Title:       Resigned to Fate
Author:      Lynn Gregg
Date:        1996
Rating:      NC-17
Code:        SRA
Keywords:    Mulder/Scully romance
Spoilers:    None
Summary:     When Scully tries to leave the X-Files, Mulder finds a way to
             make her stay.

Notes:       This was the first XF fanfic I ever wrote. Be kind.

Resigned to Fate
by Lynn Gregg

     Special Agent Dana Scully slammed both fists down hard on her keyboard,
frustrated almost beyond endurance. This was her fifth attempt in an hour at
composing her letter of resignation from the Bureau; but every time, just 
when she most needed it, she found her easy eloquence had abandoned her. The
letter--the key to her freedom, the end to the madness--remained unwritten.

     Staring bleakly at the jumble of glowing letters on the screen, her
treacherous mind strayed back once more to the scene two weeks prior that had
brought her to this point, and to the chain of events preceeding the explosion.
All that she had lost in the years since her assignment to the X-Files Division:
her father, her sister, the belief in her own ability to affect events for the
better, her very sense of security in the world and her place in it...Those
losses, those pressures had become too much of a burden, their weight simply 
too much for her to bear. Nightmares and panic attacks had *not* been written
into the official job description.

     One too many sleepless nights and she reached the end of her rope; and 
rather than tie a knot and hold on, Scully simply decided to let go and see
where she landed. When questioned by her unfortunate partner, Fox Mulder, she'd
turned on him like a Fury:

     "This is all your fault!" she bellowed, heaving a nearly-full coffee cup at
his head. "You and your megalomaniacal quest for the 'truth'. *I'll* give you the
truth, Mulder! The TRUTH is, your sister is gone, your father is dead, your
mother is dead, I've lost three months of my life and who knows what else and it's
all for nothing! Don't you get it? They've won. They *always* win, and there's not
a damned thing we can do about it! I'm just sick of this--sick of being abducted
and chased around and being a target for a bunch of shadow-government assassins...
I'm sick of being a pawn in somebody else's game. That's all I've been since the
day I accepted this assignment. I quit, Mulder. I've got to get out of this, while
I still can."

     Slamming the door on his protests, Dana had gone at once to Assistant Director
Skinner's office, torn *him* a new anal orifice, requested and received an indefinite
leave of absence. She spent the next two weeks hiding the Hell out, visiting various
friends and sleeping in various guest rooms, not even going home to check the mail.
Not wanting to risk finding Fox Mulder camped out on her doorstep.

     On the fifteenth day she finally returned to her apartment, knowing she couldn't
remain on the lam forever but still uncertain as to what her next move should be.
Should she ask for reassignment? She could always go back to teaching at Quantico. Or
should she leave the FBI altogether? She loved being an agent, had fought tooth and
nail for the chance to prove herself, to distinguish herself...There was always medicine;
she was a damned good forensic pathologist, though she had of late grown a bit tired of
putrefying corpses...

     At the moment, "alcoholic" looked like the most pleasant career choice. Perhaps
drunk she might find a way to do what, sober, she just couldn't seem to accomplish.
Heaving herself away from the computer, she stalked into the kitchen, hoping to find at
least a bottle of white wine.

     As she wrestled with the cork, Dana glanced over at the answering machine on the
counter. Upon her arrival earlier in the day, 53 messages had blinked thereon--47 of
them from Mulder, none of which she had bothered to return. Muttering an obscenity at
the machine, she slammed a few drawers before tipping up the wine bottle and slugging
back a hefty gulp. She repeated this process twice more before heading back to the

     And finding Mulder parked in her chair, looking as if he had every right to be

     "I knew you'd come home eventually," he said coolly, pecking at the keyboard.
Presently the Playboy website came scrolling onto the screen. "We're having wine? How

     "*We* aren't having anything," Dana sputtered. "How dare you just let yourself in
here like you own the place?"

     He swivelled the chair around to face her. "Well, when you didn't return any of
my messages or e-mails, I got the impression that you were avoiding me. And I respect
that. I wouldn't have come here tonight, except I didn't have anyplace else to go."

     "What does that mean?"

     "It means my apartment burned down today. All I've got in the world right now is 
my car and the clothes I'm wearing. And since it's kinda cold to be sleeping in the car..."

     Scully stared at him; her surprise and anger had abated sufficiently that she could
perceive the fog of eerie calm surrounding him. Knowing well his fear of fire, she
realized with a jolt of concern that he was in shock--a condition in which she had seen
him more than once before.

     "I have a sneaking suspicion our friend the Cancer Man had something to do with it,"
Mulder went on in the same calm voice. "I can just picture him holed up somewhere, 
flicking his Bic and laughing..." He fell silent for a moment, glancing back at the screen
upon which Pamela Lee's surgically-enhanced charms were displayed. When he turned back to
face her, the naked look on his face nearly stopped Scully's heart.

     "You were right. Across the board. We can't win--all we can do is keep pushing them
until they get tired of playing and take us out of the game. God! All of this, and what
have I accomplished? I'm no closer than ever to finding Samantha, or--or anything else.
Thanks to me you've lose a sister, not to mention part of your own life, my parents are--
Oh, God, dammit, Scully! I had no right to drag you into all this. To tell you the truth
I don't know why you've stuck it out this long. There's no reason for you to risk your
life for my bullshit crusades--"

     "Mulder, I accepted the risk when I joined the FBI. Risk is part of the job."

     "There's such a thing as unnecessary risk, and that's what I've been exposing you
to since the day you first walked into our office. To do that to a colleague is bad
enough, but to do it to--to a friend, is inexcusable. You've nearly died on my account,
more than once...Whatever becomes of you or me or the X-Files--Dana, I'll live with
that knowledge the rest of my life."

     DAMN, Scully thought, unable to watch him flog himself any longer. Impulsively
she grasped both his hands in hers, clutching them tightly.

     "I told you, Mulder, I accepted the risk when I accepted the job. It's not like I
was naive; I knew it could mean my life. And I could've asked for a transfer at any

     "Why didn't you?"

     She thought for a moment before answering. "I still can't say I believe in little
gray men, but I've always believed in the truth--and justice. And even when it seemed
otherwise--Mulder, I always believed in you."

     In answer he dropped her hands, flung his arms round her waist, buried his face in
her belly. Dana wrapped her arms around his slumped shoulders, feeling him shudder,
feeling the sting of tears behind her closed eyelids. Leaving the FBI, she realized,
would be a snap compared to leaving this man. After all they had seen and done and
endured together, their lives were entwined as inextricably as a Celtic knot.

     "Mulder..." she murmured, twisting her hands in his thick dark hair. His head
came up at the sound of her voice and his liquid hazel eyes locked onto hers. Scully
felt she stomach drop, shoring up somewhere in the vicinity of her navel.

     "Oh, shit, Scully," he groaned. "Don't go. Don't leave me. I can't do this
without you. You're the only thing keeping me sane through all of this. Hell, maybe
we can't win--but if there's even a chance, Scully, I need you with me. I need you."

     "Damn you, Mulder, why do you think I've been avoiding you? I knew if I saw you
again, you'd manage to persuade me to stay."

     Unconsciously she had moved her hands to cradle his face; when he turned his
head to press a kiss into each palm in turn, Scully felt a tremor rack her entire 
body. Unable to stop herself, she stroked her fingers lightly over his cheekbones,
along the lines of his jaw. She closed her eyes, unnerved by the intensity of his
gaze; her rational mind stuttered briefly and fell silent. Her every nerve ending
was blazing.

     And then he was on his feet, enfolding her, clinging to her, his breath hot near
her ear. Scully hid her face against his chest, clutching at him, breathing in the
warm scent of him. He was muttering feverishly into her ear, words that bounced off
her brain without really registering; and then his burning lips were skating over her
neck, suckling at her earlobe, tracing a path over and upwards. Scully's breath caught
in her throat as his lips closed over hers. After a brief internal war for control she
melted, returning his kiss with an abandon that surprised them both.

     Murmuring encouragement, Dana slid her hands down to capture his, pulling him in
the direction of her bedroom. He came along willingly enough up to a point, but at the
threshold he balked, holding her off at arm's length, searching her face.

     "Dana. Are you sure?"

     A positively devilish grin bloomed upon her face. "You said you needed a place to
stay, Mulder. And I've only got one bedroom."

     Laughing, Mulder pulled her into the room, scooped her up into his arms and
deposited her in the center of the bed. Stretching luxuriously, Scully opened her arms
to him, sighing as she felt the full length of his body press against hers. Caution,
inhibition, good common sense--all had flown, dispersed by the sudden imperative of