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Two Sides of a Coin

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How many times has she been abducted before? First, she lost months of her life. The others, she almost lost her life to criminals, monsters they were chasing. This one has shaken her to her core. She did not see it coming. Her first abduction had been so much of a mystery she would rather forget it. It was so bad she ended up having cancer when she removed the implant from the base of her neck. The bureau was sacking the X Files and she’s about to be reassigned. She was planning on quitting the FBI and Mulder had stopped her because he needs her. It was heading to another direction down his hallway when that bee stung her and she lost consciousness. From what Mulder’s report has stated, he called for an ambulance but covert government people intercepted the call and abducted her and shot him.

When she woke up, Mulder was trying to get her out from underground, surrounded by something she couldn’t quite make of…pods? Green pods with black shadows in them? She couldn’t remember clearly mainly because she was fighting for her life at the time. Mulder had carried her. She can remember that. She even remembered joking at one time that she got him good. He said, it was after he did a CPR on her because she stopped breathing. When they came to the surface, she was bombarded with everything white. There’s ice everywhere. She did not get a chance to ask him where they were because the ground of ice started breaking and they ran, and they fell and then Mulder went unconscious from exhaustion caused by rescuing her.

It took search and rescue a day before they found them. She was then informed they were in Antartica. Her head spun. How could she be there in short period of time? Quick answer: she has been abducted…again.

Mulder had asked her again and again if she’s alright. She does not want to look weak in front of him. He’s always rescuing her and it sickens her. She’s not a damsel in distress. She is a strong independent woman who got entangled with government conspiracy and became a repeated target for experiments. She kept telling him she is just fine. He kept asking her still because he can see right through her. She hates that about him. Her mask works well with people but not with Mulder. He knows her too well for that.

“Did you see your doctor today?” he asked when she got into the office one day.

He’s been keeping up with her doctor’s appointment because he fears that her recent abduction might have affected her implant which where her life depends on. Everything checks out as always. As far as her doctor is concerned, she is a very healthy woman who just can’t conceive a child. She hates being a burden to Mulder. He got so much on his plate. He still needs to find his sister and the truth he’s been looking for all his life. Worrying about her all the time does not help with his quest. She has been assigned to the X Files initially to debunk Mulder’s work with her science. Now, she thinks she’s been assigned to debunk Mulder’s work by being the weight on Mulder’s back that drags him down so he won’t be able to fulfill his mission. Of course, she contested that idea. She does not want to believe it. She wants to believe that she’s been a big help to Mulder’s quest. He told her so but Mulder has a habit of saying words to her in order to make her feel better. It’s part of his care for her. He wants her to feel better. He is not a liar but he is capable of exaggerating things to keep her around.

Recently, she’s been proving her theory more and more. She is dragging Mulder down. He had turned down three cases because she had fainted twice and during the third case, he refused to let her go with him and when she insisted, he passed on the case to another department. It ended up in a big fight. She felt so useless. He means well. He’s just looking after her but she felt suffocated. She kept telling him she’s fine, that she only fainted because she got low blood pressure which her doctor has confirmed but Mulder did not buy it. He kept bringing up Antartica to the conversation and it pissed her off. She wants to move past it and he wouldn’t let her with his over-protectiveness.

Then, Gibson Praise came along. She is determined to make sure the boy will be safe and she’s not going to let Mulder force her to sit that one out. All of a sudden, Diana Fowley got into the scene and she found out a whole new side of Mulder’s past, the one he never talked about. Diana was there first. She had been with him when he found the X Files. She had helped him started it. She was his partner first. Scully kept a close eye. There is a part of her that does not trust her at all. Her gut is telling her something is off with Diana but her eyes are telling her something else. They worked so well together. They think alike. She never contested Mulder’s theory with sarcastic, skeptic comments and forced science and rationalism to every word he says. She supports him. Scully supports him too but she supports him by validating his theories by testing everything.

She felt a pang of jealousy but she wouldn’t dare admit it to Mulder when he dismissed her research about Diana’s whereabouts for the last seven years. She enlisted the help of the Gunmen not because she’s jealous but because she’s concerned. If they’re going to have help from Diana Fowley, Scully wants to make sure she can be trusted and she’s not going to derail Mulder’s quest for the truth and for his sister. Mulder said things that felt like a slap on her face. It took her few hours to fully digest it and she should have stayed mad a little longer but when he called and asked her to go somewhere, she obliged as usual because she does not know how to refuse him.

That’s when it hit her. Mulder will be forever on a quest. She will forever support him and being an additional burden is never going to be helpful for him. He needs someone who will devote her entire time and understanding to his theories. He needs someone who can hold her own and not always the victim of some abduction or conspiracy. That person is not going to be her no matter how much she wants it to be.

“Do you love him?” she asked bluntly when she cornered Diana inside the Hoover Building.

The question caught Diana off guard mainly because she expected hostility from Scully but her expression is soft, defeated, and exhausted.

“I do”, Diana answered.

“…and I hope that you’re here to help him and not hurt him”, Scully followed up.

“I will never hurt Fox”, Diana replied.

Despite her distrust for her, she believes that Diana really loves Mulder. She can see it in her eyes.

“Good. That’s all I needed to hear. Please do take care of him. He can sometimes get lost to his mission and he forgets to look after himself”, she said with a small smile.

Diana frowned.

“You’re talking like you’re going somewhere”, the woman noticed.

“Well, I think I am due for a little vacation and besides, Mulder wouldn’t be alone. You’re here and you’re not here to hurt him. That’s enough to put my mind at ease”, Scully explained.

“I will take care of him. You can count on that”, Diana said firmly and with that Scully left and went to Skinner’s office.

The man stared at the letter she just gave him. It is a short letter but he had read it again and again like he cannot understand the words she put on it.

“I don’t understand. What brought this on?” he asked with frown on his forehead.

“I have spent six years working for the X Files and for the bureau and in those six years, I have been abducted for months with no memory of it whatsoever, I lost my sister, I had been kidnapped by criminals, I got cancer and got saved by a mystery metal on my neck, and was rescued underground in Antartica with no recollection on how I got in that continent in the first place. Most people would have quit on the first thing I mentioned but I stuck around because I believed in Agent Mulder’s passion and quest and I still believe in them but I also believe that my contribution to such quest is not as fruitful as I once hoped. These events had impacted me on so many levels that it became a hindrance for me to function in my job as his partner. Also, being a constant target by the conspiracy and experiments only gets in the way of our work. Believe me, sir, when I say that I have thought about this a lot. This decision is the best I can come up with for everyone involved”, she answered.

Surely, he can see that. Skinner has been a witness to their journey from the start. He grew fond of the Mulder and Scully over the years and even went through lengths to help them and most of the time cover up their asses. This is why it came as a shock to him that Scully is now asking to be dismissed.

“I know this job has taken a lot from you but the Syndicate is dead now. The Smoking Man is hiding”, he argued.

She smiled.

“A lot of people are concerned with burying the truth, sir. You and I both know that. Agent Mulder will no doubt uncover those truths and I couldn’t bear to be the one holding him back. He got enough people trying to stop him from fulfilling his quest and I won’t be one of them”, she responded.

Skinner was helpless with her request. He can understand, of course, the toll it took on her and the amount of loss she endured being an agent who works for the X Files. She rarely asks him for anything and he felt obligated to do the same for her.

Mulder and Diana just got back from following a lead about his sister’s whereabouts. From what Scully had gathered, it was not as successful as he hoped for but it left another trail to follow. He told her what happened during the trip and explained why he did not ask her to come.

“Are you angry?” he asked when she’s not responding.

She went to his apartment carrying all the courage she had gathered while he was away.

“Mulder, I came here to tell you that I handed A.D. Skinner my resignation. He granted it”, she dropped.

He stopped moving. She thought he even stopped breathing. He did not expect her dropping that bomb on him like that or at all.

“Scully, I am sorry if I made you feel cuddled or if I am being overprotective of you. I am just looking after you. You don’t have to leave. I promise to stop doing that. I will not stop you anymore from working cases”, he blurted out with growing desperation.

Her heart melted. It felt wrong, what she’s doing. She knows this is hurting him but it’s for his own good. She’s doing it for him.

“Mulder, it has nothing to do with that. I appreciate your concern but like you said, this job has already taken a lot from me and I dislike being abducted from time to time not knowing if I will ever be returned or found or rescued. The Syndicate is dead. The Smoking Man is nowhere to be found, probably gone into hiding. Hunting for the truth should be easier now”, she explained with a small smile on her face.

She really does hope he will find what he’s looking for.

“I want to hunt the truth with you. I want to discover it with you”, he muttered.

Tears are threatening to fall from her eyes but she held it back. She won’t allow herself to show him her vulnerability.

“You don’t need me to be there. I believe you will find whatever it is you’re looking for. I just can’t be there anymore, Mulder. I hope you understand. I think it’s time for me to go out there and find my own truth”, she replied.

A single tear escaped his eyes and it broke her heart. She reminded herself again and again that she’s doing it for him. It’s all for him. It is the sacrifice she must make.

“I can’t stop you, can I?” he asked and she shook her head. It is final. “I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for either, Scully, and I am sorry if I drag you into this world but I am not sorry that I got to know you”, he said.

“I am not sorry about that either”, she replied.

Outside Mulder’s building, she saw a figure waiting for her by her car. She already knew who it is before she reached him. His smugness radiates a mile radius.

“Well done, Agent Scully”, Alex Krycek greeted.

“Shut up, Alex. You forgot, I am no longer an FBI agent. Now, I’ve done what you asked for. I quit the bureau. I quit the X Files and I just hurt Mulder’s feelings. Your turn to keep your end of the bargain”, she said with such force, Krycek left in awe.

“Don’t worry, Scully. I don’t go back on my word. I will not let Diana and Smoking Man succeed in hurting your precious Mulder”, she exhales deeply, “Have a safe trip”, he added as she got in her car and left.