Author's notes

Because he did it so beautifully with ELS and others, I've taken the liberty of using Dawson's disclaimer format. Why mess with something that works?

Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Walter Skinner and any other tangentially mentioned characters created by Chris Carter remain his copyrighted property, as well as the copyrighted property of 1013 productions and Fox Television, a unit of 20th Century Fox.

No infringement is intended.

Original posting Date : March 1997

Category : V, no real angst, we get enough of that!

Classification : MSR, H (well, at 12:30 am, I thought it was funny

Spoilers : Up to US5

Chapter Rating : PG

Story Rating : PG?

Archive : Anywhere, as long as you email me and let me know.

Summary : Scully's reaction to Mulder's declaration of his love for her isn't quite what he expected.

This is something that poked its way into my head while working on other stuff. I can't quite see Dana "I'm going to spend my Friday night writing an incredibly boring paper" Scully suddenly turning into a puddle over Mulder's declaration of his feelings. Hope you like it.

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Declarations

"Scully wait!" Mulder couldn't believe she'd just leave like this, not when they were finally talking again.

Scully pushed past him and yanked the door open. Honestly, there were times when she could cheerfully strangle her partner. What did he want from her?

"Scully, I just told you that I love you, doesn't that mean anything to you?"

"Yes, and I love you too, now can we get on with this?"

Mulder stood staring at her, speechless. She loves me too?

'Can we get on with this?' Maybe she just didn't get it. Taking a deep breath he tried again, planting himself squarely in front of her and blocking her only exit.

"Let me get this straight. I tell you I love you, you say the same to me, job done, let's move on and finish this case?" They faced each other off, Scully tilting her head slightly to one side, eyebrow cocked. She almost looked amused. He shook his head and looked away, "And they say romance is dead."

Scully sighed, apparently this wasn't going to be easy. "Mulder, what's the big deal here? I love you, of course I do, why the hell else would I still be here? I assume you feel the same way about me, right? Mulder just nodded. "okay then, what's to discuss?" Scully reached around him and opened the door. "Coming?"

Mulder stood, poleaxed. What the hell was going on here? He wasn't adolescent enough to believe that with a declaration of his love the heavens would open and the angels would weep, but it sure as hell would be nice if the object of his affections looked, well, interested at least. After all, it wasn't every day a guy stood up and told his partner that he loved her. Was it? He turned to find Scully nearly at the elevators, busily reading through the casefile in her hand. He reached her in time to jump between the sliding doors, narrowly missing hanging his trenchcoat ties on the rapidly receding 4th floor.

Flipping through pages of the file, Scully frowned, "You know, there are several things here that just don't add up."

"You're telling me." Mulder mumbled, still replaying the conversation in his hotel room moments before.

Scully looked up at him. "What?" Getting no response she continued. "Look, there are indications of flashburns here, here and here, but none of those point to specific sources of—"

Scully stopped, watching as Mulder yanked the file from her hands and snapped it closed. "Just a second, I was—"

Mulder stopped her with a look, index finger raised and frozen in front of her face. Taken aback by the fierce look on his face, Scully snapped her mouth shut, her lips settling into a firm line. The elevator doors dinged! open, showing a nearly deserted lobby. Grabbing Scully's hand he pulled her out of the tiny room and across the lobby. Ignoring the startled looks of the hotel staff, they charged past the front desk and out into the quiet courtyard beyond. Mulder didn't stop until they'd reached a small gazebo overlooking the hotel's golfing greens. Releasing her hand he continued to the far side of the old white structure and stared out at the badly dressed retirees intent on whacking a tiny white ball around an endless emerald field.

Scully watched as he stared out, waiting for him to speak. She knew things were about to come to a head and this was just as good a place as any. She also knew that she hadn't reacted to his declaration the way he'd expected, though she couldn't understand why he'd be surprised. Nothing about their relationship could be considered normal, so why should loving each other be any different. Scully knew that Mulder was a romantic at heart and had probably expected some dramatic resolution to his declaration, and she knew he was disappointed by her apparent lack of response. Well hell, if he didn't know her well enough by now to know what her reaction would be, then tough, let him sort it out. She sighed, gathered her raincoat around her and settled on the bench behind her. Darn, Mulder was clutching the file, so she didn't even have anything to read while he worked through his confusion.

Mulder heard Scully sigh and settle herself on the bench. He knew she was giving him the space he needed to sort through his feelings, she knew him that well.

Of course she knows me that well, she loves me.

There, he'd said it. Well not really, but thought it anyway. Why was he so bothered by her reaction? Or lack of it? She'd responded to his saying "I love you" in typical Scullyfashion. He replayed her words in his head, 'Yes, and I love you too, now can we get on with this?' Get on with what? The case? When he'd just laid his heart bare for all the world to see? What kind of an insensitive woman was she?

Hey, wait, that's my insensitive woman you're talking about fellah! Mulder's little inner voice yelled at him.

My woman?

What kind of Neanderthal thinking was that? Mulder shook his head and grimaced. Probably the same Neanderthal thinking that prompted a one-handed drag through a hotel lobby. The more he thought about it, the more he was surprised Scully hadn't threatened to put another bullet through his shoulder. Yanking a file out of her hands, dragging her across a lobby and hauling her out to a tiny, crumbling gazebo to watch him stare at octogenarians chasing tiny white balls around a perfectly manicured lawn. Why would she put up with that?

Because she loves you, idiot.

Yeah, that's what she'd said, wasn't it? And his telling her his feelings hadn't come as a surprise to her, had they? Of course not. There were a million ways to tell someone you loved them, and most of those didn't require words. A touch, a smile, a hand or a hug just when it's needed. Being there, not being there, a glance across a crowded room. Five years of those million things added up to one thing. Mulder loves Scully and Scully loves Mulder.

Period.

Duh.

Mulder slipped his hands into his pockets and leaned forward, glancing up at the sky. No heavenly choirs, no weeping angels, only the sounds of chirping birds and the occasional grumble from the greens. Behind him he heard Scully shift. Without saying a word he turned and joined her on her bench, reaching out to take her hand in his. Scully glanced at their joined hands, then tilted her gaze to meet his.

Quirking an eyebrow, she asked, "Okay?" Volumes asked and answered with that simple question.

Mulder nodded, his eyes never leaving hers. "Yeah, okay."

Scully smiled, a soft, beautiful thing that lit the very depths of her eyes. "Good." She gave his fingers a squeeze, closed her eyes and leaned back, letting her head rest against the tall seat. After a minute Mulder joined her, his shoulder lightly brushing hers, and together they sat, fingers entwined, and let world go by without them for a tiny space of time.