Title: Faces of the Future II
Author: Johannah K.
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Up to Emily
Keywords: Pre-XF, Mulder/Scully Romance

Summary: Faces of the Future will give you an idea of what's to come.


Chilmark, MA
June 5th, 1974

A dark haired boy lounged like a panther over a branch in an old oak tree. His head rested on his folded hands, his hazel eyes staring off into the green foliage. Peeking from beneath one almost aristocratic hand was the frayed end of a powder blue ribbon.

Distantly, he could hear voices calling, a woman's and a man's. His parents were looking for him, using his full given name that he hated to answer to. He just wanted to be alone, so he could think; about his sister, about his future, and about his plans to find her. Samantha was not dead, he was sure of that. She was just gone and it was his fault. But he wasn't going to sit at home and do nothing like his mom and dad did. He would keep looking until she came home, even if it took him until he graduated high school.

Through the leaves to his left he could catch glimpses of the setting sun. Above, he could just barely see the dimming sky between the shadow shrouded leaves. It was warm now, in early June, almost exactly half a year since she'd disappeared. He could sleep out here tonight, he didn't have to go home. His ears distinguished the chirping crickets from the whining tree frogs for his lullaby.


She seemed to approach out of the mists as if they were only a doorway. They faded as soon as she had fully entered the clearing and made the woods whole again. She held her hand up to him. He frowned crossly to let her know that he wanted to be alone. She pursed her lips in an amused smile, but left her hand where it was. It seemed she knew something he didn't and was waiting for him to realize it.

He looked down into blue eyes that seemed to know a thousand secrets that he wished he was privy to. Reluctantly, he gave up his perch and joined her on the ground. The mists gathered again as she took his hand. He looked up at her for reassurance and found it in her calm, direct gaze. Her hair glowed like fire in the full moonlight. She faced the mists and led him through the moist curtain . . .

And into a hall walled with fog. As they passed down the silent corridor, the walls seem to fade and reform themselves, allowing glimpses of the vistas beyond. He saw brief, fleeting scenes of the woman who escorted him with a man about his father's age, lanky and dark. He wondered who they were and why they seemed familiar.

He saw the woman, looking young and professional, enter an office that seemed to be the man's. She held out her hand by way of greeting, much the way she'd greeted him in the woods. They spoke but the silence seemed unbroken. He listened harder and realized he could just barely make out whispering echoes that seemed to be winding their way to him from a great distance. "I was under the impression that you were sent . . ." The echoes were cut off as the images were re-enveloped with the fog.

Another image; the man and woman in a car together. The woman looked concerned and anxious, while the man seemed to be rather confused. The woman looked only a bit older, with her hair tied back in a sloppy ponytail, and the man was dressed much more casually than he had been. "How did I get here?"

They were in a restroom now, the woman leaning against the frame of a shattered window while the man stood panting near the door. Another man was crouched on the floor, one wrist chained to the tub. All three seemed to have just finished a fight. "He's not gonna get his quota this year."

Now they appeared in an office setting, but not a single office. They were at a high counter, the man writing on a paper and the woman looking over his shoulder. She actually stood a bit shorter than the man, and was looking more around his arm than over his shoulder. He turned an grinned at her as they walked to a door. The woman held the door open. ". . .years out of Africa and look who's holding the door."

Now they were in warm clothing, in some sort of closet. The woman looked troubled, a bit frightened as the man towered over her, a look of faint anger and vulnerability on his face. "I WANT to trust you."

They were walking toward the corridor he was in, through what appeared to be a hotel lobby. Their heads were tilted slightly towards each other, ignorant of the people around them. "Ranks right up there with getting a pony and learning to braid my own hair."

The man seemed to be in a kind of cage, looking out at the woman who seemed rather put out at the situation. "I didn't order room service."

The man burst out of a door at the top of some stairs and hurried toward the woman, who stood by a car. As soon as he was close, he knocked a soda from her hand. "I just wanted to get the door for you."

They were seated across from each other, in something like a posh hotel room. He was dressed in a bathrobe and didn't look to good. She was dressed in a suit, with a briefcase full of papers. She seemed rueful, as she pulled papers out and passed them to him. "These people probably don't even tie their own shoes."

The man was in a hospital bed now, and the woman was perched on the edge. His hand was on her arm, and she looked at him with a sad sort of smile and a wistful look in her eyes. "He was my father."

The woman stood behind a desk, looking carefully at the ornaments that had lain atop it as she packed them into a box. The man came up and handed her a man's watch. She held it to her ear as she sank into the chair behind the desk. The man turned to go, then stopped and turned around. "It means ...It means whatever you want it to mean."

They stood, almost paused in motion outside a door. His hand was on the doorknob, but he was looking at the woman. He seemed distracted and a bit annoyed. "Instead I've got a dead man robbing jewelry stores and sending me Haikus."

The woman acted like she was reading a magazine as the man perused the rack behind her. They were acting as if they didn't know one another as they spoke. "I don't speak Japanese, but I think some guy told me to stick a piece of sushi were the sun don't shine."

The woman was in the hospital bed this time, but it looked like the man had just gotten out of one. Everything was white, sterile. Another man was checking on the woman while The man watched over her. He spoke, not to the doctor, but not to the woman either. "I told her it would be a nice trip to the forest."

They were in another car. They looked a bit subdued. The woman looked up, "Fox . . ." His name. He listened harder. The man shook his head, "I ...I even made my parents call me Mulder. Mulder." The woman looked away briefly. "Mulder, I wouldn't put myself on the line for anybody but you."

As the fog closed in again, he tried to force it back. That man, he had his name. It was like snapshots of the future. He had to jog to catch up with the woman. He would have liked to catch her name, so he could speak to her. Still, they walked on and the images continued. Occationally, he heard his name but mostly not. Always the man and woman together.

The woman was in the hospital agian, but it looked like she was in the recovery ward. A dark haired older woman was seated at the bedside, and a taller red-head stood beside her. The man walked in. "Not Fox, Mulder." He smiled and handed her a video tape. He turned, as if to leave, but then faced her again. He handed her a necklace from his pocket.

The man was facing down a group of four teens, and the woman walking up from behind. The tallest of the youths, a tough looking blonde, tossed his in defiance. "Why don't you run along with the little wife. You're gonna miss the tour bus." The woman made no attempt to conceal her gun as she shrugged into her trench coat.

The man was in another hospital bed, but the room looked off. It had metal walls. The woman was sitting next to the bed and as the man turned to her, her face widened into a beatific smile. Their hands were linked and the man glanced at them. "Hey." The woman spoke only one word, but it seemed to convey all sorts of information.

The woman opened her apartment door to show the man who did not look well. He slumped into her arms as she tried to undo his jacket. "Mulder, you're sick." She brushed her fingers over his forehead, stroking

his skin and led him towards a bedroom.

The man burst into a darkened room, showing the woman and a tall, bald man holding guns on each other. He also had his gun out, pointed at the other man. "I was a dead man. Now I'm back."

They were back in the man's office again, the woman standing on the opposite side of the desk from where the man was sitting. The man looked nonchalant and the woman looked perturbed. A look of concern crossed the man's face as he rocked forward, "But you're ok, right?"

The man lay on a bed, in another motel room, the woman came from what seemed to be the bathroom. The man pouted at her. "You never draw my bath." The woman, however was distracted and gave no reply.

The man and woman seemed to be seated on a rock surrounded by water. Light was provided by a flickering lantern. The man was grinning an the woman had her brows raised in question. "And that's not flippant?" "No, flippant is my favorite line from Moby Dick . . ." The woman regarded him with a odd, half-surprised, half-impressed look.

Another hospital room (Fox was wondering how they managed so many accidents), but this time a woman who looked like his mom, but alot older, lay on the bed. The man and the woman stood in the shadows. The man seemed to be crying, and the woman comforted him with a hug.

The picture was weird, like they were in a little tiny box, with bright metal sides. It looked like a large version of the heating ducts at the school. The man didn't look good, again, and the woman hovered over him, running her hands over him in a manner as if to assess wounds. "It's ok, I'm here, Mulder."

They were in some sort of big official room, with lots of important- looking people. The men looked like some of the men his father had had over to dinner a couple of times. Lawyer types and stiff-suits. But the man and woman again seemed oblivious to the other people as they embaced in a tight hug. His whispered name on the woman's tongue seemed almost reverent. "Mulder."

The little office again, the man at the desk, the woman standing next to it. "Go home and get some rest." The man grinned as if it was a private joke. Then the woman stepped closer and hugged his head, running her hands though his hair, as he wrapped his arm around her waste and pressed his face to her stomache.

Yet another hug, but the woman was in a hospital gown, looking very thin and pale. Her hair wasn't shiny like it had been. It reminded Fox of Granny Hannah when they went to see her in the hospital before she died. The man was kissing the woman's forehead as they stood in a bright, anti- septic hallway.

They were in some sort of pub or bar this time. They actually looked relaxed. A waiter placed some pink confection that Fox supposed was a (poor) supplement for a birthday cake, since it had a sparkling candle on its top. The woman blew out the candle and looked up at the man, a bemused smile flirting with her lips. "Dog years? Thank you." The woman was near a dim window, slowly undressing. The man say behind her in shadows, seemingly unnoticed. "Keep going, FBI woman." The woman did not heed the request and insted whirled on him with an expression that was a mixture of annoyance, anger, and surprise.

Fox turned away from the next hospital scene, a bit tired of the sterile surroundings that seemed a second home to him in the future. The picture following was in a woods, but the man looked injured again. The woman had him pulled up onto her lap, as much as she could, her arms around him. Her eyes held a wary and hunted look in them as she sang softly. ". . .Was a good friend of mine . . ." A place that looked like a club that his father had taken him to once in New York City. Some woman with really long, dark hair was singing about "Walking in Memphis." The man and woman were dancing together, like Todd and Janice had at the last school dance. Ew.

The man and woman stood in a church near a small casket. Fox wondered who had died. The woman pulled something from inside the tiny coffin. It was the gold necklace that he had seen before. Both looking very troubled, they turned and walked down the aisle toward the doors.

Suddenly, the woman stopped. He turned his attention from the walls where the visions played and saw another curtain in front of him. The woman looked down at him and smiled a smile that he'd seen in one of the passing scenes. She put out a hand and pushed aside the curtain. Behind it was darkness, but not a complete darkness. He could just barely make out a figure standing in the dark. As they stepped through, the curtain swung closed behind him and he struggled to see. Finally his eyes adjusted enough that he could make out the features of the person before them.

It was Samantha, her hair back in two neat braids, her nightgown clean and pressed. She smiled at them and held out her hands. "Fox." He left the woman's side and went to Samantha. She hugged him and he hugged her.

"I'm sorry." he whispered urgently into her hair. Her little hands patted his shoulders and she pulled away. She shook her head at him and pointed. The woman still stood behind him, but she had turned away. He turned back to Samantha and she gave him a shove. Reluctantly, he walked over to the woman an hugged her. She hugged him back and gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead.


Fox William Mulder woke up with a start. He was still in his tree, but the branch shook beneath him. The wind had picked up and the leaves were being whipped into blurs of dark and shadow in the half light of the moon.

Another rain drop splashed down, and another. As a loud and violent rumble

of thunder shook the sky, Fox shimmied down the tree and headed for home. He zigged and zagged his way through the trees by memory.

Quietly, he scrambled up the tree by his bedroom window and pulled it open. He slid across the sill and onto his bed and yanked the window shut. Digging into his backpack at the end of the bed, he triumphantly withdrew a writing pad and a pencil. One of his last assignments for the school year was to write a poem. Thinking over his dream, he decided he had a great subject.

Who Are You?

With your all knowing eyes And your flame-fire hair. With your invincible smile And your cool, calm stare.

You lead me through curtains And into the crystal clear. Down a hallway suffering silent, And past visions of emotions that sear.

Are you an angel, Guiding me on? Are you a demon, Dragging me down?

You appear in my dreams And you take my control. You pull me wherever You want to go.

The scenes flying by, Did you even see, Of you and the man Who turned out to be me?

Do you know what those were? Are they a mystery, like you? A shadowed enigma Who says nothing that might give a clue.

Your eyes were too old, For such a young face, As if the monsters that lurk You had met face to face.

In moonlight so kind, Your hair was aglow. It burned like a torch, Rekindling my soul.

Your touch was better Than a lock and a key, Your hand in mine Gave me security.

You lead the way, Made my dreams come true. You showed me the path And refused the credit that was your due.

You were only a vision, A manifestation of a tortured mind, Of a confused twelve-year-old, But you were so kind.

Will you come again And lead me through The cloying mists In the future true.

Fox smiled at his poem. He wasn't much good at English and his teachers always told him that his essays needed a lot of work. It was his worst class because he couldn't just memorize the book and be done with it. He liked to make up stories and was always reading the ghost stories in the library, but he hated to write. But this poem might actually get him an 'A.' His mom and dad would be pleased, if they noticed. Especially if he didn't have to show them the poem itself. His dad wasn't fond of fanciful things.

**

The next morning, Fox woke himself up and got ready quietly. His parents didn't like to be disturbed in the mornings. He and Samantha had often gotten in trouble for being too loud and waking Dad up. But this morning he was quiet as a ghost, and slipped out of the house with his school books and an apple for breakfast. He had a couple of dollars he could use to buy lunch. He'd probably sneak out of studyhall and go to the

burger stand where Andy's big sister worked. She always gave him free fries when he got a burger.

At school he shouldered his way past the girls who giggled at his name and called out 'Foxy.' He stormed past the boys who jeered and called him a geek. They didn't even know what it meant. He'd looked it up once and it was a circus performer who bit the heads of live chickens and snakes. The stupid kids on the playground thought it meant someone who liked school and got good grades.

He shoved his extra books in his locker and headed for his first class, happy for once that it was English. He was the first student in the classroom and sat down at his desk to read "Mysterious Fires and Lights" by Vincent H. Gaddis. He'd found it in a pile of books that the librarian was going to throw out. It was about UFO's and other weird stuff like Spontaneous Human Combustion. When the girls were mean to them, he told them that they would be punished by being burned alive, from the inside out. They usually shut up pretty quick.

Ten minutes later the bell rang and the rest of the students hurried in, talking and giggling and shouting. The teacher raised her voice and they quickly quieted. Then she began at the beginning of the alphabet and called kids up to read their poems out loud. Fox kicked the legs of his desk in impatience and earned a glare from the teacher.

The class applauded politely for most of the girls and boys, but for Kassidy Gilmcher and Alex Lambert, they cheered louder. They were the most popular kids. He usually got jeers and insults when he read his assignment. It didn't matter, the were just dumb kids who had absolutely no clue as to what it took in the real world. They had never lost their sister or been interrogated by the police.

Finally, the teacher called his name and he jumped up, ready and eager to read. Mrs. Neilson gave him a surprised look, but shrugged as he grinned. He cleared his throat and opened his mouth to utter the first line when the fire alarm went off.

As the class scurried out of the room and down the stairs to the playground doors, the teacher gave him a look as if she thought he might have planned it. He had once, and had gotten his butt beat twice for the stunt. He wasn't about to do it again unless he was sure he could get away with it.

When the drill was over and the class trouped back inside, Mrs. Neilson announced that she would just gather the rest of the poems and grade them without the presentation. Willie Thurnton grinned at this, since he hated to get up in front of the class, ever since he had wet himself in first grade while reciting the 7x tables. Fox grumbled, but handed it in proudly. Mrs. Neilson gave him yet another strange look, but accepted it without comment.

On the last day of school, she handed his poem back with a big red 'A+' at the top. He ran home and showed his parents, who showed no interest in his achievement. He tucked it into "Mysterious Fires and Lights."


X-Files Office
April 14th, 1998

"Mulder, do you really expect me to believe that a person can suddenly burst into flame for no reason and burn with the heat to calcify bones without damaging their surroundings?" Dana Scully arched her brow at her partner, Fox Mulder.

"Uh-huh. It's called Spontaneous Human Combustion and it's been documented since at least 1967. There's even a bit about it in that book on that shelf over there." He gave a wag of his hand in her general direction and she turned to look at the bookcase behind her. The shelves were stuffed with books, old and new.

"There are about five hundred books on 'that' shelf, Mulder. Could you be a little more specific?"

"There are six hundred thirty two books. Third shelf, over to the right. "Mysterious Fires and Lights" by Vincent H. Gaddis." She shook her head in amusement. He would go from impossibly vague to unbelievably detailed in a moment. She easily found the book and began to flip through it to find the section he was talking about. A folded sheet of yellowed, lined notebook paper drifted to the floor. She stooped and picked it up.

"What's this?" She held it up. He didn't turn to look.

"Whatever you found isn't mine." She grinned at his back as she carefully unfolded the paper and read the childish scrawl it presented her with.

"Actually, it is. Who Are You? by Fox William Mulder. Mrs. Neilson, grade seven English. June 5th, 1974. I didn't know you were a poet."

He turned and stared at her, his face seeming to be undecided between blanching white and flushing red. He tried to stutter words, but she couldn't make them out. Finally, he got his tongue around one word. "Dream."

His complexion smoothed out and he found his voice. "I had a dream. I was twelve and this lady came and led me to Samantha the summer after she disappeared. It ...It was you." Her eyebrow twitched, but didn't quite arch as she remembered the incident over paperwork last night.

Mulder had gone looking for a file folder in a box of old things in her hall closet and, as usual, made a mess of things when the bottom fell out of the box and deposited everything on the floor. He had found a picture she had drawn of a face she'd seen in a dream when she was ten. She couldn't explain it, but the face in the picture was undoubtedly Mulder.

And now this. A poem written about a woman who had appeared in a dream to him when he was twelve. And that woman was her. "How's that possible?" Her hand started to tremble and she nearly dropped the paper, the book having already departed from her shaking fingers.

"I don't know." He grinned and tried to lighten the atmosphere. "I guess it's an X-File."

"No. Mulder, how can you joke about this? It appears that we dreamed of each other as children! How can you take this calmly?" Mulder moved to her side and took her shoulders in his hands. She looked into his eyes and they both remembered the exact same eyes in a strangers face from a dream.

"It's ok, Scully. Trust me." At those words she fell into his

embrace and nestled her face in his shirt. Her breathing slowed to normal and she drew back.

"What does it mean?" Mulder looked away from her face and Scully could tell that he knew something. "Mulder, what?" His eyes were troubled when he faced her again.

"When I was about twenty, I stayed in England through summer vacation. A little carnival came through and they had a fortune teller. Phoebe wanted us to get our fortunes told together. It turned out to be not a great idea. The old woman told Phoebe that she would never be happy and would spend her life wandering, if not actually traveling, then at least she would never find her match and settle. She said that we weren't right together, that I had another person I was meant for. She said that I had met her already, but that I wouldn't know it until much later in life.

"Phoebe didn't like the fortunes and marched out. I was intrigued and I stayed. I also got stuck with the bill. But I asked the fortune teller about my sister. She said that my match would lead me to her. I remembered the dream I'd had and I asked her about it. She said that the woman was most certainly my match. I know you don't take stock in fortunes, Scully, but the coincidence is pretty strong."

Scully nodded, looking away. "Missy ...Missy once said that I knew the man I would spend my life with already. That we had been matched perfectly and that I couldn't avoid meeting him, because our connection was so strong. I thought she was talking about Alfred, my boyfriend at the time, until I learned that he was dating one of my best friends at the same time.

"When I was in the hospital after I disappeared, after I woke up, you came to see me. You gave me that football video and my necklace. After you left, my mom went to get coffee and my sister started asking all sorts of questions about you and about our relationship. She said I'd already told her most of it when I was asleep, but she wanted to hear it from my lips. At the end of her interrogation, she announced that you were the one I would spend my life with."

Mulder just looked down at her silently. "Say something, Mulder. Tell me I'm crazy or something, because right now I'm just about ready to believe her." A smile spread across his face as he shook his head.

"I can't tell you that because that would mean that I'm crazy, too. 'Cause right now, I want to believe it, too."

"You believe everything, Mulder."

"Maybe, but I only love you." Scully's eyes widened for a moment and then she let loose that rare smile that Mulder had liked in the dream as a child and loved as a man. She pushed up on her toes and claimed his mouth with her lips.

THE END

So, what did you think? Too mushy? Just right? Needs another sequel? What?

 


List of Stories to date:

Fairytale Faces of the Future
The Watch
Faces of the Future II

 

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