Title: Goodbye, My Lover
Summary: Mulder and Scully say goodbye.
Author's note: Songs and Lyrics to "Goodbye My Lover" belong to the magnificent James Blunt. I love you Jimmy.
Dawn is creeping through the heavy curtains. Its light is an ethereal hue of blue gold, dancing across his back and shoulders, highlighting his sleeping form.
His skin is soft under my touch and I can't help but trace his strong jaw line. I can feel his steady breath on my face as my fingers roam to his lips, his eyes and into his chestnut hair.
He's so beautiful.
He stirs under my touch and groans into the silk pillow.
I stroke the soft skin of his cheek and watch as his full lashes flutter open. He smiles at me with the most beautiful hazel eyes, heavy with sleep and flecked with gold.
His voice is husky and laced with honey when he asks me what time it is.
"Almost five," I respond.
He nods his head and pulls me into him. He wraps his arm around my bare waist and I bury my head in his neck.
You know, it seems so perfect now, this moment, wrapped in his arms, in the early light of morning with nothing but the sound of our breathing and the feel of his skin on mine. I wish I could go on forever like this, right here, till the end of time.
As perfect as this morning may seem it'll bring only pain. I know what has to happen today. I know what I have to sacrifice to gain more of these perfect moments. That truth is a burning knife, a terrible pain in my heart that shatters the whole of me and leaves me broken.
I breathe in the faint scent of sweat and soap on his skin and that's when I feel the tears start to come, utter warmth behind my eyes that refuses to leave me. I pray for strength when he begins stroking my hair and planting the faintest of kisses on my temple.
I kiss his shoulder and I can taste my tears on his skin. I wrap my arms around him tighter, as if my sheer will can keep him here. I suck in a breath before it comes out in a hitch. I won't let go of him. I don't know if I can.
There's wordless understanding when his hand moves from my hair to stroke my back. He knows why I cry. My cheeks and my neck are wet with tears and they cling to him, to his neck and his chest, just as everything I own clings to this man. He's whispering now, but I can't make out what he's saying, not over my own fierce sobs. Not over the sudden pierce of an infant's wailing.
The sound of my son's cries slices through my own. My body is suddenly cold when the hold on it untangles. I don't want to leave this bed, but I now have another priority to think of. I slide off the bed and shimmy into my silk pajamas before throwing on my robe.
The water rains hot as it showers down on me, burning my skin and stinging my muscles. I lather shampoo through my hair and try to let the waterfall become a painfully stimulating release.
Yet all I can think of are her tears and how frantically they fell this morning, soaking my skin and the sheets. I let my head fall into the shower and I can hear the beat of the raining water pound hard in my ears. I can know her tears, but I can't remember crying the ones staining my own cheeks.
I don't want to do this, but I know I have to. I have to leave, for Scully and for William. They have to stay safe. I don't know how it came to this. For only a second, I had a family. I had my son and his mother. For only a short time, my life was beautiful and right. The next, I'm told I need to run for my life, that I need to protect myself from men who will have me dead for who, or what they think I am.
I'll become a fugitive, and the reasoning still puzzles me. I can't deny the threat is real, and un-mistakenly believable. I thought at first these men, evil conniving men, wanted me dead for what I know. Now it seems there's more to it than that. Perhaps I'm not a suitable game piece in their play any longer. Perhaps they know I can stop them, and that I will. They know I can stop their game of secrets and hushed lies. They know I'll make known the truths they're afraid to speak, truth of the existence of extra terrestrial life and the governments knowledge and alliance to them. These men want my death sentence, because I'm a threat to them, and I know they tend to carry it out.
Because of this I must run. I can't risk the lives of those I care about. I won't.
Did I disappoint you?
I let my head fall, pressing my forehead against the sweat soaked tiles of the shower wall. The water begins to lose heat intensity as it beats down against my back. My chest is un- enveloped yet damp from the shower, and it reminds me once again of her tears.
I can't get that image out of my head. The fiery hair like flame under my chin, her frame, small and shaking under my own, her eyes, those beautiful blue eyes filled with so much love yet shadowed in sadness and grief, spilling with tears against alabaster skin. I tried to comfort her, and though I knew a thousand soothing words and a million intimate touches wouldn't calm her, I had hoped to at least let her know, even for only a small amount of time, that I'm still here.
I wonder now, if she's disappointed in me for leaving her, for leaving our son without a father and she without comfort. It's a throbbing pain, knowing I have to leave this. It stings. Unlike this burning water or frigid freezing ice, it stings down deep into the heart of me. When she told me she was pregnant, I didn't fear the truth that I was having a child, I feared what kind of father I would be.
My father's blood runs through me and it terrifies me. I don't want to be like him. I don't want to be a liar and a thief, a malicious man who takes pride in the lives he can ruin for his own selfish maniacal purpose. I haven't a doubt; he's the initiator for the sudden threat on my life. He's one of these men. He's the reason happiness is being torn from me, just as he's always been. This time though, it hurts beyond words.
I wanted to be a good father, to love my son, to hold him and keep him safe from the evil all too familiar to me. I don't want to let him down. I don't want to let her down, yet I wonder now if by agreeing to go, I have. Though it was she who persuaded me, who told me my life was more important than the short time we have here. I still wonder if she would rather I feign ignorance and stay.
Should I be feeling guilty for leaving? Should I be feeling guilty by agreeing to tear myself from this place, from her and from the life that should have been mine?
I saw this coming. Nine years Dana and I have worked together, fought together and almost died together, and for nine years I've loved her. That love suffocates me now, it always has. For the longest time I never told her. She knew I cared for her but I never alluded to the fact that somewhere in time I fell for her. Not because I was scared or because I feared her reaction. What I feared was the outcome if I told her, because I knew, from every argument, from every moment and every touch, that she loves me too.
Our love consumed that fear, and we made it a reality. It seems like a dream now, but we'd have given forever for that happiness of holding each other. Now, it seems our happiness was enough to make us ignorant of it.
I knew this day would come, that the same men who brought us together in that small basement office at the F.B.I would take the lives we deserve from us. And though we were blinded of the possible consequences of our life together, we had won each other's love. That is the greatest thing to come from this. I don't know what I'd do without her and now I fear how empty my life will be away from this place.
So I took what's mine
He's restless, my son. I just fed him before dawn and sleep still hasn't claimed him. His cries diminish when I lift him to me and rub his soft head. His blue eyes are wide when his little mouth tugs at the corners in a crooked smile. It's the same smile I saw this morning on a much older boy.
"You have your daddy's smile, you know that?" I coo to my son and he grabs my finger before popping it into his mouth and sucking on it diligently. I laugh when he releases my finger and grasps it in his tiny hands. He's inspecting it now, his little brow in a tight frown, running his fingers down my index.
Mulder and I created this little miracle, born of a love we've shared for years. I had always known we'd be eternally bound to one another, whether in mind, soul or body. He's everything to me and he told me once, in the quiet of morning, that I completed him, that I made him whole. He told me everything he is; everything he wants to be; is because of me. He said I freed his soul. I said he freed my heart.
It aches to know the time we share together will be over, though I know it won't end what we have. Nothing can. I will always be there for him and I know he knows it. I know he takes comfort in it, just as I have knowing he's there for me. This should console me now, yet I can't help wishing it hadn't come to this. I want him here with me and with our son. Knowing it's an impossible wish; I can't help but feel empty inside.
You touched my heart,
In my dreams, it's not like this. It's never been like this. In my dreams, I stay here. I spoil my son and grow old with his mother. In my dreams I wake up every day to the two loves of my life, to the two things that give my life meaning. In my dreams my world is perfect.
It's a world she deserves, a world that my son deserves, and I can't give that to them now. I can't give them my dreams, but I have to be strong for them. My soul may be broken, but my spirit has to hold the hope that I'll see them again. Though it may be futile, I know that hope is what I'll grasp hold of when the loneliness comes.
I don't know what hurts more, the fact that I once had these dreams, or that fact that I even imagined them possible. I tug on my leather jacket and feel the threads stretch across my shoulders. My heart is doing the same in my chest.
My dreams are gone. For just an instant my dreams carried a beautiful future, and as if by waking, those dreams were shattered and torn from me.
Running a hand through my damp hair, I sit on the bed to settle my weak knees. This is so hard. I love them so much.
I have to be strong, I know, but part of me wants to damn it all. The selfish part of me wants to stay here, to feign ignorance and wake up every morning to this world of happiness. Though, I know they'll never be safe if I stay. I will always be hunted for what I know and the other half of me is screaming to run as far away as I can and to never come back.
I suck in a shallow breath and think of what she would do if I told her she should move on. She could start anew with someone else who could give her everything I can't. The thought sends spasms through my heart, but maybe it's better that she forget this life with me. I want her to be so happy she can't contain it. She deserves to love someone who can be there for her and not cause her to fear the danger of living. She deserves someone who can protect her and William and hold them at times when laughter is swallowed by sadness.
My palms are damp with tears now but I don't care. I don't care that I can hardly breathe, or that my head is pounding. I only care that that man holding them, loving them, won't be me. But if nothing else, I'll have the memories of them. I'll remember what we were, if only for so short a time. I had a family and I loved them. I don't deserve to be so in love, but I always will be.
I'll always remember how this feels. I'll always remember this pain, and this heartache. But more than that, I'll remember my time here. Until my dying breath, these memories, of the love of my son and his mother, will sustain every part of me.
Moving his things from his apartment to mine was surreal. Hiding records of the transfer and squeezing his aquarium in the hallway seemed illusionary. Now, seeing his luggage, bold suitcases spread across the beige carpet of the living room floor, it all seems too real.
Sighing, I pray once more God give me the strength to deal with the rest of this day. It's now five forty and I haven't seen Mulder since I left him in my bed. I don't know if I can say anything without breaking down, but as of now, my composure is strong and William is sleeping soundly.
Making my way to the bedroom, I expect to find him there. The room is empty and smells faintly of soap and aftershave. It's his smell and god, I'm going to miss it.
Cursing myself for my momentary weakness, I search the bathroom and find nothing but humidity and steam coating the mirrors. I feel a slight twinge of panic when I find the living room unoccupied as well. Crossing the threshold of the hall I check the guest room to find it empty.
My fleeting irritation with Mulder is soon forgotten when I look to the nursery and find him leaning over Williams crib. He's stroking William's head gently and watching him with a smile on his face and sadness in his eyes. Pacing to the door I take in the scene of father and son, trying to ignore the dull pain shooting through my heart. I love these men so much. This is what I could have, it's what we could have, and if harm comes to him while running, it's possible it may never be.
Before I can speak he looks to me and presses his index to his lips. I nod obliging when he holds out his hand, bidding me to come to him. Though the gesture is simple, my breath catches in my throat. Reaching him, I place my hand in his and he pulls me tight against him before his lips find mine.
I've never been kissed the way this man kisses me. His lips are soft but hungry, tender but fierce, as his hands trace my collarbone to tangle in my hair. He tastes like chocolate velvet and something sweeter, mysteriously addicting. To deepen the kiss I grasp his jacket and pull him tighter against me, feeling the wall of the crib dig into my back. Even so, I can't satiate this hunger. His scent and his warmth surround me when his teeth brush against my lips cursing glorious chills down my spine.
God, I do love him. I love him. I love him. His taste, his lips, this kiss is addicting, pleasantly suffocating me. My head is dizzy and my chest heavy, when he nips my lips and pulls away from me.
I don't know how much more of that I can take, just one kiss and the man leaves me wanting, craving more. He rests his forehead against mine and his breath is warm on my face as we suck in air violently.
"I love you so much, Dana," is all he says to me, in a hushed whisper with rough voice and it leaves me close to tears with my heart on the floor. Opening my eyes I cup his cheeks, and lift his head. His eyes open slowly and he smiles at me. I want to smile but I can't. I open my mouth but words fail me. Instead, I speak with my eyes, willing him to see the strength of my love before I kiss him gently once more. I wrap my arms around him and rest my head on his shoulder.
"Good morning by the way."
His voice vibrates through his chest and the tone in it makes me grin. I find myself wishing with everything I have, that it were a good morning.
Closing my eyes I take in this feeling of contentment when he holds me, knowing this may be the last time. I squeeze my eyelids hard against emerging tears and hug him tighter. He begins to stroke my hair and instead of comfort, the motion is only causing me more pain of loss.
Reluctantly I pull away from him, unsure of my declining composure. I don't know if I'm ready to give this up. I just need for him to know how hard this is for me, how much this is hurting me.
When he directs the subject to our son I know he's not ready to talk about it. The sudden wave of relief flooding over me tells me I'm not either.
I've seen you cry
I look up at him to find his gaze on William. He looks to me, grasps me by the shoulders and gently turns me, pressing my back to his chest and wrapping his arms around my waist. He turned me to face our son, and as I look down on him, eyes gently fluttering in sleep, I'm overwhelmed with motherly love.
"He's so precious." Sighing in agreement, I rest my temple to Mulder's cheek.
"Just like his mother."
He whispers it to me, his breath tickling my ear, and I fight back the urge to shed more tears. What am I suppose to say to that? How do you respond to something so beautifully heart shattering?
He reaches out his hand and pulls William's blanket up to his little chin. As if even aware in sleep, William smiles before sighing deeply. My little boy is so small, so precious, and so unaware of the pain of heartache.
"I've told him goodbye, but it'll never be enough Dana. I love him so much. I can't help but feel as though I'm deserting him somehow, letting him down. He won't even know me."
Don't say that. Mulder never say that.
He disentangles himself from me when I turn to face him. Still gazing at our son, his eyes are glossy with tears as he worries his bottom lip.
Gently I touch my hands to his cheeks, brushing away the tears with my thumbs. He can't turn his eyes from William. They seem unbelievably sad, almost distant.
"Mulder look at me. Look at me."
He meets my eyes and I see him pulled back to the moment.
"You love him, and in order to preserve that love you're leaving him. You know it's what you have to do now. You're not deserting him. You're protecting him, protecting what we have."
He closes his eyes and sucks in a shallow breath, when the tears fall. His body is trembling and I wrap my arms around his waist to steady him.
"As much as it hurts, you know you're doing this for him. If you ever want to see him again, if you ever want him to see you, you know you have to go. You're giving him a chance at a life with you, a chance to know you, and that may not be soon, but it's a chance we can have if you do this, if you go, to protect yourself from them."
I press my forehead to his, my cheeks flushed with hot tears and his breath.
"Mulder, you're an excellent father, don't ever think otherwise. As much as it may not make sense, William already knows you. He loves you, and I'll be sure he always will."
He lifts my chin and I feel the warmth of his lips on my forehead. They linger before he cups my cheeks and wipes my tears with trembling hands.
"I love him so much."
His voice shudders with sadness and I'm doing everything I can, not to give in to weakness.
"I know you do, and he loves you, and that's all that matters right now."
He nods his head and pulls me to him, burying his face in the crook of my neck, dampening my skin with shed tears. He wraps his arms around me, thanking me, and I can do nothing but sigh into his shoulder, and pray what I've said to him is enough to calm his fears and my own.
I know your fears and you know mine
Closing the door to the nursery I let out an exasperated breath. Saying goodbye to William tore the heart out of my chest. I don't know how much longer I can handle this, even with the little amount of strength I have. I wanted to fall on my knees right there and weep through the grief tearing at me. Imagine what that would do to her, to see me that weak and broken. I couldn't put her through that feeling of helplessness and grief watching someone so powerless against emotions so great.
I won't do that to her.
Entering the living room, she smiles at me, fresh in a green blouse and jeans. Her hair is damp and her cheeks red from the shower. Just the sight makes my fingers itch to hold her. To know again what holding an angel feels like, to feel the love, the happiness and the freedom of your soul wash over you in waves.
She walks to me slowly, hooking her thumbs in her belt loops and biting her bottom lip. I can see from her eyes and the way her fingers drum gently against her pant leg, she's considerably nervous, or resisting the urge to come to me. It's understandable. Contact is the most common emotional support, and with as much that happened in that nursery, I need to regain my composure as well.
She looks past me to William's room and I tell her he's still sleeping soundly. Hopefully he didn't inherit my frequent insomnia.
She laughs lightly at this, almost breaking the tension that tugs at the air, at my breath, and in my heart. She looks to me and her eyes are stricken with love and sadness, before she looks to the floor.
"I...ah...I called the transport service, they'll be here shortly."
Her voice wavers when she speaks and I can see she's using everything in her power to pretend as though she has some control.
I nod my head, not sure what to say. Do I tell her everything I want to say or do I not have to? Do I just walk out of here in quiet understanding, or will I have to tear myself from her presence?
I don't want to leave it at a few exchanged glances and a wave goodbye. I want what's best for her, and if she wants more than this, if she chooses a life other than this, it tears me up to say it, but I'll accept it. As long as this sadness I see in her eyes will diminish.
She looks to me.
"I have so much I want to say, to tell you. I just need you to know you deserve so much more than this."
She frowns in confusion.
"Scully, all I ever wanted was for you to be happy, you need to be happy. I love you with everything I am, but I don't want you to be sad for me, for what this could've been."
Her frown deepens.
"You make me happy Mulder."
She says it so direct, so matter-of-factly, that it almost makes me consider dropping the subject, but I can't. I need her to know she deserves more than this, William deserves more than this and it's less complicated if I pretend she hadn't said that.
I grasp her arms to try and make this easier for her, but I realize I'm the one who needed the contact.
"Dana, I don't want you to grieve for me, not like this, not with sadness in your eyes and pain in your heart. I don't want you to live from now on waiting, wandering if I'm going to come home, praying that I will. You deserve more than that, more than grief and despair and time. You deserve more than what I can give. You deserve more than me." I tell her with quavering voice.
She pulls away slightly and looks at me, her eyes unreadable. I fear she'll tell me she understands, that she knows she can't hold on to me and to our love, any longer.
"What? Mulder...Are you asking me to let you go?"
Her voice is a whisper and her eyes tell me she's shocked, confused. The power of her reaction diverts my gaze to the floor and then back.
"What I'm asking, is that you understand no matter what you decide you need, for you, and for William to be happy, I'll accept it."
Our contact breaks when she backs away fully. Already I feel distant from her, from the harsh look in her eyes.
She turns her back to me. She paces a few steps before putting her hand over her mouth and facing the window to our left. She doesn't blink, doesn't move and then she turns to me.
"You're saying I should forget you? That I should move on? Is that what you're telling me?"
She sucks in breath and lowers her head while covering her eyes with her palm. This is getting hard for her to hear and painful for me to speak, but I need her to understand.
"I just want you taken care of. You and William deserve that, and I can't give you that, not now."
I walk to her, reaching out my hand to touch, to make it easier, but she moves away, distancing herself, and that simple movement breaks my heart.
She looks at me now, her eyes still hard and cold when she bunches her fists at her side. She licks her lips and sets her jaw. She's not going to take this lightly, I should have known. Her back is straight when she tells me, "I can take care of myself, I always have. I can take care of my son."
"Scully, you need someone to be there for you, to care for you, as I do. You deserve to always have that. Just understand."
At my words her eyes soften only slightly and then become hard as steel. It's a piercing gaze, tearing through my soul and leaving my nerve ends tingling.
"I can't believe you're saying this to me. I can't believe you can think, after everything we've been through, that I can just move on and with someone else?"
Her voice has raised an octave but her eyes are softer when she frowns.
"I just want you to be okay."
"I am okay Mulder. I've always been okay, and I always will be."
Her words quiver, but match her gaze and she turns from me again. I want to reach out and touch her, but I'm afraid my lenience would only strengthen her resentment towards me right now.
She covers her face with her hands and laughs. Not a joyful laugh or loud, but quiet and bitter and it makes me frown in confusion.
She looks to me and I can see her eyes, now incredibly mild, glossy with unshed tears. As much as I can't stand seeing her angry, I can't bear watching her cry, much less be the cause of it.
"Mulder...I was so scared what today would bring...and this, this I didn't imagine would be part of it. I couldn't think...how could you assume that I would just move on? Or that I even could? Or that I would want William to know a man with a strangers face for a father?"
I bite my lip, slightly ashamed now and she places her hands on her hips.
"But you have suggested it, and now you stand there, trying to convince me it would be best. And you know what that says to me? Despite what you told me in the nursery, that says to me you don't want this, that you don't want me."
She holds back a breath and stares at me for conformation. I can't believe she's even thinking this.
"Of course I want you. I want this. I want it so bad it's destroying me to know I have to walk out that door with my heart in my hands and leave it all behind."
My pulse is erratic and I can feel the temper rising from my gut to my throat. I can't believe she could think I'd want to throw this away without hesitation.
"And what about what I want? Do you think that's what I want to do? Do you honestly think, no matter how much you mean to me, that I could just lean on someone else for comfort and stability, for love?"
She throws her hands in the air.
"I don't want that Mulder. I don't need that. I need you, I need the hope that I'll see you again, and to know you'll do everything in your power to come back to me. I need your love and that's all I want."
She exhales deeply before covering her face in her hands once again. You have my love Scully; you've always had it.
She looks to me before I can speak.
"I want you here, but I can't have that. But maybe one day I will, and that's why I'll be okay, knowing a life with you is possible someday, if we just hold on."
Her voice is softer now, her eyes warm.
"Mulder I'm strong, and I look out for myself you know that. And yes, I am sad now. I'm about to see the man I love walk out the door, and it'll devastate me, but I'll still be standing here and I'll live on. I'll be hopeful because I love you with all that I am, and all that I ever could be, and I always will."
Scully, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I want to tell her this but I can't find my voice because my own tears are choking me. I reach out to touch her but she backs away once more, her eyes are deep blue and again laced in anger.
"Mulder, I can't believe you'd think I'd just leave you."
Her voice is raised again, but not enough to be loud. She throws her hands back in the air before placing one on her hip and one on her forehead.
She's crying now. I made her cry. Don't cry Scully. Don't ever cry because of me. I want to hold her so bad it hurts. I will always want to hold her, just as I will always love her.
God, I don't think I'll ever love anyone the way I love this women. Or feel for anyone the way I feel for her. I always want to feel this way. Always. I want to feel it for the rest of my life. Now more then ever I want all this to be mine. I want my son and his mother, forever.
I move to her, touching her arm. She doesn't back away; instead she removes her hand from her head.
"You know, Mulder, I never thought-"
Her words are swallowed by my kiss. Her body is rigid at first, but soon her lips seek mine and she falls pliant in my arms. I can't get enough of kissing her. Her taste is addictive, sweet like strawberries and dangerous like fire. I kissed her this morning, thinking it may be the last time that I'll kiss her this way.
By the words she says to me and the way she says I make her feel, I should've known she wouldn't let any one else kiss her like this, or hold her like I do. I should've known she wouldn't love anyone else the way she loves me. Why she does is a mystery, but I'll forever be eternally grateful.
Her lips are fierce and hungry, matching my own when I run my hands through her hair. She grasps the back of my neck and pulls me closer to her. Whatever she may have been feeling, I know I'm forgiven and all she seeks now is me, and all I ever want is her.
My chest is heavy from lack of oxygen and I pull away. God, I love this woman.
"Marry me, Dana."
I say between greedy inhalations. I need her to say yes. I need her to say she knows how much she means to me.
Her breath is heavy and warm on my face, when I rest my forehead to hers.
"You know I will," is all she says to me and I laugh out of joy and sorrow. My mind is a haze of pain and grief, but I like the feeling of love, of promise, that I have right now.
She lays her head on my shoulder and wraps her arms around me. She's mine now, forever, and though she always would've been, I like the thought of her not only being with me, but being my wife.
"I love you Mulder," she whispers and in response I hug her more tightly to me.
As if on cue, there's a knock at the door. Reluctantly she leaves our embrace to answer it.
Goodbye my lover
The living room floor is bare now, with nothing but indentations where his luggage once stood.
I don't recall the men taking it away. All I can recall is what I was feeling, the hurt of what'd he said and then the promise that he'll be mine, for eternity and always. The thought makes me smile and sends a pleasant chill down my spine. Of all the things I thought would come today a proposal wasn't one of them, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
The conversation beforehand was disheartening and tore through my composure like spikes, but I understand now why it came to be. All he wants is my happiness. He wanted me to understand nothing was more important to him. But nothing could make me happier then loving him for the rest of my life.
It's crazy now to think we're engaged and I don't know when I'll see him again. I pray that I will. I need to see him again. I need him to keep this promise.
Wiping my palms on my jeans, I watch as he shrugs the last canvas bag over his shoulder and my smile fades. He takes a deep breath before puffing out air. I'd say I can't imagine what he's feeling right now, but that would be a lie. I know he feels lost, heartbroken and shattered. I feel it too.
A weak smile lights up his beautiful face when he walks to me. He shoves his hands in his jeans pockets and bites his lip.
"I guess this is it."
He tells me, his voice heavy with grief. Tears are evading my body and all I can do is nod. I want to tell him to take care and to hold on, to come home, but I can't find my voice, so I close the distance between us by wrapping my arms around him.
I can't stop touching him, holding him and I know distance is something you establish to make it easier, but I can't distance myself from him, not right now.
Everything comes down to this moment, everything we've ever had is now and it makes me overwhelmed with grief. I can't stop the tears from falling. I can't stop my body from shaking and more than anything I can't stop the fears of what could become of him.
He holds me tighter and strokes my back, my hair, before pulling me away to meet his eyes.
"Don't cry, Dana, no more crying."
"Mulder, you are my only weakness. You always have been."
My tears reverberate through my voice and I'm ashamed I don't have more control of my emotion, but for right now our time is over, and saying goodbye hurts too much.
He lifts my chin and robs my face of proceeding tears with his thumbs.
"I know Scully. You've always been my weakness, my vulnerability. More than that, you've been my strength, and that's what you need now. You need to be strong, for yourself and for our son. Promise me you won't cry anymore."
My voice is still weak and my composure even less. I can't promise that, anything but that.
He says again. I have to give this to him, but I'm ashamed it'll be hopeless.
He nods his head and smiles at me.
"Mulder...you have to promise you'll come back to me."
He brushes my hair out of my face and kisses my temple, my cheek, my lips, before pulling away.
And I still hold your hand in mine.
Tears are threatening his features when he turns from me. I follow him to the door, trying like hell to hold on to my promise.
He opens it, but instead of walking through it he simply rests his head on the door, and inhales deeply. I reach out to him and he turns to face me.
He tells me, his earlier composure replaced with frailty. His eyes are glossy and tear into mine.
"So am I."
He holds his hand out to me, as he had earlier this morning, and he presses me close to him, resting his chin on my head. He puffs out air before I feel his body regain its resolve.
"Tell William I love him."
"Everyday," I whisper. He releases me and walks out through the threshold. I can't believe this is it. He's going, right now, and I don't know if it hurts worse to know he'll be gone or to see him leave.
He turns to me, his eyes sad and wet, and captures my lips in his once more. This kiss is passionate, hungry, addicting, just as they all are, but the pain of this is that it is our last. He nips my lips before letting go quickly, before the kiss can deepen.
"I love you."
He whispers to me. My breath is painful and my heart heavy as it pounds in my chest. I struggle back tears, resisting the urge to pull him back to me, to this room and this life where I could have him everyday and forever. If he doesn't go now I may not let him leave.
I tell him, and he's off, down the hall and out of my sight. I suck in air in sobs and step back into my apartment. Shutting the door I rest my head against it, just as he did. What weak resolve I just conjured breaks, as does my promise, when I let the tears come.
I'm so hollow, baby
He's gone, he's gone, he's gone. Tears are coming in uncontrollable sobs now, down my cheeks, choking my breaths and stinging my eyes. I feel myself sliding until I hit the soft carpet, letting my heartache from the loneliness that's already begun to take hold.
William's cries permeate the room, drowning out my own. It's as if he knows somehow what's just been lost to us. Grasping for air, I pick myself off the floor. I have to go to him, to calm his cries, as I must my own.
I can't do this. I can't grieve this much. I can't continue to hurt this bad. I promised I wouldn't. I promised Mulder, I'd be strong, and I intend to be. I need to be, for myself, for my son. He needs me now.
Regaining a semblance of sturdy composure, I make my way to my son's room. His cries have diminished to moaning. His face is red and wet from crying and it makes me smile when he grins at me through the tears.
"Hey, little guy."
I coo to him before brushing the tears from his cheeks and then my own. Picking him up I kiss his chubby cheeks, and pat his back. He rests his head on my shoulder and I drape his blue baby blanket over him. He sighs pleasantly and I can feel his lips brushing my neck.
"That's better huh?"
In response he grasps the collar of my shirt, pressing his head into my collarbone, melding himself to me. Is it a wonder that children know what love is?
"Your daddy loves you, William. He loves you more than words can say."
I cradle him with my arms and gently rock him up and down. I love this child so much, with more love than I can imagine giving, just as I love his father. Regardless of how hollow I feel inside now, I'll be strong for him. I may never be whole again, but I'll be strong and I'll live on. For my son and my soul mate.
As I close my eyes, embellishing in the essence of my baby boy, it occurs to me, I never even said goodbye.