Disclaimer: Do I really have to keep writing this? Does anyone with any real power actually make sure that we have these on here? Oh bother.

Spoilers: Not much. Falls somewhere in the summer between season 6 and 7.

A/N: Ummm... nothing.


"Mulder, don't be a weenie. Get up here."

Mulder looked up the steps to the attic and found Scully standing there, her hands on her hips and her right foot tapping against the old wood floor. She was wearing an old, too small, white t-shirt, a pair of jeans with holes in the knees, and some flip-flops that had seen better days. The nail polish on her toes was chipping, her hair was in a messy ponytail, and her make-up was minimal, but she looked gorgeous anyway. He grinned and headed up the steps, slightly afraid that they were going to lift off the ground and fold back into the ceiling again. He managed to get up to the attic without incident though, joining Scully on the floor where she was sorting through a cardboard box.

"Anything good in there?"

"It's a lot of Bill's stuff, so mostly trash," she said with a shrug.

"It's dusty up here."

"Yeah. That's what attics are for, Mulder. Of course, you wouldn't know that because your whole apartment is dustier than this."

"I just never expected to find dust in your mother's house."

"It's her darkest secret."

"That and she wears platform shoes," he said, holding up a pair of calico colored shoes.

"Those are Bill's. And by Bill, I don't mean the Jr. version."

"YOUR DAD WORE PLATFORM SHOES!"

"Your parents played Bridge, my parents loved disco."

"I am so giving your mom crap about that."

"She'll be glad."

"Where the heck is she anyway?"

"She said she had to go and pick up some garage sale supplies. I think she just wanted to get out of this place for a while."

"Smart woman."

They continued through the box, sorting things into piles to keep, throw away or sell. The bottom of the box had a lot of dirt and paper scraps in it, so they put the throw away stuff in there, and started on another box.

"Oh look, a report card. All A's. Must be yours."

"Better believe it."

"I think this is all your school stuff. Lots and lots of essays," he commented, leafing through the pages. "This is some good writing, by the way."

"Thanks. I liked Macbeth."

"Sounds like you didn't like Oedipus as much."
"Seemed more convoluted, though Beowulf received the majority of my disdain."

"Not a fan?"

"I still want my life back."

"Maybe a screen adaptation would-"

"Suck."

He chuckled as they set the box aside, looking for one that served their purpose more.

"This is the ugliest parka I have ever seen."

"It's called a coat, hippie. And I agree."

"It has your name written on the tag."

"I didn't say it wasn't mine. I didn't get a lot of say in what I wore when I was a kid. Either hand-me-downs from Missy or whatever we could find at the thrift store."

"Missy's clothes were probably way too big for you."

"I learned to tailor jeans when I was eight."

"Hey, it's a trade."

"Yes, there is that. Ew, dried up snow globe."

"Where'd it come from?"

"Probably a gas station in the middle of nowhere. We went on a lot of road trips for vacation."

"Where did you go?"

"Nowhere. We just drove, stayed in hotels, then drove back."

"Why?"

"To deplete the ozone layer of course. Mom and dad thought the trips were educational. We took them as license to invent ways to kill each other silently."

"Ever succeeded?"

"I once had a brother named Dave…"

He chuckled.

"Is this your hair crimper?"

"You know what that's called?"

"I am not an idiot. I remember hair styles as well as I remember hair bands."

"Gross."

"The 80's were a tough time for all of us."

"In the 80's you were in England dating Phoebe Greene."

"Like I said…"

"Whatever happened with you two?"

"Nothin'."

"Oh come on, Mulder."

He sighed and sat back on the floor, looking through a stack of 8 track tapes.

"You know these are in pretty good shape. If we could find the player, you could probably get a lot out of these."

"Mulder," she said softly, laying her hand on his arm. "You can tell me."

"We dated. I was going to ask her to marry me, but I found out she was seeing a bunch of other guys at the same time. I guess I let myself fall in love with her when we were both too stupid to know better."

"I don't know why someone would do that to you, Mulder."

"She wasn't in love with me, Scully. There was no reason for her to act like she was."

"I don't understand why she wouldn't have been."

"I wasn't as charming then as I am now," he said with a chuckle. "We were young. I don't really blame her."

"Still hurts."

"Yeah, still hurts."

"Is that what happened with Diana?"

"Diana… that was different. She betrayed the job. She made me believe that she was loyal and she'd never leave, but she was playing me. That's why it took me so long to trust you."

"I kinda figured that was the case."

"Sorry about that."

"No problem."

"Hey, a copy of Howl. I love this book."

"Me too. I only read it about four hundred times."

"Nerd."

"Yeah, well I didn't have much else to do. Besides, I think you were a nerd too Mulder. No one memorizes the first half of Canterbury Tales just for fun."

"Says the girl who can actually tell you the difference between all of Chekov's plays."

"We need lives."


They spent the next few hours going through the rest of the boxes and carrying sellable items downstairs. It was hot, dusty work, and they both had dirt streaks all over their faces.

"Baby butt pictures!" Mulder exclaimed suddenly, opening a box full of pictures.

"Yeah. That's Bill."

Mulder dropped the photo as if it was fire, then continued to look through the box.

"Aw, look you were sunburned."

"I was always sunburned."

"That cotton candy is huge."

"My fingers were sticky for weeks."

"Okay, please explain this one to me."

Scully took the picture from him and examined it, smirking at the image of herself at four years old. She was wearing a swimming suit, a princess crown, sunglasses and a tie around her neck. She had cowboy boots on her feet and an almost unnaturally large smile on her face while she played a plastic guitar.

"I think I dressed myself that morning."

"Well you look lovely."

"Better than I do right now."

"There's something about a working woman…"

She rolled her eyes and took a picture out of the box, sliding it into her back pocket.

"What's that?"

"Nothing."

"Saying nothing increases my curiosity."

"It's a picture I don't want you to see."

"And the curiosity level just shot up thirty points."

"No," she said, holding one hand over her pocket, while the other hand kept him a safe distance away.

"Yes."

"Mulder, no."

"I'm getting it."

"You are not!"

She ran for the stairs but he cut her off at the pass, so she turned around, planning to at least get the old couch between them. His arm slid around her waist just as she had almost reached freedom and he pulled her back towards him. She fought hard and managed to get away, but promptly tripped over a box, allowing him to catch her again. A huge puff of dust rose up off the couch as they fell onto it. He landed on top of her, her hands trapped between their chests. Breathing heavily, their lips mere centimeters apart, their eyes shining, and in a way neither of them had ever expected, he started to move closer. Her eyelids drooped lazily in anticipation and she could almost feel his lips on hers.

And then the dust cloud settled, and in tandem they sneezed, their foreheads knocking together with great force. He moaned and rolled off of the couch, clutching his forehead while she stayed on the couch, giggling and clutching hers.

"Okay, so that didn't work."

"We must now add dust to the list of things to avoid."

"Dust and bees and what else?"

"Ringing phones. Skinner."

"We may never get this right."

She rolled onto her side and looked down at him, a grin spreading across her face at the bump that was forming on his head.

"We sure know how to make it memorable, don't we?"

"Yeah, something like that."

They heard feet coming up the stairs and they turned to find Maggie, her hands on her hips.

"Laying down on the job?"

"Hey, we're done. I figured we could rest for a second."

"You went through everything already?"

"Yes. We even found a box of canned food from 1972. There was clam chowder, green beans, and a bunch of dehydrated dinners. We think that dad put it together in case of the apocalypse."

"You two have been up here way too long."

"Yeah, we know that, Slave-driver."

"Fox, watch your mouth."

"Yes ma'am."


Night fell coolly and found them downstairs with the windows open, listening to the crickets outside, and an old jazz record inside. Mulder was sitting on the floor, his back against the couch, and Scully was sitting between his legs, and old picture album open in her lap. He rubbed her shoulders as her voice drifted on the night air, telling him stories about her childhood. Yawning, she leaned back against him and turned another page.

"Your smile is gone," he noted.

"What?"

"Look, this picture here, your smile reaches your eyes. And this one it's fake."

"Maybe it was a bad day."

"No look, it's gone here too. And here. Scully, what happened?"

"I don't know. I've never noticed that before."

"You sure?" he asked, his lips grazing over her ear.

"Yeah."

They continued through the album, quieter this time. She was trying to figure out where her smile went, while he thought of ways to get it back. Towards the end of the album they ran across a picture of the two of them together, taken at Christmas or Thanksgiving the year before. They didn't know the picture was being taken and it wasn't completely in focus, but it quickly became their favorite picture ever. He had his arm around her shoulders and his lips pressed to her temple. She was smiling that smile again, the one that went up to her eyes and straight to his heart.

"There it is," he said, reaching out to trace her smile.

She nodded and he tucked his finger under her chin, turning her face so he could look into her eyes.

"Don't let it go away again."

"I won't."

He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and drew her towards him, keeping eye contact until the last second when he brushed his lips over hers. She deepened the kiss when she snaked her hand up around his neck and pulled him closer. Their lips mashed together in a familiar way, as if instinct ruled the moment. His tongue darted out, gently teasing her lips, and she let out a sound somewhere between a whimper and a sigh before teasing him back. Somewhere in the back of her mind, the phrase "necking like teenagers" rattled around and she couldn't help but grin. He broke the kiss and looked down at her, his eyes searching her face.

"Finally got that right."

"I wasn't done yet," she said, tugging on his shirt.

"Scully."

"Hmm?"

"We can't go back from this."

"I know."

"Are we ready to change things?"

"I think we've been putting it off for a long time."

He nodded and their lips came together again, another memory made.


Challenge fic elements used:

80's hair band
guitar
clam chowder
parka
flip flops
8 track player
howl
cotton candy
hair crimper
platform shoes