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Marry Me

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Scully hung up her dress in the small room she had been directed to use inside the church. A portable crib had been set up, which she was glad for, as she might need to corral Faith in it as she got ready. 

“I can take her, Scully,” Mulder said, as he hung up Faith’s dress and set down the backpack. Her headband, tights, and shoes, together in a separate bag, were set on the table. 

“No, no. Us ladies need to get ready together, isn’t that right, my sweet?” she asked as she kissed Faith’s hands before Mulder handed her over. 

“I won’t take long to get ready, and Skinner will be here soon; he can help me out if I need it,” he said, giving her a look. “I don’t want you to feel rushed or anything.” 

“We have an hour, Mulder. We told Skinner 3 o’clock and the wedding is at 4; that’s plenty of time. I don’t want her dressed until as close to 4 as we can get. You remember Saint Patrick’s Day,” she said with a look, and he shuddered. 

Faith had worn a new green dress that day, and just before they had arrived at the local parade, a massive dirty diaper had ruined the dress, dirtied the car seat, and forced them to drive home with the windows down. 

“Yeah, I remember that day. Okay, well, call me and I’ll get her, or have Skinner come over. Take your time, my ladies.” He kissed Faith and then looked at Scully. “See you out there.” He smiled and she shook her head with a smile of her own. 

“See you out there,” she replied, kissing him before he left the room and closed the door. 

Faith looked at the door, then back at Scully, and then back to the door as she pointed. “Daddy will be back. Dada . He’ll be back soon, don’t worry my love.” She bounced her and made her smile before sitting on the love seat in the room. “Today Mama and Dada are getting married, my girl. Wow .. every word of that sentence is slightly bizarre.” 

She shook her head with a laugh, at the thought of not only getting married, but the little girl on her lap. “Faith, you don’t have the slightest idea the enormity of this day or of your existence, but you will. We will tell you. Daddy will continue his book for you, and you will see it every day with our love for each other, and for you.” She held Faith to her chest, stroking her hair and back, kissing the top of her head. 

They sat together, Scully’s eyes closed as she sang softly to her. No song in particular, the tune and humming all that mattered. Faith lifted her head and looked at Scully, touching her face and smiling. Scully made a silly face and Faith laughed. 

A knock sounded at the door and they both turned at the sound. “Who could that be?” Scully asked Faith, as they stood up. 

“Dana, it’s Walter,” she heard from the other side of the door.

“It’s Uncle Walter,” she said, looking at Faith. “How exciting. Is everything okay?” she asked, raising her voice. 

“Fine. Mulder sent me to check on you and Faith. Do you want me to take her?” 

“No, we’re okay,” she answered, slowly swaying her in her arms, and smiling. “Maybe in twenty minutes you could come and get her though?” 

“Okay. Twenty minutes,” he agreed and then he was gone. 

“Well, my love, looks like we better get started. I’m going to set you in the crib there with some toys, okay? Then we’ll get you changed and ready for the big moment.” She set Faith in the crib and put in some of her books and a snack cup with a few Cheerios inside. 

Scully set about fixing up her hair and makeup, listening to Faith play and eat her snack. When she was ready, aside from her dress, she laid the changing mat on the floor, and took Faith out of the crib. She grabbed her dress and laid it on the side of the crib. The bag of extras was also put in reachable distance as she sat on the floor and changed Faith’s diaper. She made her laugh by blowing on her belly, and then put on her tights. 

“Okay, now the dress, my sweet little girl,” she said, kissing her cheeks. She slipped it on over her legs, slid her arms through the straps, and zipped up the back. She sat her on the mat and put her headband on, with the bow off to one side. Last, she put on her shoes, smiling at how well the outfit had finally come together. 

“You are beautiful, Faith Mulder,” she whispered as she kissed her cheek and then stood up, bringing Faith with her. She double checked everything, making sure she was good to go, when there was another knock on the door. “Oh, your Uncle Walter is always so punctual.” She smiled as she opened the door and he stood there with his arms out, ready to take Faith from her. 

He did so quickly, telling her he had it under control, she would be okay, and he would be back for her soon. Scully waved goodbye and closed the door. Looking over at her dress hanging and ready for her to slip into, she smiled. Before she put the dress on though, she cleaned up the mess Faith had made, gathered up her clothes, books, and snack cup, and threw out her dirty diaper. 

Once everything was organized, she took the dress from the bag and stared at it, touching it softly. She took off her clothes and put them in the backpack. Taking the dress off the hanger, she stepped into it, and zipped it as far as she could. She stepped in front of the floor length mirror and stared at her reflection. The dress fit perfectly now, having been altered and taken in a couple of inches. Once again, she thought of how beautiful her mother had been in the dress and smiled at the new memories it would create. 

“Thanks again, Mom,” she whispered softly.

She took a deep breath and smiled, adding  another bobby pin to her hair, making sure it stayed where it was supposed to in the loose chignon she had created. Slipping on her shoes, she looked at her complete outfit, and smiled. 

Taking out her makeup bag, she grabbed the mascara and applied it to her eyelashes, waving her hand in front of her face to speed up the drying process. As she put it back, she heard a knock at the door. 

“Come in,” she called, and reached for the lipstick in her bag. Skinner popped his head in the door and she smiled as she caught his reflection in the mirror. “Come in.” She told him again and he stepped in all the way. 

She applied her lipstick as he walked closer to her, then dropped it back in the bag as she turned to him. He looked exceptionally handsome in a dark steel gray suit with a lighter gray button down shirt, which she had not noticed a few minutes ago. He shook his head slowly as he looked her up and down. 

“You look stunningly beautiful,” he said with a smile, bending to kiss her cheek. She did not kiss him back, not wanting to get lipstick on him. 

“Thank you. Could you zip it the rest of the way for me?” Turning around, she waited as he zipped it up. “Okay, I think that’s it. Oh, no. Wait.” 

She stepped to the small table across the room and picked up the boutonniere Mulder had brought home on Sunday after his afternoon with Tampa. It was one pink and one white cherry blossom sprig, tied together with a thin ribbon, closely matching the color of their dresses and Mulder’s tie. 

“How did he know this exact color, Mulder?” she asked yesterday morning, as she stood holding the container from the refrigerator in her hand. 

“Tampa wanted to know our colors,” he answered with a shrug. She stared at him and he smiled. “I sent him a picture of my tie so he had an idea and he had them made up for me to bring home.” 

“What else are you two planning?” she asked him, putting it back in the refrigerator, wondering what other surprises he had up his sleeve. 

“Sorry, Miss Scully, but that would be telling,” he said, making a zipping motion across his lips, and tossing away the imaginary key with a grin. 

She took the boutonniere out of the box now with a smile and walked over to Skinner. “This is not my idea, but I have to admit that it does look good. Don’t tell Mulder,” she said as she pinned it on his lapel. He hummed a chuckle and then she noticed his tie: midnight blue with tiny gray alien heads. With a soft laugh, she touched it, adjusting it a little, and giving him a look. “Mulder saw this no doubt?” 

“He did, but …” He stepped back and pulled up the leg of his pants. “He didn’t see these.” She laughed as she looked down at the matching socks. Lifting her eyes to his, he winked at her, and she pulled him in for a hug. 

“Thank you, Skinner … Walter,” she whispered. “Thank you for so many things.” He held her tightly and then let go, nodding at her as he stepped back.

“You ready?” 

“I am.” 

“Nervous?” 

“Would it be weird to hear that I am?” she laughed, and then took a deep breath. 

“No, I don’t think so. So how about we get this show on the road and calm those nerves?” he asked as he crooked his arm out and she threaded hers through it. One last look in the mirror, and they walked out the door. 

Down the hall they went, the church doors growing closer. Breathing out, Scully shook her head at the nervous feeling in her stomach. It was silly to feel that way, especially as they had come to the church today, from the home they shared. 

“You know, it’s not too late,” Skinner said softly, motioning toward the door outside. “We could make a run for it. I’m not as pretty as Mulder, but …” She glanced sideways at him, and he grinned. It was enough to break her nervousness and she laughed as she rested her head on his arm. 

“It’s a fine offer, but … a person can’t run away from their own heart,” she said quietly, stopping at the closed double doors of the church entrance and looking at Skinner. “That man in there took a piece of my heart the first day I met him. He didn’t do it knowingly, but it happened all the same. Every day I’ve spent with him, for over twenty years, a little piece of my heart has become his and vice versa. Sometimes it seems as though we’re playing an unending game of Risk, where the reward is not territory won, but love …  as sappy as that may sound.” 

“Sappy? Dana ...” Skinner said softly, shaking his head with a smile. “I watched you two for years, wondering when you were going to finally figure it out. To see what I saw. I teased you about the silent communication the other day, but it is truly something to witness. Not every partnership has that, work or marriage. But you two … I can’t describe it. It’s love, Dana. Sappy, messy, and beautiful. You two deserve it. This moment, that little girl, and … one day … maybe he’ll find you two again. So for now, sappy sounds pretty good.” He grinned and Scully shook her head as her eyes filled with tears. 

“Come on, don’t do this to me,” she whispered. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her. She dabbed at her eyes and took a deep breath, exhaling loudly. Closing her eyes briefly, she took another breath, then looked at him, scrunching her chin. 

“Ready?” he asked, sticking out his arm again. She nodded and handed him his handkerchief back. Taking his arm, she exhaled and Skinner knocked loudly on the door, and stepped them back a couple of steps. She looked at him in confusion, but he simply shrugged. 

She could hear movement on the other side of the doors and then soft music began to play. As the doors opened, she stood frozen in place, recognizing the song. It was Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. A song she had told Mulder, to the best of her recollection, only once, was the perfect wedding song. As she stood there, hearing the music begin to swell, knowing he chose it because she had said something about it years ago, it had never sounded so perfect or beautiful. 

She looked at Mulder at the end of the aisle waiting for her, Faith in his arms, and it hit her that they were actually doing this - getting married. Married. A man she might not have looked twice at, stood waiting to declare himself to her for the rest of their lives. Past, present, and future lives, they would always be together. She knew it and that knowledge made her take her first step forward. 

Skinner stepped with her and the pressure of his touch was the only thing stopping her from running headlong down the aisle, the way she had wanted to do when she was seven and taking her first communion. 

Years of extra study classes, she wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Her mother’s touch and warning tone had slowed her as Skinner’s gait did today, but for opposite reasons. The anticipation of communion had been more exciting than the actuality of it. 

This though … this would not be. 

“Slow, Dana. Enjoy this moment,” Skinner whispered, and she did as he said, slowing her step as she glanced to her left. She saw the candles where she and Mulder had come back to one another and as far as she was concerned, had been married in that moment, no priest needed. 

You didn’t flee, you saved us both. You didn’t give up on anything, Scully, least of all me, or us. You saved us.

I love you, Scully. More than you could ever quantify or understand.

She looked back at Mulder and wondered if he had the same thoughts, being here in this church. He smiled at her as they drew closer to the end of the aisle. Faith bounced in his arms, then reached for Scully as they walked up the stairs to the altar. Scully kissed her hands, but did not take her from Mulder. 

Skinner stepped closer, Scully’s arm dropping from his, and her hand reaching for Mulder’s. He handed Faith to Skinner and took both of Scully’s hands in his own. 

“You are so beautiful,” Mulder said to her and she smiled. He bent his head and kissed her. She put a hand on his face, holding him there, his lips soft on her own. 

“And may I add … my my,” she replied, her eyes flicking up and down his body. His black suit was perfect with the crisp white shirt and slate blue tie. He also had a cherry blossom boutonniere and his cologne was intoxicating. When her eyes met his, he raised his eyebrows and she smirked at him. 

A throat cleared and Scully looked to her left to find the priest grinning at them. She felt her face flush as she stepped back, her head down and a smile on her face as she took Mulder’s hand again. The priest cleared his throat once more and Mulder squeezed her hands. She looked up at him and he winked. 

“Fox and Dana, you have come here today to be joined in the eyes of God and man,” the priest began, and that was the last Scully heard from him. 

She stared at Mulder and saw him through the years. Standing in the rain, heat, snow, and wind. Running to catch a suspect or escape from something heinous. Their lives were lived in car rides, arguing over the radio station, and the proper temperature that was most desired. Airplanes and motel rooms, where they learned one another’s temperaments and pleasures. She knew by their fifth case that he would go out of his way for a good cheeseburger, but shrugged when the motel water ran brown for a few seconds. He knew she preferred to sleep without noise, so he kept his television low if they had adjoining rooms. 

Their lives were not normal, at least not compared to how others lived theirs, but it was their lives and their story, and still she would not change a day. Every twist and turn made them who they were and for that, she could find no fault as to how their path was laid out before them. She squeezed his hands and he squeezed back, a smile on his face. 

“Dana?” She turned and looked at the priest and he smiled. “Did you have some things you wanted to say?” She nodded and looked back at Mulder, taking a breath. 

“So many things I could say, promises I could make, but we’ve already said them all, here in this church in fact.” She laughed softly, and he smiled. “The most important thing I could say, all that truly matters, is that I love you. You hold the other half of my heart. I have been yours and you have been mine for so long, Mulder, this…” She waved her hand around before taking his hand again. “This is just a formality.” 

She smiled at him and he squeezed her hands. “That’s not exactly fair of you, Scully. You took some of my words,” he said, his face serious, but his eyes dancing, causing her to laugh. “Scully, you are my one in … what seven billion by now? It’s you, Scully. It’s been you since you came into my motel room that first case and bared yourself to me. Oh.” He looked at the priest with wide eyes and Scully laughed. “It’s not … see, she thought … it was mosquito bites, but …” 

“It’s okay. Please continue,” the priest said with a laugh, and Mulder sighed with relief. 

“I knew from that moment, Scully, that I could trust you, and that was all that mattered. That moment led us down a path, both together and separate, but now we’re here, finally getting it right. I love you so much,” he said, looking into her eyes, as she smiled at him. 

The priest began to speak again, but she did not hear him. She looked into Mulder’s eyes and saw herself reflected in them. How many times had she seen herself when she looked at him this way? Younger, greener, wide eyed with wonder and innocence. Older, experienced, hurt, and doubting the world around her. 

But she never doubted him.

Yes, they had stumbled, had nearly broken beyond repair, but never would she doubt his relentlessness and his drive to hold truth to power. His dedication to the truth and desire to bring light into the darkness was one of the reasons she fell in love with him. He was her center, always pointing north, showing her the way back when she strayed too far. 

“Dana?” 

“What?” she asked, jumping a little, surprised to see the priest standing there, her focus and thoughts being only on Mulder. They both chuckled at her and she shook her head, looking back at Mulder. 

“I asked if you would have Fox, to be your husband, in sickness and health, wealth and disparity, remaining faithful to him, parting only in death?” 

She smiled, her eyes wet with tears as she hoped to convey how much the two words she was about to say meant to her. Her love lived in her eyes, he had told her once when he had been reminiscing over the ways he had said he loved her in the past without actually saying the words. She had drawn a blank at the words she had spoken to him and looked at him in a panic, until he pulled her into his arms with a smile. 

Your love has and always will live in your eyes, Scully. I can be across the room and feel it on me. It’s quiet, yet it’s louder than a chorus of people, and I can hear it without hearing a sound. You look at me, with those big blue eyes, and that’s all I need. 

He smiled and she knew he had heard her, just as he always said he did, their silent communication being theirs and theirs alone. 

“I will.” 

“And will you, Fox, have Dana to be your wife, in sickness and health, wealth and disparity, remaining faithful to her, parting only in death?” 

Mulder stared at her, his grip on her hands tight, conveying to her the things he was thinking and feeling. She nodded as he had done and he smiled and nodded back. 

“I will.” 

“Have you the rings?” 

Skinner stepped close to her and handed her Mulder’s ring first. She held his hand, staring into his eyes, saying a million things without saying a word. Her love poured over into this simple act of sliding a band of gold onto his finger. When she felt his hand shake a little, she knew he understood. This was not commonplace and he had been so right in not going to the courthouse and being just a number. This was precisely how it should have been. 

Skinner handed Mulder hers next and cleared his throat, giving him a look. He smiled and Scully grinned at him as he stepped back with a wink. 

Mulder held her hand and slid the ring on her finger. She stared into his eyes, hearing all he was silently telling her. Love, adoration, thankfulness, hope, faith, and patience, all hung in the air and surrounded them. She felt love like she never had before and she could not stop the tears from spilling over. 

He let go of her hands and softly wiped her cheeks and then her eyes. He rested his forehead to hers and whispered his love for her. She nodded and they heard a throat clear again. 

“You got us in trouble,” he breathed, and she giggled, tears spilling out again, happiness unable to be contained. He wiped her cheeks and stepped back with a wink. 

“By the declaration of love and the giving of rings, you have been bonded together by a vow only death can break. By the power vested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride.” 

Mulder grinned and then his lips were on hers, kissing her with love and a promise of forever. She held his face and kissed him back, a promise sealed, vows unbreakable. 

Mulder pulled her close, swaying as he held her, whispering his thanks that she went along with this crazy plan. 

“It was exactly as it should have been,” she whispered and he hummed. 

When she pulled back, his hands stayed at her waist, his forehead against hers, his love whispered again. She heard a whistle and looked over to see Skinner whistling and clapping as he held Faith, who looked at him and then clapped her hands with a squeal of delight. 

He stepped over and hugged them both. The priest shook their hands and asked for Skinner to come with him to prepare the wedding certificate. Skinner handed Faith to Scully, kissing her cheek as he did. 

“It’s about time,” he said quietly, giving them each a stern look. They laughed and Scully held Faith close to her. Skinner walked off the altar and followed the priest, but they remained behind, taking a moment together. 

They looked at each other and Mulder kissed her again, taking Faith from her and kissing her cheek as he did. He pulled Scully to him and they stood in a close embrace. 

“Married, Scully,” he whispered. “Holy shit. Oh … sorry.” She looked at him and saw he was glancing up, his expression repentant. He looked down at her and she kissed him. 

“Holy shit indeed,” she said, and his eyes widened as he looked up and around, as though expecting the sky to fall on them. She laughed and Faith clapped her hands. Mulder lifted her up and she laughed. 

Once more they stood, holding one another, before Scully broke away and took Mulder’s arm. They walked down the stairs and down the aisle, Faith babbling loudly in the echo of the church. As they reached the end of the aisle, she glanced at the candles, pausing in her stride as she did. 

Looking up at him, he nodded with a smile, and they walked over to the candles. As they stepped into the alcove, her mind returned to the last time they stood there, their hearts sure, but their mouths tripping over the words. 

“I was pregnant,” she whispered, looking at him and then at Faith, whose eyes were big as she looked at the glowing candles. “I had no idea, and yet here we stood making a life changing decision. Our leap of faith, literally.” She touched Faith’s leg, then her back. “Mulder …” 

He nodded and reached for the matchstick beside him and lit it on a nearby candle. Holding it out to her, she held the end of it with him, and together they lit their candle. Mulder shook the flame out from the matchstick, set it down, and put his arm around her shoulder and she around his waist. 

She closed her eyes and offered up a prayer, for happiness, wisdom, guidance, and above all, love. Love that would shine on past angry words, sad moments, hurts that would seem so large but actually tiny in retrospect, and through any suffering they might experience in years to come. 

Opening her eyes, she squeezed his waist and then moved to hold his hand, their fingers locked together. “I love you, Mulder,” she said, looking into his eyes. 

“I love you, Scully, I mean, Mrs. Mulder. Oh … no. I regret saying that immediately,” he shuddered, with a disgusted look on his face. She laughed and Faith looked between them and then touched Mulder’s face with her hand. 

“Dada,” she said, looking at him and they froze. He looked at her and then let go of Scully’s hand to hold her tightly to his chest. 

“Oh, Faith,” he whispered, and Scully’s eyes filled with tears. “My little Squatch …” He held her close and shook his head. “My girl, I love you so much.” Pulling back, he looked at her and then at Scully, tears in his eyes as well. “Scully …” 

“I know.” 

He shook his head and then looked at Faith, kissing her forehead, whispering he loved her so much. He chuckled and Scully tilted her head, a curious smile on her face as she wiped her eyes. He shook his head and smiled, glancing at the candles. 

“A plus B equals C,” he said quietly, and she grinned. 

“That it does,” she answered softly. 

Once more they stood staring at one another in the light of the candles, a bond that began twenty six years ago and was reforged last year, that had now been made unbreakable. Wrapping her arms around him, she closed her eyes, her prayer now one of thankfulness and hope. 

Reason and faith in harmony, forever and always. 


Chapter Text

Mulder took out the base of Faith’s car seat and secured it into Skinner’s car, then walked back into the church. Scully and Skinner were standing in the lobby, laughing about something. Everything they brought with them had been loaded into their car. They just needed to add the car seat and Skinner would take Faith to the dinner location. 

“Everyone ready?” he asked as he walked up, clapping his hands together. They looked at him and nodded. “I hung her dress in the backseat, and one of the women there can redress her when you arrive.” 

“Are you insinuating that I can’t undress and redress a child?” Skinner asked, taking Faith from Scully. “She’s wearing one of those button shirt things. How hard can it be?” He scoffed and put his hand out for his car keys. Mulder smiled and handed them to him. 

“Okay, I stand corrected. I’m sure you can handle it. And it’s called a onesie, the button shirt thing ,” Mulder said with a smirk. 

“Whatever,” Skinner said, rolling his eyes. “I can handle it.” He looked at Scully and she shrugged with a smile. “You don’t think I can do it, either?” 

“I didn’t say that,” she replied. 

“You two …” He said, picking up the car seat and walking out of the church. Mulder grinned at her and reached for her hand. She took it and they followed Skinner out the door. 

After handing Faith back to Scully, he worked on getting the car seat inside, with Mulder giving him directions from the other side of the car. Finally, he got it hooked in correctly and he sighed loudly, red faced and shaking his head. 

When he took Faith from Scully however, he was gentle and smiled at her. He got her buckled in with ease and then nodded at them before getting in the car. As he started the engine, he rolled the windows down and they heard The Wheels on the Bus playing on the stereo. 

“Oh my God,” Mulder muttered and he heard Scully bite back a laugh. They pulled away and as they did, Mulder looked at her, both of them cracking up. 

“Oh, that was too much,” he said and she shook her head, covering her mouth. He took her hand and they walked to the car where he opened her door and kissed her before he walked to the driver’s side. 

“We have a stop to make before we join everyone for dinner, in case you were wondering why Skinner took Faith with him,” he explained as they put on their seat belts. She smiled and shook her head. 

“Mulder, I know you have some plans and little tricks up your sleeve; I’m just gonna roll with it,” she said, the happiness in her eyes warming his heart. 

“I’d say that’s a novel idea,” he said, reaching for her hand, bringing it to his lips, and kissing the back of it. She smiled and sighed as they drove away from the church. 

Without driving too far, he made one last right hand turn, and she looked at him with a huge grin. He smiled back and pulled into a parking spot, turned off the car, and told her to wait. Getting out and walking around the car, he opened her door, and extended his hand. She took it and then linked her arm through his as she got out. 

Closing the door, they silently walked until they reached a bench, or more accurately, their bench. He led her to sit down and then he sat beside her. She leaned her head against his shoulder and sighed. He smiled as he laid his head against hers and thought of the first time they had sat there together. 

The stench of the sewer hanging on him, he had been angry and overwhelmed by being alone after having had her by his side for a year. Listening to men discussing lap dances and other horribly disturbing things, he had felt lower than dirt every day when he went home. That particular day had been awful and then that night, she had found him and tried to help in any way she could. 

Y - you could request a transfer to Quantico. Come back to the Behavioral Science Unit.

They don't want us working together, Scully ... and right now, that's the only reason I can think of to stay.

“Huh,” he said, and she lifted her head to look up at him. “It’s just … a lot of memories were made on this bench. That first time, then we had lunch here sometimes. I’d … I came here on my own, after my abduction when things were hazy, then … when we were separated. I needed to think outside of the walls surrounding me, and every time I was here, I hoped you would somehow know, and you would show up.” 

“Mulder …” 

“This was the spot, Scully. But really, benches seem to be a place where life happens for us. Conversations, laughter, realizations. I wanted to come here before we met up with everyone, before it turned into an onslaught of well wishers. I wanted a moment with you,” he said, reaching for her hand. “A moment with my wife. Wow … that’s … something. I’ve never called anyone ‘my wife’ before, never thought I would … until you.” He sighed, his fingers touching the rings on her hand. He held his hand out and looked at his own ring, chuckling slightly. 

“What’s funny?” she asked. “Do I want to know?” 

“It just feels so real ,” he said, looking at it and holding her hand up next to his. 

“Ah, I see. Shackled for life, so to speak?” she teased, and he laughed. “Weight of the price of freedom?” 

“Jesus, Scully. Never would I think I’ve lost my freedom by being ‘shackled’ to you.” She laughed and he put their joined hands on his thigh, locking their fingers together. “We got it right in this life, Scully. I’d like to think that means we will in every life, no matter if you believe in it or not.” She sighed and squeezed his hand. 

“I can’t say that I completely believe in it, but I also can’t dismiss it outright,” she said quietly. 

“Ahh, Scully,” he smiled and closed his eyes. “You do keep me guessing.” 

“Hmm,” she chuckled softly. 

They sat quietly for a few minutes, thoughts of the day running through their heads. He rubbed her hand with his thumb, remembering the moment she had walked down the aisle with Skinner, and how his heart had pounded when she had stood beside him. 

“Did you hear anything the priest said?” she asked quietly and he grinned. 

“Other than asking about the vows and rings, I’m drawing a complete blank,” he answered and she laughed. 

“Me, too,” she said, shaking her head against his shoulder. “I love you, Mulder. All I could really think of was how much I love you. More than I’ve ever loved anyone.” 

“I concur wholeheartedly,” he said, kissing her head before resting his head on hers again. 

Quiet again, they sat on the bench for a few more minutes as the warm air blew around them. He squeezed her hand and then let it go, kissing her head again, and rubbing his hands together. 

“Okay, I think it’s time we got going,” he said and she raised her head from his shoulder. “Oh, wait. Did you get a chance to look at your ring?” 

She looked at it on her finger and then at him. He raised his eyebrows and looked at her hand. She looked down at it again, turning her hand over before looking at him again. 

“Oh come on, Agent Scully,” he said, rolling his eyes. “Look a little harder than that; investigate it, if you will.” 

She quirked her mouth at him and took off the ring, turning it around and looking until she saw the inscription. She whispered the dates and then her eyes filled with tears. 

January 1999 … when you knew for sure. Mulder, that email …” She wiped her eyes and smiled, scrunching her chin in the way he found so endearing. “I …it was exactly what I needed to hear, and the hardest thing I’d ever read. It broke my heart and fixed it all at once.” He cupped her face and stroked her cheek with his thumb. She put her hand on his wrist and he smiled. “ March 2018 … Mulder …” 

She stared at him and he nodded, holding her face in both hands. He leaned forward and kissed her softly. “Thank you,” she whispered when he rested his forehead against hers. He took the ring from her and slid it back on, rubbing his thumb over it. 

“What about you, Agent Mulder?” she asked, moving back and staring at him. He looked at her confusedly, and she grinned. “Have you investigated anything?” She raised her eyebrows and he answered as he raised his own, sliding his ring off his finger. 

He held it and looked around the plain gold band, searching for an inscription. When he found it, he felt like weeping. Four words, four small words that meant so much. 

We didn’t give up. 

He pulled her to him and held her tightly. “Oh, Scully. Thank you. I love you so much.” She hummed close to his ear and he closed his eyes, her scent and her love enveloping him as her arms wrapped tightly around his waist. 

Pulling back a minute later, he kissed her and felt her hand on his, opening his fist. She took the ring out of his hand and slid it back on his finger, keeping her eyes on him the entire time. He squeezed her hand when she was done and kissed her softly. 

Standing up, he pulled her to her feet and into a quick embrace. Taking her hand, he looked at the bench where he had spent both good and bad times. The good outweighed the bad as he remembered her laughter, as they had sat and shared lunch, so many years ago. 

Glancing at her now, he smiled and squeezed her hand. Locking their fingers together, he looked at the bench once more before stepping away from it. He knew he would not visit it again in a lonely or confused state of mind; only happy reasons from here on out. 

“Let’s do this,” he said quietly and she nodded with a smile. He squeezed her hand, and they walked back to the car. 

Ten minutes into their drive, he looked at her. “Scully, I’m going to need you to close your eyes for the rest of the journey.” 

“Excuse me?” 

“It’s a surprise and I would appreciate if you kept it that way,” he said, giving her a stern look. “I’m your husband now, you have to do what I say.” He teased and then received the anticipated pinch, laughing as he yelped. “Please though, it IS a surprise.” She looked at him and raised her eyebrows but did as he asked, closing her eyes and crossing her arms. 

“No peeking,” he added and she huffed out a reply. 

He made a few extra turns to throw her off, knowing she was more than likely mapping out the drive in her head. He glanced at her and watched her forehead crease and knew he was right. Smiling, he made the last turn and then stopped the car, put it in park, and shut it off. 

“Okay, you can open your eyes now,” he said quietly. Opening them slowly, she blinked in the evening light, then turned to him in confusion. 

“We’re at my mother’s house,” she said with a slight shake of her head. He nodded and unbuckled his seatbelt, getting out and coming around to her door once again. “Mulder?” 

Taking her hand, he helped her out and closed the door. Raising his head, he looked at her and sighed. “When I thought of all the places we could choose, none of them felt right. The way you felt about your dress, it’s how I felt about a place to celebrate. This was the only answer to me. It’s where we would be, at your mother’s insistence, if she was still here.” He smiled softly and she nodded. 

“She would insist on it,” she whispered. 

“So, let’s listen to her,” he said, stroking her cheek and she nodded again. He put his arm around her shoulder and she around his waist, and they walked to the door. Pausing before he opened it, he looked at her, smiling and then kissing her. 

Opening the door he heard her gasp and he watched her see all that had been planned when she had been told not to come with him. “Oh, Mulder …” she breathed and he smiled, looking around the room. 

Furniture had been removed from the room. The two couches, coffee table and side tables, lamps, had all been cleared out to make space for the two round tables and chairs in the center of the room. The tables were covered with beige tablecloths as discussed; the cherry blossom plates laid out with the wooden chargers beneath them. The candles glowed brightly from the tables and in various spots around the room. 

Four large potted trees, with white lights wrapped around them, were set up throughout the room, giving it a soft calming glow. They walked further into the room and they could smell the meal being prepared. Mulder’s stomach growled loudly and Scully laughed as she stared at him, her eyes shining. 

“Mulder, this is all so beautiful … oh my God …” She trailed off and he knew what she had seen. Stepping away from him, she walked over toward the wall, her hand reaching behind her, silently asking him to join her. He grasped her fingers and let her pull him along. 

A shelf had been cleared and short white candles had been added to it. Behind it was a framed photo of Maggie Scully. Being that they had not taken recent pictures, Mulder had gotten in touch with Louise and asked for her assistance. After she had stopped crying, she had said she would be happy to help, and within minutes had sent over ten different pictures. 

The one he chose was his favorite. Louise had taken it the last time they were at the lake house. Maggie was sitting on the dock, looking over her left shoulder, directly at the camera. She had a small, almost secret smile on her face. The sun was setting and the colors captured within the picture were breathtaking. This was the Maggie who had come to the house every week making sure he was okay. Bringing him food, friendship, and the love of a mother who wanted the best for her son. 

“Mulder,” Scully said, looking at the photo and then at him, tears filling her eyes and spilling down her cheeks. “I’ve never seen this picture before. She’s so beautiful.” She shook her head as she looked back at the picture. 

“I asked Louise for some help. This was my favorite of the ones she sent me,” he told her, smiling at the picture of Maggie. 

“It’s wonderful, thank you,” she whispered and wrapped her arms around him. He held her and closed his eyes, wishing Maggie was there to share this day with them. 

“Oh my Lord!” A loud voice said behind them and they turned around together. Tampa was walking toward them, clapping his hands with a huge smile on his face. “Look at you two! Gorgeous as hell.” He walked over to Scully and wrapped her into a giant hug, lifting her off the ground, causing her to laugh. 

“Finally, you’ve made it,” he said, shaking Mulder’s hand and grinning at them. 

“It looks beautiful in here,” Scully said, looking around and wiping her eyes. “You and my mother would have made a fantastic team. She would have loved every second of this. Oh ... Tampa.” She walked away from them and toward the dining room table. Mulder grinned at Tampa and they followed her over. 

The table was covered with beige tablecloths as well and the same large wooden candle holders as on the round tables near the edges. In the middle was a dark purple vase, nearly black, with white and pink cherry blossom branches inside of it. 

Around the vase sat pictures of various sizes. A few family pictures from years ago from both Mulder and Scully households, but the majority of them were of Mulder and Scully. Pictures her mother had taken, some she had taken of him, and some he had of her. Then there were pictures of Faith alone, and with them. Pictures of her sleeping on Mulder’s chest, cuddling with Scully in bed, sitting on the porch swing, inside the spaceship at the amusement park they visited, and the three of them sporting alien head headbands, smiling for the camera. 

Scully shook her head as she touched each picture, and then turned to them with tears on her cheeks. “I was wrong. I needed today to be exactly this way. You were both right and I admit that I was wrong.” Mulder smiled at her, no desire to say he told her so, not when she freely admitted she had been wrong. 

“Damn straight you were wrong,” Tampa said, throwing up his hands. “You look the way you do, he looks how he does, you have this tangled beautiful love story, that gorgeous little girl … yes, this day needed to be amazing. Come on, woman!” He shook his head and they both laughed. Scully wiped her eyes and hugged him again. 

“Okay! Enough mushiness for now,” Tampa said, pulling back from her and waving them away. “I have things to do and everyone is out back with your girl. Head out and dinner will be ready soon.” Waving them away again, he turned and headed into the kitchen. Mulder grinned at Scully, grabbed her hand, and headed to the backyard. 

Cheers erupted when they stepped outside and everyone pressed in to congratulate them. Louise, Annie and her husband, plus their two children, Skinner, Elise, her husband and Raina, and Rachel. There was also an older woman holding Faith, two men whom Mulder assumed were Alan and his husband, and Marcus, his wife, and little boy. 

They were hugged and kissed, everyone smiling and happy. Introductions were given, but no one could really be heard over the raucous laughter. A glass of champagne was given to each of them and a toast was yelled out and everyone drank. Mulder looked at Scully and seeing her happy smile, he grinned. This was what they both deserved. 

They separated a bit, with small conversations happening as opposed to one loud large one. Mulder was introduced to Marcus and all he could picture was the word cummerbund, which he mouthed to Scully, causing her to smile. Alan and his husband Ryan came over and a loud laughing discussion was had over the smart house nearly exploding to smithereens. Mulder chuckled as he watched Scully and Alan interacting, obviously very comfortable with one another. 

Rachel walked closer to them, waiting almost shyly while Alan and Scully laughed about a dinner they had shared. When they walked away, Rachel stepped closer and Mulder took her outstretched hand and pulled, bringing her in for a hug. She hugged him back, a bit hesitant. 

Stepping back, he held onto her arm and turned her toward Scully. “Scully, I’d like you to meet Rachel Clarke,” he said, smiling at Rachel. 

“Rachel, it is an absolute pleasure to meet you,” Scully said, taking her hand, and smiling kindly. 

“And for me as well,” Rachel smiled, glancing at Mulder, and then back to Scully. “I am sorry for the passing of your mother. I know it’s been a few years but … she was a lovely woman, and I’m sorry that she is no longer with us.” 

“Oh, you met my mother?” Scully asked in surprise. 

“Uhhh …” Rachel looked nervously at Mulder, her hand dropping from Scully’s. “Just once, when I came over for the dinner Fox cooked for us here.” 

“Sorry,” she said to Rachel, turning to look at Mulder. “You cooked ? A meal? In my mother’s kitchen?” Her eyebrows shot up and he smiled, knowing she was not angry, but impressed. “And you ate this meal?” She asked looking back at Rachel with a small smile. 

Rachel laughed and nodded. “I did. It was very good.” 

Scully looked at him and he shrugged. “Well, if he went through the steps to cook a meal for you and my mother, in her kitchen, I know he did so to repay both of you for the help you gave him.” Scully smiled and reached for Rachel’s hand. “Thank you, Rachel, for being the person Mulder needed and helping him in ways I couldn’t.” 

Rachel’s eyes filled with tears and she nodded, swallowing hard and then clearing her throat. “He was worth it. For himself and for you,” Rachel said, and Scully pulled her in for a hug, whispering something to her and she nodded. Stepping back, they broke apart and Rachel walked away, squeezing his arm quickly as she did. 

“I like her,” Scully said, and he smiled at her. 

“I knew you would,” he said, and she grinned. 

He was introduced to Charlotte, who winked at Scully as she walked away, making her blush. He made a mental note to ask her what it had been about later when they were alone. 

As she walked away to speak to Annie and Marcus, he looked around to see who had Faith, as she seemed to be making the rounds with everyone. Louise had her, letting her look at the necklace she was wearing. He smiled as Skinner walked over and handed him a beer, tipping their bottles together. 

“Congratulations again,” he said and Mulder nodded. “How does it feel?” Mulder looked down at the ring on his finger, then over at Scully, and watched her laugh. 

“The same and also completely different,” he answered quietly, smiling at the happiness he saw in Scully. 

“I’d say that’s accurate,” Skinner laughed and Mulder nodded. 

Ten minutes later, they were all sitting down, the meal being served. Elise and Tyler, her husband, had taken charge of Faith. She was in one of two high chairs Tampa had arranged to have there, wearing a large bib to keep her dress protected. 

Everything was wonderful, but what Mulder remembered most was the sound of laughter and soft music filling the normally empty house with happiness. Toasts were made, but he would be hard pressed to recall any words said, only the laughter and gasps that followed it. The feel of Scully’s hand on his knee as he looked down and saw the gold band on her finger. The way she leaned into him, her head on his shoulder. 

As the meal came to an end, everyone moved outside again and found the backyard had been transformed. Large white lights hung about, giving the whole area a fairy garden feel. Before Scully went out she had taken her hair down, and it fell in loose waves a little past her shoulders, 

“You are so beautiful,” Mulder whispered to her, catching her around the waist as she made to step out the backdoor. He pushed her into the wall and kissed her deeply, her hand holding onto the knot in his tie, keeping him close. 

Breaking apart slightly, she stared into his eyes and ran her fingers across his lips, wiping away her lipstick. “Don’t want anyone thinking we’ve been up to no good,” she said, breathing hard and he laughed. 

“It’s our wedding day. I assume they’d assume we would be,” he teased and she chuckled. 

“Well you know what they say about assuming,” she warned and he nodded. 

“Isn’t it something like, it brings your ass to me ?” he teased again and she dropped her head, her shoulders shaking with laughter. Looking up at him again, she shook her head, and smiled. 

“So close,” she whispered, and he hummed with a smile of his own. 

“Come on, wife. Let’s go dance,” he said, taking her hand and pulling her outside. 

Everyone cheered again when they came outside. Mulder saw that Alan was holding Faith, dancing her around to the music playing. Other people were dancing and laughing as Mulder brought Scully to the middle of the group and pulled her close. 

She fit just under his chin, perfectly as though she had been made to do so. He grinned as he rested his chin on top of her head and began to sway to the song playing. 

Well I know I had it all on the line

But don't just sit with folded hands and become blind

Cause even when there is no star in sight

You'll always be my only guiding light

Relate to my youth 

Well I'm still in awe of you

Discover some new truth

That was always wrapped around you

But don't just slip away

In the night

Don't just hurl

Your words from on high

Well I know I had it all on the line

But don't just sit with folded hands and become blind

'Cause even when there is no star in sight

You'll always be my only guiding light

If we come back and we're broken

Unworthy and ashamed

Give us something to believe in

And you know we'll go your way

“Mulder?” he heard her say, cutting into his thoughts, at the words of the song. 

“Hmmm?” 

“Did you pick this music?” she asked as she pulled back to look at him, her eyes asking thousands of questions. 

“Not all of it. But there are some I asked to be played tonight,” he said, staring into her eyes, the words of the song affecting them both. She nodded and put her head back on his chest. 

(Ho, Hey)

(Ho Hey)

“This one … this one I chose,” he whispered and she pulled him closer. 

(Ho) I been trying to do it right

(Hey) I been living a lonely life

(Ho) I been sleepin' here instead

(Hey) I been sleepin' in my bed

(Ho) I been sleepin' in my bed (Hey Ho)

(Ho) So show me family

(Hey) All the blood that I will bleed

(Ho) I don't know where I belong

(Hey) I don't know where I went wrong

(Ho) But I can write a song (Hey)

I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart

I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweet' (Ho)

“Sweet … ho … that’s always made me laugh,” she said, looking at him with a smile, and he laughed. He spun her around and then pulled her close again, laughing and sighing through the rest of the song. 

Familiar piano music notes began and she gave him a huge smile. He winked and grinned as they began to dance as they had years ago. 

Put on my blue suede shoes

And I boarded the plane

Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues

In the middle of the pouring rain

W.C. Handy, won't you look down over me

Yeah, I got a first class ticket

But I'm as blue as a girl can be

Then I'm walking in Memphis

I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale

Walking in Memphis, but do I really feel the way I feel?

“Mulder …” She shook her head and smiled. He leaned in and kissed her, pulling back and smiling, dancing them slowly around.

“This song, Scully …” he said in her ear. 

“I know. That night and then on a pier, two memories sealed in forever,” she laughed softly. 

“And now a third,” he said, kissing her cheek before belting out his favorite part. “ Man, I am tonight!” She laughed, and then Mulder realized he was not the only one who had sung out. 

Alan, dancing with Faith, had been singing along as well. He caught Mulder’s eye and nodded at him. “It’s Cher, what did you expect?” he laughed and spun away from them, Faith laughing in delight. 

“I like him,” Mulder said, watching them dance away and then grinned at Scully. 

“I knew you would,” she said, repeating his words from earlier. The last few bars were beginning, and they stared at one another, remembering a night from so long ago. 

“I love you,” he whispered as the song ended and she shrugged. 

“So much so, you put a ring on it,” she said, showing him her hand as the next song, coincidentally or planned, began and she stepped back from him. 

All the single ladies (All the single ladies)

All the single ladies (All the single ladies)

All the single ladies (All the single ladies)

All the single ladies

Now put your hands up

Alan and Ryan came over hurriedly, without Faith, Mulder noticed, and began to dance with Scully. Annie and Elise joined in and they all were laughing hysterically as they did. 

Up in the club (club), just broke up (up)

I’m doing my own little thing

Decided to dip (dip), but now you wanna trip (trip)

'Cause another brother noticed me

I’m up on him (him), he up on me (me)

Don’t pay him any attention

Cried my tears (tears), for three good years (years)

You can’t be mad at me

Mulder laughed as he watched them, and then looked around to see who was holding Faith, and saw it was Rachel. The music and the antics of those in the small dance circle died away as he watched her. She stared at Faith with an expression he could not read. Longing … sadness … no, neither were right. Or maybe it was both.

He stepped forward to go to her when Faith touched her face and Rachel laughed, closing her eyes and pulling Faith close. She danced with her, keeping her eyes closed as she did. Whatever it was seemed to have passed, but it still niggled at him. 

“Ahem! May I have the attention of all you fine people?” Tampa said as the music was turned down. “I’m gonna need all y’all to come inside. It’s time for the lovebirds to cut the cake.” Everyone cheered and Mulder grinned at Scully as he extended his hand to her. 

The cake had been placed on the dining room table, the pictures moved a bit, allowing room for it to be cut and served. Everyone oohed and ahhed over it and then a knife was handed to Mulder and together they cut the first piece. He picked up a bite sized piece and raised his eyebrows at her. She shook her head and everyone booed their disapproval. 

“Woman, I swear!” Tampa said, exhaling loudly, and they all laughed. She rolled her eyes with a smile, and opened her mouth, allowing Mulder to feed her a bite of the cake. 

She did the same and he took it and her fingers into his mouth, licking them clean, causing everyone to holler and whistle. He saw the desire behind her mock anger and he leaned in for a kiss. 

“You taste so sweet,” he murmured. “Just like always.” He wiggled his eyebrows, and he knew she knew what he was implying. Shaking her head and taking a deep breath, she stepped back from the table, allowing Tampa to cut the cake for everyone. 

They went back outside for more dancing and drinks as they waited for their cake. Other than the one bite, neither of them ate anymore though, instead they remained dancing slowly to a few songs, regardless of the tempo. The lights dimmed a little and he looked up, nodding as he caught Tampa’s eye. 

“Scully?” 

“Hmmm?” 

He pushed her back from him a bit, looking into her eyes and he smiled. “I did have a say in the songs, but just a few really. This one though, I wanted especially.” 

“Mulder, not My Heart Will Go On …” she said, tilting her head to the side, and giving him a pointed look. He laughed and shook his head. 

“No, but that would’ve been hilarious.” He chuckled and held her hand to his chest. “No, it's not that one, but it is one I heard recently and immediately asked Tampa to add. It’s not our first dance, tonight or otherwise, but …” He smiled and raised his eyes to Tampa, who grinned and nodded back, saying something to the man playing the songs. “Just listen to the words.” He pulled her close and began to sway them slowly as the music started. 

I was so lost, didn't know what to do with myself

I was my own worst enemy, I was lost and oh I needed help

Then you came along, and saw the state I was in 

You picked me up, when I was down,

Showed me how to live again.

I say thank you, for pulling me through,

I'm a lucky man 

I didn't know what life was

But now I, I understand yeah 

He felt her hold him tighter and he understood why. 

This is precious love, precious love

No I can't let it go. 

This is precious love, and its teaching me,

Everything I need to know,

This is precious love, oh its precious love

No I can't get enough 

Oh I'm down on my knees, begging you please, gimme more of that stuff

Oh it’s love, love, love, love, love, precious love

Oh its love, love, love, love, love, precious love

Oh I, I got so distracted,

By people all around, whispering sweet nothings,

Filling my head with doubt,

Pulling back, he stared into her eyes, letting her see him as they listened, no longer dancing, just holding one another. 

So I gave up, I didn't take long, for me to see

The one thing that I was missing, was standing in front of me.

I took you for granted, thought the grass,

Was greener on the other side

But I was wrong, and its took me so long

For me to finally realize 

Oh, this is precious love, its precious love

No I can't let it go,

This is precious love, and its teaching me,

Everything I need to know,

Oh this precious love, oh its precious love

No I can't get enough,

Oh I'm down on my knees, begging you please, to gimme more of that stuff.

I say a prayer and send it to you,

That my heart will always be true

Life won't be the same without you

So I say thank you, mmmm,

I'm a lucky man,

I didn't know what life was

But now I, now I understand, understand, understand. 

She touched his face, tears in her eyes, as they began to sway again. 

Oh this is love, love, love, love, 

Precious love

This is precious love, and its teaching me,

To be a better man,

This is precious love, oh its precious love

No I can't get enough,

Oh I'm down on my knees, it's there that I see, you must be from heaven above,

Yeah its love, love, love, love, love, precious love

Oh it’s love, love, love, love, love 

Precious love 

Love, love, love, give me love, give me love

Love, love, love, love, precious love.  

She stared at him, and he felt such love, as he always did when she looked at him that way. Her eyes spoke louder than any words could do, her heart unable to quiet when the love demanded to be seen. 

“Mulder,” she whispered and he nodded. Pulling him close again, she sighed against his chest. He closed his eyes and rocked her in his arms. 

“I hate to interrupt,” they heard and both turned to look at who was speaking. Louise stood there holding Faith, who was now in her purple panda pajamas. “I’m going to put her down soon and thought maybe you might like a dance with your girl.” She smiled as she handed her to Mulder. 

“Thank you, Louise,” he said, staring at Faith, watching her smile at him. Louise nodded and walked away. He kissed Faith’s cheek and she yawned, putting her head on his chest. 

“What does she mean she’s putting her down soon? Where? Here?” Scully asked, confused. 

“Mmm-hmmm,” he said, looking at her and rubbing Faith’s back. “Louise and Annie are going to stay here tonight and take care of her while we go to a hotel.” He smiled as he watched her process all that information. 

“Oh, Mulder,” she breathed, stepping close to him as they all danced slowly together. 

Come away with me in the night

Come away with me

And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus

Come away where they can't tempt us, with their lies

And I want to walk with you

On a cloudy day

In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high

So won't you try to come

Come away with me and we'll kiss

On a mountaintop

Come away with me

And I'll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain

Falling on a tin roof

While I'm safe there in your arms

So all I ask is for you

To come away with me in the night

Come away with me

By the time the song was done, Faith was asleep. Mulder nodded to Louise and said he would take her to bed, Scully following behind him. They found the portable crib set up in the room they usually stayed in and he carefully laid her down. She hardly moved and they smiled as they looked at her. 

“It’s been a busy day for her,” Scully whispered as Mulder put her stuffed elephant in the crib and covered her with a light blanket. He nodded as he stood up and looked down at her, smiling as he did. 

“She’s so beautiful,” he whispered as he put his arm around Scully’s shoulders. 

“She is,” she agreed, looking up at him. He smiled again and kissed her temple. “Come on, let’s go.” 

“Mulder, wait,” she whispered, turning to him and putting her hands on his chest, sighing and shaking her head. “This has all been so wonderful and beautiful. Thank you for all the work you put into it. I know I bitched and moaned about it, but you persevered and … thank you … my love.” He raised his eyebrows and she smiled with a nod. 

“You’re welcome, my love,” he whispered and she laughed extremely softly, the nickname she claimed she did not want, decided instead in the affirmative. “I love you, Scully.” He kissed her and then turned on the noise machine for Faith. 

“You thought of everything,” she whispered as they looked at her once more, before closing the door and walking down the stairs. 

“Hey, if I’m only getting married once, I’m going to do it right. I’m not leaving anything unplanned,” he teased. She stopped him in the foyer and kissed him, causing him to lose his breath. 

“You plan for that?” she asked, her lips against his mouth. 

“In the foyer. Hair down. Music playing outside. Right on schedule,” he replied, and kissed her laughing mouth. He stepped back and took her hand, pulling her outside. 

They danced with everyone, partners changing, laughter heard throughout the yard and the neighborhood. Rachel stared at him as they danced, her eyes shining. 

“Your Scully is beautiful,” she said and he nodded his agreement as he glanced over at her. “That little girl of yours … she’s gonna be a force to be reckoned with, having you two as parents.” He laughed, looking for any signs of what he saw earlier, but found none. Perhaps he had imagined it or maybe she was good at hiding her emotions. 

Elise came over, a shy Raina beside her. Mulder bent down and offered his hand to her, causing her to grin. He picked her up and danced her around the backyard, making her laugh loudly. 

Alan and Scully were dancing, laughing as they did when he asked if he could cut in. Alan twirled and dipped her, then kissed her cheek and stepped back. “Thanks for the dance, Double Scotch,” he said with a bow. 

“Oh, shut up,” she laughed, and he winked. 

“Double scotch?” Mulder asked as he pulled her to him. spinning them around. She shook her head with a smile and he smiled back, the light in her eyes putting the moon to shame. 

“Mulder, have you noticed what I’ve been seeing?” she asked with a twinkle in her eye. 

“What’s that?” he asked, confused by what she meant. 

“Here, let’s just …” She turned them a little and then gestured for him to look behind her. He looked up and saw Alan and Ryan dancing, Tampa and Charlotte doing some kind of improvised Hustle. “Behind everyone else.” He looked again and saw Skinner and Rachel dancing, which caused him to stop dancing momentarily. 

“Wha …” he said, looking at Scully and she smirked at him. 

“I think your Rachel is taken with our Skinner.” She raised her eyebrows and he looked from her to them and back to her again. “Maybe we’ll be dancing at their wedding soon.” She shrugged and he scoffed, but he could not help looking back at Rachel and Skinner. She looked at him shyly and he smiled softly at her. 

“Huh,” he said, letting that image marinate in his mind, moving them again, not letting it be something he was going to think too much about right then. Not when he had the woman he loved in his arms. 

“Oh, I like this song,” she said, smiling at him, her eyebrows raising, as though impressed he would be aware of it. 

“Do you even know me?” he asked, looking at her in disbelief. She laughed as he danced them slowly so he could look into her eyes and find her love shining out of them. 

You make me smile like the sun

Fall out of bed, sing like a bird

Dizzy in my head, spin like a record

Crazy on a Sunday night

You make me dance like a fool

Forget how to breathe

Shine like gold, buzz like a bee

Just the thought of you can drive me wild

Oh, you make me smile

Don't know how I lived without you

Cause every time that I get around ya

I see the best of me inside your eyes

You make me smile

You make me dance like a fool

Forget how to breathe

Shine like gold, buzz like a bee

Just the thought of you can drive me wild

You make me smile like the sun

Fall out of bed, sing like a bird

Dizzy in my head, spin like a record

Crazy on a Sunday night

You make me dance like a fool

Forget how to breathe

Shine like gold, buzz like a bee

Just the thought of you can drive me wild

Oh, you make me smile

Oh, you make me smile

Oh, you make me smile

Oh, you make me smile 

Oh, you make me smile 

_________

Outside on the sidewalk, an old man stood humming as he looked up at the house in front of him; the music and laughter coming from the backyard making him smile. 

Closing his eyes, he felt the happiness encompassing all of those within, but one person in particular. It was pouring out and surrounding the house, nearly the entire neighborhood. 

He opened his eyes and smiled, nodding as he turned to walk away. The wind blew and a lock of hair fell forward as his appearance changed to that of a young man, though no one was around to witness it. Brushing his hair back, he smiled as he put his hands in his pockets. 

He had felt a tug from her heart for a few days. Not a sadness, but rather something incredibly exciting. It seemed to beat steadily, into his heart, filling him with hope and happiness. 

He could see where they were and decided to see the happiness he had been feeling. He took precautions, just in case they had been in the front of the house when he walked by. 

He wanted to know them, his curiosity piqued since the day they had met, but he was also terrified. Today was risky, but it had been worth it, to feel the happiness it brought to her and everyone around her. 

Humming as he walked away, he smiled. He would meet them again someday, he knew he would, he simply needed to wait for the right moment. 

Everything happens for a reason.