See disclaimers in Part 1 for details.
Part 2: Dinner and a Movie
Nervous wasn't the word for what Monica Reyes was feeling when she showed up at Dana Scully's apartment. It went beyond nervous. The last time she'd been here she'd made a fool of herself by making Charlie Scully wait out in the hall for his sister to return. It wasn't one of her more shining moments.
And yet... he'd still asked her out, she reasoned as she knocked on the door.
A minute or two later, the door opened to reveal Charlie' warm, friendly face. Monica felt an instant twinge of regret. She should have known to trust him before, she scolded herself. Gotta love hindsight; it's always 20-20.
"Hey!" Charlie greeted her with a smile. "Come on in."
He was dressed casually in a black tee shirt and blue jeans. Tight blue jeans, she noted as she followed him into the apartment. Dana's brother has a cute ass, she thought, her lips turning up into a smile, secretive smile. If Charlie Scully noticed her checking him out, he didn't show it.
"I just tried calling you," he said, "but I couldn't get you on your cell phone."
"I.." Monica blushed, partially from the silliness of her only answer and partially because this man had tried to call her. "I... kind of let the battery go dead."
"Kind of?" Charlie repeated with a quirky smile that she couldn't help but mirror. "That doesn't happen often, does it?"
"I wish I could say no," she told him, and was surprised at how comfortable he made her. "Why'd you call?"
Now it was Charlie's turn to blush, and he did--turning a brilliant shade of red. "Well... it's about tonight. I was calling to ask if you could take a rain check." His voice was pained and his expression sheepish. "Dana has to work late tonight and she asked me to watch Will for her."
"Oh... Oh! That explains the clothes..." her voice trailed off as she scanned his ensemble one more time.
"Yeah... I was wondering when you'd notice I was a little underdressed for the restaurant." He sounded more than a little disappointed.
"Well..." Monica began, not wanting to cancel their date anymore than Charlie seemed to. She glanced past him to the open bedroom door where she could see William playing with the mobile above his bassinet. "I could always stay and help you with Willie," she offered.
"Wouldn't that be breaking some iron-clad rule of babysitting? No members of the opposite sex allowed?" Charlie grinned at her, obviously liking the prospect.
She laughed. "Does that mean I can stay?"
"Sure... I'm game," Charlie replied. "But only if I get to check your neck first."
Monica watched as Charlie lay William down in his bassinet, stilling humming the last refrain of the lullaby he'd used to whisk the tot off to dream land. "Sleep well, Willie," he whispered, leaning in to kiss the boy good-night. Monica was impressed.
"You have a way with kids," she told him in a hushed voice.
Charlie's face clouded a little. "I have two of my own," he replied, moving away from the bedroom door. "Not that I get to see them much anymore."
"Their mother and I divorced some time ago. She..." he sighed. "She couldn't handle the nomadic military life I chose."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Monica said, touching him gently on the shoulder.
Charlie shrugged. "We married young anyway. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did."
Monica only nodded, feeling a little sorry she'd asked, but also feeling more sorry for the depth of love he obviously had for the children he rarely saw.
In an awkward moment, they both fell silent.
"So... what now?" Charlie asked, breaking the silence. They were, after all, virtually alone.
"Movie?" Monica suggested, indicating to the movies on Scully's TV stand.
"Why not," Charlie replied. They both knelt down beside the stand, looking through the titles.
"What's this?" Charlie queried suddenly, pulling a VHS tape from the back of the shelf. It was in a clear rental case. Charlie pulled two similar movies from the back of the shelf. "These can't my Dana's," he said.
"What?" Monica peered over his shoulder at the titles. " 'Naughty!Naughty!Naughty!'? 'Babes in Bikinis'? 'Super Sluts'?" she read them off in disbelief.
The two of them looked at each other, and their eyes met. "Mulder!" They said in unison, and then they both broke out laughing.
"Did you know Agent Mulder?" she asked when their laughter died away.
"I never met him, if that's what you mean," he answered. "But Dana's letters told me a lot more about him than I probably ever wanted to know." He laughed again and Monica realized that she loved the sound of his voice. It had a lyrical sound that was pleasant and warm. "Let's put these back," he said, meaning the movies, which he shoved back where he'd found them--hidden behind everything else.
They finally settled on a movie--a cute romantic comedy called "Return to Me"--and settled in on the couch to watch it.
Somewhere in between Bob's date from Hell and finding out that Grace had received his dead wife's heart, they'd managed to snuggle close to one another--Charlie's arm draped around Monica's shoulders. Monica couldn't believe how right it felt. It was a feeling she'd been missing in her life for a long time now. She felt a true connection to this man. It was almost as if...
"Monica? Hey! Earth to Monica..." Charlie nudged her, shaking her out of deep thought.
"Sorry... I..." she flummoxed.
"Want me to repeat it?" Charlie grinned at her. Monica nodded, grateful that he hadn't been offended; it must have seemed like she was ignoring him.
"I was wondering if you'd like to go out for ice cream after Dana gets home?"
"Ice cream?" she asked.
"Yeah, I know... how juvenile does that sound? But I just kind of have a craving for Chunky Monkey, and--"
"That's my favorite!" she interrupted him suddenly.
"That a yes?" Charlie asked, and, of course, that *was* the answer.
Later that night, Monica Reyes and Charlie Scully sat on the hood of her car, watching the stars and sharing a pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream.
"Look!" Monica exclaimed, pointing. "A shooting star!" She sat up a little to get a better look. "Did you see it?" she asked, but when she turned, Charlie wasn't looking at the sky. He was staring at her with a thoughtful intensity that was almost out of character for the man she'd spent the majority of the night with. "What?" she queried.
"You... ah... have a little ice cream on your face," he told her. Monica wiped at her face. "No," Charlie said. "You've missed it. Let me..." his voice was soft and low as he leaned towards her. But instead of wiping away the phantom ice cream, he kissed her.
The kiss was as light and playful as the man administering it, and Monica found herself responding to it, her senses thrilling to the way his lips tickled and teased her own.
"Wow..." they breathed as one when the kiss finally ended.
Still a little stunned, Monica fumbled for something else to say. "I'm sorry I checked your neck the other day," she finally said. It made no sense, but her thoughts were too jumbled.
"That's okay," Charlie laughed. "But someday, I'm going to make you tell me why you did." Then he pulled her into his arms and kissed her again.
Read my other Reyes fic and more at ReyesRomances: