Summary: Mulder is being stalked.
Rating: R (language/violence)
Category: UST, MA, is there one for Scully Kung Fu power?
Distribution: Anywhere, as long as these headers stay intact. Let me know, please. I’d like to keep track of where it goes.
Feedback: I’m begging you. folieadeux98[at]gmail[dot]com
Spoilers: Minimal, um, In the Field Where I Died a tiny bit. Exists in a pre-Requiem universe. I’m still too busy staring at the screen to even attempt writing about that.
Author’s Note: This is my first attempt at writing a story of any kind in my entire life. Needless to say, I’m terrified. Let me start by saying that the ‘Hangman’ scene is my homage to one of my fav’s Justin Glasser and his great fic, “Certitude.” His clarity of the M/S voice, combined with his amazing ability to be eloquent and brief simultaneously, inspired me. BUT – as anyone who has ever tried this knows. In the end, all thanks goes to your beta. I’m lucky enough to have 2shy as the voice over my shoulder. Without 2shy this story be big crap piece.
Disclaimer: All XF characters not mine, no infringement intended, no money made. Sweet sweet Jane, mine.
Are you out there?
Can you hear me?
Can you see me in the dark?
He touched her today. His skin on hers: electric, smooth.
He smiles at her every day, his eyes drinking in the sight of
her. But today — he touched her. She’d been wearing her
mother’s ring, the one with the pearl and the tiny stones.
He noticed it right away, asked her if it was old. She took a
chance and held her hand out to him. What would he do?
She knew what he wanted to do, but would he be brave enough?
At first she thought her heart would stop; it almost did. Her
chest was so tight she had to fight not to gasp out loud. At
one point she thought he might lift her hand to his lips.
Just like actors did in the movies, like she’d seen him do a
million times in her dreams. He turned the palm up and placed
his lips on her life line, in her dreams. For one moment, she
thought he had wanted to; his face had softened. For one
moment, while looking at her mother’s ring. He had wanted to
kiss her hand.
She’s sure of it.
After he’d left, she asked her manager if she could go to the
restroom. She had fumbled with the lock, shaking. The hand
he’d held seemed hot, prickly, like it was waking up after
being asleep. She sat down on the toilet, put her head into
her hands. He was so beautiful; she had loved him for so long.
If only he had a chance to know her, she knew he would love
He has to love her back.
Home at last. Where he is. She looks around her dingy,
cramped apartment. It’s all she can afford. People who work in
coffee shops live in dingy, cramped apartments. In Washington,
D.C., anyway. She used to hate this hole, before she met him.
Before he became so much a part of her life. Now she is never
alone. Pictures of him stare out from her walls. Him walking
to work, his coat floating out behind like a dark cloud. Here
he is carrying groceries from his car to his apartment, keys
clenched in his teeth, his beautiful mouth pursed in
concentration. Here he is jogging; she loves the ones of him
jogging. He’s so alive. His hair is damp with sweat, his gray
t-shirt, stained with large circles, clinging to his chest.
His long lean form pushes forward in flight, stilled
momentarily for her photograph.
She reaches out to touch him, her fingers tracing the line of
him, her Fox in flight. He’s so beautiful and kind, not like
other men…not like him. They were meant to be together; he
didn’t see it yet but she would show him, convince him. He
would see, after she told him how much she loved him.
She unpacks her groceries, putting things away in their proper
places. She’s making his favorite dinner tonight: lasagna.
She’s watched him eating it in his neighborhood Italian
restaurant. She watches him a lot. It’s her favorite thing to
do now. She knows so much about him, enough to know they are
perfect for each other, meant for each other.
She worried at first about the other woman, the red head.
When she first started to watch him, it seemed the red head
was always turning up. Then she found out it was only his
partner…only his partner; he didn’t love her. She could tell
by the way he acted around her that he didn’t care about her.
They never held hands, he never kissed her, he never looked at
the red head the way he looked at her. The way he’d looked at
her wearing her mother’s ring this morning. Fox loved her.
Every time he saw her, his eyes betrayed him, betrayed his
need. His longing for her. She feels it. She’s going to tell
him soon. She’s waiting for the perfect opportunity. She can
wait. He won’t let her down.
She’s sure of it.
“How was your day, lover?” she whispers into her empty
apartment, spooning the lasagna onto his dinner plate.
“That’s nice. Mine? It was okay; we were busy. That man who
always asks me out came in again today. I know, Fox, I know,
you told me you would take care of it for me, but I don’t want
you to get in trouble at your job. Please, Fox, forget about
him; I’m sorry I even brought it up.” She turns her head
towards him, listening to her lover as he speaks to her, a
smile on her face at his words of devotion.
In her empty apartment.
He loves her; he hates it when other men pay attention to her.
She knows she shouldn’t have brought up that other man. They
finish their dinner, her lover and her. She drinks the wine
he pours her. After she’s cleaned her plate, she looks over
at his place setting. She sees that it’s full. She understands
what that means. She knows that she is alone – that this is a
dream. It takes her longer now to remember, longer than it
used to, but she never really forgets. Suddenly all she feels
is rage. Rage at her life, her loneliness, this constant
horrible ache of emptiness that is always just under the
surface. It eats at her, keeps her up at night, keeps the
nightmares coming one after the other. Her nightmares of him –
that piece of shit who called himself her father. She hates
him, almost as much as she loves Fox.
“I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” she screams out loud,
her shattered voice echoing in her empty apartment. What she
really hates is herself, her life. Fox is the only good thing
she has; he will save her. He will make the nightmares go
away; she can tell just by looking at him that he can do that.
He’s strong, not like her.
Thump…thump…thump. “You wanna shut the fuck up down
there!” Her neighbor yells through the ceiling. Her hand over
her mouth to stifle her sobs, she lays down on her bed.
Soon, soon this will all be over. When she tells him that she
He’s late. It’s not like he’s there at the same exact time
every morning, but he’s never this late. She’s getting
worried. She needs to see him today; it’s important. She hopes
he hasn’t gone out of town again. Her nightmares were bad last
night; she feels panicked; she’ll calm down if she can just
see him. There he is! He’s coming, he’s just running late
“Hello,” she says trying to sound casual. “Do you want your
“Yes, please, Jane. Can you give me an extra shot today
though? I had a bad night; I overslept. I’m running late.”
He smiles at her. He looks tired.
“Nightmares?” Oh my God. She can’t believe she said that.
Oh my God. Why did she say that? She almost drops the coffee
press in her panic to hide her furious blush of embarrassment.
He flinches. “Excuse me?”
She’s startled him with her slip up. She’s so stupid,
she wonders how she makes it from day to day. “I’m sorry; I
didn’t mean to say that. I — uh, well, you know, I sometimes
have a nightmare every once in awhile. I know how they can
make it hard to sleep.” She wishes the floor would swallow her
whole. She puts his first coffee on the counter before
starting the second one.
His cell phone rings. She’s grateful for the interruption;
she needs time to compose herself.
“Mulder. — Hey, Scully. — I know. I’m getting coffee now. —
No, I just overslept.” He turns away from her now, dropping
his voice. “No, no, I didn’t have another one. I went right
to sleep after I hung up. I’ll be right there. — What?” He
starts to laugh. “Thanks. Are you going to sing happy
birthday to me? — No, I’m not telling you how old I am. Why
don’t you look in my file Dr. Scully.” He hangs up without
It’s his birthday. She didn’t know it was his birthday.
“I couldn’t help overhearing; is it your birthday?” Her knees
are shaking. She can’t believe how brave she’s being today.
“Yes, Jane, yes it is. I completely forgot about it until this
very moment.” His face had returned to normal. No remnants of
the confusion that her stupid question had caused.
“Happy birthday.” I love you.
“Thank you, Jane.”
Today. It would be today. She knows just what to do.
I don’t believe it’s all for nothing
It’s not just written in the sand
Sometimes I thought you felt too much
And you slipped into the shadow land.
“Morning, partner,” Mulder called out as he rushed through the
door. Scully looked up from her paperwork as her cohort
entered the room. He was not his usual chipper self this
morning. He’d called her late last night; he didn’t say why,
just that he couldn’t sleep. She had guessed it was another
“Good morning, partner,” Scully replied while gratefully
taking the cup he offered. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Ready for the big meeting? We’re not late,
They weren’t on a case at the moment, and their presence was
required at a unit meeting. Neither one was especially looking
forward to it. Just a typical boring meeting where management
gets to remind you of all the things they want you to do when
you’d rather just be at your desk actually doing something
useful. Like work.
“Don’t forget the pad and pen.” Mulder remarked while holding
open the door for her.
It was Scully’s job to bring these two items to any unit
meeting. She smiled as she grabbed them. She had a killer
hangman word for him. She’d seen it in Sunday’s crossword
puzzle; he’d never get it before she drew that last foot on
his little stick figure – the death blow. Somewhere along the
way they had fallen into this little ritual, playing hangman.
They did it on planes, in meetings, places where they had
little to do and time to spare. It had taken a while to
determine the precise way the stick figure should be drawn.
Mulder wanted it to have eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Scully
“That gives you too many chances!” She’d cried out the first
time they played.
“Brutal, Scully; you are really brutal,” Mulder had replied,
laughing anyway at her competitive nature.
What she didn’t know then, what had taken a while for her to
realize, was that she could never repeat a word done before.
He’d remember. He always remembered. After she’d figured that
out, she won more games.
–“In an effort to streamline communications, the FBI is in
the process of setting up an inter-bureau next-day courier
service. The first routes have been established and are
listed on the chart below.”–
Scully drew the head and put an A on the bottom of the paper.
They were sitting in the back, their usual spot. A little bit
away from the rest of the meeting’s participants. They
attracted more than a few looks, which they failed to notice
in their concentration on each other and hangman. Besides,
they were used to the looks by now. They always drew a
certain amount of curiosity from their fellow agents, ranging
from the sidelong glance to an open stare. It depended on the
amount of time the particular agent had been around the
building or had been out of the academy.
“E,” Mulder whispered below his breath.
“Uh-huh,” Scully murmured, drawing the letter E on its
“Lucky guess,” she whispered back.
“Ha, you wish. I’m a finely tuned instrument programmed
precisely in a manner to kick your ass at hangman.”
Scully’s eyes were dancing. They both knew who kicked whose
ass at hangman. He was toast.
–“Please see the latest version of the IVR call flow below.
If your cost center did not change from numeric to alpha
numeric, there are no changes to the IVR process.”–
Mulder shot a confused glance at Scully; she just rolled her
“Do you think if I raised my hand and asked him if I still
have to hit 9 before dialing my 976 numbers he’d get mad?”
Scully’s laughter rang out before she could stop it. She
slapped her hand to her mouth and leaned over in her seat so
she wouldn’t be seen. It was too late. The entire room turned
around to look at the offending agents. Mulder raised his
eyebrows while keeping a perfectly straight face.
“Her allergies are kicking in; it’s very dusty in the
After regaining her composure. Scully straightened up and
looked daggers at her partner.
“Hurry up and pick another letter. I’m ready to hang you
“W.” He didn’t even try to hide his grin.
Scully drew another hand. Two more feet to go. Just like she
Another foot; one more to go.
–“If your cost center did change from numeric to alpha
numeric, we are providing this to you to assist you in your
first IVR entry and approval with these new cost center
“Dammit. What was it?”
Scully filled in the blanks, careful not to draw more
attention to them, C-E-R-T-I-T-U-D-E.
Shit. “That’s not fair; what type of word is that? You cheat.
How come you can’t pick words like Mississippi, or delirious?”
Mulder was pretending to be frustrated, but he wasn’t. “Nooo,
you have to pick words like certitude or xerophytically.”
She’d picked that one while on a plane last summer; he had
never forgiven her.
“Face it Mulder, you’re toast…again.”
Later that afternoon Mulder was alone, sitting hunched over
his paperwork filled desk, when a knock sounded at the door.
Scully was out running an errand, to the bank, he thought
“Hello…” A head peeked around the door. “Fox, you had a
delivery at the front desk; they asked me to bring it to you.”
With that, in walked a woman with long blonde hair and dark
red lipstick. She smiled warmly at him. She had a lot of
teeth. Her dress was a little tight and a little short, but
he didn’t think she minded such things.
“Long time no see,” she said. “Don’t you remember me?” A
hurt expression came over her face. She wasn’t really hurt,
he could tell.
“I’m sorry; you look familiar but I can’t place you, ” he
“Agent Wong’s retirement party last year…That’s okay. I
didn’t really expect you to remember me; we only talked for a
few minutes. My name is Brandy. Brandy with a y…”
“Mulder, did you want the tuna on white or the turkey on…”
Scully was looking down when she came into the room and almost
ran right into the tall blonde standing in front of Mulder’s
“Oh, I’m sorry; I didn’t know you were in here. I mean, I
didn’t see you,” Scully said a little too quickly while
looking a bit flustered. They didn’t get visitors too often,
especially not tall blondes in tight, short dresses. She’d
been caught off guard.
“Hey, Scully. I’ll take the tuna on white. This is…I’m
sorry, I’ve forgotten your name again?”
“Oh, right…with a y; sorry. I got a package at the front
desk; she’s delivering it. Brandy, this is my partner, Dana
“Hello Brandy, I believe we met last year at agent Wong’s
retirement party.” Scully remembered the blonde.
“Well, I guess I’ll be going now. It was nice to see you
“Huh? Oh, right. Ok, thanks.” Mulder was busy opening his
package and seemed surprised to find the blonde still standing
in their office. Scully watched as the woman gave Mulder’s
retreating form one last wistful look and then exited the
“Whatcha got, Mulder?” Scully asked, a small smile on her
“Not sure; let’s open it and see.”
“It’s not more tapes from your video club, is it? I haven’t
eaten my lunch yet.”
“Very funny, Scully. You know those go directly to the
Mulder emptied the contents of the envelope onto his desk.
There was a small book and two envelopes. A red one that
looked like a greeting card and a plain white one.
“Scully, you shouldn’t have.” Mulder had a large smile on his
face as he looked up at his partner.
Scully sat across the desk unwrapping her sandwich. “That’s
not from me, Mulder. I haven’t even wrapped your birthday
present yet. It’s still sitting on my kitchen table. I was
going to give it to you tonight at dinner.” Scully took a bite
of her sandwich. “You must have another well wisher,” she said
with her mouth full.
Mulder smiled as he watched her talking and eating at the same
time. She licked her fingertip. It was best if he stopped his
current train of thought.
“Hmm. I don’t think I know anyone else who’d be wishing me a
Scully winced inwardly at his unintentional reference to how
few people he really had left in the world besides her.
“Maybe it’s from the guys.”
Mulder knew Scully was referring to the Lone Gunmen. “No, they
already gave me a gift. It came in the mail yesterday.”
Scully’s sandwich paused halfway to her mouth as her eyebrow
“It was a CD, Scully — your mind’s in the gutter today,” he
said with teasing eyes.
If he only knew, she thought.
Mulder looked at the small book. It was a pocket sized book
of poems: William Blake. That seemed odd. He leaned forward in
his chair to open the plain white envelope. Inside were
photos. As he slowly thumbed through them, his face took on a
strange look. By the time he had finished, he looked a little
“Mulder?” There was concern in her voice.
He handed her the photos as he reached for the red card.
Scully slumped into her chair as she looked over the
collection of images: Mulder jogging, Mulder walking out of
his apartment, Mulder grocery shopping, Mulder walking next to
someone down a street. The someone had been haphazardly cut
out of the picture. She recognized her own heels.
Suddenly, she wasn’t very hungry any more. She looked up at
Mulder to find him reading the card. It didn’t look like the
news was getting any better. He started to read in a quiet
“Happy birthday, my love. I could not overlook something as
important as the day you were born. I know you don’t know who
this is yet, but you will. Later. When the time is right,
after you have a chance to understand how much you mean to me.
Just what I can do for you – how much I love you. I’ve
included a small gift of my favorite verses. I think our
feelings for each other could be as powerful as these words,
as beautiful. I know I could make you happy if given a
chance. I won’t let anything or anyone get in the way of your
happiness, Fox. Trust me. We’ll be together soon. I love
A secret admirer.”
There was total silence in their little basement office.
Scully stared at Mulder. Mulder stared at the card in his
hands. Suddenly he started to laugh. Not a full out, joyous
sound like when he watched a Stooges movie in the middle of
the night in the room next to hers. More like a strangled
sort of half laugh, half sob. He put his head in his hands;
the palms jabbed into his eye sockets.
“Scully, please tell me this is your idea of a joke.” he said
through the sound of his twisted laugh.
“I wish I could, Mulder.”
“Do you think it’s a joke?” He sounded hopeful.
“It certainly could be, I guess. Let’s not panic; we don’t
want to ignore it, but let’s make sure it’s real before we
start getting worried. Ok, Mulder?”
“Yeah, Ok. Maybe you’re right.” He lifted his head from his
hands. It was quiet again as the two of them were lost in
their own thoughts.
“That’s me cut out of some of those pictures.” Scully said
“I know.” He didn’t bother to tell her that he would
recognize those shoes anywhere. That he dreamt about
them…nice dreams. That made him feel a little better, that
memory. He smiled a tiny conspiratorial smile.
“Penny for your thoughts?” She saw the change in his mouth.
“Nothing. Just thinking.”
“Why don’t you call the Gunmen. Maybe this is their idea of a
birthday surprise. I’ll run up to fingerprinting and see if
there’s anything on these. I doubt it, but you never know.”
Scully went to the filing cabinet and pulled out some latex
gloves. She scooped up the contents of his delivery along with
the envelope it came in and headed out the door.
“Hey, Scully,” Mulder called out to her, “maybe it’s the guys
in Violent Crimes. They could be jerking my chain. I wouldn’t
put it past them to spy on me with a camera.”
“I know. I thought of that already. Let’s see what
fingerprinting shows before we rattle some cages, ok?” she
called over her shoulder.
“Okay,” he replied.
Mulder was starting to feel a little better. This crazy
package had to be a joke. He picked up the phone…
“Hey, Frohike, it’s Mulder.”
“What’s up, Mulder? Happy birthday, dude.”
“Thanks. Speaking of birthdays, I got my first magazine
“Uh huh. Miss October’s not bad, eh?”
“Nope. That’s not why I called, though. You boys didn’t happen
to put together any other surprises for me that I should know
about, did you?”
“Ok, Mulder, I’ll play. What surprises?”
Mulder was starting to get that bad feeling back again. “I’m
not playing a game with you.” He could hear the edge in his
voice, he didn’t mean for it to sound that way.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mulder. Did you get
something we should be worried about?” Frohike’s voice sounded
more curious then concerned.
“I got an anonymous love letter with some pictures taken of me
without my knowledge.” He felt stupid saying it out loud like
“Seriously? You bastard, Mulder. You have all the luck. You’re
the only guy I know who is too paranoid to appreciate an
anonymous hot letter.” Frohike started to laugh.
“Uh huh, Ok, just tell me; yes or no? Did you guys send this
as a joke? I’m about ready to sic the FBI on this, so you’d
better come clean before you get unwanted visitors.”
“Don’t threaten us, Fed – just because someone mailed you some
nudie shots doesn’t mean you have to get pissy with me.” He
was teasing him now. Mulder was getting nowhere.
“Okay, okay. God, Mulder, you need a vacation. No. We did not
send you any love letters or take any nudie shots of you
unawares. Is Scully in any of them?”
“They are not nudie shots!” Mulder yelled into the phone as he
hung up on a still laughing Frohike. He felt stupid now.
Frohike was probably right. It was nothing but some lonely
person with a crush. Who on earth would want to stalk him,
besides some alien bounty hunters and maybe Krycek? He doubted
the love letter was Krycek’s style. Where would he have even
met someone? It’s not like he got out much. Besides, he and
Scully traveled constantly, he was never in one place long
enough for someone to get obsessed with him.
He decided to head up to fingerprinting and try to head off
Scully. She didn’t need to waste her time; he’d probably
never even get another one. Besides, it was his birthday and
he was going out to dinner with the most beautiful woman in
his life tonight (not to mention the only woman in his life)
and he didn’t feel like thinking about a stalker.
Dana Scully stood in front of Agent Childers’ desk with a hand
planted firmly on each hip and a frown creasing her brow. “I
want your word, Dan, that none of your guys did this just to
jerk Mulder and me around. If I find out that…”
“Dana — Dana — relax.” Agent Childers was trying to
interrupt Scully mid tirade. If he hadn’t been concentrating
so hard on not caring about how fabulous she looked angry, he
might have noticed Fox Mulder standing in the doorway on the
other side of the large meeting room.
“Dana, I swear to you that none of us did it. Not that it’s
not a great idea and one I’m sure one of my guys will be
pissed he didn’t think of, but, no, we didn’t do it.
“How can you be sure?” Scully replied, her voice still
betraying her agitation.
“I can’t, I guess But if one of them did do it, they’d never
be able to keep it to themselves. Spooky’s too much fun to
torture without talking about it with your fellow agents.”
“Yeah, that’s great reasoning, just great. You treat him like
shit until you need him to come up and save your ass when
you’re in over your heads.” Scully still sounded a bit
perturbed, but the wind was leaving her sails. She believed
him that he didn’t think anyone in his unit had sent the
“Hey, you don’t have to get nasty about it, Dana. It’s not
our fault he decided to go off half cocked looking for aliens.
If he doesn’t want to get hassled, he shouldn’t be such a pain
in the ass half the time.”
“Dan, you and I both know that Mulder is the best at what he
does, and it wouldn’t hurt to maintain a better working
relationship with him. This job’s hard enough without having
to put up with crap from your own side.”
Mulder resisted the urge to feel annoyed at Scully for
fighting his battles for him. It was not her intention, he
knew. However, the guys in this unit wouldn’t see it that
way. He could hear them now, joking about how she had come up
full of righteous indignation on his behalf, like his mother
or something. Better yet, wait till they heard that he might
be a victim of a stalker. Christ, he hadn’t thought about
that yet. Shit. They would think that was a hoot for sure.
He’d never live this one down. It occurred to him that he
should let them know that he was standing here listening to
their conversation, but he had to admit a certain curiosity to
hear what else Scully might say about him.
He didn’t move.
“Point taken.” Agent Childers didn’t want to argue any
Even if he didn’t give a shit about Mulder, she was right
about burning bridges. He might need that arrogant prick some
day, not that he’d admit that to anyone. Besides, they
couldn’t be partners forever, and it never hurt to stay cozy
with the lovely Dr. Scully. “So anyway, Dana, how come we
never go out? It’s not like I haven’t asked.”
Scully looked temporarily taken off guard. She had been so
intent on Mulder and his delivery that she hadn’t seen that
one coming. Damn. “Dan, you know the reason why I don’t go
out with you; we’ve had this conversation before. I don’t
date on the job. Besides, I doubt we would have too much in
common.” She couldn’t resist letting a small sneer creep into
“Uh huh. Whatever you say, Mrs. Spooky. If you want to stay
in the basement for your entire career, or what’s left of it,
that’s your problem.” Childers didn’t feel so charitable any
Mulder decided to make his entrance. “Hey, Dan, aren’t you
late for your usual three martini lunch? It’s 10:30 already;
you’re falling behind.”
Scully jumped at the sound of Mulder’s voice coming up behind
“Fuck you, Mulder. What’s wrong, the fact that no one but
psychos ever wants to play with you got you in a bad mood this
morning?” Childers didn’t even try to sound like he was
“Mulder froze mid step. Agent Childers had managed to
crystallize in one brutal sentence the thought that was
flitting around the edges of his mind since opening that
fucking delivery this morning. He was momentarily unable to
respond. Sensing the impact of this last sentence, Scully
stepped in between the two agents.
“Anyone ever tell you you’re an asshole, Dan? No? Well, let
me….Dan, you’re an asshole.” Scully turned and grabbed
Mulder by the arm, leading him away from the smirking agent.
“Come on, Mulder, let’s go.”
Mulder was quiet on the elevator ride back down to the
basement. By the end of the day they still had no leads on
the origin of the package; it was delivered by the post
office, no unaccounted-for prints on it. As far as they could
tell, neither the guys in Violent Crimes or the Lone Gunmen
had sent it as a joke. There wasn’t much else either of them
could do until the person made another move, if they ever did.
Mulder put the letter and photos in the delivery envelope and
stuffed them into a bottom drawer of his desk.
They weren’t working on a case at the moment, just trying to
catch up on the endless paperwork that seemed to pile up
behind them like a wave. They mostly worked in silence,
Scully perceiving that Mulder didn’t feel like talking. About
four in the afternoon, Scully started to gather together her
“Mulder, I’m going to head out. I need to pick up some stuff
at the dry cleaners, and I’d like to beat the traffic.”
“Are you wearing something slinky for me tonight, Scully?” It
was the first time she’d heard the playfulness in his voice
since the elevator ride.
“I wouldn’t get your hopes up, Mulder.”
“A boy can always dream…” he said as he started to put away
paperwork as well. “What time do you want to meet?” They had
agreed to meet at the restaurant; it seemed less like a date
that way. Just two friends getting together to celebrate a
“How about 6:30?” Scully said while pulling on her overcoat
“Great, see you there…and Scully, I’m serious; think about
that slinky thing.”
Toscana’s was Mulder’s favorite Italian restaurant. Lucky for
him it was also in his neighborhood. It lay tucked out of the
way from the rest of the street with the front door opening up
into the back alley. He had discovered it by accident while
out on a jog during one of those nights he couldn’t sleep.
He’d pressed his nose against its darkened window to see the
red and white checkered table clothes, the candles stuck in
oil filled wine bottles sitting on the tables. Clusters of
dried herbs and various cheeses hanging from the rafters.
There were ten tables at the most. He’d gone in the next
night, and had been going there regularly ever since. Roberto
was the proprietor and main chef, and despite the fact that he
liked to smoke a cigarette while he cooked, everything always
Mulder was a little nervous and was at the restaurant a bit
early. He sat in his usual table by the window and waited for
Scully. She was exactly on time, of course. She had told the
truth: She hadn’t worn anything slinky, but she did look nice.
As a matter of fact, she looked great. She took off her coat
to reveal a rather tight white turtleneck made from something
fuzzy with pencil thin black slacks. She had on her usual
chunky black pumps, the ones that made her look taller. The
ones he loved. She had her hair pulled back in a little black
headband, and her face looked young and freshly scrubbed. Her
cheeks were red from the October air.
Scully ordered the wine; she was better at it then he was. He
was in charge of the food. He ordered his favorite, lasagna,
and he ordered her a seafood stew in a tomato broth that he
knew she’d like. The restaurant was cozy, and the two friends
enjoyed each other’s company, for once trying not to talk too
much about work. Mulder was regaling Scully with a story
about an especially stupid contestant on a game show they both
hated. It was insanely popular, and even though they both
hated it, Mulder would often call her during it just so they
could make fun of it together. It was absurd, but they
couldn’t help it. It made them laugh, something they did too
little of together.
“….so I’m screaming at the television –‘which one spells
something backwards? The clue says, which word is spelled
backwards. Only one of the choices says anything backwards!!
I swear to God, Scully, I thought I was gonna take out my gun
and shoot the television.”
Mulder’s green eyes were sparkling with laughter and his hands
were flying through the air as he punctuated his speech with
movement. Scully’s laughter rang through the restaurant, and
the other diners smiled in the direction of the happy couple.
Mulder’s story finished, he took a sip of his wine while
Scully dabbed her crying eyes on the red cloth napkin in her
lap. They had finished dinner and were waiting for their
desserts. Scully reached down into the bag at her feet and
pulled out a cheerfully wrapped package.
“Happy birthday, Mulder.” Her smile looked pleased.
Mulder took the package from her hand and set it in front of
him. “Thank you, Scully.”
“You haven’t even opened it yet,” she said smiling.
“I know, but still, I just want to say thanks.” His voice was
“You’re welcome, Mulder.”
It was a picture of the two of them. It was framed in a dime
store black plastic likeness of a UFO. Their faces were
peeking out of the middle of it. He recognized the photograph
immediately. They had been on one of those hundreds of road
trips that had turned out to be a wild goose chase. It was
near a popular UFO sighting area in New Mexico. He’d
convinced her to get their pictures taken at one of those
stands where you put your face into the hole and a figure is
painted on the front side. Her face was on the body of a
classic alien with the big head and long arms. Except this
one had on a bikini and was holding hands with another alien
that had huge muscles and was wearing a Speedo, a red one.
His smiling face stuck out of that one. It had cost him a
ludicrous amount of money, but it was the summer she had
gotten sick, and he’d been desperate to make her laugh.
“I had a copy made of it. I hope it’s not too goofy.”
“It’s not.” He looked into her smiling eyes. “Thank you.”
She reached across the table and took his hand in hers. She
squeezed it once, rubbing his knuckles with her thumb, and
then let go. His hand felt warm where hers had been; he was
on the verge of reaching out for her when they were
interrupted by the waiter with their desserts.
They spent the remainder of the evening in happy conversation,
unaware of the fury watching them from outside in the
And the river was overflowing
And the sky was fiery red
You gotta play the hand that’s dealt ya
That’s what the old man always said
Jane waits for Fox at his apartment in her usual spot. His
hours tend to vary so much that she’s used to long intervals
in her car waiting for him to come home. Sometimes she would
even fall asleep and wake up to see his living room lights on
and realize she’d missed his arrival. Tonight she’s lucky; he
arrives at just a little past 5:00, hurrying up the sidewalk
from the alley behind the building where he parked. He looks
distracted but happy. She knows he’s gotten her gift by now,
and he doesn’t look especially angry or upset; that must mean
he’s pleased with her package. He’s lonely; he needs someone
to love him.
The days are getting shorter in D.C., and it’s dark when she
notices him exiting the building. She’s not surprised, he
hardly ever goes out at night, but it’s his birthday. He
wouldn’t want to spend it alone in his apartment. He has his
long overcoat on and sets off on foot. She knows where he’s
going – he’s going to their special place. Jane quickly gets
out of her car, careful to grab her backpack which contains
her camera and trots off after him into the night.
He doesn’t seem in a hurry, window shopping as he walks. He
stops in front of a travel agency and stands awhile before its
display poster for some tropical island getaway. A man and a
woman wearing next to nothing stand smiling out to anyone
[click] —She takes his picture.
Finally he arrives at their restaurant. She watches as he
gives the waiter his coat. He looks nice tonight; he isn’t
wearing the usual jeans and a t-shirt. They seat him at his
usual table. He looks restless sitting all alone by the
window. He’s a loner just like her, desperate to find someone
to love, for someone to be with…like she is. People move by
on the street, but she can see only him. His face, looking
out the window into the darkness, waiting for love. Waiting
She moves closer.
She should go to him, tell him she’s here. Ask him if he
likes his gift. Just do it. Just like the commercial says,
Jane, JUST DO IT, she yells to herself. She feels her feet
moving towards the window. She’s breaking out in a cold
sweat. Don’t think, Jane. For once in your miserable piece
of shit excuse for a life do something right. This is right –
– he’s right. Half way across the street, she stops dead in
her tracks. Someone has just walked up to his table and is
It’s her, his partner. What’s she doing here? Jane turns
around quickly, stumbling back to her spot in the shadows.
She’s confused. They never have dinner together. Not in a
restaurant, anyway. Sometimes they eat takeout and work at
his apartment. But never in a restaurant. She looks through
her camera’s telephoto lens at the two of them. They’re both
dressed casually, but nice. His partner is in a too tight
shirt that shows off her perky little tits. I can’t believe
this, she thinks to herself. What does he think he’s doing?
I tell him how much I love him, and he goes out on a date with
his slut partner! She stands and watches them, feeling
stunned. Unable to comprehend what she’s seeing, what he’s
doing to her. Doesn’t Fox know she’s watching? She sent him
pictures so he would know that she was near, that he wasn’t
alone any more. She watches as they order wine; the red head
does that. Doesn’t she know anything about men? She’s not
supposed to order — she’s supposed to let him do that.
She’s too pushy for Fox. She watches as he orders their food
and then as they settle down to eat. She watches in horror as
he gives her a bite of his food from his own fork, using his
thumb to wipe sauce off her chin.
She feels sick.
They’re almost done with their meal; the dinner plates have
been taken away before she comes out of her stupor. His face
is lit up with the telling of a story, his eyes bright with
the details of it. He’s so beautiful. [click] …She takes a
His partners leaning forward in her chair laughing, her face
turned upwards to Fox like a cat to the sun. She starts
taking photos furiously now. How could she have been so
stupid as to think he isn’t like all the rest of them? [click]
He’s nothing but a lying, filthy, disgusting son of a bitch.
Jane’s crying now, tears streaming down her face as she takes
picture after picture of them and their laughter. Eventually
the red head leans down and takes a present out of the bag at
her feet. His face looks soft now, he smiles at her. [click]
The look on his face when he opens his gift almost breaks
Jane’s heart…almost. It takes the woman sitting across from
him to actually shatter it entirely. Jane watches in
disbelief as the woman reaches across the table and takes
Fox’s hand. They’re just looking at each other, and she can
see through her lens as the woman rubs his knuckles with her
Jane feels that caress like a slap in the face. She thinks
she might fall down. The earth is spinning under her feet,
and she can hear the blood rushing in her ears like a
hurricane. He lied to her. Every day he lied to her with his
eyes, with that beautiful mouth. The way he touched her hand,
smiled into her eyes. It is all a lie. She is so furious she
can’t stop shaking. What to do? Where to go? She wants to
scream like a wounded animal. That’s what she is, road kill.
That’s all she ever meant to him – she is nothing – she has
nothing. Jane’s seen enough, and starts to run back to her
car. It’s a good half mile back to his building, and the cold
night air burns in her lungs long before she arrives back to
where she’s parked. Her sobs echo off the buildings, crashing
back on her like a hammer. She wishes she were dead; she
wishes he was dead. Walking around behind the building, she
spots his car in its usual spot. Unexceptional, just like all
the rest of the cars in the alley. Different, but all looking
the same. Just like him — nothing special. Pretending to be
new and different but really just the same pieces of crap as
the year before. She slowly walks up to it, laying her gloved
hand on the hood. No longer sobbing, just crying softly.
She sees the pipe lying by the side of his building,
partially buried in the mud. Desperately wanting to hurt him,
she supposes the car will do for now. Picking up the metal
tube, she stands like a statue in the alley, the pipe resting
in her hands like a baseball bat. She feels she’s observing
herself from a great distance, the street light making
everything an odd combination of light and dark. The mud
puddle shimmers at her feet; light bounces off of the metal in
her hands, glinting off of the zipper on her backpack. She
hears a car horn far off in the distance.
The pipe comes down with such force her hands and arms are
shocked numb from the violence of the vibration. With a dull
thud his windshield shatters into a million tiny puzzle pieces
. She’s surprised that’s all the sound it makes. She brings
it down again – the side window. Again – the back window.
Again – the trunk, over and over again on the trunk. In a
frenzy now, swinging the pipe like an executioner, again and
again and again. She funnels all her rage at him into the
chore in front of her. Her wrath mixing with her tears,
making everything swim before her with blurred vision.
“Hey! What the hell’s going on down there?”
Throwing herself into the shadow of the building, she realizes
she doesn’t know how long she’s been attacking Fox’s car. She
looks at her watch and is stunned to see that it has only been
15 minutes. It feels like a lifetime. Dropping the pipe, she
grabs her backpack and races around the building to her car.
She has to get away before someone sees her. She can barely
hold her keys steady as she tries to unlock her door. Once
inside, she jams the keys in the ignition and heads the car
towards home. Her hands hurt; they feel broken. She can
barely hold onto the steering wheel. She has stopped any
crying now. She feels as if she is in a daze, empty thoughts
echoing around inside her head like a pinball machine. She’s
not even aware of the car; she is just driving on autopilot,
letting it lead her home.
“Hop in, Mulder. I’ll give you a lift back to your place.”
“Thanks. We finished off that bottle; you okay to drive?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. You had more than I did.”
“Get in the car, Mulder.”
Mulder was feeling a pleasant little buzz while he and Scully
walked together through the chilly night to where she had
parked her car. Scully opened his door first and then
scurried around to her own side. Reaching across the seat,
Mulder unlocked her door for her, and she hopped in. “Turn on
the heater, Scully. I’m freezing,” Mulder said, rubbing his
hands together briskly. They sat in the car waiting for it to
get warm, their breath showing in little puffs between them.
“That better?” Scully asked while adjusting the heater button
on the dash.
“Uh huh…” Mulder replied, starting to feel a little sleepy
from the good food and warm air.
Scully pulled away from the curb and they were on their way.
He only lived a short distance from the restaurant. After a
couple of minutes he could already see his building up the
street. “Scully, I left a file I need in my car. Can you
drop me off in the alley?”
“Mulder, you should get to bed; you’re exhausted.”
“Is that an offer?” Mulder turned to smile at her and wait
for the eyebrow, her usual response to his typical off color
remarks. Her face seemed more appalled than usual. He’d said
stuff worse than that before; she must be getting thin
skinned. “Hey Scully, I’m sorry; I was only kid”
“Oh my God….Mulder, is that your car?” Scully’s voice was
breathy and directed over his right shoulder. Mulder turned
around in his seat to look out his passenger side window.
“Wooww.” Mulder dragged out the word until it was several
syllables longer than intended. It was all he could manage at
that moment. His car was trashed. Yeah, trashed was
definitely the word he would choose to describe it. Slowly he
exited the vehicle to circle around the wreck before him.
Scully quickly got out to stand next to him. “Look….” He
reached down to grab the pipe lying at his feet in a pile of
“Mulder!” Scully grabbed his arm. “Don’t pick that up! There
could be fingerprints on it.”
“Fingerprints?” He stared dumbly at her for a moment, then at
the pipe at his feet. Of course, Scully was right. She was
always right about this type of thing. He shouldn’t touch
anything. He satisfied himself by just staring at his car.
All of the windows were bashed out, there were numerous dents
in his hood, and the trunk had popped open it was hit so many
times. The roof was less damaged; only a couple of dents in
that. The person must not have been very tall, he thought
absent-mindedly. Scully spoke first.
“Mulder, this could be your admirer from this morning.” Her
voice was low, as if she was reminding him of something she’d
prefer not to mention. She pulled out her cell. “I’m calling
“I guess this means I’m not getting lucky tonight, huh?”
Mulder’s tone was less than jovial as he turned to watch for
it — finally, the eyebrow.
Several hours later, the exhausted federal agents came through
the front door of Scully’s apartment, Mulder with his travel
bag over his shoulder. “Scully, I don’t think this is
necessary. We checked out my apartment; it wasn’t touched. I
could have stayed at my place.”
“Mulder, we’ve gone over this already. It will make me feel
better if you don’t stay there tonight. Just until you get a
chance to have your locks changed tomorrow. It’s not like
you’re not used to sleeping on a couch.”
“Scully, there’s no evidence that my car being trashed has
anything to do with that delivery I got this morning. Why
would someone tell me they loved me in the morning and that
night trash my car? Besides, wouldn’t they have left a note
saying they did it or something? Isn’t that the stalkers
modus operandi, letting their victims know what havoc they are
raising so the victim can be impressed?” Mulder’s voice was
tired; they had been arguing this point since she had called
the police and then tried to tell them it might be a stalker.
“Neither one of us is up on the latest stalker psychology,
Mulder; you know that. I’ll start researching it tomorrow and
maybe we can learn more. But for tonight, I just want you
here. Not in your apartment. Besides, you would just end up
calling me in the middle of the night when you couldn’t get to
sleep anyway. Why not just stay here so at least I can
Scully was more concerned for Mulder than she let on. The
damage to his car was extreme; the amount of effort it would
have taken to accomplish it was no small matter. Someone that
angry was best to avoid at all costs. So far not much had
been discovered regarding the identity of the vandal. The
only lead they had was a neighbor who had heard noises in the
alley and yelled at someone whom he didn’t see. They were
checking for fingerprints on the car and the pipe. So far
they had found nothing.
“I’m exhausted,” Mulder sighed as he fell back onto her couch.
“The evening started great but sort of petered out in the
“Yeah – happy birthday, Mulder.” Scully grinned at him as she
brought out some sheets and a pillow for him to use. “Feel
free to use the guest bathroom. You know the drill. I’m
going to bed; I’m beat,” she said while trying to stifle a
yawn but failing.
“Uh huh, I know. I’ll see you in the morning…..where’s the
remote?” Mulder was looking under the couch cushions with no
Scully listened from her room as Mulder got ready for bed. He
must have found the remote because she could hear him
switching channels trying to find something to help him sleep.
Brushing her teeth, she let her mind wander over the day’s
events. She was going to start doing some research on
stalking tomorrow whether Mulder liked it or not.
Jane is trying to take off her gloves without crying out in
pain. She doesn’t think she’s broken anything, but both of
her hands have swelled up so much she can’t move her fingers
very well. Finally she gets the gloves off and is soaking her
entire body in a hot bath. It’s so late now, and she’s
exhausted. Closing her eyes, she lets her mind wander. Her
rage at Fox feels a long way away now — days even. She’s
been thinking a lot about what happened earlier, at the
restaurant, and she’s certain she must have misunderstood his
intentions, although she doubts she misunderstood his
partner’s intention. Obviously, the partner is in love with
him. Why didn’t she see it before? How could she not be?
So, the redhead’s decided no one else can have him. That’s
why she’s throwing herself at him, laughing too loud at his
stories, reaching over to *him* and taking his hand. Fox
hadn’t reached out to her, hadn’t stroked her hands, hadn’t
given her the gift. Jane’s original assumption had been
right. He isn’t in love with the redhead; it was the redhead
that’s in love with him. With this realization, a new wave of
emotions floods over her. Guilt. Oh my God, what have I
done? I’ve wrecked his car, caused him pain, maybe even
frightened him! She starts crying again, not in anger this
time but with remorse. She’ll make it up to him. He has to
understand that she only did this because she loves him.
Because she was afraid she was losing him. He’ll understand.
He’ll admire her for her persistence and the depth of her
love; that’s what he’ll do. Of course, that’s what he’ll
It only makes sense — it’s the truth. Why would she hurt him
when she loves him so much? That’s the only thing that makes
sense. She loves him. They were meant for each other; he’ll
understand. First he has to see that he loves her. Then,
when they’re together, she’ll tell him about the car. He’ll
admire her; the depth of her devotion to him will inspire him.
They’ll laugh at how jealous she was, how silly she was to
think he could ever love that redhead.
She starts to plan.
When her fingers finally start to move, she gets out of her
bath; wrapping herself in her fluffy robe and winding the
towel around her head, she walks to her phone. There’s only
one way she can find out for sure. She’s going to have to
tell him that she loves him. He has to know who she is.
She picks up her phone.
It rings three times. The machine picks up…’This is Fox
Mulder. Please leave a message.” Quickly she hangs up. Why
doesn’t he answer? Where is he? Jane’s mind is racing. She
looks up at her clock — oh. It’s midnight; he’s probably in
bed. Shit! She hung up. He was probably trying to get to the
phone from bed. Now he’s holding a phone without anyone on
the other end. Good job, Jane. What an idiot. Should she call
555-9355. It’s ringing again…”This is Fox Mulder. Please
leave a message.”
“Hello, Fox. It’s me. It’s Jane. Are you there? Fox, it’s me,
Jane from the coffee shop. It’s okay to pick up. I know
already how you feel about me. You don’t have to be
embarrassed. I feel the same way, but you already know that,
I’m sure. Fox? Fox, are you there?” Jane was starting to
feel uneasy. “Fox, it’s midnight. You should be home by now.
Where are you? Well, okay. I guess I’ll call back later.
Maybe you went out…I…I love you.”
Where is he? She paces back and forth in her apartment,
trying to decide what to do now. He couldn’t still be out
with his partner; it was past midnight now. They were almost
done when she ran from the restaurant.
“This is Fox Mulder. Please leave a message.”
“Fox, it’s me again. I waited a little while and I’m trying
you back again. But of course you know that, don’t you. I am
speaking on your machine again.” Jane is laughing now at how
little sense she’s making. “Did you get my birthday present
this morning? I guess it’s yesterday now, isn’t it? Fox,
please answer the phone. I know you’re there. Why won’t you
pick up? Don’t you want to speak with me? I know if you just
talk to me, you’ll understand why we’re meant for each other.
We have so many things in common. Please, Fox, please pick up
the phone. Fox, where are you?”
“This is Fox Mulder. Please leave a message.”
“God dammit, Fox! This is ridiculous. It’s after 1am now.
Where are you?! If you’re there and not picking up the phone,
you are really hurting my feelings. Fox? —- Fox? I don’t
want to frighten you; am I frightening you? That’s not my
intention, I promise you. I would never hurt you; you have to
know that. I love you, Fox. Please, Fox.” Jane is starting
to cry now in frustration. Why won’t he answer her? Maybe
he’s angry with her because he’s guessed that she trashed his
car. Something in the back of Jane’s head warns her not to
mention that just yet. She’s not stupid; she knows Fox is an
FBI agent. Until she can make him realize how much they are
meant to be together, she doesn’t think she should bring that
She loses track of the number of times she tries him at home.
She’s finally poured her heart out to him tonight – over his
machine. It’s a strange feeling she has now, almost of
relief. She feels lighter for having told him. It was hard
not telling him all this time, watching him without telling
him. Now it will be better. Now he will have to see how
devoted she is. He will be powerless against the strength of
her love. Even though she’s angry at him for not being home,
she’s almost happy she was able to leave all of her messages.
It will be like an audio tape of her love to him. He can
carry it around with him, play it in his car….oh, right, she
sort of messed that up. Well, he can buy a new car. They can
go together and laugh over things like which color to buy.
Neither of them will ever be alone any more.
She’s so sleepy now — exhausted with the telling of her
secret. What was it that man wrote? To sleep, perchance to
dream? Yes, that’s what she’s going to do — dream about Fox.
It was starting.
Mulder could feel it in his gut. Weeks from now he would
remember this moment. Hell, who was he kidding? Years from
now he would remember this moment. Sitting in Scully’s
apartment in the early morning, the dawn drifting through her
curtains, across the floor towards his bare feet. He held the
phone cradle in his hands, the voice still rambling in his
ears. He’d been listening for about 10 minutes now. When
he’d first called and his machine had told him he had 22
messages, he’d thought it must be broken. He had expected a
few, maybe from the DCPD regarding fingerprints, something
like that. Not this. This, he had not been expecting. It
was the girl from the coffee shop! He couldn’t believe it; it
was insane. If he hadn’t heard her pouring her heart out to
him on his own phone, he would never have believed it. He was
up to message 17 now…..he hung up. He needed to think. She
hadn’t mentioned the car yet, whether she was the
vandal….could it have been her? He didn’t know whether to
wish for it or not. If it was, she might be dangerous. Well,
she’s a stalker. That rules out sane from the get go, really.
If it wasn’t her, then he had extremely bad karma, that’s for
sure. Hey… how did she get his phone number, anyway?
Mulder was still sitting on the couch, his hands folded in his
lap, staring out into space, when Scully shuffled into the
living room. “Morning, Mulder. I’m going to make some
oatmeal; you want some?” She stopped. He was just sitting
there. Something was wrong. “Mulder?” she whispered.
“I think we’re in trouble.” Mulder was looking at the hands in
his lap now. He felt odd, almost disconnected. Surreal,
that’s the word he was looking for. “Scully, I *know* I’m in
trouble, but I think you might be in for some trouble too.”
Did he say that aloud? He looked up at Scully to gauge her
reaction. As always, whenever he had the good luck to sleep
nearby, he was thrilled at how she looked in the mornings.
Sort of rumpled, but in a nice way. She slowly walked over to
the couch and sat beside him.
“Mulder, you’re frightening me. What are you talking about?”
Scully was sitting on the edge of the couch. “Did you have a
nightmare or something? I didn’t hear anything. Did you not
“My secret admirer called my house. I have 22 highly lovelorn
— and by the time I got to 17 very agitated — answering
machine messages. It’s the girl who gets my coffee in the
morning! Can you believe that? I can’t believe this, Scully!
She thinks I love her. She thinks she loves me! Actually,
she sounds pretty sure of the ‘her loving me’ part. She’s the
one who sent me the birthday card and the pictures! She’s
been watching me. For months now, she said. She somehow has
my phone number; I’m not sure how. She must have gone through
my trash. I knew I should have bought that shredder. For
someone who’s paranoid, I’m a total idiot.” He said seemingly
in one breath.
“Mulder, slow down. I can’t understand you. What are you
talking about? What girl at your coffee shop? How are we in
trouble?” Scully had his hand now and was jerking his arm up
and down, trying to get him to focus on her. He reached over
to the phone and hit redial, then handed it to her.
She did. Unlike her partner she listened to all 22 messages.
She tried forcing her mind not to wander, but it was hard.
Mulder was staring at her now, at her face, studying her
Mulder was watching his partner for any sign of fear. Had she
gotten to the part about her yet? He couldn’t remember which
message started mentioning her….He hated his answering
machine. He had the worst luck with that fucking machine.
He’d heard Scully being taken from him on that machine. The
messages varied but had one similarity, they sucked.
Screaming for help messages. Please come to say goodbye
before it’s too late messages. Countless hushed conversations
from hospital waiting rooms while she waited for test results,
refusing to let him wait with her. More countless messages
from anonymous assholes, black lunged bastards, one-armed
bastards. Now this. It never ended for him. This was the
last straw Mulder thought. I’m getting rid of that damned
There it is; she’s heard her own name now…..”Scully?” She
was still holding his hand, and he felt the involuntary
twitch at the sound of her own name.
“…I know that bitch partner of yours won’t leave you alone.
I watched you at dinner tonight, the way she was throwing
herself at you. That tight white shirt left nothing to the
imagination. Just tell her you don’t love her. Tell her to
leave you the fuck alone. I’ll do it for you if you are
afraid of hurting her feelings. We can have a woman to woman
Scully felt herself turning pink at the mention of her shirt
from last night. It was cashmere. She had stood in the
dressing room staring at her image a full ten minutes before
deciding to buy it. It was nice looking on her, but she had
worried that it was too obvious. In her secret heart, she
bought it because she knew Mulder would like it. Mulder’s
right; they are in trouble. But Scully knows something else
as well, something she won’t share with Mulder.
Jane’s in more trouble.
All the tears
All the rage
All the blues in the night
If my eyes could see
You kneeling in the silver light.
Mulder had been right. It had started that morning. They had
asked some contacts in the DCPD what they should do and had
been told they couldn’t do anything. They had no proof that
she’d trashed his car; there was no evidence. She hadn’t
admitted to anything, so they couldn’t have her arrested.
There was nothing illegal about leaving too many love messages
on someone’s answering machine. They had spent that morning
boning up on their stalking psychology before deciding on what
approach to take. That had made Scully feel better. She
always felt better the more she knew about something. Mulder,
on the other hand, felt worse. Not that he wasn’t glad to
know what to expect; it was just that the information
basically told them they wouldn’t know what to expect. Every
source they found had been very explicit that he should under
no circumstances make contact with Jane, that if he never
communicated with her in any fashion she might just give up
and go away.
She wouldn’t stop leaving messages even though he never picked
up his phone any more. He got another line and left his old
one hooked up as well. The material said that was a good idea
because then she could leave all her little love poems on that
machine and he could still get phone calls he needed. He
didn’t tell anyone the number except Scully. Between that new
number and his cell, they were always in reach of each other.
He had the locks changed and made sure the manager knew not to
let anyone into the building besides his partner. He finally
bought that shredder. It had taken Mulder a few days before he
could convince Scully to let him go back to his apartment.
After he had a little fit about not letting Jane take over his
life, Scully gave in, and he came back home. She made him
call her every night before bed and every morning when he woke
up. Which was okay, since he did that half the time anyway.
Jane was leaving him letters all the time now. She mailed
them, left them for him at the front door of his building and
under the windshield wipers of his car. His new car, thanks
to her. She had never admitted to vandalizing his car, but he
was pretty sure it had been her. They assumed it was her
anger over their birthday dinner that night.
It was starting to get to him, this constant looking over his
shoulder. Waiting to run into her. Wondering what he should
do if he saw her. Should he run the other way? Should he
pretend he didn’t see her and walk right by her? He knew what
he *wanted* to do to her: He wanted to scream at her. Scream
at her to leave him alone, scream that he didn’t love her.
That he wanted his life back. Ha! That was a laugh; who
would have thought he would long for his old life? He did,
though. He longed to be alone again, just him and his partner
against the world. Even the world Scully and he inhabited
made more sense than this one inhabited by Jane. It was
strange but true; at least with those men in the shadows he
could make some sense out of what their goals were. In a way
their mission was impersonal, just a means to an end. Nothing
about Jane made sense. Every notion he had about love was the
opposite of what this woman wanted from him. Years with
Scully had taught him what love was, how it protected a person
and gave them strength. It was something to be relied on and
trusted, not feared. Jane made no sense; he didn’t know what
she was going to do.
Mulder was sitting at his desk one morning about two weeks
after the first call when Scully came and perched on one
corner. “Mulder, I think it’s time.” Her voice was even,
like she had been planning this conversation during her
“Time for what?” He was tired, not up to guessing what was on
“I think it’s time we had her served with a restraining order.
It’s been two weeks now. I don’t think she’s going to go
“No, I don’t think she is, either. I’ve been thinking about
it as well. You know what they say, though: This could be
okay, or it could make it worse. We don’t know what it will
do to her.” He looked up at his partner, already deciding to
leave it up to her.
“I don’t think she’s left us a choice. I’ll call Teresa at the
DA’s and have one drawn up and signed today. She’ll send one
of her guys over to Jane’s job and serve her. Then I guess
we’ll just wait.” Scully sounded tired too.
He knew the dark circles under her eyes matched his own .
Suddenly the thought of more waiting made him furious. “Why
should I have to wait any longer?” He jumped up from his
chair, causing it to tip over backwards with a crash. Scully
jumped in surprise. “I’m tired of this bullshit! I can’t
even take a walk, I haven’t gone running in weeks, I’m going
crazy cooped up in this fucking office! All I do is hide out
here. Why is it that she gets to walk around and do whatever
she wants, but I have to hide out here in the basement!?” He
was pacing back and forth in front of his desk now, hands
jammed in his slacks, his tie loose under his collar.
“I’m sorry, Mulder.”
“You’re sorry?! Great. Just great. Well, that doesn’t seem to
be helping me out very much. Thanks to you, if I get tired of
hanging out here I can always head up to VC and listen to the
guys taunt me about my sweetheart. That’s always good for a
He knew that was a cheap shot – knew it the second it flew
from his mouth, but he didn’t care. He was angry, and she was
the only convenient target for his anger. He had nowhere to
go, nothing to do, but yell at the one person whom he would
least like to be angry. So he did.
After the shock of his sudden movement she relaxed back
against the desk. This time around to the front, watching him
pace back and forth. Scully knew he was frustrated and needed
to take it out on someone, so she let him yell. She had
watched him carefully these last couple of weeks. He was
getting tired. He started out treating it like a joke,
kidding her about his luck with women, how he had his own
private fan club and wasn’t she jealous? His kidding stopped
as the attention increased. Then the dark circles appeared.
He was getting jumpy; when they were outside he was always
tense. At first he would look around for Jane. Now he mostly
walked head down, trying to make himself small and
inconspicuous. She knew the inaction would be what would get
to him in the end. Mulder wasn’t the type of person who stood
idly by and let things happen to him. He was a doer, not a
doee. As far as Scully was concerned, it was time for some
“Are you done?” Her voice was even, not a hint of anger
He stood in front of her, towering over her as usual, but
feeling small. He sat down on the edge of the chair in front
of his desk. Standing up, she walked over to him and gathered
him in her arms, letting him rest his head on her middle, his
arms laying limply in his lap. All the fight left him as
suddenly as it had appeared. She smoothed his hair with one
hand while keeping the other at the base of his neck, pressing
him into her.
“Yeah, I’m done,” he said, his voice barely audible.
“Mulder, we’re going to end this. You’ll see. I won’t let
her take away our lives. Pathetic as it sounds, they’re all
we’ve got.” He could hear the smile in her voice. Grateful
to know she considered his life as much her own and he
considered hers his.
“I’m sorry I said those things. They were stupid and not
true. I know you’re tired and want this over as much as I
do.” He didn’t want to move; it was nice here. Her hands
were relaxing him. He hadn’t been relaxed in weeks. Since
“I’ll handle it, Mulder. We’ll start the paperwork to get her
served and then go from there. No matter what, this will
end.” She was pushing him back in his chair now, pulling away
from him. She removed one hand from his shoulder and ruffled
his hair, then walked to the other side of the desk.
Jane is feeling depressed. It’s been two weeks and not a word
from Fox. Nothing. He stopped coming into the coffee shop
after she called him the first time. She only stays there
because the hours are flexible and she needs the money. Jane
is still faithful to Fox, however. She writes and calls him
every day, leaving poems and thoughts about what their future
can be if he will just see her. She knows that if he will
stop being afraid and speak to her, he’ll feel better. She
just wants him to notice her; that’s not too much to ask for.
If he will listen to her, the rest can take care of itself,
she’s sure. She’s still following him when she’s not working.
Not that he’s going anywhere any more. If he’s not at his
job, he’s at his apartment, or hers. The partner is refusing
to go away. As a matter of fact, it seems that she never
leaves his side now. It’s infuriating. He never goes out
anymore. He hasn’t been jogging in weeks. Now he takes a gym
bag to the office and works out in the building. She misses
She tells him in letters that she’s always there; even if he
can’t see her, she’s nearby. Which she usually is. She
doesn’t want to frighten him by approaching him as much as she
could. It’s up to him to realize what she means to him. She
won’t force him.
Today, it’s cold, but the sun is bright and she’s sitting on a
park bench outside his building. It’s about noon, and she’s
just arrived from work. She doesn’t expect him, but it’s so
nice out today that she can’t resist lounging on the bench
watching the pigeons. Suddenly she sees him. He must have
the same thought because he’s walked out of the building and
is slowly making his way towards her bench. She doesn’t think
he’s spotted her yet, she sits very still. He’s about ten
feet away when she can’t contain herself any more. “Fox?”
Her voice stops him in his tracks. Looking up, he meets her
eyes. He wants to speak to her; he’s struggling with what he
should say. She can see the concentration on his face, the
words forming behind his beautiful eyes. He looks just like a
little boy, she thinks absent- mindedly. She slowly stands
up; she doesn’t want to frighten him. He seems to make up his
mind in a split second. He whirls around on his heels and
walks back towards his building, quickly disappearing through
the revolving doors. She stares at the air he disturbed, then
stands on the spot where he had just been. A small smile is
on her face….she can smell his aftershave in the cold air.
She turns around herself then and makes her way back to her
car. She can continue waiting for him there.
They come out of the building together after about an hour.
Jane follows several cars behind as they slowly weave in and
out of traffic. Fox is driving his new car. He eventually
pulls up in front of the bank. Parking a half block behind
him, she takes out her camera and focuses the zoom lens on
him. He goes inside the bank carrying some papers in his
gloved hands. As soon as he’s in the bank, the passenger side
door opens and the redhead gets out, closes the door, and
crosses over to the sidewalk. She starts walking briskly down
the street towards Jane. Putting down her camera, Jane grabs
the newspaper on the passenger seat to put in front of her
face so she can’t be seen.
Jane starts at the sound of the taps on her window. Lowering
her paper, she’s amazed to see the partner bent down, looking
directly at her through the closed window. She’s frozen in
shock for a moment. Then just as suddenly, she feels very
calm. She won’t let this pushy woman frighten her. Instead
of rolling down her window, she quickly makes a decision to
open the door and stand face to face with Fox’s partner. She
opens her door, and the redhead takes a step back. She’ll
give her some credit: She doesn’t even flinch at Jane opening
her door. Finally — communication. They know she is here –
that she must be dealt with. Standing in front of his
partner, bracing herself for the confrontation, she’s
gratified to realize that they’re the same height. At least
she’s not shorter than her; usually she’s shorter than
“My name is Special Agent Dana Scully with the FBI. I’m
Mul..Fox Mulder’s partner.” Her voice was low but hard. “Agent
Mulder does not wish to know you. Not now, not ever. If you
persist in this stalking and harassment, we will be forced to
bring you to the attention of the local authorities.”
“If you could, you would have done it by now.” Jane tries to
keep her voice as steady as the woman’s before her. “You
think that because Fox lets you lead him around, that because
you never let him be by himself, that you own him. That you
control whom he sees or wants to be with. But you don’t. No
one can choose for him like that. Because, you see….Special
Agent Dana Scully with the FBI, Fox and I are fated for each
other. We have a chance at a love you can never know. You’re
pathetic in your smothering of him, in your silly attempts at
keeping us apart. It won’t work. He will know me. He will
love me, if he doesn’t already. And you can’t stop us.” Jane
can feel the blood ringing in her ears.
“Let me tell you something, Jane.” Jane visibly flinches at
the use of her name by this woman. “I am telling you this for
your own good. Fox Mulder does NOT love you. He does not
WANT to love you. And if you ever attempt to lay a hand on
him, disturb even one hair on his head, you’ll have more
problems before you than you thought possible. I will invade
your life like a plague. My number one goal will be your
removal, in whatever manner possible. Do you understand what
I’m saying to you, Jane?” The redhead’s eyes are so blue and
clear and hard that they remind Jane of marbles. A hard
hearted, blue eyed, red headed bitch is what this woman is.
Jane realizes suddenly that she has underestimated the power
for evil of which the partner is capable.
“I understand.” And she does, perfectly.
The partner turns around, her coat billowing behind her in the
wind, and walks back to the car.
Jane realizes that Fox has come out of the bank and has seen
them speaking to each other.
He is already half way down the street by the time the redhead
was turning away from her and walking back to the car. He
looks frightened. She feels rooted to this part of the
sidewalk, incapable of movement. She watches as Fox puts his
hand on the small of his partner’s back, leaning into her as
he listens to what she’s saying to him. Lying, no doubt,
telling him lies, awful things about Jane which he will have
no choice but to believe because he refuses to speak with her
and hear the truth. All she asks is for him to know the
“Scully, what the hell are you doing?!”
“Shhh, Mulder. Not here. Get in the car.”
Mulder’s first thought on seeing Scully talking with some
woman on the sidewalk was idle curiosity. When he realized
whom she was speaking to, the thought turned to fear. It
engulfed him for a split second like a firecracker. He was
half walking, half jogging down the street towards her before
he even realized it. But she was turning around at that
point, her tiny face set like marble. He kept his hand at her
waist during the entire walk back to the car; it kept his hand
steady. Deciding to steal a quick look over his shoulder back
at Jane, he can see her still standing there, staring after
them, her face as hard as Scully’s had been a few moments
Finally, within the safety of his car, he places both hands on
his steering wheel, at ten and two, just like in Driver’s Ed.
He takes a deep breath. “Ok, Scully. One more time. What
did you think you were doing?”
“I spotted her behind us when we were pulling out of the
office parking lot. When you went into the bank, I decided to
speak with her. That’s all. Just a little one on one talk,
just her and me. We know you shouldn’t have any type of
communication with her, so I thought I would try giving it a
“And that’s it. All I said was that you asked that she stop
stalking and harassing you. That if she didn’t stop, we would
be forced to contact the authorities.” Scully was looking
into her side mirror, watching as Jane’s car drove away.
“And what did she say?” Mulder was staring hard at her now.
She kept her eyes out the side window.
“She called my bluff. Said if there was anything the cops
could do, they would have done it already.” Scully turned to
Mulder now, moving in her seat to face him, leaning her head
back into the glass. “Then she went on quite a tirade about
how I can’t prevent you from loving her, that you and she are
meant to be together. You’re fated, I believe is how she
phrased it. It’s all typical love obsessional
behavior, Mulder. It’s practically textbook. She thinks that
if you will only notice her, you will fall in love with her.
She’s unable or unwilling to attribute this lack of attention
from you to any lack of interest, so she’s attributing it to
me.” She finished the last part of this sentence in a quiet
“What did you say after that? After she told you that she and
I are destined for each other?” It was Mulder’s turn to speak
in a whisper. He was still staring at her.
Scully stayed in her position, careful to keep her voice
steady and not to take her eyes from his. “I suggested she
think twice before making any rash or foolish decisions
Mulder leaned forward and rested his forehead on the steering
wheel. He kept his head turned sideways so he could watch
her. “You shouldn’t have said that, Scully. That wasn’t a
very good idea. She’s already focusing on you; that will only
increase her agitation.”
“I know. But you aren’t the only person around here getting
sick of this.” She was straightening up in her chair now,
putting her seat belt on. Her head was tipped down towards
the buckle as she clicked the belt into its slot by the
emergency brake. Her laughing eyes peeked up through the red
strands of hair hanging down in front of her face. “Besides,
if anyone’s going to make your life a living hell, it’s going
to be me. Not some whacked out coffee girl with too much time
on her hands.”
Mulder’s head was still leaning against the steering wheel as
he watched her wriggle in her seat trying to get comfortable.
“You’re adorable when you’re jealous.”
“Just drive the car, Mulder.” There was a small smile on her
Jane’ s at work. It’s the day after her run in with the
redhead. She was up most of the night thinking about Special
Agent Dana Scully of the FBI. Jane is now more certain than
ever that something needs to be done about her. The redhead
is poisoning Fox against her, preventing him from seeing what
is best for him.
She’s been at work for about two hours when it happens.
“May I help you?” Jane asks two men in suits who have just
walked up to her counter.
“Are you Jane Mathiasen?” The taller one asks in a quiet
“Yes…yes, I am. Why? Who wants to know? Do I know you?”
She’s starting to feel butterfly wings in her stomach.
Something’s not right. She feels her palms starting to sweat.
“Jane Mathiasen, you are hereby issued a temporary restraining
order by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to
cease and desist in any attempts to contact a…” He looked
down at a piece of paper in his hand. “…Fox William Mulder
of 2630 Hegal Place, apartment #42, Alexandria, Virginia,
23242. Do not contact, attack, strike, threaten, batter,
telephone, or otherwise disturb the peace of Fox William
Mulder. Stay at least 100 yards away from Mr. Mulder at all
times. Stay at least 100 yards away from the residence of Mr.
Mulder at all times. Stay at least 100 yards away from the
place of employment of Mr. Mulder at all times. Do you
understand what I’m saying to you, ma’am?” He makes no
attempt to lower his voice as he stares into her eyes.
She’s in shock. She looks around the coffee shop. Everyone’s
staring at her in disbelief. People are stepping out of
their places in line behind the men in suits to look at her,
eyebrows raised, like she’s a car accident on the way to work
in the morning. She can’t breathe. She’s going to throw up.
She can feel her eyes starting to tear up; she puts her palm
to her mouth to keep from groaning.
“Ma’am, do you understand what I’m telling you?” He has both
hands face down on her counter now, leaning over and looking
at her like a bug.
“Yes.” She grinds the word out between clenched teeth and
“Good. Here’s the order; feel free to peruse it at your
leisure. Your hearing appearance is noted on the inside.
Good day.” With that the two of them turn and walk out. The
second man must have been insurance in case she freaked out.
They should have stayed longer; she may still freak out. Her
hand is still pressed tightly to her mouth when she realizes
that the owner’s standing next to her behind the counter.
He’s looking at her like the people in line, like he’s never
seen her before, like she’s a freak of nature.
“Jane, why don’t you take a break. I’ll see you in the back,
okay?” He keeps his voice low.
Slowly Jane turns and walks through the double doors behind
the counter, straight through the break room and out the door
into the parking lot behind the coffee shack. Now that she’s
sure no one’s watching her, she drops to her knees and starts
to wretch. Tears are streaming down her face, and she can’t
stop gasping for air. What did he do? How could he have done
that to her? She is so humiliated that she can’t stop crying.
I can’t believe he did this to us. Sobbing now, she shivers
in the October morning air for several minutes before she
tries to stand up. It takes all her strength; she has to stay
on all fours for a moment before she moves to a crouching
position and slowly rises to stand upright. She’s still bent
over, gasping for air, her hands on her legs just above her
knees, when her boss speaks.
“Jane, I want you to get your stuff together and leave. I’ll
send your check to you at home. You’re fired.” Her boss is
standing by the back door. He looks an odd mixture of
sheepishness and fear. If she weren’t so humiliated at this
moment, she might laugh.
Jane doesn’t say anything; she doesn’t know what to say,
anyway. How could she explain to him what was happening to
her? How could she tell him that the redhead is a powerful
FBI agent and that she, little old Jane, is getting royally
fucked? Why would he believe her? No one ever believed her;
she is nothing. Less than nothing. She stands up straight,
wipes the back of her hand against her mouth, then wipes her
hand off with her apron. She needs to brush her teeth or at
least get a drink of water before he throws her out.
She rinses her mouth in the bathroom and grabs her coat and
scarf. Putting her backpack over her shoulder, she walks out
the back door without saying a word. Neither Jane nor her
boss say goodbye.
Scully put down the phone and looked at her partner. He
looked back, his face strained.
“It’s done, Mulder. That was Teresa; she said they did the
whole treatment. Read her the entire thing in front of
everyone.” Scully leaned back in her chair, folding her small
hands in her lap, resting them on her stomach.
Mulder wasn’t looking at her any more; he was playing with a
pencil, twirling it in his hands. “What did she do?” His
voice was quiet.
“She didn’t do anything. He said she just looked shocked,
like she didn’t expect it.” She didn’t want to say anything
to him about how Jane had started to cry. That would just
make Mulder feel worse. He was already feeling guilty.
Mulder felt guilty for everything. Everything that goes wrong
in the world was seemingly Mulder’s fault. He always thought
that there was something he had failed to do, someone he
couldn’t take care of or keep safe. She knew this about her
partner, so she spared him this small fact. She won’t tell
him Jane cried. “Mulder, this isn’t your fault. You didn’t
ask for her to do this to you. She’s mentally ill. You can’t
be responsible for that, can you?” Scully’s voice has lowered
now as well, matching her partner’s.
“No. I know that.”
He looked up at her now. His eyes were still sad, but he
managed a sheepish smile. “Am I that transparent?”
“Only to me. I have special G-woman powers.”
“I suspected as much.”
She’s standing in front of a plate glass window reading
“Terry’s Pawn Shop”. How did she get here? She doesn’t
remember. She must have walked. She remembers the two men,
that horrible scene at her job. Her old job, she should say.
She even remembers walking out the back door — after that
it’s a blank. She’s in a run down section of the city a few
blocks from her apartment, she knows that. What time is it?
Looking at her watch, she’s amazed to realize she has been
wandering aimlessly for almost three hours. Turning around to
gaze back into the plate glass window, she sees it. It’s as
if she is meant to be here at this moment in time. Because
there it is: the answer to all of her problems. A gun. She
stares at it like it’s a living, breathing creature. It is.
She realizes now what all of this has been leading to. It’s
so obvious, really. She believes in fate; it’s what led her
to him, to Fox. It can still save her; she just has to listen
to it, to not be afraid.
She’s not afraid anymore.
If you’re out there can you touch me
Can you see me I don’t know
If you’re out there can you reach me
Lay a flower in the snow
“Come on, Mulder; let’s get out of here.” It was close to
five, and Mulder and Scully were preparing to leave town the
next week. They were finally getting back to a case after
several weeks of playing catch up on delinquent paperwork.
“You know, Scully, this would never have happened if we were
keeping busy and not being forced to wade through all this
crap.” Mulder was picking up the last of the manila file
folders, rubber banding them, and stuffing them into
interoffice mailing envelopes. They were being routed to
various departments within the building: accounting,
personnel, Skinner, so on and so forth. “If we were out
catching monsters and aliens, I wouldn’t have had time to be
drinking so much coffee; therefore, crazy coffee girls
wouldn’t be stalking me. There’s a lesson to be learned in
“Yeah, you should drink more water.” Scully laughed at her
own joke as she neatly placed her file folders within her own
inter office routing envelopes going to similar departments as
Mulder’s — arriving in much better condition, no doubt.
“What time is our plane Monday?” It was Friday, and they
weren’t flying out till Monday. They had the weekend to get
ready, instead of the usual 45 minutes.
“Uh…” Mulder’s dug under the paperwork stacked on his
laptop. “8:45am, flight… 0860 on Delta.”
“You just want to meet at the airport?”
“Yeah, that sounds fine. I’m sure we’ll talk this weekend
sometime; we don’t have to decide now.” It was silly to think
he could go an entire two whole days without speaking with her
on the phone at some point. He’d given up pretending he had a
life without her a long time ago. She knew he didn’t.
“Are you going to be okay tonight, Mulder? Would you like to
come over and watch a video or something? I can make pasta.”
Scully was putting on her coat now, straightening the collar
and pushing her hair behind her ears. “We can go over the
notes on this case if you want.”
“Maybe. We’ll see. I’m thinking I might like to go for a run
tonight, get out of the house. I don’t think I can stand one
more night behind my closed door. It’s funny, –I never
really went out too often. Then when I couldn’t, it’s all I
thought about. I’m dying to go to a bar or something. Hear
other people speaking. You know?”
Scully understood. She’d felt like that after the cancer had
gone into remission. She’d had the overwhelming urge to be
among people all the time. She used to go to coffee shops and
just sit there for hours, reading, working crossword puzzles.
It made her feel as if she was part of it again, part of life,
that she existed. “I understand, Mulder. Be careful, okay?
Just because she’s been served doesn’t mean she will obey the
restraining order. Chances are that she won’t; you now that.”
“I know, Scully, but I need to get out. I’ll be careful. I
won’t go anywhere where I’ll be alone, and I’ll take my cell
in case I need to call – okay?” Mulder was putting his own
coat on now. “What are you doing this weekend? Any plans?”
“No, not really. I’m having dinner at my mom’s tomorrow
night. If I have the energy, I might start some early
Christmas shopping for my nieces and nephews on Sunday. We’ll
see.” They were walking out now, side by side, towards the
“You should be careful as well, you know.” Mulder punched the
‘up’ arrow at the elevators. “Why don’t you call me tonight
before you go to bed. Call the cell, just to check in.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea. I will.” They spent the rest of the
elevator ride and walk to the parking garage discussing the
“Good night, Mulder.”
“Good night, Scully – call me.”
Mulder parked his car in the front of the building now, under
the street light. He’d learned his lesson the hard way.
Before, he had pretended to be paranoid; now, he was smart.
These last couple of weeks had taught him the difference
between those two concepts. He had his keys in his hands
before reaching his building’s front door, ready for a quick
entry if he needed one. He didn’t; everything looked peaceful.
He was trying to force himself to relax, to stand up straight,
to look forward, not at the ground.
He checked his mail: the usual, bill, bill, you’ve been pre-
approved, you may already be a millionaire, occupant. Well,
not quite the usual: nothing from Jane. Nothing leaning
against the front door, nothing in his mailbox. That had to
be a good sign. He hoped so. He was thinking about Scully as
he rode up the elevator to the fourth floor. He didn’t want
to worry her, but he couldn’t help but feel uneasy about
Jane’s anger towards his partner. He knew that misplaced blame
and rage were usual in these types of cases.
Scully had been right that day in the car: a love obsessional
personality isn’t capable of blaming the person upon whom he
or she is fixated. Such a person has to find a someone other
then the victim to blame when his or her feelings aren’t
Maybe he should call her now, just to make sure she got home
okay. Just to make himself feel better. Opening the door to
his apartment, he tossed his keys on the table while turning
on the small lamp. He used his foot to close the door while
going through the mail a second time, tossing the junk into a
waste paper basket underneath the table for shredding before
it went into the recycling. Taking off his overcoat, he hung
it on the tree by the table. First he’d call Scully; then he
wanted a hot shower. Going to the desk on the other side of
the room, he noticed that the light was not blinking on the
stalker line. That’s what he’s taken to calling it now: The
Stalker Line. Again, he was not sure what to think of this
turn of events. He picked up the phone to call Scully. He
dialed the cell number in case she was still in the car.
“Hey there. It’s me, just checking that you made it home okay.
How was the drive?”
“Hey, Mulder. The usual, I’m fine. Everything is pretty quiet
on my end; what about yours?”
“So far so good. No letters on the door or in my mailbox. No
messages on the stalker line either. Maybe the nut job finally
got the hint, eh, Scully?”
“Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I never thought I’d say
it, Mulder, but it will be nice to get out of town for once.
I’m looking forward to it.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. So am I. Okay, I’m going to jump
in the shower and then take off. I’ll talk to you later
tonight, Scully. Keep me posted.”
Tossing the phone onto his couch, Mulder started loosening his
tie. Friday was his favorite day of the entire weekend.
Scully thought he was nuts; she liked Sundays. But he had his
theory: Friday held the promise of the weekend – all of the
possibilities lay before you. The work day seemed shorter;
people were in a good mood. And every other Friday was
payday, which made it even better. Saturday was nice, but you
couldn’t help but think about the fact that the next day was
Sunday. And everyone knew that Sunday sucked. No matter how
many decades people were free of the burden of getting up on
Monday and going to school, the memory of spending an average
of 12 to 16 years in school ruined Sundays for everyone for
the rest of their lives. No, Friday was the perfect day, and
he was feeling better than he had in weeks; it was odd to
think this little soap opera had only been going on for a few
weeks, it seemed like a lifetime.
Naked now, Mulder grabbed a towel from the closet and headed
for the bathroom. He stopped to pee before turning on the
shower and adjusting the water temperature. He turned it as
hot as he could stand; then after getting used to it, he
turned it up just a little bit more. Soaping his body, he
could feel the tension starting to leave him. He was already
feeling less and less guilty about Jane. Scully was right: it
was ridiculous for him to think he could have influenced this
in any way. She was obviously mentally ill, and nothing he
could have done would have prevented her actions. All he
could hope for now was that she would turn her attentions on
some other poor sucker and leave him alone. His body was a
bright pink now, and the bathroom was filled with steam,
little droplets forming on the ceiling above his head. The
ventilation was lousy in this bathroom, he thought
absentmindedly as he turned off the water, pushed aside the
curtain, and reached for his towel.
She’s standing inside the closed bathroom with her back to the
door. She’s standing stock still, looking him full in the
face. He freezes.
Her voice is calm and even. She seems perfectly composed, as
if they are old friends who meet every day in his bathroom.
Mulder realizes suddenly that he is standing totally naked and
dripping wet. “May I get my towel, Jane?”
She smiles at him now; however the smile doesn’t reach her
eyes. “Of course, Fox. Never let it be said that I acted
Mulder slowly reaches over and picks up his towel from the
bathroom counter. Wrapping it around himself, he tucks it in
tightly. “Jane, may I ask what you’re doing in my apartment?”
Mulder is trying to stall for time. Her sudden appearance
frightens him, and he’s still trying to recover his composure.
“I’m here to see you, of course.” Her expression does not
change. She is still calm, still relaxed, like a walk in the
“Jane, I’d like to step out of my bathtub now, okay?” Mulder
purposely keeps calling Jane by her name, trying to keep the
tremor out of his voice.
Suddenly Jane pulls the gun out from behind her. She points
it at Mulder’s head and says, “Fox, why don’t you do that.”
Reaching behind her, Jane turns the doorknob and pulls the
door open, never taking her eyes or the gun from Mulder’s
face. She walks backwards towards the bed and Mulder follows
her, passing from the steamy bathroom into his bedroom, his
bare feet making little wet tracks on the wood floor.
“Jane, what are you doing? Why do you have a gun?”
“I’m fulfilling my destiny, and yours. I’m taking matters
into my own hands and out of your bitch partner’s. You
betrayed me, Fox; you betrayed us. You let her come between
what we could have had. You let her keep you from learning
the truth about what we could have been for each other. At
first I bought the gun to kill her. Then I decided to kill
Mulder’s heart stops beating in his chest. He begins to see
little pinpoints of light in his vision. His heart resumes
its rapid thump thump thump. “Why do you want to kill me
Jane? I thought you loved me?”
The movement is so quick that he is taken completely by
surprise. All he has time for is disbelief that someone as
small as the woman in front of him could be that fast. Then
the entire side of the gun, including the butt, hits him full
in the side of the head. He drops like a sack of flour; the
pinpoints of light turn to blotches of darkness that start to
merge with each other. Three seconds later he is unconscious.
She’s waiting for him in his apartment. Using her key, she
lets herself in and is sitting on the floor of his bedroom,
waiting for his arrival. Her purchase is in her backpack, its
extra weight somehow comforting. After leaving the pawn
shop, it is her intention to go after the redhead, to remove
that obstacle in her path to happiness. But then she starts
thinking about her life, her past and her future. She isn’t
happy; she hasn’t been happy in a very long time. If she
really thinks hard, she realizes that Fox is the only person
to ever bring her joy in a life so pathetic that it hurt to
contemplate it. Her life has never brought her anything but
misery. It always had. Her father was a drunk who got more
kicks from his daughter than from his wife. Her mother had
been so grateful to avoid his attentions that she gladly let
Jane take over such “impolite” practices, as she liked to put
it. Nothing about Jane was ever good enough for her mother.
High school had been a total nightmare, a revolving door of
boys who could never give her what she was looking for: love,
security, hope. They always told her how much they loved her
until she gave in to their Impolite intentions. Then they
couldn’t be bothered. Consequently, the girls hated her guts.
In many ways, the girls were so much crueler than the boys.
They somehow understood exactly what was required to lay waste
to what fragile pieces of ego she had left. The partner is
like that. She has the ability to look through her – to deny
that she exists. That’s why Jane has decided to kill Fox
instead of the partner, then herself. What is the point,
really? There will always be another woman– like the girls
in high school, like the redhead, like her mother.
She will take what is hers; then she will take them both and
go to a better place. She knows there must be a better place
than this life, than this continual grind of one humiliation
after another. Well, that’s going to stop tonight — she’s
going to stop it. She’s known from the first time he looked
at her that he’d seen her. When he spoke to her she really
existed. For awhile she thought that meant they could have it
all, that they could build a life together, that he could
build it for them. But now she realizes that it’s her who has
to be strong enough to build it for him. For them.
So she waits.
She’s lost track of how long she’s been sitting on his floor
by the bed. She keeps changing positions, but her butt and
legs are still numb with fatigue. Finally, she hears it: his
key in the lock. Quickly she steps into the closet and closes
the door. She hears him rustling around the living room for
several minutes, then he starts to speak. It frightens her at
first; she thinks he has someone with him. Then she realizes
he’s talking on the phone. His voice is muffled, but she
hears the redhead’s name – Scully. He’s talking to his
Finally he hangs up and walks into the bedroom. Through the
crack in the closet door she sees him start to strip out of
his clothes — first his tie, then his suit coat and belt. He
hops around on one foot as he jerks off one shoe, then the
other. Nonchalantly, he tosses item after item onto his bed.
Finally naked, he furiously scratches his head with both
hands, leaving his hair poking up at odd angles. He walks out
of her narrow field of vision and goes into his bathroom. She
hears the door close, and after a couple of minutes the shower
Slowly she emerges from the closet; unzipping her pack, she
removes the gun. Tossing her bag on the floor, she advances
on the closed door. She can hear him singing softly to
himself; she doesn’t recognize the tune. Slowly she turns the
door knob and lets herself into the steamy room, careful not
to make any noise as she closes the door behind her and leans
against it. She’s so excited to be here, this close to him,
in such an intimate setting. She’s waited so long. It’s his
bathroom; his scent hangs in the air like the steam swirling
around her. She’s been in here before. He doesn’t know that
–yet. She’ll tell him tonight. Tonight she tells him
everything, everything he needs to know.
The water stops. She braces herself; she’s not sure what
he’ll do when he sees her standing here. The curtain brushes
aside, and he reaches for his towel. She shouldn’t have
worried; he’s so stunned to see her standing there that she
doubts he’s even capable of quick movement.
She’s trying to concentrate on staying alert. It’s difficult
with the object of so much of her desire standing buck naked
ten feet in front of her. He asks for his towel, and she lets
him get it. Then he asks to step out of the tub. He’s
looking at her funny now; she thinks he’s capable of quick
movement now. She lifts the gun straight in front of her and
points it at his head. Here we go, she thinks; now I’ve got
your attention, Fox. She opens the door and backs out, never
taking her eyes or the gun from his face. Even now she
notices the beauty of his face: the flushed cheeks and green
eyes. His mouth is red from the hot water to which he has
“Why do you want to kill me, Jane? I thought you loved me.”
Before she knows it, she’s struck him. Every ounce of
strength she has is in the blow. How dare he use that mocking
tone with her! He is speaking to her like a child who needs
reasoning. Doesn’t he realize the trouble she’s gone to, the
danger she’s put herself in just to be near him, just to prove
her worth to him? She watches as he crumples to the floor.
His knee’s buckle first; then one hand reaches out to stop his
fall but can’t. Finally he’s lying on his side, one arm
twisted underneath him while the other hand touches where her
blow landed. He has blood on his hand, and she sees that his
bottom lip has been cut open. She stares down at her
handiwork, both aghast and thrilled at the same time. So this
is what it feels like, she thinks to herself. To be in
control, to be the master of her own destiny.
She should get busy.
Slowly Mulder becomes aware of his surroundings. He has a
fierce headache and his lip feels swollen. He is lying face
down with his hands tied behind his back. His feet are tied
as well. At least he’s dressed; that somehow seems positive.
He’s in a t-shirt and a pair of his jogging shorts. He even
has socks on his feet. He senses Jane nearby; turning his
head he sees her lying on her side on his bed, watching him.
“Fox, I’m sorry I had to hit you like that. And I’m sorry you
have to be tied up now. It’s not how I wanted this to turn
out, but we don’t always get what we want, do we?”
He doesn’t say anything. He has no idea what his reply should
be, anyway, so he figures it’s best to stay quiet.
“Are you cold, Fox?” Jane’s getting up off the bed now. She
leaves the gun on his nightstand. “Let me get you a blanket.”
She grabs the blanket crumpled at the end of his bad and lays
it over him.
“Thank you,” is all he says. Again, he is at a loss for what
else to say.
She takes the pillows off the bed and comes to sit next to him
on the floor. Putting one pillow on the ground, she settles
herself down on it.
As he rolls onto his side, she settles the other pillow under
his head and readjusts the blanket over him. He doesn’t say
thank you this time, just stays silent.
“Don’t you have anything you want to say to me, Fox? It’s
been a long time since we’ve talked.”
“You’re right, it has.” Mulder’s voice sounds odd to his ears
— distant, somehow not his own. He needs to pull it together
and quickly. He forces himself to shake out of this stupor.
He needs to concentrate on this woman before him. He looks at
her again, closely this time, concentrating on what clues her
appearance might give him as to how he’s going to get out of
She’s small — Scully’s size — with short brown hair which
sort of hangs in her eyes a little. She has on round, wire-
rimmed glasses. She’s wearing a white button up shirt with a
pair of jeans. Her tennis shoes are beaten-up looking, as if
she walks a lot. Seeing him looking at her, she nervously
pats her hair and touches her top shirt button.
“What are you looking at?” Jane wants to know.
“I’m looking at you, Jane.” Mulder replies, keeping his voice
“You didn’t answer my question, Fox.”
“Right. Ok, well, the last time I asked you a question you
hit me, so forgive me if I’m a little hesitant to ask you
Jane turns bright pink at this statement and looks down at her
hands. “I said I was sorry for that. It’s just…you made me
angry…” she trails off.
“Uh huh. Do you think next time you could just tell me I am
making you angry and I’ll stop? That way we could avoid any
more hitting?” Jane stays silent. “Jane, can I sit up? This
floor is very hard, and my arm is starting to fall asleep.”
She looks a little confused momentarily, caught between
caution and sympathy. The latter wins out. “Sure, I’m sorry,
Fox. It’s just that we have some things to talk about and I
know now, after today, that you aren’t ready to stay here with
me on your own.
“It’s okay, Jane. I don’t mind the ties; they don’t hurt.
It’s just that the floor is hard.” Mulder’s trying to keep
the subject off of this morning. He’s pretty sure that
talking about the restraining order will make her angry again.
Struggling to sit up, Mulder finally manages it. His knee’s
are bent in front of him, and his hands are still behind him.
This isn’t any more comfortable, that’s for sure. “Maybe I
could sit in a chair or something, Jane?”
“Sure. Hold on, I’ll get one.” She goes into the other room
and brings back a kitchen chair. Setting it down in the
middle of the bedroom, she walks over to the night stand and
takes the gun. Turning on him, she points it at him one more
time. “Fox, I want you to try and get up on your own now,
okay? You should be able to hop over to the chair and have a
seat. Don’t try anything stupid. I have every intention of
using this gun tonight, but I don’t want to have to do it
Mulder doesn’t like the sound of that last part. What does
she mean, she has every intention of using the gun tonight?
“What do you mean by that, Jane?”
“Get in the chair, Fox.”
Mulder tries to spread his feet a little bit, but it’s hard
when they are bound at the ankles. Slowly he manages to lean
forward and stand up straight. After a few hops, he lowers
himself gratefully onto the chair. Jane walks over and sits
on the edge of the bed; putting the gun on the comforter
beside her, she pulls her legs up to sit Indian style in front
“How did you get in here, Jane?” That seems as good a
question as any.
She looks at him slyly for a moment, a small smile on her
lips. “The spare keys under the left wheel well of the front
of your car. You kept them underneath by the trunk on your
old car. I figured you might do the same thing again on your
new one, so I felt around under it until I found them.” She
looks proud of herself at this admission on her part.
“You’ve been in here before?” Mulder can’t keep the horror
out of his voice, even though he tries.
“Yes.” No more coy looks this time. She looks almost
defiant. “Of course I have. You really think I’m some sort of
idiot, don’t you? I’ve been in this apartment several times,
as a matter of fact. I’ve even taken a bath in your tub!
What do you think of that, Mr. FBI Man?”
Mulder feels sick. She’s been in his place, through his
things. How could he have been so stupid? How could he not
have noticed something as disturbing as that? He notices when
Scully gets a new pair of shoes, but he can’t see when someone
else has taken a bath in his own tub. Shit! He suddenly
doesn’t feel like bullshitting around this anymore. He wants
answers — now. “Jane – why are you doing this? What is it
you want from me?” His voice comes out harsher than he
intends but he’s beyond caring at this moment. He’s angry.
She looks momentarily taken aback at this sudden shift in the
conversation. “Good. You’re right, we should just get this
out in the open right now. I hated sneaking around all the
time. If you would have only let me talk to you from the
beginning, we could have avoided all of this. All I ever
wanted was for you to realize what I feel for you. Don’t you
understand what we could have, the type of love that we share?
I love you, Fox. I have loved you for so long now, longer
than you could possibly know. I love you, Fox.”
“Fox, I love you.”
“Jane, I don’t know what to say to that.”
“Tell me that you love me, Fox.”
“I can’t do that, Jane.”
“Why not?” Jane’s face is intense, all her energy focused on
“Because I don’t love you. I don’t even know you; how could I
possibly love you? Jane, I don’t want to hurt you — that’s
never been my intention — but I do not love you.”
“You could if you knew me better. We’re so perfect for each
other. We could make each other so happy, I know we could.”
Jane’s voice is shaking now, and her eyes are filling with
tears. “Fox, you don’t know what kind of a life I’ve led.
I’ve been so alone, just like you. I know you’re lonely; I’ve
watched you. Don’t try and deny how lonely you are. I could
help you with that. We could both not be alone anymore.”
Tears are streaming down her face now; she doesn’t seem to
Mulder is feeling sicker by the moment. How long has she been
following him…weeks? Months? Years? The idea of her
watching him for years is almost more than he can stand.
His stomach is in knots now. “Jane…”
It’s Mulder’s cell phone. The sound of it makes them both
jump. Jane grabs her gun and stands quickly. Mulder knows
exactly who it is. Scully.
“Jane, it’s my partner. She knows that I’m supposed to be
home all night. If I don’t answer my phone, she’ll get
worried.” He concentrates on making his voice sound
nonchalant. No big deal that the person he most wishes to
speak with at this moment is ringing his phone.
The sound is coming from the cell phone in his jacket. She
fishes it out of his pocket and holds it in her hands as if
it’s going to explode. Turning towards him, she levels the
gun at his head. She’s stopped crying; her eyes are dead
looking, the pupils dilated. “Fox, I’m going to hand you this
phone, and if you say even one word that sounds fishy, I’m
going to put a bullet in your brain. Do you understand me?”
His mouth is totally dry; his tongue has turned to sand paper.
“Yes, yes, I understand you.” She flips open the cell and
puts it to the side of his head. She pushes the barrel tip of
the gun so hard into the other side of his head that it brings
tears to his eyes. “Mulder.”
“Hey, Mulder, it’s me. I was just thinking, if you’re going
out to a bar tonight, do you feel like company?” Scully’s
voice sounds a little hesitant, as if she is unsure of
“Hey, Dana. No, I don’t think I’m up to going out tonight.
Thanks for the offer, though.” Mulder is desperate to keep his
voice normal sounding while still trying to convey that he is
in trouble to Scully. Please Scully, come on, come on, come
on. He is desperate.
“Is she there, Mulder?” Scully whispers into the phone.
“Ok, Dana. I’ll see you at the airport Monday. Good night.”
Jane pulls the phone back from his ear and snaps it shut. She
stares at him for several seconds. He hopes he isn’t
“So she was calling to invite herself out with you again, was
she?” Jane makes a little puffing sound with her mouth and
rolls her eyes.
“I swear to God, doesn’t she ever get the hint?”
Mulder tries twisting his mouth into a smile — any kind of
smile would do. He is feeling closer and closer to the end
of his rope. He has to convince this girl that she needs to
let him go, needs to at least untie him. Once Scully gets
here, the entire situation is going to get much more
Jane tosses the phone onto his bed, then walks back to stand
in front of him. Looking down at him, her face is hard, like
it was on that day in front of the bank. Something is wrong;
he is getting one of his bad feelings again.
When she finally speaks, her voice is so low Mulder can hardly
hear it. “You never call her Dana.” It takes a few seconds
for Mulder’s brain to process what she said; by that time it
is too late.
Scully slammed the phone down and tore off her bathrobe. She
wasn’t dressed to go out with Mulder, but she had called
anyway. It had been a spur of the minute decision. She’d
thank God for it at a later time. After throwing a pair of
jeans on with a t-shirt and tennis shoes, she was out the door
with her gun in less than five minutes. Flinging herself
through the front door of her building, she sprinted to her
car. She was there. Jane was in Mulder’s apartment. Shit
shit shit shit. What had she been thinking, just letting him
go home by himself?! Of course Jane wasn’t going to obey the
search warrant; stalkers never obey search warrants. Scully’s
mind was racing as she punched her way through traffic.
Should she call for backup?
Yeah, that’s just what she needed, a bunch of DCPD squad cars
screaming up in front of Mulder’s place. Jane must have a
weapon; she’s much too small to make Mulder do anything he
doesn’t want to do without a weapon. Shit shit shit. The
traffic was going to give her a heart attack. Slamming the
brakes, she narrowly missed hitting some mini van whose driver
was more intent on the kids in the backseat than on the speed
limit. This was insane. Every minute Scully spent weaving
in and out of traffic took a year off of her life. She was
bathed in sweat by the time she forced her car to slow down
and turn into the alley behind his building. Turning off the
headlights, she parked a little way away and got out of the
How should she do this? Knock on his door? Just open it with
her key? She decided on the latter approach — take them by
surprise. She didn’t think Jane would want to hurt Mulder, at
least not unless she felt she had to. Small consolation, but
Scully would take what she could get at the moment.
Quietly slipping down the front of the sidewalk, staying as
close to the building as she can, Scully let herself in the
front door with her key. Once in the elevator, she pressed
herself onto the side wall so she could peek her head around
the opened elevator doors once she was on the fourth floor.
Seeing no one in the hallway, she quietly made her way down to
number 42. Being careful to keep her body from in front of
the door, she stood against the wall and stared at the door
lock. Breathe Dana. Just breathe. She stood there a few
seconds with her gun in her hand, concentrating on deep even
breaths, lowering her heart rate. 1….2….3 – she slipped
the key into the lock as softly as she could. Knowing there
was no way she could turn the lock without making any noise,
she decided to do it quickly. In a heartbeat she had the door
unlocked and she’d thrown it open. Going down on one knee,
she kept her head low and her gun arm straight in front of
her. She scanned with her eyes and hands from left to right.
Just a light on by the door where she was crouching and one on
by the couch. It looked as if there was one on in the bedroom
as well. Standing up, she quickly stuck her head inside the
doorway and looked back and forth. Nobody. Keeping her gun
straight in front of her, she swept the foyer and stuck her
head into the kitchen. Still no one. She quietly went back
to the entrance of the living room and moved towards the
bedroom’s open door.
Mulder is sitting in a chair with a gag in his mouth. His
eyes are wide and staring at her. She sees that his feet are
bound and his hands are tied behind the back of the chair. He
has on shorts and a t-shirt. The front of his shirt is
streaked in blood from his nose and mouth. His hair is damp,
and he looks frightened. Jane is standing next to him with a
gun pointed at his head. She does not look frightened.
“Hello, Special Agent Dana Scully with the FBI. We keep
running into each other, don’t we?”
Jane’s voice is high and sounds strained. Scully keeps her
gun trained on the woman.
“Mulder, are you all right?” She steals a glance at him while
keeping her gun on Jane.
He mumbles incoherently through his gag but nods his head yes.
“Jane, put the gun down. There’s no way out of this now. I’m
not going anywhere without Mulder.”
“That’s funny; I was thinking the same thing myself when I
came here tonight.” She looks down at Mulder. Keeping one
hand on the trigger, she takes the other and lightly touches
his hair with her fingertips. Mulder groans. “Put the gun
down, Agent, or I swear to God I’ll shoot him right through
those beautiful green eyes he has.” Jane cocks her gun.
Mulder stomps his feet in frustration and makes another
muffled sound through his gag. Scully, don’t put that gun
down, please, please, please. She’s going to kill us all.
Please, Scully, just shoot her; shoot her now!
Mulder is screaming at her with his eyes. They are sparkling
with frustration and anger. She knows what he’s trying to tell
her; she understands what Jane intends to do.
“Jane, please, can’t we just talk about this? It doesn’t have
to end this way. Nobody wants this to end this way. We know
that you never wanted to hurt anyone. Really, we understand
that.” Scully tries to keep the pleading sound from her
“You keep saying ‘we’…like you give a shit about anything
that happens to me.” Jane snorts loudly at that. “But it’s
your fault that it’s come to this. You won’t let him alone.
He never had a chance to know me, to let our love end this
lonely existence, for the both of us. This is all your fault,
you stupid bitch.” Jane’s voice is getting shriller, her face
more flushed and out of control.
Mulder turns his head to face Jane, trying to plead with his
eyes. If she loves him so goddammed much, maybe she’ll listen
to him. He’ll just tell her he loves her. Just get them out
of this murderous triangle.
Jane sees Mulder staring at her, and she touches his face
where she hit him, caressing it softly. Slowly she pulls down
his gag so she can hear his voice.
“Jane.” Mulder’s voice is rough; his lips feel thick and his
tongue is dry. “Jane, please. You don’t want this to happen;
how will we know what our future might be if you do this? What
good does this do you and me?”
“Fox, we don’t have to end it like this. You and I could walk
out of here tonight. There’s nothing I would rather have in
the entire world than for you and I to walk out of this mess
and go somewhere else. We could leave her behind. She
doesn’t love you; she doesn’t love you like I love you. You
know that, don’t you?” Jane waves her gun in Scully’s
direction and then back at him.
“Yes, Jane. I know that.” Mulder’s voice is calm now, his
eyes only on this madwoman in his bedroom. “I know that she
doesn’t love me, Jane, not like you love me. She can’t.”
Mulder knows that Jane will never understand what he’s really
saying to her. She isn’t capable of understanding the
difference between love and obsession. He hardly understands
himself, this thing between Scully and him, but he knows it’s
nothing like the desperation standing in front of him.
Jane turns to Scully now, her eyes bright with fury. “Do you
Scully is momentarily stunned by the question. Her eyes dart
from Mulder back to Jane and then back to Mulder again. His
eyes remain unmoved from Jane.
“Jane..” Mulder interrupts the question, trying to get Jane to
focus on him and not on Scully. “Jane, what does any of that
matter? This is about you and me, not Agent Scully. She
doesn’t have anything to do with this; this is just you and
me.” His voice is coaxing now, trying vainly to sound warm and
Slowly Jane turns her head back to look at Mulder. Her face
loses a bit of its frantic air as she stares at him intently.
She takes a step back, still pointing her gun at him, arm
fully extended. “I can’t believe it.” Her whisper sounds loud
in the quiet room. “You love her, don’t you?” No more high
rage in her voice, no more desperate need, just disbelief.
“Oh, Fox, you love her. Tell me the truth.” Jane’s eyes are
filling up with tears. “All this time I thought you could
love me, and you’ve been loving her…” All the emotion seems
to evaporate from Jane’s body. She practically deflates
before his eyes. Somehow she keeps the gun pointed at him,
but her arm is starting to shake.
She can see it in his eyes. It’s all there, in those
beautiful eyes of his. He’s trying desperately not to let her
see, but it’s too late. She sees what she should have seen
ages ago. He loves her. He loves the red headed woman
standing on the other side of the room with her gun pointing
at Jane’s head. How could this have happened? She feels her
eyes starting to fill with tears; she knows she’s about to
break down and start sobbing. This is so unfair. Her life is
so unfair. She could have made him happy; she knows she could
have. There’s only one thing left now — she can’t take him
with her any more. Not if he doesn’t love her; that would be
so unfair to him. And she loves him, even if he doesn’t love
Mulder watches in horror as Jane takes her gun and points it
at her own head. It’s over in a second. He screams at her to
stop, but he’s too late, too late to end her pain, too late to
make her see the futility of loving him. He throws himself
from his chair, trying desperately to get loose from the
bindings, to get away from this horror show. He can hear
Scully now, her voice in his still ringing ears. She’s
loosening the ties around his hands and feet, trying to calm
him down by giving him his freedom.
“Mulder stop. Stop, Mulder. Hold on, please. I’ve got you
now.” She’s on the floor with him, trying to pull him away
from the nightmare on his bedroom floor. He’s grabbed her now
and won’t let go.
“Oh, no, Scully. How did this happen?!” He starts to sob
now, holding onto her with an iron grip. She holds him
tightly and lets him cry.
“Scully, do you think Agent Childers was right?”
Mulder was lying in the latest of a long line of hospital
beds, curled up on his side, while his partner stood next to
him, his hand in hers. He was fine; he just had a nasty
bruise on the side of his face and a gash in his lower lip.
He was very much in shock when they arrived by ambulance
several hours earlier. He was still exhausted enough that it
was felt by everyone concerned that he would be better off
staying overnight for observation. ‘Everyone concerned’
consisted mostly of Scully. She told the doctor on duty that
she was Mulder’s personal physician and that she wanted him to
stay overnight. Case closed.
“What do you mean, Mulder? What about Agent Childers?” She
spoke softly, smoothing his hair with her free hand. She was
waiting for the sedative to take effect so he could get some sleep.
Another request from his personal physician.
“He said that only ‘psychos’ wanted to play with me. He was
just being stupid, but in a way, he’s right, I think. I’m
only fit for twisted souls. It’s like I’m some huge loser
“Oh Mulder, don’t say that. You know that’s not true.”
Mulder thought back on the people in his life, the people he
had touched along the way, or who had touched him. Samantha,
a sister he devoted his life to but couldn’t save in the end.
His father, who seemed to love and despise him in equal
amounts. A mother who loved him but could never talk to him.
Phoebe and Diana, both liars who only used him for their own
personal gains. All those cases in the VCU. Spooky Mulder,
somehow eerily connected with life’s losers. Now Jane. They
were all there, floating past his mind’s eye, every pathetic
one of them.
“I’m not twisted, Mulder, and I care about you, right?”
He nodded his head a little.
“It’s true, you have had more than your fair sure of people
whom you didn’t deserve, who didn’t deserve how much you cared
for them. But that’s the important part, don’t you think?
That you never gave in halves.”
She had all of his concentration now, forcing him to
concentrate on her and not on the numbness that was beginning
to start in his feet.
“I’m here, Mulder, and even though I’m not sure I understand
it, there’s a chance I’ve always been here with you, isn’t
He remembered that case. That was so long ago. But she was
right. He’s surprised she remembered that. Then again, he
was not surprised at all. “Yes…yes, that’s true.”
“I’d like to think I’m pretty sane, and you know that I would
never hurt you, right?”
“I know that, Scully.
“Then why don’t you forget anything that idiot Childers said
and concentrate on going to sleep now. I’m here, and I’m not
“Good night, Scully.”
“Good night, Mulder.”
:Orig posted in Oct 2000:
author note update – 2003
I yearn to change so many things in this story but I resist
it. It’s sort of fun, in a horrible and painful way, to go back
and read it now. Like most first times, it’s overwrought and full
of cliches. But it’s where I lost my fic cherry so I’ll let it
stand. It’s a sentimental thing, what can I say?