In This Minute
By Christine Leigh

Summary: AU version of the scene in Empedocles when Mulder visits Scully in the hospital. Sort of a prequel to Private Party.
Rating: G
Category: V, MSR
Spoilers: Empedocles.

Washington Medical Center

"But you're going to be fine?"


He reaches to touch her and his hand falls upon her stomach, moving in a circular pattern. It happens so naturally and for a few seconds the world that has been unrecognizable to him since his return now feels familiar. This is Scully times two he is caressing; his rock, doubled. Their baby is now moving beneath his hand, and that is a wondrous fact to ponder. They smile at each other and he feels at ease. He needs for this to last.

"This is amazing."

Scully nods. There have been too few words between them since Mulder came back, but the still, silence of this moment while she observes his expression is the most meaningful conversation they've had yet. She needs for this to continue. They need it. All three. His hand, still upon her, is now resting.

"You should sit down."

He shakes his head. "I like it here, Scully."

"Where have you been?"

"I've actually been out in the field with Agent Doggett and this female agent from New Orleans."

"Agent Reyes."

"Yeah, but . . . " He breaks it off. Business is the last thing he wants to talk about right now.


"But, it'll keep. I'll tell you everything, but not in this minute, if that's all right."

She looks at his hand splayed over her and smiles. "Okay."

He has such beautiful hands. Pianist's hands with their long, graceful fingers, she'd thought, the first time she'd given them a thought. That seemed like a hundred years ago. She wants their child to inherit this from his or her father.

"Everything really is all right?"

"Yes. And there hasn't been any indication that it shouldn't continue to be. Doctor Speake will tell me tomorrow, probably, when I'll be able to go home."

Home. He wants to be there, but wonders if she's ready for that. That's definitely not a conversation for this minute either.

"When you do, the pizza's on me."

"Sounds good."

"Scully, do you want anything while you're here? Is there something I can bring you?" He doesn't have a clue what it would be, but needs to ask. Isn't this what fathers-to-be are supposed to do? That is, whatever needs to be done? He's watched enough television to know this much. It couldn't all be banal exaggeration.

She looks at him and they eye talk for the first time in a long time, and then he knows that he won't be foraging through her apartment, regardless of whether there is anything she could use. They both grin and for a flash it's 1994 again.

"Mulder, everything I need or want is here, now."

"You say."

"I say, truly." There is no teasing in her tone now.

He removes his hand from its resting place, and along with the other takes her face in both. Something momentous has happened here tonight. They are unstalled. He leans in, and as their lips join, he thinks about the future for the first time since returning. It is a kiss of hope.

"You should try to sleep." He pulls over a chair to sit down.

"You aren't staying?"

"I am."

~ End ~

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This story is (c) Copyright 2010 by Christine Leigh. "The X-Files" and its characters are the property of the Fox Network and Ten-Thirteen Productions and are borrowed here without profit or intent for profit. A few lines of dialogue are taken verbatim from the episode, Empedocles.