February 1994

"I'm really sorry," Langly's voice rasps down the line.

"No problem," Mulder assures him, "you can't help getting sick."

"Why don't you take someone else?" Langly asks through more coughs.

"Like who?" Mulder snorts derisively.

"Your partner? What's her name again, Scully?"

"I don't think she'd really wanna see Ace Ventura," Mulder laughs, "somehow I don't think it's her style."

"Can't hurt to ask," Langly shrugs, the gesture making his shoulders ache. "Look man I gotta hit the sack, catch you later."

"Sure." Mulder hangs up and stares at the phone. Should he invite her? She's just lost her father, he doubts she's in the mood to go out with some guy from work. But then again...?

"Scully," she answers after three rings.

"Hey Scully it's me."

"Oh, hey Mulder, what's up?" Her voice is flat, monotone, the way it's been since her dad passed.

"Nothing much, trying to be good and rest my leg like you said."

"How's that working out for you?"

"Not so good," he hears her snort back a laugh and it makes him smile. "Listen, me and a friend were going out to the movies tonight but he's sick and had to bail. I've got a spare ticket and I wondered if you'd be interested?"

"What film?" He hears a slight hint of interest in her voice.

"Ace Ventura," he laughs and he hears her laugh too, "I mean I figured it's not your thing but..,"

"I'd like that," she interrupts. There's silence for a moment.

"Great," he finally manages, "I'll pick you up in an hour."

"Thanks." She hangs up, already they don't bother to say goodbye. Mulder sits back and stares at the phone. They've never hung out together outside of work before. What has he started?