TITLE: The Long and Winding Road
AUTHOR: Abbey R
DISTRIBUTION: Drop me a line first, so I know where to visit.
FEEDBACK: Compliments and constructive criticizim are more than welcome. However, Flames will be squashed and extinguished immediately.
SPOILERS: Everything up to Milagro
RATING: a solid R rating
CATEGORY: MSR, S,R,A, Scully POV
KEYWORDS: Pre-XF, Scully/Other (past), Mulder/Scully Romance, Most likely considered to be an 'Alternate Universe'
DISCLAIMER: I'm borrowing Mulder and Scully, and the rest of the X-Bunch from the illustrious Chris Carter. Also, I have a few references to lyrics from The Beatles in here. Sadly, they do not belong to me either.

SUMMARY: Mulder discovers that Scully's involvement in the X-Files, goes just as deep as his. It sounds like a case-file, but it's really not. It's more of a character study/relationship piece.


The Long and Winding Road that leads, to your door
They'll never disappear, I've seen that road before.
It always leads me here, leads me to your door.
The wild and windy night that the rain washed away.
Has left me full of tears, crying for the day...
Don't leave me standing here, let me know the way
Many times I've been alone, and many times I've cried.
Many ways you'll never know, and the many ways I've tried.
And still it leads me back, to the long winding road.
You left me standing here, a long, long time ago.
Don't leave me waiting here, lead me to your door.
"The Long and Winding Road"- The Beatles (1970)


October 3rd, 1999

I've seen my share of heaven and hell in my 35 years of life. A wild, recalcitrant roller coaster could accurately be described as a tangible metaphor for my life.

I've survived my father, and my older sister. I've sat on a cold, examination table, while given a detailed explanation of why I couldn't bear children under any natural pretenses. I've witnessed a life-altering, heart-shattering dissolution of a three-year-old little girl whom I barely knew personally, but who meant more to me than I would ever come to know.

I've been mocked by my peers, and labeled 'The Ice Queen'- or 'Mrs. Spooky'- I've been laughed at behind my back, and I've had my heart constantly smashed in whenever Mulder looks at me with his gorgeous hazel eyes, and walks away from me; or when he speaks so highly of Diana Fowley.

There was a time though.... A time where my life wasn't a incessant jumble of confusion, and pain. There was once a time when I felt a flutter of enchantment, and bliss in my heart, and completeness with in every stride I took.

As much as I hate to say this; as much as it hurts me to admit this, this happiness, and this joy I once felt was in a time before Mulder. Granted, working with Mulder was purely my choice, joining Mulder and his quest was entirely my decision, and sticking by him all seven of these years, was absolutely my desire.

But now I fear to say that staying through this quest is no longer my desire. Upon reflecting on my life, I no longer hold the same zeal for my line of work, as I once did.

I lied to Mulder, and told him that I had to leave for a dentist appointment in Georgetown. He told me to enjoy my weekend, and I left; carrying the burden that I lied to Mulder on my shoulder. My appointment was not at my dentist.

My appointment was with my ex-husband.


November 11th, 1982

He's so mysterious. I barely know anything about him. I've been dating him for about a month and a half now, and I still don't know much about him. He remains a mystery to me.

I suppose that's why I'm so attracted to him. The fact that he completely contradicts my previous boyfriends is why I like him. I needed to get away from what I was in high school. I'm a different person now.

Or at least I'm trying to be. I'm trying to branch out from 'Daddy's little Starbuck' or 'Adroit Red'. (As nickname I gained in the sixth grade, and still sticks with me to this day.)

He wiggles his eyebrows at me, and I can't help but smile.

"I like when you smile." It's a simple comment with a mound of complexity behind it. "I've been thinking...." his voice trails off as he tries to formulate what he's trying to say. "I have the entire day off tomorrow, and I was wondering if I could take you somewhere."

"Where?"

"Somewhere special." He grins softly, and shakes his head. "I want it to be a secret. Is that okay with you, Miss Scully?"

I cross my arms over my chest, and nod.

"Just as long as it doesn't include anything that would in any way force me to be hospitalized, or leave with a criminal record."

He pauses for a moment, pondering what I have just said.

"Tempting as that sounds, I think that I'm gonna stick to my original plan." He takes my empty hand, and our fingers lace together with nonchalance. "I'm going out on the terrace for a smoke. Join me?" I add curiously. He nods enthusiastically, while grabbing his package of ciggs off of the table.

The rest of our evening is spent discussing unadorned, and simple things that I'm not used to discussing with him. Usually, our conversations are about great British Literature, political items, important historical events, and other intelligible things he thinks of first.

This time we talked about the Baltimore O's, and the death of Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham.


October 3rd, 1999

Sometimes Mulder drives me crazy. Sometimes when he shoots one of his insane, super-dooper improbable theories and knows that I won't agree with him, he makes me want to do evil, evil things to him. Sometimes he makes me want to grab a fistful of those cinnamony colored strands on his head, and yank like a little devil. Sometimes he makes me so angry, it almost looks like steam is coming out of my ears, like a little cartoon.

Sometimes Mulder makes me loose faith in him. Sometimes (ironically a lot more often) when Agent Fowley comes back into our lives, and he chooses to follow her around like a little puppy dog; he makes me want to run to the nearest bathroom to scream to the heavens, cursing out everything that Mulder and Diana believe in. Sometimes when he thinks about only himself, and ditches me, I have very strong feelings of being reassigned.

Sometimes Mulder makes my heart literally melt. Sometimes when he kisses the top of my forehead in a safe refuge of finding comfort in each other; I feel like we're the only two people on the earth. Sometimes when he whispers words of comfort into my ear after a difficult case, warmth begins to rise through out my body, and I have to resist to the urge of grabbing his body close to me, and whispering a few words of my own.

Sometimes working with him isn't good enough. Sometimes I want more. Sometimes I want to get away from him. Sometimes I can't even make up my mind. Sometimes it feels like my life is standing still, while everything else is jumping forward. Even Mulder.

I have feelings that are too enigmatic and questionable. It feels like I'm stuck in the eye of a tornado, with nowhere to go. As much as I try and convince myself to stay, I don't think I can anymore. I need to approach a new avenue in my life, or else I fear I will have a break down just like Mulder did a couple of months ago.


January 12, 1983

"Maggie, Melissa, and Dana! We're going to be late!" my father roars from the foot of the stairs. I follow behind my sister, and my mother at my back as we charge down the stairwell, dressed in our finest evening attire. My father is waiting impatiently, while he stands directly in back of my dad, and Missy's date- Gavin? Garth? Garret? stands next in line.

"Where's Bill and Charlie?" My mother asks from behind my shoulder as I reach the bottom step.

"They went to go pick up Tara and Rachel. We were going together, but we were a little behind schedule."

"Oh, quit your complaining, Bill. I bet you twenty dollars Tara and Rachel won't be ready yet either." My mother throws a black silk wrap around her shoulders, and checks her appearance in the mirror.

"You look fine, Mag. Let's go," my father pushes as he takes a hold of my mother's shoulders, and escorts her through the door. We follow shortly behind my father's lead, and cram ourselves into the rented stretch limo.

I look across the limo, to see him staring back at me. He smiles, and his mouths opens. He starts to say something, but he mouths it instead. You- Look- So- Beautiful. Yep. I'm pretty sure that's what he said.

I smile at him, and mouth 'I love you' back to him. He placed his right hand over his heart, and leaned his head against the back of the seat.

I love him. I really do. I've- I've never felt this way before. It's something new, and exciting, and I'm so happy about it. I love the way that love feels. My heart thumps wildly out of control whenever he nuzzles the side of my neck with his nose and mouth. My head spins around like a battery operated toy when ever he slowly teases me with his mouth and his hands; slowly bringing me to places and heights that I've never been to before with any man.

Not that I have much experience in this field. It's only been a total of two for me, and I can assure you that he's twice the joy that my high school boyfriend was, in the back of his 68 Mustang Convertible.

I can't get over the feeling of how 'adult' this all feels. My parents look gleaming and proud as they begin to interrogate Missy's date, Owen. I don't have the faintest idea why I mistook it for Gabe, or Garret, or whatever.

Missy is in my parent's conversation, and she has an utter look of horror across her face. Boy, can I relate. My parents hound our dates, and then, and then they have to go through Bill. That's an even worse fate.

For the next twenty minutes of sitting through Washington DC traffic, we manage to get it to the chapel in Alexandria just on time. My father ushers us all into the monstrous chapel, and we take our seat in the third to front row, where Charlie and Bill have saved for us. My parents sit in towards the isle. Bill and his girlfriend, Marie are next. Missy is right next to Marie, with Owen. I sit next to Owen, and he sits next to me, with a strong arm around my shoulder. Right after us is Charlie and Rachel. We happily manage to take up the entire pew.

Pachabell's 'Cannon in D' washes over the chapel from the front. The orchestra comprised of three violin players, two pan flutes, three alto saxophones, one soprano sax, one tenor sax, two clarinets, and two recorders. It's absolutely beautiful. I've never heard anything so beautiful.

My aunt's four bridesmaids march down the isle in accordance to the orchestra's steady beat. They are dressed head to toe in royal purple. Their full body dresses with spaghetti straps are royal purple, the bows and berets in their hair is royal purple, and even their shoes and knee highs are royal purple.

As Cannon in D comes to a sharp halt, the recorders begin to play the Irish contemporary wedding march, with the violins accompanying as the harmony. Everybody in the room turn their focus to the back, where my aunt slowly makes her descent down the red carpet-clad isle.

She looks like a Gaelic princess, as she wears a traditional grass crown, with delicate blue lilies around it. She's dressed from head to toe in a hand-woven white dress. A white diamond necklace is around her neck. I instantly recognize that. It's my mom's. It must be the completion of her outfit as something borrowed.

After she approaches the altar, the priest begins to read scriptures from the holy bible, and suddenly- I feel his arm around my shoulder tighten. Leaning into his ear, he whispers delicate words of love that surprise me.

"I love you so much, Dana." He kisses the outer shell of my ear, and I feel his warm, gossamer-like breath sneaking into the canal of my ear. "You look so beautiful today," he adds, kissing my earlobe. He leans his forehead against my temple, and sighs. Oh my God. It feels like my heart is going to thump right out of my chest. I'm serious. He nuzzles his nose into my ear, and I swear to God, it feels like I'm going to die from an excruciating, heavenly feeling.


October 3rd, 1999

This particular Starbuck's is laced with green ivy, and protected around a rod iron gate. Outside, there are patrons who are leisurely sipping their hot beverages, while talking, smoking, or reading. It's almost dark outside, and there are candles lit on every table outside. I glance cautiously around, through the window, and then I spot him. He is sitting outside. He's in the corner, with a cigarette lighting in the ashtray, a large coffee centered by the candle, and A Midsummer's Night Dream in his dominant hand.

I doubt that he sees me. He's too engrossed with his book.

"Hello." He folds the page in his book, but his eyes never reach mine.

"Hi, Dana." His voice is almost a whisper.

"So it's Dana now. I see." I pull out the green iron chair, and sit down across from him. His eyes reach across the table, to find mine. He smiles slightly, and nods.

"It's good to see you again."

I remain silent as I signal the waiter. He runs to my motioning hand, and pulls out his writing pad from the left pocket of his apron.

"Large low fat white mocha," I tell him instantly. "And a multi-grain blueberry muffin."

He nods, and disappears into the coffee shop.

"I miss you."

"I don't." I lean back into the chair, stare into his eyes honestly. He clears his throat, and sets down his book on the table.

"I deserved that."

"You deserve a lot more."

"I know."

"No, you don't."

He runs a hand through his spiky dark brown hair.

"Look- Dana, I know that my actions in the past have been unforgivable....."

"Your damn straight they've been unforgivable. Even after our marriage, you continued to make my life hell. You don't know how much you've hurt me. You don't have any idea at all."

He remains silent as our waiter sets my muffin, and my coffee down next to each other, to disappear in a hurry.

He licks his lips as the waiter is no longer in our presence.

"I can say sorry hundreds of times, and it still won't make it better."

"I know that."

"I asked you here to talk about Rory."

"I don't want to talk about her."

"Dana-"

"I said that I don't want to talk-"

"I found her," he immediately interjects.

"....about her- What?"

"I said that I found her."

"You bastard. You're a liar." He shakes his head, and licks his lips again.

"No. I found her. She's alive. She's been living in California. Berkeley, to be exact. Her name is Zoey Monteraux."

I look through his eyes, and shake my head.

"I don't believe you. I don't have any reason to."

"Her foster father was killed in a car accident. The foster mother disappeared when Rory was six. Rory only knew here for three years, too." That last comment made me glare angrily up at him. "She's going to be awarded to the state in a week if you don't do anything, Dana."

"She's your daughter too. Why don't you do something?"

"Because I fear my involvement will get her killed. You know that."

"Yeah. I do. Your *involvement* came close to killing me twice, now."

"Dana-"

"Do you even have proof that this girl- whom you claim to be Rory, is actually her?"

"Now that's the Dana that I remember." He places a file folder right in front of me.

"What's this?" I ask him, my eyes not even bothering to look down.

"Open it up and find out."

So I do. I have nothing else to lose. Inside the manila folder is a white paper, with three transparencies behind it.

I skim over the white paper first, and then I realize that the transparencies are DNA tests.

"You match her DNA up with mine. How ever did you get my DNA?" I added a hint of sarcasm for the effect.

"Resources," he replies instantly, taking a drag off of his cigarette.

"I'll bet." I close the paperwork into the folder, and edge it towards him.

"I still don't believe you. All you know are lies."

"Believe what you wish, Dana." He shakes his head, and squishes the burning cigarette into the porcelain tray, and it makes a low hiss in the process. "Look, you know me, Dana. I know I don't deserve your respect, or your trust. I don't expect you to believe me either, but Dana...." his voice trails off. "It's her. She's your only chance now."

Instantaneously, I look up into his eyes, and glare into them.

"And whom shall I blame for that?"

"Dana- please. You'll never forgive yourself if you don't see her. You lost her once. You don't want to loose her again."

"What about you, huh? You lost her too. Didn't she mean anything to you? She was our daughter!"

"She meant everything to me. You know that. But if I step into her life, I'll sign her death certificate the next day. I won't risk her life like that."

"They won't let me adopt. I tried to adopt Emily....."

"That's because Emily was a special care child. She required your undivided attention. Rory's 16 years old."

"Fifteen. She'll be sixteen December 24th," I corrected him. My hands move on their own volition down my face, and twist through my hair. "I've already lost her. That was hard enough. Don't do this to me again, Alex."


May 5th, 1983

Loud brass instruments blare into my ear as I try to make my way through the crowd. It's hard to walk through everybody when you're clutching a plate of Mexican food in one hand, and a mudslide virgin daiquiri in the other. Alex is waiting for me across the lawn, in an isolated area by the swimming pool. People seemed to have gathered around the mariatchi band, dancing, and laughing together.

I know Alex doesn't like big crowds, but he's the one who insisted on coming tonight. He smiles up at me, and pulls me into his lap, right after I get the opportunity to set the food down. He nuzzles his nose into the base of my neck, and his arms slip around my waist.

"You smell good."

"I know."

He kisses a sensitive patch of skin right below my ear, and I practically jump out of the chair.

"Whoa, I love that."

"You better play nice. I brought you a taco."

"Thank you." He starts peppering the side of my neck with gossamer-light kisses, and soft nips. I turn my head around, and we meet halfway in a sloppy kiss.

"Hey- you're not old enough to have this." He picks up my beverage, and stares at it.

"Neither are you. Besides, I had Missy make this one special for me. It's a virgin."

"No it's not."

"Yes it is. Taste." I shove it up into his face.

"Oh- I was under the impression that you were referring to Melissa."

"That's cute," I tell him with a grin.

"Hmmm," he mumbles into my hair, squeezing my left hip.

"I'm hungry." I grab the plate, and reach for a taco.

"Feed me," he whines.

"Feed yourself." I bite into the crispy shell and all of its contents.

"Love you."

"I know."

I can sense his grin from behind me.

"Such a smart ass."

"I know."

"I was thinking- Day.... If you're feeling adventurous tonight, we could take a naked dip in the pool. I can't tell you how much I love seeing you naked. And wet. And both. Whadda you say, babe?"

"Oh my God."

"Like my idea?"

I scramble off of his lap, and stumble on the ground.

"I have to go to the bathroom."

"It's like- your eleventh trip today!" he calls out as I head in the direction of the house.


October 3rd, 1999

The rain is sloppily falling against my windshield. Tears are sloppily falling down my face. I feel helpless, and weak. It almost feels like my life is spinning recklessly out of control, and there is not a single thing that I can do about it, except crash.

Crash. Crash into the deep, meaningless pit, resulting in the cease of my existence. This can't be real. The past two hours must have been a dream. I'll wake up in Nowheresville, Nebraska, with Mulder right next door.

I feel as if the remaining control of my life is hastily slipping out of my grasp. I can't handle this anymore. I can't even pretend to think I can.

I hear a ringing in my head as I contemplate all of this information. The X-Files. Mulder. Rory. Alex Krycek. The FBI. My family. Rory. Mulder. Rory. Mulder. Rory. Mulder. The X-Files. Rory. Mulder. Rory. Mulder. Rory. I notice it all boils down to them.

But then I come to realize that the ringing is not in my head. It's my cell phone.

"Scully."

I already know it's Mulder.

"How was the dentist appointment?"

"It was a dentist appointment, Mulder."

"Where are you? Are you driving?"

"Yeah. I'm coming back from Baltimore."

"Did you visit your mom?"

"Yeah."

I'm sorry, Mulder. I really am.

"I just wanted to see if you're okay. You've been acting kind of weird lately."

"I've been tired."

"Yeah. Me too. Well, I'll see you on Monday, then."

"Yeah. Monday.

"Have a good weekend."

"Mulder- wait."

"Hmmm?" his tone almost sounds sleepy and subdued.

"I won't be in the office on Monday. You better make it Wednesday. I'm going to Berkley to visit some family members."

"Oh really? I'm glad. I think I could use some time off. Have a nice time." I hear the click of the line going dead.

I'm going to hell. It's official.


May 12th, 1983

Babies are all over the place. Where ever you go, babies are bundled up in strollers as their parents push them around. They're tucked away in baby seats when you're passing a stressed out mother in a grocery isle, reading nutrition labels. Toddlers are at the park, with smug expressions of satisfaction across their face as they make their poor mothers run after them. They're at restaurants, nestled in their little wooden high chairs. I can't go out into the world with out seeing babies.

Alex is happy about this. I'm pregnant, and he's happy. I can't believe this. I cannot fucking believe this shit. I'm a 19-year-old pre-med student. I have dreams. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to help people.

I don't want to end up a 43-year-old housewife, who has memorized Sesame Street Sing-Alongs after watching it over and over again for the benefit of my seven children. I don't want to be a housewife to begin with. That's not who I am. That's not who I'm supposed to be.

Tears begin to well up in my eyes as I think about this. This wasn't supposed to happen.


October 4th, 1999

The flight to the San Francisco International was long. I was sandwiched in between a snooty business woman, and a snoring old man. I had a headache through the duration of the 8 hour flight, and because of that, I didn't get a wink of sleep. After collecting my luggage all by myself, and grabbing my rental car, I had to purchase a map at a gas station not far away, because I had no idea where the hell I was going.

It took nearly two hours to get through the magnitude of morning rush hour traffic on the Bay Bridge.

By the time I got back to my hotel in Berkeley, I was far gone. Last night after I got home, I was in a frenzy trying to get the next possible flight out, and packing. I feared telling my mother because I know that telling her about this would be way to much to handle if the outcome would only be a failure.

My brain is now a fuzzy mass as I weigh out the options. It's almost eight o'clock, and the sun is about to fade away from the evening sky. I feel tired and hungry at the same time. I am fortunate and melancholy at the same time. I am so sick of the ups and the downs.

From my hotel room, I can clearly see a couple snuggled up on the park bench. They are holding each other; it's such a simple act. They are in love. It seems arrogant, and pretentious of me to assume this, since I have both denied and lied about such an accusation.

But Phillip Padget was right. I am already in love. I love him.

Mulder.

Yes, that's right. I'm in love with Mulder. Padget was right on the target. When I cried in his arms for those few precious moments, he tried to calm me down by kissing the side of my head, and whispering soft words into my ear. And at that moment, I knew that everything would be okay. I knew that I was safe, and that Mulder was safe.

It was the oddest sensation reveling in the feel of his arms around me, and being absolutely positive that nothing could touch me at that moment. I felt like crying all over again.

So I did. And he held me.

But I just can't do that anymore. I've come to realize through the events of the past couple months that I can't continue to wear this facade of bravery. I cannot. I refuse to.

That's why I went to go see Alex. Before, I've always chose to ignore his invitations of reconciliation. But now, it didn't seem to matter. I figured that I should get on their good side before departure from the X-Files. Maybe if I did, they would give Mulder a partner who deserves to be there, instead of a spy.

Maybe Diana was a spy. He accused me of being a spy. It only seems logical. I know how deep her involvement runs. I know that she is in cahoots with Cancer Man and all of his little cronies.

His little cronies. Ha. It's more like a secret boys club, with secret little rules, and even a secret little hand shake.

I begin to tire of thinking about the past, so I decide on grabbing my coat to head across the street for dinner.

It was cold, no doubt, but it was pleasant. The weather hit me like a surprise, and a comfort. I spent the first two semesters of my freshman year at Berkley. My father was stationed around here, and I remember loving the atmosphere of the Bay Area. The ocean, the diversity of cultures, the people, the way that San Francisco is shaped; I loved it all.

This was a time before the decadent mayhem began. This was a time before I had to deal with my daughter's disappearance, and my ex-husband's involvement as an assassin. This was a time before I had to worry about Mulder.

As I try to pull my brain back from it's wandering thoughts, I enter the restaurant which is crowded with college students. They are all over the place. They're snuggled inside the booths, they're sharing seats that are meant to be for one, some are on the floor, and some are settled on friends laps. This makes me smile, recalling a time where I was once in the middle of a crowded booth, or sharing a seat with my best friend, or sitting on the floor with Missy, or settled upon my boyfriend's lap.

The line seems to move at such a rapid pace, judging by how many people are here, and were in line.

"Hi, can I help you?" The chances of her being a Cal student are as good as the odds are for being an unnatural blond.

I fire off my order of clam chowder, and a side of battered shrimp, and another likely Berkeley student slides it on the counter seconds later, packaged into a paper bag.

I hand her a ten dollar bill, and I am given my change. She tells me to have a good night, and I tell her to have one too. I take one preliminary glance around the restaurant, and head back to my hotel room back at the Holiday Inn across the street.

Back on the streets, the couple is still snuggled on the bench, wrapped up in a warm embrace. I only smile, and turn my head to leave them with privacy. They are in love.


August 23rd, 1983

People always look at me when I'm walking. It doesn't fail. It's as if being pregnant is a rare form of life. My mother tells me that it's because I look like I'm 11 years old. That's not my fault that the only casual attire that they sell for petite pregnant women are overalls. There is the option of stretchy pants, but they make my thighs look weird.

My dad is still furious with me, and especially with Alex. I can respect that. I have to. I know I've let him down. I can respect that as well. But he has to respect my decision to keep this baby. If I were to go down to an abortion clinic, I could never forgive myself.

Charlie and Missy are supporting me. I've been on the phone with the both of them a lot, because they're always checking up on me. They've got a bet going on about the gender. Missy's stuck on a nephew, and Charlie is set on a niece.

I haven't told dear old Bill yet. He's at sea right now, and I wouldn't dream of disturbing him for something he would only chew my head off for.

My mother seems to support me. She's always telling me that she knows that I'm strong, and that I have made the right decision. She has faith in me. She's the reason why I continue to carry the baby. She's the reason why I have decided to keep it. Because she has faith in me.

When I went home one night after having dinner with my mom, I began to think, and I realized that she had Bill in 1960, and in 1960, she was 19 years old.

I am going to another doctor's appointment. I am walking there, since it is only a few blocks away, and people are staring. I don't care. Let them think I am eleven. I can't help but smile.

Today I'm supposed to find out the baby's gender. To be totally honest, I'm hoping it's a girl. Alex is hoping for a boy, but he said it didn't really matter to him, just as long as it is healthy.

He surprises me. When we first began to date, I had my doubts and suspicions about him. Because of his dark, and mysterious complex, I made several of assumptions about him. Alex Krycek as a fatherly figure was definitely not under one of those assumptions.

I suppose that Alex Krycek is just a bundle of surprises.

He's supposed to meet me at the hospital. He had to come straight from work, and has to return right after the appointment. I slowly run my hand down my abdomen in a circle as I approach the elevator.

Inside the elevator, there are is a variety of people, ranging from a variety of ages. Some are doctors, some could be patients, and far in the back corner is another pregnant woman.

Our eyes lock, and I smile back at her. She's has to be between 25 and 30. I bet she doesn't get stares as she walks through Annapolis.

The elevator beeps to signal my floor, and I have to squeeze by the doctors and other patrons to get off. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the woman in the back doing the same.

This floor has an earthy feel to it. There are several of greens and blues, and browns as I walk down the corridor, and to the offices. Behind the desk stands a woman with mousy brown hair, and thin blue eyes. She smiles weakly at me, and asks for my name.

"Dana Scully. I'm here to see Dr. Gallagher."

A different smile forms across her face as she nods.

"Your husband is in there with her." My husband?

"I don't have a husband." The attendant shrugs nonchalantly.

"Dr. Gallagher is the fourth door to your left."

I thank her with the little effort, and charge off towards her office. I knock first before I hear Dr. Gallagher's voice telling me to come in. So I do. And sure enough, Alex is sitting directly across from her. She is leaning on the desk, and he is leaning back in his chair.

They both look towards me, and I take a seat next to Alex.

"How are you doing today, Dana?"

"I'm okay."

"Good." She smiles, and crosses her leg over her lap. "How are you feeling?"

"Better. The morning sickness has been very rare lately."

"That's good."

She asks me a couple more questions about my back, and my breasts, about my eating habits, and then about my sex drive. Alex chuckles when I stumble over the word 'intercourse.'

But then she leads us into the examination room, and orders for me to pull down the flap on my overalls, and push up my white T-shirt to expose my stomach. She tells me to lie back on the bed after I'm done.

I do what she asks, with Alex watching me. He talks the entire time about some names, and I listen attentively, because I really have nothing else I can say. He has limited his suggestions down to a list of five. Robert seems to be up there, along with Chaunecy, Pembrooke, Thatcher and Clayton. I finally comment about his choice of names, and poke at the first four names. I know that the fifth is his middle name, which isn't so bad. If it was going to be a boy.

But I know it's going to be a girl. I just do. Call it a hunch, or a mother's intuition, but I know. So I tell him my five choices, which happen to be: Kennedy, Janeane, Stella, Zoe, and Tabitha. He begins to protest to my names, but the door rattles from the impact of somebody's fist.

Dr. Gallagher enters the examination room, with her lab coat on, and a pair of latex gloves covering her hands. She begins by smearing a cold, jelly-like substance on my stomach, and I squeal from the shock. Alex chuckles, and then squeezes my hand.

After a few minutes of adjusting her equipment, she places these plastic paddles on my stomach. I gasp when I see the picture of my- our baby on the monitor. There is a grand smile across his face as he watches the monitor.

"Do you want to know the sex?"

"Yes," we both answer instantaneously.

"It's a girl." Alex bends his neck down to kiss the middle of my forehead, and I can do nothing more than close my eyes.


October 5th, 1999

There was a police car in front of the house when I pulled up to the driveway. I had to take slow breaths in and out while walking up to the porch. I extended my hand to ring the door bell, and almost seconds later, a male came to the door, who was dressed in dark blue jeans, and a comfortable blue oxford shirt.

"Are you Special Agent Scully?"

I nod my head, and produce my badge for him. He nods back, and stepps aside so I can pass.

"She's up in her room." He points, and I head up the stairs, and to her room. I can hear music from behind the door, but it's too soft to distinguish the artist, or even type. I bring my fist down on the door twice, and take a slow breath in.

The door opens, and I have to bite the inside of my cheek from crying. All of these emotions that I've had for the past 16 years are beginning to surface physically.

"Hi, Zoey. I'm Special Agent Dana Scully." I pull out my badge, and show it to her carefully. "Can we talk?"

She nods her head, and moves aside for me to pass. I look around her room, and she invites me to have a seat on the computer chair. She takes a seat on her bed, and grabs the remote to her stereo.

'One thing I can tell you is you've got to be free..... Come together, right now. Over me.' John Lennon wails through the speakers before she puts it on mute.

"Detective Roberts said that you wanted to talk to me about my foster placement." I nodded, and folded my hands on my lap.

"We have to run a couple of tests before we can..." I start before her expression drops. "What's the matter?"

"Why do you have to run tests to place me into another foster home?"

"DNA tests. I think that I may have found your biological mother." She flinches at my words, and I swallow the lump that's invading my throat.

"They tried that 13 years ago after I was taken. Why should it work now?" Her blue eyes fix on mine, and I have to close my eyes momentarily. She pushes back her dark, wavy auburn hair into a makeshift ponytail.

I try looking up at her, and I finally gain the composure I once had.

"Maybe they didn't try hard enough."


October 5th, 1983

We've decided on the name Rory. Rory is the feminine form of Robert. Melissa likes it. My mother thinks it's strange. Charlie is all for it. My dad thinks it sounds to masculine. And Bill doesn't have an opinion, because Bill still doesn't know.

I like it. Rory. It's lucid and humble. Rory Arabella Krycek-Scully.

Yes. Krycek-Scully. We won't be married until after Rory is born. Married. That's a big step. I don't know if I'm ready for it.

Which is ironic, because I know I'm ready for motherhood. I've been preparing for it for the past five months. I've read every book possible out there on being a new mother. I've taken a new-motherhood class at the town hall.

I even quit smoking. Yep. When I found out about Rory, I threw my pack of cigarettes in the garbage, and haven't picked up one since. I'm very proud of myself.

I want the best for my daughter. I want to be the mother that I know I'm capable of being, even at 19 years old.

I jump, and scream when I feel two arms encircle my waist, and warm lips at the base of my neck. I realize it's Alex when he chuckles against my neck.

"Asshole," I say as a statement. He nods his head, and rubs his hands over my stomach.

"Scardy-cat."

I tilt my head backwards, and lean it against his forehead.

"Where have you been all day?" I ask curiously.

"At my parents."

"Happy Birthday."

"Thank you." His lips trail towards my ear, and he leaves a sloppy kiss in the inner shell of my ear. I arch back into his embrace.

"Love you," he tells me firmly.

I have to pause and think about that. I've repeated those words before, why should it be any different?

"I love you too."


October 5th, 1999

She sits in the passenger seat. We've managed to catch 5 PM traffic on the bridge. Jesus, and I thought DC traffic was bad.

She hasn't spoken since we left the hospital. By the way that she looks at me, I think she's afraid of me. She has to know that I fear her the most. She scares me. She scares the shit out of me.

What would happen she was really my daughter? Would she even want to accept that? How would I tell my mother? It was traumatic on her when Rory was taken. How would I even begin to explain to Mulder that I was once married to his greatest enemy? I was married to the person whom he despises the most. I married a murderer. I married the man who murdered his father. I sighed, and she looked over at me, and blinked twice.

"You know my mother, don't you." It wasn't a question. It was a statement.

"Yes."

"Did you know me before I was kidnapped?"

"Yes," I reply meekly.

"Can I ask you some questions?"

"Of course."

"What is my real name? The one that appears on my birth certificate?"

"Rory Arabella."

"How did you know my mother?" She asks bluntly. And what shall I say? Should I lie? Should I tell her the truth? Should I-

The shrill sound of my cell phone calls to my attention. She reaches inside the glove box, only to hand it to me. I thank her, and answer it.

"Hi, Mulder."

There was a slight pause before he broke the silence with his sleepy-tone voice.

"How'd you know it was me?"

"Who else would it be?"

He chuckled softly, and instantly, that sound brought a smile across my face.

"Are you still in California?"

"Yeah. But I think Wednesday might be pushing it, Mulder. Um- I think I'm going to have to take the entire week off."

"The entire week? What exactly are you doing there?"

"I already told you."

He makes a humming sound, and I suddenly have this towering desire to wrap my hands around his neck. I can't stand it when he makes odd sounds after I've said something.

"Okay. Are you sure?"

"Mulder-"

"Okay. Fine. I believe you."

"Have you got any new cases?"

"Oh- yeah, that's what I called you about."

"Did you get it from Skinner?"

"No. It's not really an X-File. Two girls were found dead in a sewer. It appears as if the manner in which they were murdered was executioner style."

"What does that have to do with you? Why are you investigating it?"

"Diana asked if I could help. Since your not back, I figured that I could spend a couple of days in the VCS."

Oh. Diana. How lovely for him.

"That's wonderful. I have to go now. It's difficult to listen to you, and drive through heavy traffic." I pressed the off button, and threw the phone against the cushions of the back seat.

"Sanctimonious dickhead," I muttered under my breath, just before realizing that I wasn't alone in the car. Her lips were curled up into a half-smile as she turned to face me.

"Was that your partner?" she asked curiously.

"Yeah."

"Do you get along well?"

"Sometimes," I replied truthfully.

"I don't remember it very well because I was real little, but my mom worked for the FBI, and she hated her partner."

Her mom.

"Did they not get along?"

"No. I still recall her screaming at him over the phone. I would just sit and watch her."

"I don't mean to be rude- but when did your mom leave?"

"You're not being rude. She died when I was six. I only knew her for three years, so I really wasn't that emotionally attached to her. I didn't get the chance to know her, since she was always away on her cases."

I must have my facts all screwed up, because I could have sworn that Alex said that her foster mother disappeared.


November 25th, 1983

"Your brother is going to be here. I just know it."

"Stop worrying. I told you, he's at sea," I shot back as he pulled into my parent's street.

"He's going to kill me."

"He's not even-" I began to protest loudly before he parked on the curb of my parent's house. "He's here," I said emptily, gazing at his car parked right next to my sisters.

"I told you. I think that we should go back-" he began before the screen door swung open. He groaned, and I watched Melissa come out with Charlie. They charged towards the car, and opened my side of the door.

"Bill's here," Melissa proclaimed.

"I know," I grumbled. "Has anybody told him yet?"

"Oh no. We're waiting for you to do that."

"I won't have to tell him once he sees me."

"Yeah. I'm sorry," Charlie said in a mock-tone as he tilted his head to the side.

"Maybe I should go," Alex offered up suddenly. I shook my head, and turned to him.

"No. You shouldn't have to. I want you to stay."

He simply nodded his head. With a sigh, I hoisted myself out of the seat of the car, and stretched my arms out.

Bill has always been protective of me. Actually, overprotective. From the first time I've ever made friends with somebody of the opposite gender, he's always been watching like a protective hawk. I didn't start to mind it until my sophomore year of high school when Bill *accidentally* walked in on my boyfriend and I, whose head was buried between my breasts at the time. In some retrospect, the situation was almost comical because of the way Billy's face seemed to light up like stadium lights. It was also partly funny the way Jeremy's head retracted back from my chest like a spring, and the way Bill caught his head, and threw him to the ground.

Bill hollered a couple of special verbs and adjectives at Jeremy as he ran from our house. I saw him a couple of times across campus, and he always managed to duck away from me, and disappear into the crowds of people.

It's been like that ever since. Before, when I had close guy friends, I thought it was nice that my big brother would watch after me. and protect me. But after Jeremy, it kept on getting worse, and it was a nightmare.

One after the other, Bill would *inadvertently* manage to walk in on something private that my boyfriend and I would be doing. It didn't matter what it was. If it involved hands or mouths, Bill would throw a tantrum, and scare them off. And when they weren't scared the first time, Bill would bully them.

About a year ago, in the middle of my senior year, I was all alone at home with my boyfriend, Marcus. My parents, and my little brother were halfway across the country visiting my grandmother; Melissa was in New York with a couple of friends. I didn't think that Bill would be an issue, since it was a Friday night, and he lived in his own apartment.

I had made dinner for Marcus, and I was rubbing some menthol oil on his shoulders, because he got tackled pretty hard during football practice. One thing lead to the next, and we were doing it in front of the fire he had made, on my parents' fur blanket.

The door was locked, and Bill had a key. We didn't hear him at first, but we eventually did when the load of laundry he brought dropped to the ground with an audible plop.

That time, Bill didn't say anything. He didn't yell, he didn't scream, and he didn't resort to violence. He looked down at me, and left. Marcus scrambled into his clothes, apologized, even though he had nothing to be sorry about, thanked me for a great dinner, said he'd call me tomorrow, and he left.

Later on, Bill came back, and we had a huge fight. He was yelling, I was yelling, he stomping hands and feet against walls, so was I; he was screaming, I was screaming, he threw things, I threw things, he started firing off past boyfriends and different varieties of certain activities, while I screamed more.

And then he crossed the line. He called me a very foul name, and I punched him. I don't mean any old punch, I mean a punch so hard, he flew backwards from the force, and broke my mom's rocking chair from the acceleration.

The house was a mess. Shards of broken wood were scattered amongst the floor, magazines, books and remote controls were strewn about in the act of trying to hit each other. Bill left shortly after I punched him, leaving me to clean up all of the mess.

I cried that night, because he made me made me feel like I was nothing. Bill had been on my side up until then. He always defended me, always protected me, and when he accused me of being a whore, it felt like I was empty inside.

Our relationship changed that night. He didn't hold the same respect for me as he once did. Since then, he's always been looming over my life like a sordid shadow.

And since then, I've always seen him as a fatherly figure. Someone who won't go away, even though he's trying to help. He's a phantom over me. He used to be a friend, and a brother, but now he's a headache.

Alex and I walk behind Charlie and Melissa, up into the house. My dad is there when he first go in. He slaps Alex roughly on the back, and he almost chokes as he follows Charlie up the stairs.

My dad bends his head down to my forehead, and kisses it.

"Your brother is here." His voice is firm. He doesn't bat an eye when I nod my head. "Nobody has told him yet."

"I know." He briefly smiled, and sighed.

"I'll be upstairs taking a nap if you need me, Starbuck." He marched up the stairs, and I rubbed my stomach.

"Hey Charlie- the Packers are up by a touchdo-" I heard Bill shout as he walked through the threshold of the kitchen and into the foyer. He paused the minute he saw me, and his eyes widened. The can of beer that was in his grasp slipped, and bounced against the hardwood floor, and splattered down into a little river of beer.

"WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!"


October 6th, 1999

The TV is on, and she's watching a rerun of 'Friends' when the doorbell rings. I sit patiently as I can distinctively hear Detective Roberts answer the door, and the messenger asking for me.

I knew who it was before he answered the door.

She looks back at me, and puts the television on mute, while I head in the direction of the door. A tall man, holding a large manila envelope is waiting for me.

"Are you Dana K. Scully?"

I nod my head, and he asks me to see my drivers license. I have to run up the stairs, and retrieve my wallet from where I left it. I unfold my wallet flap, and he gazes at the card behind the plastic covering for a while.

"Please sign here," he requests, while handing me a form out to me. I sign my name to the piece of paper. He nods, thanks me, and leaves.

"Are those the test results?" Detective Roberts asks. I nod my head, and untack the folder. Rory- Zoey, I mean, has entered the living room, and is leaning against the frame of the entrance.

Slowly, I slide both of the transparencies out of the folder. I sigh, and place of the transparencies behind each other. My lip is trembling as I gaze at the results. I can feel the pressure of my tears surging behind my eyes. I try so hard to hold them in, to hold all of the emotions back, but I can't.

Tears flow freely from the corners of my eyes, and I'm shaking. My lips are squeezed together tightly. The transparencies drop from my grasp, and fall to the floor.

She steps closer to me, and she is about an arm's distance away.

"You're..... you're my mother.... Aren't you?" she asks quietly.


December 24th, 1983

I can't move. I dropped the remote control, and there's nobody here to fucking pick it up for me. I've been feeling helpless lately. That's because I've been here, on the couch watching bad talk shows.

I hate talk shows. They're so pointless. But there's nothing else to watch, and nothing else to do.

My mom has been joining me everyday until I decided to go and stay at their house for Christmas. Alex is with his parents, and it's kind of nice to get away from him. Sometimes I can only stand so much of one person. He has exceeded his limit.

"Charlie!" I call. I think he's home. "Missy!" I think she's home too. Nobody answers, nobody comes. I still can't get that goddamned remote.

I carefully rub my hand around the swell of my stomach. I cannot wait until the day that she comes out, because to be honest, I can't stand being pregnant any longer. It will be any day now until she comes out. She was supposed to come out Monday. It's now Saturday. Christmas Eve, to be exact.

I have to get that remote because MASH is on, and I can't stand it. Slowly, I scoot off to the edge of the couch, and inch my way down to the ground. Just a little more.....

Damn it! I'm on the ground. I hate this. I really hate this.

"Somebody!" I yell, sounding absolutely, and utterly helpless. I jam my palms against the carpet-clad ground, and whimper.

"That's a sight that you don't see everyday," a very smug, and sassy female voice says from the doorway entrance.

"I knew you were here," I hiss, pointing at her. Missy smiles, and stretches her arms outwards to me. I latch onto her arms, and she pulls me up. I let go a gentle sigh of relief as my back arches backward, and ripples like a tide with a series of cracks.

"I thought I heard you calling for me, but I was in the shower."

"It's okay," I reassure her softly as I bend forward.

"So are you up for lunch and a movie? My treat?"

Oh my God.

"Dana?"

It's happening.

"Dana!" she screams. The sound echos off of the walls like a canyon. "Homigod!" Her breathing begins to increase, as she runs up the stairs. I hear some shuffling, and the sound of her frenzied voice. Moments later, I hear the thudding of her feet tromping down the stairwell, and back into the family room.

She waves her hands in the air as she notices the pool of blood around my ankles.

"Oh my God! I'm gonna be an auntie!" she exclaims with glee.


October 6th, 1999

"I really tried to find you."

"I know that you did."

She pushes her hair back, and sniffles. It's the first thing we've said to each other since we both stopped crying. After the detectives left, she sank to her knees, and cried. I cried too, because she was crying. So we cried together.

It was something we both needed to do together. She rubs her palms flatly down her face, and sighs.

"I know that this doesn't mean much now- but I'm so sorry," I whisper. I run my hand down the back of her head, and she looks up into my eyes. Her beautiful hazel eyes are red, and puffy. She shakes her head.

"Tell me what happened. Please?" I lick the side of my lip, where a tear has fallen.

"Are you sure?" She nods again.

"I need to know."


December 24th, 1983

"Oh my God!" my mother enters my hospital room, and her eyes widen. I an only smile. She wraps her arms around me in a warm embrace, and presses a gentle kiss on the top of my head.

"I saw her. She's an angel." I nod my head.

"Yes she is," I answer back. My mom takes a seat, and begins to pat down the matted auburn strands of hair. My hair is sweat-slicken, and I am pale. I look like a sodden mouse.

"Where's Daddy?"

"He was in Virginia Beach, but I phoned him. He's trying to get back as fast as he can."

"Where's Alex?"

"With Melissa in the nursery."

"Charlie?"

"At work. He'll be here in about a half an hour." I paused before even thinking about asking my next question.

"And Bill?"

She licks her lips, and sighs.

"He's not coming." All I can do is nod. But my lip is trembling. "Oh, Dana," she whispers before tilting her head to the side, to kiss my temple. I can't help it. I cry.

I cry because I hate how he makes me feel. I hate the power that he holds over me. I hate the way that he thinks. I hate the fact that I have a dick for an older brother.

"Dana, don't cry," she says softly, stroking my hair.

"I hate him," I manage to muffle in between sobs. "I hate him."

"I know, sweetheart." She kisses my forehead. "I hate him too." I smile in between the tears, and wipe them from my face.

"I still can't believe that I'm a grandma now." A new smile forms across my face, as I squeeze her hand.

"I still can't believe I'm a mommy now."

"You're going to make a wonderful mom, Dana."

"I hope so," I say softly, as I absently play with the hem of my blanket. She sighs, and throws her hands into the air.

"I have a Christmas Eve Grandbaby. I still can't get over that fact."

"Yeah. A Christmas Eve Baby."


October 7th, 1999

Outside, the sun was nowhere to be seen. The clouds were invading the sky, and the wind was blowing hard enough to knock a grown man off of his feet. It was a day in the life of Edgar Allen Poe, or Emily Dickinson. It was almost dark enough to be night.

"Dana!" I hear a feminine voice call from upstairs. I immediately run to the call, and see her struggling to close a window that is forcefully opened by the stamina, and might of the wind. I run to the window, and we both manage to close the window, and lock it.

"Thank you," she sighs, her breath slightly ragged. "I'm almost done packing."

"Zoey, I've been thinking." I pause to formulate what it was that I wanted to say. "I don't want to push you into moving to Georgetown with me. I mean, I really didn't give you an option. I know that your grandparents are still alive. It wasn't fair of me to assume that you wanted to live with me."

"Dana, I've been looking for you for my entire life. I've been hoping that you would find me. I hated the fact that I didn't know where I came from, who I was, and how I came to be the person I am now. My disappearance has always haunted me." She took an opportunity to push her hair back from her face. "I want to start everything over, and I want to move to Georgetown, and I want you to be the mother that you didn't get the chance to be."

Zoey's tongue swipes across her lips, as she shrugs. "That is, if you haven't changed your mind."

I move across the room, and we hug. God damn it. If I ever get the chance to meet the asshole who took her from my life, I swear to the heavens up above that I will strangle him with my bare hands.

"Of course I haven't," I tell her softly. "I just wanted to make sure that this is what you really want. I wanted to give you the option."

"I'd also like the change my last name." She swallows nervously, and steps out of my embrace. "I know this sounds, odd, but Zoey Monteraux is dead. She died with her dad. Now that this new revelation has come into my life, it's almost like a rebirth."

I can only smile, and nod slowly as a sign that I know exactly what she means.

"I understand."

"So is it possible to get my last name changed back to Scully?" I feel two tears of joy fall down my face, as I nod.

"Yeah. I can take care of it." She smiles, and I notice that her own eyes have the tell-tale signs of tears brimming around the edges. "Let me help you pack," I add. She nods her head solemnly, grabs the night stand drawer, and dumps it out on the outspread comforter on her bed.

There are tapes, CD covers, books, a couple candles, and some picture frames that have been turned down from the fall. She starts with the first photograph, and flips it around. It's a picture of a little Zoey, a man and a woman. The man is semi-tan, and has loose brown hair. Brim-wire glasses hang loosely on the bridge of his nose. When I study the woman, I think that I am bound to faint.

"Who is that?" I ask instantly, pointing to the woman in the photograph.

"Diane. My foster mother."

"The one that died when you were six?" She nods her head, and then her eyebrow arches upwards.

"Why?"

I shake my head, and my eyes inadvertently slip shut. I bring my palms up to cradle my face.

"Dana- what's wrong?" I groan out loud, and ball my fists up as tight as I can. God damn it, I knew it. I fucking knew it.

"I know who she is, Zoey, and believe me, she isn't dead."


June 29th, 1985

He lied to me.

He's been lying to me this entire time. Since the beginning, since day one. He's told me nothing but lies. How do I even know that his real name is Alex? I married a stranger. I slept with a stranger. My daughter's father is a stranger.

I don't know him. I don't know him at all. He's a liar. A cheater. A murderer.

He's my husband.

What have I done? He doesn't know that I know about him, yet. He isn't aware of the knowledge that I have about him. How could I be so fucking stupid? How could I be so blind? How could I not know about what he really is?

Two hours ago, I was down by at the marina with my dad, at his house boat. He went down the stairs the check up on the engine. I was simply gazing around, and I saw a black limousine pull up. He got out of the car, as well as two other men. I knew that my eyes hadn't deceived me, because of what he was wearing at the time. I saw what he was wearing when he went into work this morning.

Or where ever the hell he went this morning.

I saw him talking with one of the men. The other, older man, stood next to Alex, holding a cigarette in his hand. The man was pleading with him, and he was down on his knees. I didn't know what exactly was going on, until Alex pulled out a gun from his jacket, and shot him twice. In the head.

I had to bite my lip, and use both of my hands to cover my mouth to prevent myself from screaming. He looked to the left, and to the right, to make sure nobody was around, and then he kicked the body into the water.

Alex turned to the other man as if nothing happened, and pulled out his phone. I went downstairs, and cried in the bathroom.

What have I done? I married a murderer.

There's a part of my brain that's trying to convince me that it was somebody who looked incredibly like him. Maybe it was. Maybe I'm overreacting, and that person who I saw down by the docks wasn't Alex.

Then I witnessed a murder.

I had to breath slowly as I processed all of this information all at once. It was too much to understand. It was too much that I wanted to understand. I rubbed the bridge of my nose, in hopes that the ringing in my head would disappear.

Oh. But it wasn't ringing in my head. It was my daughter's cry of attention.

I quickly ran across the kitchen, and into the family room, where she was trying so very hard to remove her boots from her feet. A pliant laughter escaped my lips as I caught the expression across her face.

"Rory," I mumble, as I grab her off of the ground, and lifrt her into the air.

"Mommy," she says confidently, as we both sit down on the couch. I grace the top of her head with a gentle kiss, and slowly begin to unlace the strings that are attached.

Rory is able to say eleven different words. Mommy. Daddy. Crayon. Applesauce. Juice. ChochaChip. Down. Up. Ernie. Pease. Missa.

Missa was Melissa. Pease is Please. She can't quite get the "L" in there yet.

She only knows Melissa's name, because she appears in a lot of phone conversations in the duration of her feeding time, and she spends a whole bunch of time with her as well. In fact, I believe that she will go over there tonight while I have a talk with daddy. Lastly, Ernie is her favorite character on Sesame Street. She gets very excited when Ernie appears across the TV screen.

"There," I say triumphantly after I finish working at her shoes. She kisses me gratuitously, and throws her shoes over at the other side of the couch.

"Down," she says quietly.

I grab her waist, and carefully set her down on the carpet. She crawls over towards the TV, and clasps her hands together as she focuses her attention back on the rerun of Scooby Doo.

A heavy sigh escapes my lips, as I pick up the phone, and punch in Melissa's number quickly. It was a matter of seconds before I heard the click of the line, and her subtle, and satiny voice.

"Hey, it's me. I need a favor, Missy."

"Depends on what it is, Day."

"Can you watch Rory?" I asked her softly, the timbre of my voice escalating into a more desperate sounding tone.

"Of course. Why? Big plans with your husband?" There is sarcasm in her voice.

"Yep. Something like that."


October 8th, 1999

"Ms. Scully, I understand that you've attempted to adopt, prior to Zoey." She looks down at her file, and her eyebrow arches upwards. "She was your daughter too." Zoey's social worker folds her hands on the table in front of her.

"Tell me, Ms. Scully. How is it possible for one to lose both of their children, and want them back?"

I sigh loudly, and tuck a strand of my hair behind my ears.

"Zoey was taken from her bedroom when she was three years old. I tried searching up until I found her. I tried so hard, you couldn't even begin to imagine how hard, Ms. Peters. That's why I joined the FBI. On a whim, I was hoping that by some chance she would turn up in one of my case loads. I tried." I shake my head angrily. "And Emily... She's a special exception."

"Why is that?"

"Emily wasn't born under any natural circumstances. She was created in a lab. I wasn't aware of her existence until I stumbled across a case involving her foster mother. Emily's mother was murdered, and her father was soon taken into custody under suspicion. He committed suicide, and Emily was placed in protective care. That's when I tried to adopt Emily."

"I'm not understanding you, Mrs. Scully. How is it that Emily is your daughter, and you weren't aware of her? And how was she created in a lab?"

I briefly take the opportunity to rub my eyes with my left hand. I feel as if my eyes are on fire. I don't want to get into full detail with this woman, because she doesn't need to know what my innermost secrets are. She has no right to intrude on this, but I know that if I wanted her to even consider me as an adoption candidate, I would have comply with her orders.

"My ova was used against my consent a cruel experiment that some men conducted. Emily was the product of one of those experiments."

"What men, Ms. Scully?" I shrug.

"I was abducted a couple of years ago by those men. Nobody knows who they are. They just exist, hiding with in the levels of the government, and the FBI."

Her expression reads as if she is freaked out by the information I have given her. That was the last of my intentions. The last thing I want to do is scare off this woman.

She removes her glasses, and begins to clean them off with her breath, and the cloth on her sleeve.

"Your job requires a lot of your attention."

"Yes, it does. But not enough where it would be impossible to spend time with Zoey. I can work around it, and take a cut from work if that's what it takes, Ms. Peters. I have every intention to care for Zoey with the best of my ability."

"I understand that Emily was a special needs child, and that was why you were denied permission to adopt her."

"That's correct. But Zoey isn't a special needs, 3-year-old. Zoey is 15 years old, and very healthy."

"I'm not going to lie to you, Ms. Scully. Your lifestyle is not recommended when your applying for adoption, but since you are her birth mother, the courts will have no choice other than to grant you permission to adopt Zoey." She scratches the side of her chin.

"But I can assure you that social workers in Maryland will continue to check up on Zoey, making sure that your lifestyle isn't jeopardizing her health, education, or well-being."

I nod slowly, while reveling with this piece of information. I'm going to be a mother again. And when I get back to Washington, I'm going to have a chat with Special Agent Fowley.


June 29th, 1985

"Dana, I'm home!" I hear after the door shuts behind. "Dana?" he calls out, before stopping as he notices me on the couch. He smiles, but it quickly fades when he notices the seriousness of my expression.

"Have a seat, Alex."

"Dana?"

"Have a seat." He flinches, and then takes a seat next to me. I have no other option than to turn to face him.

"I don't want you to lie to me. I want you to tell me the truth, Alex."

"What is this about?"

"Where were you today?" I can already detect the uneasiness in his expression; the way his nose twitched, and the way that he opened his mouth to say something, but stopped short.

"I was at work."

"Work." I sigh heavily.

"Dana?"

"I saw you, Alex." My tone is stern. I look up and I know that tears are falling from my eyes because I can feel the familiar burning in my eyes. I feel the wet path that the tears leave behind as it falls down my cheek.

His shit-eating expression falls, and he looks bewildered, and frightened at the same time. I glare at him, until he sees right through me. He knows what I saw. He can see it through my eyes, I know. I see the dismay, and the fear through his brown eyes. It was him. He is the one. I manage to tear my gaze away from him.

"How?" His eyes fix back on mine. "Why?" He takes in a deep breath in, and shakes his head.

"I don't know what to say."

"Neither do I, Alex."

I grab my purse off of the coffee table, and slam the door on my way out.


October 9th, 1999

I had time to think during the flight back to Dulles. I thought about my mother, Mulder, Zoey, and of course, Diana Fowley.

Diana Fowley was the key to all of this. That picture was all the proof that I needed. I just can't believe that she.... There are a couple of things that still continue to leave me in bafflement. I'm not sure why, or how she plays into Zoey's disappearance, because she didn't meet Mulder until three years after she was Zoey's... foster mother....

Maybe Diana Fowley was actually married to Zoey's foster dad, and actually loved him. Maybe Diana Fowley has nothing to do with her disappearance. Or maybe her foster father was just as much a part of her disappearance as Diana. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.

And then, I know that I'm in up to my knees in shit when Mulder finds out about Zoey. I can almost feel the fight that will come on. And I don't blame him. First of all, I really should have told Mulder about Alex that night after he brought him to me during the autopsy.

But I didn't. I feared that Mulder would lose my trust if I told him about our previous marriage, and our daughter. It just would have been for the best if I told him first. Now I fear Mulder turning to the arms of Diana Fowley, and seeking the trust that was lost through me.

My mother. She's an entirely different story. I can still remember that one fateful night that we discovered that Rory was no longer in her crib. She was so reluctant to face the truth. Or to deal with the truth. She refused to believe that she was missing. Out of everybody, my mother took her disappearance the hardest. That night, part of my mother died.

Bringing Rory, or Zoey, back into her life could possibly bring that part of her back to life.

"Dana?" I suddenly hear from the left. I turn to face her and she folds her hands in front of her on her lap.

"You never told me about Diane," she says quietly; she points to the picture.

"What do you want to know about her?" I ask her softly.

"You said that she wasn't dead."

"No. She's not. She's very much alive, in fact."

"Why would my dad lie to me? Why would she leave?"

"I think that maybe your dad was only trying to protect you. Maybe he felt that you couldn't deal with it. Maybe he couldn't deal with it himself. As for her leaving-" I shook my head. "I don't know why anybody would want to leave you." She closed her eyes, as she anticipated the kiss I softly planted on her forehead.

I don't know what came over me, but it was something that I felt compelled to do. It was a giant step I took, and she embraced it.

"Do you think she has anything to do with my disappearance?" I shook my head.

"I hope not, Zoey."


July 4th, 1985

Fireworks slammed through the sky with intensity and burst into miniature pieces of light, astonishing and amazing bystanders.

The air was filled with the rich aroma of barbecue sauce. My dad put barbecue sauce on everything he grilled. It didn't matter if it was chicken or a piece of bell pepper from a shishkabob. It was a way of life we all learned to accept way before when we were all little.

My father, and a couple of my uncles are hovering over the grill, with his spatula, and a bottle of my dad's special-made barbecue sauce. A group of women, including my three aunts, my mother, and my grandmother are camped out a couple of feet away from my dad. Charlie, Bill, and a couple of my cousins are playing football all the way by the field. My little cousin Erica is down at the lake with her boyfriend, and God only knows what those two are doing. And Missy, my cousin Natalie, and I are sitting on a blanket, and they're both playing with Rory.

Missy is curious about Alex, but she doesn't ask yet. She's been out of town in Boston up until yesterday night, and I was staying at her apartment. She knows that I'd prefer to discuss this issue in private, with out Natalie.

Natalie is great, and wonderful, mind you, but my issue with my husband is nothing that she needs to know.

Rory points in the direction of the park. Natalie asks if she can take Rory over to the park, and I give her my permission. She's off with my daughter in a moment, and Melissa cocks her head to the side.

"So- are you going to tell me why you've been at my apartment for the past few days?"

I take in a deep breath, and nod. Melissa leans forward, and runs a hand down my left arm.

"Tell me, Day. I'm worried about you."

"We're having a lot of problems."

"How serious is this?"

"I went to go see an attorney yesterday." She gasps in surprise, and covers her mouth instantly.

"Dana," she whispered, as she gazes around the park.

"I married a murderer, Melissa."


October 9th, 1999

The sound of my fists against the large metal door made a slight rattling sound. Soon after my knock, Langley's head appears in the video screen directly above the door.

"Let me in, Langly."

"Byers is on his way." Seconds later, the door is answered, and a cheery-faced, clean-cut Byers stands in the threshold.

"Come in, Scully." I make my way past Byers. He escorts me up the stairwell, and into the lab.

"What can we do for you, Foxy Mama?" Frohike asks with a clandestine grin plastered across his little face.

"A lot, hopefully." I take a deep breath in and out. "I have to tell you something that I haven't told anybody. Not even Mulder. You have my trust, gentlemen." They all look around curiously at each other, and nod their head.

"I have a daughter. I had her before I even thought about the FBI, before I even knew about the X-Files. I had her when I was 19, but she disappeared from her crib when she was three years old." They all have the same empathetic expression across their faces. I take the opportunity to smile, and then proceeded.

"But here's the hook, Gentleman. Get ready to shit in your pants, because my ex-husband, is Alex Krycek."

Frohike falls from his chair, and lands on the hardwood floor with a loud thud. Langly fires off a series of harsh coughs, and Byers' eyes widen.

"What?" Frohike exclaims.

I reach into the depths of my pocket, and slide a photograph of the three of us across the table, and stop in the middle.

Langly is the first to snatch the photograph from the middle. His jaw drops at the sight of the photo. Both Byers and Frohike spring towards him, and loom over his shoulder, like a pair of hungry wolfs.

"So you all know my deep dark secret that I have. Now, this is where I need your help, gentlemen." They all tore their gazes from the photo, and they settled upon me.

"I found my daughter, who was living in Berkeley with her late adoptive father. He was killed in a head on car collision. Her adoptive mother disappeared in 1989. I didn't think much of it, until I got a glimpse of her in an old picture."

I remove the picture of Zoey, Diana and her father from my pocket, and slide it to the middle. Langly stretches his arms out, and grabs it. The two of them anxiously look down, and three different sets of startled gasps escape from their mouths.

"That's right. Diana Fowley seems to play a part in this, and I want to know who the hell this woman is. Apparently, she went by the name Diane Monteraux, before 1989."

"Oh- Scully," Byers says softly. "I'm so sorry," he adds.

"I have a very big feeling that Alex Krycek didn't come into my life 17 years ago by accident, and the fact that Zoey's foster mother is Diana Fowley is not a coincidence as well."


November 5th, 1985

The wooden gavel slammed against the wooden pallet, and my eyes slipped shut from the boisterous sound ricocheting through the court room.

I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I knew it was my mother. I looked up to see her impressionable face staring back at me.

"We'll meet you back at home, okay?" I nod my head slowly, as if time were at a standstill. She tugs on my father's arm, and leads him away. Melissa gives me one final glance, before disappearing. My eyes lock on his.

He looks down, and then back up at me, before crossing the space between us.

"I'm sorry. I know this doesn't mean anything- but I'm sorry. For everything, Dana."

I nod slowly, pushing my self up from the desk.

"So am I, Alex. So am I."


October 10th, 1999

"It seems as if Special Agent Diane Coleene Monteraux disappeared off the face of the Earth. It was last recorded when she used her Master Card to purchase a direct flight from the San Francisco International Airport, to JFK, on December 27th, 1989. After that, nobody heard from her, nobody ever saw her again," Langly said, folloing a sigh.

"Diana Elizabeth Fowley seemed to appear in the Washington DC area when she first used her credit card at the DC Mariot on January 4th, 1990. She moved into an apartment in Arlington, and lived there for two years. She worked with Mulder for a year and a half, until February 19th, 1992, she was last seen outside her apartment by a neighbor, and vanished. Evidently, she told Mulder that she was offered a job in Europe, and the next day, she disappeared. She hasn't been heard of since she came back to the DC area," Byers informs us.

"Well, I ran a finger print check on her prints that I found in the FBI data base. Two different alias popped up as possible matches. Diana Fowley was number one, Diane Monteraux showed up as number two, followed by Dyan Miller, and Deidree Fawcett."

"Damn it. I knew it."


December 31st, 1986

I've been husband-free for over a year now. Since I have full custody over Rory, I haven't seen much of my ex-husband. All he has to do is come over, and he can see Rory, but he hasn't made the effort as often as I thought.

It's kind of strange. The enthusiasm he unmasked during my pregnancy, and the lack of participation he has in his daughter's life now makes me think. Or maybe it's just for the best. I mean, he pays his child support with punctuality, and usually adds a little extra into the check.

A couple of months before the divorce, we had an argument about what I saw that day by the marina. He professed that all of it was true. All of the names I called him, all of the thoughts and suspicions I had about him- they were all true. He told me that he had been working with this certain group of people ever since he got out of high school, and even if he tried, he wouldn't be able to leave.

I began to cry, and he tried to comfort me, but I wouldn't let him. I wouldn't let him touch me. That night I told him I wanted a divorce. I felt betrayed, abandoned, and violated. How dare he. How dare he falsify the truth. How dare he let me believe all of his lies. The thought still makes me so angry.

I told him that he could see his daughter if he came by, and I was there. He got mad because he couldn't see his own daughter with out supervision, but he didn't make an argument about it.

Since last year, he's been by a total of once a month. Once a month for 1 to 2 hours. What the hell is that? If I lost my daughter to my ex-husband, I would move into his apartment building, and I would be over there every chance I got.

My thoughts drift away as my date puts his arm around my shoulders, and pulls me into him. I smile weakly up at him, and sigh. It's just another year gone by.

I overhear some girl talking about her resolution to get married this year. What are my resolutions?

I suppose that it was a miracle that I got my bachelors in science. I also believe it's a bigger miracle that I got accepted into a respectable medical school. One of my resolutions is to secure my strength. I need it for the rest of *single* motherhood, and med school at the same time.

Another resolution would be to stand up to Bill. He's continuously on my case about how I failed. I'd like to throw him back one just as good, and I'd like to tell him that I am so sick of his bull shit.

I sigh as I think that it's just another year gone by.


October 9th, 1999

She's a lying, deceiving bitch. I knew it. I fucking knew it. I just had no idea that her involvement went as deep as that. God damn it, I'm going to have a few words with Diana. Diane. Dyan. Deidree. Who ever she really is.

I have to take deep breaths in and out to restrain my anger. I am so furious that I actually felt sorry for this woman. I am so furious that I actually believed Mulder when he sided with Diana. Diane. Dyan. Deidree. Whatever.

How far does this actually go? How far was I pulled in? How far did they go?

Since I found out about her other *personalities, I've tried to rack my brain for possible places that I could have seen her from, right before Zoey's disappearance. Maybe she was the one who took her. Before abandoning my daughter, that bitch pretended to be her mother for years, and she tried to take the X-Files from me.

My foot presses down on the accelerator as my anger elevates. How stupid could I be? How I could I not know?

I reach for my cell phone on the cushion of my passenger seat. I punch in the familiar set of numbers that dials my home number. There are three rings before she answers.

"Hello," she says ethereally into the receiver.

"It's Dana. I was just checking up on you, making sure you're okay."

"I'm fine. Have you talked with Diane yet?"

"Nope. I had to see a couple of friends to make sure my suspicions were correct."

"Were they?"

"Unfortunately they were. I'll be back soon."

"Okay. Bye."

"Bye." I tuck my cell phone into the pocket of my leather jacket. She will answer me.

She'll answer me, even if I have to shove the barrel of my sig down her throat.


February 23rd, 1987

Today is my birthday. It is most certainly not a joyful day, however. I am not compelled to celebrate my life, if I cannot have my daughter with me.

I've lost her. She's gone. Somebody took my daughter. I put her down to bed exactly one month ago, and the next morning, she was nowhere to be found. Nowhere to be seen. She was gone. She disappeared.

I accused Alex of taking her. I went to his apartment, broke in, and he was astonished to see me. He was sitting at his coffee table with a dirty blonde woman sitting across from him.

I yelled, of course. I yelled. I screamed. I cried. I pushed him. He tried to calm me down, and he told me over and over again that he had no idea where she was. After hearing it over and over from his mouth, and inspecting his apartment, I had no other choice than to believe him.

We both went down to the police department after he gave me a sedative to calm me down. I started to cry, and he was there. He stood by he, held me, and I believe that tears formed across his face.

I was so confused. I had no idea where my baby girl was. I wanted her back, and she was gone. They came to my apartment to dust for fingerprints, and of course, they came up with nothing. I was left standing in the dust.

For a week, I refused to come out of my apartment until she was found. My mother was there for that entire week. We sat by the phone, waiting for the detectives to call. We watched bad soap operas together, ate together, read together, and cried together. She was my shoulder. My only source of comfort. I don't know what I would have done with out her.

Since then, I can only pray that she will turn up, safe and alive. She's been gone for a month, and there is nothing I can do about it.

"Dana," I hear from above. My sister is hovering above me, holding a single cupcake, with one candle in it. She offers me a sheepish smile, and then she shrugs.

"Happy birthday," she tells me softly, while handing me the treat. I return the gesture with a fragile smile, and a nod.

"Thank you." The cupcake is topped with thick cream cheese frosting, and chocolate chips that border the outline of the top.

"I didn't want to make you a cake, since we both know that mom will only bring you one tonight," Melissa says softly, before lighting the candle with the fire from her lit match. "Make a wish, Day."

My eyes inadvertently slip shut, and I think about it all. She knows what I am about to wish for. The wish was only inevitable. I breath in, and then back out. My breath extinguishes the flame, and she claps her hands.

"Is it okay?"

"I love it." I sink my teeth into the top, and chew at the cupcake.

"Wow, the big 23. Is it any different from being 22?"

"Yeah. My 22nd birthday was a lot happier."

"I know, Day. I'm so sorry."

Yeah. I know. So am I.


October 9th, 1999

I had this entire battle plan all mapped out. I was going to storm up to her apartment, and demand an answer to my demanding inquiry. I was all heated up, until I passed by her apartment building, and saw Mulder. It looked as if he was carrying something in his arms. It almost looked like a bottle of- alcohol.

And that's when I didn't acknowledge my quest, and moved on back to my apartment. I didn't even look back. I didn't want to know what he was doing there. I didn't care why he was there, because I had a grave hunch why he was there.

I didn't realize that as I got on the freeway ramp, tears were streaming down my face. This time, my grief wasn't about my daughter. This time, it wasn't the issue. It was about Mulder, and his breach of trust. I'm not sure if I trust him very much right now. I have no reason to. He's consorting with Diana Fowley; a lying, deceitful, conniving, contemptuous, detestable, obnoxious bitch.

I'm know that it wasn't his intention to cause me pain. I'm sure he knows nothing close to what I know. But the truth is, he is the secondary source for all of my pain right now. My tears are the substantial evidence of my pain.

I have a right to feel this away about Diana Fowley. It's not like I hate her for no reason. Now. I have reasons. Now.

Before Zoey even came back into my life, I admit that I didn't even have a reason for detesting Diana Fowley, other than the substantial evidence I had against her. The same substantial evidence that Mulder blatantly refused to believe even before I showed it to him.

Damn him. Damn him, and fuck her. No. Just don't let Mulder fuck her.

A ponderous sigh escapes the confines of my mouth as I pull my vehicle into it's parking spot in the garage of my apartment complex. At least I have one more hope in my life to look forward to.

Zoey is parked on my couch with my thick afghan wrapped around her shoulders. She's focused on the images that are flickering across the screen.

"What are you watching?" I ask her in earnest, as I hang up my leather jacket on my coat rack.

"Charmed," she replies candidly. I cross the room, and move my hair into a make-shift ponytail. "What's going on in the episode?"

"They went into the future, and Phoebe is about to be burned at the stake for murder." She shifts her body weight to the left, and crosses her legs into an Indian style position. "So did you talk to her?" I shake my head, and sink the upper column of my teeth into my lower lip.

"I couldn't- after I saw my partner going up to her apartment to visit her."

"Are you sure it was him?"

I take the opportunity to pause for a moment, while I take the question into consideration. Was it really him? I saw a man who looked incredibly like him, but am I certain?

Of course I am. I'd know Mulder anywhere.

"Yes. I know it was him."

She shifts once more to the side, and folds her hands on her lap. With a swift move of her arm, she wraps herself in the afghan, as if it was a tortilla, and she were the burrito filling.

"So tell me.... what you found out about Diane?"

"I have a question first.... Did she ever bring home people from work? Anybody that you remember in particular?" Zoey shakes her head.

"I barley knew her. I saw her- once a week, sometimes once a month. When she came home, she brought a couple of people over, but I don't recall if they were from work, or if they were friends of hers." I nod my head, before getting up to fetch a blanket. Cold air had invaded my apartment. This was a generous indicator that it was time to get my heat system fixed.

"So- what you find out from your friends?" she suddenly pipes up from the living room. I settle myself back on the couch with a spare comforter that I grabbed from my linen closet. I carefully wrap the blanket around my entire body, and sigh into the frosty air of my apartment.

"I found out more than I expected."


June 24th, 1988

I'm beginning to believe that I'm going through a early life crisis. No. Don't laugh. I'm very serious. I know that this sounds crazy- but I'm beginning to believe that I made a seriously horrible mistake when I chose my career path.

I've considered the alternatives. I've weighed out the options. I know the consequences that lie ahead if I even dare to travel down that road. But ever since Rory's abstruse disappearance, medicine is now an extinct dream.

When I was driving through downtown DC the other day, I found myself parked in front of the J. Edgar Hoover building, looking at the agents that left, and entered the building. My eyes danced over the American flags that bordered the upper perimeter of the building. I was fascinated.

That was the scariest revelation. I was fascinated with a building that I have only seen from a distance while traveling through DC.

This scares me. The thought of making a gigantic decision like this scares the hell out of me. Making a decision that could make or break the rest of my life scares the hell out of me.

Not to mention my father. He would be so disappointed in me. I've let him down so much in the past 10 years. First with the pregnancy. It all started when I found out I was pregnant. The chain of events soon followed with the divorce, Rory's disappearance, and now my decision to drop medical school for the FBI.

God, I miss my daughter so much. Today, she is four and a half. I would give anything to get her back into my life. Anything.


October 10th, 1999

She's outside raking a grand pile of leaves when I pull into her driveway. She waves happily at me, and I can't help but smile.

"Should I just stay here?" Zoey asks me curiously.

"No. Come with me." She nods her head as she removes the seat belt, and steps out of the car. Zoey comes toward me, and stands next to me.

"Hi mom," I say with a sigh as she embraces me in her arms.

My heart is thumping wildly as I try to contemplate my plan of action. I have no knowledge about how she is going to react. Her eyes switch over to Zoey, and Zoey smiles sweetly.

"Mom, this is Zoey. Zoey, this is my mother."

"Hello, Mrs. Scully." Mrs. Scully. That brings another smile to my face.

"Hello," my mother says with a bow of her head. She leans the handle of the rake against the garage, and asks us inside. We both follow shortly behind her. She closes the door behind us, and then I abruptly shift around to face her, not wanting to beat around the bush about this delicate matter.

"Mom, I've been in Berkeley these past few days, and it was because Alex contacted me about Rory." Her eyes widen, but she doesn't move to say anything. "He told me that Rory was in jeopardy of being awarded to the state of California, because of an unfortunate accident."

I licked my lips, and thought quickly about what I was about to tell her.

"Mom, this is Rory." She opens her mouth to say something, but is cut off by the quick blink of her eyes, and the fact that she crumpled to the ground with a loud thump.


November 25th, 1988

I haven't told them my decision yet. I've been thinking about it a lot, and I've decided that I'm going to rebel against the norm, and apply for the FBI.

But after I graduate from med school. It makes no sense at all to drop out two years before I get my doctorate in forensic medicine. I doubt that I'll tell my family until it's absolutely imperative. I don't need lectures every time I see them about how I'm throwing my life away. I all ready know that throwing a medical degree away is a waste. But I know that it's the right thing to do. It's what I want.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I brought my current boyfriend. His name is Todd Maquire, and he's 32 years old.

My dad isn't too happy with the nine year age difference between us.

Melissa thinks that he has an ass to die for.

My mom has no opinion on Todd. She feels that I'm mature enough to handle a mature relationship with a mature person.

Bill loves Todd. I'm guessing the only reason for that is because Todd is on the naval reserve. Bill never fails to take an instant liking to anybody in the military.

Charlie hates the fact that I'm dating Todd, mainly, because Todd is Charlie's boss. I was waiting for Charlie in the lobby a couple of months ago, when Todd walked by, and we began talking. I thought he was pleasant, and attractive, so I gave him my number when he asked for it.

Ever since, we've been seeing each other regularly, but we haven't established anything solid. The truth is, I haven't been in a solid relationship since the divorce. I've dated around, met a few guys, but I wouldn't refer any of those men as boyfriends. They were dates. That's all.

I wasn't sure that I was Todd's 'Girlfriend' until a week ago when he introduced me to a couple of his friends. I clearly remember being referred to as his girlfriend. 'Hey guys, I'd like you to all meet my girlfriend, Dana Scully.'

That really took me by surprise.

And to top it off, Bill was over at my apartment a couple of days prior to that, dropping off my car, because he borrowed it for the weekend. Todd came over shortly with a stack of rented videos, when Bill shamelessly invited him to Thanksgiving dinner, with out my consent.

He awkwardly accepted, but asked me if it was okay afterwards. How could I say no after Bill's rude invitation? So I told him that it was, even though deep down inside I didn't want him there.

I still don't want him here. It's awkward. I've known him for almost two months now. That's not long enough to bring your date- boyfriend- whatever, home for a major holiday.

I hate holidays.

Bill is here with his new girlfriend. I don't like her. She's too- happy. She's always smiling, and always laughing at Bill's lame and pathetic jokes. She always bobs her head from side to side when ever she speaks. She's dressed in perky clothing, and she even has a perky name. Tara.

Bill is in the kitchen with Tara, and all of my aunts are marveling over his new conquest. Todd and Bill were talking earlier, but I don't have the faintest idea where he disappeared off to.

Dropping my thoughts, I aimlessly search around for anybody I can talk with. My dad is settled his chair in the den, reading the New York Times. My mother, and my aunts are bustling in the kitchen to finish preparing dinner. A throaty sigh escapes my lips as I make my way up the stairs. I think it will be wise for me to take a nap before I murder my older brother for being a big fat jerk.


October 12th, 1999

The building seems to twist and bend as I look up at it. Ever since Bill held me by my ankles out of the Thompson's tree house when I was four, I've been afraid of heights. Diana's apartment building seems to reach into the heavens, towering over me like a giant.

Today is the day that I must speak with Diana. I can't put this off any further, because the thought of all of this makes me sick to my stomach.

I don't give a damn if she's not there. I'll wait by her door until she returns. I don't give a shit if she's not in the mood to speak. I'll force her to speak. I don't give a fuck if Mulder happens to be there. I'll shove him aside, and give Diana Fowley a piece of my mind.

A shaky sigh escapes from my lips as I slowly make my way into the building, and towards the elevator. I hit the little up arrow, and it illuminates quickly.

What if Mulder is there? What if he answers the door, wearing a pair of his boxers, and a smile across his content face? What if-

The attentive elevator bell pipes up and breaks through my questions. There's nobody there except a very tall Asian man. He smiles at me warmly, and then turns his attention to the elevator buttons.

"Which floor?"

"Nine."

His fingers punch in the button and it fills up with light. The doors shut, and the elevator makes it's slow descent upwards.

But seriously.... What if Mulder is present? I gravely believe that I wouldn't be up to the challenge. If Mulder is there, I'll have to unleash my anger out at Diana Fowley, and pause on the sidelines to explain everything else to Mulder.

And then he'll get mad, and run off, and Diana will be pleased that I managed to make a fool out of myself.

The elevator chimes once again, and the doors spring open. The man gives me a neighborly nod, and I go about my business. Her apartment is all the day down the hall. The corridor is well light, and well kept. Maybe I can move into her apartment after I kill her. An agonizingly small smirk forms across my face, before I reach her apartment.

The humor diminishes, and the anger begins to surface once again. My fist pounds at the hardwood frame. I hear nothing for a while, so I knock again. I am convinced that she is away on a shopping excursion, until the enunciated sound of a deadbolt turning forces me to believe otherwise.

The door opens, and there she stands, all that 5"8", brunette glory that makes up Diana Fowley.

"Agent Scully," she says, rubbing her eyes. "This is certainly a surprise." Her voice seems muddled, and groggy. As if she had just woken from sleep. Who the hell is asleep at 3:30 in the afternoon, on a beautifully overcast Saturday?

Only somebody who was up late last night, occupied with strenuous activities.

"Can I come in, Agent Fowley?" My purpose is to maintain this conversation to a certain degree of professionalism, with a couple of obtrusive shoves, and accusatory insinuations on the side.

"I suppose so," Diana replies as she steps aside.

I move past her quickly, and turn around to face her. She looks at me with abashment, and bewilderment, and I promptly cross my arms over my chest. Would it be wise to loose my cool, and begin to throw a fit, making all sorts of accusations? Would it be effective if I cursed her out like a drunk sailor, and thrashed my arms wildly in the air? Or should I be calm, and broach the subject in a calm manner? Should I accuse her, and begin to interrogate her motives, and her past?

Her eyes flicker curiously over mine, and I decide on the last option. It wouldn't be beneficial if I lost it, and went bezerk on her. It would only provide humor for her, watching me leash out uncontrollably; and in turn, It would only piss me off even more.

So my only option is the last. It may not be my favorite, but it's the one I have to choose if I want to nail her ass like a pro.

"I don't know much about your past with Mulder. I also don't know much about you. But I am convinced that you are aware of my past." Her eyes widen in a challenge.

"How's that, Agent Scully?"

With a shrug of my shoulders, I managed to force a minuscule smile to form across my face.

"A big hunch, Agent Fowley." I push a strand of hair behind my ears that is obscuring my vision. "A big hunch, with the help of a couple of hackers I know."

She moves her mouth to say something, but instead, she is left mute, and stays quite for a good while. We exchange glances for a brief moment, and she moves across her apartment to sit in the living room, where I follow.

"Would you like to sit?" She's already seated on her leather arm chair, so I take up her offer, and plant myself across from her on her couch.

"I know all about you. I've read about your different identities, and I've seen the proof that I need to hypothesize that you are a lying bitch, who deceives her way through life for the purpose of- of- of what Diana? What do you hope to accomplish with the things that you do?"

"I don't owe you an explanation."

I nod my head absently, and swallow down a river of tears that I'm sure she doesn't need to see.

"Yeah, Diana, you don't. You don't owe me an explanation about your lifestyle, and you don't owe me an explanation about your work. It's not my business. But you do owe me one thing. You owe me an explanation about my daughter!" The last sentence came out in a yell, so I had to pause to harness my hostility. She looked through me as if I had just shot her in the chest.

"I'm sorry," she says speechlessly.

"Why?" I fire off quickly. Diana shakes her head, just before her head drops to the direction of the ground.

"I was 26 when I joined their regiment. Before my involvement, I was working at the 19th precinct in Brooklyn. I had a female partner, and we were treated with less respect than some of the girls brought in for prostitution. Even though we dedicated our lives to law enforcement, we were called all sorts of names behind our backs. We were laughed at, we were made the butts of their jokes, and we were virtually hated. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was because we were the only women that worked as officers, and that broke their little boys link. Who the hell knows." She shifts positions by crossing her legs together into an Indian style position. Diana gazes across at me, and then continues. I am in no hurry at all.

"We were working late on a murder report, when we met him."

"Him, who?"

"Him, as in my boss." She pauses, and her eyes flicker over mine. "Him, as in your smoking friend." I nod my head after I finally catch her reference.

"Mr. Spender came to us at the station, and offered us another job in federal law enforcement. Mary and I noticed him because he was there frequently with the commissioner. He told us that he had been watching us, and he said he was very impressed. Mary and I were confused, so he gave us his office number, and told us to call him."

"So we did. We were stuck in a hell hole at work. We were miserable, so we decided that we'd call him. He wanted us to work with him privately. He told us all of these things about the government, and their work. We didn't know weather to run, or to stay. He was talking about murder, deceit, and betrayal. He wanted us to be part of his group. He called it the consortium. He wanted two women who he could trust, and could rely on." Diana clears her throat abruptly.

"We were confused, but we weren't stupid. We turned the offer down, but when we went into work the next morning, Mary and I learned that we were promptly fired. We had no other choice but to explore our other options."

"So you joined them, and their quest. How does my daughter tie into all of this? How do I tie into all of this?" Diana replies by blinking her eyes twice.

"I don't know a lot about the incident. I know that Alex made a deal with Mr. Spender in order to try and save your daughter. I also know that her disappearance was a price that Alex had to pay, because he betrayed Mr. Spender. I also know that he had the choice between you and Rory. He chose Rory, because there was hope to find her again. If he would have chosen you, then you surely would have been dead."

"Why did he do that, Diana? What did Alex do?"

"I told you that I don't know all of the specific details. I know that he betrayed Mr. Spender, and he had to suffer the consequences. Just like when Mr. Mulder betrayed Mr. Spender all of those years ago, and had to make a choice between Fox, and Samantha. Mr. Mulder sought hope when he chose his daughter over his son."

"So your telling me that Alex sacrificed my daughter for me?"

"Not just for you, Dana. For your daughter, for your family, for everything that you stand for." She shook her head. "Alex knew that with Rory out of the picture, your ardor to practice medicine would dissipate. He knew that you would seek justice for your daughter through your career."

I tilted my head forwards, I cupped my head in my hands, and shook my head.

Somebody please tell me this isn't happening.


November 25th, 1989

As the food is being passed around the table, there are two conversations. One is between my father, Bill, and Todd, and they're talking about ships. The other conversation is between my aunts, and my mother. They're making unimportant comments about the food. Charlie is grinning toothily over at his date. It's actually comical.

After devouring down a few bites of turkey and stuffing, my older brother turns in my direction. By the evasive grin across his face, I know that he's going to say something smart-ass.

"So what's knew in med-school?" he asks curiously.

"Nothing that would be appropriate to share at the dinner table."

A few of my relatives chuckle, and so I assumed that was the end of our conversation, until he asked me if I've talked to my 'ex-husband' lately. Todd's head shifts quickly in my direction, and I glare angrily at him.

"No. The last time we spoke was six months ago," I answer calmly. A smile plays at the corners of his mouth.

"I talked to him a couple of weeks ago." I look down at my plate, and scoop up a spoonful of mashed sweet potatoes. Bill knows that he's getting to me. He knows that Alex, and Rory are sore spots in my history. Especially Rory. If he even dares to bring up Rory- so help me God, I will kill him. I don't have a clue why he continues to taunt me with this. I know that I have made some mistakes that I'm remorseful towards. I know that Rory and Alex leave a permanent black hole in my past. I just can't understand why Bill gets so much pleasure from dwelling on my errors.

"That's nice," I relied peacefully, trying to circumvent a family argument.

"He was at the post office with a busty blond under his arm."

"William," my mother snaps, with an undertone like a bear. "That's enough."

"I'm sorry. That was insensitive of me to bring up Dana's obtrusive past."

"That's it!" I scream, while throwing my fork at the plate. Curious heads turned their heads in my direction, and Bill's head snaps up.

"I am so sick of- of- this grudge you hold against me. Ever since Rory's birth, your attitude towards me has become sarcastically brazen, and irrationally odious. I know that I made some mistakes in the past. I know that I haven't been the perfect sister, the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, the perfect mother....." I sigh, and suck in a deep breath of air. "But you have no right to judge me now. You have no right to judge me at all."

He rises from the table, and pushes his plate to the side. It crashes loudly against the gravy boat.

"And you have no right to accuse me of judging you. I respected your decision when you chose to keep Rory at 19 years old. I also respected your decision when you married him. So don't accuse me of judging you, when I stood by your decisions."

"Respect? You don't respect me. You see me as a mistake. A blemish in your- perfect existence!"

"That's not true," he protested. "It's true that I think that your actions in the past have been inappropriate, and embarrassing-"

"Embarrassing? Is that what you see me as? An embarrassment?"

"No. I said that some of your actions in the past have been- embarrassing to our family." He gazed openly at me, and continued on. "You were 19 when you were pregnant. I didn't even know about it up until two months before. A lot of people talk. Then you were the first to marry, the first to divorce."

I shook my head, and closed my eyes to calm my rage. How dare he.

"Bill- you're an asshole," Charlie says soon after my dramatic pause.

"Hey- shut up, you little prick. It's Dana and I that are in this. Not you."

"Enough!" my father roars, his voice still ringing in my ears. His fists pound against the wooden surface of the table top. "William- apologize to your sister. That comment was completely uncalled for, and erroneous. I am ashamed that you even dare to think that, William."

His eyes flicker immodestly across mine, and he shrugs.

"I apologize for my inappropriate comments, Dana."


October 12th, 1999

"Your daughter was immediately was awarded to the state of California, and placed in my custody. About a week after I had Zoey, my new 'husband' moved in with me." She emphasized the word 'husband', and I took that to mean that he was another one of Mr. Spender's cronies.

"Mr. Spender wanted me out in the field, to do his dirty work, so he gave me a husband to care for Zoey. I was out constantly. It was luck if I saw Zoey once in a week. In the three years that I was around, I didn't know her. Dan was there for her. To do her hair, to take care of her bruises, to comfort her during a storm when she was scared. He loved her so much." By studying her expression, I knew that she was fighting the urge to unleash some of her emotions.

"Mr. Spender wanted me in DC. He told me that an agent in the FBI was becoming closer to the truth, and he wanted me there to serve as his distraction." She smiled, and shook her head. "Mulder didn't trust me at first. He never really trusted me at all... Not at all like he trusts you. He thought I was out to get him. He thought the entire world was out to get him, so he thought, why should I be any different? He had no right to trust me. I couldn't blame him."

I pushed back some hair out of my face, so I could analyze what her face was exhibiting. I can't believe that I'm sitting here, being a spectator of such information.

"Eventually, after months of trying, he started to open up to me. I knew what I was doing was wrong from the beginning. But when he started to put his trust into me, it felt like all of my previous actions were crashing down at me, like a sack of bricks." Diana looked up at me, and then her head fell back to it's resuming position. "He got permission from his ASAC, and his Section Chief to open the X-Files. I was with him until six months into the investigations. Mr. Spender notified me of a job in Germany, and asked me if I wanted it. I took it in a second, because Mulder was getting too close to me. I didn't want that to happen, because I didn't want to hurt him. I spared him some pain, by leaving on my own, instead of having him throwing me out of his life, after he discovered my involvement."

"Why was I chosen for the X-Files?"

"Because Mr. Spender knew you. He knew your ideas and views were completely opposite of Mulder's. He knew that you were still searching for your daughter, and he hoped that you would stumble upon her case through the X-Files."

"I'm confused, Diana. Why would he want me to find Rory? He's the one who took her from me, and he forced Alex make a choice. Why take her, if he wanted her to be found?"

"The lesson wasn't to hurt you, it was teach Alex. I suppose he was feeling guilty."

"If he was feeling guilty, then why did he order Duane Barry to take me to that mountain? Why did he give me cancer? Why did he leave me barren? If he was feeling so fucking guilty, then he wouldn't have done all of that to me."

When I looked up to face her, I noticed that there were tears forming around her eyes, and a couple that were making a run for it down her cheek.

"You really know how to pick them, because all of this done to you was done to hurt not you, but to hurt Alex. To hurt Mulder." She licks the side of her mouth, where a tear failed to fall. "I'm very sorry, Dana. For everything that I've done to cause you pain. It was never my intention to hurt you, or to hurt Mulder. I- I did what I was told."

I nodded slowly, as my head fell down to face the carpet-clad ground.

"I have to leave soon. My only purpose here was to bring back Gibson Praise." She shifted on the couch. "I'd advise you to leave the X-Files, and to leave Mulder. You know about everything that I stand for. You have your daughter back. I know that he wont hurt you anymore if you leave the X-Files behind."


November 26th, 1989

"I meant every word. Every single word. You are an embarrassment to me, and to my family!"

"I'm not stupid. I knew that you were always a lying rat!"

"I'm not the one who was careless, and forgot ask my boyfriend to wear a raincoat when letting him get into my pants!" The sound of my palm slicing across his cheek made me wince.

"How many times do I have to say sorry? How many times do I have to apologize for what I've done? How many times, Bill?"

"As many as it takes for me to believe you," he replies smugly.

"Fuck you!" He chuckles, and that only fuels my hostility even more.

"I feel that your career, and your life track will be good for you, Dana. I think that Todd is good for you, and I think medicine is even better."

"I hate to burst your precious little bubble, but Todd and I are officially broken up. *And,* I guess that this means that you'll hold even less respect for me now, because as soon as I get my doctorate in a couple of months, I'll be at Quantico, recieving training as an FBI agent."

His face begins to illumniate with a blush spreading across his face. The vein on his head seems to throb as well. He's going to explode.


October 12th, 1999

When I return from Diana's, there are two messages on the machine. One from my mother, saying that she took Zoey to the mall, and that they would be back around nine tonight. The other is from Mulder, saying that he is planning to drop by around six, which happens to be in a couple of minutes.

I throw off my jacket, and it lands against the back of my couch. Before I have the chance to deposit my keys, and phone from the pockets, two consecutive knocks rattle against the door, and I groan out loud.

"It's open, Mulder," I shout, as I toss my keys onto the coffee table.

"How was your vacation, Scully," he asks as the door clicks shut behind him.

"It wasn't a vacation," I tell him simply. "So why do you need to see me, Mulder?"

"What makes you think that I have a reason to see you?"

"Because." I shoved some loose strands of hair out of my face. "So what is it? Do you need my medical opinion on the case you took with Diana? Do you need me to cover for you at work, while you run off to investigate a lead, with out me?"

His eyebrow arches up, and he shakes his head.

"What's the matter, Scully?" he asks softly.

"I need to be- by myself right now. I need some time alone." He gives me a final preliminary glance, before cupping my shoulder.

"I'm sorry. But when you're ready to talk, I'll be at home if you need me."

"There's nothing to talk about, Mulder. I just need to spend some time by myself."

"Okay," he replies softly. "I'll call you tomorrow."

The second the lock clicks in, I reach for the portable, and punch in the last speed dial.

"Lone Gunmen," Langly replies cheerfuly.

"It's me. I need as much info that you can find on Alex Krycek, Zoey Monteraux, Daniel Monteraux, and everything you can on Dyan Miller, and Deidrie Fawcett."

"Sure thing, Scully."


December 2nd, 1990

The female locker room smells of strong sweat, and raspberry shampoo. When Ellen pushes the door open, the sweat and shampoo fades, and the crisp stench of Quantico reappears.

"Hey- when you were shimming up the ropes, I noticed Willis checking out your butt!" Ellen exclaims with a slap on my arm.

"No he wasn't. And besides- he's an instructor."

"So? He's got a great smile, and a body like an ice cream cone."

"An ice cream cone?"

"Yep. When you see him, you just want to lick him all up," she says with a shake of her hips.

"Ah- ha- ha, I see." I throw my gym bag over my shoulder. "Besides, it's his job to watch his students on the ropes. I'm sure that he was looking at your ass like that too."

"Oh- I really don't think so. I swear to it, Dana. Willis has a crush on you, babe."

Ellen throws her gym bag in the back seat of my Honda Accord, and leaps into the passenger seat. The car bounces up and down.

"If I were you, I would march into his office, wearing a trench coat, with nothing underneath."

I chuckle at the thought, as the car started up.

"You're just a bucket full of surprises."


October 12th, 1999

"There isn't much about Alex Krycek that you don't know already. It says that he was married on February 19th, 1984, to you, of course. He has a daughter, who has been missing since January 23rd, 1986, named Rory Arabella."

"That's all?"

"Yeah- besides the fact that he is currently employed by the US Government, it doesn't specify which branch. He has a twin brother named Xander, and he's-"

"Wait," I exclaim immediately. The three of their eyes meet mine. "Alex is an only child. he doesn't have a twin."

"That's what it says, according to US government files."

"No. It must be a mistake."

"Or another alias he goes by," Frohike piped up.

"What about Zoey and Dan Monteraux?"

"Zoey was found in the San Francisco area in February of 86, and was quickly adopted by Diane and Daniel Monteraux. Apparently, Daniel was out of town at the time. Once again, there's nothing that you don't know about her."

"What about Dyan Miller, and Deidriee Fawcett?"

"Dyan Eleanor Miller was born in Oakridge, Connecticut, on September 25th, 1959. She graduated in the top ten of her class from Oakridge High, in 1977. She was accepted into NYU, and majored in Criminal Psychology. In 1981, she was recruited into the 19th, precinct in New York City, and was fired in 1985. That's the last of Dyan Miller that anybody ever saw." Byers sat down the sheet of information, and licked his lips.

"That's her," I told them firmly.

"Deidree Fawcett has residence in Berlin, Germany. She worked there as an explosives expert for the FDR, between April 1992, to March 1998."

"Is that it?"

"Yeah," Frohike says dryly. He pushes his glasses with a flick of his thumb, which are slipping off of his nose. "That's everything that we had access to."

"This doesn't help much," Langly says instantly.

"No. But I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help with all of this." The three of them nodded their head modestly. "I just wanted to make sure that Diana's story wasn't a lie."

"So are you going to tell Mulder?" Frohike asks inquiringly.

"Eventually," I inform them as I prepare to leave. "Sooner or later, he'll catch on. I just hope that I have the guts to tell him before hand."


February 23rd, 1992

Today is my 28th birthday. I'm surrounded with friends, and family. I can honestly say that I couldn't have had it any other way. Everybody looks so happy. I notice as I look up at him, that there's even a smile across Jack's face; which I can testify to as being a rarity. Well, it could be the fact that it's his birthday too.

Six months after I was assigned under Jack's supervision at Quantico, he asked me out to dinner, and I affably accepted. Ellen was ecstatic that her prediction was true. She always claimed that Jack Willis had a crush on me, ever since he was our combat trainer. Every time the accusation came up, I denied it, but secretly longed for it to be true.

Jack Willis is a handsome man. He's gorgeous. He's got a body like- As Ellen would say, an Ice Cream Cone. You feel inclined to lick him all up when ever you see him. Well, those are my personal thoughts, however.

His mind is beautiful as well. He's so intelligent, and well-spoken. He's the kind of person that you can take home to your mother.

I think I'm falling in love with this man. When he looks at me, I can feel his soul burning into me, scorching my insides with passion and desire. I can't seem to stop thinking about him. He's a man of mystery, and a man of admiration.

"Happy birthday, Dana," he whispers quietly into the inner shell of my ear.

"Happy birthday, Jack," I whisper back, while tugging his head down to mine. His lips slant over mine as we find each other in a kiss so intimate, that it quakes through me like a volcano eruption.

For the first time since Alex, I finally don't feel his presence haunting me. I finally feel good about dating. With every man I've been with since Alex, I could still feel him in me. Not literally, so to speak. I mean, that I could still feel him in my soul. In my head. In my heart.

It's not something that I'm proud of. I hate the bastard, and I don't wish to ever see him again. It's not my fault, either. It's something I feel. I can't help what I feel.

But now, I can safely say that shameful feeling has departed. I don't feel a thing. I couldn't care less about him.

I squeeze Jack's arm, and smile. And I owe it all to him.


October 12th, 1999

When I return from the Gunmen's, I am surprised to see that my mother, and my daughter are home early. That causes a grand smile to form at the corners of my mouth. As much as I continue to think of it, I don't believe that I could ever get used to the whole concept of my *daughter* in my life.

I've had to live with out her for thirteen years. I've had to endure Emily's death, and the fact that I couldn't bear any more children. I once thought that Emily could make up for Rory, and fill in the pain that I still felt for Rory. But she didn't. She died, and I couldn't stop it. Her death augmented the pain.

Now that I have her back, I refuse to let anybody take away my privilege to refer to Rory- Zoey, as my daughter.

"Hey," I say cheerfully, as I hang my coat in it's proper place. "I thought you weren't going to be back until nine."

"We weren't, but we wanted you to come with us to dinner."

A warm smile falls upon my face, nodding my head in approval.

"I'll be delighted to go."

"Great," my mother says with a clap of her hands. "Put your coat back on. We're going for Chinese." I have no other option, so I obey my mother's orders. She escorts me out of the door, and before I know it, I'm sitting in the front of her Nissan Altima, with the sounds of the Beatles through the speakers.

Ah, a favorite of both my mother's, and my *daughter's*. I recall when Zoey scrambled to mute 'Come Together' so I could introduce myself. My mother, is also a big fan of the Beatles. Or George Harrison, I should say. She didn't start to like them until we were in high school, and into heavier rock, like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd. Stuff like that. We didn't come to appreciate the Beatles until college.

Mulder likes the Beatles too. I remember all of those long drives through the endless countryside with Mulder, and his handy Beatles tapes.

"Dana- snap out of it. We're here already," my mother points out.

"Huh- oh, okay."

She directed us into the restaurant, where she conversed with the staff until a table was open. Zoey ordered a combo plate of Mongolian Beef, and steamed rice. My mother has a predisposition to the curried shrimp, and chow mien with thin noodles.

"I have to use the bathroom," Zoey declares, once the waiter takes our orders to the kitchen. She excuses herself, and scurries off to the ladies room.

"We haven't talked about this yet." I gaze into her serious eyes.

"Yeah. I promise to explain everything in detail, once I have the chance."

"I know. I'm just- perplexed, and delighted at the same time." I pat the top of her hand, and smile.

"Yeah. Me too."

"So, did you tell Fox yet? I'm sure that he'll be-" she stops in mid-sentence. "What's wrong?"

"I haven't even told Mulder about Rory and Alex."

"What? I always assumed that..... I was under the assumption that he knew why you joined the FBI......"

"No... Why would you think that?" I ask in a soft voice.

"Because... He opened up to you, told you about his sister, and his past. I always expected that you would share the same things."

"I don't have the courage to tell him. Especially after everything we've gone through." My mother agrees, with a nod of her head. She follows by reaching out to tuck a strand of hair behind my ears.

"I'm sure that Fox will understand." Zoey returns to her spot, and her fingers lace together. Her gaze is fixed on something other than us.

"So, I've made an appointment with the sophomore councilor at West Georgetown High, for tomorrow morning."

"That's great- but does it conflict with my hearing tomorrow?"

"It shouldn't," I respond. I was about to finish my thought, but I noticed that her gaze was no longer situated on me.

"Zoey?" She blinks twice, before shifting her gaze towards me.

"There's a man who will not stop watching you."

Instantly, I shift around, and I am faced with a blank stare, and a perplexed face.

"Mulder...."


March 8th, 1992

The man gets under my skin. He knows all of the right buttons to push, and how to push them. It's almost as if he can read my mind. I can't stand him.

I don't know why Blevins assigned me to him. It's more than obvious that we're radically different. How could he expect us to work well together? How is this supposed to work?

We're on our first case together. When I first marched down into the office, and introduced myself to him, his cynical comebacks, and sardonic wit made me want to scream. I don't see how I can last another week with him. He's a jerk. I don't work well with jerks.

In the midst of my wondering thoughts, I can obscurely detect a set of strong knocks at my motel room door.

"Who is it?" I ask, even though I'm confident that it's Mulder.

"Steven Spielberg," the voice shouts back. I can't help but smile at his minuscule attempt at humor.

When I answer the door, I notice that he's dressed in a baggy sweatshirt, leggings with a pair of baggy shorts over them.

"I'm way to wired to sleep. I'm going for a run. Want to come?"

"I think I'll pass."

"So did you find out what that thing was up Ray Soams nasal cavity?" A yawn escapes from my mouth, and I briefly shook my head.

"No," I replied curtly. "And I'm not loosing any sleep over it." I exchanged a sympathetic gaze with him, before bidding him good night, and securing my door shut.

Hell, what do I know? Maybe Fox Mulder isn't the big bad wolf after all.


October 12th, 1999

"Mulder....."

His eyes are warm and rich as I gaze openly at him. His lips curve into a secretive smile as maneuvers around, so I don't have to turn to face him. Mulder stands directly next to me, but gazes across the table at Zoey, and my mother.

"Hello Mrs. Scully." His greeting is declamatory, and proud. He places both hands squarely on his hips, and smiles wider as my mother returns his greeting.

"Mulder- this is Zoey. Zoey, this is my partner at the FBI, Fox Mulder." Zoey smiles toothlessly in his direction. "Nice meeting you Fox Mulder at the FBI." Her retort causes him to grin.

When his gaze shifts back to me, he opens his mouth to say something, but quickly bites his lip.

"I really have to get going, Scully. It was nice running in to you." I can dimly detect nervousness in his tone, which honestly is surprising. "See you tomorrow?" It's a question that causes his eyebrow to flex upwards. My lips curve into a warm smile.

"Yeah. Tomorrow."

Mulder bids my mother farewell; tells Zoey that it was a pleasure to meet her; and then he places his hand atop of my head, and briefly runs his thumb in a soft circle around the back of my head.

His departure causes my mother to throw me a puzzled glimpse in my direction.

"I thought you told me-"

"It's not what you think."

"Do you know how many times I heard that line raising the four of you? Especially from Melissa?"

"No. Why don't you remind me again?"

"I'm serious, Dana. You never told me anything as a teenager. You still don't. I once walked in on your sister getting a little too friendly for my taste, and that Jamison kid across the street. And what do you think she said?"

"It's not what you think?" I reply swiftly.

"It's not what you think, mom. So don't give me 'It's not what you think' because I've had my share of those, Dana Katherine."


April 18th, 1994

"I met an interesting man at the shop today."

"Oh, you did? So what's the lad's name?" I asked my sister as I settled down next to her, with two mugs of hot chocolate. She takes the one mug from my hand with gratitude, and takes a long, lingering sip from the mug.

"Giovanni MacPhearson."

"Giovanni?"

"Yeah. Giovanni. We have a date tomorrow."

"Where?" I asked curiously.

"At Kennedy Stark, the poetry house across the street from the shop. Apparently, one of his friends is making his debut." Melissa leans forward to deposit her mug down on the coffee table. "So what about you, Day-Day? Any hot dates scheduled in?"

I had to fight the burst of chuckles that escaped my mouth.

"Sadly, no. I don't have the time for a date."

"You have the time now."

"I haven't met anybody who- lights my fire." I cautiously blow across the rim of my mug, and a cloud of steam quickly evaporates into the air.

"What about that partner of yours. You said that he was attractive."

"He is. God- he is. But he's- Mulder's a....."

"Mulder's a what?" Melissa asked inquisitively. I sigh uncomfortably.

"Mulder's a lot of things. He's arrogant, and bossy, and independent, and different from the norm, and.....passionate."

"The last one wasn't so bad."

"He's over passionate. He's dedicated to the X-Files, and his sister, and the men behind that conspiracy."

"He cares for you."

"What makes you say that?"

"Tell me, Dana, how many times does he call you a day?"

"Why is that relevant?" I ask as I glance briefly upwards to meet her gaze.

"Answer the question."

"At least twice a day."

"And how many times have you caught him gazing at you from across the office."

"Melissa- I don't see-"

"How many times, Dana?" With a frustrated sigh, I shake my head in protest.

"A couple of times."

"A couple?"

"Is there a point to this?"

"Yeah. When you first met him, did he seem happy?"

"Well- not really."

"Would you say that his mood has improved for the better since you first met?"

"I don't know. I haven't noticed." She smiled as she shook her head.

"You're lying to me."

"So, he has a little more compassion towards me. He's known me for a longer time. He trusts me."

"And with trust, comes a an emotional attachment. I'm not saying that- he's madly in love with you, and worships the ground you walk on. I'm saying that he cares for you. Is that so hard for you to accept that? God knows, you care for him."

"What makes you so sure of yourself?" She rolls her eyes swiftly.

"Oh, must I go over that again?" I smiled, and then took a inveterate sip of my hot chocolate.

"Okay, Missy, you're right. I care for him. I trust him. More than anyone that I know at the bureau." I sighed, shook my head. "I don't know what it is about him, but I think he's growing on me."


October 13th, 1999

"Mulder, it's me. I'm leaving this message for you to tell you that I won't be at work until around 3 o'clock. But if I'm not there by three, you can expect another absence from work. I should have called you last night, and I apologize. If I don't make it into work, I'll call you at home later."

I placed the cordless phone back into the cradle, and took a deep breath in, and then out.

"Dana, where do you keep the sugar?"

"In the cupboard above the coffee maker."

"Ah, thanks."

I faced the kitchen, only to find Zoey stirring her coffee with a soup spoon. The spoon clanked against the mug, approximately every two seconds.

We sat down at the table to eat breakfast together. We talked roughly about some of the courses she was taking back at her high school in Berkley. But somehow, our conversation strayed towards the inevitable.

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Of course."

"What was he like?"

"Who are you referring to?" I ask curiously.

"My father."

"Your father."

"Yes." I take a deep breath inward. "Alex.... To tell the truth, Alex was a great father. He was very dedicated, and he loved you very much. Every Saturday, after I would take you to visit your Grandma, he would take you to the park for a picnic, and to play. When I wasn't busy studying, I would join you. Even when I was busy studying, I would join you."

She smiled briefly, before looking down into the dark face of her coffee.

"During football season, I would often come home from mass on Sunday, to find you both on the couch screaming at the TV." I chuckled softly, and then quickly folded my hands in front of me. "Actually, he was doing the screaming. You would always clap your hands together when he got frustrated with the game."

I told Zoey as much as I could remember about Alex Krycek. Sadly though, of the good memories I had of him, had begun to diminish over the years, and were quickly replaced with hatred. I used to have memories about him that would make me smile. I used to have memories about him that made me remember everything that is good on this earth.

But now all I have left of Alex Krycek is memory of his loyalty to mine and Mulder's greatest enemy. I have the memory that he would soon kill me first, than betray my greatest enemy. I have the memory of seeing my sister's near-dead body sprawled out on my hardwood floor from a police snap shot. I have the memory of Mulder's frantically shocked body after witnessing his father's death after Alex Krycek killed him. I have the memory of nearly loosing Mulder to the black oil in Russia, which was carried out by none other than Alex Krycek.

But I also have the memories of our bitter divorce. I have the memory of witnessing a murder, committed by Alex Krycek, when I was still married to him. I have the memory of his sickeningly satisfied expression as he pulled the trigger on that man pleading for his life.

Sure, I have memories of him. My ex-husband. My daughter's father. A man that my partner despises with intentional might. A man that I despise with natural might.

It makes me unhappy and somber that the only memories I have left of this man are the memories that represent every fiber of evil this man has in his body. But I guess that when you hate something, you can no longer remember any of that person's admirable qualities.

Zoey's councilor is a very tall blond woman, with stark-white highlights, and sandalwood brown eyebrows. She has ruby red lipstick applied to her thin and narrow lips.

She tells Zoey that finals for the first semester are a week away, and that she has to take a competency test to show her knowledge on the required courses she took over in Berkley. Ms. Smithers, like the fragile old man on the Simpson's, then follows to tell Zoey that they can't enroll her until she takes her competency test.

Ms. Smithers kindly schedules her to take those competency tests all of tomorrow, and then we are hastily dismissed from her office. Since we have over four hours until Zoey's court hearing, we do the only thing that seems logical at the moment.

We go shopping.


April 26th, 1994

It's been a night of absolute hell. It all started off with that conversation I had with my sister about a week ago. After making the tragic mistake of informing Melissa that I've been date-free for close to two years now, she set me up with one of her friends.

His name is Ferrel Zanyard. He owns a ritual magic book store, and markets healing crystals in his spare time. What the hell was my sister thinking? I cannot believe that she doesn't know me well enough to make a judgment about this guy. What on earth possessed Melissa to ever think that we could ever be compatible?

The date started off with a trip to the coast to cleanse our soul from any impure influence. Then, he took me to a chant intervention- or whatever the hell it was. We all stood around a large table, and said the same prayer over and over again to heal our auras.

I'm going to kill her. I swear to God, I will shoot her.

There are two messages waiting for me when I return home from, quite possibly, the worst date I've ever been on.

The first is from Melissa, which I expected. The second is from Mulder, who has a question on our new case. With out thought, I dial Mulder's familiar number, and he answers almost instantaneously. The sound of his voice is rough like sand paper.

"..ah, allo?"

"Mulder, it's me."

"Oh- uh, hey, Scully. What's up?" The disorientation in his voice tells me that it's extremely plausible that I woke him from a deep slumber, or pulled him away from an activity that- uh, required his full attention.

"You left a message on my machine earlier. What was the question about?"

"Oh- yeah. I couldn't figure out where you put the field notes I wrote yesterday, but I remembered that they're back at the office."

"Oh. Is that all, Mulder?"

"Hmm, yep. That's it."

"Oh. Okay." I push a strand of hair back behind my ears. "Good night, Mulder."

"Night, Scully." The line gradually fades out, and I place the phone back in it's original spot. I wonder if dating is always going to be like this when Mulder's around.


October 13th, 1999

Zoey is with my mother when I find myself in front of Mulder's apartment building. Her hearing took longer than I planned for it to take, so I couldn't make it into the office today. After the hearing ended, and everything was settled and finalized, my mother suggested dinner, and an independent movie that I've never heard of. Apparently, Zoey was dying to see it.

When they asked me to join them, I turned them down, but they did not ask for my reasons.

Today is Mulder's birthday. I was thinking about it yesterday night, after he dropped by my apartment. No wonder why his behavior seemed unusual and foreign when I told him I needed time to myself.

I'm not going to tell him tonight. It's his birthday, and he deserves to have the privilege of enjoying his birthday. I'll tell him soon.

I grab the shopping bag off of the passenger seat, and head up to his apartment. There are several of people who are waiting by the door, dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns. They smile at me as I pass them, and I smile back.

In the elevator, a small boy wines about his broken Game Boy. His mother scoops him up in her arms, and tries to calm his eccentric tone.

The boy and the mother get off on the same floor as I do, and I quickly make my way down to the end of the hall, to apartment 42. The way that the '2' falls to the left makes me smile every time. I absently wonder how long it will take for him to get around to fixing that, since it's been like that for at least three years.

The sound of my knocks rattles against the frame of the door. It takes precisely ten seconds before I hear Mulder's footsteps approaching.

"Mulder, it's me."

"Scully?" he questions from behind the secured door. No, it's Skinner.

"Yeah." He flips the chain, and soon enough, the door flies open, and his curious face is revealed.

"What's wrong?"

"What makes you think there's something wrong?"

"I don't know- I haven't seen much of you lately. I was beginning to think that you quit the FBI for the Ab-Roller."

"Yeah. I didn't want to tell you at first, but- looks like you figured me out, Mulder," I reply quickly, looking over his shoulder in the process.

"Are you going to invite me in, or what?"

"Are you going to tell me why you've dropped off of the face of the earth for the past week?" My eyes flicker over his.

"I already told you where I was."

Mulder steps aside to allow me to pass. I acknowledge his action by scooting past him, and turning around to face him. His eyes trail down to the shopping bag that I'm gripping in my left hand.

"What cha' got in there, Scully? An ab roller?" Mulder's sardonic retort made a smile appear across my face.

"Sadly, no." I set it down on the edge of his couch. "It's a birthday cake."

"A birthday cake? It's not your birthday," Mulder declares with a grin. I remove the plastic lid, and reveal the cake to him.

"Happy birthday."

Mulder leans inward, and eyes the cake suspiciously. I take the opportunity to guide a wax candle about the size of a gluestick, into the middle of the cake. His eyes gaze curiously at me as I light the candle with a book of matches I picked up at the Chinese restaurant, last night.

"You say it's your birthday," I sing with a nod of my head, and a grin across my face. "It's my birthday too, yeah. They say it's your birthday. We're gonna have a good time. I'm glad it's your birthday. Happy birthday too you." He chuckles in that smooth baritone voice that could drive any heterosexual woman insane.

"I was afraid you were going to break out with the chorus of Ob-La-di,Ob-La-Da."

"It was the thought that counts. Make a wish, Mulder." With a flick of his tongue across his lips, he blows out the single candle, and gently slides his hands over mine, which are holding the cake in place.

"I do appreciate your off-key thought," Mulder says sardonically."Thank you, Scully," he adds with a sincere look across his face.

"You're welcome, Mulder." He extracs one of his hands from his grip, and removes the candle. The bottom is encrusted with vanilla custard, chocolate frosting, and strawberry filling.

"Hmmm- the Cheesecake Factory?" He inquires before sticking the candle in his mouth. A grimace spreads across my face as I notice the expression across his face.

"You bit into the wax, didn't you?" I ask him, already knowing what his answer is.

"Uh huh," he replies, as he swallows with a gulp. Mulder's other hand slides up the back of my hand, and up my arm. His hand guides me in the direction of his kitchen.

He grabs the pitcher of Iced Tea out of his neglected fridge, as well as two glasses, silverware, and two saucers.

"Are you still working on the case with the VCS?"

"No. We closed it two days ago." We. Diana. Oh. Okay.

"Was the suspect found?"

"Yep. We found him in his apartment, with a bullet in his mouth. He knew that we were on to him, and apparently, the pressure got to him."

"That's unfortunate," I respond as he joins me at his kitchen table. "Do you have any big plans for your birthday?" I ask, already knowing what his reply will be.

"Only spending it with you, gorgeous," Mulder responds with a smirk. I slice him a copious piece, and he smiles with gratitude. "So tell me about your week in California. Did you meet any prospective young lads?" Mulder asks with a glimmer in his eyes.

"Nah. You're the only one for me, handsome." I take a bite of his cake, and sigh. "I had my ups and downs, I suppose," I reply, to answer his inquiry.

"Oh? Care to share?" I look up, and his eyes are soft, and genuinely sympathetic. He shrugs, and I can only smile weakly. What next flies out of my mouth, is something that is inevitable.

"Is it worth spoiling your birthday?" His cheerful expression immediately goes lax, and morphs to it's serious state, where it is most commonly found in.

"Scully?" When I gaze into his eyes, and read into his expression, I know that the secret that purposely hidden from him, can no longer remain a secret. I don't want to lie to him any longer. I don't want to hide it from him. I can't hide it from him.

"You really want to know now?"

"Scully, what's going on?"

"Mulder....." my voice sounded as if a thousand knives were stabbing my vocal chords. I took a deep breath in, and slowly out. "I need to tell you something. I need to tell you a lot of things...."

"Scully-"

"No- Mulder, please. this will be a lot easier if you don't interrupt me." Mulder remains silent, and motions for me to continue. We move into his living room, where we sit down on his worn-out leather couch. I take another pre-meditated breath in, and then out. Absent-mindedly, I begin to play with the hem of my cardigan sweater.

"There are a lot of things that need to be said. A lot of things that I've kept from you. A lot of things that have remained a secret, because I've been too afraid to tell you." He opens his mouth to say something, but quickly closes his mouth.

I remove my hands from my sweater, and fold them neatly into my lap. He looks so scared. I can sense fear in his expression. I'm acutely aware of his emotions by the way that his face twists and contorts. By the way that is eyes turn color. Mulder is afraid. And if I know Mulder at all, he's afraid because of the way that my face looks. My eyes.

"I've been married before." His face doesn't express any emotions at all. Perhaps it's better that way for me. "When I was 19, we were careless, and....." my voice trailed off. "And the next thing I knew- I was pregnant."

"I decided to keep it. We- we decided to keep it. I was hesitant at first, but Alex convinced me that it was wrong. After Rory was born, we got married. It was kind of awkward. I loved my daughter with all the love I had to give. I loved her, and would do anything for her. But with Alex- it was almost as if we were crumbling apart." I inhale deeply, only to inhale the rich mystique that made up everything that is Mulder.

"We divorced not long after our marriage because I discovered that I didn't know who I married. I was married to a mystery. A lie." I close my eyes, and then quickly open them to gaze into his eyes candidly. I need to look at him, as I reveal to him my inter most secret that has kept me tied up and twisted to a burden. A burden that has haunted me for too long.

"That man I married when I was 20 years old. He's a man that I hate as much, if not more than you. A man that has haunted my life, as well as yours."

"Alex." He sighs, and presses his lips together. "Alex Krycek," he declares with out even a bat of his eye, or a grimace.

"I apologize for not telling you when I should have. It was wrong of me to make that error in judgment. I wasn't really comfortable opening myself up to you at the time, and I didn't think it was necessary. When we grew closer, and Alex Krycek began to reappear in our lives, it was easier to hate him with you, rather than to acknowledge his existence in my past."

I can feel the evidence of my guilt, and pain by the wet tears beginning to well up in the corners of my eyes. I didn't want to show him how much this effected me.

"A little over a year after the divorce, when Rory was three, I woke up one morning to make her breakfast, only to find her bed empty. I accused Alex, but I knew that he didn't have her. I knew he was certainly capable of taking Rory, but I knew that she wasn't in his possession."

"I did everything I could, Mulder. But all of my attempts failed. She was gone, and there was nothing that I could do about it. Tears were beginning to slowly flow down my cheeks, and down into my lap.

"I joined the FBI because of my missing daughter. It was my last hope left of finding her. Plus, after her disappearance, I couldn't imagine devoting myself completely to medicine. It was just something I had to do. For Rory, and myself."

Inadvertently, my head dipped down, to hide the manifestation of my distress.

"I lied to you when I said I went to Berkley to visit family. I really went to Berkeley because Alex claimed that Rory was living there, and about to be awarded to the state, if I didn't intervene. I didn't believe him at first. I had no reason to. I didn't even have a reason why I agreed to see him again."

"Was that her, Scully?" His voice is stern, and cold. A chill ran through my body, at the sound of Mulder's voice. I've only heard Mulder's voice like this on one occasion. That was when he was talking to Luther Lee Boggs, after tricking him into a fraudulent psychic premonition.

"I don't know who you're referring to, Mulder."

"The teenage girl you introduced me to at the Chinese restaurant. Was that your daughter, Scully?"

"Yes." His lips automatically perched together as he nodded his head.

"Alex Krycek," he said as his lips twisted up into a morbid smile. "Alex fucking Krycek."

"Mulder...."

"Why didn't you tell me!?!" he suddenly screams, as his arm flies on it's own volition, managing to knock over the framed picture of Samantha that was on the end table next to his side of the couch. The picture hits the ground with a shatter.

"Mulder...."

"God damn it. God fucking damn it. You lied to me. You've been lying to me for all of these years. How the hell could you, Scully? You were my friend! My best friend! Well, fuck, my only friend! Fuck!" He begins pacing around his living room. His hands are cradling his head. He didn't dare look to my direction.

I was crying now. Bittersweet tears were spurting freely from my eyes, and there was nothing that I could do to stop them.

"I need to be alone right now, Scully. I need for you to leave."

"Mulder...."

His neck snaps around to my direction, and I notice that his eyes are as cold as an Antarctic winter day. Despite the chill in his eyes, his cheeks are warm and flushed with fury, and rage.

"You need to leave, before I say or do something that I will regret." What else can I about that? So I follow his wishes, and close the door behind me.


April 27th, 1995

I was in the room when it happened. Her usually fair complexion was a ghostly white. Her beautiful, mid length, auburn hair was stringy, and matted to her forehead. Her fingers were like icicles against my fingers, as I held her hand in mine.

She never woke from her coma. She died at 9:09 PM, at age 33. She survived her mother, an older brother, a younger brother, and me, her baby sister. At the time, she was in a relationship with a wonderful man, named Giovanni MacPhearson. He was so good to her in the brief year that they knew each other.

When it happened, I was alone in the room with her. My mother was down the hall with Giovanni, speaking with her doctor, and Charlie was out getting dinner for all of us. The second that I heard the sound of the EKG machine, and it's low, tragic hum, nurses, and a few doctors poured into the room like a fleet. The fleet of medical staff pushed me aside, and left me to deal with my mother, who was standing at the door, confused, and concerned.

Mulder came three hours after it happened. I was sitting at the foot of her deathbed, thinking about the obvious role I had in her death. His entrance was a shock, but a comfort as he held me in his arms.

See, Mulder lost his father to the same men who killed Melissa. Well, to be frank, we don't have solid proof of this accusation, but Mulder believes it to be true, and I trust in Mulder.

Yes. I trust in Mulder. I believe in him. I rely on him. I didn't realize my dependency on this man, until the moment where he comforted me in my dire time of need. From hating this man, to doubting this man; Mulder has become- essentially, the most important being in my life.

It's true. Mulder is the most important person in my life. My family is important. As a whole, they define my unmitigated structure; my background; the person who I am today. I don't question that.

But Mulder, as an individual, has become the backbone in our work; the truth that I have come to question, and tolerate. I count on the trust he has in me. He has told, and showed me on more than one occasion, that he trusts me, as much as he is able to trust.

Mulder trusts me, and I couldn't ask more from him. I guess some could take that as an understatement. There is more to life than trust. I realize that. But with Mulder, trust is all that he can afford to offer. His heart has been stomped on, and crushed, by a multitude of different feet, so to speak.

Despite the strong bond that I am fortunate to share with Mulder, it scares me just as well. I fear growing completely dependent; relying on his strength; his protection. Years from now, I could be dependent on Mulder's theories. It could be the only thing that gets me going.

Hell, anything is possible.


October 14th, 1999

I am alone when I arrive at the office. It's not like it's a big mystery, or anything. I anticipated his truancy from work today.

Skinner phones me shortly after I get in, to inform me of Mulder's absence, and that I need to go into his office to be briefed about a current case. Skinner welcomes me back to work, with a subtle nod, and asks me to have a seat.

He blabbers on and on about our annual expense report, which Mulder already started on. Skinner informed me that the report was due two days from now. When I'm dismissed, I'm on my way down to the basement, when I run into none other, than Agent Fowley. She glares at me curiously while on the elevator, but quickly turns away. In Diana's arms, is an open cardboard box, containing a small cactus plant, a couple of office supplies, and a couple of files. When she notices that my eyes are focused on the box she is carrying,

"I was discharged from my position four hours ago. Apparently, they're not to happy with my progress."

"Where will you go now?" I ask her timidly.

"Where ever they send me. They don't usually tell me until I'm there."

"Will you tell Mulder?" Her gaze flickers across mine.

"My flight leaves in two hours."

"I see."

The elevator comes to an abrupt halt, and the doors open. As we step out, she turns to me, and shrugs.

"Loving Fox Mulder is a challenge," Diana tells me firmly. "But believe me, Dana. That challenge is worth it."

And with those parting words, she is off, and gone. Out of my life, and out of Mulder's. I can't help the smile that manages to escape from my mouth. Not because she is gone forever. But the fact that she can see into my head so well.

How can she know? How can she tell? How can it be obvious to this woman who knows barely anything about me, and not so obvious to a man who has been inside my head for seven years? My laughter fades, and there is nothing but fear left. I fear my future with Mulder. My future as his partner, his friend, and so much more.

Troubled by the overabundance of scattered thoughts invading my head, I decide to finish the report at home. I slip my winter coat on, grab the files that are required for completion of the report, and reach for my briefcase. When I turn to leave the office, I am face to face- or to be accurate, face to chest with Fox Mulder.


April 30th, 1995

Even though there are friends, family, and a multitude of acquaintances around me, I feel alone.

My mom is huddled in the corner, with my aunts Marianne, and Meredith. My two brothers, are standing side by side, with blank, yet solemn expressions across their faces.

A number of Melissa's close friends are surrounding me, trying to start a meaningless conversation that will be forgotten, ten minutes from now. I scan around the area around me, seeing all familiar faces that I've seen for the past hour, but freeze when I see him. He stands out of the crowd like a sore thumb, being one of the few brunettes, as well as having the height advantage. When he's fully aware that I have noticed him, he flashes me a shy, 100 watt smile, and then shrugs his shoulders.

"Excuse me," I say quickly, as I scoot past talkative relatives, and the staid friends that Melissa had. He licks his lips as I approach him, before he bends down, to wrap his arms around my body. He squeezes my waist, and lowers his head to my shoulder.

"How are you doing?" he whispers softly into my ear.

"Better than I was a couple of days ago," I reply candidly. He moves his body to it's standing position, but he doesn't move his hands from my waist.

"I'm sorry I couldn't make it to the funeral. I had some last minute items I had to wrap up with my mom, and my dad's lawyers, since I was missing right after his death." With a nod of my head, I motion for him to move towards the back door, so we can have peace while we speak.

He leads me by the hand through the voluminous crowd of people. When we are on my mother's porch, sitting on the rocking bench, he wraps his arm around the back of the bench, but his palm cups my shoulder blade loosely.

"How was Massachusetts?"

"Beautiful. Flowers were just beginning to bud, and trees were growing their leaves."

"How is your Mother?" He sighs deeply.

"It's hard to tell. When things like this happen, she shuts every one out, and builds these- walls around herself. She's very closed about her emotions." She smiled, and faced him. "I'm glad you're back, Mulder."

"I am too." He doesn't say much, except simple comments about my mother's vegetable garden, where few vegetables are beginning to grow, and other insignificant things about my mother's backyard.

His hand remains on my shoulder blade, but that is the extent of our physical contact. I know of the pain he is feeling, and I allow myself to share with him my pain. He is my friend. My best friend. I just don't understand why I am so shut off to him when it comes to what I am feeling. Or vice virsa.

Even though I don't show, or tell Mulder how much I appreciate his support, and the faith that he has shown me, I only hope he knows how much I need him as a shoulder to lean on right now.


October 14th, 2000

When I turn to leave the office, I am face to face- or to be accurate, face to chest with Fox Mulder.

He gazes down openly at me. His eyes are free from abandon, and his face shows a blank expression, which leaves me at a lost for speech.

"Diana's gone." My heart sinks after he tells me this; his tone dripping with malaise and sorrow.

"I know. I'm sorry. I know she was your friend....." Mulder interrupts my thought before I can even finish.

"No. That's just it. She wasn't my friend. She was a shadow in my past. I detest my past. But you.... You were my friend, Scully. You were my best friend."

"I am your best friend, Mulder."

"You would have told me about your significant past if you were my best friend. Best friends don't keep secrets like that," Mulder declares rigidly. My gaze lowers to the ground, where I glare at the carpet clad ground, and Mulder's brown boots.

"Your right, Mulder. Best friends don't keep secrets like that. But best friends do try to protect each other."

"Protect me? Protect me from what, Scully? The truth?" My gaze finally moves back up to his eyes.

"I tried to tell you when you were first partnered with him." I shook my head. "But I couldn't, Mulder. My daughter, and our failed marriage still continued to haunt me. I also feared telling you, because I didn't want you to know about the one and only thing that made me feel weak, and insecure." I pushed some loose strands of hair out of my face. "Then when I returned, Alex Krycek never came up again, until the black oil found on the Piper Maru. And by that time, you had put so much trust, and faith into our partnership, I didn't want to put that at risk. I know that sounds selfish, Mulder, but it was the only thing I had left to hang on to."

He turns away immediately, with his back facing me. His hands are planted on his hips, and his head is down facing towards the ground. After a couple of moments of still, uncomfortable silence, I hear a sigh, that could quite possibly be a groan.

"I'm trying to understand, your reasons, but it's difficult. You have to understand where I'm coming from, Scully."

"I can understand how you must feel....." my voice trails off, and I realize how scattered, and broken it sounds.

Suddenly, Mulder's body is spinning around to face me. "As much as I hate what you've done..." he shakes his head, and a miniature smile plays at the corner of his lips. "I like you too much, and I like you around." I may be subtlety smiling on the outside, but my insides are doing cartwheels, round-offs, and finishing with loud cheers of spirit.

I see his Adam's Apple bob up and down, before his smile fades. "C'mon. I want to hear more about your daughter, if you'll tell me." My smile grows even more brilliant. I nod my head enthusiastically.

"Sure." Mulder slipped his arm around my shoulder, and we walk through the corridor, and to the garage.


April 30th, 1995

It's raining. It's pouring. Mulder and I are safe from the rain, on my mother's porch; on the swing bench. The temperature outside is a pleasant 71 degrees, and the rain is drowning out the sound of the noisy chatter of the guests that are still inside.

Mulder's arm is still around my shoulder, and he's absently talking about the estate that his father left to him. To be truthful, I'm not really listening. My attention is more focused on the rain. I never noticed how comforting a gentle rain storm can be. In all of my years, I've never noticed how graceful the rain drops fall on leaves. I never noticed how graceful those raindrops linger on the tip of the leaf, and then drop down to the ground. Ever since the X-Files, it seems as if I've been missing out on the small pleasures in life. The things that people usually take for granted.

Who would have figured that I would be one to complain about small things? Before, with Jack, and Alex, and even Marcus, I was always craving more. Life seemed to move at the speed of an old Volkswagen. With the X-Files, life is roaring in the fast lane like a porche, with Jeff Gordon in the driver's seat. Why can't life just be at the speed of a Honda?


October 14th, 1999

The power went out in my apartment two hours ago, because of the thunderstorm that's been going on for nearly the entire day. The sound of Dido's CD, "No Angel" plays in the background on my battery powered boom box as I tell him about Alex Krycek: before the X-Files. The setting in my apartment, is idyllic, with candles lit, and used Chinese food cartons placed on my coffee table.

I absently notice that his thigh is rubbing snugly against mine, as I tell him about how life was after the divorce. He smells faintly of spicy orange shrimp, and something much stronger that I can't quite put my finger on. Anyway, his presence, and his scent is making me feel light headed.

I've studied the way that his facial expressions changed through out our conversation. For the most part, his expression was a gradual continuum of vacancy. I told Mulder about dating Alex Krycek, being pregnant, the marriage, and of course, Diana. Since Diana was the key figure in Rory's disappearance, she just happened to appear in a heavy chunk of our conversation.

What surprised me, is the fact that Mulder didn't even bat an eye. He didn't protest, didn't say a word, and he didn't grimace. Diana is a sore subject for Mulder. It has been, and honestly, I don't blame him. Diana played a major part in his life, and she also played a big part in the X-Files. Even though I understand all of this, it doesn't mean I have to like her. Hell, I hate her. I might feel sorry for Diana, but I will always hate her for what she has done to me, my family, and to Mulder.

As my thoughts fade out, I realize that Mulder has been trying to tell me something. I shift my eyes sleepily towards him, and he smiles.

"Sorry Mulder."

"It's okay. I was just wondering..." he pauses, and shakes his head. "I want..." Mulder's voice trails off. He pauses, and his jaw closes.

"What is it, Mulder?" I ask him softly. He shakes his head, but I place my hand over his warm thigh, snuggling so close to mine, and look up into his eyes. He scratches his head, and looks as if he's at a loss for words.

"When you were telling me about.... Krycek.... You told me that you were attracted to his arcane, and mysterious personality. But you never mentioned loving him."

"I suppose that I did love Alex Krycek. But after all that he's done to the people who I love, I can't say, or recall what it was like to love him, because every time I try to remember, the thought of his finger pulling the trigger, and killing Missy, is enough to make me forget."

His lips twitch upwards into a lopsided smile, as his gaze burns into me. Even his gaze is pinned directly on me, he has this far off look in his eye, believing me to suspect that he's thinking about something grave and obtuse.

Before I have the chance to break the silence, the sound of a key turning the lock on the door. Mulder backs off slightly, as the front door slowly opens, and Zoey's head pokes in.

"Did I interrupt anything?" she asks meekly, as she notices all of the candles lit around the apartment.

"No, Zoey. Come in." She takes one more prudent glance around the apartment, and then moves her way through the threshold. "Where's mom?" I asked her curiously.

"She said something about a bridge club meeting she had to attend, and she told me to tell you, that she was sorry she couldn't come up." She deposits her jacket on the coat rack, and hangs her umbrella on one of the rack loops. "So- when did the power go out?"

"It went out around noon." I slowly inch away from Mulder's thigh, and reposition back on the couch, so our thighs aren't touching. "How were the competency exams?" I ask as she moves her way towards us. Zoey stands across from us, and shrugs with a mute smile across her face.

"They were good." She pushes some hair out of her face, and yawns. "Well, I'm exhausted after waking up so early. I think I'm going to listen to the Beatles, and take a nap." Before she turns to leaves, she switches her gaze to Mulder. "It was nice to see you again Fox Mulder at the FBI." The smile across her face grows brighter as Mulder returns her salutation.

After the door clicks shut, Mulder turns to me.

"I think I should get going, Scully. I don't want to intrude."

"You can't go. It's pouring out there. It could even be hailing out there." This statement causes a chuckle to rise out of him.

"Scully, if your mother drove through it, I think that I can too." He just doesn't get it.

"But I don't want you to go." I blatantly admit to him.


September 30th, 1995

When Mulder went off into that roach infested house, and left me wondering if something had happened to him, I wasn't angry. When I flew down to Connecticut, and searched aimlessly for him, only to find Dr. Bambi waiting in his car, I wasn't angry. When Mulder was obviously disappointed about Dr. Bambi's interest in Dr. Ivanof, I wasn't angry.

When Mulder saw the burn marks on that boy's chest, that clearly wasn't a goat, I wasn't angry. When I saw Mulder and Detective White on the bed, about to do the 'wild thing' (as Mulder would so crudely refer to it), I was not angry. Well- I admit I was a little petulant because of Mulder's attitude, and his obvious interest in Detective White, but I was NOT angry. When Mulder instructed me to ride with the wonderful detective, and when he criticized my feet, I was not angry.

But when I saw those pictures that Mostow had drawn, all tacked up on the walls of Mulder's apartment, I was angry. I suppose that I was angry for of a lot of things, and not the fact that Mulder had taken up a liking for Mostow's morbid art. I was angry because Mulder lost sight of himself. I was angry at Mulder, for allowing himself to slip into Mostow's mind. I was angry because I could have lost him to Patterson. I was angry because Mulder was too involved with the case, to realize that he was hurting me.

When I talked to Dr. Koskoff, she said that I should open myself up to him. She said that I keep myself at a distance from him, because I'm afraid of where he stands in my life.

I could have told her that.

Mulder is the most important person in my life, and I were to lose him to this case, I honestly don't know what I would have done. I probably would have quit the FBI, and joined the lone gunmen on their search for the truth.
I don't even want to contemplate that thought.

I guess the downside of Mulder being the most important person in my life, in some way, it makes me feel weak. I depend on him, and it scares me, because I've never depended on someone this much, in my life.

Even when I was growing up, I never depended on Billy's protection, Missy's advice, Charlie's closeness, or even my parent's love. It was always there for me to have, and I can't think of a time where those articles were at stake.

I guess I depend on Mulder so much, because he's always at stake. His life, his heart, and his sanity. He won't admit to it, but I know he depends on me too. As much as he tries to hide it, or as much as he tries to distance himself from me, I know that his dependency is almost identical to mine.


October 14th, 1999

It poured all day. The rain was coming down when I convinced Mulder to stay. The rain was still coming down when we walked down to the corner market to pick up food to prepare dinner. The rain was still pouring down when we both made dinner together. The rain was still going when Zoey emerged from her room, and joined us for dinner.

The rain continued to fall from the skies, when Zoey returned her room to read Harper Lee's classic pride and joy, 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' And once again, the rain was still pouring when Mulder and I watched Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, on cable television.

'Indiana, let it go.' Sean Connery urges, as Harrison Ford reaches for the Holy Grail. But from the corner of my eye, I notice that his gaze is no longer on the movie.

It's on me.

"Do you think that your life could ever be normal again?"

"Where did this come from, Mulder?" I ask him, as I lean against the back of the couch.

"I don't know. Just a question that I've been thinking about recently."

"Why?"

"You've been acting differently these past few months. I began to suspect you were unhappy with the X-Files. With your life. With me."

"Mulder, I admit that I was unhappy with the X-Files, and my life, but I wasn't unhappy with you." I reached over, and turned the volume down low. "It was almost as if there were an empty void in my life. I considered quitting the X-Files...."

"I think you should." The words fly out of his mouth, before I can even tell him why.

"You think I should quit the X-Files?" I'm ashamed to admit that I am actually offended by this statement.

"You've got your daughter back, Scully. You found her. Didn't you tell me that she was the reason for joining the FBI?"

"Yes, but...."

"If you stay with me, and the X-Files, you put her at risk to be taken again. He took her once, and he's capable of doing it again, Scully. I don't want that to happen to you, or to Zoey."

"I'm well aware of what he's capable of, Mulder. But if I quit, he wins. Remember?"

"So, let him win! I'm getting so tired of his games. They're not funny or cute anymore. They never were. I'm so sick of him, and the power he holds above our heads. It's not worth it anymore. It never was."

"How can you say that, Mulder? This is your life, and we're closer than we've ever been. And you just want me to give up? Just like that?" He turns away, but I demand for him to look me in the eye. His attitude is really starting to wear my patience. However, I know that he is right. I put Zoey at so much risk staying in the X-Files.

"Yes. I don't want to see you get hurt anymore. I can't stand to see you get hurt anymore. I can't take seeing you hurt."

"You told me you couldn't continue with the X-Files, with out me. You said you wouldn't. Or did you just make that up, Mulder?"

"No," he replies briskly. His eyes are colder than the Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter Crunch that's been in the murky depths in the back of my freezer, for nearly 5 years now. "I need you. God, Scully, I need you in so many ways, and you don't even know, Scully." He shakes his head wearily. "You are the essence of my being; the reason for my existence. I need you, and you don't even have the faintest idea how much."

Mulder runs his hands through his tousled hair, and sighs. His sigh is more like a groan, but that's beside the point. I don't even realize how shocked I am by his blatant revelation, until I see the way he reacts to my expression.

"Mulder...." My voice trails off, and his gaze shifts to the ground. I see his Adam's apple bob up and down, before he opens his mouth.

"I should go," he grits in between his lip, and his teeth. "I should go now." His knees knock against my coffee table as his shoots off the couch with inhuman force. Mulder reaches for his leather jacket that's draped over the couch, and struts out my front door with out an acknowledgment.

"Mulder!" The word flies out of my mouth, it doesn't matter because he's presumably halfway down the hall, on his way towards the elevator. My stomach sinks as the reality begins to sink in. I know that I don't have time to think. My first instinct is to run away from this; run to my mom. That would be the safe thing to do. That would be the logical thing to do. That would be cautious thing to do.

But I push those thoughts aside, and do the next thing that comes to mind. I grab my keys from the side table by my door, and storm out of my apartment. As I'm running, I stuff the keys in my pocket, and quickly press in the elevator down button. It chimes loudly, and I practically leap on the cart. It jiggles up and down from the force. I think about a lot in the short time span that I have on the elevator. I think about the way Mulder's expression was furtively hopeful as the words came out of his mouth. And then I think about the way his smirk dropped, and a glint of horror began to flood in.

I think about the way he shot up, feasibly left with utter humiliation that pierced the only dignity that he had left. I think about the insensitive approach upon his declaration.

The elevator chimes again as the doors slide open. The lobby is practically empty as I run through it, and shove the doors open. Colossal rain drops are falling from the sky, and making sloppy splashes against the concrete sidewalk. I squint, and gaze in all directions to try to catch a glimpse of Mulder. To my left, there is a very large man, with his arm around a tiny woman.

Straight across the street are a few pedestrians, and unfortunately I do not recognize. I snap my head to my right, and gasp in surprise. A tall, slender man, walking sluggishly down the sidewalk is to my right. His shoulders are slumped over. His leather jacket is soaked with rain.

I take on step, and shade my hand over my eyes. With the rain, it's hard to see him clearly.

"Mulder!" I scream into the thickness of the night. The man freezes in place briefly, and his shoulders straighten. He shifts his weight around, and faces me. I don't dare to make an effort to move. Neither does he. He remains, standing a little under 100 feet away from me, not daring to say anything. Not daring to move.

I take one step toward him, and after what seems to be hours, he does the same. Letting out the breath that I've been holding inside, I gradually make a quick step toward him. My quick steps turn to a stride. My stride turns into a jog, and my jog turns into a running motion. His motion has progressed to a run as well, and the next thing I know, he has me in his arms, and off the ground.

I am soaked with rain, as is Mulder, but I couldn't care less. His grip on my waist is almost painful, as he holds me close to his chest. Mulder's head drops down to the dip in my shoulder. I can feel his nose poking into my neck. I can also feel that the rain is causing me to slip from his grasp, so I lift my legs, and wrap them around his waist.

Mulder's fervent gaze locks on mine. All I can do is cock my head to the side, and smile meekly. I also unwrap my arms from his shoulders, only to lace my fingers through his wet locks of hair.

"I need you too, Mulder," I whisper against his cold cheek. I place my lips against his cheek bone, near his nose. "I need you so much." I rub my nose against the bridge between his forehead and his nose. Mulder's left hand dips into the back pocket of my jeans. His right remains around my back.

I feel his lips burn into my neck, as he rains kisses up to my jaw. I plant an open-mouth kiss on his right temple, as my fingernails rake back and forth against his scalp. His breathy sigh against my jaw is more than enough to tilt his head up to my gaze.

His lips twisted into a miniature smile. Mulder's head fell forward, and he placed his lips by my ear.

"I....Love....You," he says softly. The moment those words fell from his mouth, I grabbed his ears, and planted my lips upon his. His lips were as soft as fluffy feather pillow. I could taste the crisp, cool rain water that had fallen on his lips. Mulder pulled away, and I motioned to protest.

Mulder's lips zeroed in on my lower lip, and he kissed it delicately. Mulder did it once more, before I wrapped one arm around his neck, and drew him in for another kiss.


October 13th, 1995

Our pub glasses clanked noisily together. Beer spilled over the side, and oozed down slowly.

"Happy birthday, Mulder."

"Thank you, Scully." After the house band finished it's first set, Mulder turns to me, and smiles. "This is great. How did you discover this place?"

"Melissa was a regular here." I trace a flowery pattern on my frost that had accumulated on the glass. "She took me here on my birthday last year. I guess I like this place a lot, because it reminds me of some of the good memories we shared."

"I have a place like that reminds me of Sam. There's this old hamburger place, where Sam and I went every Saturday, that I can remember." Mulder picks up a crinkle-cut french fry from the plastic basket, and dunks it into barbecue sauce. "I have to take you there some time, Scully, cause' they have the best honey bacon swiss burgers you have ever seen."

"Honey bacon swiss burgers?"

"Oh yeah, Scully. They're incredible. I think they mix the mayonnaise, with honey. The bacon is crisp and perfect..." He grins. "But I know how you feel. Thinking about those hamburgers brings back so many happy memories." Mulder pops the french fry into his mouth, and scoops up his Philly Steak Club.

"So where would your happy place be, Scully?"

"My happy place?"

"Yeah. Your happy place. Every one has a happy place." I lean back against the leather-clad booth, and sink my teeth into my upper lip.

"I guess it would be my father's sailboat, when he took me out on the San Francisco bay."

"Weren't you.... 17 at the time?"

"Yes. What's wrong with that, Mulder?"

"Nothing. I guess I assumed that your happy place would be from your pre-adolescent years."

"No. To be honest, a lot of my pre-adolescent years were fairly bland. Since we were constantly moving around, from military base, to military base, I barely had the time to make friends. My father was always away at sea, my older brother was, and still is an ass, Melissa wouldn't play with me, because I wasn't in her choice circle of friends, and my little brother was in that phase where all girls were considered to be demon spawn." Mulder chuckled as he set down his entree.

"Which left my mother, who spent a great amount of time gardening, cooking, and conversing with her bridge club clique. Things that I found, and still find to be a unimaginably tedious."

"So how did you occupy your time?"

"Well, when I had friends that I could play with, we usually played teatherball, and four square. But when I was all alone, which was often the case, I would read, and go out on adventures."

"Adventures? What kind of adventures?"

"Adventures. Like... frog hunting. Um.... mud milkshakes. And then of course, there was the variety of my make-believe adventures. I think they were best of them all."

"And what kind of make-believe games did you play?" I catch the coyness in his tone, and I smile.

"Why?"

"Well, because I know that when I was a kid, I used to pretend I was the 6 Million Dollar Boy."

"Living in Martha's Vineyard, I bet you were pretty close to being the 6 Million Dollar Boy."

"We weren't rich. We were comfortable." Mulder plays with the napkin, shredding it into little confetti-shapes. "But comfort certainly did not bring me happiness."

"You must have experienced some form of happiness as a child."

"Sure I did. But after Sam's disappearance, the only happiness was a warm gun." He grinned when my eyebrow arched upwards. I smiled daintily. "So who was your favorite Beatle, Scully?"

"Paul, of course."

"Paul? Why?"

"He stole my heart with his searing vocals to Oh! Darling."

"I'll remember that tidbit when I do something to piss you off."

"Why? You gonna serenade me?"

"You'll just have to wait, and find out until I make you angry."

"Oh, well, I can count on that being with in the hour." Mulder's face scrunched up, and he clutched the fabric above his heart.

"You wound me, Scully."

"What about you, Mulder?" I pick up my beer, and take a languid sip.

"What about me what?"

"What about your favorite Beatle?"

"Most definitely George Harrison. That boy was a whiz with the guitar."

"Yeah, but his songs suck."

"They suck? Why don't you explain?" I sigh, and shake my head.

"He lacks originality. C'mon- 'Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo, it's all right'? Anybody can write that."

"That's harsh, Scully."

We exchanged brief glances, right before Mulder smiled, and asked me to dance. I accepted immediately, and we spent the majority of the night simply enjoying each other's company. Something that I was not accustomed to. Something that I wish was a common occurrence.


October 14th, 2000

"Mulder-"

"Yeah?" He looked down at me, with a grin across his face. I look over to the cab driver, who was focused on the road ahead. My eyes trail across the roof of the cab, and back to Mulder.

"A couple of nights ago...... when I went to confront Diana...... I saw you heading up to her apartment, with something that looked like wine." My eyes flicker back up to his. "Did you- what were you....." my voice trails off before I feel Mulder's arm wrap around my shoulders.

"It was actually a bottle of bourbon. Ever since I've known her, she's been collecting vintage alcohol. I was trying to stir meaningless conversation on the plane ride, and I asked her about her infamous hobby. I mentioned that I had a bottle of bourbon, that my father was saving since the sixties, and she wanted to buy it off of me. I was dropping it off...." Mulder explains, as he keeps his possessive grip around my shoulders.

I could feel my cheeks flush with heat, as the impact of her silly question hit her hard. I know I shouldn't be jealous. I know about Mulder's feelings toward her. But things were different with Diana. She was an important addittion to his past, and I am practically an expert on past issues, and how they work.

I suddenly feel Mulder's lips upon my head. I lean into his shoulder, and sigh.

"I'm sorry I never told you everything about Diana. I really am, Scully. I didn't mean to hurt you."

"I know you didn't, Mulder." We shared a brief kiss, moments before the cab pulled up to his apartment. We are finally here.


October 13th, 1995

"Mulder, I think they're kicking us out...." His gaze shifts lazily towards me, and he smiles sloppily.

"Hmmm- that's not fair," he mumbles as he reaches backwards. I notice that he's reaching for his wallet, so I reach for my purse, and shake my head.

"It's your birthday." God, I can't remember a time where I've had so much to drink. Jack and I used to go out with a couple of our friends, and we drank. However, I don't recall a time where I felt the strong buzz of alcohol.

"Mulder, let me get it," I tell him firmly as he fumbles through his wallet.

"No..."

"Yeah..." I quickly deposit a twenty, and a ten into the leather envelope. I motion for the waiter, and Mulder shakes his head.

"Scu-llllyyy," he says softly. The waiter frowns softly as she grabs the envelope, and walks off.

"I gotta call a cab, Mulder," I told him, while managing to stumble to my feet.

"Nah, Scully. You're coming home with me." He staggered off of his chair, and grinned. "I promise to be a gentleman."

"I don't know...."

"I don't want you ridin' no cab like that, by yourself. You can take my bed, and I will take the couch."

"Mmmm- okay."

We walked the three blocks to his apartment, and Mulder truly was a gentleman. He gave me a Georgetown football jersey to wear, and tucked me in. I barely felt his presence, when he ran his hand down my hair, turned out the light, and retired to his old couch. That morning, I woke up, and knew that I loved him. I knew that I couldn't love anybody like Mulder. I knew that we were destined to be together. To grow together. To love together. I knew.


October 14th, 1999

His hand is absently stroking the underside of my breast as we lay in the uncorrupted silence of post-coital bliss. The only sound is our sporadic puffs of breath, and our occasional sighs. The only movement is Mulder's hand underneath his cotton-white bed sheet. The only light is in the living room; the neon blue haze that the fishtank casts on his apartment.

After a few moments lingering in the serenity of Mulder's embrace. Mulder deposits a lingering, closed-mouth kiss on the base of my neck. I can't hold back the surprise gasp, and the laconic giggle that flies out of my mouth.

"I love you," he says against my shoulder.

"Likewise," I reply, as I grab his hand that was on my chest, and laced my fingers through his. I feel his chin drop down to my shoulder. He kisses my cheek, and then leans his head against mine.

"Come home with me, Mulder."

"Yeah...." Mulder leans over, and kisses my neck. Both of his arms move around my waist, and lock against my belly-button. I slide my hands down his fine-toned arms, to his hands, and I place them protectively on top.

We lay in silence, until I realize that Zoey is at home by herself. The sudden realization causes me to quickly leap out of Mulder's arms, and towards his phone.

Mulder spends the night with me, in my apartment. We lay together on the couch, and fall asleep watching continuous infomercials starring the Stupendous Yappi. I know that I should be worried about the future. I should be worried about the complications that will arise when Zoey's presence becomes known. I should be worried about Mulder, and our relationship, tangled in so many knots. I should be worried about the future of the X-Files. I should be worried about how this will all work out for us.

But I believe in him. I believe in us. I believe in hope. I want to believe. It's just a shame it took me seven years to figure that out.


January 21, 2002

-EPILOGUE-

As a monstrous tidal wave crashed against the cliff, a monstrous thunderbolt clapped through the sky. A Pomeranian padded up to her feet, and yelped for attention. A brilliant smile instantly formed across her face as she scooped the dog into her arms.

It yelped again as she nuzzled her nose into the crown of it's head, and muttered the dog's name. Ishmail.

Her head snapped upwards the moment that she heard the patter of company. Another smile molded across her face, but this time it was an entirely different smile. The kind of smile that melt his heart, and make him weak at the knees with in seconds.

He flopped down next to her, and a throaty sigh fell across his lips. He lifted his legs, and planted his feet on the coffee table. He waggled his barefoot toes, and she grinned.

While converse about the day, more waves crash against the rocks of the cliff. More thunder slams across the earth. More lightning streaks across the sky. The barely audible sound of a live acoustic guitar comes from the further reaches of house.

She sighs, and lays her head against his firm shoulder. He reaches around, and wraps his arm loosely around her. They hear the faint sound of the guitar, and she speaks.

"He's been here for over two hours. It sounds like he's getting better."

"I think it's nice of Zoey to teach our neighbor how to play to guitar," he declares as he rubs his thumb across the expanse of her shoulder blade.

"Well, she's not doing this out of the decency in her pure little heart. Her interest is entirely in hopes to score a date with him."

"Oh... Well...." They both establish eye contact, and then they meet for a kiss. The kiss is chaste, but it quickly evolves to something.... not.....so....chaste.

Three years ago, they were friends. They were the best of friends. They protected and cared. They shielded, and watched. They guided and aided.

Three years ago, a step was taken into unknown territory. They took a risk, put caution to the wind, and stepped blindly towards the future. Sure, it was hard. Sure, it was exhausting. Sure, it took a lot of work. Sure complicated.

Most of their complications began shortly after they ventured into the unknown territory. There still remained the question of the X-Files. She knew that if she stayed with her work in the X-Files, she would put her daughter at risk to falling in the hands of evil. However, he knew that he simply couldn't continue his work with out her right beside him. The X-Files was too important for Mulder to ignore. He knew that it was apart of him. A part of him that could not be removed.

He tried to make it work. He tried the X-Files with a partner. But a month after his new partner came aboard, he left him because Mulder refused to make it work. All the while, Scully was unhappy with her new position at Quantico, and had thoughts of quitting the FBI all together.

Their hardest struggle came about when he was currently unassigned to a partner, and he went off to Sylvester, Washington to investigate a series of brutal, animalistic attacks. Upon investigation, he was attacked by the primary suspect.

He was walking home through a deserted path through the forest, when the suspect threw him to the ground, and jumped on top of him. In the process, the suspect managed to grab a tree trunk, only to fracture his knee in four places. A local logger found him early the next morning, and rushed him to the local hospital.

She came out on the next flight, and when she arrived, he was in a coma, and stayed in that state for almost a week. By the grace of God, his body healed gradually. At this point, Scully was working at Quantico in the Pathology lab. She often complained about the long hours, and the lack of company. After Mulder, working with dead bodies all day, just didn't hold the same appeal that it once did.

Mulder's complaints were focused at his new position away from the X-Files. His leg had left him restricted, and immobile. Skinner assigned him "temporarily" to the Behavioral Sciences, where he assisted the VCU. Mulder studied each case at his desk, and crafted a detailed profile. This became Mulder's task. day in, and day out. The X-Files were left untouched for months, until he went to Skinner and handed him his resignation, and grabbed an entire file cabinet's worth of cases.

With the help of the Gunmen, and a couple of friends of theirs, Mulder and Scully learned of Professors Sean and Meredith Pepper. Professors Pepper were a wonderful old couple, who were in the stage of retirement from the University of Rhode Island. They wanted to find to eligible candidates to replace their positions at Rhode Island. Dr. Sean Pepper got into the field of Pathology. Dr. Meredith Pepper got into the field of Psychology when her father was left mentally handicapped after he returned from World War I.

Since that turning point in their lives, he has been searching independently for the truth with the help of the Gunmen on the side; and working as a professor full time.

When Mulder decided to leave the FBI, he decided on embarking on a career as an educator. Dr. Fox W. Mulder is now employed by the Abnormal Psychology department at the University of Rhode Island. They left the DC area approximately two years ago with Zoey. Together, they purchased a house on a cliff, in Warwick, Rhode Island, off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

One day, about a year ago, the Lone Gunmen came home from a conference in Nevada, only to find their headquarters in ruins. It was bombed by an unidentified source, which still remains a mystery until this day. They decided to move their work to a more secluded area. They settled for a quiet loft in downtown Providence.

Together, they step out on the balcony, which leans over the ocean. Down below, they see the waves crash against the solid rock, almost reaching them where they stand. The stars hang above their heads, like little pearls, begging to be touched.

He whispers the tell-tale signs of 'sweet nothings' into the delicate shell of her little ear, and she smiles. A smile which bears more amiable mystery than the Mona Lisa.

Beyond Mulder's soft innuendo being whispered into her ear, she sees a cliff out in the distance. She sees the waves crashing against it's rocky surface. On this rocky cliff, she sees a road that stretches across it's terrain.

The long and winding road twists around the curves and turns. The long and winding road stretches across the plane of the cliff, following the direction of the ocean. The long and winding road continues through the jagged turf, and slants downward into the valley. The long and winding road evens out, and disappears into the nebulous haze of the New England night air. As her eyes trail over the long and winding road, she thinks about her existence. Especially her family.

She sees the warmth of her mother. The protection of her two brothers. The memories of her father and her sister. The inspiration and miracle of her daughter. She sees Mulder; warmth, protection, memory, miracle, and inspiration. And then she sees the road. The long and winding road that she has traveled on for so long. She knows how it feels to travel on that long and winding road. But now, she knows that she is free.




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