It’s Scully’s first Mother’s Day and Mulder has plans to celebrate her.
I had an idea to write a story last night as it’s Mother’s Day today. I’ve written others in my Family Series, but felt it was also needed here. Scully deserved a Mother’s Day with her boy. They ALL deserved a happy life together.
Hope you enjoy. 💕
He felt he was missing something, but he did not know what it was. Pausing to listen, he found that all was silent, although he knew that William would be waking soon, ready for his morning meal. Which meant that Scully would be up soon, and he needed to hurry.
The table was set and all the food ready to be prepared. The gifts that lay beside her plate, were wrapped in pale pink paper and tied with green ribbon, the only color he could find.
“Meeeeow!” He heard as he felt rubbing around his ankles and he smiled. Looking down, he saw the black and white kitten they had adopted in February.
They had intended to go to the shelter and see about getting a dog, but decided to stop and see the cats as well. A little ball of fluff had kept coming to the window, chasing at their fingers and meowing when they started to walk away.
Asking to see it in a separate room, the kitten had purred the second it was set down, winding around their legs with a tiny meow. William had not known what to make of it, his eyes wide. When Scully had sat on the floor with William in her lap, he and the kitten had stared at one another. William had reached out and the kitten sniffed his hand, rubbing against it, its purrs growing louder as William giggled.
Scully had looked up and Mulder raised his eyebrows in question. The little kitten had then pushed against William’s chin and stepped into Scully’s lap, curling up beside William, closed its eyes and purred as it began to sleep.
“Well,” Scully had said, petting the kitten and smiling at Mulder as he had knelt next to them. “Cats are lower maintenance… and I’d say we’ve been chosen.”
“I think so,” Mulder had agreed, helping William pet the kitten gently.
A week later, they had everything they needed for the kitten as they had headed home from the shelter, meows coming from inside the carrier.
Watching the kitten, a little girl still yet unnamed, run around the house, jump up on things and ask for some love, knead against their skin, and then curl up happily on their laps or Mulder’s chest, had been fun and made them all smile. She had been a happy part to the end of the days and she and William had become good pals.
“She needs a name,” Mulder had said one night, rubbing her forehead as her happy purrs filled the room. “We can’t keep calling her Kitty.”
“I know,” Scully had agreed, rubbing her ears between two fingers. The kitten had opened her eyes and meowed weakly, leaning into her hand, and Scully had smiled and hummed. “She’s such a sweet and happy little thing. It’s like she was waiting for us to come and find her.”
“Hmm,” he had hummed with a nod. “I believe she was. It was meant to be.”
“Sounds familiar.” She had smiled at him and he had chuckled softly with another nod.
In the end, they had decided on Sunny, though she was rarely called by that name, which Scully had pointed out as he was the one to call her the most interesting names. He had shrugged, scooping up the kitten and kissing the top of her head as Scully laughed.
“Miss Sunny Bunny,” he said now, staring into her green eyes. “How are you this morning? Looking for some breakfast?” He bent down and she put her front paws on his knee, pushing into his hand, purring loudly. He smiled, rubbing her ears and petting her back.
He fed her after a few minutes of pets and left her in the kitchen as he slid into bed beside a sleeping Scully. He sought out her warmth, but kept his cold feet away from her, not wanting to startle her awake. Breathing in her scent, he closed his eyes, hoping for a few minutes of peace.
His eyes flew open and he saw it was a bit lighter than it was when he had laid down, obviously having fallen asleep. Scully shifted, and moaned as he smiled. Snuggling closer to her, his feet warmer now, he ran one up her shin and she chuckled dismissively.
“Your son is calling for you,” she said in a sleepy scratchy voice. “Don’t be getting any ideas.”
“What ideas could you mean?” he asked, pressing even closer, and she laughed before turning over and looking at him with sleepy eyes.
“I do.” She smiled and he bent his head to kiss her softly.
“See? You’re being summoned,” she whispered against his lips.
“Hardly. He’s not calling me, just saying the sounds he knows. He says ‘dada’ to a few things.”
“Beside the point right now. It’s warm in this bed and until he says mama with regularity, you’ll be the one at his beck and call. So…” She took a deep breath and closed her eyes with a smile. He laughed and kissed her cheek, nuzzling in her hair.
“I’m going… but I don’t have what he’ll be looking for for his early breakfast.” She raised an eyebrow, but did not open her eyes.
“Bring him in here and we’ll all have a cuddle.”
“Now you’re talking,” he said, throwing the covers back and she smiled, burrowing into the pillows.
He walked down the hall and into William’s room, finding him standing up in his crib. He smiled when he saw Mulder, bouncing up and down and putting his arms out to be held.
“Dada. Hi, Dada!”
“See?” Scully called out and Mulder laughed.
“Mama?” William asked and Mulder laughed even harder.
“You hear that?” he called back to her as he lifted William from the crib, kissing his warm cheeks. “Yeah… that was Mama. Let’s go see her.”
He changed and redressed him, kissing his neck and growling by his ear, causing him to laugh. Down the hall he carried him, whispering how much he loved him, kissing his head.
He placed him on the bed and he crawled to Scully, bending close to her face and staring at her.
“Mama?” he said quietly and she opened her eyes, smiling at him. “Hi, Mama.”
“Hello my boy,” she whispered, running her fingers gently along his cheek. He smiled and she moved, unbuttoning her top and pulling him close.
He laid down and began to nurse, Scully sighing contentedly as she closed her eyes and stroked his hair. Mulder laid back down, smiling as he watched them.
William’s birthday was approaching and once he was one, she was going to stop nursing. He knew she would be happy to have her body back to herself, but also knew she loved the moments with him when he lay close to her heart, both of them finding comfort in him nursing.
When he was finished, they all lay together, Sunny jumping up onto the bed and making them all laugh as she chased Mulder’s fingers under the covers. William tried to do it when Mulder showed him how, but Sunny dove under the covers instead and chased Mulder’s toes.
He took William into the kitchen with him to get breakfast ready, setting him in his high chair with some Cheerios while he made some pancakes and eggs, humming happily.
“What’s all this?” Scully asked and he turned around. She was smiling as she stood there in her robe, her hair up in a messy ponytail, pointing to the flowers on the table.
“Happy Mother’s Day,” he said, setting down the spatula and stepping close to kiss her.
“Mulder,” she whispered and smiled softly. “I wasn’t expecting anything.”
“Which is ridiculous,” he scoffed and turned back to the stove, taking the pancakes from the pan and turning off the burner before turning back to her. “It’s Mother’s Day, the first one for you. It needed to be celebrated.”
“Thank you,” she whispered with a smile, looking at William, who grinned at her with a mouth full of Cheerios. She laughed and Mulder nodded toward the gifts by her plate. “Shouldn’t we eat first?”
“I guess…” he said as he sighed heavily and shrugged. She laughed again and kissed his cheek.
“I can wait if you can.”
They ate, giving William bananas as well as the eggs and pancakes. Scully smiled throughout the meal, laughing and sighing happily. William was a mess, as was his high chair when he finished, bananas smashed in his hair and even in his eyebrows. Mulder took him for a quick bath and then dressed him for the day.
Setting him down, he walked unsteadily toward the living room, giving up and crawling as he could get there faster. Mulder laughed as he watched him heading for his toys, Sunny rolling around on the rug, stretching out to touch him.
Scully was washing the dishes and he walked over to help her.
“You should have waited.”
“Nah, it wasn’t much.”
The dishes were done quickly with occasional glances at William, making sure he was okay and entertained. He had taken out his books and was sitting looking at the pages, babbling to the pictures he found inside.
“Time for gifts now?” he asked, drying the last dish and putting it away.
“Okay,” she laughed and he picked them up excitedly, bringing them to the living room and placing them on the side table next to the couch.
They sat down and he handed her the largest one first. She smiled as she opened the paper and found a picture frame with William’s handprints inside.
“Oh, Mulder,” she said softly, sticking out her lower lip slightly. It was a black background with the handprints done in green paint, the lines of his little chubby hands captured forever within. “I love this.”
“You could put it up in your office.” She nodded and smiled at him, leaning forward to kiss him.
He nodded, reaching for the next gift, his heart pounding.
It was a small package, one he had disguised so she would not know what it was when she held it. Finding the perfect sized box, he had wrapped it carefully.
She untied the ribbon and then glanced at William with a smile. He was still looking at his books and Mulder hoped his attention would remain on the pages for a few minutes at least.
The paper was ripped and taken off and his mouth went dry. She lifted the lid of the box and gasped as she looked at him.
“What…?” She set the box lid to the side and lifted the ring off of the soft tissue and out of the box, looking at him again as she held it in her fingers. Everything he planned to say, froze for a moment and he cleared his throat.
“We’ve never really discussed marriage. I honestly don’t even know what you would think about us getting married. I uh, I never saw it for myself, but then I met you. I fell in love with you. We… we had a child.” They both looked at William, who was now taking toys out of his toy box. “He was never planned. This, us… it was never planned. I don’t know what you see for our future in that regard, but I… I can’t imagine a greater honor than being married to you. Being your husband.” She sighed as she looked down at the ring and then back at him. “It doesn’t have to be an engagement ring… you don’t even have to wear it. I just wanted… wanted you to know what I want for the future. It’s you. It’s us… this life.” He smiled and she sighed again.
She turned the ring around slowly between her fingers, her eyes on it and then lifting to his. She licked her lips and drew in a breath as she handed the ring to him.
“No?” he asked, looking down at the ring, not able to meet her eyes.
“You didn’t ask me anything,” she whispered and he raised his head to find her staring at him with tears in her eyes. He laughed and nodded, feeling like an idiot.
“Dana… I love you. I have for a very long time. You are… everything I never knew I always needed. What I wanted. A partner, friend, my constant, my soulmate…” He smiled as she wiped the tears from her cheeks. “Scully… my Scully, will you marry me?”
She drew in a deep breath and let it out, wiping her eyes again and clearing her throat. She shook her head and closed her eyes as she took another breath. Opening her eyes, she smiled and nodded.
“Yes. Yes, I will.”
He grinned and kissed her, holding the ring tightly in his hand. Pulling back, he cupped her cheek and caressed it with his thumb.
“Mama,” William said, standing up and bringing her a book. “Mama.” He set the book in her lap and lifted his arms to be picked up.
They both laughed at his timing and she lifted him to sit on her lap, setting the book to the side.
“Mama?” he asked, looking at the book and she kissed his head, her wet eyes on Mulder’s.
“One moment, my boy, Daddy is about to do something very important.”
Mulder laughed softly, reached for her left hand, and slid the ring onto her finger.
“Ohhhh. Mama,” William said, touching the ring and Mulder’s hand as she closed her fingers around them, squeezing gently. “Ohhhh.” He patted it and leaned forward to look closer, Scully’s gaze on Mulder, their silent communication speaking volumes.
Leaning over William, he kissed her again, whispering how much he loved her. She kissed him back, whispering the same.
As William pulled back, so did he and they both chuckled. William reached for his book and handed it to Scully, laying against her chest, ready to hear his story. She chuckled again as she kissed his head and opened the book, the diamond in the golden band catching the light.
Mulder moved the wrapping paper and the picture frame and put his arm around Scully as she continued to read and point out the pictures on the pages. He kissed her head, whispering his love again and she hummed as she pointed to an elephant. William made a loud sound and they all laughed.
A more perfect proposal did not exist, he thought, his eyes drawn to the ring that fit her perfectly, as William now made monkey sounds, bouncing up and down excitedly, and Scully giggled, leaning her head on his shoulder with a sigh.
Scully stood in front of her closet in only underwear as Emily clung to her.
“Okay, what do you wear to a ‘not a date, but you want it to be a date?’”
Scully’s best friend Ellen gave her a look. “Day, you obviously like him, just tell him.”
“I can’t do that!” she said flustered as she turned around. “I mean, yeah he’s a psych professor, so he’s not going to judge me, but be reasonable, El. I’m a single mom. There’s not really a market for women like me.”
“Of course there is.”
“Single moms under thirty.”
“Okay, we’ve narrowed it down a little, but I really think he likes you too.”
“You don’t even know him, how could you possibly know that?”
“Please,” Ellen scoffed, pulling a dress of deep midnight blue from the closet and laying it on the bed. She took Emily from her and smiled as she tickled her. “He, without any prompting, offered to watch a child he’d never met to help you out and allow you to teach your class. He could have said something cruel or rude, but he was helpful. He. Likes. You.” Scully stared at her and Ellen raised her eyebrows. “Deal with it. Get dressed, I’ll get little miss ready for our sleepover.”
“You don’t need to keep her overnight, I’ll come and get her after I get home.”
“No. The house will be empty, giving you a chance to…” She wiggled her eyebrows and Scully raised hers.
“This is a first date… or not a date, just drinks. That’s all. It’s not going to lead to… anything you may be suggesting. Or thinking.” She shook her head and Ellen shrugged.
“Nothing? Not even a kiss?”
“I… I don’t know. But it definitely won’t be what’s going through that dirty mind of yours.”
“Get out of here. Let me get dressed.” She laughed as she smacked her playfully and Ellen walked toward the door.
“Put on the push-up bra, it makes your boobs look great in that dress.”
“Ellen…” Scully warned.
“O-kay, we’re going to go and let you get dressed up for your not date. Remember the bra.” Ellen wink and gave a smirk.
Scully stared at her as she started to close the door and Ellen tilted her head, raising one hand in a ‘have it your way, but you know I’m right’ gesture.
She closed the door and leaned against, shaking her head. Looking down, she sighed. Pushing away from the door, she walked to her dresser and took out her black and pink push-up bra.
Undoing the clasps on the one she was wearing, she took it off and slid on the other, mumbling under her breath about how very annoying Ellen could be when she was right.
Across town, Mulder changed his shirt for the third time, a different tie for each.
“This is so stupid,” he murmured to himself, deciding to stick with this shirt no matter what. “It’s just drinks. Not a date.”
But what if it was? He didn’t want to show up looking shaggy or too casual.
“Damn,” he said, taking off the navy tie and his shirt before reaching for the one he’d had from the start, plaid with green and dark blue.
Buttoning it over his white undershirt, he picked up the gray tie and quickly tied it. Tucking it into his dark jeans, he buttoned and zipped them and tightened his belt. He put on some brown boots and walked to the bathroom to fix his hair.
He smiled at his reflection, thinking he actually looked quite nice for their date. No… not a date. Just drinks. He sighed, wishing it was more, but he would follow Scully’s lead on this one.
His phone beeped and he stepped into the bedroom to get it, finding an email from Scully. Heart racing, fearing she was cancelling, he opened the message and saw she had sent the address to her house. He smiled and emailed back that he would be there in twenty minutes.
Grabbing his car keys, wallet, and phone, he said goodbye to the fish and lifted his jacket from the coat rack. Locking the door behind him, he ran down the stairs, not having any patience to wait for the elevator.
He pulled up to her house twenty minutes later, on the dot. Taking a deep breath, he got out and walked through the short gate and up the front path. He grinned as he looked around the yard of the little house. There were signs of her life with Emily everywhere: outdoor toys left in the grass, colorful pinwheels in the garden, a child’s stroller and a baby doll stroller off to the side, chalk drawings on the cement, and little shoes and rain boots by the front door.
Smiling at the sign hanging from a nail on the door that read: Welcome to the chaos, we’re glad you’re here, he knocked and waited.
She opened the door and he drew in a breath, completely unprepared for the sight before him.
She wore a dress of dark blue and silver strappy heels. Her hair was down, where she usually wore it pulled back in a ponytail, and he saw it was longer than he had previously thought. She was wearing her makeup differently than she normally did too, her eyes and lips darker.
And sweet Jesus did she smell good.
“Hey,” she said quietly and he cleared his throat.
“Hey,” he croaked out and she laughed. Clearing his throat again, he nodded. “Hello.” His voice sounded normal and she gestured for him to come in with a smile.
“I just need to grab my purse and my jacket and I’ll be ready. Make yourself at home.”
He followed her down the hall and into the kitchen as she went to what he assumed was her bedroom.
“Emily’s not here?” he called as he looked around with a smile.
Again there was evidence of a life of which he had not had any previous knowledge. Brightly colored plastic plates sat drying on the side of the sink. A booster seat was connected to a kitchen chair. There were toys in baskets under the lip of the island counter full of different types of toys: dolls, trucks, a doctors kit, a toy microscope, and a wooden train set. Pictures on the wall and fireplace were of her and Emily, what appeared to be her with her parents and siblings with and without Emily, and a couple of pictures of Scully when she was pregnant.
“Oh, no,” she called back, her heels clicking on the wooden floor as she walked into the room, pulling a gray jacket around her shoulders. “My friend Ellen is watching her tonight. At her place.”
“Oh, that’s nice. Though I was kinda hoping to see her for a minute.” She stared at him and he smiled. “She’s a sweet little girl. I enjoyed spending time with her today.”
“Well… thank you.” She blushed. “And thank you again for your help, it meant a lot.”
“Should we get going?” she asked as she pulled her arms through the sleeves.
“Yeah, other people deserve to see you in that dress,” he said, smiling as he stepped closer.
“Is it too much? I uh… I don’t get the chance to go out often and I-”
“God, no. You look beautiful. You are beautiful.” She stared at him again and he blushed furiously. “I just…”
“Thank you.” She grinned and he exhaled, feeling like he’d stuck his foot in his mouth. “You look really nice too. I like that shirt.”
“Thanks.” He grinned, happy he’d made the right clothing choice. “So how about those drinks?”
“I like the ambiance of this place,” she said as they sat down. “It’s… I know this might sound weird or… but it feels young and happy.”
“As if you’re an old woman,” he teased and she smiled.
“It’s not that. It’s just… I love my life, my daughter. She’s everything to me. I wouldn’t trade a day of my life when it comes to how it changed when I found out I was pregnant. But… I’m not even thirty and sometimes I feel with school, life, and then her, I missed it. That feeling of no worries or cares. Being here…” She gestured to the bar that was full of college students, music playing from somewhere, the sound of pool balls cracking, and laughter. “I feel young again and even if it’s for a little while, I like it.” He smiled at her as the waiter arrived to take their order.
“I’ll have a whiskey,” he said and looked at her.
“A dirty martini. Really dirty.”
“You got it,” the waiter laughed and she stopped him from leaving.
“I mean, I want it so dirty, it’s cloudy. Grey Goose vodka.”
“You just became my new favorite person,” he said and winked at her as she laughed.
She fanned herself and took off her jacket, placing it across the back of the chair. He too took off his jacket, the bar definitely warm.
“So dirty martinis, huh?”
“Mmhmm. Oh and Bloody Marys. Those are my two favorites.”
“Good to know.”
She smiled, leaning forward with her chin on her hand, her blue eyes shining.
“Here we go, let me know if that’s dirty enough.” The waiter set Mulder’s whiskey down and then her martini.
“Oh, I can already tell it is,” she said, reaching for the stem of her glass. Taking a sip, she closed her eyes and hummed in pleasure. “Perfect.”
“Good.” The waiter winked again and walked away.
“A toast,” she said, raising her glass and holding it closer to Mulder. “A thank you really… for helping me and giving me an excuse to get out of the house for a little while.”
“Cheers to that. And you’re absolutely welcome… again.”
They clinked their glasses together, both of them smiling.
“So…it was hard at first, but once we had a routine, it fell into place. I don’t miss getting up four times a night, though.”
“And does her father see her?”
“No. Not… I haven’t decided if he will. I don’t want to keep Emily from her dad, but he’s made no effort or shown any interest so…” She shrugged as she looked down at her drink.
“Well, he’s an idiot. She’s a great kid.”
“She is. Though you may not have thought so when she was sick yesterday.” She laughed and he shook his head.
“No, I would’ve.”
She lifted her head and he suddenly noticed how flushed her cheeks were. Had he made her blush? No… it wasn’t that. Reaching out, he touched her cheek gently and his eyebrows shot up.
“Um… what?” she asked, pulling back a bit.
“I think you might have a fever.”
“I don’t… I’m…” She touched her forehead and stared at him. “Oh…” He smiled as he reached out again and placed his hand on her forehead and this time she leaned into his touch.
“Yeah, you definitely have a fever. I don’t think alcohol and these nachos are the best food for you to be eating right now. I actually think we should get you home and into bed.”
“Hmm, but I…” She looked around and then down at her dress. “I…”
“Scully,” he said softly, cupping her cheek, his thumb grazing her warm skin gently. “We can do this again. Wow, you’re really hot.”
“I’m going to choose to accept that as a compliment and nothing else.” She closed her eyes and exhaled as he chuckled quietly. Her eyes opened slowly and he saw now how glassy they had become.
Taking out his wallet, he put down two twenties and a ten, knowing it was more than the amount of the check, but not caring. All he was concerned with, was taking her home and getting some medicine into her system.
“Come on. Let’s go.”
He helped her to her feet and she hummed as she bumped into him. Grabbing her purse and jacket, he placed an arm around her shoulder. She was so warm, he could feel the heat coming off of her through his shirt.
“Seriously, you’re so hot. Should I take you to the emergency room?”
“Don’t be silly. I’m fine.” He nodded, though he didn’t quite believe her. Keeping a hold of her as they left the bar, he led her to the car.
She kept her eyes closed on the drive back to her place, the little house he had liked as soon as he had arrived to pick her up. It was so her. Her and Emily.
“We’re here,” he said softly after a few minutes and she opened her eyes.
“That was fast,” she murmured and he chuckled as he took off his seatbelt. A trip was always faster when a person was asleep for the majority of it.
Or all of it in her case.
He opened the door for her and offered his hand to help her out. God, even her fingers felt overly warm.
“My keys are… in my purse. I think…” She started to reach inside, but he stopped her, taking her purse and finding them himself instead.
The door unlocked, he pushed it open and turned on a light. She stumbled past him and started removing her jacket before heading to the bathroom. He followed and waited outside.
“Shit.” He heard a minute later.
“You good?” he asked.
She opened the door and looked at the thermometer. “A hundred and two and some change,” she said, defeated. “As if I need more to worry about. Oh,” she shivered suddenly. “Great, now I’m freezing. Can you get my phone for me?”
Mulder looked in her purse and took out her phone. Handing it to her, she folded in on herself to keep warm as she tapped on the screen before holding it to her ear.
“Hey, El… actually, we had to cut it short… I think I caught whatever Emily had… I can manage, but… I know you offered, but… you know I hate asking you to do that… well have you asked Em?…” Her voice changed as the voice on the other end of the phone became higher-pitched and more energetic.
“Hey, baby… listen, Mommy’s sick, she doesn’t feel good… I know, but I don’t want to get you sick again… it’s just until tomorrow, okay?… you be good for aunt Ellen, okay?… I love you, Em.” She hung up the phone soon after and looked at him.
“Well, I’m down for the count. I need to email my students and tell them not to come tomorrow. Oh, I need to send them their reading and assignments. Fuck, I…” She stopped talking, spacing out.
“Scully, you okay?”
She said nothing, just bolted into the bathroom and huddled over the toilet as undigested food made its way up.
He waited outside the bathroom, leaning against the wall and listening to her vomiting. He sighed, wishing he could do something to help her. The toilet flushed and he heard the sink running and then she groaned as she leaned against the door frame.
“I feel terrible. Ugh…”
“You need some medicine, where do you keep it?”
“My bathroom.” She pushed off the door frame and walked down the hall, him following behind her. She sat on the bed and pointed to the bathroom with a groan. “The medicine cabinet.” He smiled and walked into the bathroom.
As he grabbed the bottle of medicine and turned around, he saw the bathtub and somehow the sight of it was when he fell in love with her.
It was a rather large tub, no doubt something she enjoyed relaxing in as evidenced by the baskets in the corner with magazines, candles, and bottles of bubble bath and oils. But it wasn’t that which caused him to fall, it was the items along the edge of the tub.
Rubber bathtub toys of sea creatures, jungle animals, ducks, and unicorns lay all along the edge. Cups of different sizes, a bottle of bubbles to blow, and bathtub crayons sat beside them.
Seeing how their lives were so intermingled, thinking of how she would need to move those items in order to have a calming bath, it endeared him to her as a mother and a woman. So many men he knew needed a ‘man cave’ and their ‘own time.’ Mothers, well most mothers, didn’t get that option. And he knew Scully was her own person aside from motherhood, but seeing evidence of it right in front of his eyes, he was a goner.
“Did you find it? I know it’s a mess in there…”
“No, I’ve got it.” He walked out of the bathroom and saw her sitting on the bed with her eyes closed and he smiled.
Yeah. He was a goner.
She was sleeping, breathing deeply out of her mouth. He watched her, feeling her head and nodding as it felt cooler, though not as cool as it should be. She had changed into her pajamas as he had gotten her some water to take her medicine. After she did, she had laid down with a sigh.
“I’m so sorry our date was cut short,” she had breathed and he knelt beside the bed, brushing the hair off of her face. Her eyes had fluttered open and he smiled.
“Rain check, remember?” She had nodded and whined slightly. “You get some sleep.” She had nodded again and closed her eyes.
She had fallen asleep quickly and he left her alone to get more water to leave beside her bed.
Now, he watched her sleeping, hoping she would be feeling better soon. He would wait for a bit and see if she needed any help, knowing it was hard being sick on your own.
Walking to the kitchen, he took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves, and loosened his tie. He looked around again and found he really liked being there, felt comfortable in her space; it was very inviting. Looking more closely around the rest of the house, he smiled at the photos on the walls and pictures drawn by Emily: lines of color with no particular form, but treated as beautiful art. He liked that.
Checking on her again, she was still sleeping, feeling cooler now. He nodded as he left the room, closing her door halfway. Sitting on the couch, he turned the television on low and took a deep breath. Just a bit longer and he would check her again.
He jerked awake almost two hours later as he heard the toilet flush and he jumped up, hurrying down the hall. She was coughing and he knocked but received no answer. Hearing her vomit, he walked into the bathroom and saw her huddled over the toilet.
Looking at the sink, he saw a black rubber band and picked it up. Stepping closer to her, he gathered her hair and tied it back.
“Oh… I… mmmm,” she groaned and threw up again.
He stood up and found a washcloth in a basket by the tub and he wet it with cool water. Laying it across her neck, she moaned out a thank you.
“I think I’m done. There can’t possibly be anything left. Ohhh.” She flushed the toilet and he helped her up. “I need to brush my teeth.” She walked to the sink and took her time brushing them.
Back in bed, he wiped her face with the washcloth and she sighed. Satisfied she was okay, he went back to the living room.
He stayed on the couch, waking with the rising sun, and stumbling to the front bathroom to pee. Hands washed, face rinsed, he walked to her room to find her sleeping, her hair damp.
“Good,” he murmured, feeling her forehead and finding it cool. Her fever must have broken in the night. She stirred, but did not wake.
Taking her glass, he went to the kitchen and got more water, bringing it back to her room and then going back to the kitchen to find something to eat. A bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee later, he heard her shuffling down the hallway.
“Oh! I didn’t know you were still here.” He turned and looked at her, smiling at her disheveled appearance. She was absolutely adorable. “Shit, I must look terrible.” Her hand went to her hair and he shook his head.
“You look more than fine.”
“Hmm. You’re a liar.” He laughed and she smiled.
“Let me make you something to eat.” She groaned and he stood up with a smile. “Just toast for now.”
“And maybe some tea?”
She fell asleep on the couch, her tea half drunk and only one piece of toast eaten. Her head was on a pillow beside his leg and he had to fight the urge to run his fingers through her hair. His phone beeped and he saw a message from Tyler.
Took care of your classes for today. Spoke to Dr. Scully’s assistant and she emailed the students the information they needed. Hope she feels better soon. If you need anything else let me know.
He typed a quick message back and set his phone beside him.
Thanks Tyler, appreciate it.
He glanced at her again and clenched his jaw. Just once would be okay, he convinced himself, placing his hand on her head and running his fingers slowly through her hair.
Just once, he thought, determined to stick to his own rule.
But then she hummed and he paused.
“Feels good,” she whispered and he smiled, continuing to let her soft hair run through his fingers.
A while later, Mulder heard the door unlock while Scully was bathing and he was on high alert. Ellen appeared in the doorway and was startled by his presence.
“Oh! I didn’t realize… are you…?” she said, standing in the front hall.
“Guppy fish!” Emily said and attempted to wiggle from Ellen’s arms. She set her down and she ran to Mulder, lifting her arms to be held. He grinned as he bent down and picked her up.
“Hello, Em. How are you today?”
“We go see guppy fish?”
“Oh… not today sweet one. Mommy isn’t feeling well.”
“Yeah, but we can see the fish next time, okay?” She touched his tie, holding it in her hands and nodding seriously.
“We see fish waiter, Aunt Ehwee.”
“I think that’s a good idea. Hi. I’m Ellen.”
“Fox Mulder.” They nodded and she looked him up and down, watching as he interacted with Emily.
Yeah… she liked this one.
“Taking a bath. She should be out soon.”
“I’ll go see how she’s doing.”
She walked down the hall, a smile tugging at her lips. Knocking on the door, she stated it was her and she walked into the bathroom.
“Hey, how you feeling, hon?”
“Much better,” Scully said with a smile. “I suppose emptying my stomach of everything I’ve ever eaten helps a little.” She shook her head and sighed.
“Or the man down the hall, perhaps?”
“He stayed the night, Day. And it was just drinks?” She stared at her and Scully stared back.
“Maybe a bit more,” she admitted and Ellen nodded.
“Uh huh. Let me get you a towel.”
“Thank you again,” Scully said with a smile, wrapped in a warm fluffy robe, her hair still up from her bath. “You didn’t have to stay, but I’m thankful you did.”
“You’re welcome. And you don’t have to take me out to thank me this time.” He smiled and she looked at him.
“And if I wanted to?”
“Are you asking me out?” Mulder smirked at her, his expression suggestive.
“Or in, perhaps. Dinner? Here? This weekend?” He grinned and looked over at Emily playing with her blocks.
“I’d like that.”
“Good. It’s a date.”
“Yes,” he said, placing his hand on her cheek, his thumb stroking gently. “Yes it is.” He kissed her forehead and she sighed, her heart fluttering. “Feel better and let me know if I can bring anything to our dinner date.”
He said goodbye to Ellen and Emily and walked out the door. Scully let out a breath and grinned.
“Mmhmm,” Ellen hummed loudly from across the room and she turned to her, shaking her head with a smile she could not and would not keep hidden.
He walked up the front walkway carefully, mindful of the item in his hands and the many toys in his path. She had said he didn’t need to bring anything, but he knew there was one thing he needed to bring at least and he was excited to see the reaction to it.
Ringing the bell, he balanced it again and waited. Hearing fast little feet running toward the door, he grinned and squatted down, bracing himself, but wanting her to be the first one to see it.
The door opened and Emily stood before him, Scully beside her.
“Oh! Oh. So pretty. Fishie! Mommy see fishie? Guppy! Guppy fish!” She clapped her hands and then leaned forward to look closer at the fish in the small tank with a castle lid.
He had put in rainbow colored rocks, two green plants, and a teal colored betta fish.
Watching her face and the excitement upon it, he knew he’d made the right choice.
“Actually, my girl,” Scully said, squatting beside her. “That’s a betta fish. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Pretty betta fish. So pretty. Fish swim fast.” She looked at it from all sides, Mulder grinning as he watched her.
“Let’s let Mulder and the fishie come in and we can look at it more.” She stepped back and picked up Emily, allowing Mulder room to enter the house.
He stepped inside and walked to the kitchen, setting it on the counter. She placed Emily on a chair and stood beside her as she watched the fish swimming around the plants.
He smiled and looked at Scully, planning to make a comment about Emily’s excitement, but the words were never spoken as she grabbed his sweater and pulled his lips down to hers, kissing him firmly.
The shock of it caused him to freeze, but then he kissed her back, his heart pounding in his chest. Pulling back, he stared at her and she smiled, tugging at his sweater once more, kissing him again.
“Mommy! Fishie is so pretty.”
“Mmm, yes baby. It’s very pretty,” she said, her eyes on Mulder and not the fish. She grinned and he cleared his throat.
“So… I did good?” he teased and she laughed softly, letting go of his sweater and smoothing down the wrinkles she had made.
“I’d say so.”
“Good,” he responded, looping an arm around Emily’s middle to stop her from getting too close to the tank and falling off the counter. “I mean… I wasn’t sure when her birthday was so…”
“Oh it’s a birthday gift?”
“I like to cover all my bases.”
“Well, you’re a bit early. It’s not for a couple of months yet.”
“Hmm… then I’ll have to get something else when that time comes.”
“Yes,” she agreed with a smile, lacing her fingers with his other hand and squeezing. “Yes, I suppose you will.”
He grinned and squeezed back, falling further in love with her, if that was even possible.
An alternate universe in which Mulder and Scully are college professors working in buildings across from one another. They have become close, but one day, he learns something about her he never would have expected.
A couple of days ago, @msgilliana posted a tweet about an AU involving Mulder and Scully which led to a mini story being created by both of us. People asked for a REAL story, but it wasn’t my baby, I had only added a bit to an adorable idea. I suggested she and I collaborate and we two women, who were “too busy right now,” cranked out a 7,700 word story in two days.
Hope you all enjoy!
Fox Mulder knew the start of the new academic year could be daunting for new faculty: Am I teaching this class correctly? Is my syllabus adequate? Where the hell do I park?
When he saw one person in particular however, he knew she meant business. They never technically met, but it was more of a ‘we parked next to each other and your building is right next to mine, so we might as well chat’ situation.
“Hi,” he’d said when he saw her, the first of them to speak. He had been drawn to her beauty, her red hair causing her to stand out.
“Hello,” she’d responded.
“Are you new?” he’d asked.
She pushed a stray piece of that beautiful red hair behind her ear. “Is it that obvious?”
“Oh no, I just have an eidetic memory and haven’t seen you before.” She was impressed, and her face revealed as much before he asked another question.
“What do you teach?”
“A mix. Some general physics, some intro to modern physics. You?”
“Wow, that’s quite impressive. I teach psych. Intro, abnormal, and social. Most people think it’s a ‘soft’ science, but I think it’s pretty important.”
“Psychology is interesting to be fair. Why do people do what they do, what determines our likes and dislikes, or even hyperfixations. And that’s just scratching the surface.”
“I have never met anyone from the science department who sees it that way. It’s quite refreshing, if you don’t mind me saying.”
“Well, my sister’s very into feelings, the energy of the planets, all that kind of stuff. She and I are very close. Well… this is my building.” She pointed to the one right next to the one he would be entering.
“And this is mine. How convenient. I’ll see you around Dr…”
“Scully. Dana Scully.”
“Fox Mulder.” He offered his hand and she shook it.
“Nice to meet you, Dr. Mulder.”
“Oh please, no ‘Dr.’ That’s so boringly formal. ‘Mulder’ is fine,” he had joked with a mock shiver.
“Then you can call me ‘Scully.’” She chuckled and then smiled at him. As he stared at her, he couldn’t help but notice the presence of a beauty mark above her top lip. She had covered it with makeup and he didn’t understand why she would, it was adorable and also incredibly sexy.
Oh, maybe that’s why, he thought, knowing how men could behave.
Pushing aside those thoughts, he smiled as they reached their respective buildings and separated, walking to their offices.
Over time, they’d gotten to know more about each other. He knew she was twenty six and had received her doctorate two years prior. She was Catholic with two older siblings, a brother and a sister, the latter of whom had an interest in all things extraterrestrials, and she also had one younger brother.
Before the end of her first teaching year, they’d managed to park next to each other almost every day. They would chat for the few minutes their walk to the building afforded them, until they had to separate to their own offices. They both looked forward to that time together each day.
At the year’s commencement, they had sat next to each other, and she looked extraordinarily extravagant in her doctoral robe and cap. She would say the same about him.
The following school year, they had gone from their morning chats to leaving at the same time as well. It quickly turned into one accompanying the other to their office and continuing their conversations. While almost polar opposites, they felt comfortable with each other and talked about any and everything.
Of all the little things he knew about her, the one thing Mulder knew Scully prided herself on most was punctuality. He knew she arrived in the parking lot at exactly 8:05 every Tuesday and Thursday before her first class began at 8:30. The other three days, she arrived at exactly 9:25 am for her 10 am class. His classes were all later in the day, but he came in early for office hours and to get work done before his classes.
A couple of months later, however, it was 9:27 on a Wednesday morning and she was nowhere to be found. In the nearly one and a half years since she’d been teaching, Scully had never been late. Though he was curious, he decided to head into his office and start his day.
His work, however, didn’t hold his attention. He couldn’t stop thinking about her. What was she doing? Was she sick? Was there a family emergency? She had mentioned that her siblings lived all across the country. Her older brother Bill was in California where he was stationed with his wife Tara. Melissa was traveling, “finding herself” Scully had stated with a slight eye roll, and Charlie was in New York with his girlfriend Elaine. Her parents were in Annapolis, about an hour’s drive from the school.
Shaking himself out of his reverie, he decided to email her, something he’d never done nor had any need to do.
Are you okay?
He forewent formalities because he felt they were on friendly enough terms, or at least he had assumed so. They hadn’t ever socialized outside of school events, but he had lost count of the high school and college friends he no longer spoke to or had only seen on campus.
He was about to get ready to teach his first class of the day when he checked his email one more time and saw a reply from her.
Nothing further, not even her name, but at least he now knew she was okay. Or at least, Mulder hoped so. She would’ve said if something was wrong.
He didn’t sleep well that night, his brain unable to stop thinking and wondering if she was okay.
The next day, she still hadn’t arrived on time. He was in his office, about to send her another email, when he heard a car door slam around 8:15. The building was fairly soundproof, but the windows were not.
Curious, he got up from his desk and looked out the window. Seeing Scully’s car, he immediately smiled. She was a little late, but she was there. His brows then furrowed when she opened the door to the backseat. Bending inside, she was there for nearly a minute.
When she pulled back, he let out a gasp as she had reappeared with a small child in her arms. He could see the little girl was limp and appeared to be asleep. Observing Scully’s struggle to get her bags from the front seat while also carrying the child, he quickly left his office.
He tried to keep his pace slow, so as to not disrupt his colleagues, but his mind was racing with a million questions. Mulder made it outside, but didn’t see Scully. Assuming she must’ve gotten to her office already, he hurried up the stairs; he was out of breath when he reached the third floor.
Looking around, he heard a ding, announcing the arrival of the elevator down the hall. The doors opened and he spotted her shining red hair as she exited the elevator, and turned toward her office. Speed walking, he made it to her office at the same moment that she did.
“Oh, God. Mulder, you scared me,” she whispered when she saw him, breathing quickly as she reached for her keys.
“Sorry,” he whispered, matching her volume.
Scully took a minute to find her keys, only having one hand free for the action. She finally got her office unlocked, the little girl sleeping through it all. Propping the door open, she left the light off and set her bags down, a bright pink Dora the Explorer backpack standing out. She picked it up and held it out to him.
“Can you…” she asked him, nodding at the child in her arms.
“Oh. Um, sure. What…”
“Her blanket, please.”
He unzipped the bag and pulled out a small blue blanket with Thomas the Train across it. Versatile, I like it, thought Mulder. He couldn’t help but feel his heart grow as he watched the way she was with the little girl he assumed had to be her daughter.
“Mommy…” the toddler suddenly croaked.
“Shh, baby, it’s okay.” Scully’s voice was soothing and soft for the girl as she ran a hand across her daughter’s long loose curls. It was different from her no-nonsense, low-pitched professor voice, and it made his heart ache.
She mouthed a thank you to Mulder and took the blanket from him. The little girl whimpered as she was covered in the blanket and snuggled closer to her mother. Scully rocked her and smiled at Mulder.
“I’m sure you have some questions.”
“Just a few.”
She sighed and looked at her child. “Please, sit.”
He obeyed, watching as she carefully sat in her leather desk chair.
“How old is she?” Mulder asked.
“Wow, you’ve got your hands full. What’s her name?”
“Emily.” Scully smiled as she rubbed Emily’s back over the blanket.
Awkward silence washed over them as they both ignored the elephant in the room. Scully wasn’t married and didn’t wear a ring. She had never talked about her child before, let alone a partner that could be the child’s father.
“You’ve shared so much, why not her?”
She sighed again. “I don’t know. I guess I thought… that you would judge me. Everyone else sure does, except Missy and Charlie.”
“You know I’d never.”
“I do, but I was also worried. And I guess I wanted to keep her secret for as long as possible.” She avoided his gaze as she spoke.
“I don’t want to sound insensitive, but I do have one more burning question…”
“You want to know about her dad,” Scully guessed and he looked at her sadly and shrugged, not speaking the words, but obviously curious.
“His name’s Ethan and he had been my boyfriend since grad school. I found out I was pregnant the day I defended my dissertation. We broke up about halfway through my pregnancy. He hadn’t ever wanted children, but also didn’t want to use protection. I… well… now Em’s here. That’s the extremely simplified version.”
Mulder’s eyes were wide as he took in the information. He thought she was pretty badass to be able to raise a kid on her own. He could also hear how she may feel shame about it, because of others’ comments and also how society tended to treat women who were single parents.
She sighed and he realized that he hadn’t said anything in response. Feeling like a bit of a jackass, he opened his mouth to speak, but she suddenly stood up and shook her head.
“Sorry to cut this short,” she said, glancing at her watch. “But my first class starts soon and I need to get her stuff to bring.”
He shook his head and stood as well. “I can watch her, if it would make it easier for you.”
“Oh, no. I couldn’t-“
“I insist. Besides, I don’t think she’ll like listening to her mother talk about super smart science stuff.”
“It’ll probably bore her to death,” she agreed with a chuckle.
“Then it’s settled then.”
“Are you sure?” Her expression gave away her uncertainty, her eyes searching his face.
“Really, I’d love to. I promise we’ll just stay in here while you teach.”
“You need to be in your office, Mulder. I can’t do that to you.”
“Then we can go to mine. Look, Scully, I promise we’ll be okay, okay?”
She sighed for the third time. “Okay. I should wake her though, let her know I’m leaving and let her see you. I don’t want her waking up without me and crying. Hey, Em,” she said softly, gently patting her back, waking the child.
“Hey honey, Mama has to teach her class now. You’re going to spend some time with Mulder today, okay? He’s mommy’s friend.”
The toddler lifted her head and looked at him fearfully, tears running down her cheeks.
“Hey, Emily,” Mulder greeted. “It’s nice to meet you. Do you like Dora? She’s pretty cool.” Emily didn’t answer, but embraced Scully tighter.
“I know baby, but Mommy really needs to get to class. Mulder is a very nice man and he will take care of you. He has fish in his office. Do you want to see them?” She nodded, her eyes still full of tears.
Emily was gently passed to Mulder, Scully making sure she was wrapped in her blanket. The little girl sniffed and whimpered as she watched her mom blow her a kiss and then leave the room, thanking him once again.
“Would you like to go on a trip, Emily?” he asked, hoping to ease the tension. She looked at him, her expression unsure and still slightly fearful. “Let’s go see the fish, okay?” She nodded and he beamed.
He grabbed her backpack and swung it onto his back, closing the door to Sculy’s office as they walked out. He locked the door with the keys he’d taken off her desk, knowing she would come to his before coming back to her own.
Emily was trembling slightly in his arms and he held her closer as they walked to the elevator.
“Would you like to go outside? It feels nice out today.”
Emily slowly nodded her head, her thumb on the tip of her bottom lip, as she put her head on his shoulder. He stepped out of the elevator and then the building. He walked into the little courtyard separating the science and education/psychology buildings. The little girl lifted her head just enough to look around.
“‘Nola,” Emily said quietly, as she pointed with her little finger.
“What was that, Em?” Mulder asked, at a loss of what she was trying to say.
“‘Nola,” she repeated louder.
He looked at the direction she was pointing and chuckled when he realized what she meant. “Oh, you like the magnolia tree?”
Mulder was impressed by her intelligence. Of course, her mother had gotten her doctorate at twenty-four, which was not common amongst the other faculty. Even he hadn’t received his until just before she had started teaching, and he was thirty, nearly thirty-one.
“You’re very smart, Emily,” Mulder praised, but the little girl was uninterested. She put her head back on his shoulder, falling asleep before they made it to the office.
As he arrived at the door, he realized he had left his door unlocked when he found it hanging open and one of his teaching assistants, Tyler, was grading papers.
“Oh, sorry Dr. M, but the door was unlocked and…” Tyler started, but was confused as he saw Emily in his arms.
“I’m watching her for a friend,” Mulder said simply, putting her backpack down on the desk. Tyler nodded and went back to grading papers.
Emily continued to sleep, Mulder holding her as he sat down at his desk. Even as he held her, he managed to send a slowly-typed email to a student about the midterm, enter the test grades Tyler had given him, and sent out an announcement to the class about their extra credit assignment.
Looking down at Emily, he smiled. Other than her blonde hair, she was a mirror image of Scully and he couldn’t imagine anyone but her having a sweeter child.
Tyler left soon after he was done grading, smiling and nodding silently as he walked out the door. Emily began to stir, her eyes slowly opening and taking in her surroundings.
“Hey there, Em,” he said softly, and the toddler mumbled, clutching her blanket closer.
“Do you want to see the fish now?” She nodded and he stood up, his back protesting at the position he had been in for the past forty five minutes. He shifted her to hold her better and walked across the room to show her the fish.
“Oh!” she said, watching the fancy guppies he had bought swimming around the tank. “Fishies!” She pointed at the tank and he grinned.
“Yup! Those are fancy guppies. Can you say guppy?”
“Good job,” he said, smiling again and rubbing her back. “See that one there? The blue one with the red spotted tail? That’s my favorite one. Watch how fast he swims.”
“Fish swim fast,” she agreed with a nod and he chuckled, shifting her again.
“They are fast. Good job, Em! Gimme five.” She laughed as she lifted her tiny hand and met Mulder’s large one.
“Having fun?” Scully asked and they turned to look at her, standing in the doorway with a smile.
“Mommy!” Emily said, trying to scramble out of Mulder’s arms. He laughed as he set her down and she ran to Scully, who lifted the squealing toddler in her arms.
“Hey, baby.” Scully kissed Emily’s cheek and looked at Mulder. “Were you good for Mulder?”
Emily vigorously nodded her head while Mulder laughed. “She was very good. She’s a smart kid.”
“She takes after her mother.” The two adults smiled and Emily wrapped her arms around Scully’s neck. “Thank you for looking after her. I only had the one class today, but she was sick yesterday and I had babysitter problems and-“
“I promise it was no trouble and completely my pleasure. She slept most of the time, but she liked the fish. The guppies, right Em?”
“Guppy,” she said with a nod, pointing at the tank. “Guppy fish, Mommy.”
“Yes, I know. I knew you would like them.” Scully smiled. “Hey, are you free tonight?”
“Umm. I… no, I mean yes I’m free.”
“Well, let me buy you a drink. It’s the least I can do to thank you for your help.”
His heart raced. This was the moment he’d been waiting for since he had first looked at her.
“Um, sure, I mean… yeah, I’d love to,” he stammered.
Great job, doofus, he admonished himself, inwardly rolling his eyes.
“Great. I’ll sort out a babysitter for tonight and I’ll see you at six? I’ll send you my address.”
If he didn’t know any better, he’d think Scully was inviting him out on a date. Did she see it that way? They’d never spent time together outside of university functions, but he hoped she’d see it as a date, as he would love for it to be so.
He smiled as he nodded and she smiled back. She lifted Emily a little higher, telling her about her class as Emily continued staring at the fish. The way she doted on her daughter and how her red hair shone in the light, he could feel he was already falling for her.
That quotes is so crazily like an exchange I had included in my own mulder-come-back!fic I wrote years ago!! I’m not crying plagiarism, because the rest is very different, I just that that was so funny! Here’s mine:
I don’t know if you’re slightly implying I copied some of your story, as you’ve said you’re not, but it sort of felt that way, and I feel I need to respond.
The scene I wrote for this story was written as I watched Three Words. I first wrote down the exact dialogue spoken on the show, then watching again, I added the way they moved, their expressions, tone of voice, and how it felt to me as I watched. I watched seconds of it over and over to get the movements correct, to make sure it was identical to what we see on the screen. It was a small scene, but one I took great care to get right, watching repeatedly until I felt I had.
Perhaps you are not saying what I feel you are at all, but simply expressing that they were similar. However, as you included the word “plagiarism,” it gave me pause. I have not read your story and I have never, nor would ever, copy another person’s work. Not ever. The bit I wrote regarding that scene was mine and mine alone.
If I misunderstood, I apologize, but like I said, your comment gave me pause…
She’s puttering around his kitchen, finding this and that to scrounge together for their lazy dinner. He’s piling up a little fort of pillows in the corner of his couch as the previews for their Saturday night movie warms up on the VCR. He knows the moment he sits down she’s gonna come over with their plates and curl into his lap, soft and cozy and sweet and the movie is going to be completely ignored as she wriggles against him and asks so prettily if she can stay over tonight.
As if there was a possibility he’d even say no.
He settles down on the coach, feeling so tired, but gratified from a nice day and soothed by the presence of his favorite human being happy and content in his space. She wants to be here. He still can’t wrap his head around that. As anticipated, she makes her way to the living room, setting down some rewarmed meatloaf and pasta from their last dinner out a few nights ago onto the coffee table. He sees her lovely bare legs and the shower-damp curls around her face and…wait.
He’s seen that heather grey shirt before. It’s his. It’s always tucked in a drawer unless he’s out of clean clothes to sleep or work out in.
She’s wearing it. She’s fresh and clean and irresistible and wearing his shirt. This version of Scully, who he’s only been able to see in glances over the years, felt comfortable enough to go through his belongings and pick out something she wanted to wear.
He has to confirm. This line where hopes, fantasies and reality meld will be his completely undoing.
“Scully, is that that my shirt?” He blurts in surprise.
She glances at him, then makes a faux perplexed expression, gently touching her sternum as if not aware the material has been surrounding her for the past forty minutes.
“Oh, this? You mean our shirt?”
Scully doesn’t play games like most of the women he’s shared any kind of romantic interaction with. She’s not petty, not passive aggressive. She doesn’t fish for compliments or get huffy when he doesn’t do exactly what she wants. And despite her fearful, intense professions of a couple years ago, she most certainly does not hold him back.
She’s just Scully. His beautiful, brave, possessive, frighteningly intelligent Scully. And she’s standing there in his shirt as if she owns it. As if she owns him.
And he’s never been so glad to be owned.
“Ours, huh? You staking a claim?”
He reaches for her and just as he’d hoped she crawls over him and buries herself deep in his arms. He slips his hand beneath the hem, letting his palm warm her skin and cup the silky heft of her bare breast. God, she’s naked underneath it, too.
“Absolutely,” she sighs, “I’ve always wanted to wear something of yours when we’re…well, like this.”
She kisses him slowly and deeply as he absently rubs his thumb in gentle circles around her nipple, not necessarily to arouse her, just…because he’s allowed to touch her intimately like this. She lets him.
“Mm,” she hums, their mouths parting with a quiet pop and she nestles her forehead into the crook of his neck, “Feels nice.”
“Mm hm,” he replies, slipping his other hand across her belly to keep her little body wrapped in his former shirt tight against his own.
i was thinking this morning about how i categorize fanfic authors that i enjoy like AKC breeds and decided to share my rubric with you:
the specialist: this author has a favorite kink or trope and has written 80% of the content in that tag. you know exactly what you’re getting. they have A Brand™️. no matter what other traits they display, dedicated rare pair authors belong here.
the chocolate box: essentially the exact opposite. this author will try anything once. they have 80+ works in the fandom with no discernible pattern. the shortest one is 268 words and the longest is well over 100k. this breed of author may or may not be related to:
the renaissance fan: they’ve written three things in your fandom: your favorite fic, your notp, and a bizarre crossover with a show you’ve never heard of. you hit “expand fandoms list” on their author page and have to scroll down twice to reach the bottom. whenever you curse the fact that you can’t legally commission fic writers, this is the author you’re thinking about.
the horn dog: they’re here for one thing and one thing only. if someone’s dick is not in another character’s mouth within 500 words, they apologize for it in the author’s notes. they have one (1) g-rated fic.
the rookie: this writer is usually young, new to fandom, or just got a beta-reader for the first time. their fics are a little all over the place, quality-wise, but you’re excited whenever their name pops up because their unique voice gets stronger every time. you feel a personal investment in their development, like you’re an old man reading the local high school sports page and saying “this kid’s the one to watch.”
the live streamer: the most prolific author in the fandom. their works are all over the front page when you sort by kudos. you have no idea how they generate this much work, and have seriously wondered if they have access to an extra-dimensional time portal. their stories are usually un-beta’d and the characterization varies wildly, but their best works are inspired and you’ve read them 30 times.
the cryptid: this one comes out of nowhere every two years, drops the best fanfic you’ve ever read, and disappears. fifteen months after you left a three paragraph comment about how they changed your life, you get a message in your inbox that just says “thanks.”
the novelist: we talk about “filing off the serial numbers” when someone reworks their most popular story to pitch it as an original novel; this author somehow does the reverse. their fics are excellent, usually long-reaching multi-chapter AUs that have almost nothing to do with the on-screen characters except their names. i’d like to extend my personal thanks to this breed of author because it’s the closest i get to reading an actual book.
the reunion tour: this author wrote some of the most popular works in the fandom, but either moved on to k-pop or burned out when canon took a turn for the worse. they put out one new thing a year, often an old draft that’s been haunting them from under the floorboards. their last six author’s notes all say they never thought they’d write this pairing again and “this will probably be the last time.”
who did i miss?
The work horse. We just plod along, doing our thing. Not the showiest, not the fastest, but steady and reliable in quality and content.
I love this! This is great. I especially love the leaving long comments like how it broke my heart, how I laughed or sobbed and either get nothing back or simply “thanks.” 😂😂
I’m not sure how I would describe myself, but which do you feel YOU are? ❤️
Dana wants to thank Fox properly for being there when she didn’t know she needed someone. She is nervous, but she really needn’t be…
I was asked for more of this little AU and who am I to say no? 😊 Especially when I had already begun to imagine how it would go. I can see it all so clearly in my head and ugh… I love it so much.
Hope you do too. ❤️
Dana stood across the street from 634 Royal Avenue and took a deep breath. It was an older building, one she normally walked past and wondered about, thinking of the lives that had been lived inside of it. But today, she was nervous and her only thought was if this was a good decision.
Looking down at the business card in her hand, the edges bent from being carried in her pocket and held in her hand, she checked the address for what felt like the hundredth time. It was correct, but she had known that before arriving at the building.
A young woman, coming up from the basement steps, caught her eye, most likely done with her session. Dana stepped off the curb and a horn blared at her, causing her to jump back.
“Watch where you’re going, lady!” a man yelled, flipping her the bird as he drove past.
She swallowed, her heart pounding as this time she looked both ways before stepping back into the street and hurrying to the other side. She walked down the stairs and to the door, knocking before she opened it and stepped inside.
The office waiting area, though not overly large, was decorated to feel bigger than it appeared. The walls were painted a warm yellow, the love seat and three single chairs were off white with dark wood, and a dark rectangular coffee table sat upon a cream colored rug. A bay window with a long dark brown cushion was full of various children’s books and magazines.
A large bookcase with books and board games sat in one corner, a fish tank on the main shelf. Smiling, she stepped closer to it, looking at the brightly colored rocks and the small castle beside a wishing well and a treasure chest. She was not sure of the type of fish that were swimming around, but she found them to be calming.
Taking a deep breath, she turned around and walked toward the closed office door. Standing in front of it, she licked her lips, knocked twice and put her hands in the pockets of her coat.
“Oh!” She heard him exclaim and her heart jumped. “I know why you’re here.” The door opened and he stood before her smiling as he held a violet colored scarf in his hands. His eyes widened behind the black framed glasses he wore and his smile grew. “Oh… I… hi. Uh… I wasn’t expecting you. I thought…”
Before she could answer, the words she wanted to say stuck in her throat, the door behind her opened. She turned around and saw the woman she had seen leaving just a few minutes ago.
“I’m so sorry to interrupt, but-”
“You forgot your scarf,” he said with a chuckle, handing it to her as she stepped closer and Dana moved back a little.
“I’d forget my head,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “Thanks and sorry again. See you next week, Doctor Mulder.” She waved at him, nodded at Dana, and walked out the door.
Looking back at him, his eyes were on the door before turning to her and smiling as he motioned her into his office. She stepped in and glanced around, the decor similar to the waiting area- comfortable and calming.
“Sorry to show up unannounced, I just…”
“Not at all,” he said with a smile, taking off his glasses and setting them on the desk. “I wasn’t expecting you, but I’m glad you’re here.” She smiled and nodded, taking a moment to look at him, while he was distracted with the papers on his desk, her memory mostly recalling his eyes and the sound of his voice.
He was tall, which she knew already, and more handsome than she remembered. He was wearing light gray slacks and a blue long sleeved button up shirt under a thin dark gray sweater. Plus, he smelled incredible. She felt her cheeks flush as he looked at her and she looked down, realizing she had been staring for a while.
“Did you come here to make an appointment?”
“What? No!” she said, raising her head quickly.
“Okay,” he said with another chuckle, his hands up in surrender.
“So for something else then?” He smiled and she stared at him, taking note of the bit of scruff on his face, her fingers balling into fists at the thought of how it would feel if she touched it.
Jesus Christ, Dana. Knock it off.
“I just wanted to thank you properly for your help a few weeks ago.”
“Oh… you didn’t need to do that.”
“But I’m glad you did. That you came by, I mean.”
They stared at one another and he raised his eyebrows at her.
“You probably have a patient due to arrive soon. So I’ll-”
“No. Actually I’m on my way to lunch.” She frowned as she looked down at her watch. Seeing it was only 10:15, she looked back at him and he laughed softly. “Two days a week I come in early. I have a patient who can only be here at six, before she has to catch the first of three buses, taking her to two jobs and prohibiting her from coming in later in the day. It’s early for lunch, but my next appointment is at 12:30 and then I’m busy until five. So, it’s now if I want to eat something somewhat good for me or it will be a quick hot dog from across the street between sessions.”
“Oh, you don’t want that,” she agreed, making a face, and he nodded.
“No one wants that.” She frowned again and he leaned forward conspiratorially. “It’s a small office… gases don’t exactly dissipate. Not quickly anyway.” She laughed as she understood what he meant and then she stepped back, clearing her throat.
“Well, no. No one wants that. I don’t want to hold you up. I just wanted to tell you that I appreciated the comfort you provided. And I-”
“Why don’t you join me?” he interrupted and she stared at him. “There’s a diner down the street that makes the best cup of coffee-”
“Joe’s. Yeah, it’s really good.” He raised his eyebrows and then smiled in understanding.
“Of course. The hospital isn’t far. You must have made your way there many times.”
“We’ve probably crossed paths and didn’t know it,” she said with a smile.
“Nnnnah… I would’ve remembered seeing you.” Her cheeks felt warm again and she cleared her throat as she licked her lips. “So, how about a cup of joe at Joe’s? My treat.”
“No… the least I could do is pay. To thank you.”
“Hmm… well, I wouldn’t normally agree, but if it means I’ll have the honor of your company, then I accept,” he agreed with a nod and she smiled. They walked into the waiting area and he took his coat from the coat rack.
“That’s interesting,” she said, nodding to the metal coat rack with pool balls attached to the ends.
“Yeah,” he laughed with a shrug as he put on his coat. “My sister is an artist and she makes pieces for gifts. That was my Christmas gift a couple of years ago. I got her a new sofa, with a pullout, for her studio. But hey…” He shrugged again and she smiled.
“I like it. It’s different. I thought it was because you really liked playing pool.”
“Oh, no,” he said, opening the door and waiting for her to walk out first. Locking the door, he turned around with a smile. “I’m not saying I don’t play, just not often.”
“Good to know,” she said as they walked up the stairs.
“Why is that?”
“Well… I do enjoy playing pool, but I’m not exceptionally great at it.”
“And why is that good?” he asked, a smile twitching at his lips.
“I… I was just thinking if we were to ever play pool, we’d be evenly matched,” she answered lamely, suddenly wishing she had kept her thoughts to herself.
“Hmm… or I could be lying through my teeth.” He smiled and she shook her head as she glanced at him.
“I don’t think you would lie,” she said softly and his smile and steps faltered, his eyes searching her face.
“No. I don’t make a practice of it, generally.”
“I didn’t think so.” She smiled and he nodded, his pace resuming.
They fell silent as the diner came into view. As they stepped into the crosswalk, she felt his hand on her lower back and while another doing that would have annoyed her, she found with him she did not mind. Especially as he leaned in closer and she could smell his cologne.
“On your left.” She heard someone say and looked to see a delivery guy on a bike riding close to them.
“Saw him coming and he didn’t seem to be paying much attention,” Fox said, his voice low and near her ear. He turned his head, his eyes on the bike, and she hoped he did not see or feel how his nearness caused her to shiver.
As they reached the end of the crosswalk, he moved his hand and she let out a sigh. Of relief, disappointment… she did not give it much thought, not wanting to get too lost in her head. He walked up the steps to the diner and held the door open, allowing her to enter ahead of him.
It was warm in the diner, or maybe it was she who was feeling warm. Regardless, she took off her coat and hung it on the rack provided and he did the same, hanging his over hers, thus not taking a hook away from another patron. Something about seeing their coats hanging together made her feel a flutter in her stomach. It was so innocent and yet also felt incredibly intimate.
“The counter or a booth?” he asked, breaking into her thoughts.
“Booth, I think. You have a couple of hours, might as well be more comfortable, right?” She smiled at him and he nodded with a smile of his own. They walked to the last booth at the end and slid in, sitting opposite of one another.
Joe’s Diner was an old one, shaped like a train car. Not overly large, what it lacked in space, it made up for with good food. Open twenty four hours, it was nearly always busy. Men and women in business suits, and some in casual attire sat at the counter now, talking and laughing loudly. A mother and her small children were at the booth in front of them, coloring and chatting.
“I love the atmosphere of this place,” Dana said as she smiled at the mother. “It’s a mix of the people in the city.”
“I agree. That and the coffee. And the fries.” She nodded, smiling at him as the waitress walked up to the table. She handed them menus and they each asked for a coffee.
“As I only had a banana for breakfast… I’m gonna get breakfast. Pancakes, hash browns, eggs, sausage. How about you? Did you have a better breakfast than me?”
“I had yogurt and some granola.”
“In other words… roughage.”
“It’s not…” He raised his eyebrows and she laughed softly. “I’ll get some eggs and toast.”
“Yeah. That will be enough.”
“Mmhmm,” he said skeptically as the waitress came back with their coffees and they placed their orders.
“So, how are you?” he asked once the waitress had collected the menus and walked away.
“Better. Well, since the last time you saw me anyway,” she said with a quiet chuckle, looking down at her cup of coffee.
“You’d lost someone. The way you were feeling was completely understandable,” he said softly and she nodded, not meeting his eyes. “Do you want to talk about it?” She raised her head and looked at him, slowly shaking her head.
“Her name was Veronica… Ronnie for short,” she said, shocked that the words were tumbling out, even as she continued to shake her head, not wanting to discuss it, but feeling it was needed. “She was… she was only ten. So bright, happy, didn’t complain about the pain she was in… not once. She worried about others and wanted to be sure her mother and sister were looked after. She was tough and kind… and I…” She reached for a napkin and dabbed at her eyes, sniffling before blowing her nose.
“She sounds like a wonderful person.”
“She was,” she whispered, nodding her head and wiping her eyes on another napkin. “I knew the diagnosis… I just wanted the answer to be different. I tried…”
“She was lucky to have you caring for her.” She shook her head, her eyes closed as she thought of Ronnie.
“I was the lucky one,” she whispered and she opened her eyes as she felt his hand on hers. Not squeezing or holding, but simply touching, the warmth of it comforting.
She took a deep breath and nodded, her thumb stroking his lightly before pulling her hand back and wiping her eyes again.
“What about you? You said you were visiting a friend?” He nodded and smiled, his hands folding around his coffee cup.
“He’s a fellow colleague. Had a knee surgery, so I was coming to see him. He was in for physical therapy when I arrived, so I said I’d wait. That’s where I was when you came into the room.” She nodded as she stared at him.
“I didn’t know where I was,” she said softly. “I just needed to get away before I broke down. If I’d known anyone was in there…”
“Understandable. But being a doctor doesn’t make you immune to pain and sadness. I’d say it enhances your ability to care for others when you have an empathetic spirit.”
“I understand as well, the desire for privacy in those moments. That was why I didn’t say anything, letting you have the time you needed. You needed to cry. If I’d distracted you, it wouldn’t have been beneficial to you.” He smiled and she exhaled a breath with a nod.
“Thank you,” she whispered and he nodded.
“Here you are,” the waitress said, setting their food down and the serious moment was broken, replaced with exclamations over how good the food looked.
Plates were shifted, coffees refilled and as she ate her eggs and toast, she could not help but feel she wished she had ordered the pancakes. They were golden brown and fluffy and watching him spreading on the whipped butter, she felt her mouth water. The toast, while good, was not the same.
“Excuse me… Pearl?” he called out and the waitress came over with a smile. “Could I get an extra plate?”
“You got it, honey,” Pearl said, walking away to get one for him. Bringing it back quickly, she set it down and winked at him.
“Thank you,” he said with a smile before she walked away. Taking the top pancake off his stack of three, he placed it on the empty plate and pushed it towards her.
“I can see the longing in your eyes.”
“Look how perfect and golden it is…” He pointed at it and raised his eyebrows. “You can’t tell me you don’t want to eat that pancake.” She sighed deeply and pulled the plate closer.
“I would if I could, but…” He laughed as she picked up her knife and fork and began cutting it up. He offered the syrup, but she shook her head.
“No syrup… good to know.” He smiled and she blushed as she pierced a piece and brought it to her mouth; the scent alone already causing her mouth to water even more.
Discussion was lighter as they ate, sharing more than just pancakes. He accepted a piece of her toast, claiming sourdough bread was the best bread for toast. He offered her some hash browns and she only took a little, her stomach feeling full.
“That was delicious,” he said as Pearl cleared away the plates. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, hon.” She smiled at him as she carried them away.
“Better than a hot dog?” Dana teased and he shivered.
Pearl brought over the bill and Dana took out her wallet, counting out her cash and laying it on top.
“It’s very hard for me to not add to that,” he said, looking at the bill.
“You can get the next one,” she stated, her eyes on the bill before raising them to his. He smiled with a nod and she felt the flush in her cheeks again.
As they took their coats from the coat rack, he glanced at his watch.
“Well, I still have about forty five minutes. Unless you have someplace to be, would you like to join me for a walk?”
“I don’t have anywhere to be.”
“Then shall we?” He offered his arm and she slid her hand through it as they exited the diner.
It was chilly, but she barely noticed as they walked and talked, getting to know one another a bit more. She told him of her family, her days as a Navy kid, moving from place to place. He heard about her older brother Bill, who had followed in her father’s footsteps and was currently stationed in Japan.
“My older sister and I are living together right now as I was unable to afford a place on my own. But… I think she’s feeling the need to move on and so I think I’ll need to move soon. I’m sure I could find something. I don’t want to move back home, as much as my parents might like the idea.” He laughed with a nod of understanding.
“My younger brother is stationed in California, also in the Navy. He recently started dating a blonde, blue-eyed beach loving girl… so I don’t see him coming back here anytime soon.”
“I don’t blame him. You find someone that’s right for you…” He shrugged and smiled at her and she nodded.
“How about your family?”
“Not much more to tell. My sister, Samantha, is an artist as I said, not well known, but good at what she does. I tease about it, but I do like her stuff. I’ve bought some things, aside from her gifts. My mom lives just outside the city and my sister and I visit her every couple of weeks for dinner.”
“What about your dad?”
“He died a couple of years back. Sudden stroke that took us all by surprise.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Thank you. It’s… it’s getting… better seems wrong, and so does easier, but…”
“Hmm…” he hummed and she sighed, squeezing his arm.
All too soon, they were back in front of his office, no longer arm in arm. She smiled at him and he reached for her hand, bringing it to his lips and kissing her knuckles.
“Thank you for breakfast.” She smiled as he ran his thumb across her fingers.
“Thank you… for being there when I needed someone.”
“I’m glad I was.”
He smiled as he kissed her hand again and said goodbye. She waited until he had walked inside his office before turning around and heading to her car.
As she walked, she could smell his cologne on her coat, and she smiled as she closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. ___________________
Two days later, a bouquet of roses in yellows, purples, and dark pinks was delivered to her at the hospital, the nurses and other doctors speculating who they were from. An envelope was attached, which Dana took with a smile. She slid it into her pocket and carried the flowers to her locker.
Stepping into a bathroom stall, she took out the envelope, opened it and took out the card.
Dark pink for appreciation Yellow for new beginnings Purple for enchantment
You have enchanted me, Doctor Scully.
Dinner? Pool? Pancakes?
She held the note to her lips and grinned, her heart racing.
A week later, after a few hectic work days, she walked into the restaurant he had chosen. Wearing a new red dress she could not actually afford, she scanned the room until she found him. The look on his face as he stood up and came over to her, made her forget the cost of the dress completely.
A planned morning in the park, between patients and after breakfast, he took out the chess pieces he had brought in a cloth bag. They sat at a table, both of them avid players, taking their time with each turn.
When he took her bishop with a celebratory smile, she stood up and leaned over the board, grabbed the lapels of his coat and kissed him for the first time. Pulling back in surprise, he stared at her, before leaning up to kiss her, the chess pieces tipping over and falling loudly to the ground.
“I think you cheated,” he whispered against her lips and she laughed as she kissed him again.
A dive bar, the air around them smoky, she drained her bottle of beer as she watched him lineup his last shot, only the eight ball and cue ball remaining on the table.
“Corner pocket,” he stated smugly and she raised her eyebrows with a smirk.
He took a deep breath and pulled the cue stick back, once, twice. The cue stick hit the ball, the ball hit the eight ball, and sent it smoothly into the corner pocket.
“Yes!” he shouted, arms raised triumphantly. And then he lowered them in defeated horror as he watched the cue ball follow the eight ball into the corner pocket.
“No!” he yelled, falling to his knees as she howled with laughter, her arms now raised in triumph.
After a dinner celebrating two months together, she went home with him. His kisses made her dizzy, his scent and touch drove her wild. His eyes searched hers and she nodded with a smile, turning around, silently asking him to unzip her dress. As he did, he kissed the back of her neck, between her shoulder blades, along her spine, and her lower back.
Her dress fell in a puddle at her feet and she turned to look at him, standing in only her light lavender underwear. His eyes travelled her body, shaking his head as he raised his eyes back to hers.
“You are so beautiful,” he whispered, his hand at her neck, his thumb caressing her cheek.
“So are you,” she whispered back, reaching for his tie and tugging him close, his arms wrapping around her as they kissed and stumbled toward his bedroom.
She stood at the stove in one of his impossibly soft t-shirts, smiling as she flipped the pancakes in the pan, the sun not yet risen.
“Dana? What are you doing?” He walked into the room, shirtless and yawning, his hair sticking up in all directions.
“Making pancakes.” He put his arms around her waist and nuzzled at her neck, kissing the side when she moved her head.
“It’s not even light out.”
“I know. Today’s your early morning. Thought I’d surprise you with breakfast.”
“Hmm… you definitely did.”
He kissed her neck again, before letting go and taking two plates from the cupboard, and holding them out to receive the pancakes.
“I love you,” she said, as they sat at the table and he covered his pancake in syrup.
“I adore you,” he responded and she laughed.
She walked slowly around the studio as she admired the art created by Samantha Mulder. There were canvases, sculptures, and some creations she did not quite understand, but enjoyed.
She was nervous to meet her and the free alcohol was making her feel slightly buzzed as she continued looking around.
Hearing Fox’s laugh, she followed the sound and saw him speaking to a young woman with long curly brown and his same hazel eyes. An older woman was with them, shaking her head with a smile.
When he looked up and caught her eye, he smiled and came to her side, bringing her to meet his sister and mother. Samantha caught her off guard, squeezing her in a tight embrace and his mother shook her hand warmly, asking questions to learn more about her.
“They loved you,” he whispered later as they lay in his bed, their naked limbs intertwined. “Not that I had any doubts, but they did.”
“Probably because I bought that painting,” she teased and he chuckled in her ear, her eyes closing at the sound.
“That didn’t hurt, but that’s not why. It’s because you’re amazing, wonderful, and so damn sexy.”
“Hopefully not the last one,” she said with a smile.
“Oh, sorry. That last one was all mine,” he answered, pulling her closer, and she laughed.
“That’s the last of it,” her sister Missy said, as she packed up the small trailer with her things and looked at Dana. “I’m gonna miss you, Sis.”
“Me too,” Dana said, hugging her tightly, wishing Missy would stay, but knowing how the call of the nomad life pulled at her.
“You’re all ready for your move tomorrow?”
“Yeah. Everything is done. Fox will be here tonight for dinner and then we’ll pick up the trailer in the morning.”
“I like him a lot, Dane. He’s a good man.” Missy smiled and Dana nodded.
“He is,” she said softly, thinking of how her life had changed so much in the past six months since she had met him.
Hugging her sister once more, she waved until her car was out of sight.
Fox came over later that night with a pizza and a bottle of wine, the sky rumbling with thunder. They ate it sitting on the floor, using a cardboard box as a table. They listened to jazz and slow danced in her packed up apartment, until the power suddenly went out.
They laughed as they bumped into things, searching in boxes for candles, the rain falling heavy outside. When enough were lit, and set up a safe distance from one another, he pulled her close, continuing to dance slowly as he hummed an unknown tune.
He undressed her, whispering how much he loved her, how beautiful she was, especially in the candlelight, and how thankful he was to have met her. For the first time, she cried when they made love, never having felt so loved and so complete.
The apartment she rented was small, but she liked it. It was cozy and very her. She liked the dark hardwood floors and the long white curtains that blew in the breeze from the door to the small balcony. It was full of plants, small roses mostly, all given to her by Fox; a different card and explanation of color choice with each one.
She kept all of them within view except for the one explaining that orange roses meant desire, enthusiasm, and fascination. That card had made her blush, her heart race, and her breathing increase. That one was kept in her bedroom.
In the nightstand drawer.
“This apartment is nice,” he said as they sat watching the sun setting from the balcony, after she had been living there nearly six months. “What if we found something similar… with two bedrooms and a small garden, somewhere near the hospital and the office?”
“I can barely afford this one bedroom,” she said, shaking her head, with a scoff and a frown. “You think I can afford two bedrooms with a garden?”
“No. Which was why I said we,” he said, taking her hand and smiling.
“I’m asking if you want to move in together.”
“Oh… I’d… I’d like that,” she said softly and he grinned, kissing her fingers gently.
“Good to know.”
A three bedroom home, slightly further than the area in which they wanted to live, had been cheaper than an apartment. They had moved in three weeks ago and today she was watching him, in the garden of the house, transplanting her roses from their pots into a more permanent home.
She had questioned the need for the garden when their search became too stressful, but he had told her he enjoyed gardening, found it calming, and so the hunt for the perfect home continued.
Now, as she saw how happy he was, she knew he had been right.
“Be sure you take care with the orange roses,” she said and he looked up, almost as though surprised to see her there, his concentration on the flowers. “I’m especially fond of those ones.”
“Hmm… is that right?”
“It is indeed.”
“Then I’ll make sure they’re treated with extra care. Be very… delicate. Go slow and… make sure it’s fully taken care of… before I stop.”
“Y… yeah… you should do that,” she said, breathing hard, feeling aroused. “Though, sometimes it could do with a… firmer hand.”
“Oh, I’m… I’m well aware.” He raised an eyebrow and smirked, reaching for said orange roses, but she stopped him as she stepped forward needing to kiss him, her fingers playing with the buttons on his shirt.
The orange roses were left and planted the next day along with the red ones. The irony of the two roses, which symbolized desire and passion, being the last to be planted, was not lost on either of them.
In California, Dana smiled as watched Charlie and his beach loving girl Amanda dancing slower than any other couple on the dance floor, her white wedding dress simple and beautiful.
“They look so happy,” she said, her left arm around Fox’s waist, her right hand held within his own.
“Hmm, they do,” he agreed and she sighed as the open windows offered a cool breeze to the warm evening “They’re leaving in two days for Spain, right?”
“Yes. I’m proud of him for his decision to serve his country, but I wouldn’t want that life again. And not for any children I might ever have,” she told him quietly and he nodded in understanding.
“I’ll take our quiet home any day,” he said, spinning her. She laughed and then rested her head on his chest as he pulled her close again.
Coming out for the wedding also afforded them a chance for a mini vacation. It had been a long time since she had been out to San Diego and they had plans to relax on the beach and tour the city.
On a hike the day before they were to leave, they sat down at a table to eat the lunch they had brought along. The wind blew and she closed her eyes with a smile. The wind rushing through the pine trees had always been one of her favorite sounds.
When she opened her eyes, she saw him sliding a small wooden box toward her. Frowning with a smile, she opened it and found a gold ring with a diamond in the center, sitting within.
“What?” She looked at him and he smiled softly, getting up and coming to kneel beside her and take her hand. “Fox… what are you doing?”
“I’m asking you to marry me. I thought that was fairly obvious.” He grinned and she released a deep breath. “I love you so much. I can’t imagine the idea of not spending the rest of my life with you.” He picked up the box and took out the ring, holding it in his fingers. “Dana Scully, will you marry me?”
She blinked back tears as the wind passed through the trees again and blew her hair across her face. He chuckled as he brushed it back and she held his face in her hands, not looking at the ring, that not being what was most important.
“Yes,” she whispered, staring into his eyes. “Yes, Fox Mulder, I will.”
He smiled as he rose up to kiss her, the sound of the wind now carrying an even more personal and beautiful meaning. As he pulled back, he slid the ring onto her finger, the fit perfect. She shook her head as she looked at it and then kissed him again.
“You had this all planned out…” she whispered and he grinned.
“Course I did.”
“You never cease to amaze me, Fox.”
“And I will always endeavor to keep it that way.” He smiled and she shook her head again with a soft laugh.
“God… I love you.”
“And I simply adore you.”
“You look lovely, Dana,” her mother said, standing in the small alcove of the church. She smiled and kissed her cheek. “Such a beautiful bride you make. That dress is stunning.”
“Thank you, Mom,” she said, pleased with the dress she had found in the palest of peach, white not being her color of choice.
“Not exactly. Just… I don’t know.”
“Excited,” her mother stated with a smile.
“Very much.” She looked at her mother and shook her head. “I didn’t know, or think, I would get married. I… I don’t know. I wasn’t sure it was for me. But… he just made it all so easy.” She smiled and blinked back tears and her mother cupped her cheek.
“Made getting married easy?”
“No. Falling in love.” She smiled and dabbed at her eyes, determined to not let her tears run and ruin her makeup. “It was impossible not to fall in love with him. Even from the very first day.”
“The heart knows. It’s the head that can get in the way sometimes.”
“That’s the truth,” she agreed with a chuckle.
“You ready, honey?” her father asked, smiling happily at her.
“Absolutely,” she said, looking at her mom and smiling. They hugged and then walked to the doors of the church.
Her mother was escorted into the church by Bill, who had been able to make it for the wedding. Fox’s mother, blowing a happy kiss to Dana, walked in with Caleb, one of Fox’s colleagues and friends.
Ronnie’s little sister Christina, was the flower girl. She smiled at Dana, her white basket of yellow and light pink rose petals held tightly in her hands. She walked into the church, everyone oohing and aahing at the sight of her.
Missy kissed Dana’s cheek, handing her her bouquet of roses, every color but white, gathered together with a deep red satin ribbon.
“You truly are beautiful, Dana. I’m so happy for you.”
“Thanks, Missy,” she said with tears in her eyes.
She walked into the church next and Dana took a deep breath to steady her nerves. She slid her hand through her father’s arm and he patted her hand.
“Ready?” he said quietly and she took one more deep breath and nodded with a smile.
The doors opened and everyone stood up as they entered the church. She smiled, but she did not remember seeing them. The only person she saw was the man at the end of the aisle. The one smiling at her with the most beautiful hazel eyes she had ever seen.
The roses were in full bloom, the garden full of color. Pinks of various shades, purple, red, orange, yellow, and peach. All the flowers that had been planted when they first moved into the house.
Only one color was absent: white, just as it had been from her wedding bouquet nearly two years ago. He had never sent that color of rose to her, so it had seemed wrong to include it.
“White is for purity, innocence, or secrecy. It feels wrong to send or have roses of that color. I don’t feel they fit,” he had explained when she had asked and she had found she agreed; something about white roses feeling almost sacred.
But… circumstances change and a once disregarded color now became one of great importance.
A white rose plant was purchased and tended to lovingly during the winter, taking up prime locations inside the house, the future of its survival very important.
It was transferred to the garden as soon as it was warm enough and safe for it to be outside.
“This is for you, sweet one,” Fox said, placing the dirt around the plant as Dana smiled, holding their sleeping newborn baby wrapped securely within a warm blanket. “May you bloom and grow, forever. Wait…”
“Did you plant edelweiss by mistake, Captain?” she teased and he laughed as he stood up, shaking his head and brushing his hands on his pants, before placing a gentle kiss on the baby’s downy head.
“This is for you. For the innocence you bring to the world and the pure heart I hope you will always carry within you.”
He kissed the baby’s head again and Dana sniffled. He kissed her forehead as he pulled her close and she wrapped an arm around his waist.
They looked at the plant once more, smiling at the implication of it, and went inside the house where it was warmer.
Their garden welcomed two more white rose plants over the years, each one tended to carefully before being added to the fray. Each new plant grew and flourished, exactly as they were meant to do, a symbol of innocence and the pure of heart.
It has been a year of living life distant from others, unsure of the future. Things are slowly returning to normal and today they will be celebrating Easter, something they missed out on last year.
Rereading my Easter story from last year, it made me think of how things were so unknown last year. How we all were nervous and hesitant to do “normal” things, especially celebrating holidays as we usually do. I had not planned to write a follow up, but it felt necessary and I enjoyed it very much.
I hope you do too. ❤
March 31, 2021
Mulder felt a kick in his back and his eyes flew open. The sun was just beginning to come up, the room filled with soft light. Another kick and then rustling followed by a deep sigh. He turned over and smiled at the sight that greeted him.
Scully lay on her left side, Faith nestled into her, both of them sleeping, Scully’s mouth open slightly as she breathed deeply. Faith was outside of the covers, the fleece blanket from her bed discarded by her feet. He knew she was not cold though, the dark blue footed pajamas, with the small beige and brown owls, keeping her warm and toasty.
Her top molars were coming in and for the past couple of days, she had been very crabby and clingy, wanting Scully primarily to hold her. She’d had a low grade fever, her eating habits and sleep schedule shifting a bit, and at night she would wake up crying, rubbing at her cheeks and calling for Scully.
They had given her some medicine, which was a struggle at times as she did not want to take it, crying and clinging to Scully as she hid her face. In a moment of genius, Mulder had taken the medicine and added it to a small amount of apple juice when she was not watching. Mixing it up, he had brought it back to the table, asking her if she wanted to have some juice.
Turning it into a game, he had used a medicine syringe to squirt plain apple juice into his own mouth, exclaiming about the deliciousness of it. Her curiosity piqued, he had drawn the medicine/juice combination into a separate syringe for her, and slowly given her the full dose of the medication. Once it had gotten into her system, she had been better, still a little clingy, but more her happy self.
For two nights, after she had woken up crying, she had been brought into their bed, all of them tired and needing to sleep. It was sweet and cute, watching her lying between them, until he had been elbowed in the eye and accidentally been kicked in the balls, causing him to draw in a sharp breath and cough.
But it had helped her and that was what mattered, he thought as he stared at them with a smile. He hated seeing her hurting and whatever it took to get his girl back to feeling happy, he would do it. Her teeth were finally starting to show, so hopefully she would be feeling better soon.
Scully shifted and her eyes opened for a second before closing again. She exhaled, as she pulled Faith closer, holding her in her arms. Breathing deeply, she fell back to sleep, and he smiled again.
He heard a bell tinkling and then a low chirpy meow as Grey jumped onto the bed and walked over to him. She purred loudly as he pet her, flopping down heavily and rubbing her head into his hand. He closed his eyes as he continued to pet her, lying still so as to not disturb the sleeping ladies.
He must have dozed off, because when he opened his eyes again, Faith was awake and laughing at Grey, the room now brighter. Scully smiled sleepily at him and then looked at Faith, rubbing her back gently.
“Good morning, love. How are you today? Feeling better?” He squeezed her leg and she laughed happily as she looked at him.
“Thank Christ for that,” he muttered as he looked at Scully and she laughed softly.
“She kick you in the nuts again?”
“No, and thank Christ for that, too…” He shook his head and she laughed again with a nod. “I don’t mind sleeping with her, but…” She hummed with another nod, their attention turning back to Faith and Grey as they played on the bed.
A couple of hours later, they were driving to the designated site to receive their first dose of Covid shots, finally eligible to do so. Waiting in line, all of them masked up, Faith’s a bright pink with many colorful butterflies, Scully began to sniffle and he looked at her in surprise.
“I’m so happy,” she said, dabbing her eyes with a tissue. “Last year… I wasn’t sure we would even be here.” She shook her head and he smiled, reaching for her hand and squeezing gently. Breathing out, she closed her eyes, tears spilling out.
Receiving their shots simultaneously, Faith singing in the back, and Scully crying happily, they pulled forward to wait and be sure neither of them had any type of reaction. Scully wiped her eyes and blew her nose, laughing as she cried again.
“It’s silly…” she said and he shook his head.
“It’s not.” He took her hand and kissed it, shaking his head again. “It really isn’t.”
“It’s just… this past year. This virus… the past administration… I just…” She started crying again and took off her mask, covering her eyes. “So many people died unnecessarily. I…”
“I know, honey.” He kissed her hand again, rubbing her fingers as she took some deep breaths and calmed down. “Please don’t feel you need to apologize. You’re a scientist above all else, I know what this means to you. To all of us… but especially to you and others like you.” She nodded and squeezed his hand. Wiping her eyes, she put her mask back on and nodded at him.
They waited the appropriate amount of time before they left, neither of them having an adverse reaction. Faith’s mask had been taken off and she was talking to her baby doll as they drove away, both of them taking off their own masks.
“I’ve been thinking,” she said, glancing at Mulder. “It’s Good Friday in two days and… I’d like to go to church.” He looked at her before looking back at the road. “You don’t have to come, of course… but I’d like to go.” She smiled at him and he smiled back with a nod.
“I just… I feel I need to go.”
“I understand. I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “What about on Easter?”
“No. I think Friday will be enough. I want to have Easter morning together and I was thinking we should see if Skinner and Rachel want to come over for a late lunch/early dinner.”
“I think that’s a wonderful idea.” He smiled again and she reached for her phone to give them a call.
At the grocery store a few minutes later, the cart full of items they had been lacking, they also had ham, potatoes, fresh green beans, wine and sparkling cranberry juice, as Rachel and Skinner would be joining them.
A dozen white eggs were added and when they walked down the seasonal aisle, there was a debate over which egg dye to purchase. Mulder was immediately drawn to a box promising galactic eggs, but Faith liked the classic rainbow colors, pointing out the butterfly and showing him.
“You aren’t going to win this one,” Scully said in a low voice and he could hear the smile behind it. “Besides, I get a vote and I vote for classic ones with tablets. Last year, we didn’t do them and it’s something I’ve thought a lot about since then.”
He stared at her as he held the galactic egg dye box in his hands and Faith held the other in hers, touching the butterfly and saying hello. Scully raised her eyebrows and he knew he had lost. With a nod, he put his back and she touched his back.
“Next year, I promise,” she said and he gave her an exaggerated sigh, causing her to laugh and squeeze his hand.
A pale yellow basket was also added to the shopping cart, not for Faith, but to be used for the gifts Scully had purchased for Rachel and Skinner. She had searched for a gift for the twins, some little items and a matching set of onesies. As they were joining them for dinner, the basket would be a good way to give it to them.
“None of that grass shit though,” she said under her breath, pointing to it on the shelf. “That stuff is the worst.”
All the items in the cart, they continued to the checkout, paid for the groceries, and headed home.
April 2, 2021
“It’s a pretty flower,” Mulder said to Faith as they were on their walk and Scully was at church. “What color is it?”
“Pink. It’s a pink flower, Dada.”
“It is indeed, my love.” He smiled at her as he stood up and stretched, groaning as he moved his arm, the injection spot feeling sore.
He took a deep breath, smelling the scent of mud, the ground still wet after the rain from a couple of days ago. Bella loved it, runny where it was dirtiest, her tongue hanging out happily. Mulder knew she would need to be washed before she would be able to go inside, but the trouble was worth it if it meant she’d had fun and had gotten some exercise.
Faith had her rain boots on as they walked and enjoyed the cool breeze of the late afternoon. She was not as keen with the mud, but she liked looking for flowers, rocks, and pine cones that were on the ground; carrying them in her own small pockets or handing them over to be held by Mulder.
“Should we head home, love? Or walk a bit more?”
“You’re the boss,” he said with a smile and reached for her hand, Bella running beside them with a happy bark.
When they arrived home a little later, he grabbed the towels and soap he had thoughtfully left on the porch. Turning on the hose, he brought Bella over to the plastic pool they had bought for her last summer.
Apologizing for the cold water, he washed her quickly, drying her and bringing her onto the porch so she would not roll in the muddy grass, thus starting the process all over again. She ran back and forth, rolling on her back and scooting her face on the floorboards as Faith laughed from the grass as Mulder cleaned up.
They both turned at the sound of a car pulling up as he lifted the pool and dumped out the soapy water, leaning it against the house. Bella barked as she stood with her paws on the porch, her tail wagging as Scully got out and opened the gate.
“Mama! Mama home, Dada!” Faith said as she started to run to her, but Mulder caught her and picked her up.
“Whoa. Mama has to bring the car in and we have to watch out. Stay where it’s safe, my love, okay?”
“Yes, Dada,” she said, nodding her head seriously.
“Good,” he said, kissing her cool cheek and pulling her fluffy beanie down further.
Scully pulled the car to the side of the house and got out, closing the door and locking it. Mulder set Faith down and said she could go see Mama now. She ran towards her as he walked to close the gate.
“Hello, my love. Well, I see you’ve had a fun afternoon.” She squatted down and hugged her, but did not pick her up, not wanting to dirty her dress and coat. “What treasures did you bring home today? Anything in your pockets?”
“Yes. I have rocks. Flowers. Pink flowers, Mama.” She reached into her coat pockets and took out a black rock, two pink flowers and some leaves, handing them all to Scully. “Pretty flowers, Mama.”
“They are pretty, honey. Very beautiful.” She smiled at Faith as she held the squished flowers and rolled the rock between her fingers. Looking up at Mulder, he winked and put out a hand to help her up.
“Yes. It’s what I was needing.” She smiled and he kissed her, squeezing her hand and taking the rock from her. “Don’t drop it. Put it-”
“In with the others… I know.” She smiled again and nodded as she took Faith’s hand, all of them walking to the garden area and adding the day’s treasures to the many rocks already placed inside it.
“One day we should make a stepping stone or something with the rocks she’s brought home over the years.”
“I like that idea,” Scully said, as he placed the black rock next to a small gray one.
“You have any other rocks in those pockets, Miss Faith?” he asked, checking and finding nothing but some stray pieces of grass. “Nope, we’re all good.” He kissed her and scooped her up, causing her to shout out and laugh, her muddy rain boots kicking into his side. He smiled as he looked at her and she smiled back, glad she was finally back to her happy self.
April 3, 2021
Mulder covered the table with a plastic tablecloth as Scully placed the coffee cups on the table, each one filled with a different color of dye and a spoon. The eggs were on the counter in the carton, hard boiled and ready to go. Faith was wearing a pair of old pants and a shirt that was a bit too small; an outfit that could get stained without any worry.
“You ready to color the eggs, my love?” Scully asked as she lifted her into her booster chair and pushed it close to the table.
“Ready!” Faith said with a smile.
“Okay! Let me show you how to do it. Which color would you like? Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple?”
“Okay,” Scully chuckled and picked up the cup of purple dye as Mulder took out his phone, taking video and pictures. “So…” She grabbed the eggs and set them close, but out of Faith’s reach, taking one from the carton. “We take an egg, carefully, and we place it on the spoon and then set it in the cup.” Faith leaned forward and watched as Scully set the egg in the cup and stirred the liquid gently.
“Now, we leave the egg in for a couple of minutes… but, let’s see how it looks so far.” She put the egg on the spoon and lifted it to show Faith who gasped and looked up at Scully.
“It’s purple! Dada! Egg is purple!” She looked at Mulder and he laughed softly, taking a picture of her happy surprised face before he put his phone down on the table.
“Purple is good. But what about blue?” He took an egg from the carton and placed it in the cup of blue dye, smiling at both of them as Scully put the egg back in the cup of purple dye.
Ten more eggs were done, some colored on with a white crayon, a design created that remained undyed: a heart, butterfly, Faith’s name, and a couple with scribbled lines drawn by Faith. She was quite proud of them and kept picking them up and smiling, showing them the pictures she had made.
Mulder helped her set them into the small cardboard egg stands, only one of the stands not being used as she had taken a liking to the picture on it and kept a hold of it. The eggs set back on the counter, the table wiped off, and cups set in the sink, they had some yogurt and strawberries before Faith would be going to bed.
“Dada, eggs so pretty. Purple butterfly so pretty,” she said, yogurt on her chin as she looked at the eggs on the counter. “Mama see blue egg? My egg.”
“Yes, that egg says Faith. That’s your name.” Scully smiled at her and wiped her chin.
“So pretty,” Faith said, sighing before she took another bite. Mulder shook his head with a smile as he stared at her.
After changing her into her pajamas, a couple of books read, they said goodnight and put her to bed with her egg stand picture held tightly in her hands.
“I love so much that she fixates on things that interest her,” he said as they closed the door and Scully chuckled.
“Of course you do,” she said softly, touching his chest and kissing him. “She’s a mini you when it comes to that type of thing.” Laughing again, she went downstairs and he followed.
They cleaned up and got the items out for the Easter baskets they were going to fill. The basket from last year for Faith and the new one for the upcoming twins.
“Look how tiny these are,” Scully said with a sigh, her lip sticking out, as she held up the tiny onesies. They were white with large dandelions, the seeds blowing across it. One said: Sometimes when you wish for a miracle and the other said: You get two. “Faith used to wear things this tiny. Remember how small she was, Mulder?”
“I do,” he said with a chuckle, reaching for one of the onesies. “She was the most beautiful little lump.” Scully grabbed the onesie back and swatted him with it as she laughed. He winked and filled Faith’s basket as she filled the other.
Into Faith’s, he placed a few brightly colored plastic eggs, a rainbow colored stuffed butterfly, a wind up hopping yellow chick and white rabbit, a pink bottle of bubbles, purplish pink princess Goldfish crackers, sidewalk chalk, and two applesauce pouches.
In the other basket, Scully placed the same organic brand of soap and lotion they had used for Faith, two board books: Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You, four large plastic eggs with a couple of pairs of little socks in each one and two packs of pacifiers. The onesies were folded carefully and laid on top, a white ribbon tied on the top of the handle.
“You know Rachel’s going to cry when she sees that,” he said, nodding to the basket as he stood up.
“Of course she will. But happy tears are the best tears.” She smiled at him as she stood up and he reached for her hand, spinning her around and then pulling her close.
“They are indeed.” He kissed her and she laughed. Stepping away, she put the eggs in the refrigerator, ready for the hunt in the morning, before taking his hand with a smile and leading him upstairs.
April 4, 2021
“Again Dada,” Faith laughed, handing Mulder the wind up rabbit. “Again please.” He smiled as he wound it up and held it as he then wound the chick, setting them on the floor.
“And… GO!” he shouted as they began to hop and she dissolved into giggles, on her knees beside them. He laughed as he watched her, looking up at Scully as she smiled down at them.
She winked and took the eggs from the fridge, walking outside to hide them while Faith’s attention was elsewhere. Coming back in after five more times of him winding up the toys, she nodded at him and he picked Faith up, grabbing her basket on the way.
“Okay, love. You won’t remember from last year but, we need to find the eggs and put them in your basket. Oh look! There’s two right there!” He pointed to the porch swing, bringing her attention to the red and blue egg, and she walked over to pick them up. “Great job. Now let’s put them in the basket.” She set them inside and looked up at him, somewhat confused.
“Over here, honey,” Scully said and Faith turned around. Walking over to her, Scully pointed to her muddy rain boots that were sitting by the door. “Look inside.” Faith bent down and looked inside, reaching in and pulled out an orange egg from one and a yellow one from the other. Smiling at Scully, Mulder held the basket out to her, and she placed them inside.
Putting on her boots, they continued with the egg hunt, finding a couple in the garden, one by Bella’s pool, the trees by the gate, in the shed, by the car, and the last one under her blue plastic bucket in the yard. All of them accounted for, they went inside to have breakfast.
“Again, Dada,” Faith said as the door closed and she ran to pick up the wind up toys.
“It was your decision to buy those,” Scully said with a smile, taking the basket from him and bringing it into the kitchen.
“Yes… it was,” he agreed, taking the white rabbit and winding it, grinning at the happy smile on Faith’s expectant face.
“It’s so good to see you both,” Scully said, hugging Rachel and rubbing her arm as she stepped back and gave Skinner a one armed hug, as he was carrying a bakery box. “Happy Easter.”
“God, it smells good in here,” Rachel said, setting down the purple basket in her hand, taking off her coat and hanging it up. “That ham is making my mouth water.”
“Feeling better then?”
“Yes, thank god. I hope I’m past the morning sickness, but…” She shrugged and let out a sigh, smiling as she saw Faith. “Miss Faith, that is a beautiful dress. You look so pretty.”
“Hi, Rachel. Hi Unco!” she said, running to them for hugs.
“Here, this is for you, sweetie,” Rachel said, squatting down and handing her the Easter basket. “From me and Uncle.”
“Oh… so pretty!” she said, taking out the pink polka dotted bunny and giving it a hug. “Pink bunny.”
They all laughed and watched as she emptied it of the other items and then filled it with plastic eggs, placing the eggs around the house. Skinner was chosen and persuaded to go on a hunt, Faith laughing and clapping when he “found” each egg.
Rachel cried when she was given her gift, just as Mulder had predicted, touching the dandelions and letting out a deep breath with a nod.
“This is so beautiful. And absolutely true,” she said softly, rubbing her stomach and smiling at them. “Thank you.”
They sat down to eat, everyone exclaiming over how good the meal was and how they had missed out on it last year. Beginning to reminisce, they shook their heads at how terrible and worrisome it had felt at the same time last year.
“What a difference a year makes,” Mulder said and they all raised their glasses in agreement.
Talk then turned to the vaccine. Skinner was getting his second dose in a week and Rachel was waiting on advice from the obstetrician.
“I’ve called Elise and made an appointment to see her in two weeks for the next ultrasound and check up. I’m hoping we’ll be able to know the sex by then, but it might be too early.”
“Have you decided if you’ll move?” Scully asked and the conversation turned to real estate. Rachel brought up an app on her phone, showing them places they had been looking at, but had yet to inquire about.
“It’s still early, but…” She shrugged and reached for the bowl of mashed potatoes, placing a large spoonful onto her plate.
After they ate, Scully and Rachel sat on the porch swing, reading books to Faith. Mulder and Skinner stood in the grass, drinking a beer and throwing the ball for Bella.
“Things are better?” Mulder asked and Skinner nodded with a smile.
“Better. Still… nervous, but…” He looked at Rachel reading as Faith laughed and he chuckled softly. “It’s going to change everything, but I’m ready for it.”
“Yeah,” Mulder agreed with a smile.
Dessert, a chocolate pie, was eaten on the porch, Faith once again hiding eggs in plain sight for them to find, Grey following and batting at them, chasing one across the porch as it bounced loudly.
All too soon, they were gathering up their things, giving hugs, and saying goodbye. Faith gave Rachel a purple plastic egg with a blue butterfly sticker and Rachel thanked her with tears in her eyes, cursing her hormones as they all laughed.
Waving goodbye as they drove away, Faith asked for another egg hunt and Mulder agreed to one more before bed. As he began to hide them, Scully took Faith upstairs to change her clothes and brush her teeth.
Coming back down, they both smiled at Faith as she padded around in her footed pajamas, the basket held tightly in her hands, exclaiming happily and excitedly every time she found an egg, and placed it inside, Grey once again chasing after the ones that fell from the basket, spinning them wildly across the hardwood floor.
maybe don't tell everyone you cry every time you write your own stories? not a good look
I don’t say it does every time, that’s for sure, but even if I did, I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be a “good look.”
If MY thoughts and MY words make me feel things, should I not express that? I’m not insinuating it make everyone feel the same, only expressing how I feel about MY work. If an author was interviewed and they stated how a story they wrote affected them, an actor a scene, or a musician a melody, I would find that draws me to them a bit more. Shows how their work made them feel proud and engaged in what they had done. This is how I feel about the stories I write and I will continue to express if they made me happy, sad, laugh, or cry.
There is an AU handle on Twitter, that tweets out ideas and today a friend suggested one with the idea: “Scully just lost a young patient and Mulder is visiting a friend at the hospital… go…”
Well, not being one to turn away from a challenge, I began to write… and cry.
I hope you enjoy.
“Time of death… 5:18 p.m,” she said, her eyes on the girl in the bed, her heart breaking. She ripped off her gloves and dropped them to the ground, breathing hard as she hurried out of the room.
She ran past people in the hall, bumping into nurses, and apologizing as hot tears began to fall. She reached blindly for the handle of a door, opened it, and slid to the ground as she leaned against it. Drawing her knees up, she wrapped her arms around them, sobbing heavily.
Why? Why did she have to die?
“God,” she sobbed. “Why?” She cried for all the nights she’d sat with her, checking in and finding her awake, as her mother slept tiredly on the uncomfortable pullout couch.
They’d had conversations far beyond that of a usual ten year old. Discussions of after life, death, religion, her family, and the worry for her mom if she were to die.
“What if I don’t get better, Doctor Scully? Who will take care of my mom? My little sister?”
“Veronica… Ronnie, I’m not gonna let that happen.”
“Everybody dies, Doctor Scully. I know about my disease. I’ve read all I can about it. I’m just glad my sister doesn’t have it. If she was sick… in pain…” She had looked up with tears in her green eyes and Dana Scully, still rather new at calling herself doctor, had stared at her with a wobbly smile. “I’m glad it’s me and not her.”
“Oh, Ronnie.” She had risen from her chair and held Ronnie as they both cried, Dana promising her she would do all she could to help her.
Days of research, even as she had seen Ronnie beginning to deteriorate, she had missed family dinners and even a date with a doctor who she had been flirting with a few weeks before.
It had not mattered though, as she had begun to see an improvement, Ronnie feeling happier and more alert.
But then… a week ago, Ronnie had to be intubated and after speaking to her mother, holding in her arms as she cried, Dana had gone into the locker room, turned on the shower and let the falling water cover the sound of her crying out her fears and frustration.
Ronnie had maintained on the ventilator, waking up and locking eyes with Dana, tears rolling down her face and falling into her ears. Dana had wiped them away, whispering how sorry she was, asking for her forgiveness. Ronnie had nodded, her eyes closing as she weakly squeezed her hand.
That had been the last time she was conscious, and now… now she was gone, despite Dana’s very best efforts to save her.
“It’s not fair,” she whispered into her knees and took a deep breath. “I’m so sorry Ronnie. I’m so very sorry. I tried… I…” Breaking down again, she cried until she felt like an empty shell of herself.
Raising her head, she wiped her face and opened her eyes to find a man sitting on a small sofa staring at her with kind hazel eyes. She scrambled quickly to her feet and shook her head in confusion.
“Have you… have you been here this whole time?” she asked, her voice low and raw.
“Uhh… yeah,” he admitted and she stared at him in disbelief.
“Why would you… I was…”
“You saw… all of that… you heard.”
“Why wouldn’t you say anything? That was a very… very private moment.”
“I agree,” he said softly with a nod. “I… I was in here, waiting to visit a friend, when you came in and um… I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“In here…” She looked around and realized she was in a waiting area, having blocked the only door in and out. “I’m sorry…” She began to breathe heavily and he stood up, coming to her side and leading her to a chair.
“Sit. Deep breaths. In. Out. There you go,” he said softly, his hand on her upper back as tears started to fall again, shocking her as she was sure she would never cry again.
She closed her eyes and covered her face, shaking her head as his hand rubbed in small circles, and she took in big breaths and cried. He said nothing and when the door opened, his touch left her for a second, before returning again, the room silent.
Wiping her face again, she took a deep breath and sat up straighter, silently asking him to move his hand. He must have understood as she felt the comforting weight of his hand disappear.
She sniffled, her nose stuffy and her head aching. Opening her eyes, she saw him standing in front of her with a box of the thin hospital tissues. She nodded slightly as she took a couple, blowing her nose and wiping her eyes.
“Thank you,” she whispered, blowing her nose again.
“You’re welcome,” he responded quietly, holding the tissues out, and she took the box, setting it in her lap.
“I lost a patient,” she whispered. “She was… I have to speak to her mother. I…” She stood up and the tissues fell to the floor. “I’m sorry. Excuse me.”
She left the room and did not look back, walking down the hall and back to Ronnie’s room, not at all ready to face this part of being a doctor.
She stepped into the elevator, letting out a heavy sigh as she leaned against the wall. Two days ago, she had been at Ronnie’s funeral and today was her first day back, after some much needed time off.
The funeral had been hard, breaking her down many times as she had listened to people speak about Ronnie. Her little sister had run to her, clinging to her as she cried, Dana unable to stop her tears as she had held her.
Her mother had held Dana’s face in her hands and stared at her, telling her it was not her fault.
“You gave us more time with Ronnie. Even one day was a gift. All you did for her, for us, I could never thank enough.”
“But I… I couldn’t… I’m so sorry, Marie. I truly am.”
“Doctor Scully, Dana, we both knew the course of her prognosis. The timeline. It was blind faith in which we placed our hope. You did so much for her. More than even I know. She always spoke so highly of you.” Dana had nodded, tears falling down her face, Marie wiping them away gently before pulling her in for a hug. “Thank you for every day you gave us.”
Tears filling her eyes, she swiped them away as the elevator dinged and stopped. Turning around, she let out a breath and hoped she had gotten all the evidence of her tears as she turned back around and froze.
“Hi,” the man with the kind hazel eyes said and she let out a breath. He searched her face and smiled gently. “How are you?”
The elevator stopped again and they were forced to stand closer together as a Hispanic family stepped inside, speaking in rapid Spanish and laughing heartily. He held her elbow gently, holding her steady, not even aware she had suddenly become off balance.
“Breathe. Breathe in,” he whispered, his eyes never leaving hers. “Deep breaths. Good.”
He smiled and she felt herself calming, the sounds of the family in the elevator growing quieter as she focused on his eyes, words, and touch. The elevator stopped and the family left, leaving them alone as the doors closed.
“Okay,” she whispered, nodding as she let out a breath.
“Which floor do you need?”
“Oh… um three. No.. five. It’s five.” He nodded and stepped to the panel, pressing the five and turning back to her with a smile. “Thank you.” He nodded again and she looked down, thinking of what she should say to this man who she did not know, but who had been there, twice now, when she had desperately needed someone.
“Which… which floor did you need? You didn’t make a selection.”
“I will once I know you’re where you need to be.”
She stared at him and felt something she had not felt in a very long time. A sense of butterflies in her stomach, even as she felt guilty in her time of grief. It did not feel right, but he was kind and attentive when he had no reason to be.
“Why?” she asked, feeling as though she was suddenly drowning, thinking of Ronnie and her green eyes full of laughter.
“Because… everyone needs someone to look out for them.”
“You don’t even know me,” she said, her eyes filling with tears. “You…”
“You’re a doctor. You care for others. It’s your job, but it’s also a calling,” he said with a soft smile. “It can also break your heart and pull you down, leave you drowning.”
“Yes,” she whispered as her tears spilled onto her cheeks.
“Yes,” he agreed quietly as the elevator dinged, announcing its arrival to the fifth floor. The doors opened and she stayed rooted to the spot, unable to move. “This is your floor.”
“Right,” she said with a nod, wiping her face. He stepped to the side, allowing her to pass and leave the elevator.
The doors closed as she turned around, realizing she had not thanked him properly, and in fact, did not even know his name. Sighing deeply, she started to turn back around when the doors opened and he was standing before her, smiling as he handed her a business card.
“Fox Mulder,” he said softly, holding out his hand.
“Dana Scully,” she whispered back, taking his hand and holding it gently.
“Doctor Scully.” The doors began to close and he caught them, smiling at her with a nod. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“You too. Thank you for…” She sighed, unable to finish her sentence, and he nodded again, stepping back and allowing the doors to close.
Looking at the card in her hand, she saw he was a psychologist, with a practice not too far from the hospital.
It was meant to be, she heard and it sounded like Ronnie, casually discussing kismet and undeniable coincidences, as they had so often in the past.
She looked up and for a second she saw her standing before her, smiling happily, her green eyes positively shining. Dana blinked her eyes and Ronnie was gone, but she knew what she had seen.
Smiling with tears in her eyes, she slipped the business card into the pocket of her lab coat, promising herself she would call him, she let out a breath as she adjusted the stethoscope hanging around her neck.
Carrying Ronnie in her heart, she stepped forward, ready to help the next patient who needed her.
OK I know it was “technically” a Christmas story so I’m a few months behind, but I really loved your AU MSR knitting story. I am a knitter (and a crocheter!) and I have found that it can be very therapeutic and the knit/crochet community can be very supportive of each other even though we may be all different ages and from different lives. 👍🏻
Awww you have no idea what that means to me. 💕 I was nervous about that story especially how those who knitted/crocheted would enjoy it. I am neither, but my mom has for the majority of my life. It always looks very relaxing to me as she sits and does it while she watches a movie. She makes beautiful items and I always want to try it… but I don’t know. 😊
I love the idea of Mulder doing something so different but also something he needs to do to quiet his mind and help him heal. ❤️
Thank you for reading and for your kind comment. 💕❤️
Mulder is leaving the hospital after his resurrection and the atmosphere is tense. How will they move past this moment and return to how they were before?
I saw a tweet from a friend a few days ago and it got the wheels turning. I had to write a little something to fill the “what the car ride home from the hospital must have been like in Three Words.”
I know, of course, that for most MSR Philes, we saw the title and immediately thought of something else. But, this show is not the one that does that, not the way we may want to see it. It cloaks it in looks between them and roundabout conversations.
Well, that’s not what fanfic is about. 😊 So… hope you enjoy this story.
Scully stood in Mulder’s hospital room as she waited for him to change, rubbing her stomach and feeling a sense of equal parts happiness and sadness.
He was alive. Recovering… quite quickly and wholly, to everyone’s surprise. Yet… he was not himself.
Can you blame him? she thought, shaking her head. You were gone. You know how it feels. Well…
She looked at the bathroom door and sighed, knowing what he had been through was very different from her own experience. All she had to do was look at him to see it. His scars, though healing, made her heart ache.
“You okay in there?” she asked softly, stepping closer to the door.
“Uh… yeah. Just a bit a slow,” he said, his tone flat and she sighed, her eyes closing briefly.
“Do you… do you need any help?” she asked hopefully. He was silent and then the door unlocked, the sound of it like a knife in her heart.
How many times had he changed in front of her? Stripping down, without giving it a thought, as she had turned around to give him some privacy.
But this time he had not only left the room, he had locked the door. And they had been the only ones in the room.
The door opened and he stared at her, his shirt halfway on and his pants unbuttoned.
“I uh… guess my fingers didn’t seem to get the memo about healing.” He tried to joke, but it fell flat as he sighed and looked down, shaking his head.
The scars on his chest took her breath away for a second, but stepping toward him, she forced herself to smile and helped him get his other arm in and pulled his shirt down. He sighed again as she buttoned and zipped his jeans, her hands moving to his hips for a second. He raised his eyes, looking at her, and the empty sadness in them made her want to weep.
“I don’t know if I can do the shoes.”
“I can help-”
“Scully, no. You’re…” She stared at him and he was unable to maintain eye contact, moving to the bed and pressing the call button for the nurse. He did not look at her as they waited for the nurse to arrive, her hand on her stomach as the baby rolled inside of her, as though sensing that something was off.
The door opened and a nurse came in with a smile, Scully unable to reciprocate it, as Mulder explained quietly about his shoes. The nurse nodded and grabbed the socks and shoes, helping him to put them on and then tying them for him.
The baby moved sharply, and she swallowed a cry, not wanting to draw attention to herself. But out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mulder’s head turn toward her, before turning away again.
The nurse helped with his jacket and to gather any items he had, which were not many. They were placed in his bag and then the nurse left to get a wheelchair, despite his protests.
“I don’t need a goddamn wheelchair,” Mulder said as the nurse left, sighing deeply.
“Standard hospital policy,” Scully said quietly and he shook his head. “Plus you couldn’t put your shoes on without help. He’s just making sure you’re okay.” He stared at her, his eyes again unreadable, nodding as he looked away.
Tears sat below the surface, just as they had since she heard he was alive. As though she was waiting to wake up any minute and discover it was all a dream. A horrible realistic nightmare where he was snatched away from her when she had been given a miraculous second chance with him.
The door opened again and the nurse came in with the wheelchair, breaking the silence that hung heavy between them. He helped Mulder into the chair, smiling at Scully, who attempted to smile back, but knew she had failed.
“Here you go, sir,” the nurse said, handing him his bag as Scully stepped forward to take it.
“I can take it,” she said, but Mulder looked at her, holding tightly to the bag.
“I’ve got it,” he whispered and she sighed, nodding at the nurse that they were ready to go.
They walked out of the room and down the hallway, the nurse greeting people as he passed, but neither of them speaking. She had her hand on her stomach again, the baby moving wildly inside of her.
At the door, she put her hand gently on Mulder’s shoulder, telling him she would be back with the car and he nodded without saying anything. As she moved her hand, she noticed that the baby had calmed significantly as soon as she had touched Mulder.
Or it was coincidental, she thought as she walked away, not wanting to imagine anything was different about the baby. Too much was already unknown without her adding to it.
Babies move and then they stop. That’s all it is, Dana, she told herself as she arrived at the car, opened the door, and got inside.
Driving back to Mulder, she parked the car and started to get out, but the nurse stopped her as he opened the passenger door, telling her he would help Mulder.
“I don’t need help,” Mulder said angrily, standing up and getting in on his own, sighing loudly as he put on his seatbelt.
The nurse placed the bag on the backseat and nodded to Scully with a sympathetic smile. She nodded back and started the car, driving away from the hospital and glancing periodically at Mulder who remained silent, his jaw clenched.
She slowed down and then stopped at a red light, sighing loudly as she looked out the window. Glancing quickly at him, she saw his head was turned, looking out his own window. His hands were clenching and unclenching in his lap and she wanted to reach over and touch him, but she knew she could not.
He was wound tightly and she felt if she touched him, he would explode.
The light turned green and she continued on to his apartment, the silence in the car deafening.
“It’s different,” he suddenly said. It was said quietly, but it startled her, causing her to jump and her heart to pound hard. “Things. The weather. It’s…” He sighed and shook his head, falling silent once again.
She found she could not speak, did not want to speak, if she was honest. She was hurting, sad, and not too surprisingly, she could feel anger slowly beginning to build.
Things. Yeah… they were different.
Pulling up to his apartment, she parked the car and got out. Walking around to his side, she took his bag from the backseat and waited for him.
“I can take that,” he said, reaching for his bag and she moved it away from his grasp and shook her head. “Scully, I can-”
“I’ve got it, Mulder.”
“But, I can…”
“It’s a bag full of clothes. Half full, at that. I can carry it, Mulder.” She smiled at him and he nodded with a deep sigh as he began to walk toward the building.
She followed him across the lobby and to the elevator, his pace slower than usual, his eyes looking around, though he continued to remain silent. Waiting for the elevator, she once again wanted to take his hand, to touch him, to connect them.
But she did not.
Neither of them spoke as the elevator arrived at the lobby. As they stepped in, he placed his hand on her back and for a second everything felt normal. But as they turned around, he dropped his hand and put them into his pockets, his eyes on the ground. She closed her eyes as the elevator rose to his floor, swallowing down her tears.
He sighed as they got out and walked down his hallway. She took out her keys, the jingling sound of them loud in the quiet of the hall. Finding his on the key ring, she readied it as they arrived at the door. Placing it in the lock, she unlocked it and stepped inside.
Closing the door, they stood in the foyer as he looked around, and she wondered what thoughts were going through his mind.
“Must feel good to be home,” she said softly, finally breaking the continuing silence.
“Mm, yeah,” he hummed, barely audible as she looked at him.
Carrying his bag into his bedroom, she took a second to steel herself as she heard him moving about the apartment.
“Something looks different,” he told her as she walked back into the room.
“It’s clean,” she said, looking around and trying for a bit of humor. He chuckled, but it did not sound right.
“Ah… that’s it,” he replied with a smile, again rather awkward and forced.
She fingered her keyring as she watched him looking around, her tears still just below the surface. He bent close to the fish tank and she drew in a breath.
“Missing a molly.”
“Yeah,” she said with a nod, her hands now in her pockets, the keys still held in her right hand. “She wasn’t as lucky as you.” He let out a breath and sat on the edge of his desk.
“Mulder…” she said and for a second she thought he might not look at her. But then he turned his head and his sad eyes were on hers again. “I don’t know if you’ll ever understand what it was like.” He held her gaze, taking a deep breath. “First learning of your abduction… and then searching for you and finding you dead.” He looked away and nodded, not looking back at her. “And now to have you back and…”
Her voice broke as she smiled, tears threatening to spill over, not knowing how much more she could say. There were words she had hoped to say, planned to tell him if given the chance, but now…
“Well, you act like you’re surprised,” he joked, with another awkward smile. She released a breath and attempted a smile, but it did not feel genuine.
Looking down, she tried again to bring forth the words she wanted to say. The ones she had rehearsed in her head.
“I prayed a lot,” she said with a smile, remembering the days and nights of pleading with God. “And my prayers have been answered.”
“In more ways than one,” he said, staring and gesturing at her stomach.
“Yeah,” she agreed as she looked down, trying to find the words to tell him all that had happened… her worries and fears.
“I’m happy for you,” he said, and it felt wrong as though something was missing. “I think I know… how much that means to you.”
To her? How much it meant to her? she thought as she raised her head and stared at him. For her?
He did not know. She had not told him, that was true, but how did he not understand? How could he not know that this baby was not only her happiness, but theirs?
His gaze lingered on her stomach and she wanted to release the dam of tears pressing behind her eyes. He smiled slightly as he looked down, and the words she ached to tell him, that the miracle he had spoken of had come true. But the words stuck within her, though she tried, her lips moving, but no sound coming forth.
“Mulder…” Was all she could utter before he interrupted her.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be cold or ungrateful. I just… I have no idea where I fit in right now.” He stared at her, imploring with his eyes for her to understand. “I just, uh… I’m having a little trouble… processing… everything.”
He looked away as she stared at him, weighing the words she desperately wanted to say with the ones he could handle hearing at the moment. She nodded and looked down, forcing a smile as she wiped away her tears.
“I understand. I do.” She looked up at him and he sighed, holding her gaze as he nodded.
“I suppose you would,” he agreed quietly, his eyes dropping to her stomach again and she bit the inside of her lip.
“I should go,” she whispered and his head flew up, staring at her with confusion. “Or I could stay…” He continued to stare at her and then he stood up, his hands in his pockets.
“I should umm…” he said, looking around and she chuckled softly. “It’s too damn clean in here.” She smiled and he answered with one of his own, the awkwardness lingering just a bit.
“I’m sure you’ll have it back to it’s cluttered ways in no time.” He nodded as she ran her fingers over the keys in her pocket, suddenly needing to flee, to put some space between them. “Um… there’s food in the fridge, fresh sheets on the bed. I uh…”
“You didn’t have to-” he said, his eyes on her stomach, before raising them to hers. “I could’ve done that… well, the bed at least.”
“I’m pregnant, not an invalid. It’s not going to hurt me to change the sheets. A little awkward, but…” She shrugged with a soft smile and he sighed with a nod.
“Thank you,” he whispered and she hummed her reply.
Silence again filled the apartment. So much she wanted to say but the weight and thought of it was too much. She needed to leave. They both needed some space to be able to get past this awkwardness.
“So… I’ll uh… I’ll let you get settled. Talk to the fish, as I know you like to do.” He glanced at them and smiled slightly with a nod. “Like I said, there’s food in the fridge.” He looked back at her and nodded slowly with a sigh.
She turned around and walked towards the door, tears threatening to fall, but she kept them at bay as she got to the door and paused. Turning around again, she saw he was standing by the dining room table, his eyes on her.
“I’m…” he said quietly and she shook her head.
“I know. It’s okay.” She smiled and reached for the doorknob. “Call if you need anything.”
“Scully,” he whispered, coming to stand in front of her. “I need… some time. I just…”
“Mulder, I understand.”
They stared at one another and he sighed deeply. She wanted to hug him, to hold him, to stay… but they needed space right now. Settling for squeezing his upper arm, she nodded and opened the door.
Walking down the hall, she did not turn to look back, not wanting to know if he was watching and not wanting him to see her tears.
Four days. Four days of ups and downs, snarky comments, accusing eyes, and dismissing what she had to say. They were short with one another, out of sync, and she was tired of it. She had taken it in stride, but tonight she was angry and he was going to hear about it.
He had been missing. Tortured. Dead. This was all true, but that did not mean he had the right to treat her the way he had been.
Tonight that was going to change.
She knocked on his door, her knuckles rapping sharply, as she waited for him to open it. Not hearing him shuffling around inside, she knocked again, her annoyance rising.
Sighing, she took out her keys and unlocked the door. Stepping inside, she closed and locked the door, her eyes adjusting to the darkness. Sighing, she took off her shoes, and walked towards his bedroom. The door was open a crack, a single light on, as she pushed it open wider.
She heard the shower running as she walked further into his room. His bed was unmade, the sheets tangled. Clothes littered the floor, his running shoes next to the bed, a dress shirt on the edge of his bed. Picking it up, she held it to her nose and breathed in, closing her eyes as his scent hit her senses.
The shower stopped and she opened her eyes. Setting his shirt down, she took a deep breath. The door opened and he walked out, a towel around his waist, his body and hair still damp.
“Fuck, Scully!” he shouted, stepping back and letting out an exasperated breath. “What in the hell are you doing here?”
“We need to talk.”
“Jesus Christ. You know, phones work well. You could have just called.” He shook his head as she continued staring at him.
“I’ll wait for you in the living room,” she said, walking out the door, not giving him a chance to respond.
She paced the living room, her hand on her stomach, as she waited for him. The door creaked as he walked out and she turned to look at him. He opened his mouth to speak and she put up a hand.
“I have some things to say and you’re going to listen. You’re not going to interrupt me, you’re just going to listen. Okay?” she said and he took a deep breath. He stared at her and then nodded in agreement. “Good.” She let out a breath and licked her lips.
“I know it wasn’t easy for you, on you… I know it. I know that you’ve been through a trauma that you’re just beginning to piece together, to understand, but…” She shook her head and took a deep breath. “Of all the people to be angry with, to take out your frustration, I should not be one of them. None of us should. But me most of all. I don’t deserve to be treated that way.”
“Listening only, remember?” She raised her eyebrows at him and he nodded with a heavy sigh. “I know that for you it’s different, I know. I know that feeling, as I’ve experienced it myself.”
“Mulder,” she said, ignoring his interruption, hot tears filling her eyes. “Every day you were gone, I felt like a piece of myself was lost. Every possibility of finding you… I… we finally did and you were dead. Dead.” Her tears spilled over as she remembered that day and she closed her eyes. “You will never… never know the pain I felt watching as you were lowered into the ground. Mulder…” She sobbed in a breath and covered her mouth as she shook her head.
“I was alone… Mulder…” She began to cry harder and then he was holding her. She clung to him, crying into his chest, as he stroked her hair and whispered her name.
As she calmed, she wrapped her arms around his waist, holding him as close as her pregnant belly allowed. The baby moved and Mulder pulled back, staring at her stomach. The look on his face caused her to laugh as she wiped her tears.
“Did that hurt?” he whispered, reaching out to place a hand on her stomach, but pulled it back, unsure. She shook her head, taking his hand and placing it where the baby had moved.
“No. Not exactly. But it does take me by surprise sometimes.” The baby rolled again and he looked up at her, his eyes wide.
“Whoa…” He stepped closer and spread his fingers, encompassing a larger area, his eyes dropping down. She watched him, the smile pulling slowly at his lips, and her heart ached.
“It’s yours,” she breathed and his eyes flew up to hers. She stared at him, searching his eyes, waiting for her words to reach his brain.
“What did you think? How did you think this happened?” She smiled as his mouth opened and closed, his hand pressing more firmly against her stomach. He shook his head and she cupped his face with her hand.
“The… procedure didn’t work… you…”
“No, the procedure didn’t work, but…” She sighed and shook her head, her thumb stroking his cheek. “I don’t know how, I really don’t… but, somehow…” She bit her bottom lip and exhaled through her nose, holding a hand over his on her stomach.
“I… we…” He shook his head and let out a sound of disbelief. His fingers grasped hers, squeezing gently.
“Yes… we,” she whispered with a nod, sighing as her thumb ran slowly over his lips and he kissed it softly.
“I…” He let out a sigh and stared into her eyes. “I’m sorry. I… I remember how it was when you were gone. I… Jesus, Scully…”
“Mulder, I know that you feel a sense of not knowing your purpose, your plan… and as much as I want you back at work, I think-”
“I need more time,” he agreed and she smiled with a slight nod and a hum.
He stepped back and placed both hands on her stomach, staring with a smile. Shaking his head, he looked up at her, and she smiled at him.
“I’m sorry. Sorry for…”
“I know and I do understand.”
“I know you do… it’s just that-” The baby rolled again and he pulled his hands away before putting them back. “I see what you mean about being surprising.” She laughed softly and nodded. “Seeing you like this the first time… I… I’m ashamed of my thoughts. My anger. I…”
“I should’ve told you.”
“Not sure how I would’ve taken it.” He exhaled a breathy laugh and she looked at him, wondering what he meant. His eyes focused on hers and he sighed. “I would’ve been happy, but also…”
“It’s a lot to spring on a guy just back from the dead.”
“Something like that, yeah,” he whispered and she smiled slightly. “Doesn’t mean I should’ve treated how I did.”
“No. But that’s going to change.”
“Yes,” he said with a smile. “Yes it will.”
Her smile grew and her gaze dropped to his lips. He leaned forward, as she placed a hand on his chest, and he kissed her softly. Another kiss and her hand moved to the back of his neck. His hands moved around her waist as he pulled her closer, the kiss deepening.
“Will you stay?” he whispered against her lips.
“If you want,” she teased, knowing full well she would not be leaving.
“I do…” he replied, kissing her again before pulling back and smiling at her as he took her hand and led her into the bedroom.
He gave her a shirt to wear, watching her undress and dropping to his knees to lay his cheek against her stomach, and place a kiss just above her navel. Her fingers ran through his hair as she cried softly, prayers of thankfulness silently sent heavenward.
They got into bed, his arms around her, her body curled against his, fitting perfectly as she always had. A couple of pillow adjustments, his low laughter in her ear, she placed her hand over his on her stomach and let out a breath.
“Is it a boy or a girl?” he whispered and she shook her head.
“I don’t know. I don’t want to know. Not yet.”
“Hmm…” he hummed and she closed her eyes as she began to cry again. “Hey… shhh, it’s okay.”
“So close. So close to never having this again,” she cried and he held her tighter, kissing her ear and whispering her name. “I ached for you. I needed you. Oh, Mulder.” His leg hooked over her calf, locking them closer together, and he hummed as she cried softly.
Her tears subsided and she took calming breaths, the feel of his arms around her bringing her comfort. It was not a dream, he was there, alive and breathing.
“I love you,” she whispered, squeezing his hand and releasing a deep shaky breath.
“I love you too,” he whispered, his breath warm on her cheek as he kissed her. “So very much.”
There were still things they needed to discuss, questions she knew he had, and answers they would need to find together.
Someone was talking at me yesterday about this movie and I was getting riled so I decided to go full rant. Specifically in regards to the feminist podcast that slammed it.
I don’t even remember which podcast it was, but I am still rankled and baffled that any “feminism in movies” podcast could jump to anything but “this movie is phenomenal.”
First of all, even just discussing the overall quality: sure, it might not have been groundbreaking with its cgi or plot twists. But back in the 90s, that wasn’t the standard of measure like it is now (and even now is a shitty standard that needs to die). This movie was light and funny and yet hit all the right beats to maintain the dire stakes needed to make it a compelling action flick.
Its characters are fully realized and entirely distinct from each other. Even those treated with a broader brush, such as the Americans, were charismatic enough that we were fully invested in their fate. The entire cast of characters were real people with real impact and real agency.
The script is quotable and fucking hilarious. There are gems from literally every single character. Rick and Evie have actual chemistry, aided by Rachel Weisz’s natural magnetism and Brendan Frasier’s career-long knack for acting utterly charmed with his female costars.
Actually, let’s talk about Rick O'Connell for a second. This is peak 90s Brendan Frasier. He is absolutely GORGEOUS, suave, and cool, rugged and handsome. He is the epitome of the 1920s adventure hero. Dear god I want to kiss those casting directors. But for all his general peak masculinity? He’s feminist as fuck. He is equally dumbstruck by Evie as she is by him, and it’s wholly evident that it’s more than a “oh no she’s hot” thing.
How do we know?
He steals her some tools to dig with. This gift demonstrates that he a) has identified her passion for archaeology, b) has recognized her proficiency in the field, despite it not being explicitly stated on screen, and c) sees a chance to restore her full and active participation in the discovery of Hamunaptra.
There is never a moment where Rick assumes to be the leader of the expedition. He is the weapons expert, the muscle–and he knows it. Better than that, he’s totally okay with it. He follows Evie’s lead in all things.
Another favorite moment of mine is when they’re facing off with the American team on Day 1, and Evie realizes there’s a chamber underneath Anubis they could use to excavate the statue. She puts her hand on Rick’s arm, looks him in the eye, and says very deliberately “there are other places to dig.” And he yields, instantly.
By comparison, see the way the Americans treat their workers and guide.
Does he groan about his work being made exponentially harder as a result? Nope. And that’s a recurring theme in his behavior the entire goddamn movie. The only time he is in charge is when a situation is in his wheelhouse– namely, combat and rescue. And it deserves mentioning that the majority of the time that he’s in charge, Evie is not present.
Meanwhile, Evie– her adventurer’s spirit chafing in an academia that dismisses her for her gender– is an absolute marvel. She is visually coded as being very feminine (she’s in dresses and long hair most of the film), but that fact in no way detracts from her competence and agency.
She is consistently protrayed as a fully capable expert in egyptology and there is never a single moment where she waffles on what to do. Even when she’s the damsel in distress, she actively makes the choice to be so because she weighs the potential outcomes and decides doing so provides their best chance of success.
Evie is never the passive victim. She is constantly brash, constantly scheming, and saves the lives of her would-be rescuers mid-abduction. And when her brother (who is the failure of the family, against type) needs help with translation, she correctly translates for him while being throttled by a mummified priestess.
When I first saw this film, I was too young to realize how novel it was. Back then, all I knew was that it was just a good time. But now as an adult– an adult acutely aware of the treatment female characters have gotten in the twenty years since– I marvel at the respect with which the writers and directors treated Evie.
I marvel at how tender Rick was allowed to be, despite his rugged adventurer archetype.
The Mummy (1999) is peak storytelling. It doesn’t try to outsmart the audience, but rather lays out a consistent, coherent narrative that gives the characters and viewers room to breathe. It invests the audience enough to care whether the characters succeed in their goals.
The Mummy (1999) does it right. It’s the reason that any talk of the Tom Cruise version gets an immediate eyeroll from me, because whatever modern grimdark grit they shove into a story about a mummy cannot compare to the reliable and timeless entertainment of the 1999 adaptation.
All modern media should aspire to be the kind of film that The Mummy (1999) is.
This. ALL. OF. THIS. I absolutely adore this movie for every one of these reasons and I also had/have a huge crush on Brendan Fraser. I will never not like this movie. It’s perfect. ❤️
Every time I see this, I watch it over and over. It’s an interesting thing because… I would normally be grossed out by it. But, with these two…. the fact that he, without question or hesitation puts his hand out to take it from her, it’s like a parent doing it for their child, but absolutely opposite. It’s someone completely comfortable with the other, willing to accept chewed up food into their hand, because the other no longer wants it.
They are at work. Different than yours or mine, true… but at work. They are getting their job done and yet… he is willing to catch her chewed up food into his hand. She knows he will and she does it. There is NO hesitation on either of their parts and I LOVE IT! Anybody did that to me and I would recoil but THEY do it and it makes me all 😊😊.
A purchase made, leads to a fun family afternoon, trying out something new.
I wrote this for my friend’s birthday, I hope you all enjoy it. 💕
March 22, 2021
Mulder opened the front door and Scully heard him exclaim happily. Turning her head, she saw he was carrying in a large box and she frowned in confusion.
“What’s that you’ve got there?” she asked as he closed the door and looked at her with a smile.
“A pasta maker.”
“A… a pasta maker?” She looked back at Faith sitting beside her on the living room floor and playing with a piano book as she sang along to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” What has your daddy done now, my love?”
“Faithy! It’s here! The pasta maker we ordered is here!”
“Pasta!” she said, abandoning her book as she stood up and walked over to him. “Yummy pasta.”
“When did you buy a pasta maker?”
“About a week ago. Remember when we were watching that cooking show?”
“Which one?” she asked with a laugh as she stood up and walked over to join them.
“True, we have been watching a lot of those shows,” he said, as he set the brown cardboard box on the dining room table and began to pull the tape back and open it. “But there was one we watched and they made pasta from scratch. It looked easy and delicious. I thought, we could do that… I mean we have the time.” He took the pasta maker box out and moved the other to the floor, smiling as he turned it around and looked at all the features.
“Ravioli… lasagnette, whatever that is… fettuccine,” he said, with a nod. “Think of the money we’ll save making our own pasta.”
“Considering we will eventually have to buy the ingredients, not sure we’ll save that much,” she responded, looking at the pictures with a smile.
“Party pooper,” he said and she laughed. “I was looking at the pasta makers and watching videos when you were on a run a couple of weeks ago. Faith was watching with me and she seemed interested in it. There was a little boy in the video helping his mom and I thought it would be fun to have one and try it with Faith.”
“You’re so cute,” she whispered and he looked at her in surprise. “I love how excited you get to do things like this with her. You’re such a good dad, Mulder. You really are.” She smiled and he stared at her, nodding slowly as he took a deep breath.
“Thank you,” he said quietly. She kissed his cheek as she placed her hand on his arm and gave it a gentle squeeze.
“So… let’s unpack this thing and see how it works,” she said with a smile.
The machine was unpacked, the parts were cleaned, dried, and waiting to be used on the kitchen counter, as Mulder wiped the table down. Scully put a pot of water on to boil and then began to gather the necessary ingredients, measuring cups and spoons. Faith was playing with Grey who had laid claim to the cardboard box, jumping in and out of it with a toy and then ignoring it to chase her own tail.
“We decided on fettuccine, right?” Scully asked and Mulder nodded as Faith laughed, picking up Grey’s pink toy mouse and throwing it into the box.
“Okay. I’ll get the sauce ready while you two make the pasta. Oh, I think we still have some salad. I could make that too.” He gave a low grumble and she smiled. “Yes, Mulder… a salad.”
“Fine… I’ll just have to have some extra sauce to make up for it,” he said as he took some paper towels from the roll and smacked her ass as he walked back to the table, winking at her as he did and she shook her head with a smile.
“Okay, Faithy my love, you ready to help me make the pasta?” he asked her as he dried the table and looked over at her.
“Yes. I help make pasta. Bye Grey.” She waved to Grey and walked over to Mulder who smiled at her and bent down to kiss her cheeks loudly, causing her to laugh.
“Okay. Let’s get your apron on.”
“Okay, dada.” He opened a drawer and took out her apron. It was dark blue with teal ties, neck strap, and a pocket. There were butterflies and flowers covering the whole thing in different colors of blues and greens.
“Here we go,” he said as he put it over her head and crisscrossed the ties around her waist and then tied it in the front. “Okay, you’re ready. Oh, wait, we need to wash your hands first. Come on!” He scooped her up, kissing her and snorting in her ear, causing her to laugh again.
Scully watched them, the way he held her, pulled up her sleeves, and helped her wash her hands as he sang the alphabet song. His care for her never failed to make her feel an ache in her chest. He was a good dad, just as she had told him, and she loved watching his attentiveness with Faith.
“Now we’re ready,” he said as he dried both of their hands and set Faith on a chair. “So, the recipe says to mix it up in a bowl, but… I say we do it on the table. Like real bakers would.”
“I think we should concentrate on making the pasta and cut back on the dirty talk,” Scully deadpanned and he looked up at her in surprise.
“Are you flirting with me?” he asked and she raised an eyebrow as she started to smile and he narrowed his eyes at her. “You just… save those thoughts for later. Right now we have some pasta dough to make.” He clapped his hands and rubbed them together.
Scully smiled as she brought over the ingredients, cups and spoons, and Mulder grabbed the large cutting board, and they were all placed on the table. He took his phone from his pocket to look at the recipe and she took out her own phone and started recording them while taking pictures periodically.
“Think we should double the recipe, so… we’ll need…” He took out the cup and put it in the flour, making sure it was level before pouring it onto the cutting board. Adding a second one, he then added a teaspoon of salt and mixed it carefully. He gave Faith the spoon and helped show her how to mix it gently.
“Now we have to beat the egg slightly before we add it to this mixture.”
He turned around quickly and took a small bowl down from the cupboard. As he came back to the table, Faith was still holding the spoon, mixing up the flour. As he reached for the eggs, she lifted the spoon into the air, a large amount of flour sitting within it. It flew back, hitting him square in the face.
The shock of it caused them all to freeze and then Mulder coughed loudly, a huge puff of flour falling onto Faith and the table. She gasped and Scully started laughing… hard. When she did, Faith copied her as Mulder shook his head, wiping at his face, still coughing as flour fell from his lips.
Scully kept laughing, bent over and then back, her head falling back as she tried to hold the phone steady. Faith put the spoon in the flour again and Mulder, his face still covered in white flour, stopped her from using it to hit him with another scoop.
She looked up as he did, saw his messy face and began to giggle before laughing hysterically, which caused Bella to bark and come running over to see what all the excitement was about. She jumped up and down, her tail wagging as they all laughed and Mulder shook his head as he reached for a kitchen towel, flour falling everywhere.
“Well,” he choked out and Scully stopped the recording on the phone, trying to catch her breath from laughing. “That wasn’t exactly what I saw happening, but I should have expected it.” He coughed and shook his head, flour falling once more as he looked at Scully who started laughing again at the sight of him.
Taking a few minutes, they cleaned up. Faith continued playing in the flour and created a bigger mess as it fell on Bella, covering her back and making her sneeze. Scully laughed as she took Faith from the chair, and turned down the gas under the pot of water, keeping it on a low boil, as Mulder wiped down the table and dried it again.
“Okay,” he said with a chuckle. “Let’s try this again.” He took Faith from Scully and looked at her as he held her. “No more throwing flour at daddy, okay?”
“Okay, dada.” Scully chuckled at the seriousness of her tone and took out her phone to record again.
Thankfully, the second attempt was much better than the first and the pasta dough was set aside to rest for a little while. Faith was taken off the chair, but kept her apron on as she went to play.
Working together, they made the salad and the sauce for the fettuccine, keeping it on a low simmer as the pasta maker was reassembled and Mulder read the instructions.
Cutting the dough into sections a bit later, they rolled out the dough, Faith once more on the chair. Mulder then helped her turn the crank handle and feed a portion of dough through, pasta noodles coming out the other side. He looked up and smiled at Scully who was once more taking a video and pictures. She smiled back as she watched him lifting the pasta delicately.
“Dada. We make pasta!”
“We sure did, love. Look at it, it’s perfect. We did a good job, a spoon of flour and salt to the face notwithstanding.” Scully chuckled and turned off the video, catching his eye and walking over to him. She wiped off the top of his right ear, a bit of flour still remaining.
“Just so cute,” she whispered, kissing his cheek and smiling.
He nodded and smiled, feeding the dough through the machine again. Laying them in little nest piles, he showed Faith how to sprinkle them with flour as they rested once more before being cooked. When they were done, he lifted her from the chair and bopped her on the nose with a flour covered finger.
“Thank you for your help, my love. You did a great job. Wasn’t that fun?”
“Uh huh, dada. Fun.” She held his face in her hands and smiled at him, Scully snapped pictures, her phone on silent as to not disturb them, that happy ache filling her heart again.
When it was ready, Mulder held Faith as he dropped one little nest of noodles in at a time, stirring it and watching it cook, taking a long noodle out to test it and see if it was ready. Again Scully snapped pictures, laughing as Faith chewed on an extra long noodle, a happy smile on her face.
The noodles were drained and plated, sauce poured over them, and the salad dished up. Everything was placed on the table and they sat down to eat, Faith still wearing her flour covered butterfly apron.
“Oh, this is so good,” Scully exclaimed as she took the first bite. “So much better when it’s fresh.”
“Could not agree more,” Mulder replied as he slurped up a long noodle and Faith laughed, munching on a cucumber and Scully smiled as she took another bite.
The meal finished, Scully brought a chair to the sink and let Faith “help” her with the dishes, which mostly involved her splashing in the warm bubbly water and helping to rinse the silverware. It did not matter though, as it made the tedious task of washing dishes more enjoyable.
They took a walk when they were done, needing some fresh air and exercise. Everyone came along, Grey trotting along with them until she scampered off to chase at something they could not see. Bella was happy to be out as well, sniffing out all of her familiar places.
Coming home before it was too dark, they said hello to all of the garden figurines Scully had bought a couple of years ago at the fairy tale amusement park. Faith especially liked the white unicorn with the golden mane and tail, petting it and telling it goodnight. Grey came running up the drive with a meow and they all headed inside.
Faith had a bath and was read a story in their bed, yawning tiredly and rubbing her eyes, falling asleep before it was finished. For a few minutes, as she lay facing Scully, draped across her body, Scully simply stared at her. She ran her fingers through her soft dark hair, over her perfect porcelain like skin, and down her nose and across her pouty lips that were so much like Mulder’s. She was so beautiful, this perfect person they had created.
“She’s perfect, isn’t she?” Mulder said quietly, kneeling down beside the bed and staring at her, his hand on her pajama clad thigh, his thumb rubbing softly.
“I was thinking the same,” Scully whispered, running her fingers through her hair again. “She’s beautiful.”
“Of course she is. Have you looked in a mirror lately?” She smiled and reached out a hand to touch his cheek. He turned his head and kissed her palm, staring into her eyes with a soft smile.
A few minutes more and he lifted Faith gently and carried her to her room. Scully stretched and placed Faith’s book on the nightstand before getting up and walking out of the room. She heard Mulder humming softly and she smiled. She knew Faith had not woken, but it seemed they both needed a little extra cuddle time with her tonight.
Downstairs, she straightened up and was deciding on a glass of wine when she heard her phone vibrate with a text. Walking over, she saw it was from Mulder and she frowned with a smile as she looked up the stairs, wondering why he was texting.
Opening the message, she sighed deeply. It was four pictures that he had taken without her knowledge. One was of Faith bent over, nose to nose with Grey, as she played in the cardboard box. Another was her touching the unicorn in the garden, the last bit of sunlight captured perfectly. The next two were of Faith sleeping on her in the bed. One of only Faith and the other with Scully’s fingers resting on her cheek.
She smiled as she saved them and selected the one of her sleeping as the wallpaper on her phone. As she opened her camera roll to reciprocate with photos of him and Faith, she heard Faith’s door close and Mulder walking quietly down the stairs.
She smiled at him as he reached the bottom. Locking her phone, she walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He hummed a small laugh and she took a deep breath as she closed her eyes.
“How about some ice cream?” he asked softly and she nodded against his chest. “Good. I’ll get it.” He kissed the top of her head and she let him go, sitting on the couch and unlocking her phone again.
She looked through the pictures, watching the videos with no volume, laughing silently as he got hit in the face with the flour. Rewinding it, she watched it again, covering her mouth with glee. Going back, she looked at the photos she took while taking video and her eyes widened.
“Here you go,” he said, holding out her bowl of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge on top. “What’s that you’re looking at?” She turned the phone toward him and he laughed as he sat down, both bowls in his hands.
By some stroke of luck, she had captured the exact moment of impact. Faith held the spoon aloft. flour was flying up, the air around them hazy, and his face was hysterically comical: his eyes closed, eyebrows up, and mouth pulled down as the full force of the flour hit him.
He took the phone from her as she took her ice cream and he set his bowl on his lap. Zooming in, he chuckled at the look on his face and the way Faith held the spoon, as though she both seemed to have no idea while also knowing exactly what she was doing.
It was the perfect accidental shot.
Sending it to himself and making it his wallpaper, they then watched the videos she took throughout the day as they ate their dessert, laughing as they did.
He collected their bowls when they were done, took them into the kitchen, and put them into the sink, rinsing but not washing them. He came back and sat beside her again, taking her hand and sighing.
“It was a good day today,” he said and she nodded, putting her head on his shoulder.
“It was. I’m glad you bought that pasta maker.” He chuckled and she smiled as he hit the home button on his phone. “If only for that moment and that photo, it was worth every penny.”
They both laughed as he set the phone down and he squeezed her hand. Sighing, she yawned and closed her eyes with a smile.
“You’re a wonderful mother,” he whispered and she opened her eyes, watching his thumb rubbing her hand, as she remembered her words to him earlier in the day. “I know you know, but you should hear it more.”
“Thank you,” she whispered back, blinking away sudden tears. He hummed and kissed the top of her head, squeezing her hand again.
“I love you,” he whispered and she smiled.
“I love you too… flour face,” she said softly as she snuggled closer to him, his happy laughter filling her ears.
Your fics are so nice! Could you write scully jacking Mulder off during a meeting with skinner?
First of all, thank you so much for reading my fics. I am happy you enjoy them.
I am not sure though, that I am the one to write this story for you. I know there are many other writers who would love to tackle this one, so I hope you find someone who will. Do we have any takers? 😉😊
Mulder is injured during a sting operation. While tending to his injuries, Scully inadvertently reveals something to their fellow agents.
This was asked for by Kisha, a friend on Twitter. I loved the idea of it and it’s intrigued me since she requested it.
That’s all you get… 😉
Hope you enjoy it! ❤️
It happened so fast, no one could have stopped it.
An abandoned warehouse, the location of a possible traveling cult, the man who called himself Reverend Pure was surrounded. Tension was high, as a swarm of guns were drawn on him. Instructions were shouted and he appeared to be surrendering, his hands up as he began to kneel, when he suddenly lunged at Mulder, slashing at him with a knife he’d hidden up his sleeve.
Mulder cried out as blood soaked his white dress shirt and gunshots sounded, the suspect and Mulder both falling to the ground. As they did, Scully ran to Mulder, other agents surrounding the suspect, still shouting as the shocking image of him being cut replayed in Scully’s mind.
“You’re okay,” she said, dropping her weapon and pulling hard at his shirt and ripping it open. His tie lay by his throat as buttons flew everywhere, his chest exposed as she tried to gauge the cut through the massive amounts of blood. “It’s… it’s not too deep. You’re okay.”
“Jesus Christ.” She heard over her shoulder as Skinner walked up and she glanced up at him.
“I need some towels or something to stop the bleeding,” she said to him, pressing her bare hands into the cut in Mulder’s abdomen as he breathed deeply, moaning in pain. “Quickly, please.”
“Right. Right.” Skinner disappeared and Scully bit her lip, feeling nauseous from the sticky warmth of Mulder’s blood between her fingers.
“Scully,” he breathed, his hand gripping her wrist.
“It’s okay. I’ve got you. There’s an ambulance on the way. Shhh, it’s okay.”
“Agent Scully. Here.” She looked up and saw Agent Fowley handing her a gray t-shirt she had found somewhere. Scully grabbed it and pressed to Mulder’s abdomen as he closed his eyes and groaned at the pressure, his hand dropping from her wrist.
“You’re okay, Fox,” Agent Fowley said, kneeling beside him and touching his hair before pulling her hand away as though she had been burned. She glanced at his chest and then at Scully, her eyes hard, before standing up quickly and walking away.
“Agent Scully, here’s all I could find,” Skinner said as he walked back, a couple of towels in his hand. “Ambulance is just a few minutes out.” Scully took them from him, Mulder’s blood on her hands staining the towels, as she added it to the shirt already becoming dark with his blood.
Skinner caught her eye and she shook her head once, her mouth closed as she pressed harder and Mulder moaned again. Skinner knelt down and looked around at the chaos in the room, Scully’s attention remaining only on Mulder.
“They found the other people, got to them in time. Your theory was right, Mulder,” Skinner said looking down at him and Mulder nodded slightly.
“Safe?” Mulder breathed.
“Safe,” Skinner assured him, placing a hand on his shoulder. As Scully watched Mulder nod again, her heart stopped for a few beats as her eyes landed on Skinner’s hand on Mulder’s shoulder. Quickly raising her eyes, Skinner nodded as he stood up and walked away to assist the other agents and victims.
“Shit,” she muttered, but her worry over what he may have seen would have to wait, her concern elsewhere.
“Scully,” Mulder said weakly and she moved closer to his head, a hand still holding the towels to his wound.
“Shhh… I’m here.”
“It’s okay, Mulder. The ambulance will be here soon. I’ve slowed the bleeding.”
“The kids… did they find them?”
“Yes. They’re all safe, Mulder. It won’t be long now. You’re okay.” He slowly opened his eyes and focused on hers. He was pale and sweaty, a sure sign of shock. She bent her head close to his ear, whispering softly to him and he nodded, his eyes closing again.
The ambulance arrived, the paramedics rushing into the room and attending to him. He was lifted onto the stretcher and with a nod to Skinner, she followed behind him, feeling Agent Fowley’s eyes on her back, now knowing what had caused her to walk away so quickly earlier.
And she did not give two shits.
Hours later, her adrenaline finally slowing, she sat in a chair beside Mulder’s bed. The familiar sounds of the monitors beeping kept her alert, despite her exhaustion, as she watched Mulder’s chest rising and falling. He had been in surgery to repair the wound, and had only been back in his room for half an hour. She had waited until the doctors left to readjust his pillows and check on his wound herself. The bandage was quite large, but she knew that while it had bled a lot and was deep, the cut was not too long.
Still, it would be a bit of recovery time and she knew how he would chafe about it once he was awake. He had been in recovery for an hour and on the way back to the room had fallen asleep, the drugs strong and his tolerance low when it came to narcotics.
“The bigger they are, the harder they fall,” she whispered with a small smile, just as she had numerous times in the past. He always laughed and then inevitably fell asleep soon after, proving her point.
The door opened behind her and she turned around, feeling immediately on edge as Agent Fowley stepped inside, her eyes on Mulder. Scully stood up and crossed her arms as she could almost hear Mulder’s voice telling her to be nice.
“How is he?” Agent Fowley asked and Scully fought hard to not roll her eyes.
“Surgery went well, same with recovery. He just needs to sleep off the meds.” Agent Fowley nodded, stepping closer to the bed, and without thought, Scully stepped to the side, blocking her from getting too close. She heard Agent Fowley exhale in disbelief and yet Scully remained steadfast.
They stared at one another, Agent Fowley’s eyes taking her in from head to toe, but Scully did not flinch. She raised an eyebrow, knowing what Agent Fowley had seen and most likely wanted to confirm, possibly hoping Scully had not been in the room so she could do so.
“The suspect was shot, but survived. The others are being treated and questioned, but thankfully there are no major injuries. Aside from Fox… Agent Mulder.”
“Yes. Aside from him,” Scully said, her hackles rising as they always did when she heard Agent Fowley calling him Fox with such ease and familiarity.
“Well, he’ll probably be sleeping awhile. No need for you to wait around. I’m here.” She stared at Agent Fowley, not moving from her spot, her arms still crossed.
“Agent Scully, I know you and I haven’t gotten off on the best foot-” Scully scoffed loudly and looked down, narrowly avoiding rolling her eyes and snapping back at her.
Calm, Scully. She felt from Mulder, almost as though he had spoken out loud. Turning her head to be sure he had not, she saw he was still sleeping peacefully. Swinging her attention back to Agent Fowley, she raised her eyebrows, waiting for her to continue.
“We both have Fox’s best interests at heart,” Agent Fowley said quietly and Scully drew in a deep breath, not believing a word she was saying. She did not trust her, no matter what Mulder had said, his trust in her unwavering.
“I’m here. No reason for you to stay,” she stated again and Agent Fowley sighed with a final glance at Mulder, and walked out the door.
Bitch, Scully thought and let out the breath she had apparently been holding.
“Scully…” Mulder said hoarsely and she turned around quickly, stepping closer to the bed.
“Hey,” she whispered and his eyes opened slowly, focusing on her after a couple of tries.
“What happened?” he asked slowly, his eyes closing again.
“You were cut, slashed with a knife.”
“Mmm… yeah, I remember now. Fuck… this hurts.” He groaned, reaching for his stomach but she stopped him, holding his hand in hers and staring at him. “How bad?”
“Deep, but not long.” He moaned out a laugh and she shook her head with a small smile, his eyes cracking open.
“There’s a joke in there… but I…” She stroked his hair and stared into his eyes, the smile still on her lips.
“Tell me later. Though I’m pretty sure I know what you’ll say,” she said, letting out a sigh. He held her eyes and she leaned forward, pressing her lips to his gently.
He hummed and she kissed him again, before pulling back and staring at him. He sighed and she moved her hand to his cheek, stroking softly and shaking her head.
“I was so scared,” she whispered and he hummed again, attempting to adjust positions and wincing in pain. “Stop. Just lie still. You had surgery, not just stitches.”
“So… worse than I thought.”
“It was a serrated knife. It was deep.”
“But not long,” he whispered and she exhaled, his eyes closing. “The joke keeps… slipping away.”
“I got it,” she said with a smile, squeezing his hand.
He hummed just as there was a knock at the door. His eyes struggled to open at the sound as she turned her head. Skinner stepped inside and smiled slightly when he saw that he was awake.
“Agent Mulder. I’m glad to see you’re doing better.”
“Can’t get rid of me that easily, Sir,” he slurred slightly, squeezing Scully’s hand weakly.
“Nor would I want to,” Skinner responded softly, his eyes on Scully, who nodded at his unasked question: Mulder would be okay.
“Should’ve been paying better attention,” Mulder said quietly and Skinner shook his head.
“None of us saw it coming. You couldn’t have known.” Scully nodded at him and he nodded back. “You rest. Get your strength back.”
“The other people… they’re okay?”
“Yes. Thanks to you. They’re all alive and safe.”
Skinner nodded at Scully once more and left the room, the door closing softly behind him.
“Are there… will there be any other visitors?” he asked tiredly and she turned to look at him.
“You think… or would it be unwise to ask that you lower the bedrail and join me in this truly uncomfortable bed?” She smiled and sighed, knowing how it would be perceived if she were to do that, as much as she may want to do it.
“I think it may be a bit unwise, especially after today.”
“What do you mean?” he breathed.
“Well, aside from the obvious reason for you being here in the first place,,,” She touched his chest, just above his heart, her fingers tracing the letters that lay upon his skin beneath his gown. He stared at her and she nodded.
“Who saw it?”
“The paramedics, Skinner, a few other agents, I’m sure… Diana.” His eyes widened as her fingers traced again and she waited to hear what he would say.
“She couldn’t know for sure…”
“Mulder, she’s not stupid. And Skinner would definitely know.”
“As if he hasn’t been sweetening the office pool for years,” he said with a tired sigh. “He’s not stupid either.”
“No… he’s not.”
“Are you sorry they saw it? Embarrassed?”
“No. Not at all. I just… forgot it was there in my haste to stop your bleeding. I wasn’t prepared for everyone to know.”
“Hmm,” he hummed, his eyes closing, his left hand covering hers gently. “They already know, Scully. They just hadn’t seen the hard evidence, the proof you yourself always need to see.” He opened his eyes slowly and then closed them again. “Best decision I think I’ve ever made. I don’t care if they know.” He exhaled and then he was asleep, the medication and trauma of the day taking its toll on him.
She smiled as his grip slackened and she gently moved his hand, not wanting it to slip suddenly and cause him to jump, jarring his injury. She stared at his chest and thought about the proof that had been uncovered today in front of so many others. Again, she traced the letters that she could not see, but knew were there below the worn cotton of his hospital gown, tattooed onto his flesh for all eternity.
If others had been surprised today, it was nothing compared to how she had felt when she had seen it the first time.
Coming to his apartment one Friday afternoon, the prospect of an unofficial X-File before them, she had knocked and he had answered, his shirt not quite on, already talking a mile a minute. A flash of something on his chest, above his heart, had caught her attention as she closed the door.
“So, we need to be there by five or it’s-”
“Mulder, what is that?”
“What is what?” he had asked, turning to look at her.
“That on your chest.”
“My shirt?” he had joked and she had shaken her head, stepping closer to him.
“Did you… did you get a tattoo?” She had looked at him incredulously and he let out a sigh, but did not negate her question. “Mulder? Let me see.”
“That’s okay. It’s nothing.”
“Nothing? No, it’s not nothing. Let me see.”
“Is it something embarrassing? A spaceship? Or an alien? Is that why? Did the Gunmen get you drunk and take you out recently? Celebrate us getting you out of the Bermuda Triangle?” she had teased and he had shaken his head with a half smile.
“No, nothing like that.”
“Then let me see.” She had started to lift his t-shirt but he stopped her, pushing it back down and shaking his head. “Mulder, come on…”
“Scully, I…” She stared at him and finally he had sighed and nodded with a bit of a grumble. Lifting his shirt over his head, he had held it in his hands, his eyes on hers as she had looked at the darkly inked tattoo on his chest.
Three letters, about an inch or so, sat close together with a small red heart beside the last one. The font was not overly flowery, but there was beauty in the simplicity of it. It had drawn her closer, her fingers reaching out to touch it, tracing over the letters and speaking them out loud.
“D, K, S. What is… oh, Mulder.” Her hand had dropped as she realized it was her initials, tattooed on the very spot she had shot him to stop him from shooting Krycek. “Why… what?”
It was new, something she had never seen before, and her mind had spun as she thought of the implications of why he had done something of that nature.
“Why?” she had asked and stared at him.
“I don’t think I really need to say it. I think you know.”
“I need to hear you say it,” she had whispered and he had smiled with a nod.
“Of course you do. You wouldn’t be you if you didn’t.” He had tossed his shirt onto the couch and taken her hand in his, bringing it back to the tattoo on his chest.
“D.K.S,” he had said softly, as he traced every letter with her index finger and then the heart, his eyes never leaving hers as she had begun to breathe faster and her heart had pounded. “You saved me that night and countless other times. Over and over, you have done so.” She had taken a deep breath in and tears had stung her eyes.
“After… after I had been on that boat, when I told you-”
“That you loved me,” she had whispered and he smiled with a nod.
“I know you thought I was drugged up, spent too much time in the water, but…” He had shaken his head, gently rubbing her fingers. “This wasn’t a whim, or a drunken idea. I planned it. Found the place, knew what I wanted.” He had retraced the letters of her initials with her finger and she held her breath. “I wanted you here… always.”
At the red heart, he had stopped, letting her decide to trace it again, the unspoken meaning of it hanging heavy between them, a decision waiting to be made. Staring at the three initials of her name, his words sinking in, she had blinked back her tears as she exhaled and traced the heart with her finger, his hand holding, but not guiding.
“Scully,” he had breathed and then his lips were on hers, his kiss soothing and electric all at once. He kept her hand on his chest as the kiss deepened, his other at the back of her neck.
They had not arrived at their destination by the agreed upon time of 5:00. Nor anywhere else for the next couple of days.
Tracing the letters and the heart over and over, her head on his chest as he slept, she had smiled. The tattoo had been new enough that she could feel it still slightly raised as she had closed her eyes.
“I’m glad you like it,” he had whispered, not sleeping after all, and she smiled as she snuggled closer. “That could have gone either way, now that I’m really think about it here.” She had chuckled, shaking her head as his fingers had begun to run lightly across her back.
“No… I don’t think so. Well, maybe if you had gotten it a couple of years ago.” He had chuckled, the movement reverberating through both of them. She smiled, breathing deep and inhaling his scent. “Even then, well, I would have thought you were crazy, but also… there’s a sexy aspect to it that I would have been unable to deny, even as I fought to do so. Who wouldn’t want to hear that they have been permanently embedded into someone’s heart?”
“Hmm… wouldn’t you argue that’s what love is?”
“Love is that, yes… but it seems to hold a different weight when it’s been inked upon skin,” she had said softly, kissing his chest, her fingers once more tracing the swirls and loops of the tattoo. He hummed and ran his fingers through her hair.
“Dana Katherine Scully… on my skin… and under it. Forever.” He had begun to hum “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and she had sighed contentedly, her worries about recent events fading.
She was there, in his bed, his arms, his heart and under his skin.
No one else.
Three days. That was the amount of time he could handle being in the hospital. He was still sore, stiff and slow as he walked and did his physical therapy, but he was ready to leave. There was not much the hospital could do medically anyway, he simply needed to heal.
Scully arrived to take him home and brought him a change of clothes. As she helped him dress, she paused, taking a second to trace his tattoo and kiss the red heart, before kissing his lips softly and lowering his t-shirt.
“Has anyone said anything?” he asked, as he stood up with a groan and she knew that he meant about the tattoo. Shaking her head, she pulled up his pants, buttoning and zipping them.
“No one. Though Skinner has seemed extra happy the past couple of days.” She smiled as she reached for his jacket and he slid an arm inside with a snort.
“I’ve told you, he sweetens the pot. He tells one person and then the whole building knows. He’s a horrible gossip.” He raised his eyebrows and she laughed as he put his other arm in and she adjusted the lapels gently.
“Well… anyway. I don’t care who knows. It’s been speculated for years, so…” She shrugged and he smiled, his gaze dropping to her lips. She stood on tiptoes and kissed him again before gathering his things.
They walked out of the room and down the hall slowly, his bag of possessions held in her hand. Her other arm was around his waist, his arm around her shoulder.
Arriving at the elevator, he moved his arm and brought it to the small of her back, his finger tracing a slow circle against her jacket, right where her own tattoo was permanently embedded in her flesh. The one she had chosen to put where his hand was always drawn, like a magnet.
He began to hum as his finger continued circling and she smiled, recognizing the tune.
The elevator dinged, announcing its arrival just before the doors opened and they stepped inside. He continued to hum, staring into her eyes as they waited for the doors to close.
When they did, she wrapped her arms around him gently, her head resting against his chest and the tattoo. His hand once more pulled to his spot and they swayed slowly as the elevator began its descent.
“I’ve got you under my skin. I’ve got you, deep in the heart of me. So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me. I’ve got you under my skin,” he sang quietly, and she smiled, his finger again circling slowly.
Breaking apart as the elevator slowed down, he grasped her hand and laced their fingers together, winking at her as they stepped out and walked slowly through the lobby. She smiled as she squeezed his hand, not caring if anyone saw, her happiness unable to be contained.
I’ve got you under my skin, she thought, hearing his voice singing it in her head. She glanced at him and shook her head with a smile.
Skinner comes over to speak to Mulder and discuss the news, his worries and fears. Mulder listens and offers support and understanding.
Mulder picked up the toys and placed them in a basket and folded the blankets, stacking them on the couch. He and Faith had made a fort earlier, where they had laid inside reading books and playing with her collection of plushies. He had a different voice that he used for each one and it always made her giggle, asking for it over and over, laughing harder every time.
Arranging the plushies beside the blankets: the avocado, dinosaur, unicorn, frog, cow, cat, and narwhal, he let out a deep sigh. She was asleep now, her small dragon plushie in her arms as he could see on the baby monitor. Her mouth was open and he could hear her breathing softly.
Smiling at the sight of her, he put on his coat and opened the front door, calling for Bella. She came out, stretching on the porch and wagging her tail as she walked toward him.
“Hey girl, you wanna play with the ball? Get your ball?” She tilted her head and ran across the porch to get one of her balls, the blue one to which she was partial and ran back to him, dropping it at his feet.
He opened the gate on the stairs and threw the ball across the yard, Bella running down the stairs to chase after it. He laughed as he watched her tumble, grab the ball, drop it and chase after it again. She ran back and up the steps, dropping the ball, her tongue hanging out of her mouth.
Tossing it again, he thought about going inside to get his laptop and continue working on his writing. After they had come back from Quonochontaug, he had been writing more when he found the time.
With Scully meeting up with Rachel and Faith napping, he had a couple of hours, at least, to get some done. Throwing the ball once more, he went to get his laptop, the baby monitor, and his phone.
Setting the monitor on the railing, he sat on the porch swing, his phone beside him, laptop on his lap. He opened it up and entered the password just as his phone rang. Looking down, he saw Skinner’s name and picked up the phone.
“Hey, Skinner. How ya doing?” he asked, with a smile.
“Hello. I’m… I’m good. Are you… are you two busy today? I was thinking about stopping by, if that was alright.”
“Just you?” he questioned, closing the laptop, his curiosity piqued.
“Yeah, uh… Rachel is busy and I’m in the area. Sort of anyway. Was just out for a drive and uh…”
“Sure… yeah. Come on over.”
“Thanks. See you soon.” He hung up and Mulder stared at the phone as the screen went black.
“Huh,” he said, with a frown. “That’s interesting.” Faith took a deep breath and sighed, causing him to look up at the monitor. She shifted and rolled over, her arm still around the plush dragon.
Unlocking his phone, he opened his message app and sent a quick message to Scully, letting her know what was happening.
Skinner just called. Asked if he could come over and talk. Both seeking us out? 👀
He thought of all the possibilities as to why they were asking to see them, and none seemed good. Sickness was always the first thought these days, but he knew they had more sense than to come over if that was the case. Neither of them would risk infecting Faith most of all.
Just needing a break most likely.
Scully typed back and he suddenly felt bad for interrupting her time out. He knew they each had moments of cabin fever and she deserved a break without adding to her worries.
We shall see. Enjoy your coffee. Bring me back a cookie.
He sent back with a smile, knowing it would lighten her thoughts. Quickly typing another message, he asked for the one he liked best, their messages appearing nearly at the same time.
One of the shortbread ones with the pink frosting.
I will. Do you want a pink cookie?
He laughed and shook his head, always amazed at how well they knew each other.
Ah, Scully. 😂 Have fun, love.
He sent back to her, laughing again. Not expecting a reply, he set the phone down and stood up. Taking the computer inside, he saw Grey sitting halfway up the stairs, staring at him with her blue eyes.
“Well, hello. Where have you been, Miss? Sleeping most of the day away somewhere, as per usual?”
She chirped a half purr half meow and trotted down the stairs on silent feet. Standing in front of him, she stretched before winding around his ankles. He smiled as he picked her up and held her like a baby, her eyes closing contentedly as she purred loudly. He rubbed behind her ears as he walked out the door to check on Bella.
Once Grey saw that they were outside, she wiggled, trying to get out of his arms. He set her down and she ran to Bella, who was chewing on a stick. When Grey reached her, Bella jumped up excitedly and they began to play a game of chase and tag. Bella would take off and run back, nose to nose with Grey, who would swipe at her, and Bella would run off again at top speed.
Mulder laughed as he watched them, glancing at the monitor, now gauging how long he and Skinner would have to talk once he arrived. They’d had a busy morning, so hopefully Faith would sleep for a while.
A car drew his attention and he looked up, surprised to see it was Skinner’s car.
“Well, that was fast,” he muttered, as he watched him drive up and stop at the gate, get out and open it, Bella barking happily as she ran over to him.
He gave her a couple of pets before getting back into his car, Mulder calling for Bella to make sure she was out of the way. She ran back to him, looking behind her as Skinner pulled in further and got out, closing the gate once again.
Mulder walked down the stairs to greet him, Bella bouncing around Skinner, barking and wagging her tail.
“Bella, down!” Mulder said and she stopped, wagging her body around him instead, licking at Skinner’s hands and nudging him to pet her.
“Whaddya do, never give this girl attention?” Skinner asked as he rubbed her back and held her face in his hands, rubbing her ears as she tried to lick him, her whole back end wiggling with excitement.
“Yeah,” Mulder said, rolling his eyes. “Poor creature hardly gets any love at all.”
“Obviously,” Skinner agreed and Mulder laughed, as Grey came running up to rub against Skinner’s ankles, not wanting to miss out on any pets. “Oh and you too? I know. Hardly any attention for you, huh?” He put his hand out and Grey raised up on her back feet to press into it, her purr already audible.
Mulder smiled as he watched their interaction, Skinner’s gruff demeanor all but disappearing around both animals and children. Especially children, and it never failed to make him smile. Skinner stood up straight and looked at Mulder and then around the yard.
“Oh…” He sighed and nodded. “Probably for the best. Dana napping too?” He joked with a smile, but it was not very convincing.
“No. She’s meeting Rachel for coffee.” The look on Skinner’s face told him everything he needed to know; he had been unaware of the plan.
“She… she is? I uh… I didn’t know,” he said quietly and Mulder watched him, his uneasy body language telling him there was definitely something serious going on.
“Why don’t we go sit down on the porch? It’s chilly, but the sun is warm,” he suggested and Skinner nodded in agreement.
They walked over, Bella and Grey back to their game of tag now that the excitement of a new person arriving was over. Skinner laughed softly and shook his head as he watched them.
“I think you just need some chickens and your country life will be complete,” Skinner teased as they walked up the steps and Mulder shook his head.
“You joke, but Scully mentioned it the other day and I honestly don’t know if she was serious or not. She seemed to be joking, but she’s got a great poker face at times.” Skinner laughed softly and nodded his head. “You want a beer or anything?”
“No… no I’m okay.” They sat on the top step and Skinner sighed deeply, looking out across the yard. “We’ve sat out here before, when I wasn’t sure about pursuing a relationship with Rachel.”
“I remember,” Mulder said, suddenly nervous as to what Skinner was going to say.
“I was taken with her so quickly. She was so beautiful. So sure of herself.” He laughed quietly and Mulder smiled, knowing what he meant.
That had been what drew him to Rachel when she had been his therapist years ago: her assuredness, no nonsense attitude, and her empathy. He had liked her immediately.
Skinner sighed and Faith moaned in her sleep, which seemed to snap him out of his thoughts, and he nodded and looked at Mulder.
“Rachel is pregnant.” Mulder stared at him, blinking his eyes a few times before the words seemed to sink in, and he smiled.
“That’s… wonderful news. She… Walter, congratulations.” He clapped him on the back, shaking his head and laughing happily. But Skinner did not seem to share his enthusiasm.
“Is it not good news?” Mulder asked. “Is everything okay? Oh, it’s not…”
“No, everything is fine. I just…” He stood up and began to pace in front of the steps, sighing and shaking his head. “I never… we never… this wasn’t planned.”
Mulder laughed, Skinner turning to look at him as he shrugged and spread out his hands, indicating the house around him, Bella and Grey still playing in the grass, and he shook his head.
“Do you think any of this was planned? Do you think she was?” He nodded toward the monitor and shook his head again. “The answer to all of that, is no. We came to this house after being gone for years. I lived here like a hermit, worried I would be found. Scully worked at the hospital, taking care of both of us… that was never the plan. Us separating, that was never the plan. Back at the bureau, back together… pregnant at our age… Skinner, that was never the plan.” Mulder smiled slightly and Skinner sighed heavily.
“That’s not what I meant…” he said softly, sighing again.
“We aren’t far apart in age, you know,” Mulder said. “If that’s what’s concerning you.”
“No… well… fuck…” He stared at Mulder and he nodded.
“I think I should get us those beers,” he stated, standing up and laughing softly. “Be back in a sec.”
He went inside, the house warm and comfortable, but knowing Skinner still had some worries to discuss, sometimes being less than comfortable helped to speed the process along.
Grabbing two beers from the refrigerator, he opened them and walked back outside. Skinner was still pacing and as he heard the door close, he looked up and walked forward to accept the beer, both of them standing at the bottom of the stairs.
“Thanks,” he said softly, taking a drink.
“Mm,” Mulder hummed, drinking a sip and keeping an eye on Skinner.
“It’s not just a baby,” he said, his eyes on the ground.
“What do you mean?” Mulder asked.
“It’s not just one baby…” He raised his head and looked at Mulder.
“Double everything.” His shoulders slumped and he shook his head. “Double worry for Rachel’s health. Double concern for how to care for them. Double the thoughts of doing it all wrong. I…”
“Double the love and wonder of a child,” Mulder said softly with a smile and Skinner stared at him, taking a deep breath. “Skinner… every parent thinks they are doing something wrong at some point. Feedings, sleep schedules, the right toys, books… there isn’t a one size fits all plan. You can read a lot of books, talk to people, have a “plan,” but the moment that baby will only sleep if you hold them, you do what works best for you and them, books be damned.” He smiled again and Skinner nodded with a sigh.
“I get what you’re saying, I just…”
“Faith adores you. She asks after you, her eyes light up when she sees you, and you’re wonderful with her. If you think you wouldn’t be the same with your own…”
“That’s in small doses. It’s easy. What if I… if I’m not…” Mulder shook his head and clapped Skinner’s upper arm.
“You are. You took care of Faith last January for the weekend, remember? And she cried when we left, not wanting to leave the two of you. You especially. You are, Skinner.” Skinner looked down and cleared his throat, nodding his head as he did.
“Hearing those heartbeats,” he said softly and Mulder laughed through his nose, knowing the overwhelming feeling of hearing that sound.
“It takes you out at the knees a bit, doesn’t it?” he asked and Skinner scoffed out a laugh.
“A bit, yeah.” He shook his head again and looked up, his eyes slightly wet. “Twins. How did this happen?”
“Well, when two people really love each other…”
“Oh, shut up.” He shrugged his hand off his arm and Mulder laughed.
Bella came running up with her ball and dropped it at their feet, her tongue hanging out as she sat down and waited for it to be thrown. Skinner picked it up, undoubtedly happy for a distraction from the rather emotional moment.
Giving it a couple of minutes, Mulder watched them. Grey was off somewhere, most likely on her way to Violet and Denis’s house looking for some treats, which she would definitely be given.
“So when did you find out?” he asked as Skinner threw the ball again.
“Just a couple of days ago,” he said, shaking his head. “It feels like it was longer, but it’s only been a couple.” Bella ran up and dropped the ball, waiting again as Skinner picked it up. “Rachel, a few weeks after the wedding started behaving differently- very emotional, far more than usual. She chalked it up to the continuing quarantine life, it finally catching up to her. But… I didn’t think so.” He laughed softly and took a drink of his beer.
“We were fighting, which we don’t usually do, not really. It was over stupid things and it felt any little thing could set her off. I tried to keep things mellow and easy, and for a little while, it worked. But one night she made dinner and it was a catastrophe. We fought and she cried, thinking perhaps we had made a mistake, that I might think our marriage was a mistake.” He looked at Mulder and shook his head. “Can you imagine?”
“You’ve known Scully for a long time. She’s not an overly emotional person. Emotional, yes, as we all are, but when she was pregnant…” His eyes widened and he let out a breath. Skinner laughed quietly and nodded in understanding.
“So you get that I couldn’t very well say that that kind of thinking was idiotic and to stop saying it.”
“I do indeed,” Mulder laughed.
“I told her that was the furthest thing from my mind and how much I loved her.” He shook his head and sighed. “She had been worried she was beginning menopause and hadn’t wanted me to know. Thought, I don’t know… that it would mean she was old and…” He laughed bitterly and looked at Mulder, gesturing to himself. “As though that would matter if she were.”
Mulder smiled with a nod, remembering Scully asking him if he thought of her as old, and the shock he had felt. How she could have even entertained the idea was beyond him. They were both older… but old? No, he did not see her that way. She was as beautiful now as she was when he had first met her. More so even, if he was completely honest.
Like a fine wine, he thought with a silent chuckle.
“So it obviously wasn’t that,” Mulder said and Skinner laughed as he shook his head.
“No. It was not.” He looked off across the yard and shook his head again. “She had some tests done and they called the next day to come down and Jesus Christ… I was terrified something was wrong. I didn’t say anything, didn’t want to voice any fears, but…” He sighed heavily and looked at Mulder before taking a drink of his beer.
“The doctor came in all happy and smiling and I never wanted to punch someone so badly. Not even Krycek.” Mulder laughed loudly and nodded in understanding. “He said pregnant and I heard a buzzing in my ears that didn’t go away until we were in the room and the technician was checking on Rachel and we heard the heart beating. It was so fast and it pulled the breath out of me and I just started crying.”
“I know that feeling all too well,” Mulder said. “I say Scully was more emotional, but every time we went to the doctor for a check up… I swear there was something in the air or… it was simply the fact that it was happening at all, I cried every time. Every single time.”
“You weren’t here the first time. And then we all thought you were dead. She was alone and grieving,” Skinner said quietly. “I know you don’t want to think about that anymore than you already do, but that had to account for a lot of it.”
“Yeah,” Mulder agreed with a nod. They both sighed, thinking of the past, and then Mulder shook his head, clearing that pain away. “There was more to it but…yeah.” Skinner nodded and they each took a drink.
“So,” Skinner said, wiping his mouth. “Above the crying between the two of us, the technician asked if we could hear the heartbeats. Plural. I froze as I looked at the screen and holy shit… there were two moving heartbeats.” Mulder smiled and clapped him on the back.
“I’m really happy for both of you. I know how much Rachel loves children and had told Scully she would have loved having one of her own.”
“One,” Skinner scoffed, draining his beer. “One I could handle… how are we going to handle two?”
“It will be hard, believe me. One baby was tough and two will definitely be trying, but we’re here for anything you need. Questions, help wherever we can, babysitting. God, Faith would love real life babies to play with and help take care of. She would love the crap out of them.” They both laughed, knowing it was true.
“How about we head inside? Warm up a bit?” Mulder asked and Skinner nodded.
“Sounds good.” He whistled for Bella and she came running over to them with her ball in her mouth. “A couple more throws? Okay.”
Mulder smiled and took his phone from his pocket. Holding his bottle in the crook of his arm, he sent Scully a message.
I’m assuming you know by now. Come home and bring Rachel with you. They can pick up her car later on their way back.
Oh, and how about you two pick up something for an early dinner? I think we could all do with a sit down meal. Make a game plan.
Or two. 😉
He smiled at his silly pun and the emojis he had used in their conversations that day. He was starting to get the hang of them. His phone beeped and he looked down.
Give us another half an hour here.
Bella had one last toss and they all went inside, her running to her water bowl, drinking sloppily from it, water dripping across the floor as she walked away.
“Another beer?” Mulder asked, taking their bottles to the recycling bin.
“Nah, that’s okay,” Skinner answered. “Okay if I move these?” He pointed to the plushies lined up on the couch. Mulder nodded and he moved them to the coffee table before he sat down with a sigh. “God, there is so much we’ll have to do to get ready. Move, buy things, set up a college fund, find preschools…”
“Ah, you got time. And like I said, we can help with stuff. I don’t think we’ve gotten rid of anything of Faith’s. Clothes, toys… she has a lot of things that we don’t need, but we’ve held onto. This must have been the reason.” He smiled at Skinner who nodded with a sigh, his worries undoubtedly not completely quashed.
He sat on the couch and they continued to discuss things, until he heard Faith yawning and sighing as she always did when she started to wake up. She started talking to her dragon, saying hello and giving it a hug, closing her eyes, not quite ready to wake up completely. They both looked at the monitor and Skinner smiled widely.
“I love that about her,” Mulder said, watching her shifting around. “She never wakes up and demands to be taken from her crib. She likes to have a little lie in, wake up properly. She’s like her mother that way. If given the chance, Scully could sleep in with the best of them.” Skinner laughed and then sighed.
“She’s a great kid. Sweet, easygoing, happy. You two have done a great job with her.”
“And you two will as well. Doubly so. Oh… I’m looking forward to all the twin puns I’ll get to use. It’s going to be… twice as nice as regular ones.” Skinner groaned, giving him a look and Mulder laughed.
“Dada. Get me. I awake now. Dada.” She yawned and stretched, standing up and holding her dragon. “Dada! I ready.”
“God, she is just…” Skinner said, shaking his head with a smile.
“She is at that. You wanna get her?” Mulder asked, knowing what the answer would be.
“Hell yes,” he responded and got up from the couch, Mulder smiling as he did the same.
“Scully is bringing Rachel here,” he said and Skinner paused on the second step, as Faith said Dada Dada Dada, in a singsong voice. “I think you two could do with a chat and then we could all have dinner together. They’re going to pick up some food.” Skinner nodded and released a breath.
“I think you’re right.”
“Hmm,” Mulder hummed and smiled, knowing it was what they needed.
“Dada! Please get me!”
“See… that impatience is also so Scully,” Mulder said with a laugh and Skinner snorted.
“Even I know that’s a combination of both of you. Don’t pin that all on her.” Mulder laughed again as Skinner continued up the stairs and knocked on Faith’s door.
“Hello in there,” he said as he opened the door and Mulder heard Faith gasp as he watched her on the monitor.
“Unco! You here! Hi Unco!” She bounced in her crib, laughing and happy. “Unco see dragon! Blue dragon!” She held out her plushie dragon and Skinner laughed as he picked her up and squeezed her tight.
“I see the dragon, but I’m happier to see you, sweet girl. Did you have a nice sleep?”
“Yeah. Go play with toys. Unco, find books. Buhafy’s. Raycho has buhafy’s.” Skinner laughed again and Mulder smiled as he watched them walk out of the screenshot and heard them coming down the stairs.
“Dada!” Faith shouted when she saw him. “Dada, Unco here. Raycho buhafy’s.” She looked around, leaning forward as she held tight to her dragon. “Where Raycho, Unco? She not here.”
“Oh my god,” Skinner said, pulling her close. “Hearing how much her speech has advanced, it’s amazing.” Mulder smiled and nodded.
“Unco,” Faith said, pulling back and staring at him. “Where Raycho?”
“She’ll be here soon, okay?”
“Okay. Down, Unco. Say hi to Bella.” He put her down and she dropped her dragon, walking over to her and sitting beside her on her dog bed. “Hi, Bella. Love you.” Bella’s tail wagged and she rolled onto her back. Faith laid her head down on her chest and pet her, singing to her softly.
“Still feeling nervous about this unplanned kind of life?” Mulder asked Skinner quietly and he shook his head. Mulder nodded and went to get Faith her thermos of water and a small snack.
A bit later, they were outside again, the day nearly over, but wanting to catch the last few bits of sunshine. Faith and Bella walked together, her hand on her back as she spoke to her, sometimes with words Mulder did not understand. It did not matter, as all Bella understood was the tone and love held within it.
When Scully’s car began up the drive, Mulder scooped Faith up and walked to open the gate. Scully smiled her thanks as she pulled through and parked behind Skinner, Mulder closing the gate and setting Faith down.
“Mama! Mama!” she called, running to her as Scully stepped out of the car.
“My love! I missed you!” Scully said as she bent down and caught her, squeezing her tightly. “Have you been having fun with Uncle Walter?”
“Yes! Unco here.” She pulled back and turned around, finding Rachel standing there and she grinned. “Raycho! Hi, Raycho!” She stepped away from Scully and ran to Rachel who bent down and opened her arms, Faith running to them.
“Hello, sweet girl. How are you?”
“Raycho, Unco here. Look, Raycho, see Unco?” She pulled back and looked past Rachel, waving at Skinner. “Unco! Look! Raycho here now.”
“Yeah, I see her,” Skinner said, smiling at Rachel, putting out a hand to her, saying nothing as he pulled her up. She sighed and hooked her hand in his elbow, walking past them silently.
“Raycho…” Faith said, starting to follow after her.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes, okay? We can look at the butterfly book. Can you go find it?” Rachel asked, turning to look at Faith, who nodded.
“Let’s get the food inside and we can find your book okay, love?” Mulder asked Faith and she nodded again.
“Buhafy book,” she agreed and Mulder smiled as he looked up at Scully, finding her eyes on Skinner and Rachel.
“Hey,” he said quietly and she looked at him.
“Hey.” He stepped forward and kissed her softly. “Everything okay?”
“It will be,” he said with a smile. “Just a bit of a shock.”
“No shit,” she muttered and he laughed. “Could you imagine if we’d had twins?” He turned to look behind him, seeing that they were a distance away.
“Hell no,” he whispered. “It would have been terrifying.” She laughed and nodded, her eyes wide.
“But we won’t be saying that to them.”
“I’m no idiot,” he said, opening the back door and gathering the bags of food as Scully laughed again.
The food was brought in and a bottle of wine was opened, Scully pouring herself a glass as Faith found her book of butterflies that Rachel had sent her for Christmas.
“My mind has been going through the things we could give them, help them out and clear a space for new things for Faith.”
“Same,” he said with a nod, looking through the bags of food, the aroma of it causing his stomach to growl.
“What are you looking for?” she asked, taking a sip of wine.
“Nothing in particular, just curious what you got. Although…” He turned to her and she raised her eyebrows.
“I believe I put in a request for a cookie. A pink frosted cookie… and I’m not seeing it in these bags.”
“Is that right? Huh…” She took another drink, her eyes holding his above the rim of the glass.
He stepped closer to her, now aware that she was still wearing her coat. Looking her up and down, he tried to see if there were any noticeable bulky areas, but he could not find any. Reaching out, he grabbed the lapels and ran the backs of his fingers down the front of her coat.
“Am I warm?” he asked in a low voice.
“Well, I know I am,” she replied, licking her lips, her breath increasing. He laughed softly and began to unbutton her coat, reaching inside to search the inner pockets. “Mulder.” She exhaled and he leaned forward, kissing her lingeringly, as he began to feel inside the pockets.
“You hid it in here,” he whispered against her lips, his fingers brushing the plastic of the cookie wrapper. “You knew this was how I would search for it.”
“I did,” she admitted, pressing close and kissing him, not allowing him to take the cookie from her pocket. “Because I do so love that a hidden treat turns into a sexy scavenger hunt.”
“Hmm,” he hummed against her lips, the taste of the red wine upon them delicious.
“Mama. Find buhafy book. See buhafy’s? I show Raycho. Ohhh a blue buhafy. So pretty.” She stood holding the book and Mulder seized his opportunity as Scully’s attention was on Faith, exclaiming over the butterflies. He pulled the cookie from her coat pocket and stepped back.
“Sweet victory!” he proclaimed, opening the wrapper, breaking off a piece and shoving it into his mouth. She laughed and shook her head, set down her drink and took off her coat.
“About time. Thought that frosting would have melted by the time you caught on to what was happening,” she teased as she hung up her coat and he broke off a piece of cookie and handed it to her.
“What you have, Dada?” Faith asked, walking over to him. “I have some?” He laughed and bent down, handing her a little piece of cookie. She took a bite and smiled at him, taking another bite. “Yummy. I have more?” Mulder laughed and gave her another small piece, kissing her forehead and rubbing her back.
“I bought some sparkling cider too, as Rachel can’t have wine,” Scully said, beginning to unload the bags, setting them on the counter. “Help me clear the table, I want to set it up.” He smiled and helped her, putting on a tablecloth, candles, plates, cutlery, glasses and napkins.
Scully lit the candles just as the front door opened and Skinner and Rachel walked inside. Rachel’s eyes were wet and her cheeks pink, but Mulder was not sure if it was from the cold, crying, or possibly both.
“Raycho!” Faith yelled, picking up the book and running to her. “Raycho, see blue buhafy. So pretty.”
“Yes, Miss Faith,” she said, bending down and staring at her. “The butterflies are so beautiful. I like the orange ones. Can you find the orange Monarch butterfly?” Faith held the book and turned the pages to the one with the Monarch. “See how pretty and delicate it is?”
“Deh-cut?” Faith asked and Rachel smiled.
“Yes. De-li-cate. It means we have to be careful with it. Take care of the butterfly.” Faith nodded as she looked at it and then at Rachel with a smile.
“Dehcut buhafy,” she said and Rachel’s eyes filled with tears.
“So is this what I should expect for the next few months? Just crying all the damn time?” she asked as she stood up and looked at Scully.
“Oh yeah,” Mulder answered with a nod and Scully smacked his arm as Rachel laughed and wiped her eyes.
Skinner lifted Faith up, tickling her as he brought her to the table where everyone sat down and shared the meal that had been brought home. A toast was given, glasses of wine and cider raised, but not clinked together.
Faith made them all laugh with her antics, smiling at them and making faces. Skinner doted on her, giving her extra bits of cheesecake, which she ate as she wiggled her body happily.
After they ate, Scully and Rachel went upstairs while Mulder went into the basement to bring up plastic totes and other things. As Rachel came back downstairs, wiping her eyes with a hand on her stomach, Mulder set the last tote down.
For the next couple of hours, they went through the items held inside: clothes, shoes, coats, blankets, wraps, carriers. They were all taken out and exclaimed over, both Rachel and Scully crying and then laughing at their tears.
Items were set aside, ones that were gender neutral, refilling a tote to be taken home. Faith played with the wrap, until Scully demonstrated how it worked, wrapping Faith securely inside. She seemed confused at first, but then laid her head on Scully’s chest, a memory attached to it, though she may not truly recall it.
“Oh…” Scully said as she stroked Faith’s hair and her eyes filled with tears. “I carried you in this so many times, my love. Do you remember it?” She sighed as she kissed her head, humming softly as she wrapped her arms around her and swayed gently.
“I never could figure that thing out,” Mulder said, shaking his head and looking at Sminner. “If you can, you’re one up on me.” They all laughed, though Scully only smiled as she continued swaying, her eyes closed as she rubbed Faith’s back, her cheek resting against Faith’s head.
A meow was heard at the door and Faith raised her head, looking toward the sound and smiling.
“Grey, Mama. Grey here. Down please, Mama.”
“Okay, love. Hang on.” She unwrapped the wrap and set Faith down, Mulder opening the door to allow Grey inside.
She chirped a meow as she ran straight to Faith, pressing into her hand and reaching up to rub against her chin as Faith smiled and pet her gently. They all smiled as they watched the interaction, before returning to the task at hand.
More items were added, Rachel once again crying, this time over something she could not explain, excusing herself to the bathroom, not wanting to upset Faith. Scully disappeared upstairs and came back as Mulder and Skinner were just finishing up with loading the car.
“Before you leave… I… you’re not going to agree, but I know I’m right about this and I need you to listen,” Scully said, looking at Skinner, who eyed her skeptically. She held something in her hands and she sighed deeply. “You gave this to me, to Faith, when she was born and you came to visit.”
“I know what you’re going to say. But…” She opened the bag in her hand and took out the item inside: a silver necklace with a blue stone. “You gave this to Faith for many reasons, but one of them was because you didn’t have or plan on having children to pass it down to.”
“Dana, that wasn’t the only reason-”
“I know that. I do. But I also know that it was given with love and it’s how it’s being returned.” She smiled as she held it out and he shook his head. “It was your mother’s. You should have it back to give to your child.”
“Dana…” He shook his head again and sighed. “I can’t accept it. It was a gift.”
“And it’s being returned as one.” She pushed it closer to him and Mulder smiled as he watched them, two of the most stubborn people he knew, squaring off over a gift given in love. He glanced at Rachel, who was looking at the necklace with tears on her face.
“Walter… please,” Scully said softly and Skinner took it from her, nodding with his head down, his thumb rubbing over the stone. He looked up and met Scully’s eyes, nodding again as he reached out and pulled her in for a hug.
“Thank you.” Mulder heard him whisper and Scully hummed in response, rubbing his back.
They pulled apart and he smiled at her, cupping her cheek and brushing it with his thumb. She smiled back and sighed with a nod.
“Of course,” he said, stepping back and looking at the necklace. “We don’t know if we will have a girl and I don’t think a boy would want it.” He smiled, glancing at Rachel who was wiping her eyes.
“May I see it?” He handed it to her and she smiled softly. “This was your mother’s necklace? And you gave it to Faith? Oh, Walter… you have the kindest heart.” Wiping tears away, she shook her head, and smiled at him.
“I think you will have a girl,” Scully said, and they all turned to look at her. She smiled and nodded. “A little girl who will one day wear that necklace, retelling the story of her grandmother.” Rachel cried quietly and nodded.
“I want to hear that story,” she said, looking at Skinner who smiled as he took the necklace back and fumbled with opening the clasp.
“How about on the way home?” he asked as he put the necklace around her neck and she cried harder as she pulled her hair to the side, allowing him to close the clasp. She laughed through her tears as she looked down and let out a breath.
“I am not enjoying this aspect of pregnancy,” she said, wiping at her eyes again. “It’s fu…dged up.” They all laughed and Scully wiped at her own eyes, stepping to Rachel to touch the necklace.
“This is where it belongs… until you pass it down.”
“You seem so sure,” Rachel said softly and Scully nodded, glancing at Faith.
“I knew she was a girl. I knew it.” She touched Rachel’s stomach and smiled. “I have the same feeling about you. A girl… and a boy.” Rachel closed her eyes, tears falling as she did.
“We’ll see soon enough.” She grasped Scully’s hand and they both nodded, hugging tightly.
Goodbyes were said and everything gathered up. They got in the car, honking the horn as they drove down the driveway and onto the main road. Faith waved until their lights had disappeared and then asked to sit in the swing.
Happily obliging, they all sat down in the porch swing, rocking gently. Faith cuddled into Scully’s arms, her head on her chest, her fingers playing with the cross around Scully’s neck.
Letting out a deep breath, her eyes closed, Mulder smiled as she softly rubbed Faith’s back, a contented smile on her face. He watched her, seeing Faith’s eyes beginning to grow heavy.
“It was good that you gave the necklace back,” he said softly, rocking the swing with his foot.
“It’s where it belongs.” He hummed in agreement and she sighed deeply.
“You really think they’ll have fraternal twins? A boy and a girl?” he asked quietly and she hummed with a nod.
“I do,” she whispered.
“You seem pretty damn sure of yourself. How do you know?” She opened her eyes as she laid her cheek against Faith’s head and smiled softly at him.
“I just know.”
“Hmm…,” he said with a smile. “More of that Scully magic you possess?”
“Exactly,” she said with a happy sigh as she began to hum softly and Faith’s breathing became slow and deep.
Exactly, he thought, as he put an arm around her and she laid her head on his shoulder, the swing once more rocking slowly, as he closed his eyes with a smile.
Scully and Mulder are approached separately by Rachel and Skinner. Worried that it may be bad news, they are both pleasantly surprised to find that is not the case
I have had this plan in my head for… at least a year and a half. Once I knew that I wanted Rachel and Skinner together, I had their whole relationship planned out.
I hope you enjoy this new journey in their lives, as told through Scully and Mulder’s eyes. ❤.
Scully pulled up to the coffee shop and smiled as she sighed happily. It had been such a long since she had been out, on her own, and she was looking forward to it very much.
Turning off the car, she unplugged her phone and began to gather her things. She put on her black mask with a single bright blue butterfly, which she had purchased solely because Faith had liked it, smiling and touching it softly. She got out of the car and glanced around, looking for Rachel.
They were meeting up at her request and Scully felt a bit nervous as to why, worried that something had happened. It had only been a few months since she and Skinner had gotten married, and her request to see Scully alone had raised a red flag.
“God, I hope they aren’t moving. Or something worse,” she said quietly to herself as she locked the car. Taking a deep breath, she stepped onto the sidewalk, her hands in her pockets, looking back and forth and smiling when she saw Rachel heading toward her.
When Rachel saw her, she paused for a second and then continued walking. Scully could not see her mouth, but she knew Rachel was smiling by the way her eyes crinkled. Letting others pass by her, she finally arrived and Scully smiled.
“Hello,” she said, taking in Rachel’s stylish black coat, her hair still dark brown with burgundy highlights.
“Dana, it’s great to see you, as always,” Rachel responded, touching her elbow. “How are you?”
“I’m here. On my own. Just. Me.” She stretched her arms out and closed her eyes briefly. “I can’t remember the last time that happened.” Rachel laughed and Scully smiled. “Please don’t get me wrong, I love them both, but… time on my own is hard to come by these days and I miss it sometimes.”
“I understand,” Rachel said, laughing again, and then she sighed.
“I’m glad to see you. Should we head inside?” Rachel nodded and they walked into the shop and ordered their drinks. “I’m so looking forward to this coffee. It’s been… too long since I’ve had this luxury.”
“Well, you do live far from the city,” Rachel teased and Scully nodded, as she took some napkins from the holder and placed them in her pockets.
“We do indeed. It has its benefits, but the coffee shops…” She moaned, thinking of how easy it had been to pop out for a coffee. Was that only last year? God, it felt like a lifetime ago.
Their names were called and they picked up their drinks, Scully’s mouth watering at the thought of drinking her coffee. As they walked to the door, her phone vibrated in her coat pocket. Checking it quickly, she saw there was a message from Mulder and it caused her to stop walking for a second.
Skinner just called. Asked if he could come over and talk. Both seeking us out? 👀
Her heart dropped, immediately fearing the worst, believing they were ill. But then, she knew if that were the case, they would not choose to see them, but stay home and let them know from there.
Unless it was a different sickness…
She looked at Rachel, who did not seem upset or uneasy. Maybe they just needed a break and someone to vent to, life becoming rough at times, especially these days.
Just needing a break most likely.
She typed back and waited as she saw he was actively typing a response.
We shall see. Enjoy your coffee. Bring me back a cookie.
She smiled at how quickly he moved from the subject at hand. His worry obviously not as high as hers.
I will. Do you want a pink cookie?
She sent just as a new message came in from him.
One of the shortbread ones with the pink frosting.
She laughed softly and shook her head, waiting for him to finish typing again.
Ah, Scully. 😂 Have fun, love.
She put her phone back in her pocket and smiled, glancing at Rachel who was waiting at the door.
“Sorry,” she said, walking up to her. “Mulder texted, asking for a cookie to be brought back to him.” Rachel laughed and Scully rolled her eyes with a smile.
She did not mention anything about Skinner coming to the house, wanting to feel her out and see what she had to say. They stepped outside and towards a table, but Rachel stopped her.
“Would you mind if we walked? I uh… I…” Rachel asked. “I know you were looking forward to being here, but it’s nice out, even if it’s a little cold.”
“Okay. That would be fine.” She nodded and they left the open seating area, walking on the sidewalk and then making a right, heading toward a nearby park.
Scully was silent, her mind filling with so many questions. Her stomach felt nervous, as though something was about to happen. She sighed as Rachel pointed to a large fountain ahead of them.
“We could sit there,” she said softly and Scully nodded in agreement.
They continued on the path and then sat on the stone wall opposite the fountain, the water falling with a gentle almost comforting sound. Taking off their masks, they smiled at one another, before taking a drink of their beverages. Scully moaned and Rachel laughed softly, holding her cup in her lap.
“So good,” Scully whispered and Rachel nodded, her eyes downcast. “Okay, it’s only been a few minutes, but the curiosity is driving me crazy. Is everything okay?” Rachel raised her eyes, looking into hers and smiled with a nod.
“Yes. Everything is fine.”
“You and Skinner… Walter… you’re both okay?” Rachel smiled and nodded again.
“Yes. We’re both good.” Scully stared at her and shook her head, not believing she was telling her everything.
“You called me to meet up with you… which I’m happy about… but we don’t normally do this kind of thing. Not just us, I mean. I’m feeling a little unsure that you’re being completely honest with me.” Rachel tilted her head and regarded her. “No one is sick?”
“No, Dana. No one is sick.”
“Are you… are you moving? Did something happen and you have to move?” The thought alone made her feel incredibly sad. “I have to tell you, it would crush all of us if you did. We would understand, but…” She let out a deep breath and looked at Rachel.
“No,” she said with a sniff. “We aren’t moving. Not… well, not yet anyway. But we might… we didn’t discuss that, but we probably should.” She spoke quietly, almost as if to herself, but Scully heard and let out an exasperated sigh.
“What’s going on? There has to be something.” She stared at Rachel and raised her eyebrow, her expression serious. Rachel reached for her hand and Scully squeezed it gently. “Rachel…please.”
“I had a doctors appointment the other day.”
“Oh, God,” Scully breathed, her eyes closing briefly before looking at Rachel again. She smiled and squeezed Scully’s hand.
“I know. I was so scared. I thought the worst. I was feeling tired, nauseous… I thought for sure I was sick. I did a lot of googling and I was convinced, aside from Covid, I also had many different ailments. Many ailments. All except for one.” She smiled at Scully and she furrowed her brow. Rachel continued to smile at her and then the realization hit her like a jolt of electricity.
“You’re pregnant,” she breathed, her mouth dropping open. Rachel nodded, tears filling her eyes. “Oh my God. Rachel…” She set her coffee down beside her and pulled her in for a hug, laughing and crying simultaneously.
Rachel hugged her back with one arm, the other still holding her cup and Scully could hear her crying. She closed her eyes and smiled, shaking her head as the nervous feeling in her stomach dissipated, replaced with excitement at the knowledge of a little baby for the two of them.
“I’m so happy for you,” she whispered, pulling back and staring at Rachel, her hands moving to her upper arms, smiling happily. “A baby! Rachel…”
“Uhh… well it’s actually not just a baby.” She smiled through her tears and Scully inhaled sharply.
“What? Twins?!” Rachel nodded and Scully’s mouth dropped open as Rachel laughed, wiping at her eyes. “Oh my God.” She hugged her again, completely speechless, her mind racing.
“I can’t believe it myself,” Rachel said softly, hugging her back. “But…” She pulled back and set her drink down. Reaching into her purse, she took out an ultrasound picture and smiled as she handed it to her.
Through her tears, Scully saw the undeniable evidence of two embryos. Tracing her fingers over them, she shook her head and sighed.
“Oh, Rachel.” She looked at her and they both began to cry, hugging again and laughing at their tears.
Pulling back, she looked at the ultrasound picture once more and then handed it back to Rachel. Fishing in her pocket, she took out some napkins and handed a couple to Rachel.
“Okay,” Scully said, letting out a deep breath and wiping her eyes with a napkin. “I’m gonna need all the details.”
Rachel laughed and sighed as she looked at the picture and then at Scully, her smile radiant as she put it back in her purse. Taking a deep breath, she let it out and placed a hand on her stomach.
“I… a few weeks after the wedding, I noticed I was feeling really rundown. Tired and very emotional. I thought perhaps it was the excitement of the wedding being over and still being stuck in the Covid world. Just so much to deal with, you know?” Scully nodded, completely understanding how she felt. “It’s been a year now and I thought it was finally catching up to me. I’ve tried my best to keep busy through it all, with work, patients, and other activities, but when it snowed recently… I was stuck at home doing most of the calls online. After the last call one day, I burst into tears. Like… deep down from your toes kind of tears.” She shook her head and let out a breath. Scully touched her forearm and sighed with a nod.
She knew those types of tears.
“Walter came in and tried to console me, but I was past it. I just needed to cry.”
“God, I know exactly what you mean.”
“So after I’d calmed down, I took a bath, took some ibuprofen and went to bed. I couldn’t explain to Walter how I was feeling without crying, so I just went to sleep, hoping the next day would be better.”
“And was it?” Scully asked softly and Rachel smiled with a nod.
“It was. Walter had made us breakfast and in my office there were four small bouquets of flowers set around the room. Also, a bar of my favorite white chocolate was on the desk. I was extremely touched and happy… until I looked at the calendar and realized it was nearly Valentine’s Day and I hadn’t gotten a gift for him.” She looked at Scully and shook her head. “I was so upset and… it caused us to fight. A stupid fight, really. He said he didn’t need anything and I… I love him so much and I had wanted to get him something to symbolize that and I had failed.”
“Oh, Rachel…” Scully laughed softly and Rachel smiled, understanding that she was not laughing at her, but at the situation.
“We went to bed angry and in the morning, I apologized to him, explaining why it was important to me. He listened, but still said he didn’t need a gift. He knew… knows… that I love him and a gift wouldn’t make that any less true.”
“Smart man,” Scully said and Rachel nodded as she looked at the ground, her eyes seeing something that was not there.
“We were okay after that… a little more careful around each other… almost cautious.” She sighed and Scully knew that was not the end of the story. “A couple of weeks after that, I realized I’d missed my period and I didn’t even for a second consider it might be pregnancy. Instead, I thought it was perimenopause. I was tired, emotional, had no desire for sex, and just felt… blah.”
Scully smiled and nodded, knowing how she had felt when she was pregnant. Some days she had to push past her irritability and fatigue, feeling very blah herself.
“I hated the possibilities, still not even imagining it could be pregnancy. I just… I thought I was changing and didn’t know what to say, how to face it, so I pushed it aside, pretended to be happy and like myself again. Everything I tell my patients not to do.” They both laughed softly and Scully nodded.
“But that thought process didn’t last long,” she said knowingly.
“No, it did not,” Rachel whispered. Scully laughed softly again, taking Rachel’s hand and squeezing gently. “I made dinner one night, wanting everything about it to be perfect, and instead it was a complete disaster. I was embarrassed at the amount of tears I cried because of it, it being such an inane thing. Walter tried to calm me, telling me exactly that, and I exploded. I told him I was sure I was going through the change in my life and I… Dana…” She squeezed Scully’s hand and took a shaky breath, licking her lips and wiping at her eyes with the napkin in her other hand.
They sat for a few minutes, holding hands and breathing deeply. They each took a drink from their cups, setting them back down as Rachel nodded, indicating she was ready to continue.
“We fought again, worse this time and I just… I felt terrible and I started crying again, telling him I was scared. That he would perhaps rethink our marriage, us, and I…” She shook her head and let go of Scully’s hand to rub her stomach slowly. “He came over and held me tight, telling me that nothing like that could be further from the truth, that he loved me very much, and if something was happening to me, it was happening to both of us.” Scully smiled and nodded.
“Smart man,” she said again and Rachel laughed even as her eyes filled with tears.
“He is,” Rachel agreed. “So I called the doctor to make an appointment and find out what was wrong with me. They did panels, asked how I was feeling and gave me a prescription for anxiety medication. I didn’t think it was that, so I didn’t fill it, waiting to see if the bloodwork showed any abnormalities.” She smiled and laughed, shaking her head.
“They called the next morning, asking me to come down and I was terrified that something awful was wrong. Walter and I drove down and I kept wiping my eyes, unable to stop crying.” She drew in a breath and smiled. “A doctor came into the room with a huge smile and I was so confused. When he said the test results came back positive for only one thing, pregnancy, well…” She laughed and Scully smiled, remembering that feeling all too well.
“He laughed, seeing that he had shocked us, and said we needed to do an ultrasound to see what was going on with the baby. I think that was when it snapped us out of our frozen state. I was brought down to another room and had to get undressed for the exam. Walter came in when I was ready and I just stared at him, my shock no doubt mirroring his own.” Scully smiled, but she felt a pang that when she had first found out she was pregnant, she had been alone.
Both times, she thought again and let out a breath.
“When the technician was ready, she did the exam and within seconds we heard the heartbeat. I honestly don’t know who cried harder, me or Walter.” She laughed and Scully’s eyes spilled over with tears she had not known were there. “We could see the heartbeat on the monitor and then the technician made a noise and laughed, asking if we could hear the heartbeats. We said yes and then seemed to understand what she meant. I stared hard at the monitor and saw there were definitely two separate fluttering hearts beating.”
Scully shook her head and closed her eyes as tears ran down her cheeks, knowing that feeling. Every time she and Mulder had gone for a checkup and heard that fast heartbeat, it brought her to tears as they witnessed the second miracle that neither of them had ever expected.
“I never thought… I didn’t think I would ever find myself here. I told you at the Christmas tree farm nearly two years ago that I was too old and now I’m two years older. Forty five, high risk, well I suppose double high risk,” she said with a small chuckle and a sigh. “I have a lot going against me… but I’m going to be a mother. A mother to two little babies. I… God.” She covered her face and cried, her shoulders shaking. Scully put an arm around her and rubbed her back, letting her cry and saying nothing.
She watched the fountain spraying water and focused on the sound of it, letting it calm her, hoping her calm would transfer to Rachel through her touch. Her cries began to subside, but Scully left her hand on her back, moving it slowly as she wiped her eyes.
“When I was pregnant, both times, but mostly with Faith, I had moments of crying over nothing, unable to stop my tears. It was actually worse after she was born, my hormones all over the place, but…” She sighed, remembering how commercials and certain songs would make it feel like her heart was literally breaking. “But, look at Faith. Every tear and worry was worth it to bring her into this world.”
“I know and I agree,” Rachel said as she moved her hands and took a deep shaky breath. “I have my worries, but I’m so happy.” She smiled through her tears and grasped Scully’s hand again. “I can’t wait to meet them.”
“Me either,” Scully said, letting go of her hand and hugging her tight, smiling happily. She felt her phone vibrating in her pocket and she pulled back, knowing without a doubt that it was Mulder wanting to see if she knew what he knew. “Just a second.” Rachel nodded, wiping her eyes as Scully took her phone from her pocket and read his messages.
I’m assuming you know by now. Come home and bring Rachel with you. They can pick up her car later on their way back home.
Oh, and how about you two pick up something for an early dinner? I think we could all do with a sit down meal. Make a game plan.
Or two. 😉
She smiled at his pun and glanced at Rachel before she typed back her message.
Give us another half an hour here.
Putting her phone back in her pocket, she sighed and looked at Rachel.
“Can I see the ultrasound picture again?” Rachel smiled, nodding as she took it out and handed it to her. Scully smiled as she stared at it and shook her head. “So when are you due?”
“Ohhh… same as Mulder and Faith. We could all have one giant party!” Scully said excitedly and Rachel laughed.
“Well, it will most likely be earlier. Lots of risks to consider, so…” She smiled and Scully nodded and then she saw her blush.
“What?” she asked and Rachel bit her lip, her eyes now looking in her lap.
“It was the magic of the tree farm,” she whispered and Scully frowned, not understanding what she meant. Rachel looked up and the smile on her face was different than Scully had ever seen.
“There is a little house on the property there. Not the one full of decorations and all that, but a real house. It’s small, but it’s there, though I doubt you’ve ever seen it. When I was younger, I would visit them there on the weekends when they would come out to sell trees. Howard had it built when the kids were younger, not wanting to be away from the family and not wanting to drive home late at night after he’d been there all day.” Rachel sighed and hummed with a smile. “It’s not overly large, a two bedroom cabin style home. My parents would come out and we would stay with them and their little granddaughter. It was always fun.”
“I had no idea that was there,” Scully said in surprise.
“It’s back a ways. A chance to have their life separate, you know?”
“I’ll have to take you guys out there this year.” Scully nodded with a smile and Rachel looked at the ultrasound picture she still held. “They let us have it for a week, seeing as Christmas was over and hotels were not exactly ideal. We… we spent a lot of time, um…” Scully saw her blush again and she laughed.
“Apparently,” she teased, gesturing to the picture and Rachel laughed, her cheeks still pink.
“I was taking birth control, I have been for years, mostly because of my periods, but of course for other things. Obviously, it doesn’t always work.”
“Not always, no…” Scully agreed quietly, thoughts on her own worries and troubles with birth control.
“I’m exceedingly glad that was the case,” Rachel said and Scully smiled at the picture and then at her.
“Rachel… I am so happy for you. For both of you. I know you must have millions of thoughts constantly racing through your head… but I’m here for any questions you may have. Elise, you know her, she’s an amazing OB, and I’m sure she would be happy to see you, unless you have a doctor in mind.”
“No, I… that was why I wanted to meet with you. To ask you questions about everything. I didn’t want you to take offense… but you were…”
“Older when I had Faith? I most definitely was,” she said with a laugh and Rachel visibly relaxed. “I know and believe me, I had my fears and worries.”
More than you know, she thought, but did not voice it to Rachel.
“I’m nervous, scared, excited, worried, happy, and then nervous again,” Rachel admitted and Scully nodded, looking down at the picture.
“As most women are, but one thing I know for certain, you will be an amazing mother. I’ve seen you with Faith, how you care for her. No child, or two children, will be loved more than them.” She gestured to the picture and Rachel nodded with tears in her eyes. “The tree farm… working its magic once again.”
“I think it was New Year’s Eve. We uh, well, had some champagne… a lot of champagne, and Prince was playing…”
“Oh,” Scully said with a nod. “Say no more. I completely understand.” They laughed and Scully handed her back the ultrasound picture. “A New Year’s baby. A new year, new start, new life… lives. It seems fitting.”
“Yeah,” Rachel whispered and Scully smiled as she stood up, picking up her cup and taking one last drink before throwing it away.
“How would you like to join us for dinner tonight?” she asked and Rachel nodded with a smile.
“I should give Walter a call first, see what he’s been doing and then we could come over.” She reached for her phone and Scully laughed.
“I don’t think that you’ll find him at home. He’s actually at our house right now.”
“What? He… he is?” She glanced at her phone and shook her head. “He didn’t say anything to me about going over there. He didn’t send me a message either.” She looked at Scully and shook her head again.
“It seems that the two of you just needed to talk to someone,” Scully said and Rachel nodded slowly.
“Except, I only told him I was going for a drive,” she said softly.
“Well…” Scully said, seeing that they may need to have a talk, both of them obviously worried. “I think we should do that- go for a drive… but with a destination in mind. Or two, as we’ve been asked to bring home some dinner.” She smiled and Rachel stood up, shaking her head.
“My car is here…”
“You two can pick it up on the way back home,” she suggested and Rachel smiled with a nod, picking up her cup and throwing it away.
“Well… then I think that sounds like a great idea.”
They put their masks back on and Scully hooked her arm through Rachel’s as they walked back to the car, a smile on her face, beyond happy for this new turn of events, not one worry in her heart.
As they drove home, many to-go bags of food on the back seat, Scully began to think of items that could be given to them. Clothes, shoes that had never even been worn, blankets, bottles, even the crib once the time drew nearer. She smiled as she looked over at Rachel, her hand absentmindedly rubbing at her still flat stomach with a soft smile on her face.
Boxes were already beginning to fill in her mind, the items lovingly packed up for the two small babies who would use them, already so loved, with six months left as they all awaited their arrival.
A look in on a day that is… normal. One that, perhaps for a moment, was just that…
Continuing on with the prompt ideas, I saw a post on Twitter and it got me thinking- angsty sad thoughts… and then, I thought of this idea, and it made me laugh. Made me laugh quite a bit and I found a way to merge the two, keeping the angst light and the humor high.
I hope you enjoy it. 💕
Scully adjusted her shirt over her very large belly and sighed as she looked at herself in the mirror. Turning to the side and then to the other, she sighed again. She ran her hands across the firmness of it and felt a kick.
“I know, I know. I need to stop thinking about my width,” she said as she rubbed her belly. “How about in exchange, you see what you can do about the gas? I got a fella here now and well… I’d like to keep some mystery in this relationship.” A small kick was her answer and then a rolling sensation as the baby moved. She inhaled as she closed her eyes with a smile.
The door from her bathroom to her bedroom creaked and she opened her eyes to see said fella walking through it. A towel hung low on his hips and his hair was still damp from his shower as he sang an Elvis song under his breath. He walked to the closet and took out a suit still covered in the dry cleaners plastic and laid it on the bed. Turning in her direction, he startled at the sight of her.
“Oh… I didn’t know you were standing there,” Mulder said with a smile, continuing towards her.
“Really? I’m kinda hard to miss these days.” She patted her stomach, giving him a look, and he laughed. Wrapping his arms around her, her belly keeping him from truly holding her, she sighed.
“You’re absolutely beautiful. Just as I said last night, early this morning, and just before my shower.”
“Only two of those times count,” she stated and he raised his eyebrows with a smile.
“Oh, why is that?”
“Last night it was said with the hope of getting in my pants.”
“Hope,” he scoffed. “That was a done deal before it even started, and you know it.” He stared at her and she knew he was right. “In fact… you were the one to instigate it and you were beautiful… are beautiful. Large belly or not.”
“I never said large belly,” she said, attempting to pull away from him in mock annoyance. He chuckled and held tighter, not allowing her to move.
“You didn’t have to, I can see it for myself.”
“You…” Her words were cut off by his kiss and she smiled inwardly, bringing a hand up to his neck, holding him there, their kiss slow. Another kick and Mulder pulled back, his hand moving to her stomach.
“Whoa… he’s moving around a lot. She’s?” He raised his eyebrows, his hand following the movement across her stomach. She smiled and took his hand, placing it where the baby was most active.
“We have to wait and see, so stop asking,” she said quietly and he nodded, his eyes on their hands. He smiled when the baby moved.
“What does it feel like?” he asked, raising his eyes to hers.
“Weird. Amazing. Something I thought I never would experience.” They stared at one another, too many things to say, but captured perfectly in a shared look. He lightly scratched his fingers against her shirt and she laughed. “You better get dressed.”
As he finished his morning routine, she made breakfast for both of them, coffee for him and tea for herself, setting it on the table as he walked out, carrying his suit jacket and fussing with his tie. He smiled with surprise and she raised an eyebrow.
“I’m on maternity leave now… this will be the most I do today.” She smiled and he shook his head as laid his jacket on a chair. He kissed her cheek as he sat down, reaching for his cup of coffee.
“Certainly not. Isn’t your mother coming over today? Aren’t you going shopping?”
“In which I inevitably have to know the location of every restroom when we walk in the door as I have to pee every half hour…” She sat down slowly, a hand on her belly as she rubbed it gently.
“But…” he prodded, knowing her grumbling was all for show.
“But the little clothes and socks and blankets…” She sighed as she closed her eyes. “They are all so cute and perfect.”
“So the bathroom trips become a bearable nuisance,” he said with a grin as she opened her eyes again.
“They do,” she whispered, her left hand on her belly, the right reaching for his left and squeezing. He smiled and she let go of his hand as they began to eat.
Just as they were finishing, there was a knock at the door, and then a key turning in the lock. Her mother called hello as the door opened and she took her keys out and put them in her pocket.
“I stopped at the store and got you a few things,” she said, bending to pick up the bags, and Mulder jumped up to help her.
“Mrs. Scully, let me,” he said, and she turned around quickly.
“Fox! Oh, I didn’t know you were here. Thank you.” She touched his arm and glanced at Scully over his shoulder. She had risen and was walking over with a smile.
“Hey, Mom. I can…” She reached out to help and as one, both her mother and Mulder raised an objection. “Geez… you try to be helpful.” She put her hands up in surrender and Mulder huffed out an exasperated breath as her mother shook her head.
“Stop trying to do things you’re not supposed to be doing,” Mulder said as he passed her and her mother kissed her hello.
“I’m pregnant, not an invalid,” she responded and he hummed, obviously not agreeing with her.
“Who was recently in the hospital,” her mother said quietly and Mulder hummed again with a glance at Scully.
“Well, it’s not fair when you two gang up on me,” she grumbled and her mother laughed. She sat back down and pretended to pout as they put away the groceries and the food her mother had made.
“Lasagna, chicken soup, and some chocolate cake,” she said and Scully smiled, licking her lips at the thought of eating the cake later.
“Thanks, Mom. That sounds delicious.” Her mother smiled and nodded, glancing at the table.
“I didn’t know you were stopping by this morning, Fox. I could have come over later, given you more time together.” Scully cut her eyes to Mulder and watched his cheeks flush, trying not to laugh at his discomfort.
“Oh… I… yeah, I have a meeting and thought I would check in and see how Dana was doing.” Scully raised her eyebrows and bit her cheek, holding back a smile.
“You’re so thoughtful, Fox,” she said, patting his arm with a smile as Scully shook her head and bit her lip and Mulder grinned sheepishly. “I also got that bath oil you wanted. I’ll go put it away.” She grabbed a bag and smiled as she walked out of the room.
“Just stopped by?” Scully asked quietly, looking at Mulder with her eyebrows raised. “Checking in on me? Making sure I’m okay?”
“Well, to be fair, that was why I came over last night. So technically…” He shrugged and she narrowed her eyes at him. “Well, that and I was hoping to get in your pants.” He winked and she laughed as she shook her head and walked toward him.
“That was a guarantee, as I can’t seem to keep my hands off of you.”
“A man rises from the dead, I suppose it should be expected,” he teased, bending his head to kiss her, but she stopped him, a hand on his chest.
“Don’t… don’t say that,” she whispered, her eyes sad as she touched his cheek. “I… just don’t say that, please.” She held his eyes and his expression softened, his hand reaching to stroke her cheek.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think.” He rested his forehead against hers and they took a breath together, their eyes closed.
“Too soon,” she whispered and he nodded, his fingers soft and warm at her neck.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered again and she sighed. Pulling back slightly, her eyes still closed, she found his lips, kissing him softly.
His hand moved slowly to the back of her neck, holding gently, his short fingernails scratching lightly. She deepened the kiss, opening her mouth and latching onto his bottom lip. His fingernails increased their pressure and she pressed into him with a low hum.
“Oh… uh…” She heard and broke from their kiss.
“Shit, I forgot she was here,” Mulder breathed, stepping back and moving his hand.
He looked behind her and exhaled. Scully turned her head, but did not see her mother, who had obviously disappeared somewhere in the apartment to give them some privacy. Mulder exhaled again and she looked back at him, seeing the near panic on his face.
“I should probably get going,” he said, clearing his throat. Smiling at his discomfort, she pulled at the tie around his neck and brought his face close to hers.
“Why are you acting so nervous?”
“What? She saw-”
“Us kissing?” she asked softly. “You’re worried about that when I am literally housing your child inside of my body?” She rubbed her stomach and stared at him. “She’s had four children, I’m pretty sure she knows how it works.”
“She doesn’t know that… it could have been the IVF… we…” he stuttered and she shook her head.
“Mulder… you’re a brilliant man, but sometimes you’re kind of stupid.”
With that, she tugged his tie once more and his lips were on hers, her arms going around his neck as she laughed through her nose and pulled him as close as she could. He wrapped his arms around her waist and she smiled against his lips.
She sighed when she pulled back and kissed him one more time before he stepped back and let out a breath. Shaking his head, he placed a hand on her belly and sighed, a smile growing as she continued to stare at him.
“I don’t think it’s nice to call people names,” he said, looking up at her as his hand searched for movement, though for now the baby was still. “Is that what you’re planning on teaching our child? That he, or she, should call his father names?”
“When he’s being stupid… yeah, that’s my plan,” she teased, covering his hand, his fingers closing over hers.
“So I need to watch my back.”
“Or you could just stop being stupid.” He chuckled with a nod and kissed her softly as he gently squeezed her fingers.
She heard movement behind her and she pulled back, squeezing his fingers, letting him know she understood his discomfort and she was done teasing him. Smiling at him, she nodded and he nodded back.
“I should be going,” he said, and she nodded again, knowing his raised voice was for her mother who was somewhere close.
He stepped away and picked up his jacket from the kitchen chair. He kept his eyes on hers as he slid it on and adjusted the collar. She swallowed, the sight of him in a suit causing her stomach to jump.
“Oh, you’re leaving, Fox?” her mother asked. He nodded and smiled at her while Scully watched their interaction.
“Yeah, I uh…”
“Have that meeting,” Scully finished and his eyes narrowed slightly as he walked toward the door, grabbing his wallet and keys.
“Yeah, I do. I’ll see you, Mrs. Scully,” he said, putting a hand up and smiling at her.
“It was nice to see you, Fox,” she said kindly and he nodded again.
Scully followed him to the door and as he walked through it, she said his name, stopping his steps.
“Bring some ice cream when you come back tonight,” she told him softly and he grinned, kissing her quickly.
“Your wish is my command,” he said as he walked away and she closed the door with a smile, her eyes closing briefly. She heard water running and turned to see her mother washing dishes.
“Mom, I can do those,” she said as she walked over to her.
“I don’t mind. Have another cup of tea and keep me company.” She smiled at Scully and she smiled back, turning the kettle back on and picking up her cup.
Another cup made, her mother’s cooling as she wiped down the counter, Scully smiled as the baby moved. She put a hand on her belly and it settled, as though sensing her touch.
“So, the baby store today? Did you make a list?” her mother asked as she sat down and picked up her cup of tea.
“I did. It’s not much as I think I have everything, but just the last few things.”
“Hmm,” her mother hummed with a nod. “Good. We don’t need to hurry and we don’t need to be out too long. You should rest as much as you can. Hopefully after this you’ll have all you need.”
“I think I will,” Scully said with a smile and her mother smiled back, silence falling between them.
“Fox wasn’t just stopping by was he?” her mother asked, breaking the silence, and looking directly at her.
“No. No, he wasn’t,” she answered honestly, her mother obviously knowing the answer already.
“Hmm…” She nodded and looked down into her cup.
Despite that fact that she was pregnant, she still felt a moment of discomfort as she wondered what was going through her mother’s mind. Her mouth opened to say something when her mother asked a question she had not been anticipating.
“Is he a good kisser?”
“What?!” she said loudly, staring at her mother who shrugged and then smiled.
“Just a question.”
“It’s not. Not from you. You’ve never asked me that about any boyfriend I’ve ever had.”
“Is he your boyfriend?” Her mother stared at her and Scully saw the mirth in her eyes as she took a drink of her tea.
“I wouldn’t call him that,” she answered softly, running her fingers over the mouth of her cup. “He’s…”
“Dana,” her mother whispered, touching her arm and sighing. “I know.” She rubbed her arm and Scully nodded, taking a ragged breath. “I know that it’s far more than that. I’ve known that for a very very long time.”
“I know you know, Mom,” she whispered, her mother smiling as Scully covered her hand and squeezed. “And yes, he is a very good kisser.” Her mother’s eyes widened and then she laughed as she shook her head.
“Well… I’m glad,” she said and Scully smiled, moving her hand and picking up her cup. “Your father was a good kisser.” Her cup hit the table and she stared at her mother, her mouth dropping open.
“Very good, actually.”
“MOM!” Her mother laughed harder and Scully shook her head, exhaling loudly.
“In fact, he-”
“Nope! No more information! That little bit was already enough.” She shook her head and closed her eyes, her mother’s laughter ringing in her ears.
Standing in the nursery room, the smell of lasagna filling the apartment as she put things into baskets and folded clothes, she heard the front door open and close. Knowing it was Mulder, she smiled as she folded another small outfit and placed it on the pile.
The refrigerator door slammed shut and almost simultaneously her stomach growled, anticipating eating the chocolate cake and ice cream she heard him place in the freezer. One more outfit and she put the small stack into a drawer, smiling at the size of them.
“So tiny,” she whispered, touching them softly. Closing the drawer, she looked up as Mulder stood in the doorway, his jacket off and his shirtsleeves rolled up.
Mmm, she thought, staring at his arms and biting her lip. How are just his arms so attractive? How is that fair?
“Hey,” he said and she licked her lips, attempting to tamp down her desire. “How was your day?”
“Good. We got everything done. Now… now I just have to wait for the arrival of this little guy… or girl,” she said as he raised his eyebrows. “I think I might go a little stir crazy, but of course, there is the upcoming baby shower which I am so excited about.” She rolled her eyes and shook her head as he smiled and crossed his arms, causing her to inhale sharply.
“Well, until then, how about starting a puzzle? Or we could play Risk…”
“Ha! No. I’m not playing Risk with you again. Not ever.” She walked past him into the kitchen, picked up the blue oven mitts, took the lasagna out of the oven, and set it on top of the stove.
“Hey, I explained what happened-”
“I know what happened. I don’t need your distorted version of events.”
“Yes, because you distorted the truth when you insisted you didn’t move any pieces. You lied.” She crossed her arms and stared at him, daring him to contradict her. He let out a breath and she nodded with a grin. “I knew it.”
“You knew nothing. You only suspected.”
“Correctly. I suspected correctly. So yeah, I was right. Which means I won that game, because you cheated.” He shook his head and breathed out again, nodding once and she raised a fist in the air.
Laughing, they took out the items needed for dinner and sat down to eat. He told her about his meeting and the plans to get back to work eventually.
“I think it went well, but…” He shrugged and she smiled with a nod, knowing he was feeling somewhat lost without a job or purpose.
“I’m sure something will work out.”
“I hope so.”
Cleaning up was quick, the leftovers put away and the ice cream set out to soften a bit before they ate dessert.
“What’s this?” he asked and Scully looked to see him picking up a small glass jar, unscrewing the top and smelling it. “It smells like… what is that coconut? Almonds?”
Dipping a finger inside, he scooped up a small amount and put it into his mouth before she could stop him. He made a strange face and looked at her, questions in his eyes.
“What is it? It looks almost like a lightly colored lemon curd, but tastes like… like a thick lotion. Like a cream or something.” He looked at the jar without a label and then back at her, making another face and shaking his head.
“That’s because it is a cream. It’s nipple cream.”
The glass jar slammed down onto the table, thankfully not breaking, and he made a sound halfway between a gasp and a gag, which caused her to burst out laughing. He made the sound again and she held her belly as she continued laughing, unable to stop.
“What…” He coughed and wheezed in a breath. “What do you… do you mean? Nipple cream? What the fuck is that?” She laughed harder and he made a loud noise of disgust.
Wiping tears from her eyes, she calmed down and watched him capping the jar and sliding it across the table with a shudder. She laughed again before she was able to speak.
“My mother…” She giggled and then exhaled out a deep calming breath. “One of her friends has a daughter who recently had a child and made homemade… nipple cream for herself and is now sharing it with others. Not her own.” She laughed at the look on his face, her shoulders shaking. “She makes it and my mom asked for some for me.”
“Okay. But… why do you need it? Have I missed something?”
“Well, breastfeeding, which I am planning on doing, is very hard on the nipples. They can become sore, cracked… and that’s painful for the mother and not good for the baby. So… the cream will help to keep that from happening. Hopefully anyway.”
“So it’s… it’s safe for the baby?”
“You just tried it, in a capacity that is way beyond how the baby will, and you’re still standing. Making a lot of loud noises, but still alive.” She smiled at him and he moved his tongue around, still making a face, but not as much as he had before.
“It’s not great… but…”
“I won’t be feeding it to the baby in large mouthfuls, so I think it will be okay.” She smiled again and he sighed loudly with a nod. Glancing at the jar, he picked it up and opened it, smelling it and nodding again.
“It smells good,” he admitted and she laughed softly. “I just won’t be eating it again.” She laughed louder as he put the lid back on and set the jar down.
“Stick to ice cream, I think.” He nodded, reaching for bowls and the scooper.
They sat down to a bowl of rich vanilla ice cream and a slice of chocolate cake. She smiled as her eyes fell on the jar of cream, chuckling softly at times.
“Yeah yeah,” he mumbled when she looked at him and grinned.
She took him into the nursery after they had finished their dessert and cleaned their mess. Showing him the things they had bought, he smiled as he touched the items.
“I’ll be right back,” he said softly and walked out of the room. She closed the drawer and was about to leave when he came back and stood in front of her with a small blue plastic bag in his hands.
“I uh… I drove past a store today, turned around, and headed back,” he said, almost awkwardly. “The doll I gave you didn’t feel like enough. I thought I should get something else. I didn’t really have anything in mind, but… I went in and looked around and found this. It’s not much but…”
He handed the bag to her and she smiled as she reached inside, feeling something soft. Pulling it out, she inhaled, her breath catching in her throat.
“Mulder,” she breathed, looking at the tiny outfit he had purchased.
“I wasn’t sure about the size so I got two, wanting him… or her… to be able to wear them for a while.” He took the bag back as she held the two rompers in her hands.
They were light blue thermal and had planets, rocket ships, and meteors on them. In the middle was a spaceship with a red bottom, yellow ring, and a clear cover. It looked as though there were two silhouetted people inside of it, with one person pointing up and ahead and the second person’s gaze following the pointing finger.
“It’s us, see?” he said softly. “Out amongst the stars and the galaxy, me pointing out the wonders in front of us and you finally seeing it all. No question if it is a spaceship or not, seeing as we are inside of it, cruising past the stars.” He chuckled quietly and she smiled, though she felt tears sting her eyes.
“I love them,” she whispered, running a finger over the spaceship. “I can’t wait to see him in them.” She looked up and he raised his eyebrows.
He smiled and she sighed, staring into his eyes. Bending his head, he kissed her softly, taking the clothes back as he stood to his full height, laying them gently onto the side of the crib.
“All you’re missing now is the baby,” he said as he looked around.
“All we’re missing,” she corrected and he nodded.
“Hmm,” he hummed, his gaze landing on her, causing her to smile. He smiled back and placed a hand on her belly. “You hear that? Everything is ready for you little… person.”
“Nice catch,” she said with a quiet laugh and he smiled. She wrapped her arms around him and sighed as he held her close.
“Everything is ready,” she repeated in a whisper, feeling nervous that the birth was edging closer, but she kept those worries to herself.
“Especially now that we have that jar of delicious nipple cream,” he said, breaking through the sudden tension she felt and she laughed. Pulling back to look at him, he shuddered and made a disgusted face.
“Serves you right. All those years when you tasted evidence… it’s finally caught up to you. At least the cream wasn’t something disgusting like blood.” She laughed again, trailing her nails down his forearms.
“Hmm,” he hummed, and she pulled him gently from the room, turning off the lights as they walked to her bedroom, shutting the door behind them.
His arms around her, the extra pillows arranged just so in the bed to alleviate the ache in her hips, the baby rolled once and was still, as though also getting comfortable for the night.
She felt Mulder’s hand searching for the movement and she smiled. Taking his hand, she held it in the right spot, but the baby did not stir again.
“Goodnight,” Mulder murmured in her ear, his fingers moving slightly under her own and she knew he meant to both of them.
“Goodnight,” she whispered back, squeezing his fingers lightly, closing her eyes and relaxing into the pillows as she heard him beginning to breath softly behind her.
They lay together, hands resting against her taut belly, the miracle child held within as it continued to grow inside of her. The moment of its arrival drew nearer every day, but for that night, no worries disturbed them as every occupant in the bed slept peacefully.
After Babylon, Scully and Mulder have a roundabout discussion about their relationship, as memories of the past intertwine with the present.
Next in the Year of Prompts… I have been seeing A LOT of gifs on Twitter from the end of Babylon and it prompted me to wonder about the birdhouse that is hanging from the porch. Why is it there? How long has it been there? I had to know, to create a reason as to why and this is what I believe could be the reason.
I hope you enjoy it. 💜
Scully stood waiting while Mulder went inside to get them something to drink. She smiled, somewhat sadly, as she looked around the familiar porch, at the chairs sitting in the same place as the last time she had visited.
Letting out a breath, her eyes landed on the small wooden birdhouse hanging from a hook. Closing her eyes, she shook her head as she heard the screen creak open.
“Here you go.”
She opened her eyes and turned to take the beer he was handing to her.
He smiled as he tipped his bottle and the mouth of it clinked against hers. She smiled back, but did not quite feel it. He took a drink and she watched his throat as he swallowed, wishing she could kiss that skin that tasted so sweet.
“How’s your injury?” she asked, nodding to his neck. He shrugged and sighed.
“Do you want to take a look?”
“Do you want me to?” she countered and his mouth twitched. He tugged at his shirt and bent closer to her, allowing her better access to see it. “Hmm. Looks like angry hickeys.” She looked at him pointedly and he shook his head as he let go of his shirt.
“No. That’s definitely not what it is,” he assured her, staring into her eyes.
“I know. But 50 shades of bad?” she asked and his eyes widened. “Yeah. She told me.” He shook his head and she smiled slowly.
“I didn’t… it wasn’t something I planned.”
“I know that too.” She took a drink of her beer and raised an eyebrow at him. “You should put something on it, help with the sting and scarring.”
“I thought chicks dig scars?”
“Chicks? Are you trying to impress someone? A bird perhaps?”
“No. And definitely not a bird,” he said with a chuckle.
“You sure?” She glanced at the birdhouse hanging from the porch beam and then back at him. He sighed as he looked and then dropped his head.
“Have you seen them again?” she asked quietly and he shook his head. “It’s still possible. Maybe…” He raised his head and she smiled softly at the look in his eyes, feeling like she had gone back in time.
Six years ago, she had brought home a birdhouse in a Secret Santa exchange party at the hospital. It had been a looking forward to spring! gift: a large brown bag inside which was a log cabin styled birdhouse, flower seeds, a trowel, gardening gloves and a small watering can with a daisy shaped spout.
She had thanked Doctor Hahn, but knew that she would most likely not use any of the items. She herself had purchased a nice bottle of wine and decanter for Doctor Kent, quite nearly forgetting she had to buy a gift at all.
Coming home, she had set the bag on the table and laid her coat on a chair. She could hear Mulder upstairs, the floorboards creaking. Within seconds, he had thundered down the stairs, dressed and ready to go to her mothers for her annual Christmas party.
“Hey, beautiful,” he had said, pulling her close and kissing her. “How was your day?”
“Long,” she had replied, laying her head on his chest and wrapping her arms around his waist. “God, you smell good.” He had laughed and rocked them back and forth, humming a Christmas tune.
“Go get changed. I’ll wait down here. Get the gifts in the car.”
“Sure you don’t want to come upstairs with me?” she had asked, raising her eyebrows as she took off her shoes and dropped them beside the stairs.
“I’m ready to go and if I come upstairs with you… we will be late and your mother will be angry with me.”
“God forbid,” she had scoffed and he nodded with a serious expression. “Fine, I’ll go upstairs.” She started and stopped after a couple of steps. “Alone.”
“Scully,” he had warned and she laughed, continuing on her way.
A quick shower, dressed, makeup reapplied and her hair in a low messy bun, she had grabbed her shoes and gone downstairs. Putting her coat and shoes on, Mulder had held the door open as they left.
Three hours later, she had woken abruptly as they pulled up to the house. Mulder had smiled and with an arm around her waist, he had helped her inside. Taking off her shoes, he had guided her up the stairs and helped her undress and taken down her hair.
“I can do it myself,” she had said tiredly even as she had lifted her arms for the long sleeved shirt he offered her.
“I know you can,” he had said with a chuckle. “I also know you worked a long shift, had a quick party there, drove home, and then went to another party. With Bill in attendance.” She had exhaled a small laugh and swayed on her feet as the shirt had gone over her head.
“Come on.” He had led her to the bed, pulling the covers back and she laid down, closing her eyes as he had covered her up. “I’ll be right back. Gotta get the gifts and the leftovers out of the car.” He had kissed her and she hummed.
Exhausted, she had not woken when he had come back to bed.
The scent of coffee had woken her the next morning and she came down the stairs, yawning sleepily. A mug was placed in front of her as she sat at the table. She hummed, her eyes closing as she breathed in the heavenly aroma of coffee, and Mulder chuckled.
Breakfast was pumpkin pie and fudge, Mulder winking as he had served it to her and she laughed. Grabbing his arm and halting his steps, she had smiled as he bent his head and kissed her.
“So whaddya get?” he had asked, gesturing to the bag from Doctor Hahn.
“A happy package.”
“What… what kind of happy?” he had asked, confusion on his face and she laughed, standing up to show him what was inside the bag.
“Ohhh… more of a “better days ahead than the cold winter.” My mind went in a completely different direction.” She had looked at him and he pumped his eyebrows at her.
“Not that kind of gift exchange.”
“Too bad…” He had winked and she shook her head with a smile. “But I like that. Doctor Hahn… have I met him… her?”
“Her. And I’m not sure. I doubt I’ll ever use them, but it’s a nice thought.” She had started to put it away and he stopped her, picking up the birdhouse and taking it out to the porch, and she followed.
“There, at least we’ll have something of it used.” He had hung it on a hook and she nodded.
“A bit early though.”
“Then the birds will have time to scope it out.” Laughing, she had wrapped her arms around his waist and looked up at the birdhouse as he rubbed her back.
Winter had continued, the birdhouse hanging through wind, snow, and rain. When spring had arrived, to Scully’s surprise, Mulder planted the flower seeds in six colorful pots he had purchased at a nursery. She had smiled when she arrived home, the pots a welcome bright spot on a gray day.
They had sprouted, but no birds made a home in the birdhouse that spring. Mulder had not been deterred and he looked into how to attract birds to the yard. He had been very into it- buying bird feeders, food, and extra sunflower seeds, trying to tempt birds. They had come to eat, but not until the following March, had a pair of birds made a nest in the birdhouse.
He had watched them every day, making Scully go around the back to leave, so as not to disturb them. She had rolled her eyes and grumbled, but always with a smile, happy he found a positive outlet for his obsessive nature.
Her phone would buzz in her pocket, with pictures of the birds that had been taken through the screen, appearing in her messages along with updates.
I think she’s laying eggs, or getting ready, I don’t see her leaving the house anymore.
You two have that in common, she had texted back. Well, aside from the laying eggs bit.
Hilarious you are, came his reply and she had smiled.
That day she had come home to many brightly colored plastic Easter eggs, hidden around the house, and Mulder grinning like a fool.
The bird, a tufted titmouse, which he had smirked at the first time saying it, had laid three eggs, which he had seen when she had flown away and he had stood on a stepstool to quickly observe.
Three eggs, Scully. What shall we name them?
One, two, and three? She had typed back, standing in the hospital locker room, smiling and awaiting his response.
There’s that humor I love so much.
Not good enough?
I was thinking… Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
Except those are ducks, not titmice.
Hmm… you wrote tit.
She had laughed and licked her lips, as she had walked to the sink to wash her hands.
And if one of them is a girl? She had asked, standing by the sink.
Cross that bridge later. The names have been entered into the log.
She had shaken her head and slipped her phone into her pocket, washing her hands and muttering the names under her breath.
When the birds had hatched, it seemed a near constant chirping was heard from the nest; the triplets crying for their next meal.
I saw one today!! Wasn’t ready or I’d have snapped a picture. On high alert now. I’ll keep you posted.
She had smiled, hurrying to a meeting and had no time to answer.
When she had come home, he had spoken quickly, telling her about the birds, showing her pictures of them, some blurry and some crisp. It had felt like the old days, when he was excited about a case and she had laughed as she listened to him, finding the joy in his happiness.
When the last bird had left the nest however, there had been sadness, his days no longer filled in the same way. The flowers had been replanted, though the color of the pots had faded somewhat. He had refilled the bird feeders, hoping to entice them back for next year, but then… the possibility of the world ending occupied his attention and she had started to lose him.
One late winter day, she had come home to find the bird feeders gone and the birdhouse down from the hook on the porch. Sighing, she had paused with her hand on the door, shaking her head sadly, knowing what she would find inside.
Mulder had been in his office, the door partially shut, the printer whirring away as he tapped quickly on the computer’s keyboard. She sighed again as she had stared at him, at the drastic change from the excited man of last year, to the man who sat before her.
“What’s up, Doc?” he had said, his voice different than the last time he had said it, low and as though he had not spoken all day. She had shaken her head as she walked into the room.
“What happened to the bird feeders? The birdhouse?” His back had stiffened and she heard him sigh deeply.
“I took them down.”
“I saw that, Mulder. That’s why I’m-”
“There’s no point. It doesn’t matter.”
“Why would you-”
“Because it’s the truth. It doesn’t matter.”
She had stood there, waiting for what she did not know, but he had not turned around, would not face her. Shaking her head, she had drawn in a silent breath, closing the door quietly behind her.
The shower had been the only witness to her tears that night, her heart beginning to break.
She sighed as she stared at him now, the beer in her hand cold and wet with condensation as the past faded away, though the pain remained. Buried deep, like the seeds of the flowers he had carefully planted so long ago. She tried not to let it show as she smiled at him, hoping it did not look as awkward as she felt it did.
“It’s too late,” he said softly, attempting a smile as shook his head and glanced at the birdhouse. “I don’t even know why I bought it really. It just…” He shrugged and looked back at her. “It’s always best to try, right?”
She held his gaze and heard the double meaning in his question. Well, triple if she was honest with herself. She nodded and he sat down, while she leaned against the railing, feeling as though she was still balancing between the past and the present.
“You should get new feeders. Start from scratch. Follow the same plan as before.”
“And what if it doesn’t work?” he asked softly, the beer bottle resting on his knee as he stared at it.
“Well, it worked before. Who’s to say those birds haven’t flown past many times, remembering their home here, wishing they could come back?” His head shot up and her heart stood still as she realized what she had said. “I mean-”
“And perhaps they see this house here… the same, but a little different.” He continued her narrative, nodding toward the birdhouse and she exhaled, not taking her eyes off of him.
“You said they mated for life, right?” He nodded, his eyes staring intently at her. “Then, maybe they’ve been waiting for the right time to come back but… it wasn’t an option just yet.” She watched him breathe, his chest rising and falling.
“It’s too late in the season. I was late. I didn’t think…”
“But you are now,” she said quietly and he nodded slowly as he exhaled a quiet breath. “That’s all you can do, I suppose.”
“Just think? No actions to be taken?”
“There are always actions to take,” she nearly whispered and he nodded slightly.
“What would you suggest?”
She stared at him, at the man she loved so very much, but who had also broken her heart. No… that was not fair. They had hurt each other. Neither of them was completely guilty, but nor were they innocent. They had both gotten to this point together, and they were slowly repairing the giant explosion that had ripped them apart.
She cleared her throat and glanced down at the bottle of beer in her hand. It was still nearly full and she knew if she tried to take a sip now, she would choke on it, unable to swallow past the lump in her throat. Taking a breath she looked back up at him.
“Patience. That’s always good,” she whispered and he nodded slightly. “Making… finding… Christ.” She laughed bitterly as she felt tears stinging her eyes and she looked down, hoping to blink them away. He was quiet, thankfully, and she was able to get a hold of her emotions.
“I could put out flowers. Don’t know if those seeds from years ago are still good, but I could try. See if I could resurrect the past.” She nodded and took a deep breath. “Or like you said, I could start from scratch. Create a new beginning.” She lifted her head and stared at him again.
“Or… you could reconcile the two,” she said, echoing his words, bringing their conversation back to where it had been earlier.
“Hmm,” he hummed with a nod. “That might be the way forward.”
“I think it just might be.” He nodded again and she smiled, glancing down at her beer before raising it and taking a drink. Licking her lips, she held it in her lap again, watching him as he drank his own.
“You want to stay for dinner?” he asked and she raised her eyebrows, the direction of the conversation switching again, neutral ground found once more.
“You have food here? Not just popcorn and snacks?”
“We could order in,” he said after a pause and she knew she was right. She chuckled with a nod and then shrugged.
“Or we could go out,” she suggested and he grinned, standing to his feet.
“Ohh… yeah. That sounds delicious.” She pushed away from the railing and he reached for her beer which she happily handed over, her mind already on the garlic breadsticks and marinara sauce.
He took their bottles inside and came out carrying a lightweight jacket, locking the door behind him.
“Yeah.” She took her keys from her pocket and smiled as they walked down the stairs and to her car.
Backing up, she glanced at the birdhouse once more, before heading down the driveway. Pausing at the end, she looked at him and he smiled, offering her his hand. She took it as she turned right, the simple act achingly familiar.
He hummed a tune that sounded like a song she had heard recently and she smiled as his thumb rubbed her hand softly. She sighed contentedly and heard him do the same as he squeezed gently. She closed her eyes briefly, and thought of birdhouses, spring flowers, and listening, truly listening.
Suddenly realizing she did know the song he was humming, she began to hum with him, her heart feeling lighter than it had of late. She squeezed his hand and smiled as she hummed, hearing the words in her head, a truth that could not be denied, even if the path was a little uncertain at the moment.
I belong with you, you belong with me, You’re my sweetheart…
i think the funniest and realist thing i’ve realized lately is how troubling idealization can be. every person is just… a person. the very people you want to impress or be apart of are just people. even if they seem wildly intimidating because of the way they look or because of their reputation, every one is just a person. human. as embarrassing, as remorseful and they are going through stages of growth just like you are. we only see what we want to see and then drown ourselves further in our own depression and we don’t have to.
stay away from people who - subtly or overtly, consciously or not - encourage you to idealize them! stay away from people who bring out that part that wants to impress them because you feel smaller or less important than them. find people who reassure you that you are enough and good the way you are and who you feel more comfortable around
to lovely humans who were excluded from invitations, left behind when they tied their shoes, forced to walk in the grass when the sidewalk was full, spoken over when you tried to contribute, whispered about or laughed at, given the side eye when you tried to fit in… you are so worthy of love and I’m sorry people have convinced you otherwise. I promise that your people are out there - people who will see the side of you others ignore, people who share weird inside jokes with you, give you affectionate nicknames and go to museums or roadtrips with you and fulfil whatever idea of friendship you’ve always fantasized about. even if you feel like an empty shell of your former self because you’ve hidden yourself away due to shame, this exterior will melt when you accept yourself or let people in and you’ll realize there was nothing wrong with you all along. you have interesting things to say, you deserve new chances and beginnings, your heart is probably made of gold because you know what it’s like to be left out in the cold, and you have so much to give. you are so worthy and someone’s idea of a friend too, and I hope you receive lots of hugs in the future from yourself and others because you’re so lovable.
A call sends Mulder, Scully, and Faith on a road trip back to the house in Quonochontaug. Mulder is feeling somewhat nervous, but is determined to replace the pain of the past with happiness in the present.
This story is the next in the Year of Prompts. A friend on Twitter asked for a story where Mulder visits the house in Quonochontaug with Scully and Faith. I, of course, fell in love with that idea as I simply adore writing them as a happy family. I set out to have it be a Valentine’s story as the story presented itself to me. It took *just* a day longer than planned, but I hope it was worth the wait. ❤️
January 26, 2021
Mulder hung up the phone and sighed with a slight frown. Putting it down, he walked to the laundry room where he could hear Scully humming as she folded clothes.
“So, uh…” he said, standing in the doorway. She looked at him and smiled with a nod. “I just had a call from the rental agency.” She frowned at him and then nodded in understanding.
“Is everything okay?” She picked up a flat sheet, handing him an end, and together they started to fold it.
“Well, Brian from the agency said that with the virus, they aren’t getting as many people staying at the house. No one is traveling, as you know, and they’re losing money.” He took the sheet from her and finished the folding. She nodded and crossed her arms as he set the sheet in the laundry basket.
“So, they’re considering letting it go, which means it falls on me to make a decision. If I want to find another rental company or… if I should sell the house and be done with it.” She stared at him, sighing as she nodded slowly.
“Is that what you want to do?” she asked softly and he let out a deep breath.
“I don’t know. That house… honestly I forget that it’s still there most of the time. It’s been… Jesus, twenty years.” He shook his head and sighed. “I…”
“Hon,” she said, stepping toward him and touching his arm with a smile. “I know how you feel about that house. I don’t want you to think you have to go there. We can ask the agency what would be best and not ever have to go.”
“I appreciate that, but… I think I need to go check-“
“We. We need to go. I’m not letting you go there alone.” She held his arm and stared at him with another small smile. “Would leaving tomorrow morning be soon enough?” He smiled and cupped her cheek, his thumb rubbing softly across it.
“Let’s start thinking about a plan.”
He made phone calls to the rental agency, letting them know they would be coming up to check on the house and decide what they would do with it. Brian sounded relieved and said he would leave the key in the lock box, giving him the combination to open it.
A heaviness weighed upon him as they packed and readied for the trip. He tried not to let it show, but Scully‘s hand lightly grazing his back, arm, or waist let him know that she noticed. She never said anything, but her touch meant everything; his thoughts often far away.
They left the house at seven thirty, hoping Faith would sleep for most of the journey, and not become cranky sitting in her car seat for such a long period of time. Nearly seven hours was long for anyone, but especially for a two year old.
Once again, Grey was dropped off with Violet and Denis, along with the house keys so they could stop by and feed the fish while they were gone. Violet stood at the window, holding Grey and waving goodbye with her little paw, as Faith waved back and yelled goodbye.
She chatted with Bella who sat beside her, her head resting on the arm of the car seat. Faith patted her head and told Bella it was dark.
“See stars, Bell? It’s dark. See stars!” She pointed as she looked out the window, continuing to pet Bella’s head. Mulder smiled as he watched her in the rearview mirror, catching Scully’s eye as he looked back at the road. She smiled at him and he nodded as he drove down Henderson Road, heading toward the Parkway.
“Do you think we should stop at a hotel on the way? I don’t think we can just show up these days,” Scully said, reaching for her phone. “Halfway… that should put us about…” He saw she had opened her map app, looking intently at it, and he shook his head.
“We don’t need to stop. I can make it. Quonochontaug is only seven hours.”
“No. We can switch. No need for you to drive the whole way.” He nodded with a smile, knowing he would be the one driving the entire way. “I’m serious, Mulder.”
“Okay. But I’m good for now.”
“Hmm,” she hummed, Looking back at Faith, who was looking out the window, now holding her baby doll in her lap. “You okay, love?”
“Baby, mama. Baby seeping.” Mulder saw her touch the baby’s eyes that opened and closed. “Shh. Baby seeping.”
“She’s sleeping? Okay then, we’ll be quiet.” She turned her head and smiled at him and he smiled back.
Within two hours, an audiobook playing quietly after Faith’s usual bedtime music, everyone in the car, save for Mulder, was sleeping deeply. He smiled as he glanced at them and then sighed as he looked back at the road. The navigation was set and the book playing, but he was no longer paying attention.
He was heading back to a house that held many memories, both good and bad, and now that they were physically on their way, he was lost in thoughts of the past; his childhood and the questions that had never been answered.
After his mother had died, he had been the one to handle her personal belongings and the selling of her house. She had left everything to him and one long weekend, he had gone up to clear it all out, readying it to be sold.
The house itself held very little personal items. Not many pictures and signs of the past. No, those were kept in the basement, almost as though they were something to hide and of which to be ashamed.
Saturday morning, after he had spent Friday going through the basement, sadness and anger causing tears at times, the doorbell had rung. Believing it to be the donation organization coming to pick up the agreed upon items, he had opened the door to find Scully.
She had smiled, a bag of donuts and two coffees in a carry out holder in her hands. He had been surprised, but opened the door to allow her to enter.
“I thought you could use some help,” she had said softly and he had nodded with a relieved sigh. She had smiled and after they had eaten, they had begun to work.
Then… he had decided it was time to deal with the house in Quonochontaug, something he had put off for years. No one had been in the house for a couple of years, him being the last one, and the reason was one he wished to forget. He had asked Scully to accompany him, no hesitation, knowing that house would be harder to face.
They had driven out together on a Thursday evening, planning to stay all weekend. It had been a long drive, spent mostly in silence. Halfway there, they had stopped to eat at a diner, the silence remaining, though her eyes had said a lot.
They arrived late, the house chilly. Looking around at the things still covered in plastic, the mess he had never completely cleared up, they had both sighed.
“It’s a lot, but…” she had said, a hand on his back as she walked further into the room. “We can be up early, get some breakfast, and then…”
“Yeah,” he had whispered.
They went to the bedrooms, Mulder insisting she take the master bedroom and he would take the smaller guest one. The rooms smelled musty, plastic covering the beds and other things.
“Uh, I don’t know about the state of the sheets. This place hasn’t been used in such a long time,” he had said, standing in the doorway and looking around the room she would be using.
“Blankets will be fine,” she had assured him and he nodded, going to the hall closet and taking out the equally musty smelling blankets, wishing he had thought to bring something better.
“I’m not sure the blankets are much better, in regards to smell anyway.”
“It’s fine, Mulder.” She had smiled and taken the blankets from him. “We’ve been in worse places than this.” He had nodded and she rubbed his arm. “Good night.”
“Good night,” he had whispered and walked to the guest room.
Dropping the blankets onto the bed, he had used the bathroom, shivering as he walked back to the bedroom. He had changed his clothes and gotten under the covers, sighing as he closed his eyes, too many thoughts in his head. Turning over, he had fallen asleep, his dreams dark and confusing.
In the morning, he had woken up early. Leaving Scully to sleep a little longer, he went to pick up the trailer he had rented and to get breakfast for both of them.
She had been awake when he returned, just coming out of the bedroom, yawning and stretching. She had smiled as she cleared the table and he set the food and coffee onto it.
After they had eaten and thrown out their trash, they looked around, deciding where to start.
“Before we do anything,” she had said and he looked at her. “I’ve been thinking. What if you didn’t sell this place?”
“I don’t want or need it,” he had answered.
“No, I know you don’t. But…” She had walked to the back door and opened it. “It’s beautiful here. The water right outside the door… it’s a perfect place to get away.”
“You could rent it.” She had smiled at him and he looked around the house and back at her. “Fix it up a little for sure, but…” She had shrugged and he let out a sigh. “It’s just an idea.”
“Yeah,” he had said with a nod.
“Think about it,” she had said quietly, touching his arm.
They had worked methodically, moving from one room to the next, stopping a little after one to go out and get something to eat and stopping at the store to get something for a simple dinner.
Things that held memories, had been set to one side and then carried to the trailer. Pictures mostly, a few boxes of family items, a couple of lamps and one end table Mulder had “ruined” when he did not use a coaster for his glass of ice water.
“My mother would cluck her tongue and sigh every time she saw it. Never saying anything, but letting me know how I had messed up.”
“You’re still pretty bad about remembering,” she had teased and he chuckled softly in agreement. “How about I go make dinner and open that bottle of wine while you make a fire?” He had nodded and she went into the kitchen
He had cleaned out the fireplace, checking to make sure the flue was open, and then went to find some wood outside. It was not much, but enough for a small fire. He brought it inside, smelling garlic and onions, and his mouth watered.
As the fire began to build, she had walked into the room holding two plates of pasta tossed with garlic and parmesan cheese. She set it on the fireplace, rubbing his back as she walked back to the kitchen to get their glasses of wine. Kneeling down, she handed him his glass and set hers beside her plate.
“The fire feels nice. It’s surprisingly cold at night.”
“Not exactly a selling point for a vacation rental,” he had said, taking a sip of his wine.
“Not until you upgrade it a bit.” She had smiled at him and he nodded, but did not smile back. “You don’t want to do it?”
“I don’t want to think about it tonight.”
“This is good,” he had said, taking a bite of the pasta. She smiled and ate her food as the fire crackled and warmed the room.
When their plates were empty, he had taken them into the kitchen and brought out the bottle of wine, refilling their glasses as they moved to the couch.
They had watched the fire, his head resting on the back of the couch, his fingers lightly caressing her shoulder. She looked at him and then she set her glass on the coffee table and turned to him. He had swallowed, setting his glass on the small table beside him.
She had leaned closer to him, a hand on his thigh. He cupped her cheek, her eyes closing as she sighed.
“Scully,” he had breathed. She opened her eyes and he shook his head slowly. “I…”
“Mulder,” she had whispered, moving until she was in his lap, her arms loose around his neck, fingers rubbing softly in his hair and down his neck. He held her waist, closing his eyes as her forehead rested against his, her breath smelling sweetly of wine.
“Scully… I… this-“
“I’m not asking or expecting anything from you,” she had whispered, kissing his temple as he sighed. Then his other temple, forehead, cheeks, and lips. Every kiss soft and tender.
He had kissed her back, his hands gripping her hips. Their kisses slow, their breath mingling, her tongue gently touching his, silently asking for permission.
He had pulled back, licking his lips, Breathing hard as their foreheads once more pressed together. Her fingers scratched softly at his neck as they sighed simultaneously.
“I’m sorry. I just… this house…”
“You don’t need to apologize,” she had whispered. “Not for anything.” He sighed again and she wrapped her arms around him, her face pressed into his neck. He held her tightly, his eyes closed, sighing with relief at her understanding.
She had pulled back, kissing him once more, before rising and taking their glasses into the kitchen. He sighed as he watched her go, hearing the water running as she washed the dishes. He scrubbed a hand down his face and stood to his feet.
Walking into the kitchen, he had rubbed her back and picked up a towel to dry the dishes, working together in silence. When the last plate was clean and had been put away, she bid him good night, rubbing his arm as she passed.
He had sighed as she left, walking back and sitting on the couch, staring at the slowly dying fire. As it went out, he had risen and used the bathroom before lying down in bed and staring into the darkness.
His door had opened quietly a few minutes later, the faint light from the living room lamp momentarily casting a soft flow across the bed. The door had closed and the room was once more dark.
The covers were lifted and the bed squeaked as Scully slid in beside him, snuggling close. He had let out a breath as he raised his arm and she lifted her head, lying on his shoulder and wrapping an arm around his waist. She brought her leg up, resting her knee against his thigh and side softly.
“Was your bed not warm enough?” he had teased quietly and she hummed.
“No, this bed is much warmer.” He had hummed out a quiet chuckle and they fell silent, their breathing the only sound in the room.
He had shifted, turning onto his side and pulling her close, their forehead’s touching as they had done on the couch.
“There are bad memories here. Broken ones. Ones I… I’m not sure are real,” he whispered and she hummed as she stroked his face, her hands warm. “But, there are also good ones. Ones of games and laughter. My mother singing. Parties and music. My father telling some story and all the men laughing. I had my first taste of hard alcohol here.”
“Really?” she had whispered with a soft laugh.
“Not on purpose,” he chuckled, hooking a leg over hers and breathing in her scent. “I had been running around and grabbed what I believed was my cup and took a big drink of what I thought was water, but what was actually vodka.
“Oh!” She had laughed, her head falling back and they looked at one another in the darkness. “What happened?”
“I was sure my throat would burn forever, my stomach on fire, and then I gagged and threw most of it up onto the grass. One of the men thumped me on the back and laughed. I was so embarrassed to throw up in front of them, but Jesus Christ, it was the only option.”
“Hmm,” she had hummed, moving closer, her lips at his throat. “How old were you?”
“Eleven, nearly twelve,” he had said, his fingers running softly up and down her back.
“Maybe that’s why you don’t like it much.”
“Hmm. Could be.” He thought back to that day, the way his head had spun as his mother led him inside, Samantha crying and holding his hand.
“So, does that go in the good memory column or the bad one?”
“I’ll consider it both.”
“Hmm.” Quiet again, she moved even closer, kissing his throat and then sighing.
“Good night,” she had whispered, and he nodded, closing his eyes and kissing the top of her head.
He had slept soundly, waking up spooning her, his nose buried in her hair.
As they ate breakfast, he had looked around, thinking about the possibility of remodeling the house and renting it out as a vacation home.
“It would take a lot,” he had said out loud and she frowned at him. “If I was to remodel it. This place is good, but… what would they find once they started working on it?”
“What are you saying?”
“We… I own the land surrounding here. Would it be better to tear it down? Start over from scratch?”
“Good question for a developer.”
“Yeah.” He had smiled and she gripped his hand. “I think I’ll call some people, see what they have to say.”
“I think it’s a good idea. I like it here.” She had smiled and he nodded. “Wouldn’t mind coming back.”
“That could be arranged.” He had leaned forward and kissed her softly, holding her chin with his thumb and index finger.
“I’d like that,” she whispered, kissing him once again. “Maybe when it’s a bit warmer out.” He chuckled and nodded again.
All personal items packed inside the trailer and the rooms cleaned, they had packed up their bags, taking out the trash and setting it in the back of the trailer to drop at a nearby dumpster as they left.
They never did go out there again. Not together anyway. He had, on his own, to meet with developers who suggested ways to improve the house. Things were moved out and he saw the beginning of the remodel before he had disappeared and was gone for nearly a year.
When he had returned, he’d had more time on his hands. Only once had he seen the place completed before never coming back. Life taking over and stopping him… them from coming out there again.
He had left it in the capable hands of a rental agency, the money from it deposited into a separate checking account created by the gunmen, and transferred over to his primary account only when needed.
Scully hummed in her sleep and he blinked his eyes, shaking his head as though clearing away the past. The audiobook was chapters ahead and he made no effort to go back to what he remembered, deciding starting it over would probably be for the best.
“Oh.” She stretched and he glanced at her with a smile. “Oh… I fell asleep. I’m so sorry.” She reached over and patted his arm as she glanced back at Faith. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep… oh my god, it’s 11:30?! How long was I sleeping?”
“I really don’t know.”
“Yeah. Just thinking.” He smiled at her and she reached for his hand, lacing their fingers together.
“Do you wanna talk about it?”
“I’m okay. I do need to pee though and we’ll need gas soon.”
“Yeah, I need to pee too.”
A quick stop at a gas station, they took turns using the bathroom, letting Bella out to relieve herself. He got them each a coffee and restarted the audiobook as they drove away. This time they both paid attention, laughing and discussing the story quietly.
Soon, they exited the interstate and drove down the road toward the house. He felt nervous and calm simultaneously as they pulled up and parked in the driveway.
“Wow,” Scully said, staring at the house in the shine of the headlights. “It’s different. I like it. It’s not as dark.”
“Light is always better,” he agreed, turning off the car and smiling at her.
“You stay here, I’ll go open the house and turn on the lights.”
“I could do it”.
“Nah, I got it.” He kissed her and got out, closing the door quietly. Using the flashlight on his phone, he found the lock box, punched in the code and took out the key to unlock the door.
Walking inside, he took a deep breath, happy that the house was different, the changes allowing for better memories to be created. He shivered in the chilly room, intent on turning on the heater when they were all inside. He turned on some lights and went back outside.
Nodding at Scully as he opened the back passenger door, he let Bella out, holding onto her leash as he opened the back of the car.
“I’ll set up Faith’s bed real quick and we can lay her down,” he said softly and she nodded.
He grabbed the portable crib, and the bag with the sheets and blankets, bringing them and Bella inside. He set up the crib in the guestroom and quickly made the bed, setting Faith’s favorite stuffed animal, the grey alien with a pink belly, in the corner.
Heading back outside, he saw that Scully was taking Faith from the car seat, shushing her when she began to cry. They walked inside while he unloaded the rest of the luggage, bringing it all inside.
He put their bags in the master bedroom and went to the kitchen to unload the food they had brought for the morning. It was mostly stuff for Faith, not taking any chances of being caught out with no food. They planned to make a trip in the morning to stock up for a few days.
He could hear Faith fussing and crying as Scully sang to her, shushing her softly. Once he was done, he called out to Bella, taking her out to pee one more time, giving her a treat when they came back inside.
It was quiet and he smiled tiredly as he searched for the thermostat, setting the heater to seventy to see how that temperature felt. He heard it kick on as the toilet flushed and Scully came out to join him a moment later.
“I like the house very much. It’s the same, but with some changes. And it’s brighter and happier.”
“It is,” he agreed, looking around the white walls, the dark wood paneling gone.
Taking her hand, they walked through the house, looking at all the changes. Some even he had not seen, twenty years being a long time between visits.
The furniture was all done in soft grays and blues. The coffee and side tables were dark oak, with bookshelves that matched. Games and puzzles filled one and random books filled the other.
The kitchen cupboards were steel blue, the countertops done in white marble. Different sized bowls set upon them, one now full of bananas and apples. A white rectangular table with a bench and two chairs sat in the corner, a vase of fake flowers in the middle.
A small laundry room with a stackable washer and dryer and a counter to fold clothes, was just off the kitchen. The side door lead to the wraparound front porch, though they did not venture further than a quick glance.
The floors throughout the house were a light wood, with colorful rugs of grays and blues upon them. The room where Mulder had nearly broken beyond repair, was now a cozy sitting room. Large windows with sheer drapes faced the water which would let in beautiful sunlight in the morning. A dark wicker basket of toys sat beside a red bookcase with children’s books and pictures of the surrounding area sitting upon it.
She turned to him and smiled, which he attempted to return, but failed. She came close and hugged him, holding on tightly. He closed his eyes as he wrapped his arms around her, trying to block out memories of the past.
“It looks beautiful,” she said quietly, pulling back to look at him. “Much better than before.” He nodded and smiled slightly. Let’s go to bed. It’s late and you know our girl won’t be sleeping in.”
He nodded again and followed her to the bedroom, turning off the lights and locking the doors along the way. Bella was asleep on her bed and paid them no mind as they passed.
As he laid down, Scully’s head on his chest, he let out a deep breath. “No more,” he whispered, stroking her hair. “No more darkness.”
“No,” she whispered back. “No more.” He kissed her head and closed his eyes. “Good night, Mulder.”
“Good night, love.”
The fire crackled and Bella stretched, letting out a deep sigh. Mulder smiled as he watched her, the fire warm, and no doubt she was exhausted.
They had spent the majority of the day outside in the snow, the depth of it more than he could have imagined, the storm blowing in and taking them by surprise. Bella had jumped and dove into it, coming up covered in the powder, her tongue lolling out happily.
Faith had been a little more hesitant, unsure what to think of it. Bundled up in many layers to ward off the cold, she had tripped once, her hands landing in the snow. She had shook them, trying to get the snow off of her mittens, but to no avail.
Scully had laughed as she bent down beside her, helping her wipe them off. When she had looked at him, picking Faith up, her blue eyes shining with happiness, he had never felt more in love with her.
Even as he was happy to be there with them, his light in the darkness, he had been unable to completely stop thinking of the past. The house being different helped immensely, but there were still spots within it which held some pain.
One of them, the loft where he and Samantha had slept when they were younger, had been a space he specifically asked the developers to turn into something different, though he did not have an actual idea of what he wanted.
What they had done was better than he could have imagined.
A skylight had been added when they put in a new roof and the dark loft was now a cozy reading nook with natural light spilling in. A small television sat in the corner, a VCR and DVD player on the shelf of the stand it sat upon. A storage bench ran the length of the low wall, colorful pillows in blues, grays, and muted greens brightening the space further.
Toys, blankets, and movies were inside of the bench. Two light turquoise bean bag chairs sat atop a striped rug of greens, blue, and tan. The railing had been changed, and now included a thin piece of plexiglass, keeping the view clear, while creating a safe space from little arms, legs, or heads from becoming stuck.
He had brought Faith up there, playing with and reading to her. She had loved the beanbag chairs, climbing on them and then giggling as they moved with her. She had also loved looking down and waving at Scully, calling for her to look up at her. Bella whined as she watched them, wanting to join them so badly.
Sitting in the little loft, the sunlight coming in through the skylight, he had felt his sadness lifting. Faith smiling at him and her laughter helped to replace the pain of the past with the happiness in the present.
“She’s exhausted, isn’t she?” Scully said, pulling him from his thoughts. He looked up and saw her smiling at Bella. “I don’t think I have ever seen her so still.” She smiled at him and he chuckled with a nod.
“It was a busy day.”
“Yes, it was.” She turned her head and looked out the window as he did the same, smiling at the snowman family they had made, now covered in even more snow.
Three different sized snow people were wearing extra hats and scarves from each of them. Faith’s was her height and she stared at it from all sides before she hugged it, surprised by the coldness on her cheek when she did. She touched her cheek and looked at him, her brow furrowed.
“Snow is cold, my love,” he had said, bending beside her, touching his cheek to the snow person and then placing his cheek on Faith’s. She had pulled back and touched her cheek again as he laughed, kissing her cold nose.
“May I join you?” Scully asked and he looked at her, confused.
“Of course, why would you… oh.” He chuckled as she joined him in the overstuffed chair in which he was sitting, her head on his shoulder, an arm around his waist, her legs on top of his.
“So by join, you meant sit on my lap, not in the chair beside me?” he asked, his fingers in her hair.
“What would be the fun of that?” she asked, letting out a deep sigh. He chuckled again, nodding and kissing her head.
The fire popped and Bella jumped, standing and staring at it before she stretched, yawned, and laid back down. They laughed quietly, her toes pressing into the seam of his jeans along his calf.
“You okay?” she asked quietly and his fingers paused for a second before running through her hair again.
“I am,” he answered with a slight nod. She lifted her head and pulled back to look at him, her eyes searching his own. He smiled as she touched his cheek and side.
She nodded and stroked his face, her fingernails scratching gently at the beard he had been growing for a few weeks. She took a deep breath and licked her lips.
“I like your beard like this,” she whispered and he fought back a smile.
Oh, he knew.
When he had started letting it grow, no longer wanting to shave every morning, she had made comments about his scratchy beard and ducked away as he attempted to rub his cheek against her neck.
But she would always giggle as he did it. He knew she did not really hate it.
When it had grown in, he had noticed the way that she touched it often, her fingertips scratching beneath it, her eyes dilating and her breathing increasing, sex inevitably occurring wherever they were at that moment.
Yeah… he knew.
But he would play it cool.
“You do, huh?” he asked, giving her a curious look.
“Hmm. I do. I didn’t in the past-”
“That was different,” he said quietly, leaning into her hand and staring into her eyes. “I was different. That was a depressed beard. It was ugly and unkempt, no care over how I looked. This is different.”
“I know,” she whispered, her hand stroking softly. “I like it. It’s sexy.”
“Sexy?” he asked, wrapping his arms around her waist, locking his fingers together, and opening his legs enough to allow hers to slip in between.
“Mm-hmm. Very sexy.” She bit her bottom lip and he smiled.
“I think I may have noticed,” he admitted and she stared at him.
“I like it. Especially on my thighs.” His hands slipped as his body jerked and she grinned.
“Yeah?” he asked, clearing his throat.
“God, yes,” she breathed, her eyes closing. “It’s so stimulating, it makes me…” She shivered and he chuckled, causing her to open her eyes.
“Yeah, I noticed.” He smiled and she narrowed her eyes at him.
“Always observant, you are.”
“When it comes to that, you bet I am.”
“Hmm,” she hummed, dropping her hand down to the button of his thermal shirt and fiddling with it. “How quickly can you put out the fire?”
“Which one?” he teased, unlocking his hands and placing one on her ass. She laughed and kissed him, her tongue stroking his as she shifted onto her knees, her hands on his face.
“This fire is close, but that one needs some attention. You take care of it and meet me in the bedroom.” She kissed him once more and climbed off of his lap, heading to the bedroom, lifting her sweater over her head on the way. “Hurry up or I’m starting without you.”
He jumped up and hurried to put out the fire with the ashes in the metal bucket beside the fireplace. Once he was sure it was out, he walked toward the bedroom, unbuttoning his pants and removing his layers of shirts.
She was on the bed, already naked, her knees bent. She was moaning quietly and he saw she was squeezing her breasts. His clothes dropping to the floor, he tugged at her feet, pulling her legs apart as he climbed onto the bed. He kissed his way up her legs, heading toward his goal. He rubbed his beard against her thighs, one then the other, and she arched her back, his name said breathlessly.
Closer to her center, he breathed deeply, smelling her arousal. He kissed her pubis and she whimpered, her legs tightening around him. Rubbing his chin on her inner thighs, she cried out, grabbing his head and gripping his hair.
“Mulder,” she gasped and he smiled.
“Yes?” he asked, kissing her pubis again, rubbing his face across it back-and-forth. She pulled his hair and he chuckled, raising his head to look at her.
“You’re a shit,” she said, her chest heaving.
“You said you were close and I can tell you are. Nothing wrong with showing some restraint and prolonging that pleasure.”
“Fuck that,” she said through gritted teeth, attempting to push his head where she most wanted it, but he stopped her.
Pushing up, he rubbed his face on her stomach, feeling it quiver as he kept moving up her body, kissing and rubbing his beard against your skin. He reached her breasts and ran his lips across her nipples, then his beard, her legs gripping even tighter as she whimpered.
“Jesus, Mulder. You keep that up, I’m going to come.”
“Is that a complaint?” he asked, knowing the way in which she truly wanted to get there.
“No. Not at ohhh, at all.” She moaned as he came up, nuzzling at her neck and her lips. “Kiss me.” He lifted his head and kissed her lips, her tongue running across his teeth, the kiss hot and needy.
He pulled back and resumed his nuzzling at her neck, back tracking down the path he had taken up her body. He paused at her stomach, enjoying the way it quivered under his touch.
“You’ve known all this time?” she asked quietly, her breath coming out heavy through her nose.
“Of course I have,” he responded, his tongue running from her navel to the top of her pubis. “As if I could not notice.”
He moved, opening her legs and rubbing his beard against her inner thighs once more, her fingernails scratching at his scalp. Her arousal was more evident now and he breathed in her intoxicating scent.
“Mulder, please…” she begged.
And he did, taking his time, making sure she got there.
The next few days, the snow sticking around, they went for long walks, Bella rolling and sliding in the snow. They went close to the water, throwing sticks in and watching them float away. There were plastic sleds in a small shed out back and they made a small hill, packing down some snow, to let Faith slide down, Mulder catching her at the bottom. Her happy laughter echoed around them, Scully smiling from the top of the little hill, as they trudged back up to do it all again.
They went into the little town, walking along the streets, looking in the windows and stopping in a few places that remained open, masks on and keeping their distance.
In one shop, Mulder found a little pop-up playhouse shaped like a toad stool. It was red with white polka dots on top and a squat round bottom with a curved door and circular windows on the sides. Deciding to keep it for a couple of days, as Valentine’s Day was approaching, though Scully stated it was a rather silly day.
“As though people need a specific day set aside to express their love,” she had said as they walked out of the store, the playhouse in a bag.
“Scully,” he had started to say and she interrupted him.
“I don’t mean that a gift or flowers isn’t nice, but couldn’t someone do that on February nineteenth just as well as the fourteenth? It will cost less on that day which means you could buy even more.” She had shrugged and he smiled, pulling her into his arms and lifting her off the ground.
“I love you,” he had whispered and she laughed.
“See? A few days early even. And that’s all I need.” She had pulled her mask down and kissed him before he set her down and they continued on their way.
The afternoon before Valentine’s Day, after discovering the box of pasta they had planned to eat for dinner that night had not made it home, Mulder had volunteered to go back to the store to get it. Scully insisted they could eat something else that night, as they had just purchased another week’s worth of groceries, but he insisted more and with a kiss to her and Faith, he left.
He had an ulterior motive for going, one he did not want her to know about just yet.
While they had been out earlier, he had seen something in a florist shop he wanted to buy for her. It was simple, but it had made him smile when he saw it and he knew he needed to buy it.
Stopping quickly at the store, he bought a bag of Valentine’s chocolate kisses before he picked up the pasta. He drove to the florist shop and went inside, smiling as he saw what he had wanted was still there.
It was a wooden stand with two small glass nearly heart shaped test tube vases, hanging from a metal pronged holder. At the base of the stand was a wooden heart with the word Love written upon it. It was perfect in its simplicity, exactly the kind of gift he knew she would enjoy.
“Those are quite popular, I only have those two left.” He turned and the florist nodded her head at them. “You better grab it while you can.”
“I saw these when we walked by earlier and I had to come back when it was more covert.”
“Understood,” she laughed and pointed to the stands. He nodded and she picked one up with gloved hands and he followed her to the register.
“Do you have any violets? Just a few to set inside the vases?”
“As it happens, I cut some for a bouquet this morning, I always save the extras. Never know when they will come in handy. I’ll get them for you.” He nodded as she walked away, glancing at his watch and seeing he still had time before he began to draw suspicion.
“Here we are, I’ve tied a small bunch together and you can distribute them between the two vases when you get home.”
She wrapped the vases and the stand and placed it in a brown gift bag, tied with twine. The flowers were wrapped and he asked for a heart balloon as well- for Faith. She nodded and filled a shiny pink mylar heart with helium.
Paying for it and getting into the car, he smiled at the balloon dancing on the front seat. Such a small thing, but he knew Faith would love it. He could not wait to see her happy smile.
As he got onto the main highway, the street was packed with cars. An ambulance drove past him and he took a deep breath. Most likely an accident and traffic would be backed up for a while. He put the car in park and took out his phone, texting Scully to let her know what was happening.
Take your time. Get home safely. ❤️
He smiled at the heart and put his phone in the cup holder. Turning the heater up a bit, he then turned the volume up on the radio and leaned his head back on the headrest.
A song began to play, a soft strum of a guitar and he was immediately pulled in, as he closed his eyes.
Take it If she gives you her heart Don’t you break it Let your arms be a place She feels safe in She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have
His eyes flew open and he sat up straight, listening intently to the next part of the song.
She always has trouble Falling asleep And she likes to cuddle While under the sheets She loves Pop songs And dancing, and bad trash TV There’s still a few other things
She loves love notes and babies And likes giving gifts Has a hard time accepting A good compliment She loves her whole family And all of her friends So if you’re the one she lets in
Take it If she gives you her heart Don’t you break it Let your arms be a place She feels safe in She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have She’ll love you If you love her
On days when It feels like the whole World might cave in Stand side by side And you’ll make it She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have She’ll love you If you love her like that
“Pull to the right. We will be detouring you. Pull to the right. You will be detoured.” A voice said over a speaker and Mulder jumped, looking to his right. A police suburban drove by, lights flashing but no siren.
He turned the car on, missing the rest of the song as he concentrated on following the detour. The words remained in his head however, his thoughts of Scully and how it sounded as though the song had been written especially about them.
Pulling into the driveway a few minutes later, he turned the car off and picked up his phone, searching for the song with the words he remembered hearing.
He found it on the second search, listening to its entirety before purchasing it with a smile. Moving the gifts to the back of the car to bring in later when Scully was busy with something else, he grabbed the pasta and walked inside, a plan for tomorrow beginning to formulate. ______________________
“Oh! So pretty!” Faith exclaimed as she stood in front of the toadstool playhouse and clapped her hands happily. She ran inside and squealed when she saw the pink balloon floating inside. “Heart. Pink heart. So pretty.”
They both bent down and watched her exploring, looking out the windows and calling out hello. Mulder unrolled the door and she popped out from behind it shouting boo! and running to him. He caught her and fell back, feigning fear. She laughed and ran back to scare him again.
“I’ll go get breakfast started,” Scully said with a smile, rising from her knees beside the playhouse.
“No wait!” he called out and stood quickly to his feet. “I uh… I can do it.”
“You’re playing with Faith. I don’t want to disturb the fun.” She smiled anew and started to walk to the kitchen when he stopped her again. “What are you doing?”
“Just… I…” He sighed heavily and shook his head. “We said Valentine’s Day wasn’t important, but… I got you something and it’s set up in the kitchen.” He sighed again and she smiled slowly, licking her lips and rolling her eyes as she shook her head.
“Well then, I’m just as guilty.”
“I said it wasn’t important, that it was just a day, but… I got you something too.”
“Whoa, I’m having a crazy feeling of deja vu,” he murmured, thinking about a Christmas morning, opening gifts together in his apartment. She laughed, which ended with a sigh, her shoulders lifting in a shrug and a shake of her head.
“Together?” he asked and she nodded, reaching for his hand.
He scooped up Faith, wanting her to share in the festivities and they walked into the kitchen, his eyes on Scully to see her reaction.
“Oh! Hearts!” Faith shouted and he chuckled, glancing at her before looking back at Scully.
She shook her head with a smile, letting go of his hand to look at the numerous cutout hearts hanging and spinning slowly from the ceiling, some single and some intertwined. They were all made from white notebook paper, the house not exactly full of crafting materials.
“When did you do this?” she asked and he smiled.
“Last night after you fell asleep. You are a heavy sleeper sometimes, as you know.” He set Faith in her high chair attached to the kitchen chair, buckling her in as Scully came to stand beside them.
“Mulder, this is so beautiful. And violets…” she said, touching the flowers in the vases, rubbing his back as she did. “Thank you, love.” She kissed him and he smiled as she pulled back.
“You’re welcome. Check out the counter.”
She turned around and laughed as she walked to the counter and saw the heart shape he had made from the chocolate kisses.
“You and the kisses,” she teased, and he knew she was remembering years ago when he had left the chocolate kisses in and with various people at the hospital, letting her know it had been him doing it only when she had arrived at home.
“Chocolate kisses are sweet,” he responded and she laughed softly, foregoing the candy, and coming close to kiss him again.
“Dada. Na-na, please.”
“Of course, my love. I’m so sorry.” He took a banana from the bowl and peeled it, cutting it into pieces and placing it in a bowl. He gave it to her with a small fork and kissed the top of her head. “That should buy us a few minutes.”
“Right, let me get your-”
“Did you see what was on the hearts?” he asked, stopping her from getting his gift. She looked up at the hearts and then back at him. “Oh right, they’re up quite high. Let me help you reach them.”
“You’d better watch it,” she said, reaching up, but he was ahead of her and he cut the twine with some scissors, a single heart fluttering into her hands.
“Stubborn,” she read and looked at him, with her eyebrows raised.
“Oh… whoops. That wasn’t supposed to be the first one. Let’s try this one.” He cut down another single heart and she caught it.
“Empathy. That’s much better.” She gave him a look and walked to the next single heart, waiting to catch it. He grinned as he snipped the twine and once again she caught it.
Five more hearts were released from the twine, and when she had them all, she laid them on the counter.
“Intelligence. Empathy. Compassion. Beauty. Stubborn. Understanding. Loving. Sexy.” She looked at him with a grin and he raised a fist.
“Nailed it. First time truly celebrating in a loooooong time and I hit it outta the park.” He danced around, Faith laughing as she watched him, bananas squished in her hands and on her face.
“Yes, you did good. Now it’s my turn.”
“Bring it on, honey.”
“Dada, milk please.”
“I’ll get it,” Scully said, opening the fridge quickly and taking out her cup of milk.
She handed it to Faith and kissed her head, before opening the pantry and taking out a gift wrapped in pink paper with anatomically correct red hearts. He laughed as she handed it to him and she smiled.
“Gotta have some authenticity to it,” she stated with a shrug. He nodded and carefully unwrapped the box.
Lifting the lid and then the tissue paper, he drew in a breath. Looking up at her, she smiled softly and he shook his head as he looked back at the gift she had given him.
It was a collage of pictures held within a frame, in the center of which was a drawing of a grinning heart overflowing with other smiling hearts. Underneath was written, My heart is happy.
Every picture was from their visit. A picture of the house on its own. Him and Faith in the loft reading a book. Faith mid sled, him smiling happily with his arms out wide to catch her, the house in the background. One of them all by the fire, a squishy selfie they liked to call it. Another selfie in the snow, all of them red cheeked and grinning. Down by the water, him showing Faith how to throw sticks. Bella jumping out of the snow as Faith laughed. The snow family. Him and Faith asleep on the couch, her laying on his chest.
“I wanted you to see. To see the happiness I’ve seen in you,” Scully said quietly and he nodded, looking up at her with a lump in his throat, understanding the many layers to the gift.
“Thank you,” he said hoarsely. She grasped his forearm as he let out a deep breath, looking at the pictures again.
So much thought had gone into the choice of pictures, always showcasing the house and how happiness had outweighed the sadness previously held inside the walls.
“The best thing that you’ll ever have,” he whispered, shaking his head with a sigh.
“What?” Scully asked and he looked at her with a smile, setting down the frame and picking up his phone from where it was charging on the counter.
“I heard this yesterday and I…” He queued up the song and set the phone down, reaching for her hand and pushing play. “I swear it was written for us.” He watched her face as the first chords of the song began.
Take it If she gives you her heart Don’t you break it Let your arms be a place She feels safe in She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have
He smiled and she scrunched her chin, her eyes shining. He took her other hand and pulled her close as they began to sway slowly.
She always has trouble Falling asleep And she likes to cuddle While under the sheets She loves Pop songs And dancing, and bad trash TV There’s still a few other things
He felt her chuckle and he held her tighter.
She loves love notes and babies And likes giving gifts Has a hard time accepting A good compliment She loves her whole family And all of her friends So if you’re the one she lets in
Take it If she gives you her heart Don’t you break it Let your arms be a place She feels safe in She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have She’ll love you If you love her
On days when It feels like the whole World might cave in Stand side by side And you’ll make it She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have She’ll love you If you love her like that
So many thoughts and moments in their lives flashed in his mind. He heard her sniffling and he knew she was thinking of them as well.
Kiss her with passion As much as you can Run your hands through her hair Whenever she’s sad And when she doesn’t notice How pretty she is Tell her over and over So she never forgets
Take it If she gives you her heart Don’t you break it Let your arms be a place She feels safe in She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have She’ll love you If you love her
On days when It feels like the whole World might cave in Stand side by side And you’ll make it She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have She’ll love you If you love her like that
He pulled back and stared at her, cupping her face and rubbing his thumb across her cheek, as the song continued, speaking without saying a word. She shook her head and took a deep breath, closing her eyes and laying her head on his chest as the last lines of the song began to play.
On days when It feels like the whole World might cave in Stand side by side And you’ll make it She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have She’ll love you If you love her like that
As it ended, they remained swaying in each other’s arms, his arms holding her tightly.
“Mama. Dada. More food. Na-na all gone.” They both laughed, the private bubble they had been in popped, as reality came calling.
“More food?” he asked, pulling back from Scully, rubbing her arms as he did. “Did you make banana art today, or actually eat most of it?” Faith grinned at him and he shook his head at the mess she always made.
“Time for pancakes, I think,” Scully said, taking the premade bowl of batter from the fridge.
“Faithy look! It’s pink! Pink pancakes!”
“Yay! Pink pa-cakes!”
The heart kisses were moved into a bowl, Mulder opening one and offering it to Scully, who took it with happiness shining in her eyes. He found a Valentine’s Day playlist on his music app and they sang along and danced as they worked together to make breakfast.
“You’re simply the best!” he sang into the spatula as he flipped the pink pancakes. “Better than alllllll the rest!” Scully laughed and Faith wiggled in her high chair.
Sitting down to eggs and pink heart shaped pancakes, Scully having purchased a heart cookie cutter at the store unbeknownst to him, they smiled at each other, toasting a successful Valentine’s Day.
As they ate, he glanced at the gift Scully had given him and looked around the kitchen, at the changes made for the better, and he made a decision.
“I’ll call Brian tomorrow, see if we can’t figure something out to keep this place as a rental. See if he has any suggestions for what we could do. I… I’m not quite ready to let it go just yet.” Scully smiled slowly and reached for his hand.
“I think that’s a great idea. I wouldn’t mind coming back.”
“I think that could be arranged,” he said, his words from years ago, holding more weight. A promise he intended to fulfill.
“Maybe when it’s warmer though. Perhaps when there is a little less snow.”
He laughed and nodded, imagining coming there in the summer, and the many activities they could do in the warmer weather.
“Yes, we’ll definitely have to come back when it’s warmer.”
“I’d like that,” she said and he nodded.
And he meant it.
The song in this story is If You Love Her by Forest Blakk. I heard it and knew I had to include it in a story somehow. It’s such an MSR song.
My friend who asked for the story makes MSR videos and asked if there was a song I would like her to use. I told her THIS song and she created an amazing video. I’ve included the link and you should all go check it out. It is simply beautiful.
After the events of I Want To Believe, Mulder and Scully need that warm vacation. They need to reconnect and get away from the cold snowy spring and the darkness surrounding them.
Scully stared at Mulder as he rowed the small rowboat across the water, the island ahead getting closer. Her eyes took in the motion of his arms, appreciating the strength in his muscles and the bareness of his chest. He was concentrating on the task at hand and no doubt unaware of her wandering eyes.
Or the thoughts in her head.
She let out a heavy sigh, crossed her legs and kicked her foot lightly. Keeping an eye on him, his attention still elsewhere, she unbuttoned her coverup, leaving it tied, but far more open than it was when they got into the boat, the warm sun shining down.
“We’ll go someplace warm,” he had whispered the night after Christian’s surgery, his arms around her, their discussion from hours earlier picking up where it had left off.
She had come home, her coat and shoes shed at the door with a shiver, before she collapsed beside him on the couch and he pulled her close. Snow had started falling on her drive home, thick flakes that stuck to the ground. It had been predicted they would have four to six inches the next day, with even more snow in the forecast.
“Warm sounds exquisite,” she had whispered back, his hand moving to her hair and bringing on her tears. Exhaustion, relief, stress, and continuing worry were all released as he had held her, humming and letting her cry.
In the two weeks during Christian’s recovery, as she would not hear of leaving before she knew for sure he was improving, Mulder had planned their getaway to an island she had never even heard of; a decent sized island with smaller ones surrounding it.
He had shown her photos of it one night, her eyes barely open, as she nodded and hummed, not truly caring where they went, as long as they went somewhere. Together.
His answering chuckle had been the last thing she had heard before she fell asleep, dreaming of warm sand squishing between her toes.
A month away had been scheduled, as two weeks had not felt nearly long enough. She desperately needed a break and he needed to be out, no longer forced to remain cooped up in their little house.
They had spent a week at the fancy resort on the island and for the first two days, they had not even left their bungalow. She had slept a lot, better than she had in a very long time, while Mulder sat on the small porch with a book, the sun warming the day.
When she had woken, happy and warm, her eyes had found his and with a grin he had risen from his chair. Food he had ordered was brought to the table and they had eaten together, before falling back into bed. Together this time, naked and happy, the warm wind blowing in as they had made love.
After those first two relaxing days, they had finally left the room. Exploring the island, they had gone on hikes, eaten at wonderfully delicious restaurants, and swam in the warm ocean, day or night. With his arms around her and his lips at her neck, she had felt alive again.
There had not been many people in the other bungalows. Perhaps they had been looking for a more “interactive” vacation, one with a more jam packed schedule, but for them it had been perfect. Secluded, serene, and beautiful.
After the resort, two weeks on a private was planned. Just the two of them, waking up somewhere different every morning, having traveled around the islands, dropping anchor wherever they wanted. They were nearly a week in and she loved it.
They made meals in the small galley, the cupboards fully stocked, nearly always getting distracted as they touched and bumped into one another, meals postponed, the small table used for other activities.
Now, they were heading to a particular island she had been looking at for a couple of days, wondering what secrets it held. He had shaken his head as he helped her into one of the small rowboats that were available to borrow. His smile told her all she needed to know concerning what he thought about the “secrets of the island,” muttering the lottery numbers from Lost as she glared at him warningly.
“We could have gotten closer with our boat,” she said, looking behind her and then back at him. They were about halfway between their island and the one to which they were headed.
“Hmm,” he grunted, rowing again and she licked her lips before biting the bottom one, watching his muscles work.
God, he was sexy.
“Do you disagree? Is that what that grunt was for?”
“No. It’s because I set forth a challenge and I’m now regretting it just a bit,” he said with a grin and another grunt.
“Which was what?”
“I thought I could do with a little exercise,” he grinned and she laughed, looking at the wide expanse of water.
“I’d say you’re in for it then, you silly man.”
“Hmm,” he hummed and she smiled as she shook her head.
She heard a sound like a boat behind them and thought how smart they were to use one with a motor to reach their destination. Of course, if they had used the boat with the motor, she would have missed out on the show in front of her. His arms may be tired later, but for her at least, it would all be worth it.
The sound got closer, and she realized it was not a boat, but a very small plane, flying low over the water, and rising up as it was overhead.
“Pretty sure that plane flew out here just to see you in that bathing suit,” he told her, his eyes running over her body as he took a deep breath.
“Or it could be to see you in yours,” she countered, bouncing her leg slowly, happy she had opened her cover further, loving the way she felt when his eyes were on her.
“Let’s give them a little wave. Let them know how much we appreciate their self esteem boost.”
She laughed with a nod, looking up at the plane above them and waving. He turned, looking over his left shoulder and also waved, laughing as the plane grew smaller in the sky. He turned back and winked at her as he once more began to row. She licked her lips again, her desire for him growing, despite having had sex only a couple of hours ago.
She felt insatiable on this trip, always wanting more of him. They had been less physical of late and now… being there, it had awakened a need for him, an ache she could not and did not want to ignore.
She wanted him, but she also knew it was still quite a ways to the island, and she did not want to end up in the water, trying unsuccessfully to get back into the boat and swimming to shore when she was unable to stop laughing. Biding her time, she decided to tease him, wanting him to feel the same desire she was experiencing.
“So other than discovering if the others do indeed live on that little island, what exactly are you interested in finding there?” he asked and she smiled.
“Nothing really, I suppose,” she answered, running her right hand up and down her thigh, across her stomach, and to the top of her bikini top. Both hands now adjusted the top, before she closed her cover up a bit, wanting to see his response.
She looked at him and he shook his head, sighing loudly and rowing with extra force. She smiled as she brought her hair over her shoulder and twisted it slowly between the fingers on her left hand.
“Scully,” he warned and she laughed, letting go of her hair, and touching his knee with her foot. “Do you want to end up in the water?”
“Are you going to throw me in?”
“Would it cool you down?”
She looked him up and down slowly, her eyes staying on certain spots longer than others, watching him squirm, even as he continued rowing. She sucked her bottom lip into her mouth and shook her head.
“No… it wouldn’t.”
“Then you better do something besides-”
“Simply sit here?” she asked with an innocent expression. He laughed and shook his head, his eyes dancing.
“Right… you’re just sitting there. Looking like that. Looking at me like that… mm-hmm.” The oars slapped the water hard as he rowed more forcefully, raising his eyebrows at her. “Completely innocent…”
“I am. I’ve not said anything to suggest otherwise.”
“You don’t need to say anything,” he assured her with a smile. “You just need to be.”
“Be what?” she asked, smiling as she fiddled with the tie on her cover up, debating whether to let it open completely or not. He chuckled with a glance behind him, and she looked too. Not too much further now. “You haven’t answered my question.”
“Oh, I did. You just want to pull me into your little game,” he stated, looking back at her and shaking his head. “I’m not falling for it, Miss Scully.”
“My game? I have no idea what you’re insinuating, Mister Mulder.”
“Oh… you know exactly what you’re doing.” He gave her a look, pulled the oars up, and mimed her touching her top and pulling her cover up closed. She laughed and he smirked as he began to row again, nodding his head triumphantly.
“Well… just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.” She grinned and he chuckled.
“Paying attention…” he scoffed. “As if I could help doing anything but pay attention when you’re sitting right in front of me, practically naked, the coconut scented sunscreen I helped you apply blowing into my nose, and your very obvious flirting…” He stared at her, his eyes full of fire, and desire pooled in her stomach, causing her to catch her breath. “Yeah… I’m paying attention.”
“Good,” she said and he nodded, his eyes running over her body again. She untied her cover up, letting the wind pull it open and he shook his head with a deep exhale, the oars once more hitting the water with force. She laughed quietly, running her fingers through her hair and closing her eyes.
“Just sitting there.” She heard him mutter and she smiled, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye before closing them again, lifting her face to the sun.
She listened to his small grunts and the oars slapping the water, finding it to be surprisingly erotic, something she had not anticipated when they began this journey across the water.
“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red, than her lips red-”
“Mulder…” she warned, not looking at him, but letting him know he needed to behave himself. He knew how much she loved when he recited poetry. He chuckled and she shook her head, as the sun warmed her skin.
”If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks.”
She turned her head and narrowed her eyes at him, even as she began to breathe hard. He smiled, the picture of innocence. She shook her head again and he shrugged. Closing her eyes again, she waited, but he said nothing more.
For a couple of minutes anyway.
“And in some perfumes is there more delight than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know that music hath a far more pleasing sound.”
She moaned and opened her eyes, turning to look at him. His eyes stayed on hers, dark and intense, and somehow she restrained herself from launching into his arms. God… he drove her crazy.
“I grant I never saw a goddess go, my mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: and yet by heaven, I think my love as rare, as any she belied with false compare.”
Neither aware they were reaching shore, the bump onto the sand took them by surprise, both of them lurching in their seats. They looked around and then she did throw herself at him. He dropped the oars and caught her as she landed in his lap, kissing him senseless, the waves crashing into the boat and rocking them gently.
“God, you make me crazy,” she whispered against his mouth, feeling his arousal, knowing they would never make it out of the boat at this rate.
“The feeling is very mutual,” he whispered back, his hands under her cover up, moving to cup her breasts over her suit, pinching her nipples in the web of his fingers.
Her head dropped back as he pushed her top up, sucking a nipple into his mouth and continuing to squeeze the other. She rocked against him, as the boat moved with the waves.
She reached between them to undo his shorts, pulling at the strings and the Velcro. He grunted as she stroked him through his suit and it made her think of him rowing the boat, the oars slapping the water hard as he did.
As though reading her mind, he moved his hand from her breast and slapped her ass. She stared at him in surprise, even as it aroused her. She watched his tongue circle her nipple and she nodded, letting him know she liked it.
All of it.
He nodded as his teeth grazed her nipple, both hands grabbing her ass, slapping it and then holding her closer to him. She moaned, fumbling with the ties, needing to feel him. To have him inside of her.
Somehow, unable to see what she was doing, she got them open just as pulled her bottoms to one side. Working together, they attained their goal, and he lifted her enough to slide down his length, both of them breathing hard.
Pulling back, she looked at him, her hands moving to his hair and gripping it tightly. He smiled, the one she knew all too well, and she raised up as a wave crashed into the boat again.
“Holy shit,” he whispered as she sank back down, working with the rhythm of the rocking boat.
“Mmm,” she moaned in agreement.
The feel of him inside of her, her knees pressed into the hard wood of the boat seat, the towel laid upon it not exactly adding any cushion, combined with the fact they were somewhere where someone could possibly see them, made the act even more salacious.
She arched into him, his hands helping to guide her, as she breathed his name, her sensitive breasts rubbing against the sparse hair on his chest. He pressed his thumb against her clit, but she whimpered and he moved it. She was already close and, without words, she told him she wanted to get there together.
A bigger wave hit and he held her as she pitched forward and grabbed him, the motion sending her over the edge, and she screamed out his name. He groaned, his fingers digging into her waist as he thrust up, burying his face in her chest as he followed her over that edge, her name breathed hotly into her skin.
She continued to rock into him as the waves crashed and receded, the sound nearly as loud as the blood pounding in her ears. She licked her lips and held him close, his hands slowly caressing her back, his lips kissing the sides of her breasts.
“Oh… hmm,” she sighed, and then she chuckled. He pulled his head back to look at her and she smiled. “I’ve never become so turned on while in a rowboat before.” He chuckled and smacked her ass, causing her to gasp.
“Once again, the feeling is very mutual,” he said, and she kissed him, scratching at his scalp, eliciting a moan from him. A few short, fast kisses and she pulled back with a smile. He caressed her ass and then helped her to move, her knees slightly weak, as she stood and adjusted her top.
They got out of the rowboat, making sure it was up high enough in the sand before she stripped off her cover up and tossed it into the boat. Looking back at him, she walked toward the water and he smiled as he hurried toward her, scooping her up and placing her on his shoulder.
“No!” she yelped with a laugh, hitting his back as she watched the sand disappearing and felt the water spray up as he splashed into the shallows and kept going. “Mulder! Put me down!”
“You sure?” he teased and she laughed again, slapping his ass this time, and he hollered.
“Set me down, please. Don’t throw me.”
“As you wish.”
He set her down gently and the cool water on her warm flesh caused her to gasp and goosebumps to appear. But it was not for long, as the water was actually quite warm, she simply needed to become accustomed to it.
They swam around for a little while, laughing as they cooled off. He chased her but she darted away from him, quicker than a fish, always just out of his reach.
“You’re like a mermaid,” he teased, when he finally caught her, pulling her close, her legs wrapping around his waist. “But without the annoying tail that gets in the way. How do mermaids have sex? Have you ever wondered?” She laughed with a shake of her head as she kissed him, the mermaid question forgotten as they kissed and floated in the water.
Getting out, they forego using a towel, deciding instead to let the warm sun dry them as they walked hand in hand around the small island. They pointed out things of interest, though there was not much to be discovered that could not have been enjoyed on their island. Rocks, trees, shells, birds squawking in the sand and the air were all present in both places.
But it was different somehow, as though they were the only two people on earth. Where they were anchored on the other island, there was another boat, aways off, but still close. Here it was just them and it was quiet and calm. So welcome after the past couple of months.
They walked back to the boat, Mulder carrying a rather large shell to bring back with them, and took out the small lunch they had prepared. A blanket was laid on the sand and they sat down to eat.
“I think you need another layer of sunscreen,” he said when they had finished their food, kissing her shoulder, his fingers running slowly up her thigh. She shuddered as she reached for it, handing it to him to apply it to her back for her.
Her back done, he continued applying sunscreen in many places she could have done herself, though not in ways that made her body tingle and her pulse race.
“Wouldn’t want you to get burned here,” he murmured, his lips at the waistband of her suit, his teeth pulling at it and his fingers tugging, as she once again gripped his hair.
Her cries made the birds scatter, or so he told her teasingly, as he kissed his way up her stomach. She could only hear the waves and the pounding in her ears, her body still thrumming as she caught her breath.
His kiss tasted of her expensive coconut scented sunscreen and herself. The heady combination caused her to feel intoxicated, as though she’d had too much wine. She felt light headed as he kissed the hollow of her throat, the tops of her suit covered breasts, and the small scar on her stomach.
He nuzzled at her, laying his head on her stomach just under her breasts, his lips kissing gently as his arms held her. She buried her fingers in his hair and ran her nails softly on his shoulder with her other hand. He sighed contentedly and she smiled as she closed her eyes.
A yelp from him woke her at the same time she felt water tickling her toes. They jumped up, laughing at the waves coming in closer as they scrambled to grab the items before the ocean lay claim to them.
Everything accounted for, Mulder helped her into the boat before he pushed it into the water, jumping in and rowing hard past the breakers. She put her cover up back on, the wind picking up as they got beyond the shore.
“Well,” Mulder said and she looked at him with a smile. “I was a little skeptical about the need to go all the way over to it, but… Sex Island was definitely worth seeing.”
“Sex Island?” she asked, laughing as she raised her eyebrows
“Yup,” he answered with a nod and a grin. “I mean, I’m sure it has an official name, but…” He shrugged and she laughed again as he winked and began to row in earnest.
She took a deep breath and watched the little island becoming further away, the sun beginning to set, the sky the iridescent blue she loved so much. Closing her eyes, she listened to the crash of the oars, the seagulls in the distance, and the water lapping around them.
Opening her eyes, she looked at the man sitting across from her. The one who fought the darkness beside her and who fought even harder to find the light, allowing it to shine through when it was desperately needed the most. Who rowed across the water, twice, to investigate an island simply because she was curious about it.
As Mulder leaves Scully and William, intent on keeping them safe, he finds a journal Scully put into his backpack- a journal detailing the ways she had fallen in love with him.
Continuing with my series,Year of Prompts, I have written this story that was asked for a looooong time ago. Waiting patiently has paid off, as this one is quite long, but I believe worth the read. It’s sweet, angsty, and full of love.
Hope you enjoy.
Mulder threw his duffel bag onto the seat and sighed deeply as he sat down, setting the black backpack beside it. Closing his eyes, he leaned his head back against the seat, determined to not look out the window, not wanting to watch as the train left, pulling him away from home.
From Scully. And William.
The train lurched and he opened his eyes. They moved of their own accord, looking out the window. She was not there, both of them knowing it would have been too risky if she had seen him off at the station.
The train pulled slowly down the tracks and he closed his eyes again, feeling near tears as he took a shaky breath. Shaking his head, he took more calming breaths, grateful the car he was in was practically empty, with only one other passenger at the far opposite end of it, headphones in her ears and eyes closed.
“Excuse me, sir?” He heard and he opened his eyes. A ticket agent stood to his right, smiling down at him. “Could I see your ticket, please?”
“Oh,” Mulder said, clearing his throat as he reached for his backpack, and unzipped the main compartment to take out his ticket.
Pushing aside the sweatshirt he had packed, along with the large bag of snacks Scully had fussed over, putting it and two bottles of water into his backpack, her expression serious, he grabbed his ticket. As he did, his eyes landed on something that made him stop short and his heart drop. He handed the ticket to the agent as though in slow motion, his eyes only on the item in the backpack.
“Thank you, sir,” the agent said, handing it back to him. “Your sleeper car is downstairs, sir. Only two cars back.”
“Ye… yeah, okay. Th… thank you,” Mulder forced himself to say as the agent walked away and he took a deep breath. “Oh, Scully.”
His ticket was placed back into his bag and he took out the book he had seen only once before. Holding it in his hands, he let out a bitter laugh, his hand stroking reverently across the face of it.
He knew what was in that book. Knew the words that had been written upon the pages years ago. He let out a breath as he opened the cover, ready to turn to the first page, when his name, in Scully’s handwriting, caught his eye. He swallowed hard as he opened the envelope that had been stuck to the page, took out the folded piece of paper from inside, and read what she had written to him.
I have gone over and over in my head what to write to you, what words I could pen that would carry the most weight. I’ve sat up as you slept on the couch with William on your chest, the most achingly beautiful sight I have ever seen, and thought of what I could say that would truly express my feelings.
I wanted to leave you with something… something to hold onto and look at as you were out in the world, whereabouts unknown.
He stopped reading, wiping at the sudden tears on his face, taking a deep breath and letting it out. Shaking his head, he licked his lips and looked back at her letter.
A single sheet of paper did not seem like enough. What if it was lost or ruined in some way? Whatever I sent along had to be light and easy to carry, something you could carry on your person if necessary, and then I knew what I wanted you to have, to see and more importantly, to know. This journal… while it may seem similar to you, it is not the one you’re thinking of, but it is the one that means the most to me, as it is the story of me falling in love with you. Completely and wholly.
I love you, Mulder. I hope these words will sustain you until you are home once more.
Home. With your family.
All my love, Dana
Shaking his head, he traced over her name, his heart aching, even as it raced. He knew he could probably count on both hands the amount of times he had called her by her first name. Every time he had, it had held weight; his need to express the importance of what he was telling her and for her to truly listen. For her to use it now, it felt like a bolt of lightning through his veins, causing him to sit up and pay attention, knowing that what she had given him was very important to her.
He knew how well she guarded her feelings, her words always chosen carefully and deliberately. Her love, all her love, and those four letters of her first name… they meant everything to him.
He stared at the letter for a bit longer, and then put it back into the envelope, as he let out a breath. Turning the first page, he saw the date and smiled as he shifted a little in his seat, as he prepared to read the words she had written.
December 25th 1998
Complete honesty, I’m a little drunk as I write this, but my head has been spinning since we left the house on Larkspur Lane. I know they weren’t ghosts that we saw, but Mulder… what else could it have been? I don’t want to believe that, as it goes against everything I believe in, religiously, practically, or physically. I touched them, Mulder. I held Maurice’s hat in my hand. How… how could they be ghosts if I could do that?
I need to go lay down. I need to sleep.
He laughed softly, thinking of that night in the house with Maurice and Lyda, the confusion, the smell and feel of his own blood and then the sound of Scully‘s laughter as she opened the gift she had given to her. He looked back down and moved onto the next entry.
This bullet wound hurts, Mulder. I know it’s healing and quicker than the doctors thought but… it’s like I can feel it in there still.
I was so scared when it first happened, the feeling of it ripping through my flesh, muscle, and tissue. I seriously thought I would die there, with the bitter taste of blood filling my mouth.
And then… I know we’ve discussed it, and I know that no one lives forever. But… Fellig… I can’t explain how and who he was, not without facing a future I don’t want to think about.
I felt for him, saw the sadness, even as I wasn’t sure of his intent and exactly how he tied into the case. I saw something in him.
He told me something, aside from all the other cryptic and snarky things, he told me his reasoning for why he did what he did, wanting to somehow capture death.
I told him people wanted to live forever and he said people were idiots, which… I suppose he was right. But, it wasn’t that. He said living a normal life for 75 years, plus or minus, was enough and then I asked him about love- wasn’t that something for which a person should want to live forever?
He scoffed, seemed disinterested. He said he had gone to the public records archives forty years ago to look for his wife’s name as he had forgotten it and it bothered him. I heard it then, the tiredness in him, and I had a thought about forgetting my family, the friends I don’t see nearly enough… and you, Mulder. I…
After I was shot, after the surgery more like, I lay there thinking about the thought of being immortal. Living my life, possibly many lives without you.
I don’t want that life, Mulder.
He released a breath he had not known he was holding and he shook his head as he looked out the window, the afternoon sun shining brightly. No… he did not want to leave her in this life, knowing she would live on without him, remaining young as he grew older, reminiscent of his dream life where nothing quite added up.
Taking a deep breath, he gathered his things and went down the stairs, wanting to read more of the journal in private, wishing he could get off the train and go back home. Back to her apartment, the place he always felt comfortable and at ease. The place where his son now slept, or made noises that fascinated him and kept him waiting for more, his eyes unable to look away from his tiny face.
And where Scully‘s smile could light up a room.
Walking down the hall and through to the other car, he ran into the ticket attendant who showed him to his room, and he nodded his thanks as the man walked away.
Closing the door, he set his backpack and duffel bag down on the seat. He took off his jacket and sat down, his hands rubbing across his face as he leaned forward, his elbows on his knees. With another deep sigh, he stood up and picked up his backpack and shut the blinds on the window.
He took off his shoes and sat down on the seat again. Opening the backpack, he took out a bottle of water and the journal. He turned on the light above the seat and leaned back, re-reading the last words he had seen.
As he turned the page, he saw that there were pages missing and he frowned, his thumb running across them with curiosity. Looking at the words on the next page, he sighed.
We’ve just gotten back from another case out in California. In fact, I just got home after dropping off the gift I know was sent to you from Karin Berquist…
If I ever show this to you, or should something happen to me and you are now leading us, I know you will notice the missing pages and you will wonder about them. I debated leaving them in, leaving them there for myself, but I had to get rid of them, had to purge them and not continue to dwell on the past and the unknown.
It will probably be of no surprise to you that within those pages, it held my own insecurities, anger, and yes, jealousy, regarding Diana.
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He knew he had completely messed up that time in their lives. Diana was his past and when she had come back unexpectedly, it was unnerving and curious, and yet it was also uncomfortable. He should have been more forthcoming, explained things better, but he had not been, and for a while it had become a pebble in their path.
Or more like a fucking boulder.
Opening his eyes, he looked back at Scully’s words, concentrating on the swirls and loops of her letters, before focusing on the actual words. Letting out a breath, he nodded and began to read.
For a while, Mulder… I considered leaving. You know that, we’ve discussed it. After we were separated, after Dallas, I wanted to leave, but not because of the work, because I didn’t want to do it without you. And Jesus… that terrified me more than anything; my dependence on you, my need to be around you.
Seeing you assigned a new partner, male or female, I wouldn’t have been able to handle that, so I wanted to leave before it happened. But leaving you completely, no I couldn’t do that. What would have happened if I had? Would… would we have pursued this thing between us? The one we deny and push away, yet it remains and we ignore it, have ignored it for years? Would we have stopped?
We almost did and then…
So many things got in the way, so many times I wanted to walk away. But more often I wanted to come to you, tell you how I feel, and had felt in those times. I wanted to show you the pages that have since been taken from this book. I… I was angry when I wrote them, hurt and angry. I hated feeling that way. The jealousy I felt, knowing she knew you in a way I had not, but it was more the trust you put in her implicitly. No matter what I said, no matter what evidence I showed you, you refused to see, refused to hear me.
I felt I no longer mattered to you. I was an afterthought. You had the believer you wished I was, why would you need me? Why should I stick around when I was the one stopping you from finding what you needed to know?
He put the journal down and covered his face, tears in his eyes. Seeing that she had felt he would not want her around and yet she had stayed, broke his heart.
Needing a few moments, he stood up and slipped on his shoes and walked over to the small sink in the room. Rinsing his face, he dried it as he looked in the mirror and shook his head. He knew that Diana was a sore point between them and it was not because of the past as she had said, but because he had put his trust in her. Had done so with no explanation as to why, only accusing Scully that she had been making things personal when she had tried to dig into Diana’s past and show him what he had refused to listen to and to see with his own eyes.
“Such an absolute idiot,” he said quietly, hating himself for the pain that it had caused her. He was thankful she had torn out the pages, sure he would not have been able to handle reading them. Not now.
Throwing out the paper towels, he pitched forward as the train began to slow down. Making sure his door was locked, he sat back down on the seat and took off his shoes. Moving the backpack and the duffel to the end of the seats, he picked up the journal and lay down across the seats, flipping back to where he had left off.
Jesus… I’ve gotten off topic again, or have I? Full disclosure, I’m drinking wine, feeling the need to unwind, so I may have babbled more than usual.
He laughed as he thought of her angrily writing in a journal as she drank wine. Such a Scully thing to do.
I told you that women are tricksters too and this time I was right. Karen had tricked you to come out, been too scared to be honest with you and used a mutual interest to lure you to her. Hiding behind her computer and keyboard, she laid out a breadcrumb trail to entice you to her house in the woods. Yet when the moment came, her fear, worry, or… whatever, held her back and stopped her.
Christ, that is a feeling I know far too well. I knew that nothing was going to happen, but Jesus, Mulder, watching her subtle brazen ways made, for lack of a better phrase, my hackles rise up. I didn’t want you to get hurt and she didn’t seem to care if that was the outcome. I couldn’t stand by and watch that happen without saying something.
Not again, Mulder.
Not aware the train had stopped, the lurching of it starting again took him by surprise. Picking up the water bottle with a sigh, he opened it and took a drink, closing it and turning back to the journal.
When I was 16, a sophomore in high school, I had a crush on James Reynolds, a senior. He was a baseball player and quite the jock. Tall, dark hair, the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. Ohhh… he was the reason I got up in the morning. Well, that and making sure I had a perfect attendance record.
He laughed and shook his head, thinking about a 16-year-old Dana Scully wanting perfect attendance, but also secretly desiring to be at school to see the boy she liked.
I would watch him at practice, bringing a book so as not to seem too weird. He paid me no attention, but I loved watching him.
One of the days, while I did enjoy watching him, I also enjoyed the book I was reading. I didn’t notice the day had gotten darker and everyone had left. The lights had come on on the field and I was so embarrassed to be one of the last people there. But as I was putting my book into my backpack, he called my name. I was shocked. I had no idea he even knew my name. I went over to him and he asked if I wanted to hit a few balls.
He “showed” me how to at first and I let him. Me, the sister of two brothers. Two competitive brothers and me, an equally competitive, rather tomboyish girl. As though I had never hit a baseball with a bat. As if I had never played in neighborhood games or in our backyards. As if I was unable to figure it out without his guiding hand explaining the stance and how I should swing. As if I couldn’t have done it on my own…
It’s funny, and also infuriating at times, how men seem to think women can’t do things without them showing us first.
He felt flushed as he turned the page, thinking of their night playing baseball. How he had not only “shown“ her but had also not walked away, keeping his arms around her, feeling her body against his, and breathing in her scent.
However, when a man refuses to give up the bat and instead shares it with you, using the lesson as an excuse to be close to you… well then, you pretend to not know how to hit a ball.
Especially when that man is the only one you would ever allow to do something of that nature.
And the one who makes your stomach do incredibly annoying flip flops.
And who smells so goddamn good.
He looked up, remembering that night, the way she had looked at him in the parking lot, her eyes shining and her smile wide. A second too long he had hesitated, as a car of hollering teenagers caused them to look over at them, and the moment had passed them by.
“Thanks for the “gift,” Mulder,” she had said, her keys in her hand. “That was fun.” She had smiled and walked to her car, looking over the top of it, her expression unreadable.
He had sighed as she had driven away, kicking at the ground as he walked to his car and put the bat back in the trunk, closing it with a loud bang.
So close and yet so far.
A lot of what I would want to write here is in a different journal, one I no longer have as I left Africa with only what was on my person. Honestly… I was so sure I would lose you as I was thousands of miles away. That my work wouldn’t matter, but I had to keep trying. I know that’s what you would do and have done in the past.
Days I was gone and I had no idea if my work was for naught, but knowing I had to continue, to save you. If I was too late, then I would save others with my knowledge.
The flight home was excruciating. Yes, I was fine and technically moving, but I felt as though I was standing still; trapped in the steel tube and could do nothing but wait.
I hated it.
Then… seeing the level of decline you had suffered, my heart ached and all I wanted to do was take you away from there. Help you as I could…
Mulder, when you had disappeared, I was angry more than anything. Angry that somewhere someone was hurting you and I couldn’t get to you. I knew Diana had a hand in it. She didn’t appear back in your life by accident. Not with what she had been focusing her career on and the way she pushed her way back into the X-Files.
We can disagree about it, feel we are both right while knowing the other is wrong, but I know that despite it all, at the end of it all, she did help me get to you. Without her help… I don’t even want to think of the outcome.
For that, for her change of heart, behaving with human emotions and caring, she was killed. I never wanted that. As much as I never trusted her, no one deserves to die because they took a risk to help others.
Especially someone they cared about.
I know she loved you in her own way. The past love she may have kept alive, living off the memories of the relationship you had, I believe she glorified it, built it up into something it no longer was.
You, Mulder… being who you are, however you say you “trust no one,” you put your faith and trust so easily into others at times. I know you knew her, she was there when you found the X-Files, but… she was not who you knew anymore, and yet…
I’ll stop before I need to rip out these pages too.
Regardless of anything else, I will forever be indebted to her for helping me find you.
For saving my touchstone.
Closing the journal, he set it aside and took a deep breath. Putting on his shoes, he placed the journal into the backpack, and slid it onto his back. Leaving the duffel bag behind, he walked out of the room, closing the door. He needed to move, to work out the words he had just read and the emotions they had created. He could not sit still with those feelings. He had to move around.
He walked through numerous cars and down many long hallways until he reached the very last car and was forced to turn around and head back. His mind was racing, thinking of the days when he had been recovering, the world confusing and uncertain.
He’d had many bad dreams, waking up in a cold sweat, not sure what was real and untrue. Until he had felt Scully taking his hand, murmuring words of comfort as he would lie back and close his eyes, her hand soft and soothing as she had touched his face, his worries calming.
Pausing in his walking, he took a deep breath and dropped his head back, placing a hand on the wall ahead of him as the train pitched suddenly.
If he had been more bold and brave, he would have stopped her from walking down the hall the day she had come to tell him about Diana’s death. He should have made her come back and told her that he loved her, said the words to her and not just heavily implied them.
In that dream life, the one that went by too quickly, it was not until he had heard that she was dead, that he had felt so alone and broken. The one person he had needed and wanted most, had not been a part of his life until he lay dying.
The one who had been honest, no matter how much the truth had hurt. She had still been his Scully regardless of how he had asked her to listen and believe what he was telling her. She had woken him up, both there in that dream room of death, and the one in which he had been left to suffer and possibly to die alone.
His touchstone, bridging the gap between the real and imagined, the one he could count on to be beside him even after all the bullshit he had put her through. Despite the doubts he may have planted within her, as he had placed his trust in others which she did not understand and he had not explained, she had been there to help him.
His one constant in this world.
Opening his eyes, he started walking again, deciding to find the dining car, needing a drink. The honesty and pain of the past was almost too much to take without something to cut it.
Upon entering the dining car, he ordered a beer and took the cold glass to a table in the corner, looking out the window as he sat down. The sun was setting, the train heading west where, once morning came, he would leave this train and board another one heading south. From there… he was not sure. But for right now, he would enjoy the comforts afforded to him in the relatively empty dining car.
Opening the backpack, he took out the journal and set it on the table. Taking a drink of his beer, he opened it, turning the pages until he found where he had left off. Using the extra napkin he had been given, he folded it and used it as a bookmark.
You know… when I flew out to Chicago, I was a little perturbed with you. The clues to the address were a bit eye rolling, and so like you. A case with a man who was supposedly invincible… so very like you.
The entire time we were there felt like some perverse slapstick; so many ups and downs and yet it all worked out. So like you to find a case like that. A puzzle within a puzzle wrapped inside of another puzzle… like one of those little contraptions that Henry had built.
But… after we came home, the dinner we shared… God, how did I not kiss you? How did I not drag you home and rip your clothes off? Christ, I should have. I should have done that years ago.
He smiled as he remembered that dinner: the shine in her eyes, his hand on her back, his fingers lingering longer than they usually did and for far longer than they should have. He had wanted to kiss her so badly, but instead he had hailed her a cab, though everything in him said it was wrong. Her eyes watching his, her hand gently touching his chest as they said goodnight, made him want to rethink every decision he had ever made. As she was driven away, her smile had made him catch his breath, and caused his heart to pound in his chest.
Two weeks after that, he had kissed her in a hospital waiting room, amid the sounds of cheering and Auld Lang Syne playing in his ears. The smile on her face as he had pulled back from their kiss, was the same one she had given him as her cab pulled away, and it had caused him to smile, happy that he had finally been brave enough to do something he had wanted to do for years. Of course he had made a quippy joke, when all he had wanted to do was kiss her again. He could have kicked himself for being so stupid.
But then, she had smiled at him as they had stepped into the elevator and touched his chest, her eyes bright and happy. Mindful of his injury, she had leaned in, kissing him again, softly humming against his lips and causing him to moan in reply.
Shaking his head, he sighed and looked down at the journal again.
December 31, 1999
Why does it seem that anytime there is a possibility of a step forward, one of us, or both of us, suffers an injury and it puts things on hold? How many times, Mulder? Jesus…
You kissed me tonight. Not exactly the first time, but also it was the first time. It wasn’t one on the forehead or cheek, given after an injury or illness. If it had been a few years ago, I would’ve chalked it up to the holiday, maybe too much to drink, or the moment simply getting away from us.
But… I know better. I know… I know myself and I know what I want.
But… I’m also scared. Scared of what will happen if we move forward and we fall apart. If this tension, this pull to you, is not enough. Or, if it’s too much. Sometimes it feels like it is and I will… I have lost myself along the way and without you…
But then, Christ all I want is you. In any capacity.
But I also want more… so much more.
When I was younger, the thought of a new millennium seemed so foreign, almost like science fiction.
However, for the past seven years, I’ve dealt with science fiction on a daily basis. The millennium is small potatoes compared to aliens, Mothman, werewolves or even a wasp man…
A wasp man, Mulder.
We talked about this over breakfast, on the plane ride home, and in the car, but I’m still baffled by the suggestion of fear actually killing a person. I… I saw it. I saw the coroner’s assistant die in front of me and yet I… I can’t explain it, Mulder. I just can’t. I know what you would, and have said, but I still don’t know what I think.
What I do know, even as I am aware of just how much I would have rolled my eyes at myself if I knew I would write this at some point in my life, is that I enjoyed being out there with you. You may have gotten on my nerves with your all in beliefs and as you mugged for the camera. (*this is a reminder to get a copy of that before it airs. I’ll use my badge if I have to.) But, I enjoyed myself because I was with you.
You make me happy, Mulder. Sharing breakfast, hearing you laugh, your smile, holding your hand in the car…
You make me happy, Mulder.
He closed his eyes as he saw the beginnings of the next entry, knowing what was coming and how it had broken them a bit, brought them back to “before.”
Before they held hands in the car, kissed goodbye, had movie nights where neither of them paid much attention, simply happy being together as they moved forward.
“Sir?” He opened his eyes and looked up, finding the dining car attendant beside him. “Would you like anything else? Another beer?”
“Yeah, I’ll take another, thanks.” The man nodded as he walked away. Mulder sighed as he looked down and shook his head, deciding to wait for the beer before continuing.
He looked out the window, not noticing anything in particular, his mind far away to the day in his apartment when he had been angrier at Scully then he had ever thought possible. After everything they have been through, for her to have trusted that black lunged son of a bitch… she had gone away with him.
Had believed him.
That bastard had held her life in his hands so many times and yet she had gone with him willingly, without a word to let him know what was happening. He had been worried and when she was back, he had been livid.
Her life had been in danger and the thought of losing her was unfathomable. When she had returned, as she had sat on his couch, safe and whole, all he had wanted to do was push her away before he exploded.
“Here you go, sir,” the attendant said, setting down a new glass and taking the other before walking away.
“Thank you,” Mulder said softly to the man’s retreating back, sighing as he watched the bubbles clinging to the inside of the glass. He knew he was avoiding her words, but also knew he needed to read them, knowing how it had ended… how he had behaved.
A part of him wished she had ripped out the coming pages, saved him the heartache, but he knew he needed to read her words, wanted to hear her private thoughts after the fact. Taking a big drink of his beer, his fingers wet and cold, he let out a breath and set down the glass.
Never. Never have I been as angry with you as I am right now. And you have done some stupid shit, Mulder. Some really stupid shit.
There was a paragraph scratched out, dark lines from a thick black marker obscuring her words.
The fact that you made me feel like shit because of my choice, what a fucking joke. You… you jump onto trains, leave me behind, follow your gut or whatever you want to call it. Puerto Rico… a goddamn submarine. You can do all of that but me, oh, Christ no.
“He’s dangerous, Scully. He could’ve hurt you.”
Do you think I don’t fucking know what could have happened? Do you think I didn’t think about it from all angles? That I went off half cocked? Jesus Christ, Mulder, I can’t fucking believe you. I can’t that believe this, this is what’s put a stop to…
I’ve taken a walk. I had to get out of the apartment for a bit. I feel a bit calmer, but I still don’t want to speak to you right now. I think the sound of your voice would send me over the edge, pushing us further away from one another…
I know you understand why I did it and I know why you’re angry. I’ve been on the other side and it hurts. But, I took precautions, I had a plan. I had a way to let you know what was happening. If I had spoken to you before I left, you would have discouraged me, stopped me from doing what I believed was the right thing to do.
I know he’s a liar, a slippery snake, but there has to be some truth to the things he says. I saw things, and not just things he wanted me to see.
I will not let you, the one who I have waited for, searched for and fought for while I am left behind to face the consequences of your actions, tell me that my actions were selfish or careless. You do not get to lecture me on taking risks.
I will not let you.
His head dropped back as he closed his eyes. Letting out a heavy breath, he licked his lips and turned his head to look out the window.
She had been so angry, so hurt. He had been completely unprepared for it, for the way it changed them and their new relationship. They had been distant, not touching, no longer spending time together outside of work.
Until he had stopped her as she was leaving, unable to say what he was thinking, but staring at her, his hand on her upper arm. He had tried to get the words out, but he could not.
She had sighed and nodded, looking down and then back up at him, her eyes searching his as he nodded back.
“Dinner?” she had suggested quietly and he had exhaled with relief as he nodded again, grabbing his coat and following her out of the office.
Dropping her off after they had eaten, a dinner that had been only slightly awkward, she had grasped his hand and smiled softly before opening the door and stepping out. Not able to fight it any longer, he had jumped out of the car, surprising her as he grabbed her, kissing her passionately as they hit the wall. He had lifted her, her legs wrapping around his waist as he pressed into her, moaning into her mouth.
It had been unlike any kiss they had exchanged, and as it became more, he was hit with the door by her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Fienne, who had walked out, surprising them both. Scully had been embarrassed and hurried out of his embrace, fixing her hair as she stepped back, Mrs. Fienne apologizing profusely.
But the moment had passed, Scully’s eyes not meeting his as she had mumbled goodnight and walked into her lobby. Mrs. Fienne had continued to speak to him, apologizing again, taking his offered arm as they walked to her car. His mind had been on Scully, the feel of her legs around him, though had smiled and helped Mrs. Fienne into her car.
He had cursed himself the entire drive home. Finally taking a step forward, it had gone tits up… again. Why could things never be easy between them?
Collapsing onto the couch once he had arrived home, he sighed heavily and closed his eyes. Sitting up, he took off his coat and noticed the answering machine light was flashing. Pressing it with a groan, he had hoped they were not about to be called out on a case, not sure if they should be around one another at the moment.
But then, Scully’s voice had filled the room and he grinned.
“I wouldn’t object to a repeat of that… minus Mrs. Fienne, of course. Goodnight.”
He had debated calling her back to tell her goodnight, but decided against it, leaving it as it was for the moment. It had taken a while to get back to where they were and he had not wanted to jinx anything.
Sighing, he took another drink of his beer and thought about what made her decide to put this journal into his bag. He could picture her smile, even as her eyes were sad. So sad the past couple of days. He wondered when she had made the decision and when she had done it.
William was up a lot- feeding, with gas, or needing to be changed. She had been unwilling to leave him alone, fussing over him, watching him as he had finally slept. She was wonderful with him, sure of everything she did, encouraging Mulder to be a part of all of it.
“Fuck,” he breathed, shaking his head as the train slowed down and stopped at another station. He watched people getting off and on the train and he found that his usual interest in their lives was not present. He did not care about them, only wondering how Scully was doing, if she was alone or if her mother had come over, as he had quietly asked her to do the day before.
“Oh, I am starved! Excuse me, do you have food or just snacks?”
He turned to see a group of backpacking twenty-somethings entering the dining car and he turned back around, gathering up his things, not wanting to sit in a room with happy and excited travelers.
Leaving his half full glass at the bar, he nodded at the attendant and slipped his backpack on as he walked back to his room.
Entering the room, he arranged the seats into the bed it would be for the night. He took out sweats and a long sleeve shirt from his duffel bag and closed the curtains. His toiletry bag was taken out next and inside he found a brand new toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, and different items he would need.
Smiling, he shook his head, knowing it had been a joint effort on Scully and Mrs. Scully’s part, his bag not filled like that when he had packed it.
“Scully,” he whispered, taking out what he needed for the night and putting the rest in the small shower for the morning.
He used the toilet, brushed his teeth, and washed his face, turning off the lights, leaving only one on above the bed. Changing his clothes, he hung the ones he had been wearing in the slim closet, planning on wearing them again the next day.
Making sure the door was locked, he put his shoes beside the bed and took off his socks, laying them on top of his shoes. He put the duffel bag on the floor and kept the backpack beside him, everything he needed close to him ready to grab if he had to make a run for it.
He took out the bottle of water he had opened earlier and the journal, closed the backpack and adjusted the pillows. Finding his place in the book, he began to read again.
Why? Why did we wait so long?
This path we’ve been on, seven years together, the push and pull… it’s who we are. But oh… if I had known…
I didn’t speak to God in a Buddhist temple, nor was my whole life changed. Not then anyway, but years ago when I walked into your office. And even years before that when my path took me from medicine, and the life I thought I was supposed to be living, the one that had been set before me.
I cared for Daniel. I… I loved him. I shouldn’t have. He was not mine to love. Not freely.
I… I had made a mistake and the FBI recruiting me was what I needed most- a fresh start.
And then I met Jack and… it wasn’t the same, but somewhat similar. I begin to see a pattern within myself as I fell for, lack of a better word, my superior. I couldn’t do that again.
And then… you.
God, Mulder. I fell for you so hard. So very hard. I fought it, but, Jesus… have you seen you? How was I supposed to stop myself?
I thought if I, if we, crossed that line, it would be the end of us. But… holy Christ, was I wrong.
So very fucking wrong.
He smiled, thinking of that night. Closing his eyes, as he remembered the sound of her waking up before he had gotten more than a couple of steps away.
“Sorry,” she had said, sitting up and stretching, the blanket he had placed on her falling down. “I fell asleep while you were talking.”
“As though it was the first time,” he had teased and she had smiled softly.
“I should get going.”
“You can stay. It’s late…” He had shrugged and she sighed as she looked up at him.
“No, I should…” She started to reach for her shoes and he sat on the coffee table, picking them up before she could. He lifted her foot and slid on one of her shoes.
“You don’t have to do that,” she had whispered, trying to take her other shoe from him.
“Stop. I don’t mind.” He had smiled, reaching for her other foot, rubbing his hand down her calf. She pulled it back and he looked up at her in surprise.
“It tickled,” she had whispered and he laughed softly, taking her foot back, holding onto her calf, his hands rubbing gently as he watched her face.
“Mulder,” she had breathed and then they were leaning toward one another, her foot moving as she touched his face, her fingers warm.
They had kissed softly, tentatively, before her hands slid into his hair and to the back of his neck. The kiss became more passionate and he held her as he stood up, pulling her with him.
She had stared at him as she pulled back, her eyes searching his, millions of questions asked and answered with a single nod. He had kissed her again, lifting her as she moaned and held onto him tightly.
He had set her down by his bed, kissing her before pulling back and staring at her as he trailed his hands down her body and knelt in front of her, searching for the zipper on her skirt.
“It’s on the side,” she had whispered, reaching to do it herself, but he beat her to it, his fingers finding the cool metal and pulling it down, but the skirt did not open.
“There’s a hook. I can get it,” she had said, trying to do it, but once more he stopped her, finding a small hook and undoing it. He tugged and it slipped over her ass and down to the floor, pooling at her feet.
He had helped her out of it, taking off the one shoe she wore and tossed both to the side. Her pantyhose had been next and when they were gone, he ran both of his hands up her calves, thighs, and to her waist, feeling her breathing heavily.
She had taken off her jacket and it fell to the floor as he lifted her sweater, kissing her stomach, his tongue running around her navel, her hands in his hair and his name exhaled from her lips.
The train shifted, his thoughts interrupted as he opened his eyes, the room he was in a starkly depressing contrast to his apartment bedroom and what had happened that night. He looked back at her words and while she did not go into any detail, he knew what she was not saying.
How it had felt to finally love her completely. To hear her cries of pleasure, her nails scratching at his back as she whimpered his name. The taste of her kiss, her skin, her arousal. The feel of her all around him, under him, her legs wrapped around his waist. The sound of her breathing as she lay in his arms, kissing his chest as she molded her body into his, his name once more falling from her lips as she fell asleep, his fingers running through her hair.
“God,” he whispered, letting out a deep breath. “We were so wrong. Wrong to wait so long. So many times…”
He shook his head, closed the journal, and turned off the light, suddenly exhausted, though there were still more to read and it was rather early. Placing the journal beside him, he covered up and within minutes he was asleep, his dreams unsettling; the past intermingling with the uncertainty of the future.
His alarm on his watch woke him, startling him. He did not know where he was, but as he heard a distant train whistle, he remembered. Groaning, he pressed the light button on the side of his watch and found it was 1:30.
Right, he thought, with a sigh, the only time he’d had to wake Scully for a feeding.
She had been exhausted at the hospital as she recovered from the birth. One night, he had woken to a very upset William and a crying Scully, apologizing to him as she picked him up and opened her pajama top to feed him. After that night, witnessing her tears and frustration, Mulder had set an alarm, waking her before William could become too upset.
It had only been a few days that he had done it, waking Scully as she slept beside him. Waking to it now, alone and on a train that was taking him far away from them, he felt tears sting his eyes. Taking a deep breath, he shook his head and closed his eyes.
There was one bright spot in the sad darkness and it made him sigh. Before he had left, he made sure to set her alarm clock, an annoying beeping sound now taking his place. Knowing they were possibly both waking at the same time made him feel close to her, even though he was now many miles away.
Deciding to get up, though there were still a few hours before his stop, he sat up and turned on the light, squinting in the brightness. Yawning, he moved his socks aside and slid his feet into his shoes without them.
He used the bathroom and brushed his teeth, staring at himself in the mirror as he shook his head. Sitting back down on the bed, he took off his shoes and took out the bag of snacks Scully had packed along with the other bottle of water. He chose a granola bar and with a smile, two pieces of her favorite chocolate that she had included. Closing the bag, he put it back in the backpack.
Eating slowly, he opened one of the curtains and looked out at the dark night. He had no idea where they were, no lights could be seen as they bumped and traveled down the tracks. He took a drink and closed the bottle, wiping his hands on his pants. Picking up the journal, he opened it to the napkin marked page, finding no date marking the entry.
It’s been months since I’ve wanted or felt any need to write in here. Months of worry, sadness, and confusion. Worry for you, Mulder, wondering where you are… if you are. I don’t know if we’ll ever find you and I need you here, now more than ever.
I’m alone and I’m terrified.
This was not the plan. The IVF failed, my chances were gone. How has this child come to be? I don’t know who to trust when it comes to this… I don’t…
Mulder, I dreamt of you last night. You were calling to me, far away and I could hear you as you got closer. You smiled and I reached for you, but you disappeared. I woke up sobbing in my sleep.
I miss you so much.
A year. A year ago we were chasing zombies and kissing in the hospital waiting room. How can it only be a year? If I had known all that would have transpired in a year’s time, I would have never let you out of my sight, kept you close, and never let you go back to Oregon. If I had known that would be the last time I saw you… alive…
Mulder, how can you be gone?
Her words were smeared and he knew it was from her tears, as he wiped away his own. He remembered the months of her disappearance and how he had felt like a zombie while she was gone, his thoughts constantly on her whereabouts.
If she had come back dead… He shook his head and wiped his face again. If she had died, he knew it would have sealed his own feet. Her death would have brought about his own, no question. He sighed and looked down, intent on reading this painful part of her life.
The baby is moving so much these days. He’s awake more at night, reminding me of you every time I feel a kick or him swirling around inside of me. He’s very active. Definitely your son.
My mother was here the other day, bringing me groceries and some food she had made. She commented on the bag of sunflower seeds I had asked for, although I already had a couple of bags in the cupboard. I just smiled and shrugged, not wanting to explain to her that having them there makes me feel you are going to be walking through the door at any moment, rifling through the cupboard, and ripping open a bag with your teeth.
Check up today, everything is fine. But is it? I always fear it’s not, skeptical of every nurse and doctor, always watching them for anything out of the ordinary.
I dream of you almost every night. Rooms with doors that I cannot open. I can hear you calling for me, your voice full of pain, but I am never able to reach you in time. I hate sleeping, knowing those dreams are waiting for me.
I miss you so much. Miss your smile, your laughter, your touch…
Someone brushed against me and then touched my back in apology and I froze in place, unable to move. You were the only one I allowed to do that, only you, Mulder.
Your hand on my back was never a sexist thing as it would have been with anyone else. I learned very quickly that you are a tactile man. You enjoy that connection you receive through touch. Anyone else, I would have questioned their motives, but with you, it’s just who you are.
Were. Who you were…
He sighed as he looked out the window again. That time he was gone, still confused him, his memories not altogether there and the ones he had, he did not want to pursue. Too many times he had woken up in a cold sweat, fighting with an absent foe. He did not want to know what had happened to him.
When she was gone, he had suffered, wondering where she was, but not the way she had. Not while pregnant with a child, whose creation she questioned, even as she had hoped it was theirs. She’d had to face the “what if’s” on her own.
He covered his face with his hands, his emotions taking over, missing her so much and hating that he would be away from his son.
For that was who he was, his son, and he would not believe anything aside from the fact that they had created a miracle in their child. A miracle child he may never know, as he was forced to leave them in order to keep them safe.
How cruel life continued to be to them.
Wiping his eyes, he looked back at the journal as he cleared his throat and let out a deep breath.
We went to your apartment today, me and the guys. We had been there a few times since you’ve been gone, Frohike going by to feed the fish most often.
They helped me clean, well what they would allow of me anyway. The place wasn’t really dirty, just… empty and still, so opposite of how it usually feels. They left and I stayed, needing to be there alone for a little while.
There have been times in the past when I have been there on my own, waiting for you to return, but today… today it was harder. The hardest it’s been all this time in fact, because I have to make a choice and I don’t want to do it.
The rent for your apartment is paid up until April and then… I know I can’t keep your place and mine. You’re not coming back, but I can’t let it go. It’s the last bit of you I have. You’re there. Your scent, your things, your memory. It’s all I have and I…
I know what I need to do and yet it kills me. I can’t let you go. I can’t… I can’t think of someone else there, my key no longer able to work in a lock that has been changed.
I know what I need to do, I do, but I don’t want to do it.
He closed his eyes and his head dropped back as he took a deep breath. He shook his head as he thought of the past. Returning to their office after months of being gone, the entire place covered in plastic, the only place where it felt time had stopped and her memory remained. He had not wanted to move on, not without her.
He knew that feeling of hopelessness, but not the feeling of loss the way she did. To have seen her dead body, gone to her funeral, and then had to live without her…. even that early in their partnership, he could not imagine it.
He did not know of his disappearance, did not know anything of anyone’s worry, but seeing her face, he knew it had been bad. Her worry was etched in her face and it hurt him to see it.
“What happened?” he had asked her in a whisper, his eyes closed, her hand gripping his and her head on his chest.
“Mulder,” she had sighed, holding his hand tighter. “I don’t know if you would even believe me.” He had chuckled softly, feeling exhausted, even as he knew he had to have been sleeping for quite a while.
“It’s me, Scully. Of course I would.” He had barely spoken the words when he had fallen asleep, not waking for a few hours to find her still beside him and holding his hand.
With a sigh, too many thoughts in his head, he looked back at the journal, smiling as he saw the joy in the words, where before there had been heartache.
To think that you are here, alive and breathing, just down the hall, it’s still hard to believe, regardless that it has now been a few weeks.
This insomniatic child is awake again, despite the late hour. As I could no longer continue pacing, I decided to take this journal out, seeing as I’ve been rather delinquent with my entries as of late.
My heart is happy, beyond happy. But worry still sits heavy upon me.
Having you back… I will never be able to fully express what it means. I know you experienced the same when I was gone, but it’s not exactly the same. It just isn’t.
Being home now, I have more time to think and that’s not always a good thing…
I’m so worried about the baby, too many things and people causing concerns, along with my own fears. I don’t want to think about them, instead wanting to focus on the positive in my life. But, Jesus…
This baby will be born soon and I’m so scared.
That was not what I had planned when I imagined having a baby. A ghost town with no doctors or medical personnel around. The people who did gather, Christ, I was terrified.
But… he’s perfect, Mulder. Perfectly perfect. I am so in love with him. Yes, even his bald head that looks suspiciously like Skinner’s.
He may be bald, but he is yours. He is ours. A child whose creation is nothing short of a miracle.
My prayers have been answered. In so many ways.
My cup does indeed runneth over.
That was it, the last entry in the journal, though there were still pages left, which she would undoubtedly have filled with updates about their new life. Once more however, life took them out at the knees, forcing him to leave, though he ached to stay.
She had told him to go, in order to keep them all safe, crying as she clung to him, his arms holding her tight. She had been right, he knew it, but Jesus… reading her words, seeing her happiness, he wanted to get off the train, grab them, and run without stopping.
But, how could they go underground with a baby? One who would need to see doctors and would not be able to be quiet at a moment’s notice. They would stick out, drawing unwanted attention to themselves, and be found easily. Him leaving was the best chance of safety for all of them.
But he hated it. Hated it so very much.
Turning the pages, he stopped, flipping back and smiling sadly as he found two Polaroid pictures taped to a page. One of them he had taken of Scully smiling at William as she held him and one was of William sleeping, wrapped securely in his blanket. He sighed as he touched them, shaking his head and closing his eyes, once more incredibly tired, his thoughts weighing heavily upon him.
He opened his eyes and closed the curtain, set his alarm on his watch for six a.m. and turned out the light, needing to sleep for a couple more hours. He hoped William had eaten, was changed and back to sleep by now. Taking a deep breath, he lay down and closed his eyes, the journal beside him, his hand on it as he fell asleep once again.
His watch beeped and he woke up with a groan, feeling like it had been only minutes, not hours. He sat up and stretched, standing to his feet. He took off his clothes and stepped into the small bathroom/shower, closing the door behind him.
Showered, dressed and packed up, he left the room with his bags and went back to the dining car, the sun just beginning to rise.
He ordered a simple breakfast, tore out a piece of paper from the back of the journal, and asked the waiter for a pen. As he ate, he wrote a letter to Scully.
The train is nearly to the stop, time to move on. Words shared, have created an ache I cannot deny.
Plans that were once agreed upon, should be renegotiated. But, knowledge of the possible repercussions must keep them in motion.
It pangs me to be far, when I desperately want to be near. I fear this life won’t be for me, and yet I know it must be. For everyone.
Days will be long and nights, broken by the tolling of an alarm, waking us from our slumber, will join us, though distance will not allow it.
The sun is rising, painting the sky in beautiful colors of gold. Do you see it? Or do you only see the blue in the eyes looking back at you? That blue could rival any color in the sky… gaze upon it as long as you can.
The time has come to say goodbye. I feel the end of the line calling me, the motion halting.
I want to turn around, to go back in time. To find those lost nine minutes and live inside them, our lives safe in a never ending bubble.
But, those nine minutes will forever be lost, the lives we could have had unknown and floating somewhere out in the ether.
Perhaps they will collide and somewhere, somehow we will be happy.
We will be one day.
Our cups forever running over.
He read it over and nodded with a sigh. This would be their only communication for a while and he felt he had gotten it right. No information of his whereabouts were given and he had used her first name just as she had done, setting a precedent.
He folded the letter and set it inside her journal. He would need to find a post office before he got on the next train to send it to the post office box the Gunmen had set up.
He paid for his meal, picked up his bags and walked to the door as the train slowed and pulled into the station. He closed his eyes as he let out a deep breath.
This was it. No going back.
He glanced at Scully as she slept in the passenger seat and he smiled. They had a plan to keep on the move, never stay for too long in one place.
Today they would be leaving New Mexico and he honestly hoped to never be back again. He had been incredibly lonely there, his search for the truth costing him far more than he ever imagined possible.
Scully moaned in her sleep and he glanced at her again, hoping she would sleep for a bit longer, as they still had a little way to go. He smiled, stepping on the gas to get there faster.
Fifteen minutes later, he slowed down, keeping an eye out for the giant cactus. Well, one of many, though the one he was looking for was different, and he knew it by heart.
“There you are,” he whispered, pulling the car off the road and putting it in park. Looking at Scully once more, he opened the door, leaving the car running, the air conditioner on in the suffocating heat.
He walked around the car, opening up the back and taking out the small shovel he had bought that morning at the gas station with the convenience store attached. It had held many items he would not have found in a gas station back home, and he was happy for it; the shovel a most welcome tool for what he was about to do. Closing the door gently, he walked toward the large cactus with a smile.
“Mulder?” He heard Scully call out and he turned around, squinting in the bright sun. “What are you doing?” She closed the door, shaking her head as she walked toward him.
“What in the hell?” She gestured to the shovel in his hand, brushing her hair back from her eyes.
“There’s something I need,” he answered and she raised her eyebrows.
“Out here?” She spread her arms out, indicating the wide expanse and lack of anything but the two of them. He chuckled and nodded as she shook her head again. “Mulder…”
“We’re leaving the state, heading north, where hopefully it’s a bit cooler. I think we could both use that.” He wiped his brow, already feeling sweat on his back. “Before we leave, possibly never to be back here again, there’s something I need to get.”
“Again… out here? With a shovel? Where did you even get that?” He laughed again and walked closer to the cactus.
“The last gas station we were at had quite a few convenient items. Ones that you might not associate with a gas station.” He smiled at her as he turned around, the hot wind whipping her hair across her face, her arms crossed. She brushed it away and stared at him with a shrug.
He nodded and turned to the left, counting out ten steps before turning to the right and counting out ten more. Bending down, he started digging in the dirt, knowing it was not too far down.
He heard Scully behind him and then he saw her out of the corner of his eye, the shovel continuing to dig and move the dirt into a pile. She said nothing, but he could practically hear her thinking and wondering what he could possibly have buried out there.
He smiled as he saw the top of it after a few more shovels of dirt being dug out. A couple more and he was able to set the shovel aside and pull out the backpack he had buried months before, brushing it off as he smiled.
Grabbing the shovel, he stood up and looked at her, chuckling at the look of confusion on her face. He handed her the shovel and she frowned as she took it, her eyes on the backpack.
“I spent a lot of time out here. Well, close to here. When I felt that things were getting too hot, worried with the possibility that I was being followed, I brought this out here one night, burying it for safekeeping. There is a letter addressed to you that sits in a home about fifteen miles from here, giving you coordinates to the spot, if they were to hear of my death. As that’s not going to happen, they will destroy the letter when news of me reaches them.”
“What? I don’t understand what you’re saying. Why do you need the backpack? It looks empty.” She shook her head and he smiled, brushing off the backpack again, as he started to unzip the main compartment.
“Looks can be deceiving,” he said, smiling wider as he reached into the backpack and took out the item he was not going to leave behind.
Inside of a plastic food storage bag, to keep out any dirt or dust, was the only item inside the faded backpack. Looking up, he handed it to her, taking the shovel in exchange. She gasped as she looked at the journal she had given him when he had left. Her eyes lifted to look at him and he smiled with a nod, as he zipped up the backpack.
“Mulder…” She shook her head and let out a deep sigh.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that journal. How many times it saved me. I couldn’t lose it. Couldn’t leave here without it.”
“Couldn’t leave it here unknown,” she added, understanding what the as of yet unsent letter would have led her to find. He nodded and she sighed again, stepping closer and wrapping her arms around him.
“That journal was my tether to reality, to memories, to you,” he whispered, her arms holding tighter. “I couldn’t lose it.”
“Mulder,” she breathed, sniffling against him. He held her as well as he could with the backpack and shovel in his hands.
“Nine years, Scully… this past one completely separated, and yet you continued to save me. Over and over. Your words, no matter if they brought me pain at my own stupidity, they saved me so many times. They could not stay here buried in the ground. One way or another, they needed to find their way back to you.”
He felt her crying and he dropped the things in his hands to hold her closer, the hot wind whipping around them. He ran his hands slowly up and down her back and she cried, sniffling and taking deep breaths.
She pulled back, holding the journal and wiping at her eyes and face, letting out a breath. He smiled, his arms still around her, his eyes searching hers.
“Thank you,” she whispered and he nodded. He kissed her and they separated. He picked up the shovel and the backpack, holding them in one hand, and her hand in the other, squeezing it as they reached the car.
He put the things back in the car and she got in, the journal on her lap. Getting in beside her he sighed, glad he had left the car running, the inside wonderfully cool.
“I never gave it a thought of having this again,” she said quietly, touching the journal, still in the storage bag. “When you left, I just wanted you to know, to see the progression of my feelings. To know without a doubt how I felt.” She looked at him, her expression serious. He smiled softly and she sighed. “I love you. So very much.”
“I know you do. I love you too. I have for a very long time.”
“I know.” He glanced at the journal and then back at her with a smile. “I read it all. Many times.” He took her hand, kissing her knuckles and rubbing his lips against them. She nodded with a small smile, her eyes not as happy, and he understood why.
“Everything is in there,” he whispered, thinking of the photos of her and William. She nodded again, tears in her eyes and she rubbed her lips together. “Do you want me to put it in the back?”
“No,” she breathed, shaking her head. “No. But thank you. I’ll… it can stay like this for now.” He kissed her knuckles again and nodded as he let go and she clasped her hands in her lap.
“Thank you,” she said again with a smile that reached her eyes this time.
“Thank you, Scully. For the words in the journal and for so much more. Thank you.” She bit her lip with a nod and reached for his hand, threading their fingers together, her other hand resting on the journal.
“So… north? Some place that’s cooler?” he asked, squeezing her hand before letting go to put the car in gear and then holding it again.
“God, that sounds wonderful,” she responded and he laughed softly. He backed up and headed back to the road.
They were quiet as they drove and he was comforted by it. He saw her fingers running gently over the journal, her other softly squeezing his as she looked out the window with a sigh.
He squeezed back, turning on the blinker as they headed north, away from the heat, their future unknown.