Hey, guys! Well, I decided I needed to update this story—so I took my day off, and I went on down to Starbucks, and locked myself in the place until it was finished! And Voila! Here it is!
The final installment in "She Only Smokes When She Drinks"!
Enjoy... and review... let me know what you think of the final product!
She should have known he was going to use his key. She should have taken that thing away from him a long time ago.
"Mulder, that KEY is for EMERGENCIES only."
"I know." he said as he opened the door. "This IS an emergency." he said as he stood there looking at her small frame sitting on the couch.
"Mulder, an emergency usually involves blood of some kind. And, as you can see" she said as she motioned around the room, "there is no blood. None."
"No," he agreed as he shut the door lightly behind him and walked over to the couch. He looked at her as she looked up at him, wondering why he had that strange look in his eyes. He brought his hand to touch her cheek where red lines still covered her face. "But there are tears." he said softly, tracing one of the lines.
Her eyes widened "Shit." she muttered softly as she turned her face away from him. "Mulder, these are not tears… I was just, It's just that when I was driving something went in my… Mulder," she tried again, pausing "these are not tears."
"Right, Scully. Your eyes are all puffy and there are red lines running down your cheeks, and you're trying to tell me you weren't crying? Scully, I may be an alien-chasing crackpot, but you're not going to get me to believe that."
"I'm fine." she assured, still refusing to look at him.
He moved to the other side of the couch to look at her face "Scully, you're not fine. You're upset."
She was silent.
"Mulder, I…" she stopped before continuing. "I am not hurt. I mean, I'm a lot of things: I'm angry, pissed off, upset, mad, but hurt, I am not."
"Then why were you crying?" he asked gently.
She knew she was being stupid and childish, but she didn't care. After Mulder had hurt her so badly the last thing she needed was for him to know that he had hurt her so badly.
"They were tears of anger." she said as matter-of-factly as possible.
"When you're angry, Scully, you give the evil eye and get that little tone in your voice. The one that says 'don't mess with me because I'm really pissed off right now.' You do not cry." He smiled a little "And besides, I thought they weren't tears."
"Oh, shut up, Mulder. How do you know what I do when I get a certain way or feel a certain emotion?"
"Because I know you."
Ignoring his last comment she continued "According to you, I have no emotion, so I don't fathom how you could possibly know what I'm feeling or what I do when I'm feeling it. And, come to think of it, as per your view of me, I couldn't be hurt, now could I?" she said, huffing a little as this phrase came out all at once.
"Scully, about that…"
"No, Mulder. No. I do not want to talk about it. I do not want to hear your lame excuses; I do not want to talk to you period. In fact, I don't even really want to see you right now. So please leave."
He chuckled a little, "Scully, I am absolutely not leaving."
She looked at him, anger flaring in her eyes "Well, then, you stay." she said as she got up from the couch "I'll leave."
Mulder caught her arm gently "Come on, Scully. Don't leave. Please. Let's talk about this."
"I already said I don't want to talk about this, and you're not going to leave, so I don't see how I have any other choice."
"Don't do this. Please sit down. I can't stand to hurt you like this."
Finally, she looked at him. "I think it's a little too late for that, Mulder. It's a little too late for that." She admitted a bit too quickly.
"See, there, I knew I hurt you… and I've" he started but her angry words cut him off.
"Yes, Mulder. Yes. You hurt me. And what? Why should I be surprised? Hell, why should you be surprised?"
"Scully…" he pleaded momentarily.
"No, Mulder, don't 'Scully' me! As if what I'm saying isn't true enough—you know it's true. I know it's true. I just don't know how I could have put up with it. I just don't know."
He sat silently, waiting for her to continue.
She sat down on the couch, she was exhausted. "I'm just so…tired, Mulder. I'm just so tired."
"Of…?" Mulder prompted.
"Of everything. I can't keep doing this. I can't." she said, her voice becoming shaky.
"Doing what?" he asked gently.
"Defending myself. I can't keep defending myself against these… I don't even know what, accusations? All I know is I'm tired of it. I'm tired of everyone thinking I'm this cold-hearted woman. I'm tough, yes. But I'm not cold hearted. And, what really sucks, Mulder… is that of all the people in the world you think that of me. I can handle it from just about anyone in this world—but not you." She said, "Not you." She restated, her voice barely above a whisper.
"Scully…Oh, Scully…" he started as he lightly grabbed her hand. "You don't have to defend yourself."
She laughed "Obviously I do, if the one person in the world that I…trust…thinks I'm some kind of ice queen. Obviously I do."
"I don't think you're an ice queen, Scully. I don't think you're cold-hearted and I don't think that you lack emotion."
"Then why did you say it?"
"Because I'm an asshole."
That made her laugh a little bit.
"No, I mean it, I'm an asshole. I was angry and I know you… probably better than anyone on this planet. Or any other planet for that matter. And the truth is, I knew what buttons to push to really make you angry. To really make you hurt. And I knew that button would get the biggest reaction out of you… so I said it. I shouldn't have said it, but I did. And I'm sorry."
"The things people say in anger are often truths—the real truths of how they feel."
He laughed at this. "Scully… if you only knew…"
"If I only knew what?" she asked, perplexed by his laughter.
"How untrue that last statement is." He took a breath "If anger brought out the truths of how people felt… well, I wouldn't have said that."
She looked at him. The way he emphasized that let her know that he was thinking something else. "What would you have said, then?" She asked carefully.
He looked at her with a small smile on his face. Should he say it now? Should he tell her what he would have said? He took another deep breath and shook his head, but spoke anyway "If anger brought out truths… I wouldn't have called you an ice queen. I would have…" he paused, unsure of whether or not he could or should continue, but he did nonetheless "I would have said that you are the most warm-hearted, caring person that I know. I would have said that out of everyone that's ever come into my life, you are the only one that has stood by my side more times than I can count. You are the only one that has ever been there all the time—you are the only one that has ever truly, truly cared about me."
She started to speak, but he cut her off.
"I would have said that out of all the people in this world, there is no one else that I would rather work with—there is no one else I trust with my life, there is no one else I admire, there is no one else I…. there is no one else I love more than you. I would have said that I'm so madly in love with you that I can't see straight. I'm so helplessly head-over-proverbial-heels in love with you that I don't know what to do with myself. I would have said that there is no one in this world that has ever made me feel the way you do, and you are the only person in this world that I cannot live without. You are the only person in this world that I don't want to live without. You are the only person in this world that I can't bear to live without."
She looked at him again, tears welling in her eyes "Oh, Mulder…" she said, pausing momentarily, "Don't…"
He stopped abruptly and looked at her "Don't what, Scully?"
"Don't… say that. You don't have to say that."
He chuckled a little "Yes I do."
"No, Mulder, you don't have to say you're in love with me to… to make me feel better. It's okay. But, thank you…" she trailed off as she stood up and walked over to the window, unsure of what to say next. How could she say anything?
"Scully, are you serious right now? After all of that you don't think I'm telling the truth?"
She wrapped her arms around her body—this was too much. But she looked over her shoulder at him "I… I don't know, Mulder."
He laughed, then rose from the couch to stand just inches from her "Look at me, Scully."
She did. She turned around to face him.
"Look into my eyes and tell me again that what I'm saying isn't the truth."
She did that, too. She looked straight into his eyes, and what she saw there shocked her. She didn't see jest, as she had anticipated. Instead, she saw love. Raw love, and it scared the hell out of her and enthralled her to no end all at the same time. She opened her mouth to speak, but she couldn't.
"See? It's real. That's what I would have said. That's what I should have said… that I love you. I'm in love with you. I have been for years." he said, staring intently into her eyes.
"Years?" she asked, his intensity making her breathless.
"Yes, Scully…. years." he said "So, you see… that is the truth. This…" he said as he pulled her close to his body "This, is the truth" and with that, he pulled her roughly into a gentle kiss.
Their lips touched for the first time, and it was nothing short of magic. He kissed her with a type of reserved hunger that drove her absolutely crazy—and she kissed back with equal fervor, which drove him absolutely crazy. He deepened the kiss as he entwined his fingers in her hair, she let out a little moan at this gesture—and they kissed even harder. The intensity of the kiss continued, as they both explored what they'd wanted to explore for years—before they both came up for air.
"I love you, Scully," he said, his hands on either side of her face. "I love you so much."
She laughed, as tears came to her eyes. "I love you too, Mulder. I love you, too."
He pulled her into a hug, then, as he rested his chin on the top of her head. "I'm sorry I hurt you—I was stupid. I was…"
"Mulder, it's okay. You've more than made up for it." she said, her voice slightly muffled by his chest.
She looked up at him, a small smile playing on her face "Well, maybe not entirely—but we can work on that later."
SEVEN MONTHS LATER
Scully walked into the tiny bar holding hands with Mulder. She walked straight to the bar and sat down, with Mulder occupying the seat next to her.
The bartender was busy down at the other end of the bar, but looked up to acknowledge his customer "I'll be right…" he started, but then trailed off when he noticed who this new customer was. Frank dropped the rag he was wiping with, and came over to where Scully was sitting "Well, I'll be… sugar, I haven't seen you in months!" He laughed heartily as he leaned over the bar to give her a kiss on the cheek.
"I know, Frank, I'm sorry!" She laughed as she kissed him back.
"You promised you'd keep in touch—little ol' Frank missed you!" he said as he jabbed a thick thumb at his chest.
"Aw, I've missed you too… but I've been kind of busy." she said with a smile on her face.
Frank looked at Mulder, then laughed again "A-ha, So I see, love, so I see." He offered a friendly handshake to Mulder, and Mulder gladly accepted.
"But you can't even drop in to let me know you're okay? I'm an old man, Dana, I can't take worrying like this." he said in jest.
"Next time, I'll check in, I promise."
"You better, dear, you better. So… what can I get you? A beer? A pack of cigarettes?" He said as he tossed a pack of Camel Lights on the bar in front of her, with a little wink.
"No, I think I'll just have a coke." she said, smiling at Mulder.
"Ah, a coke. And for you, Mr. Mulder?"
"I'll have the same."
Frank chuckled "Two cokes coming up!" He was gone only a minute before he set the cokes down in front of the two.
"So, what brings you to this neck of the woods?"
Scully smiled brightly at Mulder then turned back to look at Frank. "Well, Frank… actually… we were wondering. I mean, I know you had your pastor's license a few years ago, and we were wondering… if you still had it."
"Well, no, love I don't—but I can renew it with just a snap of my fingers… why… Oh, I see…. that little rock there on your hand should've been my first clue."
"Your attention to detail is fading, Frank." she said.
Mulder, who had been silent this entire time, except for a few chuckles here and there said "So, you can renew it?"
"Yes, I certainly can. And I will, if you're asking me what I think you're asking me."
"Yes." Mulder said "We are."
"We'd like you to perform the ceremony." Scully said, still smiling.
Frank looked at the both of them and smiled "Well, I would love nothing more."
"Good!" Mulder said, before excusing himself to use the restroom.
Scully picked up the pack of cigarettes Frank had set on the bar earlier.
"So, you're happy are you?" Frank questioned as he picked up his rag and wiped down the bar.
"Yes…very much so." She said as she took a cigarette out and held it between her fingers.
"Good. I was sad not to have you in here anymore, but I was happier for you, because I knew that things must have been going well. You're like a daughter to me, Dana, you know that—and I'm so happy to see you smile."
She looked at him and gave him a smile "Thanks, Frank."
Just then, a man came up to Scully holding a lighter "Can I give you a light?" he said in a deep voice.
She looked back at Frank and laughed as Mulder returned from the bathroom, the man still stood there, lighter in hand as Scully chuckled and said to Frank "We'll let you know when the ceremony is."
And with that, Scully set the cigarette down, offered a kiss on the cheek to Frank, a wry smile to the man with the lighter, and took Mulder by the hand as they left the bar. He put his hand on the small of her back as he guided her out the door into the DC city night.
Frank looked at the man with the lighter still poised in his hand and started to laugh. And laugh, and laugh.
"What?" the man said, utterly bewildered by what had just happen.
When Frank finally composed himself he said with a smile "Everybody knows, she only drinks alone…" he picked up the rag and started wiping the bar down "…and she only smokes when she drinks."
Well, that's all, folks...
I hope it was worth your time. Let me know! Or I shall never write again... or something equally dramatic:-) Thank you guys for being so kind!