Actions

Work Header

Times Colliding

Chapter Text

2018

Four consultations, an MRI, a CT Scan, a physical examination, blood tests, a two-hour-long session with a psychologist, and seven hours later, they had no answers. None. Absolutely everything came back totally normal. In fact, he was even surprised that his future self had been in such good health, especially with the toll his body had taken over the years, not even counting the years he couldn't remember.

“Have you ever seen anything like this before?” Scully sighed in frustration to the last doctor.

“I haven’t, this is an anomaly. I can tell from the patent’s frustration that this isn’t being feigned, but there is no medical issue I, or anyone for that matter, have been able to detect,” the man explained.

The patient. That’s what he’d been referred to all day. He felt like an animal in a zoo, everyone was interested in the fascinating mystery diagnosis, but yet no one was providing any advice. Most of the time they didn’t even talk to him, they just talked to Scully as if she were his parent. To be honest, he felt like a child. He just sat on the exam tables, dressed in nothing but a thin hospital gown, and watched her command the room. “Well, what should we do?” he heard her ask.

“What I would suggest is keep living how you would. By pretending like everything is normal, something might spark his memory-”

“He doesn’t know what normal is! That’s the problem,” she yelled. She’d been so strong all day, listening to the doctors tell her nothing for hours on end. He was surprised it took this long for the stress to catch up to her. He knew she didn’t blame him, but he felt bad. He knew that she knew he’d remember if he could, but he felt like he was letting her down and it hurt. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she immediately sighed after her outburst.

He stood up awkwardly and reached out to stroke her back in an attempt at comfort. She looked up at him and offered an appreciative smile that didn’t really light up her eyes. Despite that, she leaned into his touch and turned her attention back to the doctor. “So normal routine might bring back his memory? Should I answer his questions honestly, or wait for him to remember himself?”

“Since we aren’t sure if his memory will ever come back,” he could feel Scully’s whole body tense at that, “I would recommend answering anything he might be curious about, but avoid overwhelming him. You never know what will spark his memory, so anything could help.”

Scully just nodded and looked like she was a thousand miles away, so he finally spoke up, “Thank you, we appreciate all you’ve done for us today.”

“Anything to help, your wife is a legend here. I’m sorry to hear this happened,” he explained. He gathered his charts and moved towards the door, only stopping to say, “I would recommend you come for weekly checkups, just to make sure we don’t miss any new developments.”

Mulder nodded in agreement and watched the man leave, leaving him alone with Scully for the first time since they got here. “I’m sorry,” he lamented.

She turned to him with that look of infinite understanding that hadn’t faded over time. “Mulder, don’t apologize. I’m the one who should be sorry. You didn’t ask for this to happen and I’m throwing fits and making you feel guilty for something out of your control.”

“I don’t want you to be sorry either. It’s more than understandable why this is upsetting, especially with the circumstances,” he soothed, motioning to the belly she was gently resting her hand on.

Her bottom lip quivered and her face crumpled. “This isn’t fair,” she whispered in a choked sob. He moved his arms so he could grab her in a hug and was relieved when she reciprocated, clinging onto his back and pressing her face into his chest.

It wasn’t, and there was nothing either of them could do about it. He felt powerless and he did the only thing he could do; he held her tighter and tried to comfort her. Her crying was quiet, but he could feel the dampening of his shirt regardless. It was odd being able to touch her like this without hesitance and have her voluntarily snuggle against him. He held her like that for a while until she disentangled herself and wiped away the remaining tears. “I’m sorry. The extra hormones really aren’t helping me right now,” she laughed in self-deprecation. “You should get your clothes on. Let’s go home, okay? I can make us some dinner.”

“Okay,” he smiled. Home. He liked the sound of that. He went over and gathered his clothes from the floor when he was reminded of something. “Hey, why did he mean when he said you're a legend here?” he asked as he slid his pants up his legs underneath the gown.

“Oh, I worked here for a while back in the day, after the X-Files closed.” He had just whipped off his gown when she said this and he knew he wasn’t hiding his expression of shock very well. “Oh, um.” She paused for a moment apparently trying to think of how to discuss this with him. This was one of the first subjects she had to give him a history lesson on. He slipped on his shirt and watched as she continued her pondering, then he put on his shoes and continued to watch her struggle.

Okay, he knew a lot had to have happened in twenty years, but he didn’t think it would be this hard. “So, um. Around late 2000 to 2002, a lot happened and you were no longer on the X-Files really at that time. Then a bit after that, the X-Files closed completely. After that, you had to stay off the grid and I started working at this hospital. In 2008, we had a stint with the X-Files again for one case. Afterwards, I continued working at the hospital, you did your thing, then in 2016 the X-Files reopened and we dabbled, and just this year we worked some more but they closed for good. Now we just spend time teaching at the academy because it’s easy, gives us something to do, and we can spend time together,” she rambled.

He was shocked. He knew he shouldn’t really be, he understood why things would have changed, but he honestly had always imagined himself investigating those cases for decades. He couldn’t imagine ever been satisfied enough to leave unless-

“Did we find out what happened to Samantha?” He could practically hear his heart beating in his ears. He already assumed the answer may not be what he wanted to hear when he saw Scully’s eyes widen at his question.

She sighed and put her head in her hands and in that moment he realized this was probably the last thing she wanted to do after spending a day of stress. He didn’t realize the complexity of the questions he was asking and it wasn’t fair to her. “Mulder, I was just given explicit instructions not to overwhelm you and you’re asking something like that?” She didn’t want him to get upset, so she took a few steps closer and placed a hand on the side of his cheek, rubbing the skin softly. In a quieter voice, she continued, “I promise I’ll tell you, but it took us years to find out and it feels dishonoring to us and her to tell you in the middle of a hospital room after a stressful day. I’ll tell you, but not here. Not now. Okay?”

He nodded and grasped his hands together in front of him nervously. He instinctively wanted to reciprocate her touch, but he just wasn’t sure what was natural. “I understand. I’m sorry for asking, you’re right. This isn’t the time or place.

She looked relieved and gave him a tired smile. “Thank you.” Then with a more serious tone, added, “But don’t be sorry, you have every right to ask and want to know. It’s your life. We’ll just have to figure out the less stressful method of catching you up on twenty years.”

Twenty years. It still sounded crazy. No, it was crazy. She let him go so he could slip on his shirt. “Are you ready to go?”

He nodded and followed her out to the car. The same car he had spent the entire ride here fawning over. While there was a lot he was missing in his mind about his personal life, he still knew himself. The world, however, had done a complete 180 and he was still spinning from it. She could press a button and all the doors unlocked. The damn vehicle wouldn’t even let you try to lock your keys in the car, it would incessantly beep at you if you did. He got hot on the way to the hospital and apparently the window rollers were gone, now it too was just a button.

Not only that, but his cell phone, as she insisted it was, seemed like a joke. The TV he saw in his house and in several store windows didn’t even have a box on the back. The radio was currently on a contemporary station and he couldn’t identify a single instrument in the song, though the God is a Woman chorus was really catchy, despite his best wishes to resist. Was this Mariah Carey?

One thing didn’t really seem to change so much, the fashion looked relatively similar to what he remembered. On the youth they passed at least. Everyone was wearing flannel and windbreakers. They looked like a mix of grunge and homeless. Did these trends surpass the test of time or were people obsessed with the 90s? He’d have to ask Scully sometime.

Scully.

Another thing that hadn’t changed was her endless endurance of shitty situations he seemed to always end up putting her in. She seemed to tolerate him for some reason though, lucky sonuvabitch he was. She loves him. Throughout the whole day that thought kept coming back to him. Dana Katherine Scully said she loves him. She’s his wife, pregnant with their child. They had a house together. He was repeating facts to himself as he learned them to cement them into his memory, but those three items of information wouldn’t be easily forgotten and yet remained at the forefront of his mind.

He’d thought about it before, what it would be like growing old by her side. During the middle of a lonely night or when his love for her overwhelmed him, it was a comforting fantasy he always came back to. His imagination hadn’t done her justice. He’d always just essentially imagined the ‘them’ he knew. He imagined they’d get wiser, but with no real concept of what that would be like. When he pictured them, he had really just tinted their hair a little greyer or a little whiter and called it good. He knew she’d always be the epitome of beauty to him, but he had no idea what the years would do for her.

She’s radiant. She’s always carried herself with confidence, but this was different. Gone were any traces of youthful vanity or insecurity, this was a woman who was self-possessed and took no shit. Confidence was as evident on her as the clothes she wore. She was just breathtakingly beautiful.

“Mulder,” she chided with amusement, “I can feel you staring at me.”

“Sorry,” he laughed in embarrassment for being caught.

“Is something wrong? Aside from the obvious?” she asked, just gazing at him from the corner of her eye for a second before returning her focus to the road.

“No, no, not wrong. It’s just-” he stopped, unsure of how to phrase himself, as to not sound like he was objectifying her.

“Just what?”

“You’re so beautiful, it feels like a waste looking at anything else,” he shrugged.

She pursed her lips, the edges quirked up regardless. She wanted to play it off, but there was no way she could attempt to hide the blush on her cheeks. “That’s very sweet of you to say.”

Her reaction confused him a little bit. He didn’t understand why she seemed so surprised. Did future Mulder just get used to seeing her all the time, and the compliments phased out? No, that couldn’t be possible. Was it just flattering to her that, even in this state of mental vulnerability, he found her breathtaking? He wasn’t sure, but all he knew was that this amazing woman wanted to be with him and he had full permission to express his affections to her. He liked making her blush.

“Just a fact,” he replied.

The smile finally got to make a full appearance and he felt himself mirroring her for the entire ride home.

He didn’t ask any more questions for the rest of the evening. They were both aware that he’d eventually need answers to the heavy hitters, but today was stressful. Instead, they just tried to relax. He helped her as she cooked, using it as an opportunity to, not only spend more time with her but, learn where things went, how the house worked. It was simple domesticity which he enjoyed.

Scully was more than helpful, but he could tell she was exhausted from spending all day at the hospital. Physically and emotionally, she needed rest. Over dinner, he would just ask her small things, like how she was, what she was teaching in class, simple topics that he didn’t anticipate leading into anything stressful.

After dinner, she asked if he wanted to watch tv in the living room while she read. Something told him that that might be a part of a routine they had, but she didn’t want to imply that at the risk of forcing him or being disappointed if he didn’t want to. As if he’d ever turn down spending time with her.

He sat on the couch as she turned on a sci-fi channel before snagging a pink and white book from the end table. He hid his surprise when, instead of just sitting next to him, she laid on the other half of the sofa and spread her legs over his thighs. “Is this okay?” she asked, looking at him over the top of her book.

“Of course,” he said a little too quickly, not wanting her to take her legs off him. She smiled at his enthusiasm before returning her attention to her book. While he was engrossed by how real the movie on the television looked, his attention kept coming back to the way her manicured little toes wiggled subconsciously. He decided to be bold and he rested his hands on her legs, rubbing and massaging the muscles beneath his palms.

He looked over to gauge if that was okay and saw she hadn’t taken her attention away from the page, but her eyes kept reading over the same line and the small smirk from before had grown on her face. Spurred on by new confidence, he continued his ministrations as he watched the movie.

When the credits came on, he was still rubbing her calves and shins and he heard her hum. He turned over to tease her about how cute it was but was surprised to see she had fallen asleep, a little grin of comfort on her lips as her hands rested subconsciously on her stomach. He leaned over and took the neglected book that was in danger of falling off the couch, marking her page and setting it on the coffee table. He reached behind him and pulled the old Navajo blanket from the back of the couch, draping it over her delicately so she wouldn’t wake up.

He watched her for a while, just enjoying the level of vulnerability and trust she was displaying with him right now. She looked angelic. He’d always heard that pregnant women had a certain ‘glow’ to them, but this was the first time he’d ever definitely noticed it. As he watched her, a weird beeping sound broke his reverie and he turned to realize something was happening with his cellphone. He picked it up from the end table next to him and it lit up in his hand.

Reminder: Childbirthing Class tomorrow at 1pm.

He felt inexplicably nervous at the words on the screen. At the same time, he felt like an ass for not asking something as important as “how far along are you?” or “when are you due?” God, he really was self-centered. He looked down and her and naively tried to gauge where she might be, but to no avail. She was so tiny on a normal basis, it was just hard to tell anything. He also didn’t have a single thing to relate back to. Pregnant women were not something he normally ran into.

He tried to tap at the white square on the phone to get more information, but it just shook at him. Eventually, he did it too many times and a thumbprint icon showed up. Use Touch ID or Passcode.

He remembered how Scully had pressed his thumb on the circle at the bottom of the device and he just mimicked it. The screen changed and the photo of them was there with several square icons on it. It vaguely reminded him of his Dell Laptop, but ridiculously smaller.

He found a square titled “Reminders,” but that was the only one and it didn’t have any subsequent information. He was about to put the phone back down when he caught a glimpse of the background he’d admired earlier. He wanted to see all the photos. Since she was asleep, he felt like he could thoroughly take his time and enjoy them all, not that he couldn’t with her awake, but what was new and exciting to him might be a painful reminder of the situation for her.

He didn’t really know how she got to them though. After clicking on what felt like every square, he found luck with the rainbow-colored one. Photos . Immediately after he pressed it, the screen was bombarded with a series of smaller images, almost like a photo album. He remembered when Scully was looking for an older photo, she’d scrolled to the top, so he did the same so he could start from the beginning.

When he could scroll no higher up, he took a glance at Scully’s sleeping form. He didn’t know why he was so nervous. This felt almost taboo, as if he was doing something he shouldn’t be. However, she’d been very adamant with him that this was his life. This phone, the memories on it, this house, her heart; apparently they all were his now.

The first photo was of Scully reading. It was something he was more than familiar with, her look of focus, the way the tip of her tongue was pressed between her lips, peeking out just a little bit. It looked like it was taken on the porch of the house. The next few after that were a series of her realizing he was taking photos of her and he could see her eyes rolling in one of them before she stood up and got closer. If he had to take a guess, it ended because she took the phone from him.

The next set of photos were of a landscape. He wasn’t quite sure where it was, or why it was important. He was trying to use this to get to know himself. He was a profiler, so this in theory wasn’t much different than what he was used to. It was just weird doing it on himself. What was important to the man that owned this phone. What did he think was important to document?

A lot of them were of him catching Scully doing something mundane. Reading, washing her face, cooking, sleeping, daydreaming, nothing extremely extraordinary. She was, undoubtedly, the most important thing in his life, but it felt odd how frequent the photos of her were. It seemed that frequently, he was documenting more and more of their daily life together. Was he afraid of losing her? No, no. First of all, she was pregnant with his child, second of all, she wasn’t giving any signs that they had been unhappy. In fact, with how upset she is, he would say they were living in pure bliss before this happened. But future him was documenting everything as if he knew the pain of not having her and needed to have something tangible to always have with him.

What happened in the past twenty years? What was he missing?

He swiped again and found a photo of an ultrasound. A smile broke out on his face when he found the small mass within the black circle. The terminology was lost on him, and he couldn’t really identify anything, but he saw what he needed. His baby. Their baby. He never thought it could happen. For more reasons than one, but namely, he thought she was infertile. However, here she was, glowing, her stomach swelling under her hands, a look of pure peace gracing her resting face. God, he was a lucky man.

He swiped a few more times, admiring the life they’d created with each other, when he stumbled across a video. He looked at the buttons on the sides of the phone and played with them until he was confident the volume was on as low as he could without it being silent. He took another glance at Scully, making sure she was still asleep before playing it.

Immediately he heard her voice whine, “Mulder-” dragging out the ‘r’ in a playful tone.

Holy shit.

The camera came into focus and he realized what type of video this was. “Please Scully, you’re so sexy. We haven’t made a tape since 2006.” He knew what he would be looking for tomorrow.

Camera Scully was completely naked, sitting on top of his equally naked counterpart. Her legs were spread on either side of his, and his cock was bobbing straight in the air, covering her own pubis from the camera’s view. She cocked her head to the side as she took his erection in her hand. He heard himself gasp as she started stroking him, doing all his favorite motions with his head and shaft. Mulder felt himself getting aroused from the imagery, it was almost overwhelming. Seeing Scully naked, as beautiful as he imagined, seeing her expertise at pleasuring his body, and finding out they made smutty home videos.

“Has it really been that long?” she asked.

“The last one is on cassette,” he laughed, though current Mulder didn’t know why that was funny. What else could it be on?

“Hmmm,” she purred, “Okay.” She looked into the camera and another bolt of arousal shot through him. She eased herself up on her knees, revealing her trimmed patch of red pubic hair as she lined up their arousals before sinking down on him. He almost moaned with them as he saw Scully’s eyes flutter shut with pleasure, her mouth dropping open and her brow furrowing in concentration.

God, she was actually getting off from him.

She proceeded to writhe on top of him as he thrust up into her. Her full breast bounced lewdly from the friction as she gyrated her hips. There was nothing awkward about their union. This was a dance they had evidently done thousands of times before.

At the same time video Scully leaned forward, real Scully moved her legs, hitting his growing erection and making him gasp. He shut off the video in fear of her waking up and, as her movement turned into a stretch, he was glad he did. He didn’t need a full-blown erection jabbing her legs. He set the phone where he found it and pretended to be watching the new movie playing on the screen.

“Hey,” she whispered in a sleep-laden voice.

He turned over and saw her eyes were cracked open, looking at him lazily. “Hey”

She looked at the tv and then the clock before returning her gaze back to him. “Want to call it a night?” He nods, realizing the day’s worn him out more than he expected, and she turns off the tv. He was glad to have the cover of darkness that hopefully hid the slight tent in his pants as he stood up with her, his body creaking and protesting more than he was used to.

When they were up and she was walking away a sense of nervousness washed over him. Should he follow? Does he get to sleep in the same bed as her? Should he be polite and take the couch? But Scully, as always, heard his internal panic and called out, “When I get out of the bathroom, I better see my husband in our bed.” She looked over her shoulder with a smile that reassured him that while she was teasing him, she was also serious.

He went to where he knew their bedroom was and stripped down to his boxers before staring at the bed. Which side was his? Before he comes to a conclusion, Scully’s voice rang out from right behind him, “You sleep on the side by the door.”

He turned around to thank her and was overwhelmed at the sight of her in his old Oxford sweatshirt. It was tattered, clearly loved, and engulfed her small frame. The middle was being pushed out lightly by her stomach and it brought yet another smile to his face. When he bought that sweater in college, he never imagined his child would grow under his wife’s soft skin. Her hair was mussed from her nap and she had an adorable sleepy grin on her face. He could actually feel his heart filling to the brim with love and adoration.

He felt confident she wouldn’t mind and he just wanted to more than anything. He took a step closer to her, placed a hand on her cheek, and pressed his lips to hers. Her chapstick rubbed onto his lips as she moved against him. Scully was kissing him. She placed a hand on the back of his neck like it was meant to be there and deepened the kiss, she tasted like Scully and mint.

He didn’t want to press his luck too much, so he leaned away and was rewarded with the sight of her relishing in the connection they just shared. Her closed eyes fluttered open and she smiled at him, placing a kiss on his bare chest before crawling into bed, patting the space next to her.

He didn’t need to be asked twice and he slid under the covers with her. He laid on his back, his hands not quite knowing what to do with themselves. Before he spent too long worrying, she slid over next to him and laid her head on his chest, draping an arm over his torso. One arm wrapped around her, his hand resting on her back as the other grabbed the arm draped over him. He was in heaven.

“Mulder?” she murmured sleepily into his skin.

“Hmm?”

“Don’t feel like you need permission to be affectionate with me,” she yawned. He opened his mouth to respond, but she added, “I love you. I want you to kiss me and touch me.”

I love you.

His lip quivered and his throat clenched, but he knew she couldn’t see it through the night. He leaned over and pressed a kiss to the crown of her head and whispered, “Thank you.”

There were many thanks in the one simple phrase. Thanks for her love, thanks for her affection, thanks for her kindness, thanks for this moment, and he hoped she got them all. Knowing Scully, she did.