Mulder walked into her apartment but hesitate about sitting down. He seemed nervous to Scully. His body language was making her feel uncomfortable.
"Mulder." Scully said. He looked at her due to the tone of voice. "Sit."
He did, rather quickly. Scully almost laughed at how much he looked like a little boy who had just done something wrong and was caught and was now about to be punished.
Scully sat down next to him, but at a distance. Mulder could feel her frustration at him as if it radiated of her like heatwaves. Neither spoke. Neither looked at each other. The silence stretched. Mulder shifted uncomfortably in the chair.
Scully turned so suddenly towards him and said "Well!" loudly that Mulder jumped. Literally he got up to his feet so quick and moved two steps back.
"You're not going to hit me again are you?" Mulder said
It was his way of breaking the ice. He could see Scully smirk just faintly and he knew that even though she was mad at him she was glad he was here.
"Scully. After my meeting at the FBI and the suspension, I came here to talk, but then I could not say what I wanted to say." Mulder started to explain.
"We were sitting right there." Mulder pointed to the lounge.
"We both seemed so uncomfortable, there was an awkward silence." Mulder continued. "We never have that, we can normally talk so easily. So I left."
"More like vanished without a trace." Scully said angrily
Mulder gulped loudly, Scully felt his discomfort.
"I went home. When I got there I found a serious of emails from an anonymous source. I was offered information, on one condition." Mulder paused.
Scully had no idea what this had to do with how Mulder had behaved.
"The condition was that I had to meet the source in personally, in a remote location, guarantee I was alone. The email set specific instructions. I could tell you, I was not allowed. Plus I knew you would not let me go alone after what I did with the boat." Mulder finished.
Scully stared at Mulder in disbelief.
"Scully, I did not want you to get into more trouble because of my actions, I covered my tracks so the FBI would not know what I was doing too, I was suspended after all." Mulder explained
Scully sat silently.
Mulder cleared his throat. "Say something" he pleaded.
"Was it worth it?" Scully asked
"Your source, the information."
"Ahh..Well..No…not exactly." Mulder replied
Scully rolled her eyes.
"What now?" Scully asked
"I return to work tomorrow, I am hoping to still be able to be your partner" said Mulder "If you want me to be?"
Scully was surprised at his question, she had no idea, she had thought many times over the last few weeks about if she really wanted to stay at the FBI if she was not working with Mulder, if that was due to her superiors or his disappearance.
"As long as you don't ditch me again." Scully said trying to lighten the mood.
"My source has set up another meeting since our first did not work out, will you come with me?" Mulder asked.
"Of course." Scully replied
Mulder expression radiated with joy, Scully could see that they were going to be ok.
Scully knew that they had not talked about those three words, she did not care. Mulder had not run off and not come back, he was here with her asking her to help him as a friend. Scully could see that. She felt there was nothing left to be said.
Mulder was happy to be back with his friend, he knew he had hurt her with his actions over the last few weeks, but he was going to make it up to her, she deserved that. Mulder knew that she had heard those three words, he did not care, he knew they had a great friendship and he was happy with that. At least for now.
The sat there talking about his attempt to meet his source and the extremes he had went to keep anyone from knowing what he was doing, how he failed to meet his source, and what he was going to do next.
The next day Mulder returned to the FBI and was returned to the desk in front of Scully in the shared office, assigned to the same background checking as before.
Mulder and Scully agreed to leave it a couple of weeks before trying to meet the source again just to let things settle.
In the meantime Mulder was doing his best to fly under the radar, for the first time in ages he was playing by the book. Scully watched him work and could not help but smile at his attempts to be a good boy in the FBI's eyes, and how he failed.