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When she entered the kitchen, Mulder standing still and lost in thoughts in front of the window, Scully noticed the steaming mug he was holding in an unusual way, as if it was a chalice.

 

"Hey, good morning, early bird... Found your old Spooky Alien coffee mug ? Any special occasion to bring it back ?"

 

Turning his head towards Scully, Mulder replied, "Mmm... Somehow, through its physical contact, I wanted to feel again all the weight, the significance, the sensations of my former alienation at the Bureau."

 

"All that in a nerd coffee mug ?"

 

"It's a symbol, Scully, a metaphor. I was the stranger, the alien, the weirdo, the spooky man in the basement. It wasn't trendy, you know, back in the days, to be a jerk."

 

"Nowadays, you miss it ?"

 

"Maybe... Don't really know... It was actually the point, to think about it, by holding this cup, putting my lips on it, and tasting it. Cheers, Scully!"

 

Then, using ceremonious gestures, Mulder sipped his still too hot coffee.

 

"Ouch ! Dammit !"

 

The Alien mug fell down, and broke into small pieces. Scully sighed at first, staring at the dead memorabilia and thinking of an appropriate wisecrack to say, when she raised her head. Mulder was in a terrible pain, his right hand on his jaw.

 

'Mulder, you have to face it", Scully said with her severe MD tone while softly squeezing his left hand, "you MUST go to a dentist. You can't delay it anymore. I'm right away scheduling an appointment for you, and if necessary I'd carry you on my back and drag you to the dentist chair."

 

Then she stepped back to reach her phone, leaving Mulder in the kitchen, unable to move one single muscle as if he has gazed into Medusa's eyes.

 

***

 

It came first insidiously, like an immaterial impression in his whole brain. Slowly, the sensation focused on his vision area, bringing radiance and brightness. Soon, he was surrounded by this otherworldly incandescence and felt the need to escape it. He couldn't. He was tied, lying on stone.

 

Then, all of a sudden, his whole body was just agony, distress and torture. His five senses were just stimulated by the most excruciating procedures he could have ever imagined, or, if he could have formulated it, in a way he didn't want to relive.

 

"No !! Scully !! Scully !!"

 

He jolted awake abruptly, moaning in pain and completely soaked with sweat. He touched anxiously his chest, wrists and ankles with his two hands, and checked his mouth and teeth with his tongue. Scully was already pullling him down her chest, embracing and wrapping his whole body into hers as tight as she could. Immediately, Mulder's anguish turned into a continuous flow of tears flooding his cheeks and Scully's breast.

 

"You'll be fine, Mulder. I'll be with you. We won't let these extraterrestrial bastards haunting you in your dreams or in your daily life. We won't let them alienate you from your health care."

 

Chapter Text

Finally, after the last tense and stressful events, they were able to settle down, breathe and rest.

Finally, after struggling to stay alive without injuries, they lied down side by side and closed their eyes.

Finally, Mulder was in a mood to launch some wisecracks.

 

"Scully, we are now literally in the same boat, till death do us part. Don't you think it's time to make our vows ?"

 

"Mulder...", replied Scully, eyes still closed.

 

"It's just sink or swim. I wonder what I'd choose. And you?"

 

"Mulder...", replied Scully, opening her eyes and slightly smiling.

 

"Come on, Scully. Or would I call you Starbuck? By the way, I'd give an arm and a leg to encounter right now an appealing twin-tailed mermaid and order her a double shot cappuccino with extra foam. No, actually, just a leg... I could have a peg leg."

 

"Mulder...", replied Scully with a large smile. She turned her head, stared at him a few seconds and grabbed his hand. "You're right, we have to relax a moment. There's nothing else useful we can do just now. And stop dreaming of a peg leg, you're too old for that."

 

Then, leaning forward she kissed him tenderly and claimed, "I, Dana Katherine Scully, promise to you, Fox William Mulder, to take care of you, to protect you, to support you, to cherish you in this frail lifeboat till a rescue team saves us."

 

"Okay", replied Mulder, "not necessary to make big plans for a lifetime. Let's just live in the moment. Come closer and let's snuggle together."

 

[...]

 

 

A moment later, Scully was meticulously studying the rescue manual, while Mulder was enjoying unpacking the fishing kit.

 

"Scully, stop hitting the books and join the Fishing Scouts Group ! We need extra hands and a pretty lure by there!", yelled Mulder.

 

"Shut up, Mulder. Right now, everything is okay but we don't know how many time we'll be stucked in here and what the ocean is plotting against us. We have to be prepared."

 

"I know, I know, Captain. We aren't on Pacific Princess. However, isn't it a pretty Love Boat, honey ?" said Mulder, winking and sending a kiss to Scully. "Hey, Doc Bricker, can I have another anti-seasickness pill ?"

 

"Not yet, Mulder."

 

"You sure, Doc?"

 

Mulder didn't wait for an answer and resumed his fishing experiments with temperate gestures. Suddenly, his tone became serious, with a touch of anxiety.

 

"Scully... I'm not a sailor... Poseidon doesn't like me... By the past I've been through a lot on boats. I used to almost die on ships. I really rely on you to keep me alive. To keep us alive. It's why I try to keep calm fishing or trying to make you smile."

 

Then, with a crack in his voice he said shyly, "I have to confess, Scully... I'm.... uh... quite frightened... by all this mysterious deep water."

 

Scully put her book down and stared at him with the most tender look. Mulder was holding her gaze, his eyes slightly wet. Their visual exchange lingered long enough to allow time for all their feelings, thoughts and comprehension to travel through the air. Eventually, Mulder's heaviness flew away, but he remained earnest.

 

"Scully, if we had to spend more time than planned in this hostile space, I want you to be the survivor. You are even allowed to cannibalize me if required. You're the MD, you would know exactly what parts to take, and when throw my rotten body away."

 

"Mulder, no!", protested Scully.

 

"Scully, yes. But promise me to give me all the seasickness pills I'd need. And now, get ready to cook some sushi!"

 

[...]

 

After a few hours of quietness and bright daylight on the lifeboat, there was now no doubt that the twilight would come faster than expected, bringing soon insecurity, concern and angst. No sign of a rescue team yet, no sign of another life form --even fishes--, they were completely alone with no means of communication.

 

Scully, who had kept her mind and hands busy while taking care of Mulder's mood, was now feeling uncomfortable and was wriggling in her sitting position. Mulder looked at her with an amused smile.

 

"Scully, you have to answer the call of nature. Before the night. It's very annoying they have forgotten the toilets in our room. Good news is that there's no Peeping Tom out there."

 

At least, this quite funny moment of gymnastics and loosening distracted them from more serious worries.

 

"I wonder if we have ever been in so deep intimacy before, Scully", said Mulder. "There's nothing we can hide long from each other in such a tiny rough place."

 

"Even our intimate thoughts ?", replied Scully.

 

"Yes. They couldn't stay wandering in our minds, they would have to go out, one way or another. Scully, the vows you made earlier, I've taken them very seriously."

 

"Really ?"

 

"Yep. Us in this lifeboat is just us in our lifes on this damn planet. Alone, threatened by random and mysterious forces we cannot control, we are bound to be close-knit partners, to fight by ourselves and sometimes expecting a Deus Ex Machina to save us. Even if we wanted to, we couldn't escape from each other."

 

Dusk was now falling, bringing spectacular and marvelous colors upon them.

 

"Scully, I think we'll have a beautiful starry night. We'll wait for falling stars, and then I'll make vows for you."

 

Scully was about to reply sweet and loving thoughts, when she glimpsed dark sinister clouds and waters. The way Mulder was installed prevented him to see the threat coming upon them. She will have to distract and relax him, them, for a while. Their fate will come soon enough.

 

"Hey, Mulder, before the stars, can we go back on our case?"

 

"Sure, Scully. Since our shipwreck we didn't take time to gather the evidence."

 

"Evidence? Mulder, we lost all we had. As always, we have nothing left, nothing concrete. It will be an unconclusive case."

 

"But, Scully, the Kraken? You saw it?"

 

"No, Mulder. And my theory is still valid. I can explain scientifically what happened..."

 

And then, they entered in their familiar back and forth.

 

Chapter Text

C as COWS

 

Late afternoon

 

(Mulder)

 

I know perfectly that Scully sent me away all day on a flimsy pretext. But I've done what she expected me to do. And as I'm coming back to the basement with almost nothing to enlighten our boring current X case, I'm pleased to have done my duty. I'm sure she's on something. What, I've no clue. I didn't want to know nor to investigate. It's surely work-related, for she wouldn't want me right now in the basement. Scully is too reluctant to cross lines. These days, I've seen glints in her eyes, little smiles in unexpected moments, and a whole lightness she couldn't hide. Too many times I've sensed her insistent glances when I turned my back. Last night I've felt new paths on my body followed by her fingers and her mouth. This morning I've perceived a thrill on her skin as we kissed. That was evidence... Evidence of a surprise to come when I'm entering our office. That it. I'm in front of the door. It's closed. No sounds. Maybe I could tease her being a bit too late... Pointless. She surely has heard me arriving.

 

(Scully)

 

I'm not skilled to schedule a very early/late birthday present or to celebrate an unexpected dog years birthday. I'm no Mulder. Unexpectedly, I came recently onto something that triggered me. A way to surprise Mulder. Our X cases were so boring these last months! I've done all I could to be discreet, to gather evidence, to collect the equipment needed, to find a way to keep him away. I know that he's no fooled, that he has sensed I was planning something for him. It doesn't matter, he has played along, saying and expressing nothing, at least not consciously. He doesn't know, but he has had slightly unusual gestures or words, or a way to look at me inquisitively without pretending to do so. I wonder what he has guessed... Oh, that it. I can hear his footstep. Not his usual way to walk, of course. Well...

 

One hour later

 

(Mulder)

 

It happened so quickly that I even don't know how she managed it. As soon as I was stepping in the office I was blindfolded. But I could smell and I could hear. So, as she was seating me, I knew that she would use an old-school slide-projector. Ours? How did she get it? Don't know, didn't ask yet.

And then, she showed off. The first thing I noticed was her cowboy hat and the sheriff's coat. Yep, the buck teeth sheriff's coat... I'm sure of that. She had kept it. Then, half of my brain became wild, unmanageable, incapable of focusing and thinking straight. The other half tried to keep cool, to listened to her, to watch the screen, to look at the files she showed me. I recognized my old photos. Exsanguinated cows. Cattle mutilations. Different cases I've studied long time ago. Old X Files. There were also new pictures, new evidence, new cases. I heard a lot of words, theories, hypothesis, clues, tests... It was indeed a surprise. A surprise which stunned me.

 

(Scully)

 

In retrospect, I think I've done too much. I wanted to impress him. And to put him in a Texan mood. It was appropriate, dealing with cows. He was really surprised when he saw the old slides. But he has a way to bring back his look at me again and again... It was weird. I wanted to show him straight all the evidence I had gathered. I didn't want him to interrupt me. I wanted to overwhelm him by all the new clues I've found. It would be one-shot without interruption. He would be amazed, and in the end he would promptly book a flight to investigate and corroborate the unbelievable theories I've elaborated. I had worked hard, had done researches, autopsies, had performed scientific analysis, analyzed in detail his old files. He was indeed surprised. But what stunned me was his unexpected reaction.

 

The Truth

 

When Scully ended up her presentation nothing happened during almost one minute. Sixty seconds of a sudden silence, of the stillness of their bodies. Except Mulder's eyes. They were unsettled, unfixed, moving from the screen to Scully's eyes, hands, body, then the office, and repeating the movements again and again. Scully waited for another Mulder's reaction, more explicit and verbal. She didn't want to speak first.

 

"Holy Cow, Scully!", yelled at last Mulder.

 

Scully was about to reply when Mulder stood up and stepped quickly forward her. Her words get lost in her mouth as she still wanting to let him react first.

 

Mulder, who was now standing close to Scully, took the files she was still holding, threw them down, picked up her hat, put it on his own head and whispered slowly in her left ear.

 

"Scully. You turned me on. And this coat. It's like a red rag to the bull."

 

That is essentially how they crossed a huge red line in the office this day.

 

 

Chapter Text

Mulder was cutting out articles from magazines. There were pictures of strange beasts, frightening monsters, blurry UFOs and aliens, disturbing photos of genetic tools, manipulations and mutants, all outlined by nonsense weird headlines. It seemed that he was cutting frantically and unendlessly, scattered papers and magazines covering the whole floor around him. He was himself sit on the carpet, head down, completely focused on his repetitive gestures.

 

"Fox, what are you doing to MY magazines with MY scissors in MY bedroom?", screamed young Samantha who had burst into the room.

 

"What... No... it's not true", muttered a surprised Mulder. Samantha rushed into him, snatching scissors and magazines from his hands.

 

"You're SO mean! Get out of MY room!", yelled Samantha.

 

As Mulder -completely stunned and disoriented- didn't move, Samantha grabbed his hair and pulled as hard as she could.

 

"Ouch!" cried Mulder. Eyes closed by pain he suddenly stood up, touching his head where he could now feel a patch of hairless skin.

 

Holding his breath and anger, he opened quietly his eyes. The whole room was spinning around him, all the papers floating in the air, dancing in circles. He was surrounded by a surreal brightness preventing him from seeing anything else.

 

Unbalanced, unable to move, he managed to shout loudly, "Samantha? I'm sorry! Samantha, where are you ?"

 

The only answer he received was his echoed distorted words reverberating from all directions. Feeling queasy and dazzled he closed once again his eyes. Soon, an outright silence envelopped him, the piercing brightness disappeared, and he retrieved his sight and balance.

 

Whereas the scenery has completely changed, Mulder didn't look surprised. He also seemed to have completely forgotten his sister, his thoughts being now focused on the strange helix staircase raising up just in front of his feet. The whole structure was made of agglomerated papers and magazines -he could recognize part of the pictures he had cut-, nevertheless the construction somehow appeared solid and secure. Compelled to climb, Mulder began to put cautiously his feet one by one on the stairs. The steps were shaped as four giant letters A, T, G and C, the letter A being always paired with the T, the G with the C. After a few meters, he reached a first level, a tiny platform where he could stand in front of a human-size mirror. The first glimpse on the mirror gave him his usual reflection. Then, just on his mirrored head, small ripples surfaced, shapeshifting his face and hair into another person. He could still distinguish some of his own features, but they were melted with other ones. The hair weren't his and that's how he recognized the second face mixed with his.

 

"Deep Throat?", questioned Mulder out loud. He obtained no answers.

 

Nothing happening beyond this vision, Mulder resumed his ascension. After climbing a few meters, he reached a second similar platform. The same phenomena occurred, though, this time, he identified immediately his father Bill. He didn't say anything, feeling a lump in his throat. He touched the mirror, following the outlines of the strange face. He couldn't bear staying long in front of this hybrid, so he moved on. And then again... platforms. He left promptly the third, as soon as CSM made an apparition, and spent more time on the fourth. He was smiling while touching his own scalp, the sensation not matching the visual. He had indeed inherited Skinner's bald head. "Would Scully appreciate it?", thought Mulder, regaining a light heart.

 

Strangely, the fifth level was further than the previous ones. He was beginning to question the reality surrounding him when he reached it. The mirror was there lower and smaller, reflecting only his torso. He felt compelled to cross his arms on his chest. Once the gesture achieved, a baby materialized in his arms. Of course he wasn't just a baby, he was his baby. A vision he had never forgotten.

 

****

 

As Mulder waked up in the middle of the night, Scully was already aware that he had a perturbing dream. His worse nightmares were recurrent, if not frequent, and Scully's body and mind had learned to sense them and awaken her, whenever Mulder would need her comfort. Though, this time, Mulder was not frightened to death, nor in pain, nor sweat-soaked. He was concerned and puzzled.

 

"What happened, Mulder?", asked Scully while gently stroking his arms.

 

Mulder was surprisingly able to describe quite perfectly the dream he just had. The images and feelings hadn't vanished when he waked up. Arriving at the last step scene of his story, he hesitated and decided not to tell Scully what he saw. It would be too painful for both of them.

 

"Mulder, as you already told me often, dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask.", said Scully. "So, I think that..."

 

"....who's really my father? Did I win the genetic lottery? Severe or temperate baldness? Full amazing hair till my 70s?", cut off Mulder, while touching his hair, trying to retrieve the patch of naked skin of his dream.

 

Scully laughed at it and messed up his hair with her two hands while giving him little kisses all around his face.

 

Though, Mulder couldn't keep this light-hearted mood any longer. The last vision was now overwhelming him. Mulder took away Scully's hands from his hair, grasped gently her face, forcing her to look straight at him, and stared a few seconds into her eyes inquisitevely.

 

Hesitantly, he whispered slowly, "More seriously, Scully. Have you ever done...". He paused just a moment, then shyly and anxiously, added "you know, for William... a paternity test?"

 

 

Chapter Text

... and then, in a hazardous movement meant to protect Scully, he exposed himself to the evil psychic curse. He instantly passed out.

 

***

 

His first sensation was a great pain in his eyes, as if many long needles were piercing his eyeballs, reaching the optic nerves and injecting poison towards his brain. Trying to avoid the pain by concentrating on the thoughts of the whats, whens, hows, he only succeeded to bring back vague images and feelings of the foolish previous events. The effort became soon useless and, weakened and tired, he could no longer control his mind. A unique picture was forcing his way in his visual cortex and stayed, repelling all the earlier images. It was his sister Samantha, in her night dress and levitating in the air, surrounded by a blank brightness.

 

"Samantha! No!", muttered Mulder, laying in an hospital bed.

 

As she was dozing in a chair beside him, she didn't understand his words, but she instantly stood up to check him.

 

"Mulder, it's me", whispered softly Scully in his left ear. "Don't worry, you're okay. Your vitals are good."

 

Hearing her gave him immediately a great relief, psychologically and physically. He retrieved a normal voice if not a normal cortex.

 

"Scully... Where I am? What happened?"

 

"You're in an hospital. You're fine, I'm fine. Don't worry."

 

"Scully... What happened?"

 

"Can you feel one of my hand in yours? The other on your face? Concentrate on your senses."

 

Mulder was puzzled. Why Scully didn't really answer him? She has explained nothing to him. What was the meaning of her last words? His senses? Yes, if he payed attention, he could feel her on his skin, he could smell her scent. These sweet feelings made him smile, his body relax even more. Scully's thumb slid slowly from his cheeks to his lips, entered slightly in his mouth, reached his tongue. Yes, he could taste her perfectly. Though, there was a problem...

 

"Scully... Why can't I see you? Scully?" worried Mulder.

 

"Mulder... Listen carefully to me. We indeed think that you have anomalies affecting your visual perceptions, but the mechanism is not well understood and explained. There's nothing we can do yet. I want you to focus on your other senses. You'd have to be very patient."

 

"Scully... What do you mean? Am I blind?"

 

"In a way, I'm afraid... But it's surely temporary. A matter of days, or weeks... I can't say more."

 

Mulder tried to process the informations Scully gave him and relate them to the case they were investigating when the events occurred. Once again, pain, needles, brightness, Samantha, confusion were brought back, invading his brain and obscuring his thoughts. Even speaking a few words became more difficult.

 

"Scully... I don't understand... The curse... A painful image... forcing his way through my mind... Samantha..."

 

"You have to forget these things, I can't discuss them with you. You have to concentrate only on your immediate environment. Listen to me, sense me, just feel. Don't think too much."

 

***

 

She was still awake, cuddling him in her arms and watching over his sleep. It had been ten days since he came back home, since she had to take care of him the whole days and nights. She was tired by lack of sleep and lack of work on her imposed sick leave, upset that she couldn't figure out what really happened to Mulder as a MD, an investigator, a scientific, and even a partner. However, there were enough good sides in this ordeal to sustain her, actually both of them. They just had to let go all thoughts and worries, forget the case, just live in the moment, just share the daily intimacy of a regular couple and enjoy their endless sensual intercourses. For this was the empirical cure prescribed.

 

In the morning, sitting on the porch and drinking coffee, she was resting and meditating. The last night had been quieter than the previous ones, and the day before there were tiny signs that Mulder was recovering, even though no improvement seemed to occur concerning his sight. This blindness was of course the hardest element to manage, for both of them. But, just now, Scully welcomed this peaceful moment, rays of sunlight warming her face, closing her eyes. She was deeply breathing in some fresh air when she felt a warm radiance coming from behind her, touching her back and the bottom of her head. She held her breath a few seconds experiencing and enjoying that amazing sensation she hadn't felt for too long.

 

And then, without moving her head, she whispered, "Mulder, you awake? So... you have recovered your eyesight?"

 

"How do you know I'm here? I came to you very silently. You couldn't hear me. And how the hell can you guess for my eyes?", replied Mulder with an amused smiled.

 

Scully turned over and met his eyes.

 

"Mulder, I can always feel you when you gaze at me."

 

Chapter Text

If you were one of those birds of prey daring to fly above these dark woods, you would notice that something unusual was happening down on the spot you were used to avoid. Circling around the sinister ruins mingled with a wild vegetation, you would catch sight of strange movements on the ground level and see two chaotic groups of unidentified beings running away from the threatening center. And then, focusing with your eagle eyes on these two moving masses -one heading plain West the other plain East- you would be able to recognize two humans chased by wild unearthly animals you've never seen before.

 

If you were one of the flies trying to keep turning around two sweaty and smelly human beings, you would know that the one heading to the sunset was a red-haired woman, and the other moving in the exact opposite direction was a tall man. But if you were a fly you would certainly be more attracted by the strange dark forms shaped as tough dogs, red eyes glowing in the shadows, enthralled by their heavy deathly stink. You would then rejoin the horde of the monstruous flying bugs following these horrific beasts. Though, you would have a hard time to keep the quick pace, for this was a survival race...

 

...For the woman was running fast, in long identical strides despite her petite stature. You could tell she was a true runner, that she had trained regularly during so many years, that she was still an athlete despite her middle-age. Her whole body and mind were commited to the race in the forest, for that was a matter of death or life. Nothing else distracted her, not even her fear, not even her desperate situation, not even the loss of her partner, for she was only controlled by her primitive brain. On the opposite direction, as if they were two opposite poles of a compass needle, the man was also running away, escaping death. You could notice that his race was less efficient despite his tall legs, for his strides were slightly irregular. For he was more vulnerable, for a taste of pure fear has tainted his mind, for he had let worries about his partner penetrate too deeply his thoughts.

 


 

She didn't know how long she had run when her first conscious thoughts emerged in her brain. Still, they were focused on her own condition, as if thinking on a larger scale would make her miss a step.

"Run, jump, avoid obstacles... Don't look back, forget you have no more gun... Run, breathe...

Reach the end of these woods, reach civilization, I'll be safe... Can do it, don't weaken... I see the edges of the forest... Can do it, don't weaken..."

These were her primitive words of hopefulness.

"Run, escape, flee... Can do it... When I'll be there, I'll be safe... When I'll be there, I could continue to run, escape, flee... Run, escape, flee..."

Saying these three last words a few time as a mantra made her feel lighter, as if these specific words allowed her to throw away weight stones she had to carry for so long.

"Run, escape, flee... I could flee definitively this time, run away from the darkness, from the troubles. I have fled once, I can do it again. Run, escape, flee... I could have a normal life. Run, escape, flee... I can get free... Far away, I would be light... So light I could fly in the air. Run, escape, flee... "

And, indeed, her race became aerial and weightless, her feet seeming to glide over the irregular ground.

 

Meanwhile, the mind of her partner was very confused, reflecting his state of panic. He couldn't help looking back at his evil pursuers, and that was useless and unfortunate. For that was just undermining his psychological strength.

"Scully... Where are you?... Maybe she's safe... She managed to escape... She'll be safe... She has to flee... to flee all things... Scully... Leave me behind.... They are on me, not you... You deserve a normal life..."

And then he stopped and faced the monsters.

"Come on, fucking bastards!!"

Watching the foolish gesture at this moment you wouldn't have bet on him against the beasts.

But, unexpectedly, you would have seen him resume his run, strenghten and intensify his pace. For now he has a new goal, allow her partner to flee and let all the darkness chasing him.

 


 

A few minutes later, Scully felt a harsh stitch on her belly's left side, making her stop abruptly. The sharp pain was unbearable and soon spread upon her heart, squeezing it with an overwhelming pressure. Suddenly, as if the ache has awaken her, her true self came out.

"Mulder!! Mulder!!"

The unexpected revelation overpowered all the fibers and cells of her muscles, all the neurons and axons of her nervous system. She resumed her race with a new trajectory, turning straight to the South. A single word was now triggering her.

"Mulder!!"

 

At the same instant Mulder felt a warm and well-known sensation in his guts. He knew instinctively what to do, where to go. He has to head South as a North magnet pole being attracted by its opposite.

 


 

Mulder was the first to see the brightness in the sky, the indiscernible moving structure appearing not so far away beyond the high trees.

"At least I could be rescued by a flying saucer", thought Mulder.

He then put all his strengths to reach as fast as he could the surreal lights that came from the sky through the forest. At least, he could fight the monsters in the glimmer or be abducted by aliens.

 


 

Even from his hover flight above them, even overseeing the whole rescue operation from his chopper, Skinner wouldn't be able to describe what happened in details.

The situation was so confused on the ground, the chain of events so improbable and miraculous, that he would only be grateful to the providence to have been -once again- the Deus ex machina in the midst of an evil darkness.

 

As they are lifting off the ground, hung tight together in the rescue net, Mulder and Scully wouldn't know neither how they had eventually escaped. There were some injuries, wounds and blood -especially on Mulder's skin as he was the one who had fought the most the monstruous beasts-, but they were safe. There were a lot of confusion in their mind and thoughts, but only relief and recognition were expressed in their eyes as they stared into each other's.

 

"Mulder, I... I'm awful... When... I was fleeing... I was about to...", whispered Scully in a broken voice, as some unpleasant memories of her solitary escape were resurfacing.

"...No, Scully", interrupted Mulder, "forget your previous flight."

"Look, we are together now, flying in the air. Look, isn't it a wonderful romantic flight?", said a smiling Mulder, showing to Scully beautiful purple and pink clouds in the sunset.

 

 

Chapter Text

"Here it starts", Scully mumbles to herself, just after her sudden scream and gasp.

 

Since that bloody night decades ago, all along this years working and living beside or not far from him, Scully has learned to deal with the seasonal emergence of Mulder's subtle ghostly whims. Since that scary Eve night in 1998, almost every year when Halloween completely fades out and before Christmas celebrations, Scully witnesses signs of his peculiar spooky obsession. Throughout all these weeks and days lacking warmth and daylight, all these weeks and days easily hatred for their grey and rainy skies, at unexpected moments and without warnings, Mulder warms her up with his pranks and jokes, or deeply moves her by his romantic star-crossed lovers tales.

 

"Stop it, Mulder. You scared me. It's enough!", Scully chuckles while fighting with his arms and hands, trying to steal his flashlight.

 

It's usually the first sign, his first move. His classic creepy flashlight under the chin that catches her everytime and gives her the heebie-jeebies. From that starting point, he would do or tell crazy things every now and then, making completely nonsense to someone who doesn't know the truth, his truth. They have never really discussed it, but Scully knows that their confrontation with Maurice and Lyda, all the disturbing feelings they had experienced that night and their finally happy and joyful ending, had left pleasant meaningful scars and memories in Mulder's heart and soul. Yes, they don't know for sure what had happened this night. Yes, they almost shot each other. Yes, they were frightened to death. Yes, their psyches were deeply shaken by the two accurate spectral shrinks. Whereas Scully would not particularly want to relive these upsetting emotions, the truth is that Mulder would remain faithful and grateful to Maurice and Lyda's brutal life lesson.

 

"Mulder, I'm aging. Are you sure it's a good idea to scare me to death like that anymore?", Scully whispers in his right ear, maintaining his both hands above his head on the floor with her whole strength. They are now lying on the floor, her on top of him, after their lighthearted fight. Surrounded by shadows as the flashlight has vanished far away along the corridor, Mulder only answers to her by a sweet deep kiss and regular soft hips moves.

 

(To be continued...)

Chapter Text

Only a few seconds later, Mulder savors the power of the sensual answer he has made to Scully. Her muscles are already weakening above him, her hands are loosing their grips as her fingers are willing to slide on his forearms, and he can feel every inches of her inner and outer body completely melting. Taking advantage of her feebleness, he flips their position in a quick expert movement he's used to practice every now and then.

 

"We both are aging, Scully. Nevertheless, sorry, but not sorry. How could we ever stop to surprise ourselves, to make our hearts jerk into our chests and beat in crazy rhythms?", Mulder whispers on Scully's lips. He then picks up her left hand and places it on his chest, on the exact spot where his heart is knocking so hard and so frantically.

 

None of them is now able to move or to speak, they are just locking eyes and enjoying these endless seconds that are emphasized by Mulder's loud heartbeat.

 

A slight move in the far end of the corridor wrapped in the shadows catches Mulder's vision. He raises his head, squints his eyes, then smiles at the mirroring apparition and nods slowly his head.

 

"What? Mulder? Have you seen a ghost? Is it another of your prank?", Scully asks.

"Well... No... It's... I'm sorry," Mulder replies shyly, still focusing straight ahead.

"Mulder? Look at me. Is our house haunted?"

 

Mulder lowers his head and gives Scully his most soothing and charming smile.

"Our house will be haunted when we're dead, Scully. By us. In its walls, its floor, from the basement to the attic, we'll leave remains and relics of our unearthly bond for future paranormal archeologists and romantic ghost hunters. And we'll be the kindest ghosts and the cutest spirits of star-crossed lovers that would ever exist in the world."

"Wow... I'd love that. What about leaving a passionate trace just here?", Scully suggests in a shaky voice and with wet eyes.

"I'm totally in," Mulder replies, zeroing in now on the body and soul radiating in his arms, but not without surreptitiously glancing once more at the ethereal twin still standing further away.

 

(To be continued...)

 

Chapter Text

Two weeks before - Raleigh's Cemetery, North Carolina - All Souls' Day

 

Mulder has waited in his car until the sunset, and has then sneaked into the cemetery, seeking for quiet, loneliness and peacefulness. He is now seating on the moist grass, his back on a massive oak tree trunk, chewing sunflower seeds. He doesn't know where his grave was located decades ago, where exactly he was lying in his coffin deep in the ground -it doesn't really matter-. How strange, how unbelievable to have been there as a dead body and to eventually come and visit that tangible place yet haunted by imperceptible traces of his ephemeral stay.

 

As his right hand disappears in his seeds sack, a voice raises from behind the tree.

"Wanna share some with me?"

 

His upper body jerks, sending the package and almost all of its contents on the grass.

"You just can pick'em up, all of them... So I'd be safe for a while if you are what I think you could be," Mulder replies without daring looking elsewhere than at the discarded seeds.

"Wow, still able to make wits! I'm not at all a vampire, but I like chewing sunflowers seeds, or I used to like them. Don't be afraid, I'll come closer and face you," the oddly familiar voice says in a reassuring tone.

 

Mulder closes his eyes, focusing on his breath in a way to calm down. He decides to remain in his sitting position, afraid to faint in front of what, or who, his guts have guessed he would encounter.

"It's okay. You can open your eyes. You're safe. I'm standing a few meters away from you."

 

Mulder slowly raises his head, count down from ten to zero, then looks at the apparition.

"Wow! Wait a minute! Is it required to appear like that? Don't you have the decency to... to have clothes, and, well... to hide all these wounds and... holes," Mulder says, overwhelmed by the vision.

"I don't show my holes to just anyone... Just you. What you see is the exact condition in which I was found... you were found dead. Completely naked, and covered by dreadful alien scars. I'm sorry to inflict that truthful picture on you. I guess it's part of the process."

"The process?"

"You're here for a reason. I'm waiting for you for so many years. I'm so glad to encounter you. You still look so handsome. What are you now? Fifty how much?"

"Fifty too much... Yes, I'm in a good shape, but not as much as you are, well... without the injuries."

"There are more important things I want to know. How is she?"

"As beautiful as ever."

"Are you still... together? Together together?"

"Yes, we are, at last once again, from not so long and I hope for the rest of our lifes. We had had a tough journey as a couple for so many years... Now, I want to believe that we have reached a smooth happy path, and that we'll walk along together, holding our hands and never letting go."

"So, it's surely why we finally meet. Let's figure that out... together. First, you have to tell me your life. Well, the second part of your life, when you were resurrected. I don't know anything about it. My own life stopped in the alien ship."

 

Then, Mulder -the actual corporeal one- narrates the events of the last 18 years to the other Mulder -the younger, the... whatever he is-. It's not easy for him to condense in a short story -even if he takes his time- all the important facts, all the failures and dramas, all the pleasure and sadness, all the powerful feelings, all the love, all the loss... For this cathartic autobiography threw out loud in a disordered way, he is mainly emphasizing the painful milestones of all these years, focusing especially on his relationship with Scully, and finally mentioning his son through tears. He would have tell more on so many things, but he stops when he realizes that the ethereal man in front of him seems overwhelmed.

 

"Scully had my son in her womb when I was abducted by the spaceship?"

"Indeed... Wanna some seeds to swallow the news?"

"I can't pick up and chew any. You can see me, but look at me. I'm quite translucent, I'm just an incorporeal being, a spiritual Doppleganger."

"Are you real?"

"You'll figure that out. You are still an expert of the paranormal and a psychologist, remember."

"So what? What's next?"

"It's my turn."

"Your turn?"

"Yes. To tell my story, my truth."

"Don't I know it? You are me, I am you."

"Maybe you don't remember what was your exact state of mind when you was my age. Memory is highly selective, and you, we, have changed. Maybe it's the point. To look into your inner previous soul and to figure out how to get along your future."

 

Listening to a naked ghostly twin, Mulder is reliving as if it was once again the first time, all the first truly amazing intimate steps he has done with Scully, all the passion and the sparkles that were in his heart, for a few weeks before his abduction. There were so many details that he had indeed forgotten through the passing years.

 

"Do you hate me for having walked through the force field in Bellefleur? Will you ever forgive me for that?", the wounded Mulder asks shyly.

"Never. There's so many other things I can forgive myself. But I'm not hating you..."

 

After a few minutes of quietness and stillness for both of them, Mulder picks up the sunflower seeds sack and stands up.

 

"Well, I think it's time I come back home, to our house. Scully will be worried if I'm too late. I didn't really tell her where I was going. Will I see you again? Will you haunt this cemetery forever?"

"I really don't know. I'm not sure of what I am."

"Well... goodbye."

 

After a few steps towards the gates, Mulder hears his twin calling him.

"Hey!!"

Turning around, Mulder replies: "What? Do you want a ride?"

"No. I was just thinking... Maybe you'll see me again... Maybe you just have to listen fiercely to your heart."

"I'll do."

 

(The End)

 

Chapter Text

When she finally found him, sitting on the porch and facing the landscape in the sunrise, she stood still a few seconds. He hadn't heard or sensed her coming, and she didn't want to break his thoughts too abruptly. Not in that particular moment, not when she was witnessing these body gestures she had learned to notice in a flash. His eyes were closed, his right hand was slightly and slowly sliding down the middle of his chest along his ghostly scar, barely touching the sweatshirt he wore. She could only see his right side view, his perfect stubbly right cheek, but it was there that she could perceive all his inner tensions.

 

The muscle was prominent, hard and elongated, and would have manifested a stubborn resistance under her fingertips if she had tried to touch it. In many other circumstances she would have found it sexy as hell, as it has always been since she met him. But there were nuances in his jaw clenching, and this one was the hugely angsty one, leaving its aphrodisiac properties away.

 

As she had anticipated it, his jaw relaxed a few seconds later and his lips began to sligthly part away and form a feeble smile. This was the signal for her to resume her movements.

 

"Hi! I was searching you. Aren't you freezing?", Scully asked softly while sitting close to him.

"Morning... Freezing is part of my meditation process, a way to prepare my body to the winter to come. The real winter, and you know... the metaphorical winter," Mulder replied, giving Scully a smirk on his last words.

"Don't be silly, Mulder. And stop making jokes about our ages, please," Scully said while slapping him on his upper thigh.

"Ouch!"

 

He took her left hand in his two ones, squeezed it, and then his fingers played a long moment -seemingly on their own will- with all parts of her delicate hand. They were both watching the sun, rising in a perfect cloudless sky, bringing out the amazingly gorgeous colors of the fall.

 

"We have two beautiful days off ahead, and nothing important scheduled. Would you like to visit Martha's Vineyard?", Mulder asked.

"Sure, if you want to."

"We will go to the beach in the end, and when we come back home, I will smell the iodine perfume on your hair, admire your rosy freckled cheeks that would have suffered too much wind and sun, and, last but not least, the tip of my tongue will seek every tiny grain of sand hidden in any of your folds."

"Wow, Mulder... Can't wait for this trip."

 

*****

 

As promised, they were sitting on the beach, welcoming all the primitive and invigorating sensations the Ocean was bringing to them.

 

They were on Joseph Sylvia State Beach, and after being both quiet and still for a long time, Mulder was spreading out and sharing all his knowledge about the movie Jaws. With a lot of gestures, he was showing her where specific scenes had been filmed, while describing frame by frame some iconic parts of the movie. When he hummed the famous tense score, she stared at his mouth and his jaw, relieved to finally witness only joy and playfulness in ther moves.

 

Previously they had visited some of his childhood related places, and whereas they were stepping into harsh or bittersweet memories, Mulder remained lighthearted. His intention was to make peace with his past and to share with Scully some details of his childhood that he was surprised to rediscover just by the magical fact to be there. Scully had scrutinized his gestures, in particular the muscles of his jaw, decoding his mood and his tensions, willing to prevent and anticipate any depressing feelings. She had seen him clenching his jaw from time to time, but nothing really alarming.

 

Playing now in the sand with his both hands -digging, burying, scattering and letting the grains running through his fingers-, Mulder was discoursing about the relations between Jaws and Moby Dick. Scully was obviously more into the discussion, able to argue and enlighten his lecture. They eventually reached the memories of their conversation on a rock surrounded by the -waist height- waters of Heuvelmans Lake.

 

"Though, this alligator monster had really frightening jaws," Scully said softly.

Mulder perfectly heard the emotion hidden in her words.

"Scully, I am very sorry for Queequeg... And I know I have been quite an asshole at the time about him."

 

Scully turned her head and saw that the muscle on his right cheek was clenched. She raised her fingers and let them slide along it, the contraction weakening and becoming soft instantly. Then, she followed his perfect jaw line and reached his soft wet lips.

 

"Don't worry, it's okay. Do you know how hot you are when you are apologizing to me like that?"

Chapter Text

"Hi, what are you doing?" Mulder asked to Scully this Sunday morning. He was standing still on the threshold of their kitchen, seeing only Scully's backside. She was sitting on a chair, her hands seemingly performing technical movements.

"Hi! Just killing time taking care of our guns," Scully replied without turning her head.

 

Mulder moved forward quietly, slowly approaching Scully's back, his bare feet almost sliding on the floor. He couldn't reach her in heavy steps, it would have been a sacrilege towards his modern warrior goddess. Arrived behind her, he bent down to kiss the top of her head, closing his eyes and deeply inhaling her divine scent. Meanwhile, his left hand gently slid along her neck, her left shoulder and arm, then seized her heavy left breast, weighing the promising celestial nectar to come in a few months. His other hand reached her swollen belly and lingered there, caressing the soft silk pajamas above her miraculous womb and sending warmth and vibrations to their little angel.

"How hell is it possible to incarnate all female divinities in only one body and one soul?" Mulder whispered at last in her ear with a reverential tone.

Scully sighed and smiled, but replied nothing, knowing perfectly that there would be more -more worship, more adoration, more sweet words, caresses or looks-, just quietly keeping doing her profane task.

 

Mulder finally moved away and busied himself, picking up and gathering cooking ustensiles and vegetables in the kitchen. He put the whole on the table opposite to Scully, stood face to her and began to cook. He was willing to offer her a sumptuous meal -his own pagan oblation-, being the leader of a Sunday Scully's worship service she was the only one to witness. While peeling and chopping greens he was keeping an eye on her, observing her moves and admiring her dexterity. What was the most thrilling, what was mesmerizing his sight, sending him sparkles of proud and love in his heart, was the unbelievable picture of a Madonna handling guns.

 

Lost in his vision of Dana Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, images were resurfacing in his mind. They were overlapping the quiet and innocent scene playing out in front of him, old slides from his photographic memory projected over the real and animated Scully. First, she was a pony-tailed baby agent challenging his trust, facing him and fiercely pointing a gun that she would never put down first. Then, she switched in an even more determined badass G-woman, shooting him in the shoulder without blinking an eye. This day, surrounded and blurred by darkness and hallucinogens, he hadn't just been pierced by a bullet, there were arrows of love and care penetrating his skin and settling down in his heart forever. Then, she was morphing into the Devil Donnie killer, the Fury one, the goddess of vengeance he was afraid to encounter once more, the one she could became in a blink if some evil force would be bold enough to threaten him or their child. The crude and rough scene was playing again in front of him, the violence of her radical act punching his guts.

 

"Ouch!" Mulder screamed.

"Oh, Mulder... You have to stop scrutinizing me when you handle a sharp knife," Scully replied, in a tone she could use later on their daughter when she would mess around.

 

Mulder stood still, smiling shyly at Scully and waiting quietly. He didn't even watch his wound, didn't try to stop the bleeding. He was waiting for her to come, to take care of him in her M.D. shape, chasing the disturbing image of Scully as a murderer. He was waiting for his most efficient and natural painkiller, her touch and concern.

 

As she went close to him she grabbed a clean cloth, then checked quickly the injury and compressed the cut with one hand. Meanwhile, she took away the knife he was still holding. There was blood on the table, the knife and the vegetables. Raising her head, she dived into his eyes, seeing there all his vulnerability and sweetness. However, maybe smelling blood or thinking of the blade he had fumbled with, she remembered how decisive and purposeful his look had been when he had slit the throat of the man who was strangling her to death. Of course he could be a wild killer if he had to. And that was sexy as hell.

Chapter Text

"No, really, Scully, come on and watch it. You'll love it," Mulder shouted to Scully from his desk, where he was staring intensively at his laptop.

These last months, Scully was hearing too many "Hey, Scully, look at that. I love it!", or "I love these guys, they are amazing", "I loooove the gal who writes that", and so on, and so on... Mulder had found cryptic websites or obscure youtubers speaking about nerd topics that Scully wouldn't even want to know by herself. If any of these subjects could really become interesting --for both of them-- Mulder would let her know in a far more serious and persuasive way. He would explain her what seemed important, would synthetize information, would show her the main photos and videos. And, whatever the matter, he would intrigue her and she would be enthralled.

 

She could say he was good at that. He had years and years of practice, since their first meeting when he had made a slide show in the basement, just for her. Combining words, facts and images. Having a passionate tone, making his own persuasive gestures, sharing his enthusiasm. He was her showman. Her one-man show actor able to dive her into his spooky discoveries and theories.

 

"I'm not sure I'd want to see and love that right now, Mulder," Scully replied, sitting and relaxing on the couch, eyes closed. "Besides, I have a pain in my neck, moving up and down. I don't want to watch a little bright screen and..."

"It's okay, Scully", Mulder whispered close to her, having given up his research as soon as he had felt her discomfort. "Let's cuddle and let me massage you."

She let herself fall in his arms, his hands and fingers, his warmth and gentleness. He kept on whispering kind and sugar words, sliding smoothly in her veins and nerves like a magic secret balm.

 

As she sinked into a heavenly state of dreaminess, a reverie took place in her thoughts, her Mulder's Love Show.

 

She's her own producer, she's the only public. The stage is her mind, the showman is Mulder through the years. There are several parts in the Love Show, and it's never exactly the same performance, but there are some universal constants.

 

Today, he begins with a stand-up --not comedy, but poetic romance-- holding a mic in his right hand. With his amorous warm voice that deepens as he's aging on scene, he throws towards her lines and lines of declarations of love, without even pronuncing it. 'Love' is forbidden in this play --a word restricted for the things or nerd guys he loves in their daily lifes-- and the mere cliché 'I love you' is far too common and meaningless for them. He carefully chooses --has always chosen-- his words to make her reach the sky and the stars, to make her sense how transcendental and otherwordly is their relationship. She's his one in billions --she has to update the figure-- her touchstone, her homey, she's never just anything to him. She could never be bored to listen to the same words again and again, could never be satiated to feed her heart with them, would always wait for the next ones. He gets rid of the mic and makes a sign towards her with his hand. She has to come closer to the stage, because now he's the mature Mulder, the one who has to speak low, to whisper to her, as if they were surrounded by people or located in a sacred temple. Here comes the worshipping, the prayer for an eternal bond, the promise to stand by her side and listen to her forever, to keep believing in them and their harmonious reason and faith, to relight her candle and extend her prayers through his.

 

He then remains silent and begins his true close-up magic, face-shifting constantly from a young Fox to an aged one, in no order or logic. There comes his moving facial gestures that has made her long for so many years and continue to magnetize her. His intense gaze that sends burning arrows in her heart since they have met. His lovely smile, shy and head bent down as a young agent, wider, straighter and with deeper eyes wrinkles as years pass. Finally, his jaw clenching that turns her on immediately because she sees there all his vulnerability and sensibility.

 

Now, as he had made her --his only public-- climb up on stage, she becomes her partner in his act, her assistant who must be persuaded that she deserves to be in the spotlight. A strand of hair tossed behind her ear, a gentle caress on her chin, a forehead slowly bending down her own, a thumb lingering on her lips. Hands squeezing her shoulders then joining hers, and their fingers intertwined. Suddenly, a hand on her lower back --on the spot that had been specially shaped for nestling his comforting hand-- and he leads her into a slow dance.

 

As they are spinning together, their bodies so close and seemingly so young, the decor is changing. There's a bed, a soft light brought by candles, warmth in the air. They are in their bedroom, their sanctuary in their unremarkable house. They softly fall onto the bed, and they are laughing, their bodies entangled. But soon he becomes serious and hesitant. Without a word he asks her if he can, if she let her cross the line. He has the face and body of their happiest days, when they have shared absolute bliss before his abduction. She's always ready to reenact their firt times, this unique amazing peak of passion that she's grateful to have experienced in her lifetime. This is Mulder's Love Show, so he leads and directs the foreplay, even if it's not the truth of what had happened decades ago. Anyway, the script is never carved in stone, and the show has to ultimately end with minds and bodies in their fifties, acting their renewed and actual passionate lovemaking.

 

"Are you feeling better?" Mulder asked with his soft low voice.

Scully almost jolted as she was suddenly withdrawn from her reverie.

"Yes, thank you," Scully replied.

Then she stood up, took Mulder's hand and said:

"Come with me upstairs. I was attending a show and I don't want to miss the end."

Chapter Text

Mulder and Scully were shopping in the groceries store they are now used to frequent, close to their unremarkable house. That was just a mundane task they were sharing in their most casual clothes, as other ordinary old couples would do. They weren't as standard as the other ones wandering in the aisles but that was hard to notice. How could you tell they had spent half of their life chasing monsters as FBI Agents? That they were bound together by a relationship you would have a lack of words to describe? That they had both to perpetually bear a considerable weight of loss and sufferings in their heart and soul? Even if you were tracking them on CCTV, you couldn't tell. Surely, if you were a customer suddenly attracted by these two people and compelled to spy them for a while, you would have noticed the way they move and behave together, the tiny but ardent gestures or looks they share, the cryptic words they exchange, all both so banal nevertheless so intense and particular. Doing so you could define them as a more-than-twenty-five-years married or so couple, a woman and a man in their fifties that have spent a lifetime together, and you would envy all the mysteries and secrets of their exclusive relation that you could never suspect.

 

Scully was waiting beside the breakfast cereals shelf, quite bothered by their current mundane task --going shopping. She looked up at Mulder, standing a few meters further, staring at items he was holding in each hands. He had put on his black horn-rimmed glasses, trying to decipher the small writings on the labels. He then raised his head and stared back at her, a playful smile taking shape slowly and his eyes suddenly locking to hers, sending sparks of adoration through the air.

 

"Mmmhh...", Scully moaned out loud, completely aroused by her vision --a very explicit erotic moaning.

 

Immediately, the few people surrounding her turned around in unison and looked at her face with shocked expressions, trying to figure out what just happened --or rather whether what they thought had happened had really happened. Scully flushed and rushed towards Mulder, seeking shelter and oblivion, coming back in their bubble of intimacy where all the world around would vanished. Mulder took her in his arms, kissed her lips quickly nevertheless passionately, then whispered in her right ear:

"Oh, babe, you turned me on. Can you just hold back a few minutes more? Time to pay and go the car?"

Scully agreed and they finished their shopping faster than planned, avoiding and ignoring a few angry or envious looks aimed at them by strangers.

 

While retreating in the safety of their car, Scully was remembering how all this had started. Moaning so often, louder than ever. Moaning without restriction in public places just by staring at Mulder, or even looking at photos of his face in her phone. She remembered that late night in St Rachel Motel --or early morning after Chucky and Judy deaths--when Mulder had waited her behind the door, so damn looking hot. She had never been a huge noisy woman --especially before any real foreplay had begun-- but this moment had changed her forever. She had moaned just as she had opened the door, unable to keep inside all the fire that had instantly sparked in her belly. She had then moaned all along their shared moves, touches, kisses, interlacings and flesh blends. She had moaned so relentelessly and screamed so loudly when she had reached her climax that all the other clients must have heard her.

 

These moanings were the symbols of their new second chance together, of the bliss they were in since that day, of the felicity of their renewed mature love. She would never want to spoil that happiness and inner freedom, and she preferred to be ashamed of her public moanings than suppress and suffocate them. She had lost enough time in her life to bother about that sort of things. Now, her priority is to enjoy being with and loving Mulder, no matter what are the consequences.

Chapter Text

 

 

"Voici mon secret. Il est très simple : on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."/"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

 

The female red fox stepped out of the woods and trotted towards the unremarkable house she was used to frequent on her nocturnal wanderings. It was a safe and suitable place in her territory to find some tiny preys and various food. Every now and then, she could observe movements inside or outside the house and she would satisfy her curiosity about the humans living here, sticking around far longer than necessary. Sometimes, if she was lucky enough, she could watch the tall man sitting on the porch or standing in the yard eyes raised upon the sky. She would then spend time circling slowly around him, or staying quietly on the grass a few meters away, feeling attracted by this non-threatening being, his odor and his hypnotic low voice. Was the human aware of her presence? She wasn't sure, but if so, she felt no danger. Tonight, the weather was cold and quiet, a three-quarter moon in a cloudless sky bringing a bright light on the landscape --surely too much luminosity to remain unseen and discreet for the whole wildlife but the gracile red fox wouldn't mind moving into the open yard.

 

In the shared bed upstairs the unremarkable house, Mulder abruptly waked up from his recurrent nightmare. As usual he had been in that damn alien spaceship --or whatever hellish place it had been-- reliving too vividly the horrendous torture he had been through so many years ago. He knew that he would never ever come in peace with this part of his life, that the traumatic event would haunt him till his death. Though, time passing, he had somehow subdued and controlled the induced fears and traumas, lessening the toughest effects of the nocturnal nightmare on his body and mind. Tonight was one of these relatively preserved nights. He had been extracted from his bad dream suddenly but rather softly, knowing in a second where he was --in the safest place he could be, beside his beloved Scully-- and not being completely soaked by sweat. Hopefully, he hadn't awaken her --she was still sleeping deeply-- so, in an instant, any remaining trace of angst vanished.

 

Anticipating the one to two hours of insomnia he would have to go through, he took time to appreciate Scully's presence by his side. He noticed that she was lying askew in the bed and was hugely invading his personal space --actually, they weren't even located in their usual sides of the bed. They both had quickly fallen asleep while snuggling in their intimate postcoital cuddle and their positions hadn't really changed since, they were just more disentangled. Mulder was highly tempted to touch Scully, to slide his hand along her warm naked body then to linger on her miraculous swollen belly, but that would be unwise --she deserved the most peaceful sleep in the world. Instead he inhaled and sniffed her scent on every accessible part of flesh and hair, even on the pillows, the sheets and his hands. Among the mixed smells he was trying to discern Scully's different fragrances, to specify them --the long-lasting ones that would bring memories of their first close encounters in the basement or in his apartment, the recent ones that would recall him how blessed he was to have her once again by his side.

 

Now completely awaken and fulfilled by comforting and warm feelings he left the bed, grabbed clothes, dressed in the corridor and walked down the stairs. He poured water in a glass at the sink, and while drinking it beside the window he noticed the quiet weather and the cloudless sky. That was perfect to carry out some night rituals. He put on his warm coat and boots and got out. Once outside he slowly moved forward on the porch, allowing time for his eyes to familiarize with the semi-darkness, all ears and attentive to the surroundings. He finally walked down the yard, and raised his head to the stars and the moon.

"I can sense you are here, my little alter ego," Mulder said with a soft voice. "That's good to see you once again. Seems that we have always the same schedule."

He spent time to contemplate the sky, to let the starlight and the weight of the universe unleash his deepest emotions and thoughts, the ones that could only been revealed in such circumstances.

"I already told you, I'll be a father. It's huge and overwhelming, as much as the universe upon me. Time to redefine priorities and responsabilities."

He paused a few minutes.

" 'All men have stars but they are not the same things for different people.' Mine are Samantha. My sister has settled in any one of them and she is happy there, laughing loudly as she was used to do when we rode our bikes to the beach. 'At night I love to listen to the stars. It is like five hundred million little bells.' And if I'm lucky enough I can also witness falling stars. It's when Samantha remembers that's I'm here on Earth, waving at me and calling out my name... Fox."

He smiled and turned his head, looking in the direction of the red fox he could only vaguely discern.

"Fox. Can you imagine what it takes to be called by this name?"

He then gazed at the moon, its three-quarter face facing him and keeping an eye on the planet below.

"Here stands my mother. She looks after me but her care and attention periodically fluctuates. She sometimes even hides herself in the daylight, still having guilt and shame, not being able to completely and permanently face me and her past. But it's okay, I understand her feelings. Right now she's quite bright and radiant."

Though, not wanting to dig too much in his feelings about his mother, Mulder turned around and scanned the part of sky opposite to the moon, searching for satellites.

"There," Mulder said after a few minutes, pointing a moving tiny light. "There are the Lone Gunmen. Always together, packed like sardines in this highly technological van, spying and hacking, checking the whole planet and seeking conspiracies."

Mulder lowered his head and faced the animal.

"And my father? I must find him a place somewhere if I want to be one myself. It's hard and still unresolved. My feelings about him remain too wild and still troubled... For lack of a better, I could pretend that you would be him, whatever your gender, for how long you would want to encounter me. I sense that you are attracted to me, as I am to you, and yet we would have to tame each other. And when you are gone, I will still remember you, sticking around the house. What do you think of that, little wild fox?"

 

The red mammal was half hidden by a bush down the porch since the human had stepped out in the grass, searching lazily for odors and --unsuccessfully-- for tiny food. She had raised her head on these last human words, sniffing the air and trying to figure out why she was compelled to get closer to this being each time she was visiting the yard. The man turned back and softly climbed the stairs to the porch. Before entering the house, speaking more loudly in her direction in a authoritative tone, he said: "Don't leave! I'm coming back quickly!" After a few seconds of indecision, she walked forward to the place he was standing moments ago, lingering there, once more not able to leave, too intoxicated by the intricate smells hovering above her.

 


As soon as she heard the door creaking the red fox groveled instantly on the grass and remained still, hoping not to be seen by the human coming back, yet not at all afraid. Her instinct should have made her flee away or take shelter into the bushes or under the porch, but, once again, she behaved incautiously as if she was under a magic spell.

 

Mulder came back arms filled with his laptop and smartphone, a warm blanket and a sunflower seeds bag. He delicately dropped all his stuff on the relaxing chair, picked up the seeds and quietly moved to the top of the steps. He looked for the fox but couldn't see her, flattened as she was in the grass.

"I don't know if you are still here, but I believe so. Let me give you some seeds. It might not be a delicacy for you, yet it's something that links me to my father... the one who raised me," Mulder said out loud while spreading handfuls of seeds in the grass surrounding the foot of the porch stairs.

Then he settled into the armchair, making himself comfortable for the hour he would spend outside.

"Well, should I pretend you listen to me? If not... I'm just talking to myself out loud, is that a problem? As long as Scully doesn't know..."

He opened his laptop, picked and chewed some sunflower seeds. Waiting for the computer to start, he resumed his monologue.

"I have to make precise plans and projects for the future, when the baby is born. I want to stay at home for a while, be a full-time father before school arrives. Scully would soon need to socialize, to go to work, to save lifes at the hospital or wherever. You know, I have to convince her that I won't go astray or meet again the big black dog..."

 

At these words, the little red fox stood up. She had sniffed the sunflower seeds and, as she hadn't eaten enough since the night had fallen, found the odor very attractive --even intrinsically associated to the tall man. Keeping her eyes and nose on him --he seemed less threatening from where he was now standing-- she walked forward to the bottom of the steps.

 

"Go on, treat yourself my friend, those are harmless seeds," Mulder said with a huge smile.

"Those are not 'seeds of the baobab'... I had done my duty for so many years, I had suffered so much and made my beloved ones suffer even more. I'm tired of watching out for all the threatenings, all the darkness seeds growing up on our damn doomed Earth. True that 'a baobab is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet.' But for now, for a while, Scully and I deserve some peace..."

Mulder glanced at the fox, its head leaned over the sunflower seeds. The vision warmed his heart and gave him hope. Hope that he and Scully would be indeed in a happier path, hope that he would make peace and sense about his paternal linkages and feelings.

"Scully once said to me to write the darkness down, to put it in a book. It's what I will do. It's what I have begun to do these last nights. That would convince her that I'm serious about my plans. And there's more I want to do. Write stories for our kid, maybe for all the kids. 'I do not much like to take the tone of a moralist. But the danger of the baobabs is so little understood. Children, watch out for the baobabs!' That also sounds like a respectable purpose, isn't it?"

 

The fox was tasting the sunflower seeds, cracking and chewing them in her mouth, making too much noise. At first, she didn't notice that the human had moved unusually and swapped his laptop for his smartphone. Soon, she sensed the man's agitation even if he hadn't left his position on the porch. She raised her head in his direction and a bright flash hit her eyes. This time, she fled in a blink.

"Oh, shit!" she heard while running towards the woods.

 


When Mulder came back afterwards to the bedroom, he discovered that Scully was now lying straight on her side of the bed, still deeply sleeping. He undressed and settled under the sheets, delighted to feel remnants of Scully's presence on his side --her warmth, smells and some slight cavities on the mattress and the pillow. He fell alseep instantly.

 


 

Hours later, when the night was about to give way to the dawn, Scully waked up, needing to go to the toilet. The room was filled by Mulder's audible breathes, a sign he was profoundly sleeping. She wanted to linger a while, to get closer to his body, but she had imperatives to satisfy. She left the bed, put on her robe and went to the upstairs bathroom. Then she walked down to the kitchen and poured orange juice in a glass. Stepping towards the couch, she noticed all Mulder's stuff that had been laid on it hours ago. She knew that he was regularly up in the middle of the night, going through insomnia by working on something. Something he would explain to her later, when he's ready. She noticed that her smartphone had been moved, prominently displayed on the coffee table. A green light was blinking on it.

"Mulder...," Scully muttered.

 

She checked her phone and, indeed, she had received a message from him. Actually, two. On the first there was a photo, full of darkness, with a kind of blurry shape in its center. She read : "My new friend, a red fox I have tamed with sunflower seeds." She smiled, thinking of Mulder and his love for blurry photos of monsters. The second one was lightened --he must have used the flash for that one-- but she could only see a movement, red colored. She read : "I screwed up using the flash."

 

Remembering Mulder and his supposedly pictures of a were-monster, she grabbed the two notebooks and a pen she kept nearby. Months ago, when she had known she was pregnant, she had decided to write down memories for her future child. One notebook related to her childhood and her family, one other focusing on her relationship with Mulder. She would note every anecdotes, facts, remembrances, whenever they came to mind. She felt compelled to leave traces, clues that would explain her --their-- convoluted lifetime story. She had as well hope that her son William would read these words --she could sense that this was bound to happen, one day. That was also a way to ground herself for good in the unremarkable house and in their renewed couple. Soon they will form a true family, an almost common one --as they have so much desired it-- and they will have to redefine their lifes, their priorities, their responsabilities. Finishing to write the were-monster pic story, she thought about a day in her childhood, when she was out in the woods with Bill and Charlie and they had probably seen a big threatening animal. She wrote it down into the other notebook.

 

She didn't spent a long time downstairs and she was soon eager to get back to bed. She knew she would be able to quickly sleep again till late in the morning --this was the week-end-- apparently an advantage of her pregnancy. When she laid down and closed her eyes, Mulder began to snore.

"No, no... That can't be," Scully whispered.

But she was a woman of science and she had already made experiments. She slid her right thumb along Mulder's jaw line, appreciating the sound the stubble made under her nail, and reached his mouth. She rubbed his lower lips several times, then, as Mulder sightly opened his mouth, she leaned in and kissed him. Mulder exhaled a long breath coupled with a low moan and changed his position. His breathes became inaudible and Scully fell asleep.

 


 

Both the sunlight reaching them through the window and the songs of the birds on the roof made them give up their morning dreams. They both wake up late, almost at the same time.

 

Mulder was the first to completely emerge and, this time, he didn't prevent himself to touch Scully.

"Morning," Scully replied to his caresses.

"Morning, my beautiful rose."

"Oh? I'm a rose today?"

"Well, that suits you, isn't it? You have thorns to protect yourself 'against all the world'."

"Is it because you have read The Little Prince?" Scully said, pointing the book on Mulder's nightstand.

"You can say that. You know, this book is very inspiring."

"You have encountered the Little Prince's fox this night?"

"So, you have seen my messages... I hope I didn't screw up the whole taming process. I have frightened the poor animal with the flash I didn't want to activate."

"I'm sure the fox will come again."

"If you say so... 'You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.'"

"'You are responsible for your rose.'"

"Oh, Scully, you know how to turn me on."

 

Mulder get closer to Scully and took her whole body in his arms.

"'It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.' Now, I don't want to waste any time," Mulder whispered into Scully's ears while sliding his hands on her naked body.

"Neither do I," Scully replied, giving him back all his caresses.

"Do you love me, Scully, after all our misguided paths?"

"'Of course I love you. It is my fault that you have not known it all the while.'"

 

Chapter Text

Arlington Public Library

 

Mulder and Scully were enjoying visiting the Arlington Public Library. For themselves --both were readers and had always found pleasure to wander in a library-- and for expectations of the years to come --they had planned to bring their unborn child as soon as possible, and they even already liked to pick up and browse child books. They could now afford to spend more time in the building, Scully having slow down at work and Mulder essentially busying himself at home on his own schedule. They had no precise routines in the library, however they often split when arriving, each one following their own desire, requirement for work or just happenstance, then reunited in a random aisle and finally finished to linger together in the building for a while.

 

This day Mulder was the first to end his own path and had begun looking for Scully. He was heading for the children area via an obscure aisle filled by nonsense esoteric books when he saw Scully acting strangely right there in the spooky zone. He hurried to reach her and grabbed her right hand that was committing an offence.

"Scully? What are you doing? You, stealing a book?" Mulder whispered.

Scully immediately flushed and wasn't able to pronounce a word for almost one minute. Mulder didn't push her to give an explanation as he had quickly sensed how overwhelmed she was.

"It's a... Moby Dick kid book..." Scully managed to tell. "I... I couldn't help... all the memories coming back... I felt compelled to..."

"Okay then. Put the other books you didn't hide there. Hurry up!" Mulder said while dropping his own books on an empty place of the closest shelf.

Then he pulled her arm and dragged her toward the exit in a hurry.

"Mulder!" Scully shouted as she heard the dull noise of the volumes falling down to the floor --she hadn't had time to properly put her books beside Mulder's ones.

 

They didn't stop their purposeful quick strides until they reached their car in the parking lot. There, breathing faster than usual, they laughed like the two children they used to be so many decades ago.

"It's okay, Scully?" Mulder asked, suddenly recalling Scully's pregnancy. She was always in a so good shape that he could easily forget her condition.

"I'm fine, Mulder. Let's go back home before being caught as outlaws we have become."

 

Unremarkable House - Later in the evening

 

They were half-lying on the bed, encircled by pillows, Scully's body comfortably snuggled against Mulder's one, their faces, arms and chests lit by the flickering warm gleam brought by few candles put on their nightstands. Mulder, eyeglasses resting on his nose, was reading out loud for the fifth time the book they had illegally borrowed at the library, acting with his voice and gestures, showing and commenting the beautiful pictures to Scully, as if she was a child listening to her bedtime story.

 

"Enough?" Mulder asked when he finally closed the book.

"Yes, thank you. And promise me we would give it back tomorrow," Scully replied.

"Sure. We are still outsiders but no more outlaws... Though, I have highly enjoyed the thrill..."

 

Mulder put down his glasses and the book while Scully was blowing out the candles. Then, rearranging the pillows and the bed linen, they slid under the sheets and settled in their cuddle favorite position. They gradually fell asleep, wrapped in silence and a quietness they didn't break, both of them remembering bittersweet memories of their past when they were on the run and Mulder was a tangible and blatant outlaw.

 

Somewhere on an unremarkable road, in an unremarkable county - So many years ago

 

They had left the isolated log cabin in the woods for more than one hour and were driving now on an asphalt road, many luggage and belongings fulfilling the trunk and the back seats of their car. They had stayed and lived in this house for so many months --their true first home as a couple-- the danger had been so far away from them for so long that they had accumulated too many stuff in their cosy nest. The whole hadn't been able to fit into the car.

 

As they were now obviously surrounded by civilization and were about to dive and settle into a quite normal life after being so long on the run --at least for Scully, Mulder still bound to keep a low profile for a while-- Muder felt Scully's emotion and the tears she was holding back. He reached for her hand and squeezed it, while maintening his attention to the road.

"Are you okay, Scully?" he asked.

"I'm fine."

"Don't worry. Only mere happiness will come now. Soon we'll have the house you have ever dreamt of and you'll be a wonderful practicing MD in a pretty hospital. Well, I'm lying... maybe not the upper class house of a brain surgeon you'd deserve..."

"Thanks Mulder," Scully replied while smiling and squeezing back Mulder's hand.

 

A moment later she suddenly grabbed Mulder's right arm that was returned in its driving position.

"Mulder! Moby Dick! We didn't pack the book!" Scully shouted. "I've always wanted to bring it back..."

"Me too... We'll send money to the library. And Moby Dick will now have another life, surrounded by its companions, waiting for other readers..."

 

When they had settled in the cozy log cabin the sense of safety and comfort had came along and they had soon let go of Moby Dick and its associated evening ritual. They had stored the volume on a shelf that had been gradually filled by other books, Moby Dick becoming anonymous among them. All the books had been given up in the cabin.

 

"I guess I wanted to keep it as a souvenir," Scully whispered.

"We have our memories, Scully," Mulder softly replied. "You will always remember how it was, to be outlaws."

 

Somewhere in a secret place - So many months earlier the so many years earlier

 

At first Scully had been angry. They had taken too many risks this day, wandering in a not so small town, going shopping and then entering the public library. Too many people could have noticed them but Mulder wouldn't buy that --their disguises were on point, they perfectly knew how to avoid CCTV. Moreover he had needed access, documentation and informations that the library could easily provide and they both lacked simple social activities, distraction and a connection with humanity and culture. So, they have spent the afternoon in the library. And then, when they had left the town, heading for a series of secret locations where they would hide for weeks, Mulder had displayed a stolen book from under his clothes.

"Call me Ishmael," Mulder said.

"Mulder, what have you done!" Scully had shouted back.

 

Later in the evening, it didn't matter anymore, Mulder had managed to convince her. The stolen book would become their spiritual evening companion, a mean to discuss about human nature, fate and hope, truths and beliefs, white whales and peg legs. They would settle the more comfortably they could in whatever bed or makeshift mattress they would have and they would read Moby Dick out loud together --very often by candlelight or feeble flashlights. They could have been able to buy the novel in a bookshop but the illegal status of their one was a reminder of their own fugitive condition. The ink of the rubber stamp on the paper and the labels on its cover would recall them the carefree hours thay had spent in the library and would be a tangible bond to socialization.

 

One day the book would be returned to where he belongs and that would be the beginning of a new life. They would be free and no more outlaws.