Coming Full Circle

By Jeannine Ackerson

9/2/97

Rating: PG.

Disclaimer: The X-Files as well as the characters portrayed therein are property of C. Carter, FOX, and 1013 Prod. AND they don't belong to me.

Spoiler warnings: First thru fourth seasons, including Gethsemane and beyond. This can be called a retrospective if you like. <g>

Relationship: MSR warning. Bail out now for those of you that can't handle that.

Summary: Mulder and Scully reflect on their partnership after being together for five years, and decide to make some changes.

Hi All! Well, here's something for my 'anniversary'. Mulder and Scully thinking about the past five years and what they've gone through during that time to bring them to where they are. But now, on to the show . . .

 

There was a feeling of awkwardness as Special Agent Dana Scully stood outside the door to the office she had shared with Fox Mulder for the last five years. And in that time, they had been through so much, only to find herself back at square one.

How did this happen, Scully thought to herself as her fist poised to knock on the door. Why does it feel like we're back at the beginning?

The truth of the matter was that it *was* a lot like starting over.

Neither of them knew five years ago that things were going to turn out like this. After all the time they had spent as partners, looking for the answers. The times when they had thought they had it all figured out, they still kept coming back to the same place.

Like a circle. . .

They were together and working on the X-Files. . .

She was amazed by her partner. Even when she was pissed at him, she was still in awe of him. Mulder had reappeared, and somehow pulled enough strings after his "resurrection" to get the X-Files reopened and them back together as partners. She wasn't sure how he'd done it, but the fact of the matter was that he'd succeeded. And now she was here, going to walk back into the basement office and see him again.

She knew that she could have opened the door, walked in like nothing had ever happened, but something stopped her from doing that. It was as if she needed to announce her presence. Things had changed since that first day, so many years ago.

And somehow, she felt that they were starting over.

 

Fox Mulder sat at the desk that held the slides and photos of the new case that he'd been able to get Skinner and Blevins to assign the X-Files to. It was a simple case of unexplained phenomena, perhaps tying in with some UFO sightings in the area, but he wouldn't know until they got there.

A smile crossed his face without his knowledge at the thought of his partner.

Scully was going to be back at his side again. He didn't know just how he'd managed to get the X-Files reopened. There had been a phone call during his meeting with Blevins and he'd sat there and watched and listened. When the phone was hung up, he had the X-Files again, and he was the department head.

And Scully. . . he'd asked if she was returning. There had been a pause at that time, and Mulder knew it was selfish. She had cancer. She was ill and all he could think about was having her back with him in the basement, dragging her off to the far corners of the country looking for his answers.

But he got the second miracle of the day when they'd agreed to re-assign her to the X-Files until she requested a transfer. Then they'd given him this case.

With that good news, he'd stumbled out of the meeting and to his office.

Two hours later, he'd sorted through the materials and set up the slides to show Scully. He felt a twinge of deja vu as he searched for the remote for the projector. It seemed like yesterday when she'd first come through that door. . .

It had been five years. Five years of being side by side with the one person that made the X-Files work. Made him the best he'd ever been.

He looked again at his watch. Scully should have been there by now. Any minute he expected the door to swing open and she would walk through. A little paler than before, her hair a darker red, but there with him nonetheless.

Maybe, he thought to himself, they could learn from what they'd gone through in the last five years. Start again.

And go beyond it.

There was a knock at the door. Mulder turned his head at the noise and wondered who was there. It was rare still to have visitors, and after the faked suicide, he was definitely not on the top ten list of agents to associate with.

In a split second, all the bitterness and sarcasm that he'd shed in the last few years resurfaced with a vengeance and he couldn't help himself.

"Nobody done here but the FBI's most unwanted," he called out, putting his reading glasses on to scrutinize the fine print on the sheet describing the evidence in the case folder.

On the other side of the door, Scully let out a quiet chuckle. Things certainly were coming back to the beginning. She took the doorknob in hand and twisted it, pushing it open and revealing the sight within.

And she felt a tightness in her chest that couldn't be described in words. There, she found Mulder in exactly the same place she'd met him five years before. The situation was uncanny. At the sound of her heels, he began to turn, to see who the visitor was. She'd knocked, she realized and that was what had thrown him. Now, she had the chance to start again for real.

"Agent Mulder, I'm Dana Scully. I've been assigned to work with you," she said brightly, her eyes looking for his as he spun around fully at the sound of her voice.

There was a moment when they both paused, remembering the direction that first conversation had taken. How it had set the tone for the disbelief that they had somehow found a way around that first case. How the trust that they had found had served them well.

Memories of the last five years together came to them as they looked into each other's eyes, and shared them with each other.

//A memory of her walking in the door five years ago, eager to work with "Spooky" Mulder and his thinking she was a spy.//

//An image of him sitting in the car and saying that no one called him Fox.//

//Reaching over and touching her face when her father had died.//

//Recalling the night Mulder called her to say that the X-Files were being shut down.//

//Hearing the message on his answering machine calling for his help as Scully was being abducted by Duane Berry.//

//Seeing the broken lamp and table in the Germantown motel, and realizing that she'd been hurt and taken again.//

//Hearing the phone click off as she wondered what was happening to Mulder in the New Mexico desert.//

//Finding out how he would die from a so-called psychic.//

//Having him call up and ask her what she was wearing.//

//Staring over the barrel of a gun, the sight focused on Scully.//

//Believing that Mulder had betrayed her while blindly running from him.//

//Sitting at Mrs. Mulder's bedside, taking and giving comfort.//

//Realizing that he might never know what happened to Samantha as he held a fabric heart in his hands.//

//Staring at the congressional panel in defiance and then hearing the sound of his voice from the back of the room.//

//Looking at one another after Scully had announced that she had cancer.//

//The feeling of disbelief as a man they'd never met before had tried to destroy Mulder's belief in aliens and conspiracies.//

It was all there. . . the last five years in images, sounds, smells, tastes, remembered touches. And now they had the chance to begin again. . . or to pick up where they had left off.

Except there was a big difference to their futures if they did one over the other.

If they simply picked up where they had left off, they were locked into the roles that they had been playing for years. Nothing would be gained. Nothing.

But to start over, they could do what they had wanted to before. Say the things that they had kept inside. Go where they hadn't dared to before.

Their eyes still clung to each other. The communication that they had found between them functioning like a telegraph for their emotions. They passed each other the signal to go ahead. One that would start what they knew was their second chance.

Mulder broke the contact first, knowing that he wasn't going to repeat the same mistake he had the first time. Things were a lot different than they had been five years ago. He was a lot different.

For one thing, he trusted this woman before him more than he trusted himself. And he loved her more than anything else in the world. A big difference from the man who had only been obsessed with finding his sister. Now he only wanted to find a cure for her cancer.

"I'm glad you'll be working with me Agent Scully. But please, call me Fox," he said suddenly.

Her eyes widened as she took in the implications of his words. He was giving her the chance to start over, yet not. The base of their friendship, their trust and devotion was still there, but by his words, he was offering to change the parameters of that relationship. And God, how she wanted that too.

"Fox," she mouthed, but with a intonation that he'd never heard before. One that sent chills up his spine. "Since we're on a first name basis, Please call me Dana."

His smile lit up half the room, and her own met his halfway. This was it. Their chance at having what they'd always wanted, but had never verbally admitted to one another.

"So Dana, do you believe in extraterrestrials?"

"I can't say as I do believe in them, but I can't dismiss the idea outright."

They moved closer to one another in the room, closing the gap that had been there. Moments later they stood directly in front of one another, Mulder's breath rustling her hair and her's hitting his chest.

"Do you believe in extreme possibilities?"

She looked in his eyes again, and caught the spark hiding there. One that she was sure he could see in her own.

"Definitely."

At that he leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers in a rush of longing and heat. She returned the kiss, giving in to the years of desire. Their arms circled one another as they found themselves in one another.

Then they backed up a bit, the light in their eyes and the smiles on their faces speaking the things that their lips had just communicated without words. At that, Mulder walked over to the desk and picked up the remote. Quickly he went and turned off the lights and then with a click, he turned on the projector, displaying a dead body splayed out on the ground.

"So, what do you make of this Agent Scully?"

She smiled in the dark as his voice came out of the dark. A voice that was deeper than she'd ever heard it before. One that assured her that things had changed as much as they had stayed the same. Business would be business and pleasure would be pleasure.

They could make it work because they wanted to.

They'd finally come full circle.

-End-

Hi there all! Well, this is being posted on my first year anniversary of writing/posting X-Files fanfic. At last count, I had 83 stories under the J. Ackerson name, (and one under JMA) so this makes 85. Thanks to everyone for making the last year such a great one and here's to another year or two. <bg> - Jeannine

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