La Tormenta
By Maureen B. Ocks

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

Archive -- Sure, just tell me and keep my name with it.
Spoilers:   Agua Mala and everything before that.
Keywords:  Sometimes the worst storms rage inside.

R for language, author's notes at the end.


Scully promised me she'd rest.  She would rest, Dales would check on his
neighbors and I'd go into town to find a working phone.

About an hour later, Skinner's always-efficient assistant had us on a
9pm flight to D.C.  I picked up some nice Starbucks Coffee from a rather
chipper woman named Sandy and a Pepperidge Farm Variety Pack from a
rather sullen kid named Frank at 7-11.

When I returned, Scully wasn't resting in Dales's trailer.  To her
credit, there was a note.  


Couldn't sleep.  Beach.

So now I find her about half a block from Dales's home where she said
she'd be -- on the beach.  Barefoot, she stands between wood that
yesterday was a dock, a beached boat and a store's worth of patio
furniture.  As she looks at the ocean, it hits me again how small she
really is, dwarfed by a giant piece of wood about four feet to her left
and a picnic table standing straight on its end behind her. 

With a coffee cup in each hand and the 7-11 bag in my mouth, I kick the
picnic table twice before it falls into a usable state.  Scully hears
the table land.  I raise the coffee cups in the air to entice her.  

As I put cookies, the coffee and my tired ass on the table top, Scully
picks up her sneakers and joins me.  

"Starbucks is open?"  She inhales deeply, obviously enjoying the Mocha
Java rush.

"Goodland is in decent shape.  I saw someone opening The Gap."  I open
the cookies and grab two Brussels.  She takes a pair of Chessmen and
looks out at the water.

"You OK?" I ask her.

"Oh yea," she nods and continues to stare at the ocean, "just enjoying
the view."

The view is interesting.  The sky is the most amazing blue -- the color
of her eyes.  I think it is the color of her eyes -- she just keeps
looking at the water.      

"Is Mr. Dales OK?" she asks after a sip of her coffee.

"Yep, seems he's really the king of the trailer court here.  The cops
all know him, the neighbors like him and he's telling folks what
government agency they should contact to get help."

"A one man FEMA crew."

"Something like that."

We sit quietly for a few minutes -- I try not to scratch my neck.  

Scully just stares at the water.  Never taking her eyes off the horizon
as she sips her coffee or takes a cookie.  

"You've earned a fan in Dales, Scully.  He usually doesn't take to
people but he seems to like you."  Not my best line but somehow "Hey
baby, what's your sign?" is just not Scully.

"Seems like a good enough guy once you get past his quirks and
attitude."  She chuckles a little, "Now I know what they look for in X
File department heads."

"Hey." I pretend to be offended but the thought occurred to me last
night.  When he was giving her a speech about the sea, I could have said
the same damn thing -- probably would have.

"He never had a real partner after Agent Michel did he?"

"No, just a series of men either on probation or between assignments. 
If they were a good agent, they served their time and transferred out. 
The bad ones, you should pardon the expression, washed out.  No one more
than a year."

She nods her head and continues to stare at the Atlantic.

"He's right, you know." I tell her.


"You.  You handled everything yesterday -- the baby, paranoid George,
the creature from the Goodland Lagoon."   She turns to me, surprised by
my praise.  Well of course she's surprised, I was so open with my
appreciation for her with Diana.  "You handled it beautifully always." I add the last two words a beat too late.

"Who are you and what have you done with Fox Mulder?" she asks me,
pulling at my bandage.

"Hey, watch the neck.  I haven't thought about scratching it in the last
three minutes."

"You should have gotten some calamine lotion instead of the cookies." 
She takes a chocolate chip and a long gulp of her coffee.

I flash her the little pink bottle in my windbreaker.

"My God.  If you are Fox Mulder, you just may be learning."  She smiles
at her own jibe and turns back to looking at the water.

I don't know why she is in this mood, but I have a guess.  Little Leroy

We sit quietly for a few minutes, sipping our coffee and munching on New
England's finest.

She turns to look at me.  God she's amazing.  I drag her into a
hurricane and she looks better than ever.  The hospital let her shower
while they were cleaning me up.  There was no extra generator power for
a hair dryer though.  Her hair is curling in about ten different
directions and they are all beautiful.

Of course they are beautiful -- she is beautiful.

"Think you could retire someplace like here Mulder?"

I have no idea where that came from.  None.  "We just got ourselves back
into the FBI Scully.  I'm really not thinking about retirement just

"Not now, twenty-five, thirty years from now, when you are as old as

"I am never getting as old as Dales."  

That statement startles her.  It startles me as well.

"I plan on working until the FBI throws me out,"  I take a long sip of
my extra large Sumatra, "which could be next week.  I think retiring to
someplace like have not much to do all day, every day, is the
fastest way to die."

"As opposed to driving around in a hurricane."

"Hey, we found shelter."

"That we did."

I wonder why she is thinking this way.  We are dancing around a delicate
time in our relationship.  There is this thing we've always had, this
thing I nearly killed a few weeks ago.  I want it back, I want her to
want it back.  Now she is talking about retirement plans.  Something is
up.  "Would you retire someplace like here?" 

"Oh no, I like the four traditional seasons -- winter, spring, summer
and fall.  I don't think I could deal with warm, hot, muggy and
hurricane."  She takes another long sip of her coffee.  "No, I was
thinking more about my folks."

"I don't see your Mother in a trailer park."

Scully chuckles.  "No, definitely not.  No.  Dad retired about five
months before he died.  They were going to spend the winter in Maryland
and then tour a couple of retirement areas, not rush into anything.  Mom
liked San Diego, Dad was open to everything."

"So Scully logic is genetic huh?"

She nods.  "I guess.  They just had other friends who retired to places
like this, Panama City, Corpus Christi, San Diego and six months later
were buying homes in their old neighborhood.  They didn't want to make
that mistake."

"Where do you think they would have settled?"

"I don't know.  I know Mom stayed to be near me."

"That's good, isn't it?"

She shrugs and returns to her quiet study of the water.

After a few minutes, she turns to me again, "Mulder, I lied to you a few
weeks ago."

"You don't like that new black suit I bought?  God, that was ...."  Her
face tells me she's in no mood for my jokes.  As I looked at her,
neither am I.  "Scully, what's wrong?"

"Remember when I was in the hospital, I told you I called my Mom but she
was staying home because she fell on the ice..."

"She didn't fall."

"She wasn't even in Maryland.  She flew back to San Diego with Bill,
Matty and Tara on New Year's Eve.  She was going out there for a

"You didn't want to bring her back."

"I thought that at the time."

"And now?"

"I didn't want her to know.  Still don't."

"Scully..." I'm lost.  Not talking to family members is my MO.  My folks
never knew about me getting shot by Henry Lee Lucas.  I made damn sure
they never found out.  Scully, on the other hand, I don't know.  The
Scullys seem to be what families are supposed to be -- loving, caring. 
They talk to each other at least.

Scully isn't finished with her surprises.  "They didn't even tell me
they were going until Christmas. Bill didn't want me to know at all, but
Mom let it slip."

"Why didn't Bill want you to know?"  As soon as I say it, I know the
answer.  The Nikes on my feet belong in my mouth.

"He took me aside after dinner and said he didn't want to bring up bad
memories for me."

Emily.  Shit.  "You believe him?"

"I guess.  Christmas was odd this year.  Everyone was measuring their
fun by poor Dana.  Poor Dana who couldn't get there on time.  Poor Dana
who has career problems.  Poor Dana...poor poor Dana."  She takes a deep
breath, "You know, I really wanted to enjoy this Christmas, to take it
back.  In an odd way, I did that with you."

"Shared hallucinations that we shot each other took it back?" Oh Scully,
if that is your idea of fun you are in much worse shape than I thought.

"Shared.  You and me.  Whatever we did or didn't see, when we were
together, we were fine.  I went by your place and I felt better."

"And you went to your Mother's and you felt worse."

"Not worse, different."  She sighs, running her hands through her hair,
"It was...when I was younger, we moved a lot.  Every now and again, we'd
move to a new base and there would be someone we knew from another base.
 The problem was we were not the same people at Norfolk that we were at
Miramar.  People changed, grew apart.  I guess I never expected to
happen with my family."

"Scully, I think you had a rough night Christmas Eve.  Whatever did
happen, it was upsetting and it..."

"No," she interrupts me, "this has been going on for months.  Last year,
I realized Mom was pretty much a direct pipeline to the family about me.
 I didn't like it.  So after that when I was talking to her, I found
myself editing things I didn't want the family to know.  I didn't tell
her I went to Maine, didn't tell her about the bridge."

I remember Mrs. Scully absence in Pennsylvania.  I welcomed it.  "She'd
understand.  You could ask her to keep these things between the two of

"I don't know.  I told her when the X Files closed.  She was
sympathetic, in a way, but happy.  I guess she thought I would quit or
go back to Quantico.  When I called Bill and Tara for their anniversary
in June, guess what he knew."

"I hope you didn't send them a gift.  Our transfer was what he really

"No, you being out of my life is what he really wanted.  I sent a card
and some flowers."

"Generous woman Scully."

"So generous that I haven't let my Mother be a part of my life.  You
know where she thinks we were this summer?"

"Not in an isolation unit in an Auckland hospital?"  We were there for
three weeks, how did she keep this from her Mother?

"I told her we were in Oakland.  That you found that bomb in Dallas and
we were going through some major debriefing."

"Auckland..Oakland, what's a couple of vowels between mother and
daughter?" I try to joke.

She is quiet for a while.  Two sips of her Mocha Java and a Milano
cookie later she sighs, "I'm just wondering what I'll tell her about
this trip."

"Mom, Mulder took me to Florida for spring break.  We saw this really
bitching octopus and I helped a woman have a baby." I try in my best
Valley boy delivery.

She smiles but it is sad and a little forced.  "Probably won't tell her
anything.  Just another thing that belongs to you."

Scully stands and walks to the trash pail, filled more with seaweed and
wood than actual beach trash.  Scully deposits her coffee cup and a few
of those paper things Pepperidge Farm uses to separate the cookies.

"Belongs to me?" I ask her as she returns.

"Belongs to you.  When I found out I was sick, I realized that parts of
my life belonged to people.  My childhood belonged to my family, to the
Navy and to me.  My education belonged to my parents and to me."  She
took a deep breath, "My professional life, my adult life, pretty much
everything since March 6, 1993 belongs to you and me."

"I never thought of it that way."  Never thought anything in her life
would belong to me.

She continues, "When I try to share what you and I do with people, they
don't get it.  When we weren't working together, I missed it."  She runs
her hands through her hair again, trying to get it back to her workday
look.  As she sits next to me again, she says,  "Yesterday, this
morning, whatever, I did the one thing my Mother thought I was trained
for -- I was a doctor in a way she thinks of doctors.  She doesn't know
what I did.  In some ways, you don't know.  You weren't there."

"And if I wasn't there, who was a witness to it?"

"George is dead.  Angela's story will be all about her, which it should
be, I guess.  Walter will never get a word in edgewise.  If a tree falls
in the woods..."

"Believe me, Leroy Walter and his Mom made some noise."

"It's just, I look at Dales and I don' universe last night shrunk
to me and I'm not sure I want that."

"Scully, your life, your accomplishments are so much more than you
think.  Look at the people around us.  Skinner is still at the FBI
because of you -- they would have amputated his arms and God knows what
would have happened if you didn't step in. You saved people -- Kevin
Kryder, me at Ellens Airforce Base, Liz Hawley, me in Puerto Rico, Jim
Summers, me in Norway, Lisa Ianelli, me in Alaska."

"I noticing a pattern here." Scully smiles a little, not the sad smile
she had before either.

"Good." Now I had to get this right, "And I know you don't always think
you did, but you saved Emily."

She inhales sharply.

"You would have been a wonderful Mother but they never would have let
you have her.  Even if they couldn't control the custody hearing, they
would have taken her anyway."

"They took her anyway."

"But they can't hurt her.  She is with your God, in your heaven, with
Melissa and your Father.  You gave her what "they" never would, peace."

A tear rolls down Scully's cheek, but I don't think I've said the wrong

"And you brought little Leroy Walter into this world.  While I don't
think I'd want her for a mother, Angela will love and protect him. 
Walter is a good man and they will remember you.  Remember you and what
you did for them Dr. Scully."

She smiles a little more at "Dr. Scully".  Smiles and uses her thumb to
wipe away her tears.

"While sometimes you may wish otherwise, I'm here because of you, Dr.
Scully." I put my hand on hers and give it a little squeeze.  "I don't
think your family thinks you are "poor Dana".  I know they love you.  I
saw that every day in the hospital."

"And the 'poor pitiful Dana' looks."

"I wasn't there, so I don't know.  Anyone who knows you Scully -- knows
what you are capable of -- well, pity just doesn't enter into it."

"Hey Dad, I found it." a dark haired girl about ten slams her hand down
on the table.

God, she could be Samantha.  Her dark, thick, wavy hair is in two
perfect braids -- braids I still remember my Mother and Samantha
struggling to keep neat.  Unlike anything my Mother would have gotten
Samantha, she is dressed a purple and black Nike tee-shirt that reads
"Just do it".  She has black leggings, Spice Girl sneakers and a million
dollar smile.

"Mister, you and your wife are gonna have to sit somewhere else." she
tells us with all the conviction a possessive ten year old can muster. 

"Rosie!" an exasperated older man arrives.  "That's no way to talk to
people.  I'm sorry."

Scully and I hop off the table.  "Oh, my wife and I aren't offended." I
smile at Scully who looks like she wants to wrap her tentacles around my
neck and not let go.

"I'm sorry, my daughter has been leading the search party for our
belongings.  The garage blew away."  The man sticks out his hand, "Jose

I shake his hand and introduce myself and "my wife".  "A lot of damage
by you?"

"Other than the garage, we're in good shape.  Electric and cable are
back.  My wife is back watching the storm coverage and trying to glue
the good china back together.  I told her not to leave it in the
garage."  Jose seems OK.  Rosie is doing cartwheels in the sand.  

"Do they know what the final damage will be?"  That's my Scully -- back
to business.

"Well, the cost goes up every hour.  Senator Beymer is talking $50
million, Governor Ford is talking billions.  Most folks are just happy
about the low number of dead -- six which isn't bad for a storm like

"Six?"  With the deputy, paranoid George and the missing Shipleys, that
leaves just one other death.

"Well, one confirmed, the rest are missing.  The news is playing that up
and all the heartwarming stuff.  Folks who didn't evacuate and had no
damage, a woman who had a baby..."

"The woman -- you didn't catch her name did you?" Scully asks.

"Velladella or something.  Talked about giving birth in a dark room with
a doctor who never delivered a baby before and a giant octopus in the
bathtub.  Sounded rather delirious or maybe like a TV movie of the week
but she did have a baby boy last night -- named him after the storm. 
Lucky for the kid the storm had a guy's name."

I look at Scully and just start laughing.  "Did you catch what channel
this was on?"

"Seven I think.  My wife likes the guy who reads the news on Channel
Seven.  Either Seven or CNN"  Rosie starts climbing the dead dock,
catching her father's eye.  "Get down from there.  Go back to the house
and get your mother so we can bring this back."

"Don't do that.  I'll help.  We were just wrapping things up here."  I
want to get back to town, call Channel Seven and get that video for

Scully, no surprise, is a step ahead.  "I need to go to town." 

"You need to rest." 

"No, I want to call my Mother -- tell her to look for Angela on CNN.  I
have a story for her."  Scully smiles a Rosie smile -- a million
dollars.  God if I could only get her to do that more.

"Tell her you were a doctor today?"

"Tell her I have an appreciation for what she went through 35 years ago.
 I'll meet you at Dales."  

I nod, returning her smile.  Rosie is back at the table, picking through
the cookie remains.

"Jose," Scully starts her walk back, "it was nice meeting you.  Bye

"Bye."  Jose is trying to figure out the best way to lift the table and
I wonder what I've gotten myself into.  Two minutes later, Jose, Rosie,
the table and I are on the move.  Scully is done with her heavy



Thank you to the nice folks at XAPEN and Scullyfic -- two amazing lists
run by a pair of amazing women.

A special thanks to Shari Long who helped with the title and kept Scully
in character.  I'm sure Scully is grateful, I know I am.

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