Title: In a Day's Work
Author: Jaime Lyn
Email: Leiaj@bellsouth.net
Rating: PG-13 (a few bad words, implied sexual situation)
Category:  Humor, MSR
Spoilers:  None that I can see
Feedback:  yes, please
Disclaimer:  Alright, I admit it.  I own them!  I own them all!  They're mine, mine all mine and you can't have them!  MWA HA HA!  (Yeah ok so I'm kidding... They belong to Chris Carter and FOX... we all can dream, can't we?)
Archive: Anywhere and everywhere.  I'd love for this story to have a good home.
Summary:  A bet, a stupid case, sneak theives and stewardesses... How did you get from there to here?  It's all in a
day's work.

Author's note:  Ok guys, this is a wierd one.--But there IS a reason behind it.  See, it started out as a challenge... A friend dared me to write a fic that started at the end and went backwards to the beginning... Of course, I thought she was nuts. But then I actually began writing it and I realized that I was having a lot of fun.  So this is the end product of my overactive, slightly insane imagination.  Please read and enjoy!  And if you really love me, send feedback!   It's like food for the brain and the soul.

For mom and dad, who always show off my stories even when they don't get them.  I love you guys!


In a Day's Work
by Jaime Lyn


I've lain awake thinking of you, I'll warrant,
more than you have yourself, some of these nights...
Bless you of course, you're keeping me from work,
but the thing of it is, I need to be kept.
There's work enough to do--there's always that;
But behind's behind.  The worst that you can do
is set me back a little more behind.
I sha'n't catch up in this world, anyway.
-------- Robert Frost, A Servant to Servants


Giving away the ending:


Thank god for Stewardesses.

He couldn’t help the thought. It just popped into his head.

Thank god for thieves.

His face hot and flushed, he watched her enter the heavy metal doors, a knowing smirk on her face as she turned and
leaned against the hard gray wall.  He entered after her and they faced each other.

Thank god for black eyes and a fierce right hook.

“I think that went well,” Dana Scully said dryly, after the elevator doors closed on Assistant Director Skinner’s office hall.
Then, “Not that you’re off the hook---yet. I think I may need to speak with you… later… My place.”

A very naughty little smile was cast in his direction, just the slightest upward quirk of her full lips.

Fox Mulder licked his own lips and grinned.  “You owe me ten dollars, you know,” he said.

Upon hearing it, Scully raised a speculative eyebrow, her smile no less enigmatic than it had been only a second ago.
Mulder looked away as triumphant and as self satisfied as a male peacock displaying its mating feathers.  From Scully
there was no answer and the elevator was completely silent, save the soft chirps of music coming from the dusty
speakers.  Scully stared up at the metal doors, Mulder winced and watched the ceiling out of one eye—his good eye.
His other one still hurt.

Then again, maybe he wasn’t so thankful for fierce right hooks…


Skinner’s Office
A few minutes earlier:


“In conclusion, Sir, Agent Mulder and myself have estimated the damages and have compiled for you…”

Mulder couldn’t help but squirm.  Just sitting there was hard.

“That’s all very well and good Agent Scully, but…”

Of course, Sitting there next to Scully while trying to suppress a shit-eating grin as their superior stood over them was
even harder. And trying to tell him their story, or rather, what they could reveal of the story without completely
embarrassing themselves, was even harder.

Scully’s resolve was steel, her face impassive as always, a mask of carefully orchestrated professionalism.  Still, she
shifted in her chair, not once looking her partner in the eye, and Mulder knew what she was thinking.  He was thinking it
too and it was driving him crazy.

Damn these hot rooms and these hot…

Well, he wouldn’t go there.

From a sideways glance, Mulder could also tell that his stoically professional partner was trying awfully hard not to blush
whenever she felt his eyes on her. He couldn’t help but think that this was funny, especially considering Scully never

Well, he thought wryly, there’s a first time for everything…

“Agent Mulder, did you hear me?”

Assistant Director Skinner raised an unhappy eyebrow, and when Agent Mulder finally snapped his head to attention,
Skinner eyed his subordinate agent suspiciously.  His fingers drummed the desk as they flipped through paper after

The look on Skinner’s face gave Mulder the distinct impression that either the conversation at hand had given their AD a
major migrain, or instead he had simply eaten ceiling tiles for lunch.  That second thought nearly had Mulder laughing out
loud, but he suppressed it.

Skinner gritted his teeth and shot his two most frustrating agents a weary glance.

Agent Mulder cleared his throat. “Sir?”

The AD blinked once, then twice. Then he risked a glance at Agent Scully, who seemed more enraptured in the bronze
setting on his nameplate than on the continuation of this madness.

Skinner rubbed his temples.  “I said, as far as you’re concerned, Agent Mulder, this entire event had been unpreventable?
The perpetrators made off with your personal effects, which, I might add, included 3 bureau labeled X Files, 2 bureau
sanctioned automatic clips, and two bureau paid lap tops, and the both of you were unable to apprehend them?”

Mulder and Scully exchanged a quick glance.  For an instant, Mulder could swear that Scully’s eyes glinted with
something dangerous and that the corners of her lips twitched. But soon the moment passed, and Mulder blinked

“You’re not leaving anything out?”

Mulder shook his head.  “Of course not, sir,” he said, re-folding his hands in his lap.  “Though, ahh…technically speaking,
I think this is our least expensive trip to the woods yet.  Considering the case went fine, solved, actually---without glitch,
as Agent Scully said, had it not been for this little incident…”

His voice trailed off and Skinner raised an eyebrow, looking less than amused.   He was staring at Mulder’s left eye
curiously.  There was a glaring purple oddity there that had not yet been explained, and it was bruised and large and ugly.

“Then for the record, that’s all that happened?  From start to finish?”

Skinner, of course, knew that Mulder had no obligation to tell him about the eye—unless, that is, he got an angry call
from the Tennessee field office about it.

“Of course, sir,” Scully said, smoothly.

Skinner’s eyes went immediately to Mulder’s partner.  He’d worked with these two long enough to know that Scully’s
facial expressions almost always gave away the story when it came to bouts of what he liked to call, ‘Mulder idiocy.’  If
Mulder had acted like a jackass or he was lying through his teeth, Scully’s expression would almost certainly show it.
So he waited a moment.  And then another moment.  Then he cleared his throat and nodded, watching Scully directly.
But Scully’s expression—much to her credit, remained impassive.
“So,” Skinner said, shoving aside his curiosity for other matters, “I’m not going to get a knock on my door from the Ops
and review board tomorrow, demanding that I haul your respective asses in for questioning?”

Scully swallowed hard.  Mulder’s eyes focused on the far wall.

“Agent Scully and myself have always handled ourselves in nothing but a completely professional manner.” he said.

Skinner suppressed a snort. Scully swallowed again.


It Happened Just Last Night;

11:53 pm.

“Oh god, Mul… Mulder, right there…”

A slender, bare leg swung outward, wrapping itself around a larger one.  Two picture frames caught in its wake and flew off
the coffee table.

“Mmm…Muh… Mul…”

Dana Scully breathed hard, sucking in quick breaths of oxygen between desperate, lingering kisses.  Mulder’s hands
trailed up and down her spine, his fingers finally coming to rest upon her upper back.  For a moment he paused, then
frowned.  He yanked twice and frowned again. Sufficiently stumped, he grasped and struggled, snapped something and
let out a sigh. He grunted.

“Mulder,” she said.


“Clasp in the front.”

Then Scully covered her mouth with his, her nails digging furrows into his shoulders.  Her hand flailed out and hit the wall,
knocking over a lamp.

“I knew that,” Mulder mumbled.


The 5 minutes that lead to THAT….


 “Mulder, I don’t think this is---“

“No.” His fingers moved up to trace the outer rim of her lips, his left arm still rubbing her lower back as he spoke,  “don’t
think Scully,” and his face edged closer, his breath warm on her cheek.  Her lids lowered and her lashes tickled the
bottom rim of her eyes.

“But I…” she closed her eyes.  “… need to…think…clearly…I… you…one of us…. Should….ohh, that’s nice…”

Her words trailed off as she felt the brush of his lips against hers, the touch of his fingers at the nape of her neck. All
reasonable thought was swept from her mind. She wasn’t even sure she would be able to form a coherent sentence at
this point.  He began to trace light circles, making the hairs of her neck stand on end, her breath stop.

“Mulder, please—“ she said, “Mulder…Mulder, please…” each time her voice got softer and softer. Soon, however, it was
cut off altogether by the press of his lips more insistently, more demanding, more—

“OW, Damn it!!!”

Suddenly, Scully snapped backwards and yanked her hands away.  With an almost embarrassed air, she pushed up off
the couch as if burned.  Her eyes bored holes into his and she looked at him with concern, dropping her hands to her

“Mulder?” she asked, confused.  “Mulder—what—“

She swiftly halted the sentence.  Mulder’s hand—the one that had previously caressed her neck, was now covering his
left eye in pain. He was glaring at her with his right.   The one he was still able to open.  Scully rose her eyebrow at him
and bit her lower lip to keep from bursting out in laughter. Poor Mulder.  He looked scorned.  Bruised.  Ok, so he was
bruised.  Namely, black and blue on his left eye, but it was still kind of funny.

“Mulder, I’m going to get you some more ice,” she said, using the excuse to escape from the room, to run into the
kitchen, to collapse against the side of her kitchen counter.

Man, that had been a close one, she thought.  A little too close…

But you wanted it, Dana, her mind easily supplied.

She closed her eyes.  No.

You needed it, Dana.

No, her inner reason said again.  No.


Yes, her heart said.  Oh yes.  You want this.

She cursed herself at the idea.

Good God, what had she been thinking?  What was the matter with her?  How had they gone from fighting like unruly
school children to nearly having sex on her living room floor?

Just a kiss Dana, her head defended.  Hardly sex.

Yeah, hardly, her heart reminded her, but still….wow.  WOW…. Just… wow.

Scully moved quickly to the freezer and yanked out ice from the dispenser, dropping several cubes into a small ziplock
bag.  She covered the makeshift compress with a towel and went back into the living room, presenting a scowling Mulder
with it.  He took it and glared at her feebly.

“Look Mulder, for what it’s worth, I didn’t mean to—“

“Just forget it Scully,” he said, placing the pack over his left eye, wincing at  the contact.  “I deserved it.  You dished it
out.  End of story.”

“No Mulder, that’s not—“

“Look, just go away for a minute ok?  This hurts and you’re not making it any easier.”

He pouted at her and she rolled her eyes, settling next to him on the couch.

“Sorry,” was all she said after that.  He smiled ruefully.

“It’s not a big deal.”  Mulder waved his free hand indifferently.  “Your forehead hit me when we…I mean….” He trailed off
and winced again, and she adjusted the ice pack for him.

“Yeah I figured,” she said, and then silence.

“Look Mulder—“

“I know.”

“Oh, ok.”

She stared at him and took his right hand in hers, pressing his fingers to her lips gently.  This is dangerous, she thought.
Dangerous.  Bad.  Don’t do it Dana, don’t do it.

She couldn’t help herself.  Here he was, a naked soul, Mulder being Mulder and besides, she liked the way his fingers felt
against the softness of her mouth.   What was so wrong with that?  She was sick of always depriving herself of such
small, silly pleasures.

“Say, Scully?” Mulder said.

They stared at each other, the air crackling for a moment before he continued.

“Did you have to get so violent?”

Scully supressed a grin.  “Look,” she said breathily into his ear, “if you REALLY want your ten dollars, you won’t make
me do it again.”


Beforehand...10 Minutes to Make Up…


Oh my god I think I killed the bastard.

“Oh shit, Mulder?”

And if not killed, then seriously injured.  Damn, Scully thought.  One thing was for sure.  She had a must’ve had a mean
swing on her (even though her hand hurt like a bitch) because her partner wasn’t moving.  He was just lying there, a
crumpled mass on her floor. And she stood above him, her heart pounding with the adrenaline rush.  Blood rushed in her
ears followed by a slight ringing, and she crouched down to inspect Mulder’s pulse.

“Well, you’re not dead,” she said out loud.

Then she felt the anger rise in her again.  Mulder groaned in pain. Damn it, he really was alive.  Her eyebrow arched.  She
was staring to wish she had killed him after all.

Scully watched as Mulder turned over and regarded her coldly, almost as if he were afraid she would strike him again
while he was nursing his left eye.  His glare was obvious, pronounced, and he began to look like a wounded puppy.

“Jesus Scully,” he said finally.

Scully bit her lip at the sight.  Mulder was still slumped on the ground, shoulders hunched, elbows bent inward.  One eye
was open and angry, one eye was closed.  Oh poor Mulder, she thought.  He was so pathetic he looked almost comical.
Much to her chagrin, her anger began to ebb and she started to feel sorry for him.

“Was all that really necessary?” he said.

Scully stared at him with a raised eyebrow and that no-nonsense look that didn’t take any prisoners.  What do YOU
think, that eyebrow said to him.

“Ok—point taken,” he said, and held his eye.  Silence fell over them like a blanket and it seemed like forever until she
finally broke it.

“You need some ice,” Scully said, and she moved her legs to try to pull herself into an upright position again.  He took her
hand to stop her.

“Look Scully, about what I—“

“Forget it Mulder, I know that’s not what you meant.  You just…you pissed me off, that’s all.  You pushed the final button
at the end of a long week; a bad day and you paid the price.”

Scully finished her sentence calmly, evenly and tried to move again.  Mulder kept his grip.

“No, seriously,” he said.  “ I didn’t realize…my actions were… If something I may have done rendered your emotions---“

Scully raised an eyebrow.  Mulder sighed.

“If that’s your version of an apology, Mulder, then I want one for the plane, too.”

Mulder’s mouth dropped open and he shook his head, adamantly.  “No, no way.  I didn’t do anything wrong, I----“

Scully leaned forward and clenched a fist, her knuckles resting an inch from Mulder’s chin, same eyebrow enigmatically
raised in place.

“Alright, alright, you win,” he said, grudgingly accepting defeat.  “I’m sorry about the luggage, ok?  Just don’t hit me
again.  I need the other eye.”

“What about that stewardess?” Scully asked pointedly.

Mulder sighed in exasperation and let go of her hand.

“Oh come on!” he said angrily.  “I wasn’t flirting with her!  And even if I WAS---”

Well, Scully thought in dismay, had he not opened his mouth it would have been a memorably touching moment.

Out loud she said, “Please, Mulder, I saw you.  If it wasn’t for you trying to sweet talk that bleached blond airhead---“


“Whatever Mulder, I don’t care.  It was your fault that —“

“MY fault?  YOU still haven’t admitted your blame in all this.  You were staring--“

“I wasn’t staring, Mulder, I was---“

“You’re right, Scully.  Glaring is a better word.”

“Glaring? Excuse me?”

“Yes, glaring.”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Oh yeah.”

“No, Mulder---“

“Yes, admit it Scully.”

“I wasn’t glaring.”

“Not that, the other thing.  Admit it.”

“Admit what? I----“

Mulder shook his head and groaned.  He was sick of fighting.  He was sick of he and Scully running around that same old
circle; it was like a hamster wheel.  They ran and ran and chased the piece of cheese but they got nowhere.  And now
things were especially frustrating because lately they were always fighting; he and Scully.  Every day they fought, about
theories, about cases, about who got to drive, who got to sit by the window, who got the coffee first, you name it, they
fought about it.

Well damn it, he was sick of it.

“Admit this,” he said.

He cut off her words and seized her, yanking them both to their feet.

He wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to say to her, but he knew he wanted to say SOMETHING.

“Admit that you agree we were both at fault,” he finally said,  “because between the both of us, there’s a palpable
distraction here. We’re physically frustrated---in every sense of the word.  It’s been festering for a long time but we both
know there are better ways of handling it… ways of easing stress that we’ve continually refused to utilize.”

Scully, for her part, remained completely silent.  Whether she was stunned by his bluntness or simply afraid, he had no
idea.  But she watched without moving as the expression in his eyes changed from fighting mode to something else as
he steadied her.

In the storm of Mulder’s confused looking eyes, she found herself losing her reserve, her control.  She was mesmerized.
It was as if they were staring into each other.  Past the anger.  Past the hostility.  But what was past all that?  What was
beyond it?  She wasn’t exactly sure she knew for certain.

“What are you trying to say?” she asked.  Her voice sounded low, throaty and undeniably foreign.

Mulder swallowed and took his chance.  He raised his fingers to her cheek, moving to hold her close.  There was no
resistance to this, Scully’s lips even parted slightly.  Confusion was beginning to register on her face and she closed her
mouth, as if deciding against the urge to speak.

Mulder took the opportunity and started, “I think I’m saying that I don’t want to be frustrated anymore….”


The Fight That Began A Kiss


Mulder silently hung back as his partner angrily slammed her carry-on bag down onto the carpeting of her living room.  It
made a loud THUD that echoed in his ears.  Then she tossed her keys so hard over the counter that they bounced and
landed in the kitchen.  Mulder ducked.  One thing was for sure: Scully was pissed.  Scully was pissed like she hadn’t
been pissed since the Spender incident of last year—and that’d been bad.  But at least then she’d been talking to him.
At least then she’d spoken to him like he was in the room.

At this moment, however, she didn’t seem to care what Mulder did, where he was, or whether he was standing in her
targeting area when she threw little things like keys. She was just seething, pissed off beyond the point of return and he
was the reason.

So he kept quiet.

Mulder’s foot steps were the only sound as he followed her further into the apartment, cautiously, not meaning to make
any sudden moves.

From the looks of it, Mulder thought, his partner was about ready to snap.  Anything could set her off.  Anything at all. His
life was a catch 22 either way.  If he spoke, she’d kill him.  If he kept quiet, she’d quietly kill him.

Finally, with a sigh, Mulder gave in to temptation.  Touching Scully’s shoulder softly, he began to open his mouth…but
then he abruptly shut it, realizing that he would not be able to get the chance before his head was chopped off. For,
Scully whirled around so fast on her heels that---

 “Get out Mulder.” she said through clenched teeth.  “Just get out.  Go. Now.”

Mulder pulled his hand away as if it had been burned and he narrowed his eyes.

“No,” he said, knowing that this would only enrage her further, but still he stood his ground.  “I__Will__Not__Go.”

He pronounced each word slowly, mockingly, and watched as Scully’s eyes narrowed in response.

“Get out of my apartment,” she repeated, lowering her voice to a dangerous angry tone.

“Why?” he asked.  “So you can sit here and curse my name for something that wasn’t even my fault?  So that you can
blame me for this?!  Uh uh Scully! This was NOT all my fault! My stuff was stolen too you know, it’s not like I—“

“Not like you what?” she asked. “Not like you what Mulder? Watched our luggage when I asked you to?  Guarded my
briefcase when I walked away? Watched our laptops while some creep made off with everything I own?  My God, there
were X-FILES in that laptop, Mulder.  Do you understand what I’m saying?  Five bucks says that the asshole who stole it
works for one of your idiotic boogeymen.”

At that Mulder frowned.

“Boogeymen?” he asked, clearly offended, his arms folded defensively.  “A boogeyman, Scully?  Come on now.  That’s
not fair.  I never said anything about a---“

“Oh----MY God, Mulder.” Scully stared at him in disgust.  “Are you even hearing me?”

Both agents paused for a moment, breathing hard.

“You know, Scully, they got my stuff too.”

“They got your shaving bag for godsakes!” Scully said.

“Well…” Mulder guiltily shoved his hands in his pockets.  “It was an expensive shaving bag.”

In response to that, and what could only be described as complete and utter frustration, Scully threw her hands up in the
air and yanked her badge out from her coat, looked at it, and then tossed it viciously across the room.

“Your aim’s off,” Mulder said, trying desperately to leaven the moment.  “You missed the---“

“My wallet Mulder.  He got my wallet and my spare car keys and all my good suits.”

Scully breathed in slowly to try and regain her equilibrium.  In and out, she thought.  Just breathe.  In, out.

 “I left the bags with you,” she started, “ in the good faith that you’d watch my things for one goddamn second so that I
could go get a pack of gum.  A pack of GUM, Mulder. But nooooo.  Forget the fact that this case was  nothing but a
blow-out.  Forget the fact that there are confidential files on our hard drives that I had to chase down the lower concourse.
Forget that we have to explain this fiasco to Skinner, and just live with the idea that right now I could kill you where you

Mulder chewed on his own anger.

“Please,” he said.  “It’s not like you were so pleasant the entire trip.  It’s not like you didn’t cause me any grief.  It’s not
like I blamed you for losing the rental agreement when it fell out of your purse and I had to fork over 20 bucks for a new
one.  It’s not like I was supposed to know that some jackass was going to make off with your bags!”

Scully’s face turned red—an odd, odd shade of red---as if steam were going to fly out of her ears, and that was when she
lost it.  Her voice rose, her hands shook, and Mulder was almost positive that if her neighbors weren’t sure as to why they
were fighting  before, then they sure as hell would know now.

“I lost that rental agreement in pursuit of a suspect, FIRST of all Mulder, and second of all, maybe you would’ve noticed
something was wrong if you would have paid closer attention. If you hadn’t been playing doctor with that slut-bimbo of a
stewardess with peanuts for brains, perhaps you would have seen the perpetrators  make off with my purse and HALF OF

Scully was yelling now, yelling like she hadn’t yelled in a long time and it almost felt good. She couldn’t even remember
the last time she had been this worked up.   Not even during the Spender incident of last year, and she remembered
being pretty pissed off last year.  But losing it like this… it was an almost foreign feeling and her heart beat furiously in
her chest.

“You know something Scully?”  Mulder raised an angry eyebrow at her.  “I think you’re full of crap.  No—I take that
back—I think you’re beyond the general realm of ‘crap’ and careening towards ‘bullshit’ without a brake line. This is as
much your fault as it is mine.  I saw you from the gift shop.  Had YOU been paying attention instead of shooting glares at
said “slut stewardess” while you paid for your gum, you would have seen the perpetrators yourself.  If anyone lost those
saved files, Scully, it was YOU.”

Scully narrowed her eyes to near slits and she spun away from him, rage coursing through her.

“I don’t believe you,” she said, her teeth grinding into powder.

“Gee,” Mulder said, his sarcasm cutting through her like a knife. “Now there’s something I’ve never heard you say before.”

Scully snapped back around.

“Fuck you Mulder.”

Mulder’s mouth nearly fell open.

In all the years he had known her, that simple ‘fuck you’ marked the only time he had ever heard her say anything close
to an expletive to him, and his skin crawled at the way it fell off her tongue.   Fuck you Mulder, so easy, just like that, she
had said it.

Fine, he thought.  If that’s the way you want it…

He followed quickly behind her and hissed in her ear.

“Thanks, but no.  I don’t need ten bucks that badly.”

Scully froze in mid step.

Time screeched to a halt.

Her fists clenched.  Her jaw tightened.

Mulder’s words proved to be the straw that broke Scully’s back.  And Mulder himself never saw it coming.

Without a word of warning or a pause to think, Scully spun again and swung her fist up towards Mulder’s face with all the
strength she could muster.  Her knuckles connected with a loud crack and he went down, with a cry.

“Liar,” she muttered fiercely, and her hand flooded with pain.


The Ride Before the Fight….



“Just shut up and drive Mulder.  I don’t want to hear it.”

Mulder glared at his partner and clenched the wheel.

“You know what?  I’m so sick of you—“


The confines of the car caused her voice to echo and sting his eardrums.

“Sure. Fine. Whatever,” he mumbled and she cast him a dangerous glare.

“I wasn’t flirting,” he said to himself, and Scully ignored him.


Angry Airport Terminals…


A few oddly colorful tourists scampered by him, loud and obnoxious yells and curses falling from their over-large, tired
looking mouths.  One by one they stopped to stare at the arriving/departing flights board with furious looks.  Mulder
watched them closely for a moment and all at once, a thought occurred to him out of the blue: nothing good ever happens
to anyone in an airport terminal.

“Amen,” he said to himself.

Then he sighed loudly and turned to Scully. “I really think you’re overreacting…”

She overheard him and shot him a sharp, pained look.

“Look, this was NOT my fault…”

Mulder shook his head, turned to his left, and started pacing, his feet echoing off the hard terminal floor.

“Not my fault…” he repeated.

Scully rolled her eyes and turned away from him, shouldering her cell phone with her right side. A few tourists dressed in
wildly colorful monstrosities wandered past, chancing glances at them both.  Him; the poor pathetic loser who couldn’t
even keep track of his shaving bag and Scully, the innocent FBI agent who had agreed to babysit him.


Mulder glowered at the tourists and they quickly turned away.  Some of them stared longer, but others shot past.  A few
just scurried away, almost afraid to steal a glance.  It was unreal.  It was almost as if everyone in the whole goddamned
airport KNEW he was going to die a slow, painful death at the hands of his partner.

I have to find a way out of this, he thought. I have to find a way to convince her….

“Scully---“ he started, arm poised in the air.

His partner just shook her head at him and turned back to her right, leaning against the gift shop counter for support.  Her
ear was pressed against her black Nokia.

“Scully, look.  I think I----“

She palmed the phone for a moment.

“Mulder, please.  Just be quiet----“

“But Scully---“

She lifted the phone to her ear again.

“Not now,” she said, distracted.

“Seriously, Scully, just---“

She turned to face him, her face red and filled with fury. “I said be quiet, goddamn it!“

A look of regret flitted over her face and she put a hand back over her ear, sighing.  “No, not you, sir…”

Mulder gritted his teeth and clenched his fists, fighting the urge to punch the glass candy case. God, this was frustrating,
he thought…  He turned again and was met with Scully’s left side facing him as she spoke into her cellular.

“What? My partner’s name?”

Her head turned towards Mulder as she spoke into the reciever.  She covered her opposite ear with her other hand.  Her
feet shifted, a weary expression on her face and she answered, “Mulder,” then,  “Yes…”

She paused again and shot Mulder a loaded glance.

“Yes, THAT Fox Mulder,” she said, rubbing the bridge of her temples.


Mulder Never Flirts


“No seriously, I’m an FBI agent,” Mulder said.

He dropped his and Scully’s luggage unceremoniously by the end seat in the row and turned his back to it.  Then he
walked away, pivoting to face the ivory skinned, light haired woman next to him.

Great, Scully thought, and she rolled her eyes skyward.

“Not that I’d arrest you, of course….”

Scully sighed and checked her watch.  Only fifteen more minutes, she mentally reminded herself.  The rental people said
they’d be back with the extra paperwork in fifteen minutes.

Cracking her neck, Scully chanced a quick glance at her thoroughly enraptured partner and realized that Mulder had just
found a glorious way to kill the time.   Wonderful.  Just what her plane-weary stomach wanted to witness.  Puppy love

“I’m going to get some gum,” Scully said.  “The bags are behind you.  Watch them, will you?”

Mulder nodded and waved her away indifferently.

From now on I speak to the luggage, she thought.  Better conversation.

Scully wandered slowly over to the airport giftshop.  Tourists, children, businessmen and off duty airline employees spilled
out like an ocean into the concourse walkway.  Apparently, today was a busy travel day.  And of course the gum counter
was all the way on the other side of the store, next to a window that looked out over the terminal, past the open doors,
past the books, past the mementos, crossword puzzles and other useless crap…

Could this day get any worse? she wondered, disgusted.  The plane ride was bad, the morning was barely tolerable, the
giftshop was crowded of course and Mulder…

Well, Mulder was really pissing her off.

For whatever reason, his flirting seemed to make her feel more disturbed than anything else that had happened that day
and this was disturbing in itself.  And even more disturbingly, she couldn’t even begin to justify why.

Maybe it was because  “Kathy the stewardess” was perfectly groomed and coifed, while Scully felt like a dishrag.  Or
maybe it was because they were on a case, required to be professional and frankly, Mulder’s current comportment was
really starting to make her blood boil.

Or maybe I’m just cranky, Scully thought.

I’ll bet her hair is dyed.  The breasts enhanced, teeth capped.

Part of her snorted at the idea that half of Mulder’s dream stewardess was probably synthetic.

Why doesn’t he ever look at me that way?

Scully stopped dead in her tracks and pondered over that last errant thought.  Why in the hell had she even thought it?
She sighed and picked up a blue package of bubble yum.

All bullshit aside, she supposed she knew why.  She knew why she would think that.  It was because she was jealous;
because she had always thought of Mulder as hers.  Her partner. Her…her… Mulder.

Shaking her head at her own stupidity, Scully glanced up from the concession stand to glare at “Kathy the airline slut.”  It
was petty, she knew, but it made her feel better.

Scully set down the blue gum and picked up another pack.  Her head raised, her eyes drifted, and in slight surprise, she
met Mulder’s eyes instead of Kathy’s. His brow furrowed at her and she looked away, her eyes darting back to the stand

Mulder frowned.

Shit, Scully thought.  I think he saw me looking… Alright, don’t look up, don’t look up…

Ok, so something’s wrong, Mulder thought, still frowning at the way his partner avoided his gaze like the plague.

Great, he thought, watching her.  Just what I need, Scully mad at me.

He felt Kathy’s arms slide around his waist and he got up, glancing down at the visually stunning flight attendant. Well, he
thought, the woman was certainly lovely, that was for sure.  Beyond beautiful, in fact.

 She smiled at him broadly—if not confused, and spoke, “where you going Mr. Mulder?”

Mulder tried to smile back at her apologetically.

“I umm…”  his voice left him for a moment.

But Scully’s better looking, Mulder suddenly thought, not even knowing where it was coming from.   And besides, Kathy’s
not even remotely intelligent, not as engaging, not as sexy…

Not as Sexy?

Not as sexy as WHOM?

Somewhat disturbed, Mulder puzzled over that last thought.  Since when do I think like that about Scully? He wondered.
His thoughts trailed off and he tried to explain himself to the mewling blond who was wrapping herself around him like a
garden snake.

“Look Kathy, I really need to—“


Scully’s yell interrupted his sentence and he yanked Kathy away from him, perhaps a bit forcefully, as he twisted towards
his partner’s voice.  He’d barely registered Kathy gasp before she’d already slid away towards the opposite row of seats.
All of a sudden, Mulder’s mind swirled and his eyes searched for Scully.  Rapidly yanking his gun from its holster, he
finally found her again, still in the gift shop, whirling on the man next to her.  Her badge was up and out and pressed in the
poor guy’s face.

“Where did you say they went?” she breathed quickly, her gun drawn.

The man pointed, somewhat confused and frightened, towards the exit to short term parking.  Scully nodded briskly and
ran off down the concourse at break neck speed.

Mulder tore off after her, completely befuddled, leaving Kathy standing open-mouthed.

“Scully!” he yelled, “Talk to me!”

He watched as her head turned while she ran, and she yelled back, “While you were….otherwise engaged, some asshole
made off with my purse, duffel and laptop!”

His heart dropped into his feet.

Shit, he thought.  Scully’s keys, her good suits, all the X Files she has stored in that computer of hers…
Mulder’s head started to flood and he realized that this was BAD.  Extrordinarily BAD.  And, not only that, but he was
going to be in big trouble with a certain redhead just as soon as she stopped running.

Fuck, he thought, speeding to catch up with her. Fuck, fuck, fuck…

Sure enough, Scully stopped just short of the glass doors to short term parking.  Mulder watched her shoulders sag and
immediately, he knew what was probably going through her head. There were close to a zillion cars parked out there in
the dankness of the garage but no one in sight. Trying to find anyone would be impossible. There were countless places
to hide and so many getaway vehicles and means of escape it was almost laughable.  Well… almost…

Scully bent over trying to catch her breath, her red hair falling like a curtain in her eyes.  Numerous onlookers stopped to
see what the commotion was.  Several people spied the gun and gasped, scurrying away.  Mulder caught up with her just
as her breathing slowed and she righted herself.

“Scully—“ he started, but he halted when he saw the look on her face.

“Don’t, Mulder.” She said.  “Just don’t.”

He sighed and tried again.  “Scully, I—“

“Are we both speaking the same language Mulder? Do I have to say it in Cantonese?  Why don’t you go find Buffy while I
figure out how I’m going to deal with this.”

Oh.  Ouch, he thought.  Now that was uncalled for.

He glared at her and opened his mouth again.

“Actually, it’s Kathy, Scully, and I wasn’t—“

“Shut.  Up.  Mulder.

He did.

Several heads turned and Scully lowered her voice.

“Do you think I’m blind or just stupid?”  she asked.  Mulder didn’t respond.

She shook her head and walked away in a huff.

“Fine,” she said, leaving Mulder harried and confused behind her.  “Just great.”


Agents fly the Friendly Skies, Beware the Soda

Somewhere over the Eastern Seaboard,



“Come on ---“


“But what if---“

“No.  Please.  I’m fine, really.”

Mulder sighed and his partner held up a surrendering hand, a weary look gracing her soft features.  She shook her head
and smacked the bottom of her ruined blouse, grimacing as she realized that her efforts were in vain. Her eyes closed and
she groaned, cursing something he couldn’t really hear under her breath.

“It’s just soda,” Mulder offered with a slight wave of his hand.

She glared at him out of the corner of her eye.

“I told you to drink it, Scully.”

Her lips thinned into a line.

“Alright, look, it’s not like I knew there was going to be turbulence when   I—“

“I get it, Mulder.  It’s fine.”

Scully stared back down at her favorite silk blouse with a pained look on her face.  “Damn,” she said lowly.
Mulder forced a smile that looked more constipated than real and Scully didn’t buy it.  His fingers tapped the armrest and
he tried his best to look like he was trying to help.  Scully was still not pleased.  Mulder shrugged and Scully resisted the
urge to strangle him with his own earphones as she pulled her jacket shut over the offending stain.  Her favorite blouse, of
all things.  How it was that she ended up with soda all over her blouse when she’d never even wanted one in the first
place, she would never know.

Mulder watched her with a hopeful look on his face.

“Maybe the stewardess can---“

Scully silenced him with a look of disgust and tossed her airline napkin at him.


The Stewardess-What’s-Her-Face



The woman at the beverage cart whom Scully had silently designated as ‘the idiot bimbo with the large breasts and the
dyed hair” grinned down at them.

Scully shook her head indifferently and filled out a few more lines on her report.  Mulder glanced up from Scully’s laptop
and the copy of last month’s case write up that he had been perusing.  He grinned widely.

“And for you, Agent Mulder?” the woman purred, putting emphasis on the word ‘Agent.’  Mulder eyed her appreciatively
and took a deep breath, as if undecided on what to get.

“Two Cokes,” he finally said, his eyes still on the stewardess as she nodded and carefully poured two colas out of a small
red Coke can. He watched her carefully and her eyes smiled mischevously at the transfixed agent.  She grinned
appreciatively and handed the drinks to him, allowing her fingers to oh so gently brush his.  He didn’t miss it.

Scully watched him and frowned, her eyes on the drinks as she opened her mouth to start, “Mulder, I don’t really want

“Drink,” Mulder finished smoothly, his gaze following the stewardess---or rather, the stewardess’ finer attributes--- down
the aisle.  “You must be thirsty.  I know I am---thirsty… that is--- for something….”

Scully closed her eyes and shook her head, turning back towards her papers. The plane gently lurched again and her
arms gripped the armrest. That damned soda had better not spill, she thought, eyeing Mulder’s careless elbow resting
upon her laptop.  She never should have let him borrow it.


Scully Babysits



Scully brushed a loose strand of russet out of her eyes and looked up from her briefcase, curiosity painting her face.

“Whoops?” she asked, warily.  “Whoops, Mulder?”

Mulder bit down on the corner of his mouth in a sheepish sort of way and quickly glanced back at his partner’s laptop.

“Don’t worry, it’s nothing” she heard him say, false sureness in his voice, his fingers typing furiously, his tongue licking
the corner of his mouth.  His hazel eyes still conspicuously avoided hers.  Oh God, Scully thought.  What now?

“I just have to correct something,” he said.  “That’s all.”

Scully raised an eyebrow, then closed her eyes, blowing air through thinned lips.  “Mulder,” she sighed, “what did I say
about pressing F-5?”

Mulder swallowed. “F-5?” he asked, innocently. “F-5?  What F-5? I don’t know what you’re talking about…”


Yeah, Right Mulder



Mulder frowned and backspaced twice, trying to get the cursor back to where he wanted it.  Damn it, he thought.  He
hated lap top mouses.

He clicked and highlighted a phrase, furrowing a brow as he said, “Say Scully, what does F-5---“

“Don’t press F-5.”

Mulder pursed his lips and frowned again.

“But I---“


He shot her a look and resisted the urge to stick out his tongue.

Snippy, snippy, he thought, bitterly. Maybe she’d lighten up if another duffel bag fell out of the over head bin.

Mulder shook his head.

Oh… now that’s wrong, he told himself silently.  Not funny… Remember, this is Scully, the woman you trust, the woman
you care about more than….

Oh fuck it, he thought, amused.  It was still funny.

He snickered to himself as he waited for the beverage cart.


Falling Duffel Bags


Mulder frowned and turned around at the familiar voice.  He’d been talking to Kathy, the wonderfully helpful, exceedingly
beautiful flight attendant for so long that he’d lost Scully. He’d damn near forgotten her altogether.

“Scully?” he asked. “Scully, that you?”

Mulder’s eyes wandered their way over the heads of annoyed, harried airline passengers, over the squabble of small
children and over the mayhem of early boarding.  Then he searched around the chairs, beside the in-flight movie screen,
under the mess and confusion and there, on her knees, on the dirty airplane carpeting, he found her.  She was kneeling
and staring at him and holding her head, harboring what could only be described as ‘go to hell’ look.  A large heavy duffel
bag rested, dented and beaten in on its side next to her.

So that’s what that loud noise was, Mulder thought.  At first he’d figured someone had hit one of the seats a little too
hard—but no, this was better.  Much better.  He forced back a snicker and opened his mouth.

“Forget it, I’m fine,” Scully said acidly, shutting Mulder up before he could even ask.

Mulder pursed his lips, biting the lower one to keep from laughing out loud.  He shrugged his shoulders and softly mock

“Ten bucks says there was at least one scenario involving us and that duffel bag,” he said.

The murderous look he got in return could have dented the side of the airplane.


Back In the Car

Down in the Florida Everglades,

“Well, here’s the bright side, Scully.”  Mulder leaned into the car, grinning, stretching his arms towards the dashboard.
“At least we’ve gotten out of the office.  We followed a story, investigated a good, solid lead, closed the investigation, and
for once, we know without a doubt that there was absolutely nothing paranormal about her hallucinations.”

Mulder waggled his eyebrows and turned to Scully.  She looked almost catatonic sitting there, haggard, tired and
annoyed, staring out the windshield.

“Oh come on,” Mulder said, giving her arm a small tap.  “You gotta admit, that was pretty amusing stuff.”

Scully shot a weary glance towards her peppy, almost giddy and highly energetic partner.  Mulder quickly buckled his
seatbelt and leaned back into the plush, passenger’s seat, placing both hands securely behind his head.

“What?” he asked.  “You didn’t think so?”


A No Good, Very Bad Day


“Thank you, but no.”  Mulder grinned politely and side-stepped in front of Scully, holding out his hand.  “No Iced Tea for
either of us.”

“Is y’all shure?”

Scully pursed her lips and nodded, hanging back.  Mulder smiled and cleared his throat, aiming to begin his
investigation.  Scully just cracked her neck and sighed.

The focus of their so-called investigation, Mrs. Ellen Herdmeyer, wasn’t just one of those crazy old ladies with a cat or
two and some strange notions about her old, creaky, spooky house.  No, of course not.  Ellen Elizabeth
Laherty-Cassidy-Wretch-Lawdry-Herdmeyer was a tiny, wrinkled nutty old screwball that had been married more times
than normal people changed their socks.  She was also the sole mistress of a dirty, unkempt, creaky old mansion the
size of a small city, and she owned more furry, angry felines than Dana Scully had ever seen in her life.  And the more
Scully seemed to move and shift, the more the disgusting little things clawed and meowed and scratched at her ankles.

“Damn it,” Scully swore softly, shooing away one of the mean little furr-critters with the toe of her shoe.  Goddamn it,
Mulder, she thought to herself.  Why the hell am I here?

Mrs. Herdmeyer’s story, as far as Mulder had relayed to her in the car and on the plane, didn’t seem intriguing or—at the
very least-- an even remotely creative fiasco they could waste money investigating.  As a matter of fact, it was a simple,
stereotypical and quite—well, for lack of a better phrase---just plain stupid lie, as far as Scully was concerned.   But of
course Mulder ate it up. Especially since work had been slow and boring lately, and Mulder was itching to get out and go
somewhere.  He just ate everything and anything up.

 In a nutshell, Mrs. Herdmeyer claimed that during the course of a twenty year period, she had been married four times
and all four times her husbands had died there in her home, in her old, dark bedroom.  And to add insult to injury, all four
times, the half-blind, half-senile Mrs. Herdmeyer claimed to have seen a light emanating from her closet.  She said it was
alarmingly bright the moment before her husbands had stopped breathing.

Stupid, Scully thought, and she kicked at another cat.  Ridiculous, insane, waste of money---

“So tell me more about the house, Mrs. Herdmeyer,” Mulder said, discreetly kicking away a yellow tabby that had begun
inching up his pant leg.  “Where did ah---“ He kicked at another cat that loudly protested its dismissal and went on,
“Where exactly did this light did you say you experienced—with your husbands—Where did it emanate from?  Was there
a point of origin perhaps in the closet?  A cold spot?  In the email I received you said there were—“

Mrs. Herdmeyer squinted and shook her head.  “What you talkin bout, boy?” she asked, tapping the side of her pruny
light brown head, struggling with what must have been a hearing aid.

Scully rolled her large blue eyes and folded her arms in front of her.  This is insulting, she thought.  Why are we even
here? This is so goddamned----


She yelped as a small black critter began to bite at the leather bounding her black high heel to the rest of her shoe.

“Ow,” she gasped.  “Ow, hey….”

She began to kick, softly at first, then more violently as the cat screeched and hung on for dear life.

“What the---“ She grabbed an end-table for support and shook her right leg harder.  “Go on kitty, get---“

Mulder, meanwhile, was oblivious to Scully’s lurching and struggling behind him as he spoke, “Oh—sorry about the
confusion ma’am, I actually meant the email you sent me last week when—“

“I knowd what you meant, boy,” said Mrs. Herdmeyer, shaking a bony finger at him.  “I jes can’t hea y’all too well. Ears is
goin on me.  So’s the sight.  Y’all gets to be mah age and nothin works like it used ta and things ya didn’t think was even
theya is suddenly pumpin in yaw veins and you is wea’in diapers agin an---“

Mulder nodded and cleared his throat uncomfortably. “Right,” he said, trying to dismiss the comment.  “But back to the

Scully lurched again and swatted at what seemed to be a growing army of multi-colored furballs collecting at her feet.  It
was as if they’d massed, picked their target and then decided to declare war.  Shit, she thought. What the hell is it about
my shoes?

“Damn it, hey---“  A very fat, white Persian flicked its claw about her slender, ivory ankle and she nearly tripped over her
own foot.  “Mulder?” she called.

The cat swatted again and she hopped backwards, almost crashing into a free-standing, over-gaudy tiffany lamp.


But she was ignored again, of course, and the army advanced further. Damn it, Scully said to herself, creeping
backwards.  I’m going to fucking kill him, I’m going to---

Suddenly, the nearest animal sprang and leapt, fighting for domination over Scully’s foot.  The other felines quickly
followed suit and Scully, nearly falling backwards into a small mahogany table, started shaking and kicking her right foot
violently into a small ficus plant.

“Whut you wanna know bout de house?” Mrs. Herdmeyer asked Mulder, tapping her ear again.

“Well,” Mulder said, louder this time, while Scully kicked and hopped and swore under her breath behind him.  Her arm
flew through the air and knocked over a badly placed, tacky fruit bowl.  It rolled beneath Mulder’s feet, unnoticed.

To Mrs. Herdmeyer, Mulder continued, “I was wondering about the closet you said the light came from…” His ankle was
swatted at and he lightly kicked at it.   “You said this light…it---“

Suddenly preoccupied, Mrs. Herdmeyer frowned, squinted and stared off behind Mulder.  She pointed with a shaking hand
and said, “say boy, is somethin the matta wid yaw lady frien over deya---she kinda look lak  she havin a fit.”

Puzzled, Mulder turned around and blinked a few times, finally eyeing over his completely harried and irritated looking
Scully. Her expression was angry and screwed into a tight ball, her teeth severely clenched and grinding lowly.  At her
half-shoed, scratched feet stood an army of fat, dirty, and ugly cats, yelping and jumping at her ankles, one particularly
nasty smaller one sinking its teeth into the heel of one of her shoes.  A small glass fruit bowl had been overturned next to
one of the struggling felines, and caked dirt from God only knew where was spread haphazardly across the carpet.

“Scully?” Mulder asked innocently. “Something you need help with?”

At the sound of her name, Dana Scully slowly began to dislodge herself from the mahogany end table, bending over
slightly to yank her battered shoe out of the mouth of a particulary territorial Siamese-like looking thing.  Her newly
acquired, silky and expensive stockings from Victoria’s Secret were now torn, tattered and ruined beyond repair.  Her
fire-red locks hung pathetically in her eyes and she managed, “No, Mulder.  I’m fine.  I’ll be in the car.”

Then she gathered up her shoes, squared her shoulders, and boldly tripped out the front door.


But in the Beginning, there was…

The evening before,

There were times when Scully found her travel alarm clock soothing.  When her alarm was on and set, a tiny glowing red
dot in the corner would blink.  On, off.  On, off.  At night, at 3am when she couldn’t sleep and she knew she should be, it
was hypnotic and tranquilizing.  And somehow, no matter what she was doing or where she was, it lent a sense of
normality to the situation.  Despite the craziness going on around her, her travel clock was still there.  Out hunting
aliens?  Out searching for one headed monsters in the middle of the Nevada desert?  No matter.  Her travel alarm was
always the constant on her dresser or on her nightstand.  And it reminded her that yes, in an insane world---her world,
there was a such thing as constant normality.

But tonight… well tonight it seemed trite and tedious to be staring at her alarm clock.  She wasn’t even tired and she
didn’t quite know why.   Maybe it was because she had spent almost a week straight in the office with Mulder, arguing
about needless, stupid things, with not even a single case to investigate.  And now here they were, finally out on the road
with something to do with themselves but… Or no…maybe it was because she had woken up extra early this morning,
even earlier than usual, and had felt an odd restlessness about her.  Something was missing in her life,
something important, and she didn’t quite know what it was.

Scully sighed.  What is wrong with me? she wondered.  What---

A sudden, yet soft knock at her door halted her thoughts.

“Yeah?” she called.

“Scully?” came the deep voice from the other side of the unlocked connecting door.  He was whispering, almost as if he
were unsure about himself. “You awake?”

Scully grinned.  “Yeah,” she said.

“Oh.  Ok, I was just ah…”

Mulder’s head cautiously peeked out from behind the door, followed slowly by an arm, then a leg, then the rest of him.
His hair was rumpled and messy, as if his hands had been combing through it.  His white “eat at Moe’s” shirt was
wrinkled and his shorts clung becomingly to his tanned muscular legs.  His hazel eyes searched the darkened room till
he found her, lying in bed, covers bunched around her sides.

“I wake you?” he asked.

Scully shook her head and smiled warmly at him.  “No,” she admitted, patting the bed beside her.  “I haven’t been able to

Mulder frowned, as if the thought of Scully’s restlessness greatly disturbed him.  Then, with a hand flat against the side of
the doorjamb, pushing it softly open, he crept into the room, asking, “really?  You ok Scully?  Feeling alright?”

Scully sighed.  “Yeah, fine.”

Sometimes, Mulder’s over-protectiveness could be a blessing but… well, other times it bothered Scully.  Not that she
didn’t appreciate that he cared about her--- she did, really she did.  But generally, Mulder’s efforts in regards to her
protection sometimes became troublesome and, although it was scant in nature, he almost always ended up
embarrassing her.

Like just last month, Scully had caught a particularly nasty cough and Mulder’d found the need to consult her
oncologist—to schedule an appointment--- without asking her first.  Then there was the scuffle he had gotten into with
Agent Chesney—something concerning her that he still refused to talk about.  Add that to the fact that she couldn’t even
remember the last time she had been able to go out on a date without Mulder performing a background check… and then
either spying on her the whole time or calling her 15 times an hour to ---“check in.”

Either he notices me completely or he doesn’t notice me at all, Scully thought ruefully.  What a lucky woman I am.  She
shook her head.

“So what have you been up to?” Scully asked, eyeing Mulder as he sat down carefully on the edge of her bed.

“Nothing,” he said, reaching over Scully’s legs for the TV remote.  He grabbed it off the dresser and flicked on the power
switch.  Suddenly, there was an abundance of soft blue light and the room was flooded with it.  Scully squinted for a
moment and watched him.

“So I thought I’d come in and bother you,” Mulder said.  He grinned and waggled his eyebrows.

“And what made you think I’d be awake?”

Scully’s auburn eyebrow raised and Mulder looked at her sheepishly.  He shrugged his shoulders and turned away to
focus on the TV.

“I uh… peeked in and saw you tossing,” he said.

Scully’s breath caught in her throat at that, and she didn’t bother to ask him how long he’d been standing there.  Just the
idea that he had been there, watching her unnoticed, even for a moment, made her feel… what?  Vibrant?  Alive?  Her
heart beat fast and furious, but she wasn’t quite sure.

Like a woman, she finally decided upon.  It made her feel like an attractive woman again.  ---Even though it had only
been Mulder watching her, and not...

Not who? She asked herself.  Exactly who else would you rather have here with you?

“Say Scully---you own a thighmaster?”

Scully shook her head to regain her bearings.

“What?” she asked, confused.

“A thighmaster,” Mulder repeated, staring at the TV.  Waves of blue light danced over his shoulders and torso.  “It says
here that women swear by these things.  You own one?”

Scully furrowed a brow and shook her head.  “No,” she said, and Mulder twisted to look at her.  A lazy grin crept up from
his lips all the way to his eyes.  Scully grinned back and raised a speculative eyebrow.

“Why?” she asked, jokingly.  “You think I need one?”

Mulder raised an eyebrow back and glanced down at the thin blanket just barely covering her legs.  “Well,” he said,
leaning back against the comforter.  His eyes were back on her face now.  “I suppose the woman who makes her living
tracking down aliens in high heels could probably give Suzanne Sommers a few pointers.”

Scully let out a loose chuckle.  “Right,” she said.

There was a pregnant pause.  Mulder let the remote slip to the bed for a moment.

“Seriously though.”  Scully watched him carefully.  “Is everything alright?”

At her gentle inquiry, Mulder frowned and looked away.  She supposed that maybe it offended him that she got worried
when he tried to make small talk with her but… well, Mulder just wasn’t a “small talk” kind of guy.  Usually, he was all
work and no play and when he wasn’t, he was either bored or scared, or maybe both.  But if he was allowed to get worried
about her then damn it, she sure as hell had better be allowed to worry about him.

“Scully…” Mulder sighed as if her question had knocked the wind out of him.  “Why do you always ask me if something’s
wrong whenever I try to spend a little time with you?”

Scully smiled wryly at him and shook her head.  “Mulder, counting phone time, road time and office time, we spend
roughly 24 hours a day together.  Any more time would call for a surgical grafting procedure.”

Mulder shot her an undecipherable look.

“That’s not what I meant.”

“Ok, then what did you mean?”

Mulder took a deep breath.  Scully watched him and a silky lock of red hair fell into her eyes.  Almost by instinct, he
reached over the small distance between them and with his index finger, pushed it back over her ear.  This was something
Mulder did often and without premeditated thought, but still, Scully’s pulsed always hummed at his touch.

“I meant…” Mulder cracked his neck and lazily stretched out his legs diagonally across her bed. She felt them land softly
and accidentally on top of hers and her pulse beat even harder.  She cursed herself for it.

Mulder waved a hand and said, “you and I spend all our time meticulously working and so fervently focused on the… the
cerebral aspect of things.   What about the-- I dunno.  The ‘Three Stooges aspect of things?’ ”

Scully shot him a weary look.  “What are you talking about, Mulder?” she asked, staring at the TV. “We have that.  I’ve
seen you act like an imbecile plenty of times.”

Mulder shook his head.  “Funny, Shekie, but not what I meant.”

 “What then? You want me to pie you in the face?”

“Only if it involves some sort of foreplay.”

Mulder grinned and tapped her knee affectionately.

Scully rolled her eyes.

“Seriously Scully, it’s… I don’t… well, maybe I’d just like to be able to sit with you and watch TV and not think about work
or the universe or quantum physics or...  well, I think we could handle that kind of challenge.”

Scully looked amused.  She folded her arms speculatively across her chest.  “You do, huh?”


And for a moment, she considered this. Her eyes widened, lips pursed.  Then she nodded slowly, tongue in cheek, and
waved an indifferent hand.

“Alright Curley,” she said slowly.  “Talk.  Although I can’t help but wonder why the sudden change in attitude.”

At that, Mulder’s mouth opened as if he was suddenly taken aback.  He held a melodramatic hand to his chest and said,
“change?  Change, Scully?  Ok, now that wounds. I notice you.  I’ve tried the small talk thing.  Just this morning I asked
you if you wanted breakfast but you never answered me.”

Scully couldn’t help but laugh.  “We were in an airport terminal and you had already knocked my coffee all over the floor,”
she said, placing a reassuring hand on his knee.  She gave him a soft tap and shook her head.  “You know Mulder,
there’s no law that says we have to make time every month or every week to just… talk.  If it happens, it happens. If it
doesn’t, then I’m still perfectly content that we operate the way we do.  We work well together, we---“

“Operate? Work well together?” Mulder let out a disgusted snort and stared at her. “You make it sound like we’re an
expresso machine.  Doesn’t it bother you that you talk like that Scully?”

Scully’s eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open.  “Talk like what?” she asked, confused.

“Like an operating manual.”  Mulder grinned at her.  “Like VCR instructions.  Place partner here. Operate with caution.
Hopefully, in time, you will be content with the model you have chosen.”

Scully smirked and leaned in further towards Mulder, their legs brushing together with only the barest of tickles.  Her hand
trailed slowly down his knee and back towards her blanket in an innocent gesture, though she was almost positive that
she could hear his breath catch as she moved.

There’s something here between us, she thought.  Something…

“Maybe my model counterpart just needs replacement parts,” she said, lips twitching.  “Maybe it’s defective.”

Mulder’s eyes twinkled.  “Maybe you’re defective.”

Scully laughed.  “Oh Mulder,” she said, leaning gently back against her pillow.  “Sometimes you’re just the epitome of
rationale and maturity, aren’t you?”

Mulder nodded with an almost dopey look on his face.  “And you’re my partner.” His fingers began to trace nonsensical
patterns on the comforter.  “So that makes you---“

“The only safely working part of the expresso machine.”

Mulder chuckled at that.

The TV glared low and soft and cast blue and white shadows upon their faces.  Both of them laughed and Mulder turned
back to the picture, perhaps happy for the moment to be just sitting there in companionable silence.  He flipped the cable
box to CNN and listened halfheartedly to a senate debate.  Meanwhile, he could still hear Scully breathing behind him.

Mulder sighed and snatched up the remote again, flipping past CNN, The Weather Channel, some sort of soft porn on
HBO, and finally settling on an old Clint Eastwood movie.

“So,” he said nonchalantly, “You hear about the office pool?”

Scully blinked a few times and looked up, confused.  She’d been staring so drowsily into the TV for so long that she’d
almost forgotten where she was.  The blue and white glare of the screen could be so hypnotic....  Lord, what time is it?
She wondered.

Out loud, she said, “Hmm?”

Mulder turned to her.  “The office pool,” he repeated.  “An amusing little bit of notoriety gained by our department… I
overheard Agent Chaney discussing it the other day… it’s… well, you know everyone thinks we’re…”

Mulder’s voice trailed off sheepishly and when didn’t finish, Scully stared at him dully.  “Thinks we’re… what?”

Mulder pursed his lips and Scully gestured towards him for a response.

“You were saying?”

He gave her a short smile.  “You know,” he said, as if he were a small child.  “Screwing each other like---“


Scully ran an annoyed hand through her hair.  Yes, she knew.  Of course she knew.  Of course she was aware of the fact
that the rest of the office continually made the status of their relationship into a game…A betting round.  But for what
esteemed purposes it served, she would probably never know..  Damn it, she thought.  Why did he have to ruin our
pleasant evening by talking about this?

“Just thought I’d ask…” Mulder shrugged at her. “To be honest, I wasn’t going to mention it at all, but since we’re
small-talking here, I thought I’d ask you what you thought---“

“I could do without this kind of small talk, Mulder.”

“Yeah well…”

Mulder paused and looked at her.  Really and truly looked at her.  He looked at her hungrily, as if he didn’t know whether
to kiss her or tangle his hands in the blankets to keep from trying.  Scully noticed him and shivered, wishing for a moment
that she could see behind that brain of his.  Why is he the way he is? She wondered.  Why are we talking about this?
Why does he even care?  My God---why is he looking at me that way?

“Get this Scully---  Lowest figure going is ten bucks.”

Scully sighed and shook her head.  “Alright,” she gave, leaning back into her pillow further, “I know I’m going to regret this,
but ten bucks on what?”

Mulder eyes twinkled mischievously.  “Ten bucks on whether I… on whether we---consummated…. On the desk.”

Mulder’s expression shouted amusement and Scully’s eyes widened. “OUR desk?” she asked incredulously.  “Us—as in
you and I--- on that dusty old piece of nuts and bolts?“

“So what are you saying?  I should dust more often if I wanna get laid?”

“Not in this lifetime,” Scully said, a smile quirking her lips, copper eyebrow raised in place.  “Unless you’ve got some
other items further south that are dusty… and in that case our desk may not be the problem.”

Mulder shot her a devilish look.

“Ouch,” he said, and grinned.  “Alright, what if *I* put five bucks on it?”

“Five bucks on what, Mulder?”

“On us of course.”

Scully scoffed, a curious look cascading over her light blue eyes. “Only five?  Cheap, are you Mulder?”

“What?  Me cheap?”

Scully just stared at him and pursed her lips.

“Alright, ten then.”  Mulder nodded to himself and tapped the side of Scully’s leg.  “Ten bucks says that you eventually
cave and we screw each other’s brains out---“

“Still a cheap offer, Agent Mulder.”


Mulder gaped melodramatically and let himself fall backwards onto the mattress.  Scully laughed at him and pulled the
blankets up around herself higher---out of a need for heat or out of embarrassment over the conversation, she wasn’t
entirely sure.

“Ten dollars is NOT cheap,” Mulder said, waggling a knowing finger at her, “I’ll have you know that Agents Samson and
Lauter have EACH bet ten dollars on us doing the naked pretzel in the copy-closet.”

Scully waved an indifferent hand.  “Samson and Lauter have room to talk.  They’ve been fucking each other for
years….But…” her eyes twinkled.   “*I* will see your ten and I’ll rebut every single theory.”

Mulder’s eyes widened at that.  “Oh really?”

“Yes, hotshot, really.”  Scully’s own eyes narrowed to becoming sapphire slits in the dimmed, blue light of the room.  Her
heart raced and she fought the urge to allow her hands to shake.  She felt suddenly giddy all over, despite her late-night
drowsiness.   “We are NOT an office stereotype, Mulder.  Ten bucks says it’ll never happen.”

“You’re sure?”

“I’m positive.”

“Oh yeah?”  Mulder shook his head.  “Well ten bucks says you want me—“

He shot her a mockingly suave expression that made him look somehow constipated on more than one level.  Scully
suppressed a dark and throaty giggle that coursed through her.

“So don’t blame me for your lost ten dollars---“ He lifted his chin aristocratically---“when you rip off my clothes in a
precariously desperate moment and scream ‘Oh Mulder, God of hot, sweaty sexual---“

Scully interrupted him with a yawn.

“It’s late, Oh God of everything ridiculous.”  She waved a sleepy arm at him.  “Go to sleep.”

Mulder shot her a pout.

But at the tone of her voice and the stubbornness of her expression, of her index finger pointing towards the connecting
door, Mulder let out a loud, over dramatized sigh and rose from the bed.  Obediently, he took a few steps forward, turned,
and said---

“Who’s your daddy?”

Scully rolled her eyes with an irritated sigh and tossed an errant pillow at him.

“Ok, so that’s a ‘maybe later,’ right?”

Scully bit the inside of her mouth, refusing to give him the satisfaction of her amusement.

“Walk, Mulder.  Go.  Faster,” she said, and almost immediately regretted saying it.

“Ohhh… Yes… Oh Scully …”  Mulder’s ridiculously grinning head stopped at the door, then—“What was that about going
faster?… you naughty federal agent you…“

Then the door closed behind him with a soft click.

The TV glared low and ghoulish in the dimness of the room.  The travel alarm clock beside her bed ticked softly and
quietly. For a moment the room was silent, perfectly still.

But finally, all at once unable to contain it any longer, Scully erupted with soft, suspiciously un-Scully-like peals of
laughter.  She smothered them with the softness of her pillow as she let loose, long and hard and deep, overflowing with
giggles until she couldn’t breathe any longer.

“Oh, Mulder,” she sighed, wiping tears away from her eyes.  “Easiest ten bucks I ever won.”  She closed her eyes then
and added, “And a damn shame, too,” as she drifted off slowly and contentedly to sleep.

_______________ End ___________________

Well, I told you it was wierd... but I think it was a fun trip.  If you think it was a fun trip as well, please feel free to send me
lots of happy feedback!  Feedback is like a giant piece of chocolate cake--YUMMMMM... :o)