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Probate
by Maureen B. Ocks
Maureen_B_Ocks@yahoo.com

Disclaimer:  Fox Mulder, Dana Scully and all other familiar X Files 
characters belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and FOX.  No copyright 
infringement intended.

Archive -- Spookys are OK, everyone else just needs to tell me.
Spoilers:   Closure
Keywords:  Fox Mulder the next forty years, established MSR.

Author's notes at the end.

x-x-x

One of the nicest things about mathematics, or anything else you might care 
to learn, is that many of the things which can never be, often are. You see 
it's very much like your trying to reach Infinity. You know that it's there, 
but you just don't know where-but just because you can never reach it doesn't 
mean that it's not worth looking for - The Phantom Tollbooth

x-x-x

I wake up alone.

Usually that isn't that troubling but I am sleeping in Mulder's bed and this 
has been the week from hell.

Let me clarify that -- this has been his week from hell -- I'm still shaking 
off issues from last month's week from hell that was more designed for me.

I shouldn't have been shocked not to find Mulder in bed, it is ten minutes 
after noon.  Normally I would never sleep this late but then again, it is ten 
after nine in California.

Padding into the living room, I am still Mulderless.  His running shoes are 
in the foyer, the day's newspaper on the dining room table.

Ed Truelove made the cover of the Washington Post.  He's pleading not guilty 
by reason of insanity.  He has hired some big shot lawyer and is weighing 
interview requests from major news organizations.

Memo to Diane Sawyer:  I spoke to Ed.  He isn't all that scintillating.

If Mulder is out, I hope he is buying food.  There are two Bud tall boys left 
over from last night's take out Chinese delivery and a couple of packets of 
duck sauce.  Not exactly the breakfast of champions.  He does have some 
Starbucks ground coffee left over from my post Donnie stay. After starting a 
pot, a shower seems like a wonderful idea.

Ten glorious, steamy minutes later, I'm cleaned, dressed and no longer alone. 
 Mulder's back.

He is sitting at his desk gazing out the windows.  Well, not really sitting.  
He has his feet up on the desk and is in a half reclined position  

"Hey."

He turns a little, showing that unique profile, "Good morning, whoops 
afternoon."

"When'd you get up?"

"Skinner called at about ten to seven.  Tried you at home but got your 
machine.  He figured you were probably on your way over here."

"Oh."  For some reason, I'm blushing.

He gives me a conspiratorial smirk, "Do you think Skinner still believes 
Ricky and Lucy slept in separate beds?"

I give him a look, which was what he was going for, and turn to the kitchen, 
"What did he want?"

"Do you remember Luke Stewart?"

I find a pair of semi-clean mugs and pour Mulder and myself some coffee.  
"The agent running the crime scene at Truelove's?"

Mulder sighs just as I return to the living room, "One and the same.  He 
check himself into a hospital yesterday morning.  He wasn't able to stop 
crying after he woke up."

I hand him a cup of coffee, "Oh God."   He just puts it down on the desk as I 
move to chair next to the TV.  

"Yea.  Skinner said that the Director wants all agents involved in the case 
to know he thinks what Stewart did was the right thing and that we all can 
take as much time as we need to deal with what was there."  Mulder makes 
quote marks in the air, "The Bureau will only look at any time taken after 
this event or any intervention with mental health professionals as a 
responsible reaction to an impossible circumstance."

I sip my coffee, "Skinner going to take some time?"

"That's why he called so early.  He's off to see his mother in Bartlett, 
Tennessee for a few days.  He said he wanted to go some place where the 
people are real and the kids just play all day."  Mulder's voice just fades.

"Makes sense."

He stares out the window, looking at nothing really.  "When you were a kid, 
what was your relationship like with your brothers?"

"Charles or Bill?"

"Since you've shown me no empirical evidence that Charles actually exists..."

"Oh, so now you're interested in real evidence."  I tease, putting my coffee 
on the floor.  I walk over to his odd coat rack and fish my wallet out of my 
coat pocket.  Charles sent the latest pictures of his family at Christmas.  
"Here is your proof Mulder."  I hand him the happy family shot.

He looks at the photo, looks at me and looks at the picture again.  "There is 
more of a resemblance between you and Charles here than you and Bill."

"We look like Scullys.  Bill, except for his hair color, takes after my 
mother."

"What a cruel, cruel thing to say about your mother."  He hands the photo 
back to me, "Did you guys get along?"

"Charles and me?  Oh yea.  Thick as thieves was my father's favorite 
expression.  Whenever Bill and Missy were fighting, which was often, he'd 
always wonder aloud why they couldn't get along like the two of us."

"All brothers and sisters fight."

"Oh, and Charles and I had our moments I'm sure, but when we were little my 
father had us moving all the time.  I guess I was seven when we were living 
in southern Georgia.  Dad got his orders in March that we were moving to 
Illinois in June.  Mom wouldn't let Charlie join Little League that year, 
even though it was all he talked about after he got his first baseball glove 
for Christmas."

"Why didn't she let him join?"

"When we moved from Washington State to Georgia, Charlie had a tough time 
missing his kindergarten friends.  She didn't want him to bond any more 
deeply with the kids in Georgia if we were going to Illinois in a few weeks."

"Tough call."

"Probably the right call in hindsight, but he was heartbroken.  Heartbroken 
we were moving, heartbroken he couldn't play."  

"You play with him?"

"In the visitor's parking lot.  It was always empty anyway.  Charlie and I 
would play catch.  I'd pitch to him and let him hit.  When we finally moved, 
there were a lot of kids his age in Great Lakes but he'd always make sure I'd 
have plans if he was going off with the boys to play.  It was always like 
that with us.  He'd make sure I was alright, I'd make sure he was alright.  
If one of us wasn't, the other just knew to change things."

"It was nice you always had each other."

"We had do.  When you're the new kids on the base, you needed each other if 
you weren't extroverted."

"Bill?"

"Sort of."  I sigh and try to explain the brother I love to the only man I'd 
ever want to understand.  "Missy was the family extrovert.  She had friends 
flocking to her.  Bill, on the other hand, had it hard growing up."

Mulder gives me a very surprised look.

"Bill...it is a hard thing to be named after someone, even harder in the 
military.  My father, who was an incredible presence in all of our lives was 
even more larger than life to Bill.  Add in the fact that everyone on the 
different bases would know my father because he was the up and coming officer 
or the new man in charge.  The men who reported to him or the senior officers 
on the base would call Bill the little Lieutenant or the Junior Officer in 
the family.  He'd be told by the neighbors that he was the man of the house 
whenever my father was gone.  It was harder for him."

"You are a kind hearted woman Dana Scully."  Mulder leans forward in some 
sort of gravity defying move and takes his coffee.  He takes a long sip and 
stares back out the window.

"What was she like?"  Samantha Mulder in some ways has always been the holy 
grail.  It was hard to remember sometimes that what Mulder was looking for 
was really a who.  "You've told me about what happened to her and small 
things like playing ball and going to the beach or the summer home.  Was she 
smart?  Did she have a lot of friends?  Did she play with Barbies?  Swim?"

Mulder thinks for a minute -- maybe the "who" of Samantha was a little lost 
on him as well.  "She was smart.  Not straight A's, which I could tease her 
about since we had all the same teachers and I had better grades.  She had a 
ton of friends.  Mom had a birthday party for her the Saturday before her 
birthday that year.  There had to be 50 kids there.  Kids in my grade, kids 
in lower grades.  Everybody loved her."  Mulder gets a little misty.  "She 
had this long brown hair and these braids and you could just see her playing 
with a bunch of other kids from across the playground or the field.  She was 
just loved."

I often wonder if Mulder knows how much he means to people.  People like 
Skinner or me, who would follow him into hell.  There wouldn't be 50 people 
at a party for Mulder, but there would be a handful of people there to jump 
in front of a train for him.  "I think she would have adored you Mulder."

Mulder flinches like he was hit.  He takes his feet off the desk and turns to 
me.  "You think so?"

"Absolutely.  She remembered you."

"She remembered I teased her."

"She remembered you.  With everything that they did to her, she remembered 
you.  She remembered what you looked like, she remembered what you were to 
each other."  I get up and crouch down before him, "And I am sure as much as 
she was running away from them she was running to you.  She wanted to see 
you."

"I'd like to think that." His voice is choked with emotion.

"Mulder, take a good look at those pictures you have of  her.  Of those 
pictures of you two together.  She's always looking at you, doing what you 
were doing."

Mulder wipes a tear away.

"And you honored her request.  After all she went through, she hoped the 
brother she remembered would find her diary.  You did.  You found out what 
happened to her.  In the last months of her life, you are the only person who 
did what she wanted.  You honored her wishes."

"God, I hope so."

I give Mulder a kiss on the forehead and move to the bathroom.  Taking the 
box of Kleenex, I grab one for myself and return to the living room.  Mulder 
takes a few  himself but starts to laugh when my stomach growls.

"Please tell me you were buying food while you were out."

"Sorry, spent the morning with my ex-wife."

I must stare at Mulder bug-eyed since he starts to smile.  Mulder, once 
again, achieved his desired effect.

"My mother contacted Susan about eight months ago when she was diagnosed.  
She told Susan that she wanted to make things simple for me and had Suz 
update her will, organize her papers, the whole nine yards."

I'm sure there is something appropriate to say here but "That was nice of 
her" is nothing I feel like saying about Teena Mulder today.

Or tomorrow.

Or anytime soon.

"Is everything in order?" is the best I can come up with.

"Yes.  Outside of a few pieces of jewelry from her mother that she wanted 
passed on to my Aunt Terry and my cousin Stacy, I'm it."

"That does sound right."

"While I was there I called Aunt Terry.  We're going to have to go up the 
Vineyard in early spring for a service."

"Not this week?"

"No, never one to inconvenience her family, Mom wanted to be cremated and 
scattered into the Long Island sound.  The funeral home in town has already 
taken care of it."

"You OK with that?"

"I am.  Aunt Terry wasn't but Mom made it clear that was what she wanted."  
He runs his hand through his hair.  "I'm also going to make it a memorial for 
Samantha.  Mom hated the Vineyard after Samantha was gone but it was 
Samantha's home and I want to bring her memory home."

"That's what she wanted.  She wanted to go home."

Mulder sighs and stares at the ceiling.  "I'm going to take the money from 
the sale of the homes on the Vineyard and donate it in Samantha's name to a 
couple of charities.  Susan's looking into a few for me."

"Center for Missing and Exploited Children?"

"That's one.  I'm thinking of the Starlight Foundation and Susan knew about 
something called Girls Incorporated."

"I think I read about them."

"They support events and activities that encourage young girls to be strong 
and nothing is more appropriate than that."

"I like that."  My stomach growls again, "Do you have enough left to buy me a 
sandwich, Mr. Moneybags?"

"Might be able to scrape enough cash together for that."  He stands up and 
scrubs his face.  "Lemme clean up.  Are you taking any time off?"

I look at my watch, it is almost 12:30pm on February 16th.  "I think I'll 
probably go back next Monday.  You?"

"Monday's a holiday."

"Even better.  Going back on a short week sounds like a plan.  You are going 
to take a few days."

"Oh yea.  You wanna do anything?"

"Nothing really.  Just do some laundry, get some sleep, relax.  You?"

"Figure out the rest of my life from here.  Fox Mulder act two.  There are a 
lot of things I want to do.  With the exception of when you told me you were 
in remission, I finally feel like I have my whole life in front of me.  This 
is my commencement -- 25 years of one thing and now I'm on to something else. 
 I need to realize that I guess."

I pull him into a hug.  We stand that way for a long time.

"Will you call your mom for me?"  His breath ruffles the hair on top of my 
head.

"Sure.  Why?"

"Just call her.  Say hi.  Talk about your brothers, reminisce about playing 
ball with your brother."

I pull away from him, "You're not alone Mulder.  I'm not going anywhere."

He stares at his shoes, "I'm sorry I missed Valentine's Day."

"You were distracted and rightfully so.  Besides, I'm not a hearts and 
flowers girl anyway."

"You should be.  You deserve it"

"Buy me lunch, I'll forgive you."

He disappears into the bathroom.  I go to his bedroom and find my shoes.  I 
return to find Mulder has his jacket on and is holding mine.

"I told her about Samantha.  That I found out what happened to Samantha."

"Who?"  I slide into my coat.

"Susan.  The artist formerly known as Mrs. Mulder."

I smile.  Mulder and his ex seem to be on better terms than most.  Somehow I 
wouldn't expect Mulder to be any other way.  "Did she have a reaction?"

"She quoted a movie to me."

That is definitely something a Mulder ex-wife would do.  "What movie?"

"Not sure, I'm going to surf the net later to find it but I liked the quote."

"Spill." I say as we leave his apartment.

"She said 'Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything 
he always wanted.'"

"'He lived happily ever after.'" I tell him.

I think for the first time in while I've made Mulder smile -- really smile. 
Dazzled even.  "Tell me the movie later.  I'm too disturbed that you and my 
ex-wife are on the same page."

x-x-x

Author's notes:

The movie was "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".  The artist formerly 
known as Mrs. Mulder comes from a post BioGen story I wrote.  

This is the second part of a 3 part idea I have.  The post-Orison story that 
includes Scully's Starbucks coffee is about half done and the Birthday story 
with Charlie is swimming around in my head.   My goal -- get them done before 
the finale.

Girls Incorporated is a real organization and a good one:  
http://www.girlsinc.org/index.html

As always, thank you to the incredible Shari Long.  Besides her support, 
Shari provided a home for Mrs. Skinner.  I'm sure Walter is as grateful as I 
am. 

Thanks to the Primal Screamers who make me laugh each and every day.

Feedback -- why of course:

Maureen_B_Ocks@yahoo.com