The journey from Washington had been uneventful, they had spent the time talking about work and some general chit chat. As they pulled up out the front of the Scully family home Margaret Scully came out to welcome them both.
"Dana, Fox, it's so good to see you both." Margaret welcomed them both with a warm smile and a tight hug, first her daughter then Fox. Dana gave Mulder a sideways glance. It always amazed her that Mulder didn't flinch when her mother called him Fox but that he would take exception to anyone else using his first name. The only time Dana had ever called her partner Fox he had corrected her instantly, how she longed that there had of been an ice tea in the bag that night.
"Hi mom." Dana replied shaking her thoughts.
"Mrs Scully," Mulder acknowledged gallantly "It's good to see you again."
"Really Fox, call me Margaret, Mrs Scully was Bill's mother." She liked Fox, she always had. He had been a pillar of strength when Dana had been missing and she knew how much he cared for her daughter. She ushered them both into the house. "Dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes, I made up both guest rooms so you can choose." Margaret was being very careful with the words
that she used, she know that Dana had said she had been staying with Fox but she hadn't actually said they were together. Margaret had often hoped that the two would become more than just friends but they were both so headstrong that she dared not to hope.
Margaret Scully Home Friday, 11:59pm
The three of them had spent an enjoyable evening catching up with each other, Margaret had filled them in on some of the things that had been happening with other members of the family and Dana had filled Mulder in on where these people appeared on the Scully family tree. It was getting late so they had decided to call it a night. They had each retired to separate bedrooms.
Dana hadn't had a nightmare in the last three nights and she was hoping that she was cured, she had also spent the last three nights in the same bed with Mulder and was hoping that he wasn't the only reason that the dreams had stopped. She loved spending time with Mulder but she knew that this couldn't go on, she felt like such a burden. She was in her childhood home, well one of many, her father had been in the navy so they had moved around a lot but this was one of the safest places she knew and if she couldn't get though the night here she didn't know where she would.
Mulder had gone to Bills old bedroom and she had gone to what was once hers and Melissa's bedroom. She fell asleep with no problem, it was late and it had been a tiring journey.
Two hours later Dana awoke in a panic. The dream had come to her and it had been as vivid as it had been on the Monday night, she felt slightly comforted by her surroundings but was still shaken. She lay there for twenty minutes trying to go back to sleep, determined not to let the dreams get the better of her. When she closed her eyes, for what must have been the eighth time, the images of unknown figures and shinny surgical equipment felt so real, it was as if they were in the same room with her. She finally gave in and headed for Mulder's room.
Dana opened the door to Bills old bedroom quietly. She peeked her head around the door allowing only the smallest sliver of light to enter the room. He had been in a light sleep but had sensed she was there. He didn't open his eyes, he didn't need too because he knew she wasn't crying but she was shaken. He pulled the blanket back to allow her to get into bed and put his arm around her. She cuddled in to his embrace and feel asleep without hesitation.
Margaret Scully's home Saturday, 9:12am When Dana Scully awoke the first thing she thought was (now I'll have to explain to mum.) Although they had spent the previous night catching up, she had managed to avoid the subject of why she had been staying with Mulder. She knew that her mother would be upset with her for not telling her about it sooner but in all honesty, she felt embarrassed that she had allowed mere dreams to upset her so much.
Dana entered the kitchen after leaving Mulder to have a shower and found her mother preparing breakfast. Her mother gave her a wide smile, Dana knew immediately what her mother thought. "Mum we have to talk." Dana said some what hesitantly.
"Um, I noticed you weren't in your own bedroom this morning." Margaret said in a airy tone.
"It's not like that I'm afraid." She saw her mother looked confused by this so continued to explain every thing that had been going on. Dana had been right in assuming that her mother would be hurt by her not telling her sooner. Her mom was however pleased that she had shared the situation with her partner, instead of trying to deal with it on her own by bottling things up, as she had done on so many times before.
"Well, it just goes to show how much Fox cares about you doesn't it." Margaret said to her daughter once again offering that wide smile.
"Mom... He's a friend, a good friend but that s all." Dana said trying to squelch her mom's hopes and at the same time her own.
"But Dana, you two would be so good together, Fox is such a nice young man and you two have grown so close." Margaret wasn't going to give up on this but she knew there was nothing she could really do.
"Mum, we've been sleeping together in one way or another for the past fortnight, I think if something were going to develop between us it would have by now." Dana was slowly resigning herself to the fact that she and Mulder were destined to be just friends.
"You are forgetting darling, Fox is a gentlemen. He would never take advantage of you when you have been so vulnerable." Dana was starting to feel a little exasperated. It was bad enough convincing herself that the ship had sailed without having to convince her mom too. As she heard Mulder coming down the stairs she shot her mum a look.
"End of conversation." Dana said in a very definitive tone.
"What ever you say sweet heart." Margaret smiled at her daughter sweetly.
Margaret Scully's home Saturday, 4.39pm
Dana called to her mom from the hallway, "Did you need anything else from the store mom?"
"Some more coffee would be good, and milk." Margaret Scully heard her daughter close the front door and turned to Mulder "I never realised that you and my daughter were such caffeine junkies." She smiled at Fox sweetly. "Right I had better get started on dinner, those vegetables wont peel themselves."
"Can I help?" Mulder asked gallantly. He was feeling a little like a spare part.
"Only if you don't mind peeling potatoes?" Mulder jumped at the chance, he liked being in the kitchen but he didn't get the chance much as there didn't seem much point in cooking for one.
They were preparing a full roast dinner, as Margaret knew that Dana and Fox would have to leave early on the next day in order to be ready and able for work the following day. While they worked in the kitchen they began to chat about this and that and then the conversation took a turn with help on Margaret's part and they began talking about Dana.
"It is real good of you to be there for Dana." Margaret began as she was peeling the carrots. "Not a lot of men would substitute their social life in order to help a friend in need."
"Well Dana's a special friend, she's always there for me so I thought it was about time I repaid the favour." It was true, she was always there for him, bailing him out with Skinner, helping him and even saving his life. They were partners and that's what partners done, but it was more than that.
"I know Dana's very fond of you, but really two weeks. That must have made quite a dent in your love life?" Mulder was taken aback, he hadn't expected this line of questioning but he didn't mind. He felt that he could tell Margaret anything, even things he couldn't tell Dana.
"That's not really a problem, I don't date much." That was almost true, but the fact was that he didn't date, ever. The last time he had been anywhere near romantically involved had been when Duane Barry had abducted Dana, he had been so lonely.
"I always got the impression from Dana that you were quite the ladies man." Mulder gave Margaret a puzzling look and she continued "She mentioned a Phoebe Green?"
"God that's going back some..." Mulder started then faltered "...She mentioned her" Margaret nodded as she thought to herself (she went on for weeks about her, she really didn't like her.) but thought it was best not to say anymore about that. She was eyeing Fox's reactions (Maybe there is hope for them yet). There was silence for a moment before Mulder continued. "You know, I've really enjoyed having her stay with me."
"I think that Dana's enjoyed the company too." Margaret replied. She was starting to get exasperated, she knew that the two of them cared more for each other than 'just friends', they cared for each other in the way that lovers did, it seemed obvious to every one but them. Margaret decided to be ruthless "How long have you been in love with my daughter?" she was blunt if nothing else but it seemed to work because Mulder looked like he was about to fall over.
"I um, I" Mulder was literally speechless but decided to take the safe route. "I would never jeopardise my friendship with Dana." He said this quite definitively but with just a hint of shell shock in his voice.
Just as his last words had came out, Margaret heard her daughter's keys in the door her only reply was "I thought so." She said no more.
When Dana entered the kitchen she gave them both a quizzical look and could not suppress the smile that formed at the sight of Mulder in an apron, peeling spuds.
Nothing more was said on the subject that evening although Margaret had found it increasingly more difficult with each passing moment. That night Dana went straight to bed with Mulder to which he had no objection. He was slightly worried to leave Dana alone with her mother for too long in fear that Margaret would tell her daughter about their earlier conversation, though deep down he didn't think she would.
Margaret Scully's Drive Sunday, 11:58am
Mulder and Scully had decided to get an early start on the journey to avoid traffic. They had all enjoyed the weekend together, although Mulder was feeling a little on edge by Margaret's questions, he couldn't help think that he now knew where Dana had learned her interrogation skills.
Margaret gave them both a tight hug good bye. She had made her daughter promise to call her if there were anymore problems and had made Fox promise to call her if Dana didn't.
"Have a safe journey." Margaret instructed them.
"We will mom. I'll call you next weekend." Dana said as she unlocked the car.
"Make sure you do, you promised." Margaret turned to Mulder and said, "You make sure she doesn't forget."
"Will do ma'am." Mulder answered. Margaret took Mulder's hand and squeezed it gently.
"I hope to be seeing a lot more of you in the future Fox." Margaret said this loud enough for the both of them to hear. Mulder and Scully both shot Margaret a scornful look but neither noticed the others reaction. As Mulder and Scully both got into the car Margaret said under her breath "Really, for two people who talk so much they still have a lot to talk about." She waved them both good bye but suspected that it would not be long before she heard from them both again.
Washington DC Mulder's Apartment Sunday, 11:16pm
Even though they had left Dana's mothers early they had still got stuck in traffic but all in all the journey had been okay.
Mulder could hear Scully shuffling around in the bedroom so went to see what she was doing, he felt however dejected when he saw that she was packing. He had been dreading this day since she had came to stay, he knew it was inevitable but still he felt deflated.
"Going somewhere?" Mulder asked trying to mask his sorrow.
Scully looked up startled, she hadn't heard him enter the room. She gave him a meek smile. "I thought it was about time I got out of your hair... I mean I can't stay here forever, What if you wanted to bring a girl home with you or something."
At that Mulder gave Scully a quizzical look (Has she been talking to her mother?) Mulder thought to himself but upon reading her expression realised that she was being genuine. "It's not a problem really, you can stay as long as you like."
She smiled at him "That's really kind of you but I think maybe if I try and get some normality back into my life maybe things will settle down." She noticed that he looked a little deflated so she walked across the room and wrapped her arms around his waist and cuddled into his chest. This was such a natural thing for her to do but a couple of weeks ago it would have been unthinkable. Mulder embraced her and treasured the moment, he didn't want things to go back to how they had been, they had been good before but after having had her so close he couldn't bear the thought of loosing it.
"Thank you Mulder for everything." Dana said into Mulder's chest. Mulder breathed in the sweet scent of Dana's hair, a scent that he had become accustomed to and longed for her to stay.
"You don't have to go, stay." Mulder said these words as a whisper that Dana almost didn't hear, she smiled at him sweetly.
"That's really sweet." She said as she leaned up to give him a peck on the cheek, in that split second Mulder turned his head to plead with her to stay in doing so however his lips brushed hers.
They both stared into each other's eyes, neither one of them had expected that but they found their lips meeting again more feverishly the second time. They were swept away with the moment; they had both wanted this for so long.
Slowly their hands began to wander to fully take in the moment. They were both in awe, was this really happening, it definitely was. As the moment took them Dana began to lead Mulder towards the bed, now she had him this close she wanted him completely but he stopped her.
"What?" Dana asked worried that this wasn't what he wanted, she searched his eyes desperately.
"We've never even been on a date Scully and you're leading me to the bed?" Mulder taunted her with a wicked smile.
"Mulder, the last three years has been nothing but one long date." Scully responded her body in frenzy. They continued towards the bed but Mulder stopped dead. "What now?" Dana asked feeling agitated.
"We can't" Mulder said a look of horror on his face.
"We can't?" Dana asked thinking to herself (if you've come to your senses, if you were just leading me on than that's it, any relationship we have ever had is 'over'.)
"I don't have any." Mulder said mentally kicking himself.
"Don't have any?..." Dana didn't understand at first then she twigged "Condoms? You don't have any condoms?" she couldn't believe this.
Mulder rubbed his forehead, "I threw the last pack out last month ... They expired a year ago." Mulder said embarrassed he couldn't believe his luck.
"They expired?" Dana burst into fits of giggles, she couldn't help it. Mulder briefly considered going to the 24/7 shop three blocks over but thought that would make him look too eager. Dana regained her composer realising if they had waited this long they could wait a little longer. She gave Mulder a seductive look, "you know, there are other things we could do... that don't require condoms." She gave him a wink as she licked her lips at the thought.
"Really..." Was Mulder's only reply.