Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000
Title: Display of Love
Author: Cathee Kancel CRK1963@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Category: MSR (sort of), Mulder Angst
Summary: Mulder feels he has no one left after the death of his
and the loss hope of finding Samantha. But Maggie and Scully plan
birthday surprise that they hope will make him feel loved.
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully and Maggie belong to Gillian, David,
Larkin, CC and 10/13. They're not mine, but I love borrowing them
Authors Note: This is the second story in my 'Happy Birthday'
can stand alone but would be better understood if you read the
Precious Gem which can be found at www.kindred-spirits.net.
Feedback: Please :)
Display of Love
By: Cathee Kancel
Maggie Scully's house. Thurs. August 9, 2000
Maggie Scully sat in the guest bedroom of the house that she and
husband, Capt. Bill Scully, moved into after he retired from the
ten years ago. She was gazing into the glass cases which contained
and relics of her four children. The idea took form a year and
a half ago
after her friend Brenda asked Maggie to accompany her to the Roy
Museum in Victorville, Ca. Maggie had never been a Western fan
knew anything of this cowboy singer who was a hero of her friend's.
she was impressed at the monuments that were dedicated to each
of he and his
wife's children. Each case was filled with memories that told
the life story
of a child who was loved and cherished. These displays inspired
create something similar in honor of her children: Bill Jr., Melissa,
and Charles. But on this wet, summer day, as she listened to the
onto the bedroom window, she realized that there was another special
in her life who deserved an honored space in her room of treasures.
Dana Scully's Apartment:
August 9, 2000
Scully hung up the phone and resumed her reclined position on
With a smile on her face, she thought of the conversation that
transpired between her and her mother. You've been the source
of many great
ideas lately, Mom. First the beautiful videotape you had made
birthday, and now the gift you have planned for Mulder. As Dana's
lingered on her partner, she remembered the traumas that had occurred
past year. The news of his mother's suicide had hit him hard,
the discovery of his sister's fate brought some healing, the closure
increased the void in his life. His hopes of restoring the intact
had so long ago were deflated. Scully sighed as she recalled their
trip to Martha's Vineyard:
She had just arrived at her partner's apartment to bring him an
report on a case they where closing. In actuality, the report
waited until the next day, but Scully was using it as an excuse
to check up
on him. His mental state was still vulnerable since his mother's
his finding out that his sister had been dead all these years.
He was putting
up a good front and saying he was 'okay.' But Scully knew better.
As she was waiting for Mulder to return from the kitchen where
retrieving two beers from the refrigerator, she noticed the urn
contained his mother's ashes sitting on a shelf. "Mulder,
have you decided
what you're going to do with this yet?" Scully asked as her
the living room.
He saw the object she was pointing to and sat down on the couch.
I know I want to take her back to the old house where we lived
when Sam and I
were kids. But...I don't know, just haven't gotten around to it
Scully heard the apprehension in his voice and went to join him
where he sat.
"I think she'd appreciate that, Mulder. Why have you waited
"I don't know, works been busy and I guess I just haven't
found the time..."
Mulder noticed the dubious look his partner was giving him. He
her for a second. He decided he'd be upfront an honest with her.
She was his
best friend after all. The only one he trusted, the only one he
had. "Well, I
guess I've been putting it off because it all seems so final.
I guess I
figure if I put it off, it never really happened." His voice
was barely a
whisper as he stared blankly into his beer bottle.
Scully's eyes stung with tears. Sometimes she wondered how someone
smarts and education could be so dense. Her heart ached as she
Mulder spreading the ashes along the vast yard of his childhood
could feel the aloneness as she pictured him standing there by
course he was putting it off. She kicked herself for not figuring
sooner. "Mulder, whenever you decide the time is right, I'll
be happy to go
with you, if you want the company."
Mulder looked up at his partner, trying to keep the wetness in
his eyes from
spilling over. "Really? Would you Scully? I'd like that,
have to. I mean..."
Scully placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Mulder,
we're partners, and
that goes beyond our job, especially as of late. I want to be
there if you
need me. So...just let me know, okay?"
Mulder smiled at the woman sitting next to him as a feeling of
through his being. "Thanks Scully." After they held
each other's gaze for a
few moments, he put his arms around her and they spent the night
They decided to take the drive to the Vineyard the following Saturday.
ride up was pleasant. Spring was on its way and the blooming flowers
green grass made the scenery beautiful.
Hours later, they pulled up in front of the old house. Mulder
turned off the
engine and stared at the familiar settings.
"You okay?" Scully asked as she noticed her partner
was making no attempt to
get out of the car.
"Yeah," came the soft reply, "let's get this over
As they made their way to the back of the house, Mulder tried
to paint a
picture for Scully about what their surroundings looked like so
ago. He pointed out the big oak tree where the tire swing once
blew in the
air, the spot where the fort stood which he and some friends had
the area where his mother's vegetable and flower gardens bloomed.
how much pride she took in these gardens and how Sam would help
her plant the
various seeds into the ground. This was where he chose to spread
in the place where she felt safe and at peace. Mulder realized
that it was
very probable that the energy and work his mother put into this
yard was her
way of escaping the dreadful secrets and lies that were tearing
"This is the place Scully, right here where the gardens she
created and loved
so much once lay. This is where she'd want to be."
"Hey Mulder, before we do anything, why don't we say a few
words. She had no
memorial service, and it just seems like that'd be the proper
thing to do."
Mulder looked down at the object in his hand, then set it softly
ground. "Okay, Scully. You go first."
The red-headed agent knelt on the grass, her hands folded in her
made the sign of the cross before she began. "Dear Lord,
I pray that You will
have mercy on the soul of Teena Mulder. I didn't know her much
in life, but
am aware ofthe pain and inner struggle she held within her since
abduction of her daughter. I pray that the two are reunited once
that she is free from pain and suffering and is at peace at last."
another sign of the cross, Scully gently touched the urn and whispered
"rest in peace, Teena."
"I don't think I can top that one, Scully." stated Mulder
as his partner
stood up again.
"Just say what's on your heart, Mulder," came the reply.
Mulder knelt as Scully had and started talking in a soft voice
partner could barely hear. "God? I know I haven't talked
to you in ages. And
I'm sorry. I just wanted to reiterate what Scully said, that you
will help my
mother to be at peace and free from all the pain. She's a wonderful
God, really, she is. She just didn't know how to handle what had
her. She felt trapped and wanted to forget about it. And I was
such a pest
to try and make her remember. So, if you want to punish someone,
it be me, and let her be free, please." he then placed both
hands around the
urn, "Mom, I wish you would have talked to me. I'm sorry
I didn't call you
back, I truly am. I love you, mom. And I miss you. I'm sorry I
Sam in time and make us a family again. I wanted to make everything
like they were before...I wish you were still here..." After
that, the sobs
took over. He sat with his legs crossed on the grass, his head
in his hands
and wept as he had weeks before on his partner's shoulder.
Scully sat down next to him and put his head to her chest as her
rubbed his back. "It's okay, Mulder. Let it out. I'm right
here. Shhh, it's
going to be okay."
Moments passed until the tears subsided. Mulder broke his hold
on his friend
and stood up. He looked briefly at the abandoned garden before
picking up the
urn and lightly spread the remains along the ground. He then walked
the back deck and sat on the steps. Scully joined him soon afterwards.
two sat in silence for what seemed like hours. Mulder was lost
in though, and
Scully was at a loss for words. But she knew she didn't need to
The fact that she was there for him and that she cared was what
he needed at
"I let her down, Scully. I let her and Sam down." Mulder
said at last.
She knew the guilt trip would happen, as much as she hoped it
Mulder, why do you say that? I know you feel bad about not calling
back, but she never let on that it was urgent."
"Not just that Scully," he answered while looking far
away in the distance,
"I never found Sam in time, couldn't give my mom what she
needed to be happy
again, and I was always a disappointment to my father."
"Oh Mulder, listen to me," Scully replied as he put
an arm around the his
shoulder, "You put so many expectations on yourself. More
than is humanly
possible. You want to take on the weight of the world like it's
responsibility to save it. But you're just one person, and as
one person you
do hone-hundred times more than most people." Scully sighed
as she tried to
get her thoughts together. "I'm sure your mother knew she
couldn't have had
a better son, nor could your sister have had a better brother."
"Yeah, right, I just made their lives a living joy,"
Scully moved her partners head so that he was facing her. "Mulder,
me. Who else would have gone to the lengths you have gone to to
look for your
sister? you never gave up the search no matter how many odds were
you. Not to mention all the times you've traveled the world to
save me. You
have so much passion and determination in you, Mulder, and you
care so deeply
that you put your life on the line for helpless victims as well
as for those
Fox turned away from his partner and looked down at the ground
as her words
"Most people would have given up years ago, Mulder. And another
noticed, and that I admire and respect so much about you, is how
you are towards your parents. They caused you an enormous amount
of hurt and
pain after Sam disappeared, yet you still loved them and would
for them. I don't think I could ever be that forgiving. Like I
parents couldn't have had a better son, your sister couldn't have
better brother, and I couldn't ask for a better friend."
This being said,
Scully moved closer to her partner and kissed him on the side
of the head
before leaning against his arm.
After a few moments, Mulder put his arm around Scullys small form
returned the kiss. "What would I do without you, Scully?
You're all I have
now, and there's nothing in the world I wouldn't do for you."
"I know, Mulder. I always know you'll be there." Scully's
heart sank as she
thought of his last statement. Was she really all he had? Was
she the only
one in the world who loved him? She found this absurd, but vowed
stand by him no matter what may happen.
Mulder broke the silence when he heard his friend's stomach growl.
Scully, why don't we go get something to eat. Then I'll show you
and later tonight, if you don't mind, we can come back here and
some things in the basement. I don't know what I'm going to do
place, but I'd like to clean it out a bit."
"Sure, Mulder. That sounds like a good plan."
Scully reflected for a few moments on the recent memory and sat
up on her
couch. She knew exactly where to find relics from Mulder's life
to go into
the case her mother was putting together for him. When they were
at the house
in Martha's Vineyard, he pretty much cleaned out everything from
and attic, and has it all stored in boxes in the corner of his
if she could only find a time to sneak over there and confiscate
a few items.
Fox Mulder's apartment:
August 12, 2000
Although Scully never cared much for the Lone Gunmen, they definitely
came to her rescue when she needed them. That following Saturday,
them into taking Mulder to a Sci-Fi marathon at one of the old
about two-hours away. This would give her and her mother plenty
of time to
start on his birthday project.
"Oh Dana, I hate the idea of sneaking into his apartment.
so...criminal." Maggie said to her daughter as the younger
Scully fished for
Dana shook her head. "Mom, it's for a good cause. It's not
breaking in, I have the keys. Plus, he's snuck into my place countless
I figure I owe him one."
As they entered the dark apartment, Dana led her mother straight
bedroom. "Okay, these boxes here are the ones we brought
back from the
Vineyard a few months ago. We didn't mark them, so we'll have
to go through
each one separately. Here, let's start with this one." Dana
pulled down the
top box on a stack of three and set it on the floor.
After three hours, they were able to get two big boxes full of
memorabilia that would look good in the glass case Maggie had
purchased. "Do you think Fox will suspect anyone was in his
Maggie asked as they loaded the boxes into the car.
"Probably. I'll just say I was there to check on a file he
has on his
computer." Dana replied as she slid into the drivers seat.
Maggie Scully's house:
August 26, 2000
Scully sat on the floor in the spare bedroom with her mother.
had passed since they left Mulder's apartment and they were searching
the paraphenalia trying to put a story together of Mulder's life.
also been able to coax Skinner and a few other colleagues into
mementos of his FBI career to go with the articles in the boxes.
Mulder was surprised and happy at the amount of things his mother
from his childhood. He thought it had all been tossed away years
Scully and Maggie were just as happy that so much of it was going
display case. Among the items chosen were: pictures of baby Fox
parents, pictures of Sam and Fox and two or three of them as a
stuffed animal, doll, and some toy jewelry that had apparently
his sister, an old baseball, bat, and cap, some drawings Sam had
made for her
brother, a basketball signed by some professional players, a few
cars and army men, pictures of various sports teams he'd played
and certificates, class rings. two thesis papers - one on the
one on psychological profiles, class rings, some FBI badges and
a picture of he and his first partner, Regie, an old cell phone,
articles on cases he solved both on his own and with his two main
and several pictures of he and Scully alone and at a few functions
attended at Maggie's through the years. The newest item was one
at a gift store just a few days ago. It was a blue ribbon on a
which read "#1 Partner and Friend....Forever, Dana Scully."
It wasn't often
they were sentimental towards one other, but there were times
when it became
necessary, and this certainly was one of those times.
October 1, 2000:
Dana Scully's Apartment:
It only took Maggie and her daughter a few weeks to set up the
case for Mulder. They decided to let him see it a little before
Both women were excited to show him his gift, but they also knew
impact it would have on the man who had gone through so much pain
He never suspected a thing. And Scully was able to sneak the boxes
into his apartment, each one containing a few things that did
not go into the
Clad in a casual blue sweater and jeans with her red hair curled
pulled back on top, Dana waited anxiously for her partner to arrive.
told him that Maggie wanted to fix him a birthday dinner, and
since she knew
both agents weren't out of town on a case, this weekend would
Just as Scully was about to pick up the phone to call him, there
was a knock
at her door.
"Finally Mulder, we're going to be late." she exclaimed
as she let her
"Sorry Scully, I was looking for something last night that
I could have
sworn I brought back from the house at Martha's Vineyard. It seems
of the stuff is missing. It's weird." Mulder responded, a
"Maybe it's an X-File," the red-haired agent replied
with a smile, "come
on, let's go."
Maggie Scuuly's house:
October 1, 2000
"Fox! Dana! I'm so glad you made it!" exclaimed the
eldest Scully as she
embraced both her guests.
"Sorry we're late, Mom, it's Mulder's fault," Scully
said with a grin.
Maggie put an arm around the man's shoulders. "Now Dana,
you leave Fox
alone. This is his night so he can take his time and do as he
Scully put her hand to her forehead in a mock salute. "Yes,
"Yeah, Scully, listen to your mother." Mulder retorted
joining in the
"Okay you two, dinner won't be ready for about another half-hour
or so, I
was thinking maybe we could give Fox his surprise while we're
Scully suggested, trying to hide her excitement that was about
to burst right
out of her.
As the three headed upstairs, Mulder wanted to make a crack about
surprise being letting Scully have her way with him. Why else
would they be
going upstairs? But he thought twice about it, he couldn't say
that in front
of her mother. As they walked into the guest bedroom, Mulder noticed
sheet covering something that stood about six-feet tall.
"Fox," Maggie began the speech she had prepared for
this occasion, "I
know how painful it's been for you this year losing your mother
sister. And I know I've told you before how you're like a son
to me. I
couldn't ask for a better person to protect and take care of my
you're a wonderful uncle to Bill and Charlie's children. As far
concerned, Fox, you're as much of a member of this family as anyone.
wanted to show you by making a little something for you. Dana..."
Right on cue, Scully undraped the giant case that contained the
Mulder's life. Before he could examine what was inside, she walked
him and took his hands. "I guess you can see where the missing
things in your
apartment went to. Guilty as charged. Seriously, though, Mulder.
You told me
when we were at Martha's Vineyard that I was all you had left.
Well, you were
wrong, you have mom and the rest of the clan. Like mom, says,
the kids love
you, and Charlie thinks you're great. Bill, well, he's just going
to have to
deal. But Mulder, you are a part of this family. Regardless of
further our relationship goes, you will always be my best friend,
and I will
always love you." With that she planted a kiss on his cheek
and squeezed him
tightly, before motioning for him to look at the remnants of his
Mulder looked dumbfounded at the various knick knacks from the
past 40 years
that told his story. He always referred to it as a pathetic existence,
was now looking at himself through the eyes of the woman he loved
mother, and there was nothing pathetic about it. All of a sudden,
dizzy and felt as if he were going to pass out. He leaned onto
placing his head in his hands. The feeling of disorientation was
was if he was outside of himself watching everything around him.
of trying to view himself as these two women did was too much
for him to
handle. It was beyond his imagination how anyone could love and
like this. The idea was so foreign to him that he felt he was
with reality, his reality.
"Mulder! Are you okay?" Scully asked as she rushed to
him and led him to
the bed at the other side of the room. "Mom, go get some
Maggie returned with a glass of water as her daughter was instructing
friend to take deep, slow breaths. "What's the matter, Dana?
Is he okay?"
"Something shook him up. He'll be okay, though." Scully
answered as she
handed Mulder the glass. "Mom, would you mind excusing us
for a moment?"
"Sure dear, I'll go check on dinner." Maggie placed
a kiss on Mulder's
forehead before exiting the room.
Dana sat down beside her friend, placing a gentle hand on his
"Mulder? Keep breathing slowly and try to relax, okay? Can
you talk to me?"
Sitting with his face in his hands, he was able to gain back some
composure. He nodded in response and took a deep breath. "Sorry,
this just became a bit overwhelming. I can't believe you did this."
"Mom had the idea after I brought you up here on my birthday.
She saw how
touched you were by what she made for all of us that she wanted
to do the
same for you."
"It's beautiful. But I...it just doesn't seem like me, like
the older agent responded with a shaky breath.
Dana offered more water to him before she continued. "Mulder,
why is it
so hard for you to believe that people love and care about you?
most caring, passionate, determined and dedicated person I know.
I don't know
why you're so hard on yourself."
"I wish I saw myself through your eyes Scully." came
the whispered reply.
"Well, Mulder, you better start seeing yourself that way,
not going to change our opinion of you. So, get used to it."
Scully said as
she pulled her partner from the bed and led him back to the display
"Look again, Mulder. This is you, it's not so bad is it?"
He gazed again at the relics of his life, this time feeling more
and calm. "The way you and your mother summed up my life
up here, it puts it
in a whole new perspective." His eyes slowly viewed the different
he could feel the love that went into putting this project together.
thing he noticed was the certificate of friendship from his partner.
turned around and drew her into a tight hug.
"Happy Birthday, Mulder." Scully stated as she returned
After a few moments, Mulder pulled away and placed his hands on
cheeks. "i love you, Scully," he proclaimed before their
lips met in a tender
and passionate kiss.
"Hmm, I guess that's a good indication of where our relationship
heading." Scully said in a soft voice.
Mulder just smiled and took her hand as they headed downstairs.
Maggie stood by the stove putting the finishing touches on dinner,
the while wondering what was happening upstairs. She was worried
'adopted' son was offended or upset over her birthday present.
wasn't such a good idea after all.
Finally, she heard two pairs of footsteps coming into the kitchen.
turned around to the brightest smile she had ever seen. "Fox,
everything's okay. How are you feeling?"
Mulder walked over to his second mother and pulled her into a
embrace. "Couldn't be better Mrs....Maggie. I've never received
heartfelt gift in my life. I don't know how I can ever thank you
"You don't need to thank me, Fox. I just want you to feel
that you belong
and that you're a special part of our lives," the older woman
said with a
sincerity that brought tears to his eyes.
"That's right Mulder," Dana agreed before trying to
change the intensity of
the moment. "How about some dinner now, I'm starved.
"Coming right up," stated Maggie as she headed back
to the stove.
The two partners looked at one another and their eyes held the
gaze, communicating in a way words could never express.
For Mulder, this was more than a birthday, it was a rebirth.