Title: Diner 49
Summary: He was sitting in her spot. Just some fun, light, MSR fluff...with cappucino and pie.
Author's Note: This is just me being goofy. Have fun, and please review. I love you all bunches.
This is for you. Yeah you. Smile even when it hurts, fall down seven times, and get up eight. You're ok. You can never, ever have too much ice cream, or too many good days. Even when it rains, the sun is still shining underneath the clouds, so every day is bright and good if you can see that far. And you can get a sunburn even in overcast weather. It's all ok.
There was a small diner on the corner, in a comfortable, yet off-beat section of the DC area. Dana Scully stopped in alot, because she wanted a cup of coffee in the brightly lit, funky atmosphere of the place. There were prints of famous paintings on the walls, from all different eras; an odd, eclectic mix of Impressionist Monets and Surrealist Dalis. There were even small replicas of famous statues set in different spots around the interior of the diner, such as Michelangelo's David, in all his naked glory.
The girl who owned the diner was about 29, but she looked much younger. She was one of those women who had that childlike quality; the round, sweet face and big, bright eyes. Her name was Heather; she had been an art major who somehow had a career goal change and thus became the proud owner of the place. Her artistic nature accounted for the somewhat odd decour, and her fun, quirky personality accounted for the ''good vibes'' that permeated the interior. That, and the ever-present smell of french fries, coffee, and apple pie all mixed together, which sounded strange, but was delightful to breathe in after a lousy day.
Scully walked into this diner on a Friday night, her heels clicking musically against the floor. From somewhere behind a counter came the shout, ''Hey, Agent D...long time no see.'' It was Heather's cheerful voice, tinged with a Boston accent that stretched her As for miles, but Heather was nowhere to be seen at first. Then, a headfull of dark curls popped up like a jack in the box. The rest of her followed; a tiny little woman, even shorter than Dana, wearing a brightly patterened dress which looked like something from 1967.
Scully smiled. ''Hi, Heather...how did you know it was me?''
''Well'', Heather said, brown eyes shining, ''I'm teaching myself to identify people by their footsteps. So far, you're the fifth regular I got right without looking.'' She grinned broadly. ''What can I get you?''
''Are you serving today? Isn't Ellie here?'' Ellie was the one of the waitresses; a fun, older woman in her early fifties.
''Oh, hell yeah, Ellie's always here. She never leaves, I bet. Sleeps in the kitchen, uses pie dough as a pillow. No, really, you're one of my favorite customers. I always serve my favorite customers personally. I try to cultivate, you know'', Heather waved a hand in the air, ''a friendly kind of atmosphere.''
''Well, you've succeeded,'' admitted Scully, smiling. ''I think I want a cup of coffee, for right now.''
''Ho-hum'', Heather said in an exagerrated bored monotone, then grinned. ''Hows about I make it a cappucino? With foam, and everything.'' Her pretty, sculpted dark eyebrows waggled up and down in a Groucho Marx impersonation that made Scully laugh a little.
''Ok, Heather, you talked me into it. Cappucino it is.''
''Have a seat then, Agent D.'' Heather waved her hand around again; gesturing emphatically was one of her many interesting idosyncracies.
Scully looked towards the corner where she usually sat, in an odd little booth that was actually made by setting two mismatched couches facing each other, with a table between them, the top of which was a long, face-up mirror. Heather swore on her mother's copy of the Beatles White Album that she and her boyfriend Mikhail designed and put together that booth in fifteen minutes while watching The Dark Crystal on HBO one night in college.
Scully loved sitting there; for whatever reason there was something so very pleasant about hanging out in this weird little place, with these goofy, oddball people, just relaxing. But now, there was someone in her spot. Someone she recognized too well. Oh brother.
There were whispered voices at the counter behind her; Heather and Ellie were having a ridiculous argument.
''Ell, for cripes sakes...you know that's her spot. Make tall, dark, and handsome move his cute ass.''
''Heather...didn't your vegan, hippie, free-lovey parents ever teach you any tact? You can't just ask someone to get up and move if he was there first!''
''It's my restaurant, I can make him do whatever I want!''
''Really, really. And I'm gonna. Right this second.''
Heather swung her way out from behind the counter and past Scully, who was just standing there, torn between listening to the humorous exchange between the waitress and the owner, and watching the man a few feet from her who was sitting in her spot.
''Hey, you...cutie-pie,'' Heather accosted the handsome man with her customary openess. He looked at her with an amazing set of green eyes; the prettiest, deepest eyes that Heather had ever seen.
''I hate to ask you this...you might think I'm being too foreward or rude...''
''I'm sorry...um, if you're going to ask me out, I'm going to have to say no. I'm very much in love, very happy. You seem very nice, though.'' He said this to her with a face full of genuine, adorable innocence.
From back behind the counter, Ellie gave a loud hoot of laughter. Heather scowled at her, then looked back at the man.
''Good grief, no! I wasn't going to ask you for a date...I was going to ask if you could please sit somewhere else. I have this friend who always comes in here, see...and she's real, real nice and always leaves good tips. And this friend of mine always sits where you're sitting right now. See, she's got a really rough job, she works for the government. And her partner, well, he's some total headcase who likes to mess with her emotions and make her go out exploring cornfields in the middle of the night.''
''Sounds like a real asshole.'' There was something a little like humour in the man's voice now. Humour mixed with something else that defied labeling.
''Well, I think so, but she's head over heels for him, best I can tell. Anyhoo, she's right over there, and she wants to sit down and have a capuccino. So...please move? I'll make you a free latte if you move.Or pie? You want some pie?''
Heather put her hands together in a gesture of respect; as if she were about to bow and say ''Namaste''. From back over at the counter, Ellie rolled her eyes and issued a dramatic sigh with the air of one long-suffering.
Scully, meanwhile, was standing frozen in place, completely and utterly horrified beyond the capacity for any kind of rational thought. She was sure her face was as red as her hair.
''Um...'' she spoke up at last, through the wad of cotton that her tongue had become, ''It's ok, Heather...I can, uh...he and I can both sit there.'' Her shoulders shrugged helplessly; she looked like a plant drooping from too much heat and not nearly enough water.
Heather looked at Scully very blankly, briefly resembling a small mouth bass, obviously slightly confused.
''Heather, you ridiculous twit...he's the guy!'' Ellie practically shrieked in exhasperation, ''He's her partner. The headcase.'' She shook her head and tossed her hands in the air, in an I-give-up gesture of surrender to Heather's cloudbrained-ness.
''Oh, hell''. An invisible light bulb suddenly switched on above Heather's head. She looked back at the man, studied him intensely for a moment with her giant dark eyes, and then looked over at Scully, who was visibly cringing now, almost as if she were bracing herself to be struck.
''You didn't tell me he was hot, D.'' Heather gaped in mooney-eyed wonderment.
''For god's sake, you...'' Ellie marched around the counter and over to where they were all congregated. She clamped a hand with long, manicured red fingernails down on Heather's shoulder, and practically dragged her away.
''Call us if you need anything at all,'' the older waitress said, winking at the couple, who now observed each other with unreadable expressions.
Finally, Scully spoke up. ''Hi, Mulder.''
Her partner looked at her with an empty gaze for a moment, and then his face broke into that fantastic smile that was warmer than sunshine. Scully's heart practically fell into her shoes.
''Hey, Scully,'' he said. ''Great place, huh? Excellent service.''
''Oooooh, I'm sorry. Really.'' She sat down next to him, setting herself on the couch rather dejectedly. ''Heather's a little odd. Her mouth and her brain don't always match up.''
''She's sweet. And short, my god...she's practically a hobbit.'' He laughed lightly and pleasantly. ''Is it true what she said?''
''Uhhhh, about what?'' Scully feigned ignorance as a defensive mechanism.
''About you, working for the government with some headcase for a partner, who toys with your emotions and makes you go out exploring cornfields in the middle of the night?'' He made a face. ''Geez, why didn't you ever tell me you worked with such a jerk?'' His lips were amused, but his eyes were colored with a kind of foggy sadness.
''Well, um, as I said; Heather doesn't always get things exactly right. It's all the turpentine she's inhaled over the years at art school. Her brain is a bit soupy.'' The words were spoken delicately and lightly, yet firmly; they sat like china cups on a table.
''Really?'' There was a slight change in his voice at the question; there was a kind of very soft, velvet, flirtatious innuendo in the way he spoke. It was subtle, but her trained ear caught it, and it mattered.
''Yeah, what I actually said was that I work for the government, and I have this, uh, brilliant partner who I care very deeply for, and we have lots of...adventures together. Sometimes in the middle of the night, and sometimes involving cornfields.'' She was feeling light and cute now, like bubble soap outside on a sunny summer day.
''That's the truth?'' An absolute question, as honest as lightning, cracking in the air; truly dependent.
''Absolutely.'' Equally honest, perfectly clear. No muddled coating. Fact.
A silence followed that was warm and pleasant as a night in late August full of stars. Some hippie friend of Heather's, a calm-looking man with longish dishwater blonde hair and a Stratocaster started to play ''Mr. Tambourine Man'' from where he was lounging on a beanbag chair in a corner by the window. Nobody minded at all.