Disclaimer: Not mine.
Set: Post-series, but inspired by the beach scenes in: Biogenesis, The Sixth Extinction, The Sixth Extinction II:Amor Fati those episodes with Diana Fowley.
Notes: This has been sitting around waiting to be finished for a while. It... didn't end the way I thought it would. The title comes from Something for Kate's 'Souvenir.
Rating: PG13

Morning Pressed Itself
by ALC Punk!

The day is perfect. Sun shining just bright enough through the slight haze so your eyes don't need sunglasses that are too dark. Dana Scully sits in the slight shade of a mauve and yellow umbrella. Mulder thinks it's amusing that she likes bright colors. A redhead should never be around clashing shades.

Sand sifts through her fingers, sliding into tiny peaks and valleys. Fresh, salty breezes brush past, sometimes tickling the nose, sometimes tousling her hair.

William thinks it's amusing when his mother is bright-eyed and tousled after a day at the beach.

His father thinks it's sexy.

Later, she knows, they'll drag her down to the water's edge. She'll pretend to be unwilling until the almost too cold water is nipping at her toes, and then she'll switch sides and she and William will chase his father through the surf.

There will be laughter and childish shrieks, and tumbles through the loose sand until there's grit in unmentionable places (and William's father will promise to help remove it with that cute little leer he gets now).

Right now, though, she's watching them as they play. This castle was built to fly, she thinks, amused.

It begins slowly, but then Mulder decides that science needs to be applied. He swipes her book to make straight edges, and the cooler is used to transport water to keep the sand compacted properly.

There are whirls and curves, lines that aren't quite human, but don't exactly deviate from anything she's never seen before. Hollywood would kill for the design - the next big blockbuster movie about alien invasions needs a brand-new ship to make it that much better than the previous blockbuster.

When it's finished, they'll both be so proud and drag her down between them, both talking over each other to explain what goes where, and who built what, and why there's a heart in the sand with "Mulder + Scully".

And she'll mock him and he'll catch her in that look of his, the one that makes her toes curl, and it will be silent. Their own little world, a silence built on trust and waking up next to the man who gave up everything for you. William will be the one to break their paralysis, and they'll catch him up and swing him around listening as he laughs and giggles, the sounds echoing from the far-off cliffs and the nearby waves.

"I love you," he will say abruptly.

And she has told him he doesn't have to say it. That he can continue as they were, that it can remain unspoken. But he seems to delight in saying it, getting that little-boy grin, and she wonders if he thinks of her as his own personal cookie jar.

The day will begin to fade and they'll pack everything up, and Mulder will dangle William in the surf once more and she'll complain about wet people in her clean car until he kisses her against the car. Lips and tongues, and this is why William was inevitable.

"Get a room." William will say.

And they'll look down at their suddenly scarily precocious child, and wonder where he learned that. But it won't be important, because the wind will pick up.

"Let's go, Scully." She is glad he never calls her Dana.

The drive is short, the apartment small. William and his father make dinner for them all. Later, there will be sex and cuddling.

When she knows he's asleep, she will be able to think it. To trace a finger along his skin and write out the words she never says. He doesn't need them like she does, doesn't require them anymore. He simply stays.

In that bed, there is no past, no present, no future. Only them.

She has learned to believe it is enough.

Not that she does. Not that she doesn't see the wistfulness in his eyes when he thinks she isn't watching. His lifelong obsession still colors the way he views the world, and she wishes, sometimes, that she could give his sister back to him. Could inform the world believably about the dangers there are.

But they have William, and she likes to think it is enough for him.

She knows it's enough for her, now.

And there will always be days at the beach, in sunshine or rain. Wind. Only snow will keep them away.

Until the end of time.

It always feels like there's sand under her fingernails at the end of time. The day she wakes up and he is gone and William is gone, and she faces the truth that they never existed like this.

Agent Doggett will be calling her, and Agent Reyes will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Life goes on.

-f-

This morning pressed itself into my eyes
With so much nameless light I couldn't catch if I tried
And every device, every device I had I used
But it's no use, the distance will get the better of me again
Something for Kate - Souvenir