wendelah1: (The X-Files revival)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] xf_book_club
With the miniseries a mere two weeks away, I thought it might be the right time to discuss "Visitor," [livejournal.com profile] leiascully's new revival speculation fic. The premise is the one Chris Carter so blithely bestowed on the fandom: Mulder and Scully are no longer a couple. How could that have happened? "Visitor" is her attempt to understand and portray this new reality. The story is told from Fox Mulder's POV. Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] kate_11111 for seconding my nomination.

Visitor (29241 words) by leiascully
Chapters: 13/13
Fandom: The X-Files
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Fox Mulder/Dana Scully
Characters: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully
Summary:

At least he's guaranteed to see her once a year.



She's also working on a companion piece, "Resident," which holds loosely to the same time frame, except told from Scully's POV.

Send feedback to the author, and let us know what you think. The nomination post is always open for your suggestions.

Date: 2016-01-11 05:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
Just read the first chapter so far, but wow, that holds the weight of the years!

Date: 2016-01-11 09:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] themooselet.livejournal.com
Wow. First chapter is beautiful and beyond heartbreaking.

Off to read the rest. Thanks for sharing!

Date: 2016-01-11 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stefrobrts.livejournal.com
Well done. I was going to avoid Season 10 stuff, but I'm glad I read it. Very emotional.

Date: 2016-01-13 07:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stefrobrts.livejournal.com
Two days later and I keep finding myself thinking about it. I love it when a story hangs around in my head like that.

Date: 2016-01-13 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
I usually have trouble with stories focused mainly around Mulder and his inner life, but this is lovely. I really like the insight into Mulder (and the Hollywood AD references! I bet no-one expected me to say that :).

It's a fairly long story in which not very much action happens, but I really liked it as a character piece and exploration of their relationship. I don't know if I know the spoilers we're referring to (I've been avoiding information about the new series so I don't get too spoiled) but it's maybe to do with the status of their relationship? (A guess.) Which has always been a work in progress: I think the happiest/most consistently "together" we saw them was in IWTB, and ...well.

I really liked this quote:


"She enabled his obsessions. He enabled her careful disengagement. She had been easy to befriend once, he thinks, her heart as open as a rose beginning to bloom. He had had friends too, before he'd discovered the ladder of success had lower, darker rungs that descended all the way to the basement. They became a pair of chronic underachievers together from the Bureau's point of view, or conceptualized their own definition of achievement. In the field they had nothing but each other, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others; she was his shield and his sidearm."

and I really liked that when Mulder is angry it feels authentic, and the same with his sadness and depression. This is one of those fics where I just keep nodding my head and thinking yeah, this writer gets them.

Date: 2016-01-17 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
I liked the 13th Sign too, now that you mention it. I have exceptions, but mostly when I think of my favorites they are general focus or more centred around Scully.

I think it is dependent on the writing (which is not to say that there are not great writers writing Mulder, just that for whatever reason it's harder for me to click with them).

I'm generally pretty comfortable with looser interpretations of canon, if the story's well-written (which it is here). The few things I can think of in the story that may not be canon compliant, to me, are issues that are open to some debate in canon anyway. And yeah, I like the way their relationship works here, and that it is not either always fraught or magically perfect.

Not sure if I want to start reading the sequel until it's finished, but it sounds interesting.

Ah, I can see why people were upset about that spoiler. I'm fine with a little conflict between them myself.

Date: 2016-01-13 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leiascully.livejournal.com
What a lovely surprise to discover! Thanks, everybody, for your kind words, and I'd be happy to answer questions if you have any.

Thanks for the group

Date: 2016-01-14 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alleynyc.livejournal.com
I am one of those new shippers you mentioned. The X-Files was out back when I was in college and working nights so I saw probably S1 but nothing else. I gave it a try on Netflix this past fall due to several friends who loved it and got very hooked around S4 especially in the Mulder/Scully relationship.

I'm mid S8 - trying to get through the series before the new eps - and am really annoyed by Carter's perpetual vagueness on will they/won't they. It feels particularly jerk-aroundy. And needless. So I turn to fic and am grateful when a story like this turns up - something that feels very honest and true to who these characters are and how their situations would/could develop. I really loved this story, especially for my heart's sake: I can take some angst but a happier ending will save me. This writer did a great job keeping things honest while exploring his past in a very honest and real way.

In any event, I'm grateful to have round this group as a source of things to read now that I'm checking out fic. Thanks for that.

Re: Thanks for the group

Date: 2016-01-14 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alleynyc.livejournal.com
Yes please add me. Thanks!

Interesting explanation of platonic - thanks for that. I think perhaps the actors are less clear on this as their motive LOL - at least from DD's side, he seems very into Scully at times, more than a friend.

I will def check out the MSR tag - thank you! All the best.

Re: Thanks for the group

Date: 2016-01-17 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
Chris Carter's initial stance was that the relationship would never be romantic. I think he changed his mind as the series went on (not sure if related to audience feedback? A lot of people shipped them, and at the time, Ten Thirteen were unusually involved in online fandom (in interviews, CC, Spotnitz and I think one or two others referenced having read online discussions; they named characters after online fans who had passed away (Stacey O and Leyla Harrison))).

Anyway, I also loved the balance of angst and happiness in Visitor. I felt like the darker moments were in character and well-explored and seeing them working their way back to happiness was beautiful.

Re: Thanks for the group

Date: 2016-01-19 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alleynyc.livejournal.com
I reread this over the weekend. Your last paragraph really says it - that's what makes it a great fic. Really well done.

Loved every chapter...

Date: 2016-01-19 06:32 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
... And read it twice in a row. The first chapters left a really heavy weight on my chest, but I loved it all the way through.

This is one of the most "in character" fanfics I have ever read - and I have read a few over the last 17 years ;-) During all those years I learned that every fan has it's own interpretation of Mulder, Scully and the MSR. Although I am pretty open-minded in general I observed over and over again that I am not open at all for other fan's views on MSR. I stopped reading fanfics in the middle of a sentence, thinking "this is not them", "he/she got their whole relationship all wrong" more times I can count.

The happier I was to notice that leiascullys interpretation in Visitor matches my very own so well. I hardly have the feeling someone shares my way of seeing them. Ths is exactly the way I would love to see Mulder and Scully being apart explained in the revival. And I think it might not be that far off! When I first heard there was another short season to come, I hoped CC would split them up. A happily ever after together would not have worked for me...

Loved it!

Date: 2016-01-19 06:33 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
... And read it twice in a row. The first chapters left a really heavy weight on my chest, but I loved it all the way through.

This is one of the most "in character" fanfics I have ever read - and I have read a few over the last 17 years ;-) During all those years I learned that every fan has it's own interpretation of Mulder, Scully and the MSR. Although I am pretty open-minded in general I observed over and over again that I am not open at all for other fan's views on MSR. I stopped reading fanfics in the middle of a sentence, thinking "this is not them", "he/she got their whole relationship all wrong" more times I can count.

The happier I was to notice that leiascullys interpretation in Visitor matches my very own so well. I hardly have the feeling someone shares my way of seeing them. Ths is exactly the way I would love to see Mulder and Scully being apart explained in the revival. And I think it might not be that far off! When I first heard there was another short season to come, I hoped CC would split them up. A happily ever after together would not have worked for me...

Manon

Re: Loved it!

Date: 2016-01-19 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alleynyc.livejournal.com
It's funny - I really want them together but much fic is unrealistic in how they are together. This story feels incredibly realistic way. Also as one who is about their age (in RL) in this fic, I think it's very realistic to how a long term relationship can implode and evolve. She did a great job.

Beautiful!

Date: 2016-01-24 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thevarietyshow.livejournal.com
This was a beautiful piece, and I really felt their co-dependence through the writing. For me, it brought up the question of whether or not people ever change. There was some television show I was watching recently that made a point of saying that "people change only 15%", and I think that's true. I don't think Mulder can overcome the obsession and the co-dependence that so defines his persona. He can take Scully to the Bahamas on a vacation to stave off her departure, sure, but he will never leave the monsters behind permanently. I don't think that Scully can ever stop being in a place of wanting to leave, but not being able to because of loyalty, love, dedication, curiosity, etc. I think we like to see them in that place, and if we fix their issues, where does that leave them? Or us at the reader/watcher? Just food for thought.

Re: Beautiful!

Date: 2016-01-24 11:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
This is a really good point. Mulder can change parts of his life (and in this fic he changes some unhealthy behavior for the better), but he's always going to come back to being, well, Mulder. And there are differences between M/S as people that are always going cause difficulties - they are very different people in a lot of ways.

Date: 2016-01-26 06:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 유리아 (from livejournal.com)
I read this one when it was a WIP. I remember crying and being frustrated reading it. It was a very emotional ride. As some of you mentioned above, it felt very realistic. Something I can picture in my mind. I can't remember specific things that made me feel this way. I should read it again.

Date: 2016-02-02 07:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ledez-dreams.livejournal.com
Late reviewer here…

I read this story before it was rec'd. I think it's very lovely. I think the author Leiascully shows great depth of understanding of both characters. And now that I'm writing this, three episodes into the revival, she shows better depth than the show

(as an aside, that being said, although making very familiar mistakes, the revival, in my opinion has showed better understanding than I would normally associate with CC. Episode one was a disaster, episode two was bad, but in a familiar way, and while not without some issues, I loved episode 3 a lot, even if only for nostalgia. Maybe it's also my love for flight of the conchords…..)

moving on!

Lovely story, like I said. It really felt like an up to the moment look at M&S in real time. If I'm being picky, I could say that's all it quite non-eventful, no plot beyond the relationship. But as infinitlight said, it's a character study and as such I appreciate it. I may not read it ever again, but I did truly like it. I think that the exploration of the psychology of Mulder was very thought out, and I think accurate. I have nothing to refute in that regard and didn't see anything on here to argue with.

I guess if I were going to critique, I would say it was a story about M&S who have left the x files behind and are now dealing with the aftermath. But I guess now they are fully involved again. So not sure if all the therapy will hold now, according to new canon they are back in the thick of it. But that just really gives the author an opportunity to write more (hint hint!)

I also have a bias where I kind of hold M&S to an ideal. Where they can deal with all the shit that comes their way and come out better than any regular human being.
I did love this piece though, like I said, my critique is very minor in my mind. :)
Edited Date: 2016-02-02 07:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-08-25 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leiascully.livejournal.com
Plot is not really my strong suit. ;) In my mind, even beyond the events of Visitor and Resident, they don't go back to The X-Files, even though they stay at the Bureau. They've both realized it's unhealthy for them, or at least, not a thing they can do in a sustainable way for very long, despite the therapy. I don't have any interest in making it conform to or contort around S10 canon.

Thank you for your kind words!

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