Two Nouns and an Action Word

August 13, 2001, 2:20AM

It was a night like many others, a silver Kia rental car reflecting the full moon across an open cornfield in the dead of night. A jittery and excited man at the wheel, a lethargic and bored woman strapped into the passenger seat. But neither found it strange as the open midnight landscape rolled by, taking everything in as only a slight stroll from normalcy.

But it was too normal. Too repetitive.

The exhausted red-haired woman shifted uncomfortably in her seat, yawning loudly as she stretched her arms above her head. She then let them both fall limply back to her sides, turning to face the dark-haired man with wild hazel eyes.

He couldn't feel it.

Feel how she ached for a change from this late-night habit that shouldn't be, chasing night lights in the sky. For one thing, these all night charades weren't healthy for anyone. And for another, she felt trapped. Wanting something more, something that her partner's exuberant search couldn't give.

Why couldn't he feel it, too?

She blinked drowsily, turning her head toward him and cocking it curiously. He was leaning slowly toward the steering wheel, and the red-head was siezed by a momentary fear that stole the breath from her chest when she saw his eyelids droop dangerously low. However, to her relief, he simply pressed his forhead to the cool glass and gazed upward, amazingly not veering at all from his straight path on the long, abandoned stretch of crumbling highway.

She watched his now-excited eyes glimmer bright, a spark of something in the dark night, followed by an emptiness that squeezed at her heart. With his sad brown eyes and the little crinkle in his forehead, the thirty-something man reminded the woman of a kicked puppy.

And she was wearing the stiletto heeled Gucci's.

Her throat was dry. Scully licked her parched lips, lingering to gnaw on the bottom one in a second of momentary conflict. Why was guilt ebbing away at her insides at this sudden feeling of loneliness? She'd been partners with this man for the better part of eight years, through thick and thin, and never had this occurred to her.

What was she doing here?

The long buried need for a husband, kids, a dog and a white-picket fence was beginning to resurface. She felt so alone in the world, with no one to turn to, yet her so called 'best friend' not even two inches away. A strange, sad feeling ripped up her spine and came out her mouth in one choked, heartbroken word; "Mulder?"

Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully was ready to tell him goodbye, to dismiss the man that had saved her life countless times over, to give up the only person in this wide world she could trust. The words were on her lips, threatening to spill out in a wash of simple and pure raw emotion when it happened. When he pulled his one final card, one that had the potential to save his mortal soul.

He looked at her.

And suddenly, she knew. The red-haired woman, traveling through the dark night in the silver rental car, finally saw why she had stood bravely by his side for so long. She was reminded in his eyes, in the way a strand of chestnut hair fell across his forehead, and the questioning and completely giving and open voice of a little boy.

"Scully?"

He was her best friend, her everything, the one person whom she trusted with her soul and placed her life in his hands every day. The one reason that took precedent over all things good and evil, and everything that had ever happened in her life, was that she loved him, only him, with all her heart and soul.

She smiled; her savior.

And as she held their fate in her creamy white hands, and as the moonlight cast ghostly pale shadows over her porcelain skin, there was only one thing to say. Only one thing to do. The answer to her doubts and the reason for her fears.

Love.

I love you, Mulder.

It was truly a shame that she couldn't bring herself to risk those words as they encompassed her every thought, and the only thing that tumbled forth from her ruby red lips was a dismissing "Never mind." And they continued on that normal night, everything as it should be.

Possibly, and hopefully in her mind, as they would always be.

For although, it wasn't idealistic, and was far from perfect, this was the only relationship Scully could ever ask for. Where her love was reciprocated, and all was clear in the universe, on that one moonlight night on an abandoned stretch of road, where a mere glance and three little words were all that would ever matter.