Six Degrees of Requiem
Disclaimer: Still not mine. I've lost hope.
Rating: T maybe M.
Spoilers: This is the chapter that corresponds with Requiem. However, there are spoilers all over the place. I just can't help myself.
Author's Note: I have enjoyed writing this story more than I can ever say. The X-Files was my obsession and in so many ways it still is. I'd like to dedicate this last chapter to the show, and to my best friend, Sharon who, if she ever reads this, will understand exactly why I picked the chapter title that I did.
She had held the baby with so much tenderness that, had he believed in God, he would have cursed the man for making her life so damn miserable. In that moment, if he had the power to turn back time, he would have ensured she was never assigned to him. Perhaps she would have led a normal life. Maybe she would have had a husband, some kids, and a dog. A white picket fence, who knew?
He knew for sure, if Scully could read his mind, she'd have castrated him for his thoughts. She did not want protected. She had made her choices knowing that they were dangerous. Scully chose love and friendship over comfort.
Stroking her hair, he listened to her breathing and his touch roused her from her fitful sleep. Her blue eyes fluttered around the car, settling on his face after a moment. He witnessed the anxiety melt from her body and she smiled. "I'm sorry," she apologised, straightening in her seat. "I've just been so damn tired lately." Pinching the top of her nose, she widened her eyes. "And this headache, I just can't shift it." He took her hand, lacing his fingers with hers. It was a pleasure he shouldn't have allowed himself. Lover's touches were strictly off limits out on the field.
"I'm going to check out some photographs in my room," he told her, gesturing to his cabin. The Oregon motel would have been quaint, had it not been for the bizarre goings on that always seemed centred around the town. "Get into bed and rest. Don't get sick," he warned her, pressing his palm to her forehead. Her skin was hot to touch, but hardly feverish. "Do you think this car is bugged?" he asked and her brow furrowed.
"I doubt it," she replied, a hint of mirth evident in her tone.
"If we were anywhere else right now, Scully, I'd want to kiss you," she opened her mouth to protest and he cupped his palm over her lips. "However bad that is for me to say, you're more important to me than any of this. You must know that…" He could only see her eyes now, but through her irises he saw everything. She wasn't mad at him.
Her fingers curled around his wrist, pulling his hand from her mouth. "I do," she replied. "But you have to stop talking like you're going to lose me, Mulder. We cannot continue like this." He dropped his eyes to his lip, fiddling with the car keys.
"We've been through so much," he whispered at last. "It's difficult not to imagine the worst. Being back here, in this place, it's like going back in time. It's like… your abduction never happened, your cancer…" a sideways glance at her revealed that his words had affected her. She kept her eyes downcast, as though mulling over what he had said. Ever the voice of reason, however, she glanced up, forcing a smile to her lovely lips.
"All that has happened," she said. "And it cannot be reversed. Yesterday is gone and we can't get it back. Tomorrow we will be looking back on today and I'd rather not reflect on my life and know I was always worried about the worst. I'm here now. You are here now." She leaned across the car, closing the gap of their bodies. It was the closest she had ever gotten on an assignment. "We are here now, Mulder. Do you understand?" He took her hand, revelling in the satin feel of her skin.
"I'm trying," he promised. "I've lost so many things in my life, Scully. I can't lose you."
He replayed these words over and over in his mind as he got undressed, showered and changed. Losing Scully, especially now, was the one thing that would bring his world to a shuddering halt. He was yin and she was yang and there was simply no other way to explain it. He was not being overly romantic, or poetic. The truth could not be denied. Without her, he was not whole.
He wasn't fully concentrating on the photos when she knocked his door. Her dizziness, regardless of how much she wanted to underplay it, was serious. She wouldn't have come to him, otherwise. Her skin felt cool now, her eyes wide with unspoken fear. Their earlier conversation came blaring back, and his usual fears resurfaced.
Covering her with the blanket, he held her, almost begging her to quit. After awhile, she fell into a reflective silence and he suspected that she might finally agree. She would leave the X-Files, become an ordinary field agent. She held his hand and he fell asleep behind her, vaguely aware of her shampoo and how wonderful she smelt. She was his, now, and protest as she might, he was going to protect her.
Scully woke first, wrapped in his embrace, she felt safe. Her dizzy spell had passed and she felt better now than she had in days. Looking in the mirror, her skin was dewy and her eyes bright. Looking down at herself, she realised that during the night, Mulder must have woken and undressed them both, for she wore only her underwear.
Rummaging on the floor for her clothes, she was surprised to find that Mulder had neatly folded her pants and blouse and draped them over the chair. Glancing at his still-sleeping form, she thought it might have been him, not her, who was sick. Smiling fondly, she watched his eyes flicker beneath his eyelids. He would wake soon, and whatever he dreamt of would be a memory.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, Scully was struck by how much she felt for him. However foolish his choices sometimes were, he loved her more than she could ever wish to be. Even in his sleep, his hands searched the sheets for her, and his lovely features twisted with worry when he didn't encounter her body. Inhaling sharply, his eyes opened, wide with panic.
"Hey," she soothed, kneeling over him, clothes in hand. His fingers touched her waist, encouraging her not to leave. It was already seven thirty, and their day loomed ahead. With much to do, there was no time for Mulder's arousal techniques – which were strictly forbidden. Yet she found herself melting into his embrace, her thigh covering his as he leant into her.
"This sucks," Mulder sighed, his breath hot against her ear.
"What does?" Scully asked, turning in his arms. Beneath the covers, she felt his arousal, hard against her inner thigh.
"Not being allowed to touch you." A consist source of annoyance between them, their mutual rule that sex on assignment was forbidden was sometimes the worst agreement they'd ever come to. "Seeing you like this…" he stroked her rosy cheek, watching her lashes flutter.
"You undressed me," she reminded him, "so it's your own fault." His lips brushed her bare shoulder and curved into a smile. They were on a downward spiral into dangerous territory, yet neither of them seemed particularly wilful, today. "What if someone sees us?" she asked, her voice a hushed whisper. She knew the drapes were drawn and if someone could see them now, they would see them at home, too. Then she realised she was trying to rationalise their actions.
"Let them," Mulder whispered, his fingers caressing her breast. "I don't care." His tone told her he didn't. His body told her the same.
His lips stroked her jaw and her lips parted, eagerly awaiting the moment in which he would kiss her, and she would feel all her inhibitions come crashing down. It was inevitably the same as always. Sexually, Mulder could turn her into another woman. She was wild, in his arms. Stoic and sensible when she was not. Now that he was touching her, she was at the point of no return. Until he was inside her, she would not see reason.
His thumbs hooked into the waistband of her panties, drawing the silk and lace over her thighs and ankles. She was already wet, the effect of his caresses, and the prospect of him invading her body. Medically, she knew this was simply her body's way of preparing her for penetration, as a woman, she knew it was what he did to her.
His lips found hers, his touch tentative and hesitant at first, as though he wasn't certain he had permission. When her fingers found his penis, curling around his width, he took her action as acceptance that they were past the point of return. His mouth pressed hard against hers, her thumb stroking the tip of his penis, luring a pearly drop of arousal from within his body. She was always amazed at how her touch affected him.
As her heart raced, her head felt light again but she remained silent, ignoring the prickle of worry that persisted – the part of her mind that told her something was physically wrong with her. To tell herself that she was getting the flu was just foolish and she wondered if her cancer was coming back. Pushing the thought aside, she stroked his flesh and listened to his murmurs of approval instead.
His fingers laced within her hair and his touch made her breathless with eager anticipation. Closing her eyes, she tried to lose herself in the sensations her body experienced, telling herself that it was useless to worry about illness when she could throw herself into the euphoria she knew would come with his ministrations.
"Whatever is making you frown," he whispered against her lips, "stop." Her eyes flew open, but his were closed, and she wondered how he had known. She suspected it was a lot to do with their mutual abilities to read one and other. As if to soothe away the worries in her mind, he took her face in his hands, his thumbs drawing circles on her cheekbones, and after a long moment, he opened his eyes. "I have to tell you, Scully," he sighed, leaning over her now. She released his penis, her lips parting as she opened her mouth to protest. Telling her, she thought, would trivialise it. "I am so in love with you," he whispered, "and you might think it is a cliché to say it, but I can feel the winds of change here, Scully, and I don't want either of us to regret not saying it."
However great it was having sex with him, this time her pleasure was tarnished by the force of his words. In the recesses of her mind, she wanted to return the sentiment, yet she was almost afraid because then it he would have to admit that something was changing. That her sudden sickness was related to the events occurring around them. Seven years ago, they had been in this same place, when they had only just met.
So much had changed. Yet so much was still the same.
Krycek was promising the forbidden fruit, a space ship, and she knew Mulder was going to go. She knew, looking at him across the conference table, that his need to find the truth had won over. After fainting in the woods, he probably reasoned that he was doing it all for her.
Shaking her head, Scully strode from Skinner's office, into the hallway, breathless and dizzy. It took only a few moments before he was behind her, telling her that she wasn't going. Indignant that he was trying to protect her, to shut her out, she dropped her hands to her hips. Through his talk about abductees and begging her to forget about it, she could only think of how annoyed she was that he thought her to be weak. Then his tone changed, and he wasn't her protector. He was the man who loved her more than life.
"I'm not going to risk… losing you…" he whispered, keeping his voice low enough that the people in the office, those they trusted and those they did not, would not hear him. Falling into his arms, not caring any longer about the risks, she sensed the change in their relationship at once. Things would never be the same. For the first time, he was shutting her out. When they had taken the leap from partnership to lovers, an irreversible shift had taken place and she was more important to him that his work. More important to him than his own life.
"I won't let you go alone," she replied at last. "Skinner can go with you. There's no one we can trust more." Mulder nodded, turning back towards the office. Her fingers curled around his wrist, and his eyes widened when he turned back to her. "Mulder," she sighed, seeking warmth in his touch. Since they'd become lovers, they'd each dreaded the moment in which the dream, their dream, would end. She couldn't help but imagine that this was it. "I love you, too." His features softened, his hand reaching out to tilt her chin towards him.
"How about you tell me that again, when I get back? And you can tell me if my third wish came true." She smiled weakly, a frown furrowing her brow.
"Sure," she promised, letting him go."
She knew he was gone. Skinner didn't need to tell her, the look on his face, the silent devastation, and she knew she had lost him. Swallowing, she shifted in her hospital bed, her thoughts spinning crazily in her mind. Why now?
"I already heard," she whispered when Skinner tried to speak.
"I lost him," his voice broke and it was the first time she'd ever seen her boss cry. Knowing how much he had let her down, he was broken by the weight of his failure. "I don't know what else I can say. I lost him. I'll be asked… what I saw… and what I saw I can't deny. I won't." Later she would learn the details of exactly what Skinner saw that night, when Mulder walked into the light and was taken from her. For now, the vague information she had been fed was enough to break her heart.
"We will find him," she insisted, her voice watery to her own ears. "I have to." Aside from herself and her doctors, no one knew just how much she had to get him back.
Skinner turned to leave, his shoulders heavy with anxiousness. "Sir," she spoke, reaching out for comfort, understanding. "There's something that I need to tell you. Something that I need for you to keep to yourself." As he returned to her bedside, she saw the questions in his eyes, and swallowed hard, her own joy shattered by her broken heart. "I'm having a hard time explaining it. Or believing it but…" her eyes met his, "I'm pregnant."
She thought it was impossible for him to look any more broken, but at these words, his whole body seemed to shudder. "Mulder's?" he asked, and her trembling lips were all the clarification he needed. "Dana," he whispered, sinking to the chair behind him, "I'm so sorry." She straightened in the bed.
"You did everything possible," she told him. "I know you did." Her boss kept his eye averted, unable to look at the woman Mulder had gotten pregnant, the woman who loved him enough to sacrifice a normal life. "It's alright," she whispered, knowing that the truth of what had happened had not yet registered in her mind. "Mulder will understand."
"Mulder might be dead!" Skinner snapped, raising his voice. Her look was stricken, her eyes wide. "Because of me."
"He's not," she insisted. "He cannot be." Perhaps she was being irrational. Foolish, even, but she could not accept that she would never hold him again. "I refuse to accept that." Skinner dropped his head into his hands, his voice muffled.
"You have to, Scully," he insisted. She shook her head.
"No. No I won't."
He stood, leaving her alone, his eyes downcast with shame and sadness. She listened to the door close and felt herself break. A sob welled in her chest and she released it, pressing her fingers to her lips. How cruel was life, that she could finally be pregnant, after all the heartache, and Mulder was gone.
Sobbing until she was too tired to move, Scully pressed her cheek to the pillow, touching her smooth flat stomach with her palm. She remembered LA, dancing on the sand, and thinking that Mulder's voice was carried out to sea.
Falling into a sleep that was fuelled by exhaustion rather than comfort, her last waking thought was that she hoped, one day, his voice would be carried in the wind, back to her again.
Thanks for reading everyone. I hope I was able to accurately portray the extraordinary relationship of Mulder and Scully to a certain degree. Review, please!