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TITLE: Faith
AUTHOR: Gabi Fisher
SPOILER WARNING: I don't think there are any...
CLASSIFICATION: A, V, UST
SUMMARY: Both Mulder's and Scully's faith is tested.
DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately, I don't own anything or anyone related to the X-Files. If I did, there would no longer be a Spender or Fowley. And most of the 6th season would just have been a bad dream. And...yadda, yadda, yadda. No infringement is intended, however.

Many thank yous to Brianna, my wonderful beta-reader, for all your support.

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The knee-high corn swayed gently in the wind, save for the three depressed, circular patterns. Crop circles. They had been appearing every few months in Augberdine, Idaho, after which there was always a 'victim' claiming to have been taken by aliens. There was, however, no proof to that anything unusual was going on in Augberdine.

"Why are you always so quick to jump to fantastical conclusions? Why can't you, for once, come to a conclusion that does not include any extraterrestrial, mythological, or legendary beings? How come everything has to be unusual and from another planet? Have you never heard of the word ''pranks?' People love to play them. They especially love it when the subjects are so gullible," Scully said, exasperated. This was the third case in as many weeks (one in Oregon, one in Maine, and the one in Wyoming) that had to do with crop circles, UFO sightings, and alien abductions. Scully was tired of traveling all over the US, just to prove to Mulder that all his cases were actually hoaxes, and rarely realistic enough to fool even the dumbest person, but Mulder always believed it until he had proof of a hoax or there was no definite proof either way.

"Why would three people who never met before have any reason to make this story up? Who would go to all the trouble to set all of this up--make sure that the stories were exactly identical, make the crop circles, and somehow stage the UFO's lights? Why bother? So far we have seen no evidence that this is none other than a real crop circle, made by aliens when they were either returning or taking the abductees. Why should I believe this is a prank?" Mulder asked, sounding just as irritated.

Scully walked around the biggest circle, massaging her neck with one hand as she went, until the circle separated the two agents. "Is this what you believe, Mulder? This circle is enough to keep your faith in aliens alive until the next time you come to a field, identical to this one, covered in circles? You have absolutely no proof of the existence of extraterrestrials, you have never seen irrefutable evidence, nothing, and yet you can still have a firm belief in their existence? Why bother?" Scully yelled across it, holding her arms up to indicate the circles she was talking about.

"If I want to set my faith, my beliefs, in the existence of aliens, what is wrong with that? Why do you have such a problem with it? Time and time again I have seen enough proof for me to continue to believe and I'm only sorry that it hasn't been enough to convince you," Mulder yelled back.

"I have faith, Mulder. My faith is in God, not little green men," Scully said.

"Grey," Mulder muttered before answering her more loudly. "Faith in God? A God you have no proof in? No way in which to prove his existence? You say I misplace my faith? I have proof for what I believe in. Physical, undeniable proof. If only you would believe what you have seen..."

Scully instinctively closed her fingers around the cross on her necklace, "What you have seen, Mulder, amounts to nothing more than clever cover-ups for cover-ups by the government to trick those who try to find the truth."

"No. The truth does have to do with aliens, at least in some way. There is no way that the government-our government-could do all this. It just isn't possible. Why would they go to all the trouble? Why not just tell us?"

"What do you want them to tell you? That aliens exist? Or that they created the aliens to cover-up classified planes, illegal testing, what? What do you expect them to tell the public? It is much easier to deny their fašade of aliens than to deny their testing. Who wouldn't make up a story like that so whoever believed in their lie would look crazy?"

Mulder took a deep breath and let it out. "Scully, you were the one person I thought I wouldn't have to explain myself to. I guess I was wrong," he said before walking back to the car.

For several minutes, Scully just stood where she was. Eventually, she quietly said, "You don't have to explain yourself to me, Mulder. You never did." Then she, too, headed for the car.

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