Hello everyone!

So I wrote this when I had only seen through about the middle of season 3. In a very weak moment where I was craving fluff. But I didn't post it right away because I didn't have such a good feeling of the fandom and didn't want to offend anyone with my Mulder/Scully fluffin :) (LOL)

Anyway...enjoy it!

Dru

I don't own Mulder or Scully or the X-Files or the pure awesome of any of them.

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Mulder had a theory. It was a little far-fetched. Possibly a little silly. But he had it all the same and that's all it was.

A theory.

But like many of Mulder's theories it was driving him crazy and he couldn't physically test it on his own. He would have to stand back and continue observing until he had more definitive material to go on. Mulder's theory was purely personal and he wanted to contend with it properly.

Mulder's theory was that Scully was afraid of the dark.

Her eyes shone with danger and challenge when he pinned her up against the wall that night. He had never stared this side of Scully in the face before. It had been an extremely difficult case that had surfaced in the middle of the Nevada desert. A middle aged schizophrenic had sent them on an almost two week chase, being accused of coveting top secret government information he claimed he was hearing through sound machines. He had held his 5 year old daughter hostage over the course of the chase. It ended with her tragic, horrific death in the middle of a parking lot one lazy summer night. Right in front of Scully, Mulder, and a wrath of other law enforcement. Scully had lunged for him but he still had a gun and in a fleeting moment of pure panic Mulder grabbed her and pinned her up against the building behind them. Local law enforcement took over from there.

"Mulder!" Scully was sobbing. Fear and heartbreak overtook Mulder at the same time and he felt himself beginning to lose it too. But he forced himself to hold it together, concentrating hard on keeping Scully up against the wall in front of him. Scully was normally able to keep her emotions under wraps. She didn't like showing her vulnerable side to her partner. Tonight had proven differently. The little girl had still been clinging to her fathers' coat. Sweat poured down Scully's face, mixing with tears as it left salty trails down her cheeks.

"Scully." Mulder answered her as calmly and gently as he could. He let her up off the wall but grabbed her arms and pushed his forehead up against hers. He realized the gruesome crime scene was still right behind him and in Scully's view. He needed to get her out of there but his legs refused to move.

"Look at me Scully," his voice came out more forceful then what he had meant. "At me Scully…just at me." But Scully refused and finally Mulder snapped back to reality, pushing her head into his chest and ducking out of the parking lot.

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Ever since that night Scully had seemed to show a heightened fear of the dark. One night while chasing a suspect through the stairwell of a run down apartment building the lights were cut off, leaving the three in total darkness. Scully had been running in front of Mulder, her gun drawn and at the ready. Once the last flick of light faded out she stopped dead in her tracks and yelped Mulder's name in a terrified, unfamiliar tone. Mulder almost toppled over her, his legs unable to comprehend the millisecond change in plans so quickly.

"Scully!" Mulder yelled having to push her over to the side a few inches in order not to run into her. "Scully! What are you doing? He's going to get away!"

Mulder was yelling. The adrenaline was running wild and it was almost as if he could see his heart pulsing in front of his eyes. Sweat dripped from his dark hair and tickled his ears. He was grateful to hear sirens wailing outside. Hopefully their suspect hadn't gotten too far away. With the relief tingling in his fingers he was able to calm down enough to notice Scully was shaking.

"Scully? What is it?" Mulder asked, forcing her to look into his eyes before resting his hands on her shoulders. Scully barely moved. Her big blue eyes were void of any emotion. Mulder felt like screaming. Just a few moments after they had inexplicably shut off, the lights flickered back on and Scully seemed to return to herself. She took in a quick gasp of air, realizing where she was and having a moment of panic. Mulder grabbed her arm.

"Lets go home Scully."

She refused to talk about what had happened.

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The next instance came when they were sent to west Texas to investigate a string of strange disappearances. During the course of her autopsies, Scully quickly found it was a case of familiar foul play. The kind that didn't really warrant the X-Files even though Mulder kept trying to convince her otherwise. In the extreme summer temperatures Scully couldn't resist hanging around pool side for a little while, even if it was just to get her body wet. She ended up wading in the water for over an hour before Mulder joined her.

"Dana Scully…prepared for every occasion," Mulder mocked her with a smug grin on his face, tousling his hair before sitting down on the hot concrete. She smiled.

"Not exactly…I bought this down the street," she confessed, tugging at the straps of her bathing suit. She noticed her shoulders were hot with sun burn.

"Nothing beats thrift store quality bathing suits…wouldn't you say Scully?" Mulder teased, showing her the tag was still attached to the trunks he wore. Scully had forgotten her sunglasses and had to squint in order to see Mulder.

The rest of the afternoon was spent near and mostly in the water. Scully finally tugged Mulder in, feeling a great deal mellower wading in his arms. He let her rest her tired head against his chest while he blew into her ears and made her laugh. She held his shoulders, not liking that she couldn't stare into his eyes. So she pushed his glasses up over his forehead, letting them rest on the back of his head while she rested her hands on the front.

"That's better," she whispered, smiling when he nuzzled her nose. The water was beginning to cool on their shoulders and Scully found herself unbelievably tired. Mulder seemed to read her eyes, using the pads of his thumbs to gently wipe water from underneath them.

"Let's eat and go to bed," Mulder whispered back to her, seeming to only lull her more. Scully stared at him, finding she had no energy left to even hold onto his shoulders anymore. A quick squeak escaped her lips as her legs disappeared from underneath her.

Mulder carried her all the way upstairs.

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The fear and panic returned once the sun had gone down. Scully had promptly fallen asleep in her room waiting for dinner and when she awoke it was completely dark. She felt like crying, her body tensing and breath becoming shallow. Disturbing images from weeks and even years past began flooding her head and she couldn't manage them. Mulder opened the door that conjoined their rooms, light flooding in from his end.

"Scully? The pizza's here."

Scully was frozen. She opened her mouth to speak but instead only a choked sob came out.

"Scully?" Mulder flipped the switch on the wall, the sudden light burning Scully's already chlorine irritated eyes. She wept quietly, unable to face Mulder as he walked across the floor into her room and sat down on the edge of her bed. He rubbed her hand with his fingers.

"Do you want to talk Scully?"

Scully shook her head and rubbed the remaining tears brewing in her eyes.

"No…let's just go eat okay?"

Scully was eternally grateful Mulder didn't push her. She wouldn't have been able to explain what she was feeling even if she wanted to. They sat together on Mulder's bed, watching an episode of wild police chases and eating pizza quietly. Scully's hair had dried and frizzed around her ears. Mulder mumbled something about lightning and the paranormal which made Scully giggle and hit his arm.

"Ah," Mulder smiled, reaching up to tuck loose strands of red behind Scully's ear. "There she is."

Mulder wouldn't let Scully go back to her room after dinner. Instead, he threw away the pizza box and turned off the lights. Scully froze and right on cue, whimpered his name.

"Mulder."

He forced her to lie down, crawling up next to her. They faced each other, Mulder resting his hand on Scully's face. She kicked lightly against his leg but had calmed down immensely.

"Listen to me Scully," Mulder started quietly. "I know you keep seeing her. The little girl. Every time the lights go out you see her." Scully remained quiet, not confirming or denying his claim. "I want you to stop blaming yourself Scully. We did all that we could. She's away from her father now. He can never hurt her again." For the next few minutes Mulder coaxed her into words. Scully cried about the events of the past few weeks. The lack of sleep and the images in her head.

"I think you should see a bureau counselor when we get back home Scully. I think it's going to help you to talk about it."

They lay quietly for a few breaths, Mulder absentmindedly stroking Scully's head.

"You don't have to be afraid of the dark anymore Scully."

Scully smiled and touched his face.

"Is that what this is about Mulder? You think I'm afraid of the dark?"

Mulder felt shy all of a sudden. Fox Mulder. Shy.

"It's was just a theory," Mulder answered sheepishly. Scully just smiled and wrapped her arms around him, holding him close for a few minutes. She loved smelling him, holding him, talking to him, hearing and feeling him breathe against her. She knew she could sleep now.

"Goodnight Agent Mulder," Scully pressed a kiss against his forehead and climbed out of bed. He looked up at her, wondering if his eyes shone the same love and admiration hers did.

"You sure you'll be okay?"

Scully nodded before disappearing into her room, closing the door with a soft click behind her. Mulder lay awake for a few minutes, the smell of Scully still on his pillow and shirt. She had never given him a definitive answer but he felt at peace knowing that she'd be okay. Knowing that he would always have her to protect. As for Scully being afraid of the dark?

So continued another one of Mulder's theories.