TITLE: Personal Costs (1/1)
AUTHOR: Shoshana
EMAIL ADDRESS: shoshana1013@excite.com
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Gossamer, Spookys site, Xemplary,
etc.
SPOILER WARNING: Seventh season episodes through Requiem.
RATING: PG
CONTENT STATEMENT: MSR
CLASSIFICATION: VRA
KEYWORDS: Mulder/Scully Romance
SUMMARY: Post ep for Requiem.
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me. And neither
does the dialogue I have blatantly stolen from the episode
'Requiem.' Sorry, Chris.
NOTE: Thanks to my great beta readers Char, Keleka and Teresa.

Personal Costs
By Shoshana

"It's not worth it, Scully."

She hesitated, unsure, unprepared for this.

"What?" she finally said.

"I want you to go home," I asserted.

"Oh, Mulder, I'm going to be fine," she countered.

"No, I've been thinking about it. Looking at you tonight, holding
that baby... knowing everything that's been taken away from you.
A chance for motherhood and your health and that baby. I think
that... I don't know, maybe they're right," I declared sadly.

"Who's right?" she queried.

"The FBI. Maybe what they say is true, though for all the wrong
reasons. It's the personal costs that are too high," I answered.

Without a sound, tears pooled in her eyes. She sought to contain
them, with little success.

"There so much more you need to do with your life. There's so much
more than this," I whispered to her.

As I stroked her face, a few more tears escaped her beautiful eyes.

"There has to be an end, Scully," I said, my voice but a rustle
against her cheek.

I delicately kissed her cheek, then leaned my head against her
shoulder. She captured my hand, bringing it close to her mouth.

Minutes passed, until she asked quietly, "Did you ever want
children, Mulder?"

My brow furrowed in thought, my whole body tensing an infinitesimal
amount, evident only to the woman beside me.

"Yes. I guess... I always did. But... my relationships all seemed
to fail. So I wasn't focused on children, wasn't expecting them."

"You want them now?" she asked, her voice quavering slightly.

My hand tightened around hers, I slipped closer to her chilled
and trembling body, tucked neatly beneath the bedcovers.

"Only with you," I choked out, my voice hampered by the increasing
tightness of my throat.

She gasped softly, more of a suppressed sob, held back by her
innate tendency to check her emotions, even when discussing the
most devastating personal issues.

"'I never saw you as a mother before,'" she whispered so low my
ears strained to hear her.

"You remember that? Remember what I said to you that day?" I
said, incredulously.

"I remember lots of things you say, Mulder. I may not have
an eidetic memory, but I always remember the important
things."

Her hand caressed my palm, then gently pulled my fingers to her
mouth, adorning them with diminutive, soothing kisses.

"I never imagined... never knew those words might haunt me later,"
I mused pensively.

"No, no Mulder. Your words made me feel better; they made me
laugh. I didn't know whether you were just teasing me, or offering
yourself up as the father of my future brood of Uber-Scullies," she
said, in a lighter tone.

"I wasn't so sure myself," I answered softly.

I loosened my hand from hers, palming the side of her face. My
thumb gently stroked down her cheek to her neck, settling there.
My fingertips touched her lightly, playing idly with the very ends
of her silken hair.

"We were so innocent. We had no idea. No concept what had been
taken from me," she told me, her mood sobering.

"The personal costs, Scully. I don't want you to pay them anymore.
I want you to have a life; I want you to have children if you want
them," I said, losing my own battle against developing tears.

She turned abruptly, startling me. She struggled out from under
the blankets, pulling them down, escaping their restraints. Still
facing me, she rose to her knees, balancing precariously.

Her eyes were full of something indefinable, something wild,
something I'd only seen infrequently, when she was either in
the throes of passion, or, to my current dismay, thoroughly
pissed off.

Wide-eyed, uncertain whether she was furious at me, I moved
swiftly to one side of the bed, balancing against the headboard,
arms around my knees. Typical defensive maneuver, my psychological
training screamed at me, and I tried to relax, extending my legs,
slumping bonelessly against the pillows.

"Scully," I pleaded.

Her arms posed defiantly across her chest, her visage clearly
exasperated. Exasperation turned to compassion as she made
note of the painful way I clenched my jaw, the distress in my
eyes. This is all one big misunderstanding, Scully, can't you see?

Her face softened and she smiled weakly, apologetically. Then,
whether from her awkward position on her knees, or her still
undefined illness, she looked like she might pass out.

Her hands flew to her forehead; she teetered, vainly trying to
change her posture and slide her knees out from under her. Her
eyelids fluttered, then closed.

She appeared to be losing consciousness, losing all sense of
balance, when I rescued her, catching her in my arms. I
drew her across the bed, and into the shelter of my hips
and thighs.

"Hey, hey. Relax, Scully. No stress, no arguments. Just
relax," I soothed, my fingers combing through her hair as I
held her with care.

She leaned heavily against my chest, relinquishing her need to sit
upright on her own power. My limbs curved around her, becalming
her, offering her stability as her world continued spinning.

I trailed my fingers up and down her back, attentive to each of her
vertebrae, trying to coax her into a looser state of being. She
sighed deeply, pacified by warmth, comforted by sound, as I
muttered nonsense syllables in her ear.

My hands lent heat to her rounded shoulders, to the well-defined
tissue of her small, but sturdy back. I sought to lull her to
sleep, dropping soft kisses on the crown of her disarrayed hair,
sweeping stray tendrils out of her eyes.

She breathed steadier now, confidently inhaling, exhaling, matching
the changeless rhythm of my own beating heart. I thought she was
falling asleep against me and I wanted to make us more comfortable
for the night, so I gently shifted her weight beside me, laying her
head on the far pillow.

Her head sunk into the cushion beneath it; her body turning over to
her right side, her favorite sleeping position. I pulled the covers
over us, matching my body to her curves without hesitation.

I should never have spoken of these things tonight. I should have
waited till she felt better, stronger. She has always been so
strong. I should have known that if she came to me for physical
solace she was in no shape for our emotional voyage backward,
back to a time before either of us suspected or knew of her cancer.

If she could only have children... if we could only adopt a little
baby... but what good would it do? She's so determined to follow
me around the country in quest of the truth. I can't forbid her;
I can't restrict her. She's my partner in everything, doing her
job, protecting me as zealously as I protect her.

Whatever was wrong with her tonight, if it's still there in the
morning, still affecting her health and equanimity, she'll go over
to the hospital at my insistence.

I reviewed our conversation in my mind, snuggling deeper against
her softness, prepping my body to drift toward oblivion.

She was angry at me. Most likely because I sounded like I was
asking her to leave the X-Files, leave me. I hadn't meant it like
that. I only wanted to give her the opportunity, the choice, to
opt out of what was beginning to look like my one last crusade,
my one last chance to find proof.

The creepy auditor told me to limit my expenses, limit my search
for the gospel truth. Maybe he's right, maybe we should be limiting
our investigations. Maybe all I've ever needed or wanted is wrapped
up in my weary limbs, softly sleeping the sleep of the dead.

Oh, what an unfortunate metaphor! What the hell was wrong with me?
I shuffled the stupid phrase to some remote corner of my mind,
banishing all dark thoughts. Instead, I concentrated on the sweet
smell, the delicate skin, of my beloved Scully.

We'd go home tomorrow. We'd probably never come back to Bellefleur
again.

fin

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