He lay in the dark, awake and yes, lonely. Fox Mulder, loner extraordinaire was lonely. He wished he’d called Scully to come over tonight. They were still shy about this new intimacy, but tonight . . . he really needed her tonight.
He was feeling his mortality. He could tell he was weakening, though he was fairly confident no one else had noticed. Not yet anyway.
Had Scully felt this alone when she was fighting her cancer? Had she known that he was there for her night and day, even when he wasn’t physically with her? He’d known about her illness, the only one she called. Why was he unable to do the same? She would move heaven and earth to find a cure for him, as he had for her, but he kept quiet. Why?
Was it because he didn’t believe she could do anything and he wanted to protect her? Well, yes partly, and partly he wanted a piece of his life to feel normal. He was going to die. That shouldn’t come as a shock, not with the life he’d led. He wasn’t afraid to die, he didn’t fear the absence of life, he feared the absence of Scully. Was that the same thing? It felt like it.
She’d be okay after he was gone, unlike him. He would never have survived without her, but she was stronger than he was - always had been. Scully could get on with her life. It wouldn’t be too late for her to meet someone, marry, maybe adopt a couple of kids and have a full life without chasing little gray men around in the dark.
Why hadn’t he called her and asked her over? It was the only time he really slept anymore, when they spent the night together. Scully could keep away the demons.
When she moved on, what would she be looking for in a man? Someone stable no doubt, unlike now. Those friends of hers had finally quit setting her up on blind dates when she’d made it clear she didn’t have time. She’d had the time, she had just wanted to be with him and he’d wasted tons of time realizing that. Time he hadn’t had, but didn’t know it.
With him gone, they’d start up again, fixing her up with lawyers, investment bankers, other doctors. Would she be interested in another doctor? They’d have a lot in common, unlike . . .
Then there were all those men at the Bureau who watched her walk away from them. Tom Colton, oh shit, not Tom Colton. Surely he’d frightened that prick off long ago. Why had Pendrell had to die? Pendrell worshipped Scully, the way she deserved - the way he should have from the beginning. The Bureau was a big place; there were lots of men that would want her, hell that already wanted her.
Yeah, but who was good enough for her? Byers was in love with Suzanne, and he really couldn’t see her with Langly or Frohike. Although Frohike . . . he shook his head in amused disgust. He might not be sleeping, but at least he could entertain himself.
There was no one. No one he could trust her to. And imagine how furious she would be if she knew he was even thinking like this. Leave her to someone? She’d kill him before . . .
When would he have to tell her, be honest with her? How much longer could he keep his little secret? He had actually made the decision to tell her. On the way back from England, from checking crop circles, he’d flashed on when she had told him about her cancer. His response had been immediate – “I, I refuse to accept that.” He had actually brought a small smile to her face with that.
He’d landed and gone in search of her. Finding her had been a little strange, but he’d learned long ago not to dwell on that kind of thing.
They’d gone back to his apartment and she’d wanted to talk, talk about Daniel, her personal life. He had been in no hurry to share his own news and listening to her open up to him about something this personal had been healing in itself.
Then she had fallen asleep, between one word and the next, just drifted off. He had covered her with his afghan and had meant to rise and give her space. Honestly, that had been his intention, but looking down at her with her lips barely parted and her eyes closed . . . He couldn’t have left her side then if death had come for him at that instant.
And that was the first time they had been intimate, well
the first time physically intimate anyway. He had
honestly forgotten that he was dying with her in his arms. How could anyone die when there was so much
to live for? God, he could almost feel her next to him.
He was certainly getting a lot of rest tonight. He’d been in top form for his meeting with Skinner tomorrow. Skinner! It was like an electric shock to his body. He hadn’t even thought of Skinner. He already loved Scully. And he’d do anything for her – hadn’t he proven that by selling his soul to Cancerman? Skinner.
Why did the thought leave him so cold? She’d need someone and he knew that Skinner would be there for her in any way she wanted. Was Skinner good enough for her? Stupid question, she thought he was good enough for her. She could, she could learn to love Skinner - if she didn’t already. He’d have to check into a few things, feel Skinner out maybe. He could do that; he could do anything if it was for her.
Damn, it was going to be a long night. If only she were here with him. The knock on his door caused him to jump and look at the clock. Nearly 1 a.m. A smile blossomed on his face; maybe he’d get a little sleep tonight after all.