Pass Failure
by Maureen B. Ocks

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:   This takes place between "Milagro" and "The
Unnatural" but has to do with what happened in "Per Manum". 
I can draw you a map if you need me to.
Keywords:  Nah, Marguerite is right about these.

Author's notes at the end.


You always pass failure on the way to success.


I wake for the second time today in Scully's apartment.  Like
the first time, I'm looking for her. Unlike the first time, I'm

My pants are here somewhere, I'm sure, but the only thing I can
find are my boxers and undershirt.  They are folded neatly on
Scully's dresser.  Hopefully Scully has my pants -- wherever
they are.

Wherever she is.

After getting semi-dressed, I find that 'wherever' for my pants,
along with my shirt and socks, is folded neatly on her couch
with my sneakers 'wherevering' near the door.

'Wherever' for Scully is the hard back chair at her little dining
room table.  She is in a short robe with her knees pulled up tight
to her chest.  She looks out of the window until she hears my
bare foot hit the hard wood floor.

"Hey."  She turns her head to me for a second, offers a small
smile and returns to searching the skies.

"Hey."  I pull the chair across the table and sit down next to
her.  "What's going on out there?"


"Was I stealing the covers?  Feet too cold?"

She turns to me again, the smile is dazzling but her eyes are sad,
"No Mulder, you were fine.  Perfect actually, everything tonight
was perfect."

"My ego thanks you." I try to match her smile.  "My self-doubt,
always a stronger pull, wonders why perfection includes you
getting about as far away from me as you can and still be inside
your apartment."

"So you are a psychologist after all.  Psychoanalyze." She drops
her legs to the ground and leans back in her chair.

I lean forward, resting my elbows on the table, my chin in my
hands.  I look at her for a second and start, "Your whole life has
been about success.  In a family led by a strong, tough man --
tough in a good way Scully," I don't need her pissed off because
I am dissing her father, "you find yourself in a physically and
intellectually demanding career.  You were an honor student for
your entire academic career.  In college, you major in physics,
not an easy major or one filled with women.  You move onto
medical school, difficult again, but more women there.  By
specializing in pathology, you're back being one of the few of
your gender."

"This isn't a woman thing."

"No, it's not.  You go onto the FBI where again, you are a
woman in a largely male institution.  You thrive despite where
you are assigned.  People call me when they've got nowhere
else to go and they're desperate.  People call you because, hell,
you're the first one anyone with half a brain would go to for

"So you've come to the conclusion that I'm a helpful female."
She chuckles.  "That Oxford is some institution."

"I've come to the conclusion that if Dana Scully wants to
achieve something, it happens.  You can outwork, outthink and
outdo anyone.  You may not be able to do some things
physically but you'll figure out a way to compensate for it.  
Pinker Rawls comes to mind."

Scully's eyes gain some mischief.  "We're sitting here in our
underwear and you're thinking about a naked Pinker
Rawls....Mulder, you want to tell me something?"

"Yeah, I do want to tell you something.  Sitting here with you
in my underwear is perfect."

Maybe for the first time since I woke up, Scully's eyes match
her smile.  "Continue with my profile."

"Not a profile."  It comes out harsher than I intend.

"Sorry.  Continue with my analysis."

"So, Dana Scully, the smallest in her family has the biggest,
badass job.  Dana Scully, probably the smartest girl  in her male
run military base schools winds up in medical school.  Dana
Scully, who was probably pushed to something like pediatrics
or obstetrics, winds up as a forensic pathologist.  Dana Scully,
assigned originally as an FBI instructor winds up being one
terrific field agent."

"Mulder, you're supposed to do all this sucking up before you
get me to bed, not after."

"No sucking up.  Statement of facts."  I smile at Scully because
the next few lines may get brutal.  "Dana Scully gets what she

"Not always." She seems defeated.

"What would you have done if I said no?"

"Are you happy this didn't ...."

I quickly shake my head.  "Jesus Scully, of course not.  But was
there a 'plan b' if I said no?"

She sighs.  "Not immediately but I would have researched other

"Such as?"

"An anonymous donor I guess.  But..."


"I didn't think you would say no."

That surprises me.  "You seemed ready for rejection the night I
said yes."

"I thought there was an outside chance you'd say no but," she
admires her manicure for a second, "I think you knew this was
important to me, and how important it was to me, and..."

"And?"  This is getting more fascinating by the minute.

She looks right at me.  "And I never really had much of a 'plan
b'.  Your involvement was important."

I am ridiculously pleased by that admission.  "So Dana Scully,
master of all her endeavors, wants something and for some
really unknown reason I throw up a road block.  You still

"The point is moot." she interrupts, waving her hand

"No it's not.  If someone tells you no, you're not the sort of
person who sits and accepts it.  You figure out a way to get
what you want."

"Even if it's impossible."


"Mulder, this is impossible."

"The treatment you explored didn't work.  There are other
options.  Surrogate mother, a donor egg, adoption..."

"I had medical proof that Emily Sims was my daughter and I
couldn't make a strong enough case that I was a qualified

"Bullshit again.  You're making that judgement, no one else. 
You are way too hard on yourself."

She points to me and then to herself, "Pot, kettle."

"Not the point.  This didn't work.  I would imagine the first time
you had to go through the obstacle course at Quantico you had
some problems."

"I bounced over that wall like it was a crack in the sidewalk."
she states proudly.

"OK, maybe it was the tires.  Anyway, you obviously overcame
those problems."

"This is different somehow.  This is something I can't train for
or study.  And I never thought I'd have to."  She stands and
slides into the kitchen.  I go to follow but she's back quickly
with a couple of glasses and a bottle of scotch.  "Did you have a
hard time getting over the wall?"

"No, but.."

"But?"  She pours us each a drink and inhales hers.

"But they wanted me in.  The first time I ran the course in near
required time, I passed.  Same with a lot of the classes.  It's why
I can't seem to hold on to my gun.  Patterson wanted me out of
the Academy as fast as possible."

She nods.  "I had a few months off between graduation and
Quantico.  I trained every day.  I got permission from Annapolis
to use their equipment.  It was me and a couple hundred
midshipmen working out every day."

"Were they cute?" I tease.

"No, they were just like you right now.  Supportive, watch the
tiny doctor climb the rope.  Woohoo!  Look how fast her little
legs run. They were cheerleaders."

I take a small sip of the scotch.  Scully has the good stuff.  "I'm
not much of a cheerleader Scully.  I'm just someone who has
watched you get things done for six years.  This didn't work for
you and I'm sorry.  So very sorry.  But the Dana Scully I know
will spend a day or two regrouping and start investigating again. 
Rework the options and find the answer"

"A search for a baby?"

"A search for what you want for your life, what we want for
our lives."  I push the glass aside and take her hand.  "You said
my involvement was important."

"Yes, this would have been hard without your involvement. 
Probably impossible without your support.  It may be
impossible anyway."  Her eyes drop to her hand in mine.

"I never thought I'd have a child until you asked."

She looks surprised.  

"But I had plans about it after you asked.  All sorts of plans.  A
little boy to teach how to field a ground ball, how to swim, 
how to wear a tie and roll up his sleeves without ruining his
shirt.  Or a little girl who looks like you on a merry-go-round,
jumping rope, holding my hand when we cross the street."

"You'd be a wonderful father."

"And you will be a great mother, Scully.  You just need to
decide how we're going to do this."

"I need some time to think about this."

I lean across the table and kiss her.  The scotch is still warm on
her lips.  "You make the call.  But I'm here and I plan on being
here for whatever you do."

"Even if I want to talk about a naked Pinker Rawls?"

I kiss her again -- a little longer, a lot harder, "I may have to
find something to distract you."

"You really had plans?" she asks as we start back to her
bedroom.  "You never have plans."

"Yeah, I have plans."  I pull her with me back to the bed, "Plans
for tonight.  Plans for us.  Plans for the future."

"I'm in the plans."

"You are the plans."  


Author's notes:

The last line of "Per Manum" bothered me.  A lot.  Mulder isn't
a hope for miracles guy.  He makes his own miracles or at least
tries to be apart of making them.  This is pro-active Mulder.

Since "Per Manum" had no date stamp (but none of that bad
season 7 hair either), I decided this happened between
"Milagro" and "The Unnatural".  They were far more playful
with each other by "The Unnatural" and Mulder was pissy and
hurt to the extreme when Scully didn't want to go look for
aliens in North Carolina in "Field Trip".  By season 7, well,
watch Scully play with Mulder's tie in "Rush" and tell me they
weren't investigating more than X Files.

And yes, I think little "Testubula" (tm:  Kipler in AOL's spoiler
folder) is Mulder's and not some alien hybrid or something else. 
Carter needs a happy ending for these two.  No one is going to
buy his season 3-7 DVDs or calendars if Mulder dies and Scully
winds up giving birth to ET's little brother.

The quote in the beginning comes from Mickey Rooney of all

Kudos, many thanks and general applause goes to Shari for
following the dancing tense changes, fighting the it's/its war and
figuring out who is wearing what while discussing Pinker Rawls
and underwear.

By the way, feedback is so much better than a naked Pinker