(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." 


Disclaimers, explanations and excuses in Part 1

Hearing came back first. Voices at first a long way away, then 
becoming clearer and more recognisable.

"He's coming round!"

"Hey, let me see. Mulder!"

"Give him some air, guys, stand back a bit!"

Mulder groaned. Not another dream . . . please, make it stop! But 
the voices didn't stop. There was a light shining in his eyes, and 
a headache like someone was trying to dig his eyeballs out with a 
blunt knife. 

He tried to focus on the blurry figure in front of him. It slowly 
resolved itself into . . . "Frohike!" Melvin Frohike, in his 
battered leather jacket, unshaven as always but real and *normal* in 
the surroundings of the Gunmen's warehouse.

"Hey, man, you okay?"

"Frohike . . you're the most beautiful sight I've ever seen . ."

"Oh man. He must have taken a whack!" There was no mistaking that 
grating voice. "Langly!" He grabbed the blond man's arm, needing 
the reassurance of physical contact. Langly was real too; same 
*old* Langly in his Ramones teeshirt and black glasses. 

"Guys, you're okay!"

The two exchanged glances. "Sure, Mulder, we've been right here all 
evening since you left."

Mulder pulled himself into a sitting position and stared atFrohike. 
He sure *looked* like he should. "Mel . . you're really okay? 
You're not drunk?"

Frohike leaned forward, sniffing. "No, not yet. But I know who is 
. . man, you really tied one on, didn'tcha?"

"Oh man, you wouldn't believe . . I had this weird dream . . . hey, 
how did I get here?"

"Dunno, man. The doorbell rang and you were there, sittin' on the 
ground by the steps. Don'tcha remember?"

Mulder grimaced. "No . . . I was in Georgetown . . . then I was 
here. Wait . . . did you see a girl?"

The two Gunmen exchanged another weary look. "What, another girl? 
What did this one look like?"

"Kinda freaky, short, fat . . ."

"Doesn't sound your type, Mulder. Where d'ya meet her?"

"She . . " Mulder broke off, aware of how weird his story would 
sound. "Guys, you wouldn't believe it. This dream . . . Mel, you 
were a drunk, and Langly . . ." He looked round, suddenly realising 
that something was missing. "Where's Byers?" Frohike and Langly 
looked at each other again, and Mulder felt a chill. "Where is he? 
He's not dead, is he? God . . please tell me he's not dead!"

Frohike pushed him towards the couch. "Chill out, man. He's just 
gone to make a phone call. He'll be right here." 

Mulder looked round wildly. "I dreamed he was dead." 

But the next minute Byers appeared from the back of the warehouse. 
Mulder leaped unsteadily to his feet and stumbled towards him, 
wrapping both arms round him and hugging him hard. "Byers, you're 

Byers patted him on the back awkwardly and Mulder held on to him 
even tighter. Somehow it seemed terribly important not to let Byers 
go. "God, Byers you don't know . . . I had this dream, I thought 
you were dead."

Langly coughed loudly and ostentatiously in his ear. "Er . . 
.Mulder, Byers . . . would you like us to give you two guys some 

Mulder let go self-consciously. "Sorry . . . it was so real. You 
guys wouldn't believe what happened."

Frohike pushed him back towards a chair. "You think *we* won't 
believe you? Remember who you're talking to. C'mon, give."

"Wait, one more thing . . is Scully okay?"

"Sure, Mulder. We told you earlier this evening, she's fine. Will 
too. Don't you remember, we showed you the photos?"

Photos . . . he pawed frantically at his pocket, almost crying with 
relief when his fingers found the piece of paper. Scully's face 
looked serenely up at him, with Will cradled sleepily in her arms. 
He stared at the two faces for a long moment, before the faces 
blurred as tears filled his eyes. "I lost them."

"What's that?"

"This dream . . . only it wasn't a dream. It was like I was 
erased. Taken out of history. Scully didn't know me. Will was 
never born. Everyone I care about . . ."

He started to tell them, disjointed sentences at first then managing 
a more coherent story as bits and pieces started to come back. The 
Gunmen sat in a row on the couch opposite him, rapt as if he was 
telling them about seeing an UFO land on the White House lawn. When 
he had finished there was a silence, till Frohike got up. "Hell of 
an X-file, Mulder."

"I know . . . but it was so real. Scully . ."

He looked up at Byers sitting opposite him.

"She's okay, Mulder. Trust me."

"I do . . . Byers, I'm sorry."

"What for?"

"For what I said earlier this evening. I was so focused on *my* 
problems I forgot all you've done for me and Scully. I forgot that 
you've gone through exactly the same experience. We neither of us 
can be with the woman we love. But at least I know Scully is safe, 
and there's Will. I didn't realise till tonight how lucky I am."

Byers leaned forward. "Then what would you tell her, Mulder, if you 
could talk to her now?"

"How sorry I am, for *everything*. For the way I've treated her, 
taken her for granted for the last ten years. For taking so long to 
realise I loved her. For leaving her when she needed me." 

"What else?"

"God . . I'd want to tell her that I'd never leave her like that 
again. That I'd find *some* way for us to all be together - at 
least some of the time."

"Then tell her."

The voice came from behind him. The one and only voice in the 

Mulder whipped round. Scully was standing there like the fulfilment 
of all his dreams. Standing as she had stood so many times before 
here in the warehouse with the dim lighting burnishing her hair and 
making her eyes shine. Only never before had she looked like this, 
with Will nestled against her shoulder. He could only stand and 
stare, looking at this woman and her child on this night of 
all nights.

She turned and deposited Will carefully in the arms of a surprised 
Langly,who nevertheless took him in a surprisingly competent grasp. 
Byers gestured to the others towards the kitchen. "C'mon, guys." 

He found his voice at last. "You came."

She seemed hesitant too. "Byers called me."

"You heard what I said."

"Every word."

"I meant it."

Another long silence. 

"Welcome home, Mulder."

And she walked into his arms like a tired traveller reaching home 
after a long journey. 


Out in the kitchen the Gunmen grinned inanely at each other. Will 
was dribbling sleepily down Langly's chest. He grimaced. "Why is 
it I'm supposed to be the baby expert round here?" 

"Chill out, Langly, it won't be for long. Something tells me 
they'll be making tracks outta here pretty soon."

Byers had another thought. "I gotta feeling they're going to be 
calling on us from now on for babysitting duties . . . if Mulder's 
going to be sticking around."

"Mmm . . . hey, did you ever see that film, "Three Godfathers?"

"Oh man, Mel, you watch too many old films."


And further away, in the alleyway outside, a set of footprints 
tracked away into the first fallen snow. Led away from the front 
door . . . and disappeared. 

Only the chirrup of a cellphone tone echoed in the night. "Hi, 
Joseph, I'm on my way, the wings are great! Can I fly back? Hey, 
whadddya mean I have to take a test . . . an instructor? Oh no, 
anyone but Clarence . . ."