Title: The River
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Warnings: none
Category: V
Keywords: Alternate universe
Summary: One reason she stays.
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. You know where they belong. I make no profit from this.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website. Please keep all my headers intact.

Long before I knew what I was, I loved Midsummer's Eve. My father first told me of the fairy folk, in stories, as I lay under the cover tucked in so I could not escape. He told me of the witching hour when the portal between our world and theirs would open. If you stumbled on a fairy ring, whether of stone or grass, on Midsummer's Eve you might never be seen again.

It was not until I turned twenty that I found the stories to be true. Time, I once heard, is like a river--it flows from one source, the past, usually known, to another, the future, seen but not yet experienced. Yet the river also has its tributaries. Time has infinite endings, rather like those tributaries. It was then that I discovered I held the power of traveling, at will, into the branches of the river.

At first it was merely a pastime, a way to amuse myself. Then I began to notice certain recurring motifs. Those who would meet me recognized me for who I was, Dana Scully, a petite woman with red hair. I never understood what happened to the others who were also me, but I had my theories. There was no explanation for the way I knew what I was in those other lives, how I had their memories and their emotions locked in my mind, only to be opened in my journey.

My occupations varied, but I always partnered with him. He has always been there, never changing, but always unknown. The challenge of first meeting him has never ceased to amaze me. The passion between us, whether platonic, romantic, or sexual, has always been there.

I believe he is the reason I was given this gift. They wanted me to know him in all the ways I could, before I returned to the original flow of the river.

So here I stand, in this dusty hallway cramped by shelves, in front of a door with a plaque that reads 'Fox Mulder, Special Agent'. A shiver of anticipation runs down my back at the words that answer my knock.

"Nobody down here but the FBI's most unwanted!"

This first meeting, one I had prepared for the past ten years, was a much of a challenge as the last ten were. This Mulder was lost, unlike the others, and I realized that this one needed me the most.

By the end of that first case I had seen his ambition, obsession, and had been taken through a twisting journey of his mind. I knew more, and less, about him than I'd ever wanted. Yet he was still the same man I'd met before, altered in certain superficial ways, but fundamentally unchanged.

Now, it has been several years since that first meeting, and there has never been another. I have chosen to remain with this man, never again to follow those alternate routes. I have stayed here with him, and no matter where the river of time takes us, the paths of that river will remain forsaken.