It took several detours, but he got them to Scullyís Momís house in about thirty minutes, normally a ten-minute drive.
"Mom! Mom are you here?" Scully let them into the house with her own key, and headed for the kitchen.
In a minute Mulder followed her, "Scully, thereís a note." He handed it to her.
"Mulder?" She didnít like the look in his eyes. When he didnít answer she took the note he held out to her.
"Dana, I tried to reach you but couldnít. Iíve gone to check on Charlie and his family, to make sure he and Mary and the kids are okay. I got a telegram that Tara is dead. Matthew is with his other grandparents and Bill is out on maneuvers. Theyíre trying to locate him. Iíll be okay Dana, I have your blood. Since youíre with Fox I know I donít have to worry about you Ė heíll never let anything happen to you. Weíll see each other soon, Dana. I love you. Mom"
"Mulder." He took her arm, seating her at the table. "Tara?"
"I know." He visualized the young woman heíd only met once. Heíd spent almost no time with her; heíd been helping Scully with Emily. Sheíd been so hugely pregnant, and of course Bill hadnít wanted him anywhere near his wife.
She leaned against him, overwhelmed by the last couple of days.
"We need to get away from here. Letís take some things and go up to Quonochontaug. We can still be in touch with the guys, do research, but be away from the panic."
She nodded. He was a little surprised that she agreed so readily. It just showed how frightened she was. "Your mother wonít be coming back here. Charlie wonít let her. We should take some supplies from here."
She nodded again. "Scully, are you going to be okay?"
"Iím glad youíre here."
"No place else I want to be Scully."
He let her sit there while he gathered supplies from the pantry and medicine cabinet. At the last minute he also grabbed a photo album heíd seen Scully look through several times and added it to the pile. He loaded everything in the trunk; also taking the 5-gallon can of gas he found in the garage. She was still sitting at the table.
He knelt before her. "Can you leave now?"
She came very close to smiling. "I am okay Mulder. Just thinking."
"Okay, letís head to your apartment and get your things." He took her arm and led her from the house, locking it up behind him.
Once again he scoured the kitchen for supplies while she packed her things.
"Mulder, I donít know what to take!"
"Heavy duty stuff Scully. No suits and panty hose. Now the garter belt. . . " She threw her hairbrush at him which he caught with ease, grinning. She turned back to her room and he followed. "Kidding aside, jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts. Weíre going into a survival situation. Consumer goods are going to be scarce for awhile."
She nodded and added several things to her suitcase, then headed into the bathroom. When she emerged she looked at him helplessly. "Mulder, now I donít know where to stop."
"Yeah. Start with the essentials and work our way up the list I guess. What we have room for."
She finally stopped, "Weíve still got to get your stuff. Letís head over there."
"No Scully. Take what you need. I donít have that much."
"Come on, timeís racing." She picked up her suitcase. He found he was more reluctant to leave the apartment than she was. He didnít live here, only spent a few nights, so few he could count them on one hand, but it was a home to him. Would he be back? At least sheíd be with him.
He picked up the box and followed her out.
His apartment did take a lot less time. "Can you survive without any of your suits, Mulder?"
"Hey, Iím not that bad."
"Well, weíre not getting much in the way of food here, so thereís room. Are you emotionally attached to this orange?" She pointed to the back of the drawer in his refrigerator.
"If I say yes, will you pack it?"
"Dream on G-man." She shut the refrigerator. "Anything else?"
He thought for a second, then headed for his desk and pulled out his own photo album. "Letís go." She seemed as reluctant to leave his place as he had hers. But they finally finished loading the car.
"Do you want me to drive?"
"No Scully. Youíve only been there once. Iím probably going to have to take a lot of detours. Get some rest."
"Youíre as tired as I am."
"But I donít sleep. Come on."
Using back roads and neighborhoods he was able to get out of town with a minimum of backtracking. Most people fleeing the city had taken the main roads. She seemed to relax once the city was behind them, and did eventually drop off to sleep.
She was much more tired than she let on he realized, and a lot of it had to be emotional. Guilt crept up on him. He was taking her away from everything she knew and loved, while he was taking all of that with him. Hardly fair, but when had their partnership ever been fair to her?
He could feel the fatigue creep up on him as he neared the cabin. He wouldnít be safe driving soon, but they were close. He breathed a sense of relief when he spotted the turn off. He pulled up to the cabin, it was dark but everything looked okay.
"Scully? Scully, weíre here." He touched her cheek.
"What? Mulder? Oh Mulder, how long have I slept?" She looked into his exhausted face. "You should have woken me."
"You looked too peaceful. Letís get unpacked."
"I can do this. You go lay down."
"No, itíll be faster if we do it together." He found the fuse box and got the power on, then helped her carry supplies into the kitchen and her suitcase into the bedroom. She followed with his.
"Mulder, lie down before you fall down. Now."
"You take the bed."
"No. Iíve had some sleep, Iíll straighten up in the kitchen."
He nodded, too tired to make an issue of it. She explored the kitchen, putting away some items, rearranging others. She removed the sheets from the furniture and looked with distaste at the sofa. Was she tired enough to sleep on that? She tiptoed into the bedroom. His jeans and t-shirt were on the floor. It looked like he had just fallen onto the bed. She realized that that bed wasnít even made, just a comforter over the mattress.
She glanced back at the sofa. No contest. She stripped down to panties and bra, then slipped his discarded t-shirt over that and crawled into the bed beside him, pulling the comforter over both of them. He didnít wake, but pulled her into his arms, tucking her up against him.
Well, she didnít seem to be disturbing him at least. She relaxed into the comfort and safety of his arms and drifted back to sleep.
He woke disoriented, not sure where he was or why. His first realization was that the warm bundle next to him was Scully. This brought the inevitable physical response. Not again, she wasnít stupid. He moved slightly away from her and she followed him in her sleep, maintaining contact. Not fair, she was too, hell too Scully for this.
She stretched, sliding down his body and even though his mind screamed to get out of the bed, his body refused to comply, savoring this contact.
"Yeah. Time to wake up." His voice was steadier than he had thought it would be. How the hell was he going to be able to live up here alone with her for possibly the rest of their lives? He was pretty sure he couldnít fit on that little bed in the loft anymore. Now that she was awake she did move away from him and he forced himself not to pull her back. God, he was pathetic.
"Mulder, we need to talk."
Shit, she was going to blame him for this. She didnít know how his body reacted to hers on a continuous basis. He couldnít help it. Yes, at his age he should have more control, but this was Scully damnit! He took a deep breath and interrupted her.
"Scully, I canít help how I react to being with you. Especially sharing a bed like this. But you know me, surely after all of this time you know Iíd never force you to do anything you didnít want. You do trust me that much, donít you?"
The look on her face. She couldnít look more blank if heíd started speaking Martian to her. He would never. . . she did know him that well, didnít she?
She rose from the bed and turned away. What had he done? He scrambled after her and caught her arm, then realizing how that might look released her and raised his hands into the air.
"Scully, please. . ."
She turned, hearing the fear in his voice. "I donít know what to say."
"Scully, I would never hurt you. You donít have to be afraid of me. Iím sorry, I Ė "
"Afraid of you? No Mulder, I would never. . . I didnít realize. . . I was going to tell you that you should go back and get Diana. I know you once Ė "
"Diana who?" Now she did look strangely at him.
"Diana Fowley. I know you two had a relationship and if you. . . "
"Diana Fowley?" He knew he sounded stupid, but what could she be talking about? "That was over years ago. I havenít spoken ten words to her since she took over our job. Why would I want her up here?"
"Mulder, itís okay. A man like you needs a woman and. . . " This was far more embarrassing than she had anticipated.
"I donít want another woman here, not Diana, not anyone. I donít know how Iíll handle being around you and not. . . but Iíll manage. Diana? God how could you even think that?"
"But youíve never wanted me, I just thought. . . "
"Never wanted you! Great holy . . . is that what you think?"
"Well yes. I mean, you kid around but . . . "
He sank down on the bed, not sure whether to laugh or cry. "You think I donít want you."
"Well yes. I mean six years, Mulder. What am I supposed to think?"
"That Iím the fool everyone at the Bureau thinks I am. If Iíve been able to keep my feelings for you secret for six years. . . God Scully! You really donít know how I feel about you?"
She looked like a doe caught in the headlights. She didnít know. She honestly had no idea. But now she knew and she hadnít run from the room, hadnít demanded he return her to DC. Her look of incredulity was passing and she was looking. . . happy? No, he was clearly delusional.
"You want me. Not Diana?"
"Where in hell did you get the idea that I was interested in Diana?"
"Well, the guys." His eyes narrowed, "And Gibson, and I saw you holding hands."
"I never held hands with her. What did you see?"
"You were at the hospital where Gibson was being held. You were holding hands." She sank onto the bed beside him, not quite close enough to rub shoulders.
He looked away, "I donít remember. Scully we may have touched hands, but not. . . " He gave an unamused chuckle. "You didnít know I wanted to be with you. You never knew how many nights I drove over to your apartment to tell you. But I never had the guts to come to your door. I was always afraid your neighbors would tell you that you were being stalked. I felt like some kind of bastardized Charlie Brown, in love with his little red-headed girl." They were both silent, absorbing this.
"Thatís my t-shirt, isnít it?"
"Oh," she blushed, "You were asleep. I didnít think youíd mind."
"Scully, I donít own any clothes you canít get into any time you want."
She was staring at him. Her lips moved but no sound emerged. As he watched, her face brightened and that expression was unmistakable. Joy. She was happy!
"You want me." Now he was speechless. "Iíve slept in your arms the last two nights. You could have. . . "
"I thought I was the only. . . " His voice trailed off.
"We both truly need help you know."
"Youíve always brushed off my comments."
"I never dreamed you were serious. Okay, I dreamed it, but I never let myself believe." She hesitated, looking deeply into his eyes, then moved down toward his lips. He realized he was actually afraid of this, of her. Then she was kissing him. Scully was kissing him!
His hands were on her, caressing her through the thin material of his t-shirt. "No." He set her aside.
"You deserve better than this. After six years, we deserve better than this."
"Mulder, itís okay."
"No. This is too special." Now she was lying on the bed and he was leaning over her. "Will you marry me?" The words came out in a rush, but before she could respond he continued. "I figure my odds have improved, being one of the last men on earth."
She made a sound, a laugh? A sob? He wasnít sure.
"Of course Iíll marry you."
"Of course? You said of course?" She was that sure? No way.
"If it matters, my answer would have been the same last week."
"It wasnít." He countered.
"You never asked me before."
"Yes, I did. You were in New England, on vacation."
"You werenít serious then."
"I was serious, just too scared to let you know."
"Nothing scares you."
"Nothing but you."
"That might be the smartest thing youíve ever said."
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.