SPOILER WARNING: post-ep for The Field Where I Died
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; they belong to CC, FOX, etc.
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"I don't believe in soulmates."
Mulder let out a snort of derision. He was slumped in the passenger seat with his head back and his eyes closed while Scully sat in the driver seat opposite him, awaiting the signal from Skinner that the gathered agents could begin exiting the premises, leaving the work to the medical examiners and crime scene investigators. Following the snort was a mumbled retort: "Why am I not surprised."
"You wanna know why?" There was no response; it was a rhetorical question, or at least Mulder treated it as such. "Because the very notion devalues the true effort it takes to develop a lasting relationship."
Still silent, Mulder opened his eyes now and turned to Scully with an inquisitive look, indicating for her to continue.
While he watched her, Scully's gaze flickered unseeing to various points outside the car as she spoke. "To claim someone is your soulmate is to expect everything between you to fall into place easily because of some cosmic design, and then when things don't work out to be able to say simply that it wasn't meant to be and to walk away. But true relationships, lasting relationships, don't come easily. They take work and commitment.
"I came to understand that after the first time I heard my parents truly fight with each other. I was in junior high, and I remember being terrified that this meant they were headed for a divorce, like so many of my friends' parents. I couldn't stand the yelling so I went outside to sit on the front porch. I didn't even realize that I had my hands over my ears until my mother sat down beside me and gently pulled my hands away. I asked her if this meant it was over between them, and she laughed. Then she explained to me that sometimes Dad's Irish temper flares and all hell breaks loose, but that he'll calm down and they'll smooth things over. And then she told me about the first time she wondered if they were really going to last, four years after they were married, and that their entire relationship had been an uphill struggle but a worthwhile one. That every conflict or tension caused growth, and that they were only stronger for it."
Scully now turned her attention back to Mulder, who was still quietly watching her, contemplating her words and how they contrasted with the conflict within his own family. "It's like our relationship, Mulder. Not one bit of it has come easily, but every step has been worth it. We had to earn each other's trust. We've learned to agree to disagree. But we've worked at it, and I think we've come a long way. We've created a solid partnership, and a good friendship. And I don't believe it's because we've been friends in previous lifetimes but because we worked hard to become friends in this one."
Mulder sighed and turned his head forward to gaze out the front window. "Maybe you're right."
It was a rather noncommittal response, Scully thought, but at least it was something.
A comfortable silence descended between them as they continued to watch the activity milling around outside the quiet oasis of their vehicle.
"Hmmm?" She turned her head to see Mulder looking at her, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
"You have to admit that flukeman was pretty cool."
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