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. The songs featured are “The Red Strokes” by Garth Brooks, written by James Garver, Lisa Sanderson, Jenny Yates, and Garth Brooks, and “Remember Me This Way” by Jordan Hill, produced by David Foster.
March 23, 2002
Mulder took a deep breath. He never thought he was good at dates, especially those with close friends. But then again, it wasn’t really a date. And she wasn’t just a close friend; she was his best friend.
He looked down at the bouquet of yellow roses once more and made sure he had thirteen. Satisfied, he rapped lightly on the door.
“Come in,” came Scully’s voice, sweet and melodic. “I’ll be ready in a second.”
He went inside and stood behind the couch, waiting for her to appear, anxious yet afraid. Why do I have these fears? he wondered. It’s just Scully.
His partner of ten years stepped out of the bedroom and posed for him. “What do you think?”
His jaw nearly got rugburns as he ogled her with surprise. She wore a short–very short–black, low cut dress that shimmered in the light. It had spaghetti straps and a matching purse that she held in her hand. Her auburn hair was in a French roll with curled strands hanging down, tickling her neck and cheeks. Her smile was dynamic; she would either kill them with her dress or her grin. “You look … fabulous. My God, that dress is short.”
She laughed. “You told me to.”
“I did. When?”
“The other day at work. You asked me what I was wearing, and I said I wasn’t going to tell you. You said, and I quote, ‘It’d better be short’.”
“I was only kidding.”
“Would you like me to change?”
“No,” he answered a little too loudly, a little too quickly. “What I mean is–you’ve already spent so much time getting ready. You might as well just go out in that.”
She raised her eyebrow and chuckled. “Okay. You look handsome yourself.”
“Thank you.” How could she compare herself to him? She still had the same glorious figure that she did when he first met her, and he was getting … flabby. Better get out to the gym, Mulder, he repeatedly told himself, but it never worked. “Oh, by the way, these flowers are for you.”
“Thanks.” She took them out and put them in the vase. “There’s thirteen. You’re being awfully creative.”
“Hidden talent.” He crooked his arm. “Your limo awaits.”
“Limo?” She linked arms with him while frowning. “Oh, you can’t mean it.”
“Complete with refrigerator and driver. But we have to have it back by midnight. If we don’t, it’ll turn into a pumpkin.”
“I doubt we’ll be out that late.”
She couldn’t have been more wrong. After a four course meal at Le Pavillon, the most expensive restaurant in town, at six o’clock, they headed out to Adams Morgan. It was definitely the liveliest place after hours in Washington. Since they had no need for a designated driver, they bar-hopped until one in the morning, not getting drunk but dancing everywhere they went. The limo driver had done nothing short of dragging them out by their ears then. Mulder paid him extra–What is he, made of money? Scully had wondered all night–and apologized. She offered to take Mulder home after coffee.
They entered her apartment, flipping on the lights and some classical music. She walked over to the counter where the roses were and sniffed. “I love that smell.” She proceeded to make the coffee while Mulder pulled two mugs out of the cabinet. She turned to him. “Thanks for everything this evening.”
“Sure. Anything for you.”
“I’m just sorry that it had to come down to this.” She shrugged one shoulder. “It’s March 24. We’re no longer partners.”
“That’s right.” He let out a martyred sigh. “Well, it was good while it lasted.”
“Yeah.” She smiled slightly, then poured the coffee and handed him his cup. They walked to the couch single file.
For a reason she didn’t fully understand, Scully stopped in mid-stride and spun around. Mulder looked at her, startled by her halt. Their eyes met, and she felt her head swoon. He took the cup from her and set it on the small desk next to him. Then he placed his hands on the back of her head and undid her hair, watching it fall down like a cascading waterfall. He pulled her close to him, kissed her earlobe tenderly. Her heart pounded like a fast drum, skipping a few beats. She put her hands on his chest, sliding them upward until they reached his neck.
He turned his head to her, smiling sanguinely. She couldn’t help but mock his expression. Both of their faces turned serious as they drew closer. Their lips welcomed each other, cautiously at first. It was a new venture they were undertaking, the road less traveled, bridges burned as soon as they were built and crossed. But as their kiss grew deeper, more passionate, they were glad the journey was taken together, where they belonged.
Mulder picked her up off the ground once they had parted, cradling her like she was a child, knowing that she was anything but. He gazed into her blue eyes, destined to be lost forever. “You’re so beautiful,” was all he could whisper before carrying her to the bedroom. She kicked off her shoes along the way, kissing his neck. He sat her down on the bed and looked at her, memorizing her every feature.
She leaned to the nightstand and opened the drawer. After rummaging through her things, she slid out a small foil package and placed it near the lamp. “Better to be safe than sorry, no matter who you trust.” She stood, one calf still on the bed, and undid his bowtie. “And I trust you.”
“I trust you,” he muttered as she pulled him down on top of her. Their tongues wrestled playfully as Mulder struggled to get her dress over her head. Frustrated, he pushed himself off and frowned.
With a laugh, she rolled onto her stomach. “Might want to try the zipper.”
“Good idea.” He eased it down, and she turned over again, scooting up to the pillows so her feet wouldn’t hang off. “Wait. Would you go unplug my phones?”
“How many do you have?”
“Three. I’ll get this one.”
“Right.” He hurried on his way, throwing his jacket on the couch and returning when he was finished. Scully sat cross-legged on the bed, her straps slipping down. He hopped up next to her and tipped her chin. She began to unbutton his shirt. He took her hands and held them, looking her in the eyes. “You’re really sure about this?”
She nodded, a smile broadening on her face. “Yes. Under one condition.”
“I get to be on top.”
Oh, the blues will be blue and the jealousies green
But when love picks its shade it demands to be seen
Oh, the red strokes
Thundering moments of tenderness rage
Oh, the red strokes
Burning the night like the dawn
The sheets and blankets lay tangled around their feet. They had made love for the majority of the night, with few stops and short ones at that. Mulder had an energy she’d never seen before, even afterwards, when they talked about everything they had neglected to discuss before.
When all had been said and done, they wrapped themselves around each other, covered only by the blanket of passion. Sun poured through the window while Scully yawned as big as her mouth would allow. Mulder laughed. “You don’t have any manners. Cover your mouth.”
“My hands are preoccupied,” she replied with a grin. She stretched her legs and looked over his shoulder. “Oh, my God!”
“What?” He shot up, shocked, expecting the worst.
“It’s six o’clock!”
“So?” he muttered, laying back in bed.
“We’ve got to go to work.” She reached for the sheet and pulled it around her, sliding out of bed. “Oh, God, I don’t think I can walk.”
He chuckled. “I’m sorry. I’ll take all the blame.”
She crawled back, planting a kiss on his lips. She stopped and sat up, straddling him. “Oops, I forgot. Morning breath.”
“Nonsense. We didn’t sleep, so this isn’t morning. This is a continuation of the night.” He grabbed her and tickled her, giving her a little peck on the cheek. “I don’t want to go to work.”
“Easy for you to say,” she quipped, staggering to the bathroom as she tried to walk, eventually waddling her way there. She reached the door and turned. “You don’t have to be the director when you get there.” The door closed, half of the sheet still in it.
“Yeah,” he muttered, speaking to her but glad she wasn’t there, “but you didn’t resign.”
Scully frowned at Mulder. “You said that?”
He nodded. “I said a whole lot more, practicing for the goodbye speech, calling Skinner to tell him that I quit, but you were showering.”
“I had to get pepped somehow. I hadn’t slept for twenty-four hours.”
“How long until you slept again?” he asked gently, stroking her hair.
She sighed. “After you told me goodbye, it was a long time …”
March 24, 2002
They ate breakfast in her favorite coffeeshop, halfway between her apartment and the bureau. She was positively glowing. She couldn’t believe the way Mulder made her feel; ten years of bottled up feelings had come in a rush, and now she was in seventh heaven. She knew he wasn’t as carefree as she was, but she couldn’t imagine why. She soon found out.
Mulder held her hand as they walked up to the front doors to the bureau. At one point, she kept going, but he had stopped. When she noticed, she turned. He wore an expression of such sorrow that she dropped her briefcase and threw her arms around him, finally understanding his distance. “Mulder, what’s happening to us?”
He shook his head. “I have to go, Scully.”
“Wherever I can. I can’t be here now. Can you understand?”
She looked at him, her cheeks tearstained and her mascara dribbling. “The reason is unclear.”
“I can’t explain it. Not now. Maybe someday.” He released her and started walking away.
“So that’s it?” she called after him. “You’re just going to leave me? Mulder …” She thought he paused for a moment, but her eyes had deceived her. “Dammit, Mulder, don’t go.”
He turned and headed back to her. She frowned, surprised. He cupped her face and kissed her for what seemed like an eternity but wasn’t long enough. “I won’t forget you, Dana.”
She watched him go, her knees shaky. He flagged down a taxi and, after opening the door, glanced in her direction. Their eyes met, both sad, and then he was gone, heading down 9th Street in a yellow and black cab …
“One of the worst days of my life,” she admitted. Then she reached for a cassette and put it in her tape player. “I was driving home that night, and I heard this song on the nineties station. It made me cry, but in an odd way it made me feel better, too.” She pressed play. A piano intro started off for a woman’s voice.
Every now and then we find a special friend
Who never lets us down
Who understands it all, reaches out each time we fall
You’re the best friend that I’ve found
I know you can’t stay
A part of you will never ever go away
Your heart will stay
I’ll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life will just be kind
To such a gentle mind
If you lose your way
Think back on yesterday
Remember me this way
Remember me this way
I don’t need eyes to see the love you bring to me
No matter where I go
And I know that you’ll–
Mulder pressed stop. “I get the idea.”
She sighed. “Why did you leave?”
“I’m not ready to tell you yet.”
“Then why did you come back?”
“I’m not ready to tell you that either.”
“Can you tell me anything?”
“Yes. That when I do tell you, and if they’re at the same time, I’m not buttering you up.”
She frowned. “What do you hide, Fox Mulder?”
“Don’t we all.” She gasped. “Oh, my God. I forgot to let the dog up.” She hurried to the basement door and opened it. A large, white dog jumped out. Mulder’s eyes bulged out of his head. Large was an understatement. This dog was gigantic standing about three feet tall on all fours. It was big around, too, but he had no guess as to the weight of the beast. The dog jumped up on Scully, her height on its hind legs as it licked her face cheerfully, nearly knocking her down by its enormous size. It plopped back down and eyed Mulder.
He stared at it. “What the hell is that? A Pinto?”
She chuckled, patting the dog without bending over. “No, this is my dog. He’s a Great Pyrenees. It’s the royal dog of France.” Her eyes glowed. “An anniversary gift.”
“How much does it weigh?”
“More than me.”
He frowned up at her, then returned his attention to the dog. “I can see that. What’s its name?”
She paused hesitantly. “Fox.”
His eyes shot up. “You named your dog after me?”
“No, no, I named it after the animal.”
“I’m an animal.”
“Yes, you were.”
He knew exactly what she was talking about. “Well, if you weren’t so damned attractive, I might’ve been gentler.”
Her face turned mischievous. “Go get him, Fox.”
The dog made a beeline for Mulder, jumping on him, nearly crushing his ribs, and licked his face generously. “Ah, ah, dog slobber! Get it off of me! Get it off of me! Scully, this is not funny!”
She made kissing noises, and the dog ran over to her, sitting down and panting. Mulder struggled to get up, wiping his face. She grinned. “Let me get you a towel.” She disappeared for a moment and returned with a dishcloth. She knelt by him and wiped his face off. “There. All clean.”
“I seem to remember myself doing that to you once …”
They were eating in Clay’s BBQ, the best restaurant in Delta Glen according to the sheriff. The ribs were messier than need be, and Scully picked up her napkin, wiping her fingers. “You know, Mulder, ribs like these–I’d say the Church of the Red Museum has its work cut out for it.”
He was wiping his own hands but reached out to wipe some sauce off of her lip.
She smiled at him. “Thanks.” She couldn’t take her eyes off of him and tried to hide the fact by changing the subject.
“You were turned on?” he questioned a moment later.
She shrugged. “You didn’t give me much choice.”
“Wow,” he remarked, taking the cloth to do his own clean-up job, “I never knew I could do that.” He shrugged with a grin. “I’m proud of myself.”
“Now I feel stupid.” She got up and coaxed the dog to go up to Adam’s room. “Go on, Fox.”
Mulder stood behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist. “Don’t feel stupid,” he whispered, his breath hot on her neck. “You’ve turned me on plenty of times before.”
“Really?” she asked, her voice higher-pitched from curiosity. “When?”
“Every time you look at me.”
She turned around and did that very thing. “You feel guilty, don’t you? For leaving?”
He nodded. “Yes, I do. But I had to go.”
He turned away in frustration, walking to and plopping on the loveseat. “It’s too difficult to explain.”
She sat next to him, her hand on his shoulder. “Whatever it is, Mulder, you can tell me.”
He sighed, gazing at her and becoming as lost as he had the night they had made love. He couldn’t help it; he kissed her long and hard, pulling her down so that she was in her favorite position.
However, after a moment, she broke the kiss. “What is it that you fear most, Mulder?”
It came out of his mouth before he even knew he was saying it. “You ridiculing me.”
She sat up and stared at him, her face displaying a look of terrified shock. “I would never make fun of anything you say that comes from the heart. Ever. How can you even think that I–”
“I don’t. It’s just that …” He sighed. “Back in high school, I fell in love with this girl. When I told her how I felt, she laughed at me, called me names, asked me how I could think anyone would ever love me. I guess that’s scarred me for life. Now every time I become involved with a woman, I can’t tell her how I feel because I think back to high school and what that girl said.”
Scully’s breath caught in her throat at the realization of his statements. She stared into the fire. “Tell me, Mulder.”
He looked at her, discerning what he’d just said. “I love you, Scully.” It sounded so odd; he hadn’t said it to anyone for so long … “I have for some time now. Well, maybe longer than I thought. I dismissed it as infatuation. We were partners; that’s all we’re ever allowed to be. That’s why I buried my feelings as deeply as I had my pain over Samantha. But those emotions surfaced. I should’ve known the others would, too. So that’s why I left. After making love to you, it all started to make sense. What I did wasn’t an impulse. It was all of my feelings, bubbled up until they could finally be released. And I never had to say a word. I thought that was enough. And then I figured out that I could never be in love with you because you were going to be the director. So I quit.” He took a deep breath. “I had to; I couldn’t stay. If I had, the truth would have come out some time or another, and it’s worse to be in love with a superior than a partner. Terrible consequences. And I didn’t want to see you get fired from something you’ve wanted for so long because of me.”
When he looked at her, she was crying. He put his arms around her. She wept for a moment then sat up. He wiped her eyes.
“You okay, Scully? I didn’t mean to shock you.”
“No, you didn’t shock me. I saw it coming for quite some time now. I don’t know how. It was just an instinct. I’m crying because you’re so wonderful to me. Always thinking of me first. You know the right things to say all the time. But at this moment, my feelings for you are so jumbled, I don’t even know if I like you.”
He cracked a grin. “Well, that’s okay. You can hate me.”
She punched his shoulder weakly. “I can’t tell you how I feel. If I said I loved you, I might be lying. But if I said I didn’t love you, I might be lying, too.”
“That’s okay. Don’t say anything. Just getting it off my chest makes me feel better. It’s been there for nearly fifteen years.” He smiled. “When the time is right, you’ll know.” He kissed her forehead. “Good night.” He walked into his room and closed the door.
the following morning
Mulder hadn’t slept that well in five years. He frowned as the sun glared a ‘good morning’ into his eyes. He smiled at the wall by his bed and sighed. His stomach growled impatiently. He pushed the covers away with his feet and sauntered into the kitchen.
Adam was perched on a chair, reading the back of a cereal box while eating. He looked up. “Hi! I beat you up this morning.”
“Did you?” he asked jokingly.
Scully was standing by the island, gazing at him stolidly. “Good morning.”
He raised an eyebrow at her expression, and she refused to perk up. He sighed inwardly. Great. Now what have I done? “What do you serve for breakfast?”
“Anything you can find.” She headed to the refrigerator and began preparing lunch. “Breakfast got over an hour ago.”
“Oh.” He sat in one of the two remaining chairs. “Hey, Adam. Where did you get the cereal?”
“From this box.”
“Where’d you get the box?”
“At the store.”
Why did he feel like he was getting the run-around from everybody? “Where did you get the box this morning?”
He pointed to the cabinet with a grin. “Bottom shelf.”
“How about the bowl and spoon–and don’t tell me from the kitchen store.”
“I’ll get them for you.” He retrieved the proper dishes and left after putting his cereal away. “Mommy, I’m going to take Fox outside before we go.”
“Okay, sweetie,” she called, not really hearing him. She shut the refrigerator and opened the freezer.
Mulder was glad the boy was gone for the moment. He walked up behind Scully.
She put her hands out in front of her, leaning towards the appliance on her tiptoes, searching for something. “Oh, great,” she muttered. “I can’t find what I looking for.”
Suddenly, Mulder appeared before her, between her outstretched arms. “I can.”
With an exasperated grunt, she nearly shut the door on his head and went over to the island, sulking. Why am I treating him this way? He doesn’t deserve it. It’s my own fault.
“Okay, Scully. I know that you’re as cold as your freezer’s temperature towards me. I just don’t understand the reason.”
She closed her eyes and counted to ten in three languages. Then she opened them and saw Mulder peering at her. “Why did you come back? I mean, come on. It wasn’t just to talk about old times.”
“You’re right. I guess I should tell you.” He rested his forearms on the countertop, watching her. “My sister’s on Earth.”
She frowned at him. “Samantha? Wait–how do you know?”
“I’ve kept tabs out. I have friends with power. One of them notified me.”
“Can you trust your contact?”
“I don’t know. That’s why I’m here. Remember the unofficial channels, Scully?”
She sighed. “You need my help to confirm the claim.”
“I hate to ask you to do this, but you know how important Samantha is to me. I need you. Even if you weren’t the director, I’d still come to you. There’s no one else I’d want with me.”
“What about your mother?”
“I don’t want to raise her hopes. Besides, what is she now–70? She couldn’t handle the roughness this might involve.”
“And you think I can? I’m not exactly young anymore, Mulder, and neither are you.”
“This is Samantha I’m talking about, Scully. Not some close friend, my sister. I have to find her.”
“What if this turns out to be false? Just some sick joke played on your vulnerabilities. What will you do then?”
“Keep searching for the truth.”
She sighed. “Mulder, I don’t know …”
He put a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll understand if you don’t want to do it. You have a family, a job. I have neither. If you don’t want to come with me, then at least consider looking around for some evidence that she’s here.”
“How would I do that?”
He smiled. “My source said that she arrived two weeks ago here in Washington. I don’t know where she’s being kept. I was hoping you could find that out for me.”
somewhere in Washington, D.C.
Mulder recognized the building that Scully pulled up in front of. “Hey, the Lone Gunmen are still here?”
“Yep,” she replied, stepping out. “They’re gonna love to see you.”
He and Adam followed her to the door. She knocked, and a middle-aged man that Mulder found slightly familiar answered. He had greying hair, was cleanly groomed, and was wearing a suit and tie. “Dana! Oh, it’s so good to see you! Come in, come in. I haven’t seen you since Kwan died. How are you holding up …”
Mulder frowned, looking down at her son. “Who is that?”
He grinned, walking in. “Frohike.”
The reunion was interesting. Mulder learned quite a few facts. Between the time he left and the time Kwan came, Scully had dated Frohike. Nothing had ever evolved out of the relationship except a better understanding of each other. After she married, they continued their friendship. Byers and Langly hadn’t changed, except they were more paranoid than before.
“So, Mulder, have you learned of any new government cover-ups?” Byers asked.
“No. I’ve spent my time away from the government.”
Langly ruffled Adam’s light brown hair. “Tell Mulder he’s crazy. There’s no way you can hide from the government, no matter how hard you try.”
Mulder pointed. “Don’t listen to him, Adam. He’ll give you brain damage.”
“Thanks for your support.”
Frohike and Scully sat around a small, round table, drinking coffee. “So what does Mulder know about … well, you know?”
She shook her head. “Nothing.”
“How long will it go on?”
“Until I can tell him.”
“And when will that be?”
She sighed. “If I tell him, he’ll go on a rampage. I don’t want to hurt him.”
“Don’t you think that lies are hurting him more?”
“I haven’t lied to him. Not once since he’s been here.”
“Then why doesn’t he know?”
“He never asked.” Her grin broadened. “And I doubt he’d even think to.”
Frohike smiled, patting her hand. “You’re probably right about that.”
“There was something else I wanted to ask you. Mulder thinks that Samantha might be here, in Washington. What do you know about it?”
He frowned. “Honestly, nothing. How did he hear this?”
“Secret sources. Do you think you could find out for me the validity of this claim?”
He rolled the chair over to a nearby computer. “I could try.” He typed in a few commands. “I wonder what she looks like.”
She shrugged. “I only know her from childhood and the clones.”
“Maybe she looks the same.”
“No. Could you check hospital records?”
“Sure.” He scanned a file. “There were two Jane Does admitted to Samaritan, one in her mid-sixties and one in her mid-twenties.”
“No. Samantha would be my age. Neither of those fit.”
“Maybe she didn’t go to the hospital.”
She sighed. “Maybe she didn’t go to D.C. Maybe they left.”
“I’m sorry.” He smiled at Mulder and Adam. “They are great together, aren’t they?”
She nodded weakly. “Yeah. They are.”
nearby grocery store
“That was fun.”
Scully smiled, pushing the shopping cart forward. “They enjoyed it.”
Mulder put his arm around her shoulders. “I’m glad you’re speaking to me again.”
She chuckled. “You’re hard to ignore.” She paused. “Is there anything you need or want?”
“Food wise, Mulder. That you can purchase in this supermarket.”
“I didn’t think so.” She bagged some fruit and turned down an aisle. “Where did Adam go?”
“Right here, Mommy,” came his voice. He appeared, holding a heavy bag of dog food. “Fox is hungry.”
Mulder hurried to him and picked it up. “How did you get this all the way here?”
“I’m strong,” he growled, flexing his muscles.
“I see that.” He grinned and put the bag into the cart. “But next time, get our help, okay?”
The boy nodded. “I will.”
Scully bit her bottom lip to keep it from quivering. She shook her head to clear it. “Ready to check out?” she asked.
“Yeah,” the boys answered, grasping hands and walking down the aisle, Scully close behind.
They got in a checkout line. Mulder glanced at a tabloid. “Oh, wow! The winning lottery numbers for the next game are the President’s birthdate numerically.”
Adam tugged on her skirt. “Better buy a ticket, Mommy.”
Scully sighed. “Reductio ad absurdum.”
“My Latin’s rusty,” Mulder complained. “What’s it mean?”
“‘Reduction to absurdity.’” She piled the goods on the counter, smiling politely to the woman behind the register.
Her son’s eyes lit up. “Mommy, can I have a gumball?”
She raised an eyebrow with a small smile on her lips. “Sure.” She gave Mulder a twenty. “Will you pay for this, please?”
He nodded and watched them walk off.
The cashier grinned. “Your son is cute.”
He turned to her, startled. “Oh, that’s not my son.”
“I’m sorry. My mistake.”
He dismissed her error with the wave of a hand. “It’s easy to confuse a cute boy with an even cuter adult.”
She giggled. “16.73, please.”
He paid her, got the change, and retrieved the bags. “Have a nice day.” He gave Adam the sack of fruit. “Here’s something easier to carry.”
“Thank you,” he mumbled, his mouth full of gum.
End of Part 2