Title: Parting
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Warnings: none
Category: Story, angst
Keywords: Mulder/Scully romance, Scully/other romance, character death
Spoilers: Gethsemane (nothing really specific).
Summary: Speculation on the death of a character.
Disclaimer: Characters property of CC, 1013, 20th Century Fox, DD and GA. Ganmore is mine. I can't make any money off of this-- it's illegal.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website. Please keep all my headers intact.
Note: This series was based in part on the Gethsemane arc, before I saw it, therefore some elements may be familiar, others not. It was also inspired by a poem by Lord Byron, found at the end of the story. Peter Ganmore (in part three, after I'd seen the trilogy) is based on what I want John Doggett to be like, all except for what eventually happens to him and Scully. ;-)

First Stanza

I drew out my cell phone and dialed her number. I had to do this. It would hurt us both, but I had to. I knew she'd answered by the click mid-ring. I spoke before she could.

"Scully, it's Mulder. We need to talk. Meet me tomorrow morning at six. Our bench." I spoke quickly. I didn't want to falter.

"Mulder, what's wrong? Mul--." I hung up on her. Her concern was too piercing, a knife I didn't want to feel just yet.

Time flew, much too quickly. I wanted it that way. Sunday morning I was there, earlier that she. Promptly at six, she appeared. I smiled tightly. How punctual she was.

She started speaking as soon as she was close enough for me to hear. "What was it I said the last time you made me do this?"

" 'Next time, meet me out in the open.' "

She sat down beside me and asked the question I expected, but not prepared for.

"What's wrong, Mulder?"

Her face was so innocent, so expectant. I longed to reach out and touch it--madness. She waited patiently. I didn't want to speak. My next words would shatter her world; they had shattered mine. I had no way to begin, except to do it.

"Scully, Samantha's coming back." Her face told me she accepted that. "I mean, that is not part of my faith. I know, with proof, that she's coming back."

She touched my arm, lightly. "Explain, Mulder. What do you mean, 'with proof'?"

"They let me see her, Scully." Shock leapt into her face. "It was her. I know. Not a clone, not anything but my sister." I could feel my throat clogging, and swallowed. "I held her, Scully, oh, for so long. My dues. ...I'll never see her again."

For once she didn't question me, disbelieving the words I said. Instead, she asked, "Why? Why did they let you see her?"

"In exchange for something I could give them."

"A deal, Mulder? What?"

I looked her full in the eyes then. I couldn't hide, why pretend I could?

"My life, Scully."

"What?" she whispered.

"I gave my life for yours." The unbelievable and she believed. "The cancer. I--." I glanced down for a second, unable to meet her frank gaze. "I couldn't bear to see you die so slowly. Skinner told me there had to be another way. There wasn't. The only way I could see clearly was this. Trust me, Scully."

"Trust." Bitterness twisted her mouth into an ugly shape. "You trust them more than yourself. All that trust we've built, Mulder. Do you realize what you've done? You've broken it." The tears in her eyes started to overflow. The first time I'd seen her cry was for my safety. Now, she was weeping for herself. I watched tears trace from her eye to her mouth, detached, much like the first time. There was nothing more to say but, "I'm sorry, Scully."

"Sorry doesn't quite cut it, Mulder." She stood and walked away, the tears still falling.

I called after her, "Dana!" She never turned around.


Second Stanza

The air was damp with early morning dew. I came to see him be lowered into the ground. I had been here before, in this cemetery, to watch his father's funeral.

This time I knew he would not be back. I stood alone at my partner's funeral. His friends had declined to come, choosing to honor his death at a later time. His mother was dead of a heart attack, a few months before Mulder.

He'd been my partner for six years. I had never expected when to find the man to whom my whole life, soul and breath would be bound. The first time I saw his eyes, I knew his soul was broken, that the word 'trust' no longer held meaning for him. I could not understand why, but when I discovered that his consuming devotion to finding the truth was more an obsession rooted in finding his sister, I did.

I should have left then. I was not blind. I knew that I could never heal his soul. And yet, my trust soon became completely entangled in him, and I could no longer leave.

They released the coffin and I threw my handful of dust. I left and as I did so, I remembered all the times he had left me to follow the lies they laid as traps for him. Mulder saw his death as a sacrifice, to keep them from further destroying our lives.

The evidence shouted that Agent Mulder committed suicide. Only I heard the whispering of 'execution'.

This time he'd left me for good. I hated him more for this than for anything else. He took me on a journey then abandoned me before reaching the conclusion. It was never my journey and I will not conclude it. Why should I? They have everything they wanted and there is nothing left for me.

The insistent knocking woke Dana Scully from her uneasy sleep. She rose, wiping her eyes. She peeked through the glass hole in her door, and then opened it.

"Yes, what do you want?"

The woman looked a little lost. She asked hesitantly, "Are you Dana Scully?"


The woman smiled, a slow, easy smile that transformed her somber face.

"I'm glad to find you. You see, I was told that I needed to meet you. My name is Samantha Mulder."


Third Stanza

August 20, 2005

He calls it exercise, but I know he derives more pleasure out of it than that. He told me he used to play here in college and as I watch I see he has lost none of the accuracy that won his team a few championships. The reverberation of the ball leaping off the gymnasium floor sounds loudly off the high walls. I am supposed to be typing a report, but my workaholism is giving way to the repeated bounce, slap, swish his playing makes.

Mulder used to play basketball.

Peter whistles, a long low sound. I look up and give him a short smile and a small wave.

"I'm almost ready to leave," he calls.

I nod.

August 20, 2000

The room is silent with expectation. I catch my foot twitching and stop. The door of A. D. Skinner's office opens and she comes in. I stand.

Dana Scully, my new partner.

We look at each other and I begin to note the tiny differences between her photo and the actual person. She compensates for petiteness with heels, her hair is tinged a brighter red. Her face is thinner, chiseled by time and hard work. I can see the places where sorrow traced lines under her eyes. Those eyes look at me now and I know she has made her own judgment about me.

"Sir?" she questions.

"Agent Scully, this is your new partner, Peter Ganmore," my new supervisor answers.

"I see."

"I would appreciate it if you would both take the time to get acquainted. Dismissed."

We exit the office and she walks ahead of me. I catch up and walk beside her. This woman has a reputation for displaying the warmth of an ice cube. So far the rumors haven't lied. Time to chip at the ice.

"What would you prefer being called?"

She stops. A few long seconds tick past before she turns to look at me, instead of through, like she did before.

"What would you?"

"Peter's fine."

She blinks, and then says, "Then call me Dana."

And just for a moment I saw the woman inside.

He probably sees me as cold, and I've been nothing but. It is not for the sake of familiarity that I asked him to address me as Dana. I need to be her again, and the name of Scully needs to be forgotten.

This man is an intrusion into my life, but Bureau policy must be served. I need him. I need him to protect my back and keep my job.

I take him down to the basement office. What used to be Mulder's desk is now mine, however, I have taken the trouble to add another for this man. The only other change this office has seen has been the introduction of order to some of the older files.

He makes himself familiar with his surroundings, as I say, "Peter?"

He turns to look at me, obscuring the poster behind him.

"I'll be leaving now. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Do you mind if I examine these files?"

I shake my head wearily.

"Have a good night, Dana."

My shoulders tighten. The softness of his voice is non- threatening, but the sound of my first name spoken by him scrapes at me. Perhaps I made a mistake.

"Good night." And I carefully avoid his name.

She can't even say his name, but his memory haunts her.

Her avoidance is palpable and intolerant. She cannot bear to hear him discussed. The rancor of her fellow agents disturbed her today and not even the defense of Agent Mulder's investigations, by one of the extremely few who admired his work, was enough to erase the shame I saw on her face.

They didn't see us walk away.

What I saw in her--her grief, anger, regret and guilt--has caused my concern for her well being to intensify.

For the sake of our partnership I need to reach her.

I can't sleep. I haven't been able to for the past...since he died. I take the pills, I need my sleep, but there are nights when the thoughts hammer at me, and I welcome the pain they cause.

I get out of bed, and go to the bathroom. I turn on the light and look in the mirror. The woman who looks back at me is thin- faced, dark-eyed, lost.

And then I realize it. The knowledge is blunt, strong and familiar. I have seen this lostness before. It was in Mulder's eyes.

Mulder before I came to him, before I steadied him, sheltered him, became his support.

I am without his support.

I haven't cried since that day on the bench. Even when I saw him being lowered into the ground I shed no tears. Now as I smooth back my hair with a shaking hand the tears start to flow. Slowly at first and then quickly, the sobs come and all I can think of is calling him, but he's no longer there to hear.

I crumple to the floor, holding myself, alone.

What am I doing here? Am I here to keep watch over her, to help? What help could I offer? She needs her partner. I'm the wrong one.

I stand outside her door, hand raised to knock, undecided.

Then the decision is taken from me.

She doesn't look surprised to see me, and I can tell she's been crying.

"I'm sorry, I didn't...I came to see if you, I don't know, wanted to... I'll go."

"Come in, Peter. Don't ask me how I knew you came, but we need to talk."

Those words started our friendship. I like to think I helped that night. I listened to her, a good start for any partnership, and the things she told me opened my eyes.

I felt her grief at losing the one man she loved deeply enough to die for, and her anger at that man for taking a coward's way out, her regret for not revealing her love, a fact that might have stopped him, and her guilt, knowing that all the things she could have done, were probably not enough.

Her words bound us together and I knew with a staggering clarity that I would marry her and give her the things Mulder never could. I could never replace him and I was not stupid enough to assume I would.

I would simply be what she needed.

August 20, 2005

It has been eight years since Mulder's death. Those eight years have fulfilled the visions Mulder saw, the visions of the truth revealed. "What is truth," Pilate asked. Truth is as evanescent as faith, but my faith in Mulder's quest, and Peter's faith in me led us to find the truth, and ultimately the truth has set us free.


Fourth Stanza

The moon and the clouds cast a crazy quilt pattern over the still form. The light turned the woman into a fairy creature, an insubstantial wisp, and transformed the vulnerability in her peaceful face into a fragile beauty. As she moaned and twisted beneath the cover, the moon hid behind a vagrant cloud, leaving her in the dark, where she'd been so long.

Darkness surrounded her now as she opened her eyes and rose. She tugged the cover around her shoulders and left her room, padding in bare feet across the entrances to her living room and kitchen until she reached the door of her apartment. Using one hand she unlatched and unlocked the door, slipping out. She stepped outside her building blindly, seeking something out of her grasp. As she passed beneath a streetlamp, the light seemed to set her red hair ablaze, a momentary flame.

In her sleep, she saw a forest, green, cool, inviting, a place to forget her troubles and doze away. Yet something was missing, someone who was always there. She searched, turning full circle. The sun lanced through the leaves, falling on the shoulders and brown hair of a tall man wearing a long black coat. She moved toward him, her breath seeming to forsake her with every heartbeat.

He turned to her. His eyes, as inviting as the forest itself, grew wide as he saw her. He spoke and shattered the stillness.

"Scully, what are you doing here?"

She brushed an errant lock of hair from her face. His eyes followed the movement.

"Searching for you."

"You shouldn't have come."

She shrugged. "One risk. What is that against what we've been through?"

He stepped forward, placing his hands on her shoulders. She looked up into his eyes, and had the feeling she was drowning in a sea of hazel. He folded her in his arms, close to his heart.

"Scully, forgive me. I never meant to hurt you. I didn't tell you why that morning, pain is too hard, sometimes. I've held too many secrets from you and others. I loved you too much not to let go. You deserve a life more than I." He released her. She looked up once again.

"Mulder, don't. You left me, and I still have to work through that. I forgave you long ago. I love you. I'm just sorry I didn't tell you sooner."

A sad smile touched the corners of his mouth. "As am I. Goodbye, Dana."

"Goodbye, Fox." But she was speaking to a ray of light from a streetlamp. She shivered and made her way back to her apartment, in silence, absently wiping at the tears.


When We Two Parted
George Gordon, Lord Byron

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow--
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me--
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I know thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
To deeply to tell.

In secret we met--
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive,
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.