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Title: Trusting

Author: Sara B.


Feedback: Greatly appreciated including constructive criticisms  Disclaimer: The characters in this story belong to C. Carter and Co., Fox and the wonderful actors who breathed life into written words, most notably G. Anderson and D. Duchovny who where able make us believe in the improbable.  The story belongs to me.

Spoilers: Mainly One Son, The End, The Beginning, Arcadia and smaller ones for Tooms, Syzygy and some other smaller references not worthy of note.

Category: Angst

Rating: Over 13

Summary: Scully gets her say and Mulder actually listens.

Archive: If you want it please drop me a line to let me know.  Thanks.

Gratitude: To Kim Knight, the first to let me beta and gave me courage to let someone read my stories, my husband Dennis, who sees me through life and all its challenges and lastly to the readers.

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Kim Knight.  Originally I wrote the one story with no intention of continuing.  Kim would have none of it, she wanted a more substantial conclusion and I hope I gave it to her.  Kim, thank you for all you have done and your friendship.  Happy Birthday (11/13) this is for you.  Only you and I know its worth.

                Author Notes: I have always felt cheated that Mulder treats Scully like crap and never gets anything back. I have a little obsession over the Diana thing - particularly during One Son.  I have sought out stories on this one Episode. Most, though wonderfully written, leave me wanting when Scully forgives so easily and in many cases ends up in bed with Mulder. Sorry,  and maybe I’m just one of those that holds a grudge too long,  but it just doesn’t feel right to me. So this is my take.

Trusting Part One: A Truth He Didn’t Want to Know

Sara B. November 2004


It had been a tiring day and both agents were happy to be back to the little rundown motel they were booked into. It was old, but well looked after by the young couple who had just sunk their savings into the place and it was in the process of coming back to life.


Mulder heard Scully’s water running and determined that she was going to take one of her baths. One of the few luxuries she allowed herself to indulge in. He decided he’d give her an hour, then they would go get dinner.


When he heard her moving around, he gave her ten more minutes to get dressed. He laughed at the fact he knew just how long she needed to get ready. He walked to the connecting door and pushed at it only to find her side locked. Not since the beginning of their partnership had either of them locked that door.


He heard her front door close and lock and he looked out to see her walking toward the small playground across from the motel. Her steps were hesitant and her shoulders uncharacteristically bowed forward and for the first time since Mulder had known Scully, she looked small.


He couldn’t stop watching her. She climbed the ladder of the slide and went down then she moved to the swings. Instead of swinging she started to twirl, twisting the chains then pulled her feet up and they unraveled, throwing her to and fro. He watched as a sad smile curled the edges of her mouth.


How long had it been since he’d seen her smile? Mulder honestly couldn’t recall but he suspected it was before Gibson Praise, before Diana came back. Could that much time have gone by and he hadn’t even realized it? This single thought lead him to others  and each one hurt a little more than the last. It finally dawned on him that they hadn’t shared in a long time.


No sharing of ideas outside of work, no sharing of thoughts, no sharing of meals when not working and definitely no sharing of themselves. They’d done things together but they hadn’t shared.


Mulder knew that Scully was still bothered by the events that led up to their getting the X-Files back and he’d respected it. Well that is after he made a pain in the ass of himself on that case in California.  He couldn’t stop touching her and each time she backed away he touched her more. He really wanted to kiss her when she left with Cammi to walk the dog. Sadly not because it was her but because he wanted to see her reaction, to torment her.


On the flight back to D.C. he’d confronted her about her reactions on the case. “Scully every time I touched you, you pulled away or tensed up if you couldn’t pull away.”


Her reply had been simple but he hadn’t understood it, until now. All she said was  “because you were acting that way for the wrong reasons Mulder.” He thought she meant he was acting his part as Rob but now he understood that she was saying he’d been doing it first to break the ice and having failed that he’d wanted to annoy her. To get her to react. Scully really did understand him more than he did himself. They didn’t speak much after that. No, that wasn’t right they spoke but they didn’t ‘talk.’ At least not the way he was used to. Almost from the beginning they’d been able to finish the other’s sentences.  When one felt like a certain food for dinner the other often had the same craving. Now when one wanted pizza the other wanted spaghetti.  Close but not quite on target.


Then there were the silences. Silence was not something new to them, they always understood the potential of silence and never felt compelled to talk just for the noise. Now the silences were riddled with tension and on more than one occasion Mulder found himself babbling just to fill the void.


Mulder didn’t know when he’d left his room but he found himself walking toward the playground, toward Scully. She turned toward him as he approached, her face registered hurt, anger and surprisingly fear. They both knew the air needed to be cleared but neither were ready for it, but would they ever? “We need to talk Scully.”


“We talk all the time Mulder, what we need is a conversation.  And for that to happen we must BOTH be willing to talk and  listen. If either of us doesn’t agree to that then you may as  well turn around.” Her voice was filled with neither anger nor  pain but had remained flat, actually devoid of any emotion.


“You’re right Scully, where do we start?”


“Why don’t you start?  Tell me what you are thinking about our situation.”


 “I think we’ve both hurt and been hurt by the other and  nothing has been right with us since we got the X-Files back.” He could tell she wanted to say something, and had even opened  her mouth then thought better of it and urged him to continue with a wave of her hand. “I think we both feel the other has in some way betrayed us and we don’t seem to be moving beyond that. Neither of us wants to be the first to give in. That isn’t to say that we haven’t continued to work well together. We do that dance very well, but we both know that we have never been just partners.” He saw a question in her eye “go ahead and ask me whatever it is you question about what I just said.”


“This is your time Mulder” she started but he shook his head.


“This is conversing if you have a question ask it, please.”


“Ok, I was wondering how you see us? You said we weren’t just partners so how do you describe us?”


“We are each others best friends and confidants. We know so much about each other that we could take any couples test and pass it with flying colors. Yet we keep our emotions hidden from the other. I guess I don’t really have a way to describe us.  We are more that friends and partners yet less than a couple what do you call it Scully?”


Another small sad smile crossed her face “stupid?” She offered and he could only nod in agreement.


“Do you want to be a couple Scully?” Mulder’s breath caught in his lungs.


“A short time ago I would have been able to answer that with a yes but after all we have gone through I can’t say that anymore.”


Mulder was truly taken back with her answer “Scully” he paused.  He honestly didn’t know what to say. She saw the hurt and confusion in his eyes and answered the question he didn’t know how to ask.


“Mulder, I have been attracted to and repelled by you so many times in our years together. But I knew from the night of that stakeout during the Tooms case that you would never see me as anything more than a friend.” Mulder started to say something but stopped knowing that if he interrupted she would never continue and he needed this insight. “That night you told me that you made everyone call you ‘Mulder.’  You lied to me. Many times you let people, women mostly by the way, call you Fox and you never once winced.  Have you noticed I’ve never attempted it again?” Mulder’s head went down.


“Then came the Mulder babes” his head snapped up again and she had to chuckle. “They were all basically the same tall, 5’8” or 9”, dark hair, though that Detective White on that one case was a bottle blond, and, to you’re credit, they are all smart. I only qualify for smart, I knew I never had a chance.”


“We can’t forget all those ditches, you just never trusted me enough to tell me where you were going or even leave me a clue. No, all those times I showed up after you ran off half cocked I had to fight to find you.  I hope you never know how I debased myself for you.” Her voice started to rise and she took several cleansing breaths before continuing.


“I guess the final kicker has been this whole issue of Agent Fowley.”


“Scully” Mulder interrupted, his tone warning her.


Scully laughed “you see?  Even after all this you won’t talk about her. And that is just fine, but if that is what you choose then this discussion is over and,” her eyes turned as icy as he’d ever seen and her voice got cold “it will NEVER be discussed again. Do you understand?” Mulder could only nod.  Her’s was not a threat to be taken lightly.  “Fine, as I was saying you have betrayed everything we have ever been to each other because of Agent Fowley. You not only deferred to her but you sided with her against me.  When I asked you to listen to the facts about her stay in Europe you refused to even hear.  You will never know how it felt.  Later that night when, after everything, you told me you were with her and you were going to take me too.  Dragging me along like some favored pet. I was humiliated, did you really think  I would allow myself to be treated like that?” Tears were streaming down her face and she could not tamper the disgust in her voice.


“Do you remember telling me later how Spender came to her apartment and told you all those things? How he told you to save her and yourself? Then you told me you waited for her to come home and after she did you let her pack and then, only then, you called me.  While you were leaving. One question Mulder, what time span are we talking about? Thirty minutes? More? And in all that time you never thought to call good old Scully. What if you hadn’t been able to reach me? Would you have just gone anyway? Face it Mulder I was an afterthought.” Scully no longer looked at him.


Mulder had never seen it that way. He started toward her with his arms open but she moved away and sat on the seesaw. Mulder got on the other side, they couldn’t actually seesaw but he understood she was using it for distance. “I will never understand how you could or would throw away our six years together for anyone but you did.” Scully suddenly looked directly at him, “I need to ask you a question and I want an honest answer.”


Hurt that she openly implied he might lie to her.  “Go ahead Scully.”


“Did you ever read the report she turned in regarding the Nuclear Power Plant incident?”


This was not the question Mulder had expected.  “No, I never bothered, why?” Not understanding where she was going with this.


“In it she never stated that she sought you out to go with her.” Her face took on that look she got when something bothered her “I always wondered how she knew where we were. We paid cash for the motel and car and used aliases so there wasn’t a paper trail. Do you know how she found you?” Mulder’s head snapped he’d never thought about it before. “I see you don’t know either.” He shook his head ‘no’. “One more thing you may want to consider. Why did Spender leave you with instructions to go to El Rico but told his son to meet him at the train yard?” She could see he wasn’t following her logic so she explained. “You said he told you he was at Diana’s to give his son, Jeffrey, the message to go to El Rico. But when I spoke to Jeffrey he told me his father told him to go to the train. Mulder, IF the message he gave you was for Jeffrey why, when he spoke to his son, did he not give him THAT message? And  how did he know we knew he was Jeffrey Spender‘s father?” The light was starting to show in Mulder’s eyes. The only logical explanation was that the El Rico message had been for Diana all along. He also remembered how she had not seemed surprised when he told her that Spender had been there. She never even asked who Spender was. 


Scully blew out the breath she hadn’t even realized she’d been holding. From his face she could tell that Mulder was starting to really think about everything that had transpired. Maybe for the first time.  “We both know all the ugly details of this last year and I don’t see the need to rehash them any more unless you have something?” Mulder remained quiet. “So that brings me to the question I have been fighting with.” Scully looked straight ahead and said quietly “It still comes down to a matter of trust Mulder. It always has and it always will.”


“Scully, you have to believe me when I tell you that I trust you completely.”


“Ah! But Mulder, THAT is not my question.” She saw confusion clearly written on his face “I have not been questioning whether you trust me” her head was shaking at his arrogance “I have been asking myself if I trust YOU.” Scully got off the seesaw and walked back to her room knowing she finally got his attention.


END Trusting Part One


Trusting Part Two: Facing Facts


Mulder could only stare after her retreating form.  Her words ran around his brain, stinging his ears.  Scully didn’t know if she could trust him?  That was a possibility he’d never explored, not having Scully’s complete trust. Losing Scully’s trust was tantamount to losing Scully and that was tied with the loss of Samantha for its devastation.  That was saying a lot for a man whose life was littered with losses.


Mulder walked toward Scully’s door and knocked.  He didn’t know what he would do if she refused to answer but she saved him from figuring that out when she opened the door.  Scully stood in the center of the doorway looking past him.  She was neither dismissing him nor inviting him to enter. 


“May I come in?  I think we need to talk about this.”  She simply nodded and walked back into the room and Mulder followed. 


In better times they both would have sat on the bed, comfortable with each other’s presence.  Even when they argued bitterly, they always sat within an arms length.  He supposed it was indicative of how far they were separated when she purposely sat on the room’s lone chair, leaving the bed for him.


Neither spoke, Mulder watching Scully and Scully looking at everything except Mulder.  Several long and tense moments passed when Scully gave a heavy sigh.


 “Did you really mean what you said or were you just trying to get my attention?”  Mulder asked.


“When have I ever said something I didn’t mean?  And, if I were trying to get your attention I would have just used the tried and true method that works so well.  I would simply agree with everything you say.”  Her words and tone were bitter evidence of her wounds.  


“You think that’s what I want?”  Incredulity heavy in his voice.


“That, is what I’ve seen you respond to.  In light of recent events and your actions prove me right.”  She looked at him for the first time watching him and gauging his reaction to her words.  Her face remained emotionless, as if cast in stone.  This was a Scully he barely knew.  The one nicknamed “Ice Queen,” who only came out for others, never to him.  Never before to him, he amended the thought.   


“You think Diana manipulates me?”


“I told you what I think of Agent Fowley.  But that isn’t the issue here.”  She paused waiting for his interruption, continuing only when it didn’t happen.  “The issue is that you dismissed my concerns without considering the evidence or even listening to what I said, but the subject is inconsequential.  I didn’t expect you to just write her off, but I did expect you to respect my judgement.”


 She’d said those words to him before, only then it was a request.  Mulder replayed the month’s old conversation in his head.  ‘Are you asking me to choose?’, ‘I’m asking you to respect my judgment . . .’  He still didn’t know what he would have said if she had pushed him to choose.


“Mulder,” she stood and walked to the window and stared out for a moment, her arms were across her mid section as if protecting herself.  She took a deep breath and continued.  “Mulder I trusted you right from the moment we met.  You never had to prove yourself to me.  I knew” she repeated herself for impact.  “I knew you would be there for me.  That you would back me up.  It didn’t matter that we approached things from the opposite perspective we always met in the middle.  You were my partner and that was enough.”  She gave him a quick glance before continuing. “I understood that you needed more so I worked hard to gain your trust.  I compromised many things to support you and the work.  The only thing I would never compromise for you was my credibility because without that I would be of no use to you or the work.  To gain acceptance the work must remain unimpeachable.” 


The sun was setting and she took a moment to watch the sky.  Mulder walked over to her.  He wanted desperately to touch her but he couldn’t.  It wouldn’t be welcomed and he was sure he couldn’t take her rebuke. 


They watched each other’s reflection in the glass.  Scully continued, “you didn’t trust me because we’d shared a bed.  You trusted me because I proved myself.  I used my science to prove or disprove your theories.  My science, which you so despise, has provided the small amount of credibility the X-Files has been given, however begrudgingly.”


Mulder didn’t know what he could say to redeem himself so he pulled out the only ammunition he was sure of right now.  “Scully I know I behaved poorly but we have to trust each other if we are to stay partners.”  Her words cut him to the quick.


“I know that Mulder but right now I’m finding it very hard to trust the man who came close to crossing to the side of the people who ruined my life.  The man who called me only after waiting for his lover to return and pack.”  Scully turned and for the first time since he entered her room looked him in the eye.


“Scully, Diana is not my lover . . .”  He wanted to continue.  To explain his relationship with Diana and why he gave her such credence but Scully interrupted him.


“It doesn’t matter and I don’t want to hear it now.  You have nothing to say to me about her that I care to hear.  Last year, when she returned, you should have told me.  All the times she influenced you, you should have told me.  Every time her involvement affected our partnership you should have told me.  But now, when you see it as a way to influence my decision I don’t want to know.  It isn’t fair that information, which by it’s very nature I needed to know, you only offer now in a measure of desperation.”


“Scully I want to tell you everything.”


“No.”  Anger not evident in her voice was written on her face.  “Have you not been listening? I don’t want to hear it now.  If you had told me ‘anything’ months ago I would have listened.  I don’t want to hear some knee jerk response because you are scared.”


Scully walked to the other side of the room and turned on the light.  “Years ago when Jack asked for my help in that bank robbing case, I told you about my past with him.  We had only been partnered months but I knew I owed you the knowledge of anything that may affect my judgment and influence my actions.  Six years and you didn’t think you owed me the same.”  She returned to the window to watch the onset of twilight. 


“Maybe instead standing there trying to convince me of how right you are, you should be examining your actions and why you would risk our partnership and friendship rather than consider the possibility that there are valid and provable reasons to question Diana Fowley’s motives and involvements.”


Mulder’s mouth went slack.  He had nothing to say.  Her accusations lay heavy on his very soul with their truthfulness.  He walked over to the connecting door and tried to open it, finding it locked and he remembered his earlier discovery. “Is this the reason for this?”  He turned to her as he indicated the door.


It took her a moment to understand his question before she realized she’d never unlocked the door.  “No Mulder I can honestly tell you I didn’t do that consciously.  But maybe . . .”  The rest of her comment went unspoken, it didn’t need to be.  Unconsciously she’d left it locked as a barrier.  “You know Mulder we’re both tired and hungry.  Why don’t we run down to that diner we saw earlier and have dinner?”


They both knew there was more that needed to be said, by both parties, but not tonight.  Mulder needed to think about his feelings.  About what Scully had said.  But mostly, and most important, what he could do to regain her trust. 


End Trusting Part Two


Trusting Part Three: Finding Clarity


Two months following the events of Trusting Parts One and Two:


Death was a concept Mulder could accept, he’d even come close to embracing it a few times. Though he would never admit it to anyone, particularly Scully, the idea of death held a sort of comfort for him. 


Destruction was a whole different concept.  Destruction was evil and cold.  His destruction came from a few short words spoken by an angel, Scully.  Words had always been his ally, his tools.  Mulder never, never suspected they could become the weapon of his destruction.  A weapon skillfully aimed by Scully ‘I have been asking myself if I trust YOU.’  Nine small insignificant words on their own but poison when strung in a sentence.  Not having Scully’s trust was his destruction.


Two months had passed since that quiet conversation that started strangely enough on a children’s playground.  A place built  for joy had been the battlefield of his pain.  It had been two months of self examinations and self recriminations for Mulder. 


Recriminations were not new to him that was the easy part.  Mulder was an old hat at taking on guilt.  Examinations burned his very soul.  He sat down on his sofa to put his hard earned degrees to work.  All the ammunition he used to profile the most vile of criminals he turned on his own psyche. 


He was a guilt junky.  Mulder took on guilt as easily as others changed their socks, to use a cliché.  This was no revelation to him but now he realized he was selective about the types of guilt.  He’d taken on the guilt of Sam’s abduction, his mother’s distance and Valium dependency, his father’s alcoholism, Phoebe’s destructive sexual promiscuity, Deep Throats murder, Mr. X’s murder, Scully’s abduction and subsequent health issues.  All of that and so much more he had added to his mantle of guilt.  None of which could he have done anything about. 


But, and this was the hard thing to realize and accept, he had never taken responsibility for his own actions and what they did to the people around him.  Maybe it was his way of being easy on himself?  By taking on guilt he didn’t deserve he didn’t have to deal with the problems he caused.  It was his safety net and now that net had been ripped apart.


For the first time he had to face how he used trust as reward and punishment, at least with Scully.  Do what I want, I trust you Scully, show me what I don’t want to see and I don’t trust you Scully.  Trust was his sword and it had two sharp edges.


It was a wonder it had taken six years for her to finally have enough.


Mulder had let his complacency about Scully’s place in his life and his unresolved issues with his past nearly cost him what he now realized he most prized, Scully.


He needed to examine his actions.


It would have been easiest to blame Diana.  But that would be unfair to her, Scully and to him also.  Laying blame on her would not get to the bottom line issue and would not lead to resolution. 


Diana and her interference were not causes but catalysts.  He, himself was the cause, or at least his reaction to the catalyst was.  He’d allowed his past with Diana interfere with his relationship with Scully.  He seemingly placed more value on Diana’s thoughts than anyone else, and he needed to understand why.  Why did he knowingly risk his relationship with not only Scully but Skinner and the Gunmen too for this woman whom he’d not had contact with for years?


Their break up remained a mystery to him.  They had met early in his career, back in the days when his ‘Spooky’ moniker was a compliment to his talents.  If ever she should have left it should have been then; he’d been a mess.  Smoking, drinking and working all the time.  Days, hell sometimes weeks without any real sleep.  Diana convinced him to take better care of himself.  Got him to exercise and insisted he take Sundays off when not in the field.  She had even gotten him to confront Patterson. 


Three years later two things happened that led him to the path towards the X-Files.  First he met the Gunmen and later he ran into Arthur Dales, who discovered them years ago.  For several months he and Diana worked the X-Files cases unofficially.  When he had enough evidence that the work warranted real investigations he presented a proposal to his superiors and pulled in a few favors and the X-Files Division was created and he was assigned to them.  Diana never was officially assigned to the X-Files but they worked a number of cases together.  Maybe he should have looked into how she’d managed that.  It wasn’t like the X-Files were looked on with a benevolent eye that they would just let an agent from another division drop everything to help him.


Somewhere during this time Diana moved in with him then they got married.  Mulder realized that he had no memory of making the decision to get married, it just happened.  The day itself was merely a blur of images and feelings.  They’d opted for a simple civil ceremony.  Neither had their parents there.  Frohike and Langly attended, Byers was called out of town, Diana’s friend Carol or Cheryl or some such name stood up with her.  The Justice of the Peace went through the motions and five minutes later they were married.  Hell they never even went on a Honeymoon just a weekend at the downtown Marriott. 


It ended as suddenly as it began, fast.  Diana transferred without explanation, divorce papers were signed and filed.  Property divided, sold or given away.  One day married the next not married.  He didn’t look back.  They didn’t see each other, call or even write.  It was a clean break, sterile.


Until that meeting nearly a year ago he hadn’t seen Diana since he watched her board the jet to Germany.  Strangely enough Mulder realized that he didn’t even think of her much after she left and never since Scully was partnered with him.  That had to mean something.


Suddenly Diana was back.  Still stunning but changed.  Her eyes a little colder and her mouth tighter.  He still doesn’t understand why he didn’t just tell Scully right then.  It would have avoided so much.  He later found out that she had asked the Gunmen about Diana.  Frohike also told him that she’d seen their little interchange at the Psychiatric Facility where they had tested Gibson Praise.  Mulder had tried to prod more information out of him but Frohike said he’d already said more than he should.


The case was a fiasco and he and Scully were targeted for the fall.  Diana was wounded and no one expected her to live.  That was one of the reasons that the accusations against her didn’t make sense to him, at least then it didn’t.  Why would they wound one of their own so severely?  That is until he found out from Skinner that Scully was supposed to be protecting Gibson that night but he, Skinner, switched the schedule so Scully could fill Mulder in on more of the lab results.  Reality ran cold in his veins; Scully had been the intended target.


Diana made it clear from the start she was interested in trying again.  They had gone out several times.  They always met at whatever restaurant they’d decided on.  The dinners were always nice and their conversations kept light in the way that only old friends could.  Diana had asked him about Scully, trying to find out what their relationship really was.  It shamed him to realize that he told her all about Scully yet he told Scully nothing about Diana.


Mulder talked to the Gunmen and even had them go over the evidence against Diana again.  This time he tried to be objective to what they showed him.  Scully was right there was substantial reason to question Diana’s involvements and loyalties.


He questioned Skinner about Diana’s reassignment as Scully suggested.  It was only Skinner’s repeated denials that made Mulder believe it was not a set up.  Skinner told him that he had never discussed Diana Fowley’s reassignment with Scully.  Scully had requested copies of all the reports filed by Fowley and Spender during the months they’d been assigned to the division.  There was only one, the one that Scully had told him about months ago, before she gave him the DNA analysis of Gibson Praise and the claw they’d found in Arizona.  Skinner told him ‘Diana Fowley and Jeffrey Spender worked harder  not to  investigate than they would have if they had.’  Skinner’s parting comments are what haunted Mulder.  It was a comment Scully had made to Skinner when she had requested the copies.  After Kim had provided the single report Scully  speculated how Diana had found them that night in Arizona when she had convinced him to go with her to the reactor.  Scully had told Skinner that they had used fake ID’s for both their rental car and the motel registration.  She’d posed the same question to Mulder.


During his time of reflection his relationship with Scully remained stagnant.  The work continued with no major issues but their personal relationship was really lacking.   Mulder was now realizing just how much he relied on Scully always being there.  Mulder saw Scully nearly every day and yet he missed her so much his chest ached.  They were Special Agents Mulder and Scully partners but Mulder and Scully friends were missing. 


Gone were the lingering late night phone calls.  Calls where she would calm him from whatever crisis made him call her then they would just talk about everything and nothing for hours.  Gone were the casual evenings of take out Chinese or delivery pizza and ‘B’ movies.  Nights when he’d stay so late she would let him crash followed by mornings of gentle fights about who made better coffee or which flavor of bagel was more fattening.


A person like Dana Scully doesn’t come into to everyone’s life and he, by some cosmic graciousness, had been blessed but he had been too stupid to cherish it till it was almost gone.  At least he hoped it was ALMOST. 


Scully was right.  He owed her an explanation and now he was able to provide it.  He only hoped she was interested enough to hear him out.  It was time he stopped throwing away the only gift that mattered, Scully.


END Trusting Part Three


Trusting Part Four: Providing Answers


The trio walked around picking up balls and tossing them toward the pitcher’s mound.  Mulder paid the boy then he and Scully walked toward their cars.  It was the first time in too many months that the feeling of uneasiness that plagued them was abated.  They were the Mulder and Scully he hadn’t seen since Christmas Eve.  It had been desperation that made him force her to experience the haunted house and it was desperation that made him invite her to play baseball.  He was desperate to have back that ‘something’ that had been missing between them lately.  The something that he nearly destroyed with his deceptions.  She’d been right that night months ago on that lonely playground when she questioned her ability to trust him.  Hell he’d given her no reason to.


They stood next to her car for an awkward moment then she made to open the door.  Mulder placed his hand on her arm halting her progress.  “Scully I know tonight doesn’t solve everything that is wrong with us.”  She looked away and he saw the tightening of her jaw and he knew he only had one shot before he lost her.  “I owe you an explanation.  Do you think I could follow you to your apartment?  I’ll stop for dinner and bring it along.”


“Mulder you don’t have to bribe me with dinner.  Dinner is waiting for me in my slow cooker and you are more than welcome to join me.”




Scully didn’t quite know what to make of this night.  The last thing she had expected when she got home was a message from Mulder.  He’d ditched her earlier without one word of explanation.  He also left her to clean up the mess and return the books to the archive, five trips. 


Scully had been tempted to just ignore his impassioned plea to meet him at some out of the way ballpark in a questionable part of town.  But she hadn’t.  Some day she would have to figure out the pull he had on her.  Even when she could barely stand him, he’d call and she’d go.  She’d also find out why he always called her, why not his precious Diana? 


The last several months had been the worst.  Things were strained between them.  He’d confronted her in a playground and for once she gave voice to her feelings.  It had felt really refreshing to let him have it.  That lasted all of one minute till she got back to the room.  Then came the inevitable post revelation confrontation. 


Since then they had struck a respectable truce. Their private moments had all but disappeared restricting their time together to work only. That was why his call to help him seemed like a revelation of sorts.  Then he left, same old Mulder.  Get to the door then run before it’s opened.          




Tonight was different.  It wasn’t like the coolness that had hung around them like morning fog and it wasn’t like they used to be either.  There was an edginess to the whole evening.  It wasn’t unpleasant, just unexpected and somehow right.  Rather, like they were moving forward.


Mulder followed her home.  The walk into her building and the elevator ride were silent.  The smell that greeted them as they passed her threshold reminded him of what he’d been missing for so long.  Diana may have been his wife but Scully was his home and he needed to reclaim it.

He set the table and she dished out the meal.  They ate in companionable silence.


Following dinner they sat on her couch drinking coffee and Mulder knew it was time.  “Scully I don’t know how much you know about my past with Diana but I need for you to know that nothing,” he paused for a moment, grabbed her hands and looked into her eyes.  “Nothing in that past means a tenth of my past, and hopefully future, with you means.”  He gauged her reaction and found doubt in her face.  “I know that my actions have built a wall of doubt and mistrust between us.  I have acted like a fool and I’ve treated you and us poorly.” 


He took a deep breath before continuing.  “Diana and I were married.  She helped me through some rough times, got me strong enough to pursue the X-Files.  Once I’d opened the division and she saw how much time and energy I gave them she demanded I give them up.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it, not even for my wife.  She stuck around long enough for each of us to be resentful.  She applied for and was given the transfer to Germany.  Diana gave me one last chance to go with her and I refused.  I never asked her to stay.  We filed for divorce and it became final four months before you walked into the dingy little basement office.”  Scully smiled a little. 


“The night she left me was the last time I’d seen or heard from her until that meeting last year.  When I saw her all the guilt and self recriminations attacked me.  I knew that my obsessions ruined our marriage and I wanted to make it up to her.” 


Scully retreated a little and Mulder knew he had to finish quickly or he’d lose her. “I also knew I no longer loved her, I doubt I ever really did love her but I felt I owed her.  My guilt and mistaken obligation to Diana clouded my feelings and obligations to you.  You see;  I took for granted that no matter what you would stick by me.  I never paid heed to how much I was abusing what I had with you.  I hope you can forgive me and we can start to rebuild what I damaged.”                  


Scully watched and listened for any deception or manipulation in his speech and found none. 


Mulder was speaking the truth. 


“I forgive you Mulder.  I can never forget how much all of this hurt me but I do forgive you and I’m willing to try.  We’ve lost so much but the foundation of our relationship is still strong so with time and hard work we may be able to get back.”


The remainder of the evening was spent with gentle conversation.  Mulder noticed that it was after eleven and decided it was time to head home.  They walked to the door and just before she closed the door he turned and asked her to dinner tomorrow night.


Mulder was half way home when he called her.  “Scully.”


“Scully it’s me.  I just wanted you to know that, even though I know you’d never ask, I could and would give up the X-Files for you.”  He hung up and Scully smiled as she hung up the phone.      


End Trusting Part Four

End Trusting All Parts


Author Notes: Kim, I really hope you like your present. - Me


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