Carry On

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

8/20/97

 

Rating: PG.

Disclaimer: The X-Files, M&S and crew belong to CC, and I'm only borrowing them for a little while. <g> "Carry On Wayward Son" is by Kansas. No infringement of copyrights is intended.

Relationship: Friendship only w/ MulderAngst.

Summary: Something difficult is weighing on Mulder's heart and soul, and some music makes him think about it.

Hi All! Just a minor angst piece for all you Angst lovers out there. This song has been bugging me for a story since last year, and I'm thrilled to have finally finished the d*$@ thing. <bg> Now let's get to the story. . .


What was the price to pay for a lost sister, Mulder thought as he walked in his apartment.

And the answer seemed obvious: a brother's life.

He'd traded his future for his sister's. A chance to redeem himself. But what was he going to get out of it?

He didn't have the answer to that one.

Sighing, he went into his bedroom and shrugged off his work clothes, trading them in for some jeans and a T-shirt. Comfortable, he trudged into the living space of his place, fed the fish and went to scrounge up something to drink in the fridge.

Coming back with a bottle of beer, Mulder looked around his home. Then he started to pace. Padding around in his silent, empty apartment, he realized that he had too much time to think. The whole thing was starting to begin.

He could feel the beginnings of his doubts creeping up on him. The start of a bout of despair. Silence and free time had always been a bad thing for him. Because his mind had a habit of working overtime. It let him analyze things to death, bring up his guilt and the pain. And it was looking like tonight was going to be one of those nights.

Needing something to distract his mind, he went and turned on the radio instead of the TV. As he wandered towards his computer to check his e-mail, he heard the strains of some old Stones wafting through the air and smiled a little.

He'd always been a classical rock fan. There was just something about the music that he found compelling, comforting even. As the next song started, he realized that his favorite radio station was playing a compilation of eighties rock bands.

Fine, I can live with that, he thought tiredly as he noted that he didn't have any mail and shut off the computer. Getting up from his desk, he picked up the beer he'd rested on the desk and headed for the couch. As he sat, leaning against the cool leather of the cushions, the next selection began.

The heavy guitar and percussion went on for a while, and then the music caught his attention. By the first set of lyrics, he was paying full attention to the sounds swirling around him.

"Carry on my wayward son

There'll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don't you cry no more"

The words struck him like a fist in his chest. They were talking to him, weren't they? Wasn't he that wayward son?

The guitar riffs played for what had to be a minute or so as he mulled over the meaning of the words. There was something very true about it. The fact that after Sam had disappeared, had been taken, he had for all intents and purposes become that wayward son. One searching desperately for his sister. Crying out at the unfairness of life, of her disappearance, of it all. And he did believe that when he finally had the answers, he would find peace.

But until then...

"Once I rose above the noise and confusion

Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion

I was soaring ever higher

But I flew to high

Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man

Though my mind could think I still was a mad man

I hear the voices when I'm dreaming

I can hear them say:

Carry on my wayward son

There'll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don't you cry no more"

How many times had he almost crashed and burnt his career, his life? Too many for him to count. He'd risen up over the lies more than a few times too. But just when he thought he had the answers, they were taken away from him. Sometimes forcibly.

God, he wanted to give up some days. He was in so many ways like the "son" in the song. so focused that he couldn't see anything for the looking.

Crazy, some people thought.

But that part of him that knew that the truth was out there kept him going. Made him strive for the unattainable. Or what he was beginning to believe was unreachable.

He couldn't rest. Not yet. Not until he'd gotten the truth...

"Masquerading as a man with a reason

My charade is the event of the season

And if I claim to be a wise man

It surely means I that don't know

On a stormy sea of moving emotion

Tossed about unlike a ship on the ocean

I set a course for winds of fortune

But I hear the voices say:

Carry on my wayward son

There'll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don't you cry no more"

Yeah, he pretended he had a reason. Samantha. The truth. All he was doing though was giving himself an excuse. He certainly wasn't smart enough to take the hundred or so hints over the years. Far from wise, yeah, that was him.

Emotionally, he'd been ripped to shreds by the job he'd done for the BSU, by Phoebe and Oxford, by his father and his mother. . . it had all ended with his being in pain and feeling guilty. And he still hadn't found the solutions. Hadn't found his rest. But he'd tried to just go along on the path that would lead him to the truth.

But somehow fortune had never smiled on him. At least not to his knowledge...

"Carry on

You will always remember

Carry on

Nothing equals the splendor

Now your life is no longer empty

Surely heaven waits for you

Carry on my wayward son

There'll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don't you cry no more"

Mulder pondered those words heavily.

Then phone rang suddenly, and he struggled to get up to catch it. He picked up the receiver and barked out his name.

"Mulder."

On the other end of the line, he heard the voice he longed to hear every day. One reason he was alive today to debate whether or not he should be. The reason his life wasn't as empty as it had been a few years ago.

"It's me Mulder," Dana Scully said on the other end of the line, a catch in her voice as she said his name.

"Hey Scully. What's up?" he said with an uneven tone.

"Nothing much. I just," she paused, and he wondered what was prompting her sudden discomfort. "I wanted to see how you were doing."

"As well as could be expected," he said tersely, and only once the words were out of his mouth did he realize his mistake. She'd *know* now. . .

There was a long silence on the other end of the line. He knew what she was thinking. He could feel her concern for him through the line. It was as if she was inside his head. That she could hear the doubt and despair that was still rolling through him and was playing with his soul.

And knowing how deeply Dana Scully ran within him, he wouldn't be surprised to look into that part of him that housed himself and find her there, gazing back at him.

The simple thought of that made his throat feel as if it had been cut and his mouth go dry.

"Next time, we *will* find her Mulder," she insisted, putting every ounce of her belief into the phrase.

The skeptic. . . believing. . . for *him*, for *his* sake. It made his soul ache.

"I don't know if I even believe that anymore," he replied in a dead tone.

"How can you be so sure?"

"Because I have faith in you."

He lost his breath with that simple, sure voiced statement, and it took him a few long seconds for him to re-collect his thoughts and voice.

"Scully. . ."

"Mulder, I know you don't have any faith in yourself right now," she said, and he hissed in a breath. How the hell did she know him so well? "So I want you to have faith in *my* faith in *you*. Can you do that?"

He paused. She didn't want platitudes from him now. She wanted the truth. That he was willing to believe. Believe in her and her faith in him. Believe that they would find Samantha and the answers to their questions. She needed to know that he was going to be alright.

"Yeah. I think I can," he said in a lost sounding voice. One that sounded wounded and real.

There was silence again on the other end of the line as she considered his words. He could hear her mentally judging his answer, checking to see if he was going to be alright if she hung up. If he was going to be able to hang onto the tenuous thread of sanity till morning.

In the end, she gave a little sigh that marked her belief in his words.

"I'll see you in the office tomorrow morning then," she offered lightly.

"Ok," he said with the barest hint of a smile to his words. "Oh, and Scully. . ."

"Yeah?"

"Thanks."

"It's okay Mulder. That's what I'm here for," she explained with more emotions in her words than Mulder could identify.

With that, the line clicked, then went dead in his hand. He set the receiver down in the cradle and turned to look at the stereo that had moved on to another song.

Yeah, he thought with the beginnings of a smile and a renewed sense of his cause, he was going to be ok. He was going to carry on. Just as always.

-End-

Well, I hope that those of you that got this far enjoyed. This story is dedicated to "Jr." - "Carry On". J.

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"Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for the love of it, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for the money." -- French playwright Moliere

"Yes, but not necessarily in that order." J.

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