---------- Epilogue ------------
Six months later
Dana Katherine Scully:
Maybe it sounds crazy Mulder, but I’ve decided to keep up with this thing after all. You know I’ve never been big on journals or diaries, but I think it helps me cope with the lost time and anger that I don’t want to take out on anyone but the pages of this notebook. Sometimes, late at night while you and Hope are sleeping, I creep into the living room and write, just because I can. I sit alone, the way I used to, and pour my heart out to a journal I know can’t ever answer me. Don’t ask me to explain the reasoning and logistics behind it because I can’t, and I won’t ever be able to.
First time for everything, isn’t there?
Tonight, however, I am content to just sit here, by the soft light of our bedside lamp, and watch you sleep. I’ve never done that before, mind you, just so you don’t think I do it all the time, but I find it oddly soothing tonight. It’s just a strangely calming thing, to watch the rise and fall of your chest, to be able to touch you and hear your breathing. Maybe it’s because you’re so lying close to me, or because I know I could wake you up with only a slight kiss upon your lips and we could make love until morning, just because you’re mine and we can.
In my head, I know you’re right here, your fingers touching my knee, your head pressed into the pillow that lies beside mine. You’re here in body and you’re here in my heart. But sometimes, I still find it hard to believe, and I need to be near you and feel you to believe it. I’d missed that for so long, longed for it before I was ever able to know what it was I was longing for, and I relish it now. I relish you. I’ve never been really good with words Mulder, at least not with ones that weren’t medical terms or chemical reactions, you know that, but sitting here, I feel them coming to me and rushing from this pen.
I love you. My god, I’ve loved you so deeply for so long I can’t imagine not being able to feel the sensation. Even when I couldn’t remember who you were or why I felt what I did, I still felt it. It gave me the strength to keep going, even in those dark hours that I wanted to lie down and die.
And I’m so sorry, Mulder. I’m sorry I let you down.
I wish I could have been here for you and for her, when you were a terrified new father and she was a baby. I wish I would have been there when she was just a toddler, at night to tuck her in, or during the day to kiss away her cuts and wash away her fears. I wanted to be there when she took her first steps. I wanted to be there when she first spoke. I wanted to hear ‘mommy’ and know that she understood who I was and why I loved her.
She doesn’t know, does she Mulder?
She still doesn’t trust who I am.
But now I am going to make up for all of it, I swear I am. I promise you that everyday, I am going to walk with her and tell her stories. I am going to hold her hand and push her on a swing in the park. I am going to hear her laughter and know she’s ours, with you standing next to me and holding onto us. I am going to give her a dandelion and tell her it’s for luck, even though I know you’ll laugh at me for saying so, and I’m going to tell her its from Mommy because Mommy loves her. And I do love her Mulder. I do… so much…
I look at her and watch her sleep, Mulder, and I can’t help but think how I want to walk with her the way I walked with you. I want to pick dandelions in a field and watch her giggle. I want to know how it is that she sounds so much like you and looks so much like a Scully.
God, how I would give anything to get those years back. I would give anything to take that pain away. What she must think of me, Mulder, as a mother who abandoned her and couldn’t save her from feeling all that pain? I never meant for any of it to happen, I never asked to be taken away, but I feel like it’s my fault. I feel tears that constantly sting the back of my eyes because it’s my fault she hasn’t had a mother.
How many years had I sat, Mulder, a confused and nameless invalid, rotting my life away in that damned place, while you were suffering? When all the while I should have remembered? How long after they had taken me, told you I was gone, did they deposit me in some psycho ward, not ever meaning for me to find you? How many goddamn times should I have tried harder—fought longer---to recall your touch, and your voice? How many times should I have tried to realize I was missing the baby I fought so hard to have? How weak was I, how ridiculously inadequate, to have not broken through the haze to know you? To remember?
I’m so sorry I forgot your face, Mulder. I’m sorry I forgot Hope’s smile.
But I swear to you, just as surely as I am your partner and you are mine, I swear I won’t ever forget again. I won’t forget how Hope smells like vanilla and the sunset. I won’t forget the way she smiles. I won’t ever forget your lips on mine. I won’t forget your fingers on my cheek, or your voice in my hair. I won’t forget the way you say you love me. But most of all, I won’t let them take me.
I won’t let them take you, or take Hope. I need you both so much, though I never say it enough, and I don’t know how to say it more. I refuse to let anyone take my family away from me again. I refuse to let my voice be silenced again.
But I will always be frightened, Mulder. I have no recollection of what they did to me and that terrifies me more than anything. I’m sorry that I don’t ever say it, but I am. I wish I could be stronger than that, but I’m not.
Noah was afraid when he built the ark, wasn’t he? Do you think he was, Mulder? Do you think he cried when the world was plunged into the sea?
Outside the window, the dark subsides to let a clear bolt of lightning illuminate the room in an eerie blue.
There is an electrical storm brewing.
Scully sighs and sets the journal down, lowering it to the nighttable carefully, hesitating for a moment, before she changes her mind and slips it inside the drawer. Maybe one of these days she’ll let him see it, she thinks. Maybe one of these days she’ll read it to him, one of these days she’ll reveal to him her carefully worded fears, her deeply disturbing recollections, but not tonight. And not tomorrow, either. The time’s just not right, she knows. But then, maybe it won’t ever be.
Carefully, she crawls out of her warmly inviting bed and brushes an errant lock of hair out of her partner’s contentedly closed eyelids. Her gaze is gentle, reverent, intensely grateful. In some ways, she realizes, he won’t ever be able to know just how profoundly she loves him. Sometimes, she doesn’t even know…
She sighs and creeps slowly into the bathroom, away from Mulder and her journal.
Flipping the light back on, she swallows hard and makes her way towards the white marble counter. Her feet pad lightly across the carpet, then onto the tile, and she brushes away her russet hair with a light sweep of her fingers. A slap of thunder makes her jump slightly, and she cautiously chances a look back into the bedroom, making sure that Mulder hasn’t stirred. She doesn’t want to alarm him about anything, at least not yet, and she knows that it’s better this way. She’ll tell him in the morning, she decides, whatever the outcome may be, she tell him no matter what. Her heart beats hard and heavy in her chest, and her navy silk pyjamas rustle softly in the oppressive silence of the tiny room. The sink is just beyond her grasp, and she licks her lips, anticipating the unforseen.
It’s what I’ve done all these years anyways, she thinks, putting a wry spin of the phrase. Anticipating the unforseen…
She closes her eyes then and wraps her fingers around the stick that protrudes from a stand in the center of the marble counter. Her fate is encased inside that stick, she realizes, and when she opens her eyes she will understand exactly what that fate may be. Understanding pushes at her heart, and she bites her lip so hard she nearly draws blood. Her breathing deepens, her pulse races, and she brings the stick close to her face, more thunder from outside almost a forboding to what she might expect. When she opens her eyes, she stares at the stick and leans back against the wall. Tears prick at the corners of her eyes and she can’t decide whether or not she’s happy, shocked, surprised, or terrified.
She swallows and drags herself down the grayed wall to the cold, tiled floor. Her red, copper hair falls forward into her expressive blue eyes, and she breathes deeply, trying to regain her bearings. Just what she is going to do now, she has no idea, except for the idea that she knows she needs to tell Mulder…
Mulder, she realizes with a start. Mulder, oh what are we going to do?
A sob comes out, nearly silent and strangled in her throat, and she drops the tiny stick from her hand, forgotten. “Oh god,” she whispers, complete fear and insane blissfulness fighting to encompass the depths of her confused heart. “Oh god Mulder… what does this mean?”
Lightning paints the room again, illuminating the dark recesses of the bathroom in flashes of baby blue and white satin.
“I’m pregnant,” she manages, the words somehow not making it as real as it should seem. Her head throbs and swims. She tries on a smile and closes her eyes, trying to force it into becoming real. “I’m pregnant,” she repeats, softly. “pregnant…”
She hears a noise then and looks up, noticing her scruffy looking, sleepy Mulder leaning against the doorway, illuminated by the flashing lightning. Their gazes lock for a moment and the air crackles, thunder rumbling into the room from outside, silence taking over after it subsides. His eyes crash into hers as always, and her lips tremble with nervousness. His expression is impassive. She licks her lips and opens her mouth, guiltily.
“Mulder—“ she starts, but he cuts her off.
They stare at each other for another moment longer, her eyes torn, his eyes indecisive. For a second that feels like an hour, he watches her as if he’s deciding on the right words. He doesn’t know what to say that will solve this situation, though perhaps there aren’t any right things to say. Finally, he decides on the most simple of responses. He doesn’t know whether it’s the correct one, but he says it anyway.
“Scully, I…” he sighs then, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world, as if it’s the most obvious thing he could say, managing, “I love you.”
The world seems to hang on a thin thread and he watches her carefully, waiting for a reaction.
After another moment longer, she whispers back, gently, “I know, Mulder…I… I believe…”
And then her heart beats even harder, her eyes fill with the faint traces of hope, when he crosses the room to scoop her up off the floor soundly. His arms clasp tightly onto her, her fingers run through his cropped, bed-ridden hair, and she claims her mouth with his, whispering to him over and over again, I love you…
There is nothing else that matters.
She’s got a way about her.
I don’t know what it is,
But I know that I can’t live without her.
She’s got a way of showing
Just how I make her feel.
And I find the strength to keep on going.
She’s got a way about her.
I don’t know what it is
But I know that I can’t live without her,
------------ Billy Joel, She’s Got a Way
That, my friends, is the end. If you’ve stuck with me for this long, I praise you, for that was a LONG journey. And if you liked it… well, then thank you so very much and I am glad. Please let me know if you do, because it really does make me happy. And I even reply to all my feedback, which makes everyone happy, right? <grin> As of right now, there are no plans for a sequel, but I wanted to leave everyone with something they could wrap their brains around and play with, anyway. If you want to know what happens to Scully, Mulder, Hope and Scully’s pregancy, just use your imagination because frankly, I think trying to write another tolling story like this would kill me. :o)