Here’s How it Really Happened
Rating: PG-13 (for a swear or two)
Summary: Have to fix that terrible, terrible dialogue Chris Carter wrote for the bed scene in Plus One for being so extremely terrible and also out of character. Yeah, you heard me old man Carter, your dialogue is out of character. Go back to the beach and let the fandom handle things from now on because you have proven yourself incapable.
He doesn’t like sleeping alone anymore. In the early days, before they were fugitives, before he was a dead man, before Bellefleur, when they still questioned what sharing a bed meant to their partnership, it was easier to spend a few nights apart to decompress and reflect. Now, nearly twenty years later, it seems absurd to regress to the days that left them both lonely and unsatisfied.
He’s thinking about going back to her bed, not to wake her up for more news of case-related death, but just to remind her that they don’t have to play this game anymore, when she comes to him. He is more than pleasantly surprised when he rolls over to face her.
“I can’t sleep,” she says, shifting her feet where she stands at the side of the bed.
“What’s the problem?”
“Something about this case is getting under my skin.”
“We’ve had stranger cases than-“
“Can you hold me?” she interrupts, a tired plea that he can’t refuse.
A half of a second passes where he entertains teasing her for a moment, his lips purse to remind her that she was about to break her own self-imposed rule about not sharing a bed while on duty, but that could backfire on him. Instead, he draws back the covers and gives her a soft nod.
“I can do that,” he says.
As she slides into bed beside him and presses her back up against his chest, he marvels at how quickly she verbalized what she needed from him. She never did that before, rarely even did it when they were together, so he has to admit that it gives him a bit of a thrill to know they’ve come so far, even if they have further to go.
“What’s on your mind?” he asks, once she’s finally settled herself in his arms and is fitted snugly against him.
He can hear her thinking as she breathes, contemplative, sharp exhales through her nose as she tries in fits and starts to answer him. He waits, letting her take her time, knowing that in a roundabout way, she’ll get there.
“Do you ever think about the future?” she asks.
He estimate three, maybe four more questions before she gets to the point of what’s really on her mind.
“The foreseeable future?” he asks. “The distant future? Or the, what will I have for breakfast future?”
“DIstant, I suppose. When you’re old.”
Mulder pauses just to wonder where these questions are coming from and where they’re going. Before he answers, she continues in his silence.
“What if you meet someone younger?” she asks. “Someone who wants kids.”
He shifts his eyes and stares at the back of her head. “Are you trying to insinuate that I’m looking to trade you in for a newer model?”
“Well, when the time comes, I see myself pushing your wheelchair down the halls of the old folks home, with my own.”
She answers with a quiet little snort. He squeezes her hip, bunching her silk shirt in his fist and exposing a sliver of warm skin to his greedy thumb.
“You could still have that kind of life if that’s what you want,” she says.
“What kind of life is that?”
“A different wife. Children.”
“Is that what you want?”
She answers slowly, uncertainty in her tone. “No.”
“What’s going on, Scully? Where are you really going with this?”
“I don’t know. After William I used to tell myself that one miracle was enough to be grateful for. But, I also wonder…maybe I should’ve tried for another.”
“Well, what stopped you?”
She tips her head back just a little and rolls her eyes to the side, but doesn’t really look at him. She almost laughs, but it’s not a laugh, it’s a sad noise of incredulity like he’s asked a question he should know the answer to.
“We didn’t exactly try to prevent any other little miracles,” he says. “We could’ve actually tried, if that’s what you wanted.”
“Like you said, Mulder. We didn’t try to prevent one. I’m just wondering if that’s something you might regret later on.”
“The only life I want is with you.”
“What’s going to happen to us when we don’t have the files anymore? Sooner or later we’ll retire, and then…”
“I promise you, you won’t ever have to worry that I won’t be there to offer my bulletproof theories that you fail to assail with your inadequate rationality.”
She tips her head down almost bashfully and reaches down to hold the hand still on her hip. With just a slight tug, she brings his arm back around her and closes herself into his embrace.
“Then I’ll always be around to prove you wrong,” she whispers.
Her lips turn up in a brief smile and he kisses the underside of her ear, one of her favorite spots to be kissed. He can’t imagine starting over with anyone else but her, but he’ll reset the pause button as many times as it takes to stick.
Scully turns suddenly, wiggling over onto her back and turning her face up to his. He pushes the hair back from her face and traces the side of her cheek with his fingertips.
“Do you see anything different in how I look at you now than before?” he asks, imploring her with his eyes not to doubt him. Not to doubt his love for her.
She shakes her head once. “No, I don’t.”
“All this worrying for nothing.”
She shrugs slightly as if to say it wasn’t nothing. He can’t understand how she could be genuinely concerned about something so unfathomable to him, but since he’s known her, she’s always kept him guessing. She reaches up and puts her hand on his cheek, her thumb whispering along the outline of his mouth.
“Scully,” he murmurs. “Would it be out of the realm of extreme possibility to ask if you’d consider breaking the no sharing rooms during a case rule right now?”
“That rule pretty much went out the window when you took this suite.”
“Yeah, but there’s a door between us to uphold regulations on propriety.”
“I’m the one in your bed, Mulder. Not exactly giving a damn about propriety right now.”
“You know I love it when you get all rebellious.”
She smiles at him. A genuine smile that reaches her eyes. He leans over to chastely kiss her lips, but doesn’t pull back too far, just enough so that their mouths may no longer be touching, but any slight move would bring them back together.
“Fuck propriety,” she whispers. “But, just this once.”
And that’s all he needs to hear to kiss her again.