a/n: this is a piece I wrote maybe two years ago on paper, and just found it recently. it struck a chord with me, and I criticized myself for not sharing this with you earlier. hopefully you like it. I did very little to this besides type it up and post.

The Failure

by: dear pearlie

He watches her from across the room.

They have so many inside jokes that they have entire conversations consisting of only them.

They know each others' touch as if it were incorporated into their memory long before they met. Like it was a part of their being.

She is the only woman that he has ever felt comfortable enough with to just touch in the casualness of everyday life.

He is the only man who has ever known where she keeps her plates, cups, mugs, and silverware.

If he drinks out of a water bottle, she has no problem picking up the same water bottle and taking a drink, even though she's a doctor.

They've seen each other naked, but they've never been on a real date.

He uses her key more than he does his own.

Movie nights are more important to her than mass on Sunday.

When times get rough, and no one's watching, he holds her hand. He clings to it.

When things get a little worse, he showers her forehead and cheeks with meaningful kisses.

It was a time like this when he realized that things needed to stop. Something needed to change. Roller coasters are for teenagers.

Things had gotten so bad that he'd crawled into bed with her. At her insistence. He let her ball his shirt up with her fists and scream her pain into his chest. It was during this that he realized that while things can change in an instant, this had been building between them for a long time. And they were too far gone.

They could not commit themselves to any other person because there simply was no more left of either of them to give. They could not go back.

Dana Scully had shed her jacket before she collapsed onto her bed, but she couldn't say exactly where it was. Her eyes were more tear-filled than ever when her partner picked it up off the floor and hung it in her closet.

Fox Mulder knew that when his best friend cried, she was inwardly punishing herself. She knew the procedure was a long shot. Nobody had hidden that fact from her, or tried to sugar-coat her chances in any way. She felt she shouldn't have gotten her hopes up. And though she was crying because this was her last chance, she had almost no idea that the man who was her rock in this, and every, storm was holding back the exact same amount of tears she was finally letting go for the very same reason. He knew that when Scully was diagnosed as infertile and her hopes of having a child instantly slipped away, so did his. Just because he could have dreams about their uberSculders with their red hair and their heightened propensity for corrective lenswear later in life did not mean they would exist. No matter how much they deserved to.

But Mulder had to keep these tears at bay. Because this was Scully's dream. Not his.

The math did not work out. One dream plus a dish of sperm times a test tube does not always equal a baby.

"Why?" she managed to whimper during a moment where the laws of nature reminded Scully that if she wanted to feel like she was dying slowly, she needed more oxygen.

It was a valid question. If there were a good answer out there, Mulder would have loved to hear it. To him, there was no good reason why the most selfless, caring, deserving, loyal woman he had ever known should have to experience the kind of pain Scully was. And on his behalf. Mulder's heart constricted at the thought that he may as well have reached into her and killed their child himself. She knew she had given up so much of herself for her country, for other people, for God… for him.

And none of them, including him, could give her the only thing she wanted. He should have been able to give that to her. Of all people, Mulder felt he should have been the one who was able to give Scully the most precious gift. After all, she had asked him to. It was only fair and even that wouldn't even begin to pay her back for everything she had done for him.

Before he knew it, Mulder was wiping tears from his own cheeks. Angry tears directed at the men who had made this tragedy possible. At God for giving so many undeserving people children at the expense of those who actually wanted them, like Scully. Mostly his anger was saved for himself. Mulder knew, and nobody could convince him otherwise, that she would never have to cry again had it not been for him. Without his quest, Dana Scully would most likely be married to the luckiest man in the world with a whole baseball team of kids by now. She would have the nice house in the suburbs with the big back yard and the white picket fence. Instead of OPR meetings about government conspiracies, she'd have PTO meetings about how to give children a more nutritious lunch program. She'd wear light colored sweaters instead of suits. She'd drive a minivan and have every dream come true.

He loved her with every beat of his heart, plus some borrowed that would show up on his credit report, but if getting out of her life would ensure her all of that, he would leave immediately. He wished things worked like that.

"It's not fair, Scully. And God is a bastard," Mulder tried to explain, running his fingers through her hair and at the base of her neck.

There had to be tears with this news, she knew. It was one of those appropriate times, even for her, to cry. This was real life, not like watching a sad made-for-TV movie at all. But she never thought that tears for their child that would never be would be coming from Mulder. Scully picked her heavy head up off his chest to look in his eyes. She saw herself.

"Please don't cry, Mulder," Dana Scully, the hypocrite, pleaded. That was one of the many wishes that Mulder couldn't grant, though. He had to keep crying. It was his baby too.

"Mulder… Mulder, please," she begged, which only caused them both to cry harder. The more they tried to stop, the more difficult it was.

"I wanted… I wanted you to drive a minivan," he confessed, and he knew that she would know exactly what he was trying to say. And for some reason, for some very human reason, those simple words sent her over the edge.

For the rest of the night, they lay there in each others' arms, sometimes crying, sometimes not, but mostly hanging on to each other because they knew that if they let go, all of the hope that lay beyond Scully's pregnancy would be gone. And while they would do anything for each other, that would be something that neither of them knew how to regain.

I'd love to continue, but it will take some time to do this piece justice. I hope you enjoy!