Title: Reflections
Author: Rhondda Lake
Written: July 1998
E-Mail: rhonilak@icontech.com
Catagory: S, (sorta X)
Keywords: MSR
Rating: G (yes I can *TOO* write a G rated story)

Summary: Someone is seeing things that aren't there...

Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully are mine. I am Chris Carter writing under an alias. If you believe this delusion that you obviously need more psychological help than I do. I plead insanity, anyway.

Thanks to the Rhino Readers: Nancy, Deb, Jennifer, and Sherry for the fast turn around on editing and comments. You are the best!

Unofficial Computer Journal
of Dana Katherine Scully

I saw something I can't explain today. One would think that in my line of work this would be a common expression. In fact I have seen MANY things I can not explain in the last five years. All of them in some manner related to my job.

Today was different. I saw a reflection that wasn't there.

How simple yet obtuse that sounds. Perhaps I should clarify.

I was standing outside a book shop, debating going inside to see if they had the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine when I noticed the window was made into a mirror filled with the transparent shades of those around me. A very common occurrence. But on noticing my own reflection I was shocked to see the reflection of a child in front of me, where, in fact, none stood. A little boy of perhaps five years of age, with Asian features. He wore a Buggs Bunny t-shirt and dark pants. His hair was dark, and he had a puzzled expression, much a match to my own at that particular moment.

The reflection of the non-existent child turned, as if seeing something strange in the window, himself. In that instant he was gone.

Perhaps he was a trick of the light or even the reflection from a window across the street reflecting back. But I saw no evidence of any child matching him when I looked up and down the street, nor can I explain how this enigmatic phantom appeared in front of my own reflection.

If I ever told Mulder this, I'd never live it down.

This has gone from being a small conundrum to a recurring perplexity. I saw him again today, the image of the dark haired child. Once more, it was patently impossible that he was there.

This time it was a much clearer view. This time it was in my own home. This time it made me wonder if I were losing my mind.

I was preparing for bed, as per my usual routine, and as I finished brushing my teeth I looked into the mirror, to see the Asian boy staring back at me, as if he were, once more, standing before me in reality.

This time he was wearing blue striped pajamas and his grinning face was smeared with chocolate, the consistency of which is only found in melted ice cream. He looked into the mirror, then up, as if viewing me behind him. There was a look of semi-contrition on his face, then he broke into a silent giggle. I didn't even register my own shocked expression as I stumbled back toward the bathroom door. But he did. He looked frightened, suddenly, and spun, once more looking over his shoulder. As before this seemed to cause the apparition to disappear.

I took several deep, calming breaths as I stepped out into my hallway. My mind filled with a hundred theories to explain this phantasm, discarding each in turn. I was not dreaming. I was not currently taking any medication. I was not under any more stress then usual. As a matter of fact lately things had bordered on boring.

This morning I scanned the paper, irrationally, seeking news of a recently murdered child, thinking back on that horrid case that had me seeing phantoms before. There was, of course, no such story.

I am beginning to fear for my sanity. I saw him again. The boy. This time in a McDonald's window.

Mulder and I had decided to eat lunch out. As per our usual high class tastes we ended up with cheeseburgers and McFries, enjoying the air-conditioned comfort. I was idly watching the children play in the indoor playground when I spotted him.

A quick, frantic search of the five youngsters gambling about the plastic jungle gym concluded that he was not present in any reality based sense. But his transparent reflection was happily rocking on one of the worn and dull FryGuys balanced on a strong spring.

"Mulder, do me a favor. Look at the reflection of the children in the window." I don't know what possessed me to ask him, perhaps a deep seated need to know that I was not alone in this delusion

He looked up and peered in the glass. "What?"

"Do you see a little boy rocking on the blue FryGuy, in the glass"

I looked quickly at him and my heart shattered. He was frowning, and looking back at me. He swallowed a mouthful of burger. "Do you?"

I couldn't swallow at all. The moisture evacuated my mouth for parts unknown and I stood suddenly, needing to get away from the greasy smell and the phantom child. Needing to get away from Mulder's perceived betrayal.

How could he not see him? I wanted to cry with my own helplessness and refused the urge. I heard Mulder calling after me. Soon enough his damn long legs allowed him to catch up to my quick strides.

"Scully, what's going on?"

I took a deep breath and debated telling him it had been a joke, that I had gotten him good once more. But the concern in his face would not allow the lie to pass my lips.

I told him. Of the book store, the bathroom mirror, now this. All of it, including my own fear of lessening mental faculties associated with this phenomenon.

"Every day?" he asked, no mocking in the least, only puzzling over what I had told him.

"For the last three," I affirmed.

"Can I stay at your place tonight?"

The question appeared to come out of the blue, and I looked at Mulder quizzically.

"To be there if you see him again. Maybe I can see it, too. Or find some explanation at least." He grinned, "Of the two of us, Scully, you're the least likely to crack up, so I wouldn't worry too much on that count. Hey, I'm the one who ended up in five point restraints in the psycho ward, remember?"

Reluctantly, I assented. I don't know if I was more worried he would see the apparition as well, or that he would not.

If I am mad, at least I'm in good company.

He appeared again, tonight. This time in the reflective surface of my oven door. He was seated on the floor playing with a toy fire truck.

I had gone into the kitchen to get a cup of tea when I saw him. By now he was familiar. His features pulling at something in my mind. He played on, oblivious to me.

"M... Mulder. He's here." I didn't take my eyes off the apparition, out of some superstitious dread that if I did he'd disappear before Mulder could get a look.

I did not see the reflection of Mulder's legs in the oven door, as I did my own, so when I heard his voice next to my ear I jumped.

"I don't see anythin---" He sucked in a breath and I looked away from the ghost child to see Mulder going to one knee, to peer into the surface. Looking back at the boy I saw Mulder's form slowly materialize in the reflection.

"He's playing with a toy truck, isn't he?" Mulder's voice shook with excitement and I felt my knees go weak with relief.

"Yes. A red fire engine, with a ladder." I touched Mulder's shoulder, reassuring myself in something real and solid.

"Is it a phantom?" He waved his hand through the empty space before the oven, the place the boy SHOULD have been.

"I... I don't know what he is," I admitted with some reluctance.

"There's no cold spot, no static charge or anything." Mulder looked up at me.

I gasped and backed into my kitchen table as the reflection of Mulder seemed to stand and pick up the child with him, until all I saw were Mulder's legs and the abandoned fire truck, then him walking away.

This was, of course, patently impossible as Mulder was still crouched before the oven, looking back at me. He spun to look into the oven, but now the reflection was as it should be. No distortions, no phantom toys.

"What happened?" Mulder looked back to me.

"You... or at least your reflection... you picked him up then it was gone."

"What do you mean I picked him up?"

I felt a headache coming on, full throttle.

Mulder stayed over tonight. This time it was he who saw something. I still don't know what to make of it.

He said he was washing his face in the bathroom and when he toweled himself off he looked in the mirror to see ME lifting the child out of the bathtub. The same little boy he'd seen reflected in my oven. I was wearing my white bathrobe and the boy was wet and naked.

He turned to check the room behind him and there was no one there. On looking back into the mirror, all was normal.

This is puzzling us both, and tomorrow we plan on checking every book we can on ghosts and phantoms. But by now I don't think that is what we are seeing.

We both saw each other with the child, and neither of us are dead.

It has been two months, and there have been no reoccurrences of the strange reflections both Mulder and I had been witness to. The mystery remains, but we've moved on. We still eye reflective surfaces with a bit more disconcertment than we had before.

Tonight Mulder even asked me out to celebrate two months free of spectral visions. I accepted as long as we go somewhere a bit more upscale than McDonalds.

It has been six years since I looked at this disk and what I read now, to refresh my memory, holds more amazement for me now than it had then.

Today, as Mulder and I were walking through town, Jimmy sprang ahead of us. Always the somewhat overprotective parents, we had a short moment of heart failure, added to when we suddenly heard him cry out. He rarely cried out, or made any sound at all for that matter.

We found him standing in front of my favorite book store, shaking.

"What is it?" I signed as I crouched next to him. He threw his little arms around me, sobbing in the crook of my neck.

It took us ten minutes to calm him down and then he had moved to Mulder, seeming suddenly frightened of me. He had always been a happy child and had not been so uncontrollably terrified since the first night we had brought him home, a frightened two year old.

We had been married two years when I felt the desire to have a child overwhelm me. I knew that our jobs would be a factor, but we both had so much love to give. I wanted, no, needed to pass on something of ourselves to another generation. Even if the child could not be biologically mine.

We looked into all options. In the end we didn't need the complications any medical intervention would bring. We decided to adopt.

I informed Mulder that I didn't care about race or age and adopting a special needs child would speed the process up by years. I didn't want to be on some list for five or ten years when there was a child out there that we could love NOW.

Jimmy came to us as a robust toddler of Asian decent. His deafness hadn't intimidated us in the least. We both took a crash course in sign language. Unwilling to further upset our new son's young life, we made no attempt to change his first name. Only his last, Huang, had been changed over to Mulder.

Now at five, he was shaken and lost again, and I felt bereft as he seemed to take comfort only from Mulder.

At last he was calmed, and we managed to get him to tell us what was wrong. In sign hindered by his still shaky hands, he informed us that he had stopped at the book place Mommy always went in, because he knew she'd be there soon. He saw me behind him in the window, but when he turned to laugh at being faster than me, I wasn't there. He looked, and looked, and I was nowhere. How could I be there and not?

Mulder and I met each other's eyes, then stroked Jimmy's hair and back, reassuring him that all was well.

He's sleeping now. Our Jimmy. One old mystery, not really solved, but enlightened a bit.

What we had seen, six years ago, was not ghosts or phantoms, but perhaps premonitions. Or reflections of the future.

And I know, suddenly, that tomorrow night Mulder is going to be bad and allow Jimmy to eat ice cream before bed. I had better warn our son not to be afraid if he sees me in the mirror tomorrow night.


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