The Dion Files

If That's What It Takes

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

Rating: PG

Spoiler warning: This touches on a lot of episodes, so if you haven't seen anything before the third season cliffhanger, you have been warned that there might be something in here you don't know about.

Disclaimer: The X-Files and the characters portrayed therein are property of C. Carter, Fox Broadcasting, 1013 Prod., etc. Celine Dion's song, "If That's What It Takes" is also used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Relationship: Major UST and MSR. Anti-relationshippers warning is hear by in effect. (So if you don't like this kind of stuff, leave now!)

Summary: A song conjures up a lot of feelings for our dynamic duo on the road, leading them to lots of introspection as they examine their relationship.

Hi all. My best friend Tom loaned me Celine Dion's new album a month back, and I knew when I heard this song that it had "Mulder & Scully" written all over it. So I decided to attempt to write a story wrapped around it, and use the words as a catalyst to their feelings. This story sort of came to me in about half an hour, so please bear with me if it isn't prize winning literature. Anyway, here we go . . .

Fox Mulder had been driving for what seemed an eternity. They had just wrapped up their most recent case, and returned home to D.C. He now guided his car along the beltway, towards their respective apartments.

His partner, Dana Scully sat back in the passenger seat as he drove along.

It had been an interesting case at least. But Scully would certainly disagree with him as to the real culprit. She wasn't exactly open to his theory that the paintbrush had been cursed, and was creating the horrors that had been plaguing the small town. At least the thing had been destroyed before they'd left.

He took a quick glance at his partner, taking in her calm, almost relaxed posture. God, she was amazing, he mused. All business when she had to be, but beneath was that totally wonderful, caring person he liked so much. Just then she turned towards him, and his eyes quickly flew back to the road.

He was looking again. Not like that was anything new. But it was becoming more obvious. Yeah, like you don't look at him when he isn't aware of it, she chastised herself mentally. It seemed like there were days when she couldn't help thinking about Mulder. They worked so well in the field, and they were such good friends. It was hard sometimes not to think of him as an attractive man, and not just her partner. With that uncomfortable thought, the quiet car suddenly seemed too silent.

"How about some music?" Scully asked, reaching for the radio knob to switch it on.

"Sure, just none of that rap stuff, ok," Mulder replied, joking a little with her.

With a few clicks of the dial, she settled on a light rock station, hoping that it would have some Chicago or maybe Foreigner. They both liked them. Then the DJ came on and announced that the next selection was from Celine Dion's newest album, and then the tune started up. With a small mental shrug, Scully leaned back in her seat to listen to the song.

"You're the bravest of hearts, the strongest of souls

You're my light in the dark, you're the place I call home

You can say it's alright, but I know that you're breaking up inside

I see it in your eyes

Even you face the night, afraid and alone

That's why I'll be there"

The words of the song hit Mulder hard. He'd been thinking it would just be one of those generic love songs that they played on these types of stations. But the lyrics described Scully so much it scared him. She was the strongest person he knew. She had come to symbolize his light in the darkness of his search, his home in so many ways. When her sister had died, he had watched her hold onto her self-control, fighting to not show her pain. And those three favorite words of hers, "I'm fine Mulder. . . " she said them a lot, especially when it wasn't true. But he had always been able to see the pain in her eyes. And he knew that he'd always be there for her.

Scully heard the words of the song and could find Mulder in each line. The bravery of this man beside her was incredible. His life had been nothing if not tragic. The disappearance of his sister, the guilt and recriminations heaped upon him by his father, his estrangement from his mother. The emotional scars would have felled a weaker person. Yet he persisted with his search for his sister and that elusive truth with a single-mindedness that astonished her. He had come so close to breaking down at times, and she'd been there for him She didn't mind the midnight calls when he'd had a nightmare anymore. She valued the fact that he felt comfortable enough to come to her with his troubles. She felt honored that he let her be there for him. That he trusted her.

"When the storm rises up, when the shadows descend

Ev'ry beat of my heart, ev'ry day without end

Ev'ry second I live, that's the promise I make

Baby that's what I'll give if that's what it takes

If that's what it takes."

They'd weathered lots of storms, Mulder remembered with a little regret. Comity for one. Then there was Dr. Bambi and the cockroaches. Their partnership had undergone the hardest of trials. Even their forced separation when the X-Files had been closed down couldn't keep them apart. But when she'd been abducted by Duane Barry, his heart had stopped when he'd seen the damage done to her apartment. When she returned in a coma, he knew he would have given anything, whatever it took to get her back.

The shadow over Mulder's life was his sister. And Scully had sworn to herself that she'd do everything in her power to help him find her. Everyday she went to work, not believing in paranormal activity, but believing in him and his search. She had come back, day after day, even after everything that had happened, everything her involvement in the X-Files had cost her. It was such a small price to give him her trust and faith.

"You can sleep in my arms, you don't have to explain

When your heart's crying out, baby, whisper my name

'Cause I've reached out for you, when the thunder is crashing up above

You've given me your love

When you smile like the sun, that shines through the pain

That's why I'll be there"

He wanted to do that more than anything. To surrender to the shelter he knew he could find him in her arms. To fall asleep in her embrace. Though he had never told her so, he loved her, more than he could say. Some nights he woke from his nightmares with her name on his lips. Other nights her name fell from his lips from his most heartfelt fantasies about her. But through it all, she had been there for him, asking nothing in return. That sweet smile of hers had welcomed him back from near death in Alaska. And then again when he'd returned from the dead in New Mexico. She had kept him going, she was his reason for going on. And as long as she'd be there, he'd always come back to her.

She longed to be able to hold him, to have him let her comfort him like she wanted to. She loved him, needed him so much. She would always have her arms open for him. For she knew he could be hurt so easily. The powers that be were barely amused at Fox Mulder's crusade, and less at his persistence. Their constant denials to the truth, the disappearing evidence that could prove everything always was taken away from them, from him. And that lopsided smile of his, that masked his pain was a rude reminder of that.

"When the storm rises up, when the shadows descend

Ev'ry beat of my heart, ev'ry day without end

I will stand like a rock, I will bend till I break

Till there's no more to give, if that's what it takes

I will risk everything, I will fight, I will bleed

I will lay down my life, if that's what you need

Ev'ry second I live, that's the promise I make

Baby that's what I'll give if that's what it takes"

The shadow of his search had fallen on Scully's life as surely as if he'd passed across her sun. And he hated that. He had tried to be strong for her mom when she'd been gone. Yet would have given anything to get her back. He would have given his life for her, taken her place. He'd been willing to avenge her, murder in cold blood those who had been responsible for her abduction. Even now, he wouldn't even think twice about dying for her.

Storm rising . . . that was what the digital tape had caused. A storm that had almost cost her everything. Had almost cost her him. She had bent over backwards trying to keep the wrong things; her job, her standing. She had risked everything to cover his ass, she'd lied to protect him, shot him for his own good, tried to clear his name. She had fought for him, bled for his cause. With that thought, her hand unconsciously went to her temple, a finger running across the scar there from a bullet meant for him. Yes, she thought, every second she lived she wanted him by her side, and she'd do anything to keep him there. Anything. And she had.

"Through the wind and the rain

Through the smoke and the fire

When the fear rises up, when the waves ever higher

I will lay down my heart, my body, my soul

I will hold on all night and never let go

Ev'ry second I live, that's the promise I make

Baby that's what I'll give if that's what it takes"

Wind and rain, Mulder mused, thinking of their soaking wet trek to Georgia, the land of Big Blue, his sea monster search. She'd called him Ahab, sitting on that rock in the middle of the lake. She was right. He did search for the truth to the exclusion of everything else. Except for her. His first mate. And even when the waves of despair washed over him, she was there, pulling him out from underneath it. He would give her anything, sacrifice anything for her. Heart, mind, and soul, just to hold onto her.

Smoke and fire, Mulder's deadliest enemies, Scully thought. But he'd fought his fear of fire when others had depended on him. And she'd stood by him, throughout it all. Against the Consortium; gone one on one with Phoebe Green; been by his side at his father's grave. She was there for him: standing behind him, giving him her support; in front of him, guarding his heart, his soul and body; and beside him, offering him her dedication. She would hold on forever, promise him everything she had to keep him safe and by her side. And give up everything she had or was: her self, her pride, her job, and her life to do it.

"If that's what it takes

Whatever it takes . . ."

As the song ended, they both slowly came back to their surroundings, and Scully realized that Mulder had just taken the off-ramp for his apartment complex, skipping her's completely. She looked over to ask him what was going on, but stopped herself short.

Suddenly he was pulling the car over to the side of the road, finding an alley and parking there. She was sure he'd lost his mind, and had raised an eyebrow at his actions. Then his eyes met hers, and they both saw it.

The trust. The love. The truth. And in seeing it, they couldn't hide it anymore.

"What would it take Scully?" he asked softly, hesitating a little.

"Three small words Mulder," she replied carefully, sensing the tension in the air. Those three words that would change everything. Give them everything.

"Which are?" he said, knowing full well what they were talking about, but needing to hear her acknowledge what she wanted from him.

"I love you, Mulder," she replied simply, emotionally, both an answer his question, and a declaration of her own.

"I love you too, but I've already said that before, though not in so many words," he offered smiling broadly, fully understanding that they were finally at that place he'd been wanting and waiting to get to. And now that they were there, his fears were gone, knowing that she loved him like he loved her. So he had one last thing to ask her. "So, since I've already said those three words, how about I give you three different words? Like . . . marry me Dana."

Her breath caught in her chest, her heart in her throat. She couldn't believe what was happening. That this man that she loved so dearly wanted to marry her. But she knew he was serious. Every fiber of her being told her that he meant every word of what he'd said.

"Yes Mulder," she somehow got out, her voice breathy.

"How about just Fox?" he suggested, taking that final leap with a sheepish smile on his face.

"What happened to 'I made even my parents call me Mulder?'" she asked in mock annoyance.

"Well, um, I'd rather you call out 'Fox!' in the throes of passion, ok," he admitted, looking rather guilty about it.

"As always, your mind is in the gutter," she joked, then reached over to pull his face to her.

Once they were inches apart, they were drawn together as if polar opposite magnets, and their lips met in a rush of heat and electricity. As lips parted, tongues met and passions ignited, some small parts of their minds kicked in and they pulled away slowly.

"Let's go home. Your place is closer," Scully said seductively, giving him a stunning smile and a mischievous look.

At that, he turned the engine over again, and pulled back onto the road, reaching over to take her hand in his. He couldn't believe what had just happened. That she'd just told him that she loved him, agreed to marry him, that he was taking her home with him. And all because of a song.

"This is going to work, isn't it. I mean, with work, and the Consortium, I always though this would be a bad idea, but . . .it doesn't matter, does it? This is forever, isn't it?" she stated, smiling at his profile as they made their way to his apartment. She had no doubts about them, about him anymore.

"As far as I'm concerned it is. And we'll make it work," he replied sincerely, then added quietly, just loud enough for her to hear, "whatever it takes Dana."

"Whatever it takes."

-End-

click the X to go to STORIES