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And I've been waiting for you

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“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.

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He is driving her home and her words keep echoing in his mind. And sometimes… I hate myself that I didn’t have the courage to stand by him.” He can’t stop replaying their conversation, and all that has happened in front of the hospital. Scully confronting him and asking all those questions. Questions regarding her pregnancy and their son. How his poorly chosen word effected, her, hurt her;I felt I had to put that behind me.”  The pain and anger he saw in her eyes before she turned her head away from him. How she couldn’t even look at him when she talked about William. She seemed so distant while expressing emptiness, guilt, and her regret for giving up their child. 

It hurts. It hurts him more than he could ever admit. He abandoned them. He abandoned his family. He left her alone with all her fears, demons, and decisions.“You did what you did to keep him safe. His adoption is secret, his location is unknown because you had to protect him.” He could see how her brilliant mind ran through the possibilities they didn’t dare to talk about. Her beautiful, ocean coloured eyes turned darker from the deep sorrow, and pain that surfaced in them. He knew this look too well. She was torturing herself.  “What if he’s out there somewhere, like one of those kids on Sanjay’s wall, fighting for his life?”  He couldn’t give her the answers she sought, he couldn’t offer any promises. The only things he could do is to drive her home and stay with her. Hopefully.

“I’m more than capable of driving myself home, Mulder!" She tried to reason with him, but he insisted. She knows when she can win these fights, and this was certainly not one of those occasions so, she gave up pretty soon and silently got into his car. They drove in silence to her place, both of them occupied with their own guilt and worries. She lives nearby the hospital but still, she falls asleep. The stillness of the car wakes her, but she is visibly shaken and upset.

“Shhh, Scully, it’s okay. It’s okay, it’s only me. It was all just a bad dream.” He says while fondling her gently. His touch and smooth voice make her relax while her brain is trying to process what's happening.

“Here, let me walk you to your door” - he takes her hands and helps her out of the car. He is expecting a bit of resistance from her. He is expecting to listen to her reasoning on why it is absolutely unnecessary for him to do that. But instead of the expected, she gives him a warm, gentle hug and she whispers in his ear, “Thank you”. When she walks away, he follows her inside.

“Would you like to come in for a tea?” She leaves the door open for him, takes off her shoes and puts down her bag on the coffee table. 

“Yeah, Scully that would be nice. Thank you.” By the time he takes off his shoes, and he gets rid of his suit coat she disappears into the bathroom. “I’ll be just a minute.” In a couple of seconds, he can hear the water running, Scully taking off her clothes and getting ready for a shower. He still recognizes all her little ritual steps, all the small noises. It takes all of his strength to not to go in there. Maybe she wants him to join? In the end, it was her who invited him in, offered tea, and disappeared in the bathroom. Every inch of his body is screaming at him to follow her. But he decides against it. He has to be careful, he can’t screw this up again. So he goes to the kitchen instead, locates the kettle and starts preparing the tea. Waiting for the water to boil takes forever so he wonders around in the flat. 

He’s been here before but it’s not like he's been invited. He's been in her living room before because he gave her no choice. He came here drunk, sad and persuasive. He pushed them into some angry and painful conversations. He said things that should have never been said. Or at least certainly not in that form and shape how he delivered them. He even passed out here. Twice. In all of those occasions, he was woken up by his horrible, although well-deserved headaches in some ungodly hours and he left with full of shame and regrets under the darkness of the sky. These memories make his stomach cringe. He can be such a jerk sometimes. He really doesn’t know how she can put up with him but he will be forever grateful that she does. 

His curiosity takes him around the room. He starts checking all the books on her shelves, the magazines on her table. He is memorizing it all and he’s stunned by the fact that he can’t identify any of the objects. Not a thing seems familiar or reminds him of their past or present. The apartment seems average, impersonal and empty. It feels more like a hotel room than Scully's home.  

Scully finds him in the middle of her living room, completely lost in his thoughts. She can tell that he is so distracted, he didn’t even notice her emerging from the bathroom.

“Mulder, what are you doing? I leave you alone for 10 minutes and you are already snooping around?” – He knows this tone, and it makes him smile. It’s one of his personal favourites. The 'I pretend to be upset but I'm actually just playful and a bit sassy'. She walks up to him, wearing casual clothes and a gorgeous smile. It takes him a couple of seconds to speak. He is all so mesmerized by her.

“I was just boiling water for our tea, and I got bored. I started to look for something I’d recognize but I came up empty-handed. I noticed that some of our things are missing from home and… I don’t know. I guess, I just thought maybe I would find them here.” She closes the gap in-between them and stops only inches away from him. Her hands are firmly holding his, her fingers slowly caressing his palms. How she missed his smell. Even her place feels like different. Like him standing in her living room is lightening up not only her mood but the place as well.

He is uncertain of their movements, but in just a couple of short steps later, he can tell that he’s been 'dragged' over to the side of her bed. She is unbuttoning his dress shirt and he is completely lost in her. She is staring right into his hazel eyes and giggles. Anyone would believe that she is happy. That she feels good and everything is fine, but he is not anyone. He knows her. Sometimes he dares to think that he actually knows her better than she knows herself. He feels her soft fingers touching his arm, finding the edges of his shirt and pulling it over his head. She throws it in the middle of the bed and catches his lips. She is caressing his bare chest, kissing him intensely. She is rushing and she is demanding. He feels her shivering under his touch and the impulse awakens his mind. They have to stop. This is not the right thing to do. He breaks their kiss and slowly pulls away.

“Dana, Dana…- his breath is uneven, his heart is beating like crazy. “Dana, look at me. Please, just look at me.” It takes her a couple of seconds to stop, catch his gaze and steady her breathing a little. “We can’t do this. This is not right. I….I…” – He is trying to form actual sentences and he swears that he knows how to, it’s just...It's never been this difficult before. “I want you to know, that I do want this to happen. It is insanely difficult to stop. I’ve missed you so much and I cannot wait to be inside you again. To feel you, to love you, and to do many dirty things to you” - He tries to lighten the mood, successfully. He does make her laugh a little.

“Dana, this case is difficult for both of us and opens up wounds that are not yet healed. Talking about William and worrying about his well-being is heartbreaking, difficult and... Us is just…I would love to spend the night in this bed, but all I wanna do is to hold you. If you can let me. I just wanna be here, in case you would feel like talking, crying, screaming, arguing, or cuddling. Or any other non-sexual things you can think of.” He notices the effect his words have on her. How hundreds of thoughts are crossing her mind, debating.

“I would love that, Fox. Why don’t you go and take a shower and then we try to do what you said? It’s been such a long time since I talked about him. I don’t know if I’m ready for it again. But I want to give it a try. I want to try it with you. Why don’t you go and bring us some tea?” - She smiles, he gives her a quick kiss and heads to the kitchen.

It takes him a bit of time to find everything they need for the tea. When he comes back to the bedroom, she is sitting at a table, holding a picture. Even his steps seem too loud at the quietness in her room. She is holding onto that picture with all her strength, while tears are running down on her face. He feels like he is intruding. Talking about William was never something they learned how to do or how to deal with. He still needs guidance on how to be there for her, what she needs him to do. This conversation has to happen on her terms. 

And just like if she is reading his mind, she looks up at him with her heavy and watery eyes; “I’m still having nightmares. Nightmares about William and what could have happened to him. What he could become. I keep seeing these horrible and frightening scenarios, and…” Her voice is breaking, her hands are shaking, and her eyes carry so much pain. He kneels down in front of her chair, and his arms sneak up all the way on her back. He holds her so tight he is afraid, he might break her.

“How can you put it behind you? How can you not think about him? How can you not think about our son? How could you move on?! How can you…” – Her voice is filling up with anger, and disappointment.  He saw when he said that sentence, he knew how painful it is for her. He said that he thinks about him, of course, he does. But all she heard was that he put it behind him, that he moved on. 

He just wanted to be the strong one. He just wants to be here for her. How is he supposed to do that? He just wants to get this right. She is trying to speak, she is trying to argue more but her pain is stronger than her voice, or her anger. Her sobbing fills up the room. He is dying a little with every minute when he has to see her like this. He thinks about the times when she must have felt the same way, and he was not here. He doesn' think that he will ever forgive himself. She might have forgiven him, but he will never be able to.

He picks her up and carries her to the bed. She is holding onto him so much, she is marking his body. He doesn’t care. He just sits on the bed and doesn’t move. He just sits there, holding her with every strength he has left. He can’t be sure how long they’ve stayed like that. Long minutes pass and her body starts to relax. Her tears starting to dry up and she starts to quiet down. He gently lifts her and puts her on her side of the bed. He slowly removes her clothes, helps with her PJ. He takes off his own jeans and climbs into bed with her. She rolls up to him, kisses him gently and settles on his chest. He vaguely hears her whispering but he can’t really understand her. He just puts his arms around her petite body, kisses the top of her head and whispers; 

“I'm here. If you need anything, I am here. I'm not going anywhere. Never again”

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It was late on a warm summer night and the chirping crickets seemed to be his only companion for the night. Well, they and the good bottle of Scotch he was desperately seeking to suppress the dark thoughts invading his mind. The last singers of the day were effortlessly rubbing their wings, performing raucous music while he was slowly sinking into drunkenness and self-pity. This case hit him too close to home. In general, he’s doing much better. He is trying to find activities around the house to keep busy. He is taking his meds and follows every instruction his therapist suggests. Also, being back at the bureau, working on the X-files, and seeing Scully every day are all helping him with his recovery. Not to mention the other night, that he got to spend at Scully's. But still, there are weak moments when nothing can stop his mind to go and wonder in the past. To remind himself of times when he actually enjoyed his life. Times, when he was really happy. Only so he can compare and realize it once again, how he ruined everything...

He and Scully were laying in the grass, listening to the sounds of nature around them. They were counting the shooting stars and were discussing the miracles of life. How they were happy that they are alive. How, in spite of everything that’s been lost, they still had each other to hold onto. It was one of those perfect nights they shared after moving into the farmhouse. They made love that night under the shooting stars. They really felt that they have everything. They were in love, they were safe and they had each other. Nothing else mattered.

He is back to reality when the phone starts ringing. He knows it's Scully and she would worry if he didn’t pick up. When he gets up from the chair, he is slightly disoriented. He stumbles into the house and picks up the phone. 

“Hello, you reached the voicemail of Fox Mulder. I cannot come to the phone right now. If you wish to speak to Mr Jonnie Walker I’m more than happy to engage in a conversation, otherwise please call back tomorrow.”He sounds quite drunk, actually. He probably drank more than he realized.

Mulder, it’s me.” <Well certainly, he is not the only one who recognized how drunk he is.> He knows that tone all too very well.

“Scully, I…”He is trying to say something. Maybe to explain why he needs to drink tonight. To tell her that he still thinks of William. Everyday. He didn’t put it behind him. He will tell her everything, the other night he couldn't. But he is too slow and she speaks before him.

“I just wanted to check how you’re holding up, Mulder. I wanted to thank you for the other night. For staying with me. And I figured you might wanna talk more... But I guess... maybe it’s better if I….” - He can hear her, hesitating on how to continue this sentence. Her tone always gives her away. He knows her too well. He should say something now...

“I’ll call you tomorrow. Take care, Mulder.”He is too slow again. She hangs up.

He puts down the phone, rushes into his office, retrieves a book from one of the many bookshelves and opens it right in the middle. He walks back to the living room, puts it down on the coffee table and removes the photograph, the book’s been protecting. He is looking at the only picture he has left of his son. His hand starts shaking. William is only 1-month-old on it. Memories suddenly flood back and tears are gathering at the corner of his eye.

They exchanged 5 emails while he was on the run. The first one she sent had a picture of William, only 1-month-old. He was looking at it for hours and cried till he couldn’t anymore. He had to ask her not to send more. If Gibson wouldn’t have been there when he received the email, he’d have run home back to them. He wanted to die right there, the pain was so overwhelming. He needed a week before he could look at his son again. After that, he kept his photo with him all the time while on the run and talked to him every day. Shared the stories he would tell if he could be home with them.  

This memory makes him wonder, how everything can change around you so easily. On the run, he needed to look at this picture every day to don’t feel lost and to remember who he is. Now, he has to keep it hidden until he can figure out who he is, and how not to be lost, how to lead a life again. Not until his next attempt to pour another glass of whiskey, he realizes that the bottle is empty. Defeated but not surrendered he goes to the kitchen and takes out a bottle of beer from the fridge. He sits down at the kitchen table and deliberately gets lost in his dreams while holding his son’s picture.

<In his fantasy he is happy and he is a father. He is a good father who is watching 2001: A Space Odyssey with William in their living room, blasting off a small model rocket in their garden and teaching him on how to have his own ideas. But, as always, happiness fades away and is replaced by nightmares. > 

He is deep in his own misery when he sees headlights of a car appearing on the walls of the house. Suddenly, he can’t even hear the crickets anymore, only his own heartbeat. He smells her perfume, feels her presence, before even seeing her. When he turns around, she is standing in their living room with a worried but sweet look on her face. The first thing she notices is her thesis is on the coffee table.

"Dana Scully – Einstein Twin Paradox, A new interpretation.” - She reads it out loud and lifts it up from the table. She turns to him with a questioning smile;

“Mulder, what are you doing with this?” He just keeps gazing at her, not exactly sure how to say this. 

“I keep something very important in there.” – He manages to babble out, but that doesn’t really move the conversation forward. Judging her facial expressions, she must think he went nuts. He slowly walks up to her and shows her the picture he is holding.

“You keep a picture of William in my thesis?” – She is flattered and crushed into little pieces all in the same second. Her eyes are filled with tears when she looks up at him. She drove out to see him, to hold him, to help him. She figured, the other night he was there for her, not it seems that she needs to be there for him. But she didn’t see this coming. She did not expect to see Mulder holding a picture of their son. He said he moved on...

And in this exact moment, she realises that it’s their fight. Not his fight, or her fight but their fight, and it’s damn time they start fighting it together. Their wounds will never heal without the other’s help.

“Come on Mulder. I’ll make some coffee, we sit on the porch, watch the stars and we talk. We have to start talking about William. Me and you. Together.”