Title: Questions Answered
Summary: They're stuck in a forest after solving a case. Questions get personal, and feelings are confronted.
Dedication: to my bestest friend - she knows who she is - without whom my life would be over. I love you to bits and thanX.
The two of them sat alone, listening to the sounds that echoed around them. The sounds of a forest asleep in the dark yet alive in its secrets enfolded within. He rested his head on top of hers, his nose snuggling itself into her soft red hair. His breath flooded over her in a wave of warm reassurance, his comforting arm around her reinforcing her feeling of safety.
They had been there since sunset, waiting for the light and the rescuers who would hopefully be out in search of them. She went over the memories of the day gone by; of their hunt and eventual entrapment of the creature which had been responsible for the deaths of nine young children. She abandonned the thoughts and decided to concentrate on sleep. She was tired and knew that she'd need the energy for tomorrow's trek back to civilisation. For now though, she concentrated her vision on the dying flames of the campfire that she and her partner had managed to make and light - contrary to the last time that they had been stuck in a forest.
She felt her partner stir. He moved slightly, lifting his head. She felt him fixing her with his gaze, carefully watching her face, searching to find the contents of her thoughts. She didn't know why she allowed him to do this to her, as with anyone else she found it very uncomfortable. She was highly
private, and this action had always felt like an intrusion, but for some
reason, she didn't care when it was him. She continued to gaze into the flames and think about the quiet stillness and beauty of this forest filled with life.
"Scully, who do you love?"
His voice broke her silent reverie with a stark shock. She tensed slightly and turned to look at him. His eyes looked deep into her, searching out this truth unseen. After a moment of contemplation she decided that she didn't mind him asking and relaxed a little. She cast her eyes around them as she thought, before slowly beginning to talk.
"Mom, Bill and Charles... baby Matthew... Dad and Missy. I still love them even though they're gone. Emily."
She looked down, watching her hands. For a few seconds there was silence, almost as though the forest had stopped, awaiting her answer. She looked up again, fixing her partner with her blue eyes which sparkled in the light of the fire and moon.
"And you, Mulder, I guess I love you."
He looked temporarily stunned, as though her reply was something completely unexpected. She looked back down at her hands which danced a nervous waltz together.
"How do you love me?"
"*How*?" she looked up with her ever-questioning eyes.
"How?" he replied softly with a steady gaze.
"Ummm, I don't know Mulder. That's difficult... Not like I love my family. You are... I don't know! Special? I can't tell you 'how' exactly I love you, it's just a love that is *there*. I couldn't even tell you how long it's been there or how big or deep it is, I just know that it's there."
He nodded and they sat again in silence. Minutes past. A comfortable silence filled with words unspoken and actions undone.
"Who do *you* love, Mulder?"
Looking up, their eyes met. Both filled with questions. Then his eyes lost their torment, became calm, yet deadly serious.
She frowned a little before smiling and looking back down. They sat quietly, contently, happy and peaceful.
Suddenly he felt her stiffen. She abruptly stood up and stretched, faking a yawn.
"Mulder, we need to get some sleep. I'm going to go over there and try get some rest."
She had adopted her clinical tone of voice; distanced. Detached. He felt like protesting but when his eyes hinted his inner annoyance, she shot him a cold stare. Ouch. He sighed and resigned himself to compliance.
"Stay close, Scully, this forest could be filled with wild creatures ready to gobble you up," he joked.
Her eyes softened, detecting his worry within the joke, and she smiled. "Mulder I'll be fine. I have my gun, right?"
"Yeah, sure, but what about keeping warm? You said..."
"We have a fire, Mulder, I'm sure we'll both be fine. Last time we were stuck like this, we didn't have a fire so we *had* to cuddle together. That's not necessary this time."
She lay down, her back to Mulder and settled herself. End of conversation.
He sat looking at her. He didn't understand. She had been so close, why now so distant? He knew the answer really; she was scared that she'd lose him, that it'd all be over between them, and she'd just get hurt. Surely she knew that she could trust him?
"Scully, are you awake?" he called out to her.
She forced her eyes firmly shut. She *would* be asleep. She did not want to be awake. She lay still, unmoving, unresponding.
Was that soft whisper the wind? Her eyes shot open. He had said that she was beautiful. Then, with that quiet reassurance, she relaxed, gently closed her eyes and drifted into sleep.
He saw her body seemingly relax and smiled. He settled down, and stared up at the sky. The bright moon shining down upon them. He felt wonderful and whole.
Hope you enjoyed it! However, I don't take feedback, sorry. Maybe I'll set up an e-mail address for it one day, but right now, I can't.