Bittersweet Symphony

Feedback: XSandPiper78[at]
Rating: PG
Archive: Gossamer and Ephemeral — no. I will submit directly. Everyone else — yes, Please let me know where.
Category: V
Keywords: Mulder/Scully relationship
Spoilers: Closure, Sein Und Zeit

Disclaimer: Characters within are the creation and property of 1013 productions, CC, etc. Lyrics to “Bittersweet Symphony” are reprinted without permission and are the property of The Verve. Hey, if they stole the tune from the Rolling Stones, why can’t I have the words?

Summary: Mulder’s fragmented thoughts.


~Well I’ve never prayed, but tonight I’m on my knees, yeah.
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah.~

He sits on his couch, not caring that his ass sinks between cushions well worn
and pulling from each other. The room is dark, save for the blue flicker of the
silent television and the weak light of a streetlamp shining through the window
above his desk.

She sits there, too, unaffected or maybe just too uncomfortable by the strange
silence to comment. Confused as well, to be sure — when she’d seen him last,
he was elated to find his sister in a better place. Gone forever, yes, but a
sweet angel dancing in the starlit heavens for all eternity. Now he is bitter,
aloof. Angry.

He ignores her presence, takes none of the usual comfort in it. He’s too wrapped
up in his thoughts and the violent maelstrom of emotions pushing him to the
brink of blinding fury. Haphazard memories flit through his mind. They are
unfettered and fleeting, all connecting with his mother.

A summer in a cabin by the lake, playing tag with his sister and another
vacationing family’s children. His mother assuring him with laughing eyes and a
pat on the head that of course Santa is real. The day he’d played hooky from
school – he didn’t think she knew he was faking, but now he knew better. She
looked at him with knowing eyes as he shuffled through the kitchen in search of
a glass of juice. She asked him if he wanted to help her with the bread and he’d
eagerly said yes, forgetting his imaginary illness in the face of the rare and
exciting treat of time spent alone together. She smiled at him and wiped her
hands on her apron, and he smiled back. Her hair was upswept but falling down
around her face in wispy tendrils, her lips touched with red lipstick and white
flour decorating her cheek. He thought he’d never seen a real person more
beautiful than his mother at that moment as they stood there, sharing that
secretive smile.

Then Samantha had been taken.

It was years before he saw his mother smile again. His family had been ripped
apart by lies and deceit he still can’t claim to comprehend. Somehow this
woman, this saint he’d adored his entire life, had become someone he couldn’t
trust. More than that, she’d become an enemy; perhaps an even greater
enemy than the chain-smoking bastard she’d shared her bed with. From him,
subterfuge was expected. Who would ever have suspected that his own mother
would be so cruel, going so far to hide the truth that she so selfishly
destroyed the last straw he had left to grasp – herself.

And whom was she protecting? Him, or herself? The question echoes in his head,
useless and unanswered. Never will be answered. Never could be. All the main
players took those answers to their graves, leaving nothing but a wide-eyed
little boy behind begging to know the truth.

What does it matter now? If an eight year old little girl hadn’t been taken from
her home one mild November night, if the Mulder family children had been
allowed to grow and live their predisposed path of happily ignorant bliss, of
happily rewarded ambition, how would things have turned out? Married parents
who tolerate each other and smile for appearance’s sake, a successful
psychiatry practice, kids and a minivan? Or, would he still have plunged
headfirst into the Bureau, climbing that addictive ladder to the topmost rung?

Would he have maybe even bumped into Scully one fine day, the woman who
has stood beside him without asking anything in return – as she does now – and
pursued a relationship with her, unfettered by the restraints of partnership?

There would be no X-Files, no insomnia, no career pissed away. There would be
fewer scars, fewer losses, less turmoil. He wonders why his thoughts have run
into this vein. It’s ultimately useless anyway; their fate has been sealed.

His gaze settles on the windowpane above his desk, gummed from masking
tape glue baked on by the sun. No answers would be coming from that quarter
ever again. He would never know just how deeply his mother was involved. Did
he really want to? Wasn’t it enough to remember the silence he suffered after
Samantha’s abduction, the piercing, accusatory glares?

Did she ever love him?

He’s tired, bone-weary and sick in his soul. He feels a shift to his side, the
first movement his partner has made since letting herself into his apartment and
sitting down beside him in silence. He wants to bury his head in her lap and
forget everything he has learned in the past few days. He wants her to banish
his mother’s deceitful voice in his head insisting that she “just doesn’t
remember,” that it was “so long ago.” Too many questions, no one left to answer
them. Soothe it away with the soft rasp of her comforting voice.

He gives in to the impulse with no further thought and lays his heavy head on
top of her legs. She doesn’t stop him, only strokes his hair with a gentle hand.
Fear and loss and pain rolls through him and he can no longer hold back the
bitter flood of tears. He’s sobbing so hard that his body shakes from the
tremendous effort, but she continues to stroke him and whispers calming words.

“We’ll get through this, Mulder. Together.”

It’s the first honest thing he’s heard in a lifetime.

~ ” let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now.
But the airwaves are clean and there’ nobody singing to me now.”

The End