Rating: Mild R for suggestive language.
Disclaimer: They belong to Chris Carter and his gang at 1013 and Fox. I'm just taking them out.
Margaret Scully's Home
"Mulder, be careful," I exclaimed, dropping my shovel. I ran to steady the ladder.
"I got it, Scully," he replied, holding onto the gutter. He had leaned out too far and caused the ladder to shake. Mulder turned his head and looked down, as I readjusted the ladder to a more stable position. "I think you just like the view from there."
"If you're referring to your ass, Mulder, I've seen enough it already," I grinned, shaking the ladder a bit. "Just be careful."
He climbed another step and continued cleaning my mom's gutters.
I returned to the back garden, where I was planting azalea bushes. It was a warm, March day. The weather all week had been above normal, and ended in a record breaking temperatures for the weekend. I had promised my mom I'd help her with spring cleaning and yard work before her big Easter celebration in a couple weeks.
I closed my eyes and breathed in the warm air. The sun felt so good after the harsh winter we'd had. It made me feel good to be alive. The winter months had been spent on Kersh's endlessly boring assignments, and Mulder and I tried to work on X-files whenever possible. I'd been shot, but made a full recovery in record time. What got me through each day was Mulder.
I gazed up at him. He looked so relaxed, wearing just a t-shirt, jeans and garden gloves, working diligently. His forehead was beaded with sweat and I noticed he was starting to sunburn slightly. He volunteered to come over and work all day on the house, under the pretense of owing my mom a favor or two. Truth was, we couldn't stay away from each other. Our personal time was limited as it was.
I scooped up another shovel of mulch and patted it carefully around the bush. Living in an apartment, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed gardening. Digging in the earth, planting, cultivating. It was simple, natural, uncomplicated.
"Hey! Could you bring me up the hose?" Mulder shouted, interrupting my thoughts. "I'm ready to flush out the gutters."
I reached across the grass for the hose. "Mulder, I don't think it's long enough."
"Scully! I thought size didn't matter," he replied, clutching his heart and pretending to be hurt.
"Oh, size matters," I teased. I stood up and walked over to the shed, retrieving another hose. "But it's also how you make it work."
"How do I make it, Scully?" he replied, that sly grin across his face. "Does it work?"
I tried hard not to laugh. His innuendoes had taken on a whole new meaning now. He could have such reckless abandon, and it was contagious. I turned the faucet on.
"Oh, I think it works just fine!" I sprayed him hard with the cold water, soaking him good.
"Scully!" he exclaimed, the water shocking him. I ran it up his backside. "That's it!"
He scrambled down the ladder as I made for the front yard, running at full pace. I had just enough of a head start to lock the gate.
"Damn!" Mulder panted, fighting the latch. He climbed over the fence instead, his long legs carrying him without trouble.
It was hard to run and laugh at the same time. I felt twenty years younger. He caught up with me and swept me in his arms from behind, swinging me around.
"Think you're funny, do you?" he breathed in my ear. I struggled against him, his hands were everywhere, making me shriek. I prayed mom's neighbors couldn't hear us.
"No, I just thought you should cool off a bit," I replied. He tackled me to the ground and we wrestled. The sun and the spinning made me dizzy. Water dripped from his hair. Mulder pinned me long enough to pull off his gloves. He had me in the missionary position, and his fingers creeped underneath my shirt.
"If I'm wet, you should be wet," he teased me, tugging at my belt loops. He wasn't talking about a garden hose.
Luckily, we had only made it around the side of the house, by the garage. It was private and secluded, and we weren't in plain sight. That knowledge made me bolder.
"Maybe I am," I replied, staring up at him.
Mulder looked shocked, not believing I said this out loud. He loosened his grip on me slightly, and it was enough for me to pull him down on top of me, roll him over and straddle his hips.
"Had you big time!" I proclaimed, as he grabbed my wrists attempting to shake me off.
Mulder laughed, and bucked his hips against mine. "You can have me again right now if you want."
"In your dreams, G-man," I said, grinding into him only to tease him further. We smelled of sun and sweat and spring. Nature was coming back to life and so were we.
"Wet dreams, Scully?" he asked.
I felt him harden beneath me, I bit my lip and smiled.
We froze and turned our heads to find my mom standing in the driveway.
I am thirty-five years old, but having your mother find you in a compromising position with your male partner was still embarrassing.
I quickly shifted off Mulder and stood up, he just laid there.
"Hi mom," I said as casually as I could. "We were just....uh...fighting."
"You're blushing," Mulder teased softly.
I kicked him. "Quiet, Mulder."
"As red as your hair," he continued. He ran his fingers up my ankle and I shook him off.
"Are you done in the back?" she asked, her arms full of bags.
"Almost," I called, moving towards her. "Just one more bush to plant and Mulder needs to wash out the gutters."
"Great!" she exclaimed. "I'm going to start some lunch. Fox, are you hungry?"
"Ravenous." He propped himself on one elbow and whispered to me. "But not for food."
"How's it going out there?" Mom asked, as I came in off the back porch a half hour later.
"The bushes are in, I've laid the stepping stones. Mulder's finished. He's going to put up the screens next," I said. I poured myself a glass of lemonade. It tasted sweet and refreshing. I watched Mulder through the window, unraveling the gutter screens carefully. I shook my head and laughed quietly.
"What's so funny?" she asked, stirring the pot of chili she had made.
"Mulder. Cleaning gutters."
It was just so....ordinary. A drastic change from chasing aliens or uncovering government conspiracies.
She came up from behind and hugged me, resting her chin on my shoulder. "It's good to hear you laugh, Dana. You look good. After that last scare....no more bullets, Dana. I don't think I can handle it."
"I think it's Mulder's turn next," I mused.
"Well, I don't want either one of you to be next," she said, firmly.
I sighed. She had been through so much with Dad and Melissa.
"Mom, I have something to tell you," I said softly, the words just pouring out.
She held me tighter. "What is it, Dana? Not your health. You are feeling okay, right?"
"Mom, I'm fine. It's Mulder. And me. I mean, Mulder and I are..." I disengaged myself and turned to face her. I took a deep breath. "We...."
"You and Fox are," she finished.
"It feels so good to finally tell you," I whispered. The only other person who knew was Frohike, and that wasn't intentional.
"I knew there had to be a reason why you haven't just quit, after all you've been through," she said. She smoothed the hair off my sweaty forehead. "I don't understand what you're involved with, and I've never understood why you keep pursing these cases."
"It's not just Mulder, I have to find the answers, Mom. We both do. If we quit now...." I let my voice trail off, remembering the time I said them to Mulder. "They win."
Her eyes searched mine, trying to comprehend why we were so determined to continue. At times, it seemed so hopeless, frustrating and pointless even to me. "I worry about you, Dana. I worry about both of you."
"I know," I leaned over and kissed her reassuringly.
"How long have you and Fox..been...well, you and Fox," Mom said, smiling softly.
"Since Christmas, that snowstorm that kept us in St. Louis," I replied. I could feel my face flushing again. "You can't say anything. We're trying to keep it secret, for our protection."
"I won't," Mom replied. She looked out at Mulder. "He's a good man, Dana. He's always been so dedicated to you. I took comfort in knowing no matter what you were doing, however risky or dangerous, that Fox would be right by your side."
"He is a good man," I confirmed. "I wish I hadn't waited so long to find out."
"The best things in life are worth waiting for, Dana," Mom said, turning back to the stove.
I sipped my lemonade. I knew she'd understand. Despite all we'd been put through, she found it in her heart not to pass judgment on me, or Mulder. I wanted her to know I had found some happiness in my crazy life, with the crazy man who shared it with me.
"Mulder, that doesn't go there," I said sternly. He had finished the gutters and was helping me landscape.
"It's a birdbath, Scully."
"Yes, but it should be out farther, so it gets more sun."
He lifted the concrete bath again and moved it out a few feet. "Better?"
I shook my head. "Over the right more."
Mulder took a deep breath and shifted it. "Okay?"
"Too much. Left a little," I said, planting another bulb. If I looked down and not at him, I wouldn't laugh.
He rocked it back, as I instructed. "Here?"
"Now, is it facing northeast in the direction of the sun at a distance parallel to the gazebo?" I said, not able to keep my composure.
"Scul-llee," he warned. Mulder walked over to me with his hands on his hips. "How about if I set it on top of the redhead?"
"I think it would scare the birds," I said, sprinkling some topsoil over the flower bed.
He stretched his long limbs over his head and closed his eyes against the sun. "I think I'll fix the mailbox next, your mom said it needs a new post."
"Getting into this, aren't you Mulder?"
He bent down, his face close to mine. "It's not often I get to show off my handyman skills. Is it turning you on?"
I pushed him away playfully. "Is that all you think about?"
"Every minute of every day." He stood up and stepped inside the gazebo. "I love you, Scully."
I smiled to myself. I never got tired of hearing those words.
"This could be an interesting place for it." Mulder sat down on the ledging inside. He reclined, spreading his arms across the back. He crossed his legs at the ankle. "Late at night, under the stars. Did you ever make out with one of your boyfriends here?"
"No, Mulder. My father would have killed me." I pressed another bulb in the ground. "We moved into this house when I was a junior in high school. Bill and Melissa were already gone. It was just me and Charlie, and Ahab kept a close eye on his Starbuck."
"I thought the youngest ones always got away with everything?"
"I was kept on the straight and narrow," I sat back and wiped my forehead with the back of my gloved hand.
"Wanna try it now?" Mulder raised his eyebrows at me, inviting.
"Sure, with my mom watching?" I grabbed another bulb. "We'll get caught."
"Adds that element of danger. How about your room? Ever do it there?"
"Mulder," I said, raising my eyebrow at him. "What is with you today?"
He stood up and walked the perimeter of the gazebo, testing the floor boards beneath his feet. "I don't know, Scully. It's warm. It's the weekend. Birds do it. Bees do it."
"No bees," I said firmly. He nodded in agreement.
"No bees, then. You look gorgeous."
I stared at my faded t-shirt and grass stained jeans. He really should get his eyes checked.
"I guess it's just spring." Mulder clutched the top of the threshold and swung himself back far enough to clear the three stairs of the gazebo as he jumped. "I'm going to go fix that post."
He walked back around the front, in that slow, measure gait of his. I admired his backside, he looked gorgeous today. Just before he opened the gate, he turned around with a sly grin.
"Caught you checking me out," he said.
I rolled my eyes and threw a bulb in his direction. I hit the gate instead.
I rinsed off in the shower and put on a fresh pair of jeans and a shirt. The only things left to do outside Mulder was going to take care of. It gave my mom and I a chance to visit as we cleaned the inside of her house. We talked and laughed as we worked.
Mom brought down a box from the attic and set it next to me. "These were Melissa's. I wasn't sure what to do with some of this stuff, but I wondered if you wanted anything."
There were a few things I recognized in the small box. Her diploma, photographs, various crystals and candles. I dug around to the bottom, seeing what else was inside. My fingers came across something flat, and I pulled it out. My heart skipped a beat.
It was a journal. Missy's journal.
Like me, Missy was a strict journal writer. Something we shared. I swallowed a lump in my throat as I opened the book. My fingers splayed across the pages, seeing her handwriting made her almost tangible. I carried it out to the front porch, where I'd be alone.
I sat on the porch swing, it made its familiar creak as I rocked gently. The afternoon sun was starting to dim and the temperature was dropping. I felt a cool breeze across me as I started to read.
I looked up to find Mulder standing on the porch. He had changed his shirt, and a five o'clock shadow was working it's way across his sun burnt face.
"Scully, it's getting dark."
The sky was alive with reds and orange. I hadn't even noticed when the light flickered on. I closed the journal and tucked it beside me. "Just finishing something up."
Mom popped her head behind Mulder. "Dana, honey. You both are staying for dinner?"
I nodded and Mulder smiled.
"Good. I didn't want to miss more of your cooking."
"Thank you, Fox," Mom replied, hugging him from behind.
"You should teach your daughter," Mulder said, smugly.
"I've tried. Dana's not the domestic type," Mom grinned at me. It was a conspiracy.
Dinner was delicious, as usual. Mom and Mulder talked about me, comparing notes. I knew what she was doing, she was getting to know him. I smiled at the both of them, telling stories and sharing my life.
Mulder even helped her clear out the table. As he picked up my plate, I smiled at him. "How come you never do this for me?"
"Because you don't cook like this, Scully."
I gathered the remaining plates and followed him in the kitchen. Definitely a conspiracy.
"Oh, it was good have you over. It was a real change for me being alone, after everyone moved out and Bill died," Mom said, a touch of sadness in her tone. "You'll both have to come over again, soon."
I know he'd never admit it, but it meant a lot to Mulder for my mom to accept him. Especially after my brother Bill made his feelings very clear to Mulder that he didn't want him anywhere near me.
"I noticed your garage could use new siding," he said, eagerly.
"It's a date, then," Mom said happily. She put the last dish in the washer and wiped her hands dry. "Dana, why didn't you tell me your partner was so handy?"
I raised an eyebrow in Mulder's direction. "Oh, I'm just finding out all kinds of new things today."
"You better go, it's getting late," Mom said. She hugged me tightly, kissing my cheek. She whispered in my ear. "Thank you for telling me, sweetheart."
"You're welcome, Mom," I replied quietly.
She turned around and kissed Mulder's cheek as well. "Take care of her, Fox."
"I always do," he said. "When she lets me."
I gathered up my clothes and the box of Melissa's things, carefully tucking the journal in. I set them in the back seat. I was tired, so Mulder decided to drive. He turned the ignition and looked over at me. I was stretched out with the seat reclined slightly. He reached over and touched my cheek.
"Did you have fun, Scully?" he said, backing out of the driveway.
"Yes, I did.. It was good to be with family today. You and mom."
Mulder stopped the car after shifting into drive and stared at me.
I answered his unspoken question. "Yes, you are. Let's go home."
"You told her, didn't you?" he asked.
"Yes, I did. Are you mad?"
"No," he reached over and squeezed my hand. "It's good that we can trust someone."
Mulder was lying on my bed, freshly showered, wearing only jeans. He was definitely sunburned and sore. I gazed down at him, at his red face. He sensed my presence and his eyes opened.
"How are you feeling, old man?" I mused.
"Like a workhorse, Scully." He patted his chest with his fist.
"Tough and strong?"
He exhaled with a moan. "No, like someone should take me out and shoot me."
I laughed. "I did that once, Mulder. But you came back for more."
I climbed onto the bed, straddling his hips like I did earlier. This time, it was relaxed and casual. I had showered before him, and I wore only my robe. My hair was still slightly damp.
"Ah, Scully. Be gentle with me. I'm hurting," Mulder's hands ran up and down my thighs.
"I want to talk to you about something," I said. I pulled the journal out of my robe's pocket.
He turned his head to the side thoughtfully. "What's that?"
"It's Missy's journal. Mom gave it to me today," I opened the book to the place I had marked. "There's a whole section about you."
"Really?" Mulder's eyes looked uncertain.
I took a deep breath. "Mulder, there are things in here...about my disapearance....things I never knew. Things I wish I'd known."
He shifted nervously and his hands played with the belt of my robe. "Scully...."
I silenced him by placing my finger on his lips and began reading. "I came to see my little sister, I laid my hands over her. She's deciding whether to stay or move on. I could feel her soul, it was uncertain. As I mediated, Fox Mulder came in. I'd been told he comforted Mom and stood by her during the disappearance. His aura is very powerful."
"Aura?" he asked.
"Missy's word," I clarified. "But he carries with him a lot of anger and fear, over what happened to Dana. It blocked his true emotions, the one's she needs to hear. He grew impatient, restless to seek revenge against those who did this to her. He left, searching for something he could only find in himself."
Mulder chewed his bottom lip. "That was a very difficult day."
I flipped farther into the journal. "We sat in the cafeteria together. Fox looked as if he was coming apart. He was set on tracking down everyone responsible for Dana's condition. I reminded him that wouldn't bring her back. He holds himself equally accountable for her condition. I thought he might finally open up to me, but he left suddenly after a woman asked about the cigarette machine."
"Morley cigarettes. They lead me to him," Mulder added. "I went to kill that sonofabitch. Then I resigned."
"Resigned?" I asked, surprised. "You never told me that."
"Well, Skinner wouldn't accept it. Scully, without you...I had nothing. You were so close to dying, they were prepared to carry out the terms of your living will."
I continued. "Dana's condition had worsened. I knew the one thing she needed was Fox. He didn't answer his phone, so I headed over to his apartment. He said he couldn't come. His apartment was dark, as if he was waiting for someone or something. He was in very dark place, much darker than where Dana was. I told him that getting even wasn't going to make a difference now, but what would was expressing how he felt so Dana would know. So they both would know. Later that night, I found Fox sitting vigil by her bedside. He held her hand, he whispered to her. I could feel the healing in the room. His anger and fear were replaced by hope and love.
"You loved me," I said quietly, closing the book. "Even then."
Mulder took the journal from my hands and pulled me down onto the bed beside him. "Yes, I did. I would have done anything to get you back, and I was so determined to make them pay for what they'd done....that I almost let you slip away. Melissa convinced me to go to you, to be with you, so you'd know."
"In the coma, I remembered you saying that I had the strength of my beliefs, and that you didn't know if being there would bring me back...but you were there," I turned so we were side by side.
"I wouldn't leave, once I got there. Melissa and your mom eventually made me go home to rest when you stabilized. I wasn't home but 5 minutes when the phone rang and they told me you were awake," his hand caressed my face. "That you were alive. And that you were going to make it."
"I needed you, Mulder. I needed you there to pull me through. Melissa knew that," I leaned forward and kissed his lips softly. "I just had no idea you spent so much time with my family. No wonder my Mom is so attached to you."
Mulder's arms surrounded me and he pulled my body over his. "Well, I have that affect on women."
My mouth sought his, and we kissed in a unhurried, slow fashion. His fingers worked on the knot holding my robe together.
"You're not wearing anything under this," he said, mildly surprised.
"I like things, uncomplicated," I replied, letting his hands work over my body.
The best things in life are worth the wait.