Refuse Letting Go

by Lynn Saunders

Title: Refuse Letting Go
Author: Lynn Saunders
Website: http://www.mindspring.com/~lynnsaunders (new ad-free space!)
Email: lynnsaundersfanfic@hotmail.com
Distribution: Knock yourself out, but let me know so I can check on you.
Rating: PG-13
Classification: MSR
Spoilers: seasons seven, eight and nine Summary: a love story, continued (a companion piece for "Worth Remembering")
Date Completed: 08-12-03

A Dedication:
This story is for Sallie, who hasn't been feeling well lately. You're in my prayers, sweetie. Thanks for all of the kind words you've sent my way. I luv ya, girl. This one's for you!

A huge "Thanks!" goes out to Carol for fantabulous beta. You rock!

This story is a companion piece for "Worth Remembering". You don't have to read one to understand the other, but they do belong together.

Feedback is fed plump, juicy grapes and fanned with palm frons at lynnsaundersfanfic@hotmail.com

Disclaimer: The characters of Mulder and Scully are the property of Chris Carter and 1013. A break from work is the only thing I am gaining from writing fan fiction.

Refuse Letting Go
by Lynn Saunders


He doesn't knock at the door. He's not sure why. Usually, lately, he knocks, somewhat hesitantly. Tonight, using his key feels right, so he does. Juggling a steaming pizza box and a brightly wrapped gift, he manages to kick the door closed without dropping anything or making a ridiculous amount of noise.

Scully's apartment is dark save a desktop lamp, yet the room glows all the same. He's not sure if it's a trick of the light or an effect of the woman curled up on the sofa. She rests on her side, flaming hair scattered across the pillow under her cheek, one small hand spread flat against her swollen belly.

He feels somewhat guilty for his intrusion in this private moment, but he has been away far too long already. His place is here. He should be snuggling with his family on the sofa, rather than standing just inside the door, staring.

His family. The thought both warms and intrigues him.

As quietly as possible, he moves to the kitchen, depositing his offerings on the tabletop. Scully's breathing is deep and soft as he makes his way around the couch and kneels in front of her. Her cheeks are sleep-flushed, slightly chubbier than he remembers. His eyes stray to the mound of her stomach, to the hand that caresses their unborn child, even in sleep. She'd roll her eyes at him if he told her how fascinating he finds her new curves. Gently, he reaches out to her, traces one auburn eyebrow before running his fingers through her tousled hair. He says her name softly.

"Mulder?" she murmurs, leaning into his touch. Crystal blue eyes blink at him sleepily. She smiles. "I was dreaming about you."

He chuckles. "Nothing bad, I hope."

"No, it was good." Her eyes sparkle, taking on the same mischievous twinkle he's seen so much of late. "Very good."

"Oh?"

She quirks an eyebrow.

Oh.

Small fingers brush his cheek, and he sighs, closing his eyes as she wraps her arms around him. He snuggles into her embrace and returns the hug, careful not to squeeze too tightly. When he opens his eyes, she is looking at him, her lips inches from his. This feels right, he thinks. Maybe he says it, though. He can't remember. Suddenly, it doesn't matter because Scully is kissing him. Her lips are soft and warm, and it's been so long since he's felt her in his arms that he wants to cry, wants to never let go.

When they come up for air, she rests her forehead against his. The gesture is familiar, comforting, and the memories flood in. In his hallway, trying to convince her not to leave. In the same hallway, telling her what she meant to him. In her apartment, mourning her lost chance at motherhood.

Never give up on a miracle.

Smiling, he kisses her rounded stomach. She is beautiful.

Eventually, he will talk her into having a slice of pizza. She will cuddle her new doll in her lap while she picks off all of the toppings and eats them first.

Later, he will stand at the kitchen sink, rinsing their plates under the tap. She will rise from the sofa and move about her apartment, turning off lights and sliding the safety chain on the door. When she reaches the kitchen, she will touch his shoulder tentatively, running her fingers down his arm to clasp his hand.

"Stay."

He will.

Deep in the night, he will lie awake, caressing her bare back, savoring the way her sleep-pliant flesh molds to his, memorizing the peaceful expression she wears. As he drifts to sleep, he will hold onto every detail, refuse to let go. And it will be these moments he will cherish, months down the road when she cares for their son, but he can no longer be by her side.


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