Second Impressions

By Niala

Rating: PG-13 for violence
Summary: They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. But sometimes a second impression can redeem the mistakes you made the first time..
Disclaimer: The characters in this story are not mine. They belong to Fox and Chris Carter. I am not making any money off this story. I just love the show and want to share this love with other fans. Please do not sue me! I am so poor its not funny, seriously!
Note: I wrote this story as if Mulder was not abducted at the end of season 7. I also make no mention of Scully's pregnancy. Not because she is not pregnant but just because it is not a focus of the story.

It was bitterly cold and she was tired of waiting. Mulder had called her an hour ago asking her to meet him here. He thought he had found a new reliable source and he wanted to tell her about them. The problem was he did not think it was safe to tell her at his apartment or hers. So she agreed to meet him in the park. It was an annoyance but she understood his paranoia. Their apartments had been bugged and surveillanced many times. Considering how many times they have been almost killed in their own homes it was a wonder that neither of them had considered moving. The truth of the matter was it would not matter where they moved, they were always being hunted or watched. A few years ago she would have wondered what the hell she was doing here and considered walking away from it all. But the time when that was an option was long gone. There was no turning back now. She knew what the future held and could not let colonization happen without trying to stop it. She and Mulder found out the hard way a few years ago that it had already begun. That was when the door closed on the option of them quitting. So even though it was cold and she was hungry and tired she would wait. She would always wait for him.

He had been watching her for an hour. Her discomfort was obvious but he knew she would not leave. She was intensely loyal to Mulder and would wait for him if he asked her to. He knew of course that Mulder would not be coming. They had called her knowing that she would be home. They had Mulder's voice on tape and were able to dub a phony message. The addition of static made it so she would not be able to tell. They were planning on finishing what they started five years ago. There were to be no mistakes this time. She would die tonight and Mulder would be finished. They had little doubt that he would give up once she was gone. He himself had known Mulder for seven years and knew that if he lost Scully he would probably go off the deep end.

The longer she stood out there the stronger the feeling got that she shouldn't be. The park was practically deserted at night at this time of year. Mulder was mysterious and vague at times but now she was starting to worry. She'd had this nagging feeling for awhile but was able to suppress it. She was not so sure now that that was a good decision.

From where he was hiding a few feet away he could see that she was getting nervous. Her body was beginning to tremble more and she was looking around like a scared rabbit. He felt sorry for her. It was cruel to make here stand out there like that. She had suffered so much already. Everyone but her blamed Mulder for that, but he knew the truth. She may have been involved because of Mulder but it was him and the men he had worked for that had killed her sister, caused her to be abducted, given her cancer, and given her a child (Emily) only to have her die.

When an hour and a half had passed she tried to call him on her cell phone but the battery was dead. She was considering looking for a pay phone when the idea hit her that Frohike, Byers, and Langley most likely knew where he was. They usually knew where he was or had a way of finding him. Along with her feeling of worry she was also starting to feel like she was being watched. But when she looked around she couldn't see anyone. Surely someone who was going to attack her would have done it already.

He had no idea why they were waiting so long to get the job done. It was cold as hell out there and the sooner she was dead the sooner he could stop thinking about her. He always told himself that everything he did was for the greater cause. He felt bad that innocent people like Melissa got hurt sometimes. But thats how life was. Some people had to die for the best interest of everyone else. He knew his Machiavellian idealism was why people saw him as cold blooded and evil. But his belief that the ends justified the means was the only way he could sleep at night sometimes. He figured that he could live with the fact that everyone hated him if he was ultimately doing a good thing.

She now knew what she was going to do. She was going to get the guys and have them help her contact Mulder. She spun decisively on her heel and was about to take a step when she heard a rustle in the bushes behind her. She froze mid-step and slowly reached for her gun. In the few seconds that passed in silence she told herself that it was probably a small animal or something. Her body on the other hand was not listening to her rationalization. Her breathing was shallow and her heart rate had seemingly doubled. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, tried to pull her gun and spin around, but something grabbed her from behind.

She gasped from surprise and began to struggle. It was immediately obvious that her attacker was much larger and stronger than she was. He had both of her arms but because she was so small she was able to get one hand free and duck under the arm holding her; effectively twisting his arm behind his back in the process. He cried out in pain and used his free hand to grab her from behind him. In the second it took her to try an regain her balance he had already grabbed her by the shirt. He tried to bring his free hand down to hit her but she blocked it with her left arm and used her right one to punch him in the stomach.

Even though he knew she was going to be attacked he still jumped in surprise when it happened. Her death was supposed to look like a robbery attempt so there had to be signs of a struggle. That was why she was not shot execution style. It was becoming apparent to him that the assassin was getting more than he bargained for. Without her weapon the assumption had been that she would be fairly easy to overtake. Well, they had been wrong. She had obviously gotten past level one in hand to hand combat. He admired her valiant efforts. If anything she was a survivor.

The scene in front of him felt like it was happening in slow motion. He could see everything but hear nothing. What he could hear was the sound of his own beating heart, and rapid breath. He was having all these mixed emotions: fear, sadness, regret, and finally anger. What right did they have to take her life? She had done nothing to them. She was an innocent victim just like the rest of them had been. It was in that moment he knew what he had to do.

They had been fighting for what seemed like forever. She was beginning to get tired and knew he would overpower her shortly. She was about to slug him when she hit the ground. The wind had been knocked out of her and all she could do was stare up into the eyes of the last person she would ever see.

When he saw her hit the ground the spell was broken. Everything was happening in real time and the assassin was pulling his gun out of its holster. He took off running but knew he would not get there before he pulled the trigger. There was only a few steps left so he took his chances and threw himself at the assassin.

When her attacker pulled out his gun and started lowering it she knew this was it. The end. After everything she had been through this was how she was going to die, at the hands of some two bit mugger. She closed her eyes and heard a loud bang. She screamed but realized that she had not been shot. She snapped her eyes open and could not believe what she saw. There was another man lying on the ground and her attacker was holding the gun over him in surprised shock. She quickly recovered from her own shock and pulled her gun. He heard her and tried to turn but it was too late. She fired three rounds that hit him directly in the chest. As he staggered and hit the ground she crawled over to the fallen man who had just saved her life.

"Sir, don't worry everything is going to be al-." She stopped in mid sentence when she saw the face of the fallen man.


When he heard his name he opened his eyes and saw Scully leaning over him. Her mouth was hanging open and her eyes were wide.

"How the?, What?, Why?!"

Her mind was racing, she did not know what to think or do. One of her greatest enemies had just saved her life for no apparent reason.

He was about to try and explain himself when he felt a sharp pain in his chest. He gasped and then slipped into darkness.

When she heard him take a breath and then stop moving she feared he was dead. A quick check of his pulse told her he was still alive, but barely. She then noticed for the first time that her hand was wet. She put her hand over his wound to try and stop the bleeding and screamed as loud as she could for help.

When he opened his eyes he did not expect to see a bright light. He tried to sit up but was rewarded with excruciating pain. He felt like he had been hit by a truck.

"I wouldn't do that. You just came out of surgery to remove the bullet from your chest and re-inflate your left lung."

He looked over in surprise and saw Scully sitting in a chair beside his bed. Her face was cut and she had blood on her shirt. He tried to speak but couldn't. He tried again and got out a raspy and low, "Scully."

She saw him wince in pain after he said her name. Trying to talk right now would hurt, but she had to know the truth.

"Why? Why did you save me?"

He didn't really know why he saved her but she deserved the most honest answer he could give her.

"I had to (pause), I couldn't watch- (pause) you die."

She saw the pain and sincerity in his eyes and could not help herself. She grabbed his hand, looked into his eyes, and said thank you with all the gratitude she could give.

He could not believe she was thanking him! Even though he had saved her life he still did not deserve her gratitude. He was beginning to see what an amazing woman she was.

She stood up to go and was about to remove her hand when she felt him weakly holding on. She watched him struggle to speak when he motioned her forward. She leaned her ear towards his mouth and heard him whisper "Im sorry." She stood up and gave his hand one last squeeze and said, "I know that now ."

He watched her walk out the door, take one last look back and leave. He felt a tear fall to his cheek but made no move to wipe it away. That tear was a symbol of something he had never gotten before-forgiveness.

He looked at the ceiling and gave a silent thanks to whomever might be listening. It was time to make some changes in his life. He was going to give the world a second impression.

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