From: Arca
Title: Music for the Soul
Spoilers: "Emily"
Subject: S, R, MSR
Keywords: Mulder/Scully romance
Date: June 22, 1998
Rating: G

Author's note: Ok, this is my first attempt at writing fanfiction, (No, please don't hit the back button yet!) it's just a little something I whipped up on those lazy summer afternoons, with nothing better to do. I must warn you though, this story will most likely only appeal to 'shippers, and it gets somewhat romantic, (I'm a hopeless romantic, what can I say?) so unless you're ready for a good dose of MSR, I'd suggest you not read this. Otherwise, relax, grab some popcorn and a can of Dr. Pepper and enjoy the story! Oh, and there may just be a sequel to this coming soon, so don't get discouraged if the end wasn't to your liking.:)

Disclaimer: Well, everyone else has one so I guess I'd better join in, here goes...
Ok, as always, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder belong only to Chris Carter and FOX, and of course, to each other. I am borrowing these characters with the utmost love and respect, but no permission whatsoever, but I can rely on the fact that I have a very measly salary that no big FOX executive would want anyway, so I don't think I'm at risk of getting sued...I hope. This story, however, is mine, as are the characters Skyler, Roxanne, Denver, Sean and Robbie, I'd appreciate if you'd ask first if you ever for some bizarre reason wanted to use them for something. The character of Britteny belongs solely to my sister, and is used with permission (I hope).

Scully had thought the shower would help clear her head, help her to relax and erase thoughts from her mind that she didn't want to be there right now. It had, and in their place had left only an empty spot, a void in her soul which could only be filled by one thing, something she knew she might never have. The realization of that fact hit her like a ton of bricks and she abandoned all thoughts of self-control. Sobbing uncontrollably, she slumped against the wall of the shower. The hot water mingled with the tears on her face, she lifted her head, letting the water run down her face, taking her tears with it. Reluctantly, she turned off the shower and stepped out, wrapping herself in a towel and sitting down on the edge of the bathtub/shower. The water had stopped, but no matter how hard she tried, the tears kept coming. She had never known herself to cry like this before. She got up slowly and glanced in the mirror as she dressed, her face was red, either from the heat or her crying, she couldn't tell which. She finished dressing and began to brush her red hair slowly, a blank stare into the mirror slowly replaced the tears. She heard a knock on the door to her room and slowly trudged to open it. Mulder was standing there, holding a bunch of white roses. He smiled warmly when he saw her, tucking the roses in her arms.'

She wished right then that she had the words to tell him how she was feeling, because she knew he'd understand.

Mulder, for his part, didn't need to be told, he could read his partner's eyes quite well, and he saw her loneliness. He took her hand gently, "Want to come for a walk?" he asked her, his voice was soothing, and Scully felt that she truly couldn't resist him, besides, she genuinely needed his companionship right now.

She put the roses on her bed and joined him again at the door. Mulder hooked his arm tenderly through hers and led her out of the motel, into the bright sunshine. He watched her, the sun shone off her red hair, making her seem all the more beautiful to his eyes, but as she turned her head toward him, he noticed the slight redness in her eyes, the ever-deepening, ever- darkening circles around them, and the strange dullness in her ordinarily radiant skin. These things worried him, he loved her so much, and he wished with all his heart that he could take away her pain, take away those tears.

He was determined not to lose her to this, she'd lost Emily, and he didn't want her to go also. They crossed the dirt road in front of the motel and proceeded down a narrow path into the woods.

He hadn't wanted to come to Pennsylvania, especially so soon after Scully's daughter's death, but she had insisted, she needed to keep working. He'd watched her constantly since they'd arrived. They'd solved the case, and her demeanor hadn't changed. She looked so detached, so lost, so lonely, he thought.

They walked along in silence for a while, Scully simply taking comfort and strength in his presence. She could hardly think of a thing to say right now, and she was grateful that he was respecting her silence, he always did.

They entered an open field, and that was when she heard it. "Mulder," she looked at him quizzically, "I think I hear music." Mulder stopped walking and stood silently, listening, at first he heard nothing, but after a moment the soft, melodious tone of a woman's voice floated to his ears, drifting, as if on the gentle wind. He turned and headed in the direction he thought the sound was coming from, dragging Scully with him. They crossed the field and reached the woods again. There was no path this time, but Mulder plunged ahead, curious now. Scully followed him, listening to the beautiful sound as it meandered through the trees, the sound was sweet, comforting, like a mother singing a soft lullaby to her sleeping baby. She chased Mulder through two more fields, the knee-high grass tickled her legs, and she began to relax slightly.

The sound stopped for a moment, only to be replaced by not one voice, but a wonderful chorus of voices that sounded almost angelic to her. The sound grew nearer and nearer, until Mulder finally burst through a thick patch of underbrush and into a clearing. He stopped short, amazed at what he saw before him. Scully came up beside him, slightly out of breath and was immediately transfixed by the sight. There, in a small possibly man-made clearing stood a small gazebo-like structure made of unpainted, but obviously new wood. It had an open front, with a wooden railing surrounding the rest and supporting a simple roof. Inside, seated on wooden folding chairs set up in a small circle were six teenagers, their ages ranging anywhere from 15 to 20 years, all with an assortment of instruments piled by their chairs.

They sat now, each holding a guitar, strumming out a graceful melody while three of the girls sang a sweet tune that awed both of them. One of the singers looked up as they approached, she looked surprised at first, but smiled graciously at them both, the others stopped playing and followed her gaze. "Looks like we've got company guys." She said in a warm voice, putting down her guitar and getting up from her chair, she shook hands with Mulder.

"Sorry to intrude," Mulder began apologetically, "we were just curious as to where that lovely music was coming from." The girl, with curly red hair like Scully's, green eyes, and slightly freckled skin, smiled again.

"Oh, please, don't worry, we don't get many people coming back here, and it's usually not to listen to us when they do, it's very flattering, thank you." The five others came up behind her and shook hands with Mulder and Scully, introducing themselves as Skyler, Roxanne, Britteny, Sean, and Robbie. "...and I'm Denver," finished the redhead last.

"Hi," Mulder said, "I'm Fox, and this is Dana," he gestured to Scully, who mustered everything she had to give the girl a smile and shake her hand.

Denver seemed to sense Scully's discomfort."You look like you could use a song," she said, leading Scully gently into the gazebo, Mulder followed them. "You see, this is kind of an escape for us. We all love music, so we built this place and we come here whenever we feel like it, kind of our own little music club." She said, grabbing two chairs from against the side of the gazebo and unfolding them, she set them into the circle, "Have a seat." She gestured to them. The rest of the band resumed their own seats, Denver sat down next to Scully and picked up her guitar. She looked at the others. "What should we sing?" she asked them.

Britteny, a girl about 15 sitting next to Mulder with black hair and brown eyes spoke up.
"Nothing mushy, guys, something nice and comforting," she said, then turned to Scully, adding, "Please forgive me if this seems rude, but you look a bit shaken." Scully sighed loudly, the girl's manner was so unassuming and uncannily sweet, she turned to Mulder, hoping he could read her eyes as she reached up and caught a tear on her eyelashes.

Mulder understood perfectly, it would do her good to talk about it a bit. He turned to Britteny. "Her daughter died recently, she was only three years old." Britteny looked shocked, so did Denver.

"Oh God, I'm so sorry," said Denver, placing a hand on Scully's shoulder and giving it a squeeze, "We all are." She looked around to the others and nodded, "Fly?" she asked them, everyone nodded back and picked up various instruments. Denver struck a chord on her guitar and they began singing.

Scully listened intently.

Fly, fly, little wing,
Fly beyond imagining,
The softest cloud, the whitest dove,
Upon the wind of heaven's love,
Past the planets and the stars,
Leave this lonely world of ours,
Escape the sorrow and the pain,
And fly again.

Scully felt as thought the words were meant for her, she closed her eyes, Mulder reached over and enveloped her hand gently in his, she felt a great comfort between the words of the song and having Mulder there with her. The singing gave her more comfort than speeches ever could. The song ended, and everyone was silent, tears flowed from Scully's eyes, she leaned over against Mulder and he hugged her to him. After a moment she straightened, looking at Denver, she smiled gratefully, Denver smiled back, she needed no more thank- you than that.

"What's next?" asked Sean, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy of about 18, sitting across from Britteny. He was a sweet-looking kid who wore a brown cowboy hat and a pair of beat up old western-style boots. Denver smiled at him, and Scully sensed a bond between these people that ran much deeper than friendship.

"If I know you, Sean," Denver said to him, "you're waiting for a chance to show off." She laughed, "Let's sing something country," Sean's smile stretched from ear to ear, "something we can dance to." He nodded, standing up and hefting his guitar. Denver and another boy, Robbie, stood up and joined him as he stepped outside the gazebo. Mulder put an arm around Scully and followed them.

"Cattle Call?" Sean asked the other two, they smiled and nodded. Sean struck the opening chord and they started into what was just about as country as you could get. Mulder turned Scully toward him in front of the little three-person band and tipped an imaginary cowboy hat to her. She smiled.

"Care to dance, little missy?" he asked her in his best western drawl, the attempt was so sorry it made her laugh as he pulled her to him, one arm around her waist, the other held her hand in his as they swayed gently to the music. Scully listened contentedly to Sean's wonderfully polished western accent, the song really was beautiful, she thought, feeling Mulder's warm breath on her forehead, she sighed again and closed her eyes.

The cattle are prowlin'
The coyotes are howlin'
Way out where the doggies bawl,
Spurs are a jinglin'
The cowboy is singin'
This lonesome cattle call.

The others stood watching them, Britteny had taken up a dance with one of the other boys, Skyler, while the remaining girl, Roxanne, sat smiling at them from atop the railing of the gazebo. Sean held the last note of the song out slightly longer than necessary, but Scully loved him for it, Mulder held her a second longer, then let go. She smiled at him, the warmth and a slightly rosy hue returning to her cheeks. Mulder smiled back, this was the happiest he'd seen her in weeks, and their new group of friends suddenly seemed more like angels to him.

He thought for a moment, then made a decision, fingering a small box in his pocket, he'd been carrying it there for days, waiting for the right moment. If this wasn't it, he thought, he didn't know what was. He turned to Denver, he wasn't, however, going to let the opportunity to set a mood pass him by.

Scully watched him curiously, talking in a hushed voice to Denver. She saw Denver nod and her lips curve in a slow smile, then she turned to the group behind her. Britteny, Roxanne, and Skyler soon joined them, instruments in hand. They started singing again, Skyler and Roxanne standing slightly in front of the others, carrying on a beautiful dialogue in song rather than plain words.

Daylight has found me here again,
You can ask me anything
But where I've been,
The things that used to matter
Seem so small,
When you're looking for a soft place to fall.

They danced slowly for a moment, then Mulder suddenly stopped and reached into his pocket, bringing out a small, velvety black box, he took Scully's hand in his as she caught her breath, and knelt down on one knee before her.

Scully's eyes went wide as he opened the box, revealing what had to be the most beautiful diamond ring she'd ever seen. Fresh tears began to flow down her cheeks again. Mulder took the opportunity, looking up lovingly at her smiling face. "Dana Scully," he began, "I've loved you for so long now, I have no idea how I could ever live without you." He paused, "Will you marry me?"

She almost collapsed into his arms, barely managing to stammer out a reply. "Yes!" Came the answer through her tears. He took the ring from the box and slipped it onto her finger, kissing her hand lightly. He stood up and Scully threw her arms around him, kissing him full on the mouth, tears now running down both of their faces. They stayed that way until the song ended, then Scully released her new fiancée, making her way to where Denver was standing, smiling, wiping a stray tear from her cheek. She gave the girl a big hug. "Thank you," Scully whispered.

"You're perfectly welcome." Denver answered her, hugging her back. She thanked and hugged all the other musicians, one by one, while Mulder watched her affectionately. Denver came up silently beside him. "I can see why you love her so much." She said, smiling. He nodded.

"I don't know how to thank you for this." He told her honestly, she replied with a laugh.

"Well, this isn't something that happens on a regular basis around here. I've already gotten enough thanks to last me the rest of my life." Scully came back to join him then, her face was radiant.

"Well, guess we'd better be going, it's getting late, and I'm sure we've taken up enough of your time already," Mulder said.

"Wait a minute," Denver cut in, "before you go," she ran back to the gazebo and took a pencil and paper from her guitar case, she returned and gave them to Scully. "Here, write down your phone number, I'd hate to lose touch with such a happy couple without finding out how this works out."

Scully laughed and wrote down hers and Mulder's numbers and names, handing the paper back to Denver, who promptly ripped it in half and wrote her own number and name on the blank piece, handing it to each of the other band members, who did the same. Hugs recirculated among the group and then Sean pointed them in the direction of the road and their motel. They stood watching as the happy couple, their arms around each other, disappeared back into the woods.

Scully hugged Mulder closer to her as they walked. This day, that had started out as one of her worst in a long time, had turned out to be one of the best. She looked up at the sky, thinking that Emily must be up there watching both of them, and probably much happier than she'd ever been while she was alive, the thought gave her much comfort, and she listened as the soft strains of music reached their ears while they walked,

From this valley they say you'll be going,
I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile,
For they say you'll be taking the sunshine,
That has brightened our path for a while.

*The End*

And now for some thank-you's and author's notes:
Thank you again to my wonderful sister, who gave me the inspiration and that extra little push I needed to write this story! And a very sincere thank-you to GatorGirl4, for introducing me to fanfic and keeping after me until I read the stories she sent me. Finally, thank you to all of you reading this story! To know that my efforts were not in vain is very rewarding!

Now for the copyright stuff: "Fly" copyright 1996 Les Editions JRG/CRB Music Publishing, written by Jean-Jaques Goldman and Phil Galdston. "Cattle Call" copyright 1943 Forster Music Publisher Inc. "A Soft Place to Fall" copyright 1998 Longitude Music Co./Louise Red
Songs/Turgid Tunes "Red River Valley" (Western Traditional)

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