When he wakes in the morning, if it isn't straight out of a nightmare, he can pretend it never happened.
Scully is in his arms and it's May. He's spooned up behind her, one arm across her shoulders, face pressed into her neck and veiled in her hair. He keeps his eyes closed.
He presses his mouth against her neck, and breaths her in. In a moment he is tasting her, his tongue delicately tracing her skin. She sighs and stirs a little, sometimes wiggling back against him. This is good.
He covers her face and neck and ear in kisses, rubbing his rough cheek against the satin of her hair. Sometimes she's awake enough to hum, other times she just sighs. Today she makes a soft little noise he thinks he remembers.
He keeps raining down kisses, and begins to slide his arm down her body. He encounters her breasts, which may be a bit bigger then his hand remembers, but that's easy to ignore. Or appreciate.
His hand spends some time there, paying attention to both breasts, and Scully starts to sigh and wiggle. He wants to get her shirt off. He needs to get her shirt off. He moves his hand down, searching for the hem...
...And it's just a few inches before it's all over. Her stomach is his hand's insurmountable obstacle. Mt. Everest, and his hand is no Sir Edmund.
"Mulder?" she murmurs, and he doesn't know what to feel. But he never knows what to feel anymore.
He is still reluctant to touch her stomach. She has held his hand on her while her baby kicks once or twice, but he always jerks his hand away. It scares him, and he is not proud of that.
He is trying not to think of it as Her Baby, he reminds himself. It hurts her, and he doesn't want to hurt her. He doesn't. The Baby, or just Baby. That's what he tries to call it aloud. But that's sometimes harder then calling it that in his mind. But it makes her happy.
Scully sighs, not that happy kind, and pulls away, leaning forward just the slightest bit. Just enough. After all, this is their routine now.
Mulder hates routine. Hates it but needs it. Scully is not supposed to smile and cry and be affectionate (not outside of the first few minutes in the hospital). She is supposed to be stoic and raise her eyebrow and reluctantly agree to follow his leaps, even if she doesn't believe in them.
She grunts and frowns.
"Nothing" she answers, her eyes still closed with determination.
"Scuh-llee?" he asks.
She raises an eyebrow in answer. She's trying to sleep. She's fine.
For the first time since he woke up and realized this was more then the average trip to the hospital, he wants to smile.
His apartment is still his, but it shouldn't be.
Scully won't be his partner again, but she is still Scully.
Things won't be the same again, but maybe they shouldn't be.
Isn't this what he wanted? For both of them?
She makes a little noise again, and he realizes The Baby's kicking her. Hesitantly, he lowers his hand on her stomach. His touch is so light, his hand is hovering more then actually resting on her. He wonders if she can even feel it.
It is the first time he has touched her there without her encouragement. He can't promise to change right away, but he can promise to try.
The Baby kicks and does some curious Baby swishing maneuver. He wants to jerk his hand away but fights the impulse.
Scully turns her head, and he looks at her.
Her face is steady and familiar, but her eyes are something else. A faint hint of smile pulls at her mouth, and he reminds himself that Scully used to smile all the time, before she knew him. She doesn't cover his hand with hers--he knows his hand is welcome there, and now that he's touched her of his own volition, he can take whatever liberties he wants.
He nudges her head back down. "I'm trying to sleep here" he grumbles, his hand falling more firmly on her stomach and The Baby.
She lays her head back down, and she is really smiling now; he can feel it.