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A Moment Through Time

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Chapter One

Dana Scully enjoyed a lovely, albeit boring Friday night. She ate a hearty meal of chicken and vegetables, took a luxurious Lavender soak in her bathtub, and managed two chapters of her current book before turning her bedside light out at 11 p.m. Of course, Mulder calls at 2 a.m. She doesn’t even have to guess anymore. NO ONE calls her at 2 a.m. Just like that, her lovely night is ruined. She lets it ring three times before reaching to lift the phone to her ear.
“Someone had better died, Mulder.” she deadpans.
“Hey Scully, it’s me. Whatcha doing?”
“I’m sleeping, Mulder. Well, I WAS sleeping. A perfect sleep, actually. I had a lovely night and went right to bed and 3 hours later, you’ve absolutely ruined it. What do you want?” she practically whines.
“Well, I’m so sorry, but per our talk about ‘not leaving our partner behind,’ I’m calling to let you know that The Lone Gunmen and myself are going out to do a little surveillance and, well, I’m not sure, but if you call me, I may not be able to talk.”
“Wait. What? Mulder, what the hell are you talking about?” Scully takes a deep breath in. Even when Mulder lets her know what he is doing, he’s still so damn cryptic, although she is happy he is communicating his whereabouts. That’s certainly an improvement over the old Mulder who left her hanging.
“Me and the guys, Scully, we’re doing a little undercover work on this scientist. I might be MIA for a couple days. So if you need me, call me. I just might not be able to call you back immediately.” He sighs, and she can tell he is in a hurry.
“Mulder, I don’t feel comfortable with this. Tell me where you’ll be. I’ll meet you.”
“Are you sure? I mean, I would have invited you if I thought you’d be interested in hanging with us guys.” He chuckles.
“A couple of days, undercover with four guys? No, Mulder. That is not my idea of fun. However, you always get into trouble without me. I think it would be safer for me to tag along this time. What’s the address?”
He gives her the information and they come up with a place along the way to meet up. After dressing warmly for the impending weather that is sure to hit tomorrow, Scully fluffs her hair, brushes her teeth, puts on some make-up, and applies the barest hint of perfume.
She grabs her gun, badge, and the directions and locks her front door. Making her way to her car, she wonders for the millionth time why she puts up with Mulder’s antics.
'Well he does have a fabulous derriere,' she thinks to herself.
She starts her car, putting the heater on and rubbing her hands together to ward off the cold.
“Yes, he certainly does.” A smile graces her face as she leaves her apartment building.

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An hour later, Scully finds herself in the front seat of a car with Mulder by her side. The Lone Gunmen fidget in the back seat, anxious for something to happen.
“What do you see, Mulder?” Langley asks for the fifth time.
“Nothing so far.” Mulder dryly responds.
Scully laughs under her breath. The boys are already driving Mulder bonkers, and that thrills her to no end.
Just then, a door opens at the side of the building.
“Hey, check it out.” Scully points toward a figure moving in the dark. Mulder puts the binoculars up and views the path of the lone scientist as he steps into a car.
“That’s him, boys. It looks like we might get to see that lab much sooner than we anticipated.” Mulder looks back to Scully with a smile on his face. Scully thinks he looks so young in that moment. Full of a zest for life and the thrill of the moment he is in.
'It looks good on him,' she muses.
Scully forces herself to look away, observing the scientist. When she’d arrived, Mulder gave her a file with the name Dr. Bayoumb scribbled across it. He was a quantum physicist working on arc reactors. A quantum physicist who apparently dabbled in molecular physics as well, and he had a secret. A secret that the Lone Gunmen really wanted to know and they dragged Mulder into the conspiracy.
Mulder brings the binoculars down and turns around.
“Everyone duck down!” He harshly whispers.
He puts his arm around Scully, pulling her upper back down to crouch against the seat.
“Mulder, what’s wrong?” She whispers, trying to breathe.
“Dr. Bayoumb. He’s driving right by us. It would be strange to see five people sitting in a car at 3 a.m., don’t you think?”
She blows out a breath, a sound of exasperation on the tail end of it. Mulder winks at her and she tries to hide her smile by grimacing.
'Damn him.'

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10 minutes later, Mulder and Scully are walking into the lab with the Lone Gunmen bringing up the rear. Frohike slides up next to Scully.
“You’re looking quite beautiful tonight, Dana.”
Scully raises an eyebrow as Mulder shoots daggers at the back of Frohike’s head. She can’t help the grin that appears.
“Thank you, Melvin. That’s very sweet of you to notice.”
Mulder breaks them up by steering Frohike toward Langly and Byers.
“Don’t even try it, Frohike. She’s WAY out of your league, man.”
“Speak for yourself. I have a way with the ladies.” Frohike smoothes down his jacket.
“Pffft. Yeah, at the retirement home.” Langly replies while searching through some files.
“I don’t think Frohike meant any harm. Agent Scully is a very pretty woman, and she’s probably outside all of our leagues. However, right now we have more important matters to focus on.” Byers replies.
Scully is practically blushing at this point and Mulder comes up behind her to whisper in her ear.
“Are you outside of my league, Scully?”
She tilts her head down and moves away from Mulder, deeper into the room until she comes upon a door to the lab. Knowing she has a way to escape, she turns to Mulder to answer, using a voice loud enough so the Lone Gunmen can hear.
“Well, Mulder. I don’t think anyone is out of any league, and I think believing in league theory is simply providing an excuse for one to not take chances in life; which can greatly contribute to a distorted self-perception. Believing ‘I’m not as pretty or rich or famous as them,” means you’re focused on putting yourself down instead of focusing on your redeeming qualities. You’re equating yourself and everyone around you to a subjective sense of worth that no one can determine. Mulder, you have many fine qualities that any woman would find attractive, and if someone doesn’t find value in them, then it’s not because they are out of your league. It’s simply not meant to be in the first place.”
Scully raises a lone eyebrow as she stares Mulder down, then expertly turns on a heel and enters the lab. Mulder stands still as a statue, his mouth slightly hanging open. Frohike lifts his hand to close Mulder’s mouth.
“Oh man. You are one lucky son of a bitch.” Frohike pats him on the back.
“Huh?” Mulder replies in a daze.
“She digs you, dude.” Langly says from behind a computer.
“What?” Mulder shakes his head slightly.
“I believe that Agent Scully just told you that there are no leagues in her mind, that you have MANY fine qualities, and anyone who doesn’t see these qualities can take a long walk off a short pier. Use your head, Mulder. Did you think she was here after seven years because she likes your ties?” Byers replies.
Mulder touches his tie fondly with a hurt expression.
“What’s wrong with my ties?” He asks.
Frohike smiles as he pushes Mulder toward the lab door.
“Go talk to her, man. And don’t screw it up! Cause if you do, I’m going to be right behind you with flowers and chocolate.”
“Frohike, Langly, let’s get back to work. We may not have that much time left.” Byers states as he sits down in front of a computer.
“Oh, Mulder. Whatever you do, don’t touch anything in that lab!” Langly yells out, but Mulder is already walking to the door, lost in the subtle perfume of Scully still present in the air.

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Mulder slips through the door quietly, observing Scully as she looks around the lab.
“So, find anything interesting?”
“Not yet.” Scully replies.
“So, the guys said something funny to me after you left.”
“Oh?”
“Yeah. They thought maybe you might, uhm-” Mulder fumbles, swallowing convulsively as he tinkers around with the equipment.
“Mulder?” Scully turns around to watch him.
“I mean I’m not saying that you. What I mean to say”-
The air around them suddenly changes: a surge of electricity. Mulder turns in a panic, rushing toward Scully. He’s not sure what button he hit, but he’s pretty sure it’s not going to end well.
“What did you do?” She asks as he wraps her in his arms.
“I don’t”-
A bright flash of light, like the sun going supernova, happens in front of them. They lean in to each other, closing their eyes. A moment later, a loud sound, like a crack of thunder, is heard, and the Lone Gunmen watch their friends disappear before their eyes.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two

The first thing she realizes is she can hear Mulder breathing in her ear. The second thing is she can feel his arms around her. The third thing is a feeling of confusion; like her body physically feels weird and her mind feels discombobulated. She doesn’t feel nauseous, or like she’s going to faint, but something is definitely off.
She opens her eyes, but everything is black against Mulder’s chest. She turns her head away from his face, looking over his right shoulder. They’re in a room, but not the lab they were in. This room is spacious, and they are surrounded by crates held down by ropes.
“Scully, do you feel that?”
“What is it, Mulder?” She turns her head to look up at him, observing the concerned look on his face.
“The ground is moving.”
Scully steps back, out of his arms, and waits. Sure enough, she feels a gentle sway.
Mulder looks around them, settles his gaze back on Scully, and takes a deep gulp of air.
“Scully, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
Scully laughs, because if she didn’t, she would cry. Something is definitely wrong, and yet, she feels like she knows this place.
“Mulder, I think we’re on a ship.”
“How can that be?”
“I don’t know, but there is a gentle sway going on that I can definitely feel, which means we’re on water. Also, if I’m not mistaken, this is a cargo hold. Look at all the crates and trunks tied down.” Her voice fades as she begins walking around.
Mulder loses his cool when she disappears behind a crate.
“Scully!” He shouts.
She leans her head around the crate.
“Mulder, calm down. I’m right here.”
“Calm down? Calm down! Scully, we were just TRANSPORTED from a lab to a ship? We just teleported! You think I need to calm down?”
“Yes, I do. Look, we don’t know what happened. Until we do, we need to stay calm. Now, it seems like we got here in one piece. Neither of us is sick or is showing signs of amnesia. Oh, before I forget.”
She reaches inside her pocket, takes out a box, opens it and hands Mulder a tablet.
“Take this now.”
Mulder takes the tablet and looks at her quizzically.
“It’s Dramamine, Mulder. I never go without it when I’m with you. Ever since, well, you remember.”
He does. He looks around forlornly.
“Scully, how am I supposed to take this? There’s no water?”
Scully scoffs at him.
“Jesus, Mulder. Just put it in your mouth and swallow the damn thing.” She leaves him once more to search the room.
Mulder throws the pill to the back of his throat, and then coughs a bit to get it down. He swallows a few times, sufficiently wetting his throat enough to be done with it, and goes in search of Scully.
He finds her a moment later, around a few crates, looking at a car. It’s at this moment that Mulder feels a sense of dread wash over his body.
“Scully, if this is what I think it is, then this is very bad. Very bad.”
“Mulder, ever since we came here, I’ve had this feeling like I know where we are. Like I’ve been here, but I swear I haven’t. Take this car. It’s so familiar to me, but I just can’t place it.”
“Do me a favor. Look for a very big crate with the name William Carter on it.”
“Why?”
“Just do it. Help me find it, Scully.”
Moments later, Scully finds the crate.
“Here it is. W.E. Carter. 1 case auto.”
Scully turns around, feeling quite proud until she sees Mulder’s face fall.
“What is it, Mulder? What’s wrong?”
Mulder puts his hands on her shoulders.
“Scully, that car belongs to William Carter. It’s a 1912 Renault Type CB Coupe de Ville. If we are on a boat, and that car is on a boat, and there’s a crate with Carter’s name on it, then that means…”
Scully’s eyes widen.
“What, Mulder?”
Mulder sighs.
“Scully, we’re on the Titanic. Which means we not only teleported to another location, but another time.”

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“Where the hell did they go, Byers?”
The three men run to the lab, searching around in vain for their friends.
“Jesus, they’re gone. They’re really gone, just like that.”
“Don’t worry, Frohike. We’ll get them back.” Langly promises as he begins searching the lab.

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Scully’s eyes narrow.
“Muullldddeerrrrr.” She rolls her eyes for emphasis.
Mulder sighs.
“I know, Scully. I know it sounds ludicrous. I know it sounds crazy. I know you have no reason to believe me, but it’s true. We are on the Titanic, which means the year is 1912. I can prove it.”
Scully crosses her arms over her chest.
“Okay. Prove it to me, Mulder.” Mulder smiles.
“There should be a spiral stairway near the bow which will take us all the way up to the D Deck, and down to the Fireman’s passage. If you take that, it will lead you to the boiler room and coal bunkers.”
They search for the stairway, finding it on the opposite end of the room.
“Go ahead. Open the door. It leads to the staircase.”
Scully opens the door. A spiral staircase comes into view. She looks up and down, realizes that Mulder is telling the truth, but can’t seem to bring herself to say it out loud.
They descend the stairs slowly, watching for anyone to intrude upon them, but no one does. It’s eerily quiet in this part of the ship. They arrive one landing down and stop in front of a door.
Scully gulps in a breath of air, filling her lungs deeply. She hadn’t realized how stifling the air was in the cargo hold. She opens the door to a narrow passage. Down the passage she can see a faint glow of yellow.
“What do you see, Scully?”
Scully tries to speak, only managing a little squeak.
“Come again?”
She clears her throat, quietly admitting the truth.
“I see a fireman’s passage, and what looks to be a boiler room further down.”
She forlornly closes the door, leaning heavily against it. Her chin begins to quiver as she clasps her hands into fists.
He can see she is trying to be strong. She’s trying to not cry in front of him. He knows she wants him to see her as an equal. He does, but even he has become emotional in front of her. He’s even lost his shit in front of her, crying with abandon once. She never judges him, so he’ll be damned if he judges her for it.
He takes her hands in his, feeling how cold they are, and puts them against his chest. He leans down a little, until they are eye to eye.
“I know, Scully. I know you’re scared. I am too. It’s okay to let yourself feel that. I’ve got you, and you’ve got me, right?”
He gives her that smile; the one he reserves for when one of them is in the hospital. The one that says, hey, at least we aren’t dead, right? It’s the smile that triggers her tears every time. One by one, they begin to fall.
“Oh, Mulder. What are we going to do?” She trembles out before wrapping her arms around his waist, squeezing herself against him. He welcomes it, snuggling her between his arms, leaning his chin on the top of her head.
He rocks her in his arms for some time.

Chapter Text

Chapter Three

When they both have taken a moment to grieve, and regroup, they part and walk up the stairs one landing. Once they enter the cargo hold again, they arrive back at the car. Mulder takes a seat on a crate nearby. Scully sits in the front passenger seat. They face each other.
“Well, Mulder. You seem to know a hell of a lot more about Titanic than I do. So, what can you tell me about it, and how do we get off it before it sinks?
Mulder sighs.
“Well, let’s go over the facts. The Titanic set sail shortly after 12 p.m. on April 10, 1912. She arrived in Cherbourg, France around 6:35 p.m. that night and left shortly after. She arrived in Queenstown, or Cobh, Ireland at 11:30 a.m. on April 11, 1912. There were passengers transferring on and off Titanic during both stops.”
Scully smiles hopefully.
“Don’t get your hopes up yet, Scully. We need to find out what day it is. Now, once Titanic left Cobh, she made her way across the Atlantic Ocean bound for New York City. About 375 miles south of Newfoundland, on April 14, 1912, at 11:40 p.m., she struck an iceberg, which caused the hull plates to buckle inwards along the starboard side and opened five of the 16 watertight compartments to the sea. However, she could only survive if four flooded. Two hours and 40 minutes later, at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, she sank. The RMS Carpathia arrived about two hours after she sank and rescued 705 survivors.”
Scully smoothes her hand over the steering wheel of the car.
“I guess I now know why I felt this was so familiar.”
“Why?”
“The movie, Mulder.”
“What movie?”
“Titanic? It came out a few years ago?”
“Ooohhh. I didn’t see it.”
“I did. I needed a little distraction…after Emily.” She sniffles.
“Yeah. I remember.”
He clears his throat.
“Uhm, so we are clearly in the cargo hold. It’s located on the Orlop Deck, which contains the lowest levels of the ship, so down here you will have the boilers, engines, turbines, generators, and the cargo hold. Now, passengers were prohibited from this area, because it was located so closely to the boiler rooms and because you don’t want to spend too much time in a cargo hold. There’s not much breathable air in here. No windows, no air flow. The good news is there are only two of us, and if we are very careful we can travel to other decks via the spiral staircase, but we don’t want to use it too much. If anyone sees us, it could completely alter the timeline. So we need to stay put, until we can implement our plan.”
“We have a plan?” Scully asks.
“Uhm. Yeah. With a little bit of luck, we just might.”

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“Okay, try it now!” Langly shouts.
Byers presses the button, but nothing happens.
“No. Not that one.”
“Shit,” Langly sighs. “Back to square one.”
Frohike pats him on the back.

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She’s been pacing since Mulder left 60 minutes ago.
It had been so simple. They searched through crates and found male clothing. Mulder took his clothes off and put them on. Scully obligingly turned her back for propriety. Mulder promised that he would go up to D Deck, inquire about the date and time, and then come back down.
It shouldn’t have taken more than 15 minutes, tops.
She worries her hands together as her pacing increases. She can feel anxiety rearing its ugly head. To tamp down her emotions, she goes back to the car and sits inside it. She goes through the Titanic movie in her head to distract her, remembering how her mom always says she looks so much like that girl who plays Rose. She laughs, and then has to stop a flood of tears from falling at the thought of never seeing her mom again.
Just then, the door to the cargo hold opens. Scully stays silent. Mulder told her that the crew might come through at any time, and he would give her a sign to let her know it was him.
A whistle, much like a bird call, is heard.
She bursts out of the car and runs full speed at him, stopping when she gets within enough distance to smack him on the arm.
“You scared me, Mulder! You were gone for over 60 minutes! You can’t do that to me right now!” The tears are coming down a little, even though she is wiping them away with her sleeve.
Mulder instantly feels bad and wraps her in his arms.
“I’m so sorry, Scully. I didn’t mean to make you worry, but I come bearing great news and a surprise.”
Scully wipes her face again. She sniffles a little.
“Mulder, I seriously doubt anything you tell me right now will be great news.”
Mulder pulls her back over to the car, and she notices that he is holding a paper bag.
“What’s in the bag, Mulder?”
“I’ll tell you in a moment. First, let me tell you what happened. So, I went up to D Deck. I was able to pop outside and meet a nice gentleman who gave me this.”
Mulder pulls out a newspaper and hands it to Scully.
“The Atlantic Daily Bulletin Newspaper. The Titanic had its own newspaper?”
“Yep. Look at the date.”
Scully looks around, finally settling her eyes on the date: April 11, 1912. She smiles up at Mulder.
“Is this current? Is today April 11?”
“Yep. It’s 7 a.m. on April 11. That means in a few short hours, Titanic will arrive in Queenstown.”
She wraps her arms around Mulder’s neck, the newspaper forgotten.
“We can get off the ship?”
“Yes, Scully. We are getting off the ship.” He feels a great big breath leave her, and for the first time since they left that lab, she seems to relax. Mulder pulls back slightly to continue his story.
“So I joined that nice gentleman on a walk, and he inquired about my wife, and I told him she was feeling poorly and would be staying in. He said if I needed to, I could take breakfast back to her. We went to where they were serving breakfast, and a nice waiter put this together for you. So, my wife, here is breakfast.”
Mulder pulls out various foods in separate bags – fruit, bacon, ham, sausage, boiled eggs, scones, rolls, corn bread, and jams. Scully wants to slap him for the wife remark, but she doesn’t as her eyes go wide.
“Jesus, Mulder. Where on earth were you to get all of this?”
“This isn’t even half of the first class dining. There was fish and oats and stew and omelets and steak with potatoes. Scully, it’s a feast up there! I tried to stick with neutral items though, to not blow the cover of you being sick. So, I got a little protein with a lot of carbs. Best to eat up as much of it as possible, as once we get off the ship, we don’t know what’s going to happen to us.”
Scully begins devouring the protein. With no utensils, they are forced to use their hands, but luckily Mulder brought napkins with him. In between bites, he continues his story.
“So, after I got breakfast, I began making my way back here, but something was nagging my brain. Something about the stop in Queenstown, and that’s when I remembered John Coffey.”
Scully swallows some bacon, looking curiously at him.
“Who’s John Coffey?”
“John was a crewman on this ship. He was a fireman in the boiler room. His hometown was Queenstown. Word is that the 23 year old John deserted the ship today.”
“What?” Scully’s mouth hung open.
“Yeah! I know. They never really talk about that stuff, but it really happened. John says that he made sure his shift was finished before the boats approached. One of the last ships to leave brought sacks of mail -- and John had carefully hidden himself under the burlap sacks of mail. When the boat reached the dock, John crept ashore undetected. He was still in Queenstown when news broke that the Titanic sunk. In the following weeks, he made world headlines – because he was the one who lived so he could be with his family. However, John says he didn’t get off the ship to see family, but because he had a strange foreboding about the ship and its voyage.”
Scully swallows the rest of her scone, wiping her mouth with her sleeve.
“Shut up!”
“I know! I know! Luckiest son of a bitch alive. So I was sitting there thinking, why would John have gotten spooked? I mean no one else is. Why was it only him, and then I thought about us being here, and how we know what’s going to happen. So, I put two and two together.”
Scully stops eating.
“Mulder, what did you do?” She begins to bite her lip.
“Think about it, Scully. We know the man already got off the ship because he had a premonition. It already happened. So if I tell him what’s going on, it’s not like I’m asking him to do anything different than what he’s already going to do, right?”
Scully thinks for a minute.
“I have to admit, I can’t find fault with that logic. If it’s already going to happen, then I don’t see the harm of telling him it’s going to happen. Unless, Mulder, has he already had the premonition or did he only have it because you said it?”
“No, he already had it. He’s been feeling it since they left dock in Southampton. When I went down to the boiler room, they practically ran me out of there, but I told them I needed to speak to John. I could barely understand him! He told me he’d been feeling weird about this whole voyage. He said something is just off. I told him something was off, and I and my wife felt it too. I asked him to take us with him when we reach Queenstown. He wondered how I knew he was going to desert. So I told him the truth. Said I was from the future and he was the only crewmember to desert the ship. Told him he would be known around the world as the luckiest man alive for listening to his gut. So he told me to stay here and he would come get us when it’s time. I told him not to tell a soul about us, and based on newspaper reports, it looks like John keeps his promise.”
Scully looks uneasy about the whole event, but she manages to swallow some corn bread before talking.
“Are you sure that was the wisest thing to say to him? Mulder, this could have serious consequences.”
“I’m sure, Scully. He’s full of superstitions anyways. He believes in signs and all sorts of phenomenon. He knew something was different about me based on the fact I knew he wanted to jump ship. How the heck would someone know that, unless it already happened?”
Scully smiles and shakes her head.
“That is pretty brilliant. So, what do we do now?”
“Now, we wait.”

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“What about now?” Frohike yells out.
“No, nothing. Dammit, what was the sequence?” Langly throws down his hands, the loud noise making Byers and Frohike pause.
“Hang in there, Langly. Just a little longer. We’ll bring them back.” Byers calls out.
“You really think we can bring them back?” Frohike whispers to him.
“What is it Mulder always says? I want to believe.” Byers responds.

Chapter Text

Chapter Four

Waiting turns out to be a lot harder when you don’t have the comforts of home around you. No cell phone, television, or books to pass the time. Mulder tells her there are books in many of the crates, but she can’t bring herself to take any. She even makes Mulder put the clothes he borrowed back into the crate so it looks like no one has been there. She wants to leave this place undisturbed.
30 minutes passes by quietly, before Mulder speaks again.
“We don’t have much to do until John comes for us. How about we play a game? 20 questions? I Spy?” He tries to smile, but fails miserably.
Scully smiles back anyways.
“Mulder, why don’t we just sit here and talk.”
Mulder looks stunned.
“Like TALK talk? Or just shoot the breeze talk?”
“No, I mean really talk. The kind of conversation we never really have about hopes, fears, dreams, and our past. We have nothing else to do. Let’s hash it out now.”
Mulder nods.
“How about we play truth or dare, except there is no dare, so it’s really just truth, and we can ask any question we want. Nothing is off limits.”
Scully thinks about it. She finally agrees, but only if she can go first. Mulder agrees.
“Okay. Truth. Why did you shut me out when Diana came back?”
“Jesus, Scully. You’re supposed to ease into those types of questions.” He shakes his head, but she doesn’t relent. Her steely eyes refuse to give him a break.
Mulder sighs.
“I didn’t mean to shut you out, Scully. There were things going on, things you don’t realize, that might have made it seem as if I shut you out, but I wasn’t trying to.”
“Clarify.”
“Nope. You only get one question.” He smiles.
She frowns, but lets it go.
“Since we’re playing hardball, why did you sleep with Jerse?”
“Mulder” She sighs.
“You promised, Scully. Nothing is off limits.”
“Fine. I somewhat slept with Jerse.”
Mulder scrunches up his face.
“Somewhat? You can’t somewhat sleep with someone!”
“Well, I did. Look, we got back to his place, and we kissed, and then, we began to make out, and some clothes came off, and then we went to his bedroom, and he got a condom and began to put it on, but something felt off. I don’t know what it was, but I just. Look I’ve never been very good at one night stands. I’m usually in a relationship and there are feelings involved, but that night with Ed, I wasn’t feeling anything. It was like I was numb and going through the motions? It scared me to not feel anything and be able to do that. So I asked him if we could stop. He was a perfect gentleman. He said okay and he held me for a while until we both calmed down, and then he gave me a shirt to wear to sleep in. He told me I could take the bed and he took the couch, and he kissed me goodnight and left the bedroom. The next thing I knew, it was morning and the police were knocking on Ed’s door. That’s it. That’s all that happened.”
Mulder looks away, chewing his lip.
“So, you didn’t sleep with him, but you made everyone think you did, including me.”
“If someone assumed I slept with Ed, then that’s their own fault. They should have come to me and asked.” Her nostrils flare slightly and her lips purse.
Mulder nods.
“You’re right. If I wanted to know, I should have asked. I was too scared, I guess. I’m sorry I assumed the outcome.”
“It’s okay.” She quietly responds.
“It’s your turn.”
“Oh. What did you do with your porn collection? I haven’t seen any of your movies or magazines for a while now.”
Mulder laughs nervously.
“I gave it all to Frohike a while back. He still thanks me for it when he sees me.”
“Why did you give it all to him?” She asks, her head dropping to watch her fingers play with a napkin.
Mulder finally looks at her face, observing her as she looks away.
“I had no need for it anymore.” He softly responds.
She looks up, keeping her breath even.
“Why didn’t you need it anymore?” She bites her lip, afraid to hear his answer, and afraid he won’t answer her at the same time.
“You know why.”
“Tell me anyway.”
He takes a deep breath and plunges ahead full steam.
“I don’t need my porn collection because I go to work every day with the only woman I want to fantasize about. The only woman I need. That collection can’t hold a candle to you, Scully. That’s why it’s gone.”
He looks down, afraid to see the disappointment in her face.
Scully looks away and blows out air through her mouth harshly. She fans her face to keep the tears from falling. When she feels like her nerves are under control, she responds.
“First of all”-
Mulder gets up and starts pacing.
“I know, Scully. I know. I’m an asshole, okay. I get it. Here you have to work twice as hard as all the male agents, and your partner is fantasizing about you not ten feet away. I get it. This is why I never told you. I don’t want you to feel like a sex object. I don’t, Scully. I see you as my equal. My partner. You’re the person I depend on the most. The one I want in the trenches right beside me. I hope you know that, and I hope knowing this doesn’t mean we can’t be partners anymore.”
Scully reaches out to him, grasping his hands in hers.
“Whoa whoa whoa! Mulder, let me speak before you start finding us new partners.”
Mulder looks down at his shoes, leaning on one foot while the other fidgets. He nods.
“I was going to say, first of all, thank you for finally telling me. I wasn’t sure where your feelings were, but now I do, and I’m happy I know. No more wondering, you know?” She smiles as she squeezes his hands.
Mulder blows out a breath. He can almost feel a “but” coming.
“Two, I’m glad your collection is gone, and that you gave it to Melvin. I’m sure he is very happy with it. And three, I feel the same.”
She pats his hand and sits down once more on the passenger front seat of the car.
Mulder blinks rapidly at her.
“I’m sorry. What was that?”
“Thank you?”
“No. The other one.”
“I’m happy you gave it to Melvin?”
“Nope. Keep going.”
“Ohhhhh. I feel the same.”
“Yeah. THAT ONE. Care to, I don’t know, expand on that. I’m pouring my soul out over here, Scully. You can’t just say, ‘oh hey, same man,’ and be done with it. You’re not getting off the hook that easy.”
Scully smiles a little.
“I’m not?” She pulls a lop-sided grin and her eyes squint a little.
“No, don’t even try that adorable little thing you do. I’m onto you. Spill it.”
“Alright, fine. All I meant was I feel the same as you. You’re my partner, you’re the one I want in the trenches with me, and you’re the one in my dreams.”
She gets shy, and puts her hand through her hair, pushing it behind her ear.
“Ssssooooooo. Are you saying you fantasize about me, Scully?”
She rolls her eyes and laughs.
“Muuulllddeerrr.” She bites her lip, but looks away, clearly embarrassed to admit such a thing.
“Just say yes or no, Scully. For me. I need to hear it.” He pleads.
She fidgets her foot against the car, but he can hear her quiet response as she answers in the positive.
He smiles, a massive, wide smile. Bigger than any smile she thinks she’s ever seen on him. It’s so big she can’t help but smile in return.
She gets up and turns around, opening the door to the backseat and climbing in.
“Come here, Mulder.”
“Why?” He inquires.
“Cause I need a hug right now. This has been an emotional conversation, and I’d like a little emotional support. You’re my partner. Get your ass in here.”
Mulder’s insides become mush. He clears his throat, gets up, and walks unsteadily to the back of the car.
“I live only to serve you, my dear.” He replies as he bows to her at the door.
She giggles and pats the seat next to her. He climbs in, leaving the door open for extra room. Throwing an arm around her shoulders, he leans his head in to rest against hers. She wraps an arm around his stomach, sighing in contentment, realizing there’s nowhere else she would rather be, right at this moment.

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“Scully, what exactly does this mean?”
“What do you mean?” She responds as she closes her eyes, listening to his heartbeat.
“Well, we’re going to be partners, but, are we going to date? Move in together? Have a family? Get married? Or, is this it? Are we going to be partners and keep it platonic?”
She can feel him hold his breath and his muscles tighten. He’s trying to be nonchalant about it, but his body is giving him away.
“Whoa, partner. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How about we take it one day at a time for now, and we utilize our weekends for being together.”
“So, we’re dating.”
She lifts up to look at his face.
“Yeah, but I hate dating. I mean I actually hate it, Mulder. Dressing up and trying to impress someone and spending all that money. I don’t want to date. I just want to spend time with you. Can we just do that and call it dating?”
“So you just want to hang at each other’s apartments?”
“Well, not exactly. We could hang at each other’s apartments and have dinner, watch a movie, have a beer and watch a basketball game? We could also go for walks, go shopping together for stuff, go to museums. I don’t want to have to be anyone but me. I want you to be you. No fancy nights or getting dressed up. Just together, like this.”
She leans her head back down on his chest, cuddling up to him even more.
“Yeah. I like the sound of that, Scully. I’m all for it.”
They sit, breathing evenly against each other, for what feels like hours, but is mere minutes, before Mulder speaks again.
“Uhm, Scully. Is there a bed involved in any of this non-dating we’re going to be doing on the weekends?”
She slaps him on the chest. He breaks out in laughter as he tries to block her slaps all over his body.
“You’re such a caveman, Mulder.” She shrills as she slaps him across the shoulder.
“Ouch! But I’m your caveman, Scully.” He gives her his sad puppy eyes, and she smiles as she pushes him away.
She sighs, realizing how happy she feels, as if a weight is lifted from her body.
“Mulder, I’m not ready for that. That’s not to say I don’t want to do anything. I’m just not ready for THAT. I will be, soon. I just need a little time to BE, you know? Just be in this moment and realize that, now, you and I are a ‘we.’ I want our first time to be-”
“Perfect?”
“No. That’s ludicrous. The first time is never perfect. There’s too much unknown, too much nervousness. I want our first time to be because it’s the right moment. I want us to wake up the next morning completely sated and happy with our actions. No regrets.”
“I agree. I want that for us too. I’ll tell you what. When you feel it is the right time, you let me know. Okay?”
She nods, leaning in to kiss him on the cheek, before placing her head once more on his chest. She feels like she could stay in this moment forever, surrounded by Mulder’s scent.

Chapter Text

Chapter Five

They stay that way until John walks into the cargo space. He calls out to Mulder, and they tell him where they are. John has with him some overalls for them to wear, so that they will look like crew members who work with him. After picking up their meal to toss later, Mulder and Scully put the overalls on over their clothes and bid farewell to the cargo hold. They put a cap over Scully’s hair and she wipes off her make-up. John hands them some black grease to wipe on their faces. Once he feels they are ready, they exit the cargo hold, and ascend to D Deck.

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“Hold on. Hold on. If I hit this one, then this, and then this one, I think I’ve got it. Hey fellas, I think I’ve got it!” Langly yells out.
Byers and Frohike give each other a high five before Langly looks toward them and gives them a thumbs up.

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It was as easy as John said it would be. Once the last of the mail is lowered in, the crate is left on its own for a few moments. All three discretely shove down to the bottom of the crate, completely covered, and no one is the wiser. John whispers to them to keep down, and not make a sound, until he gives them the okay. They nod to him. They feel the crate being lifted into the air, and the gentle sway as it transports to the smaller ship. They wait a few minutes until the smaller boat is close to the dock. John then gestures for them to follow him. They climb out from beneath the burlap sacks of mail, behind the crate, and when John gives the signal, they slide into the water. As the boat is so close to the dock, no one observes them as they swim to the other side. John is ahead of them, close to shore, when a loud noise makes him turn around in the water. He sees Mulder and Scully stop swimming, look at him, and before his very eyes, they disappear like they were never there. John hides beneath the dock, but it appears everyone on the boat is too pre-occupied with unloading.
“Caomhnaíonn Naomh sinn. Ní chreideann siad mé riamh.” John Coffey whispers to himself before he climbs out of the water.

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The air in the lab is electric, and Langly knows it’s time to get the hell out of there. He rushes toward the door, narrowly missing the bright flash of light that encompasses the lab. He’s on the other side just as the crack of thunder announces the arrival of Mulder and Scully, completely drenched in water, shaking, and holding each other.
The men watch from the window as the two partners pull back a little to look at their surroundings. The Lone Gunmen don’t wait long before moving each other out of the way to get to Mulder and Scully. They throw open the door, talking over each other.
“Jesus Christ! Is it really you?”
“Mulder, you’ll never believe what Langly had to do to get you two back.”
“It’s so good to see you two in one piece!”
Mulder puts a hand up to silence them, and then he points to the other room. They sulk, but relent to give them privacy.
Mulder holds Scully tightly. He wants to give her time, but he knows they can’t sit here for long. They’re drenched, and Dr. Bayoumb could be back anytime.
“Scully, we need to get up, get out of here, and go back to the car. Okay?”
Scully shakes her head. The feeling of moving through time and space in water was a little too much for her. She cannot move. Her body refuses to. She clings tighter to him.
Mulder sighs.
“Scully, I’d love nothing more than to sit here with you until you’re ready, but we can’t. We need to move, NOW.”
She pulls away, her lips trembling, her eyes frantic as they search his face. She sees the determination in his eyes. She nods.
“That’s my girl!”
They stand, and Mulder puts an arm across her waist to help her along. She’s disoriented and dazed, but bravely puts one foot in front of the other. They join the Lone Gunmen and make their way out of the building. In the car, Scully and Mulder take the back seat with Frohike, who takes off his jacket to wrap around Scully.
Scully is still out of sorts, and leans in to Mulder’s chest. Mulder wraps her in his arms, and looks to Frohike.
“Thanks, Frohike.”
“Anything for Dana. You know that.”
“And thanks you guys, for getting us back.”
Byers, who is driving, nods his head. Langly, in the passenger seat, turns around.
“I bet that was the craziest 20 minutes of your life, huh? What was it like?”
Mulder shakes his head in confusion.
“20 minutes? Are you sure? We were only gone 20 minutes?”
They all nod at him.
“Why? How long were you gone on your side?” Langly asks.
“Over eight hours.” Mulder responds, looking out the window, before looking down at Scully, who is starting to fall asleep.
“Eight hours? Far out, man!” Langly says as he looks toward Byers.
“That’s impressive, Mulder. We’ll need to go over everything when we get back to our place, if you don’t mind.”
Mulder laughs to himself.
“Byers, you wouldn’t believe me in a million years.”
Frohike looks worriedly at him.
“Mulder, what’s wrong with Dana?”
Mulder pats him on the arm.
“She’s okay, Frohike. She just needs a nice shower, some warm clothes, and sleep.”
Frohike nods, though he is far from satisfied with that answer.
“Hey fellas, can you take us to Scully’s car. I think it would be best to take her home now. We can catch up tomorrow about all of this?”
The guys nod, seeing that Scully really is out of it. They drive to her car, and Mulder carries her to the front seat, hooking her seat belt in, and kissing her on the forehead as he closes the door. He nods and waves to the guys, and then gets in her car to drive her home.

Chapter Text

Chapter Six

Once home, Mulder wakes up Scully gently to let her know where she is. He opens her door for her, and helps her up the stairs to her apartment. She is mute, hardly showing any emotion, and though that worries him, he knows there are more important things to deal with.
Once inside, he puts her purse and keys down and guides her to her bathroom, where he gets a bath going. He adds in Lavender bubble bath, and turns toward Scully to see her standing by the door, motionless. He walks to her, trying to soothe her by running his hands up and down her arms.
“Scully, I want you to get out of these wet clothes, get in the bath, and have a nice soak. I’m going to make you a cup of tea. I’ll be right back, okay?”
She nods, but her eyes are distant. She begins to take off Frohike’s jacket and her shirt before Mulder turns away and leaves the bathroom.
He hurriedly makes her favorite tea with some cookies, and then carries it to the bathroom. Scully is in the tub with her knees drawn up against her. Her hands are wrapped around her calves.
“Here you go, Scully, some nice tea and cookies. Would you like some now?”
She shakes her head.
“Not now, Mulder. Thank you.”
“Is there anything I can do for you? Anything at all?”
She sniffles a bit and looks at him.
“There is. Will you come in here with me?” Her voice is so quiet when she asks, it breaks his heart. He’s not used to fragile Scully. In fact, he’s pretty sure he’s never seen Scully this affected by an unknown force. Then again, they’ve never time traveled before.
“Uhm, Scully,”
“Please, Mulder. I need to feel you against me right now. I need comfort. Please.”
That does it for him. He rips off his clothes, not caring that she’s watching, not caring that she’ll see him naked. He cares about nothing but her happiness and he’ll do anything to see her smile again. He steps in behind her, leaning on his arms as his legs slide down the tub on either side of her thighs. He rests back against the rim of the tub, and she follows him, leaning against his chest. He wraps his arms around her stomach and her chest, realizing that one hand is close to her breast, but she doesn’t mind. She wraps her arms around his, sealing her next to him. Then, when he feels their heartbeats become one, he hears her soft sobbing.
He raises his head to her neck, his mouth next to her ear, as he soothes her with gentle words. She cries for some time, cries for the all mothers and children she could not save, even though common sense tells her there was nothing she could do. She cries for the anguish she felt at never seeing her family again, the strain of even living that life, however short, too much to bare. She cries for Mulder, for thinking that if he had to die, she was glad she would go at the same time. She cries for herself, for wasting so many years without acting on her feelings.

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At some point, she cries herself out, and turns on her side, her cheek against Mulder’s heartbeat. He nudges her gently, whispering for her to lean forward so he can get out. She watches, unashamed, as he rises from the tub, grabs a towel, and dries himself off. He grabs another towel and holds it up in front of him.
“Come here, Scully.”
She rises slowly, nervous, but somehow also calm. He watches her carefully, not waiting too long before wrapping the towel around her. He efficiently begins rubbing the towel against her skin, not too hard, but enough to get the job done. Once he finishes, he throws the towel on the counter and grabs he robe. She steps out of the tub and he wraps it around her, helping her put her arms through it and tying the sash for her.
“There we are. All warm and clean. Are you hungry at all?”
She shakes her head, putting a hand in her pocket.
“Okay. Tell me what you need.”
She smiles wryly at him and lifts a hand to cup his cheek.
“I need sleep, Mulder. Just sleep.”
He nods and they walk toward her bedroom. He leaves her on the bed to run back to the bathroom. He picks up his clothes and puts them in her living room, returns for the tea and throws that in her kitchen sink. He comes back to her bedroom planning to put her to bed and then change in her living room, but Scully has other plans. She’s already taken off her robe and changed into a night shirt. More accurately, she’s changed into one of HIS shirts. A shirt he’s been looking for almost a year. He has no idea how it came to be here, but he must admit it looks a hell of a lot better on her than him.
“So that’s what happened to my Knicks shirt.” He smiles as he watches her move around. She’s taking pillows off the bed, putting lotion on her hands, moving the towel to the hamper, taking clothes out of her drawers. He loves watching her, and for the first time, he feels like he can observe her freely.
“Mulder?”
Mulder shakes his head, realizing he’d started to daydream.
“What?”
“I asked if you were going to change?”
“Oh yeah. My clothes are in the living room.” He points to the other room, and watches her face fall.
“Oh, I didn’t realize you wanted to leave.” She picks up the clothes she’d placed on the bed, and Mulder realizes they are his clothes, put out for him. He rushes forward before she can move.
“Oh no. I don’t want to leave. I just wasn’t sure if you wanted me to stay?”
She stops and turns, lifting her head up to him.
“I’d understand if you wanted some time alone, but I’m here for as long as you need me, Scully. I always want to be with you.”
She smiles gratefully, putting the clothes down on the bed and turns to leave the room.
“I’m going to go lock up while you change.” She tells him as she walks out the door.

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Mulder changes as Scully washes the few dishes in the sink, turns out the lights, and makes sure the door is locked. She enters her bedroom and finds Mulder sitting on the bed. He rises quickly.
“I, uh, wasn’t sure which side you sleep on?”
She smiles sweetly as she pats his chest with her hand.
“I like the left side.” She states.
“Seriously?”
“Yes. Why?”
“I like the right side. I mean that honestly. I’ve always preferred it.”
“I think it’s meant to be, Mulder.” She replies cheekily as they move to their prospective sides.
He smiles gamely as he pulls back his covers.
“I noticed you didn’t put on your shirt. Are you hot?”
“Uh, no. I’m not cold either. I, uhm, I tend to sleep naked, Scully. Somehow I didn’t think it would be appropriate tonight.” He raises an eyebrow at her.
She laughs, trying not to blush.
“Thank you for that.”
He ends up on his back, his hands coming up behind his head. His light is already out, and she reaches to turn her light off before scooting down a bit and putting her head on his chest. He moves an arm down her back, rubbing up and down until he settles his hand on her shoulder.
“Remember that conversation about how fast our relationship was going to go?”
She smacks his chest.
“Shut up, Mulder.”
“Ow. Uncle! No, seriously. I just find it funny that 12 hours ago, we were friends, and six hours ago, we were dating, and now, we’re in bed together, but strangely, have yet to really kiss each other. I’m not saying we have to, mind you. We are going at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. I only say it because…isn’t life strange, Scully? I mean, did you ever see it happening like this?”
She sighs; wanting to stay up longer, but feeling sleep begin to take her slowly away.
“Honestly, no. I didn’t see this happening. Not this quickly. Yet, I feel oddly at peace right now. Somehow, this feels right. It feels good. It feels like we are finally on the same path, at the same time.”
“I feel the same. It’s downright”-
“Don’t you dare say it.”
“-spooky.” He smiles wide, laughing more to himself than anything else. She rolls her eyes, or at least he thinks she’s does as its dark in the room.
“You’re incorrigible, Mulder. Go to sleep.”
“Okay. Hey, Scully?”
“Yes, Mulder.”
“Have I said I loved you yet?”
She smiles against his chest.
“Outright? Yes, a long time ago.”
She raises her eyes to his, finding him in the dark.
“But in other ways, you’ve been saying it for years.”
“Oh, you caught those, huh?”
“Uh-huh.”
“Good.”
“Have I said I love you?”
He sucks in a deep breath, lets it out, and then rubs his eyes with his free hand.
“Outright? No, Scully, you haven’t.”
She raises her hand to his cheek, pulling him to look at her.
“But in other ways, you’ve been showing me for years.”
Her tears match his own. She knows he’s waited many years to hear that from her, and she lets out a breath she’d been holding. Once more, a deep pressure leaves her body, making her feel lighter than before.
She raises up to place her lips against his, softly, a peck more than anything else, but it lingers. She pulls back, decides she’d like to do it again, and moves her hand around his neck to pull him closer to her. Their lips meet together this time, and after a few seconds of suction, she pulls back to realign her lips to his from a different angle. The arm around her decides to get in on the action, coming up so his hand can nuzzle in her hair, pulling her closer to him. She’s not sure who dips their tongue in first, but after a few seconds, the kiss deepens even more. Her arms are now completely around his shoulders. He has a hand lost in her hair, but his other arm firmly wraps around her low back. She becomes light-headed, drunk on his kisses and tongue, and the possibilities of what he can do with those and his hands are driving her crazy. She eases back, slowly, ending the kiss in various small kisses around his lips and eyes. She ends it by finally kissing his forehead, before cuddling up against his chest again.
They both take a few moments to calm their rapidly beating hearts. She feels tension in his body, and the bulge at her hip leaves little to the imagination. She’s seen Mulder naked in a purely medical way. Mulder turned on? By her? Oh no. She has yet to see that, but based on what she can feel, she’s going to be very, very happy. She smiles, snuggling down even more against Mulder.
“Goodnight, Scully.”
“Goodnight, Mulder.”