Title: If Only I
Author: Ewa
E-mail: ewa@whatewa.com
Rating: PG 13
Category: S
Spoiler: Post Requiem (extremely post)
Keywords: M/A R
Disclaimer: any characters you recognize belong to Mr. Carter & Co; others belong to me but I share. I will return them in pristine condition.(Well almost!)
Archives: Let me know where it's gone please!

Summary: Mulder's POV

Thanks: To Marlen, whose comments persuaded me to take 'If' further and to Lynn who did a great beta job on this.

Author's Notes: Sequel. Reading If is not a prerequisite, but could throw more light on events.

Feedback, who needs it? I do, for one!


Washington DC
2000

If only I'd *told* her I loved her.
If only I'd been there for her.
If only I'd have made her.
If only I'd understood.
If only I'd not gone.
If only I'd known.
If only I said.
If only I
If only

If At what point in time had it all gone to hell?

At what point in time had I changed from the happiest man in the universe to the most despairing?

How had I made myself go on, when my dearest wish for myself was obliteration?

And why? For what purpose?

What was the purpose of my existence?

The day I came back from chasing crop circles in England will be with me till my dying moment.

It was such a momentous time for me, for us.

She was somehow different on my return, eager, animated. I felt we were standing on the brink of something overwhelming, momentous. The air around us buzzed with promise. In my apartment that evening, we had come to realize how, whatever we did in our lives, our paths seemed to be guided.

We talked as we'd never done before.

We were so close, so happy. The whole world opened up before us. I understood then, if I hadn't acknowledged before, just how much this woman meant to me. On that day, my future seemed completely mapped out before me.

We talked and talked late into the night, cuddled up on my couch.

I was expounding some theory, as I turned my head towards her I realized she'd done it again. My wonderful oh so clever, oh so brave G-woman had zoned out on me once more.

Well, it was very late and we'd been talking for hours.

I looked at her beautiful face.

For some reason it was important that I etch this moment on my mind and heart forever.

I would love this woman to my last breath and beyond.

It must be 'jet-lag' I decided. It had been a very long couple of days for me. I really wanted to kiss her, to make love to her, but she, poor scrap looked so tired. I didn't have the heart to wake her.

I sat there for a while just taking her in. I couldn't resist the urge to tuck that wayward strand of titian hair behind her ear. She murmured something as she turned her head into my hand, I could feel her breath whisper across my palm.

It felt so damn sexy!

I made her more comfortable on the couch, covering her with my Navajo blanket and tuck her in.

I would love her another night, we were both too tired to do our first time together justice.

I went to bed.

It must have been dawn when I was aware of her standing over me, I was too tired to open my eyes. I just waited for her to climb in beside me and snuggle up.

I must have dropped back into deep sleep at that point.

The next thing I knew, the damn alarm was ringing to raise the dead; and my Scully had left.

I was annoyed with myself for missing the opportunity, but I hadn't wanted to rush things.

Later I knew that I had taken the wrong path that day.

The next few weeks were so busy, we didn't seem to get another opportunity and then came that fateful call to Bellefleur.

I had a bad feeling about that, a really bad feeling.

That was where our alienation started.

It was there that I came to realize the implications of exactly how much Scully had lost because of me, as if I hadn't known already.

Seeing her with that baby! She was a natural Mom! I couldn't bear to took at the scene, my guilt was destroying me. She deserved to have a quiverful of kids, a home, and a husband. Not to be dragged around from alien abductions, to mutants, to UFO sightings.

The atmosphere around us had charged, we were so awkward with one another.

I thought I was protecting her when I sent her home, refusing to let her run the risk of being abducted again. Of course the bastards had gotten to her already. The whole damn scenario was a set-up.

Scully, Skinner and I were mere players. I took the bait hook, line and sinker. It just remained for them to reel us in inch by agonizing inch.

No, Skinner had not lied, he genuinely believed in what he'd seen. They'd made sure of that, just as I'd been sure of what I'd seen when Scully had been abducted. But we learned the truth:

There *were* no alien abductions; it was just a front for the tests that they were carrying out.

We, poor suckers, bought into the whole thing.

Oh, I didn't resist. Not this time.

I had too much to gain from it all.

They could have whatever it was that they wanted out of my brain; as far as I was concerned they could have the whole damned thing.

The exchange rate was very good. A period of experimentation on me, for Scully being 'fixed' as they put it.

Of course I went along with it; what else could I do?

I didn't know exactly what a set up this had all been until later, much, much later; by then it was far too late.

They'd finally finished with me in just over two months. I was fit and healthy. But, somehow things had changed in the time I was away.

No doubt, their experimentation had altered me, albeit temporarily, but Scully, she'd changed.

She appeared so angry, especially with me.

As I said, I didn't fully understand the reasons until a lot later.

She just seemed so tired of everything, so dispirited, and I wasn't as supportive of her as I should have been. I didn't understand what was going on. I suppose in my own way I was going through a very similar thing, only for different reasons.

If only I'd tried harder...

Our partnership was under a great deal of strain and she didn't seem to want to help me fix it. Hell I didn't know how to fix it. I was running scared.

We saw very little of each other outside work.

Suddenly she announced she's about to get married.

Well, I went into a period of shock and denial. Had it not been for the support of the 'Gunmen' I would have either topped myself or murdered her Intended or both.

I finally thought it through. I loved her with all my heart. How could I deny her the chance of happiness, home, family? She obviously couldn't have it or didn't want it with me with me!

This guy could give her that, he could protect her, keep her safe.

I wish I could say it was pure altruism that forced me to attend their wedding. The truth is, I figured it would be a sort of closure for me. This would be the end of my dreams of a life with Scully. I would just have to learn to move on. Let's face it; I'd had plenty of closures in my life. I could almost write a book on the subject.

I stayed only for the ceremony. I slunk in at the Back; I couldn't trust myself to speak to her, to speak to them.

I went home and got totally smashed. I remained in that condition for the rest of the weekend. How I made it into work on Monday I don't know.

Actually I do know!

On Sunday evening I was finally roused out of my stupor by a frantic banging at my door. When I did stagger to the door to open it, there stood Mrs. Scully. She didn't say anything, just came in and closed the door.

It was the look of compassion on her face and her open arms that finished me off. I fell on my knees before her; she wrapped me in her arms and rocked me as I cried my heart out.

I loved that woman more than I did my own mother.

She was always there for me no matter what.

Finally, when my sobs eased, she got me over to the couch and made me lie down.

I must have fallen asleep for a while, because I woke to the smell of cooking.

How she'd produced chicken soup from the rations in my kitchen I don't know.

She made me shower and get cleaned up. I noticed that she'd been busy while I'd been out of it, getting rid of all the bottles and airing the place.

I didn't expect her to understand, but she did. We didn't talk about Dana at all, only about me, about how I would get through this.

It was so good to have someone in my corner for a change.

I knew I had done the right thing in letting Scully go, but I didn't know how I would survive it.

Mom always knew how to make me feel better. With her support, I *would* get through this.

Monday morning was hell. Scully was at work. Brian couldn't get time off for their honeymoon as he was a lecturer at the University, and this was mid-semester.

It was so awkward.

Neither of us knew what to say to each other.

It was all of four weeks before she quit the X-Files. in a way it was a great relief to me, in a way it killed me.

She went back to Quantico to teach.

Walter would occasionally pass on a snippet of information about her progress.

It was at about the time that I learned that she was pregnant with their first child, that I quit the X-Files as well.

The spirit had gone out of me. That childish belief in extreme possibilities, had finally grown up and perished.

Walter understood, he'd been a good friend to me during all this time. He didn't try to change my mind.

I just couldn't go on working there.

There were too many memories, too many ghosts in that office of ours.

I went back to profiling. The horror of some of the cases I had to deal with, took the edge off my own situation a bit.

It was also at this time that I changed apartments.

I didn't go far, just far enough not to have the daily reminders of Scully.

Memories were all I had. I felt that those same memories were slowly killing me.

Mom was still always there for me. Occasionally, she would have me stay a day or so with her, and from time to time she might mention how Dana was doing.

Just enough for me to know that she was okay. I don't think I could have dealt with more than that.

I'm sure Scully never suspected that Mom had taken me under her wing.


January 2002

I think I was probably the first, after Brian, to know about the birth of Daniel Robert. Born on January 26th at 7:30 am, weighing eight pounds seven ounces and measuring twenty-three inches. I knew how long the labor lasted, what drugs she'd been given, the lot.

Poor kid, she'd had such a hard time of it, I wish I'd been-

This is not the way to go Mulder! where was I? Oh yes.

All this was thanks to Frohike who seemed to have 'accidentally accessed' her hospital records on his computer.

I couldn't be angry with him for long, as I recognized just how much I needed this sort of information.

Was I getting sick in my old age? No, just very, very lonely.

Sharing something of her, even if by illegal methods, did bring a strange comfort to me.

By the time I learned of the arrival of little Katherine Louise, just over twenty months later, I'd also learned that Danny had not been her first child.

Through Frohike, who was constantly meddling in what didn't concern him, we learned that she'd been diagnosed pregnant the day after my 'abduction.'

I just couldn't get my brain around it. I knew my Scully too well to believe that she'd have slept with anyone, and it certainly hadn't been me!

What had happened to her?

I just couldn't get it out of my head. Like a terrier I worried and worried at it till at last I'd figured it out.

The time she'd spent with that black-lunged sonofabitch!

What had he done to her and how had he done it? She wouldn't have gone with him and been able to look me in the face. That had been just before my trip to England! The time when our lives were so good.

I had to get more on this!

The only person I could trust other than the Gunmen, was Skinner.

He told me about the pregnancy and he told me about her telling him, just a week or so before my return, that it had all been a mistake.

I had the evidence before me to the contrary.

Why?

What had she not said?

Why?


this was why she had changed so much,
this was why she would not let me near her. It wasn't just me. It wasn't me!

She needed me then and I hadn't been there for her. I'd let her down albeit through ignorance. But I should have known something was badly wrong. I should have made her tell me.

No wonder she'd taken off.

I broke down and wept for all I'd lost, all I'd given up, for my family, for Scully, for the family I would never ever have, for my loneliness, for myself.

This was one of the lowest points since Scully's wedding. I couldn't even confide in Mom, although she could see how bad I was. She was there as always, steady and supporting, never asking any questions.

I felt that over the years, since my Scully's wedding, I've been on a spiral.

You know, like you always end up in the same place only a rung or two higher. Only with me, it's usually lower.

I'm like that with trying to forgive her.

I have forgiven her; there was nothing to forgive, but I feel the hurt nevertheless.

I keep on trying to rationalize, to be happy for her. I am, most of the time, it's just occasionally this little idea pops in to my head: "What about me?"

Sometimes I'm so sick of being saintly and virtuous and not minding. Some days I just want to kick and scream, rant, and rave against the unfairness of it all, against the loneliness and desolation that is my constant companion every moment of my life.

I've forgotten the last time I had a reason to smile. I often think dying would be the best way out, but I can't do it because I know it would hurt her.

She seems to have forgotten about me, but that is really the *only* thing she can do, isn't it.

I am glad for her, I suppose I'm even happy for her, she has everything I ever wished for her; only I wished that it would have been with me.

I've given up the profiling. I've seen enough violence and ugliness to last lifetimes, and I haven't got the stomach for it any more. I've started teaching Psychology, I enjoy the challenge of getting my pupils to understand. Occasionally I get a really bright spark, one who challenges me intellectually, and that is a great joy to me.

My other joy is visiting with Mom. She is so proud of her ever-increasing brood of grandchildren.

Fifteen years and Scully has produced six of them now.

Their photos adorn Mom's house. I don't know whether it is by accident or design, but there are no pictures of Scully. It is of no consequence to me.

I have her face forever etched on the backs of my eyelids. I just close my eyes and she is there.

Mom often regales me with their latest antics, with their achievements. She is so proud of them all, as I am, although I have no right to be.

That is my secret. I have come to love those kids as though they were my own. I worry about them, am glad for them.

I knew how close a call it had been for Scully and the youngest child, Enya. They had both nearly died during the birth. I am thankful Mom seems unaware.

That is just the sort of thing my Scully would do, she wouldn't want to worry anyone. She would swear to all concerned that she was 'fine.'

I see from the photos how beautiful the children are, they take a lot after their mother, but none of them have her shade of hair. Katherine's is the closest, but it's darker.

"Oh my darling Scully, you are so lucky. I *am* glad for you, but that doesn't stop the pain I feel."

Mom is the one who without fail remembers me on my birthday and at Christmas. I've kept all the cards she's sent me over the years. They are the only ones I receive throughout the year.

I still see Skinner on a fairly regular basis. He's still at the FBI and doing great things.

Occasionally I turn up at the fortress. John Byers has jumped ship. He finally caught up with Suzanne, and they've got two beautiful daughters and a son now.

Frohike and Langly are still there, still chasing conspiracies. We chew the fat, have a drink or two.

They keep me informed when they see fit.

I know she's not mine, she'll never be mine, but I need to reassure myself that she is alright.


Maryland
2016

Thankfully Mom hadn't suffered, she passed away in her sleep. She had been so sprightly; only seventy-eight. I'd seen her just the week before.

I didn't want to intrude on the family's grief, but she had been a Mom to me for so many years.

I owed her that much at least.

The first time I saw Scully since the year of her marriage was at Mom's funeral.

She hadn't changed much, a bit more mature, but as beautiful as ever. The children I knew from the photos. There was Danny who was thirteen, Katherine eleven, Michel ten, Meggie seven, John, the little terror five and the toddler Enya who wasn't quite two She reminded me so much of Emily. Scully held her in her arms throughout the Requiem Mass.

I'd crept in after the start and sat in the shadows at the back, drinking in the sight of that beautiful mother and child.

I brought a posy of yellow roses, yellow for remembrance.

I thought back to another funeral so many years ago, that other child, that other daughter.

I had brought yellow roses then too.

I'd added a little card to Mom's flowers on which I'd written, 'To Mom, with love forever. Fox ' I missed Mom so much, she was my only link, my friend, my mother; if not in fact then certainly by her actions.

Sometimes she was the only thing that kept me going, kept me living.

How would I manage now?

Would I exist without her support and love?

After Mass I had gone up to the coffin and placed my little posy on it.

I left quickly; I was frightened.

I couldn't have looked at Scully, couldn't have spoken to her.

It was best this way.

This was it then. All my links broken.

I often wondered, had I died, how long it would have been before anyone missed me?

I felt so old so unnecessary.

I decided to take early retirement. I was fifty-seven now, but most days I felt a hundred.

I didn't care about anything much. The belief, the enthusiasm for anything in life had long ago abandoned me.

I just existed.

Occasionally the FBI would call me in to act as consultant on a case, but for the most I. think I was just waiting for it to end.

The greatest joy came to me that Christmas. On Christmas Eve I was surprised to see an envelope in my mailbox, a holiday envelope.

Mom was gone, she was the only one who ever wrote to me. As I looked at it, I felt my heart constricting in my chest, as though it would stop beating. Something seemed to be clutching at my throat.

I recognized the writing from so long ago.

It was Scully's.

I had to sit down on the stairs.

I felt as though I would faint.

When I finally got upstairs, I just sat on my couch and looked at the envelope, at her beautiful neat script.

She'd never have made it in general practice, her writing is far too neat, I thought as I gazed at the envelope.

It was dark before I plucked up enough courage to open it.

On the front was a Victorian type of family Christmas scene. The whole family was gathered around the table, the candle-lit Christmas tree in the background; Mom, Dad and six children.

Inside the greeting was very simple.

'To Mulder, God bless you at Christmas. Love from the McNally family.'

God Scully, this is the very best Christmas present I have ever had, bless you for remembering me.

I couldn't help myself; I just cried and cried.

Eventually I must have fallen asleep with that card still in my hand.

I woke up at dawn, cold and stiff. I've grown too old for sleeping on the couch.

I can't remember the last time I actually woke up *wanting* to get up. This morning I did. I had something to do.

Although I'm not Catholic, I felt the need to go to their Christmas morning Mass. Scully had taken me once many, many years ago.

It had been so beautiful. I needed to go and thank God for Scully, to ask Him to look after her for me.

I slept with that card under my pillow for so many months. It was the one thing that kept me going when I was down; she'd cared enough about me to bother, she'd taken over what Mom used to do.

With hindsight, I understood that somewhere along the line, Scully had found out about Mom and me.

The next Christmas the card came a little earlier, And it had a return address on the back. Feeling very brave, I decided to send them a card, too.

It took me most of a day to choose one, and most of the night to think of something to write.

How she would have laughed if she'd seen me! No, I corrected myself; she would never have laughed.

She was too kind and gentle to ever enjoy making fun of anyone.

Eventually it was done and sent.

That October I got a Birthday card from her.

It simply read, 'To Mulder, Happy Birthday. Scully'

That also went into my box of treasures.

At Christmas she'd enclosed a family newsletter.

I spent all of Christmas day reading and rereading those two pages. I knew them by heart.

I bought her a Birthday card that February, but I never sent it. I felt it was too presumptuous of me; instead that went into my growing treasure box.


Washington DC
2020

I saw her at Walter's funeral. I went to say goodbye to my old friend and mentor. He had reamed me out so often, kicked my butt all around the Hoover building, but I loved him for it. He had been my true friend, especially in the latter years, when he had no need to be.

I would have got away with skulking in the shadows, had it not been for Danny, who seemed to know me. He was a big lad now, all of nineteen I should imagine. He was certainly taller and broader than me.

"You're Mulder, Mom's partner, aren't you?

Come and say hello."

He took me by the arm and led me towards her. I couldn't get away. I don't know what I felt when I saw her. I couldn't breathe.

We exchanged a few stilted sentences, about attendance, flowers, missing Walter; then I managed to make my getaway. Thank God Frohike had come too. I felt so ill, and seeing this he quietly took me home.

A while after that I got a very strange e-mail from Frohike. He told me he'd found something in an on-line archive that I might find interesting.

I was intrigued.

I no longer had any interest in porn, but it didn't stop him from trying to get my attention.

I went to the site, and to my surprise it featured amateur authors writing what seemed to be adventure stories.

As with many of these sites, you soon get drawn in.

Some of the stories were better than others, but that's always the way.

Then I came across one that sounded very familiar, I just had to finish it. Although the names were different, it was the case involving Eugene Tooms, I swear it was! I looked to see who the author was.

'Starbuck'!

I felt quite sick.

I used the search engine to scan 'by author'. There were dozens of stories by this same author. I read until my eyes stung and watered through sheer strain. There was no doubt.

It was Scully.

High adventure my foot!

She was writing about our day-to-day life as agents. There was so much more she'd written in between the lines.

I felt like a voyeur. I went back to that site on a daily basis, gaining a deeper and deeper understanding of my Scully.

Why hadn't she ever told me any of this? Probably because she knew I wouldn't want to listen.


November 2024

It was in the year that they would have celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary, that I saw an article in the local newspaper. A well known Professor and Lecturer had been killed by a drunken driver.

I was horrified to see that it was Brian McNally, Scully's Brian.

Why did he have to be taken? I was here, waiting to go for so many years, and he had to be the one.

I had to go to his funeral; I had to say goodbye to the man who had managed to make Scully happy for all these years.

I went over to her at the end of the Mass. I could hardly see where I was going, my eyes were so swollen from crying. For him, for her, for the children and for myself.

At first she looked so angry.

But as I got closer to her I saw her expression soften.

"I'm so sorry for your loss. He was a good man," I managed to say to her, as I pressed the small posy of yellow rosebuds into her hands.

I looked down at her beautiful face and saw the tears trembling there on her lashes, before they cascaded down her face.

I did something I had no right to, I gently touched my hand to her soft wet cheek.

I just wanted to hold her in my arms to comfort her, tell her everything was going to be fine.

Instead, I turned and walked swiftly away before I did something she'd really hate me for.

Christmas went unmarked that year. I suppose I deserved it really, I was well out of line, I shouldn't ever have gone to the funeral. It was not my place.

I was not that well that year. All the injuries I sustained in the line of duty were coming home to roost. I developed arthritis, and I just couldn't be bothered to fight it.

I would be sixty-five in October, officially a senior citizen; I felt like ninety. Surprisingly, I didn't look too bad when I bothered to look in the mirror. The hair was still dark for the most part, there was silver at the temples, a few wrinkles here and there, but it was the eyes that were so old.


October 12th 2025

I was dozing in front of the television when the phone rang. By the time I'd roused myself enough to pick up, the answering machine had kicked in and I went back to sleep.

Later, when I listened to the tape, I got the shock of my life.

The message was from one Dana Scully. If I wanted a sixty-fifth birthday present, I was to turn up tomorrow at 2:30 at the Reflecting pool. I'd remember where it was she said.

I remembered our meetings at that reflecting pool when we'd been separated early on in our partnership.

Was she really trying to say what I thought she was?

I did not sleep all that night.


Washington DC
October 13th
Reflecting Pool I'm so nervous. I turn up nearly a hour early, I pace up and down, earning myself some strange looks from a solitary passer-by.

I sit down, stand up, and worry the knot in my tie some more.

What if she didn't mean this?

What if this were some sick joke?

No, Scully would never do that to me.

What did she want of me?

I'm so frightened, so confused. I sit down again, cursing myself for being such a fool.

"Mom, I wish you were here," I address the spirit of Scully's mother. " Would you be able to tell me what to do, what to say?"

Am I the fool I think I am?

I just need to see her one last time before I die.

Let me see her smile, just once, let her smile at me. Let me know that she's forgiven me.

Then you take me Lord. I won't ask for anything Else.

I hunch up on the bench, wondering what the hell I'm doing here.

I look up.

I see her coming towards me, she's still a way off, but I can sense how nervous she is.

I stand up and all at once I feel thirty once more.

I see she still has that Apollo key chain I gave her one Birthday so long ago. It's clutched tightly in her hand.

She looks so scared, so vulnerable.

I can't bear to see her like that.

I can't stop myself, I do the only thing I *can* do.

I open my arms to her, whisper"Scully!"

She looks into my face and runs the rest of the way into my arms, into my life. I hold her so tightly.

I'll never let her go again.

"My love, my life."

"Lord, I don't deserve this."

I have her in my arms and nothing else in the world matters.

We don't need words. It's taken me all this time to realize this.

We've never needed words.

We had it all and we blew it.

We have another chance now.

Nothing, no one, not even death will take me away from her again.


The Year One
October 13th 2026

I stand at the altar with Danny, my best man. We wait for his mother and my future wife to arrive with Michel, who is going to give her away.

The rest of the kids are already here.

"Please, please don't be long," I mutter to myself.

Danny just looks at me and smiles.

Last night and this morning was the first time we've been apart since my birthday a year ago, and I miss her so dreadfully.

I know that her children have come to love me as I love them. I can never replace their father of course, but they want to see their Mom happy again.

It had been a sight to behold, when little Enya told her Uncle Bill to butt out of her mom's life, to leave us alone.

What came as a bigger surprise was that he had.

Scully had been right that night, so long ago.

We are destined to be together, but when have we *ever* done anything the simple way?

We are here now for today, tomorrow, for however long we have.

We don't speak of the past, only of our future.

End


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