the sea that has become known
Covered in dust, they head up to the attic.
Scully zips up her jacket and pushes the window up past the point where it sticks. Five years ago she and Mulder escaped to this roof on Thanksgiving night, and she’s gotten stronger since then. She still has to put her weight into it, but she’s not tempted to ask Mulder for help this time. Every year she works harder - runs longer, lifts heavier. Her mother had gotten softer with every passing year, but Scully is still perfecting her armor.
Mulder follows her out onto the roof and sits on the slope, knees to his chest. ”When I die,” he says, “you can throw out all my stuff.“
She smiles to herself. That she can smile when he says that is, she thinks, a testament to the power of the passage of time. She is all scar tissue now. “I’ll found a library for your old tapes,” she deadpans. “The Fox Mulder Memorial Pornog—“
“You wouldn’t. Besides, I got rid of those years ago.”
This is a flagrant lie; Mulder never gets rid of anything. It was part of the reason why their house had started to feel like a cage with its walls of boxes, newspapers on every horizontal surface.
She hums her assent: another lie. When he did die she didn’t throw away any of his things; when he’d walked into his apartment after three months in the ground everything was perfectly preserved. She had not been willing to believe him dead then, and she has no reason to think it’ll be easier next time.
Leaning back on the roof, arms crossed behind his head, he says, “The stars are good out here.”
She scoots a little closer to him and leans back, too. “Not as good as at home.” It slips out without her meaning to say it, and she blushes and avoids his gaze as he turns his head to look at her. She can tell that he desperately wants to say something, but he doesn’t.
They’re silent, listening to the night sounds. The air is cold and so are the tiles beneath her.
“How’s your Latin, Scully?”