Title - Besame 2
Author - Rachel Brown
E-Mail address - email@example.com
Rating - PG
Category - UST, A
Spoilers - If you haven't seen 'The End,' the Diana Fowley stuff will probably lose you.
Other than that, nothing.
'You'll feel better tomorrow
Come the morning light now baby…'
-'Don't Cry,' Guns N' Roses
Scully had been sitting in the same place for the past five hours, though she hadn't realize it. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying, but she wasn't crying anymore. Mulder was going to be OK.
She was sitting by his bedside now, holding his hand. She hadn't taken her eyes off of him the whole time she had been sitting there. Technically, Scully knew that he no longer needed her to be there, with him, "willing" him back to life, but Scully just couldn't leave him. Only a few hours before, Scully had been more scared than she had ever been in her entire life.
Earlier, when Mulder had lost consciousness, Scully had been terrified that she had just lost him forever. She couldn't even bring herself to check for a pulse because she knew that if her fear had turned into a reality, it would kill her. She honestly didn't know how she would have handled that, but vivid images of 'Romeo and Juliet' had flooded her mind as a warning. So, instead, Scully had begun to sob uncontrollably. Fortunately, the paramedics arrived not too long after Mulder had blacked out. They saw the shape she was in and quickly reassured her that he was alive, but that he had lost a lot of blood and his pulse was weak. Scully thanked God all the way to the hospital that He hadn't taken Mulder away from her yet and that he still had a chance.
Most of what had happened after that was just a confusing blur to Scully. She remembered that Mulder had been rushed into surgery as soon as they arrived at the hospital. She vaguely remembered pleading with somebody to bring him back to her no matter what. But she could have been pleading with the janitor for all she knew. She hadn't really been thinking too clearly. Which was odd because Scully almost never lost her cool like that. She had been terrified beyond belief many times before and had still been able to think quickly on her feet. But Scully realized that this time was much, much different. Scully hadn't known how much damage the bullet may have caused. He had been shot in the back, which meant that even if he survived, if the bullet had injured his spinal chord, he could be paralyzed…But Scully pushed those thoughts out of her mind. She refused to think the worst until she knew for sure whether or not she had to. Or, at least, that's what she had tried to do.
Scully remembered sitting in the waiting room, staring off into space and running that night's occurrences over and over in her mind. She had remembered every detail…their amusing conversation, the music, the dancing…their first kiss. Scully had closed her eyes as she replayed their kiss in her head. She remembered how wonderful it had been; how perfect and complete it had felt. Two lonely souls finally coming together in the way they had always been destined to. And she remembered how her tears returned in an uncontrollable flood when she thought about how unfair it all was. The injustice of it all. She thought about the possibility that after all this time, just when they had finally really found each other, they had had it all taken away from them forever. Forever…Scully had thought sadly. She had sobbed harder when she thought of the possibility that she could lose Mulder forever.
Scully had always known that she loved Mulder. But she had never been able to figure out just what form that love took until tonight. Tonight she realized for the first time that she was in love with him, and that life without him in it would be virtually impossible.
Scully wasn't exactly sure how long Mulder had been in surgery when the doctor who performed the operation finally came out and told her that the operation had been a success and that her partner was going to be fine. He said that he should make a complete recovery as soon as he received a couple blood transfusions and got his strength back.
Scully remembered how she had begun to sob once again, only this time for a completely different reason. She vaguely remembered embracing the good doctor who had actually saved two lives without even realizing it, but she couldn't remember exactly. She only remembered relief.
Now, as Scully sat by Mulder's bedside waiting for him to wake up, she actually smiled to herself at the absurdity of the fact that twice in the same night, she had gone from one extreme to the other. She had gone from complete bliss to utter horror when Mulder had been shot and then from severe suicidal depression to uncontrollable joy when she learned that he was going to be alright.
So there Scully sat. Sitting by Mulder's bedside and looking down at the man that she loved. She didn't care how long she had to wait…she wanted to be there when he finally opened his eyes.
All of a sudden, there was a knock on the door, jarring Scully out of her reverie. She felt a slight surge of annoyance that anyone would dare disturb her private time with Mulder. But it quickly subsided when she realized how silly she was being and called, "Come in!"
The door opened and Scully looked away from Mulder for the first time in hours to see who it was. It was Skinner. Scully was momentarily surprised but then realized that it wasn't all that unusual for the Assistant Director of the FBI to visit one of his best Agents in the hospital after being shot on duty. Skinner nodded his head stiffly, "Agent Scully…" he said in greeting.
"Sir…" she nodded back at him. Then she had to suppress a laugh…sometimes the formality of the Bureau was downright ridiculous.
Even though their boss had just walked in the room, Scully remained where she was. She didn't even stand when he entered. Formalities just didn't seem important right then. She turned her head back so that she could look at Mulder again.
Skinner finally broke the silence, "So, how's he doing?"
"He's going to be fine." She said, unable to hold back a small smile. "The doctor said that the bullet punctured one of his kidneys and they needed to remove it, but other than that, there was no other internal damage that couldn't be fixed. They said that he should make a complete recovery."
"That's good to hear. Any idea who shot him?" Skinner asked.
Scully was suddenly stunned. It was funny, but until Skinner had asked her that, she hadn't even given the shooter a single thought. She had only been concerned for Mulder's life since the moment it had happened. "Um…well, I assume that it was somehow connected to the people we were staking out. Perhaps, they knew we were watching them and they tried to eliminate us, or one of us, anyway."
"But I don't understand, how is it that you two didn't see them first?"
Scully's blood ran cold as she searched her mind for a good excuse, or any excuse, for that matter, to tell him quickly in order to buy them some time. What was a good, professionally acceptable reason why they might have been distracted enough to be that sloppy and miss something that important? Scully was hesitating too long, so she thought of an idea and used it, "The shot was fired from an unsuspected location, sir. We were only paying attention to the apartment we had been told to surveillance and didn't realize that there was a sniper two stories above that room who was just waiting for any opportunity to eliminate one or both of us." Scully held her breath as she waited for Skinner to respond.
After a moment's silence Skinner asked the question Scully had been afraid he would ask, "OK but, why was Mulder's back turned to the window? Certainly he knows better than to let his guard down like that."
Scully could feel a blush creeping into her cheeks and tried to hide it as best she could. She swallowed and said, "Sir, he just stood up for a second, and that's all it took. He was just taking a moment to stretch his legs after he had been sitting in one place for hours. In all fairness, sir, it's perfectly natural for him to have needed to do so."
Scully wanted to applaud herself when she looked back at him nervously and saw that he actually looked ashamed! "I guess you're right. Some things just can't be prevented. Well, I just wanted to stop by and see how he was doing. You'll call me if anything changes?"
"Of course, sir. I'll tell him you stopped by." Then she smiled at him before he turned and left the room.
Scully felt every muscle in her body that had tensed as soon as he had entered the room relax completely as soon as he left. She lifted Mulder's hand up with both of her hands so that she could rest her forehead against them and sighed heavily.
"Nice work, FBI woman…"
Scully looked up in surprise when she heard Mulder's voice and jumped slightly. "Mulder!"
"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."
Scully laughed, "Yes you did. But, believe me, after what I've been through tonight, I don't think anything can scare me anymore."
Mulder smiled softly at her words. Then he cleared his throat and said, "So I guess I'm not dead…"
"No…did you hear what I told Skinner about your condition?"
"Yeah…I thought I felt a little lighter when I woke up."
Scully chuckled again, she felt almost giddy now that he was finally awake and actually had some life back in him. "Mulder how long have you been awake?"
"Not long, but I think Skinner had just come in when I did."
Scully couldn't believe it, that had been the one moment in the last several hours that she had looked away from him. Mulder would pick that particular second to come to. But instead of annoying her, the thought made Scully smile. She had her Mulder back.
Scully squeezed his hand affectionately.
"So…what a night, huh?" Mulder asked, looking up at her.
"Yeah…" Scully said softly. She could tell that Mulder was slowly trying to turn the conversation to what had happened between them earlier. She cleared her throat, "I guess we should talk now, huh?"
"I guess so…" Mulder said. Both of them fell silent for a moment. Then they spoke at once…
Scully smiled, "You go first…"
"No, that's OK…"
"Mulder," She said firmly, "go first."
"Alright." Mulder said. He seemed uncertain about how to say what he wanted to say. He was quiet for a moment, looking downward, then he looked up at her and spoke, "Scully…I thought what happened between us earlier was amazing. It was wonderful and I think that it was something that we had both been curious about…" he said the next part carefully, "…and maybe something we had both secretly wanted to happen…possibly for quite some time now." He continued to look up at her and relaxed a little when Scully nodded slightly. It made Mulder feel better and more sure of himself, but it didn't make what he needed to tell her now any easier. He couldn't look at her as he said the next part. He swallowed thickly, "But I think, Scully, that…" he cleared his throat, "I think that maybe it would be best if we just…went on…the way we were…before."
Scully's breath caught in her throat in shock and she quickly released the hand she had been holding as intense humiliation coursed throughout her body. She suddenly felt like such a fool. How could she have let herself get so carried away like that? She felt angry and ashamed. Oh my God…she groaned inwardly…I told him that I loved him…Scully suddenly wanted the floor to open up and swallow her whole so that she would never have to face him again. The hurt on Scully's face was obvious as she let out a shaky, "Oh…"
Mulder was frantic. Damnit! He thought to himself. How could he have been so insensitive? He thought quickly for something to say to try to make it better. "No…Scully, please, don't take that the wrong way…"
"I don't think I did, Mulder." Scully said coldly, "I understood you perfectly. You think it was a mistake."
"No, that's not it, not exactly, Scully. I wanted to kiss you. Very, very much. I think I always have. It's just that…well Scully you heard yourself when Skinner came in here earlier…that's the way it would be all the time. Trying to make up excuses to cover up our unprofessional behavior. It would just be too hard, Scully."
Scully just stared at him. "That's bullshit, Mulder." She spat at him.
"You heard me! That's bullshit. You don't give a damn about how hard it would be to try to keep this a secret…Mulder you keep secrets from them all the time. It should be second nature to you by now. No…no I don't believe you, Mulder, there's something else." It was hard for Scully to say the next thing on her mind, but she felt it had to be said, "Mulder, if it's me…" she sighed, "Mulder you don't have to try to make up excuses, if you just don't want me, tell me. Please, you've never lied to me before, don't start now."
Oh no…Mulder thought. He had really messed up this time. "No, Scully! No, just stop that, it's not you, I promise. I told you, I wanted to kiss you, and I meant that. You have to trust me, Scully, I would never lie to you about that."
"Well then, damnit Mulder! What is it your so afraid of?" She shouted angrily.
Mulder looked at her intensely. She was right. He couldn't try to make up stupid excuses for her. He had to just come clean with her. She deserved that much. She deserved so much better. So much better than him. Mulder looked down again. He looked thoughtful as he contemplated how to word what he had to tell her. Then, unable to look at her, he took a deep breath and said in a choked voice, "I can't promise you that I'll be able to love you the way you deserve to be loved."
Scully fell silent, letting his words sink in. What exactly did that mean? What was it he was doubting? His ability to love anyone or his ability to love her? Scully felt tears stinging her eyes at the thought of the latter. And she suddenly saw almost certain humiliation in her future. She had told him that she loved him. She chastised herself again for being so foolish. She had laid her heart on the line because she had been so sure, so positive that he felt the exact same way about her. Her heart ached when she thought of the possibility that their kiss hadn't meant to him anything close to what it had meant to her. What if it hadn't been her at all? What if it had just been the moment: slow dancing to one of the most romantic songs ever written. Scully suddenly realized that maybe he would have had the same reaction with anybody else. What if he had just wanted to kiss somebody, anybody. The thought made her ill. She loved him. She ached for him. And the only thing that she had ever really wanted more than anything else in her entire life was for him to love her back. Scully had to know for sure. He already knew how she felt, what else did she have to lose? She finally decided that she would rather know and risk further heartbreak rather than never knowing for sure.
Scully swallowed hard, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and said, "Mulder…do you love me?" Her lips were trembling. She had said the words cautiously, fearfully and she knew that her fear had been very apparent in her voice.
Mulder looked up at her slowly with sad eyes that seemed heavy with pain and Scully held her breath, bracing herself for the worst. "Of course I do, Scully…" Scully felt her entire body relax as the extreme tension that had previously held her was released and she slowly let out the breath she had been holding. Mulder continued, "I love you more than I've ever loved anybody, you have to believe that."
She felt a small uncontrollable smile spread across her face. "Well then, what's the problem, Mulder? Is it our work? Our partnership, the Bureau? You're not honestly going to tell me that Bureau policy is what's holding you back now, are you?" Scully asked him frantically.
Mulder attempted a weak smile. "No…I mean, that's part of it, but…that would never be enough to keep me from being with you…"
Scully felt a warmth spread across her chest but was still confused. "Well then, what IS it, Mulder?" There was more urgency in her voice this time. "Damnit Mulder, will you just talk to me?"
Mulder was silent. His eyes were downcast and he opened his mouth a few times to speak, but seemed unable to put the right words together. Scully was about to plead with him again when he finally spoke, "Scully, I was married once…"
Scully felt herself go numb and she could physically feel the color draining from her face. "What?" she whispered.
"I know…Scully…it's something I should have told you a long time ago. I can't even really remember why it was I never did tell you. I mean, it wasn't like I was trying to keep it from you. I just think that…Scully I honestly think that it just never came up." He winced, "I know how stupid that must sound…"
Scully was speechless. Once again she had to let his words sink in. He had been married before? She wasn't exactly sure what to do with that information. Obviously it had been before he had met her and was long over by the time she had entered his life. So it really shouldn't matter, should it? But Scully had a sinking feeling that it did matter somehow. She had an even worse feeling that she knew who it was that he had been married to and a sharp pain wrenched at her heart. Scully swallowed thickly and finally said in a soft voice, "Who was it, Mulder?"
Mulder was quiet again, he still wouldn't look at her. He moved his jaw thoughtfully as, once again, he seemed to be contemplating the right way to say it. "It was…" he took a deep breath, "it was Diana, Scully. I was married to Diana…" He finally glanced up at her so that he could see her reaction. And what he saw broke his heart. There were two large tears that were slowly sliding down her beautiful cheeks. Mulder didn't think he had ever seen her look as hurt and betrayed, in the entire time he had known her, as she looked right then. He hated himself for being the one who had made her feel that way. But he didn't try to say anything more. He didn't want to risk saying something that could possibly hurt her even more than he already had. He waited patiently for her to let it all sink in. Finally she spoke.
"And…" she gulped "you don't know if you can love me the way I deserve to be loved because you're still in love with her?"
Mulder's eyes widened, "No! No, Scully, that's not it at all. Whatever Diana and I had between us before, trust me, it was over a long time ago. I don't want her back. Especially not now. No, Scully the problem isn't Diana…the problem is me…"
Scully sighed with impatience, "OK, Mulder, you are slowly driving me insane here. Will you please quit tip-toeing around what the real problem is and just tell me? If I'm not the problem and if you don't love Diana anymore, then what is it? Why are you the problem? Will you just tell me?"
"I'm sorry, Scully. Here, let me go back to the beginning and try to explain what I meant earlier." He cleared his throat, "Scully, when I met Diana, I was still young and naïve and I don't think I quite knew what love was exactly. Before Diana, Phoebe had been the last woman I'd been in a serious relationship with and, well, you've met her…" Scully rolled her eyes and groaned inwardly at the memory of the painfully annoying woman Mulder was referring to. Mulder went on, "…and I told you about how my relationship with her ended up. Needless to say, any relationship would probably look like true love compared to what I had I experienced with Phoebe. So, when I met Diana…well, we seemed to hit it off alright, and I'm sure my feelings for her were very strong, though I can't remember now exactly how it was.
"Anyway, we had only been together for a couple months when we decided to be impulsive and get married." Mulder looked up, directly at Scully, he was relieved to see she had stopped crying. "It was the stupidest thing I've ever done, Scully. And…" He laughed, "considering all the things you've seen me do, that should tell you a lot. Anyway, that was in 1989, Diana was still at the Academy and I was just a rookie agent trying to get ahead at the FBI as quickly as I could. I hadn't discovered the X-files yet and my future at the Bureau wasn't set in stone. A year passed, things were OK between me and Diana, but they had never really been ideal. I mean, I think I loved her in a way, but it became obvious to me after we'd been married for a while that our relationship needed help, or else it wasn't going to last very long.
"A year after that, in 1991, was about the time I stumbled onto the X-files. What I told you before was true, Scully, I became obsessed and before I knew it, it was all I could think about. I became distant with Diana, I spent long days and sometimes long evenings at work, going through the X-files, reading everything I could get my hands on. And when I wasn't actually reading them, I was thinking about them, speculating on them, contemplating them. They fascinated me and nothing else in the world seemed as important. Not even Diana.
"1991 was also the year that Diana began working for the FBI. Diana was painfully aware that my work on the X-files was what was slowly driving a wedge in our relationship. She showed some interest in my work and I allowed her to help me out on some cases. Well, as it turned out, Diana had a good mind for the stuff in the X-files. She also seemed interested in it and, for a while, it seemed as though we had finally found some common ground again. But, while we had found a common interest, the interest wasn't balanced. It was my obsession and soon turning into my life's quest, while, for Diana, it was simply an interesting way to pass the time. Diana began arguing with me about it. She told me by fixation with the X-files was unhealthy and that I was inevitably going to drive myself insane.
"We began fighting all the time. We hardly ever talked anymore. Eventually, it seemed like the only way we ever communicated at all was through fighting. Sometimes I think she would pick a fight just to get me to acknowledge her existence. But even though my marriage was suffering, I was unwilling to give up what I had found in the X-files. It felt like my calling, Scully. It felt like I had finally found what I was meant to do with my life. And I think I was right.
"It was about that time that she was offered the job in Berlin. Things had become so bad by then, Scully, it came as no surprise to me when she told me she was leaving me and was going to accept the job. She told me she couldn't take my distant and unresponsive behavior anymore and that she was leaving me. She moved to Berlin and a month later I got the divorce papers in the mail. I hadn't seen or heard from her until she came back three months ago." Mulder paused momentarily, running over everything he had just told her in his mind and trying to figure out how, exactly, he should word the next part.
He cleared his throat and went on, "After Diana and I got divorced, I did a lot of thinking and I pretty much decided that it wasn't just that our relationship had suffered because of my work, but that any relationship I ever had would suffer in the same way. I decided then and there that I had to make a choice. I could either have a personal life, or I could have the X-files." He looked up at Scully and gave her a small smile, "I guess it's kinda obvious which one I chose, huh?" Mulder paused again and took a deep breath. He continued to look at Scully as he spoke this time. Now came the hard part.
"Two years after Diana and I got divorced I met you. I don't exactly know what you thought about me when you first met me…" he smiled, "and, actually, I don't think I do want to know…but I was captivated by you, Scully, though I tried my hardest not to show it…"
"You did a good job…" Scully interrupted in mock bitterness.
Mulder smiled, "I know I was pretty awful to you, and not just at the beginning. But, you see, up until I had met you, Scully, it had been easy to stick with the decision I had made before about a personal life, because I'd never met anyone else who even seemed worth my time. But then I met you and all of a sudden, for the first time, really, in three years, I began to think about something other than my work. And something else became almost equally as important to me as the X-files…you. You, the X-files and what the X-files can possibly help me find out about my sister are the only things that I have ever given a damn about in my entire life. But Scully, even though you became very important to me, I still felt that I couldn't have both. At least, I couldn't have you in my life in the way that I wanted you to be and still have the X-files at the same time. Because it's still my obsession, Scully, that hasn't changed any. And I told myself that I wouldn't let you into my life that way unless I could promise you that you would be treated the way you deserved to be treated…with you in the center of my life and not my work. That's why I was always so distant with you. It seemed to be easier to push you away rather than let myself get too close and too involved emotionally with you. My slightly warped reasoning was that I couldn't hurt you if I didn't let you get too close. It was also easier for me to deny to myself how I felt about you if I kept my distance as much as I could.
"But we've always had this connection, Scully. I remember feeling it right from the beginning. We haven't always agreed, but the connection has always been there. And I eventually realized that, even if we never became romantically involved, we would both always be a very important part of each other's lives. And after a while, I decided that that would have to be enough for me…for us." Mulder paused again, searching Scully's face, trying to read what she was feeling right then. Her eyes were damp, but this time, he took that as a good sign. He had one last thing he needed to tell her, "So, that's what I meant, Scully, when I said that I can't promise you that I will be able to love you in the way you deserve to be loved. I know that, right now anyway, the X-files don't really factor into the situation anymore. But Scully, it's always possible that we could get them back, and if that happens, all the fears I had before will come back with it." He paused for a moment and looked at her with such love in his eyes, "I can't risk losing you, Scully. And I'm terrified that if we got involved, the same thing that happened with me and Diana might happen to us someday."
Scully took in a shaky breath. She ran her fingers under her eyes to wipe the tears that had pooled there away. She exhaled the breath she had just inhaled in one quick 'whoosh.' Then she placed her hands on her knees and pushed herself slowly up from the chair she had occupied for the past few hours and slowly walked around to the end of his bed where she began to slowly pace back and forth, touching her fingertips to her lips, almost as if in prayer. But she wasn't praying. She needed to think, she needed to let his words sink in, once again. It was all too much. Mulder had all but told her that he had been in love with her from the beginning. That was something she had not been expecting. She had figured that he had strong feelings for her. She had even figured that he probably loved her, but she never would have figured that he had always felt that way. He had certainly done a damn good job of hiding it.