He had changed into sweats and was getting ready to run when it hit him that he’d forgotten the file he’d planned to work on tonight. Shit, he’d really wanted to get into it. Well, he could head over to the Bureau and pick it up, then take his run. It wouldn’t take that long, and it would save time tomorrow. He sighed and headed for the car.
He didn’t forget things like that and it was annoying that he had now. He pulled into the parking garage. At this time of day it was safe to take a spot closer to the door. He’d only be in there for a minute; the file was lying on his desk, right where he’d remember to pick it up on the way out.
He took the stairs down to the basement, ignoring the elevator. He was in a hurry. The door was open and the light on. That startled him and he slowed. Who would be here this late? For sure they didn’t belong.
He eased up on the door. Why the hell did he not have his gun on him? Someone had broken into the office and they were being damn brazen about it.
The sight of red hair stopped him. Scully? Why was she still here this late? She was facing away from the door, but . . . was she crying?
“Scully?” He stepped into the office.
She jerked upright and quickly dashed the tears from her face. “What, what are you doing here? I thought you went home.”
“I did. I forgot a file.”
She nodded and started to rise. He stood in front of her, preventing that. Then he squatted in front of her. “Talk to me.”
“There’s nothing to talk about, Mulder. I’m - “
“Don’t. Don’t say that.”
Her face colored, but she didn’t speak.
He rose then and pulled a chair up in front of her. She leaned back away from him. “What are you - “
“I think I know a little of what you’re feeling.” He took her hand in his, lightly rubbing it, massaging it.
She tried not to enjoy it, but she was feeling better. Just having him close made it better, but it shouldn’t. She could handle this, she had to. Why had he come back? “Mulder - “
“I know you can’t talk about . . . I need to tell you about, about me.”
She looked puzzled but not as though she wanted to bolt now.
“Just a few weeks ago, I thought I was going to lose the most important person in my life, the ca -, when you were sick. I was watching you lose weight, suffering through headaches, slipping away from me. Then I got a miracle and you started coming back.” He smiled at some memory. “Your energy started returning, you smiled more, you started filling out those slacks - “
She started to jerk away, but he didn’t release his grip on her hand. “Okay, yes I check you out. You can file charges later, I’m not through.” He grinned that little sideways grin that only she got to see. “For the first time in over 20 years I had something to be thankful for at Thanksgiving and something to celebrate at Christmas. I knew we wouldn’t be together over Christmas. Of course you’d want to celebrate with your family, but you’d be coming home to me.”
“Mulder, I - “ His fingers on her lips stopped her.
“I didn’t mind, Scully. I know how important your family is to you and even if I don’t let you know very often, I want you to be happy.” He took her hand again and looked at it for a moment. “Then you called me. You needed me. The circumstances were secondary, you needed me and called. And I came to you. I was in shock, I know you were. I wanted to help, but of course in the end, I couldn’t.”
“You did, Mulder. You did help. I couldn’t have . . . the funeral, everything. You know that, don’t you?”
He looked deep into her eyes. “Then let me help now.”
She blinked and straightened up. “You are.”
“Not if you feel you have to hide your grief, Scully. You suffered a great loss. I barely escaped one and whether you realize it or not, I’m grieving for her too.”
“You . . . “ her voice seemed to give out.
He nodded. “She was your child, Scully,” he said as though that explained everything.
“For such a short time,” her voice caught then and her eyes filled.
“It’s kind of relative. I was thinking the same thing about you when you got sick. A thousand years wouldn’t be enough.”
Her stunned expression caused him to sigh. “Let’s go get something to eat. I don’t think either of us should be alone right now.”
She nodded and he pulled her to her feet. To his surprised her arms went around him. “Sometimes I forget I’m not alone.”
“You aren’t, Scully. You aren’t.”
Author's note - Just a little Birthday present from me to you, and in honor of Mitch. Thanks!
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.