The Old Familiar Ways
By Christine Leigh
Summary: Three points of view over the years between The Truth and the second movie.
Keywords: Pic Fic, as in the picture from People Magazine.
He'd known there was a change sometime during the summer of 2005. They'd been in the tiny northern Montana town for three months and it wasn't just the heat he noticed on that July night that was wearying him. No, wearying them. He'd seen it before in her visage, and undoubtedly she'd seen it in his. She was better at dissembling, he'd come to learn over the past three years, so nothing was said of this draining away of whatever they'd been running on. Was this how it was with couples? And, yes, this is how he thought of them. Did she? He often wondered. Is this how it happened? You awoke one day and said I don't know how to do this any longer. He remembered another life and sitting in a bar listening to an old college friend cry in his gin and tonic about the end of his marriage. His wife had left him for another man. But that wasn't the case with them. There was no third party here. If that possibility existed, and it didn't, but for a second let's say it did, he'd fight for them. So would she. This he knew. That's not what had been going on. He still couldn't imagine life without her - doesn't want to remember the time that he'd already spent away. And yet the idea that they can't go on like this won't let go. And . . . and.
They had stayed together through Labor Day -- there had been a parade and a picnic, and they'd gone to both. They ate deviled eggs and hot dogs that she had the audacity to eat spread with Grey Poupon. He'd teased her about that going back almost 15 years. French's, Scully -- it's the only way. There had been no teasing that day. And not much else. The familiar had flown away.
The postmark on her last letter a little over a year ago was from San Francisco, a place of cooler summer nights.
There were days after when she couldn't remember who had left whom. That she was alone was no big deal, but that she was alone because he possibly chose to leave, was. She would sit at the counter during her break and drink coffee like a drug addict trying to sort it out. She never succeeded.
It had been an odd summer. The man from whom she didn't want ever again to be parted, had been fading. Not the usual tired, don't know what tomorrow will bring malaise, but something else. She remembered conjuring up the dread of thinking him dead and buried, and that brought some relief. Whatever this was, it couldn't be worse than that. Could it?
It had been Labor Day. They'd gone to the picnic after the parade. It was all so Mayberry, she'd said. He'd nodded in agreement. No joke, nothing about Barney Fife and one bullet. Nothing. When she thought back, she thinks she should have been paying more attention to the details of that day.
The first letter came two months after. Eventually, she wrote back. They were pen pals, it seemed. How quaint.
His last letter was postmarked from a town in Wyoming. That had been a year ago.
When it happened, it wasn't exactly storybook. Yet, to see them, one might think it had been a reunion of perfectly matched souls. Ridiculous, unadulterated mush, I know. All I can say is that in this case the old adage is true -- you had to be there. I've not met with either of them yet, and while I'd like to give them some more uninterrupted time together, I'm thinking two more days is all that can be spared.
I've been a voyeur and will admit that I've enjoyed it. Not in any perverted way. The truth is, I think of them as family. It's been a sad life more often than not, and I'll come clean - I've missed them. Three nights ago, she sat in her car outside his house for an hour and then left undetected. She was working up her nerve, and I suppose in her eyes got lucky when he never came out. No night sky gazing for him anymore, apparently. I know part of what's gnawing at her, and him. I know, and more than that. Another day, another whatever. Remembering another time when their son was in their lives. Mulder had all of two days with the boy. It doesn't matter how many years have passed, that particular elephant never left the room; of that I'm certain. I don't know how they did it, but they survived, and are back where they belong. So says the sentimental A.D. There will be another reunion. If only that fact could be shared. Not now, though. That chapter hasn't been written.
So, as I've already said about yesterday, you had to be there. Or the next best thing -- look at the picture.
~ End ~
Author's note: I sincerely hope that Mulder and Scully do not start out the new movie separated from each other, but this is what came from gazing at that beautiful picture. Wishing all a happy July 25th and beyond!
Archiving: If you would like to archive anywhere, I'd appreciate a quick note first. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback: Always happy to receive it.
This story is (c) Copyright 2008 by Christine Leigh. "The X-Files" and its characters are the property of the Fox Network and Ten-Thirteen Productions and are borrowed here without profit or intent for profit.