Title: Ice Cream

Rating: K

Summary: Mix a carton of Tofutti with Mulder, Scully, and a Sarah McLachlan CD and you get...this. Fluff overload warning. MSR.

Disclaimer: nothing, nothing, nothing at all.

Author's Note: I hope you like it, please tell me if you did, or even if you didn't. I love you all bunches. Blessed be, and don't go changin'.

This story is for 1900. Just because. And for Jim; shine on. Jess: wish you were here, you're never far from me.


''What the heck is this we're listening to?'' Fox Mulder asked, genuinely curious. He and Scully were in the kitchen at her place; he was leaning casually against the counter, green eyes staring with curiosity in the direction of the living room where the CD player was on, flooding the whole apartment with music.

The red-haired woman looked up from the stack of paperwork piled a mile high on the table in front of her like the Leaning Tower of Piza, threatening to topple over at any second. ''It's Sarah McLachlan. You're supposed to be helping me with this, you know,'' she said pointedly, fixing her blue eyes on him with what she hoped was an admonishing stare.

''It's Friday.'' Mulder seemed adorably oblivious. Scully found it difficult to be angry with him when he was that way; his expression made him look oddly like a lost little boy.

''I'm more than aware of that. However, I would like to have some rest this weekend, which will not be at all possible if I don't get this done now.'' She laid her head in her hands and groaned slightly. ''It's like a nightmare. It never ends.''

''Do you have any ice cream?''

''What the hell? Ice cream? I don't know...look in the freezer. There might be some in there. And, hey...you're supposed to be helping me with this, not eating.'' She sighed. Mulder never listened to her anyway. It was frustrating beyond belief, yet somehow welcome, because it was commonplace and comfortable.

She heard him open the freezer. ''There isn't any ice cream in here. Just Tofutti.''

''That's better than ice cream.'' Scully sat up completely and rocked back in her chair lightly. ''It's healthier for you, too. The vanilla kind actually tastes like frosting.'' Now she was starting to smile at the thought of eating. There had not been food in her stomach since one o'clock that afternoon, and it was starting to growl furiously in protest.

''It looks disgusting.'' Mulder stared into the carton he held in his hands; at the outrageously expensive vanilla Tofutti that Scully had purchased a week before at the local health food store, but had not yet opened.

''You never even tried it,'' she said tiredly, ''so don't be so judgemental.''

''Can I?'' He asked, eyes gazing greenly into hers. Such a nice sight he was, a strangely normal, comforting sight; away from the basement of the FBI building where he was kept perhaps out of shame, or maybe because he frightened people. She watched him just...standing there, in her brightly lit kitchen on a Friday night like he belonged there, looking just wonderful in a blue shirt that made his incredible, sensual features seem even more lovely and soft. Like she could just...keep him there forever, looking that way, belonging there with her, and to her.

''Can you what?'' Her voice was nearly breathless, as if she had been running miles.

''Can I try some of your disgusting Tofu ice cream, so I can ascertain with all certainty that it is, in fact, as disgusting as it appears, thereby validating my ability to pass judgement on something merely by looking at it?''

''Knock yourself out, I don't care.'' She had feigned apathy once again to save herself, my god, she was always running, always freezing up and becoming like cold gray stone and ice. She hated herself for that, so she pushed away all thought and simply stared.

Mulder, who, it seemed, could not be bothered to walk over to the silverware drawer for a spoon, simply dug his finger into the carton, scooped out some Tofutti, and then stuck his finger in his mouth.

''Hey, you're right...it does taste like frosting.'' He had a very surprised expression on his face, eyes all alight as if he had discovered something wonderful.

Scully watched him with a kind of horrified fascination, mixed strangely somehow with a half-laughing smile of delight. It made her face look like that of a blinking, bewildered child. ''Mulder, for Chrissakes, were you born in a barn? There is this great new invention called silverware, created specifically so one does not have to eat food with one's hands in the manner of a neanderthal.''

''French fries.'' He issued this cryptic statement as if he expected her to know exactly what he meant.

''Huh?'' Scully asked, not even bothering to try to know or figure out, better to just let him explain.

''People...uh, civilised, un-neanderthal-like people eat french fries with their fingers all the time. And, you know, hamburgers and hot dogs, and fried chicken...fourth of july stuff like that. Hey!'' he blinked excitedly, ''We could study this phenomenon...how barbeques and summer foods reduce people to a primitive state. It's like Lord of the Fries.''

Scully had to laugh at that. A wide smile spread across her face and she giggled and laughed and laughed until she felt completely stupid. She reached over and grabbed the carton from Mulder's hands. A little, goofy look flitted across her lovely features like a butterfly, a look that Mulder took a mental photograph of and filed it away inside his mind, simply because she looked so damn sweet at that moment, he wanted to remember it forever.

Seemingly having forgotten all her earlier praising of good table manners, Scully jabbed one of her fingers unceremoniously into the carton, swiped a large amount of the Tofutti out and up into her mouth.

''Neanderthal cave-woman,'' Mulder muttered, just loud enough for her to hear. ''Hey, no fair,'' she replied, with dancing, smiling eyes, ''You started it.''

''You have ice cream on your face.'' He said, looking at her with what could only be described as a casual intimacy. Whatever it was, his eyes seemed greener, and his features were even more deliciously sensual, if that was possible. She was looking back with a lopsided half-smile on her lips and fireflies blinking in the blue of her eyes, like stars against a daytime summer sky. She looked heavenly. He reached over and brushed his thumb across her face, wiping off the smear of Tofutti that lingered on her cheek.

''It's not ice cream.'' Her voice had taken on a kind of velvet lining, a sliding satin undertone that caressed his skin and soul.

Somewhere in the living room, the CD had switched to the next track, where Sarah McLachlan was sweetly crooning her famous ditty about someone who's love was better than ice cream, better than anything else that she's tried.

Both of them listened, sitting in the kitchen, eating Tofutti, which, it could be argued was better than ice cream...but hell, who was thinking about either one anymore. To this man, this strange and deep beautiful man who would never, ever accept defeat, who was forever and ever building infinite mysteries; to him, the little woman sitting at the table with him, with her interesting, fascinating features that held a beauty so original that if a handful of the greatest painters in history were resurrected to paint her, they could never, ever do her justice...she was better than anything. Anything he had ever before experienced, or ever possibly could again in a hundred lifetimes on this planet or any other in the infinite expanse of the universe.

She felt the same about him...and could she ever say it? Well, perhaps she did not have to. Perhaps eyes and gesture could convey deeper truths than words ever could. Her eyes said everything she could not bring herself to say; they stared into the soul of this man and told him over and over, in every language ever created by humanity, and even in the languages of the stars and the planets and the sea and the world beyond...they told him, ''I love you, my darling, my best friend, the other side of me...I love you.''

He heard her eyes say this, and he answered wordlessly by pressing his lips to hers.