Author's notes

Original posting date:Sat, 01 Aug 1998 15:10:40 -0700

Class: Vignette, Scully

Rating: G

Archiving: I'd be delighted. Gossamer, definitely, anyone else, it's just nice if you let me know where to visit. That's the best way to discover new fanfic!

Notes: I posted two pieces earlier today, one regarding Scully's habit of not meeting Mulder's eyes when she and he talk (Eye To Eye) and another about Mulder's habit of putting his hand on Scully's back when they move around. The feedback I got on that one (First Line of Defense) was so positive regarding a sequel that I came up with this. Many people thought that ETE was the sequel - my mistake I guess. Sooooo, here's the real sequel, hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer: I (fill in the blank) do not own, profit or in any way make moolah from the use of these terrific characters. Which really stinks I guess. OK, not really, since I didn't invent them. So, thanks Chris and the gang at 1013 for the nice playtoys. You can have them back now.

--

Rear Guard

He's there again. Mulder. His hand at my back, guiding me through the door as I balance our lunches and drinks. He unlocked the door and I ducked under his arm as he held it open. As I passed, his other hand locked into its place on my back. Sometimes I wonder if he knows why I like that. Why I need him there.

I think it started out as a courtesy, the sort of thing he was raised to do when escorting a lady. Somewhere along the lines it changed for us. We'll get up to leave, he'll step back, I move before him, and as we reach the door, his hand settles in to the small of my back. Warm, comforting, reassuring.

Who needs reassuring? Me? Certainly not. I'm Dana Scully. Special Agent Doctor Dana Scully, thankyouverymuch. I don't need any reassurance. Or protection. I certainly don't need any big, strong man at my back, guiding me through life like a simpleton.

Some woman like to have their friends/partners/whatever be 'manly, macho' men. You know, someone you'd feel safe with in a dark alley some night. Well, let me tell you, I've been in plenty of dark alleys in my time, and Mulder isn't the guy to have with you. How many times has the guy dropped his gun just when we needed it most?

Sometimes it's almost a caress. He'll move up behind me, place his hand somewhere near my shoulder blades, and slowly slide it down until it rests at the base of my spine. Other times his hand will unerringly find it's position, almost of it's own volition, I think.

Hey, his hand dropped away. Oh, I guess we're in. Funny, I don't need him to do that, to place his hand at my back and 'guide' me anywhere. I don't. Really. But... I like it. I think. I must, because I miss it when he's not there. I miss the warmth, the human contact, the... I don't know, the security of knowing that there's someone at my back, someone I can put my back up against.

I think that's what it says to me. No matter where we are, or what we're up against, there's that one, brief moment when I know he's there. Just for me. I wonder if he knows.

I think the scariest thing in the world is the evil thing you can't see. You can't ever see what's coming up behind you. Mulder is my rear guard, my protection against the evils sneaking up behind me, hoping to catch me unawares. They can't, you know. Not while he's there.

Sometimes I think he's like a suit of armor you don, just before battle. Whether it's facing Skinner or an OPR board, just before we go in I feel him behind me, one hand on the door, the other on my back, and I feel prepared to do battle. I guess that's silly, a little. I mean, Mulder as a suit of armor? Yeah, I think that works. A littled dented in spots, not so shiny in others, but still a serious form of protection.

Not that I need any, mind you. Protection, I mean. But still... it sure is nice to know that he's there. At my back. The phone rings, interrupting our lunch. Mulder answers it with a few terse "Yes Sir's," and I know what's coming. Taking his soggy container of cheese fries, I tuck it and my salad into the little fridge we have in the office. Joining me at the door, he straightens his tie and waits while I open it.

I pause for a second while he hits the lights. Really, that's all I paused for. Not so that he could catch up and put his hand there. OK, maybe. There it goes, ooh, the slidy one.

"Ready?" he asks. I nod as we head down the hall. I tug at my jacket and run a hand through my hair. Yep, I'm ready, everything's where it should be. As we step out of the the elevator onto the seventh floor, Mulder's hand falls to that spot again. We're ready for anything.