by Creedog VanDrey
Category: The X-Files
Genre: Romance, Humor
Rating: PG-13 for implied sexual situations
Summery: During Mulder and Scully's audit, Skinner receives news from a very special investigator. It takes place more or less during Requiem
Spoilers: all things, Hollywood A.D., Je Souhiate, Requiem, extremely vague Trust No 1
A/N: Okay, when I say it's a romance, I mean that it's kind of romantic in places. And when I say it's humor, I mean there's a coupleof funny parts. I just don't know how to describe it. Basically, it's my interpretation of the last month before Mulder was abducted and Mulder and Scully's relationship, told in flashbacks.
"Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." –Albert Einstein
OFFICE OF A.D. SKINNER
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
MAY 29, 2000
From the seat at his desk, Skinner heard Kimberly open the door and say, "He's ready for you," to a man who entered the room, wearing a suit. Big surprise. Skinner held a stoic glance as the man entered. He was one of the men auditing Mulder and Scully, but he was a special type of auditor, an investigator of sorts. Skinner's superiors hired him to investigate, covertly, Mulder and Scully's "relationship." Apparently, the long-running rumors of went on concerning the X-Files basement office had found their way up to the Department Heads, who were constantly looking for any reason to shut down the unit. It's overkill, was the thought that passed through Skinner's mind as the man entered. Already, damaging reports were flooding onto Skinner's desk. The future of the X-Files looked bleak enough, even without the higher-ups getting curious about Mulder and Scully's after-work activities.
As the man stoically entered the room and seated himself after politely thanking the assistant director, Skinner could not help but feel as if the man was not what he expected, but he did not find himself surprised, either. The investigator, Dennis Bryan, was dressed in a suit and looked comfortable in it. He was not very tall, maybe five-seven or five-eight, with thick brown hair and fair skin, and an almost nondescript face and body. He didn't seem overconfident, but he was relaxed.
Skinner decided to start the conversation, "So, Mr. Bryan, you're here to tell me if my agents are… what is the best euphemism to use here?" Skinner didn't conceal his annoyance, because he expected the man got a lot of it.
"Frankly, I get a lot of awkwardly mumbled 'having an unprofessional relationship' or a sarcastic between-the-teeth 'committing physical indiscretions,' though neither is my favorite," the man replied immediately and apathetically. He forced a forced-looking smile on his face, which disappeared quickly.
Skinner didn't flinch. The man's response was one of many that he expected. "Anyway, what do you have to report?"
"What I have is dozens of pages of notes, results, predictions… sorry if it's unconventional, but I'm good at what I do."
"Like Mulder," Skinner noted, though not sure of why.
Bryan was quick to reply, casually, "Yeah, I noticed that, too." He paused and offered, "It would be better if you just ask me specific things point blank. I'll interpret my findings." Skinner was almost startled by the almost melancholy tone of voice used. This man didn't reek of professionalism as most of the auditors did, who appeared to enjoy the power they possessed.
Skinner played along, asking with abundant enunciation, "Are Agent Mulder and Agent Scully sexually involved?" Might as well use the right terminology.
"I believe so," the man replied quietly, his tone almost sorrowful.
"Really?" Skinner feared an answer in the affirmative. Mulder and Scully were secretive and even insubordinate at times, but he expected more of them. Then again, he knew to hear out the man's findings. Skinner had yet to get a good reading on this man.
"Yes, I did numerous tests on them…" the man did not take on a matter-of-fact tone, but rather kept the tone of sympathy in his voice, almost confessing. "Under the guise of interviewing them about their cases, I used the opportunity to use a secret camera to record their actions. Two of them, in fact. One video and one infrared, for heat tracking. There was also a low-frequency audio recorder, meant to be sensitive to heartbeats and the like."
"And you found?" Skinner asked, a bit surprised by the use of secret agent-sounding gadgets.
The man sighed, seeming to be surprised by his own results, "I analyzed the video, taking note of heat and heartbeat changes. When one of them would look or touch the other, body heat would increase, as much as .6 of a degree Fahrenheit, and heartbeat would spike… then actually slow." The last part he stated as if it were very interesting.
"And what would this show?"
His tone became much more matter-of-fact, a comfortable groove, "Well, increased body heat indicates sexual attraction. I'm almost not surprised and you shouldn't be either. They're both thirty-something, physically attractive adults." He paused before the tone of his voice changed to bemused recounting, "Heartbeat is what got me. Pulse spiking is also an indicator of sexual attraction, but a slowing of heartbeat is indication of a mature relationship, not necessarily romantic, but nonetheless intimate."
"Well, I would classify their relationship as very close… but you appear to be insinuating that…"
"That they're in love with each other?" the man deliberately finished for Skinner, almost angry at Skinner's reluctance at suggesting the idea. "They almost certainly are. The heat-and-pulse results I got off of them are the kind of results you get from a conversation of conservative, married couples."
Bryan was ready with a continuation, "…who aren't very inclined to perform acts of public display of affection. Rather, in their case, I feel as if they are trying to hide their relationship, by resisting thoughts or obvious gestures that would clue in outsiders as to their feelings toward one another."
"And you're saying that they're hiding it?"
"They appear to be serious investigators. While on paper, they seem to be insubordinate, interpreting the reports in context will show you that they're not… defiant. They break the rules only when they feel like they have to."
Skinner is quiet for a moment. The description that Bryan just gave about his agents' behavior is reminiscent of some of the arguments he himself had to use to protect them and their work.
"And how long do you think it's been going on?" Skinner was eager to proceed with the report.
"How long have they been in love or falling in love? A long time; years, I sure." Skinner couldn't help but notice the thinly-veiled irritation in the man's voice. "As I looked into their history, I notice quite a record of traumatic events. Events such as these tend to cause surges of emotion, in general, which often has a profound effect on relationships. The fact that they are still together after so many ordeals seems to tell me that they've likely grew closer each time." Bryan's eyes seemed to grow sad, and he clenched his teeth.
He composed himself and continued, "I also analyzed blood samples from their last physicals. I traced the levels of pseudo-pheromones in their blood. Some of the highest counts of what we call Type 2 p-hormones I've seen. That means it's been a long-simmering relationship."
Skinner nearly laughed at this, but his face remained reserved. "That wouldn't surprise me. But how do you know they've been sexually active with one another?" he asked deliberately. The man seemed to revolve around the agents' feelings, which though Skinner cared greatly about on a personal level, his professional interest was in the consummation. That is what Mulder and Scully would be held accountable for when the report was submitted.
"There was an increase of a dysatonin, 'weak serotonin' in their blood. You see this type of blood chemistry in newlyweds, which indicates the start of a stabilizing relationship."
"First you say their results are similar to a mature relationship," Skinner interrupted, "then you compare them to newlyweds. I'm confused."
Bryan defended himself, "By a mature relationship, I mean a serious relationship. I can't tell you want me to cut to the point. I'd estimate that they've been physically intimate for around a month, maybe. You seem defensive for them; I assure you that they haven't been sneaking around your back for years. They still failed a synthetic aphrodisiac test. When exposed to a special chemical that I released into the air, I saw very powerful changes in their behavior: increased breathing rate, flushing of the face, inability to look at the partner without becoming uncomfortable. Long-married couples or long-time lovers have developed a resistance to the body's natural equivalent to an aphrodisiac. If my results are correct, they haven't found a pattern, yet." After a long sigh, he added, "The truth is, these two are very much in love with each other, but we found all sorts of emotional stress indicators in their blood work as well. Assistant Director Skinner, their relationship was wearing away at them, and only now are their body chemistries restabilizing."
After a moment of silence, Bryan continued, "I'm not just an investigator. I'm a counselor. My work is not to punish potential rule-breakers, or to provide the evidence needed to do so. I can't tell you how many think that that is exactly what I do. I make recommendations to alleviate problems that could be caused when people work together while emotionally involved. I have seen what can happen to people who work together in such perilous situations. I'm sure you noticed; I can't help but wear my heart on my sleeve with these matters. I wish that I had been called in years ago to investigate them, because I think I would have found the same result, just so much probably emotional damage to repair. So that something could have been done sooner."
Bryan shakes his head, again regaining composure, "I've read through their file; I almost don't believe what kind of things they've been through. As if the scientific part weren't enough, the psychological profiles are pretty damning. I noticed that they tend to be reckless when the other is in peril."
"What are you talking about?"
Bryan grabbed a file and started to read from his notes, "When Agent Scully went missing in 1994, Mulder's behavior became erratic at best. I also saw numerous times when Agent Mulder demanded full concentration on the rescue of his partner during cases in the event she was kidnapped or otherwise in danger." He looked Skinner in the eye when he said, "I'd hazard a guess to say every time. He pulled out all the stops in hope of curing her cancer in 1997; it says he was suspected of breaking into the Department of Defense Building and stealing government evidence from the Pentagon. And… it seems Scully has no problem reciprocating the gesture. Some highlights: she followed him to Puerto Rico in July of '94, to Massachusetts in December of '95, to Rhode Island in April of '97, chased him from Nevada to California in October of '98, tracked him deep into the Atlantic Ocean the very next month…"
"I get it. I'm not going to defend them. They show more concern for each other than they should, but it keeps them alive. It doesn't mean that they're having sex. How can we know for sure your results are accurate, that's there really involved?"
"The next step is for me to do some research. I know they're scheduled to leave for Oregon later today, so surveillance is out of the question. I'll start a background check. I'll get back with you in a few days. Mr. Skinner, understand that I'm here to help not just the FBI, but Agents Mulder and Scully,"
"Thank you. In the mean time?"
"It's a uncover investigation. Let them be. I could be wrong about all this. Maybe they both recently found significant others, but according to the models, they have near-identical bodily chemical signs. If it's the latter explanation, their individual cases are uncannily symmetric. But then, I'd have no way to explain my current data, which screams enamorment between the two. You can appreciate what kind of anomaly it'd be if they were really just friends who for whatever strange reason cause scientific tests to show that they're madly in love with each other."
The man's frankness left Skinner speechless.
TWO DAYS LATER
"So, you've come back with proof?" Skinner asked the moment Agent Bryan sat down in one of the chairs in front of his desk.
"There's almost no way to prove sexual activity without surveillance, which is impossible because we're concerned with past occurrences. There's also confession, which is not a method I'm entitled to. I could've also scoured their trash for used condoms and do DNA tests, but I'd prefer not to. I have more respect for myself and for them. Plus, if I read Agent's Scully medical file right, she's infertile. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't use protection… if they did," he seemed to add for no other reason than to remain open-minded. "I can find no indication of any relationships before in the last few years, so they might not be prepared anyway." He seemed to grimace at his own joke.
"And…?" Skinner prodded impatiently.
"Adults don't have sleepovers, in my experience, especially in twos, with two heterosexuals of opposite genders. So, I looked into unexplained occurrences that might infer one of them staying the night."
"And…?" Skinner repeated.
"I found evidence of such occurence. On May 1, 2000, there was a phone call from Fox Mulder's residence to a taxi service at 4:27 in the morning. At 5:09 AM, Dana Scully's keycard was used to enter her apartment, having not been used since the night before. If it was Mulder calling the taxi, he somehow found a way to bring his own car to work the next day. I'm thinking it was Scully, leaving his house to get home in time to prepare for work."
"It's a bit circumstantial, but valid, I suppose."
"To rule out any possibility of a significant other, I checked credit card records. I looked to see which days one or the other bought take-out food or went to a restaurant and paid for seemed to be food for two. There was no overlap. This would allow for them to only be eating with one another or with no one at all. Agent Scully showed a restaurant charge every other Saturday, but it seems her mother bought lunch for two on those Saturdays that she didn't. As far as I can tell, Mulder and Scully aren't dating anyone else. Also no gifts bought that seem romantic for the last six months. I didn't expect to find anything, not given the feelings I assume they share."
"So, on that night, May first, you think…"
"The only people who know what happened that night are Agents Mulder and Scully or whoever was there that night at Agent Mulder's. I just have my well-founded suspicions."
FOX MULDER'S APARTMENT
APRIL 30, 2000
Fox Mulder was just settling into bed when he noticed someone in the doorway. It was Scully, standing at the door, her eyes heavy and her posture relaxed.
"Hey, Scully, sorry, did I wake you?"
"No, I just kind of drifted back."
"Oh, is it the couch? You can have the bed. I'm a bit jetlagged and I could use a bit of TV. Unless you want to go home." Like an answer, there was a clash of thunder, alerting both agents to heavily falling rain.
"I'm going to wait out the storm. And I'm not tired," she said tiredly.
"I don't believe you," he quipped.
"I can lie for you; I can't lie to you, it seems." She gave a soft smile, taking a seat on the edge of the bed.
Mulder offered, "You wanna talk some more? If you wanna do deep, we can." He gave her a friendly smile, expecting her to fall asleep at the foot of his bed at any moment.
"I don't know. Mulder, when I mentioned that our lives were nothing more than the choices we've made, I said the choices we've made are always the right choices; does that mean anything we do is right?"
Mulder chuckled, stating, "Yeah, we're doing deep then." He thought for a moment and replied, "Um, maybe all choices are 'right,' at least in retrospect. That doesn't mean there aren't good and bad choices. Why?"
"Daniel Waterston gave me the chance to go back to the life I had. But I didn't want it because I like what I have, because I've changed. The only reason one could regret one's actions is in retrospect. If I knew then what I know now, I would never have chosen to be with Daniel. I would never have dated him. I'd want to be with you."
Mulder was disconcerted with the parallel, but he replied, "Because you've changed, because you are with me. The you that would have stayed with him, the one who would and did date him, well, she might feel differently."
In a loud whisper, she replied, "What if I told you I didn't care? That it didn't matter to me?"
"Then I'd say we're back to 'the choices we make are the right choices.'"
Her tone serious, Scully asked, "Mulder, if you could… snap your fingers and have a 'normal life' by the definition we both know I'm talking about, who would you have as your wife?"
"I can clearly see that you wondering if it would be you; it would. Not necessarily for some incredible love that I may or may not have for you, but by default." Scully's face sours. Mulder clarifies with a disclaimer, "Scully, I'm warning you; I'm about to start a car analogy." He breathes before starting. "Let's say I could have my choice of a variety of extremely hot cars, but I already had a red Ferrari, which I'd have to give up if I chose another car. I'm fine with the car I have. In fact, I am ecstatic to have what I already have."
"And I'm the red Ferrari?"
"Scully, I cannot think of anyone who I would most enjoy being stuck with you, in this 'normal life' as we call it. You're an incredible, brilliant woman, and given the chance, I would take you with open arms. I'm not sure I deserve you." At this point, Mulder realized that his slightly drowsy mind has made him a little less tactful that he had hoped he'd be.
Scully crawled over, hugging him tightly, and then kissing him on the cheek, "That was very sweet. Especially for you."
Mulder sat up and took Scully in another tight hug, pulling her against his chest, rubbing her hair. Moments later, he found her again asleep in his arms. Breathing a small laugh, he slowly laid her down on the bed, pulling the covers over her body. He got up to move to the couch when an arm grabbed his hand. He turned to see Scully, barely awake, grabbing his arm. "Stay," she mumbled.
"Scully, sharing a bed? Really?"
She slowly spun onto her back, in a tone that indicating a mind racing with thoughts, "Remember how I was wondering if all choices were right?"
"Scully, how can you still be philosophizing when you can barely keep your eyes open?"
"Mulder, I am 36 years old, unable to conceive a child, and deeply invested in a job that prevents me from having a social life, which further impedes the possibility of me actually attaining a life dream…"
"We're not going to sleep tonight, are we?" Mulder joked.
Scully's tone stayed deathly serious, "Mulder, today I reached the point where I would rather follow you the ends of the earth for the rest of my life than to have stayed with Daniel all those years ago, or anyone for that matter. And I'm beginning to realize that it's in no small part because of you. You alone could keep me on this path."
At a loss for words, Mulder managed an "I'm sorry."
In a harsh whisper, she replied, "You don't get it, Mulder. I'm lying here, realizing that I just want to stay with you, forever, in whatever way." She looked up at him with watery eyes, a face full of more emotions than her partner could count.
"What do you want me to say?" His voice was getting caught in his throat now.
Her voice was almost burdened with honesty, "I don't know. I just want you to stay here with me tonight. I need to figure things out." Her voice was cracking.
"Scully…" he replied, with caution, afraid of her intentions.
"Mulder, I'm making a choice. Please… just lie here with me for awhile."
"Don't beg…" he told her, sitting down on the bed, very close to her. His body still showed reluctance, though.
For a moment, her gaze burned into Mulder's eyes. She finally said, breathing heavily, "Mulder, I am beyond regretting anything. After everything that's happened, what we've been through, what we've done for each other, I… Please, just…"
Her words faded away, and she found his lips softly pressed against hers.
"I understand," he whispered before returning to her, "I understand."
The last thing either of them remembered clearly that night was pressing their foreheads together.
OFFICE OF A.D. SKINNER
"So, you think it happened last May. Once?" Skinner commented incredulously.
"To tell you the truth, most records would make it seem like May first was almost an isolated instance. No late night returns to their apartments, as far as we can tell, for at least a few weeks…"
"So… once?" Skinner said, dragging clarification from the investigator.
"Actually, here's more evidence. We noticed that you signed off for extraneous expenses on a Bureau credit card for the night of May 11. It was for Mulder and Scully."
"In Hollywood. A college friend of mine made a movie about them that was rather embarrassing. It was partly an apology." Skinner caught himself smiling.
"And you never checked what they bought?"
"I just looked to make sure they hadn't gone overboard. They hadn't. Why?"
"I procured the receipts for what they bought. It appears they went to an Applebee's for an Appetizer Sampler, two Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecakes, and two margaritas, one lime and one peach," he said, showing off.
"Only one alcoholic beverage each. That's not bad."
MAY 11, 2000
"Really," the waitress told them, "it's a local tradition. First-time customers get a second round of drinks on the house. What do you say?"
Mulder smiled, "It couldn't hurt." He wrapped his arm around Scully, giving her a goofy smile, as she tried to adopt a threatening look, failing miserably before scooting away so that the arm would fall off. A moment later, she shifted her shoulder, seeming to miss his hand.
OFFICE OF A.D. SKINNER
Skinner sighed. This was taking a lot longer than he anticipated. "So they went out to dinner. That doesn't mean they…"
"After a short taxi fare, they visited The Cat & The Fiddle Pub. Here's the receipt."
Skinner looked over the bill and rubbed his face.
"Another taxi fare and they visited a Target for the following items…"
Skinner starts to read the list, commenting, "Oh dear… whipped cream, honey, bubble bath formula, sparkling red grape juice?" He paused at this item. "Uh, toy water guns, plastic champagne glasses, an English-German dictionary, four unnamed DVDs costing 4.95 a piece… scarves?" he again noted in question. "Sunflower seeds, a tape measure, a model rocket, an alien bobble-head, midnight cobalt lipstick… cobalt, isn't that…?"
"Blue? Oh, yeah, looked it up," he just shook his head.
Skinner continued, "…petroleum jelly, a small ice chest, a half-pound bag of ice, a half-gallon of milk, two bottles of Lipton's ice tea, six jars of glittery nail polish, sleeping bags?"
"Yeah, Star Wars variety, in fact. I'm confused too but some of the items. My guess is that they went on some sort of drunken shopping spree. Though some of them seem…"
Skinner cut him off, "I understand where you're going with this…"
"Also, hotel manager reports that Scully reported a missing room key. She could have lost it that morning, but…"
"How do we know they didn't just pass out on the floor?"
"The hotel mailed packages to both Agents Mulder and Scully's apartments the next day. I called up and asked about it. The manager remembered what he had to send off. Would you like to know what he had to mail them? It's the most incriminating evidence, in my opinion."
BATHROOM OF ROOM 1410
BEVERLY ERNESTO HOTEL
MAY 12, 2000
Mulder and Scully sat together in the deep bubble bath, which was up to Scully's neck. In one hand, she held a champagne glass.
"You know, Mulder," Scully said, in a tone of a seasoned crime scene investigator with a BAC of .15, "this bath is really deep."
Mulder replied, "I know. Thank goodness you finally had the sense to turn off the darn faucet." He said, spilling some of his drink into the bubbly water as he gestured with his own champagne glass.
"You know, Mulder," Scully asked, smiling, "I think we may have put in too much bubble bath mix. I am a bubble bath expert, and I vaguely remember something about a capful." With this, she reached under the bubbles and pulled out the bubble bath container, but not without first causing Mulder to jump mysteriously. She dropped the container on the marble floor.
"Scully, I think we may be drunk. Although, this wine isn't doing anything for me." He poured himself and Scully another glass of sparkling grape juice, spilling a bit more into the water.
"Mulder, would you look at that? I'm getting all pruney," she commented, showing her partner her wrinkled hand, "And the nail polish wore off. I'm bored. Maybe we should go use the other stuff."
"I don't know. I mean, it's not like I'm looking forward to it, but I can't help but think there's some kind of rule against it?"
"Mulder, I have had entirely too much…" she grabbed the bottle, and read, "'Welch's Sparkling Red Grape Juice Cocktail' to remember little regulations like whether or not we can break Mandate 8901."
Mulder laughed. "No, not that. I meant the honey," he said, his enunciation lacking.
Scully leaned in, saying as if the walls had ears, "Oh, if you don't mention the whipped cream, I won't mention the honey."
"Sound like a deal, partner," Mulder shook Scully's hand, and they both stood up. Scully was clad in drenched, periwinkle-blue undergarments and Mulder in soaking wet, black silk boxers.
"By the way, could you be careful with my hair? I paid a lot of money to have it styled all pretty."
"Sure, 'cause it looks awesome," he commented, emphasizing the last word as one would a religious experience. He continued, "If I weren't so offended at all," they both muffled a chuckle, "I would have totally tried to reenact the coffin scene on the movie theater floor."
"That is so sweet," Scully cooed, stepping out of the tub.
The two walked into the bedroom without drying off.
OFFICE OF A.D. SKINNER
"Anything else you want to bring up?"
"Well, on May 17, we noticed that Scully's key card was never used. She wasn't on a case, though she had just come back from Missouri."
Skinner laughed, "Yeah, I remember. She really embarrassed the FBI by claiming she had found an invisible body, which seemed to vanish. I could tell she was really heartbroken. I shouldn't be laughing. You think that they…?" He straightened himself up. The man's personality was very disarming.
"Well, no taxi, but it seems that Scully never went back to her apartment that night and also did not use her parking pass the next morning. Though, I do notice that, the previous night, Scully bought dinner for two at the Red Tomato Café that night, and that Mulder bought a carton of beer, a box of popcorn, and the movie Caddyshack from the local supermarket shortly after. It could be coincidence."
FOSTERS BROTHERS' COFFEE SHOP
MAY 16, 2000
Jenn, with a last name she has long since forgotten, sits in wonder as she sips her coffee. Yes, it was nice of that Mulder character to free her. It was a bit cliché, but she wasn't going to argue. It was exactly what she desired, but she kind of missed the magical powers. Having near-unlimited powers was good for some things.
Omniscience, for example, most notably realizing that, as she made every person on the planet disappear, and that redheaded partner of his in particular, there was… well, someone extra, that she had to make disappear. The lady probably didn't know. And the best part is what he didn't know about it. Crazy kids, she thought, taking another sip of the beverage she was denied for centuries. Damn, maybe it's the centuries-long lack of it, but I do believe that this stuff has gotten better-tasting.
FOX MULDER'S APARTMENT
MAY 17, 2000
As the credits began to roll on screen, Scully looked up at Mulder from her position on the couch and on him. She was lying on his left shoulder, one hand placed precariously on his thigh. His arm was resting on the top of the couch behind her. Her legs were tucked underneath her. She made no effort to hide the reluctance in her face as she removed herself from her position, actually groaning as she escaped the warmth.
When the two of them were both standing up, Mulder started to walk his partner to the door, his hand on the small of her back. At the doorway, she turned and found herself within two feet of him, facing his chest. She tried to laugh as he spoke her thoughts.
Shifting in place and clearing his throat, he stated, "I don't know if you feel the vibes…"
"Yeah, I do, but we shouldn't…" she interrupted.
Agreeing instantly, he replied, "Oh, I know, even if…"
"California…" she finished for him, her face reddening. "Yeah… it would have been nice to think we hadn't…"
After a moment, he joked, "Yeah, one of the problems with being a FBI agent: forensic training…"
Scully laughed, "Not to mention other clues. It wouldn't be first time I received lingerie through the mail. I dread to know where they found them."
The tension in the room couldn't be cut with a steak knife; steak knives wouldn't have been sharp enough.
"Mulder," Scully started throatily, diverting her eyes for a moment.
She forced herself to look at him, "You know I love working with you on the X-Files and all, but have you ever stopped to wonder what would happen if I were to transfer out? Just back to Quantico or something."
"In terms of what?" His tone spoke of curiosity, but his eyes of a bit of sadness.
"In terms of moments like these."
He looked at his feet, saying riskily, "After what's been happening recently? What would happen is you might not make it out the door, Scully."
"Yeah, we'd end up doing the wrong thing,"
He looked up at her, "Depending on your definition of 'wrong,'"
It was Scully's turn to look down. She sighed, annoyed, "You know, if you could say things like that more often, this kind of thing is bound to happen a lot."
"What kind of thing?"
"Me not making it out the door." The last part was nothing more that a meek whisper, looking up at him with desperation, head shaking.
Silence filled the room and the gap between the two partners closed. His large hands enveloped her small face…
A bare-shouldered Scully lay wrapped in the arms of a bare-chested Mulder in his bed, the two blissfully sleeping as the morning sun slowly rose.
Mulder woke up slowly, shifting a bit, rousing the petite woman in his embrace.
As her tired eyes met his, he joked, "We have to watch Caddyshack more often."
"Imagine what would have happened if you'd rented Steel Magnolias."
"Hopefully, I would have been lucky enough that we wouldn't have gotten through the whole movie." The two laughed at the double meaning of the statement, still wrapped in each other's arms.
When silence filled the room again, Scully pulled herself up, holding the blanket against her out of some strange sense of modesty, and stated, "Mulder, how close are we to reaching the point of no return?"
"We're either really close… or really far, on the wrong side of the line…"
"Depending on your definition of 'wrong,'" she said and though no words were spoken, thousands were exchanged as their eyes met again.
OFFICE OF A.D. SKINNER
"Anyway, do you have anything else to tell me?"
"May 24. Agent Scully purchased a decently-price bottle of wine and rented Steel Magnolias from Blockbuster Video. I wasn't trained for this type of analysis, but in my humble opinion, it's definitely a date movie. And Mulder didn't use his parking pass the next day. And this last part is purely speculative, but for whatever reason, the next day, she purchased a shirt that she had already bought a week and a half earlier."
Skinner hid a chuckle with a cough.
DANA SCULLY'S APARTMENT
Dana Scully's apartment was reasonably quiet, except for the hushed conversation of two people.
Suddenly, the silence was wrecked by a crashing of glass.
Scully dragged her partner from the kitchen and through the living room by his tie, their lips pressed against each other. He grabbed her face, but moved his hands to her back, finally pulling her against him. Her legs wrapped around his waist; his hands on the small of her back and between her shoulder blades held her against him. She wrapped her arms around his neck.
As they crossed the threshold, Scully freed an arm to slam the door behind her. It would be only the second of quite a few loud noises that night.
The third was a distinct ripping noise.
OFFICE OF A.D. SKINNER
Bryan, with utmost seriousness, stated, "One final note. I called the Shilo Inn in Bellefleur this morning. The maid said that the bed in Agent Scully's room was made, the placard still resting against the pillows. It was almost if she didn't sleep in her own bed last night."
Skinner leaned back in his chair. He asked, his hand going through his nonexistent hair, "So, what now?"
MAY 31, 2000
Dana Scully awoke to find herself in her partner's hotel room, in her partner's tight embrace. She was curled up, facing him, her hands holding Mulder's right arm, which served as her pillow. The other arm was across her waist, hand delicately touching its place, the small of her back. His chin was resting on top of her head. She still had her clothes on from the night before. They had fallen asleep together.
At this point, she tried to snuggle closer, knowing it would wake him. She pressed her face into his collarbone, her hands weakly clawing at his shirt in a half-conscious effort to pull him closer. He shifted a little bit, taking the arm wrapped around her to rub her hair then her back, and wrapping his leg around her thighs, pulling her in. She continued to push forward, almost as if she was trying to burrow into him.
She finally ceased and looked up at him, her eyes wet from haven just woken up and from her overwhelming emotions. "Mulder, I think this is going to be our last case together. I'm sorry."
"No," he whispered firmly. "It's okay. I want it to be. I think you're ready to move on."
"What would I do?"
"I think Quantico Academy would love to have you back."
"The normal life?"
"Yeah, that. And you know where I'm going with this."
Mulder sighed blissfully, taking his lover's cheek into his hand, conjectured, "There's only one person you want it with." Scully nodded. Mulder continued, "And you don't want me to have to give up the X-Files. But at the same time you worry about me."
"I always have."
"Scully, I could lock the door to the X-Files office myself, and it would barely alleviate the danger I've put us both in. But, Scully, you know I wouldn't—couldn't—let anything happen to you. And I know you hate it when I'm overprotective—"
"I love it," Scully interrupted. "You're the only one that I would allow to do it."
"Scully… Dana…" He stopped, realizing that neither name felt just right anymore.
They wanted to say more, but there were no words. All that needed to be said was said.
OFFICE OF A.D. SKINNER
Bryan replied to Skinner's question, "I wish the results were yours to do what you want with them, but I was called in by the FBI, not by you personally. I have to turn in a report. And I can't lie. It would involve faking evidence…"
"This is going to destroy them." Not so much as a plea as a statement of fact.
Sympathetically, he stated, "Mr. Skinner, I've read up on their work. They work great together. One of the best partner dynamics I've ever seen. They trust one another; they have a well-defined but ever-evolving groove," and at this point his voice became grave, "and they care about the other's safely, even above their own, and that could be dangerous in the field. Maybe they only have been intimate a handful of times in the last month, maybe more than I've figured, maybe less, maybe never, but I believe the truth is that whatever walls have been keeping them apart are rapidly breaking down. I've really looked into them. I tend to take some cases personally." His tone now changed, indicative of something purely extra, "Agent Scully had several bills at Shady Grove Fertility Clinic from last March for in-vitro treatments. They failed, obviously. There was no charge for an anonymous donor. It was someone she knew." He let the implications sink in. "She's also been regularly seeing Dr. Kosseff at the Employee Assistance Program recently. Sir, Agent Scully loves the X-Files. I got that vibe from her, but it's gotten to the point where it's wearing away at her, especially because of what's happening between her and Agent Mulder, and I have almost no doubts that it is. If I were in your position, I'd offer her the chance to transfer to another department. Her performance evaluations from teaching at Quantico Academy in the early nineties were excellent. And I guess I don't have to tell you what VCS thinks of Mulder's early work."
"You may be right, Mr. Bryan," Skinner sighed, "but if I were to ask you to sit on the results for a few days, until the Bellefluer case closes, and I've had a chance to talk with Agent Scully, would you wait to submit the report?"
Bryan gave Skinner a knowing smile, "If Agents Scully and Mulder ceased to work in the same division, I'd have no need to submit it at all." He smiled at Skinner, who returned the warm expression. "Plus, the report's not even written, yet. It's a hell of a lot of work to pull all my data into an organized form. If for some crazy reason, Mulder and Scully are split up, then I'll have no one to turn the report into. Unless you'd like a copy."
"I'd appreciate that."
THE MARRIOT DULLES
JUNE 5, 2000
Well, when I told A.D. Skinner I wouldn't submit my report if Agents Mulder and Scully ceased working together, I never imagined that it would be because Agent Mulder was kidnapped, or abducted by aliens, as Agent Scully seems to think. I'm not sure A.D. Skinner doesn't disagree.
Anyway, I sent the report to him. I have no idea what he plans to do with the information.
Call me sentimental, but I'm worried about Agent Scully. My company has been perfecting techniques for years and people with such powerful results on our tests have rarely been able to restrain themselves so well or so long. We've uncovered couples who have been having frequent sexual contact, including on company property. I remember one case when the worst happened: two FBI agents in Los Angeles who were obviously mixing business with pleasure; I suggested they be separated, but a day too late. The man was killed saving his partner from a hostage situation. A sweep team found her in a deep state of catatonia. A week later, she OD'd on painkillers. That was one of the cases I took too personally.
This would be another case I will regret taking personally. It's painful. Now I don't pretend to boast a perfect record when doing background checks, but I know when two people have fallen in love. Agents Mulder and Scully are. How long? There's no single point that you can pin down about this stuff. But you can look and say, "By this point, they were." My guess: since her cancer. A nurse doesn't wake you up at six in the morning to remove you, red-eyed, from the hospital bedside of just-your-partner or even just-a-friend.
Agent Mulder had better make it. Agents Scully's blood work showed elevated levels of HGC in her blood.
CREEDOG T. VANDREY
A/N: Okay, this is my response to Scully getting pregnant with Mulder's child without our good friend CC not making it obvious when Mulder and Scully got busy. I don't believe the fertility treatment BS any more than any true X-Phile does. I'd like to thank both "Deep Background" and "The X-Files Timeline" for their gallant attempts to decipher CC's convoluted and sometimes impossible sequence of events. No offense, Chris. You are my hero (currently).
Note: some of this information, such as certain locations, is 100 percentaccurate. Some things I made up completely. No, really, some of it's total crap.
By the way, I heard that the Inside the X-Files or the Secrets of the X-Files special had an extended scene from The Post-Modern Prometheus where, during the last scene, Mulder spins Scully, and then kisses her on the lips. This I gotta see. (And they say CC was a Noromo. Ha. Fools!) Where do I find it?
(Sonriso) - Dr. Sonriso would like to take this opportunity to assure you that, yes, Creedog T. VanDrey has indeed become a hardcore shipper. He seems to care about the plight of our two favorite agents (no, Mulder and Scully!) more than his own love life.