When the Ink Dries VI (ch 13-16)
Thank you: @icedteainthebag for brilliant feedback and guidance
Warning: This story contains many potentially sensitive topics, too many to separately mention. Read cautiously or have a friend vet it for you if you’re sensitive to something in particular.
Apology: for it taking so long. I recommend a refresher, if you can stand it, of at least the most recent chapters.
Mulder was on the porch when he got the phone call, the shrill landline ringer pricking the post-midnight air from behind the screen door like a chorus of crickets. Out here in the middle of nowhere, it seemed a new species of bug came into existence once a week. They used to refer to the place where he was sitting as Scully’s spot - now, like it or not, all the spots were his. He’d been watching the driveway like a Golden Retriever every night since she moved out, faithfully expecting his vigilance to bring her back sooner, full of self-pity and priding himself in his loyalty. The past couple of years, it seemed like he was busy anytime she was sitting out there. But the tasks on his to-do list which were once so important only held his attention so long as the smell of her shampoo still hung in the doorway over her empty coat hook. Once that was gone, there was nothing left to do.
In the rush and hush of it all, Stella’s smooth, silvery voice sounded even more illicit than it did any other time - so much so that at the beginning, he’d had a moment of panic where he wondered how he’d wound up on the phone with a nine-hundred-number.