A/N: I got a little re-hooked on all things X-Files today, and suddenly this plot bunny popped up in my head. This is the result… I wrote this in one go, and I got a little tired in the end (it's well past midnight), so it might be a little incoherent on the whole, but that's for you to decide! I hope I've spotted all mistakes when proof-reading. If there are still some left, feel free to tell me. I'm not a native speaker, anyway…
While writing, the emphasis of this story shifted a little. It was originally intended to be much shorter and more concise, but you know the way stories sometimes develop a will of their own, don't you? So don't be surprised at the ending. It was actually supposed to be the main event in this – now it's a parting shot.
Anyway, I'd love to know what you think, so please send a review when you've read this.
Classification: Sort of crossover between "The X-Files" and "The Lone Gunmen" – if we can talk about a crossover here; it all came from one fandom, anyway… One-shot, taking place a few years after "Jump The Shark". The usual coupling applies… Told from Jimmy's POV. Quite fluffy, I'm afraid… Oh, and this is set after my other TLG story, "It Ain't Over Yet", but you'll understand this just fine without having read the other. But if there's a reference you can't place, it's probably referring to it.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. Thanks and sole credit to Chris Carter for creating them…
Summary: Jimmy and Yves spend some time in Ireland and have more than one strange encounter.
Now the story…
After all those years, I still can't take my eyes off her. I reckon I still cannot believe my own luck. I still fear that she might be gone the next day; unpredictably, as she used to turn up and disappear in the past. And then I wonder why she chose to stay with me.
But Yves Adele Harlow, the ineffable and enigmatic hacker genius who used to pop in and out of my life back in the days, is still here, and still with me. And I've been a different man ever since that day at Arlington when she admitted she loved me. Yves says I've matured. I say it was inevitable, after all we've been through. After losing the guys.
It's been five years since they died; three years since that day in Arlington. Once Yves and I had come to terms with our feelings for each other, my whole life changed. I was no longer alone, no longer veering through my life with no fixed goal and almost no ambitions. I had her by my side.
I still call her Yves. I know her real name, but she'll always be Yves for me. I don't think she sees herself as Lois, either. She would probably not even react if I called her Lois.
I turn my eyes back on the street, but my hand reaches over to touch her. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see her move, and a moment later, her hand closes around mine, her fingers softly stroking the back of my hand. My belly flips a little.
"Where are we?" she asks, and her voice is a lovely mixture of drowsiness and curiosity. She fell asleep a little while ago and probably just woke up.
"Almost there," I say. "Look out of the window – isn't this beautiful?"
Yves gazes out through the windshield and gasps. She doesn't speak; her gaze remains fixed on the panorama: the glowing red sunset over the Atlantic ahead, the shadowy hills to the right, the cliffs to the left.
"It's breathtaking," she finally says quietly. "Thank you so much for this trip, Jimmy."
"I'm glad you like it," I reply and give her hand a squeeze.
Yves and I are traveling Ireland. It is no special occasion; we just both felt we could use a holiday. A change. Some place where no one knew us and where we could relax and not think of anything that threatens us. At the moment, we are heading for Dingle, or An Daingean, as it is now officially called. Both Yves and I were intrigued by the notion to visit the most western part of Europe, with its beautiful, unspoiled landscape and Irish-speaking population. It promises peace and seclusion. Just what we need.
The sun has almost disappeared by now; it is getting dark, and I gently press down the accelerator. It still feels mighty strange to drive on the left, but I've gotten used to it in the past few days. The only thing that sometimes happens to me is that I accidentally turn on the windshield wiper instead of the turn signals, and vice versa – to Yves's great amusement, of course. But whenever she makes fun of me for that, she apologizes with a kiss.
Twenty minutes later, we finally arrive in Dingle. After a little detour, we find the pub and guesthouse where we booked a room. It is located just opposite the pier, and Yves and I take our time to just stand and look around.
"You reckon the dolphin's here?" I ask her.
I've read about Fungi, the dolphin, on the web. He seems to live in the area and comes out to swim with the tourists. I would love to see him.
I gather our bags, and Yves locks the car. Then we enter the pub. A sign on the door says Fáilte isteach, which means "Welcome", I suppose. A tiny old man greets us.
"Hi, how're you doing?"
Yves and I tell him who we are, and he beams, showing three remaining teeth. But his wrinkled face is friendly and his eyes sparkle. We both take to him immediately.
"I'm Caoimhín," he says. He pronounces it Kee-veen, and I'm wondering again whether the pronunciation of the Irish has anything to do with English.
I don't believe it does, come to think of it.
Yves and I get our baggage up to our room, which turns out nice and small and incredibly comfy, with a big bed and tea-making facilities and a tiny en-suite bathroom. Caoimhín starts listing tonight's events for us, but we both assure him that we'll only go for a walk and later have something to eat downstairs at the pub. There will be some live music as well, and we are really looking forward to it.
Thirty minutes later, we are walking along the pier, holding hands. There's a good deal of ships about, and faint music comes from the pubs along the quay. We find ourselves a bench overlooking the harbor and sit down. Yves snuggles closer and I put my arm around her. She heaves a small sigh, and I feel her whole body relax against me.
I close my eyes and rest my chin on top of her head, savoring the moment, our togetherness, the fact that no talk of danger and conspiracy can reach us here.
There's only the two of us.
The next day, Yves and I have full Irish breakfast down in the pub. We spent the last evening here as well, listening to the music and having pints of Bulmers Cider. Afterwards, we slept like babies in the big bed, cuddled against each other. In the morning, Caoimhín greets us with his shrewd, toothless smile.
Our breakfast is serve by an equally tiny, old woman. She has a few teeth more than Caoimhín and introduces herself as Aoibheann – pronounced Ee-van. They're mad these Irish.
Aoibheann and Caoimhín insist on helping us with our baggage – which isn't much at all – and while Caoimhín and I put it back into our hired car, Aoibheann says something to Yves I cannot hear. But I see Yves' face, and it must have been something very nice, for Yves look suddenly very moved and makes as to embrace the old lady. She doesn't do it in the end but shakes her hand very warmly before she joins me at the car.
"Slán abhaile," says Caoimhín, and I just suppose that he's wishing us a pleasant journey, for he doesn't bother to translate it for us.
"Thank you," says Yves. "We really enjoyed our stay here."
"You're welcome back anytime you want, luv," says Caoimhín. He and Aoibheann wave until we have rounded a corner and are out of sight.
"They're so cute," says Yves. Her voice quavers just a little, and I look at her, curiously.
"Yves…" I say tentatively, "what did Aoibheann say to you?"
Yves laughs. It sounds a bit shaky. "It's… I don't know, it's nothing, really. I don't really know why I'm reacting so emotionally… It's an Irish custom, I suppose…"
I'm lost. "What do you mean?"
"She gave me an Irish blessing," Yves tells me. "And… I don't know, I was just so moved by that. It was a beautiful blessing, and she was so serious about it… I had the feeling that it was something very special, although I suppose that in the end it's not…"
"A blessing? What kind of blessing?"
Yves blushed. "Well… I'm not quite sure, but I think that it's actually a sort of… well, marriage blessing."
"A marriage blessing?" I'm so surprised that I hit the brakes. The car skids to a halt.
Yves looks away, her face glowing red. "I'm not quite sure," she concedes, "but that's what it sounds like."
"No, I didn't say we were married." Yves shakes her head. "And I don't think she assumed it, either. But maybe she thought we would get married soon or something…"
I look at her. Her eyes have filled with tears again and she quickly averts her eyes.
"Hey…" I say, a little helplessly. I switch off the engine and lean over to her. Gently, I take her chin and stroke the side of her face. "What's wrong, Yves?" I kiss her lips once, twice, three times; small kisses meant to be consoling, not demanding.
She just shakes her head and pulls herself together. "I'm just being a fool for romance, I suppose," she says, her voice still a little shaky. "It's everything… this place… those people… I didn't know that such a world existed until I came here."
I look out of the window, down to the impressive cliffs on our left side. "Let's get out of the car for a minute," I suggest. "I think we can climb down to the water from here."
Yves nods. We scramble out of the small car. Yves stretches and turns her face to the sunlight. It's another beautiful Irish day, and I suddenly feel at ease with everything. I rush over to Yves and, standing behind her, wrap her firmly in my arms. She leans against my chest and puts her hands over mine. We remain like this for quite some time, but then I notice a small path leading down the slope. I take Yves's hand and lead her onto the path.
It leads down to a very narrow street, which in turn leads to a little patch of sand in front of a high cliff that probably goes up to the street where our car is parked. It actually is a little beach, sheltered by the cliff, and Yves's eyes begin to shine.
"Look, Jimmy, isn't it wonderful?" Swiftly, she bends down to remove her shoes and roll up her pants, and then she runs into the shallow waves. I follow her with a smile, chasing her, occasionally catching her and threatening to throw her into the ocean. She splashes salty water in my direction until my shirt is drenched, and we both laugh and feel like little children.
Eventually I catch her in my arms, and she faces me, laughing. With a rather pompous gesture, I bend her slightly back and kiss her, feeling like Clark Gable in Gone With The Wind. Yves kisses me back with all the passion she has, and it's all I can do not to fall on my knees right here and now, pulling her with me, and make love to her in the shallow water. But somehow I manage to control myself. Instead, I look deep in her eyes.
"I love you," I say, feeling rather solemn. I don't think I ever meant it more than I do right now. "I love you so much that I sometimes wonder my heart hasn't burst yet…"
"Shshsh," says Yves and closes my mouth with another kiss.
And then, all of a sudden, I decide to pop the question. We've had a marriage blessing already, so why not take it as an omen? I make as to go down on one knee, but before I can, I notice that we are being watched.
They are sitting with their backs against the cliff, half sheltered by the entrance to a cave. A man and a woman. He is tall, good-looking, with brown hair and a youthful smile that makes him look younger than he is. She is smaller, and her hair has a red tinge to it, as if she recently stopped dying it but hasn't yet gotten rid of the color. She is leaning close to him, and he has both his arms around her. They look relaxed and comfortable with each other.
But the funniest thing is that I think I know them.
"Yves…" I say, still thinking of the proposal I was going to make, but instead I point my head at the couple. "We're being watched…"
Yves stiffens immediately and looks in the direction I'm indicating. Then her eyes grow wide.
"But that's impossible…"
"Do you also think you know them?" I ask her curiously. "Because…"
"Think I know them?" Yves looks at me in astonishment. "I do know them. And so do you. But this is the last place on earth where I would have expected them."
"So who are they?" I still cannot place their faces, although the woman looks more familiar the longer I look at her. Where did I meet her before…?
"You really don't remember?" Yves stares at me. "They used to work with the guys for years. They are…"
Suddenly I remember, and I feel all the color draining from my face. This is indeed impossible…
"…Agents Mulder and Scully," I finish the sentence.
"I had no idea they were going to Europe," I whisper hurriedly to Yves.
"Neither did I," she replies. She is heading for her shoes, which she left on the beach.
"Shouldn't we…" I don't really know what I want to suggest.
"Shouldn't we what?" Yves retorts. "They've been watching us all the time. And I reckon they're a bit quicker on the uptake than you were. But they haven't said anything. I don't suppose they want us to pretend not to know them…"
But for once, Yves is wrong. When I turn around again, Mulder and Scully slowly come walking down the beach towards us. Yves ties her shoelaces and stand up again to look at them.
They reach us, and we all look at each other, suddenly at a complete loss for words.
Mulder is the first to break the silence. "It's a small world, after all," he remarks wryly. "I wouldn't have thought I'd see any of you again."
"Neither would I," I answer. My throat is dry. We hardly know each other, but we were once fighting for the same cause. And still we don't have much to tell each other.
"On vacation?" Mulder inquires, still in a small talk kind of way. I almost laugh at the absurdity of the whole situation. But on the other hand, what should I possibly say? Oh hi, Agents. Still on the run?
"Yeah," I say. "Yves and I felt we needed a break from… everything."
"You two look very happy together," Scully says with a smile.
Yves looks openly at the other woman. "We are," she says firmly. "Even happier now, far away from the rest of the world."
"I understand," says Scully, and a shadow seems to cross her face. She reaches for Mulder's hand, almost unconsciously, and he takes it immediately.
And then there's more silence, and we all just look at each other.
Yves stirs beside me. "Time is flying, Jimmy," she says. "We should get going."
"But…" I don't want to go. I feel I should stay a while longer. Surely there are questions I should ask, information I should give? But my brain is completely empty, and all I can think of is the most stupid thing to ask in this situation: "How do you like Ireland?"
Mulder and Scully exchange a glance. Both are smiling.
"It's a nice place to live," Scully says eventually. Her gaze seems to want to tell me something, and I understand. I'm not going to tell anyone, not even Doggett or Skinner or Reyes. Mulder and Scully seem to have found a place where they were safe. Where they could start anew.
Yves suddenly turns around and looks at the ex agents. "There's so many things we could talk about," she says, "but I feel somehow that we shouldn't. The past is in the past. I wish you all the best in the world…" She suddenly pauses, thinking. "You know, there is something I'd like to give you," she says then.
Everyone, including me, looks at her. I start to ask what she's talking about, but one glance from her makes me keep my mouth shut.
"It's something I got this morning, and I'd like to pass it on," Yves continues. "And please believe me that I mean every single word of it."
I understand. She is going to give them the blessing. I am a little curious to hear it, too. A marriage blessing. I'm wondering whether Mulder and Scully got married, or whether they are planning to. Their love for each other is almost touchable, perceptible in every look and gesture. Have they already sealed it?
My thoughts start to drift to my own plans concerning marriage. Should I really propose to Yves? Maybe I misunderstood her signals. It had appeared to me as if she would like to get married…
I'll be thinking it over. After all, we have time. But the Dingle Peninsula would provide the appropriate scenery for that. I'm almost sure that I will do it. After all, I love Yves.
When Yves starts to speak, I look at her again. She has loosely placed her hand over the linked hands of Mulder and Scully, and she speaks with emotion and earnestness. And while I listen to the words of the Irish marriage blessing, I understand what moved her so much about it. And I understand why she wants to pass it on.
No one deserves this blessing more than Mulder and Scully. It is as if it had been written specially for them. And I see that Yves is thinking the same: she really means every word she is saying.
your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days."