Summary: He has reached his distant planet now, after searching for so long. post-NIHT
Key Words: MulderAngst, implied MSR
Spoilers: Seasons 7 through 9, but set post-NIHT and pre-The Truth.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own these characters. I’m just a puppeteer.
Archive: Gossamer, please. Email me before archiving elsewhere. I don’t see why I’d refuse.
Comments: This story has not been beta-ed, because I didn’t have time. It’s short, it’s weird, it’s angsty, and it might not make sense to everyone. In fact, it might not make sense to anyone!
“o come, terrible anonymity; enfold
phantom me with the murdering minus of cold…”
– e.e. cummings
This is the way stories end, Mulder thinks.
Sitting somewhere along a pier, in the moonlight. Silently waiting for nothing to happen.
The night is a silver vision, cool and vast. He watches gentle waves break on the beach, his eyes following the lacy ripples as they sink into the sand. The ocean is spread out before him – an inviting, silken universe. But he knows it would be cold as Pluto.
He has reached his distant planet now, after searching for so long.
Stooped over the sea like an old, weary fisherman, Mulder is drenched by epiphany. There are no answers to any questions, no balms to any wounds. There is only this night, encircling him, choking him with gentle icy fingers. The day does not matter at this hour.
Even Scully seems remote. After all, even the brightest star is billions of miles from earth.
Scully once held him in the fading glow of passion, and told him she would never be with another man. Even if you were gone, she said, I wouldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it, she said. And he kissed the soft hollow behind her ear, not sure how to reply.
Much later, hundreds of people learned that Scully was carrying his child. At the time, Mulder was not one of them. Mulder was dead.
John Doggett, on the other hand, was very much alive.
Sitting on the pier, Mulder wonders just how cold the sea would be. He remembers it takes four minutes for a person to drown. What would it be like, to pass out in the gloomy water?
It would be salty and gritty, he thinks. Unbearably dark.
There’s no way he can do it. Scully might be far away, but she is still just as warm, just as vibrant. He has already drained enough of these qualities from her.
Mulder once said something to Scully that he shouldn’t have. He once accused her of something, and now he can never take it back.
His words lurk in his mind. They seem sordid, almost slimy. A line from a soap opera. A line from his own father. “Did you sleep with him?”
After doing so much wrong in his life, Mulder wonders why he was born. But this seems ridiculously melodramatic, and he feels even worse. He has no wish to be the anti-hero or the Greek tragedy. He just wants to be safe and happy, with Scully.
Mulder thinks – there must be a remedy somewhere. How can the world really be this hard to live through? Once it seemed so hopeful and beautiful, especially in summer, when the worst thing he could do was dribble popsicle onto a clean shirt.
Then, somehow, life degenerated to profiling serial killers by day and watching dirty movies by night. He lost his family, his friends and his reputation, and now he feels himself losing hope. What little hope remains, anyway.
What he needs is a way to redeem himself. Only then could he be at peace in this peaceful setting. Only then would he truly believe, ‘This is the way stories end’. At the moment, however, there is no end in sight.
He’s been searching for his own redemption all along, above anything else.
This is more selfishness, leading to more guilt. Mulder smiles bitterly, shaking his head. One day his burdened back will break.
For now though, it is night. A man on the run has little chance to think, so Mulder savours the moment. His pain comes and goes like the tide.
This story was written as a Haven Challenge Fic (for the October 2002 challenge). I hope I’ve filled out the requirements (I was a bit…subtle. Yes, subtle, that’s a nice way of putting it ).
Okay, let’s play “Find the Challenge Elements” (it’s like “Where’s Waldo?”) –
A “bump” got visible
Someone or something lurking
The moon (or mooning)