a/n: you were all asking for another chapter, and I knew the last one wasn't going to be the last. hopefully this brings more closure to the story as a whole. if not, well, at least there's more of the family to love. enjoy!
Thumping music filled the hall, and tired bodies were bumping up against each other effortlessly. Most women didn't care about the pain they would feel tomorrow caused by their high heels, but Scully did. She was sitting at their table in the corner, gently rocking her two-year-old son back and forth slowly, watching Mulder and their daughters cut a rug on the dance floor. As the song ended, all three of them came stumbling over toward her.
"I tell you, you Scullys really know how to throw a wedding," Mulder panted, leaning over to kiss her and their son on the head. The night was still pretty young, and he was nowhere near sleep. They both knew that she was just using him as an excuse not to get out on the dance floor at her cousin Terry's wedding reception. For some reason, she was more self-conscious around her extended family than anybody else.
"I'll accept that compliment on behalf of the family," Scully let him have a small smile. She knew she was being a party pooper.
The unmistakable sounds of a piano intro began to play, and Mulder's eyes got wide. Scully immediately began shaking her head, knowing exactly what he wanted without him having to say it. Fifteen years together had provided her the ability to decipher exactly what he was thinking, although in this instance it wasn't very difficult.
"No Mulder," she said with an air of finality.
"Please, Scully? Please please please, you know how much I love Tiny Dancer," he begged. Being fifteen, Anna could plainly see how badly Mulder wanted to dance with her mother, and decided to help him along in his quest.
"Come on Mom, I'll take Will," Anna held out her hands and her brother went into them willingly.
"Yeah, come on Mommy," Emily piped in and made sure she was heard, middle child syndrome having gotten the best of her not long after her baby brother was born.
"Scully, please. For Elton John," Mulder pouted. With four sets of eyes on her, she couldn't stand the heat anymore, and finally gave in.
"Fine," she groaned, letting Mulder take her by the hands and not allowing herself to admit how wonderful it felt to be whisked away by him. Once they were on the floor amongst all the other couples (her parents included), Mulder decided to forgo clasping hands and just wrapped his arms around her entire body. It always amazed him how even after three children, she was still as slim as she was the first day he met her. And how her body seemed so fragile and delicate, while at the same time being so strong. She was the only person who could take him down with just a mere look. He'd never be able to overcome her and he was happy about that.
"Uh, don't you think your hands are a little low for a family wedding? Especially when our three children are watching us?" Scully asked, resting her head against Mulder's chest.
"Hopefully they won't follow in the footsteps of their dirty daddy," Mulder whispered seductively in her ear. It sent shivers up and down her spine.
"You smell incredible."
Scully didn't respond, and he rubbed her back soothingly.
"Is something the matter?"
"I just… hate family weddings," Scully admitted, looking past Mulder's right shoulder to see the disapproving gaze of her Aunt Olive as she danced with her husband. Even though he didn't see the glances being exchanged, they'd been through this before. Mulder sighed.
"I'll marry you right here if you'd let me. You know I would," he felt it important to remind her. They'd discussed marriage many time during the course of their relationship, Scully turning Mulder down each time he tried to propose. Mulder hadn't really helped his own case. The only times he had popped the question were after catastrophic family disapprovals of their relationship, like when her cousin Sarah passed up Emily for flower girl in her wedding because her parents lived in sin. Or after he'd suffered a hernia and she and Bill had exchanged harsh words outside his hospital room concerning her rights. She always told him that their love didn't need to be cheapened by a piece of paper.
But Mulder still did want to feel the weight of a ring on his finger. A ring symbolizing everything they had shared for fifteen years.
"I know. I just don't want it to be because someone shoots us a dirty look or makes a rude comment. I don't want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that their disapproval was what made us do it."
"But you do know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you, right?" he put their foreheads together and she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Yes. Just like I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
"So we're good there."
In the far corner that Mulder and Scully had just emerged from, Maggie was making her way over to her grandchildren. But the truth was that she could have come running up to them in flames and they wouldn't have noticed. All three of them were watching their parents sway back and forth. Maggie took a seat next to Anna, reaching for Will's hand.
"Having fun tonight babies?" she asked.
Emily nodded, but Anna was silent. Maggie looked deeper into her first grandchild's eyes, though Anna didn't acknowledge her at all.
"What are you thinking about?"
"Mom and Dad. I know it's weird to watch your parents be romantic, but I want that," Anna explained. Three years ago, Mulder legally adopted Anna and given her his last name. It wasn't long after that she began calling him "dad." Mrs. Scully remembered that night, her daughter had called her in happy tears explaining everything that happened. It was one of the most joyous phone calls the woman could ever remember receiving. And then later that year, everyone learned that Dana and Mulder were going to be blessed with another child. Things were falling into place for them, but of course, they were still doing it their own way.
Maggie chuckled and let her eyes fall on her daughter and the man in her life as well. Even if she hadn't known their story, she knew how deeply they were connected with each other. They had the love and adoration for each other that was usually reserved only for newlyweds or couples that had been together for fifty years.
"You have plenty of time, Miss Anna," her grandmother reminded her, stroking her fingers through her creamy bangs. She looked so much like Dana at fifteen.
"Your mother and Anna look like they're conspiring something," Mulder noticed over his love's shoulder.
"Probably the same thing they've been conspiring since I've known you."
Mulder let a small laugh escape his lips, but then pressed them lightly against Scully's cheek. Before he pulled his face away from hers, he nuzzled his nose near her ear. After this, Scully rested her head on his chest and was almost lulled to sleep standing up by the sound of his beating heart.
"Tell me about your wedding dress," he asked her. It was a game they played sometimes. Their future wedding had been mostly planned already just through their musings on it together.
"It's white with tiny pearls sewn into it. It's fitting around the bust but flows at the bottom so that we can dance all night to songs just like this one. It's perfect. I want to look perfect for you," Scully's eyes are closed as she visualizes being wrapped up in Mulder's arms just like she was then, but at their own reception and not her cousin's.
"You always do. What does your hair look like?"
"I hope that it will be a little longer by then so that I can pin it up in curls on my head. There are a few loose curls hanging down because I know how much you like brushing it back behind my ears."
The heat growing between them was almost unimaginable, but Mulder kept dancing slowly as if nothing was out of the ordinary. It wasn't. But it was.
"Tell me about your ring again." Rings were something they had discussed extensively in the past. It was an outward sign of their shared experience.
"It's white gold with three princess cut diamonds. You know, my favorite number is three. It's engraved on the inside, probably with something strange only you and I would be able to understand. It's not big or gaudy, it's just…" she opened her eyes when she felt Mulder's hand move and was greeted with the sight of the exact ring she was describing.
"Us," Mulder finished for her. Scully took the ring in her fingers, immediately looking to the engraving she had always noted, but never described.
"Worth the wait," she read, tears brimming her eyelids.
It really was.