Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2000

TITLE: Sword of Time
RATING: PG-13 for heaviness
CATEGORY: Crossover (XF/Star Trek: The Next Generation), Scully Angst,
character death (in flashback), MSR/UST.
SUMMARY: After living under various disguises, Scully finally reveals her
true self to someone. She's a changed woman, though, and explains why.
DISCLAIMER: Who owns The X-Files and all it's characters? "Not I," said
little Kate. "Then who does?" asked the big, bad lawyers. "Chris Carter,
1013 and FOX," said little Kate. "And who owns the Star Trek people?" "Not
I. 'Tis Paramount." (Sorry, spent *way* too much time babysitting this
week! You read kiddie books, they stick with you! Just be glad I didn't try
to "Green Eggs and Ham" this disclaimer!)
ARCHIVE: Sure. Send me the link. CoX, Gossamer, Empheral, and ATXC are all
okay. If the ST archive wants this too, they can have it.
FEEDBACK: C'mon, folks. Don't make me beg.
SPOILERS: Scattered ones for seasons 1-7. Except "Requiem"and "En Ami"
nothing season 7 you haven't seen overseas yet. Not a post-Requiem fic, but
there are "Requiem" spoilers. A lot of "Tithonus" spoilers.
TIMELINE NOTE: Taking place in the Next Gen universe, it follows that
timeline. All events that occurred in TNG history happened here. 'Course, I
made up an event or two of my own... <G>.
NOTES: (Alternatively titled "Kate Tries to Explain 50 Million Story Quirks
and Thank Everybody and Their Mother".) Response to Church of X July
Challenge #1. I want to warn everyone upfront that Scully will be a little
out of character at points in this fic...but I think you'll understand my
reasoning as you read it. The POV changes at times (well, most of the story) to a first-person Scully POV. It'll occasionally turn rambling--it's written as if she's actually talking, telling the story--I just wanted to save myself the quotation marks. :) They tend to get lost after several
paragraphs...<grin> Most of the character death is breezed over, but I think you'll understand once you read. Thanks to CoX for giving the challenge that gave me this idea, and to my buddy Dawn Rochelle for pointing out the uncanny similarities between Dana Scully and Beverly Crusher that got me
thinking...just count yourselves lucky. A Highlander crossover also came to
mind. (There can be only one...) You don't really have to know anything
about Next Generation to get this one, just that Beverly Crusher is the chief medical officer of the Enterprise, and that her husband Jack died years ago.
That's not a big part of the story at all, just information so you won't be
confused. She also has a kid, but that's also mindless trivia in terms of
the fic.

A *very* special thanks to everyone who helped me with this fic and all your wonderful ideas! Couldn't have done it without ya! Well...I could have, but
it wouldn't have been near as good. BSirious tossed me the
Skinner-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-conspiracy idea (you'll see)...hope you like what I've done with it, B! And you would not *believe* how many people
wanted me to have auto-erotic asphyxiation in this thing somewhere! Is it?
Well, read it and see...I'm not saying yes and I'm not saying no...(yes, I
know I'm evil).

The sword of time will pierce our skins.
It doesn't hurt when it begins,
But as it works its way on in--
The pain grows it grin...

"Suicide Is Painless"--Johnny Mandel

U.S.S Enterprise 1701-E
Approximate Old Earth date: May 24, 2373

Dr. Beverly Crusher paused in the hall, and waited for the door to slide
open. She entered the quarters of the newest member of her medical staff.
"Doctor? Could we talk?"

The smaller woman looked up at her from her perch on the bed. "Sure. What
do you want to talk about?"

"I like to get to meet my medical staff, Dr. Mulder," Beverly replied.
"Helps me relate to them better."

"Sure," the woman replied. "But if you don't mind, I haven't been one much
for formality as of late. Ever since I got hooked up with Starfleet, it's
been nothing but 'Dr. Mulder'."

Beverly chuckled. "All right, we'll drop it then. I know what you mean,
though. Samantha, right? You can call me Beverly if you want."

Dr. Samantha Mulder grinned to herself, as if she were pondering a private
joke. "Call me Dana."

"Sure," Beverly agreed, admittedly a bit confused. "Why Dana?"

"I've had a lot of names through the years, but I've always been partial to
Dana. I don't suppose that's really too's the name I was born

"Why'd you change it to Samantha then?" Beverly asked. She'd felt a
connection to this woman the second they'd though they shared so
much more in common than their fiery red hair and crystal-clear blue eyes.
She felt a kindredship to her--not knowing why. Beverly loved learning more
about her.

Dana shrugged. "I don't know. It was one of the few I'd never had
the...well, the emotional strength, if you will, to try. Thought it'd be a
nice change of pace."

"Emotional strength?"

"The name 'Samantha Mulder' has a lot of intense personal memories
attached to it for me," Dana admitted, moving to the couch. "I doubt I'll
ever be able to go by Dana Mulder...Samantha was about as close as I could
get without breaking down every time I heard my name."

Beverly pondered this, and slowly smiled. "I get the impression there was
someone special in your life named Mulder."

"'Special' is the understatement of the year." Dana's expression grew
wistful. "Mulder and I were soulmates. It took me much too long to realize
it. I should have been Dana Mulder in *his* lifetime. Lord knows he gave me
enough opportunities. I was just too much of a fool to realize it. Giving
myself his name would be too hard. So I used his sister's. He
loved her very much, you know..."

Beverly hadn't really heard the last two sentences, or if she had, she hadn't
paid attention. Her own memories, thought long buried, were rising to the
surface. "I know how you feel, Dana. I know that sounds incredible, but
believe me, I do. After my husband died, it was so hard to hear people call
me Beverly Crusher. I'd lost him...but after awhile, I realized I needed
that one part of him more than anything. Well, more than anything except for
our son. But in time, I gave up the ideas of going back to my maiden name.
Because the best way to keep his memory alive was to carry his name. Do you
get what I'm saying?"

Dana nodded. "Yeah, I get it. And you make a very good point. But in the
long run, what I call myself is irrelevant. The only one I'm keeping his
memory alive for is myself. Everyone who ever knew him is dead now--myself
being the notable exception. I'll keep the name another thirty years,
perhaps forty...maybe even shorter if I tire of it before then...but then
I'll fake my death, and change it, and fake some more birth records, and
start over. Like I've been doing for longer than I care to remember. I've
had many names. Christine Carter...Charlene Boyce...Kimberly Raven...they've
all been me. There are a lot more, too...I was Margaret Skinner for a little
while. It wouldn't mean anything to you, but *I* found it quite amusing."

"I'll take your word for it," Beverly said, smiling. "So why the act? Why
keep changing your identity?"

"Because I don't want anyone to get suspicious," Dana explained. "I don't
even know why I'm telling you. I trust few people anymore--well, I haven't
really trusted anyone for the longest time. But I feel I can trust you,
Beverly. Don't ask me why, but I don't deny my feelings often. Not anymore.
So I'll tell you the truth about whole story. But I do ask that it
not leave this room."

"Of course," Beverly promised. "You've got my word."

"Good." Dana sighed, in a contemplative way. "I'm hardly the same person I
used to be. But after so long, I've stopped worrying about that. Times
change. People change. That's just the way life is. And, boy, should I
know. Immortality isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's not a gift; it's a
curse. At least in my experience. I should have listened to Fellig."


Dana waved a hand dismissively. "Oh, long story. I suppose you're wondering
about the immortality thing."

"I must admit I'm curious." Beverly settled back in her chair, and pulled
her hair away from her face. "But I assume you're getting ready to tell me

"I'm functionally immortal, and I hate it. Despise it. Sure, it's been
wonderful seeing humanity progress, but it's too stiff a price for me." Dana
paused, and continued with her story. "I was born as Dana Katherine Scully,
in '64. *19*64. To make a long story short, as I best understand it, I
didn't die when my time came. Another took my place...a man who had warned
me about the downside of immortality. I didn't listen to him. I didn't see
how there could be such a thing as 'too much life'. I was wrong. You *can*
have too much life."

Beverly--normally very open to different ideas--surprised herself with the
tiniest hint of skepticism. "You were born in 1964?"

"I know this sounds more than a little crazy," the other woman sighed, "but I
swear it's the truth. I was an agent with the FBI--Federal Bureau of
Investigation. That's how I met Mulder. He was my partner. We didn't trust
each other at first...neither of us believed a word the other said...but that
changed quickly. We became best friends. He once told me I was the only one
he trusted. We'd have laid down our lives for each other, no questions
asked. We almost did a few times. It was dangerous work, but we loved it.
It was an obsession for was his life. And, as a result, it became
mine. Then things happened...our division was closed down. We were assigned
to boring assignments like background checks. It was because we'd gotten too
close to the truth. The powers-that-were didn't like that. So they took it
away from us. On one of those assignments I was assigned a new partner. His
name was Peyton Ritter. Frankly, I didn't like him. But our suspect claimed
to be immortal because he'd missed his chance at death. Some nurse had taken
his place when it had been his time to die. So he went looking for death,
for dying people, so he could face death and die. He hated his immortality.
He'd only had 160 or so years of it, but that was more than enough for him.
I thought he was crazy." She paused, looking down. "Now I know just how
right he was."

"So you have a death wish?" Beverly asked, a little worried for her new
friend's state of mind.

"No, not in the traditional sense. I've started to enjoy this life for now.
I feel useful at least. I wish I could die, but I don't want to die right

"I see," Beverly replied, vowing to completely understand that last sentence
eventually. "So what happened to make *you* immortal?"

Scully shrugged. "Ritter shot me. It was an accident, really...more or
less. He didn't know I was in the room, he shot at our suspect, and the
bullet went through Fellig and into me."

"Fellig was your suspect?" Beverly guessed. She was answered by a nod.

"Mmm-hmm. Anyhow, I would have bled to death before the ambulance got there.
I was a doctor back then too, I knew these things. Besides, I could see
death out of the corner of my eye. Or what I thought was death. I was
there, dying. Then Fellig said something like, 'Close your eyes.' I knew
what he had in mind. I actually lost consciousness at that point. Then I
woke up in the hospital and was told I would live. But Fellig was dead. I
knew what had happened."

"He took your place," Beverly said, comprehending. "He faced death for
you...and you were left with the immortality."

"Precisely." Scully blew a lock of auburn hair away from her eyes. "I threw
out the possibility at first, for years and years. I knew that people did
not live forever, and that was that. Fellig had been extremely lucky
throughout life, the way I saw it. I thought the ambulance had gotten there
sooner and saved me. But I never thought I'd live forever. I guess I first
noticed that something was kind of strange when I didn't seem to be getting
any older after a point. I got to about 45, and I quit aging. Which was
great, just strange. And then when I had lived well past my normal
lifespan...well, I knew. So I faked my death, and started a new life
elsewhere with a new name. It wasn't hard. It's easy for a doctor to fake a
birth certificate, you should know that. I've kept up the same routine
since. I go back to med school every 20 years or so to keep up...unless I
just feel like taking a break from medicine for a while. My different
personas have a tendency to die fairly young...55, 60. It saves me from
having to explain why I literally have not aged a day. But if I really like
it, a little makeup and haircolor can last me another few years. But it's
the same cycle, over and over. I'm really sick of it. I'm over 400 years

"I know someone who has you beat," Beverly replied good-naturedly, trying to
cheer her up.

"Yeah, Guinan." Scully chuckled. "I met her back in 2026, in San Francisco.
I think she's the only other person who knows my secret." She leaned closer
to Beverly, looking at her seriously. "You know how they say the grass is
always greener on the other side of the fence? It's true. People think
living forever would be wonderful. It's a living hell sometimes. A lot of
the time, actually. Everyone I ever knew when I started out life, when I had
my life as I loved it...they're all dead. Mulder, my family, Walter Skinner,
the Lone daughters. They all died *centuries* ago! After my
daughter Vera died is when the 'novelty' really wore off. It wasn't just the
pain of losing a was the pain of knowing that I was all alone too.
Vera was all I had left. She was the only one...and then she died. And I
didn't. I never would. I was sick of it. I was sick of it before then,
too...but losing Vera was when I reached the end of my rope, so to speak."

"So do you want to tell me about it?" Beverly asked, then realized she
sounded just like a psychologist. Ah, well, blame it on one too many
late-night chats with Deanna.

"Sure, why not? You wanted the whole story, you'll get it. But this is
gonna take awhile."

"No rush. We both just got off duty, remember?"

"Of course," Scully said. She paused a moment, and took a deep breath before
continuing. "Feel free to cut me off at anytime, now."

And she began to tell her tale.


Okay, it's like I told you. I was born on February 23, 1964, the third of
four children. Billy was 7 when I was born, Missy was 2...and Charlie was
born a year and a half later. My parents' names were William and Margaret.
I was a tomboy when I was sister Melissa tried to feminize me
once I was about 13, maybe 14. I was basically a happy, normal kid--or at
least as normal as a Navy brat's life gets.

I'd always wanted to be a doctor, ever since I was six years old. Medicine
was my first love. So I went to med school, I graduated...and on my
graduation day I was contacted by a scout from the FBI. I took him up on his
offer, and set aside my medical career to be a special agent for the FBI. I
thought it would be the best use of my talents, the best way to make a
difference. I became a forensic pathologist, and did some teaching at
Quantico. I was pretty happy with my life, even though my parents still saw
the FBI as an act of total rebellion. But I think they were more worried
about my getting hurt than anything. Looking back on it now, they were
probably right in that aspect. But in a way, they shouldn't have worried. I
mean, just look at me now.

Then things changed. I was assigned to debunk what was known as the X-Files
Project. It was just a project then, not a division. Mulder and I turned it
into a division, with a little help from our boss, Walter Skinner. When
Mulder and I were assigned to work together, we didn't exactly hit it off at
first, but after an unusual trip to the "very plausible" state of Oregon,
things started to change. Our very first case pulled us closer. We were the
best of friends before anyone knew it. And I'd learned that there was a
massive conspiracy there as well. "They" shut us down, and I was kidnapped
by a man named Duane Barry shortly thereafter. I was turned over to others,
and all I know for certain is that hideous tests were done to me. I'd rather
not dwell on it. I was returned three months later, Mulder managed to get
the X-Files back, and things went somewhat smoothly until the office was all
but destroyed in a fire. It was a fire set to get rid of the X-Files for
good; I'm still convinced of that to this day. A lot of other things
happened, and it was during the time that Mulder and I were off the Files
that I had my little adventure with Ritter and Fellig in New York City.

Oh, what about after that? Well, we had some definite adventures--including
a haunted house that I'll have to tell you all about. Another time. It's a
long story too, and I like to deal with one long story at a time. I'm kind
of glazing over seven years worth of the X-Files, forgive me. Most of it
isn't relevant. Except the one time a man named Clyde Bruckman was
forecasting how I would die. He said I didn't. I thought he was flirting
with me at the time; he had been earlier. Sometimes I wonder if he really
was psychic after all.

Things really got interesting when Mulder was abducted. I found out I was
pregnant shortly after that. We'd never slept together, it seemed
impossible. And I certainly hadn't been seeing anyone. But I *had* been
drugged by an...enemy...of ours a couple of months earlier, and as it turns
out, he arranged for me to get pregnant during those hours. With Mulder's
baby, no less. That was Vera. Her name meant "truth" and "faith"...the
cornerstones of everything Mulder and I had searched for all those years.
She was born a month before Mulder was returned. You should have seen the
look on his face when I walked into that hospital room carrying her.


"I'd imagine it was priceless," Beverly said, laughing.

Scully's expression livened a bit. "Priceless doesn't even begin to describe
it. Especially since I wasn't able to *have* children."


"It takes a lot of explanation...but during that time that I was missing,
they did something to me that left me infertile. They also harvested my create children that they could run hideous experiments on."

Beverly gasped, thinking of her own child for a moment. "That's awful!"

"I found one of them, you know," Scully sighed, her eyes cast downward as she
remembered the all-too-short life of her little girl. "She was three years
old--her name was Emily. She looked just like my sister."

"What happened to her?" Beverly asked, fearing the answer.

"She had a rare form of anemia--they'd given it to her to test cures for it.
She got sick...and eventually, she slipped into a coma, and died." The last
words were extremely difficult for Scully, even after all these years. The
pain of Emily's death sometimes was as fresh and real as if it had happened
yesterday--as was the pain of all the deaths she'd had to endure in her life.
Losing her children had been, without a shadow of a doubt, the hardest...but
that didn't mean the others had been easy. Especially not Mulder. She
didn't like to think about that, though, so she shifted her train of thought.

"I'm sorry," Beverly whispered. Her heart went out to the other woman--both
as a mother and a doctor. She couldn't believe that there had been such evil
in the 20th century world that there were men who would do things like that,
least of all to a child. What truly scared her sometimes was the knowledge
that the same evil still existed in the 24th century, lurking in the dark
corners of the human (and not human, for that matter) psyche. Oh, great, now
she was sounding like a psychologist again.

Scully managed a little half-smile, and nodded. "I was luckier with Vera,
though. It was something I worried about for a long time, but she was
perfectly healthy little girl. Normal in every way except her
conception...and perhaps her parentage. And when Mulder found out everything
about her, he was thrilled. He would have been a wonderful father to her."

"Would have been?" Beverly asked gently.

"We couldn't raise her on our own," Scully explained. "We had the means, the
ability, and certainly the love...but not the safety. It was simply too
dangerous--for Vera, not us. There were men who'd have made her a test
subject like who'd have killed her without a second thought...and
men who wanted her just for who she was. We had to let my brother Charlie
raise her. Well, Charlie and his wife. They had 3 kids already and were
happy to take her--and they lived in England. It was farther away from
'ground zero', so to speak. Plus, Charlie didn't despise Mulder the way Bill
did. So all in all, it was a good deal."

"Did you see her?"

"When we could. But she grew up thinking I was her aunt and Mulder was
nothing more to her than a friend of mine that she happened to like. We
couldn't bring ourselves to tell her the truth then. We didn't want her to
feel like we'd abandoned her. So we didn't tell her that we were her
parents. And we made my family swear not to tell her either."

"So what happened then?"

A tiny smile flitted across Scully's lips, and she sighed. "Well..."


Things were really good for awhile, with the exception of Vera's absence.
Most people in the Bureau knew that Vera was my daughter and Mulder's, they
just assumed that she had been conceived in the natural way. We let them
think what they wanted. After all, it gave them something to talk about. We
didn't move in with each other, though...I think that really threw them for a
loop. But we didn't care what they said. Mulder even asked me to marry him
once, seriously. Like a fool, I turned him down as gently as I could. I
didn't want to hurt him, but I wasn't ready to marry him. Looking back on it
now, I realize I was scared. You know that feeling? You want something so
badly, yet you're terrified of it. It was ridiculous. Actually, a song
comes to mind. I hate the wouldn't know about Britney Spears,
Beverly, just consider yourself lucky. But "sometimes I'm scared of
you...when all I really want is to hold you tight". That was me with Mulder.
Britney Spears actually served a purpose after all. It's a miracle. I only
wish someone like Shania Twain or Celine Dion had sung the song. I actually
liked them. Maybe Leanne Rhimes? Forget it. I'm getting way off track, and
confusing you besides.

Things took a turn for the worse awhile later. Mulder died, and things were
never the same after that. Not really. Oh, Skinner was wonderful, as were
the Lone Gunmen. They were so supportive...but it didn't matter. Mulder was
gone, and that was all I could comprehend for the longest time.

Oh, the Lone Gunmen? They were some friends of ours...conspiracy theorists,
actually. I'd always thought they were slightly bent, but they were
wonderful friends. Sometimes I don't know how I'd have ever made it without

A few months after Mulder died, I was finally able to go back to the X-Files.
I figured that I'd have to carry the torch, like I did when he was
gone...but this time for good. In retrospect, I'm almost glad we didn't have
Vera with us then...actually, I *am* glad of it. She was spared seeing me
the way I was at the time. I was a mess...but I eventually managed to pull
it together and go on.

As it turned out, Skinner had dated a woman named Jana Cassidy back in their
Academy days. She was another assistant director of the FBI...frankly, I
didn't trust her, mainly because of the past between us. But it always
seemed to me she was up to something.

When Cassidy wanted his help on a special investigation of hers, I was
suspicious. I told Skinner as much, but he thought I was just being overly
cautious because of losing Mulder. While that may have been true, it wasn't
the whole story. He didn't listen to me, and decided to help his old
girlfriend out anyway. I don't blame his generosity; I only wish he'd taken
the time to look at it more closely. To see what he was getting himself into.

Sure enough, he was in over his head before he knew it. I tried to help him,
but there really wasn't much I could do by that point except wish he'd have
taken my advice in the first place and stayed the heck out of it. Jana
Cassidy was a conniving little witch; I'd always known it. Or, rather,
suspected it. I had proof, finally, but it was a little too high a price for
my tastes. Some of my best proof has taken too high a price.

I can't remember exactly what trigged it, but I soon realized that their plan
all along had been to use Skinner and lose him. They were going to kill him
when he no longer fit their purposes. And, sadly enough, these people had
the money, the connections, and the manpower to murder an assistant director
and actually get away with it. I called him at home, but there wasn't an
answer, so I rushed over to his apartment to warn him.

I was too late.

Always too late, I think sometimes. Too late to help Mulder, too late to
save Skinner. Too late to say goodbye to Missy and have it mean something.
Too late to find Emily, too late to find a cure for her. Too late for so
much else.

Logically, I realize it isn't my fault that Skinner was killed. It was Jana
Cassidy's, her little conspiracy's. But I blamed myself for months for being
too late. That's not to say that I never do anymore, but it's gotten to a
point where it doesn't occupy my thoughts every hour of every day. In other
words, it's manageable. There's not a day that goes by I don't wish I had it
all to do over, to change things. Sure, he'd have still died of other causes
eventually, but I could have at least spared him the kind of death he faced.
Shot in the chest, twice, point-blank range. My only comfort is in knowing
that it was quick.

Would I haven taken his place, faced death for him? At the time, yes. In
retrospect--no, because I now know about the immortality thing. And this is
a fate I wouldn't wish on anyone. Well, maybe CGB Spender--but it wouldn't
do me any good because he was pure evil. He'd just continue playing his
games. And he never felt anything. The man shot his own son! How much far
gone can one get? No...releasing an immortal CGB Spender on the world would
be like inviting Armageddon.

When Vera was fifteen, I finally told her the truth about her past. I was so
afraid she'd turn away from me, knowing how I'd all but lied to her for so
long. But she didn't. With the miraculous love only a child can give, she
turned *to* me instead. She never questioned a thing. Never questioned my
motives. It still amazes me. But kids always keep you guessing.

She was so much like her father--I really learned that once she came to live
with me. She had his quick intelligence, and quicker wit...she even looked a
lot like him. After awhile, she even decided that she wanted to take his
name. Charlie had nicknamed her "Destiny" was short for Destiny's
Child. I always thought it was cute, but I had no clue just how *true* it
was. I wouldn't for some time. She had been given to me--given to us--to
serve a purpose. I think she knew it subconsciously all the time, but never
realized it. I know every mother had high hopes for her child, but even this
was beyond my wildest dreams. More on that later. If I get out of a sort of
chronological order now, I'll never catch up. I may be immortal, but I'm not
perfect. Hell, I never claimed to be.


My mother's death was very hard for me--we were extremely close. But I took
a small amount of solace in knowing that she had died peacefully--naturally,
in her sleep.

Vera was a godsend through that. I know she was taking it pretty hard too,
but she was there, by my side, the whole time. Always lending me a shoulder
to cry on--or anything else I needed. I'd seen too much death in my life by
then. It was so much different when I was working...forensic pathology is
different. A new body on the autopsy table, nothing spectacular there.
Another person died and it was my job to find out how. I might have felt for
them, but I was always separated from it. After Mom died...I don't know, I
guess it was the straw that broke my back. I couldn't do it anymore. I was
sick of death.

There was a job opening at Georgetown University Medical Center...I took it.
I still had my medicine--I hadn't gone so far as to throw everything away and
do something completely different--but I went back to school for a little
while and took a course in obstetrics. I could bring lives *into* the world
for once, instead of figuring out why they'd left it. I'd only ever
delivered one baby before that--and it had been an emergency situation--but
I'd really liked it, in the end. So I resigned from the Bureau. I didn't
lose my enemies in doing so, but at least I was a little happier. I'd
started to heal after Mom's death...I had Vera...and the Gunmen were still on
my side as ever. Things were all right. Nowhere near as good as they could
have been, of course, but I'd almost gotten used to having a bunch of crap in
my life. I was dealing with it, and rather well, I thought.

Until the accident.

Until fate decided to screw with my life yet again.


Disclaimed, etc. in part 1


I forget where we were going at the time, or why we were going there. In a
way, I'm glad I wasn't cursed with Mulder's nearly photographic memory.
Sometimes it's good to forget a few things every now and then.

In any case, Byers and I were driving on the Beltway when the accident
happened. That wasn't unusual in and of itself--accidents were common on the
Beltway. And I don't think it was *planned*, I just think we just had the
bad luck to be in a wreck when some idiot was driving "under the influence".
But it was one more piece of crap in my life that I really could have done

I remember coming to, and feeling something in my eyes--my blood. I'd gotten
used to seeing blood--even my own blood--and lots of it. Even delivering
babies brought with it a certain amount of blood--it's something you never
can escape in the medical profession. You know that, of course...but the one
thing I could never get used to was seeing other people's blood spilled so
needlessly. I'm not squeamish--and even if I were, my work on the X-Files
would have cured me of that--but I can't stand to see my friends suffering.
Especially over something so stupid. Like a freaking car accident. Caused
by a stupid drunk driver.

I remember how bad it looked. Luckily, it looked a lot worse than it was,
but I was terrified at the time that I was going to lose another one of my
friends right then and there. There was blood, everywhere. I should have
known it wasn't as awful as it seemed right off the bat...Byers was trying to
smooth his hair back into place and calm me down. I don't want to make him
seem vain--really, he wasn't. Not at all. It's just that...well, you'd
really have had to known John Byers. He always wore these 3-piece suits,
despite the weather. Could've been the dog days of August, he'd still be in
one of his suits...complete with natty tie. His hair was always
perfect...his beard was always trimmed the same way. That's just the way he
was. Some people thought he was obsessive-compulsive, and I can see their
point. But if something was different about the way Byers looked--*that's*
when we all started to worry.

All in all, we lucked out in the accident, if you really want to put it that
way. The worst that was done to Byers were a few nasty cuts and a broken
arm; I was just cut and bruised. But I think there was some psychological
damage too. No, I *know* there was.

I'd developed the same abandonment issues I'd always cursed in Mulder. I was
positively terrified that I was going to lose the people that I was closest
too. Most people could understand it, but I hated any kind of weakness in
myself. I always had. So I talked to Karen Kossef. She and I had a
long-standing relationship, and she was one of the few people left that I
could really confide in by that point. Oh, sure, I could confide in the
Gunmen too...but this was one of those problems that I just couldn't see
myself taking to them. I knew what I'd get. "We'll always be there."
"We'll never leave you."

Those hollow reassurances weren't what I wanted.

I heard a song on the radio on the way to meet Karen. "Save Yourself", I
think it was called. It wasn't my usual brand of music, but I listened to it
anyway. "I cannot save you...I can't even save myself. So just save
yourself." Amazing how stupid little details like that stick with you
through the years. It struck me that this was my problem, in a way. I
had--somehow or another--managed to get it into my head that I had to save
everyone. And I couldn't. I was helpless myself in some ways. Okay, so
maybe that wasn't totally my problem. But it was a good enough explanation
at the time. I did go to see Karen, still, but it was mostly lip service. I
figured I'd solved my own problem. I should have realized by then that
solving my own problems led to most of my problems. Karen even suggested to
me that many of my problems might stem from the fact that I never really told
Mulder how I felt about him. She was kind enough to warn me that telling
everyone how much they really meant to me wouldn't solve my problems...but it
might make me feel a little better. At least I listened to her on that. It
*didn't* provide an instant solution. But at least I knew none of them would
have to wonder. I did feel a little better.

Most people I've talked to wonder why the accident was even that significant,
in the scheme of things, if we were both all right. I wondered about that
myself for a time. Then I realized that it was the one thing that made me
wake up and realize I needed help, and shouldn't be afraid to go seek it. I
needed to realize it, and it was better sooner than later. I'd already
waited long enough.


"So what happened after that?" Beverly asked. "From your tone, I'm assuming
things improved somewhat."

"Yeah," Scully answered, "fortunately, they did. Langly had a run-in with a
psychopathic serial killer with an obsession for crucifixion, but things
turned out okay. He escaped, if just barely."

"'Psychopathic serial killer with an obsession for crucifixion?" Beverly
asked, half-disbelieving.

"Sometimes it's best not to ask too many questions." Scully half-smiled.
"That was definitely one of the odder situations Langly got himself into.
But, other than that, everything was fine...until about 2019."

"When the new alliance really got strong?" Beverly asked, a bit surprised.
She thought that had been a good thing.

"Yes, but it's the reasoning behind it. The alliance was started in 2017 by
corrupt men in our government, Beverly. Men who knew what was coming. I
suspected as much at the time...Vera was convinced of it. Most people
thought we were just paranoid. But the alliance was nowhere near as strong
as it could have been, and that's why it fell so easily when World War III
broke out. 2019 is when it really picked up speed and everyone was truly
enchanted with it."

"Except you and your daughter?"

"And the Lone Gunmen, of course." Scully shrugged. "Probably others, but no
one we knew."

"So what happened?" Beverly asked, truly intrigued. She hadn't heard a story
like this in a very long time--and all of it was true. That was the most
interesting part.

"Well, you know that World War III broke out in 2053. But what you don't
know--what they've never told you--is that it had been planned for years
beforehand. *Decades*. Maybe even centuries, if you listen to some people's
theories. It was in 2025 that things got *really* interesting."


It isn't in your history books, Beverly--and it never will be--but World War
III's first battle did not take place on March 28, 2053. It was on August
16, 2025. I'll never forget the date. I'd suffer more personal loss, I'd be
wounded myself...and I'd deny everything later. Oh, not the personal
loss--I'll never deny that. But I saw things that day...that simply couldn't
be explained by my science or my belief system. So I denied seeing what I
saw and chalked it up to traumatic stress.

You have to understand something. By the limits of 20th century
science...extraterrestrial life was simply implausible, if not impossible.
We didn't think warp drive was even possible! So, being a scientist--and a
skeptic by nature--I completely discounted the possibility of aliens. Mulder
and I counterbalanced each other nicely--he was a believer, all the way. So
was Vera. I swear she had to have inherited that from him...Charlie never
really had an opinion on the subject and Lord knows I never encouraged the

But on that one day in 2025, I have to say my convictions were tested if not

It started innocently enough, but it always seems that everything does. I'd
just gotten off work--earlier than usual, in fact. Vera met me for a late
lunch, and we headed over to the Lone Gunmen's lair. I don't know what else
to call it, frankly. They lived there, they worked there, they rarely *left*
there... In any case, we ended up at their personal headquarters. Langly
said that they had something strange for us to look at.

"Check this out," he said, showing us a video screen with a man's face on it.
"Now where have we seen him before?"

"That's the Bounty Hunter!" I exclaimed, recognizing the man immediately.

"The alien Bounty Hunter?" Frohike asked.

I remember muttering something about how he wasn't an alien, and we didn't
know what he was really up to. He was a man who had the ability to
shapeshift. At the time, I figured--rather, reasoned to myself--that he had
an extra layer of muscle right under the skin or something that allowed for
this. We'd seen it happen before, with a man named Eddie VanBlundht. Mulder
had reasoned that our shapeshifting friend was a sort of bounty hunter, so
that's what we called him. We didn't know who he really was. I know now
what he really was, but I still couldn't tell you who.

Vera was on edge, more so than usual. She had a sort of spooky sixth sense
when something was going to happen--something else she'd gotten from her
father. I'd learned that inexplicable as those premonitions might have been,
they were worth listening to. So we decided to play it safe the rest of that
day. The Gunmen went with Vera and I to the Bounty Hunter's last known
location. We knew full well that we were tempting fate, but a part of me
missed this--the excitement, the thrill of the chase...something I never got
from medicine, much as I may have loved it.

There was a group of people there, and I felt strangely drawn to them. Not
drawn emotionally, but physically. It was probably the chip I had in my
neck--the one that was keeping my cancer in check. I think the Gunmen picked
up on this right away. I'd never told Vera about the chip, so she didn't
suspect a thing.

That's when we saw the Bounty Hunter. He was arguing with a man who had no
face. Literally, he had no face. He--like others of his kind--had burned
their faces, mutilated themselves, in exchange for a weird sort of
protection. We'd called them the Faceless Rebels. They were in a war of
sorts with the Bounty Hunter's people, a war that had been raging for

I don't know if you heard of the Georgetown Massacre or not, but that's what
it was. That's what they called it.

It began when the Rebel was joined by several more...and apparently the
Bounty Hunter had backup too. The people who were there...who'd either
wandered by or been "called" there...they were innocent bystanders. We all
were. But they were killed anyway. Not just by fire--which was the Rebels'
only defense--but also by the Bounty Hunter's more...physical tactics.

We were innocent bystanders, but we didn't sit idly by. We fought. We
fought long and hard...and lost. The Rebels were trying to destroy the
Bounty Hunter aliens' work. The Bounty Hunters were trying to thwart the
Rebel efforts. Those of us who were there and fought weren't fighting for
either side. We were simply fighting to stay alive.

The media later called the incident the Georgetown Massacre. I suppose it
was an appropriate enough title, even if it wasn't *technically* in
Georgetown. They assumed a couple of gang members had started the whole
thing. They didn't know the truth.

Things wouldn't have been as bad, but people pulled guns, and started
shooting wildly. I understand their reasoning--they were scared, and being
attacked, and they didn't know why. But more people got hurt. More people
died. Luckily, no one hit any of the Bounty Hunters there...their blood
contains a retrovirus that's deadly to humans--and to the Rebels. That's why
the Rebels mutilated themselves they way the did. To protect themselves.

Out of the 78 people there that night (not counting the Rebels or the Bounty
Hunters), only 7 survived. Those who didn't get caught in the Rebel flames
were either killed by the Bounty Hunters or caught by a stray bullet.

I shouldn't have lived through that night, by any means. I was shot...I
remember the blinding pain as the bullet tore into my chest. I remember
collapsing to the ground--then waking up in the hospital. Vera was by my
side, her arm in a sling. She told me that I was unbelievably lucky to have
lived. At first, I thought she was just scared by the chest wound...but then
I read my chart. I should have died almost instantly. The bullet was a
through-and-through--given Fellig's physical reaction to such things, it
doesn't surprise me. But it nicked my aorta before ripping through the rest
of my chest. I'd have bled to death right then and there. But I didn't.
And that's when I knew.

Forget what I said earlier about outliving my normal lifespan. I was already
suspicious about the immortality issue, given that I hadn't been aging. But
when I saw my chart, the extent of my injuries...I knew. I knew I'd
inherited Fellig's curse. Given that I was awake and alert the day after the
injury (and surgery), there was no longer any doubt in my mind.


Beverly frowned--not in disbelief, she was just trying to figure this out.
"So you *can* be injured?"

Scully chuckled softly. "I'm immortal, Beverly, not invincible. Yes, I can
be injured, but I somehow manage to pull through every time, extremely
quickly, and be perfectly fine. Fellig was different--it wouldn't even phase
him. But in a way, I kind of like it. Makes me still feel somewhat human in
a way."

"What happened after you woke up?" Beverly asked.

The smile faded from Scully's face, and she sighed, obviously battling her
emotions. It was obvious this was the continuation of another dark chapter
in the story of her life.


Vera and I talked about trivial things for awhile after I regained
consciousness. But I knew that there was something she was holding back,
something she didn't want to have to tell me.

"Vera, what's wrong?" I asked.

She smiled as best she could, given the inner turmoil she had to be
experiencing. "What are you talking about?"

"Come on, Vera. You can't hide this from me for long. I'm going to find out
sooner or later, honey, and I'd rather it be sooner. I know there's
something more."

She looked down and away, her green eyes feeling with tears. "Mom...maybe
this should wait until you're feeling a little better."

"Vera, I feel fine!" I hadn't meant to snap at her, but I really needed to
know what had happened.

She told me then. There had only been 7 survivors of that particular alien
holocaust. She and I had lived...along with Langly, who was in bad shape,
but alive. Byers and Frohike had been killed along with the others.

I couldn't believe it. I had needed them in my life for so long as my
confidants, my own personal support system. And they were gone. I started
crying, and I don't think I stopped for nearly six hours. I knew that Vera
was wishing she'd waited to break the news to me, but I was glad I knew. If
I'd held false hopes that they were alive beforehand, and then been told the
truth, I don't know what I would have done.

It took me a long time before I was able to go on with my life again. I may
have experienced a lot of personal losses before, but that didn't make
dealing with them any easier. Langly was a wreck as well--he'd been even
closer to them than I had. Vera did what she could for us, but she was only
faring slightly better than we were in dealing with it.

After we'd gotten past the initial period of grief, we started trying to sort
out what had happened that night. This was when I'd started denying that
there had been aliens there that night. Langly and Vera couldn't believe
it...but sad to say, that was so typical of me back then. Throw out
everything I'd seen, chalk it up to stress...just because it conflicted with
what I wanted to believe. I was supposed to be an objective scientist--but
sometimes I wasn't very objective at all. It amazes me now--knowing what I
know, seeing what I've seen--that I could have ever been so blind.


Things got better, for a while. I told Vera and Langly about my immortality
as I knew it...they were shocked, to say the least. Shocked that I would
live forever, shocked that I believed it. They dealt with it remarkably
well, though. I mean, I didn't really expect that. You find out someone
you're close to is going to live forever--knowing full well that you
won't--ideally, you think that would be a good thing. You won't have to
worry about losing them. But you would also feel separated from
them...they're not on the same level as you anymore. Langly and Vera never
saw the negative side of the equation--or if they did, they never let it
show. And I blessed them for that.

I never told anyone else but them--this was information that my family didn't
really need, with the exception of Vera. And other than Langly, I didn't
have anyone left but my family.

I had no idea just how vital Vera was to the equation back then. She was my
daughter; she meant the world to me, of course. But I didn't know--I could
never have known--just how much she meant to the world.


Disclaimed and so on in part 1


March 28, 2053, came all too soon.

I'd undergone a few changes by then, of course. People were certainly going
to question why an 88-year-old woman didn't look any more than 45. So Dana
Scully had died on April 2, 2052, and Laura Foxx had appeared.

By the time the war started, Vera had just turned 52. But she denied her age
very well--as did most of the women in my family, and I'm not counting
myself. She was also one of those people who acted and felt a lot younger
than she really was. She looked about 40, and acted about 25. So it was a
good combination for her--especially considering what was to come.

World War III was a nuclear war, but we didn't start it out that way. No one
intended for that to happen, it just sort of...did. Here's the main thing,
though. The one thing you would never have suspected, even in your wildest
dreams. The ECON? Eastern Coalition? Our main adversaries in that war?
They were colonists.

Not colonists like in the 1700's, colonists as in alien colonists. The
people the Bounty Hunter and his kind were after for a sort of nonconformity
to the "rules" as they saw them. They were aliens.

First contact was officially in 2063, when the Vulcans landed in that Montana
clearing. But it happened much before that, with only a select few ever
knowing. A corrupt few, I might add. Their intentions, I suppose, were good
enough--to prevent the aliens from colonizing, taking over, and turning
humanity into a slave race--but their methods were pure evil. These people
sacrificed family members to the Project, never giving it a second thought.
They murdered hundreds of people...and that's not even half of it. And, in
the end, their efforts failed. The date for colonization to begin was
set--even though it had apparently been delayed--and nothing could discourage
the colonists from thinking that the human race had forfeited their planet.
Left it open for another species to inhabit.

They certainly weren't subtle. Before it turned to nuclear weapons, it was a
biological war. They released an alien virus that would make humans host to
their young. It had been loose for years, anyway, but never near any areas
of large population. Never intentionally. I'd actually survived the virus
previously, due to a weak vaccine the Syndicate had developed and given to
Mulder. I'm not sure if Vera was given immunity to the virus during the
events that were necessary for her conception, or if she'd somehow inherited
it from me...but she was immune as well. I was eternally grateful for
that--Vera was the only person I had left in the world by that point.
Everyone else had died, whether it had been from natural causes or not.
Well, except for a my niece and a couple of my nephews...but they perished in
the early days of the war.

Those of us who managed to survive lived in camps set up on our own, with the
few possessions we had left. You saw in Montana what it was like. We became
nomadic and tough as nails. We'd move when we had to, do whatever we could.
Rule Number One was simple: Do whatever you have to do to stay alive.

The nuclear weapons came later, after the colonists had all the "hosts" and
slaves they needed. I guess their theory was "take what you need, annihilate
the rest". That made things a lot tougher. We couldn't hang around on the
outskirts of cities anymore; the blast radius was too wide. We had to
retreat to the middle of nowhere--backwoods, out of the way areas. From
there, we had no clue what was going on...and we never knew if that was a
good thing or not. And, of course, our armies fought back--causing more

As they took the cities, the colonists invaded them and took up residence.
But since they were able to take human form, no one would have ever known
that they were not of that world. Vera and I knew immediately, once we got
reports of the alien virus. I didn't want to believe--and I still don't
think I ever accepted extraterrestrial existence until the official first
contact--but a tiny part of me knew that colonization had come.

It was hell. If you thought the post-atomic horror was bad, just think about
the atomic horror. Countries were uniting against the threat--some united
with the colonists out of fear. Some were forced to. The Rebels stayed
away--we actually could have used their help. But for whatever reason, they
decided to keep out of it.

300 million people died in that war, Beverly. 300 *million*. To this day, I
cannot comprehend that. Knowing that many people died--knowing how many of
them were innocent civilians, knowing how many of them were helpless
children. And knowing that only one of them was one of the colonists.

The post-atomic horror courtrooms began long before the war was over. They
were as awful as your historical documents show them, and worse. They were
born and bred by people who lived every moment in fear of their lives--and it
always seemed that the most corrupt people would preside. There was no jury;
you could hardly call it a trial! You were guilty until proven innocent, and
you had to represent yourself. The audience certainly wasn't much help; they
were as bad as the spectators at the Roman gladiator games--bloodthirsty and
looking for entertainment. Naturally, most people steered clear if they
could help it.

It was hellish to begin with, and it got more hellish as the years dragged
on. In the previous world wars, there was always someplace in the world you
could be away from it at. Somewhere where you knew of the war, but weren't
faced with it in your own backyard every day. There wasn't any place like
that then. The war was everywhere. The destruction was beyond catastrophic.

Humanity needed a
savior, and desperately. There was no way we would ever have survived to the
end of that war without one--save turning ourselves over to the colonists.
We'd rather have died first than do that. As with all alliances, the
ECON--as the colonist force had come to be known--had a leader. And the
weaker colonists, the rebel colonists, had all fled by this time. The
colonists we were dealing with at that point were so devoted to their blessed
order and way of doing things that bringing down the leader would bring them
all down. Unfortunately, there was no way any average human could do that.

Fortunately, Vera Hope Mulder was no average human.


Not only would taking the colonist's leader down be difficult, so would
*finding* him. He was, of course, well-protected. Plus, there was only one
way to kill them. A direct hit to the base of the neck--preferably with a
little stiletto-like weapon. Understandably, those were somewhat hard to
come by.

Years ago, though, Mulder had come across one--kept hidden in a lamp at his
family's summer house in Rhode Island. He'd left me almost everything after
his death, and I'd always kept that--admittedly more for sentimental value
than practicality. *He'd* thought it was important. My sentimentality paid

It was one of the few things I'd been able to keep with me that reminded me
of was small enough to be easily hidden--which was a good thing,
because there was no way the colonists would want me to have it, given the
knowledge of them I had.

I think once Vera saw it, she knew her destiny. I might sound a little
over-dramatic, but there was really only one person who could have
accomplished the task--and effectively saved humanity. It was Vera. I'm
still amazed by that, but Vera never ceased to amaze me. She also had
immunity to the retrovirus that was in the aliens' blood...which made her the
only logical candidate for the job. The only way to kill the colonists was
the wound to the base of the neck, but if you hurt them, they would bleed.
And kill you in the process. That virus gave human blood the approximate
consistency of tapioca pudding. I did an autopsy on a victim once; I can
testify to that. And I had to snatch Mulder back from death's door once,
when he had been infected with it.

The only thing was, the human body couldn't develop an immunity to the
retrovirus. I'd never been exposed to it...and even after his exposure,
Mulder still had no immunity. So Vera couldn't have inherited it
from either one of us. She'd had to have been *given* the immunity at some
point. That was when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my miracle baby
had been given to me for a purpose.

The purpose being that she would truly become "Destiny's Child". She would
save humankind from the alien threat. Naturally, I was more than a little
shocked by this--and scared. I had only recently accepted the existence of
these alien beings; now my daughter had to save us from them. And I knew
full well that even with her viral immunity, it was a mission from which she
might not return.


You know that song I mentioned earlier, "Save Yourself"? I was thinking of
more of it. "I am not your savior; I am just as fucked as you." That may
have applied to me...but it certainly didn't to Vera. That was her destiny.
She had been given to me for a purpose--to rescue us, deliver us from those
dark days of post-colonization. I only hoped that she hadn't been born to

While the original details of the plan escape me at the moment, Vera found a
way to infiltrate the colonist's "camp", pretending to be a sympathizer.
They hadn't been warned about her beforehand--no, Vera was something of a
secret weapon. Mulder had been intended to be the original person for the
job so to speak...but after colonization was delayed, apparently our
chain-smoking "friend" thought he needed a child to carry the legacy on.

It was probably the only decent thing the SOB ever did in his life.

Vera found the leader, who was living as a human (of course, what else would
he have lived as back then?) in what was left of Washington, D.C. My home.
Our nation's capitol, all but destroyed. Funny that the leader of the
"Eastern Coalition" would pick D.C., huh?

Using the Mulder charm that came naturally to her, and a few forged
documents, Vera was able to gain access to him. And that was all she wrote,
pretty much. Vera put the stiletto in the base of his neck--killed him

Her escape was actually quite easy. After their leader's demise, the aliens
were in a state of utter disarray. It seemed amazing that such an advanced
society could fall apart so quickly and easily...but then, the Borg did the
same thing, years later. Maybe it just goes to show that all the strength of
a nation shouldn't be put upon one person, or something philosophical like
that. I don't know. I stopped caring a long time back.


Beverly leaned forward, wide-eyed, like a child being told a bedtime story.
"So you're saying that the woman who brought ECON down--Therese
MacNamera--was actually your daughter Vera?"

Scully grinned, maternal pride present even after all these years. A sly
look crept into her powder-blue eyes. "What, you think she would have done
what she did without an assumed name?" She laughed softly. "Therese
MacNamera was an alias of hers--she usually used it when we were traveling.
Besides, she didn't want the fame afterwards--or the traceability."

"That's understandable," Beverly agreed. "So the war ended in 2062. She
would've, been...what, sixty?"

"Sixty-one," Scully answered, "but who's counting? She still only looked
about mid-fortyish, and still had the attitude of a thirty year old. I was
starting to wonder if maybe she'd picked up my immortality as well. That
wasn't meant to be, though--she was just one of those women who looks forever
young." She cast her glance downward momentarily.

Without giving it much forethought, Beverly reached out and took the woman's
hand, knowing the next chapter of the story would be a difficult one as well.


Vera died in 2076--surprisingly enough, of natural causes. But knowing that
simple fact didn't make losing her any easier. She was my daughter. My
*baby*, no matter how old she got.

Before, I had always regarded my immortality as an annoyance. I really
would've liked to have missed World War III, thank you very much, but I dealt
with it. But after Vera's death, I started hating the longevity that made me
have to endure that. Despising it.

I also made it a point not to let myself get close to anyone again. I knew
I'd lose them in the end, so pushing them away was the best way to protect my
heart. Hmm...if the people back at the FBI had thought I was the Ice
Princess, they should have seen me then. I was often very lonely as a
result--but to me, being lonely was better than being heartbroken, by far.

The New Earth Alliance began in 2113, as you know, and that of course led to
the founding of the Federation. Since disease wasn't a major issue anymore,
I decided to take some time away from medicine for a couple of decades and
try something else. I tried several different personas in a matter of 20
years. In case it sounds like I had a bit too much time on my hands, I
*did*. Zephram Cochrane sure knew what he was talking about when he told
James Kirk that immortality consists largely of boredom. And boredom for me
has *never* been a good thing. The incident with Jen and the invisible body
and the yellow powder comes to mind, for example.


Scully grinned as Beverly burst out laughing.

"*What*?" Beverly asked as soon as she'd caught her breath.

Scully waved a hand dismissively. "Never *don't* want to know."

"I'll take your word on that." Beverly regained her composure and scooted
over closer to Scully. "So anything else interesting happen in between then
and now?"

"Not really," Scully replied. "I kept up the same act of switching
identities...I went back to medicine after a while--but I think that's
somewhat obvious. About 5 years ago, I decided to join Starfleet, and last
week I was transferred to the best ship in the Fleet." She looked toward the
chronometer (which was still a clock to her, no matter what anyone said).
"And about 2 hours ago, I started telling a story I have never told another
living soul. That about brings us up to this point."

"You haven't told me everything, though," Beverly said gently. She knew that
Scully probably didn't want to talk about this, but it would be better for
her in the long run. And for Dana Scully, that would be a very, very long
time--no matter what she decided to call herself.

"What'd I leave out?"

"Mulder," Beverly continued softly. "You never told me what happened to him.
Everyone else I know about, but..." She let her sentence trail.

Scully's eyes filled with tears again--she'd been fighting them the entire
time she'd told her tale. This time, though, she lost the battle, and
allowed them to spill over. "Oh, Beverly...that's just it. It was so was my fault. He died because of *me*. He didn't have
to...he shouldn't have."

Beverly Crusher moved over and wrapped her arms around the other woman.
Scully probably hadn't cried like this in more years than she'd have cared to
remember. And it was good for her now. It helped her deal with her emotions.

Scully sobbed silently for several minutes, finally giving in to the memories
of years of grief and pain that had resurfaced--all the losses she'd had to
endure through the years. As well as the loss of her one true love. After a
moment, she collected herself, dried her eyes...and it were as if nothing had
ever happened. She took a deep breath, moving a few inches away from Beverly
to be able to look at her.

"Maybe you're right," she whispered, so softly that Beverly could barely hear
her. "Maybe it's time I finally let it go." Her face betrayed the tiniest
hint of apprehension, though. Beverly took her hand reassuringly.

"Not *him*," Beverly soothed. "You're not letting go of Mulder. Just the
guilt. You were able to do it for it's time to do it for
Mulder. He wouldn't have wanted you to beat yourself up over his death; I'm
sure of it."

Scully managed half a smile, obviously trying to look brave. "You're right."
She sighed deeply, and finally began to release the painful secret that had
haunted her for the better part of 400 years.


It was September 16, 2004. That's one of those dates I'll never forget, no
matter how much time goes by. Mulder and I were out on a case in Virginia,
somewhere near Fairfax. We'd been lured into an old abandoned warehouse by
our suspect. Mulder was uneasy...and for all my talk against premonitions, I
was a little antsy myself. I distinctly remember the conversation Mulder and
I had on our way in.

"Hey, Scully," he teased, "this looks like it would've been an ideal makeout
spot at one time. Want to test the theory?"

"No, thank you, Mulder," I answered dryly.

Two rabbits scurried away from us as we got closer. It didn't take much
thought to figure out what they'd most likely been up to. Mulder turned
around and gave me that playful grin of his--the one that was designed to be

"'Baby, we ain't nothin' but mammals'," he whispered, quoting a song that had
been popular about five or six years back--though, for the life of me, I'll
never know why. Of course, Mulder had taken great delight in it...but that
was the way he was. That was the way I loved him.

"Let's leave the Discovery Channel out of this, Mulder," I chided, matching
his playful tone. I couldn't wait for his witty comeback. Mulder was great
at those little games--and once he got started, he didn't stop until *he*
wanted to.

If I had known that would be the last real conversation we'd have with each
other, I'd have said a lot more.

I never heard that comeback of his, because seconds later, shots rang out.
Mulder knocked me to the ground, covering me with his body.

Once the shooting stopped, I crawled out from under him, and my breath caught
in my throat.

He'd been hit. Several times.

I snapped into action immediately, allowing my medical training to take over.
I applied pressure to the wounds as best I could, but there were four of
them. He was loosing too much blood too fast.

I don't consciously recall calling the ambulance, but I must have, because
they arrived moments later.

Moments too late.

He died, right there in my arms that night. The only place I'd ever wanted
him to be, but I was too much of a fool to realize it at the time. And do
you know what his last words to me were? As he lay there in my arms, with
his blood--his life--pouring out of his body and slipping away? He asked me
to marry him again. With blood trickling from the corner of his mouth,
struggling to breathe--he asked me to marry him. Again.

I should have never turned him down the first time.

I didn't turn him down that time, either, but I might as well have. I told
him to wait until he got better, then I'd give him his answer. It was a
trick to try to get him to live, to make it so I could tell him I would marry
him and we could try to live happily ever after in a Cape Cod house with
white picket fences. We never would have, but we sure as hell could have

He gave his life for me. And he didn't have to. I was immortal by then! I
had Fellig's damn curse, and Mulder still *died* *for**me*! We'd always
joked that it was auto-erotic asphyxiation that would kill him (long story),
but--in the end--he took bullets for me that he should have never had reason
to be in the way of.

I didn't know it then, but I should have suspected something. After all, I
was a scientist. I should have at least looked into Fellig's words. But I
didn't. And Mulder died protecting me from a fate I would never see.

Life really sucks sometimes, you know.


I really withdrew after Mulder died. I know I had a lot of people
worried--including myself--but I didn't really care. The man I loved was
forever gone--and I had never told him how I felt. I had never had the
courage to face my true feelings for him.

One night, about a week after the funeral, I was at home alone. I shouldn't
have been alone. I actually hadn't been alone since Mulder's death.

I saw a picture on top of my entertainment center--the one that sat right
next to my only picture of Emily. I hadn't put the picture of Vera there
yet...maybe if I had, I wouldn't have done what I did. Maybe I'd have
thought before acting.

But the picture that caught my eye was of Mulder and me. It had been taken
at a family picnic of mine I'd dragged him to. We were both happy,
laughing...not a care in the world, if only for that one moment in time. And
sometimes all you can ask for is one moment in time.

I walked across the room, to the drawer where I kept my service revolver. I
unlocked the drawer, took the gun out of the drawer, and tossed the key

I don't know just how long I stood there, staring at the weapon...feeling the
cool metal in my hand. Then I put the gun to my head--and pulled the
trigger. I just wanted it all to be over.

I woke up in a hospital the next morning. Apparently a neighbor had heard
the gunshot and called the police.

Right then, I should have known something was wrong. Everyone assumed there
had been some sort of accident...the gun had actually fallen a few feet away
from me. Probably hit the ground and skidded. If they wanted to believe it
was an accident, I let them believe it was an accident. I cared for them too
much to tell them the truth, strange as that might sound. I think Skinner
knew, though--but bless him, he never said anything.

That should have been the day I'd realized my immortality. But the thought
actually never crossed my mind for more than a second. I figured that the
angle of the gun had been wrong, that the bullet had just grazed my face or
something. I think everyone else figured that since it was an "accident", I
was lucky to get away with as little damage as I had.

"Lucky" isn't exactly the word I'd have used, but...they had *no* idea.


After Scully had finally gotten that off her chest, the two women continued
to talk well into the night.

After a while, Beverly looked at Scully seriously, as though sizing her up.
"When was it you were the happiest?"

Scully was caught off-guard by her question. "What do you mean?"

"You and Mulder," Beverly clarified. "When were you happiest?"

Scully thought about it. ", I'd never really considered this
in-depth before...I guess I'd have to say about late May of '97. 1997, that
is. I'd just gotten the cure for my was before that little fight
we had...and we had an interesting bonding experience in the woods."

Beverly's eyebrow raised at that.

"Oh, get your mind out of the gutter," Scully teased. "It wasn't anything
like that. We just talked...and I sang to him, but that's another story."

"What song?"

"Oh...I doubt you'd know it. 'Joy to the World'--not the Christmas carol.
It was a song about a bullfrog. At least partially. Really off-the-wall."
The former FBI agent noticed the barely concealed amusement in the CMO's
glance. "Well, it was the first thing that popped into my head!" A pause
followed. "Beverly? Um...Beverly? Say something, you're starting to worry
me. What's with that look on your face? What are you up to?" Still no
response, only the cryptic grin Beverly had assumed. "Bev? Oh, God...why am
I getting so nervous?"


***Two days later***

Beverly Cheryl Crusher would have done anything for a friend...but she was
starting to wonder about the limits of that as she smoothed out the skirt of
the business suit she had put on. She waited outside Holodeck 4 for Scully
to arrive.

In private, Beverly now called Scully "Dana" was still "Dr. Mulder" with
others around. After all, there was no need to confuse people.

Scully came down the hall moments later, looking as comfortable in the outfit
as Beverly was *un*comfortable in it. Of course, Beverly had gotten rather
used to the comfort and ease of Starfleet uniforms.

Scully grinned at her friend. "So what's this all about? You have me meet
you outside the holodeck in my 'old uniform'. Tell me you didn't do what I
think you did."

"Maybe," Beverly told her, "maybe not." She spoke to the computer.
"Computer, begin program."

The doors stepped open, and the two of them stepped right into...the X-Files

Scully stared at their surroundings, then at Beverly. "This's
amazing. It's perfect. How did you ever...?"

"Historical records." Beverly tossed her hair over one shoulder. "I just
had Data snatch a few files for me and we fed them into the computer.
Nothing to it."

Scully's smile widened. "Beverly, this is...incredible. Thank you."

"Anything for a friend," Beverly replied, straightening her jacket. This
outfit took a lot of work.

Scully leaned across the cluttered desk to look at the calendar.
"May...1997. So that's why you wanted to know."

"We all need a break every now and then," Beverly said. "And you've
certainly been through enough. I figured you might enjoy having your 'glory
days' back for a few hours."

"I do." Scully hugged her with one arm. "With the exception of Vera, this is
the best present anyone has ever given me. Thank you."

"You're entirely welcome." Beverly paused a moment. "I'm not sure if you
want to take advantage of it, but this program has...well, another feature..."

"You programmed it to include Mulder?" Scully guessed.

"And anyone else you may want. I'll play into this however you want."

Scully flashed her another smile of gratitude, and closed her eyes for a
second, as though she were fighting an inward battle. But she made her
decision, and spoke a few words to the computer. In a matter of seconds, Fox
Mulder (or, rather, the holographic image of him) was standing in the center
of the office, behind the desk. He came to "life" immediately, and it was
all Scully to do to keep from throwing herself into his arms and declaring
400 years' worth of unspoken love. But she let him make the first move.

Mulder grinned, that little-boy grin of his...and Beverly could instantly see
what had drawn Scully to him. Who couldn't resist charm like that.

"Hey, Scully...who's your friend?"

"Her name's Beverly," Scully explained to him. "she's going to be...helping
us with a few cases."

"Okay." Mulder shrugged, and picked up one of the many case files littering
the surrounding area. He's accepted it easily enough...he was a holodeck
re-creation, after all. But that didn't mean he wouldn't give Scully a hard
time. "We are going to Montana tomorrow morning, so you ladies had better
pack your bags. UFO reports, livestock and forest mutilations...the good
stuff." He leveled his gaze to Scully. "So what's your theory of the week?
Men in costumes with satanic cults? Psychos who watch too many sci-fi

"No," Scully answered slowly, strolling around to join him, "I don't think
so. In fact, you're right, Mulder. There were UFO's, and aliens did the
damage." She said it serious, without even a trace of irony.

A surprised look crossed Mulder's face, replaced by a suspicious one
nanoseconds later. "You're serious?"

Now it was Scully's turn to do the evil look. "In your *dreams*."

The look on her face said she knew something about that line he didn't. She
probably did.

As Mulder mocked being hurt by her "betrayal", Beverly stepped back to watch
them go at it.

She was going to enjoy this.

And though Dana Scully didn't want to live forever, she might have just found
a way to make having to do so more bearable.


The End
Begun: 7/1/00
Finished: 7/20/00