SPOILERS: Every single episode you've ever seen
KEYWORDS: M/S angst, M/S romance
DISCLAIMER: No, they are not mine. No, I'm not getting money for this. No, I didn't ask Master Carter for his permission.
And no, I hope this isn't the last time I do it.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I can't believe I'm doing it again. but I couldn't help myself when I heard the wonderful song "I'll Be Okay" by Tena Clark and Greg Wells as sung by Amanda Marshall in the shipper friendly soundtrack of "My Best Friend's Wedding" ( I know, I know ... it's a chick flick, but a darn good one at that).

WARNING: Samantha is going to give one hell of an explanation when she gets back. If you disaprove of reading stories about child abuse, this story in not for you. If you, in spite of all evidence, like Mr. and Mrs. Mulder, this story is not for you. If you feel that Sam's return will bring the card castle down, this story is not for you. If you hate the idea of Mulder and Scully acting upon their true feelings, this story is not for you. But, then again, this is just a story.

It'll make an interesting ending for the series, though

On with the show. May CC have mercy on my soul:

x x x x x x x x

I'LL BE OKAY

FBI BUILDING AUGUST 15 8:20 P.M.

I look back at the events of the past 4 months and I still can't believe half of the things that have happened. I'm sitting here listening to a bunch of guys from VCS cheer on that I'm finally getting out from their hair , that the X-Files and the little gray men are gone from my life ... and I can't help to feel that I've lost something ... something far more important than I realized before.

You see, Samantha is back.

And now the X-Files are gone . For good. At my request.

FBI BUILDING FOX MULDER'S OFFICE APRIL 9

I was arguing with Scully for some stupid reason I can't quite seem to remember now. I just knew it felt good to have her back, almost in one piece, and to have her dispute my theories, just as she did before ... her eyes were bright and shiny, and I remember thinking that I loved her eyes, when the door of our basement office opened.

A.D. Skinner walked in, a troubled look on his face. For a minute I tought he had come to get my head on a silver plate for pulling my "disappearance" number on him. Again.

For a minute.

"Someone's here to see you, Agent Mulder" he said in a unnaturally quiet tone of voice

"Who is ..."

I couldn't finish the question. I didn't get to stand up, either.

Behind Skinner was my sister.

Samantha.

After 25 years of search, just when I tought I had found her, she got away again. I haven't given much tought about it, after all,
she had promised to think about it ... and, if she was indeed a Mulder, she would do it.

I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.

"Fox"

Her voice was trembling, her eyes were sparkling and she had a goofy smile on her face... a smile which I remember too well from 25 years of nightmares and dreamscapes ...

I barely noticed Skinner receeding into the corridor. What I did NOT notice was Scully's reaction. Or the time she left the office.

You see, I only had toughts for my sister. I truly believed she was my sister, even then. How could she not be, if she had been able to convince Skinner?

Next thing I remember we are sitting at the corner cafe, trying to catch up on the last 20 or so years of our lives. But there was something missing in the picture, and I was getting restless over it...

"Sam ... how did you find me?" I asked softly

"Dad told me where to find you" she replied

I swallowed hard "Dad?"

"Yes, Dad. The man who brought me to you that night. He's my dad"

She was so sure of what was it that she was saying that I was taken aback.

"Are you sure?"

"Positive"

"I'm sorry, Sam. It's just that I can't trust him. Too many things, bad things, have happened in the past few years, and he seems to be involved in it and ... " the hurt look in her eyes made me make a slight detour " ... and I'm not sure on what would be the best way to tell Mom ..."

"She already knows "

I could feel my jaw fall open. Disbelief rang in my ears. Mom already knew? And she hadn't told me? And how much DID Mom really know, by the way?

I guess all these questions were on my eyes and face, for Sam just shrugged her shoulders and looked away, speaking in a far away voice ...

"I went to see her about a month ago ... I had to know the truth Seems finding the truth is a little obssesion that runs in the family. I left her house knowing only a little more than I did when I came in. She made me promise I'de never tell you, but ..."

"You are going to tell me" I added, cautiosly

"Yes"

"Why?"

"Because you deserve to know the truth. You've searched for what you tought was the truth for so long, I think you've got the right to know it ... and I think you're strong enough to take it"

"What are you talking about?"

I couldn't help asking the question. For all I wanted to know the explanation behind that huge skeleton hidden in the government's closet (and in my family's , as well), I felt scared. Sam was trusting my strength, but for a brief moment I wonder if her trust was well founded.

"Fox ... I'm only your half-sister"

I was so stunned that I let her continue without saying a word.

"You're the son of Bill Mulder,but I'm not his daughter. My father is the man you've been fighting against all this years. Our mother wasn't sure about this fact until I developed diabetes. The doctor told her that the only possible explanation was heredity, and that's when Mom knew the truth. She told my father, but she never told yours. But Bill Mulder wasn't a stupid man. He put two and two together and they had an argument. As a result of this argument I was taken away ... by my dad, on a bright Saturday morning ..."

I felt my head spinning.

"But ... but ... the light, your abduction ... all my memories... I don't ..." My words drifted away, weakened with desbelief and nagging doubts

"That ... that scenario was carefully nourished in your memory by your father"

"Why?"

"Think about it Fox. He just found out that I wasn't his daughter, he couldn't even be sure you were his son and his marriage exploded into pieces. He didn't want to love you anymore, he sure as hell didn't love Mom, and he spent every single moment plotting his revenge ... and it wasn't until your accident that the idea dawned on him ..."

"Accident? What accident are you talking about? I don't remember being in an accident ... "

Samantha drew in a big breath and suddendly I knew that what she had already told me would pale in comparison to what was yet to come. I grabbed the edge of the table so hard that my knuckles went white ... not that I noticed that until a long time afterwards...

"It wasn't exactly an accident ... Fox ... I do NOT wish to hurt you, but you HAVE to know the truth..."

I nodded and prompted her to continue

"Fox ... I went to live with my father and his wife when you were 9 years old ... 3 years later Bill Mulder, on a drunken spree, beat you up until he left you unconscious ... you were in coma for about 2 months ... and during all that time you were given a new past, new memories of your childhood ..."

I could barely bring myself to whisper by now ...

"Why?"

"Don't you see it Fox? Bill Mulder was obsessed with getting his revenge at the man who had destroyed his life, his dreams. At the time of the ... "accident" my dad was already a powerful man in the government and Bill Mulder knew how to play the game like the best of them, so he came up with the biggest lie of all ... he knew you still didn't understand why I had left and he knew you felt guilty about it, the way all children of divorce feel guilty over it ... wouldn't it be ironic if you, the son he couldn't quite think of as his, were the one who destroyed his enemy? And what better weapon than the daughter that had been taken away?"

I looked at her, both horrifed and fascinated ...

"Bill Mulder made you believe I had been abducted by aliens and fed on your guilt for years. When you went into the FBI he pulled all the neccesary strings until you came across the X-Files ... and all the memories came back. Your father knew you well. He knew that if he threw a bone at you, you'd go for it with the intensity of a bloodhound ... and he threw that bone straight into my dad's trail ... the ultimate revenge of a sick man who destroyed his own son in the aftermath of his rage ..."

"Sam ...", by now I was shaking so badly that I had to concentrate in order not to stutter, "Are you absolutely certain that this is the truth? That this isn't another smoke screen thrown in to protect their conspiracy? That your father is not playing games with us?"

"I truly think this is the truth, Fox, as much as I find the very notion of it disgusting ... and I tend to believe it just for one fact, and one fact alone. The person who told me this story was Mom ..."

I felt my heart break apart. What little love I had left for my mother was slowly being replaced by an incredible pain ...

"And now you're telling me ... "I muttered, barely able to conceal the raw pain I felt inside "... even when she told you not to ..."

"Oh, you're worried about that!"

Sam began laughing almost hysterically. I must have given her quite a look, for she sobered up almost instantly.

"It is very simple Fox. I hate her. I hate her for not loving either of our fathers enough, I hate her for being a coward, I hate her for allowing Bill Mulder to destroy you, I hate her for breaking up my parent's marriage when she showed up claiming her baby daughter, I hate her for not loving me the way she should have, and since last month, I hate her for being a selfish bitch that would rather make you suffer more than to tell you the truth"

It took 30 seconds for Samantha's words to set in. It took me less than 20 to bolt out of that cafe...

DANA SCULLY' APARTAMENT AUGUST 15 3:15 P.M.

I never expected Samantha Mulder's call.

Not really. It was disturbing.

What was more disturbing was that she was calling from Mulder's cell phone.

She told me briefly that Mulder had left her in a rather anguished state several hours ago, and she still hadn't heard from him.
That she was starting to worry and if I could please help her find him.

For a second I considered telling her no, that Mulder was now her responsability. But just for a second. Then I remember that Mulder was my partner, nothing more, nothing else. And I told Sam I would help her.

I looked for Mulder everywhere. I alerted the Long Gunmen, and after a long consideration, I also alerted Skinner. Frohike went as far as walking up and down the red district to see if Mulder had picked up a hooker (I didn't want to know how Frohike knew Mulder would do this, or where he'd do it). But Mulder was nowhere to be found.

Now that I think of it, it was quite obvious where Mulder would go. But at that time he was on a "Sam High" and his sparely predictable responses got more random than usual when he got into this kind of frenzy.

I nearly shot him when I saw his shadow against my couch. But then I recognized his sobs. Mulder had gotten drunk on cheap whisky and had spent more than half the night crying his heart out.

I felt like shooting Samantha. What, in the name of God, had that precious little sister of his told him? What secrets could she possibly had unearthed to turn this intelligent and stubborn man into a sobbing, irrational child?

When Mulder told me, hours later, I felt like crying myself. The force of my rage at the Mulders took me by surprise. How could you do that to your own child, to your own flesh and blood? How could his parents live with such knowledge? It was beyond my comprehension.

I had the strong suspicion that Mulder might break from this. For a moment, I wasn't sure if his mental health was stable enough to digest all the information. I was afraid he would go mad with grief ... or vengeance.

But he survived. Somehow.

I didn't get to see much of him the following weeks. He had left with his sister for Vancouver, where she lived with her husband and children and he called me randomly.

Only once I brought myself to ask him if he was coming back. He said he wasn't sure. And I felt my heart grow cold.

Mulder's passion for his work was gone. Without it, there wouldn't be more X-Files ... and without the X-Files and Mulder, my life was over, as well.

I'm not sure if I felt outraged, abandoned or just heartbroken.

I was feeling depressed. I'd known I loved him for a while now, but I always kept that knowledge in the back of my mind, not wanting to delve on it too deeply.

There had been times, though, when I had carefully considered telling him, but I always thought a better moment would come later on. I felt somewhat safe on the knowledge that he loved me too.

For he loved me. Almost as much and as intently as I love him still. But everything changed when Samantha came crashing back into his life. That's when he forgot about me.

I've been telling myself that he has half a lifetime to make-up to her. That I always knew that Samantha was the sole center of his existance. That his previous life is just too painful, and I'm part of this previous life he wishes to forget.

These and other lies I tell to myself. But underneath all logical explanations there is always the raw fact, gnawing at my heart.

Fox Mulder didn't love me.

Not as I tought, or as I wanted him to. He loved me as much as a partner, as a friend, as a ... sister.

I cry at the notion that I was just a substitute sister for him. I wonder if I knew all along that this was the truth and I just kidded myself thinking he would love me for what I am. A woman. A woman madly and hopelessly in love with him.

I was stupid enough to believe that I had time to tell him my feelings. Even after surviving death I thought I could postpone happiness for when the time was right. For a time when I wasn't so afraid of happiness.

The right time never came. I never had a chance to tell him. I never will.

He phoned me last week to tell me he's quitting the FBI, that he's got a teaching position in a community college near Samantha's home and that, once in a while, he'll help VCS doing a profile or two.

Never once did he consider where that left me. He never considered what would become of me.

It din't come as a surprise. I know Mulder. I know he's a conceited, selfish bastard incapable of love, without any regard for other people's feelings or desires. Fox Mulder could never see beyond his nose. He's so self-driven that he forgets that people surrounding him might think differently. He made taking people for granted an art.
And still, I love him.

I love him so much that I'm worried crazy about what I'm going to do tomorrow night at Mulder's farewell party. The guys at VCS asked me to give a speech or something like that in Mulder's honor.

And I agreed. How could I possibly said no? Even the Long Gunmen,
against their better judgement, are going to be at the party. They still can't believe Mulder is actually going to leave.

I don't blame them. I don't believe it , either.

But now, with the party a couple of hours away, I'm still considering if my choice was the right one. I know it's going to raise more than a few eyebrows, but I realized I don't give a damn about it. I'm leaving my position as field agent and returning to Quantico next Monday. That is, until the position I'm looking forward to in the Coroner's Office in Baltimore opens next month.

Two can play the ditching game, and, believe me, I had one hell of a teacher.

FBI BUILDING AUGUST 15 8:45 P.M.

It's been a couple of hours since this so-called farewell party began, and I already feel like getting out of here. The highlights of the night have been to watch Frohike, Byers and Langly try to appear unobtrusive. So far, they haven't been very succesful.

After the third "memorial" speech I considered slipping out to the bathroom and not coming back. But then Skinner, who still has serious doubts on the saneness of my decision, told me that Scully was doing a special performance at the end of this speech.

Scully.

Just to hear her name makes me cry inside.

I pray to God that I've been mistaken all along, that she didn't care for me as I care for her. I dare not think what she must feel like if I happened to be right ... God, she must hate me!

And I rather have her rejection than her hatred.

My only hope is that she'll be able to forgive me when, and if, I tell her the truth.

You see, the Consortium wasn't very pleased with Samantha's decision.

The bloody sonofabitch who happened to be Sam's father (I had DNA test performed ... I wouldn't accept it as the truth if I didn't have strong physical evidence ... Scully would have been so proud of me!) is dead. And this time it is for real. I was the one who went down to the police station to ID the body.

Two weeks later I was approached by the same guy we met at Klemper's greenhouse. He was ready to negotiate in simple terms: I leave them alone, they leave me and those I care for alone. It seemed reasonable enough. Not that I care much if I live or die now that I know the truth, and I couldn't care much for my mother ... I still can't forgive her, and I don't think I'll be able to do so in a long time.

But there was Sam and her husband Dave, and those two fuzzyheads, Bryan and Jessica, who get their kicks out of calling me Uncle Fox. There were also the Long Gunmen, and even Skinner, to think about.

But above all, there was Scully.

I had been able to face the truth behind the lies, and I came out scarred, but alive. But I wouldn't be able to survive loosing her again and living with the guilt of it.

So I made the deal. Curiously enough, it didn't feel as if I were selling my soul to the devil. Maybe Sam is right, and I should let bygones be bygones. And maybe I will ...

But not tonight.

Tonight is the last time I get a chance to be Mulder to her Scully ... and it might as well be the last memory I get from her.

After dinner I'm going to tell her the truth. Not about the deal I've made, but about my feelings for her. I'll also tell her I already made a downpayment on a nice little house near the school campus ... and that their med-school will be more than willing to take her in ...

My reverie is broken when the announcer, who just happens to be Tom Colton (Ah! Life little ironies, so deceptive and yet, so satisfying!) grabs the microphone to tell us that "lovely Agent Dana Scully has choosen to sing a song instead of delivering the usual speech".

I'm shaken. Scully is going to sing for me? With a 200 plus audience? Last time she did that she came up with a children's song, claiming she didn't know any other, and now she was going to sing?

And then I see her. God, she looks beautiful in that dress!

I had almost convinced myself that regarding Dana Scully I had my act together. Now I know that I don't.

"Good evening, ladies and gentleman"

A hush goes around the room. They are all anxious to see what kind of farewell was the "ice queen" going to give "Spooky" ...

"And good evening to you too, Mulder"

I smile and here and there you could hear laughter. If she could still joke, maybe she wasn't that pissed off ...

"I would like to use this opportunity to announce that my resignation as a field agent came trough today, and that starting Monday I'll be back teaching at Quantico"

I stare at her, speechless. She looks at me and raises and eyebrow. I give her my best questioning smile, which she doesn't acknowledge. I could almost hear her say: "I'm fine, Mulder"

"But tonight is not about me. Tonight we are here to bid farewell to one of VCS living legends, Agent Fox Mulder. I worked with him for almost 6 years, and I know that he's a determined agent, a perfectionist, stubborn as a mule and with a knack for driving superiors crazy... oh! and, at times, he can be downright Spooky."

She hesitates just long enough to let people laugh at her joke.

"But I've never seen such a dedication, such trust in one's beliefs, such profound conviction of what was right and what was wrong ... though they might have not been easy, these have been the best 6 years of my life ... I came upon a wonderful role-model (except where expenses reports were concerned), a caring partner,
and even better ... I found one of the best friends I'll ever have"

I can feel my lower lip tremble. Her words have punched a hole right trough my heart - she is not only acknowledging that she cares for me (even if it is only as a friend) but she's doing so in public. This is the most beautiful farewell present I could ever get ... it could only be topped if I left this building with the memory of her lips on mine ...

"Well, Mulder, you know from experience that I'm not the world's best singer, but I promise to do my best. When I first heard this song I thought it would be right for you..."

"Fox ... this is to tell you that I'll be okay" she nodded towards the DJ and the music began to play.

I am barely recovering from the impact of hearing her say my name when I hear the lyrics of the song she had choosen for me. I am literally blown to pieces ...

" It's time to let you go it's time to say good-bye there's no more excuses no more tears to cry
There's been so many changes I was so confused all along you were the one all the time I never knew
I want you to be happy you're my best friend but it's so hard to let you go now all that could have been
I'll always have the memories she'll always have you fate has a way of changing just when you don't want it to

Blow away the chance let love fly away till love comes again I'll be okay
Life passes so quickly you gotta take the time or you'll miss what really matters you'll miss all the signs
I spent my life searching for what was always there sometimes it will be too late sometimes it won't be fair

I won't give up I won't give in I can't recreate what just might have been
Know that my heart will find love again now it's the time to begin
You can't hold off a river, baby
I'll be okay "

Everything was absolutely quiet for a moment or two. I'm still in shock after hearing Scully sing a love song for me. And I'm not the only one.

"Good-bye, Fox William Mulder"

I feel my heart begin to break when se leaves the stage. Thunderous applause follows her in her way out. Me? I'm just sitting here like an idiot. I don't even notice that Frohike has crept close to me until I hear his voice next to my ear.

"She just dropped a gauntlet on your lap, my friend. What are you going to do about it?"

I look at Frohike while repplying with utter conviction: "I'm going to pick it up"

"Well, you better hurry. She's leaving the room"

I turn around just in time to see Scully reach the door. Without paying attention to the comments and extended hands I bolt after her. Gossip-mongers are going to have a feast over this, I know, but right now I couldn't care less.

I catch a glimpse of Scully before the elevator door closes. I panic. If she is headed for her car I'll never catch her on time. But something tells me she's headed to another place ...

I run down the stairs, taking two and three steps at a time. When I finally reach what used to be our office the light is already on.

Thank God for hunches.

I slowly open the door. Scully is sitting at her old desk, picking up the last of her belongings. The room looks as barren as if it had never been used. But it is full of ghosts,
both mine and Scully's.

"You look happy, Mulder"

"I've made up with my demons"

Painfully, I blurt out the details of the deal. She nods gravely and seems to accept the fact that I don't want to pursue the truth anymore. I want to believe that it is okay by her, too.

Then silence falls upon us again, as Scully continues to pick up her belongings.

"So, you're going to Quantico."

"It's temporary"

"You bet it is"

She looks at me with raised eyebrows. I can recall at least a hundred times she's given me that look, and I don't think I could ever grow tired of it.

"Who told you?"
"Who told me what?"
"That it is only temporary"
"No one. I'm the one who' saying it is"
"Is that so?"
"Yep"
"How come?"

Now this was the difficult part. One single miscalculated word and I could blow everything all the way to Vancouver.

"Because ... I want you to come with me" "Come with you?"
"Yep"
"Where?"
"Vancouver"
"And what would I be doing in Vancouver?"
"Teach, just like you'd do in Quantico"
"Why?"
"Why what?"
"Why should I go with you to Vancouver?"
"Because I need you"
"You need me ... is that the only reason?"
"Well, no"
"Then?"
"Because I want you to"
"Really..."
"Because I don't want to be apart from you"
"And... "
"Because I love you, Dana Katherine Scully"

She looks at me, her face tilted. I hold my breath, hoping to hear her say yes.

"You love me"
"Yes"
"And you expect me to believe that"
"You've always trusted me, Scully"
"But I didn't always agree with you"
"But you would always hear me out"
" Yes, I would"
"And you'd let me convince you that my theories were right"
"Yes, but you always failed to produce irrefutable proof"
"Is that what you want?"
"Isn't it always?"

I take two steps towards her, invading her personal space as I have done countless times. I hold her face and close the gap between her lips and mine ...

"Will this be proof enough?"
"I might consider it"
"Consider it again"

I kiss her as if my life depended on it. I kiss her for all the times I felt like doing it in the past. I kiss her and I know that I could continue kissing her for the rest of my life ...

"Scully..." "Mmm?"
"Marry me"
"Are you serious this time?"
"I meant it then, why shouldn't I mean it now?"
"Are you sure you want to live in Vancouver?"
"Vancouver... Vermont... Virginia... Venice... anywhere you's like as long as you marry me"
"Do we move in now or after the wedding?"
"I take it then that your answer is yes"
"You're the psychologist, figure it out yourself"

And with that, she kisses me again.

I guess I'll miss my flight to Vancouver, after all. Not that it really matters.

Now that I have her, I know I'll be okay.

THE END /

There. I did it again.
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