Welcome To The Harem
Pen Pals by Julie L. Jekel
Summary: Samantha fic. Scully remembers a pen-pal...
Pen Pals 1/1
Julie L. Jekel
This is the first XF fic I ever wrote, so I'll admit right upfront it's not the best. But I'm pretty proud of the fairly-original premise and it's about Samantha, so...
Imagine the usual disclaimer rigmarole here--I don't own 'em, I just bend them to my every whim for the duration of a few pages or so, then return them relatively unharmed to their owners.
I've been reading a few of the 'what-if-Mulder-and-Scully-met-when- they-were-younger' stories that have been posted lately, and they inspired me. I don't think anyone wrote anything QUITE like this--If they did, please forgive me for my poor (and perhaps selective) memory--but the general idea was inspired by authors that I would personally credit here if I remembered any of their names. :-/ Oh well, you know who you are.
I must confess though, I don't know very much about the character's backgrounds, so if I make a major faux pas, please forgive me and let me know what it was so I can correct it and repost the story. I'm sort of writing this on the spur of the moment anyway, so I don't know how good it will be this time around.
Thanks for your indulgence and hope you like it! :)
by Julie L. Jekel
Dana Scully arrived home to find a package sitting in the hallway outside her door. Curious, she picked it up and tucked it under her arm while she let herself into the apartment. Once inside, she set the box wrapped in brown paper down on her dining table and left it there while she hung up her coat and kicked off her high heels. Mulder would be coming over later to discuss the case they were currently working on, but until then, she wanted to relax.
She made herself a cup of hot cocoa and carried both it and the package with her over to the sofa. She noticed that her mother's return address was on the label. I wonder what this could be? She didn't say she was going to be sending me anything.
Dana set her tea down and ripped the paper open. Inside she found a rather old, very familiar shoebox with an envelope taped to the top. She opened the envelope and read the letter her mother had enclosed.
I found this when I was going through some boxes in the attic and almost threw it away, but was afraid you would kill me if I disposed of it without consulting you, considering how important some of this stuff was to you as a girl. So, I decided to send it to you and let you dispose of it as you see fit. Here's hoping that it will bring back pleasant memories for you.
Smiling at some of the memories the box did evoke, Dana reverently lifted the lid. It was filled with smudged envelopes with the name "Danni" scribbled on them in a childish hand.
Danni had been her nickname in elementary school, a name she had gotten through a pen-pal program between her class and a third grade class somewhere in New England. Dana had complained that her pen pal had a boy's name, and from the moment said pen pal first heard about it, she had insisted on calling her Danni, so they would be even.
The envelope on the top was the last one she had received. A sad smile crept over her face as she remembered what had brought a stop to their correspondence...
Danni was excited. It was pen pal day, and she was expecting a letter from Sammie. These two girls had become closer than any of the other pen pals in the two classes because they were so much alike. Sammie's dad worked for the government, and Danni's was in the Navy. They both had older brothers, though Danni also had another brother and a sister. And both of them LOVED reading fairy tales and ghost stories, though neither of them believed in fairies or ghosts.
Of course, there were differences between them too, but that just served as fodder for conversation. Sammie's family didn't go to church, so she had been eagerly awaiting Danni's account of her first Holy Communion, which she had just sent to her in the last letter. And then there was the fact that Sammie's parents had been fighting a lot lately. She was scared they were going to get divorced, and Danni was the only one of her friends she had told about it.
Because of their closeness, Danni looked forward to pen pal day for the whole month. Just recently the two girls had discussed exchanging photos when school pictures came out, and maybe even talking their parents into finding a way for them to meet in person. Danni couldn't wait to see if Sammie had thought of anything.
The children clustered around Miss Reynolds as she entered the room with the box full of letters and began handing them out. Danni was right at her knee, since Sammie's was almost always on top.
But something was wrong. She could tell from the way Miss Reynolds had looked at her when she pushed through the crowd of other kids. There was a strange sadness in her eyes, as if she was thinking about something she didn't want to be thinking about.
Finally, all the letters had been distributed but one, which Danni knew had to be Sammie's since she was the only one left. But she didn't like the way Miss Reynolds kept looking at her so pityingly. What was wrong? Was Sammie hurt.
The teacher pulled her aside. "Dana..." she handed her the envelope with a somber sigh. "I'm afraid this is the last letter you will be receiving for a while."
The little girl frowned. "But, why? Did something happen to Sammie?"
Miss Reynolds nodded reluctantly. "I'm afraid so. Dana...Sammie has been kidnapped. Her family is searching for her, but--God, I hate to tell you this--they don't have much hope."
Danni fell back against the back of her seat, stunned. Her pen pal had been kidnapped! Even though she had been told that it was babyish for a nine-year old to cry, she couldn't help it. The tears came out of their own accord.
"I'm sorry, Dana. I know how close you two were."
"I'll pray...every...day that...they find her," she managed to gasp out between sobs.
Almost crying herself, the teacher put her arms around the girl and held her until the weeping subsided. "You do that, honey," she whispered softly. "It's all any of us can do for her now."
Blinking back the tears that had resurfaced with the memory, Dana opened the last letter she had received from her pen pal and began to re-read it. Suddenly, she froze as one part unexpectedly caught her eye.
He says the girls have started calling him 'Foxy' at school. Dad teases him about it, saying that he should be flattered, but he hates it. He told me that when he grows up, he's not going to let anyone call him by his first name. Except me, of course, because I'm his sister.
Oh, my God... she thought to herself, stunned. Because she hadn't read the letters in so long, she had never made the connection before now. But now, the name that was always signed at the bottom of the letters came back to her in a rush, without even looking at it-- Sammie Mulder.
As if she were once again the little girl learning that her pen pal had disappeared, Dana began to cry, holding her face in her hands. The agony Mulder had gone through all those years looking for his sister took on a more awful reality in the light of this new revelation.
The doorbell rang. Forcing herself to regain control, Scully wiped her face and went to answer it, still clutching the letter tightly in one hand.
The first thing Mulder saw when she opened the door was that she had been crying, and crying hard. His face instantly expressed his concern.
"Scully, what's wrong?"
She couldn't answer, and her hand shook as she held out the letter to him. He took it, and his eyes filled with pain as he recognized the handwriting. Then, the meaning of the envelope he held in his hands sank in, and he glanced up at his partner in surprise.
"_You_ were Danni?" he asked softly, amazed.
Dana nodded. "My mom sent me the letters so that I could decide what to do with them. I hadn't looked at them in years, never made the connection...until now."
"Oh, God." He had never imagined that she shared his keenest loss with him in this way, and all he could do was wrap his arms around her and let her cry, while his own tears fell into her hair.
When they were both calmer, Dana pulled away and walked over to the box. Picking it up, she brought it back over to where he was still standing just inside the door.
"I know we have business to discuss, Mulder, but I thought that first, you might like to read some of these."
It wasn't often that Fox Mulder was given an opportunity to see something new about his beloved sister, and his eyes filled with tears again at the suggestion.
"Yeah, Scully," he replied softly. "I would love to."