Title: Why Aren't You Here?
Summary: In the distant future, Mulder blunders through life without his partner to guide him.
Mulder/Scully romance is contained within. Nothing sick, although a possible PG-13 rating for a little iffy language. Nothing we've all said/heard before. This has nothing to do with my other writings, though there are some references made. Well, I'm assuming you want to get on with it, so HAVE AT IT!
Thanks to Mom, Dad, Sara, and all the other Philes out there who influenced me to write this. After reading Grey Fox, I was inspired to write this. So thanks also go to it's author.
"Agent Mulder, time to wake up!" a voice said.
Mulder sighed. He'd really have to change the way that thing greeted him. No one called him Agent Mulder anymore. That had been 40 years ago. He definitely didn't want it to address him by "Mulder". Too many painful memories were associated with that name. As much as he hated to admit it, he'd have to let the damn thing call him Fox.
"Computer," he spoke into the air, feeling for all the world like Captain Kirk, "change normal wake-up and other greetings to 'Fox'. Not 'Agent Mulder', OK?"
"Yes, Fox." Well, that had been fixed. Now it was time for the daily morning ritual. He rolled over on his side and stared at the two pictures on his table. On was of the sister he'd lost so long ago. The other was of the woman he'd loved.
His sister's hazel eyes stared back at him. He wanted to reach out and touch her. Why wasn't she here? He'd never been able to comprehend his father's choice. He'd never been a father, but he knew he'd never trade his life for one of his children's. How could anyone sacrifice that beautiful little girl to the demons that ruled the sky? I'll never understand, he thought bitterly. Why wasn't it me? It should have been me. Not Samantha. Never Samantha.
He turned his face and his thoughts to the beautiful woman in the next picture. Her red hair glinted in the photographic sun. Her deep blue eyes shone with laughter. He didn't need a picture to remind him of that day. He'd never forget it. He'd even titled it. "The Never-Forgotten Day". His photographic memory had forced him to remember the day's every detail. Yet another even in his life he'd never understand. I'll never understand, he thought bitterly. Why wasn't it me? It should have been me. Not Scully. Never Scully.
Fox had had enough of these terrible thoughts. He rolled out of bed. Of course, the memories weren't forgotten. They could never be forgotten. Especially the thoughts of the wonderful red-headed woman who had ruled his life. She was with him every second of everyday; how could he even begin to forget.
Mulder turned around to see reminders of her existence. On the table were flowers; tulips. Her favorite. On the CD player lay a case containing his favorite CD. It was "Because You Loved Me", by Celine Dion. It had been their song. It would always be her song. His own words had come back to haunt him. What was it he'd said in the note attached to the CD when he'd given it to her, over 30 years ago? Oh yes, how could he forget?
I want this to be our song Scully. I want there to be an "us". I think of you each and every time I hear it.
And had that changed? No. There had been an "us". He still thought of her every time her heard it. And why not? he thought. I listen to it every night while I stare at her picture. Yes, there had been and "us". But somehow he'd managed to destroy that in one evening. The memory came washing back. Why did he have to do this, torture himself? Was it a penance? A penalty? Nonetheless, the memory came back. And it came back hard.
Mulder smiled over at Scully. She was eating her sandwich in the bright sun, her skin glowing with all the light of an expectant mother. Yes, she and Fox were going to have a baby. They weren't married and neither had any plans of the sort. But they were committed entirely to each other. If it was a boy, it would be William, after their fathers. If it was a girl, the obvious choice was Samantha. But hey both knew it was going to be a Samantha. Samantha Melissa Mulder.
"So, how are you doing?" Mulder asked. Scully had to smile. He'd been doting over her since the day he found out. She was really starting to like it.
"We are doing just fine. Now relax. That's why we took the day off, remember?"
"Yeah." But he couldn't stop worrying. Scully was only 3 months into term, and she wasn't even showing hardly. But still... "Do you think anyone knows yet? At the office I mean."
Scully sighed impatiently. "No, it's fine Mulder. Now, are you going to just sit and eat, or do have to drug you?"
"No, I'll sit still. I'll be good." He went back to eating. he wondered for the thousandth time who the baby would look like. Would it have red hair and blue eyes? Brown hair and hazel eyes? Red hair and hazel eyes? Brown hair and blue eyes? One hazel eye and one blue one? He hoped not. The thought scared him. What if he had some type of mutant gene and he caused the baby to be deformed in some way? He decided to try not think about it. After all, like Scully had said, he took the day off to relax.
They finished their picnic and decided to go for a walk. They held hands and talked. Mulder privately kept an eye out for Skinner or anyone else from the Bureau. Little did he know, Scully was doing the same thing. They'd run into Skinner before on these little outings, and *that* had been uncomfortable.
A light breeze blew in and Mulder decided to put his arm around Scully. I mean, he thought, it's not like anyone hasn't seen me do this before. Just me and Scully, talking and walking. He thought back to his case with Bambi Berenbaum and smiled. He told her on the phone that he was just "sittin an' thinkin" . That was the opposite of what he was doing now.
Scully snuggled up against her partner. She was so very happy. She was going to have a child and Mulder was the father. It was completely unexpected, of course, but Mulder had been there the whole time so far and she doubted that he'd ditch her now. She loved him and he loved her. They didn't need a silly piece of paper to tell each other what they meant. Mulder had bought her a ring though. He told her if she ever needed reassurance, he'd marry her, right on the spot. She smiled. How sweet he was.
"Uh-oh," Mulder growled under his breath.
Scully frowned. "What?" she whispered.
"Ahead, by the trees. The man standing under the third one. It's Krycek."
"Alex Krycek? Why would he show up now?" She moved slightly away from Mulder and he dropped his arm. "He hasn't been seen around here for years."
Mulder squinted. "Stay here," he commanded. Scully did. She knew Mulder was being over-protective, but that was OK right now. She watched him walk up to the second tree and lean against it as if he hadn't seen the man who had murdered his father. He glanced over slightly, turned back forward, the walked nonchalantly over to where Scully was standing.
"So?" she asked.
"It's not him."
"Thank God!" Scully sighed. Mulder turned back to face the tree line.
"Gosh, he sure looked like him. Right down to -"
"Agent Mulder," a voice raked across Mulder's ears. He whirled around and nearly screamed at what he saw. Cancerman was standing with his arm draped about Scully's shoulders. He had a gun to her side. "One shot, Mulder. That's all it takes. No one will hear it; it's windy and I've got a silencer. One shot," Cancerman smiled wickedly, "and they *both* die."
Mulder tried to lunge for Scully, but he heard the sound of the safety clicking. The gun was armed and he knew that this SOB would shoot her, them, if Fox even gave him half a chance. "Don't you dare hurt her. Don't you dare hurt them," he said in a strangled voice.
"Why Agent Mulder! You wound me!" Cancerman exclaimed.
"Hey, Mulder!" called a voice surprisingly close to his right ear.
Mulder didn't have to turn to know who it was. "Krycek. It was you. You insensitive son of a-"
"Now, now, Fox. Let's not say anything I wouldn't say!" Krycek moved around to Mulder's front, facing him. Scully tried to scream, seeing that he was armed but Cancerman clamped his hand on her mouth.
Alex came face to face with Mulder, their noses nearly touching. "I've been waiting to do this for a long time, Spooky." He smiled evilly. "Nighty-night!"
Mulder had a split second before Krycek pistol-whipped him into silence to scream at the top of his lungs, "DANA!!!!!"
He thought he heard her cry, "FOX!!!!" It would have been the only time she'd uttered his first name to him since that time years ago in the car on the stake-out. Ironically, as he fell unconscious, he last thought was, I should have let her call me that more often.
Mulder floated back into consciousness. There was a crowd of people surrounding him. "What the-" he groaned.
"Sir? Are you OK, sir? Are you going to need a doctor?" a young man asked.
"No, thanks. I'll be fine. I just need..." he trailed off. What did he need? Time to recover? Time to rest? Time to find Scully?
He needed Scully. Yeah, kid, I need a doctor, but one certain one. The one who's carrying my kid. The only one I've ever loved.
His head ached and he knew it wasn't just from the huge bump from Krycek's brutal attack. His heart ached, too. He had to find Scully. He had too.
Not but's about it. He needed to find her. Physically needed it. Emotionally needed it.
He'd find her.
Mulder shook his old head. His once brown, unruly hair was now gray. His bright hazel eyes had dimmed. Not only age had done this to him. The pain of losing Scully had effected him more that anyone would ever know. He laughed harshly at himself. You said you'd find her, Mulder, his brain mocked. Well, where is she?
His anger turned into rage, then depression. He stepped out onto the terrace and tilted his head to the sky. "Are you up there, Scully? Are you and little Samantha up there?" he whispered. "I hope not. I hope you're still here. I hope you got severe amnesia, couldn't find me and happily had a little girl without me. I'd rather you be here with me, though." His rage returned. "WHY AREN'T YOU HERE?" he screamed. "Why aren't you here with me? Was it my fault? Dammit, I'd give my life for you!" Mulder sagged and would have fallen if he hadn't subconsciously caught himself on the railing and held himself up. He sighed and re-opened his eyes. He looked down at the cars below. How far was it? 100, 200 meters? No way anyone could survive a fall like that. The words to a song came back. The other song on the CD he had bought Scully so long ago.
[I'm sure I could face the bitter cold
He sneered. Yeah, he could face the bitter cold. He'd survived that bout in Alaska, remember? But Scully was there then, a little voice said. He ordered it to shut the hell up. He'd tried to face life without her. Hell, he'd been doing that for over 30 years now. But had he really been facing it? Or had he been running from it like a tiny child?
[I've face the fear
He'd suffered all right. But he knew that it wasn't enough. It would never be enough for having let them take Samantha, Scully, and the second Samantha.
[There's just one thing I must believe
How many times had he woke in the night and called out his partner's name, only to be greeted by silence? He had to believe that Scully and Baby Sam were alive. Of course, by now, "Baby" Sam would be a thirty year old woman. She was probably married, had kids of her own. Kids that should be calling him Grampa.
He dug his fingernails into his hands. He clenched them hard and little droplets of blood formed. He opened his hands and stared at them for a long while. Blood was slowly running down the creases in his hands He silently wondered why he'd done that. It wouldn't bring them back. Mulder started to laugh. It was a harsh, unfriendly laugh that would have made children run and dogs bark. It was the laugh of a man who had gained so much through one person, then lost it all when that person had left.
It was the laugh of a mad man.
Fox Mulder stepped back into the apartment. He was still bleeding and although he'd have liked to just slowly bleed to death, his better judgment told him he needed to clean those wounds. It was like Scully was in his head, helping him clean and dress the gouges he had inflicted on himself. He cleaned them out with alcohol and wrapped them with gauze. Regular bandages wouldn't cover his whole hand.
Mulder drearily walked out of the huge apartment he lived in and headed to the elevator. I should get some fresh air, he thought. All this is going to my head. He glanced at his watch and saw the time. 11:21 am. He also glanced at the calendar on his watch. The date slowly registered in his head. No wonder he had been so gloomy all day.
Today was the anniversary. The anniversary of his little sister's abduction. It was also the day that they'd taken Scully and his child. He thought for the thousandth time how ironic it was that he'd lost the people he'd cared most deeply about all on the same day, but years apart.
He stepped onto the roof of the old building. He saw another old agent tending to one of the many gardens. Mulder didn't have a garden. As Scully had said, he had a black thumb instead of a green one. He could never let anything botanical grow. He'd kill it if he came within 5 feet of it. Scully told him it was because of those awful ties that he wore. Nothing could have the will to keep on living once they saw one of those ties.
"Hello, Agent Mulder," said the man without turning around. Mulder shook his head and managed a small smile. Despite this man's old age and Alzheimer's, he could still tell when Mulder was coming. I must give off some sort of scent that he can smell a mile away. The scent of trouble, Mulder thought.
"Hi Walter," Fox said and stepped up to stand next to his old boss. Fox had quit the Bureau as soon as Scully had been lost for good. It had been many years since this man had had any athority over him.
Skinner put on a puzzled look. "Did you always call me that? They tell me I was your boss and that you and another female agent were always giving me trouble. I can't believe that. You seem like such a nice young man."
Mulder threw his head back and roared with laughter. Today was such a day of ups and downs. When he'd woken up, he was distraught with grief. Now he was laughing at his old boss harder than he had in years. It was just to funny; Skinner calling him a "nice young man". It didn't seem right.
Now Skinner's expression turned annoyed. "I don't see what's so funny."
"Oh, Walter, if you only knew. If only the old Skinner could come here and listen to what you just said. He'd die. He'd simply die!" Mulder laughed. It had become normal practice to him to call this old man "Walter", but when he referred to him in the past, he still called him "Skinner".
"See here, young fellah," Walter said, which produced another fit of giggling from Mulder. "Now listen. You know my first name and you call me that, so I want to know yours." He pushed his glassed up higher on his nose.
"Oh, no," Mulder sighed, finally subdued. "No one calls me by my first name. No one except-" he paused "-well, no one. So you see, I can't tell you."
"Fine, Mulder. Mulder, where is Agent Scully?" Walter asked. His little eyes surrounded by wrinkles burrowed into Mulder's brain.
Mulder frowned. He hated it when Walter remembered painful parts of Skinner's past. Especially those parts having to do with Scully. He cleared his throat," Uh, well, sir, I don't know. I haven't know for a long time." He pulled off his own glasses, which he had to wear all the time now, and cleaned them on his shirt. He slipped them back on.
"I know where she is."
Fox stared hard at Walter. This was getting harder than he thought it would be. Walter had only said that once before, when his disease wasn't as bad. Mulder had followed bad leads of months, until he found a red haired, blue eyed woman in a hospital. It wasn't his Scully, but it was another woman named Dana. She was kind and answered his questions, but he knew it wasn't Scully. He'd often thought back to that woman, wondering how she was doing. He'd reminded him so much of Scully, yet she was so completely different. He decided this was another of Walter's sad delusional thoughts.
"Don't you know where she is?"
"No, Walter, I don't. I told you that just a minute ago, remember?"
"No, I don't. Do you want to know where she is?"
Mulder sighed. Might as well play along. "Yeah, sure. Where is she?"
Walter smiled and opened his arms wide. "She's here. She's always been here. In the air, in the flowers, in my thoughts... and yours." He dropped his arms and sobered. He stepped closer to Mulder. "And she's in here," he said and jabbed a crooked old finger into Mulder's chest. "She's in your heart, son." Walter stepped away. "Good afternoon, Agent Mulder." He left.
After Walter had left the roof, Mulder stayed for a long time. He thought about what Walter had said. Maybe it was partially true. Occasionally, when the wind blew softly by, he thought he could feel Scully touching his shoulder, smelt her soap-and-cleanliness smell, and heard her gentle laughter. When he went up to the roof, he thought of her when he saw the beautiful tulips and remembered how beautiful she had been, too. He knew he constantly thought about her, but he hadn't know that a part of Walter, the Skinner part, thought about her also. It was nice to know that the woman he'd loved was remembered by more people than himself. He also knew that she was in his heart. It ached when he thought about how much he missed her and about the times they never got to spend together and with their child. His heart soared when he remembered her wonderful smile and their petty arguments about whether the victim in the current case had been abducted by aliens or by a human kidnapper.
Despite being senile, the old man knew more than he let on. Deep in his hear, Mulder thought he probably remembered that Fox was supposed to call him "Mr. Skinner" or "Sir". Maybe he should tell Walter his name was Fox. Hell, he hardly had a friend left; he might as well make one out of this old man.
Fox's moody hazel eyes softened when he realized it was probably something Scully would have wanted him to do. He stood and headed to the door back to the ground floor. Time to retreat back into his little world where he could grieve the loss of his daughter.
Mulder sat in his chair, thinking. The day was nearly over. He was looking forward to the time when he could got to sleep. He was looking forward to the day he could go to sleep and not wake up. There was too much pain in this damned world.
He sat staring at the wall. His eyes became hazy and he felt drowsy. His chest hurt a little. Oh, good, he though sarcastically, maybe it's a heart attack and I can die. Then he thought how awful he was for wishing to die. Many had left this world before their time, praying to live one more day. He felt guilty. One more mark on you Big Board of Guilt, Mulder.
"Oh, Scully, why aren't you here? Thing would be so great if you were here."
"But I am here, Fox."
Wonderful, my brain is deciding it would be fun to become senile, he thought. I don't want to be like Skinner and forget everything. I have to remember, as punishment for letting them take you, Scully.
"Fox, why aren't you turning to look at me?"
Mulder rolled his eyes. Might as well appease his brain by turning to look and proving to it that there was nothing there. He turned....
...and started to cry. A beautiful woman was standing before him. She had red hair, and crystalline blue eyes. She was dressed in white and her skin was glowing. It was Scully and she was more beautiful than he had remembered her. Why couldn't this be real? Why couldn't she really be standing right there, really talking to him?
"Oh, Dana," he sighed, "I love you, but you're not real." He blinked to erase the vision before him. It remained. The woman approached him and put her hand on his shoulder. Her hand was cool to the touch, yet somehow it warmed him in a way he'd never thought was again possible. Tears trickled down his care-worn face. "Scully?"
"Yes, Fox. I've come to take you home."
Now he was really crying. "But you can't. You're not dead... are you?"
Her eyes became sympathetic. "I haven't lived on this earth for a very long time. I want you to take my hand. It's time to go, Fox."
"Oh, Dana, I didn't want to believe. I was trying to tell myself that you were still alive. Still taking care of little Sam." His wiped away his tears and took a deep breath. "Before we go, I want to know that this is real. I want to know it's not all an illusion." His voice softened. "Could you call me Mulder, one more time?"
"Yes." Scully's angel smiled. "Come on, Mulder. Stand and you'll see it's real."
Mulder took his love's hand and stood. All the aches and pains vanished. He looked back at the chair he'd been sitting in. He was still there, his face wet with tears, a tiny smile frozen on his face. He knew then that it was time to go.
"Let's go, Scully."
"Yes, there's some people who want to see you."
"Who?" Mulder asked.
"Well, there's two people who you really want to see. One you haven't seen since you were twelve. The other you've never met, but she knows you quite well. She likes to come at might and visit you in your dreams."
"Samantha," Mulder breathed, referring to them both.
Dana smiled. "Yes, shall we go?"
Mulder felt a happiness he hadn't in such a long time. His heart was soaring above the clouds. He leaned down and kissed Dana on the forehead. Let's go, he communicated with his eyes. Looking at her angelic face reminded him of a poem he'd seen once.
What is lovely never dies, But passes into other loveliness, Stardust, or sea-foam, flower or winged air.
And they he and Scully left.
Walter Skinner was standing outside in the cool air. He took a deep breath. He thought briefly about his life before, but when he couldn't remember much he dropped the subject. Overhead, he saw two twin falling stars soar across the sky. "Well, well, Agent Mulder. It seems you found Scully after all. I wish you both true happiness. I think you're about to find it."
The he turned and went back inside.
Well, what do you think? Send comments where any opinion is welcome.
On a personal note: A recent death in the family hit me rather hard, and I've been moody for quite a while. This seems to have helped me get it off my chest, so I want to dedicate it to the person I lost. I think he would have appreciate it.
Grampa, I didn't have enough time to really get to know you. Thanks for being there when I needed you most. I love you.