Written August 1995
Synopsis: It’s the year 2007, and Mulder returns to D.C. after being gone for five years to ask for Scully’s help in finding his sister, only to discover things about themselves that they never knew. Written as a series finale.
Spoilers: small scenes from “Squeeze,” “Red Museum,” and the pilot
Disclaimer: The characters you recognize belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Television. No infringement is intended.
April 23, 2007
The J. Edgar Hoover building looked spectacular, much different than when he left.
Fox Mulder stood on the sidewalk between a lamppost and a bright blue mailbox, holding a bouquet of pale yellow roses. He sighed. I hate reunions. Actually, it all depended on the person, and this was one person he was dying to see. It’s been five years, he thought. Will she remember me?
“That’s a stupid question,” he told himself. “Of course she’ll remember you.” He walked to the door and opened it. It was heavier than he remembered; he must not have been as athletically inclined as before. It was a good thing he had gotten in touch with Walter Skinner, the former assistant director, beforehand and received a pass. He would have a hard time surprising Scully if he had security officers following him around and alerting her of a visitor.
The front offices weren’t the same as before. Desks were head to head with portable walls separating sections. It was more organized. Leave it to Scully to get things systematized.
Smiling, he recalled reading many articles on her in various magazines and newspapers. All of them claimed she was the best director the bureau had ever had. It was tidier, more sanitary, and much more efficient. A few critics believe she had accomplished as much as J. Edgar Hoover in five years, whereas it had taken him forty-eight.
Mulder entered the elevator and pressed two, where he would find the director. The doors closed, blocking his view of the front offices. He sighed, reliving a moment in time, dating all the way back to February 17, 2002…
Mulder and Scully’s office
February 17, 2002
Scully entered the basement office, closing the door. Mulder looked up at her from his notebook. He frowned. “Scully, what’s wrong? You look shocked.”
“You would not believe it.” She sat on the edge of his desk. “Both Freeh and Skinner are retiring.”
“At the same time? That’s unusual.”
Her voice, as well as her eyes, dropped. “And they’ve already picked their successors.”
“Really? Who–” He paused, realizing what she was going to say. “You?”
She nodded slowly. “I will be Director Dana Scully.”
He moved his mouth involuntarily but without sound. Then he stopped, unsure of what to say. “When do you start?” It sounded as stupid as he felt.
“March 30. My last day is the 23rd.” She sniffed. It was obvious that she had cried sometime between learning of her position and confessing to him.
“Then here’s what we’ll do. That night, the 23rd, we’ll go out. Have dinner at the fanciest restaurant, bar hop, stay out until sunrise.”
She laughed. “Okay.” Then she leaned down and put her arms around his neck. “I’m sorry …”
Mulder was startled by the elevator’s ding. He walked down the hallway until he found Louis Freeh’s old office, where he assumed his former partner would be. Sure enough, the brass plate on the oak wood door read ‘Dana Scully – Director’. He opened it, entering the secretary’s office.
The woman, a thin, middle-aged blonde, frowned at him. “Can I help you, sir?”
“Is Director Scully in?”
“Is she busy?”
His hand clamped down on the phone. “Don’t. Please.”
Her eyes widened. “Who are you?”
“An old friend.” He held up the flowers. “See? Now don’t say a word.” He headed to the door to her office.
“Don’t go in there, sir. I’ll have to call security.”
Security? “Look, Miss–” He checked her name plaque. “Miss Johnson. Sarah. Don’t do that. I just want to surprise her.” He put a finger to her lips. “Ssshh.”
She reached for the phone again, and he stuck a twenty in her hand. “Just … please.” He put the index finger to his lips again and quietly opened Scully’s door. The secretary simply sat there, staring at him.
The radio in her office was playing a slow tune. Dana Scully sat perched on a swivel chair, reading over a report meticulously, not paying any attention to the outside world. Mulder shut the door soundlessly and took a few steps closer to her desk. He launched the bouquet in her direction, hitting her directly on the head.
“What the–” She froze, looking at the flowers that had fallen on her polished desk. Few people knew her favorite kind, and only one person would be clever enough to give her thirteen roses instead of the usual twelve. Fox Mulder. And when she looked up, she realized she had not been deceived.
He appeared almost the same as when she had last seen him. The same boyish face, medium build. His sandy hair now had a few strands of grey. Other than that, he looked wonderful. “Hello, stranger,” she greeted with a smile. Her heart prevailed, and she got up, enveloping him in the longest hug of which she’d ever been a part. “Oh, God, I’ve missed you.”
He rocked her back and forth, hand on the back of her head, tangled in auburn hair–longer than before, it extended a bit past her shoulders. She was no different than when he was last with her. “How have you been?”
“Good. How about you?”
“Safe.” He smiled as they parted. “You look great, Scully, you really do.”
“Thanks. You’re not so bad yourself.”
He looked around. “Nice office. And the bureau has changed quite a bit.”
“It needed a woman’s touch.” She grinned. “So what are you doing here?”
“Oh, you know, same old, same old.” He rounded her desk, flopping into her chair and gazing at the pictures on the desk. “Scully.” He picked up one of the frames. “This must be twelve years old.”
She stood behind him. The photo was of the two of them and had been taken at a fund raiser. “I like that picture.”
“I still have mine … somewhere.” He put it back in its place on the neatly polished desk and looked at the others. “Hey, it’s Kwan. What’s he doing now?”
“Well, not much.”
“He died last year.”
He turned to her, surprised by her frankness. “How?”
She shrugged. “Murder, maybe. No one knows. That’s one case I can’t solve.”
“You? Why you?”
“Mulder, I–” She sighed, then smiled. “He was my husband.”
She laughed. “Bet you never thought that possible.”
“Possible, yes. Probable … no.” He glanced at another picture. “Children?”
“One boy. His name is Adam.”
“What a cute kid. Looks like you, too.” He lifted his head. “It’s amazing. It’s been five years since I last saw you. You haven’t changed a bit.”
“Not so much physically as mentally.”
Her smile widened. “Come on; I’ve got something to show you.” She led him through the other office, where the secretary watched them suspiciously. “Oh, Sarah Johnson, this is Fox Mulder, my ex-partner but not ex-best friend.”
Mulder smirked at her. “Remember me?”
Scully tugged him through the corridors, arm in arm. She was greeted by every agent she saw in the hallway, and Mulder was amazed at the amount of respect she received. She must’ve been very well liked.
They went all the way to the basement. “Where are we going?” When he realized it was to their old office, he stopped her. “Why are we going?”
“Be patient.” She opened the door. “Everything you left, I kept here. As a sort of memorial to us.” She sat on the edge of the desk, and he was reminded again of the time she said she was going to be the director. “I come down here when I have nothing to do, and I just think.” She shrugged and let out a suppressed chuckle. “I think about you a lot. Wondering if you’re all right, if you’re alive. Wondering if you ever think about…” She chuckled again, standing up and hugging herself. “Me.”
He sighed. “Every day. I’d often wondered the same thing.”
“Oh, Mulder, why did you leave?”
“I had to, Scully.” His answer wasn’t as truthful as the previous one, but it would have to do for now.
“Where were you?”
“All over. Alaska, Canada, England. Mostly in the continental U.S.”
“I joined a UFO research team that traveled around, looking for sites and historical information. We’ll have a book coming out in the summer.”
She shook her head. “I’ll have to read it.”
“I’ll even autograph a copy for you.”
“Can’t wait.” Her voice was less than enthusiastic, and so was her expression.
“I’m sorry my departure wasn’t exactly well-timed. I had planned to leave before, if that makes you feel any better.”
“Before when? Are we talking hours or days? Mulder, your timing was awful.”
“But if I had stayed, what would’ve happened?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know.”
He cupped her face, forcing her to look him in the eyes. Her stare was electric, and he resisted the urge to kiss her, hold her. “It wasn’t your fault.”
“I know.” She smiled, walking to the door. “Ready?”
He sighed inwardly. “Where are we going now?”
“Well, I hope you don’t have a place to stay.”
“Is this an invitation?”
“Of course. I live in a house.”
“Ooh, splendid. Well, don’t fret. I only have one suitcase.”
“You’re going to be a great houseguest.”
Scully kneeled to catch her son in mid-flight, so to speak. She picked him up and held him. “Hi.”
“You’re home early.” William Scully, Junior, her older brother, padded into the foyer. “I was just making him a snack.” He noticed Mulder coming in the door and did a double take. “Well, look here!” He gave Mulder’s hand a few pumps. “Look, Adam, it’s Fox Mulder.”
He grinned, shaking Mulder’s hand. “Nice to meet you.”
“How do you know me?”
“Mommy,” he replied with a giggle. “Uncle Bill, are the sandwiches done?”
“Yep. Come on!” He raced him to the kitchen.
Mulder chuckled. “He’s adorable, Scully. How old is he? Three, four?”
She looked away. “Something like that.”
He shrugged at her vagueness and glanced around the house. It was a lot larger than her apartment, with a staircase across from the front door and to the right. Past it was a living room and fireplace. To the right was a bar and, beyond that, a kitchen. “Very tasteful.”
“Thank you.” She hung up their coats. “You can stay anywhere except upstairs. That is–”
“My room,” Adam hollered, running to them with a ham and cheese sandwich.
Scully lifted a hand. “See? It’s his room. And he doesn’t like anyone to touch it. Not even me,” she growled, tickling him. She caught the sandwich before it plummeted to the floor. She handed it back to her son after taking a bite. “Good sandwich, Bill.”
“Thank you.” He grabbed his jacket. “Well, I’m off. Have a nice afternoon. Good to see you again, Mr. Mulder.” He patted Adam’s head and left.
Scully pointed to a door next to the fireplace. “You can have that room. Mom stays there sometimes, so it has several closets and dressers. But it’ll be comfortable.” She led him there, followed by Adam. “That door is to the bathroom–it’s the only one on this floor so knock first. You have a patio door. And … that’s about it. Drop your suitcase; let me show you around.”
He followed her through the bathroom door. “This is the bathroom, I presume.”
She grinned. “How’d you guess?” She gestured to a nearby towel rack. “This will be yours. If you run out of toilet paper, it’s under the sink. Now onto…” They walked through the opposite door. “My room. It also has a patio door. And the door near the bed leads to the dining room.” They headed that way. “Dining room, complete with grand piano. And if you go through the sliding door you come to the kitchen.” They arrived in that room. “You can explore the cabinets to find the silverware, dishes, et cetera. The door over there near the refrigerator leads to the garage.”
Adam tugged on Mulder’s sleeve. “We have a pool.”
“You do!” he exclaimed, not sure whether or not to believe such a small child. But when Scully nodded, he frowned. “You do?”
“And a Jacuzzi. It’s–” She thumbed over her shoulder. “–in the back.”
“And this house cost you–how much?”
“I don’t know, really. Kwan bought it as a wedding gift, so to speak.”
He shook his head. “That’s some gift.”
She chuckled. “Well, downstairs is another bedroom and a rec room. Upstairs is—”
“My room!” Adam finished happily. “Come on; I’ll show you.”
Mulder raised an eyebrow as the boy pulled him up the stairs. “This is a nice room.”
He nodded, dropping to his knees near a pile of toys. “These are my superheroes.”
“Really?” He knelt as well. “Who’s this?”
Adam giggled, looking up at him with a frown. “That’s Spiderman. Mommy says you know who Spiderman is.”
“Yeah, I guess I do.” He laughed at himself. It had been a long time since he’d been with a child. He turned when he heard the stairs creak, and Scully appeared, smiling sweetly.
“And this is Superman,” he continued, picking up figures at random. “He died, though.”
“Yeah. I read it in a comic book.”
“Yeah. He was in comics for sixty or seventy years. Maybe longer. But I know something you don’t know.”
“The day of the week that each number of the calendar is on.”
“You do?” He rubbed his hands together. “What day did the year start on?”
“And what day was your mother’s birthday?”
“And what day of the week was your mother born on?”
“Sunday.” He returned to naming his superheroes.
Mulder looked back at Scully. “Is he right?”
She nodded. “He could tell you anything dating back to the first calendar year.”
She shook her head. “No. He–he has a photographic memory. He remembers every little detail. He once memorized an entire episode, word for word, of ‘Unsolved Mysteries.’”
“Wow!” He turned to Adam. “Did your dad have a photographic memory?”
“So do I. Small world, eh?”
“Voilà,” Scully announced, putting a dish on the table. “Eat up.”
Adam grinned at the stack of meatloaf. “Yummy.” He reached for the top piece with his fork and brought it carefully to his plate. Mulder watched in awe.
He grabbed the mashed potatoes and was dishing them out when his mother cleared her throat. “Why don’t you pass some of the food to Mulder?”
He shrugged, giving him the creamed peas. He whispered loudly, “I don’t like them.”
He chuckled. “You’ll learn to like them. When I was your age, I hated all vegetables from A to Z.”
Adam froze for a moment. “Even potatoes?”
“What did you eat?”
Scully snorted. “Not surprising.”
“I like those,” he admitted. “Mommy thinks they’re messy.”
“They are, but that’s why they’re so much fun.”
“Yeah,” Adam agreed with a grin.
They finished their meal, and Mulder helped Scully with the dishes while Adam went to watch television.
“He is so cute,” he raved. “Makes me wish I had kids.”
She smiled weakly, scrubbing the plates with a rag.
“So how did you do with labor?”
She shrugged. “A few hours, nothing terrible. The amount of pain was … unexpected. But, hey, here I am.”
She thought back to her very first fiancé. It was a doctor she had worked with when she and Mulder had been separated by force. That was also when she met Frank Kwan. She smiled. “Steve.”
His eyebrows rose. “Steve Michaels? Oh, I’ll bet he loved that, seeing you married and giving birth. Jealousy, jealousy.”
“You know, I think he’s finally gotten over me.” She nodded quickly. “Yeah. He has.”
“You’d think so.”
She put the dishes in the dishwasher and turned it on. “There. Oh, excuse me.” She went into the living room. “Adam, you have to take your bath and get to bed soon.”
“Can I watch the rest of this?”
“Yes. But then go. I’ll start your water.”
“Okay.” He settled back into the chair. Mulder took the other one. “What are you watching?”
“That’s still on?”
“Didn’t you watch T.V. while you and Mommy were far apart?”
He smiled faintly. “No. No, I didn’t have enough time. Besides that, we didn’t have a T.V. Just a slide projector, and you can only look at pictures of Yellowstone so many times.”
“Then what did you do for fun?”
“Well, I have a scrapbook–don’t tell your mother this either–with a whole bunch of pictures of her and me in it. I’d look through it.”
“Did you think you’d forget what she looked like?”
“Then why did you look at pictures?”
“To … to remember the good times. To cheer myself up, knowing that she was still there. Somewhere.”
Adam hugged him. “I have to take my bath now.” He got up and walked past Scully, who was standing by the bathroom door, a faraway look in her eyes.
“Hey, Scully.” He got up to meet her halfway.
“You’re so good to him,” she said. “Thank you. He needs some father figure in his life. After Kwan died … I don’t know. I just haven’t been able to provide enough.”
“You’re a great mother. Look at how well he’s turned out. You’re doing fine.” He paused for a subject change. “Why do you still call him Kwan?”
She shrugged. “Old habit. He’s kind of like you. A lot like you, actually. Just one of those people you don’t dare call by their first name.”
“You’ve called me by my first name.”
“Well, just that once …”
“Tooms hasn’t come out of his house all day. I sat through a Phillies game, an Orioles game, and four hours of Ba-Ba-Booey. When it got dark, I took a walk around the block.” His eyes fell on her. “Do you have that sandwich I asked you to bring?”
She rummaged through the sack, pulling one out. She wished he would take better care of himself. She wished he would let her help. Nevertheless, she handed it to him. “It’s liverwurst.”
He took it, tossing his head back with a flat chuckle. “Ha ha.”
She turned to him as he unwrapped the sandwich, taking a bite. “Mulder, you know that proper surveillance requires two pairs of agents, one pair relieving the other after twelve hours.”
He glanced at her, still chewing. “Article 30, paragraph 8.7?”
“This isn’t about doing it by the book. This is about you not having slept for three days. Mulder, you’re gonna get sloppy, and you’re gonna get hurt. It’s inevitable at this point.”
“A request for other agents to stake out Tooms would be denied cause then we have no grounds.”
She gazed at him warmly. Her voice softened. “Well, then I’ll stay here. You go home.”
He looked straight ahead with a sigh. “They’re out to put an end to the X-Files, Scully.” He licked his lips in thought. “I don’t know why, but any excuse will do. Now I don’t really care about my record, but you’d be in trouble just sitting in this car.” He turned to her. “And I’d hate to see you carry an official reprimand in your career file because of me.”
She stared at her hands, a confession long overdue. “Fox–”
He chuckled at her, and she looked up at him, annoyed by his interruption. “And I … I even made my parents call me Mulder. So …” He couldn’t bear to watch her anymore. “Mulder.”
She was unfazed by his embarrassment, dismissing her own. “Mulder, I wouldn’t put myself on the line for anybody but you.”
His head swiveled around to see her again. Her expression held a truth that he hadn’t seen on a face in years. He wasn’t quite sure what to say until his eyes dropped to the bag on her lap. “If there’s an iced tea in that bag, it could be love.”
She was somewhat startled by the abruptness of his statement. She opened the sack. “Must be fate, Mulder.” Picking up the straw and drink, she gave them to him. “Root beer.”
He arched his neck, letting out a disappointed gasp.
She failed in hiding a small smile. “You’re delirious. Go home and get some sleep.”
“Here, take my sandwich. I only had one bite. You’re gonna want it later, believe me. And you’ll call me,” he added quickly, “if anything happens immediately. I’ll be here.”
She had one foot in the door when he spoke again. She turned to him.
“Oh, oh and 11:30, station 790–Pete Rose late night radio show.” He nodded eagerly with a boyish grin on his face.
She gave him a weak and disdainful smile, got out, and shut the door. “Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Scully chuckled. “That was an interesting experience, if anything.”
“You know, now that we’re on the subject of Tooms … I told you so.”
She frowned. “What?”
“Remember when we first ran into him?”
“Well, we were going through the microfilms to find his residence in 1903. You said that it must’ve been his great-grandfather, and I disagreed.”
“Oh, *now* I remember …”
“Well, what do you think?” Now she knew how he felt when she threw out all of his ideas.
“I think what we have to do is track Eugene Tooms. There’s four down and one to go this year. If we don’t get him right now, the next chance we’re gonna get is…uh…” He hated doing math in his head.
Luckily, Scully had done it for him. “2023.”
“And you’re gonna be head of the bureau by then. So I think you have to go through the census. I’m gonna plow through this century’s marriage/birth/death certificates and …” He sighed. “You have any Dramamine on ya by any chance cause these things make me seasick.”
“I knew you were going to be the director.”
“But you were twenty-one years off.”
“No, no, I said by then.”
She shook her head. “You’re amazing.”
“I know.” He grinned. “Listen, I’m going to unpack. You … do whatever it is you do.”
“Okay.” She smiled as he left the living room.
an hour later
“Did you get Adam put to bed?”
Scully looked up from her book to see Mulder in boxers, his hair damp. “Surprisingly. You know, you shouldn’t take a shower when it’s lightning outside. You could get electrocuted.”
“I finished my shower before the storm.” He sat by her on the loveseat, glancing at the fireplace. The flames licked the brick walls, red and orange tongues protruding from a yellow mouth. He had long since gotten over his fear of fire, and now he appreciated its beauty, however grotesque. “Do you have pictures of Adam when he was younger? I’d like to see them sometime.”
She opened her mouth, then shut it. “Sometime.”
“You’ve made quite a life for yourself,” he remarked. “I’m proud of you.”
She looked at him, bewildered. “You are?”
“Of course. It’s not every day your best friend becomes the director of the bureau and marries a guy whose wedding present is a house. What did you get for your anniversary? Matching cars?”
She slid off the couch and sat on the floor in front of the fire, flipping on the radio to mask the silence. “I missed your humor, however smart assed or crude it may be.”
He knelt by her side. “I missed you. Every part of you.” He kissed her temple.
She gazed up at him, the firelight dancing off her features. “When you left, you broke my heart. Now you’re back and … I don’t know where I stand.”
“I do.” He stroked her hair almost longingly. “I thought about you every day. Honestly.”
“But that doesn’t mean anything in the here and now.”
She sighed. “I’ll bet you just sat in bed every day and thought up ways to get me brooding.”
“I sat in bed thinking, and you were in the thoughts, but it was not about ways to get you brooding.”
She raised an eyebrow. “What about?”
“The last night we were together.”
She blushed. “Funny. I did the same thing.”
End of Part 1