She let herself into her apartment and slowly removed her coat. This wasn’t what she’d expected, not tonight.
Mulder was alive. Her joy knew no bounds. But . . .
She took as deep a breath as she could manage, then turned toward her kitchen. She wasn’t hungry but she needed to eat something. She opened the refrigerator, but when a tear fell onto her hand, she closed it. Instead she sank into a chair at the table and let her face fall into her hands.
He was alive. Why was she crying? Why did she feel so alone, abandoned?
Because he wasn’t Mulder. She, better than anyone, should know what he’d been through. He hadn’t said, but she knew he remembered everything that had been done to him.
That was the problem, he hadn’t said anything.
The baby protested her emotion and she sat up straighter to give him more room. She rubbed her stomach absentmindedly.
She had lived for months with the hope that she would find him alive. Then she had spent months mourning him. She had her hearts desire, Mulder was home, he was alive.
And he had shut her out. He wanted nothing to do with her. She wanted to help him, as he had helped her when she’d been returned. Did he even know what he had done for her when she had been returned? Had she ever told him?
They hadn’t been able to talk about things like that then. How many years had they been in a place where they couldn’t talk about things like that? She was to blame for a lot of that, her inability to allow herself to admit how she felt . . . And now they were in that same place, that same distance now. After all these years; after all that they had become to one another.
Did he remember what their relationship had been? Did he remember that they had finally allowed themselves to love each other? When he had woken up and seen her there beside him, he had seemed like himself. He’d even teased her. Then he had become aware of his injuries.
Those injuries were horrific. The scar on his chest had been truly frightening. Its implications too much to contemplate. There were other scars, on his face, inside of his mouth, the long bones of his legs, puncture wounds all over his back. Just the memory of those injuries on his beautiful body brought tears back to her eyes.
She had had no such scars when she had been returned to him, and she had no memories. Her occasional dreams were disconnected, and usually vanished when she opened her eyes. He wouldn’t be that lucky.
Why had she left him? Why had she allowed him to drive her away, tonight of all nights? He was in such pain, physically and emotionally. He had acted as though he wanted to be alone. That was his modus operandi and it had saved him many times as a child.
He wasn’t a child now and he wasn’t alone. He had her and he had their child. Why didn’t he see how thrilled she was? She was truly alive again because he was, but every time she’d tried to talk to him he had turned away. He’d been positively cold in his apartment.
The baby jerked violently then and she caressed him lightly.
It was a defense mechanism. She realized that, but what was he defending himself against? He was home, alive, and she needed him to understand what that meant. She’d tried to tell him how happy she was. She took another breath. She had to try again. They both needed to be alive.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.