New! Passive Resistance by S.Proto
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2000
Category: Post Ep, MulderAngst
Spoilers: Specific references for Brand X, as well as for 'all things', an
inference or two for Travelers, a tiny one for FTF and even Never Again, and
may you all forgive me, any of the eps that refer to TFW.
Disclaimers: The characters, Mulder and Scully, and any other recognizable
character, belong to 1013 Productions. I am simply borrowing them for a
short time and will return them, unscathed mind you, (okay almost unscathed
<G>) at the end of this tale.
Archive: Yes, and see my stories at my archive (Thanks to Shirley Smiley, of
Thank you, Vickie Moseley, for the fast turnaround
. And I love the notion
that 'you're wearing off on me!' Couldn't have a finer model for me to follow.
Summary: Mulder revisits a bad habit.
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
Mulder didn't know how he ever got through life B.C., that being before cell
phones. He called Scully while on route to his home, and this allowed her to
arrive just moments after him.
He hadn't even had a chance to take off his jacket when he answered the door.
"Okay, I've had an outrageously busy weekend and I'm feeling totally wiped
out, it's Sunday night so I'm missing my favorite television show, we have an
early morning meeting scheduled with Skinner tomorrow, and__" Scully
hesitates for but a second before she announces with a great deal of
annoyance, "__you smell like a damn chimney, Mulder! God, what the hell is
going on, and why the hell am I here?"
He looked at her and realized he didn't even have a quick comeback. Mulder
suddenly felt like a total ass for asking her to come over. There was
nothing she could do for him, and he now felt ill at ease and guilty for
taking her away from her Sunday night relaxation.
"I'm sorry, Scully," he whispered. "I don't know why I called you.
me," he said earnestly. "I didn't mean to waste your time, and I'm really
sorry to have made you come all this way, but I think I'm going to shower and
then just turn in_."
"__Oh, you're damned right you're going to shower first. For crying out
loud, Mulder, I can't believe you've started smoking! What the hell
would make you do that? I mean, there's patches if you're body is still truly
craving the nicotine; you certainly don't need to inhale the damned tar as
well. I don't understand why you would begin such a nasty habit!" she
"Did I ever tell you I'd smoked before, Scully?"
This got her attention. She looked at him curiously and shook her head, no.
He turned his own head away so he stood looking at her faint reflection in
"Yeah, I'd smoked for a short period of while I was__," he paused momentarily
before he continued, "__married." He slowly turned back around to face her.
"I guess I never told you that either, huh."
Once again, she shook her head, no, but this time she responded quietly, "To
He nodded mutely and waited. He wasn't sure what he was waiting for, but he
anticipated Scully was going to react much like a very active Mount St.
Helen's. He braced himself for the eruption.
He never expected what followed.
"Go take your shower, while I put up some tea," she said gently, quietly.
"Really?" he almost squeaked.
Scully smiled to herself; she realized he never anticipated her reacting to
calmly. "Yes, really. God, Mulder, you stink to high heaven! And throw the
rest of those damn butts out. Now.
"There's none to throw out, Scully," he replied. He shrugged out of his
jacket, and then, as was the habit of most men, Mulder began stripping out of
his clothes on his way to the shower. Before he entered his bedroom he made
one more comment.
"There were never any to throw out this time."
Scully felt her head expanding with questions, but she remained quiet and
watched him exit the room for the shower.
He returned to find two fresh, steaming cups of tea on the coffee table,
along with some Ritz crackers and a can of cheese whiz that she'd found in
"Wow, you're the 'hostess with the mostess,' Scully, even when there's mostly
nothing to serve."
He plopped down, sitting very close to her on the couch, much in the same
position as when she'd come over after her revelations about her former
lover, Daniel. Only this time he was going to pour his heart out to her.
He picked up his cup of tea with both hands; they were trembling slightly and
it did not go unnoticed by either of them. Scully sipped at her tea as well
and waited patiently while Mulder stalled for time and squeezed some cheese
whiz on a cracker. He munched away on it, but before he could retrieve
another one, she broke the silence.
"If you weren't smoking then why did you smell as if you were?" she asked
pointedly, but not unkindly.
He barely reacted; he took another sip of tea, then put the cup down on the
table. Next, he picked up a cracker and the can of cheese and began to make
swirling designs atop of the Ritz.
Scully, on the other hand, bided her time and sat silently. She knew he
needed the time to get his thoughts and most probably his emotions in check.
So, she waited, because Scully also knew that once he spoke, the dam would
Finally, after several minutes passed, Scully asked, "Why am I here, Mulder?"
"I needed to have my ass saved again, and you're the best saver of my ass I
know," he replied, never once looking at her and only making eye contact with
the multiple swirls of cheese whiz that now began to hang precariously over
the edge of the cracker.
Once again, Scully replied to his cryptic comments with nothing more than a
small sigh and silence. If he were going to play hard to get, then she would
play right along with him. He needed the time to gather his thoughts; it's
what worked best with Mulder.
Hell, it was what worked best with Scully, too.
"I haven't smoked since before Diana and I annulled the marriage," he said
He nodded silently and then picked up another cracker. He began to decorate
it with the cheese, by placing small gobs of it in symmetrical spots. He
then spoke while putting all of his attention on creating a masterpiece.
"We were partnered for about only about a month before we started seeing one
another personally; intimately. It was a relationship that came on hard and
fast. I loved Diana, or rather, I was in love with the idea of loving her.
She did for me back then much what you do for me now," he said. He noticed
the grimace Scully involuntarily made upon hearing him compare her to Diana,
but it didn't stop him from continuing.
"I tell you that, because I don't want you to think I took my relationship
with Diana lightly. I don't want you to think I take our relationship
lightly, Scully. Please," he paused briefly and then with obvious emotion
overtaking him, "please don't ever think I take you for granted."
Scully nodded in acknowledgment but remained silent. She needed to hear his
words without confining him to content, so she kept her thoughts to herself
at that point.
"We were with the X-Files for about a year when she got the overseas
assignment. It wasn't a direct order; she had the option of accepting or
declining the assignment without penalty. I, of course, was positive she was
going to accept it and was desperate to do anything to keep her from leaving
"It didn't matter that it wasn't the healthiest of relationships, I just
didn't want to be alone again. So, I asked her to marry me. Unbelievably,
she accepted. I guess Diana felt every bit as nervous about being on her own
as I felt. We were married in a civil ceremony the next day. She had no
immediate family and I was on the outs with both of my parents at that time
as well, so we had no one to contact. We got our blood tests and just did
it," he said quietly.
Mulder munched a little on his cracker creation, while Scully tried to
assimilate what he'd just told her. He said he was afraid to lose Diana, so
he made a lifetime commitment to her. Funny, that almost sounded a little
"Mulder, the reason you proposed marriage to Diana was because you were
afraid?" she asked with disbelief.
"Is that so hard to believe, Scully?"
"Well, to be honest, yes, I do find it hard to believe that you were willing
to make a lifetime commitment with someone just because you were afraid of
being left alone," she retorted quickly.
Perhaps too quickly.
"Which is the difficult part to believe, Scully? The fact that I proposed
marriage to someone, or the fact that someone actually accepted?" he replied
"The fact that you felt so afraid that you would resort to something like
that," she whispered.
He half-laughed and half-sobbed in reaction to her words. She looked
questioningly at him, and he managed to reply, "Scully, don't you get it yet?
Back then I didn't know how to disguise it, but now? Now I have a better
repertoire of masks to hide behind.
"Scully, I'm still afraid. God, I'm afraid all the time," he lamented softly.
She didn't know what to say to that. She simply nodded and took his hand
into hers and held it gently, so that he would know that she understood.
She knew the feeling all too well.
They sat quietly for a while and took comfort in each other's company.
Scully found her voice first, however. "What happened, Mulder? Why an
He sighed and explained, "Fear does not make the best foundation for a
marriage, G-Woman. We both realized pretty quickly after we'd tied the knot
that it was a huge mistake. We had never lived together full-time; we had no
idea of each other's hopes and wishes for the future, no idea of the other's
"I don't understand, Mulder. What kept you together in the first place if
you had no idea of what the other was really like?"
"Well, the X-Files for one," he began and then the color rose from his neck
to his cheeks to his forehead. "The sex was good," he added bashfully.
"Well, thank God for that," she retorted. Scully wasn't able to decide if
she felt annoyed because it was Diana who benefited from the good sex or
because it simply wasn't herself. Before Mulder had a chance to question it,
Scully asked, "So what happened?"
"Well," he began, "we filed for the annulment before she left for her
overseas assignment, and it came through after she'd left. It was such a
short period of time; it never even had a chance to make it into the bureau
records. Since there was an annulment, there was never a need to include it
"And that's when I'd stopped smoking," he concluded.
"Stopped?" Scully echoed.
"Yeah, Diana and I were both smokers. When she left, I stopped. Of course I
think it was around that time I stopped sleeping and eating too, but what's a
crisis without a little self-deprivation, you know?"
Now he got up and began to pace a little. Scully knew they were entering
unmarked territory, and the frenetic pacing was just another defense
mechanism her partner adopted. "Mulder, what did you do?"
"I started, believe it or not, hanging out in bars," he responded with a wry
"Bars." He nodded. "Bars?" she repeated.
"I didn't want to be alone, and I was alone all the time. They hadn't found
a new partner for me yet, though I suppose that's because no one was banging
down the director's door volunteering to be 'Spooky's' partner. I was alone
in my apartment, which made me crazier because there were just so many files
I could lug home to take my mind off of being alone.
"So, I started to hang out in the local bar. It wasn't a bad place,
actually. I mean the regulars were all working class folks. They accepted
me pretty quickly. They knew I wasn't there to drink my sorrows away. Hell,
I could nurse one Bud with the best of them. In fact," Mulder began to
chuckle, "the regulars had started to feel a little sorry for me. They'd
thought I couldn't afford more than the one beer, so they'd all started
taking turns buying me a second and third beer.
"None of them realized that all I really wanted was the one brew, and that I
didn't mind it getting warmed up. Hell, that's the only way they served it
when I was at Oxford; bloody English spoiled me for life for a decent ale,"
he explained with a smile.
"So you hung out at the bar," she said and then realization hit her when she
pronounced, "And that's where you were tonight! That's why you smelled to
high heaven of cigarette smoke."
"I knew there was a reason you made the rank of Special Agent, Dr. Scully,"
She smiled right back at him, and then asked, "But why? Why go to a bar
tonight? If you were lonely, you __."
"__I know, I know," he interjected quickly. "I know I could have called
if I were lonely, and I almost did at first, but to be honest, there was
another reason I went to the bar."
Once again, she looked at him with a quizzical expression. He sighed and
proceeded to clarify it for her. "You see, ever since I was treated with the
nicotine for the beetle bug, I've had this nasty craving for a cigarette
again. You saw, I'd even gone so far as buying a pack of the damned things,
but I wouldn't dare put one in my mouth, Scully. I know if I put one of them
in my mouth, I'll never be able to stop.
"So, rather than take the chance of resorting to the old adage of 'smoke 'em
while you got 'em,' I went down to my old haunt and hung out with the
regulars. There were a few old timers from when I'd first hung out there.
They even offered to buy me a beer for old time's sake," he recalled with a
"Okay, I understand the physical urge for a cigarette, but like I said
before, Mulder, you can abate your physical urge with a patch," Scully
"I know, and if it was just a physical need for nicotine, then you're right,
a patch would do the trick," he agreed as he sat back down, his hip touching
her hip, his thigh touching her thigh. Next he took her hand into his and
tried to explain further.
"Scully, things have been changing for us, between us. I am so grateful for
these changes, because I see them as something that you want, too." He
turned his head to look at her and asked with his eyes if he was indeed
correct in his assumptions. She nodded to him, not only answering him, but
also encouraging him to continue.
"Tonight was a really rough night. I'm not sure why, to be honest, but all I
know is every time I tried to clear my head, it all came back to the
overwhelming number of tragedies I seem to have faced over the years.
"My sister is taken from our home while I was in charge of her care, and my
entire family as I knew it, fell apart. Dad wasn't quite the same nor was my
mother. He resorted to drinking and taking longer and more frequent business
trips, while she chose to hide more and more in volunteer community work."
He saw Scully's expression change and knew what she going to say.
"Before you bite my head off and insinuate that I was merely a bratty little
kid who was jealous of the time his mother spent with her volunteer groups,
I'll save you the trouble of spitting me back out. You're right. I was
jealous as hell. Mom put in a lot of hours volunteering at the library and
the senior citizen's home, which was great for the community. It was just
pretty sucky for a thirteen-year-old adolescent who was left alone about
ninety per cent of the time.
"Kraft Macaroni dinners and I became great friends," he adds. "Anyway,
tonight had me remembering the losses. Sam, my family in the figurative
sense and then Dad's murder and Mom's suicide. I guess when I finally had to
lay Sam to rest, that was a relief at first, but now, well, now I'm starting
to feel the loss. The search for Sam took up so much of my life, that I seem
to have a little more free time on my hands to think, you know?" he said with
a sad smile.
"And there's you and all of your losses, Scully. I know it's not as big of a
deal for me in having to deal with all that you lost; I mean it's like what
someone very wise once told me, 'It's not always about me.'"
"Mulder," Scully began, "I never meant to hurt you."
"Maybe not, Scully, but if nothing else it made me think. Scully, you've
lost so much. Melissa, your dad, a decent relationship with your brother__."
He could see she was about to cut him off, but he held up his hand and
"Then you lost control of your own destiny when they held you captive, abused
your body, and created a small likeness of you that touched our lives for
only seconds and a lifetime. I got to thinking about all that we've gone
through, Scully, and I guess I lost my masks. I didn't have any to hide my
fear behind," he confessed in a voice that was all too soon being overused.
"You're losing your voice," she said stating the obvious.
"I don't want to lose you," he rasped.
"Mulder, what makes you think you're going to lose me?" she asked.
He leaned back his head and stared at the ceiling. He found it difficult to
look straight at her while he said what was on his mind. So, instead, he
grasped her right hand and held it with his left. He lifted it up to his
heart and held it there, gently but firmly.
"Remember when we talked last, after you'd seen Daniel again, and you
wondered what if there were only a right set of choices that led us to the
one right path, and all of the others were wrong?"
She nodded. "Yes, I remember," she affirmed.
"Scully?" he choked out, "What if we didn't have to make the same
things didn't have to work out the same way? What if you had the opportunity
to make different choices so that your life turned out differently, and as a
result, you didn't lose three months of your life, you could still have
babies, Melissa would still be alive, and your brother would be the big
brother you always wanted and needed?"
He practically gasped for breath at that point. She reached for him and held
him. She then said, "I don't know, Mulder. There are no guarantees in life,
"But that's just it, Scully," he lamented and buried his head into her neck.
"What's just it?" she asked gently, "Mulder? You can tell me."
"I would make the same choices, Scully, the same exact ones. Whether they
resulted in losing my sister or my father's murder or my mother's suicide.
And __." He stopped. He couldn't verbalize it.
"__And what?" she whispered. Moments passed with a continued silence.
what?" she repeated more forcefully this time. She knew in order for any
kind of healing to begin, Mulder was going to have to own up to his fears.
"And if it meant that Melissa would die at the hands of that bastard Krycek,
or that we would lose Emily again, I would make the same choices if it all
He finally sat up, removed her hand from his, and looked her straight in the
eyes. He knew if admitting any of this was going to have any meaning he
would have to face her with the words, so she could see the truth of them in
"I would make the same choices that have led to your heartache if they were
the only choices that led me on a path to you. Oh God, Scully, what kind of
a selfish monster am I?"
She sat there stunned momentarily before she was able to speak. When her
pulse settled down and her breathing became more regular, she took back his
hand and held them in both of hers. She imagined for a second that they were
back in the, when she'd held his hand in just that way.
"Now, you listen to me, Fox William Mulder," she began. "I don't know
whether the choices we made or the choices that were made for us led us to
this place, to this here and now, but if I can make you understand anything
then let it be this.
"I am happy in this life that I lead. I am happy that you are a part, no,
make that an integral part of my life. No. Make that the most important
part of my adult life. How do I make you understand Mulder, that whatever
choices I have had or have not had do not change for one minute the choices I
freely make now to stay with you professionally, and __. "
Now it was Scully's turn to hesitate. She was about to say words that she'd
felt in her heart and said inside her mind for a very long time now; it was
with only some reluctance that she was about to share them with the most
important person her life for the first time.
"And__, and personally, Mulder. I want to stay with you in my professional
and in my personal life because without you my life is not complete. You
see, Fox Mulder, you make me a whole person, too."
"You don't see me as some selfish, evil bastard for wanting you in my life at
all costs?" he asks cautiously.
"Mulder, we can't know what choices we would make if we were actually given
them to make at the time they needed to be made."
"What?" he asked.
She chuckled because she realized that her thoughts were indeed convoluted at
this point. All she knew was she was content in the way all things led to
this point in her life. She wanted Mulder and she knew she couldn't give him
up either given the knowledge of how much he means to her and she to him.
She finally realized the one way she could get him to stop questioning
himself. She wrapped her arms around him, smiled and said the words he
needed to hear; the words she needed to say.
"I love you, Mulder."
Comments and feedback gratefully accepted at: STPteach@aol.com