A Gift of
Love: Paul’s Final Gift
Sara B. 07/06
his coffee as he stood watching the ocean. This wasn’t the ocean of his
youth or the one he was used to. It was different, yet much the same. This place was not where he ever thought he’d be but he was grateful for being led here.
arrived a mere three hours earlier and he already felt more at home than he had in three years. The reason had nothing to do with the ocean or the beach in front of him.
It was not the striking sunset or this beautiful house. The reason he
felt the way he did was all because of Scully.
to himself; her name was not Scully anymore. No, she’d left that name behind
almost immediately after she left him behind but to him she would always be Scully.
That endearment had been so many things in the years between the moment she walked into his office for the first time
and now. ‘Scully’ once represented his wish to remain aloof from
the little redhead. Now, when he said Scully it felt like a caress on his tongue. Scully was the love he never would allow himself, an ethereal dream that disturbed
his sleep as it haunted his soul. Something he’d lost forever.
Now, due to
the great love that another man had for her, he was being given another chance.
on Clare’s bed and watched the girl go through her nightly routine. The
girl was so much like Paul but, interestingly, there was a lot of herself in Clare’s mannerisms.
into bed and gave Scully a kiss and a hug. “He loves you, Dana. I think Dad would be happy about that.” Tears threatened
to escape Scully’s eyes. “Dana, do you regret what happened between
Now that was
a loaded question. “Clare, I regret that Mulder and I fought and lost our
way but I will never regret where it led me. I met your Dad and you and I wouldn’t
trade all that joy for anything.”
you too, Dana.” Clare reached her arms out for another hug. “I think I could even learn to love him in time.”
was all Scully could say as she tweaked the girl’s nose.
up to Mulder and he turned to her. “It really is beautiful here. Did you buy this house together or was this his house before you married?”
owned this house but rarely used it. When we got married we moved here full time. It’s a bit of a drive to get to the hospital but that view is worth a few extra
minutes in traffic.”
must have been a pretty amazing man. I know I’d never be able to do what
I wouldn’t have been able to do it either. Paul was, well, Paul. There isn’t really anything to describe him. We had
a pretty great life.”
must have been bad when his mind started to go.” Mulder prodded gently,
he wanted to know what she’d gone through; to share her pain.
think so wouldn’t you? But the truth of it was that even that time had
a beauty to it. By the end Paul had lost most of his memories and he didn’t
know even his closest friends. He knew Clare and he knew me, we became his entire
life. I felt so loved. Each evening,
after putting Clare to bed, we’d sit and I’d tell him about our life together.
How we met, dating, our wedding and all the minute details that makes up a marriage.
Occasionally he’d remember something,” the tears that had threatened earlier were streaming down her face
and she had to stop for a moment. “Every time that happened I just wanted
to thank God. It was so wonderful.”
happy you found him, Scully.” He pulled her into a tender hug.
not happy with how it happened but I’m so glad that I had Paul in my life.”
She pulled herself from his embrace. “I always regretted that he
didn’t own my entire love. I never hid it from him and he more than accepted
it. He told me he wouldn’t want a woman who could let go of love just because
the other person didn’t love her. He wanted someone willing to commit everything
she could and he knew I did exactly that.”
love you, you know. I don’t know what caused me to act so crazy. Can we sit?”
to the settee and Mulder continued. “It was like I was watching what was
happening from the sidelines. I saw what I was doing to you but I was unable
to stop myself. I don’t even remember getting married.”
back and gave him that familiar ‘you are so full of it, Mulder,’ look. “No,
it’s true. We’d fought, bitterly, and I remember thinking I was going
to show you. We booked seats on a plane to Vegas and that was it. I had a drink, scotch, and the next memory I have is waking up days later in a hotel room with Diana and
a marriage certificate from one of those wedding chapels. Diana gave me some
story about how I’d insisted we get married before we even made it to the hotel.”
some story, Mulder.”
knowing what I know now, I’m sure she slipped me something. I’m going
to get some more coffee, you want some?” Scully handed him her cup. “Still take it cream, no sugar?”
a few minutes later and handed her the coffee. “The marriage ended the
day you left. It was like someone threw water on me and woke me from a nightmare. I’d never moved out of my apartment so it didn’t take much for me to just
get back there. She tried repeatedly to seduce me back but,” Mulder’s
throat formed a lump making it hard to talk. He tried to clear the blockage a
couple times before continuing. “I’d never experienced that much
pain before. You leaving hurt more than every other loss put together. I hated Diana, I hated myself and I guess I hated you in a way, but I never stopped loving you. It came crashing over me and I was awash in a clarity I’d never experienced before; I love you, I
will always love you, Scully, always.”
stopped loving you either. I couldn’t quite understand how I could feel
so much for you and feel just as much for Paul. Luckily for me, Paul did understand. He never felt cheated or like he was competing with you. In an odd sort of way, I think you two would have liked each other.
Does that sound weird?”
we both have great taste in redheads. There it is; the famous Scully eye-roll.” He reached over and caressed her cheek and became serious. “I think I know what you mean. He didn’t like
me much when he met me at that reception for Skinner but I think he was reacting to how much pain I’d caused you.”
never told me what happened between you but I always suspected it wasn’t pretty.
He was pretty amazing.”
he was, Scully.” They sat in silence before retiring.
into the kitchen to find evidence that Scully was already up. Coffee was made
and there was a note telling him she had to run to the store and would be back shortly.
He was pouring himself a cup of coffee when Clare walked in.
morning, Mr. Mulder.” She was wearing one of those non-descript little
girl flannel nightgowns that never seemed to change from generation to generation and her dark hair was a messy halo around
her head. “Dana go out?”
left a note saying she had to go to the store. Clare, I’d like to talk
to you some time.”
Mr. Mulder, anytime you want. But, I have-ta tell you I’m on your side. I want Dana to be happy. Dad thought
you would make her happy so who am I to argue.” She seemed so much older
than her years. “Dana made Dad happy, they made each other happy. You should have seen them near the end. Dad
was pretty out of it but his love for her just shown. They’d sit for hours,
her talking and him just watching her. If you and Dana can have half of that
it would still be pretty special.”
know how to react to the young girl’s words. Luckily Scully chose that
moment to return.
I had to get juice and milk.” She put the bags on the counter then hugged
and kissed Clare. “How’s my girl?”
doing great, Dana, we both are, right, Mr. Mulder?”
at her. “Yeah, I think we are all great.”
Scully arranged to take a leave of absence but this time it was for a very different reason.
Mulder wanted to spend time getting reacquainted with each other. Luckily,
it was summer so Clare was not in school.
Scully found their footing with each other quickly. In less than a week the unspoken
communication was back and Clare watched as they seemed to have complete conversations using very few words. Mulder would begin to say something and Scully would finish the thought.
Clare didn’t feel left out but she was often a little confused.
after Mulder arrived in their lives, the three of them were sitting on the balcony when Scully said, “I was thinking,”
She stopped and Mulder picked up.
good, any preference?”
It was then
that Clare got it, she knew exactly what they were talking about and she finished the conversation. “I’ll get the movie listings.”
and Scully watched in amazement as the little girl headed into the house. “Think
it’s a sign, Scully?”
be, Mulder, could be.”
and stopped in her tracks seeing them looking at her. “What?”
up, grabbed her and swung her around. “Welcome to the club, Munchkin.”
as Scully and Clare walked toward him, they were both beautiful. He held out
his hand and Scully took it. Clare moved to his other side and took his other
hand. He leaned down and gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek. “You look beautiful, Munchkin.”
back to Scully and they smiled at each other. “We are gathered today to
join this man and this woman and this child in. . .” The minister’s voice droned on. Neither Mulder nor Scully heard what was spoken because their minds were with a man whose love was so great
he made this all possible; Paul.
This was Paul’s
final gift of love.
I posted the
first two portions of this a few weeks ago and I don’t think it was very well liked.
I thought about not bothering with the final installment but I just couldn’t let it languish incomplete.
To the two
or three people who read this, thank you.