ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE, HAUTE-VIENNE, FRANCE LATE DECEMBER 1943
“Champagne? Are you serious?”
“Come on, Frohike. I’ll pay. How much?”
“It’s not a question of price, my dear.”
“Don’t call me what. What is it a question of, then?” From his perch at her dining room table, Melvin Frohike heaves an exasperated sigh.
“There’s none to be had, Dana,” he says. "What little there was has been confiscated by German officers. If anyone, anywhere has some left, they’re keeping it for themselves.“ He frowns at her inquisitively. "What do you need it to trade for? Maybe we can help.”
“I don’t need it to trade for anything, Frohike,” says Scully. "It’s for personal use. For New Year’s.“
"Ahhhhh, I see,” says Frohike, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. "Entertaining a gentleman caller, are we?“
"It’s none of our business, Frohike,” says John Byers, frowning disapprovingly down at his friend. "We can’t get champagne. That’s all she’s asked for.“ Frohike rolls his eyes, and Byers turns to Scully. "Is there anything else you need? Anything you’re short on?”
“Bandages,” Scully says. "Iodine… and antibiotics. I need a place to get all of those things, other than the pharmacy in the village. The pharmacist is starting to ask questions.“
"We’ll see what we can find,” says Frohike. "Bandages shouldn’t be a problem.“
"Iodine, either,” chimes in Richard Langly, from his lookout at the window. "Antibiotics, though… that’s a tough one.“
"They’re necessary,” counters Scully. "Without them, I’ll only be sending refugees out of here to die before they can get where you’re taking them. They’ll be sicker, more difficult for you to transport. It’ll be much more dangerous.“
"Is there anyone you can send to the pharmacy in your stead?” asks Byers.
“I already send my mother sometimes,” Scully says.
“What about your contact in the German army?” asks Langly, but Scully shakes her head.
“He’s too high-ranking,” she says. She thinks, suddenly, of Mulder. Could she give him money and ask him to buy what she needs at the pharmacy from time to time, as a favor? Claim she’s too busy to get there herself?
No, she’s not comfortable with lying to him outright, with using him like that.
“I’ll think of something,” she says, finally. "In the meantime, see what you can do, all right?“
"And I’ll keep my ear to the ground for your champagne,” promises Frohike, standing, “but I can tell you right now it’s not going to happen.” He looks apologetic. "I wish I could tell you otherwise.“
"I appreciate you trying,” she says, as she rises to escort them back downstairs. "Three o'clock Wednesday morning. All three of you. All right?“
"Got it,” says Frohike. "Any idea what shape the next one’s going to be in?“
"No, and that’s why I need all of you,” says Scully. "My contact only knows he’s hurt. Nothing about the extent of his injuries.“
"So it could be a body we’re carrying out of here by the time we arrive, for all we know,” sighs Langly.
“Which is exactly why I need new ways to get those antibiotics,” says Scully. "Now get moving.“
“I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I’ve been a resident of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina and strolled down Swann’s Way. It’s a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior. My second one is populated with characters slightly less eccentric, but supremely real, made of flesh and bone, full of love, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything.”
“Is he handsome?” Maggie Scully asks, not looking up from the rolled-out dough she’s carefully fitting into a pie tin. It would be an innocent enough question, Scully thinks, if her mother hadn’t asked it twice already.
“Yes, Maman,” she sighs, exasperated, as she flutes the edges on an already-completed pie. "Very tall, very dashing, very handsome, and if you don’t mind my saying, you are very obvious.“
"I’m only asking, Dana!” Maggie protests, but her smile gives her away. "You work too hard, Darling. You should enjoy yourself from time to time. Have a little fun.“
"A little fun,” Scully says, eyebrow cocked. "With a German officer.“
"He can’t help being German, and you said he’s not here voluntarily, didn’t you?” Scully nods. "And he came to your rescue, when the man threatening you was one of his own. That shows bravery.“
"I didn’t need rescuing,” Scully grumbles. "I was seconds away from dealing with the situation on my own.“
"Yes, I know that, Dana, but did he?” Her mother sets aside the filled pie tin and reaches for another. "In a situation like that, most men are going to assume that most women need their help. How was he to know that you’re not most women?“ She kisses her daughter on the cheek and breaks off a chunk of dough from the massive hunk they’d spent the morning preparing. "Now, remind me again. Cherry is for… Allied soldiers?” Scully nods.
“Cherry for soldiers, apple for Jews, and anything else… for everybody else.”
Here’s everything I’ve written in The X-Files universe, gathered in one place for your reading convenience. I’ll add to it as I write more. If you prefer to do your reading on AO3, you can find me here, under the same username!
Ripper Weather Rating: NC-17 Word Count: 27K Timeline: Early Season Six Summary: Mulder and Scully return to the City of Brotherly Love to help catch a murderer who’s taking his inspiration from the most famous serial killer of all time.
Au Cafe Pequod Universe Rating: NC-17 for “Au Cafe Pequod” and “D’un Nouvel Oeil;” PG for the three sequels Word Count: 107K Timeline: Alternate universe (though, contrary to popular belief, that’s NOT what the “Au” in the title stands for!). The story begins in France in 1943. Summary: This story takes place in France, during WWII. Mulder is a disillusioned German soldier with a dark and painful past, and Scully is a French cafe owner with a dangerous secret. Au Cafe Pequod D’un Nouvel Oeil (same story, Scully’s POV) Les Nouveaux Arrivants
La Guerre Après La Guerre (part one | part two) Souviens-Toi BONUS: Go here to see the AMAZING video created by @mulderswaterbed, whose wonderful concept was the jumping-off point for the entire series!
Between Sorrow and Bliss Rating: M Word Count: 30K Timeline: Cancer arc Summary: Told in a series of “in between” scenes, this is the story of a year- more or less- in the life of Mulder and Scully, as they cope with her cancer diagnosis, the forces responsible, and their growing feelings for one another.
The Saga of the Broken Vibrator Rating: NC-17. Clearly. Word Count: 7K Timeline: Not really important, but probably fifth or sixth season. Summary: It started as a prompt (“I’ll buy you a new one, just stop pouting!”) and a joke (“What if it was about a vibrator?”), and then took on a life of its own, turning into something a little awkward, a little sweet, and all together ridiculous.
She’s Beauty, She’s Grace Rating: M for Chapter Nine only Word Count: 34K Timeline: Post-Tithonus Summary: In response to a request, this is a mashup of TXF and Miss Congeniality, that got out of hand and turned into a much longer piece than anticipated or intended.
Reminiscence Rating: PG-13 Word Count: 25K Timeline: Revival Summary: Mulder wakes one morning to find that Scully has disappeared, and is told- by those he trusts- that she has been dead for over twenty years. All of the evidence- and even Mulder’s own memories- seem to back it up. But is it true? Or can Mulder not trust anyone- himself included?
Earlier this summer, I read @mulderswaterbed‘s concept for a WWII-era AU fic (link here), where Scully is a Frenchwoman who owns a cafe and is secretly a member of the Resistance, and Mulder is a disillusioned German soldier who spends all his free time in her cafe. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I did some research, outlined a story, and spent two weeks doing little else except writing it. It starts out slightly fluffy, but don’t be fooled; some real-life historical tragedies are incorporated later, so shit’s gonna get dark.
It occurred to me that the way this is currently posted, for those who messaged me that they were waiting until the story was complete before reading it, it might be cumbersome to read the whole thing backwards. So, here are links to all nine chapters in their proper order.
Six months ago, when I was working on “Au Cafe Pequod,” I settled on writing it entirely from Mulder’s perspective without any real thought. It just seemed to flow naturally; it was, after all, his character that would be undergoing the most significant changes. Later, however, I realized that there are so many things that I really, really wanted to write from Scully’s point of view- not to mention lots of moments Mulder wouldn’t have been privy to that could really add to the overall story. And on top of that, there were bits I’d skipped for pacing’s sake, and once the story was done, it was too late to go back and add them in.
So what’s a fic writer to do?
Well, the obvious answer is, of course, to go back and re-write the entire thing from Scully’s perspective. So, that’s going to be my big project for the month of February. I know AU isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, historical AU even less so, so if you’re rolling your eyes right now (which I completely understand), I promise I’ll still be posting lots of drabbles and prompt responses this month as I continue whittling down my inbox.
If you’ve never read the original Au Cafe Pequod, I would recommend starting with that before reading this. Scully’s the one keeping all the secrets in this story (there’s a shocker), and whereas this version reveals most of them at the outset, the original keeps them hidden for a few chapters. If you’re not sure that you’d like this, take a short trip over here and watch the amazing trailer that @mulderswaterbed created- I’ve had people tell me they had no interest in the story until they’d watched that video!
Many thanks to @a-january-girl for her help with the title; it means “with fresh eyes.” Enjoy!
ORADOUR-SUR GLANE, HAUTE-VIENNE, FRANCE EARLY DECEMBER 1943
She has been on her feet since before five o'clock in the morning, and she is ready to collapse.
It’s not the early morning that’s the problem- Dana Scully is more than used to days that begin before dawn- but, rather, the near-total lack of sleep the night before. Two hours after closing the cafe spent on preparing dough and slicing meats for the next day, an hour feeding herself for the first time since noon, a half hour to bathe… and finally, three hours trying to bring down the fever of a delirious British soldier brought to her back door in the dead of night for treatment.
He had spent the entire time crying for his mother.
Byers and Langly had staggered away with the soldier propped up between them at three-thirty in the morning, and Scully had managed less than two hours’ rest before dragging herself out to her mother’s farm to help with the morning milking. She’d napped for an hour, at her mother’s insistence, before returning to town, to her cafe, but since then, she’s been in constant motion.
She’s grateful, really, that the place is so busy, even if it does mean she’s being run off her feet most of the time. Plenty of businesses in Oradour-sur-Glane have shut down in the years since the beginning of the German occupation, but the Cafe Pequod has been getting along just fine- thriving, even.
Of course, that’s mostly due to the German officers and enlisted men who fill her tables every night… but, she continually reminds herself, they’re serving a very specific purpose. Even if they’re not aware of it.
there is one element of the end of rory’s story that i feel really glad about the more i think about it. rory did end up with one of her true loves (her first true love!), BOOKS. i just love the thought of her as a book writer – it rings so true to me for her spirit in a way that journalism never quite did. and i really like the idea that, kind of like with harvard, rory found that her lifelong dream was actually a stepping stone to the place where she was supposed to be.
i also love that her book writing started with writing about her family. i love the whole plotline’s jo march-ian roots, and i love how it weaves together the two elements of rory’s beautiful speech from the season 3 finale:
I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I’ve been a resident of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina and strolled down Swann’s Way. It’s a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior. My second one is populated with characters slightly less eccentric, but supremely real, made of flesh and bone, full of love, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything. Richard and Emily Gilmore are kind, decent, unfailingly generous people. They are my twin pillars, without whom I could not stand. I am proud to be their grandchild. But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life’s blood, Lorelai Gilmore.