Private Party
By Christine Leigh

Summary: Post-episode vignette for Empedocles. Scully and the pizza man spend a little quiet time together.
Rating: G
Category: V, MSR
Spoilers: None.

"But then that's the other gift that you gave me, Mulder. Courage . . . to believe. And I hope that's a gift I can pass on." Her eyes are shining bluer than usual as she speaks these words. Mulder wonders if there is a more beautiful color in the world, and guesses not.

It is one of those moments. The kind where everything right can happen, if only it would; where he knows the possibilities for once are real, instead of half-baked pipe dreams that were never really even half-baked if he's going to be honest with himself. There are so many things he wants to give Scully and to say to her, but he hasn't found his way back into her world just yet. He'd stumbled onto the doll by accident and had immediately thought of her, but then had stopped in his tracks. Would she really like the funny-looking thing? Well, to him it looked funny. But his mother or grandmother, or whomever it had belonged to must have cherished it once, so perhaps Scully would as well. He'd deliberated for two days before toting it down to the gift wrap department at Macy's, and now wonders why he'd ever worried as he looks upon her holding it and smiling like a little girl who has just opened the best gift under the Christmas tree.

He isn't sure of what to do next, but the need to touch her is powerful, so he raises his hand slowly to Scully's cheek and cups it as he's done so many times in the past. He's never made this gesture while containing the emotion he is experiencing at this moment, and miracle of miracles, when he looks up, he believes he is seeing the same in her. Perhaps, he thinks, he has been too careful about everything, too hesitant. Several seconds pass as they just look at each other and enjoy being together in a way that they really have not been since he returned. God knows that they've tried, but evidently not hard enough. It seemed always that they were in a very crowded room among people who, though well intentioned, didn't seem to notice that what he and Scully wanted and needed the most was space. They have a life to plan, or rather two lives to join and a third one to plan for, and it is high time to clear the room of the people who have overstayed their time. This party is now a private one.

Scully moves first, taking his hand and placing it on her belly. She has waited so long to do this, and the other night in the hospital when he'd done it himself, it was as if a spell had been broken. Something had shifted, and in the right direction for a change. Mulder grins, but doesn't speak. Feeling the music their child is making beneath his touch while looking at Scully is something that moves his heart to a place it's never before been. It is wonderful and warm there, and he wants to stay. He wants to stay forever.

"Mul . . ."

"Scully . . ."

They both laugh. Then Scully speaks. "Mulder, do you want some pizza?"

"No. Not this minute. Do you want tea, or anything else?"

"No. I'm fine." Hearing that always elicits a knowing grin from Mulder, and he doesn't miss this opportunity. Scully sees it play across his lips and wonders if the baby will have his smile. That would be lovely.

"Can we just sit here together, Mulder?" She moves closer to him as she is asking this and is in his arms before he can answer. Not that he really needs to answer. They could have done this entire evening without verbal communication, as they well know. Or know again after having taken an unscheduled break.

"Nothing I'd rather do," he says softly into her ear, and kisses it to seal the deal. Mulder loves Scully's ears. They are so delicate and perfectly shaped. He hopes the baby has her ears. He has hope for so many things tonight, but first things, first. He assesses the congealing pizza on the coffee table.

"Scully, are you sure about the regular pizza man? He won't feel stood up?" He can feel the vibration of her body as she is stifling a laugh. Oh, how he loves her. Her body finally quiets.

"Mulder, there was ever only one pizza man." She squeezes his hand as she says this.

"I see."

"Good. And one more thing."


"He's home, that is, if he wants to be."

"He's always wanted to be, Scully. Always." She is getting sleepy in his arms, so he leans back and she is able to recline some more. He kisses her temple and watches her try to stay awake, but can see that she will soon be out.

"Scully, go to sleep. I'll be here when you wake up."

~ End ~

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This story is (c) Copyright 2003 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.