text file (10k)

Mulder contemplates wishes gone awry and looks forward to
an evening with his partner.

KEYWORDS: missing scene
SPOILERS: Je Souhaite
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; they belong to CC, FOX, etc.

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Mulder listened to the door snick closed behind him as he shuffled through the foyer and across to his couch. His jacket and tie landed on--or at least were aimed at--a dining room chair as he passed. Reaching the couch, he flopped down onto the cushions, head thrown back and hands rubbing his face.

It had been a hell of a day. An unbelievable one. And the only person who might possibly believe him--his partner--once again suspected that he was certifiable, no thanks to Jenn.

Apparently, he should have been more specific.

Ah, well, it was over now. He had used his last wish to do the noble thing, albeit on a small scale, and grant her her freedom. Scully would be proud of him; that is, if she believed in genies.

Scully. The worst part of the day was that hour or so that he'd thought she had vanished completely. Looking around his living room, he relived his last moments here.

All he wanted was world peace. Was that too much to ask? From a genie, evidently so. As soon as she granted the request, he recognized his mistake. Running through the streets and looking at the empty cars and storefronts, he fleetingly considered that he had caught a glimpse of life after colonization. But the childlike part of him thought it was cool to have the world to himself, if only for a little while.

Except for Scully. He could live without the rest of the world, but not Scully. And when he realized that she was probably gone, too, he started to panic. How could he experience peace without Scully? She was his sole link to sanity.

It was only after he had looked in every conceivable place and accepted she was missing that he'd even given thought to undoing his first wish. Whatever he had done to her had to be reversed. If that meant the world became a living hell again, so be it. Just as long as Scully was there.

And then Scully *was* there...in his office, summoned by Skinner to once again assess whether or not her partner was off his rocker. Jenn didn't do much to enhance his credibility. And Scully didn't seem to like her much, he noted. Then Scully dispensed her golden words of wisdom, and he realized that there was really only one choice for his final wish.

Now they were both gone, and he was alone. He wasn't quite sure what mood he would find his partner in right now, or if she even wanted to hear from him tonight, but he knew that he needed to make things right between them. For a short time that day, he had experienced the horrible sensation of life without her, and what he really needed now was to spend some time with her, just to reassure himself that she was actually there.

But how to convince her to come over?

Before he consciously purposed it, the phone was already in his hand and her line was ringing. And as he heard her voice on the other end, he realized there was only one thing to say.


"Scully, you were right. The genie's gone and the case is over."

The pause on the other end made it clear that she wasn't exactly sure how to respond to this. "Are you okay, Mulder?"

He couldn't help but chuckle. He wasn't sure if she was being facetious, but he decided to treat the question as rhetorical. "Hey, you doing anything tonight?"

"It depends on what you have in mind," she replied with suspicion.

"Popcorn and a movie. C'mon, Scully, it's Friday night. Let's live a little."

She considered this for a moment. "Promise me there won't be any case files involved?"

"Are you suggesting that I would lure you over here under false pretenses?" he questioned with mock affront.

"Oh, of course not," she answered sarcastically. "Just like you'd never use paperwork as a ploy to get me to spend Saturdays with you."

"Scully, you wound me."

"Yeah, but the bullet went clean through, so at least there wasn't any permanent damage."

He snickered and heard her own amused response on the other end. She was a worthy adversary in the battle of the wits, which was just one of the many things he loved about her. "So, my place, 7:30 sharp. I'll provide the movie and popcorn, you bring the beer."

Hanging up the phone with gusto before she had even had a chance to respond, he enthusiastically started to ready his apartment. Even though he hadn't waited for her answer, he knew she would come over. It wasn't arrogance at his own irresistibility; it was simply that he knew the woman. She had previously expressed her approval at the few occasions when he had suggested time together away from the confines of work, and he had thus discovered that whenever he made such an offer, she would never turn him down.

Mulder made a quick sweep of the apartment, picking up dirty clothing and gathering up trash to make his place seem a little less like the bachelor pad that it was. When he reached the kitchen, he realized that something in the garbage was beyond ripe, and he decided to take the bag down to the dumpster on his way out the door to pick up a movie.

Inevitably, his thoughts returned to the events of the last couple of days as he made the trek downstairs to the side door that emptied into the alley next to his building.

He remembered the excitement on his partner's face when he found her powdering the invisible corpse of Anson Stokes. He couldn't recall the last time, if ever, that he had seen her so enthusiastic about a case. And then the proverbial rug had been ripped out from under her, only to be unrolled by him and leave him with the quandary of choosing three wishes.

Of course, although he would never tell her this, his first thoughts had been of her rather than world peace or happiness for all. There were so many things he wanted to give her, primarily those things she had sacrificed or lost for the sake of his quest. She at least seemed to have her health back these days, and he had speculated from the Anson incident what a bad idea it was to resurrect a dead sibling. There were other things, though, that he wanted to offer her, like the comfort of a house in the suburbs, or the peace of a normal life.

But most of all, he wanted to give her a child--the one they had tried to create just a few months ago, but had failed. He had told her then to hold out for a miracle. If only he could have used his wishes to give her one now.

But he couldn't dream of asking his genie for such a thing. Considering how horribly the physical requests had turned out for her previous masters, making a wish that would alter Scully's body in any way could have devastating results. Just think of what happened to Mr. Gilmore.

Exiting into the alley, Mulder tossed the bag of trash into the dumpster and turned to head out toward the street. As a chilly evening breeze wafted past and whipped around his ears, he pulled the lapels of his jacket tighter around his neck and looked up at the sky.

It was twilight now, and in the sliver of blue expanse showing between the roofs of the two buildings, he saw a light twinkling above him. As he studied it, he recognized that it was not a plane or a satellite, nor even a flying saucer, but a star.

Unbidden, a childhood rhyme came back to him, and he whispered the first lines aloud. "Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight...."

Decades ago, he recalled, a foolish little boy familiar with this rhyme had wished on a star that his pesky little sister would go away and leave him alone. Mulder shivered, not from the chill but from the memory. Although he later grew to understand that there was no rational connection between the two events, for years he had lived with the guilt that perhaps his sister had disappeared because he had wished it.

Staring up at the star now shining down on him, that boy's adult counterpart ventured one more wish, this time for good rather than for ill. Though it could be futile, he reckoned that anything was worth a try.

He wished on the star for the one thing that he wanted most for his beloved, the one thing he hadn't been able to ask from Jenn.

The wish made, Mulder sighed into the night and headed out of the alley. His time was running short to pick up a movie before Scully arrived, and as he hurried down the sidewalk to the little video and convenience store on the corner, he considered his options.

Certainly not a chick flick. And any kind of drama was just too heavy for tonight. He needed something whimsical, a comedy to keep the mood light. Something that could make Scully smile. Maybe even something that would engender hope.

And then it came to him, a story about struggling for victory against all odds. The more he contemplated it, the more appropriate it seemed as a metaphor for their lives: fighting alone to rid the world of the danger that lurked beneath the surface, while those who would be most affected by it went on with their daily lives, oblivious to the battle being waged for their own protection.

Or maybe he was just making mountains out of gopher hills.

But he would get the movie and tell Scully his theory anyway. And she would roll her eyes and tell him how absurd he was being. But even yet, she would smile.

For tonight, at least, their world would be a happier place.

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Author's Notes: This last part will only make sense if you're familiar with Caddyshack. I have to admit that before Je Souhaite, I had never seen the movie myself. One day I was flipping channels on TV and came across it, so I stopped to watch. While I still think the majority of the movie leaves something to be desired (I agree with Scully: definitely a guy movie), the gopher subplot is a classic.

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