Title: Diamonds are Forever
Author: Ishmael
Written: October 2001
Category: Mulder/Scully Romance, Angst
Rating: PG
Spoilers: "Emily" and "Christmas Carol", Season 8
Feedback: Yes please!
Archive: Just let me know where it's going so I can pay it a visit.

Summary: What if Fellig (Tithonus) was right? What if Scully could never die, unless she took someone else's place?

 


I.

"Diamonds are forever..."

It's my song. Mulder used to call me his diamond, because he said I was the toughest thing and yet so beautiful.

What he forgot to say is that diamonds never crumble. Diamonds never die.

Like me. I still have the engagement ring he gave me. A diamond with a pearl on either side.

I sigh, and swing my 300-year-old legs onto the table. Still supple, still fit. I wish they were in a grave, between my husband and my son. There's an empty place there, where I'll go. Someday. Hopefully. It costs me a fortune to keep that place free, but I'll go there. Someday.

Someday being the main word. I have no idea when or where or how or even if I'll die - I can't even narrow it down to somewhere in the next century like everyone else. I could stay alive forever.

Forever. It sounds like the sentence of death, ironic though that is. Final, with only the smallest chance of escape by appeal. I've almost given up. It's been too long. Too long in a world I wasn't brought up to cope with. Too long hiding myself. Too long denying my past. And worst of all, too long without Mulder and William. Too long alone.


"I promise, I'll be there with you soon."

"Don't argue, Scully." He takes a breath, this wheezing old man whom I love so much. "You haven't changed." He grows angrier. "You haven't damn well changed! I've known you for sixty five years and you haven't changed!"

I smooth his brow to soothe him. "I love you so much, Mulder. Of course I've changed -"

"Scully, you still look thirty! You're ninety three!"

"I know," I say simply. My inability to grow older when I was in my forties and fifties made me happy. In my sixties it made me a little uncertain. By my seventies, I was anxious, and now it's my single largest worry. When will I die? I'm beginning to believe that perhaps, unbelievably, Alfred Fellig was right.

His voice grows sad. "Death should only separate us briefly, Scully - but instead it'll tear us apart."

"I know, I know," I cry into his embrace. He rocks me, still strong, until he pushes me away slightly, seeking my face.

"But listen to me, Scully. I want you to enjoy life as much as possible. Do what you would have done if you hadn't been allocated to the X-Files."

"I wouldn't have met you then," I whisper. His reply to this is to pull me closer.

"I love you so much, Scully, and I'm grateful that you'll get another chance, without me there to mess everything up -"

"Mulder, you never did mess everything up -"

"Ssh. If you hadn't joined the X-Files, Melissa would still be alive. You'd have more children, you wouldn't have had the cancer, you wouldn't have spent your career following my crackpot ideas -"

"I always have and still do think you're the most intelligent person I've met, Mulder. Your 'crackpot ideas' have almost always been right. And in any case, it was my decision to join the FBI and my decision to stay."

"I know, Scully. But what I mean is that I want you to enjoy life. I'll never forget you, and I'm not asking you to forget me, but if you choose to marry again, take other partners -"

"Mulder I -"

"All I'm saying is that don't be held back because of me; I love you, and I don't want you to be lonely."


He died soon after that. Our only child, William, outlived his father by only twenty years.


"I'm so sorry, Mom -" Why are you sorry, my son? You can't help dying. Nothing's sure except death and taxes - in my case, only the latter.

"Don't be sorry, Billy. Give my love to Dad -"

"Will you look after them?" He means his daughters and grandkids, who are waiting outside; his wife passed away last year. Nevermind I look younger than his daughters, of course I'll look after them.

"Of course. I love you so much."

"I love you too, Mom." I look at his face, changed so much and yet so little. Images flash through my head.

Birth, bloody, horrific, petrifying.

A mother holding her newborn, alone with him and her own sweet relief after months of agony and terror.

A baby, cooing, smiling, drawing his parents together, being held in their arms as they kiss.

A toddler, taking his first steps, saying his first word, stumbling down the aisle in a sailor suit on his parents' wedding day, giving them the rings which bind them together.

A kindergartener, holding his UFO rucksack close as he shyly stands outside the school clutching his mother's hand, showing his parents how he can write his name and read.

A middle school boy, swimming on the school team, playing county basketball, whistling, going to his first dance.

A high school student, playing basketball for the state, graduating with honors, introducing his first serious girlfriend to his parents.

A college student, champion at basketball, class president, honors degree, grinning, arguing with his parents to let him join the Feds.

An FBI Agent, pride of his parents, working under his mom, walking down the aisle, kissing his bride.

A father, bouncing babies, accompanying his kids to school, acting the proud parent, taking his daughters down the aisle.

I jerk back to the present, to this boy - this man - who has become the sole centre of my world since his father died. I put my hand on his cheek, softly. He'll have to go down the aisle again, my baby, and it breaks my heart.

For he is my son, and no mother should have to see her child die.


From William's death to now is a blur. I have sharp memories of my childhood, of all the time I spent with Mulder on the X- Files, on our life as a family. I hold fast to the concept that is Dana Katherine Scully Mulder. I think about her, about Mulder, about their son and their lives everyday. I dread becoming like Fellig, who told me that he once tried to look up his wife's records, only to find that he had forgotten her name. It won't be like that for me; every waking moment is filled by images of my Mulder, and everything I do and say, I know what his comments would be.

Wilheimina Sim, Samantha Mulder, Melissa Scully, Maggie Skinner, even the Emma Lee I currently am. All my names relate back to that original life. I know I've been married twice more along the way, and that I've been a doctor, discovered the vaccine to the alien virus, and lectured at universities. Only recently did I pluck up the courage to return to the FBI. The X-Files had become one of the most important departments; I wish Mulder could have seen it. Maybe one day I'll see a couple of agents on my doorstep, wanting to investigate me in the same way that Mulder and I did to Fellig so long ago.

My first adopted child, Samantha with my second husband David, died a long time ago, but my third husband Adam and I have two - Dana and, yes, Fox. Do I really need to say that strange names are in fashion? In any case, my husband is a fellow worker on the X-Files, and was only too keen to call his adopted twins Fox and Dana after his heroes. I keep on teasing him, saying they probably argued most of the time. He, of course, argues that we didn't. How little he knows; he thinks I'm my own great-great-granddaughter (probably the only reason he married me, he loves that Emma Lee looks so like Dana Scully). Adam Lawrence, the ultimate dumbass - he even, while looking over Mulder's and my cases, wondered aloud if Albert Fellig was actually telling the truth.

I wouldn't mind seeing Fox and Dana grow up; they're my kids, after all, and I love them to bits. But I'd rather be where I'm supposed to be, dead. I'm hoping that one day, I'll be able to save one of them by taking their place. It's not that I'm giving up on life - while I'm here, I might as well give it everything I've got - I just feel wrong having it.

It's like the past 198 years since William died didn't happen. I know my own names. I know that Samantha Mulder day - the day where we celebrate beating the aliens with the virus - is a tribute to me, although I always view it as a tribute to Mulder's sister and how she inspired him, and how he in turn inspired me. I can remember my daughter Samantha being fascinated by everything that I knew about her heroine's - and her namesake's, at least that's what I told her - life. I know rough dates, the names of my second husband and of our adopted kid. But that's it, despite the fact that I remember every minute with Mulder in perfect detail.

I still keep up with my descendants. I still see some of my great-great-grandchildren - the two who know everything about the family, as the heirs to the Mulder estate. They tell me what's happened to William's family, and help me forge my identities. But one day, even they'll go.

Leaving me alone.


II.

"it's amazing how you can speak right to my heart without saying a word, you can light up the dark try as I may, I can never explain what I hear when you don't say a thing... the smile on your face lets me know that you need me there's a truth in your eyes, saying you'll never leave me the touch of your hand says you'll catch me, wherever I fall... you say it best, when you say nothing at all."

I used to croon that (untunefully, it's true) into Mulder's ear; it's the song from Notting Hill, but it struck so true. The whole song did.

"all day long I can hear people talking out loud but when you're holding me, you can drown out the crowd try as they may, they can never define what's being said between your heart and mine..."

My mom used to say that when we were together, she could come up right behind me and start talking, and I wouldn't hear her. And it was true; unless of course, she said the magic word - William. Mulder and I, when together, were in this magic world containing just us and (most of the time, anyway) our son. We must have seemed so antisocial at family gatherings - we spent all of Matthew's wedding dancing together in a corner. Talking occasionally, but mostly just staying silent, revelling in being with one another. Of course, we'd been separated for six days before while I'd been on a case, which had almost been unbearable. I never did quit the FBI until I retired. Now I realise I ought just to have forgotten it and spent as much time as I could with Mulder while he was alive.

No point in regrets, though, it's all done now.

One thing I haven't been able to understand is why I don't see when people are about to die like Albert Fellig did. When I first accepted my fate, after Mulder died, I began to look for shadows on people. Later, after William died and I changed my identity, I thought I could see them, but it was my mind playing tricks on me. Not that I ever believed any of it anyway.

"Emma? Em-ma?" I jerk awake from my reverie to see Adam's face in front of mine. "Hello, sweetie," he says, planting a kiss on my lips. "You were daydreaming." <Very un-Scully>, Mulder would comment. "We've got a new case." I work with my

husband; they did away with the thou-shalt-not-touch-your- partner rule over a century ago, on the grounds that it was discrimination.

"Have we?" I say, absent-mindedly, still half-concentrating on Mulder.

"Mmm-hmm."

"Agent Lawrence? Agent Lee?" someone calls. I don't notice who, because I'm still stuck in the 21st century. <Agent Mulder? Agent Scully?>

I sigh.

"Sweetie, you okay?"

"Sure. I'm fine, Adam."

<100% Original, Hallmarked Scully>, I hear Mulder whisper in my head. No, this is not the time to be thinking about Mulder, I tell myself. Later.

"If you're sure, Em."

"Sure," I echo, as I have done a million times.

"Well then -"


I lie in a motel bed, Adam beside me. I can't banish my obsession from my head - my thoughts are of Mulder. We did this once on a case. Slept together. We did more cases in our eight years than today's X-Files agents do in a lifetime. And they were harder - in many, we set a precedent for what to do in the future. Whenever an unfamiliar case crops up, they look through the old cases - unless I'm there. I'm credited with knowing more than anyone else about the Golden Era, as they nicknamed it. When Mulder and Scully were together. The silver is Scully and Doggett, later joined by Monica Reyes. Makes me laugh.

But also, makes me wonder why Adam and I aren't as good as Scully and Doggett, at least. After all, we're close. Married. We trust each other - well, he trusts me, I'm bad with trust, the only person I ever implicitly trusted was Mulder. I've been meaning to ask Adam if I can change partners.

"Adam?"

"Mmm, honey?"

I take a deep breath. "I think we should apply to change partners."

"What?!" he sits, bolt upright. "Why?"

"I think there was some sense in that old do-not-consort-with-thy-partner rule."

"What?" He looks as though I'm talking some kind of foreign language.

"Adam, when I work with you, my mind just isn't on it."

"Oh, isn't it?" he says, smugly. Honestly, that man has an ego bigger than - don't say it, don't think it.

"Nope," I smile. <It's on Mulder and me as Scully.>

"Well, so long as it's not on Mulder fantasies." His old joke, because I look so like, well, me. If only he knew.

"Mmm," I mumble. "I think working with someone else would let me concentrate more."

He looks at me seriously, reminding me all at once why I married him. "You sure about this?"

"Yes."

"Who were you thinking of?" he asks.

"One of the newer agents. Rosland?" Matthew Rosland came to work at the Bureau last year; already he's making a mark on the department. His partner, however, obviously doesn't fit in with us.

"Donna not taking care of him?"

"I think she wants a transfer," I tell him. He muses over what I said for a second before replying.

"I didn't notice that before, but I think you're right. The kid Rosland's good, at any rate. He'll watch your back." Adam's words are cold, but his voice, face and gestures express all his concern for me. I smile.

"I'll be fine, Adam. Now go back to sleep. Once we finish the case, I'll apply to change partners."

"'Night, Em." He leans over to place a kiss on my upturned face, before settling back down to sleep.

"'Night," I whisper back. I lie, my back to him, his arm wrapped around my bare midriff. I do love this man, it's just he'll never be Mulder.


III.

"Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday dear Monica Happy birthday to you..."

I laugh as I blow out my candles; funny how some traditions never die. My wish is what it always is. Three hundred and ninety years old, and still making the same wishes that I did at a hundred.

I glance at the faces, crowded round the small table in the mess hall of the barracks. I finally lived out one of my childhood dreams, and joined NASA. It's much bigger than it used to be, and they're always looking out for scientists.

"Congrats," a new addition to the table says, "the grand old age of 38, Mon." I know who that is. A guy called Eddie, cute, no-nonsense.

"I know," I smile. "Two years to forty." Ten years to 400, actually. But nevermind...


"Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday dear Sculleee-Mommee, Happy birthday to yooooouuuu!"

A laugh from me, a butterfly kiss planted on my lips, a one- year old gurgling happily on the other side of the table. "You're thirty-eight, Scully," he tells me. Not funny.

"Speak for your forty-year-old self, Mulder," I deadpan.

"Spoilsport."

"Talk about yourself." Tears begin to roll down my cheeks of their own accord. Horrified, I try to stem the flow with my sleeve. I look up into Mulder's shocked face.

"Oh, Scully." He dumps William in the highchair and pulls my

off my seat into a hug. He stands there, me in his arms, stroking my hair as I sob out what I've been holding inside for so long. He doesn't ask any questions, he just holds me in silent support. I love him, oh so much.

"I don't want to be forty, Mulder," I sob. "I feel like I wasted seven - sob - years, not telling you -"

"Sshhh," he says, hugging me tight. "It wasn't wasted, Scully. If we'd hopped into bed straight away we wouldn't have what we do. It wouldn't be like this. I wouldn't love you like this." As he says this, I can feel his unconditional love enveloping me, enfolding me.

"I love you, Mulder," I whisper, not expressing a millionth of what I feel.

"I love you too, Scully." It's all we say, but it's enough.

And silently his hand moves my head round, and his lips are on mine.


"Uh, Monica?"

"What?" I mentally shake myself out of my reverie.

"Did you wish?"

I smile. "Sure, same thing I wish for every year."

"Right. Which is?"

"None of your business. Now, onto this mission -"


"Missy?"

"Dee, that you?" My sister groans on the other end of the phone.

"Sorry to wake you up."

"You owe me. What's up?"

"They've called me into DC," I admit. I never have been one for telling people my problems, but Missy is always my first port of call if I need to unburden myself.

"The Feds? I thought you were a pathologist, and they kept you at Quantico."

"So did I, but right now I'm in a DC hotel, lying awake worrying about a meeting at nine am."

"That's four and a half hours away, Dana. You'll be exhausted!"

"I know. But I can't help thinking -"

"Dee, they're hardly going to chuck you out. You haven't mucked up any post-mortems or anything; lost the body or something, have you?"

"No. I teach, anyway."

"Well, I doubt they've been getting complaints. You have to start looking on the bright side, Dana. They're probably going to promote you." How come Missy always knows what to say? "You're clever and you're talented and you're young. You work hard as hell and you're great at what you do. They probably need a hotshot young doctor for some top assignment."

"Yeah right."

"Well, think positive. Go in and smile, and let me go to sleep." She hangs up, and I lie there, thinking. Within a few seconds I am fast asleep.


"Captain Doggett? Did you authorise this mission?" The Commander of the station approaches me, yelling.

"Yes, and we're leaving the station in 10 minutes," I tell him calmly.

He comes closer and sticks his head next to mine. "Monica? Are you crazy? We've already had four missions to try and find water -"

"I just, had an idea."

"What idea?"

"Wait and see."

"Last time I looked, CAPTAIN, I outranked you."

"Mmm-hmm. Thanks for the information. We're leaving in eight minutes, though, so I have to go get my stuff. See you in seventy-two hours." I walk off, smiling and wondering where along the line I got so much sass, to pull on my suit and get into the pod I've arranged.

"Hello, Eddie, Maria," I say happily as I jump in. "Let's go." The pod detaches from the station, and I take a deep breath. Travelling at almost the speed of light in a pod is not to be underestimated.


The doorbell rings angrily, breaking Mulder and I apart. I kiss him lightly once more, before running to answer its ever- more demanding rings.

I open it, and there is an explosion.

"DANA! WHY THE HELL DIDN'T YOU TELL ME YOU WERE PREGNANT BY THAT BASTARD?!?"

"I assumed you wouldn't be interested. And 'that bastard' has a name, Bill. His name is Mulder."

"HE DESERTS YOU FOR THE PREGNANCY AND COMES RUNNING BACK AFTER THE DIFFICULT PART IS OVER!!"

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Mulder enter the room. I try to make eye-contact, but he avoids my gaze.

"Believe me, Bill, I would much rather live through Scully being pregnant than through abduction and three months' death. For one thing, the pain factor -"

"YOU SON OF A BITCH!! WHAT DID MY SISTER EVER DO TO YOU?"

"Shut up, Bill," I say quietly. Forcefully.

"STAY OUT OF THIS, DANA!" he bawls at me.

I see no point in shouting, but I make my point. "No. This

involves me."

"Scully -" Mulder pleads for me just to leave them.

"Mulder, you of all people know I wouldn't leave you. This argument doesn't even need to involve you. It's between me, and this bawling thing here -"

"I AM YOUR BROTHER!"

"For godssakes, Bill, the other people in this place already think I'm weird enough without screaming coming from my apartment.

He calms a little at that. "Dana," he says, quieter, "Listen to me. This - thing - deserted you -"

"Not by choice," both Mulder and I say at the same time. I look over to him, and this time, I catch his eye and for a second our faces are locked. I break away, and we both smile.

"Bill, you have to understand -"

"I understand that it's his fault Missy died, that you had cancer, that -"

"I accept full -" Mulder begins.

"No. It's my responsibility," I interrupt.

"DANA! I -" Unable to contain myself any longer, I walk up to my brother and slap him, full on across the face. Stunned, he and Mulder stare at me.

"I love Mulder. Hear that? I. Love. Mulder. I know he wanted to be here, and he couldn't have felt worse when he came back to find me pregnant. Don't you realise, Bill, that the only reason I'm not dead is because Mulder was here?"

I'm obviously expecting an answer, so he obeys. "Dana, if you hadn't done the X-files -"

"That was my choice. Mulder did all he could to make sure I didn't get hurt. Most times when I got hurt, I'd gone off alone. We watch each other's back. We trust each other. Hell, Bill, we love each other. It's difficult to get any better than that." I take a breath before saying what I've been longing to since he started speaking. "And if you can't accept that, I want you out of my house. If I have to choose between Mulder and listening to your crap, I choose Mulder."

"But -"

"No 'ifs' or 'buts'." Wow, I sound like Mom. "Shut up or get out."

There is a long pause, then he says "Dana, I don't approve of this." Like I didn't already know.

"I do, though. So deal with it." Another long silence.

"I'll stop shitting him, Dana. For Mom's sake, so we can still all have Thanksgiving together." He looks to Mulder and then back at me. "Doesn't mean I like it."

"Okay, Bill, I've just about had enough," I say impatiently. "Drop the subject."

"Fine, Dee. Congratulations on the baby." He turns around and leaves, closing the door quietly behind him. Silently, Mulder comes up behind me, and arms are wrapped around my waist in silent support.

God, I love this man.


IV.

"Charlie? Charlie?!" A voice yells at my door.

"What?"

"It's Steve."

"STEVE!" I practically fly down the hallway of my apartment, flinging the door wide before pulling the man standing at the doorway into the house. "I thought you were dead."

"The reports are so inaccurate, Charlie. They didn't mention half the men in my reg who'd been killed."

"Oh." I knew Steve's lot. They were decent.

"The government has no idea what it's doing - but more of that later," he says hastily, seeing the worried look on my face. "You're looking well."

"No change, Steve. Not for going on 500 years." Steve Mulder is the family heir, the one who knows all about me.

"We'll have to have a big party for you, Gram." Now he's inside the house, and he's sure there's nobody listening, he goes back to the old name for me. Which is strange when, according to our birth certificates, I'm the younger one. I figured a long time ago instead of my heirs calling me Great- Great-Great-Great-Great(etc) Grandmother, we could stick with Gram.

"Mmm. It's supposed to be my fortieth anyway," I say, "so we could cover it with that." He grins at me, and I laugh. Steve's fun. We've been close friends for about ten years now.

"Which reminds me, we've got to register a new birth cert for you," he reminds me. A long time ago, it occurred to one of my great-great-grandchildren it would be easier just to register my new birth certificates about twenty-five or so years before I began to use them. That way, they were authentic. "What do you want to be this time?"

Damn. I've been everything. Wilheimina Sim, Samantha Mulder, Melissa Scully, Maggie Skinner, Emma Lee, Billie Reyes, Martha (as in the Vineyard) Ahab, Monica Doggett, Tara Samuel, Katherine Starbuck and Charlie Williams. Each one lasting about forty years, since I gave up Dana Katherine Scully Mulder nearly four hundred years ago.

Nearly four hundred years ago.

Over four hundred years without the husband I loved, still do love, so much. Nearly four hundred without our son. About a hundred since any of my adopted children were alive.

It's too long. Far too long.

I whisper something. Steve leans towards me, as he would to an old lady who couldn't speak up. That's what I should be. An old, old lady.

"What is it, Gram?"

I clear my throat. "Steve, this charade has gone on long enough; after I change again - and I want to change on my birthday, if at all possible, although I know that's short notice -" I pause.

"Sure, Gram, I can get it through. What do you want your name to be?"

I take a breath. Spit it out, Starbuck. "Dana Katherine Scully Mulder." So they can bury me under my name. So I can leave this world with the name - well almost the name - I entered it with.

I think Steve understands; he nods, leans over, hugs me and gets up to leave. "Thank you," I whisper.


I stand there on the snowy day as a coffin is lowered into the ground. It contains my hopes, my dreams, my life. My love.

I've been to funerals before, ones of people whom I loved. My grandfather. My father. Missy, who I can never really believe is gone. And perhaps most heartbreakingly of all, my little daughter, who I'd only just begun to know; her short life exploited in the worst way before I even knew she existed.

On all these occasions I ached, but I was not destroyed. I shed a few tears, but I can count them on one hand for each. My heart was sore, bruised, but I could live on.

But this is Mulder. A different kind of love, almost an addiction, it's so strong. My heart is breaking as tears fall unashamedly - a first for me since highschool - onto my blotched face. I sob uncontrollably. I am flanked by my mother and Skinner, each unsure of what to do, each knowing that nothing they say will ease the pain that will remain there for the rest of my life. Behind Skinner, the Gunmen stand in attendance, mourning for a lost comrade. Behind my mother stands Doggett, who never knew the man in the coffin but is here as a mark of respect, and Kersh, who I'd like to kill because I can tell he's glad to be rid of such a problematic agent.

Everyone casts subtle looks at me. Those who don't know me whisper when they think I don't notice - I hear words like "wife?" and "as good as," and sympathetic murmurs when they look at me. The bereaved lover.

I know I look bad. I left my hair to dry naturally, so it's more angular than usual and doesn't really sit properly. My knee-length, warm black wool coat masks one of the black skirt suits that have been my uniform since Mulder disappeared, coupled with a black top. My clothes are neat, but only because they were ironed before we found Mulder, and Mom forced me to change this morning. I couldn't care less; all I want is that man in the coffin brought back to life, properly, so that I can tell him I love him and hold him. Just one more time, God. So he knows. I want to hold him. I want to feel him, our arms wrapped around each other, my head on his chest or his shoulder. I want to pull him close and tell him that I love him. Please, God.

My silent plea goes unanswered for now, as the coffin is laid to rest. Soil is thrown in, falling like my tears to the ground.

I have lost everything, save one. Inside me is growing a being, a child. I do not know how it got there, or whether it is human - although I prefer not to think of that. I hope that he or she is Mulder's. I hope it with all my heart, although there is no rational explanation for it. Though Mulder is gone, he still lives within me and, I hope, within this child.


Dana Katherine Scully Mulder, born in 1964 and again in 2464, with a supposed birthdate of 2434. Smiling professional, doctor this time. The last person in the world to be looking for a way to die.

I figured if I was a doctor I'd see dying people all the time, so I went back to med school - although its very different now - to learn all over again how to cure the sick. Since my residency 475 years previously, I'd only really treated two patients - my husband and my son. In my different identities I'd just taken people to the doctor, not wanting to expose myself.

The hospitals still smell the same, although the rooms are changed beyond belief. The illnesses I knew are all but eradicated, replaced by another generation of bugs. It reminds me of - hell, everything reminds me of Mulder. Because I can relate everything to him. Every time I snap on the latex I can hear him.

Strange.


I'm sitting in a hospital bed, listening to Mulder. I woke up two days ago, and after Mom and Missy left this afternoon to get some sleep he came to see me. My eyes are closed, but his voice drifts over me, encompassing me like his large hand covers my small one.

"I'm so happy I found you," he says, quietly. "Without you, Scully, I would be lost too." I think something about never being able to live without him before drifting off again.


There's a young man here. His name is William, and he reminds me of my son, because he's so tall and yet so sweet. But he's weak. And he's going to die - he has what we call Regorna, which is incurable, and it's in the last stages.

That is, he's going to die, unless I do something about it.

I go over to his bed. "William," I whisper, in the tone I only reserve for that name and one other.

"Dr Mulder!" he smiles up at me, weakly. He reminds me so much of my son and, by default, Mulder.

"Look, William, you're going to get through this. I'll be with you. If you think you're slipping, press my hand." Off- duty, I sit in a chair by his side, shooing away the nurses as I always used to do, attending to everything for him. And then I feel it. The pressure on my hand.

"Close your eyes, William," I murmur. "Don't look at Death."

I open my eyes full on, and stare into my life.


I'm about six, and I'm falling, falling down a tree. I'm thinking about how it's all Charlie's fault, and I'm so going to tell Mom about this later.

I'm sixteen, and I have very bad measles. I'm in hospital and I hate it, hate the tiredness and the itch and the fact I can't be alone for just one second.

I'm in a boat by a river, Missy is calling to me on one side and Mulder on the other. I can't choose, and suddenly the

rope breaks, but a nurse calls it back.

I've been shot, and a man called Fellig is telling me to close my eyes to Death. I do so, and when I open my eyes, Fellig is dead.

I stare past my life, past my near-deaths, into the unknown. I let go.


Epilogue

A man comes and sits by my bed. I am sitting up for the first time in weeks, and I stare at this stranger. His eyes are red from crying, but he is calm now.

There is nobody else in the room - my mother left so the man, who had requested to do so, could speak to me. The man sits down, opens his bag and brings out an old-fashioned envelope. He clears his throat.

"You were with Dr Dana Katherine Scully Mulder when she died, correct?" I nod my head, remembering how she told me to close my eyes. And how, when I opened them, she was gone.

"I need verbal confirmation," he says.

"Yes," I murmur.

"You were alone with her?"

"Yes."

"I'm going to ask you a strange question." He pauses. "Did she ask you to close your eyes?"

How does he know? "Yes, she did."

"Well, young man. This is for you," he says, handing me the envelope. "She left it for you. My ID number and name are on the front, if you want to talk."

"Yes," I glance down at the envelope for his name. Steve Mulder. "Mr Mulder," I gasp. "Were you married to her?"

"No, far from it." He looks pointedly at the letter. "It's in there. Read. Your mother will come in here in about fifteen minutes. I am to tell you not to show the letter to anyone else until you have read it in its entirety and thought about it." He clears his throat again, and adds somewhat gruffly, "Good luck, son."

He gets up and leaves. I am so astounded by the utterly weird conversation we have just had that I stare at the envelope.

After about two minutes I open it, and slide out a folded piece of paper, on which is some handwritten script - very rare now, but I'll try to read it.

To Whom It May Concern:

If you're reading this, you probably feel guilty because you blame yourself for my death. Don't. Car accident, virus, gunshot - whatever injuries you've endured, my friend, have been awful. In the end, it was my decision to go and leave you. I'm happy where I am now, and you get a long, long and happy life here.

Please, look up the DNA records for the following: Dana Katherine Scully Mulder, born 1964, then Wilheimina Sim in 2075, Samantha Mulder, Melissa Scully, Maggie Skinner, Emma Lee, Billie Reyes, Martha Ahab, Monica Doggett, Tara Samuel, Katherine Starbuck and Charlie Williams, each about 40 years after the previous ones - I can't remember years. You'll see the body descriptions and the DNA codes are identical. Look for me now, Dana Katherine Scully Mulder once more, born 2434, and you'll find my DNA code matches them all.

That is because I am them all. A long time ago, in the 1990s, I was an FBI Agent called Dana Katherine Scully. I worked with the infamous Fox William Mulder, running the X-Files which was then a two-man department. We were working on a case with a man called Albert Fellig - these cases are open to the public now, you can look it up - and he shot me. I recovered, but he died. He was very old at the time of his death, exact age and cause for immortality are explained in the case file, and he took my place.

I fell in love with Mulder - or perhaps realised I was already in love with him is a better explanation - and we had a son, William, in 2001. In 2055 Mulder died, and I still looked like I was in my thirties. By the time William died in 2075, I knew Fellig had been telling the truth.

From this day until that, I have been looking for a way to join my Mulder and my son. If you're reading this, I've found the way. I hope you feel I have not placed too great a burden on you.

My descendant, who has given you this, will help with any research, files or paperwork you need. Through experience, we've become experts. Please, talk to them, it always helps to find someone who knows who you really are.

Live every day to the fullest.

Much love, and best wishes
Dana Katherine Scully Mulder

I close the letter, not really ready to believe it yet, not really sure that I understand what I just read - but as I do, I offer a thanks up to the person who saved my life.

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