Moving in the Right Direction
Co-authored with BIA
Written December 1998
Synopsis: A letter to an advice columnist holds truth for Mulder and Scully.
Spoilers: “Triangle” 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.
Dana Scully had to force herself to stay awake. Her partner’s attitude about finding a UFO had become annoyingly obsessive. Tonight, it was a trip to the eastern coast to find blinking lights and hovering crafts. She didn’t mind spending time with her eccentric partner, but the hours just seemed to drag on.
“Mulder, remind me why we’re out here on a warm, summer night, stuck in a car?”
Fox Mulder turned to her curiously. “Didn’t you read the X-File while we were in the drive-thru at Fazoli’s?”
“I was busy fishing for change,” she mumbled quietly. “It’s just another UFO sighting, isn’t it?”
“There have been recent reports of UFOs flying over the Atlantic Ocean that match the strange circumstances of 1952 sightings by Air Force officers detailed in that X-File.”
“Hmm, that’s fascinating.”
“Scully…are you bored? I sense some boredom here.”
“My, my, aren’t we perceptive?”
Mulder whipped out the most recent issue of Cosmopolitan. “Here’s something to do.”
“Why do you have that?”
“It’s got Cindy Crawford on the front.”
“Give me that.” Rolling her eyes, Scully took the magazine and opened it to a random page. “Ask Irma. ‘Advice from the heart.’ You want to hear this?”
He reached into the sack for the Italian take-out, absently replying with a “Sure.”
“Okay. Dear Irma…” she began, sounding less than enthusiastic. ” ‘I have known this woman for many years. We work closely together on a secret company project. The order came from above that we work together, and I resisted at first.’ ” Scully paused, glancing sideways at Mulder. He was pretending not to listen. ” ‘I have always been physically attracted to her, but I felt that our friendship was more important than anything. Recently, the sexual tension between us has grown. Our hours have become longer, and we’re constantly alone together. I think I’m falling in love with her.’ ” Startled, Mulder lifted his head from the meal, beginning to listen intently. ” ‘Whenever I’m around her, I find myself staring too long, thinking unpartnerlike thoughts. Sometimes, I think she feels something too; we nearly kissed but were interrupted, and I told her that I loved her but she thought I was intoxicated.’ ” She paused, realizing that the similarities with the writer’s situation were becoming eerie. ” ‘I’m afraid that if our relationship progresses to something romantic, it would affect the project and our working relationship. I also fear that she does not share these feelings. My love is tearing me up, and I want to tell her, but I’m afraid. What should I do?’ ” She took a deep breath, having finally finished the paragraph that mirrored her partner. “Well, Mulder, what do you think?”
He met her gaze straight on. “I think we should hear what Irma has to say.”
She was lost in thought, finally beginning the answer. ” ‘Confessing your true feelings and facing rejection is always a difficult decision. Honesty is always the best policy. Wondering what might have been and living with regrets will only make you miserable in the long run. However, I’m sure you heard that office romances are taboo and may hurt the partnership.’ ” She swallowed, looking at Mulder. His gaze was fixed on her. ” ‘You must decide if it’s worth the risk. I believe that you should act on these feelings. The fact that you two nearly kissed assures that she feels something for you, too, so why not expand on that? Take her somewhere romantic, like a candlelit dinner on the beach, and confess your love. Good luck with your romance!’ ”
There was a long silence. “Hey, Scully?” he began softly, “it’s getting kind of warm in this car. What do you say we get out of here, take a walk on the beach, maybe…share some of this lasagna for dinner?”
She nodded slowly, reached in her purse, and held up a book of matches. “I’ve got the candles.”