Mulder and Trent had stayed up late watching the first two Star Wars movies and eating pizza and junk food. Mulder figured while this wasn't a habit that the boy should get into, a treat every now and then wouldn't do any harm, and Trent had earned a distraction.

Despite their late night neither slept well and they were both up at a little after 7am and ready to go to Scully's, Trent because he as keen to discover his mom's state of mind…and Mulder because he wanted to see Scully.

They arrived at the apartment door at a little after 9am. "Well…good morning boys," Ellen said as she opened the door with a genuine smile, "How are you both?"

Mulder smiled warmly at Ellen, pleased to see her already looking much better than the evening before, but then she's had Scully to look after her, Mulder reminded himself with a small smile. "We're good, however with full disclosure, we did eat a horrendous amount of pizza last night!"

Ellen rolled her eyes but winked gratefully at Mulder and then stepped aside to direct them both into Scully's apartment.

She shut the door and Mulder saw her mask slipped slightly as she pulled Trent into a tight hug. She stood behind Trent with her arms around his shoulders and smiled at her new friend. "Thank you for last night, I really appreciate it…I mean we really appreciate it."

Trent smiled at Mulder and nodded his head emphatically.

"It was nothing, Ellen, honestly. We had fun…I even rented Star Wars!"

Ellen laughed and smiled down at Trent, "You made Mulder rent Star Wars? In his Wookiee suit?"

Trent grinned, "I didn't make him do anything, Mom. Mulder volunteered…and well...I wasn't about to say no to that!"

Everyone laughed and Mulder shrugged, "I did get a few funny looks…but I think I made the girl at the video store's night!"

Trent grinned, "It was fun Mom, I wish you could have joined us…" then he looked a little more serious, "…and I guess it was nice to have someone to talk to as well."

Ellen was well aware how much her son would benefit from having someone to talk to…someone who was really there for him and not just as a friend of hers. She knew Trent loved Dana dearly, but she suspected that he often lied about how he was so that she could focus on her. Ellen trusted Dana with her life and Dana trusted Mulder with hers, in Ellen's book that was more than enough. Furthermore, their obvious close bond reflected on both Trent's strength and Mulder's character.

Suddenly aware of the importance of giving their friends some space Ellen grabbed her jacket and smiled at her son, "So how about the two of us leave Mulder and Auntie Dana to spend some time alone while we go get some waffles for breakfast?"

Trent looked a little confused, "They can't come with us?"

"Well, I think Mulder and Auntie Dana might appreciate some time alone right now…you know, a couple of hours to chat and catch up. Mulder has not long come back from a very long trip and they've really not had much time together."

"You love Auntie Dana very much don't you Mulder?" He glanced up at Mulder and bit his lip awkwardly, "I mean you're not going to go away again?"

Trent trailed off and Mulder was about to respond when Ellen turned him around and bent down to smile at him, she shook her head. "Auntie Dana and Mulder love each other very much, Trent, and they've been best friends for a very long time. They are forever family, just like you and me. Mulder isn't going anywhere baby, I promise."

Mulder felt the breath leave his body at her words and he smiled gratefully. After everything that Ellen had been through he was shocked and gratified to hear her trust him so completely.

Ellen slipped on her jacket and physically steered her son towards the door, "But for now we are getting out of here and leaving them both alone for a couple of hours…to chat."

Trent grinned with realization as his mom pushed him through the door. He smirked back at Mulder over his shoulder, "Mulder are you going to kiss Auntie Dana?"

Mulder flushed slightly at his new friend's bluntness, "Get out of here, kid!"

Ellen laughed at her son's ease with Mulder, "Trent! One more comment like that and no Nutella!" She had tried to sound stern but had failed completely.

"Are you sure you're both okay to go out?" Mulder asked with concern as Ellen reached to close the door behind them.

Ellen spontaneously leant back through the door and drew up on her toes to kiss Mulder's cheek. "Dana has done more for me than I could ever even begin to repay, right now she needs to spend some time with you and we aren't going to stand in the way of that." She squeezed Mulder's forearm warmly and then glanced down at her son. "Besides Trent and I need some time alone as well."

Trent looked up at Mulder cautiously, seeming to be concerned about their imminent departure, "Will you still be here when we get back?"

Mulder shrugged, "I have no plans…so unless your Auntie Dana kicks me out I'm sure I'll be here." He smiled now at the boy. "I'm going to be around a lot more now...if you can stand it."

Trent smiled with satisfaction as he was directed away by his mom.

"It's really good to have you home, Mulder," Ellen called back warmly as they sauntered down the hall.

Mulder shut the door and turned to find himself alone in Scully's bright and homely living area. He smiled and figuring he'd have to wait for at least a few minutes he toed off his shoes and dropped down onto her couch, he leaned against the arm and lifted one of his feet up to rest on the opposite arm.

About five minutes later Scully walked out wearing nothing but a short dark green silk dressing gown. She jumped slightly when she saw Mulder and unconsciously reached to tighten her gown. "Jesus Mulder! Where's Ellen?"

Mulder smirked at Scully's jitteriness and pointed his thumb towards the door, "You want me to leave…?"

Scully grinned and shook her head firmly before running her fingers through her slightly damp hair. "D-did Ellen leave?" She asked awkwardly as she edged slowly toward him and stopped at the end of the couch.

"They went to get some breakfast," Mulder explained succinctly as he gazed up and down her body before allowing the tip of his tongue to wet his lips. "Ellen thought we might need some time alone…and she wanted to talk to Trent."

Scully nodded slightly and glanced down at Mulder's foot lying against the arm of her couch, his other foot rested on the floor which left his legs spread widely. Under Scully's gaze, Mulder started to move his foot back to the floor but Scully slowly shook her head.

"Comfy?" she asked with a smile.

Mulder smirked, "Yeah…well, I was. Things are certainly getting a lot less…comfortable…"

Scully's eyes automatically shifted to his crotch and she gasped when she saw the prominent bulge. Her eyes quickly shifted away and she coughed, "So, have you…spoken to Walter?"

Mulder chuckled, "Yeah, last night before we left. Do we have to talk about Skinner right now?

Scully felt the heat spread across her chest and up her neck, she shrugged awkwardly. "I'm sorry…I'm just not used to…this…and I guess I was worried that you might regret…"

"Never…" Mulder held out his arms and after a second to gather her nerve Scully moved to lie in his warm embrace. Resting her cheek on his chest she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. "I missed you so much…" He murmured softly against her hair.

"You only saw me last night…" Scully replied hazily with her eyes closed.

Mulder kissed the top of her head and then allowed his nose to nuzzle her damp hair, "I meant when I was gone…I missed you every single day and I thought of you constantly..." He paused and then smiled, "But yeah, I actually did miss you last night as well."

Scully grinned and moved to kiss his breastbone through his shirt, "You sap…"

"Your sap…" Mulder grinned and then hissed slightly and shifted his weight under her.

"Oh God Mulder, your arm!" Scully pushed away from his chest suddenly and tentatively reached her hand towards his wound.

Mulder shook his head sharply and pulled her back down wrapping his arms around her lower back pulling her warm body more tightly against him. "With you in my arms, I feel no pain…" He murmured happily.

"I can't even imagine what I would have done if anything had happened to you, Mulder...if you hadn't come home. You're my life…you mean everything to me."

Mulder blinked his eyes quickly and kissed her head again, "I won't ever leave you, Scully…"

She sighed, "You can't make that sort of promise to me Mulder."

He started running his hand up and down her back, "I guess you're right...but I can promise you that I would walk through fire to get back to you Scully. In the past I was reckless…but last week when it came down to it, I thought of you. I got the job done, but I was careful…because I had you to come home to."

"Even then?" Scully asked quietly.

"Always, Scully…even when I didn't believe I would ever have a chance with you. You were still my home…you still made me a whole person. For the first time in my life I belong to something, to someone...that was always true, even if I didn't believe that you would ever want to claim me."

Scully's mouth felt dry and she licked her lips, "Y-you belong to me?" She brushed her hand over his chest and gasped when she felt his nipple harden under her touch. She bit her lip and moved to nuzzle his chest and breathe in his warm comforting scent.

"C-completely, Scully…God…you make my head spin…" he muttered breathlessly.

Scully grinned and traced her hand up his chest pushing up and then leaning to kiss his neck slowly, "All this, Mulder? All for me?" She teased coyly.

Mulder laughed and tilted his head back to encourage her ministrations, "What's mine is yours, Scully…"

"And do you want me?" Scully asked softly, with a hint of surprising insecurity. "Do you want to own me?"

"Scully, I wouldn't even…you're more than this pathetic excuse of an FBI agent could ever even have the right to dream of. You're…"

"Yours, Mulder. I'm yours. Lock stock and barrel…for as long as I can remember and until the day I die. Yours." Scully felt his hardness grinding against her body as he groaned deeply.

"Just ignore it, Scully…" Mulder whispered reassuringly. "We don't need to do anything about it, I'm just so happy to hold you."

Scully groaned again at the vivid images his words provoked, we don't need to do anything about it…oh God. She closed her eyes again and bit her lip, her lips still resting on his neck and her nose tracing just below his Adam's apple. "You smell amazing Mulder, sometimes you would stand too close and my knees would buckle."

"Too close?" Mulder teased softly.

"Too close for my self-control. You could never be too close to me Mulder…I want you as close as close that we're like one person, like you're inside me."

Groaning deeply Mulder's hand drifted down to her bare leg and slipped under her silk gown. "Inside you…?" He smiled teasingly.

"I didn't mean…" Scully started to protest and then she smiled, "…well, maybe Freud was right." Her fingers drifted slowly to the knot on her gown, they trembled slightly and Mulder's hand moved to cover them

"Are you sure Scully? We don't need to rush, I'm not going anywhere…but if I see what's under that robe and then we have to stop...well, you just might kill me!" He chuckled self-consciously but Scully had a feeling he was only half serious.

She said nothing but simply moved his hand away; she watched the hand drop heavily to her thigh and took a deep breath when it travelled slowly up her leg and along to her bare hip. Watching his face carefully she slipped the belt loose and then pulled the material back allowing the robe to slip from her shoulders and reveal that she was completely naked apart from a simple pair of black cotton panties.

Mulder's eyes didn't know where to rest, skipping over her body erratically…his jaw hung open and his breathing had swallowed to a quiet pant. He lifted his hand and Scully watched it hover shakily just millimetres from her waist. She looked at Mulder's face; he was staring at his own hand…then back at the hand still hovering frustratingly near to her skin.

"Mulder…" She whispered quietly.

He appeared to jump, as if not expecting to hear her voice, then his eyes shot up to her face and he bit his lip. "Scully?" He asked with a voice that sounded so bewildered that she very nearly laughed.

Scully smiled at him and then leaned down to whisper conspiratorially into his ear, "You can touch me you know? In fact, I would be very much appreciated it if you did…"

Mulder huffed out a laugh and dropped his face onto her shoulder, finding his lips against her skin he kissed her softly and then traced his tongue along her collarbone. Scully suddenly felt his large hands grasp her waist firmly, "Th-thanks…" Mulder muttered against her skin, "I think I…kinda froze for a second there."

Scully hummed and dropped her head to one side, allowing Mulder better access as he made his way up her neck and then finally captured her lips with his. He devoured her hungrily, and Scully felt the breath leave her body as she fought to keep up with his demanding mouth.

After several long minutes, Scully found herself suddenly becoming aware of her surroundings again as Mulder pulled back slightly and rested his lips softly against hers. His mouth opened breathlessly and she felt his tongue slip lightly over her sensitive lips. Groaning gently she felt his hand slide up from her waist and rest just below her chest. One thumb brushed the underside of her right breast and Scully opened her eyes to find Mulder looking at her with a question in his eyes.

"Yes, Mulder…yes you can touch my breast, yes you can make love to me…you can do whatever you damn want with me!" Scully gasped as Mulder roughly covered her breast and flicked her swollen nipple firmly with his thumb. Her head spun a little and she dropped her face to bite down lightly on his shoulder, "Oh fuck, Mulder, it's been too long…too long wanting you…too long needing you…"

Mulder's groan vibrated off the walls as Scully pushed up on her knees and rushed to undo his belt and then free him from his jeans and boxers. Pushing them down just enough to gain access she gripped his throbbing cock firmly, his pre-come leaked at the top and Scully instinctively pulled back and dipped her head to take him deep into her hungry mouth.

"Oh, Jesus Scully!" Mulder gasped and reached to pull her off his cock. "Baby, if you do that now then this is all over!"

Scully smirked and licked her lips, "But you taste so good…" She purred teasingly, knowing exactly what she was doing to him.

Mulder smiled through his groan and dropped his head back on the arm of her couch, "Autoerotic Asphyxiation is right…you're going to be the death of me. And to think yesterday I was scared to even look at you!"

Biting her lip Scully grinned down at her anguished partner and ran her hand over his t-shirt. "Off," she directed forcefully.

"Yes, ma'am…" Mulder replied with a grin as he pushed up and quickly whipped his shirt over his head.

Scully ran her hands over his firm toned chest and revelled in the feel of his light chest hair under her hands, her fingers brushed over his nipples and Mulder groaned and bucked his hips up against her.

"Why were you afraid to look at me?" Scully asked with an intrigued smile.

Mulder darted his eyes away and smiled with awkward embarrassment, "You're always gorgeous Scully, I've spent years training my body not to react obviously to my desire for you…" Scully gasped quietly at his easy and apparently casual reflection. Mulder continued, not even noticing her surprise, "…but last night…I'd been away for so long, I'd missed you so much…and Scully...your costume!"

Scully grinned and Mulder ran his hands over her slowly, unsure whether to look at her beautiful face or gorgeous body. His fingers naturally grazed over her nipples and he licked his lips as he watched them react and tighten even further under his touch.

"Y-you really liked my costume then?" Scully asked haltingly as Mulder drew up and licked one of her sensitive nubs firmly before taking it gently between his teeth.

"Liked?" Mulder murmured against her breast his beautiful eyes gazing up at her through his full eyelashes. "Scully I almost came in my Wookiee suit…and that is not a sentence I ever imagined myself saying."

He grinned and Scully laughed happily. This was so overwhelming but also so natural, so safe…why the hell had they waited so long for this? She rocked her head back as Mulder continued to explore her breasts, "So…" she murmured happily, knowing the reaction her next words would have, "...I guess you'd be interested in the fact that Ellen insisted on buying me the other costume…"

Mulder froze and his mouth dropped open over her nipple, he looked up at her slowly and raised one eyebrow, "You mean the…"

Scully grinned and nodded.

"With the…" He stuttered out.

Scully laughed, "It's really nice actually…very high quality. But of course, I wouldn't dream of wearing it in public!"

"You mean…" Mulder's brain had frozen at the thought of Scully in that outfit.

"Maybe one night you could come over for a movie night, then I could…model it for you?" Scully suggested demurely and Mulder felt like he was going to explode.

"We are talking about the gold bikini here?" Mulder clarified breathlessly, "You…in a Princess Leia gold bikini?"

Scully smiled with amusement at his obvious joy. "If you want…" she replied with a forced casual tone.

Before she could finish the sentence Mulder had flipped her onto her back on the sofa. Standing up he quickly shed his trousers and boxers, then reached to drag off her panties as he landed on her heavily and ground his cock into her dripping core.

"Mulder, your arm!" Scully squealed, and then laughed when Mulder licked her behind the ear.

"Fuck my arm, Scully! I've waited for you for so long…I want…I need…" Mulder ran his hand down her waist and over her thigh lifting her leg high and angling his hips so his cock nudged at her hot opening.

Scully groaned and thrust up against him, "Oh God Mulder…please…" she gasped.

Mulder pushed gently inside, feeling her warm body welcome him home.

An hour later Scully lay naked in the arms of the man she had loved her entire life, she smiled at her own sentimentality but right at this moment she wholeheartedly knew that since the day she was born her heart had been seeking out this man. And now she understood why she had never felt whole until the day she had walked into that solitary basement office.

A basement office that had always seemed empty until she walked in to claim Fox Mulder's heart. It all seemed so obvious now, so completely inevitable.

At some point during the last hour Scully had found herself transported into her bedroom and now she lay with her cheek on Mulder's warm chest and her leg resting heavily on his thigh. She was sure that this was the first time she had felt pure bliss.

But Scully's contended smile slipped when she suddenly found her thoughts slip back to Ellen and Trent. How could she be this happy when their lives were falling apart?

She felt Mulder's warm fingertips glide down her spine and his hand rested comfortingly on his spot at the base of her spine. He leaned to kiss her temple softly, "I can feel you thinking…" He murmured with a rough sexy voice that made her insides shudder. "Are we okay?"

"Oh Mulder, WE are more than okay. I will never regret this, I will never regret you, you are my family…my home." She kissed his chest gently and then lightly licked his skin. "And you taste delicious…"

Mulder chuckled happily and closed his eyes as he attempted to process his overwhelming feelings of joy.

Scully lifted her head and reached to gently run her index finger down the bridge of his nose and then over his lips. "I'm so happy to be here with you, Mulder, I feel like I've finally been given everything that I've ever wanted. But Ellen and Trent…" She dropped her face back to his warm chest and Mulder felt the wetness of her tears on his skin.

His arms pulled her closer and he curved his legs up as if trying to physically shield her from her pain.

"They've been through so much, Mulder, how can I be this happy when they've lost everything? I told them he was a good guy, I promised them that they could trust him. They let their guard down because they trusted me. How could he do that to them? To me?"

"I've got you, Scully," he leaned to kiss her head and hold her tightly against him. "I'll do anything for you, anything to make this better…anything to make you happy. I love you so much."

Scully looked up and smiled at him through tearful eyes, "How about we go and talk to Walter? Just the two of us?"

"We can do that," Mulder smiled and kissed her nose.

"You can drive? I've lent Ellen my car."

"So that's how it is now? You just need me to chauffeur you around?" Mulder smirked.

"Oh, I need you for so much more than that, Mulder…the things I'm going to do to you would make our mothers blush! We are talking years of fantasies here…"

"So…these fantasies, any of them involve workplace activities?" Mulder asked hopefully.

"This is not going to impact on our work, Mulder." She looked up and laughed at his exaggerated pout, stretching to grab his lip between her teeth she grinned happily. She ran her nose along the side of his, "We do get official breaks Mulder…and even lunch hours…I can be flexible…"

"Ohhhhh, yes you can…" Mulder groaned flipping her onto her back in insinuating himself between her legs.

"Mulder, what about Walter!"

"Baby, please don't say our boss's name in bed, it's a major turn-off…"

"You said we were going to try and sort this mess out."

Mulder smiled and then leaned to kiss Scully's neck languidly, "I promised the kid I'd still be here when he got back…we have some time." He glanced at the clock and shifted his hips to gently slip his already solid cock inside her waiting core.

"Ohhhhhh God…you feel so good, Mulder…will we always feel this good?"

"Always Scully…" Mulder replied confidently as he slowly thrust into her hot, tight core.

Scully reached up to run her hand over his upper arm, "You feel like… Ohh God, Mulder, I didn't realise it was possible to be this happy."

Mulder smiled down and then leaned to kiss her open mouth, "So sexy…" Mulder groaned, "…and all mine."

Scully wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled herself up, altering the angle and feeling him start to glide over her clit with every thrust. She gasped and dropped her face to his shoulder, burying her teeth into his delicious skin. "Mmmmmm…mine…"

Mulder chuckled breathlessly as he started to increase the strength and speed of his thrusts, "Yours, Scully…always yours…"

They both gasped as their orgasms started to build simultaneously. Mulder pulled up on his knees and lifted her up almost horizontally as he continued to plough up into her body.

"Ohhhh yessssss…" Scully gasped as her body clenched down on Mulder and grasped him tightly into her core.

Her pulsating walls pulled Mulder over the edge and he gripped her body tightly to his as he filled her once more, and felt his body melt into her. After several seconds Mulder carefully laid Scully back into the bed and dropped to her side. He rested his cheek on her stomach, just below her breasts, and slowly traced his fingertips over her waist and down the side of her thighs.

He smiled softly as he watched the goose bumps rise in the path of his fingers, he kissed her belly gently and then nuzzled her soft skin breathing in her scent.

"So…" Scully said dreamily, "We should really get up and shower, Ellen and Trent will be home soon and then we can leave for Walter's."

Mulder hummed, still tracing her skin gently. "Is it weird that Ellen and Trent already feel like family? Especially Trent, we had a good time last night, considering everything…he's a great kid."

Scully smiled and combed her fingers through his hair, "That's not weird, Mulder, you are my family. We are family. Trent deserves all the love in the world and you are the best person I know…I think he needs you. He needs a man like you in his life."

Mulder didn't respond as he bit his lip and tried to control the emotions bubbling up inside him, the faith Scully had in him made him feel like a better man. He could see himself through her eyes and he felt a strangely unfamiliar emotion. He felt proud.

"I love you so much…" He whispered quietly after about a minute.

Scully grinned widely, "And I love you…so does that mean you'll be my chauffeur today?"

He turned his head to look up at her through the valley of her breasts, "Scully…I will love you forever…I want to die an old man in your arms…and be buried by your side…" he paused and grinned, "…and what's more I will even give you a lift to Skinner's place."

Scully laughed and was surprised to find that she had tears in her eyes; brushing them away quickly she smiled, "It's a good job I love you, you goof…shower?"

"Together?" Mulder grinned.

"Always…" Scully replied, and Mulder knew she wasn't just talking about the shower.

An hour later Mulder walked out into Scully's living room, he'd pulled on his jeans and t-shirt and was running a towel through his still damp hair. There was a knock at the door and Mulder walked over to open it.

Ellen and Trent bustled in and Trent walked straight over to the fridge, opened it, and poured himself some orange juice. He looked over at Mulder and raised his eyebrows. "You had a shower?"

Mulder glanced over at Ellen who was smiling with amusement and was obviously not intending on helping him out. "Yeah, your Auntie Dana was kind enough to let me use her shower."

Trent looked even more baffled, "Didn't you have one before we came out?"

Mulder glanced at Ellen who was desperately trying not to laugh.

"Y-yes…" Mulder started slowly, "...but it's a hot day and Scully said she didn't mind if I had another one."

Trent looked at his mom and Ellen chuckled, "Just because I have to nag you to get into the shower sometimes doesn't mean everyone feels that same way…some people enjoy a nice shower."

"Mom!" Trent exclaimed, not appreciating his mom teasing him about his hygiene in front of his new buddy. He looked back at Mulder, not looking very convinced, and was about to speak when Scully walked out combing her wet hair.

Trent looked at all three of them in turn and then finally his eyes rested on Scully, "You've had a shower too, Auntie Dana?"

Scully looked at Mulder and then Ellen, who were both grinning at her with amusement. She looked back at Trent and shrugged, "Yes…"

Trent rolled his eyes, walked past the group and dropped onto the sofa, he picked up the remote and changed the channel to The Simpsons. "I don't know why everyone's so obsessed with showering all of a sudden…" He muttered, then Mulder caught a small smile on his face.

Mulder smirked at Scully and shrugged.

"You two had a nice morning then?" Ellen asked them both knowingly and then rested her eyes on Scully.

Scully blushed slightly and smiled, "Extremely nice thank you…transcendent."

Ellen raised her eyebrows and smiled at Mulder, then chuckled when she saw Trent looking back with exactly the same expression. The kid was smarter than the average bear. "And I thought our waffles were nice…" he turned back to the TV and the three adults laughed.

"Transcendent, eh?" She tilted her head and smirked between her two flushed friends.

"Let's just say when it's right it's right…" Mulder added and smiled at Scully so adoringly that Ellen felt tears spring to her eyes.

When Scully saw the tears she rushed forward and pulled her into a hug, "I'm sorry sweetheart, we didn't mean to upset you!"

Ellen laughed sadly and pulled back, "You didn't upset me, Dana, and I'm not sad…I'm just so happy to see you so happy. To see you finally with someone you love…someone who loves you in the way that you deserve." Ellen reached out and grasped her hand; "You are the best person I know Dana, seeing you with Mulder makes me so happy."

As Mulder approached them Scully reached out and took his hand, holding it tightly Scully kept her focus on Ellen. "I want you to be happy too, I can't relax until I know you and Trent are okay."

Ellen nodded, "I've been thinking…I know Walter and I trust him. I know I've done nothing wrong, but I have a feeling something isn't right here."

Mulder nodded, "He told me last night that a complete stranger had approached him and told him that you were still in love with your ex…he brushed it off, but it seemed to make him feel a little insecure."

"That combined with what he saw…" Ellen nodded.

"That's no excuse, Ellen! No excuse for the way he behaved!" Scully argued, more harshly than she intended.

Ellen shook her head sadly at Scully, "I know…but our relationship is new…maybe we rushed things. I love Walter very much but we haven't had the time to build the deep impenetrable trust that you and Mulder have. That takes time. What you have is rare, Dana, but I know Walter loves me and I believe that we could build and develop that love over time. Together."

"So you've forgiven him? Just like that?" Scully asked with a little surprise.

Ellen shook her head, "I want to know what is really happening here, Dana. Then when we do know I am willing to put the work in, with Walter, to try and find a way to move forward. I believe Walter is a good man, and I believe that you are a good judge of character…ultimately I want to believe that this is not the end."

Scully smiled and looked down at the floor, "You and Mulder have more in common than I realised. Your strength, your resilience, your faith in people…even when you've both faced more betrayal than most people could withstand." She sighed and looked up to smile warmly at them both.

Mulder lifted her hand and kissed it tenderly, "We both have something that most people aren't lucky enough to have, we both have you. Why would we doubt the human capacity to love when you show us unconditional love every single day?"

Ellen nodded and smiled at Mulder, "We're strong because of you Dana."

"You have me too!" Trent called back from the sofa cheerfully.

Scully smiled tearfully, "We all have each other…"

Scully explained to Ellen that she wanted to go and talk to Skinner first and eventually Ellen agreed that it would probably be best if she and Mulder acted as an initial go-between. A little over an hour later they left Ellen and Trent watching the final film in the original Star Wars trilogy and headed out.

As Mulder drove he turned off to the right and Scully looked over at him questioningly, "You took the wrong turn…"

Mulder shook his head, "We have a stop to make on the way, I put in a call to Frohike last night and Byers called this morning to say that they have some news."

"Why didn't you say anything earlier?"

Mulder looked over and smiled, he took her hand and held it gently. "Well, this morning I got a little…distracted. Then I didn't want to mention it in front of Ellen and case nothing comes of it."

Scully nodded and looked straight-ahead out of the windscreen, she kept her hand in Mulder's as they drove and gently brushed her thumb over the back of his hand. "You really have that much faith in him? You believe that there's more to this?"

Mulder nodded, "And I believe that if you weren't so blinded by your love for Ellen you would too. I believe Skinner is a good man."

Scully nodded, "He was wrong, Mulder…the way he spoke to her."

"He absolutely was…but I think we need to get to the bottom of this. Make sure that they are both aware of the facts, then step back and let them talk this through. Whatever happens from here has to be on them darlin'."

Scully smiled, "You've never called me that before, I like it. I like being your darling."

Mulder pulled up near the Gunmen's place and stopped, he winked and squeezed her hand, "You'll always be my darlin'…baby," then he let go of her hand and turned to jump out of the car.

Scully took a second before she followed him, her heart was beating quickly and she felt her skin starting to heat up.

Fox Mulder was a full sensory assault.

Byers open the door and smiled, "My favourite federal employees…"

Scully laughed, "I'm almost certain we are the only federal employees that you even like, so that's not much of an accolade."

Byer's chuckled and stepped back to direct them through, "Well I'd say that's an accolade in itself…isn't it Dana?"

Scully nodded, "One of my proudest achievements," she teased, only half jokingly.

As they walked through Mulder smiled and patted Byer's shoulder, "I've been gone for almost six months man, first I don't even get a proper hello and now I suspect you're flirting with my woman. I thought we were friends?"

Both Byers and Scully looked surprised.

Byers flustered slightly, "I'm not flirting with Dana I was just…I mean…wait, with your woman?"

Mulder laughed, "I'm just messing with you, Byers!"

Scully smirked and rolled her eyes, "I didn't realise we'd decided to 'go public'?"

Mulder shrugged, "We can decide what we're going to do at work but you know these guys are a vault and forgive me if a want to boast from the rooftops that I've bagged the sexiest woman this side of…" Mulder paused and shrugged, "…this side of the moon."

Scully flushed and smiled, "Mulder…"

Frohike walked through from the back, "Did I hear mention of a sexy woman? Don't tell me you've finally got laid, Mulder."

Mulder smiled and put his arm around Scully, "I've finally come to my senses, Frohike."

Frohike looked shocked for a second and then smiled, "Don't tell me the lovely Ms Scully has taken pity on your sorry ass?"

"Now that's not nice Frohike, I love that ass…among other things…." Scully teased as she started to relax.

Frohike chuckled and then smiled at Mulder, "If I'm not mistaken you've made our Dana very happy…." He paused and then added with a flourish, "…so you have our blessing."

Mulder laughed and leaned to kiss Scully's temple, "I appreciate the gesture man, but with or without your blessing not even an act of God could tear me away from this lady's side."

Byers nodded, "Quite right too."

"What'd I miss?" Langley asked as he walked in from the next room with an arm full of printouts.

"Mulder's in lurve…" Frohike teased.

Langley looked between Mulder and Scully, then nodded and shrugged, "No shit Sherlock; are we workin' or not?"

The group laughed and Langley dropped the papers onto the table in front of them. "So all these printouts have the details and proof…but do you want the long story short?"

Mulder and Scully nodded.

"$50,000 was transferred into your friend Ellen's ex-husband's bank account yesterday at noon. We traced all of Ellen's male cousins and distant relatives and none of them travelled to D.C. yesterday or anytime over the past week. And we have a paper trail linking the money back to a very dodgy and unofficial source that we have only ever seen used by some really heavy government activity."

Scully was genuinely shocked, "So this is about us?"

Langley shrugged, "You guys…or your boss. I assume he must have made some enemies over the years, he's backed you guys often enough."

Mulder sighed, "So it still comes back to me…"

"He's a big guy Mulder, his choices are his own…if he backs the good guys then the bad guys are gonna get pissed," Frohike pointed out. "But is that a reason to not get involved?"

Scully nodded and took Mulder's hand, "This is not on you, Mulder. If not for you, we wouldn't even know the truth."

"Without me, you wouldn't even be in this situation."

"Without you is not an option for me, Mulder, it hasn't been since day one. Now we're going to go and talk to Walter, then we're going to let them talk it out…just like you said."

Mulder smiled broadly and glanced quickly at the guys before he shrugged and leant down to kiss her softly, "You're too good for me, Scully...but I'm keeping you anyway."

Scully laughed lightly and turned back to the Gunmen, "Any ideas who?"

The three men seemed to shake themselves out of the shock of seeing Mulder and Scully being so open, and then Byers shook his head. "No…but if I had to guess I'd say that cigarette smoking son of a bitch was involved somewhere, he seems to enjoy his self-appointed role of puppet master."

"Seems a bit trivial for him to get involved with…" Scully said unconvinced.

"The man is petty, Scully, I'm not so sure he's above using his power to have some fun at our expense...especially if he felt he was losing control of Skinner. A happy man with a close support network is harder to control..." Mulder said matter-of-factly.

"So we take this to Walter and see what he says, once we've proved that Ellen was completely innocent it's up to him to make up for his reaction."

Mulder nodded, "Thanks, guys, we owe you one."

Frohike laughed, "If we kept a tab…"

"You love us really," Mulder countered.

"Dana maybe, we just like you a whole lot," Frohike clarified with a wink at Scully.

As they walked towards the door Scully and Langley found themselves at the back of the group."I'm happy for you both, you both deserve some happiness," Langley said quietly.

"I'm happy for you both, you deserve some happiness," Langley said quietly.

Scully was touched by his heartfelt comment and smiled at him warmly, "Thank you, he means the world to me."

Langley nodded, "You know the feeling is mutual."

Scully kissed his cheek as they all got to the door and Mulder turned around and laughed, "It's a good job I'm not the jealous type!"

Scully walked up to him and took about half the papers he was carrying out of his hands then leaned up on her toes to kiss his cheek, "You're my man Mulder, why would I need to look elsewhere?"

They both smiled at each other as they exited and heard Frohike say to the other two, "Well, they do say that love is blind."

When they arrived at Skinner's he opened the door looking rather worse for wear, Mulder could see that he'd obviously been drowning his sorrows after they had all left the night before.

"What do you want?" He asked irritably.

"We've come to save you from yourself, Walter," Scully explained patiently, "...And maybe give us all a chance to move on."

"You mean you've come to stick your nose into my life a little more than you already have?" Skinner asked turning to walk back into his apartment and leaving the door open.

Scully looked up at Mulder and raised her eyebrows, he shrugged and then gestured for her to enter first.

When they found Skinner sitting on the couch in his living room they looked around and saw that he hadn't even attempted to clear away any debris from the night before.

Mulder picked up a few paper plates and cups from the love seat opposite and cleared a spot for both he and Scully to sit. When they looked up at Skinner they found him looking disinterestedly out of the window.

"So we have some information about last night that we thought you might find interesting," Scully started.

"Well then get on with it and have your say...then get the hell out," Skinner snapped.

"Listen man, I know you're having a crap time, and I get that last night was tough…but if you don't start talking to Scully with a bit of goddamn respect we will leave you in peace and you can stay here and wallow in your own misery!"

Scully reached and took Mulder's hand, she whispered gently, "It's fine, Mulder."

Skinner glanced at their joined hands and then looked up at them with raised eyebrows.

"Yes, we've taken our heads out of our asses…and now it's your turn," Mulder said sharply. "Are you ready to listen to us?"

Skinner shrugged in a slightly petulant way that made Scully smile in spite of her frustration.

"Okay, well I asked the guys to look into last night…" Mulder started.

Skinner didn't need confirmation that Mulder was referring to his rather unusual, surprisingly resourceful but extremely paranoid friends. "Why get them involved?"

"I trust Scully implicitly, therefore I trust Ellen. I know that she didn't do what you were accusing her of…but I also trust your judgement and something about last night seemed…off."

Skinner looked up at that, surprisingly touched by Mulder's faith in him.

"The guys uncovered a few interesting facts," Scully continued. "…It turns out someone paid $50,000 into Mike's account yesterday lunchtime, the money can be traced back along a trail that leads to some very interesting government sources."

Skinner was silent for several long minutes and then finally quietly spoke, "You mean, Ellen…"

"Didn't do anything wrong," Scully said firmly. "She loves you, Walter, I thought you had more faith in her than this."

Skinner sighed and ran his hand over his face, "You're saying this all goes back to…"

Mulder nodded, "We think so, it seems unlikely but maybe revenge is sweet…no matter how petty."

"What the hell have I done?" Skinner barked kicking back at the sofa and then standing up with irritation.

"You've been a complete fool and you let Ellen down…but she loves you and to my surprise she woke up this morning refreshed and determined to find a way to work through this," Scully said patiently.

"She's forgiven me?" Skinner asked hopefully.

"She wants to talk, to try and make this work. She can still see a future with you…you just have a lot of work to do. We have all the proof here…" Scully nodded to the papers on the table.

Skinner got up and started to walk towards the door.

"Wait!" Mulder shouted after him.

Skinner turned at the door, "I don't need to see the proof, I just realised that I never really did. I trust her, and I trust both of you…I'm going to go and beg Ellen to forgive me and then do whatever I need to do to win her back."

"You're in no state to drive," Mulder explained. "We'll take you to Scully's place and leave you both to talk things through for a while...we can go back to mine and give you some space."

"You're sure?" Skinner asked.

"Ellen has my car, she can give you a lift back here after you've talked."

In the car Skinner looked back at Scully, she had insisted on going in the back explaining that her 'little legs' were more suited to the back seat. Mulder had laughed at that and Skinner assumed that he'd missed an in-joke.

He was anxious to get to Ellen but briefly found himself reflecting on how happy he was to see his friends on the right track, finally together. Neither of them could ever be happy with anyone else and they deserved to find happiness together.

"I'm sorry Dana…I know that I've let you down as well. You put your trust in me and I…"

Scully cut in, "You don't need to apologize to me, Walter, put this right and we'll be just fine."

Skinner nodded seriously, "Thank you, for your faith in me."

"You can thank Mulder for that, he was the one who reminded me why I trusted you in the first place. We all have a bright future ahead of us, let's not let those bastards win. Okay?"

When Mulder pulled up Scully got out and said that she was going to go ahead and grab some things. As Skinner got out of the car Mulder smiled at him, "Ready?"

Skinner nodded, "Thanks, man, I won't forget this."

"We all deserve our chance at a happy ending, go and make sure that you keep hold of Ellen."

Skinner sighed, "I will…and I'm very happy for you and Dana by the way, she looks radiant."

"I still feel like I'm dreaming," Mulder smiled at his friend. "We can talk tomorrow, you go and talk to Ellen. Tell Scully I'll wait down here for her."

Scully arrived downstairs about five minutes later, she saw Mulder leaning against his car with his eyes closed to the sun and smiled. She walked over quietly and slipped into his arms, resting her head on his chest.

Without opening his eyes Mulder wrapped her into his arms and leant to kiss her head. "You better move on ma'am, my girlfriend will be down any minute."

Scully giggled, "Girlfriend…I love the sound of that."

"I love saying it," Mulder murmured happily. He opened his eyes, "Trent not with you?"

"Ellen said that this was about all of them so she wanted him to be a part of the conversation, he can always go and watch movies in my room if he needs some space."

"So it's just us?" Mulder confirmed happily. He loved spending time with his new friends but relished the idea of some time alone with Scully.

"You were right, Mulder, it's time to leave them to sort out their own lives…and it's also time for us to get on with enjoying ours."

Mulder looked over her shoulder at her backpack, "What's in the bag?"

Scully grinned coyly, "I've packed for a sleepover...if you don't mind?"

"Mind?" Mulder laughed.

"To be honest I've not been a very thorough packer," Scully pulled the backpack off her back and opened it. "I have…a bottle of Shiraz, some of that English chocolate that you love, the third Star Wars film…and some suitable movie watching attire."

Mulder looked down casually, saw a flash of gold material, and loaded Scully into his car so quickly that she burst out laughing. He jumped into the driving side and as he pulled away the tires squealed slightly. As they drove quickly towards his apartment he glanced over at Scully, "I've always felt that you should live closer…" He said tightly as his eyes quickly scanned her body before he looked back at the road.

Scully smiled and bit her lip; life didn't get much better than this.

Scully stood in front of Mulder's mirror and smiled at her reflection, she had considered trying to do her hair but in the end she'd decided to leave it down. The two-piece costume looked good, it was almost an exact replica…even including the impressive boots.

She smelled the popcorn wafting under the door, now this was a movie night!

Adjusting the armband slightly she walked towards the door and felt her heartbeat start to race. When Scully opened it and walked out Mulder almost dropped the bowl he was carrying on the floor, spilling some of the contents he slipped it clumsily onto the table.

"Oh my God Scully…you look…you're so…you…"

"Speechless, Mulder?"

"You're so beautiful, Scully. I feel like my heart has broken every single day I've known you…every single day I've not been able to touch you. You're…flawless."

Scully tried to speak but found herself lost for words; she walked over to Mulder slowly and watched as he dropped to his knees in front of her. She had fantasized about him looking at her like this for so long and suddenly had to push aside the anxiety that this was all just a dream.

But they were really here. He was finally home…with her.

"What is your will, master?" Scully asked as she reached to run her fingers through his hair. She watched him shudder and drop his head, almost bowing before her.

"Scully…" He groaned. He took a second and then looked up, "How is it possible that you love me? You could have anyone you wanted, but you want me…?"

"I love you…you are all I want, Mulder. No one could match up to you."

Mulder shook his head in wonder, "Our lives will never be normal Scully, we'll never be…"

Scully dropped to her knees in front of him and stopped his words with a kiss, after several long minutes Scully rested her forehead on his and spoke against his lips. "I choose you, Mulder. You want to make me happy?"

Mulder nodded mutely and glanced over her body hungrily.

"Then just love me," she smiled simply.

Mulder laughed humorlessly and reached to rest his large warm hand on her practically naked hip, "Love you? You are everything to me; you are…" he glanced up and down her body again, "…my life."

Scully smiled and moved closer, joining their bodies from knee to chest, then she lifted her leg and wrapped her calf around his thigh. "So even after everything that's happened we get a happy ending?"

Mulder wrapped her tightly in his arms and kissed hungrily up the side of her neck. Gently lifting her up onto his couch he kissed her lips and smiled, "So happy, Scully…"


Okay, so in the end I skipped the sham wedding and their denials at the end. I wouldn't change a word of Much Ado About Nothing, but the sham wedding wouldn't work in the modern era and I couldn't bring myself to let Mulder and Scully doubt each other, even for a few minutes :-)