A/N: Ahhh, I feel so much better now.


Mulder sat on the couch alone while Christine went into the bedroom to take care of Scully. Quite honestly, he had been taken aback at Scully's declaration about his self pity. He knew he had a penchant for that, he just didn't know it was so obvious to her that it was a hindrance to their friendship. He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, trying to figure out how to make her trust him with her emotions. Maybe he would just have to be silent and let her speak until she was done. Or maybe he would simply have to brush this one under the carpet and wait until the next stroke of bad luck to see if she would open up to him.

Christine came out of the bedroom about half an hour later. She silently sat down next to him on the couch.

"How is she?"

"She's fine. They're just superficial wounds and they bled a lot, but she's going to have to watch them for the next few days. They could get infected. And I want you to keep an eye on her too. She could go into shock. What happened?"

"I'm not entirely sure."

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. I wasn't... I wasn't exactly there when it happened."

She nodded and stood up.

"I gave her some pain killers too. They're mild, but make sure she only takes one pill every four hours."

"Did she talk to you much?"

"No. She just sat there. She was just... well, she was very Dana about the whole thing. I didn't expect any different."

"Thanks, Christine."

"Let me know if you guys need anything else."

She let herself out of the apartment and Mulder went into the kitchen for a glass of water.

"Scully, are you thirsty?"

"No," she said, just loud enough for him to hear. He sighed and poured her a glass of water anyway.

He found her curled up on her right side on her bed, facing the door. He put both glasses of water down on the night-stand, then lay down next to her.

"Feeling better?"

"A little, yeah."

"Is there anything you need?"

She shook her head slightly, then looked up to meet his eyes.

"Will you help me fall asleep?"

He smiled and scooted closer, putting his arm around her so he could rub her back. This was the only comfort she allowed herself to accept from him (and only on very rare occasions), but it was still more than she took from anyone else. She sighed softly and closed her eyes, willing her hands to stop their shaking.

"Scully?"

"Hmm?"

"I'm sorry that I don't listen to you. I'm not very good at listening to anyone."

"Yes, you are Mulder. Just not me," she argued, not opening her eyes.

"Why do you say that?"

"I've watched you with suspects and victims and other agents. And while most of the time you discount what people say, you also actively listen to them. You make eye contact and you don't interrupt and you ask them more questions to get at the heart of what they're saying. You don't do that with me. You hear what I say, but you never pay very close attention. Sometimes talking to you seems like a waste of time. I hate feeling like anything with you is a waste of time. So I just avoid it altogether."

"I'm so sorry," he said after a long pause. "You're my best friend, and I don't ever want to make you feel like I don't care."

"I know that."

"I going to try to do better, I promise."

"Okay."

"And you know you can tell me anything. I won't hold things against you."

"I know."

"Is that another reason why you don't talk to me? You think that I might resent you or look at you differently?"

She was quiet for a long time, sighing before opening her eyes and finally meeting his gaze.

"No, Mulder. I know you won't and I've known that for a long time. It's just that... sometimes it's hard to be vulnerable."

"Even with me?"

"Especially with you."

"Why?"

She sighed and shrugged.

"I honestly don't know. Maybe it's because we're so vulnerable in our trust with each other that being open and transparent in other things is just overload. Maybe it's the subconscious telling me that I need to distance myself a little bit. You and I are so connected to each other, sometimes I lose myself in you. It's like there always an "us" or "Mulder and Scully," but there's never just Mulder or just Scully. Does that even make any sense?"

He smiled and nodded.

"Even people who are married and have families and only see each other in the evenings still need time apart. You can't go your whole life identifying yourself through another person, just as you can't go on pretending you're someone else. It's kind of the same as when you were in high school and everyone called you "Bill's little sister." It bugged the crap out of you didn't it?"

"Yes, but mostly because I don't like Bill."

He laughed and gave her a little squeeze.

"We can work on this, Scully. Maybe we can take some time apart, and maybe we can even go to a communication seminar."

She giggled at that one.

"Let's not get too drastic here," she said, resting her hand on his arm. "Let's just make it a point to talk to each other like this on a regular basis. Not when it's triggered by something, but just on our own because we want to. And maybe work stuff will come up and maybe it won't, but at least we're talking."

"Deal. And please, when I start pouting and sulking, make your scary face and remind me that it's not all about me. I need that every once in a while."

"I can definitely do that."

"Do you need anything from me?"

"Just this," she said, gesturing to their positions, which had gotten much closer over the last fifteen minutes.

He nodded and kissed her forehead.

"Get some sleep, okay?"

"Will you stay in here for a little while?"

"Until you kick me out."

"Thank you, Mulder."