Title: "Redemption"
Author: Angela W.
Category: MSR/Angst
Rating: R
Summary: Mulder and Scully find their professional
reputations upgraded as they investigate a
cult-killing case.
Timespan/Spoilers: Set sometime after Season 7 in the
"real" X-Files universe. In my "married" fanfic
series, this comes after "Desert Nights". No spoilers
for any particular episodes.
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me. They
are the property of Chris Carter and 1013 Productions.
Feedback: If it's nice or contains *constructive*
criticism, feedback is valued.
Archive: Feel free to archive anywhere!

This has been the case from hell. Literally. Some
sicko group of Satan worshipprs kidnapping and killing children. In thirteen different cities. We've been able to apprehend them in nine of the cities so far. Four more to go.

It's been hell in more ways than one. Mulder is doing
this almost solo. He's been flying to the cities to
look at the physical evidence, then air expressing
them back to me at the Quantico labs. It's not the way we prefer to work, but time is of the essence and this way seems to be successful. We're apprehending the killers, saving the children's lives. That's important to us.

What's not particularly important to us, but is
happening anyway, is the way this case is changing our professional standing. We are no longer "Spooky and Mrs. Spooky", the F.B.I.'s most unswanted. We're
suddenly the man and woman of the year. We are being
fawned over by superiors, rookie agents, field agents, instructors at Quantico - you name it. Once upon a time, I suppose that would have been important to me, but not anymore. I'm too worried about my husband. I can tell this case has dragged him right to the brink of sanity and it upsets me that I might not be there to keep him from tumbling over the edge.

Skinner has been more than supportive. He's promised
us the world when we get this one wrapped up. Right
now I'm heading toward our office, trying to figure
out exactly where Mulder is. En route to another city, probably. I've got a very strong feeling I need to find him, go to him. The cases won't be solved if he has a breakdown. Everyone admits that. Even people
like A.D. Kersch and Special Agent Tom Colton, people
who normally consider Mulder a nut, admit that he's
probably the only one in the whole damned bureau who
can do this.

I open the door to our basement office and suddenly
think that maybe I'm experiencing hallucinations.
Because there he is. Mulder. But he's got to be real,
because I don't think, even in my nightmares, I could
conjure up a man so haggard and haunted-looking as my
husband is right now. "Mulder," I say. Nothing more.
Just his name.

"Scully," he replies softly. "Come here." He's sitting at his desk with his eyes closed, wearing a
rumpled-looking shirt with his tie askew, a day or
two's worth of beard stubble covering his face. I have never loved him more than I do at this moment.

To an outsider, his words might sound like a command,
but I recognize them for what they are. A plea. I
hurry to his side. When I reach him, he grabs me and
pulls me into his lap, burying his face in my hair.

"Mulder," I say again, then hesitate. I want to tell
him. . .what? That I'm proud of him? That I'm here?
That I love him? All are true, but all are inadequate
to express the feelings welling up inside me.

Apparently he misinterprets my hesitation, because he
says in a rough voice, while tightening his arms
around me, "Scully, I NEED you. I need to hold you."

"I know. Shh! It's okay," I murmur. My husband needs
me and the rules - both the ones that the bureau
imposes and the ones we we set ourselves when we took
on the unprecedented step of being both a married
couple and F.B.I. partners - can go fuck themselves.
This isn't about sex, not really. My goals in life
have shrunk to exactly two: saving the lives of those
children and saving my husband's sanity. Whatever else has to be sacrificed in the process, including my career, is expendable. He can hold me as long as he needs to. And if he decides he needs me more
completley, and decides to take me right here on the
desk - well, that's fine, too.

I'm a good wife. That fact surprises Mulder sometimes, but not nearly as much as it surprises me. I've always been reserved, self-contained, career- oriented. I had a good example; my parents' marriage was good. But I didn't realize how much I would model myself on my mother until my own marriage. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we spent so many years going through hell with each other, intertwining our souls, before we finally got married and united our bodies. But I love him so much that I would do anything for him. Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully, M.D., the woman who practically defines the word "cautious" throws caution to the wind when it comes to Fox Mulder. And I do it gladly. In a way, I suppose, it began years ago, when I first began defying the bureau brass for his sake.

He is shaking, crying I think, with his face buried in my hair. I make wordless crooning noises, moving my hands softly across his neck and shoulders. Finally, he calms down. Maybe he has fallen asleep, I think. Between the horrors of the case and the fact that we've been apart, I know his old insomnia - which had practically disappeared since our marriage - is back full force. Maybe the familiarity of my touch, my scent has allowed him to relax.

Suddenly, the door swings open and a familiar voice
says, "Agent Scully, do you know where - Oh! Agent
Mulder!" It's Kimberly, Skinner's secretary. Normally, I would be embarrassed at being caught sitting on Mulder's lap in the office, even though it is after seven in the evening. Under most circumstances, I would jump up and make some lame excuse. But now I simply don't give a damn. I continue to sit where I am and simply look at her, one eyebrow slightly raised.

"Er, Agent Mulder?" Kimberly tries again, clearing her throat.

"What do you want, Kimberly?" Mulder says without
opening his eyes.

"The Assistant Director would like to see you in his
office, if you can spare the time," she says. Then
quickly adds, "Sir."

"Does he want me, too, or just Mulder?" I ask.

"He didn't say, um, Ma'am. I don't think A.D. Skinner
knew Agent Mulder was actually in the building. He
just sent me down here to ask if you knew where your,
er, partner was, because he needs to talk to him."

"Tell him we'll be there in a few minutes," Mulder

"Yes sir," Kimberly answers, hurrying out.


"Scully?" Mulder asks, lifting his head from my neck
and looking into my eyes.

"Yeah, Mulder?"

"Why is Kimberly calling me 'sir'? And you "ma'am"? On a a good day, we're lucky if she calls us Mulder and Scully. I've heard her use 'Spooky' and 'Mrs. Spooky' on more than one occasion."

"Haven't you realized, Mulder? Things have come full
circle. You are, once again, the bureau's boy wonder - except maybe you're a little too mature for the 'boy' part now. We're giving the bureau the best press it's had since way before Waco and Ruby Ridge. You're saving lives, busting satanic cults. . .hell,
practically leaping tall buildings in a single bound
and moving faster than a speeding bullet. Kimberly
probably would have genuflected if you told her to!"

"Scully, are you saying I've untrashed your career?"
he asks skeptically.

"Yours and mine both. Agents keep stopping me in the
halls out at Quantico and asking me if I'm really
Agent Mulder's partner."

"Scully, people have been asking you that for years!
The follow up questions are usually how do you put up
with me and why do you put up with me."

"Well, not anymore. These people are in awe, Mulder!
I'm not just talking students and rookies. I'm talking instructors out at Quantico, experienced field agents who had deliver evidence you want me to analyze. . .the whole works. There hasn't been a 'Spooky' reference in the bunch."

"That's. . .good. Maybe you'll stop being half of the
bureau's favorite joke now."

"Mulder, I don't care. Once I would have; I admit
that. I'm proud of you, but I'm also worried about
you. I just want this to be over. When it is, I'm
taking you away someplace warm and sunny. Maybe back
to Hawaii."

The mention of the place where we had our version of a "honeymoon" - while working a case for the Honolulu
field office and staying in the bureau's apartment for mainland agents, shortly after our Las Vegas wedding - brings a brief smile to his face. "Think the bureau would let us use the apartment it maintains out there for strictly recreational purposes?"

"Yes, Mulder, at this point I honestly think they

"We'll see. I might just want to *TELL* everybody
we're going to Hawaii and hunker down at home with you for a couple of weeks. We could stockpile our
groceries and not even go outside.

"Whatever you want, Mulder."

"I guess we need to go see what Skinner wants."

"So I heard."

"Are we going?"

"Scully, you'll have to get up first," he points out.

"Oh. Yeah." I slide reluctantly off his lap. He stands up and entwines our hands together.

We walk down the corridor together, holding hands.
Granted, it's after hours, but this is still not
standard procedure. We reach Skinner's office and walk straight in. He glances up with an expression on his face that hovers between welcome and concern.

"Agents," he says. "Have a seat."

"What do you want?" Mulder asks as we sit down. His
voice is neither friendly nor deferential, but it
isn't rude, either. Just weary.

"Agent Mulder, you are doing an outstanding job. I'm
impressed, the other assistant directors and section
chiefs are impressed; the director himself called me
the other day and told me how proud he is of you."

"Thanks. But it's not just me. Scully's doing her part in the labs. If that's all, we have work to do."

"Are you okay, Mulder? Off the record," Skinner says.

"I'm not sleeping well, that's all," Mulder replies.

"Would it be better if Scully was with you rather than here in the labs?"

"I'd sleep better, if that's what you're asking,"
Mulder answers. "But the cases wouldn't get solved as
quickly and I think that has to be our top priority

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Skinner asks.
"Understand, I'm asking as a friend, not a boss."

Mulder shoots an uneasy glance at me. "What, Mulder?"
I say gently.

"You're not going to like what I'm about to say,

I'm confused. He's just said he my lab work is crucial to solving the case. Has he decided now he wants me off it?

"What?" Skinner echoes.

Mulder sighs. "Just. . .keep an eye on Scully for me,
okay. It wouldn't be the first time some psycho tried
to get to me through her."

"I'll be her shadow," Skinner says. "And as soon as
the case is over, I'll personally bring her to
wherever you are."

I swallow my desire to object. Under normal
circumstances, I would point out that I'm a trained
agent, fully qualified to take care of myself. But
these aren't normal circumstances. Mulder needs to
know I'm safe. I remind myself of the twin goals I've
set for the immediate future: solving the case and
keeping Mulder sane. If the price I have to pay to
achieve those goals is enacting the part of an ingenue in a Victorian melodrama, then so be it.
Mulder's cell phone beeps at that point. They need in
him in the next city. Detroit, this time. He kisses me goodbye - briefly, but on the mouth - right in front of Skinner. Then he walks off into the night.


Skinner is as good as his word. It's like having a
235-pound shadow. He meets me at my door every morning and follows me out to Quantico. He repeats the process in the evenings, entering the apartment ahead of me to check for bogeymen lurking in the shadows. He calls me -or has Kimberly call me - almost as frequently as Mulder himself calls. I'm not sure, but I think he may be sleeping in his car outside my building.

Finally, it is over. The last killer has been caught.
Apprehended in New Orleans by Mulder and a group of
local field agents while in the very act of attempting to sacrifice a nine-year-old girl. I get the news first from Mulder and moments later from Skinner. There is to be a press conference that evening, but I'm not sure Mulder is in any shape to attend. Skinner has the two of us on a plane to New Orleans that leaves less than an hour after the call.

When we reach New Orleans, it is raining and evening
is closing in. We walk into the local field office and see Mulder slumped at a desk with his eyes closed.

"You two are Agent Mulder's partner and boss, right?"
asks the agent in charge. He's an older man, probably
near retirement agent.

"That's right," Skinner replies. "Is he okay?"

"I don't know," the other agent says with a shrug. "He hasn't said a word since we made the arrest. The
mayor's holding a press conference in an hour, to
assure the citizens that the streets are safe again.
There will be national media there, since this
kidnapping has been linked to others across the
country. I'd like Agent Mulder to be there. He
deserves the credit and he's the one who can answer
all the questions."

Skinner and I walk over to Mulder. I take his hand and hold it between both of mine. It's like ice.

"Agent Mulder, are you up to answering a few questions at the press conference?" Skinner asks. "After that, it will all be over."

"I need a few minutes alone with Scully first," Mulder says.

"I'll see what I can do," Skinner replies. But before
Skinner can do anything, we are hustled out of the
building by the agent in charge.

"I'll drive Agent Mulder and Agent Scully to the
briefing," Skinner says. His tone brooks no argument.

Mulder and I get into the back seat of the large
luxury-model sedan Skinner rented at the airport. It
is raining in torrents now and full night has

As soon as we pull out of the parking lot, Skinner
does something which I wouldn't think our by-the-book
boss would ever do. He reaches up to the rearview
mirror and wrenches it off the inside of the
windshield, then tosses it casually on the floor of
the passenger side of the front seat.

"I realize you two need a little privacy," he says.
"Under the circumstances, the best I can do is rip off the rearview mirror and turn the radio up loud. It should take us about twenty minutes to reach our
destination." With that, he turns the volume of a
classical music station up as high as it will go and
concentrates on driving through the rain.


Mulder unbuckles my seat belt and his, then pulls me
down on top of him. The seat is long enough for me to
stretch my petite frame out full length, but my
husband's greater height means his legs are bent and
shoulders are hunched. He rolls us so we are
side-by-side, spooning, both of us facing the blank
expanse of the back of the front seat.

"Scully, I need you," Mulder murmurs into my ear,
tightening his arms around me.

"I know, Mulder," I reply. "I'm here. It's okay."

Mulder is sobbing against my hair and whispering in my ear. "God, Scully, it was horrible. I'm so glad it's over. So happy you're here."

I twist my head so that I can look at him over my
shoulder, but without interupting the alingnment of
our lower bodies. Not the easiest position in the
world to contort my body into. I capture his mouth
with my own in a tender kiss. "I'm here, Mulder. I'll
always be here for you."

We lay cuddling for a few moments, taking comfort from being back together. We kiss once more, then Skinner turns down the volume slightly and hollers out, "Agents? We're about three minutes away from out

I reach up and tap our boss on the shoulder. "We're
fine, A.D. Skinner. Thanks for giving us some time."

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