Author's Note: Thanks for clicking on my story! I decided to do a collection of 26 one shots each based on a romance-related word going from A-Z. I'm sure it's been done before, one shot compilations are so popular and all, but I wanted to take a crack at it! Let me know if you like it!
Attraction: (noun) the action or power of evoking interest, pleasure, or liking for someone or something.
There were many downfalls to having an office in the Hoover basement. Scully could deal with most of them; the lack of space, the horrible ventilation, the overall ridicule from other agents. The one thing she had a hard time getting over was the fact no one thought it would be a good idea to install a restroom on this floor.
It made having to use the restroom a ten minute ordeal, and, for a woman with such a small bladder, this was a major inconvenience. Not only that, but the reason she enjoyed the basement was that she didn't have to deal with her, not so tactful, fellow agents. She had it easier than Mulder, regardless of her nicknames, Scully was well-liked by many agents. However, some of these acquaintanceships made her peers feel like they could pry into her and Mulder's personal lives beyond what she was comfortable with.
She wasn't naive. She knew there were rumors that Mulder and her were romantically, and sexually, involved. Just the fact that her nickname had evolved from "Ice Queen" to "Mrs. Spooky" was proof enough of the hypothesized coupling. Thinking about the possibility of A.D. Skinner, or any of the other agents she respected, contemplating such rumors made her cheeks flame up in mortification.
It's not that she hadn't thought about Mulder in that way. They had been partners for over four years and saved each other countless times. They really were like a married couple without any of the romance. Not to mention, he was extremely attractive. However, Mulder was a go-getter. When he wanted something, he was like a dog with a bone. Scully figured if he was interested in her, he would have said something beyond just a few flirtatious comments.
Letting out a sigh, Scully got off the elevator and made her way to her favorite women's room. It was in a narrow corridor that most people ignored. Opening the door, she reveled in having the whole restroom to herself. However, the happiness was short lived when, right after pulling down her underwear, she heard the door burst open and the walls reverberate with high-pitched laughter.
"There is no way! You probably just heard her yelling at him and twisted it into something juicer." Scully recognized the first voice as Skinner's old assistant Ashley. She was relocated after accidentally shredding important documents, for the fifth time.
Rolling her eyes at what she knew was going to be frivolous gossip, Scully tried to go about her business, but she had always been a shy pee-er and knew nothing would come out until the girls were gone.
"No, trust me, it was something I had never heard before. Dana Scully was fucking laughing," Scully felt the instinctive twinge of embarrassment twisting in her gut and didn't need a mirror to know she was blushing. " I think Spooky told her a joke or something. I just heard a bunch of noise and her laughing, but he's cracking the Ice Queen." That sounded like the mail delivery girl, Dominique or something?
Scully knew exactly when she was talking about. This morning Mulder had spent near thirty minutes aligning those damn pencils on his desk, but when he went to fly them all up towards the ceiling, he sent them ricocheting all over the room instead, miraculously falling to the floor himself. The whole sight was so absurd, she couldn't hold back her laughter.
When the final girl contributed, Scully's jaw fell onto the ground. "Maybe he fucked her silly on that shared desk of theirs."
"Karen! Oh my god, you're so bad!" Scully mulled over the name for a second before realizing that Karen had the office adjacent to her own, official, office upstairs that she used more as a storage space. The same woman who complimented her every time she saw her. Fuck you, Karen.
"What? Everyone knows. You can't have two attractive people work together 27/7 and not expect them to hookup. I mean have you seen them? It's like Aphrodite and Eros decided to work for the FBI," she joked, earning laughs from two-thirds of those listening.
"It's not fair. She doesn't even have to do anything and he'd follow her anywhere. I swear, Dana could sneeze and he'd claim it was a siren song."
"Do you see the way his eyes follow her every move? I think she's oblivious to it too, honestly. I mean we joke about it, but there is no way Dana would break the rules like that, even if she does have the hots for him," Scully didn't appreciate this conversation whatsoever, but she was grateful that at least Ashley was defending her, kind of.
"I don't care if she used to wear a chastity belt and a habit, there is no way she could resist the way that man is all over her."
Scully decided she couldn't take this anymore and decided to embarrass the women like they were embarrassing her. Her bladder forgotten from the shock of the girls' discussion. She pressed the cool, backs of her hands against her cheeks, willing to even out the flush she knew was there before standing up, pulling her panties back into place, and walking out of the stall.
All previous chatter died on the women's lips as they gawked at Scully, waiting for her to ream them out. Instead, Scully enjoyed the fear palpitating off of the three women. Acting as if their words meant nothing to her, she rinsed her hands, dried them on a paper towel, and greeted them with a cool "ladies," before walking out of the restroom.
The whole trip back down to the office was just Scully replaying the women's words in her head. Was Mulder really attracted to her? He didn't flirt with her more than any other woman. They sounded like I was missing the looks he gave me? His touches do affect me, but they made it sound like it wasn't noticeable, so at least there was that. But could Mulder really find her attractive?
She was broken out of her internal battle when, after taking a few steps into their office, she ran right into the man in question.
"Woah there partner, you okay?" Mulder teased, grabbing her biceps to prevent her from falling over from the force of the collision.
She was still a little flustered from the restroom incident, so, with a dismissive laugh, she gently moved out of his grasp and took a seat in her chair. Taking her queue, he sat in his own chair across the desk from her, a little more concerned by her lack of response. "Did something happen? You were gone a long time."
She hated being out of the loop from matters regarding her own life, and figured he would feel the same and want to know. "When I was in the stall, some random women from the building came in and started gossiping," she offered with an embarrassed chuckle.
Mulder cocked an amused eyebrow, "Wow Scully, I never took you as a fan of office gossip. What was it this time? Skinner starting to consider Rogaine? Someone having an affair with a higher up?"
"It was about us." For some reason she was finding it a little hard to meet his eyes right now.
"Oh," his telltale insecurity cracking through his voice slightly, "Was it bad?"
She knew, regardless of his adamance otherwise, that the 'spooky' thing really bothered him. Especially when she was dragged into it. The first time he heard someone call her 'Mrs. Spooky', she noticed his knuckles turned white from clenching them into fists. She knew the only reason he didn't start anything was because he didn't want to embarrass her, but he apologized to her repeatedly for the rest of the day, though she insisted he didn't need to.
"No, no not really."
"What did they say?"
Scully let out a soft breath, cursing herself for even bringing it up. "You know. Just the normal." Not really a lie.
"What's the normal?" She looked up to see if he was messing with her, but she was met with pure earnest. Did he seriously not know?
"Umm, well it seems that many individuals in the Hoover building like to speculate about our relationship." She hoped she was coming across as clinically detached, but she could hear her voice lilting a bit.
"What were the speculations of the women in the restroom?"
Deciding to end this game of cat and mouse, she decided to be blunt. "The mail girl heard me laugh this morning and apparently I'm a humorless bitch, so-"
"Scully, you are not a humorless bitch," he pressed, sincerity taking over the joking tone that had just been present. He hated when she spoke negatively of herself and would deconstruct any self deprecatory remark that left her mouth. One of the many things she loved about him.
Letting it slide, she continued, "Anyhow, one of them said that you were probably 'fucking me silly' on the desk," she thought it was important to add the air quotes to emphasize they were not her own words. From the look of pure shock on his face, it didn't alleviate the impact. Deciding to capitalize on this rare moment of Mulder being at a loss for words, she continued, "Then they just kept trying to rationalize that since you are so attractive and 'I'm so attractive', that a relationship was inevitable, and they just kept rattling off reasons we must be involved. It was just beyond ridiculous, so I went out of the stall to embarrass them and I left." She decided to omit the parts about his gazing and touching.
Meeting his eyes once again, she was met with the look that the women must have been talking about. Even though Mulder's lips were twitched into a sly grin, behind the amusement dancing in his eyes, Scully could see the tell tale sign of arousal and intrigue.
There was a charged moment of silence before Mulder spoke up, "I don't know why you said that with air quotes."
"What?" Scully asked, not sure what he meant.
"You said I was attractive. No air quotes. You said you were attractive. Implementation of air quotes. I can assure you, if air quotes are going to be used to question if someone is attractive, they will never have to surround your name." Mulder leaned back in his chair, watching her work out his words. A Cheshire grin broke onto his face when he saw her try to hide her blush and embarrassed smile.
Mulder thinks I'm attractive.
Thank you so much for reading! If you have time, please leave a review! They honestly make my day. If you have any suggestions for things you would like to see, let me know! I also have a couple other X-Files fanfics on my page if you want more! -Nicole (Tumblr: gaycrouton)