Title: This Place, This Bed, This Woman, This Child
Author: Gillian (cerulean_blue)
Written: November 2001
E-mail: blue_cerulean@hotmail.com
Rating: G, gentle
Spoilers: new spoilers about season 9
Disclaimer: These characters and all things X-Files are the property of CC and 1013. Story created out of
respect for that amazing gift.
Comments: I have read, reluctantly, some spoilers for season 9. The first, of what will probably be many, missing moments.

Summary: The morning before Mulder leaves, and why.

Dedication: to Sophie and Jane. Thank you for asking to read my stories.

He lay and tried to take in everything that he was feeling. On one side of him, Scully lay sleeping. The cadence of her light breathing set his pulse racing. Her gentle smell. God. That smell had been on his clothing for years. He had grown used to that scent as if it was his own. He had always known when she had been in the office, or was in the room, or was walking up behind him. He breathed in deeply. The scent of Scully sleeping beside him felt so comforting, but at the same time set him on fire.

To the other side of him, he could feel the presence of the small bassinette and the breath sounds of their tiny, miraculous child. Their son. The hugeness of that was not lost on him, even now. In the three months that he had been back that realization had been the most enormous of all. They had wept together at the idea that the life she carried inside of her was actually the product of their love. And, they had talked for hours to come to the place of realization that even if there was some other force that had brought this child's life into being, he would always be the product of their love.

He was their son, regardless. Eight years of partnership had brought the three of them here. Home.

And now, things were about to shift again. What would happen next? The call from Kersh had come, unexpectedly out of the blue. The meeting had been short and terse. The outcome had rocked his world. There was no question that he was now a very real threat to forces at the F.B.I. that he couldn't begin to comprehend. The shadow conspiracy he had chased for years had been just that. A shadow. Infiltrated into unforeseen depths at all levels of power, but still somehow in the margins. What Kersh had shown him was undeniable. Unbelievable, to the extent that it was actually believable.

He had left Kersh's office in order to be alone and figure out what to do. And, he would have done that. Gone for a long walk and then come to some conclusion about what he should do. Where he should go. How he should deal with this incredible, awful news. But in the seconds between leaving Kersh's office and exiting the building he became aware that who he was had fundamentally changed. An amazing, beautiful, shaking realization. This was not his decision to make. Any choice that he made now had to be made with Scully, and had to be made with William at the centre. "The truth we both know," he had said. And it was absolutely true. The truth. William was their son. They were now even more integrally connected than either of them could imagine. And no longer could he dream of making a decision, of any magnitude, without them.

So, he went home. Home. Even the word gave him shivers to say. This place, this bed, this woman, this child. He had never really felt at home anywhere. For years he had lived as a visitor in his own apartment, preferring to sleep as if a guest on his own couch. And now, he was at home. Funny. It was as if the search had been solely for this. The search for Samantha, for the Truth, might actually have been a search for home. And, while just within his grasp for eight years, neither of them had been ready until now.

And now, he had to go.

The irony if that was even the word was that by telling Scully what Kersh had shown him, it left him in the very same place that it would have left him if he had made the decision alone. There was no choice but to leave. The part that he couldn't fathom, though, was that the decision for him to leave was Scully's. She had looked him in the eyes and said the words. He couldn't bear to do it. The idea of being away from them, now that he had finally found them, come home to them, ripped his heart in a way that left him breathless and aching. Oh God. Less than 48 hours after finally confirming what the two of them had known, perhaps from the day they met, that they would be together always, he was going to leave.

From the moment he walked in the door, she knew. It had taken every fibre of her being to let him go to Kersh alone. She felt that she had insight into Kersh that Mulder didn't have, given the months he had been missing. But, she let him go. And, when he walked through the door to her apartment, she could instantly read in his face that what he had learned had been beyond even their wildest and worst fears.

He told the story quietly and gently. And then with head down, he had begged her not to make him go. But she was resolute. She couldn't imagine her world, and their son's world, without him. They had lived through his death once, she couldn't bear to risk losing him again. It was inconceivable to her that they could live without each other. So, whatever it would take to keep him safe, that was the choice that had to be made.

He had wanted to argue with her. But he couldn't. He didn't want to miss a moment of William's life, and he didn't want to leave her. Especially with the spectre of what they were facing so unknown. But the look in her eyes. It said so many things. You don't know what I went through when you were dead. You can never understand the extent of that pain. I will not go through that again. You are my world, and I will not risk losing you.

He had never seen a look like that in his entire life. In some ways, and it seemed so strange to think it, it was the most beautiful moment of his life. Knowing, with undeniable certainty, that this woman, his Scully, his partner, his friend, his lover, and the mother of his child, loved him. Words were not enough.

And, now, it was time to go. She had agreed to one more night together. They had mostly just held each other, laughed and cried. Talked about what will come next. Once, and when, he comes home. They made a plan for keeping in contact, and a series of promises that were beyond either of them to break. And they talked, at last, about this unbelievable, enormous, and binding love. The gift.

She had fallen asleep, finally, and probably against her will. But he couldn't sleep. He needed these last few minutes with her and with William. His cases were packed. The story was ready. They were about to set in motion the plan that would eventually truly enable them to be free. And when that time came, no matter how long it took, they would come together again. There was no doubt in that, whatsoever.

All that was left now was to get up, have a shower, pick up the cases and go. So simple, and yet the most agonizing steps of his life. For real and meaningful freedom. The decision was the right one, no matter how painful. It would keep her safe. And it would enable them finally to leave all of this behind and embrace the life that both of them had been chasing for years.

He reached for her. His desire to be near her was so strong. To feel her fit into the crook of his body. It was as if they had been touching this way for the eight years they had been partners. Like they had been lovers their whole lives. She was awake now. He felt her body tense up, probably at the memory that this was the morning that he was going to go. She turned and moved into him, her head on his shoulder, her legs entwined in his, her arm across chest, her hand resting lightly on his heart. Nestled into him as if they were one.

It gave him courage, this feeling of being completed by her. The strength to do as she asked of him. For her sake and for the family that they had created together. Without hesitation he knew that he had the courage of her beliefs. It was time to go.

the end, for now

Please read my other stories:

  • A small, brightly wrapped parcel
  • Which is what?
  • You are always here
  • 4 weeks, 3 days, 7 hours
  • Thank you for coming back to us
  • I will come home, I promise
  • Partners in all other senses of the word

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