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Katheine I & II by Michaela E
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 05:38:48 EDT
Subject: Katherine (1/4)
TITLE: Katherine (1/4)
AUTHOR: Michaela E
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Anywhere, as long as my name’s on it, and if you let me know beforehand.
FEEDBACK: Please! I’ve never gotten feedback, probably because my stories are usually quite long. But if you do read this, I would love an e-mail, however short. I promise to e-mail you back. 🙂
SPOILER WARNING: Anything up through Dreamland II, but major spoilers for Triangle and Dreamland I & II!
RATING: PG (there are only a few bad words)
CONTENT WARNING: None
CLASSIFICATION: Post-eps (Triangle and Dreamland I&II), X, Mulder/Scully UST, H (a little)
SUMMARY: Following Scully’s birthday, Scully essentially goes through what Mulder did in Dreamland, but her Morris Fletcher is a mysterious antique shop owner named Katherine.
DISCLAIMER: Other than Katherine, none of the characters in the following story are my own. They belong to Chris Carter, 1013, and Fox.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: You really need to have seen Triangle and Dreamland I&II for this story to make sense.
I want to thank Alexis Dearborn, Amber Parry, and Christina Scanlon for their constant support in all that I write, and I especially want to thank Alexis for her constructive criticism for this story.
Katherine by Michaela E
Katherine’s Antique Shop, Lansett Lane,
Downtown Washington D.C.
February 19, 1999
Mulder, having spotted the faded sign of “Katherine’s Antique Shop,” slowly walked across the street, which, despite it being lunch hour, was fairly quiet, with only an occasional car passing by. The street only had a few small shops on it, and was otherwise surrounded by apartment buildings. Mulder had never been here before, and probably would not come back again in the near future, but he appreciated the peaceful atmosphere it conveyed, and relished in the absence of incessant city noises.
When he approached the store, he strolled slowly by the large window, which made up nearly the entire storefront. Behind the glass stood an immense mahogany dresser, which must have been over one hundred and fifty years old; it was covered with so many objects, however, that its smooth wood surface was not visible. Mulder enjoyed examining each of these unusual objects, but he didn’t see anything that particularly struck him.
He wanted to buy something really special, something which, from the moment he laid eyes upon it, he just knew he couldn’t leave the store without buying. He couldn’t buy something ordinary and unoriginal for the person he cared more about than anyone else he had ever known. Scully deserved something special on her birthday, and he was determined to find it, no matter if it had already taken him every lunch break for the past three weeks. He didn’t have much time left, though, for her birthday would be in four days, and he was not going to disappoint her.
Looking at his watch, and seeing that ten minutes had already gone by while he had been staring through the window, he decided to go inside and see what else the store had. As he stepped inside, a little ring sounded, which indicated a customer’s entrance. The room was much larger than Mulder had expected, and he could see a small staircase to the left, which led up to a second level, sort of like a loft. He could see this level clearly, because only a low set of railings obscured his view of the furniture which stood behind it.
As Mulder walked a few steps forward, he suddenly was startled by the loud chirpings of a bird, though he couldn’t tell where the sound was coming from. He slowly turned around, and followed the sound to the right corner of the room, near the cash register. As he approached, he saw that it was a yellow canary, perched in a large, standing gilded cage. Mulder smiled at it, and it simply peered up at him, and moved its feet back and forth on the little branch upon which it was perched. Mulder had never had a bird, nor any pets for that matter, other than his fish of course, so he didn’t know quite how to deal with the situation. He was never very good at communicating with living creatures in general, and his fish did not require much attention or interaction whatsoever.
Before Mulder had to try to figure out the correct way to talk to a bird, he was saved by the voice of an older woman coming from somewhere in the back of the store. “I’ll be right there,” she announced. “Please look around as much as you’d like.” She sounded very pleasant and cheerful, and Mulder felt that her voice had a nice ring to it.
“Don’t rush, ma’am. Your bird has already welcomed me,” Mulder answered.
“Oh, splendid,” she said. “She loves company, you know, but not too many people come around here, so she usually just listens to music and to me chattering away, just as I am right now,” she laughed.
Mulder heard the sound of boxes being moved around, so he said, “Can I help you with anything?”
“Oh, no, dear. I’ve got everything under control. Just ‘cause I’m a woman doesn’t mean I can’t lift a couple of boxes. I appreciate the offer though.”
“Alright,” Mulder smiled to himself, and started looking around the store. There were so many little tables everywhere, covered with lace tablecloths and all sorts of lamps, clocks, and other ornamental objects. He looked in vain for something that Scully would like, but didn’t see a thing.
As soon as he was about to give up and leave, he heard the sound of a curtain being pushed aside, and he could finally see the woman that went with the charming voice he had just heard. When she walked in the room, she was carrying such a large box that Mulder couldn’t see her face right away. “Hello, dear. Let me just set this down, and I’ll be right with you.”
“Let me help you with that,” Mulder offered.
Before she had time to decline his offer, he already had the box in his hands, and was setting it on the desk next to the cash register. When he turned around, Mulder saw that the old woman was brushing off her hands, which were quite dusty, and he handed her a towel which was lying beside the box. “Here you go,” he said.
“Thank you so much,” she replied, and as she took the towel from him, she looked up at him. She had just been smiling, but suddenly a look of shock came across her face. Mulder, surprised by her reaction, said in a concerned voice, “Is something wrong, ma’am?”
“Ohh, no, uh, well, you just share a, um, striking resemblance to someone I once knew. It just surprised me.” Mulder heard the shaking in her voice.
“I’m sorry to have startled you.” Then, laughing, he added, “People usually give me that look when they realize who I really am.”
When her face took on a puzzled expression, he explained, “Let’s just say I’m not too popular among my co-workers.”
“I see,” she smiled at him, though he could tell she was still visibly shaken.
“Why don’t you sit down,” Mulder suggested.
“Oh, alright,” she said, though hating to seem so weak. As she seated herself at the desk, she said, “Oh, do you mind getting me a glass of water? There’s a pitcher in the little refrigerator in the room adjacent to the one I was just in.”
When he came back with the water, she said, “Thank you, Mister, um … “
“It’s Mulder, Fox Mulder.”
Her eyes widened a bit, and she said, “That’s an interesting name. Well, my name’s Katherine Lannigan.”
“Nice to meet you,” Mulder said, as they shook hands.
She was fairly old, probably in her seventies or eighties, Mulder thought. Her hair was white and straight, yet was curled under at the bottom at a length between her chin and shoulders. Her eyes were a deep blue, and the first thing Mulder thought of when he saw them was of the ocean. She was slender and quite short, barely five feet tall, if he estimated correctly—just about Scully’s height, he mused. She was wearing black pants, a red cotton sweater, and he noticed a thin gold chain around her neck, the bottom of which was partially covered by her sweater.
“Well, enough small talk,” Katherine said. “Were you looking for anything in particular?”
“Well, I’m not even sure what I want. You see, I’m actually looking for a birthday gift … for a friend. I want to give her something special, but I don’t what to buy or where to look.”
“Hmmm. Is she interested in antiques?” Katherine asked.
“I’m not really sure, actually. I didn’t think about looking in an antique shop at all until someone the other day mentioned this store. So I thought I’d check it out, and see if maybe I’d find something for Scully here. Um, that’s her name.”
“Her name is Scully? That’s even more unusual than your name.”
“No, no,” Mulder laughed. “We call each other by our last names. Her first name is Dana.”
“That’s a new one. I’ve never met anyone who called their friend by their last name,” she smiled, shaking her head. “Oh, well. Let’s see,” she said, her face taking on a concentrated, thoughtful expression. “Is there a specific price range you were considering?”
“Not particularly,” Mulder answered. “Right now, I don’t care what the gift costs, as long as she likes it.”
“Why don’t you look at some of the things over by the staircase. There is a cabinet there, which has some really beautiful items on it,” Katherine suggested.
Mulder nodded, and then proceeded to walk over to the cabinet. When he reached it, he noticed quite a few lovely items, such as picture frames, book ends, and beautiful wooden and porcelain jewelry boxes. At first, he didn’t see anything he absolutely loved, but as he looked more closely at the jewelry boxes, he found a series of porcelain ones, whose lids each had a different hand-painted scene on them. The scenes were of all sorts of things, including characters and scenes from famous fairy tales, children’s books, as well as more general scenes of nature. They were exquisitely detailed, colorful, and vibrant, and there were no two alike. Mulder examined them all carefully, then said to Katherine, as he walked over to where she was seated, “Who made these beautiful boxes?”
He showed one he particularly liked to her, and she said, “Oh, aren’t those amazing! They were handmade in Austria in the mid-nineteenth century by an artist who is not very well known. They are quite expensive, though.”
“That’s alright. How much will it be?”
“Two hundred and seventy dollars,” Katherine said, waiting to see his reaction.
“I’ll take it,” he said, without even blinking an eye. “She deserves it.”
“I’m sure she’ll love it,” Katherine said softly as she was wrapping the box carefully. “What color ribbon would you like me to wrap the gift with?”
Mulder thought for a moment, then he said, “Blue, a deep blue like the ocean.” Katherine could see he was studying her eyes as she handed him the wrapped gift. She didn’t know quite what to say, so she just smiled.
“Thank you so much,” Mulder said.
“Thank you for coming. I’ve enjoyed your company very much. I’m sure your friend will love the gift.”
“I think she will. It was very nice meeting you, Katherine. I’ll try to come back again sometime.”
“That would be nice,” she added, as he said good-bye, and walked out the store.
FBI Headquarters, Washington D.C.
February 23, 1999
Scully was tired, and very much ready to go home and eat her ice cream cake in front of the TV. She didn’t like making a big deal about her birthday, and luckily her family knew this, and knew that she would not like any big celebrations or gifts. She just liked the cards, brief phone calls, and, of course, cake.
Just as she was about to put on her coat to leave, Mulder rushed into the office, with a curious look on his face that Scully couldn’t quite figure out. “Scully, wait!”
“What is it, Mulder? I’m tired.”
“But it’s your birthday! I won’t let you go home and spend the rest of the evening alone. You’ve done that every year as long as I’ve known you, and now I think you should do something different.”
Scully knew he was probably right; even though she hated celebrating, she would rather be with Mulder than be by herself.
“Alright, Mulder. What do you have in mind?” Scully asked, raising her eyebrows and crossing her arms in front of her.
“Well, I thought we might go out to dinner somewhere, you know, like most people do on their birthdays.”
“You really don’t have to do this,” Scully insisted.
“But I want to. Come on, Scully. You keep telling me how you want a normal life, and this is what normal people do on their birthdays, so I don’t see how you can decline my invitation, unless you want to contradict everything you’ve told me.”
“Alright, alright. I accept the invitation. Thank you,” she added, with a slight smile on her face. “So where are we going? Do I need to change?”
“I was thinking we might try the new Italian place on Carmington Way. It’s a little fancy, but I’m sure what you’re wearing is fine.”
“Oh, I’d love to go there, but I really think I’m dressed a bit too casually. Let me go home and change, and you can pick me up from there.”
“Sure, sounds great,” Mulder answered. “Hey, Scully?”
“Thanks,” he said, quietly, with a smile, his eyes sparkling. He grabbed his coat, and as he headed out the door, he looked over his shoulders at her, and said, “See you at six thirty?”
“Perfect,” Scully said, as she watched Mulder disappear around the corner.
February 23, 1999
The doorbell rang while Scully was frantically trying to find the small black purse she never used, because she never had anywhere even remotely elegant to go. “Come in, Mulder,” she yelled from her bedroom. “I’ll just be a second.”
“No rush, Scully. The reservations are for seven,” Mulder answered, as he let himself in.
After about a minute, Scully came out from the bedroom, looking stunning. She was wearing a simple, but elegant black dress, an emerald green wrap, and held her black purse in hand.
Mulder couldn’t get over how amazing she looked, and he couldn’t find the right words to express this to her. So he just said, “Wow!”
Scully was blushing; this all felt so much like a date to her, and it just didn’t seem right that it should be with Mulder of all people. Not that she didn’t like the idea; “I mean,” she thought to herself, “there isn’t anyone else I’d rather be on a date with than Mulder, so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining.” Out loud, she said, “Thanks. You look great yourself.”
“Are you ready?” he asked, smiling.
“Yup,” she said, as he took her arm, and they walked out the door together.
February 23, 1999
“Mulder, I had a wonderful evening. You know, only you could have gotten me to agree to do something on my birthday,” Scully said, as the two sat in Mulder’s car, which had just pulled up to her apartment building. After a brief pause, she added, “And I’m really glad I came. Thank you.”
Mulder was looking down at his hands, and then smiled as he looked up at her. Letting out a little laugh, he said, “I’m surprised you haven’t reminded me once this whole evening that male and female agents consorting off duty goes against the Bureau’s policy.”
“Well, don’t think I haven’t thought of that. But,” she continued with a small laugh, “I recall what you said the last time I mentioned a similar policy infringement of ours.” Mulder smiled to himself as he remembered the situation to which Scully had alluded, which had occurred during their investigation of the “spirits of the forest” in Florida last year.
There was an awkward silence for a few moments, as both reminisced on this and other times when they had not acted quite accordingly with Bureau policy. Finally, however, Scully broke the unnerving moment, saying, “Anyway, this has been one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a long time.” After a second, she continued, “However, it’s not quite complete yet.”
Mulder looked questioningly at her, “Oh?”
“How can you have a birthday without cake? Come on, I can’t eat it all by myself. Besides, it’s mint chip, your favorite.”
“How can I pass up on that?” Mulder said, happy that he didn’t have to say good-bye to her already, and pleased also because this would be the perfect way for him to give her his gift.
They got out of the car, and went up to Scully’s apartment.
When they came in, Scully said, “I’ll make some coffee. Just make yourself comfortable.”
As she headed for the kitchen, Mulder said, “I’ll be right back. I think I forgot to turn my lights off,” he lied.
When he came back a minute later, Scully had already set out the pieces of cake on the table in front of the couch. Luckily, her back was faced towards him as she was getting out the coffee cups in the kitchen, so she didn’t see him as he put the gift he had just retrieved from his car under the couch. “I’m back,” he announced a second later. “I was wrong though; the lights weren’t on.”
“I didn’t think they were,” Scully said, shaking her head. “You’re even more paranoid than I thought, Mulder,” she laughed. After a second, she said, “Hey, you don’t mind if I change, do you? This dress may look nice, but it’s not the most comfortable thing to wear, you know.”
“I’m sure you’re right,” Mulder smiled. “Go ahead; I’ll pour the coffee when it’s ready.”
About five minutes later, Scully came out in some black pants and a blue shirt, as Mulder set the cups of hot coffee on the table beside the cake.
“Hey, Scully, we’d better eat this cake before it all melts.”
They ate happily, and enjoyed the cake and the peace they felt in being together in a way they were not accustomed; they were not discussing a case or their work in any way, but simply spending time together as friends rather than as partners.
After about ten minutes, Mulder decided that now was the best time for him to give his present to Scully. “Scully?”
“Yes, Mulder?” she asked, after taking a sip of coffee.
“Close your eyes.”
“Why?” she asked, slightly nervous, though curious.
“Just close them. Trust me.”
“Okay,” she said, as she shut her eyes. “I trust you.”
Mulder reached for the small package from under the couch, and tried to fix the blue bow, which had gotten a bit squished in his haste.
“You can open them now,” he said, handing her the present.
When she realized what he was handing her, Scully said, sighing, “Mulder? You really didn’t have to get me a gift. You already took me out to dinner. That was more than enough.”
“Scully? I don’t care if you think that, because this is my gift, and I can give it to you if I want to.” He hoped that hadn’t sounded so harsh, but he truly meant it. “Just accept and appreciate a gift when someone gives you one.”
“I do appreciate it; I just don’t want you to feel obligated to give me something just because it’s my birthday. I mean, we’ve given each other little things before, but, I just didn’t really think gift-giving would become a tradition or anything.”
“Well, maybe things are changing now. It’s a new year, and we don’t know what lies ahead for us. Besides, who cares about tradition or what we may or may not have done before. Sometimes, everyone needs a little change; it makes life a bit more interesting that way. Just go with it, Scully.” After they shared a smile, Mulder said, “Well, come on, open it.”
Scully looked at Mulder one more time before she carefully untied the deep blue velvet ribbon from the package, and then carefully unwrapped it. She cautiously opened the white box, and pulled out the gift within it.
She looked at the oval shaped jewelry box intently, and it seemed almost a minute before she looked up at Mulder. He wasn’t sure what to make of this silence, and was worried that maybe she didn’t like it; but his worries were soon over as she leaned over and hugged him. Her eyes showed signs of imminent tears, but she carefully kept herself calm, subduing the strong emotions she felt inside. “I love it, Mulder. It’s the most beautiful gift I’ve ever gotten from anybody.”
Mulder had no idea as to what he should say, but he knew that words were not necessary. The moment was perfect, and he didn’t want to ruin it by interrupting it with unnecessary words.
Scully picked up the box again, and her mind wandered as she looked at the image in front of her. On the lid of the box, there was a scene of the sea at night. On the sea was a small boat, on which a young man stood, peering up at the sky above through a telescope. A half moon was in the heavens with numerous stars surrounding it; they acted as the only lights which illuminated the sea and the man in the boat. Although it may seem a simple picture, the detail was amazing; being at night, the artist must have spent hours trying to create the perfect shades for distinguishing the ocean from the sky. Also, the size of the box was only about three inches wide and five inches long, so the detail was that much more challenging to produce.
Scully then took off the lid for the first time. The inside was of the deepest royal blue. It was completely plain, except for an inscription in very small words that wound along the inside edge from the top towards the bottom of the box. The words were painted in silver and written in Latin. Scully had no problem reading it, however, having studied Latin for four years in college and then, of course, in medical school. It read: “Life is a journey, a series of many paths, and those on which you travel are yours alone to choose. Yet only with faith and trust shall you discover the right ones.”
After reading this, Scully came to find even more meaning in this gift than she had only seconds earlier. Scully was deep in thought, and Mulder didn’t say a word as not to disturb her in this moment of questioning and realization. After this very long silence, Scully said softly, “Is this the right path for me?”
Mulder didn’t know what to say, but before he had a chance, she continued, nodding slowly, “I think it is. It must be, because I have faith and my trust lies in you, Mulder, and in our quest. We can’t fail.”
“You’re the only one I trust, Scully, and as much as I sometimes feel as though everything is against us and there’s nothing we can do about it, when I think about you, and everything you’ve done for me and for this quest, which has become ours alone, I feel stronger. I feel as though we still have a chance, as small as it might be.” Mulder looked down at his hands, feeling sort of awkward, and sensing that Scully must feel the same way. He then added in a voice so soft he didn’t know if Scully had actually heard him, “Thank you, Scully.”
After a few moments, Scully looked deeply into Mulder’s eyes, gazing into them in a way they had only experienced once before. Their eyes locked, and for an instant, they felt only each other; time itself and everything else around them meant absolutely nothing. It was as though they were not consciously awake. However, this suspended state lasted only a mere ten seconds or so, and then it was gone. Scully blinked, and became conscious of what had occurred. She was almost frightened; she couldn’t help but be reminded of the day back in Mulder’s hallway, the day neither of them would ever forget, the day they had almost kissed. Even though it was only about six months ago, it seemed to her now like ages. So many things had happened since then, and she had tried so hard to forget about that fateful day … yet now, everything about that day came back to her, every word that had been spoken, and the same feeling of suspended time during which their lips had nearly met. In a way, she wanted it to happen all over again, to have them actually kiss, and their chance was now. Yet she didn’t feel ready now; she didn’t want them to do something they might both regret later.
Mulder had the exact same thoughts in his head, as well. He had meant to kiss her that day in his hallway; at the time, it felt right, but maybe it wasn’t the right time. Maybe the right time was now. He wanted to kiss her at this very moment, but he was still hesitant. He was scared that if he did attempt to kiss her, and she didn’t want it, that he would ruin their unique and fragile relationship forever. He couldn’t risk being spontaneous and daring on something as important as this. So he held back, and she didn’t move an inch. The moment was over, and it would have to wait, if ever it were to occur again, for another time. Scully looked down at the box again, put the lid back on, and then looked back up at Mulder. “Mulder?” she asked quietly.
He glanced up at her, but had trouble looking directly into her eyes. “Yes?” he said, almost whispering.
“May I ask where you found this?” she asked, indicating to the box.
Mulder thought about this question for a moment before answering, not sure as to whether he wanted to tell her. He liked the idea of keeping the source of this special gift a mystery, keeping that sort of magical aura which surrounded it. Yet he could sense that she truly wanted to know, and he couldn’t find a good excuse for not telling her. So he said, “I found it in a small antique shop about ten minutes from the Bureau. A very friendly old woman runs the store, and she helped me find the gift. Here,” he said, as he handed her a piece of paper on which he had written the address of the store. It was still in his jacket pocket.
“Thanks. I want to go by there sometime. Maybe I’ll be able to find something there for my mom. You know how much she loves antique things.”
Mulder nodded his head in agreement. Then, after yet another brief pause, Scully looked at her watch, and said, “Oh, it’s getting late. And tomorrow we have a meeting first thing with Kersh.”
“Great,” Mulder said, getting up. He picked up the two empty plates save for a couple crumbs and leftover frosting, and walked with Scully over to the kitchen. As Mulder turned to put on his jacket, Scully said, “I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for me.”
“I’m just glad I could make your birthday special. You deserve it, Scully, you really do.”
Scully stood there, not knowing how to respond. Before she could though, Mulder continued, and abruptly said, “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow.” He smiled slightly and walked towards her front door.
“Tomorrow,” Scully responded, in an almost inaudible voice. He gave her one final look before he opened the door, and left.
The door shut, and Scully stared in the direction from which Mulder had just left. She felt as though she had somehow disappointed him, as though he had expected something from her, but she had failed to recognize it. Maybe he had wanted a kiss, maybe he was waiting for her to make the move. She wasn’t sure what to think, but she still loved this day nonetheless. She treasured that box more than anything she had ever had or would have, and she looked forward to going to the antique shop. She sensed that something would happen there; she had no idea what, but she had a strange feeling about it.
Scully took the box and set it on the dresser in her bedroom, looking at the inscription inside one last time before she got ready for bed and fell quickly into a deep sleep.
Katherine’s Antique Shop
February 27, 1999
The rest of the week after her birthday had been so busy that Scully hadn’t had a chance to come by the antique shop until Saturday afternoon. It was a bit overcast outside, but the weather was still nice enough to go out. Scully walked by the large window of the antique shop, viewing all the nick nacks laid out on the table inside. As with Mulder, she too did not see anything which struck her as particularly amazing, but if this was where Mulder had found the box, then looks were certainly deceiving.
She walked inside, taking in the whole look of the place. As she began to roam about the room, browsing, she suddenly was startled by the sound of the bird. She strolled over to the part of the room from which the sound was coming. As Scully approached the cage, she was surprised that the bird was a yellow canary. She used to have a yellow canary when she was about ten years old, but she only had it for a few years before her father was relocated for the navy, and they had to move. She was forced to give the bird to their neighbor, something which had devastated her more than anything she had gone through up at least until that point in her life. Her bird, Snap, had been one of her closest friends at that time, because she had always had difficulty in making friends, both due to her closed-off personality, as well as to the constant moving that caused her to make friends and then have to leave them so soon.
Scully looked fondly at the bird as she reminisced her childhood and the pleasant memories she had with Snap. As Scully was making little cutesy, playful noises to the bird, Katherine came down the stairs which led down from the upper level of the store, carrying a large wooden trunk. Hearing Scully, she said, “Oh, my. I didn’t realize I had a customer. That little bell on the door has to be fixed, because otherwise I’ll never know who comes in and out of here.”
“Oh, hello, ma’am,” Scully said, walking away from that corner of the store towards Katherine. “I didn’t mean to startle you. I was just playing with your lovely bird.”
“Oh, yes, isn’t Redlum adorable?” Katherine said, watching her steps carefully as she came down the stairs.
“Unusual, I know. But there’s always a meaning for everything, now, isn’t there?”
“That’s very true,” Scully said, curious as to what significance the name could possibly hold.
As Katherine came around the bookcase which had obstructed her view of Scully up until this point, she nearly dropped the box in her hands when she finally beheld her. She felt very dizzy suddenly, and quickly set the box down on a nearby table. She could barely stand up, and, losing her balance, reached for the banister for support. Scully immediately came to her aid, and said, “What’s wrong? Do you feel dizzy?”
“Yes,” Katherine whispered, trying to catch her breath. “I, I don’t know what happened, I’m sorry.”
“Why don’t you sit down on this chair,” Scully suggested, grabbing the one nearest to her. “Oh, but that’s a priceless piece!” Katherine jumped with fear. “No, no, let me go over to my desk,” she said, and Scully, not about to argue with this woman over something about which she felt so passionate, took her arm as they walked across the store to the desk by Redlum.
When Katherine sat down, she drank some water and soon recovered from her initial shock. She looked at Scully intently, still stunned by the uncanny resemblance between this redhead and herself in her youth. She didn’t know quite what to say, but decided not to mention these thoughts to this stranger until she learned a bit more about her.
After a pause, Scully asked, “Do you feel alright, um, Katherine?”
Finishing her last sip of water, Katherine responded, “Yes. Thank you.” Another pause followed, and then she continued, “So, I see that you know who I am. May I ask the same of you?”
“Oh, my name’s Scully. Dana Scully.”
Katherine, upon hearing this name, felt another wave of surprise come over her. So, this was Scully, Mulder’s friend and partner. Things were becoming more unusual every day. First she sees the love of her life for the second time after sixty years, and then she meets his partner, who looks exactly like she did at the same age. This revelation was so terribly disturbing and seemed so ridiculous that Katherine actually pinched herself to see if this were not a dream or some figment of her imagination. Yet she knew this was most certainly reality, yet had no idea how it could be. She thought back to the day she had first met Mulder. She only saw him for a couple of hours, and then he left for good … or so she thought, until a few days ago. She remembered vaguely that the first moment she had seen him, dressed in a Nazi uniform, he had mistaken her for “Scully.” She was not Scully, of course, and at the time, she couldn’t believe how he could have mistaken her for someone else. But now it made sense, because if this was the same Scully—heaven knows how—as the one Mulder had been looking for on the Queen Anne, then she could easily forgive him for his mistake.
Katherine was suddenly taken out of her reverie by Scully’s voice. “I don’t know if you remember, but a man named Mulder came in here a few days ago, and he bought a beautiful jewelry box. It was a gift … for me, actually.”
“Oh, how could I forget! He was so excited when he bought it.”
Scully smiled. “Well, I love the box so much that I had to come here and see what other unique things you have. I was thinking of maybe getting a small something for him in return. Do you have any suggestions?”
Katherine smiled back, and said, “Well, let’s see… I have some lovely pens that aren’t too expensive, and they can be engraved with a name or special message on them.”
Scully thought about this. At first she thought a pen might be a bit boring or impersonal, but then she thought that it would be useful and could still be personal at the same time, if she could, in fact, engrave it with a special inscription. That would be quite appropriate. After a brief pause, Scully said, “Yes, that sounds perfect. Could I look at the ones you have, please?”
Scully waited as Katherine went over to a display case to the right of the bird cage. She pulled out a stand on which were placed about ten different pens. “Here you go,” the older woman said, placing the stand on the counter in front of Scully. “They’re all fountain pens designed in the 1920’s.”
Scully looked carefully at each one, having quite a difficult time deciding on which one she liked best. Finally though, she chose one; it was dark green with a silver metal clip, and it came in a long, narrow black case with dark green velvet on the inside. She thought it was elegant and would look nice on his desk, and hopefully he could also get some use out of it. Once she made her decision, she asked Katherine, “Where can I get this engraved?”
“Oh, I have a friend who does all my engraving for me. I could have him do it for you, if you’d like.”
“That would be great.”
“I’ll need you to pay for the pen first though, and then you can pick it up as early as this evening if you’d like, and then pay the rest of the cost for the engraving. Here, you can right down what you would like the inscription to say,” Katherine said, handing Scully a piece of paper.
Scully wrote, “Mulder, you’re the only one I trust. Love, Scully.”
When Scully had finished, she said, handing the paper back to Katherine, “Alright. And how much does the pen cost?”
“It’s one hundred and eighty five dollars.”
“Oh my!” Scully said, surprised. “Well, he’s worth it … definitely,” saying the last word more to herself than to Katherine.
“That’s two hundred dollars and fifty four cents, including sales tax.”
Scully got out her wallet, and handed her the bills. She had quite a bit of money with her, because she knew she would get Mulder a gift, and also because she had just gone to the ATM to get some money for a few new pairs of shoes she was planning to buy later that afternoon. As she fished for change in her wallet, Scully suddenly felt a strange object in her hands as she dumped a handful of change into her palm. She looked down, and smiled as she realized the object happened to be the strange coin she had found in her desk a few months ago. It was a dime and a penny merged together perfectly through the center of each coin. She thought it was so unusual that she kept it with her in her wallet. She liked looking at it every once in a while, because it reminded her that some things just couldn’t be explained. She liked to believe that science had an answer to everything, but she knew, after six years of working on the X-Files, that sometimes there are things for which science simply cannot find a logical answer. Although this has frustrated her on countless occasions, she has come to accept this fact and has learned to take some things based on mere faith. In effect, this strange anomaly of nature has come to represent a symbol of her faith.
After a few moments, Scully heard Katherine’s voice. She was asking her, “Ms. Scully, is something the matter?”
Scully hadn’t realized how long she must have been staring at this object.
“Sorry,” she said. “I had just forgotten about this, that’s all.”
“What is it?” Katherine asked, looking down at the small object in Scully’s hand.
“Well, it’s, um … I don’t really know. I found it a while ago, and I don’t know where it came from. I just liked it, and so I keep it with me in my purse. Here, you can look at it,” she said, handing the object to Katherine. As she passed it to her, for a brief moment, their hands both touched the object simultaneously. Suddenly, a strange feeling came over both of them; they each felt completely different. At this new, strange sensation, they both dropped the bizarre coin, which rolled across the floor, and finally settled beneath the bird cage.
Scully felt pain in her back and hips, and felt physically weak. Katherine, on the other hand, felt better and healthier than she had in many years. Scully looked down at her hands very slowly, and almost fell over when she saw a pair of pale, wrinkled old hands, with their veins showing through the thin skin, which now belonged to her. She drew in a quick breath, and dashed over to a mirror which was hanging on a wall on the right side of the store. When she stood before the mirror, the image looking back at her was what she feared it would be, though she could never in her life explain how or why. The reflection she beheld was that of the old woman. How on earth could she look like Katherine, when Katherine still appeared to be herself?
“What the hell is going on?” Scully almost screamed, she was so confused and upset.
“What do you mean?” Katherine asked, bewildered at this sudden and rude behavior by a woman who, only minutes earlier, had seemed like a perfectly sane and nice person.
“L-l-l-ook at your hands,” Scully said, her voice shaking.
Katherine glanced down, and almost jumped as much as Scully had. Her hands looked young and smooth, as if she had lost over fifty years of her life. “I don’t understand.”
“Do I look like the same person who walked in this store twenty minutes ago?” Scully asked.
“Yes, of course. What’s going on?”
“Well, come and look in this mirror, and tell me who you see?”
Katherine slowly walked over to Scully, and followed her demand. As she peered into the glass at herself, she said, her voice trembling, “I see, I see you, but I’m looking at myself … I don’t understand.”
“Neither do I, but it seems as though we look the same to each other, but to the mirror or to anyone else, you look like me and I look like you.”
“What should we do?” Katherine asked.
Scully thought a few minutes before she answered, then said, “Let me call Mulder.” She took out her cell phone, and started dialing his home phone number. She let the phone ring almost ten times before she finally hung up.
“No luck. Either he’s not at home, or he’s playing basketball and doesn’t hear the phone ringing.” Scully shook her head in frustration. “Mulder always turns off his cell phone on the weekends if we’re not on a case, and he’s getting his answering machine fixed this weekend, so I guess we’ll have to try to reach him in person.”
Katherine raised her eyebrows at this remark, but Scully, deep in thought, barely noticed and continued talking, “I have an idea. Why don’t you go to his apartment today to explain what happened in person. He’ll believe you because you look like me, and he trusts me. Just tell him what happened, and bring him down to the store. I’ll wait here.”
“Well, alright,” Katherine said, hesitantly, “but I don’t feel quite comfortable doing this. It would be very awkward if I had to talk to people who know you—me—whatever. I mean, how am I supposed to talk to people I don’t even know, while I’m pretending to act like you?”
“If that happens, just fake it. But you shouldn’t have too many problems, because it’s a Saturday, and you won’t have to deal with going to the Bureau. You can just go to Mulder’s apartment. Hopefully he’ll be there.”
Scully, seeing Katherine’s hesitant look, continued, “Please, Katherine. We don’t have any other options. He’s the only one who would ever believe what has happened to us.”
Katherine nodded her head slowly. Scully then took a piece of paper out of her purse, and wrote down Mulder’s address. Handing the paper and her keys to Katherine, Scully said, “Here you go. Call me when you get there or if anything happens.”
Katherine took these things and then said, “Wait, what if he’s not there?”
“Then just go inside and wait for him. Or else, I suppose you could go to my apartment. It’s the silver key next to the keychain.” Scully then handed Katherine another piece of paper with her own address on it.
Katherine said, “Okay, but I would feel better if we closed the store for the rest of the day. I don’t want you to have to worry about dealing with customers and everything.”
“Thank you. That’s a relief for me.”
“I’m not as relieved as you are. I haven’t driven for almost fifteen years!” Katherine said.
“Don’t worry. It’s only a couple of blocks away.” As Scully said this, she glanced down, and caught the mysterious coin in the corner of her eye. She reached down slowly, remembering that now her back was weak, and picked it up from under the bird cage. “Hey, you should bring this with you. If Mulder doesn’t already know what it is, maybe he can get it tested right away.”
“Alright,” Katherine said, taking the coin. Scully almost thought they would be switched back again as they both touched the coin during this transaction. But nothing happened to her dismay.
“Well, I’ll see you soon, Scully,” Katherine said as she left the store.
“Good luck,” Scully answered, then closed and locked the door after Katherine had left.
After flipping the sign in the window so that it read “Closed” on the outside, Scully walked back toward the desk near the bird cage. Redlum was drinking water, and Scully was too tired and confused to try to make conversation with her. Instead, she thought she might as well look around a bit. After walking around both levels of the store, she went through the back curtains of the store, discovering a small kitchen, a door leading to a storage room, and a narrow staircase leading to another upstairs level, which Scully assumed must be Katherine’s living quarters. Scully, having nothing else to do, ascended the stairs.
Scully felt badly, as though she were snooping and shouldn’t be here, but she was bored, and just wanted to see what Katherine’s little apartment looked like. At the top of the stairs was a small landing and a closed door, which Scully slowly opened. The door opened up into the living room, which had a sort of country look to it. There was a blue and white plaid couch with matching chairs, and sitting on top of the oak table in front of the couch was a small bowl, filled with apple-scented potpourri. A large bookcase was lined up on the wall opposite these pieces of furniture, and there were so many books and albums on every shelf, that there was barely room to fit one more book. The only other rooms in the apartment were Katherine’s bedroom, bathroom, and another kitchen, larger than the one downstairs. The bedroom was fairly simple. A medium sized bed covered with floral pattern covers took up nearly a third of the room, and an oak nightstand and dresser took up most of the remaining space. Two large windows overlooked the parking lot behind the store, and a mirror, lamp, and closet were the only other objects visible in the room.
As she walked out of the bedroom, Scully realized that she hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and now that it was already three thirty, she was quite hungry. She walked into the kitchen, and opened the refrigerator, hoping there would be something she liked. To her surprise, there was some leftover Chinese food that happened to be exactly what she normally ordered: vegetable chow mein, sweet and sour chicken, and egg rolls. After she had set these things out on the small kitchen table by the window, she went over to the CD player that was sitting in the book case behind some cabinet doors which had been left open. She looked through some of the CDs that sat in a pile next to the CD player, and was surprised to find that they were all classical music by her favorite composers. She decided on Vivaldi, which she enjoyed listening to as she ate her favorite lunch.
February 27, 1999
Katherine arrived in front of Mulder’s apartment building about ten minutes after she had left the store, but she stayed in the car a good fifteen minutes at least before she finally got up the courage to confront the man she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about for years after the one day they had spent together in 1939. “How lucky Scully is,” she thought to herself. “She gets to spend nearly every day of her life working with Fox Mulder. And they obviously care deeply for each other, more than just as partners,” she thought as she recalled the expensive gifts they had purchased with such care for one another. “If only I could be so lucky.” Katherine thought about her life for a few minutes, and about some of the things she had never done, and now regretted because she was too old to get another chance. She had always been a very strong willed person, and had never had a very easy time with men in the romantic sense. She never got married, and really never fell in love. Mulder was the only man she had ever loved, but of course he had to be the person whom she never saw again, until now that is. Even then, after they had shared that amazing kiss, she actually had the nerve to slap him. “If only she hadn’t done that, maybe, just maybe he would have stayed. Maybe he would now be part of her life,” she thought.
She started to feel quite depressed until she had a thought. Maybe she could finally make up for this mistake. Now that she looked like Scully, maybe she could finally finish what they had started sixty years ago. After all, he really thought she was Scully when he had kissed her, and now was the perfect chance for him to make the same mistake. This was all so strange to her, she couldn’t begin to see any of it logically. So she just decided to forget reason and to let her emotions take over. “It’s now or never,” she thought, as she turned off the engine and unbuckled her seat belt. She looked at herself in the mirror, which reflected an image back to her that she couldn’t help but admit gave her pleasure. It was every person’s dream to be able to look and feel young again, and she was actually able to make this dream a reality.
As Katherine came out of her daze, she looked at her watch and realized that she should be getting out of the car now. She quickly opened up the glove compartment to take out the coin which she had placed there. When she opened it, she found a small makeup bag, which she took out first. She decided she might as well look her best, so she chose a deep red lipstick and applied it. All the other lipsticks were more dull, toned down shades, which she thought were perfectly fine for work, but wouldn’t make her look quite as attractive as the red did. Katherine thought she looked quite good. She was wearing black pants and black shoes, a fitted white cotton T-shirt, and a black leather jacket. “I wonder if Mulder usually sees Scully dressed this way. She’s probably much more conservatively dressed at work,” Katherine thought.
Katherine put away the make-up bag, then shut the glove department, forgetting to take out the coin. She walked up the stairs to the front door of Mulder’s apartment building, and proceeded to open the door once she found the small brass key out of the numerous keys Scully had given her.
Katherine walked down the hallway, and finally found #42 at the very end. Her heart started beating a bit faster, and she felt very nervous. She stood outside his door, and took a long, deep breath. She stood closer to the door, and listened to try to see if she could hear anything inside, yet no sound came from within. After one more deep breath, she finally knocked. There was no reply. She wasn’t sure if she was disappointed or relieved by this, but she knew he would be back sometime that day, so she would have to face him eventually. “I might as well get a look at his apartment before he comes back,” she thought to herself. Once again, it took her a few minutes to locate the right key before she opened the door and entered Mulder’s apartment.
After shutting the door behind her, she walked into the living room, where she looked around for a little while. She could see that his place was clean and fairly neat, though he seemed to be quite fond of making little piles of papers and books and such all around the room. On the table in front of the couch were a stack of books regarding various Indian tribes, ceremonial rites, etc. Beside these, there was a stack of gun magazines, topped with bank statements and tax return forms. On the chair in front of the computer sat a huge encyclopedia and a Thomas Guide, and next to the computer, on the desk, were various pieces of paper with phone numbers, addresses, and random notes on them. As Katherine flipped through some of these, she accidentally hit the mouse, so that the screen saver (a dancing Elvis) disappeared, revealing what Mulder had been doing before he left his computer. Katherine saw that Mulder had been in the process of writing an e-mail before he must have been interrupted. It was addressed to Scully of all people. It read:
I thought you’d like to know that Ransick finally confessed to the burglaries, as I figured he would, considering the circumstances.
Anyway, at least now we won’t have to worry about that stupid case anymore. Back to an X-File hopefully. <g>
Speaking of X-Files, I think I found one. A woman named Jamie Pringle claims that she can will herself invisible and thus go anywhere without anyone knowing she’s there. I’m going to need your help on this case, especially. Your medical expertise—I’m sure—will prove invaluable as always. Anyway, just to celebrate a possible return to the X-Files(?), I thought we could maybe do something tonight. Would you like to—
It ended there, and Katherine was annoyed that she couldn’t already know what he was going to ask her (that is, Scully). The e-mail puzzled her also, because she had no idea what an X-File was, and this made her even more nervous for when she would have to meet Mulder.
Suddenly, as she stood up straight again, after having leaned over in front of the computer when she had been reading, she felt a hand touch her shoulder. She nearly jumped out of her skin. In her startled state, she accidentally pressed the “Send” button.
She whirled around, and came face to face with Mulder, who had a questioning expression on his face, his eyebrows slightly raised, though a smile was starting to form at his mouth. She didn’t know what to say, having obviously been caught red handed looking at Mulder’s personal things.
“Well, this is a surprise,” Mulder said slightly sarcastically, a smile now fully formed on his face. “To what may I owe this pleasure, Scully?”
Katherine had been too busy thinking about her appearance than about what she was going to tell Mulder. It was hard for her to think clearly, for she suddenly had a flashback of the moment when those same lips which now smiled at her had actually touched her own lips.
“I, uh, was just in the neighborhood, so I thought I’d stop by,” she said, without even thinking. “Yeah right,” Katherine thought to herself. “How lame can I possibly be? I am such a bad liar.”
She then realized that all he was wearing was a pair of jeans. His hair was wet and he had a towel around his neck. He must have just taken a shower.
“Is that the only reason?” Mulder asked, his quizzical expression leaving Katherine unclear as to whether he was serious or just joking.
“Well,” Katherine hesitated for a moment, “I also just wanted to talk to you.”
“Is something wrong, Scully?” Mulder quickly reacted with a concerned look.
“No, no. I, uh, I don’t think this is the right time.”
“Would tonight be a better time?” he asked. Before she could answer, he continued. “I see that you already read my unfinished e-mail to you,” he smiled. “So why don’t I finish it now. I thought we might order something in and rent a movie or something. You can pick.” He grinned.
“Okay,” Katherine said after a slight pause. “That would be nice, Mulder. Should I come back around six or so?”
“Sure that’s perfect. I’ll see you then, Scully.” Mulder sounded a bit flustered. He couldn’t believe she had actually accepted. He was sure she would find some excuse for why she wouldn’t be able to come, as she had almost always done in the past when he had invited her over. She had always liked to keep a certain distance between them, but she seemed to be slowly opening up to him and wanting to spend more time with him. He was very pleased by this change in her, but realized that it might not really mean anything as far as her feelings toward him. Despite the fact that he has known and worked with Scully day in and day out for over six years now, she still was quite a mystery to him. He never knows quite what she is really thinking or feeling, because he never knows if she is showing her honest feelings or whether she is simply putting up a facade because she is too scared to share her real feelings.
Yet Mulder quickly came out of these thoughts, as Katherine said, “Okay, I’ll see you in a couple hours. Bye, Mulder,” and left.
“What have I done?” Katherine thought to herself. “But this is what I want, isn’t it?” she thought, as she grabbed Scully’s cell phone, and called the store.
“Hello?” Scully answered on the other line.
“Hi, Scully. It’s Katherine. Mulder’s not home yet. I’ve waited a while, and I’m a little tired right now.”
“Oh, okay. Well, why don’t you go to my place and rest a bit? Then, you can go back to Mulder’s place later on. I’ll keep myself occupied. I certainly can’t complain of a lack of reading material.”
“Yes, I’m an avid book collector. Enjoy,” Katherine said. “Well, I’ll call you back as soon as I talk to Mulder.”
“Thank you, Katherine.”
“Sure. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye,” Scully said.
Katherine then turned off the phone before she pulled away and headed to Scully’s apartment.
Katherine’s Upstairs Apartment
February 27, 1999
After Scully hung up, she walked over to the bookshelf, where she noticed many art and history books, which would make sense, considering Katherine’s occupation. However, these didn’t particularly grab Scully in any way, so she continued looking until she came across a set of navy blue books with silver stripes across the binding. She pulled one of these out, and upon opening it, discovered that they were actually photo albums. This sort of thing interested Scully much more, so she grabbed a couple of them, and took them with her over to the couch, where she made herself comfortable.
The first album she looked at contained mainly baby pictures, all in black and white of course. She flipped fairly quickly through these until she came to some pictures of some children between the ages of five and ten or so. When she saw these pictures, she nearly froze with terror. Looking back at her from the page were her own brothers, Bill and Charlie, and her sister, Melissa. And in between them was a girl who looked identical to Scully when she was about six years old. Scully started to feel dizzy as she frantically searched for pictures of other people that looked like people in her own, present day life. Sure enough, she came across a photograph of a man in a navy uniform, who looked exactly like her own—now deceased—father, as well as a photograph of a woman who was the spitting image of her own mother. These pictures were of Scully and her family, but she had no idea how this could be. They were all black and white, and the dates beneath the photographs were all from the early 1900’s through the 1920’s.
Scully felt as though she were in a nightmare. This unbelievable discovery was too much for her to handle emotionally, her breath quickened, and she felt exceedingly weak. She had forgotten that her body was that of a woman who must be somewhere in her late eighties or early nineties. Suddenly, exhausted and in a state of shock, she put her head back against the pillow; she could not keep her eyes open, and soon lost consciousness.
February 27, 1999
Katherine realized that she didn’t have much time to rest before she would have to leave again to go back to Mulder’s place. She decided she would just freshen up a bit, and take a look around Scully’s apartment. She desperately wanted to see pictures of the rest of Scully’s family, because the similarity between herself when she was in her 30’s and Scully was simply too striking. It was almost eerie how truly like twins they could have looked if placed side by side.
Katherine walked into Scully’s apartment, and checked out every room, noticing how clean and organized she was. When she walked into the bedroom, she immediately discovered the box Mulder had bought Scully only days before, and thought about how different things would be if only Mulder hadn’t ever discovered her antique shop. She herself certainly didn’t mind this fateful event, though she did feel a bit sorry for Scully, having to be put in such a miserable condition, going from a young, healthy woman to an old and tired one.
Katherine pulled out a small pouch from her purse, in which she had placed the coin. She had taken it out of the glove compartment when she arrived at Scully’s apartment, deciding that she had better hold onto it, just in case. She looked at the mysterious coin in greater detail, turning it over in her hands, and then, seeing that nothing else was inside the antique jewelry box, put the coin inside it.
Walking back out to the living room, Katherine suddenly spotted a set of picture frames which were grouped together on a small table next to the couch. As she had expected, they were pictures of Scully’s family, along with one of Mulder, but when she saw them she nearly fainted. They all looked exactly like her own family. Katherine recognized her own parents and siblings among these pictures, except they were in modern day clothes and in color. She had no explanation for this outrageous phenomenon, though she was positive this was no coincidence. She had to sit down, she was so flabbergasted, and she couldn’t stop staring at them, comparing every detail in her head between her own family members and their corresponding modern-day counterparts.
Realizing that it was already five thirty, she decided to change her shirt. She found a light cotton violet V-neck sweater, which she put on with the black pants she was already wearing. She then put on some vanilla perfume and pearl earrings which were sitting on Scully’s dresser. She looked at herself in the mirror, pleased with the reflection, and then departed.
September 27, 1999
Mulder just finished vacuuming when he realized the doorbell was ringing. He quickly ran to the door, and was pleased to see that Scully was right on time. She looked and smelled radiant, and he loved the color she was wearing. It made her look softer and more gentle than her normal stiff-looking tailored suits for work did. She looked even more beautiful to him than she had on her birthday, if that was possible, for she looked so natural and comfortable and simply happy.
“Hi, Mulder,” Katherine answered, keeping her calm exterior, though in reality she was very nervous.
“So, did you decide on what you wanted for dinner?” he asked, as he closed the door behind her as she walked in.
“How about pizza?” she asked, smiling.
“Sounds good to me. Toppings?”
“Let’s see. I like the vegetarian pizza the best. You?”
“How ‘bout we split it half and half. Half vegetarian, half pepperoni.”
“Great,” Katherine said, and Mulder thus proceeded to call in the order. When he got off the phone, she asked, “So, did you want to watch a movie?”
“Well, you know what I’ve got,” Mulder sarcastically said, smiling and lifting his eyebrows suggestively.
Katherine wasn’t quite sure what he meant by this, and she started to feel more and more nervous and awkward, worried that he would talk about things or people she didn’t know about. Mulder wasn’t sure how to respond to Scully’s lack of a response. He assumed she would say something sarcastic back, but instead her silence made him worry that he had upset her by this statement. She usually didn’t mind these jokes, but maybe she just wasn’t in the mood to fool around.
“Do you have any comedies or classics?” she asked quickly.
“Well, I’ve got How To Steal A Million.”
“Oh, don’t you just love Audrey Hepburn!”
“I didn’t think you would want to watch that movie. You once said you thought Audrey Hepburn was annoying, and that people only liked her for her looks and not for any acting ability.
Katherine realized she would not have an easy time tonight. “Uh, well, I think I was being a little harsh when I said that. She’s really not that bad.”
Mulder gave Scully a questioning look, before he said hesitantly, “Okay. Well, I’ll put it on when the pizza comes.” After a brief and awkward pause, Mulder continued, “So, you read my e-mail. What do you think of that Jamie Pringle case?”
Katherine vaguely remembered that name was associated with something to do with being invisible, but she didn’t really know how to respond. She had no clue as to what Mulder and Scully really did as FBI agents, and she wasn’t sure what the X-Files were. So she said cautiously, “Oh, I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me more about it.”
“Well,” Mulder continued, “this woman claims that she’s been able to make herself invisible since she was in her teens. She says that she discovered her ability on her fourteenth birthday, when she wanted to see a movie, but didn’t have any money. She says that she just walked right in the theater, straight past the two people who check people’s tickets, and they completely ignored her. It was as though she was nonexistant. She says ever since then, whenever she doesn’t want to be seen, she can will herself invisible and stay that way as long as she pleases.”
“That’s fascinating,” Katherine answered, truly amazed. She had never heard of such a thing before.
“Scully?” Mulder asked, surprised by her response. “Well, don’t you have some skeptical comeback for me?”
“Uh, well, not really. I, uh, I guess I’d like to see her show us how she does this. I’m truly amazed though!” Katherine answered.
“You mean to tell me that you would actually consider this case, Scully? I must admit, you do confuse me. On the one hand, you can outright deny most of the paranormal phenomenon you’ve seen with your own eyes, and on the other hand, you already practically believe this woman’s story even though you’ve never seen any proof whatsoever. Are you sure you’re feeling alright, Scully?” Mulder was astonished by her odd behavior.
Katherine knew she was going to have problems. She had gotten in way over her head, but she couldn’t back out now. So she said, “No, Mulder, I’m fine. Really. I don’t mean to confuse you, I just honestly think this is interesting. More interesting than some of the other things we’ve done lately.”
Mulder wasn’t sure what to make of this statement. What exactly did she mean by other things? Was she just speaking professionally right now, or did she mean more, like about their personal relationship. But he simply answered, “Well, alright, Scully. I guess we can meet with her on Monday then.”
“Sure, that would be great,” Katherine answered. The doorbell rang as she said this, and Mulder answered it. He paid the pizza deliverer, then set the pizza down on the table in front of the couch. They each helped themselves to a slice, then sat down on the floor.
“I hope you don’t mind eating like this,” Mulder apologized. “I don’t really have anything fancier.”
“No, this is fine, Mulder. It’s really nice being here with you,” Katherine smiled, pleased that she was able to change the subject.
“Scully, didn’t you want to talk to me about something? That’s what you said this afternoon.”
Katherine had forgotten about that, and she wasn’t sure what to say. Yet she decided to be daring. “Mulder, I, well, I just wanted to talk about us.”
“Us?” Mulder gulped, barely able to get out the word.
“Mulder,” she took a deep breath before she continued, “I think we both know how much we care about each other, yet we always seem to find a way to get around the point, instead of just confronting it head on.”
Mulder never expected those words to come out of Scully’s mouth; from him, maybe, but not from her.
“I think it’s high time we stop beating about the bush,” Katherine continued, feeling more determined now. After a pause, she said slowly, “Do you agree, Mulder?”
Of course he agreed, but he still felt uncertain as to how he should answer that question. He smiled, in an almost shy manner, then said softly, “Yes. I agree.”
They both looked into each other’s eyes. Mulder felt a sense of deja vous, as he realized this was just like what happened on Scully’s birthday and in his hallway last summer. He came closer to Katherine, and put his hand on her shoulder. He leaned in closer to her, and just as he was about to kiss her, the door to his apartment flew open as Scully barged in.
Mulder whirled around at her entrance, and Katherine sighed as she thought about how close she was to having kissed Mulder a second time in her life. Now, he would find out what she had done, and she would only embarrass herself more. As for Mulder, he couldn’t believe it when he saw the old woman, Katherine, from the antique shop standing in the doorway to his apartment.
“What are you doing here?” he asked. It came out more rudely than he had meant, but he was just so surprised, he didn’t know what else to say.
Scully looked at him, and then at Katherine, and suddenly realized what was going on. Mulder still had his arm on Katherine’s shoulder, and they had obviously been enjoying each other’s company before she had come in. “So that’s what Katherine’s up to,” she thought to herself.
“Mulder, I can see that you haven’t been informed of this yet, but … ” she stopped to give Katherine a fierce look, “something unbelievable has happened today, so unbelievable in fact, that even you might have trouble believing it.”
Mulder was so confused, he was speechless.
Scully continued. “Mulder, even though I may look to you like Katherine, I am actually Scully, and the woman sitting beside you is actually Katherine.”
“What are you talking about?” Mulder said, defensively.
“Today, I, Dana Scully, went into Katherine’s antique shop. I bought something, and when I paid, I handed Katherine a coin that I had kept in my purse a long time. But it’s no ordinary coin. I found it in my desk drawer the night after we had gotten back from Area 51, and I thought it was quite an anomaly. It’s two coins connected together, but I have no idea how they could have gotten that way. Anyway, when I handed this coin to Katherine, by mistake, we somehow switched bodies. I sent Katherine, who now looks like me, Scully, to find you, so that she could tell you what had happened to us, but obviously she didn’t do what she was told.”
Mulder looked at Katherine, then back at Scully. “Where is this coin?”
“I have it. I found it in the box you gave me for my birthday. Katherine must have put it there when she went to my apartment.”
“I don’t know what this woman is talking about,” Katherine said to Mulder. She knew it was foolish to lie, but she couldn’t help it. Her instinct forced her to try to defend herself, despite the fairly obvious results which would occur shortly.
“She’s lying, Mulder,” Scully said angrily. “I’m not finished yet. I went to Katherine’s apartment upstairs behind the shop, and in some albums, I found pictures from the 1920’s of her family and herself, and they all looked identical to my own family and myself. Mulder, this is really disturbing me. I don’t understand.” Tears started forming in her eyes. “I need your help. You’re the only one I can trust. You’ve got to believe me,” she said, desperately.
Katherine jumped in, “Mulder, she knows about you, and your beliefs in paranormal phenomenon. She just wants attention, and she’s trying to get it by making up this ridiculous story!”
Mulder didn’t know what to do, and he said nothing.
Scully continued in a calmer voice, realizing that he wasn’t yet satisfied with her explanation, “If we go back to the store, you can see the pictures. Here’s the coin,” she said, as she took it out of her purse and handed it to him.
He looked at it, fascinated, but still unsure. “How do I know I can believe you?” he asked.
Scully stood a moment, thinking of something she could tell him, that only they both knew about. Then she came up with something. “Okay, this should satisfy your doubts. When we were both in the woods in Florida last year, I sang you the song, “Joy to the World” while we were trying to stay awake so that we wouldn’t be attacked by the creature.”
Mulder was pretty satisfied with this statement, but still couldn’t believe that his Scully was inside Katherine’s old body. He looked at Katherine, and jumped up, realizing that he had almost kissed Katherine. He was glad it hadn’t happened, because he wanted his first kiss with the real Scully—if he should ever be lucky enough for that to happen—to be special. He would have felt guilty the rest of his life for having kissed another woman, despite the fact that she looked like Scully.
Katherine knew it was pointless to try to pretend any longer, and she just sat there in silence, feeling rejected and alone. She would never get Mulder back. He was set on Scully, the real Scully, and she had had her chance long ago in 1939, but she blew it, and life doesn’t give second chances easily. She would have to deal with her mistake, and let them be happy. She realized that as much as she would have liked to be young again and to be in Scully’s shoes, she just wasn’t cut out for it anymore. She had lived a long life, and she should let Scully live her own life. It was the only fair thing she could do. She felt quite bad now that she thought of her selfish motives from earlier in the day. It wasn’t fair to either Mulder or Scully, and she was now determined to get rid of her guilty conscience.
Mulder suddenly had a strange thought. “There’s something very familiar about that coin, but I can’t quite place it. I feel like I’ve seen it somewhere before, but I’d think I would have remembered it more.” He shook his head, confused.
“Like I said, it just showed up in my desk one day,” Scully said. “Did you ever notice anything out of the ordinary when you got back from Area 51?” she asked Mulder.
“Well, come to think of it, yes. But I don’t see how it’s related, though I also have never been able to figure it out.”
“What?” Scully asked, curious.
“Well, when I got back home that evening, my apartment had a couple new additions to it, I guess you could say.” Scully gave him a questioning look, and he continued, “I came in, and my apartment seemed so different, I had to check my door number to make sure I was in the right place. There were these new blue lamps in my living room, which I’ve kept, as you can see,” he said, pointing them out to her. “Also, I, uh, well, suddenly had a bedroom. All the stuff I had kept in that room,” pointing to the door leading to it, “was removed and replaced with a water bed and even ceiling mirror,” he laughed as he said this. “I thought maybe Frohike was playing a dirty trick on me, but when I asked the guys, none of them knew a thing about it. They have never been able to keep a secret long, and they would have told me. Anyway, I don’t know if that’s at all related to this mystery coin, but you never know.”
“Have you ever seen anything like it before, Mulder?” Scully asked.
“As I said, it looks familiar. But it reminds me of something I’ve read about before. You probably know more about this than I do, Scully, because it has to do with quantum physics, which, frankly, is way over my head. Anyway, there is a theory called the dual wave/particle nature of matter, which says that all particles can be expressed as waves. This is connected with Pauli’s Exclusion Principle, which says that two electrons at most can exist in the same orbital, and this can only happen if they are out of phase with each other in precisely the right way. This could maybe account for the coin, in which two out of phase objects can coexist in the same place at the same time. As for what happened to you two,” he looked at Scully and then Katherine, “I think it has something to do with a change in energy that occurred when you both touched the coin at the same time. I’m suspecting that somehow there was some kind of time warp, a rift in the space-time continuum at the antique shop, a random occurrence of which you were the unfortunate victims. There’s a theory that the universe is separated into many different branches, and that each person exists in all of these branches, but in only one do they live in full awareness as themselves. Maybe, though I really could not explain it, you two switched branches, thus changing your awarenesses.”
Scully had heard this theory before, but she had never considered it as ever being remotely plausible. But she didn’t feel she had a right to disagree with Mulder’s explanation, because she certainly didn’t have a better one. Instead, she just sighed, and asked, “Well, if that’s what happened, then how can we switch back to our previous branches?”
“I don’t know,” he said, a tinge of sadness in his voice. “I think we need to go back to the antique shop to try to recapture the moment when you both exchanged the coin.” He looked at Scully, then at Katherine, who had said nothing the entire time. Mulder looked at her angrily, and said, “Why didn’t you tell me about this? Why were you pretending to be Scully?”
Katherine almost started crying as she saw how hurt he was. “I, I wanted to see what it was like to be thought of as Scully again.” She almost whispered when she said this.
“What?” Mulder and Scully said simultaneously.
Katherine, seeing that she would just have to explain, began, “Mulder, about sixty years ago, you came on a ship that I was on, the Queen Anne, which had just been invaded by Nazis. You were wearing a Nazi uniform yourself, actually, though I soon found out you weren’t one of them. Anyway, when you came in the ballroom and saw me, you immediately thought I was Scully, and no matter what I did to try to tell you I was a different person, you refused to believe me.” She was about to continue, when Mulder interrupted her.
“Oh my God. 1939! I knew it wasn’t a dream! I had the scars to prove it. You were the woman I met, whom I thought was Scully?” Katherine nodded. Mulder turned quickly to Scully. “I told you it was true. I wasn’t delirious! The ship was stuck in time, and that’s how I ended up on it, looking the same as I do now, even though everyone else on the ship thought it was 1939. After you found me Scully, Katherine must have turned the ship around, saving the other passengers’ lives, as well as her own.”
Katherine nodded, and said, “Yes, because you told me what to do, Mulder, after we … after we kissed.”
Scully raised her eyebrows at this, and Mulder looked down at his feet.
Katherine continued, “You thought I was Scully, and from the moment you went overboard, I never forgot you. I loved you, but you never knew it, and now that I had this chance to try to relive what I had lost, well, I decided I wouldn’t blow it like I had the first time. But now I see that I can’t do that. You have the real Scully here, Mulder.” She directed her gaze toward Scully.
Mulder looked at Scully, but she didn’t return his stare. She felt awkward, and scared, not knowing how to react to the realization that Mulder had kissed Katherine, because he thought she was Scully. In a sense, he had kissed her.
Katherine tried to break the silence by saying, “I realized, as Scully did, that our families seem to be identical. I don’t know how to begin to explain any of this. My parents and all my siblings aren’t alive anymore. My father died in World War II, and my mother, devastated by the news, went into shock. She got a terrible fever, and never recovered, dying only a few months later. As for my siblings, they all died in the 1950’s, my oldest brother from cancer and my sister and brother in different car accidents. I’ve had a fairly tragic life, as you can see.”
Mulder was very interested in these facts, and he said, “I just had a thought. Now, I know this may sound ridiculous, but frankly, I don’t see how we can automatically denounce it considering what’s happened to both of you today.” Katherine and Scully looked at him, waiting. He continued, “Maybe a moment before they each died, they each became a victim of a time warp, just like the one you experienced, and instead switched awarenesses with a person who was just at that time being born. Maybe moments before your father died,” he looked at Katherine, “he switched awarenesses with Scully’s father, just before he was born. Scully’s dad’s original awareness died with the death of your father, and your dad’s awareness became the one which Scully’s dad was born with.”
“Mulder, that’s absolutely ridiculous, and you know it,” Scully almost shouted. “You’ve said some pretty over-the-top stuff, but this is the worst by far!”
Mulder didn’t know what to say. He was just trying to find an explanation. “Do you have a better explanation?” he said. He hated sounding angry at her, but he didn’t think she was being fair.
Scully shook her head, and sighed heavily, “I’m sorry, Mulder. I just can’t understand any of this. It goes against every law of science that exists. Nobody would ever believe it!”
“Scully, there are so many things that nobody can explain, and I’m sure there are many laws of science that are still out there to be found, but might never be. You can’t forget that. Science doesn’t hold all the answers, but nature does. And sometimes nature does things that we will never be able to understand.”
Scully didn’t say anything in response, just looked up to the ceiling as though it might have the answer. Mulder said, “Scully, remember the time when we were in the car, and everything strange started happening. There was a flash of light, and the radio started changing stations, and then afterwards, when I looked at the clock, I realized that we had lost nine minutes. It happened other times, as well.”
Scully nodded her head, though still hesitantly.
“Just like now, we see that time is a very strange thing. Who knows if we’ll even remember this conversation after we change you both back, which we will do,” he said, his voice determined.
“I think it’s time we go back to the shop,” Katherine suggested, standing up.
“I agree,” Mulder said. He put his hand at the small of Scully’s back as he led her out, followed by Katherine.
Katherine’s Antique Shop
February 27, 1999
When Mulder pulled up to the curb, he turned off the engine, and said, “Hold on a second. I just need to write something down.”
Katherine and Scully waited, and after a few minutes, Mulder put away the piece of paper he had been writing on, and said, “Okay, let’s do it.”
They all went into the shop, and turned on the light. Everything looked the same since Scully had left it, and Redlum greeted them with happy chirpings.
“What if something happens, Mulder? What if something goes wrong?” Scully asked, scared.
“Scully,” Mulder said, looking seriously into her eyes, “I wouldn’t be able to live if something happened to you.” He almost started crying, but knew he had to remain calm, for Scully’s sake. “But just in case, I need you to know something before we do this.” He held Scully’s face in his hands, as he brought his face closer to her own until their lips almost touched. “I love you, Scully,” he said. She was so stunned and happy and scared all at the same time, she could barely speak. This time, she knew he wasn’t delirious, though she also realized that he never was delirious, as she had thought when he had said the same thing to her in the hospital a few months ago. She truly had not believed his story after she and the Lone Gunmen had found him floating unconscious by the Queen Anne in the Bermuda Triangle. But now she knew that he had in fact told her the truth, and as much as she still had trouble accepting the fact, she didn’t see how she could deny it any longer. She couldn’t believe everything that was happening today, but she especially couldn’t believe that she actually whispered back to him, “I love you too, Mulder.”
He smiled and said softly, “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to hear that. I’d kiss you now, but I must admit I’d rather wait for the real Scully.”
Scully smiled. “You promise?” she whispered.
“Promise,” he said. He sighed and then bit his bottom lip nervously as he realized that they didn’t have forever, that they needed to try to switch them back before it was too late. “Ready?” he asked them.
They both nodded. He took the coin out of his pocket, and handed it to Scully. She looked at Mulder one more time, as she took it from him. She took a deep breath, and closed her eyes for a brief moment, then looked at Katherine. She carefully held out the coin, then Katherine touched it with her own hand, and they both held on to it for a few seconds, until they both stumbled back. The coin rolled under the bird cage, and suddenly it was back to 2:00 p.m. on February 27th, and Scully looked like Scully again, and Katherine looked like Katherine. It was as though time had stopped, and the entire rest of the day had never actually taken place, yet Scully and Katherine were unaware of this.
“So, you can come and pick the pen up tonight. If you give me your phone number, I’d be happy to call you when it’s ready,” Katherine told Scully.
“Oh, that would be great,” Scully said, as she wrote down her phone number on a slip of paper for Katherine. Just as she was zipping up her purse, she felt a tap on her shoulder, and whirled around. It was Mulder.
“What a surprise to find you here,” he said.
“Yeah. Well, I was just, um, doing a little shopping. Nothing much.”
“Can I see what you got?”
“No,” she said, smiling, knowing full well how much he would want to know even more now.
“What do you mean, no, he said,” giving her a hurt expression.
“Maybe it’s for you,” she said teasingly, raising her eyebrows. “If you ask too many questions, I might just decide to give my gift to someone else. Though I don’t know anyone else it would be appropriate for.”
“Alright, I’ll just have to wait. Though I’m dying to know.”
“I know you are. But a little patience does everyone good.”
“I hate it when people say that.”
“So do I, actually, but it is the truth. Well, I actually promised my mom I would stop by this afternoon, so I should be going now. I’ll talk to you later, Mulder.”
“Okay. See you later, Scully,” he said, as she walked out the door.
February 27, 1999
When Scully returned home, she saw that her laptop was flashing the message that she had mail. When she opened her mailbox, she saw two messages from Mulder.
The first one read:
I thought you’d like to know that Ransick finally confessed to the burglaries, as I figured he would, considering the circumstances.
Anyway, at least now we won’t have to worry about that stupid case anymore. Back to an X-File hopefully. <g>
Speaking of X-Files, I think I found one. A woman named Jamie Pringle claims that she can will herself invisible and thus go anywhere without anyone knowing she’s there. I’m going to need your help on this case, especially. Your medical expertise—I’m sure—will prove invaluable as always. Anyway, just to celebrate a possible return to the X-Files(?), I thought we could maybe do something tonight. Would you like to
Scully thought it was odd that he hadn’t finished the sentence, but she realized what had happened when she read the second message he had sent. It read:
Oops! I don’t know what happened with the other message, but somehow it got sent by accident.
Anyway, my original question was that I was wondering if you wanted to come over for dinner. Maybe we could watch a movie or something. Call me.
After reading these e-mails, she put away some things she had bought that afternoon. As she was emtying her coat pockets, she came across something white. When she turned it over, she saw that it was an old, black and white photograph of a woman who looked just like her. She gasped, astonished at the similarity. She sat down on her bed, because she suddenly felt dizzy and light-headed. She had never remembered seeing this picture in her life before, and she had no idea as to what it was doing in her pocket.
Mulder’s Apartment 5:10 p.m.
February 27, 1999
Mulder took off his jacket, and took out some papers he had stuffed in his pocket when he had gone to the bank that afternoon. He tossed them on the table in front of his couch, but right when he was about to go into his bedroom, he noticed a pink piece of paper among the pile he had just made. He picked it up, and recognized his own writing, though he didn’t remember having written this at all. He couldn’t believe what he was reading. It began, “I’m pretty sure we (Scully, Katherine, and I) are in a time warp right now. It’s about eight o’clock, and in a couple of minutes, we will probably lose all this time, and we will be back to two or so in the afternoon, and none of us will ever remember the events which occurred today.” He read on, fascinated and thrilled that he had been thinking clearly enough to write all this down.
When he finished, he reached for the phone to call Scully, but it started ringing right when he was about to do so. He picked up, and sure enough it was Scully on the other line.
“We need to talk, Mulder.” she said.
“Yeah, I’d say. Scully, I just read something that I can still hardly believe, though I know it’s true.”
“What is it, Mulder? I just found something that I could say the same about.”
“What is it?” Mulder asked, dying of curiosity to see if it was connected with his own discovery.
“Well, I just found a picture of some woman, a black and white photo that’s dated from 1939 of a woman who looks exactly like me. Mulder, it’s so incredibly identical to me, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where this picture is from, but it must be some relative of mine or something, though I would have thought I’d have seen this picture before in one of our albums. I …”
Before she had time to continue, Mulder interrupted her, his voice loud and excited, “I knew it!” he said. He was so happy, he could barely speak. “Scully, that’s no relative, it’s you”
“Scully, after you found me floating in the Bermuda Triangle by the Queen Anne, I told you in the hospital what had happened to me during my absence. Remember, Scully?”
“Um, yeah,” Scully said, her voice soft and hesitant. She was scared to know where this was leading.
“Well, I wasn’t at all delirious. Everything I said was true. You were there, Scully, one hundred percent. I can’t even begin to understand it, but it was you. And Skinner and Kersh and the Smoking Man were there too, everybody. Anyway, that was in 1939, just like your photograph.”
Scully heard what Mulder said, but she was more focused on what he meant by saying that everything he had said that day was true. Did that include the last thing he had said to her? Did he truly mean what he said when he had told her he loved her? Why would he have said that if he wasn’t delirious? Scully was finding it difficult to breathe as she came to this realization.
She came out of her thoughts as Mulder continued, “Scully there’s so much more we have to talk about. But we can’t talk over the phone like this. Did you get my e-mail?”
“Yes. Thanks. That would be nice,” she said quietly, barely able to get the words out.
“I’d say let’s order something in, but I don’t think that will be necessary,” he said, eyeing the half eaten pizza that had been left on the table.
“What do you mean?”
“I’ll explain when you get here.”
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 03:12:54 EDT
Subject: Katherine II (1/1): Sequel
TITLE: Katherine II (1/1)
AUTHOR: Michaela E
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Anywhere, as long as my name’s on it, and if you let me know beforehand.
FEEDBACK: Please! I would love an e-mail, however short. I promise to e-mail you back. 🙂
SPOILER WARNING: FTF, Dreamland I&II and Triangle (if you read “Katherine,” things will make more sense)
CONTENT WARNING: None
CLASSIFICATION: V, Beginnings of MSR
SUMMARY: Mulder and Scully finally find truth and reality at the same time.
DISCLAIMER: Other than Katherine, none of the characters in the following story are my own. They belong to Chris Carter, 1013, and Fox.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a very short sequel to “Katherine,” to follow up on the final scene. You would appreciate this more if you’ve read “Katherine” first, though I suppose it would still make sense if you haven’t. If you want to read “Katherine,” just e-mail me at
Katherine II by Michaela E
February 27, 1999
Scully stood in front of the door to Mulder’s apartment nearly a minute, and still she had not yet knocked. She was nervous and confused; everything was happening too fast, and she didn’t feel in control of anything. And the place where she was standing certainly wasn’t helping matters. This hallway contained the memories of so many conversations, so many different emotions, and it seemed to Scully that lately every time she came here, all these memories flooded upon her and trapped her. She had nowhere to hide, and was forced to face these emotions, at least to herself. Most of the time, she could suppress her inner turmoil, keeping her true emotions inside and away from Mulder’s view. However, there were moments, one last summer in particular, when the weight of these memories upon her became too much, and she became unable to keep all of her feelings from being revealed. Unfortunately for Scully, now was one of these moments. Her heart was beating faster and her hands felt clammy as she became increasingly anxious. She breathed deeply before she finally resolved to approach the door.
Just as she put her hand to the door to knock, the door swung open, and Mulder nearly collided with her as he stepped out of his apartment.
“Oh, Scully, thank God! Where have you been?” he asked, in between breaths. “You didn’t answer your phone—I … I thought something happened to you.”
“What are you talking about?” Scully asked, her level of confusion increasing.
“Well, I expected you to come right away, which would have been about forty-five minutes ago. Scully, where’s your phone?”
“I left it at home; I didn’t think I’d need it,” she said softly. She couldn’t believe how upset he was; she wasn’t that late. Normally, this sort of overprotectiveness of Mulder’s irritated and even sometimes downright angered her. She was a mature adult who could take care of herself; she wished Mulder would treat her more as an equal in certain situations, and not someone he believed he had to protect every minute. Yet tonight, she not only didn’t mind this behavior, but even came to embrace it. Today, more than at any other time during the past six years of their relationship, she fully realized Mulder’s complete devotion to her. Mulder cared for her more than anyone in his life, and she knew it. He loved her, and he had actually gotten up enough courage to reveal this truth to her directly with words, while she continued to remain the coward that she was. He trusted her enough to share these innermost feelings with her; but she couldn’t say the same for herself. She always told herself she trusted Mulder completely with everything, but she was only lying to herself. If this were true, she wouldn’t have been so afraid to tell him the truth about her feelings. Something was keeping her back, but maybe she would break through this barrier, just as she had broken through her suppressed emotions in this hallway on one painfully memorable occasion.
Scully’s thoughts were interrupted as Mulder said, “I’m just glad you’re okay. Come in,” he gestured into his apartment.
Scully entered, a bit hesitantly, and then Mulder helped her take off her coat. As he did so, Scully glanced over to the table in front of Mulder’s couch, where she saw a pizza box open, with a few slices missing. She felt terrible after this, believing that Mulder had ordered the pizza just in time for her arrival, but since she failed to show up, had eaten without her. Mulder saw where she was looking, but said nothing. After an awkward silence, Scully said, “Mulder, I, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were gonna order in ahead of time. I should have told you I’d be a bit. I had to pick something up.”
“Hold on, Scully,” Mulder said. “First of all, there’s no reason for you to apologize. It’s my fault for being so paranoid about everything. And second of all, I know I never ordered a pizza, but when I came home today, here it was, just sitting on that table, half eaten.”
Scully’s eyes widened as Mulder continued, “Scully, you know what I was telling you on the phone?” She nodded, and he said, “Well, it gets a bit more complicated. This is what I found. This is my proof that you and I and Katherine experienced a time warp, a rift in the space-time continuum, and now that we’ve come out of the time warp, our memory of our experience is gone, because we’ve lost time.”
“What! What are you talking about, Mulder? I don’t understand!” Scully said, in utter bewilderment at the words that were coming out of his mouth.
“Just read this,” he answered, handing her the pink piece of paper he had found in his coat pocket earlier that afternoon. “I wrote down what had happened to us during the time warp, so even though we may have lost time, at least we haven’t lost hard evidence. Scully took the paper from him, a quizzical expression on her face.
She sat down on his couch, and proceeded to read what Mulder had supposedly written, it being most definitely in his nearly-illegible handwriting. It detailed all the major events that had taken place that day, the switching of Scully’s body with Katherine’s, the discovery that Scully’s family looks identical to Katherine’s. This was all so seemingly absurd that Scully had trouble grasping the true meaning behind these words. However, she had no time to ponder these revelations, for when she had come to the last few sentences of the paper, everything around her seemed disappear, and only the words on that page existed for Scully.
She read them slowly and carefully; the last bit of the paper read:
“We’re about to go in the store now, and I don’t know what will happen. But before we try to switch them back, I’m going to tell Scully how much I love her. I don’t know what she’ll say, but I just hope she’s honest, and I hope I like her answer. Well, here it goes.”
Scully just stared down at the paper, and was silent; she couldn’t bear looking at Mulder. Mulder, on the other hand, was staring intently at Scully, dying to know what she would say. After a few more moments of silence, he couldn’t take it any longer. He said, “Scully, even though so many things supposedly happened today, causing drastic changes, there’s one thing that I know hasn’t changed.” Scully didn’t know what to say; first, she was frightened by Mulder’s next words, but as soon as he said them, she was thrilled beyond belief. He said, “Scully, I love you just as much now as I did in the time warp. Believe me, I’m not delirious. I never was, you know.” He smiled, and this helped to bring a hint of a smile onto Scully’s face, despite the shock that those words had caused her.
“I had to tell you, Scully. I needed to be positive that at least you know the truth about my feelings toward you.” His voice was soft, and quiet.
Scully had been waiting forever to hear those words, but always thought Mulder was either just joking or delirious when he had said anything to that extent. Now, there was no way to misinterpret his feelings for her. This was her one chance to finally show Mulder she trusted him as much as he trusted her. She could either be completely honest with him or continue her cool facade. After what seemed an eternity to both of them, she made her decision. She answered in a mere whisper, “I love you, Mulder.”
Mulder was so happy, he felt dizzy. He moved closer to Scully on the couch, and when he saw tears come into her eyes, he hugged her tightly. They sat hugging for a long time, in silence, enjoying this embrace more than any other they had ever shared. When they came out of their hug, Mulder brushed away a strand of Scully’s hair from her face, lightly stroking her cheek as he did so. He looked into her deep blue eyes, which were staring intently back at him. They both felt a sense of deja vu as they recalled these same emotions which they had experienced on Scully’s birthday and of course in the hallway last summer. Now though, there was one difference. They both knew what the other one felt about them, and there was no more room any longer to question whether or not their affection for one another was equal. It was now a fact, and they no longer had the option of trying to evade what they now knew to be the truth.
Mulder slowly moved his head closer to Scully’s, and lightly brushed his lips against her cheek. Scully couldn’t believe what was happening. Mulder, her Mulder, was kissing her, for no other reason than that he wanted to. There was no catch to all of this, no magic; she wasn’t going to wake up to find that this was just another dream. This was real. Suddenly, their lips touched, and all other thoughts seemed to dissipate. It was a sweet and gentle first kiss, but a long one. It seemed to last an eternity, before their lips finally parted, though unwillingly.
They both were silent a few moments until suddenly a smile formed on Mulder’s lips. He almost began to laugh simply out of his ecstatic joy. Scully loved him and had kissed him, and it was the real Scully, no 1939 look-alike. He said out loud, “You trust me. Now I know you really trust me.” He kept smiling, all his emotions overflowing.
Scully had been staring off at the wall opposite them, thinking about what had just happened. She didn’t have to be afraid anymore of constantly keeping down all her true feelings. Mulder was right, up until this point, she had not trusted him completely, as she had always told herself. She had kept her feelings inside, and she knew her failure to trust in him enough to share her innermost feelings must have hurt him a great deal. But now she had finally broken free of the chains which had kept her from being truthful not only to Mulder but even to herself. She answered, “You’re right, Mulder. You’ve always trusted me; you’ve always told me exactly what you believe without being scared of what I might think, including how you feel about me. But I haven’t been open or truthful to you. I’ve kept everything inside, only causing both of us more pain. I’m sorry.”
“But now you have been completely honest and open with me, which is all that matters.” He smiled and stroked her hair. Scully then realized that now was the perfect time for her to give him her gift, the reason she had been late this evening. She said, “Mulder, there’s something I’d like to give you.”
“But Scully, you’ve given me more than I ever would have expected from you.”
She stood up and walked over to her coat, and reaching into a pocket, pulled out a small wrapped box. She handed it to Mulder. “That may be true, Mulder,” she answered him, “but I think you’ll like this gift.” He took it from her, and unwrapped it, discovering the long black case inside. He looked at Scully one more time before he opened the box, and saw the pen inside. “Oh, wow, Scully. This is too much. You didn’t have to.”
“I know, but I wanted to. Mulder, there’s an inscription,” she said, as she pointed to it. Pulling out the pen, he held it in the light, where he read: “Mulder, you’re the only one I trust. Love, Scully.” This meant more to him than anything he had ever gotten in his life. Tears came to his eyes, and he hugged Scully again. Scully put her head on his chest, and Mulder leaned back against a pillow. He put his legs up on the table beside the pizza box, and Scully put her legs up on the couch, tucking them behind her as she snuggled closer to Mulder. He sat there, stroking her hair, and then said, “Scully, can we see Katherine tomorrow? Too much has happened today for me to think clearly.”
“I feel the same way, Mulder. Besides, I want today to last as long as it can, just in case time decides to play another trick on us.”
Mulder smiled, kissed Scully on the forehead, and they both fell into a sweet and peaceful sleep.
I hope you liked it! I realize I could have done a lot of things to make a sequel to “Katherine,” but I felt the UST/kiss and trust issue needed to be further addressed—more so than any of the other main issues in “Katherine.” However, I prefer to write UST stories, rather than MSR, and so this was an exception. Let me know if I should just stick to UST (which is my personal opinion) or if my first attempt at MSR wasn’t all that bad. Whatever your feelings, PLEASE send feedback to ! Even if it’s just a couple words, I’d really like to know what you thought. Thank you again for reading.
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