TITLE:  Dead Letter
AUTHOR:  Shoshana
EMAIL ADDRESS:  shoshana1013@yahoo.com
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT:  Gossamer and by request.
SPOILER WARNING:  Post series finale
KEYWORDS:  Mulder, Scully, William, MSR
SUMMARY:  Scully discovers an unread treasure.  
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me.
NOTE:  Thanks to sallie, my wonderful beta reader!

Dead Letter
By Shoshana

Her hands shook as she opened the letter in the attic.  The paper
had yellowed with age, but his carefully chosen words told a tale
of unrequited love:

If you are reading this letter, I know I'm no longer beside you.
I'm so sorry I've left you behind.  

I don't think you ever knew how I really felt about you.  
I hesitated too long, missing my opportunity to step beyond the
lines we established so early in our partnership.  

I hope you can forgive my cowardice and know that I loved you
more than I can ever say.
I don't know if there's an afterlife, but I do hope your belief in
whatever lies ahead will lead us both there together.


Scully's hands trembled slightly and the aging document slipped to
the floor.  She raised her hand, shielding her eyes from the
brilliant rays of sunset that had begun to slip through the window.  
Tears came unbidden and she somehow found herself seated
atop the old steamer trunk her dad had used in the Navy.

So many years he hadn't told her, she reflected.  I could have
written the same letter myself, word for word.  Well, maybe not that
part about the afterlife.  They were never going to agree on *that*.

"Mom!" a voice cried from downstairs.

"Yes, hon?" she answered.

"Dad called; you have to pick him up from work!" the teenager

Scully smiled at William's sense of urgency; he probably needed the
car tonight.  They only had one since Mulder's eye operation.  Maybe
it was time to get her sixteen-year-old his first car.  Practical
thoughts helped her regain composure as she replaced the letter in
its fragile envelope.

"I'll be right there," she called down to him, returning the faded
sheet to its hiding place amidst Mulder's old files.

About an hour later

"Your eyes are red."

She'd washed her face and touched up her mascara but it was hard to
fool Mulder after all these years.

"Allergies," she fibbed.

"Yeah, sure," he teased gently.  He knew he wouldn't get anything
out of her without some token resistance.

She acknowledged his intuition by leaning slightly toward him, eyes
still fixed upon the road.  

"I found something today," she sighed.

"Oh, really?  What's that?" he inquired with a childish grin.

"If you're a good boy, I'll share when we get home," she said,
responding to his good humor.

Mulder's mouth twisted into a lopsided expression of mirth and he
laid his head back against the headrest, pretending to relax.  She
knew better; he was anything but relaxed.  He was just waiting to
pounce on her as soon as they cleared the threshold of their suburban
Virginia home.

Mulder had never abandoned his relentless pursuit of the truth;
only now, as they grew old together in a world without fear, he
occasionally channeled that persistent energy her way.  His
attention both annoyed and exhilarated her, and she'd grown used to
fending him off if he ever breeched her comfort zone.

She had mellowed a bit in the last hour, dropping their son off
at a friend's home without an argument about whether or not he
should have the car that night.  Perhaps he'd seen the trace of
tears on her face and decided to leave well enough alone.  He had
permission to stay all weekend at Ronny's house, and Scully knew
other teenagers would filter in and out of the large ranch house.  
She wasn't worried in the least; Ronny's parents had more rules and
regulations than the Scully family ever had, and they weren't even
retired military.  Rumor was they'd been CIA operatives in their
heyday, but no one really knew, not even their own child.  

Their own identities had altered significantly over the years;
they'd gone from outlaws to saviors of the world thanks to a
fortuitous accident in a secret lab that had yielded a powerful
virus, decimating the alien force in all its forms.  There'd been
great sense of guilt to bear when they began to realize the Jeremiah
Smiths were perishing alongside their more predatory brethren. The
only salve to their conscience had been how many human lives were
saved.  And that the planet was safe.  For now.

Scully pulled into their driveway, and started to unbuckle her seat
belt.  She felt his hands on her cheeks before she was done and
turned into his kiss like she had a thousand times before.  They
were isolated enough from their neighbors that they could indulge
themselves if they liked, but their collective aches and pains from
lives as Federal Agents put the kibosh on anything more acrobatic
than smooching in the front seat.

"Show me what you found?" Mulder asked, not easily forgetting his
'other' exploratory mission.

"I will, I will," she told him softly, rubbing his five-o-clock
shadowed jaw with one elegant finger.  She hadn't done an autopsy
all week and her manicure had survived.  

Neither of them were in the field anymore; they both taught at
Quantico in their respective areas of expertise and rarely visited
crime scenes, and then only as consultants, or in a teaching
capacity.  Mulder needed a driver since his recent cataract surgery,
much to his displeasure.  He didn't mind being driven by his wife,
though.  It always felt like old times when she was beside him.

"Come on, then," he encouraged, bounding out of the car like a puppy
with a new toy.  

Scully flinched at his eagerness, considering whether she should
have left the long lost letter buried for the next generation to
find and appreciate.  William would discern the irony in Mulder's
sad words, knowing the kind of loving relationship his parents
eventually shared.  He had gone through the typical pre-teen phase,
sickened by their infrequent, but indubitably romantic, gestures.  It
was only in the last year that he had gained enough maturity to
perceive his parent's antics in a different light.  The interest of
one girl in particular hadn't hurt his perceptions, or his ego, for
that matter.

Scully was attacked from behind and couldn't suppress a whoop of
surprise.  Her assailant chuckled at her reaction, delighted he could
still play this game.  She knew him so well that sneaking up on her
was an art form he took seriously and rarely won anymore.  That he
had just done so indicated to him how preoccupied she was, how
engrossed in thoughts he hoped he'd soon share.

Amidst giggles and tickles she entreated him, "Lemme go, Mulder!"
She turned around in his weakening embrace and placed her hands
firmly on his chest, more in admiration of its breadth than a
defensive measure.  

He would be fifty-five in October, but he looked ten years younger,
even with a sprinkling of gray in his still thick brown hair.  She
raised her hand to sift through that silky mass, smiling up at his
'Who me? I didn't do anything!' expression.  She stood on her
tiptoes and kissed his puckered lips softly.  His facial muscles
quickly relaxed and responded to her warm, soft mouth.

There was nothing like kissing one another, they had found,
especially after being deprived of that pleasure all day.  They took
their time and paid no attention to the red lights blinking on their
computers and phones, begging for attention.  It was easy to ignore
the rest of the world when they knew they were alone and they knew
the world could get along without them tonight.  

The kiss finally broke and she relaxed into his chest, wrapping her
arms around his waist and pulling gently on his button-down shirt.  
She liked to undress him slowly and he was more than happy to oblige
her.  He helped her remove his light jacket, then watched eagerly as
she unfastened each of the small pearly buttons.  No tie today, or
most days anymore.  His students wore golf shirts and he dressed more
like a typical professor than a Federal agent.

Her hands explored his upper body thoroughly, as if she were
ascertaining he'd returned with all the hair, skin, and body parts
he'd left with this morning.  He closed his eyes and completely
relaxed under her probing fingers.  She stroked his skin from
shoulder to fingertip, then raised his hands to her mouth, gently
kissing each digit in turn.

Scully let go of his hands and looked up into his eyes, now open, and
watching every move she made.  Her smile never failed to quicken his
heartbeat, but this one, the one she revealed when they were making
love, was enchanting.  They were totally captivated by one another,
still smitten after twenty plus years together.

Mulder had admitted to himself long ago that it had been love at
first sight.  He'd suppressed it every step of the way, absolutely
sure she would move on to another division or become a doctor in
private practice.  He had been wrong about those assumptions and it
had taken years to undo his hands off attitude.  

Hands were definitely on at the moment; she was peeling his chinos
off skillfully and his body was exhibiting its approval.  He raised
his hands to her shoulders and kneaded them slowly, then held on for
dear life as she removed his boxers, her delicate hands loitering
sensuously over his rear, then travelling down his legs and across
his thighs.  She caressed him gently, savoring the effect she still
had on him.  

He leaned down to capture her lips, then gently removed her hands
from his crotch, smiling at her reaction.  She wanted to do
everything to please him tonight, but he wasn't going to let her.  
There would be plenty of time to play all weekend and he
desperately wanted to be inside her.  

Mulder hastened them to the bed and fell to undressing her, not
a slow dance like before; now he was removing garments as quickly as
possible.  She let herself relax, ragdoll-like beneath his hands.  
Her blouse and pants came off easily and he paused to smile while he
unhooked her bra, revealing her slowly, like a gift he'd never
received before.  

Scully beamed back at him and helped him pull each strap off,
discarding the garment behind her.  Impatient for his mouth, she
pulled him down for a kiss and he lowered his chest against her
carefully, craving contact with her bare skin.  He fell onto his
forearms and they kissed long and hard, their lower bodies making
rough contact and begging for more.

Mulder broke their kisses off, eager to remove the last barrier
between them.  He teased her nipples, one by one, then traced a
path down her midsection, stopping only to attend to her navel.  She
shivered at his touch and told him with a gentle squeeze of her hand
he needn't go further.  

He shook his head no, and with a soft, affectionate chuckle, nipped
lightly at her thighs.  His nose, then his mouth, tickled at her
folds and she raised her hips, offering him better access, urging
him closer with a gentle tug on his hair.  A few minutes of loving
care later, she was moving against him with wild abandon, soft
squeals of pleasure signalling an approaching orgasm.

So Mulder stopped.

She cried out in protest, but he knew what she really wanted, what
they both really needed.   He sprinkled kisses over her midriff,
then moved from one sensitized breast to the other, giving them both
due attention.  He leisurely kissed all his favorite places,
lingering over her collarbone, teasing as she wriggled beneath him.  

He moved upward and onward, showing little mercy for that ticklish
spot he knew so well beneath her earlobe.  Trailing his tongue
along her jawline, he headed for her pretty mouth, still crimson
from lovemaking.  She met him with equal force, pushing her tongue
beyond his lips, tantalizing him with her impatience, frantically
pulling his hips higher so he would enter her easily.

Message received, he balanced on one forearm, using the other to
guide himself to her.  He stopped short of filling her completely,
contemplating the incredible beauty before him.  The color of her
cheeks approached that of her soundly kissed lips; her eyes were so
blue, so large, and so happy.  

"Always you, always been you," she whispered as he moved within
her.  He made no sound, but his face shone above hers.  

Scully met his movements easily, her legs wrapped around his
thighs, then his hips.  She pulled his lips down, careless of his
weight, then broke their kiss suddenly, pushing her mouth against
his neck.  Her body pulsed with exquisite pleasure, from the place
of their joining to her trembling fingers and toes, quenching her
thirst for this man and the love he offered her so freely.

Mulder felt her tighten around him and could no longer contain
himself.  With a groan he let himself come inside her.  A few
erratic thrusts, then he relaxed into the peaceful moment when he
was still inside her, spent by his efforts.    

He used his forearms, elevating himself above her chest, to survey
what their love had done to her eyes and face.  Mulder stroked her
cheek with his fingertip, pushing hair out of her eyes, and
preventing a bead of sweat from roaming down into her eye.  

"I love you," he said, bringing his lips down to hers again.

Scully knew he didn't need her answer, not after all these years,
but she wanted to say the words aloud, "Love you, too," she said
when they broke their kiss.

He finally moved, shifting their bodies to the side.  She was so
light in his arms and so massive in his heart he felt overwhelmed,
lost for words.  They rested quietly against one another as the sun
was swallowed by the horizon outside their bedroom window.

Minutes later, he found the energy to whisper, "Still gonna tell me
what you found today?"

"Something I hadn't really lost," she muttered against him as she
succumbed to an early rest.

Mulder smiled and adjusted the sheets more comfortably around her,
always a patient man.


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