Long As I Live

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

Rating: PG-13 for a bunch of well placed swear words.

Spoiler warning: If you've seen up through "Wetwired" you're safe.

Disclaimer: The X-Files and the characters portrayed therein are

property of C. Carter (the Lord of the Files), Fox Broadcasting, 1013

Prod., etc. "Long As I Live" by John Michael Montgomery is also used

without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Relationship: ASR. Major Mulder angst and then some Mulder/Scully

romance. Anti-relationshippers warning is hearby in effect. (So if you

don't like this kind of stuff, don't read any farther.)

Summary: Mulder reflects on his and Scully's past with the X-Files as

he decides whether or not to ask her to marry him.

Hi all! Well, here's another song story. Why struggle to create a story

from mid-air when there are so many songs that are just crying out to

inspire a story. And in this case, this song fairly screamed "Mulder

angst." So I just let loose the story that I knew was there. But anyway,

on with the story . . .

 

Long As I Live

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

 

He'd been contemplating this for a while. Hell, he'd been working up

his nerve to do it for over three years.

And this time he was finally going to do it.

Today. Within the hour, Fox Mulder was going to ask his partner, the

woman he loved and wanted to be with forever, to marry him.

Or not.

Damn, this is hard, he mentally cursed at himself angrily. To possibly

loose the best thing that ever happened to him on the slightest,

remotest chance that he could have something better with her.

He'd thought for a long while that she might feel the same way he did.

There had been times when he was sure he'd seen something similar

to his love for her in her eyes. A deep desire and longing that just

about took his breath away. He would swear he'd seen it when he'd

come back from the "dead". And in the car when she'd brought him

the root beer. Hell, there were a dozen or more other times that he

had thought he'd seen it, and he had committed them all to his eidetic

memory.

But one stood out from the rest. One that he remembered with great

fondness. It was when she'd woken up from her coma. They'd had

this emotional conversation between their hearts that was

communicated through their eyes. He'd never forget the feeling as

long as he lived. It was as if his soul was telling her's how much he

loved and needed her. And he'd felt something sing deep within him

with the belief that she'd returned those emotions.

So, he thought she might be in love with him. But he didn't know for

sure. Though, all he had to do to get the answer was to ask her. She

wouldn't lie to him, would she? Nah, he thought to himself with a wry

grin, she lies really badly and I'd know it if she was lying.

And if she loved him, he'd ask her to marry him. She'd have to give

him an answer: yes or no. And she'd say yes if she was in love with

him, right?!?

She wouldn't turn him down. No, she wouldn't, would she? In all the

times he'd thought about asking her, he'd never contemplated her

really turning him down.

Ok, he mentally admitted to himself, so I've thought about it.

A lot.

It was hard not to. What did he have to offer Scully? A life of chasing

aliens and ducking government conspiracies? Danger and pain at

every turn? His own messed up mental state, and his obsessive

behavior? Yeah, I'm certainly a prize catch, he thought sarcastically.

The thing is, he mused to himself, is that she already knows this.

She's seen me at my worst.

Ok, maybe not my "worst," he thought sorrowfully, because it was

while she was missing.

She hadn't seen him alone in his apartment at night, sitting on his

couch in the dark wondering what he could have done differently, how

he could have changed things. She hadn't see him agonize with her

mom over the memorial service, the headstone, turning off the life

support. She had no idea that it would have just taken the slightest

push to send him over the edge, and into that black oblivion she was

skirting on. Because he would rather have died with her than live

without her.

The joke of it all was, if anyone had told him four years ago that he'd

have been assigned a partner he'd die for; that he'd be madly, totally

in love with, he would have laughed in their face. It wasn't until

Special Agent Dr. Dana Katherine Scully walked through his

basement door that the joke wasn't funny anymore. It was a painful

truth.

The truth. Funny how that word seemed to follow him around. The

truth about extraterrestrials; the government's secrets; his sister's

disappearance; the way he felt about Scully. All truths, but only a few

had been realized. Ok, so only one had been realized. The one about

his loving Scully.

The biggest problem wasn't finding out if she loved him. It was asking

her to marry him.

How do I ask her? he wondered absently. Do I just blurt out, "I love

you Dana, and I want you to marry me." ? That certainly was the truth,

but not very subtle.

As he started to mull it over again, for the twentieth time that day, the

stereo suddenly started a new tune. He'd been listening to some dark,

depressing music. A couple of CD's he'd bought because they had

appealed to his tortured nature. But this wasn't one of the CD's he'd

put in. It wasn't even his. And as he listened closer, he realized it was

country western. It was soft, almost crossover pop, but country

nonetheless. And suddenly he knew whose it was.

Scully's.

Her CD. He didn't have a clue how it had gotten into his CD changer,

but it was playing now, and the lyrics were beautifully haunting. His

mental debate subsided for a time as he listened to the words which

he was sure this man had stolen from his very heart and soul.

 

"The world's been spinning round since time began

And when it stops is out of my hands

So I could swear forever for all its worth

Or give you every day I have on earth"

"Long as I live

Long as I breathe

With every heartbeat

I'll need you near me

I won't leave you behind

Till the Lord says it's time

To go with him

I'm yours, long as I live"

 

Oh, wasn't it the truth. At that thought, he chuckled inwardly. He was

her's alright. And he had been for a while now.

She was the one person who could motivate, challenge, and support

him all at once. Yet she was the same one who consistently knocked

him on his ass when he went to far, was a jerk or just needed to be

reminded that he was human. And for all those things, he loved her.

More than his life. Forever. Like the song said, as long as he lived.

Cause he was certain that there was no getting over falling in love

with Dana Scully. It was a permanent condition. A terminal illness with

no cure whatsoever.

Not like he wanted one.

Loving Scully was as easy as breathing. And as necessary. All the

times he'd nearly lost her had just made that need greater. Even from

the beginning he'd known how important she was to him.

He'd learned it early in their partnership, the first time she'd been in

real danger, and he'd been helpless to aid her. It had been when

Scully had been held hostage. He remembered standing in front of the

local police and Bureau personnel assigned to her rescue, explaining

to them in careful, controlled words where and how they were going to

search for her.

It wasn't until the end, when he had started to tell them

what the assignment meant to him that he nearly lost it. He

remembered with difficulty the choking feeling he had in his throat as

he spoke the last few words.

Even back then, he 'somehow' knew what losing her would have done

to him. And it had only gotten worse as time went on. The list went on

and on. Tooms, Berry, Pfaster, Modell. Each of them had attempted

to take her from him. Even Cancer Man and the consortium had tried.

But none of them had succeeded. And he would be eternally grateful

for that.

No matter the other obstacles, pain and suffering he'd been dealt in

his thirty plus years, he'd have to admit he had led a charmed life. He

hadn't lost her, his other half. The better part of himself that without,

he was less than a whole person. Sure, there had been many times

they'd been separated, both physically and emotionally, but never

spiritually.

Even through his despair at her abduction, and the long, debilitating

months that followed, a small part of his heart and soul had still felt

her presence. It had been the one thing that had kept him going. That

unrecognized connection to her that urged him to wait for her return.

Except now he knew what that small piece of him was. It was the part

of himself that was hers. That was *her*.

His mind wandered away from those thoughts and focused on the

music again.

 

"No matter if there's mountains you can't move

Or harder times than you thought you'd go through

When the weight of the world's too much to bear

Just remember I'll always be there"

 

He realized as much as he loved her, he hadn't always been there for

her. When she'd been abducted, then again when she'd found out

about the implant. Actually, as he thought about it some more, he

hadn't been there a lot of times when she'd needed him. And that hurt

him more than he'd ever thought possible.

Even *he'd* hurt her, he realized guiltily. Every time he ran off without

her it hurt her. And the times he hadn't trusted her when she was

trying to help him. Or when he hadn't respected her beliefs.

And then there had been the women. He wasn't sure if they had hurt

her. That wasn't true. He knew his near liaison with Detective White in

Comity has pissed Scully off. And then his attraction to Dr. Bambi.

Even when they'd had the misfortune of being 'teamed' up with

Phoebe, Scully had stubbornly placed herself between him and his

hurtful ex.

The one that bothered him the most was Kristen. It had been a

mistake. He'd turned to her in his despair, and committed the ultimate

sin. He'd betrayed his partner.

Ok, that wasn't quite true. He felt that he'd betrayed *her* by being

with Kristen. He'd known for a while before Scully's abduction that he

was in love with her. And when she had been taken, he'd lost his

soul. Like Melissa Scully had told him, "you're in a dark place, much

darker than where my sister is". And she was right. He'd been outside

of himself since she'd been taken, and hadn't returned until she had.

It wasn't until that moment that he realized how closely their lives

were intertwined. And that thought was echoed in the words of the

song that still played as the man sung the chorus again.

 

"Long as I live

Long as I breathe

With every heartbeat

I'll need you near me

I won't leave you behind

Till the Lord says it's time

To go with him

I'm yours, long as I live"

"Moon and stars aren't mine to give

Neither is eternity

But I'll give you a promise tonight

That I can keep"

No, he wasn't able to promise her those things. Forever, the stars,

even a normal life. Hell, he didn't have much at all to give her. All he

had to offer was his love and his life. And she'd had both for a long

time now, even if she hadn't known it.

And that was the crux of the situation. He had already given her his

heart. Only she didn't know she had it. With just a few words he could

reveal it to her. Make her realize what she had, the power she owned.

He loved her. He needed her. He trusted her.

But to win her, he had to tell her.

 

"Long as I live

Long as I breathe

With every heartbeat

I'll need you near me

I won't leave you behind

Till the Lord says it's time

To go with him

I'm yours, long as I live"

 

As the last line reverberated in his mind and in his chest, he decided.

He had to see her. To tell her. To ask her.

He had to try. He had to tell her the truth.

Reaching for the phone, he hit the speed dial button for her place. He

wanted to make sure she'd be there when he arrived. On the second

ring her sweet voice answered.

"Hello?" Scully said into the receiver.

"Scully, it's me. I'm coming right over, so don't go anywhere, ok." he

informed her quickly in a tone that brooked no argument. Without

giving her a chance to answer, he hung up the phone and headed for

the door, pausing only long enough to get her CD from the stereo

before he walked out and literally raced to his car.

Minutes later, he was standing outside her place, hand raised to

knock. As his fist came down on the hard wood, he heard her come

quickly to the door.

She threw the door open, looking up into his face expectantly,

wondering what was happening that would bring him to her doorstep

on a Saturday afternoon. As he let himself in, she closed the door

silently and turned to follow him in towards the couch.

"Scully, sit down please. I need to tell you something, and it's going to

be a lot easier if you could just let me say it," he blurted out in a nearly

unintelligible slur of words.

That alone got her curiosity raised, but she obediently took a seat on

the couch. Then she watched him cross her living room to her stereo,

where he opened up the CD drawer and loaded a disc into the player.

With a few punches to some buttons, the track he'd spent the last five

minutes at his apartment listening to started up. Turning, he looked

over at her petite form seated on the couch, clothed in blue jeans and

a old sweatshirt, and thought it was the loveliest thing she'd ever

worn.

It wasn't until her eyes met his that he almost lost his nerve. Their

piercing blue was awash in some emotions that he just couldn't

identify. On top was the questioning, but below it . . . he was sure he

could see amusement and caring. Now all he had to do was get out

the words he wanted to say and see if the look changed.

Wandering back to the couch, he ended up kneeling beside it, and

her. This way he was closer to her eye level, and could watch her

reaction as he dropped his bombshell. Taking a deep breath, he

blundered his way forward.

"I found this album in my CD player. I think it's yours, though how it

got there's still a mystery to me," he explained, taking an easy tact to

start. Then before she could answer he continued. "But what I wanted

to talk to you about has to do with this CD. There's a song on here,

the one playing actually, that got me to thinking. About you and me

that is."

Scully had heard John Michael Montgomery's voice, and had realized

what CD he was talking about. He'd never believe her if she told him

that she'd snuck into his apartment and left it in the stereo, hoping

he'd listen to it. She knew he needed a change from the depressing

band albums that he liked. And it looked like he had listened to it, and

that one song had made an impression on him. The question was,

what kind of impression.

Then she struggled to listen to the words, and almost blanched. It was

a love song. What was Mulder . . . ?

"Scully, I'm sure you know the song that's playing, and the lyrics as

well. And when I heard them, well, it brought home a lot of things for

me, and I made a decision," Mulder said simply. He was still battling

his nerve and was finding that going slowly was helping him keep his

new-found courage. That and the song still playing in the background,

reminding him with its words of his own feelings for the woman sitting

in front of him.

Reaching out, he took her hands from her lap, holding them tightly,

possessively. It was now or never. Gazing into her eyes, he let fly the

words in his heart.

"Dana Katherine Scully, you are the most amazing woman I have ever

known. You're my best friend. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you.

And . . . I'm in love with you," he confessed emotionally.

He'd watched her eyes, and the layers of complicated emotions

seemed to melt away as he spoke. And as the last words fell from his

mouth, there was only one emotion that was visible through those two

windows to the soul.

Love.

Pure and simple. And it was a sight to behold. It wasn't until the tears

began to pool and spill from them that he became concerned.

"Dana?" he asked nervously, reaching a hand to her face, his fingers

brushing lightly at the tears slowly streaking down her cheek.

Forcefully she cleared her throat, and caught the hand he had on her

cheek with her own. And then she smiled. It seemed a little nervous,

and a little guilty, but mostly she looked pleased. Quickly she used

her other hand to wipe away the remaining tears, and looked at him.

This man that meant so much to her, kneeling on her living room floor

offering her his heart.

"I love you too Mulder. So much," she replied, her voice choked with

tears and emotion.

Her declaration sent his heart soaring. He'd been right. It had been

love that he'd seen in her eyes all those times. And now that he knew

she loved him, that last question was the only one left to ask.

"Do you love me enough to marry me?"

That question nearly started her crying again. His controlled, strong,

and confident Scully was crying because of him. But he was consoled

by the fact that they were tears of joy, not of pain.

His only concern now was that she hadn't answered him yet. Again he

took hold of her hands with his, and caught her gaze with his own.

And he waited.

He didn't have to wait long.

"Yes, I do."

With that, she slid from the couch and fell into his embrace. They

knelt there on the floor holding onto each other tightly.

They'd work it all out later. Right now they just needed to know that

they'd crossed that line together. That they loved each other. And that

was all they needed to know. The rest were just details.

And as they held each other, feeling the love they shared envelop

them like a warm blanket, the song began its final chorus.

 

"Long as I live

Long as I breathe

With every heartbeat

I'll need you near me

I won't leave you behind

Till the Lord says it's time

To go with him

I'm yours, long as I live"

-End-

Hope you enjoyed it.

J.

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