TITLE: IT'S A WONDERFUL FILE by Alison
(Sorry about the title - I couldn't resist the pun!
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SPOILERS: Minor for Unusual Suspects
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."
A WONDERFUL FILE 4/4
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
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."
"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."
"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."
"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
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."
"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 . . ."