To Meet Again
By Christine Leigh
Summary: Mulder and Scully's farewell, for now. A vision of how they could have wrapped up nine years. The Truth did not happen here.
Category: MSR, AU
Maggie Scully let herself into the apartment, half believing that they would be there, but met with silence. It was funny how this silence was different, as if it knew that it wasn't just a visitor. No one was sleeping, or away at work or dinner. They were gone, and a knowing hush filled the apartment.
Maggie was strong emotionally, and as her losses had accumulated over the last several years, she'd gotten downright tough at times. But even so, this was very difficult for her. Oddly, though, as she wandered to the living room, she wasn't thinking just of them. No, she was also thinking of her husband. She missed him terribly at times. And she'd had such a reminder over the last couple of years while watching her daughter. She'd hurt so for Dana when Fox had been presumed dead. She could hardly bear to see her experience this kind of a loss so prematurely, before she'd really had the opportunity to have a life with the man she loved. So, while Maggie was sad now, it wasn't solely for Dana, Fox, and William. She would miss them dearly, but she would pray daily for their return, and she was a woman of strong faith. She'd been fortunate to be a part of William's life for as long as she had been on such a regular basis, and she was thankful for that. Hour for hour she'd spent more time with him than with any of her other grandchildren.
She went to the smaller bedroom to fulfill her task. The fish sparkled like jewels in the darkened room. She found the food that was sitting on the top of the chest of drawers next to the aquarium, and sprinkled the flakes into the water sparingly. While doing this, she thought back on the early years of her marriage. It had been so hard letting Bill go back to sea soon after they'd married. It hadn't been easy before then, but after they'd started their life together it had been awful. At the end of the second leave he'd had after they had wedded, she had sworn off saying 'good-bye.' Every time he left after that she'd told him 'se revoir.' A silly thing from the new, young Navy wife, to be sure, but it made it more bearable as she watched him go. Those had been the happiest years of her life.
She looked around the room. Minus a stuffed bunny that had been his favorite, it looked like most of William's paraphernalia was still there. She picked up a blanket and held it for a moment. He'd been such a good baby. She hoped for all their sakes he remained on that path. She knew she shouldn't get in the habit of dwelling in this room too long on these visits, so she set the blanket back down, and moved to the kitchen. The place was neat and clean. She knows Dana wouldn't have left it any other way. She saw two wine glasses in the drainer on the counter and smiled, hoping that their last evening here had been appropriately spent. She could have stayed longer and not felt the time pass, but she decided it would be best to get on her way after this first visit. She'd be returning regularly for the time being and she'd probably be sick of those fish soon enough. At least that's what she told herself.
She spoke softly as she locked the door, "se revoir, my darlings."
Two days prior.
Mulder walked to the kitchen, treading softly. To look around it didn't appear that anyone was leaving tomorrow, or today really, but then they weren't taking much with them, only what would be packed for a weekend trip. He poured himself a glass of milk and carried it to the living room, and sat down on the couch and grabbed the remote. The bottle of wine and the glasses he and Scully had been drinking from earlier were still on the coffee table. He found an old movie and hit the mute button. The apartment would remain rented for the present, and that thought comforted him some. They had outgrown it even before they were three, and would need to live somewhere larger should they return, but this was home to them, and it felt good knowing it would be here a while longer.
He was still growing accustomed to the idea that he had an actual family of his own, and he sometimes needed literally to look at Scully and to hear William's little vocalizations in order to believe that he wasn't alone in this. A lifetime of negative outcomes hadn't prepared him for this new trend. They would never be Mr. and Mrs. Traditional America, but they were closer to some sort of normal than he'd ever envisioned for himself, let alone for them. Them. The fact that he, Fox Mulder, was part of a 'them' would forever amaze him.
It was all quite weird and wonderful, and at the top of the weird list was this place. He was going to miss it. Mulder was not attached to anything or anyone in this world beyond the two people who were fast asleep in the other rooms, but strangely he was getting sentimental over leaving. 'Scully's apartment' as he would always think of it, was part and parcel of the start of their life together. And even before that, through all the good and bad, he'd always thought of this as the better place, the one that was cleaner, and more pleasing to the eye; the one that had a fireplace for those cold nights; the one where lighted candles warmed the living room in the evening. He'd spent most of his adult life trying to make sense of his memories, and had never considered that cherishing the good ones might be the best thing to do. That is until two years ago. Without the good ones, he wouldn't have survived.
Their destination was unknown to them still, but Mulder had some good guesses. The fact was he didn't care where they were headed, as long as they remained together. The past year had been bad. His leaving alone had definitely been a mistake. He didn't want to be parted from his family ever again.
Earlier that evening.
He'd been sitting on the couch playing with William, who was making happy little noises in his bassinet, when she'd found them. He knew she was watching them, but he continued without looking up at her. They both did this and took great pleasure in it, but neither spoke of it to the other. It was one more thing that they did that needed no words. William was precious, and he was theirs, and they would talk themselves and him silly in the face at times, but there was nothing to be done about it. They simply loved their little boy. She bent from where she stood behind the couch and slipped her arms around him.
"So, what's the occasion, Mulder?" She asked this upon observing that the bottle of wine Skinner had brought them three nights ago now sat uncorked on a tray along with two glasses on the coffee table. And the candles were lighted. Mulder must have taken a break form playtime.
He took her hand and kissed it. "Us. Here. The end."
"The end? Of what, Mulder? We're leaving, not ending." His sentimentality took her by surprise. But then, when hadn't anything about him done that?
"Scully, the best part of my life happened here. I just wanted to say good-bye to it fittingly."
She disengaged her arms from around his neck and sat down next to him. "Mulder, I know this sounds strange coming from me, but please don't use the word 'end.' I just want to move on to wherever we'll be without thinking that anything is ending. I can't believe that we won't be back here again some day." Mulder looked at her. He wanted to believe as she did, but was having a difficult time. The irony of how things had changed between them in almost every way since that first day they'd laid eyes on one another was not lost on him. He moved to pour the wine, and then handed Scully a glass.
"Here's to the first nine years. To part one." Now Scully smiled. They touched their glasses together and then drank.
"Nine years. That's a long first part, Mulder."
"Did it seem long to you, Scully? It didn't to me." There was a small cry from the bassinet. Mulder set his glass down and picked William up. He stood rocking him in his arms for several seconds. "And I suppose it hasn't seemed too long to you at all, has it Will? But then you got here a little late in the game now, didn't you?" The crying subsided and Mulder put him back down. Scully watched this while her heart did little flip-flops. She wondered if it would ever stop doing that when she watched the two of them together. She hoped not.
"No, Mulder. It didn't seem such a long time. In fact, I suppose you could say it flew, when it wasn't disappearing." That comment would get him going, she knew. Yep, there it was. The gleam in his eye. The Mulder of then was now in the room.
"Why, Scully, are you positing that time can disappear?"
"William, you're a witness."
"Mulder, he's asleep."
"Doesn't matter; I believe he heard you." They grinned at each other.
"Mulder, so many things have come to be, that once, I never would have believed possible. There was definitely a time that I thought we'd never be here." She flashed on the desperate moment alone in her car when she'd felt utterly defeated after seeing him and Diana having their little tête-à-tête. Had that ever happened?
He could see her thought process. It was spooky, really. He leaned down and whispered in her ear,"but we are here Scully, and that's all that matters." His lips did the rest of the talking, and they lost several minutes. This time without the blinding rain though, Scully thought, as she tripped down memory lane while his mouth worked its magic. If it weren't for William's presence, they would have spent the night there on the couch. Scully finally forced herself to break away and speak.
"Mulder, we should go to bed."
He stood up. He'd only had the one glass of wine, but something was most definitely in the air tonight. Call it love, or call it happiness. Call it both. He was heady with satisfaction. A first for him. He held out his hand to her. Without hearing him say a word she knew what he was asking. She rose and entered into his arms, and not for the last time, but for the last time here, for now, since endings were not being allowed, they danced.
To music they only could hear, they danced.
~ 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.