Separation Anxiety 7/7

Separation Anxiety
Written October 1998
Rated PG-13
Synopsis: Mulder and Scully are separated but find themselves working on a similar case…and falling in love.

Disclaimer: The characters you recognize belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Television. No infringement is intended. Some of the characters and situations are my own.


2:00 A.M. EDT

Scully watched wearily as the digits on her wristwatch changed over to two o’clock. It had been a long day.

She felt a soft hand on the back of her neck. Mulder did that on occasion. She closed her eyes, wishing that it was, in fact, Mulder. When she opened them again, she saw Stevens holding out a Styrofoam cup of coffee. “Oh, it’s you.”

His face fell. “I brought you some coffee.”

“Thanks.” She sipped it gratefully, letting the liquid graze her throat. “Any breakthroughs?”

“No. Your friend—what’s his name?”

“Frohike.”

“He’s almost done with his box of hacker disks. Nothing has been located so far.”

“He didn’t do it, Terry.”

“I know, Dana.”

She smiled warmly, abandoning her half-finished coffee, and headed over to the computer where Frohike was hard at work. “How’s it coming?”

“I retrieved three deleted files, two years of test flight data, and a dirty joke. Nothing was directly related to Mulder, but I can see him telling the joke at Christmas.”

Scully chuckled slightly, the chance of freeing Mulder becoming less and less probable. “How many disks left?”

“This is my last good one. But…” He reached into the tackle box, pulling out a black disk without a label. “I found this one. Byers or Langly must have thrown it in here because I’ve never seen it before.”

“Give it a shot.”

He slid it into the drive. “Here goes nothing.”

Scully took a deep breath. Please, God, let us find some proof, so Mulder and I can finally be together. She saw someone walking down the hallway. “Agent Primrose?”

He looked slightly out of place. “I couldn’t sleep. I feel really bad about sending Mulder to jail.”

“You had no choice.”

“I just…can’t stand by and watch him suffer without you, knowing it was my fault. So I’m here to help you find evidence to free him.”

She gave him a sympathetic look and grinned. “He would be very grateful…and so would I.”

Suddenly, Frohike let out an excited gasp, calling attention to his workstation. “All the files…restored! Fred Lundry, flight 5683 to Spokane, Washington. September 3rd. Payment in cash!”

Cheers rose from the crowd. The proof had been discovered after hours of searching. The happiness of the agents, especially Dana Scully, could not be diminished. No one even noticed the desk clerk disappear into the back room with a cellular phone…

***

Washington, D.C.

“Yes?”

“It’s Daniels in the Key West International Airport. They found some files.”

The man calmly drew back on his cigarette. “And?”

“And Agent Mulder can be proven innocent.”

A pause. “Thank you, Daniels. The matter will be handled.” Hanging up, he nodded to a man in the room, who subsequently exited.

Strughold turned to the Cigarette Smoking Man. “What happened?”

“Agent Scully and company uncovered some of our deleted files.”

“Will they prove Mulder’s innocence?”

“Perhaps.”

He slammed his fist on the desk. “How would this happen?”

“A sophisticated computer disk,” he offered coolly. “Or something of the sort.”

“How would you know that?”

He exhaled a cloud of smoke. “A lucky guess.”

He gritted his teeth. “We separated Mulder and Scully, switched his gun without his knowledge, plotted an elaborate murder that has everyone convinced…and now we’ve been upstaged by a computer disk!”

The Smoking Man raised his eyebrows. “What do you want me to do about it?”

“There is only one thing we can do to protect our own interests.”

“Which is?”

Strughold steepled his fingers defiantly and replied, “Kill Agent Scully.”

***

Key West International Airport
4:15 A.M. EDT

Once everything had been cleaned up and most of the agents had left, Scully and Stevens headed for the parking garage. She was physically exhausted but very happy, a copy of the deleted files on a disk in her pocket.

“I think I’m going to see Mulder tomorrow,” she mentioned. “Everything is finally working out.”

“I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks. You can come to our wedding.”

He forced a smile. “I can’t wait.”

“Terry, what’s wrong?”

“Noth—did you hear that?” He frantically searched the garage.

“No. What–” He caught a movement out of the corner of his eye. Someone was taking aim. “Dana, look out!”

It was like the whole universe proceeded in slow motion. Stevens dove before her, hoping to block the emerging shot. Scully ducked, and her partner accepted the bullet, falling to the ground like a lead weight. The normal speed of the world eventually caught up with her, and she fired her own gun at the figure in the darkness. The figure fell to the ground.

She knelt down, lifting Stevens’ head off the pavement. “Terry?”

His breathing was ragged, and she knew he didn’t have long. “Dana…”

“Ssh, don’t speak.”

“I’m not going to make it. But I want…to tell you…”

She caressed his face softly. “What?”

“Saving your life…has given purpose to mine.”

She frowned in confusion. “What? I don’t—”

He took a deep breath. “I love you. You are my angel.”

Sorrowfully, she kissed his cheek and watched him. With the ghost of a smile on his face, he slipped away.

***

Holding cell at Key West Police Station
Key West, Florida
September 5
8:41 A.M. EDT

“You need to see this. It’s solid proof of his evidence!” Scully was tired. She still hadn’t slept; after Stevens’ death, she couldn’t. She had talked to John Smith once the body had gotten to the morgue. He apologized for everything that had happened. In all actuality, the only thing that could cheer her up was Mulder’s release from prison. Her current attempt was not going well.

“We’ll review it on Monday,” the police chief said again.

“It’s Saturday!”

He sighed. “Look, Agent Scully–”

“You are going to hold an innocent man here when you could just as easily release him! This is ridiculous!”

“He may not be innocent. His gun was used to kill Kallie Duran.”

She paused momentarily then continued at full steam. “If you would look at the disk–”

“Agent Scully–”

“An attempt was made on my life because of the contents of that disk. My partner was killed. If you do not look at the information now, come Monday, it may be too late for all of us.”

The man stared at her. Even with fiery red hair, she made an adamant opponent. “I’ll tell you what. I will let you visit Agent Mulder in an hour. At that time, you will be notified as to our decision.”

She exhaled and cleared her throat. “Thank you, sir.” With that, she headed for the waiting room and sat there for one hour.

“Dana Scully.”

She lifted her head at the sound of her name, following the warden to the call box. Mulder appeared on the other side shortly after.

“I didn’t expect to see you so soon,” he mentioned with a small smile. “Do you have any good news?”

“I submitted a computer disk to the police chief.”

“What was on the disk?”

“Proof…that you did, in fact, go to Spokane.” She sighed into the phone. “They’re reviewing it now.”

“Well, that is good news.”

“Yeah,” she replied absently.

“So why do you seem unhappy?”

She looked at him wearily. “Terry’s dead, Mulder. He died saving my life.”

He turned away in shock. “I’m sorry.”

“He really was in love with me, and now that I think about some of the things I said to him…I wonder how he could ever love me at all.”

“You need to grieve, Dana. Don’t hold your feelings inside.”

“I…have to…save you before I can afford to let down my guard.”

Mulder paused before speaking again, letting everything she had said sink in. “You did your best. Whatever happens, remember that.”

A guard yanked him to his feel and dragged him down the corridor. Scully was too stunned to react. She remembered what the police chief had said. At that time, you will be notified as to our decision. She got to her feet and hurried to the lobby.

The chief was waiting for her. “Ah, Agent Scully, we have reviewed your findings.”

She swallowed hard. “And?”

“They are rather vague and inconclusive. For all we know, someone could have forged documents.”

“But, Chief–”

“Fortunately for you,” he interrupted, “before Agent Stevens’ death, he was able to contact an informant in Spokane.” He glanced at the file in his hand. “Jerry Hinrichs, owner of the Spokane Cab Agency. One of his drivers took a man from the airport to 5683 Athena Court around 11:30 on September 3rd. The man went to the door but didn’t knock. Instead, the driver took him back to the airport.”

Scully couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “It was Mulder.”

The chief handed her a composite drawing. “Agent Stevens had the driver describe the man to a police artist. This picture was faxed to Agent Mulder’s office in Key West this morning. Agent Primrose brought it to our attention only moments ago.”

The drawing was a very good likeness from the large nose to the triangle-shaped eyes. Thank you, Terry. Thank you. “Where is Agent Primrose now?”

“Helping to prepare Agent Mulder for his release.”

She stared at him in surprise, but the opening of a door seized her attention. Primrose walked out, carrying a bag of personal effects. Standing behind him in jeans and a white t-shirt was…the love of your life.

He saw her first, and a broad grin appeared on his face. Not being able to wait another moment, she crossed to him, taking him fiercely into her arms. He placed his hand on the back of her head and kissed the top of it.

The chief smiled. “You’re free to go, Agent Mulder…whenever you’re ready.”

After the reluctant release of Scully, Mulder shook hands with Primrose. “Aaron, take care of yourself. If you’re ever in D.C., stop by and see me…us,” he corrected, tightening his grip on the woman in his arms.

“I will. Still, after all that’s happened, do you think you’ll ever come back to Florida?”

“No,” he replied. “It’s too damn hot.” With a slight smile, he and Scully walked out of the police station and into the bright sunshine. “Do you think this constitutes an end to our…separation anxiety?”

“It hasn’t been a month yet,” she replied softly.

“I bet they planned this.”

“Mulder…what do you say we forget about the conspiracies and concentrate on more important things.”

“Yeah, like…where did I park?”

She chuckled, pulling him a little bit closer. “That’s a good idea.”

They stood at the crosswalk, waiting for the little green man to appear. He looked down at her warmly. “Dana?”

“Yes?”

“I just want to tell you that I will always believe in your ability…your faith…your love…”

“Mulder–”

“You’re my best friend, my only friend, and I will always love you.”

She smiled at him, her eyes threatening to drop tears. “I love you, too.”

The crossing sign turned green, and they started across the road. “All the angels in Heaven cannot compare to this angel on Earth.”

Her smiled widened, and she blushed. “That’s a pretty deep thought there, Mulder.”

“Only the deepest thoughts for you, Scully.”

Their laughter resonated across the street where a man was lighting a cigarette. Together, he thought, they could stand against the darkness. Ruin his well thought-out plans as well. He drew back on the cigarette. No matter. He knew his every move.

A father should always look after his son.

The End

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