Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000

Title: Display of Love
Author: Cathee Kancel,, or
Category: MSR (sort of), Mulder Angst
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Closure
Summary: Mulder feels he has no one left after the death of his mother
and the loss hope of finding Samantha. But Maggie and Scully plan a special
birthday surprise that they hope will make him feel loved.
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully and Maggie belong to Gillian, David, Sheila
Larkin, CC and 10/13. They're not mine, but I love borrowing them now and
then. :)
Authors Note: This is the second story in my 'Happy Birthday' series. It
can stand alone but would be better understood if you read the first story,
Precious Gem which can be found at
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 her
husband, Capt. Bill Scully, moved into after he retired from the Navy nearly
ten years ago. She was gazing into the glass cases which contained memories
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 Rogers
Museum in Victorville, Ca. Maggie had never been a Western fan and barely
knew anything of this cowboy singer who was a hero of her friend's. However,
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 Maggie to
create something similar in honor of her children: Bill Jr., Melissa, Dana,
and Charles. But on this wet, summer day, as she listened to the rain fall
onto the bedroom window, she realized that there was another special person
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 the couch.
With a smile on her face, she thought of the conversation that had just
transpired between her and her mother. You've been the source of many great
ideas lately, Mom. First the beautiful videotape you had made for my
birthday, and now the gift you have planned for Mulder. As Dana's thoughts
lingered on her partner, she remembered the traumas that had occurred this
past year. The news of his mother's suicide had hit him hard, and although
the discovery of his sister's fate brought some healing, the closure also
increased the void in his life. His hopes of restoring the intact family he
had so long ago were deflated. Scully sighed as she recalled their recent
trip to Martha's Vineyard:

She had just arrived at her partner's apartment to bring him an autopsy
report on a case they where closing. In actuality, the report could have
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 suicide and
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 he was
retrieving two beers from the refrigerator, she noticed the urn which
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 partner entered
the living room.
He saw the object she was pointing to and sat down on the couch. "Yeah, well,
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 yet."
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 so long?"
"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 couldn't fool
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 with her
smarts and education could be so dense. Her heart ached as she imagined
Mulder spreading the ashes along the vast yard of his childhood home. She
could feel the aloneness as she pictured him standing there by himself. Of
course he was putting it off. She kicked herself for not figuring this out
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, don't
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 warmth surged
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 in each
other's arms.

They decided to take the drive to the Vineyard the following Saturday. The
ride up was pleasant. Spring was on its way and the blooming flowers and
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 with."
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 many years
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 built, and
the area where his mother's vegetable and flower gardens bloomed. He recalled
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 her ashes,
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 her family
"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 on the
ground. "Okay, Scully. You go first."
The red-headed agent knelt on the grass, her hands folded in her lap. She
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 the
abduction of her daughter. I pray that the two are reunited once again, and
that she is free from pain and suffering and is at peace at last." After
another sign of the cross, Scully gently touched the urn and whispered a soft
"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 that his
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 person,
God, really, she is. She just didn't know how to handle what had happened to
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, please let
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 couldn't find
Sam in time and make us a family again. I wanted to make everything normal
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 hand gently
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 over to
the back deck and sat on the steps. Scully joined him soon afterwards. The
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 say anything.
The fact that she was there for him and that she cared was what he needed at
the moment.
"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 wouldn't. "Oh
Mulder, why do you say that? I know you feel bad about not calling your mom
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 your
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," replied Mulder
Scully moved her partners head so that he was facing her. "Mulder, look at
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 against
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
you love."
Fox turned away from his partner and looked down at the ground as her words
sank in.
"Most people would have given up years ago, Mulder. And another thing I've
noticed, and that I admire and respect so much about you, is how forgiving
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 do anything
for them. I don't think I could ever be that forgiving. Like I said, your
parents couldn't have had a better son, your sister couldn't have had a
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 and
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 to always
stand by him no matter what may happen.
Mulder broke the silence when he heard his friend's stomach growl. "Hey,
Scully, why don't we go get something to eat. Then I'll show you around town
and later tonight, if you don't mind, we can come back here and go through
some things in the basement. I don't know what I'm going to do with this
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 the basement
and attic, and has it all stored in boxes in the corner of his bedroom. Now
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, she talked
them into taking Mulder to a Sci-Fi marathon at one of the old theatre houses
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. It seems
so...criminal." Maggie said to her daughter as the younger Scully fished for
her keys.
Dana shook her head. "Mom, it's for a good cause. It's not like we're
breaking in, I have the keys. Plus, he's snuck into my place countless times.
I figure I owe him one."
As they entered the dark apartment, Dana led her mother straight to his
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 Mulder
memorabilia that would look good in the glass case Maggie had already
purchased. "Do you think Fox will suspect anyone was in his apartment?"
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. Two weeks
had passed since they left Mulder's apartment and they were searching through
the paraphenalia trying to put a story together of Mulder's life. Dana had
also been able to coax Skinner and a few other colleagues into finding some
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 kept
from his childhood. He thought it had all been tossed away years ago. And
Scully and Maggie were just as happy that so much of it was going into the
display case. Among the items chosen were: pictures of baby Fox and his
parents, pictures of Sam and Fox and two or three of them as a family, a
stuffed animal, doll, and some toy jewelry that had apparently belonged to
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 old matchbox
cars and army men, pictures of various sports teams he'd played on, diplomas
and certificates, class rings. two thesis papers - one on the paranormal and
one on psychological profiles, class rings, some FBI badges and certificates,
a picture of he and his first partner, Regie, an old cell phone, some
articles on cases he solved both on his own and with his two main partners,
and several pictures of he and Scully alone and at a few functions he
attended at Maggie's through the years. The newest item was one Scully found
at a gift store just a few days ago. It was a blue ribbon on a certificate
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 memory
case for Mulder. They decided to let him see it a little before his birthday.
Both women were excited to show him his gift, but they also knew the positive
impact it would have on the man who had gone through so much pain within the
past year.
He never suspected a thing. And Scully was able to sneak the boxes back
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 and
pulled back on top, Dana waited anxiously for her partner to arrive. She had
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 be perfect.
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
partner in
"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 like some
of the stuff is missing. It's weird." Mulder responded, a bit confused.
"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 pleases."
Scully put her hand to her forehead in a mock salute. "Yes, Ma'am!"
"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 waiting." Mrs.
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 the
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 a white
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 and your
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 daughter, and
you're a wonderful uncle to Bill and Charlie's children. As far as I'm
concerned, Fox, you're as much of a member of this family as anyone. And I
wanted to show you by making a little something for you. Dana..."
Right on cue, Scully undraped the giant case that contained the story of
Mulder's life. Before he could examine what was inside, she walked over to
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 how much
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 life.

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, but he
was now looking at himself through the eyes of the woman he loved and her
mother, and there was nothing pathetic about it. All of a sudden, he became
dizzy and felt as if he were going to pass out. He leaned onto the glass,
placing his head in his hands. The feeling of disorientation was enormous. It
was if he was outside of himself watching everything around him. The stress
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 accept him
like this. The idea was so foreign to him that he felt he was losing touch
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 water!"
Maggie returned with a glass of water as her daughter was instructing her
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 back.
"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 of his
composure. He nodded in response and took a deep breath. "Sorry, Scully, all
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 just doesn't seem like me, like my life."
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? You're the
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, because we're
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 case.
"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 steady
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 shelves as
he could feel the love that went into putting this project together. The last
thing he noticed was the certificate of friendship from his partner. He
turned around and drew her into a tight hug.
"Happy Birthday, Mulder." Scully stated as she returned the embrace.
After a few moments, Mulder pulled away and placed his hands on her
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 is
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, all
the while wondering what was happening upstairs. She was worried that her
'adopted' son was offended or upset over her birthday present. Maybe it
wasn't such a good idea after all.
Finally, she heard two pairs of footsteps coming into the kitchen. She
turned around to the brightest smile she had ever seen. "Fox, I hope
everything's okay. How are you feeling?"
Mulder walked over to his second mother and pulled her into a tight
embrace. "Couldn't be better Mrs....Maggie. I've never received such a
heartfelt gift in my life. I don't know how I can ever thank you enough."
"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 other's
gaze, communicating in a way words could never express.

For Mulder, this was more than a birthday, it was a rebirth.