He woke first as usual. "Would you mind if I went for a run?"
"Of course not, Mulder. We're not joined at the hip. Well, not right now anyway."
He wagged his finger at her, "You're insatiable."
"Look who's talking. Go on, run. I'm going to call Mom if they can give me a safe phone."
"Good idea, tell her hi for me."
His run was short; he'd need to get back in shape. Her call was emotional, fortunately Skinner had given her mother some warning.
When Skinner convened their meeting, they gave him all the information they had. That took less than ten minutes.
Skinner's side of things took considerably longer. They were in New Mexico, hence the desert Scully had seen out of their window. They had been found through an informant, and they were now both fairly famous.
"Famous? What for?" Had been Mulder's amused reaction.
"Well, we're not sure where it started, but everyone jumped on the bandwagon. MUFON, NICAP, the Gunmen - everything anyone knew about your conspiracy work went out over the web. People who had never heard of UFO's got email about you. The White House was getting hundreds of emails a day demanding that you be "set-free". Believe me when I tell you the pressure was on. If the people that took you did so to shut you up or get you out of the way, it backfired big time. Undercover work is a thing of the past for you guys.
"We had to put on extra agents to take depositions from witnesses in your past cases who decided there was safety in numbers and came forward with more information, physical evidence, the whole works. I was surprised how many agents were sympathetic to your work. I'd say you've been vindicated."
"You are kidding."
Skinner turned to look at her.
"Oh god, you're not!" Scully turned to Mulder. "Oh my god."
"Mulder, you'll be pleased to know you're far from the only kook out there. I have received applications from people wanting to join "your division" from all over the world. Congratulations."
Mulder just sat silent, waiting for the punch line. He could understand, maybe, the Gunmen looking for him, but the others?
"They keep referring to Scully as the enigmatic Dr. Scully, is there some significance to that?" Skinner asked.
At that Mulder started to smile. He looked over at Scully and she couldn't stop her smile either. Mulder couldn't hold back the chuckle, which gave Scully permission to laugh as well. In no time they had lost it, tears rolling down her face as he rocked with laughter. Skinner looked positively scandalized at first, but then could feel the grin growing on his face.
No, he had to keep it together. If anyone walked by and heard them he'd never be able to explain. "Mulder. Mulder, listen to me. There's something else you need to know."
"Sure, sure, what?" Mulder wiped his streaming eyes. He didn't dare look at Scully, or he'd be off again. And Skinner did have one sure way to get this attention.
"Mulder, it's about your apartment."
"My fish are dead?"
"Yeah. Sorry about that. You're also homeless, Mulder."
"I'm what?" Yeah that did get his attention. Scully was sobering as well.
"Your landlord packed up your things and put them in storage."
"My couch, my clothes?"
"Well, your furniture. When I heard about it, Maggie and I got over there and supervised. Your stuff is all safe, we had it stored in Maggie's name at the rental. Except for the clothes, they're all at Maggie's."
"Mulder," Scully took his hand, "It'll be okay." She turned back to Skinner; "My mother has his clothes?"
"Maggie has been great through all of this."
Maggie, Mulder thought, when did he start calling her that? Well, it wasn't his place to ask.
"She had such faith in you. She knew if you were together that you would look after each other and be okay. She was so strong. She just knew we'd find you. You're very lucky, Agent Scully."
"I know sir." Scully nodded, wondering at his tone when speaking of her mother. She glanced at Mulder and he gave her a wicked grin. No, it couldn't be that.
Skinner tried to shake thoughts of Maggie out of his head. After their medical exams he was going to pull rank and get them home. Maggie desperately needed to see her daughter; it had been terrible for her. She hadn't even had Mulder to lean on; on the other hand he and Maggie wouldn't be as close if Mulder had been there.
These two had more to catch up on than they could even imagine. So much of their work was public knowledge now, between the freedom of information act and the actual eye witness accounts in many instances, they really were famous. Cancerman had been more and more discomfited every time Skinner had seen him. That had been his only consolation during their disappearance.
He'd give them a little time, let them get reacclaimated but then they had some major work to do. Coordinating and building the X-Files, investigating all the new information that, for a change, was pouring in. They didn't understand, they couldn't grasp it yet, but their lives had changed. He was excited, for the first time in years he was really excited.
He'd leave them alone, for a little while, then he wanted to watch the fireworks. He managed to hide his smile.