Title - Soothing the Savage Beast

Author - Nicky

Rating - G

Classification - Vignette/Humor

Keywords - MSRish

Summary - Mulder has a terrifying encounter with the scariest monster ever. Written for the May 2003 Mulder's Refuge Monster Challenge.

Disclaimer - These characters belong to Chris Carter and 1013 productions.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Soothing the Savage Beast

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I almost laugh at the look of sheer terror on his face. That's right, little man. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. The monster within has escaped. And now there's no going back.

* * * * * * * *

2 hours earlier . . .

"Good Morning, Scully," he says in that annoying, cheerful way of his. He's so happy in the mornings for some reason. It's really cute sometimes. And sometimes it's downright infectious. Seeing that boyish grin of his usually makes my heart melt into a big puddle. But not today. Today it's just irritating.

"If you say so," I mumble to him, taking a swig of luke warm tea. His grin wanes, starting to resemble a frown instead. No, not a frown. Make that a smirk. The jerk is actually amused.

"You're taking my word for something? That's a first," he laughs. "So since I've already decreed that the morning is in fact a good one, my next command is . . . "

"I was being sarcastic," I say with a huff, barely controlling my impulse to roll my eyes at him.

"Yeah, I got that. Jeez, Scully. What's up with you today? Coffee machine on the fritz or something?"

Coffee. As if I actually need caffeine today. I think I'm a little too hyped up as it is. The word 'tense' has taken on a whole new meaning for me. But, I can't let him know that. He'll probably just make some lewd comment about the ways he can 'loosen me up'. Any other day, I'd take a heap of that sexual innuendo and stir it into the biggest cup of coffee I can find. But not today. Today it would just be maddening.

"I'm fine, Mulder," is all I say. Thankfully he lets it go and doesn't bother me anymore. We enjoy a blessed hour and a half of silence. I'm able to work peacefully. He even appears to be making a dent in that stack of files on his desk. If only the rest of the day could be like this.

* * * * * * * *

I look up at the clock and find myself amazed that almost two hours have passed already. This day has gone by pretty quickly considering Scully's giving me the silent treatment. And I don't even know what I did to upset her so much. Really, I only said hello. Who would have thought it would only take that to set her off?

I look over at her to see an icy glare aimed straight at me. It's only then that I realize I've been drumming my fingers on the desk.

"Sorry," I say sheepishly, giving her that grin I know she can't resist. The glare gets icier, if that's even possible. Okay, so Mulder Grin number 14 is in fact resistible. I won't be able to use that one on her for a while.

I don't want to get on her nerves anymore than I already have, but I'm starting to feel restless. Normally, I'd start digging through my files until I find an utterly, ridiculous case for us to work on. She'll argue with me. I'll try to convince her we should investigate it. Nine times out of ten, she'll relent and we'll send it to Skinner for approval. Okay, maybe only seven times out of ten. But my point is that she's usually a bit more . . . approachable than she is today. Today, I have a feeling that if I give her anything resembling an X-File, I'll run the risk of drawing back a nub.

Well, I can't sit here in this silence for another second. I get up to stretch my legs for a bit. Maybe when I get back, Scully will decide she's not mad at me anymore.

* * * * * * *

So nice of him to just leave without saying a word to me. In all fairness, I haven't exactly been receptive to his conversation today. But still, common courtesy dictates one telling one's partner when they're going to disappear for an hour. Okay, so it's only been closer to ten minutes since he's been gone, but it seems like an hour.

Just then, I hear voices outside in the hall. And unless Mulder has started talking to himself, it sounds like there's someone with him. Some flirty little twenty year old from the secretarial pool. They seem to flock to the man. Although, I can't say I can hardly blame them.

The talking stops and there's laughter now. A loud, obnoxious braying noise that just about peels the paint off the walls. Could the woman be any more grating? Apparently Mulder thinks the same thing because he quickly sends her on her way and makes his way into the office. Finally.

"Scully, I . . . "

I lift up my head to see him standing in front of my desk. Maybe it's the exasperated sigh. Maybe it's the eyebrow arched practically to my hairline. But Mulder gets the picture and decides against finishing that train of thought. Or so I thought. Halfway back to his desk, he spins around and tries again.

"Scully, is it me? Or is it mankind in general that has you perturbed today?"

Perturbed. That's a good one. I was starting to run out of synonyms to describe the utter state of annoyance I've been in today.

But Mulder's question is valid. Why am I feeling so vicious? Maybe I'm turning into one of those monsters we come across daily in our X-File investigations. A genetic time bomb just waiting for the perfect moment to mutate and self destruct, taking out all the innocent people who dare to cross my path. What else could explain the moodiness? My horrible complexion. My inability to turn down any piece of food set before me, preferably something greasy or deep fried. The fatigue. The cramps. The . . . oh. I think I've hit the nail on the head. How much of a cliche can I be?

"It's not you," I assure him. It's me, I want to tell him. Me and my stupid premenstrual hormones.

"Then what is it?" he snaps. He's obviously run out of patience with me. "You're acting like a nut case. Is it that time of the month or something?"

I must be hearing things because I know he didn't just go there. I mean, he's absolutely right about the PMS thing, but he didn't have to say it. It's bad enough that he's thinking it. That infuriates me for some reason and all I see now is red.

I feel my hands clenching and I hear a growl escape my lips. The next thing I know, I'm in his face, spouting angry, crazy talk about equality for women or something equally nonsensical for this moment. I'm luckily able to stop myself from poking him in the chest with my sharp nails to drive my maniacal points home. The look of sheer terror on his face is so hilarious it almost makes me laugh. That's right, little man. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. The monster within has escaped. And now there's no going back.

I somehow manage to finish my rant and in true drama queen fashion, turn on my heel and storm out the door. I don't even know where I'm giong. But after I get there, realization finally hits me. I'm at our bench. The one where we go to make everything right. I just hope that whatever damage I've done today isn't irreparable. I can only hope that we can fix this.

* * * * * * *

"I'm sorry."

She looks up and sees him standing there, a rose in his outstretched hand. She smiles and takes the rose from him. After seeing that it's a chocolate rose, her smile widens and she scoots over, offering him the seat next to her.

"Thank you," she says quietly. "For the candy that is. Not the apology. You don't need to apologize. I'm the one who's sorry, Mulder."

She opens the candy and takes a bite, moaning in appreciation as the smooth chocolate practically melts in her mouth on contact. She offers hims some, but he declines, preferring to watch her enjoy it.

"I've been awful today," she says after she finishes eating. He lifts his arm to put it around her and she takes advantage of it, laying her head on his shoulder. "Like an angry beast attacking everyone around me."

"I wouldn't say beast. You're more a beauty than a beast," he smiles.

"Okay, then a pretty beast."

"That's right," he laughs as a silly thought comes to his mind. "A Pretty Monster named Scully. What PMS really stands for."

"That would be PMNS," she corrects. "Get it right if you're going to be creating diseases."

"Yes ma'am," he chuckles again, using the arm that isn't around her to give her a little salute. "So, is there a cure to this little disease of yours?"

"Yeah. You," she says shyly.

"Me? What did I do?"

"You gave me chocolate," she giggles. "And you used Mulder Grin number 14 on me. You know I can't resist that combination."

"Not for lack of trying," he laughs. "It didn't seem to affect you at all earlier. I thought I was going to have to come up with a new grin to try to penetrate that impervious facade of yours."

"You'd do that, wouldn't you? Just to see me smile," she realizes.

"I'd do anything for you," he nods, his tone serious to match the moment.

They sit in silence, just enjoying what's between them. But they both know it's time to get back. This was a nice escape, but it's time to return to the real world.

"I was wrong," she says after the long silence. "I don't need the chocolate. I just need you to tame my inner monster. I just need this."

She wraps both arms around him for one last hug before rising from the bench. She gives him a smile as he takes her hand in his own, twining his fingers with hers. Oh yeah, this is all she needs, she thinks to herself. A little bit of Mulder to send the monster away for good . . . or at least until next month.

The end.