One ficlet for the wonderful perplexistan, to make her rough day better.
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He slips his fingers under the errant lock of hair that always falls over her face, smoothing it behind her ear. He lets his fingers lace through the waves of her hair, his fingertips resting gently at the base of her neck. She still won’t meet his eyes. He waits, smiling to himself, his heart buoyed up on a rising tide of hope.
“Talk to me, Scully,” he says.
“I think you know how I feel about you, Mulder,” she murmurs, lashes still downcast.
He chuckles. “A man pours his heart out, it’s nice to hear that he already knows how the other party feels.”
“I think you also know how difficult it’s been to voice our feelings,” she says, with just the slightest bit of edge in her voice.
“Every opportune moment rife with bees or surveillance or some kind of emergency,” he agrees, his thumb stroking the place behind her ear. “But nobody’s in crisis now.”
“You say that,” she grumbles, but she’s finally looking up at him, even if it’s through her lashes. “But as soon as I confess my love, one of us will get abducted.”
“I canceled my frequent flyer membership,” he says. His chest is full of a sweet ache; he has to remember to breathe deeply, hypnotized by the darkening blue of her eyes. “But I can wait.”
“Mulder,” she pleads, in that helpless voice that mixes amusement and frustration. “I’ve said it before.”
“Say it again,” he says. “I’m sure the witnesses would like to hear it.”
She gives him a sharp look. “We’re doing this for the benefits,” she reminds him. “For legal rights and protections in case you end up in the hospital again.”
“Of course we are,” he assures her warmly.
She sighs. “Fine.” She meets his gaze squarely. He braces himself for a single sentence or a long, rambling, poetical Scully monologue: there is no in between. “There was a time in my life when I wasn’t in love with you, but it seems to me that I can’t quite remember it anymore. I still wouldn’t change a day, despite everything. Whatever we’ve been through, you and I have ended up exactly where we were supposed to be.” She gives him a tiny, wicked smile as he bites his lip against the prickle of emotion in his eyes. He knew better than to challenge her; she knows all his weaknesses. “Flukeman or no flukeman, I love you, Fox Mulder. I take you as my lawfully wedded partner, to have and to hold, to respect and to rescue.”
He looks at her and there has never been a work of art or a poem or a symphony as perfect as Scully. Voyager should broadcast the curves of her face to the reaches of space along with the Brandenburg Concertos. What a welcome to the rest of the universe: you are not alone, and look what beauty we have produced. He is speechless. She knows it, and smiles and looks away, her hands clasping around the hand of his that isn’t still tangled in her hair. He can feel the smooth metal of her ring against his skin. His own ring is a welcome weight, a constant reminder of how far they have come.
The justice of the peace clears her throat. “Well, I guess that’s as good as anything. I pronounce you married. Congratulations. You may kiss.”
Mulder leans in and brushes his lips against Scully’s. He can’t risk more, or he’ll fall headlong into the wonder of her mouth. But there will be time enough, later, and time after that, and on and on until death do them part again.
Maggie is gently weeping as she signs the license. Skinner holds a box of tissue for her and then passes the box to William and signs as well, his handwriting bold on the official-looking document. William stands a little awkwardly, looking embarrassed and proud, slinging one arm around his grandmother’s shoulders.
“It’s going to be okay, Gran,” he tells her, and Maggie laughs through her tears.
“Yes,” she says, looking at Scully with immensely fond eyes, and Mulder finds himself caught in the nimbus of that affection, part of the family. “Yes, I think it will be.”