|"Truth In All Things"
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I am simply
paying homage to them. Please don't sue.
Roswell belongs to Jason Katims and his
production company. The X-Files belongs
to Chris Carter and 1013.
Summary: Maria is shocked to find herself involved in Special Agent Dana Scully's investigation of the murders of FBI agents at the Eagle Rock Military Base as Michael is forced to choose between human and alien when Nasedo takes matters into his own deadly hands.
Authors Note: After Roswell's "Destiny"/before Season 2 After X-Files' "Requiem"/before Season 8
|Scully was aware of the sheriff watching her. "Are you going
to drink your coffee?" he asked.
"I'm sorry," she said pleasantly. "I recently gave up coffee. These days I prefer decaf tea."
Valenti nodded and sat opposite her. "Find anything in those files? I have to admit that I never found much."
He's lying, Scully knew. . .or at least she suspected she knew. Then again, maybe she had simply become so used to not trusting anyone that she could no longer judge whether someone told the truth. Or she could simply be desperate.
She had spent most of the last month in Oregon--expense reports be damned. After she had been released from the hospital nothing could have kept her from returning to Bellefleur, to the forest where she had first come to trust Mulder and where ultimately she had lost him. Only there was nothing there. Nothing to be found. No trace of him except the red X he had painted on the road nearly eight years earlier.
Assistant Director Walter Skinner finally told her to close the investigation and return to Washington. He was sympathetic, of course. He felt guilty, even haunted by Mulder's fate and had run interference for her with the FBI. But Skinner had run out of excuses and said it was time for her to return home.
Home? Where was that exactly? In the last eight years she had spent more nights in cars and in motel rooms than in her apartment. What home was there? Hers and Mulder's office in the basement of the Hoover Building? A room littered with photos of crop circles and flying saucers? A desk that would finally be hers and hers alone, only she didn't want it? How could she walk by herself into that bastion of the FBI's most unwanted? And when had she, like Mulder, begun to take such perverse pride in that title?
Miraculously, she had received a reprieve and hadn't been required to return to Washington. Skinner had discovered Agent Pierce's Roswell reports before they could be consigned to FBI file oblivion. He had claimed them for the X-Files and sent them to her. It was the only lead they had found since Mulder's disappearance, and any connection--no matter how tenuous--was welcome at this point.
Valenti said, "It's late."
She nodded. She preferred late. She functioned better at night than in the morning. The night was familiar to her. At some point the darkness had become a friend, even a comfort.
"If you have somewhere to go. . . ?" She left the statement open ended.
"Well, now that you mention it, I have a date," he confessed. "Or at least I had one a couple of hours ago. I did want to drop by Amy's place to apologize."
Scully said dryly, "Must be nice to have a social life."
"Working for the FBI must be consuming."
She nodded and thought about Daniel Waterston, her ex-mentor and one time 'love of her life' saying condescendingly, "The FBI cannot be a passion for you, Dana."
She had burned with a denial, but the truth was the FBI wasn't a passion. More than once she had threatened to walk away from her job, but all her partner had ever needed to say was "I need you" and without fail she returned to the never ending quest for answers that only lead to questions.
She thought she might claim that the truth was her passion. The quest was her passion. Or ultimately she might claim that M. . . Her mind skittered away from the revealing thought. The simple fact was that now--more than ever--she could not walk away from the FBI or the quest that had become her life's mission.
She deliberately buried the memory of Mulder whispering softly in her ear, "It's not worth it, Scully. I want you to go home. . ."
She didn't want to remember laying tightly wrapped in his arms shivering and tearful as he told her, "Maybe they're right. Maybe what they say is true but for all the wrong reasons. It's the personal costs that are too high."
The costs were exorbitant. He was gone. . .and she could still feel his breath. Feel the soft brush of his lips against her temple and the gentle stroke of his hand in her hair as he murmured, "You are so much more than this. . ."
She blinked and looked at the leathery skinned sheriff. "I'm sorry," she apologized. "I was thinking."
Valenti looked at the file in her hand. She held his report about the shooting at the Crashdown café. When the FBI had confiscated and deleted his files last fall, someone must have forgotten that Norton Utilities could be handy. He had recovered then printed the file once again. He watched this FBI agent's face as she read what he had written. Her frown was small but looked like concentration not disbelief. Scully wished she had access to the X-Files because the story in the file reminded her strongly of the incident with Jeremiah Smith, a human clone who Mulder had claimed had traces of non-terrestrial DNA. The aged Smith had witnessed a shooting in a restaurant and had reportedly performed a miraculous healing. A miracle healing. . .a parallel with Valenti's report and not the first.
She mentioned the Crashdown shooting to the sheriff.
"I don't see what connection that has to do the FBI," he hedged.
"Quite frankly, I never would have seen a connection, but for some reason you felt the need to report it to the FBI. To an Agent Stevens." She wasn't sure how it had escaped Mulder's notice. "Why did you do that?"
"I was looking for information on the shooter."
"Did you know several months ago Agent Stevens was also found murdered and that he too--"
"Not another mysterious silver palm print," he anticipated.
She shook off a strange sense of deja vu and the feeling that she was on the wrong side of this conversation. Wasn't she the one who was supposed to make disbelieving statements while Mulder proposed the preposterous? She grimaced and rubbed her forehead. Noticing the way the sheriff watched her she finally said, "If you wouldn't mind, I would like to take a few of these files with me."
He was silent for a moment and Scully sensed he wanted to say no but could think of no rational reason to do so. "Alright," he said. "I'll walk you out."
She gathered the papers she wanted and exited the building. They stood next to her rented car. "I don't want to keep you, sheriff."
He tipped his hat and got into his patrol vehicle leaving Scully alone in the dark. She didn't look up.
Dana Scully was a rational person. She had always been a rational person and before she had met Mulder, she had never been inclined to look at the night sky to ponder what was "out there." Now she knew more of what was "out there" than she could ever have dreamed, but she still didn't look up. She didn't look because it hurt. She didn't look because it reminded her of what she had lost.
* * *
Maria sat on the fire escape of Michael's apartment. She didn't look up. Before she had met Michael, she had never thought to look at the stars to wonder what was "out there." Now she knew more of what was "out there" than she would have ever dreamed, but she still didn't look. She didn't look because it hurt. She didn't look because it reminded her of what she was losing.
She glanced over her shoulder to see Michael standing over Alex as Alex worked on the computer.
"Can't you work faster or something?" Michael demanded.
"I'm working as fast as I can."
"But you don't you have anything."
"Maybe if you stopped asking questions every two seconds I would."
Maria sighed. Most of the files Alex had downloaded onto the zip drive had been encrypted. The ones that weren't had been a personal journal that Alex and Michael had tossed to the side once they printed it and saw what it was.
Maria idly turned through the pages reading bits and pieces as she went, but she didn't pay much attention to them. She was tired. She was tired to the bottom of her soul.
Michael paced around the apartment and in general ignored her existence. It didn't help that she knew why he did it. It only hurt that he was capable of it. Her gaze caught Alex's and she looked away not knowing that the sadness and longing in her eyes were clear to see. . .and probably the cause of most of Michael's pacing.
"I'm going home," she announced.
"Should have left a long time ago," Michael muttered.
She flinched. "I'll just take this stuff and read it. See if there is anything useful in it."
"Sure. Fine. Whatever."
She gathered the papers.
"Maria?" Alex asked softly.
She looked to see her friend staring at her with concern. She shook her head. "I'm fine. Just tired. I'm going home."
After she left, Alex couldn't contain himself. "You really are an asshole," he told Michael.
"Can't help it."
"Why is that? Were you genetically engineered to be a jerk?"
Michael turned cold, dark eyes on Alex. "I'm doing what I have to to protect her."
"Yeah right. You're doing what you have to to protect yourself."
"Believe whatever you want."
Alex closed his laptop and shoved it into his backpack. "Why shouldn't I believe what I want? You obviously do." He stood and glared at Michael. "You are such a hypocrite."
Michael laughed with disbelief.
"I'm so sick of you," Alex muttered.
"Jealous is more like it."
"Jealous? Because of Isabel? You're damn right I'm jealous. I'm not going to deny it, but you want to know something? I don't give a damn what any orbs say. I'm not going to just step aside to watch you hurt Isabel the way you constantly hurt Maria."
Michael looked incredulous. "Don't you get it? We don't have a choice."
"So we just bow down and accept some fifty year old message from someone none of you even remember?"
"Looks like it. You might want to remember that 'someone' is Isabel's real mother."
Alex turned away for a moment then lifted his head and faced Michael directly. "Does this mandate from on high give you the right to walk all over a girl who loves you? You hurt Maria all the time. You know you do. Do you think the rest of us don't notice? Whose shoulder do you think she cried on during the whole alien baby incident? Mine. And I was fool enough to reassure her that you cared about her, and what did you do? You broke her heart with some asinine comment about how you only cared about what Isabel was going through."
"Back to Is, huh."
"Don't fool yourself, Michael. I've seen you make both of them cry." Alex circled Michael. "You say you're pushing Maria away because you care about her, because you don't want her hurt. Why doesn't that apply to Isabel? Do you think Isabel is invincible? Do you think she can't be hurt? Because I'm here to tell you that even if you want to deny it, Isabel's emotions are every bit as human as Maria's. And I won't allow you to break her heart the same way you do my best friend's."
He slammed the door behind him.
|Part 1 | Index | Part 3
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours