Title: Choice
Category: X-Files (MSR)
Summary: "Are you ready for this, Scully?" "I don't know that there's a choice."
Rating: I feel like this can be safely rated PG, for mild sexual talk. Very mild.
Spoilers: Definitely up until the end of season 9.
Disclaimer: I do not own these guys, I make no money off of them, I just sometimes borrow them to play!

I was so exhausted and practically falling asleep on my feet and I somehow wrote this… I am in no shape to evaluate, so if it stinks or if you can tell I require a lot more sleep to write a decent fanfic, please let me know. If you love, it, let me know too. It'll sooth my sleepy heart!

Because I'm so exhausted, all grammar mistakes are my bad. Sorry about that!

Her hair was always so beautiful. It was graying, significantly since she'd had William. She'd begun dying it a lighter shade and though he knew there was a fiery red head inside of her, he rather liked the colour even if he wasn't so keen on the new style. He watched her as she reviewed the paperwork he'd found. She was in full concentration; he knew the look well. Her eyes focused on the page, darting from word to word, her brow furrowing when something questionable showed up. After all these years she was still the same: so intelligent and focused, so beautiful and desirable.

Almost as if his arm was acting independent of his brain, he reached up and touched her hair, gently pushing it back behind her ear. There were many times he did this in their life together, but for some reason now it felt all the more intimate… all the more dangerous, important.

"Mulder," she said, as he watched his own hand cup the base of her skull and slide down her neck. He looked and felt much worse for wear but in more than 20 years, she felt amazing. She felt just as she did when she first burst into his hotel room and stripped off her robe to show him bug bites in a very compromising location. He couldn't resist touching her then, either.

He rubbed the spot at the base of her neck that he knew always got sore when she concentrated too much. On quite nights when they both felt frightened or road weary he would rub that same spot and relax her into his arms, into their bed. How badly he wanted that again.

"Don't," she said, pulling away finally.

He let his hand linger for just a moment before dropping it reluctantly. He felt rejected and dejected, and a little big angry.

"It was you who told me to leave, Mulder."

He did. It was the most unselfish thing he'd ever done. He did it for her own good because the darkness didn't follow them, it followed him. His life was one big disaster and those around him paid the price. Scully was abducted, almost died of cancer, lost a daughter she never knew, was abducted again and then finally forced to give up the child she'd wanted and loved so desperately. She lived the life of a fugitive all because of him. Of course she should leave. She should have left a long time ago. It was wrong of him to let her be burdened with his curse for so long.

Despite all of that, he missed her. Despite his actions, he was inherently a selfish man.

"What about last week?" he asked. Last week she came to see him, absolutely out of the blue, looking weary and cold in the damp air, the suit of her new job reminding him so much of their days down in the basement office. He invited her in for tea and as the kettle whistled, they made love in the living room, barely making it to the couch before submitting to their basest of desires. After she'd been gone for three months that night finally allowed him to feel whole again, but she rushed out soon after and they'd barely said a handful of words to each other until he'd brought her this.

"Last week was…." He prayed she wouldn't call it a mistake. If she did, the last, fragile segments of his heart that tenuously held together would crack and shatter.

"It was an anomaly, a moment of weakness."

He'd never felt stronger. He'd never felt more worthy than when he was inside Dana Scully, watching her orgasm by his movements alone; when she allowed him to see that personal side of her, the vulnerable side that needed and wanted him.

She went back to reviewing the pages he'd given her and he watched her again. She'd not found anyone to replace him, he knew that. He wasn't a stalker per se, but he kept tabs on her. She was still a workaholic; she socialized very rarely. She'd slowly begun healing her relationship with her mother, who still couldn't fathom what her daughter had gotten into, why she'd given her son away, and why she'd left with a wanted man. She hadn't yet reached out to Bill or Charlie. Whether she felt the sharp pain of loneliness like he did he wasn't sure. It was a pain so deep even the files in his tiny office couldn't help him. He never gave up his work thought, and he may have hit paydirt.

He dared to put his hand back on her body, this time to the familiar spot on her lower back. She didn't pull away or flinch, so he left it there.

"I don't understand, Mulder. I don't understand how you got these, I don't understand why you believe they're real."

"You believe they're real too, don't you."

She sighed. He'd heard the sound many times, when she hated to agree with him, either out of fear or out of frustration at the absurdity of his claims.

"If this is true, it means William…."

"He's exactly what they thought he was, they just didn't gauge it properly. You were right to hide him, Scully, but William's known all along. He's known us, he's known the dangers he's faced, he knows… he knows it all, Scully."

He saw her lower lip tremble and pulled her into his arms. She didn't resist, but she didn't reciprocate either. He held her and rocked her and let her cry her silent tears onto his old shirt.

"I regretted it, Mulder. I was so terrified I'd done the wrong thing. I hated myself. Some days I wanted to die knowing I had given up my son, the miracle god gave me. I thought… I thought you would hate me or grow to resent me. I thought if William ever found out he'd hate me too, but, Mulder, he's known."

"It was the right thing to do."

"And now he needs us."

"Now he needs us. And we have to help him. Are you ready for this, Scully?"

"I don't know that there's a choice."