Title: Always and Forever
Author: Jenny Chism
Warning: Mulder dies, do not read if you are upset at this thought.
Disclaimer: Explores characters and situations created by the writers of the X-files, Chris Carter, and Ten Thirteen Productions. Use of these characters and situations are not meant as a copyright infringement, and is solely for entertainment purposes.

Summary: Mulder's death forces Scully to come to terms with her beliefs.

Author's Note: I tried something new with this story. I hope no one gets too angry about it. I do kill off a character, and the other is forced to come to terms with her beliefs. No, I don't not want this story to actually happen, I just started writing, and this is what I came up with, so enjoy.

I buried him on a cold winter day in February. It was Tuesday. The coast was beautiful at that time of the year. I can still hear his low soothing voice echoing in my head. Yes, we put him to rest exactly one year ago. That's when I started seeing the dog.

Mulder and I were enjoying the fact that we were out of the month long quarantine. Being confined was hard, especially after I already lost three months of my life not even a month ago. Although I can't remember the three months, I knew they were missing. Mulder wasn't giving me enough space. I guess it was because he didn't want to lose me again. Countless hours were spent talking about our lives outside the bureau mainstream. I had learned alot about him, his favorite movies and cassettes, his favorite places. He talked alot about how worthless his life seemed, about how he had no one to come home to and the fact that his family has nothing to do with him. The thing he brought up that bothered me most was the question "if I die?" He asked me if I would take care of things, "if" something were to happen. I feel guilty now about not giving him an answer, in fact, I coldly changed the subject without a reply. I told him about my brothers and sister and about my mom, but told him little about myself. I mean, we were partners and were not supposed to talk about our lives outside of the office. He was disappointed on more than one occasion. After a month, I was hoping he would just get abducted by extraterrestrials because he had drove me crazy with his "theories" one every thing from peanut butter to the plague. One day of his "theories" was enough, but a month? Now I would do anything to hear one more of his "Theories" from that quiet, soothing voice.

Our new assignment dealt with a serial killer whose victims showed no physical evidence of murder. Mulder's theory was that the guy was practicing voodoo. The killer captured his victims at gun point, and took them to abandon building all over the east coast. Mulder and I were able to track down the killer before his next victim. The killer was inside an abandon warehouse with his next victim when we caught up with him. I tried to stop Mulder from entering, but he was always so stubborn. When I followed a couple of minutes later, he apparently had hid behind some boxes, waiting for a chance to get the killer alone. When the killer moved away from the hostage, Mulder made his move, and shot. Not knowing he missed the chest and hit the killer in the shoulder, Mulder had stood up. Just long enough for the killer to shoot. I don't remember seeing a gun or hearing a shot, just a pitiful whisper from Mulder, calling out my name. I kneeled by his side, applying pressure to the wound, until the paramedics arrived. He had so much fear and pain in his eyes, and there was so much blood.

They rushed him to the hospital, while I followed behind. He was in surgery for over seven hours, and they almost lost him twice. They tried, unsuccessfully to stop all of the bleeding, and his liver was unrepairable. I tried contacting his relatives, none of them would come, even his mother. I finally ended up calling my mom for support, who in turn drove to the hospital. Mom liked Mulder alot, and deeply cared about how I was taking the outcome.

The next three days were hell. I now know how Mulder had felt when it had been In a bed. A bullet, that was the equivalent to that of the Black Rhino, left his liver and two ribs totally irreparable. His liver was expected to quit functioning at anytime. He was a fighter, a champion, and took the news quite well. I was surprised at how alert he was, besides all the pain killers they had given him. They kept setting deadlines, 48 hours, 36 hours, 24 hours. I could tell Mulder had lost all hope. He had that distant look on his face, like the many times he would try to shut out the world around him. He told me that he didn't want to die. I held him, while he finally let out all those feeling he had for the last two days. Finally, he accepted it, as he put it, "a fact of life." Mulder said he wanted to be buried in Northern Maine, and asked me if I would take care of everything.

I fed him ice chips every half hour, and read him some Shakespeare. Then his liver finally quit functioning. I stayed by his side until the very end, watching him gradually weaken until he fell asleep for the last time. I knew that he would never wake, and that he would slowly drift into deeper and deeper sleep, until his heart would stop. And I wept. He looked so peaceful when they came to remove the unnatural equipment stuck to him. And I wept.

My mom helped me with the funeral. She and I picked out a nice suit, and one of his favorite songs. An old classic rock tune, I found at his apartment, the day we cleaned it out. We flew to a small town in Maine, along the beautiful coast. Mulder never was religious as I know religion, and we didn't know how to do the ceremony, so we did the best we could. I'm sure he was open-minded about the subject, but we had never talked about it. His mom showed up that day. She wore sunglasses and a black hat, and she didn't say a word. She left as quickly as she had arrived. My mom and sister were there, they had been greatly supportive through the lost and I was grateful for them both. I remember the warmth of the sun against my face, and the cool breeze blowing from the coast.

Then I saw the dog at the edge of the cemetery. He was huge with wolf-like features, and sad dark eyes. He was so mysterious. That night, the dreams started.

That dog was in every dream, every nightmare, and every thought. I started seeking professional help. I was told that my thoughts and feelings were perfectly normal, and that they would pass with time. After five months, the dreams and thoughts had subsided, but I could still hear his voice.

Then, during the first week of July, my mom and I went to Maine to see him. The air was clean and fresh, and the sky was a brilliant blue. Next to his tombstone lay the dog. My mom didn't seem to notice. I turned to her and then back to the tombstone, the dog was gone. The dog's presence didn't bother me. I thought that maybe he lived in the area, Mom didn't see him that day. I thought about Mulder alot over the next couple of weeks. There had been times when I wished it would have been me. Skinner didn't say anything about Mulder the day he shut down the files forever. I was angry, so angry. Angry about the fact that everybody forgot about "Spooky" Mulder. He was just a ghost of the past, just disappeared into the woodwork. My own faith in the system had long been shattered. I regretted all those times I had given him a hard time about his theories. Many times, I had wished that there "was" an iced tea in that bag. My future had been shattered, a piece of my heart torn out and buried that day one year ago.

The scratching sound at my back door continued for a couple of days, before I found out what it was. Each time I checked the door, nothing was there, until one night after a dream. Maine is quite a way from Washington DC. on foot, and I had no idea how the dog got to my door. I wasn't frightened. He was at least 90 pounds, and looked like a wolf. A solid gray with white tipped ears. His eyes sagged, giving a sad appearance, almost like that of a basset hound. He didn't have a collar. I was sure he was the exact same dog. It wasn't any breed I was familiar with.

After awhile at the backdoor, he left. The next day he returned. That day, at the grocery store, I got him some food. He ate as if he hadn't eaten for weeks. When I reached out to pet him, he backed away, not threateningly, but just walked out of reach. For a few days, he returned at the same time, then he started hanging around outside. I started calling him "my" dog. The nightmares had stopped completely. My thoughts of Mulder were good, and I remembered less and less about that fateful night he was shot.

Finally, one day, I tried to coax him inside. He wouldn't budge, so he stayed outside. My mom came over one day for dinner. I talked about my dog, and told her about how I saw the same dog at the cemetery. When I called the dog to the house, he didn't come. My mom never did get a chance to see him.

He wouldn't let me touch him until that day he saved my life. I knew that walking in DC. alone at night was dangerous, but I just couldn't sleep. My dog wasn't home for dinner in two days, and I had another nightmare. I decided to go for a walk. The night air helped to clear my thoughts. A guy about 6'3" and the age of 30 approached me with a gun. He was wearing a suit and trench coat. He knew my name, and called me "Agent Scully." He told me we had a plane to catch. It was a private plane and was very small. We flew for what seemed hours. The location appeared to be Canada. I started getting violent flashbacks to my disappearance last August. Even the dark figure who just kidnapped me looked familiar. Mulder knew who was behind my abduction, but he never told me. It angered me that he kept that information at a distance. Now I was going through this again. I was injected with a tranquilizer, and faded to black.

When I woke, I was in a small cabin in the middle of a wooded area. It was dark. There were three men in the room. Then my dog appeared. He looked twice as big with his hair on end, and teeth bared. I didn't remember where he came from. The tree men drew their weapons, but not before my dog had jumped on one of the men, ripping at his throat. The man dropped his weapon as my dog got the fatal grip. I killed the other two men, and my dog walked up to me. He seemed to check to make sure I was OK. The presence was so familiar. I reached out to him, and he let me pet him. Come to find out, I was in Northern Canada. There was no explanation as to how my dog had gotten there. He left before the authorities came.

I spent a couple of days at my mother's house. She and I talked about Mulder, and then about my dog. She turned white, and then said that the night I disappeared, she saw a gray wolf-like dog in the hall way. When she shut her eyes and then reopened them, the dog was gone.

My dog was waiting for me when I got home. This time, he came right in. He paced around the room, like something was wrong. For the next couple of days, he paced around, never sleeping. We watched TV together, and I didn't dream. I never did believe in spirits, or guardian angels, and the thought took a long time to register. Then I started to wonder. It was so odd, after my father died, I found myself believing and then now, I was afraid to believe. Finally, I urged myself to open Mulder's boxes of stuff from the office. I came across the picture of Samantha. When my dog saw the picture, he let out a long whimper, and went to the back door wanting out. I reluctantly did so, and wondered if he would ever return. Then, he turned around, and barked, like he wanted me to follow him. So I followed, and he led me to the park bench where Mulder and I had long talks when the X-files had been shut down. He stared out onto the water. I saw a distant look that I had seen many times before. The familiarity sent shivers down my spine. He came and laid his head in my lap, as if he wanted to be reassured about something.

After a while, we returned home. I called my mom and asked her to come over to see my dog. She complained about it being the middle of the night, but did as I asked. When she arrived, I led her to the living room where he was lying next to the sofa. She didn't see him.

The next few weeks, I spent lots of time with him. Then we took another trip to Maine. When we arrived at the cemetery, sure enough, my dog lay there, next to Mulder's tombstone. My mom saw him. She said it was the same dog that was in the hallway that night. Then a few seconds later, as we approached, my mom said he disappeared. I knelt beside him while he laid his head in my lap one last time, before I, too, no longer saw him. We left Maine that day, and never saw them again.

I know Mulder kept his promise the day he saved me from those men. He will always watch over me. I still miss him a lot, and I will think about him everyday, every time I see a bag of sunflower seeds, or every time I watch a classic horror movie, and , of course, every time I see a wolf. Yes, I do believe I got my piece of heart back. Not for just me, but for us both. He lives within me, always and forever.

----The End----

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