Four Candles
By Christine Leigh

Summary: Post-series. A Birthday celebration.
Rating: G
Category: V, AU
Spoilers: None.

May 2005

May has been cool this year for these parts, or so everyone says. They've only been here five months, but cool is the word on the street regarding the weather. Mulder isn't certain if this is supposed to be good or bad, but he likes it. He can run later in the day if he wants -- and he usually will do that when he gets home around five. Scully is home earlier most days, and he'll stop to check in, and then he'll change his clothes and go. When he returns, and after a shower, dinner will be ready. Sharing his evening meal as the sun goes down is the high point of his day, something that he has never told to anyone. Memories from his former life of all those nights spent eating alone have fallen so far off his radar. Now, his life, their lives, appear so mundane. It's a precarious facade.

This morning Scully had been as she is most mornings -- a little grouchy, but snuggly in his arms as he spooned her to him. It hadn't lasted long, though, interruptions having become a regular part of their daily routine since a year ago when they had made fierce love on this anniversary. He had thought back to that night when he had wished that he could wipe all anniversaries off the calendar. Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays -- all of it.

He's on his second lap around the small park at the end of their street, and is debating a third, when he decides to throw it in and go home. They had started this day with pancakes. He can only imagine with what delicacy they will end it, but he has an educated guess. Life can be good. He knows that's sap, but it's also, on occasion, true. He's not a fool, however, sometimes he can play the part. Today is one of those days.

The house is only a two-bedroom and could definitely use a coat of paint, but as Mulder approaches its threshold, in his view it might as well be every Town and Country house he'd lived in on the Vineyard and elsewhere when growing up. As he enters, he grins at the scene before him, that is, after he finishes hugging -- there is a lot of hugging.

The cake on the kitchen table is frosted with chocolate and is a little lopsided. There are four candles upon it. Scully looks happier than he's ever seen her. Will looks, well, four.

This has been the best year.

~ End ~

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This story is (c) Copyright 2005 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.