So I fully intend to do one story that includes all of these words but I thought of this idea and couldn’t resist. Enjoy this beautiful sappyness.
(edited by @alittlemissfit of course)
As Scully packed up the apartment that she’d barely made herself at home in, she found herself distracted by things she’d either hidden away when she moved in or that she’d gotten from her mother’s house.
She would find keepsakes from when she was a kid or old pictures of her siblings. She would find old case files that she’d chosen to keep for one reason or another.
But she hadn’t taken a pause in her work until finding a simple wooden box. One that held quite a few memories.
Running her hand over the lid she wondered if she wanted to open it.
The small cedar box held old notes from Mulder. Poems that he’d given to her over the years, written out in his messy scrawl on post it notes. The tradition started when she was dying of cancer and continued for most of their life together.
Scully rifled around through the post-its and found the first one he’d given her. It wasn’t dated or signed but she knew it was the first from the moment she saw it. She’d found it sticking to her nightstand one day after a nap.
The note read:
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
- Matthew Arnold
At the time it made her cry, hold tight to her pillow to soak up her tears. When Mulder came back later that night she kissed him, was grateful she still had the strength to hold him. She’d run her hands under his shirt, down to the sizable bulge in his pants.
He’d taken her hands and held them between them before she asked him to make love to her, convinced it would be their last chance. Every day she’d felt weaker and weaker and when he looked into her eyes he’d been unable to pull away. They moved slowly together on the hospital bed in the dark room and she’d tried to hold on to every moment. Wanting to remember each detail during the pain to come.
When she recovered they didn’t discuss it. He would occasionally kiss her on the cheek or forehead, say something that made her smile or melt, but they steered clear of heavy discussions, talking about things like love.
Searching for the next note Scully found it sticking to the bottom of the box. After Emily had died she closed herself off, from Mulder, from her mother, from everything. And he let her, until one day a few weeks later she found a post-it on the window of her car after work.
The sad words read:
Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.
All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.
Peace, Peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life’s buried here,
Heap earth upon it.
- Oscar Wilde
I’m here when you’re ready- M
She cried after reading it, cried like she wanted to at the funeral. Before she knew what she was doing her car was in front of Mulder’s building.
She didn’t have a plan but walked up to his apartment and when he opened the door she flung herself into his arms. He held her until she fell asleep, and in the morning she left before he woke. Again, they didn’t discuss it.
Remembering all the words unsaid, she came upon another note in the box. This one she’d found in her briefcase after she’d rescued him from the Bermuda Triangle. When he was lying in the hospital he’d told her he loved her. She had tried to take it with a grain of salt but at night she’d find the words echoing in her mind, seeping into her dreams.
After he was released from the hospital she found the note. It had read:
S, I meant what I said-
I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
You have been mine before,—
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow’s soar
Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall,—I knew it all of yore.
Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death’s despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti
That time there was no rushing over to see him. She had worked up the nerve to bring it up one day until she saw him standing close to Agent Fowley in the hallway, having a hushed conversation.
She’d tucked the note away and felt like a damn fool for a long time after.
She didn’t open up to Mulder again until after his brain surgery, and shortly after received another tender note. It had been inside a file folder holding their latest X-file, one that had come across her small desk. The poem was scrawled on the front and back of the post-it note.
There is a lady sweet and kind,
Was never face so pleas’d my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.
Her gesture, motion, and her smiles,
Her wit, her voice, my heart beguiles,
Beguiles my heart, I know not why,
And yet I love her till I die.
Her free behaviour, winning looks,
Will make a lawyer burn his books;
I touch’d her not, alas! not I,
And yet I love her till I die.
Had I her fast betwixt mine arms,
Judge you that think such sports were harms,
Were’t any harm? no, no, fie, fie,
For I will love her till I die.
Should I remain confined there
So long as Phœbus in his sphere,
I to request, she to deny,
Yet would I love her till I die.
Cupid is winged and doth range,
Her country so my love doth change:
But change she earth, or change she sky,
Yet will I love her till I die.
- Thomas Ford
The words filled her but she didn’t go to him. Instead Mulder came to her. As she sat on her couch reading the note for the fifth time, he knocked on her door.
She opened the door and they simply looked at each other for a moment before she moved forward. Taking his face in her hands she kissed him, practically devoured him. They wound up stumbling into her apartment and into her bedroom, leaving a trail of clothes behind.
That night he spoke poetry aloud to her, and the next morning she pulled open the top drawer of her nightstand, showed him each of the notes he’d given her before handing him a pen and a stack of post it’s.
She asked him to write the one he’d just recited while pillowed on his chest, cuddled close to him and reveling in the afterglow.
Pulling that note out from the box she smiled, recalled the husky tone his voice took on as he spoke the words, kissed and nipped at her breasts.
Have you beheld (with much delight)
A red rose peeping through a white?
Or else a cherry (double graced)
Within a lily? Centre placed?
Or ever marked the pretty beam,
A strawberry shows, half drowned in cream?
Or seen rich rubies blushing through
A pure smooth pearl, and orient too?
So like to this, nay all the rest,
Is each neat niplet of her breast.
At the time she’d laughed in delight at the mischievous look in his eyes. He rolled her nipples between his fingers while reciting it by memory and she praised him for efficient multitasking.
Reaching for the next poem, she was overcome with the sadness she’d felt back when she first read it. Mulder had left it for her the morning he left, three days after William was born. It was stuck on the top of the pile of post-its that still sat in her drawer, but it had taken her a week to find it. When she had she’d held it tight to her chest and cried. The tear stained paper read:
I’m sorry that I have to leave.
I love you.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Scully felt the tears gathering in her eyes but blinked them back. Kept sifting through the other notes in the box: From time to time she’d find them in her office at the hospital or hidden in her suitcases when they were on the run. She kept the box all these years and she’d kept them all.
Not hearing the door open she was startled when Mulder’s arms wrapped around her, circled her waist.
“Whatcha doing?” he asked, laying a kiss on the top of her head.
“Your post-it poems,” she answered, leaning back into his chest as he looked at her in surprise.
“You kept all of those?”
Putting the box down she turned in his arms. Laying her hands flat on his chest she smiled, looked up into his eyes.
“Of course I did. Every single one.”
His eyes watering Mulder pressed his lips to her forehead. Pulled away after a beat just enough to speak.
“Now that I have your face by heart, I look
Less at its features than its darkening frame
Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,
Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd’s crook.
Beyond, a garden. There, in insolent ease
The lead and marble figures watch the show
Of yet another summer loath to go
Although the scythes hang in the apple trees.
Now that I have your face by heart, I look.
Now that I have your voice by heart, I read
In the black chords upon a dulling page
Music that is not meant for music’s cage,
Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed.
The staves are shuttled over with a stark
Unprinted silence. In a double dream
I must spell out the storm, the running stream.
The beat’s too swift. The notes shift in the dark.
Now that I have your voice by heart, I read.
Now that I have your heart by heart, I see
The wharves with their great ships and architraves;
The rigging and the cargo and the slaves
On a strange beach under a broken sky.
O not departure, but a voyage done!
The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps
Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps
Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun.
Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.”
At some point as he spoke Scully curled her head into his neck, listened to the rumble of his voice. Reaching her hand up she stroked his cheek that was covered with a day’s worth of stubble.
They stood in silence for a few minutes until Mulder pulled her back from him, looked into her eyes.
“Let’s go home Scully.”
She nodded, holding the box into one hand and held his with the other.
They had movers coming to get the few boxes that remained of the half-life she’d lived in the bare apartment. But she knew that she would have left all of the rest behind to be with him.
(-final poem written by Louise Bogan)