By Christine Leigh
Summary: Scully POV. A look at Scully's emotional state of mind during the three months between This Is Not Happening and DeadAlive. This story is the third in what I call the Party of Three Universe, which is a series of stories and vignettes that are set post-Requiem.
Spoilers: Everything through DeadAlive.
Raleigh, North Carolina
This is not real. This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening. Would the echo in her head ever go away?
There had been nothing after the funeral service. There was no one left. No one to come to a gathering, had there been one. In the white cold that surrounded them, Scully cried in Skinner's arms, and then they walked back to the car, where her mother was waiting. They were home by dusk.
Maggie's entreaties to her daughter to come stay with her for a few days had been refused, squarely, and now Scully was alone in her apartment. Her one concession to her pregnancy was that she had managed to change out of her funeral clothes and into pajamas and a robe, and she now sat on her couch and stared. She wanted to see him. She wanted to go back to the motel room in Montana and relive that moment. Only this time there would be no interruption; it would be the two of them for as long as they wanted it to be. Even if they couldn't speak, she would just look at him, and he would know that she was there. He would know that she would never look away, and that if it had to be this way that it would be fine. She'd just stand there, for the rest of her life.
Soon she started to cry. When she stopped, two days had passed.
One month later.
God, she hated that alarm clock. She slapped it off and got up. Another day. Oh boy.
Scully made a cup of tea and sat down with the newspaper. She was getting better at handling the daily grind, but there was the one problem that persisted. They were trying to drive her crazy. She knew this for certain. Between the phone calls at home, even though she didn't ever pick up, and the kind words at work, she was going to go crazy. All out, ballistic, postal, crazy. Frohike would be the first to go, then Skinner or Agent Doggett, depending on which one of them she encountered first, and possibly her mother after that. Then she would be alone until the baby was born. After that the two of them would be each other's worlds. Charlie might want to visit, that was always possible, and if he wanted to bring Jeana and the kids, that would be good. She would allow that. Bill was another story. He knew of her pregnancy but hadn't called, or even conveyed a message via their mother. The same for Tara, not a word. Scratch that, she thought. She'd get rid of them, too. She'd raise Matthew. She'd do a better job than they ever could have.
It was time for her shower. She got in and remained there for three quarters of an hour, something she would do again tonight. Scully had become the hot water-hog of her building, but it had kept her from letting the insane fantasies that had been playing out in her head for the past few weeks from becoming real. Standing under the steady, warm stream she slowly returned to her new self. The one that kept on going and who was trying so hard to assimilate the foreign culture she now inhabited.
The one who was still here. The one who lived. The one who would raise their child.
One month later.
She awoke to snow. Her living room was dark and the television screen was white. The video had ended, again. She hit the rewind button and turned the volume down. The static had been just audible enough to awaken her from what must have been a good dream, and she wanted to go back. She didn't remember any of it, but Mulder must have been in it. Only he made her feel this way.
She was lying on her couch wrapped in the blanket that he'd covered her with on the night that he'd returned from England. Scully wasn't ready yet to revisit that night, but having the blanket around her was a comfort. Her evening ritual now consisted of popping in the movie that had just ended, wrapping herself in the blanket, and falling asleep eventually. She'd been in her bed twice only in the last month.
She'd taken the blanket away with her after her first visit to Mulder's apartment following his funeral. She'd had to force herself to go, and when the ordeal was over and she was headed out the door, something had made her turn around and go back inside. She'd stood just inside the entrance for a few minutes, not knowing what to do. And then, as though she were being led by hand, she walked to the couch and picked up the blanket that was folded over one of the arms. For a split second she thought of that night. She had never experienced more clarity of mind and heart than upon awakening here on the couch that night. For just a second she allowed herself to remember the sound of the rain that fell outside and the feel of the blanket that had covered her. But she couldn't let it go any further. The blanket in her arms, she ran like a thief until she stood outside the elevator, desperately waiting for the doors to open. She felt absurd, but behaving like a crazy woman was a small price to pay for keeping the pain that she was certain would kill her if she wasn't vigilant, at bay.
A few nights after this, she had fallen asleep in her living room, wrapped in the blanket and with the television on. She awakened to the last minutes of an old movie and became obsessed by what she was seeing. She had absolutely no clue as to what it was about, aside from the obvious fact that it was a love story. She recognized Rex Harrison, but not the actress. There was a man and a woman in the scene, and the characters had been in love apparently at some point, but had been apart until the end of the movie where the woman, now old, had just died. Then he, having been long dead himself, appeared, and she stepped out of her old, dead, body and was young again, and they walked, hand-in-hand, down a staircase and out the door of the house into bright light beyond.
Scully needed to know the name of this movie. More alert than she'd been in a long time, she got up, turned on her computer and proceeded to do some research. It didn't take her too long to discover that its title was "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," and that it was available on video to purchase, which she did. When it arrived three days later, the video and the blanket became her evening companions. Every night she wrapped herself in the blanket and stuck the tape in the VCR and waited for sleep to come.
She continued to look for him in the shadows when entering her apartment at the end of each work day, but he never made an appearance.
One month later.
It was a nice day out. She could acknowledge this. Scully had risen at seven and was now dressed and waiting for her mother to pick her up. They'd resumed their habit of attending Mass together on Sunday two weeks ago. Today they had planned to have breakfast afterward and then do some shopping for baby necessities. Scully was very grateful to have her mother on hand for this task. Her eyes wandered to a large, unopened box sitting in a corner of the living room that had arrived from San Diego last Monday. It was from Tara. Baby clothes, she guessed. The situation with Bill was on hold. It was a hard truth that her older brother wasn't a pleasant or easy person, but she hadn't given up on him.
That she was able to attend church and pray openly again, was a big step toward returning to a so-called normal life. It would never be what she wanted it to be, but she would make it good. She knew she was lucky to have a circle of people who loved or esteemed her enough to want to be part of her life, and by extension her child's. They would be there. These people who had known Mulder would be part of their lives. She had also started to answer her phone on occasion, and even when she didn't, she was able to hear the kind words without going into a complete funk over them. These were all small things, but she acknowledged their significance. And still, she continued to pray for the one thing besides the health and safety of her baby that mattered.
Scully wasn't a casual believer in miracles. She knew they happened. She knew that most likely she'd been on the receiving end of one when her cancer had gone into remission. Was she being greedy in asking for one more?
The phone rang. Her mother must be downstairs. When she was running late, Maggie would call her daughter from the car. Scully picked up. A sudden chill passed through her, but then just as suddenly, she felt warm all over. The change happened in a blink.
"Hi, Mom. I'm on my way down."
"Agent Scully, this is Walter Skinner."
She drew a long breath. "Oh, hello. I was expecting my mother." She waited. He didn't say anything for what seemed like an hour, but was in reality only a few seconds. When he continued, he was brief, but kind. She must have responded, although she really couldn't have sworn that she had in a court of law. After she'd hung up, she must have called her mother to say she wouldn't be joining her that morning, but later she had no recollection of doing so. Her story must have been good, because Maggie had gone on without coming up to check on her. None of these things registered. There was only room for the new echo in her head, and in her heart.
He's alive, he's alive, he's alive, he's alive.
Scully got into her car and headed for Annapolis. She headed for home.
~ End ~
Next in series: Of Love
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This story is (c) Copyright 2001 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.