"It's not enough, Mulder. This life. This isolation." Scully gestured around them at the room that had become Mulder's office.

As the X Files office down in the basement of the FBI had possessed, the walls were lined with newspaper clippings and articles, all featuring tales of the paranormal. Some held validity, but not all. It didn't really matter either way. They had become everything to Mulder. They had become his life.

Filing cabinets and cupboards hugged the walls. Books and magazines were also stacked in piles in various places and at the desk Mulder was sitting at, the surface was covered entirely with odd bits and pieces. The 'I WANT TO BELIEVE' poster covered the far wall.

Mulder turned slowly and Scully was given a clear view of the beard he had grown. She was still unsure if she liked it or not. It was a thing of much musing when she wanted a topic to distract herself with.

"Scully, I didn't choose this life. I didn't choose to be shunned by the FBI. Not in the strictest sense, anyway. If it had been up to me, though, the last few years would have been very different." He paused and set deep brown eyes on hers. "I'm sorry you feel that way about things, but there's not much I can do."

Scully sighed. Of course he'd say that. They'd had the same conversation so many times before that she might as well have recorded one of those talks on tape and played it back to herself.

"Mulder, I – "

"No, Scully. I can't do this. I can't hear this again. I thought you said the last time we had this conversation that we wouldn't talk about this anymore."

"I know, I know," she threw her hands up in defeat. "It's just…I don't want this to be how we spend the rest of our lives. I want us to actually live our lives. I want a little normality. God knows we've been lacking in that. We're due some normality. Is that too much to ask?"

Mulder nodded his head once and then looked back up at her. "You know me," he said with a short laugh. "I can't promise normal. But I love you and I'll do whatever it takes for you to be happy. It's all I can offer."

A smile crept onto Scully's face. Things weren't even close to being resolved, but at least she had made progress with him. That was something. "You promise?"

Mulder stood and pulled her close, burying his head in her shoulder. "Forever."