Title: Lighting the Dark

Summary: The past would never leave them, but having each other eased the pain.

Rating: This is an M rated story. It contains some graphic material and you shouldn't read it if you're too young or offended by that.

Spoilers: Between The Truth and IWTB, also mention of Detour and Orison – to be safe, whole series. Although there's no mention of the plot in the new movie - except where their relationship stands.

Categories: Romance, Angst, MSR,

Disclaimer: I don't own Mulder and Scully. They belong to Christ Carter, 1013 Productions and 20th Century Fox. There is no infringement intended whatsoever and I'm using these characters for my own pleasure. I just want to get that clear because CC has been involved in a law suit perpetually for about the past ten years. I don't want to be the next.

Author's Notes: The interest in X-Files fanfiction bad been fledging for some years now. I remember when I was first introduced to the magnificent world of fanfic, well over 10 years ago now, I was amazed by the hundreds of stories that were posted every month in gossamer and on various other sites. Needless to say as the interest dwindled and all the websites shut down, I was gutted. My favourite TV-show had been sent to the television history museum but I'm hoping that the arrival of the new movie will bring about some new found interest in writing and reading these stories once again. If you have read this, and you have enjoyed it at all, telling me will encourage me more. Think of reviews as cookies for a kid. Hehe.

"Do you believe there is ever an appropriate time for melodrama?" he asked her one evening as they cooked dinner together, side by side in the kitchen. Pausing as she peeled carrots with swift, precise motions that could only be obtained by a doctor, she contemplated his question and its ambiguity.

"Not in movies," she replied at last. "Certainly not in books." Her slender nose, peppered with faint freckles wrinkled in annoyance and her hand, wrapped around the top end of the carrot tightened as she began to work again.

"Why not in movies or books?" he countered, cutting through raw breasts of chicken with a slightly squeamish look upon his face. It was cruel of her, she knew, but after years of cutting up the corpses he planted upon her, she felt it was poetic justice to force this task on his begrudging shoulders. He was sickened by the raw flesh that shifted like jelly beneath his fingertips. Unfortunately he didn't have the same effortless dexterity as she.

"Movies, I can tolerate. It only takes two hours to watch a movie, but when you sit down to read a book, you're in it for the long haul, right?" He half nodded. "Then you get to the epilogue and as if it wasn't bad enough that the hero and heroine had succumbed to the age-old cliché of getting married in the last chapter, but just to tie everything up nice and neatly, she gets pregnant in the epilogue and everyone is so happy." Her voice had taken on a tone of faux saccharine sweetness. "It's more realistic when the hero runs of with another woman and cannot commit to her because he's too afraid. Or she finds out that the baby isn't really her husbands because she had an illicit affair with his best friend. True romance is when real people work through real problems."

Mulder was scandalised.

"Bitter much?" he asked, squirting rosehip soap unto his hands, massaging the crème into a lather before rinsing it away. She made short work of slicing the carrot, her cool blue eyes levelled upon him. "Realistic and romantic not necessarily go together." The corner of her mouth lifted in a half smile, conceding without completely relinquishing her point of view. It was a classic Scully-ism. A quirk he'd come to adore. He hated to be wrong but boy, so did she!

"I'm hesitant to ask but why this question about melodrama in the first place?" She dropped the meat into a glass dish, followed by the carrots before rinsing her own hands. Mulder, feeling that he'd done more than his fair share of the dinner-making activities in dissecting raw flesh, had turned his efforts to preparing vanilla tea.

"I wanted to gauge your reaction for when I told you that for the first time since being a child, I'm happy with my life. And I owe it you and your companionship." Scully wasn't a woman who permitted her emotions to show, often. Even now her eyes did not mist and her face remained impassive – as though he had not spoken at all. The lid of the glass dish clinked nosily as she set it in place, slid the dish into the oven before she turned to him.

"It's only melodramatic if we hadn't been through all the stuff we have been through. Since we have, I call that romantic."

Their lives were oddly simple now – she a doctor and he a perpetual if not secretive crusader for the paranormal. She didn't want to be involved in it and he didn't ask. One night in Oregon long ago, he'd lain with her in his bed and told her she'd already sacrificed too much. It was over two years after that before she was finally able to escape the ties that bound them together in a never ending quest for the truth. Now that she was freed from it, he had no desire to draw her back into it again.

He'd lost Samantha to it. His father. She'd lost her sister and almost died from a cancer that ravaged her entire body – but William... their son was the final blow of devastation that either of them could endure.

"Stop..." she said, running her fingertips across his forehead and easing away the creases of deep thought. Sometimes, like now, when his memories got carried away his eyes would darken so much as to be almost black – and a void of desolate emptiness. The moment she touched him, embers of gold sparkled in his irises and the light – or at least something resembling it – returned.

"I was thinking about-"

"I know," she broke in, pulling her hand away. "We've both been to that place before lets try not to keep returning." She told him once that she used to sing Jeremiah was a Bullfrog to William whenever she needed to remind herself of the human contact she'd once had with his father. He joked that no one should have to suffer the same torment he suffered in the forest all those years ago. They'd both smiled but the melancholy sat too thick in their hearts for them to find real, genuine humour in the past.

"Returning makes us human, Scully." He looked older now and she wasn't sure whether it was the work that had aged him or not having it anymore. Still, she didn't complain because he still looked good and he was more than healthy. "How was work today?" he enquired and the sudden shift in conversation surprised her. Scully stepped back, taking the small pottery cup of vanilla tea from the counter.

"One of my patients didn't make it," she said as she sat at the round oak table, crossing her legs. She'd changed from her charcoal suit into faded jeans and an olive green sweater. Her long hair had been pulled into a decorative clip at the base of her neck and a few wispy, near-golden strands had come loose and hung in half-hearted waves around her neck. She pursed her lips, blowing away the sweet aromatic steam that rose from the cup she held. A whiff of vanilla drifted across their kitchen, lulling him towards her.

"I'm sorry," Mulder replied – the default condolences that he offered her when one of her patients died on the operating table. When she didn't reply with her own default 'thank you' he was surprised and then troubled when her cornflower blue eyes avoided his. Years ago he'd have to pry – plucking his way through an emotional mine-field of 'I'm fines' or 'just leave its' – nowadays, she made a conscious effort not to shut him out and he appreciated it.

"I feel guilty, Mulder." He sat next to her.

"Scully you can't save everyone." She shook her head, those soft tendrils swaying back and forth against the side of her face.

"It's not that. He'd been in hospital for over a month and it was revealed that he'd been in prison for the past twenty five years for raping and murdering two women. Part of me wanted him to die." She looked at him now, eyes dark with guilt. "When he flat-lined, I pulled my mask off and I was horrified that my only thought was 'burn in hell, you bastard.'." Her eyes searched his, desperately seeking reassurance that she wasn't the same kind of monster as he. She'd done this before, when he'd shot Donnie Pfaster in her apartment. She'd been afraid that the devil had been working through her then.

"You're human, Scully. With human emotions, human anger. What that man did was wrong and some might say he deserved redemption – maybe he did. Maybe he didn't. You believe in God and he'll be judged accordingly now. But you cannot feel guilty for resenting 

the evil that lived in him." His thumb brushed over her knuckles, and her fingers opened as they relaxed beneath his gentle encouragement. Her shoulders loosened and she allowed herself a small, near invisible smile. "When I profiled in Violent Crimes, I condemned every single one of those bastards to hell. Some nights, as I looked over page after page of my profile notes, I prayed that if there was a God, he'd damn their souls to an eternity of torture. You," he said, lifting his hand to stroke her cheek now, "have nothing to be guilty for."

Then it came.

"Thank you, Mulder." Pushing aside the unfinished cup of sweet vanilla tea and took both his hands in hers and squeezed tight. "I never thought I'd say this, but you're my sanity in so many ways." Then she laughed and the sound brought more joy to his heart than anything else ever could. "Sanity and you put together in positive terms in the same sentence? I must be losing my mind." Slapping her denim clad thighs, she got to her feet. "I 'm visiting my mother this weekend, Mulder."

He knew what she'd say next because inevitably, she always did.

"Would you like to come?" And inevitably, as routine predicted, he declined. "She asks about you."

"I know she does," he said running his palms across his cheeks. "I appreciate that she still cares about me, after all this time." Margaret Scully was the epitome of a good Catholic woman; kind, honest and forgiving to a fault. He looked down fondly at her only remaining daughter. "She's a wonderful woman." Sometimes he wished he could summon the courage to visit her home – to look into her eyes and thank her for never begrudging him the happiness he'd found with her little girl. But too much had transpired and he didn't think he'd ever be comfortable in the family home again.

"I'll tell her you said that. A handsome younger man offering her compliments? She'll be delighted." He smiled then, knowing perfectly well that her mother was no fool and she was not the type of woman to fall under the spell of some manly charm. Neither was her daughter for that matter. "You know," she said, her voice lowering so slightly that to anyone else it would be unperceivable. Not to him though. "Dinner will be another hour or so. " Her hands slid around him, under his navy sweater and the grey t-shirt he wore 

beneath it. Running over the still-firm contours of his body like a whispered breath. A shiver ran along his spine her she touched him and he trembled visibly, never failing to be amazed by the profound effect she had upon him.

"I think I get the implication," he told her evenly. "I'll clean the study, you clean the living room." She withdrew her hand and slapped his arm.

"Mul-derrr," she drawled, chuckling lowly. He reached for her, slipping his arms around her waist and pulling her slender body against him. Their groins brushed and the contact was instant combustion. His penis hardened at the darkened desire in her eyes and the subtle quiver of her full, soft lips. Rumours had been rife in the FBI that Dana Scully was the Ice Queen mistress. That there was no one who could level a cooler stare or maintain such strict sexual reserve.

He knew that these assumptions were unfounded nonsense conjured by jealous women who wanted to be her and scorned men who couldn't have her. When she came into his arms she did so willing, without reservations and with a feisty abandon that drove him wild.

Mulder's hands slid over the curve of her buttocks, tight beneath the jeans she wore. Her breaths were deep as his fingers tightened cupping her ass and lifting her body towards him. Her lips parted slightly as she touched her mouth to his. Sometimes her kisses were fervent and controlled by an urgency that nearly consumed them. Today, her tongue stroked the small tuft of coarse hair that had grown beneath his lower lip, urging his mouth to open. Not to be rushed, she tasted the corners of his lips, the tip of her hot, wet tongue pausing there before sweeping over his top lip, sucking his soft flesh into her mouth. He moaned, his fingers digging into her buttocks and pressing her groan tight against his hardened penis. The slow, erotic kisses were the best and when she permitted his tongue into her mouth he was silently thankful that today she wanted to take things at leisure.

Withdrawing from his arms, she took his hand and led him from the kitchen to the living room. Their home looked out unto miles of forestry – tall leafy trees that hid them and thankfully their activities from anyone who looked on. Still, she wanted privacy and leaving him alone for a moment, Scully drew the curtains across the window before turning back to him.

The room, plunged into a hazy half-light, seemed to crackle with the sexual energy that did and always had, existed between them. He took a tentative step towards her, looking down at her rosy cheeks – pink enough now to hide some of the freckles that dusted her alabaster skin. He had told her many times that she was beautiful and once she'd told him that when he looks at her, she knew that he was taken with her. That she no longer needed to hear the verbal confirmation.

He helped her undress, easing the sweater over her arms and he was delighted to discover that she had removed her bra earlier when she'd changed. Her full breasts swung free, her coral coloured nipples already hardened to tight peaks atop her soft flesh. Self-consciousness was long gone between them and he was brazen as he drank the image of her in. Standing before her, he had to bend to run his tongue over the puckered flesh of her areola. She whimpered then, her slender fingers sinking into his rich, dark hair. She urged him to continue, not afraid to demand that he suckle her. She liked it when he forewent tenderness here – for the harder he sucked the better more she her desire peaked. His teeth nipped playfully and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders.

Even through her jeans, he caught the scent of her arousal and with nimble fingers he popped the button, easing the zip down as she purred like a satisfied kitten massaging his scalp with tender caresses. Her approval was evident, her hips rolling as he assisted her in slipping her jeans and her panties off. Planting his hands on her slender waist, Mulder held her still, getting to his knees.

Her eyes were the same navy shade as a midnight sky; velvety and thick with desire. She released his hair, smiling down at him with serious intent. Sex between them had always been good – from the first night he took her to his bed and expressed what seven years of repressed sexual tension could do to a man - until now. There had never been a woman in his life who compared to her.

"Too much clothes, Mulder," she complained sinking to her knees as well. As swiftly as he undressed her, he shed his own clothes smiling at her with a feral glint in his eyes. Sitting back he took her hips, positioning her above him. Scully willingly followed his lead, losing herself as she so often did, in the warmth of his touch and the searing tingle of expectation, anticipation.

She could remember so vividly how he'd felt that first time they'd made love. Only a small woman, he was bigger than she had expected and it took her body time to adjust to him. Now, as he slipped inside her with the slow consideration of a man who knew how to evoke 

pleasure, her muscles stretched easily – already moistened by her desire. He swallowed hard, closing his head as his thumbs dug into her hip bones. She felt divine, he found himself thinking as she shifted above him, far enough that he almost withdrew from her entirely. Just when he almost lost patience waiting to be inside her again, Scully settled tightly atop his thighs, plunging his penis into her body.

Their sighs combined and their pleasure mounted, stroke for stroke. Her nails dug into his shoulders and a sheen of perspiration coated their heated bodies. Mulder drew her tight into his arms, her malleable breasts pressed against his chest and her laboured breaths hot against his neck. His fingers found her hair, releasing the clip that held the now dampened strands and as he tossed the intricately woven faux-silver binding aside, she looked wild. He wanted to take her from the living room floor to the bed they'd shared for six years and make love to her until the sun rose again for he never tired of having himself inside her – having her warmth surround him.

Leaning back, she whimpered noisily, her nipples peaking her breasts like hardened jewels. Her chest shone from their efforts and he dropped his mouth to the valley between her breasts, running his tongue in a long, straight line to the oasis of her throat, lapping the salty dew that had gathered so tantalizingly there. The fruity perfume she sprayed on every morning that smelt predominantly of apples lingered still and mixed with her natural scent and arousal.

His groin knotted and he signed her name – as though he worshipped her as a goddess. The harder he thrust the harder she returned his movements and their bodies slammed together with an urgency they were both familiar with.

"Scully..." he said and she whimpered in understanding.

"Me too."

As they came together, she shuddering and he with a final thrust their names came forth as mumbled syllables and groans. She slumped against him, wrapping her arms around his neck and burrowing her nose under his chin. Their skin was slick and they smelt of heady, rampant sex. "Am I hurting you?" she murmured as he drew circles on her hip with his fingertips. His embrace tightened.

"No." He kissed her shoulder. "Your mind as been in the gutter all day, hasn't it?" Scully glanced up at him through heavy-lidded eyes, a ghost of a smile gracing her lips. "You only wear Exotika when you're harbouring those horny thoughts of yours." With his fingers, he nipped at her waist and her body rose from his lip in protest as she chuckled. His mouth suckled on her nipple and the laughter faded to a throaty moan. "I remember the first time you wore this perfume," he told her, blowing a stream of cool air over her nipple and watching as the shiny flesh tightened again. It pleasured him endlessly and beneath her thigh, his penis stirred somewhat. "We'd just started..." he paused.

"Having sex?" she offered, frustrated that he'd forgotten about her heavy breast.

"Hmm," he conceded, dropping his mouth to the soft curve of flesh, his teeth nipping the silky skin. "Having sex. You wore it to that conference with Skinner and Agent Fitzgerald and Kirby. I can't remember the name of the other one..." he lifted his head, frowning as he searched his photographic memory for the minutes of that particular meeting. She grumbled, sinking her fingers into his hair and pushing his mouth towards the slightly achy nipple. "When Skinner offered to take everyone to lunch, good idea on declining Scully. Do you think he ever speculated why the conference table was always a little bit wobbly at that end?" Her blue eyes sparkled with the memory; a memory that was happy.

"It was already wobbly when we found it," she replied, getting to her feet. "I suspect our sensible, by-the-book boss was having some extracurricular fun of his own." She slipped back into her jeans, forgoing panties and tucking the underwear into her pocket. "I've always wondered if Krycek obtained a copy of that video." Although if she was bothered about having their sexual antics captured on the consortium's candid cameras, it was more so when they violated their private sanctuaries.

"Dark place, Scully," he said looping his fingers into her jeans and yanking her back to her knees. He kissed her hard, without any of the tenderness they'd just shared. She returned it fiercely, cupping his face with her soft hands. "How about some tea in the garden while we wait on dinner finishing off? Or a glass of wine?"

She grinned. "I'll certainly accept the latter."

When they'd bought the countryside house much effort had been spent turning it into 'home'. The garden had been the last but ultimately her favourite. Large baskets and pots hung on wooden trellis and sat in soil beds. Vibrant reds and pinks had shot up amidst the earthy, leafy green trees that made surrounded their property. When she watered the flowers in the evenings, the air was pungent with their mixed scent and it never failed to ease the tensions of her day.

Mulder handed her a glass of merlot, sitting next to her on the rocking wood bench beneath the blossoming apple tree. To the left of her foot a tiny green apple had fallen and she leaned forward to examine it. "My mother used to bake apple pies from the apples that grew in the garden of her house. I can still smell the crust... taste the tangy apple juice." Nursing the glass of wine, she settled against the crook of his arm, comfortable in his company.

At the end of the garden a small group of dandelions had spurted from the grass and their cotton-like heads exploded in an updraft of humid air, their feathery white seeds floating towards the night sky like magic dust. She plucked one from the ground, its stem breaking with an audible snap. The spherical clock had remained in tact and she examined it for a long time.

"Make a wish, Scully. Or is that too melodramatic? Too clichéd?" She glanced sideways, smiling.

"Wishes are never clichéd, Mulder. Everyone has the right to wish. To dream." Holding the smooth stem between her thumb and forefinger, she closed her eyes and blew. "Want to know what I wished for?" she asked as they watched the little pods disperse into the night sky. Mulder shook his head.

"No Scully," he replied, raising his glass. "But if it's not too much of a cliché, I'd like to toast to it." Her smile was spectacular.

"Cheers," she answered, tipping her glass with a chink.