Mulder sat at his desk staring unashamed at Scully across the desk form him. She was pretending to be enthralled in a file that she had pulled but he knew her better than that. She was avoiding talking to him and telling him why she was so upset the night before. It had all been very confusing to Mulder when Scully pulled up to their little house, or what had become his little house. She was concerned and he had seen that coming but she was acting like she would stay she was talking to him which was exciting even if the current topic was irritating him. She was fine until Sveta opened the screen door to ask if things were alright. Scully's mood completely changed and she started to head toward the car. He stood there baffled as to what just happened when Tad O'Malley pulled up and told Scully to join them. By that point Mulder could tell that Scully was embarrassed and on the brink of tears. He had not seen Scully sad in a long time. He used to see it every day before she left a year ago. He would see it every day when she got back from work and found him in his office in the dark on his laptop. He saw it when he drank too much and when he slept to much. He saw it when she would try to reach for him in bed but he moved away saying he did not feel like it. It was the worst on the day she left. This was the pain he saw now the helpless pain that made her flee. She acted cold for the rest of the night and he could tell she just wanted to leave and she did so as soon as she could. Scully had found out much since then and upon hearing of Tad O'Malley's show being shut down and Sveta's death she had gone quiet.
"What?" She said irritably not looking up from the paper she was reading.
"What are you doing Scully?" Mulder replied slowly.
"Trying to work. You?" She said peering over the manila folder and giving him her trademark-cocked eyebrow pared with pursed lips. Despite knowing she made this face out of annoyance he could not help but feel warmness from the familiarity of the face.
"I'm wondering what you're thinking. Why were you so pissed last night?"
"Last night? You mean when I drove out to the house to make sure you were ok but ended up having to stay to listen to more X files crap that I thought I was done with?"
"Yeah." He said ignoring her attempt to instigate a fight that would veer them off this conversation.
"I don't know what you mean. At the end I was just tired and wanted to leave. I feel bad for Sveta but she had been testing my nerves all day by being a brat."
"What could she have possibly done?"
"She seemed to have read some of my thoughts, or at least she claimed too, and decided to bring up painful personal things to me just to be spiteful. As she was doing this she told me I don't understand her pain. All of this made me irritated. I don't need a twenty something girl telling me my life story and pretending to know my life."
"Ok so you just started to leave cause she irritated you?"
"You mean before O'Malley arrived? Yeah I guess." Her voice trailed off at the end and the folder moved up a bit to cover her face better.
"Or were you just jealous?" He said this intending it to be a joke but he could tell as soon as the folder shot down to her lap that he had crossed some sort of invisible line.
"Unbelievable! You know what Mulder, you're an adult you can do whatever the hell you want, or whoever the hell you want!" She stood up at the end of her proclamation and began to head toward the door but now Mulder was irritated.
"Seriously Scully? What do you think I am? She is a kid!" He got up after her and reached for her arm before she got to the door. She pulled it away from him and spun around.
"I told you already Mulder I don't care!"
"You are sure as hell acting like you care! Even if I slept with someone else I want to remind you that you were the one who left!"
Her face then changed from angry to sad and all she said was, "You're right I did." And with that she walked away. Mulder just watched her go now even more confused than before.
Mulder tried to call Scully a few times but she would not pick up. Finally after the third try he made up his mind to go and find her. He had been to her apartment one time. It looked almost unlived in and he could tell that she only slept there really. He saw it only a month after she moved in when he was bringing something of hers over to make an excuse to see her. She let him in and gave him coffee and they danced around the fact that she was living there now and not with him in their home. As he left she gave him a spare key telling him to call or come by if he needed anything. He remembered the immense sadness that filled him when she said these things because even now she would never let him feel like he was alone. Mulder decided to go and follow her to her small bare apartment and talk out whatever was happening. On his way over he recalled that one of Scully's main problems was that at the end they didn't fight. He thought that sounded stupid at first but later understood. When you fight with someone you are showing that you still care on some level that you want to get to the bottom of a problem. But when you stop fighting and instead keep everything in life becomes poisons. He pulled up in front of the building and saw her car right away and prepared himself for how irritated she would be to see him there. She made his way to the third floor and to her apartment. He just stood outside the door for a bit before finally knocking. Within a minute Scully opened the door to him looking completely unsurprised at his presence.
"Yes Mulder?" She enquired.
"I was not done fighting." Mulder said giving her a meaningful look.
She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose as she looked down at the floor. "Then come in. If we are going to fight we might as well have some beer to go along with it."
He smiled softly and followed her in. As he sat down in her plain kitchen and received a cold bottle from her he wondered where to start.
"Just tell me why you were so upset when you saw Sveta. Really Scully I just want to know what happened you wanted to get out of there so quickly and seemed hurt."
"I was Mulder." She said keeping her eyes on the table. "It wasn't jealously. I just… It hurt me to see that you didn't need me there and didn't even want me there. For the whole year before I left I tried every day to get you to be happier and to try to live. I felt like such a failure as I watched you just get worse with every day. Last night it felt like all of a sudden there was another woman who was finally able to get you out of the dark place you were in. The dark place that I could never pull you out of and that you would never let me in. I know it probably sounds stupid…"
She trailed off still not meeting his eyes. Mulder became very troubled then and grabbed her hands from across the table.
"Scully… Scully look at me." She looked at him watery eyes. "Sveta didn't bring me out of the place I was in. You did when you called to tell me about the case. All of a sudden I felt like it was my chance to see you again and to show you that I had been improving. I felt this drive to work to get you back for the first time in a long time. When you came Sveta just happened to be there because we were meeting O'Malley. I didn't tell you cause I thought you didn't wan to have further involvement in all of this. When you left I spent a good six months feeling bad for myself and mad at you but then I realized that I had some control of how much you would be in my life. I decided to try to get better. It has been slow and I don't know if I will backslide again but I do know that you were the one to pull me out of the fog you just didn't know it was you. I missed you so much." His throat closed slightly at the end and he looked down and their entangled hands to regain his composure.
It was silent for a few minutes as they just sat across from each other holding hands. Scully broke the silence first, "Let's watch a movie. Your choice even though I know I will regret it." He heard the smile in her voice and looked up and returned it with one of his own. He took her hand and put it to his mouth, "Netflix it is."