Author's notes

Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Walter Skinner and any other tangentially mentioned characters created by Chris Carter remain his copyrighted property, as well as the copyrighted property of 1013 productions and Fox Television, a unit of 20th Century Fox. No infringement is intended.

Posting Date, April 1998

Classification, V

Spoilers, All Souls, and the eps regarding faith (Kevin Cryder, Emily, and the faith healer) - sorry, forgot the ep titles.

Story Rating, G

Summary, Scully confronts Mulder regarding her beliefs and his lack thereof.

Author's notes: Well this hit me, again driving home. Mulder's lack of belief in Scully's faith is starting to wear thin and this is the result. I believe both of them are strong, intelligent, thinking beings, and I hate it when they're written as cynical idiots.

Do not post to the ATVXC ng, I will do that. Thanks.

Strength of My Beliefs

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Mulder watched as his tiny partner advanced on him from across the room. He wasn't quite sure what had prompted this, but suddenly Scully was in his face, and she was furious.

"Mulder, why can't you believe this? You ask me to believe you, with every wacko alien theory ever heard, and you can't bring yourself to believe this, one of the most thoroughly documented historical events of all time?"

"Wacko? Hey, thanks, and here I thought you at least respected my ideas."

Blowing out her breath in frustration, Scully paced his living room, trying to find the words to express her anger. This had been brewing for some time, and Mulder's reaction to their latest 'case', if you could call it that, had really corked it for her. Tired of his sarcasm, snide comments about religion and general attitude, she'd stopped by to talk to him. Met once again by his cynical sarcasm and smirk after listening to her try to explain her thoughts about the four girls and Father Gregory, she'd snapped. Mulder's voice jarred her out of her thoughts, stopping her mid-pace in front of his television set.

"Documented? Come on Scully, what documentation? Journals, 'books' written by men hundreds of years after Christ's supposed resurrection? What about the proof you're always looking for, the first-hand accounts, the eyewitness reports?"

"Ever heard of a book called the Evidence of the Evangelist?" She asked.

Mulder shifted uncomfortably. "Look, I'm not going to get into a theological discussion here..."

"Why not? Listen, just hear me out. Simon Greenleaf, a hard-nosed scientist even by my standards, set out to prove, using the scientific method that Jesus Christ could not have existed, nor could he have performed the miracles attributed to him."

"Interesting, this would tend to disprove your own argument. And?"

"Greenleaf concluded that there was no possible way, based upon the tremendous evidence and accounts, that Christ could not have existed. In fact, he's become a devout Christian."

"What does this have to do with anything? I don't see–"

Scully interrupted him, resuming her furious pacing. "My point? My point is this; day after day I have to hear your theories; first it was aliens, then it was conspiracies, than it was conspiracies about aliens. But the few times I've actually begun to believe in a case we're working on, you back off, jump to the other side? Why? Is it so cosmically impossible for you and I to stand on the same side of an issue?"

She stopped and faced him, her hands outstretched. "For once, Mulder, I believed, believed so strongly that I did what you do, I gave myself over to that belief, that vision. What happened when I did? Another girl died."

She scrubbed her hands over her face, frustrated. "The difference between you and me is that I believe in something millions of others do, and you only believe in your truth. You want the truth? The truth is out there, and has been for a millennia. Ask the hundreds of millions of believers of Jesus Christ."

Beginning her pacing again, she paused by the window, silhouetted against the late afternoon sunlight streaming in. "Why is it that you can put your life in the hands of Native American shamen, believe anything they tell you of the spirit world and afterlife, but immediately cut and run when the label of Christianity is applied to something? Just because it's a truth you can't stomach doesn't give you the right to scoff at it. You have no right to belittle anyone's faith. None." Scully was shaking with anger again. Why could he not see what she was saying?

Mulder leaned back, arms folded across his chest. "I've never scoffed at you Scully."

He watched as Scully's eyebrow all but disappeared into her hairline. "Never? Please. When we were on the Kevin Cryder case, you all but laughed in my face when I believed in him. The incredulous disbelief in your voice when you said, 'You think you're the one, the one sent to protect him' said it all."

Frowning, Mulder leaned forward, trying to get a word in. Scully was having none of it. Moving to where he sat slouched on the couch, she leaned over him.

"Remember Samuel, the faith healer? When you were seeing visions of your sister, and I told you to back off, did you? Did you take a step back because you were too "emotionally involved'? No, you didn't. But when I, for the first time ever, without any nagging or prompting on your part, confide in you that I've had a vision of Emily, the first words out of your mouth are, 'Scully, I think you need to take a step back'!"

Mimicking her own words, Scully stepped back and straightened, her clenched fists coming to rest by her sides. "You have the unending arrogance to believe that your truth is the only truth worth believing in. Well I have news for you, Fox Mulder, I've had it. Up. To. Here." Scully sharply punctuated her words with sharp hand movements near her chin. Stalking over to the overstuffed chair in the corner, she grabbed her coat from off of the back and headed toward the door.

"I once told you that whatever else, I respected our journey, if not the whole of the destination. Well, partner that respect is a two-way street."

Stunned by the force of her attack, Mulder could only sit and watch as she made her way across his apartment to the door.

"Scully, wait, where are you going?"

Shrugging into her coat, she turned and regarded him, her cool blue eyes assessing him, looking, he felt, deeply into his soul.

"I'm going to continue my journey, Mulder. I'd be more than happy to continue it with you, to accompany you in our search for answers, but not until you decide you'd be willing to a least listen to truths other than your own." She sighed and paused, halfway out the door.

"Mulder, for this journey to continue we must truly be partners. I don't mean that we each must believe equally in the other, each contributing exactly 50-percent to make a whole. I mean that sometimes I give 60 and you give 40, or vice-versa. That's what a partnership is, that at any given time, at any measurement, we make up a whole. I believe we can do that again, like we used to, but not until you're willing to let me give my 60 to your 40, until you're willing to let my beliefs hold some weight against yours."

Scully moved the last few inches out of the doorway, closing it softly behind her. She was spent, exhausted. This last case-that-was-not-a-case had taken from her in ways she couldn't even begin to count. She checked her watch, 3:40 pm. There was still time to make it to confession if she hurried. She needed to try to ease the burden on her soul, to ease some of her pain and that seemed a good a place to start.