"Walk with me, Scully".
She had taken his hand, fingers intertwined, and it felt just like old times, when they would walk on the streets together, hand in hand.
Now that she thought about it, they had indeed been talking about their relationship, even if subtly. She looked up when he seemed to have heard something.
"What?" she said, trying hard to hear what he heard but there was no atypical sound anywhere.
"Can't you hear it, Scully?"
"Mulder, I can't hear a thing!"
Then, somewhat worried, she let go of one of his hands and touched his face, trying to see if his eyes were still normal. Maybe the effect of the placebo mushrooms was still there.
He looked down again when he felt her touch. It brought back memories he would rather suppress because they were good. Good memories hurt since they weren't together anymore. He closed his eyes for a second and sighed. Then, opening them again, he realized she was staring worryingly at him.
"It's nothing, I just thought I heard trumpets."
She laughed this time and let go of his face. Then, to his surprise, she came even closer and hugged him, her head comfortably placed on his chest, her arms perfectly wrapped around his waist. Was it the beginning of forgiveness he saw and felt right there?
He placed one of his hand on her lower back, another one on her shoulder and let the scent of her hair inebriate him. He closed his eyes and automatically kissed the top of her head, just like he used to do whenever she hugged him. It was their way of saying 'I love you', it had always been. He hoped she still remembered that.
"I missed you, Mulder", he heard her say, her voice muffled a little by his chest.
He smiled, not knowing what to say. For the first time in the past year he felt really happy and he wasn't sure how to express that. So, he let go of her back and cupped her face, tracing circles on her cheeks and staring into those beautiful blue eyes of hers. She smiled back at him, a mix of emotions taking over her, some tears threatening to form a puddle inside her eyes.
"I missed you more than you know, Scully."
He desperately wanted to close the gap between their lips, but he wasn't sure that's what she wanted.
Memories from the day she left came back to him and he heard her voice inside his head, saying she needed time to think of it all, to figure out who she was without him, that she needed to stay away, that his endless chase after little green men put a stranglehold on her very existence, that she couldn't do this with him anymore, that she wouldn't. He had asked if she still loved him, and she hadn't answered. That's when it hit him that she might not, that he had tired her in such a way that what had held them strongly together for so many years had simply vanished.
For her, watching him think was one of the most amusing things she could ever do. It was like seeing the gears in his brain turning, making connections, trying to figure out the best way to go and the best things to say. She chuckled, amused, and he woke from his reverie.
"So, do you have anything edible in this house? It's almost dinner time and I'm starving!"
And with that he let go of her face, grabbing one of her hands again, walking back to where they'd come from before.
"I might have some leftovers from… 3 days or so ago."
He laughed and she felt herself relax.
"I'm not surprised you never have any woman around. You don't feed them properly!"
It was an attempt to make a joke, but deep down she was curious, too. For her relief, he neither confirmed, nor denied, just kept walking. It was better to leave this topic alone.
He let go of her hand right when they reached the steps on the porch, making her stop to see what was wrong. He stopped walking, looking intently to the front door.
"Remember our first day in this house?"
She nodded, trying to understand where he was getting at.
"I wanted to carry you over the threshold and you wouldn't let me."
She smiled. So that's what he was talking about.
"I said no, but you lifted me off the floor anyway."
"And that was when I tripped on the last step and we both fell to the floor."
He was smiling so vividly now that it was impossible for her not to love him more than she already did. She was also grinning when he looked at her, brightening up her whole face.
"Things with us were never normal, were they?"
He shook his head and chuckled, and she could see something was going on his mind.
"What if we tried to make it right this time?"
She wasn't sure if he was talking about their relationship again or about carrying her over the threshold, but she liked to think that it was both.
She was silent for longer than she had planned, considering, and she saw his enthusiasm wither like a flower at her lack of response.
"I crossed the line, didn't I?" he asked, regretting he had said anything in the first place.
She suddenly realized how she had been giving him mixed signals.
"No, no, not at all…" she stopped to ponder what to say next. "Okay, pick me up. I'm ready."
His face lit up as she raised her arms, waiting for him to lift her off the floor.
When he did, her hands wrapped around his neck while his arms held her legs and her back, bridal style.
"Okay, ready?" He asked.
She nodded with a smile, bracing herself for what could possibly be a fall. Only this time there was no fall. He stepped on the third step successfully and used one of his hands to open the door. Then they were through, the screen door closing with a click behind them.
He looked at her, still in his arms, her never-ending trust that he would never let her fall, even though he had done it so many times before, her blue eyes like oceans engulfing his whole self in them, her arms hanging tightly to his neck as if saying they would never let go.
"We made it", he managed to say.
"Yeah…" she was completely lost in his gaze now, unable to speak anything coherent.
It was a very uncomfortable position to be in, but somehow his arms were now providing her the safety she thought she had lost long ago. Her Mulder was back, there was no doubt about it. But was it time to get back to what they had left behind? Or better yet, was it possible? Her rational thinking, as always, getting in her way.
"I think you should put me down, or else we will fall and we will have failed again"
He chuckled, slowly putting her back on her feet.
"I have to admit, though, falling was the best part of our attempt."
He smirked and she knew exactly why. After they fell to the floor that day, both laughing uncontrollably, they just lay there for a few minutes, catching their breath for laughing so much. Then he had looked at her, brushing a lock of hair away from her face and staring at her admiringly.
You look gorgeous when you laugh, he had said.
And then they had made love right there on that porch. Their first time on the new house and probably the most memorable of first times the two of them had ever had.
She blushed slightly, suddenly feeling the air get too hot.
"One of my best memories of us to this day", she replied. What was the use of hiding that anyway?
He felt as if she had lightened a light bulb inside of him, his heart raced.
He would surely just go and kiss her if he continued standing there for another second, so he turned away, asking as he walked.
"So, would you like to order a pizza or should we go with spaghetti?"
They finished eating and went back to the living room, where Mulder turned Netflix on and asked what Scully wanted to see, although suggesting that they should watch a science fiction movie he had heard was good. She highly doubted he had heard anything. He had probably watched it already but didn't want her to say anything about it being sad that he watched the same movie over and over, etc.
She tucked her feet under her as he pressed play on the movie he had chosen and, without noticing, her head automatically rested on his shoulder.
He smiled to himself at the weight on his shoulder. That was their usual position when watching movies together, but it seemed so long ago now that he had forgotten how good it was to have her so close.
Halfway through the movie he heard her breathe deeper and, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed she was sleeping. He wanted to wake her up and tell her to go to bed, but she probably would have run away, saying she was okay to drive home. So, he just turned his head a little and observed her every feature, the way her lines were a little more marked on her face than he remembered, but how beautiful she still looked, and now that he thought of it, especially because of those marks. He suddenly remembered the first time they slept together.
It had been in a similar setting as they were now, except that, instead of watching a movie, they had been talking when she fell asleep. She had never looked so beautiful.
Back then, she didn't wake up when he pulled a strand of hair behind her ear or when he covered her with the afghan he kept on his couch. His first reaction was to let her sleep, but he knew her whole body would hurt the next morning for sleeping in that position. So, he went to his bedroom, made his bed for her, and came back to get her. He snaked one of his arms under her legs and the other around her neck, her face dangerously close to his. He was about to pull her off the couch when she woke up, startled.
"Mulder, what…?" She hadn't finished her sentence because she realized what he was doing, and her eyes showed her heart was suddenly such a mix of emotions that she couldn't say anything. His lips were so close to hers that she only stared at them for a moment.
"I'm taking you to bed."
He didn't need to answer her unfinished question, but he did anyway. Instead of the chuckle he was expecting, he got a kiss on the lips, at first very soft, but then opening up to him so that his tongue could explore her mouth. It was their first real kiss followed by their first night together. That's how they worked. Things were either too slow or too fast, there was no in-between.
Now, he smiled thinking about that memory and let out a sigh. He realized he had sighed a bit too loud because she woke up, removing her head from his shoulder and looking around for something he couldn't figure out what. She usually did that when they were sleeping somewhere else other than their home, he remembered. Had she been away so long that she no longer considered this house their home?
"What time is it?", she asked
"Late", he answered.
"Why didn't you wake me up?"
He considered his answer carefully.
"I didn't want you to go… I…" he paused a little, licking his lips as a way of gaining confidence. "… I don't want you to go."
She stopped for a moment, her head spinning with questions and wishes. This is what she wanted to hear the day she left, this was what she desperately expected, needed to hear. But he hadn't said anything, he had just let her go. The only thing he did do was ask her if she still loved him, and in her hurtfulness and in trying to make sense of it all, she had just left without an answer. Silence had always been their friend, but that day it hadn't.
She raised a hand to his face, just as she had done a few hours ago, when they were outside. Then she mustered the courage to say what she should have said before.
"Mulder, I never stopped loving you."
He rarely cried, so she knew how to recognize when he was about to. At the moment she said it, he closed his eyes and his chin wavered as he fought back the tears that were trying to leave his eyes. It was useless because some of them fell anyway. She kneeled on the couch and got closer, kissing the place where the tears had fallen on his face on both sides, then lowering her mouth to his. He pulled her tight while kissing her, holding her as if she were the most precious thing in the world. And, in his world, she was.
Their lips broke apart and she hugged him tightly for a few moments, letting the feeling that they were trying to figure things out sink in. Then she let go of him and stood up, taking one of his hands and pulling him up as well.
"Come on, let's go to bed", she said with a smirk.
She woke up a little after 3 a.m. and looked at him, smiling. She touched his face and placed a light kiss on his forehead, analyzing his features for a moment. Then, she stood up and started picking up the clothes they had spread around the room a couple of hours before. She got dressed and left his clothes folded on a chair, a sign for him to know she had really been there and it hadn't been a dream. Before leaving the bedroom, she took a good look at him and remembered their first night together, when she had done the exact same thing, leaving him in the middle of the night. That time she had left because she hadn't known how to act, she was afraid they had made the biggest mistake of their lives. Now she was leaving because their lives were finally getting back on track, but she wanted to take a step at a time this time, making sure they wouldn't trip on the last step and fall.
So she turned away and left, this time thinking about when she would get back.
A/N: Thanks for reading! I wrote this about two years ago, but I'm only posting it now. It might be a little too fluff for my taste but let me know what you think. Reviews are always appreciated. =)