TITLE: I Will Not Watch the Ocean
AUTHOR: Katriena Knights
Written: July 2001 WEBSITE: http://www.bewellweb.com/dknights/Fanfic.html, http://www.bewellweb.com/dknights/kkpage.html
SPOILERS: Existence
ARCHIVE: Ephemeral/Gossamer - yes SWLD - yes Others - with permission
DISCLAIMER: They're not mine. If they were, Mulder would be tired.

NOTES: Sort of a follow-up to "No Earthly Ships," in that in was inspired by another line in the same song.

"My lover's gone. His boots no longer by my door.
He left at dawn. And as I slept I felt him go.
Returns no more. I will not watch the ocean.
My lover's gone. No earthly ships will ever bring him home
again."--Dido, "My Lover's Gone"

Dana Scully's hand hesitated in mid-air, not quite ready to knock on the door to Father McCue's office. Her other hand slipped over the rounded bulk of her not-quite-seven-months-pregnant belly, giving her courage. She knocked.

The door opened, revealing the priest's friendly face. "Dana. How good to see you. Come in."

"I'm sorry I'm early. I've been giving myself extra time lately so I don't have to hurry."

"A wise approach." Gesturing to a comfortable-looking couch in front of his desk, he sat in the chair next to it. "I see far too many people hurrying these days. You should savor every moment."

Scully sat, letting herself relax into the soft chair. It had good lumbar support--something she needed desperately these days. The weight of the baby had started to aggravate her sciatic nerve lately, sending the occasional shooting pain through her lower back and down her left leg. With the knowledge it would only get worse, she enjoyed the opportunity to let something else carry her weight.

"It's hard sometimes," she said. "To savor the moment."

Father McCue sobered. "Yes. Is that what's brought you here?"

"I suppose." She took a long breath. Inside her, the baby dipped and rolled. A foot jabbed into her bladder, then withdrew. "These last few months have been . . . hard."

Hard was an understatement. She'd gone to see the Bureau therapist--required when an agent lost a partner. The woman had been helpful in the past, but her grief-coping mechanisms hadn't done Scully much good this time.

The priest nodded. "I met Fox briefly in the hospital when you were so ill. It seemed to me that he cared for you a great deal."

"Yes, I believe he did."

"Your mother spoke to me about him several times. About the depth of your relationship as she perceived it. It worried her and relieved her at the same time."

This wasn't helping much, either. Maybe he would eventually meander around to a point. "I know."

"It's very difficult to lose someone that close to you. It's also very hard for other people to understand your grief when they didn't understand the relationship to begin with."

Ah. There was a point. The Bureau shrink had approached the whole situation as if all Scully had lost was a work partner. Scully could, of course, have enlightened her as to the inadequacy of that approach, but she hadn't felt comfortable with intimate admissions of that kind.

"That has been a problem." She shifted in her chair, uncomfortable as the baby moved to a new position. "This is all confidential?"

"We can treat it as a confessional if you like."

"Please." But even with the knowledge nothing she said would leave this room, she found it hard to begin. Finally she took a deep breath and just started. "I have a hard time explaining my relationship with Mulder even to myself. We were friends for a long time, but that word doesn't begin to explain the depth of the bond between us. Then we were lovers, but again, the word just doesn't reflect the reality. It was so much more than--" She'd been about to say "sex," but suddenly remembered she was talking to a priest. "More than the physical . . . situation," she finished lamely. She'd be doing Hail Marys for days for this one.

But the priest only nodded. "I got the impression, when I saw the two of you together, that you were in many ways closer, more attuned to each other, than most of the married couples I counsel."

That truth hurt. Badly. "I'm having a great deal of difficulty accepting the reality of his . . . death." She stopped, amazed she'd said the word. For a few seconds she held very still, waiting for the surge of emotion to settle. Father McCue waited. When he finally spoke again he changed the subject.

"How's the baby?"

"Fine." She slid a hand over her belly, to be met by a hearty kick. "Active. Healthy."

"You seem surprised."

"I had reason to believe at one time that there might be . . .complications. That this pregnancy might be abnormal because of human intervention."

"You were unable to conceive and you were afraid this pregnancy came about in an unnatural manner?"

"Um . . ." Either he was tremendously perceptive or he knew something she hadn't thought he did. "Yes, something like that."

He smiled a little. "I've heard some interesting stories from your brother Bill."

"Ah. I see."

"Let me ask you something, Dana. Is it easier for you to believe that you conceived due to some nefarious act by renegade scientists than to believe this came about through some sort of miraculous recovery which allowed you to conceive naturally, with the man you love?"

She blinked at unexpected tears. "It's harder to believe in the miracle because I want it so much. Just like . . . it's hard to accept Mulder's death because I want so much for him to be with me." She paused. The movement of the baby under her hands was the only thing keeping her steady. As long as that life moved inside her, she could find some way to deal with all the rest of it. "Several years ago, Mulder disappeared. All the evidence indicated he was dead. But I had this very strong feeling he was still alive. I told his mother that, and shortly after that he just . . . showed up. I have that same feeling now. But I saw his body. I saw them bury him."

"Perhaps he's with you in another way. Watching over you and the baby."

She shook her head, not in negation but because she needed to respond in some way. "Maybe. It's funny, I feel like-- Do you know that song, 'Brandy?' It was a hit back in the seventies, by some band that disappeared right after that."

"Looking Glass," said Father McCue.

Scully nodded. "That sounds right. I didn't know you were a connoisseur of classic pop."

"Among other things."

"I feel like Brandy, waiting and waiting for her lover to come back, knowing he never will. But Mulder's life, love and lady was the truth, and I lost him to that. And I don't look out over the ocean, but up at the sky."

The tears came then, silent and hot on her face, but she didn't sob with them. Her emotion just spilled out of her eyes, down over her face, leaving her body quiet and still. The priest leaned forward, putting a hand on her knee, until she blinked, swallowed, and covered it with her own. "Thank you."

"I truly wish I could be more comfort to you, Dana. I could tell you what the Bible says about death, but you know that already. I've seen two miracles happen to you--first your recovery from cancer, now this pregnancy--sometimes I think you're closer to the divine than I am, and that anything I might say to you would be redundant."

"Father McCue--"

He lifted a hand. "You have been deeply blessed, Dana, and it hurts me to see you in such pain. Especially when I know the only tangible thing I can offer you is a shoulder to cry on."

She smiled. Something inside her had eased. Even the baby seemed to feel it, stretching and wiggling there beneath her heart. "Sometimes that's enough."

She called her mother that evening and they talked for two hours, about the baby, about her brothers, about her nephews. Carefully, she brought up Mulder, talking around the deeper truths of their relationship. In response her mother told her things she'd never told her before, about the depth of her loss after Scully's father had died so suddenly on Christmas Eve. When she hung up she felt as if some kind of healing had begun. She could get through this, come out swinging on the other side.

In the middle of the night, the phone rang. Blearily, she answered it. Who called her in the middle of the night anymore?

Skinner's voice answered her blurred hello, thick and ragged. "Dana--"

She sat up, blinking, startled by his use of her first name. "Sir? Is that you?"

"Dana. You need to come to the hospital right away."

She shoved hair out of her face. What could it be? Had something happened to her mother? "What is it?"

"Mulder's alive."


At night when the bars close down
Brandy walks through a silent town
And loves a man who's not around
She still can hear him say
She hears him say...
Brandy, you're a fine girl
What a good wife you would be
But my life, my love and my lady is the sea.

--Looking Glass, "Brandy"


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