Walking towards her front door, Scully felt like a criminal expecting her sentence. Her legs felt shaky, her body still rather weak even afters weeks of treatment. Two or three more hours and she’d be dead. That was a lot to swallow. The feeling of her skin crawling with mites was still fresh in her memory and it made her feel uncomfortable in her own skin. Usually she'd prefer to be left alone after a case; to have some time to fully process everything that has happened on her own before someone else tries to dig into it with her. Today was an exception.
Which was why the walk to the door felt infinite. Even if she chose to be alone, she wasn’t seeking out the feeling of loneliness. After each case, she knew she could expect a little note on her dinner table. Carefully folded and sometimes accompanied by a fresh flower, the note would be waiting on her to cheer her up. It would be written in your messy attempt at neat handwriting, she'd appreciate the effort regardless. The note would welcome her home, convey your feelings of gratitude that she's home safe, congratulate her on job well done. It would continue with sweet nothings and deep sense of longing. It would also inform her of how you were doing while she was gone as calls were rare as not to disturb her during work. Finally, it would end with reassurance – your feelings did not fade away, you have not run away, you're still hers and waiting for her to call or come to you.
She knew her work was putting quite a bit of strain on your relationship. She was aware that sometimes it was hurting you that things were this way. However, you were coping well so far. So well that she was starting to feel wary. Like a catastrophe was doing to strike any moment. And turns out Mulder's “nice hike in the woods” was just that.
She knew how worried you got every time she was injured on duty. She knew very well how much it was breaking your heart to see her hurt. She knew that this was the thing that was most damaging to your relationship. She understood. If it was the other way around, she'd feel the same way.
The last few big cases were… bad. Almost getting torn apart by some strange beast, getting shot… It was all adding up and she knew you were on edge, that it was getting harder for you to keep it together, to cope. And so she also knew that this incident must have been the last straw.
They told her that they informed you about the severity of her state, of course not the exact reason, but you were informed about how serious the situation was. Which however lead to you only being informed about at-Death's-door Scully being admitted to a medical facility to be treated and that she might not make it. And that you won’t be able to see her. No further information would be provided.
She couldn’t begin to imagine how scared you must have been. Weeks without any updates until she was well enough to be released. That call she had to make herself. She kept it short, simple. Telling you she was being released and when she’ll be coming home.
She would be furious had it been the other way around. And considering all the incidents before… She had a hard time imagining that anyone would be able to handle it. The constant fear, the lack of information and updates. Especially since it was hardly a rare occurrence.
So coming home this time, she wasn't expecting a note.
She opened the door and stepped inside. Closing the door behind her, she lingered while locking it. But there was no use trying to avoid the inevitable. She already knew, hasn't she? She noticed your coat and jackets were missing from the hanger in the hall. She could only imagine how the dresser in her bedroom would look like.
She barely managed to drag herself to the kitchen and get a glass of water. No note, as expected. She'd lie if she said it didn’t hurt. That none of it hurt. She was understanding though, she wasn’t mad or disappointed, sad even. She was just numb. And tired. First, she'd sleep and then… well, she probably should cry but right now it hurt too much to even do that.
She walked up the stairs, hesitating in front of her bedroom door. What would she do if her expectations were true? What if the room really was bare of all your possessions? Would she really fall asleep without your presence lingering in the room?
With bated breath, she pushed the door open gently.
She was expecting to see a lot of things and mentally prepared herself for all of them. But this she haven't expected.
You were lying on her bed, cuddled under the covers with your face buried in her shirt which you clung to like a child would to their blanket.
There were few things that could take her breath away, other than Mulder's theories, yet the sight in front of her most definitely counted among them.
In disbelief but with a quiet chuckle she carefully sat down next to you. She stroked your cheek gingerly, brushing a strand of hair behind your ear. You hummed and turned slightly. One of yours eyes opened. You smiled, ashamed. You tried to hide the incriminating shirt but she stopped you by putting her hand over yours.
“Hey,” you greeted with hoarse, sleepy voice.
“Hey,” she smiled back, hardly holding back the adoration in her look.
“Sorry, I know you want to be alone, I just… I needed to see you. I missed you,” you said with casted down eyes.
She shook her head, her hand coming back up to keep caressing your cheek.
“No, I actually really wished you'd be here,” she confessed. You noticed how shaky her voice sounded.
Frowning, you sat up. “What's wrong?” you asked. You shifted closer, putting a hand on her shoulder.
She shook her head with a weak laugh. “Well, I didn’t see your things in the hall and with everything that happened I assumed…” she didn’t need to continue for you to understand.
You bit your lip. This was a tricky territory. You were aware that this wouldn’t be the first of her relationships that would end because of her job. Still, unable to come up with a reassuring speech quick enough and absolutely not allowing for your silence to be misunderstood, you chose the first-things-first approach.
“I didn’t mean to scare you. I just spilled some coffee on my coat while I was out and decided to just wash all of them while at it. I must have slept through the washing cycle,” you explained. It earned you a fond smile.
“Besides,” you sighed, shifting close enough to embrace her, “We're both adults. I wouldn’t just abandon you without even giving you a chance of closure. Should anything happen between us that would lead to a break up, I can at least promise you that we’ll talk about it and everything.”
She nodded, leaning into your arms until she was hugging you back, pulling you close. “Thank you,” she said. She allowed herself a moment of peace. Just a moment without the doubts proding in her brain. It was too short. “Then does it mean that,” she swallowed, “Well, that we're still…?”
You pulled away. She let you without a protest. It felt miserable, to see her like this. Steeling herself against something that would not come. You cupped her cheek, stroking her skin with your thumb.
“Dana, I won’t leave you just because things are hard,” you sighed, “We’re still together, dating and very happy – that is if you want?” you smiled at her, leaning closer to hover your lips over hers. She closed the gap, finally smiling herself.
She didn’t let you pull away, instead she helped you into her lap. You obeyed, pleased, and put your hands around her neck. Her hands were on your waist, holding you steady and close as she kissed you breathless.
Her lips were soft and warm against yours. Careful at first, but her kisses soon grew deeper, more urgent. Fingers dug into your flesh. Her tongue slipped into your mouth and you let her dominate, explore, mark as hers. Only when you really needed to breathe did she let you escape her care, but still she kept you close. Foreheads touching and noses brushing together, you were both smiling.
“I love you,” you whispered breathlessly.
“I love you too. Just what I did to deserve you,” she wondered aloud, peppering light kisses along your jawline.
You hummed. “You’re very loving, absolutely adorable, very kind,” you counted, “and you also keep us safe from the little green men.”
She laughed against your skin exciting a swarm of butterflies in your stomach.
“That’s not really what I’m doing but thank you anyway,” she teased, “besides Mulder tells me they’re actually little gray men.”
“Well, tell him I said thanks for the info but he’s still getting his ass kicked for this one,” you mumbled. The displeasure was obvious in your voice.
“I’m sorry,” she said equally quietly. She buried her head into your shoulder.
You shook your head. You began brushing your fingers through her hair. Anything to distract yourself from the anxious thoughts running through your head. The scenarios and what-ifs that lingered there even though she was home, safe, alive in your arms. You let out a shaky breath. You kiss her forehead.
“I was just scared, that’s all. Well, terrified, restless… I didn’t know what I’d do if you...” you take a few seconds to compose yourself. You feel her tense under your hands. “But none of that is your fault, okay? No one could anticipate this. And I know you’ve done everything you could to stay as safe as you could,” you speak softly, reassuringly, all the while running your hands through her hair. She nods against your body but you feel her shaking. You hold her tighter and tighter still when you feel the wetness seeping through your shirt.
You let her cry, remind her that it’s okay. That she’s safe and loved, and that no one is upset with her. Your hands slide down to her waist when she straightens and leans against you, forehead touching. She needs you close as much as you need her. You talk like that about the whole ordeal. Well, she does. You just listen and provide reassurance and stupid jokes when needed.
You stay in the comfortable position even after all have been said. Touching, caressing. Until she yawns and you smile.
“Time to get you to bed,” you tease, pushing on her shoulders to make her fall backwards on the mess you made of covers. She laughs, pulling you down with her. She kisses you, softly.
“Will you stay with me?” she asks and it’s vulnerable and heart wrenching. You kiss her again with the same tenderness.
“Of course, just let me check the coat and jackets. I’ll be just a minute,” you promise and leave her in the bedroom to change as you put your things in the drier.
When you get back, she’s already in her pyjamas and waiting for you under the covers. You snuggle to her, enveloping her in a tight embrace. She hums in satisfaction and scoots closer until she’s pressed against you. You smile, kissing her forehead.
“Missed me, huh?” you purr and nuzzle her soft hair.
“I always miss you,” she says gently, honestly. And you know she does.
Slowly, wrapped in each other’s warmth, you drift off to sleep together.