New! Memories of Two Fathers
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998

Category: Story, Angst, MSR

Rating: PG13 for language and Images of Child Abuse/Neglect

Spoilers: Season Four (mild) Season Five (not so mild) though the last five
eps did not happen.... particularly the events of "The End."

Summary: Scully makes a connection with someone close to her, and allows
Mulder the chance to do the same.

Archive: Yes

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, Maggie, Walter, and Ma and Pa Mulder belong to
10/13 productions and Chris Carter. I'm just borrowing them. I won't keep
them. At the end of the story you can have `em back, I swear, (unless you
*want* to give `em to me.) All other characters belong to me, and if Mr.
Carter wants to borrow them, all he needs to do is ask. <grin>

Introduction: A little something in remembrance of the Dads. This is a
follow-up to my "Home is Where the Heart is" and you would probably enjoy
this one better if you read that one first. I don't know if it's absolutely
necessary, but I think it would give you a better sense as to where our heroes
are coming from.

Thanks of course to Vickie for taking time out of her Father Day preparations
(Happy Father's Day, Brian)!

Flames will be noted, but constructive feedback will be appreciated and
acknowledged! Thanks in advance, my friends!

Memories of Two Fathers
by Susan Proto (

Part 1/1

"What's wrong?" Mulder asked as she walked into the office.

She raised her head to look at him carefully and then asked, "How in the world
do you know something is wrong?"

"I don't know," he said shyly, "I just do."


"So, are you going to tell me what's wrong?" he coaxed.

"I__, I have to do something this Sunday," she hesitated, "and I'm not sure
if I want to do it alone."

"I'll keep you company?" he half said and half asked.

"You don't even know what it is, Mulder."

"I don't care. If you need me to be there, you know I would never turn you

Mulder looked at Scully with a sweetness he'd never have allowed himself to
show before this past Mother's Day. He had found himself on the doorstep of
Maggie Scully that day because he was unable to share any emotional tie with
his own mother. However, on this day, he'd finally admitted his true, romantic
feelings for his partner.


To his partner.

And, miraculously, she did the same.

And it happened with the unexpected help of Maggie Scully and, of all people,
Walter Skinner.

So now, when she was obviously (or at least obviously to him) distressed about
something, he knew, for once, he could offer his support without getting his
head bitten off.


Scully looked at him intently, but she remained silent for a few moments.
Then she said, "I appreciate the offer Mulder, and I'll consider it. I'll let
you know later this evening. Maybe over dinner, okay?"

When he nodded his response, Scully stood up and grabbed her coffee mug. "I'm
going for a fill-up. Do you need a refill?"

"Yeah, thanks," and he took one last gulp before handing the now empty cup
over to his partner. He watched her leave the room and wondered what it was
that seemed to weigh so heavily on her mind.

When Scully had returned, Mulder had already become engrossed in a file that
had just come across his desk. Scully simply placed the cup on his desk, and
then, gingerly, she leaned down and placed a light kiss on the top of his

Mulder smiled and, without moving a muscle, said softly, "That was nice."

"Yes, it was," she responded. "Mulder, I like feeling as though I can show
you how I feel any time I want to. It's a very liberating feeling. I never
realized how much energy I'd expended in the past trying to keep my feelings
under wraps. I think, this is much healthier."

Mulder chuckled out loud. He loved listening to Scully extrapolate and
hypothesize and rationalize anything and everything. "Scully," he called out
as he finally looked up and made eye contact, "it feels damned good too."

"Yes, well that too, of course," she responded as the blush crept up her face
much faster than she'd expected it would "Oh, get to work, Mulder."

He laughed aloud again, raised his hand in a salute, and said, "Aye, aye,
Captain!" and he lowered his head to return his eyes to the file in hand.

Scully, on the other hand, stared at him for a couple of moments in amazement.
Of all the things Fox Mulder could have said to her, 'Aye, aye, Captain' was
the last thing in the world she'd expected.

She shook her head a bit and turned on the computer. As it warmed up, she
took out a floppy disk from her briefcase and rested it in the floppy drive
of her computer. When the computer had completely booted, Scully pushed it
into place. She then clicked on her A drive icon, then the document icon, and
the screen came to life.

'Dear Ahab,' it began. She'd begun writing the letter to her father about a
week ago. Ever since his death, it had become Scully's custom to write her
father a letter which would catch him up on her life. She then brought it to
the pier where his ashes were scattered, placed it in a bottle, and hoisted
into the sea.

When she'd begun writing her letter to her father Scully found d herself
thinking more and more about Mulder. In the past, she'd always delivered the
letter to Ahab alone. This year, however, she felt differently. She
thought, perhaps, she wanted someone to go with her. Someone named Mulder.

But she honestly didn't know how he would feel about it. She didn't know if
he could possibly understand how much these visits to the pier meant to her.
Scully wondered if Mulder, who had a poor relationship with his own father,
could appreciate the significance the day held for her.

She didn't want to make him uncomfortable or feel obligated to come with her
if he felt uncomfortable. Scully didn't want to place him in a situation he'd

That _she'd_ regret.

The more she thought about it, the more she determined this was probably not
the time to bring him with her.

_Probably_ not, at any rate.

She began adding to the letter, and had become rather engrossed in the writing
when she'd suddenly heard someone yell her name.

"SCULLY," the voice called. She jumped, of course, and turned toward the
source of the sound.

"Mulder, why they hell are you yelling at me like that?" she asked annoyed.

"Because you didn't respond the first three times I'd called your name," he

"Oh." She looked slightly sheepish, and then worked up enough nerve and
asked, "What was it you wanted, Mulder?"

"Skinner called. He needs to review some of the expense account items from
our last expense report, and luckily for me, since it was you who wrote the
report, I'm off the hook! Give Walter a great big smile for me, okay?"

"Mulder, I just might tell the AD you said that," she responded with a hint of
mischief in her voice. Ever since her mother and the AD had become involved
in a personal relationship, Scully found herself quite comfortable around AD
Skinner, a/k/a Walter.

Mulder, on the other hand, was quite a different story. He'd only just begun
to feel more comfortable around the AD on that Mother's Day evening. Mulder
was amazed at the amount of emotional support the AD was willing to lend him,
however Mulder was still not fully comfortable in being on the receiving end
from the AD himself.

He wasn't even comfortable about receiving it from Maggie Scully, who'd
practically adopted Mulder long ago, shortly after Scully had been abducted.
For some reason, still not totally understood by Scully, Mulder found it
difficult to accept the fact people were not only willing to maintain a
relationship with him, but some actively sought one out with him.

So now, when Dana Scully stood and said, " I'll tell Wally you send your
fondest regards," Mulder sat there with his mouth agape.


He needed a pencil. The one he'd been using was now but a mere nub, and
besides, he knew Scully kept a stash of freshly sharpened pencils in a cup on
her table. Not quite a desk, but it was her space and it held her computer
and her pencils for now.

He'd requisitioned a desk for her a few months ago, but unfortunately, US tax
dollars were hard at work, and the blasted thing was backordered. He hadn't
told her he'd ordered it, as he really wanted to surprise her with it. At
this rate, however, they'd probably both be ready to retire by the time the
damned thing arrived.

But at the moment all he wanted to do was retrieve a pencil from her coveted
can. As he walked over, he noticed the screen saver went off and whatever
file Scully had been working on came up on the screen.

He glanced at it quickly, wondering if it was the rough draft of the field
report for the last case they'd worked on together. When he'd looked a bit
closer, his eyes opened wide, and he quickly averted them.

Mulder immediately realized this file was not meant for his eyes. He quickly
retreated back to his desk. However, he also neglected to take a pencil, so
he stood up once more and walked over to Scully's table. He picked out a
pencil as quickly as possible, and found himself glancing briefly at the
screen, just to be sure it said what he thought it said.

"Dear Ahab," it began.

Scully was writing a letter to her deceased father. And for some odd reason,
it caused Mulder's stomach to do somersaults. He didn't know why, but he was
extremely uncomfortable with the whole scenario.

Mulder wondered if the reason behind the letter was there was something Scully
needed to talk about and she couldn't share it with him. He couldn't bare it
if there was something Scully felt she couldn't share.

He wanted to desperately look at the letter, but he didn't dare invade
Scully's privacy like that. He'd felt guilty enough already just knowing to
whom she'd written, he couldn't imagine how he'd feel if he'd actually read
the whole letter.

He wanted to though.

He stood up and quickly walked out of the office. He knew Scully would be
pissed off as hell with him if he read that letter, and he decided it was time
to put temptation out of his way. It was time to go down to the corner deli
for a decent cup of coffee.


Scully returned from Skinner's office about twenty minutes later. It didn't
take much to convince Walter the expense claims were legitimate. As much as
she hated to admit, she had a feeling a little nepotism was definitely going
to work in her and Mulder's favor.

When she returned to the office she was surprised to find it empty. She
noticed his jacket was missing, so Scully figured he must have gone out for
some real coffee. She just hoped he remembered to bring her some.

Scully sat down at her table (and every time she sat there, she wondered when
the desk Mulder had ordered for her as a surprise was finally going to
arrive,) and got ready to bring up her screen. But something odd faced her,
and she couldn't quite figure out what it was at first.

She stared at the words in front of her and then realized what was amiss. The
screen saver was off, and the last document Scully had up on the computer was
facing her in full living color.

"Shit. Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit," Scully cursed loudly. "I can't
believe he did this." Her eyes returned to the screen and she stared closely.
She remembered him admitting to reading her journal way back when in the
Allentown hospital. He did admit it, and he said he hadn't read the entire

Maybe he didn't read this either.

And maybe birds walk south for the winter.

Shit. She hadn't been sure if she even wanted Mulder to go with her to the
pier. She sure as hell hadn't intended for him to read the letter to her dead

"God, he must think I'm a complete loony toon," she said aloud to no one in
the room.

Except Mulder was now in the room. "Loony toon about what?" he asked as he
juggled a couple of lattes and fresh bagels with cream cheese.

"Umm, nothing really, Mulder. Is one of those for me?" she asked sweetly and
quickly in an attempt to change the subject.

"Yeah, here. I just needed something other than the swill that's made here,"
he commented.

"Mulder, you're the one who makes the swill here," she managed to chuckle.

"Oh. Well, then for sure I needed to get a fresh cup. I was a little hungry
too," he said as he took a huge bit from his bagel.

"Mulder," Scully began, "I have to ask you a question, and I need you to be
completely honest with me. Okay? I won't be annoyed or anything."

When Mulder looked up and across the room from her, she asked softly, but
seriously, "Mulder, were you by any chance near my table earlier?"

"Jeeze, Scully! How the hell do you do that? I borrowed one lousy pencil.
Just one! I promise! If it's gonna make you nuts though I'll give it back,"
he replied with some jocularity.

"Mulder, I don't give a damn about the lousy pencil," she said tersely.

"Oh. Then what?" he asked somewhat surprised by her angry tone. "I mean,
why do you ask if I've specifically been near your desk?"

"Table," she responded.


"It's not a God damned desk, it's a table," she retorted, and her voice slowly
rose in anger as she demanded, "And I want to know if you read what was on my

Mulder's cheeks began to flush, not in embarrassment, but in anger. She'd
already accused, tried, and convicted him. He realized she wasn't prepared to
believe he really hadn't read what was on the screen.

"When I went to get the pencil, your screen savor turned off. I did glance
down __," he began.

"__Hrumph!" she interrupted.

"Scully! You asked me a question. I would like the opportunity to answer
it," he replied, annoyed.

She nodded, and he continued. "I did glance down. I figured it was the
revised field report for the Clayborn case. But when I read it, I saw "Dear
Ahab," and I knew it wasn't my place to read any further. Scully, I didn't
read the letter you wrote to your father."

"How do you know it's a letter to my father?" she asked foolishly in anger.

"Scully, I didn't think you were writing to Moby Dick's nemesis. And since you
began it with "Dear," I naturally assumed it was a letter. But Scully, I
didn't read it. I swear to you, I didn't."


"But Scully?"


"I would like to."

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 2/2

She had the pasta ready along with the seafood sauce she'd whipped up about
fifteen minutes ago. When the doorbell rang, she was pleasantly surprised to
see Mulder holding a bottle of wine, a wedge of brie, and some water crackers.

"Mulder, you're developing some taste in your old age," Scully said with a
small smile.

"Yeah, well it's been screaming to come out of me all along. It just took the
right woman to bring it out of me," he replied. He breathed a small sigh of
relief. Mulder was fearful Scully's dark mood from earlier today might have
carried over to tonight's get together.

Scully, on the other hand, felt her stomach was in knots. She wanted to have
a nice, quiet dinner. No pressure. No discussion about fathers, or letters,
or Sunday.

Father's Day.

But she knew Mulder would ask her about it, and she'd already decided she
wouldn't deny him.

And it was after dinner, after they'd sat on her couch and nuzzled a little,
he finally asked.

"Scully, what did you want to do this Sunday, and do you want me to join you?"

"Mulder, do you know what day that is?" she asked gingerly.

"Sunday?" When he saw her nod, he continued lightheartedly, "The day after

"Oh Mulder, that is the oldest joke in the book. No, what holiday is it?"

He stared at her blankly for a moment until realization hit him, and he said,

"That's why I wrote the letter, Mulder. I've written a letter to Ahab every
Father's Day since he died. It helps me stay close to him. To remember him.
But this letter wasn't what I expected it to be," she admitted a bit

"Why? What was so unexpected?" he asked, sincerely interested in what had
Scully upset.

"I printed it out.," she said. "I'll read it to you, Mulder."


And she began to read her words aloud.

"Dear Ahab,

Another Father's Day is about to pass, and once again I feel the need to get
close to you and let you know all is well with me.
So much has happened in this past year, Daddy. Some of which I want to share
with you, and some of which I want to desperately forget.

My cancer is in remission. I wish I could say it's totally and completely
gone, but I can't. Sometimes, I think it's still lurking in my body, waiting
and biding its time to make a return appearance.

I'm still scared, Daddy. Sometimes, when it's late at night, and the air is
still around me, and the night time is so quiet I can almost hear my
heartbeat, I think I hear it growing again.

The tumor.

I know it's ridiculous. I'm a scientist, and I know I could never hear the
tumor actually growing larger. But Daddy, sometimes I wake up, and I touch my
forehead and think I feel a bulge, and then I remember, 'no, it's in
remission.' And I say a quick prayer of thanks.

Oh, that's right. You don't know yet. You will be pleased to know I've
renewed my faith in God. I pray to him each night I go to sleep and each
morning I wake up He give me the strength to fight back the cancer if it
should return.

Oh, but I have found strength through another too. It's Mulder, Daddy. Now,
I'm sure this won't come as a surprise to you,
because knowing Mom as well as I do, I'm sure she has already mentioned the
possibility of Mulder and I becoming, umm__, closer.

It's funny. Mom has always known, Daddy. Ever since I was missing for all of
those months, she knew. Oh God, Daddy. This may sound awful, but if there
was one thing that came out of your death, it was you didn't have to live
through my abduction. I suspect that would have been one of the hardest
things you would have ever had to deal with.

Mom had to deal with it, but she had Mulder. Mulder was there supporting Mom
all of those months I was missing. But I'd since come to find out Mom was
there for Mulder too. Mom's a pretty amazing person, Daddy. I don't know how
she saw it before we did, but Mom has always known Mulder and I love one

And we do, Daddy. Oh, I love him so much it's almost painful. But what's
even better is I know he loves me just as much. We're each other's best
friend, and so much more. He's my link to this world, Daddy. As I am his.

Ahab, I know you would like him. Oh sure, at first you would probably act
like a blowhard and give him a hard time. You're my dad, and that's what dads
are supposed to do. But eventually, I know you would see the man I see.

Mulder's a man with incredible vision, integrity, and dreams of finding the
truth. Whatever the hell that is. We're both still searching for it, and
maybe, with some luck, it'll just jump up and bite us in the ass, so we'll
know for sure.

But I won't lie, Daddy. This search, this quest that I and Mulder have gotten
ourselves embroiled in has so different twists and turns to it, I don't know
if we'll ever find the answers we're looking for. Hell, Daddy, I don't even
know if we know all of the questions!

There's danger in what Mulder and I do. Is that why you were so against me
joining the bureau? Were you afraid for me? Were you frightened I would put
myself in harm's way? Oh Daddy, it does scare me sometimes dealing with all
of the crazy phenomena we run into. But what still scares me even more, I
think, is the possibility I could die before I ever fulfill all of the dreams
you had for me.

The cancer could come back and kill me. The job could kill me. The truth
could get me killed. So much for dreams, right Ahab?
But I know you had such dreams for me, and I know you loved me. But, Daddy?
I still wonder. Did I disappoint you, because I didn't fulfill all of those
dreams you had for me?

I made my own choices, Daddy. I can't say every choice I made was the
absolute, right one, but I don't think I'd change a single one if I couldn't
be sure it would lead me to where I am right now in my life. I'm happy with
my life's choices. I truly am. I don't know if you are finally at peace with
the decisions I've made. I hope so, Daddy.

I wonder, are fathers ever happy with their children's choices? What is it
that fathers want from their children? Do they want perfection? As hard as I
tried, Daddy, I could never give you perfection. I feel like I should say
'I'm sorry,' but I honestly don't think I have anything to be sorry about.

At least not anymore.

I used to feel so guilty, Daddy. I used to think if I'd only behaved this
way, or that way, you would stop fighting and you and Melissa wouldn't be so
angry all of the time. I tried to be perfect for you Daddy, I really tried.
But as hard as I tried, I couldn't be Melissa.


Whoa. Daddy, where did that come from?

Oh God, when Melissa went away, I felt such an awful pressure to take her
place. I don't even know for sure if you wanted me to do that, Daddy, but I
felt as though I had to. I had to be so perfect so you wouldn't miss Melissa
as much.

So I wouldn't miss Melissa as much.

We never talked about Melissa after she'd left, did we? Why? Why didn't we
talk about her, Daddy? She wasn't dead. She wasn't kidnapped. She left. So
why didn't we ever speak about her? I missed talking about her with you. The
mere mention of Melissa's name used to bring such an incredible smile to your

But after she left, you seemed angry, Daddy. I know you missed her, but you
wouldn't talk about her and if someone mentioned her name your face got all
dark and stormy. I remember that. I remember that too well.

Mulder's told me he was never able to please his own father and their
relationship was horrible. From what little he's told me, it seems he tried
so hard to be the perfect son. The perfect child. But it was never enough,
Daddy. And now, he's so sad whenever he talks about his father.

Sad and angry.

Sometimes I know just how he feels. That scares me a little, Ahab.

I've wondered at times, what might have been if you were Mulder's father. I
wonder if he would still be the same passionate, driven man that searches for
the truth. But then again, if you were his father, Samantha would never have
been an issue.

You would have never chosen one of your children to be sent away. Oh. I know,
Daddy, that sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? But that's what Mulder seemed to
have recalled during those horrible flashbacks he had from as a result of that
quack doctor drilling holes in Mulder's head.

No, Daddy, you would have never choose a child to send away.

Not on purpose, at any rate.

Oh God, but Daddy you did, in a way, didn't you? You chased Melissa away,
because she couldn't be your perfect daughter. She couldn't be what you had
chosen for her to be.

So instead of her, it became all about me.

I was to become your Melissa.

I'm sorry, Ahab. I'm sorry I couldn't become what you wanted me to be. But
Daddy, I will never be sorry for who I've become. Will you ever be able to
see me for who I am?

Will I ever stop being Starbuck, and start being Dana?"


Scully finished, but didn't look up. She simply folded the letter in half and
then stared at her hands. She waited and waited for Mulder to react, to say
something, anything, but all she heard was silence.

When she finally gained enough nerve to look at her partner, she was amazed to
find him sitting and staring at her, with tears running down his face.

"Mulder? What's wrong?"

"Nothing, Scully," he said quickly as he tried swiping at the tears with the
back of his hand. "It's just that__, well, I never imagined__. God, Scully,
thank you for sharing your letter with me," he gasped slightly.

"It's okay, Mulder. I wanted to share it with you," she replied.

"But, it's not finished," Mulder said with certainty.

"Well, I have to sign it, I know, but I don't think I want to add anything
else," she explained.

"Not you. Me. I would very much, Scully, like permission to finish your
letter to your father. Would you allow me to do that?" Mulder asked

She paused only momentarily until she realized this was the man she'd intended
to spend the rest of her life with. If she were really going to do that, then
she'd have to be prepared to share everything of her life with him. Because
then, and only then, would he be willing to share his with her.

She nodded yes, and as she knew he eschewed the computer's word processor
program, she found some formal stationary bond and a sleek Cross pen.

He took both the pen and the paper to the table and fingered each item,
almost reverently. Next, he looked up at his Scully, smiled, and then dropped
his head to write.


"Dear Ahab,

She questions you, but don't worry. You have to know she still loves you. It
doesn't matter that she questions your actions, because she doesn't question
whether or not you love her. She knows you love her. Always did, always

What a gift you gave her, Ahab. Priceless. You gave her a sure thing.
Nothing chancy. No doubts. You gave your daughter a chance to believe in
something. Someone. No one or no thing could ever take your love away from
her or hers for you.

She'd once had the opportunity to listen to someone who claimed to be able to
channel your spirit and speak your words to her. I think she had really
believed, at some point, this person had the ability to do just what he'd said
he could do. But she'd decided against going to listen to him.

When I'd asked her why not, you know what her answer was? She'd said, 'I
already know.' And when I asked her how she knew, she only needed to say,
'Because he's my father.'

When I heard her say those words, I wanted to cry. Oh hell, I think I did
cry. But admittedly, the tears were for purely selfish reasons. You see, I
never got the gift of unconditional love from my father. I never got a sure
thing from William Mulder, unless you want to count an unending supply of
uncertainty as a sure thing. I know, it does seem like a bit of an oxymoron.

You see, I never measured up to Bill Mulder's standards of what a son should
be. I could never please him, no matter what I did. Some days I would do the
exact same thing he'd demanded of me not an hour before, and he would punish
me for doing it. No matter how I tried, I could not please him.

As I'd listened to Scully's part of the letter, I thought it was a bit ironic
there were some similarities between our childhoods. Both of us had a sister
leave home before we wanted them to.

I know Scully blames you for Melissa's leaving, but I don't think she realizes
how wrong that is. Melissa had left of her own free will. She'd stayed away
of her own free will. She'd come back of her own free will.

You never ordered her to be stolen from Scully's life. Not like my sister.
Not like my Samantha. Not like my Scully.

With my father it was always an all or nothing proposition. And because
William Mulder had finally developed a conscience of sorts and doubts about
his decision to have Sam taken, he'd take his frustrations out on his none to
perfect son.

I guess it all comes down to choices, doesn't it Ahab? Scully has her doubts
because she wanted to be the perfect daughter for you. I have my doubts
because I never knew if I could be perfect enough for a man who insisted upon
it. I had to be perfect in order to survive.

I wasn't too successful.

But you were. Ahab, you must be proud of your daughter. I know I am. I am so
proud to have her as my partner, working at my side. My best friend. My
equal. My love.

I love her Ahab. I pray you find me acceptable to be her partner in life as
well as in the FBI, because if she ever had her doubts about your acceptance,
I suspect I might lose. I mean, I know she loves me with all of her heart.
Oh, I thank God for that knowledge every day. But, still, I might lose.

She loves and respects you that much.

I hope someday I can earn that kind of love and respect. My own father
couldn't earn it from me, as I suppose, he didn't really know how. So, if you
don't mind, Ahab, I think I'd like to look to you as my role model.

Someday, when I am a father, I will tell my children the story of their
wonderful grandpa named Ahab.

Happy Father's Day.

With love,
Fox Mulder"


Mulder had left the letter on the table and said he needed to take a walk.
He'd be back in about twenty minutes.

Scully looked at him and thought he appeared a little drained.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"I'm fine," he quickly replied. When he saw the eyebrow go up, he chuckled
slightly and added, "No, I really am. I just need to get some fresh air. Go
ahead and read it. I won't be long. Promise."

She watched him leave, poured herself another glass of wine, and sat down to
read his portion of the letter. As she read, she sipped her wine, nodded her
head in agreement, opened her mouth in mild astonishment, and shed some tears
in both sadness and happiness.

When Scully had finished reading the letter, she decided to add a postscript.
When she'd finished, she stood up to go and change into something more
comfortable in anticipation of Mulder's return.

Twenty minutes after he'd left, Mulder let himself back into the apartment.
He saw Scully was neither in the living nor kitchen, and so he called out to

She responded by calling out, "I'm changing. I'll be right out. Read the

Mulder picked up the letter and noticed a postscript. He read it.

"P.S. Daddy, I just finished reading Mulder's part and wanted to let you know
that I thank you for one more very important thing. Thank you for teaching me
independence and free thought are good things.

You see, Daddy, it doesn't matter whether you approve of Mulder or not,
(though I know you do!) I could never chose anyone but him. For if I did, I
would be the one to lose, and I'm not a loser, Daddy. You taught me that too.
We have to teach Mulder that as well.

I love you, Daddy. Your grandchildren will hear about you someday. We both
promise you that.

Always your Starbuck,


Scully walked back in quietly, as it appeared Mulder was still reading the
letter. She sat down next to him, as she didn't want to distract or startle
him. However, he reached over towards her, so he obviously was aware of her
presence. When he looked up, Scully saw a beautiful smile, with some tears
peaking out of his gorgeous hazel eyes.

"So you want children?" she asked him.


"There seems to be a slight problem with that, though," she replied

"There's always adoption, Scully. Yes, it would be nice if we could conceive
one of our own, but, more importantly, I want to raise a child with you. I
want to have a family, be a family, with you."

"Okay, Mulder. You realize we may have a difficult time__," she began.

"__Scully," he interrupted, "I want to marry you. Please, tell me you'll
marry me."

"Oh, don't worry, Mulder, marriage was never a doubt in my mind," she said
with a chuckle. And then continuing with a bit of a wry smile, she explained,
"I mean we might have some difficulty since this will be a mixed marriage."

"What? Scully, I don't object to raising the child as a Catholic," he
responded quickly.

"Of course not," she responded even more quickly (delighted to herself with
that concession) "but that's not what I meant. The adoption agency may have a
tough time placing a child with a couple made up of a believer and a skeptic,
don't you think?"

Mulder chuckled in relief at that and then extended his arms around his
beautiful partner. "Did we just become engaged, or something?" he asked.

"Or something, Mulder. It doesn't have to happen tomorrow," Scully replied.
"Besides, we have something else to plan for this weekend."

He looked at her curiously, and asked her what was on her mind.

"I want to go to the vineyard this weekend, Mulder. I want to put our letter
into a bottle and toss it into the sea off the coast where you lived as a
child. I want you to exorcise some of your demons too. What do you say?"

"I say I love you, and we'll get started first thing in the morning, okay?"


Mulder stood up and placed the letter on the coffee table. He glanced at it
once more and then reached out for Scully's hand.

"I'm a lucky man, Dana Scully."

And then in a coincidental display of "stereo," both looked up and whispered
aloud, "Thank you, Ahab."


End of 2/2

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