I've had a little break from writing fanfic so I'm starting back with a short story...will return to my long deserted on-going fic in a few weeks.


The first time it happened Mulder was damn near clueless.

He was sat in his office doing some end of the day filing when Scully turned up unexpectedly with an old friend from med school.

She laughed and joked with Lucy, teased him a little about the state of the office…but then started to make unsubtle comments towards her friend.

"Mulder is great with children," she smiled at Lucy enthusiastically and then glanced quickly at Mulder before continuing. "He's also a pretty good cook, considering…"

Lucy laughed politely and grinned at Mulder, "A pretty good cook, Fox?"

Mulder smiled awkwardly, not wanting to be rude to Scully's friend but also a little thrown by the direction this conversation was taking. "Mulder…please. I really do prefer Mulder…"

"Mulder?" Lucy asked with a little surprise. "So that's not just a partner thing? I had assumed a professional courtesy…"

Mulder laughed warmly and shook his head; he pushed back his chair a little a then looked over at Scully and rolled his eyes. He smiled back at Lucy politely, "I think Scully and I are a little past 'professional courtesy'".

Scully looked at the floor and Mulder was surprised to see her flush a little.

Lucy followed Mulder's gaze and then frowned, "You look a little flushed, Dana. Do you need to sit down?"

"I could get you some water?" Mulder offered quickly and began to stand.

"Sit!" Scully snapped sharply and Mulder was so shocked he fell back into his chair. She closed her eyes with embarrassment and then looked at Mulder apologetically, "I'm sorry, Mulder. I didn't mean to be so rude, it's just a little headache…the chemo can…well…I guess maybe I'm a little drained."

"You've been drinking plenty?" Lucy asked and then laughed when Scully looked at her with a patient smile. "Okay, okay…" she held up both of her hands defensively, "….Don't 'doctor' the doctor."

Scully smiled warmly at her friend, "We do make the worst patients. Mulder can testify to that, he's been so good, but I guess I can be…defensive to help."

Mulder raised his eyes in surprise at Scully's admission and then watched cautiously as she moved to sit perched on the side of his desk.

After a few seconds, Scully took a breath and then smiled at her partner, "So, Lucy is new to the area and I thought she could use a guide. Maybe you two could…"

She trailed off and Mulder glanced up at Lucy to see her smiling at him enthusiastically.

"You thought…?" Mulder looked between Scully and Lucy, a sickening realisation causing a sudden hollow feeling in his belly. Was Scully actually trying to set him up with her friend? He winced a little and then looked at Scully.

"You're not feeling so good, eh?" He asked, clearly ignoring her suggestion entirely.

"I'm fine, Mulder," Scully said firmly and then looked at his exasperated expression and shrugged. "Okay, I've felt better, but I'm okay. I'll get a cab home, you two could…"

"You need to eat…" Mulder said with an unusually soft tone, especially considering they had company.

Lucy watched Mulder stand and then walk to Scully and rest the back of his hand on her forehead.

"You're a little hot…" He observed with concern and gnawed lightly on his bottom lip.

Scully's eyes came up and connected with his, "I'm…"

Mulder stopped her, "If you tell me you're fine one more time…" he warned gently.

"You and Lucy…" Scully tried again.

He looked over at Lucy and smiled at her blandly before moving his eyes back to Scully, "I'm sure when you're feeling better your friend would much rather get a guided tour from you. In the meantime, I know that Lucy will understand when I say that you are my only priority right now."

Scully looked at Lucy awkwardly, "I really would be okay…"

Lucy smiled warmly at her old college friend and shook her head, "Dana, your partner is quite right, he wants to support you right now…and I wouldn't…and clearly couldn't…come between that."

Although she wanted to argue Scully suddenly realised that she didn't have the energy.

Mulder picked up his jacket, "Lucy, of course, you're welcome to join us…"

Lucy smiled at Fox Mulder's wholly welcome hijacking of her friend's evening and shook her head, "I am staying in town though, and Dana doesn't have her car...I would appreciate a ride?."

He nodded, "Of course."

"I feel bad," Scully said apologetically. "Maybe another night the two of you could…"

Lucy held up her hand to stop Scully from talking, this had already been awkward enough. Dana Scully had often been oblivious to the attention of men in college, but this was painful to watch. This man was clearly in love with her and Dana was still trying to set them up!

It was tragic.

"I…I think maybe you and I should have that catch up in a week or so when you're feeling a little better," Lucy suggested diplomatically.

Mulder held open the door for both ladies and then the three of them walked towards the elevator.

"You do need to eat," Mulder observed again. "I'll drop Lucy off, then drop you at home before I go get some groceries for dinner. What do you feel like eating? Maybe a little pasta?"

The elevator closed and Scully smiled gratefully, "Mulder, you really don't have to…" she started to argue.

Mulder chuckled and absentmindedly ran his hand gently over the small of Scully's back, "Hey, you were the one who said I could cook, don't tell me you weren't hinting…"

Lucy smiled, rolled her eyes and looked to the ceiling. She loved her friend dearly, but Dana clearly was fucking clueless.