Welcome To The Harem
Here Be Monsters by F. Nessuno
Summary: An effort is made to reveal the true nature of Mulder's relationship with Diana Fowley, to clarify it, and to wrap it all up in a pretty pink bow.
From: Fiducia Nessuno firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 03:02:14 +0000
Subject: REPOST: "Here Be Monsters" (1/1) PG-13 MSRAH
I tweaked this a little thanks to some *constructive criticism* I got from a
couple of you lovelies out there. So, I'm reposting it, obviously, because I
am anal and paranoid and a damned perfectionist. Where the hell is my
Title: Here Be Monsters
Author: I made this!
Spoilers: 'The End', borderline FlickFic
Rating: PG-13 for language (I was a roadie for a year, you learn things.)
Summary: An effort is made to reveal the true nature of Mulder's
relationship with Diana Fowley, to clarify it, and to wrap it all up in a
pretty pink bow.
This is dedicated to Dana Not!Scully, my partner in the plot to reveal the
link between alien invasion, flesh-eating bio-weapons, and waggling
Here Be Monsters
By F. Nessuno
"I'm here with him now."
To anyone, it would have appeared that Mulder was fast asleep on the
sofa and oblivious to Scully's voice. Certainly it appeared that way to
her when she looked at him. His eyes were closed, his arms back behind
his head, and his chest rose and fell with the steady rhythm of sleep.
She returned her attention to Skinner's words on the other end of the
line, nodding dumbly and mumbling affirmative-sounding responses when
In actuality, Mulder was listening to every word. His eyes were closed,
but the lids trembled with the motion of his eyes following the sound of
Scully's voice. His facial muscles twitched whenever he heard her speak,
and he had to concentrate hard on his breath to keep it steady. It was a
silly exercise, listening to a one-sided telephone conversation, but it
kept his mind active, and kept his thoughts from drifting to other more
He heard the sound of the receiver being put down and the creak of
Scully's chair. He could feel her turn towards him, the slight breeze
air from the motion of her body carried the scent of the varnish on the
desk and her laundry detergent. He didn't know if she was staring at him
just to have something to stare at, or, if he should say something.
He asked, and she told him. Maximum pressers, barely maintaining her
pressure. Reassignment. Talks of closing the X-Files.
We've been here before, he thought.
The silence made him finally open his eyes. Scully sat hunched over in
the chair, elbows against the desk, staring at the buttons on the
telephone. He sat up, ran a hand over his face and bowed his head toward
"What are you going to do?" she asked.
Oddly amusing was that she asked him what HE was going to do. Not "we."
He. And why shouldn't she? he asked himself. A sideways glance revealed
her staring at him, now. Beautifully uncomplicated in jeans and a
blouse. Eyes blank. One hand absently toyed with a desk calendar,
flipping the pages until the noise became too loud, and he reached over
and snatched it from her hands.
Looking at the desk calendar, he realized two things.
One, that every day of this calendar was a blank sheet of paper, albeit
with a Far Side cartoon printed on it. But otherwise, they were empty,
waiting for someone to fill in appointments or dates or whatever. Three
hundred and sixty-five empty days with which to do with as one pleases.
Uncomplicated. Dana Scully, he mused, this is your life.
The second thing he realized from this calendar was that his own days
He stretched to return the calendar to the desktop and felt the touch of
Scully's hand. For the last five minutes of his little internal
monologue, she'd been rubbing his shoulder. He figured she was trying to
knead a response out of him.
"What am I going to do," he repeated, rubbing his face with both hands
again. "I am going to see Diana."
"Oh..." Scully's arm withdrew slowly and she rested it in her lap.
"Want to go?" he asked, not really sure why. He heard her refuse before
she opened her mouth.
"No." She shook her head. "I'm going... I'm going home."
"You want me to call you?"
She didn't answer. She shrugged on her blazer and he instinctively went
to help her with an ornery sleeve. "No, thanks. I'll...call you."
"Okay." He put on his jacket and held the door for her, waiting as she
gathered her things.
Mulder walked down the hallway resolutely, feeling an insane sort of
gratitude that this wasn't Mercy Hospital in DC. A new hospital meant
that old memories would stay put and not complicate things further. He
didn't need to be thinking about Scully right now.
He found Diana in a little room next to the nurse's station and knew
instantly that being in a different hospital wasn't going to make any
difference at all. The respirator sucked the breath out of him as soon
as he heard it push it into her lungs. He paused at the door, then
walked in. Found her hand with his. Squeeze.
He was surprised to find the cold hand squeeze back.
"Fox?" Her voice came and went with each breath. "Fox..."
"Diana?" He reached back and pulled up a chair with one hand, so as not
to let go of hers. He sat down, hard.
He hadn't expected her to be conscious.
"Fox, I'm sorry..."
"I never should ha-" A labored breath. "Never should have left..."
"Diana it wasn't your fa-" He frowned. "Left? Left who?"
Mulder leaned forward. "Diana, what do you mean? You left?"
"You left him? Gibson?"
Her head lolled and for a moment he thought she was having a seizure.
Instead he realized she was shaking her head.
Mulder shifted in his chair. "Diana, I... I don't understand."
"He told me I had to go..."
"What?" Fowley's eyes opened and he watched her try to focus on him.
"Diana, talk to me..."
"I left... to save you."
An hour later...
Mulder turned his head to see Scully move quietly into the room, her
hands clasped in front of her, almost like prayer. She made no sound as
she crossed the floor to his side and placed one careful hand on his
shoulder. He looked up at her and her eyes fluttered from his face to
Diana's sleeping form.
"Me or you?" he asked.
Scully watched Fowley's heavily-bandaged chest rise and fall shakily.
She nibbled on the inside of her bottom lip. "Both of us," she replied.
Mulder tilted his head, gazing up at her. "Both of us?" he asked,
incredulously. "We're together?"
Scully nodded. "I just spoke with Skinner. He said we're lucky we
weren't dismissed. He lobbied hard for us to remain together. This was
the only detail that would allow it." When Mulder sighed and turned his
attention back to Diana, Scully's fingers began to move in a softly
kneading motion across the back of his neck.
"She was conscious when I came in," he said.
Scully nodded her head. "That's incredible, considering. Did she say
anything to you?"
"Yes." He took in a deep breath and let it out, evenly. The heavy
silence that followed stilled the motion of her hand and she took it
It was clear that was all he was going to say about it.
Scully shuffled her feet and Mulder looked back to her as if suddenly
realizing she was there. "Scully-"
"I'm going to go home," she said, quickly. She stroked his
shoulder again, quickly this time. "You should get some rest."
He didn't answer right away, so she turned and started to walk out.
She turned. Mulder wasn't looking at her. His eyes were on the heart
monitor above Diana's bed, which beeped a weak but steady rhythm.
"I'll see you tomorrow," he said.
Scully nodded and walked out.
Dana Scully's Apartment
A little after eleven pm.
Sitting on the rim of the bathtub, Dana Scully dragged a single finger
through the water in the basin as it filled. She reached for the faucet
and quickly twisted the handle, shutting off the water. She dropped her
robe and stepped carefully into the steaming bath. She lay back, letting
the water eat away at the last twenty-four hours.
There was so much more she wanted to know.
What Frohike had told her was not enough. She knew that for real answers
she would have to go to Mulder, but she couldn't do that. First and
foremost, she respected his privacy. As often as he'd poked his nose
into her private life, teasing her about her few - annoyingly few -
dates, she'd always kept a distance from his.
Phoebe Green had been nothing more than a source of amusement. Something
to tease him about when he pestered her. Someone Mulder openly joked
about. In reference to Phoebe, Mulder had once cracked, 'That which does
not kill us, makes us paranoid as hell.' Scully had laughed and had
But that was when Phoebe was the only woman from Mulder's past.
Mulder had been open about Phoebe. Almost gleefully so. Fowley was
different, perhaps because she was more recent. Perhaps because she was
Looking at Mulder crouched by Fowley's bed, Scully saw him at her own
bedside, as he had been so often over the last five, almost six years.
So much of their friendship had been established around hospital beds
that it was almost a joke between them. Seeing him in the same position,
wearing the same broken expression, by another woman's bed was
tantamount to catching him with her in it.
She had walked out of that hospital room feeling wretched for her
jealousy of a dying woman.
Fowley's wounds were extensive, her body weak and not responding well to
treatments. It was only a matter of hours before even the respirator
would not be enough to keep her alive. Or a living will was produced and
the machinery disconnected. Either way, science dictated that Agent
Fowley was already gone.
As a doctor, Scully had little faith that Diana would recover. But as a
human, as a friend, she hoped for Mulder's sake that she was wrong.
Or What's Left Of It
An Hour and a Half Later...
A telephone call. Skinner's voice croaking out news of a fire at work.
Arriving at the same time as Mulder to walk down a smoky hallway. Mulder
half-running, Scully half-walking.
You just knew.
Walking down that hallway and seeing the firefighters in our elevator, with
dirty equipment, dripping with water and sweat.
You just sort of... knew.
Reassignment was one thing. Remaining partners softened the blow. Diana's
inevitable death was another. Death became them. They bounced back. Every
single goddamn time they tossed them off the roof they bounced, shook off
the bruises, and marched right back up there.
The roof is on fire.
Mulder pushed Scully's arms away and stormed out.
"Let the motherfucker burn."
Anti-Terrorism Unit Office
The following Monday morning
"This is freakishly boring." Mulder leaned back in his chair, propping
his feet up on the table. With one hand he fed himself sunflower seeds,
and with the other he chucked the shells into a wastebasket a few feet
away. A sprinkling of seed carcasses below indicated that he was not a
Although she gave him a withering glance, Scully was inclined to agree.
They had been sitting idle for over two hours, watching the activity
around them. This activity consisted of dour-faced agents in FBI bomber
jackets shuffling in, shuffling papers at a desk, and shuffling back
out. The tedious nature of this particular duty was lemon juice on a
papercut. Fuck that. It was acid on bare flesh. The remains of their office
still smoldered and there they were throwing spitballs at one another.
She stifled a yawn.
"Late night?" he asked. She smiled flatly.
"I had a date with a book," she replied.
She made a face. "Affirmations for Women Who Do Too Much."
He pursed his lips. "I think I saw that on Oprah once."
"I think I saw you on Jerry Springer once," she shot back.
Mulder laughed. "We should be on Springer, you know? I could start
talking about crop circles, you could come back with one of your
scientific theories, we could argue and then you could shoot me. Think
of the ratings!"
Scully smiled again, sincerely this time. "I'd rather think about how
I'd get to shoot you again." Mulder feigned offense.
"You wound me, madam."
"And you like it."
"I'd like it more if y-"
"Agents?" Their rhetoric was interrupted by a prim-looking man in an
ugly suit. He addressed them both but was looking at Scully. "If you want to
break for lunch, you can. You're on call, though, so don't go too far."
Scully nodded politely at the young man and looked at Mulder. "You're
Mulder frowned and stood. "Since when?"
"Since now. Come on." Scully started toward the door. Mulder hesitated
and she stopped. "Mulder?"
"Actually, ah..." He scratched the back of his head. Scully felt herself
"Go on," she said, softly. "Go see Diana. I'll bring you something." Her
face became a mask of indifference. "Chinese ok?"
He nodded at her with a weak smile. "Thanks," he said, stroking her arm
as he opened the door for her.
"No problem," she said, slipping past him quickly.
Wok and Roll
Dupont Circle, DC
Scully's cell-phone rang while she stood in line for take-out. People
glanced at her as she reached into her pocket, took out the phone and
pressed a button.
"On my way."
She hung up and dialed Mulder. He answered with her name.
"Yeah, it's me. Did they call you?"
"Yeah. Dallas. I'll meet you at the airport."
She hung up and walked out without her order.
Two days later
She made up her mind on the flight back.
She knew, then Skinner had requested their presence in front of a review
panel back in DC, that the fix was in. Mulder seemed non-plussed,
perhaps he was used to having to answer to everyone and their dog for
his unconventional theories and methods. Scully, however, was not. She
fidgeted during the entire two and a half hour flight.
In a fit of loyalty Scully found it unfair that they were being called
in despite the glaring fact that Mulder had, in his own nonconformist
way, narrowly prevented another, possibly more devastating Oklahoma
City. Even though she'd berated him for it, she was also proud of him,
as she was, secretly, whenever he actually managed to prove her wrong.
Which wasn't too often, she'd thought with amusement.
Now, though, it seemed that not even being right could save Mulder from
the ever-watchful and ever-contrary eye of the powers that be. Sitting
in front of the panel, Scully rolled a pencil around in her fingers,
staring at the wall behind her superiors assembled before her. She felt
like a child at a parent-teacher meeting, only she had no ally in the
Mulder was late.
She focused on the words of the assistant DA.
"Many details are still unclear, but we're under some pressure from the
Attorney General to give an accurate picture of what happened so that
she can issue a public statement."
They were looking for someone to blame. Obviously, it would be Mulder,
but they were so determined to take him down that they were willing to
bring her down with him. She was, after all, still his partner. She'd
spent the last five years with a scarlet X on her chest.
Now, she could feel the Puritans gathering around her, torches in hand.
She made up her mind, and she told Mulder after the meeting was over.
"You're quitting." It wasn't a question.
"There's really no reason for me to stay anymore," she said. "Maybe you
should ask yourself if your heart's still in it, too."
He said nothing. She handed him his jacket as he turned to face the
panel on his own.
She stood alone in the hallway before walking out, swiping furiously at
Several days later...
She was getting really tired of being abducted.
What was the tally now? Nine times? More than she cared to mention,
although when Mulder toddled into her room, bleary on painkillers to
ease his frostbite, she greeted him with nine raised fingers.
"Is this an X-Files record?" she asked, wearily. Mulder smiled and
pulled up a chair next to her bed. He reached for her hand and she toyed
with his fingers, large and stubby compared to her small, precise ones.
"I've been spending entirely too much time beside hospital beds myself,"
he chuckled. Scully studied his face and he shook his head. "I haven't
checked on Diana in almost a week."
"I'm sorry, Mulder," she offered. "I should have told you earlier than
this. I'm sorry about Agent Fowley."
Mulder shrugged, then laughed a little. "Let a woman in your life," he
quipped, assuming the role of Henry Higgins, "And she'll end up in
traction." Scully squeezed his hand and he looked up at her. Her eyes
were big and moist.
"What are you going to do?" she asked.
"What am I going to do," he repeated. He smiled at her. "For now, I'm
going to sit here with you." He touched her cheek. "What are you going
She closed her eyes against his touch, seemingly lost in thought. "I
think," she sighed. "I think I will take a vacation."
A fraction of an emotion crossed Mulder's face. "Where will you go?"
Her eyes popped open and for a moment Mulder saw a childlike joy in
them. "San Francisco," she said, dreamily. "I haven't been there since I
was a little girl."
Mulder reached wound a piece of red hair around one finger. "You go have
that vacation," he said. "I think you've earned it."
She laughed at that.
Pier 39 Hyatt
San Francisco, California
The following weekend
Something shrill brought Dana Scully out of a deep sleep. At first it
sounded like a smoke alarm, but it came in short bursts. Was it her
travel clock? No. She peered through the darkness and made out the
digital readout. 5:23am. That's when she realized it was her cell-phone.
As she tried to get out of bed she became tangled in the sheets. She
slid to the floor with a thump and resorted to crawling across the
carpet to the chair her coat lay across. She pulled the phone out of the
pocket and scooted back toward the bed as she turned it on.
"If you go to San Francisco..." A lazy voice sang on the other end.
"Wear flowers in your hair."
Scully leaned against the mattress. "Hi Mulder," she yawned.
"What time is it there?"
"It's after five in the morning. Three hour time difference, remember?"
"Oh, right. I've only been to the left coast once."
"Twice," she said. "Oregon counts, even though there's no such thing as
sunlight up there." She yawned again. "What's up?"
Mulder hesitated before answering. "Nothing, I'm just up early and
wanted to know how you're doing."
Scully knew better than to buy that.
"How's Diana?" she asked. She heard him sigh. "Mulder, did she-"
"She's still alive," he said, quickly. "She . . . took a turn for the
worst and the doctors thought I should be down here. In case. I've been
here all night."
"No, Mulder," she interrupted. "You don't have to say anything."
"No, Scully, listen to me. There's something wrong, here."
"What is it?"
She listened to Mulder breathing.
"Scully, Diana is my... was... We were seeing each other, when I was in
Scully was silent. If Mulder wanted a reply he didn't wait for one.
"I talked her into joining the FBI. She got into the Academy the same
year I graduated..." She heard him swallow. "We got married in Maryland
right before I moved."
Scully's throat closed. "She's your wife?"
Mulder chuckled. "Yeah, well, in this country we call them ex-wives. A
year after she joined the bureau, a year after we opened the X-Files,
"Gone. We were living together and I came home to an empty apartment."
He snorted. "She didn't even leave a 'Dear Fox' letter."
"Why did she leave?" Scully asked, struggling to keep her voice even.
He took a deep breath. "That's what's wrong, Scully. I never knew. She
never gave a reason. I've spent the last five years of my life resenting
her for it."
"Is that what's bothering you?"
"She told me something, Scully. When I first came to see her. She told
me why she'd left?"
"Why did she leave?"
"She says to save me." He went silent. Scully switched the phone to her
other ear, perspiration gathering in her hair.
"Save you from what?"
"I don't know, Scully. All I know is that... I don't know what to think,
now." He paused. "So, how's San Francisco."
She let out a sigh. "It's lovely. I'm relaxing."
"Do anything interesting?"
"I went to Fisherman's Wharf," she said. "Everything I own smells like
dead fish now." When he laughed, she pressed on. "I saw a concert at a
theater in the Tenderloin."
"That sounds like an interesting neighborhood."
Scully giggled. "If you want interesting, I'd take you to the Castro, if
you were here. I'd ditch you in some club."
"You'd leave me alone and unprotected in the heart of San Francisco?"
"The heart isn't the particular body part I would use in reference to
the Castro," she quipped.
"Fine. Watch me bring home an even cuter little redhead." He hesitated.
"If I were there."
Scully was quiet for a long time. The only question she had left to ask
was one she felt was as necessary as it was wrong.
"Do you think you might still love her?"
Mulder's silence drilled a hole into her chest. The longer he took to
answer, the deeper the hole and the more blood that drained from her
head. She shifted. Her ass was sore from sitting in one position for so
"I don't know," he said, finally. She heard movement in the background,
and voices. "Look, Scully, I gotta go."
"Enjoy the rest of your vacation, Scully."
"Scully, I gotta go. I'll call you."
She swallowed. "Can you tell me when?"
"I'll call you...I'll call you when I don't miss you so much." She heard
him clear his throat. "Bye, Scully."
He hung up. Mechanically, she placed the phone on the night table and
hauled herself up off the floor. Almost immediately she sank into bed
and burrowed her face into the pillows, squeezing her eyes shut.
He was married to her.
He probably still loved her.
There was no logical, rational explanation as to why this affected her
Damn him. Damn it.
When did this get so fucking complicated?
Some Unspecified Location
A little after midnight...
"Left! Left! More! No! Right! Up! Up!"
Mulder poked his head into the room, warily. "Am I interrupting
Langly glanced up from the monitor. "What? No, man." He pointed at the
screen. "I found an old copy of Dark Castle in my closet. Haven't played
it in years. I had to get out my old Mac SE30 just to get it to run."
"Where's Byers and Frohike?"
Langly gestured over his shoulder. "In there watching the last episode
Frohike emerged at the sound of his name, clutching Kleenex to his face.
"Hey Mulder," he said. He blew his nose with a terrific noise.
"Geez Frohike," Mulder made a face. "It's just a TV show. Don't lose
"But it's the end!" Frohike pulled up a chair, wiping at his eyes. "It's
Byers appeared. "What's up, Mulder?"
"I need you to hack something for me."
"Ooh." Langly waved his mouse in the air.
"What are we hacking?"
"The FBI mainframe."
The three men exchanged looks.
"You want us to hack into your own computer?"
Mulder sighed. "I need to access the files on Diana Fowley."
Byers raised his eyebrows. "We heard she was back in town."
Mulder frowned. "From who?"
"Agent Scully," Frohike piped up. Langly elbowed him.
"She was here?" Mulder asked.
"Yeah," said Frohike. "She came here asking about- ow!"
"Why can't you access the files yourself?" asked Langly, digging his
elbow into Frohike's side.
"For some reason I can't," said Mulder, pulling up a chair in
front of Frohike's souped-up Compaq. "They're blocked. There's no reason
they should be so I need you boys to bash some heads for me."
Frohike slid his chair over to the computer. Mulder watched intently as
the little man worked, typing here, clicking there. With the sort of
flourish only a true geek can muster, Frohike produced the FBI mainframe
and set about cracking the password to Fowley's files.
"What am I looking for?" he asked.
"A 302 dated five years ago, requesting reassignment to anti-terrorism
"What's up, Mulder?" asked Byers.
"I'm looking for a Dear Fox letter," was the reply.
It took almost two hours for Frohike to break the code. Langly still
played his game, Byers had gone to bed and Mulder had dozed off reading
the latest issue of The Lone Gunman.
"Eureka," yelped Frohike. "Mulder! Hey, Mulder!"
Mulder stirred. "What? Did you get in?"
"I'm in," he said. "But you should see this."
Mulder slid closer and peered at the screen. "What am I looking at?"
"This is a parent-directory for all the files contained under Fowley's
name. There's her personnel file, her expense report, her medical files.
But Mulder - there's no 302."
"What is there?"
"This." Frohike called up another screen. Mulder read through it, his
face contorted with confusion, slowly replaced by barely subdued rage.
"What is it?"
"DAMMIT!" Mulder slammed his hand down on the desk, scattering disks and
scaring the hell out of Langly. They stared at him, but Mulder was
oblivious. He peered at the screen. "What else is there?" Mulder
demanded. "Show me everything else in her file. If you can, print it
Without another word, Frohike obliged.
San Francisco, Ca
Afternoon, Next Day
"Agent Scully, this is Skinner."
"I'm sorry to disturb you on your vacation, but I thought you should
know... Agent Fowley died last night."
"She suffered a massive coronary sometime during the night. I haven't
been able to reach Agent Mulder but I assume he knows. But I thought you
"Thank you sir. I'll be returning to DC tonight."
"Sorry to disturb you, Agent Scully... How's San Francisco?"
"It's... moist. Thank you for calling, sir."
She replaced the phone into her pocket and dropped the last of her bags
into the trunk. If she broke a few traffic laws she could drop off the
car and make it to the airport to try for an earlier flight.
In the car she tried to call Mulder.
"The cellular customer you are trying to reach is unavailable."
Either he'd turned his phone off or forgotten to pay the bill again.
For the last four hours, Scully had been trying to reach Mulder. She
called using a pay phone at the airport. She ran up a horrible bill on
her already crippled Visa card using the airphone. She tried his home
number and got the machine. She left a hasty message, saying that she
was returning and that she would meet him at his apartment.
He wasn't there when she got there.
It didn't appear that he'd been there for a while, either. Yesterday's
newspaper as well as that morning's still lay in the hallway outside his
door. She quickly let herself in, dumping the papers on the sofa and
surveying the room.
The light on his answering machine blinked with fierce rhythm. She
pressed the button.
"Hi, this is Fox Mulder. Leave a message."
"Agent Mulder, this is Skinner. I imagine you know about Agent Fowley,
I'm calling to say I'm sorry... Anyway I need to know where you're at,
you and Agent Scully have a meeting with the review panel the day after
tomorrow. Call me when you get this."
"Mulder? It's me. I'm on my way to the airport, I'll be in DC in a few
hours. Call me when you get this."
"Mulder, I'm not getting an answer on your cell. Where are you? Mulder,
if you're home, pick up the phone. I'm somewhere over Colorado right
now. I'll call you from Dulles."
"Mulder, I'm on my way to your apartment. I'll meet you there."
The tape ended. Scully sat down hard on the couch. She reached over and
"Hi, this is Fox Mulder, leave a message."
She pressed it again.
"Hi, this is Fox Mulder, leave a message."
The headache that had dogged her since San Francisco throbbed behind her
eyes. She pressed the button again and dropped her face into her hands.
"Hi, this is Fox Mulder-"
"You should check out my greatest hits album," he said, walking slowly
into the room. Scully jerked her head up and quickly slammed her hand
down on the machine to stop it. Mulder chuckled. "You better buy me a
"Mulder, where the hell were you?" Scully stood up and glared at him.
"I've been trying to call you all day, I tried your cell-"
"I turned it off," he said, sheepishly. "I didn't want it ringing in the
Scully stared at him and felt her body give. "Oh Mulder..." She ducked
her head. "I'm sorry. I know about Diana. I-"
"Scully..." Mulder was shaking his head. "You know nothing about Diana."
She looked up sharply and found a look of disgust on his face. "Neither
of us do."
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"I found some things out, Scully..." he began.
"I thought about what Diana told me. About how she had to leave to save
me. She said someone came to her, Scully. She said someone told her she
had to go."
Wordlessly, Mulder pulled a handful of folded-up papers from his jacket
pocket. He opened them up and sat down on the couch, spreading them out
on the coffee table. Scully sat next to him, staring curiously at the
"What are these, Mulder?" she asked after a moment.
"What do they look like to you?"
She studied them. "Reassignment papers. Orders, actually."
"From a power outside the Bureau," Mulder finished. Scully scowled at
"Mulder," she said, looking up at him. "These documents state that Agent
Fowley was reassigned to Berlin. That she didn't request the assignment,
it was given to her."
Mulder nodded. "Do you remember what she told you when you asked her why
she'd come back?"
"Yes, she said that she requested a transfer. That she had things to
get back to." She stared at Mulder, who pointed to another document.
Scully looked at it and frowned. "She didn't make the request. Someone
requested her. Someone outside the Bureau mainstream."
"She lied, Scully." Mulder stood up and started pacing. "She lied to us.
She lied to me. Why would she do that?"
Scully hesitated. "To protect herself?"
"No, I think she lied to protect someone else."
"Whoever told her she had to leave. Don't you get it, Scully? Someone
came to her five years ago while we were both on the X-Files and told
her she had to leave."
"Do you think they threatened her? Why? And how?"
"My guess is that... someone told her that if she didn't leave, they'd
Scully mulled that over. "And that's what she meant when she said she
had to save you." She looked at him. "But Mulder, why?"
He gazed back at her. "I don't know. To break me? To make me so...
despondent over my wife leaving me that I would lose interest in the X-
Files? Drop out of the bureau entirely?"
Scully shook her head. "Mulder, that's purely speculative. You don't
think they plotted to break up your marriage to get you out of the X-
"It all makes sense, Scully."
"But you didn't give up," she said, slowly. "You poured yourself into
Mulder chuckled. "Instead of making a broken man out of me they made me
into a workaholic."
"Oh my God, Mulder..." She stared at him. "They assigned me to work with
you in 1992. They separated you and Diana because they thought you would
be too good together."
"And when that didn't work they paired me with a skeptic, to invalidate
my work." He smiled weakly at her. "By George, I think we've got it."
Scully allowed herself a quick smile that soon faded. "Mulder, why would
they request her to come back?"
"Yeah, and why now? Why this particular case? It seems a little too
coincidental to me. Why, after five years?"
"To separate us," she said, softly.
She looked at him. "To drive us apart."
"I'm not following."
"Mulder, they've done everything they can possibly do to us. They've
tried to kill us, they've reassigned us, they've closed down the X-
Files. They sent me to goddamn Antarctica for God's sake! Yet, every
time they try to separate us we end up back together."
"How does Diana fit into all of this?"
Scully swallowed hard. "I think that whoever 'they' are have realized
that by thinking of us as just partners they can never separate us."
The room grew strangely quiet. "What are we, Scully, if not just
She looked at him. "Mulder, you know that I love and respect you and
that I trust you as I do no other. And I know that you feel the same
thing about me. I know that, you know that." She gulped. "And so do
they." She stared at her hands in her lap. "Mulder, when I found out
that you and Diana worked on the X-Files together, and I saw that she...
thought like you, I felt... threatened."
"I know - knew - that I hold - held - you back, that I was only assigned
to you to debunk your theories and take 'little notes' about your
methods. I thought that, in the best interests of the X-Files, Diana
would be the better partner for you. I was... afraid that you would
agree with that."
"You thought I would take Diana as my partner instead of you?"
"Why not?" She looked up at him. "She would validate your ideas and she
would support your work. She would provide you with an ally."
Mulder sat on the coffee table in front of her. He took her hands in
his. "Scully, did this have anything to do with you wanting to resign
"I'm ashamed to say that it could very well have had
everything to do with it. Reassignment may have given me a better
excuse. I don't know..."
She found herself crying, not great heaving sobs but silent tears down her
A strong arm found her shoulders and she buried
her nose in his neck, bathing herself in his smell as his arms took her
in, hands stroking her back. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine
never having access to such warmth ever again.
"Scully..." She felt his breath in her hair. "I'd take you as a friend
over a partner any day. But I'd never trade you for one or the other. I
spent five years getting over Diana. Every one of those years was spent
with you. I wouldn't give that up for anything."
"I wish you'd have told me."
"I couldn't. Not with her injured as she was. It wouldn't have been
He released her and touched her cheek. "As much as we talk about finding
the truth, neither of us seem to respect it much, do we?"
"What do you mean?"
"No more secrets, okay?"
She nodded. She knew what this meant.
"I know..." He touched his forehead to hers. Scully stiffened and he
must have felt it. "I think we have a problem, Scully."
"What is it?"
"There is a monster," he began.
"I know you don't believe in monsters," he smiled, his face ducking
closer to hers. "But I think we should see if it's there, anyway."
"What do we do if we find the monster?" she breathed.
"We'll figure out what to do with it then," he said, his lips catching
her bottom one, then parting to gather the rest of her mouth into his.
She could hear the sound of his jeans scratching against the surface of
the table, of a siren outside, of his hand absently sliding up and down her
They parted. Scully expelled the breath she'd been holding.
"Here be monsters." She swallowed. "This feels like the end..."
"Our being partners."
"Scully, we're partners regardless of whether we work together or not.
Whether it's for sixty minutes or sixty years, you're my partner for
life. You know that."
"I know that."
"This is an end. But this isn't the end. Not by a long shot."
In a rather large cornfield,
A million miles away
In the late afternoon
"X-FILES RE-OPENED. STOP. PLEASE ADVISE. STOP."
Feedback causes spontaneous orgasm.
Constructive criticism is a legal high.
Flames cause paralysis and brain cell death.
"I told you that we could fly
Cos we all have wings
And some of us don't know why..."