Chapters 1-5

(Written in 1998)

Jenrose: This is one of those stories that takes on a life of its own. It sneaks up on me and I find myself adding something here, something there, and characters keep clamoring to be tossed into the fray. I knew early on that I would get totally bogged down if I did this alone, so I posted a general invite for co-authors.

Ashlle and Sunny volunteered, and then I sent our first efforts to Dawson. He got so involved in editing it, that we suddenly discovered he had written a number of scenes, given birth to a large black man, and become a co conspirator...Needless to say, he’s now officially a co-author, too.

This has been intensely fun to write, and we’re still in the setting up phase. I expect this will have about 8 or 9 chapters when we’re done. But ya never know...this kind of thing has a way of mushrooming. This is truly a group effort, I feel more like a “director” sometimes than an author. In general, I start a section with a brief outline or “sketch” of what happens, one of the four of us fills it in with detail, someone else adds suggestions, I glue the pieces together, Dawson kibitzes and adds whole paragraphs, and then I tinker with it until it’s done. We started off labeling who had written various sections, and then promptly gave up when we discovered that one paragraph had been authored by four people.

ETA, 2008: I had no CLUE when I started this that it would sit and stagnate for ten years. Mostly because my story outline went something like this. “Scully unhappy. Mulder wants to fix. Hijinx ensue. ????? Happy ending. It had more detail than that, but people who’ve read my old outline will, um, find that it was about as relevant as the viral XFIWTB clips that were released prior to the movie. Because, you know, the characters take on lives of their own. And Mulder has a knack for surprising people. And my life has changed big heap much since I started this thing. Little things, like getting married, having a special needs child, a senile mother in law, the kinds of things that fundamentally change how you see the world. When I started this story, I was 25. I’m now 36, a couple years older than Scully at the time of this telling, slightly younger than Mulder, and they’re just flat out easier to write now than they were then.

The real motivator, of course, was rewatching the series, being fundamentally unsatisfied by everything from about halfway through the last episode of season seven to the end. Individual episodes? Good. Overarching themes? You’ve got to be kidding me. Rather than write a new Scully-leaves-with-Mulder fic, I decided that this was as good a place as any to make the story I wanted to see.

As to length, I’ve got no idea. The first part is done, and ended at 10 chapters plus a prelude. I expect that Part Two will be at least as long. The good news is that I’ve been working at a pace of a chapter every day or two, and I do have a strong notion of where everything is going. I strongly suspect a Part 3. Because you know, Krycek just jumped into my brain, Skinner just threw a temper tantrum, and I suddenly realized what the world would be with Mulder and Scully somewhere else.

For me one of the most interesting things about writing this, now, is the trip down memory lane. You know, to the time when Starbucks was just starting to be common in airports and you could not yet find a machine in the bathroom of Starbucks selling bottled Starbucks drinks. When gas was $1.20 a gallon and airline security was such that one could actually present ID at the gate and go on the airplane. This story would be impossible, as written, in 2008. Everything is computerized, but the computer security is better. Money tracking is better. Everything is smaller. And airplane travel has gone from a nuisance to a downright trauma, even for people who are not afraid of the process. In 1998, I did map out their flight path, timed the flights, knew exactly what and when and how, and it worked. It simply would not be possible now. The condo Gwynne found for them would have sold for $100,000-ish. Now? $400,000. Gas and real estate, all four times more expensive now then they were then. It was plausible in 1998. But theoretically, Gwynne would have taken a huge financial hit in 2000/2001, and the resources that seemed so plentiful when this trip started, would simply not have been there later. Current research that I’ve been doing has an advantage: Google Earth is a delightful way to really get the distances and time involved in their road/air trip. And to fill in the blanks, to tell me how things were, way back when.

Notes from my coauthors in 1998:

Dawson: When Jenrose asked for “technical assistance,” in the guise of adding cool gadgets and other techno!Geek additions, I was more than happy to give it the once-over twice. And, as she mentioned above, it became an exchange of emails over a week or two with “Ya know, this scene might work better this way? What do you think?” And before you know it, the story had become this mixture of four voices. I’ve never worked with a group before, so this is an interesting experience. What is interesting to me is how so much of what was originally written has changed, and yet, we’ve all managed to keep the original basis of the story intact; kudos to JenRose for culling out the bad stuff, keeping the good stuff and weaving this interesting tale. For the readers that know each of our specific voices, I think it’d be fun to figure out who wrote what.

Hi, I’m Ashlle, one of the authors of this story. Just a little note of forewarning: some of this stuff is unexpectedly funny, so please don’t be drinking or eating anything while reading this. Wouldn’t want to ruin a $2000 dollar monitor, now would we...Oh, and feedback makes us write faster...Also, for every letter of feedback, each fanfic author gets 7 cents in Monopoly money...write that feedback or I’ll lose the tournament!

(note from Jen: Sunny abstained from writing notes. )

Chapter 6:

It seemed utterly obvious to me that the next step, based on what happens in that episode, that they would NEED to go undercover to figure out just how many of Scully's eggs had been used. I mean, it was OBVIOUS. And if they were going undercover, that means the Lone Gunmen. And then characters started speaking to me, and other people started playing in the story's universe, and for about four strong months we were working hard to get chapters out frequently. Then stuff happened. See, I don't *need* to write. I DO need to create. And in 1998, my job shifted from advertising director to graphic designer, and all my creative juices were pouring into the magazine I was working for. And the X-files rolled on, and things happened, and somewhere in there I lost interest.

Fast forward 10 years. June, 2008, more than 10 years since I'd written much of anything fanficcy at all, I finished watching the Stargate boxed set and got bit by the writing bug as I lay recuperating from a pulmonary embolism. This is not that fanfic. That fanfic is currently holding at 5 chapters until I get this one taken care of. After I finished the Stargate set, I started in on the X Files boxed set. It took me a while to really connect to the series again, but when I did, and saw the whole thing complete, I found that I still didn't believe that they hadn't gone under long term together at several different points in the series. Some of the "written in extremities" were just... too much. I toyed with writing a new fic... and decided that the best way to scratch the itch was to continue the one I'd poured so much into so long ago.

The first chunk of this chapter was written 10 years ago. I stopped, not really having a sense of what happened next, but the shippiness of season 7, the tidbits in season 8, the Truth, and the new movie, all really helped answer that question. The answer? Smut. I knew they were going to get hot and heavy at some point, I just didn't expect it to happen in Yachats.

The title is from a song on the Hunger soundtrack, from the opera Lakmé, "The Flower Song" because it was stuck in my head, along with the Bach and Schubert from the same album.

Chapter 7 (with recipes)

*note. While this series was started before the events of the middle of season 5, I think that I can reasonably incorporate everything up to and including The Red And the Black, if I assume that the Red and The Black happened about 2 weeks before they left. Since dating in TXF is so freakin' haphazard, all the time, I'm going to take the artistic license.*

The title is from that Dave Carter gem of the same title on the Drum Hat Buddha soundtrack. Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer had every bit as much chemistry on stage as Mulder and Scully did on the screen, until Dave passed away in the summer of 2002. In 1998, they were just getting started. The song can be heard, with the perfect line, “The ordinary angels watching over you,” and Tracy seen at For a quintessential example of Dave and Tracy singing together, .

A little bit of a guide to the past two chapters. Oregon is my home turf.

They are staying at a hotel closely based on the Overleaf Lodge in Yachats. And yes, it really is that nice. The staff, when I stayed there on New Years Eve in 1997/1998, were a delight. The story behind Linguini Overleaf is described here: , along with a recipe. The two facilities, The Adobe Resort and the Overleaf Lodge, really are that friendly about things, or they were in 1998. And aside from the really lovely accommodations, Yachats itself really is that small, and that dull. But *damn* they know how to do the hotels right.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium, aka Hatfield Science Center, aka the Newport Aquarium, is no longer home to Keiko, who died after being released into the wild. Keiko's home is now one of the most amazing shark exhibits, and one of the most peaceful, soul-filling places I've ever seen if you can get in there when it is not filled will hordes of people. They do sleepovers. Highly recommended, even if the floor is really hard, just to be there after hours. Walking through those blue glass tunnels surrounded by water and sea life—it is a little piece of heaven, and far more comfortable than scuba diving.

More recipe:

Salmon: Don't worry if you can't find a nice alder plank or ceder plank to bake your salmon on, just follow this recipe and I think you will like the results. *Do* go to the trouble of ordering the ingredients online if you can't get them locally.

Start with fresh or if you must, thawed wild Chinook salmon. If you can get sushi-quality, all the better, you won't have to cook it quite as much. Other wild varieties are acceptable. Most farmed is a poor, poor substitute.

You will need Salish Smoked Salt. This can be ordered online. A little goes a long way, don't be scared by the price.

Also maple syrup or maple sugar. Brown sugar will do in a pinch.

Butter if desired, although it is not strictly necessary. I have been known to use spray olive oil.

Crushed pecans if you want

Smoked paprika (and no, you can't substitute regular paprika. But smoked paprika is cheap and works in lots of things, so if you have to order it online, don't be afraid to order lots.)

Granulated garlic (garlic powder, and make sure it is reasonably fresh!)

Mix the salt, pecans garlic powder and smoked paprika, using about a 2:1 ratio of paprika to salt, garlic to taste and a good handful of crushed pecans. If using maple sugar, mix the maple sugar into this to make a rub.

Take a clean fillet of salmon and place it skin side down on a broiler pan or cedar plank. Brush with maple syrup (and if desired, melted butter), and sprinkle the rub liberally over the entire surface of the fish. If using a cedar plank, heat the plank in the over to about 300-350 degrees before putting the fish on it.

Broil for about 5-10 minutes. The inside of the fish should have a little bit of pink to it, do not dry the fish out or the gods of the Salish will come and eat your liver. Don't try to flip the fish over, when it is properly done.

Carrots: This is more of a guess, and takes more advanced prep.

1. You will need fresh, organic baby carrots which have NOT been whittled down into lincoln logs. Usually they have pointy tips and a stub of green still on them. The fresher, the better. Find a farmer's market. Trader Joe's sometimes has them. Get these after you have the infused oil.

2. You will also need oil infused with smoked paprika. Infused oils are not hard. Simply stir a good tablespoon or so of smoked paprika into a nearly full small bottle of olive oil, tap it to get the bubbles out, cover it, and let it sit for a few weeks. Shake before using.

You can either steam or lightly sautee the carrots. but whatever you do, do NOT cook them limp. Ideally they will be bright, bright orange and still have a little bit of resistance when you bit into them. Serve with the smoked oil drizzled over and around them, and salt to taste. Salish salt will bring out the smokiness of the infused oil. I had this dish first at the Salishan resort, farther up the Oregon coast. It was my first introduction to smoked paprika, which has become a staple in our house.

ETA: Smoked Paprika. Spice aisle at Costco. FTW!

Chapter 8

Rambly Notes:
For some perfect examples of Alsea Falls in March, see

The Cucina Biazzi is without a doubt the best meal I've ever eaten, and I come from a family of very, very good cooks. I can't give you recipes, all I can say is, “Go there.” I hope it has not changed too much in 10 years.

Lots of nice hotels and B&B's in Ashland. The Stratford is just the one that I knew had a tub-for-two, and this thing is all about the water.

The shop is an amalgamation of a variety of shops I've seen from around Oregon. I did the tarot reading myself, asking the question, “What would Scully's reading be?” That's how the cards fell. Really. And I'm not exactly a believer, it's something I learned in college, and when I was 21, I got two very strange readings which placed a pregnant woman and a woman giving birth on the back of an elephant in the outcome. A week later I learned I was pregnant. Go figure. It amused me to think about Scully buying a deck of tarot cards in front of Mulder, because it would just confuse the poor boy so much. If anyone cares, I'll pull up images of the individual cards.

Ashland is a great little town. Go there. Really.

And for the focused, Eugene is curiously replete with the most amazing fast food burrito joints I've seen anywhere. Like, good, healthy food in the time that it takes you to drive from the menu to the window you pay at.

For those who might actually have occasion to travel out this way, a pronunciation guide:

Willamette: W'LAH met. NOT Willa-met. Which makes it the opposite of Tillamook. See below.

Oregon: Or ih g'n. If you say Ore-eh-gone, people will know instantly that you are from Somewhere Else. The joke is Orygun, but you really have swallow the last syllable. Oddly enough, David got it right in ep one and blew it to hell in a later episode. Say it together, class. Or ih gn.

There is no consensus on the “right” pronunciation of “Eugene.” Locals will say “EU gene or eu GENE, some even going so far to say Yew-Geeeen with a nice drawl, but no one is going to look at you funny, unless you come up with something really odd. I usually put the emphasis on the last syllable, and I don't drawl.

Tillamook. Tilla-muk. Not Tih-LAH-muck.

We have a Springfield. We pronounce it the same as every other state. Don't bother going there.

Yachats is Yah-hots.

Alsea is All-see

And if you are north, Puyallup is unpronouncable, but the best guess I have from listening to locals is the inexplicable, “Pyoo ah lup.” Not Poy all up, not Pull-yall-up. Pyoo. Pyoo.
Oregon has a number of quirks. The most important to outsiders is that you are not allowed to pump your own gas, and there's no sales tax, thus slaying neatly two of the banes of modern existence. The major metropolitan areas tend to have more drive through coffee stands than street corners, and it's crazy to bother with Starbucks when there are so many other good coffee places. In some parts of town, you cannot throw a stick without hitting a Pho shop, these vietnamese soup joints are legend, to the point where our family makes a joke of coming up with new names based on “pho”. For example, Vietnamese soul food would be Pho Sho. I have a strange family. We also eat a lot of Pho, as it is simple, tasty, fresh food. My Jewish father now makes chicken soup with rice noodles and then serves it with fresh herbs, chopped raw garlic and ginger, and mung bean sprouts in little dishes around the table. There, another recipe.

Oh, and the title.
Ardas is a prayer said before a significant undertaking. And the music is woo woo but gorgeous, something I used to use before I went to sleep every night. A peaceful day, they are in harmony, the music is what would be playing in the shop with the tarot decks. It is also an exact example of the song “I'm a wiccan shaman druid,” for which the lyrics can be found here: To the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Really.

ETA: And I did the math on the gas. That's $15 for about 3/4 of a 17 gallon tank. *weeps*. In 1998, it was $1.20-ish per gallon. Really.

The title is from a part of the Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. The translation can be found here: and here: . The best version I've ever heard was done by a high school student at a concert I took part in, but this version, is okay.

Listen to the Carmina while reading the translation some time, especially if you like smut. There's an insanely silly film version out there that looks like a cross between Monty Python's Holy Grail and the Sound of Music, but the singing isn't bad. I'll let you youtube that one yourself. Later in the episode, a quote from the Dulcissime from the same opera. is one of the better versions I've seen, and my *god* can that woman hit it. Most sopranos simply are not capable of hitting those notes without sounding shrill, strained or flat. Again, the best version was in a high school concert, with a young woman who was able to float up to the notes, stay there for a year, and then float back down like she had nothing better to do.

The first song is about wavering between lust and spirit, reconciling the two with marriage. The second is simple, “Sweetest, I give my all to you.”

Mulder kind of surprised me in this one. I could not reconcile Scully, purportedly a devout catholic, being comfortable living in sin for six years, etc. Maybe before her rediscovery of faith, but after? Well, I knew that she might do it, but she'd feel guilty about it on some level, and the idea that Mulder would be okay with "leading her astray" that particular way, well, no. Not as we were seeing Scully in season 5. I was pondering the trip to San Francisco, realized it would be on a Sunday, and suddenly Mulder was pulling the priest aside to beg a favor. When the priest recognized Scully, I just shook my head, spent an afternoon buried in Catholic Sacraments, reliving my days at Catholic school and started to write. This particular issue is close to my heart, I was born to a Jewish father and an Episcopalian mother, raised without faith most of my life except for an odd stint at a Catholic school, and then became an agnostic Unitarian in self defense, right around the time my father converted to Christianity. I have been through more Catholic masses than I can count, Seders, etc. Still Unitarian, but for sheer pageantry and ritual, the Catholics can't be beat.

I've also know quite a number of people who waited for marriage to have sex, in some cases, a very long time, for philosophical reasons or religious reasons. And while I can see Scully falling in bed with Mulder, I can't see her really comfortable with the idea as a long term thing after the beginning of season 5, and in my universe, where our heroes don't always do the wrong thing, I don't think Mulder would want to add that to her burden after making so much progress.

The Old Catholic Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception (Old St. Mary's) is the oldest church in San Francisco, smaller and more interesting than the washing machine agitator that forms New St. Mary's.

Google Earth is your friend. If you want to have a really good time (in a very geeky way), do the following:

First, they start in Washington DC. Then they fly to Atlanta, Houston, Denver, Minneapolis St. Paul, O'hare, Toronto, Calgary, and finally Victoria. Plug each one of them into the “fly to” box in Google earth, and make a point in “My places” at some landmark, the airport, whatever. Then play the tour.

Then they drive from somewhere in Victoria to Nanaimo. Get driving directions, click play, to see the route. They're specifically going to the ferry dock at Nanaimo. The ferry goes to Tsawwassen. “Fly” there. Then get driving directions from Vancouver BC to Yachats. Play it. It will take a while, but gives you a sense of how damn far they're going. From Yachats, they go up to Newport, back to Yachats, then Alsea, OR. If you can find Alsea Falls on the map, more power to you. If you want to be super specific, you can zoom in on Yachats, and do a search for the Overleaf Lodge, where they spent the night, and the Adobe restaurant, where they ate dinner Angle your map if you want to see the lay of the land, the Cascades, etc. Next, they go from the Overleaf lodge up to Waldport, and head east to Alsea. Now directions from Alsea to Alsea falls. Play this one. You'll get motion sick. Yahoo does it wrong, I think most people just stay on South Fork instead of doing all those turns. Then go from Alsea Falls to 7th and Chambers in Eugene. Then from there to Ashland. You can find the Stratford, Cucina Biazzi and the festival pretty easily on the map.

Now from Ashland to San Francisco, and my god there's a lot of detail there for the downtown area. You can see the church and the hotel clear as day. And lots of people have taken pictures of the buildings.

Go give feedback, please. All feedback welcome, especially editorial suggestions.