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Oxford, 1984

They walked to his dorm. The rain had soaked them and they were dripping, leaving huge puddles on the floor. Once inside the room, Scully headed towards the bathroom to get some towels her mother had sent him to dry off from the rain that caught them off guard, cutting their day in the sun short.

“So, what do you want to do now?” Scully said, drying her hair with the towel.

“Are you going back?” Mulder asked, suddenly.

The question. The question she had dreaded the second they met at that coffee shop. The first time they went on a date. The first time he held her. The first time they kissed. The first time they spent the night together.

“I…I…” She couldn’t find the words. Instead, she just looked at him, completely speechless.

“Well?” He said. Scully’s lack of answers alarmed him. His eyes were filled with sadness. “Are you?” She turned her eyes to the floor, tears starting to fall off them and rolling off her cheeks, staining with big, fat tears Mulder’s red carpet.

He walked towards her and grabbed her by the arms, gently. “Dana, please tell me.” He said with a sigh.

She looked at his sad eyes and sniffed. “Yes.”

His eyes closed and when he opened them again, he was crying. “Please, don’t go.”

“Mulder…” She started.

“Please, listen to me. Stay another year. I’ll pay for other courses. You could transfer here. Or just simply stay with me.”  Mulder was on his knees hugging the love of his life by her stomach, sobbing like a child who had been denied a candy bar.

“Mulder, I can’t.”

“Scully, I can’t live without you. You are my everything.” He pleads.

“Mulder, I have to go. I have to go back to Maryland, I have to go back to my family, to my  job.”

Mulder stares at her, heartbroken and defeated. “We were always going to part weren’t we?” He says.

“Yeah, I think so.” Scully lets out a sniff. She always knew this conversation was going to be difficult, but it turned out to be so much worse.

“Please, don’t go. I love you so much it hurts.” He pleads as he stands up and kisses her fully on the lips. She responds to the kiss, as if it was the first time they had kissed. Tears were stinging her eyes with the overwhelming thought that she wasn’t going to taste his lips anymore. He kisses her neck and hugs her, smelling her citric perfume and hoping that signature Scully scent stays implanted in his brain forever.

“Perhaps we were meant to fall in love but stay apart.” Scully says, hugging him back.

Then, silence overwhelms the room.

Chapter Text

Heathrow Airport, 1984

Heathrow Airport had never felt so empty, even though it was crowded: a pin could barely fit in the sea of people that was the place where he and Scully would bid farewell.

They had spent their last few months together without leaving each other’s side. If she was going back to her old life, then he was going to spend as much time as possible with her.

Everything they had planned together had to be done in a rush: the trip to the countryside, going sightseeing, watching a musical at the West End he had promised to take her to. All those romantic dates he had planned for her, they all had to be crammed up in one month.

One month. One month was not enough time for them to wrap up what have been six fabulous months. She would miss his fingers on her skin like feathers, leaving goose bumps as they traced soft lines up and down her arms. His sweet kisses on her shoulder when they made love and how gentle and thoughtful he had been the first time they slept together. He would miss her hot breath by his ear, telling him she loved him and the how delicious it felt when she rang her fingers slowly through his hair.

Their last night was the hardest: Mulder decided to take her to a fancy restaurant and spend the night at a fancy hotel. But they never made it to the five star restaurant; instead, they spent the night wrapped around each other’s naked bodies under the expensive, white cotton sheets.

He was not going to lie, tears were shed. It was hard to hold them in, it was hard to accept that the best thing that had happened to him was going away, possibly not coming back. She didn’t hide her sobs either. They had agreed that they were going to try and enjoy their last night together, but sometimes it was too overwhelming.

The ride to the airport was silent, the air around them heavy with sadness and desperation, maybe a hint of anticipated loneliness. But that didn’t keep him from holding her hand and kissing her knuckles. He knew she loved that and it would make her smile, which she did.

Right now, they simply stared at the screen, praying that by some miracle, her flight would be cancelled indefinitely and they had more time together. Unfortunately, their wishes didn’t come true since a man on the speakers announced that Scully’s flight was boarding. They turned to each other and Mulder kissed her for the last time. He could taste both his tears and hers, but neither of them seemed to be bothered.

“Safe flight, babe.” He said, wiping her tears with his thumbs. That only triggered more tears streaming down her face and she crashed into his chest, sobbing. She was leaving a wet stain on his shirt, but he didn’t care.

“I’m so sorry, Mulder.”

“Shh. Don’t be, everything’s going to be okay. We’ll still write to each other, right?” He grabbed the sides of her face and lowered his so that her big, blue and now puffy eyes met his. She nodded and sniffed, wiping her nose with her sleeve. Their foreheads touched and he kissed her there, moving on to her nose and ending on her lips once more.

She broke the kiss, not wanting to let the emotions get the best of them all over again. “Bye, sweetie. I love you, so much.” She said.

“I love you too, Scully. With all my heart.” Mulder said back. Scully grabbed her suitcase and headed towards the desk, her passport and ticket in hand.

“Hey, Scully,” he called and she turned around. “Please, don’t forget me. Promise me that you won’t.”

She smiled sadly. “Never.”

Chapter Text

Adam’s Coffee House, January 1984

She had been in Oxford for three months before she got a job at her cousin’s coffee shop as a barista. It wasn’t ideal, but at least it gave her cash for the month.

She had worked for two weeks at the coffee shop when she met him. Scully was standing behind the counter with her arms crossed while rubbing her arms, trying to get as warm as possible on a cold, January morning. It wasn’t easy, though. People walking in and out before going to work asking for their coffee made it quite difficult for the front door to be closed for at least five seconds before another lawyer who was late for his day in court ran in and demanded his latte.

Holly, the barista/cashier, had call in sick, so it was just Scully against the angry professionals until noon.

He entered the coffee shop wearing a grey coat that looked cosy enough to warm someone in no time, and a navy blue scarf wrapped around his neck.

Like a robot, Scully got behind the computer and asked for his order, not bothering to look up. He ordered a cappuccino and, upon hearing someone with an accent that wasn’t British, she looked up.

To say that she wasn’t smitten instantly would be a lie. Her eyes sparkled when she saw him, and she swore she saw a sparkle in his eyes as well.

He told her he was studying Psychology at the University, she told him she was taking a few courses there as well, both of them surprised that they hadn’t seen each other roaming around campus.

She asked for his name and he told her it was Bob.

“So, Bob. Would you like something to eat?”

“What do you recommend, Dana?” He asked, looking at her nametag. She looked down at it and smiled, thinking how ridiculous she thought her uniform was when she first tried it on. The black apron and red cap was definitely unflattering on her.

“The croissants are good. I made them.” She said, a little blush forming in her cheeks. She wasn’t a big fan of cooking, yet alone baking, but her grandmother had taught her how to make croissants, and her cousin asked her if she could add them to his menu. She hated the process, it took too much time. But the look of satisfaction on the customer’s faces told her that it was worth it.

And the look of admiration on his face made it all worthwhile times infinity. He nodded with a smile and she entered his order in the system.

When he left with his breakfast, they had made plans to see each other again the next day.

Xxxxx

They sat on a table next to the big window at Adam’s Coffee House. Scully was called in to fill Holly’s shift, so their date had to be short, much to their chagrin.

“So, I have a confession to make.”

Scully looked up from her coffee with confusion. After all, she had only known him for a day.

“My name’s not Bob.” He said cringing. Scully laughed.

“Oh, I know. Fox.”

It was his turn to look confused, his puppy eyes narrowed. “How do you know my name?” He asked incredulously.

“You left your wallet yesterday.” Scully said as she handed his wallet back. “Why did you tell me your name was Bob?”

He smiled softly and scratched the back of his neck. “Like I wanted to explain ‘Fox’ for the millionth time.”

Scully rolled her eyes and nodded in understanding. “Well, I don’t know. I like it.”

“Please, Dana. Don’t try to flatter me, I know my parent’s gave me the worst name in the world.” He chuckled.

“No, really. It’s unique.” She smiled and he retaliated. “Besides, I understand what you’re saying. I hate my name, too.”

“What’s so wrong about Dana?” He asked as he took a bite of Scully’s croissant.

“I just don’t like it.” She shrugged.

He put his index finger on his chin and tried to look pensive, which made Scully giggle. “How about this: we’ll just call each other by our last names. That way you don’t have to hear Dana all the time, and I won’t have to hear the atrocity that is mine.” He reached his hand towards her and she shook it in agreement.

They sat in comfortable silence for a while, enjoying each other’s company just by looking at their eyes, as if they were holding a secret conversation. Scully felt as if she hadn’t just met him, but actually known him since they were children. He felt the same.

After a few moments, Mulder straightened up and spoke. “So, Scully,” he started and they smiled, both of them liking the sound of their new nicknames. “Do you want to do this again some time? Maybe dinner tomorrow night?”

Scully smiled. “I’d love to. Mulder.”

Chapter Text

September, 1984

Mulder,

I miss you so much. The flight back home was the worst one yet. I could barely hold the tears back, the lady sitting next to me thought someone close to me had died. I never knew the pain of death, but I can imagine that the pain I’m feeling of not seeing you again is close enough.

Yours forever,

 

Scully

 

Xxxx

 

Sculls,

Life at Oxford is not the same without you. Seeing you walking down the hallways or behind the counter at your cousin’s coffee shop had become a routine, a habit, a sense of normalcy in my complicated life. Now that it’s different, I don’t know where I’m standing.

I’m sorry you had a bad flight. Remember when we watched ‘Caddyshack’? It was one of the best nights of my life.

Whenever you’re sad, think about all the happy moments we spent together. At least that’s what I do and I feel a little better. Think about our second date. I’ll never forget that night.

Love you always,

 

Muldy

 

October, 1984

Mulder,

Of course I remember watching ‘Caddyshack’, the worst movie of all times. But the night did end on a very high note. It was one of the best nights of my life as well. Did I ever tell you my cousin tried giving me sex tips before I left for your dorm? It was so gross.

We did have many happy moments. My favourite though has to be when we went to Lake District. You almost fell off the boat and ate so many fish and chips that you spent the whole night in the bathroom.

My father overheard my sister and me talking about you. She then heard him fighting with my Mom about our conversation. Mom was on my side as she always is when it comes to her children, but Ahab kept repeating that I had been irresponsible by getting myself a boyfriend instead of focusing on the courses, and that what I had done was typical Melissa. It stung, but I guess he doesn’t really know what love is.

I’m heartbroken, Mulder. I want nothing more but to be with you.

Did I make a mistake in coming back?

Love,

 

Scully.

 

Xxxx

 

Dearest Dana,

First of all, you’re wrong. ‘Caddyshack’ is the best movie ever. Second, I threw up because I was seasick, not because of the fish and chips. Is there such a thing as being seasick six hours after you got off the boat?

Parents fighting is something nasty to hear. My parent’s fought all the time and I had to take my sister to a little hut we had built in the backyard to tune out the yelling. And I’m sure your father wants what’s best for you and didn’t mean what he said. I’m sure he’s proud of his feisty little redhead daughter and he was just shocked that something like this happened.

You know there’s plenty of room for you here if you decide to come. I would love that. Samantha’s coming in December for the holidays, I’m sure she’d love to meet you. You’d get along really well.

Forever in my heart,

 

Mulder

 

November, 1984

Scully,

I’m not sure if you got the last letter I sent you.

There’s this girl in my class who’s always sitting next to me and nagging me with her shrill voice. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. I’m sure you would’ve yelled at her already if you’d seen her.

I attend to take a profiling seminar. I thought it might be interesting to see how these people manage to get into the criminal’s head. Might be fun to do something like that in the future. What do you think?

Have you amended things with your parents? Send my love to your sister.

I might be going back to the States later next year for my sister’s birthday. Are you coming back?

Love you,

 

Mulder

 

December, 1984

Scully, are you ignoring me? Why did you stop writing? I need to know how you are. I need to know if you’re missing me as much as I still miss you.

If you don’t want to write anymore, you know you can call me. Call me at any time. Hell, call me at 5am if you want. Wake me up, I won’t care. Just as long as I hear your voice.

Yours,

 

Mulder.

 

January, 1985

Happy anniversary, baby. I miss you. Please write back.

 

Xxxx

 

Scully,

I love you.

 

Mulder

Chapter Text

The arrival of his sister was what he needed. Scully wasn’t replying to any of his letters and he couldn’t help but wonder why. Had he said something that upset her? Did her parents hide the letters? Or worse, did she meet someone else?

Samantha Mulder arrived just in time for Christmas, and with her she brought an energy that Mulder often described as out of this world. Simply put, it was exactly what he was missing in his lonely life.

The last time she spoke to him, Scully was still in Oxford. Now, when she asked to see his new brother’s girlfriend, he broke down and bawled like a baby. Always supportive, Samantha hugged him and let him cry and cry and cry until his sobs turned into hiccups and he ran out of tears. Mulder explained that Scully had left for Maryland and broke his heart by abruptly ending their relationship when she stopped writing back.

“I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you, Fox. But she obviously had her reasons, and no matter how painful this is for you, you have to move on. Leave this dump you call ‘dorm’ and go out with your friends, or at least for a walk around campus. It smells like five million asses farted here. And don’t even get me started on the interesting odor that’s radiating off of you. Come stay at the apartment with me and let’s spend the holidays together, because I refuse to ring the New Year in a dorm that’s littered with food boxes and hasn’t seen the ray of light in months.” Samantha had always been supportive of her brother and she always talked sense to him. She always brought him back to the real world, even if it hurt to do so.

The holidays passed and Samantha stayed, even though she was supposed to leave on January 3rd. Fox had yet to return to his smelly dorm. Or to his classes.

One day, his sister - who had endless patience for him - had had enough. Upon seeing him sleeping on the living room couch, she stomped towards the kitchen table and grabbed a profiling book he had bought for a class that he was supposed to take once the semester began.

His faint snores suddenly stopped when the book hit his chest with a loud thud. “What the fuck are you doing?!” He yelled as he tossed the book to the floor.

“That’s it, Fox. You’re going back to Oxford. I’m sick of watching you victimising yourself, moping around all day because of a girl. I’m sick and tired of having to explain to Mom and Dad why you are not going to your classes anymore, why you haven’t attended a single one since Christmas break. You have to move on, man. Go back to your old life.”

“I can’t go back to my old life. That included Scully and she’s in Maryland.” Mulder said with a groan as he stood up, rubbing his eyes.

Samantha sighed in frustration and placed her fists on her hips. “No, you idiot! Before her! Before you turned into a lonely son of a bitch who sits around in his pajamas and watches fucking ‘Caddyshack’ all day long! That movie sucks!” She followed him as he walked to the kitchen.

“It’s a great movie.” Now it was her turn to groan. She threw her head back and stomped her foot, angry at her brother who wasn’t reasoning. “Fox! People get together, people leave each other, they break their hearts. That’s the way humans are, that’s the way the world is. You are her past, she is yours. You don’t know if she thinks about you or if you’re just some pieces of paper she keeps in a box in her wardrobe. All you know is that you’re hurt about something she did, something that she told you might happen when you started going out. So don’t blame her for committing to what she said.”

Mulder set down the orange juice he had been drinking straight from the carton and closed the fridge doors. “So what, you think I’m the one who is to blame in this situation? Why are you defending her, Samantha? I’m your brother, I thought of all people you were the one who would have my back!”

“I’m not defending her, and I’m not blaming you. I’m just telling you how things are. I’m sorry if you can’t handle the truth.” She said calmly and walked towards him, hugging him. “Mulder, sometimes people walk into our lives and all we can do is appreciate them. Maybe that’s what you have to do in this situation. Appreciate her.”

Mulder smiled and hugged her back. “It’s February, why are you still here?”

“Because I have your back. I always do.”

Xxxxx

The next day, after dropping his sister off at the airport and promising her that he would get his life back on track, he decided to write one more letter. The last one.

Dear Dana,

I know it’s been a while since we last wrote. Or at least I wrote. But that’s okay. You must have your reasons as to why you stopped all of a sudden, but I don’t resent you for that.

I just wanted to tell you that even though we are no longer in touch, I still think about you. I think about you all the time. I think about the way things ended between us - our departure at the airport and our letters - and I sometimes cry about it.

You brought light into my life. I loved you so much, and I don’t think I’ll never stop loving you.

I hope everything’s well with you and your family. You know I’ve always wanted what’s best for you, and I hope you get to achieve everything you told me you wanted to. I really do hope you’ll be happy. I wish nothing more than for you to be happy.

I heard that sometimes the things we love the most come back to destroy us - but I don’t think that’s true. Because I loved you with all my heart and you made me a better person. You were my friend, you were my touchstone. You were my constant.

Love,

Mulder

Xxxx

Scully read the last letter he ever sent to her with tears in her eyes. The rocking chair she was currently sitting on was rocking her gently in the corner of her room in her new apartment.

As a tear escaped her eye, she looked at the crib that had just been delivered. She held the letter to her heart as she whispered, “and you are mine”.

Chapter Text

The day Scully met Mulder she knew it was the start of something that she would never forget. She knew she was in love as soon as they agreed to call each other by their last names: she found that incredibly endearing. Whenever she heard her name she felt as if someone had run a bell right next to her ears, the high-pitched ding making her eardrums bleed. Her boyfriends, her friends, even her family scoffed when she complained about it; but not Mulder. He understood her.

Before Mulder, she never thought she could love something as much as she loved him. When she left she feared she would never love someone that way again.

Until today.

Scully looked down at her little bundle of joy sleeping underneath a white blanket her mother had knitted. She smiled sweetly at the little baby and caressed its cheek with her index finger.

The day she found out she was expecting she felt as if her world had shattered. Her mother held her hand as she waited for the result of the pregnancy test and hugged her when it was positive. She cried angry tears, angry at God, for she couldn’t understand why He had done this to her. Why He was making her raise a baby all by herself, making her give up on her dreams. Yet she felt some comfort when her mother reminded her that everything happened for a reason.

What reason? She thought. Maybe this baby was something of a token, a twenty-four hour reminder that what she and Mulder had was real.

Even though she was scared of telling her father the news about the baby on the way (which he took surprisingly well), she was terrified of telling Mulder. She was already giving up on her dreams, and she was in no way willing to give Mulder the chance to give up on his. Scully knew he would jump on the first flight and ask her to marry him and raise the baby together. So she stopped writing.

She read every single letter he wrote, even the heartbreaking ones. The ones where he pleaded for her to write back. And it tore her apart when he said he wasn’t going to write back.

“How is my little girl?”

Scully was pulled away from her thoughts when her father walked in the room holding balloons and a gift bag in one hand, and hugging a stuffed teddy bear that would outgrow the newborn for a couple of months.

“Hi, Ahab. I’m fine. A little sore still. But other than that everything’s fine. We just ate actually.” She kissed his father’s cheek and smiled down at the baby.

“Well, I brought some gifts. The gift shop next to the cafeteria has some good stuff.” He said as he set down the presents and sat on the chair next to the bed.

“I can see. And I can tell you enjoy that shop, given that you basically bought everything they sold,” Scully laughed.

Ahab chuckled and leaned forward to caress the newborn’s cheek. All of a sudden, the comfortable and happy mood that was surrounding the room faded and Scully knew why.

“Starbuck, when are you going to tell him?” He sighed sadly.

“Dad, I can’t. He would be giving up too much and I don’t want him to do that. He wants to accomplish so much that I can’t get in the way of it and ruin his plans.” The baby sensed Scully’s tension and let out a small cry. Scully simply shushed and rocked the baby. “I love him endlessly, but I had to end it. I’m sorry, but I did. And I’m heartbroken. Completely heartbroken that I don’t know if my heart will ever be fully mended.”

Ahab looked at her with empathetic eyes and smiled sadly. “You don’t have to apologise. You made the right decision, no?”

“I don’t know if I did, and I’ll never really know if I did. But things are this way now. And I just have to get used to them, because at the end of the day it was the decision I made.” With that, Scully was done talking about Mulder, and her father sensed it.

“Okay. Well let’s change the subject. You know what you’re going to name the little nugget?”

Scully smiled and kissed the baby’s soft cheek. “Yes. Emily.”

Chapter Text

January, 1984

Scully looked at herself in the mirror for the millionth time while her cousin sat on her bed, confusion painted across his face. She twirled around, trying to find new excuses as to why the outfit she was wearing was the wrong one which would send her into an angry rant about not having anything to wear on her date with “the absolutely most amazing guy she’s ever met,” as she described him to her cousin.

“Dana, you look fine. Honestly. With your boobs hanging out of your dress he won’t even notice the stain in the hem,” Adam teased, standing up and pointing at her black dress. Scully’s eyes widened and he laughed. “I’m joking. You look great, but just finish getting ready. He’s going to pick you up any minute.”

Scully walked out of the bathroom and pushed Adam back on the bed. 

“Where is he taking you that you’re dressed so fancy?”

“I don’t know. Some party. He said to wear something nice, my best clothes. So I am.” She informed as she applied lipstick. 

“Well, if you’re going to do the nasty tonight, just make sure you wear protection.” He said nonchalantly as he sat down and switched on the TV. Scully, completely caught off-guard, dropped her lipstick onto the floor. 

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. If you’re going to get dirty tonight, just make sure he’s dressed for the occasion. But most importantly, don’t do anything you don’t want to do.” As if on cue, the doorbell rang and Scully sighed in relief. She opened the door and Mulder was standing there, gobsmacked at the sight of her. She on the other hand, was surprised at how casual he looked. 

“Wow. You look beautiful.”

“And you look as if we’re going to a frat party. Why did you make me dress like this?” 

Mulder chuckled and walked in, waving at Adam upon seeing him. “We are not going to a frat party. My friend James’ parents are having some party at their place and he invited me. I don’t own any nice clothes, so this is what ya get.” He explained and kissed her cheek. 

As he pulled away, she felt her face getting hot and suddenly the conversation she had with her cousin a moment ago came back to her. She was mortified and her beetroot face was proof of it.

Adam cleared his throat and they were pulled from their loving gaze. Scully turned to him and told him she would be back late. Adam chuckled and said, “don’t wait up, am I right?”

The door shut before he finished speaking.

Xxxxxx

The party didn’t turn out to be what Scully expected. She thought it would be a sit down dinner with a violin quartet playing in the background, but instead she walked in to find people dancing while drinking, and pizzas were being passed around by waiters. It was sort of like a frat party but more formal, she thought.

She met his friends and they told her about the time Mulder got so drunk he locked himself out of the dorm building in his boxers. They laughed, and laughed, and laughed. She laughed until her stomach begged her to stop, otherwise it would explode.

They drank a lot. Even though she promised to herself at 13 that she would never drink when her parents had to call an ambulance because her brother had drank so much that he was almost unconscious. They tried to dance, but they were so out of synch that they decided to sit outside together, the cold January air hitting their faces like a ton of bricks. 

They talked, and talked, and talked. He told jokes and she laughed. Properly laughed. So hard that she could barely breathe.

They memorised each other eyes, their expressions. At one moment, Scully looked up and Mulder was gazing at her as intently as he was when he kissed her cheek. It was so mesmerising that she couldn’t look away, even though she felt compelled to do so. He held her hand and kissed her knuckles, making her feel alive. 

He leaned forward and tried to kiss her, but suddenly they realised that they couldn’t have their first kiss with hundreds of drunk people around them. It was as if they were too shy and needed their privacy.

Mulder led her back to his dorm and she felt happy. So happy. He leaned in and kissed her and it was like fireworks. Electricity ran through her body and she felt more alive than ever.

Later, he puts on ‘Caddyshack’, but they don’t watch the movie. They were too caught up in their own world of bliss. And for this, Mulder was definitely dressed for the occasion.