Dreaming of An Unnoticed Life
By Christine Leigh
Summary: Season seven. Missing scene from Requiem. The time between the scene in the hallway and when Mulder leaves to return to Bellefleur.
Category: MSR, Vignette, Angst
Spoilers: References toRequiem and Closure.
Hallway Outside Skinner's Office
"I won't let you go alone."
As it always does, the music of her voice calms him. Her fingers move in a circular pattern on the back of his neck and their cool touch soothes. Seconds pass, and neither of them moves from the embrace. What would it be like, he wonders, to stand here exactly as they are doing now, unencumbered? To be Agents Mulder and Scully, just having a private moment, albeit in the workplace? Anyone who sees them would just smile and then go about their business since everyone knows that they're together and happy and, well isn't that what life is all about if you're fortunate enough to find it?
Nothing like dreaming a little daydream.
It is absolutely out of the question for her to return with him, but at the same time he can't help wondering how he will deal with whatever awaits him in the forests of Bellefleur without her by his side. Seven years ago their journey had begun; seven years ago he'd first looked upon her and seen a spy and intruder. She had invaded his space, and he'd done his best to send her running away. Now, he's too selfish to wish that she had. Now, he will finish the journey alone. It makes no difference that someone else will accompany him back to Bellefleur. No Scully equals *alone* to him.
There are too many questions, and none of them good ones as far as he is concerned, in regard to the business at hand. He will return to Oregon, and he knows Scully is fighting every instinct she has to say something -- anything, to change his mind. The entire situation is pure hell. He doesn't want to leave her, especially after the fainting spell or whatever it had been that left her flat on her back on the ground that day in the woods, but this has to be completed.
It is spectacularly bad timing.
While that is nothing new to his life, the fact that he now cares about it is. During the past few months he has experienced clarity like never before, and that has led him to contemplate seriously an existence aside from the X-Files. Now, after one phone call, the door he had thought closed permanently on a night of blue shadows laced with laughter and tears in a California meadow, has been cracked open. The details of the only life he'd known for so long are consuming him as much as they ever had, and all he can do is carry through, and return to her as soon as possible. Two days, tops, he keeps telling himself.
She has remained on tiptoe, which allows her to caress the back of Mulder's neck as he holds her. After a few seconds, she is let back down, but their arms are still entwined. For a moment they just look at each other through liquid views. She wants to say that she understands, but she can't do that. She understands as much about this as anyone, but that does nothing to assuage her fear for him. And then there is the issue of her health. These twin fears are insidious, and trying to manage them is sapping her strength.
The two of them are alone still, in the hall. They could be interrupted at any moment, she knows, by Kim or one of the group on the other side of the door, but she doesn't care. No, there is only what is in front of her, and that is Mulder bending to kiss her. His lips upon hers are tender and delicious, and if the fierceness of the emotion she is experiencing this minute could be distilled, the resulting elixir would be magical. One sip, and she would be cured. Another, and he would stay. All she can do, though, is prolong the kiss. Temporary magic. When it ends, she breaks the silence..
"Mulder, can we go home? Now? Please?"
They each had left in their own car and had driven to their own apartment, but Scully is due here any minute now. Mulder had been perfectly willing to leave from her apartment tomorrow, but she'd been insistent about wanting to come to his place.
His bag from the previous trip is still half-unpacked on his bedroom floor, so after pulling out certain items and adding some others, he is nearly through. The gunmen have equipment that he will stop and pick up tomorrow morning, and that will complete his packing.
Scully had looked very pale as they walked to the garage, and he is worried. She'd said she felt fine and that the nausea hadn't returned today, which is good news, but he'd still all but badgered her about getting an appointment with her doctor as soon as possible. He hears the key in the door and goes to meet her. She has her overnight bag and a sack full of Chinese take-out. He takes her bag and carries it to the bedroom. When he returns, they both head for the kitchen.
"You didn't say you were bringing dinner. Smells good."
"I couldn't think of anything else. I hope this is all right." She sets the sack on the kitchen counter. He's right behind her, and doesn't waste any time, wrapping her in his arms. As their lips meet, he knows this is what he has to come back for. It is the sweetest taste, and he no longer wants to go a day without it. When they finish she rests her face against his chest. It is the stance she has come to love almost as much as the man. Her head is tucked just beneath his chin, and in this position she feels safer than anywhere else in the world. This is her true home.
"Scully, did you call your doctor?" He can feel her heart beat faster as he asks this.
"I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon."
He kisses the top of her head. "Thank you."
"What time are you leaving?"
"The flight leaves at 8:12. I have to see the guys first. Oh, and I talked with Skinner. Apparently someone persuaded him to be my chaperone on this one."
"I'm glad he'll be with you, Mulder. If I can't be, he's the next best choice."
They eat in quiet, but neither consumes much, and most of the containers that now sit on the top shelf in his refrigerator are more full than not. After they finish putting things away, Mulder can see Scully fading and suggests bed, but she prefers to sit on the couch with him for a bit. They start out side by side, but now he holds her on his lap, her arms once more around his neck and her cheek against his. The room is dark except for the green-blue glow from the aquarium.
"Scully, you'll call me after your appointment?"
"Of course." Please, God, let it be nothing, she prays for the thousandth time today. Please. What on earth would it be like, she wonders to just be here with the man she loves, and not have to consider that cancer may have returned to her body? What would it be like to not worry about whether Mulder is going on a fool's errand or a life endangering mission? What would it be like to lead unnoticed lives?
"Scully, do you remember the night you came to my motel room with the mosquito bites on your back?"
"Yes. Why do you ask?"
"That's a precious memory for me. Especially now."
"I behaved like a frightened child, Mulder. What's so particularly special about that now?"
"That you trusted me enough to trod through all that rain and come knocking on my door, scantily clad, when we hardly knew one another." There is a hint of a smile in his voice as he says this. Just a hint.
"Well, I'd been about to take a bath. Mulder, honestly, I don't know if I stopped to think about trusting you, although I know now that I did. I was scared out of my wits and needed your corroboration that they were just insect bites."
He hugs her a little tighter. It sometimes breaks his heart to remember how young and vulnerable she had been then, but nevertheless it is a precious recollection. There are so many things he'd undo if he could from their years together, but he's glad that night happened. He can see her eyes looking at him from the bed as he told her about Samantha. He remembers thinking that they were like a Siamese cat's. Now he thinks them beautiful. There is no blue more brilliant in his world.
Scully is starting to drift off, and he too, is feeling the effects of this very long day. He stands, carefully lifting her. Her eyes are closed, but she gives him a little smile as he carries her to the bedroom and lays her on the bed. He removes her shoes and then his, and then too tired to do anything else, he lies next to her and pulls the comforter over them.
Morning will come too soon.
He doesn't want to wake her until he has to, so when she does open her eyes he is already showered and dressed. She watches him throw his toiletry kit into his bag.
"What time is it, Mulder?"
"A little after five. Skinner should be downstairs in about fifteen minutes." He went to the bed and knelt down beside her. "How are you feeling?"
"Good." He kisses her. He'd probably be back here the day after tomorrow, but leaving her for even that short a period is causing a feeling of desolation to settle in the pit of his stomach. He doesn't want her to see this, so he keeps up the conversation.
"You'll feed the fish?"
"Mulder, when have I ever not fed your fish? Of course." She looks away from him briefly, something apparently on her mind. He waits a second or two, then asks again about this afternoon.
"Scully, you will call me after your appointment?"
"Yes, Mulder. Didn't we cover this last night?"
"It can't be covered enough." She is looking at him, but yet not. Then she sits up, and very quickly and unceremoniously, unfastens her necklace.
"Mulder, will you take this with you?" As she dangles the cross from her fingers to give to him, he is in serious danger of choking up. She starts to place it in his palm, but he shakes his head and touches his throat. She slips it around his neck, fastening it, and then places a kiss on the spot where the clasp rests against his skin. They both remain completely still for a few seconds, and then he stands up and goes to retrieve his jacket from the closet.
"Scully, you don't need to get up. I like seeing you right where you are."
She knows what he is doing, because she is doing it, too. They both excel at it. No good-byes will be spoken aloud here. They will be back together in just a few days.
"Mulder, there's no place I'd rather be than right here."
"Well, then I'll see you right here, no later than Saturday."
"It's a date."
He picks up his bag and pauses for a moment longer in the doorway. He has someone to come home to, and that is a wonderful thing. He has learned to live a little, and he wants more. He will hold on to that and fight for it, always.
"Mulder, I love you."
Now he does need to go, or he won't.
"I love you too, Scully. More than I can say."
"We'll talk, this afternoon."
Then he is gone.
After she hears the front door close, she moves to the other side of the bed and puts her head down on his pillow. She wants to believe that he will be all right since life without him is not something she can bring herself to contemplate. She wants to close her eyes and dream of living an unnoticed life.
She'll be right here.
~ End ~
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This story is (c) Copyright 2004 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.