Okay, guys, I went to the beach today in San Clemente (pronounced Cla-men-tee for those not from California), and sat on the beach reading and writing poetry and just thinking. And embarrassed as I am to admit that fanfiction invaded my beautiful time at my favorite beach, it did. So here it is, part one of "Life's a Beach."
I'm going to finish this one in a timely fashion, I promise you that.
"...we have to keep escaping
always into something like a courtyard
where the salt breeze trembles with branches
and nothing has changed for decades. No one is lost again
on the surface of the pool." (excerpt from "Skittering." A poem by Ralph Angel from Exceptions and Melancholies, Poems 1986-2006 - No infringement intended).
Mulder and I are sitting at a small diner, after having just finished investigating a case in a small coastal town in California. It's mid-summer, and the weather is nice near the ocean, where we are. I haven't got much of an appetite, but I ordered something to eat anyway, a small chicken caesar salad that I am now pushing around my plate. Mulder ordered a cheeseburger and is now working on his fries. I laugh and shake my head, only men can eat like that.
"What, Scully?" he says around a mouthful of fries.
I smile, "Nothing."
He tilts his head to the side before shrugging and going back to his meal. I stare at him for a moment, watching the late afternoon sunlight play over his features, and I just can't help but think how handsome he is. I have long resigned to the fact that my partner is incredibly attractive—a long time ago I used to vehemently deny that to myself, even alone, but over the years I have come to appreciate it, and take full advantage of it on occasions like this. I see him looking at me.
He hesitates, then smiles, "Nothing." So, of course, I know he's lying. I would ask him more about it, but I think I already know what's on his mind. I had somewhat of a close call on this last case—a close call that almost culminated in my being stabbed hard by a maniac, all in front of Mulder who barely shot the man in time to save me from my fate. It kind of got to me, but I think it got to him more.
"I'm fine, Mulder." I say and kind of mean it.
"Sure." he says rolling his eyes, "You will be in a few days. And so will I. But right now it just keeps flashing in my mind."
I sigh. "I know. It does in mine, too." I admit somewhat reluctantly.
He smiles a small smile and offers me a fry. I shake my head. I can't really eat right now, let alone greasy food like that. He shrugs again and then we lapse into silence. I let my gaze drift out the window and watch the cars go by, some of them with surfboards sticking out the back or tied to the top of the car, and I smile a little at the normalcy of it all.
"Hey." Mulder says, breaking my thoughts and making me return my attention to him, "Did you pack a bathing suit?"
I arch an eyebrow, quizzically, "I beg your pardon?"
He smiles. "A bathing suit, Scully. Did you pack one?" He munches another fry, then adds with a smirk, "Do you even own one?"
I suppress a smile, resisting the urge to succumb to his jest, "Yes, Mulder, I do own one."
He laughs. "Did you pack it?"
Since I was a girl, I never go anywhere without a bathing suit. I keep one stashed in my suitcase at all times. My mother used to say that you never knew when you were going to need one. I shake my head, but say "Yes, I always pack a bathing suit."
His eyebrows shoot up and I just can't help but laugh as his eyes widen in a very comical fashion, "You do? Always?"
"Cool." he says, and laughs lightly.
He seems lost in his thought so I decide to prompt him. "Why?"
"Well, I was thinking…" he starts.
"Ha-ha" he says, tossing a fry at me. "I was thinking…considering the fact that we are both workaholics, and the fact that because of the last fact we have accrued a ludicrous amount of vacation time that will soon be stripped of us if we don't use it in a timely fashion…that we both play hooky from work tomorrow and stay one more day in California—have a beach day tomorrow."
"I don't know, Mulder…"
"Oh, come on, it'll be FUN!" He says in a childlike manner, then he grins like the cat that ate the canary, "Besides, I already changed our flights to the day after tomorrow."
I shake my head, "I should have known."
"We could both use a little fun in our lives." He says as the waitress comes over and drops off the check.
He's right, of course, but I just shake my head and do my best to look slightly displeased, although the idea of a beach day sounds incredibly fun, and a beach day with Mulder sounds even more fun than that.
I am sitting in the motel room next to Mulder's the night before our 'beach day,' and I just can't seem to get my mind to stop wandering. We have been partners for so long now that I can't believe we haven't done anything like this before—so much of who we are is made up of things that are too gloomy and dark—we need a little light in our lives, and I'm glad he suggested that we do this.
I'm also nervous, of course. We spend so much time together, but rarely do we ever spend a whole day together when it's not about or for work. Of course we get together on occasion for lunch or dinner on the weekend—a friendly thing, no matter how much my heart wishes otherwise (Mulder doesn't have those types of feelings for me)—but nothing that's this… free.
I'm nervous because Mulder will see me in a bathing suit. I know I sound like a fourteen year old girl scared senseless that her crush is going to see her in a bathing suit and be disappointed—and that's kind of what I feel like, too, but I can't help it. It's been a long time since I've put on a bathing suit, and I'm a bit frightened about the end result. And if I'm honest with myself, I'm nervous about how I'll compare to the other women on the beaches of California.
I sigh and shake my head, I've gotten myself into it now, though, and there is absolutely no turning back. I will go to the beach tomorrow with Mulder, I will put on my bathing suit, and I will have a good time. For the both of us.
It's the morning of our 'beach day,' and I'm getting ready to swing by Scully's room, which just so happens to be next door to mine, to pick her up to head out for our day of fun in the California sun.
I bought some swimming trunks from the grocery store last night. Yes. The grocery store. And while they're not the greatest pair, they're certainly not the worst, and they will do quite nicely to cover up what needs to be covered.
I am so excited about this. We are both so serious all the time—we work so hard, and it's going to be so nice to spend a day with Scully away from the constant headaches and conspiracies that seem to run our lives nowadays. What happened yesterday frightened me. Seeing Scully in danger always frightens me, but this time it was so real, so close, it was worse than the others. I could feel it in my heart, and I could see it with my eyes: her being taken away from me for good, and it really, really hurt.
I realized after I shot the bastard that tried to stab her, that I need to make more of us. I need to make sure she knows she's not disposable to me. Actually, quite the opposite is true. And I promised myself that I was going to make sure we both had a little more fun in our lives. This is my first step toward that promise.
I pull a white t-shirt on and head out the door walking the few steps to Scully's door. I knock and wait patiently for her to answer.
"Just a second." she says from inside her room, and I feel a flip flop in my stomach. I can't wait to see Scully like this, in a way I never have before, I can't wait to see the most important person in my life free.
My heart skips a beat, as cheesy as it sounds, as the doorknob turns and I am faced with a wonderful sight.
Scully is always a wonderful sight, I have stopped trying to deny that, but today she is an absolute gorgeous vision.
She's wearing a deep pink dress as a cover up, it's short, sleeveless, and very flirty. Her hair, which I suspect has not been blow-dried, is semi-curled in the way it usually gets in the salty air, her flip flops are a lighter pink and her toenails, too, are painted bubble-gum pink. I would not have guessed Scully to be the type to have bubble-gum pink toenails. It takes me a moment to remember how to breathe, and she looks at me for a moment, a look of concern on her face, probably stemming from the fact that I have not moved, said a word, or taken a breath since she opened the door.
"Mulder?" She asks, the look of concern making its way into her voice, "Are you all right?"
I nod a little, finally catching my breath and smile at her "Yeah, I'm fine." I run a hand through my hair, "You ready?"
"Yep." She says, returning my smile and pulling the door closed behind her.
We walk to our car and I chance a glance at her, "Scully, I think it's safe to say that I have never seen this side of you before."
She blushes slightly in the adorable way that she does, and smiles somewhat shyly "Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?"
I open the door for her and she climbs in, still blushing. I close the door behind her and walk around the car, thinking about my answer. After I get in and put the car in drive, I glance at her "Both." I say.
She nods, and smiles, and then reaches into her bag for something. I am curious and watch as she slides a pair of sunglasses on her face. They are big on her, as is the fashion now, or so I've read, and they are adorable on her.
"Scully!" I say in surprise, "I didn't know you owned a pair of aviators!"
She laughs then shrugs, "I got them at the grocery store."
"Cool." I say, and mean it.
I really can't believe this is happening. I'm riding in the car, with Mulder, like this, and I feel so open. I think he knows the most about me, but there are still so many things that he doesn't know—there are so many things that I want to show him, many for reasons that are not pure in their intent, but I'm beyond caring about that.
In so many ways I just want to show him who I am. He knows so much about the dark side of me, of my life, about the things that haunt me and have plagued me, but in the same respect he knows so little of my lighter side. A side that would shock and surprise many, I know.
I don't fault him for that, of course I don't. I keep this part of me hidden. I hide the fact that I like to paint my toenails bubble gum pink on purpose—but suddenly, after his carefree suggestion of a beach day last night, I want to share it with him. I'm tired of hiding things—and while I may not be able to share everything with him, I want to try to share more.
I feel the wind on my face, and I know that this is such a good start.
We pull up to the beach in San Clemente, and I am flooded with a sudden rush of memories. When my father was stationed in California, this was my absolute favorite beach to come to. There are more shops surrounding it than there used to be, and the land is much more developed, but I remember the days on end spent here, and I can't help but feel happy.
We park and make our way down to the beach—finding a spot, we lay our towels down in the warm sand. I sit on mine and watch a very handsome, very toned, and very shirtless Mulder fiddle with the umbrella he must have gotten on loan from the motel.
I close my eyes for a moment and try to work up the courage to take my cover up off—I look around and see all of the Californian girls lying out in their bikinis and I am immediately self-conscious. But the fact that Mulder hasn't seemed to take any notice comforts me somewhat.
I've never been to San Clemente before, but it is absolutely beautiful. I look at my partner, another thing that is absolutely beautiful, and I can't help but feel happy. I whip off my shirt and then set up the umbrella that the man at the motel loaned me, and Scully digs around in her bag, eventually bringing a bottle of sunscreen out.
This is already such a great day, and the fact that I know I am about to see Scully in a bathing suit is only going to make it that much better.
I smile inwardly, pretending not to notice, and say a very silent prayer that she has not yet put any on.
I see Scully glance at me out of the corner of my eye, then return her gaze to the ocean in front of her. Suddenly, she stands up, eyeing me again. I pretend to adjust the umbrella, making it seem as though my attention is elsewhere, even though my attention is fully focused on her. She runs her tongue across her lips nervously, and I feel a stir in the pit of my stomach—that little habit she has is sexy as hell—then she casually but cautiously reaches down to the hem of her dress and pulls it in one fluid, supremely sexy motion over here head.
I can't help it, I look at her full on—I can't pretend my attention is anywhere but where it is, and for the second time in one day I feel the breath knocked out of me.
She sees my sudden movement, and her eyes meet mine. She has ditched the aviators, and I see a look of what seems to be panic pass over her cool blue eyes as she sees me watching her.
Her tongue darts out to the corner of her mouth and stays there for a second before snaking back in, and she shifts her weight from one foot to another.
I am silent not because I want to be, but because I cannot speak. Scully has left me speechless.
She's still looking at me, we're still maintaining eye contact, but God help me, I couldn't resist.
I slowly rake my eyes up and down her body, before returning my gaze to her beautiful baby blues that hold a faint hint of shock and something sexy that I can't quite identify.
To be continued in a more rapid fashion than my previous stories.
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