disclaimer: not mine, don't sue

Please Don't Tell Her

Please don't tell her I love it when she falls asleep on my shoulder.

Late nights, cases that hurt your heart, morals in question, when she comes to my apartment to escape her own mind… I love all of that. I love being her protector.

Please don't tell her that. She is Scully, and I know she would kill me if she knew that I secretly love to see her walls come down; her composition crumble. It has only happened a few times and every time has been engrained in my memory. The way her head hits my chest, the way her arms go around my waist and sobs wrack her entire body. And I am her rock in this storm. And I love it.

Those are times that we will never speak of again. Those are times that I have dreams about on good nights when the nightmares decide to keep themselves at bay. It's always different. Sometimes I rescue her from a killer. Sometimes I find her, tied up and waiting for death. Always, I save her. Just as she has saved me. And then it happens. She tries to assure me that she is fine. But I know how to get her to tell me the truth. Delicately, I lift her chin up with my finger. That way, I can see all the tears glistening in her eyes, threatening to spill. Then, I catch her gaze. That is when she breaks. That is when she decides to let resolve go to the birds and that she really needs me. We are codependent.

Please don't tell her that when she falls asleep on my shoulder, she drools. She's a doctor, so if she knew this, she could probably find a way to make sure it never happened again. Saliva should stay in the mouth, and, for the most part, I agree with this. But there's something so damn cute about her perfect pouty lips open just enough so that the liquid can escape. I'm 94% sure she sucked her thumb when she was little. That image alone makes my heart fill to bursting with love for her. My Scully is like a little girl with her mom's clothes on; walking around in too-big-shoes. Please don't tell her how much I love her because I know that she does this all for me. Puts on the floppy hat. Puts on the too-big-shoes and walks around the house, trying her best not to trip.

There was a time when I was not sure if I could live if she weren't there. But that time has come and gone. I know now that I cannot exist without her. She is my life source. My only love and my only chance at love for the rest of my life. Nobody will ever make me happy like Scully does. Nobody will ever make me feel the way she can. Like a superhero. Like a bug on the ground. Larger-than-life. Humble.

Please don't tell her that I know we can't live without each other. It is something we both know, but should never be brought up. Because how pathetic does that make the pair of us sound? Knowing that one will die without the other. It makes us parasites. Maybe we are. But she will deny it, explain to me that we could go on should something happen to either of us. It's just her way of pretending. She's a little girl, waiting to grow up, and she doesn't need anyone else to push her on the swing or tie her shoes. Deep down, she really knows the true weight of this. And that is why she is able to fight for me like no other. Not only do I depend on this fight, but she also depends on it. Same thing goes for me.

Please don't tell her that I sleep better when she's there. Whether it's on my shoulder or in the next room, she exudes something that chases the bad dreams away. There have only been a few exceptions to this, and those are immediately after cases where her life has been put in direct danger. I will have the nightmares regardless, but if she's there, I am embarrassed when I wake up. She knows I dream about her. And those nights I wake up screaming her name are the worst. We never talk about those times, just like we never talk about the times she has broken down in front of me. It is an unspoken agreement. But I truly believe that if we ever talked about these things, we'd discover something about ourselves that would be very important to our relationship. The problem with this is, it is a Pandora's box. While we hope it could be good and lead us to something we have been longing for, it could also be detrimental and destroy us both.

Please don't tell her that I'd like to open the box anyway.

Two knocks. One knock more and it would be a bad thing, but no such knock ensues, and I rush to open the door. It's late. Late even for me, but this has been an exceptionally disheartening night, and I probably won't even shut my eyes for the next few days. Scully came home from the hospital tonight. While this worries me always, this particular time has a profound effect on me because I was not there to protect her. They had her working with another agent (since we are not assigned to the X-files anymore), and the bastard shot her. He couldn't let Scully do whatever the hell she was doing, no. He tried to be the hero, and it backfired. And Scully was the victim. Please don't tell her I just called her the victim.

When I got that call, my heart stopped beating. This is what I mean about us being codependent. My body thought that Scully was dead, so it started to go through the process of dying itself. And it would scare Scully that I have no problem with this. I would much rather be dead than live in a world where she was not there.

After Peyton Ritter had assured me that Scully was alive (and my heart started beating again), he explained to me the details as to how she had been shot. And that made me want to reach through the phone and kill the man. He shot my partner! She was in pain and laying in a cold hospital because of him!

I slammed the phone down on the receiver and ran out of my apartment to her. Later, when I returned, I found that I had left the TV and lights on in my bedroom. But that would not be for awhile. I stayed with Scully that night, sitting by her bed, holding her hand. I didn't leave for another day, and even then, she had to force me out. Later in the week, I took her home and helped her get settled in. She had to force me out then, too.

I was not surprised when I opened the door. Scully and I had a habit of showing up at each others' places in the middle of the night. The state she was in, though, alarmed me.

"Scully," I said, pulling her in without question. She was wrapped in a coat, a parka-like thing that I vaguely remember from a case back in the Arctic Circle, but she was still shivering.

"The heat at my apartment, it's not working," she said through chattering teeth, "and the pain medication I've been taking has lowered my blood pressure. I'm so cold, Mulder."

She didn't have to say anything more, the heat was up as high as it could go within seconds. I sat her down by the furnace.

"It'll be okay, Scully," I assured her, propping her feet up to actually rest on the hot slab of metal. I took her hands in mine, and they were like ice.

"Jesus, Scully, how long did you wait to come over here?"

"It's not important, Mulder," she said, trying to avoid the obvious fact that it had been too long.

"Do you want something to drink? I could put on some coffee, or tea if you don't want to wait that long."

She nodded. When she took the first sip of warm tea, I saw her face brighten up. But she was still shivering. Luckily, I had been through this once before with her. And, just like in Antarctica after I woke up, I wrapped my body around her's. She didn't push me off then, and she didn't push me off now. We sat there, in my warming apartment, with her in my arms, until we both fell asleep. I felt like her knight in shining armor.

Please don't tell her that.