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Rooted in Friendship

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Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully left Inget Murray Psychiatric Hospital and started to drive. As her headlights cascaded along the pavement, she straightened her posture, pushing herself up to the edge of the seat. Who was this Diana? Why was Mulder being so goddamn mysterious about her? Scully flicked her tongue allowing it to comfort her top lip and return. Nervously, her fingers pushed the rebel strands of scarlet hair behind her ear. Did he think she was that inept? Why was it for all the talking they did, they were never able to talk about this? Aliens, conspiracies, monsters. Yes. This, no. The tires screeched as her car dove into a spot in front of The Lone Gunman.

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[Later that evening in a nondescript office building]

“Is it as I presumed?”

“It may be worse,” Diana stated to the man with the cigarette pursed between his lips, “In the past three years since Krycek last reported to you, Agent Scully seems to have remained an issue. I’ve never known Fox to defend a woman like that to me. He seemed very distant for a man alone.”

“Do you believe you can drive the wedge necessary?”

“Yes.”

“Is Gibson Praise all that we believe?”

“Here’s a copy of the files. Agent Scully has uncovered more. I will get them to you as soon as I see Fox in the morning.”

“Very good, Agent Fowley …Diana, as usual you have been an asset”

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Almost two hours later, Scully found herself in the parking garage of the FBI building. Scully played the scene over in her head of what she had witnessed. Diana and Mulder with hands entwined. Flushed from her cheeks down to her neck, her breath fleeting as though she had been punched in the gut. Pangs of fear and anxiety running up her spine into the tension of her neck. Tightening her grip on the wheel, she kneaded the smooth plastic beneath her fingers. She leaned her head against the steering wheel and guessed she had her answer. Maybe her friendship wasn’t as evolved as it once seemed. He obviously wanted to keep his life private. After all this time they were still very much at arm’s length. She tried to convince herself that it was fine and knew in the back of her mind this day would come.

Scully tried desperately to build her walls back around her. Come on Dana, stop acting like a lovesick schoolgirl she thought to herself. She hadn’t really allowed him to bleed into her private life other than to prevent her from having one. Once again she told herself that she was fine. 5 years and she was trapped in this painful love story? She convinced herself that Diana was not going to get in the way of her business relationship with him. After all, she had, in her hands, the scientific proof of everything they had sought. Science was what led them this far and science would be the key and she was the half of the partnership that provided that. Not Diana Fucking Fowley! With that thought and walls intact, Scully got out of the car and slammed the door shut. She headed inside gripping the folder containing the truth of Gibson Praise.

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[Mulder’s Apartment – 3AM]

Mulder was sprawled on his couch, in the dark, on his back, tossing his basketball up into the air. His mind replayed the scenes of the day, but now they were not about Gibson, but Diana and Scully. Why was Diana back? What did she mean by getting back to things at home? And what was that look she gave him in the car all about? Why was he trying to keep all this from Scully? Scully was his friend and while she did tend to be very possessive of him, he didn’t believe she deserved to be in the dark.

Would he really want to get back with Diana? Last time was hard enough for him after she had left. They had been making great strides with the x-files and she left. He understood her career came first, but he also remembered how it tore him apart. She left him waving his fist and screaming into the darkness as the powers that be tossed him in the basement.

He could remember how controlling Diana was, how she made him wear a wedding band so other women would know he was taken. He remembered how she wanted him to be so called “grown up”. Take on responsibilities, be a family man. Is that what he wanted? And what about Scully? Where would she fit into this portrait he was constructing? What if Scully would leave him over it? What if Diana couldn’t accept their friendship? He couldn’t live without Scully. He would not be complete and he would sacrifice anything to keep his friendship with Scully. Why would he even consider getting back with Diana? Why now?

Mulder felt like his head was going to explode. It was all too much. He dropped the ball and grabbed the remote. He mindlessly scanned through tv stations pausing momentarily to hear the sports scores then scanning again looking for a good comedy. The tv was not being kind tonight.

He got up and walked over to his desk drawer, pulled out one of his VCR tapes and stuck it in the VCR. A very well endowed blonde woman appeared on the screen riding a man on a chair who was wearing nothing more than a tie. Mulder laid back on the couch blindly staring at the scene. The man then proceeded to bend the woman over a desk and slam into her repeatedly. The woman moaned loudly with each thrust. Mulder slowly slid his hand under his boxers. Palming his erection with a light grip, he began to stroke himself. He soon quickened his pace and tried to concentrate on the screen, but his thoughts began to wander and soon he began to soften.

He closed his eyes and attempted to focus on the feeling and the sounds emanating from the television. He tried to clear his mind and imagine himself bending the woman over the desk and taking her from behind. Not making much headway, frustration building, he took a deep breath and finally allowed his mind to go where it most desired. Although he was not quite ready to acknowledge the implications. The woman was then replaced with visions of Scully writhing and moaning beneath him. His cock once again stood at attention sending waves of pleasure through it and up his spine. Scully looked back with tempting eyes.

“Fuck me Mulder”, she hissed. He imagined himself sliding smoothly and deeply into her. He imagined himself caressing her firm ass and running his hand along the small of her back. “Scully you’re so beautiful, you feel so good” He could feel her walls hot and wet. “oh shit”, he panted. His hips reflexively jerked forward into his hand.

He imagined her clutching her breasts, kneading them as he continued to pound relentlessly. Mulder gripped Scully’s hips to lift her up as she arched her back so he was fully supporting her weight. He watched as fantasy Scully continued to rub her nipple with her right hand using her left to reach down between her legs and began rubbing her clit furiously, “Oh, Muuulderr, you’re going to make me come”

Mulder felt the tingle begin in his balls and felt them draw up tight against his cock. Jerking his hips up off the couch, he groaned and screamed aloud, “Oh, Scully” as he came.

He opened his eyes, shocked and embarrassed by the reality. He grabbed some tissues off of the coffee table and headed to the bathroom.

Chapter Text

Agent Scully hung up the phone to her seventh background check of the day. She gently rubbed her tired eyes as not to smudge her eyeliner. She was bored out of her mind and felt an overwhelming urge to throw pencils at the ceiling. This thought caused a smile to form on her rosy lips. Where did her partner run off to? She leaned back in her chair, crossing her legs at the ankles. She figured he was probably looking for her to cover for him again. How was he able to talk her into these things?

She thought back to him talking her into flying to Nevada.

He knew how to play her like a finely tuned instrument. That fucker knew if he gave her that look and wiggled his eyebrows she couldn’t resist him. She played the scene in her head of him leaning on the roof of the sedan. “We can be in and out in a day and nobody has to know” In a moment of weakness she thought of how she might enjoy spending a day going in and out with him. Wow. He really had infected her brain.

Playing with her business card holder and chewing the inside of her cheek, she replayed the words Mulder spoke in the hallway of his apartment some months ago. The opportunity that was presented. The clear desire she felt that she couldn’t deny. Now that it had ignited, she wasn’t sure how to ever put it out.

Whether it was welcomed or not, he inspired strong feelings inside her when he was around. The heat of his breath on her neck, the control over her that no man had ever had or that she would allow. Scully felt a familiar tingle between her thighs, electric shocks running from her center. This time she pictured him leaning in, she could feel his lips pressed against hers, his strong chest brushing hers …

“Agent Scully. Are you okay?” It was Skinner with his typical quizzical look.

Scully sat up in her chair. “Yes, sorry sir. Must have been daydreaming”

The phone rang, causing Scully to jump. She lifted an index finger up to Skinner and picked up the phone, cradling it against her shoulder. “Agent Scully”.

Skinner shook his head and walked back to his office.

“Hey lady, did you order a pizza?” a man with a thick Brooklyn accent clamored into the phone.

“Mulder! Where have you been?”

“I had some errands to run, is it time for a lunch break yet? My treat?”

“I’ll meet you outside in five.” Scully hung up the phone, feeding her arm through her purse strap she thought to herself, “Sometimes I think I’m better off daydreaming about Skinner. He’s an honest, reliable man. Could have had that 2 ½ kids with the white picket fence. He definitely works out, takes care of himself. I wonder what we would have named the cats?”

[Earlier that day]

The alarm blared from the desk in Mulder’s apartment, but Mulder was already awake, still horizontal, his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. The first rays of light began to blanket the room. “I love you”. The words echoed through his head and stabbed into his heart. They had been spoken aloud. Meant with all serious intent. She had pushed them away as quickly as they had passed his lips. He closed his eyes as waves of embarrassment coursed through his chest. He envisioned her in the hallway outside his door. She had repeated his words back to him while investigating the alien crime scene in Phoenix as she held his arm almost fusing them. Word for word. Which meant she remembered him leaning in to kiss her. And She Didn’t. Pull. Away.

There was no life without her,  but he also felt he didn't deserve her. He wasn’t good enough for her and being in his life only caused her pain, but she’d follow him to the ends of the earth anyway. He was content to be her friend. Her existence in his life was enough for him to be complete, but he still needed to know. The kiss in 1939 was unnerving. It made him alive and now he wanted more. What was not in question was that no matter what time, place, dimension, or plane, he loved her. He loved her so much. Maybe that word didn’t suffice, but no adjectives existed for what encompassed his being. He heard Melissa’s words play back to him, “Why is it so much easier for you, running around trying to get even than just expressing to her how you feel?” “At least she’ll know, and so will you.” Today was going to be the day she knew.

Instead of heading to work, Mulder showered, threw on a black Henley and jeans and headed out the door.

When Scully spotted Mulder dressed so casually, she knew something was askew.

“What’s up Mulder?” She asked as they drove away from the curb.

“Now why would you assume something is up? We’re just having lunch. Actually, I already have it prepared. I grabbed two heroes from the deli. I thought we could sit in the park and have a picnic.”

“Are you feeling okay Mulder? Dementia can start at any age.”

“I’m fine. Is it really a crime to have a picnic with your partner? Anyway, we’re here”.

They got out of the car and Mulder removed a cooler and a blanket from the back of the trunk. He found a shady spot under a large Maple and fixed the blanket on the ground. He took out the sandwiches and handed one to Scully. Still somewhat confused as to his intentions, Scully unwrapped it and took a bite. Out of the cooler he took out a single sunflower in a small vase and placed it on the blanket.

“That’s very pretty Mulder”

“It’s for you. Something to brighten up that dreary desk in the bullpen.” She gave him a smile that created uneasy intimacy between them forcing her eyes to drop to the ground.

Scully placed her sandwich down and leaned back on the heels of her hands. “What a beautiful day. Unusually warm for November. Thank you for forcing me out here”. She glanced over and looked at a couple playing with a young child. Pangs of a future that could never be rang in her chest. “Mulder, do you ever think, if you were offered an opportunity to choose a different path where you could settle down, raise a family, I don’t know, have a mortgage, would you choose that life? When I sit and think about it, I often wonder if that is what I really want or is it what society expects. Which is the right choice? Is it too late?” There was a long pause of silence and then with a sigh she added, “This might be too deep a conversation for this time of day. Hey did you hear about Agent Cantore and Agent Black?”

At this point, Mulder felt a thick lump in his throat. Could he ever be any of those things for Scully? He felt that being in a romantic relationship with him would be a curse for her. What if she realized that was what she wanted and it ended badly. Mulder decided telling her his feelings would be a terrible mistake. “No, what happened?”

“They got caught sharing a room on a stakeout and the Bureau separated them and placed a formal reprimand in their file. How embarrassing.”

Mulder decided that solidified his actions.  He got up and offered his hand to Scully. “Let’s get you back. I need to go home and get dressed anyway. I plan on coming in to work in about an hour.”

“Thank you so much for lunch Mulder. This was truly enjoyable. We should do this more often”, she said with a smile.

His heart melted. “Thank you for coming along”.

+

Mulder watched as she got out of the car, turning to wave before heading inside with the flower in hand. He reached into his pocket and opened the tiny white box that was in it. There glistened a pair of shiny stud earrings. He would save those for another time, he thought to himself. He’d been gifted to have Scully as his partner and it was more than he’d ever ask of her.

[Dreamland]

Scully was staring out the window into the night having a conversation with herself in her head. How does he do this to me? How does he have this influence on me? First it’s a haunted house and now here we are driving to Area 51. The most ironic part of this is I’m choosing to do this. Choosing to follow him and if I learned anything from that haunted house on Christmas Eve it’s that somewhere in my demented mind I want to be doing this. I want to be with him. Why not? What else do you do on a beautiful night like tonight? I could be on a couch right now or in a bubble bath drinking a glass of wine, having incredible sex, have a husband even, but no, I’m driving to fucking area fucking 51! Against Kersh’s orders, risking my job for a man I may or may not be in love with. If we got together, this would be our life. All consuming. Chasing aliens and creatures in the night. I could never get him to stop.

Mulder interrupted her thoughts. “Outpost 134. Two miles to go.”

“I’m all a tingle”

“…It’s the dim hope of finding that proof that’s kept us in this car, or one very much like it for more nights than I care to remember, driving hundreds if not thousands of miles through neighborhoods and cities and towns where people are raising families and buying homes and playing with their kids and their dogs and in short, living their lives. While we…..we just keep driving. Don’t you ever just want to stop, get out of the damn car? Settle down and live something approaching a normal life?”

“This is a normal life”, Mulder smirked.

Exactly my point, Scully thought to herself, he’ll never be that guy, but he’s so damn lovable ….

Scully gazed out the window again and saw lights of cars approaching ……

[Later that evening ….]

Mulder pressed the 4th floor button on the elevator thinking to himself about what Scully had said to him in the car and she was right. She did deserve so much more than him. She deserved the house, a family, a dog, and not one in danger of getting eaten by alligators ….. yet his heart wasn't strong enough to let her go...

“……I uh, know it’s not your normal life, but thanks for coming out there with me.”

Chapter Text

[Coffee Shop]
Warming her hands around a large mug filled with coffee, Scully glanced over to a mother wiping the mouth of a child. Mulder’s words echoed through the cavernous pit of her stomach, “He’s exercising his biological imperative and he’ll do anything or say anything he has to to succeed.” Out of the mouth of a demon man named Wayne, “A normal life, family, it’s all I ever wanted. I just want what everyone wants.” Join the club, she thought aloud and took another sip of coffee.
Her mind drifted back to the doctor’s appointment earlier that day, “I’m sorry Dana, you’re showing all the signs of premature ovarian failure. With your period being this irregular, we may need to begin hormone therapy before your body becomes premature menopausal.” How was it that a demon mother gets to have a baby, yet she was denied? How was it that a consortium of men decided the fate of her future and the fate of her unborn children? Scully looked out the window and blinked back tears. Finishing her coffee, not ready to face a day of work quite yet; she went for a walk in the park.
* [Elevator scene in Per Manum]
Mulder: “Scully, you were deathly ill and I couldn’t bear to give you another piece of bad news”
Scully: “Is that what it was, bad news?”
Mulder: “Well, the doctor said that the ova weren’t viable”
Scully: “I want a second opinion”
[Saturday night, 9:30PM]
There was a light rapping on the door to apartment 42. Mulder opened the door to see Scully in her long trench coat dressed in jeans and a dark gray sweater. She looked worn, tired. “Is everything ok?” Mulder asked sincerely concerned.
“Yeah”, she replied as she stepped into the apartment. Mulder closed the door behind her as she spoke. “I went to the doctor today.”
“What did he say?”
“Well, he said there is a chance. If I go through the IVF procedure and start soon. It’s still a long shot, but there’s hope.”
“That’s great news.”
“Well, there’s another part to this.” She walked past him and sat on the couch. “Please come sit next to me," she said as she patted the empty cushion next to her. "There’s something I have to ask you. I don’t want to discuss it tonight. I want you to take some time and really think about it, then give me an answer. This isn’t a decision you’re going to want to take lightly.”
Mulder looked at her in complete bewilderment. He walked over in silence and sat down next to her facing forward mimicking her posture. In a low serious tone he replied, “Sure Scully, anything. What is it?”
“Mulder, this process is lengthy. I have a chance to go through several cycles of it. It’s emotional, arduous, and it may be heartbreaking. With the process the way it is, the hormone therapy and all, it may be up to a year before I get results, if any.”
“Scully ….”
“You promised. Please.”
“Continue” Mulder replied in a whisper.
“Mulder, I feel like I must do this. What if there’s a child, a soul that is meant to exist, meant to be born, yet it doesn’t exist because of my choices… If I didn’t try in every possible way, it would be all my fault. It’s my responsibility. It’s beyond my wants, my needs, beyond all of us. I have to try. I can’t not try.”
Mulder nodded in agreement, but said nothing.
Scully stared at the television that wasn’t on, running her tongue across her top lip and began wringing her hands trying to build courage. “Dr. Parenti asked me what I want to do for a donor.. There was only one possibility that came to mind..." She sat at the edge of the couch and looked him in the eye. He still looked confused and maybe a little... frightened? For the first time in their partnership she was having trouble reading his thoughts. Or maybe she was afraid to. She had to get this out. This was maybe the most important decision of her life and she couldn't imagine it any other way. She took a long inhale. "Mulder, you are my best friend. Besides my mother, you may be the closest person in my life. When I think of a child and the characteristics I would want them to possess, the intelligence, the heart, the ethical conscience... Mulder.. I think of you... and well.. for a myriad of other reasons... I would like you to be that donor.” There was a long period of silence and neither of them moved.
Scully let out a nervous chuckle and looked down at her hands, “I recall sitting on a bench with you in Home, Pennsylvania and we spoke about you passing genetic muster”
Mulder smiled and gave a nod of recognition, but still said nothing, watching the same blank t.v. as Scully.
Scully continued, “I would not demand or expect anything else from you.”
She got up from the couch, walked over to the door, opened it and closed it behind her.
Mulder sat motionless on the couch for almost an hour after he heard the click of his door closing. His mind was reeling and he could have been knocked over by a feather. After all she had been through for him. After all she had lost for his cause. He would do anything for her. What about him? What did this mean for him? Did he want a child? She said he would have no obligations, but he couldn't imagine himself not wanting to be in this child's life. What would it mean for them? For their friendship? Nothing could tear a relationship apart like children and their relationship wasn't normal by any means. Out of everyone in the world, she picked him. It meant so much. She wanted her child to share his DNA with hers. It was all so emotional he wanted to cry. Was he ready for that kind of commitment? For reasons he didn't want to question, it made sense. He did want that commitment and he wanted it with Scully. Maybe this wasn't what he had ever planned, but he wanted to share this with her and he didn't want her to share it with anybody else. Knowing the importance of strong parents, he would do everything he knew to bring this child up right. This would test their friendship, but it was the only thing he could ever agree to that would be worth that risk. Scully was going to be the mother of his child. When he put it in that context, he knew it was right and he knew how he felt about it. Mulder spoke to the empty walls in a whisper almost intelligible, “I love you Scully”
*
5 days had passed since Scully had graced his doorway and turned his world on its side. She had been doing interviews at the Department of Agriculture building and he had been a desk jockey at the Hoover building, so their paths hadn’t crossed all week other than a quick hello or goodbye in passing. They hadn’t called each other and it may have been the longest they had gone without talking to one another in 5 years. He took a deep breath and lightly knocked on destiny’s door.
[Scene in Per Manum of Mulder responding to her request]
“Obviously, you’ve had some time to think about my request,” Scully said, her eyes searching his.

“It’s um… It’s not something I get asked to do every day. Um, but I’m absolutely flattered. No honestly,” Mulder heard himself speaking as if he was outside of his own body. It wasn't coming out right at all. He saw Scully close her eyes to take a blow from his words and nod cutting him off. “Look if… if you’re looking for a way to politely say “no” It’s okay. I…I understand.”

Mulder shook his head, he wasn't communicating. She needed to know their friendship meant everything to him. Beyond all else. As long as they had that, he would do anything for her. He nodded nervously with a hint of a smile forming as the vision of them having a child together formed in his head. “See, as weird as it sounds and this sounds really weird I know, but I.. I just wouldn’t want this to come between us.”

“Yeah. I know. I…I understand. I do.” She was shaking and nodding her head and the disappointment made his heart grow because it showed how much it really meant to her for him to be the one and it made him want it more.

“But… the- the answer is… ”yes” As he said it he watched as she ran through each expression and felt every emotion of hers in his own heart. 

Chapter Text

“Mulder, our flight is leaving tomorrow at 10AM. I’m tired and I want to try to get some sleep.” Unfortunately for Mulder, Scully was not sharing the same enthusiasm for the town that his face displayed. Scully sighed. He never seemed to mind the uncomfortable beds of the motels, the dirt on their rugs, or the strange smells of happenings she would rather remain a mystery. Small towns seemed to work well with him. Maybe it was a small town’s willingness to believe in superstitions and folklore.

“Well, in that case, hop on in partner,” Mulder replied gleefully, lying on the bed and wiggling his eyebrows.

"Mulder. We are not sleeping in the same bed," Scully answered, uncertain how he would even joke at the notion.

Mulder, on the other hand, was not giving up that easy. “Scully, all the rooms are booked, there are no couches for you to send me to and there’s not enough room for you to force me to sleep on the floor.”

“I think you’re forgetting about the cot leaning against the wall.” Scully motioned over to the rickety cot behind her. It was small and stuffing was coming out of the thin mattress which appeared to be older than both of them combined.

Mulder made a face. “You’re not actually going to force me to sleep on that thing. Who knows what is growing on it. I’ll wake up like a pretzel.”

Scully sighed again losing her will to argue. She was so tired it didn’t matter anyway. “I’ll be in the bathroom. Stay on your side, face the wall, and I’ll let you sleep in the bed with me.” Scully gathered her clothes and walked into the bathroom closing the door behind her. The door didn’t get far enough for the latch to click and Scully had it open again. She pointed at him. “Only this one time.” After a moment of thought she added, “You sleep over the covers and no touching Mulder, I mean it.” She gave a decisive nod and headed into the bathroom.

Mulder got up, removing his pants. Wearing nothing but light blue boxers and a gray t-shirt, he got back into bed. Scully returned in Navy blue silk pajamas. Despite how cute she looked and the noticeable low cut of her blouse leaving less to the imagination, Mulder took one look at Scully’s demeanor and decided to behave, rolling on his side to face the wall. He felt the mattress sink, although almost undetectable as she slid into bed and turned away from him.

“Goodnight Scully” Mulder purred rubbing his victory in her face.

“Goodnight. Mulder.” Scully returned sleepily, but getting her point across that she was finished with the banter. Her eyes were heavy and she began drifting to sleep almost before she finished his name.

A few hours later, Mulder woke to the slight bouncing of springs from the other side of the bed. He lifted his head. “Everything alright over there Scully?”

Scully fluffed the pillow underneath her and readjusted her position. “The Lupron I’m taking to prepare for the IVF is wreaking havoc on my body. One moment I’m freezing, the next I’m sweating. I can feel myself fall into a bitchy mood and the next minute I’m sentimental and melancholy. Right now it’s hard to sleep.”

Mulder rolled onto his back. “Scully, come here.”

Scully’s eyes opened wide and a frightful expression came over her face as she shook her head. “Mulder, I don’t think it’s a good idea…”

“Stop. Just come here.” Mulder slid his right arm around her shoulder and pulled her towards him. Her head rested into the crook of his arm. She kept her body positioned in a way that kept the tiniest space between them. His body was soothing against her own, his arms comforting. She knew in a sane sober state of mind this situation would not be acceptable, but she was so tired and he felt so good. Her right hand found its place besides her face on his chest. He really was a good friend and she knew she was giving him quite a hard time about this case and the weather.

“This is all just starting to get real for me” She confessed into his chest. “I’m nervous, excited, apprehensive. it’s all sometimes a little much.”

She felt his lips press against the top of her head and her anxieties subsided like he had cast a spell. Mulder spoke into her hair, “I know this is not easy, but I also know how strong you are and that you can do this.”

Scully ran her hand across his chest and gave him a squeeze. He could be so sweet when he tried and in that mode, his words were perfect.  He was an incredible comfort when she needed him. “Thank you,” she whispered and fell asleep.

*

Mulder’s eyes sprung open as he awakened to a blazing hard-on. Pleasure was wafting from between his thighs up to the tip of his brain. He lifted his head and looked down. Scully, in her sleep, had draped herself across him and her leg was brushing against his cock. He performed a quick assessment of the situation and realized his best course of action would be to roll her back to her side of the bed. He thought he might be able to tilt his body and get her back over to her side without waking her.  As he went to lift her, the vanilla lavender scent of her hair stilled his heart. It made him increasingly aware of the warmth from her body over his and how beautifully smooth that leg was draped over his thigh. Gently, he nudged her shoulder as he rotated them and she groggily lifted her head off of his chest at the motion, leaving behind a considerable amount of drool. As she moved her leg to adjust, she grazed his erection again causing her eyebrows to raise accordingly. Mulder sprang from the bed before he did anything inappropriate, speaking in a higher octave before resuming his normal monotone, “I’m going to go grab a shower and head over to the studio before we leave. I want to talk with Holman.”

Scully tried to avert her eyes, but his boxers seemed only to accentuate the scenery. Registering the state of affairs and noticing her mouth agape, Mulder turned swiftly with his head down and headed towards the bathroom.

With an evil grin Scully retorted, “That’s quite a protuberance you got there Mulder. Better keep that shower cold.”

He was grateful for the humor. He wasn’t in the mood for a fight this morning.

*

[Sheila and Scully in the bathroom at the reunion]

“Holman is unwittingly destroying this town because of his love for you.”

Sheila looked Scully in the eyes, “You love him don’t you.”

“What?” Now Scully was lost.

“You’re jealous because Agent Mulder and I have a special connection and you’re trying to divert me to Holman.”

“What?”

“Look, if you’re trying to tell me that you don’t have feelings for Agent Mulder, I’m not going to believe a word you say. I’m not stupid.”

Scully looked down at the ground, “For Agent Mulder? Please. I’ve put up with that man for five years.”

“Agent Scully.”

“Alright. I may feel a slight attraction to him from time to time.”

“Agent Scully.”

Realizing that Sheila deserved her sincerity and knowing this was her only way out of the bathroom and Kansas, Scully took a deep breath and placed both her hands on either side of the white porcelain sink, leaning her weight against it. She lifted her head and looked at herself in the mirror. Looking away she tilted her head to the side and put her tongue in her cheek as she raised a hand in surrender.  “O.K. ….Okay. Yes.” With eyes diverted to the knobs on the sink, very hesitantly, struggling to get the words out she continued, “I. love. him.” She felt her throat go dry and her stomach knot. “I’ve only come to realize that recently, but it’s really complicated, and it’s not a good idea on all kinds of levels. Look, everything I said about Holman is true and all Mulder and I have ever been is platonic friends.”

Sheila replied sympathetically, “You mean after five years you guys have never ….”

Scully shook her head almost regretfully, “Nope.”

“Not even a kiss?”

Scully continued to shake her head. “No.”

Sheila headed back to the mirror to straighten herself up. “Trust me. The man knows how to kiss.”

Scully felt a natural camaraderie with Sheila and wanted her to understand what she could be missing. She felt her walls temporarily dissipate as she opened up her heart. “It seems to me, the best relationships, the ones that last, are frequently rooted in friendship. One day you look at a person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere and the person who was just a friend is suddenly the only person you can imagine yourself with.”

*

[Back at the hotel room after the reunion around 1AM]

Thankfully, it was the last night in this town, in this room, in a bed with Mulder sleeping within a foot of her.  Not that he wasn’t a gentlemen, but she longed for her firm mattress and fluffy down comforter. Tonight was Mulder’s turn to flop around the bed.  It was obvious he was having trouble getting comfortable. She felt him turn and face her back. “Scully, are you awake?”

“I am now. What’s wrong Mulder?”

“I was just thinking…”

“I thought I smelled something.”

She could feel him hovering over her with his head propped on his hand. “In a couple of months Scully, there could be a little me and you combination growing inside here.” Slowly his hand found its way to Scully’s belly resting on the outside of the covers.

Scully froze. Her first instinct was to pull away and leap from the bed, but she was so touched by the sentimentality, she fought against it. This was really affecting him.  She guessed she wasn’t taking his feelings into enough consideration.

Is that why he didn’t correct the mayor when they got off the plane? In the past, he was always the first to make it clear that she was his FBI partner. Is that why he was opening doors for her and seemed ambivalent to the fact that everyone was mistaking them for a married couple? He did seem happier than usual. Although, Diana could have been seeing him outside of work, but that didn’t seem to be the case.

Scully wanted so badly to open her heart and let the warmth take her over, but Diana was haunting her and they never discussed how involved, if any, he would be if she was to become pregnant. For now she let her walls encase her in a cocoon far from the pain of solitude and rejection and fell back to sleep.

*

A few hours later Scully awoke to the sounds of Mulder snoring lightly in her ear. His hand was still splayed over her belly and his face was buried in the crook of her neck. Mulder obviously didn’t know what he was doing and it had been so long since she had been in a man’s arms. Even if it was only temporary bliss. He stirred slightly pulling her closer against him and electricity surged through her body. His hot breath tickled her ear and her body’s immediate response to him startled her. Maybe it was the hormones or his change in attitude, or maybe the effects of this crazy town, but she wanted him. Craved him. She rolled inside his arm to face him still unsure of her own intentions. He slept peacefully while she stared inches from his face. Her heart was racing and her body pounding. How did she get herself this worked up over Mulder?

Without a plan, she reluctantly slid her arm over his torso. Did she intend for this to go somewhere? Was she trying to wake him? She wasn't sure, but he was coaxed awake from the movement anyway. His eyes opened and stared into her own. Expressionless, he brushed an errant strand of hair away from her face, tucking it behind her ear, his electric fingers following a path through her hair to the back of her head. Her mouth went dry as she swallowed hard. His eyes stayed fixated on hers and she felt a need grow down deep in her belly. The electricity between them caused her to tremble. Cradling her head, he delicately leaned into her. Fear shot through her as she closed her eyes preparing for a kiss. Instead he pressed his forehead against hers touching her nose with his. It took everything she had not to whimper. This was Mulder, her friend, but these feelings were not about friendship. They paralyzed her, muting her brain. Whatever he was about to do she didn’t have the will to stop him. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes as if gathering courage. Dropping his head, his lips landed in the crook of her neck, his heavy breaths lingering across her chest. She wanted every part of him, and she desperately needed him to feel the same way about her. Pleasure ran over her and into her chest as he sucked at her skin, kneading the back of her head. She tried to cry out, to tell him to stop, but the words escaped her floating into the dark. She had never felt like this. Her feelings for him were so strong. As his lips skimmed up and down her neck, his stubble grazing behind, her cells screamed out with a passion she thought only existed in fairy tales.

She was ridiculously wet. Turned on more than she could ever recall, pleasure resounding from her chest and between her thighs. The thought of him having the power to possibly bring her to orgasm from a solitary kiss filled her with shock and horror. She ran her hand up his back over the soft cotton of his t-shirt and rested it on his shoulder blade digging in with her nails. Her mouth open and her eyes closed, she was lost. Through the thin fabric of their clothes she felt the heat emanating from his cock, caressing her. His breathing became erratic as he sensually writhed against her. Leaving kisses on her neck, on her chest, every nerve ending an erogenous zone, every part of her in contact with him caused her dripping walls to pulsate deep inside. Pleasure overtook her, she unknowingly started biting into his shoulder desperately trying not to moan. Since his lips had first made contact with the skin of her neck, neither of them had opened their eyes. His head never rose farther than her jawline as if an acknowledgement of their true feelings might shatter them both.

She kissed his neck, the smoothness of his skin caressed her lips like a ripened plumb. His ear teased her hovering just above her cheek and she flicked it with her tongue. His response throbbed against her with an intensity that made her pause to catch her breath. Her tongue found the ridge of his ear, reaching the lobe she sucked on it grating it with her teeth. A moan escaped his lips causing her to shutter. “Shit, Scully.” A bolt of lightning shot through her body at the sound of her name leaving his lips with such a sensual tone. Those feelings in that tone were caused by what he felt for her. Her heart beat white hot. He mumbled into her neck as his hand fell to the small of her back and crushed her against him. Like a thick post of reclaimed wood he grated against her plush sensitive area, lighting up a firestorm with each thrust. Everything melted away, including her thoughts. All that remained was the feeling of his cock rubbing against her. Pulling from her what could be the most intense orgasm of her life.

A couple hundred narrow cotton fibers were all that was separating them from destiny. Increasing the incredible friction between them he quickened his gyrations, her hips following his dance. Her breathing now in short gasps, mounting pleasure coiled deep inside her. His hard body slowed, gently, rocking her, supporting her, oozing sex. He sucked at the skin below her jaw line grinding himself into her hard and deliberate. Scully became undone, she closed her eyes again and let out a high pitched moan spasming pleasure. He replied humming a deep groan into her neck.

Mulder’s eyes shot open, sobering, paralyzed with fear.

“Scully?” Mulder muffled into her shoulder.

“Yeah” she croaked.

“What’s going on?” Scully separated, springing from the bed her eyes remaining transfixed on the floor, “We’re getting out of this bed and we’re getting ready for our flight.”

Mulder rolled to his side of the bed and sat on the edge staring out the window, running his hand through his hair. His voice was shaky as he failed at casual conversation. “You know, this is the second time I’ve actually slept through the night.”

Scully darted to the bathroom. She closed the door behind her and leaned her back against it allowing gravity to take her down to the floor. Her body was trembling. She had really done it this time. She had lost all sense of professionalism and self control. Her head fell into her hands and against her knees. She had never felt anything like that. With anyone. Not even close. With or without penetration. What just happened? How could he make her feel that way without removing one piece of clothing? Did he even touch her? How could she have allowed it to get so far? To get that swept up in the moment? She never felt so alive or so terrified.

Chapter Text

Scully’s phone rang. She put down the dish towel from the dishes she was drying and answered, “Scully.”

“Hey Scully, what you doing today?”

“I’ve got a doctor’s appointment Mulder.”

“Is this thee doctor’s appointment?” She could hear Mulder bouncing his basketball through the phone.

“I have to go in so they can map my uterus. Do you really want to hear about this?”

The bouncing stopped. “Yeah, I, uh, I really do. I want to understand everything.”

“Okaay. Well, this will be the roadmap they will use to place the embryo in the correct location to help increase the odds of implantation.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” She could hear the concern in his voice through the phone and pangs of guilt rose inside her stomach.

“I am telling you.”

“You know what I mean…..I want to take you.”

“Mulder really I’m fine doing it by myself.”

“No, I’m coming to pick you up. I want to do this. You can let me be there for you.”

Scully let out a sigh, “If you want to drive me, drive. I need to drink water on the way there anyway. I need to have a full bladder for the procedure.”

*[two hours later]

Mulder held the door open as they left the doctor’s office and Scully walked through it.  She took the passenger side of the car and Mulder got behind the wheel. “Mulder, thank you for coming. I do appreciate it. Although, I wasn’t expecting you to be asking so many questions.”

“Can’t a guy be curious?” Mulder asked as he started the car and headed to drop her off at her apartment.

“I guess.”

“It was a good thing I did come. He gave me a prescription for all the antibiotics and vitamins to prepare for my donation as it were……..Scully, if you are willing, can you please let me know when you’re having these doctor’s appointments? It’s okay to let me know.”

She saw a look of concern and a little of a lost puppy. “Ok Mulder, from now on, I promise to let you know.”

------------------------------

Scully pulled up in front of her mother’s house. The air was crisp and cool. Her mother opened the door as she made her way up the walkway.

“Good Afternoon Dana. So glad you decided to come for a visit. I’ve got some tea made if you would like to come in and sit.”

“That would be great mom”, She said as she gave her a big hug.

*

“I heard from Charlie last week. He asked about you. The kids are doing well. I spoke to Bill this morning and he sends his regards.”

Scully stared at her tea not knowing quite how to broach the subject.  Open and straightforward seemed to be the ideal tactic. Just rip the bandaid. “Mom, I’ve got something I want to tell you. I’ve been seeing a fertility specialist. He told me that there is a chance for me to have a baby. He said my chances of success would be greater if I try now rather than later.”

“Now? But Dana, who would be the father? You have no husband. Do you even have a boyfriend? And your job, the travel, the long hours...”

“Mom,” she said reaching out across the table placing her hand on top of hers, “It will be fine. This is what I want and I will make the proper adjustments to my work life to accommodate the needs of the child.”

Maggie leaned back in her chair trying to digest it all, “What did Fox say?”

“He’s being very supportive as usual. He knows how important this is to me.” She played with her tea glass wiping away the condensation with her thumb. “He’s decided to be the donor.”

Maggie’s eyes lit up, “Well that’s wonderful! Have you two spoken about marriage?”

“No mom, you don’t understand. Mulder is my friend. We’re just friends. His only contribution will be that as a donor.”

“Dana, you know I will be here for you no matter what. I will be very happy for you and my new grandchild when or if the time comes. You must also understand, this will change things between you and Fox. And I know Fox, he is going to want to be in that child’s life. I wish you would give him a chance Dana. He might surprise you. I’ve always been very fond of him.”

“I know you have mom. We’re just going to take it one day at a time.”

“Well, tell him I asked about him. Things will be different. I just know it.”

----

[In a Café]

The waitress set two sandwich plates on the table and walked away.

“Thank you for meeting me Fox.” Diana was sitting across from him with a seductive smile.

“You asked”, Mulder smiled back.

In a serious tone Diana continued, “I know you still think I may have betrayed you Fox, but the important thing is that the work continues.”

“While I investigate fertilizer.” Mulder pursed his lips.

“You know that’s not forever. Just give it some time.”

“Is this what you brought me out here to discuss? You said it was urgent.”

“No, I wanted to discuss us.” Diana grabbed his hand.

“There is no “us” anymore Diana.”

“There could be. That’s why I came back Fox. I missed you. That is unless you’ve moved on to someone else. So what is the situation with you and Special Agent Scully?”

Mulder tensed defensively, “Scully and her life is not yours or anyone else’s business. She is my partner and my friend. I respect her as both.” He pulled his hand away. “As for me, I’m married to the x-files and I don’t have any plans other than those. And right now my wife is having an affair with Jeffrey Spender, so I need to get back to her.” He took a deep breath. “Diana, you are my friend and I’ll trust you until it is proven otherwise, but I think it is best if we keep all calls and meetings work related.”

“For now.” Her seductive eyes returned his stare. “Bye Fox.”

Chapter Text

Scully entered her apartment, surprised to find Mulder sleeping on her couch. She gripped at her chest. “God Mulder, you scared me.”

Mulder quickly sat up. “When you told me you had your appointment today, I guess I just wanted to be here when you got home.  What did the doctor say?”

“The test was negative, “ Scully answered averting her eyes. “He said everything still looks healthy though, and I can give it a month and try again.”

Mulder got up from the couch and put his arms around her. “Scully, I’m so sorry.  I’m so sorry you have to go through any of this.”

Scully’s eyes began to well and she pulled away, “I know, I know.  I’m not sure what I was expecting.”

Mulder grabbed his coat and placed his hand on her back to lead her to the door. “Scully, come.  Let’s get out of here, let me buy you dinner.”

“No…..I don’t know.”

“Come on, you can’t pass up a free meal, right?”

She smiled, “I guess not.”

*

At the restaurant, Mulder did his best to distract Scully. “The Yankees are going to have a good team this year.  Right now I hear they’re in talks about signing Darryl Strawberry as a free agent.”

“Thank you for taking me out Mulder.  This is above and beyond…”

“I haven’t been to Old Town in a while and Hank’s is my favorite in this area for seafood.  Just don’t eat too many oysters, I don’t want to have to tear you off of me again.” He smiled and blushed.  His own joke a little too real even for himself.

Scully’s face shared the sentiment turning a beet red at the remark. This was the first time either of them dared to broach the subject.  The car and plane ride on the way back to D.C. from Kansas had been quiet and uncomfortable. Besides the single doctor’s appointment, all their conversations had been work related. What would she even talk to him about? They didn’t kiss. You couldn’t exactly categorize it as sex. Like most things around them it was unidentifiable and unanswered. An x-file placed in her mind’s file of things they chose never to discuss again. It was apparent he didn’t share her same filing system. She looked him in the eye. “If I recall, you were the one that initiated. I was the one who had to wear turtlenecks for a week.  My entire neck was purple.”

“Well I didn’t get out of there unscathed.” He kept his volume low as not to be overheard. “I had teeth imprints next to my bullet scar and fingernail blood trails down my back.  Not to mention on my neck, a couple Scully sized red marks.  Someone definitely got carried away.”

Scully hadn’t come to terms yet with what had happened and she refused to discuss it further with him. Why couldn’t he just forget it and chalk it up as a mistake? She was under the influence of medication, that was all. Case closed. Scully looked around to see if anyone had been listening. Desperately she wanted to change the subject.“Hey, is that Agent Arnold over there at the bar? I wonder what he’s doing here.”

“He’s probably in town for the quarterly progress reviews next Monday.  They like to come down to headquarters early to “prepare”.  Has Skinner given you any hint as to what our first assignment back on the x-files will be?  Hopefully nothing to do with fertilizer,” Mulder remarked.

Thank God his brain was on something new. “Skinner told me he had some undercover work out in California he thought would be right up our alley, but he didn’t go into any details.”

“That doesn’t sound to me like an x-file.  It better not be a stakeout,” Mulder said taking a sip of his beer.

“You need to trust Skinner.  Otherwise, you can always go back to Kersh,”  Scully replied giving Mulder a warm, but devious smile.

*

After the restaurant, Mulder pulled up at a video rental store.  “I thought we could pick out a movie and take it to your place.  It’s too early on a Friday to go home just yet.”

She paused and wondered if he was going to try and pick up where they left off back in Kansas. After a second thought she realized that would be way too forward for him. This was Mulder we were talking about. His version of hitting on a woman was to slowly invade her personal space and see if she noticed. Or crack corny jokes and wait for her to make the first move. “That’s fine, I think I need a good comedy.  Get a new release.  Something I haven’t seen.”

10 minutes later, Mulder returned smiling holding up the tape. “There’s Something About Mary”.  He handed it to her and started the car.  “Got good reviews and Ben Stiller is always good for a laugh.”

*

Eating microwave popcorn and finishing his third beer of the night, Mulder sheepishly addressed Scully perched on the other side of the couch.

“Scully, we will try again.”  He said it more of a statement than a question.

‘We’ Scully thought.  Well, he would have to make another deposit.  “Yes. I haven’t given up.”

A sense of relief washed over him now that he knew she was giving it another chance.  He was hoping to lift her spirits tonight.

With the movie over and the news on, Mulder looked to find Scully sleeping with her head hung over the top of the couch and her legs tucked underneath her. There was no way she could have been comfortable sleeping like that. He got up and grabbed her a blanket from the bedroom and carefully draped it over her.

Scully spoke with her eyes still closed. “Don’t go.  It’s late and it’s raining.  Sleep on the couch.”

Too tired to put up much resistance, Mulder obeyed, placing one of her throw pillows behind his head.  He stretched his legs out and she, to his surprise, laid down between his legs with her head resting just below his chest.  He knew she couldn’t be fully awake, but he wasn’t going to argue.  She was using him for a body pillow.  He was happy.

**********

Rays of sunlight passed through Scully’s apartment stirring Mulder. Sometime during the night their legs and arms had found each other and tightly entwined. It warmed his heart and sent butterflies to his stomach at how soundly they slept in each other’s presence. Somehow he was able to get off of the couch without waking her and headed back to his apartment.  Once there, he saw the blinking of his answering machine and hit the button.  It was Arthur Dales.  He picked up the phone and dialed his number. Dales wanted Mulder to come down to Goodland, Florida.  Mulder smiled.  This was just what Scully needed to lift her spirits.  Nothing like a good sea monster to get your mind off of things.

Chapter Text

That night there was a knock on the door to Mulder’s apartment.  He opened it to find Scully there in what appeared to be silk pajamas underneath her trench coat.

“Sleepwalking are we, Scully?”

She entered the apartment and he shut the door behind her. “I couldn’t sleep.  We need to give Skinner an answer by eight as to whether we will be going undercover in California.”

She walked over to his bedroom door and peered inside.  Noticing the poster bed and deflated mattress she commented, “Must have been quite a mess in here Monday.  Neighbors must have loved that.”

“You came over here to check out my bed!” Mulder said indignantly, but with a bit of jovialness.

“I came over to decide on whether we were taking this case so we had an answer for Skinner in the morning like he asked.”  Scully stared at the mirrored tiles attached to the canopy of the frame. “You said this bed was a gift?”  She asked raising one eyebrow, “Was it from Agent Fowley?”

“No, Diana didn’t give it to me. At least I don’t think . . . . No, she didn’t.”

Sully raised both eyebrows, “Are you sure?”

“I haven’t spoken to her since we were assigned back on the x-files.  Sideways looks in the hallway, smiles for a greeting.  That’s about it. I don’t even know what her current assignment is. Actually, I thought you were the one who gave it to me. I can’t think of anyone else who would come in here and turn my storage space into a bedroom. I thought maybe you were hinting at something.”

Scully decided it was best to change the subject. “So are you ready to go undercover?”

“What does this entail?”

“It seems we will be masquerading as a married couple, investigating the mysterious disappearance of a couple with the last name of Klein.”

“Married, huh?” Mulder smiled at the implications.

“No Mulder.  No funny business.  First of all, we’re on a case.  Second of all, with where I am in the IVF process, I couldn’t do anything even if I wanted to.”

“So, you’re saying you want to.”

Scully felt herself flush. “Mulder, be serious.”

“Maybe Skinner’s trying to prepare us, you know, in case it’s ever positive.  Ol’ papa bear might be prepping his shotgun.”

“So, are we going or not?”

“Well, I’m still not sure it’s an x-file, but at least it will be better weather than dreary D.C.”

Chapter Text

[Arcadia – This episode was meant to air after One Son which explains why Scully is still upset with Mulder about Diana, why she says it’s February 24 th on the video and why it is their first case back on the x-files.  To go along with the actual airing dates and so the IVF procedures make sense, I will “assume” Scully meant to say March 24, 1999 on the video.]

[On the airplane, on the way to California]

Mulder was flipping through a SkyMall magazine as the flight attendant bumped his knee on the cart.

Scully looked up from her laptop and then back down.

“Scully, there’s something I feel I should let you know.  Especially since we’re doing what we’re doing.”

“What are we doing Mulder?”  Scully mumbled sounding very bored.

“You know, the procedure and everything.  Anyway, the night that I met up with CGB in Diana’s apartment.  When Diana and I were talking ..she ..uh, she kissed me.”

Not looking away from her laptop she replied, “Mulder, it’s really none of my business.  I told you, you have no obligations towards me.”

There was silence through their in-flight meal, in which Scully stole Mulder’s brownie as the flight attendant was taking away their trays.

Scully looked at Mulder and sighed, “Did you kiss her back?”

“Kind of, maybe.  I guess.”

“Are you going to kiss her again?”

“Scully, no, it’s not like that.”

“It sure seems like it.  It seems to me that she is doing everything in her power to get between us.  That you’ll believe everything she says, that everything she does is completely altruistic but, me, I just get left to clean up the mess. Why do you think CGB was in her apartment Mulder?”

“He told me he was looking for Spender”

“Yes, because now Smoking Man is trustworthy.  Open your eyes.” There was a long silent pause. The tension thick in the air.

“Scully, I was with you, she went alone.”

“What were your plans exactly Mulder?  That you two would ride off into the sunset and I’d be your little tag-a-long?” She could feel her blood pressure rise as beads of anguish formed on her scarlet hairline.

“Scully you’re my partner”

“That’s right.  Try not to forget that Mulder.  Try not to forget that the next time you need somewhere to sleep.”  With that, Scully opened her laptop and buried herself in it.

Great.  Now she was angry.  Mulder fumed.  I’m trying to not keep anything from her and now I have to spend a week with angry, pissed off Scully.  I can’t believe she threw Kansas in my face.  Yeah, this was going to be a great trip.

*

[During the car ride over to Arcadia Falls]

After a very quiet plane ride, Mulder felt it was time to break the ice, “You know, Scully.  It might be kind of nice, you and me, married.  You might even enjoy it.”

“Rob and Laura are married.  We just work together.” Scully stated coldly.

Mulder grabbed Scully’s hand, interlocking their fingers.  “Scully, I’m with you.  You’re the one I watch movies with, you’re the one I call at 3 in the morning.”

“Should I be flattered? Or …..”

Mulder stopped the minivan for a red light.  He took the wedding rings out of his pocket, grabbed Scully’s left hand and stared into her deep blue eyes and said in his low monotone voice, “With this ring, I thee wed” and slid the ring onto her finger.  He then handed her the other ring. Scully’s heart flew into her throat. She didn’t want to be angry with him. Maybe she wasn’t angry with him at all.  Maybe she was angry with herself.  Angry that she couldn’t admit how she felt, admit that she wanted him all for herself. Admit that she wanted to be back in Kansas on that bed and finish what they had started. “Come on Laura, we need to make this legitimate...and believable. We’re supposed to be a happily married couple remember?”

She decided to play along and slid it halfway down his ring finger.  Mulder nodded his head, pushed the ring the rest of the way onto his finger, and with a very satisfied smile on his face continued their drive.  Scully couldn’t help but smile at him.  This should be interesting she thought, even if he wasn’t completely off the hook.

*

After two nights of sleeping on the couch, Scully watched as Mulder quietly grabbed his pillow and sulked back downstairs. Why exactly was she making him sleep on the couch?  Did she want him in her bed? How could she be so angry with him over Diana yet demand they stay at arm’s length? If she kept this up she was going to wind up pushing him right into her waiting slithering arms.  She called out, “Alright. If you keep to your side of the bed.”

Mulder stopped and turned around.  “You mean it?”

“Don’t make me regret it. Come on before I change my mind”

*

Mulder woke up at 5AM.  Scully was curled up underneath him. Like baby cats he thought to himself and smiled. He gave her a hug, kissing her on the cheek. They were back on the x-files and back together.  He thought about how he kept asking her if she wanted him to make a choice, but the choice wasn’t between two people or two ideologies. The real choice was whether he wanted more from her than friendship. Was what he had told himself and Holman true? Was he really content with a simple friendship?  Right now with his arms wrapped around her it sure didn’t feel like it. They were trying to have a baby and he was worried about if people thought they gazed too long at each other. Soon he would have to address his feelings, but right now he had a case to solve which seemed like as good an excuse as any to prolong the inevitable. He whispered into her ear, “We better get up, the excavator will be here by 7.”

“Hmmmm.  10 more minutes”

“Ok.” He wasn’t arguing with that. Ten more minutes with his new favorite teddy bear. A teddy bear that would look great in a teddy. He snuggled her, relishing in the moment.“I finally figured out how to get me to sleep through the night.” Mulder gave her another peck on the cheek.

“I know.  We’re like Ross and Joey on Friends.” Scully mumbled as she drifted back to sleep.

“Hey, whatever works.”

Chapter Text

Scully awoke to the song “Smooth” by Santana blaring from her alarm clock.  After showering, brushing her teeth, and getting dressed, she headed to the kitchen for coffee. It was then that she remembered that Mulder had decided to crash on her couch.  He had come over and surprised her with Chinese take-out and a box of x-files he wanted to add to their secret collection that they were keeping at her apartment.  When she got to her kitchen she realized he had left already, but her vase was on the table filled with water and an assortment of flowers.  There was also a small card.  It read, “Will be in late today. Going to the doctor to make a deposit.  Left you something to brighten your day without me.  -Your Partner.”  She smiled, her heart growing in her chest.  Then she caught herself and added some bricks to her tumbling wall.

She worked mostly at her desk in the bullpen and did not see Mulder all day, but at 10 after 7 she decided to pack up her things and see if he was down in the basement so she could say goodnight.  It seemed lately that she couldn’t look him in the eye without smiling.  He continued his jovial flirtations while somehow remaining professional.  Tonight he was “feathering his nest” and going on about dogs. Lately the urge to kiss him was becoming overwhelming. How could anyone be that adorable and that corny at the same time?

Chapter Text

[Post Milagro]

 Scully was clinging to Mulder with all the strength she had left.  He was her lifeline.  She grasped for him.  He held her for as long as she needed.  Mulder was terrified, but he hid his shaking hands. She needed his fortitude not to waver.  He picked her up, and carried her over to his bathroom.  Blood, so much blood everywhere.  Her blood.  He threw the cover down on the toilet seat for her to sit.

 “Scully, I’m going to unbutton your shirt.  I need to know if you’re alright.”  She simply nodded.  The white cotton was soaked in her life force.  He grabbed a washcloth from under his sink and wiped away the blood on her chest.  She started trembling.

“Scully, you want to go to the hospital?”  She shook her head no.

He placed a body towel on the sink.  “I’m going to let you wash up and I’ll be right outside.”

She grabbed his arm.  “No!”  She screamed frightfully.

He spoke softly. “Okay, then I’m coming in with you, but we have to get you cleaned up.”

He lifted his sweater and shirt over his head and removed his shoes, socks, pants, and boxers.  Walking over to the shower he turned the handle, testing to make sure it was warm enough.  He methodically took off her blazer, her shirt.  She said nothing but stared off in the distance shaking and in shock.  Helping her to her feet, she removed her own pants. He looked away as she removed her bra and underwear, guiding her to the shower.  Not knowing what else to do, he got in with her.

“Is it warm enough?” He asked.  She only nodded.

He tilted her head so her hair was covered by the spray of the showerhead.  Pouring shampoo into his hand, he worked up a lather, massaging it into her head. Relaxing into his fingertips, she closed her eyes.  Bright red streaks ran down from the hair tips crying blood. He rinsed it out and reached for another washcloth. The sight of so much of her blood had his hands shaking along with her, but he clenched his fists and continued.  

“Don’t go!” She grabbed him again, holding him, clutching at his arm.

“I’m just reaching for a washcloth.  I promise, I’m not going to leave.” He had never seen her quite like this and it unnerved him.

He soaped up the cloth and ran it over her neck, over her shoulders, down her chest plate and over her breasts.  He did so with care. Worry and concern plagued his face, but she showed no signs of injury. Turning her, he scrubbed her back. He paused as he flashed on an image of the killer holding her heart in his hands ripping it from her chest. Hugging her from behind, he rested his hand over her abdomen and his head on her shoulder. The water cascading like a shroud over their bodies.  His need to comfort her overwhelming.  He could feel her body shaking, crying out to be extricated from the memory.

He turned her back around and bent down to scrub her legs from her ankles to her thighs careful to keep his eyes diverted to the floor.

He handed her the soap. “I’ll turn my back to you.  I won’t leave.  You finish up.”

Facing the wall, he waited for her. Trying to slow his own breathing and calm down he kept repeating in his head that she was alright.   After a while, he felt her small hands on his back.  Her face leaning against him.  He reached over to turn off the water.  Grabbing a clean bath towel, he wrapped it around her. They stayed in an embrace. Taking her hand he led her over to the bed and she sat in silence.

“I’ve got some basketball shorts you can use and your choice of t-shirts.”

 “I’m not picky Mulder” She said quietly, tracing imaginary lines on the bedspread.  “You got a new bed.”

“I’ll stay in the living room while you get dressed.” Mulder replied.

 “No.  Don’t leave” she pleaded again.

He paused, “Ok, I’ll turn on the t.v. in here while you get dressed.  Do you want to go back to your apartment or stay here tonight?”

“I want to stay here” she said in a small voice.

“If you’re hungry I could order a pizza?”

 “That’s fine…..Get one with some Mushrooms”

 “Okay.” Mulder picked up the phone.

“And pepperoni”, she added.

He smiled, “Sounds good.”

“Don’t forget the extra cheese.”

That’s my Scully, he thought, still had her appetite. She will recover.  She always did.

After pizza he laid on the bed with her until she fell asleep.  He turned off the tv and went into the living room.  He started rifling through his closet and under his sink looking for cleaning supplies and rags. He had work to do. With a solution of Clorox he scrubbed the blood off of the wood floor finishing it with some Murphy’s oil soap. The bullets from the ceiling he shimmied out with a knife.  There would be lots of paperwork with this one.  Once the apartment was clean he ran down to the incinerator and threw all remnants into it. Now alone he allowed reality to creep in.  He fell to his knees and cried. Cried for his helplessness, cried for his fear, cried because he couldn’t be what she needed.

When he got back to the 4th floor he heard Scully screaming from the hallway.  He ran in. She was in the bedroom having a nightmare.  He scooped her head up in his arms and rocked her.  “Scully, I’m here.”

 “Mulder, don’t leave me.”

“I won’t. I’m here.” She was so delicate, vulnerable.  Her frame small and fragile. Her walls transforming to sand as the waves washed them into the sea.

He fell asleep with her in his arms and awoke to the morning daylight.  He ran a light finger over her face. “Scully, I’ve got to get ready for work.  Do you want me to drop you off?”

“I’m coming to work; wait for me” She replied her voice still shaky.

“Scully, that’s not a good idea.”

“I can’t stay home.” Her voice was stronger, but the vulnerability crept in.

They arrived at the office around 10.  Skinner was waiting.  “Agent Scully you didn’t have to come to work today.”

“I’m fine.”  She gave him her don’t fuck with me look and he dropped it.

He looked at Mulder. “Well, I guess you guys can work on the reports today then.  Get it out of the way.”

As he was walking out the door he gestured to Mulder who met him at the elevator.  “How’s she doing?”

“About as well as can be expected I guess.  She’ll be alright.  She’s Scully.”

“Well, make sure she is.”  He nodded and got on the elevator.

Chapter Text

Scully was successful in shutting Mulder out until her fortress of solitude was resurrected.  They had no conversation outside of work or about anything but work for the remainder of the week.

Scully was soul searching.  Why was she always so afraid to let people in?  Why was she romanced by danger? What was so intriguing about Padgett?  Was it rebellion for Diana or for the way Mulder bled into her life, controlling it, suffocating it? Was she that fearful of a relationship with Mulder?

She recalled Mulder’s words as he barked the orders at her. “You’ve got a 9AM with the DC medical examiner. He’s going to let you autopsy the latest victim.”  There went the spiral.  Is this the cigarette smoking 13 year old all over again or the fear of her life ending with nothing but Mulder’s crusade to show for it? Yes, a relationship with Mulder was terrifying.It would be so deep and passionate and filled with so much complication.

She needed to have part of her life that was only for her, beyond aliens and conspiracies.  It was 8:30PM on a Friday night and she was in bed. Maybe she would start her life tomorrow.

Scully yawned, dozed off, and began to dream.  She dreamt of entering a dark cave going down, down into darkness.  Suddenly the cave was blindingly white and she was surrounded by aliens floating towards her.  She saw Mulder, but it was not him.  He had bumps on the back of his neck.  His eyes went dark and he began to transform.

Scully bolted awake and she was sitting on Mulder’s couch.  Mulder walked up to her.

“Scully, you were having a bad dream.”

“It was horrible Mulder, there were aliens and…”

Mulder held her. “It’s ok Scully, it’s ok.”  He kissed her forehead and down her neck.  He looked up and their lips finally touched.  Pleasure surged through her body.  He started walking her towards his desk.  He lifted her up and suddenly they were on his desk but in the basement office.  He reached up under her skirt and ripped the underwear beneath his fingers.  He slid two fingers between her folds and hot ecstasy encompassed her body.  Lightning bolts culminated between her thighs as she groaned, “but Mulder, we’re friends, what about work, what about…. His lips covered hers as he continued to pump his fingers inside her.  She reached down and grabbed at his belt, unzipping his pants, desiring everything behind that zipper.  He pulled down his boxers.  Looking deep into her eyes he entered her, “I love you Scully, I love you so much.”  She moaned in response, but his words also brought waves of panic. In a brief moment of clarity she cried, “But Mulder, what if Skinner comes in….”

“Agent Mulder! Agent Scully! What is going on here!?!”  Skinner untucked his shirt and approached Scully.

 “Get out of the way Mulder” Skinner was suddenly on her lips, kissing her hard. She ripped his shirt open as her tongue probed his mouth.  Grabbing her hair at the back of her head Skinner pulled it back to reveal her neck.

“Oh, Dana” He sucked on her neck, biting at her earlobe. Skinner lifted her up, kissing her and backed her into the cabinet. He undid his pants and thrusted into her painfully hard.  Like a jackrabbit he was relentless. Scully could feel her climax building with each thrust.

She heard a phone ring.  It took her a second to register that she was dreaming.  She looked at the clock. It was 11:21PM.  She thought to herself, leave it to Mulder to screw up a wet dream.

Grabbing the phone, she answered it. “Scully.”

“Hey Scully, how would you like to spend the day tomorrow on an adventure”

“What kind of adventure Mulder?” Her voice was upbeat with a hint of sexy, still horny and wet from her dream.

“Something mischievous. Something so mischievous in fact that it will involve theft.”

“Oooo aren’t we the badass.”

He looked at the phone “Are you flirting with me Agent Scully?”

“Maybe.  Maybe not.”

“Well maybe I’ll just have to come over there (what am I saying?)”

 “You don’t have the guts?”

Is she challenging me to go over to her place in the middle of the night? “I bet I do.”

20 minutes later there was a knock on her door.  Scully answered it wearing a nightgown and not much else.

What was she trying to do to me tonight? Mulder pondered.

“So what do I owe the pleasure Mulder?”

“I didn’t realize this was a slumber party, I didn’t come appropriately dressed.” Mulder said as he walked into the apartment failing to keep his eyes above the neck.

“You can come anyway you like” Scully countered, her voice deeper than usual.

Was she drunk?  Why was she talking to me like this? “Anyway Scully, I need you to help me steal some reference books from the FBI library”

“And we are doing that because…..”

“To go through the New Mexico newspaper obituaries from the years 1940 to 1949.  I think we may just find some answers”

“Sure Mulder, it’s a date. Would you like to sit down? “

“Sure, I’ve got some articles here you may just find interesting.”

Scully sighed. "I'll start a pot of coffee."

Chapter Text

[Post the Unnatural]

Scully waited for Mulder as he paid the boy tossing the balls.  Glancing upwards, she noticed the clear sky had painted diamond stars on a midnight canvas showcasing the moon.  A cool breeze came to sooth her fatigued muscles. Tonight felt different. In a way that was hard for Scully to describe. It was almost as if Mulder had tricked her into going on a date with him. A date that wasn’t exactly a date. Creating feelings of innocence and romance simultaneously. A glimpse into boyhood marvel and guileless sensuality. Everything they did together held so much importance for their friendship, their partnership, their quest. To cross over that path for a sexual need would be to shortchange something so special that she was certain no two people had ever built. Even still, Mulder’s hands on her hips pressing herself against his so intimate of areas had Scully excited in a way she hadn’t been since she was 15.  Tonight a look from Mulder sent jolts of pleasure cascading through her.  She wasn’t sure what was happening to them. She had always been somewhat attracted to him, but she would simply brush it away as natural human response. She couldn’t do that tonight. Since their adventure in the Antarctic, their relationship seemed to be evolving at a rapid pace, but where exactly was it hurtling towards and where did she even want it to go? Everything tonight felt magical. The stars, the city, and Mulder’s scent permeating her senses. He smelled.. herbaceous, yet heady and woody, like sandalwood mixed with dry cedar. The thought made her freeze in place. She  closed her eyes as electricity shot through her body. When she opened them Mulder was standing in front of her uncomfortably close, causing her to step back.

“You have fun tonight Scully?”

“Mulder, I really did. I had a great time…..  Let’s not say goodnight just yet, let’s go have a drink.”

Mulder’s wheels started turning, “We could go to the bar up the street?  We might run into somebody being so close to the office, but who cares, we don’t always have to be antisocial, right?”

“That would be fine”

Through the whole conversation, Scully was giving Mulder a look that was making his cock do the Scully dance.  He didn’t know if he had the willpower anymore.  Why couldn’t he ever be honest with her about this?  Why couldn’t he be honest with himself? The hard work had already been done. He had gotten her here, under the stars, their hips swaying in unison in the night with both of her hands wrapped tight around his fine piece of ash… yet still, he couldn’t bring himself to cross over that line.

“Scully,” he muttered, as he stared at the ground, kicking the dirt.  “I’m really glad you came out with me tonight. I appreciate you being with me this morning. Scully, these past weeks…. things have been...We have been…. Scully..we’re good friends.…and I don’t want that to ever change...I’m very happy with the way things are...and yet..we’re at this point...th..that maybe some things should..”  He took a long pause and tried to remember to breathe. If his body allowed him to stay conscious, he was going to do it. “I guess what I’m trying to say…..”  He looked into her eyes.  That look.  His heart was beating wildly. This was it. He had to know and he wasn’t going to wait any longer. If she punched him in the face.. Well, at least he went down swinging. He leaned down into her waiting eyes….

She was nervous like it was the first time she had ever kissed a boy. It was only Mulder, but at the same time, it was Mulder. Her partner. They were supposed to stay professional. They were supposed to stay friends. What would this mean? Did it matter anymore? They never followed protocol anyway. She knew it could turn out very wrong, but she had to know what it was like to kiss the man that made her feel this way. She wasn’t backing down. It’s only Mulder she kept saying to herself.

His voice trailed off and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into him…. And gave her a hug. A kiss just didn’t feel natural after all this time. His mind and emotions were in an infinite loop of turmoil. He brought his hands up to cup her face and she looked up into his eyes.

“Mulder, what is it?...” she asked softly, but it only made his heart beat faster. They may not have crossed that line yet, but their eyes were already there. He smiled at her. It shouldn’t be this difficult, but it wasn’t because it wasn’t right, it was because it meant so much.

“...just say it.” Scully pleaded, coaxing him again. Mulder closed his eyes and gently pressed his lips against hers. He pulled back just enough for him to open his eyes and gage her reaction...

He had kissed her so gently, a simple press of his lips, barely touching hers, but it felt like home. Warmth flooded her heart. He pulled back with hooded eyes and the expression on his face sent lightning through her. She reached up to stroke his face. There was no question, she was in love. This time they met each other halfway, still with the lightest of caresses, still tentative, but inside, she was on fire. It terrified her to feel this way, her insides throbbing while her heart was exploding. Then her brain stopped.  His tongue had slipped into her mouth.  She tilted her head and time stood still.  The moon shone brighter and the stars exploded. With his arms around her, he lifted her up to him as she slid her arms around his neck pulling him to her. It was nothing that she had expected. It was all her feelings for him all at once rushing to every part of her body. The warm wetness of his lips on hers, his jaw moving in time with her own. His tongue firm and gentle, reaching into her, caressing hers. They kissed until the breath left their lungs. When they did finally pull back they pressed their foreheads together not wanting to break their connection.

“Wow” she breathed.

“Wow” he echoed.

They stood together in the night; taking each other in, very much in the present. Their lips reached for the others again, needing that feeling of completeness. Their kiss deepened, becoming more passionate and wanting. This was like no kiss they had ever experienced and neither of them knew quite how to handle it. They were getting carried away and all that was certain was they wanted more. They explored each others mouth until once again they were breathless.  They broke their kiss, still anchored at their foreheads.  Smiling.  Mulder stepped back holding her hands in his, taking a deep breath and exhaled trying to cool down.

“Why don’t we go get that drink” He suggested, staring at her deeply, lovingly.

“Yeah” was her only reply, her chest was heaving, her body throbbing, and her heart craving more.

He put his arm around her as they walked to their respective cars, both of them still trying desperately to recover.

“You know Mulder, Sheila was right, you really can kiss” She said wanting to break the silence and lighten the mood.

Mulder laughed, “Is that so?”

“Don’t let it get to your head.  It’s inflated enough.”

“Oh, you noticed that..oh, you mean the one between my shoulders…..”

*

Agent Timothy Addison leaned over to Agent James Meetze.  “Hey Jimmy, look who’s walking in on a Saturday night. If it isn’t Mr. and Mrs. Spooky.  Wonder how we got graced with their presence.”

“Tell me they’re not screwing.  Look at the way he opens the door for her and has his hand on her back.  Oh, yeah.”

“I know I’d be tying her to my bedpost every night.”

“I don’t know, it’s like Addams Family Values over there.  Look at the way they’re hunched in the corner.  Like they’re vampires or something.  Well, she is very pale looking in a Casper the ghost sort of way. Although, I don’t know how friendly she is…”

“Maybe they sleep in coffins in that basement.  I never see them coming or going.”

“Are you kidding? Last week I hear she was running around the hallways like a bat out of hell.  I heard somebody saw her making out with A.D. Skinner.  One day, I get in the elevator and she’s in there pacing and talking to herself like a lunatic.  You can have that crazy bitch.”

“They say the crazy ones are the best in bed….”

“Who’s crazy in bed?” Brittany sat down on the bar stool next to Jimmy.

“No, we were talking about the Spookys over there.” Said Jimmy pointing.

“Oh yeah, she never talks to anybody.” Confirmed Brittany, “If you see her in the hallways she doesn’t even smile at you. All business all the time. I’m not sure what she’s trying to prove. And don’t catch her in an elevator, she’ll send icicles right through you.”

“I heard she had a dog named queer that Spooky bit the head off of.” Jimmy chuckled as he drank his beer.

Tim laughed, “Come on Jimmy.  Now you’re getting carried away.”

“I’m just sayin’ that’s what I heard.”

“I bet you 50 bucks I can get a rise out of her.” Brittany challenged.

Jimmy countered. “How about… if you get her panties in a wad, I’ll buy the next round.”

“Deal.”

Brittany strutted over to their table and they both sat up stiffly, breaking their cone of silence.

Seductively she spoke to Mulder, “Hey Fox.” She rubbed his shoulder as she spoke. “What brings you out tonight?”

Mulder put his head down nervously, “we, uh, we decided to do some research today to get an early start on a case.  Nice to see you Brittany.”

“Oh, it’s always nice to see you Fox.”  She said leaning her elbows on the table, pushing her breasts together and lifting them to give him an eye full. “You should come have a drink with us. I could use the company.”

“I, um, sorry Brittany, we’re kind of in the middle of a discussion.  Maybe next time?”

“Sure.  Let me give you my number.” Brittany took the pen from his front pocket, turned his hand over and wrote her number in his hand.  “Don’t wash it now”

Scully was on the other side of the table throwing daggers, darts, arrows, and grenades with her eyes.  Brittany as if anticipating the imminent attack turned and looked over Scully from toe to head, “Hello, Special Agent Scully.” She turned and walked back to the bar.

Scully leaned into Mulder reconstructing their invisible bubble. Whispering she asked, “What the hell was that?  Maybe next time?”

“What?  I was trying to be nice.  Don’t be mad.  We’re having a good time.  She’s just messing with us.”

Scully gave him a look that completed the conversation, taking a gulp of her vodka and cranberry.

The guys at the bar went hysterical.  “That was worth every penny Brittany.  When you laid your rack on that table.  OMG I thought she was going to take out her gun and shoot you.”

At this point Audra came over to see where Brittany had gone and to snuggle up next to Tim. “Shelly told me that the Barracuda is back and she’s claimed her stake on spooky boy.”

“Agent Fowley?  Isn’t she like the crypt keeper compared to him?” Tim replied.

“Yeah, that’s right up his alley.” Added Jimmy and they all started laughing.

Brittney answered Jim, “well if he calls me.. it’s on”

Mulder walked Scully back to her car outside the bar.  “Thank you again for a great night, Mulder.  I’ll see you on Monday?”

“Yes, yes.  See you on Monday”

Scully reached up for Mulder’s lips, but Mulder turned his head and kissed her on the cheek. “Careful Scully, someone could see us”

“And us together would be the root of all evil?”

“Could be.” He smiled, “It’s just dangerous. Gives them power.”

“They’re dead Mulder.”

“Maybe, maybe not Scully.  Anyway, thank you for tonight. I will see you Monday.”

“Drive Careful.” Scully returned.

Mulder gave her a wave as he walked back to his car, “You too.”

Chapter Text

Scully got on the elevator to the basement.  Today she would receive the test results from the second cycle.  She didn’t want to get her hopes up, but she was getting her hopes up.  As she strolled into the office she saw Mulder cutting newspaper clippings.  He looked up and smiled.

“Good Morning, Mulder.  I have a doctor’s appointment today.  You said you wanted me to let you know, I’m letting you know.” She said stiffly.

“What time?”

“3PM”

“Are you coming back to the office?”

‘’No. Call me when you leave for the night and I’ll meet you at your place.”

 

[Mulder’s apartment]

She smiled, her eyes glowing as he walked in the door.  She stood to greet him.

“It’s positive?”

“It’s positive.” Tears of joy pinched at the corners of her eyes.

He ran up and threw his arms around her, lifting her off the ground in the process. Scully let out a squeal from shock and he apologized as he set her down. Then he patted her stomach and apologized to it.

She laughed.

He hugged her and gave her a kiss her on the forehead.

Grabbing her hand he ushered her out the door. “Come on. Let’s take the rest of the day and celebrate.”

They got to the car and Mulder hopped in the passenger seat.

Scully held the key in the ignition.  Instead of starting the car she turned to him. “Let’s not go out.. Why don’t we pick up some Italian and eat in your apartment?”

“Whatever you want Scully sounds great to me. This is your night.”

*

Mulder opened the door to his apartment gripping their bag of goodies.  He walked in and placed the bag on the table.Turning around, he cradled Scully’s face, taking her by surprise and kissed her softly on the lips.  “I’m very happy for you,” he spoke in low tones, staring at her deep blues.

“Mulder, you still have no obligation.” She wanted to have no expectations with him because she couldn't afford disappointment. The look on his face was so filled with intent and caring.  And that kiss.  It was the second time his lips had touched her own.  To have known him for so long and not know how exciting it was to kiss him, to connect like that. Their friendship poured into each kiss and the electricity from it lit up her entire body. Her heart was spilling with so much emotion she had to pull herself back.  Tonight it was a lot to ask.  His dark smokey eyes were drawing on the great love she had for him and behind all her compassion and complete devotion to him was a romantic love she was only beginning to understand. A simple innocent kiss had the power to freeze her in her tracks, stop her brain, even stop time. The intensity terrified her and the complications of such feelings screamed at her to pull back, but to turn away what felt so incredible and enriched with a happiness she had never known didn't seem possible tonight.   

“I know, I know.” He nodded as his arms dropped behind her back. Giving her a quick hug they retired to the couch.  

After they finished eating and were well into their movie, Scully turned her head and glanced over at Mulder. They were sharing in this together, but what did it really mean for him? His role was to be a simple donor.  What if he did want more? Could the two of them really make it work? There was no doubt that Mulder would be a great father. Could they possibly raise this child together? He looked so happy. Today he looked... different. His eyes were brighter and he was more attractive than usual.  They were going to have a beautiful baby together. With their combined traits that baby could grow to be whatever it wanted.  A baby. Wow. She would be so proud if it grew to be like Mulder. He was someone to be very proud of. It made her want to. To...

She ran her finger along the top of his hand resting between them and traced his long fingers. He looked up and her expression must have said it all for he leaned over and cupped her cheek. His lips followed and her heart leapt from her chest.

Mulder didn’t think twice when he saw the expression on Scully’s face.  It punched him square in the gut and all he could do was kiss her. Her hands pushing at his chest were guiding him onto his back, and as he lifted his legs onto the couch he pulled her on top of him while she busily convinced his lips that she would be his undoing. He rolled them over so he was hovering over her, their lips carefully caressing each others.  Running his hands through her hair, he parted her lips with his and entered inside. Her tongue there to greet him.  With all he had he wanted to tell her he loved her.  Wanted to tell her he would never leave. That he would give up everything for her happiness. That he wanted it all with her.  But there was more to think about now.  His declarations were now vows. He needed to be certain that being with him would not put her in danger before promises were made that could not be rescinded.  So he kissed her instead. They kissed and smiled and kissed some more.  Sometimes it became passionate to the point that they had to stop to breathe and calm down, but they always continued.  They kissed until their lips were puffy, until their tongues were aching, until the sun set and the moon rose and awakened the stars.  They kissed through calls from Skinner and messages from mom. Through Frohike invites and 900 number creditors for Marty.  Then they fell asleep together, on the couch, still embraced and lips still together by the lightest touch, stealing each other’s breath.

Chapter Text

[FBI Headquarters – 9:42AM]

“Mulder, stop smiling at me.”, Scully looked up from her laptop.

“What, I’m just smiling.  Hey, want to go to the Orioles game tomorrow?  They’re playing the Yankeeees. I got seats right behind the visitor’s dugout.”

“Sounds thrilling, but yes, I will go.”

“I’ve got a gift for you”

“You do.” Scully was suddenly cheery.

“Yup.”  He handed her a plastic bag.  She looked inside.  “It’s a….a Yankees hat! Mulderrrr, if I wear this to an Orioles game I’m going to get beer thrown on me.”

“No you won’t Scully.  We’re on the visitor’s side. Besides, I’ll protect you, not that you’d need any.”

* [Camden Yards, Maryland]

They took their seats.

“Scully, you want a hotdog?”

“I really shouldn’t, but I guess one won’t hurt.”

“Anything else? Peanuts, crackerjacks, the moon, what do you want?”

“Mulder stop.  I’m fine, thank you.”  Mulder pining over her was not something she wanted to get used to.

The Yankees took a 3-1 lead in the top of the 5 th .  Jeter tripled and Mulder grabbed Scully’s hand and gave it a squeeze.  Throwing his arm around the back of her chair, he kicked his legs up.

“Mulder, you’re not from New York, how did you become a Yankee fan?”

“I don’t know, my dad was one and I guess my whole life I’ve always been the underdog.  Baseball is the one thing where I get to root for the man on top.  It’s a good escape. Plus, most of the greats play or played for the Yankees.  This is where you get to come to see them, learn from them, maybe even become one.  All is possible in baseball Scully.”

“Ah, but the Mets’ motto is You Gotta Believe. I thought that might be more fitting for you.” She gave him a sideways smile.

“Scullllly, you’ve been holding out on me,” he said, smiling at her suggestively, “I guess what I love about baseball is the same stuff I love about you. All facts and figures, theories and theorems, all science, with some hope, faith, fun, and superstition thrown in for good luck.  Maybe even some magic.”

Scully’s stomach flipped nervously at Mulder’s love comment, but she let it pass. “Miracles?”

Mulder gave her a wide smile, “Yeah, a couple miracles.”

“Yeah, Mulder, miracles are still the Mets. Now if you want to talk California baseball, we may be able to have a conversation . . .”

Chapter Text

Skinner was sitting in a Mexican restaurant in Virginia Beach on the boardwalk.  He was sharing the beautiful day with a long haired, long legged blonde, and a Pina Colada.  Setup by his secretary of all people, but so far his gamble had paid off.  It was nice just to sit and chat with someone that was not in the FBI.

As he sucked through his straw, he glanced over at the waves and almost choked.  Was that?  No, it couldn’t be, but there it was.  Mulder and Scully in the Ocean, wrestling each other in the waves.  He put his glasses on to see if it helped, but sure enough, it was them.  What the hell was going on with those two?  He continued to stare.  They were laughing and splashing and then Mulder chased after Scully, caught her, lifted her in the air and she plunged into the water.  He pulled her back up to protect her from the oncoming wave and held her just a little longer than Skinner was comfortable with.

Skinner had always had a fondness for Scully.  A fondness that grew into a love.  A love that he often thought of as fatherly.  He now realized that was a lie.  Seeing Mulder get to touch her, get to hold her.  That was more than he wanted to see.  He would do anything for her, even put her needs before his own, but he didn’t need to watch.  He motioned to the waitress for the check.

-----------

[One Week Later]

Scully woke up and went to the bathroom.  A lump formed in her throat, her stomach filled with butterflies as she saw small dots of blood in her underwear.  She immediately called the doctor and he said it could be normal and not to worry.  The next day she woke up and felt the pangs of her period.   It couldn’t be.  Now every time she went to the bathroom she prayed to not see blood.  Blood had become an obsession.  It was not subsiding and after 5 days, it was now heavy.  She went to the doctor.  They said she was still pregnant, that these things sometimes happened and they sent her home.  The next day, more blood.  She went to the hospital.  A miscarriage was diagnosed.  They sent her home.  Her day was spent going to and from the bathroom.  Lying in bed.  Pacing.  Lying on the couch.  Pain, enormous pain.  More blood.  Then it subsided.  Then more pain, more blood.  She was going through it alone.  She wanted it that way.

The phone rang.  It was Mulder. “Hey Scully, what’s up.”

“Mulder, now is not a good time.”

“Scully, what’s wrong?” He was very concerned, her voice sounded weak.

“I can’t talk right now.  I’ll call you tomorrow.”  She replied.

He hung up the phone and paused.  Suddenly he was in full panic mode.  The baby.  He threw on his jacket like he was donning a man of steel outfit.  He got in his car and screeched away.

[20 minutes later]

On her way out of the bathroom she heard a relentless knocking on the door.  It couldn’t be.  Why couldn’t he just leave her alone?  Not now.  She opened the door.

Mulder swooped into the apartment, “Scully, you need to tell me what’s wrong and don’t say nothing and don’t say fine.  Is it the baby?”

She looked down and sighed. “yes”.

“Should we contact the doctor, go to the hospital?” His mind was reeling.

“I’ve already been to the doctor several times and I came from the hospital this morning.  I’m going to lose the baby.  It was sitting low in the uterus and this morning the hospital was never able to discern a heartbeat.  I didn’t call you because….I don’t have an answer other than I wanted to do this alone.”

His emotions were all over his face.  Expressions changing as his mind digested, fighting to comprehend.  “You’re going to be alright?”

“Yes Mulder, I’ve been having contractions, cramps, clotting all day, but I will survive.”

“Scully” He hugged her, holding her.  Pressing his lips to the top of her head.  Trying to transfer his strength to her.

She pulled away and keeled over onto the floor in the fetal position.  He crouched down at her side with his hand at her back.  “Scully, what do I do.”

“Nothing Mulder.  There’s nothing to do.”

He watched helplessly while she screamed in agony.  She ran to the bathroom.  He could hear her screaming from the couch. Her body was contracting and then it would subside, only to start minutes later. She gave one more involuntary push. At that moment, all of her pregnancy symptoms left.  Her breasts were no longer sore, her energy levels returned. The nausea was gone.  She felt the soul of the baby leave her body.  It was over.

She cleaned up avoiding all mirrors and walked out of her bathroom.  She went down the short hallway to the living room where Mulder was sitting on the couch with his head in his hands.  She sat down next to him.  He rotated himself so his back was to the arm of the chair and held out his arms.  She knelt up on the couch resting on her heels between his legs.  He reached to her and they embraced.  Her body fell against his chest and she began to sob.

In between heavy sobs she tried to explain what she felt. “He held on as long as he could….  It was a boy…. I know that because I felt his soul leave my body.” She held him and cried.  “I felt him love me….. I loved him without ever meeting.  He held on, like he was waiting for you to come…so we were all together….before he was able to let go…”

Mulder broke down.  He held her tight and cried into her neck, into her shoulder.  All he could do was hold her tight.  She cried along with him.  “He was ours Mulder and now he’s gone.”  They cried until there were no more tears left to be shed.  He leaned back and they held each other in silence until they fell asleep on the couch.  He reached for the remote to turn on background noise for without it the darkness would be deafening.

Chapter Text

October 13, 1999

“Scully, are you looking for Intercourse?”

“Yes Mulder, but when will I get off?”

“Right after Intercourse.  Did you pass Blue Ball?”

“Yes, okay, I’m through Intercourse, I believe I’m in Paradise.”

“That’s perfect.  Get off at the next exit, it should be Leola.”

“I see the sign for Leola.”

“Meet me at the Sheriff’s office”

Scully pressed the End button on her cell phone.  It was a rainy dreary Wednesday out in Leola, Pennsylvania and she was ready to be finished winding around the Pennsylvania highways.  Four victims gruesomely mangled and exsanguinated.  The FBI out of the Philadelphia main offices had contacted Skinner and requested his agents to assist with the investigation.

Scully entered the police station and heard the Sheriff, “So what you’re saying is that this was done by blood sucking aliens?”

“No sir, not at all, I’m just saying that given the marks and absence of blood we shouldn’t rule out some sort of vampirism.”

Scully couldn’t help but smile at Mulder, talking about vampires like it was as normal as the ice cream man.  She stepped into the conversation, “What are we looking at?”

Mulder turned to Scully as the Sheriff walked back to his office, “The Sheriff was telling me that all four victims were ranch hands from B&R Farms down the road.  All of the killings have occurred in the past month.  All with similar bite marks, with their bodies mutilated and exsanguinated.  While you’re doing the autopsy on the latest victim, I’m going to go interview the farmer.”

“Happy Birthday Mulder.”

“Thank you Scully.”

“And because it’s your birthday, I won’t be upset with you for offering up my autopsy services without consulting me.”

Mulder held the door open as she walked out into the gloomy air. She had walked right under his arm without even having to bend. “What’s the matter Scully, the rain getting to you?”

“Another town, another autopsy.”  She said as she got in her car and drove off.

Mulder drove to B&R Farms to meet with the owner of the establishment, a farmer named Dwight Kaplan.  He was a tall man, on the heavy side wearing overalls and a camo baseball cap with the company name on it.

Upon questioning Mr. Kaplan, Mulder was met with resistance, “Mr. Mulder, this is a quiet town.  Not much happens here, so when town folks hear about people gettin’ eaten alive and their blood sucked out of them, it causes quite a stir.”

“I understand Mr. Kaplan, so what do you raise here on the farm?” Mulder took out his note pad for effect.

“Oh we grow pigs, cows, and other livestock.  We butcher them on site and sell them to the public.”

“Have you seen any mysterious behavior around here?  Wild animals?”

“No, I can’t say I have.  Not for maybe a buzzard or coyote or two”

“Mr. Kaplan, has anyone around here ever mentioned anything about vampires?”

“haha.  Now you’re soundin’ like the teenagers.”

“What are they saying?” Mulder furrowed his brow.

“They’re sayin’ a bunch of vampires attacked those people and then werewolves ate their bodies.  They even have some kind of group.  They think they’re some kind of vampire slayers or somethin’.”

“Do you know how I could maybe contact them?”

The farmer gave him a curious look. “They meet over at the high school at night is all I know.  Just kids being kids.”

“Well, thank you for your time Mr. Kaplan.” Mulder shook his hand, “If you have anything else, please let us know.”

*

Mulder entered the autopsy room to find Scully wrapped from head to toe in scrubs, scalpel in hand, bent over the body. He asked, “You find anything?”

She answered him, continuing to work, “Well, the wounds suggest a bite from an ungulate, probably that of a horse or pig. Unless you know of any hippopotamus roaming around.  I’ve sent some samples to the lab.  From there we can look at the oral flora.

“And what will the oral flora tell us Agent Scully?”

Scully could tell he just wanted to hear himself say oral flora.  “Well, that will hopefully give us the bacteria isolates which will help us determine which type of animal.”  She took her scalpel and opened up a flap of skin on the victim, displaying it for Mulder, “As you can see, there are abscesses already forming around the bite wound.”

“How do you know it’s not a bobcat or a wolf?” Mulder asked.

“Well, with a feline you’d see hemorrhages on both sides caused by claw marks.  Dogs or wolves would leave bite marks on the neck and on the shoulder area.”

“Guess that throws out the werewolf theory.”

“Is that what you had Mulder, a werewolf theory?”

“Now it looks like we’re looking for a blood sucking half man half horse.” He deadpanned.

“A vampire centaur.  Okay Mulder,” Scully said removing her gloves and throwing them on the table, “I’m done for the day.  How about I take you out for a nice birthday dinner?”

“Do you have somewhere in mind?”

“The technician recommended a nice place on main.  They even serve steak Delmonico.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

[7:12 AM B&R Farms]

Mulder and Scully got out of Mulder’s rental to find the Sheriff standing near a wheat field scratching his head with his hat in his hand.  “We have two cows missing this morning and one mutilated cow over there across the field.”

They all walk over to the cow.

“The tongue, ear, and udder have been completely removed”, explained the Sheriff.

Scully snapped on her latex and looked over the cow, “I see no signs of any gaping wounds.”

“I’m thinking it’s those kids.  They got bored and decided to mess with the cows.” The Sheriff offered.

“It doesn’t seem likely sir,” Scully replied, “that teenagers would have nothing better to do in the middle of the night than to drive off in the middle of nowhere, trespass, to steal an udder.”

Mulder broke his trance, “Animal sacrifices are part of many religions; dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism… although in this part of the country it’s most likely Afro Caribbean religions such as the practice of Santeria.”

“So you think this is some kind of animal sacrifice?” Scully was confused.

“Typically it’s goats, chicken and sheep,” Mulder continued, “usually not sacrificed on the spot.”

“Well, there’s no evidence of satanic cults in the area.” Scully offered.

“It’s been reported for decades that aliens have been responsible for the killing and removal of organs of livestock” Mulder added.

So we’re back to aliens.  Scully sighed, “But Mulder, if they’ve been doing it for decades, how many more would the aliens need?  Why wouldn’t they just beam up a couple and start their own herd?”

“So what’s your theory Scully?”

“Well, I would say probably carrion eaters.”

Mulder is intrigued, “What, like the Tasmanian devil or a komodo dragon?”

“No, I was thinking more along the lines of Vultures, even blowflies or maggots.”

“Ok, but that still doesn’t explain the bite marks or the complete loss of blood.” Mulder retorted.

“So you’re still going with the vampire theory?  But why only on this farm?”

“That’s what we’re going to come here tonight to find out.” Mulder said flashing his eyebrows.

[B&R Farms 12:52 AM]

Mulder and Scully were staked out in a deer stand in the woods overlooking a hog pen.

“Hoo Boy it smells up here.” Scully was holding her nose.

“It’s the pigs Scully.”

“I know it’s the pigs Mulder.”

“Scully, should I make an appointment for my deposit for the last cycle?”

“Mulder, I don’t know, I don’t think I can take much more.”

“I understand, I just want you to make sure that in the future you won’t regret trying one last time. I don’t want you to always be wondering if the last one would have taken.“

Scully sighed, “It’s just so much has happened, but I know you’re right.”

“It’s one last shot, Scully.”

“Alright Mulder. I’ll try one more time.”

They stared out into the night. “Mulder, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get you a birthday present.”

“You got me one.  You saved my life and you got me rubbings off an alien spacecraft.  What more could a guy ask for?”

“Right now I’d say a set of nose plugs” Scully replied.

Mulder was suddenly serious, “Hey Scully, look over there”

Four teenage boys carrying what looked like a dead body came near the hog pen.  Mulder climbed down from the deer stand and yelled, “Stop, I’m a federal agent!”  And with that, the boys dropped the body and ran.  They didn’t get far since after Mulder gave a warning shot in the air they froze.  Scully caught up and they handcuffed the boys.  They led them back to the body which was lying in the grass face down.  When they flipped it over there was a stake through its heart and visible fangs.

At this point, the hogs were going wild.  Scully looked up and yelled, “Mulder look out!”  The hogs broke the wire fence and lunged for the body.  All of them watched in horror as the hogs devoured the corpse.  Scully saw one hog’s eyes glow green and sink it’s canines into the corpse, apparently sucking out its blood.

“Mulder, what is going on here?” Scully said terrified.

“Vampire Pigs Scully.”

Mulder continued, “It seems these kids are vampire slayers.  Only they’ve been dumping the bodies in the pig pen.  A hog will consume an entire body without leaving a trace of evidence.  The only problem is when the hogs drank the vampires’ blood, they themselves turned into vampires.”

“So it was the hogs that killed the ranch hands and the cows,” Scully surmised,

“Vampire Pigs.”

Chapter Text

It was a warm sunny day. Scully was sitting at her mom’s table cutting vegetables, listening to her mother rambling on about the latest news of the family and the neighborhood.  Getting away for a few days had Scully grinning and relaxed in a casual light blue patterned maxi dress and brown ankle boots.  The doorbell rang and she heard a familiar voice.  Her mother returned carrying flowers, a bottle of wine, and a smile.

“Mom, did you invite Mulder for Thanksgiving dinner?”

Margaret flashed her daughter a look and continued to place the flowers into a vase. “Behave Dana.”

“She can’t make any promises Mrs. Scully,” Mulder appeared in the doorway with a smirk, leaning against the doorframe.  His thin black sweater clung to his chest, a splash of white peaked out from the neckline.  His dark blue jeans hugged his hips, the zipper suggesting a longing for liberation. “Can I help with anything?”

“Thank you Fox, but today all men are sanctioned to the living room.  Turn on the T.V., I’m sure the parade is still on.  There’s a cooler on the back porch. Help yourself to something to drink.”

About an hour later the doorbell rang again.  This time it was Bill, Tara, and the kids.  Scully got up to greet them.  Mulder turned from the couch and held up his hand as a wave.  Bill took one look at him and grimaced.  He whispered in Scully’s ear, “What’s he doing here?” In which she whispered back, “Mom invited him.”

Scully retreated back into the kitchen, spying on the living room from time to time to see Bill on the recliner and Mulder on the couch watching a football game in silence.

“Well, at least there was no blood shed,” Tara said as she came up behind Scully handing her a drink.

Scully took a sip, “Mmmm.  What is that?”

“It’s called Caramel Candy.  It’s a mix of vodka, cognac, and vanilla liqueur. I can teach you how to make one if you like.”

Charlie arrived with his family shortly after.  Sensing the tension in the room, he led Mulder outside with the kids.  Sticking his head in the kitchen he asked, “Anyone for a game of touch football?”

At this point, Scully had downed her third Caramel Candy and was feeling a happy buzz.  She helped Charlie coax his wife and Tara into joining them.  Tara walked up to Bill in the living room, “Come on Bill, everyone is outside.  Stop being a Grinch.”

“Fine.” He mumbled, “I’ll be the ref.”

Bill stepped outside to see Mulder handing the football to his son yelling, “Run, run, run!  Get it past your Aunt Dana!”  The next play Charlie went for a pass, but Scully decided to tackle him and the ball careened off his shoulder.  “Dana, this is touch football.  Always the competitor.”  Shaking his head and smiling, he brushed off his jeans.

The score was tied when Margaret called everyone in to eat.  “One more play mom!” called Charlie.   Charlie’s son snapped the ball to Scully and she ran for the touchdown.  Mulder raced to block and Scully held out her arm to brace herself for the impact.  Instead, Mulder swept down and lifted her in the air hurling her over his shoulder with his arm along her hamstrings holding down her dress.  Scully started screaming, still gripping the football and punching his back with her free hand. This caused Mulder to start laughing, but continued to run for the opposite goal line.  Bill stared at the scene and went back into the house.

 Mulder yelled, “Touchdown!” setting Scully back to her feet.  To which she replied, “You cheated,” Causing a domino effect making the children start jumping up and down pointing at Mulder, “Fox cheated! Fox cheated!”

Mulder responded to them by running towards them with arms extended, crouching, threatening to get them.  They ran screaming into the house.  Mulder turned to see Scully fixing her dress and walking towards the door.  He was half expecting her to be angry, but instead she smiled and patted his chest as she passed and walked in.

Scully went to the kitchen and fixed herself another drink while the others helped set the table.  Margaret ushered Mulder to sit between Scully and Charlie.  After they said grace and began eating, Bill entertained everyone with stories of the military.

Mulder turned to Charlie, “So what are you flying now a days?”

“Most of the discussions and what we are testing are around stealth technology.  Flying using different types of energy cells.  I recently got to test an electromagnetic propulsion engine in a vacuum and it clocked in faster than the speed of light.  Now Dana”, Charlie pointing his fork towards Scully, “will tell you that both electromagnetic and faster than light speed defy the laws of physics and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.  But I’m telling you Fox, at this rate, we’ll be getting to the moon in under four hours.”

“Hear that Scully, your brother’s breaking the laws of science.” Mulder took a sip of his beer and leaned back.  “I’m jealous Charlie.  That’s like some Area 51 stuff.  Do they ever talk about where the core of their technology is based?”

Bill threw his napkin at the table.  “How did I know somehow we would get to flying saucers and little green men,” His face turned red, “Why exactly are you here?  You’ve got no relation to Dana, except to keep her in danger, and you’re not family.”

“They’re grey,” Mulder responded taking another swig of beer.

“What!” Bill looked like he was ready to strike Mulder.

Scully put one hand on Mulder’s thigh and drunkenly pointed at Bill, “Listen Billy, mom invited Mulder and he is my friend.  My best brest frred.  And if he wants to talk about sashsquish he can.  Isn’t that right Mom.”  Her mom nodded slowly but said nothing, “Ya know Billy, you need to cool yur jets.  Lightin up a lettl.” Scully continued in her drunken haze, “I know, I know, it’s hard to buleev, but I saw it. I saw it. In afrikkah, it was a naatuv  americun spaash shep.” She was now waving her hand pretending she had a ship pinched between her fingers pushing it through the air. “Brrrrrrrr”

The children started to giggle.

“Scully”, Mulder attempted to bring her back to Earth.                                                                             

Scully went to stand and tilted the chair causing her to stumble.  She forgot what she was about to say and headed to the bathroom.  Mulder placed his napkin down and followed behind.

When she came out of the bathroom he asked her if she was okay. “I’m fine.  Bill has no right you know.”

“It’s fine Scully.”

 “No, it’s not.” She was still stumbling, “Ya know, you look sexy today.”

“Thank you Scully, you’re dressed very nicely too.  I think we should get back.”

Scully tugged his arm into the guest bedroom and started playing with his belt with an evil grin.  “I want to play with the little alien.”

Mulder reached down and gently pushed Scully’s hands away. “Scully, you’re drunk, stop it.”

“Come on, I just want to see the one eyed monstered alien,” she started giggling.  She reached for his belt again.  He swatted her hand away and she stumbled backwards the dresser catching her fall.  She propped herself up on the dresser with her back against the mirror. “You gonna get ruf with me mulderrr.”  She said giving him a temptress stare.

The air turned unexpectedly serious as he closed the distance between them, gripping her shoulders and looking her squarely in the eye in an attempt to ground her. ”Scully, what is this about?  Talk to me.”

The abruptness seemed to have sobered her a little and she started pleading, “Why can’t I ever just have a little fun?  When do I get to be like everyone else?”

He flashed her a look of concern, “I think you’re too hard on yourself.  You’re so much more than everyone else.”

“But when do I get what I want?  When do the stars align for me?”

“I don’t know, but you can’t give up,” His eyes pleaded with her.

“I….I just don’t know how much more I can go through before I break.”

“Scully, you’re the strongest person I know, there is nothing in this universe or any other that can break you.”

“Maybe…..just once in awhile I wish it was my turn.”

Scully put her arms around Mulder and hugged his waist pressing her head against his chest.  As she leaned back, Mulder’s hands slid down from her shoulders to her wrists covering her hands against the cold hard wood.  She looked up at him, their lips an inch apart, mouths slightly agape. Her legs were on either side of his hips and she could feel his heat between her bare thighs.  The feeling made her eyes close and the room spin. She opened them and they stared at one another.  A minute passed. She saw his Adams apple bounce as he swallowed hard.  He let go of her and took a step back.  “We better get back.”

“Mulder,” she called as he walked away, “I’m glad you decided to come.”

Scully woke up on the couch disoriented with her hair askew.  Her mother was standing over her.  She felt her head pounding.  “Mom, where is everybody?”

“Everybody left Dana.”

“I need to help you clean up.”

“It’s after 11 at night.  You passed out on the couch.”

 “Where’s Mulder?”  She looked around her mother to see him asleep on the recliner.

“I’m sorry mom,” she said holding her head.

 “It’s ok.” Her mother smiled. “We’re all entitled every once in awhile.”

“How come he’s still here?” Scully asked staring at a sleeping Mulder.

“He was worried about you so he stayed…..He’s a good man Dana.  Sometimes it’s ok to let people in.”

Scully raised her head to look her mother in the eye and smiled, “I know you’re right mom.  I’m trying.”

Chapter Text

Friday, December 10, 1999

It was a long day in NYC, Mulder and Scully had been called up to assist in a Mafia case.  Three of the Mafia's Capos had been afflicted with severe headaches which assisted in their capture.  All three claimed it was the work of a curse of the malocchio “evil eye” put on them by the store owner’s wife and were not any help during interrogation due to these debilitating headaches.  Mulder and Scully were asked to investigate the validity of these claims.

Mulder was able to successfully hunt down a local Strega (Italian witch) to remove the curse.  Rifling through his pocket he handed Scully a necklace.  He proceeded to place one around his own neck.

“Mulder, what is this for?  In school we use to call this an Italian penis” Scully felt herself becoming annoyed with the whole situation.

“It’s called a Cornicello.  It’s a devil’s horned amulet.  You wear it around your neck to ward off any evil caused by jealousy or envy.  In this case, to protect us from the curse once it is freed so it doesn’t get passed to us.”

“Mulder, you do understand how ridiculous this all sounds, right?”  Begrudgingly, she placed the amulet around her neck.  Today she wasn’t taking any chances.

They all stood in the interrogation room as the Strega inserted the tip of a needle into the eye of another needle while chanting, “Occhi e contro e perticelli agli occhi, crepa la invida e schiattono gli occhi”. 

“Mulder, what is she saying?” Scully whispered with much skepticism.

“Eyes against eyes and the holes of the eyes, envy cracks and eyes burst” Mulder translated.

“What does that mean?”

“It means that envy is what caused the curse to attach itself and when you remove the evil of envy, you remove the curse.”

The Strega then dropped the two needles on top of three drops of olive oil in water and sprinkled three pinches of salt into the water.  Swiftly, she jabbed the water through the oil three times with scissors and cut the air above the bowl three times.  With that the Capo's headaches soon subsided to allow the agents to continue their interrogation.  They graciously thanked Scully and Mulder.

As they left the police station Scully continued her disbelief, “Mulder, did it ever occur to anyone that maybe the Excedrin they were administered finally started working?”

“Maybe, or maybe evil can take on different forms, maybe we can even generate evil and with enough focus cast it onto an entity.”

“But Mulder, I think that assumes that good is the opposite of evil, there are philosophies out there such as with Nietzsche, where evil is only a different expression of the same basic impulses of good.”

“So in that scenario, we might be able to cast good curses as well as bad?  Interesting.  Hey, we’re in NY, let’s take advantage and get a cab.  We can start at Herald’s Square and stroll up 5th avenue catching all the Christmas window displays until we get to Rockefeller Center to see the tree.  Not to mention, I scored these” He held up two tickets to The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. “It’s not a football game, but I hear it’s a good show.”

“It looks like you’ve been plotting” Scully smirked.

As they wound down 5th they passed Barney’s and Scully stared at a black blazer in the window. “That’s a beautiful blazer. Not something my government paycheck affords me though.”

“I think it would look great on you, you should get it.”

“I don’t know where your secret stash of money is Mulder, but I’m not on an Armani budget like you.”

“It’s all what you decide to splurge on. You sacrifice some aspects of your life to allot for extravagance in another.”

“Well, I enjoy eating Mulder, so I’ll settle for one from Macy’s.”

With that they entered into Radio City Music Hall to enjoy the show. Mulder appeared to be on his best behavior with the exception of insisting the thought of the live animals defecating on stage distracted from the nativity scene and that when the male ice skater flung the female feet first around in a circle, he imagined him letting go and her blade beheading the audience.

As they exited out into the street, Mulder offered, “We could drive home tonight or we can head to the village and find some trouble. It is Friday.”

“I’m sorry Mulder, but I have an appointment tomorrow. Tomorrow I go in for the last pregnancy test.”

“That’s tomorrow? Can I go with you? I’ll drive”

Thank you, but that’s really not necessary. I think it’s something I need to do on my own.”

“Well, at the very least, I’m coming by your place, I want to be there when you get back.”

“Like I said Mulder, it’s not necessary, but if that’s what you want, it’s fine. You can wait for me at my place until I get back.”

Chapter Text

December 11, 1999

She entered her apartment defeated, dreading to have to relay the news.  He looked up, excited at first, hopeful, glad she was home, wishing for it to be true, “Scully? I must have dozed off. I was waiting for you to get back.” He saw her face, read her emotions, felt them in his own chest, “It didn’t take, did it.”

Looking at his eyes, seeing the truth in them, she diverted her own to the floor fighting off enough emotion for her to speak, “I guess it was too much to hope for”

He reached for her and they embraced.  At his touch she could no longer contain her emotions.  They bubbled over and she leaned on him as she always did, her pillar, her foundation, as it was now all she knew. All she had.

“It was my last chance” she managed to get out through her tears.

“Never give up on a miracle.” His only response.

She found comfort in his arms, in his relentless stubbornness to not give up.  She reached for his lips, but realized this was not about him, this was her journey.  He could be a crutch no longer.  They broke their embrace still touching with both hands.

“We will find a way. There are always possibilities.”  His voice was strong, unwavering.

“What are you going to do?  Break into another research lab?” She replied sniffling. She was still trying to pull herself together.

“If I have to” he said indignantly.

She stepped back in retreat.  “Mulder, go home.  I have put you through enough.  I will never be able to thank you for being such a good friend.”  She wiped away her tears, gaining a semblance of composure. The best thing for her right now was to be alone.  Start her life again.  Go back to work and decide what she wanted the rest of her life to look like.

Here we go, he thought to himself.  He saw the moat being filled, the walls erecting. Usually, he would leave. Give her time, give her space.  She was independent and he knew that was the way she liked it.  He understood.  He wasn't much better, but tonight was different.  This was her whole life before her. To know, she would never have a child. There was always adoption, but that would mean a husband, a new career... and leaving him. The results affected him too and hurt him as well and whether she acknowledged it or not, her life bled into his.  The past months were about much more than jerking off into a cup. This was going to be them, raising a child together. Maybe she didn't see him having a part in it, but he did, and the last thing he wanted to do was go back to a dark depressing lonely apartment. "If you want me to leave, I will... but I don't want to."

“I don't know that you understand how I feel. You still have a chance at a life Mulder.  You can still have a family.  You don’t have to be married only to your work.”  She knew for him that wasn’t possible, but she needed him to pull back, restore their grooves that worked, that were safe.  Lately, they had encroached on uncharted territories. She decided to swim back to shore and face reality. They were not a couple, they were work partners.

He interrupted her thought needing to break through her stone fortress, “Scully, I'm not pretending to be able to put myself in your place... but I'm not going to pretend that this doesn't affect me.”

She took another step back and shook her head. "I know, but this is about me.  Me and the rest of my life.  There was always that thought in the back of my mind that someday.. maybe.. and now..."  

He knew what must be said.  His voice went monotone as he gathered the courage. Tonight she needed to hear the words and it was time he put his cards on the table. “Scully... This is about my life too... because.... because I'm in love with you.”

“Mulder…..” She wasn't ready to deal with this.  His words came as a shock. 

“Talk to me Scully” He needed her to tell him how she was feeling.  He needed to know what part he really played in her life.  After six years, was that it?  Does he really just go back to the office tomorrow and start another case? And what about everything they had been through and done in their recent history? Did the way they kissed mean nothing? The way they had held each other through the night, the morning in Kansas... Was he suppose to brush all that under the rug and go back to being platonic friends?

Scully was tired of talking, tired of the unknown. Tired of going and going down a road that led to infinite roads. Tired of wasting time, her life, hoping, believing, one day she will get the life everyone longs for, like what Bill, Charlie, and her parents had.  Wishing for “normal”, but swept away by the romance of the pursuit.  Needing to save the world. She wanted to stop.  She needed to reach the destination.  She needed something that no one could take away from her.

Mulder took a step towards her.  He didn't want to go back, he didn't want it to mean nothing. It all meant too much. He knew she felt the same way and he wasn't the only one who thought it. Even Padgett knew. He was going to kiss her and if after he did she still denied her feelings, then he would leave, but if she didn't feel the same way she was going to have to say it. She was going to have to stop him.  He took another step closer and she raised her hand as a stop sign. Instead of backing off, he interlocked his fingers with hers and stood, his eyes gently locking onto hers.  In his eyes held the truth.  Their truth.  She could hide from it no longer. Her eyes darkened, begging, pleading with desire for him.  For Him.  He looked in her eyes and he knew. He felt it too.  What was in her eyes was about much more than friendship. “Is this what you want?” He asked her delicately. She only nodded her head.  He lifted his free hand and touched her face rubbing her cheek with his thumb.  Mulder leaned in and gently brushed his lips against hers. He was considerate and incredibly sensual. Her emotions spilled from her heart despite herself. Six years and Scully couldn’t last another second. She grabbed behind his neck, threading her fingers through his hair. She pulled him down towards her, smashing their lips together.  Her tongue probing, seeking entrance.  Mulder grinned and pulled back. “Easy”, he chuckled.  Then in a whisper he replied, “I’m not going anywhere.  Not unless you tell me to.”

She smiled and looked down at the ground, then back into his eyes.  There was so much love and tenderness behind them.  “It’s been a long time for me Mulder” she croaked out.

“Scully, I’ve never done this.  Not feeling this way, not with so much honesty, not so alive, not with you.” Mulder let out a sigh and turned away. “Scully, I can’t lose you, I can’t lose us, what we have…  I..I don’t deserve”.

She grabbed his arm and turned him back towards her, “We deserve this Mulder. Me.. and you.” They stood there staring into each other’s eyes for what seemed like an eternity.  

Scully couldn’t fight against the feelings that were traveling through her anymore. She reached up for him and Mulder leaned in meeting her halfway.  His lips were soft and tender, but his kiss had fire and passion. In that instance she was seduced, no longer thinking, his lips and his scent her whole existence. Her heart fluttering at the realization she was kissing her best friend. She placed her arms around his neck and her velvety tongue gently caressed his own.  Mulder placed his hands on either side of her cheeks and cradled her head. She pulled away from his lips to kiss his cheek, his jawline and down his neck. Never had she allowed herself to feel such raw emotion.  She wanted all of him all at once.  She pushed his dark blue sweater up over his head and Mulder lifted the shirt underneath it hurdling it to the floor.  This made Scully smile at his predictability. I’ll pick that up later she thought through their kisses.  With her fingertips she traced his muscular abs following them down leading her to the noticeable bulge in his jeans. As her hand danced over the button of his jeans she understood what this meant. She would finally know all of him and once that seal was broken, there was no going back. Their friendship would be tested and their mysteries would stay between them.  Her hand covered the zipper seam. She could feel his heat even through the hard denim. It was her affecting him like this and that thought turned her on even more. She squeezed gently and Mulder flinched and hummed, and intensified their kiss. It was time to claim what was hers. She put her hand in his and broke their kiss, tugging him towards the bedroom. His expression filled with desire and he attacked her lips once again as she backpedaled down the short hallway.  They missed the entryway to the bedroom and banged against the doorframe, caught off balance attempting to walk, kiss, and unbutton his jeans simultaneously. She slowly unzipped them, her hands shaking. This was really happening she thought to herself. Inside his jeans her hands found his tight rounded ass. She gave it a squeeze and he bucked, his hips causing the jeans to make their way to the floor.  After all these years, was she making the right decision? They were risking everything, but her need forced her to proceed. His body felt too good under her touch, his lips too perfect. Her manicured fingers ran along the inside of his waist band. After another second’s hesitation, she dipped inside those boxer briefs. The contact of her hand wrapping around his cock caught them both by surprise.  They broke their kiss.  His hands surrounding her face, he moaned in a whisper, “Oh, Scully” The words went through her, a live wire from her heart to her core.

The moment was beautiful, like the sun blazing through the shadows. The rush of their connection so powerful she became lightheaded, using his chest to support her weight as her head leaned against it. She was breathing hard when she looked up at him, squeezing and stroking him lightly.

“Oh Mulder. Oh. Oh God.” He was bigger than she had estimated and he felt incredible. Touching him sent electricity through her fingers, up her arm, down her body.  She could feel his pleasure through her hand.  They were connected. His pulse beat in time with hers.

Mulder kissed her urgently as he freed his feet from his pants, boxers, and socks.

He was now completely naked as she remained fully clothed.  He decided to rectify the situation and began unbuttoning her black shirt.  Button by button he followed his fingers with his tongue.  Mulder was so hard it was almost painful and her gentle stroking only hastened the situation, but he continued. He had wanted this for so long he didn’t want to rush. Once her shirt was off he started on her pants, removing them and tossing them aside. His hands and mouth covering every bit of skin he could find. She was sexy and soft and after six years she was letting him touch her. It was a dream translating into reality.  His heart never felt so full and his body never needed so much. He wanted to be perfect for her. To be everything in her eyes.

He stood and together they pulled down her comforter and sheet.  As he turned around he felt her eyes upon him and was still as she gazed at his naked frame.  He felt exposed, but he trusted her.  She had seen him like this before, but not with the desire that she now held in her eyes.  “You’re beautiful.  You know that.” She whispered.

“No, but I’ll believe you” Mulder closed the gap between them and kissed her following a trail with his hands that led down to her breast. A quizzical look came across his face.  She smiled, “It opens in the front”.  He undid her bra taking her nipple into his mouth as he cupped and squeezed the other.  She gasped at the sensation. Mulder answered her in a moan. Apprehension still plagued her mind, but as he sucked harder, pleasure overcame her.  He kissed her stomach as she lied down on the bed, her tight muscles quivering as he traced her scar with his tongue.  Joy bursting inside her followed by deep carnal arousal. He slid her black soft nylon panties slowly down her silken legs. Running his tongue along her inner thigh his face brushed against auburn curls, his lips teasing her to the point of madness. Anticipation covered her body, hanging on his every move, responding to the slightest touch of his hands, his lips.  Reality exciting all her senses. She never knew anything could be like this.  How could she have known everything that ever happened, everything ever said, every action ever taken, was leading up to this moment. He slid up to lie down next to her.

Analyzing her as he stared, his fingers ran through her hair shaping her face. “Are you sure this is what you want?” His eyes were filled with fire and need, but he held it in check.  He was secondary. She kissed him chastely, then looked into his eyes, “Yes”. Wanting nothing at that moment but him, feelings of trepidation seemed inconsequential. The entirety of her life took on new meaning. He kissed her again, their tongues gliding into the other’s mouth.  His lips soft and warm against her own.  Bolts shot into her core. The intensity of his kiss was causing Scully to throb all over.  Mulder’s body rocked against her as his lips moved along hers.  His hands on her breasts, squeezing, pinching, taunting.  His legs braided with her own. She never felt so craved. There was a heat growing between her legs and it called for him.  Scully reached down and grasped him firmly.  He moaned into her mouth. He ran his incredibly long fingers down to her clit and she swelled at his touch.  Beginning with wide circles he teased her. She rocked in his hand her need for him growing along with her need for release.  His fingers creating tighter circles as she responded; faster.  The waves of pleasure kept coming, she arched her back and moaned,  “Oh my God Mulder, Oh God”. Her own hands stroking him wildly. She was feeling this way with him, for him, she was shocked by the extent as well as the intensity.

He kissed her again.  He never wanted her lips to leave his.  He wanted to live there. When they were forced to stop kissing to breathe he panted in her ear. “I want you too much Scully. If you keep doing that it’s going to be over.” She released him and let her fingertips dance up his back.  He looked into her eyes as he slid one finger inside, his thumb against her clit. “Oh, Scully. You are beautiful.”  She was dripping into his hand and it was driving him crazy. He slid another finger inside and began rubbing that most tender spot. He was sliding his fingers in and out pushing deeper inside each time. She was losing her control filling her with anxiety. The feelings were too intense. She had to stop.

Without hesitation she slid down and wrapped her tongue around him.

“Ooh, Scully”, he cried as his head flung back.  She licked him from base to tip and took in as much as she could sucking it for the pure pleasure.  He was perfect.  Thick and hard, yet the skin smooth and soft, and so Mulder. She could take no more. There would be no more waiting. She pushed her fears aside and slid back up to face him. The words whisping from her mouth. “Mulder, I want you now.”

“Scully.” He said her name as if it was a religion as his eyes penetrated her existence. Caressing her face with one hand, the other aligning himself at her entrance. He paused searching her eyes once more; needing to know if it was the beginning and not an end to what he held most dear. She brought her petite hand down to the base of his cock and placed it over his. He had his answer, there was no more hesitation. He entered her slowly, carefully, pausing, allowing her to adjust, retracting, then proceeding again, concerned only for her comfort and feelings. He continued until he was completely sheathed.  Her insides contracted around him and they groaned together.

“Oh Scully, I can’t take this. This is all too much.” The reality overwhelmed him. Perspiration was dripping from his forehead.

“I know… But I’m glad it’s with you.” Her eyes smiled back. He cradled her in his arms, still trying to adjust to the intense feelings of being inside her. Resting on his elbows, he kissed her deeply.  He pulled back from their kiss to look in her eyes, “I will never forget this moment.  I love you Dana Scully” Her heart responded despite herself.  He was so caring and loving.  His eyes so gentle. She never realized how badly she had wanted, had needed him to tell her those words. “Scully, this is us… together...and it’s so much more…”

He began to move and her body relented to him immediately, her hips involuntarily rocking along with his like they had rehearsed for centuries.  His pelvis brushed her bud as he moved melodically like orchestrating a symphony. He paused several times to catch his breath and just to look at her.  Wiped the hair out of her face.  Kiss her temple, her cheeks, her forehead, her lips.  Oh, his lips. She couldn’t stop smiling at him.  His concern for her pleasure was melting her heart and lighting up her insides.

All that kept running through her mind was this is Mulder, Mulder I’m kissing, Mulder I’m feeling inside me, Mulder giving me this pleasure.  And each time she did her body exploded until she was moaning his name again and again.  She felt a surge run through her and she needed to take control.  She wrapped her legs around his torso and leaned into him until he was on his back.  He was surprised at the maneuver but only smiled.  She bent her legs so her feet locked underneath the back of his knees to give her leverage. She squeezed her pelvic muscles and began riding him with slow deep strokes. When the sensation became too intense she leaned back and took him in completely, stretching her walls till she was full. No one.. Nothing had ever been that deep inside her. She moaned from the sensation, “Oh my God…. Oh, God Mulder” She was lost in the pleasure. She didn’t know if she could handle what was about to happen, but she knew she couldn’t stop it. She leaned forward and began small thrusts pulsing her inner walls, squeezing his tip along with it.

It was then that he lost control of his mind “Oh, Scully, Oh fuuuuck.  Oh, you’re so tight. You’re incredible.” He began meeting her thrusts. Palming one breast, he took her other nipple into his mouth. That was all it took and she relented control.

“Oh yes Mulder, Oh My God yes” she let out a scream and held onto his neck burying herself in his chest.  Her walls had him in a vice grip as they milked his cock, bringing him over the edge.  With two more thrusts he was gone.  She could feel his cock pulsing inside her and another orgasm hit. Her eyes rolled back into her head certain she would pass out.

When he came back to Earth she was passed out on top of him.  As he held her tight his emotions began to overwhelm him and tears slid down his face.  She fell to her side and they groaned as they separated.  She looked at him and saw his tear stained face.  “Oh, Mulder.” she wiped his temples and hugged him tightly.

 “I’m ok. It’s ok….I’m…  I’m happy.”  He gave her a short laugh. “It’s not something I’m used to.”

“I’ve never known anything like you.” She said softly, laying in his arms.

“I didn’t know Scully.  I didn’t know it was going to be like this.”

*

Mulder blinked his eyes into focus and saw Scully walking towards him in a robe and he realized that he had drifted to sleep and she had showered. Her hair was damp, skin glistening. Just beautiful. She sat on the bed.  He slid himself up to face her.  She smelled of soap and vanilla. “Is everything okay?” he asked with inquisitive eyes.

“Mulder, I’m fi… I’m good.  Really really good.” She smiled and stroked his cheek.

He reached over and kissed her slowly pushing her onto her back at the same time removing her white cotton robe. All the feelings and emotions from last night coursing through his blood. He needed her again.  Needed to crawl inside her. Needed their bodies mixing and mingling, but first there was something he had wanted to do since he first held a candle to her. Mulder’s fingers traced her pink tipped nipple prickling her skin.  He gently ran his lips around it surrounding it licking it hard. She moaned and ran her hands lightly through his soft dark hair. He paused and closed his eyes.  Her moans went through him so hard he almost came.  

Cupping her other breast he lovingly licked away the dew from the shower tenderly caressing it making it achingly sensitive. His talented lips found her erect nipple, gingerly scraping it against his teeth, following with the flat of his tongue.  Both of his hands covered her chest, kneading. Scully arched her back moaning between gasps clutching at Mulder’s back.  She thrusted up into his abs rubbing herself against them trying to ease the aching between her legs.  

Mulder kissed his way down her body, tilting her towards him.  Scully sobered realizing what he was about to do and tried to pull him up, tried to stop him, but he resisted, looking up, “Please Scully.” His eyes were dark, consumed with a deep wanting, his expression passionate, affectionate. She was nervous about the situation.  It wasn’t something she necessarily enjoyed and she was self conscious. It was so intimate, but it was Mulder and when he looked at her like that she was never able to say no. So she took a breath and tried her best to relax into him as he put his mouth on her. The feeling of his lips against her was extreme and immediate. It was a new sensation and she had nothing to compare it to. She should have known. Nothing about Mulder was close to anyone else and he didn’t disappoint. His tongue was steady, deliberate as he licked her from her bud to her entrance and repeated and repeated and repeated.  She was arching her back from the intensity, attempting to wiggle free of the blinding pleasure, fighting the build. Mulder was too skilled and it was too much.  Holding her down he sucked her folds, humming, moaning, thrusting his hips into the mattress. They were lost in the moment, his tongue creating a rhythm that her body was following. He entered her with his tongue and Scully began pulling the sheets off of the bed. As her cries got louder, she grabbed the headboard and squeezed her eyes shut.

Mulder was moaning into her, rubbing her clit with his fingers, and licking her over and over.  Then he rotated, filling her with both fingers creating crop circles with his tongue around, under, and over her bud. The sensations were increasing and it was making her fearful of the inevitable. It hit her suddenly, like a wave crashing, taking her under.  Mulder felt her tighten around his fingers and he held on as she bucked underneath him. When she calmed, he pulled himself up to face her, and kissed her. His mouth was warm, wet and tasted of her essence. She closed her eyes as reality flashed inside her chest.  Mulder had just did that to her and he was fucking incredible.

Without wasting time he positioned himself at her entrance and she wrapped her legs around his waist as he guided himself in.  They were joined once again.  He was so familiar, so knowing. Comfortable and exciting. This time his pace was frantic and he  formed a V with his fingers where they were joined rubbing with each quickening thrust making certain to take her with him.  Scully had always been in control of her own orgasm, whether from riding on top or her own stimulation.  Now she felt a sweet dissonance, Mulder had complete command over her pleasure, authority that was unrelenting.  He thrusted harder, faster. It was brutal and hot. Scully felt whole.  Without permission, her body yielded to his tenacity to push her into the abyss.  Scully filled the air with sound, writhing and moaning, feeling him release, dragging her along.   After six years she had remained unscathed by that of human frailty. She sought comfort in the stability of preserving her impervious sanctuary of loneliness.  Tonight she lay exposed, unadorned as she acquiesced to sleep blanketed by Mulder.

Chapter Text

She awakened at an early hour, traces of light yet to greet her for her morning rituals.  Although today there was no ritual, no pattern, no trail.  Lost in the woods with no machete for bush whacking out of the wilderness.  Scully showered, allowing the hot spray to remove the fragrance, but not the memory.  Her body ached from awakened muscles causing flashbacks of the night.  After dressing, she began making coffee and performing menial chores. 

*

Mulder stretched in bed to the smell of fresh ground coffee beans percolating as the sunrays that peaked through the window warmed his body.  Smiling, for the bed was not his own, but that of the woman he most desired.  Remnants from last night’s actions still resounding in his heart.  Six years of friendship culminating to this moment.  Last night he was baptized in the fountain that is Dana Katherine Scully.

*

Mulder arrived in the kitchen showered and clean, barefoot in his gray boxers from the previous night, his right hand caressing his tuft of chest hair.   He approached Scully who was buffing the counter, embraced her from behind pulling her body against his, giving her a kiss on the neck and whispered into her ear, “Good Morning Dana.”  Scully went rigid, her name sounding alien as it left his lips.

“Morning Mulder.  I made some coffee.  I have to run to the supermarket today and do some other errands before the week begins.  I’ve got to start preparing and packing for my two week vacation in California.  I leave on Friday so it’s not a lot a time.  I can call you when I get back today?”

The wall ascended so rapidly Mulder was unable to duck for cover as the bricks pounded him in the chest.  He rubbed his nose to see if it had broken.  “Yeah, that would be great.  I’ll probably stop by the Lone Gunman, Frohike had something he wanted to show me, maybe shoot a few hoops after that.  I’m … a….I guess I’ll get dressed and let you start your day.”

Scully turned and smiled reaching up to give him a peck on the cheek.

Mulder knew Scully.  Knew to give her space, to give her time.  Knew that she needed time to digest, analyze, compartmentalize.  All he knew was he wanted to taste her again.  And again.

*

At 6:52PM, Mulder’s cell phone still had not been graced with Scully’s voice.  He decided to be the gentlemen and give her a call.  When she answered her voice was warm and inviting.  “I’ve been so busy I just lost track of time.”

“Scully, I was wondering if maybe you wanted some company.” She could feel the puppy dog look through the phone.

“We have work tomorrow Mulder.  I don’t want to be up too late….it’s ok, come over.  Just know I’ll be out of the house by 6:30.”

“That’s fine.  I’ll be sure to have you in bed by eight.” He cringed at his own remark. “I’ll park a couple blocks away.”

23 minutes later there was a knock at the door.  When Scully opened it the expression on Mulder’s face sent shocks through her.  He stepped in the apartment, dropping his night bag, cradled her head with both hands and began kissing her passionately, broke the kiss, grabbed her hand and sprinted to the bedroom.  She blinked and they were naked, his hands and mouth covering her body.  He entered inside her in a single thrust and was met with little resistance, “Oh, Oh Scully, I missed you.”   His pace was quick and determined.  Soon he panted, “Scully, I won’t come without you.”  In one quick maneuver she wrapped her legs around him, tightened herself and flipped them.  Mulder was certain he would never tire of that and loved that he was able to remain inside her as they rolled.  Scully wasted no time angling herself on top.  When she leaned back Mulder grabbed her hand and held it to his heart. “Come with me Scully” That put her into overdrive and very shortly she was moaning his name as he followed close behind.  He had never been able to come on his back before with a woman, but he also knew his past would hold no credence to the woman with him now.

·        [Monday Morning]

Mulder realized he was whistling as he strutted into the office.  Scully had arrived earlier and was sitting at the desk with her head in the computer. 

“Morning Sculls.   It is a good morning, isn’t it?” Placing a spinach and turkey bacon with non-dairy lowfat cheese egg white sandwich and an almond milk hazelnut coffee on the desk for her.

“Please Don’t.”

Mulder was slightly taken aback “Scully what’s wrong? Or should I call you Dana now?”

“That.  That’s what’s wrong.  I can’t.  I feel very uncomfortable about this whole situation.  The way you’re looking at me, the way I feel when you’re looking at me.  What do you think they’re going to be thinking every time they see us in this basement with the door closed?  What will Skinner be thinking?”

“The same thing they’re always thinking.  Damn he’s lucky.”

“Please stop. I want it back the way it was.”  Scully thought to herself, before I was dignified, above reproach.  Now I’m just another girl screwing her partner. 

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Is it though?”

Dropping his volume to a whisper, “Scully, this past weekend was….”

“I know what it was, but now we are exposed.   Like the world will look at me and they will just know.”

“No one could truly comprehend us.  They’re going to think these things regardless.  Why should this change anything?”

“Because it just does.  It changes everything. I just, I just need some time.  Some time to work this through.”

“You don’t regret….”

“No….not at all…I just want to get back to work.  Besides, this place is not secure.”

“You’ve got a point.” Changing the subject Mulder continued, “Skinner told me as soon as we’re ready he wants us up in his office.”

   *

Two nights passed and they had yet to speak outside of work.  In fact, they didn’t have much conversation at all.  By Wednesday night Mulder had made his decision.  Dropping his basketball, he headed across town. Scully opened the door in jeans and a t-shirt with her hair up in a ponytail.

“Mulder, what are you doing here?”

“I’ve been thinking. A lot. Too much….”

Putting the back of her hand on his cheek she interrupted, “Your face is flushed, you need to sit down.”

 He sat down on the couch running his hand through his hair.  “You’re right.  I could be putting your life in danger.”

“Mulder, our lives are always in danger.” She sat down on the chair across from him.

“I know, but this could be different.  I couldn’t live with myself if something happened…., I mean look at us, we haven’t spoken all week, why?” He began shaking his head, “This was just what I was afraid of….. I can’t have something come between us, not after all we’ve been though.  You mean too much to me.”

“So what are you saying?”

“You were right.  It should never happen again.”

“Okay.  I’m not sure that was the exact phrasing, but it probably is best.” 

There was silence.

Mulder got up. “I better go.”

Quietly, he shut the door behind him.

  

Chapter Text

Thursday was filled with wrapping up year-end planning and budgeting.  There was a working lunch at Skinner’s conference room table with idle chit chat.  As Scully prepared to leave for the day, she made her rounds, the last being in the basement.

“You leaving soon?” She said to the top of Mulder’s head, his face buried in a folder.

“Yeah, I’m just wrapping up a few things.” He replied, not lifting his head from the folder. “Your flight leaves early in the morning?”

“Afternoon.”

“Well, enjoy your vacation with your family, catch some rays in California.  I’ll see you after the New Year. Don’t forget to say hi to them for me and give ol’ Billy a great big kiss.”

“What will you be doing Mulder?” Scully asked still standing at the door frame, briefcase in hand.

“Oh, some reorganizing around here, same ol’ stuff.  Who knows, I may take a trip of my own.  See you next year Scully.” He looked up and smiled.

“Yes, next year.”  She lifted her eyebrows and took a breath, turned and headed to the parking garage.

Things weren’t completely back to normal, but she was confident it would be. The comfortable groove was playing their tune.  Scully went back to her apartment, her thoughts on the week ahead.

*

A loud rapping was heard on the door of apartment 42. Mulder awakened from his T.V. coma and squinted at the clock on his desk.The time read 11:11PM. He rubbed his eyes and rolled off of the couch, not bothering to turn on the lights, he opened the door. Scully walked into his apartment and turned towards the door.

“Hi Scully, how are you, no it’s not too late, come right in,” he said to the empty hallway.

He closed the door, turned around and smiled at her. “What’s up?”

She walked towards him, leaned up on her toes and pressed her lips to his.  “Scully, I thought we agreed…” he mumbled into her lips.

She grabbed both his hands and backpedaled towards the bedroom.  “…that this is a bad idea.  It is, an incredibly stupid, irrational, treacherous idea.”

He put his arms around her and picked her up, her legs wrapping around his body, he brought her to the edge of the bed, kissing her, panting, unbuttoning her blouse, “this is really bad, we need to maintain control”

“I agree, it is putting us in a very precarious situation,” she said as she removed his shirt and pants. ”Mulder, what are you doing?”

“Looking for that spot on your neck.” His lips and tongue probing.

“What spo….oh… oh there…” Her head fell back and her eyes closed, suppressing a moan.

Pulling off her blouse, her skirt, Mulder continued, “This could be devastating, traumatizing….ravaging….…”

She removed her mouth from his right nipple, “What?”

“Scully, you’re so beautiful.”  He leaned her back on the bed and started kissing her belly, ripping her panties from her body.

“Hey, I liked those!”

“I’ll buy you a new pair,” he panted and with no precursor he spread her legs and entered her with his fingers, his tongue tracing her folds, nose grazing her bud. He continued his ministrations bringing her to completion twice before she pleaded to him.

He stopped and looked into her eyes, “What do you want Scully?”

“I want you” She got up and leaned on her elbows, her tongue licking her top lip.

Continuing his gaze, he spoke very softly, “Tell me where.”

She fell back on the bed and covered her face with her hands. Her voice dropped an octave. “I want you inside me. I want you so deep I can taste you.”

He placed both his hands on either side of her hips and entered inside her with a light moan.  He thought to himself, this was where he needed to be.  This was where his world began and ended.  The alpha and the omega.

He thrusted in slow and deep, “Like this?”  She nodded, biting her lip, her eyes still closed.

“Oh, Scully.  Please look at me.  I want to feel everything that’s in your eyes, your soul.”

She complied.  As hard as it was for her, she didn’t break the connection even as she felt it take her over, even as she felt him fill her.  Her heart ached to say the words she didn’t dare.

*

He laid facing her resting his head on his hand and ran his fingers through her hair, brushing it away from her face. “I want to stare at you all night.”

“That might make it hard for me to sleep”

“I doubt that. You can sleep through anything. I’ve seen it. Do you have to leave tomorrow?”

“You know I do”

She turned to face the wall and they assumed their spooning position.  He held her tight against him wishing for daylight not to come and drag her away.  The darkness was their home, their sovereignty.  His eyes welled up as terror began to overcome him, the terror of them taking her away, or worse, of her leaving on her own.  He breathed her in and allowed the calming effect of her fragrance to take him out with the current into the ocean of dreams.

*

He awoke in a panic calling for her over and over, but calmed when he heard her muffled voice through the shower.  “I was afraid you had left already” he called to her as he entered the bathroom and emptied his bladder.

“Mulder, are you doing what I think you’re doing?”

“Yes, and I also think you should step away from the water”

“Why?” She jumped as the water turned scalding hot to the sound of the toilet flushing. “When I get out of here, you’re going to….” she started.

“I’m going to what?” He said with a grin and dancing eyebrows as he opened the shower door and stepped inside.

“I don’t recall giving you an invitation” Scully returned smugly.

“I thought now might be a good time to become a conservationist” Mulder picked up the shampoo and began soaping his hair.  “I may need help, you want to get my back?” He went to hand her the bottle, squirting cold shampoo onto Scully’s chest which elicited a shrill.  “I’m sorry, now I went and made a mess” His face holding back expression as he began to gently massage the soap along her body.  Not to be out done, Scully picked up a bottle of conditioner and aimed it back at him.  Squinting as to not get the flying soap in his eyes, he reached back, opened the top and dumped the shampoo on her head.  She went for the bottle and her foot skidded on the now slippery floor, Mulder slid underneath her to break her fall and they were laughing and sliding around the shower floor attempting in vein to pull themselves back up. Mulder assessed the situation and looked at Scully smiling, glowing, her lips inches from his, her naked body slithering on top of him. He pulled her into a kiss. Scully calmed her giggling as the kiss became passionate.  She poured conditioner into her hand and began stroking him.  Mulder broke the kiss, his eyes widened, “Oh, that feels so much better when you do it. You have to stop though, it’s too good.”

With that he pulled himself up and got her upright as well. Tenderly, he washed some of the soap off of the both of them.  She traced her fingers along his biceps and took his hand to cover her breast.  He leaned down to kiss her once again. She turned to face the wall and Mulder sucked on her neck, clutching her hips, he angled her towards him burying himself inside.  Her hands sought leverage against the slick tile wall, steam billowing from the floor.  She tilted her head back and felt the water pulsing through her hair, against her back.  The way her body responded to him wasn’t like any other.  Her moans echoed, the sounds served only to accent her pleasure.  He continued until he felt her contracting around him and pulled out not wanting to finish yet.  He held her close until her breathing slowed and rubbed her back. “Why don’t we take this party back to the bed?” He suggested, stepping out to dry himself off.

He sat up on the bed with his back against the headboard.  Scully sat on the bed facing him, but kept her distance. “I want to watch”

“What?  No, Scully, I ..”

“..You said I do it better, I want to watch.  From a clinical perspective, maybe I could give you pointers”  He hesitated, but then complied knowing he could not deny her anything, wrapping his hand towards the tip he started at a very quick pace.  “No, slowly, easy.  You’re not punishing it for a crime” she remarked.

He slowly ran his fingers up and down the shaft.  “Usually I have someone talking dirty to me as I do this.”

“Yeah, but I’m not calling you Marty and I don’t charge by the minute.”

The sight of his soft artistic hand’s caress made her body jealous and yearn for his touch.  Her voice took on a sultry tone, “Mulder…”

“Yeah”

“I bought some tarot cards yesterday.” She traced her pointer finger along her bottom lip brushing her tongue along the tip.

“What?”

Her voice was husky, sensual, “I bought tarot cards, and picked up some charms, crystals.  I’ve even started reading books on witchcraft, voodoo. Maybe I’ll look into some ritual tableaux, get a crystal ball, practice Santeria….”

“Oh, yeah, Scully, talk to me” Mulder closed his eyes and gave his balls a light squeeze and began his rhythm again.

Scully straddled him, he opened his eyes as she lifted up and took him inside her.  She was incredibly hot and wet.  He looked into her eyes, “You are my fantasy woman….  What can we do... together?”

He started rocking with her as she put her arms around his neck. “We can conjure up some magic, use a Ouija board and talk to spirits, apparitions… Oh, yes Mulder” her hips picking up speed as she felt his body respond, “…drench.. ourselves.. in.. ectoplasm…”

The vein on his neck began to bulge, “I’m going to come”

She leaned into his ear and whispered, “I believe extra-terrestrials to be sentient beings. You’re right Mulder, I believe you, they exist, it all exists”

And with that last utterance he leaned forward, putting her on her back and him on top.  He used his hand to catch her up to him as he thrusted with lightning speed.  When he felt her milking him he allowed himself to release gritting his teeth so hard he feared they would shatter.

He pressed his forehead to hers breathing hard, his hands holding him up on either side of her. “You’re beyond incredible”

“You need to know…. I was faking it” She said very seriously, with an apologetic expression.

“I know, but a man can have his fantasies, can’t he?” He smiled, falling onto his back, reaching for her, hugging her tight.  Pangs started to form in his chest as he realized he would be without her for two weeks.

She went into the bathroom and dressed.  When she returned she was all formalities.  “I have a couple hours still before I need to start preparing for the flight, I better get back…”

“….You don’t need to throw the money on the nightstand and leave, we could go out for some lunch?  I could drop you off at the airport?

With a sigh, she agreed and they headed out together.

Chapter Text

Laughter resounded from the ocean waves. Scully watched as the kids frolicked along the beach while she lay in her bikini on a beach chair, sunglasses shading her indigo eyes.  “You forget how beautiful the weather is out here in San Diego when you’re in DC in the middle of winter” Scully commented to Tara as she wiggled her toes in the hot sand. “Back home it’s ice and snow and here it’s 75 degrees without a sign of rain.”

“Well, you know you’re always welcome to visit anytime you want.  Bill and I are always happy to have you.”

“I know.  I should get out here more often.”  Scully gazed out into the ocean to watch a sailboat pass by.  Fins from dolphins grazed peaks as shadows of clouds reflected off the electric blue sea.  She felt herself smiling, relaxed.  She breathed deeply to capture the salty air.

Meanwhile…..

A fly buzzed around Mulder’s apartment around the fish tank over the desk and into the kitchen area where it landed on a dirty cereal bowl.  Mulder watched it reach the final destination and thought to himself that maybe this was the day to do the dishes. The apartment was dark with an almost gloomy feel. The sun doing its best to peak through with some cheer, beams reflecting through dust particles.  He decided that before his body completely melded to form one entity with the couch, he should probably empty his bladder.  Returning from the bathroom, he shuffled over to the coffee pot.  Rubbing his eyes, he tried to remember what day it was.  It was Sunday, and he was still wearing his clothes from work on Friday.  It seemed he had partaken in a marathon of television and movies.  He retreated back to the couch with coffee in hand and flipped through a 6 month old issue of Hustler.  Today the pictures seemed to deter his resolution not to call Scully, which he had sworn he would not do.  Interrupting her time with her family was not on his to do list.  He flung the magazine and it hit the bedroom door frame and fell to the floor.  He shoved a tape in the VCR.  The visions on the screen only aided in his depression no longer providing stimulation, he switched back to regular television.  Billy Crystal was preaching to Meg Ryan, “What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.”

It all seemed so pointless and meaningless without Scully.  He needed distraction.  As he made a futile attempt to find food in his barren fridge, he could hear the t.v. in the background. “You say I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge?”

“No, what I'm saying is they all WANT to have sex with you. “

He walked back to the couch with an apple in hand.  When Harry Met Sally continued to blare from the t.v.:

“Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.”

“So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?”

“No. You pretty much want to nail 'em too.”

“What if THEY don't want to have sex with YOU?”

“Doesn't matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.”

“Well, I guess we're not going to be friends then.”

“I guess not.”

“That's too bad. You were the only person I knew in New York”

I was friends with a woman for six years and the sex never got in the way, he thought to himself. Until it did. Did it though? He took another bite of apple and settled in.

__________

An ice droplet traced the curvature of the glass as it made its journey down to the stem of the Pina Colada that was waiting for Scully on the deck of the boat that Bill had rented. She was distracted hopping waves on the jetski with her nephew. “You see how different my sister is when she’s not around that bastard.” Bill gritted his teeth.

“Bill, please don’t start. It has been a beautiful weekend.” Tara placed her hand on his arm.

---------

[Apartment 42, Alexandria, VA]

Billy Crystal was still emoting, "I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

At this point Mulder was ready to hop on the nearest flight to California.  The T.V. gods had plotted against him and he was losing.  He grabbed his black leather jacket and headed out the door.

*

Frohike looked at the monitor to see Mulder pacing.  Six locks and latches later he was inside.

Byers took one look at Mulder in his disheveled appearance and unshaven face, “Are you okay Mulder?”

“He’s fine.  Apparently without Agent Scully he has no reason to get dressed” Langly entered the room.

“Or shower” Frohike added.

“Ok guys I’ve taken enough abuse. What’s for dinner?” Mulder meandered over to the stove.

“Frohike made Tamales and Enchiladas.” Byers answered.

“Don’t worry Mulder, I’ll make extra salsa just for you” Frohike added.

Over dinner, Frohike unveiled their latest endeavor.  “Are you familiar with project HAARP?”

“The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program.  They operate transmitters of electromagnetic radiation, anything from radio to microwave frequencies.” Replied Mulder.

“It is also believed that they can use this concentration of energy to control weather, even induce earthquakes.” Added Langley “There have been many scientific observations that this technology is fully capable of being used as a scalar weapon.   If it emitted a strong enough electromagnetic pulse it could be used as a bomb to alter weather.”

“Or trigger seismic fault lines.” Byers interrupted, “On April 28, 1997, the US secretary of defense gave a keynote address at the conference on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. strategy at the University of Georgia in Athens where he discussed eco-type terrorism, altering the climate, setting off earthquakes and volcanoes remotely using electromagnetic waves.  This past January the European Union released a report on the environment, security, and foreign policy outlining various types of weapons threats even having a section entitled HAARP – a weapons system which disrupts the climate.  It seems they’ve been studying the ionosphere since 1993.”

“So what’s the connection?” Mulder seemed intrigued.

The Lone Gunman exchanged glances. Frohike spoke up, “Hacking into their system I found what looks like their next scheduled test.”

“Do you know where and when?” Mulder asked.

“Not yet, but I may have more information by tomorrow”

“Well, let me know.  I could use some holiday cheer.” Mulder replied.

---------------

“Uncle Charlie, Grandma was on a Jetski and so was Aunt Dana.  Aunt Dana was jumping waves.”

“Was she now.”  Charlie glanced over at Scully with a smile. “So, Aunt Dana, Uncle Bill, Grandma, and I have a surprise for you all.  Tomorrow we’re going to Disneyland!”

“Yay!”  The kids were screaming and jumping up and down.

“Will we be back before Santa comes?” asked Bill’s son.

“Yes, we’ll be back on Thursday.  We can even stop by Universal if we have time.”

Scully said goodnight to everyone and retreated to the bedroom to read.  She glanced at her cell phone.  No missed calls, no messages.  No news was good news she thought to herself.  She missed his voice, his touch, the comfort of his warm body next to hers lulling her to sleep.  She quickly pushed those thoughts away.  Distance and time away can be healthy too, an opportunity to detox.  She put on her reading glasses and opened the book.

----------------

[Monday, December 20, 1999]

Skinner picked up his glasses by the wire frames and carefully placed them behind his ears.

“Agent Mulder, I asked you up here to discuss your case last month involving a self-proclaimed monster that ate the brains of his victims?”

“Yes sir.”

“In that case you used deadly force discharging your weapon twice.  I read your incident report, the use-of-force report, I received the evaluation back from the forensic psychologist, the post-shooting intervention report, and now I need to sign off on your psychological fitness-for-duty evaluations. I know your background facilitates your ability to pass the evaluations, so my only question is, do you believe you had any other choice but to pull that trigger?”

“I believe that he committed suicide by cop and he put us in imminent danger.  That’s what it states on my report and that is what Agent Scully reflected in her report as well.”

“Yes I read that.  Very well…and Agent Mulder, is there anything else going on with you lately?  I’ve noticed your intensity level has dropped. Maybe since the brain surgery? Is everything alright?”

“I’m fine. I guess I’ve been dealing with some personal issues lately. Non-job related”

“I didn’t know you had anything non-job related”

Mulder let out a chuckle and got up from his chair to leave. He stopped just before the door and with his back to Skinner he said, “Walter, can I ask you a personal question?”

“What?”

Mulder placed his hand on the door knob and faced Skinner, “Given our jobs, the risks we take, the danger we put the people close to us in, do you believe we can afford the luxury of a private life, when we ourselves, could be putting them in the line of fire?”

Skinner stood up, took off his glasses and placed them on his desk, “Yes, there are serious risks. The question you have to ask yourself is if those risks or anything else outweigh her happiness. You need to be very careful and discreet.  And Fox, if you do anything, and I mean anything at all, to hurt her, I will be the first in a long line to knock you on your ass.”

He lifted his head to nod, opened the door and walked out.

------------------

“What was your favorite ride Aunt Dana?” asked Charlie’s son holding a Winnie the Pooh doll.

“I would definitely say it had to be Indiana Jones.” Answered Scully.

“Yeah, that was awesome.  My favorite was Pirates of the Caribbean.”

“No, mine was the haunted mansion” Interrupted Bill’s son.

“No way, definitely Space Mountain” Charlie’s other son butted in.

“I’m so glad you guys enjoyed yourselves.” Scully was all smiles.

“Dana, I’m so glad we were all able to get together like this.  It’s too bad you couldn’t drag Fox along.” Charlie added as they walked into Fantasyland. “How are you both doing? Mom says you two are getting pretty close”

Scully blushed at the remark, “No, things are always very complicated. It’s not as simple as if we are together or not. I don’t know….he’s totally wrong for me, you know, but he’s also…. crazy.”

Charlie laughed, “No crazier than this clan.” He rubbed the top of his son’s head as he ran up to them. “ If you love him, don’t keep him at arm’s length.  I know you have your reasons, but life’s too short for that.  You never know how it may change.”

“Aunt Dana, will you ride the teacups with me?” Asked Charlie’s daughter.

“Absolutely!” Dana grabbed her hand and they headed off.

--------------------------

The phone rang, his heart skipped a beat, hoping her voice was on the other end, “Mulder”

Instead a deeper voice was returned, “Hey Mulder, it’s Frohike. I’ve got the coordinates for the test, 35045’12.04”N119016’48.75”W.  It’s in Delano California.  If our predictions are correct the results could be that of 7-9 on the Richter scale.”

“Delano, California?  That’s less than 5 hours from where Scully is right now. What’s the timeframe?”

“It looks like early morning tomorrow.”

“I’ll call Skinner and let him know I won’t be in the office tomorrow.  We’ll leave on the first flight for Delano.”

[7 hours later]

The space inside the air vent was hot and cramped.  Mulder continued to proceed vigilantly, adrenaline coursing through his veins.  “How we doing Frohike?”

“You’re still clear. You’ve got about 30 more feet and you should be above the main terminal.”

Mulder dropped down from the ceiling creating more noise than he would have liked.  He quickly ran to the terminal and downloaded the disk Frohike had given him.

“Mulder, I see some guards approaching, you better hurry.” Added Langley.

“It’s downloading now, I don’t think I can speed it up.” Mulder replied into his mic.

“They’re turning the corner.” Byers sounded frantic, “You’ve got to get out of there.”

Mulder placed his fingers near the drive waiting for the last second to grab the disk.

“They’re at the door. Mulder, get out of there” Byers repeated.

As the guard swiped his card to enter the mainframe area, Frohike disabled the sensor.  This caused some alarm when they couldn’t get in, but it bought Mulder the time he needed and he grabbed the disk and pulled himself back up into the ventilation shaft.

-------------

A shooting star sailed across the sky.  Scully looked at her phone once again, then gazed back up at the sky on the deck of Bill’s house.  No missed calls, no messages.  She let out a sigh.  He must have decided to give her the space he thinks she needed.  Maybe she should take her own advice.  She headed back into the house.

-------------

The Lone Gunman and Mulder stared at the television screen at the airport bar.  “Breaking news, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit Algeria today causing an estimated $62 Million in damages. So far 24 deaths have been reported, another 175 injured with over 3,000 houses destroyed.  The earthquake hit today at 5:36PM.”

“5:36PM, that’s 9:36AM California time,” offered Langly.

“You don’t think we rerouted that earthquake to Africa?” asked Byers.

“No, we couldn’t have, could we?” said Frohike.  The Lone gunman exchanged worried glances.

“I guess we’ll never really know.” Mulder stated and took a sip of his beer.

“I guess not.” Byers stated.

-------------------

Scully watched as the children opened their presents.  Even though no one treated her differently, Scully still felt out of place.  She couldn’t help but imagine herself with her own children, opening up presents on Christmas morning.  Emily smiling with another brother or sister.  Her niece broke her trance by handing her a gift.

“A full day spa treatment.  Just what the doctored ordered.” Scully said as she revealed the gift certificate underneath the wrapping.

“The men agreed to watch the kids while we all get our own spa day.  We can go Tuesday if you like” added Tara.

-------------------

3:17 AM 12/30/1999

Mulder was staring at the ceiling in the dark when his cell phone rang. “Mulder”

It was Skinner. “Agent Mulder, sorry to contact you at this late hour, but we just received a call from the offices in Tallahassee Florida. I’m getting reports that an FBI agent that was deceased on December 21st, left the grave where he was buried.”

“In the cemetery?” Mulder sat up from the couch rubbing his eyes.

Skinner continued, “Yes, it appears like a simple grave robbery, but there seemed to be some evidence to the fact that he was buried alive.”

“Or the thriller video was actually a documentary. Have you contacted Scully?” Mulder was off the couch and getting dressed.

“I’ll be calling her next.  You’ll both be needed in Florida.”

*

“Scully” she said groggily.

“Agent Scully, I’m sorry to call you from your vacation, but we have a situation down in Tallahassee Florida.  Agent Mulder can give you the details when you arrive.  When you land meet him at the Tallahassee National Cemetery.”

“Thank you sir.  It’s no problem.  I’ll be on the next flight out.”  Scully ended the call and began to pack.

Scully walked into her mother’s room and gently coaxed her awake.  “I hate to cut my visit short mom, but I’m needed this morning in Florida.”

“Nothing too horrible I hope.”

“No, it appears this man is already dead.  I need to fly down to get the details.”

“Okay, call me when you can so I know you’re all right.” Her mother adjusted her covers and rolled over to fall back to sleep.  “Love you Dana, give my best to Fox.”

“I will.  Love you too mom.”

-----------------------------------

[December 30,1999, Tallahassee Florida]

“Mulder, you been spreading rumors?” Scully questioned standing over the now empty grave.  Ah yes, Scully thought, two minutes on the scene and already we’re irritating the locals.

“Why? You hear any good ones lately?” Mulder said 6 feet in the ground leaning over the top of the coffin.

“Not particularly.  So what do we have here?”

“Merry Christmas, by the way, Scully.”  Thanks for the call, Mulder thought sarcastically but kept it polite.  After two weeks you would think she would miss me a little, at least enough to pick up a damn phone.

“Thank you.  Merry Christmas to you, too.”  The phone works both ways she thought to herself.  Maybe two weeks was not enough.

-----------------------------------

After an arduous flight from California, a long meeting at headquarters, the look on Mulder’s face as he was reminded of her tattoo, and a futile attempt to get assistance from Frank Black, Scully was exhausted.  She longed for a hot bath and her bed.  She had no energy for the tension currently existing between her and her partner.

“You want to grab something to eat on our way back?” Mulder offered as they left Hartwell Psychiatric Hospital.

“Thank you, but I really need time to unwind and unpack.  I’m sure tomorrow will be a long day.” Please take the hint, she thought.

“Yeah, I guess you must be kind of jetlagged.” I wonder how long this dance was going to last Mulder thought.  She looked incredible, even more than he remembered, more relaxed, younger.  He wanted to go back with her to her apartment, but he knew that was not going to happen.  He needed to work anyway.  He had some research he wanted to do and it was best to keep his head wrapped around this case.

*

Scully let out a sigh as she dropped her bags on the floor next to her bed.  Home sweet home.  She drew a bath and went into the kitchen to make some tea.  As she walked from the bedroom she noticed two nicely wrapped presents by her fireplace. The first box had a small card that read, “For exercising your hippocampus because it’s important to keep your prefrontal cortex in shape. – Santa.”  She opened the package to find a “Bop-It XT”. She shook her head and smiled.  Mulder’s presents were anything but predictable and always unique.  She reached for the second box.  The card on it read, “Because you’ve managed to stay off the naughty list –Santa” She gasped as she opened the gift to find the blazer they had seen in the window at Barney’s along with the matching slacks.  She couldn’t believe it.  Partly because it was a normal gift and also for him to splurge like that.  She went into the bedroom to try it on.  It fit perfectly and hugged her frame in all the right places.  He must have went through her closet to find her size when she was gone.  I’ll yell at him for that later she thought to herself. She felt the warmth growing in her chest and wanted to call him, but bath, tea, and sleep seemed like a better idea.  She heard the kettle screaming and headed to the kitchen.

*

At 5AM Scully was once again jolted awake by the sound of her ringing cell phone.  It was Mulder to let her know that a Rice County Sheriff Officer had gone missing.  His last call into the station was along a rural Maryland road.  She was to meet him there and organize the men towards the wooded area in case the officer had been dragged off.

-----------------------------

December 31, 1999 11:59:42 PM

Mulder smiled as he stared up at the t.v. screen listening to Dick Clark countdown the seconds.  The ball dropped and reached its destination.  Auld Lang Syne blared from the speakers.  He watched as couples kissed in celebration.  Mulder glanced over at Scully, looked away, then looked back.  She saved his life once again.  Once again she trusted him, believed in him. Followed his logic, his theories, on pure faith, faith that he would lead her to the truth even if it was against all her own reason and judgment. In all things they were connected, forever his friend, forever his partner, she was the other half of everything he was and because of that they would never walk this world alone and his belief, that of any other.  It was the New Year, a rebirth in some ways.  As she looked over to him, he was swept up in a moment of normalcy. He reached over to give his sweetheart a New Year’s kiss.  They deserved to celebrate. They saved the planet, and each other.

Scully turned to see Mulder leaning in for a kiss.  The forbidden public display of affection that could lead to the world’s end.  She smiled, for in this moment she was exactly where she wanted to be.  Chasing zombies, saving the human race, being with him.  How could she have planned to be anywhere else?  His lips were warm and inviting like cookies from the oven at Christmas.  The energy between them was electrified. They slowly separated. She searched his eyes.  Fox Mulder was happy, smiling, content.  It made her smile. So was she.

“The world didn’t end”

“No, it didn’t”

“Happy New Year, Scully.”

“Happy New Year, Mulder.”

He put his good arm around her as she leaned into him and they headed out the door into the night.

When they got to their car, Scully walked to the passenger side and opened the door for Mulder.  He smiled as he got in. They were happy to be near each other again. On the way to his apartment, Mulder invited Scully in claiming to have bought some bubbly to toast in the New Year.  

“That would be really, really nice” she smiled back.

Once inside, Scully headed for the couch and Mulder turned on the television so they could watch the annual New Year’s Eve Twilight Zone marathon. Then he disappeared into the kitchen returning with cheese and crackers on a plate. On his second trip he had two champagne glasses balancing out of his sling and a bottle of champagne in the other.  “I don’t know where these came from, but apparently I have champagne glasses.” Scully grabbed the glasses and set them on the coffee table. With a laugh they opened the bottle together managing not to send the cork flying through the air. After a quick toast to another eventful New Year, they clinked their glasses together and sipped their champagne. It was sweet and palatable considering neither of them were champagne connoisseurs. Scully looked around the room as she drank.

“Mulder, I just noticed, this apartment is clean!”

“That it is.”

“And you have food? This is really nice.”

“I have to admit, I took some advice from Frohike.  Guess I had a little time on my hands while you were gone.”

“What were you up to?”

“Oh, nothing really.  The Lone Gunman and I did partake in a little adventure concerning a potential weather manipulation conspiracy.”

“Really.  Well, I hope you didn’t let it steal your thunder” Scully smirked.

“No, I wouldn’t let it take the wind out of my sails” returned Mulder.

“They didn’t blow it out of proportion?” Scully returned back.

“No, I wouldn’t let it rain on their parade”, Mulder returned again.

Scully smiled, “I might need a cigarette”

That made Mulder laugh placing his empty champagne glass down so he could put his only good arm around Scully as he leaned back on the couch. She snuggled in as he did it, resting her head on his chest.

They were into their third Twilight Zone episode when Scully got up to grab a box from her jacket and handed it to Mulder, “It’s not as nice as what Santa brought me, but I thought of you and wanted to get you a little something.”

She helped him open the present.  It was a silk tie with onyx cufflinks and a Buzz Lightyear tie pin. “This is really nice Scully, thank you.”

“You’re Welcome. I saw Buzz in Disneyland and thought of you.”

“Because he’s delusional?”

“No, because he’s a space ranger out to save the world and no matter what anyone tells him, he’s determined to be so much more than a toy.”

“That’s only because his best friend Woody tells him the truth and helps him find the right path. Without Woody he’s lying on the bottom of the toy box waiting for the next door neighbor to blow him up”

Mulder suddenly became very quiet as worry replaced his previous lightheartedness. William Shatner’s voice was booming from the television as he became unhinged looking out the window of an airplane.“Scully, are we going to be okay? Is the “us” going to be okay?”

Scully understood. “I think we’ll be just fine.”

Mulder looked over at the television. “I don’t know where this will lead and I’ve gone through the reasons over and over in my head as to why we shouldn’t continue…” He looked her in the eye, “but Scully, I don’t want to stop.”

She contemplated her answer staring into his dark piercing eyes.  “Neither do I.”

“Then let’s not” He thought for a minute wrinkling his brow,  “We’ll have to be very inconspicuous.”

“Of course,”She returned, “and we’ll need some rules, guidelines.  Like when we’re out on a case.”

He nodded. “Exactly. Besides, it will be better for me. I’ll be able to keep focused.” Mulder put his hand in hers.  “Are we really going to do this?” he asked, unsuccessfully holding back his smile.

Scully looked at him. “I think we are”

 

Chapter Text

[Saturday, January 1st 5:23AM ]
Mulder swallowed. His mouth was a desert, his throat sandpaper. He meandered to the kitchen for relief, his arm throbbing in its sling. Returning, he paused as he reached the foot of the bed. The Moon shone through the window cascading over her like a swan skimming water and he felt like his heart was melting right inside his chest. As he climbed back in to join her, he ran his lips up her porcelain back. Fields of lavender and orchids of vanilla embraced his nose as he nuzzled the nape of her neck. This caused her to stir. When she turned her head she was greeted by the minty lips from freshly brushed teeth. She smiled, overjoyed that he was next to her once again. “I’m sorry I woke you. You looked so beautiful lying there I didn’t have the willpower not to kiss you. I love you so much Scully. I’ll give you whatever you need, but please don’t push me away again.”
Her heart broke knowing she caused that look on his face, “I may need my space sometimes, but I promise to always come back. What I did was wrong, it won’t happen again. I’ll never shut you out again.” Their silhouettes began their dance along the wall as she rose up and their souls became one. She was slick, inviting, and making sounds that begged him to proceed. Balancing with one arm was delicate work, but right now it didn’t matter. What he felt for her was so strong and powerful, it came with it’s own morphine. At first he was startled, the sensations growing inside him were foreign and familiar simultaneously. They were not just his own, but that which was emanating from her as well as if his brain was still active with the alien virus. Her pleasure was coursing through him violating his consciousness.
He composed himself and began again. Although his momentum was shortly becoming erratic. “Scully, I can feel you. I don’t know how, but I’m feeling your physical pleasure, your thoughts, your heart. Oh, Scully” His head fell to his shoulders trying to hold on.
“I feel you too” Was all she was able to say.
His thrusts were long and deliberate. She called out to him as she experienced his emotions, his self, his desire.
Mulder was beyond overstimulated and of all mysteries he didn’t know how he was holding on for so long. He felt her orgasm building inside her, the tension, the mounting pleasure. He felt his as well. She cried out first as he exploded inside her taking her over the edge, soaking the sheets. They collapsed. He tried his best not to crush her on the way down.
They lay on their backs sweating, desperately gasping for breath, aftershocks reverbing through their bodies. As Mulder succumbed to sleep his brain began to process. How did this happen? Was the alien virus still inside him, inside her?
They woke midmorning and tag teamed using the bathroom. Mulder wrapped his good arm around Scully coaxing her to stay in bed.
“Mulder, what happened this morning?” she asked snuggled inside his arm, the comforter completing their cocoon.
“I don’t know how that happened, but I’m so glad it did. I think that it might have something to do with your chip or my exposure to the virus.”
“Oh, no Mulder. No. Our sex life is not becoming an x-file”
“I bet you people would read that folder.” He smiled and squeezed her tighter rocking slightly.
She ran her fingers through his hair giving him light kisses on his nose and cheek. “Whatever it was, it was beautiful. You are an amazing man.”
“Scully, when I had all that activity going on in my brain, part of my affliction, with what happened to me, I was able to read thoughts and also feelings. When you came to me as I was lying in the hospital bed…”
“You were able to read my mind”
“I also felt all of your emotions. They were so pure and honest. Strong and powerful. Scully, I really don’t know how much anything alien has to do with it at all. I’ve always felt you. After they had operated on me and I was lying there on the table, I still felt you coming, felt your presence. You are as much a part of me as I am.”
He saw her start to blush, a tear ran down her cheek. He brushed it away with his thumb. “Scully, don’t, don’t be embarrassed.” His voice was soft and reassuring.
Scully explained, “When all that happened, I didn’t care about anything but curing you. Mulder, I feel the same way about you. It goes so deep inside me too. You are part of the core of my existence. I needed you to know that, but my actions are the only way I was ever able to express it and…. now you know.” He looked into her eyes and saw the window into her vastness.
Mulder had a need to convey what could only be said without words. “I want to be inside you again. I want you to feel how much love I really have for you. I want you to understand how boundless it is. What I wouldn’t do. Everything I am …I want to give it all to you”
Scully lightly intertwined their fingers and Mulder kissed her fingertips listening intently. She replied placing her heart on the altar, “I’m not going to stop you. I will leave myself open to you.”

Chapter Text

[Jan 4, 2000]

The number one illuminated.  Scully tapped her foot impatiently, butterflies swarming in her stomach.  Their first case since their intense encounter on New Year’s Day.  She wasn’t sure how they would react to each other now in a work setting.  She was concerned about her ability to keep her professional composure and she was late for work. After almost 48 hours of hardly leaving his bedroom, she had collapsed when she finally arrived back at her apartment and slept through the alarm.  Not to mention it seemed to take forever this morning to pick out something to wear.  Then the taxi ride was almost a crawl as she read through the police report Mulder had faxed her from St. Jude Hospital in Pittsfield.  She wasn’t exactly sure why she was on edge, but she wanted to get the initial meeting over with.  Hopefully, he was alone. The elevator doors opened.  She smiled to herself. Here we go.

He couldn’t wait to see her and couldn’t wait to dive into this case.  Impatiently he began to dial his phone when he felt a tap on his left shoulder and turned around.  His smile grew wide.  She looked stunning, radiant. Her lips appeared darker, eyes brighter, hair shining as it bounced against the top of her jawline.  His eyes followed her neckline and he noticed it.  She was wearing a white button down shirt that was hugging her body and displayed enough cleavage to get his attention.  Down boy, he thought to himself as he blinked twice and flipped the track in his head to side B where a dead body was lying with his eyeglasses falling out of the back of his head.

“Uh…(chuckles).  There you are.  Heavy traffic?”

“Slow going.  Let’s just say I had ample time to read the police report that you faxed me.”

“Thoughtfully provided by the local authorities, even though it doesn’t begin to tell the whole story.”

When she bent over to examine the back of the deceased Deputy Foster’s head, Mulder couldn’t help but wonder where he registered on the perversion scale for checking out her ass.  Yeah, this would be a long day.

They walked down the corridor of the Pittsfield Sheriff’s station where Jesse, the suspect’s friend flirtatiously bumped Mulder to get his attention.  Scully was accustomed to women using Mulder as eye candy, but she’d be damned if he was going to look back.  She pinched his elbow hard to remind him that the tag on his collar said property of Dana Katherine Scully. He laughed nervously, “What?” as he felt the sting of her whip. They walked into the interrogation room and Mulder regretted sitting down as he was now at perfect eye level to notice Scully’s button screaming at him to free its restraints with his teeth.  He dug his nails into his leg to keep himself from moving his head.

A serious Scully was carrying the investigation, “..you say that Deputy Foster stopped you, but you don’t say why”

Mulder refocused. “Come ‘on, you were out cruisin’….

As they stepped back out into the hallway and began discussing the case, Scully felt her body leaning into his.  That warm inviting tension that obliterated their personal space.  His lips were pursed as he clamored on about spiritual entities and poltergeists.   It reminded her of last week as she whispered those same sweet nothings into his ear.  She decided to test the waters. Today she wanted to be in the power position.

“Mulder…rather than spirits…” She tugged at the bottom of his tie, stroking it phallically, staring at it almost seductively.  “Can we at least start with Tony’s friends?” And here came a little Marilyn Monroe, “Please? Just…for me?” Her eyes followed it up towards the knot envisioning him naked with just the tie on. . . . “I think there’s one person in particular I’d like to talk to”

Mulder’s pants became tighter as his legs turned to jelly.  I am totally fucked he thought to himself.  I will never be able to say no to this woman again.  She can have anything she wants, do whatever she wants.  Did she really just manipulate me with her feminine wiles?  Why yes she did and yes I wish she would do it again.  With the only movement he was capable of he whipped his head to the side and smirked following behind her.  She'd had her way with him and it felt so good.

As they left the Sheriff’s station, Scully remarked, “I guess we’re done for the day”

“Yeah, there’s not much we can do until we get the results from the lab and I want to see what Chuck’s opinion is before I reach any conclusions.  My car's parked across the street.  I could drive you back to headquarters or I could just drop you off at your apartment and pick you back up in the morning?” He tried to sound casual, but felt like he was failing miserably.

“That’s fine.  I can leave my car there overnight.” She said matter-of-factly.  This made him so happy he wanted to do a dance.  The thought of spending a night without her wrapped in his arms now seemed unfathomable.  How was he going to make it the first time they had to be away on a case?

They began their trek back to D.C. and Mulder was the first to speak, “That’s a very nice shirt you’re wearing Scully.”

“Oh, you like it?”

“Yeah, but it may be missing a few buttons.”

“I see. Mulder?”

“Yeah.”

“Maybe we can drive a little faster?” A full day of not being able to be physically connected to him was taking its toll on her.  She knew she wasn’t going to make it back to her apartment.

“Scully, your hand on my thigh is making it very hard for me to drive at all.”  His knuckles were turning a whiter shade of pale on the steering wheel.

The traffic had them at almost a standstill and her hand was slowly reaching the top of his thigh.

“Scu….Scully, please, I’m going to drive off the road.” He felt as though he may burst through his pants.  His will to drive had dissipated.  He was not sure she understood the full extent of the impact she had on him.

“Maybe, maybe not.” She was still being coy.

“Did you just unbutton my pants?” Mulder glanced down for effect. “Yes, yes you did. You unbuttoned my pants.  Ok…. Well… and there goes the zipper.”

Mulder closed his eyes as her lips made contact, then jolted them open recalling that he was the one driving.

“Scully, I’m serious. We can’t do this. What about being on a case? What about reckless driving? What about … ?”

Holy shit you’re stroking my balls.  What kind of calisthenics are you doing with your tongue?  Driving had now become an afterthought and he was swerving all over the road. A truck in the oncoming lane blared his horn and veered to avoid them.  He got off the highway and pulled down a dead end road.  He shifted the car in park, reclined the seat back and freed himself in one clean motion.

“Scully, is this because I strayed from the paranormal?  Is it because you want your name on the door? Because if it is, I could get you your name on the door. If this is about my desk again, the desk is yours…they never asked me when I got the office back…I mean our office back.”

“Mulder?”

“Yes”

“Shut up.”

He closed his eyes and heard a familiar snap like, like…latex…latex gloves.  Why would she be putting on gloves?

She took him again and sucked with increasing pressure while her tongue continued the rumba.  He felt the vibration of her moans coursing through him and thought this may not be a completely selfless act after all.  Her left hand began creating figure eights while her right thumb was making light circles over his perineum.  That’s when he felt it.  The finger of her right hand was massaging his prostate….From. The. Inside.

If he was so inclined to protest, the results would have been in vain for his vocal cords had ceased the ability to vibrate.  The heavens had opened their gates, gave him a high five and were now returning him back down to earth.

He wasn’t sure if his lungs were taking in air and it no longer seemed of concern, but he did wonder when his hearing and sight might return.  He reached out for her hand and she held it tight.  His first words were all that his brain could compute.

“You’re a medical doctor.”

That produced a giggle.  “Yes Mulder, yes I am. Are you okay?”

“I will be eventually. For now, though, I think you’re going to have to drive us home. And Scully… I’m a very very lucky man.”

Mulder awoke to the sounds of Scully singing off key to an incomprehensible song.  It took him a couple minutes to realize they were still in the car.   “How long was I out?”

“Oh about 3 and a half hours.  We’ll be home soon.”

Mulder stared out the window at the darkening sky, “I’m thinking that blur on the VCR tape might be the spirit of a former student. Maybe a ghost coming back for some sort of revenge.”

“Or maybe… it was just a glitch on the tape.” Added Scully pulling the car into a spot before heading inside her apartment.

Chapter Text

It was Wednesday afternoon.  Scully had the unique opportunity of leaving work early in order to meet her friend Ellen for a late lunch followed by a manicure/pedicure and a trip to the salon.  “Dana it’s been so long.  I’m so glad we made the effort to meet up. I’ve been so busy with Trent looking at colleges and with SATs and baseball …. we haven’t had a lot of time for anything. How are you?  How’s work? How’s the family?”

“Work is as crazy as ever.  Lots of travel. Mom is doing well.  So is Charlie, Bill, and the kids. I’m glad to hear Trent is doing well, but how are you?” Scully leaned her face against her knuckles, the other stroking the stem of a wine glass.

“You know.  Same ole same ole.  Kids are good, husband works too much.  You’re the one with all the adventures.  So let’s get to the good stuff, got any potential prospects?”

Scully looked down at her glass, “That’s a loaded question.  Kind of… I don’t know.”

Ellen was surprised, “How can you not know?  Come on.  Out with the details.”

The words seemed foreign as they left Scully’s mouth, “It’s my partner.  It started sometime before Christmas.”

Now Scully had peaked Ellen’s curiosity. “Wow.  Is it serious?”

“I don’t know if I think about our situation like that, but I care about him.  I care about him a lot.  He’s my partner and now…he’s more.”

“Last time we spoke about him you said he was too dedicated to his work.”

“Yeah, well.  I guess I became dedicated to his work as well.”

“So what’s a dedicated man like that like in bed?” Ellen crossed her legs and leaned in taking a sip of wine.

“That’s a 3rd drink question.  Honestly?” Scully was getting nervous that this conversation had taken a bad turn.

“Please, let me live vicariously through you.” She put her glass down and leaned her chin against her palm.

“He’s good, too good, like make you lose your mind and do incredibly stupid things good.”

“Details. Details.”

“Ok, like last weekend, he told me I do so much for him, he wanted to do something for me.  He drove into the city to this gorgeous hotel.  There’s rose petals on the bed, wine, classical music.  We visit the museums, he takes me dancing.  We stayed until the lights came on. We didn’t even realize the lights were on, we were kind of caught up in the moment if you know what I mean.” Her eyebrows rose as she looked at Ellen who was hanging on her every word. “The next day he gives me a full body massage. I don’t know, it’s the way he looks at me, the way I feel around him. Before there were times he’d get on my nerves and act like an annoying baby brother.  Now he’s so sweet….thoughtful… and it’s all directed towards me.  I know him so well and at the same time a lot of these feelings are so new, or at least were suppressed and are now coming to the surface.  It can be a lot to digest.”

“Dana, you’re starting to gush, but I think you skipped the juicy parts.”

“Like what?”

“Does he do the job or is he quick through the turnstile?”

“Ellen.” This level of scrutiny was making Scully uncomfortable.

“Come ‘on, out with it.  You use to do this to me all the time.  It’s finally my turn.” Ellen gave her an evil grin.

Scully finished the wine in her glass and grabbed the bottle for a refill taking a breath, “He’s an as long as I need.”

“But is he one and done or…?”

“If it’s not a work day? 2-3 and that’s just him” Scully started swirling her wine.

“In one day? Now you’re exaggerating”

She shook her head, “I am not.”

Ellen leaned in and lowered her voice, “Ok, but does he travel downtown?”

“Ellen.”

“Dana, I spend my days watching Barney and chasing three kids around. The sexiest man I know is Sponge Bob Squarepants.”

Her eyebrows got lost in her hairline once again, “He’d do it every time if I let him.”

“But does he know what he’s doing once he gets there?”

“He’s got an intense oral fixation.  Need I say more?”

“What’s he packing?”

“A Sig Sauer P226 and a Walther PPK. Sorry…. I would say….. Significantly above average.”

“Significantly?” Ellen leaned back in her chair.

“But not too significant that it causes problems.”

“Gotcha.  Then I don’t get it.  What could possibly be the problem?”

“Eventually, he will leave me.” She leaned back in her chair and looked down at the table.

“He’s a cheater? Plays the field?” Ellen was now lost.

“No, his mistress is his work.  He’ll become obsessed, forget my existence and run off into the night.  Somewhere he knows I cannot follow, but he will go anyway.” Scully felt the darkness creeping into her heart and pushed it away.

“I don’t know, some things are worth fighting for, and you never know.  A woman can change a man.  You don’t realize the power you have. And I know we’ve been talking sex, but I also know you Dana, and I know you have some pretty serious feelings for this guy.  You need to tell him what you need out of this relationship.  Give him the ability to make the decision.”

“I guess.” Trying desperately to change the subject, “Hey, in a few months I get to go to a movie premier out in California.  They made a movie loosely based on a case we were on.  Although it will probably wind up being a B movie that goes straight to the video store.”

“That’s really cool.  See, you have more of a life than you give yourself credit for.” Ellen waved for the check, “Come ‘on let’s get out of here, it’s almost time for our nail appointment.”

---------------

 Scully opened the door to her apartment.  The lights were off, but she saw a shadow figure. She reached for her gun.

“Hey” said the shadow.

“Mulder. I almost shot you.” She put her gun back in the holster and took her coat off.

“Wouldn’t have been the first time.  I’m sorry.  I know we agreed this was your night with your friend, but I wanted to see you.  You see, when you’re not around, I notice and it makes me want to have you around.”

Scully felt a little guilty. “I know, but you really shouldn’t just show up like this.”

Mulder got up from the couch and stood close enough to smell the liquor on her breath.

“Do I make you happy?  I want to make you happy.” He put his hands on her arms.

“You do.  Almost every day. Was that bothering you?”

“I want to make you as happy as you make me.”

She lowered her voice, sincerity breaking through, “You do Mulder”

“Let me show you how happy you make me.” He kissed her and they backed their way to the bedroom.  On the way she bumped against the dining room table.  He hoisted her up on the table removing her clothes.  With his hands and his tongue, he started with her lips and ended with her toes.  The table rocked, but the hard oak held their weight.  He didn’t stop until her body relented.  He lifted her from the table and carried her into the bedroom.

[FBI Headquarters]

The second hand of the clock clicked over to the eight while the smaller hand stayed firm on the eleven.  Scully was sitting at the table by the door having a hard time concentrating on completing her pathology report. She was afflicted with an acute case of sunflower seed envy.  Watching out of the corner of her eye she observed attentively as he held it between his teeth applying the precise amount of pressure forcing the seed to relent to opening itself up to him.  His tongue flicked at the ovule freeing it from its prison.  His fingers reached his lips collecting the slightest moisture as his tongue aided in the exchange, discarding the shell.  

Mulder looked up from his MUFON newsletter. “I don’t see a lot of typing going on over there Special Agent Scully.  You know dad won’t let us start another case until you finish your homework.”

“Sorry.  I seem to be easily distracted today.  It feels like they have the heat turned up to molten in this office. Remember Holman and Sheila from Kansas?”

“Of course.  How could I forget?”

“Well, they invited us to their child’s baptism. It’s in April. Do you want to go?”

“Why Holman, that dirty devil.  It has hardly been a year. Yeah, of course I’ll go.  Bad enough we were on a case and missed the wedding.”

She got up and walked over to his desk, leaning over as she typed into his computer.  Not having the restraint of his partner he ran his hand up between her thighs.  She quickly pulled away.

He swallowed hard.  “You’re not wearing underwear.”

“That was supposed to be a surprise for later” She lifted her eyebrow.

“Scully” he said scornfully.  “I think it’s time for lunch”

They gazed at one another with pulses quickening, grabbed their coats and sprinted to the garage.  Mulder attempted to open Scully’s car with the key to his car, while automatic door locks were now too difficult of a concept to grasp for a scientist. Somehow Scully managed to put herself in the driver’s seat and start the car.  She pulled out and they screeched away.  On the way to her apartment, Mulder decided to turn her pencil skirt into a mini striving to relieve the aching between her thighs.  This caused Scully to push the limits of light speed taking corners like Mario Andretti.  

Once at her apartment, Scully fumbled with the keys while Mulder began removing her sweater. They finally got the door open and Mulder found Scully’s lips, his fingers tearing at the zipper of her skirt sending it to the floor. With only a white silk blouse and bra left, he ripped off the first two buttons, sucking at her chest and lifting her up so she could wrap her legs around him as he dropped his pants and boxers to his ankles.  He stumbled backwards into the arm of the couch, sending the clock and floor lamp crashing. She used the couch’s arm to lift up enough for him to enter inside her and they moaned in relief. He captured her mouth and shuffled them towards the wall looking for leverage. As he lost his balance, Scully’s back slammed against it rocking the picture frame from the nail. Mulder thrusted into her and she rocked on his hips both moaning and gasping for air. In their zealousness, Scully’s back was pounding into the wall, causing enough vibration to knock over another lamp. Mulder bumped into the end table and some pottery fell to the floor.

He panted breathlessly continuing to slide her up against the wall, “Are you ok?” She nodded, but his knees were starting to give. He managed to get her into the chair next to the door.  The new position facilitated him to penetrate deep inside her which he quickly realized was too good. He tried to warn her. “You’re driving me insane. I’m not going to last.”  She leaned forward and knocked them both to the ground.  As they rolled their legs knocked another stand and potted plant to the ground. Scully positioned herself on top and within a very short time she was calling his name. He rolled them over again so that he could complete the mission in missionary.

*********

“Scully, I think we may have had a few casualties and you may have given me rug burn”, he said still lying on the floor with her in an embrace trying his best to catch his breath. “It’s getting worse.  This time we weren’t even able to wait to get our clothes off.  We’ve been so active lately, a few days ago I was using a bag of frozen peas for relief.” He smiled, but then became serious, “I can’t get enough of you and I don’t think I ever will.  They’re going to find our bodies someday lying together because it got so bad we didn’t have time to eat.”

“Mulder, I promise you that I will never forget to eat.” She got up and put her hand out to help him. “I’m going to go get cleaned up.  Then you’re going to buy me a slice of pizza before we head back to work.”

“Love you too” He shouted from the hallway as she closed her bedroom door. She opened it back up, giving him a smiling kiss and closed it heading for the bathroom. He began cleaning up the wreckage.  He couldn’t help smiling too, he had never been this wildly passionate with anyone and he wasn't taking it for granted.

Chapter Text

There’s nothing like being in the windy city and Mulder was excited.  He already had his hunches that a mutant man had fallen 30 floors and lived.  This may just be the case of a real life x-men and it was on his bucket list to meet Wolverine.  In the back of his mind he knew that he would be sleeping alone tonight.  The first time since New Year’s, but he also had a surprise once they were through with the case.  His phone rang and he eagerly picked it up on half a ring. “Hello?”

“Hey, Mulder, it’s me.” Yes, Mulder it’s me.  The best three words in the English language. The words that filled his heart and made him a whole person.

“What Now?” Scully asked impatiently.

“Are you in Chicago?” Mulder asked emerging from the ground.

“Yes, I’m in Chicago. I’m on the northeast corner of 7th and Hunter, just like you asked. Only you’re not here. So where are you?”

“Oh, around.”                                                                                     

“Yeah” Scully wished he would stop playing games, she wanted to see his face. It had been only hours, but now-a-days that was equivalent to a lifetime.

He looked over to see her facing the street.  She was wearing the outfit he bought her for Christmas.  She looked even more exquisite in it than he could have imagined.  How did he get so lucky to have her in his life? “Hey, nice outfit.”

Turning to see him she was greeted by his warm inviting smile.  He looked so indescribably cute standing there with his hand in his pocket. She wanted so badly to embrace him, kiss him, pretend to check him for head wounds, give him pleasure beyond compare, but she would settle for an adventurous case and some foreplay banter.  There would be time for everything else later.  For now she got on the platform and let him take her underground.

**************

With the case over, Richie getting the transplant he needed and everyone living happily ever after, Scully was ready to be home. “Mulder, we can get a flight out tonight and sleep in our own beds?”

“Or, we can sleep in company issued beds tonight and tomorrow see Chicago in Chicago.” He said showing her the tickets that were hiding in his pocket.

“You got tickets?” Scully sounded hopeful.

“Yes I did.  All we have to do is get through one night.  If we stay and don’t turn in an expense report for the rooms it may raise eyebrows.”

They checked into their respective rooms and Mulder stepped into Scully’s room to make sure she settled in okay.  He flopped down on top of the mattress as she got ready for bed.  “You know Scully, you solved the case today.  Your scientific deduction of luck was correct from the start.”

“Sorry it wasn’t Wile E. Coyote.  Although it was rather funny watching you trying to fix that pipe and then falling through the floor on your ass.  Once I knew you were alright of course.  Now I know about the extent of your knowledge for plumbing.”

“Yeah, well, the last thing I wanted to do today was be a plumber.  Not to mention watching Weem’s pop that glass eye back into his head.  You know, I think I’m starting to have a positive effect on you.”

“And how’s that?” Scully countered brushing her teeth.

“You’re starting to loosen up more.  You’ve got jokes ….. like the one about Weems not being able to see his way to the door and your subtle flirtations with your flashlight.  It did not go unnoticed.” Mulder propped his head up. “Although, I think you just wanted to go home and drag me into bed.”

“Excuse me?” Scully said her head popping out from the bathroom.

“We weren’t on the case ten minutes and you wanted to turn it over to the Chicago field office and have me back in DC before sunset.”  Mulder locked his hands behind his head and stared up at the ceiling noticing the incredibly bad spackle job.

Scully left the bathroom to put away her clothes placing them in her overnight bag and gave him a look, “I’m just really glad Richie is going to live.”

“I know, me too.”

“You know he told me that baseball was his favorite sport. I told him it was mine too.” She said as she gave Mulder’s arm a squeeze as she walked by.

“Wow Scully, that’s really sweet.”

Scully continued her compliment. “You know, your reenactment of the cause and effect at Weem’s apartment was really adorable.  I could have watched you all day.” She glanced at the clock and her look turned stern.  “You can be kinda cute when you’re not trying, but it’s getting late and you need to get back to your room.”

He got off the bed, walked over to Scully and gave her a hug, vanilla perfume tickling his nose. He nuzzled her ear. In a low monotone voice he begged, “Please let me hold you tonight.”

He was melting her insides. She placed her arms around his waist, her body relaxing into him, his heat eating away at her resolve, “Mulder, I need you to understand, maintaining dignity and respect in my work is important to me.  Even if no one but you and I know, it is about integrity and professionalism.”

Mulder pulled away glancing down at the gaudy berber carpeting, the rough threads crunching under his feet. He looked up into the moonlit oceans staring back at him. “As hard as it is for me to leave this room, I respect you, your career, and your wishes.So..I will wish you a goodnight.”

With a nod Mulder headed for the door, turning before he reached it pointing his finger in the air. “You know, if we had no intention of sexual intimacy, would it really be a violation?”

“Mulderrr.”  She let out a sigh.  “I guess if our intentions were innocent… will you be able to behave?”

Before she could complete her question, Mulder was already gone, returning to his room to retrieve some pillows.

That morning they checked out of their rooms and headed off to paint the town.  They started down at the Farmer’s Market to pick up some food for a picnic bringing it over to Lurie Garden.  There were seasonal flowers still in bloom and the day was glorious.  They were able to find a quiet secluded spot away from any passersby. They ate their lunch feeding each other, laughing and joking.  Being away from DC enabled them to open up in a new and unique way.    As they laid in the grass relaxing, Scully asked Mulder what was floating around his brain.  “How every day with you is better than the next.  How incredible you feel” he turned to her, his head propped on his elbow, “I don’t know if I’m expecting you to answer this, but prior to us, did all your male friends bring an umbrella to the party? And the reason I’m asking is because before you, I had never gone without one, I mean even when they were on birth control pills.. absolutely every encounter... and I know they say it feels better without one, but I don’t think anyone else is having the sensations that I have when I’m with you.”

“The men I were with always wore condoms if that’s what you’re asking. And I agree, I don’t believe what we are feeling is normal.  Nothing with us is ever the norm.  The way you excite me, how you’re able to get me there so quickly is not even close to any experience I’ve had before.  Not that it’s easy to remember, the last man I was with was nearly 3 years ago.” She looked into his eyes and he almost looked sad. She placed her hand across his chest.

“Speak for yourself.  Scully, the last woman I was with was almost 5 years ago.  You’re lucky I remembered what to do.  If I didn’t work out on a regular basis, you could have killed me.”

“Mulder, I always had my suspicions, but how come you never considered a relationship with anyone?”

Mulder was staring into her hair, running his hands through it. “After my sister was abducted, I know it’s hard to believe, but I became quite the introvert.  Don’t get me wrong, I fooled around in high school and pre-Pheobe college, but not the actual act of intercourse.  More of a mutual masturbation.  Then came Pheobe and she, well you know what she did.”

“My God Mulder.”

“Yeah, and I didn’t trust anyone for a long time and then I was in the academy and I was with Diana.  Unbelievably, Diana was worse than Phoebe.  Once Diana left, I crawled into the basement and the x-files became my life. Finding my sister was my priority and getting hurt again was not.  Every once in awhile I made a feeble attempt to date, but being by yourself isn’t as bad as being with the wrong person.  There was a one night stand when you were abducted, but I was in a really dark place. It wouldn't have been fair to someone when I was always putting my work first.  Besides, I had you. So, no I don’t have a lot of experience, just a lot of practice.”

“Well, we seem to be making up for lost time now.”

“So what about you Scully?  Could your sexual exploits be confined to a basketball game?”

“Mulder, I’m not answering that question.”

“Wow.  It's that many?  What are we talking about, a deck of cards?”

“Mulderrr….,” Scully warned.

“If you don’t answer me, I’m going to walk away thinking I can play a poker game with the number of guys you allowed entrance to the castle.”

She gave him the death stare and Mulder knew lighthearted conversation was over, “Scully, none of that really matters anyway.… it was worth every second as long as it led me to this moment.”

“What I will say is you’ve gone deeper and made me feel more than any other man ever could and you can take that all the ways in which it’s implied.” She raised an eyebrow and smiled. Leaning in she kissed him long and slow.  

Mulder pulled away, “Scully, we need to take it easy.”

“Is there a problem?”

“It’s becoming one.” Scully’s hand grazed over his jeans and Mulder let out a groan, “You can’t do this to me.  Not here.”

“Then let’s go over there.” Scully pointed to a secluded area with trees and bushes.

“Are you serious?  In public?” Mulder was convinced Scully had an alter ego that came out when she took off her power suits.

“Not in public, over there by the trees.” Scully said impatiently.

They snuck off and Scully wasted no time gaining access to him. Within seconds she had her lavender panties in his back pocket, his belt loose and his jeans stretched around his upper thigh. As their lips clashed together, her hands fell underneath his waistband and the buckle of his belt clanged against his zipper.  She smiled as her hands felt him grow harder and she heard his breath quicken. The fact that she had that affect on him always sent electricity straight to her core. With her back against the tree for leverage, she wrapped her legs around him. Lifting her sundress he entered her in one clean thrust. Mulder was taking his time caressing her, reveling in her body, making her grow more impatient as the intensity built.  He was gentle and caring, watching her, feeling for her reactions before he continued.   The thrill of being outdoors where anyone could see was adding a new dimension that had Scully almost in a frenzy.  Even with the bark scraping and digging into her back through her bunched dress, Scully was close.

Mulder paused and looked into her eyes, “Scully, I trust you with my heart, with everything I am.” She panted, “You know I feel the same way.”  Her words had him throbbing inside her and he deepened his thrusts. “Mulder?”

“Oh yeah, Scully”

“No Mulder, I think …. I think there’s a homeless guy over there staring at us.”

“Does he… have… a camera?” Mulder said breathlessly continuing to pump into her.

“I don’t think so, but now he sat down on the bench …..I think he’s watching and eating a sandwich.”

“So wave.”

“Mulder!”

Mulder paused his gyrations. “Scully, can we focus here?” She gave him a Mulder you’ve gone too far look and he let her back down on the ground.  “Ok, ok.  Let’s uh, let’s go over there.” He pointed to a denser area.

“I don’t know. I’ve kind of lost the mood.” She said as she straightened her dress.

“I will get you back in the mood.” He placed his hand on the small of her back and led her over to a more densely wooded area, found another thick trunk, and seduced her once again.

Hearing rustling, Scully opened her eyes and looked down to see a furry golden retriever sniffing at Mulder’s ankles.

“Mulder, stop. There’s a dog here.”

Mulder didn’t slow his pace. Instead he panted, “I know… he’s peeing…. On my leg.”

“Mulder, put me down.” Scully made a failed attempt to pry him off of her, “I can’t do this.”

Mulder stopped and looked deep into her eyes, still inside her, his hand caressing her cheek, “Is it wrong to be aroused while this dog is licking my ass?”

“That’s it, put me down.” Scully was irritated.

Instead Mulder leaned into her still inside her. “Wait … he’s leaving.”

Scully was still wrapped around his waist propped against the tree her weight on his right thigh. The trunk grated her back as the sweet sandalwood scent of Mulder kept her senses heightened. He watched the dog follow his nose to the bushes. “Yeah, he’s gone to sniff out a poodle.”

Finally taking stock in the situation they both let out a short laugh. “You realize we are two FBI agents committing a crime. Not that it would be that unusual for you.” Scully stared at him through her eyelashes.

“Yeah, but our rooms aren’t ready yet and it’s only a misdemeanor for the first time.” Mulder paused, “This is your first time …”

Scully nodded and frowned pursing her lips. “Yes Mulder. I waited my whole life for the right man to come along before I indulged in the act of fornication in a public park.”

“I love you Scully.”

“I know you do.”

Once they finished changing in the car and Scully removed the tree bark from her hair, they headed for the aquarium and then to check into their hotel room and get dressed for dinner and the show. As they descended in the elevator from The Restaurant on 95th  in the Hancock building they became so entranced with each other and their inability to keep their lips from pressing against one another that they failed to see the woman standing in the corner of the elevator. She was an older women with lovely bronze skin.  She looked at them with doting eyes. “It’s so nice to see two people so in love especially when it’s as real as yours. What you have is special.  Cherish it.”

After the show, the next stop was Navy Pier. Mulder dragged Scully on the Ferris Wheel just as they lit the fireworks.  She never remembered a more romantic night in her life.  Her wall was slowly turning to putty, but she knew she was not alone.  She trusted him to take care of her, something she had never done with anyone.  She held his hand and hugged his arm staring at the fireworks.  They ended the night in a jazz club sharing drinks by candlelight.

Chapter Text

It had been close to midnight when Scully left Mulder’s bed to retreat back to her own quarters.  As she left, a cloud drifted across the moon blocking its light.  Emptiness sauntered into the silent cold darkness.  The space she left in the bed sifted into his chest leaving him uneasy.  He reached out for her pillow, the scruffiness of his face contrasting with the soft cotton reminiscent of her skin.  In the morning he will pretend his lips don’t long to taste the creaminess of her inner thigh.  That her arm casually brushing his doesn’t sound the bugles of angels and when she leans against him his heart isn’t beating in unison with hers. He turned over bringing the pillow with him and inhaled deeply, her natural perfume rocking him back to sleep.

A few hours later when he got the call that Donnie Pfaster had escaped he knew immediately that he didn’t want Scully on the case.  Only a couple weeks ago they had discussed how appreciative she was for always being treated as an equal, but his need to protect her was overwhelming all else.  The choice was ultimately hers, all he could do was be a bystander.  Today Special Agent Dana Scully would be tested along with his strength to stay supportive of her decisions.

He recalled her first encounter with Pfaster. Her look of disbelief and disgust as she forced the bile back down her throat at the sight of his victim.  Her innocence forever tainted by his unscrupulousness. The iniquity of disregarding a life transforming them to his collection of frozen objects.  When he thought back at himself, how dissociated, callous.  Obsessed over the case, tunnel vision to a single point.  He was the profiler when he should have consoled and protected.  What a fool he was forcing her to stand alone trying to treat her like any other agent, not acknowledging her recent abduction, emotionless out of respect. His life was so scripted back then.  Even his movements robotic as if on a track.  While Pfaster left her bruised and battered.  So distracted not even comprehending that she needed him. “I’m an ass” he said to the mirror as he brushed his teeth.  He spit the toothpaste into the sink along with his embarrassment and disgust.  This time would be different he thought splashing water on his face cleansing himself of his sins.

This time he waited for her, not wanting her to take the flight alone handing her the file as they boarded.  Looking out the window of the airplane, he sensed their dark cloud following, looming.  Their conversation was body language, facial expressions and hand holding.  True to her promise she was not distant, only quiet as they made their way to the U.S. penitentiary in Marion Illinois. 

Once in the penitentiary, watching her live through the pain again with anguish covering her face was almost too much for him to bare.  He pleaded to her a single time to go back home, as an unbiased agent trying to convince his partner it was okay for this one time to walk away.  He knew she was well aware he could read and experience her emotions, but he conceded her privacy just the same.  The lump in her throat and fright in her eyes did not go unnoticed at the mention of the time 6:06.  What unnerved him more? The hanging cloud or the fact she could be connected to something other than himself?  He tried to keep his arrogance in check simultaneously trying not to disclose he was walking on eggshells.

This case was causing Mulder to reanalyze his own motivations.  He knew his agnostic borderline atheist belief system stemmed from his sister’s abduction.  What was the purpose of an all-powerful being that in his opinion did nothing more than observe? Anytime the subject of God was brought up the detest and hatred inside him became apparent.  Did he blame God for not helping his sister?  For taking her away from him?  Or was it a lack of religion from his upbringing that made it so easy for him to be so presumptuous? If God didn’t exist did evil?  Did it rule by itself in our own private bountiful hell?

****

The return flight was as quiet as when they arrived.  He didn’t even challenge her when she requested the evening alone.  He dropped her off at her apartment with only a reassuring touch on her shoulder.  When he got back to his place he finally allowed exhaustion to creep in. His mind littered with concern for Scully, with the case, with God and what it all meant.  The distraction caused him not to automatically go to his answering machine. Instead he brushed his teeth and prepared for bed, his brain in rapid fire mode.  It wasn’t until he set his alarm for the next day that he noticed it, that haunting song.  What did it mean if anything? As him with her, she was the only one that could get him to push his beliefs and reason aside for her truths. He dialed her number for reassurance.  It was then that panic struck him.  It was then that he felt her need for him, for his help. Then that he looked into the heart of a serial killer and knew that he would go after the one that got away.  Once he knew, he couldn’t get to her apartment fast enough.  All that ran through his head was that he let her down again and wouldn’t forgive himself if he didn’t get there in time. 

Time stood still as he pointed the gun at Pfaster demanding him to surrender.  He noticed her approaching from the bedroom, her eyes unforgiving. “Did he hurt you?” Without hesitation he was ready to kill him if he did.  His blood started to boil as the room went cold.  Mulder turned his head to see a flash of light and the bulb exploding with the fixture. For a quick second he thought maybe he had fired his gun.  It was then he saw her gun retract.   Realization came to him. She had pulled the trigger. In cold blood.  His nerve endings went numb. The smell of the gunpowder.  The gunshot resounding in his ears.

*****                                                             

  As he finished with the police questioning he saw her finally reappear. It was now his turn to take over, to reassure her, to protect her, to heal her. He walked her to his car carrying her bags.  He will be her home. His hand laced through hers. Spirits fused, the car pulled away their sole light illuminating the darkness.

*****  

The next day Scully wasted no time throwing herself into her work and headed over to lecture at Quantico.  Skinner left headquarters early.  When he arrived at her apartment he was greeted by Mulder and the Lone Gunman.  They were diligent in putting the place back together.  When they were through Skinner offered again to help in any way she needed.  Mulder led the Lone Gunman to his car promising them he had a reward for all their hard work. He opened the trunk revealing his most indulgent of possessions.  Even though Scully never indicated a distaste for his collection, he no longer wanted it sharing the space with her.   Their level of intimacy left him with no uses for such juvenile tendencies.  All of his desire belonged only to her and his transformation spoke volumes to the maturity of their relationship.  Frohike was dumbfounded and they all exchanged glances knowing this symbolized something significant, but they were yet to realize what.  They took them reluctantly promising visiting rights if required.

 When Scully got back to Mulder’s apartment she was greeted by inviting smells.  “Mulder, did you cook?” 

“Why honey, you’re home.” He gave her a kiss on the cheek and took off her coat. “I did cook.  I made a mean macaroni and cheese with some hot dogs.”            

She suppressed a laugh for she knew he really tried. 

The previous night he left her the bed, without spoken word he tucked her in, knowing she needed solitude. He instead took a guard post outside on the couch warding away nefarious creatures. As he cleared the table, he looked over to her sensing her tension. He massaged her shoulders then sat down on the couch to watch T.V.  Scully showed no interest, straddling him instead. She kissed him embracing his tongue. She stared at his features admiringly, “I missed you”.

He smiled. “I like the new haircut. Very stylish. I think I prefer it longer though.  More to run my fingers through,” He said caressing the back of her head. He whispered, “What do you need me to do?”

“Make me forget” she said leaning in to him.

“That I can do.” He returned his lips to hers, running his hands underneath her sweater.

Chapter Text

Once again Mulder had Scully up in the middle of the night and on a plane to California.  This time instead of calling her on the phone, he rolled over and convinced her to follow him. For revenge she flirted more than usual and kept her shirts buttoned low.  He returned the favor by brushing against her as they walked and shortening the little personal space they had left. She was convinced watching his beautiful mind work turned her on as much as any other physical attribute. The nights were rough in their newest low grade motel without their partner to sleep next to.

The last morning found them at Cradock Marine Bank and then to Cissy Alvarez’s place where Cissy accused LaBonge of setting him up.

Back in the car, Mulder pulled off to the side of the road to discuss the case.

It had been three long hard boring days.  Three days she had gone without those long loving fingers touching her.  He was talking, but she was fixated on the thought of sucking on his plump bottom lip. It wasn’t like her not to be professional, not to hold her desires in check, well hidden from the outside world, but his hair was doing that cute spikey thing which made her want to use him as a loofah.

She came to at the inquisitive sound of her name.

“Scully, the name of the game is misdirection, correct?”

“Yeah….” Scully knew it was wrong to make contact, but she was ready to climb him like the rope in gym class.

“What if it was a setup from the start?” His mind was humming. Scully played with Mulder’s tie, stroking his chest unable to convince her hands they were still on a case.  She thought to herself that he was deceivingly muscular as her silent cravings bubbled to the surface.  He gave her a quizzical look, “Maleeni plays poker with him, loses big, uses his brother’s body to fake his death…” Mulder eyes darkened and he stroked her cheek with the back of his index finger. “..Uses Alvarez’s greed”

Scully’s hand had traveled underneath his blazer following it up around his shoulder scratching the back of his neck. His hair was silky from his use of her conditioner, it’s lavender aroma complimenting his sandalwood musk. Her breath quickened, the fact they were on a case or in the car was all secondary to her need for him.  She nibbled at his chiseled jawline, his five o’clock shadow bristling against her teeth.  Mulder cleared his throat. “LaBonge dresses up like Alvarez and robs the armored car..” Mulder remained stoic as his hand traced the outline of her breast over her ribbed white sweater. She gulped in reply.

A button was now open on Mulder’s shirt and Scully was using his abs for a harp. She couldn’t hold back much longer. His hand dropped down and played with her pants button. All the teasing, looks out of the corners of their eyes, flirtatious smiles, her self-restraint was gone. Their eyes transfixed and she gasped as she felt the heat of his hand as it slid down the front of her slacks. She was incredibly wet, making the sensations intensify as his lubricated fingers slid between her folds.  Her thighs trembled as jolts of pleasure coursed through her. His heart was pounding underneath her hand and she watched as his skin flushed, heat rising from his shirt collar across his neck to the hairline.  His face strained as he forced his brain to complete his thought. “If Maleeni somehow switched the clip and the guards were firing blanks...” Scully closed her eyes letting out a tiny sob. He knew her better than anyone and he knew how to touch her.

Mulder continued as if he didn’t just light a bonfire in a California forest, “Last night the two steal the guard’s key…”

Scully felt her need for him grow sensation taking over all thought processes. She hugged his slick fingers as she rode his hand. His fingers sliding inside her, pleasure breaking through like sun through a fog. “Oh Mulder, Oh, don’t stop, please don’t stop.”

Mulder’s mouth opened and stared at Scully’s lips, “They rob the bank, plant the money at Alvarez’s place, then  break back into their cells...” His eyes dilated at her response to him, he blurted out, “…Scully you’re a goddess”

Mulder’s fingers found their destination and she cried out, “Oh, God …”

Mulder slowly completed his thought, “With no one the wiser”                                                                                                  

Scully was looking at him like he was a cheesecake and she was a Golden Girl, “No one the wiser”

Their faces crashed together as their tongues engaged in a sword fight. Scully broke into his pants wrapping her hand around him with short steady strokes.

Mulder broke the kiss, gasping he cried, “Scully, I missed this so much, but… your hand …it’s …I’m going to… Where’s it gonna go? …. I’ll look pretty funny at that jail…..”

Scully reached around him and yanked the lever of his seat sending it back. Mulder marveled at Scully’s ability to discover how many licks it took to get to the center of a tootsie pop.  This situation wasn’t ideal for him. He wanted so badly to make love to her.  The nails of his free hand scarred the car’s upholstery as his forearm tensed. His other fingers pumped deep inside her and didn’t relent until they felt like prey in the choke hold of a boa constrictor. Only then did he allow himself release crying out to her as he did.

As they sobered and fixed themselves, Scully began her rant, “Mulder, we can’t keep doing this.  Besides the fact that we’re going to get caught, reprimanded and fired, this is beyond reprehensible…”

He gave her a kiss stroking her face ignoring the fact that she seduced him, “I know, I know. We’ll get the hang of this.  It can’t interfere with our work. It’s just when our minds come together, they really come together. Now, let’s get to the jail cell before they’re released.”

After the case was over they rewarded each other by cruising in a rented convertible down highway 1 with mountains on one end and the ocean on the other.  Dinner was at the end of a pier in a restaurant encased in glass watching the sun set into the ocean as fish swam below. Mulder continued his dime store sleight of hand while Scully let him play cautioning when he took it too far. When they arrived back in DC they once again clawed at each other like rabid tigers over a Rib-eye.  Waiting until the second time that night to reenact a pas de deux until they were both sated.  Scully knew this schedule would eventually take its toll, but for now she was having fun and she was content.  She watched him smile, his silliness at times, the spring in his step and she knew she put it there.  Today the darkness chose to stay in the shadows.

Chapter Text

The Bounty Hunter jerked his steering wheel to the left pulling alongside Scully. She had the pedal to the floor of a black rental sedan and he was gaining. He swerved into her denting the side of the car. Panic struck as the car hit the railing of the bridge, flipped and plunged into the deep icy waters. Scully held on for dear life as she was free falling. Once under the chilling water she removed her seatbelt and started swimming to the surface. She could see a blurred building and sunlight. Her arms treaded water ferociously, but she couldn’t make headway. The Bounty Hunter grabbed her leg and pulled her deeper. Bubbles of her last breath formed in front of her face as she saw her life float away. Air had left her lungs, fright filled them instead. The Bounty Hunter floated up to look her in the face before swimming away. It transformed as it laughed at her, into an alien, then CSM, until finally demonic. Everything faded to black. Scully opened her eyes in a state of confusion and shock. She still couldn’t breathe. Mulder’s body including his massive arm was draped across her covering her back restricting her lungs. As her body began to wake she was able to slide herself from the bed in a loud thud onto his hard wood floor.

“Scully?” Mulder murmured from above.

“It’s okay. I’m down here. I’m going to go get ready for work. I’ll meet you in the office.” She lifted herself off the floor while simultaneously unraveling herself from the blanket.

He agreed in another incoherent mumble and drifted back to sleep.

She wasted no time heading to the bathroom. Placing the seat cover down before her ass hit the cold wet porcelain had finally become second nature. Even though she wanted to, she didn’t scold him in his own apartment. She stepped in the shower. The water was a little cooler than usual which meant the neighbors from above beat her to the bathroom. The hot water heaters in Mulder’s apartment were not as efficient as the ones at her place. She reached for the soap and it was slimy, half of it disintegrating in her hand. The body wash was in her apartment and as she squeezed an empty bottle she realized so was her shampoo. She grabbed his men’s 2in1 and didn’t understand why he couldn’t use his without dipping into her own. Guess her hair would be frizzy today with a hint of woodsy river smell, whatever that was. As she came out of the shower she stubbed her toe on the corner of the bed. His clothes were strewn around the room and prevented her from noticing the edge. Her own clothes were still neatly stacked in a suitcase on top of countless files in a corner.

After dressing, she headed to the kitchen to make coffee. The dishes and cups were piled in the sink along with a couple pots crusted with food. With a disgusted look, she decided to stop at the bagel place on the way to work.

Opening the door and stepping into the car, filled her with a warming calmness. The car had a hint of her perfume, not a sunflower seed to be had, and clean comfortable seats. The radio was already dialed to her station. It wasn’t much, but was enough for her to maintain sanity.

It was still early when she got to the office so she decided to spend time in the bullpen for a while before delving back into her work downstairs. Scully opened her laptop and booted it up. She lifted her mug taking a sip and a moment to enjoy the sweet hot coffee, savoring the taste and aroma as it passed through her lips warming her throat as it made its way down awakening the rest of her senses. Yesterday was her last required session with the on-staff psychologist and she was happy it was over. It was difficult for those sessions to be very productive since she had to shy away from any true personal conversations. She was promptly released to active duty with a very small investigation so she figured she must have had pleasingly sane answers. Last week they were in California and when they returned it was back to his place. She had been avoiding stepping back into her apartment since that night, but she knew it was time or else Mulder may be her next victim. It wasn’t that being with him wasn’t great. That part of the relationship had nothing to complain about. In fact, that’s what kept calling her back, keeping her awake at night, in the car, in public, in the bed, on the table, on the desk, in the kitchen, on the floor, in the shower, on couches, furniture, his place, her place, motel rooms…, the only place they hadn’t christened was the office. Besides being highly inappropriate, it was also highly bugged. They knew that it was the one place they could never dare. But was that all that was left of their relationship? Bizarre cases and late night encounters, crazed sexual urges. Had their entire relationship become foreplay, a prelude to the main attraction? She decided she was thinking too much into it, six years of building a foundation had to have some ramifications. What she needed was simple time alone, to unwind, to be Mulder free. She knew he would not understand. His version of alone time was researching the next case or breaking into a restricted area. Looking at her watch she decided it was time to head downstairs and see where their next plane tickets were taking them to.

“Morning Mulder”, she said as she opened the door.

“Good Morning Scully”, he said grinning ear to ear.

She headed to the back room and got busy on tightening up her files. The office seemed smaller today somehow and it wasn’t just from the papers covering every flat surface.

Around 3 o’clock Scully decided it was time to approach Mulder with tonight’s sleeping arrangements.

“Mulder, I may leave early today. I’ve got to go buy some shampoo, stop by the dry cleaners…. I think it’s time I get back to my apartment.”

“Okay. I’ll finish this up and we can take off in about an hour?” he looked at her thoughtfully.

“I have my car so there’s no need for both of us to leave early.” She replied.

“Scully, this is your first time back in your apartment since the incident. I’m not letting you go there alone.” Mulder was pleading to her logical side.

“What do you mean you won’t let me?”

Mulder could feel himself on dangerous ground. “Fine, I’ll come over tonight.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow Mulder. I know your number if I need it.” With those words still hanging in the air, she left for the day.

+

Placing a key in the keyhole to her apartment, she took a deep breath. With butterflies in her stomach, she opened the door. The place was eerily silent with only the faint glow of the setting sun. Her nose was greeted to a bouquet of Pine-sol and Clorox. She took note of the new light fixture, the missing furniture, the neatly patched ceiling. With her coat still on she picked up the card off the coffee table. It was a thinking of you card signed by Byers, Frohike, Langley, and Skinner. There was also a box of chocolates left by Frohike. That made her smile. As she walked down the hallway she noticed the cobwebs forming in the corners. The bedroom was immaculate. The bed was made with military corners and she knew immediately that it was Skinner’s touch. All the glass had been replaced and her shelves restacked. The bathroom had been cleaned, fingerprints wiped, and all of Pfaster’s private collection of soaps were gone. It wasn’t until she got to the closet that her eyes began to well. The events played in her head like a movie in slow motion. She decided not to allow herself to rehash it again. This would not be a part of her life. He didn’t deserve space in her mind. She closed the closet door with an echoing thud. Maybe she’ll redecorate she thought to herself as she left the apartment to restock her refrigerator and retrieve her dry cleaning.

At around 8:30PM her phone rang. “Scully”

“Hey Scully, I was wondering what you were up to.”

“I’m fine Mulder. I’m taking my apartment back.” She paused, “Look, I know you’re concerned and I appreciate everything, but really, I’m fine.”

“You’re sure you don’t need any company tonight?”

“Really Mulder, I’m fine.”

“Okay. I’ll guess I’ll see you in the morning.”

The next day was a quiet one with mostly meetings. Upon returning that evening to her apartment she felt at home in her old routine. At 7:15PM there was a knock at the door. She opened it not at all surprised to find Mulder on the other side. He was in sweats and looked like he had been out for a run.

“Can I come in?”

“Sure, is everything alright?” she asked closing the door behind him.

She was taken aback when he pulled her to him and kissed her passionately, jolts of electricity coursing through her veins. She returned his kiss with equal fervor then quickly pushed him away.

“No, Mulder stop”

“What’s wrong? I knew something was wrong”

“Nothing is wrong. We can’t keep going on like this. Is that all we are to each other? Is this what we’ve become? Like we’re some affair?”

Mulder was hurt, “We are not some affair. You know what you mean to me. That’s not why I came over here. We don’t have to do that.”

“Lately it seems like that’s all we do.”

Mulder began to pace, “You know I’ll take some of the blame, but it’s not always my fault. In fact, you may initiate more than I do.”

Scully’s voice started to rise, “This isn’t about fault or blame. This is about my life. I don’t want my life to be flying around the country hopping from one motel room to another waiting for the next time we get a chance to get each other naked.”

“To be fair, we’re not always naked.” Mulder deadpanned.  

“We never talk.”

“We’re always talking”

“No, I mean really talk, get to really know each other. We avoid, we ignore. Look at what we’re doing. We drive separate cars to work, all day we pretend there’s nothing between us, then as soon as we get the chance….bam, we attack each other.”

“Bam?” Mulder smirked.

“Bam.” Scully replied.

“Bam Bam.” He joked back.

Scully threw her arms at her side. “I’m trying to be serious. How can this possibly end up? Everything’s a secret. We can’t openly see each other. We will never move in together. Most people do this to build something. We’re not building anything. We’re like some torrid affair.”

Frustration was building inside him. “We are NOT an affair. One of us could bring some stuff over to the other’s house. Not live out of a suitcase or overnight bag. Are you saying you want to end this?”

“No. I don’t think so. For so long we were moving at a snail’s pace and then all of a sudden it’s like the Indianapolis 500. We’re together all the time. I want me time. I need time just to myself. We need time where we talk and not about a case and not where we end up as you would so eloquently put it, doing the naked pretzel.”

“We don’t do that. It’s more than that, much more. Ok. We can work on this. See we’re talking right now. So, today is Wednesday, how about we plan to do this on Friday?”

“How about Saturday? I’m sorry I just feel we are going way too fast. It’s only been a month. Let’s just slow down a little before we start talking about leaving clothes at each other’s place.”

He put his hands on her shoulders. “Ok. Saturday night is ours and until then we talk. I can do this Scully. You want to go slow we go slow. I am in no rush. We have all the time you need.”

“Thank you.” Scully reached up to kiss him goodbye and stumbled dizzily as Mulder pressed her against the wall, penetrating her with his tongue. It was a long and inviting kiss. Sensually masculine yet delicate as only Mulder could be. He left her body aching and her lips with a promise. “Until Saturday.”

Saturday

Mulder had kept his promise and stayed at a respectable distance. At work he was quiet and professional, only the gleam in his eyes gave him away. Inside he was counting down the seconds like a bomb ready to go off at any moment.  The conversation they had on Wednesday was unexpected, he thought everything was going perfectly. There was nothing like waking up in the morning to Scully lying next to him.  He loved spending all day at work with her. Even the secrets they were forced to keep he found added a little something.  At least they were their secrets.  Did he consider what it would be like if they lived together?  He felt like they almost already did and had for years. Scully was always popping up over his place and if he wasn’t home it never stopped her from coming in and doing what needed to be done.  Their emails, voicemails, and hairbrushes were equally shared. Her comments about his messy apartment or dish washing skills he took in stride since he knew she was right. Did it matter to him that he didn’t know her favorite stuffed animal growing up or the names of all her friends? No, but if that was what she wanted, he would gladly oblige.

So there he was on a Saturday night, Tulips in hand, dressed in brand new dark blue jeans and a navy colored sweater to match, his new charcoal Henley peeking from the top. Instead of the usual Nikes he polished his loafers and made sure his black socks were hole free. With newly cut hair, a fresh shave, and a dab of cologne, he knocked on Scully’s door. When she answered, he felt a bit nervous, like a first date. One he had no intention of screwing up.

The flowers received a warm inviting smile which led to him receiving a slow lingering kiss. He would be the ultimate of a gentleman tonight, but it didn’t stop his body from responding to her grace.

The night went by smoothly, laughing and playing cards, moving on to Trivial Pursuit. They talked about silly things they did when they were kids.  Things that use to scare them, what they were like in high school, funny stories from college. The night ended when Scully fell asleep in Mulder’s arms while he watched Sports Center. When it was over, he carried her to bed.

 

Sunday Morning

Scully opened her eyes and Mulder was at the foot of the bed putting on his black boxer briefs.  His toned body glistening from a fresh shower.  She remained under the warm coziness of her comforter in flannel pajamas greeting him in her husky morning voice, “Morning Mulder.”   He turned to her and smiled, crawling on the bed until he met with her lips.  “Morning.  I want you to stay right there. Today we’re going to lay in bed and relax. Have a lazy Sunday.”

“Mulder I don’t have the luxury of a lazy anything.  You’ve got me rushing from case to case.  I’ve got shopping to do today, errands to run ..”

“Do them tomorrow. Today I want you to get cleaned up then get right back into bed and read your book while I make breakfast.”

“That does sound nice.”

“Come ‘on. Give us today. You said you want us to talk.  We’re going to spend the day talking, getting to know one another.”

“Alright. Just don’t burn down my kitchen.”

When he returned, Scully was snuggled up with her book dressed in a black lace spaghetti strap nightgown and matching robe.  She placed the book on the night stand as he set the tray on her lap.

“Wow Mulder.  Eggs, bacon, toast.  You even remembered the orange juice and coffee.” She took a bite of her eggs nodding her head in surprise, “You can actually cook.”

“I am a man of many skills. I’m glad you like it.”

He sat on the bed next to her, “You know, we’ve been doing what we’ve been doing for about a month now… and I know you said you want to take things slow, so where would you say that puts us right now?”

“Are you asking me to define our relationship?” He could hear the anxiety in her voice.

Mulder responded defensively, “I’m not asking you to wear my class ring on a chain around your neck or my varsity jacket.  I’m just saying if you happened to be in a bar alone and someone happened to ask you if they could buy you a drink….”

“I would say that I’m currently unavailable.  What would your answer be?”

“Before or after I bought her the drink?” He asked feigning sincerity.

“Mulderrr..”, Scully gave him a warning look.

Mulder turned the conversation serious again, “I’d say the same thing.  Come ‘on Scully.”

She placed her tray down on her dresser, removed her robe and laid it down on top of her comforter.  “Now what else does your lazy Sunday consist of?”

Mulder edged closer. “Why don’t we start off by going through all the things we like about one another?  You want to get to know each other more, than that’s what we’re doing.”

He reached out and ran his fingers through her hair. “I love the way your hair feels.  It’s always so soft”

She brushed his cheek with her hand.  He closed his eyes kissing the palm of her hand causing her face to flush.  She blurted out, “I love your nose.”

“My nose?” He asked touching it.

“It’s stoutly”, she answered playfully.

“And you like that?”

“It’s suggestive”

“Whatever you say”

She kissed him on the tip of his nose and then his cheek, running her lips right below his ear where it met with his jaw.  She pulled at the skin with her teeth, reddening the area.  His neck muscles tensed as he closed his eyes.

She smiled at him. “You have what is referred to as chiseled features.”

“Like Adonis?” He said with an innocent look on his face.

Scully laughed. “And you took it too far”

“My turn?” Mulder looked like he was in deep thought pursing his lips. “I like the rings on your neck, like a tree. I like running my lips over them.”

Scully didn’t know if she should be insulted. “The rings that measure age on a tree? Really?”

“Experience.” Mulder corrected.

“Don’t throw all your compliments at me at once Mulder. My turn? I like that you’re not too hairy.”

In response he fell to his back rubbing his chest. He propped himself up on his side. “I like that you like me.” He smiled and with his teeth, he tugged at her strap, sliding it down her toned arms, his lips delicately grazing her skin, radiating heat as he kissed her shoulder not daring to leave her eyes.  The pads of his fingers lightly brushed her abdomen making their way down along her hips. His expression changed as his fingers reached the moistened silk. His voice began to thicken as he spoke, “always a little surprising that I can have that effect on you.”

“You have that effect every time Mulder” She said in a serious tone.

Her eyes drifting to his tight boxer briefs accentuating his muscular thighs and tight rear. As he continued to stroke her she watched his cock thicken, curving upward protruding out; the head growing thick and straining against the soft dark cotton.  Her arousal grew with his, as she ran her fingers along the outline.

Pools of love stared back at her. “And that’s what you do to me every time I look at you, touch you, think about you think about me having an effect on you..”  His eyes closed  and he let out a short exhale. “I can take those off if you like”   At the sign of her approval he placed his fingers in his waistband and slid down the boxer briefs. Her delicate fingers there to greet the tight skin. He bit his lip as a moan escaped.  “Do you like it Scully?”

The vulnerability in the question sent darts through her chest, her voice dropping an octave. “It’s my favorite one”

His cock twitched in response underneath her hand, her body answered in kind. Giving it a light squeeze she lowered herself and kissed the head, moistening it and eliciting another sound from Mulder as he stared intently.

Her tongue glided along the seam and under the smooth satiny skin of the shaft, the head glistening as she looked up at him. “How does that feel?”

“If I keep watching you do that I’m going to come” His voice was trembling.

She licked the tip again as she gripped the base. Then another kiss. The head hot and firm against her lips. Slowly her hand pumped the shaft, relishing in the pleasure it gave him.  She looked up to see his gentle piercing eyes, his strong smooth hand on her face, moaning through his words, “Scully .. I want you”

She laid on her back and pulled his leg over her so he was straddling her chest his hands gripping the headboard.  Propping her head with a pillow she took him into her mouth tasting a hint of soap on warm satin skin. Peering upward she saw his intensity staring back.

Carefully he pushed his cock deep down her throat, letting out a whimper and tightening his hold of the headboard. Her eyes telling him that she was okay. For him the act was incredibly intimate with some guilt attached. It was his preference for him to give her pleasure, anything he felt only being a product of the act. Mulder had no true expectation of sex when it came to Scully.  She could take him or leave him frustrated every night and it wouldn’t change how he felt. His fulfillment came from her happiness, her gratification. His cock existed for her enjoyment alone, he merely borrowed it.  He slowly pulled back only to re-enter. Her sultry tongue lubricating every bump and ridge, stimulating vessels, eliciting another moan as the head rubbed against the walls of her throat.  She listened to his staccato breath. His cock throbbed against her tongue as her cheeks hollowed coaxing him forth causing him to tremble.  Mulder leaned forward breaking the connection letting out a short pleasurable moan.

“Whoa.  Give me a minute.  That’s…..whoa.” He slid himself down resting his face on her abdomen while her fingers ran through his hair. He lifted her nightgown exposing her black silk lace panties underneath. Mulder grinned in delight. He teased the bare tender skin of her abdomen, his hands gripping her hips. He kissed her scar gingerly. “I should have done something to prevent that.”

“You can’t always save me Mulder.”

He removed the lace panties and lifted the gown over her head, the silk slithering as it drifted across her soft skin.

He lapped at her breasts, his tender kisses soon becoming intense.  All her strength was in his hands as they molded her into desire. He made his way down teasing her belly button, light bites on her hips, capillaries bursting as he sucked near the bone. The scruff of his face rubbed against her thigh, already she began to tingle. When his tongue made contact she cried out in surprise. She ran her hands through his hair in a dare to press herself against him. She became desperate as her nails dug into his shoulders, his obedient tongue igniting the fire and its flames shot through her eliciting a wrenching cry. Legs tightly wrapped around his head, she was dancing, writhing with the friction of his tongue. She was consumed by the feelings he gave her, only replaced by elation as Mulder carried her back down.  She opened her eyes and he was smiling at her, kissing her lips.  “I love you Scully.  My heart is going to explode I love you so much”.  She wanted to return his beautiful words but knew she was not ready.  He was unbelievably patient.  “I need you Mulder.” Her only response. It was enough, it was everything.  She did need him.  Needed his weight on top of her, the hard planes of his chest crashing against her.  They groaned together as he entered her, taking them to the edge of sensation once again. Perspiration making them slick. The rhythm continued, the bed creaked and rain drummed against the window. They teetered on the crest as he drove into her again and again, to the brink of insanity. She chanted his name, fighting, resisting urges. She wanted him in her all the time. Squeezing him deeper inside her, she sucked on his tongue as if the two could meet. Mulder’s sounds caused her to reply, his pleasure pulsing, flowering up into her. His moans giving Scully power, knowing that he would soon let go of all he had and give it to her.  He was hers and hers alone. He was pulling her under and she was matching his stride holding him so tight in hopes to meld together. At once their bodies tensed as he filled her, as she devoured him, she heard their wails of ecstasy from a place where their souls met, holding each other, bringing each other back.

When their breathing slowed she asked him, “Will you stay tonight?”

“Scully, of course I will.” He brushed the hair out of her face.  “It’s still early, I can pick up some clothes from my place for tomorrow, we can even go run errands together.” He caught himself reading the look on her face, realizing he was being smothering, “Unless that’s moving too fast..”

“It’s fine.  Just not every day.” She said cautiously.

“I want to make sure you’re comfortable with anything we do. Even something as simple as going to the laundromat.”

Scully looked at him with her loving blue eyes, “I really want to thank you for respecting my wishes. I don’t want you to think it goes unappreciated. I know how hard this is for you Mulder and I don’t take it lightly.”

Mulder leaned over to kiss her once again. Scully responding in a pleased murmur, his lips brushing against hers, arms wrapped around her, his long powerful legs rough and heavy against her petite frame.  He teased her mouth open, exploring, the sweet taste of her tongue clinging to his as they groaned together.

[Post Signs and Wonders]

Mulder was snapping his fingers, shoulders swaying and singing, “What I've got's full stock of thoughts and dreams that scatter, then you pull them all together and how I can't explain….”

“Dance with me Scully”

“Mulder, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning and we’re in a supermarket”

“I know but they’re playing our song”

“Mulder, we don’t have a song”

“Sure we do Scully, we have lots of songs”

You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oats was playing in Muzak format through the dingy speakers of the fluorescent lit store. Scully flicked her hair behind her ear, “I don’t even like this song”

“Just dance with me”

Scully accommodated his request.  He held her tight rocking her back and forth and started singing in her ear, “On a night when bad dreams become a screamer, when they're messin' with the dreamer, I can laugh it in the face…” He pushed her outward holding both her hands, their feet squeaking on the commercial flooring. Pulling her back in, twisting his hips, “Twist and shout my way out, and wrap yourself around me,” with one arm around her waist and the other hand clasped to hers, “Cos I ain't the way you found me, and I'll never be the same…”

“Mulder, you can sing?”

“I’ve been known to carry a few bars from time to time.” He sent her out for a spin and brought her back in.

“You’re lucky there’s no one here.” Scully said smiling

“You’re the one that forced us out here in the middle of the night with your cravings for sea salt and caramel Tofutti ice cream.” Mulder smirked back.

“You spoil me” she said as she laid her head on his chest while they rocked. “You sure are happy today.”

The music track switched over to I Knew You Were Waiting by Aretha Franklin and George Michael.

“They must be playing a hits of the 80s compilation” Mulder surmised.

“Mulder I can’t dance to this” Scully pulled away and began walking towards the ice cream section. “Mulder, what do you think the preacher meant by “some powerful good news?”

“Hmm?” Mulder was staring at a box of Mallomars.

“In Tennessee you told me the preacher had said to you that I could have learned some powerful good news if I kept my hand in that box. He had told me that the devil was testing me and I needed to know which side I was on.  That I must be judged and repent. What do you think that all meant?”

“Well, if I was taking any of that seriously, I would probably think it had something to do with your run-in with Pfaster.  Maybe the test of righteousness he was referring to was the answer to the question of if the devil made you do it.  If that’s the case, I’d say you passed with flying colors.” He said with a wink.

Scully nodded her head. Peter Cetera’s song bellowed through in Muzak.  Mulder spun around, walking backwards and started singing again, “Tell me what kind of man would I be living a life without any meaning” he got down on one knee with both hands at his heart overacting, “For I know you could surely survive without me,” then opened his arms wide, “but if I had to live without you …”

“…What kind of man would you be” Scully talked it in monotone. She grabbed his hand suppressing a grin, causing him to stand back up as they turned down the ice cream aisle.

Chapter Text

It was a work night and Scully was having what she referred to as a “recovery day” which meant she had retreated to her apartment to go for a run, catch up on her beauty routine, read a book, take a bubble bath, and sip some wine while listening to music.  It was not that she didn’t miss him, but she also cherished her alone time to create the balance they needed.  For Mulder, left to his own devices meant a trip to the YMCA, a night of laundry and falling asleep on the couch with the television on.  He woke at half past one to the news.  They were broadcasting about a missing child named Amber Lynn LaPierre who was kidnapped in Sacramento California.  What peaked his interest were the facts of the case.  No signs of a break-in, no suspects.  The need for him to help this family, to help this girl became overwhelming.  A need that had been asleep for quite a while.  He had to have this case and he knew that headquarters would be all over it.  Racing down to Skinner’s office he watched as the acrobats performed and the clowns did their juggling act.  Skinner gave him until noon to do whatever investigative work was required and have the report finished and on his desk.

As Mulder waited at the airport to board his flight he thought of Scully.  He dialed her house phone.  For the first time it wasn’t about charging head strong into the night without a second thought, not wanting her to talk him out of it, not wanting to be dissuaded by her lack of beliefs in his cause.   For once it was the thought of her waking up alone to discover he had left her in the night.

“Scully” She answered groggily into the phone.

“Scully, I’m at the airport hopping a flight to California.  There’s a case out here that Skinner is allowing me to get the jump on.  I’ll let you know when I have more.”

“Mulder, what…”

“Scully, I’m letting you know….”  He hung up the phone.

Puzzled at first, then she was struck by it.  He didn’t ditch her. She went in the shower to start her day.

When she arrived at the office, she witnessed the chaos for herself.  On the office phone there was a message from Mulder with his motel information.  She was surprised to find once again he kept her in the loop.  Around 2pm Scully was summoned to Skinner’s office.  Skinner was furious and pacing.  He wasn’t making the headway he needed and Mulder hadn’t checked in.  Skinner needed Scully to track down Mulder and get him the report.

 At a quarter after 10 Scully found Mulder lying in the dark.  She knew this was about his sister, but also knew it wasn’t the right timing to bring it up.  After a call from his mom, which was very surprising to Scully, they booked a flight back to D.C. so they could be at the briefing in the morning.

Scully was becoming more unnerved by the moment.  She watched him helplessly as he began to circle the drain, down the rabbit hole.  The one place she dared not to follow.  After so many months of just the two of them, so incredibly connected, she now felt the threat of isolation.  In her mind she kept screaming, don’t leave me.  Don’t do this. Not after everything we’ve discovered, everything we have.

The phone rang in the basement office.  Scully answered only to hear the news of the passing of Mulder’s mother.  In her heart she knew the spiraling had begun but somehow she needed to hold on to him, hold on to them.  She watched him unravel. To make matters worse he was requesting her to do the autopsy.

When she got to his apartment with the results of the autopsy she found him incessantly listening to the answering machine rambling about his sister. Scully relayed the news.  His mother had killed herself to avoid the pain of the disease.

Scully had been witness to Mulder’s seemingly insane utterances throughout the years.  Never had she truly been afraid that he wasn’t completely in his right mind until now.  When he finally came undone he reached out to her.  His overpowering frame leaning against hers.  As she held the broken pieces, she couldn’t help but be consumed by anger.  Angry at all the years they took from them. How much it all cost.  Angry at his mother for not being strong enough to tell her son the truth.  Angry at his fathers for discarding him, torturing him, keeping him ignorant to prolong his hope, using him as a pawn in their insidious plans. 

In the end, he was only a man and with the death of his mother, he collapsed.  How could anyone do this to their son, to leave him like this, to do this to a man so beautiful, so sensitive towards the possibilities, so gifted, so loving, so….

As usual, she was left screaming in the dark. No one there to hold accountable for the pain, for his suffering.

She coaxed him into bed where they lie in an embrace.  After hours of crying he spoke, “I’m the last Scully.  They left me alone in this world.  I have nothing left. I have no one and I have no truth.  They left me in darkness Scully with only questions.”

“Then let me pull you out.”

“Maybe the best thing for you to do is walk away and save yourself. I’ll just drag you down with me.”   His depression showed on his face as he began his self-deprecating babble through his tears, “All these years, I was the only one that cared about my sister.  All these years, they really wanted to give me up instead.  My parents didn’t love each other.  I don’t know that they ever loved me. The man I thought was my biological father wasn’t.  My biological father is the second coming of evil.  I am the creation of my mother choosing to be with that man.  Choosing to be unfaithful. Deceitful. All of them. I am a Bastard and that’s all I’ll ever be.  My life growing up was shit.  And now I’ve morphed into some spooky parody of myself. Eventually, I’ll drive you away. My mother left this world without even saying good bye.  I wasn’t even good enough for her to say goodbye. Why didn’t she love me?  Why am I so unlovable? I’m a piece of shit bastard Scully that has nothing to show for this life but a missing sister, a family that never thought I was worth telling the truth to, and a file filled with folders of unanswered documents. I’m nothing Scully and someday you’ll realize that.  Realize it and leave me.”  His cries were turning into screams. She pulled away and shook him.

“Now Mulder, I won’t let you talk like that.  No matter what happens in our relationship I will never leave you.  I am always your friend.  No matter how bad it gets, I’m on the other side of that phone.”

“Why?  Scully, all this is mine.   My family, my obsessions.  All this pain surrounds me.  You follow me every day for what reasons?”

“Because it’s not just you anymore Mulder, it’s us and I can’t walk away.  That time passed when I met you. The first time we got on a plane together.  I’m here because there’s nowhere else I should be.  I know you don’t believe this, but you make me happy.  Your brilliant beautiful mind holds the answers no one else could ever see.  You are somebody to me. You, Mulder.  Not your family, not the x-files, you.  I’m here for you.”

Scully tried her best not to fall off the bed when his lips crashed against hers, his tongue invading her mouth.  He was rough with the removal of her clothes, but she managed to get them off without damage.  He needed her. She is his home.  Where his true self resides and is always there waiting. Tonight he needed her to be his escape, his outlet.  In accordance, she protected him from the demons of the night.

He looked at her and said her name as if it was a question.  She nodded her approval.  Through his sobs she carried him to a place only they knew.  A place that belonged only to them, where the darkness couldn’t creep and no one could enter.  He cried out in joy before his heart was heavy and eyes full of tears once again.  She got up to get him some water and aspirin finally able to send him to sleep around four in the morning.  She was dressed at 6 knowing the day would be an early one.  Her tear stained shirt was all that remained of the night.

When Skinner came to the door, the lack of shock on his face from seeing her answer was not overlooked, but she was in stealth mode. The little resistance she gave fell on deaf ears.  She knew Mulder wasn’t stable and she wasn’t going to let him go alone.  They were a united front.  She would save him from himself if she had to.

In the end, it was Scully who cracked the case. As always with their partnership, when one falls, the other one is there to carry them. Worried about his sanity she decided it was time to solve his sister’s case.  Mulder was owed the answers once and for all.  If his mother wasn’t strong enough to tell him the truth, she would find it.  She was his constant, his touchstone. That required her to find the truths, to know the answers.  So much time had passed. She knew that to understand, you must start with believing.  Somewhere deep inside she knew what must be done to bring him the peace he most righteously sought.  To look the devil in the eye and send him away so God may ultimately reveal his intention. The answers were as unbelievable as the questions. Children that were not meant to suffer were rescued by the spirits intervening transforming matter into pure energy, starlight.

Mulder looked over at his partner asleep on the airplane as they headed back to D.C. So deep is their relationship he thought to himself. So much had been uncovered the past few days with her by his side.  Answers and finally peace.  Now that he knew the truth of his sister he was finally free.  As for him and Scully, they were the perfect compliment. She keeps him out of the darkness and he shows her the light.

Scully opened her eyes to see him peering at her adoringly. “You okay?” She asked still concerned.

Mulder chewed on the inside of his cheek, “I was just thinking, we never got to play postman and spin the bottle.”

Scully turned towards the window and closed her eyes drifting back to sleep, “We’ll do it on Thursday.”

THE BURIAL OF MULDER’S MOTHER         

It was cold and rainy on the way down to North Carolina.  The sun showing compassion, kept itself hidden among the large dark clouds hovering above.  Cars passed quietly as if showing respect. The radio was set to sports talk. You could just about hear the announcer over the creaking of the windshield wipers as the rain pounded the glass.   Neither of them had spoken.  There was nothing that could be said that would heal his pain. Scully looked over at his hand resting on the gear shift and laid her hand over it.  He squeezed the tips of her fingers as they pressed into his palm. 

There was a fair amount of people at the funeral. Mostly friends, some former business associates of Mulder’s father and some that Mulder did not recognize.  As Mulder stood at the graveside, sunglasses hiding his swollen eyes, his arm inconspicuously brushed against Scully’s providing him comfort. When it was over he placed his hand on the small of her back guiding her with him to each person to receive their condolences and thank them for coming.  CGB kept his distance, smoking beside a nearby tree.  Mulder paused as they passed him and CGB spoke, “I loved your mother you know.  Her passing has made me quite sad.  She will be missed.” Scully’s hand ran down the length of Mulder’s tricep giving him a slight tug to break his trance and they continued walking towards the car. 

When they arrived at the motel they checked into a single room.  Mulder drudged in with his shoulders slouched portraying a much smaller stature as he slumped down into the desk chair. He leaned his elbows on the desk burying his face in his hands quietly sobbing.  Scully reverently patted his head, then let him have his moment to mourn, walking outside to fill up the bucket with ice and get some drinks from the vending machine.  When she returned he was laying in the bed watching television.  She changed into sweatpants and one of his navy blue t-shirts and laid down beside him.  Wrapping his arm around her, he brought her towards him so she could lay her head on his chest.  Always his caregiver she checked his breathing and listened to his heartbeat, bringing her serenity. He pressed his lips against her forehead breathing in the calming lavender vanilla scent allowing him to drift into peaceful slumber.

The car ride home he again listened to sports radio while Scully dozed and read her magazine. They stopped in town and Mulder returned with a brown bag filled with Chinese take-out. They exchanged smiles as he set it on her lap. He always knew what she was craving. When they arrived at his apartment, he opened the door, grabbed the bag of piping hot food and helped her out of the car. Their eyes communicating the care and compassion they share. His hand slid into hers as the elevator made its way up, their arms pressing into one another sharing warmth, her head resting at the top of his bicep, the fingers of her other hand rubbing the muscles at the bend in his elbow.

Once inside, they ate their Chinese food in the dark side by side with the television illuminating their faces.  She noticed him start to tense again so she ran her fingers through the back of his hair and he relaxed.  As exhaustion crept in he rested his head on her lap. She stroked his brow wiping away the events of the past week. His eyelids grew heavy.  Holding out his hand, he got up to retire to the bedroom. She accepted the invitation. 

In the morning she awoke to see him staring back at her.  His eyes were red, puffy and sunken from all the tears that had been shed. He laid his arm around her waist pulling her in close as she wrapped her leg around his thigh. He placed his hand on her face and sound left his lips. “I love you Scully.”

Chapter Text

February 23, 2000

The early morning found Scully at the office standing over the front of Mulder’s desk leafing through some mail.  Mulder walked in and came up behind her. She sensed him hovering.   “Happy Birthday Scully” he said into her ear, his minty breath tickling her neck causing an involuntary shiver. Her head naturally tilted to the side as he leaned in.  She considered how easily she allowed herself to be so vulnerable by exposing her jugular and carotid artery to him. A sign of trust. She turned to face him.

“I have a surprise for you” he said with an almost evil grin and headed to the back of the office.  He returned with a small piñata shaped like a flying saucer.

“Mulder, really you shouldn’t have.” While it was endearing, she really didn’t want to play games today.

Without hesitation he began his dissertation, “You know piñatas may have actually originated in China.  They were part of the celebration of the New Year.  It wasn’t until Marco Polo passed it to Europe in the 14th century that the Spanish and Italians made it part of the first Sunday of lent. The Spanish missionaries in the 16th century used the piñata to attract converts to ceremonies.” He was rifling through the drawers looking for some kind of hook to tie it on.  “Mayans had a sport where they used one and the Aztecs celebrated the birthday of the god of war Huitzilopochtli with them.” He found what he was looking for and continued, “The missionaries used a piñata to represent Hope and Charity with seven points for the seven deadly sins. The candies and fruits inside represented the temptation of wealth and earthly pleasures.” He finished hanging it from the ceiling and walked over to Scully with a blindfold.  She began shaking her head. “The person is blindfolded because faith is blind and they are using their faith in God as the leading force to defy evil.  It was traditional to turn the participant 33 times in memory of the life of Christ.  The piñata hangs above your head so people look upwards towards heaven yearning and waiting for the prize.” He handed her the stick.  “The stick symbolizes virtue. Only good can overcome evil.  The candies are reward for keeping the faith sharing their blessings and gifts. The moral being that all are justified through faith. There are also traditional piñata songs. I could sing you some …..”

“Okay, okay. I’ll put on the blindfold.” She knew he could carry on like this all day and he wasn’t about to stop until she went along.

After securing the blindfold, he spun her around and aimed her towards the prize.  She swung and he quickly stepped back as she came inches from his head.  The intensity of her swing and slight dizziness caused her to stumble.  He rushed over to catch her before she took a header.  Holding her close to his body, he guided her towards the piñata. His touch was gentle and intimate as his arms steadied her.  She felt his grip tighten around her as he yelled, “Swing!”  She swung the stick with all her might and made contact.  Now that she had a sense of its position she began violently whacking at it.  She heard the candy hit the floor and took off the blindfold striking the piñata a couple more times, the remainder of the goodies fell to the ground including a small box.

Mulder bent down and picked it up handing it to her.  “I believe this is for you”

For a minute her heart started to race and she could almost hear the blood rushing through her veins as it appeared to be a box the size a ring might fit in. She exhaled when she opened it to see it was earrings.

Mulder explained, “I actually got these for you a while back,” his eyes dropped to the ground as he fidgeted, “but it wasn’t the right timing.”

“Well thank you Mulder, they’re beautiful.”  She reached out to him for a quick thank you wrapping her arms around his waist.  He held her tight much longer than a simple chaste hug. Still in an embrace he spoke into her hair, his voice thick, “Scully it’s been so long since I held you.” It really hadn’t been that long, a couple weeks at the worst.  Last week was bad timing and they were back and forth to California with a couple cases. Still puzzled by his reaction, she knew she needed to break away, but his grip was firm, “Mulder, it hasn’t been that long.” He was rubbing her back causing her spine to tingle.  The pitch of his voice made him sound like he was being tortured, “It’s been 9 days.”

She missed him too, but was it really that bad for him? Then a thought came to her, “Mulder, you haven’t been abstaining from…”

“Ever since the procedures.” His voice was trembling.

“But that’s over.....I hope it’s not because of me….it’s a natural…” He cut her off, “I have my reasons.  I’ll let go, just give me a minute.”

His chest heaved.  The contact they made, no matter how brief the intention, was apparently a bad idea. Even though he didn't bring it up, she noticed the brief moments when his mind would drift, the grief on his face.  In a way he was mourning his mother and his sister. She pulled back with both hands clasped to his.  His eyes told her she was all he had.

He pulled her in close against him again as if he might lose her if he didn't, her body crashing into his.  His left hand was now at the back of her head in her hair, his fingers massaging her scalp. Her face was buried in his chest, heat radiating off of him, his tie tickling her nose.  His right hand was at the small of her back and was beginning to wander lower. Under her skirt. Her eyes closed. She knew she had to stop him, it wasn’t right. Anyone could walk in at any minute, but his roaming hand was causing her breath to quicken. His touch was magic professing his affection. A heat formed down low in her belly.  It was desire mixed with fear.  Not here.  They were watching. Listening.  Not here. She heard her panties tear, his finger entered her. Her mouth fell open in disbelief. Mulder had never been this forward, definitely not at work.  Her mind was trying to think of what she could have done to cause this reaction.  Was this his way of channeling the conflict inside him?

His finger was sliding sensually in and out of her.  Her body betrayed her as waves of pleasure consumed her. How she loved the feeling of his hand, its electricity. How simple fingers could make her feel this good, igniting every sense. She gripped his finger tight inside her. She was trying to resist, be the voice of reason, but he had the power to seduce her.  That familiar wanting was beginning.  It was not sex she craved, not pleasure. It was Mulder.  She needed Mulder inside her making them singular. Mulder giving her the bliss and contentment only he could give. Frustration was consuming her as she knew they couldn’t go further.

A second finger slid inside causing her to let out a tiny groan. Her legs buckled underneath her and his fingers slipped out to steady her. He pulled her into him, his soft hot lips taunting the shell of her ear.  “You need to tell me to stop. You know how dangerous this is” She backed away and he inched closer. His look was intense and seductive. He spoke as if he was reminiscing, “All the fantasies I’ve had…  Us, in this office.” She stepped back again, but he closed the space between them. It looked almost like they were dancing. He moaned, “Scully, what I want to do to you.” Her hamstrings hit the table against the back wall and he lifted her up onto it so he was standing between her legs.  His eyes were penetrating making her breasts ache.

She had to find a way to gain control and in the same breath she wanted to feel his love. As much as she denied it, he was right, being on cases together wasn't the same as when they were free to show their true emotions, connected. His body pressed up against her, his suit jacket tenting around them as his hands covered her.  His hot breath against her ear, pleading, desperate, “Oh, Scully.  Oh, Scully tell me to stop.” His words arousing, trying to speak her mouth went dry.  In her head the words echoed, no, no we can’t, not now. She heard the zipper of his pants and jolts ran through her. He spoke again, “Scully this can’t happen here.” His knuckles rubbed against her inner thigh as he freed himself. Then she felt it. Brushing her thigh, his hand guiding it in, the head teasing her entrance, she was throbbing all over. “Oh God,” she moaned. He closed his eyes, leaning in to kiss her, now begging, “Tell me to stop.  Scully, please tell me to stop”.  His lips covering her mouth, soft and sensual as he buried himself inside her. She captured his moans as an explosion of light coursed through their bodies.  

It was every fantasy she ever had coming true only much more seductive, turning her on in ways she didn’t know existed.  He clutched her hips, beginning with shallow thrusts, a determined angle, knowing what stimulated her.  Her legs wrapped tight around his waist. He glanced down to where they were joined and let out a wrenching moan that bolted through her.  The scent of his cologne embraced her. His eyes met hers with such intensity she could almost physically feel them. As if he felt her calling to him, his thrusts deepened, they moaned in unison, their bodies engaged in a tight rhythmic embrace, his back muscles underneath her hands tensed and vibrated through his shirt, his labored breaths spiking her arousal.  

The way he was moving was beyond sexy begging her to respond. Her body straining with need against him. Every pore she had, every nerve ending being stimulated by him.  Reality slipping out of grasp. They were breathing so hard she was sure someone would hear. Sweet tension was building inside her and she knew he was close behind. With her last shred of willpower the word fell out of her mouth, “stop.”

The response was so abrupt she almost fell off the table.  Within a second he was zipped up and tucked away apologizing profusely pacing around, his hands shaking combing at his hair nervously, “I am so sorry.  I don’t know what came over me.  That was more than inappropriate. I can’t believe I did that.”

“Don’t apologize.  It happened.  It’s not going to happen again, but it happened.” Her hands were running over her skirt trying to mend the wrinkles.

Scully walked over to Mulder’s desk and sat down taking a deep breath.  It was just as much her fault as it was his.  She needed to calm down.  If sexual frustration was fatal they would have died from it years ago.  Mulder was still pacing.  They needed to move on from this quickly so she spoke first. “Mulder, it’s okay.”

He walked over to her and rested his hands on either side of the arms of the chair inches from her face.  His musky Mulder scent already enveloping her as his eyes made her the only other person on earth. He spoke, his voice soft, “It’s not okay. I wish this was simply sexual. I know how to take care of that.  But the way I need you, need to please you, the pull you have stirs something deep inside me.  The emptiness I feel without you …. When we’re together…. I’m complete.”

 He leaned in and Scully closed her eyes waiting for his lips, but they didn’t come.  When she opened them he had vanished.  She looked down to find him on his knees.  His hands slowly ran along the inside of her thighs igniting the yearning, the cravings all over again.  He hiked her skirt above her waist, tilting her hips towards him as his tongue began its exploration. She wanted to cry it felt so good. He had her wetter than she had ever been, swelling at his tongue’s caress. He guided her legs over his shoulders. This was really going to happen she thought to herself and wanted to avoid anything that could be caught on video, so she turned the chair towards the desk and pulled him and her legs underneath.  That was the green light he sought and he knew that spot. Her fingers were gripping the arms of the chair so tight she felt as though they would lock up.  Mulder kept circling that bundle of nerves with his tongue. She threw her head back into the chair biting back a moan. Everything was so much more intense in this setting. Even though she couldn’t see him, she still felt his connection.  Once more coils were tightening up inside her. She pulled his head closer into her and he responded by licking harder, longer. Her muscles tensed she was so close.

 The phone rang and she launched back from the desk and sat straight up in the chair.  She answered and Skinner’s voice was on the other end.  He was saying something about a training session they both needed to attend and she was agreeing trying to slow her breath. She heard Mulder below rustling around the desk drawer. She felt the sensation first, her eyes halfway into the back of her head before she heard the buzzing.   A guttural scream left her, Skinner’s voice resounding in her ears, “Agent Scully are you alright?”

Her brain was a cloud, but she managed to squeak out “Mouse!” before banging the phone against the hook.  The headset bounced like a slinky as it hit the floor. She was able to gain enough composure to see what was happening.  He had grabbed a little toy alien that must have been some kind of back massager and was holding it up against her.  She couldn’t hold back any longer.  She clung tight to the back of his head as his dutiful tongue spelled out conspiracy theories.  

Muffled sounds came from beneath the desk as Mulder was struggling to say something about not breathing.  She thought he was being slightly dramatic knowing it took a full 6 minutes without oxygen before possible brain damage.  She took pity and lightened her grip. It was then her leg started twitching, the vibrations of the alien outside combined with his tongue now inside were causing such pleasurable contractions, she was afraid she was having a seizure or a possible stroke.  It was all too much. She slid off the chair under the desk. She wanted him bad. As she pulled at the button on his pants Mulder tried fighting her off, but she was the better wrestler.  When she heard him scream something about Armani she let him take care of the removal of clothes.

They were on the floor halfway under the desk when she impaled herself on him. Her head banged against the top and a mug crashed to the floor.  She was riding him hard, her hands grasping the pencil drawer causing the entire desk to rock. For the third time she was so close. With her mounting pleasure, she felt his balls draw up. Oh hell no. She wrapped her hand around his throat, her thumb pressing hard into his trachea, riding him even harder she bent down to whisper in his ear, “I promise, if you finish before I do, Clyde Bruckman’s prediction will come true.”  

She was restricting his airway and his eyes grew wide with fright. In a possible response to the threat she watched as he groped at the floor, grabbed the alien, flicked the switch and pressed it hard against her clit.  She arched her back, body tight, grabbing on to the edge of the desk for dear life as her orgasm rushed through her. Scully was clenching her teeth but sounds still managed to escape.  Mulder let out a primal scream grasping her hips slamming her into him. This time her eyes did the complete 180 into the back of her head as he pumped into her. They finally slowed after a minute. He was still inside her when her hands covered her face.  “We did not just…”

“Yes we did.  Quite well I might add.” Mulder smirked as he pulled her down to him and kissed her. She rolled off of him and he picked himself off the floor, threw his alien friend into the bottom drawer, and put himself back together.

Scully was beyond mortified as she fixed herself.  She picked up the phone and put it back on the hook placing it on the desk. The phone rang and this time they both jumped.  Mulder picked it up.  “Morning Boss.”

“Did Agent Scully not inform you? You’re late.  I need the two of you to report to the training room immediately and I don’t want to hear excuses why you can’t.  And Mulder, I’m not in the mood for any issues so let’s stay focused and take it seriously.”

“Yes sir.  Will do.” Mulder said hanging up the phone.

He looked at Scully, “We gotta go. Apparently we’ve got some training to do.”

+

[Two days later]

Scully crossed her legs shifting her weight waiting for Skinner to attend their monthly one-on-one meeting.

“Sorry Agent Scully, I had another meeting that ran late.  I looked over your file and I don’t see anything in your performance that would indicate anything other than a satisfactory rating.”

“Only a satisfactory sir?  Agent Mulder and I have been through alot this quarter with extensive travel back and forth from the west coast.  I would think that my autopsy files alone would rate me above average.”

“Your problem has always been your affiliation to Agent Mulder. Just last week I had to deal with the press because of all the exposure of FBI agents chasing Freddy Krueger around L.A. on COPS.  If you want to end the year with an exceptional rating you have to learn to play under the radar.”

“So what are you saying sir?”

“The director’s son is here visiting.  It would be in your best interest if you were the one to chaperone him.  He’s been stationed away and it’s been awhile since he’s been state side.”

“Sir, what you’re asking of me I deem highly inappropriate.”

“I’m sorry.  What is appropriate Agent Scully?  You and Mulder gallivanting around town pining over each other for everyone to see? And next time you see a mouse, you might want to make sure the phone is on the hook before chasing it.”

Scully’s face turned beet red at that remark.  Her and Mulder’s cone was sacred.  The thought of it being translucent sickened her.

Skinner regretted his abruptness. “Listen, there’s a lot of focus on you right now.  I’m trying to help you.  Just schmooze him a little and the day will be over before you know it.”

Skinner’s secretary knocked at the door and peaked in, “Sorry to bother you sir, but I have someone here that has an appointment.”

“Dylan! Or should I say Colonel.  Congratulations on your new rank,” Skinner stood to shake his hand.

Dylan was dressed in uniform making it easy to see his rugged frame.  His tanned skin glistened under the hot lights of Skinner’s office.  Scully felt herself flush as she held out her hand while Skinner introduced her.  Looking him over, he reminded her of a young Kevin Sorbo only a better looking specimen.  Eddie Murphy dressed as a woman chanted in her head, ‘Hercules, Hercules’.

“Nice to meet you Dana.  I hear you’re my muscle today.”

Mmmmm muscles.  Homer Simpson was drooling.  She laughed. “Yes, I guess I am.”

“I’ll meet you in your office in a couple hours then.” He said smiling flashing his baby blues.

“Yes, couple hours” Scully managed to get out.

Mulder was hunched over his desk and Scully was working in the back room when Dylan walked in.

“Can I help you?” Mulder asked inquisitively.

“My name is Dylan, I’m looking for Special Agent Scully? She’s to accompany me this afternoon?”

Mulder stood, “Oh Sculleeey, Doug is it?

“Dylan”

“Derrick is here to see you.” He said sarcastically as she entered the room, “I’m hearing you’re the escort for the night.”

Scully flashed Mulder a look of disgust and smiled back at Dylan.  She grabbed her coat.   “Mulder, I’ll be giving the Colonel a tour.  We may be going out for a business dinner afterward so I probably won’t be back to the office today.”

“You kids have fun” was all Mulder could say as the 6 foot 2 inch Rambo swooped away the love of his life.  Why didn’t Scully mention this little outing?  He knew better than to question her motives for he knew the repercussions, but did the guy have to look like the Hulk and did she have to ogle him like she did? This was as bad as that vampire she drooled over.  He made a mental note that given their weaknesses, the two of them really needed to stay away from vampires.

*****

Not since Tooms had Mulder been so obsessed with another man.  A sunflower shell flew out the window of his car into the pile on the street.  Mulder peered through his binoculars.  How could Scully actually go out with this guy?  Who cared that he had a body that looked like he should be posing for a fireman’s calendar. His arm was currently on the back of her chair as she flung her hair back in laughter her fork playing with her salad. There were other officers at the table, but Mulder was distracted imagining his trial for killing this man.  Probably in a military prison, death by firing squad.

He followed them to the park. The pain in his chest was more than he wanted to bare. Mulder crouched down behind a bush as he saw him put his arm around her and lean in . . .

Skinner’s cell phone rang.  He put down his weights and sat up from the workout bench to answer it.  “Skinner.  He’s where? Okay.  Yes.  I’ll be right there. Thanks for calling.”

Skinner walked into the police station to see Mulder slouched in the corner of a cell with what looked like a busted lip and a bruised cheek bone.  His hair was jostled and he appeared to have been mud wrestling.

“Well, Mulder, I have to hand it to you, you’ve outdone yourself this time. They said they were going to charge you with aggravated assault, loitering, stalking...  What the hell were you doing?”

Mulder looked sheepish. “I thought Mr. Wonderful was trying to force Scully to do something she may not want to do.  I was just worried for her safety.”

“Okay, well, that wasn’t Agent Scully and lucky for you that wasn’t the Director’s son.  For your information, not that you deserve it, Agent Scully must have gotten home right after dinner because she called me to tell me she met her requirement and not to expect any more favors from her.  You were following the wrong couple.  Do we need to check the water in your apartment again for hallucinogens? You really need to pull yourself together. Go home and get some sleep. I’m going to chalk all this up to a big misunderstanding. Luckily the police chief is in agreement. For the sake of the bureau and your partnership, we’re going to keep this just between us.”

[Post First Person Shooter]

Back at the motel Mulder heard Scully slam the door to her room.  She hadn't returned with him and a couple hours had past. He was sure she was going to have something to say about the way he acted at the police station towards Ms. Afterglow.  Scully may have relaxed her dress, her inhibitions, but when it came to Mulder showing another woman attention, she had zero tolerance. Checking his own ego, he knew this was his way of getting even for her “date” with the director’s son, but he would never admit it outright.   He knocked on the adjoining door, “Mulder, go away.”

He spoke through the unopened door. “Scully, I was just fooling around having a good time.” He knocked on the door again. “Scully, this is silly.  Scully?...”

The door opened and Scully was wearing the black dress from the video game. “The name is Dana." She said smiling. "They let me borrow it for the night. You like it?” She spun around for him.

He felt his jaw hit the floor as his tongue rolled out.  “Dana, you look ...”

He followed her with his eyes as she walked over to the desk pulling the desk chair out and placing it in the middle of the room. She gave the seat of the chair a loud slap and said as her smile dissipated and her voice took on a serious tone, “Take your clothes off and Sit.”

The hairs on the back of his neck stood up and he was not sure if this wasn’t his stay of execution. Not knowing what else to do he complied with much trepidation.  As he felt the silk of his tie tighten around his wrists, giving her complete control, he thought to himself that this may have not been the best of ideas. “Dana,” He let out a nervous laugh, “What are we doing? I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this.”

“Isn’t this what you like? What you want? Some Barbie doll so you can get your jollies? Isn’t this what gets your motor running?”  He could hear the disappointment masked in anger. The radio was on and Nine Inch Nails started to scream through the speakers. The room went dark with the exception of the street light bouncing off the dress’ fabric like glass. Now he knew this was not a good idea. “Dana, you don’t have to do this.”

Mulder flinched as her black stiletto boot covered foot fell between his legs on the chair. She leaned on her thigh hovering above him, “I didn’t say you could talk. Besides, it’s very easy to see your approval.” She looked down at him pathetically.

As much as he knew he was in trouble, he couldn’t help but get a little excited staring at her in that dress causing her perky breasts to form a hillside below her neck.  When she turned towards the ice bucket he took notice that her curves rivaled that of San Francisco’s Lombard Street.

Black sunglasses covered his eyes blinding him. There was something uniquely arousing about her having all the control. He was always in awe of her strength and trusted her implicitly. He blamed himself for her not knowing how he sincerely worshiped her. Scully took an ice cube and ran it up the pulse point on his neck, sending chills down his body.  Her searing tongue followed extinguishing water droplets.  His nipple hardened against the ice as it stung him followed by her tongue soothing, mouth sucking.  He threw his neck back as a moan escaped, involuntarily jerking his hips forward.  

Mulder felt the cool bite of her frosty lips on his cock followed by the hot relief of her tongue and he almost lost control of himself. He would never take for granted the privilege of her doing that to him. She tickled him with her manicured nails giving him light scratches over the inside of his thigh.

Mulder was making so much noise Scully was convinced someone was going to call the cops. She lifted his sunglasses momentarily so she could look him in the eye.  His eyes were soft as he spoke, “You forgive me yet?”

She backed up crossing her arms, “I’m getting there.”

She left him and he heard the music change to soft rock as he was freed of his shackles.  He stood rubbing his wrists. She turned her back to him, the moonlight creating a glow around her.  Not being able to resist, he came up from behind running his hands down the front of the slick shiny black dress, around her thighs and up the back. He couldn’t get enough of her even if she was angry.  The sight and feel of her was making him throb. His fingers gently teased her neck as he pulled at the straps of the dress, untying them. Her skin was so soft and tantalizing.  His lips pressed against her shoulder blade as his hands covered her breasts, his heart skipping a beat. Her back arched at his touch. She let out a moan. He softly kissed the nape of her neck. Scully was more than he ever wanted in a woman.  It hurt him that she could think she was below anyone concerning anything.

Removing her dress, Mulder sat back on the chair adoring the naked figure before him. Slowly she straddled him linking her arms behind his neck still adorning the stiletto boots.

Scully whispered in his ear. “I’ve been thinking about this all day. Ever since I saw you in that shooter outfit with those shades on, muscles flexed, your heart racing, testosterone leaking out of every pore.” He smiled. She liked to compliment him, play on some of his insecurities.  The thought of anything about him exciting her gave him tremendous pleasure. She lifted her hips and slowly sank down onto him, allowing herself to adjust to his size. She slid her hands to his shoulders lifting and lowering herself, her breasts brushing his chest.  She looked so beautiful to him, sexier than any woman he’s ever seen.  He listened to her breath become ragged, her muscles tensing so tight around him he wasn’t sure how his blood was still flowing down there. He watched her use him until she was satisfied, pleasurable sensations pulsing through his body though his heart was still heavy.

“Let’s go to the bed Scully.” He whispered in his monotone voice.

She lifted herself off and he turned off the music.  He walked over to her, removing her boots as she sat on the mattress and climbed into bed with her. His voice low, “This was nice, but I want to get back to us. I hear you loud and clear.  I acted like an ass.  I let my jealousy get the best of me and I held it in until I focused it the best way I knew how.  I was a child.  For that, I am truly sorry.  I don’t want any more fantasies.  I’ve spent almost my entire sex life on fantasies.  Please let me be with you. You are my truth, my reality.”

“Okay” Scully whispered running her fingertips down his back.

He touched her, when she was ready again he entered her.  Taking her hand he held it to his chest, placing his other hand on her heart.  He leaned his forehead against hers, keeping eye contact. “This is what I want. This is my home. Connected to you in every way, penetrating every ounce of me. We are beautiful together Scully.”

A tear fell down her temple and hit the pillow, “Mulder.”

Chapter Text

Mulder held a skirt up to his chin, “Do you think this color matches my eyes?”

Scully rolled hers and continued shopping.

Mulder was pretending to flip through some clothes. “Scully, I can’t believe you dragged me to the mall on a Sunday.”

“I dragged you? You ripped one of my favorite skirts and now I have to have it replaced.  You’re the one that tagged along” She stated feigning irritation as she continued thumbing through sizes.

“Hey Scully, you remember when you were little and your mom would take you to a clothing store and you would play fort under the clothes racks?” Mulder held up a dress as if he was considering trying it on.

“My mom wasn’t crazy enough to drag three Navy brats around a store all day” Scully said as she wandered over to the jeans.

Mulder started fidgeting with a mannequin and its head rolled off onto the table.  He picked it up and tried to put it back on but it toppled to the floor.  Defeated, he kicked it with his foot under the display and began whistling while he walked guiding her away from the mannequin. “Why don’t we go pay for this and head to the food court?” Mulder suggested.

“Let me try these on first.” She headed into the dressing room and Mulder slumped into a chair.  When she emerged she modeled for him looking at him through the top of each shoulder.  The floral blue dress made her eyes dance as it flowed and swayed sweeping her ankles, the daffodils accentuating the satin glow of her skin.  

His heart skipped a beat, “You’re radiant.”

Before leaving the department store Mulder had to stop to try on a multitude of hats and sunglasses. “What do you think Scully, the Raybans or the Oakleys?”

“I think you need to take off that beret.  It does not become you.”

“What if I went with a flat cap?” Mulder said placing it on his head.

“I don’t know I kind of liked you in the fedora.”

Scully put on a beanie cap and Mulder laughed.  “You looked hot in that top hat in California.”

She placed the beanie back and tried a wide brimmed dress hat with large dark brown sunglasses.

“Now that’s you.” Mulder said fondly.

After Scully paid for her clothes they headed over to the food court. Scully paused at the pet store window to stare at the puppies. She looked at Mulder with sad eyes and a pout. “I want another dog.”

“Considering the fate of the last one, I’m not sure our line of work is fit for a dog.”

“But I enjoyed the companionship and besides, they’re so cute.  It’s nice to have someone to come home to.  Someone who depends on you.”

“You can come home to me, I depend on you.”

“Somehow it’s not the same thing. Although you do shake your leg when I scratch you behind the ears.”

Scully walked over to the open top cage at the store’s entrance and picked up one of the golden retriever puppies.  She held it up to Mulder, “Come on’.  Tell me you don’t want one.”

“I don’t want one.  I hardly remember to feed and bathe myself.” The dog leapt from Scully’s arms into Mulder’s and started licking his face.  He started laughing, petting its head. “It is a cute little guy, I’ll give him that”

Scully didn’t know which one looked cuter as the dog snuggled underneath Mulder’s chin.  Mulder saw that look in her eyes and put the puppy back in the pen before he did something he would regret. Scully frowned and was disappointed but didn’t speak her disapproval.

At the food court they wandered to the health food section and Mulder stepped up to the counter, “I’ll have a Philly Cheesesteak with onions and an iced tea.  She’ll have the tempeh with rice cheese and Vegenaise on a gluten free pita all the way including the bean sprouts with a spinach mango pineapple smoothie.”

Mulder paid and they sat down at a table. “Mulder, how would you possibly know what I would want to order?”

“Did I forget something?”

“No, but how could you know?”

Mulder swallowed his bite of cheese steak, pointing his sandwich at her, “Scully I know you like I know the script for Plan 9 From Outerspace. Like I know the number of pencils in the ceiling tiles in the office. From Bow to Stern, Starboard to port.”

Scully grimaced. “Mulder, the implications of that is unnerving.  Sure, there are parts of me that you know better than anyone, but you’re implying my thoughts are not my own.  That I’m predictable, my actions can be foreseen.  I don’t like that at all.”

“I’m not trying to insinuate you’re not complex.  You’re deeper than the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, more complex than Fermat’s Last Theorem.  Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t push your buttons easier than my Sony Walkman.”

“Can you please stop with the similes and hyperboles? I’m starting to get nauseous.” Scully was playing with the straw in her shake.

“My point is I can read you, but you can read me too.  You know me better than anyone else in the world. If I wanted to get any closer, we’d need an operation.  That kind of intimacy is rare.” Mulder sipped his iced tea.

“You make it sound like we’re an old married couple.  That I’ll never be able to surprise you again.  That you already know the answer to every question.” Scully looked bothered.

Mulder shrugged, “At least we won’t die from spontaneous combustion.”

Scully just couldn’t let it drop. “If I can’t keep you guessing at what point will we become blasé? We can already complete each other’s sentences. How do you keep a spark going when you can read each other’s minds, feelings?  We’ll go stale.”

“We’ll just have to find a way to keep each other guessing.” Mulder crumbled up his wrapper and grabbed his cup as he stood pointing at Scully’s food, “Now wrap up the other half of that sandwich.  You’re going to want it later when you’re craving Chinese food while you’re soaking in your bubble bath with a glass of wine, a good book and classical music on the stereo about … 7 o’clock tonight.”

“Fine, Whatever” They both said in unison.

“Shut up Mulder” They said in unison again.

They both flicked their tongue out and back in, licking their upper lip giving each other the condescending Scully.

“Come on” He said putting his arm around her, “Let’s go pick out some matching rocking chairs.”

+

Another long flight to California.  Mulder was beginning to think he could save the Bureau money if they got an apartment out here.  The thought of him and Scully spending their nights staring out at the deep blue sea throwing back a couple cold ones with the television playing the Knicks in the background made him all warm inside.  Maybe that was too extravagant.  He could pass on the beer as long as she lounged around all day in her bikini.  Scully noticed Mulder had a glazed look on his face and was grinning like a schoolboy, “What’s going through that head of yours Mulder?”

Mulder grabbed her hand and held it between the two of his, “I thought we already established that we know what each other is thinking. Maybe one day we won’t even have to talk Scully, just use telepathy.”

Scully went back to looking at the file on her lap, “You were having that bikini fantasy again weren’t you.  Mulder, me sauntering around the house dusting and cooking for you in a bikini is not going to happen in this lifetime.”

Mulder lifted his eyebrows, “So it’s still a possibility then…”

Scully sighed, she was game for a little back and forth, “probably in the parallel dimension.”

Mulder acted excited, “I knew it.” One of his favorite pastimes had always been flirting with Scully.  He even wore his dark blue/gray shirt with matching charcoal tie just because she said it made him look regal. Scully, on the other hand, was wearing a black ribbed shirt under her black suit that showed just a hint of cleavage, but given his height teased him oh so well.

When they arrived at the residence the letters “THEEF” were prominently displayed on the wall.

Mulder was still very much in a jovial mood.  It was Scully’s fault. They had once again shared an unbelievably amazing night leaving him to worship her for the goddess she was. There was nothing about Scully he didn’t love.  He even loved the things about her that drove him crazy.  Not to mention the things she did to him that drove him crazy.  He pursed his lips doing his best Scully impersonation, “Mulder, why are we here?” Didn’t she know imitation was the sincerest form of flattery?

She was being playful sexy Scully today.  That made him a very happy Fox. She replied to him, “To be fair, I might have used the words Mulder, how is this an x-file?”

He smiled, “You see that Scully, you always keep me guessing.” And she was worried their relationship would get stale.  It also helped that he couldn’t seem to keep his eyes from wandering down to temptation alley.  Knowing how good they felt as well as looked didn’t help matters. They headed up to the bedroom to examine some dirt in the shape of a human.  Hex craft at its best.

“…You mean murdering them magically?” Scully asked sincerely.

“That’s what it looks like to me, now I know what you’re going to say Scully….”

“No, hexcraft, no I’ll buy that as the intent here certainly jives with the evidence.  I say we talk to the family.” Scully turned towards Mulder before leaving the room, nodding her head at him. “I’ll always keep you guessing.”

He couldn’t help but smile and laugh to himself.  She was a fighter, especially when it was proving him wrong. Even if it meant jumping to the paranormal to prove him wrong about the predictability in their relationship.

+

Mulder entered the forensics lab to let Scully know the latest and greatest on the dirt findings.

“Conjure dust. It’s one of the most powerful hexing elements, whether for good or evil; not the kind of stuff you want to be on the wrong end of.” Mulder explained.

“Uh-huh.” She replied in deep concentration, her eyeballs pressed against her microscope.

Mulder didn’t want the game to end.  He was having too much fun and for some reason he found it heavily dosed in eroticism, “Go ahead Scully, keep me guessing.” That’s right Scully give it to me good.  Oh and I know you can.

“Kuru” she said matter-of-factly.

A disease.  And the thrill is gone.

Back at the motel, Mulder recounted the events of the previous night at his apartment in his head and wondered if he could convince Scully of a repeat.  He opened the door to the adjoining room in his boxers while brushing his teeth. “Hey Scully, you still want to keep me guessing?” He asked leaning on the doorframe trying to do his best imitation of an Abercrombie and Fitch model.  He removed the toothbrush from his mouth while he watched her type on her laptop at the edge of the bed.

Scully replied without looking up, “I’m guessing you’ll be sleeping alone tonight.”

“See, and I was thinking the exact opposite.” He said with a grin.

“Mulder, I have work to do.  You are going to go back to your room and we are going to finish this case, get back to D.C., and then we can re-evaluate your sleeping arrangements.” She looked at him without lifting her head from the laptop as a smile formed on her face.

“Well can I at least get a kiss goodnight?” He just couldn’t help himself.

“Goodnight Mulder.” She said closing her laptop, “You know as well as I do that there’s no such thing as a simple kiss goodnight. Our lips touch and well, you know very well what happens..” She looked at him and lifted her eyebrow.

He contemplated her statement. “Okay, okay.  See you in the morning.” He put his toothbrush back in his mouth and headed back into his room closing the door behind him.

+

After they said their parting words to the doctor and his daughter, Mulder and Scully discussed their final thoughts on the case next to Peattie, now hooked up to a respirator in the USF Medical Center.

“You’re wondering if maybe Peattie could have saved her life?” Mulder asked very surprised.

As Scully left the room, Mulder whispered to himself, “You do keep me guessing.” His mind began to reel. Maybe it wasn’t a matter of how well he knew her.  Maybe his own assumptions about her clogged his mind creating false conclusions.  There were so many layers to Scully, so much more that he had yet to uncover and as their experiences changed them, it also brought them closer.  It may take until eternity for him to go through them all in order to understand them, appreciate them the way he wanted to.  She was not layered like an onion, but like a canvas, with several paintings created over each other.  To remove one masterpiece only to see another, forming a new more beautiful array, while life continued to add brush strokes of its own.  And maybe he had added some brush strokes to that canvas as well and her experiences with him had opened her mind as she had with his?  Maybe it was always inside her?  Was it possible that all they had been sharing was creating one solid bond taking parts of each of them transforming them in the process?

+

When Mulder was back at his apartment he unpacked his suitcase and removed the Poppet that Peattie had made of Scully. He carefully placed the doll into a small white linen bag sprinkling sea salt inside until the doll was covered. Looking at it one last time, he set the bag in the back of his underwear drawer for safe keeping until the time was right to perform a ritual to properly remove any curses or power it may still have contained.  He closed the drawer and headed out for a run.

+                                                                                         

Rounding the corner in the park, Mulder heard his cell phone ring. “Mulder.”

“Good Evening Mulder, its Garrison.”

“Garrison, it’s good to hear from you.”

“I’ve made a lot of headway on the items you sent me. I may have some leads for you.”

“I hadn’t heard from you in so long, I thought you might have reached a dead end.”

“I’ve been in Africa performing interviews and research for the past couple months. I still have some more gathering to do, but we should be able to meet in the next 3-4 weeks.”

“Great. Let me know when you’re ready and I’ll start making arrangements.”

“Have a good night Mulder. Take Care.”

“You too.” Mulder hung up his cell and continued his run.

Chapter Text

Betrayer. Liar. Words dressed as daggers piercing their bond. A vice squeezed tightly around her heart as she retreated back to her place alone.

4 hours earlier

The time on the VCR clock glowed in a blue haze but stood firm. The walls seemed to bow inward as if holding its breath for her arrival as the fan blades performed another pointless rotation pushing nonexistent air. The room was filled with the smell of stale food and foreboding. Mulder was frantic to see her. Her voice on the other end of the phone was not enough to prove she had survived unscathed. The basketball in his hands already told the story scarred by his fingerprints as he waited. Another minute ticked by only to taunt him with her absence. His head was swimming from worry and lack of sleep. He felt her presence before he heard the knock on the door, breath escaping him at the sight of her. Taken aback by her beauty, his first instinct was to whisk her away to a castle keeping her far from harm. The next thought was she would probably harm him for that thought. Too independent sometimes for her own good. And his. He threw his arms around her as if they were life preservers. “Scully, where have you been? What happened?” She squeezed him tight in response and he was lost in her. His strong athletic arms yearning to carry the weight of her fears. There were moments within the past days when he wasn’t sure he would get the privilege of being able to hold her again. They had to talk this out, simple physical contact would not suffice this time and their ability to communicate with words had always been a struggle. He heard the rumble of the beginnings of a thunderstorm as he invited her in. They retreated to the couch.

As she told her tale Mulder’s stomach churned. He was silent until she finished. She pleaded to his better judgment. “This could save mankind.” “It’s the answer to everything.” “You would have done the same.” “I did what I thought was best.” “I tried to keep you with me the whole time.” “I mailed you tapes of all the conversations.” For Mulder, her statements were altruistic, matching the Scully he knew – kind, pure, innocent, full of love for mankind. In contrast, his heart darkened with each response, for underneath it all, the stench of evil remained.

He had one thought echoing in his mind while he stared outward, squinting, time blurring on the VCR. A lump formed in his throat as he squeaked out the question, “What did he do to you?”

Scully’s expression was one of confusion, “Mulder, what do you mean? He didn’t hurt me if that’s what you’re asking.”

Mulder’s hands shook, he ran them down his thighs so she didn’t see, the coarse texture of his jeans heating his fingertips. He continued the inquisition failing to keep his anger at bay, “Did he lay his hands on you?”

“Mulder no.” As she spoke he could almost see the butterflies hatching inside her stomach.

Pain grew in his chest as he made his accusation knowing he couldn’t take it back as it left his lips, “Are you sure? Or are you going to tell me another lie?”

The hurt expression on her face was tearing at his soul. She was visibly nervous, her eyes averted his. “There was a moment. I fell asleep in the car and when I woke up I was in pajamas in a bed. He claimed he was the one who put me there and I had only fallen asleep from exhaustion.”

It was something from a nightmare. Mulder felt the bile rise up in his throat as he said the words, “He touched you.”

Her face was contorting as if the butterflies’ wings were flapping trying to break free of her stomach, “I guess. To change my clothes.” The conversation was playing out an excruciatingly painful movie in slow motion in his head. Mulder couldn’t believe this was happening. As if their relationship was tangible and crumbling through his fingers. He rose from the couch, looking down at her. How did she let him in so easily? Anger consumed him as the volume of his voice began to rise, “He saw you. Saw you in a way that belongs to me. He removed your clothing. Dressed you. How do you know he didn’t do anything else to you?”

“If he did Mulder, I would know that” Scully looked terrified. He didn’t know how they got to this place and got there so quickly. Mulder took a deep breath and tried to steady himself pressing his palms together he brought his fingertips to his lips as if in deep thought. He forced himself to calm down not wanting to hurt or scare her, “Did he drug you?”

“I found no evidence of anything in my system. Mulder, I’m fine, no harm was done to me. Maybe it was bad judgment or maybe I saved mankind. I didn’t do anything that you wouldn’t have done in the same situation. I weighed everything and realized the risks were worth it.”

Uncontrollable anger rose up inside him, his fists clenched, his face was beat red as he shouted at her, “HE TOUCHED YOU!” He turned away from her staring at the palms of his hands. He was losing control and he no longer cared about sparing her feelings. In a lower voice he continued saying words he had previously only thought in his head, “He touched you. You are mine Scully. No one else gets to look at you the way I do. No one else gets to touch you. Not like that.” He shocked himself with how brazen he was with his words and it was obvious Scully was completely taken aback by his possessiveness. He had shown signs of it in the past especially concerning work, but never to this degree and he knew she wasn’t about to let him get away with it. She started in a condescending tone, “Now Mulder…”

“No, don’t Mulder me. Not this time. He took you from me. Again. He just takes you and returns you whenever he wants.”   He knew he was out of line, she was not a possession and he was talking about her like she was a bag of sunflower seeds. At the same time he believed in the far reaches of her mind, she secretly wanted him to claim her. Scully had a look of shock come across her face as she stood from the couch to face him.

Mulder was pacing, his voice rising again, “You could have died.” He couldn’t get it out of his head, he felt himself spiraling, dizzy, that helpless feeling creeping up inside, “He touched you. He looked at you.” The lid was off and his insecurities spilled across the coffee table the acidic tone marring the wood. “I could have lost you.. I couldn’t reach you, couldn’t find you. You left me…” Visions of CGB brushing her hair out of her eyes, stroking her face, taking in her beauty then ending her life.

He fell to his knees at her feet, uncontrollable anger blurring his vision. His arms slid around her waist as he rested his head on her lower abdomen. He begged for an answer, “How could you let him do this?”

A comforting hand came across the top of his head. The touch was gentle, loving, soothing, healing and infuriating. Mulder jumped up onto his feet shaking his head backpedaling, “No. You don’t get to do that. Not right now. You betrayed me!” He turned away and turned back his arms flailing, “You tuned me out. I couldn’t feel you. Couldn’t reach you. You hurt me and you risked us.”

He couldn’t look at her anymore. Couldn’t be in the same room. He walked into the kitchen to escape, but dirty dishes mocked him with remnants of food they had once shared. Out of the corner of his eye he watched her flinch as each one crashed against the porcelain sink.

She followed into the kitchen with her voice raised, “How is it that you get to take the chances Mulder? You run hell bent into the night without a thought, but I don’t get the same privilege? How many times have you confronted the smoking man, but I do it and its blasphemy?”

Mulder pounded his fists on the kitchen countertop pointing at her as he yelled. “Risking my life and risking yours are two totally different things”

Scully’s face flushed, her neck as scarlet as her hair. “How is that Mulder?”

He stared into the sink remaining silent, imagining the sharp edges of the broken ceramic cutting into the throat of old CGB his blood spilling onto the counter like tomato soup.

Scully was not giving up, “Answer me? How is that? Because I’m a woman?”

Mulder shook his head. His precious Scully did not know her value to this world. He answered her in a normal tone, “No, that’s not it. You know me better than that.”

“Then why? You’ve got one hell of a double standard.” Scully stared him down as the prize fighter waiting to hear the bell to enter the ring.

How could she be so naïve? His fists clenched again, he was a time bomb about to explode. He turned to her and shouted, “Because I love you more than I love myself. You are worth more to me than anything. Don’t you understand? I would give my life for you. He knows that and that’s why he takes you. He knows it will hurt me more than anything he could ever possibly do to me.   Because I love you that much, he has all the control. And the only reason I’m able to stand here with you right now is because he loves you too.” He took a breath to calm himself, “Scully, I know you had good intentions. I know how convincing he can be. I know all about believing his lies. We will get past this. For now, let’s see what’s on the disc.”

By the time the Lone Gunmen arrived Mulder had worked himself up again. The only person in the world who was supposed to never let him down. He couldn’t look at her as he stood at the doorframe not able to bring himself to cross the threshold. He felt her eyes upon him, knew she was feeling foolish, that she was hurt, that he had separated them. Did she realize something irrevocable may have happened?

Mulder ran his tongue along the inside of his mouth just below his lip and then up against his cheek. He couldn’t forgive her for putting herself in danger, for lying to him.   He was fuming. He wanted to cry, punch the wall, kill somebody and make love to her all at the same time. Will he be able to forgive her?

When the disc was found to be blank she looked to him. He only stared at the floor. She risked their relationship for nothing. He looked up and sorrowful eyes stared back. His heart melted for her then turned to stone. He pressed his tongue hard against his bottom teeth so he didn’t start screaming at her in front of the guys.

After they stopped by the Smoking Man’s offices only to find them empty, Mulder played through the emotions in her eyes with empathy. So many times Cancer Man had put him through that same ringer. He could have prevented all of this if she would have come to him. As soon as CGB told her she had to keep him out of it, she should have known not to do it. Now she got to taste the bitterness for herself. He set it up to divide them and succeeded.

They drove back to his apartment in silence. The day had been a long one and he needed to be alone. He drove up alongside her car and turned off the ignition.

“Mulder, why do you think I’m still alive?”

He sighed and ran his hands along the steering wheel. “I really believe the plan was for you to be killed. I think he looked into your eyes and it was just as you said. He longed for something he could never have. You made him a better person. I know how you’re able to do that.” He sighed again and looked up at the sky, his eyes welling up. “Scully, I know you did what you thought was right. I know he conned you and I’ve been there. The part I’m having trouble with is you lied to me, you plotted to purposefully leave me out. You risked our trust and our friendship. Maybe you didn’t realize it at the time. Maybe you thought the tapes would be enough, but trusting you isn’t something I take lightly.”

“I don’t know what you want me to say. I can’t take it back. Do you want me to apologize?”

“No.”

They sat in silence until Scully gathered the courage to ask the question, “Are we going to be alright?”

He needed her to get out of the car, his eyes were starting to leak and if he didn’t leave now, he never would.  He croaked out in a faint whisper, “I don’t know.”

Chapter Text

Turbulence.  Scully hated turbulence.  She released her grip on the arm rest and stared at her nails checking her capillary refill rate out of habit.  Closing her eyes she resumed praying the rosary to calm her nerves. While reciting one of the Hail Marys in her head, she paused to ponder if now was the hour of her death.  Mulder was distracted, passing the time playing with the Gameboy Langly lent him for the trip and listening to Moby’s latest album Play.  Without looking at her, he took the earbud out of his ear and held it out as an offering, “Want to listen?” 

She was too tense to do anything other than pray right now knowing the puddle jumper was their next flight.  She smiled politely, “Thank you, but I’m fine.” Of course, she was anything but fine.  Scully was spending recent days up in the bullpen while Mulder stayed in the basement buried in his work.  She had given him an out if he didn’t want to spend the weekend together, but he insisted that he wanted to see Holman.  

The forecast for the weekend in Kroner Kansas was sunny with no chance of rain. That didn’t stop the last leg of their flight from hitting convective air currents.  As her knuckles whitened, Mulder placed his hand over hers patting it and smiled. “I know you’re not a big fan of bumpy flights.”

While the plane landed, Mulder glimpsed out the window to see Holman waiting for them grinning ear to ear.  As they stepped out Holman grabbed Mulder’s hand and shook it heartily.  “I am so glad you two could make it.  Sheila is just thrilled.    Come on and I’ll drive you to your hotel.”  Scully interrupted, “I already booked two rooms at the Cool View Motor Home.”

“Oh no.  We wouldn’t have it.” Holman replied, “I got you a room at the Honeymoon cottages down the road.  It’s on the town. We insist.   After all you did for us the last time you were here it’s the least we could do.  You two are like celebrities.”  Scully looked at Mulder nervously, but he was all smiles and threw his arm around her giving her shoulder a squeeze as he responded, “Thank you Holman.  It’s perfect.”  It was slightly reminiscent of their days as Rob and Laura Petrie.

+

 “Agent Mulder it’s so good to see you.  I’m so glad you came.” Sheila hugged him so long Mulder had to let out a nervous laugh as he looked over at Scully who lifted her eyebrows at him crossing her arms.

Holden saw the exchange and pulled his wife off of him clearing his throat in the process.  A sheepish grin came across Mulder’s face.  “Sheila we’re off the clock. I’d say we’re good enough friends that you can call me Fox now.”

“Okay Fox” She said still pining.

“Yes and please call me Dana” Scully held her hand out, but Sheila went in for the hug.

Sheila put her hands together as if she was praying, “Fox and Dana.  Holman told me you finally woke this guy up” she said winking, pointing a thumb at Mulder.

“Well actually…” Scully started which Mulder quickly interrupted flashing her a smile, “Scully, you did throw yourself at me.”  Scully was frowning, but Sheila was nodding like that would be a perfectly logical scenario not taking her eyes off Mulder. 

Sheila interrupted the uncomfortable silence. “I want to see you two kiss” She was simply giddy.

Mulder lifted his eyebrows at Scully looking for her approval.  She shrugged at him and they gave each other an awkward peck on the lips. 

Sheila frowned, “No, come on, I mean a real kiss.”

Mulder found this all very amusing, turning to face Scully and pulling her into him. Scully closed her eyes bracing herself for the inevitable electricity.  Their full lips met slightly parted.  Even though they kept it chase she felt it through her body getting high just from the taste of him.  She noticed him swallow hard, his eyes at half-mast as they pulled away. Scully shrugged off her feelings and straightened her posture. 

“That’s more like it. It’s just great to see the two of you happy.” Sheila excused herself when she heard the baby wake up from his nap.  She returned holding a sweet little baby boy and handed him to Scully.  Mulder’s eyes were on her as she played with the baby.  She looked his way and he gave her a warm smile that filled her heart.

Holman saw Mulder’s reaction and added, “So when is it your turn?”

Mulder laughed giving Scully a knowing look.  “Well, I’m all for it, but you know Scully, she wants to practice first.”

She returned the baby to Sheila who handed him to Mulder.  Within a few minutes he was bouncing the baby and making funny faces.  The baby was laughing and giggling, trying to grab at his nose.  The scenario was a little too much for Scully to handle.  She remembered how incredible he was with those little girls named Eve years ago, the amazing way he was with Emily, and how easily they fell into the parental role. A momentary flash of them as a family went through her mind which she quickly brushed away.  What were they to each other anyway? A romantic relationship that hid in the shadows. They weren’t a couple, in fact, they weren’t even very good partners at the moment given the friction of the past few days. Scully excused herself to the bathroom.

Soon after they headed back to the hotel to freshen up and unpack.  Holman explained that everyone would be meeting at the bar by the indoor pool around five.  They were bringing over food since they had relatives driving in and they were staying there as well.  He thought it would be a nice night for a gathering and they were invited.  Mulder told him they would try to stop by and they left.

When they arrived at the hotel the man at the desk referred to them as Mr. and Mrs. Mulder which Mulder failed to correct as he was handed the room key. The room had a king size bed with a kitchenette, in the corner was a heart shaped hot tub, and a double vanity bathroom with a large shower. Definitely not like their previous accommodations.   

Scully spoke first, “How will this work Mulder?  We’ve got one bed.  I’m guessing we’re not sharing it.  I’ll get a cot..” “Scully, we can sleep in a bed together. Let’s make it through the weekend and we can worry about our own problems later.”

The Indoor pool area was large with one end containing a volleyball net and the other end looked like the beginning of a lazy river.  There was a stone façade running up the walls with simulated waterfalls and lighting all around.  The bar area was made to look like a large tiki hut equipped with coconut shaped mugs for drinks and toothpick umbrellas.  The air only had a hint of chlorine and wasn’t humid like you find in most indoor pool areas.  The pool itself was heated and had rows of lights under the water on either side.  Mulder wasted no time tossing Scully his towel and diving in.  For a change he was wearing long navy blue board shorts that ended just above the knee.  He motioned for her to join him, but she decided to go to the bar and see if they had any drinks to go inside the coconuts.  At the bar she met Sheila’s sister from Kansas City and her two cousins.  As they chatted away about kids, furniture shopping, and PTA meetings Scully glanced over to Mulder who seemed to be in a rousing game of Marco Polo with their children. No matter what the setting, he never seemed out of place.  He was a type of chameleon in that respect.  Except for that case in Florida where they met the sideshow people.  The thought that she could fit in better with freaks was slightly unnerving.  A fleeting thought escaped her. In the parallel dimension he must be an amazing father and teacher.  Soft spoken and caring.  Proud of everything his children accomplished.  But they were in this dimension, so she ordered a drink and paid no mind to the screaming kids running around the pool.

Sheila’s arrival caused her to come back to reality.  She got up to help her setup the buffet and then they called everyone to make their plates.  Mulder sat down on a lounge chair placing his legs on either side.  He waved Scully over.  She sat on the edge of one side of his lounge chair with her plate in her lap.  They made small talk with Sheila’s relatives while they ate.  When Mulder saw Holman come over he got up to throw away their finished plates and returned with a coconut drink for Scully and a beer for himself and Holman. Holman shook his head and said, “I don’t drink.” Mulder replied, “Neither do I really, but it’s a special occasion.” Holman took it reluctantly and Mulder returned to his spot on the lounge chair.  As he spoke to Holman he pulled Scully towards him almost as a reflex.  She felt the heat of his bare chest press against her back.  His arm casually draped around her waist.  Maybe it was the rum or maybe the atmosphere, but Scully felt so comfortable in his arms.  It was natural and relaxing.  They were out in a public setting in front of people and they were acting like a normal couple. The thought of her and Mulder as a couple seemed surreal. She leaned into him and whispered, “I’m going to go change into my bathing suit.  I’ll be right back.  You need me to bring you back anything?”  He turned to her and smiled, she couldn’t help but smile back, warmth flooding her chest.   She gave him a quick kiss as she rose to leave.

Holman took a swig of his beer and made a face that had Mulder chuckling.  “So Fox, how long have you and Dana been together?”

“Ever since December.”

“Wow.  You finally got up the courage.”

“I told you Holman, I was perfectly fine with my friendship with Scully, but, you’re right, this is pretty good too.” They both let out a shy smile as Mulder took another sip of his beer.

 “So when are you going to make an honest woman out of her? Once you found it, you don’t want to lose it.”

Mulder choked on his beer, “Look at you Holman, now who’s the expert on love.  What Scully and I have is rather complicated.  I think the Bureau would frown upon partners getting involved let alone getting married.”

“Well, trust a man that waited twenty years, don’t let time get the best of you.  I couldn’t imagine any career that could be worth not being with my Sheila.”

“So how is the weather game?” Mulder asked changing the subject.

“Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.” Holman replied very proud of himself. “Although sometimes you have to let it rain.”

Mulder glanced over by the pool, “Hey Holman, it looks like they’re picking teams for volleyball, let’s play”

“Oh, I don’t really swim, let alone play volleyball”

“Come ‘on Holman live a little.  Let’s have some fun.”

When Scully returned in her bikini she noticed all the children had gone back to their rooms and only adults remained.  Mulder was back in the pool with Holman who looked slightly embarrassed wearing a now very wet t-shirt.  This time she agreed to jump in the pool.  Scully quickly became competitive, serving hard, diving for the ball for the return.  They were winning by two with one more point to end it when she called Mulder and Holden into a huddle.  Mulder dropped under water, lifting her on his shoulders. As the ball was returned, Holden set the ball and Scully spiked it over to the other side. Holden was all excited and gave high fives all around. Scully felt Mulder tighten his grip on her legs sliding his hands along her soft smooth skin.  The hard superior fibers of his trapezius muscle were teasing her causing an involuntary flex of her hips which she tried her best to ignore. As Mulder set her back down in the water she slid against his body and felt him rock hard against her.  He tried to avert his eyes and she pretended not to notice. It was getting late and everyone slowly retired to their rooms.   

Back at the hotel Scully got into bed and turned off the light.  She felt his weight on the other side of the bed as he got under the covers with his back facing her. After such a good day it made her sad that she couldn’t make things right.  Eventually she drifted to sleep.    

+

Morning came quickly to find Scully bent over the vanity in the bedroom applying her makeup.  She turned, in her floral blue dress, and saw Mulder coming out of the bathroom drying his hair with a towel.  It caused her to blink twice, but clothes still failed to appear on his naked frame.  That was one of the moments she was grateful to be a woman as he wouldn’t be able to tell the reaction she had to him.  He casually walked over to his suitcase and began dressing like this was a normal scene.  She refused to give him the satisfaction and concentrated on putting on her pearl stud earrings. As she went to clasp her necklace she felt his strong hands over hers.  She allowed him to take over.  Once the necklace was secure he ran his warm hands down to her shoulders and she felt his lips at the base of her neck.  A tiny whimper escaped her.  When she turned he held her tight without a word.  

She broke free and grabbed her purse.  “We better go.” She said stiffly.

In the church, as the baptism was performed, Mulder ran his hand up and down Scully’s back reassuringly as they stood in the pew.  When they sat his hand slid into hers and every once in a while he would give it a light squeeze.

The party was held at the town community center. Sheila approached Mulder and dragged him onto the dancefloor claiming he still owed her a dance. As they swayed Sheila reiterated her appreciation. “I want to thank you again. If it wasn’t for you, Holman and I would have never gotten together, the town might have been torn apart, and we wouldn’t have our son. I will be forever grateful.” 

Mulder put his head down and blushed. “Sheila, I was just doing my job.  I’m just glad you and Holman are happy.”

Sheila smiled at him and said, “Don’t you think there’s another woman you owe a dance?”

Mulder smiled back, “You may be right.”

Mulder walked over to Scully and held out his hand, “May I be so honored as to have you accompany me to the dance floor?”

Scully leaned her head on his broad chest bringing her arms around his neck.  Mulder’s hands skimmed down her curves resting at her hip. She closed her eyes and breathed him in. Even though the dance floor was crowded, everyone faded to the background until it was just the two of them, their eyes only noticing each other as her heart felt as if it would burst. How could she survive in a world where they weren’t connected? 

Suddenly they heard Sheila let out a scream as her Aunt Sophie collapsed on the dance floor. Scully rushed over and the men struggled to carry the woman outside to get some air.  After a quick head to toe exam, Scully discovered that the circulation was cut off to her legs.  Quickly, Scully ripped her pantyhose as the woman vehemently protested.  It was quite a scene.  People were gathered around and the heavy set woman was squirming and yelling.  Scully asked the crowd for some scissors or a knife.  One guy with buck teeth and a Chevrolet hat handed her his pocket knife. Scully proceeded to cut the woman’s girdle.  Finally, Aunt Sophie was able to exhale popping the girdle, her rolls bouncing for joy and relief. The crowd cheered as old Aunt Sophie stood back up and proceeded to get back on the dance floor asking if anyone had a swig of moonshine.  

Mulder patted Scully on the shoulder. “Well G-woman, you saved the day again.”

Afterwards things quieted down and everyone had some cake.  Mulder and Scully said their goodbyes to Holman and Sheila promising to keep in touch.  Holman reminded Mulder again not to let too much time pass before he started shopping for a ring.

In the early morning Scully found herself wide awake staring at the contours of Mulder’s back.  Unable to resist, she ran her hand along his muscular outline. Not being able to bear the distance any longer, she brought her hand around to his chest pressing her own against him.  She held her breath as her hand dropped past his abs and inside his waist band. He groaned and turned to face her with a smile.  “Good Morning”

She smiled at him, “Morning.”  She cupped his ass and pulled him into her kissing him hard on the lips. He felt and tasted so good she didn’t know how long she could contain herself. Scully felt their bodies craving and knew they could not deny how much they needed each other. To her surprise, Mulder politely pulled away.  “Scully.  I can’t.  I mean I can, but ..I…I need to work this out in my head. I only want to be with you if everything feels right.  I need you to understand, every woman that I’ve ever been close to in my life besides my sister, has betrayed me and lied to me. And they all had their reasons.  I never once thought you would do that to me”.   *Sigh* “I need to be able to trust you.”

“You can trust me Mulder”

“I know.  I also know I have been unfair to you.  I demand that you know how to react without knowing all the facts. I tell you my theories, but I seldom share with you the train of thought, the way I come about forming my hypothesis.”

“So you want to teach me.”

“Take you under my wing.  Show you the way the other side thinks.”

“Swallow the blue pill?”

“Yeah.  Something like that. Then hopefully we won’t get to this point again. Scully, I love you.  You are my partner. We will work this out.”  Gripping her hair gently, he tenderly pressed his lips to hers. His body’s response was immediate as she intensified the kiss.  His mouth covered hers as their tongues fused them together.  He felt her tremble against him. Not wanting to give in to the moment he forced himself to back away.  Kissing her forehead, he pulled her into him holding her tight. They remained in an embrace as she fell asleep in his arms.

Chapter Text

Two weeks of back to back work without a single day off. Two weeks they had not shared a bed or much else. Scully’s misadventures with CGB Spender resulted in total avoidance and communication breakdown. They had regressed back into their groove, although it was anything but comfortable. How could they find their way back to each other?

 

Mulder relapsed into ordering Scully around as if she was his personal assistant and took offense when she balked at the thought of them spending the weekend together in England. In his mind they would get a chance to hopefully experience some paranormal phenomena, show her his old stomping grounds, and roam the English countryside. Most importantly, be them again. He thought some time away from the office would help them reconnect, mend what was now in disarray. Their inability to sync wavelengths hurt him. Her words cut him as her expression and disdain for following him into the night broke his heart. He would wander alone. Maybe distance would prove cyclical and in essence center them both.

As he was packing to hop across the pond he felt the pull on his heart. In an attempt to stay connected, he called her to ask if maybe she could speak to some people for him that had different coordinates. He was using his old standby to keep her with him. Her answer vibrated in his chest, the blood oozed out as the vice tightened. The last time she took this tone she ended up with a tattoo and another notch in her belt named Ed Jerse. Even so, her voice had a softness resulting from their intimate relationship without the brass it had in past years. He knew they must resolve this when he got back before his soul became a black hole.

He called her one last time to pass information. Their talking without talking was grading.   Hearing her sweet voice was a mistake.

Once in England, Mulder had the night to himself.  With a cleared calendar, he thumbed through his contacts and paused when he got to Phoebe’s number.  He knew she would answer and would be eager to see him.  They were now strangers and he wanted to keep it that way.  Pressing the delete button he decided instead to meet up with one of his buddies from college. They were able to get the old gang together and had a great time reliving memories and laughs. That night he received a call from Garrison to setup a meeting for the following night.

Sunday morning Mulder found himself with renewed energy enjoying a brisk early morning run.  The signs of spring were all around with trees and flowers starting their bloom. The sweet smell of freshly cut grass filled his nose. Before investigating the crop circles, Mulder had a mission he needed to complete.  He hiked off into the woods to a waterfall he knew well. Reaching into his backpack he removed Scully’s poppet and placed it under a pile of rocks beneath the running water.  This was about as far away from her home that he could get which was what was needed to remove any possible curses.  He placed an offering of fruit and some coins with the doll weighing it down and hiding it from sight.  Once that was done he asked the spirits of the trees and the water to transform the negative energy through the powers of the earth so no harm could ever come of it.  He walked away and never looked back. 

After little deliberation, the crop circles ended up being false. Total waste of time; Scully was right. By the time he met up with Garrison, he was afraid there would be more bad news. Mulder was halfway through his second beer when he saw Garrison enter the dimly lit pub. He was a stoutly man of medium height with a graying beard and mustache. His hair was slightly longer than your average professor with a thin braided rattail in the back. Mulder had become friends with Garrison while they were at Oxford years before either of them uttered the word extraterrestrial. Garrison at the time was obtaining his doctorate in astrobiology. His studies also included a minor in archeology which he later expanded to include xenoarcheology, the study of material remains used to reconstruct and interpret past life-ways of alien civilizations. He was also a member of ICAR, the international scientific community for alien research. Garrison greeted Mulder with a firm hand shake as he slid into the corner booth. “Good afternoon my friend.   These are very exciting times we’re living in.” By the time the food arrived Garrison had his laptop out with papers strewn all over the table. He was speaking excitedly, hands waving about. He spoke of his interpretations of the engravings, his trips to Africa and the interviews that he conducted. He went on to confirm that the craft did in fact contain a map of the human genetic code, scripture from numerous religions, text on science, and teachings of mysticism.

Mulder was eager to hear Garrison’s opinion considering his expertise. “So I have my own theory, but why do you believe the spaceship contained the inscriptions it did?”

Garrison pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “The facts I’ve gathered has led me to a hypothesis that the words actually give the spaceship its communication and rejuvenating powers.  Several accounts depicted the alien spaceship as god like with powers belonging to that of gods.  Others say it is proof positive that there is no god.  The aliens are our gods.  I don’t necessarily believe that the aliens are our gods, but maybe they might share “God” with us.  They may have passed this down to us or we may have discovered the truths for ourselves and because it is truth we are able to share it.  There are current mathematical theories out there stating God as Einstein’s lambda spoken about when he temporarily revised his theory of relativity.  God creating void, producing continuous “big bangs” and universes out of that void.”  Mulder shook his head as if he was clearing the dust from it and frowned.  Garrison continued, “I know you want me to bring you answers and it’s only raising more questions.  All that you have brought me has furthered my research and studies tremendously, but I don’t know if the proof of the truths you seek will ever be as concrete as you desire them to be.  You look to translate truth into tangible proof and maybe truth is not tangible, but can only be viewed from another platform. Maybe the aliens are more evolved, but no closer to absolute truth than we are and are still searching as well.”

Mulder wanted to backtrack to their earlier discussion since the current one was causing his head to hurt. “You spoke of rejuvenating properties?”

“Now on that subject I have some data.”  Garrison pulled more papers out of this files and placed them on the already cluttered table.  He tried to lower his voice in case someone was listening, but the bar was now noisy with patrons. “The evidence suggests that the craft was able to rebuild and that it left on its own accord.  It was difficult finding people who would discuss anything due to fear of retaliation, but there were some that spoke of fish that were once dead were now alive, people with afflictions that were healed.  A man that was sterile has a wife that is expecting.  It was almost as if the spaceship allowed them to exhibit the rejuvenating properties of a starfish or healing diseases like that of a shark.”

“Are you saying there was a case where the craft affected a man’s fertility?  Could it have that influence on woman?”

“I know where you are headed with this as you told me of your partner’s abduction, but a man is a little different than a woman.  A man is constantly producing sperm while a woman is born with a finite supply of eggs and does not produce more.” 

“That has been the tenet, but I’ve been in conversations with some scientists performing experiments on mice in a lab in Massachusetts suggesting that ovarian stem cells do have the power to generate eggs during reproductive years similar to a man’s production of sperm.” 

“Well, if that is true, than you might find this interesting as well.  One of the pieces of the ship contained a 3x3 Magic Square.  While several magic squares are in the etchings, this one gave me some pause. I know you have some background and knowledge with the belief of magic squares containing power.  Pythagoras believed that numbers are the basic factors of not only the universe but of all that the universe contains.  Words, numbers and symbols he considered as potential powers. The theory was when numbers were placed as opposites, their union became dynamic and tangible energy was thought to be released. Which is what seems to be happening with this craft. What I found interesting was if you look at the texts from Babylon dating back to ancient times the goddess of fertility was assigned the number 15 depicted as two squares fused together where geometrically it was a 3x3 Magic Square created by 9 cells.  Interestingly, although I do not believe relevant, Special Agent Scully’s numerology number is 9. Using this theory, those 9 cells can be arranged in such a way that it can generate creative energy which then could be used to facilitate childbirth.  Your partner had direct contact with the part of the ship that contained one of those 3x3 9 celled magic squares.”

“Is it possible that exposure to the ship’s power, these words, this particular magic box, could it possibly have awakened her stem cells to produce healthy eggs?” Mulder’s heart felt as though it was beating out of his chest.

“She definitely was in the presence and had contact with the part of the ship that involved texts and numbers concerning fertility.  What does that mean?  What conclusions can we derive from it?  I’m not going to speculate or give you false hopes.  The facts I gave you are all that I know.  Has she tried to go down the path of ovarian stem cells?”

Mulder, previously hunched over, straightened his posture.  He stared at his beer removing the condensation along the curve of the glass with his thumb. “It will be at least a decade before that is a viable option.  I guess the best we can hope for is for her to go back to the doctor and see if her exposure had any effect.  The exposure didn’t change the results of the last IVF treatment.  I’ve also wondered if the craft could communicate or has communicated with the chip in the back of her neck.  Like you said, it is all simple speculation and theory.  You did fine work here Garrison.  I wish you much luck and keep me in the loop as you come to more findings and hypothesis.”

“I definitely will Fox.  I could never repay you for all you have done. You have propelled my research and more importantly you have created validation for all my years of studies.”

+

Early Monday morning, Mulder drove to Glastonbury to purchase a protection candle. The Shaman instructed him that part of removing the negative energy is to light a protection candle for seven days.  Returning to his rental he glanced at his phone to see a waiting voicemail.  It was from Dr. Anderson from the university at Boston.  During the last round of IVF, the doctor had indicated that Mulder had what appeared to be a surge in a certain protein in his sperm. Mulder felt that his exposure and abnormal brain activity may have contributed, but the doctor told him it would have no effect on success rates or fetal development. Even so, these results had caused him to seek answers from scientists in that field of expertise.  He dialed the number to hear the voice of Anderson’s assistant.  “Dr. Anderson please.”  After a few minutes, Dr. Anderson answered.  “Mr. Mulder, I have the results of your sperm sample.  It was confirmed that you do indeed have an abnormally high amount of the protein we spoke about previously.  I would like to see you in the office to discuss details.  I also have updates on the latest information concerning the stem cell research you inquired about.  It looks like my first open appointment is in about two weeks.  You can setup the details with my assistant.”

“Thank you doc.  Two weeks is a long time.  Is there anything I might be able to do in the interim?”

“As I discussed with you, the higher the concentration of that protein in her system the better your chances.  Continue abstaining from all activities that may result in a reduction of potency and you want to engage in intercourse on an every other day schedule. The only other thing I could advise is making sure there is proper natural lubrication.  I have read a publishing theorizing female orgasm prior to male release may stimulate ovulation and assist with conception but most of those studies were done on pigs. I will prepare all the information for our appointment when I can elaborate.”

“I’ve been doing all of that. Is there anything else, anything at all?”

“Pray.

“Pray?  I wouldn’t have thought you to be a religious man.”

“I’m not.  It’s not a question of the existence of God, it’s the belief in God.  There are several studies that prayer and the act of the belief in God has produced results:  Longer life, cancer remissions, and other deemed miracles.  Some attribute it to a divine power others claim biased sampling. Either way, the mind is a very powerful tool.”

“At this point, I’m ready to try it all.  Thanks doc.  See you in a couple weeks.” He pressed the end button on his cell phone and headed towards the Glastonbury Thorn and the Abbey Ruins. There contained the Chalice Well, a well that never ran dry, where it was rumored the Holy Grail laid.  It was said that Jesus visited there and it may have been where Mary and Joseph were buried.  It was also the place of a yearly pilgrimage.

Once he reached the top he stood in awe of the beautiful view. Wandering around he found himself in front of the Our Lady of Glastonbury shrine where Catholics came to pray.  He opened the heavy door and peered in.  Inside was a beautiful statue of St. Mary of Glastonbury as well as two intricate tapestries on either side of the statue. It was inspiring and he felt himself drawn. Once in the Shrine, Mulder instinctively lit a candle and knelt in the pew to pray.  For him, the motivation was simply to help with more positive energy.  The last time he had done this was 1993.  He had been holding a picture of his sister and cried for her return, for God to help him find what he had lost.  Today he found himself in there for Scully, for the two of them, for all negative energy to be lifted from her from all the tragedies that had befallen.  He meditated on all that had happened in his life.  He began to pray, pray to the God for which his faith had faltered for which he no longer had room for belief in. His mind led him to pray with all his being that somehow he could give Scully a child.  That if he couldn’t save his sister, he might save her.  He prayed for a miracle.  Prayed to be a strong enough man, for God to forgive him so she may get what she needed. Prayed that their love would be enough to create this miracle. He fought back the tears that burned his eyes.  It was time to go home.

On the plane home, he reflected on what Garrison had said concerning the craft and its communication and rejuvenation properties. It explained some and coincided with his theories as well, but to hope it may have affected Scully was not enough. He decided he would delve further into the trials the scientists in Massachusetts were undertaking and see if there was a more viable avenue.

Mulder reclined back in his chair and closed his eyes as Moby expanded his mind through his earbuds. Speak to me Scully. What we have is deeper than love. I know the way you feel. Speak to me.

Mulder found himself blown away sitting on the couch in his apartment. Scully had a transformation of her own while he was wandering the English countryside. He glanced over to find that she had succumbed to sleep. He brushed the hair from her face and watched her a moment, taking in her beauty, letting his love for her fill his heart before tucking her in the blanket Albert Hosteen had given him after saving his life years ago. He got up to head to the bathroom.

After turning down the bed and brushing his teeth he returned and lifted her up to carry her to the bedroom. As he picked her up the Navajo blanket fell to the floor and she stirred. “Mulder, what time is it? Did I fall asleep while we were talking?”

“It’s okay. They’ll be time to talk in the morning.” He laid her down in the bed and got in, facing her tucking them both underneath the comforter.

She stared at him with eyes wide open as he began to speak. “We’ve had a turmoil of a relationship Scully,” he pushed the hair out of her eyes, “but not without reason. Mr. CGB only teetered the scales. There were all our struggles trying to have a baby, my relentless search for the truth… there’s our communication issues,” he smiled shyly, “I guess we didn’t solve it stacking all those dead bodies. Whatever it is has been, I will do what it takes to make you happy.”

“Mulder, I know we’ve been at odds with each other. I get frustrated at how much you ask of me and your assumptions that I will just blindly follow. I take responsibility for that. I’m not communicating and then I run away and lash out.” She ran her tongue over her lips and continued, “I believe what happened to me this weekend was necessary because it gave me the opportunity to close my past, take account for my decisions to go to the FBI, to leave medicine, put aside all the things that weighed on my mind and held me back. It also gave me the ability to open up a whole spiritual world on my own. You could have given me this guidance, but it was important that I went down this path myself. It allowed me to see the order of things, how one event in life leads to another, the cause and effect and the cyclical aspect of human life, of spiritual life. It brought me to a sense of peace. How even though it was a journey I needed to go alone in order to find myself, it led me to you.” Her eyes sparkled at him and she continued, “We spoke about heart chakra. How Daniel’s energy channels were blocked. I believe ours were too. Carrying all our baggage around with us could have been clogging our energy channels.”

“Scully, when I was in England, I went to a church and prayed.”

“You what? Are you serious?”

“Yes. I just found myself there and at the time it felt right.”

“What a week. I move into the paranormal spiritual world and you start praying.”

“When you talk about things weighing on you… you mean about motherhood?”

“Part of it. I think about motherhood all the time. How the consequences of my choices prevented me from giving life.”

“Scully, if a soul is meant to grace this earth, it will and no one can stop it.”

“I want to be a mother. At this point in my life I desire to have a family of my own. On the other hand, I keep saying that’s what I want, but I keep going down a road that leads to the opposite.” She paused. She knew her words were tearing him apart. She saw the dread in his eyes and knew the moment had come. “Mulder, if there truly is a greater intelligence at work here, that everything happens for a reason. Fate may have brought us together and destiny may have led us down this path as part of some grand design, but tonight is about choice. My choice is to be with you. I am living my truth. What is terrifying to me is there could have been a world where we didn’t exist together.”

“I believe we would have found each other no matter what.”

“I said this years ago and I’ll say it again. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

“Then believe. Believe Scully. Open yourself to the possibility of a miracle. I will believe with you. Wish upon the star. Pray to the gods. Pray to yourself. Look inside yourself and find the way.”

“Mulder you’re talking fairy tales.”

“I’m talking us.” He grabbed her hand. “Let’s do the impossible. I will pray and you will open your mind”

“And what do I do if I fail.”

“Then adopt.”

“Mulder, we’ve been down this road. They’re not going to give a baby to an unmarried FBI agent.”

“There are ways around that too.” He paused as she gave him a puzzled look. “Scully, we’ve got to try. I won’t give up.”

“That is why I love you Mulder.” She could feel the tears starting to form.

“Scully.” Her mere name communicating volumes as it always had. He’s not sure she knew what she just said. What it meant to him to hear it. His heart stopped in anticipation of her next words.

“It’s true. After all the years I’ve fought against it. After all the years of trying to convince myself we were only friends. I don’t know how it happened, but I am totally and completely, head over heels in love, with Fox Mulder.”

“So out of the two of us, it turns out that you are the one that’s crazy.” He smiled at her. “You know these past months I’ve let go of my baggage with my family, made peace with my sister’s abduction, and now you seem to have done the same on your journey. Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe we needed this to complete our own journey with each other.” He held his hand to her face. “I love you Scully. I would break every law on this earth including that of man, science, and God himself if it means giving you what you want.”

“I want you Mulder.”

When their lips met something stirred inside her. His tongue pressed alongside hers and a warmth flooded her system, as it grew, turning molten. Melting away any protective layers left, she surrendered herself to her emotions. With each piece of clothing removed her need for him grew until she needed him like air in her lungs. His fingertips stroked her through the silken fabric of her bra, current passing through them into her heart, her chest heaving craving his touch. Moans escaped her and he swallowed them whole, removing her remaining clothing. Her hands rested on his chiseled jaw as his lips massaged her own. He kneaded her breasts, lightening charging inside them. As the pads of his fingertips brushed her nipples electricity bolted through her causing her to break the kiss gasping for air. His dark eyes were locked onto her soul and Scully was more alive than she had ever been. She wanted him to know it was different now. “Mulder, I’ve never felt like this before.” She sounded almost frightened. He stroked her face, then her hair. “We’re going down a new road Scully. Together.” Her heart was pounding, scared, but wanting. Resting his fingertips on the back of her head he parted his lips joining his mouth to hers. The trees rustled against the window as if their power had awakened them. Thunder rose up inside her, a moaning sigh escaped her. Their seemingly casual touches in the past had always been their secret source of communication, connecting them in a way no one else could comprehend. Now as his lips moved against hers, their bodies became a mere medium to the soul. Skin upon skin speaking to her to take him home. Mulder cupped her face changing the angle of the kiss. They both broke to moan in unison, their eyes heavy and full of this new revelation, every cell pounding out pleasure. Their tongues met again and they were gone. Their bodies writhing against each other. The coarse hairs of his legs tickling the smooth silkiness of her own. Their hands memorizing every line and curve stimulating in resounding ecstasy. They kissed until they must breathe, panting hard. He was holding her tight enough to weld them together and she felt him straining, long and thick and unbelievably hard. Scully felt a deep ache between her thighs calling, craving completeness. Mulder let out a long moan as his body answered hot and throbbing against her. His chest was heaving, “I feel you calling me.” She nodded as more heat began to build and she was now aching steadily for him. “Mulder, it’s time,” She said frantically her breath escaping her. Remaining on their sides he lifted the back of her knee until her leg rested on his hip. They joined together and a relief washed over them. He was home. Nothing physical or spiritual separating them. She squeezed him inside her holding him still and he closed his eyes and moaned, sweat beading along his brow. Scully squeezed again tighter and Mulder let out another moan and smiled, she had him. She branded his soul. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her as he lost himself deep inside. They began a slow sensual pace bonding the broken shattered pieces of themselves. His body brushing against hers igniting layers of energy. The emotions bubbling up inside felt so good they hurt. The pleasure of Mulder was intoxicating, all consuming. He was inhabiting her soul and she had the door wide open. A tear fell down her cheek and he quickly kissed it away. She knew they never had to say it. It was spoken every time she uttered his name. The same as she knew every time her name left his lips. Another vessel of communication for their mind and soul, but tonight she wanted him to hear those words. “I love you Mulder.” She was grasping tight at his back as she felt the current of her words course through his body. He returned her vow, “Scully, I’m yours.” He rocked her onto her back remaining inside her and clasped their hands tight together. With each long slow deep thrust they moaned as one. Their breath labored. It was then that it happened. Voluntarily, they began their transcendence, occupying a shared consciousness binding them together through eternity. The intensity was blinding. In her mind she wondered if he could feel her the way she felt him. He answered, “Scully, I always feel you, especially tonight.” Mulder’s lips were upon hers again, his tongue sweeping into her mouth as they rode their emotions, the magic that is them bleeding through each other, hitting nerve endings they didn’t know existed. Chests rising and falling quickly, pulses racing. They felt the build deep inside and knew it was going to be more than they could handle. Not taking their eyes off each other, he gripped her hands tighter as her legs hugged his waist, her heart fusing to his. Their bodies tightened simultaneously. Time stood still as every pore cried out. Scully flexed around him drawing him in as the waves shook her fiercely, the power driving her under certain she would pass out. Mulder’s warmth seeped into her core and he screamed her name.

She stared at him as they slowly recovered, emotions flowing in and out of them. Their electricity still pulsing in the air. She palmed his face lovingly caressing his cheek with her thumb. He was still deep inside her and she wasn’t ready to let go. “I do love you.” As she said it her heart flooded again and she pulsed around him. “Mulder, you’re still..” His expression changed to one of soothing passion. “I know.” He kissed her nose. “I’m not quite ready for this to be over.”

Their lips claimed each other once more, his tongue taking long strides as it breached her mouth. Her body quivered underneath him as he began again. She matched his stride with a rhythm uniquely theirs. He took such care, a tenderness only they knew, creating a new kind of intimacy. He looked into her soul as he spoke, her eyes the color of the heavens, “Scully, take everything I am until there’s nothing left.” In the moment she locked onto his eyes and concentrated on the feeling of him moving inside her. She spoke from within, “It’s you Mulder. It has always been you.” It was him with every hand that covered the other in a dark room in front of a reel to reel, over a table of sorrow in a dingy diner leafing through his sister’s journal, in a van facing imminent danger. Over every hospital bed, every intimate brush of bodies in passing. It was every look, every time their eyes communicated what their mouths failed. It was him with the sound of a voice, a name on the other side of a phone. Every touch in a car, squeeze of a hand, every time they held each other’s arm in pain, in laughter. Every joke, every playful exchange of banter. Every time they followed each other into the dark. Every time they ran their hands down each other’s back consoling, sharing their own private gravitational pull. The affection in a single kiss on the forehead, fingers caressing a head, a face, across lips more intimate than sex. Shared truths, a shared trust, smiles, tears. For every laugh shared in the rain, a shared cross, a shared medallion, a shared adventure. Every time they held each other in ice, in hallways, in apartments for joy, sorrow, pain. Fingers intertwined reassuring that they always had their partner. With every conversation on logs, benches, rocks, couches. Every shared moment, shared heartbeat. She is his nurturer, defender, healer. He is her protector, foundation, her soulmate. “It’s only been you” she affirmed. His head fell into the cradle of her neck, his full weight upon her as one arm held her tight and the other laid on top of her shoulder cradling her head. “Oh, Scully. You’re everything.” He filled her to the hilt, his sounds creating higher octaves. His mantra seeped through her neck into her chest. She was pinned, her legs squeezing tight around his waist taking what he gave her. He was driving all his love and his emotions into her, harder and faster, every amazing inch of him vibrating through her with more pleasure and intensity than any orgasm she’s ever felt and it was still building. She couldn’t stop the high pitched moans escaping her, volume reaching new levels each time. She felt the first tremors and clamped down on him. He filled her completely and they burst together into a million pieces, points of light streaming through the cracks, out into the universe propelled at light speed. She relied on him to bring them back and he did, creating the most beautiful mosaic of their love. The emergence of existence.

Chapter Text

Dawn came to find Mulder draped across Scully like an electric blanket. Nestled against her, his head buried beneath her chin, his arms and legs wrapped around her own. There was a welcome soothing comfort in the heat and weight of his body compared with the chilly air of the drafty apartment. The cold wind outside was swirling, the trees beating against the window. His comforter was curled around them like a sleeping bag radiating the warmth of their heat and electricity. She didn’t want to get up. She wanted to lie with him for hours in their warm snuggly cocoon. The time on Mulder’s clock taunted her glowing 6:18AM. With only a little over two hours of sleep, her body felt as if it was hit by a truck. Slowly she attempted to remove herself without waking him. Instead he grasped tighter, nuzzling into her body. “Don’t go. Let’s call in sick and spend the day in bed.” He said in a raspy thick morning voice.

“Now you know we can’t do that. Go back to sleep. I’ll see you at work.” Groaning in protest he rolled over onto his back reclaiming his side of the bed pulling the comforter on top of himself. Scully retreated to the bathroom gathering up her clothes. Flashbacks of the night went through her body as she pulled her green sweater down over her head, zipping her skirt up over her black lace panties. She looked into the mirror attempting to fix her hair so the world didn’t think she was performing a walk of shame back to her apartment. As she put on her black blazer she paused and stared at a now sleeping Mulder, the man she admitted she loved, soaking up how beautiful and peaceful he looked lying in the bed that transformed them last night. As she walked out of his apartment she brought with her the achy soreness the past hours had left her. She would carry that with her to work as a reminder.

That night the phone rang in Scully’s apartment.

“Hello?”

“Hey Scully.”

“Mulder, I was just getting into bed.”

“Yeah. I ..um..I’m actually in bed myself watching tv.”

“Is everything all right?”

“Yeah…. yeah. I uh….. I haven’t gotten around to changing the sheets yet and well, I can still smell that perfume you wear... Which made me think of you and well…I don’t know.. I wanted you to know that last night really… it..it meant a lot.”

“I know. It meant a lot to me too.”

“All the things you said….”

“I meant them..”

“Yeah, um… I meant them too.”

Seconds passed as they listened to each other breathe. A comforting silence that hugged the other.

Scully decided it was up to her to break the silence, “So, Mulder, I guess I’ll see you in the morning?”

No answer, but she could still hear him breathing into the phone.

“Mulder?”

Silence.

“I love you Scully.”

“I love you Mulder.”

“Goodnight Scully.”

“Goodnight Mulder.”

She hung up the phone and stared at it. Closed her eyes and smiled as she drifted to sleep.

[Post Brand X]

Mulder held up his thumb and nodded his head at the Bureau assigned nurse when she inquired about his pain. Since it had been considered an on-the-job injury, the Bureau insisted a nurse would be provided. She was young with a pretty smile and long blonde hair. Mulder didn’t mind the company, but he knew Scully was not happy about the situation. The looks Scully gave her as she left Mulder’s apartment each day said it all. Today was Friday which was a bright spot in his day because it meant that after Scully returned from work Mulder would get a change of scenery and head to her place.

The weekend turned out to be quite a treat for Mulder. Dr. Scully waited on him and nurtured him. By Sunday, Mulder was feeling much better and was able to start weening off the painkillers. Scully, of course, insisted on daily checkups.

The cold stainless steel pressed against Mulder’s back as she listened to his lungs. She came around to his chest, then lifted each eyelid testing pupil dilation. As she clicked off her penlight she found herself inches from Mulder’s face, energy pulsing between them. His expression serious, his eyes closed as his soft lips pressed to hers. She wished he hadn’t done that. He knew he was still in no condition. Her lips answered his inquiry. Another link connecting them. The previous night they underwent a metamorphosis creating a new pull in the universe. When their lips rescinded, it took her a second to recover, bliss flooding her system. In his raspy voice he spoke smugly, “How come we never played doctor?”

“Too obvious” Scully replied patting his knee as she got up. “It’s time for dinner. I made something especially for you.”

Mulder had complained that he was tired of health shakes and ice cream so Scully laid out a buffet of liquid shots on a tray. One glass contained mash potatoes with gravy, the other pea soup, another with cream corn, and the last with beef and gravy. All liquefied via the blender. Mulder was able to close his eyes and pretend he was having a meal he could chew. He never thought he would miss being able to swallow real food so badly. Afterwards, he helped her clear the table and do the dishes. She washed and he dried. To save Mulder’s throat and lungs, Scully did her best to ramble on about work gossip and the ever amusing Skinner. They retired to the couch and Scully returned with tea and sat down next to him. Mulder’s adoring gaze fell upon her and she looked over. He patted her hand and gave it a squeeze. “Thank you Scully” he croaked out in a coarse whisper. She pulled him towards her leaning him back between her legs so they both faced the television. The heat coming off his body soothed her. With his head resting on her chest she ran her fingers through his hair while he massaged the athletic legs and delicate feet that were wrapped around him. The sore muscles from the day relaxed under his touch. Secure and cozy like a vision of things that could be. He brought life to her apartment. They drifted off with the sounds of a bad action movie quietly playing in the background. She valued her solitude, but there was something gratifying about waking up in the morning to him plastered against her.

She left for work with a kiss on his forehead and a promise to return early. “My mom will stop by to check on you” were her last words as she left the apartment.

Three hours later the front door opened. “Maggie. Scully told me you were dropping by” Mulder rasped as the room filled with the aromas of Mrs. Scully’s homemade chicken soup.

“When Dana told me what had happened I insisted on stopping over to check on you. How are you feeling?”

“Better, much better,” His voice sounding raspier than before.

“Poor dear,” Maggie said as she felt his forehead to see if he had a fever. “I’m here to take care of you now.”

A couple hours later Maggie decided it was time for a heart to heart with Mulder so she heated up the soup and sat down on the chair across from him.

“Fox, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I didn’t want to believe it when Dana told me.”

“Thank you Maggie.”

They watched television for a moment, engaged in small talk. Mrs. Scully’s face holding a serious expression, she rested her spoon against the side of her bowl. “I really don’t mean to pry into your personal life Fox, but lately Dana has been a little distant and I know she doesn’t want to talk about it, but I’m her mother and I worry…”

Mulder read her expression, profiling, processing her words. “..Are you asking about my intentions with your daughter?”

She nodded with a soft smile. The Scully woman certainly had a way about them. There was silence as they both took a spoonful of soup.

Mulder took a deep breath and started to cough. He placed his soup down on the coffee table. “You know Maggie… with your husband passing…. now I’m not saying anytime soon or that it will happen… but, if it was to come up and I was to ask your daughter….I would need to know that I had your blessing.”

“Oh, of course you do Fox. Oh, that is so great..” She started clapping, grinning ear to ear. She reached over and gave him a great big hug kissing his cheek. “As far as I’m concerned you’re already part of the family.”

“You know I’m only half the equation….” He could feel himself blush, heat rising from his neck. Nerves started to kick in as he realized what just took place. “I think it’s getting hot in here.”

Mrs. Scully ignored his complexion and continued to emote, “I’m so happy…but what would you do about work?”

He thought about her question. The answers were obvious. “We would have to make a decision, she could go back to medicine, …..or teaching at the academy, or…. I… would find something else.”

“Fox, what are you saying? You would give up your career?”

“For her…… The Bureau would be upset since I’m held in such high esteem, but I’m sure they’d get along somehow.”

Mrs. Scully got up from the chair and collected the empty bowls of soup along with their drinking glasses. “Fox, you really need to rest your voice and here I am having you ramble on. I’m glad we got to talk. We should do this more often.”

“I wish you would stay until Scully gets home. We could have dinner.”

“I guess I could. I don’t really have any plans…”

…..4 hours later…..

With a turn of the key and a love song in her heart Scully entered the apartment full of glee. Thoughts of a candlelit dinner and bubble bath for two in her future. Her smile quickly turning upside down as the scene in her apartment unfolded. The Lone Gunman were there playing some kind of video game with Mulder, and …..could it be? Her mom was sitting on a chair hunched forward with a controller in her hand!

“Mom! How’s everything going?” Scully asked tentatively.

“Oh, just great Dana. We’re all playing Mario cart.” Her mothered continued to pound on the controller.

“And your mother is kicking our ass.” Frohike said not looking up from the television.

“Melvin” Mrs. Scully warned.

“Sorry, your mother’s kung fu is the best.” He put down the controller and reached for a chicken wing as the race ended.

“You missed it Dana, I was killing zombies.” Mrs. Scully said in a very proud voice.

“Did I?” Scully looked over at Mulder to put some sanity into the room, “Mulder?”

“Hey Scully. The guys came over to keep me company and your mother agreed to stay and watch the basketball game with us. Hope you don’t mind.”

“Me, mind? No. Why should I mind?” She tried to convince herself she wasn’t being sarcastic and her stomach reminded her she hadn’t eaten yet. “I assume someone bought pizza?”

Langly got up to hand her a slice of supreme, “Yup. And chicken wings.”

+

On Friday, Mulder made the long drive to Connecticut and then to Rhode Island to setup meetings with the realtor for the sale of his mother’s two remaining houses.

His third stop was at the university in Boston to meet up with Dr. Anderson where he explained to Mulder the significance of the high concentration of the OIF protein factor they found in his sample.

“Mammals can be divided into two groups …induced and spontaneous.” The young doctor explained. “Human’s ovulation is referred to as induced with a regular cycle whether they’ve copulated or not. Spontaneous ovulators such as camels, only release eggs in response to sex. It was believed to be triggered by either the act itself or stimulation of the vagina or a mix of pheromones only. The trials we did with the OIF protein factor induced ovulation in all the females exposed to it.” Mulder nodded his head and wished Scully was here so he could show her with scientific proof his prowess. The doctor continued, “I’ve been working with researchers in Chile and Saskatchewan concerning the identity of this mysterious protein. A series of biochemical analysis revealed that the protein is identical to a chemical called the nerve growth factor that stimulates the nerves in the entire human body. Once it is introduced in the vagina and uterus it enters into circulation and travels to the hypothalamus and pituitary glands of the brain triggering a hormonal response resulting in ovulation. We never thought it could cross the blood brain barrier, but it did.”

“So what’s the connection?”

“From the samples and tissue you sent us we believe this high concentration of protein had a huge factor in your increased brain activity and in your recovery from surgery.”

“So are we concluding there’s a chance she can get pregnant with proper stimulation and enough of the OIF protein in her system?”

“Well, don’t go having a sex marathon just yet. She still has no eggs in her system which leads back to the ovarian stem cell conversation we had earlier.”

“And you’re waiting for funding…”

“We need private funding in the US. It is against the law for any federal funding to go to the destruction of human embryo. Or we need a license from the UK Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority and work with collaborators in the UK.”

“So, if I could get the funding and the test subject…”

“Theoretically, if she is healthy, and we extrapolate these findings, with IVF procedures…yes, she could potentially give birth to a healthy baby. But even with the funding, we are still talking a couple years down the road…”

“But in a couple years” Mulder was continuing the thought, “there would be a potentially unlimited supply of eggs for woman including cancer patients, premature menopause, or normal aging. The implications are mind boggling. The only thing stopping you is money and time.”

“There is one more person I would like you to meet with today. While we still have no evidence suggesting the oogonial stem cells form new eggs naturally in the body, Dr. Matheson is leading trials of an unorthodox method of attempting to make that happen.

“Well I’m all for the unorthodox. Where is her office located?”

Her office is a couple miles down the road.

+

“Dr. Matheson?”

“Yes, you must be Mr. Mulder.” A strikingly pretty middle aged brunette reached out her hand to shake Mulder’s. “I’ve heard a lot about you. To give you a little information on my background, I am a scientist in the fields of reproductive biology and biological anthropology. Dr. Anderson updated me on your particular situation. The studies I am currently performing center around the effects that love has on reproduction. Most doctors will lead you to believe they understand the female reproductive system, but the study of it is fairly new. It wasn’t too long ago there were scientific journals stating that the female body was fundamentally flawed.”

Mulder went through the endless catalog in his mind. “I remember reading about some controversial statements from the likes of Galen, Da Vinci, Nicolaus of Salerno….”

“Correct. So a study on the effects of love might seem out there, but it has a scientific basis that should be taken seriously. Love’s physical effects on the body include activating the dopaminergic subcortical system of the brain similar to cocaine addicts, inducing territorial behaviors, and signs of obsessive compulsive disorder. We already know the brain releases increased levels of dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, adrenaline norepinephrine, cortisol, serotonin, and endorphins. To think these changes should only be for the purpose of increasing attraction and not actual reproduction would be short changing nature. In our trials, by measuring brain activity, emotional response, and the release of certain chemicals we determined levels of love between couples. When we tested couples that exhibited strong levels of love and commitment vs. the control, an impressive eighty-two percent of the couples in the “love” group were able to generate the GFP-transgenic progeny cells vs. only 8% of the control. Moreover, the cells showed high telomerase activity. Given these results, we tested further and the couple with the greatest “love factor” had enough fetal somatic cell and germ cell population that it stimulated the adult ovary to recruit its own germ cell and somatic cell progenitors to sustain new follicle formation.”

Mulder smirked. “This sounds like Sleeping Beauty. The cells are awakened from true love’s kiss”

“Not too far off. The more the woman opens up to feel trust, love, and commitment and the stronger the “love factor” between the two people, the greater the release of the needed catalyst to stimulate the follicles required for ova production.”

[Post Hollywood A.D.]

Hand-in-hand they stepped into the limo. Scully’s jovial mood left her no room for being coy. Once Mulder closed the door he was handed a glass of champagne and a kiss accompanied by an evil grin and a giggle. “We should eat first,” Mulder suggested, slightly nervous about the look in her eyes.

They headed to a quaint place with dim lighting eating by piano music and candlelight. There was no need to wipe food off her face tonight. He didn’t know if it was new makeup or the reflection of candlelight, but she looked flawless. This was the same woman who played with hogs in the mud with him, independent yet strong enough to follow, ready to fight for her man while covered in cow patties. “You look beautiful tonight Scully” Mulder blurted out, his philosophical mind being overtaken by his emotions. The dead will have to fend for themselves. “Thank you Mulder” she replied with a blush that highlighted her cheek bones and the oceans above them.

After dinner they headed to a vintage dance club, where they embraced each other to the sounds of a full orchestra. As the music slowed, Scully’s arms wrapped around his neck, her perfume filling his senses, and it was 1939 again. He marveled in the fact that this was the same woman who threatened to kill a man for his release, protected him from parasites, monsters, and himself. Who would defend him to her own detriment. He pressed his lips to her forehead as they swayed, her hips grazing his, her chest rising up to press against him. The chandeliers glowed gold forming a halo above his angel’s head. “Scully, every day I fall in love with you all over again,” he whispered in her ear as a promise. Her body stiffened, his responding in kind. The song ended and the music picked up again. It took a moment for them to collect themselves and realize they were on a dance floor with people around. She fixed her hair and looked at him with a naughty smile, there was still a temptress behind those eyes. “Time for our next destination” she said. He was convinced she was determined to max out that credit card. There would be repercussions, but that never stopped them.

They went up to the observatory to take in the skyline and the stars that were now so familiar it was as if they owned them. “We’re staring at souls Scully. The echo of voices millions of years past.” His hands massaging her shoulders as she peered through the lens. As he hugged her from behind his body blanketed her from the chill of the night air. He rested his head against hers as he took his turn, the sky not disappointing. The night ended as it began, walking hand in hand, Scully clutching her heels in the other, sand between barefoot toes. The moon reflecting off the water lighting their way. Their arms swayed in the ocean breeze. They laughed as they spoke, tugging her arm he pulled her into a kiss, the salty air complementing the sweet taste of her lips, the waves crashing applauding the sight. Scully’s hands ran along the length of the lapels of his tuxedo. “Mulder, take me back to the hotel” The sultriness in her voice caused his blood to rush from his brain. He felt drunk but knew it wasn’t all from alcohol. “Now.”

The hotel too long a wait, they raised the limo’s divider, their mouths engaged, their lips writhing together with tongues entwined. Hands grabbing and caressing whatever skin they could reach. His hand reached in and freed her breast, palming it, with a light squeeze she gasped in delight making him almost howl in response. He tugged at the hard pink nub and she moaned into his mouth vibrating in his chest he groaned in return. This was happiness he was not previously afforded, being cursed from birth. The sins of the fathers offered no such reward, but she…she was his savior. No longer caring what eyes may be cast upon them he lifted her dress and removed her panties ever so carefully. His hands weren’t large enough to grasp the enormity of their love, he needed to fill her with it instead and he filled her completely, the only way he knew how, with the pleasure she built in his heart, drawing it out and back in again, the breath of their souls fogging the tinted glass. She pushed him away when they approached the hotel in order to gather themselves in time. Making it through the lobby unseen was easy, but withstanding the elevator ride was not. His mouth reclaimed her and he lifted her up against the wall using his tie to cover the camera. Her black laced pink panties hung from his pocket making it easy for re-entry. He watched himself thrust into her through the mirrored wall ratcheting his need, driving harder, pounding. She was moaning in his ear, pulling at the back of his hair, but he wanted her to scream. He wanted all of Hollywood to hear what real sounded like. Not some plastic, watered down, simplistic facsimile. They were able to mostly separate before the doors of the elevator opened, her lips still attached, she stumbled on top of him as he tripped falling to the floor. When he looked up Skinner was just down the hall, but he seemed too busy with his own blonde to notice their escapades. Helping her up, they ran to his room and slid inside.

A trail of clothes led to the bed of the hotel room like clues of a case telling the tale of their removal. The sounds of her ecstasy bounced down the hallway. The smell of their sex filled the room. His head was nested between her legs, he sucked on her like a perfectly salted, sunflower seed, his tongue coated in honey. His hands underneath tilting her reaching in deeper.   In his mind they were dancing in the sand on the beach, playing in the ocean. Her waves crashed against his tongue and he gently slid up behind her, grasping her hips, he entered her again. He tried to slow it down, but tonight was too perfect, she was too alluring, and their chemistry too intoxicating.

He awoke to her stroking his face. She had done it many times before, this time out of lust and not consoling. Her smile said it all. He kissed her hard, rolling on top, and spoke smiling back, “You want more already? Scully, I think you’re becoming obsessed with me.” She answered by stroking him long and slow, causing his eyes to close and his mouth to open. She teased him at her entrance. With no pretense, she pulled him down into her. Her face was beaming like that night in the rain on their first case in Oregon when their minds first connected. Maturity now peaked through. His pursuits had aged her, but her glow only brightened. He watched in her eyes the pleasure build and overtake her. Taking responsibility for all her pain, he took responsibility and pride in her pleasure. He closed his eyes, the sight of her unraveling forcing him to fly over the edge.

+

As he walked down the hall heading to the front desk to check out, he saw Skinner at the elevators.

“Mulder” he said in a gruff voice, his head pointing down.

“Walter. Looked like you had a good time last night.….That reminds me..,” Reaching into his pocket he handed Skinner the credit card. “Scully wanted me to give this to you.” He gave Skinner a wink, patting his arm. “Thanks for the memories.” With a nod and a smile Mulder removed his tie from the camera and strutted out of the elevator leaving Skinner shaking his head.

Chapter Text

“Mulder”

“Mulder, it’s me.”

“Scully.  Did Skinner give you an “atta boy” for the job you did on the stakeout?”

“Yes. He actually smiled. I’ve got some more paperwork and ends to tighten up, but I was thinking Saturday we could meet up, maybe visit the Smithsonian..?”

“I’m sorry Scully, but I have to take a raincheck. I want to stop in Squamash Pennsylvania on my way home from Vermont.  There’s a possible case I’m investigating there. I should be back by Sunday. Maybe we can meet up then.”

“The weather report is calling for some pretty heavy rains in Pennsylvania this weekend.  Drive carefully.”

7 May 2000 3:17A.M.

Mulder sat at Scully’s dining room table.  Spattered blood mixed with tears and rain soaked his clothes and face. The Walther PPK sat on the table between them. Three rounds missing from the magazine. With his hands still shaking the tale unraveled.  A soul eating shaman consuming sins, regurgitating a whole person free of ailment. 

“Why?  Why were you there?” Scully asked conflicted between needing to fix him and fearful of the answers.

“To see for myself.  If it was true, to bring you there, to cure your infertility.” Mulder put his face in his hands leaning his elbows on the table. Slowly he lifted his head back up letting his fingers comb his face.  “I looked in his eyes Scully, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t add to its pain…..3 shots and his pain was gone…”

Scully had heard enough. She got up and stood behind her chair. “Mulder, change your clothes.  We’re going back to work. I haven’t turned in my paperwork from the stakeout.  As far as anyone is concerned, you were with me in D.C. wrapping up the case.”

“I can’t drag you into this.”

 “This is not up for discussion Mulder. I’m not losing you.  What will be gained if you confess?  How many people hurt?  You are more than yourself Mulder…. The townspeople have already covered it up?”

“Yes. I won’t let you lie for me.”

 “I won’t let you stop me. It’s not like I haven’t done it before.  Not like you haven’t done it for me.”

Mulder sat silent for a moment, processing.  He got up from the table and looked her in the eyes putting on his jacket.

“Then let’s go.”

+

[3 days later]

The sun was setting ending another day, the last of the light dissipating through the trees. A long day at work and Mulder’s brain was ready to shift to neutral.  Scully left him her car and he was on his way to her place.  The traffic meant for a longer than usual commute.  In his mind he was already with her replaying scenes of the recent past.  Her lips and tongue pressed against his own, moving in harmony, her naked body riding him as he filled her with pleasure, a euphoria only for them.  There was nothing like the sensation of her wrapped around him. His memory was what got him through times when they were separated, igniting his love allowing him to feel bursts of it all over again.  He took the time to memorize every part of her, every movement, expression.  A short vision of her closing her eyes, licking her lips, a flip of hair behind her ears.  Reaching out to him with a look, a smile that brightened his soul.  Her walk of command, of grace. An unrelenting knowledge of who she is with nothing to prove or apologize for. He was constantly in awe for the greatest artists of the world couldn’t sculpt such beauty of the body and mind.

He watched as the commuters poured into the streets. As the cars turned their headlights on lighting his way to her he could feel himself getting closer.  The world shutting down, falling into their peaceful slumber.  While he will be sharing the night with Scully in the shadows.  Even with all that had transpired between the two of them he knew it was all still beginning.  He was only starting to understand what it was to give of himself, to feel, to live.  He looked forward to his nights now, knowing he was no longer lost. As with every night they were together, they would find themselves within each other and he would hold her until the light of the dawn. 

As he entered the apartment he found her at her desk typing at her computer, the lights were dimmed and soft music was playing.  Her hair was up in a ponytail, her reading glasses on and she still looked stunning.  She was dressed in a light gray silk button down with matching bottoms and fuzzy slippers.  As she turned their smiles connected and their lips followed.  He handed her the red roses he bought from the flower shop on Delancy.    “Aw Mulder, what are these for?” she asked as she walked to the kitchen to put them in water.

“I don’t know, just something I wanted to do. To say thank you.”

“For ….”

“For us. Because I’m grateful to be with you. To have what we have.”

She reached out her arms to hug him and he picked her up and sat her on the counter.  His arms looping around her waist, hers around his neck.  He spoke in low tones.  “I was thinking about this past weekend.  The town in Vermont.  Where I was staying was seemingly perfect.  A wife that was always home, raising the kids, cooking meals, taking care of her husband, waiting on him hand and foot….”

“And your point Mulder?”

“Well, that was just it.  She asked me if I had a significant other, someone who takes care of me.”

“And you said….”

“That I did, just not in the widely understood definition of that term.” He took a deep breath. “Scully, it all seemed perfect, but in the end, it was all a big façade.  This guy had it all, but it wasn’t enough. There was still something missing.  He was off cheating on his wife to the point where she manifested into evil.  Scully, I’m the one who has it all.  You save me and keep me sane every day of my life.  You care for me and take care of me.  Not in the way people would understand it, but it’s so far greater.  So we don’t have time to cook 3 course meals and do laundry. We may not come home to each other every night. We’re still significant to each other.  Significant to the point that I don’t exist without you.  No, no I’m serious Scully.  Part of who I am is being with you. And I need you to know I appreciate it, and I’m grateful for it.”

“Mulder. Are you feeling alright? That must have been some drive home.”

“Yes, home Scully.  That’s what you are.”

She pulled him close, guiding his lips to her own. His hands stroked the curves of her back.  Just a second was needed and she had unfastened his slacks and breached his boxer briefs. 

“Scully” he gasped, “I want to take it slow. I want to hold you.”

“Mulder, we will get to that.  I promise, but you can’t say the things you said and not expect this reaction.”

He carried her to the couch, positioning himself underneath her, one hand cradling her head, the other at her back. Lightening going off inside his chest, he inhaled vanilla lavender mixed with her arousal, the most delicious scent imaginable. He allowed her to explore his mouth, kissing him with her whole body as he tasted her.  He felt himself on the verge of tears that he could be so privileged to be with her. It was a true gift to know her, an honor to touch her, and a blessing that she would return the affection.  A divinity that could change the world.  What they had wasn’t bound by vows read out of a book, or a symbol in rings of gold.  It is so unique it couldn’t be defined, so great it couldn’t be described, and so powerful it couldn’t be destroyed.  She rescinded her tongue to brush his lips once more, lightly, but demanding.  Resisting the urges she created was a torment that resonated through him. Their kiss deepened as they removed their clothes as best they could, their lips refusing to yield, intent on not leaving the other.  This time as their tongues tangled, so did their bodies. The fluid motion of her hips matching the intensity of their kiss. In that moment she broke him open, stealing his heart and his breath, her beauty ruling over him.  His precious Scully was drawing sensation out of him that flooded his chest and filled his spirit.

He spoke into her eyes, “I was daydreaming about this on the way home.”

She replied stroking his hair, “So was I.”

+

[Fight Club]

Sitting in the basement office, Mulder rehashed to an exuberant Scully perched on the desk corner, the incident that took place between two FBI agents in Kansas City, Kansas.

 They were indulging in professional flirtations as Mulder began his routine.  Scully expeditiously reminded him that he promised to be the teacher, holding nothing back, so the likes of any cigarette smoking adventures would cease to exist in their reality thus maintaining their entropic force.  Mulder agreed, he would gladly let her lead this time and he would follow. Caught by surprise, Mulder was dumbfounded at Scully’s abilities to slew conclusions with ease. It both excited and aroused him; she never failed to impress. Her potential to stand toe-to-toe caused him to remind her that performing autopsies was still not in his future. Beaming, Scully was proud of herself, a paranormal prodigy in her own right.  Little did they know their week would end with bumps and bruises, the likes of which she indirectly caused, and Dr. Scully tending once again to an ailing Mulder ignoring her own wounds.

+

[Mother’s Day]

The bright colored flowers laid against the cold gray headstone.  An ironic smirk formed on his face when he realized it was the first Mother’s Day their family would spend together since his sister’s abduction.  Even with Scully only one call away, his heart felt heavy, orphaned and alone.  A warm mist settled in and he brought his reunion to an end.  Turning to leave, a cold presence sent goosebumps up both arms.  CGB Spender was looming in the backdrop.  He put out his cigarette and walked towards the grave carrying flowers of his own.  Now it’s a true family holiday Mulder thought.

“Come here often?” It was Mulder’s feeble attempt to be cordial in the presence of the dead.  If he didn’t keep his emotions at bay there would be another round missing from his gun for what that cigarette smoking son of a bitch did to Scully last month.  Mulder had to keep telling himself he wasn’t worth the bullet.

“I make it a habit of visiting.” CGB rasped.  His hair much grayer than their last meeting.  He looked as if he had lost weight, frail and sickly in appearance. Scully had told Mulder he said he was dying.  The look of death was definitely upon him.

  That was all the small talk Mulder could muster.  Since he was standing in front of him, he might as well ask the question. “I know you have that disc. Scully said the chip in her neck, it’s the cure for all human ailments. Is it true?”

“With the right knowledge, it brings about endless possibilities.” CGB returned. He began hacking, slowly catching his breath.

“Could it be used for her to achieve a healthy pregnancy?”

“None of the women from her set of trials were able to bring a pregnancy to term.”

Mulder wasn’t interested in his alien experiments. “Not a hybrid.  Could the chip be manipulated so that she could have a normal healthy human child?”

“You need to give up on this one Fox.” He paused, catching his breath. He reached into his pocket removing a cigarette from its sleeve and lit it up. “You know your mother’s pet name for me was Fox.  I went by so many aliases. She decided to name me herself.”

Mulder clenched his fists. If it wasn’t so disrespectful to others visiting he would have killed him right there and then. “Why is it that you always have to take it to the point where I want to end your life?”

“You’ll very soon get your wish.  I’m still dying Fox.  Possibly within the month.”

“While you’re here you should pick out a home.”

“As usual, I’m already one step ahead of you. Now if you excuse me, I have some business to take care of.”

Mulder watched him walk away, then headed back to his car for the long drive back to DC.

CGB had his driver bring him over to the offices.  Before stepping out he dialed his cell phone.  On the end of the third ring the man on the other end answered, “Dr. Parenti.”

“The IVF treatments for Agent Scully were unsuccessful, were they not?”

“One blastocyst achieved implantation, but resulted in miscarriage.  Ms. Scully was not pregnant at the time of your implantation attempt. We should have those results shortly.”

CGB ended the call, stepped from the car and slowly entered the offices. He addressed the woman behind the counter, “Good Afternoon. I’m looking to prepare a plot and tombstone.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.” She handed him a pen and clipboard with papers piled on top. “This is the paperwork that will need to be completed.  What is the date of passing for the deceased?”

“Actually, they’re still alive.  It’s for me.”

“I’m so sorry.  And your name sir?”

“Fox Mulder.”

Chapter Text

Scully walked into the basement to find Mulder sitting behind his desk tossing the basketball into the air.

“Morning Scully.  How was your weekend? How’s your mother doing?”

“Mom’s fine.  She wanted me to thank you for the flowers.”

“No big deal.  I stole them from a wedding centerpiece.  It was a big wedding.  They probably didn’t miss them.” Mulder hugged the basketball as he set it on his desk, resting his chin on his hand and looked at Scully.

“I ran into CGB at the cemetery.”

“What was he doing there? You didn’t kill him did you?”

“I didn’t have to.  You were right.  He hardly had the strength to stand upright.  There may be justice in this world after all Scully. I think he was there to visit my mother’s grave. I didn’t even bring up what he did to you. The cemetery was crowded due to the holiday. There would have been too many witnesses and it wouldn’t have been a fair fight. I did, however, ask him about the chip. I wanted to hear it for myself.”

“And?”

“He told me the same thing he told you.”

“And you believed him?”

“I don’t believe anything that comes from him.  Why hasn’t he used it on himself? Why is he still dying?”

 “Maybe that’s not how it works.  Maybe it takes time.”

“If it were true, technically, you would live forever.”

“Well, it would mean I wouldn’t die from a disease.  Now that I think about it, I can’t remember the last time I had a cold… You never told me what Garrison said about the rubbings.  What were his findings?”

“Nothing we didn’t already surmise.  He was able to finish the rest of the translations from the sketches.  I put all the notes in the file….Scully, did you hand in that report?”

“It’s done Mulder.  It’s over. We don’t need to discuss it again.  Instead, we need to go up to Skinner’s office and perform a review to prepare for the financial budgeting audit next week.”

*

[Post Je Souhaite]

“Well I’m fairly happy, that’s something”

About 45 minutes into the movie, Mulder handed Scully her third beer and picked at the label of his own. “Okay, maybe it is kind of an occasion. It’s been six months.”

Scully giggled again at Mulder’s inability to fling the bottle cap into the dish. She, on the other hand, was 3 for 3. “Six months?”

“Yeah.  You and I.  Six months. I thought it was worth a little bit of a celebration.” 

“Oh.” An uncomfortable silence fell over them as they sat quietly munching on popcorn and watching the movie until Scully started giggling.

“Not such a bad movie after all” Mulder said feeling proud of himself as if he converted all of womankind to loving “guy movies”.

“The beer definitely helps” Scully replied tilting the bottle back as she guzzled the remaining liquid gold inside.

Mulder reached over her and grabbed a handful of popcorn causing several popped kernels to fall onto Scully’s lap.

“Mulder” she said in a sing-song voice as she threw the popcorn back at him causing them to bounce off the side of his face.

Without taking his eyes off the movie, Mulder returned her advances, throwing some her way.  Scully took a fist full and catapulted it at him breaking out in a fit of giggles.  Suddenly, Mulder dove onto her causing her to squeal his name as he threw popcorn from the bowl into her face.  His arms and legs wrapped around her trying to pin her while she continued her high pitched squeals of protest.  They wrestled for a moment and stopped to catch their breath, smiling at each other.  She freed her arm, grabbed the bowl of popcorn turning it upside down on his head then promptly returned it to the coffee table. 

Mulder shook his head in an unsuccessful attempt to remove the popcorn from his hair. “I guess I should be grateful now for the lack of butter. Unless this was your plan all along. Now that I think about it, we might have been able to use the butter….”

Scully pointed at the t.v. still laughing at her own deeds. “We’re missing the movie”

“This may be a better view” Mulder answered. With his teeth he removed a roaming piece of popcorn from the top of her cleavage.  Scully rolled forward dumping Mulder off the couch and he fell on his side with a thud, pulling her down on top of him.  Scully was now overcome in a fit of giggles.  He rolled them over so he was back on top of her.

 Scully was still maintaining a silly smile while making her cute funny Scully faces. “You realize we’re on the floor?”

 “I realize you’ve had one too many beers and no more popcorn for you.” Mulder said as he reached out to take another piece of popcorn from his hair tossing it on the ground.

She gave him an evil giggle tickling him right below the rib cage and he couldn’t control his smile.

“Scully stop. Stop.” He said failing miserably to suppress his laughter. “That’s it.”

He tickled her back and she crunched into a fetal position in an extreme fit of laughs.  Scully let out a high pitched half scream half laugh.

He stopped, allowing her to catch her breath. “You finished?”

She took another stranded piece of popcorn off the coffee table and popped it into her mouth nodding her head.

 “You ok?” He asked in a calmer voice.

“I didn’t get my invisible man, but it will be fine.”

Mulder got up and held out his hand to help her up.  “No, you didn’t, but I’ve got something to take your mind off of it.  It might be the last chance we get.  I was wondering if you would come with me to my summer house in Rhode Island.  We can relax.  Head up to Providence Town. I have to go up there anyway. There are some papers I have to sign.”

 

+

 

Quonochontaug, Rhode Island

 

Saturday morning found them strolling along the streets of the quaint Rhode Island town.  The ocean on the right, artist’s shops and boutiques to the left. The ocean combed the shoreline as a school of dolphins played in the backdrop.  An uncommon sight for the area, but given the day seemed appropriate.  Boats quietly pulled in and out of the docks, music reverberating from their decks.  Artists sat at the sidewalk’s edge crafting their work out of canvas and clay.  The stores were in the shape of small white houses. White cedar coating the outside with shiplap on the inside. Upon entering they were filled with the scents of patchouli and jasmine along with other candles and incense. It was a warm spring day, which had Scully in black shorts and a light blue halter top that tied behind the neck with a matching short sleeve sheer blouse draped over it.  Mulder, not ready to reveal his pale stilts to the world wore jeans with a white polo which complemented the bronzed skin of his arms.  She reached for his hand and he intertwined their fingers.  Looking over at him, the smile he gave her warmed her more than the sun.  She paused to give him a kiss.  They were off the clock, their badges and weapons hidden from sight.   They stopped inside a studio to watch a glass blower sculpting a vase from glass frit.  At the farmer’s market they picked up various groceries for the outdoor feast they had planned for that night.  As they reached the end of the block, both with Italian ices in hand, an acoustic trio entertained the crowd. Djembe drummers coming over to provide the beat.  His arm over her shoulder, her arm around his waist, a passersby could be fooled into thinking they were like any other couple. 

 

Back at the house, Mulder lit the candles he had purchased to mask the musky smell that had settled in with no one around. The house had been cleaned.  Most of the furniture had already been removed from the estate sale. A table with two folding chairs remained.  There was a single bed left in the back.   Next week the movers would bring the rest to be sold to the consignment shop down the street. They removed all the plastic from the kitchen and furniture.  Scully prepared the onions and veggies while Mulder peeled and sliced the potatoes.  “See Scully, we could be domestic if we wanted to” He grinned as he wrapped everything in foil for the grill.

“I never doubted you for a second.” She replied in turn.

 

The outside of the house was covered in dark cedar panels. Flowers showing off their color of red and whites. Scully sat on an Adirondack chair and watched as Mulder lit the fire pit and grill.  Swordfish was on the menu tonight. The veggies and potatoes lay beside them.

While waiting for dinner to cook, Mulder shared with Scully memories of childhood. For once they were pleasant ones. Watching his dad waterski on the lake, him and his dad fishing, playing with the kids on the block with his sister, his mom reading bedtime stories. He reminisced about the little childhood he had, days when he had the love of family, back when the world was still innocent and age was on his side. As they ate they stared out at the water, trees shading them, the setting sun drawing all the colors into the sky.

 

Mulder excused himself and headed into the house.  A few minutes later Scully felt a dull thud to the back of the head as something bounced away.  She turned to see Mulder crouched behind the patio wall sporting a Nerf gun.  “Come and get me Scully.”  He yelled as he sent another dart her way.

“Mulder you are not serious” she replied as another bullet hit her arm.  “He’s serious.” She said out loud to herself.  She started running towards him in a kamikaze attempt and he hid back inside the house.  When she opened the door to find him she saw another nerf gun resting on an end table.  “Now he’s going to get it” she said once again out loud to herself.  She picked up the gun, placed her back against the wall and proceeded to use her skills to hunt her prey.  Slowly she walked down the hallway towards the bedrooms.  Out of the corner of her eye she saw Mulder jump behind the bed and Scully ducked quickly avoiding another dart.   He rose to send another shot her way and she pulled the trigger with a square hit to the shoulder.  “Now Mulder, you know I’m a better shot. You might as well surrender now.”

She entered the bedroom and turned with her arms straight out, both hands on the gun.  He was nowhere to be seen.  She crouched down and pointed her gun under the bed, following with her eyes.  Empty.  She stood back up and Mulder leapt from the closet emptying the clip, running towards her and clotheslining her onto the bed as she sent two bullets square into his chest.  They landed in a roll laughing. “What possessed you to get out the nerf gun Mulder?”

“You didn’t have fun?”

Scully smiled nodding her head, “Yeah, it was fun.”

“Something Samantha and I used to play.” He said as he sat up.  Scully saw on his face the ghosts of the past creeping in and she decided it was best to distract him.  “The fire is still burning, let’s head back out and enjoy it.” 

 

Once the sun set and the fire died out, they headed inside and played some board games Mulder had found in the closets.  Scully beat him 2 out of 3 in checkers, a close game of backgammon, but when she won the Game of Life, he decided to call it a night.    

Running his hand through Scully’s hair as they lay facing each other in bed, both half asleep from the long day, Mulder became philosophical. “You know Scully, all the time I was here and in Massachusetts.  To think you were out there somewhere.  Running around doing little Scully things.”

“Yes… well… we’re both here now.”

He closed his eyes pressing his lips to hers, pulling back and smiling. 

“Thank you for coming here with me.”

 He lightly caressed her face tracing her lips with his own. Moving onto his back he pulled her into him and she laid her head on his chest.  One hand he rested on her back the other through her hair.  The crickets lulling them to sleep. He kissed the top of her head.  “Goodnight Scully.”

She listened to his heart beat as her eyes grew heavy. “Goodnight Mulder”

 

Sunday

 

Scully brushed her teeth staring at Mulder through the mirror brushing his own.  They were careful to coordinate their spitting cadence as to not spit on the other’s head.  She applied her cleansing mask as he heated a face cloth under the hot water of the sink.  He wrung out the excess water and handed it to her watching as she patted the mud away.  Her makeup was next while he styled his hair. As she finished and straightened her posture, their eyes met through the mirror. He lowered the brush and lightly ran it through her hair guiding it with his hands. She wasn’t sure what possessed him to do certain things, but the act put her in a meditative state sending relaxing tingles up the back of her neck. He had a proud look on his face when he was done which she admitted to herself wasn’t half bad.  She turned to take the brush away and she saw the look in his eyes.  A mix of adoration and need.  Placing the brush on the shelf, he ran his hands down her arms reaching down to kiss her.  She guided him towards the bed as he backpedaled, mouths tenderly engaged, slowly removing the little clothing they had on.  When they reached the bed she was on top, hands feeling every part of him, but he had other plans prompting her to her knees.  She glanced behind as her hands gripped the brass rods of the headboard. He smiled placing a hand on her hip, the other guiding himself inside.  His eyes squinted, his breath sucked in, letting out a moan as he felt her around him.  When he regained enough composure for their eyes to lock again, another smile grew wide on his face.  Her smile matched his. She loved to watch him, to see him happy.  Scully was savoring this weekend.  For him to allow her to share in his vulnerability. The contrast of her life with his.  Visits with her family were filled with warmth, children, and love. His were filled with echoes of ghosts and shadows. Dark filled cobwebbed rooms with haunting pasts.  Souvenirs of fallacies.  Still, it was one of the places where he began. That sculpted the bad, but also the good.  If only the opportunities of a healthy environment had surrounded him, how it might have changed him, but she loved him for what he is, not what he could have been. He reached around to touch her, bringing her back.  A moaning sigh escaped her, his hand moving faster in response, pressing harder, his hips matching the rhythm.   The creaking of the bed woke the birds, returning its song. She moaned with each thrust lunging her slightly as he stroked that spot inside her, the headboard banging against the paneling. Another hard thrust forward sent both of them groaning at the sensation followed by a loud clunk, the mattress falling a good inch.  As if in slow motion a final bolt gave way, metal on metal, the mattress falling to the floor.  They toppled backwards and it meant for an awkward landing. Her initial fear was that he could have been hurt, but she let out a sigh of relief when she heard his laughter, cradling her in his arms. “It was bound to happen sooner or later Scully… you’re an animal.”

Mulder cooked Scully breakfast before they headed out.  After an eight hour drive back to DC they decided to stay at her apartment for the night.  Skinner had told them that there was an auditor coming in the morning evaluating the financials for all departments so neither of them was looking forward to waking up, but their night didn’t disappoint. 

 

Monday Night

With swollen lips and sore muscles from weekend activities, Scully succumbed to Mulder’s relentlessness. It had been a while since they spoke of alien abductions.  The trip to Oregon would be a reunion of sorts.  Not only because of who they were visiting, but also to their past selves.  All that they had experienced, the knowledge, the trust, and how intimate they had become through their partnership and friendship above all else. The auditor seemed to have rejuvenated Mulder’s resolve and they were both quite giddy as they held each other, currently in her claw foot tub, their skin magnetized to the others. Water spilling onto the ceramic.   It was their second time that night. The first being in the kitchen, a horrific display for the uses of rocky road, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup.  He had warned her that dinner was too long a wait and he wouldn’t make it through dessert before he needed her again.  If she was in a confessional she may have admitted that she wanted him just the same.  Which led them to where they were now. Cleaning off the mess.  Apparently, only making another.  She was on top of him, clutching the rim of the tub, her mouth only leaving his to breathe. His feet hanging over the top wall using it as leverage.  Again, water splashed out coating the tile floor. The mounting sensations were overcoming the pain from her knees straining against the inside wall of the porcelain tub.  She was taking her time. The pleasure of having him inside her was to be content. Finishing only meant separation and the longing would begin again.  The awareness that he was only for her, for her to comprehend and appreciate. The thought sending electricity through her body, clenching around him, shuddering, a high whimper escaping, him throbbing and groaning in response. Gratifying friction of him rubbing inside her on the upstroke, pleasure and satisfaction from him filling her as she lowered herself back down. Her chest pressed against his own.  His hairs brushing her skin sending tingles to her core. He matched her movement and her soul left her body to be with him. Surprised at the sudden intensity she cried out. “Oh my God Mulder”

“Yes, Scully” He responded watching her, stroking her back with his fingertips, palms brushing the curves of her waist, thrusting up into her one last time, sending her spiraling into the universe, joining her.

They were both breathing hard when her eyes opened, smiling as their lips remained connected. Still locked together, she caressed the top of his head as she kissed him, the water from her hands flattening his hair.

“Scully, that was…. ”

“I know.” She answered. With her finger on his chin, she tilted his head to the right. “Mulder, I think I left a mark on your neck.” There it was, a large red circle of broken capillaries in the shape of her lips.  A mark that he would carry with him to Oregon as he looked through the woods for the ship, as he would hold her when she fainted due to their baby he was yet to know existed. Faded, but still with him as their relationship spilled into the hallways of the FBI, and finally when he is taken.  The faintest reddening would remain, another signature of a love that couldn’t be destroyed even through death. With a quick kiss she carefully got out to head for the shower. She felt slightly lightheaded, but dismissed it as getting up too fast, perhaps dehydrated from being in the water so long….

Tuesday

Morning came early and they soon realized they would have to leave their embrace in order to get dressed and ready for their flight to Oregon.  Little did they know the Smoking Man had succumbed to a wheelchair and tracheotomy, yet still focused on rebuilding the project.  He had freed Krycek to assist him with capturing the Alien ship that had collided with the military aircraft in Oregon.  The same ship Mulder and Scully would soon be looking for.

Bellefleur, Oregon

Mulder laid on the cabin bed with his hands behind his head staring at the ceiling replaying the day’s events in his mind.  His thoughts drifted to Scully and watching her play with Teresa’s baby. The scene had opened his eyes. He thought about last month.  The way she was with Sheila’s baby.  In her mother’s house on Thanksgiving how she wanted to know in her drunkenness when it was going to be her turn. He thought about what her mother had asked about his intentions.  What were his intentions?  He recalled the fight they had earlier that year. She was upset because all they did was chase aliens around and sleep together.  At the time he thought she was questioning his feelings for her.  In actuality she was worried about wasting more of her life.  Was that what he was doing?  She pursued the x-files because she enjoyed the work, the cases, the mystery, the adventure.  He knew she was also there because of him.  What about his love for her?  Did he put her best interests into play?  She deserved an honest chance at motherhood whether it be from adoption or some other avenue.  She deserved a home at the end of the night.  Not an empty apartment.  She deserved a life outside of work.  Stability. He wasn’t providing that.  How many more years needed to go by.  This is the time when she should be raising a family. If they kept waiting, time would slip away, and so would her chances at true happiness. He needed to do the right thing.  He needed to make a decision with his own life. She would give up her dreams for him, but is that his intention?  Sure they saw the country, they had exciting times and this year had been the best of his life, but at the end of the day, they still went back to their separate sanctuaries.  She needed more, deserved more.  Maybe, so did he.  They were both so independent, together, yet still loners. While they had no secrets, they still retreated to their corners.  Before he started on this journey with her to have a baby, he had never considered becoming a father.  It was never figured into the plan.  He was the x-files. That was the plan.  Did Scully change that for him?  Change his wants out of life?

He thought about the audit, about the expenses.  The price she had paid for his indulgences.  To chase conspiracies and aliens.  There was more to life than that.  It was time.  Time for her to move on.  She would never do it, never desert him.  Her loyalty going beyond all else.  Not wanting to disappoint. It was up to him.  What did he want?  Would he follow her?  Follow her down her path of dreams?

He got up to retrieve the pictures of the results of Ray’s abductions and was looking through them when she came to him shivering.  As he held her and warmed her body, he shared some of his thoughts between kisses.  It was his turn to put her needs and wishes above his. The x-files were not worth her not having a chance at life. Risking more of her health. So much more for her to do with her life and so much for him to consider.

Wednesday – Oregon

Next on his list of abductees, the bounty hunter came to claim Billy Miles.  As he revealed his true self to Billy he glanced out the window and saw Mulder.  Mulder, the man that had been a thorn in his side since discovery of his birth.  All the years he slipped through the cracks, like an insect that refused give up on its food source.  All the years he was told not to touch him, to wait, that Mulder was inconsequential, but necessary for the plan to continue.  Part of the deal from The Syndicate, on the list of lives that were to be spared.  A smile grew on his face.  Finally, the time had come.

Once he dropped Billy at the ship he returned to retrieve the next bounty. It was then he saw Krycek sitting in his vehicle and approached him.  “You were part of the old syndicate were you not?”

“I like to think of myself as an independent contractor, but yeah, I once performed for them a similar function that you perform for your superiors.  In a way, I was a bounty hunter much like yourself.”

“I may be able to use your assistance gathering a certain individual.”

“What will I get if I help you? I have already seen what comes of people who cooperate.  I’m not interested in becoming the next barbeque or a replicant.”

“You give me Mulder and I give you a pass.  This is your only chance Alex.  The invasion has begun. The bounty hunters are here to clean up the mess, remove the evidence, to make for an easier transition, but we are going to take over.  The plan is in motion.  You can lay all your hopes on a dying man to save you or you can join us and save yourself.”

“Is Mulder really that important? He’s really a threat?”

“No, a pesky rodent I rather not have around anymore. His time has come and I want to watch him suffer.  All his arrogance.  I want to watch the torture and the mutation.  To have him as a vessel for the emergence of a new race of slaves. Couldn’t think of a happier ending.”

“I help you and I get a free ride?  How do I know you won’t kill me?”

“You don’t have any other options, but to trust me.  Not to worry Alex, unlike your species, we’re good on our word.”

Alex knew he had the antidote for the alien virus and he was almost positive the aliens didn’t know about it.  If they turned and infected him, he could cure himself.  And what about Mulder?  Mulder had power, otherwise, they wouldn’t need him dead.  What if he was giving away the last chance at human survival? If nothing else, this would buy him time. “Okay.  I’ll give you the head of Fox Mulder.”

Thursday Night

After a long flight from Oregon, back to DC, Scully was suffering serious jetlag.  Mulder thought her spells had something to do with her proximity to where the ship had been. He was terrified when he had temporarily separated from her in the woods.  He thought they had taken her again and he would not let that happen.  When they arrived at his apartment they ate Chinese delivery and he made her some tea.  She laid on his couch as he covered her with his Navajo blanket laying behind her as they watched television.  He held her tight not wanting to let go.  The way he now felt, the only time he wanted to sleep alone was if he was on a case.

He snuggled in closer, kissing her temple.

“Scully, do you think you might ever consider taking on another role in another department at headquarters?”

“Mulder, are you saying you don’t want me as your partner anymore?”

“No Scully, I would never say that.  What I’m saying is what if I wanted more…you wanted more….What if…. we adopted?"

Scully turned her head to look his way. “Mulder, are you asking if I want to start a family with you?”

“You are my family Scully.  I think maybe the time has come for us.  I think, if you want to be a mother.. you should be. You deserve more than what I'm giving you."

Scully re-positioned herself on the couch so she was facing the television again considering what he was getting at. "Mulder, even if I was to change jobs, they won't let me adopt as a single parent."

Mulder took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He knew what he wanted. Something he thought he could never have and never considered until now. "What if…. we were to get married?”

“Mulder, you’re scaring me.”

Mulder lifted himself up to caress her arm. “I’m not saying now. Maybe soon.  Maybe we start working on that life you’re always talking about.”

 

She leaned onto her back and Mulder covered her with his body and the blanket.  They kissed long and slow.  He stared at her as he ran his fingers along her hairline.  “I love you Scully.  I need you to be happy.... Scully I want this.  For both of us.”

She kissed him again, her symptoms fading being replaced by a sudden craving for peanut butter and an intense unexpected desire. “I love you Mulder….”

Their lips moved against each other’s sensually and passionate. What they could not know was this would be their final time together for what would seem like eternity.  Instead, to them, it felt like an inception.  Their lives taking shape. At that instance, she couldn’t imagine her life being lived any other way but with him, together.  The future held true happiness, a stranger to them, but they both embraced it.  Their dues having been paid tenfold. After hours of sharing each other, he held her close as they came as one, moaning from pleasure they could not contain.  Their hands woven together, she fell asleep in his arms for what would be the last time until…

Meanwhile….Marita knew she had no one to trust and she was all out of options, but she continued until she could find a way out.  She knew she was in too deep to stop now.  Agreeing to meet Alex she entered the diner and ordered some coffee.  Alex arrived soon after.

“What’s the plan Alex?”

“Good Afternoon Marita.  You know as well as I do that the smoking man can’t be trusted.  Don’t believe for a minute he actually thinks of us as his son and daughter. Even if he did, he’s too sick to help us.  I know he has a plan and it doesn’t include us or he wouldn’t be so cryptic.”

“So what do you propose?”

“We go a different way.  You help me and I’ll free you from his shackles.”

“What’s the plan Alex?” Marita was tiring of the dramatics.

“We join forces with Mulder and Scully.  I spent the last two days running around in circles.  I can’t find that ship, but Mulder can.  We present him with everything we know and he finds the ship.”

“And then what?”

“Then we all get what we want.  Mulder gets his proof.  We get our answers.  Then we can decide a course of action from there. Once we have the ship, there will be enough chairs at the table for all of us.”

“And what of the smoking man?”

“It’s time for him to die sooner rather than later.”

Krycek watched her leave the diner as he paid.  He knew Marita would believe his lies.  She had goodness still left in her.  Maybe she would join him even after she learned the truth.  He would need someone other than an alien to keep him warm at night.

Mulder and Scully stood in the hallway of FBI headquarters in an embrace.  He knew he was asking a lot.  They were on the verge of recovering an actual ship.  They would finally have the truth, all the pieces to the puzzle.  It was actually happening and he was asking her to stay behind.  After all the years of following him, he was demanding that she stop.  This time he would not let her go back out there.  He couldn’t live through losing her again, especially now.  Work or not.  Professionalism or not.  If they were really going down the path they had spoken about last night, he had a say in her decisions because now it was his life too.  He saw in her eyes that she respected that, acknowledged it, but she wouldn’t let him go alone.  Skinner would be by his side. When he returned he vowed to himself to spend the rest of his life with her making her happy.

*

Late Friday Night

Oregon

Mulder was standing in the light beam of the UFO.  The bounty hunter’s smile grew as wide as Mulder’s eyes when they recognized each other. Alex had succeeded.  Mulder was his and to make it even better, Mulder knew it.  He would take much pleasure in watching his demise.  Luckily, he had a front row seat.  Perhaps when it was over he would mount him on his wall. A prized possession.

Watergate Apartments, Washington D.C.  

“As you do to Mulder and to me, you do to all of mankind Alex.”  The Smoking Man’s last words.  Now wise to the Judas that Alex had become.

Walking inside the garage of the Watergate apartments to retrieve his car while the Smoking Man presumably was breathing his last breaths, Alex noticed a driver inside a black town car.

“That’s smoking man’s driver.” Marita confirmed to Alex. She watched as he drew his gun and slouched against the support beam. “What are you going to do Alex?”

“Make sure he doesn’t call for help”

Alex crept up besides the car and shot the driver in the head.  He called over to Marita and they searched the car.

“Alex, what is this?  Did Agent Mulder join forces with the smoking man?”  She handed Alex the file she took from a briefcase overfilled with documents, passports, and receipts.

“What?” Alex rifled through the folder and saw passports with Mulder’s picture under different aliases, licenses, credit cards, bank deposit keys, birth certificates, off-shore bank accounts, and more.

“I don’t think Mulder knows about this” Alex said in disbelief.

“Alex, none of this makes sense.  Why would the Smoking Man buy Mulder a tombstone with Mulder’s own credit card? Did he have a plan to kill him? Why does he have all these licenses?  One of these is a picture of the Smoking Man with Mulder’s name on it.  And why does he have Mulder’s medical records?”

“He doesn’t.  Don’t you see, he was posing as Mulder. He was going to these doctors as Mulder.”

“But why? Wouldn’t they notice he wasn’t born in 1961?”

“It might not matter.  Not if everything was done with paperwork or over the computer or phone.  These medical records don’t have a date of birth, just SS#. Besides, I’m sure all these doctors worked for the Syndicate.”

“Won’t Mulder notice when he gets the bill next month on his credit card or even worse, when he goes to visit his mother and sees his own name? None of this makes any sense.”

“But I think it does and I think Mulder would understand it even more.  What it means. What he needs to do.” Alex continued to flip through the folder. “You’re not seeing the whole picture.  Smoking Man must have intended to end his life within the month. Especially with the ship in his possession he would have everything in place. He’s been going to these doctors for a year as Mulder. He dies, as Mulder. He’s giving Mulder the ultimate gift.  Anonymity.  For all intents and purposes, when smoking man dies, Mulder will be dead.  He’ll no longer exist. Its smoking man’s last way to ensure Mulder will be protected. He’s probably already arranged for someone to contact Mulder upon his death.  Mulder will be given smoking man’s place as the head of the syndicate or whatever new organization. With a new life, a new name. And according to these bank statements, he’ll inherit billions.”

Marita is shaking her head. “Mulder would never take that deal. He’d never accept that as his fate.”

“I’m not so sure.  Think about it.  He will be the one in control.  Control to do everything as he sees fit.  He’ll have all the knowledge, the truth about anything he could ever want to know.  Need to know.  The secrets to everything and all the power that goes along with it.  Power to run it the way he feels it should be.”

“Why would he leave all of that to Mulder?”

“Mulder is his chosen one to carry on his legacy. The only way he could ensure Mulder would stay protected. What he said about giving us all the power, having us rebuild the project, it was all a ruse. He wanted Mulder to inherit the throne.”

“What are you going to do with that information now?  No one can cash in on that but Mulder and the aliens have him.”

“Sell the information in exchange for freedom.  To gain more trust. This information may be useful in the hands of the right people.”

Saturday – Washington, D.C.

Krycek handed the files over to the alien bounty hunter. “You did well Krycek.  You may have a good career as a bounty hunter.”

“What now?”  Alex was a bit apprehensive. This was a devil on a whole new level.

“Now we clean up while others continue the work of eliminating the proof of the tests.  We won’t be able to sweep Mulder under the rug as easily as the rest. We can use what’s in the files you gave us to create suspicion in the FBI along with some other well planted pieces of information.  We use that along with me in Mulder’s form appearing in just the right places, using his passcard, gathering the clues. We already have people in place and plans for the task force.  That’s our job Alex.  Plant suspicion, create doubt, remove proof. Ensure everyone is kept in line, follows our law, and we have no deserters.  I’ve been doing this for over 50 years.  Now it’s all routine.  It will be for you some day as well. Welcome aboard.”

“What task force? Skinner and Scully will never turn no matter what you threaten them with.”

“They won’t have to.  Kersh has already been contacted.  It’s been explained to him that it’s in his best interest to follow and he’s gathering the right people now.  We have people everywhere Alex. All that’s left is to watch the puzzle pieces fall into place.  Make sure they see the portrait we paint.”   

“And you and I deliver the brushes and the paint.”

“Now you get the idea.”

“How do I tell you from the other bounty hunters?  You all look alike.  I hope you got the word out not to have me killed.”

The bounty hunter only smiled.

Alex continued. “Why go through the trouble?  If you’re so superior, why not just swoop in and take over?”

“Past experience.  This isn’t the first planet Alex and it won’t be the last.  This is the best way.  It will happen soon enough.  If you go in with guns blazing you end up with a destructive war that removes and damages the resources we need and defeats the purpose of reclaiming the planet.  This way we come in silent, protect the resources and weaken their resolve before they even realize what’s happening.  It is best for all sides.  It takes longer, lots of experimenting, but the results are much more fruitful. Enjoy your time.  You’re now the most powerful human in the world Mr. Alex Krycek.”

 

Chapter Text

Saturday

His eyelids too heavy to lift, he was disoriented, but somehow still alive. As he took a breath he could feel the plastic tube low in his throat. The air was acrid, a stench of antiseptics and detergent. A mask covered his face supplying oxygen. His body shivering against the cold metal table. Voices muffled at first, slowly becoming sharper. A male voice boomed into his ear, “Mr. Spender, you’re going to need to relax. You’ve been through an ordeal. Know we are in your secure private facility. We were forced to start an unconventional course of treatment. One in which we believe you are familiar with, but resisted in the past. It is now the only way.” Too weak to respond, he merely nodded his head. His last cognitive thought, he realized he was in his underground facility in New Mexico. One of the few that Aliens and conspirators alike knew nothing about. He was safe for now.
*
Scully laid in the hospital bed. Nurses coming in and out keeping her from any possible rest. Sleep had not been part of her life for the past 24 hours. Every time she closed her eyes she saw him. She felt him. Scared, tortured, in pain. Alone. It was worse than any nightmare imaginable. She tried to tell herself that her feelings, her visions were nightmares, but she knew better. They were connected. She could feel him anytime she wanted, but this was too much to bare. Unable to leave him alone, she sent her energy to him. All she could think was hold on, I will find you. At the same time she kept repeating to herself the words that she said to Skinner. “I’m pregnant”
How could this be? What did it mean? Was it Mulder’s or was her biggest fear coming true? Would she give birth to a healthy human child or was an alien growing inside her?
*
Saturday night came. Back in her apartment. She knew she had to eat. Take her vitamins. Stay healthy. A child. What she wanted more than almost anything else. Still in the back of her mind she was frightened of alien intervention. Thoughts of Mulder entered her head and the tears came. She missed him so much and was terrified of what was happening to him. Attempts to compose herself failed and once she let go she couldn’t stop crying. On her knees she cried. Cried until the tears ran dry. She remained sick to her stomach. It was now no more than dry heaves, but she knew it was far from just morning sickness. She didn’t dare close her eyes. Black rings forming where she rubbed them, red capillaries bursting next to her freckles. Laying down on the couch she hugged the throw pillow rocking as she cried. Around four in the morning, she finally cried herself to sleep. In her dreams she was with him. They were holding hands along the beach, then they were arguing over a case, they were laughing in a car. Then she lost him, she felt a dark wet place. Hard lonely cold metal. She woke up screaming. Got up and ran to the bathroom losing the little that was left in her stomach. She had to pull herself together otherwise she would lose the baby. She had to focus on getting him back. She splashed cold water on her face. 7 years she thought she was alone, independent, impenetrable. She had him. She didn’t realize, didn’t admit to herself the depth, but she always had him. Maybe she took it for granted, took him for granted. She never depended on anyone. He depended on her. That was the way. But now. To carry on without him. She couldn’t. Instead, she would bring him with her as a badge of honor. She failed him. She splashed more water on her face. Today would be hard. She would go to Mass and she would pray. She would allow herself to cry. On Monday, She would dry her tears, wear her badge, put her gun in her holster and do what needed to be done. Throwing herself into her work was what she did best. She would keep herself healthy and focus on their baby. Protect the life that he needed to come home to. He was alive. Whatever they were doing to him, whatever he was going through, at least he was alive. If he’s alive, she can fix him, heal him. As long as she could feel him, it would be alright, she would endure.

Monday Morning

Scully looked at herself in the mirror. Her face looked foreign to her as if seeing it for the first time. Still suffering from morning sickness and little sleep from the ongoing nightmares she knew were real. When she had cancer and was afraid to follow up with Penny Northern, the last living female MUFON group abductee, Mulder was the one who pushed her. “If it’s too hard for you go as an investigator. You have one remaining witness Agent Scully. I’d think you’d want to know what her story is.” Today she would enter the office as Special Agent Dana Scully and she would perform her duties. She would investigate, she would find him. Her mind drifted to the hallway replaying the scene in her head for the hundredth time. Why didn’t she pay more attention, figure out sooner that his life was in danger, stop him, do more. She felt his arms around her that last time, his heart in time with hers as it did so many times before. Her mind flashed on him leaning in to kiss her days before. She felt his lips on her and it shook her back into reality. It was time to go to work. She kept repeating in her head, you are strong, you can do this. You will do this. Then another voice, you are pregnant. Everything was surreal. She felt as though she was in someone else’s body leading someone else’s life. Like her body was following a path, going through motions, but her mind was only along for the ride. As she entered the building and went down the hallway it was all strange. Familiar, but foreign. There was no solace in the repetition. She wanted to go to the basement and feel him. Channel him and find him. “Find the way Scully” He was in her head. Always in her heart. She half expected to find him there when she turned the corner. Instead she was broadsided, violated, immediately becoming enraged. The next hours were worse than a bad dream. The circus began, everyone playing by their scripts. She was down the rabbit hole. Apparently, she took the wrong pill when she went through the looking glass. Doggett pushed all Scully’s buttons. Tried to make her question her resolve. Question a relationship so deep there was no comprehending from an outside party.
*
As Alex and the bounty hunter headed back to the ship, Alex offered up another sacrificial lamb. “You said you were eliminating proof? I have living biological proof that aliens exist living right out in Arizona.” Alex handed him a file. “Gibson Praise. More human than human. A human with alien physiology. This is what needs to be eliminated.”

The bounty hunter opened the file and smiled. “Good work once again Alex. Looks like Mulder will have to make another appearance.”

Alex still had more questions. “Can we trust these so-called super soldiers? This Agent Crane. Will he be able to keep Scully and Skinner distracted? I can keep Skinner very distracted if he needs to be.”

The bounty hunter furrowed his brow. “Agent Crane is part of the slave race. They are there for our bidding. There only wish is survival, so they don’t disappoint.”
*
When her landlord told her he had seen Mulder, Scully decided to go to his apartment. If he had truly returned, eventually he would come home. She entered his apartment as Special Agent Dana Scully, but it was only Scully that hugged his shirt. His Scully. His shirt was still scented with his unique musk mixed with his cologne. As she lay her head on his pillow she was surrounded by scents of his shampoo, the oils of his hair. Part of him was still there. She held his shirt tight and their last night together went dancing through her head. She could feel him around her, his presence, holding her, kissing her, protecting her, and loving her. For the first time since he went missing, she was able to calm herself and fall asleep.
*
While Kersh and Doggett hung from their strings and performed perfectly, Alex and the bounty hunter were busy at work planting the breadcrumbs for Doggett to find. A car rental receipt here, a tombstone there, throw in some Mulder sightings, missing computers, missing files, a use of a passcard, and Smoking Man’s medical records for the icing on the cake. Their proof was so convincing even Scully herself questioned the past year.
Scully’s head was swimming and her ears buzzing. She could taste the bile in the back of her throat and she had a dull headache. It was all a distraction from finding Mulder. Somehow she had to find it in her to focus.
*
Scully was back at her apartment. One day worse than the next. Why didn’t she wake from this nightmare? In her head, Doggett was taunting her, “How well do you really know your partner?” How did she allow them to put these doubts in her head? How could Mulder be dying? Through all the days they spent together, everything they shared, trying to have a baby? How could he have done that to her? He was talking about the future, about marriage. The past four weeks in NC. When did he have the time to drive there and back? Where were we? Her memory was completely blank. It all didn’t make sense and her head was pounding. He had kept stuff from her in the past to spare her. He ran away without notice and he had faked his own death before, but she always knew. They shared everything. She took two Tylenols and laid on the couch whispering to herself, “Mulder, where are you?”
Her nightmares began again as she felt the laser cut into the roof of his mouth as if it was going through her own. Her phone rang to pull her away. It was Skinner. They were to meet the Lone Gunman. They may have a lead.
*
Earlier that day….
Kersh pressed the top button of the elevator. The doors opened to the inside of a spacious office where he was met by a secretary. She was a tall thin blonde with pale skin. Not surprising for the FBI. She instructed him that the director was waiting for him and to go right in. He entered the office. To the right of him was a large rectangular conference table with about 20 chairs. To the left was a smaller round table with four chairs. The left side wall was floor to ceiling windows overlooking the D.C. skyline. In front of him sat the director behind a large mahogany desk. He was an older white man, not what anyone would consider handsome. He had stern eyes with an expressionless face. “Kersh, you requested a meeting”
“Yes director, I wanted to update you on the status of the latest cases”
“What about the whereabouts of Agent Mulder?”
“Agent Doggett is an extremely capable agent. I’ve been very happy so far with all his recovery efforts. He keeps me abreast of all developments.”
“I trust that Agent Doggett will not have anything on his report concerning aliens or UFOs. We don’t need that kind of attention. Your future in the FBI depends on it.”
“Agent Doggett has a flawless reputation and he was already told that he is not to conduct his investigation using any of the xfiles’ theories.”
“And A.D. Skinner and Agent Scully?”
“I have them both bogged down with new information on Agent Mulder. I’m counting on Agent Doggett to keep everyone on the straight and narrow. His focus is on the assistant director’s chair. That carrot has already been dangled over his head.”
“What I don’t want is reports handed in with xfiles implications and insinuations. We need logical explanations free from the science fiction. The last thing we need is the public to start an irrational panic. Anything about aliens or alien abductions become public and I expect your shield on my desk.”
“Understood director”
The xfiles had become Kersh’s bane of existence. It was nothing that he had intended when he joined the FBI. He never understood the purpose of the department or why they allowed it to stay open when they clearly were not happy with the results. Now the xfiles would determine whether or not he got to keep his office. A career years in the making, paid for in blood, now threatened by science fiction. On his way back to his office he stopped by Agent Crane’s desk. “I want to know what files were taken last night and I want them recovered and on my desk by the end of the day.”
Agent Crane picked up the phone as Kersh left. “Director, Kersh is asking for the missing files.”
The Bounty Hunter grinned into the phone. “That’s fine. Just make sure you tag along with Agent Doggett on any recovery efforts if they go to Arizona. I need you to make sure they don’t succeed. This could actually work in our favor.”

Two hours later, Kersh slips Gibson Praise’s file under the door for Doggett to recover…

*
Scully dozed in the car on the way to Arizona. Channeling him. She felt his pain, saw his torture, heard his screams. She was so sick she didn’t know if it was from the pregnancy or her visions.
As she waited for Skinner in the car she felt Mulder’s presence, felt him so close. She looked out at the horizon and thought she could almost see the ship. While they drove she continued to gaze out of the window. She knew it was up to her now. She had to find the courage deep inside her. The courage she never had in the past she needed above all else. She needed it for him. The courage to believe that which all those years she denied. Feared to accept. Bounty hunters, aliens. Mulder did you hear me? Are you smiling?
*
Mulder closed his eyes. His eyelids the only part of him left not in pain. He called for Scully in his mind, but it was to no avail. He refocused. Gibson would hear him and be able to find him. He called to Gibson. Gibson woke in his sleep. “Mulder?” Mulder instructed Gibson to get Scully and help her find him. When Scully was finally able to locate Gibson and get him alone, she found his leg infected and he was running a fever. She knew Gibson's health needed to be the priority and made Skinner take him to the hospital instead.
*
“I’ve got another question for you.” Alex was taking advantage of his new found friend.
“You talk too much Alex. I’m not used to communicating like that. Listening to you is like a bad echo. Go ahead.” The Bounty Hunter said sorely.
“Why are you guys such bad drivers? I mean, you have to admit, you do seem to crash a lot of ships. Maybe you need better landing gear?”
“Your sarcasm is not lost on me Alex. It’s the magnetite. An iron compound. Not indigenous of Earth, but due to meteors there is enough of it. It stops our ships dead in their tracks. The result is a crash landing.”
“It kills black oil? Does it kill everything alien? Even these Super Soldiers? Like Superman’s kryptonite?”
“I’m not sure of your reference. What’s kryptonite? The answer is yes Alex, but there’s not enough of it on Earth to stop us so building a resistance army is futile.”
*
“Mulder!” Scully screamed into the barren desert night. She repeated it in her heart, using her soul, their language. He felt her calling out to him. She was here. He could hear her. He replied to her with his heart. “Scully, I feel you close, can you feel me?” She continued screaming his name and his heart ached.
Then panic struck him as he felt her leaving and he screamed out, “Scully!”
He heard her again deep inside his heart. “Hold on. Mulder, I will find you. Please, hold on.”
His heart was breaking as he felt her being taken away. “I’ll try”
*
Scully entered her mother’s house. Her mother took one look and threw her arms around her. “Dana, what’s wrong?”
Scully broke down in her mother’s arms. Finally having someone to lean on gave her solace. “They took him mom. He’s gone. Mulder’s gone.”
“Dana, who took him? What happened? Come sit down.” She led her daughter to the couch. She got her tissues to dry her eyes and boiled water for tea. She came back into the living room and set down a brown betty with tea steeping inside handing a cup to Scully and pouring one for herself. She sat back into her chair. “Okay Dana, now tell me what happened.”
“You know because of the sensitivity of my work I can’t tell you all the details mom. All I can say is Mulder was taken against his will by a very powerful organization. I don’t know how he’s being treated, if they’re torturing him, experimenting on him. I don’t know when he’ll be returned and in what condition.”
“Oh my God Dana.”
“I know mom.”
“Are you okay?”
“I don’t know….There’s something else. I was having fainting spells so I went to the doctor to get it checked out and….that’s how I discovered….I’m pregnant.”
“What? Dana! But I thought the treatments didn’t work? How?”
“I don’t know Mom. I don’t know how it’s possible… but I am.”
“I’m guessing Fox is the father?”
“I don’t know.”
“Dana, how can you not know?”
“Mom, please. I can’t go into it. I just….I don’t know.”
“Well, who else could it be? Dana, what are you not telling me?”
“Mom please.”
“Dana, let me make you something to eat. When was the last time you ate something? You have to take care of yourself now. You look like you haven’t been eating or sleeping. You can’t do that in your condition.”
“You’re right mom. And I haven’t been.”
“Sit back and relax. You’re going to eat and then you’re going to get some rest.”
*
The phone rang. “Krycek”
“Is this a Mr. Alex Krycek?”
“Yes.”
“I’m glad I was able to reach you. I’ve been trying to reach Mr. Spender, but I only get voicemail. I have something urgent and I need to know how to proceed. I was told to contact you if he was unavailable.”
“Go on…”
“Miss Scully has tested positive for pregnancy.”
“You’ve successfully implanted?”
“No, that’s just it. The in vitro was unsuccessful as far as we know.”
“As far as you know?”
“Her pregnancy does not correspond correctly with any of the implantation dates.”
“Could it be an alien influence?”
“Not that I’ve been made aware. If not, what we are talking about, her producing her own ova, it’s unheard of in my field. This would be considered a rare anomaly, a complete improbability. It would have to mean that Mr. Spender's fertilization treatment efforts, his implantation attempt, may have worked afterall. Anyway, I am relaying this information to you to ask how I am to proceed.”
“For now I want you to simply monitor without interference. Treat her like you would the others. If there was alien interference I will find out and get back to you.”
“Thank you Mr. Krycek. Let’s keep in touch.”
Agent Dana Scully pregnant. This is fascinating news Alex thought to himself not quite sure what to make of it. He considered telling his new friends but decided to keep this information to himself for now. He might need it to help him in a bind at a later date.
*
Scully answered her door to find Skinner on the other side. She stood aside and ushered him in. “Sir?”
“I hope I’m not bothering you. I was in the neighborhood and…” He smiled at her and she smiled back. “Ok, I’m not good at this. I stopped by to make sure you’re doing alright. With everything you’ve been through and your pregnancy. I’m worried about you Dana.”
“I told you I’m fine. Would you like to sit down? Can I get you something? Beer, Wine, Soda?”
“Coke is fine, thanks.”
Scully handed him the drink and sat down. “Sir, I’m really fine.”
“Dana, you can’t possibly be. You need to lean on someone. If you need to, you can lean on me.”
Scully looked down and realized she was wringing her hands. “I appreciate it Sir. I told my mother and I’m letting her help me. The difficult part for me is going to be working with someone else. Mulder has been all I’ve known for the past seven years. Agent Doggett is good, but I don’t know that he’ll be cut out for this kind of work. Without Mulder, I’m not sure if I am.”
“Dana, you were put on the xfiles and you remained there because you are more than qualified with or without Mulder. You can do this. It’s also not a sign of weakness to ask for help when you need it. Helping you is a part of Agent Doggett’s job now and it has always been mine. I want you to look to me as a boss and a friend.”
“And I do.”
“Then as a friend I’m going to tell you to stop doubting yourself. You will solve these cases and you will be fine. It doesn’t have to be the way Mulder does it. You will be successful and you will find your own way.”
“Thank you. You’re right.” She let out a laugh and shook her head. “I just have to be successful. To prove it to myself and for Mulder, so he has something to come home to.”
“Stop being so hard on yourself Dana. And I believe either way Mulder has plenty to come home to.”
Scully didn’t respond to his last comment. “While I’m on all these cases, how will we continue to look for him?”
“The Lone Gunman will continue to track what they can and let us in on any leads that we believe we can make connections with. Besides that they’ll continue to give me weekly updates. We will find him Dana. You have to believe that.”
“I know. Sometimes I don’t know how much more I can take.”
“You’re strong Dana. Stronger than any man I know. You just need to accept it and with the xfiles, have the courage to believe in yourself to take leaps of faith.”
Scully stood up as a signal for Skinner that this was all the conversation she could take for one day. “Thank you for coming over Sir. This was a much needed pep talk.”
“Well, just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t need a kick in the ass every now and then.”
Skinner and Scully exchanged a brief smile and Skinner nervously dropped his head pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

Chapter Text

Scully sat down in Mulder’s office chair.  She leaned back and closed her eyes.  Running her hands along the sides, she felt the soft stitching.  If she concentrated she could almost feel his presence, like remnants of his aura left there for her.  Her nightmares continued, but she was becoming numb to them.  She missed him with a pain that was beyond the realm of human capability.  Her thoughts wandered to the day she sat in that chair, his head buried between her thighs making her feel the way only he could.  She opened her eyes and sat straight up.  Slowly reaching into the drawer she held his nameplate.  She traced the letters with her finger, her eyes welling with tears.  “I love you Mulder.  Please….. come back to me.   I don’t want to do this alone anymore” She placed the name plate back and pushed the door closed, drying her tears.  Too much emotion for work.  She needed to get herself back in check.

*** Two days later***

 

The so-called David Haskell dialed his cell phone as he stepped in the FBI elevator.

“Zeus Genetics Dr. Lev speaking.”

“They called me back here to the FBI to poke holes in my story.” Haskell replied.

“As we knew they would.”

“We still risk losing Hendershot.”

“Then it’s time to let her go.”  Dr. Lev hoped Agent Scully would aid in collecting Mrs. Hendershot’s baby. He knew by letting Mary Hendershot go, she would go straight to Agent Scully and ask for her help.  He counted on Agent Scully to bring her to the Walden-Freeman Army Research hospital where she thought Mary could be safe.  They also assumed Agent Scully was carrying one of their experiments from the IVF program, so they would placate her with a phony ultrasound.  Once they had Mary Hendershot in their possession they would be able to switch the baby and grab the super soldier hybrid.  What he had not counted on and did not know at the time was that Agent Doggett would recruit Knowle Roher, a super soldier for the aliens to intersect and take the baby. This still was not much concern to Dr. Lev since the hybrid babies didn’t live more than a couple days, but then the aliens would discover their continued experiments.  Dr. Lev and his group were using the hybrids for tissue and stem cells for other experiments hoping to create more viable embryos. Either way they would be forced to clean up their tracks.

 

After learning that David Haskell had been dead since 1970, Doggett decided to contact his buddy Roher and have him find out if it really was the same Haskell or not.  What Roher discovered was what the aliens didn’t know at the time.  The Syndicates satellite experiments were still in business working outside the Aliens knowledge and control, trying to create a hybrid to combat the super soldiers and the alien takeover.

 

There was scurrying about the ship and murmurs from bounty hunters hiding in corners.  Alex kept his ear to the floor and tried to determine what the sudden change in atmosphere was all about.

 

“Bo”, Alex’s new name for his new bounty hunter friend. “What’s with all the excitement?”

“As you’re well aware, The Syndicate had several secret sites where they performed experimentation to create a human-alien hybrid.  With the elimination of the Syndicate these sites should have been closed.  The only sites that were approved to remain operational were the super soldier program controlled by the Department of Defense under our control.  These sites aided in the production of the slave race.  Although with our current human replacement program, we will soon be releasing a new super soldier slave race independent of human involvement.” 

“So Knowle Roher and Agent Crane were from the old program?”

“Yes, part of the Department of Defense program designed with the aid of the Syndicate.  That was different than this new program that takes a human life form and uses it for an incubator for a new type of super soldier.  One of pure alien decent.”

“Okay, so let me get this straight, you were working with the Department of Defense and created the original super soldiers.” 

“Yes.  They were out of the Adam and Eve program.”

“Then there were others attempting to create human/alien hybrids.  This was apart from the DoD project?”

“Yes.  This was from another department in the Syndicate, but the rebel aliens destroyed that project along with the syndicate.  If they would have been successful in retrieving their human/alien hybrid we would have spared the syndicate as we took over. You already know this Alex.”

“How do you know there aren’t others with complete human/alien DNA running around from those experiments, the abductions?”

“We don’t, but with the new super soldier program, those are irrelevant.  As we find them, we will reclaim them, but it is not a concern.”

“So Gibson Praise?”

“An anomaly and a threat to the Truth, but not a threat to the slave race.  It’s taken seriously because any threat to revealing the Truth is a threat to us retrieving all the natural resources from the planet. We’ve been over this Alex.”

“I’m just making sure I understand.  So what’s the threat with this new revelation that Knowle Roher uncovered?”

“It means there are humans still trying to develop a resistance.  From what we ascertained, they are attempting an organically made super soldier to combat our super soldiers.   Knowle Roher has informed us that he knows the location of these experimental sites.”  

It’s a good thing they never discovered that Bill Mulder developed the antidote for the black oil Alex thought to himself then quickly cleared his mind in case they could read it. “So what’s he going to do?  Blow the place up?”

“No. We need to understand what is happening at that site.  He said that there is a Mrs. Hendershot that is about to give birth. He will intercept that baby and bring it to the ship.  From there we can see how far they have gotten.”

“Why are you allowing me all this information?”

“I told you Alex, we need you.  You will be an asset to us in the future and in return you’ll have what no other human will.  Your freedom.”

*

Knowle Roher formed a team and headed to the Army Hospital where Agent Doggett instructed him Agent Scully would be in an attempt to capture Hendershot’s baby before anyone else did.  He instructed one of his men to go into the hospital to locate Agent Scully.  While looking for Scully, the man noticed Scully’s file and amniotic fluid test.  He grabbed the test tube and file and headed out.

*

Knowle returned to the ship with his updates.

“I’ve got some information for you that you might find slightly unbelievable.  First, we retrieved the hybrid baby from Hendershot.  It died shortly after.  We will have to go back in and destroy all of Zeus Genetics. But what we recovered from the hospital was a vial from the amniocentesis done on Dana Scully.  Not only is she pregnant, but her baby contains a complete DNA strand free of abnormalities. Her baby was not created in their lab.  It is a completely organic human.  Much like Gibson Praise, only all of this baby’s DNA is active.” Knowle looked over to the ship’s crew leader. “What does this mean?”

 

“It is the prophecy.  This baby is the One.  The One that is meant to lead the alien replacements during the takeover.  So it is written.  It is the Word.  We will have to take this up the chain of command.  We will need a plan.”

 

Scully was jolted awake from her motel bed in Helena Montana breathing hard, her heart racing.  Another nightmare as real as the rest.  It was Mulder, with the last fragments of his brain activity she saw his corpse lying on the cold metal, still attached.  She went to Skinner’s room, her fears at their worst.  He provided comfort, but she already knew the truth.  When she saw Teresa Hoese, saw the scars, it confirmed everything.  Everything she dreamed. She felt. It was all true.  They were performing all of it on Mulder.  Her tears were no longer enough.  She felt her body shaking.

*

The Bounty Hunter approached Mulder’s body. It was confirmed that Mulder was dead which gave him much happiness, but he needed to see it for himself.  An alien currently incubating inside.  He would dump him at the next drop.  With him dead there would be no barriers in their success.  Mulder’s son in line to fulfill the prophecy. 

*

Skinner watched the pained face of Dana Scully as she examined Gary’s body.  It was a gut wrenching sight.  He told her that she was strong, but it was too much for even himself.  To think what was going through her head, what he failed to stop, to think Mulder might be out there lying in a ditch.  She refused to listen, but she was torturing herself.  As always, she focused on the work, but every tear that fell from her face burned another hole into Skinner’s chest.

*

Jeremiah Smith met his fellow aliens at an undisclosed location.  If the bounty hunters knew, they would surely hold them for capture and turn them in for mutiny.  They were the second rebellion.  A hybrid alien race without disfigurement with natural immunity to black oil.  Their motivation was simple.  They already witnessed the takeover by their race of several planets.  Witnessed the rape of resources and the brutality.  Their fate would be lower class, not much more than the slave fate of the replacements and any human survivors.  Unlike the aggressive rebel alien race, they were patient, calculated, well versed, and organized. Penetrating from within and communicating out.  Jeremiah had been busy since the dawn of the new millennium when the invasion began, on schedule, humans returned from abductions to give birth to the human replacements.  Humans of a certain physiology, showing increased neurological activity due to exposure to the black oil and alien testing. While the humans of the syndicate played with useless experiments, it was the aliens alone that brought about the hatching of replacements.  Jeremiah was the lone alien on the ground, aided by humans led by Absalom.  He brought the human’s back to life and killed the replacement growing inside delaying the impending invasion.

Today Jeremiah was meeting with a bounty hunter that had turned and joined Jeremiah’s cause.  Now working undercover, he would tell Jeremiah of everything that was told to him by his supervisor on the alien craft.  He would tell him of Scully’s pregnancy, of Mulder’s abduction.  He would tell him of Scully’s miracle baby and how they believed he would be born to fulfill the prophecy.  Jeremiah now understood the importance of protecting Mulder.  Protecting him from the aliens, so he could resurrect him, protect him from the human replacements that now infiltrated the FBI.  Mulder must live to teach his son, so he may follow in his father’s footsteps to defeat the aliens and save mankind.

 

Jeremiah repeated the information to Absalom, showing him The Word as it was written so Absalom would understand. “You must not let them find him.”  Jeremiah and Absalom’s room was not as private as they thought.  One of their followers overheard the conversation.  They would spread the Word.  It would spread to Canada where this follower would repeat the story and join a cult.  A cult with a misguided leader and an alien spaceship that thought God was telling him that they would be saved if they brought William to the aliens so he could take his rightful place with them.  God had other plans.

*

Agent Crane contacted the ship and relayed the information to the bounty hunter concerning the location of Jeremiah.  The spaceship doubled back to capture Jeremiah and put an end to his interference.

*

Scully flicked the light switch in her motel room, but it failed.  Looking over towards the window she saw him.  Mulder, standing in the moonlight.  It was his soul.  It had left his body, her visions confirmed.  It was his final stop. His soul would return to reside in the starlight.  Her mouth fell, stomach twisted and her heart tightened.  He looked frightened and guilty.  Not for where he was going, but that they would be separated, that he couldn’t hold on for her.  He was there to say goodbye, to tell her he was leaving.  She saw in his face his attempt to comfort her, to tell her it would be alright.  It wasn’t going to be alright.  Agent Reyes entered the room startling her, but a part of her was now missing.  A gaping hole that could not be filled.  She was panicked as she ran to the window, but knew he was gone into the starlight.

*

Back at the compound Skinner came in the room to tell Dana of their discovery.  Dana asked him, “What is it?” but she already knew.  They had found him and he was dead.  She didn’t want to believe it until she saw it with her own eyes.   “How bad is he hurt?” She knew Jeremiah could still bring him back.  The aliens knew that too.  She was too late.  Jeremiah would be taken and dealt with accordingly.  A hybrid traitor to the alien race.  One less wrench in the machine. Scully watched as the alien spaceship took Jeremiah and with it all hope.  She was so close to getting him back. Now the other part of her soul was gone, departed to live among the stars.  It couldn’t be, there was no her without him.  “This is not happening! No!” she screamed into the night on her knees.  Where is God to help her now?

*

The snow lay on the frozen ground in Raleigh, N.C.  Usually too warm a climate for snow, but the chill was not felt by Dana.  Her heart was already frozen though it still beat.  Still in disbelief, she mourned the death of her own soul.  She was Dana now, with a baby boy inside her that was either a curse or a miracle.  She was now living only for this baby.  She would tell the tale of his father and raise him accordingly.  Her cross burning against her neck.  One she felt too heavy to carry.  She felt betrayed by God to give her this pain, but prayed to him anyway.  For Mulder’s soul, for the baby.  Never doubting there was still a greater plan.  Not one of which she was yet to know.  She had picked out the suit for his body to wear through all eternity as it returned to the dust from which he came.   He always looked so handsome in a suit. Although with the scars so severe, they were forced to do a closed casket. Dana was standing with the aid of her two pillars. Her mother and Skinner. Keeping her breathing, giving her strength.  The Lone Gunman behind her to catch her should she fall.  They were all that was left to carry on for him.  Though it was a crowded gravesite, the six of them were all that truly knew the man whose body was lying in the casket. She kept running through her head, why didn’t I hold him longer when I had the chance, why didn’t I tell him I loved him more.  Why did I allow my own fears to betray him?   

“I can’t truly believe that I’m really standing here.” Scully sobbed to Skinner.

“And I don’t truly believe that … Mulder’s the last.” Skinner replied.

In tradition, Scully sprinkled the dirt on his casket along with her tears.

She leaned on Skinner and he did his best to console her.

*

Three months.  For three months she woke up every morning and had to remind herself to breathe.  For three months she continued to pay his rent not wanting to deal with the painful reality of removing his things from his place.  She knew his lease would soon be over.  Soon she would have to confront it along with everything she had inherited. All of his family’s fortune as dictated in his will. Still in too much shock to comprehend.  For three months she nurtured the baby inside her eating, exercising, and getting as much sleep as her heart would allow.  The days did not get easier.  She returned to the church.  Going each and every Sunday praying for strength.  Praying to endure for her child.  For once in her life, being alone was too much to endure.  She leaned on her friends, The Lone Gunman, Skinner, Monica, and even Doggett.  Her mother visiting as much as she could pushing her forward.  Skinner took on a father figure like never before, making sure she did not go without and did not work too hard. Dana wasn’t sure what would become of herself.  How much longer she could proceed in life without him.  The baby was saving her life for the moment.  She went to work as a robot, getting through the day. Every day she mourned, every day dressed in black.  Time passed inconsequentially.  No one spoke of her pain, her emptiness, her unrelenting loneliness, but they read it on her face treating her as the grieving widow.  She visited his grave as often as she could bringing him flowers, putting rocks on the headstone to signify she was there.  Night would come and she would pray for his soul and cry herself to sleep.  For three months….

*

With tears and hope in her eyes she laid her hand on his body, moving solely by artificial respiration.  It was comforting just to see his body, although she knew it was empty.  If he was to come alive, his soul must return.  That’s all she ever wanted was his soul.  So they could join together again.  With the hope and faith of a thousand prayers she held him tight and cried into his body.  She held his hand with one hand, her other hand feeling their son. Dana fell asleep for the first time in three months.

*

Kersh felt his acid reflux acting up as he rode in the elevator to the dreaded Director’s office.  What now, was all he could think to himself.  The secretary sent him in after a small wait.  When he entered the office the Director greeted him with a half-smile that sent chills down his spine.

“I haven’t heard from you and I was beginning to get worried.  I’m guessing Doggett has accepted his promotion?”

“Not exactly.  He said he needs to think about it.”

“I’m not sure I understand.  What could he possibly have to think about?”

“I think he feels he has a commitment to Agent Scully.  They understand that once she goes on maternity, with Agent Doggett gone, the x-files will close.”

“That is the goal.”

“With all due respect sir, it is my department.  Those are the things you pay me to determine.”

“We can discuss this later.  Am I to understand they have dug up the grave of Agent Mulder?”

“Yes.  Assistant Director Skinner acted alone.”

“If A.D. Skinner wants to hang himself that’s fine, but you need to take Agent Doggett off this case.  If that’s what you want to call it. If any word of this gets out of what they are trying to do it will put the FBI in a very bad light not to mention what the public response would be. We just finished discussing this Deputy Director. I want order, not agents running around doing whatever crazy ideas pop into their head.”

“Understood Sir.”

“Get it together Kersh”

Kersh was tired of being told how to run his department and tired of everyone having a secret agenda whether it was from his supervisors or subordinates.  He made up his mind that he was going to run his department his way.  That’s what he was paid to do.  If Agent Doggett wanted to stay, he would let him stay.  Hell, if Mulder rose from the dead, they could all work in that damn basement for all he cared.   

*

Meanwhile….The Bounty Hunter called on Alex once again.  “Alex, I’ve got news from Agent Crane that they have dug up Mulder’s body and they are trying to resurrect him. I want you to get down there and see that everything goes as planned.”

“Is that even possible?  To raise Mulder from the dead?”

“He’s infected with the virus.  It’s not something we’ve come across, but our physiology is that of a virus which means there is always something out there that can combat it.  I need you there to make sure they don’t have those kind of means.”

Alex knows he has Bill Mulder’s antidote.  He also doesn’t know what to believe.  These aliens seem to be convinced of this prophecy or at least the possibility of this prophecy coming to fruition.  They want Mulder dead, but did he really want to damn the whole human race?  Alex decided to let Skinner decide.  If he could control Skinner to kill Scully’s baby, there would be no leader.  He could end this ridiculous prophecy.   Otherwise, all of humanity could go to hell.  He would still have a spot at the table.

*

Dana remained dressed in black, mourning over his body.  She held onto her hope and prayers and the science that she knew to bring him back to life.  Hoping that stabilizing his temperature and vitals along with the plain human antivirals were enough.  Until she was sure there was nothing else to be done, she wouldn’t let go of his hand.  And then it twitched.

 

Mulder’s body stirred.  His brain coming into focus like a camera lens.  He heard Scully’s sweet voice calling his name and he opened his eyes.  His first realization was that he was free from pain. The next that he was in a hospital bed.  He looked over into her seas of blue and she greeted him with a “Hi”.  It instantly lifted his spirits, but she wasn’t smiling.  His intent was for that to change immediately.  “Who are you?” he asked in jest.  Instead of her normal smiles and giggles, he was struck by the tears and pain on her face.  Her anguish hit him hard in the chest and he knew something serious had occurred.  He was puzzled, his memory of his close encounter not at the forefront, concern washing over him as he realized that he had put her through some kind of agonizing pain.  That he had gone through something horrendous.  Her right eyebrow was locked in the upright position steady quivering and tears free flowing from her face.  He wanted to take all the pain away from her, but he felt weak.  Weak and perplexed by Scully’s reactions. The emotions he was use to her carrying deep inside were spilling out everywhere.  “Anybody miss me?”  Her laugh soothed him.  Too weak to move he bathed in the familiar vanilla and lavender scents.  Whatever had happened, he was with Scully now. He was home.

Chapter Text

Mulder opened his eyes to see a heavy set red haired woman speaking with two dark haired male doctors.  Their voices were muffled.  When the other two doctors left the room, the woman turned sideways.  “Scully?” There she was.  Beautiful as ever, glowing, carrying what appeared to be a very large bowling ball?  It seemed as though she would give birth any minute.  Was he dreaming? As soon as she heard him she rushed to his bedside.

“Mulder, it’s okay.  I’m right here.  I was consulting with the doctors.  They say you are progressing well….” Scully was holding his hand caressing it with her thumb.  His eyes weren’t deceiving him, she was definitely pregnant.  She continued on, but he was busy trying to get his head wrapped around her protruding belly.  “Scully, how long have I been unconscious?”

Her left hand moved to his forehead gently stroking it. “Mulder, do you recall….. being taken?”

He closed his eyes and tried hard to focus on what had happened.  Scully began going into the details concerning that night.  As he listened intently, bits and pieces slowly started to come back. The flashbacks of his time on the ship violently flooding his head.  His eyes shot open.  He wasn’t ready for it all at once.  “How long?”

“Over 3 months.” 

“I lost 3 months?”

“Not exactly.” Scully licked her top lip and looked hesitant.

He couldn’t take the anticipation.  It was obviously painful for Scully, but he needed the truth. “Scully.  Whatever it is, you have to tell me.”

“When you were returned…. You were technically dead.” What? It was worse than he thought.

“I was in a coma? For how long?”

“Not exactly. Mulder, you were dead.  When we found you, your body had been decomposing for at least three days.  You were buried in N.C.  There was a funeral.  For about three months you remained in Raleigh until Skinner got the call about Billy Miles.  Billy was returned infected with the same alien virus as you.  He transformed into a super soldier.  Skinner had you exhumed. I was able to stabilize you and with several courses of antivirals I was able to bring you back.”

“Holy Shit.” Mulder fell back in the bed running his hand through his hair.

“I’ve been gone since the end of May?”

“Yes.”

“Over 6 months.”  Mulder laid there in shock.  How could this be?  I was dead and now I’m not. Then another thought occurred to him. “Scully, how do you know I’m still me?”

“Because I know Mulder.” Because I feel whole again she thought to herself.  That’s how I know.

Mulder watched as the emotional woman he woke up to turned into Dr. Scully.  Technical and stoically, Scully went into the facts of what had been done to his physical body.  As she was speaking one of the doctors entered the room and asked for her to come with him for a final review of his condition.  Squeezing Mulder’s arm she promised to return as quickly as she could. 

Mulder sat up in bed and watched her leave.  Scully was pregnant.  How?  All he could do was guess. Maybe they found more ova?  Maybe she went for the experimental stem cell treatment?  But then who was the father?  Was it the man who kept peeking his head in the window with the concerned look on his face? Mulder saw them through the window in the door talking as the man stared at her with kindness and affection.  Had she moved on to someone else? Could it be Skinner?  He did see them in an embrace in the hallway. No, couldn’t be him.  Hmmm.  Maybe it was an anonymous donor?  Whatever the answer she must have moved forward with her life.  He didn’t expect less.  Doing some quick math he concluded that it must have happened shortly after he was taken.  Maybe the doctor called her right after and needed to do an IVF treatment right away or maybe she was so upset she ran off with another man to deal with the pain. Mulder rubbed his eyes.  A dull headache was emanating from the back of his head. He couldn’t take any more of those thoughts. He had to get up and walk around. 

Gingerly, he allowed his legs to touch the floor. He tried standing, but his feet failed him and he slipped practically falling on his ass.  His legs were jelly.  He tried again more slowly and made it to the chair breathing hard from the strain on his muscles.  He thought about what Scully said was done to him and reached up to feel his face.  The flashbacks starting almost immediately as he recollected his chest being cut open, the spikes through his arms and legs holding him in place, the laser through his mouth.  He traced each scar as he remembered and what followed was the memory of the excruciating, seemingly unending pain. 

He closed his eyes and went into a post traumatic state only taken out by Scully’s voice, “Mulder, are you okay?” He turned to look at her and her “condition” shocked him again.  It was all too much to handle at once.  She began to go into details about neurological disorders and viruses, but he was confused not exactly able to grasp.  What he did understand was he was in perfect health and the scars were healing.  He felt his face again.  This was all too much to accept. “How do you feel Agent Mulder?” The doctor asked.

“Like Austin Powers” He replied, but he couldn’t help glancing at Scully’s inflated abdomen.  His stomach turned and knotted. His face dropped.  Do I have anything to come home to?  I was tortured and dead and the world moved on without me.  Scully moved on without me.  Without Scully, what was the point to anything?

When the hospital released him, he felt like a man that had been incarcerated for 20 years.  Where do I go?  Do I have a home?  Do I have any money?  He was still too weak to do more than walk.

Scully may have been pregnant, but she was still Scully, insisting on carrying his bag.  She told him indignantly that she had packed and carried it in, she could carry it out.  She was trying to be supportive, but it only made him feel helpless.  During the car ride they were both silent.  He was lost in his thoughts and Scully was now like a stranger.  His heart began to ache.  That should be his child she’s carrying.  She would be his wife by now.  They could be sharing this together. The aliens took all that away and now it looked as though it was too late for him.  As they stepped into his apartment the emptiness grew along with a haunting feeling of despair.

The apartment smelled of Murphy’s Oil and lemon scented Pledge.  Scully had cleaned the apartment for him and the act of her taking care of him should have made him feel happy, but it made him feel more distant.  It was too painful to think she had moved on and she wasn’t his anymore. The whole situation felt bizarre, like he was caught in a Tim Burton nightmare.  Loneliness crept up inside him as he stared at his fish noticing his missing molly.   Scully jested “She wasn’t as lucky as you.” He nodded and smiled, his hand grazing over the empty space on his desk and he recognized his computer was missing. His eyes continued their journey settling on the picture of his sister.  A tormenting thought shot across his mind as he realized she wasn’t as lucky as him either.  He had failed at every turn with everything in life. They may have returned his body in perfect health, but he felt like only a shell of a man.  Were there any pieces left to pick up?

Scully brought him away from his thoughts as she attempted to explain her point of view and what she had gone through.  Watching the tears form over her pain streaked face was hard for him to take and he couldn’t even look her in the eye. Every struggle and tribulation she went through was because of him.  Instead of saving her from it, she ended up having to endure and suffer anyway.  Once again he was a failure.  He hated himself. Maybe he didn’t deserve her.  Maybe she was better off having the child without him, having a life without him.  His chest was pounding with negative feelings spreading out into his back. 

He tried to make light of the situation with some lame joke, but it fell with a loud thud.  His stomach knotted once again, it was time to acknowledge the elephant.  The baby, not Scully.  Her prayers had been answered in more ways than one.  He told her he was happy for her and he was genuinely, but he wanted to cry because he wasn’t happy for himself.  He wanted to have been there, he wanted to have shared that with her, he wanted to be the one to make her dreams come true.  Hell, they were his dreams back then too.  Back then.  It seemed like another universe. Over six months ago, yet for him yesterday.  Yesterday he was holding her, promising her a lifetime of happiness with him, promising her a family.  He woke up the next day to discover she had moved on and it was probably for the best. 

She started to tear up again, “Mulder” He wasn’t sure what she wanted from him.  He’d do anything for her, but it looked like she didn’t need him.  Did he have any part in her life now?  Could he handle being only a friend while some other man took his place?

“I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to be cold or ungrateful…I just… I have no idea where I fit in right now. I just..uh.. I’m having a little trouble processing right now.” He couldn’t even look her in the eyes anymore or else he would start to cry.  It was too painful for him to even be in the same room. He couldn’t bear to think what his life would be like without holding her every night, without her as his future. He got up and got his bag heading into the bedroom to unpack. 

 

Scully wasn’t sure what to make of Mulder.   Knowing him, she knew he would want to get back to work as soon as possible, so she completed and submitted the reinstatement application.  She cleaned his apartment because she didn’t want to think of him coming home to a dirty place and given the way Doggett had searched it, she didn’t want him to see it ransacked.  Plus, it gave her a chance to do something for him after all he had been through.   She didn’t even know where to begin to get him caught up on all that had gone on in the time he was “away” and she didn’t know how much he was ready for.  She decided the best course of action was to allow him to adjust, to wait until he asked her and she would fill in the blanks where needed.  She wanted to talk to him about the baby in the car ride home, but she was too scared of his reaction. Instead they sat in silence as he gazed out the window.  The elevator ride up was even more uncomfortable and he was so distant she wanted to cry.  Once they entered the apartment she tried to get him to understand what she had been through. How badly she wanted him back.  To let him know the love she had for him that she didn’t express enough before all this happened.  Then all those months not having her partner to lean on, her soulmate to complete her, and now his distance was shattering her heart.  When he finally brought up the baby she couldn’t read his expressions, they weren’t quite dialed in to each other.  “I’m happy for you…I think I know…. how much that means to you.”  She lifted her head to look at him and he looked so sad.  He was happy for her, but he should have been happy for both of them.  It’s yours she mouthed, unable to bring sound to the words.  Maybe something had changed.  Maybe this wasn’t what he wanted now?  Did he still want her?  Then there was always that doubt in the back of her mind.  What if it wasn’t his, what if she was carrying an alien?  Scully pushed the thought aside as she watched him head into the bedroom.  What she wanted to do was hold him, kiss him, feel his hands all over her body, make love to him and most importantly regain their unrelenting connection. Instead, she was sitting on the couch and waiting until she felt he was ready, giving him the space she thought he needed.

 

As he unpacked his clothes he took a deep breath holding back tears.  One day at a time he told himself.  Start back from the beginning.  They were partners. Friends.  He needed to get back to work.  As if reading his mind, Scully entered the room.

“I want you to know I submitted the application for your reinstatement.  You should be able to head back to work as soon as next week. All of your financials are now under my name so when you’re ready to deal with that let me know.  I’m going to head back to my apartment to give you some time to adjust to being back.  I’ll be by tomorrow after I get home from work.”

 

He still couldn’t look her in the eyes.  “Yeah.  That’s fine.  I’m sure I’ll be much better company tomorrow.”  He smiled, but it seemed almost forced.

 

Scully turned and left closing the door behind her leaving him in the bedroom.  Tears fell the whole way home out of relief and out of sadness.  He was so cold to her. So distant. She pushed away those thoughts.  She needed to finally get some sleep.  He was healthy and safe.  They would work out the rest later.

 

The next day Mulder found himself with Skinner and Scully in his apartment discussing how Kersh is denying his application and listening to Scully defend another man named Doggett.  Amusing to Mulder was that not only did he lose Scully in his personal life, but apparently she had another partner in her professional life.  Is he the father?  Nailing another one of your co-workers Scully?  Wow.  He didn’t want to be angry with her and he had no reason to be.  She had been through enough, but he was angry and he didn’t know where to direct it.  It seemed 90 days was all it took to replace Fox Mulder.  He still had a job, albeit a desk job.  What he wanted right now was to fit in somewhere, find something comfortable.  Right now he wasn’t comfortable in his own apartment.  He needed to go to work and find his place.  He felt so bitter.  Bitter and betrayed by everyone and he wasn’t even sure why he had these emotions.  What did he really expect?  What would he have done in the same situation?  He just needed his job back.  The place he felt most comfortable.  The place he could go and run and hide from the world.  His sanctuary.  There he could think.  Hate rose inside him.  This time he directed it towards its rightful place.  At the people and aliens that did this to him.

Then there was Scully. The woman who saved his life because she wouldn’t give up on him. He still loved her. Unconditionally.  Nothing else mattered.  He wanted to protect her and her baby.  When he turned on the news the puzzle pieces fell together in his head.  Bitterness still at the forefront, his arrogance growing.  He knew his place and who he was, Fox Mulder, aliens and conspirators’ worst enemy.  Somehow Absalom and Howard Salt had more in common than abductees.  If he could understand what they were doing, what Howard Salt needed on the White House lawn, maybe he could understand why they took him, what these super soldiers were going to be used for, and if he knew why, maybe he could prevent it from happening to someone else.  Most of all Scully.

 

Scully wasn’t sure what was going on with Mulder.  All of his actions seemed irrational.  There was so much they had to talk about and he was flying a hundred miles an hour in a different direction.  She couldn’t control him and it bothered her that he was taking over again and she was only a sidekick.  All those months Scully was the leader and held her own.  Now, she was given a choice.  Follow him or stay behind.  Mulder hadn’t changed, but their relationship wasn’t where it was when he got on that spaceship.  She wanted him safe, she couldn’t bare losing him again, but she wanted to support him as well.  Everything was conflicting inside her.     

 

Mulder was infuriated at Doggett for alerting the authorities.  Doggett had tipped off the guard by displaying his badge upside down, the universal signal for distress.  Once they knew, the super soldiers went in and murdered Absalom.  It was Doggett’s fault the truth wasn’t revealed and this was the same man now in charge of the x-files. Why didn’t the super soldiers kill Doggett?  Maybe he was part of the conspiracy?

 

Mulder stormed Skinner’s office ready to kill.  His eyes flamed red as he lunged for Doggett pushing him back into the chair. Deep in his subconscious he still had suspicions concerning Doggett’s and Scully’s relationship and that only fueled the rage.

 

Mulder left headquarters and headed out to Scully’s house after she had called him about the Lone Gunman’s results of the hard drive.  When Langley mentioned that Mulder might have some involvement in Scully’s pregnancy, Mulder was really confused.  A nervous shock ran through his chest.  How could that be?  There was at least four months separating the last IVF treatment and conception.  He searched her face for a clue, but she wasn’t giving anything away.  Knowing now was not the time he pushed it into the back of his mind and filed it away for later.  For now he was focused on retrieving the census data and sending the information to people who could communicate it out so something could be done about it.   He was aware of Scully’s concerns about his safety and the last thing he wanted to do was cause her more distress, but this was beyond any of their lives. This was about saving the planet.

 

*

The next day Mulder decided to probe a little further into Langley’s statement.  What was he referring to?  And even if he did have nothing to do with Scully’s pregnancy, who did?  Agent Doggett?  Skinner? The Pizza man? If nothing else, he knew it was time to lay it all on the table.  It had been eating at him since he heard Langley say it and he needed to know where he stood.  He had a right to know. Were they still together or had she moved on and found someone else?  If she had, what did that mean for them? He grabbed the doll that he had saved for Scully, wrapped it, and headed out.

 

In classic Mulder and Scully style banter, Mulder chose to let bad humor deflect his true intentions.  He threw out the line that “they just work together”. A line that she had used in the past when they had spoken about where their relationship was going.  Maybe she would take the hint or maybe his feigned jealousy would spark a conversation in that direction.

When Mulder pointed at her belly and suspected the pizza man she knew it was his way of saying that he was ready to finally have the discussion they both had been putting off.  Not to come off completely serious, Scully made a double entendre of her own concerning his package, to let him know she was ready as well.

Unfortunately their conversation would have to wait due to a partial abruption of the placenta.  When the nurse asked if he was the husband he quickly said “no”, but he felt punched in the gut.  He felt like saying, “no, but I was supposed to be.”  Then he looked up and saw agent Doggett.  That knocked the rest of the wind out of him.  Maybe there really was something going on between the two of them.  Did she text him? Meekly he asked, “How’d you find out?”  Doggett responded that he was dropping something off at her place and the landlord told him, but Mulder questioned the sincerity.  When the nurse asked Doggett if he was the husband, Mulder waited for him to elaborate.  The way he said no made Mulder’s eyes light up and he smiled inside.  Maybe there wasn’t anything between them.  Maybe he was overreacting.  He really needed to speak with Scully.

Doggett went to check on Scully at the hospital.  When he spoke of a “we” that had been worried about her she was confused.  Mulder and Doggett were on speaking terms?

Finally Scully was awake enough to speak with Mulder. She saw the relief wash across his face when she said she was going to be okay and felt like they might be okay as well when he placed his hand on her belly to feel the baby.  For the first time since he had been back she felt that warm feeling in her chest cascading throughout her body.

With his hand on her belly he felt the baby kick.  Could it actually be his?  He thought back to the conversation he had with the scientists in Massachusetts.  Had true love really awakened a miracle?

He stayed until she fell asleep and even then he continued staring at her not wanting to take his eyes off her. She looked so calm and beautiful.  All of his feelings for her flooding back in a tidal wave. When Doggett came knocking, Mulder ushered him outside letting him know she had just fallen asleep.  In an innate territorial response, Mulder crossed his arms and blocked the doorway to her room while they spoke. 

*

Back at Scully’s house, Mulder and Scully sat on her couch exchanging banter about pizza delivery men and congealing cheese. Scully finally saw the love and caring return to his eyes.  Her Mulder was back. His soul had hers in an embrace.  She felt full and complete once more.  Scully opened his gift and he looked so boyishly innocent it warmed her heart.  They were ready to talk.

She took a deep breath and placed the doll on the end table behind the couch.  “Mulder, I know we’ve both been dancing around the subject. I think it’s time to have the discussion.”

“It’s alright Scully, if you want to see the pizza man, I’m not going to stop you.” He smiled and her insides lit up.

“Mulder, I want to be serious.” She took his hand and placed it on her belly keeping her hand on top of his.  “Mulder, I know what you’ve been hinting at these past couple days and I want to have an answer for you and for myself. I can’t explain to you how this baby came to be.  I want to tell you it’s yours, but what if there was some other kind of intervention? Ever since I found out I’ve had my fears.”

“But your doctor… she’s showed you the ultrasound… the tests? Do you trust her?”

“Yes, I do and yes everything is pointing to the baby being normal and healthy.  As you know the IVF treatments were with Dr. Parenti and so was the first 2/3rds of my pregnancy.” Scully was speaking to him with her clinical voice.  “I switched doctors because there were some incidents that led me to believe he couldn’t be trusted.”

“What kind of incidents Scully?” He held her hand fearing the worst, but needing to know the truth.

Scully sighed. “His clinic was implicated for participating in alleged experiments with the implantation of embryos of alien human hybrids. Woman were unknowingly abducted and implanted with these embryos.” Her eyes were welling with tears. “Oh Mulder, so much has happened.”

“Scully,” He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against his chest running his hand through the back of her hair cradling her head.  “What happened to not believing until we have proof?”

Scully laughed through her tears.  “I missed you.” Mulder kissed the top of her head.

“I know.” He said as he rocked her, holding her tight against his chest. “I missed me too.”

She laughed again choking on sobs, her hand fisting the fabric of his shirt over his chest.  She lifted her head and their eyes met, lightening shooting into her. Her fingertips caressed his face. In his eyes was every secret they ever shared, every night they spent as one, and every word they never needed to speak. His breath hitched and eyes closed as he leaned in to kiss her.  Mulder traced his lips with Scully’s. His kiss was soft and tender full of love and memories, melting her heart, hitting her deep in her core making her groan.  Mulder slowly pulled back to look at her, his eyes hooded, lips parted.  He cradled her head with both hands, the raw emotions in her eyes going straight to his groin. Desire flooding his senses, he covered her lips with his, deepening the kiss.  He moaned into her mouth, “Oh, Scully.” Every muscle in her body tensed in response, shivers running over her skin.  Her body became pure emotion and uncontrollable tears fell from her eyes.   She never thought she would see him again, never kiss him, never share a joke, a look, a touch.  Now he was here, kissing her, back in her arms.  Mulder froze in place stoking her hair, clearly frightened.  “Scully what’s wrong? Are you in pain?”

She shook her head, but the tears still flowed. “I lost you and now…” She let out a sob, “you’re here.”

“Scully, I’m so sorry.” He held her to him and his eyes welled up.  Rocking her gently he kissed her hair. “I’m here Scully.  I’m here.”

Tightly she clung to him.  Suddenly she was depleted of all energy.  She continued to cry, letting out everything from the past six months.  From losing him to going through the pregnancy without him, walking the hallways alone to all the cases with only her to believe. The horror of finding him dead, living without, spending her nights alone, and then the stress of resurrecting him. And now, he was here, relief.  But was it over?  Will it ever be over?

  

Mulder let her cry, holding her tight, absorbing the pain.  When the tears finally subsided she looked up at him.  With his fingers he pushed the errand strands of hair from her eyes searching her face for answers. “What do you want Scully?”

 “Would it be alright if we went to bed?” She sniffled.

“How about you go get ready and I’ll put this pizza away and meet you in there?” He smiled and kissed her forehead.

“Thank you for staying.” She said as she got up and dried her eyes heading for the bedroom.

Mulder busied himself wrapping the pizza slices and placing them in the fridge.  Without realizing it, he found himself humming quietly.  Everything was still strange, and he wasn’t completely comfortable yet, but he was looking forward to being in that bed with her.  Holding her all night, knowing that there was still a chance they could be a family.  Pushing any apprehension deep inside, he shut the lights and headed for the bedroom.

Scully was already lying in bed when he retired from the bathroom. Pillows were stuffed under her belly, between her thighs, two at her head, and she was snoring gently.  The scene caused him to smile.  My wonderfully pregnant Scully he thought to himself. Sliding in behind her, he wrapped his arm around her splaying his hand over her belly.  He felt her hand cover his as she leaned into his body and he took a deep inhale consuming her essence. Tingling, gratifying sensations went up his arms and around his body. Nuzzling into her hair, resting his lips on her clavicle, he drifted off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Scully opened her eyes to incredible warmth flooding her heart, like she had transformed into one gigantic glowing orb.  It was a feeling as familiar to her as the cross resting on her neck.  Mulder was holding her tight against him and she was as elated as Mulder was the first time he gazed at an alien spaceship.  He was here lying next to her.  His son growing inside her.  She hoped it was his son.  Quickly, she pushed those thoughts from her brain.  He woke with a groan and somehow pulled his body closer to her.

“You’re very happy this morning.” She replied in response to his body's salute at attention.

He smiled into her neck.  “What?... Oh.  I... uh… just ignore it.  I’ve been trying to ever since I re-enacted Frankenstein.  My body seems to have rejuvenated itself in more ways than one and it behaves similar to that of a 13-year old boy.  It’s rather quite annoying.”

“Mulder, I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Um… okay.”

“No. Now.”  Suddenly she felt like the baby was using her bladder as a trampoline.  He offered her help which she refused, rolling and wobbling herself to a standing position.  When she returned from the bathroom she headed for the kitchen to make breakfast.  Mulder soon followed in after her insisting on preparing something for them while she sat and watched. Watching him scurry clumsily around the kitchen, she felt now might be a good time to broach the subject of the secretiveness behind his brain affliction.  The thought of him keeping this from her tugged at her and ate away at memories of being so close and yet still not knowing so much. 

 

“Mulder, shortly after you were…. Away…I discovered about your brain illness from your surgery….”

 

“Scully, I don’t know what you’re referring to.  There weren’t any repercussions from the surgery ….”

 

“Mulder, I know.  Your records surfaced proving that you were dying and it showed your decline, the modified headstone..  Mulder what I went through….why didn’t you tell me?  Why did you feel it necessary to keep it from me?”

 

“Scully, I wasn’t dying, I didn’t have any brain issues.  In fact, it was quite the opposite, I healed at an amazing rate.”

 

“But the doctor’s records….the headstone…”

 

“Scully, I never did anything with a headstone and you are my doctor.  You are my primary physician and you keep all my medical records.  You are my power of attorney, how can I keep anything from you? All last year, us together, did I look or act sick to you? CGB was the one dying.  Look at what he looked like, I had none of those symptoms.” 

 

“I don’t know, they kept bombarding me with all these facts and documents, cell phone records... It was all so confusing and overwhelming…..”

“Scully, don’t you get it… it was all to make you see what they wanted you to see.  Think back to everything that CGB did just to make you think he was going to give you the power of that chip in your neck.  It would be nothing for them to doctor phone records, create phony doctors, fake tombstones.  And Doggett, they led him around by the nose.  Scully, you have to believe me, after all we’ve been through… everything we were doing together, at that time…I would not have done that to you…”

 

“Mulder, if you say they made it up, that’s good enough for me.  I trust you.  You know that.  No further explanation is needed.”

 

Mulder walked over to her and crouched down in front of her, taking both her hands in his.  He looked into her eyes.  “I know.”  He leaned in and touched her lips to his.  His lips were comfortable, inviting, and taking her away to their place.  Her arms folded around his neck as their tongues collided.  She could never get enough of him.  She loved him more than her body would allow. Oh and she had missed him so much more than she wanted to acknowledge.  Her arms rescinded and her fingers raked over his face as they kissed.  She wished she was able to be with him the way she wanted to, the way her body was calling out for him, but her doctor had warned her otherwise.  For now she concentrated on exploring his mouth, reconnecting, reclaiming everything that was hers. 

His hands slid through the back of her hair and she felt it pull gently as he moaned into her.  The sound sobered her and she pulled back.  “Mulder, I know it has only been a few days for you, but for me, time passed.  I’m going to need time to adjust to life with you again.  I’ve been alone all this time….it’s …I need to make sure we’re doing the right thing… we have other things to consider now…”

Mulder ran his hands along the outside of her thighs as he leaned back on his heels.  “Right.  No, I understand… really… I do.  You’ve been through a lot, you’re going through a lot… I just don’t want to miss anything else.,,”

 

“And you won’t, not if you don’t want to, but things are different now.  They can’t go back to the way they were.  I don’t even think I would want them to.  Before you…left…one of our last conversations.. Mulder, you know it can’t work with us as work partners… the x-files doesn’t exactly leave room for anything else… not family. Mulder, it’s something you need to really understand, what you need to factor into your decisions… I’m still not putting any expectations on you…”

 

He felt slightly shut down, but at the same time he knew she was right.  This was not something they could just jump into.  These were decisions that needed to be made. 

 

He retreated back to the kitchen and returned with breakfast, sitting down across from her. “Scully, tell me about some of what I missed.  I want to know.”

So as they ate she told him about the bat creature. About how she had to stand alone as they mocked her “far out” theories and how they voiced their opinions and no one really wanted her there.   She shared how she had questioned herself, her abilities, how her job had changed, how she had tried to be him.  How Doggett had allowed other agents to visit the basement and gawk at what they considered to be the freak show.  All the names she was called, the sexism she endured and how she now knew he had shielded her from all that for years. How in everything she did she made sure she was respecting the work and not letting Mulder’s legacy dwindle away.  She told him about how she tried to handle a case on her own, running into the night like he did and how she wound up in the deep end with a parasite inside her. 

“Scully, you were pregnant…”

“I know, I know, Doggett went through all the lectures, not to mention what I scolded myself for.  I forgot about the part where when you took off on your own I always found you and saved you.”

She told him about Skinner and how incredible he had been to lean on and how Doggett had stuck up for her in front of Kersh.

“I even used Chuck’s help on a case.”

“Was he helpful?”

“Yeah, for Chuck.”

“Even with all that, the worst had to be killing a Siddhi Mystic that was going around committing murder.  I shot at what looked like a young boy.”

“Scully, that must have been so difficult and testing of your beliefs.”

“It was. I couldn’t trust my own eyes.  I had to trust another boy and what he saw.  That day I came to realize how beautiful you really are Mulder.  How you can come at things without judgment and without prejudice….with an open mind.  I could only wish to be capable of such things.  But it did show me that I was still capable, capable of leading and being successful at it.  I was able to prove that to myself.” She took a bite of her scrambled eggs and looked back at him. “I was still lost without you Mulder.  When you lose the only person you trust, your sounding board for the truth….”

“I remember what that was like.  When you were taken…”

“It’s over, I don’t want to relive it anymore.  I just can’t lose you again.  It was hard to see you running headstrong into danger again.”

Mulder put his head down.  “I know.” Getting up from the table he put his dish in the sink and walked over to kiss the top of her head. “Look, I better take off… you need to get your rest.”

“Yeah. I’ll probably go back to bed.  What will really be difficult is when I get back to work I’ll have to put in my leave.”

“Doctor’s orders.” He reminded her shaking his finger.

“Yes.” She smiled back sleepily.

With a kiss goodbye he closed the door behind him.

*

Bored with his new desk job, Mulder gave Doggett a call to give him a heads up on the recent death of an oil worker on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico.  The whole story reeked of black oil.  Doggett assured him he would look into the matter and take it seriously, but he knew he would need to follow up again.  Doggett had a lot to learn.  He thought for a moment and decided it might be best to give him a little push and contacted a Mr. Ortega, the VP of operations for Galpex petroleum in Galveston Texas.  Satisfied with the seeds he planted, he called it a day and headed out while it was still light.  After a good workout playing some hoops with the boys at the gym, he found himself driving aimlessly through town stopping at a local bookstore.  He meandered over to the baby section and tried his best not to look too conspicuous.  The lady behind the counter confirmed that he was failing miserably and gave him some suggestions for expectant mothers and fathers. Knowing his thirst for knowledge and unable to make a decision on a subject he realized he now knew little about, he bought them all.  It would be good reading on those days he was restless behind his desk and something to do when he couldn’t sleep at night.  Walking to his car with the bag of books in hand, his eyes began to well as emotion overtook him.  He may not have desired to be a father before, but he wanted to be this baby’s father and he wanted to be there for Scully.  Searching inside himself, he believed this baby would be healthy, but whether the results were an alien baby or healthy human child, he was committed to her for life.

Back at his apartment he cracked opened the first book and began filing away the information.  Like when he first leafed through the x-files he devoured the pages.  The T.V. blared in the background the news once again glancing over the oil rig story. Mulder looked up from the book.  Tomorrow he would do the background research and steer Doggett once again in the right direction.  They would need to act quickly before the workers returned to shore possibly infecting a population…..

Chapter Text

Scully’s morning began in Human Resources with the submitting of her completed maternity leave paperwork.  It was now official.  The date set.  It was so surreal.  This would be the longest that she had been without a job since she was sixteen.  Not to mention the x-files.  Would they be there when she returned?  She knew that she didn’t have to make those decisions until after the baby was born, although a 9-5 job teaching was more in line with child rearing.  Everyone was pleasant enough in HR, but as she left she felt the eyes upon her and could hear the whispers of the bullpen.  She knew they had been taking bets as to the father of the child.  It was really none of their business and she never cared what people thought about her, but part of her still wanted to scream out to them, I planned for this child, it wasn’t an accident.  Ignoring the ogling, she headed to Kersh’s office where HR had informed her he had asked her to report once she was finished. 

Back at his apartment, Mulder realized that besides the disapproving looks from her and Skinner, Scully hadn’t spoken to him much that day.  He figured she was still upset with his meddling into x-file affairs and disregarding the new regime.  He wasn’t going to deny that he was slightly jealous of the partnership between Scully and Doggett. They had a successful relationship with a professionalism that could be envied.  Doggett was solid, dependable, and consistent.  Mulder was sure Doggett never disappointed.  He was very different to Mulder who was arrogant, headstrong, and whose actions could be interpreted as impulsive. Although Mulder knew only he could bring Scully excitement, adventure, and most importantly, she was in love with him. While Doggett had great qualities for a partner, it also gave him what Mulder felt was a narrow field of vision. Mulder didn’t like having to get used to being the outsider and he didn’t like his baby being run by someone else. For now, the focus needed to be on what was really important.  In this case, it was how to get to that rig.

The house phone rang and he picked it up.  “Mulder”

“What exactly are you doing Mulder?” It was Scully.  He knew she couldn’t go a day without hearing his voice.

“I think you know” he replied pacing the floor in front of his couch.

“You really believe there is black oil out on that rig.”

“There’s only one way to find out and your Agent Doggett hasn’t a clue.”

“Is this what I should be expecting from you in the future Mulder?  Me taking care of a baby and you going off half-cocked on some possible conspiracy..”

“Now you know as well as I do I’m always at full…”

“You know what I mean Mulder and you know what we spoke about.  I don’t want this to be part of my baby’s life.”

“Scully, I know.  And you will do what is best for that baby, but whether you acknowledge it or not, I am too.  This is more than just a personal crusade.  I want this child to have a planet to grow up in and not one run by an alien government.”

“Mulder.”

“I know what I’m doing Scully.”

The phone made an echoing click as he hung it up on its receiver.  It was then he looked around.  He may have known what he was doing, but it was leading him to where it always did. The draft of his apartment sent an emptiness through him. The only family he had was across town and it gave him an odd sensation deep in his chest.  He missed them.  Scully and his unborn child.  His emotions were catching up to his brain and the pull on him was only in one direction.  The conflict between the work and a family was ripping him apart.  He would have to find a way to make this work.

Sitting in the helicopter on the way to the oil rig Mulder was convinced Doggett didn’t have the breadth to handle x-file cases. Although, he was quite impressed with Doggett’s knowledge of the files and the way he had memorized them.  Doggett was a good agent, but not a good fit for the department.  As the helicopter landed on the platform, Mulder thought about the consequences to his blatant disregard for Kersh’s orders. Although, if he was right, Kersh would never need to find out.

Meanwhile....

In the early A.M. Scully found herself in the autopsy room slicing and dicing without authorization into Simon De La Cruz.  Trusting Mulder’s instincts and her own, she was pretty certain there was a connection to his death and Mulder’s suspicions.  As much as she scolded Mulder, she willfully admitted to the draw of the truth. No matter who she was assigned to work with, he was still always her partner. In his absence she hadn’t exactly followed protocol herself anyway.  Carefully she investigated the body. When she cut into the third ventricle of his brain she jumped as a black substance spilled onto the table.  After proper examination she realized the black oil was inactive.  How could it be?  Quickly she picked up the phone to call Mulder, but she was only met with his voicemail.  Where was he and why wasn’t he answering his phone?  

When Mulder returned from Texas after the oil rig explosion he found himself knocking on Scully’s door.

“It’s good to see you home safe” Scully said stiffly as he walked inside. 

“You know I did what I had to” Mulder countered.

“I know.  Agent Dana Scully is very proud of you and understands.  The pregnant woman, not so much.”

Mulder smiled. “Is the Chinese food here yet?”

“Arrived about 5 minutes before you did.”

“I’ll get the utensils.”

Their dinner conversation took a serious tone once Mulder divulged his intentions.

“Tomorrow morning Kersh is going to fire me.”

“Mulder, I told you it’s not the same as it used to be, but he’ll most likely just put a formal reprimand in your file.  I doubt he’ll fire you without previous written warnings.  After all we still work for a government agency.”

“No Scully, tomorrow I’m going to tell Kersh to fire me.”

“Mulder, what are you talking about?”

“I have promises to keep.  The x-files will be left in competent hands.  I believe that now.”

“You’re going to leave, just like that.  Leave the bureau, your career, your life for the past ten years.”

“I have a different life now Scully.  One I want to pursue. One that has its own truths to discover.”

“And you would do this for me, just because I asked. Give up everything for me.”

“I’m doing it because you’re right Scully.”

“How do you know Kersh will go for it?”

“Who would turn down a chance to string up Fox Mulder?”

“You may have a point” she said with a wry smile.

After dinner they found themselves on the couch watching television.  Scully was resting one hand on her belly and the other on the cushion between them.  Mulder slowly covered her hand with his.  Would he be able to stay away from the work when the core of his life had always been the fight?  He looked at her and his heart contracted.  It may be his greatest test and greatest commitment, but the answer was yes. He gave her hand a squeeze causing her to look his way.  Impulsively, he leaned in and kissed her. Just over a year ago he would not have even been sitting there. His drive would have pulled him to investigating and chasing down the next big lead long into the night.  Instead, Scully was the only thing occupying his mind and the smile she had on her face for him was melting his heart.  As their kisses deepened, the passion she returned was taunting his command. He was trying so hard to be gentle and patient knowing the difficulties with her pregnancy.  It was not like him to allow his needs to get out of control, but his resurrection caused an insurgence he was unable to ignore. 

A couple minutes passed to find Mulder breathing hard and about to explode simply from her lips’ caress.  To be so excited so quickly was very unlike him and Scully was returning his zeal. Her hand roamed with a sensual undertone, eventually finding the zipper of his jeans. His hips tilting into her motions with anticipation.  At an excruciating pace the zipper opened. The heat of her hand brushed over the light cotton fabric of his boxer briefs and his body let him know how truly long he had been away from her touch. This was more than emotions or lust. This was about resurgence of a connection that causes a phone to ring at 11:21 at night or the ability to find the other across hundreds of miles on impulse in order to save them. As he peered into her eyes he felt her skin touch his as she breached his waistband.  It was exquisite. What she was doing to him. It made him wonder how he ever made it through his life without her.  His mouth fell open and breathing became ragged.  She was controlling him and he was along for the ride.  Her hand rubbing up and down his shaft was emanating unbelievable pleasure, electricity pulsing through him. Tilting his head back into the sofa, he closed his eyes, his breath now coming in slow concentrated pulses highlighted by the faintest of sound. Scully covered his mouth with kisses and his heart jack knifed in his chest.  How he loved having her mouth on his, especially when she initiated. The ability for her to be in touch with his sensations had him riding the edge, squeezing his eyelids tight while his toes curled and hands formed involuntary fists. With increased pressure she continued, her fingers coiled tight around him.   The reality of what she was doing, all for him, brought him to the brink.  He tried to warn her, but her hand only stroked him faster as her tongue darted inside his mouth. With a baritone scream he gave her a bear hug and buried his face in her neck as the muscles in his own bulged to the point of breaking.  Her hand continued to pump as a seemingly unending sprinkler soaked the sweatshirt covering his lower abdomen.

Mulder shot up quickly, embarrassed by the situation and sprinted for the bathroom.  When he emerged shirtless he realized Scully had changed into her silk evening wear. She was glowing and beyond gorgeous and he needed more of her. Catching her as she was leaving her bedroom he once again had his lips upon hers, his hands at the small of her back.  From her scent alone he felt himself growing hard all over again. There was no recovery time needed.  He could feel himself on the verge just from kissing her and his selfishness made him feel shameful. He paused to ask, “How can I please you?  What are the limits?” 

Very clinically she replied, “For my current condition, intercourse and orgasm is permitted as long as we’re careful.”

“Penetration?  Will that hurt you?  The baby?”

“It was a very slight tear and the doctor said that she believes it has healed on its own.  It’s not the penetration as much as the roughness associated in the act itself.  Am I making any sense?”

“So if we take it easy, we’re okay.  It won’t put you or the baby in any danger.”

“No…Mulder, what exactly do you have in mind?”

“You’ll see.”

She watched as he removed his jeans. Standing in only his black boxer briefs he positioned her delicately on her side on the bed helping her to remove her pajama bottoms and underwear so she was only wearing her silk button down top.  With probing eyes he ran his hands along her bottom, giving it a light squeeze, then down her unshaven legs. Scully gave a light kick of protest, but he let out a “Shhh” and she stilled.  She was always beautiful to him and the light scattering of auburn strands did nothing to stop his raging libido, pausing only to suck at the back of her knee running his hands along her thighs as he did.  He could hear her breathing spike in response.  As he made his way back to her lips he noted all the changes to her body.  His heart expanding exponentially at the thought of it all being for the love of their child.  She amazed him at every curve. This was just another piece of respect he had for her. When he returned to her eyes he witnessed the vulnerability in them and concern for his reaction to the new state of her body. 

His response was simple. “Scully, you are so beautiful.  I can’t hide what you do to me.” 

For several seconds there was only silence as they read each other, his hand holding hers at it laid on his chest.  It had been a long time… too long.  He saw in her eyes everything that he had missed. Those deep blue oceans stored all he sought and if they were the Pacific, his were the Atlantic both anticipating their collision South of South America. With a light kiss he ran his palm against the smoothness of her hair. Caressing her lips with his own, he cradled her face.  His bottom lip ran along her top lip and a high pitched moan escaped from her in a gasp of air. He repeated the motion and she opened wider plunging her tongue into his mouth.  The addicting flavor of Scully flooded his senses.  It was how he remembered, but it was also so much better.  Their feelings for each other had reached a new maturity.  He opened his eyes as their tongue and lips momentarily receded only to be met by her loving stare sending a spear of pleasure into his heart.  His hands ran along the back of her neck feeling the tiny hairs spike in their wake.  Fingers following the outline of her shoulders, leading to the front.  Unbuttoning her top, his pupils dilated at the sight.

“No more Betty Rubble”, Scully smirked.  His palm grazed her breast until he was cupping it, his thumb softly grazing her nipple. Carefully he judged her reaction.  Running kisses along the top of her breasts he continued until her belly was completely revealed. Scully’s hands ran through his hair massaging his scalp sending tingles down his spine.  His hands held her belly as he kissed it softly and he felt it kick in response.  It made him smile and he looked up at her own smiling approval.  Overwrought with emotion, he rested his face against her abdomen listening for the baby inside.  Their wonderful miracle. The care he was taking was causing a look of frustration to develop on Scully’s face, which he finally picked up on, and changed his attention back to her breasts producing noticeable gasps of pleasure.  The excitement built to the point of a constant throbbing. Fearing a loss of control he returned to her lips.  When they came up for air, he moaned from the look she gave him, nodding his head in agreement.  Quickly, he removed his boxer briefs.    His lips pressed and moved against hers, she returned his intensity, her hands continuing to roam as they kissed, begging him to touch her.  Scully ran her fingertips along his abdomen, reading him like brail. His throat went dry and tight as she teased him with her fingers.   His hand ran up her thigh massaging the soaked molten area between her legs, attempting to sooth her ache. Stroking his tongue along hers, he felt suddenly lightheaded, his heart beating out of his chest. She pulled him deeper into her mouth and dug her nails into the flesh of his back moans escaping with each momentary pause for air.  Their kissing became frantic and he knew if he let his control slip anymore he was going to come again.  After several more minutes they were panting for air once again on the verge.  Their lips swollen and red from the ferocity. Their hearts beating fast and loud.

Scully let out in a whisper, “I want this Mulder.  I need you.”

The emphasis she put on the words made him explode with emotion.  He cherished every ounce of her.  There was nothing he wouldn’t do to make her happy. Adjusting to a spooning position, he reached around to continue stroking her, taking himself and tenderly sliding inside.  The feeling was indescribable.  It was as though he was a virgin, experiencing sex and her love for the first time.  This was very different than anything before.  It was the sum total of eternity, unabridged, intact. “Scully, is this okay?  Is everything all right?” His voice was trembling as he fought to contain himself.

“Mulder this is way more than okay.  You have no comprehension of how much I missed this.  Of how much I missed you.” Completely inside her, their love was so deep there wasn’t a place he wasn’t touching, not a part of him he wasn’t giving. Refusing to thrust his hips, he rotated them instead, feeling the inside of her walls pulsing with electricity for him.  Relentlessly he used his precious digits to rub her back and forth, circling and teasing until he felt her body trembling with need.  “God, Mulder that feels so good.” At the same time she said it her body clenched around him, the emotions and sensations followed with a flash of pleasure spiraling through him.  He held strong, not moving, allowing their connection to take him there.  Her body flushed turning hot and he knew they were perilously close.  He pressed his face tight into her back, his other hand over their son kicking inside, knowing their love for him and each other. A rush of blissful contentment inundated Mulder’s system as Scully’s inner muscles clamped down on him, milking him to completion.  His ears ringing with the sounds of her pleasure, he allowed Scully to consume him.

He woke sometime in the middle of the night to find them in the same position, not recalling ever separating. It was apparent they both had passed out.  Scully stirred as he stroked her hair kissing the back of her neck.  She turned her head to kiss him and smiled.  They had only just woke yet she already had his heart melting like chocolate over a fire.  She retreated to the bathroom, a perplexed look coming across her face upon her return making his stomach churn. “Scully, please don’t make me leave tonight.”

His plea softened her expression. “Mulder, that thought didn’t even cross my mind.  I was just trying to see if we had enough pillows…” 

 

Morning came to find Mulder in Kersh’s office as promised.  Rubbing his sweating hands on his slacks he sat down opposite Kersh’s glare.

“Agent Mulder. If you’re in my office to defend Agent Doggett’s actions out on that rig you’re wasting your time.  I’ve got Agent Doggett out there costing an oil company $150,000 a day, Agent Scully performing unauthorized autopsies, an assistant director who’s defending these actions, and you calling up Vice Presidents starting all this mess.  And you’re here to tell me what?  That I shouldn’t be shutting down the x-files and everyone should be commended for their actions?  Come on Agent Mulder, surely you’ve come to me with something better than that.”

“Actually I have sir.  I have a proposal that may just fit everyone’s interests.  What if you were to fire me.”

“I’m listening.”

“You fire me because I was the one out on that rig.  I was there and I coerced Agent Doggett into giving those orders. You have your scapegoat.  The powers that be will see you as taking corrective action and holding people accountable.  I will go quietly as long as Scully, Skinner, Doggett, and the x-files are left alone.  Scully will go on her maternity leave and Agent Doggett will be your new best friend. I’m confident that Doggett will be serving your best interests in the future.”

“And what’s in it for you Agent Mulder? How does the unemployment line suit your needs?”

“I have other priorities.  A promise and a commitment I made a while ago. Now is the time to make good on that commitment and that promise.”

After a long pause Kersh shuffled some papers on his desk. “Very well then. I’ll call them and tell them there’s no need to see them. As far as everyone is concerned, the blame has been properly assigned for what happened out on that platform.  I’ll have HR draw up the paperwork for your severance package.  What will you do for work Agent Mulder?”

“With my parent’s passing I came into rather large sums of money.  I should be able to live off the interest for quite some time, if not permanently.”

“Good Luck to you Agent Mulder. I’ll contact you at your desk when we have your paperwork ready.” 

With that Mulder headed down to the basement for what he thought would be the last time to say goodbye to his legacy and to hand the x-files off to the competent Agent John Doggett.  It was time for Agent Fox Mulder to take on new more exciting responsibilities.

 

The following days found Fox Mulder falling into a daily workout routine.  Early morning runs, then off to the YMCA to play some hoops and lift weights.  Some days swimming in the indoor heated pool.  A good part of the day he was reading baby books and learning how to assemble baby furniture.  This particular morning’s run had him filled with anxiety and a slight identity crisis.  Who was Fox Mulder without the x-files?  Would being a stay-at-home dad be enough for him?  Not that he had discussed any of that with Scully.  In his mind he was taking care of the baby while she taught young agents how to find the truth. Yet in reality, they were still in separate apartments.  Not wanting to stay cooped up all day at Scully’s place, he often retreated back across town soon after she left for work.  Some days he stayed at his apartment, but it was really because he didn’t want to come across as eager or smothering.  He knew the real reason was because he was waiting for her to accept that he was committed.  Scully gave him all the signs that she wanted him at arm’s length until the baby was born.  Which for them was a different definition than everyone else, but didn’t that go for everything with them?  In the end, Scully still had it in the back of her mind that the baby may not be his and she was secretly preparing herself for the worst.  That was the reason she refused to commit until she was able to perform the DNA test.  They never spoke about any of it out loud, but it was communicated all the same.  So until the birth he remained at his respected distance, patiently waiting out the days.  Preparing in solitude in his own apartment while she worked out her last days before leave. He respected and loved her enough to let her lead the dance.  In his heart he knew they knew the truth.  They felt it with each kick, the same way they were able to feel each other. That baby was theirs.  Healthy and alive.  Waiting to meet them.

That night at dinner Scully asked Mulder if he would want to go to Lamaze classes with her telling him that she needed a partner.

“Of course, you don’t have an obligation.” She had added.  Sometimes their dance bordered on absurdity.  Did she really think he would leave her if it was an alien child?  But he took a deep breath and instead of starting that argument he simply locked into her gaze, held her hand between his and stated. “I would really enjoy that Scully.  I’d be happy to.” Then picked up his fork and continued to eat dinner.  Just a few more weeks he thought to himself.

The phone rang and Scully got up to answer it.  “Hello Mom……Yeah….Yeah…I guess we could do it then….no, we can have it at my house…..that’s fine….Ok…I’m fine Mom….Yes everything’s still normal…..Yes I will tell Mulder you asked about him……No mom….no…because I want to wait until the baby is born……yes I will have the DNA test done and I will tell everyone after everything is confirmed….because I told you why….ok….thank you…..love you too mom….bye.”  With that Scully hung up the phone and faced Mulder with a sigh and a smile.  “That, was my mother.  She says hello and sends her regards.  It seems she’s throwing me a baby shower in a couple weeks.  You’ll want to stay away for the day.”

He found it odd that she was obviously keeping the father of the baby secret from her mother.  He was positive Maggie knew anyway.  More absurdity and paranoia.  He hoped it was only the hormones.  “When you talk to your mother again tell her I send my love.”

 

The eve of her last day at work was laden with anxiety.  “Mulder, can you believe tomorrow is my last day already?  What if I decide to go through with my plan and not return to the x-files?  Will I be able to stay away? Will they shut it down without me there?” 

“Scully”, he breathed lying next to her in bed stroking her hair. “I went through all the same thoughts before I left, but in the end, the truth is out there and as long as it is, there will always be someone searching for the answers.  That I am sure.  It’s like I said last May, there has to be an end sometime. You need to put your trust in Doggett. It was you that finally convinced me to see that he was more than competent of running the department.  You only have one thing right now that you need to focus on.”  Kissing her on the forehead he added, “Get some sleep.  I have a feeling tomorrow will be a long day.”

Chapter Text

“Now Mulder, once you finish…” Frohike cleared his throat “reading... I expect the magazine returned with no pages stuck together.”  Mulder’s feet were propped up on the desk inside the Lone Gunman’s lair, the rest of his body reclined in an office chair as his mind was enthralled in a Hustler magazine.  Unemployment had resulted in an unexpected rise in social skills. Well, he wasn’t exactly an extrovert, but he had left the apartment, so that counted as something.

“Oh, you mean the way you returned mine?” Mulder tilted his head towards Frohike with raised eyebrows. Nestled inside this month’s Hustler was Parenting Magazine.  Not wanting to deal with the barrage of questions and smart remarks, Mulder felt it would be more fitting with the Hustler cover.  He didn’t want to traumatize anyone with his new found addiction.  Looking at his watch he realized it was time to head out. “Love to finish this conversation, but I’ve got an appointment I can’t be late for.”  He grabbed his jacket and threw it on pointing the rolled up magazine at his friend, “Thanks for the loaner.” Then he headed out the door to Scully’s. 

 “I watch a lot of Oprah.” Was his answer to Scully concerning how well versed he was on the subject of giving birth.  They were on their way to Lamaze class and he didn’t want to spill the specifics of all he had been preparing. He could only hope his diligence would be enough once the baby arrived. Luckily, Scully was distracted with concern for Doggett now battling the x-files alone.  Mulder didn’t hold much sympathy or want to linger on thoughts of Scully’s preoccupation with Doggett.  His only concern was the baby.  “Doggett is a big boy.  You have to worry about the little boy….or little girl”, Mulder admonished, but not before the ring of what he said resounded in his head.  Before now it never occurred to him to ask.. “Boy? Or Girl?”

A flirtatious grin graced the face of his celestial eyed wonder.  Graciously she chose not to torment him. “Boy”

His heart flipped in his chest.  All he wanted was for it to be healthy and human, but knowing the sex gave the event weight. Scully must have read his expression. “Would you like to go to the next doctor’s appointment and see him on the sonogram?  You could even hear his heart beat.”

He didn’t know how to respond, he wanted to do it all.  “Yes.  Would that be okay with you?”

Scully’s cheeks flushed. “Mulder, am I really that bad that you would think I wouldn’t let you experience seeing the baby?”

“No. Scully I just. I want you to be comfortable. This isn’t something for you to fret over.  Let’s just concentrate on getting us on time to class and we’ll worry about the rest later.” 

Part of later, which he would soon learn, was sneaking into FBI headquarters to witness Scully slicing and dicing which was definitely against the doctor’s list of restricted duties. It forced him to step in, help Doggett and save the day.  There wasn’t much he wouldn’t do for Scully.  Besides he knew Skinner appreciated his help if no one else did.

*

The orders were simple.  Distract Mulder and his minions so they had easy access to Scully’s baby. Billy Miles began with killing Dr. Luv and Parenti to raise Mulder’s suspicions.  It allowed them to rid evidence and destroy the human’s feeble attempts at creating hybrids to save their race.  Next Krycek earned their trust by helping keep Scully away from the clutches of Billy Miles.  Kersh was threatened with his life and family if he didn’t follow suit.  With Kersh’s help Rohrer and Crane were able to secure the location of Scully’s whereabouts by listening to the phone logs.  Krycek spun his yarn with Skinner, Scully, and Mulder while Knowle earned Doggett’s trust with mumbo jumbo he’d more easily swallow.  It all went according to plan. For a lie is most believable placed between two truths.  The truth was there was a higher power. A power with a love so pure as to give way for a miracle.  As with all miracles, this one came with a price. Including a prophecy of a dead father so a son could reign supreme or a son that would be the salvation of the human race led by his father’s will.  Krycek was chosen to be the messenger delivering the final nail into the skull of Fox Mulder.

The plan was going so perfectly they actually left Scully in the protective hands of Alex Krycek.

Meanwhile, the aliens followed her down to Georgia looking for a soul to steal.  They would come to bear witness to the miracle ensuring the baby was born.

It was all going according to plan until Mulder’s brilliant mind started to turn in the same direction as theirs, highlighted by his acute powers of deduction.  As he was on the phone with Doggett he saw the connection between Rohrer, Crane, and Kersh and figured it all out….Krycek wasn’t there to help them, he was there to save his own ass by working with the aliens and damn the human race.  “They’ve been in on it all along, fooling us Agent Doggett, into chasing after Billy Miles, into believing that we could protect her.  They know where she is.  You called her from a phone inside the FBI.  Didn’t you?”  Then the final click of his gear.  They’re all alien replacements.

Hesitation killed Krycek.  Was it the smallest sense of decency or just cowardice?  The Prince of Darkness tempted Skinner to join the aliens and kill Mulder and his answer couldn’t have been a more perfect hole into his cranium. Mulder bore witness to Skinner’s killshot in cold blood, shocked for the moment, remorse for a millisecond, then his mind was clearer than ever with singular focus. “Scully”. 

The light from the night sky shone down on their location like the brightest of rays on the clear Georgia night.  The starlight danced around it, then froze in place at the sight of great hope and awe. The starlight had spoken to Mulder to find his way and he had listened, he had heard.  In that moment he felt greater than just himself, greater than any other force. He knew what that voice told him.  He had the power to find them and keep them safe. Scully and that baby had the power to save everyone. The helicopter roared changing direction as Mulder’s heart thundered in his ears, spotting the red backlights of thousands of cars.  Where was Scully?  Frantically, he searched, but all the cars ignored him in their departure.  Had they taken her?  Was she okay?  Relief washed over him as Monica shouted to him over the vehicles that she was inside, alive with their child, but needing hospital care.

“Mulder!” She called out to him. His name never meant so much.  He had found Scully. She was weak and her breathing was ragged, but she was smiling holding their son.  Monica handed him a blanket and he scooped up Scully as she clung to the baby.  The helicopter blades showering wind on their heads as he carried them inside.

Refusing to let go he held them on his lap as they flew away.  Scully had lost a lot of blood and was fading in and out of consciousness, but when their eyes met she had a last flood of adrenaline.  “Mulder. Our son.”  Her voice was weak. “They didn’t take him Mulder. They didn’t take him.”

He rocked her and kissed her forehead trying his best not to tear, not to let his emotions get the best of him. “I know Scully.  Just rest for now.  We’ll be at the hospital soon.” His hand brushed over her forehead pushing the hair from her eyes. “I told you Scully, I won’t let anything happen to you. I will protect you till my last breath.” Monica was staring, smiling from ear to ear on the seat across from them.  “She really did great.  You have a lot to be proud of.”

Mulder acknowledged all Monica had done.  What she must have went through when all those super soldiers arrived. The fear and the helplessness. “Monica, I want to thank you for everything.  You’re the reason they’re okay.”

“Thank you Fox, but it really was all Scully.  I just played catcher.”

“You did much more than that Monica and I am grateful.”

He held Scully tight.  William cooed softly drifting to sleep. Mulder's family was lying happily, peacefully, in his arms.

Chapter Text

He fit his key into the lock and with a deep breath stepped inside listening for voices.  He had left the apartment to give her some time with her mother alone, although the muffled voices he heard were of the male persuasion. Scully’s apartment now contained his son.  His son.  It was a lot to accept yet he was all accepting.  This was a home now.  A home where his family resided.  Where he would reside as a father and, if he played his cards right, possibly a husband.  He heard the voices of the three wise Lone Gunman and walked towards her bedroom door.  Making small talk he waited for them to leave. Upon hearing the door shut, he stepped inside the bedroom.  They were finally alone for the first time as a family.  The sight of her, of them.  His son.  He let it seep in. Sitting on the bed, cradling him in her arms she walked towards him. 

“How’s everybody doing?” He asked not hiding his happiness.

“We’re doing just fine.” She glowed back.

William started fussing at the sight of his father.  He wanted his daddy.

“Hey now, none of that.” Mulder responded and William listened.

Scully handed him his son to hold. It made her happy to see them together.   Mulder looked so masculine with the baby in his arms.  Her man holding their child. 

“Hi”, he said to her as he rocked his son. “What are you going to call him?”

“William.  After your father.” She said with adoring eyes.  She had gotten the results of the DNA test back.  It was now undeniable.  Fox Mulder was William’s father.  What Mulder and Scully did not know, could not know was the DNA results showed that he was a healthy human boy with no abnormalities, but the results were normal because a complete DNA strand analysis was not taken.  What they had completed was a simple DNA paternity test.  If they had taken the full strand, Scully would have discovered that not only was all their baby’s “junk” DNA strands active, but several of hers were as well.  Both the mother and the child contained the active alien DNA strands. In addition, William had additional attached DNA from unknown origin separate from his own, yet part of him all the same as well as other exceptional traits from both of his parents.  For now, all Mulder and Scully wanted to know was that his father was Fox Mulder and he was healthy. Mulder couldn’t describe the glow forming inside and didn’t know if he was strong enough to hold all the joy in his heart.  She smiled at him and it was all he could handle without exploding with emotion.  He had a need to lighten the moment.

“Well, I don’t know, he’s got your coloring and your eyes, yet he looks suspiciously like Assistant Director Skinner.” This produced a laugh that both of them shared.

Scully decided to ask the question looming in the air. “I don’t understand, Mulder.  They came to take him from us.  Why they didn’t?”

“I don’t quite understand that either except maybe he wasn’t what they thought he was.  That doesn’t make him any less of a miracle though, does it?” 

“From the moment I became pregnant, I feared the truth. About how….and why. And I know that you feared it, too.”

“I think what we feared were the possibilities.”  He looked deep into her eyes in a way that gave her the ability to feel his words in her heart. “The truth we both know.” 

And she did know, deep down in places people don’t dare to talk about, but being Scully, she was always after the proof, proof that he meant what she felt. “Which is what?” She wanted to hear the words, so they could comfort her and appease her conscience. It was important to Mulder she stopped being “doubting Thomas”.  This was not an x-file.  This was the truth.  Their truth.  A truth that was more than words. He leaned in and pressed his lips to hers communicating everything she needed to know.  It was their unbreakable bond, their love, their friendship, the fate of a journey they chose together.  Their love realized in physical form.  A love that could never become death and it far surpassed life. Much more than our simple three dimensional world and infinitely more complex, in itself it was a trinity. Together as one yet three distinct individuals. Like the bond of H2O is the trinity of water, ice, and steam, as the sun is the trinity of radiation, heat, and light, Mulder, Scully, and William were the trinity of love. And as their lips continued their reunion over sweet William, the manifestation of their bond, she reached out her hand to Mulder caressing his arm.  

They stood that way until Mulder realized William had drifted to sleep.  He lowered William into the bassinet.  That and the changing table were William’s gifts from his father. With a soft kiss on the forehead, Mulder and Scully left him to sleep.

Mulder changed clothes, washing his face and brushing his teeth, then got into bed with Scully.  Facing each other in bed, she smiled at him while he ran his hand over her head, kissing her forehead and then her lips.  He looked into her eyes with admiration and humility for all she had done.  She responded by placing her arms around him, snuggling herself into the embrace.

“How are you feeling?”

“Very tired, drained, but I’m okay Mulder.”  Her face showed the strain, but her spirit was as strong as ever.

“Thank you for staying here Mulder.”

“Scully, where else would I possibly be?” He wasn’t playing this tune again.  No more pretending, no more games. “Listen Scully, you’ve spoken at great length about not making any demands on me concerning yourself and the baby and…..  I don’t like our current situation.”

“You don’t”

“No, I don’t.  I want to come home to the two of you every night and wake up to you every morning.  I don’t want to have to question where we stand or worry about where we’re going.  I don’t want to pretend that I don’t want you to be my family and I don’t want you thanking me every time I do something for our son like I’m doing you a favor.  I want William to carry my name. What I’m trying to say… Scully… is that… I want for us what I wanted over a year ago.” He held both her hands together inside his.  He could feel them trembling underneath his grasp. “Dana, I love you and I want you to marry me.”

“Mulder…”

“Scully, before you say no, before you doubt anything Scully…”

“Yes. Mulder…. I’m saying yes. I love you Mulder.”

“I love you too.”    

She smiled at him and he couldn’t stop himself.  His heart was pounding out of his chest. He cradled her head in his hands as he kissed her over and over again.

William woke up a couple hours later for a feeding.  Scully sat in the chair besides the bed and nursed him.  When she went to lay William back down in his crib she noticed Mulder was awake and staring at them smiling.  “Can you lay him in bed with us?”

“I don’t know Mulder.  That’s kind of dangerous.  We could smother him in our sleep or he could get hurt.”

“He’ll be fine Scully.  I’ll keep an eye on him.”

After some hesitation she got into bed and positioned William between them.

They formed a heart with their bodies, William in the center.  One of them with one eye open watching the other two sleep.  When William stirred again, it was Mulder who insisted on changing him.  With a focused precision he cleaned the baby and applied his diaper. When Mulder returned with William, Scully was staring at him.  “You didn’t learn all that from Oprah Mulder.”

“You’d be surprised what you can learn from Oprah Scully.”

Scully opened her eyes in the night to see William cuddling with his father.  Mulder was curled in the fetal position wrapping William in his own cocoon.  Looking at the two men she loved curled up together in such peaceful slumber made her heart swoon.  All her dreams had been realized. Could it be that the dark days were truly past them? 

When morning came Scully fed William and placed him back in his bassinet.  Mulder got up to brush his teeth and headed back into bed. She brushed her own before returning to Mulder’s warm open arms. He stared at her, he couldn’t take his eyes off her face.  Scully had given him more than he ever knew he wanted or thought he deserved or had the right to ask for. “Scully, thank you for giving me the amazing gift of my son.  I love you and William so much.” He said it with such conviction Scully had no choice but to return the sentiment with a kiss.  Kissing until they eventually fell back to sleep.

Mulder woke to Scully draped over him, radiating heat.  She looked content.  He held her and tried his best not to move and wake her.  She had done a good job of pinning him to the mattress and when she did finally open her eyes he was positive he had lost all feeling in his right arm.  “How’s mommy doing today?” He asked in earnest rubbing his arm back to life.

“I’m feeling pretty good Mulder.  Better than I thought I would.”

Mulder got up and made breakfast as Scully showered.  They ate as William slept and when he began to cry Scully asked Mulder if he would like to feed him.  “How do I do that?” He asked excited at the proposition.

“I pumped some in the night, all you need to do is warm it up.” It was like Christmas morning for Mulder.  She showed him how to hold him on his lap and how to hold the bottle.  The experience was humbling, an intense bonding moment for him with his son, to be part of providing his son with the nutrition he needed for survival and he got quite a kick out of having the opportunity to burp him. 

When William went down for his next nap, Mulder and Scully decided to have some alone time on the couch.  Rubbing her back gently, he simply held her, nestling his face in her hair, inhaling her scent.  Placing a gentle kiss on her forehead, he looked into her eyes and met her smile.  “How are you feeling?” 

“I’m still tired, but I’m not in pain. I’m okay.  You can stop asking me that.  There’s no need for you to be worrying about me.”

“You should probably be resting.”

“You should probably be kissing me.” She met his lips and he shifted his body weight so he could lie alongside her.  Softly he ran his fingertip through her hair staring at her and smiling. They stared at each other for a while, their eyes communicating the love they felt, his hands at her back careful not to get carried away.  It was an effort with so many emotions running through him. When they kissed again, her tongue wasted no time finding his. They were making up for lost time and at the same time celebrating their future.  Kissing her was intoxicating, electricity flowing through them both. He was growing hard against the softness of her inner thigh, secretly berating himself for such a selfish reaction. Scully moaned in response pressing herself harder against him. He pulled back from their kiss and smiled raising an eyebrow. “You are an evil woman.”

“You’re teasing me.”  She said reclaiming his lips, her hand stroking his face.  With both arms around her he held her tighter against him as their kiss deepened.  He claimed her earlobe and Scully moaned his name, tilting her head to give him better access to her neck.  Distracted from new unclaimed territory he released the lobe and nibbled his way down her throat lightly kissing and sucking at the nape of her neck.  He followed the trail back up and found a sweet spot where he took up residence, sucking gently.  That brought a groan from Scully and now it was her turn, pulling his shirt up over his head exposing his broad chest.  It was obvious that being unemployed had done wonders for his physique.  Apparently he had moved up on his reps and had been doing lots of crunches. He grunted as her lips feathered over his nipples, tracing one with her tongue and then the other.  Mulder lowered his head to find her lips again and as they kissed she answered him eager and demanding.   His eyes went wide as Scully’s hand slid around his waist and slipped down his backside giving it a massage and squeeze. Her hand shifted towards the front and he spoke through their kisses, “Easy Scully, I’m still a ticking time bomb.”

“I want to touch you Mulder.”

“Scully, you can do whatever you want. Just know because of the affect you have on me there may be consequences.” He ran his fingers through her hair.  “You’re beautiful Scully.”    

Her hands continued their exploration up his muscular back stopping at his shoulder blades pulling him down closer to her, rejoining his lips.  He wasn’t quite sure where any of this was leading, but he was enjoying her touch.  It was reassuring, calming and exciting at the same time.  Her nails were delicately scratching up and down his back as their lips caressed the others. He couldn’t stop himself from moaning her name over and over again. Her hands came back up over his chest pushing him back to look at him. “I love your body Mulder” she said with hooded eyes.

“It belongs to you now Scully.  It exists only for you.”

Mulder held her, content to claim her lips occasionally reclaiming her neck only to return to her kisses.  Seizing the opportunity to explore her mouth, slide his tongue along hers, while their lips continued their dance. 

Meanwhile, Scully’s hand had been drifting down towards his inner thigh. As it brushed between his legs it caused an audible gasp followed by a groan from Mulder as his eyes shut and head dropped.   She was tormenting, but it was giving her great pleasure, and that’s what he cared about.  When she reached for the button of his jeans he did not prevent her from undoing it and releasing the zipper.  However, once she had freed him, he grabbed her wrist.  “Scully, I’m very content just to kiss you.”

“I know. I want to touch you.”

“It’s yours Scully, you can do with it as you wish.” He said releasing her hand in compliance. He lifted up and lowered his pants and underwear the rest of the way down his legs, freeing his feet with the help of his toes.   All he could think about was how much he loved her and wanted to make her happy.

Not knowing her next move, he returned to his obsession with her lips and gasped the moment her fingers made contact. Mulder stiffened and moaned as pleasure slid through them both, Scully running her fingertips along his length, stroking it with the lightest touch.  He intensified his kiss and became lost in her. It was a slow burn, but the feeling was magnificent. He watched her face as her touch became urgent, seeing his reaction to her in her face. “Mulder, I want to watch you come. I want to feel it in your eyes.”

“Oh God Scully.” He gasped.  Fear of waking William had kept him quiet, but her words put him in a place he could not return from. He swelled in her hand, failing to manage all the feelings she was creating.  “Let me hear you Mulder. I want to hear you come for me.” As she said the words she stroked him. The pull sending pleasure shooting through him, he throbbed into her touch.

“Scully” Her words, to hear them leave her lips was overwhelming. He complied moaning with each stroke, breathing hard so she could feel him crescendo, his face straining as he met her gaze.  He stared at the warm glow in her deep blue eyes, her hands were graceful in their touch, and she was simply amazing.  She let out a moan and he could see in her face she was enjoying this tremendously even though his contact with her remained chase.  His hips bucked into her hand, sweat pouring from his face in an attempt to maintain composure, her thumb caressing the ridge as her fingers stayed wrapped around him.  She had him close. Throwing his head back his mouth opened to let out a cry.  He froze suddenly all feelings draining from his body.  That was not his cry.  It was William.  He fell away from her into the couch and let out a laugh, bringing her with him.

He answered her before she had a question. “Let me get him. I should have probably stopped you anyway.  You need your rest. This is the last thing we should be doing.” While she protested he quickly threw on his jeans and shirt. He picked her up against her wishes and carried her to the bed insisting on her taking a nap, while he tended to William.  Then he cleaned up the dishes and straightened the place up, even picking up a rag to dust.  Later on he joined her for a power nap of his own until William cried out. So he picked him up again, changed him, and lulled him back to sleep.

Later on that day, Mulder was relaxing with a soda and a sandwich while watching television.  William was on the couch next to him making many failed attempts to get Mulder’s watch into his mouth as Mulder rubbed his belly.

Scully walked into the living room. “Mulder, I’m going to take a shower, is it alright if you keep an eye on William until I get out?”

“Scully, he’s my son.  Don’t ask me if it’s alright for me to perform something that is already my responsibility.  Yes, I will watch him, but because it is expected, not because it is a request.”

She held both hands up in defeat. “You’re right, I need to think differently. I’m sorry.  Forgive me?”

He got up off the couch and kissed the top of her head pleasantly surprised. She had said he was right without an argument.  This day may just be one for the books. 

Once out of the shower, Scully returned from the bathroom in her silk robe, drying her hair with a towel.  “How are my boys?”

Mulder came up to her with the baby in his arms and a burp cloth draped over his shoulder. “We’re doing fine patiently waiting for mommy.” He handed the baby to Scully giving her a kiss on the lips.  “I think I’m getting good at this Scully.”

“I think you’ve always been good at it Mulder.”

He kissed her again. “I love you”

“And I love you Mulder.” This time she kissed him, brushing his chest with her free hand.  She walked away to put William down.  Mulder watched her and noticed her swollen ankles.  “Scully is that normal for your ankles to be that swollen?”

“Yes Mulder and my feet as well.”

Take your clothes off and get on the bed. He patted the mattress.  “Come on.”

“Mulder.”

He insisted once again and maybe because she was still weak from the labor, she agreed without much of a struggle. She got on the bed keeping her robe and panties on still recovering from the effects of childbirth.

Mulder grabbed the baby oil from the changing table and squirted it on his hands.  He lifted her foot and rubbed it tenderly, gingerly guiding his hands up to her calf and down as his thumbs carefully massaged her ankles.  “Does that feel better?” He was genuinely concerned.  Knowing Scully, she was hard on her body demanding it to be healed before it was ready. “Mulder, I don’t know what has come over you, but don’t stop.” Yes, she was definitely enjoying her day at the Fox Mulder Resort and Spa.  “I’m happy Scully.” He moved to her other leg and she let out a moan of relief.  “I'm happy too Mulder... I'm in love with you.” He crawled up to her face and kissed her, his heart exploding from his chest in an attempt to join with hers. "I am very much in love with you Dana Scully."

He continued his massage, rolling her to her front, removing her robe and starting with her shoulders.  When he got to her lower back he realized that she had drifted off to sleep.  It was then he heard the door.  It was her mother.  He closed the bedroom door behind him and motioned to her mother that Scully and the baby were sleeping.  She gave him a hug. “There are congratulations in order are there not?”

“Yes there are.  I even have a copy of the DNA test to prove it. I’m having it framed.” 

“Congratulations Fox.” She said kissing his cheek. 

“Thank you. Congratulations to you too.  You’re a grandma again.”

“Yes, but this is somehow even better.  It’s different when it’s your daughter.”  She paused for a moment and her face dropped, he could see she was thinking of Melissa.

“So Maggie, I was told you came over to cook?”

“Yes.”  She said as she took the lasagna out of the freezer.  “I had packed these meals away just for this occasion.  All we need to do is cook this in the oven and we’re set. Come Fox, help me make the salad.” 

When Scully woke from her nap she joined them watching her mother order Mulder around the kitchen.  Mulder threw an arm around Scully and whispered, “Can we tell your mother now?”

“Tell her what?  Oh…. yeah, I’m sure she’d love to hear the news.”

“Tell me what Dana?” Maggie asked drying her hands with the dish towel. “What is it?  Good news?” She was looking back and forth from Scully to Mulder.

Mulder smiled at Maggie, standing behind Scully, rubbing her shoulders. “There’s no ring yet..but..I asked Dana to marry me and she said yes.”

Maggie covered her mouth with her hands.  “Dana, Fox that’s incredible!”  She threw her arms over both of them so they were in a three way hug. “I have a new son and a new grandson!”

Scully shied away.  “I think we just made this the happiest day of my mother’s life.”

“Why don’t we celebrate?!” Mulder exclaimed, “I’ve got some champagne we can open.” 

So they sat at dinner eating Maggie’s lasagna and sipping champagne as a happy family.  Maggie reached over and placed her hand over Mulder’s cheek, smiling, “He’s so handsome.  Isn’t my new son handsome Dana?”

“Yes, mom, he’s unbelievable, I don’t know how I keep my hands off him.” She said in a sarcastic voice, but she sat down smiling and rested her hand on his knee as he put his arm around her. She recognized the need to learn to relax her controlling nature.  It was not right not to let him in.  Mulder would be officially in her life on documented paper. He searched her eyes and she kissed him on the cheek. “You know something, you’re right mom.  He is handsome and that is why we have such a beautiful son.” He smiled in part disbelief and she kissed him again reassuringly.  “You’re mine.” She whispered in his ear and it went right to his heart.  He grabbed her untouched champagne glass and whispered back, “I’ve always been yours and I think you’ve had enough.”

“If I’m drunk, it’s only because you’re intoxicating.” She replied back in a voice he was sure couldn’t be sincere. Mulder reached around to feel the back of Scully’s neck to check for the telltale markings of a super soldier.  Surely she had been possessed. 

Her mother had gotten up and was now busy clearing dishes. He took the opportunity to grab Scully’s hand and kissed it, interlacing her fingers with his own.  Leaning towards her he whispered “I love you” and lightly kissed her returning to her gaze. It was the gaze that locked their eyes, the one that made the rest of the world fall from view, and it sent lightening through them both. She ran her nose against his and slowly met his lips. Their foreheads leaned against one another’s as his eyes remained closed absorbing the feeling.  He opened his eyes to meet hers once again, still two inches from her face while his hand gently stroked her cheek, hers on his face.  His eyes wandered upward towards her mother and he straightened up clearing his throat.  “Scully, we’re being rude.”

“It’s okay, Fox” Maggie said as she brought coffee in from the kitchen with some cheese Danishes. “I’ve never seen Dana as happy as she is when she’s with you.  You’ve changed her Fox. In a good way.”

Scully blushed, but didn’t comment.

After dessert and more conversation Maggie excused herself for the night.

They both showed her to the door and she hugged both of them goodbye giving Mulder a strong kiss on the cheek.  “Congratulations again Fox.” She said staring at the two of them. “To the both of you.”

When the door shut Scully got up on her toes kissing Mulder, leaning him into the door.  He picked her up, carrying her to the bedroom.  She let out a surprised squeal of his name.   

Her nose grazed his, their eyes closing just before their lips touched.  Mulder pulled back in a grin his hands shaping her face.  “I never knew I could be this happy Scully.” He said gently pulling her into his arms as they laid in bed.  Scully put her arm around his neck playing with the back of his soft dark hair.

“I understand.  I never thought I’d let myself be this happy.  I love you Mulder. Right now I can’t stop telling you that.”

“Don’t.” He grabbed her closer to him as he covered her with kisses.  Their tongues entwined and it was all he could do from melting into her arms. 

William’s cries woke him in the night. Mulder was still cradled in Scully’s arms, his head on her chest covering her like a blanket.  He performed a pushup around her so as not to wake her and got up to change William.  He laid him back down in the bassinet, but he started to cry again so they took a walk into the living room.  Bouncing William in his arms as he walked, supporting his head with his hand, pressing his lips to his forehead, he heard what sounded like a tapping at the door.  He looked at the time in disbelief.  This could not be good.

Standing in the hallway of Scully’s apartment building before daylight on Sunday morning was Kersh.  Sweat was beading at his hairline as he gently knocked on the door hoping it wouldn’t wake a sleeping baby.  Fear of being followed and the fear of a bugged apartment kept him on his toes.  Kersh put his finger to his lips as Mulder thankfully answered the door ushering him into the hallway. 

Mulder’s posture straightened at the sight and stepped into the hallway delicately shutting the door with William still in his arms.  “You’re the last person I would expect to grace this doorstep.  Did you bring your friends with you?” Mulder whispered looking in both directions into the hallway.

Kersh said nothing but continued to motion for Mulder to follow him.  In the stairwell Kersh’s face came so close to Mulder’s they almost touched.  In the faintest whisper Kersh relayed the information. “I have come at great risk to my own safety.  We’re being watched.  Your life is in danger. They are coming to kill you.  You must leave Scully and the baby. Disappear or you’ll be dead within the week and then no one will be able to protect them.”

“I’m not going to do that.” Mulder said as he held William tighter to his chest. “I will never do that.  No matter what force they want to reign upon me.  I won’t give them up.  They want to kill me, let them try.”

“You don’t get it.  They don’t miss.  They know all. They see all.  Your only chance is to go underground.”

“How do I know I can trust you?  How do I know you’re not with them?” There was no way he was giving up his family.  Finally happy, finally free. “Forget it.  I will not leave them and you won’t convince me otherwise. I won’t expect to see you back and I don’t want you trying to contact Scully. There’s no reason for you to risk yourself again.  There’s nothing to talk about.  I’m staying with them.  This is the only place I belong.”

William started to cry as they walked off. He crept back into the apartment.  He didn’t care what Kersh had to say.  Why couldn’t they just leave them alone? This was supposed to be Doggett’s problem now.  Kersh had a point.  If they wanted him dead they weren’t going to stop.  It didn’t matter. He would find a way to protect them and keep himself alive.  He walked back into the bedroom to find Scully awake.  “Everything okay?”  She asked.

“Everything’s fine Scully, just had a little trouble getting William back to sleep.”  He positioned William between them as he got back into bed and kissed her.  “I don’t like being away from you this long.”

“Mulder, what will you do when I have to go back to work?”

"Be a stay-at-home dad for William.  Count the seconds until you're in my arms again."

"Is that really what you want?"

Instead of an answer his mouth claimed hers passionately, their arms around each other, tenting William as he fell asleep.

Scully’s mother was back over in the morning, along with Ellen and some other friends making the room quite loud with talking and laughter.  Even though Mulder had made sure Scully had plenty of sleep, she still felt exhausted.  The amount of women in such a closed space scared off Mulder who decided to go out for some baby stuff. It had only been about 30 minutes, but she wanted him back home already.  In only one day she had grown accustomed to him catering to her every whim, watching him care for William, the intense love they shared, and all the kissing.  She ran her tongue over her lips feeling a slight pain from the soreness of being overworked.  It made her smile.  She wanted those lips back on her. She wanted his comforting loving arms around her holding her tight against his firm body.

Scully excused herself from the conversation when she heard a knock on the door.  There was no one at the other end, but a small folded paper lay on the floor.  It read the following: Mulder’s life is in danger.  Meet me in the park in 15 minutes. Come alone.

 

Chapter Text

Someday We’ll Be Together Again - CARL FISCHER, FRANKIE LAINE

No tears, no fears

Remember there's always tomorrow

So what if we have to part

We'll be together again

Your kiss, your smile

Are memories I'll treasure forever

So try thinking with your heart

We'll be together again

Times when I know you'll be lonesome

And times when I know you'll be sad

But don't let temptation surround you

Don't let the blues make you bad

Someday, someway

We both have a lifetime before us

For parting is not good bye

We'll be together again.

 **************************************

Scully had no time or patience for another man whispering to her in the shadows.  Yet here she sat.  On a bench, in the park waiting for such a man.  When Kersh came into view and sat down next to her she couldn’t say she wasn’t surprised.

“I know this may come as a shock to see me Agent Scully, but you’ll want to hear what I have to say all the same.”

“Go on”

“I understand if I may seem like an unlikely source and you may find it hard to trust me, but what I am about to tell you is the truth.  Those men that Agent Doggett saw me with are part of the superior soldier program.  They were in my office ensuring my compliance.  They have threatened me with my life and my family’s life if I fail to go along with their plan and provide them with the information they need.  That is why you have seen me act the way I have.  Do the things I’ve done.  But I can’t take part in murder.  Not of a man or a child.”

“My baby.  Are they trying to hurt my baby?”

“They’re after Mulder.  As long as Mulder stays with you he is endangering his life and the life of your baby.”

“But why?  My baby is normal.  They could have taken him, but they didn’t.  Why are they after Mulder now? Why can’t they just leave us alone?”

“I don’t have those answers for you.  They don’t tell me everything, but I do know that they are afraid of Mulder’s influence on that child and they will stop at nothing to have him killed.  In 24 hours they will hunt Mulder down and murder him.  They will stage it to look like an accident.”

“So how do we stop them?”

“They can’t be stopped.  You already know this. Mulder must leave.”

“For how long?  Will this ever end?”

“I don’t know.  But until we find an answer to stopping them, Mulder’s life is in danger and with it, the safety of your baby.”

“What if we all leave?”

“No, it’s too dangerous for the child. You must carry on as normal.  Your baby must be in sight to prove that he is just a normal child. Mulder and the baby must be kept apart.”

“I can’t do this.  I can’t do this to Mulder….. I can’t go along with this.”

“You will and you must Dana, you have no other choice.  These people go all the way up the chain to the top of the FBI.  They have infiltrated the CIA, the military, and who knows how many other agencies or how many other governments in the world.”

“Why are you coming to me with all this, why not Mulder?”

“I’ve already told Mulder and he turned me away.  You must convince him. 

“And if I can’t?”

“Then by Tuesday morning, he will already be dead…. I’m afraid I can’t have any more contact with you on this matter.  Good luck to the both of you.”

Scully watched with tears in her eyes as Kersh walked away.  Why were they cursed?  Will their sentence ever be over?  How much more of a price did they have to pay?

Scully returned to her apartment to find Mulder had returned.  He looked at her with a puzzled expression and her stomach churned. 

“You’re back” she smiled as she kissed him.

“Where were you Scully? What’s wrong?”

She was unsure of his reaction and didn’t want a spectacle.  A fight was brewing for sure. “Not now.  Let’s get rid of these people first.”

Mulder said his goodbyes and left the apartment stating that he was going out for a run. His brain was in overload.

Meanwhile, Scully very politely, with the help of her mother, slowly showed everyone out of the apartment.  Kathy and Ellen were the last to leave saying their goodbyes as Mulder returned breathing heavily from the exertion and headed straight to the bedroom without a word.  Scully asked her mother if she would take care of the baby while they spoke and she agreed.

Mulder, who had been on edge since they made eye contact was pacing in their bedroom.  “Scully, are you going to tell me what’s going on?”

“Keep your voice down.” She wrote on a note pad ‘I spoke with Kersh’.

“Scully no.  Absolutely not.  Forget it.”  His eyes were already watering and his voice was shaky, almost pleading.

Scully was not prepared for his reaction and concerned with upsetting her mother. There was also a little voice in the back of her head reminding her that her place could be bugged. “Can we not discuss this here?  Let’s go take a walk and leave William with my mom. We can’t have this argument here.”

As soon as the doors to the car closed Mulder started.  “You can’t ask me to do this Scully.”

“Mulder, these are not people.  They can’t be reasoned with. How are you going to stop them?  You already know their capabilities….. You only need to stay away long enough for everything to die down.  If you don’t go, you’re putting William’s life at risk and they will kill you. If you leave, we can work to get you back.”

She reached out and held his hand.  “Mulder, I need you to do this for me.  With everything I have been through I have no fight left and I won’t be able to take something happening to you.  If not for yourself, do it for me and William.. We will be waiting for your return.” 

“Scully… What about you? What about William? How is this protecting anyone?”

“In a strange way Mulder, it is.  It’s what we must do…. Mulder, if there’s one thing I learned all those months… I can’t live a life without you. Above all else I need you alive and if this is what we must do to keep you that way, then we must find a way.” 

Tears were forming in Mulder’s eyes.  “How do I live without you?  What does my life mean without you? Without William? Scully, you’re asking me to leave my son behind, defenseless. I don’t want to do this. I gave up the x-files to be with you… my life’s work. What did it get me?” His tears were now streaming down his face. He looked out the window facing the other way so she couldn’t see him cry. “I can’t make it stop.  Scully, without me knowing it, it’s been this way since I’ve been born.  I was so naïve to think we could have a normal life together.  What it’s come to now... How could it surprise me?” Mulder was trying to gather his composure, but his sobs continued. He let out a scream of denial and punched the dashboard. “There’s no point in anything anymore. Once more everything will be handled discreetly and cleaned up neat and tidy with a bow.  They’re always one step ahead.  Everyone will fall silent as if nothing has happened. Once again the only ones who pay are the ones who surround me.  All I’m left with is regret.  Look what it’s cost you to know me and you haven’t won anything.  It’s inside me Scully and it will never end.” He stared out the window, his tears refusing to yield.  “You’re right.  This is what’s best.  For everyone to stay as far away from me as possible.  Kersh is right.  That’s your only protection... protection from me.”

Sitting there watching him in so much pain was killing her.  She was sending him away from all he had left in the world.  Maybe it was too much. Still she would do anything to keep him alive. “Mulder, it’s not forever, we will find a way”

Mulder continued, not fazed by Scully’s optimism. “Don’t ever doubt for a second that I don’t love you Scully.  I am doing all of this because of my love for you and William.  I will find a way without leaving.  A way to bring you peace.”

“Mulder, I need you alive. Please.” Her eyes were now overflowing with tears facing a world she couldn’t control with a man that wouldn’t bend for anyone.

He saw her cracks begin to show and he pulled her towards him to give her comfort. He wasn’t going to make it if she fell apart too. “Scully, I don’t know that I can do this.  What you’re asking is too much.”

She leaned her head on his chest feeling his warmth.  His arms held her tight against him as his hand delicately caressed her head. She looked out the windshield.  Luckily there was no one in the streets to witness their display inside the parked car. She knew what she must say.  The only power she had and her last resort. It was the only way he would go.  It was such a horrible thing to do and she prayed that it was for the best and truly the only way.  With a deep breath and a firm voice she sat up straight, wiped her tears, and cast out the ultimatum. “Mulder, I’m not going to give you a choice.  Either you do this or you never see William and me again.  Don’t make me leave you.”

She watched him break down at her words, watched his face crinkle up and shrink as his heart shattered. His eyes betrayed him, he looked at her and his lips and eyebrows trembled as he cried. “Scully, I love you.” He begged.

“If you love me Mulder, than do this for me.” There was silence.  It felt like an eternity.  He just stared at her in disbelief and pain.  She had pulled her last card.  Something she had sworn she would never use against him and now here she was using their love as a weapon. She had never done anything so cruel, yet she didn’t know any other way.  Finally, his eyes fell away from her.

“Okay.” He said and took a deep breath. “If keeping us apart keeps everyone alive I will do it. For you… and William”

*

Mulder’s hand covered his face.  His fingertips massaging his eyes trying not to show emotion in front of Skinner and the Lone Gunman.  When they explained the situation to The Lone Gunman they understood and prepared him with an untraceable cell phone that could be used only once and some other trusty gadgets.  Skinner was much harder to convince and tried to persuade them to find another way, but in the end he conceded as well.  He agreed to let the investigations die and allow Mulder to leave without a trace.  Scully withdrew a duffle bag full of money from her account hoping that it would be enough for him to live off of.  Langley was able to borrow a pickup truck and trailer from one of the guys at CUFOS.  They used it to haul the majority of his belongings to the Salvation Army.  The rest was either burned, put into suit cases to take with him on his journey, or packed into Scully’s car to be taken back to her apartment.  It was a slow painstaking process as Mulder went through his files, his pictures, all the history.  With each stack of memories, more tears were shed.  This was almost as bad as the day his mother died because today it all died.  Scully slid her arms around him and hugged him from behind as he crouched on the floor in front of another pile.  “I know how hard this is for me Mulder, I could only imagine how hard this is for you”

“This is the room where we shared so much Scully.  How many times have we been together on this bed.  How many nights did I talk to you on the phone, dream about you… The couch.  How much has gone on between us on that couch.”

“I know Mulder. When I see you again we will make new memories, I promise.”

With blood shot eyes Mulder reached for a Nike box under the bed and handed it to her.  “Here.  Take this and put it in one of your closets.  If it ever gets too much for you.. open it.  We're in there.”

After hours of hard work the apartment was empty with nothing but a few boxes that everyone was sitting on sharing the last of the beer in Mulder’s refrigerator toasting and roasting their friend.  The Lone Gunman gave Mulder their word that they would put their lives on the line to keep Scully and the baby safe and do whatever was needed. Soon it was only Skinner, Mulder, and Scully left. 

“You know Mulder”, Skinner said after a long swig of beer, “You really are a pain in the ass.  How you were ever lucky enough to get Dana I’ll never know, but I am going to miss you. Maybe not the headaches you put me through, but there were some good times too.” Skinner began to pick at the label of his beer bottle. “Look Mulder, I don’t want you worrying about Dana.  Dana and the baby will never be alone.”

“Easy Skinner, I don’t need to come back to find William with another brother or sister. Especially one that looks like Lex Luther’s twin.”

“You’re not very funny Mulder” He said, but he was smiling.

Mulder’s expression became solemn. “Thank you for everything Skinner.  I mean it.” 

“You’ll be back Mulder.  I know you, you’ll always be back.”

The three of them walked out together, but it was Scully who paused for one last look inside the now big empty room.  A room they filled with hope and excitement, anticipation and happiness, grieving and sorrow.  She breathed in the musky hardwood one last time, closed the light, and shut the door.

Back at Scully’s apartment the waterworks started again as Maggie said goodbye to Mulder reminding him that he always had a place to come home to.  Once Maggie left and William was asleep Mulder and Scully retreated to the living room.  Staring at Scully he had nothing left to hold back his emotions. He fell to his knees wrapping his arms around Scully’s waist in a final plea. “I don’t know that I can do this Scully.  Not this.”

She ran her hands through his hair as he wept. “We will get through this Mulder. We have to.  I have to see you again.”

Now it was her turn to cry. Her strength had failed her. 

Her knees buckled underneath her as she joined him. They were both kneeling on the floor, their foreheads leaning against each other, holding each other’s hand as if in prayer, supporting the other as the gates opened and they sobbed uncontrollably. “All our plans, Mulder. Of a future, of marriage, it was all just a ridiculous dream.”

“We can’t think that way Scully.  I will always be yours.  No matter what ever becomes of us, I will always be yours. This I pledge to you.” He fell back on his heels as she threw her arms around him burying her face in his neck audibly crying.  He placed both hands on the sides of her face, lifting her head so she was looking him in the eye.  “Scully. It’s me and you.  That’s all it has ever been and it’s all it ever will be.  I’ll never give up on us.”  He kissed her through her tears, through his tears. “I love you Scully.”

“Mulder, I love you......."

He ran his fingers through her hair and he reached inside her with his eyes, comforting her, wanting more.

"......God Mulder, I love you so much.” His mouth crashed against hers, an urgency she could only return, removing her top and reaching for the button of her pants.   She stopped him. “Mulder wait. I can’t..”

“I know, just let me touch your skin.”

“Mulder, I don’t know how comfortable I am..”

“Please Scully” As he said it tears fell from his eyes rolling down his cheeks and onto her. It was then she realized his panic. This would be their last time together. Maybe the last time for the rest of their lives.

“Okay” she whispered and he breathed a sigh of relief. Within seconds her shirt and slacks fell next to the couch in a pile.  He kissed her hard breaching her lips, demanding her, sending them both to the floor.  From all the emotions, the baby, and all that she had just gone through she was drained, but in spite of it all her body responded to his touch.  As always he awakened all her senses. When it came to him she was insatiable.  It made the bleak future even more heartbreaking. 

He pleaded to her once again. “Don’t ever forget the way it feels when I hold you, when we touch. Please Scully. Promise me.”

“I will never forget Mulder.  Never.” His hands were warm and smooth against the soft silky skin of her back leaving a trail like hot liquid crystal in their wake.

He removed his pants and shirt while they kissed pausing as he lifted the black Henley over his head. His clothes joining hers in the heap. They rolled with their lips engaged, her leg falling between his, his skin igniting hers as it made contact.  His body was strong and solid underneath her, comforting and exciting. Her eyes welled.  How could she live without this?  How would she make it through another stint without him?  It was all such a mismatch of feelings and emotions.  The more pleasure he gave her, the sadder she felt and he had her in a state of arousal she did not know how to come down from.  They rolled again continuing their kiss. As she fell to his side he broke the kiss, running his fingers through her hair as he stared at her with brooding eyes. A blaze of need underlying the pain. “Touch me Scully” The words shot through her and deep inside she felt the pull towards him.  Somehow, she needed much more than touch.

Gently she highlighted his lips with hers, her tongue slowly penetrating his mouth.  His moan stimulating her need, his lips deep and sensual in motion against her own. With her toes she grasped at the top of his boxers, lifting out and then down pushing them to his ankles with her foot.

“I see we have surprises” he remarked

“I’ll always keep you guessing”, she returned. For a moment their smiles were briefly able to peak through the anguish, but his face grew suddenly serious. “I’m going to miss you Scully.  For nine years you’re all I’ve known.  You’ve always been there….  I’m scared.  Scared of who I am without you.  Without us.”

“Mulder I’ll still be here.  Under the same stars as you. Thinking of you every day and you’ll be in my dreams at night. We will get through this.” 

Scully caressed his face. Somehow she wanted to memorize every pore, every mole, as if it could help her recreate him when she needed to.  Guiding him onto his back she kissed his lips, his cheek, sucked on his chiseled jaw, grabbing the skin just underneath it with her teeth. She felt him kissing and caressing whatever was in his reach and it only incited her desire. Her lips followed down his throat and she took note of every line, every hair, every scar, as she made her way down to his chest her hands taking the lead.  He was naked and hers to do with as she pleased.  As she continued her pilgrimage, now sucking on his protruding abs, her chest grazed his erection and he let in a sharp intake of breath.  His hands had found their own trek running over her body.  “Scully please. I need you.  I wish so badly I could be inside you.” Listening to him beg was creating a heat down deep within her that she forgot she was capable of.  She wrapped her hand around him, reading him with her fingertips, and he let out a groan as if all his needs had been realized. His eyes shut tight as his bottom lip deserted the top. The sensations were powerful, shocking her as it did every time her hand came into contact with him. Her willpower fleeting, Scully leaned in, her hair falling over her face as she sank her mouth down onto him. She sucked hard, feeling his pleasure run through her and take them away. Her tongue followed along his length, memorizing as it traveled. She gazed upwards. He was watching her and as their eyes met he let out the most delectable sound sending it to that place deep inside her.  Tenderly his hands ran through her hair as the wonderful sounds emanating from him made her heart grow and her eyes sting.  Her lips tightened around him, she glided them up and down, her tongue encircling him.   Lifting his hips into her motion his moans got louder. They were a team.  There was nothing in the world like Mulder, like them when they were together.  The thought made tears escape her tightly closed eyes.

Refocusing, she pulled his length deeper into her mouth savoring how good it felt and he moaned her name again.  The sounds of gratification being drawn from him brought her to the edge of a plateau she had only known with physical stimulation. She repeated her motion again and again until they were both just sensation. All the emotions followed, haunting in the background.  This couldn’t be their last time.

He proclaimed his love to her, propelling her back into the moment coiling the sweet tension deep down inside her, bursting it free. Sudden and ferocious, his own body stiffened screaming loud enough to wake a neighborhood let alone a baby.  She swallowed every bit of him, needing him inside her, becoming a part of her system.  He pulled her up to him and locked her in a kiss without a thought.  Gingerly his arms wrapped tight around her as he rocked her and her head fell against his chest.  She found comfort and solace in his arms. Wetness on her cheeks made her lift her head.  Tears were streaming from his already tear stained face.  How long had he been crying?  The whole time?  He grabbed her chin his lips pressing hard against her undoubtedly shielding her from his tears. Their hearts were bleeding and there was nothing to be done.

He spoke softly, “Scully, what I wouldn’t do to give you the pleasure you gave me. What it’s like knowing I may never see you again.” His tears began flowing heavily, gasping between sobs.

“Mulder, I will see you again.  This is what we have right now and it is enough.”  It has to be she thought silently.  For better or worse, this was all they would get.

William woke shortly after and Mulder spent the rest of the night with his son playing with him and tending to him.  He told William how much he loved him, some words of wisdom from dad, and to watch over his mother as he would be the man of the house and no matter how independent his mom was she still needed them.  Mulder tried his best to make the most of the time he had and it was late in the morning when he finally fell asleep on his back with William curled up on top of his chest and Scully under his arm.

In the morning they made their plans for when and if he might return.  As he said his goodbyes and laid him down William began to cry uncontrollably as if he understood. With the last of the tears shed he headed into the shower not able to bear his son’s sadness.  The thought that he would miss his son’s first words, first steps, first everything. Scully closed the bedroom door hoping Mulder didn’t hear the unending crying continue.  She picked up William, holding him tight, patting him gently on the back in an attempt to console him.  “It’s okay, it’s okay. It’s going to be okay. Alright. It’s going to be okay.  Alright.”  Who would console her?  Will it be alright?  Will anything be right again? She walked him passed the fish tank into the living room where the suitcases lay packed and ready to go.  Her chest was tight and her stomach twisted.  All they could hope for was that they were doing the right thing, what must be done, and believe that someday they would be together again.  He left them with a hug and a kiss and tears in their eyes.  Skinner came to drive him to the station.  He would leave by train, the ticket paid in cash.  It would take him as far as Ohio.  From there he would choose a destination.

When he finally settled into his seat on the train he opened the letter that Scully had given to him as they had said their goodbyes.  It read:

I know for what we share and who we are there are no need for words,

But as with our last goodbye, I now have a need to tell you over and over again.

So until that time comes that we find ourselves together, take this with you and know I feel it too.

I love you always,

Dana

 

Inside was a picture of the two of them taken the night they were in L.A. for their movie premier.  His arm was around her, but they weren’t smiling at the camera, they had been caught smiling at each other.  Their love immortalized on film. 

The sentiments in the note brought out the memory of their last dance together. What had passed through her lips that night, the effect it had on him like the first time she had said it.  He would always remember. A tear fell down his face as he stared out at the sunrise, the train pulling from the station.  The song and their dance played in his head like a movie.

 *******************************

As the music played they moved with bodies pressed to one another.  The night’s graceful transgression casting one shape in the shadows.  Enamored by the other, at home in their arms. Emotions escaping as their souls overflowed.  As they swayed in the night her heart opened as if a rose and the words came out, “I’m in love with you Fox Mulder”.

 *******************************

 

The Words by Christina Perri

All of the lights land on you

The rest of the world fades from view

And all of the love I see

Please please say you feel it too

And all of the noise I hear inside

Restless and loud, unspoken and wild

And all that you need to say

To make it all go away

It's that you feel the same way too

And I know

The scariest part is letting go

'Cause love is a ghost you can't control

I promise you the truth can't hurt us now

So let the words slip out of your mouth

And all of the steps that led me to you

And all of the hell I had you walk through

But I wouldn't trade a day for the chance to say

My love, I'm in love with you

And I know

The scariest part is letting go

'Cause love is a ghost you can't control

I promise you the truth can't hurt us now

So let the words slip out of your mouth

I know that we're both afraid

We both made the same mistakes

An open heart is an open wound to you

And in the wind there's a heavy choice

Love has a quiet voice

Still you mind, now

I'm yours to choose

And I know

The scariest part is letting go

Let my love be the light that guides you home

And I know

The scariest part is letting go

'Cause love is a ghost you can't control

I promise you the truth can't hurt us now

So let the words slip out of your mouth.

Chapter Text

 

 I Miss My Friend

Darryl Worley

I miss the look of surrender in your eyes

The way your soft red hair would fall

I miss the power of your kiss when we made love

Oh But baby most of all

I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in

The one I felt the safest with

The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again

And let the light back in

I miss my friend

I miss the colors that you brought into my life

Your golden smile, those blue eyes

I miss your gentle voice in lonely times like now

Saying it'll be alright

I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in

The one I felt the safest with

The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again

And let the light back in

I miss my friend

I miss those times

I miss those nights

I even miss our silly fights

The making up

The morning talks

And those late afternoon walks

I miss my friend

It was September.  Mulder had spent the summer wandering aimlessly.  Using the identities The Lone Gunman had given him he roamed from one menial job to the other in one town to the next.  Every day was spent looking over his shoulder and every night dreaming of Scully and William.  Hesitant to make contact, he hadn’t even checked his email for fear of a trace.   It didn’t even matter.  There was nothing for him to say that wasn’t already said.  He wanted to come home.  To be with them again.  The only positive, if there was any, was that he was meeting different people from all kinds of backgrounds and philosophies.  There were more people out there that believed than he had realized.  Some circles had even mentioned him by name as a crusader. If they only knew.  If he was on a crusade it was to return to his family.  The only way to do that would be to discover what destroyed human replacements and stop them before it was too late.

 

Mulder opened one eye and squinted at the time.  He thought it read 10:37.  He was thinking that it must be A.M. as there was sunlight shining into the window.  Sometimes it was an arduous task to simply discern one day to the next.  Today was Tuesday.  He knew this since his last day at the mill had been yesterday and the guys had gathered at the local bar for a going away bash.  The last thing he remembered was being dropped onto the couch by Randy after having too many drinks to maintain the ability to walk let alone drive a car.  His head was still buzzing, but he did recall crying into a beer or two over Scully. He slowly rolled into a sitting position on the most recent couch he called home.  Rubbing his neck, the stiffness reminded him that he needed to buy a pillow.  Thinking of stiffness, he stared down at ol’ reliable standing at his usual attention.  Not that he had much use for it.  The times he did partake he usually ended up in a worse depression than before and he wasn’t in the mood for tears today.  He rubbed his face and the scruff that had formed cut into his calloused hands.  Blindly, he turned on the small picture tube in the room and went to the bathroom to empty his bladder.  When he returned he had a toothbrush hanging from his mouth and disbelief in his eyes.  The news showed smoke rising from where the World Trade Center once stood.  There had been an attack on the Pentagon as well and in Pennsylvania.  The next couple hours he spent glued to the television absorbing everything in front of him.  His first instinct was to contact Scully, but he knew he couldn’t. The FBI had to be heavily involved at this point.  Thoughts of human replacement involvement crossed his mind although most evil didn’t land from the sky, but that from within.  It was then he decided his next destination would be east to NYC. If nothing else, they could use his help.

As he got dressed he accidentally glanced at himself in the mirror.  He usually avoided mirrors as they reflected his heartache.  Today he looked at himself as if from afar.  It was the first time in a while he felt he might have a purpose again. Tanned from working in the sun, his skin glowed golden and his abs had a harder cut to them than usual.  The muscles in his arms and chest were wider.  Scully would be impressed he thought as he ran his hand over his chest. The pain of her absence began to culminate in his heart and he quickly resumed getting dressed frantically trying to push his mind onto another track.  Any thoughts of Scully resulted with tears, anger and unending sadness.  He walked outside and flung his bags into the back of an old Buick sedan he had purchased for a couple hundred dollars.  The plates and registration were phonies Skinner had retrieved from FBI storage, but they got him wheels.  He sat the picture Scully had given him in the corner of the instrument panel wishing he had one of William as well.  Straightening his rear view mirror he gave the rural landscape one last look, put on his shades, and headed out.

 

A few days had passed before he had reached New York traveling from Kansas.  He had stopped to visit Sheila and Holman.  At least there he got to share good memories, eat some home cooking, and be the proud papa as he told them about William.  He had given Holman a package to mail to Scully so she knew he was still alive and took off for New York. 

As he entered NJ, he took heed of the solemn atmosphere.  There was an eerie quiet looming.  When he finally pulled the car into a parking spot he was near Liberty State Park.  The air was cold, a frigid day with no wind, the only breeze being from the echoing of voices from the dead and the screaming hearts of the living.  He came upon a spot with candles burning.  Pictures and cards hung everywhere.  There were notebooks too.  He picked them up and read them.  Poems and prayers, wishes and requests, all to missing loved ones.  They were beautiful and he felt his anger rise up with the sadness. The monster inside him was winning.  He spun around when he felt a tap on his arm.  It was a woman with tears in her eyes.  She hugged him without words.  A total stranger holding him, greeting him like family.  They cried in each other’s arms for each of their losses without sharing words.  Others came to pray, share hugs and photos, and leave messages.  Everyone was leaning on the other.  Mulder had witnessed many things in his life, but such a beautiful reflection of humanity he never would have guessed to find in the vicinity of so much that was corrupt. 

“Hi. My name is Lauren.” A tall slender woman dressed in what might be considered hippy attire held out her hand for Mulder to shake.  “Do you have missing loved ones?”

“No… I, uh.  I came to help.” 

“Yes. It seems there are people from all over the country some from other parts of the world that have traveled to help.  I’m from Long Island myself.  There’s a group of us meeting here in a while to make the trek over into the city.  From there we will meet up with the firefighters.”

“What will we be doing?”

“You’ll see.”  She replied with a warm smile.

For lack of any ideas, Mulder wandered into the city with them.  The streets were covered in ash. What looked like snow was more ash falling from the sky.  A post-apocalyptic feel gripped at his fears.  This was not cruelty from an alien force, but only that capable of man.  They walked the streets. Lit candles covered every street corner accompanied by flowers, cards, letters, and poems.  The walls of every business and billboard filled with pictures of loved ones. 

Children, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, wandered the streets searching.  Some came as he did.  From a pull that they did not know.  From a pull to be together, for comfort from the sadness. To mourn the loss, embrace each other.  When they finally settled on a street corner they waited.  The firefighters were changing shifts.  The truck stopped at the corner and the firemen got out as others piled in.  They carried with them shovels and masks.  The news stated it was an attempt at a recovery mission, but Mulder knew better.  It was to dig up the dead.  To find evidence of who had died, to attempt proper funerals.  Most would remain where they died, their tombstone a memorial and another skyscraper to once again reach out to the heavens on the backs of their souls.  The returning firefighters had it all in their faces.  The people cheered them like superheroes upon their return.  Those people were there for one purpose.  To hug those men, to give them their strength back through their love.  Total strangers giving the only thing they had to give to the men that had lost so many of their brothers.  The firefighters in turn cried into the embrace.  Falling apart in their arms.  Real giants did exist and they walked the streets that day. It was the men in red and those in blue that ran towards their impending doom as others ran away.  To now be represented by those from all over sifting through the ashes, not giving up on a chance of resurrection.  If there was a place Mulder felt at home since leaving D.C. it was there among the mourning.  They gave him strength to go on.  To know that he was blessed to have Scully and William still alive waiting. 

After sharing handshakes, more prayers and kind words, he left as soft music played bouncing off the resilience of the tall standing buildings of downtown. The Empire State Building glowed red, white, and blue for all to see that we still stood tall. People had brought their instruments, boom boxes and whatever they had, playing the music throughout the night to let everyone know they were not alone.  The spotlights boomed into the sky like a signal to batman calling for a savior when the only one to answer was from inside.  Mulder continued to wander the streets, like he was searching, but for what he had yet to know.  He got to a large rock near central park and sat down.  His heart started to race as butterflies beat furiously in his stomach.  “Scully.”  He said to himself out loud.

“Mulder” Scully said as butterflies grew in her stomach at that familiar feeling. 

“What is it Dana?” Monica asked concerned at the upset look on her face.

“Nothing.  I… I just got a strange feeling like Mulder was here.”

“Maybe he was.”

“Maybe.  I miss him Monica.  Not a second goes by….”

“You have to stay positive.”

“I know.”

Scully and Monica were two blocks from Mulder’s rock in Central Park. They had come to see the tragedy with their own eyes and unknowingly came within steps of Mulder.  Monica waved down a cab and got in.  Scully paused for a second longer, the butterflies still beating in her stomach. “I know you’re out there Mulder. I hope you feel me too.” She whispered more to herself than anything else.  She joined Monica in the cab and they headed to the airport to return to D.C.

 

Mulder got up from the rock looking for the subway to take him back to his motel room. A kid in his twenties in a gray hoodie came up behind Mulder and tapped him on the shoulder startling him.

“Excuse me.  You’re Fox Mulder!”

“What? No, I’m sorry you have the wrong person.” Mulder picked up his pace taking longer strides to get away from the attention this guy was bestowing upon him.  The kid only ran to keep up.

“No, I know you’re him.  You were friends with Max from NICAP.  I’m from NICAP too.” The kid said extending his hand to Mulder as they walked.  Mulder kept his hand in his pockets and didn’t slow his pace.

“Look I’m kind of undercover.  I’m not really able to talk right now it could compromise my position.”

The kid nodded, but didn’t back away. “My name is Josh.  We’re having a meeting tomorrow if you’re interested. The topic…  alien hybrid kryptonite.”

This stopped Mulder in his tracks. “You’ve figured out how to stop them?”

Josh looked hesitant. “Well that’s what the meeting is about.  We have reports that some of the members have seen them turn into one of those magnetic desk sculptures.  You know what I’m talking about?”

“Not exactly.  They might have thought they killed them, but these things rejuvenate.  I’ve seen them crushed into a tiny cube and come back to full capacity.” Mulder countered.

“According to our latest reports, this destroys them.  If you come to the meeting, you can speak with these men yourself. Ask all the questions you want.  It would be quite an honor to have you there.  You’re kind of a celebrity in our neck of the woods.”

Josh handed him a small NICAP business card with an address and time.  “See you then”

As Josh walked away, Mulder looked around nervously.  If I guy from NICAP could locate him, anyone could.  He wouldn’t be able to stay much longer.

After a restless night’s sleep in a rundown motel, Mulder went back over to ground zero and put in some hours helping with the recovery.  At a little after 7 he headed over to 8th avenue where he found a building with windows nailed shut by wooden planks covered in Broadway posters.  He went down a dark alley, down a flight of stairs to a locked door.  He knocked on the door and a 400 lb. man with a Spiderman t-shirt answered.  “It’s the second star to the right” He said to Mulder.  “And straight on ‘til morning” Mulder answered.

“Please turn around and expose your neck.” The heavy set man answered.   Mulder turned around and lowered his jacket so the man could observe the top of his spine.  He then handed Mulder an alcohol swab and a disposable blood lancet.  Mulder punctured his finger so the man could witness that his blood was red.  Lastly he ran a wand over him for evidence of weapons, tracking devices, or taps.  When he was satisfied that Mulder was clean he let him proceed. The man opened the door to let Mulder in. “It’s an honor to meet you Fox Mulder” the man winked and smiled. As Mulder looked around he realized he had found the greatest collection of outcasts the planet earth may have ever known.  Once everyone was checked in, the meeting commenced.  There was a lot of formalities, new business, old business until finally they got to eyewitness accounts.  Each person would go up front and speak of their experience. It was nothing new and all things Mulder had heard several times before.

“And now the moment we’ve been waiting for.” Said the meeting head.  “Eric will be reviewing his latest information on Hybrids.”

He started his speech telling of first accounts of hybrids being birthed from human mothers using mutated eggs.  He told of stories of embryo implants through abductions and contaminated water supplies. Most of it Mulder was aware and some seemed skewed or misguided.  Finally, he got to what Mulder really wanted to hear.  “We have some exciting news today.  It’s been confirmed.  We have dead hybrids.  They were turned into a metallic dust.  It happened at ground zero.  What we believe is that when the twin towers fell, they exposed the Manhattan bedrock which is millions of years old.  Folded into that bedrock is an iron ore, remnants of an old meteor.  We believe that if we could mine meteors that contain this same iron, we may be able to build a weapon to combat these hybrids.”

“So where do you find this iron and how are you going to test it?” Asked one of the members.

Eric turned on the projector.  “This is a Map of all the meteor dustings in the past two million years.  As you can see the largest concentration is in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.  This is where we should concentrate our efforts.”

“But how do you know this iron stuff will kill them?” Asked another member.

“Because we have it on video and we have the dust sample.”

The room became silent as he hooked up his video camera. 

The video took place after the first tower fell.  There was a considerable amount of smoke and it was apparent the video had been taken by someone in law enforcement.  Two men with FBI jackets were running into the smoke and the camera was shaking widly.  You could see them enter the building and go down steps where the mall once stood. Ash was everywhere and smoke filled the hallways.  It appeared they were in search of something inside the mall. Then one of the FBI agents froze like he was magnetized to the floor.  With tremendous force the two men crumbled as if from the inside out like a huge magnet drew them downward.  You see the man holding the camera yell and pick up their clothing which now contained only dust.  He let out a few expletives and the camera shut off.

Even this made Mulder miss Scully.  He wished she was there to witness the tape.  He wanted her opinion.  He also wanted some of that dust.  She would be able to dissect it in the lab and find the answer.  Not this time.  This time he would have to prove it on his own.

“What happened?  It was like terminator was struck with a light saber.” Shouted Josh, the kid he had met in the street.

“We don’t know.  This is all we have, but the rock that was scraped up from the site had a high concentration of a form of magnetite.  If we could fashion a weapon, we may be able to use if against them.”

 

Walking back to the motel Mulder didn’t know what to make of any of it.  Was there a way to stop them? There had to be.  Nothing was invincible.  Except maybe Scully.  He went to put the key in the door and it creaked open with a push.  Someone had already been there.  The place had been ransacked, but from what he saw nothing was taken.  His first instinct was to ensure the intruders had left, but they were gone.  His suitcase full of cash was still intact. He searched his luggage finding a tracer.  He also found a bug inside the lamp on the nightstand.  They had located him.  His time in NY had run out. He grabbed his stuff, packed it into the car, placed the picture back on the instrument panel, and headed west in search of magnetite and an old friend.

Chapter Text

From Where You Are

Lifehouse

So far away from where you are
These miles have torn us worlds apart
And I miss you
Yeah, I miss you
So far away from where you are
Standing underneath the stars
And I wish you were here

I miss the years that were erased
I miss the way the sunshine would light up your face
I miss all the little things I never thought that they'd mean everything to me
Yeah, I miss you
And I wish you were here

I feel the beating of your heart
I see the shadows of your face
Just know that wherever you are
Yeah, I miss you
And I wish you were here

The light flashed green on Skinner’s private line as it rang for an incoming call.  The caller ID showed “Out of Area”, but Skinner picked it up on instinct.

“Skinner.”   

“Is she okay?  Is everyone still alive?” It was Mulder, he dared not say his name aloud, but the familiar accent betrayed him.

“Yes. FBI is working around the clock.  They have been pulled back to work on different assignments. She’s been placed at Quantico as an instructor and will also be working in forensics. She’ll be safe there.” They spoke almost in code not knowing who else was listening.  Skinner wanted to ask where he was and tell him to get his ass home, but now was not the time.

“Good. Let her know I called.”

“I will.” Skinner couldn’t imagine being separated from his family like that. He wanted to reassure Mulder that he had something to come back for. “She misses you. Everyone can see it, but she’s holding up.”

There was silence on the other end and Skinner heard Mulder’s voice crack as if he was choking back tears. “I miss her too. Terribly.  Tell her to give the baby a kiss for me.”

“I will. Take care of yourself.” Skinner genuinely felt bad for the two of them.  He had watched them go through so much together. Seeing them apart was heart wrenching. 

“Thanks.  You too.”

Mulder hung up the pay phone and burst into tears losing whatever restraint he had. He shouldn’t have called.  It was too painful, but he had to be sure that she was okay.  It seemed Skinner really was looking out for her. 

Mulder traded in the Buick for an old beat up red Ford pickup truck.  Doggett would probably like me better now he thought to himself, although he didn’t think it mattered to him what Doggett thought.  He retracted his thought. Doggett was a good guy and right now he was Scully’s only real protection other than Skinner.  The Lone Gunman could hardly protect themselves.  When he returned he would have to give Doggett another chance.  If he ever returned.  Placing the picture in its rightful place he headed towards New Mexico.

**************************************

“Eric.  It’s good to see you.  Thank you for having me.”  Mulder said shaking Eric’s hand.  After a phone call from another pay phone, Eric eagerly agreed for Mulder to come stay on the Navajo reservation.  He liked Mulder, considering him a friend of the family’s.  Besides, his grandfather Albert Hosteen, would have been very upset at him for not helping Mulder.  His grandfather was very fond of both him and Scully.

Mulder caught Eric up on all that had happened with him and Scully and their misadventures over some tea. Eric listened attentively absorbing the stories. “Well, the good thing about the reservation is if someone from the outside comes in they stand out pretty easily.”  Eric thought before he spoke not wanting to give Mulder false hopes. “There have been some men around here seen gathering samples of the rocks.  They claim to be geologists, but it is who they’re working for that brings concern.”

“Is there any evidence of military involvement?” Mulder asked.

“No, this seems like a private organization, not the normal men in G-suits.  Sorry. I didn’t..”

“It’s fine Eric.  I’m not offended. I haven’t been much of a G-man myself lately. They’re probably searching for magnetite.  Others must know that this substance is dangerous to these hybrids.”

“These were the same hybrids we found in the refrigerator car when we first met?” Eric looked excited and worried simultaneously.

Mulder attempted to explain. “Many generations of tests later, but yes. Augmenting humans to save them from an impending apocalypse only to condemn them to servitude.  Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?”

Eric grinned.  “Not much.”

“I think maybe tomorrow I’ll fill out an application to work with the miners. See if I can get inside and see what’s really going on.”

***************************************

“Sir, we have a report.  It’s Fox Mulder.  There’s talk that he’s been located.  He’s here, in New Mexico.”

A cigarette glowed red against the cold metal stoma. A hoarse voice replied, “He came for the magnetite.  He must know what we already know.”  He took another draw and smoke billowed out of his rotting neck.  “We must protect him.  Mulder is the key. If we found him then they will.”

****************************************

 

‘Workin' in a coal mine

Goin' on down, down

Workin' in a coal mine

Oops, about to slip down

Five o'clock in the mornin'

I'm already up and gone

Lord, I'm so tired

How long can this go on’ 

The music blasted from the red truck as it bounced around on the dirt road.  It wasn’t a coal mine, but it wasn’t far from it.  Mulder was tired.  Over two months of hauling rock and he still didn’t have the proof that he was looking for to substantiate any of the claims that magnetite would kill anything. Using his keen social skills he befriended one of the Geologists by the name of Ben Ammi. Ben was dark skinned with dark hair and dark eyes.  He had chiseled features with a chest that belonged to that of a body builder rather than a scientist.   At 6’5” he towered over Mulder.

“You’re late Mr. Hale.” Ben said to Mulder looking up from his slide in the lab.

“We were excavating on the other side of the mountain.  We only now finished up. Today was my last day anyway.  They’ve shut everything down for the month of December.  We’re not scheduled to start back up until sometime in January. How about you? Have any luck today?”

“We found some interesting deposits.  We still need to run more tests.”

“Where are they taking all your findings?”

“We have a facility at the base in Roswell.  It’s actually not too far from here.”

“One day you should take me.” 

“You are the curious one, aren’t you Mr. Hale?”

“Well, you hear Roswell and the first thing that comes to mind is”

“Aliens.  I assure you Mr. Hale we do much more at that base than dissect Aliens and fly spaceships.”

“I’ve heard about the extensive study of weather balloons.” Mulder said sarcastically.

“We also look at military weaponry as well as satellite monitoring and manipulation.”

“So, I’m guessing these rocks aren’t about building a bazooka?”

 “These studies I’m doing just happen to be for discovering evidence of life that may have been brought to Earth by meteors.”

“So, you’re looking for Aliens.”

“Touché Mr. Hale. I suppose I am.”

“Have you found them?”

“We do not have substantial data at this time.”

“So Ben what got you into this field?”

“I left what I was previously doing because I felt like I was destined for something greater.  Some people look inside themselves for answers.  I look inside the Earth.” Ben walked over to another table and set up the machine to take another cross section of the rock. “You really want into that facility don’t you?”

“What gave you that idea?”

“You ask me about it every day.  I can get you in. I’ll get us some clearance codes and ID badges.  I can call you my assistant.”

“Ben, I might call you Santa Claus because you may have just given me everything on my Christmas list.

Chapter Text

 Better Days

 Goo Goo Dolls

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
'Cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

I need some place simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that's faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there's ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

 

All I Want for Christmas is You played in the background as Scully opened the door to a delivery man who had flowers in his hand and a big brown shipping box.  She signed for the box, thanked him and hurried back inside.  The flowers were beautiful.  An assortment of colors that smelled divine complimenting the cinnamon aroma from her treated pine cones.  Smiling, she quickly trimmed the ends and prepared the water in the vase.  Mulder had arranged for them to come every month for her.  A gift from him to keep them close while he was away.  It put color into her life.  Much different than her wardrobe since he left.  Reflecting her moods, she mostly wore black.  In mourning until his return.  The first time the bouquet had arrived it was a pleasant surprise.  Each month they felt like a kiss from him, a proclamation.  She wiped away the tears that had formed at her lids.  Since he left tears came far too quickly making it hard to watch any television or movies. Everything reminded her of him.  Eager to see what was in the box she opened it.  He had most likely planned it in advance or probably with Skinner as he had no means to do such things now.  The box contained a baby hat with planets, stars and little space creatures with rabbit ears rising like antenna from the top of his head, a bib, a stuffed green alien, and a Buzz Lightyear doll.  She started to cry.  Her space ranger for the truth was gone. She had sent him away.  Woody left by herself to defend the planet.  She placed the gifts under the tree and went in the other room to take William for their walk.

On her way back she found Skinner in her lobby with a gift under his arm. “Hi Dana.  I just came by to drop this off for William.  Something to put under the tree for Christmas.”

“Thank you Walter.  Come in for a minute and we can talk if you like.”

Back at her apartment they sat at her dining room table. Skinner looked around taking in all her decorations wondering where she found the time.  He assumed her mother must have helped.

“Mulder called to let everyone know he’s okay and to ask about you.” Skinner said taking a sip from his coffee mug. “You know he couldn’t contact you directly.”

“I know.” Scully returned softy.

“I didn’t know if telling you would be a mistake.”

“No.  It was good that you told me.”

“He said to kiss William for him.”

Scully nodded. “Is that all he had to say?” “Yeah.” Skinner put his hand around the mug and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

Scully ran her hands through her hair. “He’s out there all by himself.”

“I know Dana, but you can’t get yourself all worked up again.” Skinner said in his low whispery rasp.

Scully started to cry. “You don’t know how much I miss him. How hard it is to get through the day without him.”

Skinner got up and walked to her side of the table and crouched next to her putting his hand over hers.

“I do Dana. Know you are doing the right thing. For him and William. It won’t be forever.”

Scully turned into Skinners arms.  He let her cry into his sweater.  His jaw was tight as he tried to keep his own emotions in check.  When Scully recovered she pulled away and wiped her eyes.  She regained composure and smiled.

“I’m having Christmas at my house this year.  The Lone Gunman will be here with my mother.  If you have time to stop by it would be wonderful.  Lately, I’ve enjoyed company.”

“Thank you Dana.  I’ll make sure I stop by.” Skinner rose to a standing position and picked up his now empty coffee mug to place it in the sink.

“Oh and Walter?” 

“Yes?”

“Is there someone you’ll be bringing with you?”

Skinner nervously answered Scully’s question. “Uh, no.”

“My friend Kathy will be there too.  She asked about you.”

Skinner was quiet for a moment and then spoke. “Is that right? Well, tell her I’ll see her there.” He fought back a smile as his face began to blush.

******************************

The bell rang as another customer piled in the already crowded restaurant.  The needles of the wreath tapped against the glass making the lights around it flicker.  Mulder looked up to see yet another family smiling and laughing getting ready for Santa to make his rounds, talking about plans of visiting friends and relatives.  He sighed and resumed making his twelfth spiked egg nog. 

“I need two whisky sours, an old fashioned, and a Coors Light.” The waitress barked at Mulder.  She was an older woman who wore her life on her face.  Putting her elbows on the bar she waited for Mulder to complete the order not attempting to hide the admiration she had for his tight jeans.  He placed the order on the tray and gave her a smile and a wink.  “I can shake it if you like.” 

“I don’t know, I might prefer it stirred” she flirted back. 

“The drink.  I meant the drink.” Mulder stuttered.

“Sure you did honey.” She winked back and walked away.

Tammy was a sweet woman Mulder thought.  She kept him distracted from his thoughts with her unending flirtations.  When he first started working there she terrified him, but after a couple weeks he realized she was harmless.  The mine had given most of the workers the month off to spend the holidays with their families and also to cut costs.  His explorations of Area 51 with Ben had failed to give him any clear leads.  So since Mulder’s brain prevented him from standing still and he hadn’t found a direction, he had decided to get another job to keep himself busy.  The holidays were never a happy time for him and this year was far from the exception. Mulder glanced through the crowd.  Sitting in a booth was a young couple looking like they hadn’t a care in the world.  Holding hands across the table as their young child sat in a high chair.  The boy wasn’t much older than William.  William was on solid foods by now.  Able to sit up on his own and crawl.  Mulder rubbed his eyes.  It was becoming unbearable.  The holidays had taken a toll on him in ways he had not predicted. 

When Eric was decorating his house with his wife, Mulder dreamed of him and Scully decorating a tree and wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve for William to open on Christmas Day.  Forcing Skinner, who would now be William’s Godfather, to dress up as Santa while The Lone Gunman played his faithful elves. The look on William’s face when he opened his first telescope and microscope.  Driving him around to look at Christmas lights. Hearing his first word, “Dada”.  He snapped back to reality to help them finish decorating, but eventually Mulder had to excuse himself to his room. 

Now as the Christmas music played through the speakers over the bar it stabbed tiny knives into his heart.  “Come on Honey.  Let’s go out for a smoke.” The waitress said trying to snap him out of his funk.

“I don’t smoke.” 

“Come anyway.  I’ll smoke and you can look pretty.”

He followed her outside.  The cold air sent chills up his spine, but it felt good.  Looking up he could see stars behind stars flooding the sky.  He never took for granted the enormity of it all.

“You okay tonight Honey?”

“What?  Yeah.  I’m fine.”  He sounded like Scully.

“You are not fine.  I’m the last person to be butting into somebody’s business, but I just can’t stand looking at that pretty face of yours so sad every night.  Look, I know you’re no bartender.  You don’t belong here, but I’m not here to pass judgement and I’m not going to say anything. Just know you can talk to me. You’re not the only one that life has ever took a dump on.  My son’s been deployed, I haven’t seen my husband in 15 years. The holidays aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”

Mulder nodded politely. “Am I really that bad at serving drinks?”

“Well, it’s obvious you’ve memorized the bartender’s drink book, but you’re not fluid with your pour and you concentrate on it too much.  People that have been bartending for a while just go on instinct.”

Mulder sighed and looked up at the stars as he leaned against the cold brick of the building sending another chill up his spine. With a bent knee the heel of his right foot planted itself against the wall. “My son and his mother are on the other side of the country.  I guess its just the time of year.  But not seeing my son…you miss a lot. He’s so young and I want to be the one to teach him how to talk and read. I would read to him every night if I could.”

“Some of us are having an I hate the holidays party on Christmas if you’re interested.”

“That’s very nice of you, but I don’t want to be rude to the family I’m staying with.  This isn’t something I can drink away.”

“Well the invitation is open if you change your mind.” Tammy finished her cigarette and stomped out the butt as it hit the sidewalk.

“Thanks Tammy.”   

As they went back into the restaurant, “Blue Christmas” was playing and Mulder was positive someone somewhere was taunting him.

On Christmas Eve, in Mulder’s dreams, William came to him.  They were singing Christmas songs his mother had taught him and playing with his mobile.  Mulder was making funny faces and William was laughing.  Mulder would end the night reading to him from a book William picked out.  The dream seemed so real.  It also repeated itself every night. Every night in his sleep he would have a vision of the rotating mobile over William’s bed.  That’s how it would start. Then William would be there smiling and laughing waiting to play. What they did would change, but he and William would spend time together all the same. The vision was so comforting that Mulder began to look forward to sleep.  Sometimes he was lucky enough to have it as a daydream during his workday. It was a place he could go to be with his son even if it may have only been in his imagination.  Yet part of him also believed that William really was reaching out to him.  A powerful bond that closed the miles.  If he had that connection with Scully, why not William? 

New Year’s Eve was a solemn day.  Working at the bar had proven to be too much of a reminder of the family he had left behind.  Even Eric with all his hospitality and friendship only reflected back on him what he could be enjoying with his own family if he was back in D.C.  In all his thoughts of going away, he never planned on it being this painful.  How everything could remind him of them without distraction.  After 12 days of William coming to him in his dreams every night, on the 12th night Mulder woke up terrified that his cherished Christmas gift would be over and they wouldn’t communicate again.  It had finally reached the point of unbearable.  He had no choice but to make contact for fear he could no longer live with the pain and emptiness the holidays had bestowed.  Mulder traveled for three hours by truck to a little college bookstore with a sign stating they offered free internet with your coffee purchase. Looking over his shoulder he opened up his email account and after several revisions, typed the following:

Subject: Dearest Dana

I’ve resisted contacting you for reasons I know you continue to appreciate. But, to be honest, some unexpected dimensions of my new life are eating away at any resolve I have left. I’m lonely, Dana, uncertain of my ability to live like this. I want to come home.  To you, and to William.

*********************************

Mulder ran his hands along his jeans to remove the moisture collecting in his palm.  His hands were shaking and he was finding it hard to breath.  In a few minutes he would be with Scully.  He ignored the part of his brain holding up the red flags.  The thought of going another day without them was worse than anything someone could inflict on him.  It was slowly approaching midnight and he was already imagining her in his arms.  As the train approached the station his pulse quickened and so did the speed of the train.  Something was wrong.  He saw Scully standing on the platform and his heart beat out of his chest.  They were traveling to the next station.  The door to his car flew open and a tall bald man with steel eyes walked in.  The man was scanning the passengers.  Mulder now understood.  He crouched down and staying low ran to the far end of the car.  He opened the back door walking to the next car.  The man was still coming.  Mulder tried to think.  He knew of the quarry and he had a 50% chance of it having enough of the iron ore to stop him.  Running to the next car he opened the door between cars and got ready to jump.  Given the velocity of the train there was a likely probability he would break a bone, but it beat the alternative.  He wrapped his hands in his sleeves to protect them from impact and kept repeating to himself, Jump and roll.  He saw the quarry come into view and he jumped, tucked his head and rolled.  Surprisingly, he was able to get up from the fall.  Impressed with his train jumping abilities, he took off running.  He paused at his name and turned.  Squinting, he saw Doggett and Monica in the distance.  Not wanting to drive the super soldier their way he continued to run.   The super soldier was on his heels. He had to get to the rock.  Scully screamed his name out into the night and he wanted to call back, run to her, but he had to reach the rocks.  He found an alcove and waited.  Scully’s voice rang out and then he heard the explosion.  It had worked.  Proof positive the magnetite was deadly.  They were safe for now, but there would be more.  As much as he wanted to run to her, he knew she had been right.  They must stay apart until he could protect them the way he wanted.  Knowing if they even spoke he wouldn’t be able to leave and for the sake of William, he ran the other way. 

************************************

After a long bus ride and hitchhiking his way across several states, he finally was back in New Mexico.  Stepping off the bus he walked back to the train station to retrieve the pickup.  As he opened the door a bullet grazed by him making a visible hole in the side door.  The taste of sand covered his lips and he spit it out realizing he was on the ground with a very heavy weight holding him down.  It was a man. He tried to fight him off, but he quickly overpowered him.  More shots were fired piercing the man’s torso and he bucked on top of Mulder, but continued to pin him to the ground.  When the ringing in Mulder’s ears had subsided he brought himself to his feet as the man rolled over onto the dirt spitting up blood.  It was Ben the geologist.  He had been filled with bullet holes and was gurgling blood, but somehow still breathing. 

“Ben! Ben can you hear me?”

“Yeah” He said weakly.  He attempted to sit up and fell onto his back.  “George, did you get hit?” His voice was scratchy.

“No, you saved my life. You look like you got the brunt of it.  I have to get you to a hospital.”

“No, I’ll be okay.”

“Ben, that guy turned you into Swiss cheese.”

Ben rolled onto all fours and stood up slowly. Mulder watched him in surprise.  He never would have suspected that Ben was one of them.

“Ben, I think there might be something you want to share with the rest of the class? Is there an “S” sewn into your tighty whiteys?”

Ben looked at him blankly as Mulder’s joke fell flat. “I am here to help you.  Come on, we must go.  They must think you’re dead and this is your chance.  Meet me in two hours at this address.” Ben said and handed him a small torn paper.

Heading back to Eric’s house Mulder made the decision that he couldn’t endanger Eric’s family anymore.  When he got to Eric’s he thanked him for his hospitality and said his goodbyes to him and his wife.  Eric presented him with a necklace that was his grandfather’s.  He told Mulder to give it to Scully as his grandfather wanted her to have it.  Mulder thanked him and headed in the direction Eric said was the place of another dear friend. 

Before reaching his destination, Mulder stopped along the way to the location stated on the crumbled paper. Mulder walked up to a clay building and knocked on the door.  Ben answered and welcomed him in.  Sitting down on the sofa, he offered Mulder the chair and explained.  “I am one of the results of the tests.  Spawned from the original Adam and Eve Purity Control program.  I am a clone spliced with alien DNA.  I was created to assist with the colonization.  Although I age slowly, I was created over forty years ago.  Unlike the newer models, I’m more human than alien.  I fell to human emotions which in the end was my own undoing.  I’m a deserter. I chose my own path.” He paused to judge Mulder’s reactions.  When he was satisfied that Mulder had accepted what he said he continued. “I know you’re Fox Mulder and I have an offer for you.  I need you to take this offer very seriously.  Those men today.  They believe that they killed you.  And if needed, I can supply them with additional proof.  Which means you’re free. No one will chase after you ever again.  Your life will no longer be in danger. Fox Mulder is dead and you are free to live whatever life you choose.”

“Just like that.”

“Just like that.”

“So, I’m dead and what’s in it for you.  Why save my life?”

“Because you are the Chosen One. You are the leader of the new Syndicate.  You are the one that has the ability to lead us and rebuild the project.” Mulder sat silent absorbing all this new information.  Trying to make sense of where it was all coming from. Ben continued. “I am in a position of power. I can grant you the life of a man that does not exist. With unlimited funds and possibilities.  You want to build the weapons, the vaccines, you will have the means to construct whatever it takes to fight the aliens.  If we want to strike a deal, you can do that as well. Or we can wait out the coming apocalypse and rebuild. If you agree, I will lead you to the new headquarters, the location of the new shadow government, and you can start immediately. This is everything anyone could ever want. For you this should be a dream come true. All the power in the world, to be the keeper of the truth, to do with and lead mankind as you wish and I’m offering it to you.”

Mulder stared at Ben.  The weight of his words were finally clicking into place. “You want me to be the next CGB Spender.”

“It is your inheritance and your destiny.”

Mulder sat back and stared up at the ceiling.  Is that really his destiny?  Could he take on the responsibilities and do the right thing? Was he the one to lead the human race against those that threatened them?  His goal was to find the truth and stop them, not become them.  What had changed from all those times before?  But what if he could save the human race?  He would finally be protecting Scully and ensuring William a world to grow up in.

“What about Scully?  William?”

“You can’t have contact with Scully.  If you try to contact her they will know.  Fox Mulder is dead.  She will have to think you’re dead and bury you once and for all. Scully will raise William on her own.  We will ensure her protection.  There will always be someone looking over her.  No harm will come to them.  When William is of age he will be approached and join us as the rightful heir.” 

So that’s it.  Sell his soul to the devil, achieve his life’s work, and save mankind or be with Scully.

*******************************************

“Has Fox Mulder been taken to the facility?  When will we start the transport?” The Smoking Man’s voice was so weak it was hardly a scratchy whisper.  Still the scientists predicted a full recovery.  While effective, the chips took time to reprogram the body to rebuild itself.

Ben watched as the feeble man looked at him with hope in his eyes.  The man had a vision from the moment he discovered he had a son. His son would carry on his legacy.  The two of them ruling the world.  Mulder was the one to give his life’s work meaning and give all his sins forgiveness. The man had made propositions to Mulder in the past.  Each time Mulder turned him away.  When his other son Jeffery was ready he had attempted to mold Jeffery to take the throne that he always had wanted for Mulder.  Jeffery had failed him and he had paid severely for it. Just like the others paid for their desertion, he had become a victim to the tests. Alex and Maria had come next.  Once again the man’s hopes built up as his adoptive son and daughter were presented with the possibility of joining him.  Once again his dreams were crushed as they let him down. It all came back around to Mulder.  The man knew deep in his heart that it had always been Mulder.  He had always been proud of his son.  The man he had become, the accomplishments he had made, his unrelenting drive. He loved Mulder as much as any father could love a son. Now it was up to Ben to relay Mulder’s answer and heal the man’s soul or break his heart. “He said no.”

“What do you mean he said no?  Does he understand if he refuses he’s condemning us all to hell?”

“He refuses to live without Dana Scully.”

“His precious Scully. That fucking fool.” Ben watched the man’s face change.  Watched as evil swept over his body and turned his heart back to stone. The man’s voice suddenly stronger feeding off of his anger. “If he won’t listen to reason, he is not the man I thought he was.  He is weak and he let his emotions betray him.  He’ll never grasp what could be accomplished. If Mulder can’t be reasoned with then he will die the fool just as his father before him. He will follow the path of Krycek and his brother.  I will have my revenge for his betrayal.  I will take much pleasure in watching him fall. He wants to know the truth, well he will know the truth and then he will die for his knowledge. Now I will watch him take his last breath knowing the truth. I will laugh as he dies knowing his life was of no significance. Smile as his spirit breaks in two knowing there is nothing to be done. You’ve done all I asked. I will take care of the rest.”

******************************************

“Congratulations on the birth of your son, Mulder.” Gibson was all smiles to see him. “Congratulations about you and Agent Scully. I’m sorry you guys have to be apart.”

 Mulder gave him a hug and rubbed his spiked hair like he was making a wish.  “Alright enough mind reading.  I was told you have a room for me.  Are you sure we’ll be safe?  I don’t want to put you in any danger.”

“You can have the back room.  Don’t worry about any dangers.  I can hear them coming in my head long before they arrive.  We’ll have plenty of time if we need to run or take action.”

Mulder added, “I brought some iron rocks from the quarry. They’re in the back of my pickup. We can line the hidden door.  It will destroy them before they have a chance.”

As they were talking the hatch opened and a woman appeared with a worried look at Mulder and then back to Gibson.  Gibson said nothing to her, but used sign language to communicate to her what he needed.  She physically relaxed and smiled nodding towards Mulder.  “Mulder, I’d like you to meet my girlfriend.  She will be living down here with us.”  Mulder returned her smile and shook hands.  “Mulder, you still have a dirty mind.” Gibson said with a smile.  “I’ll forgive you this time.”

Mulder blushed.  “If you don’t mind, I’m going to take a nap before dinner.  I’ve been on the road and haven’t had much sleep.” Mulder retreated to his room.  What he had told Gibson was only half the story, but he was sure Gibson already knew that.  He wanted to take a nap because he felt William calling him.  It was time to go into his meditative state. 

During breakfast the next day Gibson stared at Mulder.  “Gibson, you can read my mind, but I’m afraid I can’t read yours.  Not lately anyway.  What is it?”

“You can’t read my mind, but you’re reading someone else’s.” Gibson returned.

“What do you mean?”

“I heard it last night.  Your son is speaking to you…. in visions. You’re able to speak back.”

“You know about that?  You heard him?  Is it true? I’m not just dreaming?” Mulder’s eyes welled with tears.  He missed William so much he wanted to believe Gibson’s words.

“Your son….. he’s different.” Gibson said hesitantly.

“Is he….One of them?” Mulder didn’t want to think of his son as a super soldier.  A product of man and alien’s devious deception.  William was his miracle.  Besides, mind reading was not any ability he had ever known in a super soldier.

Gibson answered reading his mind and his emotions. “No…no…. he’s more… like me.”

 

Christmas Lights

 Coldplay

Christmas night, another fight
Tears we cried a flood
Got all kinds of poison in
Poison in my blood

I took my feet
To Oxford Street
Trying to right a wrong
Just walk away
Those windows say
But I can't believe she's gone

When you're still waiting for the snow to fall
Doesn't really feel like Christmas at all

Up above candles on air flicker
Oh they flicker and they float
But I'm up here holding on
To all those chandeliers of hope

Like some drunken Elvis singing
I go singing out of tune
Saying how I always loved you darling
And I always will

Oh when you're still waiting for the snow to fall
Doesn't really feel like Christmas at all

Still waiting for the snow to fall
It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all

Those Christmas lights
Light up the street
Down where the sea and city meet
May all your troubles soon be gone
Oh Christmas lights keep shining on

Those Christmas lights
Light up the street
Maybe they'll bring her back to me
Then all my troubles will be gone
Oh Christmas lights keep shining on

Oh Christmas lights
Light up the street
Light up the fireworks in me
May all your troubles soon be gone
Those Christmas lights keep shining on

Chapter Text

A drum beat loudly inside Mulder’s brain resonating down his spine and into his back.  Mulder dropped to his knees gagging. His hands planted themselves firmly on the dirt floor, his throat constricted.  Another wave of nausea hit and the dirt gathered underneath his fingernails as he clenched into fists.  The air smelt of incense and soot burning the back of his throat. Dry heaving he prayed in his head for release of the sickness. Through the deafening ringing in his ears the drum beat in his head.  He covered his ears and shut his eyes tight, rocking in time to the rhythm.  Rocking until another wave took over.  This time the poison came.  Bile rose up in his throat and he stumbled over to the clay pot vomiting into it before falling over onto his back.  Now the room spun and his brain buzzed, dizzy with vertigo.  He opened his eyes and his vision blurred.  The beating of the drum continued steady and strong. William came into view.  “My son.” Mulder said in a whisper.  “William, it’s me.”  William giggled and stretched out his arms.  Mulder held his arms out and felt his son fall into them.  He held William tight kissing his forehead.  “I love you William” He said smiling at him.  Outside of his vision Mulder was experiencing cold sweats, but inside he was at the park with William pushing him on the swings, sliding down with him on a slide.  “Da Da” William cooed loud and clear and a tear fell down Mulder’s face outside of the vision. Mulder felt dizzy again and his vision became tunneled.  William was floating away.  “Noooo!” Mulder screamed as he rolled on his side and vomited.  Coughing he opened his eyes and realized he was back on the dirt floor. Slowly he focused, his face on the cold ground, he watched a moment as a man in the corner of the room continued to beat the drum that sounded in his head.  Forty five minutes had passed since Mulder had finished the cup of tea sending him journeying on his vision quest.

“Lay on your back now” said the medicine man.  Mulder did as instructed and the man shook branches with leaves across his body and hovered burning sage over him as he prayed.  

*********************

Mulder had stayed out of sight living with Gibson.  At night he would spend time with Gibson playing games or conversing, philosophizing.  Mulder had become much better at letting Gibson talk while he just thought.  More honest conversations were never had. During the day he would travel out to the Navajo reservation to learn of the Anasazi and to learn of other traditions, practices, and lore.  He studied with them concerning the warnings of the coming apocalypse, the sixth extinction. He was still in search of the truth.  In search of the one thing that was always able to hold him together.  It kept him living, moving forward, and distracted. He still had his visions with William, but lately they had become strained and bizarre.  William had brought him to a UFO with markings similar to those Scully had uncovered.  There were people. They spoke of prophecy.  The people frightened William and made him feel alone.  Mulder did his best to comfort him. Let him know his mother would be there soon.  William opened the ship for his father so he could see inside.  A control panel for the ship came into view.  It was beautiful.  Then Mulder saw death, the ship destroying the unwelcomed and him and William were ejected.  Mulder watched the ship take flight and disappear into the night’s sky, a blaze of fire surrounding him and William. He could see Scully approaching on the horizon. The vision of her jarred him awake.  What was going on?  What did it mean?  The vision disturbed him and left him agitated. He needed to have the ability to contact William instead of only waiting for him to reach out. So, when he had learned that journeying might provide him with answers, he decided to go forward.

Mulder was at the end of his three day fast.  His body, now burning on fat, no longer felt hunger, no longer craved.   Now knowing how to properly meditate he drank the tea to release the toxins both physically and spiritually.

When the effects of the tea subsided the shaman spoke. “You must now journey out into the mountains.  There you will find your personal sacred site.”

“But where?  How will I know?”

“You will just know. This will be your “dreaming place”. There you create your circle either by digging a pit or with a circle of stones.  You will receive guidance from nature and spirit. When all has spoken, you will have your answers and you will return.”

“How long will I be gone?”

“There is no time.  Time will no longer be of significance to you.  You will access the infinite and eternal past all time and space, beyond physical senses.  You will step through the cracks between worlds and journey to the center of your soul.  There you will gain alignment. It will take as long as it takes for you to receive your guidance and messages from the spirits. Your first day you will have a guide.  He will help you search for sustenance and you will eat of the earth from the plants.  The earth will provide.  The following days you will be on your own with no food and only water.  You must drink your daily required amount of water.  It is important for your strength and survival.”

The guide the shaman had sent with him walked one stride behind Mulder, allowing him to lead.  The early morning sun beat down on them making the uphill climb all the more strenuous.  Lilacs and butterfly weed grew along the trail providing scenery and a flowery scented reward for the struggle.   

“So have you been on several of these journeys?” Mulder asked.

“I have.  I have learned that the Creator speaks to you through every sunrise and every evening breeze.  There are messages and signs surrounding us from the spiritual realm.  You only need to listen. Once you are one, you can carry yourself to that inner place of silence whenever you need, anytime.  Your life will be led more courageously and genuinely once your external life is in line with your internal vision.”

When they came upon a covered section of the mountain, Mulder looked across the grand vista. The view was breathtaking and Mulder knew he had found the place. The guide helped him gather food for his meal.

“So where do I go from here?”

“You build your site.  There you will stay until you find the answers you seek.  You may find yourself wandering during the day, but you will always return to your spot.  When your journey is complete I will come for you.”

“How will you know when to return?”

The guide smiled. “You will call to me and I will know.” The guide handed him a flare and a flint striker. “Use these if you need me to return.”

“Anything else?”

“What is your intention?” The guide asked.

“Intention?”

“Intention for your vision quest. It is important to direct what you see, to align the messages that you will receive from the elders and from nature.”

“To be at one with the earth so I may understand and connect more deeply with my son. I need to know if my life is on the right path.  That I am doing what is best for my son and his mother.  That my actions will lead me to the truth I seek.”

Mulder built his site, surrounding himself in a circle with the stones.  He sat.  Then stood. Then laid down.  His mind went in all different directions wandering from one thought to the next in his normal rapid fire.  He dozed for a while.  When he woke he had an intense craving for his sunflower seeds and an underlying feeling of boredom. Ants marched between his stones scurrying about.  They filled in-between the stones with sand and dirt building trail ways and tunnels. It was hypnotizing and organized. His thought was that Scully would love the obsessive compulsiveness of it all.  The patterns, the determination against the odds.  At any time he could take his foot and destroy everything they worked for.  He knew then he made the right decision when he turned away Ben's offer.  It was to play God and he didn’t believe anyone should have that power.  Dusk came and a fox appeared.  It stared at him.  Unrelenting.  Seemingly without blinking.  When the moon came to provide some light the fox had disappeared like a mirage. During the night his mind turned down.  There were less simultaneous thoughts in his head.  In the dawn he went for a walk.  In the distance of the grand vista he saw ram in a dry field.  There were big horn sheep grazing on the side of the mountain.  What he would see as an obstacle, they saw as an opportunity to gather prime grass no other dared to reach. Rewarded for their adaptations.  When he got back to his site he sat down and drank water.  He had buried it in the ground to keep it cool and the cold wet feeling on his dry cracked lips were heavenly.  He brought the jug to his lips again.  As he set the jug down he saw it.  A snake had entered his circle.  He froze.  Was it poisonous?  Would it strike him?  The coloring on the snake was red, black, and yellow.  From the book he read he knew it could only be one of two types.  A King snake, non-venomous or a coral snake.  One of the deadliest on the planet.  For a moment he contemplated the risk of it being a coral and if it did bite him. His life would reach its end.  Run its course.  Would everything he had done been enough?  He and Scully had just begun.  There was so much more for them. The snake stayed in the circle and performed its dance.  Circling. Reminding him of that damn tattoo on Scully’s lower back. The symbolism of introspection.  The eternal cyclicality of the universe.  Total self-reliance.  Nature’s endless creation and destruction, life and death.  Carl Jung saw it as Alchemy. The Ouroboros. A symbol of immortality.  The snake slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes and gives birth. The symbol of the One, created from the clash of opposites.  It was Scully, it was them. As infinite as their love for each other created by the clash of opposites. The snake responding to his ponderings coiled as if to strike.  The book of reptiles ran through Mulder’s head. Red touch yellow, kill a fellow. Red touch black, good for jack.  The red on the snake overlapped with the black.  Mulder exhaled. It was harmless. Staring at the snake, studying its movement and purpose, Mulder’s voice in his head shut off.  He watched without thinking.  For the first time in his life his thoughts turned silent. A tarantula stopped to watch the snake and then moved on as an eagle screamed flying overhead. Mulder stayed still out of respect and waited for the snake to leave on its own.
The fox once again came to join him for dusk.  He left when night cloaked around him. The darkness came and soaked through Mulder’s skin breaking him apart, cutting him off from the outside, from his own body.  Mulder began to shiver, but not from the cold. Then came the blackness to wrap around his spirit like a velvety fleece robe.  The voices came from the hills to welcome him.  Through the darkness he heard the voices of the ancestors who had gone on their journeys before.  Sensing their presence, they touched his shoulders and feathers ran over his neck and back.  Next were the cries of the wind, the whisper of the trees. Slowly any fears he had left him replaced by power surging in a flood through his veins.
“Is he Okay?  He looks like he lost a lot of weight.  He’s kinda pale.” Said Byers.

“He’s fine.  Nothing a good White Castle run can’t cure.” Frohike replied.

“He keeps staring at us and not saying anything.  It’s starting to freak me out.” Langley added.

“How did you find me?” Mulder finally spoke.

“We didn’t find you…” Frohike said as he looked over at Byers worryingly.

Byers answered. “Mulder, we’re dead.”

“What?....No… I don’t believe that….no”

“Mulder you summoned us.” Frohike treaded cautiously.

“But how?  You’re supposed to be protecting Scully and my son.  No.  Not you guys.”

They told him about the UFO, the cult, and William.  They told him about their sacrifice. When they were through, Mulder sat in his circle with his head in his hands.  He was saddened at the loss of his friends.  Upset that Scully and William could be in danger.  Nothing was the way he needed it to be.  He looked up and his friends were gone most likely from his mind turning back on.  

Mulder went back into his meditative state as he was taught.  A few hours later the ghosts came.  His dad, his mom, his sister, Deep Throat… the list went on.  

Out in the woods Mulder learned how to silence his demons, to think singular thoughts, and to have the dead speak to him while he listened and responded.  The talent of summoning William did not come to him, but William did call to him and he answered.  He was much better at communicating with him now. The visions clearer and real, no longer needing to be in a dream state.

On the fourth day the guide came back to take Mulder back to the reservation.

“So, did you get the answers you sought?”

“Yes…and no.” Mulder answered. “I got the answer, it was just not necessarily what I sought.”

“Did you receive a name?”

“Yes and no.  I’m still Fox. Guess my parents looked at me and just knew.”

“You now know where to find the bridge between the two worlds.  Do you not?”

“Yes.  Yes I know.”

“Then you have found what most do not.  It was meant for you to find.”

*********************************

“Dana, I don’t understand why this is the only answer.  He is your son Dana.  No one can protect him like you can.”

“This is protecting him mom. Do you think this is easy? Giving up what I wanted most in the world.  My child. This is only for him.”

“You have to explain this to me Dana.  This is my grandchild and you’re telling me I will never get a chance to see him again.  You have to explain everything.” Scully was at her mother’s house trying to reason with her.  If she was going to move forward she would need her mother’s support.

“You know that William is different.  You already know that different men have come for him including those in our own government.  What if I can keep all of these people away.  Keep them from finding his location. Give him a new identity with parents that love him and take care of him so he never has to know of the struggles of me and his father.  So it all ends.”

“It’s never going to end Dana.  He is your son.  He is best with you.”

“Mom, you didn’t see him.  You didn’t see what they did to his uncle. You already know what they did to me and to Mulder. I wasn’t capable of protecting myself.  How do I protect William?”

“So you send Fox into hiding and now your only child?  And you think this will solve anything?  You really think this is where it will end?”

“I don’t know mom, but I have to do something and I can’t protect him from men that don’t die.”

“What about Fox?  This is his son too. He would have a say.”

“Mom, I have had reports….” Scully’s eyes started to well.  She didn’t want to say it out loud for fear that would make it true. “..that Mulder might be dead.”

“Do you believe that Dana?  Is that what your heart is telling you?”

“No, but I don’t know for sure.  Mulder, when he left, left the decisions in my hands....  Mom, give me another choice.  Tell me what else can I do?”

“Not this.”

“Mom, the government is in on it.  There is no one I can report it to.  The FBI and the military for certain.  Maybe other countries are involved, the CIA.  Then there are civilians after William as well.  Not to mention shadow governments.  Jeffrey Spender offered me a cure for William.  Since Jeffrey injected him there have been no more instances of William acting like anything other than a normal child.  Even with this cure, Jeffrey told me that they still wouldn’t stop.  This is my only chance for him to have a normal life, with no looking over his shoulder.  What I want is what’s best for my child, not what’s best for me.”

“I will support you Dana with whatever your decision is, but Dana once you do this there's no going back.  You must be sure.”

“I know mom. But being completely unselfish, there is only one answer.”

**********************

Later on in New Mexico…

Mulder in his travels to the reservation discovered Native Americans who spoke of a wise man who was the keeper of the truth.  Afraid of the exposure, Mulder dared not to make the hike to meet him.  Some men had gone on the explorations to the ruins.  When they returned they had precious information for him.  The wise man had asked for him by name. They gave him a key to the Mount Weather Complex with computer passwords, ID cards, and access codes.  It was everything he needed to get inside and access the mainframe.  There he was promised what contained the truth. He asked the men who this man was in the ruins and why he was giving all this to him. Their answer was simply the wise man knew that in order to truly believe he needed to see the truth with his own eyes. They instructed him of a helicopter with some officials leaving Colorado that would get him to the Complex.

Mulder had packed up his belongings and gave Gibson all his suitcases for safekeeping.  He took what he needed of the cash he had left and the rest he gave to Gibson.  Gibson was hesitant at first, but Mulder explained that it was simply what he owed him for allowing him to stay and he wanted him to use the cash to buy him and his girlfriend a new home.  Then he thought twice and told him to make that a mobile home. “Gibson I do have a request.”

“Sure Mulder.  We are friends.”

“You understand about the government involvement, the super soldier program and the aliens.  You are tied to it by your very nature and you understand the dangers associated with everything you did for me.  Just as we keep our secrets, we must keep Eric’s.  No one needs to know about my time with Eric.  By living in his house I endangered him and his family. I don’t want another person wrapped up in all this.”  

“Mulder, you’re right.” Gibson agreed.  “No one will ever know.”

"And Gibson, no matter what happens to me you must stay in hiding. Your protection and safety is paramount." Gibson merely nodded in response. "Wish me luck” Mulder said and gave Gibson a hug.

With another long farewell to Gibson he drove to the location in Colorado and boarded the helicopter on his way to Virginia.

Chapter Text

 There’s Hope

Songwriters: ANTHONY DAVID HARRINGTON, BRANDEN BURCH, INDIA ARIE

Every time I turn on the T.V.

Somebody's acting crazy

If you let it, it'll drive you crazy

But I'm takin' back my power today

Gas prices - they just keep on rising

The government - they keep on lying

But we gotta keep on surviving

Keep living our truth and do the best we can do

'Cause there's hope

It doesn't cost a thing to smile

You don't have to pay to laugh

You better thank God for that,

There's hope

Stand up for your rights

Keep shining your light

And show the world your smile

 

Once inside the military base Mulder used the directions given to him by the “wise man in the ruins” to find the computer terminal and enter in the security code. The date set for the alien invasion flashed on the screen: 12.22.12.  With the increasing echo of footsteps, now was not the time for pensiveness.  Hiding from view, Mulder watched as one of the military approached the terminal.  It was everyone’s most despised supersoldier Knowle Rohrer, which Mulder discovered only by slugging him in the back of the head.  He might as well been trying to knock him out with a pillow.  Running for his life Mulder came to an abrupt halt as a familiar face stood before him.  It was Alex Krycek.  How could it be?  “You’re dead” Mulder said aloud.  It was one thing to see spirits while hallucinating out in the woods  high on herbal tea, fasting , and lack of sleep.  It was quite another to have one appear to him in a shadow government facility while being chased by an alien.  Alex wasn’t exactly a friend and Mulder would have figured he would have been too busy in hell to seek him out, but given the circumstances he did what he was told.  Even after lighting up dear Knowle like a Christmas tree on a highwire, he wasn’t able to escape as two military men  were there to meet him with heavy artillery. Graciously, they surrendered him to the brig in Quantico and attempted brainwashing.

Traffic had Scully at a standstill while she dried her eyes carefully trying not to rub off her eyeliner.  It was a practice in futility as one tear only replaced the other. Mulder was less than ten minutes away.  Her heart was pounding and body shaking so profusely she could hardly drive the car. Her breath came to her in shallow bursts.  It had been over a year since she had seen him.  Skinner didn’t give her much to go on when he rang her phone earlier that morning other than he was locked up in the USGMC Base Brig in Quantico.  When she arrived, Skinner was there to greet her.  She pressed him for information, but he didn’t have much information other than he was alive and being held indefinitely for murder of a military man.

Her heart betrayed her eyes as he stood there before her.  He looked okay, but she could tell immediately that something was amiss. When he turned to face her she didn’t feel their immediate connection; he was reserved.  Thinking past it,she wrapped her arms around him.  Oh my God, he was alive! She had stopped telling herself this day would come some months ago. It was when she went to kiss him she felt him go rigid.

“Are you okay?”

“Am I okay?” He repeated back to her.

“Mulder, I haven’t seen you in such a long time.  I was so worried.” She caressed his face and stroked his hair still trying to grasp the reality that it really could be him.

“Well, it’s okay, I’m alright. They’re treating me well in here.”

What’s happened to you? She was trying to process as he addressed Skinner and turned away from her.  Mulder would never say he was wrong and would never call himself guilty.  Mulder never gave up.  With the military guard there she pushed it no further.  Why would he be cold to her?  What part of this didn’t she know? She could see his lips moving as he stared into the corner having a conversation with himself.  Maybe he had been brainwashed or they whitewashed his brain like they had at Ellen’s Air Force base so many years ago.

Scully wasn’t going to stand still on this.  Knowing he was so close yet out of reach was too much. If they wanted her on her knees they would get it.  She asked Kersh to please speak on her behalf and beg mercy on the military court to give him every consideration. Kersh agreed because it was Scully that would be hurt in the end. Over time he had grown to respect and admire her.  If he was being totally honest with himself, Mulder got under his skin and was a total pain in the ass, but his heart was always in the right place.  He was loyal and committed and you couldn’t fault a man for that.  When he saw the name of the man Mulder was being accused of killing, he also knew the military was full of it. Kersh knew all too well that Knowle was the super soldier Doggett and the rest claimed him to be. It wasn’t until Kersh returned from his meeting that he changed his tune.  If he didn’t sentence Mulder to death, Kersh would be next.

Kersh called Scully quietly in his office and told her with deepest regret that given his crimes they would not concede to anything.  Mulder would stand trial with the possibility of a death sentence if found guilty.  To Kersh’s surprise Scully simply nodded and walked out expressionless. He felt for her, but in the end they would kill him no matter what Kersh did.  There was no standing against people that held all the cards.  The only part of this that puzzled Kersh was why the charade?  Why didn’t they execute him immediately?  This nonsense about a guilty verdict wasn’t holding water. There was something else happening in the background. That he was certain.  

*****

“I called to follow up. Kersh payed me a visit. Agent Scully requested he ask for leniency just as you predicted. We won’t need to worry about Kersh, he’s going to play.”

CGB let out a low menacing chuckle and drew the smoke into his windpipe. He exhaled slowly before speaking into the cell phone. “They’re all so easily manipulated. It’s almost as if I handed them a script.”

“Sir, I do have one question.  What if they are able to prove Knowle Rohrer is still alive?”

“Mulder will be executed.  That is irrelevant. The verdict will be guilty, but he will stand trial first. They will all testify what they know.  What they think they know. I want to hear it leave their mouths as they believe they can save him, that anything will save him.  Then we will silence their voices forever as the final stages of the project begin.”

“Shall we send a helicopter for you before he receives the injection?”

“No need.  He will come to me.”

“Impossible.  He’s not leaving here alive. No one has ever escaped our custody.”

“You don’t know Mulder. But if it comes to that, send for a helicopter. This isn’t just about killing a man.  This is about crushing his soul and watching it die while his body takes its last breath.”  

“Well, I’ll keep you abreast of all developments.”

*****

Once they gained permission to visit with Mulder again, Scully returned with Skinner hoping to break through whatever the military had done to him.  Mostly she wanted to be with him again. Simply standing in the same room with him made her feel whole again.

When they entered the cell, he was once again facing the wall.  Even in this terrible prison he still looked good.  Orange wasn’t much of a flattering color, but it was all the rage if he was inside it.  She missed his arms around her. What was previously only a memory, the pull for each other was that much stronger now.

Terrified that they had turned his brain to mush she whispered his name. “Mulder?”

He closed his eyes briefly as if inhaling her essence and then replied. “ I smelled you coming, Clarice.”

Not picking up what he was putting down, she looked over at Skinner, fear and tears filling her eyes.  

His chuckle accompanied by a snarky grin produced a sigh of relief. ”Oh, My G….” followed a flash of exasperation.  “Damn it, Mulder. It’s not funny seeing you putting on that act.”

“No, that is funny. What’s not funny is what they do to you in here if you don’t put on that act.” He said as he approached her.  She could feel him on her before they ever made contact. His eyes relaxed into a warm glow and the charge between them surged as their souls locked.  He cradled her face and their lips embraced smiling as they did. Her feelings overflowed and the world melted away.  It was only him, her knight. She palmed the back of his head as her tongue breached his lips.  Her body responding at once.  He caressed her cheek with his thumbs producing increasing sparks and she returned the gesture. It was so good to have him back, have their connection, have their electricity flowing lighting up her heart. He lightened the kiss, tracing her lips with his own. Another surge came over her as she tasted his testosterone, giving her an immediate high and hugged his neck pulling him in tight once again, devouring him. His lips were consoling and complying.  Their heads tilted as their noses rubbed in passing. Kissing him from their new angle exciting the senses all over again.  She kissed his cheek, his neck, and hugged him tight as they rocked. Their eyes closed absorbing their love, the power of it all.   If she didn’t release him they would be naked within minutes right in front of Skinner, but at the moment she didn’t care.  Skinner. Skinner was standing there. Still she refused to take her eyes off of Mulder or recede their connection.

It was Mulder who broke the awkwardness of the moment. “Come here you big bald beautiful man...”

He grabbed her hand and held it tight between both of his, pressing his lips to it, kissing her fingers. His gaze could have moistened the Sahara. Anxiety was overtaking her as Skinner repeated the severity of the situation. Mulder took her hand and held it tight to his chest, up to his heart.  He would not let it go, needing the connection as much as she did. They discussed the trial and the lack of a body.  Scully’s mind was filling with the dizzying reality.  She  may have broken down in tears or lost it from grief it she did not have the steady beat of his heart under her hand.  Even after Doggett and Monica arrived, Mulder did not let go of Scully’s hand.  He only grabbed it tighter against him as she heard Doggett say that they claimed to have Knowles’ body.

That night Skinner came back to the brig to talk to Mulder. He updated him on all the gory details that he had missed. All that Scully had endured. “Mulder, there’s something you must know before you speak with Dana again. I don’t even know how to tell you myself.  She was forced to give William up for adoption.”

“What do you mean she was forced?  My son… She gave him up?” Mulder started pacing, he held his head as Skinner went into the specifics, went into how she had no choice.  Suddenly all those visions he had with William made sense. It was for nothing. William was gone.  “No!" he cried in disbelief. “We’ll get him back, I’ll get him back..”

“Mulder, no. There was no other choice.. you weren’t there.  You don’t know what she went through and she did it all alone. If she had made a different choice William would have been dead by now.  I'm only telling you this so you can let it out now and not in front of her.  You have to be strong for her when she tells you.  You cannot question her choice. It’s done.”

“No!” Mulder's hands fisted as they leaned on Skinner’s chest as he sobbed with his head down against him. Skinner put his hand on his back uncomfortably letting him cry and release the pain.  He looked away towards the wall. Affection was not something Skinner gave easily.  After a few minutes Mulder stepped back and composed himself drying his eyes.

“This is what needed to be avoided in front of Dana.  She needs your full support now.  To lose both of you within a month is too much for her to bear and its something she’ll have to face if some of those on the panel get their way.”

Mulder nodded in agreement.  They continued to talk about the trial and then Skinner left for the night.  Mulder ended up in the fetal position crying himself to sleep at the loss of his son only to be awakened by Scully at 7:12 A.M.

Scully came back to visit Mulder as soon as they would allow her, having no sleep the previous night.  She met him with a greeting that communicated it all.

“Mulder, it’s me.”

Terrified to lose him again after just getting him back she begged to his better judgement. He replied that he knew what he was doing, but she also knew that didn’t mean he necessarily would get out alive. Crouching beside him she attempted to tell him of their sacrifices, but he let her know Skinner already spoke of them. In tears she let the emotions run. “Our son, Mulder… I gave him up...Our son” She hugged him tight and he hugged her tighter.  

“I’m so afraid you could never forgive me.”

“I know you had no choice. I just missed both of you so much.” Feeling her emotions, he couldn’t take away the pain.  He only tried to hold back his own. It was worse than what Skinner had described. They rocked together gently still kneeling on the floor in an embrace. She asked him what he had been doing and he told her. Too self absorbed on another crusade. Finally, not able to hold in his emotions, he let them take over, his tears wetting her shoulder. She caressed his head, running her fingers through his hair. She loved him so much more than words.  She kissed his ear and dared to ask the question of where he had been this whole time. His answer made her laugh as it was so him.  He was out looking for the truth.

After the first session of the trial concluded, Scully once again pleaded to Mulder to see if he could try to receive a guilty verdict on a lesser charge.  She wouldn’t survive losing both him and William.  Why couldn’t he understand that she had just as much at stake as he did.  It was the two of them fighting. For if he died, so did she.  

Two more days of the trial concluded and there were no signs of hope until Doggett came to her with the news that they were to meet her at Quantico to identify the body of the supposed Knowle Rohrer. Scully was convinced she would be able to use her science to save Mulder once again, but it was all for nothing. Kersh did as he was told and Mulder was removed and the trial adjourned. Later that day Mulder was found guilty of first degree murder.  His sentence death, by lethal injection.

That night Skinner called and brought Scully’s worst nightmare to reality.  She sobbed covering her face rocking as she did.  

Skinner was besides himself.  Had Mulder’s luck really run out?  He traveled back to the office contemplating if he was going to stop at Kersh’s house.  Maybe there was still something to be done. As he opened the door and flicked on the lights he saw the package on the floor. Opening it he found a set of keys and a note: If you want to save his life, this is your chance.  Attached is a map of the facility. You have one chance tonight.  They will be there to come for him at 9:30pm. Skinner studied the map which highlighted a clear pathway to follow.  He turned and left for Scully’s apartment.

“How do you know this isn’t a trap to get us all thrown in jail?” Scully didn’t want to be a voice of reason, but this could be a plan to eliminate all of them.  

“Dana, this is all we have and I’m willing to take that chance.  Gibson said that Kersh and two others not only believed Mulder, but today he saw they were being manipulated by the aliens.  We have to take the chance that one of them sent this to us. Now you and Monica go to the bank.  Withdraw all the money left in your accounts. You have just enough time to say goodbye to your mother and make some final arrangements.  Pack the SUV with what you want to take with you. The rest I will send to your mother’s house. I will meet you and Gibson at the rondevu point with Mulder. Now go. There’s not much time.”

“Mulder’s fish.” It sounded stupid, but her head was swimming.

“We’ll get them to your mother’s.  Go!”

With that Scully did as she was told.  In a blur she piled their belongings in suitcases and their cash into suitcases.   Mulder still had well over a million dollars left in her account and she had quite a stash herself.  Scully’s mother was besides herself, but she didn’t put up a fight.  It was her daughter’s life to live.  

Scully stood with Gibson at the side of the road.  The spring night was chilly and windy.  Clouds covered the stars as if they were afraid to watch.  This was it.  This time Scully would truly sacrifice everything she was and had for Mulder.  With William gone there wasn’t much left for her anyway.  Bill would take care of their mother. When the SUV drove up Scully once again found her breath had left her and her heart beating out of her chest.  Surprised to see Kersh she gave Mulder a worrying look, but he quickly put her worries aside.  Scully was quick to discover that they were not heading off the continent, but south to see a man about the truth. She knew why.  He had to know if he could change the truth he found.

“Sir, you were correct, they’ve escaped.”

“Don’t worry.  They’re coming for me. Everything is as planned.”

“How did you know?”

Because I know my son CGB thought to himself. “Are the choppers on their way?”

“Yes.  Rohrer is after agents Reyes and Doggett.”

“Excellent.”

“The bounty hunter will be there to retrieve you once we kill Mulder and Scully. I have faith he will be able to give you a full recovery.”

“If not, when the time comes, I’ll meet you all in hell.” CGB powered off his cell. The hour was near.

Roswell, NM

After escaping certain death once again and watching CGB get hit with two guided missiles, they stole Knowle’s vehicle not wanting to endanger Doggett and Reyes further and took off.  About an hour into their drive they realized all their money and belongings were in the other vehicle.

“Monica and I arranged a drop-off point in case we forgot anything.  Skinner was working on getting us some license plates, IDs, and a firearm.  The location is  just outside of Virginia.  She should have left everything there.” Scully explained to Mulder.

“I still have some stuff of my own at Gibson’s.  We can switch plates there before heading back up…. It’s getting late and it’s starting to rain pretty hard.  I’ve got enough on me to pay for a motel room.  How does a night in Roswell sound?”

“Appropriate.” Scully countered.

The scene of their motel room was reminiscent of the one they stayed in some nine years ago. Scully was lying on the bed with her head propped up on her elbow staring at Mulder sitting on the floor with his head resting on the bed staring at her.  He was depressed from the situation feeling his only accomplishment was that he had convinced Scully of the truth.  It was a helpless feeling as though the whole time he was chasing monsters with a butterfly net.  The date was set.

Scully wasn’t going to let him get away with wallowing. “You wouldn’t tell me. Not because you were afraid or broken… but because you didn’t want to accept defeat. Mulder you say that you’ve failed, but you only fail if you give up. And I know you--- you can’t give up. It’s what I saw in you when we first met. It’s what made me follow you. Why I’d do it all over again.”

“And look what it’s gotten you.” Mulder countered.

“And what has it gotten you? Not your sister. Nothing that you’ve set out for....But you won’t give up, even now.”

She grabbed his hand and squeezed it for reassurance. He gripped hers back.

“You’ve always said that you want to believe. But believe in what, Mulder? If this is the truth that you’ve been  looking for, then what is left to believe in?”

“I want to believe that the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us as part of something greater than us--greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now. I want to believe that if we listen to what’s speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves.”

“Then we believe the same thing.”

He lifted her cross from around her neck and caressed it with his thumb and forefinger staring at it. Nodding, he smiled. Gently, he ran his thumb to her lips as she lightly kissed it. The space between them too great, he climbed into bed with her as they nuzzled each other.  They intertwined their bodies to match their souls. She wrapped her arm around his back resting her right hand on his shoulder with her other hand sitting at his waist.  His arms mimicked hers with his leg wrapped around her thigh.  She nuzzled into his face.

“Maybe there’s hope” He said finally.

He closed his eyes and drifted to sleep, their foreheads pressed together, their bodies as close as they could manage, Scully caressing his back.  They remained wrapped in each other until morning. He was finally home.

Chapter Text

She wasn’t dreaming. He was there.

Scully opened her eyes.  The sun’s rays were cutting through the drapes gently waking her slumber.  Mulder was still sleeping.  His breath was warm and gentle against her cheek.  As restless as their personalities, they hadn’t moved all night.  It wasn’t all a dream.  It was really him.  The fingers on her left hand worked at his waistband gently lifting the back of his gray cotton shirt.  Warm smooth skin laid underneath. Her fingers tickling the hairs of the small of his back. He smiled with eyes still closed pulling her close tightening his leg around her.  She felt him hard and thick underneath the denim of his jeans.  A pleasant tingle warmed her insides as she yearned for him.  “Scully.”  He hugged her tight stroking the back of her hair pulling her into his chest.  “I missed you so much.”

When his eyes finally did open they looked into hers.  He brushed the hair from her face. “I wish we could stay like this, but we need to get going."  He held her for another moment before kissing her forehead and getting up.  

“At least we have nothing to pack.” He said as he brushed his teeth. “I’ll let you have the shower first. I’ll find a map and try to find some breakfast.  We don’t need to be bringing attention to ourselves in a diner.”

Scully returned from the shower to find him waiting with soda and snacks lying on the bed.

“There wasn’t much.  Cheetos, some crackers, and Diet Coke.  The breakfast of champions. My turn to jump in?” She watched him saunter into the shower stripping as he went.  Bruises and lacerations covered his torso from the torment of the brig. His ribs shown through his pale skin.  It was obvious he had been through quite an ordeal.  

Back on the road they headed to Gibson’s trailer.  Mulder reached for her hand caressing it with his thumb.  “Scully...um...before we...do you think... maybe we might need..protection?”

“Skinner should have left us guns.. I’m not sure about ammo..”

“No, no Scully, I mean… birth control.”

The way he said it with his puppy dog eyes made her want to laugh. “Mulder, I really don’t think that should be of concern.  I’m willing to leave it up to the fates. That is unless you had visitors from inmates during your unfortunate incarceration?”

“No, no...I thought it might be something we wanted to consider given we’ll have nowhere to settle down and the road will make things more difficult.”

“I’m willing to take my chances.” She said shortly.

“Okay.” He brought her hand up to his lips and gave it a quick kiss and a squeeze.

Unless he was making a turn, his hand remained in hers the remainder of the trip.

When they got to Gibson’s the only one there was his girlfriend.  They shared a couple quick hellos and Mulder handed Scully a shovel.  “The suitcases are buried. Can you dig it?”

Scully grabbed the shovel and rolled her eyes. “Let’s go.”

The suitcases provided them with his clothes and some money.  He switched the license plates and they took off to Virginia.  They drove most of the night making few stops, taking turns at the wheel.

By the second night they pulled into a truck stop and slept in the back of the SUV curled up together.  Since being reunited, being wrapped in each other’s arms seemed the only way they could both sleep through the night. Scully speculated it was a fear of losing the other. Listening to his heartbeat relaxed her, but her mind was still replaying the past weeks in her head.  

“Mulder, do you believe what Monica said during her testimony? Do you really believe William was a result of manipulated biology? A super soldier?”

Mulder held her tighter against him and ran his fingers through the back of her hair.  He knew her pain for William would never go away and he felt helpless to not be able to make it right. “Scully, William is our miracle.  Whatever he possesses, whoever he is, came from us.  I know you want to look at facts.  Scully, what supersoldier has the ability to communicate with spaceships or pieces of a craft? All those that you interviewed, did any of them have the powers that William possessed? Who do you know had powers close to that?”

“Gibson and you possibly, for a time.”

“Right. Gibson is not a supersoldier.  Does it make sense?”

“Mulder, I worry about him.  What if the injection Jeffrey gave him didn’t work? What if he’s in some foster care somewhere with abnormalities?”

“Maybe he joined the x-men?  Come-on Scully.  I don’t believe that I’m the one that’s about to make this argument, but you have to stay with what you know.  No, I don’t believe what Jeffrey did had a permanent effect.  If he was a supersoldier the injection would have crushed his spinal column.  I want to believe that the parents who have him love him and will raise him for what he is.  A beautiful, intelligent, wonderful boy.  Just as we would.  You have to stop the doubts.  Have faith.”

Scully snuggled in even closer to him.  His body giving her warmth and also washing away her fears. She fell back asleep in his arms.

When she woke they were moving again.  She climbed from the back into the passenger’s seat.  They were almost to Virginia. Mulder took her hand. “Do you want me to stop and get you anything?  Coffee, donuts, a new wardrobe?”

She took note of the exit sign. “Looks like we’re almost there. Get off at this exit.  The dropoff is a deserted civil war bunker in the woods right off the highway.  There’s a marker.”

The bunker contained all the suitcases from the white SUV, IDs, plates, and a note from Monica.  It read:

Dana, Here you should find everything you had packed.  The x-files has been closed and we’ve been reassigned. Gibson is safe. Skinner left the IDs and plates.  He said he will leave a voicemail on the cell phone The Lone Gunman gave Mulder if something needs to be communicated.  As of now, everyone in the government believes you died in the missile strike.  There is no one looking for you.  Be well Dana.  I wish you the best.

“Scully, it looks like Skinner left us a car. There’s an address of a chop shop in here.  I’m guessing that’s where we’ll find it.”

Mulder pulled up to a junk yard just outside of the city.  Scully watched as a magnetic crane picked up a car and flung it onto a pile like it was tossing a leaf.  

“Scully” Mulder grabbed her arm as he said her name bringing her back from her trance. “Dana, you don’t have to live this life.  You could walk away now.  They assume you were with me, but if you turn up now you’ve committed no crime.  You could start your life over, stay with your family.”

“Mulder, I meant what I said.  It’s us.  You and me.  I made my choice to follow you and I’m not leaving you now.  Mulder, if these past two years have taught me anything, it’s that I don’t want to live a life without you in it.”

“Good because I can’t live without you.” He smiled and his eyes formed half moons.  Grabbing the car door handle he added, “Let’s see what kind of wheels the Skinman has waiting for us.”

When night fell upon them Mulder insisted on checking into the Ritz-Carlton in Virginia.  He promised Scully a night in a nice hotel suite and he was going to deliver on his promise.  He waited on Scully to come out of the shower and when she emerged, a beautiful blonde in a cocktail dress stood before him.    

“Scully, your hair.”

She nervously flipped her strands behind her ear. “I had to.  Even though they believe we’re dead, my hair is like a beacon and I don’t want to draw attention.”

“Scully, looking like that, you’re going to draw attention.” Mulder’s eyebrows shot up and he turned to put on his sports jacket.

In the dining room, the maitre’ d showed them to a booth.  It was curved so they were able to sit side by side and both enjoy a view of the lights on the water.  As they ate Mulder contemplated their next steps.  “So where should our first destination be?”

“We could make our way across the country… check out all the national parks?” Offered Scully.

“Yeah, we could.”

“Mulder, there’s something going on in that head of yours. Out with it.”

“I don’t know, we could sneak over the border into Canada and do some cave exploring or there’s a place in California…”

“Caves? Why caves?” Scully got a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.  It was never going to end.

“Well, there’s this cave with rock that’s millions of years old.  They say that what inhabits these rocks are similar to life we may find on Mars….”

He stopped mid sentence. Oh no, he thought to himself as he saw the change of complexion on Scully’s face.  He really did it this time.  Why was he opening up this can of worms?  He was only asking for trouble.  She took a sip of cabernet and stayed silent. Instead of the brow beating he was preparing for, she slid closer so they were shoulder to bicep presumably to enjoy the colors of the sunset together. He put his arm around her and she crossed her legs leaning into him. They both took in the view. He cut into his pork chop and as he lifted it to his mouth his breath escaped him. The heat of Scully’s hand slowly made its way up his inner thigh towards his hardening crotch.  Mind numbing bliss filled his system as she made contact. “Mulder, can we please take a vacation from aliens for a while?”  Her eyes darkened and all his blood rushed between his legs. He put down his fork and knife, his appetite for food now dissipated.  Closing his eyes he took a long slow deep breath spreading the pleasure up his torso.  If only they ended every disagreement this way she’d win every time.  Public displays of affection had a new level when Scully was involved.  It had been too long. Her fingers grazed over his erection and he exhaled a moan opening his eyes to not so subtly look to see if anyone was noticing.  To his surprise all the other patrons seem to have been self-involved. “Scully, maybe we should discuss this further in our hotel room.”

“I think we’re fine sitting right here Mulder.  I’m enjoying the sunset and I want to finish my apple pie a la mode.”  Sticking the spoon in her mouth she enticingly licked out the vanilla leaving the sticky apple filling to linger on the tip.  

Mulders teeth clenched and he exhaled. He begged her with his eyebrows. "Scully Please." He was throbbing and she had his whole body tingling.

“You want some?”  She said with an angelic grin, raising her own eyebrows.

He stared at her while she scooped some apples and cream, feeding it to him. The apple filling was sweet and warm, the vanilla melting on his tongue while Scully’s left hand continued its circular motion between his thighs.  The pleasure was intense and he no longer wanted her to stop. “Mmmm. This could be the best dessert I’ve ever tasted.” He squirmed as he said it.  His pants were becoming increasingly uncomfortable as he surrendered to her touch. Scully may show no mercy applying stitches, but she was an artist with her hands nonetheless.  No other woman could ever excite him the way she did. So badly he wanted to touch her.  He focused on breathing through his nose, keeping his mouth closed, but low moans escaped with each outtake of breath.    

Scully’s eyes dilated, desire taking over. The rise and fall of her chest quickening.

Mulder leaned over and whispered, pressing his lips against her ear. “Does torturing me excite you Scully?”

She didn’t answer, but took another bite, lingering her tongue along the curvature of the spoon.  

This was too much.  He waved for the check and contemplated the complexities of standing.

In the elevator on the way to their room, he leaned against the back wall and positioned her in front of him as not to give the others in the elevator a show.  Scully must have found the situation humorous for she used her body to casually brush against his erection.  Over a year without her and this was one hell of a reunion. Luckily, everyone was facing forward staring at the elevator doors.  The vision of their last encounter in an elevator flashed through his brain and he discreetly palmed the curves of her lower lumbar.  They didn’t have to hide. There was no more business relationship.  Why he expected her to pull away from his advances was years of conditioning. He had not counted on her taking his hand and sliding it underneath the back of her dress. Mulder was losing his shit. If she continued, it was going to be over right there in the elevator.  Scully subtly arched her back into him and his eyes rolled back, a low deep growl came from his chest and he quickly cleared his throat.  What floor were they on?  The doors finally opened and he hurriedly pulled her out.  As the doors closed he flipped the room key between his teeth and  lifted her into the air carrying her into the room bouncing her onto the bed.  

He slowly stripped for her while she laid on the bed propped up on her elbows, her tongue working overtime on her lips.

He pulled out some candles he had purchased at the gift shop and lit them as she silently watched. Now only in his boxers he stopped, stretching out his palm as if to balance himself.  “Scully, I want you.  Badly.  Being away from you so long...I thought bringing you here would make it special, but ….this means so much to me… I’m not sure anything I do is going to make it special enough…”

“Mulder…. I know.” Scully got up off the bed and her hands glided over his shoulders and met behind his neck while her hips brushed his pelvic region. He let out a groan and ran his hands over her body, savoring every bump and curve.  Committing new freckles and lines to memory.  He loved it all. It was Scully.  He lowered the straps of her dress and sucked on her shoulders.  “Mulder, my body is not the same as you left it.  Having a baby causes changes.”

His arms wrapped around her at the waist pulling her into him. “Scully, you’re mine and you’re beautiful.” God, she loved this man.  He nibbled at the bust line of her dress and strong currents coursed through her breasts. “Mulder” she moaned and her head flung back.  “God Scully.  Say it again.  Please say my name again.” His lips greedily kissed her neck. He dropped her dress to the floor and crouched down running his tongue along her abdomen sending shocks radiating through her body. “Mulder...Oh Mulder”. His lips soft and magical against her skin.“Oh, God Scully.” He stopped and hugged her waist catching his breath. She ran her fingers through the top of his head and he looked up at her. His fingers interlaced with hers. "It's good to feel this way Scully. To be with you." Taking labored breaths, he delicately slid her panties down to her ankles and she stepped out of them. Kissing her thighs he slowly made his way between her legs. His tongue was hot against her and she melted, her knees buckling. “Mulder, let’s get in bed.” Instead he proceeded with both hands pulling her towards him, he plunged deeper inside her with his tongue, sucking, his lips massaging her clit. She leaned further against his mouth, her legs no longer able to support her.  Sensation was swelling against his tongue deep into her belly. There was no control when it came to him. Clawing at the back of his head, the pleasure was too much, acute and sudden. She let out a loud cry trying to come down a little, trying to gain control of her body. Another surge of pleasure shot through her and her knees hit the floor. Mulder rolled her onto her back still burrowed between her legs, his tongue relentless.  His hands traveled up her torso claiming her breasts, rolling her nipples with his fingers.  She was writhing in pleasure helplessly fighting the undeniable urge to succumb to a terrifyingly powerful orgasm.  If she thought her fantasies recollected sex with him, she was wrong.  It was overpowering and incomprehensible to think the human body could withstand it. At the same time it was frightful that she might never feel this way again. “Mulder, please, not without you..not this time.” she managed to say through her panting.  Tears fell from the intensity.  He stopped at her request. With her whole body quaking he helped her up and they got into bed. They wrapped themselves around each other and she savored his body. He was gentle and soft spoken caressing her with a light touch. Stimulating and arousing. Their lips massaging the others, their bodies moving to an unspoken rhythm. Her hands found his hair soft and silky contrasting with his hard commanding frame. With her legs wrapped around him, her hips slowly rose, stroking his full length against her clit leaving a trail in her wake.    

He stopped her. “Scully, this will not be one of my best performances.” He looked so worried she had a need to comfort him.

“Mulder...we’re together.” He paused and seized the thought, his eyes now a blue-gray fire, and his lips caressed her own. Twisting his body, he pulled her in so she was underneath him. She could feel him reach down to align himself, the back of his hand brushing her thigh. “Oh, God” she cried in anticipation, desire overtaking her.  Mulder eased into her slowly, filling her. It was him.  This was real. Her body awakened. She was no longer missing.  Now she couldn’t get enough. To have your existence rely on someone so badly. She tilted her hips upward enticing him further and they both groaned loudly when he was completely inside.  “I love you Scully.” he said in low tones and captured her mouth with his, his tongue gliding against hers matching their hips as he began an excruciatingly slow pace. Mulder was sweet and sensitive. His body caring to her needs and her body relenting to him.  They were absorbed, captivated by the other.  Emotions and hunger surging through them.  Her body arched into his, craving the weight of him.  Mulder kissed her jaw, her chin. Sucking at her neck, they increased their rhythm. “I need you Mulder.” She said it through her moans though it had much more than sexual overtones. He paused, a kaleidoscope of feelings passed across his face as he whispered,  “I know. I need you too Scully.”  They began again moving as one. The complexity and gravity of their commitment coupled with the magnitude of their love towards each other carrying them hurdling over the edge.  Mulder groaned pouring himself into her, reclaiming her.  It was the polite solicitation in his eyes that made her explode around him. A courtesy, as she was a captive to his determination.


The morning came and so did the realization that they had nowhere to be with nothing to do. It was a first for them and neither knew exactly how to handle it. Scully stared in the mirror as she brushed her teeth noticing a new glow to her skin.  Could happiness be seeping out her pores?  She spit into the sink and watched as the toothpaste circled following the water’s path down the drain.  “Mulder, have you ever been to a water park?”

He pushed open the glass door and poked his head out.  “Not since I was real young.  With Samantha.  You?”

“They had one at one of the naval bases. We should go rafting some time.”

“Sure.”

With his hair slicked back by the water, he looked like a movie star.  His eyes took on an emerald hue against the streaked white marble and she had a sudden need to turn them to the steamy gray of last night.  “Oh, Scully.” He said as if reading her mind.

Scully placed her hand on the glass door opening it wider.  The spray from the shower slowly soaked the bathroom tile.  She gave him a kiss and lifted her night shirt up over her head revealing the lack of anything underneath. Stepping in, she ran her fingers down his chest and over his abs to his newly manscaped hairs. Mulder might be thin, but he was sculpted. His body beckoned her. Visual stimulus was not her go to, but the sight of him made her tremble. She cupped him gently, ever so lightly running her fingernails across the delicate skin. Mulder groaned tossing his head back, his hands reached out pressing against the sides of the tile. Her body pulsed at the sight of her affect on him. She had to taste him.  Scully grabbed his wrist and slid to her knees gripping his erection with one hand and his wrist with the other. He cupped her face as she licked him from root to tip,  giving the head a kiss while staring at him with hooded eyes. It may have been the weight loss, but it was bigger than she remembered and it was all hers.  “Don’t be gentle.” She said as she moved his hand to the back of her head. She took in all of him, his hips bucking into her ministrations.  At first his hand gently rubbed her scalp as she sucked him in, savoring it, then releasing, only to repeat the action. Wet silky skin quenching her thirst. The water refreshingly cascading over them. Eventually she felt the pressure of his hand pushing at the back of her head and she started to moan fiercely following his pace. His command of her excited her rebellious side. Scully’s dark side was surfacing as she internalized the struggle. Her head pulled back as he fisted her hair. He was panting hard and using the wall to keep himself upright.  “We have to slow down” he said between breaths.  She stood up leaning against the back of the shower. With their eyes locked he stepped towards her, placing his hands on the wall at either side of her face, shielding her from the hot spray. Their bodies and their lips were an inch from each other yet there was no contact. They didn’t need it for he already had her obscenely turned on. He knew what she wanted him to do. “You know how I feel about this Scully.”

She had no reply, their eyes remaining locked. They stood in that position allowing the heat of their arousal to fog up the glass. Each waiting for the other to cave. With their gazes locked, Mulder rocked his jaw protruding his mandible forward, his breath hitched. He leaned in closer and she realized she was holding her breath.  His nose lightly made contact with hers and he traveled it up her bridge and back down. He paused for another minute and instantly his lips were on hers, forcefully taking her, the back of her head bouncing lightly off the hard tile. “Ahh” she cried into his mouth biting his lip. Drawing blood she sucked it into her mouth. She felt him long and hard against her and she wanted him now. Her body was on fire. As they kissed, she slid her hands up his arms and underneath his palms.  He closed his fingers between hers and raised them above her head so she was on her toes, her back still pressed against the wall. She lifted her legs up trusting his grip to support her weight and wrapped her legs around his waist. Two years of abductions and pregnancy.  Two years of death and wondering if he was alive.  Nine years of fighting invisible and unattainable truths.  Nine years of being used and tortured by untouchables.  This was about letting go.  About her being kept away from him physically for so long. She needed to be carnal. She needed to not desire control. With one hard thrust he penetrated her thoughts, tearing through her reason, and she let out a cry.  It surprised him, but he knew not to stop.  He thrusted harder pinning her to the wall with his hands, her back rubbing hard up against it. Mulder was forming a heat inside her that made her powerful. She allowed it to move through her, but she needed more. Still too shallow, she rotated her hips forward and slid down on him until he was completely sheathed. As if it alone was carrying the weight of her desecration. Mulder picked up speed grunting with each thrust.  He was deep inside her. The initial pain exquisite, ratcheting her desire, she began pushing her weight against the wall in order to ride him. Her passion was violent and determined sucking the strength from him into her. Knowing he was healing her, allowing her to release what shedding tears could not. Only he could heal her flawed existence. He freed her hands so he could carry her weight, sliding her towards the corner, setting her on the shower seat.  His look calculating and intense, he didn’t speak a word. He lifted her legs, her heels leaning on his chest.  One hand secured her hands to the wall, while the other fisted her hair tight. Her knees bent slightly as he pushed forward, slamming into her.  Repeatedly.  Deeper.  Faster.  He had her pinned and she absorbed all the pleasure. The feeling spiraled inside her, coiling.  He tugged her hair hard and she wailed.  The pleasure carrying her, an ocean washing the pain away.  He thrusted in rapid succession and then he stopped breathing hard.  Her insides were quivering and pulsing she was so close. He placed one arm underneath her shoulder and the other behind her head as he lifted her towards him and her legs fell to his waist.  The position was such that as he eased forward he rubbed her sweet spot. Ooh, it was heaven. He held her close to his heart and his whole demeanor changed as he moved slowly, lovingly. He spoke in a low monotone voice,“It’s okay Scully.  Let go. Let it all go.” They moved in unison. Slow and steady. His hand gently caressed her face as he covered her with light kisses. Every time he pulled out she craved him and when he filled her again it was euphoria, completeness. She gripped him from the inside, hugging him, holding him. Her sensations built on his moans. She coveted the feeling of him inside her, coveted the pleasure it gave him to be there. Sensation coiled up once again as his mouth dropped open as he grunted, breathing hard. “Scully!” He cried in fear that he could possibly come without her.   “Scully, oh yes, Scully come with me!” The last call of her name released the pin inside her and she shattered around him, draining everything into him.  With nothing left she collapsed into his arms.  He hugged her tightly and she buried her head in his neck. When she needed him, he always came through.  He stood, helping her to her feet and grabbed some bodywash.  Squirting it in his hand he lathered it up and spread it over her body massaging as he went.  He lulled her into a state of relaxed elation.  Still weak from out of practice muscles, she gathered herself and returned the favor, reintroducing herself to every part of him. Washing away the misgivings and torment of the past so they could start again.

Freshly showered, they returned to bed to recover and take advantage of the final hours before checkout. Scully fell asleep within minutes.  Mulder propped himself up on two of the 6 feathered pillows in the bed and switched on the t.v., skimming through the channels very aware of Scully’s thigh sprawled across his leg. He fixed the crisp white sheets to cover them both and ran his hand through her golden locks. She didn’t stir, her breathing deep and peaceful.  There were no interesting news stories. He wondered if he was capable of staying away from the draw of the conspiracy.  Flipping through the channels, he knew he was looking for a lead.  They needed a change of climate to get his mind geared in a different direction.  Scully ran her fingers across his chest and his body lit up like the fourth of July.  “Scully?”

“mmmm?” she replied groggily.

“There’s a blonde in my bed.”

She looked up and smiled flipping her hair.  He ran his hand along the strands pressing them into her cheek, his lips grazing hers repeatedly. Her tongue reached out for his and he met it deepening the kiss.  He rolled her onto her back and savored her lips.  Neither of them bothering to dress, he was aware of her body’s response to his current condition.  He gave her a short kiss and stroked her hair, looking deep into her beautiful blues.  “How about California? We could make some stops along the way.  Head for San Diego?”

“Mulder, I know you want to go to Canada and explore those caves.  Let’s go.  Then we can head to California from there.”

“Really!?! You won’t get angry?”

“Oh, I’m sure I’ll get angry, but you need to get this out of your system.”

He kissed her again, pulling her against him, making his intentions known. They smiled at each other through their kisses. They had their destination and they were going to need every last minute of their checkout time and another shower.

Chapter Text

“Mulder, you don’t think we’re pushing our luck attempting to do a border crossing?”

“Not if we don’t look suspicious.” Mulder answered.  “What’s my first name again?”

“Kyle.”

“Kyle..I don’t look like a Kyle.  What about you?”

“I had to go with something from the blonde pile so I decided to go with Sarah with an h.”

“Do the passports match our license plate and registration?”

“Yes.  New York plates and we’re both from Buffalo.”

“Well, Sarah with an h.  Here we go.”

They were headed to Ontario, crossing into Canada via Buffalo, NY. Pulling up to the booth, a preoccupied Canadian was there to greet them.  Without even looking their way he stated, “Papers please.”

Mulder handed him their passports.

“Reason for visiting Canada?”

“To see the good side of the falls.  We’re on our honeymoon.” Mulder said smiling back at Scully and squeezing her hand.  She gave him a genuine Laura Petrie smile in return.

Looking at the names on the passports he stated, “Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Skinner and welcome to Canada.” With complete indifference, he stamped their passports and handed them back to Mulder. “Enjoy your stay.”

Mulder proceeded onto the QEW and out towards Toronto.

“Skinner did that just to get under my skin.” Mulder said as he threw a quick glance Scully’s way.  “I can feel him laughing right now.”

Scully reached down and picked up some of the sunflower seed shells that had fallen onto the floorboards from the overflowing cup holder and disposed of them in an empty plastic grocery bag.  “I actually missed this.”

“What?”

“Your shells littered at my feet. The constant cracking between your teeth.  I missed it.  I missed all the things I once found mildly irritating.  All those things that meant you were around. I’m glad to have them back.”

Mulder slid his hand just above her knee and gave her leg a squeeze as he smiled.  Scully hugged his arm in return resting her head at the top of his bicep. She ran her hand along the hairs of his forearm, feeling the divots and curves of his muscles until her hand scooted under his short sleeve shirt. It was a struggle to keep her hands off of him. She kissed his arm where her face rested and he pressed his lips to her head. She could hear his long intake of air as he relished the scent of her hair. Then again, there was no reason to stop.

*

Another eight hours of driving under their belt and they pulled up to the Timmons Cave in Ontario.  
“Scully wait.” Mulder said as he got out of the SUV.

“What’s wrong?” She asked looking out the window, squinting at the mountainous landscape.  It was a clear day with few clouds making for a picturesque view.

Mulder walked to her side and opened the door.  Holding his hand out, he guided her out of the car.  His recent bouts of chivalry did not go unappreciated.  With a loving, caring touch, he rubbed her face as he gave her a slow delicate kiss that made it difficult to remain standing.

“What was that for Mulder?” tumbled out of her mouth, her heart wanting him to do it again.

“To remind us that this isn’t a case.  That we’re not working right now. You’re more important to me Scully than anything we find in that cave.” He put his arm around Scully and they walked towards the caves.  Scully wasn’t sure if he was trying to prove something to her or himself.

A woman in dark green overalls approached them as they got to the office door. Mulder held out his hand.  “Hello.  I’m age….uh...Fox Mulder and this is my par….my uh..”

“Dana Scully” Scully said with a smile as she shook Dr. Sherwin’s hand.

“Fox...Dana..I’m Dr. Beth Sherwin.”

“What is your field of study?” Scully asked

“Scully’s a medical doctor with a background in hard science.” Mulder interrupted and winked at  Scully as she caught his eye.

Dr. Sherwin nodded. “I’m a Geoscientist.  I was a little surprised to hear from Mr. Mulder.  It had been a couple years from when we last spoke. Although when I received a package some months ago addressed to you it was an indication.  I attempted to contact you, but you never responded to my emails or voicemail.”

“Yeah, I’ve been quite busy these past couple years.” Mulder looked over at Scully again. “Lots of traveling. But when I saw your latest publication on the 1.5 million year old water, I thought I would follow up.”

“Actually, we now have a more accurate way of measuring the age of the water.  We now look at the ratio of noble gases to determine the age. The water we’re about to witness is around 2.5 billion years old.”

“Billion?” Scully repeated.

“Are you still in contact with Marita Covarrubias?” The Doctor asked Mulder.

“Yes, I uh, saw her recently.” He quickly glanced at Scully to observe her reaction.

“Such a sweet intelligent woman with a real passion for our work. I believe that package is from her.  It was delivered along with the latest samples from the Russian caves. All those parcels come through her division due to the grant.  I can show them to you later if you like.”

“Grant?” Scully was beginning to feel like a parrot.  Marita?  When did Mulder have time to speak with Marita? Did she visit him in New Mexico? Is that how he knew how to find her? She swallowed the familiar pangs of jealousy forming inside her chest. She was being irrational.  Wasn’t she? Scully tried to bring herself back into the conversation.

Dr. Sherwin was answering her question. “Yes, it’s multinational funding, but all findings are stored in our archives at the University of Toronto.” Dr. Sherwin opened the office door. “Are you ready to walk on the original ocean floor some 2.7 billion years ago? My assistant will get you suited up and I’ll meet you at the cage.”

As soon as they were alone in the lab Scully cornered Mulder.  She wanted to know why they were really here. “Mulder, why didn’t you tell me Maria told you about these caves?  You knew she left that package here for you.  What is it Mulder?  What’s in that package? What are you not telling me?”

“I didn’t know she had sent anything here Scully.” He replied and she took him on his word.

Of course they didn’t have her size Scully thought to herself now dressed in a hard hat, overalls, and rubber boots.  The boots looked more like clown shoes, the bottom of the overalls were folded over so many times they looked like bells, and you could only see the tips of her fingers when she held out her arms.  Mulder tried to hide his amusement, but she could tell he was tickled over her oversized attire. Yes, Mulder, you’re staring at the incredible shrinking woman. He leaned towards her, opening his mouth to comment and she beat him to it.  “At least I don’t have to duck for low flying planes.”  And with that he tightened his lips, nodded, and straightened his posture. With his hand at the small of her back he guided her into the cage.

As they descended Scully had a short flash of their field trip to Brown Mountain. “There’s no reports of large growths of fungi in the area is there?”
“No…” Dr. Sherwin answered with a puzzled expression.

The cave looked like a long small mine shaft that just about cleared Mulder’s head.  It was dimly lit with lanterns about every 25 feet and the floor was slick beneath their rubber boots. The walls were layered in colors like children with crayons running down a hallway. Billions of years in the making created an awe inspiring mosaic and she felt Mulder squeeze her waist to let her know they were sharing the beauty together. She was really enjoying them as a couple. It was like dreaming of the perfect man when you were young only to have him read your thoughts and check them off one by  one.  This time she would keep a positive mind and not expect them to fail.  She was proud of him. Together they made such a beautifully intense, pleasurable relationship. It was so personal and intimate she almost didn’t want others to witness their connection.  Possessive and jealous Dana she thought as they walked past large layered rock that looked almost like sculptures of Medusa’s hair.

“What are those?” Mulder asked.

“Those,” Dr. Sherwin explained, “are part of the pillow lava structures from when there were active volcanos.  You can see those same pillows at the bottom of the ocean currently.”

“So what is the relationship between all this and Mars?” Scully folded her arms inadvertently, deciding it was time to drop the million dollar question.  Mulder cast a surprised look her way tilting his head.  He didn’t attempt to hide his pleasure of her possibly having a genuine interest.

“All this could prove there is life under the subsurface of Mars.  If life can live on Earth in these pockets, it stands to reason that Mars, which has some of these same extreme conditions, has the ability to support life.”

“Is it possible that any of these organisms could have come from Mars?” As Scully asked the question Mulder looked at her like he might just take her right there in the tunnels.

“Well, there are some theories that say Earth’s life is directly from Mars and other theories that life from Mars evolved the life on Earth into our own human physiology.  Are you suggesting you believe this to be true?”

Mulder smiled at Scully, not taking his eyes off of her as he responded.  “It’s a theory that’s been passed around once or twice.”

“How are your containment procedures if you find these organisms?” Scully asked thinking back to the organisms they had found in the ice and the volcanos years ago.

“We have the highest level of both containment and emergency quarantine.”

They came to a fork and Dr. Sherwin led them down the left tunnel where it opened up to a small basin. She pointed out the water streams and pockets buried in the rock formations.  “Would you like to taste it?”

“You drink this water. It’s potable?” Scully was surprised.  

“It’s very pure, but also has an extreme concentration of salt.”

Mulder dipped his pinky in and brought it to his tongue.  “Very Salty.” He dipped it again. “Scully?”

She shook her head at his outstretched pinky.  Did he really expect her to….. Of course he did.

Dr. Sherwin concluded. “Let’s go back up and I’ll show you what they’ve discovered in the Russian labs. It may just answer some of your questions.”

Back up in the labs Dr. Sherwin projected the screen shots of the newest microscope slides from Russia.

“What is the organism classified as?” Scully asked.

“Well that’s just it, we haven’t been able to classify it as either plant or animal.  The initial studies also suggest it is a chimera.”

“It’s a hybrid?” Mulder chimed in.

“No, chimeras are not hybrids.  This is two separate species forming one functioning body yet still distinct.  Hybrids are combining genes.  These are chromosomes acting apart from each other, but sharing the same body.  An organism that is a chimera could contain two blood types or eye colors for example.”
“Is this found in nature or would there have to be outside involvement?” Scully’s pulse started to quicken as she asked the question.

“There are examples in nature, but this… this was programmed.”  

“By what? Who?” Now it was Mulders turn to show excitement.

“Well, it occurred most likely a couple million years ago.  It would had to have been some outside force of…. A catalyst… It’s not like intelligent life was walking around creating new life forms...”

Scully and Mulder exchanged glances.

Dr. Sherwin continued to the next slide. “Given the correct conditions we’ve seen these cells enter into the stages of morula, blastula, and gastrula.  These cells have been programed to create a life form and what is even more astounding… 85% were human cells… the other 15%...undetermined. Human life… or a form of it… over 2 million years ago.”

“Who knows about this?” Mulder and Scully both asked in unison.

“Currently?  The three of us.  My assistant knows of the testing.  The scientists in Russia sent us the samples to be tested and we have not communicated back the findings. I still have a few more tests to conclude.”

“The CDC, military, any government agency. Have you contacted anyone?” Mulder asked.

“No.  What is this about?”

“Don’t. If they know what you are doing here they will come and destroy this place. Destroy all your work and you will most likely be killed.”

“Why would anyone do that?  Are you telling me not to trust the American government?  The Canadian? Russia? But don’t you understand what this means?  What  it proves?”

“I do.  And I also know they will never allow you to publish any of it.”

“This is all my years of work… the world needs to know.  How will I maintain funding?”

Mulder explained. “There are forces at work here that are beyond studying science.  These forces will not stop to keep work like yours from leaking to the public.  It was very nice meeting you Dr. Sherwin and I wish you luck, but we need to go.  If anyone finds us here everyone’s life will be in danger.”

“Come ‘on Scully.”  Mulder grabbed the package and headed out.

Back in the car Scully was confused. “Mulder.  Back there.  That was proof.  That is possible genetic evidence of extraterrestrial life millions perhaps billions of years ago. You’re going to turn your back on proof?”

“What does it mean Scully?  Is it going to change the timetable?  Knowing and proving these facts, will it change anything?  All it will do is stir attention and they will come and they will destroy it and if we’re there they will destroy us.  What if it was yet another setup in an elaborate attempt to smoke us out of hiding? We need to be careful.”  

“Then why did we come here Mulder?”

“The truth we seek now… is how to stop them.”

The car fell silent. “Did anything ever happen between you and Marita?”

“What?....Scully...No...Scully I told you, that part of my life was quite….sad…until you…...Besides, she was with Krycek. I wasn’t into Krycek’s sloppy seconds. ”

“What about you and Krycek?”

“What do you mean?  Did we… No….No.. I’m not…. He’s…. Not”

“I saw the way he looked at you Mulder.  The way he was never able to pull the trigger when it came to you.  He had a thing for you.  He had it bad.”

“What? Scully...No… Really?.... You think so?”

“I know it.  He wanted you… wanted to nail you in that tight little red Speedo of yours”.  Scully was laughing remembering the others talking about Krycek’s antics when it came to Mulder.

“How did you know about my Speedo?”

“He had mentioned it once or twice around the office when you two had worked together.”

“No, you’re joking.”

“He was making fun of you, but you could see a blaze in his eyes. I’ve seen it many times with him when you were around.  Even when he had a gun to your head. He definitely had a thing for you.”

“He killed my father.”

“And my sister….what he tried to do to William... and Skinner, the list goes on.”

“Leave him in hell…..” Mulder stated and grabbed her hand.

“While we’re on the subject Mulder, what about Kersh's secretary?  That woman drooled all over you.” Scully decided that today she might as well get all her questions out on the table.

“She did not.” Mulder said indignantly.

“Are you kidding? I remember the week after returning  from area 51 she did everything but grab your ass.”

Mulder fidgeted. “Yeah, I guess she did make me a little uncomfortable.”

“A little?”

“Well nothing happened.  Were you jealous Scully?”

“What? Back then?  No, but if she did touch you I would have kicked her ass.”

Mulder laughed. “Oh, I know you would have.  I would have never touched anyone at work anyway.”

“And why is that?”

“Out of respect for you.” He said turning to look her in the eye.  Then a smile returned to his face.  “Now USDA women were a different story…”

Scully’s face dropped to form a look of disdain.  “Bambi” she mouthed without sound, the corner of her lip turned upwards in disgust.

“I’ve never seen anyone make it from DC to Massachusetts in the time it took you.” Mulder smirked enjoying the turn their conversation had taken.  

“Mulder.” Scully replied warning him that he was treading on thin ice.

“What? I was flattered.”

“And I was providing backup.” Scully said innocently.

“And you can back me up anytime, against a wall,  a car, a washing machine…”

“A washing machine?”

“Yeah, you know, on spin cycle.”

“Mulder, I think that only works for women.”

“Well, it’s still worth a try” He replied as he slowed the car to a stop for the red light.

“So what now…?” He asked Scully.

“What about the package?”

“I believe we may find some answers in that package.”  

“Should I open it?”

“Not now.  First we have something more important to do.” He said using his finger to take the hair out of her eyes.

“And that is?”

“Go on our honeymoon.  Visit Niagara Falls. Relax. Have some fun.”

Scully placed her hand on top of his.  Leaning over, he met her halfway.  

The kiss was slow and soft as their breaths mingled, comforting in a way words never were. His soft full lips providing an assured optimism and a contentment only a full heart could bestow. A honk from the car behind and an agitated green light urged them to move forward.  Instead they giggled at the world’s petulance. There was no longer a timetable.  Reaching out his lips for one last peck, Mulder stepped on the gas and they were on their way.  

 

Chapter Text

“To think of the times that we were here in Buffalo on cases and we never bothered to stop to see the falls.  We were always in a rush to get to the next big thing.” Scully said cuddled in Mulder’s arms the mist from the falls cooling her body.

“Not anymore.” He said squeezing her tighter. “Although we were kind of distracted with a body being thrown out of a window and the whole reincarnation of souls thing.”

“I’m really proud of you Mulder.” She looked up at him and stroked his face.

“And why is that?” He returned smiling down at her.

“I thought for sure we’d be on a plane to Russia or you’d have me working in a lab… But you walked away…”

“I see things differently.. I’d like to say since I saw the date, but that’s not true.”  

“What is it then?”

“Since I found out about William….what had to be done….we have such little time Scully...and I decided to spend it enjoying myself with you... not chasing monsters.”

“They’ll always be monsters Mulder.”

“Well, today they’re not invited.”  He kissed the top of her head as he said it.

Water sprayed in their faces as it continued to cover their blue tinted rain gear.  Mulder looked so happy squinting and laughing as the water slowly drenched his face.  They were coming out from behind the falls and Scully was in his arms while he gripped the railing.  Using his body as her harness, he insured she stayed upright as the boat rocked.  They looked silly, but they were smiling and having fun.  Over the speakers a guide rambled out facts and history which Mulder would either add or correct in sweet whispers so only she could hear.  As he towered over her she felt safe and protected.  He reached down to kiss her forehead and she pulled him into her lips.  They were on their honeymoon after all.  She giggled at the thought of Mr. and Mrs. Skinner.  

After the boat pulled in they decided to head to the top of the falls and watch it from the stone walls. Mulder brought her in close. “Scully, you think we could make it over the falls in a barrel?”

“I would never bet against you Mulder.” Scully said and turned to face him, playing with the buttons of his shirt. Mulder cleared his throat.  “I booked us a reservation in the rotating room at the top of the CNN tower. We should go back and get ready.”

Scully nodded, but was staring at his lips. Without pretense she reached up on her toes and gave him a slow sensual kiss.  Her hands had found the bare skin of his chest. He picked her up and perched her at the top of the wall, her back pressing into the iron fencing. His lips returned her fervor. With his hands gripping the bars his chest grazed hers as he leaned in and she sucked in her breath on contact.

His response was a single whisper. ”Hotel?”

“Okay” She nodded without protest.

When they got back to the room Mulder kicked off his shoes and stood in front of her holding both hands. “Are you having a good time?”

“Very much so Mulder.”

“Even when I took you to the Bluejays game and the hockey hall of fame?”

“Yes.  Even then.”

“That’s important to me.  I want us to have fun.”

He backed up towards the couch and sat, still holding her hands.  His eyes returning to the blue gray fire that caused her to walk funny on occasion.  Scully kneeled on either side of him straddling his lap, but not letting go of his hands.  He brought her hands to his lips kissing each knuckle, letting them linger there, but not taking his eyes off her. “Have you thought about where you’d like our next destination to be?”

“Colorado.  I hear they put on one hell of a concert.”

“Colorado it is then.”

Scully’s expression became sullen.“I need to find a way to get word to my mother.  I know it’s not wise, but she must be worried sick.”

“We’ll find a way.  Maybe through some different channels.” Mulder’s hands were now rubbing her thighs picking up where he left off by the falls. The sudden response she had to his touch made him squirm.

“I can help you out of those jeans if you like?” He suggested in his best imitation of boyish innocence. She stood and he unbuttoned the top button and the zipper.  As he lowered them he kissed the warm smooth skin underneath. He pressed his lips against the silk, covering her light gathering of auburn curls. The sound that emanated from him was like he was enjoying a finely cooked meal. “Scully, you’ve been shopping. It’s nice.” He said pushing the thin fabric aside so his tongue had access. His tongue was a magnet of energy, but that wasn’t what she was craving. Stepping out of her jeans and light blue bikini briefs she resumed her place on his lap. He pulled a strand of hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear.  The look on his face was indescribably.  A cross between want and possession.  “What are you thinking Mulder?”

“Nothing.  Not a thing.”

“Tell me.”

“I’m afraid to. I don’t want you to take it the wrong way.” His hands returned to their place massaging her outer thighs.

“I promise not to get upset. I’m asking. I’ll deal with the consequences.”

Mulder sighed. His face sobered as he deadpanned. “I was thinking about how incredible it feels to be inside you, surrounded by you, as you come all over me.” He closed his eyes at the last part and she could feel him through his jeans growing underneath her.

Holy shit. His voice was deep and throaty, even loving and he hit her right in her core.  She lifted up his shirt as he lifted hers, dying to touch his bare skin. She danced her fingertips over his pronounced shoulder muscles continuing her hands down his chest to the soft hair that led to her final destination. The growing heat underneath his jeans was calling and she needed to release it. The instant she rose up to unzip his pants his fingers were there and slipped inside her. No matter the amount of time that passed, she always awaited their return.  To feel every bit of his fingerprint resculpting her in his image. She continued her own task breaching his waistband and releasing him. The look in his eyes the first time she had ever touched him replayed every time she put her hands on him again. It spoke of love and trust and wanting. It was how they fell in love again and again. Her hands tingled as she stroked him, appreciating how thick and long he was, her fingers tracing the swollen tip. It was so beautiful. She wanted to put her mouth on it and properly cherish it, but her first thought was better. Teasing herself with it, she ran it over and around her entrance, reveling in the want and anticipation of what she felt with him. Her insides swelled and throbbed as it grazed her. Her back bowed and a moan escaped her. It was pure agony. When the feelings became unbearable she positioned him and slid down slowly while he watched, his eyes growing wide. The want in his eyes and the pleasure on his face as he sunk into her was her true turn on. With them it had never been about the act.  Getting off was irrelevant.  It was the insatiable need to satisfy the other.  Pleasure only came from the other’s ecstasy. As soon as he was inside, his hands cupped her face kissing her softly and tenderly taking her to their secret place. She missed the way they were when they were together in this way. Instead of the frantic removal of clothing and writhing of flesh their last times had been, their movement now was careful, slow and deliberate. “I long for this Scully.  For us.” He said it with the understanding he was reading her mind. He closed his eyes with the next intake of breath and opened them as he exhaled. “I want our future to be happy Scully.  I know we can’t forget the past, but ...”

“I’m happy right now Mulder.  With you.” She let out a whimper. He was so deep inside her, lighting up new nerve endings. “Completely. Perfectly. Happy.” As she said each word she moved her hips, the words coming out in a crescendo of moans. He felt fucking amazing, she couldn’t control how much she just loved him.

She kissed him as her body rose and fell with the motion, her fingers gliding through his hair, their tongues reuniting. Her hands glided to his chest and Mulder slid his hands up to cup her breasts gently massaging.  They moved together like they had done it for lifetimes, reincarnating only to reconcile again.  It was inconceivable that it could get better, but somehow it always did. Her movements became urgent to increase the friction between them, but his fingers found her, exactly where she needed them.  Mulder was sensual and erotic in the movement of his hips and his hands.  There were times he could be clumsy and awkward physically, but it was ridiculous how perfect he was with her.  With his free hand he kneaded the back of her head, kissing her with such sincerity she obeyed his heart’s request and he followed her in their release.  They continued to rock gently, riding out the feelings.  They hugged each other breathing hard. When their pulses finally slowed, she laid her head on his chest and he stroked her hair. Time passed and he kissed her forehead.  “We should get ready.”

That night...

Mulder woke from the sound of Scully’s brain humming.  Spooning her from behind, his leg was still wrapped around her with one hand on her left breast, the other laced with hers underneath their shared pillow. He nuzzled her neck squeezing her breast and inadvertently pressing into the small of her back.  

Scully leaned her shoulder blades into his chest and slowly rotated her hips acknowledging his current state. “There should be a warning sign attached to that thing.”

“You’re a woman that knows how to give a compliment.” He kissed the top of her shoulder. “But your thinking is keeping me awake.”

“I know.  I think I’m still processing this past year.  My brain hasn’t caught up with life yet.”

“Is it William?” He asked speaking in cautious tones.

“It’s William, it’s Emily, it’s my sister. It’s the realization I may never see my mother again.”

“You’ve lost so much because you chose to follow me.”

“It’s…. Just…. So many innocent people.”
“Hey.  You’re the one that said we can’t give up.  I’m not giving up.  We’re still alive Scully. William is still alive. They haven’t broken us yet. Don’t give up on me Scully.  Not now.”

“I miss him every day.”

“I do too, but we have to push forward.  For William. So that he can have the peace in life that we never could.”

She tried to get her brain wrapped around something different. “So now what?”

“Now... you join me for a swim.” He said getting out of bed.

“Mulder it’s 2A.M. The pools closed.”

“Not for us.”

Using his trusty FBI stickpin, they accessed the pool area. Mulder threw his towel on a lounge chair, kicked off his shoes and removed his shirt.  As he pulled it over his head Scully noted the freshly made bright red claw marks on his shoulder blades where she had marked him earlier that day and what looked like a hickey on his collar bone.  His board shorts hung low at his waist revealing purple bruising highlighted in yellow above each hip bone.  Shame filled her cheeks. He looked like a case for domestic abuse. She must have caused those hip bruises from the shower the other day. He removed his watch and placed it on the small table next to the chair, his wrist containing the same purple shading.

“Mulder, let me see your wrist.”

“For what?  I’m fine.”

“Let me see your wrist.”

He held out his arm and she was horrified.  His wrist had three purple marks where her fingers had imprinted him. “I did this to you.” She said as she ran her fingers over his wrist playing the scene over in her head of them in the shower.  In unspoken words he had let her entertain her need for physical resistance so he could wash away her shackles, her pain and turn it into pleasure. The satisfaction she had felt gaining back her control and releasing her anger.  He became her cigarette, tattoo, intimate stranger.  All so that his Scully would return to him. And she had and it had been beautiful, but at what cost?

“I’m so sorry Mulder.” She said kissing his wrist.

He pulled away. “Don’t be. I really enjoyed it.”

“I did too, but look at you.”

“They’ll heal Scully.  Scars projected on to me, but these will heal.”

With that last sentence he smiled and took three steps forward performing a perfect dive into the pool.

“Come on in Scully.  The water’s fine.” He said when he resurfaced.

Scully chose to walk in by the stairs and Mulder swam up to greet her. She reached out for him and he pushed back just out of reach. She walked further into the pool and with two underwater backstrokes he was once again out of reach.

Scully stopped swimming and crossed her arms.  “Mulder, what are you doing?”

He back stroked all the way to the end of the pool and went under kicking off the the wall.  With two strokes he was within a foot. She lunged and he backed away again.  “Up for a round of Marco Polo?”

“Mulder, maybe this wasn’t a good idea.”
“Marco.” Mulder called out and dashed under water.

“Mulder, can’t we go for a nice easy swim?”

“Marco.” He bolted to the other side of the pool.

“Mulder.”

“Not Mulder, Marco.”

Scully sighed “Polo.”

Mulder closed his eyes. “Marco.”

“Polo.” Scully said again not very amused.

Mulder swam underneath the water and came up underneath her legs.  She let out a scream and he tossed her into the air coming down in a splash.

She came up fixing her hair. “Is this fun for you Mulder?”

“You’re it.”

“How long are we going to do this?”

“Close your eyes Scully.”

“Mu..”

“Close your eyes Scully.”

She lowered her eyelids and stretched out her arms. “Marco.”

“Polo” Mulder bounced just out of the reach of her hands.

“Marco”

Mulder emerged next to her and whispered. “Polo”

Scully flung her arm around, but he already was gone. “Marco”

Mulder popped up out of the water behind her and kissed the back of her neck.  Scully jumped. “Polo”

“God Mulder, really?”

Mulder dunk back under water and grabbed her ankles lifting them from the water. Scully flapped her arms, treading to keep her head above the water.  “Mulder. Let go. I can’t keep this up.”

Instead he slid up her calves and pulled her towards him so his hands were now on her upper thighs.

She threw her arms around him. “I think you’re it.” She said trying to hold back a smile.

Mulder’s face became suddenly serious.  “I love you so much Scully.”

Scully played with his hair as his hands floated up past her thighs.  

“Mulder, I don’t know if you’ll ever know how much I love you.”

“I think I have an idea Scully.”

“But will you accept it?”

“It took me a long time, but you made me...and... well...you’ve got a great ass.”

“Yeah you.” She smiled splashing water in his face. He spun her around and she wiped the sparkling droplets from his face. He smiled back at her and she kissed him. It wasn’t just any kiss, it was the kind of kiss where you wake up two days later in Brazil not knowing how you got there.

Mulder’s knees bent and it sent them both underwater. When they came up Mulder gave her a jovial apology. “Sorry, you make my knees weak.” With a doubting look she dunked her hair back into the water to fix it again.

Her legs remained wrapped around him and as they kissed Mulder danced them around the pool. They were going much deeper than her short legs could reach, but he kept them afloat. Their kisses were tender and soft, his tongue gliding in and out. Slowly she was melting in his arms.  Even though their relationship had progressed quite a while ago, the fact that it was him she fell in love with still added to the thrill. At her waist his right hand rested flat against her skin. The anticipation of its destination sent a tingle through her body and a moan escaped her throat. His body stiffened in response and she held him tighter. Mulder took a breath against her lips and held it while his hand covered her breast squeezing it lightly.  His other hand still softly caressing her leg. Scully made the cutest high pitched moan and his insides begged for more. The fingers of his left hand roamed farther as they kissed, teasing the fabric of her bikini bottom. Her hips pushed into his hand and he lifted the fabric gliding his finger inside.  Scully broke the kiss and Mulder gave her a look to let her know she was his whole world.  His fingers swept up and down, massaging and strumming, building momentum.  Scully was responding to his every movement. The purpose of their late night swim was to take her mind in a positive direction and he believed he accomplished the task at hand. He attempted a second finger and she welcomed it. “Scully, you’re so wet.” He pleaded into her ear. His low monotone sending daggers pulsing through her.

“It’s your fault.” She responded her breath now quick pants.

“Well, I can’t take all the credit, we are in a pool.”

“Kiss me” she ordered and he complied. Her hands and hips pulling him in closer. He knew she couldn’t resist his aural seduction. Not to mention his oral seduction. The smell of chlorine filled Mulder’s nose. The room was quiet with the exception of water lapping against the filter and the heavy sounds of their breathing. When she began sucking on his tongue, his thumb decided to join in on the action as his hand increased its pace.  He opened his eyes to watch her pleasure build with the movement of his fingers. To see in her eyes what he was able to give her filled his heart.  After all she had done for him he wanted to give her every happiness the universe offered. Her chest was heaving, rising and falling in brisk rapid pants. She looked so beautiful as her eyes glazed over, giving in to what he was doing to her. Her nails dug into his shoulders and instantly she started coming, his fingers riding the waves. It was the sexiest sight he had ever seen and he was forced to look away before he left more than a sweet memory in the water. When she stopped shaking he slowed his fingers. Waiting for her to recover, after a few minutes she opened her eyes.

“Mulder, take me upstairs.” She begged. “Who knows what has gone on in this pool.  What human fluids are floating in it. For all we know, someone could have been murdered in it.”

“Okay, we’ll go.” He swam them over to the ladder and put his foot on the top step to climb out of the water and Scully inadvertently came face to face with the protruding outline of his bathing suit. “Mulder.. Let’s hurry.”  

As soon as they returned to the room Mulder’s lips began his attack on Scully’s mouth. His hands were everywhere.  Touching her face, her hair, her back, grasping at her hips, pulling at the strings of her bikini until it fell to the floor. Scully wasn’t wasting time either, helping him with his towel and shorts. Tearing at his shirt. Grasping his biceps, squeezing his ass. A movie of their escapades of yesterday playing on repeat in his head. In a blur they were on the bed. Mulder grabbed her legs and pulled her to him, his tongue determined to finish the job this time. She tasted so sweet and desirable. Before he knew it, he was moaning into her caught in a wave of emotions. Hungrily, he clamped down on her clit and sucked hard, his tongue going in flat circles. Scully gripped the headboard, her hips lifting up off the bed, her legs wrapping around his head.  She moaned and he ate it up. Her sounds and her scent had his hips involuntarily rubbing against the mattress. It was different every time and he loved it.  Today it had a hint of strawberry shortcake, yesterday raspberries. Although it was the automatic movements she made triggered by her physical pleasure that provoked him. He moved his tongue up further so the flat center of it covered her clit, his fingers returning to the spot they had left such a short while ago. “Oh, God, Mulder. Oh..Right there. Oh...Mulder if you stop I will kill you.”  Mulder’s eyes darted upward just in time to see her face transform. Her chin jerked upward as her eyes rolled closed, her lips parting, and it was the most exquisite sight yet. Mulder slid up on top of her, kissing her, smiling. Her cheeks were flushed and the tremors hadn’t completely subsided.   

“Mulder.” was all she could say.

“You okay? Are you tired? We can stop” He asked caringly, running his hands through her hair.”

“Mulder, I don’t want to sleep” She said kissing him desperately.

Her legs wrapped around his torso and he sunk inside. She was hot and slick as she molded around him and there was no doubt in Mulder’s mind that they were made for each other. Needing to please her, his mind went technical.  He used his body as a tool for her enjoyment, finding the right angle, correct amount of pressure, and enough friction until he heard her whimper and he knew.  He repeated the motion and her insides clenched around him. The feeling made him lose his breath as he throbbed in response.  She looked at him and his heart constricted.  His lips coaxed her to give herself to him. As her body danced underneath him, he lifted to watch almost crying from the pleasure he felt from the sight. Her eyes closed and her heart opened to his. It was what he waited for, what he lived for.  The heat inside him became an inferno as their syncopated rhythm continued. Trying to prolong her enjoyment he slowed, pulling almost completely out before returning it back inside. Mulder was taking extra care. He thought to himself: Yes, Scully, sometimes I treat you like a fine china doll, but it’s only because something so good that it kills you and brings you back to life should be treated in reverence. The pace they fell into was unhurried, languid, and sublime. Scully moaned and Mulder said her name like a prayer. Their mouths were open against each other as they panted and kissed. There was nothing in existence that felt as good as Scully. Mulder steadied his strokes and Scully went rigid as the contractions started around him.  He picked up the pace thrusting hard to catch up to her and she arched her back up into him as he did so. The friction didn't do anything near what the feelings her soft smooth skin created against his own. Or the way her eyes as they opened looked like the sun coming from of an eclipse into a clear blue sky. That's what really made his heart overflow and body kick into overdrive. Scully’s head tilted back and she let out a scream of euphoria. He thought he felt the whole bed lift up as she came again, bucking furiously, her thighs gripping him tight. She was grasping at skin, sheets, driving back up into Mulder involuntarily. His release came as a function of biology, but his orgasm happened at the sight of her ecstasy. Mulder held her tight against him and she spoke into his shoulder. “Mulder that was…”

“Yeah”. Was his only response.  He lifted up and they were smiling at each other their noses grazing the others. They should have been used to it by now, but there was no getting used to what they felt.  Once again tangled around each other, her foot at his calf, his thigh between hers, their arms intermingled as well as their fingers.  He kissed her lips one last time before drifting off like that, foreheads touching, their free hands draped along the other’s cheek.    

Well rested, Scully woke to find herself wrapped up in blankets in the middle of the bed. The room was quiet.  “Mulder?” He wasn’t there.  She got up and got dressed.  When he still hadn’t returned, she knew he didn’t just go out for coffee.  After scanning the room she found Maria’s  package open and lying on the floor.  Picking it up Scully found it empty. There, between the fibers of the carpet, was a small single piece of paper with one word: Microchip.

Chapter Text

Scully was furious. Of all the times he had run off this may top it all.  No. She was wrong. Leaving her alone to fend for herself with the bounty hunter while he stared at his sister's cloned drones was worse.  She opened the window shade.  The car was gone and the suitcases were in the trunk with the exception of her overnight bag.  Scully checked the pockets of her jeans and started counting.  She had a little over $200. Unbelievable.  All the money was with him.  She now understood.  This would be how he would die.  Death by strangulation as soon as she got her hands on him. She realized she was pacing and took a deep breath, trying to relax.  Maybe there was an explanation.  She threw her clothes into her suitcase and fumed. There was no explanation.  He wasn’t going to change. It was now that the full weight of her choices came down on her.  She had backed herself up into a corner.  Being a wanted woman, she had no friends or family to turn to. She didn’t have enough money of her own to survive very long, and now she had no vehicle.  The invisible tether between them was now a ball and chain choking her neck. This time they couldn’t push their problems under the rug and ignore them.  They would have to find real compromise.  With no cell phone and no way of contacting him, she had no choice, but to wait at the hotel.

Two hours later the phone rang.

“Hello?” Scully answered groggily.  She had drifted off to sleep while reading a book.

”Scully, you ok?”

“Mulder, where are you?”  

“I’m in Ithaca NY.”

“Mulder what are you doing there?”

“I’m at Cornell. I can’t tell you specifics over the phone.  I’ll see you in about 5 hours. I’ll meet you at the hotel.”

Frustrated, she hung up the phone.  Where else was she going?

After a long workout and a swim Scully got tired of waiting and instead began having imaginary fights with him in her head.  Her watch told her she still had about an hour before Mulder got back. She didn’t want to be there when he finally arrived. He could be the one guessing for once.  Thinking twice she scribbled the name of the bar down the street and headed out.

*

“You know who I am.  You sought me out for a reason.” Said the man. He was chunky and in his fifties, considerably shorter than Mulder.  

“Then you know what this is.” Mulder replied.  They were in an underground lab on the Cornell campus.  X had told him about this place some years ago.  Mulder had called the man from one of the last remaining pay phones just an hour outside of Buffalo.  Technology was encroaching making it harder and harder to live off the grid. “Can you read it?”

The man led Mulder to a locked computer lab behind a steel door. Walking across the room he typed in the code on the digital pad and opened another door.  There stood a surprisingly small computer, one of the likes Mulder had never seen, encased with all types of protective locking mechanisms.  With the man’s fingerprint, the computer came to life. He opened up the back panel, took out what looked to be a similar chip and replaced it with Mulder’s.  Typing in some code he was able to view the files.

The man spoke, “It’s encrypted, but it’s genuine. If you wait here I can call some colleagues at the Smithsonian.  I believe they will be able to assist with the translation.”

Mulder watched as the man walked into the other room and made his phone call.  He strained and he could just about make out the words from the conversation.

“Yes….  Of course….  I don’t know where he got it…. Yes it’s in my possession...That can’t be real….  I understand…..  Yes…..  Yes…..  Absolutely….  I could be in D.C. by 8 A.M.” The man ended the call and Mulder could hear him rifling through drawers until he finally appeared.

“I’m going to send this to D.C. with me. Do you have a number where you can be reached?”  

“No, it stays with me.” Mulder replied.

“You want me to translate the encryption don’t you? Let me at least download the files.”

“No, I’ll take them to D.C. myself.” Mulder insisted.

“I’m afraid not.”  The man revealed the gun in his right hand and cocked it with his thumb. Mulder ducked and charged, slapping at the wrist that held the gun with his left, landing an uppercut in the man’s gut with his right. The man fell forward grabbing at Mulder’s shirt. Mulder grabbed him by the arms and threw him to the ground claiming the gun.  The man returned to his feet and revealed a blade from his pocket lunging at Mulder. Mulder slid underneath him kicking out his legs and the man dropped the blade as he braced for another fall.  Quickly, Mulder twisted the man’s wrist pulling his arm behind his back.  

“Who were you on the phone with?!  What did you tell them?!” Mulder screamed into his ear.

“You’re Fox Mulder aren’t you?  You’re alive. But it can’t be.”

Fear from hearing his name shot through him.  They cannot know he’s alive.  While Mulder’s brain churned the man reached with his free hand for the knife.  Once in  his possession he swung at Mulder. Mulder backed away on reflex and the man opened another drawer, pulling out another weapon. Mulder fired the gun in response hitting the man square in the chest.  Shocked, Mulder stared at the man that lie bleeding onto the industrial tile. For a moment he considered if his actions were fully justified, but these were not ordinary men he was dealing with.

Mulder took the ancient chip and left, but not before destroying the alien computer and it’s contents. Traveling down the hallway Mulder heard the increasing sound of footsteps.  They were coming. Door after door he checked, all of them locked. There was no way out.  When he got to the corner of the corridor he drew his gun pressing himself against the wall hoping to not be seen before he could land a shot. Sweat beaded along his hairline and he thought of Scully.  If he didn’t make it out alive she would be trapped in Buffalo alone. It had been a dangerous mistake to leave her.  Getting a quick glimpse, he was able to discern two men dressed in campus police uniforms. These weren’t campus police. They were holding machine guns. This was it.  With a deep breath he fired four shots and ducked back around the corner using the wall as a shield. An array of bullets were returned his way.  More shots were fired to which Mulder returned emptying his magazine. All fell quiet.  He peeked from the corner.  The two men lay on the ground.  Mulder took one more look and ran to his car.  He signed out at the gate and stepped on the accelerator on his way back to Scully.

*

It had been a while since Scully had been in a bar by herself and she underestimated the effect she would have on the unsuspecting townies of upstate New York.  Luckily she had decided on a bar near office buildings so it was full of professionals relaxing after a long day’s work.   The two men that decided to settle in on either side of her seemed nice enough.  One was a tall lean ash blonde with orange tint who reminded her of a grownup Calvin from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbs. He was dressed in a formal navy colored suit. The other had short black hair that barely brushed the back of the collar of his crisp white dress shirt. He had a deep tan that could have belonged to a surfer and bright turquoise eyes with perfectly bright white teeth. His face was squared and slightly resembled Jon Hamm.  They ordered her drinks and rambled on about themselves and their work.  Scully tried her best to enjoy the company and free booze. It was nice to entertain conversation different from her usual subjects. The new environment had calmed her rage, but she was still imaginary fighting with Mulder in her head. Looking up from her drink, she followed the gaze of the man staring at her. There, looming in the shadows, stood Mulder. With one arm leaning against the entryway and a finger hooking the jacket draped over his shoulder he looked as tantalizing as ever. His frame appeared taller and muscular in his fitted charcoal shirt and dark  jeans. Damn. Why did he have to be so stunningly good-looking? Ignoring her relief that he had returned, she watched as he made a decision and stepped into the bar area.  He sat down at the other end and signaled the bartender for a beer. With a cool exterior she smiled at Calvin and continued their conversation. Every so often she would take a sip of her wine and glance at Mulder.  Mulder held up his beer as if to toast and drank, his dark piercing eyes not leaving hers accompanied by a feral smile. The darkness had not followed him home and the distance made her long to be in his arms. Reading her mind, his smile changed to soft and affectionate and her anger disappeared. Why did he have to have this kind of control over her? Once Calvin realized she wasn’t leaving with him for the night he excused himself and Jon was all too ready to take her on by himself. Mulder kept his distance and observed until Jon laid his hand on top of Scully’s. It was then she felt the tap on her shoulder.

“Excuse me ma’am, but I’ve been sitting over there noticing you and I realized that you’re too beautiful not to buy a drink.” Mulder smirked as he spoke and sat down on Calvin’s bar stool.

“Is that so.” Scully crossed her legs and delicately brushed his shin with the toe of her shoe.

“Cabernet right?” He pointed at the bartender who nodded and refilled her glass.

“You’re good.” She smiled at him and ran her tongue over her top lip.

“Actually, I’m Lucious ma’am. Lucious Hartwell.” Mulder smirked and his eyes smoldered. “Are you going to give me your name or should I just call you mine?”

She was wondering if he was going to use every line in the book or leave a few out.  It was cute.  She wasn’t complaining. “Aren’t we forward. The name is…. B.J…..BJ White.” Scully held out her hand and Mulder took it in a chivalrous gesture and kissed it. His eyes and smile sparkling, not leaving her stare.

“Excuse me, but I believe we were having a conversation before you so rudely interrupted.” Jon was not happy with Mulder’s intrusion. Apparently he had the false impression he was getting somewhere.

“Why don’t we leave that up to Miss White to decide.” Mulder said in a polite tone.  He lowered his voice to a whisper. “We should get a table.”

“I didn’t say I was going anywhere with you.” Scully rebuffed and took her hand back. “I don’t even know you.”

“What would you like to know?” Mulder was maintaining his I’m-trying-to-flirt-with-you,-but-not-sure-how-to-do-that-tone.

“Well...Like what do you do for a living?”
“I’m an astronaut.  In fact I just returned from a trip to Mars.”  This got a laugh from Jon who was nursing his Gentlemen Jack after having given up on any possible prospect.

“Is that so?” Scully took another sip of her wine looking intrigued.

“What about you?” Mulder asked as he leaned his elbow on the bar and finished his beer.

“Oh, I don’t need to work. I’m a rich widow.  My husband ran off on me so I killed him.” Now liquor actually spewed from Jon’s nose and Mulder’s face shown he had enough of the intrusion.

“Maybe we could take this conversation elsewhere because I do have a lot to tell you and I’m getting awfully jealous of that glass.” The implications sent warm tingles through Scully and decided he was right, it was time to get down and dirty.  Once they were seated in private Scully jumped first.

“So what was it Mulder?”

“Scully, I didn’t want to put you in danger..”

“Save it Mulder, just tell me what was in the box.”

“This.” He held out a small white rectangular object, no bigger than a zip drive that looked like it was made of a stone-like material.  It had symbols on either side and metallic ends.

“It’s dated somewhere around 1.5 million years old.  It contains a microchip. I was able to confirm that at Cornell.  You can’t read it with the current technology on the market.  It’s very similar, but still farther advanced.  It’s like trying to read a Word document made from Office 2000 with Office 95. It’s also encrypted.”

“So this was the reason for your sudden disappearing act. To locate an alien computer to activate a 1.5 million year old microchip.”  

“Or a spaceship. At least part of one.”

Scully took a slow deep breath. “I know someone who may be able to help.  Jeffrey Spender told me that he was working on something to destroy his father.  To destroy everything his father had worked all his life for.  Jeffrey may be able to lead us to some answers and I know where he’s hiding.  We’ll need to head out to Arizona.”

“Let’s get back to the hotel. We can leave in the morning. Oh...and Scully...Would you have accepted my offer sooner if I had buck teeth?” Mulder protruded his top teeth past his bottom lip. He was waiting for a left handed slap for that remark, but Scully ignored him. He was beginning to get the picture that she was upset.

 

Chapter Text

Back at the hotel, to avoid confrontation, Scully simply got in the bed facing the window away from Mulder.  Mulder seemed not to notice watching television with his hands resting behind his head. 15 minutes later his arms and legs were wrapped around her, kissing her neck, his erection teasing the small of her back through his flannels. Sensation flooded and built in all the familiar places. She loved and hated that he could do that to her so easily. “Mulder.. Mulder stop.”  

He stopped moving, but didn’t pull away. “You are upset with me.”

“I think we should discuss what happened.  It’s not like it use to be Mulder.”

“I know. If it was like it use to be it would be me and my hand tonight at $2.95 per minute.” He squeezed her pulling her in as close as he could. His lips cascaded over her neck and a chill went up her spine traveling into her chest.  His frame, so much larger than her own, had a way of forming a shell around her that heated up her insides. She didn’t want to talk anymore, but she had to address it. Mulder’s tongue swiped at her ear just below the lobe as his teeth grazed the outer shell. She could feel the pressure behind her eyelids as she suppressed a moan. “You left me here…..No car, no way to reach you..” She turned to face him and the look in his eyes was gentle with a hint of…. remorse? He pressed his lips to her forehead and closed his eyes as he whispered, “You’re right…. Forgive me?”

“I will Mulder. In time.”

“Okay.” He said as he brushed her hair away from her face and kissed her goodnight. It all happened way too easily which made Scully suspicious. His body coerced her brain into submission and they soon fell asleep wrapped in each other’s arms, her head resting on his chest.

*
Four days of driving and cheap motels and they finally arrived in Arizona. Scully had kept her distance and Mulder had been patient, but she could feel the strain.  They had contacted Jeffrey earlier that morning and he was happy to hear that they were alive and well. Scully was sitting at the motel’s small table searching the web on their new laptop.  With free wifi popping up in most of the hotels, she decided it was safe to get one for research and news.  As much as she would have liked, she knew she couldn’t create any accounts. Mulder was on the bed throwing a baseball in the air. He got up and walked up behind Scully laying his hands on her shoulders.

“You’re sure Jeffrey wants to meet us in the room?”

“Yes. He said to meet us here and he would lead us to his “office””

Mulder slowly massaged her shoulders. She could feel the tense muscles beneath his fingers relax at his touch. Scully stopped typing, but made no move to stop him. “You can trust me Scully.”

“I do trust you Mulder. I also trust that your passion for the truth will send you blindly running into the night.” His thumbs moved in small circles on the back of her neck and she exhaled deeply tilting her head forward. He was so good with his hands. “Trust me to control my own urges Scully.  I think I’ve proven that to you this past week that it’s possible.”

“Why, because you didn’t disappear for a week?”

“No, because I left you alone to sort things out.”

“I’m not sure if that’s an equal temptation. You managed to hold out for almost seven years.”

“That was before I understood what it truly meant to be with you.” The pressure of his fingers intensified as he kneaded.  “Your friendship had always been enough until that night at the baseball field.  That was the moment being simply friends became difficult.” Mulder’s hands ceased their movement.

“It did changed things.” Scully conceded.

“It’s much harder to stay away now that my lips know what it’s like to be against yours.” He squeezed her shoulders. “Now that my hands know the softness of your skin.” She pulled his right hand forward turning it so her cheek could nest inside it and kissed his fingertips.

“Mulder” The tone of the room changed and Scully’s body was fighting at her resistance.

“Or that look you get, the sounds you make…”

“Mulder” Scully spun the chair around and stood up so they were now face to face.

He looked into her eyes. “It’s very hard to stay away from you after you know what it’s like to spend 18 hours in a bed with you…. Days of nothing but you and I….”

Scully’s lips crashed against his so hard it knocked him backwards onto the bed. He pushed up with his elbows trying not to fall off the bed as she climbed on top of him, her kiss deep and penetrating. Her hips ground against him and he winced, the zipper of his denim grinding along with her.  He couldn’t recall the last time Scully was this frenzied and he was going to kid her about it later. Must be an arduous task staying away from this much man. Scully shifted and his brain fogged over bringing him to the present. They were making out, groping, and dry humping each other like they were in junior high.

Scully paused. “Mulder, I think I hear someone pulling up.”

Mulder did a crunch, looked out the window, and fell back onto the mattress with his hands covering his face. “It’s Jeffrey.  Impeccable timing.” Scully kissed him and got up straightening her clothes just as she heard the knock.  She glanced at Mulder’s crotch and raised her eyebrows.  He untucked his shirt as she let Jeffrey in.  

Jeffrey was a shocking sight even when you knew what to expect. His ultimate fate could have been any of them. Despite his appearance Jeffrey looked and sounded quite chipper. “I hope you’re okay riding motorcycles. That’s the only way we’ll be able to reach our destination. Let me just unhook the trailer.”

They stepped outside and Mulder helped him unloading the bikes. “Jeffrey, these don’t look like your everyday motorcycles.” The bikes looked like a cross between a crotch rocket and a cruiser. Both freshly painted a metallic blue.

“They do have some unidentifiable modifications.”  Jeffrey smirked. Even through the scarring his relation to Mulder shown through. He gave them the tour of the bike which contained a complete computer system with onboard screen and a magnetohydrodynamic drive propulsion system. “There’s also no need for helmets.  In the event of a crash you will be encased in a airbag type technology to brace your fall”

Mulder was smiling like the proverbial kid in the candy store.  This was the opportunity Scully had waited for to test his resolve.  “I’ll drive one.”

Mulder looked surprised and Jeffrey smiled. “Very well.  Mulder, looks like you’re riding bitch. We’ve got a two hour drive ahead of us so it’ll give you plenty of time to get use to it.”

“Guess so.” Mulder replied pursing his lips at Scully.  Scully got on the bike and held out her hand as if to help him on. He flashed her a dirty look and threw his leg over.  The bike started easily enough and with the roar of the engine and a smile on Scully’s face they were on their way. The incredible torque had Scully tossing her and Mulder around, swerving, and kicking some serious dust in the air until she finally steadied them. Once they made it to the highway, Scully followed closely behind Jeffrey.  Mulder tightly clung to Scully’s waist. She figured some of that might be fear of her driving into a ravine.  He spoke directly into her ear. His breath hot against the delicate skin of her neck. “I’m going to apologize now because I can’t blame it on my penlight and you sitting in my lap isn’t helping matters.” Scully rolled her eyes despite him not being able to see them. By now she had grown accustomed to his uncanny ability to remain excited for long durations, not to exclude the most inopportune moments.

Now that Scully understood the controls, the motorcycle was quite intuitive to maneuver and quite fun.  Mulder’s hands had found the skin of Scully’s abs and the cool steady breeze whipped at her hair. It was a mild day and the road was empty with the exception of a few straggling cars.  Jeffrey made sure he kept a reasonable speed, signaling well in advance on turns, and it made it easy for her to follow. The vibration of the bike combined with Mulder’s body draped around her made for quite a pleasurable experience. His hand sneaking up underneath her bra was definitely helping. As if it was another handle to hold on to, his hand remain still as it covered her. Only his thumb occasionally strayed. It teased her until she was forced to press into his palm for some relief and only then did he begin squeezing and kneading.  Their bodies in sync, they leaned together around bends and through the hills of the desert. Mulder’s hand left her breast and roamed to her inner thigh, his finger hinting at the seam in the crotch of her jeans. Scully fell back a respectable distance behind Jeffrey.  She knew what he was up to and the dull ache between her thighs gave her no willpower at the moment to stop him. His talented fingers taunting her memory, her breathing spiked in anticipation. He unbuttoned her jeans and slid his left hand inside. Power and exhilaration surged into her chest.   His long fingers found their way, she lifted up and back, tilting her hips to help him. Jeffrey being only a little over 100 feet in front of them made it all the more exciting. What if a truck drove by or a police officer? What if she lost control and the bike flew off the road? Scully had never been this turned on before. The anticipation of the unknown, her whole body pins and needles. She estimated her pulse rate was at least 140 with her core temperature a full degree above basal.  Mulder moaned into her ear, nibbling at it, as his finger entered her and she struggled to keep her eyes open. His right arm squeezing her tighter. Heat pooled into her core as the dull ache turned into a hollow throbbing. The danger intensified the feeling, the motorcycle vibrating the entire lower half of her body. Mulder’s moans into her ear were matching her feelings and she began rocking, aiding the movement of his hands. His fingers circled, the pressure swelling new areas of pleasure, the motorcycle pulsing the pleasure all the way up into her throat to the base of her brain stem.  It was so intense she lost her breath unable to make a sound. Luckily, they were in a straightaway as she was genuinely afraid of losing control of this motorcycle. “Trust me Scully” Mulder said, his voice thick. His right hand took over the throttle as he slid them both farther forward, the gas tank vibrating his finger inside her. Between her legs, fierce involuntary contractions pounded tremors up to her spine. She had lost all control of her body, of her senses. Her world became only Mulder. His fingers moving inside her, his legs rubbing against hers, his hot breath at her ear, his moans telling her what to feel, when to feel, his body solid and strong against her back evading impending collisions.  He gave her no choice, but to let go of her fears. With all her trust in him, she closed her eyes and screamed as she came, the wind eating the sound. Mulder groaned loudly into her ear and bit down at the bottom back part of her neck. The danger combined with Mulder was a rush like no other. All of her senses heightened like never before. She opened her eyes and they were flying down the highway.  She couldn’t imagine a drug that existed that would produce a high with this much dopamine and oxytocin. Mulder slid  back to give her room to fix herself and take back control of driving.  He kissed her ear. “You’re amazing Scully.” She caught them up to Jeffrey who gave them thumbs up to make sure they were still okay.  They signaled in return. They traveled through some underground tunnels and finally reached their destination.  Scully’s hands were still shaking when she got off the bike and her knees so weak she had trouble standing. Mulder held her hand to help steady her.

Jeffrey grinned. “Those bikes are pretty powerful aren’t they?”

“I’ll say” Scully replied shyly. She glanced at Mulder who was beaming and showing immense pride in her lack of balance.  

Inside Jeffrey took them to a computer made out of the same material as the spaceships that were unearthed. “It will take some time, but the computer will decode it.”  

Mulder turned to Scully, his voice a serious whisper. “Scully, you know what this means?  What’s on that chip could turn everything we know on it’s head.”

Scully just looked at him, but he sensed that familiar fear.  Usually it was followed by the three stages of a game he fondly referred to as proof and denial. Where she rode around in spaceships and did the cha cha with aliens only to have selective memory later and repeat his name incessantly. He could hear it in surround sound playing in his head “But Mulder, where is the proof? You can’t ignore the science.” Not that it was a bad thing. He just knew it well.  Scully excused herself to the bathroom and Mulder followed her shortly after. He stopped her at the doorway.

“Scully, why are you so worried?”

“Mulder, this can’t consume you.  I don’t want to lose you.”

Scully had surprised him with her response.  He had assumed she was upset about what they might discover, what it could mean on its impact of mankind. “Scully, I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m talking about losing you in here.” She said as her hand covered his head.

“Scully, I can’t change who I am, but I can change my perspective….and the subject of my obsessions.”

“Mulder, you’re more than your obsessions.”

“Yes I am” he said as he put his arms around her. “I’m Dana Scully’s partner. I will not forget that. Stop worrying. Now don’t take too long.  I might miss you.”

Mulder wandered back in to check on Jeffrey.  Jeffrey looked up from the interface.  “We still have a while.  Mulder, I never got a chance to tell you how sorry I am about William.  If there was another way…”

“Scully did what she had to do.  I’ve made my peace with it.  It is not as easy for Scully. It takes a lot to keep her mind off of it so try not to bring it up.”

“No problem….  Hey, since you are already vigilantes, you’re welcomed to stay on and help us. You are the one that inspired us all. Made quite a name for yourself.”

“Yeah Spooky.  Thanks Jeffrey.  We’ll keep it in mind.  We still want to lay low for a while.  Keep our distance.” Mulder walked back to the other room to check on Scully.  She was sitting quietly wringing her hands.  When he walked in she looked up at him, but didn’t speak. He leaned his back against the wall and gave her space. It weighed heavy on his heart what he put her through. He had made the wrong choice leaving her back in Buffalo.  He needed to be a better man. For her.

A few hours later Jeffery returned.  Even with his disfigured face they could tell he appeared frightened.

“That thing in there is not just a microchip. It’s an entire computer and it’s hard drive is full.  It contains what looks like an operations manual for a spaceship.  Their planet and it’s history.  As well as information on magnetite.  Mulder, it has information on there concerning communication with the black oil.  This is everything. Where did you find this?”

“It was found in Russia, over one million years underground.”

Scully tugged at Mulder’s crossed arms. “Mulder, what does this mean? What are we saying?”

He looked her in the eye as he squeezed both her biceps. “We’re saying we finally did it Scully.  We’re finally three steps ahead of those bastards.”

Chapter Text

Balancing full binders Scully looked more like an acrobat than an investigator.  One that was part librarian. They were piled to the bridge of her nose causing her to shuffle her feet as she entered the giant underground conference room. In a loud thump she dropped the binders on the hard oak, freshly printed copies spilling onto the conference room table.  Pain blistered from Scully’s big right toe as a binder missed its intended destination.  Jeffrey took in the show, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his palms while his elbows rested on his notebook. He was sitting at a long table across from her, skyscrapers of paper and folders stacked around him.  “We should take a break.  We’ve been at this for days.  There’s just too much information here.”

Mulder shifted in his seat.  The decision would have to be theirs.  If left to his own devices he would probably spend a couple years sifting through everything before realizing the time had passed.

Scully agreed with Jeffrey. “The DNA mapping alone could take months to read through and translate.”

“If you agree, I’d like to bring my team in here and have them take over.  The human race is on a deadline that’s fast approaching. We don’t have the luxury of time to study all of this.”

Mulder stood and stretched. His muscles screaming from lack of use. “Okay, so when do we reconvene?”

Jeffrey neatly restacked his piles and reviewed his recent notes. “Give me another 48 hours.  By then we will have a course of action to present to you.  I want you to be on board with this.  This is about more than their timeline, this is about taking back all that my father took from us.”

*

Back at their most recent sleeping quarters, Mulder grinned in anticipation as Scully removed the steak off his fork with her teeth.  “Not bad?”

Scully nodded her head to give herself time to finish chewing. “Good Mulder, very tender. The seasoning is good too. Not overpowering.  I’d say it’s done.”

Stabbing the steak he removed it from the grill to a serving dish. Juices dribbled from the wounds and the grill sizzled and flamed.  Removing the vegetables still tightly wrapped in aluminum foil, he headed into the cabin where Scully had the table set.  The cabin was partially secluded by a dense covering of trees, but from the dining area you could see the greenery on the distant hills creating a tranquil view. Jeffrey had made the arrangements and Scully was surprised when they arrived to find an area not overtaken by desert.  

Mulder prepared their plates as Scully filled their glasses with sun brewed iced tea. The restless simplicity of domestication was not lost on them. He fixed his seat so it was adjacent to Scully’s. Her fingers danced across his stubbled cheek. “Thank you for preparing all this Mulder.”  Leaning in he left her lips with a kiss before addressing his food.  A satisfied smile covered his face as endorphins saturated his system.

After their meal they retired to the pine rocking chairs on the screened porch overlooking the trees.

“Mulder, in the files, I found notes on humans.  They have been studying us for a very long time.  Studying this planet.  Our planet.”

“I have a couple theories.  None of which are very optimistic for the human race.  One is that the original aliens were looking for a place to colonize after they predicted their own planet’s fate.  They came here to do the research, but in the end, some kind of event occurred that wiped them off this planet.”

“So it’s possible that the infection that caused the evolution of prehistoric man was accidental and also led to the alien’s demise?”

“Maybe they were too late to save their planet and there was nothing to get back to.  Under the Earth they were forced to remain and then one million years later….”

Scully sighed.  “We’re assuming that this information we’ve found is millions of years old.  The rock was tested and dated, not the device.  What if it was only buried that far underground?”

“That’s a possibility. What if rocks traveling from space really did carry the virus to our planet. Carried it to all habitable planets.Theoretically, that would mean all intelligent life in the universe evolves from a singular source.”

“An entire universe derived, from what? A god that created this primordial black oil primed with intelligence for those organisms capable of containing its powers? Being saved or being a chosen person would mean being infected and evolving to this creature…” Scully was shaken.

Mulder countered. “Yeah, but what god? Whose god? How does that explain the rebel aliens guarding against contamination of the virus?”

Scully let his statement sink in. “Look at the effects. You are no longer singular consciousness, but that of a whole, operating as parts of a network.  No more individual or private thought or action… the implications on emotions, love, empathy, remorse. . those rebel aliens appeared to be fighting to maintain their individualism and then there are hybrids like Jeremiah more humanized than alien that were immuned to the virus and also believed in allowing life to flourish rather than see it extinguish. He believed their knowledge could help save us. Save us from even our own self inflicted annihilation.”

Mulder shook his head. “That’s their justification.  Take the world from us before we destroy the planet and all its resources.  They figure they can make better use of it then we ever did. That’s why they choose to hide in plain sight. To avoid the destruction of war. Disguise themselves in our skin.  The need for hybridization is to cloak their soldiers while we fold in their mirage. All to come back to destroy the monsters they’ve created so many millions of years ago.”

Scully sighed. “You make it sound almost romantic.”

“That gives them the reason, it doesn’t give them the right.”

A breeze came in through the screen sending a shiver across Scully’s arms.  “My brain’s had enough for one day Mulder.  I think I’m going to call it a night.”

Her fingertips ran over his leg and he caught her hand. “Come sit with me on the swing. I’ll get a blanket.”

He returned from the house with a quilt and covered her, setting his tea down on the table besides the swing.  He sat next to her, his arm pulling her in so she could rest her head on his chest. With his legs he rocked them back and forth drinking his tea and staring out into the night.

His heart was with her, but his brain was light years away, engaged in recalling and reviewing the notes he had memorized, trying to make sense of it all. Through the darkness you could just about make out the moon as he heard the coyotes off in the distance hunting prey. The files he had read spoke about more than humans and Greys. According to those files, there were other aliens on other planets. Brown dwarfs and Blues.  The files spoke of taking specimens back to their planet.  Somewhere they were breeding humans.  Maybe for some intergalactic zoo. Egyptians and the Anasazi perhaps there as well toasting to a better way of life in a far off planet. Possibly evolved themselves into Greys. How did all of this blend into the spaceship in Africa? Was that ship sent here by the origins of life, the black oil aliens, to be our god? Manned with the power of it’s words to create life from the ocean, to create man?  Astutely evolving the earth with each extinction to create us? Was each extinction due to the aliens taking advantage of what was already theirs? Is the purpose of man simply to use the Earth’s resources to make it simple for the aliens to repopulate? Was religion simply a tool used to pacify the masses so they were more inclined to do the alien’s bidding?  Then what?  Mass viral apocalypse? Scully didn’t need to know or worry about such things. Not without hard facts. He didn’t want to see her fear struck face as her mind reeled at the implications.

 

The past three days were spent hiking and fishing. Enjoying the quaint nearby towns. They even rented a canoe and paddled the river. Each  night retreating back to each other’s arms on the swing and then the bedroom. There was no talk of aliens or UFOs, only places they had yet to visit, simple stories they had never shared, and living in the moment.

 

Mulder woke with a deep inhale of her vanilla lavender scent. He didn’t want to open his eyes.  Staying in this position, his face buried in Scully’s hair with their warm skin meshed together seemed like a perfect way to spend the day.  It was soothing and peaceful, in a way Mulder had come to know only with Scully.  Chase affection or cuddling with a woman had never been his thing before there was Scully.  Now he felt empty without her to keep him whole. A look, their name, the lightest touch of their fingertips were all that was ever needed to maintain the bridge, but when their full bodies connected it was…..indescribable. Words weren’t invented, no decent adjective came close, perhaps because it didn’t exist before them. She was buried in the crook of his neck, her naked body aligned with his, her bent knee over the top of his thigh, her ankle resting on his calf.  A whole year he had gone without this and before that even more.  To have her now with him was joy in a heart that only knew sadness.  She made him want to believe he could rely on the happiness they now shared.

He looked out the window to see a doe with her fawn grazing in the dew covered grass. He felt her body awakening and raising her chin he looked into her admiring eyes. “Good Morning.  Are you ready to save the world?”

Taking his lips she gave him a soft slow kiss he could feel all the way down to his toes. His nose played with hers.  “Scully, if you’re not okay with this today, we can leave.  We leave and we don’t look back.  Go find ourselves a place to hang out in the Florida Keys or…. anywhere.”

He could still see the warmth in her eyes, but now there were spatterings of fear. “No, Mulder you were right.  We need to do this. For William’s future. Just be weary of Jeffrey, he’s on a mission that may not always suit our interests.” Mulder nodded in agreement. He had those same reservations.

“Scully I think we must also take into consideration that Jeffrey is a very sick man physically.  I don’t know what affect the testing had on him or how long he has to live.  Mortality also plays on one’s decisions.”

Scully turned around and Mulder pulled her up against him with his arm around her waist.  He pressed his lips to her shoulder and after a while in pensive silence, they drifted back to sleep.

Four hours later they were in the conference room.  Now crowded with Jeffrey’s associates.  A powerpoint presentation flashed on the wall from an overhead projector.  Jeffrey quieted everyone down and started the presentation.  Under the table, Mulder held Scully’s hand and gave it a squeeze.

Jeffrey continued, “The following is my hypothesis and conclusions concerning the work of my father.  It includes the new information uncovered in the ancient artifact as well as recent intel from our associates.  Over 50 years ago at least one, if not several UFOs crashed onto this planet.  The cause of this crash was from the large deposits of magnetite in the area.  Deposits left from debris of fallen meteor rock from Mars. From this crash my father and his colleagues learned of the alien’s plan to recolonize the Earth. A plan at least 2000 years in the making as Native American tribes predicted and communicated this plan at least that long ago. A plan perhaps billions of years in the making if we conceive what is inside our new artifact. Armed with their new found technology, my father and his cohorts, consisting of  Russians, Nazis, Japanese scientists, and an elite group, conducted experiments on unwilling participants in an attempt to create a hybrid resistant to the black oil. In 1973, when human intellect reached it’s limits and they knew saving the planet was futile, my father stepped forward with a new plan.  One that would save only the chosen few. He threaten the aliens - if you don’t give us the technology and biological tissue to create a hybrid and save ourselves, we will use our own nuclear resources to scorch the earth and destroy all it’s resources. It would leave the planet useless to the aliens. They  proposed another deal to save their own bloodline.  In return for helping the aliens silently takeover, the aliens would give them the alien tissue so they may work on creating a hybrid to withstand the apocalypse. So the chosen few could undergo hybridization. They had until 2012 to do so.  Now surviving the apocalypse was no great reward as they would still be slaves to the alien race, but it allowed them time to stall to possibly create William Mulder’s vaccine and save all mankind.”

Jeffrey paused and looked around the room. Everyone was silent. Shocked and in awe. Most of them hearing of this for the first time. Jeffrey looked over to Mulder.  The truth was out there and Jeffrey was spreading it.  Jeffrey could have sworn he witnessed a tear passed down Mulder’s cheek.  All Mulder’s work had not been for nothing.  Two brothers in collaboration spreading the truth for all to hear. It was an emotional day. Jeffrey cleared his throat and continued. “There were countless labs around the world conducting these tests with the innocent to create a perfect hybrid.  They were sanctioned by the world governments and directed by my father, managing their progress and their secrecy.  He had hired those who were loyal to come work for him and assist with supervising and logging progress on these subjects.” Jeffrey took a drink of water. Saying it out loud was powerful. He wanted his mother and Samantha’s death to be vindicated and not in vain. “I have reason to believe that my father from the very beginning held no allegiance to anyone including The Syndicate.  His goal was for himself alone to be the supreme being of this world. After countless deaths and unsolicited sacrifices, my mother was the first successful hybrid to be exposed to the aliens and not destroyed. I now believe that a friend of my father’s used that information to align himself with the rebels to kill off the members of The Syndicate and the alien race.  It was a carefully plotted plan.  Separately, when my father was certain that those implanted chips had the ability to prolong life, he decided now was the time to take control of the planet.  He would be the one to decide who lived or who died.  Not humans and certainly not aliens.  They were too close now.  Then he learned of the truth of the black oil’s true capabilities.  The virus can rebirth itself with the aid from its hosts from a dormant state to form a complex organism.  

In the background, hidden from The Syndicate, the aliens had their own backup plan called the super soldiers.  They are humans modified through their genes with an iron.  Their brain and motivations stemming from a lump at the back of their neck.  If killed this half-human half-alien nanobot can regenerate itself. From our research we believe it is nanotechnology spliced into human DNA compatible with humans with certain characteristics, increased brain activity which could be brought on in a number of ways, one of which is through procedures from abductions. These soldiers were meant to takeover if The Syndicate failed, which it did.  They were strategically placed to rise into the highest ranks of governments and to oversee a new hybrid project. One for creating organic super soldiers. This was the project Alex Krycek and Marita Covarrubias betrayed my father for. The aliens began gathering of all evidence and proof now that the project was complete.  At the turn of the millennium with The Syndicate abolished, the aliens began activating and producing these replacements. Meanwhile the remaining humans were being prepped through the water supply for annihilation already cataloged through their smallpox vaccine. My father chose to go into hiding and wait out the apocalypse.  The aliens sent the super soldiers to kill him along with Mulder.  He had planned for that as well.  There was a bounty hunter that was loyal to my father, that held the power of healing.  What my father was able to offer him in return and if that bounty hunter was successful in putting humpty dumpty back together again is still yet to be determined.  What we know for sure is that the transformation has begun with a date set for the apocalypse of December 22nd 2012. We believe that is the date for mass infection and extinction.  By that time the replacements will have taken over our governments and all environmental facilities. This is why we must take action now before it is too late. Let’s break here and when we return I will present our plan.”

Jeffrey stepped off the platform and walked towards Mulder. “Do you think I was able to get the message out?”

Mulder stood stretching his back. “You definitely held their attention.  I’m not sure how much was comprehended, but it was thorough. It will be good to hear the next steps.”

Jeffrey smiled. “I’m glad you contacted me.  Now you get to see all your work in all its glory on the screen. Mulder I will not stop.  Not until I destroy my father’s work and any alien attempts at colonization.”

Mulder excused himself and stepped outside for fresh air. Scully followed him. “Mulder, what’s wrong?”

“In my experience Scully, if history has taught us anything, when you kill one beast it only gives rise to another. I’m hopeful, but I’m not ignorant.” Scully ran her hand along Mulder’s shoulders and pressed her lips into his back.

“Mulder, that option you gave me this morning... the same goes for you.  Nothing is holding us here.”

Mulder nodded.  “Let’s hear what he has to say.”

One of the scientists pulled Scully aside to discuss some of the science in Jeffrey’s theories.  Jeffrey saw Mulder alone and cornered him.  “Mulder, there’s something I want to tell you about your sister’s abduction, but I haven’t had the chance. I know something about your father and my father…. A conversation that took place in 1973.”

Mulder looked at Jeffrey.  “I’m ready.”

“When Diana spoke of you, she said that you were the mouthpiece for all mankind.  At the time I thought she was referring to your crackpot theories. She said that you were made.  A creation.  The last resort if all went to hell.”

Mulder was tired of insinuations and drawn out rhetoric and euphemisms.  He wanted simple answers.  “Jeffrey, I’m not following you.”

“Your sister’s abduction, was a staged abduction.  You were meant to witness it.  You were meant to be affected by it.  Your father planned it that way knowing it would be the catalyst to drive you forward.  So maybe, one day, you may reveal the conspiracy to the world.  My father went along with the plan for another reason.  He wanted you to be affected to help pacify the masses.  Give them false hopes of a savior that would never come.  That’s why you were kept alive and why not even the aliens tried to kill you. That's why they led you to believe your sister was still alive... so you would keep pushing.  You were a pawn used by all sides.”

“How did Diana discover this?”

“She uncovered it through files and what my father told her.”

“How did she gain access to these files?”

Jeffrey looked at him incredulously. “You know that her and my father had a long term love affair.  Her coming back was his idea, so was her seduction of you.”

“Well, it didn’t work.”

“Thanks to Dana.”

“I really don’t want to drag up the past Jeffrey.  Diana and I were close, but it isn’t the same as Dana and I. Scully and I are happy.”

“I’ve never witnessed anything like what you and Dana share.  It’s very obvious to everyone around you the feelings you have for one another.”

“So that is why he constantly told me that I was part of the plan, that he created me, and not just biologically.”

“He also had visions of you joining his side.  You were the perfect son.  I was around as a stand-by. Dana was to become the new Diana, the ultimate woman of his life, but she chose you. Then I betrayed him as well.”

Mulder was finished with the conversation.  This was drudging up a past that had been put to rest. “I guess we should head in.  I need to hear this plan of yours.”

Jeffrey’s plan was three-fold. He stood at the podium and preached. “We need to go after the Supersoldiers full force. Since magnetite does not affect humans, the simplest way is to contaminate the water supply.  If in agreeance, Dr. Dana Scully will lead the initiative of creating a water soluble solution that we can apply. We have people that have created weapons with magnetite for lethal force against the supersoldiers. You will all have access to these weapons.

Next is aligning ourselves with the rebel forces. Destroying the Supersoldiers will only lead in retaliation or the creation of another hybrid program.  The only true way to stop the aliens is to go after them where they live.  That program is already underway and one that has seen great success with a fleet of our own in Rebel made vehicles. Anyone interested and already has obtained their pilot’s license can see Jordan after the meeting.

The last part of our strategy concerns the black oil itself. As I’ve already stated, the virus can inhabit a human and take over the body, as well as gestate into an alien being given the correct temperatures. The virus also has the ability to body jump. A vaccine for the virus currently exists, but we need to go into mass production and we currently have no access to that vaccine.  One last comment on the virus.  It does have a self-protecting mechanism and it has the ability to irradiate, so if someone is infected, do not approach. There will be training conducted on identifying victims of the black oil virus.”

Jeffrey fielded some questions and spoke with others as a sidebar.  When everyone had left the room and only Mulder and Scully remained, he approached them.  “So, what do you think?”

“I think it’s a lot to take in.” Mulder replied. “Jeffrey, where is this war being fought with the rebel forces? Outside of this galaxy?”

“There were some ground forces, but they’ve moved on to fight the aliens outside of this atmosphere. They’re making serious progress.” Jeffrey turned to Scully.  “You should know, your brother is involved.”

“My brother, Bill...that’s not possible..”

“No, not Bill...Charles Scully.”

Chapter Text

“Mulder, why must you use my shampoo?” Scully asked watching him lather up.

“Because it smells like you and it leaves me with that soft shiny glow.” Mulder smiled, working a lather into her hair as well as giving her a spikey mohawk.

Scully frowned. “Mulder it is okay for you to take a shower alone.”

“Yes, but what fun would that be?” He smile turned devious. “I’ll leave you alone with your razor soon enough.”

He turned her around and rinsed the soap from her hair, bending his legs.  “Do you have any idea how many times I’ve dreamed of us…when I was out there all alone... begged for you….and now here we are…” Mulder kissed her neck and then her cheek, teasing her from behind.  She glanced back at him and widened her stance, shifting her hips to tease him back. With that tiny invitation, he bent his knees and gently bent her over, sliding inside. It had been a few days, and with her it was always like a new beginning. They moaned together. His lathered hands making her breasts slick as his knowledged fingers made her nipples purr.  Scully’s nails scratched up his thighs as the back of her head dropped against his chest and Mulder hissed at the sensation.  Her hands braced against the tile and he covered them with his own, threading their fingers together he picked up the pace, rough and fast. Mulder kissed her back, her shoulder, her ear. Everything about her felt good.

Downstairs the handle on the back door was jiggling.  Two men dressed in dark clothing made their way inside.  Tiptoeing around the cabin they froze in place at Scully’s demands, “Harder Mulder please…. harder”

“Fuck, they’re here.”

The taller one laughed.  “They are here, and they are indeed fucking. Sounds like he’s really putting his back into it.  You’re sure we’ve got the right place?”

“Uh…. Mulder….shit… yes!”

“Definitely the right place.” The taller man said answering his own question.  His eyes glanced upwards.  “Not bad.  She sounds quite flexible.”

“Let’s get what we came for and go.  We don’t have much time.” The shorter man was all work and didn’t have patience for such nonsense. The men scurried about sifting through drawers and papers, taking pictures with their phones of documents and files.  And as they searched the sounds from upstairs continued. “Oh...oh...OH.”  “Oh…. yeah.”  “That’s it...yes...Jesus Mulder.” And on it went.  Over an hour later and the guys had the place completely covered.  “Have you found it yet?” The shorter man was ready to go.  The sounds echoing through the house to him were like nails on a chalkboard.

“No, but I believe some of these printouts must be part of it.” The tall guy looked up at the ceiling.  “How long could they possibly go at it?” A high-pitch scream and a roaring grunt muffled from above.  “I think they’re about done.  We need to get the fuck out of here.”  

The cabin went quiet and the men froze as they heard footsteps and creaking floorboards. “Are they on their way down?” The tall guy whispered. The shorter man put his finger to his lips.  The springs from a mattress squeaked and they heard.  “Mmmm…..” “Oh….” “Uh…..uh...uh….”

The shorter man took off his ball cap and scratched his head. “Now this is fucking ridiculous.”

“Scully yes…. Yes...Oh Scully...yes….”

“Did you hear that?  I heard Scully.  He calls her Scully. I knew it.  After all these years I win the bet.” The taller man beamed.

“Are you kidding me? We need to find this thing and get the fuck out. Stop worrying about them!”

When Mulder finally did emerge the two men were caught standing in the living room. One hunched over a desk taking pictures and the other rifling through the closet. Mulder had strolled down into the kitchen through the back stairs and when he rounded the corner he was whistling, clad only in boxers, a spoon in one hand and a bowl in another, his mouth full of cereal, all smiles. The smile turned to shock at the site and he dropped the bowl spilling milk and cereal over the hardwood floor. He lunged for his gun.

Scully shut the water off to the shower and grabbed a towel.  She thought to herself that maybe today would be a good day to for a picnic at the nearby waterfall.  Walking into the bedroom she froze when she heard what sounded like shots being fired in the house.  “Mulder!?!” she yelled, but he did not answer.  There was banging and the sound of furniture crashing and then another shot.  Scully quickly pulled a gun out of the bag in the closet, threw on a top and shorts and made her way down the stairs.  

There was one man already dead and bleeding out, at the bottom of the landing.  Through the bars she could see Mulder and another man in a standoff both with guns cocked. “Scully, go back upstairs, I got this.”

“Give me the chip and I’ll…..” The man slumped on the floor before completing his sentence. A clump of brains hit the back wall.  Scully’s bullet had pierced his cranium. “Mulder, are you alright?”

“You realize you could have gotten me killed.”

“I wasn’t going to miss. Were you shot?”

“No, just a little bruised.”

Scully walked over to him and  ran her hand through his hair to exam his scalp and with a quick once over it appeared he had no severe injuries. She did notice that he was definitely seeing benefits from his new ab routine. “Let me get you some ice for your shoulder. What did they want?”

“I don’t know.” Mulder said as he searched the pockets of the two now dead bodies. “I wasn’t exactly in a position to give an interview.” He walked over to the desk drawer, got out a pair of Scully’s latex gloves, and put them on. After observing the bullet holes Mulder concluded, “Judging from the blood and the lack of a pulse, I’d say they are of the everyday run of the mill human variety.  From the pictures on their phone it looks like they were after the information on the artifact. There are some pictures of the carvings off of the ship and they were looking through your notes on magnetite. If I didn’t know any better I’d say they worked for ol’ Smokey.  They have no ID’s and look..” He pressed the fingers into a blank sheet of paper using their blood as ink and lifted the paper to show Scully. “No prints.” Mulder walked over to the closet and put on a t-shirt. “Let’s keep this incident between us for now.  Go to the lab.  I’ll stay back and clean up the mess.  Tonight I’m going exploring in Jeff’s office.”

“How are you disposing the bodies?”

“The river where the police can find them or I could just leave them with the trash.” Mulder, still with no pants on walked upstairs to get dressed.  

Laboratory 9:37 P.M.

Mulder set down an artificially sweetened black coffee next to Scully’s computer.

“Thank you.” She had a grateful smile, but tired eyes.

“Are you making progress?”

“No and we’ve been at this for months now.” She put down her pen and rubbed her eyes. “To get a solution that is clear, odorless, and has no aftertaste is as hard as it seems. Not to mention we have no proof of the concentration needed to actually destroy one of these things.  I believe Jeffrey and his team are making a huge leap of faith.” Mulder brushed her cheek and grinned. “You’re so beautiful when you’re preventing mankind’s extinction.”

“I did give Jeffrey the information on the Huecha indian.  By analyzing their blood and DNA we can develop an antiviral to the black oil. One that can be mass produced.”

Mulder looked around noticing the offices all locked up with their lights off. “Has everyone left for the night?”

“As far as I know.  The few that are here are on guard duty until morning.”

Mulder made his way down the darkened hallway until he came to Jeffrey’s office. He took out his skeleton key and went to work.  A beam of light startled him, but the illumination was only Scully.  She handed him a flashlight. After a few tries he took out of his pocket what looked close to an aluminum credit card and stuck it between the strike plate and the latch.  With a quick pull the door gave free.  Jeffrey’s office was immaculate.  Files and books neatly put away equipped with tabs and labels. Their lights refracted and bounced.  Crossing paths and revealing others. Mulder closed the file drawer, “I’m starting to wonder who is financing this operation. Look at this..”Mulder took the papers from the file drawers and spread them out on the desk for Scully’s examination. “These are manifests from cargo ships and truck invoices.  Looks like most of the equipment is out of Germany.”

“Mulder look.  There’s a package here with an address of a biotech company in Tunisia.  The name is Strughold.  Why does that name sound familiar?”

“West Virginia Scully.  Where all the files were kept, including yours.  It was like a storage locker for the shadow government. Is it possible some of them survived?”

“Is Jeffrey working for someone that’s still alive?  Maybe the rebels didn’t get everyone like they thought? Are they continuing the project?”

“It’s possible Jeffrey’s connections aren’t as clean as Jeffrey thinks they are.”

“Mulder, you recall the proposal S.R. 819? The nanobots they injected Skinner with? Could all this be related?”

“Scully, the man we encountered in Dr. Orgell’s home those years ago was a Tunisian diplomat…. There’s a connection here.  I just don’t know what.”

“Mulder, what if this is part of the tests to create a way to kill the black oil virus.  Injecting people with nanotechnology to create antibodies to kill the black oil.  Maybe those experiments were conducted in Tunisia?  Using the same technology that the spaceships used to repair itself?”

“If that is what’s going on then how is that related if at all to the supersoldiers?….. Let’s head back to the cabin.  We will say our goodbyes to Jeffrey and head out.”

“Where?”

“I want to hear what your brother knows.  What have they told him?  How is the military involved without any supersoldiers knowing?  Something is not adding up.”

The next day Mulder went back to visit Jeffrey.  Jeffrey was in his office typing at his computer.  He looked up.

“Mulder, what can I do for you?”

“Last night Scully and I had a long conversation and she admitted that she is really homesick.  She’s been without her family for a while now.  If there’s a chance she could visit her brother, I believe it would make her feel a lot better.  Is there a way for us to contact him?”

“Right now he’s on an Air Force base on the outskirts of San Francisco.  I wouldn’t suggest taking the risk to get on the base, but he may be able to meet you. I could try to arrange it.  It will be a shame to see you go.  We have so much more work to do.”

“Scully will leave all her notes with your scientists.  I believe it will be enough to get you what you need. I’m hoping to circle back around after the visit…. Jeffrey, there is something troubling me... if supersoldiers are part nanobots or have some type of biotech, couldn’t they be destroyed with simple electromagnetic pulsing?  At the very least the part that contains their rejuvenating powers?”

“We don’t have a full understanding, but this technology doesn’t hold using our simple scientific knowledge.  For practical application, the answer is no. I truly believe that artifact contains our answer and with the vaccine for the black oil we can create thanks to Scully. It means that due to all your work and delivering us this information, you are the ones that will allow the salvation of our planet.” Jeffrey got up from behind his desk and walked towards Mulder. “I’d like to show you something you may appreciate.  It’s about a mile from the compound.”

Jeffrey and Mulder drove the motorcycles to another building built entirely underground.  Once inside Jeffrey took him through a series of tunnels to a door that appeared to be made of steel with a small clear metal area for viewing.  When Mulder peeked inside the room there was a man cuffed to chains fastened with an elaborate pulley system.

“What am I looking at Jeffrey?”

“That, is a supersoldier.  The metals used are a magnesium titanium alloy.  The entire room is build in it.  It is bendable like aluminum, but stronger than any steel.  The chains contain tungsten. Using these metals we can keep him like this. We haven’t figured out an exact way to subdue him for study.”

“How were you able to catch him?”

Jeffrey pressed a button and a creature that looked like it should have been in the movie alien appeared.  He took one look at the supersoldier and what followed was the most gruesome sight Mulder never wanted to see.  It looked like if Dexter was a creature from Jurassic Park.  When it was finished with it’s mutilation, it walked over to the corner of the room and spit something into a trap.  The trap closed.  A door opened and the alien walked back inside.

“Jeff, what have you done?”

“That my good brother, is an alien.”

“What did he spit into the box?”

“The main vertebrae.  We’ll take that and expose it to the magnetite.  It will soon be pulverized to useless grains of sand completely inactive.”

“Jeffrey where did you get this creature.  If I recall, that is only a baby.”

“I hatched it using the black oil from a meteor rock we uncovered in Redrock canyon in California.”

“How did you contain it? How did you prevent infection?”

“We communicated with it using the information in the artifact. The containment units we had built a while ago.”

“These aliens, they hatch from hosts.  How did you grow it without a host?”

“Oh, we had a host.  We have clones we found in storage from what our shadow government left behind.”

“Jeffrey, these are still people.”

“Hybrids.  Beings that were never meant to be.  Created not by God, but by monsters.”

“I think we’re crossing a line here.”

“I’m not creating hybrids, I’m not experimenting on people, I’m destroying what should have never been created in the first place.”

“What about these aliens?”

“They serve a singular purpose.  Destroy the supersoldiers.”

“And what if you can’t control them?”

“We’ve spared no expense.”

“Jeffrey what have you done?  What if they get out of control, what then?”

“We’ve prepared.”

“I hope you know what you’re doing Jeffrey because I won’t be part of any of this.”

“Mulder, relax.  I’m not crazy.  I have my concerns, same as you. That’s why I won’t unleash anything unless we are sure we can contain it.”

Chapter Text

Out on the horizon the sun began to set into the cobalt blue Pacific, leaving a trail of oranges and yellows, with layers of green fading into a clear blue sky.

It had been a day of playing in the ocean and lying on the sand, burgers and ice cream included. The sun was only a couple hours away from disappearing, but that didn’t stop Scully from worrying about melanoma.

“You’re really taking your time rubbing in that suntan lotion Scully. Not that I mind….”

Scully squirted some more in her hand, finished with his back and down the front of his chest, then turned to rub it into his face, starting with his nose swiping his cheeks, then covered his forehead. She looked at him admiringly as she did it, running her hands around his ears and his chin. “I don’t want you prematurely aging on me.”

“Yeah, I did that once, it wasn’t pretty.” He smiled and she kissed him, lingering on his plump full lips. She pulled at the bottom one, sucking it gently. The heels of his palms dug deeper into the hot grains of sand failing to lessen the excitement of what she was doing. Her body was so close he could feel it’s heat with only the thin fabric of her bikini covering so little skin. He tried his best not to notice the sight of her cleavage or the outline of her protruding nipples he had come to know so well. While she would not have given any resistance to his advances, they were not alone. The hot fall day of Southern California had attracted a number of people who wished to replay their summer days. As they kissed, her warm soft tongue explored the inside of his mouth, her fingers tugging gently at the back of his hair. With all his might he fought against her temptation, but eventually she won him over and he moaned into her mouth from the severe reaction his body had to her. She sat back smiling, knowing full well what she had done to him. After a minute she stood up and he watched as she headed down to the ocean walking with a sensual gait accentuating the curvature of her hips. The picture imprinted into his memory writing over a darker time like the hard drive of a computer. Last night he was awakened by a nightmare of an alien ripping apart another alien in human skin. Jeffrey’s sinister face in the background. He wasn’t certain what actions Jeffrey was preparing for and he knew they would soon return to find out. There was only one thing that settled his brain when it went into this state and she was currently walking away from him cooling herself in the ocean. She was the only one who could take him away from their dark realities and his fantastical perversions.

When she returned she picked up her towel to dry herself off. “It’s almost time.”

“You sure you want to do this?”

“I don’t see how we have much choice. Those two at the cabin were just the beginning. We need a place we can lay low for a while. A place I know we’ll be safe.”

“To Bill’s house it is then.” Mulder said as he began packing up. “I will be on my best behavior.” He reassured her.

“Yeah…. That’s what I’m afraid of.”

They were in the car on the way to the base, but Mulder was considering taking a detour. “Scully, you look really good today,” he mused as his right hand softly caressed her knee.

“I’m trying to decide whether that’s a compliment or not.” Scully replied putting on her sunglasses and lowering the visor. They were driving directly into the setting sun and it was blinding.

“California seems to wear well on you,” He countered as his fingers played with the edge of her shorts, leaning over so his lips could dance along her neck.

“Mulder, I am driving,” Scully protested, but her head tilted exposing more of her neck to him.

“When I’m driving the car it never seems to stop you.” His tongue had now made it’s way to her ear as his hand settled between her thighs. He didn’t want to go to Bill’s and he didn’t want to stop. He wanted to find a motel room and take those pesky clothes off of her.

“Mulder, we’re almost at Bill’s house and I will crash this car.”

Mulder flopped back into his seat and adjusted his seat belt. “You shouldn’t have worn that bikini today.”

“Are you sure it was my bikini or the bikinis with the 20 year old's in them?” Scully glanced out of the corner of her eyes at him.

“I didn’t see you looking the other way when Denzel, Brad Pitt, and Russell Crowe walked by.”

“And that’s the trio you believe I find attractive?” Scully was having fun messing with his brain.

“You’re changing the subject.”

“And you’re deflecting.”

“Scully, I’m sure Bill has prepared a whole new list of things to hate me for so perhaps we could fight later?”

Scully pulled up to the entrance and gave the IDs of their current alias’ and the gates opened allowing them onto the base. She had called ahead borrowing the phone at the burger joint so Bill had left their names at the gate. Even with the advanced preparation, her pulse quickened as the guard checked his clipboard.

When they pulled up to Bill’s house he wasn’t outside to greet them so they gave the door a knock. While they waited on his porch they stared at each other in silence. Despite her lathers of lotion, Mulder had taken on a bronze tan that was stirring her insides. He bore a model’s stance with his short new haircut and “Fuck Me” eyes. It was so much worse knowing what was underneath his clothes waiting for her. If Bill didn’t open the door soon, she was ready to head back to the beach where she could be hidden in the dunes of the sand lying on top of him….

Pictures of Scully in her bikini were running through Mulder’s mind. The way she had kissed him on the beach, their last marathon encounter at the cabin. Mulder’s breath slowed the longer they stared, his eyes dilated and it stilled Scully’s heart, his lips parted and a heat stirred low in her belly, their chests rising and falling in unison. Very sweetly the words, “Oh Mulder” escaped from her lips as Scully slid her arms around Mulder’s neck and their lips crashed together, his hands at her back lifting her up to him, hers grasping the hair at the base of his head. Scully fell back up against the house as Mulder’s tongue breached her lips, his hands sliding down to her ass pulling her up as he pressed his body into hers. Just then the door opened and Bill rolled his eyes at the sight as his face soured.

“Should I come back? It is my porch.. It would help if you stopped leaning on the doorbell.” Taken by surprise, they pulled away abruptly with their heads down, Mulder scrunched up his nose and scratched the back of his head as he looked away.

Scully was a bright red. “Sorry Bill, we.. um… we were just..”

“Right. Why don’t you come in. The kids are out back and my wife’s in the kitchen. She figured you might be hungry…”

Scully pecked Bill on the cheek as she walked in and Mulder held out his hand as he entered, but Bill simply nodded ignoring the gesture. Once inside they were greeted warmly by Tara and the kids. Tara had made some chicken salad with coleslaw and potato salad. There were also some hot dogs off the grill. The meal consisted mostly of the clanking of forks against dishes and Mulder attempting to smile with a mouthful of food while Bill grimaced back. The kids took up most of the conversation catching Scully up on the latest gossip in the school yard and their baseball stats.

Once everyone was finished an awkward silence remained. Tara rose to collect the dishes. “Dana, would you like to help me in the kitchen? I want to show you my new dishwasher.”

Scully nodded and got up from her chair meeting her eyes with Mulder’s to make sure he was okay being left alone. He shrugged his shoulders and asked Bill about his retirement plans.

As soon as they reached the kitchen, Tara fired off her questions. “Is it true that Mulder was convicted of murder of a military officer? That you’re...on the run?”

“He was convicted, but the man they accused him of killing was the same man that went after us once he escaped. Mulder didn’t kill anyone. That’s why we ran. Have you spoken to my mother?”

“Yes, she told us everything. It was all so hard to believe. That they could charge Mulder with such a heinous crime. It must be difficult running from place to place looking over your shoulder. I’m not certain I’d be able to handle that kind of life.”

I bet she didn’t tell you everything Scully thought to herself and wondered what her mother did say. “It’s not as bad as you think it would be. It’s like being on the vacation that doesn’t end or in my case, it’s like I’m still employed only now I have to pay for the hotels. You said you spoke with my mother?”

“Yes. Dana, why don’t I call her. I know she wants to hear from you.”

Back in the dining room the conversation had quickly taken a wrong turn down a dark alley.

“Let’s make no mistake about it. The only reason I’m letting you stay here is because of Dana.” Bill and Mulder were both standing and Bill’s finger was two inches from Mulder’s face. “Because of you, my sister was forced to give up her only child, give up her family, her career. Where were you through her pregnancy, when she gave William up for adoption, where were you? When you finally do show up you’re convicted of murder and you drag her into that too? Do you give a shit about my sister at all?”

“I love her.” Mulder replied standing his ground.

“Oh, sure, you love her and she loves you, but what about what’s best for her?” Bill’s nose was now an inch from Mulder’s and he was berating him like a drill sergeant. Mulder was waiting for him to demand pushups.

“I am what’s best for her..” Mulder stated without flinching, but Bill’s argument was convincing.

“I know my sister and you’re not even close.”

Scully and Tara were still in the kitchen on the phone with Maggie. Tears fell from Scully’s eyes as she said her “I love yous” and “goodbyes”. It was tearing her apart to be away from her mother like this. They were so close and had been through so much together. She was drying her eyes when she heard Bill begin to shout. Tara and Scully exchanged looks and hurried out of the kitchen.

“She had a child out of wedlock because of you….! I was glad when I was told you had run off on her. Why can’t you just leave her be and just go crawl in a hole somewhere! I had you pegged the minute I met you. You’re a sorry son of a bitch!” Mulder was taking what Bill was dishing out and Bill was practically spitting in his face. Bill didn’t understand the whole story, but Mulder had no will to fight him.

“Bill, that’s enough.” Scully said getting between them. “I am grateful for your concerns, but I am way past a little girl that needs your protection. I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time now.”

Bill now turned his attention on Scully. “You’ve done a bang up job Dana. You’ve been reduced to a fugitive on the run. You’ve walked away from your career, your family, even your own son and for what? A criminal that’s