This takes place in present time. Season 10 has not happened. It's not really canon but it's pretty close; the few years between IWTB and now are a void in the story line so I figured this would explain some things. This won't be very long but I want it to be very real, very accurate to adult situations and the complexity of long-term relationships. I feel like the series has neglected the after effects of the pair's time in the field. That they could be explored a little. Originally I wanted to write this a a Mulder-only story. But, after a while I felt like I was demonizing Scully with no explanation. So, I thought I owed it to her to try and give her some time to explain herself too. Feedback is very welcomed - I have not written in a long while, and never for this fandom. I added a few characters from Rizzoli and Isles for fun in some later chapters, but it's 100% okay if you've never watched it. They're just side characters anyway. This sounds angsty-and it very much is but I have a pretty solid idea where it's going and as always things will work themselves out. :)


Prologue:

It's known that the human voice can produce roughly 500 different sounds. However, given pitch and volume, the number is infinite. With those sounds, humanity has formulated about 6,500 languages over the span of 2600 years. The average person knows 3 languages, at least in North America.

However, staring out the window through watery eyes, Dana Scully forgot every word of every single one she knew.

It was obvious something was wrong when she drove up and the gate was already open. He would never do that, years of running made them both hyper-aware of their surroundings and too careful about security.

It was a mistake, obviously, Mulder was only human. More so than she was, actually.

Slowly she drove down the rocky path, her eyes scoping out their land. The pop! of the gravel against her tires punctuated her slow trek down the driveway. She squinted against the sun and peered in the dense foliage that gated their home- a natural wall of protection. That's why they'd agreed on this property in the first place.

The car stopped in front of their home and she waited, stalling.

Their home.

She thought about the semantics of sharing a home that she owned on paper but he'd purchased outright. But, right now, all that mattered was that make sure that her husband was safe.

They didn't speak much, more like roommates than spouses- it was just their new way of life.

She shared a home with a man that she hadn't spoken to in months. For reasons too raw and too new, she answered no one's calls. The only person she spoke to was her mother, and that was because it was getting more and more obvious that Maggie Scully's time on this earth was dwindling. Scully didn't go out of her way to be social, the majority of her social interactions were with corpses. Dead people were easier to be around.

With a deep breath she grabbed her purse and locked the car. It was quiet, they had no neighbors for at least a half-mile. Even the animals were silent.

She tried to unlock the door and found that it was unlocked. A careful nudge with her hip opened the door and she was startled to see the whole house was dark. The foyer, normally illuminated by the electronics they'd accumulated over the years was blanketed in darkness, which was unsettling. She tried the switch and it worked. There were no noises, not the hum of the fish tank or the buzz of a computer in energy-saver mode. No dishwasher cycles, no shuffling of newspapers, nothing. Normally Mulder would be napping in the living room, but she saw no shoes laying around. Was he not there?

She dropped her purse on the table and fished her keys out.

Something wasn't right. Someone had been here. Things were missing. Not big things, but enough to throw her off as wandered into the next room. Slowly, with cautious movements, she made her way to the spot in the kitchen and opened the locked drawer where her gun was. The clank of her keys landing on the counter startled her it took a moment to slip back into investigative stance. She hadn't used her gun in years, save for the times she went to the range. Medical Examiners did not usually arm themselves, and even though Scully was the less paranoid of the two, she kept a weapon in her desk, unused as well.

Did someone find them? They weren't on the run, but powers far greater than the FBI disliked them for a few reasons. No one had contacted them for years, minus a few freelance reporters, but they were usually politely declined entrance to their gate with a swift No comment.

Sweeping through the living room, she noticed nothing glaringly out of place. Mulder's blanket was folded on the couch, but that was only strange because he never folded anything. His idea of putting it away was tossing in on the corner cushion and calling it a day.

She walked through the house, waiting for something to jump out. Her breath came in short gasps, anxiety and adrenaline coursing through her. Weapon at the ready, each room was searched and secured.

Her shaky hands reached for the last of two doors, the closet - his closet - almost frightened to see what was inside.

She'd burst through so many doors in her prime, but now, no longer in the field, she was scared of a opening a closet door. She coaxed the heavy oak door open, the older hinges groaning in protest. Gun at the ready, she counted to three and threw the door the rest of the way open.

Nothing.

Not nothing like everything was in order, there was legitimately nothing in there. His coats and older suits were missing. Boxes of old case files were now replaced by thin air. There was a small solitary box in the corner, the outside warped by water damage. Probably junk.

The dusty shelves had been cleaned and it smelled a bit like pine.

Everything was gone.

She slammed the door as hard as she could and backed away, her back meeting firmly with the hallway.

Where did all of his things go? She had just borrowed an old sweatshirt less than 24 hours ago and everything was in there. She distinctly remembered thumbing through his old college crew necks trying to find the oxford one that was just large enough to sleep in.

It was all gone.

Replaced with a cheap tree-shaped air freshener, the kind he used to use when they'd left pastrami subs in their rentals too long.

She turned to the spare bedroom she had taken to using and nudged the door open with her foot. It had only been 10 hours since she'd left this very room and apparently she had missed a lot. After the perimeter was cleared, she trained her weapon on her closet door. The decision to separate their clothes was her idea and now she regretted every moment of it. She opened the door.

Everything looked intact.

She turned quickly, her movements losing force. It was becoming obvious that Mulder had not been taken. One of her heels caught on a divot in the wood floor and she braced herself on the navy quilt covering the turned down bed. She kicked the offended heels off and away from her and did not care where they went. The gun she released, landed on the bed, bouncing just a little from the force of the drop, and sat next to a cell phone with a dark screen.

His phone.

The one with only one number saved.

She stumbled emotionally over to the dresser and she ripped open drawers, letting them fall to the floor. One of the handles snapped off the vintage piece and she threw it against the wall. The dull thud of the wood hitting the wall amplified her fear. Everything in reach became a victim. Jewelry was shot at the same wall, a bottle of perfume, a candle, and a framed photo of them. Anything and everything was shattered around her. This tantrum lasted until she picked up the phone and shattered it against the wall, spraying plastic and glass everywhere. Fear for her distant husband's safety had evolved into rage. All that remained in the rubble was his godforsaken Knicks jersey. How fitting. That jersey could live through anything.

She gulped down breaths, trying to steady the roaring heartbeat in her ears. Hands shook, bracelets clanking against each other, matching her erratic heartbeat. She slid down onto the bed and let out a feral wail. The room stank of flowers and Chanel No. 5.

Breathe.

Breathe.

He was gone.

She'd dealt with his absences before, but they were always for her safety or out of their control. She'd learned that he would always return, no matter how long he'd been gone.

But this time he had left - willingly.

Obsessive, determined, loyal-to-a-fault Fox Mulder had abandoned his vows.

And now Scully was alone.