“And I’ve been waiting for you because I couldn’t do anything else. And we’ve both known that we would meet again, and then it would be all over with life and everything that gave our existence meaning and tension. A secret of the kind that lurks between the two of us has extraordinary power. It burns through the fabric of life like a scorching beam, and yet at the same time, it also gives it tensile strength. It forces us to live.”
It was one of the most difficult decisions in her life when she moved out of their home. She knew, that he blamed himself for everything they’ve become. He didn’t even put up a fight when she decided to leave. He helped her to load the suitcases into her car and just stood there, looking deeply into her eyes. What was he trying to say? I'm sorry?', 'I love you, please stay!', 'I'm going to change, I promise!' Maybe. Maybe not. This time, she did not know what he means. This time even their silent communication failed them. So, they just stood there in silence for what it seemed like an eternity until she finally met his mouth with a tender and chastely kiss. The kiss was soft, but it did last for minutes. Only their need for air could break it apart. “I love you.” She whispered and quickly got into her car. She still doesn’t know how she had the strength to drive away. She had never felt this guilty, this empty, and this angry before. While driving, she wished she could die now. The pain in her stomach grew with every mile she put in-between Mulder and herself.
She somehow managed to dial the hospital asking for a personal day, before she arrived at a nearby hotel. She spent the rest of the night and the beginning of the next day, crying and having nightmares. She abandoned Mulder, just how she abandoned William. She abandoned her family because she didn’t have the strength to stand by them. She abandoned everyone she cared about. The word abandonment kept haunting her in the dreams, it didn’t leave her alone. After hours of struggling, she finally managed to fall asleep probably as a result of her body giving up. She was too exhausted to keep fighting. When she woke up, it was dark again. She pulled herself together, got into her car and started her new life. The decision has been made, now she has to live with it. She swore not to go back to their home and start living her new life. She did see Mulder from time to time. He came to the hospital for some appointments, they talked briefly, and that was it. When she didn’t see him for longer periods, she called him. She asked if he was okay if he needed anything. The answer was always the same. He was all right, and yes he needed one thing; her! It always made her smile, but then she always said goodbye, hang up and cried. That was their new relationship. She hated it, but she didn’t know how to change it. Then came the phone call from Skinner, and well the rest is history.
Scully is at the FBI Headquarters, once again, leaving Skinner’s office. She is walking down the hall, reaching the elevator while listening to the unsteady click of her heels marching down the all too familiar hallway. She can feel the same odour, see the same offices. The only noticeable differences are the new pictures on the wall. She is fighting to keep her breathing even while struggling with her feelings. She is back here, where it all started.
“Scully, are you okay?” She looks up and Mulder is standing right in front of her, so close that she can feel his breath on her cheek. His right hand is on her shoulder, his eyes are worriedly searching for hers.
She got so lost in her thoughts, that she didn't even realise that they reached the elevator.
“Scully, is everything okay?” She honestly has no idea how to answer this question. So she goes with her usual; “Yeah, Mulder. I’m fine. Let’s just go” which she instantly regrets. The sadness in his eyes is a painful reminder of an old promise she made. She will never use this phrase, not with him, ever again. Not after everything they’ve been through together.
‘Mulder, I…’ She can’t finish her sentence, the elevator arrives, and they quickly get in, trying to squeeze themselves at the back. They wait patiently, in silence till they reach the parking garage. Without any words spoken they go straight to Scully’s car. The ‘Don’t give up’ sign is basically shouting at them from the rear window. Mulder doesn’t have a car, so it’s kinda obvious that she has to drive him home. Of course, she could have asked him to take an Uber, but she couldn’t bring herself to do that. They should be able to handle this. She should be able to handle this.
While driving towards home...his home... she is getting more anxious. Their silence is too loud and none of them is breaking it. But she can often feel his eyes observing her. Maybe he is waiting for her to talk. Or, maybe he is trying to give her some space. She is still unsure of what is going on in his mind, but she suspects that he won’t leave this car, without telling her.
She parks the car in front of the house turns the lights off. They sit there for a minute or so when - to both of their surprises - she starts speaking. Her voice is weak, and she fights really hard, not to let herself cry. “Mulder, please. I can’t do this right now. I have absolutely no strength left in my body. I’m exhausted, confused and I need time. Please…” He unbuckles his seatbelt and starts looking for her hands in the dark. He slowly slides his fingers, under her palms and interlocks their fingers. “I drove you home because I could not bring myself not to. But being back here, it kills me every time. It brings back the memories. I…”her voice chuckles.
“Scully, I’m gonna be honest. I don’t know what is going to happen or what should happen. I agree we need more time to figure that out. There are things we need to think about. But do you know what I don’t need to think about?” He slowly lifts their hands, leans is closer and delicately kisses her palm. Her whole body shivers of his touch, it’s been such a long time. She finally looks at him.
“I love you, Scully! I know, that I made our life difficult. I know that I fucked up. I know that you had to leave because of me. My depression was destroying me, and I was destroying you. I didn't let you in, Pushed you away. You wanted to help and I refused.” She can feel her body giving up on her. Rational thoughts are all escaping her mind. “ But I am better now, Scully. I promise. I want you back in my life. I need you back in my life. Not just on the X-files. I want you back completely. I need my home. I need you. Please, give me another chance. Don’t leave again, please. Stay.”
And so she does. She stays.