(Sorry about the title - I couldn't resist the pun!

AUTHOR: Alison
FEEDBACK: Please! xalison@excite.com or lammasday@yahoo.com
DISCLAIMER: Not mine, of course. 
ARCHIVE: Lone Gunmen Mailing List, anywhere else just ask
SPOILERS: Minor for Unusual Suspects
PAIRING: Mulder/Scully 
SUMMARY: What would Mulder see, if he got the chance to see what 
the world would have been like without him?

NOTE: Yes, this is my entirely inadequate tribute to that great 
Christmas film, "It's a Wonderful Life." 


It was raining in Baltimore. 

Mulder had shut his eyes when they transported. The first thing he 
was aware of was the sound of rain through the bare trees; the 
crunch of a gravel path under his feet, and the smell of wet earth.

He stood still, afraid to open his eyes. He knew suddenly what he 
was going to see.

Lucy tugged at his hand. "Come on Mulder. You have to see this."

"No, please, no."

The gentle tug was insistent, and he opened his eyes, afraid of 

They walked hand in hand through the darkened cemetery. Lucy's 
hand was warm and comforting in his own. She led him to a grave 
under a tree, in a corner where a few withered wild flowers still 
grew in patches in the grass. A gravestone with a simple, stark 

John Fitzgerald Byers
Born 11-22-63 
Died 05-20-89

Mulder sank to his knees in the wet grass, reaching to run his 
fingers over the inscription, needing the physical proof of the 
smooth marble under his fingers. He looked up at Lucy, amazed to 
see tears on her face. 

"What happened?"

"That day in the warehouse when the man you call X came to 
supervise the clean up operation. He shot him."

"But why only Byers? Why didn't he kill them all?"

"It wasn't necessary. Killing Byers was enough to scare the others 
off. But you saw what it did to them. They were both scared to go 
back to what they were doing before. Langly went underground, 
ended up hacking in exchange for money for drugs. And Frohike . . 
he never got over seeing Byers shot in front of him. He started 
drinking and never stopped."

"But if I was there . . . how did my being there change everything? 
I was out of it, drugged. I didn't do anything."

"You did, just by being there. X knew who you were. He knew who 
your father was. He had to protect you. So that meant no more 
deaths to connect to you, no more inconvenient bodies to dispose 
of. So he figured he could just scare the Gunmen off. Wrongly, as 
it happened. But you being there, that saved Byers' life that day. 
And changed the lives of all three of them."

"Oh God." He buried his face in his hands. "Byers. I'm so 

Lucy waited quietly beside him, one hand on his trembling shoulder. 
After a while Mulder looked up, wiping his face with the back of 
his hand. "What happened to Susanne?"

"Nobody ever saw her again. But look, there are always fresh 
flowers on his grave."

Mulder reached out a fingertip and touched the simple bunch of 
white roses. "At least he's not forgotten."

Lucy squeezed his shoulder. "Better than never existing at all. 
You had a good life, Mulder. A wonderful life."

Mulder stared at the grave, his numbed mind beginning to work 
again. There was a void in his brain, a gap in his memory he 
couldn't fill. 



"Scully! Agent Dana Scully! Where is she! What happened to her!"

"There's no such person as Agent Dana Scully."

Mulder felt as if she had kicked him in the stomach. "Is . . . is 
she dead too? Please, no . ."

Lucy stood up. "No, she's not dead. Come on, I'll show you."


It had started snowing back in Washington. Just a light covering 
so far, making the sidewalks slippery and the roads slick.

This time it was a quiet residential street in Georgetown. Mulder 
looked around wildly for something he could recognise. "This isn't 
where Scully lives!"

"Haven't you been listening? She's here. But she's not Dr Scully 
any more -"

Mulder wasn't listening. He ran down the street to where a 
homecoming commuter was parking his car. "Sir . . . do you know a 
Dr Dana Scully? She's supposed to live round here." 

The man shook his head. "Dana *Scully*? No. There's a lady 
doctor, Dr Dana Pendrell though, lives just over there."

For the second time that night Mulder felt like he'd been punched. 
"Pendrell? Like . . . Danny Pendrell? She married Pendrell?" He 
felt obscurely betrayed. He swung round. "How? What happened?"

"Think it through, Mulder. You weren't there to reopen the X-
files. No Fox Mulder for her to come and work with in 1993. This 
Dr Dana Scully came from the FBI Academy to Washington in 1993 to 
work in the forensic department at FBI headquarters. Alongside 
Agent Daniel Pendrell. She married him in 1995 . . . and was 
widowed in 1997 when he was killed in a bar-room shooting."

Mulder winced. He didn't think the pain could get any worse. 
Scully . . . a grieving widow. And not for him. He stared across 
the street at the small house where only one light shone in the 

What happened then?"

"She left the Bureau, she couldn't bear to go on working there. 
She works at Georgetown Central Hospital. She's very highly 
regarded there. It's a very different sort of life - but a good 
one. She's devoted her life to her work. She may never save the 
world, but she's made a lot of difference to a great many people's 

"And . . . . Will?"

"Was never born. She never had children."

"But I have a picture of Will! The Gunmen gave it to me this 
evening!" He fumbled in his pants pocket, panicking.

"You haven't got a picture, Mulder. Will doesn't exist."

He had been wrong. The pain went on getting worse. Mulder started 
to walk. "Where is she now? I gotta talk to her!"

"No, Mulder, don't. She doesn't know you. You'll only hurt her!"

Mulder ignored her, racing across the road and up the path to the 
door where a Christmas wreath hung, bright with ribbons. He drew a 
deep breath, trying to hang on to a semblance of calm though his 
hands were trembling. He reached out and knocked on the door.

Somehow it was a shock to see Maggie Scully looking much as she 
always had. She looked at Mulder with the same calm gentle 
expression she had always had for him. "Yes?"

"Uh . . . I need to see . . . Scu- I mean . . . Doctor . . . 
Doctor Dana Pendrell?"

"I'm sorry, she's not back from the hospital yet. Can you call 
back a little later?"

"No, wait . . . Maggie, do you remember me? Fox Mulder, from the 

A flicker of apprehension crossed the older woman's face. "I know 
all of Dana's old friends from the Bureau. I don't think I ever 
heard her mention you."

"But we were partners for eight years! Maggie, you must remember 

Maggie Scully retreated, pushing the door closed. Mulder lunged 
forward desperately. "Maggie, please! Let me see her. If I can 
just see her . ."

He could hear his own voice rising to a hoarse shriek, and with 
half his mind he knew he was making a terrible mistake. The door 
slammed in his face and it was like his only chance was being 
snatched away. He screamed in desperation and threw himself against 
the door. "Maggie, let me in! Let me see her!"

"Mulder, come away!" Lucy was pulling at his arm, but she might as 
well have tried to pull the house over. Mulder swung round and 
stared at her with eyes that might have been looking out from hell. 
He pushed past her and ran down the path. "Scully, where are you?" 

Out in the street he began to run. He had only the haziest idea 
where the hospital was from here, but his whole being was fixed on 
finding Scully. She must be there, he would find her and 
everything would be allright.

He didn't see the car behind him till it was far too late. He 
didn't feel it hit him, didn't hear the screech of skidding tyres 
or Lucy's cry. He didn't feel himself hit the ground. 

He lay on his back on the cold ground, aware of the chatter of many 
voices coming from a distance, and the far off sound of police 
sirens. He couldn't move, but there was no pain. 

Footsteps sounded close by, and a face swam into his field of 
vision, looking down at him. Red hair framing the familiar 
luminously beautiful face, and blue eyes looking at him with deep 
pity but no recognition. 

"Lady, do you know who he is?"

"No. I've never seen him in my life before."

Mulder felt himself slipping away. There was something he had to 
say . . . the most important thing he had every said in his life. 
But he couldn't make a sound come out, and the numbness in his body 
seemed to be spreading to his brain. What did he have to say . . . 
who was she . . . who am I . . oh, the dark . . .