Spoilers: Post Tithonus. I hate Peyton Ritter, and whenever I meet someone named Peyton, I check them for weapons.

A/N: This started out as a Rachel/Julia collaboration... but due to computer illness and the fact that she has more in her life than fic, I am a loner on this one. I guess it works out because it means she gets a dedication.

Scully rested her forehead against the glass and sighed. It had been snowing for an hour now, and it was showing no signs of letting up. She turned around and watched Mulder who was sitting on the couch, finishing up some reports. He had his feet propped up on the coffee table and his shirt rolled up to his elbows. There was a pen hanging out of his mouth and his glasses were slowly slipping down his nose. She stood up from her perch and joined him on the couch quietly.

He didn't acknowledge her. She sighed. He didn't look up. She poked his thigh.


"Stop poking me."

"I'm bored."

"Then help me with this paperwork. You said you would."

"But I'm still on medical leave until Monday."

"Then why did I come over here?"

"Because I asked you to?"


"Mulder, I am so bored I have been watching the carpet to see if it grows. Please put that down and do something with me."

"Something, huh? Anything?"
"Almost anything. We could play Boggle, or we could play Gin, or we could watch a movie, or we could bake cookies..." she suggested, giving him what she hoped was the most pitiful face in the world. "Come on Mulder. Play with me."

Her bottom lip came out slowly and she batted her eyes.

"Scully, how come when I'm like this you get irritated?"

"Because you're always like this. Mulder, I've been home by myself for a week. Three nights you didn't even come over. I am bored. To tears. I will actually cry if I have to."

"Okay, you don't have to cry. We'll do something. But you have to promise to let me do this paperwork later. It really needs to get done or Kersh is going to judo-chop me."

"You sound like me," she retorted.

"You sound like me," he shot back, earning a smile.

"Let's make cookies and then we can find something else to do."

He nodded and discarded his glasses before following her into the kitchen.

"What kind of cookies should we make?"

"I have everything. We can make chocolate chip for you and oatmeal for me. That way we don't argue about who gets to lick the spoon."

"How diplomatic of you, Scully."

"I do what I can."

They began to work, sharing ingredients silently. It was a fluid motion, one that couples married 50 years would envy. They anticipated the other's movements and matched them seamlessly. She reached for the baking soda and he handed it to her almost before her arm was extended. The silence was comfortable, as was their innocent dance. It may have been borne of years together, but was more than likely just plain luck. They melded together better than puzzle pieces. All parts of their lives were so entwined, it was like sands from different beaches poured into a cup together. They become one new element and cannot be separated.

"I saw that," she intoned, quirking an eyebrow but not looking in his direction.

"Saw what?"

"You know."

"I was just testing the chocolate chips. A good chef tests his food every step of the way."

"You didn't test the flour."

"I said good chefs. I'm just mediocre."

She just shook her head and smiled as he handed her the raisins.

"Do you want to watch a movie while these cook?"

"Sure. What did you have in mind?"

"We haven't watched Tommy Boy in a while."

"Alright, but the second you do your Tommy voice, we're turning it off."

"You're no fun, Scully."

"I never claimed to be," she retorted, bending down to get a cookie sheet out of the cupboard.

"Yes you did. When I first met you. You said "My name is Dana Scully, I've been assigned to entertain you.""

"I did not."

"Yes, you did."

She finally found a cookie sheet and stood up straight. Her hand flew to her stomach and she winced, almost doubling over in pain.


She reached her hand out for him and he took it, worried she had ripped her stitches.

"Scully, tell me what to do."

She just shook her head, so he gently picked her up and took her into her bedroom. He deposited her on the bed where she slowly uncurled her legs and tried to regulate her breathing. He sat down next to her and took her hand.

"Are you alright?"

"I moved too fast. Sometimes I forget."

"I'm going to kill that kid."

"Mulder, he made a mistake."

"It was a big mistake."

"I'm fine."

"I have never seen you in pain like that before. I'm going to kill him."

"Mulder, it hurts too much to argue with you."

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay."

"Let me look at it."

"No way."

"Scully if you ripped your stitches-"

"I'd be bleeding everywhere. They're fine."


"No. It's ugly. I don't want you to see it."

"Why not?"

She was quiet, her eyes meeting his as her brain tried to formulate a response.

"I don't know."

"It's nothing shady, Scully. I just want to make sure you're okay."


She reluctantly lifted up her shirt so he could see her injury. His fingers ran over it lightly and tears came into his eyes.


"I just... I was so close to losing you."

"But you didn't. I'm fine."


"I'm okay."

He nodded, then slowly leaned down to kiss her stomach.

"Try not to scare me like that again."

"I'll do my best."

He brushed her hair back from her face and gave her one more concerned look before sitting back and smiling.

"Can you get up?"

She nodded and he held out his hand for her, and they walked back into the kitchen. She moved a little slower than he would have liked, but he didn't push it.

They had just pulled the last sheet of cookies out of the oven when the power flickered twice, then went out all together. They looked at each other, as well as they could in the darkness, and smiled.

"Now what?"

"Bundle up?"

He reached over to the oven and pulled it open, letting the hot air escape.

"That's not going to last long."

"At least it's something," he said with a shrug that she couldn't see. "I bet if we open the curtains, there will be enough moonlight that we can maneuver around here at least a little."

"Probably. But then I might start singing that one song."

"What one song?"

"You know that song."

"I don't."

"The one about the light of the silvery moon."

"I don't know it."

"Yes you do! It's Doris Day. It's a classic."

"I don't know it."

"Yes you do! By the light of the silvery moon, I want to spoon, to my honey I'll croon love's tune... you know it Mulder."

"Who are you going to get to spoon with you?"

She sighed and he heard her move into the other room.

"Wait, are you going to go out and look for someone to spoon with?"

The shade on the window snapped up quickly, and was followed by three others. The light from the moon sent the room into a murky hue of blue and grey. Snow was still falling outside, and had piled to nearly two feet. He could see icicles forming on the power lines already, and knew they were in for a long night.

Scully disappeared into the spare room and he could the click of a flashlight, then some rumbling.


"You okay?"

"Poked myself. I'm okay."

"Need help?"

"No, I found what I was looking for."

She returned a moment later with a tea pot.

"Are you going to bean me over the head with that?"


"Then what?"

"It's a battery powered tea kettle. We can have hot water this way."

"Where'd you get it?"

"My dad. It was followed by the "Always be Prepared, Starbuck" speech."

He nodded and she went to the kitchen to fill the pot.

"So your dad was a navy man and a boy scout?"

"No, he just planned for every eventuality."

"I see."

She sat down next to him and pulled her knees up under her chin, staring out the window.

"You miss him this time of year, don't you?"

She nodded and he reached over to rub her back.

"We used to have snowball fights. Dad against all of us kids. We'd build forts, hide out under the deck, ambush him from the trees. We'd be outside for hours until mom was sure that we would all keel over and die. She'd haul us inside and there would be hot chocolate, chili and cinnamon rolls waiting for us. Every time, same thing."

"Quite the taste sensation."

"Cinnamon rolls dipped in chili are good."


"They are! I can't have one without the other."

"That's gross."

"That's comfort food, baby."

He just shook his head as she leaned back on the couch, her head coming to rest on his shoulder.

"It's going to be cold tonight," she remarked.

"That's winter, baby," he teased. She rolled her eyes.

They sat quietly for a while, watching the snow, and listening to each other breathe.

Morning found them curled up on her bed together, a pile of quilts over them, and their heads barely peeking out. She was cuddled up to his chest, a slender arm around his waist and her feet tangled up with is. They were both wearing sweats and two pairs of socks. Her building had gotten colder than either of them anticipated, and finding a warmer place to stay would have been a waste of time due to the road conditions.

She sighed slightly as she woke, blinking several times before she remembered where she was. His arm tightened around her when she moved.

"Mulder, wake up."


She saw the smirk and knew he had probably been awake for a while.

"What time is it?"

"I don't know, you're on my watch arm."

"Oh sorry," she said starting to move away from him. He rolled over onto his back and took her with him, causing a giggle to bubble out of her mouth.

"Mulder, now I can't get up without elbowing you in the sternum."

"I'll take that chance," he said, looking at his watch. "It's just after eight."

"I'm hungry."

"What do you suggest?"

"I don't know. Dry cereal?"

"That requires getting up, doesn't it?"

"Unless I grew Go-Go-Gadget arms in the middle of the night, yes it does."

He pulled her wrist gently.

"Guess we gotta get up."


"You know, it's kind of nice right here."



"Yeah. 'S cold out there," she mumbled, snuggling into him. He tugged the blankets up a little more and kissed the top of her head.

"Going back to sleep?"

"For a little bit."

"You can't be comfortable like that," he said with a chuckle. She had her top half slung over his chest, while her legs rested on the mattress next to him.

"Mmm," she answered, crinkling her nose. He ran a hand through her hair and she sighed a little.



"Can we move just a little?"


"Was that a yes or a no?"

"Too cold to move."


He rested his lips on her forehead and she let out a tiny yawn. He glanced down at her face and crossed his fingers for a snow day tomorrow.