A/N: My first X-Files fic, yay! Please be kind and review and tell me if you laughed or not. Or, you know, snickered at all. Or smiled. Anything. I'm not picky.
It was a normal day, a day like any other day, in that Dana Scully was having a heck of a time with her hair. She sprayed it, moussed it, gelled it, flat-ironed it, permed it, dyed it, and threatened it with scissors, and still it resisted all efforts to make it do anything interesting and sat still around her head, playing dead. With a final growl, Scully abandoned the attempt and went into her living room, where she quickly discovered that the day wasn't quite as normal as it had, at first sight, seemed to be.
Mulder was sitting on her couch.
She glared at him.
"Since when can you get into my apartment?" she demanded.
"Good morning to you too, Scully. Since you gave me a key."
"A key?" she said. "What key?"
In answer, Mulder held up a bright, shiny, new lump of metal that, yes, did look surprisingly like a key. Scully didn't remember giving him one, and said as much.
"I don't remember giving you one," she said.
"Huh. Must have slipped your mind," said Mulder, with a shrug. "What are you doing today, Scully?"
She stared at him as though he were out of his mind. "Work, Mulder. What else?"
He shrugged again. "I dunno—"
"Look, Mulder, what are you doing here?"
"Well—" He squinted at her and moved his lips around a lot. "You remember how we used to talk about just playing hooky some day and going for a picnic in the park?"
"No, I don't remember, Mulder."
"Really?" He sighed. "Funny, 'cause that day stands out in my memory like— every other day I've ever spent around you—"
Scully gave a short, ironic laugh that sounded more like a snort and that, immediately after it left her mouth, she wished she could take back. "Mulder, I don't remember it because it never happened. There's no way I ever seriously considered 'playing hooky' in order to take a 'picnic' to the 'park'. It— never— happened."
"Oh," said Mulder quietly. "Maybe it was all in my imagination."
He looked a bit hurt but it was over something stupid so she ignored it.
"Get out of here, Mulder, I have to get dressed."
"Can't I watch?" he said hopefully, and that's when she knew something was wrong.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Mulder was fixing himself breakfast. Cocoa-puffs. Chocolate milk. Three spoons of sugar. Those who knew Mulder well suspected that his mentality had frozen at that of a twelve-year-old. Those who knew him really well knew it for a fact.
He dropped his spoon when Scully walked into the room.
He dropped the whole bowl when he saw what she was wearing.
It was black, it was slinky, it was marginally see-through, and she looked like an idiot. Mulder began to laugh and point.
"Hey, baby," said Scully.
Mulder continued to laugh and point.
"I've been wanting to do this for a really long time," said Scully.
Mulder laughed and pointed.
"Aren't you gonna kiss me?" said Scully.
Mulder giggled and indicated her with his finger.
The situation looked like it was going to hold for quite a while, and then there was a tapping on the window, and Mulder looked up to see—
Her eyes were wide and they went even wider when they saw who was with Mulder.
And even wider than that when she saw what she was wearing. Her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.
"Please tell me you didn't do anything!" she screamed through the window.
"What?" said Mulder, a hand to his ear. "I can't hear you!"
"Please tell me you didn't—"
"Still can't hear you! Hold on minute." He walked to the window and shoved it open. This took a bit of time and a lot of effort as it was painted shut, but eventually he got it.
"Please," said Scully through clenched teeth, "tell me you didn't do anything."
"We didn't do anything," said Mulder automatically and unconvincingly, "now why are you at the window?"
"You weren't answering your door."
"Oh— sorry about that, I was a little distracted. Look, come on around and I'll let you in."
He left the kitchen, edging carefully past the quite-possibly-fake Scully in the black slink, and made it to the door just as the QPF Scully (in the black slink) tackled him around the waist.
"Mulder don't leeeeeeeeave meeeeee— I can't live without you!"
"I'm not leaving you!" shouted Mulder, "I'm just letting the real you in the door! Let go of me!" He tried to detach her hands from their respective grips of various portions of his anatomy. He then took a step back and looked at that sentence, and liked it.
Finally he managed to free himself of her, lurched to his feet, and wrenched open the door.
Scully and Mulder stood there.
Scully and Mulder.
Scully and— Mulder?
"I found him in my apartment this morning," she said in answer to his unspoken question.
"I said I found him in my apartment this morning."
The confusion on Mulder's face was evident even as his lips shaped the word, "Who—"
"Oh. Sorry, I thought you would know what I meant. I was answering your unspoken question."
"If I didn't speak it—" said Mulder slowly, "then how did you know— oh, never mind. Where did you get this guy?"
She sighed harshly. "I said, several times, I found him in my apartment this morning."
"Ah." Mulder nodded and a mischievous grin crossed his lips. "Are you sure you didn't put him in your apartment last night?"
She glared. "I won't even dignify that with an answer."
"That doesn't mean no, right?"
"What about you, where did you find that?"
This was directed at the Scully clone on the ground, who was still trying her best to look seductive and failing miserably. Mulder glanced down at her and grinned.
"Are you sure she's not you? 'Cause— she looks like you—"
"Scully!" said the Mulder clone.
"Mulder!" said the Scully clone.
Scully Mark II clambered to her feet and rushed at Mulder Mark II. On reaching him she jumped up and wrapped her legs around his waist and they began kissing passionately. The real Mulder and Scully stared at them, Scully a little disturbed, and Mulder with a voyeuristic enjoyment of the situation.
Scully hit him on the shoulder.
"Ow," he said amiably, rubbing it.
Scully sighed. "I know what happened," she said.
"Did you read the papers today?"
"I didn't have a chance, I was just eating breakfast when she—"
"The Futurama Science Lab was robbed last night, by person or persons unknown." Scully magically pulled the papers out of thin air and displayed them for Mulder's benefit, then had to recapture his attention, which had strayed again to the Mulder and Scully clones, who had now moved to the floor. "The cloning technology that made the FSL's fortune was part of the theft."
"Yeah, so?" said Mulder, his eyes beginning to stray again.
Scully sighed sharply. "Can't you do something about them? Its very distracting."
"Like what?" said Mulder absently.
"Drench them in cold water or something? Use your imagination."
"I am," said Mulder. Scully gave another disgusted sigh. With a great deal of effort, Mulder forced his attention back to her. "What is it?"
"Well, suppose some of our rabid fans stole the cloning technology."
"Suppose," agreed Mulder. "And?"
"Suppose these particular fans were—" She mumbled something.
"What was that?" said Mulder, "I didn't catch it."
"Shippers," said Scully, glaring at him.
"Advocates of a— relationship— between us. Shippers."
"Oh!" said Mulder, suddenly understanding. "A relationship of a— romantic nature."
"Ha, as if we would ever—"
"Ha," agreed Scully.
"Ha," said Mulder again.
"Yup," said Scully.
"Ha," said Mulder, for good measure. For a brief and rather intense moment their eyes met, but the feeling was broken by an inarticulate noise from the floor.
"And so what do we do about these two?"
"Clearly they were designed in order to lull us individually into thinking that the our partner was in love with us," said Scully, wrinkling her brow in thought. "And then, I assume, the plot would be that we would— come together ourselves. They didn't do a very good job."
"No," agreed Mulder. "They didn't. But what do we do about them?"
Scully shrugged. "Well, I did suggest cold water."
Eventually, they got the clones up off the floor, and Mulder kindly lent them money to get a hotel room. Having sent them on their way, Mulder quickly got dressed and they went to work together.
Once there, a thought struck Mulder upside the head.
"Ow— hey, Scully?"
"When you call me your 'partner'— do you ever think— 'life-partner'?"
She glared at him.
"How about dancing partner?" Mulder inquired, whirling her around in a quick two-step.
She stomped on his foot. Hard.
"I'll take that as a no," Mulder gasped, bending over in pain. Scully shook her head at him and walked away, towards their office.
Hmm, thought Mulder. "Our" office.
Our alien hunts—
Giving up for the moment, he staggered after her, content to do what they had come to do, and leave the unresolved sexual tension for another episode.