AUTHOR'S NOTES: Sometimes, for a smart guy, Mulder sure is inarticulate.

THANKS: This one's for Denise, cause she made me do it. All I said was I am man, hear me stutter, and
look where it got me.

Say, my love, I came to you with best intentions
You laid down and gave to me just what I'm seeking
Love, you drive me to distraction.

"Two Step" by Dave Matthews Band

Why is it that he can't speak when he's around her? They've been partners for years, but this is a recent
development. Mulder has always been one of the most articulate people that I know, but get him around
Agent Scully and he turns into a pile of goo.

Since I met Agent Scully, I have been entertained by the way she handles Mulder, the way she keeps him
grounded. He used to go off half-cocked when we'd give him some little clue. Now he defers to her, asks
her opinion, and takes it to heart. I never thought I'd see the day that Fox Mulder was tamed by a woman.
Diana only occupied his time, she never really had a hold on him. Not the way that Agent Scully does.

The day that Scully left for her trip to hell with Old Smokey, Mulder was a blithering fool, unable to string
more than five or six words together. He just kept repeating "She's in trouble, she needs help," and anytime
either Langley, Frohike or I tried to get him to tell us what was going on he just started muttering to himself,
"Scully, Scully, why...why..."

Once she returned from her adventure, Mulder clung to her like the morning dew beading on a blade of
grass, afraid that she would evaporate if he let her out of his sight. Whenever we called Mulder to come
over to play cards or watch a game, he brought her along. I've lost track of how many times I've glanced
over to find them gazing at each other, oblivious to the outside world. It's really kind of cute to watch how
they interact, trying to hide their feelings. Not that they are fooling anyone, but they do try. I honestly think
no one would be the wiser, if only Mulder didn't start stuttering every time he tried to talk to Scully.

Well, speak of the devil...

"Hey, Byers, what's up?"

"Not much, Mulder. You?"

"Nothing really. Scully and I just thought we'd stop by, isn't that right Scully?"

"Mulder, this was your idea. I just wanted dinner."

"Ah, gee...I'm...I'm sor..sorry, Scully. Do ya wan...wanna go?"

"No, that's okay, Mulder. We can stay, provided you buy me dinner when we leave."

"Ah, yeah, sure...sure thing, Scully. Where are Langley and Frohike, Byers?"

"I don't know. They left about two hours ago, something about finding food. Who knows with those two."

"Oh, okay. So, Byers, got anything interesting for us?"

"No, Mulder. Nothing at all. It's like everyone has just decided to play nice for once. Must be the weather."

"That is weird. What...what do you think, Scully?"

"I agree with Byers. Must be the weather."

I watched them stare at each other, completely ignoring me, for about five minutes before I cleared my
throat, reminding them of my presence.

"Oh, sorry, Byers. Well, if there's nothing going on, I think we'll be going. Is tha.. that all right with..with you,

"Are you sure you don't want to stay, Mulder? I'm in no hurry."

"Well, umm, gosh Scully..."

I just can't stand to see Mulder like this. It causes me physical pain. I need to get them out of here, for my
own sake.

"I hate to break this up, but I need to get back to work. Mulder, I'll call you if we get anything."

"Thanks, Byers. Say hi to the guys for us."

"Have fun, you two. Good night, Scully."

"Night, Byers."

I watch them walk back out to their car, paying no attention to their surroundings. I'm amazed that neither of
them trip over anything. Every time I see them like that I can't help but laugh. Why don't they just get
on with it already? They are only delaying the inevitable. Oh well, I guess I'm not really one to talk, but I
have a good reason. He doesn't. Maybe one of these days I'll ask him about it.

Or, maybe not.


First published - 5/23/00