It was late, well after three when he let the words trail off. He was hoarse. The sound of him was now a physical sensation against her body. The things he had said made little sense.
She said nothing, just watching him.
He gave her a bittersweet smile. “I guess you’re ready to call the guys in the white coats.”
“Come on, Scully. Hearing it all said out loud like that, I want to call them.” He sighed and glanced at his watch. “I didn’t realize . . . you need to be in bed.” He lifted her gently into his arms. Instead of the protest he would have gotten before, she rested her head on his shoulder. He looked down at her for a long moment, then carried her into her bedroom.
He lay her gently on the bed and pulled the covers up over her.
“Mulder? Aren’t you coming to bed?”
“I’m not sure I - “
He nodded and slipped his jeans off, then crawled under the covers with her. She cuddled into his side, then pulled back, plucking at his t-shirt.
His lips parted in surprise. He’d thought she’d be afraid of him after those revelations.
She took his lower lip with hers, nipping it. She cuddled in once his shirt lay on the floor.
“Scully, are you sure . . . You heard me, you heard all of those things I said.”
“I did.” She said nothing else, just nestling in. He had no answer for that so he held her. Shortly the relaxation of her body let him know she had fallen asleep.
He lay there awake, going over what he had told her. God, it did sound insane. Maybe she had let him stay so that he wouldn’t be out on the streets. He shouldn’t be here. She should be with her family, her mother. What was he thinking?
She shifted, moving one of her legs between his and burrowing into his chest.
She felt safer with him. Finally he slept.
He eased out of the bed the next morning; she sighed and burrowed into his pillow but didn’t wake. He started a pot of coffee, then took a quick shower. He was in the kitchen looking for her favorite mug when he realized she had joined him.
“You should still be asleep,” he scolded mildly.
“My heat got up and left,” she smiled.
“Are you cold?” he glanced toward the thermostat.
“No, just unsnuggled.”
“Is that a word?” he asked as his arms went around her.
“It is now.” She sighed, leaning against him. This was new, a side of Scully she had kept hidden from him. She wasn’t hiding now; she trusted him even though she had to know he had kept things from her. For instance, how long they had been lovers. The baby had been his, but she had no idea they had only been together, together like that, once.
“Are you going to work?” she took the seat he held for her and then the mug.
“Nope, I don’t want to leave you alone today. I’ll have to go in tomorrow, at least for a little while.”
“Am I keeping you from some eerie case?”
“No. I mean, I can always find an X-File to work on if I dig enough, but nothing I can’t let lie for a few days.”
“Would you bring one home, tomorrow, and let me see what we’re talking about? It could be one of the old ones, one we solved.”
It took him a minute; ‘home’ was that here? For him? “What? Oh, yeah, I’ll see what I can dig up.”
“Something ‘spooky’, okay?” she grinned up at him as he rolled his eyes.
The phone rang as he was cleaning up their breakfast dishes. She didn’t make a move. “Uh, do you want me to get that?”
She sighed. “No, I’ll do it.” She rose slowly, waving off his help and picked up the receiver in the living room. “Hello?”
Mulder moved to the far end of the kitchen. It wasn’t that big an apartment.
“Not if I have to see Bill,” she said firmly. “Because he assaulted Mulder last night. Out of the blue, just hit him. No, Mulder did not hit him back. Look, Missy, I don’t want to fight, but I need to be here, with Mulder, to get myself back together. I’m missing over a year of my life, I need to be here. I would never want to hurt Mom, but I have to look after me right now. I have to find my way back. Mulder is part of that, a bigger part than you know.”
Mulder winced but kept quiet.
“I would love to have you come over, and Mom, Bill if he can behave. I don’t want to shut anyone out, but right now I can’t let anyone shut others out either. Do you understand that? Yeah, okay. Yes, tonight would be fine. Thanks.” She hung up and turned to see Mulder studiously putting away their meager silverware. “If it takes you that long for a couple of forks, we’re in trouble.”
“Just trying to give you some privacy,” he moved toward her. “Tonight?”
“Mom wants to bring dinner over, a peace offering.”
“Good. I can head over to - “
“You can stay right here.”
“I’ll come back, but you need some time - “
“With Mom and you together,” she finished for him.
“Scully - “ but her expression stopped him. “Should I wear Kevlar?”
She grinned and hugged him, then headed to the bedroom to dress. Mulder watched her, his heart sinking.
The place looked good; he’d done more housework this afternoon than in the last three years at his place. It did make a difference, not that he’d admit that. He looked up to see her watching him from the hallway. “What?”
“Did we live together?”
“You know my place pretty well,” she observed.
“I liked hanging out here, and while you were gone . . . “
“You came over?” she asked, a little surprised. He shrugged. “Thank you.”
“What time will she be here?”
“I don’t know, but no one’s going to hit you. I can promise that.”
“You’ll protect me?”
“Count on it.” She moved closer and he noted her cane was missing. She moved into his arms and they were kissing when the bell rang.
“Lousing timing,” he groused.
“Trust a mom.” She wiped a smudge of lipstick from his lips and turned toward the door. He stopped her, taking one last kiss, then went to open the door himself.
Mrs. Scully and Melissa stood there, casserole dishes in their hands. “Let me take those,” he offered as a welcome and got away into the kitchen as quickly as possible. He hung out in there while the three women greeted each other, Scully obviously acting as peace maker.
When he finally rejoined them, Mrs. Scully and Scully were seated on the couch, Melissa in the chair.
“Fox, I wanted to apologize for Bill’s actions last night.”
“No,” Mulder was shaking his head, “no need. He was looking after his family. I probably had it coming, if not from him, from someone. I’m fine.”
“Thank you,” Mrs. Scully nodded, still a little cool, but not hostile. “Why don’t we go ahead and eat while it’s still warm?”
They ate, keeping the conversation going. Mulder obviously enjoyed the food and had Scully chuckling when he took thirds of the pot roast. The atmosphere did warm up, with the women talking about recipes and family meals.
Mulder offered to wash dishes again while they visited. “Why don’t I help you, Fox.” Mrs. Scully rose. Mulder glanced over at Scully, who nodded.
“I, uh, thank you.” He was obviously uncomfortable, but she seemed determined. While he was drying the dishes, she wiped out the sink and then turned to look at him. He tensed immediately.
“I want to ask you about something you said, Fox.”
“Sure,” he steeled himself for whatever she was going to say.
“At the hospital, you said ‘she’s all I have, all I’ve ever had’. What did you mean?”
Well he hadn’t been expecting that. He stared down at the dish in his hand for a long moment. “I probably shouldn’t have said that, but it feels true. I don’t know if Scully ever told you, before I mean, I have a sister, Samantha. When she was eight and I was twelve she was taken. It was like Scully, the light, the absolutely no clues, everything.”
“Fox, I’m sorry. No, she didn’t tell me. How long was she gone?”
“I’m still looking for her,” he said flatly.
Mrs. Scully’s hand came to her mouth. “Oh Fox, how horrible for your family.”
He nodded. “It was the last straw. My parents divorced shortly after that and I lived with Mom until I went to England.”
“I’m sure you were a great comfort to her.”
Mulder shook his head. “I think she would have preferred a daughter actually.”
She didn’t correct him, watching him for a moment. “I see. Thank you for sharing that with me, Fox. I do understand better.”
“I don’t have more faith, Mrs. Scully. In fact I have very little, but I couldn’t . . . “
She nodded and gave him a quick hug. “I’ll go check on Dana.”
He nodded mutely and didn’t watch as she left the room. He finished putting the dishes away, giving them time together. He wiped his hands as Melissa came to the door. “We’re getting ready to leave. Dana needs some rest.”
He moved in that direction
Once they were alone, he insisted she get ready for bed while he set up the coffee for the next morning. After he had her safely tucked in he got ready for bed himself. She was still awake when he came back to the bedroom.
“You can’t be sleepy, Mulder. It’s too early.”
“Maybe, but I can hold you until you fall asleep.”
She smiled then and scooted over to give him room. He crawled in and took her into his arms. “Thank you.”
“For what?” he pulled her closer.
“For having my mother over here, and telling her whatever you did.”
“She’s your mother. She’s important.”
“Do I know your mother?”
He shook his head. “Close your eyes. You need to rest.” She realized he was changing the subject and allowed it, one more thing she needed to remember. She cuddled in and very shortly was breathing easily beside him.
He lay there, just enjoying the rise and fall of her chest, the warmth of her breath. When he was sure she was deeply asleep, he eased carefully out of the bed. He didn’t even make it to the door. She moaned, reaching for him and becoming more agitated when she didn’t find him.
Even as he turned back toward the bed she sat bolt upright. “No!” She jerked, waking and he was there, his arms going around her. She clutched at him trembling violently.
“It’s okay, Scully. It was only a dream. I’ve got you.”
She didn’t reply, only burrowing into his chest. When her trembling finally began to lessen, he made her more comfortable on the bed, curling around her. “You should try to sleep, Scully.”
“No. No, I don’t want - “
“I’ll be right here. It’s only a dream.”
She shook her head.
“Can you talk about it? That can make it - “
“Believe me, I have some experience - “
“No, I mean I don’t remember. When I opened my eyes the dream was gone, just the, the terror . . .”
“Okay, but it’s over. I’ll be holding you.”
“I, I can’t.”
“Okay, just lay here. Let me hold you.” At that she nodded.
He held her, caressing her arm gently and she did finally fall asleep. It wasn't long before she became agitated again. He hadn’t been about to leave this time.
His presence didn’t seem to help this time. She couldn’t find him even though he had his arms around him. He was talking to her, trying to reach her when she screamed herself awake.
“Scully, it’s okay. You’re back, you’re here with me.” He kept his arms around her but she was shaking violently. “Can you hear me? You know you’re awake. I’ve got you. I’m not letting go, Scully. I’m right here.”
It took a long time to calm her down even a little bit. She was gripping him with all of her strength, but now only trembled occasionally. When he felt she could hear him, he leaned back a little so he could see her face. "Let me get you some water."
She shook her head, her hand still holding his hand to her side.
"Tell me what you need?"
"Don't let go of me."
"I won't. Try to relax. I'm right here."
She let her eyes slip closed. She lay there in his arms, occasionally her body would tremble, a couple of times she shook violently. He held her, murmuring to her. She was remembering, that was obvious. Could her body take this? Hell, could her mind?
After what seemed like hours she slipped into a semi-conscious state. He knew she wasn't asleep, but maybe she was finally getting some rest. He curled around her, knowing he would wake if she moved, and let his eyes close.
He woke to find her watching him through slitted eyes. "Scully? Can you hear me?"
"How do you feel?"
She closed her eyes rather than answer.
"Let me get you something, brandy?"
"No." Her grip tightened on his arm.
"Scully, it's okay. I'm right here, but I need to use the facilities and I'm sure you do too. Then I'll run you a hot bath - "
"No, a shower. I, I need to wash it away."
"Okay, a shower. I'll be right back." She shuddered as he left the bed. He stopped and kissed her forehead. "Right back."
He was, but she was shivering uncontrollably again. He gathered her up against him and carried her to the bathroom. "I'm right here."
She nodded and took hold of the door frame. "Can you walk?" Again she nodded and closed the door behind her. The sound of her retching had him back inside with her. There was nothing on her stomach, but she was collapsed on the floor.
"God, I'm going to call 911 - "
"Don't!" Her voice was harsh, unused, but adamant.
"Scully, you need help."
"You, you help."
He just looked at her for a long moment. "Let's get you cleaned up. We'll take a shower. I don't think you can stand that long alone." He thought she nodded, but couldn't be sure. He adjusted the water, then stripped down to his boxers. He knelt beside her then, and gently removed her clothes.
He lifted her into the tub and held her against him as the water sluiced down them. He supported her as he washed her. She only flinched when his hands left her. When the water cooled, he lifted her from the tub and sat her on the side to dry her.
He covered her with her terrycloth robe, then dried himself off and saw she was rising to her feet. "Let's get you something to eat." She shook her head. "You need something on your stomach. You can keep me company."
Scully didn't argue with that until he started to lift her. "Let me walk."
"Okay. The kitchen." He sat her at the table and fixed her hot tea to drink while he cooked. He scrambled eggs and made toast and sat a small plate in front of her. "It's not that much. Try to eat it. You need the protein."
He sat beside her with the same menu, and watched as she ate. The taste triggered some light hunger and she did eat most of the food. He insisted she finish the juice.
She sat back then. "I remember."
He nodded. That was what he had assumed from her trauma.
"We were only together once."
"I've loved you longer."
"I know. We got pregnant the first time."
"Scully - "
"Why would they take it?"
"Maybe it was a mis - "
"They didn't believe in anesthesia."
He blanched at those words. "They - "
She faced him then. "Why are they here? What do they want from us?"
He shook his head, still unable to speak from her last revelation. She watched him, watched the guilt consume him once again.
“I’m sorry. Scully, I’m so - “
She shook her head. “I need to know why.”
“I don’t know, because you were working with me, because we got close to learning - “
“I want to know everything you’ve studied, I need to know. Why did they return me and not Samantha? Why did they take our . . . I have to know. I have to go back to work.” She saw the fear take over his face. “What?”
“Step away, Scully. Don’t put yourself in their sights again. Let me investigate. I want you to go back to Quantico, teach, stay away from - “
“You sound like Bill, and I can’t do it, I won't. What if they take you? What if they take you?” her voice broke when she repeated it. “I couldn’t stand it. Mulder, please. We can’t be separated again, I have to help you.”
“I’m supposed to just let you put yourself in danger again?” He steeled himself as tears overflowed her eyes.
“Together, Mulder. We have to be together. They had separated us, the Bureau had separated us. We have to find this together. You said the X-Files had been reopened. You and I are the only ones that can investigate these things. Skinner knows that. Don’t push me away.”
His eyes widened in shock. “I’m not pushing you away, Scully. I could never . . . remember I couldn’t even admit to you we only slept together once.”
She seemed to relax a little at those words.
“I want us to be together. I never want you out of my sight again, but what if they realize you remember? You’ll be in even more danger.”
She thought about that and after a moment nodded. “Okay, I hear that. So I don’t let anyone know I remember what happened while I was . . . but my work at the FBI, my forensic training, that’s all back. I only ‘lost’ the time I was missing. That could work and we can be very careful with our investigation."
"Can we be careful enough?" Now he sounded as scared as she did.
"We'll have to be. Mulder, we'll have to be."
Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris, 10-13 and Fox – Bless them for it!! No infringement intended.