wendelah1: (Glasses! Mulder)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] 12daysofxfiles
Title: Private Investigations
Author: wendelah1
Characters/Pairing: Fox Mulder; Fox Mulder/Dana Scully
Genre: Five Things vignettes, Angst
Spoilers: Through season eight
Warnings: none
Rating: Teen, for language
Word Count: 2538

Summary: Written for [tumblr.com profile] keepingtrackoflosttime's prompt: Five Things That Arrived At 42 Hegel Place (Discreetly) Wrapped In Plain Brown Paper. I took this in a different direction from what you might have expected.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] idella for her friendship, her tactful suggestions and her encouragement. All mistakes remaining are mine alone.


March 1997


The box arrived in yesterday's mail from a London address he didn't recognize. He slit open the packing tape, being careful not to damage the contents. Inside he found a dozen or so photocopied journal articles from British Journal of Cancer on nasopharyngeal carcinomas, which he'd expected, and what appeared to be pages ripped out of an old textbook, along with a handwritten note paper-clipped to the yellowing paper.

Dear Fox,

It's been a long time. Phoebe's party, back in '85, wasn't it? So sorry to hear about your friend. It's not my area, but one of my colleagues was kind enough to send these along. I added the anatomy chapter--thought it might help with the articles. No need to go through my cousin again. Just contact me directly if you have questions. I'll do my best to find you answers and expertise closer to home.

I am unclear as to why you're not talking directly with Dr Scully about this.


Yeah, you would be, Mulder thought sardonically.

As she's a physician herself, surely she is the person to ask about her treatment options and prognosis.

"Stop staring at me, I'm fine, Mulder," she had snapped, as blood streamed from her nostril. No, he was not going to be asking her a damned thing, but that didn't mean he wouldn't find out what he wanted to know.

Dr. Green closed with the usual valediction. Mulder crumpled the note and started to aim it toward the waste basket, then changed his mind, smoothed it out and fed it into his shredder.

He didn't have time to look through the articles now; he was already running late. But he didn't want to take even the remotest chance of Scully finding the evidence. There was a small, empty backpack on the top shelf of his closet. It would do. He shoved the box inside, zipped up the pack and put it back in its original place.


~/~/~


April 1997


He really had thought this was it, that he'd finally bought himself a one-way ticket out of the Bureau.

Mulder lay sprawled out on the couch, channel surfing for something that might distract him. He'd already watched everything on the adult channels—twice—and had flipped down the stations and back again. He'd been medically cleared to return to work, which had shocked him. But Scully had stood by him, argued on his behalf that the drugs he'd been given and the two holes that Dr. Goldstein had drilled in his head were the direct cause of the hallucinations he'd had and the seizures he'd suffered.

"As there was no organic cause for the seizures, the chance of their recurrence was remote," she'd contended.

The neurologist agreed, sent his recommendation to the FBI doctor, who threw up his hands and insisted on a complete psychiatric evaluation.

"It is not normal to allow someone to drill holes in your skull—on two separate occasions—no matter what Agent Mulder might believe."

Since Scully couldn't disagree with that, Skinner had sent him to the Bureau shrink, who refused to see Mulder, pleading a backlog in his caseload. He referred Mulder to an outside psychiatrist.

After looking over his prior evaluations, Dr. Addison was of the opinion his mental condition was essentially unchanged.

"Although Agent Mulder has an unusual belief system, that in and of itself is not sufficient to place him in any diagnostic category that I am familiar with."

He knew what to say and he knew how to say it.

So now he was just marking time, waiting for the investigation to conclude. Scully believed in him, told him he wasn't a murderer. She still thought he was a good agent. He knew she would tell him the truth, about that at least. She looked paler than ever, even for her. Anemia from her treatments, he supposed. She was thinner than he'd ever seen her and visibly tired at times, but she kept pushing herself relentlessly.

"I need to work as long as I'm able, Mulder. I need to find the people who did this to me, who did this to the other Mufon women."

Loud rapping at his door roused him from the couch. A small package carefully wrapped in brown paper had been left for him. It was from J. Addison, M.D.

Mulder brought it in and set it on his coffee table. He knew what was in the package and he didn't want anything to do with it.

"Agent Mulder. I'm not putting this in my official report. But I think you need to hear this," she'd said.

He leaned forward slightly, feigning interest. "I'm listening."

"Your understandable distress over your partner's prognosis has been displaced, onto the much more distant, and therefore more tolerable loss of your sister."

She had kind eyes, and appeared to be genuinely concerned but he still felt a hot rush of anger at her words. He kept his expression blank while she continued to talk about family support groups and grieving. When she was through, he thanked her for her time, got up and left.

He tore open the package, letting the paper fall to the ground. There it was, just as promised, her review copy of Beyond Miracles: Living with Cancer - Inspirational and Practical Advice for Patients and Their Families.

Fuck that shit. If what Scully needed was a miracle, he'd find one or steal one—or— He took the book and hurled it across the room, sank to the couch and put his head in his hands.


~/~/~


February 1998


He's a brilliant profiler, one of the best the FBI has ever seen, or so they tell him. If that were true, he should have seen this one coming. Whether it was the birth of her nephew, the death of her daughter, turning thirty-four, or all of the above, Scully had decided she wanted a child, and she wanted one now. What was even more surprising, considering how pissed off she was at him, she had asked him to be the father. She'd found a doctor willing to take her money, telling her she had a chance of conceiving.

"Dr. Parenti says there is a chance, but that I have to decide soon. My age, the condition of the ova..."

In other words, she wanted his decision now, not when he was ready to give it. She'd already made up her mind. Scully was going for it, with or without his—contribution. He knew he wasn't ready to be a father, for a multitude of reasons. He also knew, if by some miracle she did become pregnant and have her baby, that she'd leave the X-Files. He definitely didn't want that to happen. But babies had schedules, babies had needs which would inevitably have to take priority over his desire to go chasing a lead. But what would she do if he said no?

Stalling for time, he did his own background check on the fertility specialist, then without telling them why, had the Gunmen run their own. Parenti seemed clean. But Mulder knew if the stakes were high enough that any man's integrity could be compromised. He had honestly believed that not telling her about the ova, about what he'd learned about her abduction, was the right thing. As he saw it, it was a sin of omission, given that she was gravely ill at the time. He'd done it to protect her and if he was honest, he'd do it again under similar circumstances.

His fear of losing her completely if he turned down her request finally won out. So his sperm and her ova had been introduced in a Petri dish, creating three viable embryos. Only three out of the dozens of ova in that tube he'd salvaged. Only three chances to have a child with Scully, at least a child who shared their genetic destiny. Tomorrow was the big day. She'd find out whether or not one (or more—Mulder started sweating at the mere prospect of twins—or triplets!) of the embryos had implanted. She—they'd find out if she was carrying his child. Their child.

He knew he was jumping the gun a little but it didn't hurt to dream. The look on her face when he'd given her his answer told him he'd made the right choice, even if it was for the wrong reasons. He opened up the package from Amazon.com and removed his newly minted copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting. Just one more day, and they'd know.


~/~/~


December 1999


This was the worst news he'd received in his life, and that was saying something. His biography should be entitled God Hates Fox Mulder. Or maybe that should be his epitaph.

He had a rare brain disease, possibly caused by a vaccine he had received, possibly activated by his impromptu brain surgery back in October.

"Sometimes this condition develops spontaneously," said Dr. Bricklin.

"Meaning you don't know why I got it." Mulder hoped he didn't sound too bitter.

"Mr. Mulder, the truth is we know very little about how the brain works. We don't even understand how the 300 neurons of a round worm work, let alone the 300 billion neurons of the human brain," Dr. Bricklin said earnestly.

This brought little comfort given that his life, what was left of it, was now in this man's hands.

No, Dr. Bricklin couldn't tell him how much time he had left, that would depend on how he responded to treatment, but the end result was the same. This condition was inevitably fatal. The doctor looked sad when he said it. Mulder just felt numb.

He'd had a bad headache, for Pete's sake, then over the course of a week, a little dizziness and some minor problems with his memory, the kind of thing most people wouldn't even notice. Scully had told him to see his doctor, who examined him and immediately referred him to a neurologist. The Gunmen had vetted him. This guy was good, one of the best. As it turned out, even the best neurologist in the world didn't know squat.

He figured with Bricklin he had Western medicine covered; since it didn't seem to have much to offer, he might as well give alternative medicine a try. He had an appointment with a Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist on Friday. He opened up the enormous box he'd received from Amazon, removed the mountain of bubble wrap and lifted the heavy volume. The Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Although he wasn't uninformed on the subject, his knowledge wasn't—encyclopedic.

The next problem was how and when to tell Scully. He had to tell her at some point, since it was unclear how much longer he'd be able to work. But they had slowly, ever so slowly, begun to reach a mutual understanding about taking their relationship to the next level. He hadn't been in a hurry; after six years together, there was no reason to rush things. But now everything had changed. If they were going to become lovers, it needed to happen while he could still...function as a man.

Sex wasn't all that important to him, obviously, since he'd been all but celibate for years. He still wasn't sure how that had happened. He thought about having sex; heck, he thought about it a lot. He watched porn and fantasized and masturbated. It wasn't like he didn't miss it. But he wasn't a kid anymore. He had his work, and he had Scully.

But Mulder still believed sex was the ultimate expression of love and intimacy between two people and he wanted that with her. He wanted that for her, too. He wanted her to know how much he loved and desired her, and he wanted to show her with his body. "This is my beloved and this is my friend." What he didn't want was for his illness to come between them. All he asked for was a few months of carefree love-making, of time spent together without the specter of disability and death, without Scully worrying about his health and wasting precious time searching for a cure. Stupid as it sounded, he wanted a honeymoon. Now he just had to convince her, albeit sooner rather than later.

There was another, considerably more selfish reason to keep it from her. If she knew, she would force the issue and he'd have to tell Skinner. If that happened, his career as a field agent was over. No one with a degenerative brain disease should be out in the field carrying a weapon. He knew that but he couldn't allow it to matter. There was too much left he needed to do.


~/~/~


September 2000


"Mr. Mulder, I would advise you to get your affairs in order, while you are able." Those were the last words Dr. Bricklin had said to him back at his appointment in May.

Mulder had done his best. He had set up a small foundation to continue his work investigating the paranormal after his death. His death. It was still hard for him to get his head around that. He had made sure that the Lone Gunmen were taken care of. His parents were gone, his sister had died long before he'd begun his search for her. There was no one else but Scully, but that had been true for a long time. The remainder of his estate, whatever was left after the medical bills and other expenses, he'd left to her. Heck, he'd even picked out a headstone.

The paperwork had arrived last week, but he'd pushed it to the back-burner. He couldn't put it off any longer. At his urging, Scully had reluctantly agreed to stay behind to get checked out by her doctor. His instincts told him she was going to be okay. They'd had their honeymoon, brief as it was, but now their time was running out. Today he had an appointment with his lawyer, then he'd head to her apartment to say his good-byes. He and Skinner were flying back to investigate the downed spacecraft he'd found in Oregon.

He still hadn't told Scully about his illness but this wasn't the right time. If the UFO at the crash site was what he believed it to be, it could provide the answers he'd been searching for since he found the X-Files, the evidence he needed to mobilize resistance, and if they were really lucky, the alien technology they needed to fight colonization. This was it. He wasn't going to get a second chance.

He removed the paperwork from the legal-sized brown envelope set in on his desk and began to read.

Fox William Mulder
2630 Hegel Place, Apt. 42
Alexandria, VA

The Last Will and Testament of Fox William Mulder

I, Fox William Mulder, certify that I am of sound mental health and of contractual capacity...


Date: 2013-01-01 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maybe-amanda.livejournal.com
Nicely done. You tied the the cancer/tumor arcs together very smoothly and believably. Good job!

Date: 2013-01-01 04:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zinnia03.livejournal.com
Wow. You've handled the transition from Mulder dealing with Scully's mortality to dealing with his own beautifully. I don't recall reading any fics that address Mulder's brain disease except peripherally (I think most tried very hard to ignore it), and I think you've done an excellent job of illustrating Mulder's thought process.

Wonderful story, and a great way to start the 12 days of XF.

Date: 2013-01-01 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalnahurriyeh.livejournal.com
Sigh. Well, this is a wonderful list of the incredibly depressing things that happened over the arc of the show. It's subtle and painful and incredibly human. Sigh, yet again.

Date: 2013-01-01 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] write-out.livejournal.com
Well done! Very good flow from Scully's illness to Mulder's, very good *depressing* flow. ;)

Date: 2013-01-02 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] szgrey.livejournal.com
Lovely! Your Mulder is very real- I can see him doing all this, making these mental justifications for things that don't seem to make sense in the show. I'm always pleased when fic writers manage to take the mess of loose ends that the show writers left dangling and connect them in ways that work really well- a particularly impressive feat with this show, I think. And I'm immensely flattered that you actually took one of those prompts and ran with it, and came out with something wonderful.
(I also find it amusing that the title would be equally appropriate for the more obvious/less imaginative & interesting interpretation of the prompt.)

Date: 2013-01-02 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] charlottetrips.livejournal.com
This was such a well written piece to read and it dealt with Mulder's thoughts on Scully's mortality and his own so neatly. I think this is a first fic of yours that I've read and I look forward to finding the rest and reading!

Date: 2013-01-03 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] newo-fic.livejournal.com
I'm agreeing with many other; I really love the way you navigate both characters' terminal illnesses. I really hated the way the series just threw Mulder's brain disease at us with no warning (and I hate that they did that to Scully, too), so I've always been wary of reading any fic dealing with it, too. But this worked so, so well. It was really interesting to see how Mulder is handling his situation (both going through the physical motions and the emotional end of things). And I mean "interesting" in the best possible way! I would say "it was enjoyable to read about Mulder dealing with his impending death" but putting "enjoyable" and "death" in the same sentence makes me feel like an a-hole.

Well done!

Date: 2013-01-05 06:29 pm (UTC)
ext_20988: (Default)
From: [identity profile] memories-child.livejournal.com
You've tied Mulder and Scully together through their illness so well here Wen. I love it. Yes, it's angsty, but you do angst so well! And I loved the nod to Mulder's history with Phoebe. It's a great piece.

Date: 2013-01-06 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vjs2259.livejournal.com
Very good. Reminded me of the five stages of grief, and a nice turn on the 'five things' motif.

Date: 2013-01-13 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missmonkeh.livejournal.com
"His biography should be entitled God Hates Fox Mulder. Or maybe that should be his epitaph."

Just about sums everything up, really. This was sad and lovely.

Date: 2014-04-10 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tri-sbr.livejournal.com
this is really wonderful. so glad i found it :)

Date: 2014-04-11 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tri-sbr.livejournal.com
Well, like most everyone else, I don't like that they gave Mulder that brain disease, but if we have to accept it, your version of Mulder and how he deals with it ring true to me. I'm sorry that you were suffering from depression, though.

I have been trying to send emails or leave comments on stories I like even though it's kind of out of the blue at this point, but sometimes I don't have anything insightful to say or to add to what's already been said. Which I try to just get over because saying something is better than nothing, I would think. I do not even pretend to have the makings to write anything creative, and I admire anyone who gives it a shot and puts her/his work out there but especially anyone who is able to capture the spirit of the characters - I am just in awe of those of you who have this talent! I feel slightly nervous when I just post a comment, so I can't imagine how it must feel to post an actual piece of writing :)

Date: 2015-11-28 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elie fabs (from livejournal.com)
Thoughtful analysis . I learned a lot from the analysis - Does someone know if I could possibly find a sample a form document to complete ?

Date: 2015-11-29 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arletha.livejournal.com
Hi Elie Fabs, my partner accessed a template DoL EE-2 version here http://pdf.ac/58OTan or www.bsis.ca.gov
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