by Harmne (Melody)
A/N: Just an old little bit of silliness for Valentine's Day in answer to a Candy Conversation Hearts Challenge. Originally posted on the X-Files e-mail list Feb 12, 1997, and archived at The Gossamer Project (under author Melody, link on my profile page). Since it's almost February again I thought I'd dust it off and put it up here. BTW, I enjoyed 'research' for this story - whole bag of candy converstion hearts!
DISCLAIMER: Mulder, Scully, and Skinner are the property of Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions, and FOX Television, and are used without permission. The silly story, however, is mine.
It was February 13th, and thanks to the glut of florist vans in traffic Mulder was running behind his usual schedule this morning. He'd just gotten in and checked his e-mail when Scully arrived. She looked tired; she'd seemed tired a lot lately, and Mulder suspected there was something bothering her. She hadn't talked to him about it yet- he wished she would, so he could try to help. He wouldn't push, though. At least the smile she gave him looked a little more normal.
Her voice, when she spoke, was teasing. "Morning, Mulder. You're in early. Are you looking forward to the seminar today?"
Mulder groaned. He'd completely forgotten about it. Great, they'd have to waste an entire morning sitting through lectures and films they'd seen at least three times before, part of the Bureau's efforts to keep all its agents aware of the newest methods and legal technicalities of collecting evidence. "Do you think anyone would notice if we didn't show up?" he asked hopefully.
"I can guarantee Skinner would notice, he's giving one of the talks. And we're supposed to be there in fifteen minutes."
Giving in, Mulder pushed himself up from the desk. Scully hung up her coat, found a notepad in case she needed to take notes, and grabbed her coffee cup. He stuck the sunflower seeds and the little box of candy hearts from his desk into his jacket pockets, then grabbed his own cup and followed her out the door.
The seminar was set up in one of the largest meeting rooms. Narrow tables were arranged in rows with chairs along only one side, facing the podium and screen at the front of the room. The partners made a stop at the coffeepot, then wove their way to two vacant seats near the back. Scully set out her pad of paper and a pen to take notes. Mulder stole a sheet of paper from her and proceeded to fold and tear it into a half-dozen small squares. As the first of the speakers got things underway Mulder began to fold the paper into tiny origami creatures. After a half hour, though, he was out of paper, out of coffee, and getting bored. Scully sent him warning looks every time he fidgeted. She was taking occasional notes and trying to look as if she was interested in what the speaker was saying.
Skinner was up next and gave a short lecture about following proper procedure to ensure evidence would be legally admissible. Mulder wondered it if was his imagination, or if Skinner really did keep looking at him as he talked. The Assistant Director left as soon as his part was finished, and Mulder sighed again. At least Skinner had changed his talk slightly from last year. The senior Agent up next had delivered the same speech verbatim for the past five years- Mulder had it memorized. Scully shifted, turning to a fresh sheet of paper in her pad. Mulder leaned forward to rest his elbows on the table and a faint rattling sound reminded him he had something new to play with in his pocket. As the lights lowered in the room and a film began to run, he pulled the box of candy hearts out of his pocket and dumped them out in front of him. He went through the pieces one by one, turning them right side up and lining them up in rows. He'd barely stuck the first one in his mouth when Scully slid her pad toward him, scribbling a note.
Are you going to let me have any of those?
Mulder separated one candy heart from the others and slid it carefully toward Scully. It said MAYBE.
Her lips quirked slightly as she picked the piece up, read it, and slipped it in her mouth.
Is that all I get? One tiny heart?
Mulder slid another heart across to the edge of her notepad. YES.
Give me half.
If you don't share I'll pinch you.
Mulder heard her stifle a snicker, the first happy sound she'd made in days.
Okay, what do I have to do to get more candy?
Mulder hid a smile, anticipating her reaction. He didn't have long to wait. The green heart from her side came zipping back, NO WAY.
He slid two back. WHY NOT, HOT MAMA.
She hid a smile with her left hand while she wrote with her right. Too many witnesses.
He barely kept his chuckle silent. I'M SAD.
So modest, too.
Scully looked at him briefly, but as soon as their eyes met she had to look away. She was having a hard time keeping a straight face. Another heart slid over to her side. U-R #1.
Flattery will get you nowhere.
The lights came up momentarily as one film ended and another one was set up. Another speaker took the podium. It was nothing new. Scully doodled on the pad, started to write something, then scribbled it out before Mulder could see it.
Are you bored?
You're thinking about sneaking out, aren't you.
I was, too.
WILL YOU. Mulder raised his eyebrows questioningly. Scully never skipped out of seminars.
Can you get us out of here without everyone noticing?
Then let's go.
Aha! He had her now. COAX ME.
I'll buy you lunch.
COME ON. Mulder scooped up the few remaining hearts and picked up their empty cups. Scully picked up her pad and pen. They crept out of the side door near their seats and fled silently down the corridor to the elevators. Once in the car headed down, they looked at each other and laughed.
"I can't believe I just did that!" Scully exclaimed.
Mulder had a few candy pieces left, and he grinned as he handed her another one without speaking. I DO.
Scully read it. "You do? You knew I'd sneak out with you? How?"
He dropped another heart into her hand. MY GAL.
She snorted, still grinning. "You are such a smart-alec."
"One more smart-ass remark and you'll be buying lunch!" she warned, half joking.
Grinning, Mulder held up the last remaining candy heart where she could see it for just an instant before popping it in his mouth. It said GOT-CHA.
The elevator doors opened onto the parking garage and Scully stepped out quickly. "That does it!" she laughed, taking off towards her car. "I'll drive, but you're buying."
Mulder followed, grinning at her good mood, pretending to whine. "But Scull-lee, I didn't say anything...!"
"Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason." -Jerry Seinfeld, "Seinfeld", NBC ~~Sounds like something Scully would say to Mulder, doesn't it?