|"The Other Direction"
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Fox Mulder sat at his desk staring at the young woman in front of him. She was trying to sit up straight-to look respectful of his authority-although she wanted to slump down to look as depressed as she really is at the moment.
"Agent DeLuca," he began but her loud sigh stopped him.
"Here we go," she said. "I know that whenever you use Agent DeLuca it's got to be something I am not going to like."
"Maria," he said. Maria refused to look at him.
She knew what was coming...
Another bullshit assignment...
Mulder continued to observe her. It was really starting to get on her nerves because he only did that so she'd give in. She let out another exasperated sigh.
"Fine!" She said as she threw her hands up and then down. "So, you're going to stick me on the Peretti case, right? Goddamnit, I knew it!"
"Maria, calm down," he said with his hands up in a surrendering fashion.
"I will not calm down," she said and stood up to advance on the desk he was sitting at. "I'm a good Agent-"
"Yes, you are," he agreed.
"I work my fucking ass off. I'm always the first one to get here and the last one to leave. I've never once had any casualties in the three years I've been with The FBI! Why do I keep getting these stupid ass assignments that we all know the cops can take care of?" She asked.
"Maria, sit down," he said, calmly. Maria stood up straighter to show she wasn't going to listen. Mulder didn't want to use the 'I'm the authority here' on her, but sometimes he had too. "Maria," he said firmly and that was all it took. She sat down with a loud huff, almost like a five year-old child in trouble.
Mulder leaned back in his chair and rubbed his temples. He took over Skinner's position after he died seven years ago. Who would have thought that Mulder would actually be a superior of an actual division? They all thought his life would be ruined. Of course, it almost was when his wife, Dana Scully, disappeared one year ago.
Three years ago Maria DeLuca came into the FBI as a very promising agent, graduating at the top of her class, and definitely a gut-follower like Mulder. Mulder and Scully were very close with Maria. To them, Maria was just like a daughter.
"Maria, I'm not putting you on the Peretti case," he said. Maria sighed with relief and smiled. She then cupped her hands together and mouthed 'Thank you God' to the air. Mulder smiled at this.
"OK, so then what is the deal?" She asked.
"I'm moving you," he told her. Maria's mouth dropped and she threw her head back. She looked back up at Mulder waiting for him to continue, but he didn't.
"So, where to?" She asked.
Mulder hesitated in saying this. In fact, he had hesitated in the whole decision, but he had put it off long enough. When Scully was still around she had wanted it back open. She had wanted to continue the search and he had promised her he would.
"To the X-Files division," he said.
"What?" Maria yelled. Mulder didn't respond. It was better to let her get her aggressions out without interrupting. She swayed her head back, rolling her eyes like an angry teenager and then covered her face as she took in a deep breath. She looked at Mulder calmly and said, "You mean to tell me that the X-Files division is real?"
"I used to be in the X-Files division," he explained. "There are a lot of things..." He contemplated telling her things about it. But, he was sure she'd think he was ridiculous and she'd probably hate him even more for putting her there. Maybe putting Maria there was wrong, but something told him it was right. Scully actually told him years ago.
Scully took an instant liking to Maria, who was twenty-two at the time.
"She looks like Emily," Scully had said. Maybe that was it. Because Maria looked just like the child Dana Scully lost, although it was impossible that she was. Scully had felt like she had gained her daughter back.
Even after a short while of knowing her, Scully had grew to love Maria. And she had always told Mulder that Maria belonged on the X-Files and that when she was ready they should reopen the X-Files and put her there. It was supposed to happen a year ago, the reopening of the X-Files, but then Scully disappeared and Mulder was preoccupied with looking for her and going crazy.
Ever since Scully's disappearance Maria was dedicated to the FBI even more than when she first joined. She was telling the truth when she said she was the first to get there in the morning and that last to leave at night. She desperately looked for any and every clue to tell them what happened to Scully, but nothing. Not one damn clue and that left them even more hurt.
"It's an excellent assignment," he decided on saying.
"No, it isn't. I heard the rumors, 'spooky'," she said.
"You heard rumors and you didn't come to me about this?" Mulder asked wondering why Maria had never mentioned it.
"Yeah," she said and made a point to be gentle. "I heard about a quest to find your sister. Alien abduction, cigarette-smoking men, deadly viruses, etc."
Mulder nodded and then sighed. "Well, I found my answers about her. I'm very content with my life," he said.
"Then why reopen the X-Files? Why put me there?" She asked. Mulder didn't want to tell her that he was giving up. That he now believed that Scully is dead and so he decided to follow through on his promise to reopen the X-Files and put Maria there.
"Maria, there are a lot of unexplained things happening. We get cases that sit in the filing cabinet for years because we no longer have a division for it. Families, friends, victims are hurting because they don't have answers and their questions are just being thrown away," he stopped to observe her. She was listening intently. "And most of these families won't even come to us because they are afraid of being laughed at or shunned. When we had a special division for these special cases it made it a lot easier. Granted we didn't find the answers in every case, we were still able to salvage the lives of some of these families."
Maria looked down at her feet. There was a silence for a few moments before she replied.
"I don't really know what to say," she said quietly.
"Maria, it's Friday. Why don't you go home early and just have fun this weekend. Go out with your friends and just relax. We'll discuss the rest of this on Monday," he said.
"OK," she said as she slowly got up. "Yeah, I think I will do that."
"Yeah, just relax. No worries," he told her. Maria nodded her head as she picked up her jacket and bag.
She stopped at the door and turned around. "Mom and Jim want you to come over tonight for dinner," she said.
Mulder nodded an OK and then Maria left.
Mulder stepped into the musty old house and threw his FBI bag to the side. He momentarily closed his eyes and imagined Scully coming out to embrace him with a hug. But, just as he'd start to see her coming towards him she'd fade away.
Don't do this to yourself...
I can't help it...
Because I miss you...I love you... Mulder dragged his body into the kitchen and opened the fridge to reveal its emptiness.
Like my life...
Mulder closed his eyes taking in a deep breath then closing the door. He shuffled his feet to the living room and plopped down on the couch.
Looking around his house you notice that it looks like it used to be full of life and brightness. If the walls could talk they'd tell you stories of love and warmness, nights of cuddling and long talks, families and friends being cheerful. Then the walls would come to a halt when the story starts a year earlier.
They wouldn't want to tell you about the nights Mulder cried, or when he cursed Scully for disappearing, for giving him so much love and then it being taken away from him. They wouldn't want to tell you how the bottle was often his best friend or about the nights he contemplated dying. The nightmares that had him calling out Scully's name, the constant tossing and turning.
No they wouldn't want you to know. The walls wouldn't tell you that. They'd just tell you that the old Mulder was back, the lonely, workaholic Mulder.
Mulder leans his head back and closes his eyes. He just wants to sleep right now. No more worries. But, worries are something he can never escape. They follow him everywhere, even in his dreams-nightmares really.
When he closes his eyes he can see their house, Fox and Dana Mulder's house. A beautiful Spanish-styled house-Scully had fallen in love with it-covered with beautiful warm surroundings. He had never known Scully could be into such things like Spanish-styled houses, but there were a lot of things they learned about each other when their relationship progressed beyond friendship.
He wondered why it had taken them 7 years. Maybe it was because Mulder wanted his answers before he wanted a life because after he got his answer about Samantha was when his relationship with Scully grew. He told her how he loved her since the first day he saw her and was shocked beyond belief when she told him she felt the same way.
They were married a year later.
Everyone was shocked to see that Mulder was capable of living a normal life. They bought a house, furnished it, they ate dinner together, they were married...together...for the rest of their lives and they were happy. They were happy. Then she disappeared and he didn't know what to do.
Everyone said Scully left him and that they secretly had marital problems, but it was nothing like that. People told him that sometimes you can't see the signs, it just happens. But, it wasn't true. Scully and him were truly happy. She wouldn't just leave him like that.
They told him to face reality. Look at the letter she left him saying she was leaving him. Look at how all her things were gone. But, it wasn't true. Scully wouldn't leave like that.
Something happened to her and he would spend the rest of his life trying to find her. Even if at the moment everything in him begged to except that she was dead or off living some perfect life without him.
Maria watched her mother bustle around the kitchen. She couldn't stop from smiling. Maria's father left when she was just six years old, leaving her mother to raise her all alone. But, she did the best she could and Maria liked to think that she turned out pretty good.
Maria had always handled things in her life pretty well. When she was just sixteen years old her best friend, Liz Parker, was shot...fatally. But, she didn't die. How you ask? Well, Max Evans, a fellow student, healed her. He was an alien...believed to be in the 1947 Roswell Crash. Initially, Maria had freaked out when Liz told her that Max and his sister Isabel were aliens, but afterwards she calmed down. They couldn't be too bad if he risked his secret to save Liz's life. If it hadn't been for Max then she would have lost her best friend.
Little by little, they learned more things about them and they all grew to be best friends, herself, Alex, Liz, Isabel, and Max, only trusting each other.
The town Sheriff, Jim Valenti, wanted to find out about them. He suspected something funny since he found blood on Liz's waitress uniform after everyone 'thought' she was shot. Everyone also freaked out when he started dating Maria's mother, Amy. Thinking he only wanted to get close so he could find out the truth about Isabel and Max, but he truly loved Amy and he also turned out to be a good guy, getting on their side.
Max and Isabel never directly told him they were aliens. But, he knew and he protected them whenever suspicion arose. So, they all grew to like him. Maria never called him Dad though. She still called him Jim, but he was a really good guy and he cared about Maria like she was his daughter. The only bad thing about him marrying Amy was that Maria gained Kyle Valenti as a stepbrother and boy did they fight, although now they got along pretty well.
"So, Maria, how is work?" Jim asked as he set the table. Maria smiled. Jim had been so proud when Maria joined the FBI.
"It's pretty good," she said. What else could you say? Maria went to the oven and took out the Garlic bread.
"Yes, and how is Mulder doing?" Her mother asked with much concern.
"He's doing much better, I think," Maria said honestly. "He's dealing."
"Is he going to come to dinner tonight?" Her mom asked.
"I don't think so, Mom. It's the one-year anniversary of Scully's disappearance and I think he wants to be alone," she told her.
"I understand. It's not healthy though," her mom said.
"Yeah, but like I said he is doing a lot better," Maria reminded her. "Where is Tony?"
"Oh, you know how your brother is. He is probably in his room playing with those darn GI Joe's," Her mom said.
"Mom, he is only nine years old. That is pretty much his job, to play all day," Maria said with a laugh.
"Well, he doesn't know you're here yet or he'd definitely be in here bothering the heck out of you," Her mom said.
"That's because he loves Maria," Jim said as he helped them carry the food to the table. "Tony!" Jim yelled for his son.
"DADDY!" He heard his son yell from the room.
"Dinner!" Jim yelled. A few moments later they heard footsteps tumbling down the stairs.
As soon as the little boy's eyes fell on Maria they widened and he bolted towards her.
"MARIA!" He yelled at the top of his lungs as she scooped him up in her arms.
"Hey, little man!" She said happily as he smothered her with a hug.
"Oh this is divinity! He yelled.
"Divinity?" Maria asked as she started to laugh. "Where do you learn such big words?"
"I read," he informed her.
"Oh, well excuse me," she said.
"I missed you sooooooooo much," he said as he hugged her leg.
"I missed you, too," she said.
Tony stood up when the doorbell rang.
"People are here!" He yelled happily. Maria rolled her eyes and went to open the door.
"Hey guys!" Maria said happily as Isabel, Max, Alex, and Liz all came inside.
"Hope we are not to late for dinner," Isabel said. "I don't want to miss out on your mom's awesome cooking."
"Oh you dear, dear girl," Amy said as she hugged Isabel. Jim got up from the table and greeted everyone. Tony ran up to Max and wouldn't stop pestering him.
"Tony," Maria scolded.
"It's OK, Maria," Max said as he played with the little boy.
"Yeah, he needs the practice," Liz whispered in Maria's ear. Maria went wide-eyed as she looked at Liz.
"No! Really?" She whispered back. Liz nodded vigorously. "I knew you were glowing," Maria told her and Liz laughed. "Does Max know?"
"Not yet. I just found out today," Liz told her.
"Liz, I am so happy for you," She said to her. They both hugged.
"All right, everyone! Let's go eat!" Jim said and everyone followed him to the table.
"So, have you decided on the date yet?" Jim asked.
"Well, Alex and I were thinking of getting married on December 31rst. You know the last day of the year," Isabel said.
"Are you nervous Alex?" Jim asked. Isabel eyed him and Alex shook his head nervously.
"Of course I'm not," he said and everyone laughed.
"Maria, you and Liz have to help me pick out my bridesmaids gowns tomorrow," Isabel said and both Maria and Liz nodded.
"Max is going to be the best man," Alex said.
"That's because he is the best man," Liz said with a smile.
"Oh brother," Isabel said rolling her eyes.
"Speaking of marriage, Maria when are you and Nick going to get engaged? I mean you both have been dating for 2 years now," Her mother said.
"Mom," Maria said with a warning tone. "I told you. We aren't serious enough."
"Serious enough? You're dating exclusively and-"
"And that's all it is right now. We like it that way," Maria said hoping her mother would drop the subject.
"Well, hopefully Kyle will get married soon or I might have to start adopting grandchildren," her mother joked.
"Ooh I don't think you'll have to do that," Maria said and secretly smiled at Liz.
"Well, all I can say is don't be in any rush to marry him, Maria," Jim said.
"He only says that because he doesn't want to lose his little girl," Amy said. Maria smiled.
"Well, of course," Jim exclaimed. "But, hey if Maria is not ready than she isn't. Even if she isn't ready till she's...oh, I don't know...eighty years old than I will support her all the way."
Everyone at the table laughed while Maria blushed.
"I am so embarrassed now," Maria said.
"Well, I don't like Nick," Tony said. "And you can't marry him because I'm your brother and I said no."
"That's right," Maria said. "You said no and that's the way it is." They both nodded in agreement.
"I swear you two," Maria's mom began.
"Hey, Tony has a good point," Jim said.
"Don't you start too," Amy warned him.
"Nick is stupid," Tony said.
Amy grabbed his fork, put food on it, and handed it to Tony. "Eat your food," she said and he did.
"So, how is the job?" Isabel asked as her and Maria washed the dishes. Liz was drying them. Max, Alex, Tony, and Jim were all in the living room watching Football and Amy was making desert.
"It's the same old thing," Maria said. "I got moved though today."
"What happened?" Isabel asked.
"They..." She wasn't sure if she should tell Isabel this. I mean how would her alien-best friend take it if she knew her best friend had to investigate the paranormal?
"What?" Isabel urged her on.
Maria sighed in annoyance. "He...Mulder...he reopened the X-Files division and...well, that is where I'm at as of Monday," she said and watched Isabel's reaction. The wide-eyes and huge smile was the last thing she expected.
"Maria, do you know what this means?" Isabel asked. Maria was a little unsure, but she quickly thought that it might have something to do with the little boy. She shook her head. "Maria, not only could you maybe find out things about us or other aliens, but maybe we can find the little boy Max and I saw in the desert nineteen years ago."
OK, so he's probably not a little boy anymore.
Nineteen years ago Max and Isabel came out of pods and held hands as they roamed through the desert as naked six year-old children. They found another one of them, a little boy also wandering. He was scared and hid from them. Then he presented himself to them on a rock, as Max would tell it, but he ran off when headlights appeared.
Max and Isabel were taken and adopted by the Evans' family and they never saw the little boy again, although they never gave up searching.
"Maria, I've been having some more visions," Isabel said. "So has Max."
"I've been having visions of a certain location. I can't really tell where it is, but maybe if I can draw it or if Max can draw it and we can try and figure out where it is. I think this is where we would find him," Isabel said.
Maria didn't know what to say so she said, "Liz, what do you think?" Liz who had remained quiet while drying the dishes turned to look at them.
"I think..." Isabel and Maria could tell that she was hesitating. "I think that really...Maria has the power to find him."
|Index | Part 2
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