Futures Past 05: Flying Lessons


None of these characters belong to me, and like so many 
worthy people before me, I'm only borrowing them for a short 
while. All characters referred to herein belong to CC, or 1013, 
or Fox, or Tristar, or Rysher, whoever owns the rights to them.

Author's Notes

Told ya there'd probably be a followup. So here it is. And 
combined with Crossover, this baby is over 300K. Whew! I can 
finally close the book on this chapter after almost 4 months of 
work. Don't worry, there are lots more ideas where this one came 
from, for those of you still interested.

For those just tuning in, this is the fifth in the series. 
The dynamic duo are still in Seattle, and this story takes place 
about a week after FP4: Crossover. You might want to read that 
one first, if you haven't already. If you can't find the previous 
parts at Gossamer, drop me a line at unmai@bigfoot.com and I'll 
send you a copy. Or better yet, hop on down to my webpage at 
http://www.bigfoot.com/~unmai for all my other work.

This isn't really too much in depth about their newfound 
skills, but it does explore Mulder's 'unique' abilities a bit. 
Other than that, it's mostly fluff. No X-file or anything serious 
like that. Also there's really very little angst in here, and 
it's quickly resolved. Also a severe MSR warning for those of you 
who don't like that kind of stuff. All others, enjoy. And send 
lots of feedback after you read it :) The address is 


Futures Past 05:
Flying Lessons
by Arvy 

Mulder Residence, Seattle, WA
Monday, February 23, 1998
8:03 PM

"*NO*! I said *no*. Dammit!"

The cry startled the redhead in the kitchen, almost causing 
her to drop the glasses she had just pulled out of the cabinet. 
She carefully placed them back down on the counter, then turned 
to hurry out of the kitchen into the living room. She stopped 
short at the sight that greeted her. Her jaw dropped as her mind 
tried to assimilate what her eyes were telling it was going on. 
It took a couple of tries before she finally regained her senses 
enough to remember to close her mouth.

"What the hell!"

"Ah, good, Scully. Would you tell this idiot to stop and let 
go already? I don't know how much longer I can hold on."

"What in heaven's name is going on, Mulder? What are you 
doing?" To Dana Scully, it looked like her partner and newfound 
lover was trying to do a handstand on top of the couch. How he 
managed to get himself in such a position was beyond her. But 
there he was, upside-down, his hands gripping the back of the 
couch, his legs flailing every which way. It was eerie how he 
managed to stay upright, or rather upside-downright, with all 
that thrashing around. What was even more astonishing was the 
fact that Nick was trying to force Mulder to loosen his grip on 
the couch, a grip that already seemed to be clawing its way 
through the upholstery.

She looked around to see her friend Natalie sitting on the 
armchair across from the two men, trying desperately to smother 
her laughter. When she managed to get it under control, she 
looked up first at Scully, then the self-proclaimed acrobat, and 
promptly dissolved into giggles again. Obviously, she was going 
to be no help here.

"Let go! I said... Noooo...!"

The cry brought her attention back to the scene in front of 
her. Nick had apparently finally managed to loosen Mulder's death 
grip on the piece of furniture, although how he did it without 
Mulder tumbling over was a miracle in itself. That was when the 
next shock of the night occurred. Instead of falling over as his 
fingers lost their grip on the couch, Mulder shot upwards, 
hitting the ceiling, and uttering a series of "Owws" as he 
bounced against it a few times before he finally stopped. Now he 
was firmly plastered to the top of the room, staring frantically 
at the three looking up at him, his eyes pleading with them to 
find a way for him to get down. Scully turned to Nick, who had 
the grace to look slightly sheepish.

"I'm sorry, Dana," he said. "He brought up the topic of 
flying lessons. I guess I should have gone with the tried and 
true method instead of trying to be more... humane. But he has to 
learn to fly... whatever it takes."

Scully turned back to the ceiling, now adorned by a fan, a 
light fixture and one very nervous FBI Agent. After that initial 
display of vampiric transformation that fateful night almost five 
days ago, Mulder hadn't really used his newfound powers overtly 
in any way. Oh, there had been little hints here and there, like 
that thing with his heartbeat, or overhearing a phone 
conversation on both sides, or commenting on the smell of her 
perfume from all the way across the room. And then there was the 
time she had caught him moving about without any lights on. From 
what Nick had told her, vampirism extended a person's vision 
deeper into the infrared part of the spectrum. It probably also 
corrected Mulder's slight color-blindness, as evidenced by the 
number of times he'd commented on the fiery color of her hair. 
Apparently, he'd told her, it had always seemed like a deep ochre 
shade to him before.

But this was the first time she had seen a tangible 
manifestation of those powers. Mulder wasn't just lying against 
the ceiling. He was flying! Actually defeating the laws of 
gravity and force and others too numerous to mention. She 
wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't seen it with her own 
eyes. She still didn't quite believe it completely. As she 
watched, he slowly inched over to the light jutting out of what 
seemed to him to be the floor. Reaching it, he wrapped his arms 
around it, prepared to hold on for dear life.

"Exactly how were you planning on getting him down?" Scully 
turned to face Nick, trying very hard not to notice the 170 
pounds or so hanging over their heads.

"Usually the problem is staying up, not getting down." Nick 
smiled, pulling his eyes away from his student to look at Scully. 
"When LaCroix was trying to train me, he would take me to the 
roof of my house and push me over. After a couple of times of 
getting my neck broken, the instinct sort of just kicked in. It 
took a while to get fine tuned control, mind you," he said, 
smiling as his eyes wandered back up to the ceiling, "but I never 
had this much problem coming back down."

"How did you get him up in the first place?" Scully darted a 
nervous glance above her, partly to confirm that he was still 
safe up there, and partly to make sure she was still safe down 
here. The last thing they needed would be to have him fall on top 
of their heads. She wisely moved over a couple of feet, just to 
be on the safe side.

"I told him to hold on to something solid, and to think of 
himself as being lighter than air. I just kept repeating the 
phrase and... well, you saw the results when you came in."

"Wouldn't the opposite work? Why don't you try telling him 
to think of himself as slowly getting heavier?"

"I was just about to try that." Nick nodded at her, then 
turned back to face the other man. "Okay, Mulder, are you 
listening to me?" The man above him nodded slightly, his eyes 
still scrunged shut, his body still wrapped around the light 
fixture as if it were his only tether to safety. "I want you to 
try calming down, and slowly think of yourself as getting 
heavier. Okay? Slowly, Mulder."

"It's not working," Mulder replied through clenched teeth.

"Of course not! I told you, you have to stay calm. Empty 
your mind of everything. Just listen to my voice, and everything 
will be okay."

The words were directed at Mulder, but listening to them 
almost made Scully feel somewhat... She shook her head, and the 
feeling disappeared. Nat had mentioned something about this as 
well. With all these caveats about his powers, she thought 
briefly about writing them down somewhere, just so she wouldn't 
be surprised when Mulder suddenly did something weird. What had 
she said about the hypnotism? Something about the quality of a 
vampire's voice. Apparently, the vocal cords thickened slightly, 
giving the person a deeper voice. She hadn't noticed this much in 
Mulder, but the voice also had a somewhat hypnotic quality, at 
least upon mortals. Immortals and certain mortals, or resistors, 
as they were called, were unaffected by this mesmerism, unless 
they chose to allow themselves to be hypnotized.

And that was the problem right now. Mulder was so freaked 
out by his sudden flight that he wasn't allowing himself to 
become calm. As a result, Nick's words were having a hard time 
getting through to him. Scully decided to intervene a little. She 
looked up, calling his name. "Mulder." She saw his eyes blink 
open as he registered her voice. "Hey up there," she said softly. 
She felt a slight wave of relief when he managed a small, albeit 
nervous smile. Good, she thought, he wasn't too far gone. 
Continuing in her soft voice, she said, "Mulder. I want you to 
listen to Nick, okay. Calm down, and listen. Will you do that for 

He closed his eyes again, willing himself to calm down. 
After all, even if he fell, it wasn't as if he would die. 
Besides, Scully was there. She would take care of him. Gritting 
his teeth, he nodded slightly, opening himself to Nick's words. 
As they slowly sank in, he felt himself growing heavier. The 
feeling of weightlessness faded. He opened his eyes, looked down, 
and was thankful to see the floor just a foot below him. But the 
trance broke when he opened his eyes, and, as a result, he landed 
the last few inches with a thud. He immediately reached over, 
grabbing the couch again, and letting out an immense breath of 

"I...," he said, gasping, "... am never...," breath, "... 
doing that again."

"Sorry Mulder." Nick looked at him pointedly. "It's not an 
option. Every newborn vampire has to go through this. Would you 
rather I just pushed you off the attic? Because that would 
probably work quicker, although it won't be as pleasant."

"No." Mulder shook his head stubbornly.

"Good, let's try again."

"I meant I don't want to try..."

"I know what you meant. And, like I said, that's not the 
choice I gave you." Nick's voice rose sharply. "In here, or 
outside, from the attic?"

Mulder tried to match the glare from the older vampire, but 
couldn't quite make it. 'Damn, this guy could give the Scully 
glare a run for its money.' Seeing no way out of it, he tightened 
his grip on the couch, muttering a quiet "In here."

"Okay, just like before. Listen closely to my voice. You're 
getting lighter. Your body's not as heavy anymore. You can feel 
your weight dropping..."

Again, as before, Mulder felt his feet leaving the ground. 
He sucked in a breath, determined to get this right. Keeping his 
eyes open, he looked down, wobbling slightly as he did so.

"Now, just stay at that height," Nick said when Mulder had 
risen about three or four feet.

This time, Mulder didn't feel as uncontrolled as before. No 
way was he letting go of the couch yet, but at least he wasn't 
feeling as if he would shoot off into space the minute he let go. 
With a little bit of effort, he found that he could move up, down 
and sideways, just by thinking about it. He looked up from where 
he was staring at his feet to turn a triumphant gaze at Nick. "I 
think... I've almost..."

"Yes, Mulder. You're doing it. Just will it, and let it 

Mulder turned to face his partner, a smile on his face. When 
she saw him look at her, she realized she had been staring at him 
the whole time. She blushed, then smiled encouragingly at him. He 
held out one hand to her, and when she moved forward and reached 
out to grasp it, he moved his other hand off the couch to enfold 
hers in his. He lost his balance slightly, uttering a startled 
"Whoa...!" as he swayed a little before righting himself. Looking 
back into his partner's eyes, he whispered, "Superman, eat your 
heart out." Both their faces lit up at the private joke as Mulder 
slowly lowered himself back to the floor.

"I think that's enough for today. Soon we'll try this 
outside, after you gain enough control." Nick went to sit down, 
and Natalie reached up to give him a quick kiss before sitting 
back and turning to Mulder. "Nick's taken me flying before. And 
believe me when I say, there's nothing quite as exhilarating."

Stealing a quick kiss themselves, Mulder turned to Natalie. 
"I'm sure it's... something else," Mulder agreed as Scully 
returned to the kitchen to fetch the wine and the glasses she'd 
almost dropped before.

Today was her birthday, and after a small celebration at 
Joe's, the four of them had returned to Mulder's place to chat 
for a while. Somehow, it felt strange, acknowledging birthdays, 
Scully thought as she got the wine out. They didn't exactly 
signify anything anymore, except as a handy way of keeping track 
of how many years she'd been alive. When you don't age, having a 
number to signify it seemed almost... frivolous. Staying thirty-
something all her life... At least both of them would be able to 
pass for someone in their twenties or their forties. It would 
give them more time before having to change identities. But at 
the same time, having birthdays seemed so normal, something she 
couldn't imagine not doing. Sighing, she wondered about other 
things, most of them inconsequential on the surface, that would 
eventually lose their meaning as time went by, or didn't, as the 
case was for them.

Pushing the wistful thoughts out of her head, she headed 
back to the living room, not too surprised to see Mulder hovering 
again over the coffee table. He was like a little boy sometimes, 
give him a new toy and he could spend hours investigating every 
single aspect of it.

"Hey, Scully. This is actually fun. You should try it 

'Sometime in the far, far future,' she thought, recalling 
only too well the bouts of motion sickness she'd occasionally get 
while flying on airplanes. She'd never liked flying much, and 
probably hated the idea of it almost as much as Mulder hated open 
water. She smiled at the thought. She could probably beat Mulder 
when it came to the number of times one of them had been sick 
because of their respective phobias.

"Remember, Mulder. You have to be careful. Don't do this 
outside except at night."

"You worry too much, Nick." Seeing the look directed at him, 
Mulder hastily added, "Don't get your knickers in a wad. I'll 
remember. I don't exactly want to advertise either, you know?" 
Quickly changing the subject, he asked, "Say, how high can I fly? 
Is there a limit or something?"


The warning tone sounded from his partner as he descended 
once again. He walked over to sit by her, grabbing a glass of 
wine as he did so. He gave a slight grin at the nauseated grimace 
on Nick's face as he sipped from the glass. "What? I'm just 

"I hope so, Mulder. No one I know has flown higher than a 
few hundred feet or so. I have no idea what happens if we go 
higher, but I'm sure it won't be pleasant."

Mulder nodded as he digested this piece of information. 
Nonetheless, Scully could tell from one look at his face that the 
matter was far from resolved. He would quietly accept what Nick 
told him now. Whether he would accept it come tomorrow was an 
entirely different story. She finished off her wine as she 
wondered how she could dissuade him from trying something 
foolhardy the next chance he got. She allowed herself a silent 
snort. As if she ever could.

"Are you sure you don't want a little wine, Nick?" Mulder 
asked, his face the picture of innocence as he picked up the 
empty glass from the table. He grinned at the look of vehemence 
Nick shot at him, his grin widening at Natalie's next words, 
"Yeah, why don't you try some, Nick? It tastes wonderful."

"Not right now, thanks," he muttered, studiously avoiding 
Natalie's eyes.

He was saved from any further pressure by Scully when she 
brought up the next topic of conversation. It was something she 
had been thinking about for the past week, ever since she'd found 
out about being immortal. "Nat? I've been meaning to ask you. 
Duncan said that he practices in his dojo. Where do you... you 

"Oh, at Nick's. He has this huge loft, and it's pretty 
isolated, so we don't disturb anyone. Plus, he's a great sparring 
partner. After all, he was born when swordfighting was 
commonplace. I couldn't ask for a better teacher," she said, 
looking at the person in question, adding with a mischievous 
smile, "although he does claim to be getting rusty after all this 
time." That earned her a mock glare.

Scully smiled as well, thinking about what her friend had 
said. "I suppose we'll have to find someplace as well." Turning 
to her partner, she said, "Mulder, we might have to start looking 
for a martial arts dojo or fencing gym when we get back to DC. We 
won't be able to just spar in our apartments, you know."

"All in good time, Scully. Maybe, Duncan's clansman, Connor, 
can suggest some good ones in the area. Or, he might be able to 
provide us with an even better location. We'll call him when we 
get back."

Satisfied, Scully nodded, then turned back to her old 
friend. "Nat, how'd you manage when you first found out... you 
know, about being immortal? It can't have been easy."

Her friend shrugged at the question. "Actually, it was 
easier than it might have been. I was really lucky that no one 
saw me actually 'die' the first time. I was able to go back to my 
life. There are many of us who have to give up their life, their 
friends, everything they've known, and move on. It can be quite a 
shock the first time. But, for me at least, other than the daily 
training with Nick, my life hasn't changed all that much. There 
are, of course, little things. I've noticed that I don't get as 
tired near the end of my work shifts. And the training keeps you 
in better shape than any workout you can imagine. Immortality 
certainly cuts down on doctor's costs, although the dry-cleaning 
is hell."

"Dry-cleaning?" Mulder frowned at the non sequitur. 
Suddenly, he understood the reference, his face paling at the 
idea. He gulped. "How many have you... ah...," he coughed, "you 
know..." He made a swishing motion with his hand to indicate what 
he meant.

Natalie gave him a small smile. "Two. I hated each one. And 
I hoped each time that I'd never have to do it again. I tried to 
avoid them, like I did others, but sometimes you have no choice." 
She let out a sigh, leaning back as she recalled the unpleasant 
memories. "You know, you two might actually be lucky at that." 
She saw both the agents raise their eyebrows questioningly. "It's 
been my experience that most immortals looking for a fight 
generally don't bother when there are two of you to contend with. 
So you may not be bothered as much as if it were only one of 

"I suppose," Mulder mused, "but I don't mind telling you I 
am not completely in love with the idea that once a challenge is 
made, you have to fight. I mean, what if you don't want to? Isn't 
there any way to escape it?"

"You know," Nick chuckled, "I asked Nat and Duncan the same 
thing a couple of years ago. You won't believe how frustrating it 
was to just stand back and let her fight..."

"...and I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Nick, 
the same thing Duncan told me." Natalie sighed. "You can't get 
away from it, Mulder. You can try hiding on holy ground. Some 
have tried that, with varying degrees of success. But, honestly, 
I can't picture either of you getting cloistered any time soon."

"But, what if we refused to fight? Or if we shot the other 
immortal and then walked away?" Mulder stubbornly asked.

"The problem with refusing to fight is that those intent on 
killing you will keep coming back until they succeed, or until 
you kill them. And there's no way to stop them, short of fighting 
them to the death. You can't just shoot them, and hope they'll 
forget about you. Especially with the Gathering supposedly around 
the corner."

Mulder sighed as Natalie's words only confirmed what MacLeod 
had taught them over the past week. It was so ridiculous, being 
granted immortality, the chance to live forever, but with the 
sword of Damocles constantly hanging over their heads, or necks, 
in this case. It seemed like such a waste, such a stupid 'Game', 
as MacLeod had put it. And this Gathering. No one, immortal or 
Watcher, seemed to know anything specific about it, except that 
it was inevitable. One day, all immortals would be pulled 
inexorably to fight each other to the death, until only one 
remained to claim the mythical Prize. Of course, no one knew what 
the prize was either. Some said ultimate power, others claimed it 
was simple mortality. What a crock! He was sure God, or whoever 
first came up with the notion of immortals, was laughing his head 
off somewhere in the heavens. He felt Scully reach out and place 
her hands over his.

"We'll get through this, Mulder. Like Duncan said, one day 
at a time."

He smiled, nodding at her. "Maybe we could buy an old chapel 
or something and convert it into a house. At least, then, we 
won't have to worry about our heads being chopped off in our 

Scully felt relieved at his sarcastic remark. The humor 
indicated that he had managed to shake off the pensive mood he 
seemed to be falling into. Mulder had an uncanny knack of 
affecting everyone around him in when he sank into one of his 
moods. And it usually took a good deal of work to pull him out of 
them. She should know; she'd only had to do it a couple of 
hundred times over the past five years.

"You know...," Nick said slowly, turning to Natalie. "That's 
not a bad idea. Maybe we could get someone to bless the loft, 
consecrate it somehow. At least, then, we'll have some place 

Natalie cut him off, smiling at his words. "We'll do it once 
you get over your fear of holy objects. Face it, Nick, if we were 
to do that, you wouldn't be able to set foot within the loft." 
Nick managed a wan smile at her words. "That conditioning that 
LaCroix mentioned is just too strong. I've seen you get burnt 
from handling something as small as that little cross on Dana's 
necklace. What would living on holy ground do to you? Besides, 
remember, no fighting on holy ground. Where would we practice?"

"All right, okay, no turning the loft into St. Nick's," he 
replied, smiling as he raised his hands in surrender.

Mulder suddenly let out a snort of laughter. Seeing the 
others look at him, he tried to explain. "I was just picturing 
Skinner, our boss, as we tried to explain why me and Scully were 
moving into the chapel down the street."

Scully's eyes twinkled as she tried to imagine the scene 
Mulder described. It would certainly be something to see. "Oh, 
yes, sir. Religion is very important to us," she said, mimicking 
a patient Mulder trying to explain their sudden change of address 
to an infuriated Skinner. She couldn't help it. She laughed as 

"Or, how about this?" Mulder went on. "While we were on our 
vacation, the ghost of Elvis came to me in a dream, and told me 
that you and I had to found the New Church of Presleites."

Scully let out a groan, still chuckling at the idea. "No, 
no. You have it all wrong. Skinner would never believe that. You 
should either say that Elvis' ghost visited you in real life, or 
that it was Elvis himself in the dream. Elvis' ghost appearing in 
a dream is just too..."

"... spooky?"

"I was going to say 'too much'," Scully retorted good 
naturedly. "Too bad we won't be doing it though. It might be 
worth going through with it just to see the look on Skinner's 

"So you guys are definitely not going to move in together?" 
Nat interjected. During their daily lessons, Dana had mentioned 
something along those lines. But, obviously, this was the first 
Nick had heard of it, as evidenced by the questioning look on his 

"No, Nat," she replied. "It would just be too dangerous for 
us, right now anyway. Maybe when our positions are more secure. 
Besides, if the Bureau ever got wind of us, one or the both of us 
will probably get transferred. There are too many people who 
would be only too happy to have a legitimate excuse to shut down 
our work. And we'd be playing right into their hands."

Natalie simply nodded at this. Privately she felt sorry for 
her friend. She had just found her happiness, and now she would 
have to hide it behind a veil of caution. But if that caution was 
justified... She had been horrified at what Dana and Mulder had 
mentioned at the bar the week before. And apparently, not even 
Canada was completely safe from these madmen who had somehow 
managed to get themselves into power. Mulder had mentioned 
certain experiments he'd witnessed north of the border involving 
biological warfare. He'd talked about how this... consortium... 
was using bees and other methods to perform controlled 
experiments on the unsuspecting populace. She felt an involuntary 
shudder at the idea. She saw her friend tighten her hold on 
Mulder's hand.

"Maybe, one day, when we've found what we're looking for..." 
the redhead said softly.

"One day...," Mulder echoed, his voice soft with hope, yet 
strong with promise.

Natalie saw her friends staring into each other's eyes, lost 
in the moment. She silently wished them both the best of luck. 
>From what she had seen and heard of their lives, these two were 
sorely in need of all the good fortune they could get. She smiled 
as she realized that they had probably forgotten that she and 
Nick were still in the room. She looked over at Nick, seeing him 
nod silently as he echoed her smile.

"Well, it was a great evening, guys. But Nick and I should 
get going. I'll see you two tomorrow." She placed her wineglass 
on the table and stood up. The agents broke off their intense 
gaze at the sudden interruption. Blushing, they stood up as well, 
escorting Nick and Nat to the door. "Good night," Natalie said on 
her way out the door. "And happy birthday, Dana."


9:21 PM

Mulder dried the wineglasses and put them back into the 
cabinet. He wiped the last of the water from around the sink, and 
was putting up the towel when he heard the faint footsteps 
sneaking up behind him. He froze, smiling to himself as he waited 
for the sounds to get closer... closer... He felt the presence 
come up behind him, and turned around to gather the person 
standing there into his arms as he firmly planted a sound kiss on 
her lips.

'Damn sensitive hearing!' the redhead thought, her surprise 
fading into pleasure as she melted into the kiss. She felt his 
hands roaming over her robe, moving to the front to part it, 
moving inside to stroke her sides, then sliding back to cup her 
cheeks, pulling her up into the kiss as it deepened.

"Mmm..., a butt-man, Mulder?" This was new, not that she was 
complaining. "I would never have guessed." She smiled as she 
pulled away from his lips, looking up to stare into his flushed 

"You know it, G-woman. 'Butt soft, what light...'," he 
began, breaking off at her exasperated smile. "Seriously though, 
what do you think I stare at all those times I usher you into 
Skinner's office? I need something to focus on while Skinner's 
chewing my ass off." He leaned down to place a delicate kiss on 
her nose.

She laughed as she retorted, "Oh, really? And here I thought 
you just wanted to give Skinner's secretary a chance to see your 
delicious ass. I know I should be insulted or offended, but 
seeing as how I've done the same thing so many times..."

"Let Kimberly check out your ass? Oooh! I think I just got 
very turned on."

She wanted to wipe that mischievous smirk off his face, but 
settled for a light slap on his chest. "You would. Get your mind 
out of the gutter, Mulder. I was talking about checking out 
yours. And if I ever catch you letting Kim, or anyone else for 
that matter, check you out..."

"Oooh! I'm so scared. If I do, then what, Agent Scully?"

Her voice dropped to a sultry whisper as she replied, "Then, 
Agent Mulder, your ass is mine." She leaned back in, wrapping her 
arms around him and kissing him again to emphasize her point.

When she finally pulled back from the kiss, she smiled at 
his hoarse whisper, "It already is, Scully. It already is."

"You'd better remember that, buster. Now, I'm going to go 
take a shower," she said, turning to walk out of the kitchen. She 
paused at the door, looking coyly over her shoulder at the man 
standing a few feet behind her, her voice dropping until it sent 
shivers up his spine. "Care to join me?"

He was so tempted to say yes. Well, he thought, isn't that 
what a temptress did? Tempt? And Dana Scully, MD, was one 
bewitching temptress when she set her mind to it. He actually 
surprised himself when he said, "No." Seeing her startled look, 
he grinned. "I have a surprise for you." The look turned into one 
of expectant delight. "I want you to go take your shower. It'll 
be ready when you come out. Go on, get," he shooed her, waving 
his hands in the direction of the bathroom.


9:44 PM

He heard the sounds of the shower stop as he opened the door 
to the bedroom. He walked in, his hands behind his back. Just in 
time to see Scully drop her robe and reach for the pajamas she 
had placed on the bed.

"Whoops. Sorry," he blushed, turning away. Then, realizing 
what he'd just done, he turned around again, the blush deepening. 
He saw Scully standing there, pajamas in her hand, an eyebrow 
arched, and a growing grin gracing her face.

"Mulder, did you just do what I think you did?"

"I...," he began, his expression conveying his 

She laughed. "Mulder," she said in exasperation, "there's 
nothing here you haven't intimately explored within the last 
week. And I daresay, I've gotten to know your body equally well 

"Give me a break, Scully. It's been a while. This is 
strange. Getting used to it, I mean. Used to you, to us." He 
laughed. "God, I can't believe I did that." He moved forward 
towards her, reaching out to gently pull the pajamas out of her 

Scully used the movement to steal a kiss from him, her lips 
meeting his as she leaned up and into him. Their tongues dueled 
as she burrowed into his chest.

When they finally broke apart, each slightly breathless, 
Mulder ran his tongue over his lips, savoring the lingering taste 
that remained. "I think I'm beginning to regret not joining you 
in the shower."

Scully lightly swatted him, reaching past him to grab the 
pajamas again.

"Uh-unh. No pjs for you tonight, m'dear. I've got something 
special for the birthday girl." He placed the pajamas on the bed, 
pulling out the wrapped box that he had been hiding behind him 
all along.

Her eyes lit up at the sight. "Oh, Mulder. You shouldn't 

"I didn't."

"Hunh?" She took the box, her expression one of confusion.

"I mean I didn't get this for your birthday. Well, not this 
one anyway." He put his hands over hers, stilling them before she 
could tear into the package. "Do you remember what you got for 
your birthday a couple of years ago? It wasn't too long after 
Modell, remember?"

She thought fondly of the green robe and slippers ensemble 
that she'd found waiting for her when she'd returned home that 
day, two years ago. Dealing with Modell had really brought the 
two of them together, and she'd been touched by his gift. Oh, the 
package had been unsigned, and a week late, but there was no 
question that it had been from Mulder, even if there had been no 
card, just a lazy 'Happy Birthday' written on the package in his 
familiar scrawl. That he felt comfortable enough around her to 
give her something so personal had touched her deeply. Of course, 
it had also raised some hopes, hopes that hadn't been realized 
until recently. Still, the robe had quickly become her favorite, 
a fond reminder of their closeness and their friendship, even if 
neither of them had gotten around to acknowledging that it had 
been from him.

"Well, guess what else came with them?" His eyes twinkled. 
"When I saw the set, the idea of you in it just popped into my 
head. I couldn't see myself giving you this piece then. But I 
guess it's lounged in my drawers long enough." He pulled his 
hands away, gesturing for her to open the package. "Happy 
birthday, Scully." He watched as she tore open the wrapping, 
opening the box to reveal the nightgown that lay inside.

She placed the box on the bed, reaching in to pull out the 
gown. It was green, and matched the robe and slippers perfectly. 
As Mulder had said, a matched set. It seemed so silky, so 
diaphanous, almost as if woven out of gossamer. She slipped it 
on, luxuriating in the feel of the fabric against her body. She 
smiled at Mulder, letting her appreciation of the gift shine 
through. "It's lovely, Mulder. Thank you so much. I love it." She 
moved to look at herself in the mirror. She paused when she 
didn't hear a comment from him. She turned to find him staring at 
her, his mouth hanging open slightly.

'Wow!' The gown hugged her body in all the right places, yet 
seemed to flow around her, loose and sexy, all at the same time. 
If this was how she looked in it, he was glad he'd waited until 
he could actually see her in it before giving it to her. "Wow," 
he repeated, aloud this time. "You look...," he fumbled for the 
right words before deciding once again on a breathy, "wow!" He 
saw the blush as her face lit up at his words. He grinned, moving 
forward to kiss her again. Together they moved to the bed, 
falling into it in a mass of jumbled hands and legs.

"It's beautiful, Mulder." Scully pulled back from the kiss. 
"But..." She slowly began unbuttoning his shirt, then started in 
on his jeans. 

He quickly got the idea, reaching behind her to undo the 
clasp on her nightgown. Great as she looked in it, he had to 
admit, she looked even better without it on. "Wouldn't want to 
ruin my first gift to my girlfriend now, would we?" he chuckled. 
"Here, let me help you get off..."

"Girlfriend?" Scully cut him off, dutifully ignoring the 
implied innuendo. She carefully folded the gift and placed it 
back in its box before returning to Mulder's side.

"Isn't that what you are?" Mulder groaned slightly as he 
felt her hands caress his bare chest, now that his shirt was 
completely off. He could feel her fingernails drag over his skin, 
scratching softly, exciting him. His hands moved up to return the 

Now it was her turn to moan as his hands wandered over her 
body, seemingly encompassing her, stroking in all the right 
places, exciting her senses, setting off the nerve endings where 
they brushed, making her crave his touch where they didn't. 
"Don't you think, uhhh... God, Mulder," she began, arching into 
his touch, hoping to get more of her body in contact with his, 
"that we're a little old to be... uhh... called boyfriend and 
girlfriend?" She finished, breathless, as he continued his 

"So what would you call us, Scully?" He was enjoying the 
effect he was having on her. "What exactly are we to each other?"

"We're partners, Mulder. You might even say we're 
soulmates." She let out a keening squeal as his fingers found a 
particularly sensitive spot. "Oh, god! Right there, Mulder."

"Hi, I'm Fox Mulder. And this is my soulmate, Dana Scully," 
he mimicked their usual introduction. "I don't know, calling us 
soulmates has a nice ring to it, but you gotta admit, it sounds 
kinda hokey when you say it like that." He grinned when he 
realized that she was fast approaching the point where she 
couldn't care less whether she was his soulmate, his girl Friday, 
or his whatever. "How about significant other? Isn't that the 
popular term nowadays?" he couldn't resist teasing her.

"Not anymore Mulder. And could we talk about this later?" 
Her lips came together in a pout. "There are so many wonderful 
things we could be doing right now, instead of arguing about how 
to address each other in public."


"We're partners, Mulder. And that's that. Now pay attention. 
Right there, yessss...," she hissed. She soon realized that he 
was way overdressed, and quickly decided to remedy the situation. 
She rolled them over so she was above him. She unbuttoned his 
jeans, pulling them off in one sweep. Her gaze traveled up to the 
last remaining piece of clothing, and she couldn't help the 
hiccup of laughter that escaped her.

Her partner, in more than one sense now, lay back against 
the headboard, his hands behind his head, looking down at her as 
she reached up to grasp his boxers. He grinned. "Thought you 
might like that," he said, indicating the multicolored garment.

She couldn't help staring. Cars? She probably loved the 
simple black ones the most. Still, he always managed to get a 
laugh out of her at his creative choices in underwear. She 
mentally ticked off the pink flying pigs, the glowing green Xs, 
the looney toons, and the UFOs. How many boxers did the man own 
anyway? This was the fifth one, and sported cars of various 
designs and models. She leaned in for a closer look. Damn if that 
wasn't a Mustang right there on the front seam.

Mulder grasped her shoulders, interrupting her perusal as he 
pulled her up closer to him. He arched up as he felt her moving 
over him.

She could feel him through the boxers, sliding against her 
as she moved up. Her breath caught as his lips came close to 
hers. She allowed her own lips to part slightly in anticipation, 
hearing his words through a haze of desire and want.

"So, Scully," the harsh whisper sounded, "Have you ridden a 
Ford lately?"


"Five years, Scully. Tell me again why we waited so long."

The sated couple lay in each others' arms, the sheets 
twining around them. Mulder pulled her in tighter, nuzzling into 
the sweet scent of her hair.

Scully, in turn, rubbed her cheek against his chest, then 
turned to plant delicate kisses from his throat down. "You know, 
Mulder, if you had given me the nightgown along with the robe and 
slippers, or if you'd even just signed your name on that gift..."

"I thought for sure you'd have kicked my ass across DC if 
I'd dared. Do you have any idea how scared I was to give you even 
the robe? I was expecting the standard 'Let's just be friends' 
lecture for almost a month after that. I still can't believe I 
actually found the courage to tell you last week."

"Oh, Mulder. Do you know how long I was waiting for you to 
tell me? I thought, after Pusher... and then you gave me the 
robe... I mean, I knew it was from you the instant I saw it. But 
you never stayed around long enough to really talk, and I guess I 
thought I might have been mistaken, that you didn't feel the same 

"Why didn't you ever say anything? I thought if I avoided 
you, you might not find the chance to tell me you wanted a 
transfer or something."

"And look what happened."

Both became quiet as the events of a couple of years ago 
came back to them. Mulder remembered only too well what had 
happened. And he now realized that he might have inadvertently 
been responsible for it himself. Those few months when the rift 
between them just grew worse and worse... He'd turned himself 
inside out, trying to find a way to heal the distance between 
them. It had started out small... insignificant arguments that 
would heat up into shouting matches for no reason. And it had 
taken time. For about a half a year after Pusher, things had 
seemed nice enough.

But he'd been so afraid of losing her. After that ridiculous 
case with Ephesian and his wives up in Apison, he'd deliberately 
started distancing himself, protecting himself. And then, 
ditching her once again as he ran off to Russia with Krycek... 
God, what could he have been thinking? And then that stupid 
vacation to Graceland, when she probably needed him the most.

"Betts knew, didn't he?" he asked her quietly. She nodded 
into his chest, burrowing tighter against him. Leonard Betts, one 
of their more forgettable cases. He'd had the uncanny ability of 
sensing cancerous tumors in others, which he promptly went about 
extracting and consuming in order to stay alive. "Is that 
why...?" He couldn't quite bring himself to say the words, 
although his hands roamed down to caress her back, right where 
the tattoo had been.

She looked up into his eyes, a wan smile gracing her face. 
"I wanted to prove to myself that I didn't need you, or anyone 
else. I thought it was a way of rebelling. God, how stupid could 
I get? All the time I was with Ed, I kept thinking about you. I 
was so pissed off at you," she snorted, "but I missed you so 
much. And it felt like I had no right to you..."

"You always did, Scully. I was always yours. I just wish I'd 
had the courage to tell you sooner."

"You know, just for the record, Mulder. I didn't... with 
Ed... I didn't even want to." She felt him hug her tighter.

"I think we both made mistakes, Scully. I wish I'd been more 
open to you. I wish I'd seen just what you were going through. 
When I saw your journal in the hospital, it suddenly hit me. It 
felt to me like you were wanting to give up. You don't know how 
happy I was when you decided to fight. When I saw the spark back 
in your eyes... I just wish you had let me in, let me help with 
your cancer..."

"I wanted to fight, Mulder. So bad. But I think I'd given up 
the idea of actually beating the cancer. I just wanted justice in 
the time I had left against the bastards who had done this to 

"You were cutting off your ties, weren't you?" he cut in. 
When she stared at him, he continued, "You were preparing 
yourself for death, so you decided to cut off everyone who cared 
about you, just so it wouldn't be so hard when the time finally 
came. I'm right, aren't I?" He saw her about to protest, but he 
cut her off. "I wasn't the only one, you know. I talked to your 
mother, and she said the same thing. You didn't visit her as 
often as you used to. You weren't giving up the fight, Scully, 
but you were giving up hope."

She choked back a sob. He'd hit the nail right on the head. 
She'd been so afraid, she'd realized it was actually easier to 
just accept her impending death. "I'm so sorry, Mulder. I was so 
scared to hope... Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if I'd 
allowed myself to lean on you, or mom. But I'd never done that 
before. I've always been so self-sufficient, the idea of allowing 
either of you in never even occurred to me."

"I know," he said, a smile on his face. "I think I always 
knew. I was always there for you during your cancer, you know. 
Even if you didn't know it, even if you didn't want me there."

"I love you, Mulder. Thank you." Her voice caught in her 
throat as she uttered the words.

"You're entirely welcome, my beautiful angel. And I think, 
in some ways, it was a good thing we waited." She raised her 
eyebrows, prompting an answer from him. "We were partners, then 
friends, long before we became lovers. Not many people can say 
that. They say best friends make the best lovers. I don't know 
how true that is, but I'm not sure how well we would have worked 
out without this bond of trust between us that we had to forge 

"Maybe, Mulder. But..."

"Granted, we were probably idiots for waiting *this* long. 
I've loved you since I don't know when, although I realized just 
how integral you'd become to my life when you were taken."

Scully nodded, smiling through her tears. "Mom told me how 
nice you were to the hospital staff."

He smirked. "Yeah, I'm surprised I wasn't nominated for the 
nicest visitor of the year award," he said, his sarcasm evident 
as he recalled how he'd shouted at and harangued the staff back 
then. "But, tell me something, Scully. You were assigned to me at 
first. Why did you stay with me after you came back? You could 
have transferred easily. In fact, Skinner told me that he'd 
offered you a transfer, but that you'd refused. Was it because 
you loved me so much, or because you genuinely thought the work 
wasn't without merit?"

"The work," she responded promptly. "Don't get me wrong, 
Mulder. I think I was attracted to you even then. But like I told 
you before, I don't think it was until New Mexico that I fully 
realized how much I loved you. Albert told me about what had 
happened, and when I saw the boxcar on fire, I just saw my life 
shatter around me."

He tightened his grip on her, using his humor to diffuse the 
situation. "With all the times, we've been shot at, hurt, nearly 
killed, it's a miracle we didn't become immortal long ago."

"Very funny, Mulder. Maybe if I wasn't such a great 
doctor..." She smiled, acknowledging his effort to lighten the 
mood. "But what I wanted to say was that staying with the X-files 
may have been partly because of you, but mostly it was because I 
thought the work needed to be done. I saw what you showed me 
during our cases, Mulder. I may not have agreed with your take on 
some of them, and I may have not wanted to believe some of the 
things I saw, but I was horrified at the injustice of it all. 
They were hiding the truth, Mulder. And it would have been wrong 
to turn a blind eye to that."

"But, do you think we would have stayed together if we'd 
fallen into the sack that night in Oregon?"

Memories of their first case flashed across her mind. She'd 
run to his room, half-naked, asking him to look at suspicious 
marks she'd found on her body. Marks that had turned out to be 
nothing more than mosquito bites. She had been so relieved, she'd 
flown into his embrace. It had been just a hint of the trust they 
would eventually share. Even then, each of them had known they 
were attracted to the other. And, each of them had probably also 
had an idea of the effect they had on the other. And each had 
known the consequences...

"You're right, Mulder. I don't think it would have worked 
out at all if we hadn't waited. Maybe we did wait a bit too long, 
but back then Jack was way too recent for me for any type of real 
relationship. And, knowing you, it would only have confirmed your 
suspicions that I was the spy Blevins and Cancerman intended me 
to be, sent to distract you and debunk your work."

"Exactly," he smiled at her. "I'm glad we held off long 
enough to learn to trust each other first. But I'm even more glad 
that we finally came to our senses. I'm so happy right now, 
Scully." He paused as he thought about what he wanted to say 
next. "You know I'm almost scared. Over the past week, I've kept 
wondering, waiting for this dream to end. You're everything I've 
ever wanted. I thought I wanted the truth, to find my sister. But 
I never realized how meaningless my so-called quest would have 
been without you to share it with, without you to share my life 
with. And every day, I'm afraid that I'll find out..."

"Hush, Mulder." She placed a finger to his lips. "Let me 
tell you something. This is one dream that I'm determined to make 
a reality. I'm never leaving you, Mulder. Not if you ask me to, 
not even if you threaten me. I love you, and I'll always be by 
your side. Together, Mulder." She grasped his hands in hers, 
intertwining their fingers. "Together, forever."

His face slipped into a slight smile at her words. 

"That's a promise, G-man. C'mere." Her smile rivaled the one 
she'd given him back in Alaska, back when he'd been waking up 
from the retro-virus induced coma. Back then, she'd been happy 
that he was still alive, that their friendship and partnership 
was still viable. Now she had just promised him so much more. 
More than just their partnership, more than just a friendship. 
This was a bond on a deeper level, in effect a commitment as 
profound as a marriage proposal. His next words only served to 
seal the promise.

He moved closer to her, claiming her lips with his mouth. "I 
love you so much, Scully. Each moment only makes it more clear to 
me." He moved his hands to encircle hers, rubbing the back of her 
hands lightly as he contemplated his next words. His eyes grew 
smoky with passion as he whispered, "Marry me, Scully."

"Oh Mulder!" Her eyes widened at his question. She couldn't 
believe he'd actually asked. This was the second time, if memory 
served, even if the first one had been a joke. Or had it? She 
recalled how he'd spent his weekend during her previous 'vacation 
time'. She didn't have to see the pencils falling on her 
partner's head to see how he'd managed to spend a couple of days 
when she wasn't around. She allowed herself a slight grin at the 
thought. What would he do without her? Then again, what would she 
do without him? There could only be one answer to his question. 
'Mrs. Fox Mulder'. The words almost rolled off her tongue. She 
felt a shiver run down her spine at the idea. She wanted to 
scream her assent, but the timing couldn't have been worse. There 
was no way they could get married, not at this point in their 
lives. She sighed. "You know we can't..."

"Not now, Scully. I know it isn't the right time. Not yet. 
But one day..." He smiled warmly at her. He'd expected her 
response, and hurried to reassure her.

She smiled back at him, glad that he agreed with her. One 
day... "Yes, Mulder. Of course I'll marry you. I would love to 
marry you."

His eyes radiated his happiness at her answer as he 
enveloped her in his arms once again. Together, they lay in the 
bed, gradually allowing the night to overtake them. As they were 
drifting off, Scully heard her partner mumble, "You do realize 
what we just did, don't you, Scully?" He could feel her smile 
against his chest as she answered.

"Hmm...? Yes, Mulder. I have a pretty good idea."

"No, I meant the names problem."

"Huh?" She didn't know if it was the sleepiness, but 
somewhere along the line, she'd lost track of what he was saying.

"The problem of what to call each other. It's official 
now... well, as official as it's gonna get for now. We're 
engaged, Scully. That means I get to call you my fiancee. Kinda 
has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"

"Mmmm...," she answered dreamily. "Just don't say it in 
front of Skinner. He's liable to bust a vein or something."

"Deal, Scully. Good night."

"Good night, Mulder."

The End
Futures Past 05:
Flying Lessons
by Arvy 


End Notes

The quote "But soft, what light through yonder window 
breaks..." is from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Please do not 
read any foreshadowing or symbolism into this story because of 
this quote. I have no plans to tragically kill off our heroes 
anytime soon. The quote just popped into my head as I was 
thinking about the dialogue.

Now that that's disclaimed with, I just wanted to say that I 
have no idea why I didn't just tack this onto the end of 
FP4:Crossover. Maybe I could even have moved some stuff from that 
into this. I don't know. That's just the way the muse's gifts 

About the birthday gift. I know that in Tempus Fugit, Scully 
mentions that 1997 was the first time Mulder actually remembered 
her birthday. What I assumed this to mean was that it was the 
first time he'd remembered it on time. He'd given her gifts 
before, but always too late, and usually unsigned. Just a way to 
explain his 1996 gift of the robe and slippers.

Whoa! This is it? That's all to the end notes? Yes, folks. I 
decided to give y'all a break. I can't for the life of me think 
of anything more to say. So I'll just end with the usual request 
for feedback. As always, the address is unmai@bigfoot.com.

Futures Past Chronology:

01 - The Awakening      (Oct 1997)
02 - The Light of Day   (Jan 1998)
03 - My Funny Valentine (Feb 1998)
04 - Crossover          (Feb 1998)
05 - Flying Lessons     (Feb 1998)