So I’ve been doing an X-Files rewatch, trying to be more charitable to that Public Enemy Number One, Chris Carter. The torture he put us through, the hamhanded way he mangled Mulder and Scully’s relationship in the later seasons, the terrible tale of Scully’s baby, all of it a series of windmilled slaps in the face to the legions of devoted fans who gave seven years to that relationship and expected just the tiniest bit of payoff. (And the less said about I Want To Believe, the better.)
While I was being charitable, though, I watched season 7 as if I weren’t a shipper, as if the only details about Mulder and Scully’s relationships I got were the ones actually telegraphed in text, not off-camera. And I tell you what — before it’s all unspooled in season 8 — the romance is there, it’s real, it’s text.
Say what you will about their relationship in the previous season; the shippers will believe there’s romance there and the noromos never will, but the truth, that Truth with a capital T, is in there in season 7 and can’t be denied.
Mulder and Scully kiss at the end of “Millennium.” It’s right there. “The world didn’t end,” says Mulder. “No, it didn’t,” says Scully. And they leave arm in arm.
They sleep together in “all things.” Scully wakes up, gets dressed, and the camera pans to take in Mulder’s sleeping form, sprawled out across her bed. And if that weren’t enough, when Scully goes to talk to her old lover Daniel, and he tells her he moved to DC for her, she confesses, “you’ve come at such a strange time.” And when he suggests she has a life, she sighs, “I don’t know what I have.” There’s almost no way to read that — unless you really do some mental gymnastics — that doesn’t suggest that Mulder and Scully have moved their relationship into new territory, and I want to believe that they kept up this sexual relationship throughout season 7. The text would seem to support it, too.
Later, somewhere in fucking season 9, or something, a mysterious figure who’s been stalking Scully says something to the tune of, “one lonely night, you invited Mulder into your bed.” Which does seem to suggest that they only had sex that one time, but the timing of the birth is all wrong if we’re really to believe that baby came from sex, so I defend my previous allegation that they sleep together for the balance of the second half of season 7. Also, everything that happens in season 9 is stupid and not worth considering.
In my early X-Files days, I was so obsessed with Scully that I assumed Mulder was the one in love with her, and that she was the one who was cool, aloof, too good for him. In this rewatch it really seems to be the other way around; Scully is unquestionably in love with that man, and Mulder’s just too set in his ways to even be open to a relationship.
With that in mind, I wrote some fanfic. Punk helped, held my hand through the hard parts and reminded me why I got into this business in the first place. And I wrote something new, for me, something tender and shippy and not at all callous (which has been my go-to for XF fic in the past).
I flipped randomly through books for the title: it ended up being called As Real As Soap. And strangely, though it builds to the sex, there’s no sex in the story, which you might think is a cop out on my part and I would totally agree. I said to Punk, “I just don’t think I can write sex that’s as good as the sex Mulder and Scully would have.” So I cheated. Sue me.
Now that I’m off Livejournal I’m out of the social circle that promises me lots of feedback, so if you do get around to reading this, leave me a comment, eh? It’s been a long time since I’ve been on this particular horse, and I’d love to know if I made the jump or fell off somewhere in the ravine.
Go on, now: As Real As Soap, Mulder/Scully, rated T for Teen, 2309 words.