Whatever it Takes by DanaK35

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Whatever It Takes by DanaK35

Title: Whatever it takes…

Author: DanaK;

URL: http://danak35.tripod.com/

Archiving: everywhere as long as my name stays on it

Rating: R

Classification: R, X (mild)

Spoilers: Season 5

Note: for the purpose of story line I will ignore FTF and season 6, it doesn’t Keywords: MSUST, MSR

Summary: A year after Emily’s “death”, Scully gets a strange phone call … and must make a decision

Author’s notes at the end.

Disclaimer: ‘The X-Files’ and all ‘The X-Files’ related characters and situations are the intellectual property of Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the FOX network. The following material is not intended to infringe on the above copyright in any way. Which means, they aren’t mine, I just borrowed them … you know the drill!

Whatever it takes

by DanaK35

THANKSGIVING

Scully’s cellphone chirped just as she was on her way to her mother’s Thanksgiving dinner.

“Damn,” she thought and answered the phone with an unfriendly “WHAT!” expecting it to be Mulder and ready to tell him she didn’t have time to talk to him right now.

“Ms. Scully?” a well modulated voice with a British accent that is vaguely familiar.

“Speaking”

“Ms. Scully, listen carefully because I will only say this once…there is someone at the Baltimore Orphanage of the Sisters of the Holy Cross that might be of interest for you…go there and tell the sisters that you have been sent by Mr. Horatio Wilde…they will know what to do…don’t ask any questions. Good bye, Ms. Scully!”

The line was disconnected and she suddenly felt a tight knot forming in her stomach. Something was wrong and she couldn’t quite put a finger on it. Under normal circumstances she wouldn’t have followed a lead like this, it was after all Mulder’s specialty to run off on a wild goose chases after mysterious phone calls, but this time was…different. She turned at the next exit and headed back towards Baltimore. With a sigh she remembered that her mother must be expecting her by now and so she called her. Of course Margaret Scully was already worried.

“No, mom, everything is alright, I am just not done here yet, I’ll be there as soon as I can!”

For an instant Scully debated with herself whether to call Mulder but then decided against it. They hadn’t been on the best terms lately, with the X-Files burnt to ashes and them about to be reassigned to some field office god only knows where. Mulder had retracted into his shell once more and this time Scully didn’t have the strength to pull him out.

The destruction of the X-Files had taken away not only Mulder’s cause but hers, too. For five years she had lived and breathed the SEARCH for the truth and now that everything was gone … not closed…no DESTROYED she felt all the frustration and emptiness that had been there for a long time, surfacing.

The last year had just been SO HARD, finding out about the cancer, fighting for her life, finding out she could never have children then finding and loosing Emily – her sweet Emily – that all had taken its toll on herself and on her relationship with Mulder. She couldn’t even determine when their relationship had begun to deteriorate…was it when she found out about her cancer, and had just closed off to everybody, even Mulder?

Was it when she all her hopes for a normal life died with Emily? After the episode with Ed Jerse? Or did it start even earlier when Mulder had gotten so obsessed with Melissa/Sara Ephesian and THEIR past lives together (which had prompter herself to close off from him in the first place)?

And now Diana Fowley had appeared into their lives and her role in her partner’s earlier history had disturbed Scully more than she wanted to admit, even more than that whole “past-life soulmate” story. Suddenly she was overcome by these unwelcome feelings of loss and jealousy.

Suddenly she was frustrated by the thought of giving up her position as Mulder’s confidant, his friend, after all he and this woman had a past, Mulder and her had… yeah after all that had happened between them during the last years what exactly did they have? Scully didn’t ponder on the question further because she had reached the orphanage and got out of the car.

The building was old, but beautifully decorated inside with cheerful wallpaper and drawings made by its’ inhabitants. As she looked around curiously an elderly woman in a nun’s habit approached her, a friendly smile on her face

“May I help you?”

“Yes, Mr. Horatio Wilde sent me…” Scully hesitated only for the briefest moment, it did sound so Agatha Christie.

“Oh, yes, thank heavens you are here, I am sister Agnetha, please if you’d come with me, Mrs….?” “

Scully, Dr. Dana Scully!”

Confused she followed the nun through a heavy wooden door to the back of the house where a playroom was located. Several small children were playing with Lego and dolls. A television was showing a Disney movie in one corner and sister Agnetha led her to a couch were a small girl with curly red hair was intently watching. An acute sense of foreboding overcame Scully for the second time that day and she felt the sweat on her forehead as the sister cheerfully announced “Emily! Someone has come to pick you up dear!” The little girl turned around and Scully looked into the face of her dead child…

  _

Sister Agnetha gave her a funny look and she quickly tried to compose herself as hot tears welled up in her eyes. The girl looked like Emily, her sweet face smiling up at Scully, her hair longer and falling in soft waves around her face and eyes. Scully bend down and drew her into a fierce embrace, burying her head in her soft, sweet-smelling hair and hugged her tightly to herself. They stayed like this for a few moments and then she cleared her throat and looked up at sister Agnetha.

“How did she get here?”

“She was found on the front steps with a note that she would be picked up soon, and then Mr. Wilde called to tell us she would be picked up by a woman today…you weren’t sent to pick her up?”, her voice turned suspicious, and Scully quickly assured her that she was indeed here to get Emily and consequently asked for her things.

She seemed to buy it and came back a couple of minutes later with a child’s backpack.

“That is all she has I’m afraid!”

“That’s fine,” Scully got up from the couch and took Emily’s hand, “come on, sweetie, let’s go home!”

She followed wordlessly out to the car and let herself get strapped into the seat belt. Scully’s mind raced on the drive back to Washington, if this was indeed Emily then what happened a year ago? ‘It was all part of a cover up…she didn’t die at all!’ The thought came to her mind unbidden, but that had to be it! That MUST have happened or was this just another clone? Scully was determined to find out as soon as she had the chance.

An hour later she I reached her mother’s house. All the lights were on and when she stepped on the porch she could hear laughter and children squealing inside. Bill should be there with his family and also Charlie with his wife and two kids. Scully took a deep breath and ran her fingers first through her hair, then through Emily’s tangled curls. Then she knocked on the door and when Bill opened she put a broad smile on my face.

“Dana, how great to…” her brother opened his arms to embrace her but stopped when he saw Emily “what in the world!! Dana?! Is that who I think it is…”

Scully could only nod and he ushered her and the still mute Emily inside without another word. By now the full impact of the last couple of hours started hitting Scully and she suddenly felt her knees go weak. She willingly let him guide her inside, take her coat and gently push her down on a chair, placing a glass of red wine in hr cold hands. The present children quickly surrounded Emily.

  _

“Oh my god, Dana” Margaret Scully stared at her daughter in disbelief, “what…how…where did she come from?”

Scully took a quick sip from the dark red wine and, clearing her throat, explained to the family what happened. When she had ended everyone was talking at once, Bill and Margaret concerned, Tara, Charlie and his wife Rena excited.

“Does Mulder know?”

Mrs. Scully questions put a frown on Bill’s face and made Dana realize that she completely forgot to call him and she immediately felt bad.

“No, he doesn’t”

“Do you want me to call him?”

Margaret offered but her daughter denied, getting up and moving into the kitchen where she could use the phone in privacy. But Mulder wasn’t home and neither could she reach him on his mobile. Now instead of feeling guilty she felt confused. Where was he? He had said he was going to spend the Saturday at home, indulging in nothing more than grilled cheese sandwiches and beer. He had turned down Mrs. Scully’s offer to have dinner with them, so where was he? Annoyed, Scully switched of her cellphone and joined the others. As she entered the dining room she was enveloped in holiday cheer, candles were lit, the food looked delicious on the table, her family simply enjoyed each others’ company and Scully decided to forget about her problems with Mulder, the FBI, about the mysterious phone call just for tonight. Just for tonight she would have normal life. Emily was obviously happy enough playing with Charlie’s two children and so she sat down and joined in the conversation…carefully avoiding going back to Emily’s wondrous resurrection.

*****

BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Dana Scully woke up early the next day, sneaking out of her bedroom on tiptoe to check on Emily and was relieved to see her still sleeping on the unfolded couch. Scully was still somewhat insecure about the little girl since she hadn’t spoken to her at all, but the night before after getting back from her mom’s she had carefully inquired her if Emily wanted to sleep in her double bed and she had shaken her head. It hurt just a little but on the other hand it would probably take some time for them to get used to each other. As she fixed herself some coffee she remembered Mulder and quickly dialed his number. He still wasn’t answering his home or mobile phone and on a hunch she decided to try the office. The phone rang twice before being picked up by a woman.

“Agent Mulder’s line, how may I help you!”

Scully almost dropped the receiver as she recognized Diana Fowley’s voice but composed herself.

“It’s Scully, is Mulder there?” she asked curtly.

“Yes, but he is getting us coffee at the moment, Agent Scully, do you want to leave a message?”

“Just have him call me at home!”

She slammed down the receiver and muttered a silent curse. “Oh, fuck him”. She mumbled and dropped on one of the kitchen chairs, burying her face in her hands. ‘Now, you know what he is up to!’ a little vicious voice inside. ‘No, you are jumping to conclusions here Dana, he…’

“Dana?”

Scully looked up with a start and directly into Emily’s blue eyes. ‘Did she just say my name?’

“Dana, I am hungry!”

SHE DID, oh my god!

“Sure, sweetie, come here!”

She picked her up and sat her down at the kitchen after elevating her with a cushion from the couch. A perusal of her kitchen cabinets brought forth some cereal, which she served the girl with milk and Emily quietly ate and watched Scully drinking her coffee.

“Do you remember me, Emily?” Scully asked after a while and Emily put down her spoon and cocked her head sideways.

“Yes, you are Dana, you played with me after my Mommy went away!” she answered in a surprisingly clear and calm voice.

“That’s right and what happened then, do you know?” Scully HAD to find out what the child remembered.

“I was in a hospital and people were hurting me with things they stuck into my arms and you were there, too, with a man, and then you went away too and there was another man, like a granddaddy, and he picked me up. I flew in an airplane and I played with other children in a nice garden, but then the granddaddy took me back to the hospital and then you came again and picked me up from the women in the black dresses. Are you going to send me away too, Dana?”

The innocent request brought fresh tears into Scully’s eyes and she shook her head.

“No, honey, you can stay with me if you want to…”

“I want to see my Mommy and Daddy again!”

“You can’t, Emily, they have both gone away and they won’t come back… I am sorry!”

The child reflected over this announcement for a minute and then she smiled at Scully and stated matter-of-factly.

“Then can I stay with you, Dana, can I?”

Now tears were streaming down Scully’s face at the girl’s innocence and demeanor and she took her into her arms once more. After breakfast she told Emily she had to take a bath and when the little girl was settled in a tubful of the warm water, Scully tried calling Mulder on his cellphone again. She really didn’t feel like talking to “his chickadee” again. He answered after the first ring

“Mulder?”

“Why haven’t you answered my calls, Mulder!”

“Scully?”

“Yes, dammit, what is going on, I have been trying to reach you since yesterday?”

“I, well, …why…why have you been trying to call me?”

“Something has come up…I need you to come here, NOW!”

The urgency in her voice seemed to get through to him because he told her to hang on he would be right with her and hung up. Scully took Emily out of the bathtub and promised her to go out later to get her some new clothes and sat her down in her bedroom with a couple of toys she found in the girls’ few belongings. Then she quickly showered and dressed herself and was ready just when there was a knock on the door. Scully opened and froze as she saw Mulder … and Diana Fowley. She had to fight the urge to scream at him ‘What is going on? Why are you bringing her?’ But instead she pasted a smile on her face and politely invited them in leading them directly to the kitchen. After pouring them coffee she stepped up to Mulder and told him over-politely.

“Could I speak to you for a second? … In private!”

He gave her a funny look but followed his partner to the far corner of the living room.

“What the hell is she doing here Mulder?” Scully hissed and Mulder gave her one of his hurt-puppy looks.

“She called last night to go over a case file and that’s what we have been doing, we…”

Scully took a step back and turned white.

“You spent the whole night with her?” She asked and now it was Mulder’s turn to look at her in shock as he realized the implication behind her words.

“No, Scully, I…” he began but her face had turned to stone.

“OK, Mulder, listen carefully what I tell you and don’t DARE talking about any of this to HER, understand? I DON’T TRUST THIS WOMAN!”

He was taken aback by the harshness of her words and had a funny reply on his face when he looked into her icy blue eyes and decided against it.

“OK, Scully, relax, will you?”

She shot him another cold glance and he had the feeling that something had just died between them.

“I am listening, Scully! And I promise!”

Only then he noticed the unfolded couch and raised an eyebrow.

“You’ve had company, Scully?” Now his voice took an icy tone but Scully took his hand and led him to the bedroom.

“Shut up, Mulder and come on!”

When she opened the door Mulder froze dead in his tracks, there on the floor was Emily, alive and smiling up to him.

“It’s him, Dana, he was at the hospital with you.” She exclaimed and Scully quickly shut the door behind them.

Mulder turned to her and stared at her in disbelief.

“Scully, what is going on here?”

For a moment the animosity between them was gone and she visibly relaxed and led him into the adjoining bath and closed the door.

“I don’t know Mulder…” She replied quietly and then told him about last nights events.

“What are you going to do now?” He asked softly when she had ended.

“I have no earthly idea, Mulder, but this seems like a second chance to me…I guess I will have her examined, so I can be sure she is OK and she is indeed herself, you know what I mean.”

“She could be a clone…”

  _

“I know, Mulder, I have thought of that but she remembers me…what would you have me do?” Crossing her arms in front of her chest she looked expectantly at him.

“Scully, I don’t know either…just be careful alright…I will try to make some inquiries!”

“I rather you didn’t, I can deal with this myself, after all the person who called told me not to ask any questions…just let me handle this by myself!”

His eyes clouded over but he just nodded and let the room, kneeling down briefly to speak to Emily. Scully followed him back to the kitchen.

“Fox, we should get going…” Diana said when they entered and Scully winced at her using Mulder’s first name.

He uncomfortable shifted from one foot to the other and Scully just smiled at him sarcastically.

“Well, you have to do what you have to do, sorry to make you wait, Diana!”

Her voice dripped of sarcasm and she stepped aside so they could leave. Mulder signaled her that he would call but she just waved him off. She closed the door behind them and leaned against it in relief. She felt bad for having treated Mulder that way but WHY did he have to bring Diana. As if it wasn’t enough that he was “working on a case” with her – during the weekend for god’s sake! Shaking her head she called out for Emily and decided to go shopping for clothes for her to take her mind of things. She would think about Mulder later…

Scully and Emily had spent the whole Sunday, shopping for clothes and toys and eating ice-cream and hamburgers and when they got back to the house the little girl was exhausted and was put to bed after a shower. Scully drew herself a hot bath, lighted some scented candles and poured herself a glass of Chardonnay before sinking into the soothing water.

She had immensely enjoyed the day with Emily, this glimpse of a normal life of a mother and her little girls out shopping and having fun. A single mother of course but it didn’t bother Scully too much, she had always been able to take care of things on her own.

She certainly didn’t need Mulder! It had hurt to see him so familiar with Diana, but then what did she expect? Was probably happy to have her back and she had to admit that the two of them had been sort of stuck in their professional relationship.

She had been in love with Mulder from the start but had buried these feelings inside of her, out of respect for their growing friendship, their work and out of fear to lose him one day. She was afraid that one day they would just not be lovers anymore and that would mean the end of their friendship and their work.

Dana Scully’s scientific mind refused to believe in forever, but somewhere deep inside her she had always hoped that she and Mulder would find their own forever somewhere along the way. Deep inside her she had hoped that one day she would be able to lead a normal life. If Mulder did indeed feel more for her than friendship he certainly hid it well.

She had harbored the hope that they were indeed meant for each other, because they were just so good together, but that hope had started to fade that fateful day in Tennessee when Mulder had declared that another had been his soulmate through several lifetimes. Disappointed, Scully had built a wall around her emotions.

She had always seen children in her future but that hope had died when she found out, that as a result of her abduction she would be unable to conceive. Another hope died another wall erected. Dana Scully closed her eyes and sunk deeper into the fragrant water. She felt so much older than her 34 years tonight, too tired, too disillusioned, too sad. Emily’s mysterious re-appearance in her life was a sign – although she usually didn’t believe in signs – a new hope, another chance and Dana Scully decided to take this one serious. If it meant giving her life a completely new direction – FINE…she was prepared to do whatever it would take to keep Emily this time.

*****

Fox Mulder stopped the car in front of Diana Fowley’s apartment building and looked up in astonishment.

“The Watergate, Diana?”

She looked at him innocently “Yeah, they have great apartments, wanna come up and see?”

He shook his head “No, I should get going…”

“Oh come on, Fox, I won’t bite you and besides you should get out of that dreary place of yours…come on!”

She put her hand on his arm and he decided it wouldn’t hurt if he looked at the place. They rode up the elevator and Diana maintained the idle conversation that had taken them through dinner. Mulder had been relatively quiet after leaving Scully’s place and Diana hadn’t been too happy about it. ‘Bitch!’ she thought but then turned to the man beside her with a charming smile when they reached her floor and she unlocked the door to her apartment. Switching on all the lights she made a sweeping gesture and said invitingly.

“Make yourself at home, would you like anything…a drink? A tour?”

Mulder gave her a funny look and declined, strolling through the living room to the panoramic window.

“Nice view” he commented, facing her “what are you up to Diana?”

Her eyebrows rose in astonishment. “Whatever do you mean?”

“Oh, COME ON, I know you, you want something from me, you are never this nice without a motive!”

“Now, you are hurting me, Fox, you…”

His face turned to stone. “Diana, I am not kidding, what do you want!”

  _

She looked down and then answered “I wanted to be your partner again, to re-kindle the relationship we had … at least the professional one!”

She had stepped closer and played with the lapel of his leather jacket.

“You know that Scully is my partner, Diana!”

“I know, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a productive work relationship, after all we all work together again…”

She came even closer and Mulder could smell her familiar perfume and shampoo. It sent a wave of memories through his brain and when she kissed him it was familiar too, but he nevertheless pulled away. ‘This isn’t what you want!’ he told himself and stepped back.

“I think I have to go now! I need to call Scully!” With that he turned and left without saying another word.

Diana stayed behind smiling to herself ‘I have a feeling Dana Scully won’t be your partner for much longer my dear Fox…”

*****

Early the next day Scully called Skinner and told him that she needed a few days off.

“What’s the matter Agent Scully, are you OK?”

“Yes, Sir, it’s just … a situation has come up and I need a few days, it’s personal…”

“That’s fine, your current duties can be filled by another agent. Call me if there is anything I can do, will you?”

Scully smiled at her boss’s worried tone. “Sure, good bye, Sir!”

With that she hung up and called a friend of hers who was a pediatrician at John Hopkins in Baltimore asking to be seen with Emily as soon as possible

“Sure, Dana”, Sheila Workman told her, “come right over…I’ll make time for you, what’s going on?”

“I rather not tell you on the phone, I’ll be there in an hour!”

Scully got Emily dressed and carefully explained to the girl that she had to be seen by a doctor. To her surprise Emily reacted calm.

“That’s OK, Dana, will I have to get a shot?”

“We’ll see, sweetie, okay?”

Emily nodded and they set off to Baltimore, after Scully had grabbed a copy of Emily’s medical records from San Diego, which she had kept at the time. When she strapped Emily into the new children’s seat in her car she had to smile. ‘Boy, I definitely have to change a few things around here’. The car seat had been the first acquisition to accommodate a child in her life. She realized if she kept Emily a bigger apartment had to follow. She liked that thought it was the first step to a normal life.

Dr. Sharon Workman greeted Dana with a brief hug, then smiled down at Emily.

“Well, hello, I am Sharon, what’s your name?”

Emily smiled back shyly: “I’m Emily”

“Hi Emily, would you please wait over there while I speak to Dana?”

Emily nodded and sat down in the indicated corner that was decorated with cheerful animal posters. Sharon turned back to Scully.

“So, what’s the deal?”

Scully explained in brief words about what she had found out about Emily when she first met her in San Diego leaving out the part about Emily being her daughter instead saying that she was her niece. Then she described Emily’s illness and produced the medical records.

“…we thought she had died, or at least that’s what I was told until two days ago, when I was instructed to pick her up, well, and here she is… I would like you to test her, if there is anything wrong with her, I need to know if I am dealing with a sick child here, it was pretty bad a year ago!”

Scully finished and looked at her friend. She had known Sharon since Medical school but ever since joining the FBI she hadn’t been able to pay close attention to the friendship especially after working with Mulder on the X-files.

“That’s weird, why wouldn’t you know about her being alive all that time?”, Sharon asked “after all she is your niece!”

“At the time I had decided to adopt her but the authorities refused me…my job at the FBI and the resulting lifestyle weren’t good for a child…and I don’t really know why I hadn’t been informed!”

‘If you only knew,’ she thought to herself, but Sharon seemed to sense that Scully didn’t want to talk about it and didn’t push the subject. She went through Emily’s records and then asked the girl to follow her to the treatment room, holding out her hand which Emily took trustingly. Scully followed and was amazed at how calmly Emily let herself be seated on the examination table, rolling up her sleeves and waiting for Sharon to give her further instructions. A chill crept down Scully’s spine ‘She obviously must be very used to medical examinations! What have they done to her?’

During lunch she called Mulder on his cellphone and briefly explained what she was doing to him.

“OK, Scully, do whatever you have to do,” he replied “how’s Emily doing?”

“Oh, she is surprisingly fine, as if she is very used to being treated and tested by doctors. It’s kind of eerie!”

“She probably has, Scully… let me know if you find out anything more, will you?” the familiar concern was in his voice and Scully was glad that he didn’t seem to mind her being away from work.

“I will! Later, Mulder!”

The day went by with several tests being performed on Emily and time in the waiting room in between and the little girl took it all with an almost eerie calmness. By mid-afternoon Sharon came back to the waiting room and motioned for Scully to follow her.

“Well?” she asked when the office door had closed halfway behind them.

“She is fine, Dana, at least from what I can see so far. A little anemic, but the scans of her body and brain seem normal, she has the right height, weight and is the right intelligence level for a child her age, even a bit above. Of course we still have to wait for the results of the genetic tests…all in all I’d say you don’t have to worry!”

Scully felt her stomach settle in relief.

“That’s great, thank you so much!” She hugged her friend quickly and turned to leave.

“I will call you with the other results!”

“Thanks! Bye!”

Scully and Emily sat in a restaurant having pizza when her cellphone rang.

“Scully.”

“Ms. Scully,” the elegant voice with the British accent again.

“Yes?” ‘Oh no what now?’

“I gather you have had the girls examined?”

Scully looked around nervously. Had she been watched?

“Yes” she hesitantly replied.

  _

“Very good, I was certain you would do so. And you have found her in perfect health now there is one more decision to make, Ms Scully, ….?”

“What do you want?” she asked sharply and Emily looked up at her in surprise

“Nothing, Ms Scully, I am doing you a favor, I know how you have suffered when you lost her?”

“Were you sent by THEM?” she knew it sounded ridiculous but she couldn’t help herself.

“Oh, THEY know what I am doing, but it is not important, the girl doesn’t play a role anymore. They are finished with her and they didn’t object when I asked for her life!”

A chill ran down Scully’s spine for the second time today and she gasped.

“Her life?”

“Yes, so Ms Scully are you going to keep the girl?”

“Of course. Why are you doing this?”

He chuckled. “I have grand-children Emily’s age, but that’s not the only reason, you’ll find out soon enough.”

“What about the authorities?”

“Don’t concern yourself about the authorities, Ms Scully, in a few days more you will receive the appropriate documents, when you have made your decision…”

“What decision? I said I would keep her…hello?” the line had gone dead again and she put the phone down in frustration.

She didn’t understand the cryptic remark and she was frightened by what the caller had implied. She had suspected all along that the consortium was behind this but she hadn’t expected them to do her a favor. At least she was almost certain now that she would keep Emily and that brought infinite joy to her but also concern. ‘How would she handle her job and a child?’. She would figure out a way, she always did. She would speak to Mulder and then to Skinner. With the X-Files gone they were in a whole new ballgame anyway.

“Are you ready, Emily?” she asked and the girl nodded.

Scully got up and took her hand.

“Let’s go, we have to see someone?”

“Who?”

“Remember the man I was talking to yesterday? We have to see him, his name is Fox Mulder”

“Fox is not a name!”

“Oh yes it is, come on!”

After checking her watch, Scully decided to drive to the Edgar J. Hoover building, since she figured Mulder would be there anyway. She didn’t want to speak him on the phone again and that way she could probably reach Skinner, too.

*****

When she reached Washington it was already after six and most of the offices at Headquarters looked deserted. The security guard smiled at her when he saw her approaching with Emily.

“Evening, Agent Scully? I didn’t know you had a daughter!”

Scully smiled back. “I usually don’t bring her, Jackson, is AD Skinner still here?”

“Yeah, he is still upstairs!”

“Thanks!”

Scully rode up to the bullpen where hers and Mulder’s new offices – cubicles really – were located. Some agents were still present and they gave her a strange look as she breezed by with a little girl on her hand. She saw light in Mulder’s cubicle and was glad to see she hadn’t missed him when she heard a woman’s voice speaking to him.

“Oh Fox, that is not true, I never said the evidence wasn’t conclusive…!”

‘Diana Fowley – damn her’ Scully thought but she approached the desk anyway, Mulder looked up.

“Scully hey! What’s up” He jumped up from his chair when he saw her, “ah and you are bringing a new agent, I see, hey Emily, how are you?”

He sat down on his haunches and shook Emily’s hand and was rewarded by a smile.

“Hello Fox Mulder!”

Mulder shook his head and smiled back.

“Mulder, can I talk to you?” Scully gave Diana a sideways glance.

“Sure, let me just finish here and…”

“It’s rather important, Mulder!”

Diana had gotten up and stepped forward, ignoring Emily and positioning herself between her and Mulder.

“So it this case, Agent Scully, now if you’d please excuse us, we haven’t had the luxury of a day off…”

Scully swallowed the sharp reply and just looked at Fowley coolly, shooting an icy glance in Mulder’s direction.

“Sure! Fine! Whatever! I guess that settles it anyway, now if you’d excuse ME, I have to see AD Skinner!”

With that she turned on her heels and marched off, Emily close on her heels. She didn’t react when she heard Mulder calling for her and he didn’t follow. She was furious when she reached Skinner’s office but she also saw very clearly now. The moment she had dreaded, the moment she had hoped would never come…she had just been there. There was another woman in Mulder’s life now, professionally and possibly even in his private life and he had just shown her were his priorities were. It was as if someone had gripped her heart and was squeezing slowly. This would make her decision so much easier, though. She swallowed hard and entered the outer office. Skinner’s admin was long gone and so she knocked softly on the door.

“Come in!” Skinner got up and smiled when he saw Emily. “Agent Scully? What a surprise and who did you bring?”

Scully moved Emily in front of herself an put her hands on the girls shoulders.

“Sir, this is my daughter Emily, Emily this is Walter Skinner!”

His face registered only the slightest bewilderment.

“Hello!” Emily offered him her hand shyly and he bend down and shook it.

“Hi, Emily!” Then he looked back at Scully and lifted one eyebrow in surprise. “I thought she was…”

“So did I, Sir, I have no idea what happened but I don’t really care, I am just glad she is here!” Scully told him openly then continued. “I need to know what the bureau’s plans for reassignment are, Sir, because I intend to keep Emily and that will certainly change things…”

“I see, sit down Agent Scully”

They did and when Skinner had settled himself behind his desk he spoke again.

“There are currently no plans to re-open an X-Files division so consequently you and Mulder will be reassigned. Right now it looks like he will be offered a position for VICAP and you will be given the choice in either teaching at the academy or work for a field office. You and Mulder will NOT be reassigned together. Unless you choose the academy and Mulder accepts the position with VICAP ….”

“That’s not so important right now,” Scully said softly and Skinner gave her an astonished look, she sighed and composed herself. “I mean…she changes everything” Scully didn’t know if she was talking about Emily or Diana at that moment. “Sir, I feel I have been given a second chance…I mean, you know that I can never have a child on my own and then Emily is returned to me… I feel I have to take that chance, whatever it takes!”

“I understand. You will be offered any of the two positions in a few days and I will accept whichever choice you make.” Skinner had risen and Scully did the same.

“Thank you, Sir!” She and Emily said their goodbye and left. Scully wanted to go see her mother and tell her the news.

*****

Margaret Scully was shocked and overjoyed at the same time.

“I am so happy for you, Dana, but this whole thing gives me the shivers!”

“It creeps me out, too, Mom, but the most important thing is that I have her!”

“That’s true…what about Mulder!”

“Mulder has other priorities right now!” Scully replied shortly but she did feel bad about the whole scene in the office.

She felt she had to make amends with him, hear his side of the story and so she asked her mother to keep an eye on Emily for a couple of hours. She needed to speak to Mulder. Her mother agreed happily and when Scully saw that Emily was happily playing with Charlie’s children she set off.

Scully reached Mulder’s apartment 45 minutes later and sat in the car to prepare herself for what she had to say, when she saw the light coming on in his living room upstairs. ‘Strange’, she thought, ‘he must have been there all the time.’

She got out of the car and looked up to the window when she saw him stepping out from the shadows. He seemed to be looking directly at her and she was about to lift her hand and wave when she stopped dead. Another figure had appeared behind Mulder and wrapped her arms around his waist. It was Diana Fowley and Scully stepped back in shock. Tears strung her eyes as she unlocked the car and slid back behind the wheel.

‘Fuck him!’ she thought as she started the car and drove off with screeching tires, angrily wiping away the tears with the back of her hand. She didn’t look back or she might have been able to see Mulder shaking of Diana’ s arms and stepping away from her shaking his head…

*****

Dana Scully resigned from the FBI the next day, offering the surprised Skinner no explanation, except that it was a decision out of personal reasons. She asked Skinner to have her desk cleared out by a clerk and the contents to be sent to her mother’s address. She didn’t call Mulder and didn’t return his calls on her cellphone or at home. She was so hurt and disappointed that she couldn’t face him anymore and after a while the phone calls stopped.

A week later Scully signed a contract at Mass. General Hospital starting January 1st. She had decided to leave not only the FBI behind but her previous life in Washington. Boston was still close enough for her mother to visit, but far enough away from Mulder. Until then, her time would be devoted to Emily and arranging their new life together.

Just before Christmas Scully and Emily drove up to Boston to look for a place to live. She had contacted a realtor and they met her in Cambridge to look at a house there. Mrs. Walker was a friendly woman in her fifties. The house in Cambridge was a small two-story affair with a screened in porch and a garage. It seemed sad and neglected and Scully didn’t like it very much but it had a back yard for Emily to play in.

“Well, what do you think, honey?” she asked her daughter and Emily shyly shook her head.

“Can we look at something else?” Mrs. Walker nodded and they drove to another house in the same area, which neither Scully nor Emily liked.

“Do you have another one to show us? I’m sorry I don’t really know what exactly we are looking for…” she apologized to the still smiling Mrs. Walker, who reflected for a moment and then her face lit up.

“Yes, actually I think I do have just the thing for you, Ms. Scully, it’s partly furnished though..”

“Let’s look at it!”

They followed the realtor over the Charles River back to Boston and stopped in front of a brownstone in the fashionable Back Bay section of Boston, just a block away from Commonwealth Avenue.

Mrs. Walker led them up the stairs and unlocked the front door and Scully knew right away that this was it. The hallway had a gallery and a huge silver chandelier hung from the top. She and Emily wandered around the rooms that all had high plastered ceilings. Everything had been freshly painted in a clean white. The front living room was still furnished with flowered couches, heavy drapes and Tiffany lamps in light colors the dining room held a beautifully crafted table made of light wood and six matching chairs and an antique buffet. Scully felt like stepping into another century. A total contrast to her own style she nevertheless fell in love with the place. The kitchen cabinets were white washed wood. They went upstairs, Emily curiously running ahead. The master bedroom overlooked the street and had an oval window seat, with soft cushions, as had the room across the hall. That room was furnished and had a child’s four poster canopy bed. There also was a vanity and a dresser, all made out of wood, painted white and yellow and matching the canopy and the curtains. This room had obviously belonged to the daughter of the house and Emily looked at it in awe.

“Dana, is this a little girl’s room?”

“I think so, do you like it?”

“Yes!” They looked at the other two rooms and baths it looked like the decision had been made. Back downstairs Scully turned to Emily.

“So, what do you think?”

Emily’s face showed a look of concentration, then she leaned closer and whispered “I think we should take it, and can I have the yellow room?”

Scully laughed out loud and assured her that yes, she could indeed have the yellow room. Mrs. Walker informed her that it shouldn’t be a problem but that for now, she could only rent the apartment, since the owner wasn’t sure whether to sell it or not.

“That’s fine! I don’t mind renting, in fact it suits me just fine, but how come?”

“The owner is an elderly lady who has moved to Florida, her whole family lives overseas, she has been thinking about selling it for the longest time now, but couldn’t bring herself to it yet, don’t worry though, it’s not like you’ll have to move out anytime soon!”

Scully signed the lease on the house that afternoon and when she put her signature on the document she felt sad and ecstatic at once. It marked the first day of her new life, but also it marked the end of her time with Mulder. He wouldn’t be part in this.

*****

THE FIRST CHRISTMAS

Christmas Eve came fast and when Dana Scully opened the door to retrieve the paper she found a large manila envelope right next to it. She curiously opened it and dumped the contents on the kitchen table. It was a stack of papers and a vial filled with a bluish liquid. She picked up the papers and quickly read them. They were formal adoption papers, signed and sealed, stating that from now on Emily Sim, adopted daughter of the Mr. and Mrs. Sim of San Diego, natural mother unknown, would be the adopted daughter of Dr. Dana Katherine Scully, yak yak yak….. Scully closed her eyes and sighed ‘Thank God, this was over!’, Then she looked at the vial and the note that was attached to it, it read. ‘Ms Scully, Emily has to be injected with 0,1 of this liquid every month to prevent the symptoms you have encountered in San Diego. She will be perfectly fine as long as she gets the dose on a regular basis. We will provide you with a new vial each year. The current one will last 12 injections.’ That was all and she sighed and put the vial with her doctor’s bag that she kept in the hallway closet. A sleepy Emily stood in the door to the kitchen.

“What are you reading, Dana?”

“Just papers!”

“Work papers?” Scully picked Emily up and held her close.

“No, these papers say that from now on I am your Mommy, what do you say?”

Emily wrapped her arms around Scully’s neck and kissed her on the cheek.

“I like that!”

*****

It was a family Christmas spent at Margaret Scully’s home. Bill and Tara were there with baby Matthew again and Charlie and wife Rena had been there ever since Thanksgiving with their children Katie and Peter, who took of with Emily as soon as they spotted her. After everyone had taken their coats off, Margaret Scully opened the door to the living room where the tree had been lit and the presents were waiting. Katie and Peter immediately fell on their knees and started to look for boxes with their names on them but Emily waited until Margaret told her.

“Go on, honey, there are some for you, too!”

Later after dinner had been eaten and when the kids were busy playing with their new toys, the family sat around the fireplace, drinking eggnog and champagne, chatting with each other. Scully raised her glass.

“I would like to let you know that as of yesterday Emily is officially my daughter. I received the adoption papers.”

“That is so great!” Tara jumped up and was the first to congratulate her and the rest of the family joined in.

After a while the conversation went back to other subjects and Scully got up and went outside on the porch, staring at the stars. She thought about Mulder and wondered where he was and what he did for Christmas and tears welled up in her eyes. She had been so busy for the last few weeks that she’d hardly had time to think of him and when she did now it was physically painful how much she missed him. His smile, his jokes, his hazel eyes that changed color depending on his mood, the way that lock of hair fell onto his forehead, his warm hand on the small on her back, the sight of his long fingers tapping away on the computer. Suddenly all these images flooded her mind and she had to sit down the steps of the porch. She buried her face in her hands as she silently wept. She had promised herself she would do whatever it took to keep Emily and start a normal life…she never expected to lose Mulder in the process.

NEW YEARS

Scully and Emily moved to Boston right after Christmas and spent New Year in their new apartment. When the ball dropped at midnight Emily was sound asleep on the couch and Scully stepped into the tiny backyard with her glass of champagne and watched the fireworks in the sky. It was a clear and cold night and she could see millions of stars shimmering and wondered if Mulder looked up at them, too. She wondered briefly if she should call him but put down the phone again, he probably wasn’t even there. Scully lifted her glass and softly whispered. “Happy New Year, Mulder!”

*****

Fox Mulder was bored. Diana had called him earlier that night and upon hearing that he would stay home with a bottle of whiskey on New Years she had convinced him that he needed to get out of the house and dragged him to this party.

The guests consisted mostly of FBI and some of them gave him funny looks. He heard “Spooky” more than once and a couple of references to “Mrs. Spooky” being absent annoyed the hell out of him. Diana seemed content to mingle and so he grabbed a glass of red wine from a passing waiter and stood to the side brooding.

Every once in a while Diana would come by and ask him to join her with one group or the other, but he declined every time. As he watched people chat and laugh, he thought about his past and recent relationship with Diana Fowley.

In the past, before the X-files they had briefly shared a stormy romance, but it had quickly dissolved into a pattern, where they still lived together, leading separate lives – and in the beginning it hadn’t disturbed them. They had been friends, colleagues and making love once in a while had been pleasant and uncomplicated, since neither of them had had the time nor energy to pursue other relationships. But in the end it had lacked emotion and no sooner Diana had left him to pursue a more career-orientated path in the FBI and he had become engrossed in the X-files.

But now she was back…back in his life, as his partner, not his lover but working hard on it and his Scully, whom he had loved for five years, whose life he had fought for was gone. He suspected her “flight” to Boston had something to do with Diana, what he couldn’t fathom was why she had had to leave like that, without saying a word, without saying goodbye.

When the clock struck midnight, Mulder lifted his glass and toasted wordlessly “Happy New Year, Scully!” before Diana embraced him…

*****

A NEW YEAR

Dana Scully loved Boston. Boston was quiet and exciting, new and old, open and narrow-minded at the same time. She loved that she could walk Emily to school on her way to work. She loved the parks, the outdoor cafes, the museums and the variety of activities possible in and around Boston. She would pick up Emily after school and go to the Common with her. During the winter they went ice-skating and to the science museum, in the summer they took the ferry to Provincetown or drove North to the Beaches. Emily turned into a healthy, happy girl and Scully soon could not imagine a life without her. The two of them were content with each other. Men weren’t an issue in their new lives, but Scully desperately missed Mulder. She lacked the spirit to call him and the longer she waited, the harder it got. She found new excuses and by the end of that summer she had given up on redeeming their relationship. She told herself it wasn’t any use, that he had chosen Diana and she had chosen to leave and lead her own life with Emily. Whatever it takes,…

THANKSGIVING

“Emily? What are you doing up there, we have got to go!”

Dana Scully sat down the suitcase in the front hall and put her hands on her hips.

“I’m coming, Mom, I just want to finish this picture for Grandma!”

Scully rolled her eyes and went back through the kitchen one more time to check the backdoor. Emily came skipping down the stairs holding a sheet of paper just as Scully was putting her heavy black coat on.

“Look, I made a picture of you and me, and there is the house and the ducks in the park!”

She held up her masterpiece in childish glee and Scully nodded. “It is beautiful, I’m sure she will love it!”, while slipping the jacket on her daughter.

“Now, let’s go, I don’t think the airplane will wait for us, young lady!”

Emily excitedly jumping up and down in her seat when they reached Margaret Scully’s house, where they were hugged and kissed and then ushered into the living room where a fire had been lit. Emily proudly presented her picture and was rewarded by more hugs and a gift.

“THANKS, Grandma!” Emily scampered off happily to unwrap her present.

“Bill and are coming tomorrow!”, Margaret announced cheerfully while she pinned the drawing to the fridge with a magnet, “but Charlie can’t make it this year, not even for Christmas! It is too sad, we never seem to be a complete family!”

Scully had followed her into the kitchen and was leaning in the doorway.

“Do I hear some hidden meaning in that, Mom?”, she crossed her arms in front of her chest and drew up one eyebrow.

“No, dear, I think it is just sad that we never seem to be whole, be one…someone is always missing,…when you get older you notice these things more,…” she let her voice trail of and looked at her daughter. “Is there something you want to tell me, Dana?”

“Maybe later, Mom!”

In the living room they could hear Emily squeal in delight as she opened her present and soon she came running in a book in her arms and embraced Margaret.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“You are welcome, hon!”

After dinner and after Emily had been brought to bed, Scully sat in front of the fire, staring at the flames unseeing. She was brooding about her mother’s earlier words. True right now, she didn’t mind raising Emily by herself, but what would be in ten or fifteen years? Sure, she was strong now, independent and proud, but she did miss a man in her life. ‘No, Dana’ she told herself, ‘not A man, Mulder!’ There were certainly enough candidates at the hospital but she never went out with any of them, she could not forget his eyes tenderly looking at her… ‘Oh, Mulder!’ she sighed when Margaret had sat down beside her.

“Are you ready to talk, Dana?” Scully faced her mother and smiled sadly “There isn’t much to talk really, Mom, it’s just Mulder – I miss him! I thought I could do just fine without him, but the truth is I can’t, I miss him…I saw him with Diana Fowley that night, when I decided to keep Emily and I just ran off, I never explained I never even gave him the chance to speak, Mom, and now I miss him so much!” Tears were running down Scully’s face and her mother embraced her and rocked her gently.

“Then speak to him now!”

“NOW? I can’t!”

“Yes, you can!”

“But Emily!”

“Nonsense, Emily is sound asleep.”

Scully got up and ran her finger through her hair.

“But what if he is with her? What if he doesn’t even care?”

“He DOES care, Dana, he always has and if he is with another woman now, then at least you will know!”

She was right of course and so Scully freshened up and climbed in her rental car after looking in on Emily.

Mulder’s street was deserted. Scully parked across the street and tried to calm herself down. She had a sense of deja-vu as she looked up the darkened windows of his apartment. She could almost see him standing there, looking down and then arms encircling him, caressing him…

‘NO, I can’t do this!’ she started the car again, but thought better. ‘This is ridiculous!’ she said out loud, got out of the car and approached the building with a purposeful stride.

She hesitated only briefly in front of his door and then knocked sharply. There was no answer and Scully almost left again but then she remembered that she still had his keys. Debating with herself for a second whether she should be using them like that, she opened the door silently and entered Mulder’s apartment.

Nothing had changed there. Mild chaos still reigned and the fish tank radiated pale blue light across the room. The desk was cluttered with papers, CD-ROMs and disks, the light on the answering machine blinked. The worn leather couch was empty and it looked like nobody had been there for days.

Scully turned to leave when she noticed the door to he right of the couch. She peeked through the opening and saw Mulder sprawled on his bed – he HAD A BED?-still wearing jeans and a black T-shirt. A glass of red wine and an empty bottle stood on the bedside table.

Scully entered the room and sat down softly on the edge of the bed, watching him sleep. He looked relaxed and peaceful and she was overcome by a wave of tenderness. His hair was longer then she remembered and grazed his brows. His face was calm and Scully’s gaze lingered on his full lower lip for a moment. He turned and mumbled something in his sleep and Scully reached out and pushed a lock of silky dark hair out of his eyes.

“Hmm, Scully,…” he murmured and she shrank back, getting up from the bed with a start.

Mulder turned on his back and opened staring up at her. She froze.

“Scully? SCULLY?” he sat up and touched her arm, his fingers searching her hand as if to reassure himself that she was real. “I must be dreaming,” he mumbled and rubbed his eyes.

Scully stood there, unsure of what to do next, then she said.

“No, Mulder, it’s really me!”

He straightened up and looked at her.

“What are you doing here, Scully?”

“I…I just wanted to see how you were doing…I am in Washington for the holidays!”

He stared at her, his eyes growing hard and his face turning to stone. He had been in pain about her disappearance every single day during the past year and here she was, in his apartment, asking how he had been. ‘WHY?’ his mind screamed, ‘WHY DID YOU NEVER CALL?’ hot anger welled up in him and he replied icily.

“Why, Scully, you haven’t cared for the last 12 months, why care now?”

She took a step back as if he had physically hit her.

“I… I do care…I wanted…” she was so shocked by the icy tone in her voice that she was lost for words.

“What, Scully, finish the job…turn me into a fucking nutcase? WHAT DID YOU WANT!” He had gotten up and was hovering over her.

She took another step back and glared at him, shock quickly giving way to rage. Who the hell did he think he was?

“You selfish bastard!” she spat at him, “you are so fucking self-centered it makes me sick, Mulder! True, I did walk out on you but I wasn’t the one who screwed around with my ex-partner! I wasn’t the one who left his partner totally alone when she needed him! I made a mistake, Mulder, but I only reacted, damn it! I needed you, I had one of the toughest decisions in my life to make and I NEEDED YOU ON THAT!”

Scully breathed heavily and stared into his wide eyes and then she dropped her arms to the side as if all anger just drained out of her after the outburst.

“You know what, Mulder, I am just gonna leave…it was a mistake coming here! Goodbye” She shook her had sadly and turned to leave.

Tears streamed down her face and she quickened her pace to get out of the apartment.

“NO! Scully wait!”

With two steps he caught up with her just as she had her hand on the doorknob. He moved around her and positioned himself between her and the door and put his hands on her shoulders.

“Let me go, Mulder!” She struggled to free herself but he was too strong.

“No, Scully, Scully, I am sorry, please don’t leave,…”

His eyes were soft again and when she tried to slip away he bent down and kissed her. Her lips tasted salty from the tears and he grazed them with his tongue before drawing her even closer.

She went rigid for just a moment but then answered his kiss just as hungrily, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling his head down, running her fingers through his dark, silky hair. Soon his kiss grew more demanding and he moved away from her mouth to cover her face and neck with small butterfly kisses along the line of her shirt. Her fingers moved down his back and under his T-shirt only to move back up on his bare back. He moaned softly when her hand caressed his stomach and his muscles tightened involuntarily.

He picked her up swiftly and carried her over to the couch, where he slipped off his shirt and proceeded to do so with her shirt and button down sweater. Soon their hands and tongues were exploring each others’ bodies, clothes were shed and discarded hastily, soft moans escaped their throats. Their love-making was fierce and hasty as if they had to claim one another as quickly as possible.

Afterwards they lay in each other’s arms, spent and out of breath. Mulder has buried his head in the soft spot between her neck and shoulder as he inhaled the scent of her perfume mixed with her sweat and the scent of their love-making. Scully had wrapped her arms around him and one hand was playing with his hair.

“Are you cold?” his voice sounded extremely loud in the silence of the apartment.

“Hmm, a little…” Mulder smiled and got up from the couch, scooping her up in his arms and carrying her to the bedroom. There he laid her down softly and crawled under the covers himself, spooning her. Scully snuggled close to him and he planted a kiss on her hair.

“Scully…?”

“Yeah?” Her voice was but a whisper.

“I love you…I have always loved you”, he said.

She turned around to face him in the half-light of the room and he continued.

“I guess it took what it took to make me admit that, but I do, I have loved you ever since you walked into my motel room that night on our first case… I am sorry, Scully, you see, once Diana and I were…oh I don’t really know what, but we are not anymore…she still means something to me, for old times sake, but that’s it…she tried of course but after meeting you how could I…I have missed you Scully, I have missed you so much!”

He hugged her close to himself, so that their noses almost touched.

“I missed you, too, Mulder, I reacted too hastily, but at that time I needed you and…oh never mind. I love you, too, Mulder and I don’t want to spent the rest of my life without you, but I also want you to know that I lead a different life now…Emily has changed everything. Apart from missing you, I like my life in Boston…”

“Shh…I know, I know!” He kissed her again and drew her even closer, feeling her naked body pressed against his own. Soon their kisses grew more intense and this time their love-making was slow, a gentle discovering of each other, lips to lips, heart to heart and when they both reached the peak of their lust, it felt like coming home…

Dawn came and Mulder woke to the sound of Scully moving around.

“What are you doing?”

“I have to go, Mulder, as much as I love you, I have told you, my life has changed…I can’t leave Emily behind me…”

“I know.”

“I will go home now, Mulder. You are more than welcome to join us for Thanksgiving…the decision is yours now…if you decide you will go on as you have I will learn to live with that…I love you, Mulder, and I will never stop.”

With that she pulled on her sweater and left. Mulder lay there, stunned by her words, lost in thoughts, he lay there for the rest of the day, only getting up briefly for a drink or some food. By late evening, he had made a decision.

*****

CHRISTMAS

Winter had come to Boston in full force. The roads were icy and the sky was slate gray. Dana Scully struggled against the fierce wind, Emily in tow, carrying a bag of groceries. When they finally reached their house, both were glad to escape the wind and the cold. Scully put down her bag on the kitchen counter, while Emily got rid of her coat. They sat down at the kitchen counter and drank hot cocoa.

“Mommy, is Santa gonna bring me my roller blades?”

Emily asked and looked at Scully with bright eyes. Scully had to smile.

“Well, if you were good then I don’t thing there isn’t any reason why he shouldn’t, Emily”

The girl seemed content with that and Scully was about to say something else when there was a knock on the front door. ‘Who could that be…’ she got up and opened the door. Fox Mulder stood there, his lips blue, his hands full of bags and a suitcase.

“Mulder? What are you doing here?”

He gave her a lopsided smile.

“I have made a decision, Scully, I don’t want to live without you…I quit…as from January first I will be teaching at Harvard, criminal psychology… and…yeah, Skinner wanted me to tell you that this sucks!”

Scully’s face lit up and she embrace him fiercely. Then she remembered the cold and pulled him into the house.

“Come in, Mulder, you are freezing…”

Mulder stepped into the parlor and embraced her.

“Does that mean you’ll have me, Scully?”

She looked up into his eyes and smiled mischievously “For the time being…”

He smiled back and bent down to kiss her.

It was the most perfect Christmas. Emily accepted Mulder’s presence with the calmness she seemed to expect everything in her life. She was shy at first and only looked in his direction once in a while. When they were alone in her room getting her ready for bed, Emily asked Scully.

“Is he gonna stay?” Scully’s eyes clouded over. “…because if he is, Mom, that’s OK, I like Fox,” Emily continued, “and he likes you, Mom, I can see that …and you know what?” she bent over Scully’s ear “I think he likes me, too…”

Scully had to laugh at her daughter’s sincerity.

“Yes he does, now it’s time for you to sleep, honey, good night!”

She kissed the little girl on the cheek and went downstairs where Mulder was sitting on the couch in front of the fire. Scully sat down and wrapped her arms around him. ‘This is it…’ she thought ‘this is what I want…’

As if Mulder had read her thoughts he said “I know, Scully it’s what I want, too, and I am going to do whatever it takes to make it work….”

THE END

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