Context: This is a different ending to "Fight the Future". Scully is unable to continue to follow Mulder in his quest for the truth. She is transferred to an FBI office in Dallas by the powers that be. (And, yes, I do realize that Diana Fowley is missing from my narrative.)
Disclaimer: Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen Productions own The X-Files and all associated characters. I don't own any of the characters mentioned in this story or episodes and movies referenced in it.
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
- A. A. Milne
They didn't allow her to stay. Of course they didn't. I'm not sure why this time would be different; why this *one* time, they would hear me out and care about me personally or even professionally. As usual, I rebelled, I yelled, threatening to quit (as if anyone would care, and as if I really could allow myself to do so), but the decision was made. Scully is going to be transferred to Dallas, TX, and I am supposed to stay here. Since the X-Files have been closed, we won't even get to work together. They don't want me in Texas, just like they don't want her up here in D.C.. "They" surely know that we would find a way to work on X-Files despite their orders, if we got the chance; another reason why my new assignment is as a criminal profiler again, and hers is as a forensic pathologist. How ironic, that I will have to dive into the minds of serial killers and terrorist bombers, my own mind occupied by a different person entirely, while she is dissecting dead bodies, probably dissecting our own relationship in the process.
That last moment together at the Reflecting Pool is still etched in my mind, together with so many other bittersweet memories. How powerful the gentle squeeze of a hand can be; the brief beam of sunlight reflecting in her blue eyes with the slightest shimmer of green, the breeze of wind in her titian hair. Her face was covered in red slashes, battle scars from our chase through the corn field, our last case together. This time, she was going to put her own job on the line in order for us to find another assignment together, but they wouldn't budge. There is a slight chance that this physical separation will only be temporary, but after so many years of causing the FBI all sorts of grief, my spirits are low for an eventual reunion.
I still want to find the truth, but my motivation is fading the more I think about the prospect of working the way I did before I first met Special Agent Dana Scully. When I started working on the X-Files what seems like centuries ago, I didn't want anyone to get involved in my work. I was an island, sheltering my holy grail from outside intruders. No one was taking me seriously, so I was largely left alone, and that was fine with me. Never will I forget the day that this mesmerizing woman, "The enigmatic Dr. Scully", as I once called her, walked into my basement office, Spooky's lair, and took my breath away. Admittedly, for a brief moment I thought that she was just a pretty face in a stuffy suit, but that impression was lost, as soon as she firmly shook my hand and opened her mouth. She gave new meaning to the idiom of "blinding someone with science." I was blinded by the brilliance of her mind and her radiant beauty, her fierce determination a force of nature, a turbulence to my own convictions. To be honest, I thought she wasn't even going to last a full day with me, but, boy, was I wrong. At first glance, we couldn't have been more incompatible. My mind was always somewhere out there in space, while she had her two feet firmly on the scientific reality of Mother Earth. Libras are from Venus and Pisces are from Neptune... or something like that. Whenever I was floating off, she pulled me back down down. I can't help but think that I softened her hard grip on reality, too, and opened her mind to the slight chance of possibility that some of the outlandish things that we were investigating just may have a grain of truth to them.
We grew very close very fast. On our first case together, during a power outage, Scully came to my motel room at night, exposing herself in front of me because she feared she could have the same marks as the abduction victims, only to find out that they were mosquito bites. Her hug of relief was one of the most endearing things that I had experienced in a long time. Later that night, her head rested on her hand, she listened intently, as I told her about the driving force in my life: The abduction of my sister Samantha. Just as much as every fiber of her body was paying full attention to my story, I was spellbound by her faintly freckled face dimly lit by the flickering candlelight in an otherwise dark room. The questions she asked were caused by a need to understand, not to undermine. Although it was clear what she had been assigned to do, from that night on, I knew that I had an ally in her.
More and more, my world started orbiting around her, drawn by her gravitational pull. I could listen to her talk about scientific concepts as they related to our cases for hours, just gazing at her in amazement. Despite being an introvert by nature, I never had any concept of personal space with Scully. I was constantly leaning and finding excuses to touch her cross necklace, her shoulder, her back, in more intimate moments her hair, often more whispering to her than speaking out loud. I can't blame her showing up at my motel room that night in nothing more than a bathrobe and underwear as the cause of my proximity afterwards. It was rather a catalyst. It took me a while to even notice that I did not just feel close to her in spirit but that I was also seeking to be close to her physically in any way that I could. It didn't surprise me when I found out through regression hypnosis that Scully was my father in a former life. Our souls have always been linked together, throughout the ages. We were bound to find each other again in this life, in some sort of capacity. I wonder if we were ever lovers before, if this was supposed to be our opportunity to become involved romantically, and we lost the chance, or if it is still in our future, before or after we die.
We've had many tests of faith and of our bond over the years. One of the first trials that showed me how much I love her was her abduction by Duane Barry. Even Skinner could tell that Scully was more than just a fellow agent to me at that point. He ordered me to go home when Duane Barry kidnapped her from her own apartment. I felt so lost during her absence. Those sleepless nights when I lay awake, my mind echoing her name, not knowing where she was and whether she was okay or even alive. Searching for her has always given me superhuman strength that seemingly helped me overcome any obstacle. I was not afraid of armed men or the risk of losing my job and thereby my access to the truth. I yelled, beat, and threatened anyone who dared obstruct my path, something that I had never done before working with her. I even almost strangled Duane Barry to death when I found him with no trace of her except her necklace.
It's true that I did have an affair with Kristen, while Scully was missing, but it was just a failed attempt distraction from my pain. Had Scully been around, I wouldn't even have given Kristen a second glance. Over the years, I have found so many infantile coping mechanisms. They did an okay job at getting me over my sister's disappearance, but they did nothing at all for Scully's absence, not then and not now. I've spent many-a-desperate nights out drinking at bars, oftentimes stumbling home intoxicated afterwards. The other day I had a particularly hungover morning on which I dragged myself down the stairs to my basement office, only to find Skinner impatiently waiting for me. Fuming, he inquired why in the world I thought it was a good idea to use my government-issued credit card to pay for adult phone services. One of "Marty's" vices. It was an honest mistake, but I couldn't help but smirk. Had Scully been there, I'm sure I would have earned myself one of her signature eye rolls or her unique one-eyebrow-raised expression. God, how I already miss those! I don't remember how I responded to Skinner's accusation. I probably made some witty joke about taxpayer-funded phone counseling. I don't know. Needless to say, neither booze nor those phone calls ever numbed the pain that I feel when I'm not with her. I still want to find the truth, but how do I know if what I perceive to be real truly is, without my compass?
During Scully's disappearance, I had wished for nothing more but for her to turn up, and she did, but not in the way that I had hoped. She was in a coma and needed life support. I knew that she did not want to live in that state but could not bring myself to "pull the plug". I wanted the men who did this to Dana to suffer, but all I could do was sit by her bed and wait for her to wake up. I am grateful that Melissa convinced me to stay by Dana's side, as hard as it was. At one point, I turned in my resignation, but Skinner refused to accept it. I'm glad he did because, in the end, Scully's condition turned around for the better, and she awoke.
It always gave me some undeniable pleasure to know that Scully felt a pang of jealousy whenever I showed interest in another woman—just as much as I did not like her being attracted to another man (which happened frequently, for good reason). The first such instance was probably when I brought up Dr. Bambi Berenbaum in our investigation of apparently alien cockroaches. Not only was Bambi quite the looker, she also provided a very novel explanation for what causes UFO sightings. Of course, Bambi had nothing on Scully, but Scully didn't have to know that. I don't know why, whenever it came up, I so vehemently denied being interested in Scully. I was never in denial about my feelings, and it was clear that it showed to outsiders, but, beyond playful flirtatious jokes, I never sincerely opened up to Dana about them. It always had to be a joke, as if I had to signal her somehow that I could fathom being attracted to her, but never fully admit to it. As cocky as I could act at times, and as comfortable as I was around her, I was still acting like a teenager, testing the waters. She was my closest friend, but, in all her enchanting ways, she was also always somewhat intimidating to me, in her beauty, in her intellect. In the most quiet moments between us, when all pretense disappeared, and all we shared was raw feelings, I often became shy around her.
She got to see all sides of me. She's seen me devastated and elated, hopeful and hopeless, cheerful, and desperate. She's seen me at my best and at my worst, and she still stuck by my side, even though I didn't always treat her as well as I should have. I only realized this when her life was in danger or now, when I know that our road together has most likely come to an end. The first time I recall feeling jealous of someone having feelings for Scully and her reciprocating them was when we had an argument over me going on vacation to Graceland, leaving her to finish up the case for me. Admittedly, it was a bit of a jerk move on my part, but I didn't expect her to take it as personally as she did. Anyway, as it turns out, my absence led her to fall for Ed Jerse, stumbling right into another X-File.
I soon regretted my behavior when I found out that Scully had a mysterious and inoperable brain tumor. Finding the cause and a cure became my sole focus. I will forever cherish those tender moments of affection between us when I tried to give her hope, although the reason for them was so bleak. Had she not been terminally ill, I would have not mustered the courage to kiss her forehead or hold her so tightly. Not at that point in time.
Despite having the notion that Scully was at least a little interested me, I was nonetheless astounded when I caught Scully close to kissing shapeshifter Eddie Van Blundht disguised as me. He had clearly been more bold than I had dared to be. Then, there was the time that we were investigating an X-File related to vampires in Texas, and Scully took a liking to the local sheriff. I believe his name was Hartwell. My description of him in my version of the report may have been a bit more unfavorable than necessary and tinted by jealousy, and my portrayal of her as moody unjust, but I feel that Scully's description of me as being egotistic, infantile, and easily excited didn't really do me justice, either. Is this really how she views me: A reckless man-child with no regard for anyone else? I'd like to think that that was an exaggeration of how she sometimes sees me, just like Scully is much more level-headed than I described her. I just like to push her buttons sometimes. I don't really know why I do it, since there is always a chance that it'll drive her away from me and the X-Files. Maybe I just like to see her animated and passionate about something. Once you get to know her, you know that Dana isn't always as cool and calculating as she leads on to be. I always felt a strong need to protect her. Not that Scully generally needed saving or protecting. In fact, I had never come across a woman (or man) as strong as her, not even any other fellow agents. She can hold her own, and she has rescued me countless times. We took turns rescuing and protecting each other, depending on who had gotten themselves in deep trouble at the time. My troublesome situations usually stemmed from my disregard for rules and danger. If someone told me that I couldn't do something, I pushed even harder. Scully's rationality kept her out of those kinds of situations. When she fell victim to something or someone it was usually unavoidable. Even an experienced agent can't be on guard 24/7 and fend off flukemen or alien headhunters by themselves. The biggest danger to us was always someone trying to play us against each other or to break us apart. Some of the human and non-human monsters that we fought sensed this and used it against us. Naturally, they never won.
So many memories keep replaying in my mind. Another one is us being lost in the forest, me injured and Scully singing "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night, so off-key, but so wonderful at the same time. It was a pleasant surprise because, first of all, I hadn't expected her to actually start singing, secondly, up to that point, I had never known what sort of music she liked.
Over the years, my love for her grew so much that I could have even seen myself marrying her, without even ever having been in a romantic relationship with her, let alone kissed her. When she found Emily, I was ready to be a dad, either directly or indirectly. I had never even seen myself as a father, but both Dana and Emily brought out those feelings in me. Still, I felt like it wasn't the time to tell her how I truly felt. What if she didn't share my feelings and the awkwardness of the resulting situation made her predicament even worse? I wanted to leave the decision on where to take our relationship up to her. She would have made such a good mother. No matter if she had decided to quit the FBI or raised Emily while still working, I know she would have done an amazing job. I would have always been there to support her, whether as her professional or her romantic partner.
Again and again, my mind takes me back to that fateful night in the hallway. Our eyes locked, speaking when our mouths had ceased to confess our feelings, our hands on each other's necks. I still smell her sweet scent and feel her warm breath on my face, our lips drawing closer and closer. Nothing else mattered at that moment. It was just us, twin souls finally finding closure... Until it all ended with the bee sting. At first, I thought that it was my fault when she shrank back, that I had made her uncomfortable. The amount of embarrassment and guilt that I felt was indescribable. Had she not inched closer as well? Had I not seen pure love in her eyes? Those concerns soon became issues of minor importance when it became clear that Scully needed immediate medical attention.
It's ironic that the same people who assigned Scully to the X-Files to debunk my findings are now the same people who want to keep us apart because their plan didn't work. Scully may not be a believer, but she has strayed from her skeptic ways and relied to on mere gut instinct far too often now, including when we were separated. You could say that I have corrupted her, but, thankfully, I am sure that she doesn't feel that way. I've never meant anything more than when I told her that she kept me honest and completed me; how much I was indebted to her... Her reaction then told me that she felt like I might have not completely ruined her life and that she has benefited from my influence on her life, as well.
Sometimes, I hear phantom heels echoing behind me; a swish of air on my neck. When I turn around, no one is there. Other times, I can see Scully in front of me in various situations drawn from my memory. She will be leaning over a microscope, absentmindedly brushing a stray strand of hair back behind her ear, as she intently looks through the eyepiece, unaware of me standing behind her. Or she is standing right next to me. We're exchanging knowing glances, our eyes conveying inside jokes that only we understand, unbeknownst to the speaker, whom we are listening to. She's suppressing a smile that is playing on her crimson lips. If I lean in really close and whisper in her ear, I might actually force her to hold back a giggle.
Who knows what mysteries we will miss and how much closer we could have grown. In addition to never having a romantic relationship and never raising a family, I have probably also missed my opportunity to play baseball with Scully. We'll never find out what could have been, unless we get another chance. The X-Files were closed and re-opened multiple times. I should not fully abandon all hope, yet...