Title - Ache
Author - Henle Girl
Rating - G
Category - Mulder/Scully Romance, Angst
Spoilers - The Truth

Summary - Scully hears voices in the night.
Disclaimer - The characters don't belong to me. I'm just using them for my own therapeutic purposes. They will be returned to Chris Carter relatively unharmed when I'm done.

The breeze from the open window blows across her face, drying the few tears there. She doesn't cry anymore. Well, hardly ever. But on some nights, nights like tonight, the ache is too much to bear and she can't help but shed a few tears.

The wind continues to blow, the crispness in the air letting her know that autumn is rapidly approaching. She can't believe it's been so long. So long since she last saw him.

"It's late," she hears through the darkness.

"I couldn't sleep," she tells him, wiping away the last of the tears before facing him.

"You had that dream again?"

"Mulder, it's more than a dream. It's an ... " She closes stops midsentence, blowing out her breath in frustration. It was too hard to try to explain.

"It's a what?" he asks, tucking a long red strand of hair behind her ear. It's much longer now. There really hasn't been much time for a trip to the salon.

She closes her eyes, enjoying the closeness of the moment. His hands are always so gentle with her. He's been able to sooth a lot of hurts the past few months they've been on the run. But there's one he can't even being to reach.

"Please tell me, Scully. I really want to know," he whispers into her ear, brushing a kiss across her cheek.

"I can still hear him," she says, turning back to look out the window. "Most of the time he slept through the night. But he had so much of you in him, Mulder." She smiles reminiscently for a few seconds before continuing. "This was his favorite hour to get up and just run his little mouth. He would just babble and babble in that baby language as if I really could understand what he was saying. So much like you calling me at 2 a.m. to talk about some silly case."

They both laugh for a second, remembering the good times from their old life before the reality of their present situation sinks in again. The life where there's no more cases. No more late night phone calls. No more baby. Those times are over.

"He was starting to say 'da da'," she says softly. He can hear her tears hitting the collar of her pajamas. "I tried to get him to say 'ma ma', but he wouldn't. It was just 'da da'. All night long, he'd call to you, Mulder."

She turns back around when she hears his sniffling, lifting her hand to wipe the tears that have appeared on his face.

"Strange as it may sound, Scully, I think I actually heard him," he whispers. "Calling to me across all those miles. It hurt so bad to hear him and feel him, but to not be able to be with him. Or with you. I missed the two of you so much."

"It's not strange," she smiles sadly. "It's what I hear now. What wakes me up this time of night. I hear him saying 'ma ma'. But I know that now ..." She stops again, biting her lip to try to hold back the tears, as if keeping in the words will also keep the pain at bay.

"What is it, Scully?" He can see the pain on her face and isn't so sure he wants to know the answer to that question.

"I know that now when he says 'ma ma' ... he's calling to another woman," she manages to say before breaking down completely. The force of her sobs wrack her body and it's all he can do to keep her in an upright position. He finally gives up trying to support her and lifts her into his arms, carrying her back to the bed. After a while, the crying subsides, leaving streams of tear stains on both their faces.

"Is the ache ever going to go away?" she asks, breaking the silence.

"He was our son, Scully. I had only a few short days with him. You, only a few months. But in that short time, I know we both grew to love him more than our lives. And we did what we had to to keep him safe, healthy, and happy. Our choices may hurt us forever, but he's going to be better off in the long run. I have to believe that."

"I want to believe it too," she tells him. "It's just so hard sometimes."

"I know it is," he whispers, pulling her closer to his body. "I know it is."

She snuggles into his embrace, finding the perfect spot for her body to mold to his. She closes her eyes and lets out a deep sigh, relaxing in his arms. She knows that the gaping hole left by William will always be there. But being in Mulder's arms takes away the ache temporarily. Maybe one day it'll be gone for good. Until then, she's just going to have to take this temporary reprieve and be satisfied. She tilts her head up and presses a gently kiss onto his neck.

"I love you," she whispers, feeling the hole close up a little bit more. Mulder is no substitute for her son, but maybe together they can begin to heal each other.

"I love you, too," she hears him mumble back to her before they both succumb to slumber.

The end.

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