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15.



He has always teased her about her ability to fall asleep easily, citing natural disasters, the apocalypse; Scully would miss it all. And yet it is Mulder that is lost to the world, now; his bare arm hangs languidly off the side of the bed, the practical cotton sheet tangled around his calf. He breathes deeply and open-mouthed.

She doesn't mention it, but she relishes the feeling of looking at him now as the father of her child. He feels similarly, and is occasionally more vocal about it since saying yes. His hand in its usual place on her lower back sometimes snakes around to her belly, now, lingering for a moment. There is a dreamy look in his eyes; he tries not to seem too eager but fails miserably.

Scully never responds. She does not dare to hope too much, to bring bad luck to her greatest wish, but there are times when she cannot help it, and she hoards those doses of divine happiness in the deepest places inside of her, away from the wicked world.

Lying beside her, Mulder is made holy; he prays to any available god to bring restoration, to bring their child.

Theirs is an understated happiness that slips beneath the radar of the easily identifiable. The first time she asks him to stay the night-- the whole night-- it is a victory akin to the crumbling of the Berlin wall: slowly gained, dangerous, and a sure sign that times were changing. She even allows him to hold on to her now, after, his nose buried deep in the foxy down of her hair, his breath leaking hot onto the skin of her neck.

But then there is work to be done, again, and an amount of professionalism that she will not sacrifice, that she must not lose if this is going to last. All bodes well; she second guesses him and he pokes fun at her scientific rigidity. They just happen to spend most nights in the same bed now.

Padding across the room, she scratches the bottom of his foot with her fingernails, watching him squirm. When he makes no move to wake entirely, she gives him a tap and goes for the bathroom. "C'mon, Mulder, time to get up-- we've got a nine o'clock with Skinner and we were late for the last one."

She doesn't wait for him to respond, just closes the bathroom door and starts the shower.

***

They try to spend the weekends apart, to forge some semblance of separate existences, but inevitably one shows up at the other's door by Sunday night, bored and hungry for company. This week, Scully has brought her overnight bag, a flowery purple thing so unlike her that it makes Mulder laugh whenever he sees it.

He swings the door open to her smiling face and kisses her on the cheek before taking her bags: tomorrow's clothes, Chinese food, and a plastic pharmacy bag.

"Doctor Scully, I presume?"

He is in high spirits; there's a crinkle in his eye as he smiles at her. He sets her overnight bag on the couch and pads off to the kitchen, Chinese food in tow, clanging dishes and slamming cabinets.

Scully takes off her shoes by the front door and turns the padlock.

"I still don't know what you wanted with a disposable camera, Mulder," she calls to him from the living room. She clicks off the television. "We are not watching World's Best Explosions, by the way."

Mulder brings the plates and they eat in near silence, though it is a comfortable one. Scully clicks her teeth together and Mulder offers her a baby corn, which she takes off his fork with a swift bite. She doesn't offer her chow mein, but he guides her hand with its full fork to his own mouth and slurps the noodles up.

It is good to be together, performing this familiar dance.

After dinner, Scully turns the television back on and settles in with some poorly edited version of A Clockwork Orange. She pulls Mulder's discarded jacket from the back of the couch and covers herself with it, her stocking feet resting on his lap. He reads a book, The Legend of the Nova Scotia Werewolf, glasses on, his eyes narrowed in concentration.

After the credits begin to roll, he rises and disappears into the kitchen, and Scully hears ice dropping into a glass, the faucet being run, the shuffling of a plastic bag.

"Scully, come here a second, will you?" he calls to her from the kitchen.

She sighs, getting up from the couch. She stands on her toes for a moment, arms over her head in a deep stretch before yawning. "What is it?"

Walking into the kitchen, she sees Mulder standing there, disposable camera in hand and pointed directly at her.

"Mulder, come on, knock it off," she says, putting her hand over her face. Before she can get it there, the flash lights up the dim kitchen.

She looks at him sternly. "If I'd known this was what you were up to, I would have foregone the trip to Walgreen's." Her eyebrow is up, her lips pursed in annoyance.

He grins and snaps another picture of her, just like that.

"Come on, Scully. Say cheese!"

She grabs the camera from his hand before he can take another picture.

"I'd prefer not to, thanks."

And thus begins another dance; the smile on his face is contagious, and though she is vaguely annoyed, she does not pull away when he reaches for her waist, backing her against the counter. The looks they exchange are heady, full of unfettered longing that never ceases or decreases, no matter how often they are together. Mulder kisses her deeply and feels her moan softly against his mouth, her hands moving through his hair.

"Just one picture," he says. "Of us."

Scully seems to consider this for a moment, and then hands the camera back. He holds it out in front of them, pulling her back to his chest and his arm tightly around her middle. The camera clicks and flashes as they look straight ahead, unable to see one another's faces. They are both smiling, wildly and vividly, that faraway look in their eyes of hope, love, a whole genie's lamp full of wishes.

He puts his mouth to her ear.

"I want the baby to know how happy we are together," he says. "I want us to know, too."

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
macaire
Jul. 23rd, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
O. M. G.

So perfect to read on today - this day when I physically cannot focus on anything other than the countdown to my midnight show. Thank you!!
meamna
Jul. 23rd, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
This was so beautiful.

"I want the baby to know how happy we are together," he says. "I want us to know, too."

This last line just made me melt. Wonderful stuff, absolutely loving these little gems guys.
xtoothfairy
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
Very nice read. I like the normalcy of it all.

Theirs is an understated happiness that slips beneath the radar of the easily identifiable.
This is wonderfully worded. To the public eye they might seem lonely, but they're not when they are together. And they like it that way.

"I want the baby to know how happy we are together," he says. "I want us to know, too."
This broke my heart a little, but in the good way!
outintherain
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)


She pulls Mulder's discarded jacket from the back of the couch and covers herself with it, her stocking feet resting on his lap. He reads a book, The Legend of the Nova Scotia Werewolf, glasses on, his eyes narrowed in concentration.

The Mulder and Scully version of domestic bliss... I adore it :)
dorasolo
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
But then there is work to be done, again, and an amount of professionalism that she will not sacrifice, that she must not lose if this is going to last. All bodes well; she second guesses him and he pokes fun at her scientific rigidity. They just happen to spend most nights in the same bed now.

I've been lurking for awhile now, but this THIS THIS!!! is how I see MSR. Like, summed up into two perfect sentences, right there. It's also how I view most of the 7th season. I cannot be deterred in my thoughts that their relationship is just like this post-"Touchstone" moment. :)

The looks they exchange are heady, full of unfettered longing that never ceases or decreases, no matter how often they are together.

And I think so much of their relationship is communicated nonverbally, through looks and little touches. I'd hope that would continue even if they were "official."

luciddreamer326
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
Wow, this was a really powerful piece. I loved reading every second if it- The whole disposable camera and snapping pictures like people do when they are head over heals in love.

It was such a lovely read. Thank you!
frey_at_last
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
Gutting! So beautiful.
pam_casso
Jul. 23rd, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Such a wonderful story. You just described them perfectly, and it was like we could see this little piece of their lives perfectly. Probably my favorite story I've read in a while.

And now I'm even more excited for the movie!
onpaperfirst
Jul. 24th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Oh, J, so beautiful. So, so beautiful. Happy and sad and my poor old heart just can't take this week!

The looks they exchange are heady, full of unfettered longing that never ceases or decreases, no matter how often they are together.

And that ending, that line. Oh, Mulder.

penumbra23
Jul. 24th, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
I do like the scopophilia of this whole snapshot project - very in keeping with the whole visual life of our XF obsession. You've all done a wonderful job with your pieces.

Thank you, Jenn, I really enjoyed this. Today I was ironing a table cloth and an enormous male German Shepard the size of a pony was lying on the doorstep watching me, and I was thinking of all of you and wondering how all of you are dealing with this rapturous time. We certainly have a hive mentality for the most part, and it's a huge comfort to know that all of you exist, validating my irrational love of this show.

This little story is charming. Cockles were warmed. I like Mulder's hot breath leaking, and the fact that they were late for their last meeting with Skinner. I also like the description of Mulder asleep, and the shaky mental pan from his arm to his calf. You have a strange, wandery mind, and it's fun to glimpse it.
aidy
Jul. 24th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
Amazing! Oh, thank you for this...just what I needed to get me through this day. It's adorable and that last line is perfect...so sad...so perfect.
erries
Jul. 24th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Everything about this was amazing. Have we ever seen them eat Chinese takeout together on the show? Because I feel like they do it all the time, but I think it's mostly just a fanfic staple. I like when they bring takeout or pizza to each other better than when they cook in fic, though. Seems more in character to order in.

Anyway, sorry, tangent. This is great! I love how normal they are together, just doing everyday coupley things like this. Scully watches a movie while Mulder reads about werewolves, lol. Nice.

Great job!
serendipityxxi
Jul. 28th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
Dear Gods you just killed me DEAD! Because it's so beautifully them and IC and I know what really happens and ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What really got me was Scully denying it, hiding it and hoarding the happiness in close away from the wicked world because it's so true to her. Ouch!!! Lovely fic. :)
jessie_venna
Jul. 28th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you. ;-)
tarzanic
Jul. 28th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Just heard about this community via dashakay and I'm just...just blown away. You've captured something very real in each of these.
tempertemper
Jul. 30th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
This is gorgeous! To mems, completely. Thank you so much for sharing.

(recced by rollsofrice)

Edited at 2008-07-30 07:36 pm (UTC)
forthesky
Aug. 13th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
I love this so much, I don't even have words to say. ♥
mariemaru
Aug. 21st, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
How am I now just stumbling upon this!??! It's all been so brilliant!

LOVE!
charvill
Aug. 23rd, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
Oh my jeez!!!!!!! LOOOOOOOOOOOVE the end *flail*
lady_goblin
Mar. 10th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
I love MSR!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )