Author: Angel LeeAnn
Title: Mirage I
Category: Alternate Universe
Keywords: Mulder/Scully Married
Disclaimers: Chris Carter owns the X-file clan. Chris Carter owns the X-file clan.

Summary: They are Mr. and Mrs., but not happy. Their son was killed in a car accident while Mulder was driving. Yet, that is only the beginning.

**WARNING/MUST READ FIRST**: I won't take up much of your time, but I would like to mention that this is actually a piece I wrote WAY back when and is already in the system. Yet, I'm adding on to it and changing a few things in the process.

Also, that whole Emily business never happened. I personally thought that was just a bunch of crap (no offense to those who enjoyed the Christmas Carol/Emily episodes). Plus, none of that eighth season stuff occurred either. Keep in mind, this is an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE (somewhat)!

Sometimes he wondered if through this dark, forlorn world there is a chance that it is only the shadow of what is really there. Maybe all the evil and corruption isn't caused by the human being himself, but by some unseen force that is strong enough to control the willpower of a person. Then, again, this could just be used as an excuse to escape the things that he has done. Maybe he isn't willing to accept the fatal mistakes he has committed against other and himself so he conjured up this cognitive theory of not being in custody of himself.

'Then again,' he chided silently. 'I am open to blame for many things. I do not hold responsibility over the loss of my son on anyone other than myself. I had been the one who let him ride without his car seat because I was too lazy to transfer it from Dana's car. And who, also, drove drowsily through the city and into oncoming traffic.'

The incident placed tremendous strain on his marriage. Even though his wife never came out and directly blamed him, he sensed this accusation in her eyes every time they met his. She kept using the same excuse "The other driver was drunk." Yet, even she had this unspoken feeling that if Fox had used their son's car seat and been more alert, Sam could possibly be alive today.

Special Agent Fox Mulder with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, who was a top profiler in his earlier days, never felt so impotent in his entire life. Not even when he lost his sister all those years ago did he feel so at loss and numb with agonizing guilt that curved around his every breath. The only reason he continued to get up and go through the routine of everyday life was because Dana needed what little strength he had.

Mulder glanced across the bed where a vacant spot was calling out his name. All he had to do was move a little to the left and slip an arm around her waist. Yet, he restrained himself from such contact and instead clambered out from under the covers and padded his way over to the closet. His dark Armenia suits hung crisp on the plastic hangers looking almost as new as when he bought them. He pulled one out along with a silk, solid Navy Blue tie (one Dana had given him last Christmas).

Under the blankets, Dana stirred and cracked open her eyes in time to see her husband disappear into the bedroom's bathroom. She lay there listening to his silent bustling then heard the shower turn on. She fought the urge to creep in with him and instead managed to drag her sleep-fogged brain to the kitchen.

As it was, they hadn't showered together since Sam died. They barely even touched anymore as if they were afraid of shattering each other's fragile souls. In the past five months, subsequent to the accident, they hadn't made love. Not really, there was one time they had sex, but that was what it was -- raw, hungry sex where they ventilated their anger and frustration. That was three months ago.

A few minutes later Mulder showed up in the doorway wearing a ghost of a smile as he crossed his arms and leaned against the frame. He watched Dana as she prepared coffee and eggs. He would've stayed there all day if she hadn't glanced over at him with that raised eyebrow, "Are you just going to stand there like a sexy idiot or are you going to come and eat?'

A grin teased at his lips as he approached the table. Time was finally allowing them to heal. This was the first time she used bantering in a long time. He decided to return the favor. "You're even more beautiful and attractive when you're bossy."

Her eyes glazed over with an emotion he hadn't seen in months. A little color even managed to creep its way up her neck. Then, though, the moment ended abruptly as the shrill of the telephone interrupted whatever her response was going to be. Instead, she answered the phone on the second ring, "Hello?"

"Dr. Mulder? It as been a long time hasn't it?"

"Who is this?"

"What? Don't you recognize my voice?" He chuckled. "Well, I'll try not to take it offensively due to the fact it has been a year since we last spoke. Yet, I didn't call to have light chit-chat." His tone dropped to a deathly serious key. "I believe I have an answer to your recent dilemma. If you'll only allow me to speak to you and Agent Mulder in person at the east dock precisely at midnight."


Dana dropped the phone on its cradle and stared deadpanned at the marvelous invention. Her voice was low and menacing as she repeated to Mulder what the caller had said. Then she added, "I can't believe this! Why can't they just leave us alone for one stupid moment? It's probably a false lead about your sister anyway. Haven't they figured it out yet? She's dead." Tears swelled and trickled down her face. "She's gone just like your son."

Mulder flinched as if she had just slapped him. His voice was quiet, devoid of all emotion expect for anguish. " believe Samantha is dead?"

Dana's pain was too heightened to realize the depth of his hurt filled, and betrayed eyes. She let out a bitter, hysterical laugh as she stepped forward with accusations written on her face. "Yes, Fox, of course she's dead. She's dead because you didn't protect her, just like you failed to protect your own child! You're dangerous around your flesh and blood. You're mother even committed suicide because of you!"

The little piece that was left of Fox William Mulder slipped away as her cruel and damaging words rung in his ears with stinging clarity. His throat was filled with a lump that he didn't even bother to try and swallow away. Within seconds, silent tears streamed down his face and he turned away.

"I...I guess...I should leave." Fox headed towards what used to be their happy bedroom. Yet, were now where two strangers slept in the same bed, but worlds apart.

The situation sank in and Dana rushed after him, grabbing his arm to stop him from his actions. "Oh, Fox, I'm sorry! I'm so sorry. I didn't...I didn't mean that. It's just that...I'm so edgy and needed to vent off steam. I never meant to hurt you."

"You were only speaking the truth. I killed Samantha just like I did Sam and my mom, and maybe if I'd tried harder my father would be alive, too. You were right, I am dangerous to those I love." He gently pried his arm out her fingers and backtracked into the living room where he retrieved his coat and went for the door.

"Fox!" Dana cried after him. "Where are you going?"

He shook his head. "I don't know, but it's not like it matters. The end will produce the same result." Then he slipped out of the door.

Dana collapsed onto the floor, sobs wrenching through her body. She hated the unfairness of it all. First her abduction, then her sister was murdered, followed by cancer, and many life threatening experiences. Yet, the worst was the loss of her baby boy and now her husband...who she, herself, pushed away.

As Dana approached the dock, she noticed a tall, lanky man with slumped shoulders standing in the moonlight. She walked over to him and the weary couple stood rigid against the bitter bite of frozen wind as it whipped across their faces and tried to embrace their bodies. Mulled glanced nervously at Dana every now and then to reassure himself that he wasn't standing out there in the nippy, murky dock on his own. She was so quiet and unresponsive to all her surroundings.

A man emerged from behind a pile of crates; shadows like a cat getting prepared to pounce. He was dressed all in black with a smooth shaven face and sparkling green eyes. He scanned them over before braking into a grin. "Finally, I've been so anxious about this meeting. And I'm sure you'll feel my excitement as soon as you discover the cause."

Dana shifted and crossed her arms protectively over her chest. "It's cold and I'm miserable so can we cut to the chase as to why you dragged us out here in the middle of the night?"

"Yes, yes, of course Dr. Mulder. What I called you out here for is to discuss the possibility of bringing back your little boy!"

Mulled stepped forward with rage and a little glimpse of hidden hope. "Who the hell do you think you are? Our son is...he's passed on. I was there when it happened. I held him as he died. You can't bring him back! You are full of shit and the cruelest person I have ever known to try and play such a devilish joke on grieving parents!"

"Mr. Mulder, you're son maybe...resting at the moment without breath. But, I've been working on this new experiment that can possibly bring the dead back to the living." He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out an envelope. "Here, read through these. Think about it. I'll be back in touch."

Mulder paced the faculty while nervously chewing on his lower lip. It had taken Chris Banks a mere three weeks to convince him to go ahead with the procedure. He explained that it would be painless for Sam but agonizing for himself.

He and Dana argued over the risks. Bank's scientists had stolen Sam's body from his grave the day he had been buried and placed him in a well-preserved tank. Yet, he still would need vital transfusions from his father such as blood, tissue, nerves, and bone marrow. There was a possible chance that neither one would make it through the surgery.

The other day Dana had come over to his place as he was packing for their flight out to Kin, Colorado when Dana had shoved the lamp off the nightstand. "Damn it!" She cried. "Why are you doing this?"

Mulder had calmly taken his weeping wife into his arms and guided her away from the shreds of glass. "I have to try. If there were a one-percent chance out of a thousand that this would work...I would still do it."

Two Years Later

Dana sighed and brushed a strand of auburn hair away from her face as the breeze swept it across her eyes. She gazed out across the yard where a little boy ran gaily after a butterfly and not for the first time wished that her husband were here to witness such an inspirational experience.

Sam William Mulder had revived from his grave as perfect as could be expected. He went to regular check-ups with Dr. Banks and had to take a handful of medications every day so his body wouldn't reject Mulder's donations.

Thinking of her husband brought salty tears to her eyes that she quickly whipped away. Oh how she missed him. He hadn't pulled through like Sam, but instead had slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness. His heart had begun to shut down and that's when she agreed to put him on life support. She refused to pull the plug as long as there was still brain activity that wasn't induced by technology. She visited him regularly at the clinic, but wasn't sure whether or not he heard her.

A squeal brought her attention back to Sam. He was a happy, loving little three-year old (three and a half if you wanted to count the time he was dead). Yet, there was something significantly different about him. Dana hadn't been able to figure out exactly what was so out of place, but she could tell by looking in his eyes that something was amiss. He always seemed to be looking through you into your soul.

Then, again, that was how Fox had always looked. His hazel eyes pierced into you with gentle, but forcible strength. His beautiful eyes were darkened with knowledge, bright with compassion, flared with anger, and cloudy with arousal.

This last thought brought a faint, saddened smile to tug at her lips. Yes, his arousal had been passionate and intense. Thinking back now, she cursed herself for not welcoming him into her arms during those awful five months that Sam had been dead. They had screwed each other ONCE during that time, but other than that they hadn't touched each other at all.

What a way to remember him by. The sex they had wasn't making love to a spouse, but screwing a stranger was more like what it felt like. This made her angry. They should have held each other, kissed away each other's tears, whispered softly to one another until the wee hours of the morning. Instead, they drew a fine line between them that was put there mainly by her.

"Mommy, mommy, mommy!" Sam came reeling into her front line of vision with a wide smile on his innocent, sweet face. "Mommy, I want to go see daddy today! I want to see daddy! I got him something!"

Dana gazed at her child with haunted eyes. "Yes," she murmured. "We can go see daddy today. I bet he would like that very much. What did you get him?"

Sam scrunched up his nose. "I can't tell you that, mommy. It is a surprise! Can we go now? I want to see daddy now! He'll love what I got him!"

Tears pricked at the corners of her eyes and she fought to blink them away. Sam was so young and had that child-like na=EFvete that couldn't process that his father was unresponsive in every sense of the word. Whatever it was Sam had for his father, Mulder would never see it or even know it existed.

Sam bounced up and down, holding his hands clasped behind his back. In his tiny fist was a piece of paper that was now wrinkled by his clenching fingers. He waited impatiently for the nurses to lead him and his mother to his father's room.

Once inside and the nurse had quietly made her exit, Sam rushed to the bed and attempted to crawl up the side. Dana stepped in and gave him a boost, then inched back to watch her two men together.

Sam nestled into his dad's side, wrapping his arm as far around him as he could. "Daddy? Daddy, I draw you a picture today. If you open your eyes, you can see it. It's of you, mommy, and me outside our house." Sam placed the drawing beside Fox's head. "You have to wake up, now. You can't see it with your eyes closed."

Hours later, the doctor came in and announced that visiting hours were over. Dana gathered up her son, kissed Mulder on the forehead, and left the hospital with a weary heart.

Dana was in hot pursuit of the assailant as they raced down the dimly lit hallway. Her breathing was raspy from the extortion and her heart thudded wildly against her chest. She was exhausted, low on the sugar high that seemed to consume the other that was whipping through the house.

She halted in her tracks, bending at the waist to catch her breath. "Samuel! Mommy is tired. Can't you please just let me put you to bed?" The squeal of delight that met her ears was a definite 'no.'

She was about to begin the chase once more when the shrill ring of the phone echoed throughout the house. She sighed, stumbling into the kitchen to retrieve it.

"Dana Mulder."

"Mrs. Mulder? This is Fairfax County Hospital."

Dana's blood ran cold, then froze solid in her veins. "No," she pleaded, "please, God, no."


"I was wondering if you could come in. It would be wiser to discuss this with you in person."

"Ok. I'll be there as soon as I can."

The trip to the hospital was a blur. She kept praying to the Lord that Mulder was all right. The following week they had told her that his condition had weakened and if he continued on the course he was on, they would have no choice but to pull the plug.

"What?" she uttered in disbelief, her focus shifting between the two doctors. "Are you sure? If somehow you've screwed this up, you'll be dealing with a hefty law suit!"

"Why don't you come in. I know this is hard, but someone from his family has to do it. You, being his wife, will be the best choice. Don't you want to be the one?"

Dana stared down the long corridor before nodding her head. "Of course I do," she whispered. "It's just so...difficult. I-I don't know how to...or what to..." she let out a long breath. "Ok, but I want to do this alone."

Dana made her way down the hallway where she hesitated before wrapping her hand around the handle and pushing herself through. Once inside, she took a look around her before allowing her gaze to rest upon her husband. "Fox," she choked out quietly as she staggered forward, tears glistening in her eyes.

"Hey, love, long time no see."

Dana's mouth lifted into a bright smile. "I-I thought...I didn't think I would ever hear you say that again." She inched closer, settling down on the worn out chair beside his bed. Grasping his hand between hers, she allowed a few salty tears to escape their hold.

Mulder raked his eyes over her thin body, taking in the remote changes. Her hair was longer, her weight seemed a bit unhealthy, and there were dark shadows that graced her eyes. "Did-did...Gee, I don't know how to ask this. Did Sam make it?"

Dana bowed her head, collecting her thoughts. When she looked back at him, a new light was shining through her. "Yes, he's doing fine. You did it, Mulder."

Mulder nodded, triumph and relief flooding his system. "How long have I been out?"

"A year."

"Wow. It doesn't seem that long to me. I feel as if the operation had only been yesterday. How is he doing?"

"Great. Perfect. He is the splitting image of you. He has your eyes, hair, and curiosity that is bound to get him into trouble."

"Have you...well...I don't want to..what I mean is that. Dana, where do I fit in now that I'm better? Is there another man in your life? Have you moved on?" He kept his focus on his hands that were resting on his lap.

Dana released a soft chuckled. "No, silly, I'm the woman with the supposedly dead son. Who is going to go out with me more than once?"

His voice was tainted with rejection and an underlining layer of betrayal. "So you've looked? Find anyone who might have been worth while if it weren't for the whole resurrection business?"

Dana's smile faded and she nervously stared at his hands as well. "No...I...I won't lie to you. A month or so ago I did go on a date. It was nothing big...just something between friends. Yet, I couldn't go through with it. I kept thinking about you. We may not have had that wonderful of a relationship in the end, but you are still my husband."

"So that is what held you back," he spat out bitterly. "You could have just taken me off of support, then your worries wouldn't be needed."

"Mulder, it wasn't just that. We may have been distant and cold towards each other, but I still loved you. That is the one thing that never changed."

Mulder glanced away, staring out at something that caught his attention on the wall. He was silent for a moment as he collected his thoughts, the wheels turning in his mind. "Dana, sometimes that just isn't enough. I love you, too. I loved you after Sam died. Yet, did that really make a difference?"

Dana swallowed the lump that was forming rapidly in her throat. She brought her hand out as if to smooth away the worry that etched his brow, but drew it back slowly. "Fox...I still feel awful about the way I treated you. I was angry with God for taking my baby away from me. I know that I hurt you and that is why you left. I don't blame you for walking out because I would've, too. I never should have accused you of the things I did."

"Why?" He turned a bitter look her way as his voice laced with venom. "You meant them, didn't you? You blamed me for Sam's death, my sister's abduction--death, and my mother's suicide. And you meant them. I know you did. Now you may have had a year to think this trough, sort out the issues, and regain some control. Yet, it seems to me like it happened last week. You left me, Dana, long before I walked out that door."

Tears spooled from her crystal blue eyes and spilled onto her shirt, dampening the cloth till it seeped through her bra. "Oh, Fox, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for abandoning you. I know the void between us was mostly my fault. Yet, so help me God, in a partial way I did blame you for Sam's death. You should've had him his car seat, damn it!" She whirled away from him and heaved a heavy sigh, then whispered, "Yet, I still did love you. I still do love you."

It was Mulder's first day out of the hospital. After waking up he had spent an extra five weeks regaining some of his muscle loss and getting adjusted too moving around. His recovery had gone well, but with a few bumps that still needed fixing.

As they came through the door, Mulder squeezed Dana's hand and gave her a faint smile. "I appreciate what you're doing, but don't worry to long. I won't overstay my welcome." Then he disappeared into the kitchen where he prepared a glass of water.

Dana slowly stepped up from behind him. "Fox, you're welcome to stay forever. We are still married you know. Also, I brought your stuff back from the apartment you were renting out. You'll find your stuff here and there."

A grin tugged at the corners of his mouth. "Where's Sam? I can't wait to see him. I've been so anxious about this. What if I'm not what he expected? What if he doesn't accept me? What if I'm not a good enough father to him?" His voice took a sudden low, strained key, "What if he remembers I killed him? Does he recall being...dead?"

Dana chewed nervously on her bottom lip. Her eyes scanned the kitchen table, resting on the flower vase that was stuffed with dandelions plucked from the back yard. "Not really, but every now and then he'll start talking about the...warm, colorful place. I suppose he's referring to death."

Suddenly there was a squeal that brought both their attentions to the doorway. A woman with dark, curly hair no longer than Dana's stood in the doorframe holding a squirming little boy in her arms. She stared wide-eyed at the tall, lanky man standing the kitchen before choking out, "Fox?"

Fox's eyes brimmed with unshed tears. "Hello, Mrs. Scully, is that Sam you're trying to hold back?" At the mention of his name, Sam fixed his eyes on his father's and for a moment Fox was taken aback by the replicated color schemes and depths that stared at him with wonder.

"Sam?" Fox took a tentative step forward, his arms reaching out. "Hey there bud, do you remember me? I'm your daddy. I'm the one who was asleep in the hospital."

Sam stretched his tiny hands upward and allowed his father to gather him up into his arms. "I know you, Daddy. Mommy has told me stories."

Fox wanted to pull his son to him as close as he could. He smelled the boy's hair, kissed his head, ran his hands over his back. "Oh, Sam, I missed you. Daddy missed you."

Dana looked on, salty tears grazing her face. She glanced away, nibbling on her lower lip. She was torn between what to do: tell Fox or not tell him? She refocused her gaze on her two men and eventually wandered over to her mom who stared steadily back with a silent communication: are you ok?

Dana just nodded her head and turned away.

The End

This will be the end for now.

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