To say her sleep patterns had been disturbed was an understatement. She wondered if he was sleeping nice and tight. She figured as much, especially in the arms of someone he loved. It had been about a month since she last saw him. A month of getting very little sleep. Her mind was preoccupied as of late. She couldn't believe that Mulder would think she'd be this petty, better yet, she couldn't believe that he had changed so much in 3 years that he wouldn't believe her. He was hurt, that she knew, but that was no reason to lash out the way he did, particularly since so much time had gone by. The phrase "he should be over it by now" did cross her mind, but she knew that was unfair. She knew that had the cards been reversed and she had been the one left, she wouldn't be so welcoming either. Her mind was some sort of blended thoughts and feelings, and so she spent her nights tossing and turning and thinking instead of sleeping.
She'd been making her rounds to the people she used to know before she dropped off the face of the earth. She'd discovered just how fun the Lone Gunmen were. Sure she'd thought they were nice and fun before, but she'd been seeing a new side of them. Byers being the proper one, Langly provided the comedic relief, and Frodihike the sweet protective friend. She'd confided in them her reason for leaving Mulder, she'd confided in Frodihike on Mulder's reaction when she explained, or when she tried to explain, why she had left. She had cried on his shoulder, and he'd wiped her tears away. Every day got better, but there wasn't a day where she didn't think of him.
She had been going over to their place every Thursday for the past month for movie night. They loved her company and she loved theirs. They rarely discussed Mulder nowadays, partly because they knew it hurt her to speak of him and partly because he rarely made visits. This particular Thursday, they were all huddled around the TV watching the latest action movie. Although Scully complained most of the time on their movie choices, she secretly loved it, and they secretly loved her teasing. As the movie reached its plot turning twist, there was a knock on the door.
"What the hell?" Frodihike said as he pushed himself off the sofa and made his way into the other room to answer the door. Scully and Langly looked at each other for a minute, shrugged their shoulders and kept watching the movie. That was until she heard his voice. Mulder was there. More importantly, Mulder was here. Mulder was in the other room. Her heart started racing. She heard his voice getting closer and she froze, unable to move, she just sat there. A petrified look on her face.
"…so you mean to tell me you guys are just…." Mulder was caught off guard as he walked in to find a scared-looking Scully looking straight at him. He forgot all he was saying, and all he could think about was what an asshole he had been to her the last time he had seen her. They stared at each other for what seemed hours. Scully abruptly looked away, and scanned the floor with her eyes.
"umm. I can come back later, I see you guys are busy with company." Mulder said as he started to turn away to leave.
"No!" Scully broke away from the haze she was in and regained all composure, and old Scully was back, "Actually, I will leave. I'll see you guys later." She said and walked past all of them before anyone could react. Before they knew it all they heard was the door shut.
Frodihike sighed, loudly, and walked over and took his seat on the couch. His face spoke of anger, but he wasn't speaking it out loud. Langly and Byers just sat there, unsure of what to do.
"She's so quick to run. Typical." Mulder said.
"Oh shut the fuck up, Mulder." Frodihike said, stunning Mulder, "You are such an arrogant dick, I can't even believe you would even THINK of saying that. Yes, she hurt you, but that was 3 years ago. She's come back to make her peace with you, nothing else, and you call her a liar. So not only has she had to go through hell to beat some shitty disease that she did NOTHING to deserve, but she comes back to beg you to forgive her, and you are so quick to judge. Why don't you go back to your little GIRLFRIEND, and leave us alone for once. I can't believe you've turned into this." Frodihike said as he walked past him and left the apartment himself, leaving a stunned Mulder behind.
Scully had been in her apartment for a good 20 minutes before there was a knock on the door. In those 20 minutes she'd decided to stop seeing the Gunmen, she felt their lives were being affected by what was going on with her and Mulder, and she would not make her friends choose, so she would make the decision for them. Besides, they were Mulder's friends before they were hers. She opened the door and was surprised to find Mulder standing on the other side.
"Can I come in?" Mulder asked her, there was a different feel about him. now.
"Uh, sure." She stepped aside and let him in to her place, how he found out where she lived was a mystery to her, though not a surprise, but she didn't care about how he got here, just that he was here. Now. He stood there awkwardly, not knowing how welcomed he was at her place now. Nothing compared to how he used to come in without knocking, take his shoes off and prop his feet on the table, but that was years ago. Another lifetime.
They stood there looking at each other for a moment before she spoke, "Can I help you with something?"
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Can we talk, I'm sorry I wasn't listening before. But, I think I am ready now, I just hope that you are willing to talk to me again."
"um. Yeah. Sure. Take a seat; I can make us some coffee." She said.
After the coffee was made, she sat down. They sat on opposite sides of the couch. As far away from each other as possible.
She spoke first.
"Well, I just want you to know that I am not trying to ruin anything in your life at the moment. I am glad you're happy, that you've found someone who makes you happy. I just feel the need to explain to you why things happened the way they did, I don't want you to still hate me. I want us to try and be cordial to each other. We will probably never be friends again, because, at least for me, it would be too hard, but if we could at least be acquaintances and be able to say hi to one another that would be nice."
He nodded. She stared at him, seemingly deciding weather to try this again or not.
"I went in for a check up a month or so before I left, they found the cancer had spread and metastasized to my liver & lungs. They told me at the most I had 6 months left. I wasn't sure what to do. I almost told you a thousand times, but it was one of those things where I had something good in my life and didn't want to ruin it. So I decided that it was best if I never told you, let you believe I was just gone and not dead. I know how it was for you when I was sick the first time around, and I didn't want you to go through that again." Tears danced in her eyes but she kept them there, she took a deep breath, she looked everywhere but at him, "I wanted you to hate me so that you would look for comfort in someone else, because I wanted you to move on and have a life. I sold most of my belongings, and moved in with my mom while I went through some chemo and radiation so that they could 'make my time better'. I was referred to a Dr. who was conducting experimental trials in Houston, and I went down there, and here I am now. I was so happy, no, I am so happy to be alive, and to have a new chance. The only thing I regret is never telling you because things would be so much different now. I understand that you have a different life now, and that's what my intent was from the beginning, all I want from you is to not harbor any ill feelings towards me. I know that what I did was not ideal, but in my own twisted mind it was for your benefit. I'm sorry." She finally managed to look at him. He had his head in his hands, visibly upset.
He sighed deeply. Still not looking at her. "Scully, the day you left, I….I just don't think I've recovered. I love Ella. I do." was all he said. Maybe he was trying to convince himself.
"Mulder." She reached out her hand and touched his, "I'm not expecting anything from you. I just want you and I to be ok if we're in the same room, I want to know that if I'm at the Lone Gunmen's and you come in, I don't have to run away." She said retrieving her hand as he made eye contact. They looked at each other for a moment until he broke the contact and rested his head on the back of her couch and closed his eyes, releasing a long loud sigh. She looked at him, and she was stuck in some sort of space where only the two of them existed.
"Oh Scully." He said as he opened his eyes and looked at her. As he looked at her, he realized that she was on the verge of a breakdown. Her face gave her away as she struggled to keep herself together. She got up and attempted to walk towards her bathroom. He reached for her arm as she got up and pulled her towards him. Before she realized what was happening, she was in his arms, and he was holding her tight. Tighter than ever. Her control was lost. She was now sobbing into his shirt and holding him tight. He kissed her temple and ran his hand through her hair.
"I'm sorry….I'm so sorry…" She said in between sobs. They sat there together as she cried for a love that was lost to both of them.