Thanks for the lovely reviews. Sorry for the delay in posting. I am currently in New York on holiday and have only just made it to an internet café, is that devotion or what? My family are currently shouting obsession LOL Obsession/devotion, same thing right? Anyways, enjoy…
"Man, and people call me paranoid." Mulder muttered as he headed towards the toilets.
Rounding the corner Mulder spotted Scully and Lizzy patiently waiting in line for the toilets. He was about to head back to the table when their conversation caught his attention.
"Oh Dana, he's positively drool worthy." Lizzy whispered conspiratorially to her friend.
"Lizzy." Scully warned her friend.
"I can't believe you've known him all this time and you never thought to introduce us."
"While you were married?" Scully asked sceptically.
"Well, no but..."
"I'm sorry, Lizzy, but he is a good friend of mine. Hell, we even work together ... he means a lot to me and I won't let you use him as your rebound guy."
'Well this is interesting.' Mulder thought as he leaned back against the wall and into the shadows. Luckily for him, it was a lot quieter back here so he didn't have to strain too hard to hear their conversation.
"Dana, I wouldn't. I thought you knew me better than that." Lizzy stated hurt and offended.
"I do. I'm sorry." Dana muttered stroking her friend's arm repentantly. "I just don't want to see him get hurt... or you for that matter."
Mulder smiled. 'Nice to know she cares, that she's protective of me.'
"I'm not stepping on any toes here am I? I saw the way he was looking at you." Lizzy asked still feeling slightly confused.
"No." Dana blatantly assured her friend.
Lizzy smiled. "Good, because he's perfect for me. I'm sure we have loads in common."
"How can you tell? He barely got a word in." Dana smirked.
"Was I talking too much? Did I make a fool of myself? Oh, Dana, you should have stopped me." Lizzy whispered feeling slightly horrified.
"Relax. He seemed quite taken with you."
'I'm not sure I like the way this is going.' Mulder thought hating himself for hanging around but unable to pull himself away from the impending train wreck.
"Good. Oh, have you noticed his eyes and that mouth... ummm, those lips." Lizzy cooed positively smitten. "Oh and his hands... they were so soft! I can just imagine them all over me."
"Oh! Too much information." Dana cringed trying to stop her friend.
Lizzy continued regardless. "He has such a distinguished profile. Oh and his height!"
"Oh God!" Scully rolled her eyes.
"Are you sure you two haven't got something going on? He was giving you an awful lot of admiring glances." Lizzy enquired again.
"Me and ...? God no! Though he did try to kiss me once, thank God that was interrupted because I have no idea how I would have let the poor guy down."
Mulder stood there dumfounded. 'That's how she feels?' He realised. 'That's really what she was thinking? She's honestly thanking God for a bee carrying an alien virus? I thought she...' Mulder's thoughts trailed off as Lizzy and Scully entered the bathroom giggling.
Scully's parting words only just reached his ears but they echoed loudly through his head. "Not until hell freezes over."
'Hell freezes? Is the thought of me and her really so ludicrous that she would laugh about it?'
Mulder stalked back to their booth, first feeling hurt then angered. Arriving at the table he saw the waitress place his fresh drink down. Mulder picked it up and swallowed it back in one gulp.
"I'll have another, and make it a double." He demanded of the waitress as she quickly turned to go fill his new order.
"They've done a runner." Frohike stated visibly deflating.
"What? Oh, no. No, they'll be back."
"Well that's a good thing right?" Frohike asked confused by Mulder's demeanour.
"Right." Mulder sneered.
Scully and Lizzy approached the booth seeing a bartender set a drink down in front of Mulder while giving him a warning glare. Though the occurrence seemed slightly unusual Scully thought nothing more of it.
"Sorry we were so long." Scully stated as Mulder and Frohike rose until the ladies were seated once more. "The queue was terrible."
"Uh-hu." Mulder disregarded Scully's statement and returned his focus to Lizzy. "So, Beth... tell us more about your company."
"Oh." Lizzy blushed recalling her conversation with Dana. "You don't want to be listening to me all night."
"Let me be the judge of that." Mulder leered. "I know I for one would love to hear more about your work." Mulder looked to Frohike for backup.
"Sure." Frohike spoke up. "I'd love to hear more, though I'm still slightly blown away by what you've already told us."
Lizzy blushed and looked to her friend for some moral support. Scully's eyes were however fixed on her drink. "Well, I started my company six years ago. The first six months were really hard but after we got in to nail art..." Lizzy trailed off seeing the blank look cross Frohike's face. "... you know the pretty pictures and sparkles on nails?" At Frohike nod she continued. "Well, after that things really took off and before I knew it I was opening a new salon every year."
"That's fascinating." Mulder stated gazing at Lizzy. Scully felt a chill run up her spine as her body went cold prompting her to take a large gulp of her martini. "So, did you have formal training to become a beautician?"
"Oh, yes. I completed three years of training in beauty therapies before I was qualified. You can't let just anyone near a bottle of peroxide you know." Lizzy laughed.
"Someone should have told Langly that." Frohike quipped making Scully smile.
Lizzy smiled though she didn't understand the inside joke. "I completed my training in evening classes while putting my doctorate to work during the day."
"What kinda work were you doing during the day then?" Frohike asked intrigued to know more about her computing talents.
"You know, some computer programming and stuff. I developed a few security packages too. Basically I was just planning on doing enough to pay off my tuition fees. Do you know anything about computers or security packages?" Lizzy directed her question toward Frohike.
"A little." Frohike smirked.
"Have you ever come across the Nordberge defence system?"
"Yeah, I'm still trying to crack that thing." Frohike sounded bitter.
"Let me know how that goes." Lizzy smiled and took a few sips from her drink before adding bashfully. "I designed it."
"Wow." Frohike stated dumbfounded. "Beauty and brains." Frohike smiled as Lizzy tucked her hair back behind her ear in a shy gesture. "We really lucked in here Mulder... finding not one but two brainy beauties."
"Yeah." Mulder dismissed Frohike's attempt to coax Scully back into the conversation and never let his eyes wander from Lizzy. "Real lucky..."
Scully's eyes lifted hesitantly to Mulder but seeing the adoration in his eyes directed solely at her friend she returned her focus to her drink and swallowed the last mouthful.
Lizzy eyed her friend curiously. "Are you okay Dee?"
"Fine." Scully lied, allowing her hair to fall forward and curtain her face protectively. "Just tired I guess."
"So, girlie girl..." Mulder stated deliberately. "Cosmetology is your love now?"
Scully shivered at Mulder's words. At least when Lizzy had said them she had no idea what memories she was invoking.
"Currently." Lizzy replied oblivious to her friends mounting discomfort. "I guess I just love it because I can combine all of my passions and still remain hands on."
"Wow... you know, I've always been attracted to passionate women who are good with their hands." Mulder leered stroking Lizzy's hand playfully before adding suggestively. "... and their mouth."
Scully gasped as Lizzy's eyes widened before Frohike slammed his glass down on the table. That was not the sort of thing he deemed could be said to a lady.
"Get your mind out the gutter Frohike." Mulder teased. "I just meant that you have to have good communication skills to be in that kind of profession."
Scully could see that her friend's cheeks had reddened and she could feel hers begin to do the same in anger. "I think I need another drink." She stated coldly.
"Good. I'll have another scotch while you're up." Mulder declared not taking his eyes off Lizzy. "Anyone else?"
"I'll have another if you don't mind Dee?"
"Sure." Scully replied knowing that Mulder's attitude was not her friend's fault.
Scully marched to the bar making her way to the front of the crowd with icy stares rather than flirtatious banter. She decided to take a few moments to try and unwind and didn't even attempt to flag the bartender's attention. "Hi, my names Dana and I'll be your waitress this evening." Scully muttered sarcastically.
"Hello. I'm Melvin and I would like to be your co-waiter tonight." Frohike whispered in Scully's ear making her blush. "He's laying it on a little thick tonight isn't he?"
Scully winced. She really needed to work on being stoic without the aid of a business suit. "It's okay. I'm used to it."
"I don't think you should have to be used to it."
"I'm okay, Fro. Really, I'm fine." She stated as the bartender approached her. "Two martinis, a scotch and a beer please."
"I'll get these." Frohike stated as he paid the tab.
The bartender placed the last drink down on the bar and with a smile Scully picked up the two closest to her, a martini and the scotch.
"Ummm, I think I better take Mulder's drink... just so it doesn't end up over his head." Frohike smiled. "Well, not right away anyway."
Scully couldn't help but giggle feeling the effects of the martinis going to her head.
"Now, that's better." Frohike stated following her back through the crowd.
They came to an abrupt halt as a man to Scully's left spun around and grabbed her wrist. "Hey, how about that dance?" He slurred and she realised he was the man that had bought their drinks earlier in the evening.
"Uh, not right now." Scully tried to brush him off.
"Don't give me that. You owe me." He stated squeezing her wrist.
"Take you hands off me." Scully hissed. The man merely sneered pulling her up against him and spilling half her drink in the process.
"Please?" Scully whimpered uncharacteristically.
"Hey." Frohike bellowed stepping up to the man. "The lady said let her go."
"Yeah. What you gonna do about it?" The man laughed.
Frohike puffed his chest out and stood at his full height. What he lacked in stature he made up with the harsh set of his jaw and the cold rage in his eyes. "Do you really wanna find out?"
The man backed away at once and scurried across the room to a round of giggles and taunts.
"You okay Dana?" Frohike asked concerned.
"Yeah. Thanks." Scully smiled flexing her wrist experimentally. "I guess I'm not very intimidating in this little black number."
"Hey, hey, now don't go blaming it on the dress... as far as I'm concerned that dress can do no wrong. In fact, I think you should wear it more often... it's good for my ego." Frohike joked as they continued back to the table.
Frohike placed the scotch in front of Mulder and barely received a thank you. He tried to entice Scully back into the conversation but it was to no avail.
For her part, Scully couldn't help being privy to every word that passed Mulder's lips. It was one of the drawbacks of being an investigator. You took note of everything even whilst trying to focus on something else.
She sat silently contemplating the parallels of hers and Lizzy's lives. They had both had a similar upbringing, both followed their education and ultimately had career focused lives. Lizzy had of course been married but she was also now divorced.
Had she stopped her musings there she might have been contented. However, she continued to ponder their futures. She knew they both dreamed of the same things in life, a happy home, a husband and children. She was of course painfully aware that she could never have the latter on her list but now she was also seriously wondering whether she could have the home and husband too.
She lifted her head to see Mulder cradling Lizzy's hand in his own. Realising that an hour had passed she decided enough was enough. "I'm getting a headache... I think I'll call it a night."
"Okay." Mulder barely acknowledged her before dismissing her.
"I'll go with you." Lizzy murmured reaching for her purse.
"Wait, Beth. You don't have to go do you? The night is still young." Mulder pleaded to Lizzy and Lizzy alone.
"It's okay Lizzy. Call me tomorrow." Dana said leaning over to kiss her friend on the cheek.
"I'll see you at work on Monday, Mulder."
"Ummm." Mulder didn't bother looking up so he missed the flash of hurt in her eyes.
Scully smiled sweetly to Frohike. "Happy birthday Fro."
Frohike smiled his thanks as Scully turned and tried to make her way through the crowd. As soon as she was out of ear shot Frohike turned to his friend and hissed. "Mulder you putz..."
"You should at least make sure she gets a cab safely."
"She's a trained FBI agent. I think she has it covered." Mulder stated irritated.
Frohike shook his head in exasperation. "She maybe a trained FBI agent but tonight she is a stunningly attractive, sexy young woman in a very skimpy dress. Who momentarily will be waiting on a sidewalk for a cab ... alone!"
Mulder looked chagrined. He looked to Lizzy sighing. "I'll be right back." He stated before bolting from his seat and chasing after his rapidly retreating partner.
Lizzy sighed in exasperation. "Dee's told me so much about Mulder but I never thought he would be quite so..." She trailed off in her sentence searching for the right word.
"I may be being devil's advocate here but in his defence... being surrounded by so much beauty can do funny things to a guy." Frohike stated innocently stroking her hand without even realising he had captured it.
Lizzy smiled at his reassuring gesture as she eyed his cuticles. "I meant what I said you know... about the manicure. I could come to you... I can be very flexible." She added the last in an unconscious purr.
Frohike swallowed deeply, unaccustomed to the sensation of a beautiful woman flirting with him.
Scully finally made it through the crowd and began searching through her purse for the ticket stub that allowed her to collect her coat.
"Scully wait..." She heard Mulder's voice in the distance and turned to him out of habit. He came to a stop in front of her as she laid her fingers on the ticket in question. "Let me see that you get a cab."
"Oh. What a gentlemen!" Scully hissed not even attempting to hide the sarcasm from her voice as she passed the ticket to the cloakroom attendant.
"What is your problem?" Mulder growled.
"My problem? I don't think I'm the one with a problem... you are the one who was all over Lizzy."
"And? What are you, jealous?"
"Jealous?" Scully repeated shocked and angered at being called on her obvious reaction.
"Oh, no that's right. You don't have any interest in me right? Hell hasn't frozen over yet." Mulder practically yelled in anger.
"What? What are you talking about?" Scully asked softening her voice in confusion.
"I heard you two talking." Scully still looked thoroughly confused so Mulder expanded. "Outside the ladies room."
Realisation dawned on Scully, as she suddenly understood what this evening had all been about. "Oh my God, Mulder... we weren't talking about you."
"The eyes... lips... the distinguished profile?"
"Yeah, the person we were talking about has all those things..." Scully giggled.
"You said you worked with him?" Mulder accused.
"We do on occasion." Scully laughed. "My, my... someone does have a rather inflated ego."
"But..." Mulder hesitated embarrassed. "Then who were you talking about?"
"Ha... you almost had me going then." Mulder laughed.
"Seriously, we were talking about Frohike." Scully nodded in the direction of Lizzy and Frohike as Lizzy sidled up next to Frohike, crossing her legs alluringly.
Frohike looked almost comical with his deer-caught-in-headlights look as she leaned into him and whispered something seductively into his ear.
"But... the height?" Mulder asked aghast.
"Yes, the height..." Scully agreed smiling as Lizzy led Frohike towards the dance floor. "It was one of the first things that attracted her. She always did go for ... vertically challenged men."
Mulder looked on in awe as Lizzy came to a stop and leaned towards Frohike for a slow dance. Mulder gasped in surprise as Lizzy enticed Frohike to rest his head on her bosom.
"She says they always try and make up for what they believe to be their height inadequacies in 'other' ways." Scully giggled at Mulder's slack jaw.
Mulder exhaled in disbelief. "Well..." He murmured as he watched the happy couple dancing. "Happy birthday Fro."
Scully tugged gently on Mulder sleeve to recapture his attention. "So ... see me home?" She asked indicating that all was forgiven and forgotten.
"Of course," Mulder replied taking her coat from the clerk and holding it up for her to slip into. "I have no idea how much trouble you could cause roaming around in this slip of a dress without a chaperone."
Scully smiled at his disguised compliment as Mulder began to smooth her jacket down over her shoulders in a loving caress. Taking his hand boldly she lead him towards the exit adding a reinvigorated sway to her hips.
"Shouldn't I tell them I'm leaving?"
"I don't think you'll be missed." Scully giggled.
"Wait a minute..." Mulder stated tugging her sharply so she spun back towards him.
Scully looked up dazed and slightly confused. "What?" She watched as Mulder's eyes transformed taking on a jealous gleam.
"When the hell did Frohike try and kiss you?"
Well, it was just a silly little fic but I hope you guys enjoyed reading. I know I enjoyed writing it.
I hope I had ya big time! :) Were you fooled into thinking, like Mulder, that Lizzy's intentions were solely aimed at him and that Scully was not interested? Let me know.
I have to confess that I harbour a not so secret attraction to Frohike... What can I say? I think it's the gloves ;) Oh, apologies go out to Langly/Dean I loved your hair long and I don't believe there was any peroxide involved in the equation... really loved seeing you at the X-Files Impro show.
Anyways... Please, please, please review! I'd love to know what you think.
Oh, nearly forgot... Thanks again Enpauriel for the Beta.