This story is based on characters created by Chris Carter and Ten
Productions. Characters used without permission. No infringement
TITLE: Comfort and Joy
AUTHOR: Jo-Ann Lassiter
EMAIL ADDRESS: Jolassi555@cs.com
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Two weeks exclusive on VS10.
Then post anywhere. Thanks.
CLASSIFICATION: S, R
SUMMARY: When Mulder gets sick right before Christmas, he
tries to hide it from Scully because he doesn’t want her to stay
home with him instead of spending the holiday with her family.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: No plot. Barely a story. Pure MT.
THANKS: To Gerry for the ultra-fast beta.
December 19, 2002
“No, Mom. It’s no trouble.” Scully cradled the phone against one
ear while she jotted information on the yellow-lined tablet. “Got it.
We should be at your house about eight.” Her eyes met his, and
Mulder knew that not only would what they were planning involve
him in some way, it would be extremely painful. “Unless
something comes up, yes.” Her eyes returned to the pad of paper as
she said her good-byes and hung up.
“Don’t tell me,” Mulder groaned. “Bill’s flight. Your mother can’t
pick him up.”
Scully nodded. “Right.”
“So you’re picking him up?” Mulder asked, hopefully.
When she smiled that sweetly evil smile, Mulder’s spirits plunged.
“We’re picking him up,” she told him, emphasis on the “we.”
Mulder only sighed before turning back to his reports.
He was running out of time. The hour was fast approaching when
they had to leave for the airport, and Mulder hadn’t come up with
any excuses good enough to get him out of seeing Billy Boy five
days ahead of schedule.
Just as he had resigned himself to a night of pure torture, the phone
rang. Mulder tried to contain his joy when Skinner asked him if
they would assist White Collar Crimes with some wire tap duty.
WCC was short-staffed due to some poor vacation planning,
compounded by an epidemic of bank fraud cases, and they were
borrowing from other departments. The X-Files division was the
last to be tapped.
Mulder accepted for himself, but told Skinner that Scully was
unavailable. “Her brother?” Skinner asked, then chuckled. “No
wonder you were so eager to accept.”
“Yes, sir,” Mulder said crisply, checking his watch. “If I leave now
I can be there in half an hour.”
Scully’s head snapped up at that. “Where are you going?” she
asked when he put the phone down.
“Gotta help out the White Collar boys.” He thought he did well in
sounding almost disappointed. “They asked for you, too, but I got
you out of it.”
“Wire tap?” she asked.
“Mulder, you hate wire tap duty.”
He had to bite his tongue to keep from telling her that although he
hated it with a passion, it still beat the hell out of having to spend
time with her brother. He shrugged. “They’re stuck. It’s an
important case, and they just don’t have the manpower.” He met
her eyes, beginning to feel a little guilty for bugging out on her.
“It’s just for tonight. I promise.”
“You promised you’d come Christmas shopping with me tomorrow
night,” she reminded him.
“I will.” He grabbed his coat, gave her a quick kiss and a wink,
then headed to the door. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
Once he was safely on the other side of the door, he released a
huge sigh of relief for the reprieve from Bill’s company. If he
played his cards right, maybe he could get out of seeing him
Mulder snorted as he took the stairs up to the lobby.
Like **that** was ever an option.
Dilapidated Office Building in Seedy Section of Arlington, VA
Mulder adjusted the headphones and shivered. Why would any
self-respecting bank V.P. be holed up in such a dive? He shifted
his seat—for about the fiftieth time—as a few more flakes of
plaster floated down from the dangerously-sagging ceiling.
Activity next door brought him back to his job, and he checked the
recorder to make sure it was getting everything. As he listened, he
could tell that this might very well be it. The veep was about to
hang himself; he could feel the team gearing up for the arrest.
The perp sang like a bird to his girlfriend on the phone, and Mulder
quickly checked that he’d gotten it; sure enough, the tape was
rolling. With any luck, he’d be home by 10:30.
As the boys in FBI blue burst in, Mulder heard the commotion
through the wall; he sighed in relief as the man allowed the cuffs to
be placed on him with no resistance.
A knock came on his door, and Mulder stood to unlock it.
Then the roof caved in.
For a moment, Mulder could do nothing but stare at the debris
blocking the door. Another second, and he would have been under
that big block of grey metal nestled in amongst the plaster and
wood and tarpaper.
Frantic pounding on the door brought him out of his reverie.
“Agent Mulder! Are you all right in there? Is the tape okay?”
Mulder opened his mouth to respond, and breathed in a lungful of
dust. Caught in a coughing fit, Mulder was unable to assure the
SAC that he—and the tape—were unharmed.
Taking his handkerchief out of his pocket, Mulder secured it over
his mouth so that he could breathe without inhaling too much of
the dust. When he got a breath, he answered, “The tape is fine.” He
glared at the culprit that had caused the collapse. “I’m stuck in
here, though. An old air-conditioning unit fell through the roof and
is blocking the door.” He coughed again as a breeze stirred up the
dried plaster and—ugh—dried bird droppings.
“Hang on a few minutes. We’ll get someone up here with an axe to
break the door open.” Footsteps raced away from the door and then
Mulder shivered; he looked around for where he’d tossed his coat,
cursing as he discovered it wedged into the floor, laying half under
the six-foot square of metal. Retreating to the corner furthest from
the gaping hole in the roof, Mulder huddled in on himself, trying to
escape the cold and the dust that was swirling through the room,
whipped into a frenzy by the wind.
By the time the fire department arrived to break him out, his teeth
were chattering, and he’d inhaled about a pound of old plaster. He
was coughing and wheezing so badly that the paramedics deemed a
trip to the hospital a necessity. Since Mulder felt like shit by this
time, he didn’t think it was such a bad idea and went along
When they reached the hospital, Mulder was feeling much better,
warmth and oxygen combining to make him feel almost human
again. Since the stakeout site had been an old building, the firemen
had checked for any sign of asbestos or any other dangerous
elements and had found nothing. The physician told Mulder that
his lungs were still congested and that he might experience
dizziness and shortness of breath for the next few days while his
system was ridding itself of the dust. He was ordered to avoid any
Mulder frowned. “What about walking? I’m supposed to go
Christmas shopping tomorrow night.”
The doctor shook her head. “I’d really recommend against it.” She
looked him in the eye. “Unless you don’t mind making a spectacle
of yourself and frightening yourself to death—because that’s
exactly what you’ll be doing after about fifteen minutes when you
either can’t catch your breath or begin coughing your lungs out.”
Mulder was horrified. If she had been trying to scare him into
following her orders, she’d certainly done so. “Point taken, Doctor.
Just how long do I have to wait until I’m fit enough to go out in
The doctor smiled. “You can go out in public, Agent Mulder. You
can even go to work, if you want. Just desk duty, though, for the
next couple of days.”
Mulder nodded. “All right.” Scully would either have to go
shopping without him, or wait until he was more healthy. “Thank
The doctor nodded absently, ducking around the privacy sheet and
leaving. Mulder pulled his shirt back on and stood up.
Immediately, he felt a tightness in his chest. A few seconds of
massage and several cleansing coughs served to ease up the ache.
Exiting the emergency room bay, Mulder walked slowly to the
bank of phones near the nurses’ station. Glancing at his watch, he
sighed. Ten minutes after one. So much for being home by ten
Taking out the necessary amount of coins, he dialed his partner.
December 23, 2002
Landmark Center (Mall)
“Scully, I’m fine. Would you stop looking at me like I’m going to
keel over any minute?” Mulder was growing exasperated at his
partner’s hovering. On his worst day, he had never clung to her the
way she was adhered to his side. And the glances. Every ten
seconds, she would turn her head ever so slightly—just enough to
irritate the hell out of him.
“Mulder, after what happened at work…”
He stopped, detaching her from his side and moving her out to
arm’s length. “That was three days ago. And the day after I got out
of the hospital. I feel fine now. I’ve felt fine for the past two days.”
He narrowed his eyes into slits. “Okay?”
When Scully broke eye contact and looked down at her shoes,
Mulder felt bad for yelling at her. “Hey…” He hooked his index
finger under her chin, bringing her eyes back up to meet his. “I
know you’re only looking out for me, and I appreciate it. But I’m
She sighed, nodding. “I know, but…” She shuddered.
Mulder let out a breath of exasperation. Was she never going to get
past his taking a little tumble down the stairs on Friday after lunch?
They had been a half block from the agents’ entrance when the
skies opened up on them. Without thinking, Scully had grabbed
Mulder’s hand and pulled him along as she ran to the door. The
exertion caught up with Mulder in the stairwell; as he stepped off
the landing, his chest tightened, cutting off the flow of oxygen to
his brain. He missed the next step and landed in a rather
undignified heap at the bottom.
Once Scully realized the cause, she’d been mother-henning him to
“You’re right. I’m sorry.” She smiled tentatively. “Can I trust you
to tell me if it’s too much?”
He crossed his thumb over his heart. “Scout’s honor.”
She took hold of his arm, and Mulder looked at her, sighing and
rolling his eyes. Why, oh, why, must she coddle him so?
“Because I like to,” she said softly. “Got a problem with that?”
Mulder laid a hand over hers. Well, when she put it like thatÖ
December 24, 2002
What a difference a day made, Mulder thought, shivering under the
blankets. Even though he no longer exhibited any of the symptoms
from his little escapade, he’d caught **something.** He staggered
out of bed into the bathroom, surprised to find his legs just barely
able to hold his weight. After relieving himself, he hurried to his
dresser and pulled out the warmest set of sweats he owned, pulling
them on hastily.
Shuffling back into the bathroom, he found the bottle of Tylenol
and swallowed three. He crawled back under the covers and fell
back to sleep.
December 24, 2002
FBI Headquarters Basement Office
“…with Charlie home!” Scully’s delighted voice brought him out of
the stupor he’d been in. He knew how excited she was about the
entire family being together for the first time in several years, so
he’d been trying to will himself back to health.
It wasn’t working. As the day wore on, he was feeling worse and
worse, but he was determined that Scully should enjoy her
Christmas Eve. He was not about to spoil her good time because of
some stupid flu bug that had wormed its way into his system.
“…so if you don’t mind, I’ll pick you up at 6.”
Damn. He’d spaced out again. “I’m sorry. What?”
“I said it’d be easier if I packed my car beforehand and then just
picked you up instead of your picking me up and then having to
pack your car.” She paused. “Are you okay?”
He snapped himself out of it enough to recognize the fear in her
tone—fear that some deficiency on his part would prevent her from
spending this time with her family. “Yeah,” he said, trying his
darndest to sound insulted. “That sounds like a great idea. Six is
good.” He couldn’t believe how relieved he was that he wouldn’t
have to drive.
“Sure you’re okay?” This time the concern was in her voice, and he
forced himself to perk up.
Meeting her eyes, he grimaced. “Just looking forward to an
evening with Bill.”
She rolled her eyes. “He’s already been threatened.” Her eyes
twinkled. “By my mom and by his wife.” She gave him a smile.
“You’ll be fine.”
His head was starting to pound, and he wanted nothing more than
to crawl away somewhere and die.
Somehow he knew that he’d be anything but ‘fine.’
December 24, 2002
Margaret Scully’s House
“Hey, Mulder, you’ll give us a hand, right?” Bill Scully’s question
broke through the fog in which Mulder had been ensconced all
“Give you a hand with what?” He hoped that whatever it was, it
didn’t involve moving. Or thinking. Or anything that didn’t include
lying down in a warm bed, surrounded by lots of blankets.
“I’m having trouble with my car,” Bill supplied. “I thought maybe
you could take a look at it.”
Mulder looked at Bill warily. “Sorry, Bill. I’m not much of a
mechanic. You’ll probably be better off calling a garage.”
“No one’s going to come out on Christmas Eve. Can you just take a
look?” He indicated his brother, standing next to him. “Charlie and
I have already tried, but we can’t figure out what’s wrong. Maybe
you can figure it out.”
Mulder shook his head. “I really couldn’t. I—”
“Come on, Mulder. Would it kill you to take a look?”
Mulder thought that it probably would, but he knew that Bill would
persist until he capitulated, so he sighed and stood up. “Fine. Just
let me get my coat.”
“You won’t need your coat,” Bill scorned. “It’s not that cold out.
Besides, it’ll only take a couple of minutes.
“But…” Mulder didn’t relish even one minute out in the cold.
“Come on.” Bill and Charlie practically dragged him to the front
door. Mulder searched for his partner, but the room was empty.
How convenient, he thought, that no one was around to witness his
abduction by the Scully brothers.
When they reached the car, Mulder was shivering. ‘Not cold,’ his
ass. It must have been forty degrees out there! He started back for
the house. “I’m going to get my coat.”
Bill and Charlie grabbed his arm, returning him to the car. The
hood had been popped, and they brought him over to look at the
engine. Much to his surprise, Mulder knew right away what was
wrong. “Here’s the trouble,” he said. “The distributor cap is loose.
You just need to tighten it.”
When he looked up, his audience had disappeared. “Hey!” He
turned around just in time to see the front door closing. Not
bothering with the car any longer, he hurried to the door. When he
found it locked, his suspicions had been confirmed.
Bill couldn’t openly harass him, hence the sneak attack, but Mulder
was saddened by the fact that brother Charles had gone along
After pounding on the door and ringing the doorbell with no
success, Mulder tried Scully’s cell. As it rang, he moved around to
the back of the house, toward the kitchen, finally hanging up after
realizing that she’d either left it in her purse, or it was too loud
inside for her to hear it.
After five minutes of banging on the door, he caught someone’s
attention. When Tara Scully finally opened the door, Mulder made
a beeline for his coat, digging it out from under the mound of
winter coats in the spare bedroom.
He wasn’t surprised when no one followed him. No one even
noticed he’d been gone—or that he’d come back.
Huddled into a corner of the couch, Mulder sniffled, feeling sorry
for himself. In her defense, Scully hadn’t been there when Tara let
him in, but the whole evening she hadn’t once asked him why he
was sitting alone.
“Hey, Mulder, did you enjoy the night air?”
Mulder ignored the elder Scully, putting whatever was left of his
brain to the task of getting out of spending Christmas day with
After a few more jeers and no reaction on Mulder’s part, the
brothers Scully went off to join the rest of the family in the
Sitting in his corner, staring at the fire and listening to the cheery
activity in the other room, Mulder wondered whatever in the world
had made him think that this Christmas would be any different
from the last twenty or thirty.
A relationship with Scully apparently entitled him to experience
that unique brand of loneliness to which only a select few were
privy—that of being alone in a houseful of people.
What saddened him greatly, and what hurt the most deeply, was
that one of those people was Scully.
“Hey, cowboy. Enough of this lone ranger impersonation.” His
partner’s light voice and playful nudge roused him to wakefulness.
“I don’t care if you do want to be alone. Tonight is not the night.”
Blinking sleepily, he gazed up at her in confusion. “What are you
talking about, Scully?”
“You. Wanting to be alone by the fire. Too much family all at
once?” She stared at him. “Ring any bells?”
“Not one,” he answered.
Her eyes narrowed, and he could read her realization and growing
annoyance. “You didn’t tell Bill and Charlie that this was all too
overwhelming and that you’d rather sit alone by the fire?”
Mulder shook his head slowly. His eyes brimmed with tears as he
looked up at her. “Is that why you…” He swallowed, afraid his
voice would break if he continued.
She leaned her forehead down to his. “Oh, Mulder. I thought I was
doing you a favor. We all did.” The anger returned. “With two
Mulder opened his mouth to tell her to forget it, that he was a
better man than them, that he didn’t want Scully to ream out her
brothers. He decided, however, that he wasn’t, and he did.
They’d teased him, locked him out in the cold, then turned the rest
of the family away from him, leaving him feeling sick, miserable,
lonely and unloved.
As Scully stood up to find her brothers, he tugged at her sleeve.
“Do it in here, would you? I want to watch.”
Since he felt so awful, Mulder couldn’t derive the full enjoyment of
the tongue-lashing that he should have.
As she laid into him, Bill aimed a look of disdain at Mulder, then
called Mulder a wimp, a wuss, and a variety of other less-than-
flattering names, for running to his baby sister because they’d
locked him outside.
Mulder’s face lit up, and Scully didn’t disappoint—nor did Bill—
when he realized that Mulder hadn’t spilled the beans and that he’d
just hung himself.
Brother Charles, for the most part, remained silent, even
remorseful, an emotion Mulder had yet to witness in Bill. Once
she’d wound down and planted herself next to her partner
protectively, Bill stomped out while Charles muttered a quiet
apology, which Mulder accepted.
Eventually, the family drifted into the living room, where they
tried singing a few off-key carols and told stories from Christmases
past. So even though Mulder still felt sick and miserable, he didn’t
feel alone, and with Scully by his side, he no longer felt unloved.
December 25, 2002
Dana Scully’s Car
Mulder opened his eyes when the movement ceased. Looking
forward to curling up on his couch and moaning out loud whenever
the mood struck him, he was grievously dismayed to find himself
in front of Scully’s apartment building.
“WhyÖ What are we doing here?” Gazing into the smoky depths
of her eyes, Mulder was afraid he already knew the answer.
“We have to be back at Mom’s by nine tomorrow morning. I
thought you could spend the night since it’s so late and we have to
leave again so early.”
“Oh,” he said, unable to come up with a reason he should do
When they were inside, Mulder headed straight for the sofa,
uncertain how much longer he’d be able to remain on his feet
before his legs gave out.
“Do you want any coffee or tea?” Scully asked from her kitchen.
Mulder’s stomach turned at the thought. “Uh, no.” He pushed
himself to his feet. “I’m exhausted. I’m heading off to bed.” With
any luck, he’d be out cold by the time she was ready to make her
In a jiffy, she was plastered to his side. “Bed. Mmm. Sounds
good.” She gave him the seductive smile that normally drove him
wild, but at this moment scared the life out of him. “Just how tired
are you, G-man?” she purred.
He tried hard not to cringe. “Very. Very tired. The most tired I’ve
been all year.”
She cupped him through his pants, and he wanted to cry. “Are you
sure there’s nothing I can do to perk you up?”
Against his will, he felt himself reacting to her touch. “I don’tÖ I
don’t know.” He sidestepped her hand. “I’m **really** tired.”
She followed him into the bedroom, allowing him to remove his
clothes. When he was down to his t-shirt and boxers, she spun him
around to face her. He gulped at her state of undress. “OrÖ” She
tugged at the waistband of his shorts. “Or someone is playing ‘hard’
Could he do this? Could he make love to her when—and he
couldn’t really believe this—when it was the last thing he wanted
to be doing?
“Hey.” She was gazing at him with a soft smile so full of love that
he felt like a heel for considering it.
Forcing a smile onto his face, he pressed his body to hers. “You
“Mulder-r-rÖ” she purred. “You’re overdressed.” She whipped his
T-shirt over his head, then pulled his boxers down slowly. As soon
as he stepped out of them, she yanked him to her, molding her
body to his. They remained that way for a few seconds, and then
he heard her say, “You’re hot.”
Sucking it up, he played along. “Why thank you, Agent Scully.
You’re hot, too.”
She drew herself back to arm’s length. “No. You’re **hot.**”
When one hand assumed the classic ‘feeling for fever’ position on
his forehead, he knew that the jig was up.
He tried to laugh it off. “Only because you make me that way.” He
put on his most charming smile.
Leading him to the bed, she pushed him down gently and he tried
not to sigh in relief. “Have you been sick all night?”
“I’m not sick,” he protested half-heartedly.
One of her withering looks was enough to make him back down.
“All right. I’m a little under the weather. But I’m okay for
tomorrow. I just need a few hours sleep, and I’ll be as good as
new.” He smiled as brightly as he could, trying not to wince when
the light from the bedside lamp shined directly into his eyes.
“Lie down.” Scully pulled back the covers, and he slid in
The sheets were cool, and he started to shiver. “UhÖ as a further
mood-killer, can I put something on? It’s freezing in here.”
She nodded. “I’ll get you something.”
She returned with sweat pants and a sweatshirt—and her medical
“That’s not necessary,” he said, even as he tried to suppress the
cough that had been trying to break free all night.
She helped him into the clothes. “Let me be the judge of that.”
He huddled back under the covers. “Really,” he said through
chattering teeth. “I’ll be fine tomorrow.”
“Uh, huh.” Taking out a thermometer, she placed it under his
tongue. After a few minutes, as he finally started to warm up under
the blankets, she removed the thin tube. “101.6. Not too bad.” She
shook out two tablets from a container.
“What’s that?” he asked, as she handed them to him.
“Tylenol. It should bring down the fever and help that headache.”
He ducked his head; he wasn’t even going to ask how she knew.
She handed him a glass of water, and he swallowed the tablets,
then drained the glass. “Hey, Scully,” he said, as a brilliant idea
came to him. “Tomorrow, you could—”
“I don’t mind,” he said, quietly.
She kissed him softly on the lips. “I know you don’t. I know you’d
rather be here than there, even if you weren’t sick.”
“I’ll go with you tomorrow,” he said, unwilling to be the cause of
her not spending Christmas with her family. “I’m sure I’ll be better
in the morning.”
“Let’s wait and see. Okay?”
Nodding, he settled back into the pillow, closing his eyes. If he
could get his fever down, he was sure he could convince her that
he’d shaken the bug.
How much in love was he that when he’d been given the perfect
‘out’ from Christmas with the Scully brothers, he didn’t take it?
December 25, 2002
Mulder closed the door to Scully’s medicine cabinet, eyeing the
three tablets in his hand. Swallowing them down with a gulp of
water, he headed back to bed. If he was going to convince Scully
that he was well, it would have to be a performance worthy of an
He felt much worse than the day before, and now nausea had been
added to the mix. Lying down, he thought he’d wait for Scully to
wake him, and hope that the Tylenol would work their magic.
When he felt Scully shaking him awake, he stopped himself from
groaning, and plastered a grin on his face. “What time is it?” he
asked, with forced brightness.
“How are you feeling?” she asked, instead.
He made a big show of stretching, and then he grabbed her around
the middle. “I feel good,” he lied, giving her a hug and then
releasing her. Squinting, he tried to read the numbers on the
bedside clock; they refused to come into focus. “Is it time to get
When she didn’t answer, Mulder looked at her. She shook her
head. “We’re staying here.”
“Scully, I’m fine,” he protested. “We don’t have to—”
Two fingers placed gently over his lips silenced him. “You can
drop the act, Mulder.” When he tried to object, she shushed him. “I
love you for trying, and I might have bought the act, but it doesn’t
matter.” She indicated the window behind him with a nod of her
head. “Mother Nature gave us an ice storm last night. We’re stuck
here for the day.”
Mulder glanced at the window; the white brilliance of the new day
hurt his eyes, and he turned away. Pursing his lips, he kissed the
fingers still resting on his lips. “If we take it slow, we should be
okay. We may be a little late, but at least we’ll be there.”
Again, she shook her head. “I already talked to Mom. The roads
are treacherous. She said she’d rather know we were safe than
worry about us risking our lives to get there.”
“But your family, ScullyÖ” His heart was breaking for her. “I
know how much you wanted to be with them.” He looked down at
the floor. “If it wasn’t for me, you would have spent the night there.
You wouldn’t have had to worry about getting there.”
She placed her hands on both sides of his face, waiting until his
eyes met hers. “They are my family, and I love them.” When he
tried to look away, feeling guilty, she locked his gaze in place with
hers. “But you’re my family, too, Mulder. Why would you think I’d
rather spend Christmas with them and not you?”
He had to admit that he was surprised. He’d never even given it a
thought that she might not want to spend Christmas away from
him. Oh, he knew that she’d readily forego the time with her family
to care for her ill partner; what he didn’t consider was that given a
choice, she would choose him.
“I just thoughtÖ” How could he explain something he barely
understood himself? “They’re your family,” he said weakly.
“And you, Mulder,” she said, as if speaking to a slow-witted child,
“are my family.” She smiled. “*And* you areÖ”
He smiled in anticipation. ‘The man I love? Soulmate? Love of my
He blinked. It was not quite the mushy response he’d expected.
When she laid a long, slow, wet one on his lips, he blinked again.
“And I love you for it,” she said.
His head hurt too much for him to try to figure out what she was
talking about. Closing his eyes, he lay back. “I love you, too,” he
He sighed as she brushed her lips over his. “Go to sleep, Mulder,”
“Just for a few minutes,” he murmured. “Don’t want you to spend
your Christmas alone.” Forcing his eyes open, he looked at her.
“Don’t let me sleep too long.”
He laid a hand on her arm. “Promise me. You’ll wake me if I’m not
up by lunch time.”
“Mulder, you need—”
“Promise me. If I feel too bad to get up, I’ll let you know.”
“Promise?” she asked.
“Uh, huh.” He crooked an eyebrow, which hurt like hell, but got
his point across: she never responded to him.
“I promise. I’ll wake you at one if you’re still asleep.”
“Good.” He yawned and closed his eyes again.
“The man I love. My soulmate.”
He smiled. “You forgot—”
“No, I didn’t. It was a dramatic pause. Save the best for last. That
sort of thing.”
Another smile. “So, I am?”
“You too, Scully. You’ve been the love of my life for a long time
Her lips pressed to his. “I know, Mulder. And though it took me a
long time to realize it, you’ve been mine, too.”
Even though he felt like crap, he never felt so good in his life.
“Merry Christmas, Scully.”
“Merry Christmas, Mulder.” Pause. “And, Mulder?”
“I choose you every time.”
“Even though you are an idiot.”