Once More With Feeling

by KimK

Title: Once More With Feeling

Author: KimK

Rating: PG

Category: MSR, Angst

Spoilers: The Field Where I Died is really all you need to have seen to get any of this. However, I would suggest you be familiar with all the seasons up through Season 5.

Timeline: Starts during and right after The Field Where I Died and the rest takes place a little over a year later after The Red and the Black.

Summary: I can't live without you again.

Feedback: That would be nice. Please. I ain't too proud to beg, but I would rather it not come to that. knigit1013@yahoo.com

Archive: I don't mind if you do. Just keep it as it is and let me know.

Disclaimer: Ah yes, the disclaimer . . . the bane of my existence. If you must know these characters and the basic plot line are not mine and never will be. Chris Carter and the gang are responsible for this stroke of genius; I just like to have my way with his creation sometimes.

Much thanks goes to . . .: Sara Bowen for always being ready to beta and fix my mistakes-o-plenty. She's good, man, she's real good. To comma or not to comma? Also, thank you Chris, Gillian, David and crew for successfully making this show my obsession. And of course, thank YOU for reading my story!

Author's Notes: First and foremost I will confess that not all of this stays true to the 'facts' from The Field Where I Died. Tiny things have been changed, so tiny that having the script in front of you is the only way you can catch them. Some people though . . . Anyhow, I did however do a moderate amount of research on the Civil War and other things related to this story. Very different from the military of our world today. I have always liked this episode for some reason. I think it mostly centers on the lovely idea of Mulder and Scully always being meant to meet one another in each life. Many shippers hated it and I COMPLETELY understand, but I am hoping my story will make it easier to digest. I came up with this idea and ran with it. It is pretty different from what I usually write, but I think that it turned out rather nicely. And now let us journey back to a time before Diana, when life was beautiful. Well, about as beautiful as it can get with the paranormal gallivanting around freely and government conspiracies lurking in the shadows. Read.


The vibrant orange and yellows of the sun's rays shone through the tree branches, the breeze kissing the leaves to move in a silent dance. Amid the tall grass stood a broken man.

His mind was lost. His memories were lost. He was lost. The antique photographs haunted him. The phantom faces of a mysterious past hypnotized him beyond words and he couldn't let go.

Behind him, footsteps muted by the tall grass approached his sunken body. A hand graced his forearm and a familiar voice set free his wondering mind.

"Mulder, let's get out of here." Her voice was quiet and she tried to hide her sadness with a mask of strength.

Her eyes drifted to the photos clasped in her partner's hands.

"Let it go, Mulder." Scully whispered these words as any friend would to another.

Mulder nodded and his hold on the pictures relaxed. Scully took the photos from him and placed them carefully in her coat pocket. Moving in front him, she searched his eyes. The hazel had darkened to almost an emerald, the sadness taking the sparkle away.

Leaning into him, she encircled his mid-section and placed her cheek to his chest. Once more she spoke, but these words were carried off with a gust of wind.

"Just let it go."


The Next Day

Mulder sat at his desk, pensive. Between his fingers he fidgeted with a pencil, staring at it as if it held all the answers to his questions.

Scully approached him, sitting on the edge of the desk, her face twisted into a concerned expression. He'd been this way all morning.

He had every right to be distant. He'd believed in a life or rather - many lives where he was destined to lose those he loved. In his mind history was repeating itself. However, one thing troubled her. It troubled her in a way it would any friend or partner. Had he loved this woman who only made a brief appearance into his life?

"You okay, Mulder?" Scully asked, her thoughts at rest for the time being.

"I was just thinking." His eyes were still mesmerized by the pencil.

"About what?"

"It changed." Mulder finally brought his dark hazel depths to her pools of blue.

"What?"

"Everything, Scully, the roles were switched." He set the pencil back into the holder, his body relaxing into the chair.

Recognizing what he meant, Scully moved to the chair across the desk from Mulder.

"How so?"

Hesitating, he made himself more comfortable in the chair. Scully didn't believe in all this, but he had things on his mind. Things that he couldn't hold in. She was his partner, his best friend, he could talk to her. And she would listen.

"In the past, I was always the one to leave her, either by death or separation, leaving her to live her life alone. But it changed. She was the one who left this time. She died first."

Scully nodded, taking in Mulder's observation. He wasn't finished, but his silence gave room for Scully to ask about the one thing that troubled her in all this.

"I don't want to get too personal, Mulder, but," Scully cleared her throat, "did you or could you have loved her? Was it meant to be?"

The questions didn't seem to bother Mulder. He contemplated them before he responded.

"I was meant to find her, to know her, I believe that. But to love her? No. That time passed long ago. I think we finally got it right this time."

"Why do you say that?"

"Well when I died or left her, you were always with me in some way or another when it happened. Or I was with you. Sarah or Sydney, whoever, always lived on. Now it is us who have surpassed her in survival. Together. Yeah, I think we got it right this time."

This brought a smile to Scully's face. Despite her disbelief in it all, it was a beautiful thought. To unknowingly be meant to encounter a soul that you were bound to no matter what.

Mulder took notice of her upturned mouth.

"That amuse you, Scully?" It wasn't accusatory. If she was amused, he was amused.

"No, well not amused . . . I just . . . it's poetic. I like the thought that - if I did believe in all this - that we were meant to be together, in some way. But, Mulder, I think the hardest thing for me to understand is . . . why would a soul continue to repeat such a tortured life? It just kept happening to you Mulder. I just don't want you getting into the frame of mind that you have to go where life leads you, not where you lead life. You have choices Mulder and I want you to keep making them. This is the lifetime that matters."

"We come back to fix things. To make it right. I think we have now. My souls are at peace now."

I hope so, Scully thought.

However, a few things still didn't quite click in her mind. Sure the Civil War lives-or the people- had existed, but things just didn't add up when it came to the World War II lives.

"Mulder." An unknown silence had settled between them and the mention of his name broke Mulder from his stare at whatever had caught his attention beyond the filing cabinet.

"Hm?"

"I hate to get rational on you-"

"Since when?" All in jest, he smiled at her.

Ignoring his interruption, she continued "-but this World War II flashback doesn't seem to settle well with me."

"Go on . . ."

"Well, think about it. Sydney sounded like he was old, I mean older than I am now. If Melissa had died as a Jewish man in 1939, Sydney couldn't be any older than fourteen, Mulder. Not to mention the whole Truman miscalculation. Truman was president, what, late 40s early 50s?"

A thoughtful expression crossed Mulder's face as he absorbed Scully's keen observations.

"Now that you mention it . . . Cancerman wouldn't have been old enough to be a Nazi, he would have been just a kid. Maybe fourteen."

Scully nodded and moved from her position in the chair to stand in front of Mulder.

"I don't see why I would remember something that never happened. Maybe it was a twisted form of wishful thinking. Maybe, in my mind, I thought a fabrication would help me to believe."

Placing her hand on his shoulder, Scully spoke as much truth as she would allow herself at this time.

"Well, Mulder, if it means anything," his eyes looked up into hers, "I believe - in some way that only you can understand - that Sullivan, Sarah and the, uh, Sergeant were really pieces of our past. I want to believe it anyway."

"You mean that?" Mulder was amazed at even that confession and a grin had formed on his lips.

Looking to the ceiling, her words replaying in her head, Scully nodded.

"Yeah, I do."

With a sigh, Mulder popped up from his chair, startling Scully.

"Let's get some lunch." Mulder wrapped his arm around Scully's shoulder and ushered her towards the door. She just nodded and tried to keep in step with Mulder's larger strides.

Maybe he'd finally let it all go. Maybe his souls were finally at peace.


One Year Later
Basement Office
Thursday

Mulder was off on a wild goose chase once more. He'd invited Scully, encouraged her to go even, but the trip to Roswell for a UFO convention just didn't seem too exciting. Mulder insisted that a man would be there with some information on something or other, but Scully's skepticism was in overdrive.

So she stayed behind. He would be gone for the weekend and she had the office all to herself. God this place was boring. She'd even attempted to try a favorite past time of Mulder's. That's right, the pencils had been sharpened, the chair was leaned back and she was aimed and ready. Apparently there was actually some amount of skill involved and Scully couldn't seem to get the pencils to stick. Ten pencils later and a few pokes on the skin, Scully retired from the game and opted to organize.

She was afraid to mess with anything on the desk, so she began sorting the filing cabinet. Maybe she would find something intriguing.

Coming across older cases, Scully couldn't help but reminisce. Of course she skipped the unpleasant, haunting cases, but even those that were somewhat disturbing held some interesting memories.

She grabbed a stack from about a year ago and set them on the desk. Scully saw two photographs fall gracefully to the floor, one of which was torn in half. She kneeled down and picked them up, laying them on the desk beside her stack of manila folders.

Looking at the familiar faces from a year-old case, she fumbled through the folders until she came across the case file that had caused so much inner turmoil to her partner.

Inside was the copy of their report along with a list of those who had sacrificed their lives for whatever they had believed in. A plastic bag stapled to the corner held two cassette tapes. One labeled Fox Mulder, the other Melissa Riedel-Ephesian.

Scully hadn't really thought of this case since only a few days after the mass suicide. To her knowledge, neither had Mulder.

To refresh her memory, she retrieved the tapes from their bag and

reached for Mulder's small tape player. Scully couldn't remember all the details, but the important parts were still stuck in her memory. More so the conversation she and Mulder had shared only a day after the case.

Scully played through Melissa's tape first. The sadness in Melissa's - or Sarah's - voice was heart-wrenching enough to bring a tear to Scully's eyes. A twinge of jealousy settled in her stomach, however. To hear another woman, no matter her mental state, speak with such longing to her partner . . . it was . . . uncomfortable, to say the least.

Wiping away the moisture that had settled at the corner of her eye, Scully switched tapes. She couldn't help but shake her head at the WWII story, for the facts were not straight and both she and Mulder knew it. However, when it came to the Civil War tale, a sadness overcame her.

"Oh, Mulder," she whispered aloud. Flashbacks of his forlorn expressions and tired soul made their way back into her mind and she shut off the tape as soon as he was finished.

This time two tears had escaped.

Her mind wandered to the Sergeant Mulder had spoken of and she wondered why this particular man had stuck out in this memory or whatever it was, despite his claim that it was her.

Scully returned the tapes to the plastic bag and closed the file. In the pit of her stomach she felt as though knowing more might give some amount of closure. Until today she'd never realized she needed any.

In the past year, Scully had developed more feelings-whether they be of love or not- for Mulder, that she was still trying to come to terms with. Dana Scully did not fall in love easily, not to say she was officially in love with Fox Mulder, but the thought had crossed her mind once or seven times. She knew she held an utmost compassion, devotion and undying trust for Mulder that she had never had for any man.

Maybe it was time to explore this world Mulder had spoken of not long ago. If anything she wanted to see if it was possible that they had met in some other life. Sure, that's all it was, an experiment. Perfectly scientific.

To return to Tennessee seemed to be the best way of going about this, so Scully booked a flight for 4:30 and was permitted to take the rest of the week off. Nothing was keeping her here anyway.

XxX

Apison, Tennessee
Thursday Evening

Scully hadn't taken a trip on her own in quite some time, therefore the trip alone and even booking the hotel room was a somewhat lonely experience. To say she was dependent on Mulder would be stretching it. She'd grown accustomed to him. He was her closest - and sometimes only -
friend. Her best friend.

Kicking off her shoes, she settled onto the stiff bed and switched on the television. It didn't really matter what was on, she was going to shower anyway.

Scully had easily tracked down the therapist who had hypnotized Mulder and Melissa and set an early appointment for Friday. Dr. Susan Warren had been surprised at the phone call, remembering the case she had assisted in vividly. It had been the most interesting and surreal experience to date and to be given a chance to embark further into it was more than exciting.

After her shower, Scully resigned to her bed to consider her options for dinner. There really weren't any options. Picking up the phone from under the night stand, Scully began flipping through the pages to find the number for a pizza parlor that delivered.

Once she placed her order, she leaned her back against the head board, the TV turned down low, an old western flick was playing. Given the almost silent room, Scully was left with her thoughts. All her thoughts centered on the nagging fact that she was crazy for coming out here. Dana Scully didn't do things like this, especially for reasons such as these.

A past life as a Confederate Sergeant? Dying in a field next to a man, who would be Mulder? However, there was that semblance of hope deep within that couldn't help but want this reincarnation to be true. If anything it was the thought of her and Mulder being friends in a past life that kept bringing a smile to her face.

Scully grabbed her hairbrush from her toiletry bag and began to run the bristles through her hair. Taking on the role of Mulder, she began to surf through the stations until her pizza finally arrived.


Friday Morning
Dr. Susan Warren's Office

Dressed in black trousers and a mauve sweater, Scully pushed her way through the double doors and casually approached the receptionist's desk. According to the name plate, her name was Julie.

"How can I help you?" Julie asked with a polite smile.

"Hi, Dana Scully for Dr. Warren, please."

"All right, if you'll have a seat, she'll be with you shortly."

Scully returned the polite smile in a 'thank you' and took a seat. To say she was nervous would be putting it lightly. Not only was she willingly going under hypnosis, something she hated, but this was too out of character for her for comfort.

"Miss Scully, the Doctor will see you now."

There was no turning back now.

Walking in, Scully took notice of the serene photographs framed throughout the room and immediately realized their purpose was to calm her. Dr. Warren was seated at her desk, writing on a piece of paper, her glasses resting on the bridge of her nose.

Scully slowly approached the desk and then cleared her throat in hopes of making her presence better known. Dr. Warren looked up from her paperwork and stood, her hand outstretched.

"Hello Agent Scully, it's a pleasure to see you again."

"Dana, please, I'm off duty." Scully shook the woman's hand with a closed smile and watched as Dr. Warren stepped around to stand in front of a chair that was placed beside the sofa.

"All right, Dana," the doctor smiled, "you can call me Susan. Now, first off, have you ever been under hypnotic therapy before?"

"Yes." Scully's mind flashed back to the case involving Cassandra and she couldn't help but shiver at the memory that particular session had planted back into her mind. She also remembered a time when her sister had urged her to undergo hypnosis. She shuddered slightly at both memories then moved forward to the couch.

Taking small notice of how uncomfortable Scully had just become, Susan continued on with the session.

"Good, then you will be somewhat familiar with all this. If you'll just sit down and relax, with your back against the cushions."

Scully did as she was told while Susan settled into her chair, placing her tape recorder on the side table. Relaxing was going to be hard but she closed her eyes and forced her muscles to become less tense.

"Ok, now Dana, I want you to breathe deep, steady your breathing. I will count backwards from 100 and then the regression will begin." While Dana steadied her breathing, Susan reached out and grabbed her arm, setting her elbow against the armrest, elevating her arm and forming her hand into a loose fist.

While counting back, Susan pulled out her notes and looked at them briefly for reference. When she reached the number one, Dana was comfortable and her breathing even.

"Dana, I want you to think back to 1863, the time of our Civil War and I want you to tell me what you see, how you feel."

It was several minutes before Scully finally responded to the request.

"I-I am a soldier. I have been with this regiment for several months now and given the rank as a Sergeant. My name is Liam Wakefield. Wait-" Her breathing labored briefly, her forehead wrinkled in thought.

"No, my name is Caroline Williamson, but I have taken on an alias, a male identity. I have joined my men in battle, but for more reasons than a cause. My father was killed in battle and I am fighting for him. He is Ahab. My father is always my father." Her lips curled up in a smile, but a tear escaped her closed eyes.

"I am also here for my brother, Henry, who died as well. He is Missy. I write to them in my journal for comfort." Biting her lower lip, Scully relaxed once more, her breathing less labored, but she didn't continue with anything more. Dr. Warren decided to ask a question concerning Dana's reasons for her visit.

"Have you encountered a Sullivan Biddle in or close to your regiment?"

A wistful smile graced Scully's lips. "Mulder. Sullivan. Yes, he is under my command. A new recruit with deep brown eyes and a courageous smile. Such beauty for a man. He and I are close. We have become great friends and we confide in one another. He doesn't know though." She stopped there, her smile gone, a tear resting in the corner of her eye.

"Doesn't know what? That you are a woman?" Susan pressed on.

"That too. Although, I know I could trust him with such a secret, but . . . no. He doesn't know-," Scully brushed at the tear, a gentle sob escaping from her lips, "He doesn't know that I care for him beyond our friendship. That I love him. I love him as a woman would love a man."

Slightly taken aback by the unexpected twist in the story, Susan started to ask more questions, but Scully broke in with further memories.

"He loves another. Sarah Kavanaugh, a nurse to our men. She is beautiful, a worthy lover of Sullivan, but-," Scully's sobs had broken loose now, her head bowed in sorrow. "They will never know, just like I will never know. I fall from my wounds, quickly and he runs to my aid, only to be shot down as well. He falls beside me, his eyes closing in time to watch me slip away. I rise above the dead silence of the battlefield, my eyes wondering to a mourning nurse kneeling before the man we love. Let me rest in peace, please, I can't . . ." Scully placed her head back onto the couch, her breathing even once more. Her sobs had subsided and she'd relaxed.

Susan turned the tape off and placed Scully's elevated arm on the couch, her words of awakening quiet.

Scully opened her eyes when the Doctor permitted it, her eyes opening only to release the unshed tears that had been blocked by her eye lids.

"What was that?" Scully wiped at her face and Susan handed her a tissue.

"A memory, Dana." Susan stated matter-of-factly.

"I-no . . . how?"

"Is that what you came here for, Dana?"

Squeezing the bridge of her nose, Dana sighed and stood up slowly. How was she supposed to process this? There had to be more proof.

Gathering her thoughts, and her emotions, Scully swept her hair behind her ear and took a deep breath. "Yes, I guess."

"I'm here for you Dana, this isn't something easily processed or something you just push aside. If you need to talk about it, whether it is now or later, I'm here for you." Susan retrieved the tape and placed it in a case already labeled with Dana's name.

"No, thank you, I'm fine." Don't let it get to you Dana, she thought to herself, there will be time for that in the privacy of your motel room.

"All right, here is a recording of our session, should you need it. Julie will take care of the rest at the front." A sympathetic smile crossed the doctor's face as she handed the tape to Dana.

To not get emotionally involved with this particular session was hard. Sure, she had handled similar cases of regression into another life, but never with having known three of the people whose lives had been connected simultaneously.

Dana shook Susan's hand and made her way quickly out the door. After stopping by Julie's desk to take care of the bill, Scully all but ran to her car.

She had to know more and somehow she felt the Hamilton County Hall of Records would assist in helping her find out the rest.


Hamilton County Hall of Records

Ah yes, the musty smell was all too familiar now. This place was dark and needed dusting. It reminded her of the basement office.

Scully would never get over what the flash of her badge could authorize. With just a hello and a short introduction, she was permitted to look where she pleased.

Now the real challenge was to figure out exactly what she was looking for. A picture? A journal? Letters? She finally thought of what she was looking for. Anything.

She started where she had started the last time she was there. She pulled down the stack of county registers and began looking for the name "Wakefield, Liam." After a quick skim through the names, she finally fell upon that particular name written in longhand. Well, so far the person existed. What had she expected? Sarah and Sullivan had existed.

Heading to the photographs, she prepared for the search. After flipping through the entire drawer for fifteen minutes, she let out a frustrated sigh. No picture. Knowing that journals were not just thrown in a drawer for everyone to rummage through and read, she asked the man she had encountered when she'd arrived.

"Yes, Agent Scully, what is it I can help you with?"

According to his name plate his name was Daryl and looked to be in his late forties. He had a charming southern drawl.

"Yes, I was wondering if you happened to keep any journals of Civil War soldiers."

"Well ma'am, we have a few that we keep locked up, the ones that couldn't be returned to families. Considerin' it was the war and all sometimes no one bothered with that sorta thing. Is there any particular name you're wantin' me to look for, ma'am?"

"Yes, could you look for a journal with the name Liam Wakefield or Caroline Williamson?"

He gave a nod with his response, accompanied with a full-fledged smile. "Yep, if you'll just wait here I'll see what I can find."

"Thank you." She returned the smile as big as her emotions would allow.

Scully couldn't remember every detail that she had recited to Susan. She still had some of the visions in her mind though. They were blurry and far too dreamlike to recall entirely, but they were there like a memory. The urge to go to her car and listen to the tape was pulling at her, but she knew she had to focus on the task at hand.

Daryl returned to find Scully pacing. The wait had been no more than five minutes, but in her mind it had been hours.

"Sorry if it took too long, ma'am. I was able to find this journal." He held out a worn leather bound journal, tied together with a piece of string. Some loose papers, or possibly photographs, stuck out from each end. Scully muttered a quiet thank you as she took it from him.

"Seems that this Caroline and Liam were the same person . . . or something. Anyhow, both names you mentioned are in there. Some old pictures are in between the pages and I think a letter."

Scully graced her fingers over the rough leather as if touching a memory. When the noise of someone talking came to a silence, she looked up and shook her head to break away from the trance.

"Yes, thank you. Is it all right if I take this with me?"

"Well, we usually can't give things like this out to just anyone, but seeing that you are a federal agent, I guess it'd be all right if I let you take it with you." He unleashed another charming smile.

"Thank you, you've been a great help. This is all I'll be needing." She smiled gratefully and turned to leave.

"All right ma'am, you take care."


December 3 1862

Dear Father

I'm a soldier now. Your fall in battle encouraged me to take this step in life. You did not fall in vain. I will fight for you as strongly as I will fight for my beliefs. I have been here 17 days, but have been unable to make an entry in this journal until today. My colleagues are amiable, yet baffled by my seemingly small stature and build, not to mention my higher tone when it comes to carrying a conversation. No questions have arisen yet, however. I'm a strong soldier, so it makes up for everything I lack. I was amazed at how easy it was for me to join my regiment. They asked me my age, which I lied about, my health and then made sure I had a working trigger finger. Can't say that I believe it was this easy for you and Henry to get in, but I guess I'm going to have to. I get a payment each month for my services and am promised good food and warm clothes to wear. Had I known such good things could come from being in the battlefield, I would have joined sooner! I plan to send somemoney to mother and the family each time I get my salary. They are well off, but I will rest easier knowing I could help them in my absence. Mother knows not of my expedition and I'm not sure she should. After losing you and Henry, I'm not sure the loss of a daughter would ease her broken heart. She thinks I left to find a life of my own and I guess I have in a way. Papa, I pray that you forgive me for doing this. Should I fall as you did, I know that I will see you in Heaven. God's will be done. Not much else to say for now, but I will confide in you as much as the war will allow me to.

With love and affection Caroline Williamson - Liam Wakefield

That wasn't so bad, Scully thought. Sad in it's own way, but she had made it through the first entry.

After taking a bath to relax her muscles, Scully had settled on the bed and gathered the courage to begin to read. She'd flipped through the journal and found that in addition to the entries there were several sketches as well. Some of the sketches were of the battlefield. Some of them were actually quite artistic. Drawings consisting of mostly landscape.

On the front page of the journal the name Liam Wakefield was written across the page. Underneath 'Virginia 10th Regiment' was printed and then below that 'Tennessee 13th Regiment' was scripted in slightly larger letters.

Amongst the loose items were two pictures and a letter. The pictures were of Caroline and Liam.

Caroline had been beautiful, Scully thought to herself.

In this particular photograph, Caroline was wearing a feathered hat and standing by a horse. Most of her hair was in ringlet curls and pinned up under the hat. Her dress was simple and very similar to the one Sarah had been wearing. Caroline had obviously grown up aristocratic, for the most part anyway. Most of her writing proved that she'd had a healthy amount of education.

Scully smirked at her next observation. Caroline was so short. If this was all true, Scully was sure that she was to be stuck at just above five feet for the rest of her . . . lives.

Now for Liam. Scully found it amazing how short hair and some trousers could make such a feminine woman look so masculine. Even she believed Liam was actually a man. 'He' was standing straight up, as any soldier should, in his Confederate uniform.

She lifted the journal once again and decided to read one more entry before heading down to the corner caf for a quick dinner.

December 7 1862

Father

It is cold today. The snow decided to grace the ground and it is lovely. We have yet to encounter the Federals, but according to some of the spies, they could reach our regiment in a matter of days. I'm anxious about my first battle. They like my mind here and find me to be a fine soldier. Word is getting round that we may get more soldiers drafted in soon. I'm tired from this long day, so I shall sleep now.

CW

Setting the journal to the side, Scully slipped on some jeans and a black, long sleeved shirt and headed towards the door.

Maybe this would be easier than she thought.


Saturday

Scully read a few more entries before going to bed last night. Most were just about the war and how Caroline was adapting to it. She'd already faced her first battle by the fifth entry. A Sergeant was lost and they'd moved Caroline into his rank.

Things sure were different nowadays when it came to military life, Scully thought. Usually it takes years to reach that ranking, but prove yourself worthy of higher praise in the middle of the 1800s and you got it with a handshake.

Today she would dedicate her time to finishing the journal. She had to leave by noon on Sunday, and she planned on having this all resolved before her return home.

Scully showered and ate lunch, then made herself comfortable on the bed.

Date Unknown

Dearest Father

It has been quite some time since I have confided in you. More men were drafted into my regiment a few days back and they look strong and ready. I couldn't help but recognize that a few of them are like me. Women. I guess being a woman it is easy for me to notice these things. Of the men I have befriended, my closest is of the new recruits. Sullivan Biddle is his name, he is a Private. He has no family to leave behind and my heart cannot truly fathom what sorrow that must bring to a human soul. He is kind and his smile is catching.

Leave it to Mulder to always have that boyish charm. Scully shook her head with a smile and continued reading.

If I were going by my real age he would be seven years older than I. Other than you, he is the only one in whom I confide. The dinner bell is ringing, so goodbye for now.

CW

February 12 1863

Father

I miss you more with each passing day and the family back home. Henry is not far from my mind, I do miss him so. Sullivan fills this void. I feel myself growing closer to him than I should. However, his heart and mind keep drifting to one of our nurses, Sarah Kavanaugh. He speaks of her to me often. He has yet to approach her. I keep my mind on the war and try not to let my heart get in the way of things. My words are few this evening and according to General McCracken, our regiment may move to Tennessee and be put under the command of General Bragg. It may be quite some time before I am able to write again. Should I not make it, I know that it is God's will.

CW

March 16 1863

Papa

Today is my birthday. As Caroline I would be 24, but as Liam I have reached the age of 27. Each day I grow more fond of Sullivan and each moment I recognize how unrequited it is. His honey eyes light up at the presence of Nurse Kavanaugh. We have settled in Tennessee and will probably be here the next several months. Tennessee has been better to us, as far as weather and space, than Virginia. I am under the command of General Bragg now and a part of the 13th Regiment. I do miss home and the farm. I pray I make it back safely, but should I fall with my regiment, I know still that it is God's will.

CW

Date Unknown

Father

I have not seen the sun in two weeks. The smoke from the cannons and guns cloud the sky. We are in battle once more and I have lost many of my men, three of which were close friends of mine. Privates Charles Jacobs, Benjamin Tillman and Tom Morrison. It is so hard to watch these men fight so hard, only to see them die. Nurse Kavanaugh works well with the wounded and seems to have taken notice of Sullivan. Despite my feelings, I pray that he finds someone. The firing has begun again. I love you.

CW

June 1 1863

My Dear Father

A month ago my regiment and I fought federals. The blues seem to be spreading their men out, sending small amounts of their men to battle ours. A fine strategy. We have moved further up north in Tennessee and settled in Apison. I was wounded in the shoulder during our last battle, so I cannot write for long. A nurse, Christina Miller, knows now of my secret identity, but she also knows my reasons and has therefore promised to say nothing. Sullivan visits me often to tell me amazing tales and unusual stories. I must rest now.

CW

Date Unknown

Father

The measles have spread throughout the regiment and I have been infected. I am healing, yet weak. Sullivan is fairing well, but I have not been able to see him in days. I miss him.

CW

July 27 1863

Father and Henry

I have never harbored feelings like this for a man. I never thought I would. To know that they may never be known to him hurts. I have a duty to attend to. A duty to my men, our cause and to you. My brother, to know that you will never guide me on this earth again as you once did makes it hard for me to face both these battles on my own. I love you and should I not make it through this war, I pray your forgiveness and know that I will see you in Heaven.

Caroline

August 10 1863

I am well, but exhausted from tears. These colleagues of mine who have fallen, I mourn them. I mourn you and Henry as well. And I cannot help but weep from these unthinkable matters of the heart concerning Sullivan. I do wish that he could someday love me as he does Sarah. The sunset provides me much comfort with it's colors. I miss mother and family and hope to see them soon, if not on this earth then in Heaven with you.

Caroline

September 9 1863

Dear Father

It has been a month since I have written to you. Today Sullivan told me I was his dearest friend and one of the most valuable people to have entered his life. His birthday is in three days. He will be 31. Sullivan's happiness, whether it be with the kind hearted nurse or not, is all that matters to me at this point in the war. General Bragg has reported that we may move again in a couple months. I have been assigned to keep watch in the field; therefore it may be some time before I confide in you again. Watch over me.

CW

October 12 1863

Father and Henry

More men arrived today. I hear the dome of the Capitol in our nation's capital is nearing completion. I hope to see it someday. Sullivan and I continue to stay close and he often tells his stories and talks of Sarah. If anyone should survive this war, I pray it be Sullivan and Nurse Kavanaugh. The sun is rising and I must wake my men.

C Williamson

October 29 1863

Father

The leaves are rapidly changing color now. It is a beautiful sight. For months now I have been sending money for my services to Mother, saying that I have found work in a small town. I wrote a letter to tell her my true story, but I have yet to gather the courage to send it to her. She has not yet said any words of thanks or worry, but I trust she has received my money. I love you.

C Williamson

By this entry Scully had shed many tears, a tissue clenched in her hand while the other turned the pages. Scully reached for the letter she'd discovered in the pages and ran her fingers over it. She paused and saved what she knew would be the last entry in this journal until after finding out what had been said in the letter.

The letter had been short and apologetic. The last words would make a place in her mind for always . . .

"I knew I could do more to leave home than to stay with you. So I left. I am sorry and I love you."

Those words summed up the feelings of this woman so devoted to her men and her father and brother. They summed up her own life as well.

Scully took a deep breath and prepared herself for the last words of this heroic woman.

November 25 1863

Dearest Father

We received word on the thirteenth of November that the Federals would arrive this month. They should arrive in the morning. Some of our men have retreated to Dalton, but me, Sullivan and others were to stay behind. I am ready for whatever God has planned for me. I fear more so for my men and especially Sullivan. Once more I pray that you forgive me for what I have done. I am a proud soldier and proud of my men. I have faith in them to fight well and hard. Should I fall tomorrow, I know I will see both you and Henry beyond the sky. My love for Sullivan holds strong. To see home again would be a blessing, but I am prepared for anything. Even death. I will make you proud of me. I love you.

Caroline Williamson

Scully stared at the page, her eyes not moving away from Caroline's final words. A chill ran down her spine for reasons she did not know. Deep down she knew it was because the words were familiar to her. The journal was familiar. The pictures. The feelings.

She looked over at the alarm clock and noted that it was only four o'clock in the afternoon. At that moment an idea came to her and she knew she had to follow through.

Grabbing her keys, Scully pulled on a sweater and went out the door, the journal in her hand.


Chattanooga National Cemetery

Scully approached the desk respectfully and waited patiently for the man behind it too look up.

Finally, Scully quietly spoke up.

"Excuse me." The man looked up and unveiled a soft smile.

"Yes, ma'am."

"Hi, my name is Dana. I am looking for the grave of Liam Wakefield, he was part of the 13th Regiment in Tennessee during the Civil War."

"You a relative?"

Not knowing how to answer, Scully smiled and replied, "Sort of."

The man nodded and stood up from his chair. He was probably only two or three inches taller than her and he had a slight hunch. To her, he looked to be in his late fifties.

"My name is Frank, just follow me." He reached beside the desk and pulled out a cane. Frank hobbled to the door and Scully soon joined him at his side.

They walked quietly for a few moments until Frank came to a halt. He pointed ahead and Scully followed his arm until her eyes landed on an older man of about seventy-five walking around the headstones.

"That's Al, he'll know where to take you. He's the groundskeeper, been here longer than I have and knows every headstone." Frank gave Scully a pat on the arm and smiled, then slowly turned back to the small building.

Scully took a deep breath and walked to Al. He was cleaning rubbish and garbage off the graves and placing them in a large satchel that was draped over his shoulder. She assumed he'd heard her footsteps in the short grass, because he looked up at her with weary eyes and smiled gently.

"Good day ma'am." His voice was rough and shaky, but soothing in its own way. She couldn't help but notice a slight Irish lilt to it.

"Good day. I'm looking for a particular headstone from the Civil War."

"What's the name?" Al straightened up and walked closer to Dana. He was probably four or five inches taller than her and lanky. His eyebrows were bushy and white and his head covered with a plain white baseball cap.

"Liam Wakefield. I believe he was a part of the 13th Regiment."

Al nodded and a thoughtful expression crossed his face. When he finally found the thought he was looking for, he took the satchel off and placed it by the tree. He offered his arm and Scully hooked her arm through it, a small smile crossing her face at the simple gesture.

"What's your name, lass?"

"Dana."

"Lovely name. Name of a goddess, you know."

"A goddess?" She looked up at him, her eyebrow arched.

"Yes, ma'am. An Irish goddess. The Mother Nature of Irish folklore, I might add. I'm an Irishman myself, in case my accent didn't give it away. My family came here in 1845. My grandfather fought in the 13th Regiment, now that I think of it. Good man, so I hear, but he was lost early on in the war. Tom Morrison was his name."

Scully's eyes widened at the name, remembering that Caroline had known the man well and was greatly saddened by his death in battle.

Al gave her hand a pat. He smiled down at her and came to a halt, in front of a very old headstone. Simple and professional. Now that she noticed, very few of the headstones had flowers or gifts of any kind on them.

"You a part of this Liam lad's family?" Al released her arm and stepped back.

Still looking at the name engraved, Scully smiled and quietly responded, "You could say that."

"I'll leave you alone, Dana. God bless you."

Scully turned to watch him walk away and then faced the headstone once again. What was she supposed to do now? She cleared her throat and, to her surprise, began talking aloud.

"Hi, my name is Dana. Dana Scully." She laughed at herself briefly.

She wasn't sure why she felt so awkward. She'd visited her sister's grave many times and talked aloud. Melissa had always been able to comfort her when she was alive and visiting her grave had always given Scully just as much comfort during a crisis. Sometimes she would even go to the coast and whisper into the moist air, as if being by the sea would bring her closer to her father.

Taking a deep breath, Dana plunged forward into a one-sided conversation.

"I, um, I'm not sure what I should be thinking now. On one hand I could be talking to a noble Civil War Sergeant that I happen to know a lot about or I could be losing my mind and literally be talking to myself." She chuckled and cleared her throat again.

Scully brought the journal into eye view and looked at it. She'd almost forgotten she'd been carrying it, despite the death grip she'd had on it. A tear trickled down her cheek as she pondered what she needed to say next.

She kneeled down by the headstone and placed both hands in her lap, the journal resting in her palms. On the way up to the small white building, Scully had picked a long stemmed daisy from the walkway and placed it in between the pages of the journal. She pulled it out now and placed it on the grave. Another tear trailed down her face and Scully sniffled in effort to stop any more that might escape.

"You really loved him." Wiping at her cheeks, Scully continued, not sure if what she was about to say would make any sense.

"His soul didn't get lost. He came back." Scully knew for certain she sounded nuts, but she figured that being in a graveyard surrounded by thousands of dead people was the best place to say any of this out loud. And she needed to say it out loud.

"He's my partner now, my best friend. According to what I read he hasn't changed much. His name is Fox Mulder, but he hates his first name so most everyone just calls him Mulder. He's still charming, funny, has unusual stories, close to no family and he is . . . ok, very attractive." Scully laughed then continued. "Sarah isn't here. She was but she died a little over a year ago. Her name was Melissa. But just because she's gone doesn't mean . . . I have a job to do! A friendship to keep! I can't let this happen."

Scully stood and began pacing in front of the grave, her eyebrows furrowed and tears of frustration falling freely now.

"For a while I have felt feelings, strong feelings, toward him. I've loved him for a couple of years now, but it wasn't until recently that I came to realize-," stopping dead in her tracks, Scully closed her eyes and whispered her confession to the air, "-that I am in love with him."

She gasped at her own words and turned to the headstone as if waiting for a response. When none came, she knelt down on both knees again and closed her eyes.

"This wasn't supposed to happen. Was it?"

Once again she looked to the headstone for an answer. As if on cue, a small gust of wind rustled the trees and swept over her body.

Scully settled her body on top of the back of her legs and looked to the sky. The answer hit her and she smiled at the clouds.

Maybe it was supposed to happen.

Granted Mulder possessed a thousand imperfections -- mainly his obsessive ways and so-so temper -- he was perfect for her. All through her life Dana had had this frame of mind that she would marry a simple man who would help her build a simple life. Of course, in all those years she had yet to find any man reaching that short description. The exact opposite really. Maybe that's why she had never seen Mulder playing that sort of role in her life. A partner, yes. Her best friend, of course. But a lover?

Scully licked her lips and focused her eyes on the journal that she'd left on the ground. She picked it up and ran her hands over the rough leather, a smile once more gracing her features.

Despite Mulder's lack of qualifications that she thought she'd needed in a lover, he was all she needed in a lover. In their five and half years of partnership, he had watched over her, protected her, cared for her and fought for her, even if he thought otherwise. He'd loved her too. And much to her surprise, she couldn't help but come to the conclusion that he was in love with her as much as she was with him, if not more.

Scully swept her hand over her face, then through her hair as a mix of emotions reduced to one.

Love.

Centering the daisy onto the grave, she stood up and clutched the journal to her chest. With a sigh, she looked down at the grass then to the engraved name. Her last words were barely above a whisper.

"Thank you."

With that, she turned and made her way to the cemetery gate, making sure to wave and offer a friendly nod and smile to Al on her way out.


Saturday Evening

After grabbing some dinner, Scully had taken a walk in a park that wasn't far from her hotel. Sitting on a bench, she'd read through the journal once more and then looked out over the lake to watch the sunset.

Upon returning to her hotel room, Scully threw what she would not need between that night and the next day into her travel bag and then sat comfortably on her bed.

Unable to resist the need, she played the tape from her session once more before finally deciding to sleep. The sadness from the life of Caroline didn't go unnoticed and Scully shed a tear or two for her, but she knew that now she could make it right.

A year ago she and Mulder had agreed that everything had already been righted, but now she knew that there was one last thing to be taken care of.

She was scared out of her mind.


Sunday Evening
Scully's Apartment

The flight home, although short, was torture. Scully hated flying anyway, but to know that she had to actually confess everything she'd discovered about her feelings and about Caroline to Mulder was killing her nerves.

After arriving home that afternoon, Scully had fit in a power nap, a snack and a shower and then called Mulder. He said he would be home late Saturday, so luckily - for lack of a better word - she'd reached him at home.

She'd avoided asking about his rendezvous over the phone in hopes of letting that conversation play as a prelude to her own story.

At the moment she was cozy in her jeans and periwinkle cardigan, her feet only in socks and her hair pinned up for the most part. Despite how comfortable she was in her weekend clothes, she was pacing. Mulder should arrive any minute and she had yet to devise a plan on how to present all this to him.

Present? This wasn't a meeting to discuss a case. This was her feelings she was talking about. In a way it was also her pride. Given that she was still overall a skeptic, she was about to admit to Mulder that she believed their souls were reincarnations of some soldiers in the Civil War. Also, believing in that completely contradicted her religion, but she promised herself she would worry about that aspect later.

A knock at the door interrupted her soliloquy and she came to an abrupt stop in front of her couch. Taking a deep breath, she regained her composure and went to the door.

Not bothering with the peephole she opened it to a smiling Mulder and stepped to the side as a gesture of welcome.

"Hey Scully."

"Hey."

Now that she had come to terms with her feelings for him, she took in his appearance and felt the butterflies in her stomach start to flutter. In his dark blue jeans, grey shirt and leather jacket, he made her mouth go dry.

"You okay Scully?" He had a touch of amusement hidden in the question of concern.

Scully then realized she was still standing at the open door, her hand still on the doorknob and she was smiling at his chest. Clearing her throat, she shut the door.

"Yes, sorry, it's been a long day. Do you want anything to drink?"

"No, I'm good. You sure you're all right? You sounded a little flustered on the phone." He took a seat on the couch and his arm stretched out along the back of it.

"Yeah. How was your trip?" Scully sat next to him, her legs curled out to the side of her.

Mulder threw his head back and then looked back at her.

"Ugh, terrible. I think the man dressed as E.T. could have given me more information. My 'informant' took me to the side and gave me an envelope, which later consisted of clippings from those hoax magazines. According to them a baby alien has been discovered and the government has taken it hostage. Which, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't put it past them but it was obviously fake. I read that article last week. Let me just add that I could have saved those sick days for something much more educational. I ended up leaving early and coming back late Friday. Which brings up a valid question, where have you been?"

That was a short prelude. She'd secretly been wanting a drawn out story and for Mulder to ramble on about what he had found out, but much to her chagrin, it was already her turn for story time.

"Tennessee." She said it quick and almost painlessly.

"Tennessee? Why?" He ran a hand through his hair and let it rest there to support his tilted head.

"Well, Mulder, this brings us to the reason for why I asked you here." Scully pursed her lips nervously and then reached over to the coffee table to retrieve the journal and tape player, which held the tape from her session with Dr. Warren.

Mulder watched her every move and couldn't help but stare.

She had her hair pinned up, something he rarely got to see and he loved it that way. This way he could see her face, her exquisite profile. Another thing he gladly took in was her clothes. Each time he saw her out of her professional attire and in her casual clothes, his stomach fell and he yearned to know the casual, laid back Scully that he knew came with the package.

Over the years they had grown close and he knew almost everything about her, but in learning about her he had also come to realize that this amazing woman had many layers that she had yet to unfold for him. He was determined to get to know these other sides. He also knew that knowing her more would cause him to fall in love with her more.

In the time it took for her to take the things from the table and settle back comfortably into couch again, he had finished his thoughts and sat waiting for whatever it was she was going to tell him about. He was already intrigued by the idea that she had taken a little trip in his absence.

Scully licked her lips, a nervous habit he had come to know well, and handed Mulder the tape player.

"Don't play it yet. Mulder, I asked you here tonight . . . while you were away I stumbled once more onto the Ephesian case and something told me to look into it again. Not as a case, but to look into it for personal reasons." She paused and looked up to gauge his response so far. He had a thoughtful look on his face, as if trying to figure out how this case had been personal to her. She continued.

"During that case both you and Melissa had journeyed back into some place in your memories and at the time I didn't think much about it. But when I listened to your tapes again, I realized that I wanted to know who this Sergeant that Sullivan had befriended in the war was and how he was connected to me."

Now Mulder was in, what Scully could only identify as shock. She was prepared for this. In fact, she understood completely. This didn't sound like her at all.

"I know this is weird coming from me, Mulder-"

"No, weird I can handle, this is down right . . . spooky." He laughed at his comment, but urged her with his eyes to continue.

"I took the rest of the week off and hopped on a plane to Apison, Tennessee where I went to a session with Dr. Susan Warren."

Mulder thought for a moment then asked, "Is she the shrink who hypnotized Melissa and me?"

"Yes."

At that confirmation, Mulder looked down at the tape player and then back up at Scully.

"Are you telling me that THE Dana Scully underwent hypnotic regression willingly?" He had a teasing smile, but his expression fell serious when Scully barely cracked a smile. The one she did crack had been forced and he knew it.

"I need you to listen to it, Mulder." She let out a shaky sigh and relaxed as well as her tense muscles would allow into the couch.

"Okay." Mulder's single word was laced with concern and he watched as her eyes closed then pressed play. He set the player on the coffee table and hunched over, his arms resting on his thighs and his hands cupped over his mouth in concentration. It was his version of "The Thinker."

When it reached the point of her recital where she was sobbing during her confession of love for Sullivan, Mulder turned his head sharply towards Scully, her eyes open now and her cheeks shining from tears. When the tape finished, there was an awkward silence.

After several moments, Scully broke the silence with a sniffle and finally wiped at her cheeks.

Mulder still said nothing, but he turned his face away from the player and looked at Scully, his eyes dark. Not the kind of dark that indicated anger, but sadness. They weren't even recognizably hazel anymore. Slowly Mulder reached out his hand to Scully and she scooted closer to him so that she could place her hand in his. His thumb brushed over her soft skin and the gesture was soothing. Finally Mulder said something in a hushed whisper.

"That was . . ." He couldn't even find the right word. She couldn't even think of one. However, they both knew it was . . . something.

"There's more. After I went to Dr. Warren, I made a trip to the Hamilton Hall of Records in hopes of finding something like what I'd found during the Ephesian case. I found this." Scully reached in front of her and lifted the journal to Mulder. "I want you to read this, but not here. There are pictures in there as well."

Mulder quietly took the journal and released her hand that he had been holding. He unknowingly mimicked the same thing she'd done upon being handed the journal, smoothing his hands over the worn leather.

"Mulder, I need you to know something. Something for you to think about as you read this woman's words. There is a lot of truth to me and Caroline. How we think, how we feel. So much that, despite my struggle, I have come to believe that I was once this woman." Scully swallowed the lump in her throat and avoided eye contact with Mulder. Admitting that had been the next hardest thing she had done in her life. Unfortunately, the hardest thing had yet to come.

"What?" Mulder's eyes were wide and he didn't know if he should be elated by this confession or worried out of his mind.

"You heard me, Mulder, please don't make me repeat it. I just need you to try and remember what I just told you as you read, ok?"

"Ok, yeah, whatever you say." Mulder smiled at her. Before standing, he moved closer to her and cupped her cheek with his free hand. Without hesitation he pressed his lips to her forehead and Scully couldn't help but recognize how sensual this action felt to her. She closed her eyes and let out an involuntary sigh. Mulder felt it too.

"I'll talk to you later, Scully, ok? Goodnight."

Scully just nodded and stood to walk him to the door.

After he descended down the hallway, Scully shut the door and rested her forehead on the pressed wood.

This was going to be a long sleepless night.


Several hours later

As Scully had predicted, she could not sleep. She'd padded to the kitchen and made herself some green tea, then cuddled into the cushions of her couch with her grandmother's afghan draped over her shoulders.

The TV glowed in silence as Scully ignored the images, staring into the night sky.

A knock on her door startled her and she scurried to the door, dressed in her too-large-for-her flannel, plaid pajamas that she'd stolen from her brother Charlie almost seven years back. Without bothering with the peephole, she opened the door, almost surprised to see Mulder standing there, but relieved that it wasn't some stranger come to kill her. It would have been her fault for being so hasty.

"Mulder, what are you doing here? It's almost two in the morning."

"I've been outside your door this whole time. No, wait, that's a lie. I was half way to my car before I turned around and decided to sit outside your door and read this. Then, after reading it, I went for a long walk to think. Can I come in?"

"Oh yes, sorry." He came in and Scully shut the door, but they didn't move two inches from it before she asked, "Outside my door? That's a little unnerving, Mulder. Couldn't you have called or waited until morning to talk?" She'd almost forgotten what it was she was destined talk to him about after his turn in reading the journal. Almost.

"I know I didn't wake you, so I don't see why we can't talk now." He had a crooked smile on his face. He removed his jacket and hung it on the coat rack.

"How do you know I wasn't asleep?" She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned to one side.

"Because, when you've been sleeping your eyes are kind of squinty and your freckles show more."

He knew what she looked like when she had just woken up? The idea made her stomach flutter, but at the same time she hated knowing that her freckles were painfully visible to him in that observation.

"Plus, your TV is on and a nice cup of tea is steaming on your coffee table," he teased before stepping into her personal space. His teasing grin dropped from his face and his eyes were dark again. Not in anger. Not in sadness. In passion.

Scully swallowed her recurring lump and tried to step back, but her body wouldn't allow it. The journal must be in his coat pocket, Scully silently observed, if only to steer her mind away from the heat that was inches from her body.

"Caroline was in love with Sullivan. I heard it in the tapes and the truth in your sobs as you said it, but to read it . . . to know the details . . . you said to keep in mind that what Caroline felt, you feel now. So knowing this, I have to ask you something." He stepped closer, yet still not close enough for their bodies to touch, only enough for his heat to radiate from his skin onto hers, despite the clothing that separated them.

Scully couldn't form any words, knowing what this was leading too and not fully prepared to face it now.

"If Caroline was in love with Biddle, does that mean that you're in love with me, Scully?"

If at all possible, his eyes were darker now.

She nodded, then added in a whisper, "But I didn't need all of this to know what I have felt for a long time. I just needed it to help me face it and know that it was okay to-," she wasn't sure if she could say it.

"Say it, Dana." It wasn't demanding, but soft and encouraging. The use of her first name made it a personal request.

As if that's all it took, Dana finished her sentence, "-fall in love with you."

Mulder closed the space between them at those words, and his dark eyes had a sparkle to them now. He brought both his hands to her face and, now that her hair was down again, smoothed his hands through her hair. Brushing his thumbs over her mouth, he leaned forward to where his lips were inches from hers.

"Mulder what are you doing?" Scully asked in a hushed tone, fighting the urge to wrap her arms around him but failing to do any less than stand there with their faces and mouths inches apart.

"Making up for lost time."

Mulder's head swooped to catch her lips with his, her eyes fluttering shut and her body responding. She finally wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him close.

The kiss was deep, slow, passionate and filled with longing. Mulder pulled away, if only just to catch his breath.

"I've been wanting to do that for a long time," he whispered, his lips feathered her ear with each spoken word.

"I've been waiting for you to do that for a long time."

"I love you, Dana." He kissed her neck up to the back of ear and then pulled away to let his eyes look into hers.

Breathless, Dana beamed at Mulder with her eyebrow arched and asked, "And when did you figure that out, Mulder?"

Without hesitation, Mulder responded, "I can't remember when I didn't love you."

At that, Scully wrapped her arms around his neck and enveloped his lips with hers. He lifted her off the ground to deepen the kiss. The sensation of kissing Scully was so overwhelming that he groaned and soon after his noise of ecstasy, a soft moan escaped from her in reply.

They pulled away from each other simultaneously, their breathing ragged.

"I have a feeling that was the right answer." His arms were still around her waist, her feet dangling above the floor as he clung to her.

"Ding ding ding, tell him what he's won." It was said in a low alto voice, her lips hovering over his as she spoke.

"No no, I'm pretty sure I got what I came for." Mulder lingered a closed kiss on her lips and then set her on the ground.

Taking a look at her pajamas, Mulder said something he thought he would never say to Scully aloud, much less, get away with saying. "You look cute."

Scully looked down, somewhat embarrassed at the fact that she had just kissed Mulder passionately in her little brother's pajamas.

Looking over her carefully, Mulder kissed her jaw line and then combed his hands through her hair again.

"Scratch that. You're beautiful."

She smiled her thank you, unable to find the words. He was beautiful too, but she couldn't get herself to say it. Therefore, she reached her hands to his face and traced the contours of his face. After settling her fingers on his lips, she replaced her fingertips with her lips, the kiss chaste.

"Thank you," he whispered.

He got the message.

"Scully . . ." He circled his arms around her and his hands rubbed circles on her back. After a few moments, she leaned forward and settled her body into his, her arms wrapping around him.

"Hm?"

"I really should leave."

Squeezing him, Scully closed her eyes and quietly asked, "Why?"

"We have to work tomorrow and if I don't leave now I cannot be held responsible for my actions."

She nodded against his chest in understanding.

"Work is going to be kinda weird tomorrow after the, um, events of tonight. Once that office door closes, I'm not sure if I will be able to keep my hands off you."

Running her arms up his biceps, Scully reached his face and pulled his head down, kissed him, then pulled away.

"All the more reason for you to leave now so we can get an early start."

With a brief peck on the lips, he let her go and opened the door.

"Goodnight, Scully."

"Goodnight, Mulder."

He didn't budge from the between the door frame, so Scully walked up to him and gave him a mind-blowing kiss goodnight, nipping his bottom lip as she pulled away.

"Right, yes, goodnight." With what could only be described as a goofy grin, Mulder left and shut the door behind him.

Scully almost giggled. Giggling was a habit she'd sworn off by the age of seven due to her brothers mocking her and Bill wrestling her last giggle out of her. However, a small one escaped her lips.

She turned to see that Mulder had left his coat. Taking it from the rack, she made her way to her bedroom, shutting her TV off and grabbing her mug on the way.

He could have his coat back later, but for now, as she settled into bed, she would relish in his scent as she went to sleep.

Taking the journal from his pocket and placing it on her night stand, Scully relaxed into her mattress. Her thoughts drifted to tomorrow and a thankful prayer escaped from her lips.

This time they had finally got it right.


Dying, dying to die just so we can meet again

Dying, dying to say what I always should have said

It's a strange emotion this but there's still hope in this

As long as there's a breath . . . I can't live without you again

-"Dying" Five for Fighting


Fin

Notes: That, my friends, is what happens when I run with an idea. I wasn't really sure about writing it for a while, to be honest, but once I got started I couldn't stop. The stuff about CSM and the whole WWII thing not configuring right was not thought up or, for that matter, keenly observed by me. I got it from The XPhiles Nitpicker Guide. And so, now you MUST tell me what you thought. Love!


If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to KimK