Seated by Scully in the FBI chopper, cold despite the brown topcoat he'd flung over his sweater and jeans, Mulder could only look over at his former X-Files partner, and forever life partner, and think how small she seemed, how vulnerable, despite his knowledge of just how strong in every way this petite woman could be.
"And, Scully, I could really use your [help]." He handed her back the FBI file. He was not asking her to come along, just to stay involved. To spend more time with the evidence. No monsters, no flashlights, just bring your expertise to the evidence. All of this Mulder said to her in one of his lingering looks from those damn puppy-dog eyes of his.
"I was Mr. Popular at the bureau myself. You should see the storeroom they stuck me in. Spooky Mulder? Ring a bell?"
"I'm only half the team, you know."
Her eyes narrowed. "You mean that, don't you? That's not false modesty."
"No. Scully keeps me honest. When she's not around, you better keep an eye on me."
Drummy gave Mulder a dubious look, and all Mulder could think was how he wishes Scully were there. He could be a sucker for a good act like this, but Scully would see through it, if it could be seen through, anyway. She would point out exactly what made it phony. If it were phony.
If she were here.
He saw the pain in her lovely face and he knew why it was there. Why it really was here. Should he say?
"You think it's because of William?"
Their son, William. During a particularly dangerous, tense time for Scully - when she and Mulder had been forced apart - their child had been given up for adoption. However the couple might regret that, there was no going back. Very gently, Mulder said, "I think our son left us both with an emptiness that can't be filled."
She turned her head and smiled, such a lovely, loving smile, and he kissed her cheek.
"Thank you," she said.
He kissed her again. On the mouth this time.
But she said, "Ow! Scratchy beard..."
Then she closed her eyes. He studied her, wondering if he'd been alone in thinking that kiss (scratchy beard or not) might turn into something; but she seemed finally to have fallen asleep, so he assumed a position of slumber himself, and was almost out when she said, as just a mumbled afterthought, "Oh, there was something..."
He turned to her, expressionless. How dearly she could love that baby face of his. And how deeply it could frustrate her...
He stared at her with the kind of contempt reserved only for those you love.
Finality or not, harsh words or no, they were still a couple, bickering the way only two people who'd been together forever could do.