Author's note: Chugging along. Also, I mention a Mike's Bikes here, which is actually a real company. They do awesome bike tours in Munich. They are the best. They also have another one in Amsterdam. Friendliest folks out there, so if you find yourself in either city, I totally recommend it. It's probably one of my most favorite things I did when I was abroad. But anyway, I digress.
All this time spent in vain
All is lost
And this war's not over
There's a light
There's the sun
Taking all the shattered ones
To the place we belong
And his love will conquer
-"Shattered", Trading Yesterday
"It's supposed to be just around the corner from the Hofbrahaus," Scully said with a frown.
She peered down at the tiny strip map on the flier she had in her hand. This was supposed to be a fun thing she was doing for Mulder, since he'd surprised her so many times during this trip, that she wanted to do something nice for him. Two mornings ago when she went out to get them coffee, she passed a hostel. A kid was out there handing out fliers, and she took one. It was for a company called Mike's Bikes, and for twenty euros, you could take a bike tour of Munich that lasted three or four hours. Scully thought Mulder would love something like that. But of course, here they were lost, trying to find their way around the side streets of Munich.
"What's the name of the place, Scully? I'll put it in my phone and get directions that way since it's got a GPS."
She shook her head. "No, that'll give it away. We have to be close."
It took another ten minutes, but the pair arrived to the Mike's Bikes in just enough time to pay and join the rest of the group before they took off.
They had been in Germany for about two weeks now. As much as Scully loved Italy, she had to admit that Germany was her favorite place thus far. It was autumn, the leaves were turning, and Scully fell in love that first train ride along the Rhine.
They spent some time in Venice before hopping a flight to Frankfurt two weeks ago. Frankfurt was a bit of a disappointment. It was a very modern looking city; comparable to something you'd see in America. When they'd arrived, the weather was chilly, but a nice break from the muggy weather they'd experienced in Italy.
They hopped a train to Cologne, or Koln, right after Frankfurt, and spent a long weekend there. Scully was taken aback because as soon as they walked out of the Koln hauptbahnhof they were greeted by this incredibly large cathedral which was referred to as the Dom. Koln was situated right on the Rhine River, and Scully thought it was possibly the most breathtaking place she'd ever seen.
Mulder was down for the count that first day and stayed in to sleep, but Scully was energized and took time to explore on her own, and enjoyed the opportunity to have some time alone. There was a lot of shopping in the streets of Koln. She was surprised to see Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and other places she was used to seeing back in America.
Germany also seemed to bring out some other interesting characters, she noticed. She saw a man (or perhaps it was a woman, she couldn't tell) dressed as a frog walking down the street. She saw an elderly man who set up shop in the middle of a wide cobblestone street. He was playing some instrument that was half harmonica and half accordion, while making about a dozen wooden puppets dance. Locals passed this like it was normal. Scully stopped for an amused moment, resisting the urge to take a picture.
Mulder was enjoying Germany as well. After Koln, they hit Heidelberg, which was probably his most favorite place they had been so far. He couldn't explain it. Heidelberg was a very small town relative to where else they'd been so far. It was private, it was quiet, and he and Scully had a lovely few days there.
Now they were here in Munich and planned to stay for a little while, the hitting towns here and there began to drain them both, and besides… Mulder had part of his plan he needed to carry out.
After speaking to Maggie Scully while they were in Rome, Mulder spoke to her a few more times, unbeknownst to Scully. Mulder accepted that she'd kill him if she ever found out he was speaking with her mother and not telling her. But the reward was worth the risk, and the reward would happen tomorrow.
Now, they were halfway through the bike tour of Munich, which was amazing. They stopped at several different places, their guide giving them the background on each place as they went. The tour group was about fifteen people, of various age groups, on bikes and the pace was nice and easy. It was quite relaxing actually. Their guide was a very funny guy probably in his late twenties. Apparently, Munich has a large population of mullets, so every time they would pass someone with a mullet, they all had to ring the bell on their bikes. It was fantastic.
The English Garden was the halfway point of their tour, which was a huge park, comparable to Central Park in New York City. The group stopped at a Japanese themed bier garden for lunch.
"Would you like to sit while I get food?" Mulder asked Scully as they found an empty table close to everyone in the tour group.
"That sounds good," she answered. "Get me a brat and some sauerkraut, and a beer."
Mulder smiled. While he had become a wine aficionado in Spain, Scully had become a beer connoisseur in Germany, which he found completely endearing.
While he was in line he felt his phone vibrate. Confused, he pulled it out of the pocket of his jacket.
Shit, it was Maggie.
He answered it, no time to look and see if Scully was watching.
"Hello Fox, I was just checking in to let you know everything was going according to plan and right on time."
"Great Maggie, thanks for keeping me in the loop."
"How is Dana? Does she know anything?"
"She's good, she's waiting on me to bring her lunch right now, we're in the park on a bike tour. And no she doesn't suspect a thing."
"Oh that sounds like a lovely day Fox."
Mulder noticed Scully staring at him from her table. Shit.
"Look, I gotta go Maggie, but we will be in touch very soon."
"Okay Fox, until then."
He punched the 'end' button on his phone and shoved it back in his pocket, not turning around to look at Scully. He ordered their food and approached the table five minutes later.
Sitting Scully's very large beer in front of her along with her food, and putting his just in front of it, he sat down, prepared for the Scully Inquisition.
Without missing a beat, Scully delivered.
"Mulder, who were you talking to on the phone?" she said, a look of concern crossed her face.
Mulder sighed and took a big swig from his beer, making a bit of a face. Whatever beer they had here was a bit too hoppy for his taste.
"Okay," he said, not able to lie to her because he wasn't expecting Maggie to call him then. "I am not going to tell you about that phone call, because it's kind of a secret, and it'll be explained a little more tomorrow. Okay?"
Scully took a pull from her beer thoughtfully. A part of her wanted to assume this was Mulder surprising her with a trip or something, but something about the look on Mulder's face when he answered the phone left her a little unsettled.
She decided to drop it for now until tomorrow, though her mood was inexplicably killed.
That evening, Mulder and Scully decided to have a night in at the apartment they were renting in Munich. Mulder was horizontal on the couch reading a book, while Scully tapped away at her computer. Not much was said between them. Scully was feeling moody after their exchange earlier, and Mulder was well aware of it, but knew it would pass tomorrow when she understood.
About eight, Mulder closed his book and padded into the bathroom, feeling the need to take a shower. Scully heard the water turn on in the bathroom and halted her motions for a few moments. She looked at Mulder's BlackBerry, which sat on the table. Her stomach churned wit anxiety. She trusted Mulder, she trusted him with her life – and she had for many years.
She wasn't sure what she thought she'd see when she checked his call list. Certainly not another woman, it wasn't like that. But something ate away ate her until finally it got the best of her, and she picked up his phone and scrolled through the call list to see who exactly called Mulder.
When she realized the number was not only from America, but also from a DC area code, she dropped the phone like a hot potato. And not only did they call today, but it also looked like whoever this caller was and Mulder had been exchanging phone calls – since they'd been in Italy!
Scully felt betrayed, she felt angry, and she felt scared. Was something wrong that someone from DC would contact Mulder? And either way, why couldn't Mulder tell her?
A part of her wanted to march into the bathroom and demand Mulder explain to her what was going on and why he lied to her. But a bigger part of her felt too hurt right now to even have an intelligent discussion with him. Tears leaked from her eyes in an undisciplined stream. A part of her felt silly about the way she was reacting, but a bigger part of her felt hurt.
When Mulder was finished in the shower, he opened the door to a dark bedroom. He could make out Scully's silhouette under the covers, facing away from him. This concerned him, because he knew she wasn't sleeping and he could feel the tension in the room.
"Scully?" he said softly.
"Not now, Mulder," she said, her voice muffled.
It sounded like she'd been crying, and that tore Mulder apart. He made his way to her side of the bed and knelt in front of her. She was burrowed tightly under the covers; all he could make out were her eyes.
"Scully, if this is about earlier-" he began.
She released the covers from around her and shot up from bed.
"Of course this is about earlier, Mulder!" she shouted. "Did you not think I was going to find out?"
Mulder was confused. If Scully knew what he knew, then why was she mad?
"What are you talking about, Scully?"
She looked at him incredulously in the dark. "Don't play stupid with me. I know you have been calling someone with a DC area code! And they have been calling you too! For a month now!"
She must have checked his phone. He sighed. "Did you call the number, Scully?"
"No, why would I?" she replied tartly. "Who is it, someone from the bureau? You are jeopardizing our safety. They left us alone for so long, why poke the hornet's nest now, Mulder?"
"I'm not finished yet! You know what is the worst part about all of this? That you couldn't even tell me. I was suddenly transported back to nineteen ninety-four, Mulder, half expecting to be ditched. Half expecting to come back from getting coffee and find a note on the table saying you left somewhere and turned your phone off. Do you know how much that fucking hurts? After all this time, you still don't fucking trust me, Mulder?"
Mulder took a deep breath before responding. On one hand, he understood her fury. But on the other hand, how could she not trust him? After a few moments he turned on his heel, angrily flipping on the light switch to their room. He stormed into the living room and retrieved his phone, and made his way back into the bedroom.
"Here, Scully," he growled. "Since you clearly don't trust me, you call the number right now."
He chucked the phone in her general direction, and it hit the bed with a thud.
"Oh no, I'm not calling it Mulder, whatever, you obviously didn't want me involved in the first place!" she said, holding up her hands.
"Damnit, Scully," he huffed, reaching for the phone, scrolling to find Maggie's number, knowing she wouldn't be home. He punched send, and then put the phone on speakerphone.
Scully was wide-eyed and bewildered at this point, as the phone began to ring. After six rings, the voicemail picked up, and an all-too familiar voice floated from the speaker.
"Hello, you've reached Maggie Scully, please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you."
Upon hearing her mother's voice for the first time in probably nine years, her face crumpled and she felt a scream frozen in her throat. She looked at Mulder with a look that was a cross between hurt and confusion.
"And you know why she didn't pick up, Scully?" Mulder asked, softening his tone.
She shook her head silently, tears now streaming down her face.
"Because she's on a airplane. On her way here. I am meeting her in the morning to pick her up. It was meant to be a surprise, but I guess the cat's out of the bag now."
Scully collapsed where she was standing, into a heap on the floor and began to sob uncontrollably. She was so mad at herself for not trusting him, to think he'd do something like that to her. She was so mad that he did this incredibly amazing thing for her, knowing how much she'd missed her mother, and all she did was yell at him.
Mulder sank to his knees on the floor after her and gathered her into her arms. She fell apart at his touch, a combination of feelings all brewing – equal parts guilt, relief, and sheer shock that tomorrow she would see her mother. After several moments of silence between them in the dark, something in the air changed. Sad and pathetic Scully was gone and only an incredibly appreciative Scully remained, and she was in awe of the man who was holding her in his arms.
"Thank you," she whispered. "I'm so sorry I didn't trust you."
He smiled against her hair. "Scully, you can always trust me. I know in the past I've ditched you but I think I've shown you I am here for the long haul baby. Don't shut me out."
She sniffled at that. "I know I'm hard sometimes Mulder, and I know these past few years haven't been the best they could be… but please don't give up on me Mulder."
"Never," he said sagely, punctuating with a chaste kiss to the lips. "Not even in a million years."