Two-Column Proof by Jean Helms

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Two-Column Proof by Jean Helms

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From: Jean Helms <>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 17:28:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: “Two-Column Proof” by Jean Helms
Source: direct

“Two-Column Proof”(1/1) by Jean Helms ()

TITLE: Two-Column Proof

AUTHOR: Jean Helms



SUMMARY: “What if they’ve been doing it all along?” asked my faithful friend and beta reader, Lee. What if, indeed …

SPOILERS: Post “all things” with “Irresistible,” “Paper Hearts” and “Tunguska/Terma” thoroughly spoiled, “Memento Mori” slightly spoiled… if anyone still cares.

ARCHIVE: Gossamer, yes. Enigmatic Dr., yes. All others, please ask.

NOTE: The confusing timeline of “Tunguska/Terma” and “Paper Hearts” is herein arbitrarily resolved in favor of having PH come a few weeks before T/T, because it works better that way.

DISCLAIMER: Chris Carter — henceforward known as The Man Who Created “Requiem” — owns the rights to the series, the characters and their stories, along with my undying gratitude. I’m only borrowing them. Dawson Rambo has mastered the “what if they’ve been doing it all along” fic, and I could never approach the beauty of his works, so please just consider this an homage, Dawson.

FEEDBACK: I eat it for breakfast before going out to have my life threatened by media-hating rednecks. Send it on.


“Two-Column Proof” by Jean Helms


I can’t remember it ever being this dark around here before.

Some kid shot out the streetlamps with an air rifle last week.

Never a dull moment … I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t blame you.

Who says they didn’t? But I don’t mind. It’s handy, having the entire building afraid of me. They never dump my laundry on the basement floor, I can tell you.

Well, you only go down there twice a year … Look, you can almost see the Milky Way tonight. It’s so beautiful.

A thousand points of light …

Oh, come on, Mulder. Did you ever stop to think about how ridiculous it is to talk about a thousand points of light? A thousand points or a million points … it wouldnt be visible either way.

I’m not sure I follow you.

Points, Mulder. A point cant be defined. It has no width, no height, no depth … its a geometric construct, and all of geometry is built on it, but no one can say what it really is.

So a thousand points of light is …

Essentially nothing.

Youre getting dangerously nihilistic here, Scully.

No, Im not. Points exist in geometry and everything thats constructed from them also exists. Lines exist and spheres exist, rays and triangles and parallel lines …

All I remember about parallel lines is that when two parallel lines are cut by a transversal, the opposite interior angles are equal.

How on earth did you remember that?

What, you think you physics majors are the only ones who can remember your high school math courses?

You’re a social scientist, Mulder. Im not accustomed to hearing geometric theorems from you.

Doesnt mean I dont remember them … or that I dont know what they mean.

All right, then, what does that one mean?

It means that two parallel lines — which, in Euclidean geometry, can never meet — can be intersected by a transversal, which is something alien, completely outside themselves, something that comes in at a tangent, and miraculously, the angles thus created will be exactly alike … inside, anyway.

That’s more poetry than geometry.

I was always better at literature than at two-column proofs.

Well, to follow your anthropomorphistic trends of thought, the angles may be identical, but they are always on opposite sides of the intersecting line.

Yes, they are. But theyre equally a part of the new angles. They complement each other; they’re interdependent. Without the thing that divides them, they don’t even exist.

You’re making my head hurt.

Sorry. Would it help if I …

Ooh. Thats good. Right … no, down a little. Yeah. Right there, over the scapula …

Shoulder blade.

Right. Anything you say … oh, God, that feels good.

Maybe I should quit the FBI and become a masseur.

Somehow, I cant imagine that as a viable lifestyle for you, Mulder. No, you can stop now. My head feels much better.

How about the rest of you?


Still shushing me?

You have to give me some time … Im still adjusting to the idea of talking.

I’m sure you are.

I could have adjusted a long time ago, if I hadn’t been so stubborn.

Hows that?

Its hard to explain … hard to put into words.

Thats a new experience for you.

Oh, yes. I’m almost completely left-brained; I think in words. I can almost see the words inside my head, streaming by like a marquee. Images, if theyre there, are black and white and very static.

My thinking process is almost exactly the opposite.

Im sure of that. Images and intuition are right-brain tendencies, and you have got to be the most right-brained person I know.

Nothing unusual in that. Men tend to have high brain laterality. Fewer neural connections in the corpus callosum. Its why we have such one-track minds.

It always startles me to hear you discuss neurologic anatomy with such ease.

Its part of the standard psychology curriculum, doctor. Or didn’t you know that?

Of course I did. And I know its unusual for a woman to have the degree of brain laterality that I have, but its there, nonetheless. I think that’s why …

Why what?

Why I’ve been so blind all these years, why I’ve been so single-minded that I wound up hurting both of us.

You may be single-minded sometimes, but you are not blind. I don’t understand how you can think you are.

Yes, you do. You do understand me. You always did.


No words. Any other means of communication was all right, but there were to be no words spoken. That was part of our rules from the very first time.

The first time was in Minneapolis, the night Donnie Pfaster nearly killed me.

It was long past midnight, but I was still awake, shaking, crying, and too terrified to close my eyes, still unable to comprehend that I was alive and safe.

I kept trying to turn my thoughts back to how Mulder had found me, and rescued me, and how he’d looked at me with so much concern —and, yes, with so much love — that I had flung myself into his arms and sobbed.

I couldn’t. The warm, safe feeling was fading in the dark and oppressive silence, and try as I might, I couldn’t summon it back. I was simply too afraid.

I would just have to wait until the next time things got bad, when we could touch each other again, and for a while I would know that safe, loving feeling again.

That’s when I had what was, for me, a huge epiphany: I didn’t have to wait. The arms that had kept me safe before were still open to me now — and I wanted them.

What I mean is — I wanted him.

And I knew that he would do it, gladly, just because I wanted it, if for no other reason. We had already come that far together.

No, it wasn’t like me to let down my guard, let alone to step over the boundaries of our professional relationship, but then nothing I had done that week was exactly in character for me. I wasn’t myself, to put it plainly, and that could be very bad.

It could also be very, very good … if I would let it. Tonight, I would.

I got out of bed and opened the connecting door between our rooms. I tiptoed into Mulders room and knelt beside his bed, touching his shoulder gently to awaken him.

For a moment he just blinked at me in utter confusion, then looked at the clock and sat up. “Scully?” he whispered. “What’s wrong?”

I tried to tell him; I did, truly. But once again, all I could do was cry.

And once again, he held out his arms to me. He let me in, just as I knew he would.

I didn’t say anything; I just slipped between the sheets and snuggled into his arms and he held me, exactly as he had before.

It felt so good, lying there wrapped in his arms, cuddling close in the sheets already warmed by his body. I knew I had made the right decision in coming here.

“Are you all right now?” he whispered when I stopped crying.

“I’m okay,” I said, also in a whisper. “But can I ask you a favor?”

“Anything,” he said, quietly. “You ought to know that by now.”

I laughed, even though I was still sniffling. “I don’t think you know what I want, Mulder,” I said.

“I think maybe I do,” he said, and he put his fingers under my chin, just as he had earlier at Pfaster’s house, tipped my face up to his and kissed me.

Oh, my God, that was a kiss. It was a kiss to drown in, a kiss to live in, a kiss to make you forget everything you ever were or ever might be. I wanted it to go on forever; I shifted my mouth under his about a thousand different ways, trying to feel every nuance of shape and texture in that beautiful mouth of his.

When we came up for air, I was shaking again — only this time, it had nothing to do with fear. I tried to pull him down for another kiss, but he wouldn’t let me.

“Scully,” he said, leaning his forehead against mine — he was as out of breath as I was — “I meant it when I said I would do anything for you, and I will. But I need to be sure of what you want now.”

“I want you,” I said, breathlessly. “I know we’re partners, and I know that means we can’t have a relationship, but that doesn’t mean we can’t comfort each other, does it?”

“No, it doesn’t,” he said, “but there are still things we need to talk about.”

Talking. Okay, that sounded like something I could do. Sure. No problem. I could discuss this rationally.

That, of course, was before Mulder slid one hand under my pajama top and began stroking my back slowly — affectionately, not trying to arouse me, although he was doing an excellent job of that, too.

I shivered and pressed my body closer to his, and he kissed me again, more deeply. I could feel him beginning to get hard, and that excited me even more. This was really going to happen. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod it was going to happen …

“Scully,” he said, as his mouth left mine, “we can do this, if it’s what you really want. I like the idea a lot, myself.” He brought the hand that was on my back around to cup my breast, his palm brushing over my nipple, and I moaned.

“But you have to be sure,” he said, in a low voice. “You have to be very sure, because it is going to change things. Let’s don’t kid ourselves about that.”

“God, Mulder,” I said, squirming under his hand. “I can’t think when you do that to me.”

“Do you want me to stop?” He was serious. I could hear it in his voice. He would stop right now if I asked him to.

That moved me so deeply that I almost cried again, but I managed to hold back; if I cried, he might well stop whether I asked him to or not. Right now, that was the last thing I wanted.

“No,” I said. “Don’t stop. Not ever.” He started to say something else, but I laid a finger over his mouth to hush him.

“Mulder, does this really have to change things?” I asked him. “Can’t we do this and then just not talk about it, not act in the morning as though it were anything but a dream we had the night before?”

“Why, Scully?” he said, gently, moving my hand away. “Why does it have to be a dream?”

“Because thats the only way I can think of that we can do this and go on being partners,” I said. “I love working with you, Mulder, and I dont want to lose that — but I don’t want to make you feel used, either. If this is a bad idea, just tell me to go and Ill go.”

He shook his head. I knew it, even in the dark because I could feel it; he was that close to me. “It doesn’t make me feel used,” he said. “Wanted, yes, but that’s not a bad feeling at all. I just want to know where we go from here, if we do this tonight.”

“Equal rights,” I said, fighting the impulse to tell him to just shut up and fuck me already. His hand was still moving gently over my breast, making me so hot and so wet that I thought I might dissolve. “If it gets to be too much for you some night …”

“All right,” he said, and as his mouth came down on mine again, I realized there was no more need for explanations. The decision had been made: We would add sex to the list of things we could rely upon one another for. The time for talking had ended.


That first time was wonderful. It was loving, yes, and soothing, but it was also urgent and quick and passionate, and it told me as nothing else could just how much my partner had kept locked inside where I was concerned.

He was a rich discovery, a whole territory of rich discoveries, from the skill of his hands and mouth to the way he stretched me just to the point of pain when he entered me, to the way he buried his face in the hollow of my shoulder when he came.

When it was over, and we lay together, exhausted, we said nothing. Not a word was said, not even when I kissed him one last time, picked my pajamas up off the floor and went back to my own room to sleep the blessed sleep of the sexually sated woman.

And the next day, it was as though nothing at all had happened, just as I had asked. In fact, Mulder behaved so normally toward me that I really could have believed it was all a dream if it werent for the traces of semen that continued to stain my panties for the rest of the day. I — we — had been a bit reckless … I made a mental note that it was not to happen that way again.

Contrary to Mulder’s prediction, however, nothing changed between us. We continued our old patterns; I continued to disagree with him, sometimes vehemently, and he continued to challenge what he saw as my overly conventional thinking, sometimes vehemently.

On a more positive note, we still sat close to one another, touching, whenever we could. He still put his hand on my back to guide me through doorways. I still took his hand or touched his arm when he needed to calm down. We still held one another when we needed to.

We werent afraid to touch, and I think that was at least partly because we didnt have to worry anymore about where it might lead. The connecting door stayed shut until we needed it open, and then we opened it without a word.


There was one thing I never understood.

What was that?

Why we became so distant with each other in our third year together.

Lots of reasons, I suppose … some of them blonde and wearing a badge.

Oh, Lord. Not that woman again … what the hell was her name?

Angela White — as if you didnt remember.

I didnt.

Uh huh.

No, really. I dont remember much about that case at all. It was … weird.

And the others werent?

Depends on your definition, doesnt it?

My definition of you, me and Angela White — or you, me and Dr. Bambi — is a triangle. An isoceles triangle in which two sides are equal and the third … isn’t.

Oh, shit. Bambi. I forgot about her, too.

You did not.

Well, she sure as shit forgot about me.

And who could really blame her?

Whats that supposed to mean?

Face it, Mulder — you may be a great investigator and a world- class criminal personality profiler, but a cyber-entomologist, youre not.

Would you love me more if I were?

I dont remember saying I loved you at all …

I dont remember needing to hear you say it.

Oh. Oh.

Shh. Dont cry. Come here.

Mulder …

Its all right.

Mulder …

I know.


Before a year was out, I broke my vow not to be reckless … but it was only once.

It happened not long after we finished dealing with the human monster known as Robert Modell.

When Mulder first returned to work after the mandatory post- shooting leave with pay, I was waiting for him in our little basement office. I watched as he hung up his coat, unholstered his gun — the gun I’d held for him — and put it away. Not on his desk as he usually did —he put it in a drawer, out of hand’s reach.

And then he sat down in his chair, staring off into space and saying nothing. I greeted him but he barely nodded in reply. He wouldn’t meet my eye.

He thought I was afraid of him, I suppose.

Or maybe … maybe he was afraid of me.

I tried to get him to talk. I asked him about his plans for the day, asked if he wanted to go with me to lunch with my mother, told him a funny story Id heard last week in the ladies room about a certain secretary and a certain special agent who were about to be married in great haste …

I got nothing. He declined lunch, saying he had errands to run. Everything else I said to him, he answered with no inflection and only if he absolutely had to. And he still wouldnt look me in the eye.

I stood it until it was almost time to quit for the day, and then I just couldn’t put up with it one more minute. We were not going to be like this again tomorrow. If our world had become too frightening and uncertain for him, well, then, fine: I would take him to our dreaming place. I couldn’t let him be afraid of me this way.

If we hadn’t learned to separate the real world from our dream world so thoroughly, I couldn’t have done it — not at work, not I, the logical, conservative, straight-laced Agent Scully. But that side of me was almost asleep now … time had slowed all around us, and the world seemed to hang breathless as I waited for the dreams to begin…

I got up and locked the damned door, and then I walked over and knelt in front of him and unzipped his pants. I had my mouth wrapped around his cock before he could manage to say a single word, and I gave him a blow job Im pretty sure he’ll never forget.

He was tense; very tense. Or maybe terrified is a better word. He sat straight up in his chair, his hands gripping the armrests so hard I could hear the soft pops as his fingernails cut through the vinyl upholstery. But he didnt make another sound and he didnt push me away. As upset and frightened as he was, he still adhered to the terms of our agreement: Dont speak, and dont turn me away when I need you.

I think he was afraid to come at all, let alone in my mouth, but I was determined not to stop until he did. When he finally did come, with a barely muffled groan, I swallowed every drop of it. I would not reject him, not even that part of him that was sliding, salty and hot, down my throat.

When I was finished, I laid my head on his knee, and I waited there until I felt his hands moving softly through my hair, and I knew he had gotten the message:

I am not afraid of you, Mulder. Never.


You did understand me. You know you did. The whole time it was going on, you knew where it was all going to lead. You always knew.

I didn’t understand all of it. I didn’t have all the information I needed. Not by a long shot.

What was missing?

Nothing I could put into words.

Undefined points, then?

Maybe even undefinable, like dividing by zero.

Very apt.

How so?

Because nothing is going to divide us.

Go find your math teacher and ask for your money back, Scully — mathematically speaking, zero is not nothing. The empty set is nothing. And anyway, whos anthropomorphizing now?

I am. I admit it. Perhaps I have a weakness for it just as you do.

You do. You anthropomorphize me. You treat me as though theres a real human being under all this Spooky shit.

No. Thats not true.

Theres not a real human being?

You know thats not what I meant. Youre not the one who should be feeling insecure here. Im the one who ran off with C.G.B. Spender.

Lets dont resurrect that right now … anyway, its not as though Ive never made any mistakes. I have, and you know it. Serious mistakes.

Youre only human …

Or a heavily anthropomorphized non-human …

No. You care and you suffer. Youre human … nothing more than that, but nothing less.

Not alone, Im not. Alone, Im barely human at all. You really are my only link to humanity.

No, Im not.

You are.


The best time — and this is going to sound horrible, I know — was the night after Mulder put a bullet into John Lee Roche’s head.

I remember when I knew it was going to happen. I was in the X Files office, and I told Mulder to go home and get some sleep.

And he laughed. Sleep brings dreams, Scully, he was saying, remember? I don’t want any more of Roche’s dreams — not tonight, and not ever again.

And then he put one arm around me, and pulled me closer to him, and rested his head against my breast. I knew then that he would come to me that night — not only to dream with me, but because I could keep the other dreams away.

I stroked his hair, gently, giving him permission, and then I went home and took a long, scented bath, shaved my legs and put clean sheets on the bed.

It was almost midnight when he arrived at my apartment. He unlocked the door, undressed quickly, climbed into my bed and began kissing me, roughly, desperately. His mouth tasted of Scotch and there was the faintest aroma of cigar smoke in his hair … hed been at a bar, then. Trying, perhaps, not to give into this need of me, even though he knew I was waiting to welcome him.

His beard stubble was scratching my face, and he was holding me so tightly I could scarcely breathe, his fingers digging into the soft flesh on my back. It was almost painful. It was also incredibly erotic, knowing that his need was so desperate. When he unbuttoned my pajama top and began to suckle at my breasts, hard, began to nip at them with his teeth, I climaxed immediately, just from that. I was that hot for him.

Don’t misunderstand this. I am not into pain; nor, I promise you, do I like being manhandled for no reason. Mulder knows that; after all, he is almost 40 years old, and needless to say, I am not the first lover he has had. He has had practice. He knows how to touch a woman.

More important, he knows me. He knows what I want him to do to me, how I want him to approach me and make me ready for him. He knows how I love it when he moves slowly and patiently, bringing me with him until I cant stand it another second, and I thrash and moan and clutch him until he enters me as I have been pleading, silently, for him to do.

But this time, I let it happen quickly, despite his rough treatment of me, because I knew that he needed to make me come more than he needed release for himself. The equation was simple: Roche had manipulated and controlled Mulder with his nasty mind games, far beyond Mulders ability to resist. The only antidote for that was for me to accept him and let him take me wherever he would.

I would never have allowed him so much control in our waking lives, but this was not waking life. These were our dreams, and we dreamed them in all their colors and moods, whether they were pale, fragile dreams of love or dark, pathless dreams lit by lightning.

That night, I let him dictate every move of our bodies, let him choose every sensation I would feel. It frightened me a little at first, but that was all right … this was Mulder, and it was our time, and I could put myself completely in his power without being hurt.

I was right. He took me close to the knife-edge between pain and pleasure, but he never, for one moment, let it get out of hand. It was rough pleasure, yes, but it was my pleasure to allow it.

I have never come so hard, or so many times, in a single night. I cried out for him, I clutched at him, I opened myself to him body and soul, but I never said a word. I vaguely remember hearing my name whispered in my ear, but that was all the talking there was.

When he finally entered me, it was with a passion I had never experienced before, from him or anyone else. He didn’t make love to me that night: He fucked me. Hard. And I came equally hard.

When he climaxed at last, he lay still against me, so still that I was almost afraid.

And then he buried his face in my shoulder and wept.

I held him, and stroked him gently, ran my fingers through his hair, kissed him and whispered wordlessly in his ear, making sounds that I prayed would soothe him and let him sleep. All the while, our bodies were still joined together.

At last, he did fall asleep, sprawled on top of me.

And I held him, and I wept.

He was gone when I awoke. He had done as I asked, had not spoken of it, had left during the night without so much as a goodbye or a note.

We never mentioned it, not even when I arrived at work the next day too exhausted and sore to do much more than return phone calls and write up expense reports. He didnt say anything, as I knew he wouldnt. He knew the gift had been freely given.

Anyway, to talk about it would have been to acknowledge the existence of our lovemaking in a way neither of us could handle.

But he stopped as he was leaving that evening, and looked into my eyes, and gently brushed his fingertips over my cheek. “Scully,” was all he said, barely above a whisper.

I put my hand over his, and held it, for the briefest fraction of a second, and then I let him go.


I still can’t believe we’re actually talking about this.

I know. Not talking about it was very strange. Sometimes I thought it hadn’t really happened, that it was false memory syndrome. It’s good to know it wasn’t.

No. These memories are real.

Thank God.

What do you remember most?

The last time.

Oh … I’m sorry …

No. Don’t be sorry. It was probably inevitable. I just never really knew why …

Why it was inevitable or why that time was the last?

Why it was the last.

I was very sick, Mulder. Every physician who examined or treated me —every legitimate physician — said the same thing. The prognosis was extremely poor. I wasn’t supposed to survive.

I know you were sick. But in all the ways that mattered, it ended before that.

After you got back from Russia.

That wasn’t the end.

No, just the beginning of the end.

Maybe … I really thought you’d still be angry at me.

I was. Not that I wasn’t happy to see you …

Yeah, I got a clue when you came running into my arms in front of Skinner, about a dozen senators and half the Washington press corps.

But I was angry, too, and not just at you.

You seemed to get over it.

I got over it the minute I saw what they did to you …

No. It’s over. Don’t think about it anymore.

I will always think about it.


Oh, my God, that was painful to see.

We’d booked a single hotel room in a cruddy little roadside motel near Terma. We weren’t staying overnight; we had to be back before the Senate committee reconvened. We just needed somewhere to shower and change clothes before we could get on the plane back to D.C.

The joyous relief that had flooded me when Mulder walked into the chamber was gone, replaced by mounting dread and even a grumpy sense of having been ill-used throughout the whole mess. After all, I had to spend Thanksgiving in jail, thanks to him.

Worse, I was about to have to explain myself to the Senate and — even more frightening to me — to explain to OPR how my service weapon came to be in the hands of a professional hitman. Someday, I was sure, it would be used in a crime, and that could well end my career.

And now this … failure, yet again, and two sets of ruined clothing that would have to be replaced — that was the sum total of all we had accomplished. With a sigh of frustration, I closed the door and locked it, and Mulder and I were alone in that musty-smelling little room.

Almost immediately, Mulder began to undress, peeling off layer by layer the sticky, greasy clothes he’d been wearing when the oil well exploded. He took off his overcoat, his suit coat, his shoes, his shirt and undershirt, dropping each ruined item into a large garbage bag I’d finagled from the manager.

And then I saw what they had done to him, and I began to cry.

Long, angry red whip marks criss-crossed his forearms, his sides, his chest and his back. He was a mass of bruises and scrapes from head to toe, and there were marks on his neck and his arm that I recognized as the aftermath of a carelessly administered injection.

Maybe it was the whip marks that undid me; I don’t know. God knows, I’ve seen him hurt worse than that. There was just something about the pattern of his injuries that spoke of helpless suffering, of pain inflicted for its own sake, of a casual cruelty made all the more devastating because those who tortured him were not even really interested in what they were doing. They just hurt him, without even caring who he was.

He heard the sound of my weeping and turned around, facing me, and I saw that he was ashamed — ashamed of having been defeated, of having been rendered helpless and most of all, ashamed that I had seen his defeat marked on his flesh like a brand.

He looked away from me quickly, grabbed his overnight bag and headed for the bathroom, leaving me standing there, mouth hanging open, tears spilling down my face.

The shower was running. Steam was starting to billow out into the room; it felt good after the arid chill of the outside air, but it couldn’t touch the chill inside me.

I had to do something, but what? I thought about joining him in the shower, helping him wash the oil from his hair and his skin, tending to his wounds — as a doctor, not as a lover — or just waiting for him in the bed naked, with the lights out.

I couldn’t. He was the one who had been hurt; he would have to be the one to decide what he needed from me. If he wanted me, I would be there; if he wanted to forget, I would try to help him.

But neither path called for action on my part right now, so I just stood there next to the bag full of greasy clothing and waited for him to reappear.

When he did come out, he was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. He always packs those when we travel, even if we don’t expect to spend the night. He sat on the bed, put on his sneakers, grabbed the garbage sack and walked out the door to the motel’s Dumpster.

After a few minutes, I picked up his overnight bag and followed him, locking the door behind me.

We drove to the airport in silence, in the silence of a nightmare that it seemed would never end …


I thought it was over then. I never thought you’d let me near you again.

Scully, near me is the only place I’ve ever wanted you to be.

Then why wouldn’t you let me …

You’re not the only one who can shut out the people you need most. I’ve never been a slouch in that department.

But you did come to me when I needed you. You brought me flowers and you made me warm again, and I still couldn’t bring myself to go to you even though I wanted you so much.

Well, there was that last time … the real last time.

I remember … it was after Penny died, the night I got home from the hospital. God, you were so sweet to me that night.

I was afraid you might break or something. Later, I decided it was your way of saying goodbye, that you knew we wouldn’t be together again like that.

I never dreamed it would be the last time.

I never meant for it to be the last time.

Everything has to end eventually.

But look at what’s ended now …

The silence. That’s gone.

And all it took was an old boyfriend, a faith healer and a visit to a Buddhist shrine.

It took getting you out of my hair for a few days. That’s what it took.

Ouch. Still, if that’s what it takes to bring us to this point…

Mm-hmm. You should probably go to England more often.

And you should rest. You’re exhausted.

I’ll be all right. You’re the one who should go to sleep, Mulder.

Will you be here when I wake up?

No. I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet. But I’ll stay until you fall asleep.

If you stay, you can have my favorite pillow.

No. Just let me stay here next to you for a while … then I really do need to get home.

Yeah? What if I’m not ready for this to end?

I don’t know. I can’t answer that yet.



I think this is a good beginning.

Maybe the beginning of something that won’t end.

You said everything has an end.

Maybe I was wrong. Lines don’t end.

But they don’t begin either.

True. They’re infinite.

Okay, so what begins and never ends?

A ray … it begins at a defined point and continues to infinity.

And a ray is composed of …?

Points. As if you didn’t know.

That means a ray of light is composed of …

Electromagnetic radiation … photons … waves … who really knows?

Points of light?

Yes. Points of light. Thousands and thousands of points of light.

And that’s spelled Q and E and D, Ms. Scully.

Yes, it is. Now be quiet and go to sleep, Mulder.

No. I’ll go to sleep but I don’t want to be quiet anymore.

Neither do I …


NOTE: Q.E.D., for those who managed to avoid plane geometry, is the abbreviation for the Latin quod erat demonstrandum — “which has been demonstrated.” It’s written at the end of a two-column proof when the statement postulated at the outset has been proven logically. JLH.


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