Echoes by truthwebothknow1 Rating PG , adult viewers , few bad words.
Keywords MT SA MA X file MSR Spoiler. Amor Fati trilogy,
Written for the IMTP virtual season 15 and alludes to some aspects of canon in those fics.

Summary. The Northern Irish coast has some secrets, some say echoes.

Archive: Feel free, just let me know.
Feedback. Sure

Disclaimer.
Not for profit and The X files belongs to cc and Fox. Auntie Katherine belongs to me and is probably me in about 40 years LOL.

Dedicated To Joi who has been waiting way too long for me to finish her birthday fic so you can have this one. It in time for this years birthday. :)

This story is finished and i will be posting one or two parts a night for the next few nights.

Echoes

Belfast airport 15th March 2008

"I got hold of my aunt. She's picking us up in about an hour." Scully popped her cell phone back in her jacket pocket as Mulder retrieved their bags from the carousel.

"That's great, Scully. This is your Mom's aunt right ..so your great Aunt?"

"Katherine Tooley. Yes," Scully smiled widely, " My namesake. Mom named me for her but she in turn, was also named for another Katherine from way back, many years in fact. My great, great great-grandmother Tooley. "

Mulder grinned at his lover's enthusiasm for this whole trip. She'd been in a state of awe and childlike excitement for days and he found it so endearing. "Have you ever met her before?" They were heading towards customs now, both of them taking in the St. Patrick's Day bunting and paraphernalia hanging everywhere. They really took this holiday seriously here.

"No but I have spoken to her on the phone a few times. She was coming over to visit Mom in Baltimore a few years ago but her husband Ned, died suddenly. She has been alone since. Runs her small sheep farm out on the Antrim coast by herself, does a bit of painting and stuff. Independent feisty lady."

"Umm, like someone else I could name... who's not more than a few yards away from me". Mulder's hand gently cupped Scully's cheek, rubbing a thumb back and forth. She leaned into his touch as they waited in line to go through the gate into the main concourse.

"I wonder who you could mean", she giggled, slipping her arm into his free one that wasn't carrying his bags.

Once through arrivals they noticed more trappings of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations. People bustling by wearing Irish tri-color scarves and sometime the odd silly green hat. Mulder explained that this usually meant a Rugby Derby was imminent and people of Irish descent were filing in from all over Europe and further afield to watch the match. Scully seemed to lap it all up taking in the sights and foreign smells. They found a luggage cart and dumped their bags into it.

It was good take a vacation now and then, to get away from the trauma and loss of the last few months and just chill in a completely different place, somewhere much quieter, with a relatively slower pace of life. Her great aunt's cliff top home seemed an ideal place for her and Mulder to recharge their batteries before taking on the slew of new cases Skinner had mentioned at their last meeting, before he insisted they took some much needed leave.

Her aunt had been bugging her for months about coming over to spend a few days and finally meet her. She knew Katharine and Maggie were close, and had started talking a lot more via phone and email after Billy's death. Now with her other brother gone and Dana being the last one, it seemed her aunt was anxious to meet the only surviving child of Maggie Scully before a cruel twist of fate took her as well. Surviving family was important to Scully a lot more recently, so who could refuse Katherine's kind offer. Her mother had mentioned that she was a bit eccentric and unusual. Right up Mulder's street then from the sound of it.

She was so looking forward to this trip and she knew Mulder was as well. A week enjoying her aunt's hospitality then a quick jaunt down to Dublin to hook up with one of Mulder's old Oxford pals, a professor at one of the museums there, seemed just what the doctor ordered. She hoped he'd be okay though as he'd started sneezing on the plane no sooner than he'd clipped his safety belt in place. Just his luck to get sick now but he'd assured her that it was nothing a slug of real Irish whiskey wouldn't cure. There was a plan for an excursion to the famous Bushmills distillery on their schedule among other things, although Mulder admitted that was partly coerced by Skinner who promised them an extra week off if he could bring him back a bottle of the world class liquor all the way from its Irish roots.

"You've been to Ireland before haven't you Mulder?"

"Sure... er only the once. When I was at Oxford."

"So how come I've never heard about this"
She teased as he led them both to a place to eat and drink. All the travel and excitement of exploring a new country had given them both a raging appetite."

"Er, I don't remember much of it," Mulder admitted as he reached inside his leather jacket pocket for his tissues.

"A group of us came over for a Thin Lizzy gig at the Point in Dublin. But..."

Scully grinned; she guessed what was coming by the look that passed over his face. "But...? "

"A couple of us had a few pre gig whiskies and we er...never made it out of the bar. Couldn't find the guy with the tickets either."

"So what happened?" SHe smiled and the usual eyebrow manoeuvre came into play... he wasn't going to get out of this easily. Was that her usually inuendous partner blushing? This was going to be good.

"Ended up waking in a part of Dublin called Ferrytown. Some joker thought it would be a blast to dump us 'mainlanders' down by the dockside. We were all over from Oxford. I guess the old English/Irish rivalry thing, and I got lumped in with them seeing as I couldn't utter two intelligent words being shitfaced at the time, so they pegged me as English too. Guilt by association. Anyway next day, massive hangovers all round, freezing rain and ...no pants."

Scully tried to keep a straight face as he pantomimed getting a chill up his spine.

"No pants? You were mugged and they took your pants? Mulder ..."

"...And well er... we were duct-taped to a lamp post. Hey, it was no fun and fucking freezing. It was like some Stephen King horror version of the 'Commitments' only with crappier weather and no music ...what?"

Mulder gave her a baleful, 'I'll get you for this', expression as his partner started to laugh that silly, open laugh she indulged herself in on the rare occasions that she felt really happy.

Something suddenly dissolved inside him.
almost a flashback, a sense of gestalt and he looked at her stupidly, thoughts going in a million different directions.
It startled him to realize that that hadn't happened in a very long time. His eyes started to well up and he thought with alarm if he didn't get a hold of his emotions he might start crying right here in the middle of a bustling airport.
He felt a small warm hand slip into his.

" Mulder?"

He sniffed loudly and feigned a cough before he looked her in the eye again. Feeling stupid and overwhelmed and not quite grasping all the reasons why, his hand squeezed her fingers back and forced a smile. This vacation would be a good one for them both, he would make damn sure of it. Whatever she wanted to do, or go and visit they would do it. This was her time more than his, after all they'd been through and all she had suffered on a personal level lately, his heart still bled like an open wound for all that.

He felt this need to make it up to her, to be with her and enjoy just being like any other loving couple for once. The thought of Aunt Katherine's remote cottage with a real peat fire and warm nights snuggled up with his partner under an old eiderdown listening to the sea crashing wildly on the shore was very appealing. It sounded very old fashioned and romantic... Something he desperately wanted to give the woman he loved with all his heart. A chance maybe to redefine and enhance their relationship.

"C'mon, I'm starving, lets try out the local food seeing as we have a bit of time before your aunt arrives."

O'Malley's bar was a cheery place and predictably regaled with St Patrick's Day shamrocks, cut out leprechauns and Irish flags. A large plasma screen TV showed some kind of news show frequently interrupted by rugby scores accompanied by bouts of cheering enthusiasm, and adverts for Guinness. Scully was mesmerised by the quaint charm of it all and even more amused when Mulder came back from the bar with two Irish coffees to go with their shepherd's pies. Scully tucked in with gusto, secretly glad he didn't get her a green Guinness. Mulder had made several teasing speculative remarks about what odious ingredients or chemicals went into it to get it that color and it was starting to make her feel slightly green, never mind the brew.

Mulder was enjoying watching her eat. She just seemed to worry less about what she ate abroad, it was good to see her enjoy real food as opposed to the limp lettuce bunny diets and fads she usually indulged in back home. He got the impression from what his partner and Maggie had told him about Katherine that the old girl liked to cook and look after her guests. It would be just great to watch Scully getting some more wholesome food inside her and he wasn't exactly immune to the joys of home cooked food either. Make a nice change from take out Chinese or pizza. Blowing his nose he looked around the bar. It was fun and comforting in atmosphere but he didn't have the heart to tell Scully that O'Malley's was a big international franchise; like an upmarket McDonalds or Starbucks and there was one of these in almost every airport in Europe.

The real Ireland lay just beyond the airport confines and he made a silent wish for Katherine to appear very soon so they could go start their vacation and exploration of this alluring country with all its history and mystical Gaelic charm. He couldn't wait to meet Scully's aunt and see how much of his Scully was in the older woman. From all accounts they were all made from the same feisty, strong and wonderful stock he knew and loved; the apples never fell far from the tree no matter where in the world the woman in his lover's family hailed from. It was an x file in itself... okay a small one, he mused.

No sign of her yet, though Mulder knew in his bones he would recognize Katherine the instant he laid eyes on her. Scully's sapphire gaze caught him pondering and damn; she'd eaten all her lunch and still looked hungry. He gave her his best feral grin as he got up from the table.

"They do a great Death by Chocolate in here Scully."

"I could really do a good Death by Chocolate right now. Bring it on Mulder."

continued in part 2