Title: Beliefs
Author: Annie Reed
Written: March 1995
Spoilers: Little Green Men
Category: V

Summary: An insomniac Mulder regains his faith while glancing at the television.

This is my first attempt at posting to this board -- AOL hath decreed that we can no longer use "Mulder" and "Scully" in our posts to their library, although we can use the term X Files, so this is my attempt at creative freedom.

This is a second season story, set between "Little Green Men" and "The Host." Hope you enjoy!!


The word exploded like a gunshot in the dark as Mulder sat straight up on the couch. It took him a moment to shake off the remains of his nightmare and remember where he was. But little by little a familiar sound seeped into his brain and helped to ground him in reality.

The T.V. was spraying snow and static into Mulder's small living room. The last thing Mulder remembered before drifting off to sleep was watching "Creature from the Black Lagoon" for the umpteenth time. Now the station was obviously off the air for the night.

Mulder picked up the remote from his coffee table and started channel surfing. The choices were none too appealing. Three infomercials for small kitchen appliances being hawked by a man immortalized by Weird Al Yankovic, two more for cosmetics backed by currently unemployed actresses, a couple for exercise equipment guaranteed to keep off the pounds with the least possible exertion, and a hyperkinetic bald women exhorting her audience to stop the insanity.

"Wish I could," he muttered at the screen.

He settled for a made for cable movie about the AIDS virus. "Fifty seven channels and nothing on..." he sang softly.

Damn, he wished just once he could sleep through the night. He ran an unsteady hand through his hair and looked at his watch -- 2:30 in the morning. This was getting worse. He used to be able to sleep for a least a few more hours before his nightmares got the better of him. And the damnest part was that he couldn't remember the dreams when he woke up, only the sense of dread and helplessness the nightmares brought with them.

These were nothing like the nightmares he'd had about Samantha on and off since she disappeared. Well, why candycoat it -- since she'd been abducted. Those he could remember in agonizing detail.

Mulder knew that her abduction had been the turning point in his life, had shaped him into what he was. How differently would his life had turned out if that had never happened? Mulder couldn't even speculate. His search for his sister and the beings who had abducted her consumed his entire life, leaving little room for anything else. Including, maybe, his sanity.

He thought he might have had a chance to end his search in Puerto Rico. He'd actually seen them, the ones who took Sam. His reaction had been explosive, totally instinctual, and totally governed by rage. The same rage he had carried with him for years, a white hot anger aimed at the beings who had taken away the most important person in his life without permission, without explanation, and without regard for the broken lives left in their wake . But his gun had jammed, and in the end all he could do was look the being in the face, as helpless as the boy who had watched Sam float through the window into the unknown all those years ago. And try as hard as he could, that was the last thing he could remember until he woke the next day to find Scully shining a flashlight in his face. Dana Scully, once his partner, now his friend, and the only one he could trust.

Scully... How much she had changed in the short year they had worked together. She had finally opened her mind up to extreme possibilities, with him dragging her along all the way, and had seen things which should have shaken her to the core. But she retained her sanity, and even more astounding, an unshakable faith in him. When he had begun to lose faith in himself, to be worn down by the sheer drudgery of the assignments handed to him since their partnership had been dissolved and they had both been reassigned to routine duty, she had been there, urging him not to give up, to continue seeking the truth. Imagine, Dana Scully convincing Spooky Mulder to believe. The irony was not lost on him.

Something on the T.V. caught his attention. A group of professionals, doctors or researchers maybe, he thought, were sitting in a lab. One of the characters asked the room in general "what do we think, what do we know, what can we prove?" The discussion continued on, but that phrase kept ringing in Mulder's brain. "What do we know... what can we prove?"

That was the whole problem -- he knew things he could not prove. And because he could not prove them, even after all these years of trying, he had begun to doubt them himself. That was the trouble with having a background in psychology. He was well aware of the tricks the human mind could play on itself, the things your mind could make you see when you wanted to see them bad enough.

He wanted to believe in extreme possibilities, for answers to unexplained occurrences which were beyond the realm of man's knowledge and experience. He wanted to believe that there was more intelligent life in this universe, in all possible universes, than just mankind. He had to believe that, or his faith that he would someday find his sister would be lost, and that would destroy him.

The turning point for Dana Scully had come when she had held the DNA test results on the "Purity Control" sample in her hands. Solid, hard, scientific evidence - a new base pair in the gene sequence, something not existing in life on earth, and therefore, by definition, extraterrestrial. Scully had held the proof, and she believed. Of course, the sample had been destroyed and the DNA researcher had died in a car accident. But this time not only was the file closed as unexplained, they were also closed as well. No more poking their noses into things someone didn't want them to discover.

Mulder needed something solid to hold onto. He thought he had it, finally, in Puerto Rico. Even Scully had questioned whether he had really seen the beings in the old SETI listening post, or if the had only been there in his head. He had shown her the computer printouts, the tape, and the body of Jorge Concepcion, all of which he wanted to take as evidence. But once again he couldn't - they barely escaped with their lives from the soldiers who had orders to shoot to kill anyone found at the site. He had only managed to grab the tape, and it was blank. So yet again he had no solid evidence to hold in his hands, to convince himself and everyone else, once and for all, that everything he had experienced was real.

Mulder swung his legs over the edge of the couch and stood slowly, stretching his cramped back muscles. He padded out to the kitchen, poked his head in the frig looking for something to munch on, and ended up with a glass of water instead.

By the time he got back to the living room, an earnest young doctor type was in the middle of a tirade against a formidable group of people seated behind a long table. From the microphones in front of each player, Mulder guessed the earnest young doctor type was testifying to some stuffy government committee. He was about to change the channel, but then he heard what the doctor was saying, and he paused to listen.

"Do we know the disease was transmitted by transfused blood? Yes. Can we prove it, conclusively? No. All the facts point to that conclusion, but we have no proof. So just tell us how many people have to die before we come back to you again. 100... 1,000.... 10,000? Just let us know so we won't bother you anymore!"

Mulder was transfixed. He stared at the screen, but his mind wasn't on the movie anymore. Mentally he was reviewing all the abduction cases he had investigated over the years, all the articles he had read, all the research he had done. The number of abduction cases were in the tens of thousands. Even discounting the crazies, that still left thousands of legitimate reports of alien abduction. No flying saucers, no "little green men" applying for planet earth citizenship, no tissue samples or DNA test results, but maybe the sheer number of cases was his proof.

All he had to do was continue believing, to continue searching. He had to do that for Sam. He had to do it for himself.

The End

All the usual disclaimers apply. The characters of Mulder and Scully are the creation and property of Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions, and Fox Broadcasting. The characters in "And The Band Played On..." are the property of HBO Entertainment -- any misquotes or paraphrases are solely the fault of your author's poor memory.

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