Not Mine. Sigh.
Summary: This is the sequel to "Unbelief". How
would Scully handle being in charge, and how
would Mulder react to NOT being in charge?
Thirty minutes later, Special Agent Fox Mulder
exited the elevator on the basement level. He
approached the door to the office that still had his
name on it. 'That'll have to change,' he thought.
He raised his hand and knocked.
"No-one down here but the FBI's most unwanted,"
came floating through the door in a husky alto.
Mulder had to contain a chuckle at that. 'Let's
rewrite history,' he thought. And he opened the
"Agent Scully, I've been assigned to work with
"Well, isn't it nice to be so highly regarded?" she
responded with a grin. Then she sobered, and
asked Mulder to sit. "We have to discuss some
issues before we can go into the field again,
"What issues would they be, Scully? That you went
behind my back to take the X-Files off me?" he
"Actually, no, I didn't do that. Skinner told me he
was going to take you off the X-Files as a
punishment. I offered to act as lead agent instead
of you being removed from the X-Files. Skinner
agreed to that, but he wants you to do the right
Mulder was simmering by this point, and he let it
show. "So, I have to do as I'm told by you, or I don't
get the X-Files back?"
Scully's eyes gleamed with anger, but she refused
to let it appear in her voice. "Let me remind you,
Agent Mulder, that the reason you are in this
situation is your propensity for leaving your
partner on her own. For the next month, you will
work on cases of my choosing. You will not go off
on your crusades without first informing me of
your expected absence. And, you WILL NOT ditch
me while we are in the field. Do you understand?"
As she had been speaking, Mulder's eyes had begun
to darken in anger, and he was about to open his
mouth when she beat him to it by saying, "If this is
unacceptable to you, then I need to begin
reviewing the personnel files that Skinner gave
This comment had the same effect as a red rag to
a charging bull. "What I understand is that you are
going to finally do what you should have six years
ago: shut me down!" he all but shouted at her.
That last remark sent Scully over the edge. She
stood, walked around the desk to Mulder, and
started talking. "I'm not the one shutting you
down, you are! I'm doing all I can to keep the X-
Files open, and to get you back to being the
Agent-in-Charge of them. You seem determined to
lose them by whatever means possible." All of this
was delivered in a cold, flat voice, and had more
effect on Mulder than if Scully had screamed at
him. "If you really want to blame someone for
shutting the X-Files down, you don't need to go any
further than Diana Fowley." Mulder opened his
mouth to protest, but Scully held her hand up to
stop him. "Just think about it, Mulder. The X-Files
were on a fairly firm footing before she showed up
and YOU let her interfere. You and Fowley are
responsible for this situation. I'm just doing what I
can to restore the X-Files to a solid foundation
again." The anger started to bleed out of his face
as Scully walked back to her seat and sat down.
A troubled silence settled over the two agents.
Scully looked at him thoughtfully, and said, "Can I
ask you a question, Mulder?"
"Okay," came the quiet response. 'At last, he
seems to be listening to me,' she thought.
"Are you happy with me as your partner?"
He looked at her, dumbfounded. "Of course,
Scully. You know that you're the only one I trust."
"Your actions speak louder than your words, Mulder."
At his questioning look, she continued, "If you truly
trusted me, you would at the very least tell me that
you had a lead you had to follow. You would also give
me the option of coming with you. You don't trust me
to watch your back in these kinds of situations, and
you don't allow me to choose."
Mulder looked at his partner, and had the grace to be
ashamed of his actions. "I'm sorry, Scully. Can I have
She smiled, a thin, sad, smile, and said, "Of course."
Scully took a deep breath, and let it out. "So, Mulder.
Do you think you can make it through the next month
according to the rules?"
He gave her a small grin, and said, "Bring it on."
The next three weeks passed in relative calm.
Scully chose the cases in consultation with Mulder,
and he worked enthusiastically with her in solving
them. He was making a real effort to follow 'the
rules', and wasn't being too much of an ass about
it. Sure, there was the occasional slip up where he
joked about Scully's science, but they were both
trying to make the new work relationship succeed.
As well, Mulder had taken to dropping in on Scully
in the evenings. Sometimes, he'd bring dessert,
sometimes a movie. To Scully, it seemed as though
he'd come to a decision about their personal
relationship as well. The fourth time he showed up
with a movie, she called him on it.
"Mulder, are you coming on to me?"
He chuckled, and answered, "Why, yes, Agent
Scully, I am. Are you offended by my
"Not at all. I like it, a whole lot."
As he was leaving her apartment later that night,
they kissed properly for the first time.
So, there they were. It was the last seven days of
Mulder's probation. The work was moving forward,
as was their personal relationship. Scully was
pleased with how things were turning out, but the
Celt in her was waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It was just about to, but she didn't see it coming
until it was too late.
The two agents were on their way to Bridgeport,
West Virginia. There were reports of lights in the
sky, to which Scully said, "And that's unusual in
what way?" As well as the lights, people were
disappearing for several days at a time, and on
their return, looked beaten up. Mulder, naturally,
plumped for the classic abduction scenario, while
Scully was more inclined to wait for physical
exams and blood test results before voicing her
The first couple of days were full of witness
interviews and site visits. Scully reviewed all the
medical reports on the victims. As usual, the two
of them disagreed about the causes, but worked
together to get to the bottom of the mystery. The
local police were, surprisingly, more inclined to
believe in Mulder's alien abduction theory, and
were more than happy to contribute their own
ideas. It was the end of their second full day in
Bridgeport, and they were finally eating dinner
and discussing the case.
"Why can't you accept what I'm saying, Scully? We
always go down this path, and this time, it looks
like I'm right," Mulder finally said.
Scully took a breath, and exhaled slowly. "Because
that's part of who I am, Mulder. I need to look for
proof, and you know that about me." She paused
for a few seconds, and continued, "Why don't we
go back out to Jim Rowley's property tomorrow,
just to eliminate him completely as a suspect,
then we'll look more carefully for extraterrestrial
evidence by the lake?"
Mulder knew what it cost her to even say
extraterrestrial, so he nodded his agreement. They
looked at each other, and rose in unison from the
table. Mulder took Scully's hand, and they walked
the short distance back to their motel. At her
door, he kissed her very softly, and wished her a
The following morning, Dana Scully was ready to
spit nails. She had knocked on Mulder's door so
they could get breakfast together, only to
eventually find that he had taken off during the
night. She called the sheriff's office for a ride to
the station, and was told that her partner had
called Sheriff Gray to say that he'd been called
away, but that Scully would be finishing up the
case. One of the younger deputies picked her up
about twenty minutes later, and the two of them
were en route to the Rowley property.
'Yes, Deputy Webb?"
"Do you think that Jim Rowley is dangerous?"
Scully considered the question carefully before
answering, "No, I don't think so, but it doesn't hurt
to be prepared."
When they arrived at Rowley's place, the air
seemed heavy, and Scully felt uneasy. She drew
her weapon, and had just motioned for the deputy
to do the same, when she saw Jim Rowley throw
open his shed door, and saw the gleam of a gun
barrel. She threw herself towards the deputy,
shouting for Webb to get down when she felt the
impact of bullets at the same time as she heard
the shots fired. Somehow, Scully managed to turn
her body as she went down and squeezed off three
shots of her own. She landed heavily on her right
side, and the impact of her right hand on the
ground caused her to lose her grasp on her
weapon. She heard Webb fire, then heard him call
the sheriff for backup and an ambulance. Then
everything went black.
Dana Scully was floating somewhere in a dark
haze. She was vaguely aware of voices, and aware
of how heavy her body felt. She heard someone
call her name, and struggled through the thick
darkness that seemed to hold her down. Finally,
she was able to open her eyes, and the familiar
face of her supervisor was the first thing she
"Nice to have you back with us, Agent."
"How long. ." she slurred.
"You've been in hospital for six days, and we were
beginning to wonder if you were ever going to
wake up," Skinner answered.
She shook her head to clear it, and immediately
regretted it. "Where am I?"
Skinner responded, "Bethesda Naval. It's got the
best trauma centre in the region."
Scully nodded carefully, then asked, "What's the
damage?" as she gradually came to full
Another man had entered her room, and
introduced himself as Doctor Peter Symes. "You
were hit five times by a semiautomatic weapon."
As her eyes widened in surprise, the doctor went
on. "I know you're a doctor, so I won't dumb it
down. One slug smashed your left cheekbone, so
there was surgery to repair that. One slug in your
left collarbone. Broke the bone, so that's been
pinned. One slug in the top rib on the left side.
That's been pinned as well."
Scully grimaced. That accounted for three bullets.
From the look on the doctor's face, as well as how
Skinner looked, she knew that the best was yet to
come. "Okay," she said, "now tell me the worst."
Symes looked at Skinner, who nodded once. "Last
two slugs entered your upper left arm, and
shattered the humerus. You now have three
titanium pins holding the parts together."
"That's not all, is it?"
"No. Dr Scully, Dana, at best, even with intensive
physical therapy, the most function that you'll get
back in your left arm is 50%. And, it'll take at least
twelve months to get to that point."
Dana Scully nodded her head slowly, then looked
at her boss. "That's loss of field agent status, if not
a medical discharge from the Bureau, isn't it, sir?"
Skinner looked her directly in the eyes, and said,
"Yes. I'm so sorry, Dana. But with this kind of
"I can't do autopsies, I can't hold a weapon
properly: hell, I can't even type now!" She seemed
to slump down even further into the bed. Symes
walked closer, and clasped her good shoulder
briefly, then he left the two agents together.
Skinner said to her, very gently, "Do you know
where Mulder is, Scully?"
"No. He ditched me sometime early in the morning
that this happened." Something struck her then,
and she asked, "What about Deputy Webb? Is he
"You saved his life, Scully. You warned him as you
were hit, and somehow you managed to shoot the
suspect in the shoulder as you were falling. You
did it. You kept that man alive."
"Yes, sir. But nothing that I do keeps my partner
around, does it?"
Walter Skinner had no answer to that, and Dana
Scully turned to look out the window at the watery
Special Agent Fox Mulder walked down the hallway
to the Assistant Director's office after yet another
two-week suspension. This time, he was actually
quite concerned about his future.
He had been contacted by Marita Covarrubius that
night in Bridgeport. She claimed to have
information about Samantha, and he was off
without a second thought. After following Marita
around for three days, he picked up a message
from Skinner informing him of his suspension, so
he decided to keep going. He had left Scully a
couple of voicemails, telling her in vague terms
about his whereabouts and activities. He finally
came to his senses after another week when he
discovered that his contact person was Diana
Fowley, and that she was waiting for him at the
motel. In his room. In his bed. Naked. It was the
slap in the face that he seemed to need. Finally,
he had begun to acknowledge to himself that not
everyone who said, "Samantha," actually knew
anything about her. Now he had to face the music,
not only from Skinner and the Bureau, but from
Scully as well.
He entered the outer office, and was immediately
sent in to the inner sanctum by Skinner's assistant,
Kim Cook. Something was definitely not right.
After telling Mulder to sit, Skinner got straight to
"How badly do you want to keep your job, Agent
Mulder was dumbfounded at Skinner's bluntness. "I
love my job, sir. I'd do just about anything to keep
"Including running the X-Files?"
Now Mulder was getting confused. "I thought that
Scully was the Agent in Charge of the X-Files, sir.
Has that been changed?"
Skinner stared at Mulder balefully. "Have you
spoken with your partner at all in the last three
"Not really, sir. I've left messages, but she hasn't
gotten back to me yet."
"That's because she was shot the morning after you
ditched her," he said as he passed Mulder the
reports on the Bridgeport case. As Mulder got over
his shock and started reading, Skinner continued
talking. "Scully's actions saved the life of the
deputy that was acting as her backup. She disabled
the shooter, and when the local sheriff's office did
a search of the property, they found enough
weapons and ammunition to arm Somalia. Your
partner is going to receive a commendation from
the Bureau, as well as recognition from the people
of Bridgeport." He glanced at the younger man,
and added, "Kind of makes you wonder if she
would have been injured if her real partner had
been there, doesn't it?"
Mulder shook his head as he took in both what he
was reading, and what Skinner had said. "So, why
am I getting the X-Files back?"
"Because Scully argued long and hard to the review
panel that you were the best-qualified agent to
run them, and she was able to convince the panel
of that. She was also able to convince the panel
that the X-Files needed more agents on it, and the
panel accepted what she had to say."
"Couldn't say no to the hero, huh?" Mulder asked
with more than a trace of sarcasm.
Skinner reacted angrily to Mulder's attitude, and
almost shouted, "Cut the crap, Mulder. They
couldn't say no to the facts as Scully presented
them." He let Mulder think about that for a few
minutes, then Skinner went on. "She came in from
the hospital, and presented an iron-clad argument
for you being in charge, and the need for extra
agents. She had all the evidence she needed at her
fingertips, including the type of personalities that
the new X-Files agents would need. She even
offered to preselect a group of agents to make it
easier for you to make final decisions about who
should be there."
Mulder was astounded. Scully had been injured in
Bridgeport, yet was doing all she could to get
Mulder back onto the X-Files as Agent-in-Charge.
Something was tickling at the back of his mind,
but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. He
looked at Skinner, and asked, "So, when is Scully
due back on active duty?"
He cringed visibly at the grim look Skinner gave
him. "I suggest you take that up with Agent Scully,
preferably at your earliest convenience.
Mulder picked up the files in front of him, and
almost ran out of the office. He needed to find
Scully, so as he jogged down the corridor, he
pulled out his cell, and hit the speed dial.
"Frohike, it's me. Do you know where Scully is?"
There was a noticeable pause before he answered.
"She's been released from the hospital, and Byers
is taking her back to her apartment."
Frohike grunted. "You're a schmuck, Mulder. How
hard have you tried to get in touch with Scully
over the last three weeks? No, don't answer me,
because I already know. Not at all!" The older
man's disgust at Mulder's actions was apparent.
"There was a lead. ."
"There always is." Frohike interrupted him. "Byers
called me a while ago, and said he expected they'd
be back at Scully's about 2pm." He coughed, said,
"I gotta go," and ended the call. Mulder stared at
the phone in his hand, unwilling to believe that he
might have damaged his friendship with the
Gunmen because of his actions towards Scully. He
needed to get to her, so he changed direction to
the parking garage.
Two minutes later, all the security guard saw was
Mulder's brakelights blinking as he peeled out of
the parking lot.
John Byers had been careful to maintain a
respectful distance as he escorted Dana Scully to
her apartment door. Byers knew that it had just
about killed Scully to ask he and his friends for
help. When he had asked her why she hadn't called
Mulder, she simply shook her head and didn't
answer. Byers hadn't pushed the issue, but he
knew from Frohike that Mulder was on his way to
Scully's home, and Byers just wanted to do his
good deed and make a clean getaway. He had the
feeling that the interaction between Scully and
Mulder was not going to be pleasant. Langly had
hit that particular nail on the head when he had
casually observed that 'Scully is going to go
ballistic on Mulder's ass: totally thermonuclear'.
Byers had already been to Scully's apartment to
make sure that everything was in order. He had
asked Scully a couple of days earlier about her
mom, and hadn't been too surprised by Scully's
Her mother was visiting with her brother Charlie
and his family. Her mom was going to spend a
week or so in Ohio, then all of them; Charlie,
Mary, the boys, and Maggie Scully, were all going
on a two-month tour, starting in Ireland, and then
going on to the rest of Europe. Under no
circumstances was Maggie Scully, or any other
Scully family member, to be told of Dana's
injuries. Dana herself would tackle that once her
mother was back in the United States, which
wasn't going to be until late January.
Byers had placed Dana's bag on her bed, and
asked, "Do you want me to unpack for you?" Her
answer surprised him.
"If it's not too much trouble, John. I'd really
He gave a soft chuckle, and said, "You can trust
me, Dana. I won't tell Frohike about your
Dana smiled a little at the thought of the little
man rifling through her underwear. "I'm just
grateful for your help."
"You know that Mulder would have been happy to
help you out, don't you?"
She sighed. "Maybe once upon a time, but not
now. He left me a total of three voicemails in the
last three weeks. Each one was vague on details,
and said nothing about where he was or what he
was doing. I thought we were finally getting
closer, but I can see that I was wrong." Dana
moved to the chair, and sat down heavily.
"Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be enough for
Byers was intrigued. Here was the stoic Agent
Scully, revealing what she was thinking and
feeling. Despite his original feelings of urgency, he
felt compelled to be a listening ear for his friend.
"What do you mean?"
Dana had shrugged her coat off, and the heavy
sling was obvious. "I mean that all anyone has to
say to get Mulder to jump is to say 'Samantha' or
'Cancerman' or 'Krycek', and he's off and running,
saying 'How high?' Before this," and she indicated
her arm, "I was able to at least go after him, and
get him out of trouble. I can't do that any more.
He'll be even less inclined to tell me things now."
Her defeated tone concerned Byers much more
than what she had said. "Don't worry about
Mulder," he said with more confidence than he
actually felt. "I think he'll surprise you."
"Who's going to surprise who?" came the monotone
question from the bedroom door. Mulder had
"It doesn't concern you, Mulder," said Dana. "Why
are you here?"
Mulder and Byers both cringed slightly at the cool
tone in Dana's voice. Byers took the opportunity to
start moving towards the door. As he went, he
said, "I need to get going now, Dana. Don't forget
that Millie will be here at 5pm, and if you need
"Just call. I will, and thank you for everything.
Please thank Frohike and Langly for me, won't
"Absolutely," Byers responded as he left Mulder
and Scully alone. Mulder followed Byers out to the
front door, and stopped him. Byers turned to
Mulder and answered the unasked question. "We
were the only ones she felt she could rely on."
"She could have asked me to help."
Byers looked at Mulder sadly. "When?" was all he
asked as he walked out the door. Mulder closed
the door and threw the lock. 'What did Byers
mean?' he thought. He turned at the noise coming
from Scully's bedroom, and went to investigate. He
saw Dana trying to finish hanging things one-
handed, so he moved to take over. He was
surprised at her reaction.
"You can see I'm safe at home now, so you can
The disbelief registered in Mulder's voice as well as
on his face. "Don't tell me, you're fine, right?"
"You can see that I'm not, but I'd like you to leave.
I can do this for myself."
"Sure you can, Scully. Why don't you sit back down,
and let me do this for you?"
"Why do you even care, Mulder?"
That comment, spoken in a soft, cool, voice, broke
through the veneer of calmness that Mulder had
been trying to maintain. "Are you saying that I
Scully sat back down in her chair before she
answered. "You ditched me, after you said you
"I had to follow a lead on Samantha!"
"You said that you'd tell me if you had to leave,
and you didn't."
"I didn't have the time to tell you. I had to leave
"You didn't have the time to tell me. You had the
time to check out of the motel, and you had the
time to tell the sheriff, but you didn't have the
time to tell me. Okay. Now I know the way things
really are." All delivered in that same soft, cool
tone that was starting to make Mulder panic a
little. He was about to say something when she
asked, "Did the lead pan out?"
He looked ashamed as he answered, "No. Same old
crap. I don't know why I allow this to keep
happening." He arranged his face into the puppy
dog look, and asked, "Forgive me?"
"Not this time, Mulder."
"What?" he exploded. "What do you mean, not this
Dana Scully stood up and looked him directly in
the eyes. "Take a good look at me, Mulder. What
do you see?"
"I see some bruising on your face, and your arm in
She gave a rather unladylike snort. "Right. Did you
read the medical report?"
"No. Skinner told me that you'd been shot, and you
look okay. I mean, how bad can it be if you're out
of hospital, right?"
Dana's face grew hard, and her tone got even
cooler. "Well, Agent Mulder, sit down on the bed,
and I'll explain exactly how bad 'this' is." She
waited for Mulder to sit, and once he was settled,
she began speaking again. "The facial bruising is
the result of having a shattered cheekbone that
had to be surgically repaired. The sling is solid and
heavy. Do you want to know why?"
Mulder was just getting over the surprise of
understanding that his partner had actually been
shot in the face, and nodded. "The sling is like this
because I had my left collarbone broken by a
bullet, and the rib below it broken by another
bullet. But that's not all. I also took two bullets in
the upper arm, and they weren't through and
through. No, those two bullets went into the bone,
and shattered it. My upper arm is being held
together by three titanium pins. But do you know
what the best part is?"
Mulder swallowed, and said, "I'm think I'm afraid to
"You should be. After seeking second, third, and
fourth opinions, the most function that I'm ever
going to have in my left arm is 50%. And, it's going
to be at least a year before I even get to that
point. Do you know what that means, Mulder?"
He had started looking sick himself by this time
and shook his head, as he didn't trust himself to
speak without starting to sob.
"What this all means, Mulder, is that I will no
longer be able to do autopsies. I will no longer be
able to hold a weapon correctly. It means I can no
longer be a field agent. It means that it will be
months before I can do even mundane tasks like
washing my hair or making dinner. It means that I
am no longer your work partner."
Mulder was almost rendered speechless. "I don't
know what to say, Scully, but sorry seems to be
the place to start."
She huffed out a short, humourless chuckle. "Sorry
doesn't even rate as a starting point for this,
Mulder." Dana paused for a moment before
continuing with, "This is also the end of our
"You have to ask why?" Mulder nodded, and
motioned for Dana to go on. Shortly, he wished
he'd left when she first asked him to. "I don't think
you really accept how much I love you. If you did,
maybe you'd treat me a little better than you do."
He started to react, but Dana ploughed ahead.
"No, you wanted to know, so I'm going to tell you.
You're always saying that I'm the only one you
trust, but your actions show me that you don't.
You ditched me, and as a direct result of that
action, I no longer have the career that I want. I
am almost out of the FBI, and somehow, I have to
find a job where not being fully fit is acceptable.
That's not going to be easy." She drew a breath,
and wiped away the tears that had been falling
silently. "How can I have a relationship with a man
who makes it obvious that he doesn't trust me?"
He couldn't contain himself any longer, and stood
to go over to her. She stopped him in his tracks by
raising her uninjured hand. "No, Mulder. I can't go
on like this. I can't trust you anymore. In a
personal relationship, both partners are there for
the other, and I can't trust you to do that. That's
what your actions have shown me over the years."
Mulder wiped his eyes, then said, "But, Scully, I
love you. I'm in love with you. Surely that must
count for something?"
Dana sat down in her chair again, and gave a deep
sigh. "Yes, it counts, but it doesn't change
anything. I can't ask you to change, and I won't tie
you down, not when I can't help you anymore. I'm
a liability to you and to the work."
He slowly dropped to his knees, scooted over the
floor, and stopped in front of her. He took her
good hand in his left hand, and raised her chin so
that he could see her eyes. When she finally
looked at him with storm-filled eyes, he said,
"Please, Dana. Let me prove to you that you can
She shook her head as she replied, "Not this time. I
have been too damaged by this series of events,
and I need to recover from this."
"Then let me recover with you," came the softly-
"No." Dana drew in a deep breath, and exhaled.
"This is something I need to do for myself." She
withdrew her hand from his, and said, "Please,
Mulder. Just let me be."
He stood, and wiped his face again. "I'll let you get
some rest, Dana, but believe me when I say that I
will prove myself to you." He got to the bedroom
door, and turned and said, "I do love you, Dana
Scully, and I will prove that to you." He walked
back over to where Dana was sitting, and kissed
her very softly. "I'll be back tomorrow. I love you."
Then he was gone.
Dana rested her head on her good hand and let the