Chapter Three: Won't Go


July 8
Late morning

"Oh ... God ..." Scully writhed on the wrinkled sheets, her body humming. Mulder seemed determined to cover every inch of her skin this morning, some more thoroughly than others. She wouldn't have dreamed of stopping him.

A light rain fell outside, the bare edge of a tropical system passing several hundred miles away. They'd set out every bucket and pan they had when the showers started early that morning; water was hard to come by on the island, so they were saving every drop they could.

"Mmmmm." She moaned as Mulder made his leisurely way down her body, his soft lips and agile tongue sending sparks of sensation along every nerve. Her fingers tangled in his hair, softer and longer than it had been in years, and when he finally brought his mouth down between her legs, she went limp against the sheets, awash in the feel of him.

He held her as she recovered, whispering in her ear, telling her just how much he loved seeing her come apart in his arms. She never tired of his voice, whether low and raspy with sexual bliss or intense and sharp in frustration and anger. She never wanted to go another day without hearing him speak to her.


They were talking, really talking, for the first time in their partnership, and Scully soon realized that "partnership" had always been both entirely fitting and far too simple a description for the two of them. Each conversation cut like a Y-incision, sharp and deep. Scully could never have guessed just how terrified Mulder had been when he'd found her necklace in Eugene Tooms' lair; he was startled at the vitriol she spewed both at the men who wiped his memory in Idaho and the ones who ridiculed him on the job.

She was just beginning to understand just how quickly and completely they had shared their loyalty and their trust. Only now did she realize that she'd believed him from the start; only now did she understand how much of a leap of faith he'd made by telling her about his sister; only now did he know how much of herself she'd given him, even in that first year.

Even if he still had trouble believing it.


July 10

Scully was surprised it had taken him this long to try to talk her into leaving. Not that she believed he thought it would work, or even that he really meant it.

He used the "I have a death sentence and they're out to get me but there's no reason for you to be in danger too" approach. She let him get three sentences in before she cut him off.

"Mulder," she said, adopting that ultra-patient tone of voice she knew he hated -- at least, hated on the days it didn't turn him on like all hell. "In the first place, they think we're both dead. In the second place, even if they don't, they can't risk going public with any kind of search, not and keep from exposing themselves and what a travesty they pulled with your arrest, your incarceration, your trial and your conviction. In the third place, if they know we're alive and can't risk going public and they wanted either of us dead, we'd already be dead. And in the fourth place --"

He shut her up with a kiss.

Apparently, this was one of the days it turned him on.


He didn't let it drop completely, not that she really expected he would.

"Scully," he said, his mouth close to her ear. They lay on the bed late in the evening, just a few hours after finishing their latest rebuilt report. She had a feeling she knew what was coming.

She was right.

"I know I was gone a long time," he murmured. "I missed you so much. I don't think there are words to say how much. But Scully, you're not safe here. It would be so easy for you to go back --"

She cut him off by flipping over and pinning him to the mattress. "Let me use small words, Mulder," she said, her words precise. "John and Walter and Monica know we're okay and will check in with them when we can. Everyone else thinks we're dead, including my family, which I will agree is a bad thing, but better than them worrying about me or being in danger because they know too much. My job is gone, and by now my apartment probably is, too. My son ..." Her voice broke, but she forced herself to go on. "*Our* son, is gone, but he's healthy and happy and safe.

"The only thing I have left, Mulder, is right here. In this bed. Me, and you. And I'll be damned if I'm giving it up."

"Scully --"

"No, Mulder," she said. "Just stop it. You don't want me gone, and I don't want to go. If the past year and a half has taught us anything, it's that we should be together. You can pick fights, you can ignore me, you can even try to leave. But I will not leave, and if you leave, I will find you."

She stopped and held his gaze until she saw acceptance there. Only then did she smile and bend to kiss him.

"Looks like we're stuck with each other, Mulder," she said.