Rather than disturb him, she slipped her key into the lock and let herself into his apartment.
She spotted him on the couch. She’d obviously startled him by returning but he made no comment. Now he was watching her and, though he tried to hide it, she could see the fear in his eyes.
Since he didn’t speak, neither did she. Instead she shed her jacket, moved purposely to the couch and took a seat beside him. His hand came out automatically to help her, then he seemed to realize it and moved as though to give her more room.
“I’m not that big,” she said smiling at him, but his face was carefully blank. Her smile faded.
“Is something wrong? Why did you come back?” he finally spoke, not able to look at her.
“I . . . I didn’t want to leave you. Maybe I’m overly emotional; okay I’m definitely overly emotional, but it didn’t feel right leaving you here alone.”
“I’m okay, really.”
“I know, but . . . I know you have a lot of adjusting to do, getting settled back into everything. I don’t mean to push you, but I didn’t want to be alone tonight. You’re alive and I want to celebrate that. I’m not expecting you to feel like dancing, but I don’t know how to be with you right now. I don’t know what you’re feeling, what you want. I’ve fantasized your return for months, but in those fantasies, you were always happy to be home. Now - “
“I am glad to be home.”
“Are you? You look like you’re being hauled in for an IRS audit or something. You know I don’t plan to pressure you. I would never want you to feel obligated for more than you . . . I certainly don’t expect child support or anything like that - “
“Chi-child support?” His eyes widened and he seemed unable to draw a breath.
“Yes. I can support this child, financially. I know when we entered into . . . well we both thought this wasn’t a possibility.”
“It’s . . . it’s mine?” He sounded strangled and his hands were trembling.
“Well of cour . . . Oh my god.” Her hand came up to her stomach. “Is that what’s been bothering you?”
”I . . . how? I mean . . . You’re carrying my baby?”
She drew back, staring at him as tears formed in her eyes and spilled over.
His look of guilt was certainly familiar. “Scully, I’m sorry.” He started to reach for her, but she didn’t move, just watching him. “I didn’t . . . It didn’t work. I thought . . . “
“The in-vitro?” Scully caressed her abdomen. “No, that didn’t work.”
“Then - “
“Mulder, we did this. We made this baby.”
His eyes traveled down, for the first time looking at her body with awe rather than fear or pain. His shaking hand reached out and he touched her stomach. “We made a baby?”
“Mulder, I didn’t realize you didn’t . . . There’s something you need to know, this is important, so listen to me very carefully. I have never been unfaithful to you.”
He froze for an instant at those words, then tears were streaming down his face. Sobs wracked his body and he shook as emotions he hadn’t the strength to handle flooded him. She watched as he curled around himself and howled in his pain. Her first reaction was to pull away from him, to protect herself and her child. She’d never seen him like this, even when his mother died; but this was Mulder. He would never hurt her. She wrapped her arms around him and held him as the storm tried to pull him under.
It wasn’t that long. He was too weak physically for such a release. As his sobs lessened, his grip on her loosened but she continued to hold him, stroking his hair and murmuring her love to him.
When he could sit up she helped him, though she missed the feel of his head resting on their child.
“Mulder, you’re exhausted. Go get ready for bed.”
”Are you leaving?”
She shook her head and stood. Instantly his hand came out to assist. She took it and drew him up beside her. “Go on, I’ll straighten up a little.”
He stared into her eyes for a long moment, then moved toward the bathroom. She carried the glass of tea, still full, though the ice had melted, into the kitchen. She checked the pitcher she had left in the refrigerator, still basically full as well. He hadn’t eaten, but she wasn’t going to scold him tonight. She moved into the bedroom and turned down the clean sheets. She smiled when she felt his hands come to rest on her shoulders.
“Lie down.” She turned and saw that he was wearing a robe. She knew that he was still embarrassed by the scars, the damage inflicted on his body. “Take it off.” She tugged lightly on the sash of his robe
He gave her a hint of a leer but obeyed, tossing the robe to the foot of the bed. He was nude. Her heightened color wasn’t a blush as much as desire, but he wouldn’t know that. She stepped closer and touched the scar on his chest with a loving finger. “It’s smaller.”
He gave a tiny shrug. “Maybe.” He lay down and got comfortable as she pulled the covers up and brushed the hair from his brow, then leaned over and kissed it.
“Are you leaving?” His hand came out and caught hers as she started to turn away.
“I need to use your bathroom.” Her eyes narrowed and her brow rose at the hint of a laugh he tried to hold back. “You try a time-share bladder sometime, Mulder.” He did laugh then and she delighted in the sound. “I’ll be right back.”
She took longer than he wanted and he was ready to come looking for her when he heard the door open and the light cut off. “Scully?”
Scully stepped into the bedroom and his eyes widened. She had changed into one of his gray t-shirts. “Go ahead, make some comment,” she challenged him.
“It doesn’t reach your knees anymore.” Her eyebrow rose. “I think it looks great on you.” He scooted over in the bed and she joined him. “Uh, Scully, robes go at the foot of the bed.”
“Whatever’s covering you.”
She hesitated, then removed the t-shirt over her head, and slipped under the covers. His hand seemed to move involuntarily, his need to touch her beyond his control.
“Does, does everyone know it’s . . . that we . . .?”
“Everyone suspects, or assumes,” she said dryly. “It’s been ‘interesting’ to observe.”
“I, Scully, I don’t know what you want tonight. I’m not sure I can - “
“Oh Mulder, that’s not, don’t worry about that. Just let me hold you tonight.”
He relaxed, drawing her closer, his hand caressing the silky skin rounded by their child. He stopped, stunned at the movement from inside of her and looked up to meet her moist eyes. That last tiny bit of uncertainty was washed away by her gaze and he moved closer, fitting himself around her.
He was watching her when she awoke the next morning, propped on his elbow as his hand still touched the wonder of what they had created. She leaned up and kissed the tip of his nose, then lay back just to look at him for a moment. Suddenly she blinked and her hand came up to his face.
“What? What’s wrong?” He caught her hand in his.
“Lie back,” she said, sitting up. She moved the covers down and gazed at his perfect, unscarred chest. She closed her eyes and nestled into the comfort of him. He was home.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.