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TITLE: Two Truths
AUTHOR: Maidenjedi
KEYWORDS: M, V, A, Mulder/Diana, Mulder/Scully
ARCHIVE: Spooky's, list archives. Others please ask.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Wish they were.
SPOILERS: I'm a 'The End' whore sometimes; also tiny ones for 'Lazarus'.
SUMMARY: Mulder contemplates two truths.
AUTHORS NOTES: at the end.
Inspired, in part, by Scully's little voiceover in 'Trust No 1' that has all the shippers going bonkers. I was only affected by that last bit, "the truest truths are what hold us together, or keep us painfully, desperately apart".

My father never warned me about women. He shouted to the heavens about the dangers of driving fast, but he never said a word about what damage a woman can do to you. Women don't have to actually do a thing to achieve it; it can be as subtle as jealousy in their eyes or hurt in their voices, and it will stab and tear at you the same as a knife will. Dad never warned me.

I often wonder if that's because he never really knew. Standing in this room, next to a beautiful woman who loves me, and waiting for the other to show up, I'm almost certain of this. Dad had Mom, and sometimes not even that much. I have two women, one like sunset, one like sunrise, both like flames on the horizon, blazing bright and brief and forever all at the same time.

I feel them facing off, silently and diligently. As women do, they are manuevering into position to fight for me if they must. Each will try to prove she is more loyal to my cause than the other. And I have to try and stay the neutral party.

One is my partner. She's everything to me. In Diana's absence, she's picked up the pieces of me and molded me into some semblance of the man I once was. In the wake of my banishment from the Bureau mainstream, as I questioned myself and my beliefs more everyday, Dana Scully stood by me and up to me. She's still here, self-appointed guardian of my sanity and my life.

The other is my...I don't know what she is. My ex-wife? That sounds like something from a cheap soap opera. Diana Fowley could hurt me as much as she could heal me. She and I think alike, and she believes in the unbelievable even more fiercely than I do. She has a conviction I only hope I have. She had been gone until a couple of days ago, and I had to introduce her to Scully, feeling the whole time like a dirty, cheating husband.

I never gave my heart to Scully, and Diana knows it. She knows it because she still holds it.

And now, she's holding my hand.

I feel content flooding my heart and I *know* Dad never felt this. I look into Diana's eyes and I see my mother looking out - I don't dwell on the Freudian in that - but its my mother inflamed and alive, not the cold New England WASP she has become. My mother in another life, perhaps.

How could I have considered leaving this woman for a lifetime? She knows me, knows how to comfort me and knows how to help lead the cause even in my absence. I can't compare Scully to her because it isn't fair to either one - like apples and oranges - but damn, the light in her eyes is distracting.

I could kiss Diana, couldn't I? She'd let me, let me lean in and subtly welcome her home. The sparkle and fire in her eyes from so long ago is still there, and she responds to me like I knew she would.

Her eyes widen a little, and the flash of color that might have passed for a glint of light is suspiciously not. What did Diana see over my shoulder?

I turn around, not too late to hear the click of heels but too late to see their owner.

I turn around, and Diana has locked herself away, her eyes a gleaming and shiny brown instead of a world of possibilities. What - who - did she see there? She still holds my hand, and I imagine she's gripping it tighter, like a jealous wife who's glimpsed the mistress.

Jealous wife who's glimpsed.....

Was it Scully in the hall? My eyes search Diana's face for the answer to this silent question. The tint of green slowly drowning the shine in her brown eyes tells me so much. I squeeze her hand, try to tell her without telling her that Scully's a friend, nothing more, she's been here in your place Diana but she could never *take* your place, Diana please please believe me.....

My phone rings and I'm annoyed. The gentle press of Diana's fingers in mine gives me permission, and I look in her eyes again to see the green gone and the gleam returned. She's mine again, dedicated, and the occasional jealous glare won't change that. She's telling me I can answer the phone because she's still holding my hand, and she won't let go anytime soon.

My God, what a woman.

"Mulder." I answer my phone with domesticity flooding my voice. I'm tamed, calm because the woman who loves me and the only truth I can ever really see have enveloped me.

"Mulder, its me."


We speak, its brief as it always is. But I can hear the hurt in her voice. It *was* her in the hall, and she saw me with Diana, holding hands.

Scully and I have never held hands. Not like this.

I never wanted to hurt Scully. I've done everything I can to protect her, including keeping Diana in my past where Scully wouldn't have to deal with her. It was foolish, perhaps, because you don't have a partner for five years who doesn't learn everything about you. Hell, she likes to straighten my ties in the morning and I know to buy her sandwiches minus the mayo and onions. Scully will fill out paperwork and once or twice signed my name, knowing my signature so well that she can imitate it flawlessly. She knows I like classic rock on road trips and I know she favors quiet ballads during weekends at home. I know she visits Jack Willis' grave on their birthday, then goes home for Chianti and a bubble bath; she knows I sometimes sit all night at my father's grave and cry that I've failed him, and she knows I'll end up at her doorstep afterwards, shivering and wanting coffee and some sleep.

Scully and I are two halves of the same sphere. She's not Diana, though, and she is having to learn that now.

When we hang up, Diana is still holding my hand. She's staring at them, our interlocked fingers telling a story. I'm overcome with the need to leave, to see Scully and smell her perfume and stand close to her. Just *be* with her. But I can't hurt them both.

So I tell Diana its time we got to the Hoover Building, and I don't tell her that I want her gone. I don't. She makes me happy, she lights up my face and she awakens the drive for the quest that sometimes hides on a black leather couch, next to Scully, watching a creepy old movie.

Scully is my friend. She will understand.

And as we leave, I think that maybe this is why my father was a bitter old man and why my mother is detached and frigid. Maybe in part, he had to hurt her or someone else for his cause, for his truth. Maybe he never could reconcile two truths.

Maybe I won't be able to, either.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Inspired, like I said, by 'Trust No 1', though it takes place in 'The End'. Also inspired in a kind of skewed way by Deslea's 'A Woman's Role'. I hadn't considered Mulder and Diana in a serious way before, but after that I had no choice. Deslea has a way of dragging a girl kicking and screaming into the utopia of Other Women :-)

To Michael, for the title, for sunrise/sunset and for always fueling my words with your wit. I am the right shoe and you are the left.

To the Wives in the Harem, for bringing back to life for me the will to write. What have you done to me!?

Apologies if you'd like to argue that Mulder and Scully held hands at some point prior to 'The End', but I'm pretty positive that even if they did, it wasn't like this. In 'Pusher', it was grasping for each other. YMMV.

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