From: Leyla Harrison <starbuck72@netaxis.ca>

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: NEW: After All These Years 1/10

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 15:06:27 -0700
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 1/10

by Leyla Harrison

I have a new addy!  (starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 

Summary: Mulder and Scully have been fighting a physical attraction to

each other for well, we all know, ages.  And in this story, in the

alternate universe of my mind, they have given in to it.   Some of what

happens in the rest of this story has been covered in other stories, to

be sure, and I don't mean to step on anyone's toes here in that regard.

I am trying to deal with it in a different manner, and take it in a

different direction.
 
 

WARNING: Mulder and Scully romance ahead!  Tons and tons of both Mulder

and Scully angst in this story.  DOUBLE WARNING: All readers who are

sensitive are advised to keep a box of tissues handy while reading.  A

*big* box of tissue.  You have been warned.
 
 

Rating: Well, I can't imagine this one getting beyond a rating of R for a

few bad words, some references to sexual situations, and lot of adult

subject matter, but nothing graphic in any regard.  There's really no

X-File here, just mindless Mulder and Scully romance abound.

Most of the story is told from different characters points of view, and

is so marked by stating the name of the character at the top of each

section.  The first and last section is told in third person.  Hope it's

not too confusing for anyone.
 
 

All comments, praise and feedback would be greatly appreciated to

starbuck72@netaxis.ca.  Flames that say "well, that really couldn't have

happened because it's not possible..." will be ignored.  Comments saying

that I have not stayed true to the characters will also be ignored.  I

have written a lot of stories in which I have stayed true to the every

personal trait, and this story is different.  I know there are some

slightly implausible situations in this story.  I wrote them

intentionally.  Remember, this is an alternate universe, where *anything*

can happen.
 
 

Final disclaimer:  I've borrowed the characters of Dana Scully, Fox

Mulder and Margaret Scully from Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and Fox

Television without permission.  All other characters are creations of my

own imagination.  I've also borrowed a line from the movie "Bridges of

Madison County" without permission.  Please, don't anyone sue me...I

*really* can't afford it!!!
 
 

Special thanks to Lea for editing help (I'm not good at that on my own).
 
 

Here we go....
 
 

*****
 
 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 1996

FBI HEADQUARTERS
 
 

Mulder strode into the office.  He was hoping that Scully would be there

when he arrived.  Which she was.  But she didn't look nearly as happy to

see him as he was to see her.
 
 

"Hi," he said to her as he came in and shut the door behind him.  He took

in how she looked, as he always did.  Today she was wearing a slim black

suit with a cream colored shell beneath it.  He took in the creamy ivory

stockings she wore, the curve of her legs as she sat at her desk, her

legs crossed.  The pumps she wore that he had never noticed, not really,

until about six weeks ago.
 
 

That was when they had become lovers.
 
 

"Hi, yourself," Scully answered.  She was flipping through papers, and

had looked up at him as he had entered, but had quickly returned to her

work.
 
 

"Guess what?" Mulder asked.
 
 

"I don't know, Mulder, tell me."  He noticed immediately that her voice

was weary.  He was hoping that what he had to say would help take care of

that.
 
 

"I just got back the request I put in.  We have the rest of the week

off."

Scully looked up at him.  "How can we have the rest of the week off,

Mulder?" she asked.  She indicated the files on her desk.  "We have seven

case reports to get into Skinner by the end of the week.  It's a mountain

of paperwork."
 
 

Mulder came over to stand behind her and massaged the back of her neck

gently.  "Come on, Scully, we can do them over the weekend and get them

in on Monday.  We could spend the rest of the week enjoying each other's

company."  His tone was suggestive.  "I can think of a few things we can

do."  Scully carefully extracted herself from his hands and stood up,

turning to face him.  She came face to face with his surprised

expression.  "What's wrong?"
 
 

"Nothing."  Scully tucked her hair behind her ear.  "I'm just exhausted."
 
 

"Why don't we get out of here, get some lunch, go take it over to the

reflecting pool and spend the rest of the afternoon there."
 
 

At the mention of lunch Scully wrinkled her nose.  "I'm not really

hungry, Mulder."
 
 

Mulder came over to her and took her in his arms, kissing her.  She

didn't respond with the usual intensity that she normally did.  "Dana,"

he said in a low tone, "what's going on with you?  You've been like this

since the beginning of the week."
 
 

Scully wouldn't meet his eyes.  "I'm just feeling a little, I don't know,

smothered."
 
 

Mulder immediately let go of her and took a few steps back.  He was

surprised.  Ever since the first time they had made love six weeks ago,

he and Scully had been practically joined at the hip.  Every free moment

was spent making love, kissing, or gazing at each other in quiet,

romantic places.  During work hours, they were very careful to act

normal, afraid to let anyone at the Bureau know what had blossomed

between them.  Mulder had to admit, they had been rushing things along a

little quickly, but Scully had not given him any indication that she had

minded.  Until her strange personality change two days before.  "I'm

smothering you?" he asked.
 
 

"I don't know, Mulder.  I just feel like this is all moving a little too

fast."  Scully had turned her face up to look at him, struggling to keep

her eyes from darting around nervously.  But she seemed very sure of what

she was saying.  "We still don't know what this will lead to.  I mean,

we've been involved for a month and a half now.  Is it just going to be

this way forever, or do you see anything more permanent happening between

us?"

Mulder stiffened.  "Permanent?"  He knew that he shouldn't react that

way, but the thought of committing himself to anyone, even Scully,

terrified him.  It meant that there was a likely chance of him losing

her.  And he didn't deal well with loss.  He knew what she wanted.  He

wanted it as well, but it terrified him.  Committing himself to her meant

that if he lost her...and he had come so close to losing her before.  And

they hadn't been involved back then, and look how he had reacted.
 
 

 "I guess I can take it that you don't want anything more permanent."

Scully's voice trembled slightly, but Mulder didn't seem to notice it.
 
 

"Scully, I was hoping that we could discuss this later.  Away from work."
 
 

"Sure," she answered in what she hoped was a light tone.  "We can talk

about it later.  It's no problem."
 
 

Mulder sighed with relief.  She understands, he thought.  "So what do you

say to dinner, then?"
 
 

Scully returned to her desk and sat down, avoiding his eyes again.

"Actually, Mulder, I was kind of thinking that maybe we should stop

spending every waking moment together.  It can't be healthy."
 
 

"What about every sleeping moment?" he asked teasingly.
 
 

Scully looked up at him.  "Maybe we could just see each other tomorrow."
 
 

Her tone was clearly evident.  She wanted space.  It wiped the smile from

Mulder's face quickly.  "Are you sure, Scully?"  Something was wrong.  He

couldn't put his finger on what it was.
 
 

"Yes, I'm sure."
 
 

Mulder pondered this for a moment.  Scully was obviously upset about

something, and he didn't want to push her.  He didn't want to upset her

further when it was obvious that she didn't want to talk about whatever

it was that was bothering her.  Still, he was nagged by the feeling that

she should talk to him.  After all, it wasn't like they were just friends

anymore.
 
 

"I just need some space, Mulder," she said, interrupting the silence.

Her voice was pained.  Mulder studied her face.  She looked upset.
 
 

"OK," Mulder replied, as calm as he could be.  He was right.  Something

was terribly wrong.  "OK.  I'll give you some space.  But Scully, I need

to ask you one thing."
 
 

"What?" she asked, looking up at him.
 
 

"Did I do something, say something wrong?"
 
 

She looked down at the desk full of papers, closed her eyes, shook her

head a bit, then opened her eyes again.  "No, Mulder.  It's nothing that

you did."  Her voice was somewhat controlled, but he could still sense

that she was keeping far too much from him.

There was silence in the office again.  Mulder shifted uncomfortably from

one foot to the other.  He and Scully eyed each other for a few moments.

 Then, Scully cleared her throat. "Can you finish this up for me?" she

asked, standing up and pointing at the paperwork.  "I need to get out of

here for a while."
 
 

"Sure," Mulder nodded, wishing that he could go to her, hold her.  He

somehow sensed that she would not want that at this moment.  He felt

distanced from her.  He couldn't recall feeling like this once since they

were involved.  Mulder used to joke that there were two ways to determine

time in his life - before they had gotten involved and after.  They had

been like this before, but not now.
 
 

Scully gathered her things and headed for the door.  Mulder didn't turn

to watch her go.  When she reached it, she paused.  She turned around to

face him again.  "Mulder."

His back was still to her.  "Yes?"
 
 

"I love you," she said softly.  Without even seeing her face, her knew

that she was crying.  Then he heard the door open and Scully was gone.

He didn't even have the chance to reply.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

Two days passed.  Scully didn't come into work for the rest of the week.

 I called her once, on Thursday afternoon, but got her answering machine.

 I'm sure my message sounded pretty pathetic.  As soon as I hung up, I

wished that I could somehow erase what I had said.
 
 

"Scully, I don't know what's gotten you so upset, but I was hoping we

could just talk about it.  That's all I want, is to talk to you.  Please,

Scully."
 
 

She didn't return my call.
 
 

I waited until Sunday.  I fought with myself internally.  She'll call you

when she's ready, I told myself.  But I need to know what the hell is

going on!
 
 

She didn't show up for work Monday.  Or Tuesday.  Or Wednesday.  Finally,

Thursday morning, I called her house.  This time, I got a recorded

message.  "We're sorry, but the number you have dialed has been

disconnected.  No further information is available about that number.

This is a recording."
 
 

I slammed the phone down.  Disconnected?  Fear coursed through my veins.

 Had something happened to her?  I grabbed my coat and headed for her

apartment.  Damn it, I shouldn't have waited so long.  What if...I

stopped myself.  I knew that she wanted space, but I had to know that she

was all right.
 
 

I didn't see her car on the street when I pulled up.  I headed into the

building and went to Scully's apartment.  I stood outside the door for a

moment, then finally took a deep breath and knocked.
 
 

The door swung open slightly under the pressure of my hand knocking on

it.  I cautiously drew my gun.  Oh, no, I thought.  Scully, we haven't

had enough time together.  Please God, I prayed, don't let anything have

happened to her.
 
 

I pushed the door open the rest of the way.  What I saw shocked me.
 
 

The apartment was empty.  It had been cleared out.  All of Scully's

furniture was gone.  I quickly checked every room.  Nothing.  There was

some leftover food in the refrigerator, baking soda and a stick of

butter, but nothing else.  The closets were empty.  There was no phone

plugged into the jack.  The pictures on the wall were gone.  No clothes

in the closet.  Nothing in the medicine cabinet.  The apartment was

completely empty.
 
 

I wandered through the apartment in a daze.  I didn't understand what had

happened.  Finally, I made it back out to my car.  I had the sense to

think to call Margaret Scully on my cel phone. Before I could dial her

number the phone rang.  Scully, I thought, answering it immediately.
 
 

"Mulder, this is Skinner.  I wanted to let you know that Agent Scully has

resigned."
 
 

My hopes that it was Scully on the phone vanished.  "What?" I asked,

incredulously.  "She's resigned?"
 
 

"I thought you knew, until I saw that the witness's signature on her

resignation form wasn't yours."  Skinner's voice was calm, but I could

tell that he was disappointed.  Of course he's going to be calm, I

thought.  He's not me.  He has no clue that we got involved.  He's not in

love with her like I am.
 
 

"I...didn't know."  I managed to get out.  "I'm at her apartment now, and

apparently she's moved.  Her things are gone.  Did she leave a forwarding

address on the resignation form?"
 
 

"Agent Mulder, I thought that you would have known more about this."
 
 

"No, sir," I answered.  I was hoping to get some answers from you, I

thought.
 
 

"No forwarding address.  She put on the form that her Annapolis address

would be invalid after yesterday."  Skinner paused.  I wanted to ask him

if he had seen her, talked to her.  What her mental state had been like.

 This had to be some terrible mistake.  "I spoke to her on the phone

Monday after getting her resignation.  I asked her why she was leaving,"

Skinner informed me, his tone somewhat less formal than it usually was.

"She said that she didn't feel comfortable discussing it with me."
 
 

Well, I thought, at least that makes two of us.  She obviously didn't

feel comfortable discussing it with me, either.  "Thank you, sir."
 
 

"It's a great loss to the Bureau," Skinner said, back to his professional

demeanor.
 
 

"Yes," I choked out, suddenly feeling tears forming in my throat.  "Thank

you, sir."
 
 

I ended the call and dialed Margaret Scully as I started the car.  She

answered right away.  "Hello?"

"Mrs. Scully, it's Fox Mulder."  My tone was terse.  "I need to talk to

you about Scully."
 
 

"I know, Fox," she answered.  "I was expecting you to call.  Can you stop

by?"
 
 

"I'm on my way there now."
 
 

*****
 
 

Continued in part 2/10
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 2/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 

*****
 
 

Margaret Scully:
 
 

I answered the door to Fox about 40 minutes later.  I had not been

surprised that he had called.  Dana had told me to expect it.  He looked

grim, exhausted, sad.  I knew in the way a mother knows, that he had been

crying.  His eyes were red rimmed and swollen.  But he was putting on a

brave front for me.
 
 

"Mrs. Scully, I need to know where Scully is," he started, before he even

stepped over the threshold.
 
 

I swallowed hard, recalling the last time he was on my doorstep.  That

time, Dana had asked me to lie for her.  But last time, well, the last

time was different.  She wasn't herself then.  She had been convinced

that Fox would show up and kill her.  This time was different. "Come in,

Fox.  We need to talk."  He came in and stood in the living room across

from me.  "Why don't you sit down?" I asked, sitting on the couch.
 
 

He shook his head, indicating that he would prefer to stand.  "Where is

she?" he asked.
 
 

"I can't tell you," I answered right away.  His face fell immediately.

"Dana has asked me not to tell you where she went."  I felt an ache in my

chest for him.  He was always like a son to me.  He obviously loved her

so much.
 
 

"Why?" he asked, lowering his voice.  I could hear the impending tears.

He was obviously trying hard to hold them back.  "Why not?"
 
 

I wondered if agreeing to Dana's idea had been a good idea after all.

But she was my daughter.  I had to do as she requested.  She had sworn to

me that it was for the best - for both of them.  I had tried to believe

her.  It was difficult.  She had not seemed altogether convinced herself.

 I knew that there was so much that she had left unsaid to him.  I had to

be very cautious in what I said.  "Fox, Dana felt that she had to leave.

 She had so much to deal with emotionally that she needed to do it

alone."
 
 

He swallowed back a few tears.  "I would have helped her deal with

anything."
 
 

I nodded.  I believed him.  "I know that, Fox.  But we both know how

strong willed she is."
 
 

"She told you...about us?" he asked, hesitantly, nervously, and I nodded.

 She told me so much, Fox, I wanted to say.  I was overwhelmed by how

much she had kept from me.  From the world.   He looked so guilt ridden,

and yet he had no idea what was really going on with her.  I felt guilty

not telling him.  But I had promised Dana.
 
 

"I approved, Fox, in case you were wondering."  I had to tell him this.

I didn't want him to think that I didn't trust him with my daughter.  I

had known for a long time that I trusted him with her more than I would

have trusted anyone.  I knew for some time now how much he cared for her,

that he would never let anything happen to her.  But things had happened

to her, things that were beyond his control, beyond anyone's control.  I

knew that he still carried guilt for those things.  I wished that there

was something I could say to ease some of his pain now.  But I couldn't

do that.
 
 

"She thought I didn't want to...marry her," he said.
 
 

"She did think that," I affirmed.
 
 

"It's not true."  His answer surprised me.  Dana had been so convinced, I

thought.
 
 

"I'm scared," he confessed in a tiny voice.  Like a little boy.  "I'm

afraid to be close to someone, because...I lose them.  I was afraid to

lose her.  And now I have."
 
 

There was nothing I could say.  He was crying silently, tears running

down his face.  I felt like crying myself, then.  I was afraid to speak.

 I didn't trust my words, or my own voice, for that matter.
 
 

 "So what am I supposed to do now?" he asked, pacing the room.  "Just

forget about her?  Just go on as if I never knew her?  As if none of this

ever happened?"
 
 

He was upset.  Dana knew him well.  She had predicted that he would be

scared, sad, then angry.  I stood up, going to the mantel to where Dana

had left the letter she knew he would eventually come here to get.  "She

left you a letter," I said, handing it to him.  I'm so sorry, Fox, I

thought.
 
 

He took it and nodded.  "Thank you," he said, turning to leave.
 
 

"Fox?" I called after him.
 
 

He stopped and turned.  "Yes?"
 
 

"I won't see you again, will I?" I asked, already knowing the answer.  He

shook his head sadly.  I went to him and took him in my arms.  I didn't

know much about his family, only what Dana had told me, and that was that

his relationships with his remaining family were strained.  I hugged him

tightly, and he hugged me back, holding on for dear life.  We stood like

that in the front hallway of my house for a few minutes, then he slipped

free from me and left without saying another word.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

I waited until I got to the car to read the letter.  I ripped open the

envelope, unfolded it and saw Scully's clear, concise handwriting, and it

made my heart ache.
 
 

Dear Mulder:
 
 

I know that you are angry at me for leaving, but I had to do this.  For

me and for you.  It was truly the best thing for both of us.  I hope that

someday you will be able to understand that.  I do love you.  I always

have, and I always will.  That has not changed.  Please do not look for

me.  Do not try to find me though my mother.  I do not want to live a

life as a fugitive from you.  I hope that you will respect my wishes.  We

had a wonderful time together, Mulder.  As partners, you showed me that

the truth is not always found in scientific facts.  As friends, you

proved to me the power of faith and taught me to trust.  As lovers, you

showed me that you yourself have a great capacity for love.  I will

cherish what you have given me always.
 
 

Scully
 
 

Inside the envelope, at the bottom, fallen into one corner, was a gold

chain.  On it was the gold cross she always wore.  I could remember

wearing it myself when she was missing.  I could remember seeing it at

her throat so many times.  I could remember lying in bed with her; she

was propped up on one arm, her body bare and warm, close to mine.  She

was looking down at me.  Her face was indescribably happy and full of

light.  The cross dangled from her neck and I reached up, taking it

between my fingers, feeling the coolness of the small piece of metal

compared to the heat on her skin that I had felt moments before.  "It's

faith," she told me on one of those late nights.
 
 

"When you were gone, I used it as my faith.  That you would come back to

me," I told her.
 
 

"So it's touched both of us," she murmured.
 
 

"It's become our faith.  In a higher power...whatever that may be," I

added.
 
 

"It's become our faith in our love," she answered.  "That faith has seen

us though everything."  I smiled, letting the cross fall back on her

chest, and kissed her slowly, and we had gone back to making love for the

second time that night.
 
 

Now I removed the chain from the envelope and put it on, slipping it

under my suit shirt, feeling the coolness of the metal on my skin once

again, remembering with clarity the way she had felt when I kissed her.

"It's my faith," I murmured aloud to the empty car.  "My faith that I

will find you someday, Scully."
 
 

*****

Continued in part 3/10
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 3/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 
 
 

FIVE YEARS LATER

FEBRUARY 9, 2001

NEW YORK CITY
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

It was some ridiculous case I was on.  New York City cops had suspected a

serial murderer in the area, after the deaths of four women.  I had

transferred, voluntarily, to the Violent Crimes Division almost 4 years

ago.  The X-Files had been shut down.  I didn't even like to think about

it anymore.  I had been lucky enough to pull this job.  I had

interrogated the suspect, who then was determined to be responsible for

only one of the deaths.  Busy work, I had thought to myself.  The other

three murders were determined to be uncannily similar, but not related.

I was to catch a plane back to DC in the morning.
 
 

In the meantime, I had the rest of the evening to myself.  In New York

City.  There was, as far as I was concerned, nothing to do.  I drove

around aimlessly for about an hour, trying to decide if I wanted to see a

movie when I realized that I was in a not so pleasant neighborhood.

Garbage lined the streets, and a few homeless people strayed by as I

drove slowly.  On the right side of the street were a handful of

prostitutes.  No, I told myself.  Don't give in to the temptation.

You're going to get caught doing this someday.
 
 

I perused them thoughtfully.  Two blondes and a brunette.  Nope.  I

wasn't interested.
 
 

I headed back to the hotel and up to my room, where I phoned the front

desk.  "Is there any way that you could tell me what kind of

entertainment is in this area?" I asked, speaking to the manager.  The

hotel was cheap.  I knew he would know what I was talking about.  He

remembered me.  And he didn't know I was FBI.  It was safe.  I had done

this the last time I stayed here.
 
 

"Sir, there is some entertainment I believe you would be interested in.

You're still interested in the same type?"
 
 

"Yes," I answered.  "Is the price the same?"
 
 

"One hundred for the entertainment.  And then the tip, of course."
 
 

"Prices have gone up," I commented, checking my wallet for cash.
 
 

"So has the quality of the entertainment, sir."
 
 

"You can come right up for the tip," I told him.
 
 

He was at the door in about 10 minutes.  I ushered him inside, and we

closed the door.  I paid him the $100, and a $75 tip.  He beamed.  "She

should be here in about fifteen minutes," he promised, and left.
 
 

I sat on the edge of the bed and watched myself in the mirror that was

across from me on the wall.  For a split-second I thought to myself, just

as I did before I did this each time before, what the hell are you doing?

 But that thought vanished quickly.  Over the years it had lost its

intensity.
 
 

I got up and washed my face in the small bathroom, brushed my teeth.  I

had a ritual when I checked into any hotel.  I would not allow myself to

be in a room where there was a door adjoining to another room.  Wouldn't

allow it.
 
 

There was a knock on the door.  I went to answer it.  I opened the door

to a petite young woman, dressed in a short, lowcut, tight black knit

dress.  Black stockings.  I caught the sight of the garters holding them

up on her creamy white thighs. Three inch pumps.  Perfect makeup.

Brilliant blue eyes.
 
 

And shoulder length auburn hair.
 
 

"Come in," I told her, and she followed me in.
 
 

Pathetic, I thought to myself an hour later, as she was getting dressed

again, that this was the only kind of relationship I would allow myself.

 She was in front of the mirror, adjusting her stockings.  Putting her

black lace bra back on.  Slipping back into the dress.  She was

beautiful.  And she was good in bed.  But she wasn't Scully.  None of

them were.  None of them had that look in their eye the way Scully did.

The way her voice sounded, soft and husky and full of desire.
 
 

To say that I was over Scully would be a lie.  I had lived the last five

years without her in a state of denial.  I was not the same man anymore.

 I had not gone looking for her, as she had requested, but I still saw

her everywhere I looked.  In commercials on TV, in people I saw walking

on the street, even in the red-headed prostitutes that I had come to

favor.
 
 

"Thanks," I told her politely, as she gathered her things, nodded at me,

and left the room.

I jumped up from the bed and went right into the shower, scrubbing that

woman's scent off of me.
 
 

*****
 
 

THE FOLLOWING MORNING - FEBRUARY 10, 1996

ONE MILE FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY AIRPORT

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

I lightly tapped the steering wheel of the rental car as I drove up the

Hutchinson Parkway to the airport.  I was grateful for the airport

change.  I much preferred flying out of Westchester Airport to LaGuardia

Airport.  Located at the border of New York and Connecticut, the airport

was small and much less populated.  I checked the time.  One hour until

my flight.  I didn't want to miss it.
 
 

Yeah, right, I told myself sarcastically, like you've got so much waiting

for you back in DC.
 
 

I got off the exit ramp and headed down the road to the airport.  It was

much easier to get to, traffic wise as well.  Even though it was rush

hour, all the traffic had been on the opposite side of the parkway, from

Connecticut into the city, which I was grateful for.
 
 

I turned into the parking lot.  The airport had been renovated since I

was there last, and I made a few wrong turns before figuring out which

lane actually led to the garage where I was to leave the rental car.
 
 

I slowed down at the intersection, letting a white car along side of me

to drop someone off, a dark haired woman that seemed vaguely familiar to

me.  I glanced at the driver of the car, back to the dark haired woman,

then back to the driver.  I did a double take.
 
 

The dark haired woman headed for the terminal was Margaret Scully.  And

the driver of the car was Scully.
 
 

I was sure of it.
 
 

I, of course, had been sure it was Scully a number of times before.  But

this was different.  This was really her.
 
 

Her hair was a few inches longer than I remembered it.  I slouched down

in my seat, terrified that she would glance in my direction and see me.

The woman I thought was Margaret Scully turned to wave at her daughter

and I caught her face.  It was definitely her.  She didn't see me.
 
 

Scully waved back at her mother, waited a moment, then slowly

accelerated.  Without thinking, I followed her.  Her car was a white

Camry, with Connecticut plates, I noted.
 
 

Fifteen minutes passed.  She approached the entrance to the parkway again

and got on, going northbound, into Connecticut.  I followed.  She got off

a few exits later, in Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the most exclusive

and affluent towns in the United States.  Glad to see you made out well,

Scully, I thought.  I kept a safe distance.  Far enough that she

hopefully wouldn't notice someone tailing her, but close enough where I

could see where she was going.  She drove for another ten minutes, then

pulled into a driveway of a modest home compared to some of the others in

the area that resembled castles.  She parked the car and got out.  I

remained at the side of the road, about 75 feet back from the house,

getting out of my car to watch her.
 
 

Her hair was longer.  I couldn't see her face clearly, but I could see

the rest of her just fine.  She was wearing a pair of jeans and what

appeared to be a loose black sweater.  I watched every step she took from

the driveway to the house, taking her in with my eyes.  Five years had

passed since I had last seen her.  From what I could see now, she looked

as good as she did back then.  Better.
 
 

There was no other car in the driveway.  With an investigative, not an

emotional mind, I checked the mailbox to see if someone was living there

with her, but there was no mail inside and the outside of the box only

had the house number on it, no name.  No Mr. and Mrs. Something.  My

heart lifted a bit.
 
 

I got back into my car and waited.  Until six thirty in the evening.  I

dozed, listened to the radio, read the entire owner's manual of the car,

word for word, twice.  If she was married, her husband should have been

home from work by now.  No one had gone into or come out of the house.
 
 

Finally I pulled the car into the driveway.  I had to talk to her.  To

see her.  To ask her what had happened.  Why she had left.
 
 

I summoned up all of my courage and walked up to the front door.  And

rang the bell.

*****
 
 

Continued in part 4/10
 
 
 
 

===========================================================================
 
 

From: Leyla Harrison <starbuck72@netaxis.ca>

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: NEW: After All These Years 4/10

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 15:09:38 -0700
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 4/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 
 
 

Scully:
 
 

When the doorbell rang, I was in the middle of making dinner.  I put down

the lettuce and wiped my hands on the dishtowel, hurrying to the door.
 
 

I opened it.  Mulder stood there.
 
 

"Oh, my God," I gasped, stunned.  Every muscle in my body tensed, every

nerve was accentuated.  I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck

rise.  I could feel chills, nervous chills, down my spine.  I felt my

face flush with excitement.
 
 

"Scully," he said, that one word, my name, the only greeting.  His tone

was slightly angry, slightly curious.  His voice cracked as he said it.
 
 

"Mulder," I managed to get out.  I couldn't believe that he was standing

here, on my doorstep, in my life.  No, I thought.  No, not in my life.  I

mentally tried to close that door, closing off the memories, as I always

tried to, but felt the resistance.  "What are you doing here?"

"Was in the area.  Saw you driving around, so I thought I would drop by

and say hello."  He was definitely being sarcastic now.  I glanced around

the front yard.  There was no one in sight.  His car, a standard Bureau

rental, was in the driveway behind mine.
 
 

"You followed me?" I asked.
 
 

"All the way back from the airport," he answered.  I tensed.  I had

dropped my mother off for a ten o'clock flight that morning.  I didn't

want to imagine him having sat in the car in front of the house all day,

although I had a feeling that was exactly what he had done.  "How is your

mother, anyway?  I haven't seen her in years."
 
 

"She's fine," I replied tersely.
 
 

"Aren't you going to invite me in?" he asked.
 
 

Silence.  I stood there, staring at him.  God, even after five years, he

still looked good.  He looked weary, but he still looked good.  I

nervously tucked my hair behind one ear.  "Mulder..." I started, not

knowing what to say.  What do you say? I thought.  What do you say to the

man you walked out on?
 
 

"I want to know why you left, Scully."  His voice was firm, although I

could hear the fear in it.  "I think I deserve that much."
 
 

Oh, Mulder, I thought, as I had for years, you deserve so much more.
 
 

The crunching of tires on gravel in the driveway startled us both.  The

silver Altima pulled to a stop alongside Mulder's car.
 
 

Mulder turned to look at the man who stepped out of the car.  "Dana?

Who's this?"
 
 

My voice seemed to be trapped in my throat.  I cleared it.  "Joe, this is

Mulder.  My partner when I worked at the Bureau.  Mulder, this is Joe

Harmon.  My husband."  I watched Mulder for a reaction.  He was white as

a ghost.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

As soon as I heard Scully introduce the tall, good looking, dark haired

man as her husband I felt a sharp pain in my chest, as if I had been

shot.  I felt weak.  I tried desperately not to stagger backward.   I

could feel Scully's eyes on me.  I could feel her checking my reaction,

my every move, my every breath.
 
 

The passenger door of the silver car opened, and a little girl with

auburn hair bounded out and towards Scully.  There was no question who

this was.  I turned to Scully.  She had been stony-faced until she saw

the child.  Then her expression melted.
 
 

"Hi, Mommy!" the little girl called.  Scully scooped her up in her arms.
 
 

"Hi yourself, sweetheart.  Did you have a good day?"
 
 

"Yes.  I made you a picture.  It's in the car."
 
 

Scully's husband approached me.  "Mulder.  The man with no first name.

Well, it's good to meet you after all this time."  He offered me his

hand, which I took with my own shaking one and shook as heartily as I

could.  "I've heard so much about you from Dana."
 
 

"Nothing bad, I hope," I managed to say.  I was having an incredibly hard

time talking.

"Oh, no," Joe Harmon replied, smiling.  "Dana loved working with you."
 
 

I was about to reply when I stole a glance at Scully.  Over her

daughter's head she gave me a look that I understood instantly.  Her

husband did not know of our relationship.  Her eyes pleaded with me not

to reveal it.  I had a split-second moment to decide what to say next.

"I enjoyed working with her, too."
 
 

I could almost see Scully sigh with relief.   "And this," Joe said,

approaching his wife and child, "is our daughter, Samantha."
 
 

I swallowed.  "What a nice name."  I was having trouble speaking again.

"How did you decide on that particular name?"
 
 

"Dana had it set in her mind that she wanted to name her Samantha even

before we knew if it was a boy or a girl."
 
 

"Everyone calls me Sam," the little girl piped from her mother's arms.  I

looked at Scully.  She looked pained.
 
 

"So, Mulder," Joe asked congenially, unaware of the tension between

Scully and I, "are you staying nearby?"
 
 

"Actually, I wasn't sure yet.  I guess I could get a hotel room."
 
 

"That's nonsense.  We have a guest room.  You can stay with us.  I'm sure

you and Dana have a lot to catch up on, anyhow.  Right, honey?"  Joe

leaned over and kissed her.  I cringed.  After all the years, after every

scenario I had dreamed about of what Scully had done with her life, it

still hurt.  I had sometimes thought that she must have married, but I

didn't know how much it would have hurt to see her married, with some

other man.
 
 
 

"Of course," she said, forcing cheerfulness into her voice and doing a

terrible job of it.  "I was just finishing dinner.  Why don't you get

your things from the car and come in?"
 
 

I nodded, heading back to the car to get my bag.  A million thoughts were

running through my head.  I was thrilled to see Scully.  She looked

incredible.  I wanted to take her in my arms...
 
 

She was married.  She had a child.  She had moved on in her life without

me.  I should get in the car and drive like hell.  Get back to DC.
 
 

Back to what? I asked myself.  There was nothing there for me.  There had

been nothing since Scully had left.
 
 

She had left, I reminded myself.  She left me.  A wave of anger rose up

in my throat recalling the cruel way she had left town.  It filled me and

I leaned against the car for support for a moment.
 
 

If I stay, she'll explain, I thought.  And even if I can't have her back,

I can at least know why.
 
 

*****
 
 

Continued in part 5/10
 
 
 
 

===========================================================================
 
 

From: Leyla Harrison <starbuck72@netaxis.ca>

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: NEW: After All These Years 5/10

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 15:10:36 -0700
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 5/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 
 
 

Scully:
 
 

Dinner was, to say the least, uncomfortable.  Joe, of course, had no clue

about my relationship with Mulder.  All he had known about was a mystery

man, named Fox, who I had never associated with a last name, whom I had

split up with shortly before I left Washington.   He knew that it was a

painful split.  He knew that I didn't like to discuss it.  And so we

never did.
 
 

At the dinner table, Joe tried to engage Mulder in pleasant conversation

about the Bureau.  I could feel Mulder's eyes on me, burning into me, the

entire time.  I was so angry that he had somehow found me, and yet I was

so relieved at the same time.  All these years I had denied my feelings

for Mulder, and now I had no choice but to face them.  I had to face him.

 He was, after all, sitting across from me at my dinner table.
 
 

"So, what where you doing in the area?  A case?" Joe was asking.
 
 

"Yes, a possible serial murder in New York City," Mulder answered.  "The

head of the VCS, I mean, the Violent Crimes Section," he clarified for

Joe's benefit, "sent me up there."
 
 

"VCS?" I asked, surprised.
 
 

"Yes, I transferred," Mulder informed me.  "The X-Files were closed down.

 Permanently."
 
 

I tried to hide the terrible sadness that washed over me.  They had meant

so much to him.  I wanted so badly to ask about his sister, but I knew

that would have to wait until we were alone.  Alone.  I was both dreading

and anticipating the inevitable.
 

"The X-Files," Joe mused.  "I remember Dana telling me about them.  That

was the division you two worked in, right?"  Mulder nodded.  "That

sounded so interesting.  And yet dangerous.  Dana has told me some

stories that have really sounded as if the two of you were in some

serious danger."
 
 

"Mommy, will you tell me?" Sam asked from her side of the table.
 
 

"Not until you're 18," I reminded her.
 
 

"But I don't want to wait that long," she whined.  I gave her my best

Mommy-is-right look and she calmed.   "But I guess I will have to."
 
 

"The X-Files were dangerous," Mulder said, in response to Joe's last

comment.  "Scully and I had some close calls."
 
 

So is the water you're treading in, I thought, but didn't say anything.
 
 

"Dana told me about a man who used to eat human livers." Joe looked to

Mulder.  "I almost didn't think she was telling me the truth."
 
 

"Yuck, I hate livers," Sam interjected.
 
 

Mulder nodded.  "It's true."  He looked at me.  I knew exactly what he

was thinking.
 
 

<If there's an iced tea in that bag, Scully, it could be love.>
 
 

And it had taken us almost three years from then to realize it, I

thought.
 
 

"Well," Joe sighed, "you two obviously have a lot to catch up on.  Why

don't I get this one," he motioned to Sam, "into a bath and into bed, and

you two can chat."
 
 

Not alone, I thought.  "No, Joe, I can take Sam," I quickly interjected,

but Joe wouldn't hear of it.
 
 

"Honey, you two haven't seen each other in years.  You obviously have a

lot to talk about."  Mulder shot me a look that showed that he agreed.

"I'll take Sam up and then I'll come back and do the dishes.  Why don't

you two head out back, that way you can have some privacy.  I certainly

don't want to hear about any more liver eaters."  Joe seemed slightly

perturbed.
 
 

"Daddy!" Sam cried, her face puckering.  "You know I hate livers!"
 
 

"I know, Sam," he said, coming to her chair and picking her up, lifting

her in the air and swooping her over his head.
 
 

"Joe," I cautioned him.  He knew I hated it when he did this.
 
 

"Daddy, I want to see the stars.  Can we go up in the attic and look at

them through the window like Mommy shows me?"

"After your bath, sweetie."  He put Sam back down on the floor.  "Mulder,

I'll see you in the morning.  Dana," Joe said, coming to my side and

leaning in to kiss me, a quick, cold peck on the lips, "I'll see you

later."  I returned the kiss with as much emotion as I could muster.
 
 

Joe and Sam went upstairs, leaving Mulder and I alone in the room, across

the table from each other.  "Out back?" he asked.  "Isn't it a little

cold for that?"
 
 

"We have a sun room.  Fully protected from the elements," I said, showing

him the way and shutting the door behind him.  I didn't want Joe to hear

what we would be discussing.  Mulder took the couch and I took the chair.
 
 

There was silence.  A good three or four minutes of uncomfortable

silence.
 
 

"You have a wonderful house," Mulder finally said.
 
 

"Thank you."
 
 

"Did you do the decorating?"
 
 

OK, I thought, a safe topic.  "I came up with most of the ideas."
 
 

"I thought so.  In a lot of ways, it reminds me of your old apartment."
 
 

"I know.  I did that on purpose."  To make sure I never forgot the first

place we made love.  To make sure I never forgot the happiest time in my

life, I thought, but I didn't say it.  Silence again, this one shorter.
 
 

"You didn't wait long, did you?" he asked, his voice suddenly cold.
 
 

"What are you talking about?"
 
 

"How old is your daughter?  Three and a half? You must have gotten

pregnant right away.  How long did you wait after leaving me before you

and Joe got together?" he asked.
 
 

She's four, I thought, but didn't answer.
 
 

"Did you just fall in love with him on sight the minute you moved here?

And then what, you married him and got pregnant?  Or did you get pregnant

before you got married?  Did he feel like he had to marry you?"
 
 

"That's enough, Mulder," I snapped.
 
 

"No, Scully, I don't think it's even close to being enough.  You want to

tell my why you left me like that?  Left me with no warning?  Do you know

what it did to me, Scully?"
 
 

"Probably the same thing it did to me," I answered.  "It killed me

inside."
 
 

"Yeah, it may have, but you made your own bed on that one.  You were the

one who left," he retorted.
 
 

I could feel him closing in.  I always knew Mulder was a great

investigator, always trying to get to the truth.  And he was getting

close.  I was getting nervous.
 
 

"And your daughter.  Samantha.  That was a nice touch, naming her after

my sister.  Did you ever think I would meet her?"  He sounded so bitterly

angry that it scared me.
 
 

Oh, God, I thought.  The phone rang and I jumped for it, desperate to put

an end to the interrogation.  "Hello?"
 
 

"Dana, it's Mom.  I think I forgot my pearl earrings upstairs.  I figured

you'd hold on to them for me until the next time I see you.  But I didn't

want to call until after dinner so I wouldn't disturb you."
 
 

"Mom, thanks, I appreciate it."  Mulder got up from the couch and came to

stand next to me, close to me.  So close that I could hear him breathing

in my other ear.  It was terrifying and yet incredibly arousing at the

same time. I knew I couldn't step away.  I prayed that he couldn't hear

what she was saying, what I knew she was going to say after I told her

that he was here. "Mom, Mulder's here," I told her.  "I really can't talk

right now."
 
 

I heard her gasp softly.  "Oh, God.  Did you tell him, Dana?"
 
 

"No, Mom, not yet.  Mom, I'll have to call you later."
 
 

"Dana, sweetheart, you should tell him--"
 
 

"Mom, I'll call you back.  I promise."
 
 

I hung up the phone.
 
 

I turned and was right in front of him.  Practically in his arms.

"Mulder," I said softly, closing my eyes, feeling tears burning under the

lids.  "Please, don't do this."
 
 

"Do you know how much I missed you?" he asked, his voice just as low.

"Do you know what it did to me to be without you?"
 
 

He touched my face tenderly.  I opened my eyes.  "Mulder, Joe is

upstairs.  I'm married.  Mulder--"
 
 

"I never stopped loving you, Scully.  Never."
 
 

I took a deep breath.  I haven't, either, I wanted to say, but I couldn't

let him know that.  Couldn't tell him.  He leaned down and kissed me

lightly.  Inwardly I fought him for only a second.  Then I kissed him

back.  The feeling of his lips again...it was like nothing that I had

ever felt with Joe.  There was passion there, passion I hadn't felt in

years.  I pulled away.  Joe.  I was married.  Joe was upstairs.  I was

downstairs, kissing Mulder.  All the years that had gone by...all the

secrets I had kept.  "I can't do this," I murmured, my voice wavering.
 
 

"Scully, I love you.  I don't know if you still love me--" his eyes were

moist with tears.  "I've waited so long--"
 
 

"Mulder, Samantha is not Joe's natural child," I blurted out.
 
 

"What?" He stared at me.
 
 

"She was conceived in May of 1996.  She was born February 8, 1997.  My

mother was here celebrating Sam's fourth birthday last week."  His face

was frozen in shock as the reality was beginning to dawn on him.  I could

feel a strange release coming over me.  I had held the truth back from

him for so long that it actually felt good to let it out.  I knew that

the repercussions would come later.  Mulder was not a man who appreciated

or enjoyed being deceived, and I knew that I would suffer for having lied

to him for so long.
 
 

"She's..." he tried to say, but the words would not come.
 
 

"Your daughter," I finished for him.
 
 

He backed away from me and sat back down on the couch.  "My daughter?"
 
 

"If you look at her eyes, Mulder...she has your eyes."
 
 

Mulder shook his head, still in a state of disbelief.  "You were pregnant

with my child?  When you left town?"
 
 

I nodded.  "I found out the day before we last saw each other.  When you

said you didn't want anything more permanent..." I could see the

conversation happening again in my head as if it were yesterday.  "I

thought you didn't want a family.  I thought you didn't want a child."
 
 

"Scully, I was scared...scared of being with someone...you knew that.

You knew why."
 
 

"Mulder, I was scared, too."
 
 

"So you left?  So you didn't tell me?  So you packed up and left?"  He

was trying to piece together what had happened.
 
 

"I have a cousin who lives here.  I decided to come out here and I met

Joe.  He was a family friend for years.  His father knew my father.  I

explained to him the situation I was in..."  I remembered this all too

vividly as well.  I had felt like a teenager on a talk show, dissolving

in tears in front of Joe, not wanting to reveal too much about myself or

how I had gotten pregnant.  Only that I was scared.  Miserable.

Miserable without Mulder.  "He's a good man.  He offered to marry me.

Help me raise the baby."
 
 

"So it's a marriage of convenience?" Mulder asked, hopeful.
 
 

"Joe has grown to love me.  And I have grown to love him.  As a friend.

As a companion."  How could I explain the devotion and love I felt for

the man who had respected me, been faithful to me and helped me raise

Samantha?  I had grown to love him.  He had helped me when I needed it.

He knew that I still loved the enigmatic Fox, the man who had fathered my

child, but he still accepted and loved me and he loved Sam as if she was

his own child.
 
 

"It's a platonic relationship?"  Mulder asked, again, hopeful.
 
 

"Not exactly."  My answer was hesitant.  I was afraid to let Mulder know

too much.  Since he had arrived here, he had been so angry...angry with

me.  I didn't know how much he could take.
 
 

"You sleep with him.  He's your husband."  Mulder was indignant.  "Of

course it's not platonic.  What was I thinking?  You obviously love him."
 
 

"Yes, Mulder, I do love him, but not..." I tried desperately to find the

right words.  "Not the way I loved you."  I stopped, realizing I had used

the past tense.  All the years of convincing myself I didn't care anymore

about him.  All the times I had told myself that he had likely moved on

and forgotten about me.  All the times that I had told myself that I

didn't love him anymore.  All the times I knew it was a lie.  "The way I

still love you, Mulder."
 
 

He didn't respond to that one.  I was still standing up, and I was so

exhausted from these revelations that I felt if I didn't sit down soon I

was going to collapse.  Mulder stood from the couch at that moment and

came over to face me.  "You let another man raise my child.  You never

even told me you were pregnant."  He was trying to confirm it to himself.

 I nodded weakly.  "Does he know?  Does he know who the father is?"
 
 

"No," I answered.  "Joe knows about Mulder.  The Mulder I worked with at

the FBI.  He also knows about another man.  Fox.  Fox was the man I was

in love with, the man I was involved with...the man who is Samantha's

true father.  He doesn't know that Fox and Mulder are the same person."
 
 

"What did you tell him about me?" Mulder asked.  His tone was not angry

or gentle.  I couldn't tell what he was trying to determine.  "What did

you tell him about Fox?"
 
 

"I told Joe that I was very much in love with him.  That when I became

pregnant that I got scared, and tried to find out if Fox...you...wanted a

family.  I decided that you didn't.  So I left town.  I told him that we

were unable to work out our differences."
 
 

"Does he know that you never told me that you were pregnant?"
 
 

"No."
 

"Why didn't you tell me, Scully?  Why?  I would have done anything to

make our relationship work.  I thought it *was* working."  Mulder's voice

was rising.  It was obvious that he was angry now.
 
 

"Mulder, please," I tried to caution him.  I wasn't sure how much Joe

could hear from upstairs.
 
 

"Please what, Scully?  Please be quiet so Joe doesn't find out?  You've

lied to both of us, Scully.  And I don't even know if all of this is,

what you're telling me now, is the truth."
 
 

Tears were pricking my eyes now, more strongly than before.  I was

helpless to keep them from falling anymore.  "It is the truth, Mulder.

This is the truth."
 
 

"So now you just want us to pick up where we left off?" he asked,

ignoring my tears.
 
 

"You came here, Mulder.  I didn't come to find you," I reminded him.
 
 

"But you told me willingly about Samantha."
 
 

"I didn't want to lie to you anymore.  Mulder, I love you.  I can't stand

here with you and not tell you the truth."
 
 

"And what good does it do any of us now, Scully?  You're married to Joe."
 
 

I sat down in the chair and sobbed.  I didn't know how it had gotten so

complicated.  All I knew was that I had done what I thought was best at

the time.  I had never thought I would see Mulder again.  I had one

picture - four actually, of him and I taken at one of those two minute

photo booths in a bar just after we had gotten involved.  Pictures of us,

blissfully happy.  I carried those pictures with me in my wallet every

day since.  And I had Samantha.  Every time I looked at her, I could see

Mulder in her eyes.
 
 

And I had fucked everything up.  I had never expected it all to come back

and blow up in my face.
 
 

I stopped crying long enough to look up.  Mulder was gone.  He had left

the room.  I heard him in the front hallway.
 
 

"Mr. Mulder?" I heard Samantha ask.  "Why do you call my mommy Scully?"
 
 

If he answered her, I didn't hear it.  The next thing I heard was Mulder

starting his car in the driveway and hearing the gravel under his tires

as he drove off into the night.
 
 

*****
 
 

Continued in part 6/10
 
 
 
 

===========================================================================
 
 

From: Leyla Harrison <starbuck72@netaxis.ca>

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: NEW: After All These Years 6/10

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 15:11:36 -0700
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 6/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

In the car, the first thing I did was call the airlines.  I booked a one

way ticket back to DC.

I thought about little Samantha as I drove back into New York City.  The

only flight I could get that late was at LaGuardia and so I had to make

the hour drive.
 
 

My daughter.  I was stunned. I knew the one person who could verify if

all of this was true.  I had to find out.
 
 

So much had happened in the last 10 hours that I was reeling.  Samantha

was my daughter?  Scully had kept it from me...and the knowledge that she

would have continued to keep it from me if I hadn't shown up at her house

upset me more.
 
 

*If* she's my daughter.
 
 

I didn't know if I could believe Scully.  Of course, I knew I could.  But

at the same time, I was scared.  Scared to realize that that small girl

was my flesh and blood.  That she had been raised by another man.  That

Scully had just forgotten about me and moved right along with her life,

pretending that I had never existed.  Letting Sam grow up, never knowing

who her real father was.  Scully didn't give a shit how I felt,

obviously, or she would have told me.
 
 

Well, that wasn't quite fair, I reminded myself.  She was crying when you

left.  Crying.  How many times have you seen her cry like that?
 

I saw that image the entire flight back to DC.  Scully, her shoulders

hunched over, her body wracked with sobs.  As I so thoughtfully and

sensitively walked out of the room.  I could have hit myself for that,

knowing how much it must have hurt her.
 
 

Well, I thought, she deserved it.  She walked out on me.
 
 

But she doesn't deserve it, a small part of me nagged.
 
 

As I got off the plane, I was struck by another image.  It was more of a

sensory memory.  Standing in the sunroom of Scully's Greenwich home,

kissing her.  Her lips on mine, for the first time in years.  Feeling her

respond to me.  Feeling how good it felt to hold her again, to kiss her.

 It was such a powerful image that I trembled.
 
 

*****
 
 

Margaret Scully:
 
 

When the doorbell rang, it was already well past one o'clock.  I was

sitting up reading, but unable to concentrate.  I was hoping that Dana

was going to call me back and tell me what had happened.  I couldn't

believe that Fox had somehow found his way back to her.
 
 

I was surprised and yet not surprised to see him on my doorstep again.

"Fox," I murmured against the cold night air.  "Please, come in."
 
 

"I know it's late, Mrs. Scully," he apologized.
 
 

"It's all right.  I was awake."  I looked him over.  He looked so much

older than I had expected him to look.  I reminded myself that it had

been five years since I had seen him last.  Five long years.
 
 

"Mrs. Scully," he began, "I have to know.  Was she pregnant before she

left?"
 
 

"What did Dana tell you?" I asked, unsure of how much to reveal to him.
 
 

"Everything."  The look in his eyes told me it was true.  "Is Sam my

child?"
 
 

"Yes," I sighed.  "Fox, I begged her to tell you.  I tried."  His

shoulders sagged at the confirmation.  "I'm sorry she waited so long."
 
 

I wanted to ask him how he found her, but he had more questions.  "Does

Samantha know I'm her father?"
 
 

"No," I answered.  "She thinks Joe is.  Dana thought it would be best

that way, since Joe raised her."
 
 

"But *I'm* her father," Mulder protested.
 
 

"I know that, Fox.  I know."

The phone rang.  I knew before I answered it that it was Dana.
 
 

"Mom, I told him.  Everything."  She was crying.  "He left."
 
 

"Dana, he's here," I told her, despite Fox's gestures to the contrary as

soon as I spoke her name.  "He's here now.  We're talking."
 
 

"Mom, I don't know what to do.  Joe is furious with me.  He has no idea

why I was treating Mulder so coldly.  I have to tell him the truth."
 
 

"Dana, honey, maybe I should come back up there for a few days."
 
 

"No, mom, no.  I need to do this myself."  Fox was eyeing me warily.  I

knew that he wanted to know what was being said on the other end of the

phone.  I heard Dana sniffle.  "Mom, can you please tell Mulder...tell

him I'm sorry?"
 
 

"Hold on," I said, knowing what I had to do, and offered the phone to

Fox.  "She wants to talk to you."  He stood there, unmoving.  "Fox,

please, talk to her."
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

I took the phone, unsure as to what she had to say.  Unsure if I wanted

to hear it.  "Scully?"
 
 

"Mulder..." she said, "I'm going to tell Joe the truth.  I'm going to

tell him now."
 
 

"That's a good start."  I tried to keep my tone as neutral as possible.
 
 

"Mulder, please...I'm so sorry.  I never should have kept all of this

from you.  I never should have left."
 
 

"Damn right you shouldn't have."  She breathed in deeply when I said

that.  I was furious.  She had no idea what I had been through for the

last five years.  It had been agony without her.  But then I softened.

As angry as I was, I still loved her.  "Scully--"
 
 

"Mm-hmm?" she responded, her tears muffling her voice.
 
 

"I'm coming back there.  I need to see you."
 
 

"Mulder, please, I need to talk to Joe first.  Please."
 
 

"I'll come back tomorrow."
 
 

There was a long pause.  "OK," she finally said.
 
 

"I'll see you then."
 
 

I hung up the phone.  Breathed in and out deeply.  Mrs. Scully came and

put her hand on my shoulder.  "She needs another chance, Fox.  She still

loves you, you know."
 
 
 

"Do you mind if I use your phone to call the airline?"
 
 

"Go ahead.  And Fox?"  I turned around.  "Why don't you stay here

tonight?  I have a guest room."
 
 

I was going to politely decline, but as soon as I saw Mrs. Scully's face,

I knew that I should stay.  "All right, I will.  Thank you."
 
 

"Top of the stairs, third door on the right."
 
 

"Thank you, Mrs. Scully."
 
 

I picked up the phone and dialed the airline.
 
 

*****
 
 

Continued in part 7/10
 
 
 
 

===========================================================================
 
 

From: Leyla Harrison <starbuck72@netaxis.ca>

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: NEW: After All These Years 7/10

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 15:12:11 -0700
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 7/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 

*****
 
 

Scully:
 
 

I hung up with my mother and went back upstairs, back to our bedroom.

Joe was sitting up in bed, the lights still on.  It was obvious that he

was waiting for me.  The tension in my stomach grew.  I knew that I

couldn't keep the truth from him any more than I had kept it from Mulder.
 
 

"Dana, I want to know what is going on.  You were cold to Mulder.  I

thought you two were such close friends?" he said, as I got into bed.
 
 

"We were," I answered.
 
 

"Were you crying just now?" he asked, turning my face to his so he could

look at me directly.
 
 

"Yes," I answered.  "But I'm OK."
 
 

"Did talking to your mother help at all?"
 
 

"Yes."  I didn't know how to speak.  My words were coming out in

monosyllables.  I hated what this was going to do to Joe.  It would tear

him apart.
 
 

"Things just seemed so strained between you and Mulder tonight.  Is there

something else going on I should know about?"
 
 

The dread rose up in me.  I turned in bed to look at Joe.  "It's about

Fox."  I said, trying to begin somewhere that made some sense.
 
 

"Sweetheart, you haven't mentioned his name in years."

"I know, Joe, but...you must know I still have feelings for him."
 
 

Joe nodded his head.  "I was hoping that in time you would come to love

me more fully, and than Fox would be just a distant memory."  I swallowed

hard.  This was going to be so painful for him to hear.  "But what does

this have to do with Mulder?" he asked.  Before I could answer, his brow

wrinkled in deep thought.  "Wait a minute.  Mulder.  The man with no

first name.  Fox...Mulder?" he guessed, and I nodded.
 
 

Joe didn't speak.  He got out of bed and got dressed swiftly.  "Where are

you going?"
 
 

"Out," he answered coldly.  "You lied to me, Dana."
 
 

Wait, I thought.  There had to be a chance for me to tell him what had

happened.  "Joe, please, I can explain this," I said, desperate to stop

him.  "Please, let me explain."
 
 

"I'm not sure I am ready to hear it."  He turned around.  "I will tell

you one thing, Dana.  If he thinks he can walk in here and say that he

wants you back, and that he wants Samantha, he can.  He can say whatever

he wants.  But I will be damned if I am going to let the last five years

of my life go down the drain."
 
 

I felt my tears beginning again.  "Joe, that's not what he wants."
 
 

"I don't even know if you've been sitting around waiting for him to come

find you someday and take you and Sam away."
 
 

"No, no, that's not true at all.  You're a wonderful husband and father,"

I cried.
 
 

"But you're still not over him," he accused, mocking my words.  "If you

think I am going to just step aside and say, hey, go ahead, Fox Mulder,

take my wife, take my daughter, then you are wrong, Dana.  Dead wrong.

And Sam *is* my daughter.  She may not be my blood, but I raised her from

the moment she was born."
 
 

"Oh, God," I cried, "this can't be happening."   But it was, and Joe

walked out of the room and out of the house.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

Sometime after two thirty, as I was laying in bed, staring at the

ceiling, unable to sleep, I heard the soft ringing of my cel phone from

where I had stashed it in my jacket, under all my clothes.  I got up and

answered it.  It was no likely someone from the Bureau, wondering where

the hell I am, I thought.
 
 

"Mulder."
 
 

"Mulder, it's me."  Scully.  How long had it been since she had said that

when I picked up the phone?  She was obviously crying.  "Mulder..."
 
 

"Scully, what is it?"  I asked, suddenly concerned.  She sounded

terrible.  Not just as if she was crying, but as if she was...I don't

know, somehow dying inside.  "Scully?"
 
 

"He left.  He hates me.  You both hate me for what I've done.  And I

deserve it."  Her voice was very far away.

"Did he do something to you, Scully?" I asked, suddenly gripped by fear.

 If he had laid one finger on her, so help me God...
 
 

"No," she cried.  "I don't even know why I called you."
 
 

"Scully," I said very softly, "I don't hate you.  I am just trying to

come to terms with what you told me.  What happened when you left.  How

I've felt over the last five years has just suddenly sprung out of the

box I've been keeping it in."  And as I said it, I knew it was true.  I

didn't hate her.  I had realized why she was so afraid to tell me that

she was pregnant.  Look how I had acted in the office that day.  It was

no excuse for her not to at least talk to me, but at least I understood

her reaction a little better.  Yes, I was angry at her.  And I was

justified in feeling that way.  My anger, though,  had only been so

strong because of how strong the love I felt for her was.  "I don't hate

you," I repeated into the phone.
 
 

"I hurt you.  I hurt Joe.  I lied to both of you."
 
 

I couldn't deny that.  It was true.  "Yes, Scully, you did."
 
 

There was a long silence, punctuated only by a few sobs from her end of

the phone.  "Do you still have the necklace?" she asked out of the blue.
 
 

"Yes," I answered, touching the cross unconsciously as I spoke.  "I still

have it."
 
 

"I love you, Mulder," she whispered.  "I never stopped loving you.  I

never stopping missing you.  Not one day went by that I didn't miss you."
 
 

The tenderness in her voice made me ache for her.  Ache in a way I

thought I had forgotten, or buried so deeply that I wasn't able to feel

it anymore.  But I still had it.  I still loved her so much.  I felt

tears in my eyes.  What had happened?  For five years we hadn't seen each

other, but somehow, the feelings that had grown between us over the four

years that we had known each other had not diminished in strength or in

magnitude.  From the sound of Scully's voice, I knew that nothing in her

heart had changed over the last five years.  Her life had definitely

changed.  And she had likely had to shut off her feelings, feelings for

me, feelings about her past...I knew she was so good at shutting these

feelings off.  For the years we had worked together before we had become

lovers, I knew that she had a separate part of herself reserved for the

fear, for the loneliness.  She had never shown that part of herself to

me.  Until we had crossed the line and become lovers, I had known about

that side of her, even witnessed tiny pieces of it, but I had never truly

known her completely until she had let down all of the barriers and let

me in.
 
 

"Mulder," she whispered my name, and I closed my eyes.  It was as if it

were five years ago, and she were beside me, as if none of it had ever

happened.  "Mulder."
 
 

I opened my eyes.  But it was five years later.  I had no concept of her

life now, with the exception of the fact that I now knew about the web of

deception that she had woven to protect me, to protect Joe, to protect

our daughter.  The more I thought about it, the more I knew that it

wasn't meant to protect any of us at all.  It was meant to protect her,

to keep her from having to face her own fears of commitment, of loving

someone and being afraid to lose them.  I understood suddenly why she had

married Joe.  In a way, it was for convenience's sake.  It was to provide

Samantha and herself a good home, love, financial and emotional support.
 
 

Samantha.  Our daughter.  I inwardly winced at the fact that I didn't

know anything about her.  She had approached me as I was about to walk

out of Scully's house, her auburn hair still damp from her bath.  Her

eyes, the same eyes as mine, were shining.  "Why do you call my mommy

Scully?" she had asked me, and I was unable to answer.  Unable to even

look at her.  I didn't know her.  I hadn't raised her.  She was mine, and

yet she wasn't.

"Scully," I said to her on the phone, "what are you going to do?"  Using

the "you" very deliberately.  I couldn't get her out of this.  She had to

do it herself.
 
 

"I don't know."  She was calming down.  Her tears had slowed.  "I don't

know, Mulder.  I wish I could just take Sam and leave here, leave all of

it behind, the memories, the pain of hiding everything for so long."
 
 

"And come back to DC?" I asked.
 
 

"No, just to leave.  To get away from everything.  To get away from Joe.

 From you."  Her voice held pain, old pain.
 
 

My stomach turned.  I had just found her.  I was not about to let her

disappear again.  Not with my daughter.  "Scully, you know you can't do

that," I told her firmly.  "You can't just leave."
 
 

"I don't know what else to do, Mulder.  I've screwed everything up, for

everyone.  Maybe it would be the best thing for everyone involved."
 
 

"Just like it was for the best when you left me five years ago?"  I

closed my jaw tightly.  It had come out much harsher than I had meant for

it to.  She didn't answer.  "Scully, I'm sorry," I said, meaning it.
 
 
 

"I have to go," she said suddenly.  Warning bells were going off in my

head.  Alarm bells, ringing loudly.  Something in her voice had changed.

 Something bad was going to happen.  She was going to...oh, no, I

thought.  Not again.  She's going to run again.
 
 

"No, Scully, don't hang up.  Wait."
 
 

"I love you, Mulder."
 
 

My head was spinning.  It was like an instant replay of what had happened

five years ago.  I would never get to see her again.  Never hold her

again.  No, I told myself.  No.
 
 

She had already hung up the phone.  "Damn!" I swore aloud.  I didn't know

her number.  I jumped up from bed and began to throw my clothes on.  I

was mentally trying to decide which would be faster, if I should drive to

Connecticut or fly.  I called the airline as I dressed.  They had a

red-eye flight leaving Dulles in 45 minutes.  It would arrive in

Westchester at 6:45am.  The flight was just under an hour.  I could rent

a car in New York and drive up to Greenwich in 15 minutes.  "Hold that

seat for me," I instructed the airline reservations operator.  "I'm with

the FBI.  I have to be on that flight."  I gave her my badge number and

scribbled a quick note to Mrs. Scully, instructing her to get on the

first flight to Westchester when she awoke.  Then I slipped out of the

house and into the early morning blackness, racing to Dulles Airport as

fast as I could.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

As I was pulling into Scully's driveway, I noticed that her car wasn't

there.  I peeked into the garage, praying that I would see it there.  The

garage was empty.  I tried the door.  Locked.  "Fuck!"  I pounded the

door.  "Scully!"
 
 

Joe's car pulled in alongside mine.  "What's going on?" he asked, getting

out of the car.
 
 

"She's gone," I said shortly, trying to hide my concern.  "She's taken

Sam."
 
 

"How do you know that?" he asked indignantly, unlocking the door.  He was

obviously very angry at me.  "Dana!" he called into the house.  There was

no reply.  I followed him inside.  "Dana!"  he called again.
 
 

I bolted up the staircase, opening the first door I saw.  Dana and Joe's

room.  The bed was still unmade.  Feeling as if I were invading, I backed

out of the room.  Next door.  Sam's room.
 
 

The room was, in a word, incredible.  The walls were painted a soft blue

color, and what must have been a professional artist had painted an

entire celestial heaven on the ceiling.  The curtains were white and

wispy, covering the window but still allowing the morning sun to stream

in.  It was obvious that Scully had been the mastermind behind the

decorations.
 
 

Sam's bed was in one corner.  The covers were pulled back.  I checked the

drawers, trying to determine how much was missing.  I had no idea what

clothes she had in the first place.  It was no use.
 
 

I could hear Joe still calling Scully's name from downstairs.  I went

back down to meet him in the front hall.  "She's gone," I repeated.  "She

took Sam.  They're gone.  We have to find them."
 
 

"We have to find them?" he echoed.  "Since when do you take such an

interest?" he asked.  "I'll find her.  She likely just went for a drive

with Sam.  I'm sure she's fine."
 
 

"I have a very strong interest," I told him venomously.  "Sam is my

daughter."
 
 

"Dana is *my* wife," he replied in the same tone.  "And as far as I am

concerned, Sam is your daughter by blood only.  I raised that little girl

after you..."
 
 

"After I what?" I shouted at him.  "What did Dana tell you?  That I

abandoned her when she needed me most?  I didn't even know she was

pregnant when she left!  She left me a note, damn it!  She never even

told me goodbye!"  He paled considerably.  Obviously one more thing he

hadn't known about.  I lowered my voice.  "She hurt me so deeply that I

thought I could never love anyone again.  I haven't loved anyone since.

I haven't let anyone get close to me since."  It was a painful admission,

particularly because I hardly knew this man.
 
 

"We have to find her," he said, nodding his head.
 
 

I calmed at the use of the word ‘we'.  "Do you have any idea where she

would have gone?  Friends in this area?  Places she liked to go?"  His

face clouded in thought.  Then his eyes lit up.  "What?"
 
 

"Shippan.  There's a beach there that she likes to go to, to think."
 
 

"Where is it?" I asked.
 
 

"Stamford.  The next town north of here.  It's not far."
 
 

"Let's go," I said.  "I'll drive."
 
 

Joe and I made the drive in silence.  Every few minutes he would speak to

give directions.  "Take a left here."  "Turn right."
 
 

I was lost in my thoughts.  All I could think of was Scully, and Sam, our

daughter.  How to make all of this right again.  And without warning, I

was drawn back to the past, to the things she and I had said and done.

Little snippets of conversation and events free flowed through my mind.
 
 

<You're the only one I trust.>  <Mulder, I wouldn't put myself on the

line for anyone but you.>  <Hearing her sigh as we first kissed.>

<Seeing the look on her face the first time we made love, as we sank back

onto the bed in her apartment, our bodies touching each other for the

first time, with no barriers.  How her eyes shone.>  <I love you,

Mulder.>
 
 

"Right over there.  Park over here.  We'll have to walk the rest of the

way."  Joe interrupted me out of my reverie.
 
 

I parked the car and we both sprinted across the grass, then across a

small footbridge.  The sun was now fully up, and it was shining brightly

over Long Island Sound.  It was cold enough for me to see my breath as I

followed Joe at a brisk jog.  At the water's edge, there were rocks.

Large rocks, for what seemed like a stretch of miles and miles.  I could

see why Scully would like to come out here.  It was peaceful.  I scanned

the rocks quickly.  I saw the red of her hair before I actually saw her.

 "There she is!" I cried, pointing.  Joe and I broke into a run at the

same time.
 

"Dana!" he yelled.  I grabbed his arm.
 
 

"Don't startle her!"  I didn't know what her emotional state would be.
 
 

Joe ignored me, pulled his arm from mine and began to run faster.  I

struggled to keep up with him.  I saw Scully fully now, sitting on one of

the rocks, Sam cradled under one arm, apparently asleep.  They were both

wearing heavy coats and Sam was wrapped in a long scarf.  "Dana!" he

yelled again.  We were about 50 feet from her.  Scully turned her head at

the sound of Joe's voice.  She jumped, and I knew what was going to

happen just as it actually occurred.
 
 

She scrambled to her feet, pulling Sam up with her, trying to take her in

her arms and climb up the rocks, to run from us or to us, I don't know.

But Sam slipped from her grasp and fell.
 
 

I heard the crack as her head hit the rocks, although I was told later

that from the distance I was at, I couldn't have possibly heard it.

Panic filled me as I watched her tiny body slide down the rock and into

the water.
 
 

"Sam!" Scully screamed, terrified.  Adrenaline pumping through my veins,

I overtook Joe and ran to the rocks, climbing over them to reach Scully

before he did.  She clutched at my coat, her eyes wide and frozen with

terror.  "Mulder!"
 
 

I pulled from her and jumped into the water immediately.  I didn't know

how deep or cold it was.  The icy blast of the water temperature hit me

as soon as I hit the water.  All I could see was the tiny body, floating

face down in the water.  The hood of her coat had come off.  The auburn

hair made redder from the blood, her thick coat filling with water and

beginning to pull her down under the surface.  I reached for her.  She

was within arm's grasp.  I missed.  The water was just up to my chest.  I

struggled to get closer, but the weight of my coat filling with water was

holding me back.
 

Damn it, I swore to myself.  She's just a few feet away.  I've got to get

her!
 
 

*****
 
 

Continued in part 8/10
 
 
 
 

===========================================================================
 
 

From: Leyla Harrison <starbuck72@netaxis.ca>

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: NEW: After All These Years 8/10

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 15:12:57 -0700
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 8/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 
 
 

Scully:
 
 

I saw Mulder reach for Sam the first time and miss.  I was frozen in

place, unable to move or speak.  My hands were over my mouth, still in

horror at what was happening.  Joe appeared at my side, breathing

heavily, looking down into the water at what was going on.  In

desperation, I looked around for something that Mulder could use to hook

onto Sam's coat with.  I turned my head around, looking for a branch or a

rope.  Nothing.  As I looked back into the water, the rock that Sam had

hit as she fell passed through my peripheral vision just below me.  It

was red with blood.  Her blood.  My precious daughter.  Oh, God.
 
 

Tears were streaming down my face.  My breath was coming out in short

white puffs in the cold.  Joe was standing there, not moving, not

speaking.
 
 

My daughter, I prayed, God, please, don't take my daughter.  Please.  Not

her.  I would do anything.  Take me, not her.  Please.
 
 

"Damn it, Dana, what the hell's the matter with you?  How could you bring

her here?  What the hell were you thinking?" Joe was yelling at me.  It

was making me cry harder.  I was crying so hard that I felt pain in my

throat, and my eyes stung from the tears.
 
 

"Shut up!" I screamed at him.  "Just shut up!"  Ignoring him further, I

climbed down the rocks carefully to get closer to Mulder.  I could see

him struggling in the icy water.  I could see my daughter face down.  Oh,

God, Mulder, I prayed, please...
 
 

He reached for her again, and caught her jacket in his hand, pulling her

close to him.  He turned her over in the water, onto her back, checking

her pulse, checking her breathing.  Mulder fumbled in his coat pocket and

brought out his cel phone, throwing it to me.  I caught it.  "Call an

ambulance!" he yelled.
 
 

"Is she all right?" I asked.  "Mulder, shouldn't you get her out of the

water?"
 

"Scully, call the fucking paramedics!" he yelled back.  I dialed with

trembling fingers.  As I was hanging up, Mulder began to tow Sam back

towards the rocks, back to shore.  Back to safety, I prayed.  He pushed

her towards me.  "She's unconscious," he told me.  He was shaking with

chills from the cold water.  "We've got to get her out of the water.

We've got to keep her warm until the paramedics get here."
 
 

I helped pull her out of the water.  She was much heavier because of the

water weighing down her coat.  Together, Mulder and I pulled her up the

rocks.  Joe reached down to help us get her up on the frozen grass.  I

stripped off my coat, ignoring the cold morning air and wrapped it around

her small body.  Her eyes were closed.  The scarf was still wrapped

around her neck, twisted tightly there.  I was afraid it was cutting off

her supply of oxygen and so I pulled it off of her.  "Careful of her

head," Joe cautioned.
 
 "She's still got a pulse and it's really fast," Mulder told both of us.

"Her breathing is shallow."
 
 

I checked it, trying to remain as professional as possible.  I'm a

physician, I reminded myself.  But my hands were shaking, and whether it

was from the cold or from the fear I wasn't sure.  Likely both.
 
 

I leaned my head down and listened.  I could hear short long breaths and

I could see her chest slowly rising and falling.  But it was not enough.

 "She spit out a lot of water when I turned her over," Mulder said.  "I

don't think there's any of it left in her lungs."  I lifted my head and

pinched Sam's nose and prepared to breathe into her mouth.
 
 

"What are you doing?" Joe asked.  "She's already breathing!"
 
 

"But she's breathing too shallowly, Joe.  She needs more oxygen,

quickly."  I could see that her skin was white, her lips tinged blue.  I

quickly checked her nail beds.  They were still OK, but she needed more

oxygen as quickly as I could get it to her.  I breathed five deep breaths

into her lungs.  Her chest rose high during each one.  When I stopped,

Mulder checked her pulse again.
 
 

"It's better."
 
 

I scanned the park.  Where were the fucking paramedics?  I carefully

began to lift Sam's head to check the wound.  I realized that she hit her

head on the corner.  The blood was still flowing from the side of her

head.
 
 

"Don't you think you should wait until the paramedics get here?" Joe

asked.
 
 

"She's a doctor," Mulder snapped back at him.  "She knows what she's

doing."
 
 

"But the paramedics are trained.  Their medical knowledge is up to date.

 All Dana's been doing for the last three years has been working on dead

bodies at the Medical Examiner's office for the county."
 
 

"I know what I'm doing," I practically growled at him, looking up.

Mulder was obviously freezing.  He was kneeling beside me and Sam, still

in his wet clothing, shivering.  His teeth were clattering loudly.  "Give

me your coat, Joe," I demanded.
 
 

He took it off without further argument and handed it to me.  I placed a

bulk of it against Sam's head, trying to slow the flow of blood.
 
 

"Why isn't she waking up?" Joe asked, echoing all of our concerns.
 
 

"I don't know," I answered, my voice breaking.  "I don't know."
 
 

I could hear the sirens now.  I looked up and saw the ambulance driving

across the grass towards us.  As soon as they got close enough, they

stopped the ambulance and two paramedics jumped out.  "My daughter, she's

four years old, she hit her head on the rocks," I told them.  That's

right, Dana, keep it professional.  Stay calm.  Don't go to pieces.  "Her

pulse is 80 and we gave her artificial respiration and her breathing has

improved."  A quick glance at Sam told me that the air I had given her

had helped.  Her skin color had improved.  "She has a blunt injury to her

head.  We were trying to keep the blood flow down."
 
 

"Was she in the water?" one of the paramedics asked me.  I nodded.

"That's good.  The coldness of the water probably helped to slow down the

blood flow as well."  The other paramedic was radioing back to the

hospital, advising them of the situation.  I heard the crackling

response.
 
 

"Cochran 2, please be advised that you can bring the patient right up to

the PICU.  We'll have a bed waiting.  Repeat, you can bypass the ER and

bring the patient right up to the PICU.  CAT scan techs will be waiting

for you there."
 
 

"Copy that.  ETA 10 minutes."  He turned to his partner.  "We need to get

an IV in her and then get her right in there."
 
 

"Already getting it," the paramedic beside me told him.  I pointed out

the upperside of Sam's right wrist.
 
 

"She's got a good vein there," I told him.  Frightening that I knew the

location of the ‘good' veins in my daughter's body in case anything had

happened to her.
 
 

The other paramedic offered Mulder a blanket, which he gratefully

accepted and wrapped around himself.  "The IV's in," the paramedic

called.  "Let's get her in."  He loaded her onto the gurney and prepared

to put her in the ambulance.  "Which ones of you are her parents?  You

can ride with us."
 
 

"We are," Joe answered, and I glanced at Mulder.  The hurt was evident in

his eyes and all over his face.
 
 

"Why don't you ride with them and I'll ride with Mulder," I said to Joe.

 He looked surprised but agreed.
 
 

"We'll follow you over there," Mulder added.
 
 

"In case you can't keep up with us, we're going to Stamford Hospital,"

the paramedic told us.  I nodded.  I knew how to get there.  Mulder and I

headed for the car.
 
 

When we got to the car I went over to the passenger side.  "I'm

freezing," I said quietly.  Mulder came over the my side as I was opening

the door.
 
 

"Scully," he said, taking my arm before I could get in the car.
 
 
 

I turned and practically fell into his arms, as if it were the most

natural thing in the world to do.  I could feel his wet clothing under

the blanket.  I could hear his heartbeat and the rise and fall of his

chest with each breath.  I buried my face in his chest.  "Thank you,

Mulder," I whispered, new tears in my eyes.  "Thank you for saving Sam."
 
 

"You didn't do so badly yourself," he answered back, tightening his arms

around me, kissing the top of my head, his voice small and choked with

emotion.  I pulled out of his arms and looked up at him.  "Why did you

want to ride with me?"
 
 

"I wanted to thank you, and I wanted to do it without Joe watching and

listening."
 
 

"He's not watching and listening now."
 
 

"I know."
 
 

"Why did you run?" he asked.
 
 

"Mulder," I sighed, "we have to talk about it later.  We have to get to

the hospital."
 
 

He nodded, leaning his head down to kiss me.  My heart rate quickened.

"Mulder," I whispered, stopping him, holding him at an arm's distance

from me.
 
 

"What?  You don't want me to?"
 
 

I couldn't lie to him.  Of course I wanted him to, and he knew it.  "I'm

scared," I answered.  "Nothing has changed.  Everything's just...more

complicated now.  Sam..."  He nodded.  He pushed my arm away, kissing me

gently, slowly, and it ended too quickly.  It was the kind of kiss he

used to give me that would literally take my breath away.  There was

warmth and sensitivity and love in that kiss, so much of it that it made

me feel loved and cared for and overwhelmed all at once.  "We need to get

to the hospital."
 
 

"Point me in the right direction and we'll be there in no time."
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

We got to the hospital after having spoken about five words in the car.

It took about fifteen minutes.  I could still feel her lips on mine.  I

decided something as we pulled into the emergency parking area.  No

matter what had happened, no matter what it took, Scully and I were going

to be together again.  In the last day and a half I had realized that no

matter how much she had hurt me, I was hurting more without her.  I had

spent five years in pain, in solitude, and it wasn't worth it.  I knew

that I couldn't have gone on much longer like I was.
 
 

We got out of the car and went in, being directed to the PICU.  We walked

in and Joe was in the waiting room.  "Where's Sam?" Scully asked

immediately, going to him and leaving my side.
 
 

"Inside.  They're doing a CAT scan on her to determine the damage done by

the fall."  His voice was cold.  It was obvious from his tone and

demeanor that he was blaming Scully for the accident.  It infuriated me,

but I said nothing.  "They're listing her in critical condition," he

added, layering on the guilt thickly.  Scully's face fell.  It was

obvious that she was allowing her grief to let Joe pull her emotions

exactly where he wanted them.
 
 

"I'm sorry," she whispered, tears welling up in her eyes.
 
 

"Our daughter could die," he said angrily, emphasizing the ‘our' for my

benefit, I'm sure.  "And you're sorry, Dana?  That's all you can say?"
 
 

"It was an accident," I said to him coldly.  "It's not her fault."
 
 

"She took Sam out there.  How do you figure that it's not her fault?"
 
 

"She's my daughter, Joe."
 
 

"Damn it, I raised her.  I love her.  You don't know anything about her."
 
 

"I know that she's my daughter.  That she was conceived out of love.  The

love Scully and I had."
 
 

Scully's face grew more frightened.  "Mulder, this isn't the time--"
 

"No, it may not be.  But she's mine, Scully.  She's ours.  That fact

doesn't change."
 
 

The three of us quieted down and sat down in the uncomfortable plastic

chairs, far from each other.  Scully spoke once.  "Why haven't they come

out and told us anything?"  Her voice was small and frightened.
 
 

"They said they'd come out as soon as they had something to tell us," Joe

answered.
 
 

An hour passed.
 
 

A doctor, dressed in scrubs and wearing a name tag that identified him as

Dr. Young emerged from the PICU.  "You're Samantha Harmon's parents?" he

asked, addressing all of us, unsure as to whether Joe or I was her

father.  We all three nodded and the doctor took it all in stride and

kept speaking. "I'm Dr. Young, head of the PICU.  We've got her

stabilized, but she's had a severe trauma to the head.  She's in a deep

coma.  We're doing a CAT scan right now to confirm it, but my exam of her

leads me to believe that there's a good amount of pressure on her brain."
 
 

Scully's body weakened.  Both Joe and I moved towards her quickly to

support her.  We both ended up on either side of her, holding one arm

each.
 
 

"At this point, after the CAT scan comes back, we have a few options.  We

can attempt surgery to release some of the pressure.  I've already called

for a neurosurgeon to come and look at her.  The surgery is very

dangerous.  The neurosurgeon believes that the outcome of the surgery

would not be worth it."
 
 

"Worth what?" Joe asked.
 
 

"Worth attempting to save her life.  I don't believe that she would

survive the surgery.  In all likelihood, I don't know at this point how

long she can hold on.  I believe there is a lot of blood in her brain.

Too much blood.  That, combined with the intercrainal pressure, which is

rising, is slowly cutting off the supply of oxygen.  I know she's young,

and healthy otherwise, but I don't think that anyone with this type of

injury could survive.  Technically, I believe that she has been mostly

brain dead since the blow to the head.  She's not in any pain that we can

determine.  An initial EEG showed no active brain waves.  We are keeping

her on life support in order to do another EEG in another 12 hours to be

sure that there are no active brain waves.  That's standard medical

procedure."
 
 

"She's brain dead?" Joe asked, disbelieving.  Dr. Young nodded.
 
 

"Oh, God," Scully whispered, her eyes fluttering, and she struggled to

stay on her feet.  I put one supportive arm around her waist.  Joe didn't

even notice.  His face was stricken with sadness.
 
 

"We're going to wait for the CAT scan results, like I said.  But if they

come back as I am anticipating them to, there's likely not a lot of time

left.  You can go in and see her, if you'd like."  Joe and I nodded.  It

was all Scully could do to stay standing.  "I'm very sorry."
 
 

Dr. Young went back into the PICU.  Tears were flowing down Scully's face

as she cried silently.  "Do you want to go in?" I asked her, and she

nodded.
 
 

"My baby," she managed to get out.  I was stabbed with excruciating pain.

 My daughter.  Joe's words echoed in my head.  You don't know her at all.

 And now, I thought, I never will.  A flash of Sam's bedroom came into my

head.  Seeing her in the front hall of Scully's house.  At the dinner

table.  Bounding from the car.  These were the only memories I would ever

have of her.
 
 

"Let's all go in," Joe said, his voice now softened.  "We should all be

there."  I tried to smile at him gratefully.  Tears were clouding my

vision.  He was attempting to hold back his own tears.
 
 

With Scully in the middle, the three of us entered the PICU and entered

Sam's room.  She had been changed into a hospital gown and was under a

large heating blanket.  There were tubes, wires, and machines everywhere.

 A tube was in her nose, and one was taped down around her lips that went

down her throat.  There were wires monitoring her heart rate, and more

wires monitoring her brain waves.  Multiple IV's were in her veins, and

the tubing wound up to the bag of clear fluids that hung above her bed.

The heart monitor was beeping.  Her small chest rose and fell

rhythmically from the air that was being mechanically forced into her

lungs from the machines.  Her head was bandaged, but I could still see

wisps of her auburn hair.  Her eyes were closed, peacefully.
 
 

As Scully took everything in, her knees buckled and Joe and I both held

her up.  She was crying openly, as was Joe.
 
 

I was struck with an icy sense of fear and panic.  All I could recall in

my mind was walking into the ICU and seeing Scully, just like this.  It

was terrifying then, and it was even more so now, seeing Sam in the same

state.  It numbed my mind and body to the point where I couldn't feel

myself holding Scully up.

Tears began to flow down my cheeks for this child, this child who was

mine, mine and Scully's, who was already as good as dead.  They were

tears for Sam, and they were the tears that I had been unable to shed at

Scully's bedside all those years ago.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mrs. Scully:
 
 

When I finally found out what was going on and made it to Conecticut, I

got a taxi to take me directly to the hospital.  I made it up to the PICU

and was ushered in.  In Sam's small room, Dana, Fox and Joe were all

seated around her bed.  Someone had put a blanket over Dana and she was

asleep.  Joe nodded hello to me and I nodded back.
 
 

I saw my granddaughter on the bed and all the apparatus she was attached

to and swallowed hard.  Fox looked up as I entered the room and we locked

eyes.  We both knew what the other was thinking.  It was just like seeing

Dana on that bed all those years ago.
 
 

Fox got up quietly from his chair and took me out into the hallway.

"They're going to do another EEG in a few hours...but she is brain dead.

 She's on life support."
 
 

"Oh, Fox," I said, sorrow filling my heart.  "She's so young."
 
 

He nodded.  His cheeks were still wet with tears, and his eyes were

swollen from crying.  "Dana's not taking it very well.  The doctor gave

her a mild sedative to help her sleep for a while.  He didn't think she

should be sitting here for 12 hours watching all of this."
 
 

I nodded.  My poor daughter.  To have to have gone through so much, and

now this.  I couldn't even begin to imagine how she was dealing with it.

 "I'd like to stay, Fox," I told him, my throat tight.
 
 

"I've already got a chair waiting for you," he said, as if he had known I

would want to be in the room.
 
 

"Thank you."
 
 

*****
 
 

Continued in part 9/10
 
 
 
 

===========================================================================
 
 

From: Leyla Harrison <starbuck72@netaxis.ca>

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: NEW: After All These Years 9/10

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 15:13:40 -0700
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 9/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 
 
 

Scully:
 
 

When I woke up, I struggled to remember where I was.  I was groggy from

the sedative, and I rubbed my eyes.  The blanket that had been covering

me slipped to the floor.  Joe leaned over and picked it up and recovered

me.  I smiled at him gratefully.  I looked at Sam.  She looked exactly

the same.  Peaceful.  As if she was in no pain.
 
 

Mulder was seated to my right, and next to him was my mother.  I got up

from the chair and she came to me, hugging me tightly.  "I'm so glad

you're here," I whispered into her neck.  She hugged me back tightly.
 
 

"I know, Dana, I know."
 
 

I released her and went back to my chair, sitting down, feeling

surprisingly calm.  "I had a dream," I told everyone in the room quietly,

"that I was with Sam at the park.  She was on the swings, and I was

pushing her.  ‘Higher, Mommy,' she said, and I pushed her harder, but not

too hard.  I didn't want her to fall off and get hurt, but she seemed to

have a good grip on the chains that supported the swing.  ‘Please, Mommy,

push me a little higher.  I want to get as close to heaven as I can.'  I

did push her higher, and harder, and I could hear her laughing, she was

so happy..."  I stopped for a seconds, brushing a few tears from my

cheeks.  "And I kept pushing her.  ‘Push me all the way to heaven,

Mommy,' she said, and I gave her one great big push and Sam and the swing

and all of it disappeared.  The sky was an incredibly perfect shade of

blue, and I looked up.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky.  She was gone,

and yet I could still hear her giggling, and she still sounded so happy.

 ‘I'm in heaven, Mommy, and you'd never guess, but it's so great!' she

said."
 
 

I looked around the room.  Mulder had his head bowed and was crying.  Joe

sniffled and my mother wiped her eyes.
 
 

The doctor came in.  "Hi, everyone," he said softly, in a soothing but

not placating tone.  "We're going to turn the tracing back on for the EEG

now and see what happens."
 
 

We all stood up and formed a semi-circle at the foot of Sam's bed.  Joe

on one side of me, Mulder on the other, and my mother next to Mulder.

Joe put his arm around me.  Mulder took my hand, and my mother was

holding his other hand.  Another doctor and a nurse came into the room,

and the nurse was holding Sam's chart and a pen.  I knew, with a certain

sense of sadness, what we were all about to witness.
 
 

The doctor flipped a switch on the EEG machine that Sam was already

hooked up to.    The paper began to roll, and the needles jumped slightly

as the machine was being turned on, but then fell to draw a straight line

on the paper.  Everyone in the room was unnaturally silent.  Even the

beeping of the machines seemed quieter.  We were all staring at the

needles on the paper, waiting, hoping, even willing them to draw some

kind of blip on the paper.  Something to show that there was electrical

activity happening in Sam's brain.
 
 

There was nothing.
 
 

The needles drew a long, straight line across the paper.  No electrical

activity in the brain.
 
 

We all stood there, even the medical staff, unmoving and saying nothing,

for a good five minutes.
 
 

Dr. Young spoke first, clearing his throat quietly, looking to me.

"There's no activity," he confirmed for me.
 
 

I knew what he needed to hear from me.  I knew what I needed to do.  I

needed to give him permission to let Sam go.  I was silent for a full

minute before I responded.  "You can turn the machines off," I said

quietly.  "Turn them all off."
 
 

"Samantha Melissa Harmon pronouced dead at 1737 hours, February 11,

2001," he said for the nurse to document on the chart.  She wrote it

down, then set the chart down.
 
 

"I know this is a difficult time for you, but are you at all interested

in donating any of Samantha's organs?" Dr. Young asked.
 
 

I nodded immediately.  This was something I firmly believed in, and there

was no hesitation in my decision.  "You can donate whatever organs are

viable for use," I told him.
 
 

"I'll need you to sign some paperwork, Mrs. Harmon."  I nodded again.

"We're going to leave her on life support until we know what organs are

needed.  If you all would like a few minutes with her, we'll step

outside."
 
 

"OK," I said.  I was feeling remarkably calm, although I knew that the

magnitude of what was happening would hit me later.  I still had so much

to deal with.  So much to face.  Questions to answer.
 
 

The doctors and the nurse stepped out of the room.  My mother was the

first to say goodbye.  She went to Sam's bedside and leaned down to kiss

her forehead lightly.  "Goodbye, my sweet angel," she said softly, then

squeezed my arm and left the room, tears in her eyes.
 
 

Joe and Mulder looked at each other, as if they were unsure as to who

should go next.  Joe finally stepped forward.  He touched Sam's hand,

looked at her.  "I know you weren't my daughter by blood.  But I loved

you as if you were.  I'm going to miss you, Sam."  His words brought

tears to my eyes, and I tried desperately to fight them back.  He stepped

away from her bed and looked at me.  "I'll be outside," he said.  His

eyes were brimming with tears as well.  He left the room, leaving Mulder

and I alone with our daughter.
 
 

"When she was born," I said quietly, but loud enough for Mulder to hear,

"I didn't let Joe in the delivery room.  Just my mother.  As soon as she

came out of me, as soon as the doctors told me she was healthy and that

everything was fine, they picked her up and cleaned her off.  While they

were doing that, my mother came over to me and wiped my forehead and

hugged me as best as she could.  Then they brought Sam over to me and put

her in my arms."
 
 

Mulder took my hand again.  "You don't have to tell me all of this,

Scully."
 
 

"No, Mulder, I need to tell you.  You need to hear it."  He closed his

eyes, acknowledging that, and then opened them again and nodded at me to

continue.  "I looked down at her.  She was this perfect, tiny, baby, and

she was mine, mine and yours.  She was what we had created.  And as happy

as I was, as overjoyed as I felt, I felt incredible sadness that you

weren't there to see her being born.  That I had blocked you from even

knowing about her.  I almost wanted to call you and tell you everything.

 I thought for one second that I could somehow make everything right

again and go back to DC..."  I wiped at my eyes, remembering.  "But I

didn't.  I couldn't.  And then, Mulder, she opened her eyes.  Sam opened

her eyes and looked up at me and my mom.  Do you know what my mom said to

me?"
 
 
 
 

"No," Mulder said, his voice tight.
 
 

"She said, ‘She has Fox's eyes, Dana.  Look.'  And she was right.  Sam

had your eyes.  The exact color, the exact shape...it was almost like I

was looking right at you."  Mulder squeezed my hand.  "And at that

moment, Mulder, I knew that I had a part of you with me.  We were

separated, and we might never see each other again, but I knew that I

could always look at Sam and see a part of you."
 
 

I was crying openly now, unashamedly.  Mulder held me for a few moments

and let me cry.  I could feel his body shaking with his own tears.

Finally he released me and stepped towards the bed.
 
 

His face was twisted with grief, and I could see him crying.  He leaned

over Sam and kissed her forehead, just as my mother had done.  He touched

her hand, then ran his hand along her face tenderly.  He murmured words

that I did not hear, words that I was not meant to hear.  Then he stepped

back, gave me a half-smile, and left me alone with our daughter.
 
 

I sat back down in the chair at the foot of her bed.  "You were always my

lifeline.  My touchstone."  I looked at her body, ravaged by the machines

she was connected to that were making her heart beat and pushing air

mechanically through her lungs.  For some reason, it struck a bad chord

in me.  It was wrong, to see her like this.  To remember her like this.

I didn't want to look back and remember her like this.
 
 

I got up from the chair and left the room.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

The next three days passed in a haze.  I checked into a hotel in

Greenwich.  I had originally gone to check into some cheap dive, but

found that there were very few of those in the upscale Fairfield County

area.  Scully insisted on not returning to her house.  Joe, without

argument, had booked Scully, her mother and myself into the Greenwich

Hyatt, a beautiful hotel.  I assumed that Joe was staying at their house.

 I could imagine what the hotel would look like in the springtime, with

the well manicured grounds and flowers blooming everywhere.  Against her

mother's protests, Scully got her own room, one floor down from mine.

Her mother was next door to her.  Scully was, for all intents and

purposes, in isolation.  Mrs. Scully and I would eat together in the

restaurant downstairs, without Scully.  She ordered room service.
 
 

I had to call the Bureau and explain my absence.  I spoke only to

Skinner, hoping and praying that he would understand.
 
 

"Agent Mulder.  You were due back in Washington three days ago.  Where

the hell are you?"  He was obviously not pleased.
 
 

"Sir, there's been a development," I began.  "I'm in Connecticut."
 
 

"Connecticut?  What are you doing there?"
 
 

"I'm with Scully," I replied.  Her name had not come up in conversation

between him and I in years.
 
 

There was silence.  "I thought you were unaware of her whereabouts,

Mulder."
 
 

He obviously had been keeping closer tabs on me over the years than I had

thought.  I paused, not knowing what to reveal and what not to say.  It

seemed somewhat inconsequential now to tell him the truth.  "Sir, it's a

very long story.  But I'm still here to attend the funeral of Scully's

daughter."
 
 

I heard him take a deep breath.  "You will give her my condolences," he

said, and I could tell that he meant it with all sincerity.
 
 

"I will."
 
 

"Agent Mulder.  There's obviously something you are not telling me."
 
 

No kidding, I thought.  "Sir, the child...she's my child as well."  I

might as well tell him.  There was no reason not to.
 
 

More silence.  "I thought you hadn't seen Scully in years."
 
 

"I haven't, sir."  And then, without preamble, I launched into the story

of how it happened.  How Scully and I had gotten involved, that she had

gotten pregnant, left town, had the baby, gotten married, all of it.  I

told him how I had happened to find her.  I gave him the abbreviated

version.
 
 

Skinner, to his credit, never once interrupted me during my story.  When

I got to the point of telling about Sam dying, it was all I could do not

to start crying again.  Finally, I wrapped it up and closed my mouth, too

exhausted to speak anymore.  "Agent Mulder," he said, clearing his throat

and then speaking more quietly into the receiver, "you stay there as long

as you need to.  I will handle everything here."
 
 

"I appreciate that, sir."  I really did.  My hands had been shaking as I

had been speaking to him, assuming that he was going to tell me not to

bother to come back.  "Sir, I know that what Scully and I did was against

Bureau policy--"
 
 

"Agent Mulder, Scully is no longer with the Bureau.  What may or may not

have happened between you and her is not any of the Bureau's business.

Do you understand me?"
 
 

I was touched my his willingness to keep our privacy where it belonged -

in private.  "Yes," I answered, somewhat shakily, "I understand."
 
 

"Call me when you get back to DC.  And Mulder, please do tell Scully that

I am very sorry for her loss.  For your loss as well, Mulder.  I'm very

sorry."  He sounded so sincere I couldn't even believe it.
 
 

I called Scully every evening before I went to bed to make sure she was

all right.  "Hi, it's me," I said into the phone that night, the night

before the funeral.  I knew that Scully had gone back to the house to get

clothes for Sam to wear in the casket earlier that day, although I had

not seen her.  What a grim task, I thought.  I hadn't seen her since we

checked into the hotel.
 
 

"Hi," she said.  She sounded exhausted.
 
 

"How are you?"  Nice, Mulder, I thought.  She's probably doing about as

well as you are.  She's probably a wreck.
 
 

"I'm tired."  Her voice sounded weak and very far away, much farther than

the one floor down that she actually was.  "I picked out what she's going

to wear."
 
 

Scully didn't use Sam's name on the phone when we spoke.  "What did you

pick out?"
 
 

"A green dress that she wore at Christmas.  Green velvet with white lace.

 She looked beautiful in it at Christmas."
 
 

"I'm sure," I said, my heart breaking.  I wished I could have seen her at

Christmas.  Mrs. Scully had shown me the pictures she carried of Sam with

her in her wallet.  One with Scully and Joe and Sam in front of the

house.  One of Sam, obviously a professionally done photograph, wearing a

blue and white jumpsuit, smiling into the camera.  She looked just like

her mother in that picture.
 
 

"Mulder?" Scully asked.
 
 

"Yes?"
 
 

"Do you think you could come down here?" Scully asked.  "To my room?  I

want to talk to you - and not like this, not over the phone."
 
 

"I'll be right there," I answered, jumping off the bed.  "I'm on my way."
 
 

I took the stairs down one flight and knocked on Scully's door.  She

opened it.  She was wearing jeans and an old flannel shirt, one I could

recall her wearing on one of our cases.  It must have been a case where

we were in the mountains, or maybe it was when we were in the Arctic.  I

didn't remember, but the shirt rang a bell in my head.  Her hair was

pulled back and her face was scrubbed clean of makeup.  Not like she

needed it, anyhow.  Scully was one of those women who other women envy

because she could wear no makeup at all and still look incredibly

beautiful.  In fact, as I stood there in her doorway, as tired and sad as

she looked, she looked just as stunning as I had always remembered her to

look.  She used to pad around my apartment in her socks and one of my

shirts, making breakfast for the two of us...
 
 

"Come in," she said, and I did.  The room was immaculate, but what had I

expected?  Scully was always a bit of a neat freak.  On one of the beds

was a large cardboard box.  She gestured me over to it.  "I picked up

some photo albums and things of hers when I was at the house.  I wanted

you to have some of them.  So you could see what she was like."
 
 

"Thank you," I said, resisting the urge to turn the box upside down and

start looking through it, piece by piece.  "Thank you very much.  I

appreciate that."
 
 

Scully sat down on the other bed.  I sat beside her.  "I've been trying

to figure out what I should do now.  With my life, I mean."  I nodded.

"I've spoken with Joe, and we've decided that the best thing to do would

be for us to divorce."
 
 

I tried not to let my face register the happiness that I felt.  I knew

that the conversations must have been painful ones for her.  "What are

you going to do?"
 
 

"I don't know," she sighed.  "My mother wants me to move back to the

Washington area, with her, possibly."
 
 

"What about with me?" I asked, biting my tongue.  I couldn't help it.  It

had come spilling out.
 
 

She didn't answer at first.  "You and I are a long way from being right

with each other, Mulder."  I knew she was right about that.  But I was

willing to go ten rounds if she was.  "I keep telling myself to run, to

run as far as I can from you."  I was going to ask why and then caught

myself.  All she had done for five years was run from me, both physically

and emotionally.  It must have been routine by now for her.  "But I've

realized something," she said.  "I can't run from you.  You always find

me."  She gave me a hesitant smile.
 
 

I took her hand.  "Scully, I would do anything to try to work things out

between us.  I know that we have a lot to work out.  But I want to work

it out."
 
 
 

"No," Mulder said, his voice tight.
 
 

"She said, ‘She has Fox's eyes, Dana.  Look.'  And she was right.  Sam

had your eyes.  The exact color, the exact shape...it was almost like I

was looking right at you."  Mulder squeezed my hand.  "And at that

moment, Mulder, I knew that I had a part of you with me.  We were

separated, and we might never see each other again, but I knew that I

could always look at Sam and see a part of you."
 
 

I was crying openly now, unashamedly.  Mulder held me for a few moments

and let me cry.  I could feel his body shaking with his own tears.

Finally he released me and stepped towards the bed.
 
 

His face was twisted with grief, and I could see him crying.  He leaned

over Sam and kissed her forehead, just as my mother had done.  He touched

her hand, then ran his hand along her face tenderly.  He murmured words

that I did not hear, words that I was not meant to hear.  Then he stepped

back, gave me a half-smile, and left me alone with our daughter.
 
 

I sat back down in the chair at the foot of her bed.  "You were always my

lifeline.  My touchstone."  I looked at her body, ravaged by the machines

she was connected to that were making her heart beat and pushing air

mechanically through her lungs.  For some reason, it struck a bad chord

in me.  It was wrong, to see her like this.  To remember her like this.

I didn't want to look back and remember her like this.
 
 

I got up from the chair and left the room.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

The next three days passed in a haze.  I checked into a hotel in

Greenwich.  I had originally gone to check into some cheap dive, but

found that there were very few of those in the upscale Fairfield County

area.  Scully insisted on not returning to her house.  Joe, without

argument, had booked Scully, her mother and myself into the Greenwich

Hyatt, a beautiful hotel.  I assumed that Joe was staying at their house.

 I could imagine what the hotel would look like in the springtime, with

the well manicured grounds and flowers blooming everywhere.  Against her

mother's protests, Scully got her own room, one floor down from mine.

Her mother was next door to her.  Scully was, for all intents and

purposes, in isolation.  Mrs. Scully and I would eat together in the

restaurant downstairs, without Scully.  She ordered room service.
 
 

I had to call the Bureau and explain my absence.  I spoke only to

Skinner, hoping and praying that he would understand.
 
 

"Agent Mulder.  You were due back in Washington three days ago.  Where

the hell are you?"  He was obviously not pleased.
 
 

"Sir, there's been a development," I began.  "I'm in Connecticut."
 
 

"Connecticut?  What are you doing there?"
 
 

"I'm with Scully," I replied.  Her name had not come up in conversation

between him and I in years.
 
 

There was silence.  "I thought you were unaware of her whereabouts,

Mulder."
 
 

He obviously had been keeping closer tabs on me over the years than I had

thought.  I paused, not knowing what to reveal and what not to say.  It

seemed somewhat inconsequential now to tell him the truth.  "Sir, it's a

very long story.  But I'm still here to attend the funeral of Scully's

daughter."
 
 

I heard him take a deep breath.  "You will give her my condolences," he

said, and I could tell that he meant it with all sincerity.
 
 

"I will."
 
 

"Agent Mulder.  There's obviously something you are not telling me."
 
 

No kidding, I thought.  "Sir, the child...she's my child as well."  I

might as well tell him.  There was no reason not to.
 
 

More silence.  "I thought you hadn't seen Scully in years."
 
 

"I haven't, sir."  And then, without preamble, I launched into the story

of how it happened.  How Scully and I had gotten involved, that she had

gotten pregnant, left town, had the baby, gotten married, all of it.  I

told him how I had happened to find her.  I gave him the abbreviated

version.
 
 

Skinner, to his credit, never once interrupted me during my story.  When

I got to the point of telling about Sam dying, it was all I could do not

to start crying again.  Finally, I wrapped it up and closed my mouth, too

exhausted to speak anymore.  "Agent Mulder," he said, clearing his throat

and then speaking more quietly into the receiver, "you stay there as long

as you need to.  I will handle everything here."
 
 

"I appreciate that, sir."  I really did.  My hands had been shaking as I

had been speaking to him, assuming that he was going to tell me not to

bother to come back.  "Sir, I know that what Scully and I did was against

Bureau policy--"
 
 

"Agent Mulder, Scully is no longer with the Bureau.  What may or may not

have happened between you and her is not any of the Bureau's business.

Do you understand me?"
 
 

I was touched my his willingness to keep our privacy where it belonged -

in private.  "Yes," I answered, somewhat shakily, "I understand."
 
 

"Call me when you get back to DC.  And Mulder, please do tell Scully that

I am very sorry for her loss.  For your loss as well, Mulder.  I'm very

sorry."  He sounded so sincere I couldn't even believe it.
 
 

I called Scully every evening before I went to bed to make sure she was

all right.  "Hi, it's me," I said into the phone that night, the night

before the funeral.  I knew that Scully had gone back to the house to get

clothes for Sam to wear in the casket earlier that day, although I had

not seen her.  What a grim task, I thought.  I hadn't seen her since we

checked into the hotel.
 
 

"Hi," she said.  She sounded exhausted.
 
 

"How are you?"  Nice, Mulder, I thought.  She's probably doing about as

well as you are.  She's probably a wreck.
 
 

"I'm tired."  Her voice sounded weak and very far away, much farther than

the one floor down that she actually was.  "I picked out what she's going

to wear."
 
 

Scully didn't use Sam's name on the phone when we spoke.  "What did you

pick out?"
 
 

"A green dress that she wore at Christmas.  Green velvet with white lace.

 She looked beautiful in it at Christmas."
 
 

"I'm sure," I said, my heart breaking.  I wished I could have seen her at

Christmas.  Mrs. Scully had shown me the pictures she carried of Sam with

her in her wallet.  One with Scully and Joe and Sam in front of the

house.  One of Sam, obviously a professionally done photograph, wearing a

blue and white jumpsuit, smiling into the camera.  She looked just like

her mother in that picture.
 
 

"Mulder?" Scully asked.
 
 

"Yes?"
 
 

"Do you think you could come down here?" Scully asked.  "To my room?  I

want to talk to you - and not like this, not over the phone."
 
 

"I'll be right there," I answered, jumping off the bed.  "I'm on my way."
 
 

I took the stairs down one flight and knocked on Scully's door.  She

opened it.  She was wearing jeans and an old flannel shirt, one I could

recall her wearing on one of our cases.  It must have been a case where

we were in the mountains, or maybe it was when we were in the Arctic.  I

didn't remember, but the shirt rang a bell in my head.  Her hair was

pulled back and her face was scrubbed clean of makeup.  Not like she

needed it, anyhow.  Scully was one of those women who other women envy

because she could wear no makeup at all and still look incredibly

beautiful.  In fact, as I stood there in her doorway, as tired and sad as

she looked, she looked just as stunning as I had always remembered her to

look.  She used to pad around my apartment in her socks and one of my

shirts, making breakfast for the two of us...
 
 

"Come in," she said, and I did.  The room was immaculate, but what had I

expected?  Scully was always a bit of a neat freak.  On one of the beds

was a large cardboard box.  She gestured me over to it.  "I picked up

some photo albums and things of hers when I was at the house.  I wanted

you to have some of them.  So you could see what she was like."
 
 

"Thank you," I said, resisting the urge to turn the box upside down and

start looking through it, piece by piece.  "Thank you very much.  I

appreciate that."
 
 

Scully sat down on the other bed.  I sat beside her.  "I've been trying

to figure out what I should do now.  With my life, I mean."  I nodded.

"I've spoken with Joe, and we've decided that the best thing to do would

be for us to divorce."
 
 

I tried not to let my face register the happiness that I felt.  I knew

that the conversations must have been painful ones for her.  "What are

you going to do?"
 
 

"I don't know," she sighed.  "My mother wants me to move back to the

Washington area, with her, possibly."
 
 

"What about with me?" I asked, biting my tongue.  I couldn't help it.  It

had come spilling out.
 
 

She didn't answer at first.  "You and I are a long way from being right

with each other, Mulder."  I knew she was right about that.  But I was

willing to go ten rounds if she was.  "I keep telling myself to run, to

run as far as I can from you."  I was going to ask why and then caught

myself.  All she had done for five years was run from me, both physically

and emotionally.  It must have been routine by now for her.  "But I've

realized something," she said.  "I can't run from you.  You always find

me."  She gave me a hesitant smile.
 
 

I took her hand.  "Scully, I would do anything to try to work things out

between us.  I know that we have a lot to work out.  But I want to work

it out."
 
 

"I meant it when I said that I never stopped loving you."
 
 

I thought suddenly of something.  One our first real date, we had rented

a movie.  Bridges of Madison County.  Chick flick, I could almost hear

the Lone Gunmen and the taunts they were going to hurl in my direction

when they found out I had actually rented it.  But to my suprise, I had

enjoyed it.  And when Scully had been dissolved in tears on my couch at

the movie's end, I muted the television and took her in my arms.  She

curled up as if she had always been there.  Too long, I had thought, we

have waited too long for this.  I leaned down and whispered in her ear.

"I love you, Scully."  My heart had been pounding with nervousness.
 
 

"And how are you so certain about that?" she had asked, her tear stained

face muffled in my shirt.

"Because," I had answered, shamelessly borrowing a line from the movie we

had just watched, "a certainty like this comes along once in a lifetime."
 
 

She had lifted her head, her eyes wet.  I would always remember how her

face looked at that moment.  She was stunning.  Luminous.  "Oh, Mulder,"

she sighed, after a moment, "you know I love you, too."
 
 

And then we had kissed for the first time.  We had both reached for each

other at the same time, and our lips met.  Soft and careful.  We took our

time.  We had already decided earlier in the evening that whatever

happened, happened.  We were not going to follow Bureau policy.  We were

going to stop denying our feelings.  We had made an agreement earlier

that evening that we had to give it a shot, to see if we really would

work as a couple, and not just as partners.  In our minds, we had both

already known that it was what we wanted, Bureau and policy be damned.
 
 

And now, as we sat on this hotel bed, so many years of pain having passed

between us, I thought of the line from the movie.  A certainty like

this...once in a lifetime.  Scully *was* my once in a lifetime.  There

was no one else for me.  "I love you, too."   I knew my answer was a few

minutes delayed, but she didn't look perplexed at all.
 
 

"I know what you were thinking about," she said.

"I doubt it."
 
 

"No, I do.  Our first kiss," she told me, surprising me.
 
 

"How did you know?" I asked, baffled.
 
 

"I don't know," she confessed.  "I guess after a while two people just

know."
 
 

"Even after all these years?"
 
 

"During the last few days, Mulder, it's as if all these years haven't

even happened.  I've felt as close to you now as I did before."
 
 

"I feel as if you're so far away.  You've isolated yourself from your

mother, from me."
 
 

"I know," she said, bowing her head.  "I'm just so..."
 
 

"Devastated," I finished for her.  She lifted her head and nodded.  "You

knew her every day of her life.  I didn't and I feel that way, too."  I

took one of her hands in mine, then both of them.  I put my other hand

atop hers and squeezed them lightly.  "After the funeral I want you to

come back to DC with me."
 
 

She nodded.  "I want to."
 
 

And so it was decided.
 
 

*****
 
 

Continued in part 10/10
 
 
 
 

===========================================================================
 
 

From: Leyla Harrison <starbuck72@netaxis.ca>

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: NEW: After All These Years 10/10

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 15:14:33 -0700
 
 
 
 

After All These Years 10/10

by Leyla Harrison

(starbuck72@netaxis.ca)
 
 
 
 

Mrs. Scully:
 
 

The funeral day dawned bright and cold.   No one even realized that it

was February 14th.  Valentine's Day.  What a horrible day for a funeral.
 
 

There was no visitation.  Only a short service at a local church.  Sam

looked like a little angel, wearing the green dress I had bought her for

Christmas.  Dana sat in the front pew, Joe in the pew across from her,

and Fox at her side.  It filled me with a small sense of relief to see

that they had come together for this important day.
 
 

After the funeral, we all went to the cemetery for the burial.  I rode

with Dana, Fox and Joe.  The ride over was silent.  None of us were

crying.  We were just silent.
 
 

At the cemetery, we all gathered around the small hole they had dug in

the ground for the tiny coffin.  I had not seen Dana cry when they had

closed it earlier at the church.  Her face now was stoic and brave,

although I could tell that she was having a hard time keeping up that

front.  After the minister spoke, Joe placed a single white rose on the

top of the already flower-laden casket.  He went to Dana, held her for a

moment, and then left.
 
 

Fox moved forward.  His eyes were now brimming with tears.  He laid a red

rose on Sam's casket.  I saw his lips move but I was unsure of what he

was saying.  He stepped back, wiped his eyes, and Dana moved forward.
 
 

She was trying so hard to be strong.  Oh, my sweet daughter, I thought.

It's alright not to be able to be strong.
 
 

She placed her own red rose across the one Fox had just put on the casket

and kissed her fingertips, then pressed them to the side of the casket

lovingly.  It brought tears to my eyes.
 
 

She moved away, turning her back on the casket as they lowered it into

the ground, and buried herself into the side of Fox's body.  He wrapped

one arm around her.  I went to them and put my hand on his shoulder.  I

had no idea what to say to either one of them.  It was obviously so

exquisitely painful for them, in different but similar ways.  Fox took

his free arm and pulled me into an embrace.  I hugged him back tightly.
 
 

*****
 
 
 

FEBRUARY 20, 2001

WASHINGTON, DC
 
 

Scully:
 
 

Mulder and I had agreed that I would stay at his apartment, but I made

sure that he understood that I was making no promises about anything.  He

nodded his head.

It felt strange to be back in the DC area.
 
 

Mulder's building looked exactly the same.  We went up the elevator and

he unlocked his apartment, still carying my suitcase.  The rest of my

things were packed up in Greenwich, and I was going to have them shipped

to me as soon as I knew where I was going to be living.  The boxes of

Sam's things that I had given Mulder had already been shipped back and

were waiting, thanks to UPS, in front of his apartment door.  "I can

already warn you, it's a bit of mess.  It's the cleaning lady's century

off," he told me, embarrassment touching his voice.
 
 

"I've seen it a mess before, Mulder."
 
 

Mulder carried my suitcase in and then went back for the boxes as I got a

look at his apartment for the first time in five years.  But I was in no

way prepared for what I saw when we went into the apartment.  Some of the

furniture had been moved.  There were papers strewn everywhere, on the

floor, on the couch, on the table, on the desk.  I could see into the

kitchen and saw the dirty dishes piled up.  Clothes also littered the

floor.
 
 

Mulder saw my critical glance around and reddened.  "Maybe I should just

take you to a hotel."
 
 

"No, Mulder," I said.  "Look, I'll help you clean up.  I'm sure we'll get

it done in no time."
 
 

"I don't know, Scully.  It's been like this for a while now."
 
 

My eyes filled with tears as I realized that he meant that he had been

living like this since I left.  Five years ago.  Oh, Mulder, I thought.

What did I do to you?  I managed to push my tears away before he noticed.

 "It's OK.  We'll work on it."
 
 

And work we did.  For the next ten hours Mulder sorted and filed his

papers while I cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom.  I dusted, he

vaccuumed.  I borrowed his car and bought groceries and filled his

kitchen with food, the likes of which he had probably not even seen

before I left.  Mulder never was one for eating in.
 
 

By the time we were done it was well past one in the morning, and we both

flopped down on the couch, exhausted.  The apartment looked almost as if

it had the last time I had seen it.  "I'm wasted," he said, looking at

me.
 
 

"Me too.  Are you hungry?  I could make you something to eat."
 
 

"No, that spaghetti we had around six filled me up.  I just want to get

some sleep."
 
 

An uncomfortable silence filled the room.  Sleep.  The last time I had

been here, we had slept together, in the bed I had always used to think

Mulder didn't have.  We mostly stayed at my place when we had been

involved.  But I could remember with clarity the last time I had slept

here.  I had likely already been pregnant with Sam, although I didn't

know it yet.  We had spent the majority of the night awake, talking, then

making love, then talking again, then making love again.  By the time we

dozed off it was almost four in the morning.  I looked over at Mulder.

He was obviously thinking the same thing I was.  "Mulder..."
 
 
 

"Look, you can take the bed.  I'll sleep out here on the couch.  I don't

think I've used that bed in years and I don't think I could get used to

it now," he said.  I nodded.  I took my suitcase and carried it into the

bedroom.  Mulder followed me.  "If you need anything--"
 
 

"I know where you'll be," I finished, and he nodded and left me alone in

the bedroom.  I contemplated shutting the door behind him, and decided

against it.  I slipped into the bathroom to change into a white cotton

nightgown with thin straps.  The gown came down just below my knees.  I

was exhausted from the cleaning.  I crawled into bed, under the cool

sheets, and pulled the blanket up to my neck. I was asleep within

minutes.
 
 

*****
 
 

Mulder:
 
 

I laid out on the couch for about an hour after I heard the rustling from

the bedroom stop, unable to sleep, unable to close my eyes.  There she

was, in my room, in the room we had made love in five years ago, in the

very bed.  And there I was in the living room, on the couch.   I finally

got up and walked softly into the bedroom.
 
 

Scully was on her side, curled up under the blanket, her eyes closed, her

breathing slow and regular.  The blanket came up to her chest.  I could

see white straps on her creamy shoulders.  Her hair was splayed out on

the pillow like a fan.  I came close to her, not wanting to wake her, but

needing to touch her.
 
 

I stroked her forehead gently.  "I love you," I whispered.
 
 

She stirred in bed, then opened her eyes in the darkness of the room.

The only light came from the window, from where the open blinds spilled

in light from the streetlamp outside.
 
 

*****
 
 

Scully:
 
 

I was dreaming, a senseless flowing dream about Sam.  She was running,

somewhere, I wasn't sure where, and calling out to me...
 
 

I felt a touch, light as a feather on my forehead, and the dream slipped

from my unconscious, and I moved back into awakeness.  I opened my eyes

and Mulder was standing over me.
 
 

*****
 
 

"Hi," Mulder whispered softly.  "I didn't mean to wake you."
 
 

"It's OK," Scully whispered back.  Mulder stood there in silence for a

few moments.  She knew what he wanted, and she knew that she wanted it as

well.  "Do you want to...climb in?" she asked finally.  Nice, she

thought.  Climb in?  That's not what I meant to say.
 

But Mulder nodded gratefully and crawled under the covers with her.  Her

body naturally curved into his as it did years ago, as if no time had

passed.  He wrapped his arm around her so that he was holding her fully,

even though he could only see her back and the side of her face.

"Scully..." he whispered,  "Dana?"
 
 

"Mmm?"  Her voice was thick with sleepiness.
 
 

"Is it too late for us to start again?"
 
 

Scully turned in his embrace so that she could face him.  After all this

time, there they were again, forehead to forehead, face to face.  "No,"

she whispered.  "I'd like to."
 
 

"Me too."
 
 

And then they kissed each other.  Tentative at first.  Lips touching,

coming together softly, gently.  Mulder ran his hand down Scully's back.

 She sighed, whispered his name, kissed him more passionately.  He

pressed his body close to hers, feeling her body arch in response.  She

sighed again, her lips parting slightly to let him in.  Mulder ran his

hand over the soft nightgown she was wearing, feeling the warmth of her

shoulders that were uncovered, feeling her legs wrap around his.  He

closed his eyes.  It was a bliss that he thought he never would have felt

again.  After everything, this was where they both wanted to be.  Needed

to be.  Together.
 
 

They would always carry with them the memories of what had happened.  And

they were not the same people as they were when they had fallen in love

with each other so many years ago.  They were older now, and wiser.
 
 

But they were together.  After all the years that had gone by, they both

knew, with the certainty that comes along once in a lifetime, that

together was where they needed to be.
 
 

Forever.
 
 

END
 
 

Oh, boy, did anyone actually read through to the end?  If you're still

there, please drop me a line and let me know what you thought....thanks!