s feet. I don’t know if I’m scared or angry. Maybe I’m both. I think I just want to crawl under these covers and sleep the hurt away. I just… I don’t understand. There has to be a way, some way that we can have a family, some way that we can be together, that isn’t so fucking painful. Not everything has to be melodrama, does it?

Absently, I run one finger up and down the lump of blankets that cover Scully’s feet. She closes her eyes for a second that seems to last forever, but says nothing.

“Doesn’t matter…” I sigh. “Doesn’t matter why. If you don’t want me to do anything about this… I won’t investigate. But I’m not letting you go. I heard what you said on that tape–”

“Mulder…“she says, her eyes trained on my hand, on my finger caressing her left foot. “I’m not marrying you.”

Jesus Christ. She sounds like a child, like a broken CD, saying the same goddamned thing over and over and over again. I’m not marrying you, Mulder. I’m not marrying you. Why does it always come down to marriage? Why can’t we just be together and play it by ear? Because we can’t. Well, gee, that’s great, isn’t it? We’re in love, we’re together, but we can’t get married. We can’t even discuss the subject. My relationship with Scully is a psychoanalytical nightmare that both of us perpetuate, yet we can never seem to wake from.

I shake my head again. “You’re unbelievable,” I say, and I lean in towards her, my head pounding, my heart thrumming. “Especially since, as you so astutely pointed out, I am simply incapable of marrying you. Or marrying anyone. What, with the stunning reception that met my first proposal–”

“No. That wasn’t a proposal,” Scully says, her shoulders square and straight. “However well-intentioned, it was… just. God, Mulder, I don’t even know what you were thinking—”

I wave a hand in front of her face. No, I don’t want to hear any of this. Why can’t we just talk about the conspiracy again? Throw theories back and forth? Lies and deception I can handle. Mysteries I can handle.

I can’t handle this.

“Doesn’t matter,” I say. “It’s done. It’s over. It won’t happen again, I promise you.”

Scully leans back against her pillow and bunches her fists. She trains her eyes on the baby. “Don’t do that,” she says, her voice low. “Don’t pretend like we can make this all go away—”

“Jesus, Scully. Is that what you think? That I want you to go away?” I don’t know how to look at her. I can’t. In her eyes is this… agony. I understand it. A misery shared by two—a twisting, wrenching pain that comes with the idea of seperation. Fuck. Nine years of my life with this woman, this amazing, wonderful creature. How can I let go of that? And why the hell should I?

Scully touches my arm and I lower my head. Her fingers are warm, soft—there one second, gone the next. “You love me,” she whispers. “I don’t doubt that.”

I hold up a hand. “No. It’s fine.”

Scully sighs. “It’s not fine, Mulder.”

“Who are you to make that decision?” I ask, pointing a shaky finger at her. I bang my fist on the bed and Scully jumps. I feel like ripping the mattress to shreds. My teeth gritted, I manage a tone that resembles growling. “Who are you to tell me it’s not fine?” Scully’s mouth opens, but nothing comes out. She wrings her hands in her lap, her thumbs running back and forth over her knuckles. “Who are you to tell me?” I ask again. “Who are you to decide that this partnership is going to end? I’m not running away. I’m not going anywhere. Who are you to make the decision that I should? Who, goddamn it?”

Scully’s cheeks turn pink, dark, hot scarlet, her lips trembling and pale. “I’m….” she takes a breath. “I… I don’t know how to… how else… I don’t know!” She turns her head from me, and I can see the bump in her throat as she swallows. “But if you think this is fine—”

I bury my head in my hands. “No. You’re right. It’s not fine.” A few deep breaths. “This really isn’t fine. Neither of us is fine.”

A hitched sob wells up from Scully’s end of the bed. The mattress creaks as her legs shift and her body weight turns in my direction. Then Scully’s hands are in my hair, her fingers tousling and tickling each lock. Her touch is a wave of sanity tossing me back to shore. Look at me, her fingers seem to beckon; look at me, Mulder. Please.

I raise my head.

Love is always the first thing I feel when I look at her. My brain tells me that this is Dana Scully and Dana Scully is the woman I love, the woman who changed my life. Shortly following love comes a barrage of other emotions: resentment, surprise, sadness, anger. I want to wrap Scully up in a blanket of technicolor dreams and protect her. I want to fold her up and put her in my pocket. I want to make her run as far away from me as she can get, and then I want to bang my head against the wall because she decided to leave. I want the truth for us. I want the truth to be us.

“It was always you, Mulder,” she says, as if she’s speaking from another lifetime. She puts two shaky fingers to her lips as if to calm herself. “When I closed my eyes, when I opened them— Everytime, it was you. Please don’t doubt that.”

My voice, somehow steady: “I don’t doubt that it was me, Scully. But it’s not me anymore. This is what you’re saying.”

“No,” she says.

“Then what?” I ask.

She says nothing.

“You know what, Scully?” I brush a lock of hair out of her face and over her ear, by habit really, and she pulls back from my touch. Her eyes focus on her hands. Not knowing what else to do, I stand up. I need to move, need to do something. If I sit here any longer I’m going to shake her, or else I’m going to make love to her until she comes to her senses, and neither of those are viable options.

“What?” she asks.

I move from the bed, turn, take five steps to the left, five steps to the right. Then I’m at the bed again, then away from the bed. I take another six steps and wring my hands, glance at the baby carrier on the floor. William’s asleep in the carrier. My baby. Her baby. God fucking damn it.

Scully watches me pace, a wary expression on her face. Her arms folded across her chest, she again says, “what?” her blue eyes accusing, stinging. Her shoulders square. She looks as if she’s about to pronounce sentence.

The air crackles with potential energy, with the pulse of worry and fear. I don’t know what Scully’s thinking, but I can feel her, in my heart, in my head; I can feel her everywhere. Scully’s always in my thoughts, always warning me or helping me make the most rational decision. She’s the only one who’d tell me the truth, who’d tell me that I was being a complete asshole—

We never talk about these things, Mulder.

I hear Scully’s voice in my head: a memory from months ago.

We never talk about these things….

The dark room. Her hand on my arm, her legs crossed right over left. She and I had been sitting on the couch, watching Casablanca. William was only three days old. We never talk about these things, she’d said, and I nodded, not really paying much attention to anything but the images on the screen, the sound of my own breathing. I needed to relax. After all, I had just been fired from my job, had just been relieved from the X Files, had just been ripped from everything I had ever known about searching, hunting for the truth…

We never talk about these things, Mulder….


Oh my God. Is that what this is about?

I turn to face her, my eyes hot. We never do talk about these things, do we, Scully?

I touch my hand to my forehead. “Fine. That’s it. I give up.”

Silence for a moment. Then:


I spread my hands wide as if to explain. “We’re at an impasse here, Scully. Talking in circles. Going nowhere fast. You made a decision that I don’t agree with. Fine. I obviously can’t change your mind about leaving and nothing you can say will change mine about wanting to stay. So let’s just not talk about it. Let’s watch some TV.”

Scully’s eyes widen, her lips turn down, confusion masking her features. Slowly, the confusion turns to a watery-looking sadness; her chin juts, the stoicism returning. She glances at William, then at me, then at William again. She shakes her head and again asks, “What?”

“What,” I say, ” is such a great word. But let’s try another one, Elmo.”

Scully touches my arm. “Are you alright, Mulder?”

I shrug, sit back down on the bed. “Who, me? Fine. You want to order pizza or something?”

Scully shoots me the raised eyebrow expression, screwed up mouth and all. I could have a geranium growing from the top of my head and I think I’d get the same reception. She stammers out a response. “I—pizza? I think… I think you’ve absorbed a lot of information today and… I think you need to lie down.”

Turning towards the wooden table beside the bed, I yank up the oversized remote and point it towards the TV. With a backwards glance at Scully, I force a grin that makes me feel constipated and I waggle my eyebrows. If this doesn’t work I am screwed. Very screwed.

“I think I have a better idea, Scully. Springer’s on. You know what channel?”

Scully slides over to make more room on the bed. Her eyes dart quickly about blankets as if she thinks the mattress is about to spring to life. “I umm… I don’t… don’t know…Mulder?”


“What is this? What are you doing?”

Another channel flip. “Setting up camp.”


I can hear Scully’s voice: We never talk about these things, Mulder… Her eyes half hidden by the shadows of the unlit room, the flicker of the blue glow from the TV. She looked ethereal, as if she wasn’t really with me. Maybe, in some way, she really wasn’t. I should have listened to her. I should have paid closer attention. I shouldn’t have been so focused on work, on things that had begun to mean less and less to me anyway. Damn it.

We never talk…

“Oh yeah,” I say. “Didn’t I tell you the object of this game I made up? It’s called ‘We’re not going anywhere.’ The rules are pretty obvious, though I’m working on a catchier title.”

Scully’s voice, skeptical as always: “What in the world are you talking about?”

“We’re not going anywhere,” I repeat. “Simple gameplan. We just sit here.” I wave my hand dismissively. ” At least until I decide that I’m no longer holding you at gunpoint.”

An uncomfortable pause follows that last statement. I know Scully wasn’t expecting me to say that—which is good. I’m taking a risk by going this route, I know, but I think I can trick her into telling me what she’s really thinking. I’ve known Scully long enough to understand her thought patterns. I think I can wear down her defenses and trick her into yelling at me. Or at least, I hope I can.. If I don’t want Scully to leave me, I have to play my cards right. I have to pull out all the stops, be as clever as… Well, Scully’s pretty tricky sometimes.

A commercial about hair plugs screetches from the ceiling TV.

“You’re holding me at gunpoint,” Scully finally says, her voice flat.

I flip to another channel. “Sure, why not?” I say. “I like it here. Good cable. Actually…I think we should move here. I can stay in the other bed and then we won’t ever have to sleep together, which should make you ecstatic. Free Jello till the cows come home. Come on, Scully. I know you don’t see it my way now, but you’ll cave eventually. And until you do, I can hold you here. I’ve got my gun. I’m sure you don’t want to be shot, and… Nurse Carmen can’t come after me if I’ve got my weapon.”

Scully sighs. “Nurse who?”

“Carmen,” I say, my heart still beating fast. “She’s a big Ox-like nurse with a nametag and a clipboard—which hurt like hell, by the way.”

“I see.”

God, I hope this works. I need Scully. I need her with me. I need… I need…Rikki Lake. Sally Jessi. Where the heck is Springer? Ohh, Jaws II is on… I could go for that. My back cracks as I shift from side to side. I hit the remote again and again. I feel like leaping out of my skin.

Scully shifts on the opposite side of the bed. “You would actually turn your gun on me to keep me from leaving,” she says. “Now that is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard.”

I shrug. “Yeah, well, I’m Mr. Ludicrous. Nice to meet you.”

Scully touches my arm and I turn to face her, my expression carefully blank. Her brows furrowed, her lips thinned, she looks sympathetic, almost like ‘my God, he’s actually gone over the edge now and what can I do to bring him back?’ Right. This is it. I don’t want her to know what I’m thinking… at least, not yet. I still have time to play that last card.

“Mulder,” she says, that scientist-Scully tone creeping into her voice, “I think we both know that you are not going to hold me hostage.”

“Why?” I ask, trying to appear completely serious. “You don’t think I would do it?”

Scully’s blue eyes have a bit of sparkle in them again. She looks even temepered and normal. She looks like the Scully I remember. Okay, jackpot. This is it, this is it. Scully’s going to realize how crazy this situation has gotten and she’s going to bring my face to hers and—

Scully rolls her eyes. She actually rolls her eyes at me. She’s not supposed to do that. Hey—

“I will not play this game with you, ” Scully says, a neutral expression on her face. “Besides… you could never hold me hostage. Not even if you really wanted to.”

Taken aback by this response, I fold my arms across my chest. Okay, no. This isn’t right. Scully isn’t supposed to call my bluff. I mean… This is how the strategy is supposed to work: Scully realizes how vulnerable and desperate (and really cute) I am. She either yells at me first and wears out all her anger — or else she hugs me first, then she yells at me.

She’s not supposed to laugh at me, damn it. That’s not cool.

“Don’t mock me.” I frown and jut my chin. “I could do it. I would.”

Scully smiles, crosses her own arms, and purses her lips. “Never.”

My mouth opened in frustration, I point a finger at her and shake my head, my eyes narrowed. My plan isn’t going as well as I’d hoped. “Don’t underestimate me, dear Scully. I could pull my weapon at any second and you’d be at my mercy.”

Scully snorts. “At your mercy? What is this, 1945?”

“I could.”

“I’d take you in a second, Mulder.”

“You would not.”

“I would.”

“You could never—”

Scully leans back on her hands and slowly pushes herself to her full seated height, her blue eyes sparkling with a playful maliciousness. “Alright, fine,” she says, holding her right fist two inches from my chin. “You want to test me?”

I can’t help but let out a short chuckle. “What? Are you coming after me, Scully?”

“Are you holding me at gunpoint and asking for it, Magnum?”

The distance between us is no greater than an inch. I could grab her and kiss her and the motion would take less than half a second. Scully looks about ready to pounce anyway. The glint in her eyes says it all. Clearly, she would wrestle me to the ground right here if it meant she’d be proven right.

The old Scully coming back.

Okay. Maybe this means that I’m in. Maybe we’re alright. Maybe my plan actually worked on her—not in the way I’d hoped, but in reverse—or backwards or… something. At any rate, she seems to be calmer, more Scully-like. Did I just not see the strategy working?

I lean forward to take the ultimate chance. I whisper in her ear, a smile on my lips, ” Ha. You want me. I knew it the whole time. You weren’t serious.”

Scully matches my grin, purses her lips and whispers back, “Not that badly, dear Mulder. And yes, I was serious.”

Her mouth grazes my ear, and then her tongue, and then her nose is against my hairline. I can hear her breathing, slowly, calmly. She sounds so confident, so positive she’s got me cornered. Man. That really pisses me off. What the fuck is she thinking? What? That we’ll have a last, goodbye fuck right here and she can leave me and I won’t object? Everything will be fine?

Scully’s nose trails slowly across my cheek until her lips are right up against mine. “Maybe we should talk about this,” she whispers, each word punctuated by the press of her lips to the space below my nose.

And something in me… snaps. Hard.




Back to the editor

Still in the ER

Still with the broken arm, thanks.


“So all I have to do is sign this last bunch of papers?” I ask.

The nurse standing at the desk has to be at least eight feet tall, with the widest girth I’ve ever seen for a tall person, and this big, ugly bun pulling all her hair back from her egg-shaped face. I’m thinking that if her bun gets any tighter, her face will start moving northwards to the top of her head. Scary shit. I think I’ve seen her on America’s Most Wanted.

“Yez, Meez Moreez. Sign zee papers,” Hulk-Hogan the Nurse says, and she throws me a stack of yellow and white papers. Yeah. Great idea. Start throwing things at the woman with the broken arm. Very nice. Very nice indeed.

I clear my throat, lick my finger, and read over the first page. All this legal mumbo jumbo is wasting my fucking time. I need to get the Hell out of here. I need to find Mulder and Scully. I need some Alka Selzer and some Tylenol, and maybe a shot of Vodka. Tequilla would actually be better, but you do with what you can get.

As I pick up the pen to sign by the ‘X’, I glance up at Hulk, who’s… well, she’s hulking. There’s no other way to describe it. She’s hulking over me like a… well, you get the idea. “You know,” I say, taking a deep breath, “You look very familiar. You ever watch any WWF?”

Nurse Hulk frowns. “Vat?” she asks.

I shake my head. “Nothing, nevermind.”

The phone rings and Nurse Hulk-Hogan/The Rock looks away from me to answer. I wonder how much training she’s had. How hard is it to be a nurse? Like, for instance, if I was fired today, could I go to nursing school and graduate with a nursing degree and work in an ER? I mean, I’d have to get one of those hair nets thingies and figure out how the buns and the little white hats go, but I think I could put bandaids on people for a living. I could take somebody’s blood pressure. I could smile at people and say, “yez, sign zee papers pleaze. Right here.”

Jesus, I’m going to be living in a box, aren’t I?

“Yez,” says Nurse Hulk into the phone. “I have Meez Scully’z deezcharge forms right here. I can geeve them to—”

Oh my God. What did she just say?

“Hey—” Trying not to grimmace, I tap scary nurse Hulk Hogan on the side with my elbow, yanking simultaneously on the phone cord with my good hand for her to pay attention. She shoots me a glare and turns her very wide, very white suited back to me. “No!” I manage. “I need to find Meez—” I shake my head to clear it. “I mean miss Scully—is that Dana Scully? Hey. Come on—cut me some slack. Dana Scully? Fox Mulder? Any of these ring a bell?”

Nurse Crazy-Rock-Hogan turns ever so slightly—like the girl from that Excorcist movie–and makes a wierd face—pale lips thinned into one line, her little, gray bug eyes narrowed, her two chins vying for control of the bottom half of her face. That’s one angry expression—arguably one of the ugliest angry expressions I’ve ever seen. God damn. She looks as if she wants to kill me. And judging by the size of those arms, I’m thinking she’d have no problem breaking the rest of me. Oh God, what did I say? What did I do?

It was that crack about WWF, wasn’t it? Oh, help. Oh no. She’s going to tie me up like a pretzel and roll me down the street. And I thought my miserable job and my broken arm were the worst of my troubles. I’m probably better off living in the box down on the corner, selling my own blood for drug money, than I am asking her about Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

Nurse Scariness leans forward over the counter.

I squeeze my eyes shut. Oh my God, I apologize for all my sins amen Mom I should have called you more and this is what it’s like to die—

“You might try zee zecond floor,” Nurse ‘holds-my-life-in-her-hands’ says.

And I’m still alive. Holy shit.

I open one eye and look up at the Jolly Nurse Giant. She still has the phone receiver perched under one ear, the phone cord wrapped around one of her very thick fingers—not my neck. I nod mutely, surprised and slightly terrified at the same time. I take a breath and turn to go, yanking up my discharge papers and throwing them in my pocket.

Yes! Score!

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are right here, on the second floor of this hospital. The big scary nurse didn’t kill me and if I can get those casette tapes back in time, my boss may not throw me out on my ass. Wow. If not for my broken arm and the lack of mind blowing sex, my life would be all set.

Scary Nurse Woman holds up a hand and bellows, “Vait—”

I turn and we stare at each other.

“Are you zee polize?” she asks.

Feeling my first real bout of energy and confidence since this morning, when I found a box of Cheerios I didn’t remember buying, just sitting there, waiting for me on the bottom shelf, I puff out my chest and jut my chin. Hands on my hips, I shake my head and take a deep breath.

“No,” I say, in a deep, authoritative voice. “I’m the writer.”






Couches, Talking and Motivations


When William was three days old, Mulder and I spent our first evening together.

I mean… not that we…you know, had sex or anything. No. Of course not. We just spent the night together. Watching TV, mostly.

Basically, Mulder had said that he was tired. I told him I didn’t mind if he conked out at my place. Not that I didn’t want to sleep with him, or that he didn’t want to sleep with me—we were obviously very attracted to each other, but it was just… we were nervous, Mulder and I. So much had happened in so short a time and neither of us knew what to do with any of it. I said that we should probably have a discussion about the situation, about the future of out partnership. Mulder nodded in a vague sort of way, and he said that we should probably order Chinese while we were at it…

“Because it’s late and I’m hungry,” he had whined. “Oh—and maybe I forgot to mention it, but my TV’s broken and the fumigator said that…” Yadda, yadda, you get the idea.

So I grabbed some popcorn for us—well, really for Mulder, since he insisted on slathering a ton of liquidy, melty, repugnant butter all over it, and we sat on the couch, popcorn and two beers between us. Mulder immediately went for the remote with his left hand, for the beer with his right, and he grinned at me between channel flips. He had the strangest expression in his hazel eyes—almost as if he felt he should be watching the TV, but he wasn’t sure whether he should be watching me as well. In a way, I felt as if Mulder had gravitated towards another Universe, another time, and he was only shooting back to my living room because the surroundings were familiar.

I picked up a beer with my right hand and tossed it into my left. “Mulder?”

So many things I wanted to tell him, so many feelings and emotions…. I wanted us to recapture every moment we’d missed when he was gone: every take-out night, every late-night conversation, every touch of his hand to my cheek or my wrist or my waist. I wanted to drink him in, to close my eyes and feel that familiar white hot shiver shoot up and down my arms when he pressed his lips to mine.

“Hmm?” said Mulder. He looked vaguely interested.

“Do you ever…” I frowned and stared at the brown bottle in my hands. The silver label glimmered back the word Budweiser from beneath glistening drops of condensation. Odd, I thought. Usually, Mulder bought Busch. Why the new beer? Was it chance? Fate?

Budweiser, Busch, right, wrong, left, right, stay, go…

For a brief sliver of a second I pondered over why Mulder had decided on this particular brand of beer. Had his usual store been out of beer, forcing him to try another store which sold the beer, but at an unusually high price, which in turn made Mulder select a different beer, a beer he hadn’t thought of buying before? Busch or Budweiser? Budweiser or Busch? Was everything just happenstance, or was there some sort of plan? Or maybe Mulder was the only one with any kind of plan at all. Maybe he had purposely decided on trying a new beer because the old one was so familiar that it had worn out its welcome. Out with the old, in with the new, or so I’m always hearing–


Mulder touched my arm and I nearly jumped. “Sorry,” he said, and he leaned in closer.

“Sorry,” I echoed, although I don’t know why I felt the need to apologize. I just did.

Mulder grinned. “Train of thought derailed. Please reboard at the next stop. Thank you, the management.”

I shook my head. “What?” I asked.

Mulder let out a half chuckle, swigged a bit of his beer, and shrugged. “Nothing.” His hand still resting on my arm, his fingers drew circles over the planes of my knuckles. “You started to say something and then you just sort of… spaced out there, space ranger.”

I couldn’t help but grin. “Space Ranger, Mulder?”

Mulder stared at me and blinked, his expression completely blank. “Hey, I have a lot of time on my hands,” he said. “Toy Story was on sale. I really dig that Buzz Lightyear.” I shot him a raised eyebrow as he added, “Peep was pretty hot, too. You really should invest in some sheep, Scully.”

I rolled my eyes. “I am not re-enacting ‘Little Blow Peep’ for you Mulder, if that’s what you’re suggesting.”

Mulder held up his hands in surrender. “Hey now. I never said that. All I said was that I bought Toy Story. If indeed I do think you’d look good herding sheep topless… and bottomless… I never voiced the opinion, and besides, it is completely beside the point.”

I snorted and yanked off the top of my beer, watching from the corner of my eye as Mulder’s hand fell back into his lap. His greenish-brown eyes sparkled above the rim of his beer bottle and he looked… alive. More alive than he had looked in weeks. His touch still made me feel as if I could fly.

I took a deep sip of my own beer, felt the golden liquid slide and swish coldly down my throat. “You ever wonder about…” I took another sip.”—about what would have been? About how different our lives would be if we had done some things differently?”

Mulder turned back towards the TV, his profile blinking in monochromatic shades of blue and gray. “What things?” he asked, the remote in one hand, a messy, greasy pile of popcorn in the other.

“If we hadn’t gone to Oregon,” I said, staring not at Mulder but at the label of my bottle. I felt light-headed, almost dizzy.

Mulder narrowed his eyes at the closed captioning. “You mean the first time?” he asked, his gaze never leaving the screen. “Well, that’s easy. For one thing, if there had been no Bellefluer case, I would never have gotten a crash course in the kind of underwear you prefer.” Finally, Mulder turned to me and waggled his eyebrows. “Talk about an outfit I could see you herding sheep in, Bo Peep.” I shot him a pained expression and he grinned at my embarrassment. “And for another thing—”

I waved a hand at him. “No,” I said, my fingers tracing over and over the Budweiser label. My pinky was starting to go numb. “I mean the last time. The time before you…” I stopped, tore my gaze away from him. I knew Mulder understood what I was getting at. Even if he tried to go around the question, I knew he was on the same page as I was.

“Why is this important?” Mulder asked, his lips pursed. He refrained from looking at me, and I could see the discomfort rolling off him like a thick fog. We’d certainly done a good job of avoiding the subject completely—at least to the point where it was almost as if Mulder’s disappearance need never have happened. What if’s were never brought up. Hows, whens and whys were even more taboo. If Mulder was distraught over his loss of memory, or over the lack of information concerning his disappearance, he’d not mentioned his displeasure to me. Not in weeks and weeks. I, in turn, never told him how I’d lived my life without him. How I’d cried over him, and subsequently beaten myself up over the crying, night after night, until my eyes maintained a consistent reddish tint.

But I wanted to tell him. Really, I did. I just didn’t think he wanted to tell me. We were both frightened, very frightened.

I sighed and leaned back into the couch cushions. Mulder’s beer, I noticed, was more than half gone. “Because we never talk about these things,” I said, closing my eyes. God, I wanted for him to tell me what he was feeling. I wanted to hear him say that he loved me, that he’d missed me, that he wished he’d never heard the word ‘Bellefluer.’ I wanted to hear him ask me to marry him. In the back of my mind I had the silliest notion that I was the most important thing in Mulder’s life. I thought that if I tried hard enough, if I could make him love me without exception, I could make him want all the things that I wanted.

Mulder nodded, but said nothing. He took a long, deep gulp of his beer and finished it off.

“Mulder?” I asked.

Mulder shook his head. “I suppose…” He frowned, grabbed another handful of popcorn. “I suppose I wonder if I’d still be working on the X Files.” He shrugged and chomped down on a clump of popcorn, tiny niblets shooting out from his hand to land on the floor. “I really miss the work, the anticipation of the hunt. The unknown, the adventure.. Sometimes I think that if I had just been more careful, if I had only been able to resist that temptation to go out one last time, or if I had let you come with me like you wanted…” he turned to me and smiled, thinking, perhaps, that his words would bring me some notion of closure. He shrugged and continued, “maybe I’d still be doing what I love to do. Sometimes I feel restless, like I’ll never have that challenge again.”

My heart roared in my ears, the sound of my own pulse nearly deafening me.

Maybe I’d still be doing what I love to do… I’ll never have that challenge again.

What had I been thinking? The work, the search, the truth. Everything in Mulder’s life always came down to his work, to his quest. Of course. Mulder loved being out there; he loved the journey. I knew this. How could I have been so stupid—or selfish— as to think he would settle, that this new life we were forging together would be enough?

In the furthest corner of my mind I knew, although I refused to fully admit it, that Mulder and I could never really be forever. Marriage, a house with a fence in front, annual vacations as a family—none of these things would ever be options for us. Mulder would be with me, maybe even live in the same house as me, raise William for awhile… but the truth would always come between us. The point was that my search was done, and Mulder’s wasn’t. I didn’t want to let him go but I knew he would leave me… eventually.

“Have you been wondering?” Mulder asked, his eyes again trained on the TV. “Is that why you asked?”

Suddenly feeling tired and very peripheral to the conversation, I stared down into my brown bottle. Busch or Budweiser? I thought. Old or new? Known or Unknown? The truth or a white whale? Apparently, small things mattered very much.

“No,” I said. I ran my finger around the tiny opening at the top of the bottle, around and around, again and again. “No, of course I haven’t.”




On Mulder

Snapping on Impact


I thought I wanted to leave him. I really, truly did. I thought everything would be alright if I could let him go and watch him hunt for the truth. I didn’t think he’d put up such a fight to stay, or make such a big deal out of us being… well, us, just not the romantic us. After all, we’d done the friendship thing before. We did it for eight years, as a matter of fact. I didn’t think Mulder would act this way. I had no idea he’d be so… so…


I don’t know. Maybe I think too hard about unimportant things. Maybe I should just shut up and let him love me.

My nose trails across his cheek. Mulder’s breathing is fast and hard, and his eyes are closed. His skin is soft, and he smells so familiar. I love the scent of him, the way he feels when I kiss him. Oh sweet Lord, I don’t really want to leave him. If he wants answers, if he wants the truth, I’ll be there. We don’t have to travel all over the world, do we? We can figure out a way. “Maybe we should talk about this,” I whisper, wanting more than anything to kiss all the hurt away. We can make this better. We can make it work. Maybe I should just marry him and—

Mulder leaps from the bed like he’s on fire. My arms pitching forward, I have to grab the matress with both my fists to keep from falling forward. What the hell—.

“What is it, Scully?” Mulder yells, his arms flailing. He looks possessed, running from me like a chicken running from the cutting block. “First you say that you want to leave me, that you’re going to let me go, but then everything turns in a new direction. You tell me to go and search for the truth by myself, as if you have the right to make that decision for me, as if I would even have the desire to investigate a mystery without you by my side, but I know you don’t really want me to go. You tell me you don’t want to marry me but …Jesus Christ, Scully, I know that you’re in love with me. And I’m in love with you. I have been for what seems like half my life. So tell me what to do. Do you want fucking roses and, and—” Mulder waves his arms at me like he’s playing some twisted version of charades. “All that wierd, superficial shit that was never important before? Do you want me to go get down on my knees and tell you I think you’re beautiful? That, by golly Ms. Scully, your apple pies are the swellest apple pies on the whole block?” Mulder shakes his head and pauses, runs his hand through his hair. “Or… or how bout that all you have to do is smile at me and you remind me all over again why we didn’t kill each other after that first case?”

Mulder’s pacing like a madman, wandering all over the room as if he’s got rocket-boosters attached to his feet. My hand over my mouth, I have to bite down on my lip to keep from laughing. My Goodness. We spent so much time tiptoeing around how we felt, save for the occasional “I love you,” that I think we forgot how… how normal being in love actually was. Our silence and our… unwillingness… to acknowledge the next level has driven us both to the point of insanity.

I’ve finally driven Mulder insane.


Maybe the bottom line is that Mulder and I aren’t the same people we used to be—and neither of us knows how to reconcile with that fact. Somehow we’d fallen into the role of husband and wife, mother and father, but we never discussed the transformation. And my God, I’ve been so afraid of losing him, of being that family with him, of being so normal and so ordinary together, that I’ve pushed him away. Wow. My fear isn’t that he’ll leave because he’s bored. My fear is that we’ll fail at this–that this new, domestic life makes us somehow less than we were.

Holy shit. What have I done?

We’re not less than our old partnership, are we? Maybe seperate we’re less, but together we’re so much more. Why the hell didn’t I realize that when Vicki told me I was pregnant again? All of those other things, drawing out the conspiracy, puzzling out the mystery of my infertility, all of the hurting and running away—my God, all of that’s over.

I don’t have Cancer. I have a baby growing inside of me. Jesus, we don’t have to be afraid anymore. The truth that was once out there, that we once sought is now… right here. Mulder doesn’t want to be hunting anymore. I don’t want to be hunting anymore. We’ve both been wanting the same things and I’ve been pushing him away.

I take a breath and watch as Mulder’s pacing picks up speed, his arms flying faster, his speech tumbling out fastest. “What else do you want me to say? That I think you’re the best competitor at water gun tag? That nobody else picks a lock like you? That only you could make the most out of a flooded bathroom? That you deserve more than a cramped apartment, more than me, but that I’m so selfish all I can think of when I see you ‘is thank God she’s here because I don’t know what I would do otherwise.’ Do you want me to tell you how in love I am with my son? How incredibly grateful I am for you, or for this pregnancy, because even when you’re acting all motherly I still want to screw your brains out right there on the floor, and I didn’t even think I liked kids until I started having yours?”

My eyes widened, my hand still over my mouth, I nod mutely. I don’t know what to say to him. I’d already said “no” once to marriage. He asked. I declined. End of story. But of course, I also didn’t want an insincere, rational, “this is what I have to do” marriage proposal from a man who didn’t really want to be married to me at all.

Mulder throws his hands in the air and lets out an exasperated sigh. “No, you know what? I’m not going to say any of those things.” His chest heaves, his nostrils flaring, cheeks flushed. “I’m not going to tell you any of that because you’ll obviously never believe me. I… Damn it! That’s it! I’m leaving. Leaving, Scully—you got that? I am gone. Gone. GONE!”

Mulder spins around in a wobbly circle as if he’s looking for something. He eyes the far wall and the two wooden doors. “You let me know when you’ve figured something out,” he says, rushing forward and grabbing the handle of one door. “Because until then, I’m done. I’m just… I’m done, Scully. Gone.” Then Mulder grumbles something else, yanks open the door and flies through the doorway like a man enraged. The slam echoes loudly behind him.

Now this… this is a marriage proposal.

I nod to myself and fold my arms over my chest, staring at the door Mulder shoved himself through. Should be any minute now—

“Damn it.” Mulder’s words echo from the other side of the door. He sounds as if he’s under water. Suddenly, the door slams back open, the hard wood shuddering against the white, stucco wall. Behind Mulder, I can see a tiled floor, a curtain of some sort, and a wall.

Mulder shoots me a look. “Bathroom,” he grumbles.

I nod. “Right.”

Mulder shakes his head and points a finger at me. “This time I’m really going.”

Another nod.

Mulder sets his hands on his hips and narrows his eyes. “Fine,” he says. With a last look back at me, he makes his way to the door on his left, grabs the handle, and turns the cold metal rung . I can hear the familiar sounds of the hallway as Mulder cautiously peers out of the room. I roll my eyes—I can’t help it. This is all very ridiculous.

After a second or two in which Mulder appears to establish his surroundings, he clears his throat, straightens his shoulders, and exits like a king making his way from the throne room. This time the door closes softly—and regally, behind him.

Oh lord.

With a glance over at William, who seems to have fallen asleep through all of this, I stretch and push my legs up and over the side of the bed. I touch my palm to my stomach. “Time to go get Daddy,” I say to the baby in the carrier, and to the one who is still growing inside of me.

The hard carpetted floor chills my bare toes, and a shiver runs up my back. My legs feel slightly wobbly at first, but they grow stronger as I pass by the chair against the far wall. Amazing how things get easier after the first few steps.

I creep over to the door and pull open the handle.

I’m not too surprised to see Mulder, his shoulders slightly slumped, standing on the other side, facing the opened doorway. For a second he seems flustered. Then he covers up with his usual lack of expression, and he folds his arms across his chest. “What are you doing out of bed?” he asks.

With a sigh I lean against the doorjamb. “I’m pregnant, Mulder. I’m not dying.”

Mulder nods thoughtfully. “Yeah well…” he gestures towards me with one arm. “All this stress can’t be good for the baby.”

My eyebrow raised, I rest my hands on my hips. “Really? I thought you were—” I mimick quotation marks—“Gone, out of here, and didn’t care about such things.”

Mulder narrows his eyes. “I don’t.”

I narrow mine back. “Then leave.”

“I am.”

“Right now.”


I point to his feet. “You’re not moving,” I say, forcing myself to keep the smile off my face.

Mulder looks down at his shoes. “I know,” he says slowly. “It’s… it’s a funny thing, or maybe not so funny, depending on your point of view, but my feet won’t move.”

I shrug, resting my head against the door hinge. “Then stomp on them and get the blood circulating again.”

Mulder looks at me with sincere hazel eyes. His long lashes flutter as he blinks—I love the way he does that.

“That’s not what I mean,” he says.

“I know.”


I take a deep breath. You can do this Dana. You can. I gesture towards Mulder with my right arm.

“I’m sorry,” I manage.

Mulder eyes me warily. “For?”

As I look at him I realize that I’ve never in my life loved anyone like this. All the hurt, the disappointment, the anger; I only wanted for us to be real, to leave behind the uncertainty and agony of our quest together. But I think the truth is that our quest is ongoing. So long as Mulder and I are together, we will always be searching for something.

In the back of my mind, I can hear Mulder singing in my ear, his arms tight around my waist as we sway back and forth in the dark: Sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time, wasting time…

When I was a little girl I envisioned my wedding the way any little girl would: the big church on the hill, the hundreds of flowers, the white, beaded dress… But for all the fantasizing, I never envisioned a love like Mulder’s love for me. During my search for normality and stability, I somehow overlooked what was right in front of me. I forgot about all our late night talks concerning the validity of Big Foot claims, the impromptu waltzes to Jim Morrison when Mulder finished researching a case. All the kisses and looks from across the room, all the mornings Mulder fed William, sat with him and made up silly stories.

I shake my head, tears in my eyes. “I thought you would get bored without the work. I was… I was ready to stop searching. But you… You’re not like that, Mulder. You always needed the work, the quest. I didn’t want to trap you—or myself. I thought—I don’t know. I suppose I didn’t want you to leave me first. And when I saw the uncertainty in your eyes, I knew we were both thinking the same thing and…I wanted to be the one. I couldn’t let you beat me to the punch. “

Mulder raises his eyebrows at that. I smile, glancing down at my feet. “The whole situation is utterly idiotic…” I shake my head. “But the bottom line is that I don’t want you to go anywhere, Mulder.”

At that, Mulder laughs. “I’m not a wild rabbit, Scully. If I didn’t want to be with you, I wouldn’t hang around so much and eat all your food.”

I can’t help but roll my eyes. “You’ve always hung around to eat my food.”

“You know what I’m talking about.”

A pause. Mulder reaches for my hand and encloses it between both of his. We pass our fingers back and forth, twining and untwining each digit. For the first time in what seems like forever, everything is actually alright. The future is going to be okay. I think it really is. With all the unhappiness and stupidity behind us, Mulder and I can do anything. We can have a family. We can be a family. My God.

I take a deep breath, my heart beating faster, faster. “I can still beat you to the punch,” I say, a queasy knot forming in my stomach. Mulder cocks his head to one side, confusion evident on his face. I lick my lips.

“Say Mulder,” I start, “Do you think you’d still be interested in—”

The sound of pounding footsteps, a long, loud squeak, and what sounds like the Xena battle cry breaks the mood.

“AHA! I found you!” comes an alien voice.

Both Mulder and I frown and turn, and suddenly I’m aware that someone is flying towards us at the speed of light, her legs tripping one over the other, her right arm flailing wildly, the other hung in a large cast. Her clothes are ripped and dirty, her light brown hair askew, and she looks like a crazed homeless woman. If I didn’t know better I’d say it was—

“Ms. Morris?” Mulder asks.

“Slippery!” Ms. Morris manages, her legs unable to stop their forward motion. “Slippery!”

A few feet behind Ms. Morris, in a dark corner right next to the elevator, a plastic yellow sign reads ‘wet floor.’ Oh dear. This is not going to end well, is it? Mulder blankly glances at me, then at Ms. Morris shooting down the hall like a comet. My God, she’s going to break the other arm.

My mouth hanging open, I somehow manage, “Mulder. Do something. Go catch her before she—”

“Oh my God!” Ms. Morris shrieks, her knees separating, her widening stance turning her fumbling feet inwards as she twists and spins on the wet floor. She looks like a crazy wind up toy barelling out of control. Mulder nods at my request but he doesn’t move. His jaw drops.

“Somone fucking catch me!” Ms. Morris cries. Her sandal-ed heels scrape against the floor as she desperately tries to right herself, her good arm flapping up and down, but it’s too late. She’s already… already…

Oh crap.

My eyes widen. Mulder grabs my arm. “Scully, watch out—”


And we all fall down.





by Jaime Lyn


Mulder and Scully On

Epilogues…. Duh.


48 hours after the hospital….

Audio Tape Copy # 12 (12th try, that is)

Apology to the editor

By Fox Mulder and Dana Scully


“Okay, let’s try this again, Scully. Just press the red… Oh, it’s on? Shit. . Okay.. Ah, Ms. Morris, I just wanted to say… that is, Agent Scully and myself… that is… the both of us wanted to say…”

“We wanted to tell you how incredibly sorry we were.”


“Please understand that neither of us expected the afternoon to end so…dangerously. And also know that we both wish you a speedy recovery. Trying to function properly with two broken arms can be…. rough. Believe me, I understand.”

“She does. She’s been shot in worse places.”

“But we know you’ll prevail.”

“Two out of two FBI agents agree.”

“So the reason for this tape… Well, as you know, Agent Mulder and myself encountered some unfortunate difficulties this afternoon, most of which had rendered us unable to fufill our prior obligations. For this inconvenience, we sincerely apologize. While we tried to be expedient and professional on our interview tapes, the fact of the matter is that a few highly personal, intimate revelations got in the way of our objectivity.”


“And then…As you… the reason… damn it, I lost my train of thought, Mulder. Now I have to start over–”

“Wait—I got this one, Scully. See, the real truth is that we actually lost the tapes during a strange and blinding unnatural phenomenon that struck us without warning while on the way to the hospital. A freak accident, really. As a matter of fact, the local police had to be called in, and the fire department, and a few circus people, half of Scotland Yard, a bio-hazard team–”


“Because while getting off the 95, we ran over this four armed, six legged, bug-eyed martian. Must have been a hell of a day for space traffic too, because all these suckers were just dropping out of the sky—”

“Are you quite finished, Mulder?”

“—Like hail. And the casette tapes were on the front seat when all four martian arms exploded like a water balloon over the windshield, leaving this gelatinous, animatious, snot like ooze–”


“And the window was open.”

“I’m stopping the tape.”

“But that wasn’t my fault. Scully was driving.”


“And she kept one of the tentacles.”

“You’re impossible.”

“Anyone want to buy a souvenier?”

“That’s disgusting, Mulder…”



Beginnings, Hill-tops, and Kids


Seven Months Later


When I was a boy, I thought the most beautiful thing on earth was the sunset that encompassed the sky after a game of stickball on the Vineyard. Pink turned into orange, turned into yellow, turned into seafoam, turned into navy blue, and the sun drifted behind the trees in a slow descent that left me breathless. My sister Samantha and I would watch the sunset, gloves in hand, and we would sit on the pitcher’s mound until the entire sky was navy blue, the first evening stars dotting the horizon like glitter thrown over a tarmac. When she was still young enough to believe every word that came out of my mouth, I told Samantha that an elf lived in the clouds, and that he had been the one painting the sky. Without the elf, I told her, the sunsets would disappear, and night would never come, and the world would be daytime forever.

I wonder now if my children will tell each other stories like that, if their world will be painted in bright colors by the fairies and elves of their imaginations. I want to believe that there is hope for them, as there is hope for all things, and that Scully and I can paint the sky with them.

I still believe in untangible things. In elves. In fairies. And I still believe that the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen of the natural world is a sunset—the sunset with Dana Scully gazing up at it.

Scully turns to me and smiles with her large blue eyes. She’s wearing this long, light yellow dress that I’ve never seen on her before, her red hair piled up on top of her head in a soft, curled mound of rusty colored locks. I told her earlier that I’d never seen her look so… well, like a girl before. And Scully pointed out that I’d never seen her dress this way because I’d never asked her out on an actual date. She’s right about that. I haven’t.

Scully also told me, in a shy-sounding voice, that she used to do her hair in ringlet curls for dates and for special events, but that she hadn’t truly done her hair in a long, long time. It was almost funny how self conscious she seemed while standing there, her orange locks demurely curled, her pregnant stomach round and tough, her hands clasped together and shaking as she spoke. So I smiled and touched her cheek, and I told her that I was glad to give her the opportunity.

“Anything to support the superficial ministrations of law enforcement’s most beautiful,” I said.

I leaned down and kissed her then, at the foot of the hill we’re now standing upon, and I can’t remember ever feeling as in love with anyone as I was with Scully at that moment. I swear to you, I saw a hundred sunsets with my eyes closed.

God, how time just passes. Nearly eleven years, gone in the blink of an eye. So many new roads to take together; each path stretched out in front of us like an image from a deep forest. Just the thought of all the choices not yet made, all the hardships not yet faced— I’d be lying if I said I had a plan to get us started, or even one to keep us going. Honestly, I don’t.

But I’m here, aren’t I?

The world below us is a mixture of green and golden brown, the cliffs and hills and trees of New Mexico reaching out like small brushstrokes of color, forever flowing until the edge of the earth. The sunset has just begun, and Samantha’s elf has painted the sky with orange and yellow ochre. At the edge of the hill stands an old friend—Albert Hosteen Jr., Albert Hosteen Sr.‘s son.

Hosteen Sr. had been a good and fathiful friend to Scully and I—an Anasazi Native American who had helped us throughout the years, who had protected us both and prayed with us both, and, at times, lead us back to each other when we’d lost our way. Albert Hosteen Jr. had been young when Scully and I first ventured out here, but he was around for a few of the tough times, and he had heard many stories about me; “the man who came back from the dead.” As time passed on, Albert Hosteen Jr. accepted the ways and the rites of the Anasazi from his father, just as the traditions had been passed down throughout lineages for centuries.

Last month, when Scully and I called Albert Jr. to ask him for a favor, he had not refused us. He had, in fact, been so pleased that we called him, that he caught us up on how the Hosteen family was doing. Afterwards, of course, he agreed to help us.

And thus, here we are.

My hands clasped in Scully’s, Albert nods to us and then to William, who, at nearly two years old, is a bit shy with strangers. His round, ivory face peeks out from behind Scully’s leg and he stares at Albert Jr. with wide, confused blue eyes. In his tiny right fist is the green piece of twine he was asked to hold, and as he presses his nose into the underside of Scully’s knee, he stretches his arm out to Albert.

“Hambawgah,” whimpers William, and he smacks Scully’s leg as Albert retrieves the green twine. “Hambawgah, Hambawgah! We go. We go now.”

Scully purses her lips and shrugs, reaching out a palm to touch William’s head and shush him. William, unfortunately, is still on the short side, and Scully’s hand misses him by about an inch. She frowns and looks down, tries to bend her knees to get closer to him. After about one or two unsucessful attempts, Scully wobbles, raises an eyebrow at me and sighs. “Don’t you dare say a word,” says the look on her face.


Just so you know, Scully weighs about as much as my rental car now—maybe more. Her stomach is about as big as I’ve ever seen a pregnant woman’s stomach, and I have no idea how she sees her feet when she walks. She does the waddle thing now and she holds her back—something she insists she DOES not do, damn it, Mulder—but I’ve seen her walking around like Howard the Duck.. Trust me. I know. The sheer girth of Scully’s distended belly alone is an X File, and I won’t even get into the amount of junk food she consumes a day—The Reeses Pieces and the Gummy Bears she doesn’t want me to know she has, the Twinkies she hides in a box in the drawer of her nightstand. If Scully’s growing stomach is at all strange, her newfound love of candy and fatty foods has become a gaping mystery. Just the other day she ate a pizza with M&Ms and Peperroni on it. I don’t even want to know why Pizza Hut was offering such things…

“Hey Buddy,” I call down to William, who looks up at me with hopeful blue eyes. Both Will and his mother know that I’m the one to turn to if hamburgers or hotdogs are involved. Scully’s the one to turn to if it’s got brussel sprouts or peas in it that will, inevitably, end up in the fishtank.

“Just a little while more,” I say. “I promise—Mc Donalds. The jungle gym. Just as soon as this is over. We can use Mommy as a bouncy ball. The other kids will think you’re the coolest.”

“Bouncy ball,” says Scully with a snort. “Haven’t heard that one yet. Thank you, Mulder.”

“Ball,” says William, and he ducks back behind Scully’s leg.

Albert Jr smiles down at William, who is wrapped around Scully’s leg like a snake. Usually, Will’s not so shy. If it’s Skinner, Agent Doggett, Agent Reyes, or Mrs. Scully, William will talk until he’s blue. he’ll show them his bear, his blocks, his new shoes…But strangers… Well, I suppose Will’s aversion around strangers a good thing. Right?

Man, this “Daddy worry” stuff is crazy.

Albert takes a breath and begins to speak, the twine lying limp in his hands like a thin, long weed. His voice is deep, resonant.

“This twine represents the strength and fraility of your bond to each other. Just as love is tenuous and unsure, so is love powerful and binding. In your hands you hold the possibility of the future; your life is a journey. On this journey you shall face your greatest fears and overcome the demons of adversity. Only together can you find your true potential; this gift is given to you by the Gods of the Earth and the Sun. By these Gods, by your ancestors, and by the Heavens, your union is blessed, as your spirits were meant to lie with each other for all eternity.”

Scully’s hands shake, and when my eyes find her eyes, she smiles. Her tongue darts out to brush her upper lip. She’s nervous, I can see it. I’m nervous, too. Terrified, in fact. But we’re both ready, as scared as we are— and beneath all of this conviction we’re both petrified, believe me–yet Scully and I have never allowed fear to get in the way of what we wanted. We fought for the X Files, for the truth, for William, for this new baby. We fought tooth and nail, and we’re not going to let anything stop us now. Despite the weight of a world plagued with conspiracies and evil doers, Scully and I managed to find each other. We’ve not fallen yet, and we won’t ever fall. Not if I have anything to do with it.

Both Scully and I look back to Albert Jr., who grins his sun-weathered grin, the green twine draped over his outstretched hands. He continues, “Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, I bind your hands, as I think you are finally ready to take the journey as two spirits joined.” He takes two steps closer, grabs the twine with his left hand, and wraps it twice around Scully’s and my clasped hands.

I can hear myself breathing, can hear the thin threads of twine brushing, can hear the sun moving down beneath the trees. I can hear everything. I feel like a man who has just been told that his eyes and ears have given him wings, and because his senses have been heightened, he can fly.

Scully swallows, her gaze trained on Albert’s fingers tying our wrists together. “Just as your son, the fruit of your union, has handed me this twine, so do I bind you now as proud witness to your life together. Just as you have journeyed together before, may your spirits guide you now, protect you against harm, and bring prosperity into your house. May the obstacles of this world make you stronger, and may you never forget that your love for each other is as frail as it is powerful. Do not let such a powerful force break, as twine may break.” Albert Jr. bends down, scoops a small, gray pot of dirt from its nest in the soft grass. Scully’s gaze focuses on our wrists—our hands once clasped, now tied together. Her head is cocked to one side as if she’s contemplating the rest of her life, and she looks so…content, complacent. Her breathing remains soft and even. Her blue eyes blink as if in thoughtful resolution. How is it that she’s so calm, but I feel like I’m about to roll downhill?

“Earth,” says Albert Jr., and he brushes his finger across Scully’s cheek, leaving a trail of glistening brown mud. “To represent the plain of existence that has brought you together.” He then brushes his finger across my cheek without dipping his hand back into the pot, and I can feel something cold and wet dripping down onto my jaw. An old psalm floats randomly into my head: “ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” We are all part of the earth, part of the sunset. Samantha would be proud.

“And on this mountaintop,” Albert continues, “the heavens surround us. The stars will soon arise to take the place of the sun. This plain of existence is where your spirits will re-join in the afterlife. May the joining of your spirits always be blessed by the Earth and the stars, as you have been bound together under the laws of the Anasazi. You may now undo your hands, but do not break the twine. Two days from now, after a careful and serious meditation, you may bury the twine in a special place of your choosing.” Both Scully and I nod, glance at each other, and carefully untangle our hands. Albert smiles and clasps his own hands together. “I suppose it is fitting now to say—what is it? You may kiss the bride?”

Scully smiles, curling the twine into a careful ball in her fist. She takes slow measure not to break it. I smile back at her, run my finger along the underside her cheek—the one without the mud. God, I love touching this woman.

I know there must be a saying about love and mud and sunsets somewhere, but I don’t know what it is. Maybe the line hasn’t been written yet, and this is life giving me the opportunity to write all the things that haven’t been written. I don’t know.

“Well…I can kiss the bride now,” I say, laughter brimming in my eyes.

“Yeah,” says Scully. “And when we get home, you get to cut the snowball.”

“Nah. Those are just for birthdays and exanguinations. Real special occasions.”

“Ah,” says Scully. “A bunch of dead cows. I believe I’ve autopsied at one of those parties.”

I shake my head. “Really? Remind me to never attend any of your parties.”

Scully chuckles, but doesn’t move.

I can’t tell whether Scully thinks this is ridiculous or beautiful, but she seems to be having a good time, which is all that matters I suppose. And at least I get to kiss her now, even if this ceremony isn’t exactly normal, or legal, or catholic. Her brother, I imagine, would not be pleased.

All of a sudden I hear a gasp, and when I glance down, my son is staring at Scully and I as if we have just captured the moon and given it to him. His blue eyes are wide, the long brown lashes fluttering rapidly.

“Diw-ty,” he announces, pointing first to Scully’s face and then to mine, and his smile of delight is unmistakable. He claps his hands and tugs on Scully’s yellow dress. “Me too, me too!”

Ah well. What can I say? My son is a lover of the finer things in life–worms and dirt and hamburgers cut into bite sized pieces. Opportunities like this just don’t come around every day for a two year old with over protective parents. Maybe after I kiss her, I can convince Scully to roll down the hill like a blueberry and make some mud pies for us. You think?

Yeah, neither do I. I’m not that stupid. I like my nose where it is.

Scully closes her eyes and breathes a soft chuckle.

Albert Jr. crouches down and smiles at my son. He meets William’s gaze and William raises an unimpressed eyebrow—holy shit, he looks so much like Scully when he makes that face, God help us…

“What you?” asks William with a skeptical expression. He folds his chubby hands over the front of his new overalls and greedily eyes the gray pot of mud in Albert’s left hand.

Albert, as if tuned in to the way of toddlers, says nothing at first. He then touches his finger to William’s cheek and smears a trail of mud from William’s jaw down to his chin. William, seemingly fascinated by this game, nods his head and and clasps his hands together. He crouches down by Scully’s feet and reaches into the dirt. A second or two later, with dirt and weeds dripping through his tiny fingers, William arises. He hands his treasure to Albert, who takes the dirt from William’s hands and nods.

“You okay,” William tells Albert, and as if to finalize his changed decision, he plops down on the ground behind Scully. With his tongue lashing out towards his chin, Will digs his hands into the earth and pats the ground as if making a mud castle. “Hambawgah now. Hambawgah now. No kissies.”

“Hey.” I set my hands on my hips. “I like the kissies.”

William doesn’t look up. “Yuck,” he declares, and sticks his tongue out at me.

Real nice. You see this? You see what Scully is teaching this kid?

“Your son is very wise,” Albert says, and he laughs.

“Yes,” agrees Scully. “One of them has to be.” And she tilts her chin to kiss me before I can retort.



On the End. Truly. For Real.


“Alright, that’s it, Scully.”

I look up from my stack of midterm pathology evaluations to see Mulder plopped in the middle of… what the hell is that? A broken piece of furniture? Debris from a train wreck? He’s up to his neck in wierd shaped metal thingies, nuts, bolts, screws, multicolored foam bars, a bunch of odd looking springs, a few pieces of wood, and some white mesh netting that his feet are tangled in. The entire fiasco looks as if a circus tent exploded and Mulder was the ring master.

“Mulder,” I manage, trying to rub away a monstrous headache while simultaneously forcing back a laugh, “what in the world are you doing?”

Mulder glances about himself as if he’s disoriented, or perhaps waking from a deep coma. His normally professional hair is… mishappen, jagged, very-un-Mulder-like; clumps of dark brown hang out in all directions. His gray shirt is wrinkled, with one sleeve rolled up, as if he either stuffed himself into a washing machine or else went dumpster diving. I suppose in this particular case, he went Fisher Price diving.

I prop my elbow up on the table so that my chin can drop onto my palm. My feet are swollen, my legs hurt, my back aches, I have a monstrous headache, I weigh about a million pounds, I have a constant urge to release my aching bladder, and I have never been so in love with any one person in all of my life. Even back when I thought I loved him, when I thought I knew so well what it meant to fall in love…

I had no idea.

“I think it’s trying to devour me,” Mulder mutters, and he holds an “L” shaped metal thingie in front of his face, shaking his head. “This is our next X File, I’m telling you. Conspiracies surrounding the play pen industry, and why poltergeists inhabit Fisher Price products. It’s all very suspicious, Scully, and these infant product CEOs must be stopped before any more of these—” Mulder squints, turns the “L” shape over and over in his hands, and continues,”—any more of these malevolent entities can materialize in these little metal shaped sevens and hatch a plan to dominate the universe through single family households and Phillips screwdrivers.”

Okay, I really shouldn’t laugh at this…

“Well, Mulder…”

Mulder turns the “L” shape over and over in his hands again, scratches his head, and frowns. He picks up another “L” shape and bangs the two together with a frustrated look on his face. Good grief. This is like watching early man learning to make fire. My husband, the Oxford educated psychologist and the FBI agent, the man who can pick up a piece of weathered string at a crime scene and tell me exactly how the crime occured…. And he wouldn’t know a phillips screwdriver if a UFO touched down and handed one to him. I bite my lip and cough. Or at least, I hope it sounds like a cough. I’m not a very good liar.

“Just don’t glue yourself to the box, Dear Henry,” I say, focusing back on my papers to keep from lauging outright at him. “Or nail yourself to anything else.”

Mulder snorts. “You talk a big game, Dear Liza,” he says. “Why don’t you come over here and put this massive conglomeration of spare parts together if you think you know so much about popular mechanics.”

Hoo boy. Here’s an interesting tidbit about Mulder: He’s cute, and determined, and confident, and highly intelligent, but oh my God is he destructive sometimes. Well, actually, most of the time. Fox Mulder should just never hold hammer. Or a screw driver. Or basically, anything that isn’t a bureau issued hand gun. I am absolutely not kidding. The last time Mulder tried to fix my toaster oven he nearly electrocuted himself, and weeks past before he could actually walk by a pile of laundry again without collecting socks on his ass.

“Actually,” I say, scribbling some side notes in the margins of one of my papers, “If you will recall, I put the first play pen together—and the crib. And the shelf in Will’s room. And I fixed the microwave last week. And that’s my screwdriver you’re borrowing, so—”

“Shut up, Scully.”

Right. I knew that one was coming.



Audio Journal of Dana Scully and Fox Mulder

(Otherwise known as “William’s Baby Book”)


“Hey Scully, where are William’s shoes?”

“Shoes! Muw-Dah get shoes!”

“In a second, Will. Hey, Scully?”

“Muw-dah, I go ow-side now.”


“Muw-dah, Muw-dah, Muw-dah..”

“Check behind the couch, Mulder. I think he kicked them there yesterday.”

“Ow-side, Muw-dah.”

“Hey pip-squeak, I have an idea. Just for laughs. How about today we try something new, something totally wacky, and you call me Dad? Or Daddy? Or Daddy-O? I’m okay with all of them. What do you say? Sounds like fun, huh?”

“Muw-dah. You.”

“No, see, you’re not getting my point.”


“No, no. This is how we play. Only Mommy is allowed to call me Mulder today. You have to call me—”



“She Schu-wee. You Muw-dah.”

“Yes, close… but no. Okay, let’s try this again. You call me—”

“Mulder, what are you doing to him?”

“I’m teaching the kid how to wield a pick axe, juggle a fishbowl, and balance a stack of plates while tying his shoes. What does it look like?”

“A pick axe? I thought that was last week’s lesson.”

“Nah. We skipped a week to review the intricacies and complexities of green eggs and ham.”



“Oh, hey—I forgot,” says Mulder, almost as if an afterthought has just occurred to him. “There’s a letter for us on the counter. Did you read it yet? I wanted to wait to open it. It’s postmarked from that editor. You remember, the one that—”

“Yeah…” I close my eyes for a moment. “I remember.”

In the back of my mind I have very vivid memories of that terrible day; the ill-fated interview, the swirl of misery that encompassed my head as I bent over the toilet, the long moments of self-doubt, the slow descent into self-realization, and the small white lie that followed. “I’m sorry I don’t have the tapes for you, Ms. Morris. Agent Mulder and I accidently ruined them…”

Man, I hope she didn’t lose her job over us.

I do honestly feel terrible about having lied to that editor about the interview tapes she needed so badly. I know that she was working on a deadline, and that my participation in José Chung’s research directly correlated to her missing that deadline. And, of course, the fact that she broke her other arm while sliding down the hall and crash landing into a fruit-cup cart didn’t help make the situation any better. But I just… I don’t know what happened to me. Somewhere in between fruit cups and the edge of reality, I saw my life in “could have’s” and “should have’s”: Mulder and I lounging in bed, waking up to chocolate chip pancakes and syrup and diapers in need of changing. William tugging around the bear that Mulder had nicknamed “Ruddy,” because the nose had been worn away. The sound of a new baby crying, of William crying out for an extra five minutes past his bedtime. I saw the fruit cups lying about the ground in splatters and gushes of fruit, saw the nurses rushing towards the poor, broken editor, and all I could think of was that my life was in rewind.

Does this make me a horrible person?

God, I hope not.

It was just—I was so excited that I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know what to think.

I had been given a “do over.” A second chance. For all of our misery and all of our struggles throughout the years, Mulder and I had been given this amazing opportunity to do things right, to take our quest in a new direction. We weren’t just Mulder and Scully, partners in crime, friends, and lovers. We were Mulder and Scully, friends, parents, partners and…

Two normal people in love. The bottom line; we had never been so normal. Not in years, not since before the x files.

Like I said, my life in rewind.

So the prospect of such a radical change between us, although terrifying and strange, was incredibly reassuring. The pregnancy, the interview tapes; everything felt like an omen, or like an awakening. For the first time in nine years, or even thirty-something years, I felt free. I was a kid again. I was standing in the middle of a Japanese fishmarket, asking my father if I could really, truly have a puppy. If we could settle down. If we could just…stop. Get out of the fucking car, for chrissakes.

And this time, instead of the most important man in my life saying no, he was finally saying yes.



Audio Journal of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

(William’s Baby Book)


“…Ah, I see, Mulder. So you’re saying…he wouldn’t eat them on a train?”

“Or in the rain.”

“Because they were lame.”

“Hey—you’re good at this game.”



“So, dear Henry…did you read that letter yet?”

“Which one, dear Liza?”

“The one on the counter.”

“Not yet. You want me to read it now, Scully?”

“Yeah, go ahead. It’ll take me a few minutes to get Will’s jacket on anyway.”

“Alright, I just have to get it—”

“Wook, Schu-wee! Shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe.”

“I know.”

“I have shoe, Schu-wee.”

“Yes, sweetie.”

“Okay…. Dear Agents Mulder and Scully—”


“Seven months ago, I approached the both of you for an interview–”

“Schu-wee! Shoe.”

“Will, I need you to be extra quiet for a minute, okay? And what is my name?”


“Very good.”

“I sowee Mommy Schu-wee. Shhhhhhhhh…”

“–And although the interviews had never been completed, when I approached José Chung with the single tape you had given me, he was very much intrigued despite the lack of details and closure. Your lives, apparently, are interesting enough to warrant further examination. Furthermore, both José Chung and I decided that, since your personal and professional dynamics were so intruiging, a new approach was needed for ‘Outside the Boundaries.’ A broader medium, a wider canvas was required to paint the full picture. But it truly has been wonderful. Being a major part of the creative process again has been liberating, I tell you. I am a changed woman. I have even resigned from my job as assistant editor with Harperly Publishing to help helm this new project. Hopefully, with a little assistance from José Chung and some support from both of you, this new vehicle will really be able to fly. Thus, I am writing to both of you, as the models and inspiration for José Chung’s work, to inform you that the fruits of our labor—the characters based on amalgamations of your everyday lives—can be viewed next week at nine o clock. Please contact me and let me know if we have been accurate in our attempts to capture your lives. Thank you very much, and congratulations to you both. Jaime Lyn. P.s. The arm is healing nicely.”



TV Rots the Brain

In The Very End, The X Files


“Holy shit.”


“Mulder, come look at this—” Scully grabs my hand as I walk past the couch; dark blue TV lighting casts splashes of color and shadows on her face and arms. Her red hair has been pulled back into a banana clip—my favorite banana clip, as a matter of fact. Each demure tendril that drips from the accessory calls to me, says, “you know you want it, Mulder. Come and get it– “

God Damn Dana Scully for being sexy. The world’s sexiest pregnant woman. Can you believe this? She looks like she’s swallowed a house and two compact cars for dinner, and I still want to fuck her brains out until her hair stands on end and she grips the sheets and makes that squealing noise that sounds just like, oh, just like–

No. Cannot think such things. That’s it. I blame the banana clip. The banana clip has me thinking dirty things. Scully really shouldn’t grab me when she wears that clip.

“What?” I ask.

Scully points mutely towards the television set, and it is then that I see the TV Guide resting open in her lap. On the right page is an article with the headline ‘X-citing,’ and on the left page, a picture of two pretty people I have never in my life seen before. When I look up, I am just in time to catch a glimpse of the odd programming that Scully has been watching. A small, shadowy logo flits across the screen, a distorted face, a hand, a flash of lightning slashing against a pure black sky. ‘The Truth is Out There,” blinks in bold, white letters beneath darkened storm clouds rushing past. The synchronized theme music is familiar in an odd way, but comforting in an odder way. I have no idea what Scully is watching.

“What is this?” I repeat.

“The um… a TV show… The X… Files,” says Scully, her cheeks red, her eyebrow raised at the TV. She looks as if she’s never been so embarrassed in all of her life.

The what? The… the what? What did she say?

“Excuse me?”

“You’re not going to believe this, Mulder.”

“Try me.” I swallow. “I’ll believe anything.”

Scully turns to me. “We’re…” She shakes her head. “We’re a television show,” she manages. “I don’t know how. I don’t know when. I can only assume that this was the ‘exciting project’ Ms. Morris was refferring to when she sent us that letter. José Chung must have had a really bad case of writer’s block, Mulder. Because instead of penning a novel or penning a series of novels he created… created this…this thing. This show. Or else he just bought out the ‘Lazarus Bowl’ rights from Federman and re-named it. Oh… and that editor, Ms. Morris—she’s listed as assistant director… I…I don’t know what else to say.”

Neither do I.

I shake my head, a half amused smile creeping up the corners of my mouth. “No,” I manage.

Scully sighs. “Yes.”

Okay, I don’t believe this.

“Believe it,” Scully says, as if reading my mind.

“Shandling?” I ask, not even wanting to know the answer.

“No.” Scully shrugs, picks up the TV Guide, and tosses it to me. “Some guy named David Ducavey-Decaniv—I don’t know, something or other. Apparently…” She trails off and waves her hand at the TV.

“Apparently,” I finish, as if there is nothing else left to say but that one word.

And I guess there isn’t, is there?

Wow. My life, Scully’s life, the entire conspiracy, all those years of searching, all those mysteries sought and uncovered, and this is how we will go down in the annals of history. A show called “The X Files”—probably some cheesy, over-written, made for television drama. How low can you get? Man, what crap.

This is all so ludicrous, I can’t help but laugh. “I hope it tanks,” I say, grinning.

Scully nods. “Yeah,” she says, and mutes the TV. “Won’t last more than five seconds.” She flashes me a half-grin, her ivory face a flickering fantasisa of blue and white light in the living room darkness. Her legs are crossed right over left, her silk night top hanging listlessly off her left shoulder, the rest of the soft material stretching over her distended stomach. I wonder if a little girl or a little boy sleeps there in her belly: a small, new life dreaming of safety and warmth. A tiny creature with blue eyes and red hair and a face like…

A face like my wife’s face.

Scully stares at me, her blue eyes dark, mischievious. I don’t know what to say to her about this newest clash with the bizarre. I don’t even know how to start.


Scully says my name in a lot of different ways. There’s the “I’m going to kill you,” Mulder. And then the “I just want to kill you but not that badly,” Mulder. And of course, there’s the ever famous, “You are absolutely, without a doubt, egomaniacally crazy” Mulder. But there’s something about this particular Mulder. I can’t help but smile when she says my name this way—you know, the “I want to wrap myself around you and kiss you until you’re blue and in need of medical attention” way.

Ah, that guilty, heart shaped grin. Those intelligent eyes. Jesus. It’s always been her. No matter what the situation, Dana Scully is always, has always been, the one.

I shrug and lean forward. “You wanna storm the network?”

Scully’s gaze drops to my lips. “Let’s not think about it now. Let’s do something different,” she whispers, inching closer, her eyelids drooping. Her hand touches my shoulder and draws down to my waist.

“Let’s do a lot of things different,” I return.

Scully’s warm breath brushes across my cheek as if in response to words unspoken. Her fingers wrap around my middle, her fingernails scratching and drawing exclamation points down the plane of my back.

We kiss under the light of the TV screen, our legs tangled on a ten year old couch that smells faintly of leather and baby powder. One scent is as old as our partnership. The other is exhilarating and recent.

On the monitor in front of us, in the stormy gloom of a darknened cemetary, a fake Mulder and a fake Scully walk side by side, talking, arguing, laughing, and circling random gravestones as if engaged in some elaborate dance. A hard rain beats down on them. The sound is muted, but I can hear them clearly. The words have always been familiar, but now the territory is brand new.

A journey has begun, and oh…what a ride it’s going to be.





Finally, after months and months, it’s all posted. My God, that was one long haul, hmm?

With that in mind….

The author apologizes for the following things:

—Having no knowledge of pregnancy. I need to make more pregnant friends when I write stuff like this.

—Having no knowledge of parenting or small children. I only know child mannerisms from what I remember of my sister at that age, and from what I see on the street (or in the store.) And may I just say…No kids for me, thanks.

—Being terrible at untangling the show’s ridiculously obtuse mythology. Hense the “Scully was never infertle” storyline. To every complicated question there is a simple answer, right?

—Timeline problems. Yeah. I suck at this, too. But I figure, if the show can have Scully pregnant well into her 12th month, I can be given a little leeway, don’t you think?

—Numerous delays in posting. Jaime + Punctuality = three days in a row without sleep. (Nah…I never do things at the last minute. I don’t know what you’re talking about)

A few acknowledgements:

—Duncan, my cat, has to come first. Whenever I write, I sit on his favorite spot to sleep. He hates that.

—Thanks to all the folks at the Haven boards for an incredible amount of support. Inya, Fifee, Daybreq—Stalk on! lol. –Thanks also to the rest of you who emailed me and bugged me to keep on going (or offered help when the PC crashed.) It’s so great to be part of such an incredible community.

—The nice people who not only sent feedback, but actually voted for this piece over at the Spookys. I had no idea I was even nominated until a few hours ago. How cool is that?

— David Duchovny—> Please come back. Please. Please. For me? Little old me? No? Damn. 🙁


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