Easy After All

She awoke to the dark of Mulder’s living room, the gurgle of his fish tank. The mollies still swam in lazy circles around and around in a closed loop, there was still a faint light coming from the kitchen, the blanket still held the smell of his after shave. She was wearing yesterday’s clothes, and she was still Special Agent Dana Scully, but the universe had shifted when she wasn’t looking.

No, something inside her has shifted, broke open, broke free. And she’d been looking for it for years, in alleys and graveyards, in the office, in rental cars and dozens of motel rooms. But she couldn’t get to it, couldn’t quite reach it. She’d almost gotten her hands on it when she was dying, and after Antarctica and Africa, but somehow it slipped away. It took him leaving for England, finding Daniel and saying goodbye to her past, her guilt, her fear. It took the white flash of revelation at the feet of Buddha to show her that what she wanted was in her grasp, but what needed to be freed were not her hands but her heart.

It’s only a few minutes before she’s sitting at the edge of his mattress watching him sleep. Taking her hand, she strokes his forehead, his mouth. Her eyes flutter close when she feels him smile, his lips parting underneath her touch, his warm breath bathing her fingers. Easy, after all this time. Eagerhands reach for her, and she falls toward him, and he catches her. Easy after all this time, Slowly, he undresses her and she helps him, the two of them together pulling off her sweater, peeling off her skirt, the rest of it, until it’s them, just them, skin, and the dappled moonlight from the window painting them as they move.

Easy, after all.