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Summary: G, V - Mulder thinks about the paths untaken...

Ripplesby Sheryl Martin

Tossing his trench coat over the chair, Fox Mulder sighed as he headed for his bedroom; stripping off his clothing. Another dead end; another useless search. Another mystery that might never be solved.

Striding into the bathroom; he turned on the hot water tap, waiting a good five minutes before getting any hot water. Great. Just what he needed after a week in the outback of America in some two-bit town hunting ghosts that weren't there. Or they were, and he just missed them. Either way he was tired and sore and in the mood for a long soak.

His lips curled into a smile, noting that Scully had practically ordered him to do so. Kicking him gracefully out of her car, she had wagged a finger at him and ordered him to take it easy and she'd see him in the morning. She had to be at least as weary as he was; if not more. She had kept up with him and even passed him in the search.

But again, they had failed.

With a deep groan he settled into the steaming water, chuckling as he bent his knees to get his feet into the bathtub. No matter where he went, they just never had one long enough for him to stretch out in. Scully, on the other hand, probably had to have a safety line tied to her in the shower.

Sliding down in the tub, he immersed as much of his head as he could; leaving only his face above water as he stared at the ceiling. The waves lapped at his cheeks; the wet skin of his legs protesting at being thrust back into the cool air so soon.

It would be easy to just slip down.

Go under the water and drown.

While part of his mind debunked it quickly, noting that it would be an instinctive reaction to jerk up out of the water before that; another darker part wondered how it would feel.

No more pain. No more failures. No more rejection.

No more Scully.

The water shifted against his chin; edging up and touching his lips.

Suddenly sitting up right, he shook his head angrily; dousing the small bathroom in a burst of spray. Leaning back, he felt the cool porcelain against his back.

Lifting a hand, Mulder watched as the drops grew at the edges of his fingers; gorging themselves on the water running down his hand. Finally large enough, they fell into the bath water; small circles rolling away from the impact.


Like when he went out on a case and shook some trees to see what or who fell.

The watery rings hit the edge of the tub and bounced back; cancelling each other out in some cases; overwhelming in others. As each drop hit the rings spread out and covered his entire body, making their way around the bits that weren't underwater; but managing to make it around the tub.

Chuckling to himself, he slid back down into the lukewarm water. Maybe tomorrow...

************ÒYou are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.Ó Richard Bach -- ÒIllusionsÓ