By Christine Leigh
Summary: Set during and after the events of Per Manum. Scully is feeling very alone.
Category: MSR, V
So, she would never have a child. They would not be parents together. Not this way, or any other way. She knew how it all must have sounded to him. So clinical, so businesslike. And now despite everything else, she was also feeling somewhat foolish. She had decided that the risk she was taking in making her request of him would be worth it. How could something that would result in having a child with him not be? She hadn't thought about how it would be if there were negative results. Her rational mind had taken a vacation for the last couple of months. What was wrong with her? Why had she allowed this to happen?
She couldn't look at him that second. To do so would break what was left of her heart. So she kissed his cheek. And then his beautiful neck. And then he wrapped his arms around her, and held onto her once more for dear life. His words, "never give up on a miracle," kept circling in her mind, but her heart was heavier than it had ever been. Hope was a stranger.
The memory of that night is something Scully almost wishes she could blot out, but she knows she won't succeed. It is so palpable right now; she can feel his arms and hear his voice, and it is wearing on her heart to know that she will be going home to the nothingness that her life has become without him there. She misses everything about him, but right now what she misses more than she would have missed her own right arm if it weren't there, is the tenderness of his gaze, and the feel of his arms around her on that night. She wants to go home to that. She is feeling so cold.
Mulder wanted to say more, but he left it alone. He had a near-lifetime of experience in the broken heart department and he could take it, but Scully couldn't. At least not tonight. He believed fully what he had said about never giving up, but he knew that she needed time to assimilate what had happened. He would like nothing more than to take her to the bedroom and make love to her, but tonight wasn't their time. It was approaching, he knew, but it wasn't tonight. He disengaged himself from her embrace.
"Are you tired, Scully?"
"Not really. Mulder, you don't have to stay. I'll be. . ."
"Fine? Don't say it, Scully, because I'm not buying."
"All right. I'll be all right, Mulder. I knew what the chances were for success. I just need some time."
"Do you want me to leave?" As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he saw her shiver. It was a very small voice that answered.
"No. Stay, please?" She phrased it as a question, feeling awkward. This was a shared loss, after all, but she didn't know what to say to him about it. Sitting suddenly seemed like a good idea, and she sank to the couch. Mulder knelt and held her hands, and then commenced rubbing them between his to warm her up. He wanted to say that he thought that they would have a child some day, but since he had nothing more than his belief to go on, he couldn't. He wanted to say that if they never had a child, it wouldn't matter to him. But now wasn't the time. He wanted to tell her that he loved her.
She has been released, and her mother will pick her up in about an hour. After she finishes dressing, she pushes the button for a nurse. She has a need to be anywhere but in this room.
"Yes, Ms. Scully? Is everything all right? You're leaving soon, aren't you?"
"Everything's fine. But my ride won't be here for an hour, and I was wondering if someone could take me down to the chapel for a few minutes?" Scully hadn't known where she was going to ask to go, but now has decided she wants to say a prayer.
"I'll send an attendant with a wheelchair." She is a pretty young woman, this nurse. Her coloring is similar to Scully's, and her hair is even a strawberry shade. Much lighter than her own, but based on her physical appearance, the nurse could be her sister or cousin. At a glance Scully sees Melissa's face when she looks at her. Then it is gone. So many faces are gone.
Mulder had finally persuaded Scully to let him run her a bath, and now, as she lay soaking in it, she could hear him in the kitchen making noise with dishes and heaven knew what else. She let her mind drift, imagining that this was their daily routine. Home from a long day at work, and happy to be having dinner. It would be simple, but they'd have it together. Then maybe some TV, and then bed. They would speak softly to each other as they fell asleep. He'd ask her if it was too soon to start discussing names. Was that bad luck? No, she'd reply, not as long as we keep it between us. She needs to think of names. After the loss of Emily, she'd purposely erased all her girlhood notions of motherhood, and now she can't remember a single name that she and Melissa chose for their future children so long ago, laying there in their darkened bedroom. She doesn't say it aloud to Mulder, but she hopes their baby will be a boy.
A knock on the bathroom door brought Scully out of her reverie, and she opened her eyes reluctantly. She allowed herself these daydreams only on occasion, and since their agreement to possibly conceive a child together, not at all. Odd that tonight she'd let herself go there. Why did she let herself dream of what would never be at the worst possible time? Two months ago she had been so optimistic; tonight the naysayer was back.
"Scully, would you like anything to drink while you're soaking? A glass of wine or something else?"
"Mulder, thanks, but no. What are you doing out there?" Actually, a glass of wine did sound good, but she'd go to sleep for sure if she drank it in the bath, and she didn't want to conk out on whatever the noise from the kitchen was going to bring forth.
"Nothing fancy, I promise. Or dangerous."
She rose from the tub and grabbed the towel he'd laid on the vanity. He'd also managed to find her warmest bathrobe, one that she usually wore only on the coldest of winter nights. Tonight it would do.
A man and woman are sitting together in the front row of the chapel as the attendant wheeled Scully in, but otherwise it is empty. She asked him for 15 minutes, and then he leaves her. She glances at the two persons, wondering if they are a couple. From her view of their backs, he could even be Mulder. He is tall, and his hair is nearly the same shade and style.
Her first prayer is for Mulder, and his safe return to her and their unborn child. He is never absent from her heart or mind, yet the formality of praying for him each night is very important to Scully. The structure of doing this helps her to stay sane. She bowed her head.
Dear God, please bring him back. We need him. Please bring him back whole. Please let him know that I haven't stopped thinking about him or loving him. There are days when it is physically harder now, but I am not giving up. I'm not giving up until he is by my side again. I want him to be here when the baby comes. Please let that happen. Please help me find him.
Her second prayer is for their baby. She's been so unsettled by what had just happened with Mary Hendershot, and then with her own ultrasound. She desperately needs to believe that her baby is all right and that the mislabeled tape was nothing more than a sloppy mistake. Her initial reaction had been that she needed to go into seclusion until the baby is born, but that was impossible, of course, not to mention irrational. She couldn't look for Mulder from behind a locked door in some far away place. She closed her eyes.
Dear God, please let our baby be healthy and safe. Keep him or her from harm. I don't know why you let this pregnancy come to be, but part of me wants to believe that you acknowledge the extraordinary love that brought it about. Please let that be true. And let that be my shield. I know that I'm not the person you expect to hear things like this from, but I believe that this baby was meant to be. Please don't take that from us.
Scully remained with her eyes closed, willing her mind's eye to take her somewhere that would make this all bearable. She'd told Dr. Miryum that she was only concerned that everything was all right, and not with the sex of the baby, but that hadn't been the truth. She wants to know whether she is carrying a boy or a girl, but not without Mulder there. If he isn't there to share in the joy of that moment, then that moment wouldn't happen. It is bad enough that circumstances had caused her to reveal anything about her pregnancy to anyone without Mulder knowing first. It is just all so wrong. What if she doesn't find him by the time the baby is born? She refuses to believe that this will happen, because that would mean that she has given up, which she has not done. It's just that she so needs him here right now, and it is difficult to stop the feeling of hopelessness that has descended upon her.
"Ma'am?" The attendant had returned. Scully is grateful that he didn't resemble any of her dead or missing loved ones. Two in an hour had been more than enough. "Do you want some more time?" Scully opened her eyes and looked around once more. The couple had left. She hasn't found the place she was hoping to find.
When she entered the living room all bundled in her winter bathrobe, the scene before her tugged at her heart. Mulder had turned off all but one light and the rest of the room was illumined by the candles she kept placed around her living room. And there was piano music playing softly on the CD player. Chopin. Mulder was in the kitchen, though, so she headed there and found him standing at the counter opening some containers of Chinese food, his back to her. She walked over and stood behind him. He hadn't heard her. She didn't know what she would ever do without him. He could have been standing there arguing with her, and she'd still welcome him; she didn't want a life that didn't include him. She touched her hand to his back, making a circular motion, and he turned around.
"Scully, hi. Are you warm now?"
She didn't reply, but continued to rub her hand on his back. He pulled her into his arms and they stood embracing for a few seconds. This would be a night for that. When they broke apart, she surveyed the counter.
"Mulder, you've been busy."
"One phone call, and one unloading of your dishwasher. Promise me that you won't do an inventory anytime soon. Do you feel like some food?"
"That would be nice. And that glass of wine you were pushing earlier. We can eat in the living room."
"You go sit then, Scully. Red or white?
"Go. I'll be right there."
Her mother had wanted to stay and fix her some food, but Scully promised that she would eat something before going to bed, and then sent her home. She knows that her mother doesn't quite understand her daughter's need for so much solitude, but is grateful that she respected it. The simple fact is that Scully is alone, and will be no matter how many people are in any given room, until Mulder is there with her.
She stood to look out her living room window. It is a clear evening, and she can see Venus just peeking above the horizon of trees across the street in her view. Without thinking about it she falls into her childhood habit of wishing. "I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight." She doesn't say this aloud, but thinks of all the times that she had, and of all the wishes she'd gladly return for the granting of the one she wants to come true tonight.
Scully hadn't eaten much, but to Mulder's satisfaction she'd tried. They had both managed to finish a glass of wine, though. It had been a quiet meal and its remains sat on the coffee table while the two of them tried not to fall asleep on the couch. Mulder could see that Scully wasn't going to last much longer at all, and he'd eased her legs up onto the couch, and now her head rested on his lap. She turned onto her side and he rested his hand on her head, every now and then rubbing it gently. She'd closed her eyes, and he thought she was asleep, but then heard her voice.
"Mulder, I'm sorry."
"There's nothing to sorry about Scully. Nothing."
"I should have left well enough alone. I shouldn't have put you through this."
"Through what? Something that would lead to the chance of a lifetime? Something that would create one more human being who would make my life worth it all?" He stopped there. But he needed for her to hear that much. She didn't say anything in response, but he could feel her body tremble, and saw the dampness on her cheek. He bent to kiss it, and stayed that way, holding her tight until she was asleep. Then he whispered in her ear.
"I'm not giving up, ever."
~ End ~
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This story is (c) Copyright 2002 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.