Swan Song

No, the fact that I chose her myself doesn't make this any easier to take.

Not at all.

I can't believe this. This should never have happened. It didn't take a top shelf profiler to figure out what Fox likes. He definitely has a 'type'. Like Phoebe. Like me. Like every lucky member of the secretarial pool that he ever lavished attention on. Line us all up and we could pass for sisters.

I'm not a fool.

I know that's why Spender chose me in the first place.

Fox was supposed to fall in love with me. He likes his women long legged, big breasted and brunette.

Not...NOT short, frumpy, dumpy, freckled, pedantic, pedestrian, plodding, practical, tight assed math geeks. He was attracted to flash and style.

Dana Scully had never met flash or style.

Yes, Fox was supposed to fall for me and God knows I fell for him. It was all according to plan. I never would've left if Spender hadn't allowed me to choose my replacement. That was my price. I instinctively knew that his new partner must be female. There was no way I was leaving him unattended and available. I needed a woman and not just any woman. She needed to be useful. She would have to be an asset to the X-files or Fox would get rid of her. She needed to be idealistic enough to support his work and territorial enough to keep other women at bay. I wasn't too worried about her getting fed up with life in the basement; I figured Fox himself would be alluring enough to keep her coming back.

It certainly worked for me.

When I found Dana's file she seemed too good to be true.

With her background in physics, I knew she'd have the scientific chops to back him up or rein him in when he needed it. I also liked the medical license. If anyone could use a personal physician on demand twenty four hours a day, it was Special Agent Fox Mulder.

A partner?

He needed a keeper.

Keeping him alive and whole has always been a top priority of mine.

The photo attached to her file was the cherry on top. I would have bet you any amount you'd care to name that she hadn't seen the inside of a salon since high school. Out of date hair style, amateurish makeup, dowdy wardrobe; this was a girl without a clue.

It was understandable, of course; you couldn't expect a pre-med student to pull straight A's, repeat the act in medical school and her residency and still have time for frivolous matters. Matters like personal grooming. No, this was a serious girl with more important things on her mind than how to apply mascara. She was so serious and important that I got bored just looking at her.

Being the thorough FBI agent that I am, I did a complete background check. She was conservative but not a prude. She had a lot of friends, both male and female but didn't date much in school. Too busy cracking the books I guess. Her teachers liked her. In fact, I couldn't find anyone with less than glowing things to say about Miss Goody-Two-Shoes.

She did indulge in a heavy flirtation with one of her professors in med school but I never found any evidence that it became physical. He was married and she was Catholic. I checked him out and found not a whiff of scandal. Very well respected in his field, in fact. No reason to assume he made a habit of banging his students.

Her parents weren't thrilled with all of her decisions. They cherished dreams of their little darling as a pediatrician or a cardiologist; not as a pathologist. Performing autopsies for the FBI just didn't seem glamorous enough for them. As if Dana Scully and glamour would recognize each other.

I swear, it's as if she were trying to be as off-putting and...well...icky as possible.

At Quantico, it was more of the same. Hard worker, popular with her classmates, blah, blah, blah. She had an affair with her instructor.


She likes the Boss Man.

She may not have been classically ambitious in her career but she sure liked her man to be top of the heap.

Who could be less top of the heap than the guy with the windowless basement office and the nickname "Spooky"?

She wasn't his type and he sure wasn't hers.

It was a match made in Heaven.

How did it all go to Hell?

I thought about Fox a lot while I was in Europe.

Oh, I had my lovers. I used to pretend they were Fox while they screwed me. It always ended when they couldn't live up to the illusion. They meant nothing to me. They were light entertainment to while away the time I was in exile. I always knew I would go back to Fox. I made sure that he'd be waiting for me.

I kept tabs on him.

I knew he didn't date. I was satisfied that my little duenna was doing her job.

She turned out to be a much better investigator than I thought she'd be. I was glad. That simply ensured that Fox wouldn't have her replaced.

I grew to be quite fond of her. She was more than just the chastity belt I'd placed on Fox; she was my discovery, my creation.

I advocated for her when that little shit, Krycek wanted to kill her. I knew I'd never be able to find a replacement nearly so qualified. I sent Spender roses when he returned her.

Then I went back to to hunting terrorists and bedding the tall dark and handsomes of Europe.

I began lobbying to come back to D.C. when she was diagnosed with cancer. I realized it was only a matter of time before they killed her and I didn't want that to happen. I felt responsible for her and unlike other people I could mention, I have never taken a human life lightly.

It was a great relief to me when she went into remission but I continued to angle for home. It had been over six years and I thought we'd all pressed our luck long enough.

It was time to lift my finger.

I made it back just in time for the Gibson Praise case.

I didn't try to contact Fox before I returned. I've always liked a dramatic entrance and I wanted to see his face when I sprang myself on him.

I was so excited that first day!

Special Agent Spender had about fifteen of us in the conference room when Fox came in alone.

I almost came alone.

I had forgotten how brilliant his was; how exhilarating it is to watch his mind at work. He dazzled me thirty seconds after I first laid eyes on him. I was practically giddy!

Then Dana Scully stood up.

I didn't recognize her.

Gone were the Great Clips hairstyle, the freckles and the spinster suit. The only things that connected this sleek little Bond Girl with Special Agent Frumpalump were the red hair and her proprietary manner towards Mulder.

My hand picked, perfectly plain little Miss Fashion Don't ugly duckling had gone and turned into a stinking, rancid swan.

I got over the shock almost immediately. The fact that Agent Scully had finally picked up a fashion magazine was surprising but nothing to worry about. After all, I'm drop dead gorgeous. I have the legs, the breasts and the history that Fox responds to.

In the car ride to the hospital it quickly became apparent that Dana had never heard of me. By the time we reached the hospital, I knew I had nothing to worry about. Ten minutes in her presence and I knew that you could take the girl out of the frumpy suit but you couldn't take the frump out of the girl. Not only was she the dullest, most boring woman I had EVER spoken to, I caught Fox peeking at me in the rear view mirror, twice.

I would lift my finger and he would come running.

Okay, he wasn't running and he didn't come but he would have if I hadn't been shot almost immediately.

Well, I had come back in part to save Scully's life but I never really expected to take a bullet for her.

I guess it was foolish to think that things would go smoothly. I wasn't able to slip back into Fox's life and his bed as easily as I had hoped. There was some serious maneuvering to be done, starting with Jeffrey Spender. He didn't fall into line as quickly as we'd hoped he would. Then of course, he jumped ship completely.

What a waste that was.

I still think that if Spender had let me sleep with Jeffrey, we could have salvaged him as an asset. I guess the old man had some scruples when it came to me screwing both his sons, although he has no scruples about killing them if they betray him.

He'll kill me if he ever finds out about this...

He knows where my heart lies. He also knows I'd screw him if the success of the project depended on it.

But he always promised me that Fox was mine. I guess he's not as omnipotent as I thought.

I guess I'm not as omnipotent as I thought.

Things were such a mess when I got out of the hospital. Spender had tried once again to get rid of Scully and once again, Fox had foiled him. After his giant screw up nearly cost him me, I think Spender's bloodlust abated and Scully was safe. Now that I was back, I think the poor girl was probably safer than she'd been since joining the X-files.

Fox, on the other hand, was getting himself in deep trouble. I agreed that the pair of them had to be removed from the center of the action.

At least, for a while.

I also agreed that putting me on the X-files was probably the only was to mollify Fox. I was so busy trying to keep Jeffrey from dismantling the office and keeping Fox convinced that he was in the loop, I didn't have time to pursue Fox on more personal grounds. I wasn't worried. Building up a nice, slow burn is always a good strategy. A man never takes for granted what he has to work for.

I thought the flirting was fun.

Now I think that it was all in fun.

I think...there was never any end game on his part.

Was I wrong?

If I had slept with him right away, would it have turned out any differently?

Even a few weeks ago...I thought so, but now...I've been blind.

I thought things were progressing well.

We were careful; our plans were meticulous.

I assured Spender that I could help him salvage the wreck of the project we had spent so many years nurturing. I really thought I could bring Fox back into the fold. I was sure I had succeeded when he told me about the air field and we kissed. I thought nothing of it when he immediatley called Scully.

Looking back, knowing what I know now...that call meant everything. It was the kiss that meant nothing.

In my arrogance and blind allegiance to the project, I couldn't see what was right in front of me. Even after the massacre at the hangar, amid the ruins of the project, I consoled myself with the belief that Fox and I were well on our way to being together. A cold estrangement developed between him and Scully. Without her as a distraction, my way was clear.

Then; the gift.

The artifact.

Not only was I about to get Fox back but we discovered a new direction for the project.

I was so excited, so blinded by ambition, so invested in Spender's plans that I followed his lead to a place I never would've believed I would go.

I have no defense.

For years, I've told myself that I loved him. That everything I did was for him, so that someday, we'd be together. That nothing was more important to me than he was.

I hadn't been lying, not about that. I'm just not strong enough to live up to it.

I wasn't even worried when Fox began reacting to the artifact. It just never occurred to me how dangerous things would get. No one could've predicted the level of involvement that Fox experienced. Nothing like that had happened before. Not among abductees, not Gibson Praise, no one.

It scared the shit out of me.

Not at first. Not when Krycek called to let me know where he'd found Fox, collapsed in a stairwell. I recognized this opportunity as the opening I'd been waiting for. I retrieved Fox and got him home. He was drifting in and out of lucidity, there was really no way for me to realize how bad it was getting. Malice made me glad when Scully called. I was sick and tired of the hold she exerted over him and was perfectly happy to let her know that I was the one who belonged with him. I had not planned on seducing Fox until he was stronger, but hearing her prissy voice on the phone, demanding to know who I was pissed me off.

I'd show my little protege who I was. I was Fox Mulder's lover, that's who!

I'm a fool and I got what I deserved.

I stripped off my top and swaggered into that bedroom like a conqueror to the feast.

I expected Fox, at the sight of my naked breasts, to be putty in my hands. It had always worked before.


"Before" is a very powerful concept.

Before I went away, Fox loved me.

Before he met Dana Scully, he would do anything for me.

Before that artifact opened his mind, he trusted me.

Before he coudl read my thoughts, I didn't horrify him.

I didn't understand right away what had happened. Instead of lust on his face, I saw only revulsion. Then he began raging at me, accusing me of perfidy and betrayal, of being a liar and a whore. I had never seen anyone so furious. His rage frightened me. I was so shocked at what he was screaming at me, my first impulse was to deny everything.

That made him insane. Literally insane!

He collapsed on the bed and seemed to pass out.

What did I do? I, who claimed to love him?

I called Spender.

I shrieked into the phone "He knows everything! I think he's going to kill me!"

Then I called an ambulance.

It was in a state of shock that I met Skinner later, in the psychiatric hospital.

I had replayed the evening's events over and over in my head. I had already come to the conclusion that no one had told Fox anything. Or rather, I had told him everything. Everything in my overburdened conscience had been laid bare to him.

He had come out of his fit in the ambulance and had had to be restrained. His raging had slowly changed form calling down curses upon my head to demands for Scully. Over the course of the night his demanding gradually became begging for her. For the first time since I'd returned to the States, I desperately wanted her myself but we couldn't find her. It was two and a half days before she showed up.

By then, I'd managed to collect myself. I'd had a chance to talk to Spender and we came up with a game plan. I was still too invested in the project to see beyond the end of my nose. Spender told me what to do and I did it. But nothing worked the way it was supposed to. Not anymore. I couldn't believe what I was standing by and allowing.

Fox's ability to hear thoughts was torturing him. The artifact had opened his mind in a way that no human's is meant to open and it was opened painfully wide.

I couldn't help him. I didn't know what to do.

Obviously, I couldn't lie to him anymore. I couldn't hide the truth from him. I didn't try.

I decided to come clean. To let him see into my heart, to show him that despite everything, that's where he was.

I told him that I loved him and that it was all so that we could finally be together.

I was so afraid that he would die.

I would gladly have shot Skinner and Kritchgau when I caught them doping him. They could so easily have killed him or left him brain damaged! I still thought that Spender had Fox's best interests at heart. I had known for years of the love Spender had for his son. How hard he had worked to bring Fox around. How much he wanted Fox to understand and join him in his work. He always wanted Fox to know, to understand and to agree with his plans. He wanted it to be Fox's own choice. As it had been mine. Fox and I were to be the new beginning. We were the chosen ones.

I watched with a slow growing horror at what Spender did to his own son.

Why didn't I stop it? How could I have participated in such a barbaric violation of the man I loved? I was too trusting of Spender. Too invested in the project. Too weak in my love.

All of this was shoved in my face by Agent Scully when she finally turned up.

I really don't recall a single word she said to me in that closet. What I remember is being hit with the humiliating truth; that for years I had believed in the lies of C.G.B. Spender; that everything I had done since returning to D.C. had been bad for Fox, had in fact brought him to the brink of death; that I had lied to myself for years, thinking that I knew what love was, that Fox wanted me, that I deserved him.

I could feel the love she has for him radiating off of her, unselfish and unafraid; it burned me and made me feel ashamed.

I'm still ashamed now.

I don't know if I sent her the book and the key card because even then I lacked the courage to set myself against the project or if it's because I realized that rescuing Fox was Scully's rightful duty, not mine. It doesn't matter. She's the one he was waiting for, not me.

Not me.

In the past two weeks I've had time to reflect on the events of those last few days. I'm not proud of a single thing I've done. I've had time to think about all the rantings and ravings of what I thought were a mad man. He wasn't mad. He was frightened and in pain and he was calling for the one person he wanted and needed. I loved him enough to send her to him.

But no, it doesn't make this any easier to take.

That must be Spender at the door. I've been wondering how he'll want to proceed.

I open the door.

"Oh!" what the hell. "Alex. What do you wa-"

The End.