give it up mulder she's already forgotten all about you and moved on

Flannel Pajamas

by: mldrgrl
Rating: PG
Summary: For @kateyes224 who just wanted Mulder and Scully to have a non-angsty Thanksgiving.  Consider it a sequel to For This We Give Thanks.

They use the house for weekends and holidays now.  Shortly after Mulder moved to Arlington, Scully followed.  It made sense, since she spent most of her time in his condo and her lease was up anyway.  

Scully has decided that this year, she’s going to try her hand at cooking a Thanksgiving dinner.  Wednesday afternoon, they made a grocery run, along with the rest of the last minute shoppers, and loaded up on supplies.  In case of disaster, they also made sure to stock up on frozen pizza.  The refrigerator and cupboards are now overflowing.

In the weeks leading up to the big day, Scully had prepared a folder on her computer labeled RECIPES.  She thought she might collect a few essentials or even try something a little exotic, but she was immediately overwhelmed on the sheer amount of ways there was to cook a turkey.  In the end, she chose the simplest and highest rated versions of dishes she intended to make and made her grocery list from there.

Thursday morning, she woke late.  Late for her, anyway.  But, Mulder had gotten up with the dog, kissed her cheek as she burrowed down under the covers, and told her to go back to bed.  She happily complied and the next time she opens her eyes, it’s nearly eight o’clock.

The forecast called for a mild day, but it’s still chilly that morning.  Luckily, she keeps an oversized sweater and a pair of slippers on the chair by their bed to slip into when it’s too cold to walk around barefoot.  She has her warmest pair of flannel pajamas on, navy blue with white piping, but sometimes it isn’t enough.  Unbeknownst to her, Mulder is going to have central heating installed as an early Christmas present.  He tried to get it scheduled before Thanksgiving, but it didn’t work out.  Two weeks from now though, she won’t have to worry about cold feet.

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anonymous asked:

Prompt request: what did Mulder and Scully do with the FBI credit card after the end of Hollywood AD? Not sure if you've done this already, I'm a new follower!

Hi new follower. Or maybe not so new as this prompt is like a week old? Two? Maybe you’ve left already… ANYWAY. Just a drabble after a week of no writing whatsoever. Set, of course, right after Hollywood AD. 

“So Scully,” Mulder’s shoulder bumped into Scully’s as they walked off the movie set, their bodies unwilling to stay apart, “what do you want to do with the credit card?” He grinned at her, lavish ideas sparkling in his eyes. Forgotten was the movie and the lousy, insanely inadequate portrayal of the character loosely based on him.

“Hm,” she marveled, taking his hand into hers again and inspecting it; she loved his hands. She always had. Even back in the day when they were still young, still learning to trust each other, she let him touch her. The small of her back, always a favorite, her arm, her shoulder. Nowadays she preferred his hands lower, much lower, where they knew exactly how to touch her, too, drive her insane with need.

“Scully?” He squeezed her hand slightly and she shivered from his warmth, the strong touch around her fingers; all of him.

“I want to do this,” Mulder glanced at her; they were still at the Darryl Zanuck movie theater, just standing there outside while people, mostly tourists, went by. “I want us to walk through LA holding hands.”

“We don’t need a credit card for that.” Scully couldn’t help but chuckle when disappointment flickered over his face.

“I’m sure we’ll think of something later on.” She whispered and leaned up to kiss his mouth. But Mulder stopped her.

“In public?” Scully turned and looked around. She was still holding Mulder’s hand and no one, not one single person, cared. Right here, right now they were two regular people in love, walking through the city, taking in the sights. They were, for lack of a better word, normal. Scully giggled again. Who would have ever thought that Mulder and Scully could be normal.

“What’s so funny?” Mulder asked her while putting his hands on her waist to move her out of the way from a group of tourists coming closer.

“Kiss me.” Scully demanded.

“What?”

Instead of explaining it to him, Scully got on tiptoes, grabbed his face and kissed him. Her tongue teased his bottom lip, knowing what it did to him, and Mulder opened his mouth to deepen the kiss. Before it got out of hand, Scully let go of his lips, albeit unwillingly, and grinned up at him. The tourists walked past them, one or two of them looked at them with a shy, knowing smile, but mostly they didn’t care. Just like Scully had thought.

“See?”

“What? Your smile? I see that, yeah.” Scully hit him playfully on the shoulder.

“No one cares, Mulder. No one knows us here. I can hold your hand like this,” she laced their fingers and stared at them for a moment; they never got to do this at home in Washington. They barely had time to be a couple in private. In public? There was just no way. Here, though, they could be anyone, do anything. At least for one night.

“See? We’re holding hands. In public.”

“And no one is sick.” Mulder added his eyes glued to their joined hands as well.

“Or dying.” Scully whispered.

“Or in need of comfort.”

“I thought you needed some cheering up after the movie.”

“Nah. All I need is right here.” This time, Mulder kissed her, but softly without any urgency.

“Hmm, that was nice.”

“I can do nice,” he ran a finger over the bridge of her nose as if a sudden need to touch her had come over him, “or I can do naughty. Your pick.”

“How about nice now, naughty later?”

“Sounds good,” Mulder squeezed her hand and they started strolling down the boulevard lazily. “So what about food? You know, we really should use that credit card.”

“You’re right.” Scully nodded in agreement and let her eyes wander.

“I know what you’re thinking.” He murmured into her ear, causing her to shiver and giggle.

“You sure?”

“Hmm, yeah. It’s a waste of this credit care but yes, I know exactly what you want to do right now.” He nuzzled her neck and Scully had to stop herself from dragging him into an alley and doing much more than simply kissing him.

“You think Assistant Director Skinner knows this about you? Hm?” Scully moaned when Mulder started raining kisses on her neck, her throat and finally her lips.

“Not here, Mulder,” Scully protested weakly, “We need to… eat. That’s what you said.”

“Hm, I know,” one last kiss on her mouth and he stood to glance at her, a boyish grin playing around his lips, “And if I had a say in this, we’d use this credit card to drink champagne, eat lobster and have one of these expensive chocolate dessert things. But I know you and I know that’s not what you want.”

“What do I want, Mulder?”

“You’ve been eyeing the KFC over there. You want one of these buckets with chicken everything and if I’m lucky you might even leave one piece for me.”

“I like you, Mulder,” Scully gave him a quick but thorough kiss, “I like you better than chicken so maybe you’ll even get two pieces. Now come on.” She tugged at his hand almost painfully and he followed her, shaking his hand.

“You know Skinner will think we’re crazy. He gives us the FBI credit card and we’re using it for KFC.”

“Mulder, he already thinks we’re crazy.”

“You might have a point there. If my lady wants KFC, she gets KFC. Skinner would take you into a fancy restaurant, you know.”

“Which is why I’m with you, Mulder. Now feed me chicken.”

Reds and Yellows, Browns and Blues

a/n: someone mentioned autumn and given it’s just starting to land in southern Michigan, I figured I’d give the topic a whirl … @today-in-fic

_______________

Fall is tough for a guy who’s color-blind. People are always commenting on the flaming reds and crimson reds and titian reds and scarlet reds and dark reds and burnt reds and good fucking hell, he wished they would shut up about the reds. He saw what he equated to a gigantic mess of brown and yellow … a mustard-shaded nightmare, if you will.

His mother had once shown him a jar of brown mustard and said, “remember this color. This is what mustard yellow looks like.”

He hated how that mustard tasted so now he equated that shade with biting tongue and bitter buds.

His mother also pointed out what red should look like by using a fire engine. He saw a darker shade of the mustard jar contents.

There goes the typical childhood fantasy of wanting to be a fireman.

Scully’s hair, as far as everyone told him, was a fantastic shade of red but after several years, he simply convinced himself that it was a nice shade of brown, picking a random name for it, ‘German Chocolate Brownie” and living his life, touching, smelling, feeling but never seeing, which, in the end, was fine for him.

Scully knew he was color-blind from the second day they’d met.

She made an unconscious choice after that to avoid wearing red. Granted, most parts of that spectrum clashed with her hair but she could pull it off when properly coiffed. For Mulder, however, she stuck to blues and greys, blacks, whites. At first, not the easiest thing to do with her limited wardrobe but she did her best and eventually, her closet converted to things that he could see most clearly.

Today she had on a blue sweater, v’ed at the neck, lengthed to her elbow, nary a hint of bra strap or stray thread. It was one of his favorites from the sweater collection and since they were done with their case and driving through northern Michigan in October, she also had on her dark jeans and well-worn, well-loved boots, navy blue in nature, yellow-sewn seams darkened with age.

The airport was still over an hour away, if you could call it that, Mulder had forgotten the name already, relying on Scully’s navigational brilliance to get them where they needed to be when they needed to be. At the moment, it was mid-afternoon and their flight wasn’t until the following morning so Mulder was driving slower than normal, relaxing at the wheel with his Scully by his side.

It was the third quiet sigh that made him begin watching her, see her staring out the window, taking in all those colors she, with an abrupt realization on his part, never commented on. Sometimes she’d swing her head around so she could look out his window but mostly she kept her not-so-well hidden awe of nature confined to her side of the vehicle.

Well, hell on wheels.

Pulling over at some pristinely clean roadside park, he let her stare at him in confusion for a minute, before, “so,” turning the car off, “I think we need to stretch our legs.” Next, he opened the door, stood,  reaching his arms upward and even groaned for effect, “we’re going for a walk.”

Seeing right through his crap, “is this your little ploy to get me to drive ‘cause you could have just asked.”

Mulder grinned over the top of the car, shutting the door as he did so, “nope, just want a walk.”

Suspicion ran high in their relationship at times but given his open look, genuine smile, she relaxed, “lead the way.”

There were two trails to choose from and Mulder, being Mulder, turned left, crunching them through ten minutes of fallen leaves and branches before popping out at a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of valley and river. She’d heard him once comment, about a year into their partnership, that he wished people would shut up about fall colors and she had ever since but this view, this vision before her, made her grab his hand, “God, Mulder, look at it! It’s beautiful!”

And for the first time in forever, he saw the beauty of the world, even the mustard yellow shades of it were made attractive when she enjoyed them.

Because she enjoyed them.

Squeezing her hand back, then slipping a finger or two between hers, knuckle against knuckle, “I wish I could see them like you do.”

Scully moved her hand, wiggling her arm around his, hugging his bicep, cheek against his pullover, “you know what my favorite color is?”

“Red?”

“No … it’s blue. Now ask me why?”

Wondering where he was being led but enjoying it nonetheless, “why?”

“Because that’s the one you see best.”

“Are we not here to see the leaves though?”

With a slight chuckle, she gripped him harder, “no. We’re here to see the sky. Have you ever seen such a clear, deep blue? Makes the leaves pale in comparison.”

And he held his tongue, wanting to blurt out that she made everything pale in comparison.

Instead, he sat them on a rock and took in the beauty that was azure blue.

It matched her eyes.

Those were his favorite color, too. 

Driving Lessons

This little thing was inspired by something a friend said. Set in season 11, sort of. Daddy!Mulder story, some fluff. To make up for the angst yesterday. 

“We can take Scully’s – I mean Dana’s car. You can drive to the grocery store and-” Mulder mentally ticks off items of his list. He, unlike Scully, is not used to this. Not only has to make sure he’s packed everything he needs, no, he has to make sure this child – their son – is well taken care of in the few days they’ll be gone. This is the first out of town case since Will came to stay with them and for some reason all the responsibility lies with him this time. Scully should have figured this was a bad idea.

“But… I don’t know how to drive.” Will, a tall, lanky boy with reddish brown hair, Scully’s eyes and nose, stares up at him, shyly. He’s trying to brush away a few strands of hair that fall into his eyes making him blink furiously. Boy needs a haircut, Mulder thinks. He has so many things to learn, he realizes and sighs, making Will squirm.

“Sorry, I never – my parents – I mean my…” Now it’s Will who sighs in frustration. Mulder, and not for the first time, wonders if the boy is too old to be pulled into a hug. Or if Mulder is still too much of a stranger to do it.

“I thought with growing up on a farm that maybe you'd…”

“I just turned 16,” Will reminds him as if his birthday was something Mulder could have forgotten two days after it happened, “and there never was… with the disease no one and uhm, then I got here and you didn’t uhm. Yeah.”

“So you don’t know how to drive?”

“No.”

“That's… bad.” Will chuckles and nods. Mulder’s mental list goes up in flames; they need a new plan. He considers calling Scully, but knowing her she would call the whole thing off if William has no means of transportation when they’re gone. She didn’t want to take the case in the first place. They need to take it, though. They haven’t told Will yet, but it concerns his late parents. They need to do this.

“I’ll call Skinner and ask him to take you in. You can bring your bike to his place and-”

“What about Daggoo?” That damn dog. Sleeping there in the corner, his ears twitching as if having heard his name.

“Well…” That’s another problem.

“You said I could stay here.” Sometimes, even at 16 years old, William still sounds like a little boy. Right after they took him in, after the demise of his adoptive parents, Scully told him that Will, his son, could pout just as well as he could. Usually they both knew how to work that pout to their advantage. Seeing it now, coupled with Scully’s eyes, Mulder knows he’d do anything the kid asked him to do.

“I did, yeah. This is just really…”

“Bad, yeah. You said that. I’m sure there’s enough food here anyway.”

“What if there’s an emergency?”

“I could take the bike. The next neighbors are only 7 miles away.” Only 7 miles. Mulder is pretty sure that was one of the reasons why he wanted this house so badly when they moved here. The next neighbors are 7 miles away, Scully, we have all of this to ourselves. That was before they had their son back. Before there were more people – and a dog – to consider.

“That’s crazy, Will.” And just like that Mulder has an idea. It’s crazy, yes, and Scully would never approve, no, but he won’t tell her. Neither will Will, he is sure of it.

“You have an idea, don’t you?” The boy asks warily but unable to keep his lips from going upwards in a smile.

“I do, my son. I do.”

*

Mulder hardly ever tells her so but Scully is not a good driver. She drives too fast, she is prone to road rage and she can’t parallel park for the life of her. Their son, it turns out, takes after her in that respect.

“Just hit the pedal carefully, Will.” Mulder tells him in an even voice, his ears ringing. He’s going to have whiplash if Will brakes like that ever again and then he’ll have to tell Scully about this. He’ll have to anyway eventually but he’d prefer not to do if before a four hour flight.

“I thought I did.” The boy’s tongue peeks out in full concentration as he holds the wheel in a death grip. He puts his foot down on the gas pedal and the car jumps a little. Will grumbles something unintelligibly and tries again. This time the car rolls very carefully.

“Ha!” Mulder claps his hand together. “You did it, Will! That’s it!” The boy grins and the car moves faster.

“Take a turn there,” Mulder tells him, “Don’t forget to use the blinker.”

“There’s no one here.”

“Don’t forget to use the blinker.” Mulder repeats and a moment later the soft clucking of the blinker can be heard as Will rounds the corner on a deserted road.

“This is fun.” Will tells him and if there’s one thing Mulder has learned about his son in the months he’s come to live with them it’s that he can’t lie. If the boy hates something, it’s written on his face in bold letters, sung in every syllable of his words.

“You still need to take Driver’s Ed, you know.”

“I know. You think Dana will let me drive her car?” Of course Scully has the better car. Mulder’s is old; the FBI refused to give him a new one. Which, with his track record, makes sense.

“Once you have your license, sure.”

“Nice. We should listen to some music.”

“No, Will. Concentrate on the road.” A small huff but Will does as he’s told. He’s a good kid and Mulder thanks whatever deity that his son grew up like this; safe and loved.

“Oh we’re back already.” Will sounds disappointed as he brings the car to a stop. He turns to Mulder, a bright sparkle in his eyes. “Can we go again? Please? Just one more time?” Mulder knows he needs to pack. Where is your tooth brush, Mulder? Why do you always forget to pack your tooth brush? He can hear Scully already; if it’s not his tooth brush, it’ll be something else. He should take care of all the other things Scully told him about while she’s in the city terminating the lease for her apartment finally. But this is the first time he’s taught his son something; his son now knows how to start a car, drive without crashing into a tree and then park – also without crashing into anything else. Just because of him. Because he taught him how to drive.

“Sure, Will. One more time.”

Will starts the car and hits the gas pedal; gently this time and Mulder wonders if maybe, after all, the kid takes after both of them.

XF Fic Writing Challenge: Autumn

[Prompt: hot and cold. Rated Adult for not-very-explicit sex. Contains basic Revival spoilers. Written for the X-File fic writing challenge, so it’s un-beta’ed.]

hot

She promised herself she wouldn’t do this. She promised herself she wouldn’t be so trite. She promised herself she wouldn’t be so cruel, to Mulder or to herself, to allow either of them hope that she wouldn’t really go. She wouldn’t remind either of them what they would be missing.

But as usual, Mulder got under her skin. As usual, things with Mulder did not go according to plan. Her things were neatly packed in boxes. The boxes were neatly packed in a U-Haul. But she was not in the driver’s seat, her little feet stretching for the pedals. She was in their bed. Not their bed—it’s Mulder’s bed now, or at least it will be once she gets herself out of the house.

She’ll go as soon as this is over, she thinks. As soon they’re done.

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look, i just needed some fluff this week, and “Eliza as a stress baker” is a good headcannon. have a fox eating a cupcake for cheer.


Having a boyfriend who’s a fox faerie, Eliza decides, is not much different from having a large pet cat.

He watches intently as she cracks eggs into the mixer. She’s baking cupcakes for rehearsal tomorrow, since it seems likely to go over the usual two hours, and the surprise of baked goods will offset the sense of being trapped inside the theater building like the seventh circle of hell. Besides, if she’s baking, then she doesn’t have to think about the edits von Steuben sent back for her paper. Alexander offered to look them over for her, which is why he’s here, except something - the smell of butter, maybe, or the sound of the KitchenAid - distracted him. He cocks his head, whiskers twitching, as she pours in the vanilla extract.

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Fifth Christmas

the series is as follows so far:

FirstSecond ThirdFourthFifthFifth Christmas, Part 2SixthSeventhEighthNinthTenthEleventhTwelfthThirteenthFourteenthFifteenthSixteenthSeventeenthEighteenthNineteenthTwentiethTwenty-firstTwenty-secondTwenty-third

———————–

She was quietly submerged in a self-protective bubble of sanity. Outside her bubble, shoppers, children, angry males and even crazier women circled and flowed like liquid around her. Why she did this to herself was beyond comprehension. Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve.

What the hell was wrong with her?

She would have been better off just giving everybody a note saying they’d get stuff mid-January and stick a Hershey’s kiss on it with the last roll of tape she had in the house.

Instead, she was here, wondering if God was laughing at them all while he lounged with a cup of hot chocolate, dishing with Santa about the naughty list and made fun of this year’s clothing trends.

That made her smile a little bit and gave her the boost she needed for three final stores and the fight to leave the hellishly packed parking lot. Congratulating herself for not using her gun, she began her drive home.

And the phone rang.

&&&&&&&&&

After racing away from that ‘haunted house’ as Mulder called it, she drove home, exhausted, annoyed by the prospect of having to wrap gifts, in all manner of shapes and sizes, before getting a mediocre nap and returning to the road for her mother’s.

And thinking about it, she hadn’t really ‘raced’ away from the house … it was more like driving leisurely with the pedal just a bit closer to the floor … there was no reason to ‘race’ away from anything, except maybe the next hair-brained idea that Mulder was probably concocting even as they headed for their cars.

She stopped her thinking right there, given if she dwelled too long, she could probably convince herself that there were actually ghosts.

That is the last present Mulder needed.

Finishing wrapping her gifts nearly an hour later, then stacking everything back by the door, she then noticed the item she’d bought two days earlier and had forgotten to wrap, the item falling into the Christmas detritus strewn across the floor.

She’d found the perfect gift for Mulder.

A fitting, unique, totally him gift.

Pulling it towards her, she studied it again, let the smile creep across her face, then pulled the wrapping paper towards her and proceeded to tape the hell out of every seam and possible pulling point.

After, against every atom in her body screaming to go to bed, she pulled her shoes back on and headed into the 3am darkness.

&&&&&&&&

He was truly delighted by his gift, an ornament, one she’d found on complete accident while shopping with her mother. A large red fox being hugged by a little dark-haired girl, the fox with glittering green eyes and the girl with a smile and a crown of flowers, kneeling beside the animal, arms tight around his neck.

She’d gotten a little nervous when he began shaking the box but knowing she’d packed it well, it survived his wild, paper-ripping opening to stun him into silence. She’d had to nudge him lightly with her elbow to get him to move again, to take the breath he needed to turn to her, crush her and her still unopened gift against him in a tight hug.

When he finally let her go, muttering to himself, “78 seconds, we’re getting better at this”, he took the bauble from the box, dangling it in front of his shining eyes, studying it with intense scrutiny, then shifting to catch her eye, “can we go put this on your tree?”

“Right now?”

“Yeah … well, right after you open your gift, I mean.”

Honest-to-Jesus, she couldn’t deny him while he wore such hopeful excitement on his face, “you don’t want to keep it here?”

“Nope. I want it on your tree.” Such matter-of-fact declarations from him were not surprising anymore but they still made her spine tingle.

“Then I better get to opening this, shouldn’t I?”

It turned out that Mulder’s round, cylindrical gift, was neither round nor cylindrical but a small set of windchimes packed carefully and securely into a thick cardboard tube. Holding them up, they made a deeper sound when she tapped them, lower notes that didn’t pierce her eardrums but soothed with their grandfather clock resonant gong. She realized instantly that they weren’t by any means a cheap gift and looking at him, “you shouldn’t have spent this much, Mulder.”

“It’s Christmas so shut up.” Grinning at her, “I was thinking you could hang them in front of one of your living room windows then in the summer with the windows open, they’d sound but they won’t get ruined in the rain and stuff.”

He looked so eager for her to like them, so happy that she did, so enthusiastic that she set them carefully down and pulled him against her this time, blowing the 78 seconds out of the water. Finally, just as she made up her mind to not let him go, she pulled back, “I think you should go change and we can go to my place to hang up your gift and then we can head over to mom’s and you can have Christmas with us.”

His smile faultered, “I can’t intrude like that. Not on Christmas.”

“You already told me your mom was with your aunt and I’m not letting you stay here by yourself. Besides, I need somebody to keep me from killing my brother. I vote you.”

Reaching desperately for lame-ass excuses he couldn’t really say with any conviction, given he actually would like to spend Christmas with her, “I don’t have any presents for anybody.”

Bless her Irish, ‘you’re full of crap’ internal sensor honed specifically for Mulder bullshit, she gave him a grin, then stood up, “you are a terrible liar sometimes. Go put on some clean pants and a shirt that won’t clash with a Christmas tree because you’re going to end up in photos and …” trailing off, she took his hand, “I better come help you pick something out.”

“Photos?”

“Yes, those celluloid things that mark occasions and cement memories of Great Aunt Matilda getting drunk and wearing a lamp shade for a hat at family Christmas, 1982.”

As he was pulled along to the bedroom, “why would I be in pictures?”

“My mother will say ‘get in the picture’ and you won’t have the will to argue with her because she’s just stuffed you full of two pounds of ham and ambrosia salad. Compliance through food tonnage is her specialty.”

Finally, he gave in, standing patiently as she began pulling shirts from his closet and holding them to his chest, “I love Maggie.”

Once they’d gotten back to her place, he went right to the tree, waiting as she found him a hook, then he hung it up beside the ornament he’d given her when they’d decorated the tree almost a week earlier. This year’s was a filigree snowman, hair-thin white wire, affixed buttons and top hat, smiling coal face, small sign in his hand declaring the year. Standing side-by-side, Mulder slid his hand into hers, fingers warm and solid, perfect fit, perfect match, lit by tree lights and silent in the still dark night.

anonymous asked:

You wanted asks, you've got 'em Write me MSR - family holiday (Scully family) bill hates Mulder trope. Never gets old.

You asked for it, you got it! 

Also this got out of hand and I couldn’t stop writing it. I’m sorry. I’ve definitely had to put a Keep Reading insert in because it’s so damn long, but it opens on my computer and on an internet page on my phone. Here’s hoping it works for you. Also I can’t believe I’m writing about Christmas in July. 

This contains spoilers for HTGSC, Emily and the cancer arc. @2momsmakearight I think this is for you!

Mulder jolted awake, his heart pounding as he opened his eyes and took in his surroundings. He’d fallen asleep sitting upright on the sofa, which explained the kink in his neck and dull ache in his back. He was getting too old for this. As he came to his senses, memories of the previous evening came flooding back. Luring Scully out to the haunted house to go ghostbusting with him on Christmas Eve; saying goodnight to her before they both got into their respective cars to drive home, thinking that would be the last he saw of her until after the holiday; his partner turning up on his doorstep a few hours later, unable to sleep and wanting company; the two of them exchanging gifts on the couch, talking for what felt like hours until Scully nodded off. As her head gravitated towards Mulder’s shoulder he watched her sleep until finally tiredness overcame him and he joined her in slumber. Only now he was awake, and Scully was nowhere to be seen. He tried not to be too disappointed that she’d left without saying goodbye, but then he cast his mind back to the previous evening, when she’d explained she was going to have an early start at her mom’s house on Christmas morning. He counted himself lucky she even agreed to spend Christmas Eve with him, even if he did have to hide her car keys to convince her to do so.

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Rose Reviews… THE X-FILES - S1.E4: Conduit

<< 1.3 Squeeze  —————————————- 1.5 The Jersey Devil >>

In the dead times post Chicago high it’s been nice to wrap myself once again in the slippery arms of my beloved show. Conduit is one of those S1 episodes I always forget about… let’s see how it scores with, as always, a melange of gifs, cursewords and thoughts arranged into some semblance of a recap under the cut…

Where she leads… he will follow

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anonymous asked:

Prompt fic: what if Mulder's rise from depression pre-revival is due to another woman who helped him? I'm on angst phase and I need it...

Hi anon. I’m not sure this is what you wanted, but the whole thing got away from me. In length and just about everything. Set pre-revival. 

Tagging @fictober and @today-in-fic

With shaky hands Mulder adjusts his sunglasses. The dark shades provide him with a sense of deceptive safety as he steps inside the coffee shop. A small bell over the door announces his entrance but no one seems to notice or care. Straightening his back, Mulder makes his way over to the counter. 

“Hi, how can I help you?“ The barista’s smile is sweet, her voice is sugar. Mulder blinks, realizes she can’t even see his eyes. 

"Tall coffee,” he mumbles, “black, please.” Four words he practiced on his way here. They roll off his tongue uneasily as if they were a strange language he doesn’t speak. 

“Here you go, Sir.” The young barista hands him his coffee and Mulder thanks her with a small nod of his head. The coffee is deliciously hot as he takes a sip, sitting down. It’s quiet here in this small town, but for someone who has been by himself, holed up in an unremarkable house in the middle of nowhere, it sounds like New York City during rush hour.

“The sun doesn’t shine in here, you know.” Mulder turns towards the voice. A woman, hips on her hands, tells him, her voice a challenge. 

“My eyes.” Mulder croaks out, his voice still warming up.

“What’s wrong with them?" She sits down at his table, uninvited, cradling her own coffee. 

"Are you an eye specialist?” When she laughs Mulder is reminded of bells; not like the one over the door. A soft sound, melodic and smooth. 

“No. I’m a school teacher. I always tell my students not to be rude. Wearing sunglasses inside is considered rude.” She takes a sip of her coffee and eyes him over the rim of her cup. Mulder feels the weight of the glasses on his nose. His hands still shaking, he takes them off. The light hits him in the face and he squints, grimaces. A moment later he opens his eyes, sees the woman still sitting there, grinning at him. 

“See? You’ve got nice eyes, Mr. Sunglasses. I’ve never seen you here before. Are you new in town or just visiting?" Years ago, when Scully took him out of the house for the first time in years, she told him to squeeze his hand whenever he felt uncomfortable. ‘I’m with you, Mulder’, she’d told him, ‘always remember that’. The muscles in his hand remember now, make him squeeze his coffee tightly. It’s been years since he’s been out, with Scully or by himself. She always asked him, up until the very end, and he shook his head, not looking at her, telling her to leave him there by himself. Have fun without him. He doesn’t know if she ever did have fun.

"I’m Elise,” the woman, either worse at reading social cues than he is, or simply not caring, goes on, “I moved here a couple of months ago from Chicago. You looked like someone who might understand.”

“Fox.” He says and her eyebrows shoot up. This woman looks nothing like Scully with her tall height, her long blond hair and dark eyes, but Mulder can’t help but think of all the times her eyebrows did the same in their regular 'you can’t be serious, Mulder’ manner. “That’s my name. Fox.”

“Your parents must have an interesting sense of humor, Fox.” She laughs again, the same gentle sound as earlier. Mulder has no idea who she is, this Elise, but for the first time in months he feels like the invisible hands around his throat loosen up. He feels like he can breathe, think. Mulder stares into this woman’s eyes and finds he doesn’t want to flee after all.

“It could have been worse” he says taking a sip from his own coffee, the taste deep and dark, calling him back to life, “they could have named me Kevin.” Elise laughs again, loud and free. Mulder flinches, recovers quickly. Amazed, he watches her, listens to the sounds she makes. For the next five minutes he doesn’t think about Scully, doesn’t think about darkness.

They meet again. And again and again. Mulder goes to bed at night, his heart fluttering just a tiny bit stronger, knowing that the next morning he gets to see Elise. These days he has a strict schedule. There is a time to get up, have breakfast, take his meds, go to the coffee shop. Scully would be proud of him. She is. She left a message on his machine yesterday; they’re always missing each other these days, their schedules no longer in sync. Her words quick, the sound of the hospital echoing behind her, she told him that she’s happy he’s working on getting better. Mulder smiled all through her message, imaging her in her oversized scrubs in between patients, thinking of him. He erased the message, no longer clinging to fleeting moments, went to bed and dreamed about Elise. 

Once their conversations turn darker, turn to lost sisters, forgotten children and love doomed, they move on. Move outside to take walks. Move further away to her home.

“Come inside, Fox. Come on.” Elise, Mulder has noticed, smiles a lot. She is younger than he is, even younger than Scully, but not by much. Yet she is the opposite of the both of them. Smiling with the sun, sometimes even brighter, laughing whenever she can. When Mulder is around her, he feels the cloak of despair lift off him, even if just for a moment, as she sprinkles him with her warmth, wraps him in it. She pours him a tea and the scent of hot peppermint fills her small living room.

“Coffee is not good this time of day, Fox,” she tells him, dropping a cube of sugar in her own cup, “so how about a movie tonight?” He drinks his tea as instructed, nods. 

He keeps a diary because his therapist suggested it. His daily writing becomes as much of a routine as his coffees with Elise. Tonight, though, there are no words. His pen is poised on the paper leaving a big, black dot. There is nothing on his mind except the message Scully left him earlier. He came in whistling, and wouldn’t Scully have found that just adorable?, when his machine blinked at him. A smile on his face already, a leftover from another day with Elise, he pressed the button as he untied his shoes. 'Mulder hi,’ there was a pause, a loud rustling, 'just wanted to tell you that I’ll be gone over the weekend in case you,’ another pause, 'wanted to call. I’ll be in Florida with a… a friend. Take care, Mulder. I’ll call you when I get back… bye.’ Mulder, one shoe still on his foot, listened to the message 62 times. That’s when the band snapped, erasing it for forever.

He doesn’t sleep that night. When the sun comes up in the morning, he is still wearing one shoe. He doesn’t shower but manages to swallow his pill with a glass of milk. His eyes burn as he gets on the bus to meet Elise. Her smile fades as soon as she sees him, but Mulder barely registers. His mind is elsewhere, on its way to Florida, to the past. Anywhere but here.

“You all right?” She asks him.

“I’m fine.” He answers and grimaces. Scully, he thinks. Fine like Scully. “Let’s get coffee. Find us a table.” Easy sentences for when he’s overwhelmed. No complications, no commas or dashes. 

Elise eyes him carefully, and he realizes he doesn’t know her well enough to read her expression. He hands her the coffee and she takes a sip, groans.

“What is this, Fox?”

“Your coffee.” He answers simply, drinking his own. Hot, black and bitter. Perfect. 

“That’s not my coffee. Did they get your order wrong? Here try it. I’m getting a new one.” Mulder watches her approach the counter and sips her coffee. The taste on his tongue is familiar; he ordered Scully’s favorite coffee. Elise comes back, mishap forgotten and smiling, and Mulder thinks he is going to be sick.

He lets Elise take him home with her. She asks if he wants a tea, but he declines. He is restless. He wants to fly to Florida, find Scully, talk to her. Meet her friend. Friend. What does she call Mulder these days, he wonders. Her ex. Ex what? Her friend might ask. Ex-partner, ex-friend, ex-lover. Just an ex. 

“You’re quiet today, Fox.” Elise touches his arm and it feels gentle, comforting. Mulder restrains himself from pushing her away. 

“Nothing to say.”

“Did anything happen? I’m here if you want to talk.”

“You’re not my fucking therapist.” His voice is even, almost indifferent. Elise jumps off the couch as if he’s just hit her. “I’m sorry, Elise.” He says loudly into the empty room. She returns a moment later, her eyes red-rimmed. 

“I’m trying to be your friend, Fox. I don’t want to be your therapist.” She kneels in front of him and takes his face into her hands. Her breath tickles his lips, his nose before her face moves closer and her lips open before she is even there. Friend, it blinks in his mind. 

Mulder closes his eyes as his mind replays Scully’s message. Gone away. With a friend. A friend, a friend, a friend. Elise’s lips land on his, don’t fit right and she moves against him trying to make them fit. Scully, he thinks, squeezing his eyes shut. He can’t do this. He can’t have a friend, a girlfriend, a lover or a meaningless fuck. If he can’t have Scully, he doesn’t want anything else.

'I need you to get better for yourself, Mulder. Not for me. Not out of some misguided sense of guilt. For you.’ Her words, said right before she left him all this time ago, override her answering machine message in his mind.

“Elise, I can’t.” Mulder gently pushes her away. He licks his lips, tastes her, and wishes she were someone else.

“I thought… I thought this, us, was leading somewhere." 

"Elise, listen," 

"Don’t even start, Fox. I get it.”

“No, I don’t think you do. Please listen to me, Elise. I can’t give you this because I am in love with someone else. She is the love of my life. She is everything. She is the reason I forced myself to get out of the house one morning because she told me I had to get better. And you know what, Elise? That’s when I met you. I have been better ever since I’ve met you. I see it now and it’s because of you. You showed me that there is still light in this world filtering through the dark clouds. Last night I spiraled. She called me to tell me she was going on a trip with a friend. I freaked out. I haven’t freaked out in months, Elise. I didn’t have the strength. I didn’t care. I do now. I care.” She sniffs, gives a short laugh, and Mulder chimes in. His own laughter sounds strange, almost hollow in his ears. As they both erupt in even more giggles and laughter, his laugh finds a melody. It doesn’t quite rhyme with hers, but it’s not supposed to, and it works.

“Thank you, Elise. For bringing the light back into my life.” She doesn’t say a word, but touches his lips; a farewell.

say yes

this is set ~a month after “requiem” in an AU where mulder didn’t get abducted and they all came home from oregon and lived happier ever after. (fatal brain disease? what fatal brain disease?? none here, no thank you)

thanks to @quod-est-noir for this super cute prompt:
“Is that a…watermelon?”
“I’m pregnant”
and sorry that it took me so long and that it got sooo sappy :x

(if you sent me a numbers prompt I’m working on them! :)


Mulder knocks - twice, then three times - then digs her key out of his pocket to let himself in. Scully wasn’t answering her home phone, either, but she’ll probably be back soon. He hopes she hasn’t forgotten their standing Friday night - appointment? no, that’s definitely wrong, but it’s not a date, he’s sure she wouldn’t call it a date - because he already picked up a bad movie and way too much Indian food to eat by himself.

When he opens the door he sees that the lights are on in her apartment. She never does that, not Scully; she’s conscientious to a fault. On one memorable occasion, they were both undressed and well on their way to home base when she remembered that a lamp was on in the living room. She’d had to pry herself from his arms to go turn it off.

He calls out, hesitant. “Scully?” Nothing.

And her keys are on the counter, and her heels are by the door. He calls her name one more time.

Heart in his mouth, he sets the food and beer down on her table and pulls out his gun. His footsteps echo in the apartment as he prowls through it: the kitchen, the living room. The bathroom, where he peeks behind the shower curtain trying not to think of that scene from Psycho. Funny: with so many real-life horrors to draw from, he’s still afraid of a movie. He’d rather think of Norman Bates than Donnie Pfaster. Don’t fucking think about Donnie Pfaster.

The bedroom door is closed. With one hand resting on the knob he closes his eyes, inhales, and then turns the knob and shoves the door open with his shoulder.

Inside, Scully gasps and something extremely heavy thumps to the floor.

Mulder hurriedly puts his gun back, and Scully just stares at him. “Mulder, what–

But now that he’s seen that she’s alone and evidently fine, his attention is on the floor.

“Scully, is that a…watermelon?”

Her face flushes watermelon-pink and she licks her lips. “I’m pregnant,” she says.

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Monday

Just one version of the day, but this time, from Scully’s perspective.

The buzzing of her alarm dragged her awake promptly at 6am.

(It also dragged her out of a dream that involved, among other things, Mulder’s tongue in her mouth; she wasn’t sure whether the interruption was a blessing or a curse.)

Scully stretched, yawned, then grimaced as the last remnants of sleep wore off and she remembered the reason she’d set her alarm so early that morning – she and Mulder had a meeting in Skinner’s office scheduled for 7:45.

Talk about a buzzkill.

She sat upright with a sigh, rubbing her eyes before flipping back the covers and getting out of bed. Moving on autopilot, she let her mind wander while habit propelled her through her morning routine. The image that had been in her head just before waking came back to her – she was with Mulder, in a car, surveillance duty abandoned in favor of investigating each other’s bodies instead. She felt her cheeks warm. It was hardly surprising that she would have a dream like that about him, and it was certainly not the first time it had happened, but she couldn’t help feeling a little bit abashed, anyway.

Mulder was her partner. And her best friend. Thinking about him that way was more than just professionally inappropriate; it felt almost like a violation. And she would sooner spend the rest of her life celibate than do something that might screw up the most important relationship she’d ever had.

Then again, the idea that she would ever find someone else she would rather be with – in the long-term, romantic sense – had become laughable long ago, so while she generally did her best to keep from voluntarily fantasizing about him, that didn’t stop her hormones and subconscious from occasionally ganging up on her.

She gave herself a hard stare in the bathroom mirror, making the conscious decision to put the dream out of her mind and turning her focus instead toward getting ready for the day.

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Maybe, it was kismet

Gillovny RPF

Relationship: David Duchovny / Gillian Anderson

Rated: Explicit

Summary: What if the original series didn’t exist? What would have happened if Gillian and David met for the first time to film the revival in 2015? Would things be really different?

Note: A trillion thank-yous to @icedteainthebag who is the best English teacher I’ve ever had. Thanks again for your beta, your patience, your great ideas and advices. 


He did his research before joining the reading table where she’s already sitting next to Chris, her eyes focused on the script. All he knows about her is what  he’s read in the press and what his agent has told him about her work. He knows she’s an engaged artist, very talented from what he saw in the couple episodes of “The Fall” he watched yesterday, and that she has three children. He’s read some scandalous articles about her private life that said that she had been through quite a few personal issues when she was younger, but who didn’t when they were young?

She looks taller on the screen and he’s amazed about how petite and tiny she actually is, like a fragile little bird who needs constant surveillance and protection. He used to know her age, but he can’t remember it now. She looks younger, anyway. Her blond curls fall slightly on the porcelain skin of her shoulders and her small manicured hands toy with a pen that she slowly puts between her lips.

After a few seconds of observation, he needs to make himself known so he clears his throat. He didn’t have a chance to notice how deep blue her eyes were before she raised her head to look at him. Her piercing gaze makes him lose his words. He, who is always such an eloquent and talkative person.

“Hi, uh… I’m… hum… I’m David, sorry, I just…”

“Hi, I’m Gillian. Nice to meet you.” Her smile makes him shiver and he knows that from now on, he will try to make her smile as much as possible, not because he wants her to be happy, but because he would give everything he owns to see it again.

He joins the table and sits next to her. Staying focused on the lines he has to read is nearly impossible when her feminine and sensual scent invades his nostrils every time she moves her head.

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Friendly compromises

The series is as follows :

Mama Scully’s Party …. MorningUnderwearsMapsNachosFoul BallPromisesStayPhone CallsFlannel InterruptionAwakeningFriendly CompromisesScrabbleApart …  A Long WeekLightningMissing YouInterimStuffWaitingGoingHandsUnsteadyFearFastSlowRegardlessInto the DarkLightSurfboardsCurbsShowersBordersCanyonsSoakedIce CreamNever HappenedDeep SouthAlmostBlue-Suede ShoesUnwelcomeRemarkableStarsDoorbellsM&MsKneesHome

______________

It was a draining case. Not as horrific as the previous one, with the headless corpses and the corpse-less heads but still terrible in its own right: victim abduction-victim rape-five minutes of sheer terror in the end with guns out in blinding fear followed by five hours of fruitless interrogation and finally, a confession that made the hairs on the back of Scully’s neck stand on end.

“Mulder?” When he didn’t respond, she tried again, “Mulder?”

Instead of a typical, ‘yeah?’ he came back with a hauntingly quiet, “sometimes I wonder what keeps me from killing these people? I wonder why I don’t just say ‘fuck it’ to my livelihood and beat the living hell out of these soulless nightmares of human beings, to be generous in their classification. Why do I not just snap and make them suffer? Instead I follow rules and get confessions and arrest them and pay taxes so their sorry asses get to live in this world and do their time and get free and do all that shit again. Why do I do this damn job in the first place? I know how it all ends. I know exactly how the cycle goes yet I just keep doing it. Over and over.” With a deep, vibrating breath, “we need a damn vacation.”

He’d drifted through these thoughts before but for some reason, tonight’s version set her stomach to tightening, her nerves frayed enough from the last five days that she couldn’t quite convince herself that he was okay under his angst. Ignoring her aches and pains, she felt in the pockets of her coat, coming up with the only thing she could offer in their darkened car with still an hour drive to home. Holding out an M&M from her secret pocket stash, “I’m sorry.”

Mulder looked, then did a double take before taking the candy, “if it’d been red, it could have been love.”

The next one she handed him was orange, “sorry. There aren’t any in the bag.”

“Story of my life, Scully. Story of my life.”

&&&&&&&&&&&&

Once they were back at his place, Mulder disappeared to his bedroom, emerging a minute later already wrapped in pajamas pants and a thermal. Tossing a set of clothes at her, “here. Meet me on the couch in five minutes. I’m ordering a deep-dish and you can’t stop me.”

“Salad, too, please.”

“Gotcha.”

Full of excellent O’Reilly pizza a half-hour later, Mulder went to toss the trash but after a minute, he didn’t return to the couch, sending Scully in search of him. She found him contemplating the large map they’d marked all to hell the week before, “did you put on the latest place?”

Pointing with his pen, “yeah.”

When his conversation stopped there, she scooted up beside him, “are you okay?”

“Not really.”

Trailing her hand down his arm and teasing his thumb between her fingers, “I’m sorry I didn’t have any red M&Ms in the bag. I usually eat them all first because they’re my favorite.”

“I’ll bet I can order you a whole bag of them from whoever the hell makes them.”

Moving to simply grip his thumb, “I’ll share ‘em with you.”

This finally elicited some kind of facial expression other than borderline depression, “thanks.” Looking down at her, “I see our options right now as two very distinct choices. Would you like to hear them?”

“Of course. Lay ‘em on me.”

“We can either go to sleep or stay awake?”

Wrinkling her nose, Scully wondered where this could possibly be heading because it was too simple, too black and white and too totally not her partner at all, “is there a door number three?”

“Drunken Scrabble and melancholy soul torment.”

“Please tell me there’s a fourth door, then. Pretty please?”

“Three’s all you get.”

Scully moved her hand from his thumb to wrap her arms around his waist from the side, “I would like part of three intermingled with section two followed by part one, if that suits you?”

“You had to say the word ‘suit’, didn’t you? Had to bring work back up. Thanks.”

She squeezed him as tightly as her tired bones would allow, “sorry, partner. You look good in a suit though, so that’s saying something.”

With a guffaw bordering on chuckle, he patted her arm, “it’s probably too late for liquor though, isn’t it?”

“It’s a Saturday night. We don’t have to be anywhere until Sunday dinner.”

“Bring it on.”

&&&&&&&&&&&&

First order of business, find a Scrabble board … and tiles … and a pad of paper.

The board itself turned out to be the most difficult to hunt down. Scully couldn’t help asking more than once why he had the tiles sitting innocently on his bookshelf but the board was nowhere to be found.

“Why you gotta ask me these hard questions, partner? Just accept that I keep them in two different places.”

“But you’ve forgotten one of those places.”

“I’m questioning more why, when you’ve been through my bookshelf numerous times, that you haven’t once asked me why I had the bag of tiles without the board? Hmmm? Got an answer for that one?”

“I think I like melancholy Mulder better right now.”

Giving her a semi-playful smile, “we can return to him at any point in the evening. He’s hovering just below the surface.”

“I’ll draw the board myself first, if I have to.”

Soon, they unearthed it, innocently folded up and being used as a shelf for jeans in his closet, the flat surface held up with stacks of old textbooks, “ahh-ha. I forgot about that.”

Looking at the poor man’s shelf he’d build, “you realize you actually earn a paycheck now, correct? You could just buy a metal shelf. $15 at the hardware store.”

“Well, if we’re going to keep using the board, I will but if this is a one-time thing, perfectly good shelf right there.”

“Just go find me some liquor, would you?” Once she’d cleared the coffee table and set up the board, she called out to Mulder, “ready when you are.”

Appearing in the door almost instantly, looking sheepish, “um, so, what would you say if I told you the closest thing I have to proper libations is a fermented bottle of white grape juice that is decidedly not white anymore?”

Scully rubbed her hands together devilishly, “then we stay sober and I kick your ass in the best game ever invented for geeks like me.”

As he settled on the floor beside her, “how about a friendly compromise of no scientific jargon from you and no psycho-babble from me? Straight up, normal people words.”

Counting out her seven tiles, “but our straight up, normal people words are scientific jargon and psycho-babble.”

“Well, then, I guess we play to the death, genius vs. genius, liberal arts vs. science, Scully vs. Mulder in the battle of the century.”

“You’re on, Spooky.”

“Eat my dust, G-Woman.”

The first word that landed on the board was ‘cat’.

anonymous asked:

Totally thought you were going to write M/S getting it on! I kinda like that idea of them being sneaky with the risk of getting caught. Perhaps a prompt for that mentioned pullout bed at Bill's?

this killed me to write anon, so i hope you enjoy :) this will probably be the last detailed smut i ever write. 
thanks to @scullyphile and @tofutti-rice-dreamsicle for the late-night support, editing and laughs. 

(send me prompts)

***

smutty follow up to this

“Scully! What are you doing?” Mulder hisses as she folds back the covers on the pull-out couch and lies down inside.

The Christmas lights bouncing off her newly-red hair illuminate the goofy grin that he’s come to love more than anything in the world. She giggles and it’s so pure that he can’t stop himself from kissing her.

Scully yelps as Mulder pushes her on her back and crawls on top of her. His mouth finds her collarbone, nipping at the skin as she relaxes below him. He moves up and starts gently sucking on her neck.

“Mulder, you, ahh, you have to stop,” he pulls back and looks her in the eye before realization hits. They’d spent three years alone, marking each other whenever and wherever they wanted, the habit so ingrained that he had forgotten it was one they have to let go of.

Keep reading

Be Mine

I needed some Dad!Mulder (and work is so insanely boring, *help*), so here goes nothing.

A whiff of teenage angst hits Mulder right in the face when he enters his son’s bedroom. The boy is sprawled on his stomach, doesn’t move; he doesn’t even stir when Mulder sits down next to him on his bed.

“Hey Will,” no reaction.

“Willlll,” he tries again, leaning closer.

“Come on, no sleeping in the middle of the day.”

“Not sleeping.” Comes the muffled answer.

“Come on, kiddo. What’s the matter? I brought your favorite donuts.” When it comes to processed food, Will is just like his father; he inhales burgers, donuts and basically anything that’s fried.

“Dad, leave me alone please. I don’t wanna talk about it.” Oh yeah, and also very much his mother’s son.

“Donuts, Will. Your favorites,” Mulder rustles the bag loudly, “You know, gooey caramel frosting, chocolate sprinkles and-”

“No thanks, dad.” Ever polite, his son. But Mulder is not giving up just yet.

“I guess I’ll eat them myself then.” Will doesn’t react, remains in his listless position. So Mulder takes out a donut, bites into it and makes appreciative noises.

“I don’t want your stupid donut, dad.” This gives Mulder pause; he knows that the days are gone when his son would run inside after kindergarten or school and tell him about his day in enthusiastic details. This however is something different. Gently, Mulder touches his son’s back. He’s too thin, he thinks immediately, feeling his ribs. The boy eats and eats and eats, but he’s also growing. Much too quickly.

“Did anything happen at school today, Will?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you want me to call your mother?”

“No.”

“Well, all right. If you need me, I’ll be downstairs.” Mulder strokes Will’s back once, just needing to touch him, feeling like he’s losing him to something; life, most likely.

“Dad, wait.” Will sighs, finally sitting up. Mulder sits back down on the bed, suppressing a smile, and waits for his son to confide in him.

“When you and mom, you know, before me… how did you? You know?” Oh, Mulder thinks. Oh.

“You mean how did we end up together?” Will nods slowly, his blue eyes curiously staring up at him.

“You know, we worked together for seven years and-”

“Dad, I’m in high school. I don’t have seven years!”

“Let me finish,” Mulder says calmly, “we worked together for a long time and we were friends first before we became anything else.” Will doesn’t even know the half of it. All their son knows is that they used to work for the government in some very special (Mulder’s words), sometimes challenging (Scully’s words) environment. Will knows about the x-files, snickers whenever he hears the words or when Mulder decides their son is ready to hear about another one of their famous cases.

“Is there someone you… like?” Mulder knows he has to tread carefully here in case his son decides to clam up again.

“There’s this girl,” Will begins, sighing, “and I really like her.” Mulder nods at his son, no longer able to stop his lips from curling upwards. He can’t wait to tell Scully about this; their baby boy is in love!

“No dad, I *really* like her.” Mulder has no idea what this means. Will groans in frustration and pulls a colorful card from under his pillows. He hands it to Mulder. There’s so much pink and glitter that Mulder feels momentarily blinded. He focuses his eyes and reads a perfectly scrawled ‘be mine’ on the front. He opens the card, checks his son’s face if it’s all right, but the boy is just waiting for him to read more quickly.

'Dear Lisa, you’re the smartest girl in my English class and you always smell like strawberries. Do you want to be Valentine?’

Mulder feels the sudden urge to reach for his son and engulf him in a tight hug. But Will stares up at him, tears shimmering in his eyes.

“I didn’t give it to her, obviously. It’s stupid, isn’t it?”

“Oh Will, no. No, it’s not stupid at all. Why didn’t you give her the card?” He’s one to talk; how often did he buy flowers he threw away before Scully received them? Instead of showering her with gifts, he chose to show his affection by ditching her time and again. Those times are long gone, but Mulder isn’t sure he should give his son any relationship advice.

“Because!” Will throws his hands in the air and slumps down on the bed. “And it gets worse, dad. She didn’t get any cards for Valentine’s Day, dad. Everyone got at least one except her. I feel terrible.” No donut can cure the pains of love, Mulder thinks.

“You know,” he clears his throat, needs a moment to find the right words, “It’s only been two days. How about you give her the card today? Tell her you forgot it at home, or you were too shy to give it to her. Honesty goes a long way, you know. Do you have any idea how often I’ve forgotten your mother’s birthday? A late gift is still a wonderful surprise.”

“You think?” Will’s voice, as well as his mood, is picking up. When did his son’s voice get so deep, Mulder marvels. When did he grow up into this lanky, awkward teenager?

“I do. Go and give your girl that card.” Will grins and throws his arms around his father for a short hug. He stumbles over his own shoes before he picks them up to put them on his feet.

“I’m going to take my bike, dad,” Will, not unlike himself, tends to ramble whenever he’s excited, “but I’ll be back for dinner, I promise. Can I have that donut now?” He stands before Mulder, way too tall already, and holds out his hand. Mulder gives him the bag; there are still two donuts inside and while Mulder can’t be sure, he thinks Lisa might like caramel and chocolate too.

pray the light

this is an angst bucket, with also some fluff. cw: character death (just the canonical one). clearly I have been overthinking the late seasons of this show.


Pray the Light

I.

It’s been a routine for so long that she doesn’t stop, even after they’ve buried him.

Her hands shake all the way home from Raleigh. Two hundred and seventy-five miles disappear into the night. Over the past nine years she’s often thought that her life would be better counted in miles than hours and she’s spent thousands of them on I-95, but she can’t remember the last time she did it alone. She told her mother she was riding with Skinner; she told Skinner she was riding with the Gunmen.

She didn’t lie to the Gunmen.

Scully’s always had a lead foot, but this time she drives precisely the speed limit. She was always running before, either towards or away, but she cannot outrun this. And no one is waiting for her.

Before she goes home she stops at his apartment. The fish are still alive, the fish still need to be fed.

She calls in sick the day after the funeral. She does not apply for bereavement leave; she cannot bear the thought of filling out the form. She’s filled it out before, for her father, for Missy; there is a blank space that says relationship to deceased and there is nothing, nothing she could write in that space.

So she calls in sick and she drives to his apartment to feed the fish, and then she takes off her shoes and curls herself into a ball on his couch. After some indeterminate amount of time - ten minutes, half a day - she gets up and goes home. And the next day, and the next.

It’s a routine and a relief. The drive to Alexandria is the only prayer that doesn’t taste like ash in her mouth.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

fic prompt: mulder plays a halloween prank on scully but ends up REALLY scaring her

Happy Halloween, you Spooky Nerds! This is cheesy af. Enjoy :)

XXX

“One pepperoni and mushroom, hot and ready,” Mulder announces as he opens the door to the office space they now share with about 15 other paper-pushing agents.

Scully looks up, her glasses glowing blue with the glare from her computer monitor. “Oh, thank god. I’m starving.”

She fishes seven dollars out of her wallet but he waves a hand. “No, it’s on me.”

“Mulder, come on.” But he fixes her with a look, so she reluctantly stuffs the bills back where they came from. She takes her glasses off, rubs the bridge of her nose, and goes to his desk, cocking a hip where wood laminate meets metal as she reaches for a slice. “What did Kersh say?”

He shrugs. “Gross misconduct, last warning, blah blah blah.”

“You don’t seem to be taking this very seriously.”

“There are worse things to be feared than Assistant Director Kersh.”

“Such as?”

He can tell she’s indulging him and he takes the bait. “Vampires. Boogeymen. Things that go bump in the night.”

She lifts a brow. “Good to see you’re in the holiday spirit. Halloween comes but once a year, Mulder.”

“Is it the 31st already?”

“Don’t pretend like you’ve forgotten.”

“Between being stuck in the Bermuda Triangle and getting my ass handed to me I haven’t had time to look at the calendar.” He knows exactly what day it is.

Scully shuts her eyes and smirks, a quiet admonition since her mouth is full of pizza. “Did you get drinks?” she asks when she’s finished the bite.

He shakes his head. She moves back to her desk to get her wallet. “Coke? Ginger ale?”

“Whatever they have,” he says with a shrug. “Watch out for the boogeyman.” She gives a smile and heads out the door.

While he’d always rather be traipsing across the country, exploring misty little towns with her in a dull-colored sedan, he’s thankful to be able to work with Scully in any capacity. He’s begun to feel a nag of jealousy and possession now that they work with other people around them all day. He sees the praise Scully gets for her work, how efficient she is at her job, no matter the task. He worries that if she stays here much longer, someone will snatch her away to work on VC or the executive track.

She’s too good of an agent to be working here monitoring phone calls to low-level mob bosses. He’s too good too, but she’s better.

He can feel things changing between them. Not for better, not for worse, just changing. He doesn’t want them to. He always wants to be the man who’d stopped their car on the side of the road and spray painted an X on the pavement. He wants her to stay that kohl-eyed girl who’d laughed in his face in the rain forever.

They’re still those people, he knows they are. He’d seen them on the ice in Antarctica, when the breath she barely had left was used to tease him, when his lips had touched hers for the briefest of moments. They had touched for much longer last week, on that boat in the middle of nowhere.

God, had it really happened? She’d been so soft beneath his hands, the material of her red dress catching on his hangnail, her pulse racing beneath her temple. She had been so perfectly Scully, even though she wasn’t. He loved her. He loves her, in all her incarnations.

Mulder is struck with sudden urge to recapture their original incarnations, their first selves, those careless fools who didn’t know each other but were more sure of themselves than anything else. Now, he thinks, he’s a stranger but he would know Scully in the dark.

With a childlike grin, he gets down on his hands and knees and hides under his desk. It’s not comfortable; his long limbs will cramp if she’s not back from the vending machine in the next thirty seconds, but the effortless laugh he knows she’s going to emit will make it all worth it.

Almost a full minute later, he hears the office door swing open and the click of Scully’s heels on the tiled floor.

“Mulder?” Her steps slow, but there is no worry in her tone. “Bathroom, probably.”

She thinks out loud, which he finds unbearably endearing. Ever since he’d almost lost her last year, everything she does amazes him. He hears the rustling of her skirt, the crack of a soda opening, and then she pulls out his desk chair and takes a seat, not noticing him waiting just out of sight.

Mulder holds his breath, counts one, two, three… then reaches out and grabs her ankle. Scully lets out a strangled scream and is on her feet faster than he thought was possible for a human to move.

“Touch me again and I’ll shoot!” she shouts, her voice unwavering.

“Scully, it’s me!” He sticks his head out from under the desk, raising his hands in surrender. “It’s me!”

“Oh my god, Mulder, I almost shot you!” Her gun is away in seconds but the fear in her eyes is unmistakable.

“It’s okay, I can take it,” he says sheepishly as he gets to his feet. “I have taken it, remember?”

Her voice is that high-pitched one she uses when she is out of disbelief for whatever he’s done now. “What the hell were you doing down there anyway? I mean what kind of stupid prank is that?”

“I was trying to make you laugh,” he explains, realizing now how stupid it sounds.

“Tell me a joke then! Jesus, Mulder…” She brushes her hair out of her eyes and tucks a piece behind her ear.

He looks down at his shoes. “Sorry.”

She takes a sip of the Sprite she brought back from the vending machine and her hand shakes.

“Are you okay?” he asks, taking her hand in his to steady it.

“I’m fine,” she says, but she doesn’t pull away. She stares at her hand in his, his thumb brushing over her knuckles. He wonders if he should kiss her now, if he’d get a smack across the jaw like he had when he’d kissed the Scully with bright red lips and finger waves in her hair.

“Happy Halloween,” he says lamely.

She smirks, then hums. Almost a laugh. He’ll take it. She steps closer to him and rests her head against his chest, tucked under his chin. He prays she can’t hear his heart thrumming. She does not disentangle their hands; instead she rubs her thumb against his finger, almost swaying.

“May I have this dance?” he asks into her hair, his heart screaming to say something, anything, despite his brain telling him to shut his big mouth.

She pulls away, clearing her throat. “Sorry.”

He scratches his head, not able to meet her eyes. “For a second there I thought Spooky Mulder had an invite to the Halloween Ball.”

Her expression is unreadable when she smiles and says, “Maybe next year.”

Awakening:

The series is as follows :

Mama Scully’s Party …. MorningUnderwearsMapsNachosFoul BallPromisesStayPhone CallsFlannel InterruptionAwakeningFriendly CompromisesScrabbleApart …  A Long WeekLightningMissing YouInterimStuffWaitingGoingHandsUnsteadyFearFastSlowRegardlessInto the DarkLightSurfboardsCurbsShowersBordersCanyonsSoakedIce CreamNever HappenedDeep SouthAlmostBlue-Suede ShoesUnwelcomeRemarkableStarsDoorbellsM&MsKneesHome

______________

She’d been dreaming of pleasant things and happy events and beautiful people and the warmth of the person snuggled against her backside so when she was woken up by the blaring of a fire alarm, the smell of smoke and the pounding on her door of some nameless entity who, from the sound of it, was at least 17 feet tall, weighted 400 pounds and had fists the size and mass of cast-iron skillets, she had absolutely no idea what planet, universe or realm of consciousness she existed in.

Mulder, for his part, flew off the couch, stumbling over her legs but remaining upright, scooping her into his arms before she had a chance to take in a second smoky breath. The jackhammer on the front door stopped once Mulder shouted in the general direction of the banging that they were on their way outside. Carrying her towards the door, she had just enough grasp of reality to undo the deadbolt and turn the knob, surveying the scattered stream of individuals struggling past them for a moment before Mulder joined them, heading towards the outside world through the haze of grease-fire stench.

When she’d involuntarily threw her arms around his neck, she’d felt her back twinge but as her face banged against his once, twice, three times as he galloped down the front steps, she thanked God that it was her good cheekbone and not her broken one clashing with his. Once the group of them had gotten to the sidewalk and woven through the fire trucks to wait it out on the opposite side of the street, Mulder finally seemed to realize he was outside and Scully was in his arms, “morning. How are you?”

Blinking at him, “I don’t know yet. I think I might still be mostly asleep. Is my apartment on fire?”

He shifted her as carefully as possible, then, “not yours but somebody’s is.” Turning around slightly to give her a better view of the red flashing lights, the men in thick, gray gear and the backdrop of billowing smoke emerging from a second story window, “you know who lives up there?”

She shook her head, “no, but I hope they got out.” Suddenly feeling highly awkward five feet off the ground in such a surreal atmosphere she asked him quietly to put her down, “thank you but I think I’m okay to stand.”

Setting her carefully on the cement, he gave her a critical look, meeting her eyes with a vibrant green intensity, “are you okay? Did I hurt you when I picked you up? It was the fastest way to get you out and I had no idea what was happening so I just did it. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. I’m okay, see?” She rolled her shoulders carefully, wincing but not feeling the overwhelming pinch of death in her upper back, “I hurt but nothing like the last two days, I promise.” Giving him a good stare back, she took his hand in hers, “you can sleepwalk me out of a burning building anytime you want to.”

Letting go of her briefly, he turned her so her back was to him, surveying the bandage over her stitches to make sure it was still intact before pulling her close to him, weaving the fingers of both hands with hers, careful not to press against her and the ugly bruise he could see peeking out above her shirt collar.

Silence continued for another hour while people found places to sit or lean, wondering if an all-clear was in their future or if they should be attempting to call relatives to come get them. Mulder had settled them on the curb about 15 feet down from the crowd, sitting on the sidewalk with Scully nestled between his thighs, the chill of the morning making her shiver every few minutes. Luckily, there were blankets passed out after a bit and they wrapped themselves in those, waiting it out, huddled together under the now clear blue sky.

Finally, the smoke stopped exiting the window, the firemen began rolling hose and the residents started to stand, gathering back together as a group to listen to instructions.

The fire was out but the smoke damage looked to be severe; the owner of the origin apartment was at the hospital but would be just fine; the residents could go back to their apartments but were instructed to either gather things and leave again or open windows and hope for the best. They were all assured that the fire had been confined to the stove and kitchen floor, that there was absolutely no danger in going back inside.

No one from the crowd moved, however, so Mulder swallowed, then retrieved Scully’s hand from under the blanket, “come on.”

Once they’d moved, others followed and Scully’s eyes began watering the minute she entered the main door. Coughing hurt but she didn’t see anyway around it and doubling over, her back muscles screamed as she tried to take even a shallow breath between hacking fits. Mulder immediately turned her around, taking her back outside to the front stoop, tightening the blanket around her shaking frame, “hang on for a minute. I’m gonna go get the keys and put you in the car, then I’ll deal with the apartment.”

She wasn’t about to argue.

Soon, she was settled in his passenger seat, worried about Mulder’s lungs while she sat out still gulping fresh air. She didn’t have to worry too long, given he was back and opening the trunk not five minutes later, having packed up a suitcase for her while inside. Opening the driver door and dropping into the seat, she could see his watering eyes, “are you okay?”

Mulder waved a hand at her while vainly attempting to clear his throat. His answer came out in crackling, low octaves, “I will be but I need a shower badly and some food and did I mention a shower. I opened the windows and it’s not too bad but I wouldn’t stay there for at least a few days.” Seeing her nod, he continued, “your bedroom was fine because the door was closed and I threw some stuff in your suitcase for you, toothbrush, mundane crap like that, skipped the thongs and little black dresses though. Gotta say, the turquoise lace number did tempt me though.”

Finding herself blushing even though she had no turquoise lace numbers, she looked out the windshield, pink cheeks contrasting with chilled white skin, feeling the need to be a little saucy back, even with the circumstances surrounding their morning, “if you had really been in that drawer, Mulder, you would have found more interesting things to ask about when you got in the car.”

That went straight to his groin, no stopping, standing or parking, and he started the car with a twist of the key, “Agent Scully, such talk in light of tragic events.”

“We avoided tragedy today. I say we thank our lucky stars and go get you cleaned up because, as much as I love the fact that you braved smoke for me, you stink.”

Pulling into the street, “we should really be more distraught that your home almost burned to the ground.”

“I’m going to blame it on the adrenaline rush and no one getting badly hurt. Smoke can be cleaned and if I had to choose between ashes and smoke, I’ll take smoke and be happy about it.”

He sobered quickly, shaking his head, “I hate fire.”

“I know, which I why I owe you big time for being rational enough to scoop and run.”

“Wasn’t so much rationality as the exponentially frightening, rampant thought that I might lose you. Makes a man move very fast.”

Her hand snaked over to where his rested on the shifter, “thank you.”

Bringing the hand to his mouth momentarily, he rubbed her knuckles across his lips, “you are very welcome.”

&&&&&&&&&&

Scully made a surprised sound when she finally looked at the clock on the dashboard, “is it really only 7:30? It feels like we’ve been up for hours.”

As Mulder slowed in front of the diner around the corner from his apartment, parking haphazardly, “I’m gonna run in and get some breakfast. What do you want? Omelette and yogurt? Oatmeal and fruit?”

Licking her lips at the thought, “waffles, extra crispy bacon … hell, why don’t I just come in with you.”

Moving to get out of the car, she was standing before Mulder undid his seatbelt, silent until he was beside her, “um, you realize you’re in your pajamas, right?”

“I’m so hungry, Mulder, I couldn’t care less.”

“Then lead on.”

Soon, they were in Mulder’s apartment, laden with one suitcase and three bags of takeout, which were filled with enough food for breakfast, brown-bagging it for lunch and dinner for the pair. “We could have just went back out later when we get hungry.”

“But I wanted it all, Mulder and given how much you complain about me not eating enough, I thought this would make you happy.” She said this with a sarcastically teasing tone while her head was buried in bag number one, “do I want my chicken wrap or my waffles for breakfast and do I need to cook the bacon some more first or just deal with the fact that it’s not burned to a crisp?”

Shaking his head in amusement as he mustered up some plates for them, “you’d think you’d want to avoid anything involving frying and grease about now.”

Already with a piece of bacon hanging from her lips, “good point. Gonna shower after you eat?”

“Do you care?”

“Nope. Just asking, mostly because if you chose before I would have to put this bacon back and wait to eat it with you.”

He stopped for a second, “you’d wait for me to eat?”

Scully shrugged at him, feeling the heat rise on her cheeks, her fractured bone throbbing with the rush of blood, “sure. It’s nice to share meals with someone.”

Giving her a smile, “very true but I’ll wait until after.” By the time she had finished eating, having forgotten to choose softer foods in favor of crunchy bacon and vibrating toast, her face ached, her wincing not escaping Mulder’s scrutiny. Getting up to throw out their trash, he returned with a bag of frozen peas, “why don’t you put these on your cheek while I’m showering. It looks like the swelling’s back.”

“Feels like it’s back, too, and I’ve got a headache starting.”

“Well, you know where the Tylenol is so help yourself and go lay down for awhile.”

Feeling this would be a wonderful way to kill a half-hour, she started towards the bedroom, “enjoy your cleaning.”

“Always.”

&&&&&&&&&

Scully woke an hour later, longer than she’d planned but feeling better, the peas half melted on the towel next to her. Rolling carefully from the mattress, she moved to the living room, finding Mulder asleep, stretched out on the couch, stocking feet dangling over the armrest. About to leave him be and take her own version of a shower, her phone rang …

… and they were off.

Fear

The series is as follows :

Mama Scully’s Party …. MorningUnderwearsMapsNachosFoul BallPromisesStayPhone CallsFlannel InterruptionAwakeningFriendly CompromisesScrabbleApart …  A Long WeekLightningMissing YouInterimStuffWaitingGoingHandsUnsteadyFearFastSlowRegardlessInto the DarkLightSurfboardsCurbsShowersBordersCanyonsSoakedIce CreamNever HappenedDeep SouthAlmostBlue-Suede ShoesUnwelcomeRemarkableStarsDoorbellsM&MsKneesHome

___________

Scully didn’t mean to let herself remember things. She had been doing her best to keep her mind in the here and now, not in the back then. Back then was chemotherapy and vomiting and aching limbs and fear and pain and sleepless nights and blurry days. Back then was Mulder cleaning the floor of his car when she couldn’t make it home to her own bathroom to throw up in peace. Back then was her mother looking at her as if she were already dead. Back then was deciding what she would like to give her family to remember her and worrying that the world wouldn’t care if she left it or not.

Back then invaded her without warning when she lost her grip on here and now under the influence of the laundry hypnosis. She forgot she was in the middle of Utah at a laundromat until she felt Mulder’s hand on her knee and his voice drift to her ears from miles away, “you still in there?”

She did her best to keep it together as his body moved between her knees and his arms circled her waist. Not meeting his gaze was her best defense but once he conquered that, it was all she could do to not fly apart when their foreheads met, skin on skin, a connection more intimate than anything she’d shared with anyone else in her world, past or present.

Mulder’s whispered words, the promise of at least one night tethered to him, made her crack, needing space and time to divest herself of the thoughts that in one possible future, he’d be alone.

&&&&&&&&&&&

Mulder, laundry folded and in the bag over his shoulder, made his way quietly into the hotel room, wondering what he would find. Hoping against hope it wasn’t denial mode, he didn’t have to wait long to find out, given after he turned back from locking the door behind him, he found her standing in the bathroom, leaning over the sink, blood streaming from her nose.

Her tears mixing with the puddle at the bottom of the sink.

Clean clothes forgotten as they dropped to the carpet, he was beside her in a moment, holding a dry towel to her face, flashing back to more than one occasion he’d done this, in the bathroom at the Bureau, beside the car on the side of the road, at 2:30 in the afternoon behind the Sheriff’s department building in Tennessee.

“Here. Why don’t you sit down?”

She shook her head, “no.”

Not arguing, he wet a washcloth with his free hand, swapping it out with the dry one, making sure the bleeding had stopped before cleaning her up for the second time in two days. After washing the sink clean, he took her hand, about to walk her back to the main room, when she pulled him to a stop.

Keeping hold of him, she stared at his reflection in the mirror, meeting his anguished eyes with her own, “I can’t do this alone, Mulder. Not again.”

“You weren’t alone before.”

This time, it was Scully who took his hand, moving him out of the bathroom and towards the bed, grabbing one of their last clean towels, “can we go to bed now?”

“Tired?”

“Not really but we can burrow under covers and watch bad TV and forget everything but this room.” He watched her spread the towel over her pillow, then met the truth in her eyes when she looked at him again, “I don’t need to be ruining the bed when it happens again.”

“If, Scully … If.”

With an empty look, “when.”

&&&&&&&&&

First they did the mundane tasks of re-packing clean items, then changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, washing face, moisturizing with a small bottle of light green goo that soaked into her dry skin and made her cheeks pink and smooth. She let him change first, then he stood across from the bathroom door, watching her do her rituals, his ankles crossed, arms behind his lower back, eyes intent, learning.

She knew he was staring at her but she didn’t comment, choosing to do her things out in the open, not shutting the door like she normally would, allowing him into her life in those intimate ways that mean absolutely nothing to anyone else in the world but she could see him burning into his memory for the rest of time.

Once she finished, she reached to turn off the light but didn’t, first asking him, “you need to get in here?”

He shook his head, pushing off the wall as she flicked that room into darkness, then followed at her heels, close enough to reach for her waist, which he did, his large hands pulling her to a stop as he pressed up behind her, mouth once again by her ear, “I swear, you won’t be alone, Scully, no matter what.”

All she could do was nod, knowing to open her mouth would let loose a scream that would break the world and destroy Mulder in a heartbeat. Instead, she reached down, covering his hands with hers, leaning her head against his lips, “thank you.”

Leaving with a kiss just below her ear, he nudged her forward, “go get in bed and find us some crap TV to watch. I’m going to raid the vending machine outside for late-night snacks and beverage options.”

“You make it sound so fancy.”

&&&&&&&&&&&

She was nearly asleep on his chest, her chosen resting spot for the evening, her tensed limbs and coiled muscles and unorganized fear finally giving way to a warmth that seeped into her bones, quieted her mind, the sound of Mulder’s heartbeat under her ear thudding loud enough to banish her anxiety momentarily. Her hand was under his shirt, one of her new and very favorite places in the universe, warm flesh under warmer palm. Absently tracing abstract pictures with the tip of her index finger, caught somewhere between awake and dreams, “did you know you’re my best friend?”

Mulder, floating in a little of his own dream world, all hazy and soft, “did you know you are mine?”

Crawling her hand further up his chest, she ran into his nipple, rough under her fingertips, “have you ever wondered about us? If we had done things differently, where we’d be?”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know.” Leaving his nipple, she drifted down to his belly button, then over his side, coming to a halt as she shifted her leg over his, putting him in full body-pillow status, “I’m not sure what I’m talking about.”

“You asleep?”

“I think so. I’m comfortable here and safe and this is where I love you most.”

Well, that did it.

As she softly began snoring against him, his tears slid down, gathering in his ears before dropping to his pillow.

&&&&&&&&&&&

Around 3am, she woke up, needing to pee, which she did, then returned to find Mulder’s eyes tracking her back to the bed. Curling up back with him, “sorry if I woke you up.”

“You okay?”

“Yup. Just too much ice tea before bed.”

His relieved sigh told her everything, “I got worried.”

Kissing his chin, “I know you did.”

With her face so close, he couldn’t help but press his lips to hers, fear, anger, pain driving him forward, even as she drew away, her head pulling back after several moments against him. Taking only an instant to realize his mistake, he moved away as well, apologizing profusely, “I’m sorry … I’m .. that was … I’m sorry.”

Resting her forehead against the tip of his nose, “I can’t right now. It’ll just seem like some frantic act of desperation and since it would actually be a frantic act of desperation, we shouldn’t. I don’t want something to happen just because we’re both scared and need to feel better for a little while.”

He agonized several seconds over asking what exactly she meant by ‘right now’ but the warm flow of air out her nose against his mouth made him stop, think for one moment that it would be out of desperation. That was the last way he wanted Scully, clinging to him not because she couldn’t live without him but because she might not live.

Shifting, he kissed the end of her nose, “then I have an idea.”

Tired but restless, she suddenly itched to do something, anything that would get her moving, “does it involve clowns or prancing reindeer?”

“What?”

He could see in her eyes the need to move on, break the tension, table the kiss, find a way to uncurl herself from him without offending him, “what’s your idea?”

“We should go south, like, really south. You mentioned Baja so I think we should go, right now. It’ll be warmer and lower elevation and there’ll be more moisture in the air by the ocean than up here in the high desert.”

Rolling away from his chest, she stood up, holding out her hand to him, “let’s go.”

Mulder looked at her with a little bit of ‘um, have you flipped your wig?’, “it’s 3am. I was thinking we could get going after breakfast.”

“Why wait?” Her brain was already churning, spewing several ideas before they had to time for refinement, “if we go through San Diego, I might be able to see if Jake can fit me in for an MRI, or at least some bloodwork. He still owes me for hiding his girlfriend in my dorm room in second year.”

He’d heard of Jake, the large, rough-looking lumberjack who had hands like Frisbees and could perform the most delicate of surgeries on unborn babies. Deciding this was not the time for petty jealousy and off-color comments, he nodded with some enthusiasm as he waved her towards the bathroom, “go get ready.”

“Back in a minute. Knock if you need to come in.”

In a feat similar to the great packing frenzy of June 1999, they were cleaned, dressed and in the car roughly 30 minutes later, and that included both taking individual 5 minute showers while Mulder wished he could have shared his with her and take 10 minutes instead.

Scully volunteered to drive first, Mulder quickly digging into their atlas for at least a general south running road. Finding and proceeding, Mulder didn’t fall asleep until after he finished watching the sun come up through the driver’s window, silhouetting her, the edge of her face glowing as if on fire, the rest of her in shadow.

She knew he was watching but she didn’t mind, her hands gripping the wheel loosely, her hair an uncombed tangle, her nose turned up on the end and her chin pointing downward. Feeling his eyes boring into her, she took one hand and slid it across the console, finding his without ever taking hers from the long, empty road ahead.