Separation Anxiety 1/7

Separation Anxiety
Written October 1998
Rated PG/PG-13
Synopsis: Mulder and Scully are separated but find themselves working on a similar case…and falling in love.

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.


Key West Police holding cell
Key West, Florida
September 4
10:47 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

He stared at the telephone that had been slammed down on the table in front of him.

“You get one phone call,” the officer clarified. “Better make it a good one.”

Slowly, he reached for it, knowing exactly who to call but unsure what to say. He dialed the number…

***

J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington, D.C.
August 12 (approximately 3 weeks earlier)

“Mulder.” He listened to the voice on the line. “We’ll be right up, sir.”

Dana Scully glanced at her partner with curious blue eyes. “Who was that?”

“Skinner. He wants to see us in his office right away.”

“Did he say why?”

“I’m sure it’s nothing.”

***

When they reached the assistant director’s office, Fox Mulder disregarded his previous thought. Their boss looked weary — almost sympathetic.

“Agent Mulder, Agent Scully, please have a seat.” Walter Skinner watched them sadly. They worked so well together… “I’m afraid I have some bad news.” Their faces were full of surprise. “There has been a temporary assignment change. Agent Scully, you are to report to Spokane, Washington immediately.”

“What?” Mulder demanded angrily.

“The order came from above. There was nothing I could do.” Believe me, I tried. “You’re to go to Key West, Mulder.”

“This is insane,” he muttered. Scully remained silent.

“It’s part of an experimental exchange program to see how agencies across the country run. You two are the first to go.”

“Don’t you see what they’re trying to do? This is punishment for our work on the X-Files.”

“It’s temporary, Mulder,” Skinner replied. “A month is all.”

“They’re doing it again … and you’re helping them.” He stormed out of the office.

The assistant director let out a deep sigh. “Scully–”

“I’ll talk to him, sir.”

He smiled. “Good luck.”

“Mulder?” She found him leaning against the wall in the hallway. She put a hand on his shoulder. “You okay?”

“They’re going to hurt innocent people, Scully. They know we can’t do a damn thing about it.”

She knew who ‘they’ was but didn’t argue with him. “There are innocent people all over the world, Mulder. Including Spokane and Key West.”

He managed a small smile. “I only have one thing to say.”

“What’s that?”

“My phone bill is going to be atrocious.”

***

Scully’s apartment
Georgetown
That evening

“No, Mom, it’ll be fine. They’re having me move in with an Agent Terry Stevens.”

Margaret Scully was fuming. Her daughter was not supposed to be transferred overnight. “Well, where is Fox going to be when you’re in Spokane?”

Scully almost laughed out loud. Always thinking of Mulder. “Key West.”

“Please tell me there is a Key West, Washington.”

That time, she did laugh. “No, he’ll be in Florida.”

“Dana, that is completely ridiculous! Can’t you simply decline?”

“No. It’s my job, Mom.”

“What about your life? You and Fox–”

“Oh, Mother, please don’t make me have this conversation with you … again!”

“Dana, honey, you know how he feels.”

“No, I don’t. There is nothing between us, nor will there ever be anything between us.”

“Certainly not with that attitude.”

Her voice dropped to a warning tone. “Mother…”

“I just want you to be happy.”

“I am happy.”

“Happy with Mulder.”

“I am happy with Mulder, but that doesn’t entail love, marriage, or children, so just drop it, okay?” There was a knock at the door. “I’ll call you later. Someone’s here.”

“Don’t forget what I said, Dana.” She hung up.

Sighing at her mother’s constant hints, Scully opened the front door. “Mulder!” Speak of the devil.

“Hi.”

She frowned. “Are you drunk?”

“Yeah,” he admitted sheepishly, stumbling into her apartment. “They’re trying to get rid of us, Scully. Not necessarily individually, but if we’re apart, we’re not as strong. You’re my life, Scully.”

She smiled at his tender stupor. “You’re my life, too, Mulder, but orders are orders.”

He plopped down on her couch. “What am I going to do tomorrow? And the day after that and the day after that? I can’t live without you!”

“Sure you can. And you will.” She began removing his shoes. “You need to sleep this off. When do you leave?”

“Tomorrow noon. I’m driving.”

“I fly out of Dulles at nine-thirty. Why don’t you come with me to the airport? Mom’s picking me up at a quarter till.”

“Okay.”

She pushed him down on the couch and covered him with a blanket. “Good night.”

He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.

***

6:45 A.M.

The beeping and incessantly annoying alarm woke Scully from a deep and peaceful slumber. She groaned and leaned over a figure to turn it off. “Sorry, Mulder.”

She was just about to close her eyes when… Sorry, Mulder? She turned to the motionless mound on her right. “Mulder?” She shook him. “Mulder…”

He opened one beautiful hazel eye, then the next. “Your couch was sprongy.”

She smiled softly. “How are you?”

“Hung over.” He mumbled something inaudibly. “Don’t let me do that again.”

“Are you going to be okay? You were pretty worked up last night.”

“I…I see the conspiracy where it doesn’t exist.” He sighed, brushing a lock of red hair off of her forehead. “But we both believe the lie.”

“It’s only for a month. It’s not as if we won’t see each other again.” She laughed at his mocking expression. “Look on the bright side. You won’t have my mouth denying your theories.”

“But I love your mouth.” He paused, realizing the implications when Scully blushed. “And your theories. They keep me humble.”

“Then call me, and I’ll humble you any time.”

He grinned. “I have an idea. I’ll shower, and you cook breakfast.”

“No, I think you have that backwards.”

“But it’s your last chance to humble me!”

“Oh, all right.” She grunted, sitting up, while he skipped to the bathroom. “The things I do for you, Fox Mulder.”

“Scully…you know you love me.” He shut the door.

She sighed wistfully. “Yeah…”

***

Dulles International Airport
9:15 A.M.

The ride to the airport was filled with happy chatter. When they entered the terminal, however, goodbyes had to be said.

Maggie hugged her daughter. “Oh, baby, I’ll miss you. Promise to call.”

“I will, Mom.” She kissed her cheek. “Take care of yourself.” She looked up at Mulder and smiled almost sadly.

Her mother raised an eyebrow, a trait that she passed on to her daughter. “I think I’ll…buy a lemonade.” She left the couple, eyeing them from afar.

“So this is it, huh, Scully?”

“No. It’s only a temporary goodbye.”

He took her hands. “I will miss you.”

“Me, too.”

He pulled her close, sighing into her hair. “I never expected it to be so hard…”

She reached up and brought his face to hers, a tear slipping down. “I will call you tonight.”

“I will wait in anticipation.”

The announcer’s voice came over the loud speaker. “Final boarding for flight 910, nonstop service to Spokane.”

“You’d better go,” he whispered.

“Yeah.”

She bent down and picked up her carry-on. “Bye, Mom!”

Mulder watched the exchange. “Scully, I…” He looked as if he was at a loss for words.

“What?”

He pressed his lips to her forehead. “I…”

She caressed his cheek. “I know. Me, too.” Then she turned and walked down the connecting hallway, trying not to turn back.

Maggie folded her arms across her chest, standing next to a stunned Mulder. She didn’t look at him. “Did you tell her?”

“Not exactly.”

“Tongue tied?”

He frowned at her. “How do you know?”

“I know,” she replied mysteriously. “Come on, Fox. I’ll help you pack.” She continued speaking, but Mulder wasn’t really listening. Instead, he looked down the empty hallway, wishing she would come back.

End of Part 1

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