Nine Minutes More
By Christine Leigh

Summary: Scully POV. This story is the second in what I call the Party of Three Universe, which is a series of stories and vignettes that are set post-Requiem.
Rating: PG
Category: V, MSR
Spoilers: Minor one for Via Negativa.

Scully's bedroom, early morning
January 19, 2001

party This morning he is here, arms around her. He holds her and breathes into her ear, keeping the cold away. It is always chilly, but not in their cocoon. It never seems to amaze her when he is there. How could he not be? A tiny smile plays across her lips. Nine minutes more.

She starts contemplating the day ahead, not that this is a huge thing. It hasn't been since he's been gone, but habit causes her brain to tick away regarding what the events of the day will bring. It is absurd, but she is becoming bored. She hasn't thought of any recent case once it has been closed. There is nothing to return to, even if she wanted to. She sometimes will catch Agent Doggett looking at her quizzically. She knows he is trying his damnedest to figure her out. What would happen, she thinks, if she were to give him her speech. The one she's given so many times to herself, the one she hasn't been able to articulate aloud, not without crying. She thinks Agent Doggett is probably a decent enough guy, but she isn't ready to be judged by anyone when it comes to her relationship with Mulder. And her pregnancy has only made her more protective of their situation. She runs through it once more.

"Agent Doggett, in regard to this case, I don't want to take it. I'm tired and I'm bored and I want to look for Mulder. Trouble is, I don't know where to start. Even if I did, there's an extenuating circumstance. I'm five months pregnant and shouldn't be doing much of what we've been doing lately. I've been hospitalized once already, and yes, everything is all right, but I need to be careful. But mostly I just need to have Mulder back. Can you help me? Do you know anyone who possibly would be able to help? I'm begging here. I want Mulder back. Do you get my drift?"

She burrows her head a little deeper into her pillow. His left hand is now rubbing her stomach gently. Oh, this is so good. He will stop in a minute or two, but this is heaven on earth for her while it lasts. She wants to turn and face him, but knows that isn't part of it. She wants to hear his voice, but no deal. These things will have to wait until he returns. She doesn't question this. He's here and that's all that matters.

Today, she thinks. I need to talk with Agent Doggett today. Please, God, don't let me break down. I need to do this. Too much time has gone by. I know it may seem that I've just let it, but that's not true. Every time I try to even say his name in front of another person, I freeze. It's as though I'll disappear if I do, either that or go mad. Perhaps I already have.

The NPR announcer's voice sounds in her ear. It's time. She feels him leaving. Gentle lips brush against her temple, and he is gone. Until the next time, that is. She gets up. Today, she affirms. Definitely today.

~ End ~

Next in series: Small Things

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This story is (c) Copyright 2001 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.