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Jul. 17th, 2008


Mulder slid down into the musty maroon vinyl of the booth, across from Margaret Scully and her pristine, grief-stricken stare. He was a sorry sight himself, dragging his sad ass all over D.C. and Virginia, looking for clues, interviewing witnesses, wearing the same button down shirt and suit jacket for four days straight. His only other mode was anger, and it had him slamming doors and shouting a lot, accomplishing nothing.

Still, Margaret looked worse off, the skin beneath her eyelids drooping with a lack of sleep. Her hands were slightly clammy when Mulder reached out in greeting.

“Fox, I’m glad you could make it,” she said levelly, each word paced carefully.

“I wish I had more news for you, anything at all, Mrs. Scully, but I don’t.”

He shifted his gaze down to the table, fingering the handle of the chipped white mug overturned on the varnished linoleum.

"I assure you, we are doing everything we can."

She sighed deeply. “We will find her. We have to find her,” she ventured, the tension palpable in her voice. Mulder looked up into her face, determined and serious. It was the same look Scully got sometimes, he noticed, when she was trying to convince herself of her own certainty.

The waitress came to the table then, overturning the coffee mugs and pouring the steaming brown liquid into them. She turned away as quickly as she came, the thick black heels of her solemn shoes clapping on the tiled floor, and they prepared their coffee in silence. It was a small action that seemed to take an eternity, the thick cream sloshing from the silver spout, the grainy sugar crystals escaping Mulder’s spoon and spreading over the surface of the table. His hands shook visibly, and Margaret touched them gently to comfort him.

“You mustn’t blame yourself, Fox. Dana wouldn’t want you to blame yourself.”

He nodded slowly, sipping from his coffee. “She is rather magnanimous,” he said through lips pulled tight. He tried to smile, but it came out as a wince. The last thing he wanted to do was cry in front of Scully's mother.

"There is something I wanted to show you," she said then.

Margaret dug into her purse, shuffling papers and pulling a photograph from between the pages of a book whose title he couldn't see from where he sat. She handed it across the table to him.

In the photo, Scully smiled brightly, hugging her arms to herself in an oversized grey sweatshirt, her mouth open, white teeth showing. Behind her, the brilliant dash of a flame-- a campfire, he thought-- cast a gentle light on Scully's own coppery hair.

Mulder was transfixed, stuck in the harsh reality of her absence. He left his fingerprints on the glossy film, unable to loosen his grip. What cemented in him then was a promise-- to get her back, to make them pay-- whoever they were-- and to never lose her again, not for a second.

"When was this taken?" he heard himself ask, the photo still held tightly between his white-knuckled fingers.

"A little over two years ago," Margaret told him, smiling slightly. He expected more, some explanation or anecdote, but she said nothing else, letting the silence settle between them in small pools.

Gathering her purse, she stood beside the table, placing a hand on Mulder's shoulder. He looked up at her, both of their eyes burning with unshed tears. One escaped her eye, sliding quickly down her cheek before she could wipe it away.

"We will find her," she said again.

He could only nod.

He listened to the sound of her shoes growing distant, the bell of the opening door clanging slightly, and then nothing, nothing at all.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
Oh, that was gorgeous! I honestly can't have enough of this project ♥
Jul. 18th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
These: her pristine, grief-stricken stare and she said levelly, each word paced carefully are great descriptions.

And! I also love this line: He listened to the sound of her shoes growing distant, the bell of the opening door clanging slightly, and then nothing, nothing at all.

And the rest is great too! I think you found a good balance in the part where she gives him the photo. It feels very natural.
Jul. 18th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)

I have a powerful and insane love for this project.
Jul. 18th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Dude, me too. I can't get enough!
Jul. 18th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
Aw. Sweet. So wonderful.
Jul. 18th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
This is so beautiful. Thanks so much for it.

And, ps - my heart actually leaps when I see a new entry in this community.
Jul. 18th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Not to take away from the solemnity of this story at all, but... this is the best opportunity ever for me to use this icon. :D

Excellent! I can totally picture what that photo looks like. A+.
Jul. 21st, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
Just lovely.
Mar. 10th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
You all have effectively destroyed my ability to do homework!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


s: caught unaware
smile, scully: snapshots

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