Title: Heartbeat
Author: M. H. Greathouse
Completed: September 2000
Category: VRA
Keywords: MSR
Spoilers: Requiem; also mentions a spoiler that I've read a few times about the Season 8 premiere
Rated: G
Distribution: If you want it you can have it! Just let me know so I can come visit.
Disclaimer: Nope, don't own 'em. Just playing around. I'm just a poor college student trying to get rid of some nervous/creative energy. Please don't sue me!!

Summary: A journey through Scully's thoughts during her pregnancy and the search for Mulder.

Author's Note: Most of this takes place inside of Scully's mind. Her actions are inside of brackets, so that it's clear when I switch from what's going on in her head to what she's doing.

Special thanks to my Betas--D, Sary, and Emily. Without you this story would still be sitting on a disk collecting dust.

[Scully stands in the center of Mulder's apartment, looking out the window but not seeing anything. She feeds the lone surviving fish in the aquarium before sitting on the sofa, resting her cheek against the Indian blanket slung over the back.]

His heartbeat. I think that's what I miss the most about Mulder, is falling asleep with my head against his chest, just listening to his heartbeat. I don't understand how something so simple always made me feel so safe, and so loved, but it did.

There are days that I still have trouble believing he's gone. Days that I'll get up in the morning, get dressed, and go to work, and it's only when I walk through the door of our office in the basement that I remember. That it hits me. He's not coming in today.

[She stands and slowly paces the length of the apartment, to the front door. She puts her hand on the doorknob but drops it back to her side without opening the door. She instead turns and walks to his bedroom and stands in the doorway staring at his bed, empty except for a black T-shirt, lying in a wrinkled pile near the foot.]

But I can't let myself believe that he's dead. I can't accept that unless I know it. Unless I have proof. I need him too much. This baby...our baby...needs him too much.

Our baby...that's something that I never would have expected. All this time, doctors have told me I wouldn't be able to have children. Emily was my only chance. Now here I am, having our child, a child that I hoped for so many times, but that I never dared to believe I would actually receive. And he's not here to share it all with me. He wasn't with me the first time I heard our baby's heartbeat, loud and strong.

[She picks up the T-shirt and holds it to her nose, breathing in the scent of him. Not the scent of his cologne or deodorant, but the clean scent that is Mulder. She smiles even as tears begin to well up in her eyes.]

I don't know how to do this without him. I know that I have to, and I'll find a way, but living without Mulder seems so...

[She lays down on her side, her hands balling the pillow up under her cheek where she can smell his scent, her eyes closed.]

Impossible. Going on with my life without Mulder by my side is impossible. He's become an important part of my life. An important part of me...of my mind...of my heart.

Is this what he went through when I was missing all those years ago? We'd only been working together for a year then, and weren't in love...or at least I hadn't admitted to myself that he could be anything more than a co-worker, and maybe a friend. But did he feel this lost? Did he feel like a part of him, a limb, had been ripped away?

[A lonely tear traces its way down Scully's cheek as she speaks softly.]

"You know, Mulder, when I'm here, in your home, in your bed, I can almost feel you with me. I can almost feel your arms around me. If I listen hard enough I think I can hear you."

[She brings one hand down to softly rub her stomach.]

"God, Mulder, where are you? There are so many things going on that I want to share with you. So many things I want to tell you...things I thought I had all the time in the world to say to you. I hope you know that I love you."

[She curls into a ball as a sob escapes her throat, and tears fall unchecked from her eyes. As her breathing begins to slow she wipes the tears from her cheek with the shirt then clutches it against her face. She closes her eyes and allows sleep to overtake her mind.]

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