AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story is for everyone out there who got their heart broken on-line.

..."I don't know if this is going to burst your bubble or not... but I don't want to see you to end our relationship, because at this moment we don't really have one, do we ? I would like to talk to you about what, if anything, we can do about that, what possibilities are open to us, and what the future is for us. That is why I want to see you in person..."

You can feel the tears stinging in your eyes as you read the paragraph over and over again. Your eyes check, for the fifth time, the date when the e-mail was sent. It still read February 14,
2000.

You bit your lip when you feel that the tears are getting closer to spilling. You don't want to cry in here, in the office. You don't want him to see you cry. You don't want to see the worry in his eyes and you certainly don't feel like explaining to him why you're crying over an e-mail.

You also don't want to see his hurt expression when it dawns on him that you've been 'dating' someone else and that the so-called 'date'
has ripped your heart to pieces on Valentine's day.
Do you really call meeting in chat rooms a date? Well, for all practical purposes you do. You were dating him. You spend all your free hours on-line talking with him. You wrote e-mails back and forth while in the office. You signed such e-mails with words such as 'Love', 'Forever Yours', 'Your beloved'...

He made you feel alive.

He also made you feel like a fool.

You can't believe you were so stupid and naive as to believe you could find 'true love' on a personal ad. It had been Ellen's idea,
and you gave it a shot one Sunday morning when you were bored out of your skull after spending yet another weekend at home.

It's not that you don't cherish being at home, not with the complex life you lead. More often than not it is a blessing to be able to close the door and live in a world where no murderers, psychos, mutants, conspiracies or aliens exist. To be blissfully ignorant and escape form reality one in a while is something you treasure.

The only problem with escaping the big bad world out there is that you had lots of time to explore your big bad world in here. Your Scully world. Or, more accurately, your Dana world. that world that you so fiercely keep hidden form everyone else lest they think you're weak, or, Heaven forbid, that you're a female.

It's the world where you down a pint or two of ice cream once a month when your period blues hit you. Where 'Medical Journal' and 'Pathology Today' leave way for more frivolous readings such as Judith Krantz or Mary Higgins Clark or even a Harlequin romance. Where your chic and severe, dress-for-success power suits are put away for a day or two, allowing the soft textures and pastel tones to make an appearance, even your old baby pink cashmere cardigan that's been with you since forever and you so much love to wrap yourself in when you're feeling down and romantic.

Yes. Romantic. Dana's world is a place where you're allowed to show your romantic side. Where you cry while watching sappy movies, no matter how many times you've seen them. "Love Story" will get to you anytime, even if you've seen it 18 times already. Any Meg Ryan film will do, as well. And if she's paired with Tom Hanks or Andy Garcia or Nicholas Cage you're a goner.

Letting go in Dana's world also means singing and crying alongside your favourite tunes. Dana's world has no room for classical music.
You'll go with your youth favourites, those sappy, bubble-gum love songs of the 80's, where you could get an animal cracker to slit your wrists just for the sheer misery of it. And you belt out like there's no tomorrow while John Waite claims he's not missing you at all (talk about denial) or Pat Benatar firmly declares that you belong.

But music also liberates you and you allow your body to move as it pleases. Your rigid military upbringing jumps out of the window every time you feel the urge to let go. Your body gyrates, shakes, slithers, sways and contorts. You're better than Tom Cruise doing risky business and Elizabeth Shue playing the babysitter. You wonder what Mulder would say if he knew you wax your floors wearing socks and underwear and sliding to the sway of the Backstreet Boys and Shania Twain and Hanson. His eyebrows would probably hit the ceiling and he'd consider opening an x-file on you. Again.

And it hits you. You've said it. The M word. Not marriage or masturbation, but Mulder. The word brings out the best and the worst in you. You start and begin with Mulder. You could thank him and blame him for what your life has become. You both love him and hate him and that would barely start describing what you feel for him. Writing your physics dissertation would be child's play if you ever tried explaining the interaction between the two of you.

But down here in Dana's world his name is a reminder more than anything else. It reminds you of how lonely you feel at nights, when you wake up at 2 am and the bed is big and cold and mostly empty and you've almost forgotten how it feels like to share the bed with someone other than a stuffed bear. It reminds you that you haven't been on a date, a real date, ever since neon colours and bangs that added a couple of inches to your height went out fashion. It reminds you that the only voice besides your mother you hear on the phone is his and that makes you feel lonely as well.

But, worst of all, it reminds you that you're still a woman beneath the FBI agent facade and the doctor facade and the "don't-fuck-with-
me-cause-I'm-fine" facade. A woman with a romance starved soul and a sex starved body. Basically, a woman who was drying up inside for the lack of love.

It's not that you wouldn't love to love him. Part of you already does and probably will do so forever. It's not that you don't find him attractive, you're not blind to see the man is certifiably sexy. And it's not that you don't know that he loves you as well. Deep in your heart you're almost certain you'll end up together one of these days and that that will be enough to last you for a couple of lifetimes.

So why are you sitting here, biting back the tears caused by another man? Why, if you're so certain that him is it for you, did you go trough the trouble of placing a personal ad? Why did you reply to every letter you received and agreed to meet a couple of would-be suitors? Why them and not him?

Is it because not everything is about him? That might have been true a couple of years back, but not anymore. Is it cause you're so ripe for a relationship that you're already rotting? That's something that Mulder would say, and it wouldn't come close to explaining the way you feel. Your restlessness. Your annoyance. Your reluctance to acknowledge publicly what you've acknowledge to yourself so long ago.
You're his and he is yours. Signed, sealed and delivered. No turning back, no warranty expires.

And yet...

The fact remains. Someone other than him has opened a gnash in your heart. Maybe not a huge one, but big enough for it to bleed. And since denial is used just for Mulder, you'll admit your pride is also a bit wounded. More than a bit, actually.

If there's such a thing as heartbreak, is there such a thing as pridebreak? Cause you have the annoying suspicion that, after the initial shock, that's what you're suffering from. You knew from the start it was not going to work. The man was sweet and had a great sense of humour, but no sparks went flying when they had finally met Then you had an argument over work vs. relationship. You thought you had reached an agreement and things were going to remain the same. Apparently he didn't share your views.

Deep inside you knew this was bound to happen. But you kept at it just the same. Maybe you wanted to feel attractive. Maybe you wanted to know guys still find you desirable. Maybe you wanted to prove to yourself you could still do it. How does that song you like so much go? You bleed just to know you're alive? Is that it? You just wanted to feel alive? Loved? Wanted?

You hear him whispering you name and you look up to see the concern in his eyes. You shake your head and smile as reassuringly as possible while a quick flick of your wrist deletes the message. Later tonight when you get home you'll delete your account at the personal ads.

You proved what you needed to prove.

You're the only one who can burst your bubbles. And, at least for today, the only bubbles you feel like bursting are the ones in your bubble bath.

THE END

MORE AUTHOR'S NOTES: Since Scully and I are more less close in age I took the liberty of deciding she might have enjoyed some of the things I did. You'll have to excuse if there's a wee bit more of me than of her in here, but I'm assuming she can't be KickAss!Scully 24/7 and she'll have some 'girlie' moments as well.