TITLE: WIP: The Return (part 8/?)
AUTHOR: CB Files (aka charvill)
Summary: There are some things you just can't escape
I feel the bed move behind me, and open my eyes to find pink, late-afternoon sunlight peeking through the hideous curtains Mulder picked out during his domestic/interior-decorator/online-shop-a-h
"Hey," his smooth voice says, floating over the side of my face to tickle the stray wisps of hair on my cheek. "Good nap?"
It was, I think, choosing simply to sigh my content. His hand smoothes my hair back from my face and I search his eyes. Mulder has, of course, treated me with kid gloves since he found out about my "condition" two weeks ago. It was the same way those many lifetimes ago when I was first diagnosed with cancer. And, though he doesn't hesitate to have a "friendly" argument over theories, possible treatments, and the like, waking me from a nap is not normal, Mulder behavior.
"Why does something have to be wrong?" he asks, stroking the tips of his fingers from my naked thigh, up over my panty line, beneath my tank-top to gently cup my left breast.
"Mulder..." I warn. Like he doesn't know...
The bastard actually chuckles! "Nothing's wrong, Scully." His full lips part into a wide smile, making him look twenty years younger. "You couldn't be further off, actually."
"Okay, now you're starting to scare me." I gently maneuver out from under his hand to sit up. He continues to touch me and chooses to remain silent. Coming out of the short nap has muddied my brain and I am hit with the paranoid feeling that maybe this was his plan. I quickly push that unhealthy thought away and I suddenly remember where he'd gone that morning. "Did something happen in DC?"
He takes my face between his hands, his lips parting slightly like he's about to speak, and then he crushes his lips against mine. I try to push him away but he deepens the kiss, pushing me back down against the mattress; I am lost in the heady feeling. We haven't made love since the night he found out about my cancer.
An hour later, we are lying naked, sated and drowsy from our physical excursions as we watch the sun's final rays disappear from the room. Mulder tucks my head beneath his chin and pulls me into the warmth of his chest.
"You have no idea how much I love you, Scully," he says in a voice so soft that I wonder if it wasn't meant for me to hear.
I respond by squeezing my arms around him, bringing him even closer than he already is, and feel his lips press a chaste kiss to the top of my head. As our silence grows longer, my analytical mind begins dissecting his earlier confession. It's not that we never express our feelings, but it's never been a prevalent part of our relationship and I wonder if it was tied to the reason for his waking me. I want to tell my brain to shut the hell up and enjoy the moment ---God only knows when we'll get another one--- but...but...
"I can feel you thinking."
His classic line has me chuckling and my nose is tickled by the soft hairs on his chest. Mulder rolls away just enough to look at me and, feeling my face flush from the embarrassment of being caught, I am suddenly grateful for the new darkness of the bedroom.
"I was, actually."
"Mmm-hmm," he chides and I can just imagine the glint in his eyes. "I told you before, Scully: everything's okay."
"So how was Skinner?" I ask, deciding to change the subject. "His agents making his job so easy that he needed to get you out there so he could remember what it's like to be given a hard time?"
"You flirtin' with me?" he jokes. However, there's a nervous edge in his voice and a new rigidity to his body that sets off about a hundred alarms in my head.
I can see ten questions ahead in my newly formed plan of attack. "Maybe," I reply with what I hope is an enticing lilt. "What time did you make it back? I didn't get in bed until after six."
"Not too long after that. Traffic was brutal. Made it easy to remember why we don't frequent the city anymore."
Now that my eyes have adjusted to the lack of light, I prop myself up on my elbows so I could look down on him. He, too, adjusts to my new position, crooking one arm behind his head and openly admiring my bare breasts. Perfect.
"Did you two talk anymore about your possible lecture series at Quantico?"
He is quiet for too long before answering. "Not really. It's pretty much set in stone, so there wasn't a lot more to say on the matter."
"When did that happen?"
He is looking at me with a funny expression. "Last Tuesday, remember? Skinner got a call from Johnson to say they cleared a two-hour block in the fall schedule. I'll be speaking every Monday from one to three."
"Oh." Why didn't I remember him telling me this? It's not important, Dana, my mind scolds and I instantly recall my line of questioning. "So, then what did you two do all day?"
His eyelids droop and, combined with his evasive behavior this evening, I have to remind myself of his assurance that everything is okay. "Mulder?"
Fight it, Dana. Slapping him right now would not solve anything, the angel on my left shoulder rebuked. But, the devil on my right spoke up, it would probably make you feel better. "What did Skinner call you out there for?"
Suddenly he becomes alert, and, startled, I push off my elbows to sit up straight on the bed. "I'm starving. Have you had dinner yet?"
This is not what I expected. And, rendered speechless, I simply shake my head.
"Well, that's good...we may have to go to the store though." He is sitting upright now, too, and looking at me with an intensity that seems a little much for a "what's for dinner" conversation. "I don't think we have any green chiles...and I am really in the mood for some chicken enchiladas."
The air is expelled from lungs like I've been hit by a truck. My heart feels as though it is bleeding from the force and I wonder if mental shock can cause some kind of psychic-internal-bleeding. I know I've got to pull it together, if I really heard what I thought I did. My arms wrap around my body, of their own accord, shielding me from any more sudden blows.
I speak the next words slowly, each one another broken piece of the heart that has tried to heal for so long. "You want to go to the store?"
"Or we could just go out." He is studying me now, making sure I haven't completely lost it yet.
The bleeding stops for a short moment and if I had any air in my body I would gasp. Taken back to a time that was full of danger and spontaneity, when we had almost zero control over our lives, I remember. It had been another lifetime that we had established the code. It was one of the few ways we had to keep our sanity and reestablish the lines of trust that had nearly been severed before his prison break. We never knew when we were being watched, bugged, or whatever and so there were certain topics that we agreed could not be discussed by name. William was the number one subject. It was Mulder who decided on chiles after a night of southwestern food courtesy of some of Albert Hosteen's surviving relatives. Green meant he was safe and red meant...well, I don't even want to think that way. And if we brought the topic up at all then this meant for some reason something had happened to bring him back into our lives.
"Scully?" he calls softly. "Did you hear what I said?"
I nod. We could just go out... William is at Skinner's. Not some random town across the country, but close enough to reach with a short road trip.
My eyes are full of tears and I am suddenly fearful of each coming second. William has been returned to us. For whatever reason. And he is safe. My God, he is eight years old! What will he think when he meets u---and then I remember: Mulder. Mulder was called out to Skinner's alone. They didn't want me there. My eyes narrow ---sending a stream of moisture down my cheeks--- and I open my mouth to unleash my anger, but it snaps shut when I remember he used the code.
I wrap the comforter around me ---my pent up anger leaving me with a strong sense of vulnerability that will not tolerate my nudity, take two steps toward the bathroom, and stop. Mulder watches me turn with an almost bored expression, making me feel predictable, and a new surge of resentment rips through me.
"I'll be ready to leave in twenty." I don't wait for him to acknowledge my statement before retreating inside the closet-sized bathroom. Shutting the door, I give my body permission to break down. My bones turn to jelly as I sink to the floor and I bury my face in my hands. William, William, William.... It is the first time I have allowed myself to think his name so freely in months. And, that was part of the reason I wasn't too upset with resigning my position at the hospital. But, now...
I have no idea how I feel. There are no tears on my face or hands because the inital shock has worn off and, deep down, I know this is a good thing. Our son is safe...and...and what? What is keeping me here, on the floor, in a broken heap of my own emotions?
What the hell am I so afraid of?
END PART 8/?