Communication means something different on this sofa. He is conscious of it as his finger traces a falling strand of her hair. At times this is enough to wake her, but tonight her sleep is born of exhaustion and too much hot tea. She isn't going to wake. He prays she won't until dawn.
Long moments bind his gaze to her, and he is taken with soft breath. So many things this breath has spoken. So many honest and beautiful things.
This evening he clung to every word until there were times he nearly missed the conversation. Now her sleep leaves him free to drink in the sight of her. Tonight everything is beyond real. Every moment lasts forever.
Tonight she has told him everything, and he is past finding words for this emotion.
He hasn't told her everything. He hasn't told her how he heard her voice on the line and cared instantly nothing of England's crop circles. He never made it to England, and eventually he will tell her that. Maybe right here on this sofa tonight.
Time catches up with itself and Mulder lifts the blanket across his partner. He takes special care tucking her in, more like a lover than a child. She doesn't move. This is unusual for her.
He leaves her to the sofa because he knows she is going to leave as soon as she wakes. He goes to the bed, because he's exhausted, too. It is difficult sometimes to speak with Scully and manage not to cry.
He is filled with emotion and maybe a tear even escapes into his pillow as he starts to fall asleep. He is nearly there when she stumbles through the door.
She trips on the rug and he recognizes that she's mostly still asleep. When she sits on the bed he steadies her, and when she rolls onto her side she is still in his arms.
His tears fall at last in pure awe and emotion for this thing that surrounds them tonight. Then he sleeps so soundly that she is nearly gone before he wakes. From the depths of dream he sees her shadow. Awake, she carries an edge of uncertainty in leaving.
He tries to speak and only a tiny sound escapes him. She turns and meets his gaze. Off come the jacket and the shoes before she crawls into bed beside him again. Their gaze remains steady, talking for them.
Time catches up. "Speak to me, Scully," he whispers, and she kisses him.