Now, as the tears rolled down her face in a never-ending stream, she wondered if she should have, could have had the courage to tell him how she felt. If she had known, would she have said something?
But she had known, in some flippant way. She was dying, rapidly. The cancer was spreading, and she had always thought she would be the first to die. But at least she would be with him soon. Now, with no real friends, and a family that resented her, all except her mother, what did she have to live for? Why should she seek treatment if there was no reason to go on living? At least, maybe, he was happy. Maybe he had some of the answers that he had searched for all his life, and maybe, just maybe, he was waiting for her on the other side. Maybe now he knew how much she loved him.
She snuggled deeper into the blanket that he kept at her house for some unknown reason, along with his pair of sweats that she was wearing now. In some way it was a comfort to feel his clothes against her skin, to smell his faint musky smell on the blanket, his own manly smell on his Oxford sweats. In some way it made her feel as though she owned a part of him, like if she just held onto these things that he was never as far away as he really was. He never wore these sweats, and she knew why. He never wore any of his Oxford stuff if anybody but her was going to see him. He once told her that it brought back bad memories, but then why wear it at all? She thought that he thought it was a way of saying "I'm better than you, I'm smarter than you" without really meaning it, so he only wore them around her because she knew how smart he really was. She probably knew he was smarter than he would admit to himself. Mulder never gave himself enough credit. No one ever gave him a reason to.
Throughout her time working with him, Scully had met his family and . . . other . . . acquaintances. And none of them had ever displayed an inkling of approval of Mulder. They all made him part of their agenda, their games, their twisted lives. No one had ever given him a smidgen of approval, she didn't think anyone had even ever said "I love you" to Mulder. For a psychologist, he had a lot of unresolved issues. But she would have said it and meant it, she would have shown Mulder how to look at the world with new eyes. She would have shown him how to let his feelings break down the walls around his heart, how not to let his Father's tormenting words and scorning remarks belittle him. She would have shown Mulder that love doesn't have to hurt like it did with the bitch from Britain, that she would love him right back and he never would have had to worry about rejection. But now she couldn't do that. She could never have the chance to do that. All she could do was be the only one to mourn the loss. No, her mother would mourn Mulder's passing. Her mom had loved him like a son, and now she . . . now there was no one left. Her life had become a tragedy, a living horror story.
What more could she give? Her life? Her service? The FBI had already taken those things. Her body? The cancer had ruined it beyond repair. Her mind? She could leave it to science, but then who would want it? The only thing left to give had been taken five years ago by that dapper agent who sat in the basement. She had given him her heart, her soul, and all she was to become. In many ways, that first day had begun her life. Now that she looked back, everything before that day seemed pointless. Every experience seemed like a waste. Mulder made her life vibrant. There was a new surprise around every turn, and, even though she never let him know, she liked to listen to his theories. She liked to listen to his uniqueness, the unorthodox ideas that belonged only to him. And she loved the fact that she was the sole recipient of these ideas, he ran them past her before anyone else, and he would, in turn listen to her more scientific answers, giving her equal time, and respecting her opinion. And now he would never do that again. All because of her.
All day she had thought of what had happened, why he had killed himself, and she could find only one answer. She had driven him to it. She had known how much he wanted to believe, how he wanted this to be his answer, how his search for the truth should not have been in vain. And she shot it all down. Dana Scully, trusted college, was the one to tell him that his answers were wrong, that it was all fake, that she never believed. But she did. Dana believed like she had never believed before.
While she was sitting in their office after her meeting with Skinner, she had the amazing urge to do the one thing he never let her do before - read her own file. He never let her read it, and now she knew why. It was traumatic to see. The results of the hospital's tests, the unofficial tests of the Lone Gunman, the eye witness accounts of Mulder's actions when she was in the hospital, all of it. No wonder he didn't want her to see it. Then, behind it she found the papers to a follow up report. It described the fertility clinics and the cloned boys, he even wrote, with a lot of pain by the way it sounded, of her stolen ovum. And, at the very end there were a few stapled pages of personal thoughts; a unique touch that made Mulder's reports his own. It was, apparently, an open letter that attributed to the necessity of keeping her in the X-Files, how the solved rate went up, and how she's kept him in line. The second page was an open letter of a more personal nature, describing how she had helped his sanity, kept him from delving into the far reaches of a killer's mind more than once, and forced him to look at the cold, hard facts. It almost sounded as if he saw her as a savior. And she had no problem with it, she just wished she had known sooner.
The tears began to flow again with an intensity she had never experienced before, even for the death of her father. But, she still felt that nagging part of her saying that maybe he could be alive, maybe there was a chance, but she dismissed it. There was no chance. Mulder was dead. And she would never see him wear one of his bad ties again, or see him sitting there in the office wearing a shit-eating grin and cracking sunflower seeds between his teeth, she would never again hear him crack a bad joke, or perhaps the thing she would miss most, he would never again put his hand on the small of her back and lead her anywhere. It was all so unfair. He never had a chance to live, to do the things he wanted, to find Samantha, to see her tatoo.
She felt a stiff breeze fly through the room, and its force blew out her fire, but at the same time seemed to wrap its invisible arms around her. She tried to imagine it was Mulder, after all, he did suffer from pyrophobia. It made the tears stop coming for a second when she thought of him as a spirit, living with her. Maybe it could be that way, she thought, just until my time runs out and I'm ready to join him.
Dana didn't sleep that night.
The darkness enveloped him. The week form sat in his small cell, consumed by his own morbid thoughts. Would there be anyone to mourn him? Who would comfort Scully? It was a chance, a huge risk that he had to take. After all, what was his life worth without her? THEY had promised him the cure for Scully's cancer in turn for his life and his service. He had not hesitated for a second in his decision. He only hated the way he had to say goodbye...
Offices of the Lone Gunman
"We're so sorry Scully." The whole group wore black, from Byers in his deep charcoal suit to Langley in black jeans and a plain black t-shirt. "Is there anything we can do?" Frohike asked as genuinely concerned as the last time they thought they lost their friend for good.
"No Frohike," Dana said through the tears. "I'm coping." Last time she couldn't will herself to cry, now she couldn't stop. "Wha- What did you want to see me about?"
"Two days ago, Mulder came to see us." Langley began softly. "It began like any other visit, but before he left, he asked us to do him a favor."
"He asked us to give this to you." Byers held out an envelope with her name printed on it in Mulder's tell tale scrawl. "He told us to give this to you if anything happened to him."
"We thought he just had a close call and was taking care of a few things," Frohike swallowed the growing lump in his throat. "We never thought..."
"No one did, Frohike," Dana said as the tears poured out, undaunted. "No one could have known. Thanks you guys. You were real friends to him. Please, come to the funeral. It would make me feel better to see all his friends there."
"We'll be there, Scully. Just let us know if you need anything." Frohike escorted Dana out of the building.
I need Fox back... Dana thought as she left to drive back to
Dana Scully's Apartment
When she got home she let her tears return full force as she looked at his last words that were meant only for her. She retreated to her captain's chair and wrapped Mulder's afghan around her as she turned the letter in her hand. Finally, with a rush of tears, she opened it.