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Without You

A small smile was pasted on Scully's face as she watched her nieces and nephews rip open their presents. Early morning light filtered in through the windows of Charles Scully's home and seemed to spotlight their happy little faces as they shouted out what they had received. Her smile widened to a reluctant grin when one of the smaller kids lisped out a 'Thank you, Auntie Dana', but it quickly faded. Her slender fingers tightened on the mug of hot chocolate she held as a wave of sadness overcame her.


She turned at the gentle sound of her mother's voice and managed a smile. "Hi, Mom."

"Looking at you, I would think we were at a funeral rather than celebrating Christmas..." Margaret Scully's eyes widened. "Oh, I didn't mean it like that..."

Scully sighed and patted the hand her mother had put on her arm. "It's alright. You don't have to walk eggshells around me."

"We can't help it," Bill Jr. piped in from his seat on the couch. "Relax a little, Dana. You haven't had a break in months."

Not since Mulder's abduction, she thought.

"I think I'm going to lie down for a while," she said, turning towards the stairs.

"What about your presents?" Charles asked.

"I'll open them later. Save the best for last."

"Are it the baby?" Margaret ventured.

"No," Scully replied, one hand unconsciously moving to her round belly. "She's fine. I just need to lie down for a little while."

She mounted the stairs with heavy steps like that of an old woman carrying the burdens of the world on her shoulders. Margaret watched her, a worried frown on her face.

"Something is wrong," she murmured.

"She's not dealing with Mulder's disappearance well, Mom," Charles said, sighing. "You know how close they were. She's been like this for months. And with this baby..."

"I think she's better off like this," Bill said disdainfully. "All he brought into her life was pain and death. Maybe she can lead a normal life now that he's gone."

"Bill, don't ever say that!" Margaret admonished. "She loves him and if she ever hears you saying something like that again you'll never see her for the rest of her life."

Bill shook his head and turned his attention back to the children. Charles put his arm around his mother.

"She'll find a way out of this," he said reassuringly. "She's survived so much already and she has to make it for the baby."

I hope so, Margaret thought sadly. Oh Fox where are you? She needs you.

Scully curled up in bed, deaf to the sounds of her family downstairs. Her thoughts were focused on one thing and one thing only.

Their baby.

She could feel the tiny life inside her stirring. Soon, the baby would start to poke and kick her. Unlike most other expectant mothers, Scully did not find the baby's movements annoying in the least. She saw them as a reminder that she wasn't as alone as she thought she was. Hours were spent imagining their daughter gurgling happily and clinging to Scully's hand with a small fist. But today, the baby did not bring the comfort that she usually did. Instead, Scully was only reminded of the baby's father.

Mulder, I miss you.

Her pink lips trembled with remembered pain. Tears crept down her white cheeks to fall on the pillow beneath her head. And in her free hand was a small article of clothing. It still carried the scent that was uniquely Mulder's. When she held it, she imagined that it was still on him and she was touching him. She stared at the old tie, a genuine smile on her face as she studied its slightly gaudy design and thinking about how it was definitely a Mulder-tie.

"Jesus Christ, Mulder. I don't know how you walked around for years wearing ties like these," she said aloud.

"It wasn't hard. At least my suit wasn't powder blue."

Eyes wide with shock, Scully looked up and saw Mulder looking down at her, a big grin on his face. He sat on the edge of her bed as she sat up. Without a second thought, she threw her arms around him, sobbing and laughing at the same time. Mulder only smiled serenely, but his arms were tight around her.

"You're're back..." Scully repeated.

He stiffened and she sensed his withdrawal. She drew away from him and looked into his eyes. They stared back at her sadly.

"I'm dreaming, aren't I?" she said, sure that her heart was breaking.

"Yes," he answered.

She put a hand on his cheek and put on a brave front. "That's fine. As long as you're with me."

He smiled and glanced down at her belly. "How is she?"

"Alive and kicking." Scully gasped and grabbed his hand, placing it on her. "Literally...did you feel that?"

Mulder's brow knit as he concentrated. Then he laughed joyfully when he felt the tiny kick against the palm of his hand.

"She's strong!" he exclaimed. "Like you, Scully."

Scully grinned. "I know. But I bet she looks just like you."

"I'd rather she looked like you," he said dryly. "I'll be damned if she gets this nose."

Scully laughed. "Mulder, I've missed you so much." Her laughter died down. "So much. Some days, it takes all I have inside just to get out of bed."

Gently, Mulder reached out and pulled her to him. He embraced her tightly, burying his face in her red hair. Scully's hands clutched at his shirt and she took a deep breath, relishing anew what he felt and smelled like. She would remember...until the next time.

"Will you be back soon?" she whispered.

"I wish I could say that I will be, but I don't know," he answered truthfully. "It's hard up there, but you know what gets me by? I think of you. I think of how you would look at me when I went off on my spiels about the paranormal. I think of how you would look at me when I finally get you alone, and your eyes get that gleam in them. I dig out a memory of one of our times together and I relive it until the pain is gone, until I'm sure that I had felt your hands on me again. Without you, Scully, I would die because I would have no reason to live."

"Hold on, Mulder," Scully sobbed into his shoulder. "Hold on until I can find you."

"I will." He began to pull away and Scully could hear her mother's voice calling to her. "I have to go now," he said.

"Not yet, Fox. Please just stay a little longer..."

He kissed her, his lips clinging to hers as his hands framed her face. "I wish I could," he said against her lips. "But your mom is waking you up now. I have to go." Then he smiled that mischievious smile that used to make her wonder what was going through his head, but not warmed her heart. "But I'll be back, Dana. I'll be back."

Scully opened her eyes wearily and found her mother's worried face hovering over her.

"What time is it?" she mumbled.

"Dinnertime. You have to eat something, Dana. You already skipped lunch. It's not good for the baby for you to skip meals."

"Alright." Scully allowed her mother to help her up. "It smells great."

"Were you dreaming of him?" Margaret asked quietly.

"I always do, Mom."

Margaret gathered her daughter in her arms. "He'll find his way back to you, Dana. He always has."

"I know. But not only for me. For us." Scully took a deep breath and smiled when she caught a tinge of Mulderscent in the air. "Come on. Let's go eat. I'm eating for two now, you know."

The End

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