Written September 1998
Synopsis: When Scully breaks a date with Mulder, they spend the evening re-evaluating their relationship.
Spoilers: “The End” and “The X-Files: Fight the Future”
Disclaimer: The characters you recognize belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Television. No infringement is intended. Some of the characters and situations are my own.
After a game of Monopoly, which Maggie won, they settled down in front of the television set. Mulder noticed a photograph on the end table. “Where did you get this?”
She smiled at the photograph of her daughter and him in off-duty attire, laughing loudly. “I took it at the summer party last year. Look at the two of you. Always together, no matter where you are. It’s like you have a secret language which no one can decipher.”
He sat it back on the table. “Including me.”
“I know you love her. Just tell her!”
He sized her up with his inquisitive hazel eyes. “The Blob is on the Sci-Fi Channel now.”
She pressed her lips together and turned her attention to the t.v. Halfway through the movie, a neighbor called for help. Maggie left, leaving Mulder alone on the couch…and alone in his thoughts.
True, his feelings for Scully were genuinely caring. He would do anything for her, that was true. It pained him to see her with other men. Being attractive, she had had many dates–until Alan Stevenson came along.
Bright, handsome, and loaded, the FBI agent retired after a generous inheritance from his late aunt. He had many choices as far as women came, but he chose the beautiful, available Dana Scully, much to Mulder’s disliking. She accepted, not wanting to be impolite. The decision changed her life.
Soon she and Alan were seeing more and more of each other–and Mulder saw less and less of Scully. The realization that his feelings for her were not as platonic as they seemed gnawed at his sanity every day. If he had only acted sooner, he could be with her right now.
Of course, he had to consider her feelings. He really had no indication of how she felt with the exception of hints dropped by her mother. There were times when he had the softest indications–from her smile, from her touch, from her words. At those moments, he was ready to swallow his better judgment and confess the truth. Scully appreciated honesty.
He just wasn’t sure she would appreciate this honesty.
He had been truthful before. His truth had given him hope. And the time he was thinking of involved a hallway, a kiss, and a bee. In all his wildest dreams, he never imagined a small African honeybee standing between him and his goal. And the kiss hardly even qualified as a kiss. Their lips touched, the magic began, and he was certain it was Pavarotti about to sing, not a bee about to sting.
He sighed, tossing the remote next to him. Love was a tricky thing.
Dana Scully’s apartment
Alan pulled up to the curb and put his Camaro into park. He glanced at his date.
“That was nice, Alan, thank you. Would you like to come in for coffee?”
“Dana.” He sighed. “I…you said there was nothing going on between you and Mulder.”
She was caught off guard. “There isn’t.”
“Then how come his name somehow ended up in every single conversation?”
“Honestly, Dana. It’s so obvious how you feel about him…” His voice lowered. “How you feel about me.”
“You’re being ridiculous. Between you and Mulder–”
He tossed up his hands in defeat. “I rest my case.”
In the back of her mind, she recalled Mulder doing the same thing earlier that day. “Alan, there is nothing going on between Mulder and me. I promise you. He doesn’t have a social life. He doesn’t even want a social life! What makes you think he would want me?”
“I’ve heard talk. Before I quit the FBI, the rumors about you two could be heard everywhere. Someone brought the issue to Assistant Director Skinner, and he hardly batted an eye.”
She swallowed, suddenly unable to look at him. “What can I say to make you believe me?”
“I believe you. I just…what you and Mulder have is something I can’t compete with. You love each other. You may not realize it yet, but in due time the truth will be known.”
“No. No, I looked. His feelings for me are no different than my feelings for him. We’re just friends.”
“Did you really look, Dana? Or were you too afraid of what you may find?”
She turned to him but could find nothing to say.
“Suddenly…coffee doesn’t sound so good, does it?”
Once Alan was gone, Scully began to walk. It would take over half an hour to reach her mother’s house due to her restricting dress and high heels.
In love with Mulder? What was wrong with the world? Fox William Mulder was the most irritating man on the planet! Sometimes she seriously considered shooting him again. Every time there was a problem, Mulder always seemed to be at the start of it. He’d nearly gotten her fired (several times), injured (numerous times), and killed (countless times). And what about his habit for accidentally forgetting to tell her major, earth-shattering details? And his silly need to protect her by not letting her do her job? He was infuriating, all right.
There was always a ‘but,’ wasn’t there?
She’d be lying if she said she hated him. She didn’t hate him, couldn’t hate him. She loved the way he smiled and the way of a small piece of his hair would softly touch his brow. And his eyes…she could spend the rest of eternity looking into them. It wasn’t just his physical appearance that enticed her (although those arms and that chest…); she was also intrigued by his mind, heart, and soul.
Who was she fooling? She knew she loved him.
Alan was no diversion. She liked him…generally. He was kind of boring and didn’t stimulate her in the way Mulder did. She could finish Mulder’s sentences, and he could finish hers; they knew each other better than any other two people. Her mother thought they were soul mates. Maybe so. But like Alan said, she was afraid of the truth.
Tears came to her eyes. Alan. She never meant to hurt him. She never meant to hurt any of them. They all felt threatened by her relationship with Mulder, but she would never trade him in for any of them. She had been certain that Alan would be able to look past it. She should have expected otherwise.
Her mother’s house was dark, except for the flickering light from the television in the living room. Her sobbing was in full swing as she rummaged through her purse for the keys. She opened the door and stumbled in.
Mulder, who had been lying on the couch, jumped to his feet. “Scully!” He noticed her agitated state. “What’s wrong?”
She stood before him, speechless-the subject of her tears, the cause of her breakup, and the love of her life. “What are you doing here?”
“Watching The Exorcist,” he answered. It was one of her favorite movies. “Scully, what–”
“Oh, it’s all your fault!” she exclaimed, the tears beginning again. “I don’t understand. I liked him, and he liked me, but that’s never enough! It always has to be about you! They all think, despite our numerous protests, that we’re in love with each other. Us! Fox Mulder, who chases aliens and government conspiracies and believes the lies–and Dana Scully, Ice Queen, skeptical and alone. Us! And no matter how…how false or how true it is, they don’t care.” She sniffled, lowering her head. “And they leave me. They leave me because of you, Mulder!” She began to sob heavily. “I just…don’t want to be alone anymore…”
“I…” he began, but words failed him.
“Oh, why does it always come to this? ‘I can’t see you anymore because of your partner,’ they say. And why? Why because of you? Is it because I know what you’re going to say before you say it? Is it because I trust you with my life? Our personalities are so different that we complement each other. That could be it. Maybe it’s because you’re all I ever think about. Because we’re soulmates. They don’t care! They don’t care, Mulder, because they are absolutely certain we should be in love with each other by now. Six years is a long time, too long in fact. And so they chalk it up to ‘soon’…and leave.”
He stared at her. Everything made perfect sense. Slowly, he put his arms around her hunched body and kissed the top of her head. “You want to watch the end of The Exorcist?”
She turned to him, a strange expression on her face.
He smiled slightly. “It still is our movie night.”
Maggie Scully hasn’t expected her neighbor to call for help wallpapering her bedroom. She felt bad leaving Mulder alone; she adored him. If only Dana would admit she felt the same way. Her daughter was much too stubborn to give in to her feelings.
Maggie entered her house and locked the door…and grinned broadly. An infomercial advertised a new mop on the television, but she was more interested in the scene on the couch. Her daughter lay on top of Mulder, her head nestled safely in his shoulder, her face displaying a look of serenity. Mulder’s hand rested on the back of her neck. They were both asleep. Dana’s mascara had run, and she was wearing a brown crushed velvet dress. Her shoes were on the floor near the remote control, which Mulder had long since dropped.
Hmm, she pondered cheerfully, maybe she’s not as stubborn as I thought.