Marry in Haste
– Repent in Leisure
Sara B. 09/06
his office door and was overwhelmed with the smell of disuse. A haze developed
in the room as he moved about disturbing the dust. A quick look around proved
that nothing in the office had been touched since he’d left three weeks earlier.
He checked the floor and saw that the only footprints in the fine layer were his.
He heard himself say, “Scully!” Where the hell was Scully?
and looked to her area and found the things that were hers were missing. Something
serious was wrong; something he wasn’t sure he wanted to face.
He saw a paper
on his desk and as he read it he wanted to break down and cry. Special Agent
Dana K. Scully’s request for transfer was accepted. The form was signed
by AD Walter S. Skinner and dated the day before his marriage.
the door with trepidation. He hadn’t been here since before his marriage
and he hadn’t spoken to Scully since his wedding day. Her last words to
him were about wishing him good luck and how much he would need it; he hated to think how prophetic it had been. Scully had been right.
He tried to
call her but she’d changed her number and she wouldn’t take his calls at work.
Mulder found himself outside her apartment building on a number of occasions; usually after a fight with Shannon. Somehow he’d been able to keep himself
from running to her apartment and pushing his way in.
He had seen
her several times, that’s really the only reason he knew she hadn’t moved.
Every time times he wanted to run to her but and pull her to him but he didn’t; it wouldn’t have been right. He’d given up the right to hold her and have her absolve him of his sins.
he didn’t have a choice; he needed her and he wouldn’t, no, he couldn’t stay away. Scully had always been his soft place to land when life spiraled out of control. He only hoped he hadn’t screwed up so bad that she wouldn’t be there to help put him back together.
but got no answer. Checking his watch he saw it was only a little after four
so she probably wasn’t home from work yet. Normally he would still be working,
but he’d taken the day off, or more correctly, Skinner forced him to take the day off, and the next five or ten too.
He began to
walk away to return to his car and wait for her when he remembered he still had her key.
He’d often thought he should remove the key from his key-ring but that small link to Scully frequently was his
only bond to sanity. It was doubtful the key would work but it was worth a shot;
he was pleasantly surprised when the key turned and the lock disengaged.
the door cautiously and moved inside. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath:
Scully. The air was filled with her scent.
It was heady and he nearly passed out from the blissful dizziness.
He began to
look around and saw that she’d made many changes, mostly small and subtle, but one big one; the couch. He silently mourned the loss of her old one. He’d spent
many nights on that couch, preferring it to her guest room.
his finger along the couch’s fabric. It was nice, soft to his touch. He pushed on it, cushy, nice and cushy. Finally,
he sat. It felt as though the cushions cupped his butt; he liked it. He bounced a little and loved the response; he could see himself being very comfortable here.
his boots off and leaned back. His eyes closed and he sighed audibly. How could he have let things go so horribly wrong? Two years
ago if someone had told him he’d do anything that would push Scully from his life, he would have told them he could
never let that happen. Unfortunately, he’d done just that and the powers
of the universe made him pay.
been strained between them for a while before she left, five months to be exact; since he met Shannon and they started dating.
had just started with the bureau in Violent Crimes. She was partnered with Garry
Wilton and they were looking into one of his old cases to find similarities with a current case. T. Riddley Morton, the perpetrator of the earlier incidents, had escaped prosecution by reason of insanity
and had been sent to a state run mental facility for the criminally insane. Three
months earlier some psychologist declared Morton cured and he was released. A
month later elderly women in Virginia began disappearing, just as they had during the earlier crimes. No bodies were ever found. Garry called Mulder in to discuss
One look at
Shannon and Mulder was captivated. She was everything he’d ever looked
for in a woman, and more. Shannon was tall, beautiful, smart, witty and, as he soon
found out, a bit of a sex fiend. That last piece of information he gleaned on
their third date. It didn’t take long after they’d married for him
to realize the dream he thought she was really turned out to be a nightmare.
aloofness escaped him at first. In hindsight he could see the subtle changes
in her actions. But, he supposed, she was only responding to his own actions. He pulled away first.
until he realized that she no longer dropped by unannounced that he knew things were different between them. When Scully did show up at his apartment, she always called first and she would only stay long enough to
drop off something or discuss a case.
she’d brought over some test results he’d hounded her all day about. She
was getting ready to leave and he cajoled her to have dinner with him. Shannon was out of town so
he was on his own for the evening and, he realized, he missed being around Scully.
He was just
about to order some Chinese delivery when the phone rang. It was Shannon calling from wherever
the heck she was. He talked to her for a while but when he hung up Scully was
gone. It was no wonder, since a check of the clock showed that he’d been
on the phone for over an hour. He tried to call Scully to apologize, but she
didn’t answer and she didn’t call him back.
The next morning
Scully wasn’t in the office when he arrived; nor did he see her until he went to find her to take her to lunch as a
way of making up for the night before. She wasn’t in her office, that little
cubbyhole on the third floor. He asked a couple of people and someone told him
he saw her in the cafeteria.
She was sitting
alone at a table for two, eating a salad and reading. Mulder walked over and
sat down. “Scully, I’m sorry about last night, the time just got
away from me.”
a problem, Mulder.” She hadn’t even looked up. Further conversation was interrupted when his cell chimed; it was Shannon.
When he looked up he saw Scully’s retreating back.
in his eyes as he thought about how he’d treated his best friend. How could
he have been so callus and shut her out of his life. If he hadn’t allowed
himself to be blinded by Shannon’s superficial attributes, he could have avoided a lot of pain.
after Scully walked away from him in that cafeteria, Shannon proposed to him. It was after one extremely
energetic long night of passion. He’d hesitated at first. They really hadn’t known each other that long. They
knew more about each other’s sexual preferences than what foods they liked, favorite color or even which sports teams
Shannon knew how to use her body to persuade and when she whispered, ‘when the sex is this
good everything else just falls into place,’ it wasn’t his brain doing his thinking for him.
was small, Shannon made all of the arrangements, Mulder only had to supply a list of people he wanted to invite. That was easy; Scully, Mrs. Scully, the guys, Skinner, who was also his best man, and his Mom. Mulder was also in charge of planning the honeymoon, something he regretted shortly after the wedding.
standing on the stairs of the chapel, nervous as hell. His Mom arrived and greeted
him with her usual reserve. He escorted her to her seat and she commented that
she was surprised he wasn’t marrying ‘that lovely partner of yours, that Scully girl.’ That had thrown him a bit. Then he realized Scully hadn’t
At first he
was a little angry with her. His wedding was minutes away and his best friend
had yet to arrive. Anger turned to concern as he wondered why she wasn’t
to Frohike, Byers and Langly and asked if they’d seen her. He knew something
was wrong when they just stared at him for a moment. Byers finally told him that
Scully hadn’t been invited. He was furious and ran to check with Shannon. Through the door she explained that Scully’s invite must have gotten lost in the mail and with all
the planning she hadn’t had the time to call her.
there was something wrong about Shannon’s explanation but rather than dwell on it he decided to call Scully and fix the
problem. Mulder pulled out his cell, and she answered on the first ring, “hello?”
it’s me.” The phone went dead quiet for a moment and he wondered
if the call had been dropped.
you be getting married right now, Mulder?” He was startled by the iciness
of her tone but figured she deserved to be angry thinking he hadn’t invited her to his wedding.
do that without my best friend. You have to get here fast, Scully.” He tried to sound teasing but even he heard the pleading in his voice.
Mulder, this is one crisis you get to face alone. I wasn’t invited.”
that was a mistake. Shannon said your invite got lost in the mail. Come
on, Scully, I really need you here.”
get married, Mulder, I won’t be there but I did send a gift. So did my
Mom, I’m assuming her invite got lost too. Maybe the US Postal Service
has a conspiracy against Scully’s. Sounds like an X-File. Good Luck, Mulder. I think you’re going to need it.” She
disconnected. He’d started to call back but Skinner told him the ceremony
was ready to start.
cracks in his marriage appeared only hours after the service ended. They’d
said their ‘I Do’s,’ cut the cake and toasted with champagne. It
was when they were changing into their travel clothes when Shannon said, “God, I can’t wait to be away from those annoying friends of yours.” The hollow pip that had taken residence in his stomach began to grow.
Shannon’s mother, April, drove them to the airport.
He hadn’t thought of it before but it hit him that her father hadn’t been at the wedding. Mulder knew Shannon’s parents were divorced but surely that wouldn’t keep him from being at his
daughter’s wedding. When he asked about it both Shannon and her Mom shared
bitter faces so he let it drop.
told Shannon anything about the Honeymoon plans. He’d rented a cottage in a secluded
beach area of Florida. The rental agent arranged to have the place
fully stocked and sent Mulder a set of keys. The cottage was out-of-the-way enough
so they could be alone and the beach was secluded so they could sunbathe nude if they wanted.
This was his idea of a romantic getaway.
Shannon took one look at the place and her face openly registered her disgust. She didn’t even attempt to hide her anger and her demeanor didn’t improve when they crossed
was charming; small but well appointed with all the conveniences you could want. Or
so he thought. “This is my Honeymoon and you expect me to cook and clean?
What kind of fool are you?” That was when she slapped him for the first
time. It hurt his pride more than anything but it was a prelude to future attractions.
made arrangements to move to a large resort about an hours drive away.
returned from their Honeymoon he had already begun to worry. The escalation of
her attacks progressed rapidly. Stinging slaps grew in intensity and progressed
to punches and by the end of the trip there were occasional kicks. Shannon was
also very adept at verbal and emotional abuse.
knew that Shannon had purposely excluded Scully and her Mom from their wedding as her first step in isolating him.
to talk with someone and he wanted that to be his best friend, Scully. He could
always rely on her cool head and judgment. When he’d found her transfer
form that morning he nearly crumbled.
with Skinner and found out that Scully temporarily transferred to Frauds and in a few months she was returning to Quantico.
She was on
a case in Kansas so he called her cell. “Scully,” her voice felt
like a balm over his frazzled soul and he felt an instant calming.
it’s me.” Mulder smiled to himself at the familiarity.
I don’t have time for this.”
I need to talk to you. Why have you transferred?”
surprised you even noticed.” He knew there was more she wanted to say but
she wouldn’t let herself. Scully would never want to appear catty.
I had some time to really see my life and I wasn’t happy with the picture. I’ve
been alone, something I never realized until your recent events.” The implication
of her words stung Mulder. “I decided I need to move on, like you did. It’s time I faced the fact that I want a life too. I want to be loved, certainly you can understand that?” Her
voice had a bitter edge Mulder had never heard before.
up and explored the apartment he used to know nearly as well as he did his own. He
missed that cramped dump.
and kitchen were pretty much the same as he remembered. He opened the fridge
and saw that Scully’s organization and eating habits hadn’t changed. That
somehow comforted him.
He made a
quick examination of her guest room and found she’d changed the comforter and curtains.
She’d moved her old shelving unit from the living room in there and it now housed her collection of books. The small TV she’d bought for him to use during one of his recuperations still
sat on the dresser. The memory of it gave him a pang of guilt. Had he ever thanked her for all the care she’d given him over the years? He doubted it.
He moved to
the bathroom and his examination turned up that Scully still used the same bath salts and candles she always had. Not that the discovery was unexpected since his nose had detected the scents when he first entered her
home. In honesty, he’d only admit to himself, he was more than a little
happy to see that there hadn’t been any masculine additions and he released his breath as his fears lessened.
to the door of her bedroom, this room would be the hardest for him to face. He’d been in there a number of times but
he usually respected her privacy and didn’t intrude on her sanctuary. With
tentative steps he entered and looked around. Slightly changed from what he remembered
but it was still typical Scully, understated and refined. The last vestiges of
fear left as he noticed that, like the bathroom, it was devoid of masculine influence.
to the living room and debated whether to turn on the TV; he decided not to. He
reclaimed the couch and thought how comfortable he felt in this space; unlike that testament to modern design Shannon moved
them into. Austere walls of cement, glass and metal decorated for looks an function
rather than comfort. Everything was angular and severe, devoid of all charm and
quirkiness that made a home. Rather like his marriage.
this place, was pure Scully. Filled with inconsistencies and incongruities that
so reflected its inhabitant.
back and felt a relaxation that he hadn’t experienced in almost a year.
home with a bundle of work and take out from Madam Chu’s. The move to Quantico
added an hour to her commute so even though she kept a fully stocked fridge and pantry, she often found herself eating take-out. It was a vice she tried to make up for at the gym.
and a class of fresh recruits had done her in and she was looking forward to a relaxing weekend. The autopsies were routine; professional hits with no surprises.
The class, well, that was another story.
was ordinary except for Reginald Wycliffe the third, hell, even his name was annoying.
Reginald, not Reggie or Reg but Reginald, was a royal pain in the ass. He
was smart, no doubt about that, and the problem was he knew it. What he didn’t
know is that she’d worked with smart and knew exactly how to knock him off his pegs.
Besides, she was no slouch in the brains department either.
his routine five minutes after she gave her introduction speech. He tried to
throw her off her pace and the more he failed the harder he tried. By the end
of the week, she was ready to use him for target practice. She smiled because
in the end she would have the last laugh as they booted his self important butt out of the academy. She checked with the other instructors and good ole Reginald was on everyone’s list of first round
Add that with
everything else that’s been going on, she was happy to be home and looking forward to the weekend.
the door and walked to the dining room table. Something felt off and she looked around.
She got to the back of her couch and was greeted with a loud snort: Mulder. What
lying on her new couch, she caught herself as she checked to see that he’d taken off his shoes; he had. Scully just stared at him for a moment. He was mostly in shadow
so she didn’t really see more than his form. It was one so familiar to
her that it jolted her memory back to happier times. She hadn’t seen him
since before his wedding. He seemed the same but there was something different.
have woken himself. “See anything you like, Scully?”
really. What are you doing here and how the hell did you get in?”
had my key, Scully; you didn’t change the locks.” He hadn’t
moved but still looked at her. She was lovely.
Why hadn’t he ever realized just how beautiful she was?
think I needed to, it wasn’t like you’d used it much before you and Shannon got married. I wanted to save myself some money; I’ll rectify my error tomorrow.
How is good old Shannon? Find those missing invitations yet?”
barbs stopped dead on her lips as Mulder moved into the light. “God, Mulder,
what happened to you?” She’d gone into doctor mode. Mulder’s face was severely bruised and there was a gash above his right eye. His left arm was in a cast and she wondered what other injuries were hidden by his clothes.
Mulder said quietly.
you telling me that Shannon beat you?” She didn’t need an answer
from him, just looking at his eyes told her the truth. “This wasn’t
the first time was it?”
his head. “First time started on our Honeymoon.”
Mulder, why didn’t you tell someone?”
isn’t something a man wants to admit. It started small, almost like an
accident. I didn’t realize how much it escalated until someone pointed
out a really nasty bruise on my arm about three months ago. Even then, I didn’t
want to face it and there was only one person I could have spoken to about it and she, well, she wasn’t speaking to
me anymore.” He looked up into her face.
He cut her off with his finger to her lips. She wasn’t sure when he’d
moved so close to her.
she was right to get away. I’d treated her like dirt and let my dick do
my thinking for me.”
Mulder.” Scully sat next to him but at a distance. “So, why are you here?” She couldn’t let
her emotions take over. The last time she did that he’d trounced on them
and she wouldn’t go through that again.
to see you, to talk to you.” Mulder hesitated, “Scully, Shannon’s
“What? You had her arrested?” Scully was
shocked. No matter what, she couldn’t see Mulder having Shannon arrested.
did it; I think he saved my life.” Mulder sounded ashamed; typical of an
In a gentle
voice Scully asked, “what happened?”
months ago I finally had enough, and while she was out of town on a case, I moved out.
I got a small furnished studio about a block from Skinner’s condo. I
also started divorce proceedings against her.
think Skinner knew everything but I think he suspected some of what was going on; in fact, I know he did. He and I started to work out together at the gym. I was supposed
to meet him last night and I didn’t show. He came to my place and stopped
Shannon from,” he was unable to finish.
himself into Scully and hesitantly her arms circled him. His tears saturated
her blouse and the warm wetness reached her skin,
passed when he was able to talk again. “I was getting ready to go meet
Skinner and Shannon was standing there when I opened the door. She pushed passed
me and said we were going to talk about it. I told her there was nothing to talk
about. She needed to see someone about her problem and I wasn’t going to
continue to be her private punching bag. The next thing I knew she hit me with
something really hard. When I looked it was that Waterford vase you sent as a
wedding present. It was the only thing I’d taken besides my clothes when
I moved out. Shannon started screaming at me.
She said that you were the cause of all our problems. That I kept you
between us. I hadn’t seen you since before we got married and she’s
accusing me of having an affair with you.” Scully sat back and nodded her
head. “What is it, Scully?”
her head for a moment trying to figure out how to say what it was that she was thinking.
“I’ve been getting these phone calls and things have been delivered to me.” She hesitated momentarily. “The calls would just be
someone screaming at me saying things I couldn’t understand or even make out.
I had them traced but they were made from pre-paid cell phones and were untraceable.”
said there were things too, what kinds of things?” Mulder needed to know
how far Shannon went.
first thing was a dozen dead long stemmed roses, they were delivered to my office. I
got those two and a half months ago on the seventeenth.”
was a week after I moved out.”
was a festive wrapped package that arrived at Mom’s. Inside was a bag of
manure. It was awful and poor Mom was beside herself with worry. I checked the messenger service but nothing came of it. The
last thing came yesterday. A box was sitting outside my door when I got home. It had a bloody knife inside. I turned
it over to forensics.”
them check it against Shannon’s blood; she had a wound on her left arm.”
Mulder’s head hung, he wondered how close Shannon had come to hurting Scully.
she hit you in the head last night,” Scully prodded.
huh, and, like I said, she was wielding these accusations and saying the most horrible things and hitting me with her fists. I started to get up and she brought the vase back down on my head. I might have lost consciousness for a moment, I’m pretty sure I did.
I looked up and she had the vase raised to hit me again and then Skinner tackled her and was wrestling her to get the
came looking for me and I guess the door never got closed. He saw what was going
on and stopped it before she killed me. I wasn’t going to press charges
but he told me it didn’t matter because he was, he saw what happened. She’s
been charged with attempted murder.”
They sat there
silently till Scully’s phone rang. “Hello,” she answered. “Yes, sir, he’s here. No,
don’t worry, he’s fine.” Mulder didn’t listen to the
rest; it was Skinner checking on him.
up. “That was Skinner. He
wants to know if you are going back to his place tonight.”
sorry I didn’t listen, what did you tell him?”
I didn’t know but you’d call as soon as you made up your mind. He
seems to think you want to stay with me.”
I, would you let me stay here for a few days? Until they clear my apartment.”
sorry, Mulder, but I just don’t think I can do that.” He could tell
it almost killed her to reject his request. “Mulder, I just started dating
again. There isn’t anyone serious but that doesn’t mean there won’t
about a slightly broken, soon to be divorced, paranoid, paranormal freak? Do
you think you could have a spot on your dance card open?”
away and he saw the tears forming, knowing she’d try not to let them fall. “Last
year you could have filled the entire card. You didn’t want me then, you
dated others and you found Shannon. Now that you see the mistake you made you
want me to open my arms and welcome you back?” Scully stood and walked
to the mantle. “It doesn’t work that way. I’m not going to be your consolation to go to when you think no one else wants you. Heal your wounds and boost your ego. Then, when you are whole
again you’ll go out and find someone else and leave me behind again. I
can’t let you do that to me. Shannon may have abused your body but you
abused my emotions. I can’t give you that power again. And don’t insult either of us by saying you didn’t know.
You always knew, you just didn’t feel the same. I accepted that
then, you accept this now. No, Mulder, you cannot stay with me, you cannot jump
back into my life and you can’t make me love you again. I can’t let
that happen.” Scully’s words were bold but her voice was almost a
seen Scully breakdown a few times before but those were nothing like this. Scully’s
spirit had been tested by Pfaster and Padgett but she persevered. This was different,
this was deeper. What Mulder was seeing was Scully’s broken soul and he
was the cause. He felt like a monster to have tainted such purity. Mulder’s only salvation was a reality that, only by living the hell that had become his life, he
at last was able to accept.
Scully’s tear covered face and gently wiped the wetness away. “Shhh,
Scully, I understand and I don’t resent it. I was wrong to ask.” He pulled her into a protective hug and rocked them soothingly.
It took several
long moments but Scully was able to bring her emotions back into line. Mulder
saw her mouth open to speak and he stilled her words with his thumb over her lips.
he began softly, “I deserve your derision, I knew how you felt about us but I didn’t treasure it for the gift
it was. I only ask that you allow me the benefit of trying to make up for my
I can’t, I,” Scully was unable to continue.
you’re afraid, you should be. I haven’t exactly earned your good
graces. But, you see, Scully, I know something you don’t.” Mulder pulled back slightly so he could look into her eyes. “I
saw hell, I lived in it and it wasn’t the abuse; it was not having you in my life.
That was hell. When Shannon accused me of having an affair with you she
was partly right. Not physically but emotionally I was tied to you. Even if everything hadn’t happened my marriage to Shannon was doomed because I was, I AM, in love
she whispered but he shook his head.
say anything now. Our emotions are too open, I’m going to go to Skinner’s
and wait for you to call me. Scully, I’ll take whatever you can give me.”
no more words exchanged before he left. Mulder’s wait began.
know what to do. Seeing Mulder brought back all the pleasure and pain her time
with him caused. Her tenure on the X-Files was the most frustrating, exhilarating,
maddening, invigorating, exasperating and most satisfying time of her life. She
knew that she would never experience anything that could remotely compare. She
also knew it had less to do with the assignment than it did with Fox Mulder.
He was the
Pied Piper, Sherlock Holmes, Svengali and the bad boy her Mom always warned her about in one man. Never before had she opened herself like she had with him. Never
before had she been so completely devastated by anything or anyone as when he left her for Shannon.
been the first woman to catch Mulder’s eye and end up in his bed. He never
knew that she knew but she always did; she knew how to read the signs. Strange
as it was, he would act overly nice to her; like a cheating husband.
Few of the
women had repeat performances and it happened infrequently. But, it did happen. She couldn’t help but wonder if she did let him back into her life would it
happen again? Why wouldn’t it? Mulder
was like a child in that respect; he was always good while he tried to get what he wanted and once he had it he reverted back.
though, he’d already experienced the consequences of his actions. But she
was scared; she never wanted to hurt like that again. Scully doubted she’d
survive it again.
Her head was
hurting and her stomach was complaining that she hadn’t eaten since that bagel she ate for breakfast. She went to heat up her forgotten dinner and one thought ran through her mind, ‘your life was complete
before all this happened.’
at Skinner’s, emotionally torn apart. “You had to have expected it,
Mulder. Scully lived and breathed the X-Files and you. Then you left her with nothing.” Skinner said this not
to hurt Mulder further but to make him face reality.
if I were honest with myself, it went better than I deserved. Seems I always
ran to Scully when things went wrong. And I don’t remember ever telling
her that I was sorry. I just expected that she forgave me and, surprisingly,
she always did.” The two men sat at the dining room table eating dinner. Neither seemed to know what to say so they didn’t speak.
the silence, “I got a message from the DA’s office. They have the
medical files from last night but I have to go down and give a statement tomorrow. They’re
supposed to issue a restraining order against her in case Shannon gets bail. Would
you go with me?”
besides, I need to give a statement too. Might as well do mine at the same time.” Skinner picked up his dishes and headed toward the kitchen. “Mulder, have you made any decisions?”
me out of your hair?” Mulder quipped, neither man laughed. “I talked to Scott, my attorney, and he said that since everything was in my name I can move back
to the loft. I’ll just have to arrange for Shannon to pick up her personal
items when I’m not there. I thought maybe I’d hire an off duty cop
to be there while she’s there. Scott thinks she might try something.”
you think they should petition for a restraining order to protect Scully?” Skinner
asked, concerned. He’d heard the things Shannon screamed at Mulder about
Scott about it and he was going to look into it.” Mulder put his plate
in the dishwasher. “I hate that loft, I never wanted it, but Shannon fell
in love with it.”
tells me you didn’t want to cross her.” Skinner leaned against the
counter. “When did it start?”
day of our Honeymoon, she slapped me. It wasn’t hard so I dismissed it. It escalated fast; I guess I didn’t want to see it.”
a lot of abused spouses do that. Then they think it’s their fault. Shannon found the perfect patsy in you on that scale.
You always blamed yourself even when you had no control over what happened.”
Mulder nodded. “Thinking about it, maybe that’s why she picked me. Maybe she saw that self flagellation tendency and decided to use it?”
I know this is not something you would normally do, but I want you to think of getting some counseling.” Mulder moved to protest but Skinner stopped him, “just think about it. You never know, it might help you with Scully.” Skinner
knew he’d used his trump card.
thought of that. I’ll think about it.”
rang and Skinner answered it. Mulder wasn’t listening so he was startled
when Skinner placed his hand on his shoulder. “Mulder, we have to get to
the hospital. Shannon made bail and she went after Scully tonight.”
Mulder couldn’t find the words to ask what he needed to know.
being treated for stab wounds. Mulder, Shannon is in critical condition.”
the ER and were greeted by a DC police Captain they both knew, Don Goldman. “Calm
down. Mulder, Shannon is in surgery, it doesn’t look good.”
in exam room one. Three stab wounds, none life threatening, but one was real
close and she lost a lot of blood. They’re keeping her overnight. I have to tell you, it scares me to think what could have happened if she hadn’t
been able to get to her gun.”
A doctor walked
out of the examination room and Skinner arranged for Mulder to go in. Mulder
opened the door and saw Scully sitting on a gurney. Her left forearm was bandaged
from elbow to wrist and there was a large bandage on her neck.
Mulder said and tried to smile. “Are you okay?”
be worse. Any news on Shannon?”
in surgery. Scully, what happened?”
minutes after you left there was a knock; I thought it was you so I just opened the door without checking. Shannon shoved me and I fell to the ground. She had a knife
and cut me three times before she knocked the table over and my gun fell next to my hand.” Scully’s breathing was coming in short pants. “Mulder,
you have to believe me, I didn’t have a choice, I had to shoot her. Shannon
was out of control. I’m so sorry, I’m sorry.”
I believe you. I know she would have killed me if Skinner hadn’t stopped
her and I know she would have killed you tonight.”
was insane, Mulder.”
The door opened
and Skinner and a nurse walked in. “Agent Mulder, Mrs. Mulder is out of
surgery, the doctor would like to speak with you.” The nurse told him.
at Scully then to Skinner. “Go, Mulder, I’ll stay with Dana.”
do you think, sir?” Scully asked while her eyes never strayed from the
closing door Mulder just walked through.
Mulder finally woke up and recognizes what he did to the two of you.” Skinner
removed his jacket and sat in the chair next to her. “Scully, he’s
lost without you. Mulder knows that now.
The question is, what are you going to do?”
just it, I have no idea. It terrifies me to think that, should I let him back
in and start relying on him and allowing myself to love him again, that he could do this to me all over again. I couldn’t do that twice.” Skinner was shaken
at her openness and candor. It must have shown on his face because she added,
“it isn’t like you didn’t know, it was only Mulder who was blind to it.”
Dana, he’s going to need you. If Shannon dies he’s going to carry
the guilt of wondering what he could have done and if she lives she will be prosecuted for her attack on him and this one
on you. Now you have some decisions to make and you need to seriously consider
what the impact will be on you. Mulder is my friend. We’ve gotten close since this ordeal started and we’ve had some sobering conversations. Mulder loves you, he didn’t know how much until it was too late. If you ask him he can’t even tell you why he did what he did, he knew he didn’t love her even
before they were married. He was fool enough to think that after he married her
you would stick by him like you always did. He was like a lost child when he
returned and found you gone. Confused, scared and angry but he didn’t know
who he was angry with, you for leaving, me for letting you leave or himself for causing you to leave. After a while he sorted it out and placed the blame where it belonged.”
she answered the unasked question. “That isn’t really a revelation,
he always blames himself.”
this time it was the right call.” Scully nodded accepting the truth of
her as she thought. “Having said all that, you have to put yourself first
this time. You always put Mulder’s needs ahead of your own but this time
you need to take the time to weigh all the factors before you decide how to proceed.”
Skinner moved from the chair to the side of the bed. “Dana, you
cannot let Mulder’s overwhelming needs make the decision for you, this time it has to be all about you.”
sounds selfish, sir.”
it about time you were a little selfish?” Skinner paused for a moment and
added, “Mulder has been.”
the doors opened, they were ready to transfer her to her room. Skinner left to
leave a message at the nurse’s station to let Mulder know where they’d taken Scully.
the doctor’s lips move but couldn’t understand what the woman was saying.
It was as if his brain forgot how to process English. All he knew was
that Shannon made it through surgery and she had a seventy percent chance to survive.
She was in recovery and he’d be able to see her once she was moved to a room.
See her? Did he want to see Shannon? Shannon tried
to kill him, she almost killed Scully. Why would he want to see her?
Mulder, did you hear what I said?” Someone was speaking so Mulder tried
to focus. It was the doctor. “I
told you that the police are posting a guard and securing the area where she will be.
Though to be honest, I can’t believe they think that she poses any threat in her condition.”
I understand. I need to get back. I’ll
check on Shannon later.” Mulder’s jumbled speech mirrored his jumbled
into Scully’s room to find her mother had joined Scully and Skinner. “They
told me this was where the party was happening.” He tried to joke but it
fell flat. “Mrs. Scully, it’s good to see you again.”
her voice was flat and emotionless. Her eyes took in his bandages; she looked
back to her daughter and understanding shown in her eyes.
how’s Shannon, what did the doctor say?” Scully asked him. That was typical Scully, worried about the person who almost killed her.
made it through surgery. Her doctor gave her a seventy percent recovery rate. She’s in recovery but they’re going to move her into a secured area later.” Mulder stopped and took a ragged breath. “She
said I could see her later. Scully, I, I don’t know if…”
go with you, Mulder, we’ll see her together.” Scully said with conviction.
didn’t, besides, I want to see for myself how much damage I caused.” She
if anyone caused this it was Shannon. You did nothing wrong.”
assessed the situation and decided they needed some time together; it was like old times.
“Mr. Skinner, could I interest you in some coffee?”
them leave then sat on the side of Scully’s bed. “I don’t know
what to do.”
don’t have to decide anything right now. You might not have to decide anything
later. The prosecutor called Skinner and told them that this is not the first
incident Shannon has been involved in.”
are you saying, Scully?”
they looked into her background and she has a juvenile record.”
can’t be, Scully, how did she get into the FBI?”
Shannon and her mother assumed false identities when Shannon was twelve. Their
real names are Aris and Sandra Draper. Aris Draper is wanted in connection to
the brutal beating murder of husband Kenneth Draper. Skinner has already contacted
the authorities and has someone looking into how Shannon got into the FBI.”
shaken by this information. “You said there was a juvenile record…”
attacked one of her high school teachers because she was tutoring Shannon’s boyfriend.
The teacher was crippled during the attack and lost an eye. Shannon was
fourteen at the time and was sent to juvenile lock-up until her twenty-first birthday.”
God, Scully, my Scully,” he leaned down and lay his head on her bosom and continued to chant her name. Mulder felt her take a sharp breath and knew there was more. “What haven’t you told me?”
I don’t know how to tell you.” Mulder sat back and watched the emotions
play on her face.
Mrs. Scully returned at that moment and it was Skinner who answered Mulder. “There
is evidence that Shannon was married before. Mulder, he’s still alive and
there was no divorce. They faxed him a photo and it looks like his wife. He’s coming in from Ohio to identify her.
She beat him too and she left him for dead when she ran out. He only survived
because a neighbor saw Shannon drive away in a hurry.”
later it was Scully’s first day back on the X-Files. Skinner pulled in some favors and arranged
to have her transferred.
in between were filled with turmoil, heartache and a lot of pain. Mulder began
therapy and three months in he convinced Scully to start spending time together. She
was understandably cautious but their relationship was beginning to mend. His
psychiatrist had her join in on several sessions.
some long, hard thinking about Mulder, the X-Files and what they meant to her. She determined
that, everything considered, her life was better with Mulder in it, besides, she couldn’t deny that she loved him and
there was nothing she could do about that.
to have her transferred a week after the incident with Shannon but Scully said no. She
wanted to wait until she knew how things were going to work out. Mulder was disappointed
but, considering how he’d acted, he was just happy she didn’t kick him out on his ass.
in prosecutorial hell. She had charges longer than her arm in two states. Because of her, the screening practices at the FBI were overhauled and several employees
were demoted and a few were fired.
out that Shannon was indeed still legally married and her marriage to Mulder was voided.
into the office and Scully was already working. He greeted her with a kiss which,
he was happy to say, had become part of their normal greeting.
you this weekend,” he told her. “But I got almost all of the packing
finished. The realtor says he should be able to sell that mausoleum fast. Now I have to find a place to live.”
great, Mulder. I’ll help you look,” Scully told him.
I almost forgot.” Mulder pulled out an envelope from his inside jacket
pocket and handed it to her. It was a card addressed to her in beautiful script. “I found this while I was cleaning.”
to laugh. “The missing invitation.”
ahead open it, Scully.”
pulled the delicate invitation from the envelope. “It’s beautiful,
Mulder.” Her voice broke a little over the reminded of the pain the event
closer and said lowly, “read it, Scully.”
invite you to the marriage of Fox William Mulder to Dana Katherine Scully on _____, Day of ______.”
up into his face. Mulder answered her unasked question, “just fill in the
day and month, Scully.”
started in her eyes and her whole face lit up. She took the card and wrote on
it then handed it to him. “Perfect, sixth of March.”