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Last Ditch Effort

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Title: Last Ditch Effort

Author: Sara B.

E-mail: sabo727@tampabay.rr.com

URL: http://sabo727.tripod.com/

Rating: Major BAD language – young ones close your eyes

Category: Mulder/Angst, Scully/Angst, S/Other, M/Other (nothing really specific), MSR

Spoilers: Season Six and En Ami

Summary: Mulder finds out how choices can really screw you up.  Can the future help correct the past?

Feedback:  Gimme – Gimme – Gimme!

Archive: I would be honored, just let me know.

Disclaimer:  The recognized characters are used Without Prejudice and are the property of C. Carter, Fox and the wonderful actors who breathed life into written words, most notably G. Anderson and D. Duchovny who were able to make us believe in the improbable.  No Infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.  The story and before unknown characters belongs to me.

Gratitude: To Kim Knight, you are the best, thank you.  To Twilight for your wonderful insight in helping me find the right ending. To my Dennis, enough said.  To CC and Company, who created the X-Files.  Lastly, but my no means least, to the readers, you make this hobby of mine have meaning.

Author’s Notes:  This story started out as something completely different but it took a detour and this is how it came out. 

 

Last Ditch Effort

Sara B. 11/06

 

Scully sat on the curb looking down the road.  The daylight was fading as twilight moved in and soon night would reign.  She glanced at her watch and saw that she’d been here for four hours, not including the three hours before that when Mulder was here.  They were investigating the latest crime scene and Mulder said something that triggered a thought and he was off; taking their car and the local agent assigned to work with them, the comely Agent Marcia Dell.  Agent Dell was young, beautiful and didn’t try to hide her worship of Fox Mulder. 

~

 

Mulder had acted like an unmitigated jerk since they arrived, treating her like some lackey who was only there to carry out the great man’s wishes.  It started the moment he laid eyes on the wide eyed walking fantasy named Marcia Dell.

There was a reason Marcia Dell had never run her own investigations; her brain was the only thing on the woman not over developed.  One might ask how a woman with so few capabilities made it to be an FBI agent.  Well, there is only one way, yep; Daddy plays golf with the director.  Luckily even sex appeal has limits or the brainless wonder would be an AD.  Though, Mulder didn’t seem to have a problem with her lack of IQ points.  Scully learned from the other agents that Dell was in the class after hers and since her graduation she’d been shuffled to eight different field offices.  More offices than years of service, that was not a record any agent wanted to wrack up but Dell seemed strangely proud of it.   

Scully wanted to call Mulder but her phone was sitting on the back seat of their rental car where Agent Dell left it after borrowing it to cancel her nail appointment.  That was the same car she watched them drive off in hours earlier leaving her, Scully, stranded at the crime scene.  She didn’t know if she was more angry, hurt or just plain disgusted.  At this moment the only thing she did know was that this was the last time.  She would see Skinner when they returned to DC and Mulder could have the X-Files all to himself again and he could screw any number of young dunderheads while on cases.  She worked too hard to get where she was to only be thought of as an inconvenient sidekick;  the one to do the work that supports Mulder’s crazy theories, and to be not trusted when she couldn’t.

It was time to go, she’d been waiting for Mulder for too damned long.  She shook her head sadly when she realized the double meaning of that thought.  Scully stood and dusted off her icy backside, she had at least a ten mile hike back to the motel and, lucky her, she got to do it in three inch heels.  She started making her way slowly; she just didn’t have enough energy to move quickly.  She wasn’t afraid because she was a trained agent and she had her weapon if anything were to happen.  If she had any good luck she’d run into a taxi or at least a working pay phone. 

Who was she kidding?  She had no chance in hell.

~

 

Scully walked across the motel parking lot and saw the rental car in front of Mulder’s room.  The light filtered through the curtains so she knew he was there.  Entering her room, her ears were assaulted with laughter coming through the connecting door.  She recognized Agent Dell’s voice mingled with Mulder’s.  Peeking into his room, through the connecting door she saw them casually sitting on his bed, shoes off and jackets removed; very cozy.  The remnants of a pizza sat between them which reminded her she hadn’t eaten in over fourteen hours.

“Oh, this is great, just fucking great!  You inconsiderate Son of a Bitch!”  Scully slammed her side of the door closed as Mulder called after her but she didn’t care.  “Leaving me there so he could wow the latest twit with his brilliance.  I sat there knowing my partner would come back for me, he wouldn’t just leave me stranded; but once again he proved how wrong I was to trust him.  I walked over ten fucking miles because that asshole was too busy having dinner with Agent Dell.”  She threw a shoe at the connecting door with all her strength and it left a mark.  Then she threw the other one which dented the surface.  “Couldn’t even call a cab because that slut didn’t give me my phone back, like that was a mistake you manipulative bitch!”  She walked close to the door and she heard two sets of ragged breaths on the other side.  “And don’t think for one minute I’m not reporting your un-professionalism because I am!  Slut and whoremonger that is all you are!”

Scully stunned herself with the vehemence of her outburst.  This was totally out of character but, she admitted to herself, it felt damned good and Mulder more than deserved it; this type of activity had been going on too long and it was only getting worse.  She opened her laptop and started typing a report to Skinner.  She was copying Mulder, Agent Booby, sorry, Dell and Dell’s boss, AD Michelson.

A few minutes later she heard Mulder’s light knock on the connecting door.  “Scully, I need to apologize.  I’m sorry I stranded you.”

“Not as sorry as you are going to be you sanctimonious piece of shit!  I just e-mailed Skinner and Michelson my account of the day’s activities.  You and that clueless blunder-head better get your stories straight.”  Scully heard scratches at the door and realized he was trying to jimmy the lock so she put a chair under the handle and then secured the outer door, which Mulder reached just after she’d thrown the deadbolt and chain.  He looked at her through the window and she flipped him the bird before closing the curtains. 

Mulder yelled through the door, “I’m taking Marcia, I mean, Agent Dell to her car then we’ll talk when I get back.”  Mulder’s voice was all conciliatory.  ‘Too little too late, Dipwad,’ she thought viciously.

“Like hell we will,” she replied quietly.  Scully picked up the phone and called the motel’s office and requested a different room.  Luckily they’d only checked in that morning so she didn’t have to pack. 

Twenty minutes later she was firmly ensconced in her new room and she was happily paying the delivery man for her pizza and soda.  She quickly closed the door when she saw Mulder returning.  The office was under strict orders not to divulge her new room number to anyone, particularly Agent Fox Mulder or Agent Marcia Dell.

Scully put her pizza on the table then sat down and peeled off her socks from her blistered feet.  She examined the wounds and knew that there was no way she’d be able to get regular shoes on her feet the next day.  That was when everything that had gone on came crashing down on her and she began to sob.

~

 

Mulder knocked on Scully’s door and got no answer, not that he expected one.  Then he went into his room and noticed the message light on his phone was blinking.  He called the office for his messages and there were four.  The first one was from Scully informing him that she’d moved rooms and don’t bother to try and find her.  The second was from Marcia telling him that her AD had her removed from the case because of her conduct and there was talk on censuring her and most likely reassignment. The third was from AD Michelson saying exactly what Marcia told him and that he was forwarding a report to Mulder’s AD.  The last was from Skinner, informing him that Scully had requested to be removed from the case and had asked for a meeting to discuss reassignment options upon her return to DC.  “You had better fix this cluster fuck, Mulder.  You lose Scully you lose the X-Files.” 

Mulder’s blood ran cold – reassignment, Scully wanted to leave him?  After everything they’d been through this was the straw that broke her reserve?  It didn’t seem possible.  He had to find her.  

Mulder threatened the desk clerk, telling him he was impeding an official investigation.  “She told me you’d say that, that one knows you pretty well.”  Mulder pulled out his wallet and placed five crisp twenties on the counter.  “Room 215.”

“Key,” Mulder held out his hand and the clerk placed the duplicate key in it without a word.

‘Never fails,’ Mulder thought, ‘bullshit walks and money talks.’

Mulder silently opened the door and listened.  The shower was running so he moved to the room.  He saw her shoes in the middle of the floor.  The insides were stained with blood.  ‘Not surprising since she had to walk nearly ten miles because you are an asshole.’  “What the hell is wrong with me?” Mulder asked quietly.

“I’ll tell you what’s wrong with you.  You are a self centered egomaniacal jackass who is about to lose the only person who loves you and is capable of standing by you.”

It took a moment for Mulder to realize it wasn’t his or Scully’s voice.  He turned to see an old man dressed in a dark, ratty suit standing just inside the doorway.  “Who the hell are you?”  Mulder demanded.  There was something in the man’s withered face that was slightly familiar but Mulder couldn’t place it.  It was something about his eyes.

“I’m the one whose going to decide if you get to fix this problem or not.”

Mulder realized the shower sounds stopped and a minute later a towel clad Scully emerged.  He was ready for her to scream at him but it didn’t happen.  She couldn’t have missed the two of them standing right in front of her. 

He turned to the other man, “I’ve moved us from her dimension so she cannot see us.  I think you need to see the havoc you’ve caused.  See how she walks; she has blisters and open sores on her feet.”

Mulder watched as Scully tenderly tried to walk only on her toes.  She pulled ointment from her case and bandages.

Her cell phone rang and she checked the caller-id.  “I think I’d like to hear both sides of this conversation.”

“Scully,” she answered.

“Agent Scully, I’ve begun processing on your requests.  You wanted to take a month off, is that correct?

“Yes, sir, one month.”

“Fine, now about the reassignment, are you sure?  Dana, after everything you and Mulder have been through are you really sure this is the one to break the partnership?”

“Sir, this has been coming since, well, since my remission.  And his actions since I went with Cancerman, well, he’s punishing me for doing what he would have done in less than a heartbeat.  At least I tried to contact him.  I at least told people I was going away.”  The sorrow Mulder heard as she spoke broke the anger he hadn’t even known he’d been harboring.

Mulder gasped and the scene froze.  “She’s been feeling like this a long time, Agent Mulder.  When she told you about her illness you acted like it hardly mattered to you.  When she was in remission you celebrated by opening another X-File on her.  You made her feel like a lab rat.  Your actions for the last two years have hardly been, shall we say, reasonable?

“What did you think, Agent Mulder?  That this was just about Agent Dell and your adolescent behavior?  Walking around with your tongue hanging out and your dick waving hello to that bimbo.  What about that last case, Agent Sullivan and the one before, that Officer Brenda Blending?  Let’s go back a little further, what about your ex-wife and how you made it quite obvious that you trusted and preferred her until you were able to read her mind and you found out what a duplicitous hag she really was.  I could continue if you’d like me to.” 

The scene before them began to move forward.  Mulder held up his hand as he watched Scully examine her feet.  He watched her reach for the phone.  She dialed information and asked about a clinic or hospital.  Then she called a cab company.

“What is she doing?”

“She’s determined the sores are too serious for her to handle on her own.  Normally she’d ask you for help but I’m sure you can understand her reluctance to do that.”  Mulder’s head hung.  “Oh, you might like to know that the following scenario is what might happen if I decide you shouldn’t be allowed to fix your problem.  Believe me, Agent Mulder, you will not like it at all.”

“Why, what happens?”  Suddenly Mulder panicked, “Scully is alright, isn’t she?”

“Oh, yes, she is definitely alright.  Watch, Agent Mulder, just watch.”

Scully quickly dressed and put on her slippers because none of her shoes would work.  She heard the taxi and went out with Mulder and the apparition man following.

“We’ll just head over to her final destination, shall we?”  The man asked and Mulder pulled out the car keys.  “No need for those.”  The scene changed and Mulder recognized that he was in the waiting room of an ER.  The man pointed toward the door as Scully was being wheeled in, under protest, but the old cabbie was not going to let her walk on those sores.  After filling out the paperwork she was wheeled to an exam room and a few minutes later a tall striking man walked in and introduced himself as Dr. Gary Masters.  There was no mistaking the interest the young doctor had in Scully and even though she was reluctant she was obviously interested. 

“Lovely couple, don’t you think?”

Mulder’s head swung toward his guide, his alarm and disbelief etched on his face.  “She won’t, will she?  I mean she won’t leave me for him, will she?”

“Agent Mulder, shall we skip forward a little?  Say three years.”

Mulder found him looking at himself sitting in a restaurant.  He recognized the décor as a place Scully had taken him to celebrate his birthday the first year they were partnered.  He remembered he’d acted less than gracious and, geez, did he really leave her there when he got a lead during dinner?  Yeah, he did.

As if reading his mind the man said, “your inconsideration is probably the most constant part of your partnership.  Watch, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss anything.”

His double was sitting at the table with a very beautiful yet somehow lacking woman but his attention was elsewhere.  At the far side of the room Scully was sitting with Dr. Masters.  She looked beautiful and his insides felt like J-ello.  She moved her left hand and the light caught something causing a glint.  She was wearing a diamond solitaire, an engagement ring.

“She’s getting married?  She’s going to marry him?”

“He never held back his attraction.  He didn’t punish her and he didn’t chase lose morals all around the country.  Gary accepted her as she is.  He encouraged her and last month he asked her to marry him.”

Mulder watched his alter ego excuse himself from his date and walk to the couple.  Mulder was unprepared for the cool reception they gave him.  The man moved them closer so they could hear the conversation.

“Scully, you look wonderful, Dr. Masters it’s good to see you again.”

“Mulder,” was all Scully said.

Masters stood, “Dana, excuse us for a moment.  Agent Mulder,” he pointed his hand toward the hallway leading to the restrooms and the duo walked, followed by Mulder and the man.

“This should be fine,” Masters said as he stopped them.  “Agent Mulder, I know we live in the same city but would you please keep yourself from Dana?  She doesn’t appreciate the late night phone calls or you stopping by and she sure as hell doesn’t appreciate you waltzing up like you did tonight.  You made your decision and tossed her aside.  And that was lucky for me, because as much as she loved you for all those years, she loves me now.  We are getting married and I don’t care how much she protests, if you keep bothering her I will have a restraining order against you.  Now, go back to your slut-du-jour and leave us the hell alone.”  Masters walked away, leaving two stunned Mulders and an apparition who found the whole thing very funny.

Mulder’s double returned to his table and the woman who was quite vexed.  She started to speak but she could tell Mulder was not listening.  She stood up and left him there.

“Agent Mulder, once Scully was reassigned you increased your indiscriminate dating.  They were all sorry replacements for the woman you wanted.  The thing is, she no longer wanted you.  She was yours for the asking until the night she met Dr. Gary Masters, who moved to DC a month later and looked her up.  He spoiled her with attention and love, something she’d been starved for.”

Mulder didn’t know what to think when the scene changed again.  He saw himself at another table with another woman sitting across from him.  His double was much older and his clothes were sorry need of cleaning.  This place was not nearly as upscale as the last place and the woman was cheap and hard looking and obviously made her living in the sex trade.  Mulder concentrated on his double.  Deep lines etched his face and his eyes were rheumy and reminded Mulder of his father’s eyes.  “I’ve turned into a drunk?”  It wasn’t really a question.

“You didn’t see much reason after Scully was gone.  By the way, would you like to see how she’s doing?”

Mulder nodded and then found them standing in a nice kitchen.  A much older but still beautiful Scully walked in carrying some groceries as a large dog followed her closely.

“Hey, Chunk, we both know I don’t drop food like Daddy did.”

“Agent Mulder, she was recently widowed.  Dr. Masters loved and cherished her until the day he died and she returned every bit.  You have not seen each other since the day you stood outside the church on her wedding day.”

~

 

Mulder couldn’t stop the tears from flowing and the man seemed to take pity on him.  “Agent Mulder, this is only one possibility.  It is within your grasp to change things, if you are willing.”

“Please, I’ll do what I have to.  I can’t lose her.”

“I will take you back to the place where your paths became irrevocably broken.  You have to understand you will not remember any of this in your conscious mind but your sub-conscious will retain it.  You will have no guidance because this must be your choice.  If you choose wrong again you will not have another chance.  Are you willing to try?”

“Please, anything.  Where do we start?”

Mulder found himself standing inside a conference room and he heard Diana Fowley confirm that he’d seen something on the film of Gibson Praise and the Russian chess player.  “This is where you get to change your choices, Agent Mulder.  Choose well.”

The old man watched on as Mulder stood in front of Diana and Scully.  He was telling Diana to set up the tests for Gibson Praise.  There was something nagging at him.  He could tell that Scully suspected that there was something between Diana and him.  Mulder’s first inclination was to not tell Scully anything about his past with Diana, it really wasn’t her business.  But, then he thought, ‘what about my life is not Scully’s business?’  He decided to tell Scully everything the first time they were alone.

Scully just finished showing Mulder the information she’d uncovered regarding Gibson Praise and the God module.  They were going to arrange a meeting to present the findings to the task force. 

“Scully, hold on a minute, I need to tell you something.”

“What is it, Mulder,” he didn’t miss her aloofness.  Maybe it was a good thing he’d decided to tell her.

“Scully, I know you could tell that there was more going on than what was on the surface.  That Diana Fowley and I knew each other before.”

“Yes, Mulder, she also confirmed it when I confronted her.  She said it was a long time ago.”

This startled Mulder, “did she?  Well, I think you need to know that Diana was there when I found the X-Files.  We were partners.”  Mulder searched her face, she didn’t seem surprised.

“But there’s more.  What I have to tell you now is not in any FBI file and not even the Gunmen know about it.  Diana and I were married.”  This did surprise her and she stepped back.  “It didn’t last long and we didn’t notify anyone: family, friends or even the FBI.  Maybe we should have taken that as a clue that it wasn’t destined to last.”  He gave her a self conscious look and saw that her features had softened.  “The final divorce papers came through before she headed for Europe.”

A worried Mulder watched her for a moment then she smiled.  “Thank you, Mulder.  Thank you for trusting me enough to tell me something so personal.”

“Always, Scully, I’ll always trust you, only you.

The old man smiled, he hoped it would be enough.  ‘God, please let this be enough, please.’  He silently plead to a God he used to deny.

~

 

Fox Mulder looked intensely at his withered image in the mirror.  He tried to see if he could discern any changes in his features.  Had his efforts been enough?  Was he redeemed or was he still damned to his squandered, lonely life?  Sadly, he saw no changes staring back at him.

Suddenly the air around him grew misty and everything disappeared from view.  When it began to clear, the room was changed.  The dark, dingy bathroom had transformed into a warm, well lit, inviting room.

He looked to some movement near the doorway and saw a form taking shape.  The form solidified and his heart began beating for the first time in thirty years.   

“Mulder,” Scully said, “you look like you’ve seen a ghost.  What’s wrong?”

He grabbed her and kissed her with the passion of the ages.  While they kissed, his memories filled with his lifetime with Scully.  “Scully, you’re here!”

“Where else would I be on our anniversary?”  She teased and wiped a tear from his cheek.  “Mulder, love, what’s wrong?”

“I’m just so happy, Scully.  I’m so glad you’re here.”  Mulder pulled a confused but delighted Scully into a tight hug and his eyes rose to the heavens.  ‘Thank you for giving me another chance.’  His gaze landed on his visage in the mirror.  Gone was the unrecognizable cragged old man and in his place was the older and wiser, but very much recognizable, Fox Mulder.

He tightened his hold on Scully, he would never let her go again; she made all the difference.

 

End

 

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