With the darkness creeping in earlier and earlier as winter consumed the day, their evenings often gave rise to their current scenario, cuddling on the couch. Mulder relished feeling the rise and fall of his favourite redhead resting on his chest, neatly nuzzled under his chin.
“I don’t understand how you can sleep through this Scully, the house is lighting up like a Christmas tree.”
“It’s just the build-up of electrostatic charge in the clouds Mulder; the negative charges of the clouds are attracted to the positive charges of the ground, simple physics” she’d said lazily into his t-shirt. She was too comfy to wonder whether he had heard her before the pull of sleep prevailed and her breathing evened out.
A small laugh escaped his lips careful not to disturb her sleeping form, the ease at which she fell asleep never ceased to amaze him. An unrelenting storm conducting a symphony of thunderous booms and flashes of hot white light, that illuminated their living room, was no match for Dana Scully and her sleep.
Her soft warm lips brushed against his hand that she instinctively sought out in slumber, seeking more connection despite the impossible closeness of her body atop his. He can’t believe they actually got here, they’re each other’s perfect other and opposite, in their home, and he enjoys the domesticity of life with her. It was only ever going to be with her.
Despite the ruckus outside, there was a stillness to their surroundings, a soft light being cast over them by a couple of side lamps while the tv, long since muted, played a film Scully had insisted on watching only to drift off midway through the opening credits. Muffled booms accompanied by the pitter-patter of rain filled the room, and yet, the soft snores vibrating into his chest were all Mulder could pay any attention to.
Following a particularly close roar of thunder, she stirred in his arms prompting him to gently run the hand not interlocked with hers through her hair. It’s the longest he’s ever seen it, and while she could never be unattractive, he finds her even more beautiful waking up to wild copper tresses fanned out over her pillow and loves how she ties it into a low twist before work. Like clockwork, his touch soothed her and she stills before being lulled deeper into sleep.
He marvelled at the peacefulness of her features; a stark difference to the tension she so frequently carries in wakefulness through her arching brow, pouting lips and ever-thinking mind. He adores her sceptical glances and everything that makes her Scully, but the unwavering trust she shows him to completely relax in his presence causes a warmth to bloom in his chest.
Straining his neck toward the clock, despite the pitch-black sky, it’s still early. As he contemplated carrying his love to bed, an aggressive bang ripped through the sky whilst lightning waltzed in and out of the cover of darkness. He felt her tense and met her wide terrified eyes watching as her head shot up looking for the source of the sound, almost jumping off of both him and the couch in the process.
“Hey, hey it’s ok.” he soothed, holding her steady. “It’s just the storm.”
The initial shock of being abruptly awoken quickly dissipated and her breathing slowed as his arms wrapped her into a comforting embrace. The overwhelming sense of safety and solace he provided while enveloping her small frame drew her closer until she leaned her head back against his chest with a contented sigh.
He planted light kisses to her forehead and the sides of her face until she giggled and turned her head up to meet his gaze. Her eyes conveyed the familiar unspoken thank you they so often shared.
Taking advantage of the lack of height difference, she placed a chaste kiss to the tip of his nose before tenderly capturing his bottom lip. Feeling him begin to deepen the kiss she closed her eyes, only to hear a distant thud moments later as the house hurtled into darkness.
“Shit” he groaned while tapping her hips. “I’ll get the torches.”
“I’ve got it” she interjected and reached for her phone on the coffee table. She switched on the torch and pushed herself off his lap earning a sigh due to the loss of contact. Following the glare of her phone Mulder watched her flick a few switches, concluding the power was in fact out, before making her way up the stairs.
“Uh, Scully? Torches are by the back door” he said with a hint of confusion as the concentrated source of light faded with the sound of her footsteps.
“I know, I just had an idea” she shouted in response.
You always keep me guessing.
He waited patiently on the couch, arms stretched behind his head until the stairs creaked under the pads of her descending feet. When she re-emerged, he could just about make out the silhouette of a small box and a bag.
Shaking the box to give him a clue, she struck a match and quickly started to light the various candles she had collected from their bathroom and bedroom. Pleased to see they provided sufficient light, Scully distributed them around the table and hummed at the warm glow flooding the living room.
Turning to face him, she rounded the table with an outstretched arm.
“May I have this dance?” she asked expectantly.
A wide grin spread across his face as he wordlessly took her hand and was pulled to his feet. He cherished these moments in which her playful affectionate side silenced her more serious nature, knowing he would add tonight to his mental catalogue of memories.
His hand found its familiar spot on the small of her back, while the other held her in a makeshift ballroom hold position. Neither of them had much in the way of rhythm, but together they moved with ease listening to the tune of one another’s movements in the silence of the storm. The warm candlelight revealed sweet smiles and soft eyes as the pair glided and twirled around the flame-lit room. They had jokingly called the house unremarkable when they first bought it years ago, however, both knew it was just the opposite because it was theirs and it gave them these moments.
What started as carefree “dancing” turned incredibly intimate as their pace slowed to a simple sway, finding themselves in a position almost identical to the one they had been in lying on the couch. Scully was tucked under his chin, her arms encircling his hips while he held her close and, in that moment, not even a storm could disrupt the peace they found within each other.
“What are you thinking?” She asked in response to him holding her tighter.
He kissed the top of her head and whispered into her hair “You are the sky, everything else- it's just the weather.”
She didn’t speak but buried deeper into his chest as a single tear ran down her cheek at the sentiment of his words. Of all the literal and figurative storms they have survived side by side, whatever turmoil they had faced, it all passed while they remained each other’s constant.
Neither of them knew how long they had swayed in the candle-lit night when Scully started to droop into him. He started to guide her up the stairs when he felt a delicate tug towards the couch.
“Will you hold me a little longer? I actually hate lightning” she admitted.
“It’s just the build-up of electrostatic charge in the clouds Scully” he joked while pulling her back down on top of him. She yelped and laughed snuggling into him while he draped a blanket over them to the best of his ability. Just as they both started to drift off Mulder heard a faint whisper.
“You’re the sky too.”