Actions

Work Header

Enigma

Chapter Text

Margaret's house 

Carrying a half-empty cup of coffee in one hand, Scully sluggishly made her way through the barely lit hallway, her free arm holding files to her chest by the crook of her elbow and wrist, leaving her hand to freely hold and shine the light on her phone at a not too awkward angle. Scully set her bag down heavily on the kitchen island, a heavy sigh escaping her lips. Raising the cardboard cup and taking a large swig, Scully grimaced, a lukewarm coffee tear sliding from the corner of her mouth to her chin. 

"Dana? Is that you?" 

The redhead jumped slightly, her fingers twitching towards her handbag that was digging into her shoulder from the sheer weight of it. She squinted her eyes until the shadows separated and the darkness revealed a familiar face. 

"Mum!" She breathed, relieved. 

"Of course. Who else would it be?" She quirked an eyebrow. 

Scully shook her head, ruby locks curling around her shoulders wantonly. 

"I should be asking what you're doing here?" The woman padded towards the kettle and set it on the stove. "It's late, weren't you dropping by tomorrow?" She added, chin jutting over her shoulder briefly as she fiddled with the tea. 

Scully pressed her lips together, her hands clasped together underneath her chin. "Yeah," she mumbled. After a minute of silence she looked up and her mother was looking at her pointedly. "I was too tired to drive home so I walked here instead," she shrugged. 

"Really, Dana? At this time of night?," Maggie sighed, moving to place a ceramic mug in front of her daughter. "Why didn't you just walk around with your purse in your hands and a sign that says 'rob me'?" 

"Well, I thought about doing that but instead I decided to wear a large traffic cone on my head to avoid oncoming traffic from hitting me,"Her tone dry. 

Maggie clucked her tongue in disapproval. 

"You know, I never got your humour, ever since you learnt how to talk." 

Scully hummed, fingers toying with the edge of her mug.  

"Your father did though," She added. 

The subject landing on her father briefly caused her stomach muscles to contract uncomfortably, that familiar ache of missing someone returning in ire. 

Taking a sip of the warming tea, Scully's gaze wandered around the darkened kitchen. The shadows dancing across the kitchen island wantonly, moving against the white marble. 

"Where is Jay?" She asked softly. 

"Hmm?" A pause, "Oh- Jade?" 

It took every bit of strength she had not to roll her eyes. She knew if she tried her patience any further she'd risk falling into her mother's bad graces. She wouldn't wish that on anybody, well, almost anybody. 

"Yes. Jade, my daughter." Sarcasm dripped from her lips despite her tired attempts to quash it. 

Maggie cleared her throat and stood back up from her seat at the counter top, placing her empty cup into the sink and washing the lasting remnants of the tea down the sink, dark locks swaying from side to side as she shook her head. 

"I still don't know why you bothered to call her Jade when you always insist on calling her Jay, Dana." 

Scully stood up, a sigh escaping her lips involuntary, following her mother to the sink and washing her mug as well. Gelid water threatening to freeze her as it slid languidly down her fingers in slow rivulets. 

"Play nice, you two." A voice teased. 

A loud clang would of announced the arrival of said clumsy brunette if she had not spoken first. 

Scully turned around and embraced the arms outstretched toward her, brushing he locks away from her forehead and pressing a kiss to where a bruise would be appearing tomorrow. 

"What are you doing up?" The redhead asked, indolent features brightening with each passing moment in Jay's presence. 

"You know I don't sleep," She taunted, moving out of her mother's arms and towards the coffee machine and pressing a reassuring hand on Maggie's shoulder. 

Scully raised her eyebrows at her mother when she didn't make an attempt to stop her from recaffeinating. Maggie stood with her arms loosely crossed, unperturbed as she watched her daughter surveying the scenario playing out in front of her. 

Without a hitch, Jay spoke over her shoulder, "Grandma already tried to stop me from getting coffee four times today, I think she's just accepted that I am my mother's daughter." 

She turned back around with a cheeky grin on her lips, nudging her shoulder against Maggie's who just shook her head in disapproval but didn't utter a word. 

Scully looked down at the watch adorning her wrist, which read: 3.30am 

"Yes, well..."she was distracted, her mind mulling over the countless things she had to do this week. "Don't forget- you still have to be up at 6 O'Clock sharp, no matter what time you go to sleep," Her lips quirked upwards, "...or pass out," 

Jay offered her mother a small smile, a promise, taking a sip of her coffee clasped in her hands. Shadowed circles stood out against the pale expanse of her face, betraying the amount of sleep she had been getting, or rather – lack thereof.  

The stress and anxiety of upcoming exams were taking a toll on her from hitting the books too hard lately. When hasn't she overdone it? Scully thought, worry spreading through her gut. 

"Goodnight mum, Jade."She made sure to put emphasis on her daughters name, cocking her eyebrow at her mother with a small smile. 

Maggie waved her daughter goodnight before checking her reflection in the window above the sink, the small chip in the corner capturing her attention. I've got to remember to get someone to fix that, maybe give Charlie a call. 

"Sleep well, grandma." The soft voice pulled her out of her thoughts briefly, a warm kiss pressed to her cheek. Watching the young brunette slowly make her way out of the kitchen and back up the stairs to one of the spare bedrooms she had been residing in. 


 

5.45am 

Filtered orange and yellow rays started to coat the space between the white lace curtains, thick floral patterns blotting out partial appearances of the sun. 

Scully moaned, her subconscious registering the ache spreading down the backs of her calves, tender throbbing that ran from behind her knee to the arch of her feet. She should be used to this by now, she knew that. She spent hours on her feet, walking, running, walking, tripping. But she was getting older, she knew it and her body knew it and it was going to take it's fury at being thoroughly exhausted out on her every chance it got. Turning away from the glare of the sun, careless locks splaying across the pillow and against the creases in her neck as she attempted to bury deeper into the confines of her comforter, attempting to chase the solemn of sleep. 

Solemn didn't want her. 

The alarm clock shrieked at Scully from her bedside table, vibrating across the white hardwood desk. 

The comforter had been attempting to swallow her whole, only the pale expanse of her shoulders peaked out from underneath the covers and a few tangled locks that peaked out from underneath her pillow. 

The smell of coffee wafted through the air; the fumes so strong that she could taste the bitterness of it. Scully nudged her head out of the warm confines, her resting place, her silent heaven. The sheet underneath the comforter was currently sticking to her waist were her shirt had ridden up in her sleep, she breathed in the rich aroma of the already made coffee, her stomach rumbling, it was calling her name. 

After contemplating whether getting out of bed was really worth it, My back is certainly disagreeing with me, Scully slowly rolled over and unwrapped her out of her self-made cotton cocoon. Grabbing her robe off of the back of her favourite reading chair, she tied it loosely around her waist as she made her way down the stairs. With one hand in her pocket and the other tracing arbitrary patterns down the wooden handrail. 

Pushing open the door to the kitchen the smell of the coffee hit her like a brick wall. A brick wall she'd happily walk through again and again if it promised to keep her away for the next 16 hours. 

A mug of fresh coffee was pressed into her hands, the ceramic warm and reassuring in her palms. Calming. 

"Early shift?" Maggie questioned, walking back towards the coffee maker. 

Oh please, please don't start talking. My brain isn't awake yet. I'm not even sure I'm awake, I'm still asleep dreaming of the vacation I never got to take after I graduated. 

Scully paused, not ready yet to engage in any kind of conversation – no matter how light the topic is. 

Not wanting to burn her tongue she took a tentative sip, the liquid fuel whirring the clock in her head, turning the hands. She had to admit, it surprisingly tasted really good. Her mother was an avid tea drinker and whenever she stayed over she always had a mug of coffee waiting for her when she got up. Bitter, watery, too much sugar, not enough sugar...she'd had them all. But this particular cup had to be one of the nicest she'd had in the past few months. 

A plate of sliced fruit and greek yoghurt was placed in front of her at the table, Scully looked up at her mother hovering at her side. 

"Well?" She queried, her own hands holding her tea close to her chest, nestled against the floral pattern of her nightgown. 

She nodded slowly, her mind whirring as it tried to catch up on the last few minutes, caffeine flooding her system at it's usual leisurely pace, her morning migraine slowly easing down. 

"Yes. Yes. I have to go in at about-" Scully lifted her arm and checked her watch, watching the long hand rotate around the small circle ticking past different lines, "2 or so hours, I have to knock off early so I want to get in as soon as I can." 

Jay entered through the doorway as the clock struck 6.05 am with her phone in one hand and her Advanced AP English textbook in the other. Dark hair curling around her face and shoulders, she gave half a smile at her mother and grandma before heading towards the coffee machine where a fresh mug of coffee had been set aside for her. 

"That cup was made about 10 minutes ago, dear. It should still be hot." Maggie said, moving to sit beside her daughter at the table. 

Leaning towards Scully she muttered under her breath,"I can't get over how very alike you two are in the mornings."  

A wry smile tugged at Scully's lips as she watched her daughter reach for two fresh bagels. 

"Yeah, me too." 

After half an hour, Maggie left the kitchen to go take a shower, rambling about plans to meet with Bill's wife for coffee so that they could plan a surprise birthday party. The two girls were left behind to discuss what was on the agenda for both of them. 

"Are we still good to meet after you finish work?" Jay paused, "You can still finish work early today, right?" 

Scully placed her second mug of coffee down on the table, pressing a reassuring kiss to her daughter's cheek.  

"Yes, I got Beth to cover for me."  

Jay's eyes lit up when she mentioned Beth's name, a wide smile adorning her lips. "Oh! How is Beth doing?" 

Her mother hadn't talked about Beth much lately, she was one of her closest work friends, one of the few people in their lives that could convince her to do almost anything. Almost. 

Returning to her mug she blew against the steam gently, the coffee still extremely hot. 

"She's doing really well but you will see her and Hailey at the dinner next week - the one that mum is hosting for the club." 

It was an added bonus that Beth's daughter Hailey was around Jay's age, when they were little they used to play hide and seek at the hospital. Much to... pretty much everybody's disapproval. 

It wasn't their finest moment. 

But work, school and commitments had made it next to impossible for everyone to keep in contact on a regular basis, unfortunately. It would be good for them to catch up finally. 

THUD. 

The book on the kitchen table slammed shut. 

"That's next week? That's when Logan's play premieres." Jay reminded her. 

"It is? Are you sure?" Scully pressed, putting her coffee down on the table and reaching for her handbag. 

Pulling out her schedule, she perused the pages quietly whilst Jay chewed on her cream cheese bagel, crumbs landing on the table. 

Without looking up, Scully spoke quietly, "Don't let Grandma see you spilling crumbs across her brand new tablecloth, she'll make you scrub the kitchen floors for 2 weeks." 

Jay laughed but put her bagel back on her plate before standing up and retrieving a wash cloth from it's resting place over the sink. 

I wish she was kidding, Jay laughed at the thought. 

"Maybe we can swing by the party for a little while, attend the play and socialise 'congratulations yadda yadda yadda', before making our way back in time to eat pie – or to see Uncle Pete do his latest rendition of 'Papa Don't Preach'?" 

"I think you've had too much coffee." Jay replied with a laugh. 


 

St Margaret's Library 

Spotting Jay set up at a table scribbling furiously in a notebook, Scully made her way over to her, she veered in and out of bookcases until she had a clear path to sneak up behind her.  

"Who's your favourite person in the world?" 

The brunette's shoulders jumped up in surprise as the hair on her arms and the back of her neck stood on end. After a delayed moment were her brain tried to catch up on the last 60 seconds, she breathed in the familiar scent of coffee and disinfectant. A wicked grin snuck onto her lips which Scully could feel when her cheeks moved upwards. 

"Aunt Melissa – of course." She quipped. 

Scully scoffed, releasing her daughter and shoving her shoulder with a wry grin. 

"Brat." 

Jay feigned exasperation, "I try." 

Scully moved to sit at the table next to her daughter, moving a pile of textbooks to the side so that she could set herself up. 

Taking a folder out of her bag, Scully set it down on the table and flipped through until she found the pages she was looking for. Sitting there with a pen in her hand, she couldn't help but watch Jay pour herself so completely into her work, her lips moving silently as she took in the information in front of her. 

It reminded her of somebody from a long time ago. 

"Are you sure it's alright that I'm here?" Scully asked, bringing her hands together as she followed Mulder to his bedroom. 

He chuckled, opening the door and closing it after she entered. 

When she still hadn't said anything he looked up to see a disapproving frown on her young face. Mulder at least had the decency to look little sheepish. 

"Oh- you, you were serious..." He rubbed at a spot on the back of his neck as he walked around her until he settled down on a chair at his desk,"They're away at conference out of town. It's fine." 

Tucking loose tendrils of titian hair behind her ear, Scully remained quiet until she was standing beside his desk. Mulder could feel her gaze on him, he looked up at her standing there picking at her nails nervously.  

He motioned to his bed, "Have a seat, we can work from here." 

"Mulder." There was a warning in her voice. 

She knew that they wouldn't get any studying done if they stayed in his room, in his house, alone. He waved at her without looking, a don't-worry-about-it wave. Scully took a quiet breath in... she wasn't going to allow him to get under her skin. Or clothing. 

Taking her school bag off, she rested the heavy contents on his bed beside her before attempting to unzip the bag. The zipper got caught half-way, as it always did, but with a firm tug Scully managed to unzip it completely and pull out her Chemistry textbook. Glancing up, her eyes focused on his mouth, mouthing – from what she could tell – and she pretty much was an expert (of his mouth) – mathematical formulas. 

She could feel her body temperature rising... was the heater on too high? Maybe she was getting sick. That's it, she was delirious. 

The corner of his mouth quirked up, Scully's eyes traced across the contours of his face until they rested on his baby blues. She shivered when his own locked with hers; stormy seas threatening to consume him and then her before toppling them overboard only to have the abyss swallow them greedily. 

"You know" Mulder started, pushing his chair back and standing. 

"Mmm," She replied distractedly, her eyes now tracing his gastrocnemius muscle that flexed slightly as he walked. 

"Scully." He was close. 

Suddenly he was towering over her; her mouth suddenly dry and making it hard to swallow the lump in the back of her throat. Her teeth tug into her bottom lip, the taste of cherry slipping between russet lips. 

"I'd rather study Biology." 

A sudden sharp pressure brought Scully back to the present; a dull, throbbing ache spreading from a spot just below her elbow. 

Scully turned towards Jay with a grumpy frown adorning her face, whereas the brunette was sitting there looking somewhat sheepish. 

"Pressure points help with concentration." Jay stammered, her hands motioning between them. 

"I know," Scully hissed, her arm still sore. 

"Okay. We've got this." She told herself. 

Taking the hair tye from her wrist and tying a loose ponytail at the back of her head. Scully rubbed her arm as she focused her attention back towards the forms spread out in front of her.  

It was the beginning of a long night.

Chapter Text

One week later, Tuesday. 

As work days have gone in the past, this one could have gone better. By the time midday arrived, Scully had only assisted on one major surgery which ran smoothly – which was great, she always prayed that they went well. But now? She had to make a dent in the mountain of paperwork that she had put off from last week. So she was behind, so so behind. Which was very unlike her,  she knew that to not complete a task within a few hours of receiving it was unfathomable.  

You have been distracted lately, she tried to reason with herself. 

Shaking her head, loose tendrils falling from her ponytail and framing her face, attempting to clear her mind. 

Being a full time parent, studying and the countless errands she ran for The Church (her mother) and The Club, she hardly had time for herself. No wonder she was feeling so run down and disorganised. 

It's not an excuse, Dana, her mind chided her. 

A sigh, she knew that. She just wished everything wasn't so complicated. 

Pressing the button to call for the elevator it opened almost straight away, the light above the doors illuminating it's arrival just before the doors swung open. 

"Afternoon, Nurse Scully," Doctor Cranston greeted her, moving his arm to hold the door for her. 

Scully gave him a tight smile, "Afternoon Doctor," She replied, not enthused that she had to make small talk with him.  

She was only as polite as she could be - it was her work place after all and she couldn't go around getting into it with her co-workers, it would just make coming to work more difficult. 

So she just settled for phoney pleasantries.   

"How is Mrs Cranston?" She asked, tucking her hands into her coat pockets. 

A gruff laugh, "Oh you know, still liking the sauce." 

He is so uncouth, she was fuming. 

Scully turned her head away from him as she retrieved her phone from her coat pocket to avoid saying something that might cause a scene. she was just about to check her emails when it started to vibrate, Jay's face appearing on the screen. 

Laugh lines at the corners of her mouth and eyes became more predominant when a wide smile appeared on her lips, her finger pressing the button on her the screen to answer the call. 

"If our house became a crime scene who would be the first on your list of suspects – Reggie the mail guy, Rachel who delivers our take-out or-" 

Scully's laugh drowned out the rest of her words. 

"I believe grandma Scully would be first on my list of suspects or was I just imagining the spaghetti stain you left on her favourite throw rug?" 

All she heard was silence on the other side of the line. 

"How did you know about that?" 

"I raised you. That and I came down to get a glass of milk at midnight when I saw you in the lounge room practising scenarios for when she found out." 

A pause, she couldn't hold it in. 

"I particularly liked your rendition of Tony Soprano." 

Jay gasped, "You're a ninja." 

"No- just a mother." A wicked smile coated her mouth. 

The elevator dinged to announce that they had arrived on the ground floor and opened after a minute. Scully didn't bother to say anything more to the man in the elevator car beside her and continued on her way throughout the first floor. 

"I'll be home soon. Get the popcorn ready." 


 

The curtains were drawn in the living room, illuminating the shadows across their faces by candlelight, a warm cadence spreading throughout the house. Jay walked in from the kitchen in a pair of grey sweats and a red singlet with a bowl of freshly made popcorn in her hands. Scully patted the space beside her, wearing a large purple jumper and a pair of black tights, her legs outstretched in front of her on their futon to make room for her daughter. 

"How was school?" Scully asked. 

She took a sip out of her water bottle, grimacing as the icy cold water burned down her throat, threatening to freeze her from the inside out. 

"Average. I finished reading about The Galilean Moons." Jay replied, "Miss Welch mentioned that she organised a charity ball of some kind but she didn't really get into the specifics today." 

Scully paused, her eyes widening when something clicked. 

"Why are you bringing up this particular charity ball?" 

Jay popped a piece of popcorn in her mouth and turned towards the television. Maybe if I ignore her she'll drop it, she thought, fat chance. 

"You didn't." Scully stated, but it sounded more like 'So-help-me-Jade-if-you're-not-kidding'  

"Ofcoursenot." If she hadn't spoken so quickly, the tone would have been enough for her mother to let it go. 

Scully cocked her head to the side, studying her daughters face; red blotches starting to spread along her neck and cheeks. 

"You signed me up to help out!" 

"No- I." Jay hesitated. "She mentioned that you hadn't been contributing as much as some of the other parents and I just- I said you might stop by. To help out." 

Scully sighed, brushing loose strands out of her eyes as she turned to face the television. Just another item to add to the endless list of priorities she had to complete. 

"I'll see what I can do but I make no promises." 

Jay nodded, feeling her posture relax from it's rendition of a feral cat, she placed a few more pieces of popcorn into her mouth as the episode started. 

"Okay so... Benjamin is sleeping with Julie and Julie's sister - Grace?" Scully inquired. 

"Yes, but he slept with their mother first, remember?" Jay reminded her. 

Taking a handful of popcorn out of the bowl, she placed a piece in her mouth and then paused. 

"What season was that? I don't remember that one." 

Jay picked up the remote and paused it, balancing the bowl of popcorn in her lap, a few pieces fell out and onto her lap which she flicked at her mother. 

"It was when the first mansion was set on fire because one of the son's found out that his father had blown his trust fund."  

Scully laughed, tucking her feet underneath herself as she pulled the blanket up to her chest making herself more comfortable. 

"That's right. Okay, quick we'll finish this one and then we have to start getting ready." She told her. 

The television screen flickered to an operating room at a hospital; Scully commented that it was set up completely wrong which prompted Jay to begin a discussion on 'What is the proper procedure when you're doing open heart surgery on an awake patient'. 

Scully rolled her eyes and passed her water bottle over to Jay so that she could have some. Both Scully girls had willingly let themselves be sucked into the world of soap opera without complaint. One episode turned into two and then three before they knew it they were running late. 

 Jay was coming down the stairs with her toothbrush in her mouth, finalising the touches on her fishtail braid. Scully was in the kitchen pressing a carmine colour to her lips when her daughter stumbled through the doorway. 

"Oh good! Quick! I need you to zip up the back of my dress- are you nearly ready to go?" 

Jay held up a finger before washing her mouth out at the sink and placing her toothbrush on the side. "Just about." 

Scully nodded as she pulled her hair aside so that Jay could zip up the back of her dress. She had decided to go with a simple white jumpsuit that she had fitted just above her ankles. Scully's fingers traced the silver hoop buckle at the front as she waited for the zip to be done upright. 

"What's the time?" She asked 

Jay pulled up the zipper slowly so that it didn't snag or tear the fabric. We don't need any wardrobe malfunctions today of all days, she pleaded with the universe. 

"It's..." Jay looked at the silver watch adorning her wrist, "5.34pm." 

"Yeah we're late, let's go." 

Scully grabbed her bag off the kitchen island and set off towards the front door, snagging her keys off the coffee table in the living room. 

"Don't forget your-" Jay started. 

"Glasses? Yeah I grabbed them out of the study this morning." Scully patted her bag. 

"Good. Good." 

Scully paused, "Have you got your inhaler?" 

Jay tapped her handbag as well adorning her shoulder. "Never leave it behind." 

"Just checking." 

Scully took their coats from where they were hanging just inside the entryway, she shrugged into a purple winter coat before helping Jay into her grey one. 

Hughes Hill Theatre

"'Revelations in the Greenhouse'" Scully whispered to Jay beside her, "Am I about to have a religious experience?" 

Jay smacked her arm gently, shushing her as the lights in the theatre started to dim and a spotlight appeared on stage. 

She may have been joking but the first half of the play had left her reeling, it wasn't often that she watched a play that left her with more questions than answers, a play that she actually enjoyed. Scully had been thinking so intensely for the past few minutes that she hadn't realised that the lights had come back on - illuminating the theatre once more and signalling to everyone watching that it was intermission. 

"I'm pleasantly surprised." Scully whispered to Jay as they squeezed their way between the rows, excusing themselves around people. "Logan has done a brilliant job... who knew he could be so terrifying." 

Jay laughed, slinging an arm around Scully's waist as they made their way towards the confectionery stand. 

"He is majoring in Theatre Arts, you could act less surprised you know." 

"I could." Her tone dripping with satire. 

Scully set off towards the bathrooms that were next to the theatre doors, making her way down the corridor. 

The line wasn't that long, surprisingly. After she had finished in the bathroom, she retouched her make-up so that she wouldn't have to before they left for the dinner. She quickly checked the time on her phone before making her way back out of the bathroom and down the corridor so that she could make sure that Jay didn't fill up completely on sugar before they made it to her mothers. 

She collided with a moving object. 

It held it's arms out to steady her, Scully shook her head slowly as she tried to register what had just happened. 

"Oh shit! I'm so sorry I was..." The voice trailed off and she looked up. 

A man was staring down at her, sparkling blue eyes widening as he took her in.  

"Scully? I mean-Dana, is- is that you?" 

Oh my god, she thought, it can't be

"Mul-" She cleared her throat, "Mulder?" 

I'd know those blue eyes anywhereOh God, it's him.  

She felt nauseous but knowing that logically it probably wasn't the popcorn that her and Jay consumed earlier. I should of just had a saladShe was getting goddamn butterflies like a 12 year old girl. She breathed in and out slowly, her airway was going to give her up - secretly vying for the other side. 

He gave her a subdued smile, his hand moving to scratch at the back of his neck. "It's been a while, huh?" 

She shot a look briefly over her shoulder to check that Jay hadn't moved from the counter. Breathing slightly easier when she saw that she was in a deep conversation with her friend that was currently working at the counter. 

"Uh, yeah. Look I can't really talk now I'm kind of-" 

It felt as though the bottom of her stomach had dropped out, Her lungs filling with liquid threatening to drown her in the abyss of her traitorous body. 

Mulder held up his hands, nodding. "Busy as always, I get it." He rummaged in his pocket for his wallet before pulling out a card. 

"Here... call me. I'm in town for a while. It would be good to catch up." 

He cast her a longing look, something just under the surface of his calming prowess that she couldn't quite put her finger on it. A ravenous ache. It was familiar. Reaching for the card her fingers accidentally brushed his sending goosebumps sweeping along her arms.  

She knew it would hurt but she couldn't stop her mouth from saying those words that she longed to be true. 

"I'll be seeing you, Mulder." 

He nodded slightly before continuing on his way towards the bathroom. 

She watched him walk away. 


 

Mulder's House

"I know you've been seeing my son, Fox, for years now. He's not very good at keeping secrets." 

Scully attempted to keep her face straight, her posture stoic. 

"Possibly the same year Bill and I went to Boston, or was it Chicago?" She continued. 

"I feel like it's kind of my fault that I allowed this- dalliance  of sorts to become more than it should have been." 

"Allowed?" Scully croaked, her arms crossed protectively above her stomach. 

She continued undeterred, as if she were just a wallflower. 

"Anyway, here we are now... you're both in college. Great collegesI might add and you're just going to throw all of that away?" 

Scully sighed, exhausted from this conversation already. "I don't want to throw anything awayMul- he's extremely important to me." 

Teena's steely gaze remained on the younger woman. 

"We had a friend follow you the other day and he reported to me that you went to your local gp – for a pregnancy test." 

Scully felt her face begin to warm suddenly feeling a multitude of emotions; anger and fear being the predominantly major ones. 

She felt so helpless.  

Scully moved one of her hands down until it rested on the hidden swell of her stomach, seeking reassurance from the only person she could at this moment. 

"You're pregnant." It wasn't a question, she stated the fact. 

 Her gaze now settling on where Scully's hands were resting. The younger woman took a deep breath, praying for the courage she knew she had bottled away somewhere to set in. 

"I am." She confirmed,  mov in g  to clasp her hands toget her as she t ook a step forward. 

The other woman was faster and in a matter of seconds was towering over her. 

"No," she placed a hand on Scully's shoulder, "Not anymore." 

Her expression changed at the  malice dripping from those words. Confusion became bewilderment – to anger.  

"Excuse me?" She was baffled, she couldn't believe what she was hearing. 

"You're going to tell him that you lost your baby - I'll get someone to write up some kind of medical jargon that says you had a hostile environment-" 

"That's rich coming from you." Scully cut her off. 

Teena placed her other hand on Scully's free shoulder and applied pressure, moving her backwards until Scully's legs hit the couch and knocked her backwards into a sitting position. 

"And you're going to have an abortion to fix this whole mess up." 

She saw red, suddenly furiousStanding back up she was unable to hold back the words that came disemboguing out of her mouth. 

"This is not a mess! This is a child. Your grandchild. Mulder's child. How can you even fathom doing these things – doing this to- to him?" She couldn't help it, tears were forming behind her eyes and threatening to spill. "Do you even know what he wants?" 

Teena Mulder was eerily calm smiling in the armchair beside the couch, watching as the fiery redhead squared off with her. 

She spoke calmly, her hands brushing the creases out of her dress as she stood and then started walking over towards the desk in the study. 

In the few minutes she had disappeared for Scully attempted to gather her wits about her, trying to piece together this bizarrely horrifying situation she had found herself in. She didn't know what to do – she just stood there silently, fists clenched until she heard the footsteps announcing Teena's return. 

She pressed a piece of paper into Scully's hand, "For your trouble," she told her, Scully clasped the slip of paper tightly her eyes not wavering from the older woman's. 

She motioned for Scully to sit down next to her but when she did not move an inch, she settled back down in her own chair. 

"Fox has his whole life ahead of him – he's doing extremely well in college and he's going to follow in his father's footsteps." 

Scully bit her lip, her brow furrowed as she tried to get Teena to see reason. "He can still do that." 

She laughed, "You foolish child." 

"He can't have a child right now – don't you understand? If you go down this path and drag him along with you it will chip away at everything he has been working towards until it crumbles down into ruins at your feet. This will wreck his life and one day, maybe not too far from now he will start to resent you and then he will never forgive you." 

Scully let out a shaky breath, her eyes were red and veined, black lines were streaked down her cheeks from the mascara that she had put on earlier. She was tired. 

"Since abortion is out of the questions you're going to leave. You're going to break his heart and leave this city. Or I will do everything in my power – and I have friends – to make sure that you don't get that child. You will never see that child." 

"They wouldn't take a child from it's mother." 

"Do you think that anybody would let a struggling single mother raise a child over a father – who has connections, influence and money? Who do you think would be given custody to take care of that child?" 

She couldn't think. She couldn't breathe. Everything was spinning. She was going to throw up on the expensive rug that she was standing on. She had to go somewhere, anywhere, this was the last place she wanted to be. 

"I have to go." Scully cupped her hand over her mouth as she ran out of the room. 

Teena settled back into her chair more comfortably, "Darla, I think I'll have that cup of tea now." 


 

Scully looked at her watch to check how long they had until intermission was over: 5 minutes. 

Not too bad, she reasoned with herself. 

With a heavy heart she began walking back towards the confectionery stand, she sidled up beside Jay and leaned her arms against the counter. "Got everything?" She asked. 

She held up a large paper cup filled with lollies, "Yep, let's go." 

Margaret's House 

"Mrs Thayer, it's been a while since I've seen you and Hailey. You're looking well. How are you dear?" Maggie asked, clasping Beth's hand in both of hers. 

"Please, Beth is fine, Maggie." A small smile, "We're doing great, how are you and the girls doing?" 

"We are all more than well, thank you." Maggie turned slightly and motioned over her shoulder. "Melissa is now teaching Gender Studies at The University of Washington and Dana-" Maggie paused, turning the other way as she surveyed the room for her other daughter. 

"I don't know where she is...Melissa mentioned she saw her about an hour ago but I'm not sure." She offered a tight smile, "Excuse me. I think I just saw the Matthews walk in." 

Creak. 

Creak. 

I need to fix that damn floor board!, Scully reminded herself. Her heart in her throat. 

She moved as quickly as she could in her heels and continued trying not to draw attention to herself. 

Sneaking in the back door may be the one thing that worked out for them tonight. 

"There you are!" 

Scully jumped, turning around with her arms out wide ready to recite a 2000 word essay on why they were late. Jay let out a small squeak, her eyes wide. 

Melissa was leaning against the kitchen counter, arms crossed and a shameless smile plastered on her face. 

"Nice of you to join us, ladies." 

Scully let out a breath, relieved. "You're going to give me a heart attack one of these days. I thought you were Cerberus." 

Melissa's lips twitched, she pushed herself away from the counter and walked over to the cabinet to grab a few glasses. "No, she's greeting guests in the living room." She held up a glass, "Wine?" 

"Please." 

Jay walked over to Melissa and gave her a kiss on the cheek, "Is Raissa here?" 

Melissa wrapped her free arm around Jay's shoulders and kissed the top of her head. 

"I left her out there to fend for herself." She winked at Scully. 

Jay nodded, "I'm gonna go say hello to everyone, I'll see you out there."  

As soon as they were alone Scully placed her wine glass down, the corners of her mouth pulled down. Melissa watched her quietly, sipping the cool liquid from the crystalline glass. 

"I managed to cover for you." 

Scully looked up at her sister who's eyes were sparkling with mischief. 

"Do I want to know what kind of extravagant lie you told her?" 

Her lips twitched, "No, probably not." 

Scully laughed, taking another sip of her drink. 

Silence fell between them, they could hear laughing and glasses clinking through the open doorway. Scully walked towards the fridge and grabbed a bottle of wine with a pink bow tied around it's neck. 

"Who bought this?" 

"I don't know. I think it's from Bill's birthday. Bring it into the living room." 

Scully shook her head, red locks curling against her cheeks at the motion and a small smile flickered across her lips. 

"Okay let's go." 

Scully grabbed her glass off the table and Melissa followed closely behind. Their pace was slow, every minute not spent in a room of fake pleasantries was a good moment and they wished to savour that for as long as possible. Just before they entered the room, Scully paused, fingers reaching out and clasping Melissa's wrist to stop her from going any further. 

"There is something I need to talk about." She started, her eyes looking anywhere but her face. 

Melissa was intrigued to say the least, her eyebrows raising as she waited for her sister to continue. 

"Jay is here and I can't-" She paused, "Are you free tomorrow for coffee? I really need to talk this out." 

Melissa nodded, her eyebrows drawn together in confusion. "I can make time." 

"Okay, good." She let out a long breath. 

Walking into the room crowded with people, Scully spotted Jay twirling the ends of her brown hair between her fingers whilst she talked to her grandma, a small smile on both of their faces.  

Scully was just about to make a beeline for them when there was a sharp but quiet intake of breath beside her. The redhead turned to look at her sister standing slightly behind her, following her eye line she felt all of the blood drain from her face. 

He had just entered her mother's house. 

Mulder. This can't be happening.  

He hadn't spotted her yet, luckily enough. She could feel her heart squeezing through the bones of her rib cage and clawing it's way through her chest cavity threatening to crawl up her throat and block her airway. The phantom ache spread throughout her entire body. 

"Oh God." She whispered.

Chapter Text

Margaret's House

continued

"Where have you been?" Beth whispered.

The redheads eyes widened, she hadn't even noticed her co-worker approach her from the other side of the room. Obviously and quite understandably she was very distracted right now, not that Beth had a clue as to why. Melissa shot Scully a look, her eyes then moving over towards Mulder, a look that said what-the-hell-are-you-doing-he's-standing-right-there.

"I'm sorry, Beth. I can't talk right now. Mum called me to help in the kitchen, I'll be right back."

Beth bit down on her bottom lip gently, her eyebrows shooting up towards her hairline as she looked behind them at Maggie who was making rounds in the far corner of the room.

Scully had been going for nonchalant but her body had other ideas, her back ramrod straight, the hair on her arms and back of her neck raising in defiance.

Scully scurried toward the kitchen and retraced her steps, her fingers digging into the handbag on her shoulder until she stumbled over the last step into the back yard.

The phone lit up and vibrated silently in her hand as she received more notifications from her email (12) and messages (3) but no missed phone calls. She breathed a sigh of relief.

Then she remembered the reason she snuck outside in the first place. With one hand clasping her mobile, the other rummaged around in her bag, fingernails lightly scraping the leather lining, brushing against loose items; a pen, another pen, her notepad, a tampon, the edge of a small piece of cardboard poked at her palm, she backtracked and plucked out the small piece of trouble.

Entering his number into her phone, her thumb hovering over the daunting green button. As soon as she pressed this her whole life was going to change. No- she was doing this so that nothing would change, she attempted to reason with herself.

Scully shook her head, muttering to herself the pros and cons of calling when the snap and crack of twigs breaking drew her attention to the fact that someone was approaching.

White solar lights illuminated the pathway around the beer garden, a few flickering in the midnight black. A celestial glow resting in the air around her. Lifting the hand that held her phone, the screen shone brightly in the direction of the approaching footsteps.

"You may be able to up one on the parents but I always notice when you sneak out of a room."

"You were terrible," an effortless smile graced her lips, "You've always been terrible at it. I could  hear your feet crunching leaves."

"One of the many reasons why you were always the one that was sneaking about." He smiled down at her, his eyes shining from the twinkle of the lights nestled in a near rose bush.

Scully locked her phone and slid both that and  his work card back into her bag, her eyes never leaving his as they swapped harmless banter.

Loud laughter travelled from inside, the open door carrying it out towards them.

Suddenly she felt an galvanic shock run through her, Scully grabbed Mulder by his forearms; fingers gripping him tightly, nails leaving shallow half-moon crescent indentations. She pulled him, them, further back into the garden bed until her back was pressed against a particularly sturdy pine tree, the cones crackled underneath the pressure of her heels.

Her breathing was airy, she hadn't moved more than a few steps but she felt like she couldn't catch her breath.

The redhead could feel his bicep tensing and twitching underneath the grip of her fingers, she loosened her grip to allow regular blood flow to resume.

One hand had moved down from his arm when she had pulled him aside and was now resting firmly against his chest. Her heels having elevated her up high enough that she was staring directly at his lips, Scully forced her eyes to look anywhere but at the enticing bottom lip of his that was jutted out at her.

"Scully?" Mulder said her name softly, a quiet question.

She knew she had to answer but every bone in her body screamed at her – to run, to flee, to ride him. So many possibilities. One great one – the other two, not so much. But, she knew there was a hidden gem, an ulterior move she could make. She just had to figure out what it was.

He cleared his throat, "So, this is where you grew up?"

A small smile flickered across her lips, her right eyebrow raising in challenge.

"What?" He rested a hand against the tree behind her, just above her shoulder, "You never let me visit you at your house. I'm quite curious as to where the enigmatic Miss Dana Scully grew up."

"Excuse me," her lips now twitching wryly, "I seem to recall us having a good time at my family's house in Maryland."

"That was when your father was posted. I used to come visit you late at night or on long weekends."

Scully looked into the swirling indigo, her mind whirring to piece together events from well over a decade ago.

"I don't remember that."

A hubristic grin spread across his face, "Do you need a play-by-play?"

She laughed at him, watching his eyes sparkling with mischief.  

"My memory seems to be getting worse in my old age." She grumbled, slightly under her breath.

"You're beautiful." He told her.

Her breath caught in her chest for what felt like the hundredth time. Her eyelashes lowered, that familiar ache of longing returning to her lower abdomen at his words.


1998

Dana Scully's Dorm Room

Scully had been sick all week and she knew that it hadn't been just because of the "conversation" she had with Teena Mulder the previous week. The cacodemon hadn't given her an estimated period of time of when she was supposed to leave but she knew that she didn't have long. That was if she decided to go. If she could do this to him – To Mulder.

She didn't have long until she started showing – she knew that. She was nearly 2 months into her pregnancy, she estimated, her body not showing many signs other than her breasts being extremely sensitive and trouble keeping food down.

At first Scully had been sure that she was just stressed, having taken into consideration most of the symptoms, they were extremely similar to when she was feeling anxious and stressed about her work, the idea that she could be pregnant hadn't even crossed her mind.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

The door rattled slightly from the force of the knocking against the wooden frame. Scully stirred, head underneath the pillow reassuring her within it's warm cavern. Red locks sticking to her lips and against the sticky edge of her jaw.

KNOCK RATTLE KNOCK KNOCK RATTLE RATTLE

Someone was now shaking the door handle, attempting to open the door without a key.

"Scully? Are you okay?" The deep voice was clearly anxious.

KNOCK KNOCK

Scully rolled over, pushing the duvet up and off of her body as she swung her legs out of bed. She could feel the sweat soaking through her singlet, eyes unfocused as she tried to register where she was and what was happening.

"Scullaay?!" The distressed voice sounded again, muffled slightly by the door.

"M...Mu-lder?" She called out, her voice cracking slightly.

She padded across the wooden floorboards, her sock covered feet slipping slightly on the floor – from lack of balance and lack of grip.  

He must of heard her coming because the rattling against the door stopped as soon as she started walking unsteadily towards it.

She unlocked the door before swinging it inwards, Mulder rushed in without a second thought, clearly not needing or caring for an invitation.

"Is everything okay? You haven't been answering the phone."

It wasn't an accusation, he was worried, she could see fear in the flames of his eyes – somewhat doused now that he had seen her up close.

Scully turned around, her eyes slowly coming to focus on his face. Mulder pressed a tanned hand to her forehead, brow wrinkled as he took her temperature.

She chuckled throatily, raising her hands and loosely entwining her fingers around his wrist and fingers before turning his hand around and placing the back of his hand against her forehead.

"You're a little bit hot." He told her, removing his hand from her forehead to caress her cheek.

Her eyes flashed, mischief sparkling in the tired jade of her eyes "Only a little bit?"

Mulder laughed and pressed his other hand to her cheek, his hands now framing her face as he gaze into her eyes affectionately.

"You're beautiful."

Scully's breath caught in her chest, the wind knocked out of her, eyelashes lowered over tired eyes as the familiar ache of longing in her lower abdomen began to pang at his words. She covered his hand with her own, quelling the urge that was spilling through her veins.


Margaret's House

continued

Mulder was looking at her worriedly, his brow creased in the same way it had been nearly 20 years ago. She gave him a reassuring smile, I'm fine, Mulder. The smile making him hesitate slightly, unsure where her thoughts had taken her and where they should pick up the conversation from.

"Mum!" A voice called out.

She froze. She could give a weeping angel a run for it's money right now.

She knew that voice.

Shit, shit, shit , her mind could only think of that one inarticulate word.

Her mind whirred as she tried to think of a way to somewhat gracefully leave this conversation that she had quite literally tripped into.

She breathed a fake, quiet sigh, pointing over his shoulder towards the direction of the voice.

"My friends daughter is calling out for her mother, I better go make sure everything is okay." She lied, moving her hand from his chest to caress his cheek briefly.

Mulder nodded, taking a step back and allowing her to move past him; her eyes watching the ground to make sure that she didn't trip over one – or 12 rocks on her way out of the garden bed.

She had only made it a few steps when she heard him speak to her again, his voice carrying on the wind. "What did you think of our play?"

Scully turned around her eyebrows were drawn together in confusion.  

Everything suddenly clicked into place.

She tampered down on the emotions flickering across her face.

"I thought it was brilliant."

Mulder gave her a small nod, his expression serene as he watched her trek the path back towards the house.

A few people littered across the green and grey of the backyard, taking in the beautiful scenery of the garden that was Maggie Scully's pride and joy – one of her pride and joy's.  

Melissa was sitting on one of the chairs with a ginger fluff ball sitting across her lap, she stroked the cat whilst it purred contently. Scully waved at her, flagging down her attention and motioning that she would call her. She nodded, huffing a laugh as the cat headbutted her stomach gently when she had stopped patting him to communicate across the back lawn with her sister.

An arm wrapped itself around her waist and she jumped slightly from the unexpected presence.

"Excuse me, Miss. Can you help me fill out a missing person's report, my mother seems to have gone missing." Her tone was sardonic.

"Very funny," Scully rolled her eyes, wrapping her arm around her daughter's shoulders, "Did I miss much?" She asked.

The two Scully women walked back inside, re-tracing the ghost of their own footsteps. Jay shrugged before leaning against her mother's shoulder as they once again entered through the back door. Half-hearted waves and squeezing past those that wanted to get some fresh air from the night garden.

Jay hummed, "Raissa said that her and Melissa want us to come over for coffee next week but I told them I have to study."

Scully clucked her tongue in mock disapproval.  

"What? You... study?"

"I know! I should be more serious but what can I say. My mother taught me best."

Scully's lips turned into a faux pout, "Don't tell me that you're going to abandon our soap marathon- we find out who killed the carpenter's wife next week!"

Jay shook her head, a laugh escaping her lips. "Wow, I take back what I said, never mind."

Scully shoved her shoulder, a small smile playing on her lips.

"Dana! That is no way to treat your daughter - especially when there is company around." Maggie Scully's disapproving voice filtered in.

The two women turned towards the voice, their coats folded over her arms.

Scully took in her mother's stance, hovering near the entryway. "How did y-" She started, but Maggie cut her off.

"I know you two." She told them, the corners of her mouth threatening to lift as she surveyed the baffled looks across their faces.

"Besides, Dana, I didn't expect you to stay for long. I'll see you later, okay?" It wasn’t a question, she nodded once.

Scully felt her face begin to flush, walking over towards her mother and pecking her on the cheek before taking hers and Jay's coats from her arms. She helped her daughter into her coat before she put hers on.

"Thanks Grandma," Jay wrapped her arms around her tightly, Maggie pressed a kiss to the top of her head.

With a final wave they headed for the front door, oh freedom, Scully breathed in deeply as they crossed the threshold.

The phone in her bag vibrated loudly.  

Scully could feel it against her side vibrating against the leather lining. With an exhausted sigh, she dug into her bag and retrieved the offending item that stopped vibrating as soon as she had grabbed it. There was a singular text glaring at her with big obnoxious letters from Melissa:

I gave lover boy ur number. Ur welcome xxx

She could feel Jay watching her, waiting patiently beside her. She tampered down on the gnawing feeling of dread that was threatening to unseam her stomach lining and spill all her secrets onto the pavement below.

She turned to the tired brunette, a forced smile appearing on her lips as she tried to keep the mood airy and lighthearted. "Let's go home."

 

Chapter Text

Note: my french isn’t perfect, so if a sentence is completely off - please, feel free to let me know. Or, if you know the correct phrasing message me/leave a comment. If you feel like there is a plot hole or something doesn’t fit right with the language, message me/leave a comment.

Scully & Jade's House

One week later, Saturday

Scully held two ceramic mugs close to her chest when she came from the kitchen into the living room, the mugs were filled to the brim with a dark liquid, sloshing against the sides as her hands shook lightly from the weight of them.

"Okay, here is your hot mocha."

"You didn't put any marshmallows in it." Jay’s lips formed into a pout.

"We were out. I put it on the shopping list on the fridge."

A pause, Jay’s index finger traced the rim of the ceramic mug, coating foam onto the digit before placing it into her mouth, "You know we'll never look at that."

Scully shrugged, "The thought is what counts."

Maggie enters with a bowl of caramel popcorn and a bowl of macadamia nuts.

"What are you two hens clucking about?" She asked, placing the food down on the carved wooden coffee table in front of Jay and Scully.

"We were just discussing the pros and cons of being a groupie," The brunette’s tone was derisive.

Scully pinched Jay’s skin below her elbow playfully, subtly, a wry smile crossing her lips at her daughter’s dry humour. Who then elbowed her in the ribs gently an almost knee jerk response.

"Actually, something came for you in the mail." She told her.

She gently squeezed Jay’s wrist to try and gain her attention, currently staring down at the chessboard in front of her with a furrowed brow, trying to decide whether she should sacrifice her Queen or if there was another move she could make.

The brunette waved in the air at nobody in particular, "Just put it on the desk in my room and I'll look at it-"

"No. I think you misheard me," Scully lifted the envelope, repeating herself "Something came for you in the mail today and I think you'll want to look at it right away."

Jay paused for a moment, her fingertips hovering above a black bishop, going through a list of reasons that her mother may have suddenly lost her mind and then-

She sprung up, curls spilling haphazardly across her shoulders as the liquid in her white ceramic cup did a similar rendition.

"Whoa there, Bambi.” Scully held her hand out, as though her sheer will could stop the coffee from spilling over the edge of it’s hard edged prison.

"I thought they weren't turning up for another week? Oh my- did it? Is it what I think it is?!" She plucked the letter from her mother’s hand, bouncing excitedly on spindly legs.

Scully jumped out of her seat as well, a small smile on her lips tampering down on the nausea that was bubbling just underneath the surface of her skin. She could feel her heartbeat in her neck, in her ears, she dry swallowed nervously.

“Oh my god - it’s thin. But, it’s not too thin I mean-” Jay started rambling, her fingers clasping the edges of the envelope as she spun it around to feel the weight of it.

She moved the letter higher to see if she could read it without opening it; holding it up to the warm glow of the light dangling above them.

“Jade…” Scully spoke softly, calmly, pressing her hands reassuringly to her shoulders.

The girl spun back around; her complexion was paler than usual, red spreading across her cheeks and the bridge of her nose, her eyes a dark indigo - revealing the struggle deep within.

She breathed out a slow shaky breath, squeezing her eyes shut tightly. Her spine curved like a frightened cat, backed into the corner unsure how to get itself out.

“I can’t do this right now.” Deep indigo was now watery azure.

Scully nodded, opening her mouth to say something when the shrill obnoxious sound started coming from behind her. She looked at Jay with big puppy dog eyes, turning back towards the couch to grab the unpleasant device.

Maggie placed a reassuring hand on Jay’s shoulder, squeezing softly until she turned towards her, a faint smile flickered across her lips before pulling her into a hug. The younger woman was stiff for a few moments before settling into the comforting embrace, a pale cheek resting against the deep emerald adorning her shoulder.

With a quiet grunt Scully finally managed to pull her phone from in-between the cushions and the couch.

“Mrs Scully? It’s Miss Welch.” The voice on the other end of the phone prompted.

“Uh, it’s Miss-” She cleared her throat, “Dana is fine.”

“I’m sure Jade has mentioned The Oasis Charity Ball that the school is hosting a month from now.” It was a question but the way the woman phrased it made it clear to her that it was anything but.

She turned back to face her daughter to find that her and her mother had both left the room, she could hear their quiet voices coming through the open door of the kitchen.

“Uh, yeah of course.” Scully replied, squeezing her eyes shut already not liking where this conversation seemed to be going.

“Good good. Well, you’re a hard woman to pin down-” Scully was nodding despite the other woman being unable to see her, biting her bottom lip as she tried not to chuckle at her choice of wording. “- would be great if you could come in around then.”

Wait, what?

Scully’s index and thumb were now pressed at the bridge of her nose in an attempt to relieve the headache that was starting to form. The tension tight and pinching across the front of her forehead. The image of her bottom drawer in the kitchen that held the pain relievers flickered into her mind's eye.

“Uh- yes. I can try and make that I’ll just have to write it down in my calendar.” She was now pacing, walking from the television to the chessboard and back. “What time would be best for me to show up?”

There was a huff of annoyance on the other end of the line, “To sum it up: The OCB is a month from now but if you can come in Wednesday at 9am sharp for a few hours that would be very beneficial. For all of us.”

Wednesday? Do I have plans then? Half the time I can’t remember what I’m doing tomorrow much less a few days ahead.

She could feel the other woman losing patience, dropping sighs every few moments. I’ll just wing it.

“Sure. That’s fine, Miss Welch I-”

“Good. We’ll see you then.”

Before she could reply the sarcastic hum of the dial tone greeted her.

“You have a good day, too.” Scully muttered sarcastically, locking her phone and placing it next to the chessboard on the coffee table.

Scully walked through to the kitchen, her shoulders slightly hunched already emotionally exhausted enough for one day. Grabbing an apple slice from the plate in front of Maggie, she popped the piece into her mouth.

Jay walked into the kitchen with damp hair, the brown deepening to an almost chocolate black, the flickering highlights of auburn brightened under the kitchen light.  Her hair stuck to her neck and the purple sweater she was wearing had random darkened patches along her torso and back where she hadn’t dried herself off properly.

“You’re going to get a cold which will lead to a mild case of hypothermia which will land you in my ER where I will give you no special treatment because this could all be avoided if you just. Dried. Your. Damn. Hair,” Scully pivoted on the spot to face her mother, “Sorry mum.”

Maggie Scully just shook her head and took a sip of her tea sitting in front of her.

“No no. That one, dear, was warranted.”

Jay rolled her eyes and made a beeline for her backpack to make sure that everything was in there; notebooks, 2 blue pens, 2 red pens, a highlighter, a muesli bar, her ID tag, wallet, Moby-Dick.

“What are your hours tonight?”

“I don’t have to leave for quite a while,” the brunette looked at the clock which read: 11.05am, “Shift starts at 5pm  and ends at 10pm.”

Scully’s eyes followed hers to the clock, “So, we’ll grab dinner at 8?” resting her hand on Maggie’s shoulder, she asked Jay “How are you getting there?”

Maggie squeezed her hand with her own, a small comfort as though she knew what words were coming out of Jay’s mouth before she said them.

She sighed, pausing for a few seconds, “Grandma is letting me take her car, she’s going to Bill’s and Tara’s for dinner.”

Scully’s eyes widened, clucking her tongue in disapproval. “You know I don’t like you driving at night.”

The brunette nodded four times, having heard this a few times before. “I know. I know.”

She decided to let it go and move away from the kitchen table, heading for the doorway opposite her, dreaming of a nice hot shower.

“There’s no hot water left!” She called after her.

As though it were possible Scully felt her shoulders sag even further as if they wanted to detach themselves from their sockets.


Melissa & Raissa's House

Scully’s work coat was draped across the back off the kitchen chair, her purse on the chair next to her as she watched Melissa rush around the kitchen; the kettle on the stove began to whistle as she strained and steeped the leaves. After she was done, she placed the tea and some banana bread at the centre of the table and took the seat opposite her sister.

"So, what tea do you have for me to try today?" Scully asked, her tone dripping with sass.

Melissa shook her head, her morello cherry lips twitching to hide the smirk that was forming

"It's just green tea with a little bit of jasmine but we're not here to talk about tea," She paused, "Are we?"

She stared at the liquid swirling around her mug, comparing methods of fight or flight to find the best way out of a particular conversation her sister was all too happy to discuss. Spotting Raissa enter the kitchen with a wet umbrella in one hand and her suitcase in the other, Scully’s eyes lit up at the possibility of avoiding a particular conversational topic.

"I heard you just got back from France?" She inquired, "6 months abroad?"

"I visited my mémère a few times but I was mostly there for work." Raissa nodded, a tired smile adorning her lips.

"Comment était-ce?" ("How was it?")

"Tellement beau," She sighed, "Et bien, e'puisant." ("So beautiful," She sighed, "and well, gruelling.")

"E'puisant?" Scully pressed. (Gruelling?" Scully pressed.)

"Travael." Raissa sighed. ("Work." Raissa sighed.)

"Alright, enough you two." Melissa interrupted them, tapping a stirring spoon against the table.

Raissa laughed, "Well, Mon chérie, if you had finished up on your French you could've come with me."

Scully failed to tame the smile from appearing on her lips, the corners upturned, "She flunked French during school. Got all the pretty girls to do your homework, didn't you?" The redhead poked Melissa in the side, her body jarring away as her sister tried to tickle her ribs.

"Still do." She laughed, waggling her eyebrows at the brunette beside her, "But, I had classes to teach. Next time I'll come and be one of those annoying tourists with a massive translator book.

"Ne I'interesse pas. Elle a juste be suinde se mettre." ("Don't mind her. She just needs to get laid.")

Raissa gently stroked her thumb across her lovers bottom lip, a cheeky grin on her face, Melissa’s eyes flashed knowing she had said something inappropriate when she took in Scully’s beet red face; blotches heating across her cheeks and tracing along her ears.

She needs to get laid? 6 months is nothing, sister.

Glancing back up she heard the woman still talking, her shimmering eyes now trained on her  “-did Mel talk to you about something at the party?”

Melissa's eyes widened, quickly darting down to the tea clasped in her hands to avoid any and all eye contact.

Scully shook her head slightly confused, "About what?," She paused, "Cerebus?"

Raissa laughed throatily, "Quelle?" ("What?")

Scully shook her head, a blush creeping across her cheeks when Melissa flicked her shoulder.  

"Nothing. I'm sorry... you have news?" She prompted.

Strawberry blonde hair bounced across Melissa’s shoulders as she shook her head, motioning between Scully and herself. “We got a little caught up trying to solve a problem.”

Raissa raised an eyebrow, the action prompting Melissa to continue.

“I don’t think we need to bring this up now. Especially with everything Dana’s going through-” She cut her sentence short when Scully touched her shoulder, drawing her attention.

“Tell me. What’s going on?” She paused, worry flickering in the deep hues of her eyes, “Is everything okay?”

Melissa let out a heavy breath, an unintentional laugh escaping her lungs.

“Yes!” She promised, reaching out and entwining her hands with the redhead.

“Then, what is it?” Scully asked, confusion shadowing across her face.

Melissa hesitated, navy seas flickering behind heavy lashes, she felt Raissa squeeze her free hand with her own before clasping it between both of her palms.

“We’re-going-to-have-a-baby!” She blurted the words out in one breath, her eyes wide as though she was waiting for a storm to hit.

To say Scully was shocked was an understatement. Her mouth opened and closed a few times as she tried to piece together the simple sentence that her sister had just said to her. It was a momentary shock - and then it passed. She felt as though she’d drank a fizzy drink and the bubbles were spreading from her stomach to the tips of her fingers and toes, a warm toasty feeling spreading all over.

She stood up and wrapped her arms around Melissa’s shoulders, squeezing her tightly to her chest, her heart fluttering when Melissa put her palms over her forearms and her back gently.

“So-” She dabbed at her eyes as she sat back down in her seat, willing herself to not be one of those people, “When did you decide this? How come I’m only hearing about this now?” Scully asked.

Raissa stroked Melissa’s back reassuringly, a content smile resting on her face. “For months,” She laughed, “Well, years now … she’s been telling me stories about Jay but it’s been a recent decision.” She started.

Melissa opened her mouth to stop her but acquiesced, chuckling sheepishly. “We always had it in the cards but it just...we felt like it is the right time.” She told her.

Scully nodded, looking down at her now cold cup of tea and shaking her head at herself. Tracing the orchid design on the outside of the cup, she was lost in her thoughts for a moment, thinking back over the years she had raised Jade.

A cheshire-like grin appeared, “So, what stories did she tell you?” Scully asked, curious as the cat itself.

Raissa laughed at her question, her mind filtering through hundreds of stories that had been told. During breakfast, Skype calls, did-you-know-this quizzes, random little factoids spoken over hot chocolate.

“There were a lot,” She told her, shooting Melissa a wink, “But my favourite was the Halloween Debacle of 1995.”

Raissa laughed again and this time Scully joined in with her, knowing exactly what story she was referring to.


 

Washington General Hospital

Later that night

The wind was strong causing the heavy coat wrapped around her to billow against her legs, she shivered despite having half a stomach filled with coffee. It had been a long day and she knew it was going to be an even longer night. Her stomach grumbled - from nerves or from lack of food, she wasn’t quite sure. Lifting her arm that had been snugly wrapped around her stomach, she looked at the face of her watch to check the time: 7.08pm. She still had another hour until her daughter met her for dinner.

“Gotcha!” A hand squeezed her shoulder, bringing her back to the present.

“Jesu-” She stopped herself.

Her mother would have her head if she so much as attempted to finish that sentence.

A coffee was set down on the ledge in front of her.

Scully turned and met Beth’s soft brown eyes, her olive skin shimmering in the moonlight.

“Rough night, babe?” The warm voice asked.

Scully put her cigarette out in the remaining liquid of her now cold coffee, nodding her head;  wisps of hair falling into her eyes as she bent down to pick up the new one.

“I hate these damn things.” She muttered, glaring at the cancer stick slowly drowning in her coffee cup.

Beth watched her worriedly, taking in her paler-than-usual complexion and worn expression. “What happened?” She asked, sitting to the left side of Scully’s worn coffee cup.

The redhead rubbed her eyes, smearing the remaining coat of mascara under her eyes and deepening the circles that already laid claim there.

2 hours earlier

They were understaffed and she was overworked, She’d been working for only 2 hours and her legs already aching from the amount of power walking she’d done around the hospital. She didn’t need to go for a run every day next week - she was sure of at least that.

What she hadn’t been prepared for? Was running straight into a tall, broad shouldered man. One that smelled like home. The 2 charts she had been holding fell to the floor with a clatter, 5 people snapped their heads in her direction at the noise, 2 looked worried and 3 glared at her disapprovingly.

She squeezed her eyes shut, her hands automatically clenching into tight little fists, she attempted to keep her breathing in check. In and out. In and out. Slowly. Slowly.

When she opened her eyes she knew that this was a picture that she would never be able to erase from her mind, no matter how many times she willed herself to do so. It was burned into her mindseye, teasing her, taunting her, blaming her.

His shirt was drenched in blood; oxford blue eyes wide and bloodshot as though he hadn’t slept in days, his skin a pale sickly green. She hadn’t seen that particular look on his face before and she had been on the receiving end of a multitude of them. It frightened her.

Her breath caught in the cage of her chest, “Mulder...I…” She didn’t know what to say.

As though he had just recognised her a look of relief briefly crossed his features, eyelashes fluttering over his gaunt face.

“It’s bad-” His voice cracked, salty tears tracing along his cheek before dripping off of his jaw.

She temporarily forgot about everything in that moment. All she wanted to do was comfort him, help him, solve whatever puzzle that was being presented to her and fix it. She ignored the charts that were now splayed open, words glaring accusingly at her.

You’re at work. Do your job! The muted words screeched at her.

Pressing a hand to his shoulder where the angry red splotches appeared to miss, she squeezed until tired eyes looked to her. I am.

“What happened?”

Chapter Text

Washington General Hospital

Mulder sipped tepid water from the cup he was holding. A gentle nudge to his shoulder before an icy cold bottle of water was held out to him.

“Nurses lounge has the coldest water.” A small smile tugged at her lips.

“Don’t worry,” He accepted the bottle from her,” I won’t tattle.”

Scully motioned for Mulder to sit down, taking a seat on the couch opposite him, when he remained standing; his expression hard, angry, but with nobody to place the blame on what had happened yet he just looked - lost.

She chose her next few words carefully, “I spoke with one of the other nurses and-”

Confused eyes met determined, she faltered, trying to distance her feelings from the facts she had to disperse, her tone of voice unintentionally cold and factual.

“There is damage to the basal ganglia but it’s too early to know the extent,” she paused, glancing down, her hands attempting to smooth the creases from the fresh scrubs she’d grabbed from her locker 10 minutes prior. “Which means she may have problems controlling aspects of speech, movement, or posture.”

A few moments passed, the air in the nurses lounge usually serene and calming now felt stuffy and claustrophobic.

“Mulder, they did everything they could-”

Before she could utter the rest of the textbook line, she heard the scruff of his shoes meeting the linoleum floor and she cleared her throat, glancing up just in time to see his back square through the open doorway.

Scully let out a shaky breath, fingertips now pressed to the bridge of her nose in an attempt to alleviate the onset migraine that was sure to make itself known, regretting not taking the pain relievers that she’d left in the bottom drawer of her kitchen cabinet earlier on.

As the events flickered through her mind, she could feel the murky shadows of the dark caressing the canvas of her mind, threatening to pull her under.

Dana ...Dana, What happened?”

Beth’s voice brought her back from the brutal events that were replaying over and over again. A constant terrifying loop.

She shook her head, reaching for the cup of coffee that had been placed on the ledge for her. The hot liquid embodied in the styrofoam cup now cool between her numb fingers.

“One of those nights, you know?”

The brunette gave her a soft, reticent smile, worry twinkling behind almond eyes, “Yeah. I know.”

Scully’s pocket began to buzz.

With her right hand occupied she used her left hand to fish out her phone, seeing Jay’s name flickering across the screen, she felt her heart tighten inside her chest.

“So, one of the girls I’m working with tonight traded their shift and are finishing early. Which means I need to take my break―”

“Now?” Scully cut her off, a small smile flickering at the corners of her lips.

An answering huff of frustration came through the speaker, “Yeah now. Are you able to meet me or we can reschedule for later?”

“No, no it’s fine,” She paused, to look down at her watch: 7.22pm. “I’ll meet you in 5 minutes.”


 

Scully poked at her salad, rolling a tomato to the centre of the plastic plate. Her mind was foggy; struggling to discern one thought from another.

Her pager vibrated against her thigh, beeping consecutively.

Jay hummed under her breath as Scully reached for the rude device.

Her phone then vibrated on the table in front of her, with a groan she reached for the vibrating device, it lit up in the palm of her hand. Seeing that it wasn’t anything urgent, Scully placed it back in it’s place on the table.

“I brought it with me.” The younger woman spoke quietly, motioning to her backpack that was resting against one of the legs of the table.

Scully was distracted, not able to focus on their conversation. “Hmm? You brought what?”

Jay shook her head closing her eyes, anxiety stretching from her forehead to the sharp point of her chin. She took a deep breath and then leaned down, nimble fingers struggling with the zipper before pulling out a crinkled letter.

The redhead placed her fork down on the edge of the plate slowly, her eyes now focused on the letter trapped between her daughter's hands.

“Have you opened it?” She asked, a pointless question since she could see from where she was seated that the letter had clearly not been opened yet.

“No.” Jay replied, her eyes flickering down, brows creased.

Scully wanted to snatch the envelope from her, protect her from all possible negative ramifications. But, she knew that she had to let her do this herself.

“Open it.”

The brunette’s head snapped up the words, eyes widening, “What? Here?”

“No better place than a hospital...” She replied, reaching out to caress Jay’s elbow.

Jay’s lips quirked at her quip before she began to tear into the envelope, using her index finger to dig at the smaller side. Scully held her breath, her heart beginning to pound faster and faster, every clang, clutter and voices surrounding them suddenly became white noise.

In such a vast contrast compared to the way she had torn into the envelope, Jay now held the edges of the letter with light fingertips. Her eyes brighter than usual scanning the words that bled through the paper.

A ghost of a whisper, “I got in.”

The letter fell from her fingers, fluttering as if in slow motion before landing on the table, Jay’s hands remained upright, her joints locked.

“Oh my God!” Scully brushed back loose locks out of Jay’s eyes, the back of her fingers caressing her cheek. “I knew you’d blow them away.”

“But- I have so much to do! I don’t know how I thought I could get everything done on time. I knew that it was soon but I didn’t realise it was this close but now with being accepted and the summer program I don’t think-”

“Whoa whoa whoa! Jade, calm down. Breathe.” Scully stood up and moved around closer to her.

She clasped her hands with both of her own, tracing calming circles across the back of her hands. “It’s going to be fine, okay?”

Jay nodded quickly, her posture ramrod straight.

“Breathe in,” Scully said softly, gently squeezing her hand to get her attention, “―and out, slowly.”

Jay copied her breathing pattern; closing her eyes and taking in a deep breath in, then out, they continued for about a minute. Scully released one of her hands and placed her free one on Jay’s shoulder.

“Now, what’s this about a summer program?”


1 month later

Scully & Jade's House

A light knock before a quiet voice called through the wood, “Are you decent?”.

Jay smoothed an errant curl behind her ear before making her way towards the door, Scully leaned against the doorframe, a grin spreading across ruby lips and unmistakable tears twinkling in the iris of her eyes.

“Oh, wow…” She breathed.

The deep navy dress is a floor-length sleeveless gown with a high neckline in sheer lace over a sweetheart liner with wide lace straps. The sparkling sequins and  floral lace pattern hugged her waist and flared out at the bottom in a mermaid-style skirt.

“Is it that bad?” Jay laughed, her brows drawing together in worry.

Scully shook her head, turning away briefly to wipe away a tear with the edge of her finger. “No―I,” she cleared her throat, turning back to face the younger woman.

“You look beautiful.”

Jay ducked her head, blush warming her cheeks, “Thanks mum,” She muttered wryly.

When she looked back up, she noticed that Scully was holding something behind her back.

“What you got there?”

It’s too late to back out now , she thought.

Scully held out the small carved wooden box, “I want you to have this.”

Jay let out a breath when she opened it, revealing a beautifully put together corsage of white scabiosa and pink garden roses framed with snowberry and suede foliage.

“I don’t remember having seen this before…” Jay said slowly.

Scully laughed because of course she was going to prod on this, she wished that sometimes she would just let some things go.

“No. You haven’t.” She motioned to the desk, wordlessly telling her to sit down.

Jay retraced her footsteps and sat down in front of the mirror, her fingers tracing the stems of the corsage now delicately wrapped around her wrist.

She took in her mother's mirrored reflection: wearing a knee length black cocktail dress with an embroidered bodice, beaded and sequined detail around the waist and the high neckline.

“The first charity ball I went to I was a little older than you,” A surreptitious wink and a quirk of her brow, “I was never one for galas or even prom―which I wouldn’t say that I regret those decisions but...”

Jay interrupted her, “You’re rambling.”

Scully chuckled, picking up a rosé lipstick resting on the cherry-wood, “Sorry. My point is that your father gave me a corsage just like this one,” she motioned at nothing in particular “when he accompanied me to a charity ball. His family wasn’t easily impressed or affectionate towards my presence but it was beautiful nonetheless.”

Wide eyes stared up at her; their complete openness and vulnerability almost striking as the moon against the vast darkness of the sky. She held the lipstick out and applied the dark shade to her lips for her.

Jay had a thousand questions running through her head, she wanted to know everything and right now. But, this wasn’t the time and she knew that. She reached for her mother’s hand and squeezed it gently.

“I love it, thank you Thelma.”

Scully felt a wry smile twitch across her lips, “Anytime, Louise.”

Jay reached for her purse on the desk before making her way out of the room, turning to look over her shoulder, ticking items off of her mental checklist.

“Okay... I’m done. Let’s get going”

Scully cocked her hip to the side and schooled her features into an intense like gaze, quirking an eyebrow as she quoted the words as though it were just yesterday that they’d watched the movie together.

“Well, darlin', look out, 'cause my hair is comin' down!”

She followed the howling laughter down the hall and out the front door, the warmth spreading throughout her chest cavity, thick as honey and threatening to spill from her fingertips and leak out of the corners of her eyes.

It was a sweet, yet intoxicating feeling. Happiness.

The Oasis Charity Ball

Despite having left with more than enough time to reach their destination on time― at one point Jay wondered if there was such a thing as ‘too early’ but, soon realised that her worries were unwarranted considering they ended up being 20 minutes late because of a sudden fluctuation of traffic around the neighbouring back streets, which Scully was sure couldn’t possibly be busy.

It was.

“You do know that there are applications on your phone now that can give you traffic warnings and predict fluctuations of lows and highs.” Jay told her, reaching over the console to grab Scully’s phone.

A hand flung in between the open space between them, finger raised, “No.” One hand remained firmly on the steering wheel as she spoke. “I’m quite happy keeping my head out of that technological abyss.”

Jay scoffed, rolling her eyes, her hands folded in her lap as she turned to look out the window. “This scenario could of been very well avoided if you had the app on your phone.”

“Technology is unreliable.”

“People are unreliable.”

Scully glanced at Jay, an amused smirk flickered briefly across her lips.

After managing to find a park and harmless back-and-forth repartee mostly pertaining to the fact that Scully couldn’t parallel park to save her life, the two women found themselves finally entering the complex where the charity ball was being held.

The next hour flowed by at a steady pace, having successfully avoided Miss Welch when they’d first entered the establishment. Scully hoped to continue to avoid her and what would most likely be a long conversation about the countless ways that she believed that Scully could contribute more of her already scarce spare time and come up with ways that would be ‘more beneficial’ to the school, undoubtedly all avenues would include her joining one or several committee’s.

She avoided that woman like the plague.

The two Scully women linked arms as they strolled around the hall, taking in the decorations surrounding them.

“I do like the spring theme going on,” Jay commented, pointing at an assortment of centerpieces.

Scully gently elbowed her, a small smile on her lips. “I put those together.”

She dragged her daughter by the elbow to get a closer look at the table. “They’re small vintage green apothecary bottles placed inside a much large glass cylinder. Two to a table.” She motioned to the berry baskets dispersed evenly throughout the table with a flourish, an assortment of spring flowers; Crocus’, Hyacinth and Winter aconites.

“I also helped put together some of the floral arrangements. Although they wouldn’t let me anywhere near the stationary,” She picked one of the name cards off of the table, “―something about doctor’s handwriting.” She shrugged, a pout playing across her lips.

“Perhaps you should look into a career change. Maybe become a horticulturist? You’re good with your hands.”

“Ah... the intricacies of horticulture. I’m not sure if I could hack it.”

“You’re a nurse!” She scoffed, rolling her eyes in exaggeration as she turned away from her mother, a well practiced move in the Scully household.

A few menial conversations and ‘how-are-you’ pleasantries passed by as they continued to weave their way through the crowd.

“Hey Logan, how’s it going?” Jay asked, taking the glass of fruit punch he offered her with a warm smile.

He opened his mouth to say something, pausing, a glimmer of mixed emotions appeared across his face as he attempted to answer the simple question.

“That bad, huh?” She continued, taking a healthy sip of the orange liquid, cringing at the tart tropical flavour.

He laughed, nodding before filling up another cup and offering it to her.

Jay shook her head, dark curls a stark contrast against the pale expanse of her shoulders. “Mum’s in the bathroom, I’ll get her a water soon. I think we should all we drinking water actually.”

Looking over his right shoulder, she squinted her eyes. “Who’s that with your mother?”

He turned and followed her eye-line, a frustrated laugh filled the space between them.

“Do you remember the production I was in? Revela-”

Revelations in the Greenhouse. Yes, I remember.” She offered him a small smile.

“Yeah. Well, the guy who wrote the script― Fox Mulder. That’s him.” He pointed to the taller man hovering beside the blonde.

“Oh wow, that’s…”

“Yeah.”

Jay moved closer towards the table as a group of women came charging by, eyes focused, clipboards held tightly in clenched fists. One of the women spotted Jay and made a bee-line straight for her.

“You!”

Logan’s eyes widened, a bemused smile on his lips as he watched the scenario unfolding in front of him. Jay squirmed slightly, one arm wrapped around her stomach, eyes wide but remained where she was.

“Uh- yes?” her voice quiet, almost muted.

The woman cut her off not one to dalliance in meaningless polite conversation.

“Your mother... is she here?”

Jay turned around; doing a quick scan of the room before turning back to the older woman. Azure eyes traced the deep frown lines embedded across the woman’s forehead becoming more prominent as she narrowed her eyes at the younger woman before her, she settled her gaze against the woman’s chin.

“I assume she’s off doing something pertinent…” She clambered to find something that might satisfy the hawk-eyed woman staring her down with choler.

She cleared her throat before motioning to the other woman to keep walking ahead, “Let her know that the decorations turned out lovely.” She fashioned a tight smile before turning on her heel and following the other women.

Logan let out a low whistle, “Ms. Baird nearly went Real Housewives on you there.”

Jay laughed, lips twitching before she took another sip of the liquid sugar. She coughed, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand. “I forgot how terrible this drink is.”

“Excuse me.”

She looked up just as Mulder tapped Logan on the shoulder.

“Your mother wants to talk to you.” He motioned to the assorted punch bowls. “I’ve got this.”

The brunette offered Logan a small smile, to which he waggled his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders before shuffling off to find his mother.

Jay turned away from him for a moment, unsure whether it would be rude of her to leave him standing there or if it would be more awkward for her to stand there in what was growing into an uncomfortable silence. With her free hand, she scratched the back of her neck, the pink roses glinting from the fluorescent lights shining from the ceiling above.

Mulder turned towards her as she spoke, “Logan mentioned that you wrote the script for Revelations in the Greenhouse.”

His gaze landed on the corsage for a moment, Jay lowered her arm, fingers tracing the delicate petals adorning her wrist.

“Yes. I did. You look familiar―,” he paused, clearing his throat. “Were you at one of the screenings?”

Jay smiled widely her eyes shining, excitement filled her tone, “I was! It was brilliant. The dialogue flowed effortlessly-”

A loud ringing interrupted the growing conversation blossoming between them.

“Do you have an interest in Literature?” He asked.

“I-I do. Yes. I- I’m sorry... just a minute.”

Jay struggled to retrieve the device out of her handbag, somehow it had managed to evade her slim digits in every corner of it’s leather prison.

She gave him an apologetic smile before answering, “Hello?”

“Hi. Can I speak to Jade Scully, please?”

“Speaking.”

“I’m so sorry to do this over the phone but since we never got a response from the emails that we sent out, we thought it would be best to have this conversation as soon as possible.”

Jay’s brow creased, she turned away from Mulder as she continued to speak to the person on the other end of the line.

“Can you please tell me what this is pertaining to?”

“The summer program. We seem to have over-calculated the amount of scholarships that can be dispersed at this point in time...I’m so sorry but unless you can pay for the program we’re-”

Jay felt the air escape her lungs in a rush, her shoulders hunching over as the information she was being told finally clicked in.

“Are you telling me that I lost my scholarship grant?”

Chapter Text

Lemon Java Cafe

It had been a few weeks since The Oasis Charity Ball and it had been a rousing success. But Jay hadn’t been able to think about much else other than the fact that the days were slipping through her fingers like sand in an hourglass.

The deadline was approaching.

Her mother had also been uncharacteristically quiet since the night they’d had dinner at the hospital -  around a month ago - the same night Jay had admitted that she would be leaving for college early. Or was. She didn’t know much about anything anymore and it was gnawing away at her insides like a rotting tree.

The brunette was elbows deep in denial and sinking.

“The summer program. We seem to have overcalculated the amount of scholarships that can be dispersed at this point in time...I’m so sorry but unless you can pay for the program we’re-”

“Are you telling me that I lost my scholarship grant?”

The conversation had been swirling around her mind on repeat for weeks.

Tormenting her relentlessly.

Currently, Jay was hunched over in one of the small booths furiously scribbling on a notepad, several different books were cluttered across the table around her.

Her hair hadn’t been brushed in days, if she racked her brain she could recall an extremely red-rimmed Scully brushing wet hair before they settled into their tv series marathon, her thick frizzy locks now pulled back into rough plaits.

With a huff, she blew an errant curl out of her eyes, annoyed at every single strand of hair that wasn’t tied back. But mostly, she was irritated at herself because she’d forgotten to pack painkillers for the headache that she knew would be forming once she started going over the mountains of paperwork.

A heavy shadow drifted across the plywood, steam billowed from a mug of black coffee clasped in large hands.

“Oh, hey!”

The surprised tone caused Mulder to snap his gaze up from Jay’s own steaming mug of black coffee, already half drunk.

“How are you doing?” He asked, curiosity quicker than his brain.

The brunette hummed, leaning back and reaching for the liquid comfort.

“A little bit of stress keeps you on your toes.”

Mulder chuckles, lifting his own mug and taking a quick sip.

“Prepping for your classes?” He pressed, knowing damn well he shouldn’t.

He just couldn’t stop.

A sheepish smile fluttered across her lips, she looked down at her coffee cup. Unsure why conversation seemed to flow so easily with him.

“Not exactly.” She sighed, “I lost my scholarship. I’m trying to find an alternative that doesn’t have my mother paying hundreds of bills - which I know she would break her back paying for- I’m... sorry.” Jay ran her fingers through messy tresses.

The space between them fell into a comfortable silence.

The brunette toyed with the end of her pencil, tapping it against the lined pages.

Before he could rethink his decision, Mulder cleared his throat and spoke quickly.

“That corsage you wore to the charity ball,” brown eyes flickered up and looked into deep blue, “The assortment was very...unique.”

A wide smile spread across her lips and Mulder, despite not knowing the girl for long, he could easily see that it was a real smile.

“Are you into horticulture?” Jay grinned, humour sparkling in her irises

He laughed, a deep rumbling chuckle and took a long sip of his coffee before opening his mouth to reply.

“My mother had one just like it.” Jay continued, before Mulder could speak.

Her gaze flickered down to the watch adorning her wrist and she gasped, scrambling to pull the assortment of books together and shovelling them into her bag and the rest clutched in her arms.

“I have to go. I’m late for work!”

Jay ran out of there without a second glance.

Scully & Jade's House

Shrugging off her acid wash denim jacket, Jay muttered to nobody in particular whilst placing it on one of the hooks attached to the wooden rack just inside the doorway.  The brunette readjusted the strap of her backpack that was tightly slung over her shoulder, until it was no longer digging in her collarbone. She walked down the hall and veered through the open archway onto the light wooden floors in the kitchen.

Rosy fingers draped across the penmanship on the fridge and she had to stifle a curse under her breath. Damnit, she mused. She had written the wrong day down for her shift.

With a grumble, Jay went to the fridge and grabbed some leftover chinese take out before taking it and her bag― that might as well be filled with bricks― up to her bedroom.

A few hours and half a container of chinese food later, Jay heard the rattle of the front door downstairs before it swung open and― yep, connected with the wall with a loud thump .

The brunette swung her legs over the edge of her bed and was considering talking her mother's ear off about it all when she heard the rumble of a lower, much deeper voice.

Jay paused, eyebrows pulling together, trying to figure out who’s deep timbre voice that was.

It was definitely male-like. She thought for a moment before crossing Uncle Bill off the short list - she hadn’t heard from him in months and her grandma had mentioned last week that he had recently shipped out.

So he’s an extremely unlikely candidate, she mused.

She heard her mother’s voice laced with fatigue and irritation.

“You can’t be here!”

“Why not? It’s been years, Scully. Years. Is it true?.”

She heard a murmur but not much else. Damn walls.

The man’s tone was confused and hurt. “What does my mother have to do with this?”

“Mulder―I never cashed it!”

Now that caught her interest.

Jay placed her text book down on the desk, retracing her steps towards the bedroom door, making sure to avoid that particular floorboard as it had a particular habit of squeaking. They needed to get the damn thing fixed.

Mulder? As in ‘Revelations in the Greenhouse Mulder’, as in ‘accidentally-running-into-him-at-a-coffee-shop-Mulder’?

Jay was sneaking down the hallway when she heard her mother speak again, her voice was quieter now, more exhausted; defeated.

“...Don’t make me say it.”

A beat passed.

“How could you keep this from me?!” The male’s voice- Mulder’s voice was strained and high-pitched.

Whatever was unravelling down there, Jay was itching to know. Growing up, she was used to her mother telling her everything- well, almost everything.

She picked at the worn flecks of paint that were starting to come off the wooden railing and let out a quiet sigh.

What the hell was going on?

After about 20 minutes of crouching on the landing attempting to eavesdrop on what she was sure was a juicy conversation. Jay shook her head and made her way back into her room, her legs protesting with each movement sending a dull ache down the front of thighs and a burning sensation tickling at the backs of her calves. Hearing half of a conversation wasn’t going to give her any answers as to what is going on.

The loud voices slowly dwindled down to hushed tones.

Then hearing the front door slam shut, the brunette scurried to dig out the binoculars that grandma bought her for her 11th birthday party. She hadn’t touched them in years but she couldn’t stop the not knowing part of her brain from going into overdrive.

“Aha!” She muttered, fingernails scraping the smooth surface .

Jay swung around and almost stumbled over, bumping her shin against her wooden chest with an oof!

Finally, finally she managed to make it to the window and raised the binoculars (which were much heavier than she remembered them being). Her breath caught in her throat. She was right - it was him . Mulder.

His face was red and blotchy, a scowl taking over the features that she’d only ever seen a smile, a blonde  woman quickly made her way up to him, her hands in the back of her jeans moving to tug at his crossed arms, concern embedded in the ridge of her frown. Her delicate fingers moved to his wrists and squeezed them in what appeared to be an attempt at comfort and he gave a laugh, gently pushing her back to give him some space.

Jay remembered a conversation that she once had with her Grandma.

When she was fifteen years old―Jay had told her mother and grandmother until she was red, blue and purple in the face that she didn’t need a babysitter, that she could take care of herself. When Scully took her aside and explained to her that it wasn’t just her that she was being protective of, that she wanted Jay to look after her grandma as much as she looked after her, comfort each other, protect each other, and Scully, with a little nudge of her head at Maggie, Jay understood and so she acquiesced.

It now all played repeatedly in the back in her mind like a broken record.

Her mother had returned from London 2 exceptionally long weeks later (specifically the tour of the RCP - Royal College of Physicians Museum .) Maggie and Jay hadn’t been expected Scully to be home until the following afternoon and despite her grandma’s protests that she shouldn’t play with her mother’s ornamental chess set. She did anyway. It was only an hour later that she had dropped the queen and it had cracked, almost comically, right down the middle.

Jay now felt like that queen.

She felt it so viscerally that the raw emotion of it almost choked her.

“Are you okay?” She could see the woman mouth those words.

Mulder answered her with a shrug of his shoulders before wrapping an arm around the woman and heading towards, what Jay assumed was, his car.

She was right.

The driver got out of the car and opened the back door for them and they slid inside.

“I didn’t know you were home.”

The quiet, anxious voice caught Jay off guard. She cursed her clumsy limbs knowing the exact point she’d been outed, she took a deep breath and turned around to face the unusually quiet woman.

“Yeah...I wrote the wrong day down in my planner when I put the hours up on the fridge.”

The red head cleared her throat, not sure how much her daughter had heard.

They both spoke at the same time.

“So, what was he doing here?”

“How much did you hear?”

Once again, they both chuckled nervously, almost mirrored images of each other.

A beat of silence passed between them and Scully held up her phone.

“Your Grandma called.”

Jay didn’t know if she should feel relieved or not at the change in topic.

“She did?”

This must be what it feels like to be on auto-pilot.

“How do you feel about having dinner at her place tonight?”

Jay nodded, not quite trusting her voice to not give out on her now. Nothing was making sense. How did her mum know ‘Mulder’? And why were they arguing over something that happened apparently a long time ago?

Scully nodded, turning on her heel to grab her purse and keys from her own room down the hall. The younger woman let out a breath as soon as her mother’s shadow retreated, one that she hadn’t even known she’d been holding in. She knew her mother was hoping to avoid an awkward conversation but Jay had to know what the hell was going on. She felt like everyone was lying to her - her mother, Mulder, possibly her Grandma.

Stop being irrational, Jay argued with herself. No, wait.

She knew exactly who she could corner into getting answers from and tonight, if possible, she was going to find out exactly what they’d all been hiding from her.

Scully had managed to avoid Jay for the next few hours, rambling that she had to catch up on some paperwork that she’d left to the last minute and it needed to be finished as soon as possible. No interruptions. The brunette begrudgingly agreed, knowing that now wasn’t the moment to get into anything - life wasn’t going to be on pause whilst they got into it - whatever it was - and she knew that.

Besides, she still had a lot of work to do.

Margaret’s House

A few hours later.

As soon as the two Scully women walked through the front door of Grandma Scully’s house, they were hit by a thick scent of roast pork. Jay’s stomach grumbled immediately and her mother shot her a look, eyebrow climbing towards her hairline.

“Didn’t you just eat leftover chinese food?”

Jay raises an eyebrow, “Do you remember the birthday of 3 separate birthday dinners? At least give a challenge, Mum.”

Scully nodded her head, a laugh escaping her lips at the memory of the two of them sprawled out on the lounge completely spent from the night’s festivities watching an old film.

“You’re lucky you didn’t get heart burn.”

Jay smirked at her, rolling her eyes at the corner of the room and shrugging out of her acid wash jacket, “I even had room for dessert.”

“Masochist.”

“Who’s a masochist?”

Wine glass in hand and on her way to tipsy-town, Melissa Scully, leaned against the doorframe heavily with a glint in her hazel eyes.

The mauve material of her long dress was loose but it clung closely to her hips as she sashayed - or rather - swayed towards them in greeting. Her free hand drifted subconsciously to her matching mauve choker around her neck and fiddled with the edge of it, her index finger scratching at the velvet material.

“The prodigal daughter returns!”

Scully rolled her eyes in reply, wrapping her arms around the taller woman’s waist in greeting and brushing her lips against her cheek in greeting.

“And what am I? Chopped Liver ? I’m cut.” Jay waved her hands around, a playful smirk on her lips.

Scully and Melissa shared a look, the kind that only two sisters who grew up together could communicate and know exactly what the other was saying. Jay’s eyes darted between them suspiciously, her bottom lip jutting out in a pout.

“No. No, of course you’re not!” Melissa wrapped her niece in a crushing hug, lithe arms wrapping around her neck and eyeing the redhead over a mane of thick dark hair, “Maybe diced liver.”

Jay shoved her aunt off of her with a scoff, hiding a small smile as she quickly left the two women in the entry way behind and made her way down the hallway.

Walking through the open doorway into the kitchen, Maggie turned around at the sound of loud laughter echoing from the front entryway.

“Evening grandma!”

A wide smile spread across the older woman’s flushed face at the sight of her granddaughter’s appearance.

“Hello darling. Dinner will be ready soon.”

Jay nodded and leaned against the kitchen counter, reaching to pick up an olive just as Maggie gently smacked it out of her hand.

Her tone was stern, “Not yet! You’ll spoil your dinner.”

Just as she opened her mouth to reply, Jay heard a snicker from the corner of the room and she turned to glare at said person snickering. Instead, a smile graced her lips at the sight of the woman before her.

“Ma chérie,” Raissa squeezed her shoulder in reassurance, “your aunt Melissa attempted a maneuver much like that one about 5 minutes ago.”

The brunette rubbed her hand, a small grin on her lips.

Maggie placed a dish rag onto the counter before making her way out of the kitchen now with two glasses of wine in her hands.

As soon as her shadow retreated through the doorway and disappeared from view, Jay felt a pointy elbow nudge her right in the ribs. Her posture and balance wavered, off-centre, moving a hand to press against her side and to steady the dull ache before it started to throb from the unprovoked attack.

“Ouch!” She complained, “What?”

Raissa held out a small ceramic plate stacked with pickled onions and olives out to Jay, her lips twitching from holding in a laugh.

“You Scully women sure could do with picking up a few trade tricks.”

“How did you-”

The older brunette shrugged, locks falling briefly against dark chocolate eyes that were sparkling with mirth. “I grew up in a large family…you knew that.” She huffed a laugh, “And I was always the fastest.”

An hour passed by quickly, the roast that Maggie had made was cooked to perfection, as it always was. Melissa was in charge of the peas and effectively managed to ruin them - much to her mother’s chagrin. Other than that - it was a perfecting evening.

Scully and her Raissa conversed about the possibility of her body accepting the pregnancy; Scully discussed her own pregnancy that had been many moons ago and Raissa asked her pointed questions about possible medical complications.

The night was interrupted by a shrill ringing, the light on Jay’s phone flickering against the oak table in the entryway. Jay turned around from the sink at the sound of the phone, muttering quietly underneath her breath, cursing at herself for forgetting to put the device on silent when she arrived.

Jade.

Her grandmother scolded her, before shaking her head and reaching to take the plate from her soapy hands, drying it with the floral dish towel.

“I know. I know. I’m sorry.” She blew out a breath, drying her hands on the towel offered to her, “I have to get that.”

Maggie’s brow creased but she nodded, waving her away with her free hand.

Jay stopped in her tracks at the sight of her mother in the doorway. Her arms crossed tightly against her stomach, fingers clutched tightly around her now silent phone.   When did it stop ringing? Jay thought briefly. The light and warm mood that swirled around the dining room no longer present.

There was a heavy pause right before the acidic words fell out of Scully's mouth.

“Why didn’t you tell me your scholarship grant was revoked?”

Chapter Text

Margaret’s House

Why didn’t you tell me your scholarship grant was revoked? The words echoed in Jay’s mind like a broken record. Why didn’t you tell me your scholarship grant was revoked?

She shook her head, the mess of curls splayed across her shoulders, running her forefinger and thumb along the bridge of her nose, Jay could feel a throbbing migraine begin to develop.

The distant clinking of plates being set down, the sounds that echoed in her ears sounded distorted, warped..

“Dessert is served!” Maggie’s voice rang sharply from the dining room.

Scully hesitated, her fingers still clutched around Jay’s mobile, eyes darting to the entryway where the rest of the clan was holed up. Her face was flushed, the freckles along her nose and cheeks more prominent.

The redhead was now a mirrored image of her daughter; her free hand pressing shaking fingers to the bridge of her nose. “Okay. We’ll be right there.”

The silence between them was heavy, Jay could feel the anxiety pulling at the lining of her stomach, threatening to split her apart.

“We’ll talk about this later.”

Scully didn’t even give her a chance to reply, placing the phone back on the oak table before brushing past her back into the kitchen.

The two Scully women pasted on their best smiles, though the palpable tension radiating off of them could be felt by every single person sitting at the dining table.

Melissa - having had her fair share of her’s and Raissa’s wine, she laid demurely against the back of her chair, eyes darting between her sister and niece with a look of intrigue. Maggie, who sat opposite Melissa was watching Scully with a look of concern; her fingers stroking the crystalline glass of red set in front of her. And Raissa - who was in her usual seat beside Melissa, started to pick at the edge of the lace tablecloth before clearing her throat and turning to her girlfriend in an attempt to strike up a conversation to change the direction that the night was moving in.

The trip home was filled with the same heavy, palpable silence that had fell between the two Scully women merely an hour ago. Jay swears she could hear every single thud of her heartbeat pumping within the fragile confines of her chest. The brunette snuck a glance at her mother; whose spine was ramrod straight, her gaze focused and unwavering from the road, the pull of her eyebrows drawing deep lines across her forehead.

She watched her with wide, azure eyes for a moment; watching the fluorescent flicker of the streetlights against Scully’s pale complexion before swallowing the hard lump that had swelled up and lodged itself in her throat.

Turning the indicator on as the car steadily approached their street, Scully’s gaze flickered to the dashboard briefly to check the time which read: 9:08pm .

Scully & Jade's House

The only sounds heard in the quiet hum of the neighbourhood was the dual thud of the car doors closing and the murmur of their neighbours television as they walked up the cobblestone pathway.

Jay shrugged off her acid wash jacket and hung it on the wooden rack just inside the entryway before turning to her mother to help her out of her own coat, only to be greeted with the sight of her folded arms and creased brow.

It wasn’t one of the looks Jay favoured on being the receiving end of.

The brunette shifted from one foot to the other, uncomfortable underneath the penetrating gaze. She opened her mouth to speak to which Scully raised an arched brow, waiting for some kind of explanation. Only for Jay to close her mouth again not knowing where to start.

Scully let out a quiet sigh, uncrossing her arms and moving to place her handbag on the hardwood table.

“Why didn’t you tell me that your scholarship had been revoked?”

Well, okay, She was going straight for the jugular.

Her eyes shut tight as a grimace spread across her face as smooth as butter on toast, she turned away from her mother to hide the expression that was crossing her features. Jay felt her shoulders sag, all of the tension that had been lining the sinewy muscle gave way, she felt like she crumbling in on herself.

“I’m― sorry…” The brunette choked out on a gasp.

Worry flickered over Scully’s face at the sight of her daughter struggling, struggling to speak, struggling to keep herself together, her heart clenched tightly in her chest. She reached out and encased the younger woman’s slightly shaking hands in her own, pressing soothing concentric circles across the backs of her hands.

“Jade. Why didn’t...” Scully paused, eyebrows stitched together in confusion.

She let out a breath, pausing for a few excruciatingly long seconds as she thought of the best way to phrase what she wanted to say.

“It’s been taken care of. Don’t worry.” Scully reassured her.

Taking a shallow breath, Jay peered up beneath a curtain of hair, her brow wrinkled in confusion. The redhead smiled reassuringly back at her, gently brushing back the loose strands that had fallen into her eyes and tucking them behind Jay’s ear.

She continued, “They were calling to let you know that a third party had paid your tuition costs that weren’t covered by the revoked scholarship.”

The smaller woman craned her neck until she could tuck her head against Scully’s shoulder, breathing in the faint trace of peaches that she’d consumed with ice cream earlier.

“I just don’t know why you thought you had to keep this from me.”

Scully wrapped an arm around Jay as they slowly made their way down the hall together and through to the kitchen. She leaned up on the tops of her toes to flick on the light just as Jay pulled away and moved to sit on a chair next to the granite countertop, continuing to watch her mother maneuver her way around the kitchen.

As Scully lined the ceramic mugs on the bench and started to measure the right portion of cocoa into each, she heard Jay’s quiet voice carry from behind her.

“I’ve been wondering the same thing lately.”

She hadn’t meant to let those words slip but she was just so tired . Jay could feel that there was a wall forming between them that had never been there before and it had to be something that she was keeping from her.

Something important.

Scully was standing stock still with her fingers poised over the top of one of the mug’s, Jay couldn’t discern her expression from that angle behind and she cursed the filter in her brain that seemed to always malfunction at the worst possible moment.

In the quiet of the night she registered the gentle tinkering sounds of the spoon scraping against the edge of the mug and the clock ticking loudly in the silence that had once again fallen over them in the past few minutes. Then she heard the distinct sound of Scully clearing her throat and watched her roll her shoulders back before she turned around and started walking towards the counter were the brunette was still sitting.

Scully raised the warm liquid to her lips and took a heady sip, her eyes fluttering shut as the intoxicating liquid coated her tongue and warmth began to spread through her body.

The two women sat in silence as they consumed their drinks, Jay sneaking tiny glances every now and then to try and catch her mother’s eye. But she knew that even if she did, she wouldn’t know where to start exactly since her previous comment had received no response at all.

Just bring up Mulder, She thought, She knows you know something’s off.

But what? What could possibly be so important that she had to keep it from her?

Looking up over the brim of her drink, she managed to catch Scully’s gaze who had been staring at her with an expression she couldn’t quite place her finger on.

It caused Jay’s heart to jump into her throat.

“I am going to go to bed. I― I uh, have an early start tomorrow.” She stood up quickly and the chair squeaked from being dragged so harshly across the tiled floor.

Scully nodded, brow creased in worry as she watched her daughter scurry off towards the staircase in the direction of her bedroom. As soon as she heard the soft thud of the bedroom door shut, the redhead pushed the mug away from her before clasped her hands together and leaning her forehead against her knuckles.

Over the last few weeks, every day she’d felt her chest get a little bit tighter every time she looked at Jay, knowing that one day soon - when she inevitably knew the truth. She may not forgive her.

3:12am

The time glared accusingly at her through the dimmed screen of her phone, which still managed to feel like it was trying to blind her through it’s dimmest setting. With a huff Jay rolled over, her dark curls spread across the ardent green of her favourite pillow.

Now facing the window, she could see the warm glow of the streetlight attempting to sneak through the flimsy blinds that adorned the frame.

Her mind had been spinning since her head hit the pillow, considering she’d usually still be awake and procrastinating her work away. But she knew, she knew , that it was pointless to even try to attempt anything of substance tonight since her mind would not stop.

And it won’t stop , she thought, her gaze following the stream of fluorescent light streaking across her bedside table, Not until I know more .

Sitting up so quickly that her pillow fell off the side of her bed, Jay made the decision before she’d even thought it completely through.

Using the light on her phone, she made sure to avoid the chest at the end of her bed and that particular floorboard that enjoyed on outing her every movement. She held her breath when the door hinges squeaked, nimble fingers pressed to the wood.

After a moment, she turned right and walked past the bathroom door until she reached the end of the hall and turned the knob to the door at the end of the hall. Pressing the stream of light against her thigh, Jay tried to stifle the light so as not to wake the sleeping figure wrapped in the comforter. Turning towards the dressing room table that was set up on the right side of the room, she spotted her mother’s hand bag and proceeded towards the table.

Squeak.

She felt the air leave her lungs at the sound, immediately falling to her knees in the most ungraceful like manner, the glow of the phone’s light smothered as she pressed it to her chest.

Jay heard the squeak of the bed springs and she held her breath.

This was stupid. So idiotic. Why the hell did I think this was a good idea in the first place?

She could hear the thudding of her heartbeat getting louder and louder in her ears, her face growing more and more flushed with each passing second.

Then silence.

Craning her neck up, Jay could just make out the silhouette of Scully curled around her pillow, the steady thrum of her chest rising and falling indicating that she was sound asleep.

Crawling the last few feet to the dressing room table and using one hand to pulling herself up into a squat and then to a stand, her other hand still clenched tightly around her phone pressed to her chest. Jay shone the light downwards as inconspicuously as possible, starting to rummage through the bulky handbag.

With a huff and mouth downturned in frustration, Jay turned around and started to retreat when something glinted out of the corner of her eye. She pivoted on the spot back towards the table, her socks making it easier for her to glide quietly across the polished floors.

And right there.

Right next to the hand bag where she’d just been rifling through was item she had been looking for.

Keeping her movements quiet and measured, Jay clasped the items in her free hand tightly before making her escape.

Once she’d quietly closed Scully’s bedroom door, she snuck back down the hall past the bathroom and her own room, making a beeline towards the staircase, turning right as soon as her feet landed at the bottom.

Once she entered the office downstairs, Jay closed the door behind her and leaned against the wood for a moment in an effort to calm her racing heart. But she didn’t stand there for long, not willing to allow herself to think too much about what she was doing or process the actions and possible consequences.

She turned the lamp on that was set on the center of the desk, illuminating the room in a soft glow. Turning the light off on her phone before setting it face down on the table, Jay’s hands shook as she fiddled with the items jingling in her hand. Spotting what she was looking for, the brunette hastily sat down on the chair and tried the first 3 keys to open the locked desk drawer, to no avail. Finally, the second last key clicked into place and she was able to slide the drawer open.

In all honesty, she had no idea what she hoping to find in this drawer. Just...something that would satisfy the curiosity thrumming through her veins.

She recognised the folder that held most of the legal documents and eagerly retrieved it from it’s place and started rifling through the pages. Nothing. Well, nothing out of the ordinary.

After 20 minutes of investigating, she was almost ready to call it a night, fingers pressed against the bottom of the drawer and closing it-

Or, she attempted to. Having pulled the drawer out too far, something was stuck between the wooden slats and the bottom of the drawer. Jay got down on her knees and reached underneath the drawer, fingers brushing against the foreign object.

Finally - it dislodged from it’s hiding place and slipped between the space between her thighs.

It was an envelope. An old one from the looks of the yellowing paper.

Jay held her breath. She didn’t know why but all of a sudden she couldn’t move, the lines deepening across her forehead as she stared at the mysterious envelope.

I’ve come this far, She decided, throwing caution to the wind.

But what was in the envelope held more questions than answers.

She thought back to the altercation the other day, the one between her mother and Mulder that she’d only heard one side of.

The conversation replaying in her mind like it was only yesterday.

“You can’t be here!”

“Why not? It’s been years, Scully. Years. Is it true?.”

She turned the well worn envelope over in her hands.

The man’s tone was confused and hurt. “What does my mother have to do with this?”

“Mulder―I never cashed it!”

Her heart started to thud harder in anticipation.

“...Don’t make me say it.”

“How could you keep this from me?!” The male’s voice- Mulder’s voice was strained and high-pitched.

She pulled the thin slip of paper out of the envelope and stared at it, her mind whirring, trying to connect all the dots.

“―Oh my God.”


The following week passed by in a blur of hazy days with Scully working more than her fair share of double shifts, covering a shift for Beth and logging a few more hours on her paperwork, before she knew it the weekend was upon them once again.

With Jay’s summer internship just around the corner.

The redhead changed out of her scrubs and had a quick shower before donning a blue tank top and casual black slacks. She wiped at the day old mascara underneath her eyes, deepening the dark circles that seemed to lay permanently there. She hadn’t gotten much sleep lately, what with loose ends seeming to show up at every turn and threatening to change everything she, and Jay has ever known.

She walked out the sliding glass doors of Washington General Hospital, ducking her head to check the watch adorning her wrist: 7:12am .

She was wired, overtired, but she knew that if she didn’t get an IV drip of coffee― or something in similar effect, she’d risk falling asleep within the next hour or so.

So, she picked up her pace and stifled a yawn with the back of her hand, making her way down the busy sidewalk until she spotted her favourite local coffee shop calling her with it’s intoxicating aromas of caffeine and freshly baked pastries.

Lemon Java Cafe

The bell above the door rang as she entered the cafe; the air warm, toasty and inviting, Scully breathed in the comfort.

After a few minutes of waiting, the barista motioned for her to make her way up to the counter.

“Busy morning?” She asked, a small tired smile spread across her lips.

A dark skinned woman with long blue hair that was pulled to the side in a ponytail surveyed Scully with a chuckle, wiping at the streak of flour across her cheek.

“Don’t I know it.” She retrieved the notepad from the front of her apron, “What can I get you?”

“A large latte with an extra shot of espresso thanks,” Blue eyes darted to the badge adorning the young woman’s apron, “Thanks Freya,” She added handing over the cash.

Freya gave Scully a wide smile, hazel eyes sparkling, in turn passing her a table number and her change.

Scully then made her way over to the less crowded side of the cafe, she spotted a couple leaving one of the corner booths and picked up her pace, sliding onto the leather red leather seat as a young man came along and started to quickly clear out the table and wipe it down.

She thanked him once it was cleared, before starting to dig through her bag and placing a few files on the table in front of her to have a quick read through whilst she waited on her coffee.

A small plate was placed in front of her and she looked up to see the same hazel eyes sparkling down at her.

“Oh, I uh- I didn’t order this.” Scully stuttered, her cheeks flushing.

Freya shook her head, a dimple presenting itself on her left cheek as she grinned. “No. You didn’t.” She turned slightly on the spot and pointed to a figure sitting at a table a few feet away, an all too familiar looking face.

Suddenly, as if sensing her stare, blue eyes shifted from the newspaper on the table and connected with hers from across the room. Scully brusquely cleared her throat, veering back slightly in surprise. Mulder’s eyes continued to linger, the all too familiar smirk curving his lips.

Chapter Text

Lemon Java Cafe

Suddenly, as if sensing her stare, blue eyes shifted from the newspaper on the table and connected with hers from across the room. Scully brusquely cleared her throat, veering back slightly in surprise. Mulder's eyes continued to linger, the all too familiar smirk curving his lips.

As Scully's eyes travelled over the shadows of his face, he continues to gaze back long and thoughtful. It was a little unnerving. What was he still doing here? Then again, if she'd bothered to return any of his messages she'd probably know the answer to that question but she didn't- couldn't go back down that rabbit hole if it was avoidable. With a quiet sigh, Scully decided that it was probably inevitable anyway.

She cocked her head to the side and motioned for him to join her.

As he made his way over, Scully drank him in. His shirt crinkled across the middle and the collar was flicked upward in a clear indication that it hadn't been ironed, her eyes followed the long column of this throat and jaw, upwards as she observed the lines around his mouth and the circles underneath his eyes that had deepened.

He looked worn.

Mulder settled into the leather seat opposite her, azure eyes meeting sparkling indigo and Scully clears her throat at the intensity of his gaze. She moves to cross her legs, hands reaching to fiddle with the corner of the ceramic plate.

"Mulder…" She starts, not knowing where to begin.

The tension between them at the table was palpable, the other patrons chatting in the cafe had been reduced to white noise, the only thing that existed at this moment was the two of them, as though they'd been propelled back in time well over a decade ago.

The clink of her coffee mug making contact with the table brought Scully out of her reverie, eyes darting to the young woman who'd placed her coffee down in front of her before retreating back to the front counter with the ever-growing line of early working birds.

Reaching for the steaming mug, the dark liquid swirling in an age-old dance of seduction, enticing her with it's intoxicating aromas and heady presence.

"You haven't been returning my calls." He says quietly.

Scully's heart clenches in her chest despite the non-accusatory tone in his words.

"I know." She murmurs quietly, fingers tracing the edge of the mug.

Mulder reaches out and gently brushes his fingers against the small column of her wrist.

"I'm so sorry-" He begins.

The redhead automatically curls in on herself, pulling her hand away as though his touch scalds her skin.

"Don't!" She hisses quietly, her heart now thumping harshly against the cage of her ribs.

Scully swallows past the lump in her throat, closing her eyes for a moment in an attempt to calm her erratic heart.

"It's not your fault, Mulder." She tells him.

She opens her eyes and they're much brighter and wetter than they had been a moment ago.

"I couldn't risk it. I couldn't risk losing her-"

This time when her reaches out of her hand she allows him to take it, large soothing fingers encasing the small of her own in a warm caress.

After a beat of silence he began to speak into the quiet space between them.

"I'm my mother's next of kin," Her clears his throat, "so, after the charity ball and our...conversation the other night, I went through her cheque book and it all kind of clicked into place."

Scully took a shaking breath inwards, her gaze moving back down to her coffee mug and taking a sip of the cooling liquid, needing to do something with her hands.

"I don't know what you want me to say." She spoke quietly.

Mulder leaned back in the booth, smoothing his hands down his shirt in an effort to straighten the crinkled fabric. He was quiet for a few moments, watching her take another sip of the coffee as though he were trying how best to voice what he was thinking.

"I want to start getting to know my daughter, Scully."


St Margaret's Library

The clock on the wall of the library read: 11.03am

"You start your summer internship soon, don't you?" Logan asks from his seat at the opposite side of the table, text books spread out across nearly every square inch of the surface of the table.

Jay hums in agreement, a pencil poised in her left hand

He scratches the back of his neck, tilting back in his chair until the front legs are off the ground and the back of it is leaning against the wall behind him.

"You liked Revelations in the Greenhouse, right?" He asked hesitantly.

Jay sighed, placing down her pencil and raising her eyes to meet his. "Yes, I did- I do," She raised a pointed brow at him, "Why?"

"Well, the production is almost at the end of it's run and because you start that internship soon…"

Jay unintentionally tuned out after that. She'd been trying to not think about anything relating to Mulder and the dozens of unanswered questions she had just boiling beneath the surface, but with final exams and assessment pieces due she just didn't have the time to dwell on the unknown which was a curse and a blessing within itself.

"―Jay?"

The brunette shook her head, attempting to clear the foggy thoughts that were holding her mind hostage. She coughed, clearing her throat of the hard lump that had floated up and lodged itself there within the past minute.

"Uh yeah, sure sure." She nodded her head, averting her gaze back down to the cursive writing adorning the pages of her notebook.

"Great. I'll give you your crew pass on Wednesday."

Jay shot her head up so quickly she felt something click in her neck at the sudden jerk of her movement.

"I- I don't―" She stuttered.

Oh no, Oh crap.

Logan gathered his textbooks and haphazardly placed them in his bag before slinging it over his shoulder.

"Thanks again, Jay. Since a few of the crew is out sick we need all the hands we can get."

The young woman could only open and close her mouth a few times, rendered speechless, not comprehending how she had managed to get herself into this situation in the first place.

Scully & Jade's House

Monday

Jay stared at the photo that had been tucked inside the envelope, dark brows furrowed as nimble fingers traced the edges of the old photograph, the pale digits shaking as she thought about how much she didn't know about her history - about her mother...about Mulder..

They looked so young. But it was unmistakably her mother and Mulder. She'd never noticed before but as she gazed a critical eye at the photograph she started to see infallible similarities between the two of them and herself.

She wonders that it would of been like to get raised by both of them. Would they still be together? Would she have picked up on more of her mother's or Mulder's mannerisms? How differently would everything have turned out. Would she have a brother or a sister?

A few angry tears slipped beneath dark lashes and she wiped at them quickly when she hears the thud of footsteps coming down the hall, the click of her heels against the hardwood flooring, before a brisk knock against her bedroom door. She had just enough time to slip the photograph and envelope containing the rest of it's contents underneath her pillow before the door swung open.

Scully stood a few inches inside the doorway with a small smile and a plate of what looked like 2 double chocolate muffins. Jay raised an eyebrow, eyeing the mouth-watering treats before reaching for her chemistry text-book that was nestled on the comforter beside her.

"Uh oh, double chocolate muffins that can't be good." the young brunette commented.

"Actually," Scully started quietly as she took a few more steps into the room, fingers running across the surface of the door "They're double chocolate muffins with extra choc chips." Until she was standing right next to the head of her daughter's bed.

"Mmm," Jay hummed in reply, reaching for one of the muffins on the floral plate and tearing a piece off. It was warm at her touch and some of the chocolate oozed against her palm.

"Well then, it must be the end of the world. Is this our final meal?"

Scully huffed a laugh, moving to sit on the edge of the bed, placing the plate down on the bedside table - or rather, on top of the pile of books that were precariously placed there..

"No, no nothing like that I just...uh, I have to work tonight. Covering for someone."

"Oh," Jay raised her eyebrows but a small grin spread across rosy lips, "So these are guilt muffins?"

The red head rolled her eyes but laughed with Jay nonetheless.

"Sure. If you like."

After the laughter died down, Jay closed her text-book and surveyed her mother with a raised brow and a twitch of her lips.

"That's okay. I actually have plans." Jay revealed.

Scully copied the movement, her eyebrow raised precariously high. It was almost comical if not for the quizzical look on her face.

"You're not studying tonight?"

Jay hesitated before continuing, "No, I'm not." She confirmed, pausing before continuing "But it's school orientated" She rushed out.

After a beat, Scully stood up and nodded a few times as though trying to work out if her daughter had been taken over by aliens or something.

"Okay. Just be home before 11."

"I wouldn't dream of being even a minute late."

Scully rolled her eyes as the brunette clutched her chest in a dramatic flourish and then proceeding to further dramatise her actions by collapsing onto the bed and across her mother's legs. Scully absent-mindedly ran her fingers through the thick mass of curls, brushing the strands out of Jay's eyes and across her face, tucking them behind her ears.


 

Hughes Hill Theatre

Jay had been working with the crew at the theatre for 4 days now and was surprised to find that she didn't completely hate it. She was getting the hang of the backstage ebb and flow processes and she found she was actually dreading the moment it would end. The nerves that had been gnawing in her stomach had calmed down slightly as soon as she realised that from where she was working, she didn't have to interact with Mulder, who spent most of his time on the other side of the theatre.

She counted her blessings.

But, of course she was curious - hell, she was more than curious but she had no idea what she'd say. 'Hi-I-Think-You're-My-Dad-Why-Have-You-Been-Absent-My-Whole-Life?' No. That wouldn't go down well. Every possible scenario that had gone through her mind about their inevitable conversation - reunion - whatever it would be - ranged from running into him at Lemon Java Cafe again or something similar to that effect - the little girl fantasy of him explaining that he couldn't be apart of her life because he is a secret government agent or even just the typical dead-beat dad explanation. Just knowing why would fill the ache that spread through her chest every time she thought about him.

Was it supposed to hurt this much?

The scenario that she hadn't even expected - that hadn't even crossed her mind - was what would unfold later that night.

The next few hours passed by quickly and before Jay knew it it was time for her break, she had waited until the last intermission, having been overrun with so much to do in so little time. So by the time the last intermission was upon them, she decided that now would be the best time to get something quick to eat before it started up again.

She'll come to wish that she should of taken her break earlier in the night when she comes across two people she never thought she'd see together.

Standing behind the dark red curtains at the Hughes Hill Theatre, where every 30 seconds a different coloured light shone across the stage to signal intermission, Scully ignores the bout of amusement swirling in the darkened eyes looking down at her, pushing down on the wave of heat threatening to spread through her body, the flames currently licking white-hot at the edges of her stomach and spreading to her fingertips.

God, she missed how he made her laugh. The way he used to look at her. The way he is currently looking at her.

Mulder and Scully had finally come to the agreement that day they had ran into each other at the coffee shop, that they should get reaquainted with each other before dropping something of this kind of magnitude on Jay. Mulder was reluctant to wait, having been thinking about nothing other than Jay and his mother, and of course Scully since the Gala but in a way he understood Scully's reasoning. Because he knew- knows her.

Those big wet blue eyes she'd gazed at him with may have had something to do with why he'd gave in so easily. How he always seemed to give in when it was something important to her. Now, even after all these years apart.

"I usually just write the scripts and stick around for a few weeks as the play's getting their bearings and then go back to my place here in D.C"

Scully nodded, fingers tracing the delicate fabric of the curtain before meeting his gaze. It was soft to the touch, as though she were stroking a perfect petal from a red rose. "It's a really beautiful set, Mulder." Her words were soft, as soft as the smile adorning her lips.

She fought the urge but before she knew it she had suddenly reached out and was caresses the point of his elbow. Mulder had taken his coat off earlier, so when Scully moved her hand up slightly to squeeze his arm gently she could feel the hard press of his bicep through his dark blue dress shirt. Her eyes fluttered shut when she felt the warmth of his body through the press of her fingers.

Jay's lazy movements come to a halt, her piercing blue eyes flickering to the scene unfolding a few feet away from her. As if sensing her stare, Scully's head turn away from Mulder with her own blue orbs now widening as they land on her daughter. A series of emotions seemed to flicker across the redhead's face all at once: shock, guilt, worry at least 5 other ones she couldn't place her finger on right at this moment.

Scully's face was now contorted in contemplation, not thinking her next actions through as much as she probably should, she automatically released her hold on Mulder's arm and immediately started to weave her way through the small crowd at the back of the theatre and towards Jay who was standing stock still, her eyes wide in disbelief.

She lied, Jay couldn't believe it. She knows parents lie to their kids but she just couldn't believe this. That she lied to her, again, her brain hastily reminded her. Had she been seeing him this whole time? Why had she kept this from her? Why couldn't she just tell the goddamn truth?

Her chest was tight, everything from her forehead to her toes was aching. Suddenly her cheeks were wet, black watery tracks were spilling down the pale expanse of her cheeks and down her chin, trailing down her neck before nestling against the edge of her collar bone.

Before she knew it, she had turned on her heel and headed back through the sudden thrum of people who must of had the same idea as her and taking their break during intermission. A young man accidentally elbowed her in the shoulder, muttering a quick 'sorry' without glancing behind him as he kept going. Jay then squeezed between two teenage girls, twins, who were arguing or gossiping, she wasn't sure, hardly able to see where she was going and nearly knocking them both over in the process of escaping.

She spotted the fluorescent exit sign above one of the back doors and made her way towards it, picking up her pace the closer and closer she got to it. She needed air. She couldn't breathe. Her shirt was too tight, pushing open the door she faintly registered in relief that she hadn't set the fire alarm off.

Jay collapsed onto the stairwell just outside the theatre, fingers clasping the cool metal railing before she slid to her knees with a gasp. The brunette was starting to see spots, bright lights clouding her vision and she didn't know if she was having an anxiety attack or a panic attack or what. She couldn't think - she couldn't breathe.

Suddenly, she registered hands clasping her shoulders before her mother's face appeared in front of her, fingers digging into her shoulders and worry etched across the lines in her forehead. The light attached to the fixtures above shone around Scully, almost making it look like she was glowing.

Jay continued gasping for breath and if Jay squeezed her eyes enough she could see that Scully was struggling with keeping herself together.

"Jay...Jade. Honey, where is your inhaler?" Her words were rushed and they came out all in one breath.

The smaller woman had one arm clutching the fabric of her chest and the other flinging behind her, motioning at the air behind her back "Ba-b-back p...pocket" She managed to gasp out.

Scully reached around her daughter and fished out the inhaler from the denim pocket with shaking hands, taking the cap off just as Jay reached out for the device now in front of her, her vision is steadily getting more blurry as the seconds tick by. Scully helped Jay hold the inhaler up to her mouth, heart pounding in her chest and her mouth dry. Oh God please, please, Scully found herself begging with all of her heart and soul.

Just as Jay was getting control over her breathing, her mother drawing reassuring patterns across her shoulder and pressing gentle kisses to her forehead and the top of her messy locks. The door opened once again and Mulder almost spilled out on top of them, his foot catching on the door. The curious gaze become more concerned as he took in the sight of the two Scully women on the floor wrapped around each other in a tight embrace.

Chapter Text

Scully & Jade's House

Scully had taken Jay home once she had checked her vital signs, content once she was able to stand and breathe regularly.

Mulder attempted to help, only to be brushed away.

Scully hadn't been thinking about anything other than getting Jay home and getting her to rest. As she sat at the kitchen table replaying the series of events over and over in her mind. She wouldn't go so far as to blame Mulder for how it unravelled.

No.

Scully blamed herself.

The steaming mug of dark liquid that swirled in the ceramic mug wasn't as enticing as it usually would be. The liquid tasted bitter and had no taste at the same time. Scully was struggling to keep herself together but she knew she couldn't indulge by being selfish and giving in to her heart that was clutching tightly within the confines of her chest. She needed to be strong now more than ever.

A scuffling of feet against floorboards announced the figure coming through the entryway before she even spoke.

"Hey." Jay spoke quietly, her voice rough and laced with fatigue.

Scully smiled gently, the lightness not quite reaching her eyes that were bright with worry.

"Hey." She replied softly.

Their eyes met and the silence was heavy. They hadn't talked about it yet. The thing that they should most definitely be talking about. Why she lied, why Jay had ran, there were a hundred of unanswered questions bubbling just beneath the surface.

When they first got home her main priority had been to get Jay to rest. She can be furious with me after she wakes up, Scully reasoned.

Jay takes the seat opposite her, fiddling with the bracelet adorning her wrist and tugging at it, needing to do something with her hands.

"Why did you lie?" She asked suddenly.

"I know I said I was working tonight, I'm sorry―"

"No." Jay cuts her off.

With a sigh, Jay continues, it's now or never.

"Why did you lie about-" Her eyes start to blur and she blinks furiously to try and stop the tears from falling.

Scully looks wary now, she reaches out and cups her palm to the back of Jay's head, who visibly relaxes at the soft touch.

When Jay opens her eyes she takes a deep breath.

"Why did you keep him a secret?" She raised an arched brow, waiting for some kind of explanation a mirrored image of her mother.

Scully pulls back, shock crossing her features briefly before she tries to mask it with a feigned look of indifference.

"What do you mean? I―" She tried.

Scully's words are cut off as Jay reaches into the pocket of her night coat and places the very old, but very familiar, very warn envelope on the table between the two of them.

Scully squeezes her eyes shut, this couldn't be happening, she places her hands over her face, elbows resting on the table.

She thought she'd been more careful than this. There were a dozen different ways she had thought about approaching this topic but this didn't even fall on the list.

Jay waited silently her heart pounding harshly against the cage in her chest that was starting to crack open at every passing second.

When Scully removed her hands that had been covering her eyes to reveal the dark grey and purple circles beneath them that had, if it were possible, somehow deepened and her complexion had turned ashen.

"Look...you have to try and understand, Jade. Things were complicated."

Jay let out a humourless laugh.

"Yeah. Understatement of the year."

Scully's lips thin but she let the comment slide, running her fingers through her hair and sitting up straighter in an effort to pull herself together.

"Jade I just-I―"She didn't know how to piece together a proper sentence,"I just wanted to protect you. That's all I've ever wanted."

"You've got a crap way of showing it."


Fox Mulder's House

This was not how any of this was supposed to go. Scully thought she had a firm grasp on the situation at hand even with Mulder showing up out of the blue.

But now?

It was all slipping through the cracks in-between her fingers and the harder she tried to grasp onto it all, maintain even a modicum of control, the faster it slipped through.

Jay was slipping through her fingers.

Jay shifted her weight from one foot to the other as she shuffled nervously. Scully reached out, her fingers gently squeezing the small of Jay's wrist in an attempt to comfort her without words. The brunette shrugged off her touch and took a step back. Scully couldn't say that that didn't sting but she squeezed her eyes shut tightly before turning back towards the front door.

Jay's mind was swirling and she couldn't deal with more than one thing right now. She was mad. Maybe irrationally so but she couldn't dwell on that right now. She could only focus on the one thing in front of her at a time. Tunnel vision.

It was terrifying.

She was terrified.

It was one thing to believe the information that she had pieced together, but a whole other thing altogether to have those thoughts confirmed. Her mind was spinning. She felt like she was going to be sick. Possibly because she hadn't eaten a single thing since breakfast (which was so very unlike her) but she couldn't eat right now, the thought of food making her feel nauseous.

Jay pulled her coat closer to her body shivering at the sudden chill that ran up the back of her spine. She watched her mother's red locks twist and fall across her shoulders as the wind picked up speed.

Why was the truth she'd longed for so long to discover suddenly terrifying?

Scully knocked on the door, her fingers shaking slightly as she took a step back. She pressed her palms together to asquiece the twitch and shake of them.

Here goes nothing.

Footsteps could be heard on the other side of the now what seemed to be a hauntingly large door. The older woman's heart began to pound as she heard the slide and click of the lock.

The door swung open.

There Mulder was wide-eyed and as handsome as ever. Even though it was late, she could tell that he was still wearing his clothes from today.

He watched her for a moment with his brow furrowed before turning to the side and indicating that she could come in.

Scully turned to look behind her and only then did she notice that Jay was no longer there.

Her heart got caught in her throat.

After a quick scan she spotted Jay crouching near his garden bed quietly motioning for her to go on ahead.

Scully cleared her throat, torn between wanting to comfort her daughter and abide by her wishes.

Turning back to Mulder, who's brow had only furrowed further in confusion by her lack of response.

He went to reach out and touch her shoulder only to hesitate and drop his hand at the last second. She breathed a quiet sigh of relief because they didn't do that anymore, did they?

"Are you okay?" He asked quietly.

Scully's lips twitched, a dry laugh threatening to part her lips and betray her.

"I'm fine, Mulder."

Scully then followed Mulder into his home, her eyes darting around and taking in every little thing she could. Her fingers danced across the table as he lead her through the hallway into the lounge room.

When no one had spoken for a few minutes Mulder cleared his throat, drawing Scully's attention away from the sculpted art piece she had been admiring.

Mulder's hands were placed on the back of a grey belgian slope linen sofa, squeezing the material underneath his hands.

"Sorry about just turning up like this," Scully began, "It's late." She added.

Scully tucked her arms around herself in an effort to protect herself. From what? She wasn't entirely sure.

Just keep pushing forward you can do this.

She took a deep breath in, her lungs as fragile and brittle as glass. Scully's gaze traced from Mulder's hands to his face before flicking away when her stomach lurched.

She turns around.

"You've got a nice place here, Mulder."

A beat passes by.

"What's changed? Why are you here?"

Jay quietly took one last step in the dimmed hallway before she appears in the archway between the hallway and the lounge room.

"Because of me."

Despite trying hard to control it, her voice wavered slightly.

The words hung around them in the air as though they were frozen.

Scully and Mulder both turned toward the source of the interruption standing in Mulder's doorway.

Jay's small frame was shrouded in shadows that seemed to make her look ever smaller, the younger woman wrung her hands together nervously.

Worry flickered over Scully's face at the sight of her daughter looking so vulnerable. Knowing that she had caused this pain, that she should've handled this better. Every year Scully told herself 'maybe next year' and every year she wouldn't tell her.

How does a mother tell her daughter that she willingly took her daughter away from her father? From all that could have been? Because what...she was scared?

Scully shook her head to try and pull herself out of the swirling mess of thoughts seeping chaos through her brain.

Mulder turned back to Scully, his forehead creased waiting for her to explain exactly what was going on.

The tension in the air was palpable. All Scully wanted to do was run but her whole body felt like it was being held there, weighed down by an invisible force. She couldn't move.

Finally after a minute or a few hours, she raised her gaze and met Mulder's cautious wide eyes.

"Mulder, this is Jay..." She began, turning and locking eyes with Jay, "―Jade. Our daughter."


She'd said the words, there was no going back now. She couldn't take them back and swallow them down. She desperately wanted to - no matter how wrong she knew it was.

Everything was going to change and she didn't want that.

Right?

Scully let out a sigh, her fingers wrapped around the warm ceramic mug.

Her stomach was in knots - correction - more knots. Everytime she thought about this situation she'd felt a tug of a new knot forming deep in her abdomen. But really, if she thought about it - which she never let herself do if she could help it.

Burying herself in her work and raising Jay to try and squelch that feeling. That feeling that had always been buried deep inside of her. Taunting her. Teasing her. Ever since that day she'd packed her things and left. And now? She knew it was only a matter of time until the other shoe dropped.

"Hey." Came a quiet voice from beside her.

Mulder leaned against wrought iron railing and clasped his hands together.

Scully turned to look behind him but before she could open her mouth to ask he answered the question.

"She's in my study. Going through my dusty old book collection."

Scully laughed.

"Good luck getting her away from those." She smirks.

Mulder laughed with her.

They fell into silence. It wasn't uncomfortably really, but it wasn't that familiar silence that she was used to when they used to get together.

"Why now?" He asked

Scully took a sip of the rapidly cooling coffee between her hands to give her a moment to gather her thoughts.

"I was― afraid of losing Jay," She admitted softly, as though saying the words aloud would tempt fate, "I could feel her pulling away and…"She trailed off.

Mulder waited for her to continue not wanting to push her.

"It was like the universe was telling me it was time." She scoffed at the absurdity of her own words.

She continued, "Seeing you and Jay finding the― the cheque and a photo of you and I." She swallowed over the lump that formed in her throat.

"The cheque." Mulder echoed slowly.

Scully was thankful he didn't press on the sore subject that had caused their argument the last time.

"She's smart." Mulder said, changing the subject.

Scully hummed in agreement.

"She's really smart and a smart-ass."

Mulder's lips twitched holding in a laugh, azure eyes sparkling as he turned to look at Scully leaning against the rail, who was now gazing up at the stars.

The moon bathed Scully's porcelain skin in an incandescent glow and his breath caught in his throat at the sheer beauty of this moment. Of her.

"You've done a really great job, Scully."

Scully let out a shaky breath and dipped her head down away from the enticing call of the sky.

"Thanks Mulder."

Mulder moved closer, his hand itching to comfort her. Hovering above her shoulder as he hesitated once again. He let out a breath, lowering his hand back to his side but remaining close beside her.

"Can we go now?"

Scully turned at the sound of her― their daughters voice.

She could always read her very well. The mask she was currently wearing was slipping slightly, her eyes looking anywhere but at Mulder. And Scully would do anything to protect her, because to her? She'd always be her little girl.

"Of course."

Jay walked off towards the front door and Scully turned back to Mulder.

"We'll pick this up another day, okay?"

"Sure."


Jade Scully's Dorm Room

2 weeks later

A loud rapping on her college dorm has Jay looking over at her mother with a quirk of an eyebrow.

Scully looked pointedly in the other direction suddenly very interested in the pile of books in front of her.

Jay put down the string of lights on she had been holding on her work desk and started to walk towards the door when it suddenly flung open of it's own accord and her head was nearly taken off by a wooden board advancing towards her.

"Ahh!"

The wood turned sideways and there was her aunt Melissa grinning at her.

"Well that was an effort and a half to open your door."

"What are you doing here?" Jay asked, lines creasing across her forehead in confusion.

Melissa raised a perfectly sculpted brow at Jay before surveying the room and burning holes in her sisters back with a smirk.

"Your mother didn't tell you? We're decorating your room!" She wiggled her hips a little in a dance, the best she could do with her hands full.

Scully continued to separate the books and start shelving them in alphabetical order in the small bookcase beside her desk. She's going to have to get a removable wall piece or stack them on her desk because there isn't going to be enough room for all of these books. Ignoring the two other Scully women both now burning holes into her back trying without prevail to gain the woman's attention.

With a laugh Melissa gently put the wooden board down now facing upwards and Jay did a double take of the large light bulbs framing the mirrored side.

"Oh, they're as horrible as I remember. They haven't changed a bit have they, Dana?"

Scully murmured in agreement and Melissa shook her head, a wry smile spreading across her lips as she took in the room.

"Where can I put my jacket, sweetie?"

Jay grabbed the denim jacket from her aunt's hands before she flung it onto the floor or something and opened her small, but manageable closet and hung it up on a coat-hanger.

The three Scully women spent a good few hours setting up Jay's room. She watched with a bemused smile as her mother lightly smacked the back of Melissa's hand as she tried to put up a poster of the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 and handed her a poster of the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. Melissa pouted but Jay walked over to her and held her hand out with a rubber band, whispering under her breath so that her mother wouldn't hear her and promising that she'd find a place for it somewhere else.

Jay and Melissa strung up her copper wire fairy lights above her bed-frame with removable hooks whilst Scully found a place for the mirror.

Scully cleared her throat, suddenly feeling overcome with emotion. Her face hot despite the coolness of the room. She starts to shake slightly, her fingers twitching and her eyes watering. Keep it together. She knew this day had been coming, she just didn't think it would creep up on her like this.

Letting out a deep breath she hadn't even realised she'd been holding in, she caught the attention of her sister and daughter who had been in the middle of a conversation. Melissa pulls her niece in for a tight hug, promising to come visit soon and bring her her favourite tea before moving towards the door and waiting for her sister outside.

Scully scuffs the point of her shoe against the floor, trying to school her features into something more neutral than heartbreak.

"I hope you're not planning on watching out show without me." Jay teases lightly.

Scully lets out a watery laugh, "Of course not. Though I can't make any promises."


later that day

A young woman with skin as dark as treacle toffee leaned against the kitchen island, cradling a chocolate cinnamon babkallah between her fingers. She immediately dropped the breakfast pastry as Jay walked in the door.

"I knew someone had already arrived!"

The young woman moved to where Jay was standing just in front of the island and held her hand out.

"Hi! I'm Freya." She grinned.

Jay moved to put her books down on the kitchen island to her left and shook Freya's hand.

"I'm Jay. I didn't realise everyone would be moving in today." She replied.

Freya shook her head, a few blue strands falling out from the bun she'd pulled them into.

"Well not everybody. But I start work at the cafe here this afternoon and since the summer program starts next week…"She trails off, "It's just easier." Freya shrugs.

The other woman paused hazel eyes sparkling as they darted from Jay's head to her feet.

"Hmm you look really familiar. Have we met before?"

"I think I would've remembered meeting someone that looks as beautiful as you."

The brunette then went bright pink, her eyes darting away from those dancing irises and steadily raising brow.

Jay then let out a breathless laugh.

"I uh...should finish…"Jay motioned behind her towards the hallway.

Freya nodded reaching for her tea stewing on the counter but before she could say anything else Jay had retreated down the hallway. Books be damned, she thought, you can fend for yourself.


Tap. Tap. Tap.

Jay looks at the clock on her desk which reads: 11.08pm.

Who the hell would be tapping on my window at this hour?

She then whips her head around grabbing a bookend and walks over to her window slowly, pressing herself against the wall, she clicks the lock open and pushes the window up with her free hand.

With just her lamp on in her room bathing everything in a fluorescent orange, Jay raises the bookend with a slightly shaking hand.

"I'm going to call campus security if you don't tell me who the hell you are and why you're crawling through my bedroom window!"

The person is startled and falls onto the bed at the sight of the heavy bookend raised threateningly. After a moment the person started to shake, a quiet chuckle shaking their whole body.

"Oh, you're cranky. Do you know what the cure for crankiness is?" They teased.

Two disposable coffee cups were held up.

"What are you―"

Jay takes a step back as the hooded figure places the cups on the bedside table and lowers the hood. It was―

"Mum! What are you doing here?" She asks in a loud whisper.

Scully shrugs, picking up one of the cups and hands it to Jay as she put the bookend down before picking one up for herself.

"I had Melissa sneak in my room on my first night. It made me feel not so lonely. It's become kind of a family tradition in a way."

Jay smiles softly before moving forward and sitting beside Scully on the single bed. It squeaks under the weight from the both of them. Scully slides her free arm around her daughters waist, allowing her daughter to lean her head against her shoulder more easily. She traces patterns across the crook of her elbow and along her arm.

"I snuck a bag of caramelized popcorn in earlier." Scully said softly, not wanting to ruin the moment.

"Is that your way of saying you brought over a bag and you accidentally left it behind?" Jay laughed.

Scully shoved Jay which just made her laugh even harder.

"Maybe."

10 minutes later the Scully women were sitting on Jay's bed watching their favourite soap on her laptop and eating popcorn until the early hours of the morning.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Jay rolled over and noticed her bed was still warm from where her mother had crashed after...she doesn't know how many episodes. She lost count after the fourth one. The time of the clock on her table read: 9:00am

Ring. Ring. Ring.

She registered what had woken her up and rolled closer to the edge of the bed so that she could grab the vibrating device off the table. Not recognising the number she got a queasy feeling in her stomach. Jay cleared her throat, rubbing her hand over her face to try and wake herself up more.

"Hello?"

"We need to talk."

Chapter Text

The phone call that she’d answered early in the morning just might of been the one thing that was going to tip Jay over the edge. Or maybe it was going to be the one thing that was going to bring everything together. She wasn’t sure. All Jay knew, was that suddenly after all of those years of waiting she was finally going to have answers. Even if they weren’t the ones she wanted.

Jay spent most of the morning pouring over her study guide (which she’d already read three times already) just in case she’d missed something the first three times she’d read it. Her roommates would be turning up over the next few days - six days until classes start! - she’d marked the date in her calendar that was hanging above her desk.

Around lunch time her stomach started to grumble and Jay knew that she couldn’t put this off any longer, grabbed her phone and sent out a text.

Meet me at the cafe around one.

After a quick shower and changing into a purple hoodie and her ripped jeans, Jay made her way out of her dorm room tying her hair into a loose ponytail as the door slammed shut behind her.

Passé Café

Jay entered the on-campus café and quickly made her way towards one of the booths that a few students had just left. The café was bustling and she wasn’t going to take any chances, it was survival of the fittest afterall.

She needed her damn coffee.

One of the waitress came over and began to wipe down the table as she sat down.

“What can I get you?” The petite woman with a blonde roughly chopped fringe asked her.

“Black coffee with an extra shot and a bear claw, thanks.”

The woman nodded, retrieving the notepad and writing down her order.

“It shouldn’t be too long.”

Jay hadn’t been waiting long in the booth, picking at the bear claw absentmindedly and looking up at the door to the cafe almost every time the bell announced someone entering. The brunette looked up just as Melissa slid into the seat opposite her.

She placed her purse and her order number in front of her as she settled in.

“Aren’t you working at the University today?” Jay asked, brow furrowed.

“Yeah, I’m practicing my technique in astral projection.”

Jay rolled her eyes when Melissa sent her an exaggerated wink.

“You’re hilarious .”

Melissa let out an airy laugh, “Oh, I know.”

There was a lull in the conversation and Jay cleared her throat, fingers now playing with the serviette.

“So, what’s so important that you couldn’t of talked to me about yesterday?”

Melissa’s soft smile tightened at the corners slightly and Jay’s stomach suddenly felt like it was filled with rocks, the sharp edges poking and prodding harshly against her insides.

“I’m worried about you.” Melissa said slowly, as though if she spoke to quickly she would scare off the younger woman. “And your mum.”

Jay opened her mouth to speak - not even sure of where to start and was saved by a barista placing Melissa’s tea and bagel in front of her.

When they walked off Jay tore another piece of her bearclaw off to give herself a little longer to think about what to say. Melissa blew over her steaming mug watching her niece with a steady, open gaze.

As the seconds ticked by the hustle and bustle of the cafe faded around them becoming background noise, the silence between them was becoming heavier and Jay sighed reaching for her coffee and finally meeting Melissa’s gaze.

“Me too.” Jay said quietly, her eyes started to itch and she looked down quickly so that the tears filling her eyes couldn’t be seen.

Her voice wobbled slightly as she continued and she cursed herself for not being able to keep it together better.

“We’re out of sync and I hate it. But I’m still so mad at her for not telling me sooner.”

Melissa nodded her head despite Jay unable to see her and took a sip of her green tea waiting for her to continue.

“I can tell she’s trying hard to fix things and have everything return to normal but I don’t know if it ever will.” Jay’s voice cracked on the last word and Melissa squeezed her fingers gently with her free hand.

Finally looking up through tear-blurred eyes and black streaks trailing down her cheeks, she let out a choked laugh when she thought about the night before.

“She snuck into my room last night and I don’t know if it was because I was tired and it was late or, if I just wanted to pretend that everything was okay for a little while - but it felt really nice to just sit there with her and watch our favourite soap.”

Jay breathed in and out slowly, the constant heaviness weighing down on her shoulders over the last few weeks alleviating a little. She pulled her hand away from Melissa and wiped at the tear tracks on her cheeks before taking a much needed sip of her now warming coffee.

“Have you spoken to him after…” Melissa let the unfinished question hang in the air.

The brunette was grateful that she didn’t say his name, as though she knew that every time it was uttered her heart clenched tightly.

“No, I haven’t.” Jay answered quietly, her forehead creasing. “I have so many questions but I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

Melissa took a bite of her bagel just as Jay uttered quietly, “What if he doesn’t like me?”

Washington General Hospital

Since Jay had left for her summer internship Scully had been throwing herself into her work. Taking as many double shifts as she could get her hands on and then numbing herself with a bottle of wine when she wasn’t.

It wasn’t the healthiest coping mechanism, she knew that, but it was working and that’s all that she needed right now. She’d been MIA for the weekly family dinners that took place at her mother’s residence, her mother leaving guilt-inducing voicemails over the last 2 weeks.

The door to the ER slammed open and Scully’s red locks whipped against her cheeks when she looked up just as a young woman was being wheeled in on a gurney. Pulling her hair into a loose ponytail and rushes over to the paramedic before quickly snapping on fresh gloves.

“What happened?” She asked.

“3 vehicle pile up on 18th Street, Downtown DC. She’s lost a lot of blood - pressure dressings were applied on scene and 2 bore IVs started.”

“Any pain medication?”

“Morphine 5 mgs.”

One of the attendings could be seen rushing into the ER, dodging co-workers rushing about before they met Scully and the young woman being wheeled through.

“Scully, What are her injuries?” He asked.

“She has at least 2 fractured ribs and her arm is almost completely severed.” Scully answers quickly just as the doors to the ER slam open again.

The woman’s shirt is torn and Harrison moves the material apart and is greeted by deep purple spread across the dark skin of her abdomen.

“Skin discoloration indicates ecchymosis due to blunt force trauma. Page Gonçalves and join her in OR 1.”

Scully nods finalizing some notes in the woman’s chart before practically running from the ER to scrub up.

Eight excruciating hours later, Scully was putting on a fresh set of clothes in the locker room. She pulled a granola bar and her phone from her locker and began scrolling through her emails. Scully had just finished forwarding a medical journal article to Beth when her phone vibrated announcing a new text message.

She closed her email and opened up her text messages inbox, finger hovering over the most recent bolded message.

Are you free to meet for drinks tonight? - Mulder

The time on her phone read 2.12pm and she didn’t know if it was due to lack of sleep or some deep need to self-destruct and before she knew it her fingers were darting across the screen rapidly to reply without giving it too much thought.

Peter’s Bar and Grill. 8 O'clock.  - Scully

She’d just finished a double shift so it was unlikely she’d be called in unless there was a major crisis. That thought wasn’t as much of a comfort as she’d thought it would be, but that didn’t stop her from spending the next few hours at the hospital hoping that something would happen so that she could cancel.

So she’d poured herself over one of her medical textbooks in the nurses lounge, checking he pager almost every 10 minutes before finally getting shooed out and told to go home by the Head Nurse a few hours later.

Peter’s Bar and Grill

Scully arrived at the bar and grill half an hour early, her nerves having gotten the better of her. She knew that she’d need at least a glass or two before Mulder arrived to get her nerves under control.

They hadn’t spoken in person since their exchange 2 weeks ago at his house. He’d called her and left a voicemail a few days after but she had been more focused on repairing the damage to her relationship with her daughter to call him back.

Sliding onto an empty stool at the bar, Scully reached for a faded cocktail menu so that she’d have something to distract herself with. She perused the menu with disinterest taking note that she’d arrived just in time for happy hour and ordered a white wine spritzer as well as a fresh bowl of nibbles.

Scully had finished her first glass of wine in record timing, she could blame it on the salty peanuts she’d dived into but the nerves running rampant in her gut told her otherwise.

She had just taking her phone out of her purse to check the time when Mulder appeared beside her, sliding into the empty stool to her right and taking note that it was only 2 minutes past eight.

“Hey.” Mulder said softly, as though if he spoke any louder he would spook her away.

Scully’s cheeks were flushed from alcohol and the humidity in the room, she offered him a small smile, her eyes not quite able to meet his.

“Hi Mulder.”

He ordered another glass of what she was having and a beer for himself. When the waitress set about completing the order, Mulder found himself turning and accessing Scully. She’d lost weight since the time he’d seen her, her small frame looked more frail underneath clothing that was slightly too big for her and revealed sharp collarbones. Slowly his gaze trailed upwards and lingered on the dark circles beneath her eyes and he couldn’t stop the question from tumbling from his lips no matter how hard he pressed them together.

“How have you been?”

Scully’s demeanour became tense, her spine uncurling and rearing upwards as though ready to attack, the jut of her chin protruding further up as she finally, reluctantly met his gaze.

She’d expected to see quiet fury, or blame flickering in the irises of his eyes but what she saw was much worse: sympathy.

The man who had a multitude of reasons to be angry and bitter towards her was looking at her with anything but that. Her eyes flashed and she turned away from him, her heart clenching tightly in her chest.

“Fine.” She nearly choked on the lie.

From the corner of her eye she could see Mulder still gazing at her, not buying what she was selling but he didn’t press. Instead, he took a sip of his drink before placing it down in front of him.

They sat there quietly, side by side in silence, the humm from the jukebox in the corner the only thing that filled the gap between them.

The next hour passed by quickly filled with light small talk, steadily avoiding red-zone topics that would cause a frisson between them, she was happy to abide by the silent rule.

By the time Scully had finished her third drink she turned in her seat, her gaze now trailing from the neck of the bottle to Mulder’s lips as he swallowed the last drops of his second. She looked away a second too late and by the twitch of his lips she knew she’d been caught.

The warmth spreading across her cheeks and chest combined with lightheadedness reminded her that she hadn’t eaten much since breakfast.

“Are you hungry?” She asked.

“I could go for some food.” Mulder replied.

They found themselves at one of Jay and Scully’s favourite little pit stops and her stomach clenched somewhat painfully at the thought of being there without her.

“Double the cheese and jalapeños?” Mulder gasped in mock-shock, “You haven’t changed.”

Scully chuckled quietly, a small smile on her lips as she wiped some sauce from the corner of her mouth.

“Actually, I have.” The quiet words tumbling out of her mouth caught her by surprise.

When she looked up from the hotdog in her hands, she saw that the weight of them had affected Mulder as he gazed back at her, the food temporarily forgotten.

Her eyes started to itch and her throat was suddenly dry, Scully wet her lips with her tongue before looking down at the ground as though willing it to open up and swallow her whole.

“Jay and I haven’t spoken much since - all of this-” She gestured at nothing in particular, “Came out.”

They had stopped walking and Scully spotted a wooden bench a few feet away. She pulled her coat closer to her body when she sat down on the cool seat. Footsteps followed by a ruffle of his jacket and Mulder was sitting down beside her.

He didn’t say anything, taking another bite of his hotdog and waiting quietly for her to continue.

The wind curled red locks against the the navy blue of Scully’s coat as she took a small bite out of her hotdog. After she swallowed, she cleared her throat as the paper crinkled in her free hand.

“I don’t know if I can repair this. And even if I could-” Scully’s voice cracked, “I don’t think our relationship will ever be the same.”

This wasn’t how tonight was supposed to go. She hadn’t even thought it through and now she was chastising herself for making yet again another stupid decision.

A hand gently squeezed her left wrist in an attempt at reassurance and she closed her eyes at the warm, familiar touch, allowing herself a moment.

“Maybe not the same,” Mulder began, “But now you have a whole new side that you can share with her.”

“What side is that?” She asked, lines creasing between her brows.

“The truth.”

Scully & Jade's House

Scully flicked on the light in the entryway before peeling off her coat, turning and motioning that Mulder could do the same and placing them on the coat rack.

“Did you want a coffee?”

“Sure.”

She took off her heels, making her four inches shorter, leaving them by the door before making her way towards the kitchen. Scully started to fiddle with the coffee maker when Mulder walked through and settled himself on one of the chairs.

“You have a nice place. Didn’t really look around the last time I was here.”

Scully shot him a pointed look over her shoulder before returning to her task.

“Yes, well you did have a lot on your mind. I doubt you had the chance to admire or critique the decor of my house.”

Mulder laughed, the lines at the corners of his eyes crinkling. After Scully made two steaming mugs of coffee and a few ranger cookies stacked on a plate, she set them down on the benchtop between them.

She broke one of the cookies in half and offered the other piece to Mulder who took it without hesitation, his fingers brushing her palm accidentally. Scully felt the hairs on her arm stand on end and a shiver to race up her spine that had nothing to do with the temperature.

What am I doing? She shook her head, thoughts of what those fingers have done to her in the past racing through her mind unbidden, she took a generous bite of the treat before turning back towards her coffee, suddenly in the mood for a very different kind of dessert.

“Working on anything new?” She asked.

Small talk it was then.

Mulder let out a chuckle, flexing the fingers of his free hand subconsciously.

“I’m always working on something new. It’s following it all the way through that’s the problem.”

“You’ll find your bearings, Mulder. You always do.”

Scully offered him a warm smile and the sincerity in her words almost knocked the breath from his lungs. Mulder smiled back softly, moving his hand to brush the tips of his fingers against the back of her hand.

“Thanks, Scully.”

“Anytime.”

Her heart in her chest started to thud faster when his touch lingered and her brain short-circuited. All she could think about was the warmth of his hand on hers, the comfort, the familiarity. All the hours she’d spent holled up in the ER, the OR and curled up on the couch drinking her way to the bottom of the wine bottle.

She was touch-starved. Lonely.

Her fingers beneath his hand twitched and she curled them between his, she could feel his eyes burning into her and she released a shallow breath before turning to look at him.

The irises of his eyes had darkened and she saw his gaze flicker briefly from her eyes to her mouth.

That was all it took.

They collided at the same time a crack of thunder sounded and heavy rain started pouring down harshly against the house and the pavement outside.

Scully lifted one hand to the back of Mulder’s head and pulled him quickly into a deep, desperate kiss. One of his arms flung out and grabbed the edge of the counter and the other clung to her hip, gently pressing her against the wood.

She swiped her tongue across his lips and Mulder opened his mouth granting her access, his tongue eagerly meeting hers and she let out a somewhat muffled moan as the taste of oats and chocolate combined with the rich taste of the coffee they’d have enveloped her.

Scully felt him shiver slightly when her free hand traced up from the waistband of his pants, her fingers briefly sliding up and tracing circles against his back  underneath his buttoned shirt. She briefly wondered if it had been as long for him as it had been for her since she’d been touched.

Her hands froze in their movements and she chasticed herself for even letting her mind wander into that territory.

“Are you okay?”

She could feel the words against her lips as he spoke, their faces millimeters apart. Her eyes fluttered open at the softly spoken question, concern clear in the shape of his brows and the pull of his mouth.

Removing her hand from underneath his shirt, her fingers trailing down the dark hairs of his arm and resting against the back of his hand pressed against her hip. She let out a deep throaty chuckle, adjusting her fingers so that they became entwined with his once more. Her eyes lifted to meet his again and his other hand moved from the counter to frame her cheek in his palm.

She nodded once and Mulder closed the distance between them, this time capturing her lips in a gentle kiss and she melted into it briefly before tugging him out of the kitchen, up the stairs and into the confines of her bedroom.

Chapter Text

A/N: NSFW

Scully & Jade's House

It had been too long since she’d felt the touch of another lovers fingertips caressing her body. Desire stroking the kindling deep in her lower abdomen, sparking the flames into a raging inferno.

Scully was pressed against her bedroom door, the wood groaning from the added pressure of their bodies. Mulder’s lips slid down from her jaw to where her shoulder and neck met, his mouth sucking hard. The throbbing between her legs intensifying ten-fold from the action and Scully’s hands reached for his shoulders and pulled him from the warm confines of her neck.

Their eyes met.

It was like fireworks.

No, there were literally fireworks .

The robust colours lit up the sky outside Scully’s window; flecks of orange, purple and green.

Lips colliding once again as Scully dug her nails against Mulder’s back, feeling the muscles tense underneath the delicate and precise motions of her hands. Both of their faces being painted in effervescent colours from the crackle and pops of coloured lights outside the window.

Mulder’s own hands were caressing the narrow confines of Scully’s waist, sliding up underneath her white button down top which elicited a shiver up her spine.

As she reached for the button on his slacks, Mulder began slipping the disks through the fabric of her shirt. As soon as her fingers dipped into the back of his pants, her fingers splayed hotly against his ass, Mulder groaned, tearing the rest of her shirt off of her, buttons flying all over the room.

She arched her back, breath hot against his lips as they broke apart once again.

Mulder’s eyes were crinkled in the corners, a small smile tugging at his lips as he gazed down at the petite redhead; azure orbs trailed downwards from her heaving chest constricted in white lace.

His fingertips toyed with the belt-loops of her pants for a moment, waiting for her eyes to meet his - big, wide and wet, after a moment she pressed her fingers against the backs of his own and helped him strip the pants down.

So many years had passed between them. Would they be picking up where they left off? Would it feel the same or...displaced?

Scully’s cheeks flushed, feeling the heat of his gaze on her, she swallowed deeply. at the same time his eyes discovered the scar from her pubis to her navel. Her hand automatically pressed against the now exposed flesh in an almost subconscious effort to hide it.

Mulder’s fingertips grazed the back of her hand covering the scar, gently caressing her.

“You’re beautiful.” His words were soft, breathed into the space between them.

Tears welled in the corners of Scully’s eyes; making them sparkle in the moonlight. Swallowing past the lump in her throat that had lodged itself there in the past few moments, she breathed a soft sigh at Mulder’s warm, loving touch.

She knew he was waiting for her to make the next move and make that move she did. Letting their hands fall to their sides, the redhead pressed her body closer against his until there wasn’t a breath of space between them.

Scully dove back in, no holds barred, her mouth seeking out his as a lukewarm tear trekked down her cheek. Mulder’s hands framed her hips, tugging her as close to him as he could, his mouth covering her own. He could taste the salt of her tears and the sweet decadence of the cookies they’d shared on her tongue as it came out to tease his.

Only between the two of them could it go from nostalgic to heated and back again.

Her warm, naked body was pressed to his and she could feel his hard member through the slacks of his jeans that she’d momentarily forgotten that she’d been unbuttoning.

Pulling back from the long languid kiss they were sharing and nipping at his lip gently, which elicited a throaty groan from Mulder, Scully went back to her previous task of stripping him bare.

Mulder pulled his shirt off as she finished unbuttoning his jeans and pulling them and his briefs together down past his hips to which he kicked off into a corner.

Once again, she looked up at him, this time in all his naked glory and the throbbing between her legs was almost painfully delicious now.

Scully’s breath shuddered as she reached a hand out to press against his chest and push him backwards across the room until the backs of his knees hit the bed and he toppled backwards – to which his arms hooked around her waist and pulled her down with him.

She could feel the hard, defined ridges of his abdominal muscles tense underneath her as her fingers traced the contours of his body. Crawling backwards on her knees, she pressed kisses to every inch of skin that distracted her. Mulder threw his head back when her hand finally, finally gripped his cock firmly.

With every stroke Scully watched Mulder’s face closely; her grip sliding from the base to the tip, her thumb teasingly swiping the tip and watching his eyes roll back into his head and his hips jerk at her very touch.

She let out a throaty chuckle and Mulder opened his eyes to glare at her, to which she retaliated by leaning down and wrapping her lips around the tip of his cock. Mulder groaned, his hips canting upwards slightly, with her free hand Scully placed it against his lower abdomen and applied pressure to hold his hips still. It was a delicious, sweet torture.

Scully opened her mouth wider slid her lips down the base of his cock, relaxing the back of her throat as she took him deeper into her mouth, up and down, up and down, up and swirling her tongue around the tip before taking him deeper and hitting the back of her throat. Her core was throbbing the harder he got. She repeated this pattern for a few minutes, taking note that she could feel her own wetness dripping and spreading down her thighs.

Suddenly Mulder’s own grip wrapped around her forearms and squeezed gently, Scully let his cock fall out of her mouth with a pop, her cherry lips glistening, eyes darkening at how wide his irises were. Crawling back up towards him she pressed her lips to his once again, her tongue darting out to play with his and Mulder slid his fingers into her hair pulling her closer as she sucked on his tongue.

Feeling his hardness pressing against her abdomen, she moved to kneel above him once more, gripping him firmly and sliding inch by inch down onto his shaft, her inner core squeezing against the new-found pleasurable intrusion. She was so wet that he slid in so easily and Mulder let out a moan at how warm, wet and tight she felt around him.

As she settled at the base; Mulder moved to sit up and Scully gasped wrapping her arms around his broad shoulders, her legs sliding over his thighs for a better angle. This moment felt surreal and she was going to indulge in every way possible before the night was over. When their eyes met again, Scully gave a small nod and a teasing squeeze of her inner core muscles around his cock, to which his eyes – if it were possible – darkened further.

As Scully lifted her hips up and ground back down against him, Mulder encased his hands around her hips to help direct the rhythm. Scully threw her head back as Mulder leaned forwards to press wet, open-mouthed kisses against her neck. Her body was writhing within minutes, from the hard press of his abs – to the kisses now coating her chest – to his cock deep inside of her. Her head was spinning.

“Oh, fuck.” She choked out.

“In the process of that.” Mulder quipped.

“Shut up, Mulder.” She half-laughed, half groaned as his thumb found her clit and brushed against it.

A small smirk remained on his lips, but he didn’t say anything further. Scully’s thighs were starting to burn from the exertion already, with every grind down she felt his cock nudge her cervix and she let out a moan at how deep he was inside of her.

Her fingernails started to dig into Mulder’s shoulders as her hips began to twitch from how close she was getting, she knew she was going to be leaving crescent-shaped marks, Mulder noticed the hitch in her breathing and hips and started to increase from the lazy figure 8 patterns on her clit to drawing the alphabet, the pressure increasing her pleasure tenfold.

The pressure in her abdomen was increasing and she could feel Mulder’s own hips twitching, so she knew he was close as well. So, she ground down harder, faster, deeper, chasing the pleasure. She was right on the edge, her breaths coming out shallow now and Mulder pressed his thumb against her thumb as he thrust up into her deeper and Scully fell over the edge, her moans turning into a shout as her earth-shattering orgasm swept through her and Mulder came into her with a groan.

Washington University Dorm Living Room

Jay was sitting nose-deep in one of her text books, her classes had been hitting her hard over the last few weeks, she had a feeling that her blood was permanently diluted by coffee by now.

She’d gone to a poetry slam two weeks ago with Logan, or so a few people had told her, the stress seemed to be hitting her so hard lately that she couldn’t even remember some parts of her day. Logan also wasn’t talking to her over something that had transpired that night but Jay was too swept up in her studies to figure out what he was so peeved about.

A Chocolate Stoute Waffle Sundae that was smothered in chocolate and ice cream was placed in front of her, she felt as though she’d slip into a diabetic coma from just looking at it. Freya then set her own plate down opposite Jay’s, a sparkle of mischief in her eyes.

“Thought you might enjoy a study treat, after all it’s only a matter of time before the caffeine runs out.” Freya sent her a wink.

Jay laughed and looking up at Freya, who had dyed her hair a grey purple last week and gave her a wide smile, that sent butterflies wreaking havoc on Jay’s insides.

Stop it. Stop it. Stop it, traitors, Jay chided.

“Thanks, Freya.” She felt her cheeks warming.

A few minutes passed as they dug into their waffles, Jay only looked up when she hears Freya clear her throat. The brunette looked at the taller woman who was sitting down next to her, her expression determined but she could see a flicker of something else lingering behind it.

“I had a lot of fun at the poetry slam...I had no idea you were so spontaneous.” Freya chuckled, taking another bite of her waffle.

The fork Jay was holding paused between the plate and her mouth, chocolate dripping onto her plate. Freya was at the poetry slam? And her? Spontaneous?

Jay just laughed not wanting to admit that she had no idea what she was talking about.

After they had finished their respective plates Jay grabbed her own plate and stood up, Freya did the same but the brunette quickly took it from her, their fingers brushing gently which elicited a shiver up her spine.

“I got this.” Jay insisted.

Only then did she notice how close they were in proximity, she knew that if she took a step forward she could…

Freya closed the distance between them and pressed her lips sweetly against Jay’s.

“Thanks, Jay.” She grinned, before turning on her heel and heading towards her own dorm room.

Jay stood frozen watching the purple-haired beauty walk away, her fingers gripping the ceramic plates so tightly that her knuckles started turning white.

Oh my God. Did she just kiss me? Did that really just happen?


 

Scully & Jade's House

Mulder and Scully had spent the night catching up, in many different positions. When morning came, the sun rays filtering in through the crack in the curtains fell upon Scully’s face, who was wrapped in Mulder’s arms.

“Good Morning.” He said quietly, as though afraid to break the spell of the moment.

Mulder always had this uncanny ability to know when she was awake, but still, after all these years she was surprised he could still tell.

The redhead turned around in his arms, a small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth, pulling the sheet with her as a cool breeze came in through the window.

“Morning.” She replied, softly, azure eyes gazing down at her.

Scully looked up at Mulder, pressing a hand to his cheek and moving to close the distance between them.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Mulder groaned, rolling away reluctantly from Scully and reaching for his phone.

“I’m sorry. I have to take this.”

Scully nodded, turning to look at the time: 10:00 am

Luckily, she had the day off today. It was mandatory due to the amount of hours she’d accumulated lately, overtime and all. She wasn’t particularly fond of days off lately, but at least she could use the time to study.

Mulder took his phone call into her bathroom and Scully took that opportunity to make the bed. She had just finished fluffing the pillows when he returned, the look on his face apologetic.

“You have to go.” Scully stated, knowingly.

“Yeah, uh, work stuff.” He told her.

Mulder stood there for a second regarding her in all her naked glory; her red locks starting to frizz, framing her face and curling against her shoulders. Scully gave him a gentle, small smile before walking over to her bedroom door and grabbing her robe to put on.

“I’ll walk you out.”

Mulder got dressed and Scully lead him down the stairs to the front door. Mulder turned towards her and she hesitated, blue orbs darting from his eyes back to the floor. Her heart was clenching tightly in her chest and every time his eyes met hers it clenched even harder.

What were they now? Were they anything? Could her heart handle it? And what about Jay? This wasn’t fair to her.

Looking back up at Mulder, Scully could see that he had been studying her for a few moments and she schooled her features into a neutral expression. She didn’t want to discuss this...to pry open old wounds. It was just two old lovers reconnecting for a night of fun, right?

“Get home safe, Mulder.”

He looked at her for a moment, regarding her and her closed off expression. The opposite of last night.

“Yeah. I’ll see you around?” He asked, hopefully.

Scully nodded, a small smile on her lips but her eyes betrayed her - she was closing off to him and he couldn’t do anything to stop it from happening in that moment.

“Take care, Scully.”

Mulder opened the door and walked through, turning back to give her a wave to which she returned half-heartedly before she closed the door after him.

“Well, it seems someone forgot about our coffee date this morning.”

Scully whipped around at the all too familiar voice coming from behind her.

To find herself face-to-face with Melissa Scully.

“Busted.” Her older sister quipped, raising an eyebrow with smirk tugging at her lips.

“Drop it.” Scully warned, her voice dangerous.

Melissa waved a hand at her, ignoring her comment.

“Yeah, yeah, you’ll be begging to tell me the details later.” Melissa waggled her eyebrows.

“Fat chance.” Scully rolled her eyes and started towards the kitchen.

I have to get that key back from her, Scully thought.

Melissa followed Scully into the kitchen and jumped up onto the counter, readjusting her long skirt when she crossed her legs, watching her sister busy herself preparing the tea

“So, are you and Mulder...together?” She asked, carefully choosing her words.

Scully sighed, stirring the tea leaves, “Two adults who engage in sexual activities don’t have to be ‘together’, Melissa.”

Melissa rolled her eyes at her sisters back, sighing loudly.

“I know that, Dana. But it’s not just two adults...It’s you and Mulder.” She pointed out.

Scully let out another sigh, her shoulders sagging. “I know.”

After she finished preparing the tea, Scully pressed a fresh cup into Melissa’s hands before retrieving her own cup and leaning against the counter next to her sister.

“How’s Raissa handling pregnancy?” Scully asked, smoothly changing the subject.

“She’s good, excited, things are going smoothly, morning sickness hit early though. Nice change of subject, by the way.” Melissa quipped and Scully rolled her eyes.

“How are you handling things?” Scully asked, squeezing Melissa’s thigh in comfort.

Melissa took in a deep breath, then took a long sip of her tea before answering.

“I’m good, I think. It just feels so surreal sometimes that a tiny human is beginning to grow in there, you know?”

Scully could see something in her sisters eyes, something she wasn’t saying. Moving her hand from her thigh and reaching for her free hand, she squeezed it tightly. She could feel the waves of nerves coming from the older woman.

“You’re going to make an amazing mother. You both are.”

Melissa let out a choked laugh and Scully looked up to see tears starting to well in her eyes.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Scully’s phone started to vibrate on the kitchen table from when she had snuck down to make a tea early this morning and scroll through her emails. Pulling away from her sister, the redhead reached for the phone and answered it.

“Morning, mum.”

“Dana, darling. How are you?”

“I’m good,” It was a half-truth, “Having tea with Melissa.”

“That’s wonderful, honey! I’m just calling to invite you to a family dinner next weekend, I already left Jade a message she said she would try to make it. Are you able to come?”

Scully’s breath caught in her lungs. Jay was going to be there? She hadn’t spoken to her since the Scully family tradition of spending the night in the dorm room together. Every moment without her had been agonizing. But if Jay is coming - knowing she was going to be there - maybe she was finally finally ready to talk, to forgive. Her heart began to hammer faster and harder against the cage of her ribs.

“I’ll be there.”