Title: Religious Background
Author: Kris "Beast" Abel
Date: June 1996

Summary: While on a side trip in NY, Scully visits a church for the first time in months and meets someone who counters her religious beliefs.

Disclaimer: The agents are not mine, I'm not a rocket scientist or a blond surfer, but a freckled softball catcher with a creative mind. They belong to CC, 1013, and the FOX Network. HEY! This is my idea here, but I'm not bad. See, I'm *admitting* that these are NOT my characters.;)

I know (like most of you) that Scully is a Catholic who has been lax in her duties to her faith. I had too much Joan Osborne today so this story is about the conflict in religion between Scully and another person. No romance, some UST, and no case. Just a session of waxing philosophical between two people.

This is dedicated to those long sessions at sleep overs where Tiff and Nay constantly preach to me the bible in hopes to make me a devote bible person. Yeah, right.;)


Due to a brief side trip from a case, the FBI agents Mulder and Scully had taken a one day layover in New York City; taking a flight later that evening. After losing her partner at Runway 69's video store near Times Square, Agent Scully had gone on by herself. She just wandered about and looked into store windows. As she was watching the pavement slip by, she found herself standing in front of a magnificent church near Rockefeller Center. Painted glass windows showed in its peaks along with butresses, carvings, and elaborate spires. Heavy oak doors stood open - revealing a dim, candle lit interior. Scully held her breath as she crossed the threshold; entering the powerful building.

If she had been any less civilized, her jaw would have dropped. The place was mesmerizing. Sunlight filled out the glass windows to depict wonderous scenes from the Bible along with images of the saints themselves. Nearly a hundred dark oak pews lined themselves down a wide aisleway. Devout people kneeled or sat with their eyes fixed upon a single object down the aisle. A large golden cross hung suspended beneath an arch woven with false ivy and made of bronze. Scully gulped and paused near a marble stand of holy water; crossing herself with a drip of the water. Quietly, she walked down a side aisle to the left; gazing at the marble tombs of saints gone past. Small candles were lit in tiny amber holders. A sign said that it cost a dollar in donation to the church to light one. Rummaging in her jeans, she produced two crumpled bills from her jeans pocket. Bending over, she took two stubs of white candle and placed them in two cups side by side. Taking a single match, Scully lit them knelt upon a leather padding as she clasped her hands together and focused on wishing her father and sister well. The sound of four coins clattering into the collection box startled her from her concentration. Keeping her eyes shut, Scully decided to wait until the person had gone before she continued her prayer. A whiff of fruit caught her senses as the person bent and crouched down on the same leather stool. Scully cracked one eye open a bit as the person began to speak out a prayer softly.

"Hello, Grandfather. I hope that you are well and happy with those you love gone past. I miss you. We all miss you. I hope I see you when my time is over." A soft chuckle. "I hope that the fishing in good. With earth, wind, fire, and water, I wish you well, Grandfather." Scully breathed in. It sounded like something Melissa would have said had she been alive. As the person rose to leave, Scully opened her eyes to get a better look. It was a young woman, in her early twenties or late teens. She had soft brown eyes, rich red hair, and a lone lock of white on her forehead. Jeans, boots, and a flannel finished her appearance as she walked on down the silent aisle; heading for the gold cross at the head. Scully swallowed and knelt her head again to think of her family gone.

*Oh Lord. Please keep my sister, Melissa, safe and my father well until you deem it my time to be with them. Please tell them of my love and take good care of them. Ahmen* Scully opened her eyes, crossed herself, and rose up to go find a vacant pew to sit in. The large stand of pews seemed too full for her so she took a short cut down a large hallway that partioned off into a smaller hallway. To one side of the hall was a small chapel with rows of ten pews on either side. A statue of the Virgin Mary stood at its head while a painted glass window depicted her sons death in gold behind her. No one was there. Scully took a pew in one of the first rows, kneeling with her chin on her clasped hands as she allowed herself to drift and think of peace. She was startled when a rich laugh filled the room.

"And 'ere I thought this chapel abandoned by all!" Came a rich, Irish voice from behind her. Scully whirled around to find the woman from the candles sitting behind her; hands clasped primly in her lap.

"How did you get in here? I didn't hear you come in," Scully said, turning so she could fully face this woman. The woman smiled and held out her hand to Scully.

"Name's Ivy. The reason why you didn't 'ear me was probably because you were too preoccupied with prayin'." Ivy sighed and stared up at the Virgin Mary. "Pity all the women die in the Bible."

"Why's that?" Scully asked.

"Maybe we'd be in control then. Like back in the earl-le history when all dieties were women, not men." She smiled at Scully. "I'm sorry if I offended yoo with that comment, but it's jist the way I am. What type of Christian 'r' you?" Holly asked.

"Catholic," Scully smiled. "And you?"

"I'm no Christian, ah...."

"Dana," Scully supplied.

"Dana. I'm a worshipper of the Earth," Ivy said.

"Are you some sort of Druid?" Scully asked.

"Close. Exceptin' this be from the female side of the lot. We be the keepers of Nature in Ireland or any other land we choose as our own. Me, I live in Washington, D.C. Just here to visit my brother at the NBC studios." Ivy smiled. "He does not believe in the old ways like I. I worship the wind, earth, fire, and water as well."

"Do you believe they are dieties?" Scully asked.

"No, more like spirits: lesser than a supreme bein'. More like the culture that got left behind after the kreation of our world." She paused. "All the ancient cultures...Incan, Aztec, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic... they all show reverence to nature in sum form. Then, over the years, it seems that people have forgott'n that reverence. Trashed the very things they once cherished." She licked her lips and looked out an open window. On the other side of the window was a garden with a rainbow of flowers. The faint hint of bird song drifted into the two womens ears as Ivy continued her story. "When I was young girl, I always felt safe in the woods, the fields..anywhere where there was pure, nature, no humans, I felt completely safe." She laughed and looked to Scully. "When I was nine, I got lost in the forest surrounding my family's home. It was November and a winter storm set in for the night. I was found the next mornin' sleepin' between two hibernatin' bears." She smiled. "I never doubted nature again."

"That's an incredible tale," Scully said.

"Yeah, I know, but it's all truu. To me, as long as I know it's truu, nothing else matters." Scully snorted at that.

"I think my partner would disagree with that."

"Your partner?" Ivy asked, puzzled.

"Oh, my work partner. We work for the government," Scully explained.

"FBI, right?" Holly asked.

"How did you know that?" Scully asked, mouth open now. Holly grinned.

"Easy, Agent Scully, my full name is Ivy McDern. Agent Ivy McDern," she grinned. "I work in the botany department of the FBI crime lab a floor above yours. And my partner is Agent Pendrell: you know, the one who has a crush on you." Scully blushed and looked away.

"He's not *that* bad."

"No, but your partner is. He's ten times worse than Pendrell." Ivy let out a laugh as Scully's blush turned an even deeper red. "Yes, Dana, your partner *is* in love with you."

"Mulder?! No, he's just a little bit over protective of me. Something I *wish* he would stop doing for once."

"A *little* bit?! Criky, Dana! I heard this agent once speak against you in the lounge and this *partner* of yours nearly took his head off with one swipe of his fist." She chuckled. "Gave the poor agent such a scare that he transferred to the Boston office the next day."

"I had no idea he was so defensive of me," Scully whispered.

"Ach, well, on to better topics. Now, I've explained my religious beliefs to you, so you explain yours to me." Ivy said. Scully sighed and looked back to the Virgin Mary in front of her.

"I'm Catholic so I guess I believe in what every Christian believes. I know that Jesus gave himself up for us in order to atone for our sins. I know that it is wrong to sin and that sin will take you to Hell while goodness will take you to Heaven. I know that's where my father and sister are right now. And I know that He is up there watching over all." Scully sighed. It seemed to rattle out like a long gone speech from Sunday school to her ears. Ivy's own prattle had sounded as if she at least believed in it with her soul. Scully's sounded more like a drum roll.

"I take it your not so convinced of things these days," Ivy observed. "Was it the X-Files that did that to you?"

"In part, but I just think that I've evolved so much beyond that med student attitude that I used to have. I used to be so innocent to the world and its secrets. Now they've been ripped away from their coverings for me to see and I don't know if I want to look at them anymore. Mulder believes in the work and I believe in Mulder. So I go on. If it weren't for him, I would have quit the bureau a long time ago." She leaned back in the pew and closed her eyes. "What do you think I should do?"

"About what?" Came a voice from the doorway. Scully whirled around in her seat to see her partner leaning against the doorway, hands stuck in his pockets. She looked all over the place, but there was no sign of Ivy. A streak of green caught her eye on the pew behind her and she reached out to take it in her hands. It was a single leaf of ivy; dark green with veins of silver running through it.

"Did you see anyone leave this room, Mulder?" Scully asked, eyes fixed to the piece of ivy. Mulder walked down the aisle to sit next to her in the pew.

"No, I checked out the store and then wandered around looking for you. I saw this place and decided to try and find you. Took me a half hour until I heard voices in here and decided to investigate." He looked hard at her; eyes glittering. "I heard what you said a few minutes ago." His hand reached out to enclose around the one holding the ivy leaf. "Scully, Dana, did you mean what you said?" Scully bit her lip and looked out the lone window at the garden and the bird song playing over it. Mulder reached up with his other hand to turn her face so his eyes met hers. "Did you?"

"Yes," she said hoarsely. "I love the work, Mulder, but I could never continue if you weren't there. I believe in you more than I ever have in the work itself." A tear slid down her face. He wiped it away; letting his hand slide around her shoulder to draw her into a fierce hug.

"Thank you," he whispered into her hair. Shs snuggled in closer to him in answer; draping her arms about his waist.

"You're welcome." The sunlight poured through the window onto the two of them and Scully caught a glimpse of dark red hair by the window before a cloud came and blocked out the light. Silently, the partners withdrew from the embrace and grinned red-faced at each other.

"Wanna go get something to eat?" Mulder asked, standing up. He held out his arm for her. Scully smiled and took his arm.

"That would be heavenly," she said and they walked out of the chapel.

The End

End Note: So...hackles raised on the religious front? Good. If you haven't guessed it already, the religious views of Ivy McDern are my own. If you have any questions, comments, or religious discussions to me, then e-mail me at:

kabelicious@gmail.com I'll be watching aloft from a tree.;) The answer to the mystery of Ivy Mc Dern and her pals shall be forthcoming. *

"And I miss you Like the deserts miss the rain."

- Everything But The Girl For my grandfather, who I sorely miss four years later And who the mere thought of brings tears to mine eyes

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