Title: Here Begins
Feedback: Yes, please tlynnfic [at] gmail.com
Distribution: Anywhere, just let me know so I can visit
Category: MSR, angst
Summary: ‘You can’t remember a time before him, before his scent in your nose, his breath in your ear, and your heart in his hand; you don’t want to.’
Disclaimer: Not mine, never have been, never will be.
Thanks: to Carol for the beta and Circe for giving my fic a home.
Note: This is a companion piece, of sorts, to Out of Practice in that it takes place the morning after. You don’t have to have read that in order to read this, but I hope you do all the same.
* * *
‘In that book which is
On the first page
That is the chapter when
I first met you
Appear the words…
Here begins a new life.’
— La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri
* * *
You wake early, before the alarm clock goes off, and look out the window to the pre-dawn light bathing the winter landscape in a crisp grey hue. Lying next to you, Mulder sleeps soundly, both of your bodies deep under the covers in a warm cocoon of cotton and down. You turn to face him, to watch him for a moment before you have to get up and head to the hospital.
Conflict over the past six years was minimal, the chance to live a life together almost nearly out of danger had been enough to assuage any anger at one another for the little irritations of living with another human being. To look at him now, to again see the cuts and bruises that mar his face, you don’t regret your anger, yet can’t assuage your guilt at bringing that danger to him, however indirectly. The door had been opened again and shutting it was no longer an option; the life you simultaneously regret the loss of and never want to return to was crashing through.
You turn away from him again and savor the quiet of the morning, the peace, memorizing the detail and calm. Mere minutes pass before you feel him stirring behind you, shifting until he’s spooned up against you, his hand gravitating to the swell of your hip. You feel the charge of his want and need immediately, feel his need to reconnect to you, to each other. His breath is warm and heavy against the nape of your neck. His fingers are needy and insistent and his fingernails press into your flesh; you can already feel the crescent-shaped indents that will be left behind. You could say no if you wanted, could retreat from his advances, but you don’t, can’t, wouldn’t.
You shift your body back, press against him, and feel the heavy length of his arousal settle against your bottom. The warm, familiar, overwhelming desire you have for him quickly settles in your groin and you are amazed the effect he has on you is still so strong. He slides one hand around you to clasp over your left breast, kneading it forcefully over the thin cotton of your camisole, and you feel your heart pound against your chest. His teeth and tongue take turns biting and licking at the flesh of your neck. You know he’ll leave a mark if you don’t stop him now, so you move away just enough to turn on your back, to wrap your arms around him and pull him on top of you. The uncertainty that has plagued you these past days fades with the security of his weight atop you and you welcome it, don’t ever want him to move. But move he does, deft hands pushing and pulling clothing and blankets aside, revealing you to each other in the ever-growing morning light.
Your breath is labored as he braces himself above you and his head falls to your breast, his tongue gentle now where his grip had just minutes before been rough. Your fingers slide through his hair and you hold him against you as you arch your back, demanding without words that he never, ever stop. You don’t realize he’s moved a hand until his fingers are inside you, wrenching your head from the pillow and forcing a gasp from your lips. He catches your surprised eyes with his, and watches as your eyelids flutter with each flick of his wrist, with each pass of this thumb over your most sensitive spot. He knows your body, knows it well, learned quickly what you respond to, what makes you quiver, what makes you scream; the years have only allowed him to refine his skills. You feel yourself ready to fall over the edge when he withdraws his hand and captures your open, panting mouth in an almost violent kiss. Your hands fist in his hair, pulling it, returning his ardor with equal force.
The sudden desperation is palpable and your pulse increases not from the passion, but the anxiety in the air. You grab at his shoulder, his back, handfuls of flesh, pulling him into you, within you. He whimpers into your mouth as he enters you, and you feel his body begin to tremble with the sheer force of his actions, his body taut not with excitement and arousal, but with unease and distress. You will yourself into calm, uneven though it is, and place your hands on his cheeks. He breaks his hold on your bottom lip and lifts his head, meeting your eyes, as his hips and his claiming of your body slow. You see fear and trust and exhaustion and devotion and doubt and love. It strikes you that you are here with him again, that after the security you’ve shared, in each other if not in circumstance, there is still any room for doubt. You hold his gaze and move your hips against him, slowly, but deliberately, establishing a new pace. He takes your cue, each thrust into you long and slow, and you can feel the tension begin to melt from his body. You press your mouth against his again and tell him with your tongue and your lips and your soul that he need not ever worry; all the forces of the universe combined could never, will never, tear you away from him. His eyes slip shut as he pulls away and rests his forehead against yours, as you lift your legs and pull your knees up to frame his torso. The room, the world, the only world you care about at the moment, fills with the sound of his labored breaths and your own groans as he loses himself deeper and deeper inside of you.
But as the pleasure builds you can feel something inside of you begin to break, a crack in the foundation. This life with him isn’t perfect, isn’t normal, no matter how hard you’ve both tried to make it so, not with the shadows of the past before you and the weight of knowledge about the future ahead of you. And though it’s the life you chose and would choose time and time again, though you pride yourself on your strength, on your resolve to live it to the best of your ability, sometimes it’s too hard to ignore the exhausting uncertainty. Your defenses down, open completely to all he has to give you, you are flooded with emotion as you reach your climax and your body throbs with intense pleasure as memories of the past years mingle with the past days: abductions and cancer, conspiracies and distrust, death and resurrection; feeling your child move within you, watching your belly grow, giving birth, giving him up; the new fight for a child’s life, for the right to keep fighting; the panic and fear when you couldn’t find him, when this wasn’t supposed to happen anymore. You feel exposed, raw, unable to push down all that you can’t and don’t want to think about anymore, and you feel the promise of tears sting at your eyes. His movements above you are sloppy and hurried as he seeks his own release and finally he finds it, his face contorting, his lean, sweaty body collapsing next to you.
Your tears are hot against the skin of your temples, sliding down to mingle with the sheen of sweat that has formed along your hairline, and you wipe them away quickly before he notices. You don’t want your sudden rise in emotion to be misunderstood, don’t have the words right now to explain it to him should he see it on your face.
So you turn into him, wrap your arms around him and hide your face in his neck. You can’t remember a time before him, before his scent in your nose, his breath in your ear, and your heart in his and; you don’t want to. His arm comes up and rests loosely around your waist, fingers tracing idle patterns on your skin as his body recovers. The shadows move slowly down the length of the wall as the sun finally rises, bathing the room in light, but little warmth. You shiver and pull the covers up over you both, settling even further against him.
“Hey,” he says softly.
It takes a minute before you look up at him, but you do.
“Hey,” you say.
He almost looks like he did when you first knew him, the renewed energy for the work giving him a familiar spark and youthfulness that delights you despite yourself. And morning stubble as opposed to a full beard, a change you once again approve of with a small caress of his cheek.
“Stay home today, Scully,” he says.
“I can’t,” you say. “I need to check on Christian.”
He nods his understanding.
“I wish I could, though,” you tell him.
And you do, more than anything. You want to steal away any moments like this that you can, make them last, just in case the opportunities for them start to run dry. You think maybe he feels the same.
“Can you go in late?” he asks, moving his head closer.
You shake your head ‘no’.
“Come home early?” he asks into your neck, breathing warm puffs of air onto your skin. You shiver, not from the cold this time.
“I’ll try,” you promise, lifting your hand to his head as he places the softest of kisses along the line of your collarbone.
“Deal,” he says, lifting his head to flash you a smile.
You kiss him one last time before getting up and out of the bed. You shower and dress, smell coffee and breakfast wafting from the kitchen downstairs as you pull your hair back into a ponytail. You look at yourself in the mirror and you wonder when this life together, no longer new, will end and what life together awaits you.
“You’re going to be late!” he shouts.
“I’ll be right down!” you shout back.
You smile. Here begins another new life.
* * *