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Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998
TITLE: So Are You, But...
Their trenchcoats beat wildly against their calves as the dry, icy cold wind
lifted up the edges of the heavy woolen material and slammed them down
again and again.
The dull greyness of the overcast sky was in perfect accord with the
varying shades of grey the surrounding landscape presented. Dried earth
beneath their feet, no longer obscured by a soothing green carpeting of
grass, nor simply richly black and loamy, but instead a sickly shade of
grey from too little water, too little sun, and too many heavy paths tread
over it. Flowers left behind as a loving tribute, once vibrant and healthy,
now withered, decaying, a putrid mix of rotting browns and ashen greys.
And the marble monuments to the lives that had passed. All sizes, shapes
and shades of grey. Some with long, sentimental epitaphs, others with
nothing more than names and dates. Yes, the sky knew the mood of the
cemetery that day, and matched it perfectly.
Mulder did not want to be here. That had been evident from the
beginning. He had argued that no purpose would be served by their
attending the funeral. No purpose at all, save perhaps, to remind the
grieving family that the person who had wreaked this havoc upon their
lives had not yet been caught. But Scully had insisted, pointing out that an
invitation had been personally extended to him and his mother by the
surviving husband, who had, in this, his time of deepest grief, taken the
time to regale Scully, and embarrass Mulder, with several stories about
Mulder as a little boy, who had once been a neighbor of his. He had
ended with a nod and wink about the "roguish" young man Mulder had
grown into and said that he knew his late wife would have wanted him
there. Mulder had argued that the invitation had been given out of
politeness, not out of any real desire to see Mulder at the funeral, to which
Scully replied, "Well then we will attend out of politeness, not out of any
real desire to be at the funeral."
As she looked at him now, his eyes staring blankly into the distance, his
face slowly taking on the same pallor of grey as his surroundings, she
wondered if coming to the funeral was indeed a mistake. He'd never
mentioned anything, but she couldn't help but wonder if there was a
gravestone for Samantha here. Some tangible proof of her life and
"death", that his parents had used to help them get on with their lives.
The case they were on had affected him strongly from the beginning.
More strongly than was appropriate for a detached yet concerned law
enforcement official. While a part of her was pleased to see that years of
examining the darkest aspects of human behavior hadn't robbed him of his
ability to empathize, a larger part of her was worried about what damage
his increased sensitivity could do, both to his objectivity as an investigator
as well as to his own psyche.
Seven elderly women, all sexually assaulted and then brutally murdered in
their own homes. The women had all been upper-middle income or
better, residing in quiet suburbs, seemingly safe from the horrors that
frequently befell the elderly in big cities. After their murders, each of the
women's mutilated bodies had been dumped far away from the site of the
crime. Five of the women, current victim included, had been taken across
state lines, bringing the murders under the purview of the FBI. VCS,
perpetually understaffed, had reluctantly approached Scully, asking her to
review photos of three of the deceased women, in an attempt to ascertain
if the killer had any medical experience.
Mulder had come up to her office while she was examining the photos and
had seen them. He'd blanched and hastily exited. When he returned a few
minutes later, his face was pale but otherwise composed and he had asked
to see every bit of information that she had been given about the cases.
He'd quickly reviewed it, then gone down to VCS to offer his assistance in
developing a profile for the killer. Surprised, but grateful, VCS had
eagerly accepted his offer.
When the news had come in about this latest victim, the investigator in
Scully had been excited. Here was a chance to visit a fresh crime scene,
to inspect the carnage first-hand, before it had become contaminated by
the examinations of countless other police and specialists. Mulder had not
wanted to go. She'd looked at him with a mixture of incredulity and
impatience as he'd calmly told her that there was nothing new to be
learned at the crime scene, no reason to further harass the grieving
children and grandchildren of the newly deceased. She blamed his
reluctance to intrude on that fact that woman was a resident of Chilmarc,
his boyhood home. She suspected that he was nervous about comments
that might be made about "the Mulder boy...you know his sister was
kidnapped while he was watching her and when he grew up, he joined the
FBI...probably felt guilty and wanted to spend his life looking for her."
Mulder could be awfully funny about having certain truths thrown in his
She'd slowly but surely overridden his objections, and here they were, on a
cold winter's day at a graveyard in Massachusetts, Mulder standing next to
her, but not there at all. She'd kept her concerns about him to herself, not
telling Skinner that while Mulder had spent days poring over reports to
develop his profile, he'd refused to visit any of the crime scenes, save this
one that she had fairly dragged him to, and he hadn't looked at any of the
photos of the victims since that first day. She knew that in reality, he
didn't have to look at the photos again, every detail of each scene was
already permantly engraved in his memory, but his method usually was to
examine the same bits of evidence in as many ways as possible, to take it
all in from different angles until he saw the hidden pattern. That tenacity
was part of what made him the outstanding analyst that he was. His
behavior on this case was puzzling and worrisome.
Throughout the case, she had idly wondered if the victims reminded him
of a grandmother, or possibly an elderly aunt. Perhaps that was why it
seemed to have affected him so strongly. She knew very little about his
family, other than that hostility and regret had festered between he and his
father and the formal, yet oddly tender interactions she had witnessed
between he and his mother.
She had been so focused on studying Mulder, that she hadn't noticed that
the service had ended. The guests were approaching the family now, to
pay their last respects. She'd touched Mulder's arm, intending to steer him
towards the line of well-wishers and was startled when he flinched away
from her. He turned suddenly and stalked away from her. She was greatly
dismayed, but only mildly shocked. She was well aware of how
insensitive to others he could be when his mind was focused elsewhere.
She waited a moment, then followed him slowly. She had a suspicion as
to where he was going.
After a while, he stopped. He sat down on what appeared to be a small
granite bench and stared up into the grey sky. She left him there for 30
minutes, that turned into 45. After an hour, cold, and her legs starting to
ache from simply standing, she approached him to tell him that it was time
As she got nearer to the grave, she realized that the bench he was sitting
on was somehow part of the grave marker, which was a large, intricately
designed, monstrous affair, not at all appropriate for an 8 year old girl.
She'd made her approach purposely noisy so that he wouldn't be startled,
but he made no move to acknowledge her or to leave, so she came around
and sat on the bench beside him.
She looked around at the odd grave and finally found the inscription:
Wilohmena Robertson Standish Mulder
Loving mother, cherished friend, devoted humanitarian
1917 - 1990
"Mulder, it's getting late. We really should head back to the hotel."
He nodded and rose, holding out his hand to help her off of the bench.
He started to walk off, but Scully stopped him. "Mulder, the car is this
way." He turned around and returned to her.
Silently, they headed back towards the car. As the fence came into their
sights, Scully decided to take a chance. Perhaps if he talked about it now,
he would be able to focus on solving the case for the duration of their stay.
"Mulder, I couldn't help but notice how strongly this case has affected you.
Was she...murdered like these women?"
Mulder jammed his hands deep into his pockets and shook his head. His
stride never faltered as he looked off into the distance and quietly said, "I
was on a case in New York. She had come to see an off-Broadway play
that she had helped to finance. Instead of parking at the lot right next to
the theatre, she parked a couple of blocks away. She always loved
walking through the strangest places. Some guy came out of an alley,
smashed her skull in with a hammer and took her purse. It had $42 in it."
Scully was horrified. Suddenly his revulsion at this case made perfect
sense, but now was not the time to dwell on it. "Was she your
Mulder stopped walking and turned to face her. He stood absolutely still
for a long moment, and she watched, fascinated, as his eyes changed
colors before her. The little flecks of brown that normally appeared as
golden highlights in his expressive green eyes suddenly spilled out of their
confines, running through and over the green until his eyes were an odd
golden shade that she couldn't recall ever having seen before.
"She was my wife." Without another word, he turned back and continued
walking towards the car.
End Part 1
Disclaimed in part 1.
Mulder's words seemed so out of place, that it took a few seconds for her
to comprehend them. Then she took off after him, her shorter legs moving
furiously to cover the distance that his few lazy strides had already put
"Mulder! Mulder, wait! What do you mean she was your wife?"
"You know, holy matrimony, till death do us part. That kind of wife."
She reached out and grabbed his arm, stopping as she did so. Her eyes
were clear and wide and her mouth was rounded. A part of Mulder's mind
mused that he'd only seen that look on her face a few times, usually after
she'd been terrified beyond reason. "But Mulder...how? When?"
"Well, we went down to the justice of the peace and he said a few
words..." Scully's looked stopped him from continuing that speech. After
a few seconds, he continued, "We were married in 1987."
"But...but that would have made her...70 years old!"
"Actually, she was 69 when we got married. She turned 70 three months
He looked at her, the anger in his eyes turning them back to a familiar
green. "Why do most people get married, Scully?"
Scully blushed slightly, but continued, "But Mulder, you would have been,
what, 26 at the time? I mean..."
"Yes, Scully, I was 26 and she was nearly three times my age. Her
children were all older than me. Hell, her grandkids were just about my
age. And she was a better person than every single one of them. She
loved life. I mean, really, loved it. She loved to explore...she wanted, she
wanted to be challenged, wanted to have her convictions thrown on their
ears. She wanted to help every person that she ever met, help them
however she could. She respected people for who they were, and tried to
help them become who they could be."
Scully's mind was racing furiously. Mulder had a wife? A wife that was
old enough to be his grandmother? This didn't fit into the mental category
that she had labeled, "Mulder".
"But what, Scully? Is it so hard for you to imagine that I could love
someone enough to want to marry them? Or is it..."
"No! I mean, no, that's not it at all. I know...I mean, I'm sure that
someday...I mean I've always thought that you had a lot of love to share
with the right person. It's just that...that," A small part of her was
at Mulder, upset that he was going to actually make her say the words.
"...she was so much older than you."
"I've never understood our country's attitudes towards its elderly. We treat
them as if there's something wrong with them, as if their having survived
for so long is a bad thing, as if they should be avoided. We kill them in
the most heinous ways imaginable..."
"Mulder, I didn't mean it that way. I'm just saying that, you were so
young. Your interests must have differed so much, I mean, you were just
experiencing things in life for the first time that were probably so familiar
as to be boring for her."
He nodded. "And I benefited from her experience. She taught me new
ways to look at things, new ways to experience life."
"How...how did you meet?"
"I'd known her all my life. Chilmarc's a small place, everyone knew
everyone else. But, we really met when I came up for, I don't know, some
sort of spiritual rejuvenation I suppose. I was still in Quantico, still
to get over Phoebe, and I was starting to have these nightmares about
Samantha. Not so much about the night she was taken, but more so about
what happened to her afterwards. I guess I was thinking that maybe
coming back, spending some time in the house would shake loose some
memories, help me deal with those demons. I ran into Mimi, and she
insisted that I come to her house for lunch. And no one refused Mimi
Standish anything that she asked. We talked about England, Phoebe, what
it was like to find out that the person that you thought you loved wasn't
who you thought they were at all, and Samantha. Mimi said she thought
she'd seen bright lights that night, and more traffic than usual going down
the main road, but she'd never really associated it with Samantha's
Scully looked at him questioningly and asked, "Mimi?", as she hoped that
he couldn't notice that a part of her mind hadn't gotten past the phrase,
"the person that you thought you loved wasn't who you thought they were
at all". She knew all too well what that was like.
"That's what she went by. She said as a young woman, she'd always been
'Willa', but after she had kids and started getting involved in all her
work, she discovered that she liked 'Mimi' better. She said she'd lived
through the more serious, 'Willa' stage of her life, and once her kids were
gone, 'Mimi' wanted her turn to have some fun. She said it wasn't until she
was much older that she came to appreciate her real name and the fact that
it did allow her to have these two separate personalities in her life."
Scully thought she sounded mildly schizophrenic, but chose not to voice
Mulder was silent for a few long seconds, then he looked at Scully
intensely. "I could really talk to her. She understood what I was saying.
Even if she didn't always agree, she respected my rights to my beliefs. She
was the first person I'd ever met who could do that. She didn't want to
change me, she wanted me to accept myself and then change for myself
whatever didn't please me."
Scully could see how for someone like Mulder, unconditional acceptance
of the sort he was describing could be extremely alluring.
"What about your families? What did they think?"
Mulder's look grew distant. "What little relationship was left between my
father and I was destroyed by the marriage. He kept going on about how
couldn't I see how badly I was hurting Mom. We stopped talking
altogether after then. Mom, well, there was a part of her that was more
embarrassed than anything else. I mean, like I said, everyone knew
everyone else in Chilmarc, and even though she'd moved to Greenwich by
then, she still felt like I was doing some shameful thing. She refused to
come to the wedding. But she did ask me to come visit her afterwards.
As for Mimi's family..." He smiled with the memory. "They hated me. I
mean, clearly they couldn't see me as a stepfather figure. They were
convinced that I was some young gigolo who's only intention was to steal
their inheritance away. When she died, her oldest son, Harold, contested
her will because she'd left me some money. I didn't fight it."
She looked at him curiously, then with a half smile said. "I've never
known you to shy away from a righteous crusade."
"Yeah, well. It would have been ugly. I hadn't bothered to tell the Bureau
that I was married. I mean, it didn't bother me at all, but Mimi pointed out
that it wouldn't have looked good for their top student, and then top
analyst to be married to someone old enough to have been in cahoots with
J. Edgar. Besides, I didn't want her money. That wasn't why I loved her.
Her youngest daughter, Victoria, took pity on me. She gave me a small
portion of her inheritance to try to make up for Harold's being such an ass
about the whole thing. I invested the money and used the interest to start
tracking down and following up leads about Samantha."
Scully didn't say anything, but something that she'd always wondered
about had finally been explained. Mulder's apartment, while small, was in
an exclusive part of town, he could and would take off on a journey
without a moments notice, his clothes alone cost more than he made--
she'd always wondered how he was able to afford to do that. If he could
fund his research on the interest he was earning, he was in no danger of
going broke in the immediate future. But she still had one lingering
"Mulder, why didn't you ever mention this before?"
"It never came up."
The wind was picking up force now, as was her impatience. "Mulderrr..."
He shrugged. "Really. It never came up. You've never asked if I was
married before. Since I never updated the Bureau about it, I always list
myself as never-been-married. And honestly, that part of my life seems so
distant now. I don't think of her very often anymore. I'd never come to
her grave before. She said she didn't want me to. She thought I'd think
her gravestone was in poor taste. She had it specially made and installed
before she died. She told me about it though."
"But Mulder, this is...this is an important part of your life."
"So is Samantha, but I usually don't tell people about her either. So are
you, but...anyway, I never thought it had any bearing on the work we do,
so I never saw any reason to mention it."
She was silent for a moment as she thought back to Mulder's decision not
to share his knowledge of what had been done to her during her abduction.
Briefly, she wondered how many other things had happened in his life that
he never saw any reason to mention to her. She frowned. "But what if the
Bureau had found out? And what if they'd questioned me about it?"
"Then you could have answered truthfully. That as far as you knew, I
wasn't married, never had been."
"I can't believe you thought that you could keep something like this from
"It's been 11 years Scully, and no one's said anything yet."
"Scully, it's late, it's cold, and I'm hungry. Let's go back to the hotel.
We've got a serial killer to catch."