Title: Sonnet For Scully
Category: Post-Truth, MSR, Poetry, Story.
Spoilers: The Truth.
Summary: Mulder goes to great lengths to give Scully a meaningful present.
Archive: Gossamer, Ephemeral, any other good home. Please ask me.
Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org. All helpful suggestions welcome.
Disclaimer: Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen, and Fox Studios. No profit accrued; no copyright infringement intended.
November brought an early snowfall their first year in West Tisbury. Much had happened with the couple, Mulder and Scully had been whole-heartedly railing against the impending invasion, all the while raising William and conceiving another child.
The Criminology courses Mulder had been teaching were providing a good income and keeping him occupied while he left the fight to Doggett, Reyes, Skinner, Kersh and the scientists and strategists.
If any man felt more grateful, more fulfilled, more blessed right now, it was Fox William Mulder. He and Dana had married and taken residence in his father's house. Dana was still keeping up on the latest in medicine, but she was such a natural at being a mother. He knew she would nurture the children just as she had nurtured him all those years at that mildewy mausoleum they had shared as an office. God, she was a picture of serenity! What could he possibly give her to thank her for all the beauty, love and riches she had brought him!?
These were the things that were going through his mind daily.
One Wednesday morning, he opened an e-mail from Oxford. Therewas to be a seminar on New Developments in Profiling, and he was offered free travel fees and lodging if he so wished to attend. Mulder knew that updating was a must in his new career, so he accepted. Scully felt the need to be at home. Her pregnancy was giving her so much swelling, she thought better than to travel.
"Thanks for staying with Dana and William," he told Margaret Scully in the airport lounge. I feel better knowing she'll be well taken care of."
Mrs. Scully held his hands in hers."Go on. I'm her mother, and this new grandchild will need a healthy start. Now, I want you to have a safe flight, and not to worry about our favourite girl. All right?"
"I guess that's an order I can't refuse. Ma'am." Mulder stood as his flight was being announced. "Okay, I need her to elevate her feet as much as possible, but don't wear yourself out. And if William throws a --"
"I've been through it all before," Margaret reassured her son-in-law with a smile. She kissed him on the cheek and gave him a hug. "Now get onto that plane before you miss it! Hurry!"
It was a weekend seminar, so he felt free to visit some of his old haunts in the evenings. The Friday evening, his first stop was a pub on campus. There were so many young people, and so many familiar, mature faces, many old professors. As he wandered into the establishment, Mulder met up with an old classmate. "George? George Arnott?"
"Hey! Fox Mulder! How are ya, Ole Spooky?" The man was beaming with excitement. "How long has it been?"
"Too long," Mulder grinned, shaking the man's hand. He sat with the man at a table for four. "I didn't think I'd see you here."
"Well, I'm required to be here, Fox. I'm now at Scotland Yard. Took up your old place."
"Imagine that. So, did you ever marry that Amy...?"
"Amy Hennessey? No, but I DID marry her sister, Beth. Say, you know Phoebe, don't you?"
"Phoebe Green? Unfortunately..."
George motioned for Mulder to turn around.
"Phoebe! Slumming?" Mulder gave her a stern look. A look that said get lost.
"Actually, no, Fox. I'm undercover right now. So, I hear you're a real fireball back in the States!"
"Yeah. Actually, I am happily married, thank you, and teaching. Something you have to learn, but you know, some people never do learn..."
Phoebe didn't like not being able to hurt him anymore. "All right, Fox. I do have to be going. Be careful. It seems rather smokey in here." She stomped off to the exit, following her suspect, no doubt about that. Mulder could tell by her gait.
Good riddance, and if you pass by again, please do he thought. "So, George! I am happily married, have a handsome, talented son, and another baby is on the way."
"And who's the lucky lady?"
'My former F.B.I. partner. Dana Scully. You met her last spring when she was here at a medical conference."
"Ah, yes. She did look ravishing. And so content. I wondered who the lucky man was, but I didn't want to pry. She should have told us."
"Long story, George. We weren't married then. Tell me. What would you give a woman who has brought you the world? I mean, this has to be something very special and unique."
"Well, I suppose it has to be special and unique to her. The unexpected. Something she would never dream you would give her or could give her."
"Now I think I need a drink."
When last call came, Mulder headed out the door with George Arnott. "Some things never change," he remarked.
"Such as this place?"
"Yeah. And Phoebe. Believe me, I found someone who has surpassed any and all thrills she could have given me."
"Walk you to where you're staying?"
"Do you have children, maybe nephews or neices?"
"Um hmm. In fact, I have a nephew right over at that dormitory, actually." The man pointed to an old building across from the pub and through a wooded area. "He's going to be a famous writer someday. So says my brother Eddie. I don't think he has a hope in hell right now to write a blockbuster movie!" George and Mulder laughed.
"Yeah, we love movies and popcorn. That was one of our things to do when Scully and I just hung out together."
"This wife of yours, she must be really special, Fox. Give her your all."
"Oh, I do, in my own way. But actually, I want to give her something that sums up everything she has done for me, and our hopes for the future. Oh, I didn't tell you, I'm staying three blocks down that street."
"No problem. I need the exercise. So, just give her all your love, fool!"
"Ah, you don't know Scully. She has grgace, class, appreciates the special touches..."
"Well, I wish I could help you out, buddy."
The two men walked in silence for a few moments.
"My nephew is doing something for his tuition which I really think will never get him anything," George shook his head. He laughed at the very thought.
"Oh yeah? What? Selling himself to the ladies?"
"No. He's hiring himself out to write anything and everything. Letters, news articles, short stories, Trekkie fiction. Crazy twit. English Lit. Major."
"The kid has ambition, George. What's wrong with that?'
"He would even write your Mum for you, for a fee."
"Well, she's gone. What else does he write?" Mulder's interestwas growing.
"Tell you what, you meet me here early tomorrow night and you can find out for yourself. Is this the place you're staying at?"
"Yeah. It's been great seeing you again, George. Tell you what, I'll meet you at the pub after the session ends tomorrow. Tea time?"
"Sound good to me. Then you can ask Tom whatever's on your mind."
Mulder and Arnott left the latest session of the seminar in hysterics. "It was so damn obvious!" Arnott snickered. "Young, never married, lack of paterenal modelling! I must say, you had the profile written up before the rest of us clued in!"
"Professor Baby Face hasn't seen half of what everyone there has seen!" Mulder exclaimed with a grin. "Face it: he has the Ph.D without the mileage. Speaking of youth, weren't we going to meet Tom?"
Mulder's old friend looked at his watch. "Oh my goodness, yes. He'll be waiting in the pub right now. Looks like the youngest professor went a little over."
"Too much," Mulder groaned.
A dark-haired, 21-year-old male was sitting at the very table Mulder and Arnott had occupied the evening before. "UncleGeorge! Hey, this must be Spooky!"
"Mulder to you."
"Yes, this is Fox Mulder. Tom, Fox."
"The two men shook hands.
"So, your uncle tells me you're a writer?"
"Well, I'm majoring in English Lit. And I am trying to sell some work to put myself through school. Need a late note for the Seminar?"
"Well, no. Actually, I'm kind of curious as to what I could give my wife, and I've been thinking about something. Perhaps you could help me out with a few ideas. I haven't quite been able to put my finger on it, but I think I may just need something that'd along the lines of fine literature. You Uncle seems to think you might be able to help me out."
"Well, after dinner, maybe we can talk about it over in my flat. Did you want suggestions of established works, or perhaps something more original?"
"Never thought of anything but the classics, but they justwouldn't, I don't know, fit the situation."
"Uncle George, your friend here is a mystery man."
"A hungry mystery man, too, I imagine. So, I say we eat," his uncle replied.
"Then you'll both come over and we'll see what we can find," Tom decided. "Besides, I have American beer."
The frat flat was relatively quiet for a Saturday night: two parties and three fights over cleaing duties could be heard throughout the halls.
"My roommates went home for the weekend," Tom said as he unlocked the door. "So just make yourself at home and we can go through all my books, compact disks, whatever. I'll just get us some beer, and we'll get started."
Thr place brought back memories for Mulder: papers, clothing and magazines all over the place. Pop can on the window sill. Posters on the wall. The usual ones. One in particular caught his attention. It was a sketch of William Shakespeare, upside down. The caption beneath is read: "I Hate Iambic Pentametre!" That made him smile.
"What?" The young man brought three beers into the room and sat at a desk. His, apparently. Amid the mess was an antique quill pen inside an inkwell.
"I Hate Iambic Pentameter!? Does that mean Shakespeare, too?"
"No. I had it done by a graphic artist last year, when I was failing miserably at writing an essay. The topic was Shakespeare's writing style. Iambic pentameter refers to the way in which Shakespeare wrote sonnets."
"Well, then, Tom. You did learn something!" his Uncle George laughed. "Did you manage to master that?"
"To some extent. I tend not to dwell on it."
The wheels were turning in Mulder's head. He had wanted to give Scully something original, meaningful, yet symbollic. "Tom, I'm going to put you on the spot here."
"Could you write a sonnet if I gave you the material? I know very little about writing sonnets, but I do know my intended audience, and I know what I would want it to say."
""Fifty pounds?" Mulder suggested.
"You have a lot of faith in me, Sir. Either that, or you are one big sucker!" Tom laughed.
"Seriously." Mulder gave him the dead-pan gaze. "No word of a lie."
"Well, if you put it that way. Let me get a notepad out, and we will commence with the tor-... I mean, the process. All right! Let the record note, the time is 7:56 pm. Let's do it."
It was midnight by the time Mulder had what he wanted. His friend, George, had long since drifted off to sleep.
Mulder looked over the finished work that Tom Arnott had produced and printed out.
"You're sure you want this?" Tom was skeptical, considering some the of the subject matter, when he didn't even understand totally. "Really sure?"
"Positive." Mulder handed Tom his money. "I have an early flight home, so tell your Uncle George I will call him next week."
"Thanks. I will."
"This really means a lot. It is so perfect. Thank you."
"You're quite welcome, Mr. Mulder. Still, I think your taste in literature is a bit off."
Mulder just smiled and closed the door. He couldn't wait to be home with Scully and William. And he couldn't wait to give her her gift.
Fifteen hours later, after he had walked through the door of his home, greeted his family and eaten, Mulder sat the very pregnant Scully down on the sofa to tell her of his trip.
"So, basically, we all decided it was all the same old thing. Then, after I said good-bye to George's nephew, I threw my things together and caught the early flight."
"You were bored to tears, then?"
"Well, not quite. Scully, I have something to give you, and I hope it says all I want to say to you. It represents our past, our present, and, I hope, our future." He went to the coat closet and retrieved a package with flowered wrapping paper and pure white ribbon.
"Mulder. You shouldn't have!"
When Scully read the words, she began to tear up.
SONNET FOR SCULLY
Now, how to put this? Let me make this clear: I never meant to give you so much pain, But now my heart leaps in the dark of night When I remember what I soon did gain.
The men in shadows dealt their wicked cards, Made deals that tattered dreams so heavenly, Tore our tired hearts out, eating up the shards. And all the thinking, hoping-- so deadly! Many man has fought, has gone to Hades
Over things darkly and dimly calling:
"Join us! Give your spawn! See the great rewards!" But we rebuked them. Made them die quicklyDealing to them nothing but their Death cards.
We were not weaklings, not were we that strong. We fought them fairly. And now they are gone.
All my love,
"I don't know what to say!" She kissed her husband for a long, lingering while, and held her arms around him tightly. "I love you so much."
"I wanted to tell you how much I loved you, I thought the regular words were wearing out, Scully."
"Never. Never, Mulder. Oh, I forgot to tell you: Doggett and Reyes agreed to come out for Thanksgiving dinner."
"Well, in that case, I guess we could hide it just before they get here," Mulder sighed and shrugged.
"Not a chance. We're hanging it right above your father's old desk."
"I've always wanted to freak him out, anyway!" Scully laughed.
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