It broke Scully’s heart to see Mulder so detached from her and from their unborn son. He had told her that he was happy for her. But what about him? Did he think that she had cheated on him? That the baby wasn’t his? Did he not want a baby with her any longer?
And how much was he suffering? He had been abducted by God-knows-who, and tortured for God knows how long. It hurt Scully to see him go through that. But, she wanted to understand it better. She wanted to know what happened to him.
Mulder just stood there in his apartment, staring at her pregnant stomach.
“Sit down,” Scully said. “I’ll get you some coffee.”
“Thanks,” he said aloofly, sitting down on his old, beat-up leather couch. Scully briefly thought back to all the times she and Mulder had made love there before he was abducted, and she dared to wonder if that’s where their little boy was conceived.
She went into the kitchen, where the coffee sat, almost full, in the pot. She had brewed it a little while ago just so she could smell it. She couldn’t have any because of her pregnancy but the smell always made her feel safe. She had picked it up specifically in preparation for him getting home from the hospital.
She poured it into a cup, microwaved it, then topped it with half and half and three packets of sugar, just the way he liked it.
Mulder was staring intently at an old issue of one of his favorite sports magazines, pretending to be engrossed.
“Here you go,” she said handing him the cup just as he looked up.
He took a tentative sip before frowning and placing the cup on his coffee table. She knew his throat must be dry and sore still from the breathing tube.
“Can I ask…” Scully began, adding, “What happened to you out there?” Her voice was choked up, and tears already formed at the corners of her eyes. The baby kicked, and she almost entertained the thought of placing Mulder’s hand on her belly so he could feel the flutter. But she knew then was not the time.
He paused, looking rather lost in thought. “A lot,” he said finally after a few moments.
Scully sat down next to him on the couch. She ran her fingertips lightly over half healed scars on his face. He flinched away from her touch. “How did you get these?” She asked him.
“You don’t really want to know that, do you?” He questioned hesitantly.
“I do,” she muttered. “I care about you. So much.”
“They attached wires to my face. Pulled on my cheeks. They beat me. Starved me. Tied me up on a table. They drilled holes in my teeth.”
He was visibly shaken just telling her this, so she stopped him before he decided to shut her out. She was crying, and she reached out to hold his hand. He flinched again, but took it anyway, knowing that the love of his life, of course, would never hurt him. Knowing, of course, that he was safe now.
Mulder squeezed Scully’s hand. He looked into her eyes. They shone bright and scared yet happy, at what he could only guess was seeing him alive and well. She had told him that her prayers were answered, and yet he had been an insufferable jackass about it. He had to tell her how sorry he was. He could see the purest of loves in her eyes now, and he knew he had to let her know that he hadn’t meant to come across as cruel to her.
“I’m so glad to see you again, Scully,” he began, continuing, “You really don’t know how much.”
Hurt flashed across her face. He realized then he had said the wrong thing yet again. Damn. Why did he keep doing that?
But she caught on to his worry within a few moments and reassured him. “I think I do. Probably about as happy as I am to see YOU again.”
At that he laughed a little. She smiled back at him, rubbing her thumb over the back of his hand with the gentlest of touches. As light as a feather.
“I missed you terribly, Mulder,” she said. “I just want to make damn sure you know that. I know, over all the years we worked together as partners on the X-Files, there were so many times when you thought I doubted you. So many times when that was true, and later, so many times when it wasn’t. I’m so incredibly sorry that I scoffed at your work in the beginning and mocked you. Sometimes just recalling it makes me sick. Maybe if I had believed you more readily then you wouldn’t have been taken.”
“Oh, Scully. No. No, no, no, no, no.” He rubbed her hand back. “I always knew that despite how stubborn you were, and how sometimes you could be so skeptical, that you had my back. You had my heart, too. Right from the beginning. I just waited seven years to tell you. Talk about me being an idiot. Maybe if I had asked you on a date and forgot all about my futile efforts to find my sister our first year working together, YOU wouldn’t have been taken. You wouldn’t have lost *your* sister. Emily wouldn’t have had to suffer. You wouldn’t have been violated and tortured either. It’s my fault.”
“It isn’t,” Scully replied. “It’s *their* fault. The people who did this to us; these shadowy government men who have nothing better to do with their time than to try and take us down just for trying to expose their blatant lies. And I could never believe that your search for your sister, or for the truth, was futile. It was worthy of your dedication. And of mine.”
“I never meant to hurt you, Scully. I never knew what would happen to you when you were assigned to the X-Files. I didn’t think they would go after you. I didn’t even think they would go after me. I didn’t even know anything of the truth back then. Not until I met you.”
“You could never hurt me. I chose to stand by you and to be by your side all those years. Just as I will continue to stand by you. Now and forever.”
“How can you? You have a baby on the way now. Surely our work can’t take priority over your child, Scully.”
Her face softened, and then she finally did what she had been meaning to do since they had first arrived at Mulder’s apartment several hours before. She let moved and placed his hand gently on her rounded stomach. As if the baby could read her mind, he kicked again, this time against his waiting hand. Scully watched with delight as her partner’s face lit up. Yet, she could still see the uncertainty in his eyes. She had to tell him.
Slowly, Scully looked into Mulder’s eyes. She leaned in, gently kissing him on the lips. When she pulled away, they returned their gaze, and she spoke.
I made an X-Files picture book to give myself closure after watching the show for the first time. Then they officially announced the revival. I should have known there would be no escape from all the feelings.
What she means:
Dana Scully would NEVER have given up her child. Chris Carter survives on human misery and female tears. Why was it necessary to make her give up William? It didn't fit the storyline or the character. I don't want to hear that he is safer away from them because we all know that is one bullshit excuse. Scully deserved better. Mulder deserved better. And William deserved better.
Mulder, you say that you’ve failed, but you only fail if you give up. And I know you - you can’t give up. It’s what I saw in you when we first met. It’s what made me follow you… why I’d do it all over again.