by Sara Lynn



WARNING!: No, you should not take the title too seriously. Yes, this is MSR. Yes, it’s post-Gethsemane. Yes, Kristyn, I am answering your challenge. Yes, I’m bored and should be doing my homework. GET OVER IT!!!

SPOILER WARNING: Gethsemane. If you didn’t see it, WHAT KIND OF X-PHILE ARE YOU?!?

RATING: Borderline. Right on the line separating TV-14 and TV-MA. Like South Park!

CONTENT WARNING/CLASSIFICATION: S, Angst (up the wazoo!) MSR -- you've been warned.

SUMMARY: Mulder’s dead and Scully finds herself turning to his friend for comfort.

DISCLAIMER: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully & Walter Skinner are owned by Chris Carter and 20th Century Fox. Doug Becker is . . . well. . . He’s mine. Yea, that’s the ticket. I. . uh. . . won him in a poker game. Yea, That’s the ticket.

It was over. She handed the forms to Skinner and sat quietly as he read it over. It had taken her longer than she expected. Somehow writing a report on her partner’s suicide was not the easiest thing in the world. Telling Mulder’s mother had been easier. At least she gave a curt thank you and hung up. The woman had no emotion. Not like Dana’s mother. Mrs. Scully was incredibly upset and cried over the phone to her daughter. Dana wouldn’t cry though. That’s what she had done every night since the announcement of Mulder’s death to the Bureau.

Looking down at her skirt, Dana noticed the wrinkle. She tried to smooth it out. Pressing at the fabric repeatedly, The A.D. looked up and saw what was happening to his agent. "Agent Scully?"

Dana looked up at the worried face of Skinner’s. He could see tears start in her eyes. Standing up from his desk, he walked around to sit next to Scully in Mulder’s absent seat.

"Agent Scully, I know what difficulty it has been having to write this report. You’re health has not been one-hundred percent and I’m afraid any more stress will send you into the hospital. Until you hear from me, I am putting you on an indefinite sick leave."

"I can’t do that, sir."

"Agent Mulder would want you to get better."

"But Agent Mulder is not here now." She gasped a breath in and felt the arms of the AD wrap around her. She couldn’t take it. The tears began again and she knew it would not help her argument. With regret, she took the leave and started for home.

He watched as her car pulled into the space in front of the Annapolis apartment complex. She stepped out of the Ford Escort and locked her car. Although her back was to him, he noticed she was crying. With a mad rush into the building, his heart was breaking. This wasn’t what he wanted. She wasn’t about to let his memory die with him.

Sitting against the bench, he watched as her lights went on. This week had been hell on her from what he observed, but it had been just as harsh on him. Now with only a duffel bag, he was leaving behind the man he was. . . for a new life.

Standing on tiptoes, Dana tried to see who had knocked on her door. Distorted by the peephole, the man outside looked two feet tall. His neat brunette hair and beard made him look quite distinguished and handsome and Dana wanted another look, without the door in her way. Swinging the door open on it’s hinge slowly, she saw he was not two feet tall. More like six foot. His beard moved with his mouth as he spoke. "Are you Dana Scully?"

"Who are you?" She spat out quickly. He didn’t flinch.

"I’m Doug Becker. I was a close friend of Fox’s from a long time ago." He held out a hand to shake hers. Her eyes gazed at the hand, then at the man. "I got the call from Mrs. Mulder yesterday. I had to come. . . to see if I could be of some help in any way."

"Um, Sure. . . Come in." Stepping aside, she watched as he looked around her apartment. He had his duffel slung over his shoulder and she noticed that he was looking back at her. "Um. . . The funeral was a couple of days ago. He was cremated at the request of the coroner and his ashes were scattered around the tree on his family plot." She stared at her feet.

The man calling himself Doug looked at her. He wasn’t sure how, but he had to tell her that under the facial hair was the man she grieved for. Now would not be the time, she looked like she was about to cry and needed a shoulder to do it upon.

"I’m sorry you couldn’t have been here sooner. You’re welcome to stay here for the night and I’ll take you to the grave marker in the morning." Scully placed a hand on the blanket behind the sofa. "If you will excuse me." She covered her mouth and rush to her bedroom. He was left alone knowing his time for lying was running out.

Tentatively he walked to the bedroom door, not looking at anything but the woman crying on the bed. It was strange to see her crying, but he treated her like a stranger would. Reminding himself over and over he was no longer Fox Mulder, he couldn’t stop from moving to her and hugging her tight. She didn’t put up a fight, a trust coming from somewhere compelling her into his arms.

Her head laid against the white tee-shirt, her lips only inches from his left nipple. All Mulder could feel was the reaction lower. His partner was crying in his arms and all he could think of was the fact they were his arms she was in. She murmured something into his chest and it took every ounce of willpower to push her away. "What did you say?"

"I can’t believe he killed himself." She sniffed slightly, wiping petulantly at her running nose. "The night he shot himself. . . we had been fighting. I yelled and screamed at him for making me sick and blamed him for my cancer. . ."

Mulder looked down and muttered an apology. Dana shook it off right away.

"Don’t. I’m tired of people apologizing for me dying." Her blue eyes looked into his brown ones trying to make him understand. He nodded and stood up from the bed. There was no use in upsetting her when he was trying to console her.

"I’m going to. . ." He made a jerking motion towards the living room. "I’ll be right in there if you need me."

"Thank you, Doug." She smiled at him as he left. It was strange, but she felt like he was just as much a friend of hers as he was of Mulder’s.

Mulder had spent the last half-hour listening to the sound of Dana crying herself to sleep. He didn’t have to guess whether she had done this all week. Somehow he knew. Shifting under the afghan, he realized there would be no ebbing of sobs and she needed someone to be there for her.

Tossing the blanket down and padding to the doorway. A stream of light from an outside light source gave him the light to see Dana burrowing her face into the pillow. "Dana?" he questioned, knowing she might welcome his help if he offered it instead of just giving it.

She turned slightly to see him and it was then he noticed how she clung the sheet to her chest. Beneath the sheet he was unsure what she was wearing. She certainly was not wearing a top. "Doug? Did you need something?"

"I. . . You. . . Would you mind if I kept you company?"

She held up the sheet as she patted the mattress next to her. Mulder felt the deja vu take him slightly as he sat down on the bed. He ignored it, turning to Scully.

"You haven’t been taking Fox’s death well, have you?"

"No." Crossing her arms under her breast, she held the blanket over her. "He was my best friend. I thought. . . I thought we had a relationship where we just understood each other. This was like a betrayal, cause I can’t tell why he did this."

She didn’t fight it when he pulled her to his body and began rubbing her bare back. Dana didn’t understand why, but all her hesitations with men didn’t exist with Doug. She felt comfortable. Perhaps that was why she told him so much.

"Almost five years. We’ve been there for each other for five years, and I can only think of what’s going to happen with me. I have no idea what’s going to happen with my job or my health and not having him here scares me."

Fox looked to the closed window, his position of casual observer was slipping. He wanted so badly to tell her the truth. Stop the pain he had already caused, but he felt as Dana shifted against the T-shirt he wore to sleep in. Looking down he saw the sheet flutter down to her waist, realizing her breast were bare and directly in contact with the tee-shirt. He silently cursed his traitorous body.

"Doug, what was Fox like when he was younger?"

Oh crap! She was moving between his legs and once there, she’d find out how aroused he was.

"He was. . . well, he wanted so much to be accepted, but that ended when Sam disappeared. He separated himself from everyone. I knew him better than anyone else, but no one knew him that well. . . except maybe you. Last time I talked to him, it seemed as if he hadn’t changed much."

"I admired him for that. Even when people teased him, he would shrug it off. I wonder if he ever feared he was going to end up alone because of his indifference."

"You have no idea." He whispered, knowing how true it was.

"I just wish he had known that I was here for him. Even when he infuriated me beyond belief, I was there for him." She turned her head, resting against his clavicle.

Mulder wanted to be alone. His eyes threatened to tear if he didn’t get away. Looking down he saw Dana looking up at him. Curious he watched her come closer and kiss his cheek.

"Just like you’re here for me. Thank you so much." She hugged him about the neck as his arms reached her waist. He could feel the band of the silk bottoms under his fingers. She at least had those on. Pulling away slightly, their eyes connected and neither could tell why they fell into a kiss.

The sounds of laughter hit Mulder’s ears and worried him slightly. Pulling back he looked at her smile and blushing cheeks.

"I’m sorry, Doug. I’ve never kissed a man that had a beard. It tickles."

Looking down as what was now exposed to his eyes, he couldn’t stop himself. His lips went to her shoulder. The rasping of hair against her skin raised her internal temperature. She didn’t know exactly what she wanted. When he stopped and moved to leave, she knew she didn’t want that.

"Doug. . . I don’t feel like being alone tonight. Would you mind. . . sleeping in here? With me?"

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Mulder ran through all the pros and cons of doing what he wanted to do. Unfortunately, or fortunately for him, nothing but the usual day after guilt would be there. No FBI rules. No secret governments holding this over him.

Turning back, he saw Scully had moved under the sheets and pulled them back for him. He moved under the cotton blankets and scooted close to Dana. She reached up and touched his face. The smile let him know she liked what she saw. The kiss they had prior was back with a passion and threatened to lead to more.

The sunlight was harsh, even filtered through the white curtains. He shifted from his position before realizing Dana’s head laid against his chest. He tried to shift himself from under her and get his clothes on before she woke. Scully knew every one of Mulder’s scars, thanks to the incident of finding him naked in the bathtub. He gather up his boxers and shirt that had fallen to the floor and took them to the bathroom with him. Standing in front on the mirror, he looked at the sated smile behind the beard.

Making love to Dana was better than he had dreamed. A slight twinge of guilt moved over him as he realized he hadn’t seen anything other than her eyes in the limited light. He had wanted to see her body move against his. Perhaps that was what made him decide now was the time to come clean.

Dana turned slightly as she opened her eyes. She was not alone. The man that had kept her company and silenced her tears sat on the edge watching her. He was fully dressed and she felt naked, which she was. "Morning."

"Morning." She made sure she was covered, unsure why. It had seemed strange that he wanted the lights to stay off as they made love but now she feared what would show in the morning light.

"Are you feeling better?"

"Huh?" She looked up from the bed to his face. His hair was neat and kept, which amazed her.

"Yea, you’re better. Maybe I could tempt you into lunch with me after we visit the cemetery."

Dana felt him shift the mattress to moved closer. He touched her shoulder, sending the shiver through her body. How strange. Never had Dana been with a man that could reduce her to a pile of female like Doug. Only Mulder. . . Mulder could made her shake and managed to raise every nerve in her body with a simple touch. He lifted the sheet back and uncovered her chest. Tucking his arm under her body, she went to his lap and hugged him.

It felt weird sitting in a lap of a clothed man completely nude. He held her lovingly and it shocked her how easy it was to tell him so. "I could fall in love with someone like you."

"What?!" He pulled back and looked at her face. She looked nervous and unsure.

"I. . . love you." Her lips rolled together hoping she wouldn’t be rebuffed. That didn’t seem to be the case.

"Dana. . ." He looked at her eyes and knew it was time. "Why don’t we get out of here and start over."

"We’ll go see Mulder’s gravesite in a little bit. I like it here right now."

"No. . . I meant, what if you leave Washington and move away with me?"

"Doug, I’m. . . I don’t know how I could possibly want anyone but you. You’re smart and I feel like I’ve known you forever, but I can’t. I can’t leave" Dana turned away and left the man sitting in her bed. She pulled on a robe and went to the living room. Mulder followed her, watching as she sat herself in the large armchair and stared out the window. The closer he moved to her he could see how her barely clothed chest moved in a ragged form. He heard her raking sobs and saw her eyes were drenched with tears

"Dana." He said softly, kneeling before her. His hands pushed the cloth of the silk robe away to rub her knee. He knew she wasn’t looking at him, but was mad as hell. "Please, what did I do wrong?"

"It’s not you. I. . . I wasn’t completely honest with you, Doug. I did admire Mulder for his mind and his persistence like I had told you, but I. . . loved him for his courage and stupidity and. . . everything. I couldn’t. . . be with you, Doug, if you didn’t know. . . that I see all those things in you and I think that’s the only reason I. . . said I love you."

Dana turned to her companion, watching as he stood up in front of her. She knew something had changed, but wasn’t sure what yet. "Dana, I have not been very honest with you either. The reason I. . . wanted to make love to you in the dark last night was I didn’t want you to see this." He stood up and pulled off his tee-shirt. Scully’s eyes went wide when she saw the tiny scar on his left shoulder. The small, flat, puckered round scar that would have been left by a bullet. Her eyes shot up and she noticed that without the beard or brown contacts, Fox Mulder was standing before her.

She pushed him aside, rushing to the bathroom. Her hand covered her mouth, afraid she would scream. Following her, Mulder watched as she dug under the bathroom counter and came out with a shaking kit. The one Mulder had left at her home for those unlikely days he was there and unshaven. Unzipping the pouch, she removed the razor and thrust it toward him. "Shave off your beard."

He nodded and moved closer to watch himself in the mirror. Scully watched, waiting for her theory to play out. As he skimmed down the right side of his jaw, it appeared. The mole no more that three inches from his mouth was there. Scully gasped loudly and watched as he faced her. Place a finger over his eyes, the contacts came out and hazel irises gazed over to Dana. She covered her face before dropping to her knees. "Oh my god."

"Dana. . ." He knelt down to her and she pushed him away. Her eyes were completely covered with her tears.

"Why didn’t you tell me sooner?"

"Dana, please."

She jerked her head up staring him down. "You lied to me. You made me believe you were someone else and I fell for you. I even slept with you and you didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me the truth?"

"Dana, I did this for you. Fox Mulder can’t live. If he’s alive, then you won’t get any better. Doug Becker isn’t being watched by men in some covert consortium. He actually has the chance for a life. . . a chance to love you." His hand came up to her jaw and held her as she cried. He was willing to give up his life in order to save her. "I love you, Dana. That’s why I did it." He spoke as slowly as he could. He loved her and had to be with her. Dana looked down and refused the look she was receiving.

"Why didn’t you let me know before the suicide? Why was I kept in the dark?"

Mulder looked down at the white tile floor. Why the hell didn’t he?

"I was hoping. . . that I could cure you. . . by dying. I would have told you but. . . I knew you’d only talk me out of it." Mulder moved closer so they were face to face. "I did it for you."

Scully looked at him knowing it was the truth. This was all for her. For her, he made her come identify a body. He made her denounce the last four years of her life. He made her cry out in front of the A.D. It was he she wept over the past week. It was Fox Mulder who make her lose control and break down in the arms of a stranger. . . who later turned out to be Mulder himself. Fox Mulder had held her in the bed, kissing away her tears and made love to her in the low lights. Somehow her silence had given him happiness and a smile.

She quickly rid him of that. Smacking him across the mouth, she cried out in pain. Not from the cuff she gave him, but from everything that brought them to this. Falling back on her haunches, the sobbing would not be impeded. She covered her face not wanting to let her ex-partner see and to keep him from her sight.

When he didn’t move toward her for almost five minutes, she looked thought her tear-glazed eyes. Mulder stood in front of the mirror adjusting his jaw and dotting the blood on his lip. Standing on wobbling legs, she came closer noticing the cut that started from the bottom of Mulder’s lower lip and seemed to go inside his mouth. He closed his lips for a second and leaned over the sink to spit out the blood that had pooled up in his mouth. Scully gasped at the unexpected sight of Mulder’s blood flowing down the sink drain.

"I deserved that." He told himself. "Every woman in my life seemed to have the need lately to smack the shit out of me." He left the tissue on his mouth and he pushed his way around her as he walked to the kitchen. Taking the ice from the freezer and applying it to the cut. He turned as saw Scully standing before him. "When I went to see my mother to ask about Cancerman, she. . . hit me and yelled at me for accusing her of an affair."

Scully’s sad eyes were the last thing he wanted.

"Don’t look at me like that. I should have gone through with killing myself. You can’t see that I was trying to do something for you. Sorry I couldn’t tell you sooner, but I’m here now. I’m alive, but maybe we’d both be better off if I were dead." He came forward and took hold of her shoulders. She looked up at him in an awed horror. What the hell was he going to do? She expected him to shake her, maybe pulled her away in disgust. What she did not expect was a maddening kiss that knocked her silly on her ass.

Dana pulled away, unaware that her robe had fallen aside and her naked shoulder showed. She turned away and went to her bedroom. Mulder did not follow. Sitting down on her sofa, he stretched out and decided to take a nap while he waited for her. She had quite a bit to think about.

Dana stopped pacing hours ago and she now sat on the bed wondering what she was going to do. On one hand, she had Fox Mulder back in her life. He was here with her and they had made love last night. It was wonderful and passionate even when she thought it was someone else. And on the negative side, he had lied to her. By omitting a few important facts, he had made her live the previous week in hell.

Her robe had been opened hours ago and the air made her naked skin chill. Perhaps that was a factor in her decision. Perhaps it was the fact she would have stayed warm in the arms of Mulder if she forgave him.

Stepping on bare wood, she walked quickly and quietly to the sleeping man. He looked so alive even in the unconscious state. Running a hand through his neat hair to mess it up, she recognized Fox Mulder for what would be the last time. She knelt beside him and placed a kiss on his forehead. The hazel eyes opened to see her touching his face.

"Doug. . ." She tried tentatively. He looked at her strangely as she spoke. "Fox Mulder is dead. I think it’s time for us to get over it and. . . " Reaching down for his hand, brought it back to cover her heart. ". . . and maybe we can find some comfort knowing that he is at peace."

"Dana, do you realize what you’re saying?"

"Yes, I’m saying they will not bother us ever again. They got what they want. Now we should get what we want." Leaning forward, a kiss showed the supine man what she meant. "Besides I loved your beard. Felt really good on my body." She touched the man’s jaw, her eyes asking if he agreed.

"You’re right, Dana." He pulled her closer and hugged her tightly. "I think we both know. . . Fox Mulder is dead."



OK. I can take it. Was it bad?

Author’s Note: Now if you go back and watch Demons, no you will not see any scar on Mulder’s left shoulder, but that is a continuity flaw. He was shot, but there’s no scaring? I don’t think so. I’ve got a scar on my knee from 6 years ago that still shows.

The challenge I answered: I would like to see a post-Gethsemane Angst story. Let's say Mulder is still alive, but he cannot contact Scully. Instead he watches from afar. She is hurting really bad, and very lonely. He wants to comfort her so he goes- in disguise. He tries to comfort her, and she can't believe how much she opens to this "stranger". Wide open for Mulderangst, major major Scullyangst and maybe a little humor as Scully complains about her former partner to the "stranger". I would like to see a scene where Mulder debates whether or not to tell her. And another scene where Scully realizes she's fallen in love with him - Kristyn Collins


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