promising news

I was dreaming of William when I heard Ride of the Valkyries in the distance.

"Awwww, shit," he said from the other side of the bed. My mind flashed back to Trego, the angry commands to evacuate that were barked at me from the other side of the line.

I slid out of bed and dug the cell phone out of my luggage, flipping it open. Mulder rolled over and pulled himself out of bed, stretching his arms over his head. I dragged my eyes away from his back.

"Hello?" I asked, closing my eyes.

"Agent Scully...Dana. Are you with Age...Mulder?" Skinner's voice stuttered as he acquainted himself with our lack of official titles.

"Yes," I said, wondering why he would think we weren't together. Why he was using our names. We had rules.

"Where are you?"

His question surprised me. We weren't to discuss our location at any time. "Well...sir, Walter, is it really safe to say?"

Mulder watched me curiously, trying to read my expression as I listened to Skinner. He walked up to me and put his hand on the small of my back. I felt the color drain from my face and I took a deep breath as he continued to speak.

"Okay," I answered after Skinner gave me our instructions. I closed the phone and looked up at Mulder.

"Do I need to pack?" he asked, his eyes searching mine.

I stood still. "Yes."


I put my hand on his chest, needing to feel him there. "No rush," I finally said. I studied his face, my mind a whirlwind. "He says he wants to meet us, both of us, in person. In Atlanta, the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Sun Dial Restaurant, Tuesday at noon." I rattled off the details methodically.

"Tuesday. Two days from now?"

"Yes," I said. My eyes teared up and I didn't try to hide it. "He says he has some promising news."

He bit his lip, his brow furrowed. "Scully, what if it's a trap?"

"Instinct, Mulder," I said, kissing his chest softly. "Trust mine this time."

Scully Is Always Right

We keep meaning to get on the road, travel to our next destination, wherever that is. Or at least leave the room, go walking through the red and gold trees of Bloomington. Fresh air and all that. But we can’t seem to move from this motel room, this bed.

Thank God Bloomington has a wide variety of delivery restaurants. Chinese, pizza, Thai. Last night we even ordered in Ethiopian food—spicy stews of lentils and chickpeas on spongy injera bread. I attempted to be romantic and feed her a bite, but Scully started laughing and ended up with brown lentils all over her t-shirt. Oh well. I get extra credit for effort.

I guess we’re exhausted on pretty much every level. It’s nice to stop and breathe for a second, take stock of everything that’s happened lately. It’s a lot.

We don’t know what to think, to be honest.

“What now?” she asked last night, after she’d de-lentiled herself.

“What do you mean?”

“What do we believe?” She was frowning, little lines cut into her skin.

“I don’t know,” I said. I took a breath. “What if we just decide to live our lives and see what happens? Not obsess over 2012. It might happen or it might not. Colonization could come tomorrow or never. But to live with the shadow of it hanging over us isn’t a great way to live.”

“I know...I know,” she said. “I just can’t help but think.”

“Well, stop,” I said. “Slow that alien brain of yours down.”

“You’re the one with the alien brain,” she said, and swatted me with the pillow. “And you were born with it. It wasn’t acquired.”

“We’re both aliens,” I said. We laughed. “Admit it. DNA aside, we’re not normal at all.”

“I know you always fantasized about making it with an alien,” she whispered in my ear, her fingers starting to do things to me that were illegal in several states.

“A female alien,” I corrected.

“How do you know they’re female?”

“They have breasts, “ I said. “Don’t you know anything?”

She raised an eyebrow. “I know a lot of things, Mulder...”

And then she showed me. Sure enough, she was right.

She's always right.


We were lying on our backs staring at the motel room ceiling, our fingers twined.

"Wow," I breathed, feeling the cool sheen of sweat on my skin. "We've never done that before."

Mulder rolled onto his side, sliding his hand across my bare stomach. I love the playful look he gets in his eyes, the smile that's part sated, part accomplished. He nudged my neck with his nose and kissed it.

"You liked that, huh?" More kisses on my neck. I tilted my head so he could move his mouth upward. I felt lightheaded in the most pleasant of ways.

I let out a little laugh when he snagged my ear with his teeth. "Yes. Thank you."

"Mmmm. You're welcome." His hand slid lower and my eyelids fluttered closed. I caught my breath.

"Mulder...I'm sorry if I made it seem like I don't trust you. By not telling you what I'd learned earlier." My words came out with as much clarity as possible at that point.

"Mmmm," he murmured while he made me gasp. He kissed my cheek next to my mouth. "I know you trust me, Scully."

"I do. Sometimes I just don't trust myself. I don't...oh, Mulder, I don't trust my own instincts."

"Sometimes I don't trust myself either." His voice was low and soft against my neck, rhythmic like his hand, so gentle, so rhythmic. "Let me be your instinct."

"Yeah?" I breathed, slowly falling into him.

"And you can be mine," he whispered. "You always have been."

I let myself go.


snap back to reality

I heard him go out for his run and stretched out across the bed with an indulgent sigh. We were in Bloomington, Indiana, and my last memories of Bloomington were fond ones, for the most part. It was an odd town, with freakish people and a misunderstood man who I secretly still hold dear to my heart.

Dancing with Mulder to Cher (of all things) cemented the feelings that had been creeping around in my mind, the feelings that still took years to come to fruition. It was that thought, the tingling excitement I felt when he held his hand out and pulled me into his arms, that put me back into restful slumber.

"Give me a minute," I heard him say in the haze of my dreams. I heard the door close and realized Mulder was actually speaking. And then I digested his words and nearly jumped out of bed.

"Who were you talking to?" I asked, pulling the sheets around me.

"Your friend Andrew," he said, tossing his key onto the table and pulling off his sweatshirt. Sweat soaked the t-shirt underneath.

It's hard to describe the emotions I felt swirling inside of me when I heard Mulder say his name. None of them were good. "That's impossible."

He looked at me and shrugged. "He wants to come in. You should probably get dressed."

I did so, in record time, running fingers through my bed-tangled hair. Mulder watched me. "You know, he looks exactly like my visitor in Tulum."

I glanced at him quickly. "That doesn't surprise me."

"Scully, why's he here?" he asked, leaning against the wall beside the door, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

"Mulder, I have no idea," I said, shifting on my feet, crossing own my arms. "Let him in, I guess. Let's see what he says."

Nervous butterflies battered my empty stomach. It was not a situation I'd ever expected, the three of us in the same room. I'd thought of Andrew once in awhile, of the night we'd shared, of the secrets he'd told me that I had yet to tell Mulder. The secrets I now regretted not telling him already.

Mulder unlocked and opened the door. Andrew walked in slowly, with his steady gait, his face breaking into a smile when he saw me. "Dana. It's nice to see you again."

He walked over to me and bent over to kiss my cheek. His lips lingered for a second and my stomach officially dropped past my feet, through the floor, like a ride at Disneyland. I didn't look at Mulder. I didn't want to see his reaction.

"It's nice to see you." I walked away from him and took a seat on the end of the bed. Mulder dropped into a chair and I looked at him then, his expression wary with just a hint of I'd love to rearrange his face. I'd seen that expression before. I took a deep breath.

"Why are you here?" I asked.

"Things have changed," Andrew said, his tone flat and serious. "I needed to get to you before I returned home."

"I thought Earth was your home," I said, twisting my hands together in my lap.

"I've been called back. Civil war has broken out on my planet. The peaceful regime that had taken over is currently being threatened by the older, more...ruthless faction."

"Oh, I see. So all of this bullshit about colonization being called off was just that. Bullshit." Mulder had quickly developed an irritability toward Andrew and seemed to anticipate the opportunity to let it show. I looked over at him and he looked at me. I wasn't quite ready for what I saw in his eyes.

The Unbearable Lightness

This morning, I woke before the sun was up, possessed with an urge to go running, something I hadn't done in a long time. It was too hot to run in Mexico and, lately, the only exercise I'd gotten was unrolling the window at drive-thrus and other more strenuous activities that don't bear repeating here.

Scully was sleeping on her side, curled up like a shrimp. I stroked her hair. "I'm going for a run."

"Mmmph," she mumbled and rolled over.

We were staying at a motel near campus and I ran through the quiet streets. All the students were still tucked into their beds, dreaming of finals and keggers. It was hard going at first. I'm quite out of shape and have an extra ten pounds or so to show for it. After a mile or so, though, I found my stride, almost effortlessly gliding past mansions housing fraternities and sororites on North Jordan.

It had been a good few days, feeling almost like old times on the road, sunflower seeds and rural highways, a lightness of spirit that hadn't been present since we'd first gone on the run.

Wyoming had been something of an exorcism, a casting out of the demons of guilt and grief about William. Painful, but necessary.

We will always feel sadness about having to give him up, having to miss his childhood, having to miss being parents. We'll never get over him, not really. But as I ran, I became sure that we were going to be able to get on with our lives without choking to death on our own regrets or destroying each other.

I felt so free, running through the stately streets. We could now move on, wherever it was that we were going.

I walked the last few blocks to the motel to cool down, breathing hard and sweating, despite the cool fall weather. I made a vow to try to run four times a week.

As I walked into the parking lot, I spotted a man leaning against our car, which was parked just outside our room. My stomach clenched. It looked like it was the same man (person? being?) who had visited me in Tulum.

"Hello, you must be Mulder," he said, as soon as he spotted me. He looked just like my visitor but he spoke without the odd accent and moved confidently. He stuck his hand out for me to shake it. "I'm Andrew."

"I thought you were leaving," I said through a clenched jaw. My hands automatically balled up into fists.

"I'm sorry for the intrusion. I need to speak to you and Dana. It's extremely important and I don't have much time."

I stared right into his eyes. They looked so human. "If this is some kind of trick or trap..."

He shook his head. "No, Mulder, I would never hurt Dana. Or you for that matter. I'm unarmed."

I sighed and fumbled for the key to the room, my hands shaking.

crack, suck, spit

Driving through the Midwest consists of driving past a thousand miles of flat land, tractors and Wal-Marts. I slept, read, counted blue cars. We talked about the past--old cases, the oddest things we'd seen, the time we tried to watch Caddyshack and miserably* magnificently failed.

And we thought in silence next to each other. Deep thoughts.

He cracked open a sunflower seed. I eyed him as he spat the shell into a paper cup. "You know, Halloween's in a few days."

"Mmmhmm." I sipped on overwhelmingly strong gas station coffee and kept my eyes on the bleak interstate ahead of us.

"So...what should we be?"

I stretched my arms out in front of me. "You want to go trick-or-treating?"

"Scully." He rolled his eyes and shook his head. "You're a little too old for that nonsense."

I tried not to smile. I gave up on trying. "I could be an FBI Agent. I've got the badge and the gun. You could have been my prisoner..."

"Prisoner of looove," he mused.

"...but, I think you left your orange jumpsuit somewhere between Virginia and New Mexico."

He looked over at me and grinned, raising his eyebrows. "Despite my lack of costume, I like where you're headed with this agent/prisoner thing."

"Mulder, we are not dressing up for Halloween."

He shrugged, facing the road again, still smiling. "It doesn't have to be out in public. We don't have to go to the mall."

"Then what's the point?"

"Because it's fun." He cracked another seed. Crack, suck, spit. It was captivating. I had reached a new level of boredom.

"You could be a doctor, Scully," he said with a smirk as he passed a lone car. "You always looked so hot in those autopsy goggles."

"And I could shoot you," I answered, "so that I have someone to fix."

* adverb corrected per vinrouge84's request