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"Say Anything"
Part 4: Scully

I don't know why I thought Mulder would come back tonight or why I actually
waited up for him. He didn't say he would come back, after all. But here I
am at fifteen minutes to midnight, waiting up for him like a worried wife.

Only I'm not really worried; I know where he is, and I kind of approve,
actually.

He went to be with Agent Reyes. Not that this is surprising in any way--I
knew from the moment I first met Monica Reyes that she was more like Mulder
than anyone else I knew. Her claims of tolerance towards certain theories
and of open-mindedness made me think of Mulder right away. I knew then that
he'd like her if they ever met.

And I was right. Mulder warmed up to her almost immediately.

Some people--a lot of people, if truth be told--might think it strange that
I would approve of Mulder's choice tonight. I mean, how *could* he leave me
for another woman at a time like this? What would they have me do? Act like
an ex-girlfriend bemoaning the fact that I fixed my former lover up with
someone new and they actually hit it off? It's silly. I have no claims on
Mulder. I never have. Oh, sure... there have been times in our seven year
partnership that we came close to crossing the line between friendship and
something more, but nothing ever came to pass. Despite what half the Bureau
thinks.

Yeah, I know what they think; I've heard the rumors. They think Mulder and
I were lovers and that this baby is his. Even Skinner thinks so, and he's
known us both for how long?

I came to terms the those rumors a long time ago, to be honest. They don't
mean anything to me now, except as just another part of the mystery
surrounding my partner and myself. Sometimes, I even enjoy that mystery.

And sometimes I just wish I could share it with someone... someone outside
of it all. Sometimes I even wish *I* were outside of it all...

... and able to walk away from Spooky Mulder's fairy tales and live a normal
life.

Lately, I've even wondered if someone hasn't opened the door that leads to
the normal, everyday world I left behind seven and half years ago to become
a part of the X-Files. I can see a small shaft of light shining in the
gloom of my existence, and in it, the silhouette of a man.

He looks an awful lot like John Doggett, to tell the truth.

Agent Doggett is the kind of man I would have loved to be partnered with a
long time ago. He's a solid, up-standing man who does his job the best way
he knows how. He's honest and trust-worthy. And he's all heart. No one
cares more about the people around him than Doggett.

He even cared--cares--for me despite my attempts to push him away.

I have wonder about that. Why would a man care so much for a woman who has
been so cold to him? I felt I had to be cold, had to keep my distance. If
I didn't, I'd lose my edge--that edge that sharpened under Mulder's
teaching--and I'd never find Mulder. I felt I needed that edge, needed the
well-honed cynicism and paranoid wisdom to keep me focused on finding my
friend.

And to keep me from doing what one small part of me wished to do--get to
know my *new* partner, this man who is so like I used to be.

So I pushed him away, distancing myself from him in every way I could. Even
refusing any familiarity to grow between us. Agent Doggett. Agent Scully.
But never Doggett, never Scully, never Dana or John.

And that leads me back to why I'm sitting on this couch waiting for Mulder
to come back and knowing that he won't--because I'm lonely. I'm lonely and
I can't sleep because the baby is kicking too hard... and Mulder's the one I
*didn't* push away. So I'm waiting for him, like a fool, when I should
just...

I reach for the phone, and dial a number I know well enough by now. It
rings... and rings... and then I hang up.

I sigh and stand up. Maybe I can get to sleep after all, I try to reason.

A knock at the door stops me before I make it to the bedroom. "Coming!" I
calling out, padding over to answer it.

I open the door just in time to see John Doggett turning his back on me.

"Agent Doggett!" I exclaim. I hadn't expected it to be him, but I'm glad
it is.

"Sorry to bother you, Agent Scully," he says awkwardly, his New York accent
turning "bother" in "bothah" in a way that always makes me smile to myself.
This time I share that smile with him.

"It's no bother, Agent Doggett. Actually..." I feel suddenly self-conscious
admitting this to him. "I just tried to call you."

"I, ah, left my cell phone at home," he says. "Should I come in?" He smiles
then, a sweet, friendly smile replacing the gloomy look that had been there
only moments before.

I step aside, letting him into the apartment. "Something troubling you?" I
ask.

"Does it show?" is his comeback. I nod sympathetically. "What about you,
Agent Scully? What's got you out of bed this late at night?"

"Can't sleep," I reply, patting my stomach just over the spot where my
child's little foot is still kicking. He must be doing jumping jacks in
there.

We both smile, the same rueful smile, and I remember that he used to be a
family man. My baby still kicking me, I am suddenly overwhelmed by a sense
of connection to this man. One never felt--or allowed myself to
feel--before. He knows what it is to fear for a child's safety... to fear
for someone you love.

But there is more than just *that* which connects us; I know that now. It
is what prompted me to call him just now and what brought him to my doorstep
of his own volition. Something special that has been trying to grow between
us for a long time now, but could only do so after Mulder was recovered.
Something that I've been repressing.

Until now.

"Would you like something?" I ask him. "I was thinking of putting on some
tea."

"Whatever you're having is fine," he says. When I return with the tea a few
minutes later, he's sitting on the couch, resting as comfortably as if he
were meant to be there. And more at ease than Mulder had been earlier
tonight, I note as I sit next to him.

He takes a sip of the tea and sets his cup on the coffee table. When he
looks at me, I can tell that something is on his mind. "I got a call from
Agent Mulder tonight," he says.

I nod. "He's with Monica right now." The simple, softly spoken admission
shocks him.

"And that doesn't bother you?" he asks incredulously.

I shake my head slowly, watching his reaction. "It's for the best, really,"
I say. It is for the best, I realize even as I say the words. Mulder and I
will always be close friends, but something happened in his absence... We'd
reached a fork in the road, and for once, we'd chosen different paths.

Doggett lowers his head for second, half-closed lids hiding his eyes from
mine. Then he looks up, and I can see the burning question in his
eyes--what about the baby? But he doesn't ask it. Instead, he slips an arm
around my shoulder, and I allow myself to drawn closer to him.

There will be time for questions later.

We sit there--me with my head resting against his chest, him lazily stroking
my hair--in a warm, comforting silence. Each of content in knowing that,
for now, we don't have to say anything.

(the end)